Aug 30, 2008

Saturday August 30, 2008 Barry Silk

Theme: None

Total blocks: 29

Disaster, total disaster today.

Maybe Barry Silk should write a book on how to read his mind and how to conquer his puzzles. Stan Newman's "Saturday-savvy" tip (top row consonants-heavy, lower row high occurrence of the quartet letters REDS) did not help me at all.

I started recklessly with a LIFT for 1D: Plagiarize. CRIB is always baby's bed to me. Then I filled in HADJ for 2D: Pilgrimage to Mecca and I was 100% sure that I was right. Then I was so confused by my LHA* start for 1A.

Flitted away quickly to the upper right corner, and filled in IVE rather than IAL for 11D: Adjective-forming suffix. Had no idea that both Christmas and Easters were Islands. Wanted EVES and it did not fit. I was very annoyed and gave up the puzzle after 10 minutes.

I think I need more rest, having trouble staying asleep lately.


1A: Action flick staple: CHASE SCENE. Which movie do you think has the best car CHASE SCENE?

11A: Christmas, Easter, etc.: ISLS (Islands). Big stumper. Here are Christmas Island (Terriroty of Australia, Indian Ocean) and Easter ISLAND (Territory of Chili, South Pacific Ocean).

15A: Up the duties: RAISE TAXES. If only taxes are raised for the sole benefits of the taxed.

16A: Blood-related: AKIN

17A: Water-cooler rumors: IDLE GOSSIP. Is there any non-IDLE GOSSIP? So the plural form of GOSSIP is still GOSSIP?

18A: Prose finisher?: LYTE. Very unexpected clue, nice!

19A: Wholesale club: BJ'S. I've never heard of this warehouse chain. Only know Sam's Club & Costo.

20A: Bankrupt: RUINED

23A: Alpine tool: ICE AX. Here is one. Leon Trotsky was killed by an ICE AX. I think I am more used to the AXE spelling.

25A: Observation: REMARK

27A: Singer Lopez: TRINI. I always wanted JENNIFER for this "Singer Lopez clue".

30A: Misdirected: LED ASTRAY. Women are more easily to be LED ASTRAY (though sometimes willingly).

32A: Worth mentioning: OF NOTE

34A: Overtake on foot: RUN PAST. And 62D: Take off: RUN. I dislike having two RUN's in the grid.

35A: Shopping ctr.: MKT. I dislike this clue also. MKT brings to mind NYSE/NASDAQ. I am OK with the STORE (6D: Shopper's stop) though.

38A: VW model: GTI. What does GTI stand form?

39A: Dinger or drum starter: HUM

41A: Tranquilizes: SEDATES

44A: Peterson and Wilde: OSCARS. Don't know who OSCAR Peterson is.

46A: Part of SALT: STRATEGIC. SALT is the acronym of Strategic Arms Limitations Talks.

49A: Wheel-alignment measure: CAMBER. Was this a gimme to you?

50A: Ill-gotten profit: LUCRE. Filthy LUCRE.

53A: Goddess of the moon: SELENE. The Greek Goddess. Luna is the Roman equivalent. There seems to be another pair of moon Goddesses: Artemis (Greek) & Diana (Roman). I don't know what's the difference.

60A: "Wayne's World" co-star: DANA CARVEY. So silly.

64A: Plotters: INTRIGUERS. I was only familiar with the "capture" meaning of INTRIGUE. Interesting, dictionary explains that INTRIGUE can also refer to "a secret or illicit love affair" (noun) or "To carry on a secret or illicit love affair" (verb). Now I am really intrigued!

65A: City on the Irtysh River: OMSK. I had no idea where Irtysh River was. Here is a good map, so close to Borat's Kazakhstan.

66A: Type of pliers: NEEDLE-NOSE. I did not know that this kind of plier is called NEEDLE-NOSE.


2D: Pilgrim to Mecca: HADJ. Or HAJJ.

5D: Neurological test letters: EEG. I forgot. My brain is so selective that it only remembers what it wants to remember.

8D: Former Philly pro, so to speak: EX-SIXERS. Hard, hard for me. I don't follow NBA. HOFer Mike Schmidt, a real "Former Philly pro", popped into my mind immediately.

7D: Offhand: CASUAL

9D: Nuremberg negative: NEIN. "NEIN, danke"; "Ja, bitte!"

10D: Artificial international language: ESPERANTO. I forgot again. Saw this clue before. Does anyone actually speak this language?

11D: Adjective-forming suffix: IAL. As in presidential and differential.

12D: Airline-safety figure: SKY MARSHAL. I am more familiar with AIR MARSHAL.

13D: Art of words: LITERATURE. Somehow I wanted Rhetorics.

13D: Backdoor: SNEAKY. I was imagining a real backdoor.

21D: One in hate mode: DESPISER. Such a made-up word.

23D: Daughter of Cadmus: INO. Greek to me. Dictionary says INO is "sea goddess who rescued Odysseus from drowning by giving him a magic veil."

24D: Mild chelating agents: CITRATES. No guts to clue it as "Sildenafil ___ (Viagra)"? Of course I did not get it. I did not even understand the meaning of "chelating".

26D: Kingston Trio hit: MTA. Here is the clip. I've never heard of it before.

27D: Mix of oaters: TOM. Did not know him. TOM Cruise yes. I was really picturing a group of oaters chatting idly on a ranch.

28D: Former Redskins home: RFK STADIUM. I did not know that the Redskins played at RFK STADIUM before. Might have got the answer if the clue were "Washington Nationals home".

29D: Burials: INTERMENTS. New word to me also.

33D: Joined, redundantly: ENTERED IN. It's indeed reduandant.

37D: Pc.: SEG

40D: NetZero rival: MSN. I like their butterfly logo. I like this pair of butterfly earrings too.

43D: Quiet finish of fame or fortune: SILENT E. Good clue.

45D: French key: CLE. I am truly tired of this French related clue. Tell me why you don't like the Cleveland Indians.

46D: Singer Renata: SCOTTO. I don't understand a word she is singing. I like her earrings. I've never heard of her name before. No problem for Sallie I am sure.

47D: Steamship line founder: CUNARD (Samuel). Another unknown. According to Wikipedia, CUNARD Line is the operator of Queen Elizabeth 2, Queen Mary 2, & Queen Victoria.

