Oct 17, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008 Michael T. Williams

Theme: Three Bigs


39A: Three bigs: IDEA BROTHER BEND

63A: Three bigs: WIG PICTURE APPLE



11D: Three bigs: DEAL WHEEL DIPPER

Does Big VALLEY refer to the TV series? I've never heard of it before.

The clue for HUBERT (49D: V.P. Humphrey) should not have been abbreviated. But I am so happy to see his name in the puzzle. He is Minnesota's favorite son. There is a certain enigma about him, so idealistic yet realistic. He was so right when he said "Asia is rich in people, rich in culture and rich in resources. It is also rich in trouble."

Some of you might not like this kind of 3- thing theme concept, but I really like this puzzle. It only has 32 blocks, compared with 38 we get often. Besides, there are 6 run through 15-letter theme answers. That's 81 white squares, 36% of the grid. Most of the time we get somewhere between 45 and 55 I think. I've never counted it before though. There are 50 white squares themed entries in yesterday's quip puzzle.

I wonder if Michael T. Williams thought of the real "Big Three" Churchill, Roosevelt & Stalin when he constructed his puzzle.


1A: Watch pockets: FOBS. I was surprised that "watch chain" is not the #1 definition of FOB.

10A: Norse Zeus: ODIN. He only has one eye. The God of Thunder THOR is his oldest son.

15A: "Christ Stopped at ___": EBOLI. It's written by Carlo Levi. I learned the book title from doing Xword. The spelling is so close to ECOLI.

25A: Stu of early TV: ERWIN. Nope, he is a stranger to me. I wonder if ERWIN is variation of IRWIN.

28A: Jodie Foster film: NELL. Have you seen the movie? It does not look interesting to me.

30A: Celtic worshipper: DRUID. No idea. Dictionary says DRUID is rooted in DRU, Celtic for tree (esp oak tree). So DRUIDS worshipped trees then? It's animisim, isn't it?

43A: Napoleon's commander at Waterloo: NEY (Michel). The "Bravest of the Brave". Wikipedia says that NEY is also an "end-blown flute" in the middle east. What is an "end-blown flute"? Is there any flute called "front-blown"?

44A: "It's a Wonderful Life" director: CAPRA (Frank). I also like his "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Too bad, our politicians today promise so much and deliver so little.

45A: Impresario Hurok: SOL. No idea. Very impressive career.

48A: __ out (intimidate): PSYCH. One letter away from PSYCHE, the beautiful girl Cupid (Eros) loves. I just learned this morning that they have a daughter named Voluptas, the goddess of "sensual pleasures. " Wikipedia says "the first known mention of Voluptas was made by the Roman author Lucius Apuleius in his book "The Golden Ass" - the only Latin novel to survivie in its entirety."

58A: Painter Modigliani: AMEDEO. Not familiar with his name. I do remember seeing "Girl in Pigtail" somewhere before.

71A: Before, before: ERST. Or "Formerly, formerly"; "Once, once".


1D: Teen idol of the fifties: FABIAN. I've never heard of FABIAN before. That's an odd looking swimwear. What's that white stuff on his waist?

8D: Lohengrin's love: ELSA. I can never remember this Wagner heroine name. Can anyone give me a brief recap of what the story is about?

10D: Mark of the PGA: O'MEARA. Gimme for me. He is one of Tiger Woods' best buddies. He won both the Masters and British Open in 1998.

26D: Somali supermodel: IMAN. She is married to David Bowie. So close to IMAM in spelling.

31D: Cornell's town: ITHACA. Beautifully done. Barb B should like the background music.

40D: Novelist Koontz: DEAN. Not me?

42D: Scary word?: BOO. Ha ha, this reminds of BOOER (Raspberry blower) we had in early Sept.

59D: 651: DCLI. I actually like some math calculations in the clue.

56D: Poetic meadow: LEA. Ewe would love this clue. I am bored.



Dennis said...

