Jul 8, 2008

Tuesday July 8, 2008 Alan P. Olschwang

Theme: ONE - Syllable Longest English Words
(33D: Number of syllables in 17A, 25A, 36A, 51A and 61A)

17A: Carried with great effort: SCHLEPPED

25A: Rounded up: SCROUNGED

36A: Compacted: SCRUNCHED

51A: Suppressed: SQUELCHED

61A: Chewed the fat: SCHMOOZED

Very impressive theme answers, all of them are 9-letter long, with ONE anchoring the whole grid. Very solid. I thought of "Scratched" and "Stretched" earlier, what else could you come up with? "Strengths" is also 9-letter, but it does not fit the past tense "Mr. ED" pattern.

Several blemishes in the cluing though:

25A: Rounded up: SCROUNGED. SCROUNGED has an "searched and foraged" undertone, and the clue does not imply so, does it?

46A: Existing: Lat.: IN ESSE. The "Lat.' should not be abbreviated.

3D: Butt collector: ASH TRAY. Shouldn't "Butt" be in plural form?

43A: MD and ME: STS (States). This answer is clearly shouting for some editing. See HESSE (52D: German State). A simple "Peter, Paul and Mary: abbr" would have worked out nicely. The Streets abbreviation STS is impossible due to the AVENUE (9D: Street crosser) clue.

24D: LAPD alert: APB. Once again, "Police dispatch, quickly" would be a better clue due to NYPD (26D: "___ Blue").

58D: Finish second: LOSE. In the finals, yes, otherwise, it's not true. "Finish last" is more accurate a clue.

Flaws aside, I still enjoyed solving this puzzle. It's definitely more interesting than his humdrum QUIP puzzle.


1A: Nabokov novel: ADA. Do you know that besides composing his "chess problems", Nabokov also constructed crosswords (in Russian)? And it's his opinion that the creating process of the two were very similar.

4A: Old World palm: ARECA. Stumper. I think I googled it before, but I failed to commit it to my memory. ARECA is a kind of Asian Tropical palm (Betel Palm).

14A: Aspin from Wisconsin: LES (Leslie). No idea. Wikipedia says he was Clinton's Secretary of Defense after spending more than 20 years in the Congress.

16A: Nemo's creator: VERNE (Jules). From "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea". Nemo (némō ) is Latin for "no one".

19A: Goldman and Lazarus: EMMAS

27A: Level off: PLATEAU. I wonder if there is a detailed description on the "PLATEAU phase" in 'KAMA Sutra".

30A: Pooh pal: EEYORE. From "Winnie-the-Pooh". The grumpy donkey. What's behind this strange name?

39A: __ of information: MINE. New phrase to me.

42A: French fathers: PERES. And 57A: Fr. lasses: MLLES (Mademoiselles). Together with LES (14A, French "the") and VERNE (16A), they form a quietly streaming French undercurrent, very characteristic of Olschwang's puzzles.

64A: Lying on one's stomach: PRONE


2D: Actress Yvonne: DE CARLO. Not a familiar name to me, though I've seen "The Ten Commandments" several times before. Why does this "The Munsters" Barbie cost so much ($299)? Is it a rare collector's item?

4D: Explorer Tasman: ABEL. New to me. According to Wikipedia, he was the first known European to reach Tasmania, New Zealand and the Fiji islands.

5D: Weather or traffic pc.: REPT (Report).

6D: "The Raven" monogram: EAP (Edgar Allan Poe). Can you think of a good clue for "Elvis Aron Presley" monogram?

7D: Opposite of dimin.: CRESC (Crescendo). "Dimin" is "diminuendo". So strange, "Innuendo" does not seem to have any musical overtone, or does it?

8D: Poisonous snake: ADDER. Here is a puff ADDER. Looks so thick, hard and long.

11D: Toon myopic: MR. MAGOO. Nope, nope, he is completely unknown to me. Did he fall off the cliff eventually?

