Aug 7, 2008

Thursday August 7, 2008 Robert H. Wolfe

Theme: Bad Hare Day

18A: Start of a quip: A GROUP OF

23A: Part 2 of a quip: RABBITS MARCHING

38A: Part 3 of quip: BACKWARDS IS

50A: Part 4 of quip: CALLED A RECEDING

57A: End of quip: HARE LINE

Funny quip, but "OUCH", hard puzzle. I had to google. Too many entertainment names for my taste. Too concentrated. There really should be a limit on how many actor names/sports terms/operas can appear in one puzzle. I suggest a maximum of 3.

Some of today's clues are very tricky and unfamiliar to me, for example: 66A: Tony who played Wally Cleaver (DOW), Why not clue it as " __ Jones" or simply "Market indicator"? And the clue for MALE (10A: Maldives capital) is just diabolical. I wonder how many people have ever heard of this smallest Asian country, nor to mention its tiny MALE capital. The clue for I DO I DO (47D) could have been easily phrased as "Emphatic yes" or something to that effect.

Anyway, I experienced an epiphnay this morning. I suddenly realized that a puzzle is indeed made tough by the cluing, not by the employment of long & obscure words. Eureka! And I was so ELATED (70A: In high spirit) by the IRONS (47A) clue. Thank you so much for the attention, Mr. Wolf Wolfe, thank you for reading my blog. I am keenly aware that you are in sheep's clothing today, I still like EWE (60D).


1A: Horsedrawn carriage: HANSOM. Big stumper. I could only think of troika and it did not fit. HANSOM is a one-horse, two-wheeled carriage for two passengers. See this HANSOM cab.

2A: Time-line segment: ERA

14A: Take in liquid: IMBIBE

15A: Greek letter: TAU. The Greek cross.

16A: Big name in Norway: OLAF. Very nice clue.

17A: "Wall Street" co-star James: SPADER. I don't remember seeing him in "Wall Street". He is often clued as James of "Boston Legal".

20A: Whence Zeno: ELEA. Zeno of ELEA.

31A: Stewart of "Swing Shift": ALANA. I simply forgot her name. Danielle should be happy with this answer.

33A: Be much concerned: CARE A LOT

41A: Hagar's dog: SNERT. From the comic strip "Hagar the Horrible". Unknown to me. What's so fun about this one? I don't get it.

43A: Heavy winter fall: DEEP SNOW

47A: Jeremy of "Damage": IRONS. With Juliette Binoche & Miranda Richardson. Very erotic and disturbing. The movie is based on Josephine Hart's novel. So good.

55A: "The Time Machine" race: ELOI. Learned from doing Xwords. I've never read the book.

61A: Ice houses?: IGLOOS. No need for the "?".

67A: Bell tower: BELFRY. I think this is the first time I saw BELFRY clued this way.


4D: Back of a tape: SIDE B

5D: Marks on old manuscripts: OBELI. Singular is OBELUS. It's "a mark (− or ÷) used in ancient manuscripts to point out spurious, corrupt, doubtful, or superfluous words or passages". Unknown to me also. This word reminds me of "Obelisk", which has the same root as OBELUS (obelós spit, pointed pillar). Do you still remember the magical LIA Fail (Irish crowning stone)?

6D: Lip service: MERE TALK

8D: Scrap collector: RAG MAN. I don't understand this answer. Is "RAG Man" a common phrase?

9D: Goddess of dawn: AURORA. The Roman goddess. The Greek equivalent is EOS.

11D: Yodeler's peak: ALP. Refreshing clue.

13D: Studio apt. EFF. GEE next time?

21D: Equally sad: AS LOW

23D: Singer Ocasek: RIC. Unknown to me. Obtainable though. His wife is so beautiful.

25D: Gym weight: BARBELL. I've never even touched a BARBELL.

26D: Bullfighter: MATADOR

27D: Not me!: IT ISN'T I. Does the clue/answer feel OK to you?

28D: Some TV sets: GES. I hate Jeff Immelt. Under his management, GE is not GE any more. Sigh... But Pluto is not a planet any more either.

37D: Primitive Pluto: DIS. I don't understand the clue, what does "Primitive" here refer to? Indian primitive religion or what?

40D: Paint a word picture: DESCRIBE

45D: Witty one: WAG. New to me also.

47D: 1966 musical: I DO I DO. I just DON'T know.

48D: Pour down upon: RAIN ON. I don't like the "upon" in the clue.

51D: Wary: LEERY. I don't like the clue either. "Distrustful" would be perfect. I really don't like the repetition of certain letter(s) in the clue and answers, esp when it's easily avoidable.

53D: Actress Georgia: ENGEL. She was in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show". A stranger to me also.

54D: Perry's secretary: DELLA (Street). No idea. I've never heard of her name before.

59D: Silver or Glass: RON. No. Pure guess. RON Howard, yes.

63D: Klondike find: ORE. Another educated guess. I don't know where Klondike is.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and fellow DFs - interesting puzzle today -- some clever clues, and some I thought were a stretch. I've never been a fan of so many multi-word answers in a puzzle; it just seems like a lazy way to do it, to me.

I thought the theme answer was clever, for a change, but didn't like 'some tv sets/GEs', or 'time-line segment/era'. I remembered Alana Stewart for being Rod Stewart's daughter and posing nude.

Almost Friday - hope it's an outstanding day for everyone. And congratulations, NY Jets fans - your team just got a whole lot better. Wonder how long it'll be before 'Favre' hits the crossword pages.