Good morning, c.c. and gang - the dreaded 'threes', huh? I could almost feel the cringes from certain members of our group. Managed to get through it without any problems, however, thanks to a couple perps. I don't follow golf, so I didn't know Mark O'Meara, drew a blank on Amedeo Modigliani, and completely forgot that Big Bend is a National Park in WI.

Notice how, once again, c.c. has zeroed in on a 'blowing' issue? Any doubts about her DFette status now?

c.c., Fabian was a rock star back in my day - he was popular with the girls for his looks - his singing sounded like a dog giving birth.

Hope it's an outstanding fall weekend for everyone.

Martin said...

I don't understand big BEND. The rest I got. I also don't understand FOBS. And is EBOLI a place? I've never heard of Mark OMEARA, Commander NEY or AMEDEO Modigliam. It was easy enough to guess ERWIN, DEAN and ELSA because they are common names. I didn't like AH ME: it could have been UH OH! or OH MY!

Am I complaining too much? I actually liked this puzzle: I didn't have to google anything because I realized H*A*T had to have one vowel and one consonent and I went through all the possibilities until I got HEART and then I was told my time: twenty four minutes fifteen seconds. Not bad, I think.


Dick said...

Good morning Cc, DFs and DFettes..nice puzzle today. It was not a slam bang and coused some thinking and two trips to Mr G. I did not know 45a, 58a or 40d. Cc I think you have started the blow thing all over again today with the "End Blowing Flute". Wow will the sirens get into this.

Dick said...

Dennis I liked your description of Fabian it cracked me up.

Martin said...

There are a couple of ways to blow: you can blow at one end like blowing into a flute or blow into the side like blowing into a fife. Either way is fine by me.

I think if C.C. were a DF she would have had something to say about "forced entry".


Dennis said...

Very strange - I googled 'end-blowing flute'....and there was a picture of ME.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Dennis & Dick,
Fabian's name reminds me Fabio, who really needs a hair cut. Have you heard of "end blowing flute" NEY before?

Martin and Dr. Dad,
My lingering question from yesterday: STEROL is not the liquid alcohol we consume, right? Otherwise how can plant contains STEROL?

Dick said...

Cc dennis is correct you are a true DFette and start trouble and then sit back and watch the fireworks. IE: "End blowing flute" and "The Golden Ass". MY MY!!

Dick said...

@Cc nice play on words in your 6:03 post.

KittyB said...

Good Morning, everyone.

This wasn't too difficult, despite the groups of three. I didn't know OMEARA, AMEDEO, EBOLI or NEY. They came through the fills.

I've never seen ERST used without WHILE attached to it.

I don't care for the clue for 1A. I agree with C.C. that it should be 'watch chains.'

It looks like the white stuff at Fabian's waist is simply sunlight on his belly.

It's past time to get my day started. I hope you all have a great day!

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

Well, I got through this unassisted, but only by making some educated guesses. Once again, I found myself getting bogged down with all the names.

I did not know ERWIN or OMEARA, and had to guess at their intersection (Edwin is a perfectly good name, but OMEARA sounded more likely than Omeada). I also did not know SOL or AMEDEO. Fortunately, I did know who Fabian was (is?), or else the NW corner would have been very problematic for me. I also vaguely remembered EBOLI (I always get it confused with Ebola, personally) and NEY (I always put Nez instead of NEY and then have to correct myself).

As for FOB, I actually collect antique pocket watches as a hobby. Although the term is usually used today to indicate the chain holding the watch, it originally meant the watch pocket, the watch chain, or an ornament attached to the chain.

Not a bad puzzle overall, but not all that great, either.

Dr. Dad said...

Good morning!
Not a bad one today.

Dennis and C.C. - I don't think there were ever doubts and the blowing issue proves it. Then she mentions the "Golden Ass" and "Voluptas." She is also noting some "white stuff" on Fabian's waist (although I can't see it). Nothing more need be said.

Fabian Anthony Forte. His career in music ended with the payola scandal of the 1960s, when it was alleged that his records were doctored significantly to improve his voice which, as Dennis says, was much needed.