12D: Vigilant: ON ALERT

18D: Inventory: LIST. Really? Are they the same?

25D: Offer a recap: SUM UP. I dislike the "p" in the clue.

34D: Bitter: ACRID

36D: Zaire's Mobutu __ Seko: SESE. Feels like I have not seen IDI Amin for ages.

39D: Accidents: MISHAPS


41D: Subatomic particle: NEUTRON

43D: Reacts to an allergen: SNEEZED. SQUEEZED is another long 1-syllable word.

44D: Promising ads?: TEASERS

47D: Trick pitch: SLIDER. I almost wrote in SINKER. Randy Johnson is probably the best SLIDER I know of.

48D: Outer: pref.: ECT. Or ECTO/EXO.

57D: 2501: MMDI



Dick said...

Good morning Cc and others. Liked the puzzle and got all of it except the intersection of 36D and 39A. Cc I don't have a problem with SCROUNGED as used here for I often started to build something and have stated that I must scrounge up some material.

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - smooth sailing this morning, with a bit of perp help.
C.C., I didn't have a problem with 'butt collector' - it's what it is. 'Butts collector' doesn't sound right to me. I never heard of 'mine of information' either. And one of my favorite sayings, 'second place is the first loser' sums up why I think 58A is ok.
Have a great Tuesday - finally a day of sun here.

Dennis said...

Oh, and C.C., your description of 8D -- well, say goodbye to Lois for a while...

Dick said...

cc I also did not like the 43A clue but was able to solve by use of the downs. I agree with your 58D comment as I kept trying to get PLACE to fit as that is more accurate description of second place finishes.

I never heard of 39A MINE. It doesn't make sense to me. Also, I did not like the 5D clue. I had no idea and had to fill with the crosses.

Mr Magoo had very diminished eye sight and this caused him to have so many adventures in the old cartoons such as driving over a cliff.

KittyB said...

Good morning, c.c. and all. You must all be night owls. It's six in the morning here and dick and dennis have already responded, twice!

When I saw 16A, I thought of Pixar first, and then Verne.

There will be lots of comments today about Lois and 3D! *G*

I had trouble with AAR, EOE, SESE and ENO, but they fell into place with other clues.

c.c., dimenuendo's Latin root is "diminuere," and innuendo's Latin root is "innuendum."

Storms are on their way to the Chicago area, but we need the rain, so I'm not complaining! Have a good day, all.

Dr. Dad said...

A couple of bad spots. Wanted Dept. for 5D which messed up 4A for awhile. Took MD and ME for medical doctor and medical examiner so 43A was DRS for a bit.
The free online dictionary has "round up" as a definition for scrounge.
Butt or butts - doesn't matter. A person only smokes one cigarette at a time, hence butt. Don't think of anything else, Lois!
I also kept thinking of "win, place, show" for 58D.
Yvonne De Carlo - Lily Munster and Sephora (Ten Commandments).
Elvis can only be "The King".
I agree with Dennis - 8D description means Lois is history.

Mr. Magoo - voiced by Jim Backus who is better know as Thurston Howell, III from Gilligan's Island. Does anyone know all the names of the castaways (not the actors, the characters)? Lovey is not Mrs. Howell's real name, though she was called that on the show.

Today is Video Games Day. Whatever happened to kids going outside and playing? Also, on July 8, 1835, the Liberty Bell cracked.

Have a nice day.

Chris in LA said...

Good morning CC etal,
Some trouble today, but bulled though. Struggled with areca/cresc cross - couldn't get the "c" & had to google some of the names.
CC: could 39A be a typo? One mines "for" information.

Dr. Dad said...

kittyb - thanks for the music info yesterday. You have crossed over into the info sharing world that I often delve into. Very informative.

Dennis - you sure started something yesterday with the description of "neat" to Lois. And now today she'll be looking at C.C.'s comment on 8D. Carol and MH will probably chime in on that one.