C.C. Burnikel said...

You were talking about Kimberly Stewart. What is your answer to my question regarding DIS (37D)?

C.C. Burnikel said...

I particularly like those multi-word answers. Very refreshing. That's the way the modern crossword is headed.

Dennis said...

C.C., Sorry, I meant Rod Stewart's wife, not daughter. She looked like she could be his daughter.

I'm sure someone will have more, but I remember Dis as being the Roman counterpart to Pluto.

Anonymous said...

It took me a while to find the Taipei Times today. Then I realized that I had forgotten to bring a pen with me so I had to go back to the store to buy a pen. I finally got started on the puzzle while I sat on the bus on the way home. I only finished an hour ago.

Man, this was hard for me. I had to break my two puzzle streak of finishing a puzzle without resorting to google. I had to look up the words HANSOM, IMBIBE, OBELI, MALE, OLAF, LAO, ADA and ENGEL. HANSOM was especially difficult because I also had trouble getting SIDEB. (I had the right idea but I had written BSIDE. I also had IMBRUE for IMBIBE for a while and BLIZZARD for DEEPSNOW. I briefly considered the possibility of "lip service" being FELLACIO but it turned out to be MERE TALK.)

I got ELOI because I saw the movie that came out in the 90s. I showed it to my class at the National Taichung Institute of Technology at the end of the year; I was going to show a Harry Potter movie but I needed something that ran less than 2 hours so the students would have time to return the projector to the audio-visual room. (In case you're wondering, right now I have no classes because of summer vacation.)

"Igloo" means "house" in the Inuit language so a house made from wood would also be an "igloo" to them. Alas, where do you find wood north of the Arctic circle?

I didn't mind the answer IT ISN'T I although I did have IT AIN'T I for a while. "ain't" is considered grammatically incorrect for some reason even though it is obviously a contraction of "am not".

Anyway, once I had figured out all the down clues, the "quip" (actually a pun!) magically appeared! Here are some pictures of a man with a receding hair line. That was ten years ago. I'm 41 now. My wife and I have two boys. How about you, C.C.? Any kids?

Anyway, I've got to go: I bought an A-Mei (張惠妹) album this afternoon and I want to listen to it and see how much I understand. :)


Dennis said...

martin, your answer for 'lip service' is soooo much better than 'mere talk'. Now THAT'S a good clue/answer.

Katherine said...

Good morning everyone.....
This one was very hard for me today. The funny thing is that I got most of the ones CC didn't get! Must by my age, haha.
I do remember the Magical LIA thing because it looked like a phallic symbol.
27D didn't feel good to me either.
I don't understand 37D about Pluto.
I enjoyed everyone's comments so far today. And Martin, what time is it where you are?
Have a good day everyone...

Barry G. said...


Definitely a toughie today. I liked the quip, but that's just because I'm a sucker for a good (or should that be "bad"?) pun. I actually managed to wade through the bulk of the puzzle pretty quickly, helped in large part because I actually knew what a HANSOM cab was, knew that Tony DOW played "The Beaver" (a.k.a. Wally Cleaver), was familiar with the musical "I DO, I DO", etc.

The one place that really hung me up, though, and threatened to derail me entirely was the NE corner. I figured 16A was either OLAF or OLAV, but couldn't decide which one. The only place name I could think of that would fit in 10A was MALI (I'd heard of the Maldives, but knew nothing about them), and couldn't think of a three letter abbreviation for a studio apartment to save my life.

What finally saved me was when I dredged "efficiency" out of the dark recesses of my brain as a synonym for a studio apartment (my father used to tell me stories of the one-room, cold-water efficiency he lived in briefly during his college years), which made EFF a plausible (albeit strained) abbreviation. That gave me MALE and OLAF for 10A and 16A, respectively. OLAF looked just fine, but MALE couldn't possibly be the name of a city, could it? What else could it be, though? Since I was sure about everything else at this point, I left MALE as-is and checked my answers. Go figure....

As for DIS, I knew the answer right away but wasn't exactly sure why. I was thinking that Pluto was the Roman god of the underworld and DIS was his Greek counterpart. Except, now that I think about it, wasn't HADES the Greek version of Pluto? All I know is that DIS was the name of some god having something to do with the underworld in either Greek or Roman mythology...

KittyB said...

Good morning, C.C. and all.

I had trouble with OBELI and MALE (doesn't every woman....). I forgot I DO, I DO, although I once knew the music for it. And BELFRY just wouldn't come. I had 'carillon' on the brain and couldn't get past it.

I don't care for IT ISNT I on a number of levels. I'm old fashioned. I don't like the multiple word answers (other than quips or quotes). Is the phrase grammatically correct? It feels terribly awkward.

Busy day today, with a break for a pedicure, which is ALMOST as good as a nooner. Have a good day C.C. and DFs.

Barry G. said...

And a quick trip to Wikipedia reveals the following:

Dis Pater, or Dispater, was a Roman and Celtic god of the underworld, later subsumed by Pluto or Jupiter. Originally a chthonic god of riches, fertile agricultural land, and underground mineral wealth, he was later commonly equated with the Roman deities Pluto and Orcus, becoming an underworld deity.

Dis Pater was commonly shortened to simply Dis. This name has since become an alternate name for the underworld or a part of the underworld, such as the Dis of The Divine Comedy.

OK, so it had nothing whatsoever to do with Greek mythology. At least I was on the right track...

Dennis said...

kittyb, 'it isn't I' is grammatically correct, but terribly stilted.

