Nov 9, 2008

Sunday November 9, 2008 Robert H. Wolfe

Theme: Selective Collective

27A: Group of pooches: OODLES OF POODLES

120A: Group of tropical fish: MASSES OF WRASSES

16D: Group of swine: SCORES OF BOARS

34D: Group of food fish (var.): SCADS OF SHADS

37D: Group of jumpers: LOADS OF TOADS

39D: Group of jumpers, briefly: SLEWS OF ROOS

59A: Group of male donkeys: STACKS OF JACKS

I've never heard of the tropical fish WRASSES (120A). Why there is a "var." mark for 34D?

What a puzzle! Now I feel like a raisin in the morning sun, not dried up and not plump either. I think I still have some moisture left.

I've never filled in so many blanks on a Sunday puzzle. The simple rhyming theme certainly helped. And there was no obscure medical/chemical term intersecting one another to frustrate me.

Had to do a few googling and a few V-8 moment wite-outs in the end. But today's efficient solving makes me feel rather smart. Not much to complain except the clue for SASH (86A: Pageant ID). The abbreviated ID is asking for an abbreviated answer. A simple "Pageant wear" will do the job.


9A: Type of committee: AD HOC. And another Latin phrase: HIC (77A: __ jacet).

21A: Dentition: TEETH. Dention and teething are synonymous, not TEETH, right?

25A: Mediterranean island nation: MALTA. Its capital is Valletta.

26A: Parkinson's medication: L-DOPA. I forgot. It appeared in our puzzle before.

32A: Gang follower?: STER. Gangster, mobster, teamster, etc.

36A: Kind of tea or remedy: HERBAL

60A: "__ the Explorer": DORA. Lovely DORA bedding set for a small girl.

80A: Switched switch: OFF ON. I don't understand the grammar of the clue.

88A: Both haves of a fly?: TSES. Tsetse. I guess there is no other better way to clue TSES.

89A: "The Right Stuff" org.: NASA. Pure guess. I've never heard of the movie "The Right Stuff" .

92A: Prairie coverage: OAT GRASS. Oh, I did not know that this grass is called OAT GRASS. So different from wheatgrass.

95A: Swanson of Hollywood: GLORIA. She appears in almost every JFK biography due to her affair with Joe Kennedy Sr.

97A: Disney World attraction: EPCOT. Have you been to EPCOT Center?

107A: Everett of "Citizen Kane": SLOANE. I googled his name. I found the movie hard to follow.

111A: such being the case: AS IT IS

123A: Plant with two seed leaves: DICOT. No idea. See this Monocot vs DICOT link. What are "two seed leaves"?

128A: Century plant: AGAVE. The fiber AGAVE yields is called sisal hemp.

132A: Desert traveler: NOMAD

133A: DOD part: DEPT. DOD is Department of Defense.


1D: Poetic stanza: STROPHE. I would not have got this word without the across fills.

2D: Spaces between leaf veins: AREOLES. The singular form is AREOLA, which was clued as " Ring around the pupil" last time.

4D: Space station of old: SKYLAB. From 1973-1979. MIR was de-orbed in 2001.

6D: New bread abroad: EUROS. I like this clue.

9D: Start of sphere: ATMO. Atmosphere.

10D: View from Mount Pisgah: DEAD SEA. Where is Mount Pisgah? I only see Mount Nebo.

15D: Capp of comic strips: ANDY. Hmm, I'd love the clue to be ANDY Garcia related.

17D: Long-snouted animal: TAPIR. He is ugly, like a pig. I did not know his name before.

28D: Day's march: ETAPE. Again, without the adjacent fills, I would not have obtained this word. I don't think I understood "Day's march" last time when we had the discussion.

29D: Bay window: ORIEL. See this link.

45D: Animal fat: LARD. It's pork fat. Suet is beef/mutton fat.

47D: Thin wdt.: NAR. Narrow? What is "wdt"? Width?

50D: Defeat decisively: TROUNCE

51D: Bombing runs: SORTIES

52D: Corey of "Murphy's Romance": HAIM. Another google. Have never heard of Corey HAIM or "Murphy's Romance" before.

53D: Silents star Theda: BARA. The Vamp. I often confuse her with the "It" girl Clara Bow.

55D: Oscar winner Kedrova: LILA. She won Oscar for "Zorba the Greek".

63D: Supreme Court Justice Black: HUGO. What case is he famous for?

74D: Far from the flock: LOST

94D: Diamond of "Night Court": SELMA. Is she the pretty girl on the front row? I've never heard of her name before.