51D: Beany's pal: CECIL. Nope. Complete stranger to me. Here is a clip.

54D: Travel channel?: LANE. Good clue.

55D: Chevy model: AVEO. Did this come easily to you?

56D: Generation after boomers: XERS

57D: Disappear, as symptoms: LYSE. I forgot. It's clued as "Subside, as disease" on August 10 Sunday. I disliked the clue then, I still don't like it now.



NYTAnonimo said...

Had MTA in Robert Wolfe's June 6 puzzle cc. I had trouble in the 4 corners and the center of this puzzle-not a good one for me either.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Glory Be! You are right. Obviously I crossed the river Lethe on this MTA. Did you get CRIB (1D)? How long did you spend on this puzzle?

NYTAnonimo said...

I've learned to give up when I think the puzzle is taking too long-either set it aside or cheat-I honestly couldn't say how much time on this puzzle though because I clicked the online puzzle a second time for the answers and when I figured out my mistakes closed out the first puzzle which had the time. I had trouble with many of the same ones you did. Had COPY instead of CRIB initially but eventually figured that out. Ones I did not figure out were the K in RFKSTADIUM (also felt I would've gotten this if clued as you suggest), LYSE (I'm too familiar with the lyse as in hemolysis, def. #1-dissolution or destruction of cells), SELENE (thought Diana or Luna), the X's in EXSIXER (which is funny because I kept think Barry Silk did this puzzle where are the X's?), SCOTTO and OMSK.

NYTAnonimo said...

And I did get fooled by the ISLS clue, had HOLS for holidays ditched that and couldn't figure where to go from there.

Bill Chapman said...

You wrote: "Artificial international language: ESPERANTO... Does anyone actually speak this language?" Yes, I do.

It is a planned language which belongs to no one country or group of states. Take a look at

Esperanto works! I've used it in speech and writing in a dozen countries over recent years.
Indeed, the language has some remarkable practical benefits. Personally, I've made friends around the world through Esperanto that I would never have been able to communicate with otherwise. And then there's the Pasporta Servo, which provides free lodging and local information to Esperanto-speaking travellers in over 90 countries.

Oh, and there are crossword (krucvortenigmoj) in Esperanto!

flyingears said...

Glory be once again!!! Impossible to even try it... No fun at all.

"Before you try to keep up with the Joneses, be sure they're not trying to keep up with you. "
Erma Bombeck

Katherine said...

Bombed on this one. Gotta runnnnnnn
Have a good weekend everyone.

lois said...

Good morning CC & DF's: Well, I got more than I missed, but that's not saying much. This puzzle was all over the place - from sports and movies to dance and tools. And I'm sitting amidst wrenches and pliers from my son working on his BMX bike wondering how many types of pliers are there? Then I start thinking, "If I only had a hammer"...or an ice ax today. My favorite chase scene occurred last night when he tried to 'run past' me, but I caught him and 'led him astray'. We 'entered in'to his 'crib' and 'nein' was never uttered.

Thanks for the links CC, the Esperanto site, Bill C. and the Erma B. quote, Flyingears. I love and miss her.

Enjoy this gray-t day.

ndw said...

No words that can be posted about this one - backdoor? Sneaky?

also never haerd of ESPERANTO - Thanks to Bill Chapman for the explanation!

Neither my Bill nor I, liked anything about this one... took forever then came here to see what C.C. had - Thanks for the help C.C.

Today is Family Reunion
Have a Great Weekend everyone

Nancy & Bill

flyingears said...

20A should read "RUINED".

54D "LANE"? Never heard that as a "CHANNEL". Made-up clue...

in 44A, I kept thinking of Cornell Wilde, an old mediocre film actor.

In general, I flunked!!!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Maybe your definition of LYSE is more accurate. Does the root of "hemolysis" come from LYSE?

Bill Chapman,
You've amazed me more than once. How long did it take you to learn ESPERANTO? Do you use it for business purpose or solely as a personal interest?

What is "gray-t day"?

Have a great time today! Tell Bill that I am eager to hear his comments on Barry Silk's puzzle today.

I've corrected my RUINED mistake, thank you. Great quote as usual.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Forgot to tell you that you can find my childhood picture on my Ginger Roots blog.

Doesitinink, Barry G, et al,
What's the difference between a proper noun and a proper name?

"I noticed we have another S.E.C. slug; this one from Ga. Pre-ranked #1. Enjoy it 'til you become Gator meat....". Who is "S.E.C. slug?" Why do they "have the same number on their football jerseys as they had on their prison shirts"?

I am not sure of TARO, but yam is good for digestion. No, never TMI. I enjoyed reading your hyrax & elephant information. Fascinating. I TARO you.

"Say Hey kid", good one.

Had no idea that you are such a visual person.

Barry G. said...

I didn't even realize this was a Barry Silk puzzle until just now. Boy, does that explain a lot...

I started off blazingly fast in the NW corner, thinking this was going to be a total no-brainer. And then things got weird.

I struggled mightily in the SW area after getting RF as the first two letters of 28D and thinking, "Whoa -- that can't be right!" After rereading a few times, however, I realized it was asking for the name of a stadium and maybe -- just maybe -- there was a stadium out there named after Robert F. Kennedy. And sure enough...

The SE corner was the next to fall, hindered dramatically by my complete unfamiliarity with the word LYSE. Fortunately, I had heard of the Chevy AVEO and was finally able to figure out XERS, and that was enough to get all the perps in that corner.

And then, of course, there was the NE corner. Utter, complete failure. I finally, finally, FINALLY figured out that 16A was AKIN and not some sort of Latin prefix like HEMA or SERA. Unfortuantely, that didn't help me a bit, since I just couldn't come up with anything for 11A and 18A, even after finally getting SKY MARSHALL for 12D (I initially had EAR for 39A, and that made getting 12D impossible until I corrected my mistake). I probably could have gotten 11A and 18A had I been able to figure out 13D, but the clue, "Art of Words" just doesn't mean LITERATURE to me. I mean, yeah, in retrospect is kinda, sorta does, but not at the time. I was thinking it was either ORATORY something or else the last name of somebody named "Art."