Barry G. said...

A few other minor points before I really need to start getting some work done today...

I have heard RAG MAM before, but I think it's not used very much these days.

I was also not crazy about "Weary" being the clue for LEERY for the same reason given by C.C.

"Not me!" as a clue for IT ISN'T I seems perfectly fine to me. Probably because "It is I" and "It isn't I" are actually the grammatically correct forms of the phrases typically rendered as "it's me" and "it isn't me." Nobody actually speaks or writes that way anymore, but they should.... ^_^

The Snert cartoon is funny because the dog was already sitting when given the command to sit, so he didn't actually do anything. I had a dog years ago that couldn't be trained to do anything. I used to joke that he was actually very well trained, since when I told him not to come, he didn't....

Finally, I was going to complain about the cluing for 67A, since the clue ("Bell tower") contains part of the answer (BELFRY). But then I looked it up and discovered that they have completely different roots:

The word belfry comes from Old French berfrei which is derived from Germanic bergan "to protect" and frithuz "peace"; that is, it was originally a watch tower providing protection against hostile incursions.

Learn something new every day, eh?

Anonymous said...

It's 8:02 pm here right now.


Dr. Dad said...

Good morining C.C.,
A bit of trouble with this one. Kept wanting age (7A), rho (15A) and arr (7D). Finally remembered aurora which got me tau, eta, era, ragman. Whew!! Age was used later (58D). Must have had bats in my "belfry" for awhile because I couldn't "tee" up nor use my "irons". This puzzle proved to be more than "mere talk" and I was in "deep snow." I can't "deny" nor "describe" the feeling of being "as low" as "Dis" in the underworld. I "care alot" ("I do, I do"!) about solving puzzles and was "elated" when "Aurora" showed me the light of dawn. I was thus no longer "leery" of the clues and finally scaled the "Alp." Thanks for lending an "ear" for this babble coming out of my "own" "mouth."

Today is Sea Serpent Day and also Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day. Say what!!!

Have a great Thursday.

Anonymous said...

I feel left newspaper doesn't print the theme. Think I could have finished much sooner if I had the theme. I also don't get my newspaper until 6:30 ET and by everyone's comments, they have finished long before I even get my newspaper. Certainly didn't like "GES" for tv sets!

lois said...

Good morning CC & DF's: Ewe put me in deep sheep again here. Didn't 'care a lot' about this puzzle altho' the quip was cute. Too many names and just unknowns for me. Maybe too many bats in my 'belfry' this morning. I laughed at 'snert' and the cartoon link is funny...the dog is already sitting, CC. Interesting clue for 'male'10A -certainly not my line of thinkin' and 30A still seems wrong to me. I don't think 'wary' = 'leery', but I had 'piker' wrong all these years too. Who knew?

Martin: I prefer how you think with lip service. That is great!

Off to play w/ my boyfriends,
'gym' and 'ben gay', then I'll 'imbibe' in something refreshing...lip service? Hope you all enjoy this gorgeous day.

Dennis said...

Just a point of clarification - 51D is clued as 'wary', for which 'leery' is a synonym. Perfectly fine clue/answer.

Dr. Dad said...

C.C. - with martin's answer for "lip service" and your comment on the Lia Fail (Irish Crowning Stone) complete with the picture, the siren sisters will surely be off to the races when they get here.

Dr. Dad said...

barry @ 6:46 a.m. Tony Dow did not play "The Beaver" because Wally Cleaver (whom he played) was not "The Beaver." "The Beaver" was his brother, Theodore Cleaver, played by Jerry Mathers.

Barry G. said...

barry @ 6:46 a.m. Tony Dow did not play "The Beaver" because Wally Cleaver (whom he played) was not "The Beaver." "The Beaver" was his brother, Theodore Cleaver, played by Jerry Mathers.

You are 100% correct, sir! Guess it has been awhile since I watched it...

Barry G. said...

Plus, I don't type very well in the morning.... ^_^

Anonymous said...

I believe 51 down clue is wary, not weary so leery makes sense to me.

Dr. Dad said...

For anyone who is interested, my blog today visits Portland, Oregon. This is, I think, where Carol and Crockett1947 live.

Barry G. said...

I believe 51 down clue is wary, not weary so leery makes sense to me.

Did I mention I don't type so well in the morning? Yes, the clue was "wary" and not "weary". And yes, it is a valid synonym and makes perfect sense. But C.C.'s point (with which I agree) is that having the clue and the answer both end in "ry" seems a bit awkward.

Unknown said...

eff= efficiency as in efficiency apartment or studio. one room abode

JOJO said...

Primative Pluto,very out of this world clue. You really dissed me.

Ken said...

Good day, C.C. et al. There were too many obscure names for me this morning. I did know Hansom(Sherlock Holmes was always traveling in a hansom cab.) Elea and Eloi were head scratchers too.
When I was a boy, an older man would drive a battered horse-drawn wagon through our neighborhood picking up scraps of metal, newspapers and sometimes rags. He was called the ragman. My mom called him a "sheeny", a pejorative term for Jews that came to America from England.

C.C. Burnikel said...


Did you notice Ken's correct spelling of MATIN (12:33pm) yesterday? Not MATEN/PATEN as you wrote. What was your idea of "PIKERS" all those years? Will you object if I clue HARD G as "Ghana capital"? So, "DIS" is subsumed by Pluto, is that why it's called "Primitive"? I still don't like the clue for BELFRY, even if they are of different origin. I don't like the "BEL" repetition. Thank you for the SNERT dog explanation. I simply could not grok it earlier.