96D: Fretting: IN A STEW

98D: Tapioca source: CASSAVA. Have you had fresh CASSAVA before?

102D: Yellowstone attraction: GEYSERS. Great picture.

108D: Eviction: OUSTER

109D: Trooper's gun: RADAR. Or the Nehi drinker (M*A*S*H).

119D: Vincent Lopez theme song: NOLA. I could only find this theme music clip, not the song.



Chris in LA said...

Good morning CC etal,

Not bad today - most of my googles were the same as yours. I enjoyed the theme as well.

Some random thoughts/answera:
34D - I think the (var) is because the plural of shad is shad (no "ess" at the end)
32A - my paper has the clue listed as "gang follower" not "gun follower"
89A - "The Right Stuff" is a terrific film about the early days of NASA & the manned space-flight program. A must see in my book. CC - did you ever get a chance to see "12 Angry Men"?
128A - Agave is also the base for tequila
94D - Selma Diamond played a cranky older baliff - she is not shown in the photo you attached, but can be seen here:

She passed away in 1985.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Anonymous said...

hugo black was from alabama and a member of the klan is his younger days. He carried with him a copy of the constitution and the amendments with him during his term at the Supreme Court . his position was that the amendments did not contain any conditions and the rights granted were absolutes. I think that roosevelt apponted him.

first time that i did not have to use google or a dictionary. it just seemed to work out with the large clues and the relation of the words in the long answers. when i checked with CC, my answers were right. Normally I try to work the entire puzzle and then check with dictionary or google. Then the last check is with the Blog.

my paper had gang on 32 A also

abogato in Alabama

alabama squeaked by LSU in overtime andnow is 10 and 0 and going to Atlanta to play for the sec championship

kazie said...

Well, I was late yesterday, but today no trip out of town and no puzzle to slow me down.

Just wanted to note briefly, it's interesting to see that your puzzle today had three French-in-English usage words:

lard, which is bacon in French, so c.c. is right--it should only refer to pork fat.

étape, a stage of a journey, similar to our word "step" (remember the "ét-" to "st-" switch at the beginning of words?).

Lastly, sorties, which are simply "outings" in French, from the verb "sortir", to go out.

Martin, did you see my post last night?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for the var explanation. I made a mistake on GANGSTER. I should be able to get "12 Angry Men" next Thursday. I solved a puzzle in which CAMUS is clued as "Theatre of the absurd dramatist". I don't understand, why "Theatre"?

Thanks for HUGO Black.

I just learned the Eskimo kissing is indeed like the Maori nose-pressing. It seems that upper lip is also involved. Did you watch the movie "Amelie"?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Argyle & Clear Ayes,
Did you try those monkey/pony dances when you were young?

Gatormom & Embien,
How weird, intestate & testator are antonyms.

"Concerto for Coddled Egg in E-flat Major". Why E-flat Major? Is it common for concerto?

I am afraid I don't get your coddled egg post yesterday. Is it a joke?

Chris in LA said...


Camus was a French philosopher/writer in the 30's-50's. While he didn't coin the term "Theatre of the Absurd", he was lumped into the genre by critics as the initiator of the concept that it is ridiculous to identify life's meaning through its trappings - i.e., to create our personal identity by the "stuff" we have/own. I suspect the spelling "theatre" is used because that is how "continentals" spell the word. Below is a link to a somewhat "wordy" but nontheless thorough explanation of what the "Theatre of the Absurd" was - happy reading!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Since I don't get the Sunday puzzle, I spent (wasted?) a few minutes Googling "theater vs theatre". The site which had the most discussion was It seems to be important to those who work in theatre to get the distinction right.

In general, although there are dissenting opinions, "Theatre: refers in general to the art of live performance. Also, the building in which live performance takes place. Theater: refers to the building in which movies are displayed."

Also, "To go to the theater means to go to a movie while to go to the theatre means to attend a live performance."

Of course, none of this matters if you are talking about it, rather than writing about it.

C.C. The dances that were most popular when I was in my "dance mode years" were The Stroll, The Twist, The Jerk, The Watusi and Yes, I danced all of them AND looked pretty cool while I was dancing, if I do say so myself...LOL

Anonymous said...

Pretty straightforward puzzle this week, done without googling.

123A - Dicot, I would say is an abbreviation of dictyledon, a group of plants that produce two leaves on the original sprout coming from the seed as opposed to monocotyledons which produce sprouts with only one leaf.

80A - Switched switch - I guess it means that the 'on' switch got switched off.