NYTAnonimo said...

I did not have a problem with the definitions for SCROUNGE or ASHTRAY.

The answer to 58D depends on whether you're an optimist, pessimist or realist, the contest/prize involved and the number of participants. Hamilton certainly
lost on this one.

According to Wikipedia:

Eeyore's name is a phonetic representation of the donkey's bray: an onomatopoeia, possibly derived from the baby talk name for the animal.

And (also from Wikipedia) onomatopoeia is a word or a grouping of words that imitates the sound it is describing, suggesting its source object, such as "click," "bunk", "clang," "buzz," "bang," or animal noises such as "oink", "slurp", or "meow".

It's most likely MAGOO fell off the cliff. He was notorious for such escapades which he always walked away from.

No problem with LIST or inventory either.

Finished this puzzle quickly-don't usually pay attention to my times because I'm doing so many other things while working on the puzzle but this seemed to fall exceptionally fast.

Bill said...

Good Morning All, Too many unknowns to LIST today. I'd be here all day at the rate I type!!!
Got most without help but need some explanations.
5d: what does pc. stand for?
19a: never heard of either.
27a: Plateau is a noun, right. And doesn't the clue look for action of some kind? "I think I'll PLATEAU the pile of dirt in my yard."
Doesn't ring true to me.
39a: I've heard of someone "MINING" information, but didn't know info was kept in a mine!
24a: APB = All Points Bulletin I think better clued as "Police Alert" APB is not peculiar to just LAPD.
That's it for now. C.C.,, what are you trying to do? Poor Lois will be beside herself!!!
The deleted post is mine. I dun't spel tu gud!!!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

As with C.C., I loved the theme answers but wasn't overly fond of much of the cluing.

Never heard of ABEL Tasman, but fortunately I knew Yvonne DECARLO (I grew up watching "The Munsters" on TV and can well imagine a Munsters Barbie being an expensive collectors item), ARECA (from crossword puzzles) and MR MAGOO (Saturday morning cartoons). I got Mobutu SESE Seko, but only because I did the NYT puzzle immediately preceding this puzzle and it had the same exact clue.

I didn't have any objections to "Butt collector" for ASHTRAY, "Finish second" for LOSE, "Rounded up" for SCROUNGE or "LAPD alert" for APB.

And now for my carps:

1. I figured right away that MD and ME referred to states, but I refused to accept that STS was a valid abbreviation.

2. I've also never heard the expression "MINE of information" (I was expecting "FONT of information").

3. I felt that 5D was very poorly clued. "Weather or traffic pc." seems awfully forced to get REPT. For that matter, REPT is a pretty awful abbreviation for report in the first place, so maybe the problem is more with the answer than the clue.

Barry G. said...

Oh, and Bill -- plateau can be used as a verb, but it is an intransitive verb (no object). So you wouldn't plateau something, but something can plateau. For example, sales were rising steadily all week, but now they have plateaued.

NYTAnonimo said...

pc. was confusing for me too and I also took a guess at the second S in 26D SESE and the first S in 46A INESSE. A "wealth of information" or font as Barry mentioned comes to mind more quickly than MINE.

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

liked it. my only stumper was areca. i'm fine with butt collector .. and that's all i'm gonna say about that.

Dr. Dad said...

Plateau is also an intransitive verb that means to level off.
pc. I think means piece and thus rept. = report.
Emma Lazarus is a poet.
I didn't like mine of information either.

KittyB said...

OMG...SMOKING butts....all is lost..., I'm happy to be able to share what I know with you. Please pardon me when I get too pedantic.

On the subject of "mine of information," I've always heard it as "GOLD mine of information," which makes a little more sense. I prefer to use "font."

nytanonimo, would you tell me about your nic, please? I need something to fix it in my brain.

Anonymous said...

I thought 25 across was a bad clue as well--how old are you btw?--you have never heard of Mr Magoo?