C.C. - no, sterol is not the liquid alcohol. That is ethanol. There are many alcohols in the chemical world. Plants produce a lot of them. Sterols are alcohols derived from the same molecular structure that is in steroids.

Question: What is Big Ben?

Today is National Mammography Day. I once stood on a street corner offering free mammograms. FREE!!! I can't understand why nobody wanted one for free!!!

Al Capone was convicted for income tax evasion on this day in 1931 and the San Francisco Earthquake of 1989 hit on this day.

Dick said...

It looks like a fair day today with highs in the low to mid 50s and no rain so I will head to the links and swing my wood. Hope you all have a great day and I will join you later today.

Barry G. said...


Big Ben is actually the name of the large bell (not the clock) that is housed in Saint Stephen's (aka the Clock) Tower, one of three towers that make up the Houses of Parliament in London. Most people, however, think that the clock itself is named Big Ben. But it's just the bell...

Dr. Dad said...

Touché, Barry! Yes, it is the bell. You are correct in that most people think it is the clock.

Give that man a vodka!!!!

Anonymous said...

Morning All!

Not too bad of a puzzle this morning. I got the bangs through the perps-so no google!

Why am I not surprised the blowing issue has returned?

Have a good day!

pattispa said...

Good morning C.C. and all. I had aways thought that a watch fob was the object, usually rather heavy, that hung on the end of the watch chain and fit into the watch pocket. This arrangment was usually worn with a vest but sometimes into a watch pocket below the waistband of a pair of trousers. A watch fob was not the pocket but the object in the pocket.

Ken said...

Good morning, C.C. and group. Not too bad this morning, but it took me some time to work everything out.
I'm old enough to remember Erwin, Fabian, and Capra, but not Ney and Druid. I had to get Odin, Heart, Casual, Erwin and Ahme before O'Meara came to me.

C.C. Yes, druidism was a form of tree worship in Celtic lore.

Here's a doggerel verse sung to "Old Time Religion"

We will worship with the druids
Drinking fermented fluids
Running naked through the woo-ids(woods)
But it's good enough for me.

Word of the day: Genius, 1) a single strongly marked capacity or aptitude, 2) outstanding

Many of the bloggers here display genius at solving puzzles.

Ken said...

Martin: The Big Bend refers, I think, to the Big Bend country of Texas where the Rio Grande River makes a big bend. There is a national park by that name.

DoesItinInk said...

Today’s was a relatively easy puzzle once I had a few sips of caffeine in my body. I had only one red square where OMEARA and ERWIN cross. I am unfamiliar with both names and guessed D, making it “Edwin”, instead of an R.

??? “Big” WIG ??? I have never heard this term before. Whatever does it mean?

JIMBO said...

Did'nt know that Wisconsin had a "Big Bend".
Only know about "Big Bend" National Park in Texas. Been there several times and cherished each visit. Awe inspiring!!

Still looking for answer to 16a and 12d. would 16a be "mere"? If so, what is "IRR" for 12d?

DoesItinInk said...

jimbo: 12D IRR...for irregular, a product that is not quite up to snuff.

JIMBO said...

Thanks "INK". I don't remember ever seeing that kind of tag. New to me.

Argyle said...

Good Morning

Today's autumnal musical interlude, Neil Young's Harvest Moon.

Question: Do you think that is a French Horn that comes in at the end of the song?

Razz said...

CC - Sorry for being slow on responding.

Dally - Is the two or three wraps of rope around the saddle horn and is used to stop the roped animal. When the animal hits the end of the lasso, the dally gets very tight.

Dennis @ 5:47 - I didn't know that Texas had sold the Big Bend - Big Bend National Park Texas

Anonymous said...

I understand Big Wig to refer to a person who is in a capacity of leadership. Perhaps it comes from the practice in England of certain officers and judges wearing big wigs.

Barb B said...