Lots of 'a' words in this puzzle - aline, aloft, afire, afar.

I've never heard of 'etape' used in English. In French it simply means 'step'.

Ken W. Jasper

g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all,

Fun puzzle today. I didn't have to google or look anything up in the crossword dictionary so that was great!

c.c.: That picture does not show Selma Diamond. The pretty girl in the front row is Markie Post.

I danced all of these dances in my heyday: The Twist, The Jerk, The Mashed Potato, The Swim, The Stroll, The Monkey, The Watusi, The Pony, The Bristol Stump, The Bosa Nova, and even The Mouse (Soupy Sales show)and probably some I can't remember!

Ken said...

Good morning, C.C. and other Sunday posters.

C.C. Another meaning of "coddle" (besides the "coddled egg") is to overly care for someone. Some examples:

Linda was so tender in caring for her toddler, her mother-in-law stated that Linda was coddling the boy.

When the warden granted cable TV to the prisoners, he was accused of coddling them.

My little story of how to coddle an egg was meant to be humorous, playing on the double meaning of the word.


Present, gratuity, bribe or payoff

A cumshaw was given to the Chinese taxi driver in exchange for use of his cab.

I've heard and used this as a verb as in to cumshaw a bit of unofficial work done. The word is widely used in the US Navy, especially by those who served in the Western Pacific. Ship's food or tools might be exchanged for some extra work, not authorized. I cumshawed coffee to another sailor at a US Navy base to have
full-extension sliding shelves installed on our tool and spare parts cabinets.

Historically, British sailors picked up the word from the Chinese in the 18th century.

C.C.? Would you like to comment on this word?

Clear Ayes said...

I'm thinking about how people are so insistent about using the proper word in the proper place. Most of the time it matters, then at other times.....

The Purist

I give you now Professor Twist,
A conscientious scientist,
Trustees exclaimed, "He never bungles!"
And sent him off to distant jungles.
Camped on a tropic riverside,
One day he missed his loving bride.
She had, the guide informed him later,
Been eaten by an alligator.
Professor Twist could not but smile.
"You mean," he said, "a crocodile."

- Ogden Nash

Ken, "Cumshaw" is a new word for me. I'll have to find a sailor to try it out on.

I really enjoyed your coddled egg story yesterday.

I found this fun YouTube clip, The Watusi on the old TV show Hollywood A Go-Go.

Ken said...

Clear Ayes: I'm glad you enjoyed my coddled egg and cumshaw. I'll be interested to see whay CC has to say.

I always like your poems and, of course, Ogden Nash is a favorite. I'd read your offering of the day, but it is still funny. He was one of the best.

DoesItinInk said...

This was one of the easiest Sunday puzzles in a long time, no mistakes, no Google. The few words I did not know, e.g. STROPHE, came easily from the crosses. Hmmm…did not know that Joe Kennedy, Sr. also had a penchant for Hollywood sirens!

@cc: When I followed your link to Murphy’s Romance, I found that Carole King composed all the music for the movie. James Garner stars in the film. I like James Garner and cried buckets of tears in his movie The Notebook.

“Switched switch” implies that a two-way switch was in one position (OFF) and was switched to the other position (ON).

Friday night I went to see The Changeling, Clint Eastwood’s newest film. Yesterday I spent much of the afternoon closing up the vegetable garden in anticipation of our first snow flakes. Today I have to put up all the vegetables I picked yesterday. My refrigerator runneth over!

Dick said...

Good afternoon Cc, DFs and DFettes...a very easy one for a Sunday puzzle. Flew right through without help except for 1D. I had to wait for the fills to get it.

Cc I believe you meant to say stacks of jacks and not stacks if jacks in your solution posted this am. Otherwise, I have no other comments. Have a great day for whatever is left of it.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I only read the first paragraph, but that's enough. I got the gist. You always find the right link.

Clear Ayes,
Thanks for "theatre" and "theater".
Which muse do you like, Calliope or Euterpe?

Ken W. Jasper,
Yes indeed, A* words abound. Nice to hear from you again. What puzzles do you solve on weekdays?

Gatormom & Dick,
I am curious, how long did it take you to finish the puzzle today?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Sorry for not grokking your coddled eggs humor yesterday. I took it quite seriously. CUMSHAW is an old old Cantonese spelling of Gan Xie (感谢), literally "thanks" in English. Nobody in China uses the word CUMSHAW now.

Xie Xie (谢谢, thanks) for always reading my blog entry so attentively. Who are your favorite composers?