NYTAnonimo said...

@ anonymous 7:57AM see cc's sidebar "about me"-she's 37 and did not grow up in the US. So she wouldn't know about Mr. Magoo from the 60's era in the USA.

@ kittyb-if you mean my nickname NYT Anonimo-had to come up with a gmail account to comment on the NYT xword puzzle blogs and just chose this. Actually comment on this blog more. The end of the week NYT puzzles require googling more often than not and don't always fall with that assist!

lois said...

Good morning CC & DF's: Woohoo!!! Smoking butt collector 'coupled' with CC's adder description of thick, long and hard! Holy Hotwick Paradise Found! Not to mention atilt, senor, her, schmoozed, prone, teasers, slider, cresc,and plateau. What a way to start the morning! These were certainly no 'accidents' and only acted as 'seeds' of suggestion to set my day of flying off w/high tension, looking not to be 'squelched' but satisfied tonight. An APB had better be issued in VA and the guys ought to be 'on alert'and boarding SST's for safety around sunset-the vamp-ire is back! Thank you CC and Mr. his name!Great puzzle! Enjoy this gorgeous day!

Dr. Dad said...


MH said...

Good puzzle with some unusual words, especially the theme words. I didn't know SESE or the crossing words MINE (I had MENU) or IN ESSE. I guessed IN ESSE but still couldn't get the other two. I also couldn't get the 5D clue - what does he mean "Weather or traffic pc."? Without the "pc.", I might have gotten it. Of course I didn't know ARECA either. Still it was a fun puzzle.

Hot, HOT, HOT out here in N. Cal. Supposed to be 99 today and lots of fire smoke as well which makes it terrible to be outside.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning everyone! Not the easiest, but a very doable puzzle. New words/names today; SESE, EOE, DECARLO. I don't think C.C. will like the number of 3 letter words today. (Looks like I was wrong -- no mention.) 39A seems to be just part of "a gold MINE of information," which I've heard often.

carol said...

Morning C.C.and you D.F'S:

C.C. Please explain your comment for 43A: Peter, Paul and Mary...I didn't understand.

Dennis, I agree with you about 8D, WOW. Gives new meaning to "you ol' snake in the grass"!! Makes a girl want to grab a snake bite kit and go!:)

As to 39A, I didn't like this either, thought font would be better.
36D just did not know this one

Loved the clue for 11D. Enjoyed watching Mr.Magoo in the "olden" days, since I am nearsighted too, it was all the funnier.

I am leaving now, going in search of that snake.... :)

Dennis said...

Good Lord, lois has company!

Anonymous said...

From Richard
Things cleared up once I replaced "outed" with "aired" on 59A. Guess I live too near San Francisco.

CC, while "innuendo" may not have a musical reference,it is the instructions for an Italian suppository which may be good for those flaming butts.

Anonymous said...

I have always heard 39a to be a "mint" of information.
anyone else?

carol said...

Ohhhh Richard (Anon at 9:50) Innuendo!!! LOL, LOL !!!! It took me 3 or 4 minutes before I could stop laughing long enough to write this :) .Thanks so much for making my morning brighter.... That's one of the funniest comments I have read here.

Barry G. said...

C.C. Please explain your comment for 43A: Peter, Paul and Mary...I didn't understand.

Well, I'm not C.C., but I finally figured out that Peter, Paul and Mary are all Catholic "saints" (abbreviated sts).

Barb B said...

Geeeeez, when I first looked over the grid I thought I was lost. Couldn’t get a toe-hold anywhere in the top section. But I recognized enough in the lower section to get me started so I worked from the bottom up. (Breath, Lois)

Got almost everything without help until I got wiped out with the latin word, crossed with proper name; just kept guessing letters till I hit on the s crossing – sese and inesse.

Loved the theme words; I couldn’t find any more ‘ed words to add, but found some wonderful nouns – schmaltzy, schnauzer, schnitzel, schnorkel, and schnozzle.