I am not sure about the exact publishing time of the on-line puzzle. I publish my posts around 5:30am. I liked your MALE comment.

Dr. Dad,
I enjoyed 7:04am comment too.

The theme titles are not given in any newspaper, except Sundays'.

Re: EFF. I know. I was merely fooling around as as EFF could also be clued as "Gee predecessor".

Ken said...

Drdad: I just read your blog on PDX; it is also my city, altho' I'm not a native. Another nickname for Portland is "Puddletown."
I enjoyed reading your blog; you covered history and current cultural aspects, (Trailblazers, beer and coffee) succinctly and well.

Barry G. said...

Did you notice Ken's correct spelling of MATIN (12:33pm) yesterday? Not MATEN/PATEN as you wrote.

Yes, which made the whole "I'm absolutely sure this is the correct answer" thing all the more embarrassing. I guess the wires were so crossed in my brain that I actually blew a fuse.

What was your idea of "PIKERS" all those years?

I just always thought it meant a jerk or otherwise contemptible person. I had no idea it had anything to do with being cheap, miserly, tight-fisted, etc. Another embarrassing moment.

Will you object if I clue HARD G as "Ghana capital"?


So, "DIS" is subsumed by Pluto, is that why it's called "Primitive"?

That's what I'm thinking, insomuch as the ancient Celts are considered to be a more primitive culture than the later, more advanced Romans.

I still don't like the clue for BELFRY, even if they are of different origin. I don't like the "BEL" repetition.

I tend to agree. Even if both words are of different origin, the clue shouldn't provide any visual hints as to the answer.

Thank you for the SNERT dog explanation. I simply could not grok it earlier.

My pleasure. Of course, as Will Rogers (or was it Mark Twain) once famously quipped, "Explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog: it can be done, but the frog tends to die in the process." So I'm glad my explanation at least made sense.

Ken said...

C.C. Thanks for the mention of my prayer post yesterday.
When I checked out "Hours of Prayer" yesterday, I noted that several monateries that are open to the public offer these prayers at different times of day than the historic times I described. This is probably to attract that segment of the public curious about monastic ritual.

Ken said...

One of my favorites from Samuel Langhorne Clemans. Do people still know Twain's real name?
"Explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog: you understand it better, but the frog dies in the process."
-Mark Twain

Clear Ayes said...

A quick good morning to everyone. G.A.H., my svensk kusin (thanks, Thomas) and I are off to do some sightseeing. The gold rush town of Columbia is on the schedule and well as Big Trees State Park and then wine tasting.

"The Rag Man's Son" is an autobiographical book by the actor Kirk Douglas. He is the son of Russian Jewish parents and his father was a RAG MAN. Not only has Kirk Douglas been a movie star just about forever, but he has written several books and is also an accomplished artist.

Have a fun day.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Xie Xie. FYI, this is the first time ever MALE was clued this way. I kind of like it. Rather creative.

What's your view of "PIKERS" all those years then?

Thank you for the RAG MAN and also yesterday's list. I might not respond to your comment every time, but I do read each one of them with curiosity and appreciation. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

Ken said...

Arghhh...stupid keyboard. Twain's last name is Clemens, not Clemans.

Clear Ayes said...

Oh yes, we will also stop at the Mark Twain cabin on the road to Angels Camp. Twain wrote "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" about his stay there. BTW, Angels Camp has a jumping frog contest every year. It is quite a big festival.

I did know "Langhorne" was Twain's middle name, simply because it was my father's middle name too. His parent's either had a sense of humor or were big Twain fans.

Really have to get going now. Have fun.

Dennis said...

I don't think I've ever jumped a frog. Don't you get warts?

Ken said...

Clear Ayes: I'd forgotten about the story and the contest. I lived in Central CA for a while and always thought I'd get to Angel's Camp for the contest. I'll have to put that on my "bucket list."

Danielle said...

Whew, tough puzzle, as many have noted. Too many short words and multi words (I don't mind those, unless they're awkward like this one).

Yes, c.c., you know I love it when ALANA turns up in the puzzle (my daughter's name), but of course she was just there last week. Such handy letters in this name!

I love HANSOM cabs (the ultimate Central Park icon, not to mention London) - they're so romantic, but I always feel sorry for the horses!

I understand the complaints about too many celebs, but so many in this puzzle are terrific:

I've always loved Ron Silver - he gives great Bad Guy and that gravelly voice, ahhh. Check him out in Blue Steel

Jeremy Irons is simply one of the best actors of his generation. Unfortunately he is too often stuck in thankless supporting roles, like in The Time Machine!

Nia Long is a gorgeous, sexy and super talented actress.

James Spader is a really terrific, multi-talented actor who's made many wonderful movies before his role on TV, including Bad Influence; sex, lies and videotape; True Colors; Stargate; 2 Days in the Valley; and Secretary - these are all worth watching.

Ric Ocasek was the front man for The Cars - a band that anyone who grew up in the 1970s knows well. Check out their megahit "Just What I Needed"

Gotta go. Have a great day.

xchefwalt said...

Good morning c.c., DF’s and all!

My how I missed you all yesterday! I was out all day yesterday, taking #1 son to Gainesville to visit UF as part of his “choose a college world tour”, so no time for the puzzle today (or yesterday). I generally don’t like the quip puzzles anyway, as I never get the quotes or know who the quotation is by. Next weeks stop is USF in Tampa, followed by UCF in Orlando. At least gas is going down!