I would like to call foul on the cluing for 11A, though. Yeah, it's sour grapes for having been defeated, but the clue really should have had (Abbr.) after it.

Anyway, that's it for me. Gotta go spend time with family....

Anonymous said...

Bad morning all,
I knew when the puzzles were so easy during the week that Saturday was going to be HARD! My son helped with the car terms, but the NE corner really had me stumped and needed c.c. to help me. I never thought of ISLS and never heard of LYTE. Could Barry Silk possibly giving tit for tat?

Dr. Dad said...

Good morning!
Got chase scene right away. Didn't like the abbreviated answer for 11A at all. No indication of that in the clue.
B.J.'s, Store, Mkt. in the same puzzle.
Observation usually has something to do with seeing but not today. Remark?
When I'm intrigued by something I am not "plotted" so 64A answer didn't make sense to me, either.
The best chase scene, I think, is from the Steve McQueen movie, "Bullitt."
I have a B.J.'s right around the corner from me and shop there often.
A shopping center, to me, is like a mall. A market is like the little corner store where you can buy meat, produce, etc. These little markets are unfortunately going away because of the large superstore chains that are offering everything except personalized shopping and courtesy to customers.
Camber was a gimme after some thought.
In Greek mythology, Selene was an archaic lunar deity and the daughter of the titans Hyperion and Theia. In Roman mythology, the moon goddess is called Luna, Latin for "moon".
Like most moon deities, Selene plays a fairly large role in her pantheon. However, Selene was eventually largely supplanted by Artemis, and Luna by Diana.
Chelation is the act of using a molecule to "encase" a metal atom, such as iron so that it is no longer available to take part in a chemical reaction. At least that is one definition. Two other examples of chelated molecules are chlorophyll in plants and hemoglobin in blood.

C.C. a gray-t day is one like Lois and I must be having. It is cloudy and rainy here in RI (gray) but still a great day. Thus, you get "gray-t."

Today is National Marshmallow Toasting Day (for those of the sirens who like hot and sticky stuff) National Holistic Pet Day (a day for promoting natural and holistic treatments for your pets).

Have a great Saturday.

kazie said...

I agree with all your comments today. This was definitely a stinker.
I make a point of not knowing anything about American sports, having grown up with rugby, tennis and squash, so never get these clues except by guessing.
The only clue I feel smug about knowing today was Tom Mix, and that's not because I'm old enough to have seen him, but because I remember my father talking about film stars of his day.
Aveo was a gimme since my husband just bought one this spring.
Esperanto was popularized in schools for a while here, but has died a quiet death, largely due the the feeling that languages need to have a cultural background as well to be truly meaningful. I am surprised that Bill has had so much success with it, but glad for him.
Hope you all have a great holiday weekend!

kazie said...

Here's my baby photo.

Barry S said...

Good morning C.C. and solvers,

Sorry that most of you didn't enjoy this puzzle... it was meant to be a themeless challenger!

I just wanted to quickly respond to the complaint about the clue for 11-Across. My original clue was "Archipelago makeup: Abbr." Not sure why the TMS editor decided to change this clue and drop the Abbr indicator.

Barry Silk

Barry G. said...

Hey, Barry! ^_^

The sad part is that I did enjoy the puzzle overall and would have solved it completely except for the bad cluing for 11A. I'm glad to know it wasn't your doing.

Anonymous said...

Who is the puzzle creator Barry Silk or Wayne Robert Williams?

Barry S said...

I also noticed that the TMS editor changed my original grid in the SW corner:


Although many clues were changed, I was disappointed that my clue for 8-D was changed from "Allen Iverson, e.g."

Barry Silk

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

themeless are never my favorites but i like all the long fills .. lots of 9 and 10 letter words. had a few snags but eventually filled it all in and even got a few smiles.

c.c., clever commentary and links, as always. oscar peterson was one of the greatest jazz pianists ever .. died last christmas. SALT, i believe, is for strategic arms limitation TALKS, not treaty.

in these parts, bj's is a brewpub. never heard of bj's wholesale club.. must be popular.

fun to see the two comics, ellen and dana carvey. your link didn't work for me, c.c., but choppin' broccoli is what i thought of.

liked the art of words clue for literature.

@lois: loved your chase scene.

(p.s. c.c. - this is the red dress you asked about.)

Chris in LA said...

@ Barry and/or CC:
I'm relatively new to the world of crosswords - why do they need to be edited?

Dennis said...

good morning, c.c. and gang - this was probably one of the hardest puzzles I've gotten through without using the G-spot, and I really, really enjoyed it.
A lot of it was my fault for misreading clues, i.e., 'up TO the duties' for 15a. Took me getting 'akin' for 16a before I was willing to come off of 'air marshal'. Without going into a long, drawn-out explanation of every mistake I made, suffice to say there were many.

flyingears, think 'sea lane' for 54a.

c.c, GTI stands for 'Gran Tourismo Injection'. Greatest chase scene? Probably either 'Bullitt' or 'French Connection'.

Oh, and BJ's is my favorite wholesale club, for a couple reasons, although after many fruitless searches, I'm contemplating suing them for a deceptive name.

Hope it's an outstanding holiday weekend for all, although it sucks having summer fade away.

Barry S said...

@chris in la: crossword editors play an important role. Specifically, the editor is responsible for performing these key functions:

- Publishing specifications for crossword solicitations
- Accepting/rejecting puzzle submissions
- Making sure that the puzzles conform to specifications and the fill is acceptable
- Changing clues to adjust the difficulty level of the puzzle or changing them to make the puzzle more interesting
- Changing the grid for better fill (The TMS editor prefers to do this himself without consulting the constructor. Some other editors will ask the constructor to make changes to the grid before accepting the puzzle)
- Quality control. The editor should make sure all clues are accurate and there are no typos

Barry Silk

Anonymous said...

I am a phila inquirer crossword puzzle solver and BJ's is popular here. Today I had more fun reading the blog

KittyB said...

WOW! This was an eye-popper! I struggled for quite a while before I asked the on-line puzzle for a lot of help. It was frustrating, but it was fun, on-line. On paper, I would have had to walk away from it.

The worst area for me was the west section. I don't know Cadmus, or his daughter, and EXSIXER meant nothing to me.

I'm with you on CITRATES and BJs.