Trouble with Les (aspen), Abel (Tasman) and Traffic pc completely stumped me – pc? Very poor clue.

Nytanonimo, thanks for the Mr McGoo clip. What a nice way to start the day.

Looks like a very hot, clear day in Oregon, and about time, too.

Dr. Dad said...

Even though no one gave an answer to my question at 6:23 a.m. here they are:
Skipper - Jonas Grumby
Professor - Roy Hinkley
Mr. Howell - Thurston Howell, III
Mrs. Howell - Eunice Wentworth Howell
Ginger - Ginger Grant
Mary Ann - Mary Ann Summers
Gilligan - Willy Gilligan

Anonymous said...

mark - Buenoa Aires

English/American language differences abound. Mine of information is the only answer in UK.
Got Armor, thinking American, (English is Armour) but stumped for a bit trying to Americanise Butts. Arent they bottoms in US? So a collection of bottoms??!! It just didnt fit.

carol said...

Barry, thanks so much for the PP&M explanation...I never thought of Saints (sts)!

barb b, I have lived in Portland,Or all of my life and have Veneta, Or (shame on me!) Where is it located? I know, I could Google it but would rather "hear" it from you. :)

drdad, thanks for the Gilligan Island update, I couldn't remember more than didn't want to sound too stupid. I'm still looking for that snake.

Lois, are you a member of the "Mile High" Club?? Just wondering as it would make your flight home much more fun!!

carol said...

Barb b, sorry about my spelling, meant to say I had never heard of Veneta.

NYTAnonimo said...

@mark butt(s) found in ASHTRAY refer to the unburned end of a cigarette. See definition 4 here. It can also refer to buttocks.

Barb B said...


Veneta is about 15 miles west of Eugene, on Hwy 126 going to Florence.

I work in the library. Stop by if you come out this way.

Anonymous said...

Hi, from another Lois. Gee, I'm almost embarrassed to admit that. It seems like this blog's Lois likes to lay out (sorry, Lois) her sexual interests for everybody to get a buzz out of. I'm just a average Lois, who enjoys crossword puzzles.

By the way, Emma Lazarus wrote The New Colossus, which is the poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

carol said...

barb b, thanks!! I just might do that. My friends' Mom lives in Newport and I have a cousin in North Bend so I do get down that way once in awhile.

Dick said...

Anonymous Lois hang around for a week or two and you will no longer be just a regular Lois that likes crosswords. Our Lois used to be just like you and look at her now.

Danielle said...

Ugh! This one was a stuggle, no fun at all, except for Mr Magoo - probably my all time favorite cartoon character (I'm dating myself rather precisely). I loved Gilligan's Island too (I'm part of the original TV generation!)- how on earth would you know that Mrs Howell's given name was Eunice???

Also, I think the clue would work better if it said mine FOR information - the verb form rather than the noun (I couldn't get my head away from FONT).

Dennis said...

Hi, another lois - please understand that it's all in good fun. We just enjoy each other's company. Hope you find it entertaining, 'cause that's what it's supposed to be. Oh, and maybe occasionally enlightning...

KittyB said...

@nyt-anon....I was working my way through the possibilities, but the "t" kept throwing me. I should have realized it stood for New York Times! I'll have to give the NYT puzzles a try. Thanks for the explanation.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous Lois @ 3:30pm,
The LOIS here on this blog happens to be also a woman of great wit and insight. And I like her tremendously.
Thanks for the Emma Lazarus information.

carol said...

Hi "Another Lois", welcome to our crazy, fun and sometimes naughty world...we just kid around (and under and over and above, below, beside, in, out) get the idea :) :)

C.C. Burnikel said...

The more I think of your "Plenty of Slang" clue for LOTSA, the more I like it.

melissa bee said...

I'm just a average Lois, who enjoys crossword puzzles.

well then no worries, we won't have any trouble telling you two apart.