Clear Ayes,
I forgot to ask, how was the BBQ goat yesterday?

Anonymous said...

Here's a new word for me that you other word lovers may appreciate. It comes from SPELL (the Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature). The article is by Charles Harrington Elster.
Semordnilap (palindromes spelled backwards)–"a word that means one thing when read forward and another when read backward: part, trap; wolf, flow; straw, warts."

Enjoy thinking of others!

DoesItinInk said...

@cc: I like composers from the Romantic period, Chopin being my favorite. Currently I am working on two pieces, the Serenade by Franz Schubert and Felix Mendelssohn’s Opus 38-6 Duetto from his Songs Without Words here played by a favorite pianist Murray Perahia.

lois said...

doesit: thanks for the wonderful links. I didn't know those two. Chopin is my favorite too and am constantly working on several of his works...Nocturnes especially right now and one Concerto. I'm so bad at names. The C# m Nocturne is my warm up piece and the others..? I'll have to check. What else do you play...of Chopin or others? I have (or had) a Mendelssohn Spinning Song that I love, but haven't played it in a while. That is 3F', furious & fabulous. Do you know that one?

lois said...

Doesit: the Mendelssohn one is from the Songs w/out Words too - Spinnerlied...and the Concerto is Em op 11. I'll find my Nocturne book and let you know those if you want...had to straighten up for company last wk and put them all a safe place. But Chopin is by far my favorite...and Mozart a close second. Good stuff.

KittyB said...

Good evening, all,

I didn't quite finish the puzzle. I was hung up on Scores of Boars. I simply ran out of steam toward the end, leaving out the O where SLOANE and OUSTER met.

C.C. the concerto for coddled egg was just a joke....I randomly chose a key signature.

Like Doesitinink, today was a day for closing up our gardens. We brought in the container garden. I'll winter over the geraniums, if I can. I've filled seven bins with mixed birdseed, and stored the remaining bags in closed containers. The garden ornaments have all been stored for the season, too.

Dinner is almost ready. I'll have to post again, later.

Argyle said...

"And Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho." (Deuteronomy 34:1)

My dancing looks like a man crossing hot concrete barefoot. Any resemblance to doing the Monkey would be purely coincindental.

Anonymous said...

42A - Leader of Senegal?
the answer is ESS
so now I am scratching my head!! Senegal has a president elected every 5 years. Current president is Wade.
So someone, please, explain the answer to me.

Clear Ayes said...

BBQ goat? Well, it was pretty good. It kind of tasted like a combination of lamb and pork. If I hadn't known it was goat, I probably would have guessed lean pork. It was de-boned,shredded and served with green salad BBQ beans and sauce.

I did ask a few questions and found out that goat is lower in cholesterol and saturated fats than other red meats. I guess if we are going to eat meat, goat is the way to go health-wise.

C.C. I have to say I'm most partial to Calliope. She is supposed to be the wisest Muse and as well as being in charge of epic poetry, she is also the Muse of eloquence. I have to love a gabby Muse!

Doesitinink, You didn't mentioned whether or not you enjoyed The Changeling. The trailers on TV look interesting. I've liked all the Clint Eastwood movies I've seen in the past.

Sallie, I loved "semordnilap". Wikipedia has a long list of words, such as deliver/reviled, diaper/repaid, lived/devil and my favorite

I envy all of you with vegetable gardens. All we can raise here are rocks.

Anon @ 5:59. ESS is the letter "S". It is the first letter (leader) of Senegal.

MaryEllen said...

Selma Diamond was a terrific comedic actress, bailiff on "Night Court", she died before the posted picture, and the black woman pictured was the replacement.

Dick said...

@ CC re: How long did it take to complete the puzzle today? I did not time it but I would guess under 45 minutes.

g8rmomx2 said...

c.c.: I did not time how long it took as Dick said, but I am guessing 40 to 45 minutes. Certainly not in "Dennis" time!

DoesItinInk said...

@lois: Is this the Mendelssohn Spinning Song that you play? I am impressed that you can play it. Your 3-Fs are an apt description of it! What are the Chopin nocturnes that you play?

@Clear Ayes: The Changeling was a good, not great movie. Angelina Jolie gave an acceptable performance. I would not rank this film with Eastwood’s best. I had actually wanted to see Synecodche, New York with Philip Seymore Hoffman, but the time and location did not work out for me on Friday night. Roger Ebert’s review of it was tantalizing. Comparing Kaufman with Bergman? That alone would prompt me to see it, though the previews have looked interesting too.