I have to scram. I'd like to stay and talk about the puzzle, but this is my last day on a family visit, and brunch is ready!

Have a great day, everyone!

lois said...

Dennis: You are so funny! I thought the same thing about BJ's and think we should consider a 'class action' suit, unless they want to consider just a plain
'class action'.

Dennis said...

Lois, sure, I'm up for a joint suit.

lois said...

Barry Silk: Thank you for stopping in and sharing all that information. I find it fascinating. I also like your SW much better than what we got. Wonder what the editor was thinkin'. Wish he'd had a V8 instead.

Dennis said...

cokato, to answer your Thurs. question, I spent my 'formative' years in Atlanta, until I joined the Marines. Been a Georgia fan (or slug, as buckeye so nicely put it) ever since.

lois said...

Dennis: We could take that 'joint' suit all the way to the 'higher' courts and have a 'supreme' time. I bet Justice Clarence Thomas would be a good 'ruler' in our favor.

Razz said...

Barry S. I see Lois' V8 and raise the editor a Doh!

Barb B said...

I was feeling pretty dumb till I came here, now I know it was really a hard puzzle.

I love it that you are so gracious about disaster. This puzzle was certainly a disaster.

Barry Silk,
Thanks so much for clueing us in. I don’t think I could have solved your original puzzle, but I wouldn’t have been as frustrated, as the words seem to be more fun. Intermezzo certainly is better to contemplate than interment, Scampi is a fun word, and camper is more accessible than camber – at least for me.

Isles was impossible for me without abbr clue

BJ’s is in 13 states – I don’t think that makes it commonly recognizable. Never heard of them in Oregon.

Market is commonly associated with stocks or a neighborhood store; I’ve never heard it used as a shopping center. I guess if you’re shopping for IBM stocks…..

Melissa Bee,
Oh, the red dress pic! My all time favorite.

Razz said...

CC – Who could top the infamous low speed chase scene that O. J. Simpson gave us?

Razz said...

Oh and for the most drawn out chase scene...the award goes to...Smokey and the Bandit 1, 2, 3...

Sorry for the multiple posts, too much time on my hands; graytday in west Texas too.

Chris in LA said...

@ Barry Silk,
Thanks for your response - very interesting. Which is more fun, constructing or editing?

Dennis said...

Lest I forget, the Mini-Cooper chase scene in "The Italian Job" was one of the best ever, especially the parts that took place inside buildings.

Chris in LA said...

@ Dennis,
Speaking of "inside the building" chase scenes, let's not forget the Blues Brothers inside a mall chase!

carol said...

Hi C.C. and everyone: This puzzle ruined me this morning. It was nice of Mr. Silk to explain what happened to some of his clues, but I would not have been able to finish it without a LOT of help anyway.

Nytanonimo: what a darling baby picture! You are both sooo cute.

Kazie: Loved your baby picture too.

Dennis and Lois, what does BJ stand for and why do you want to sue for a deceptive name????

Hope you all have a great day, it's a pretty morning here in Portland, we are heading out for a bike ride shortly.

C.C. Burnikel said...

What exactly is "gray-t day"? What does "t" stand for? I am not convinced by Dr. Dad's explanation.

Barry Silk (and Barry G),
I kind of like the new clue for ISLS. Isn't "etc" in "Christmas, Easter, etc" an indication that the answer should be abbreviated? Your clue for EXSIXERS is much more reasonable, at least for me. What are your clues for PUZO, MIZE and INTERMEZZO?

Great picture. What were you holding in your hands? Why do you call the picture "picky"?

Melissa B,
Thanks for the "Talks". I had the wrong notion all these months. You look so lovely in red. You are really a beauty, inside and outside.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Not only did I exclaim "Man Alive", when I looked over this puzzle, but also "Sakes, alive!" (I think I'm turning into my grandmother.)

ISLS was erased and left blank for quite a while when I realized that "Hols" wasn't it. It was one of the last fills.

The puzzle took a long time and I did have to "G" SALT. While I was there, I checked on GTI, AVEO and BJS. I would have been in the wrong LANE otherwise.

LANE came from the across clues. My visual for that one was Michael Phelps.

Having said all that, I liked it. It was a Saturday toughie, but we all knew that was coming. It is very gracious of Barry Silk to stop by with explanations for us.

Dennis was right on with "Bullitt", "The French Connection" and "The Italian Job" (both the 1969 and 2003 versions) as the top car CHASE SCENES. There was also 1971's "Vanishing Point". The hero was chased across three or four southwestern States.

But, let's not forget foot CHASE SCENES. I saw this movie late at night on one of the Indie channels District B13. It is an amazing example of "parkour", which can only be described as gravity-defying, obstacle-overcoming, free running. 2006's "Casino Royale" had another good foot chase.

"You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby" should be the theme song this week. Kazie and Melissabee, your new photos both definitely qualify.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Dennis & Carol,
I had the same BJ'S confusion. Please explain.

Your posts have pleased me lately. So no complaint about your multiple posts. Just make sure they are continuously entertaining and informative.

Chris in LA,
I really keep my fingers crossed for you and Sandra. I cannot imagine living down there and I don't think I have the mental toughness handling those hard situations.

Clear Ayes,
Wow, "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby"! You are incredible. I lost sleep thinking of your "plum-coloured" bruise last night.

kazie said...

I think all our baby pictures are great. I called mine a "picky" just because...we "aussies" like to shorten lots of words. Of course it's shorter said than written.
I'm holding a ball and a teddy bear--it's one of those photographer-posed shots. In those days there were no colored pictures, but my aunt was a photo colorist, and many of the early shots we have were printed in sepia and then hand colored.

melissa bee said...

@carol & c.c.: BJ is an acronym for a certain slang term (think monica) .. that's why i said bj's wholesale must be popular.

lois said...

CC: Drdad is right on target. It's overcast but still nice here. So, gray-t = great.

Carol: BJ is an abreviation for a dysfunctional 'oral presentation' as drdad once called it when responding to Dennis' explanation of the same or similar thing not too long ago. You guys are just so dang funny!

carol said...

OMG Melissa, how could I not pick up on that???? LOL
Guess I'll have a "hard" time living that one "down"!!!