@dennis 5:33 and 9:56- I am a HUGE Jets fan and I’m happyyyyyyyy!!! … “jump frogs”, man that’s funny!

@bea- I am so jealous! I saw Flogging Molly years ago here in Ft. Myers and they rocked! They haven’t been down here in a while, and I’m jonesin’ to see them again. For all of you in the Twin Cities area, don’t miss this opportunity. Think “Irish Rovers” meets “The Clash”, and you’ve got Flogging Molly.

@c.c. “…ostrich and emu”- yes! And you will find both on high-end, white tablecloth, fine dining restaurants. The meat is deep and red in color, with almost no fat and a slight game flavor. They must be cooked no more than medium-rare, as the lack of fat will cause the meat to be tough if over cooked. They are best served with strong sauces, as the meat has little natural flavor (again, no fat); that’s why I paired it with the peppercorn ale.

@ cokato- spicy basil is a wonderful herb that can be used as one would use regular basil, but I personally would not make pesto from it. Real good spicy basil, had a warm, anise flavor that lends itself well to Thai or stir-fry cooking, but the licorice flavor is too strong for pesto. It is also good raw (in salads) and as a topping for roasted meats.

BTW- in NY we used to call ‘morners” the “breakfast of champions”. It’s my favorite (and most important) meal of the day!

@drdad- … “beef and reef”?? My spine twisted into knots just reading that! What a horrible expression (it sounds like something one would have with Rocky Mountain Oysters), YUCK!

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning everyone! Lots of unknowns for me today: MALE, SPADER, ALANA, IRONS, DOW, OBELI, LAO, RIC, DIS, RENEE, I DO I DO, RON. Did this one online last night and had to Google quite a bit, but finally got everything to fall in place.

C.C., Hagar is giving Snert a command to do what he is already doing and then giving him false praise, which confuses the poor dog. 37D online is "Pluto's predecessor." I still don't get it. 54D was a gimme.

Southernbelle, C.C. is the author of the theme. It is not provided by the syndicate. The timings are CDT, the time zone where the blog originates. We west-coasters are even later than most others.

Hey, drdad, thanks for the shout-out for Portland. Yes, carol and I are both here, and there are others in the immediate vicinity (embien and carl). Well, "Hi" ken, I didn't realize you were here as well.

C.C., I've been able to consistently get the on-line puzzle between 10:30 and 11:00 PDT

JD said...

oh my goodness, that was a hard one for me! Gave up and came to you for a few . Started off knowing amp & NBA, so I put landau for 1A.Big oops!For 43A I put avalanch, and it soon collapsed by a matador and Renee.Oops again! "It is not I" is horrific grammar! I is a subject pronoun.48D: didn't like clue or answer.Had to keep checking dictionary to see if my answers made sense. Eloi is not in my dictionary.I laughed at myself many times for not getting these clues, such as 59D.I agree that there were too many names. Hagar cartoon, I agree, was not very funny. The dog was already sitting.

I am elated that when our lovely fog lifts, it will be another
beautiful day in the Santa Clara Valley, a time to imbibe whatever..

Anonymous said...

I understand if it is inappropriate for me to ask personal questions. It's just that the fact that you are able to solve crossword puzzles so quickly means that your level of English is way beyond that of any student I have ever had and I find that fascinating. Could you at least tell us how long you've been living in the U.S.? I doubt if you came from China and started doing crossword puzzles this way from day 1. Are crossword puzzles a good way to learn English? Are there any websites where I can find crossword puzzles suitable for intermediate students?

"Just What I Needed" by The Cars was a bit before my time. I remember "You Might Think" came out in 1984 because that was the same year that Michael Jackson's Thriller album came out and everybody I knew was glued to the TV all day watching music videos. (In retrospect, that must have been a frustrating time for teachers.) Their biggest hit was "Drive", except Ric Ocasek didn't do lead vocals on that song, it was Benjamin Orr. Anyway, the clue was a gimme because not too long ago I had a croosword puzzle and the clue was "Ric of the Cars" and the answer was, of course, OCASEK.

I forgot that Jeremy Irons was in the movie The Time Machine. I wonder if Robert Wolfe was aware of that when he put the puzzle together. In the movie, Hartdegen travelled to another ERA, met the ELOI and fought the Uber-Morlock (played by IRONS). And RON Silver was also in the movie Time Cop (which is actually where I remembered him from) and the words AGE and ETA are also both time related.


xchefwalt said...

Here is a video of Flogging Molley's big hit

Drunken Lullibies

Barb B said...

This one put bats in my belfry (as if that wasn’t my normal state.)

“It isn’t I” feels ok to me – considering the difficulty of the other clues, this was a nice surprise - made me laugh.

37D is clued Pluto’s predecessor in the online puzzle. Makes no difference to me; still don’t get it.

Kirk Douglas’s father was a ragman, title of his autobiography.

There’s no way I would have finished this without help. I kept going because I knew C.C. would have an explanation for everything. Hopefully I’ll remember some things for future puzzles. Onward and upward.

Martin, I loved the pictures. Thank you.

Have a great day everyone – it’s the last day of our summer reading program at the library – hooray!

g8rmomx2 said...

Hi to all,
Didn't think I would get through this one. I did know hansom, imbibe. Had to look up Maldives capital, Tony Dow, Eloi, Elea. I think that's it. Getting the quip really helped out a lot!
Drdad I will check out your blog today. Always love your history lesson.
Barry, The answer is Rag Man not Rag Mam.

Have a great day all!