I worked late last evening, so I missed a lot of fun. That woodshed is looking pretty lively, with Carol in there and Dennis under it, and JD perilously close. Lol

C.C., Clear Ayes, Cocato, and Lois, thanks for sharing ‘smell memories’ with me. Isn’t it amazing how a smell can bring back such strong memories?

Argyle, Thank you for Turtle Blues.

The puzzle today was challenging, but fun. I loved all the ‘bigs,’ which helped with the unknown names.

Nell is a great movie, I loved the puzzle of it, and the happy ending.

C.C. YES! Vangelis is great, and paired with Sean Connery my morning is off to a very good start. Thanks. I like Sean Connery a lot, especially in Medicine Man. I remember the movie Robin Hood, when he had a walk on part near the end, and the people in the theater (including me) roared their appreciation.

Dick, I think you’re * hoping * the sirens get into the blowing comment. Seems you and Dennis are the first to mention it. And now Martin is flirting with disaster. Lol

KittyB said...

Argyle, at the very end of "Harvest Moon" I think it's just keyboard in a lower range.

Dennis said...

razz, you're right - a complete brain fart on my part, especially since I had friends that camped out there 3 months ago. That's what I get for trying to do two things at once.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I really liked this "Big Three" puzzle. There were a lot of "Aha!" moments. With six 15 letter theme answers, there was a lot of jumping around and changing directions.

The only place I had a problem was in the SW corner because I blanked out on WTS for "Barbell lbs" and I misread "Dudgeon" as "Dungeon". Once I got TRUE and SEER, I could see my mistake and got WIG as my last "Aha".

I knew that Modigliani's first name was AMADEO because I saw the 2004 movie Modigliani starring Andy Garcia, just last week. It's not a great movie, but IMO, Andy Garcia is always worth watching.

FABIAN was one of those late 1950's singers from Philadephia. He had next to no talent (OK, make that no talent), but he was cute and American Bandstand which was the big TV show for teenagers, was broadcast from Philadelphia.

Every teenager (I'm not kidding) rushed home from school every day and turned on the TV to see Dick Clark, the regular dancers, listen to our favorite hit records and to see the guest stars.

carol said...

Hi C.C. and all, I thought the "white stuff" on Fabian's waist was the reason he was smiling!

Dennis, good description of his voice, LOL.

Fun puzzle today although I had to go to the G several times for names: O'Meara, Erwin and Amedeo (I actually knew Capra, Iman and O'Neal. I put "rig" in for the first part of 63A, but it would not work with 63D.

Must dash, have a hair appt. back later, stay sweet all of you, LOL

JD said...

Good morning C.C. and all,

The reading of Ithaca was lovely, had never heard it before, and I liked the message.When Sean Connery speaks, I listen.

Dennis, you are right on 2 counts: C.C.'s status as a DFette, and Fabian's voice.LOL Emperor Nelson, ( was he in your area?) used to say that all those singers sounded like they pulled their socks up too high. Listening to them now, I agree, but back then we oohed and aahhed when they sang.

I found Amedeo, Erwin, Elsa, and eboli on G. Erst, aga, and ney fell into place slowly.Doesitinink filled in the r for me and Jimbo (thanks), as I couldn't grok damaged mdse. tag, or nothing but.I enjoyed the theme, and made a list of "bigs" before I started. My Bob added some to the list that many of you would have liked.Don't ask. I've lost the list and I have a very short term memory.

Anonymous said...

Ebola, Eboli, E. Coli. Two of the three can be fatal. I can never remember which two.

I had 'Big Band' first, but 'big wheal' made no sense. 'Big Bend' isn't much better.

If so many people here never heard of it, it's probably doesn't belong in a "Three Bigs" kind of puzzle. It doesn't really stand by itself.

But I never liked these "Three .." puzzles anyway.

g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all,

I had to google Erwin and Amedeo. Instead of Bend I had Band for Big Band. But changed it when I saw it was Wheel instead of Wheal! I also had Leper at first for 67A, then Loner, then finally Loser! I only got Ney and Capra from the perps.