Anonymous said...

csw in ky

Although today's puzzle was tough, I prefer the challenge rather than a 10 or 15 min breeze.

I think 11A could have been Christmas & Easter, hinting at the abbreviation. I had isle, which really threw me on 14D

Also had COPY for 1D which then left me stumped for awhile.

Clear Ayes said...

Carol, you are in dire danger of losing your Siren status. I can understand C.C. confusion, but you of all people!!

OK, let's get this out of the euphemisms. "BJ" is an abbreviation for "blow job". Any further explanation needed?

C.C. Sorry that you lost sleep about the "plum coloured bruise". Sometimes a poem is straightforward in its interpretation, but very often there are layers of meanings and even heteronyms!

Anonymous said...

carol in ky

Haven't had a poll in awhile, unless I missed it. I have so much fun reading the comments, and often wonder how old some of you are....
I'm 63 and have enjoyed crosswords and other word puzzles for years - USA Today still my favorite but the Trib is a close second compared to other newspaper crosswords I've seen - and also enjoy GAMES magazine.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I've been enjoying your fascinating comments since you joined us. However, some of your posts lately have been bothering me, esp the "coat hanger" remark last Tuesday and the "slug" & "prison shirt" comment last night.

It seems to me that when you are trying to "tip-toe around the periphery", you lose the sense of "tastefulness". Those above comments did not strike me as funny at all.

I trust you are a he-man and will take my criticism as necessary rain to nourish your DEEP roots.

Chris in LA said...

Thanks for your good thoughts & good karma.
Anyone who's interested can monitor local New Orleans AM radio at

All hurricane, all the time - contraflow (both highway lanes going out, nothing coming in) should start early tomorrow morning - it's the only way to get 1 million people out of harm's way as there are really only 3 routes out of the city. They (city government) seem a lot more organized this time (go figure) than last time. The mayor is just now telling all tourists to run away as fast as they can.

Anonymous said...

I had many of the same thoughts you did on this puzzle. (e.g. who has ever heard of the Irtysh River?) And yes, crib is a baby's bed! Good comments!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Melissa & Lois,
Thanks for BJ's & Gray-t. What a MOREL man Dennis is!

Clear Ayes,
I lost sleep last night because your interpretation of "plum-coloured" bruise is painfully beautiful!

Carol in ky,
Welcome! USA Today only carries crossword puzzles from Monday to Friday, right? I've never tried GAMES magazine. Too tough for me. I am 37.

carol said...

Clear Ayes, you are right, as a"siren", I hang my head in shame!! :) I promise, it won't happen again.
I will be waiting with baited breath for the next "come-on".

steve said...

Hello CC and all,

Pretty tuff x/w. I forgot there was a xmas isle, so I was thinking of some obscure holiday. I wanted copy instead of crib for 1D but the crosses finally enlightened me. Who ever heard of BJ's. I only know of one BJ, and I like them. Wanted rundown for runpast so that screwed up MTA. Went with castor instead of camber, but quickly streightened that out. Had to G-spot selene, and never heard lucre, and didn't like lyse as an answer either.. Other than that it was agreat puzzle.

Sky marshall and air marshall are inter changeable. I think they were refered more as sky marshall's prior to 911, then changed offically after 911, or maybe it was the other way around. I just know I never saw one until shortly after 911, and was damn happy to have them abord. The time between 911 and the reinforced doors was trying to say the least. At that time all I did was coast-to-coast (transcons).

steve said...

best chase sceen ever: Bullet W/ Steve McQueen

embien said...

Not too bad today (no time since it's Saturday, but between 10 and 15 minutes I'd judge). I puzzled over ISLS like many of the rest of you and was relieved to see Barry Silk's explanation and original clue. I wonder why on earth the editor would change something that was correct, if a bit obscure, to something that was patently incorrect (ISLS as clued in the final puzzle is just wrong)?

For some reason I wanted JFK STADIUM instead of RFK and ANITA Lopez (who knows where that came from? I was probably thinking Anita Baker and got confused). I didn't know INO, as well, so the central west coast of the puzzle was my hardest section. Eventually resolved when TOM Mix rode in on his white horse to rescue me.

Steve McQueen up and down the hills of San Francisco in his (Mustang?) in Bullitt, as others have mentioned.

Gene Hackman in a Pontiac Le Mans (not even his!) under the elevated subway train in French Connection (see the Car Chase portion of this Wiki entry.) Amazingly, they did a lot of this chase in live traffic with no government permission. Can you imagine the liability claims they'd get if they attempted such a thing nowadays?

My favorite: Matt Damon and Franka Potente in her Mini Cooper in The Bourne Identity. (There are also pretty good car chases in the sequels The Bourne Supremacy (in Moscow) and The Bourne Ultimatum (I forget which city this one is in).

DoesItinInk said...

Yikes! I wasn't certain I could complete this puzzle even using Google! But I did manage to complete it at last after looking up RFK STADIUM, AVEO and CAMBER. I had never heard of chelating and am still not certain what it means but managed to get CITRATES from the crossing words. Even though I knew Christmas and Easter were islands, I kept trying to work in HOLS (as in holidays). ISLS works much better.

cc: My favorite chase scenes are in the movie RONIN with Robert DiNero and the very attractive french actor Jean Reno. Apart from the chase scenes, it is a great film.

In high school and college I loved folk music, though the Kingston Trio was not my favorite group. I still listen to Pete Seeger...and sometimes the Chad Mitchell Trio as well as Peter,Paul and Mary.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Embien, Barry G et al,
I am so surprised that many of you do not like the ISLS clue. It's an impossible for me, but I think the cluing is very creative.

I like "Ronin" too. What's the difference between the terms "proper noun" and "proper name"?

Lola said...

I had a difficult time getting started on this one. Chase scene came so easily and then I hit the wall. A few deep breaths and shifting into mental neutral soon had me filling in words like camber and lyte for no logical reason, but they seemed to work. My only true stumbling block was intriguers. Since I had "enter in on" for joined redundantly I kept looking for a plotter that would begin with the letter o. Even after figuring out that Selene and Dana Carvey wouldn't support this phrase I still didn't get intriguers until coming here. It was a fun if somewhat frustrating challenge.
Steve, Lucre for dirty money is well portrayed in Poe's "Cask of the Amontillado".
Hope you all have a stupendeously satisfying Saturday and a lovely laid back Labor Day. TTFN

Clear Ayes said...