JD said...

OK, before I go back and read how I was wrong on the usage of "It is not I", I did more research... and it seems to be a correct usage, but debatable by many. The IRS says, " It is not I who owe you money, but you who owes me money." and there we have it.mea culpa

Anonymous said...


Yes, I is a subject pronoun but "to be" is a copula verb which does not take an object per se. In the case of succinct definitions (ie if A = B then B = A), "is" is requivalent to that equal sign. For example, we can say "A dog is an animal whose Latin name is 'canine'" and equally well say "An animal whose Latin name is 'canine' is a dog."

The upshot of this is that, whereas we usually answer "Who's there?" with "It's me" it wouldn't be wrong to say "It am I" as that is just "I am it" reversed. See what I mean? So I wrote "It ain't I" but my guess is that that would sound even more awkward to people so I'm perfectly willing to accept "It isn't I".

I learned about copula verbs back in grade 6 so watch out! It could be the next million dollar question on "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?"


Anonymous said...


I'm supposed to be on vacation but here you are making me think hard.

In the sentence "It is not I who owe you money, but you who owes me money" I is the subject of the verb "owe". In the sentence "It is not me who you should be talking to, but the man at the information desk" me is the object of the preposition "to" (or the phrasal verb "talk to" if you prefer).

To make matters worse, even though "It isn't I" would seem to be acceptable grammatically, it doesn't make a lot of sense as the answer to the question "Who is it?" I mean, if you aren't you then who are you?


lois said...

Chef: thank you for the Flogging Molly wonder my kids are crazy about them. If UWF, Pensacola, is not on your list, I highly recommend it. Eldest went there and was sooo happy. Also NOVA in Ft. Lauderdale? I wanted #2 to go there. She chose elsewhere tho. Good luck w/all that.

Danielle: thanks for all those links. I recognize faces much better than names. You helped a lot.

CC: a piker to me is someone who doesn't pull his fair share of the work load or pay his turn at drinks b/c he's a jerk. Just never put it to tightwad.

Dennis: First time for everything. ribbit, ribbit.

Barry G. said...

Barry, The answer is Rag Man not Rag Mam.

Yes, I know. I'm pretty sure I mentioned something somewhere about not being a particularly effective typer in the morning before the caffeine kicks in. Which is rather sad, since I type for a living. But that's why I do the crossword and the blogs first thing in the morning, to get my brain (and fingers) fully engaged before starting in on the daily routine.

Of course, if we were actually able to edit our posts here instead of just deleting them, none of this would be an issue....

Jeannie said...

It was a pretty easy one for me today. Just had to google a couple; didn't know obeli or dis. Also can anyone tell me why the answer for witty one is wag? I wonder if the men that live in Male have a complex because it's the capitol and so tiny. I remembered Eloi from past X/W's. One of my Mom's favorite sayings was "you must have bats in your belfry"

I grew up on the Cars music so got Ric Ocasek right away. Matter of fact right now on the radio is "Let the good times roll" I must have worn out the albums The Cars and then Candy-O.

AS for th4e magical Lia Fail, I will give "lip service" to the most holy relic any time!

Barry, you can read your comments before you send them.

Jeannie said...

Barry, matter of fact I did and still mis-spelled th4e...see?

Anonymous said...

Wikipedia states that the capital of the Maldives, Malé. is pronounced: "Maa-lay". Though spelled like the English masculine word "male" it is not pronounced the same. That makes it a pretty good fooler for a clue.

Der Katze said...

Barry, et al. RE 5D and CC's link to the Fail (stone). Monday, I mentioned that Ireland has had many names. Traditionally, the fifth name was "Inis Fail", the Island of Stone, which refers to the stone of destiny that the Tuatha De Danann brought with them. This stone was used to roar under the person fit to be king when the assembly of the men of the island met at Tara.

Anonymous said...

xchefwalt: Thanks for "Drunken Lullabies." Love his belt buckle. We are a Happy Hibernian Household this week.
Tough puzzle today. When I asked Mr. G about primitive pluto, I got a 1950 play about a pup which really sent me in the wrong direction! But finished thanks to CC and the gang.

steve said...

Good Morning CC etal,

CC I concur on just about everything you said in your puzzle description. Too many actors etc. My question. How does Ric end up with Mrs. Ocasek? Maybe he can lick his eyebrows.

The klondike is an area in Alaska where gold was found and was one destination for the gold rushers to that state

Dr. Dad said...

crockett1947 - clicking on the "pic" in my blog - I don't know. I google and find the photos that I put here. Some of them do come out dark.

Dr. Dad said...

another 3-letter answer for Klondike find would be Bar

Dr. Dad said...

Steve @ 12:14 - - - The Klondike is an area in the Yukon Territory (Canada) just east of Alaska. It is not in Alaska.

C.C. Burnikel said...

G8rmomx2 & cokato,
I hope we don't spend too much time and valuable comment space here just correcting Barry's or others' typos. I trust everybody here has the intelligence to know that they are simply typos.

Frog/Wart: Remember Lois' wild figwort & dragonfly connection?

Clear Ayes,
What's so funny about "Langhorne"?

Barb B,
Hey, you are back! I missed your unique take on the puzzle in the past week.

Have you read my profile? I've been living in the US for 7 years. Yes, I do find solving crossword to be a great way to learn English and American culture. No, I am not aware of any online puzzle that specifically serve your students' need. In the future, if I do not answer any of your questions, that's because it crosses my line.

Thank you for bringing the correct pronunciation of MALE to our attention. I vodka you!