How about these clues with "Big": Big Band, Big Easy, Big Fish, Big Head, Big Foot, Big Lots, Big Mac, Big Shots, Big Sur

I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and a "TGIF" for those who work.

Argyle said...

Thanks, Kittyb, I think your right but it does leave a sort of a haunting end to the song.

embien said...

13:00 today. My last fill was the "W" in ERWIN/WHEEL.

@c.c.: Besides, there are 6 run through 15-letter theme answers.

Well, they may be "15-letter theme answers" but it's an artificial construct, containing three unrelated words, combined to make 15 letters. There's not even any symmetry, as if each answer had consisted of four, six and five-letter words. Here they are just arbitrary words strung together to make up a 15-letter "theme."

If you're going to do this kind of thing, make the words sparkle a bit. This is leaden and boring, IMHO.

@kazie: embien, Are ripping and disking the same thing?
Ripping and disking aren't exactly the same thing. The disks are circular slicing "wheels" that break up the soil surface (especially the remnants of the previous crop.) If you look at the picture I linked to yesterday, you'll see that there are disks coupled to the rippers (to reduce the number of passes the tractor has to make around the field.) ripper

Anonymous said...

Dear C.C.
I discovered your site about a week ago and appreciate your skills. FYI: the common orchestral flute is called side-blown; a recorder is an example of an end-blown. The white stuff on Fabian's belly seems to just be the way the light is shining.

Clear Ayes said...

Embien, You're right about the artificial construct and unrelated words. For some reason, I like the "Now I see" moment when all falls into place. But it is like a puzzle within a puzzle and can be a little frustrating, or for you, boring.

But, as we have all noticed, everyone has different opinions about the STM puzzles. It is always interesting to read what the other posters have to say.

Jeannie said...

I like these three things puzzles. But like you, clearayes, I don't usually skip around, but it seems you need to, to get the three things. It is very quiet here on the blog today. Why is everyone behaving so? It is Friday night afterall. Carol I see you got a reprieve out of the woodshed this morning for a hair appointment. Are you back in there? I am looking forward to getting out of town with a girlfriend tomorrrow. Hopefully we'll catch some of the fall foilage, but you never know what will happen when we get loose. Last time we ended up in a strip joint and some guys bought us a lap dance! True story.

melissa bee said...

good afternoon c.c. and all,

i don't mind the 'three' things puzzles, and always like when there are lots of theme answers .. six, nice.

a whole lotta blowin' in the wind around here lately. sorry i missed all that.

@dennis: That's what I get for trying to do two things at once.

i guess it depends on which two things.

front row seats to see chazz palminteri in 'a bronx tale,' at the golden gate theater tonight. it's a one man show, he does all 18 characters himself. anyone seen it yet?

carol said...

Cokato, yes I am here and you are right, things are a bit quiet after such a raucous beginning!! Oh well, maybe later. I do have a limerick I can actually print here. It does refer to the flute, I just don't know if it would be the "end" kind.
There was a tooter who tooted a flute,
who tried to teach two young tooters
to toot.
Asked the two to the tooter, is it
easier to toot, or to teach to young
tooters to toot??

Say that fast after a few drinks!! Maybe by then you would be "end tooting"!!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous @ 4:23pm and Martin,
Thank you for the explanation on end-blown flute and side-blown flute. I was truly confused this morning.

I've heard "Harvest Moon" several times, but I am afraid I could not detect anything different at the end. Is it the last 10 seconds or what?

Clear Ayes,
Thanks for sharing with us your "Grass of Parnassus" search story. Can you imagine a life without google?

C.C. Burnikel said...

"Pearl Jam clears the censors everyday. Anything gets through if you "lay it between the lines". What is "lay it between the lines"?

"xchefwalt, I will take that earmuffin recipe that C.C. suggests as a payback. Top Ten!" What does "To Ten" mean?

C.C. Burnikel said...

"Since I have fallen into that bear trap before, I stayed far away, and yes Cokato, I still owe you big time) and I’ve been laughing out loud all afternoon. Dennis- as of yet you are strangely silent; all that Philly rooting give you sticky fingers?"