Geez...(mostly) guys. You all like to see expensive automobiles crashed and smashed in the movies.

I can't help but wince when I see a Lamborghini, Porsche, Cobra or Ferrari slammed off a wall,flying over a concrete barrier, or zooming
the wrong way down a highway, colliding with clueless commuters. I know Mustangs and Dodge Chargers have had their share of bashing too. Mini-Coopers are just too cute to smash.

But don't you wish fruit and flower carts would be spared from being plowed into? How about all those baby carriages that just miss being pulverized?

Car chases don't require much physical stamina, just a lot of whiz-bang excitement, close calls, near misses and then it's over. Oh oh, am I going DF here?? (Sometimes a car is really a cigar.)

It's definitely foot chases for me. All the chasers are pretty fantastic physical specimens. Besides the sexy parkours, "The Spy Who Loved Me" had a great skiing chase and "The Bourne Ultimatum (in Berlin) had a terrific foot chase. For the guys, how about "Run Lola, Run", also with Franka Potente?

Doesitinink, Jean Reno is a favorite of mine. Have you seen "The Professional" aka "Leon"? It also stars a very young Natalie Portman.

Anonymous said...

C.C. It took me a while to understand the 43 D answer of SILENT E. I Googled it and found a Wikipedia article about Great Vowel Shift that I suspect may help other crossword people with some of the weird aspects of English spelling.

lois said...

Clear Ayes: what do you mean 'going'? I think you have 'come' into the DF circle. Welcome aboard. As Dennis said to CC, there's no turning back. I personally would put you and CC in the 'reserve DF' category, but DF nonetheless. It is what it is and it's all good.

Barry G. said...

Embien, Barry G et al,
I am so surprised that many of you do not like the ISLS clue. It's an impossible for me, but I think the cluing is very creative.

I agree that cluing Easter and Christmas as islands instead of holidays is very clever. But there was nothin in the clue to suggest that the answer was an abbreviation. Had the answer been ISLANDS or even ISLES I wouldn't have balked. But ISLS is a pluralized abbreviation and th clue should have been marked as such.

flyingears said...

Barry Silk,
I must say that we are happy and honored that you take your time to stop by C.C.'s blog and give us your input. Thanks so much and keep us in your thoughts with a bit "easier" puzzles... He, he.

I think that a noun and a name are interchangeable and depend where they are used. I may be wrong but...

lois in N.N., VA,
Hello! Your "baby" photo is just BEAUTIFUL!!! You looked soooo sweet and lovable as a Teddy Bear... Love your "perty" long hair and beautiful dress...

Dennis said...

clear ayes, you crack me up - just an outstanding sense of humor. And yes, I agree with Lois -- as much as it may dismay you, you're very much a part of the dysfunctional contingent here.

c.c., the short answer is that 'isls' is fine if clued as (abbr).

kazie said...

c.c., Proper nouns are names of people, institutions or places. I don't think the term "proper name" is official, unless distinguishing from a name that is not proper, such as a nickname. There might also be confusion since the word for "name" in Latin is nomen, and in German "Nomen" means a noun. after all, our basic definition for a noun is "the name of a person, place or thing".

DoesItinInk said...

cc: "Proper name" means the same thing as "proper noun". The latter term is more commonly used when speaking of grammar.

Clear Ayes: I saw Vicky Christina Barcelona last night. It is very good even if it is not among Woody Allen's most polished pieces, and it certainly raises questions about how people view love and sex. As for the acting...Penelope Cruz was fantastic! Scarlet Johannson played a role similar to the one she played in Match Point, and at times I found her to be a bit wooden. Javier Badem in a romantic role? I had some difficulty at first separating him from his role in No Country for Old Men. Let me know what you think if you see it.

embien said...

Embien, Barry G et al,
I am so surprised that many of you do not like the ISLS clue. It's an impossible for me, but I think the cluing is very creative.

c.c., as Barry said, if the answer had been ISLES and not ISLS, I would have been fine with the cluing. I immediately saw that the clue was referring to islands and not holidays, but I had trouble fitting ISLE(s) in the grid. If the cluing had indicated French, where I think ISL would be OK (I may be wrong--my French is 40 years rusty), I wouldn't have been so unhappy.

ISLS is so obviously an abbreviation that the cluing is defective, IMHO.

On a side note, by coincidence, today's syndicated NY Times xword is also by Barry C. Silk! (The syndicated puzzle which appears in many papers is five weeks behind the print or online version, so the syndicated is from July 26.)

Hint: the NY Times Saturday puzzle is approximately 100x harder than the TMS one, at least it was for me--took me nearly two hours and I still had a couple of wrong letters (well, maybe only one).

JD said...

C.C.: I think a proper name is someone's given name, not their nickname. A proper noun is a particular person, place or thing.

Have loved everyone's baby pictures.

I agreed with flyingears that today's puzzle was not much fun. Best part for me was your Kingston Trio link..a great song that tells a very funny story....and all the information from Barry Silk. Thanks Barry!

I ended up with many of the right words, but had not heard of them: aveo, camber,lucre ( I know lucrative),esperanto(thanks Bill!) lyte, and I thought the word was internment, not interment,also had mrk instead of mrt, so that threw me too.

LOL...only 13 states have BJ's

It's a beautiful day here in the Bay area,not as hot.We're celebrating my grandson's 1st b'day.
Hopefully all of you who live in the Gulf area will be safe thru this storm.

Clear Ayes said...

Dennis, Lois, Carol, etal, There is something about the weekend that brings out the DF in me. Is it all of you, or is it me….or an irresistible cosmic force? On Saturdays and Sundays, I can’t seem to resist adding an extra little zinger or two to your comments. Let’s just say you bring out some of the more interesting facets of my personality.

Kazie, My father was a portrait photographer and my mother worked as a photo colorist when I was a little girl. The photo I posted last week was tinted by my mother. Nowadays, with “true” color photography I think a bit of art may have been lost from portraiture with the demise of the delicate touch of the colorist.