Der katze,
Is Inis Fail the same as LIA Fail?

Jeannie said...

Drdad' I think I will find a sea serpent and wrap it in particularly preposterous packaging today.

Dennis said...

c.c., how could I ever forget Lois' connections?

Just to add to your comment about corrections, I think we'd also save a lot of space if we didn't go into great detail about how a given mistake occurred. Just a thought.

barb b, great to see you back; you were missed.

Dr. Dad said...

I'm not going to touch it. Dennis - want to give it a try and help cokato find a long serpent and some packaging?

Jeannie said...

Dennis, C.C., just spanked my hand. Nothing like that from me ever again!

C.C. Burnikel said...

I disagree. This is a crossword blog after all. I'd like to know how & why others make their mistakes. I am curious about their way of thinking and analyzing. And I've learned a lot from reading others' struggles.

Jeannie said...

Still curious, why is a witty one known as a "wag"?

Danielle said...

Here's what the online dictionary says about "wag" (the noun not the verb):

Perhaps shortened from wag-halter: a rogue.] A man full of sport and humor; a ludicrous fellow; a humorist; a wit; a joker.
[1913 Webster]

Of course, who's ever heard of a waghalter?

Dennis said...

cokato, join the club.

c.c., we'll agree to disagree - I don't think we need to read a dissertation on why someone made a typo. That's different than explaining the logic behind an erroneous statement.

steve said...

DrDad, I stand corrected. and it was only 2 years ago taht I stood next to the sign which said Entering the Yukon Territory.

Jeannie said...

Dennis, what club did I join?

Drdad, I am disappointed; no witty return from you today?

JD said...

Martin: Thanks for reminding me about the linking or be verbs; never heard them referred to as copula (great word).Guess you'd have to add more to that isn't I who thought piker was a fishing term....could use it when those undesirables call to ask for money. Am I speaking to the lady of the house, or is this Judith ___? It isn't I.

By the way, I'm really loving the word piker now that everyone keeps explaining it.Please explain Eloi, other than to say you knew it because it was in another x puzzle.

Lois: Don't you wish we could be the ones leaving home and going to the college of our choice?I think I'd go to the Univ. of CO in Boulder

Barry G. said...

I don't think we need to read a dissertation on why someone made a typo. That's different than explaining the logic behind an erroneous statement.

Well, if people would stop pointing out my typos I wouldn't have to keep explaining them.... ^_^

Der Katze said...

CC: "Is Inis Fail the same as LIA Fail?" Inis means island and Fail is stone. I'm not sure that the stone you linked to is the same Stone of Destiny that de Dannans had at Tara. Some say this relic, also known as The Coronation Stone, is in Britain's Abbey of Westminster. Some others claim that it is now at Blarney Castle near Cork. I don't know.

Jeannie said...

jd, I don't know how to link it, but go to Wikipedia and type in eloi. There is a pretty good explanation there.

Dr. Dad said...

Nope. Don't want to get spanked.

Dr. Dad said...

jd - here you go.

Dennis said...

cokato, the 'spankees'.

Jeannie said...

Dennis, it feels better when you do it instead of me spanking myself.

Okay, time for some education, how does one go about linking something?

carol said...

Hi C.C. and all, I wasn't going to comment today, but after reading all this I just had a thought....C.C. has indicated that she IS counting every little comment we make, so if we can skip the ones about our typos, we could save on the amount we use. I make typos too (lots) but I re-read my comment before I post it. Even then, if one slips through, I know you are all smart enough to realize it for what it was.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Der katze,
I did a quick search, they are linked. Very interesting.

Dennis said...

carol, thanks - that's exactly what I was talking about several days ago; there's just no need, especially given the tight window we have now. And here we are doing exactly that, lol.
cokato, assume the position.

lois said...

jd: I tried to go to CU, but there was a 2 yr wait to get into my specific field (I'll tell you offline what that was). So, OU was really by regrets at all! Worked out better, as most disappointments do.

derkatz: I just googled coronation stone and Inis Fail and it sent me to the Irish Crowning stone, which is what you say may be at Blarney Castle near Cork? Which also means then that it can be related (in some way) to the Blarney Stone. Holy Hot Wick! Should the tradition also transfer that is going to be some kind of 'lip service' there, brother! Plus they get 'stoned' during the ceremony! My kind of fun!

drdad: I'll administer your spanking personally. It won't hurt a bit! Come with me. Then maybe we can join Dennis and Cokato's club and put troika to shame. Are whips and chains allowed? Just asking.

Buckeye said...

Hi,all. cc, sorry about my posting last evening. When I started typing there were 96 posts ahead of me, but by the time I completed and submitted it, I came in at 108. That's why there were some personal things on it. I agree with you comments this morning. I almost didn't start this puzzle because of about 16 tv/movie etc. clues. I stuck it out and completed it with a little help from my A-Z x/w dictionary. Had a tough time with Obeli, Male, Elea, Eloi and Dis but finally worked it out.

Got Hansom because there are numerous mentions of them in Sherlock Holmes mysteries. (I read one or two stories monthly.)

Martin, I love the mention of copula verbs. I think we called them auxiliary verbs. Be, am, is, are, was , were, been, has, have , had, do, does, did, may, might, must, can, could, shall, should, will, would. Is copula the same thing?

drdad, check my posting of last night re: Sheridan, Wyo.

der katze, When the Celtic men went to Tara to choose a king, did they stay at Scarlet O'Hara's house?