1) What is "bear trap"?

2) Why "sticky finger"?

Clear Ayes said...

This evening is going to be "early to bed", because tomorrow will be early to rise. Several of the neighbors are going to have a yard sale. I'm not too good at getting up at 5 AM, but since I have to be out amongst them by 6:30, I'll just have to tough it out.

It is amazing how many things we accumulate over the years. George Carlin had this great routine about Stuff. It's all so true.

Staying with a yard sale theme, here's a poem for the evening.

Sister For Sale

May I sell my sister in the yard sale?
'Cause she cries most of the time.
This is my chance to be an only child.
Do you think that's such a crime?
Can I sell my sister in the yard sale?
If I can't she's yours for free.
Just take her while she's a terrible two
And bring her back when she's three!

- Todd-Michael St. Pierre

Anonymous said...

jeez i think i am too much of a night owl for this blog! haha i just finally picked up today's crossword and am finishing it up now, with help from all of your posts! :]

i kept thinking something like a vampire for 67A (vanquished one). i had no idea what it was until i read g8rmomx2's post. clearly, i'm ready for halloween!

have a good weekend everyone!

kazie said...

embien, thanks for the explanation of disking versus ripping. It was because I saw the disks in the photo that I wondered.

I've had a long day with plenty of busy-ness and since I really had nothing constructive to say on the c/w, I stayed silent earlier.

Jeannie said...

C.C. A bear trap is an unfortunate trap for a bear to land up in. I hate to state it, but multiply a mouse trap times a thousand times, add spikes and you will get the picture. It gives bear paws another definition besides pastry. As far as the top ten, it was a cryptic message for xchefwalt on an e-mail we exchanged. Nothing gets by you does it?

Argyle said...

C.C., "laying it between the lines" means what you want to say is strongly implied but not stated outright. Similar to innuendo(which we see so much of here). Or it is what you don't say that matters, like saying a politician has never been caught doing anything wrong can imply he has done wrong but hasn't been caught.

a line from Peter, Paul and Mary's I Dig Rock and Roll Music, "I think I could say somethin',
If you know what I mean.
But if I really say it,
The radio won't play it.
Unless I lay it between the lines."

Anonymous said...

How can 11D be deal,wheel, dipper? wheel intersects with 39A bird. so it would come out as wheil???

Argyle said...

not bird, bend

Big Bend National Park

Anonymous said...

Greetings C.C. and all –

I like the puzzle today. I did have to look up ney, Erwin, Omeara and Amedeo. But otherwise not too bad. When doing xwords and I come upon some clues that the answers don’t come easily, I just try to think of how far the constructor would go to make it confusing. It’s amazing what the mind comes up with.

Well, the Red Sox made a comeback last night so we will have another game or two for the ALCS. Go Rays! :-)

It has been pretty quiet on here today. People must have other irons in the fire.

Argyle –
I like your reference to Peter, Paul and Mary and “laying it between the lines.” Of course, I am a fan of the oldies.

Kelly –
I think my first post on this blog was about three weeks ago at 12:29 AM EST and I have seen comments posted even later.

Have a great day and keep on puzzling!

Night Owl

Argyle said...

C. C. said...@7:51 PM
I've heard "Harvest Moon" several times, but I am afraid I could not detect anything different at the end. Is it the last 10 seconds or what?

It is at 4:51 thru 4:55; the end is 5:02.

Night Owl: A couple of the sites claim P,P&M were being sarcastic about Rock and Roll music but their own songs never came out and really said what they meant, either. "Puff the Magic Dragon", indeed!

Anonymous said...

Greetings C.C. and all –

"Night Owl: A couple of the sites claim P,P&M were being sarcastic about Rock and Roll music but their own songs never came out and really said what they meant, either. "Puff the Magic Dragon", indeed!"

Yes, indeed! What I meant was that I liked your comment and explanation of “laying it between the lines."


Night Owl

Argyle said...