Doesitinink, I don’t think I’ll get a chance to see Vicky Christina Barcelona in its first run. It only played locally for a week and we were busy with other things. Unfortunately, so many movies give way to “Teenage Mutant Mummy Speedster Invasion” (or something like that) We only have one small art theater in our area and the rest are chains that all show the same movies. If it isn’t a big hit, it won’t be here for more than a few days. We’ll have to wait for Netflix to pick up the slack.

On the question of Javier Bardem’s Javier Bardem romantic lead capabilities; I have no doubts. He is a very attractive man, an excellent actor….and there is nothing like a Spanish accent (I’m thinking Antonio Banderas here), to add the “swoon factor”.

DoesItinInk said...

jd: PC is piece; SEG is segment.

lois said...

Hello Antonio Banderas!!!! Clear Ayes you got that right! Swoon factor for sure. He can park his shoes under my bed, at my door, in my car, on my face any time he wants to...or anything else he has a hankerin' to park.

Flyingears: thank you for the compliment. I think your baby picture is just gorgeous. You don't look uncomfortable at all... more like a serious, patient, interested in everything little one just studying and taking it all in. Absolutely adorable!

All of the baby/childhood pictures are beautiful. I've really enjoyed seeing all of these and they're all such pretty and handsome babies/children.

Argyle said...

11A Christmas, Easter, etc.(an abreviation)
My first thought...Christmas and Easter hams

JD said...

thanks inkman!

kazie said...

embien, you're on the right track but the French for island is île--so like I said before, the circumflex means the "s" has been omitted from the original Latin, but usually reappears in the English. This is just another example of that.
clear ayes, it seems we have yet another thing in common--artists in the family, as well as a love of writing. I've enjoyed reading your story on your blog. My aunt used to say "the camera doesn't lie, but the artist might!" She was known to enhance things a bit when the mood took her, like making an ugly grapevine background into a climbing rose bush in one of my photos.

embien said...

Thanks, I didn't note the "etc." making an abbreviation correct. ISLS is OK now in my book and it was my mistake.

I feel much better now knowing it was me who was wrong and not the puzzle.

Ken said...

Good evening C.C. et al. No puzzle today as I was on the road to a cribbage tournament early and just read the blog. My favorite chase scene in a movie is "The French Connection" starring Gene Hackman as the chaser. I can't recall the one being chased.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea what "mix of oaters" was so I Googled it. I knew that an "oater" was an old western, but I kept reading "mix" as a mix of something, not as Tom Mix. Even when I saw the answer, I could not figure out what "Tom" meant, so thanks for the link. Actually, because of the Googling, I inadvertantly stumbled on this website. Are you all friends?? I've never paid much attention to who writes puzzles, but you all seem to know this Barry Silk. Interesting website. This puzzle was really hard, and I had a lot of things wrong in it.

Dennis said...

clear ayes, sorry, not buying the 'weekend' bit; you're a full-time DF just like several of us on here. Wear the badge proudly.

embien said...

We are friends, but only because we all do the same crossword. I don't think any of us know any of the others of us in real life, but I could be wrong (I don't know anyone else here in real life at any rate).

TOM is OK because the clue Mix of oaters has a capital "M" on Mix. Sometimes there is tricky clueing because all the clues start with a capital letter.

Clear Ayes said...

Checking in to read the last few hours' postings. (This blog really grabs on and doesn't let go.) A lovely alfresco dinner party with friends this evening. The weather is cooling off for the next few days. What a relief.

Embien, I added email to my profile. Got your note about "Mama Mia". Maybe it will get to be a "happening" like "Rocky Horror Picture Show", with 60-ish year old ladies in spandex, sequins and feather boas going to midnight showings. Wouldn't that be a sight! It hasn't been showing here as a sing-along....yet. My friends and I are already planning a party for when it comes out on DVD....if you can't have fun, what's the point??

Dennis, check the previous note about little old(ish) ladies in spandex,sequins and feathers. Yes, I'd do it in a second. DF?? Nolo contendere!!

Kazie, my mother was a artist (in paint) also. I have a painting she did of my daughter, with an Italianate garden in the background. The portrait is very accurate, the garden was pure imagination.

Hi Wardnel. This blog is C.C.'s brain child. She is the one who writes the original post every day and we chime in with crossword (and other) comments. "Are you all friends?" If you meant, do we know each other personally, the answer is "No". Do we enjoy the comments, observations, information and occasional silliness we get from each other? Absolutely, "Yes", and "Yes", that makes us friends.

BTW, Barry Silk is a well known crossword puzzle creator.
Check back soon.

Buckeye said...

Hello, c.c. and all. Thank you Barry Silk for dropping by and informing us about your "originals" and the editor's changes. (And his responsibilities). Your information makes puzzle solving more fun and understandable.

As for this submission, I ditto most of the comments previously stated. Isls, Lyte, Lyse, were difficult and am still living in the past when clues were followed with (2 words), etc. where applicable. Don't know who Beany and Cecil are. Needed Google and finally c.c. to fill the few that were vacant. Overall a tough but mostly fair puzzle.

c.c. and any others offended by my epistles (loosely defined). As ardent followers of college football know, there are teams that are in the BCS that fight for millions of dollars in post-season bowl bids. This money, though important, pales in comparison to university and conference pride we all take as fans or alumni. The bantering between these fans is often course and critical, but ALWAYS is intended with respect for our fellow adversaries. As someone from Florida said (I'm sorry I forgot who said it) "There are 49 states in the U.S. because Florida OWNS Ohio." The U of F defeated Ohio State in the National Championship games in both football and basketball within a three month period. All I could do was smile, nod my head and say "OUCH!!!!! Before I read your comment to me, I was going to tell Dennis of Georgia, that I did not call him a slug. I called everybody who followed and cheered for a Southeast Conference team a slug. My reference to prison shirt numbers was a biased reference to a few academic and legal problems faced by a very few SEC players. ( I added Florida State, an Atlantic Coast Conference team, for reasons known to all who closely follow college football.) THEY (my adversaries) know this is done in jest and also out of jealousy. Under the Jim Tressel coaching tenure at Ohio State we have 1 win and 9 losses against the SEC.