Dennis, I use Firefox when posting and misspelled word are underlined. I find that invaluable.

Last night I asked if anyone had ever seen a cork screw?

I must be off.

Dennis said...

Ahh, what good is 'copula' without the 'te'?

lois said...

Dennis: my thoughts exactly except I would have gone w/ 'tion'. You are more 'active' in the present than I am. Great minds...!

Dr. Dad said...

buckeye-I did Sheridan because Carol used to live there. Sorry you had to suffer a heart attack there.

cokato-on C.C's main blog page thee is a link entitled "How to add a link to the comments section." That's where I learned.

Jeannie said...

Dennis, thank you sir may I have another.

Dennis said...

cokato, of course - the day's young. assume yet another position.

Mr. Ed said...

Greetings y'all from beautiful Zihuatanejo (about 130 miles north of Acapulco). I thought about all you sirens as I came ashore. The name means "place of Women". It's a small fishing village with a very laid back lifestyle... one of my favorite spots in the world. Anyway, I've been able to find uplinks to get the daily x/ws but not much more.

It's good to see the banter surviving. I miss it and all of you. Oh well! Another margarita and you'll fade a little.

The weather's here....

Jeannie said...

Dennis, got ahold of my ankles...

Anonymous said...

Hi y'all,

I have another meaning for "piker". To me and my friends that I grew up with, It meant that someone was not willing to "take a dare". For example, afraid to enter a cemetery at night or a haunted house. Would not dive into the water from a high diving board, etc.
Has anyone come up with that explanation?

embien said...

19:38 today. I think this is the longest time I've had since I started doing the puzzle online.

I hate puzzles that are full of names (actors, writers, etc.), and you throw in a quip on top of all those actors and it's a bad day for me.

Unknowns for me:
ALANA Stewart

EFF seemed awkwardly clued. It could have been anything as far as I was concerned.

JD said...

oh my goodness, that was a hard one for me! Gave up and came to you for a few . Started off knowing amp & NBA, so I put landau for 1A.Big oops!For 43A I put avalanch, and it soon collapsed by a matador and Renee.Oops again! "It is not I" is horrific grammar! I is a subject pronoun.48D: didn't like clue or answer.Had to keep checking dictionary to see if my answers made sense. Eloi is not in my dictionary.I laughed at myself many times for not getting these clues, such as 59D.I agree that there were too many names. Hagar cartoon, I agree, was not very funny. The dog was already sitting.

I am elated that when our lovely fog lifts, it will be another
beautiful day in the Santa Clara Valley, a time to imbibe whatever..

Dennis said...

jd, did you know you had the same post at 10:58?

Anonymous said...

mark - Buenos Aires

The Stone of Scone is the Scottish coronation stone resident in Westminster Abbey. In the mid 20th century a group of Scottish students caused a scandal by stealing the stone and taking it back to Scotland. Later it was recovered. If it is still in Westminster Abbey now that Scotland has a fair degree of autonomy, I dont know.

Doers anyone know why the Olympics started on Wednesday and the opening ceremony is Friday?

JD said...

I have no idea how that happened. I always cut/paste because I have to try 3 or 4 times to get on, and then I end up opening an acct to get on

drdad and cokat: thanks for the link..I've never read the novel

C.C.: loved your link about the legend of the 4 treasures

Lois: It still would be great place to get away once more and leave the kids at home.I'd major,or whatever it took, in ANYTHING..

an advanced 6th grader might add an ing

piker continues to have many great uses

Dennis said...

mark, I didn't know they could do that before the opening ceremonies - what events started?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Hey! You are the only one who has come up with that "unwilling to take a dare" PIKER explanation.

"PIERCY HAYNES ALANA? How about we have a puzzle filled with obscure names? Man, I hate that kind of puzzle". Does this comment sound familiar to you? Someone wrote it on July 23 Wednesday (2:55pm).

Anonymous said...

Although I've never heard the latter term until today, a copula verb is also known as a "linking verb", not an auxiliary verb. (See I only mentioned it because jd originally claimed that "It isn't I" (as a sentence in and of itself I assumed) was not grammatically correct because "I" was the object of "is".

I apologize. I'm not familiar with blogs.


Dennis said...

Well, there's the pumpkin number. You all have a great night; seeya tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I'm very late with my comment because I did the puzzle flying from Mpls/St.Paul to Ft. Myers. I could get very little of the puzzle because I had no access to help.
But I am delighted with "it isn't I" because "it's me" and "it isn't me" drive me crazy. As a retired English teacher, as I have previously mentioned, I am a stickler.
Cheers to you all.

Anonymous said...

I am going as anonymous because the blog won't accept my password. It's the only one I've ever used, so I don't know what else to do.

Boomer said...

Yup, Tony Dow played Wally Cleaver years ago. I'm old enough to know that. His father,Ward< was played by Hugh Beaumont, and his Mom, June Cleaver was played by Barbara Billingsly, who later turned up as a defense attorney on "Law and Order"! But a little known fact is that Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford was played by Tim Herron of Wayzata MN. And I think Eddie Haskell was played by Karl Rove.

Good luck to all the nations athletes in China for the Olympics. Let politics rest and let the Games begin.

Anonymous said...


Argyle said...


First things first, please don't use all caps.

Yes, c.c. did drop a couple of letters in her initial recap at her blogspot. The first s in backwards is and the second a in called a receding but we all make mistakes, witness you're using 39A instead of 38A

Anonymous said...

This puzzle sucked.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Argyle, dear Santa
Thank you so much!