The strong banter between Ohio State and Michigan are mirrored at Alabama vs Auburn, Florida vs Georgia, Univ. of Southern Calif. vs UCLA, Oklahoma vs Nebraska, and many others and are the most bawdy between Harvard vs Yale (Things that could never be printed or mentioned on this or any other blog).

The "Coat hanger" comment, of course, was quite harsh. I mentioned "I obviously was not planned." The above illusion was a "non politically correct" statement of how "...not planned." I really was. Clear Ayes saw how irreverent this joke was, but in spite of that had to laugh. Often I find political correctness overrated and more often self-serving. If you can't laugh at yourself, you need to find more things to keep you busy and usefully creative.

All this being said, this is your creation and I do NOT want to be eliminated. I will attempt to create messages that are not offensive to anyone. If I fail, point it out and I'll dismiss myself.

I must be off.

Buckeye said...

P.S. The chase in Bullitt is over appreciated. McQueen passes the same green V.W. Beetle about 10 times. All the same shot taken from different angles. Also, the other car looses a wheel cover in one turn but turns up one minute later with the wheel cover in place. P.P. editing.


Crockett1947 said...

Good evening everyone! This was the day I had to deal with the wife's emergency appendectomy (don't think there's such a thing as a non-emergency one, LOL), so I'm a bit tardy in getting posted. She is doing fine, and a complete recovery is expected.

I worked this online last night while waiting for diagnosis to be done, and it was a bear. I had to restart it three times because I'd go check the G-spot and wipe out what I was doing. Embien, your ability to work online and have good times is something to envy.

I knew I was in trouble when the first entry I could make was MEA. I thought CHASE SCENE might be 1A, but I was hesitant to put it down. I wanted HOLS for 11A for the longest time -- it was the last correction I made, I think. SKY MARSHAL was tough, and I had problems in the NE corner.

Didn't know how to spell ESPERANTO, and went through several iterations and reiterations before I finally got it.

LUCRE and NEEDLE NOSE and TUTU were gimmes, but I wanted TOE OUT for 49A for a long time. I nailed AXL and ODE and CECIL. Had DUG in for 31D and then erased it only to return later. A difficult puzzle, but it was nice to have the diversion while waiting for test results.

C.C., I am VERY visual. There are times during the day that I can transport myself to different places and times and see the images very clearly in my mind. Funny, though -- when I dream I know I have all sorts of images knocking around in there but I can rarely remember much that I dream.

@barry silk Yes, your clue was SO much better than the edited one!! It must be exasperating to have so many changes made to your original work. Keep them coming, though.

BJS is an eastern US store, so those of us on the left coast were left scratching our heads. We had a pizza joint of that name, but they went bankrupt this Spring.

Let us not forget the Smart Car chase from The Da Vinci Code.

@carol @ 11:47. Can't believe you asked THAT question!! You too, C.C.? Clear ayes, way to set them straight.

God speed to all of you in Gustav's path. Get your rears out of there!!

@doesitinink @ 1:53 p.m.-- that's the smallest picture I think I've ever seen posted.

@jd @3:26 Piece=segment (abbr)

@argyle LOL on hams!!

@buckeye You can add the Civil War rivalry in football between Oregon State and the University of Oregon. Once a Beaver, always a Beaver. Once a Duck, always a duck. Once a knight....

Sorry for the length, but I think it's been a bit of therapy for me.

embien said...

I'll only say that c.c. is not a native English speaker and so some of our inuendos and subtle humor strike a wrong chord with her. Not that we're doing anything wrong, but we need to be observant and sensitive. I totally missed the "coat hanger" incident, but I probably skipped over it.

c.c. does a remarkable job with this blog--it's so easy to forget that some of our USA idioms are ... well, idiomatic.

I won't be here Sunday since I don't get the same puzzle y'all do on Sundays.

Buckeye said...

@crockett1949; ...never enuff!

RIGHT ARM about the Beavers and Ducks. Almost every region has it's "feuds". How 'bout Army vs Navy? That's why I said "...and many others". They're all great! I LOVE college football. (re: Right Arm. John Denver said in one of his concerts "Right on! Oh! Did I just say that? It was passe even back then.)

Buckeye said...

P.S. croc: Glad to hear your "rib" is doing well. (I'm stuck in the '60's tonite).


Crockett1947 said...

@buckeye Thanks.

embien said...

@clear ayes, your email addy is over quota, or maybe something else is wrong.

I hope people will indulge me. I promise to be good in the future.
Mamma Mia Singalong link

lois said...

Wow, Crockett, you really know how to have fun on a Sat night! Not!!Remind me never to go out w/you all. And then to have the bear of a puzzle plus the frustration of online to boot! All I can say is that you are just one heck of a party animal! Next Sat we're getting our fingernails ripped off one at a time. Want to join us?

Seriously, I am so sorry for your wife and hope that she has a speedy recovery, as we all do, I'm sure.

Clear Ayes said...

11:30 California time. Still unwinding from our evening's entertainment.

Embien, thanks for the Mama Mia link. I'll check my email setup in the morning.

Crockett1947, Thank goodness you took time from the crossword to take your wife to the hospital. We know what a sacrifice that must have been. Seriously, hope she will recover quickly.

Buckeye, What can I say? PC or not, you make me laugh.

Mr. Ed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Ed said...

Good evening all

@crockett An apendectomy is so much easier now than in the past. I hope your xyl's was a very easy one and all goes well for her.

(xyl = ex young lady or wife) There, that eliminated the necessity of another post.

@ Barry Silk - Again, thanks for stopping by this site. I think your repeated visits gives us all a little perspective on the other side of the crossword. In MY humble opinion however, editors should do what they're paid to do; ie edit. They should deal with errors and not get involved in rewrites of another's work. An author's work should not be arbitrarily changed by anyone.

This puzzle a toughie and it took a lot to get through it. Has Barry Silk been taking notes from this site? I just didn't have time to waste so I could deal with it in one shot. As a result, it got put aside several times while I dealt with life. With me, that's what happens when a puzzle gets to be too much of a challenge. It is, after all, just a puzzle.

No Sunday puzzle in The Oregonian so I get a chance to rest my brain for a day here in O. Our forecast for tomorrow is wet followed by rain. But, that's a whole lot better than what's headed for the Gulf Coast. If you or those you care about are there, it's time to head for higher ground! "Que Dios te acompañe".