Dec 15, 2008

Monday December 15, 2008 Josiah Breward

Theme: Put Pen to Paper

17A: Guarantee against failure: UNDERWRITE

41A: Lacking detail: SKETCHY

62A: Epistolary afterthought: POSTSCRIPT

11D: Pulp paper: NEWSPRINT

36D: Self-propelled railroad car: DOODLEBUG

I've never heard of DOODLEBUG. What a strange name. Good theme, all of above highlighted green-letter words are in verb form.

And a feminine sub-theme:

19A: Org. founded in 1855: YWCA. YMCA is founded in 1844.

69A: Org. of Ochoa and Creamer: LPGA. It's founded in 1950. Great clue. Both Ochoa and Creamer are the backbones of LPGA now. Annika Sorenstam officially called it a quit yesterday in Dubai.

52A: Feminist grp: NOW (National Organization for Women). It's founded in 1966.

Also a Jewish sub-theme:

48A: Passover meals: SEDERS. Funny "20 Things to do with Matzoh".

66A: Hebrew month: ELUL. Last month of Jewish calendar. Did you write down ADAR first?

67A: Jehovah: ELOHIM. No idea. Dictionary defines ELOHIM as "a name for God in the Hebrew Scriptures".

47D: Mystical teachings: var.: KABALA. Madonna, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher all practice CABALA. I think Britney Spears was into it for sometime too.

I wish LEIA (16A: Han Solo's love) were clued as "Han's love" or "Luke's sister" as SOLO was the answer to 59D: Recital piece.

Very choppy solving today. Was stumped by a few proper names. Had to cheat.


1A: 911 respondent: EMS. EMT is "911 respondent" too.

4A: Ancient Syrian city: ALEPPO. I forgot. It appeared on a TMS Sunday puzzle before. Here is the map. I really don't like the clue "Ancient", even though ALEPPO has been in existence since 1100 B.C. "Ancient" always makes me think that city does not exist any more.

10A: Sicilian resort: ENNA. The "Sicilian volcano" is ETNA.

20A: Baja beach: PLAYA. Spanish for "beach".

21A: Antarctic body: ROSS SEA. Unknown to me. See the map. Strange to look at the world from another angle, isn't it?

37A: Flockhard of "Ally McBeal": CALISTA. They are a great couple.

40A: "The Bronx __": ZOO. Is this the short-lived TV series or the book about Yankees? Both are obscure to me. There are so many other ways to clue ZOO.

44A: Agony: TORTURE. I like Proust's quote "Love is reciprocal TORTURE". He also said "We become moral when we are unhappy". True?

46A: Part of a screwdriver: VODKA. Ah, I love, love this clue. Bloody Mary has VODKA as ingredient too. Virgin Mary does not.

50A: Stick it out: LAST. I misinterpreted the clue as "Stick out", so I had trouble getting LAST. I kept thinking JUT.

53A: Equestrian game: POLO

70A: Mammalian epoch: EOCENE. Would not have got this word without the down entries. EO is a prefix meaning "“primeval' or "early".


1D: Break out: ERUPT

4D: Gillette blade: ATRA. I wonder why the brand is named ATRA instead of ASTRA. ATRA does not make any sense to me.

5D: Hoad of tennis: LEW. Did not know this Australian tennis player.

7D: Air pressure meas.: PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). I was more familiar with the "Tire pressure meas." See, our editor does not like partial fill, otherwise, he could have also clued PSI as "P.S. I Love You". Such a sweet movie.

8D: Czech physicist Beckmann: PETR. I googled his name. He wrote "The History of PI".

10D: Palais du president: ELYSEE. They live in the Palais de l'Élysée.

22D: Off-course wanderer: STRAYER. STRAY can also be "Off-course wanderer", right?

24D: Military hat: SHAKO. Why is this hat so hard for me to commit to memory?

25D: Well workers: OILERS. Hockey fans probably prefer the the Edmonton OILERS clue.

26D: Composer Benjamin: BRITTEN. Another google. He is a British composer. Is BRITTEN pronounced like Briton?

29D: Rapture: ECSTASY. I wish ECSTASY intersects the clue "Agony" rather than the answer TORTURE.

30D: Former Lisbon coin: ESCUDO. No idea. Wikipedia says it was also a money unit in Spain and its colonies before Euro was ushered in.

34D: Black Sea arm: AZOV. Here is the map. I've never heard of it before.

38D: Hurled: THREW

54D: Small antelope: ORIBI. Her face looks so thin. New antelope to me. I could only think of ELAND, which is huge. I can't believe those horns are hollow.

56D: Scheduled next: ON TAP. ON DECK is "Scheduled next" too.

57D: Belgian singer/songwriter: BREL. This reminds me of a friend. He loves Jacques BREL.

58D: Cry out in pain: YELP. Dogs YELP. Do people YELP also?



Dennis said...

Good morning, c.c. and gang - c.c., I had the same problems -- didn't know 'elohim' or 'aleppo' either. Not a bad puzzle, though, and it had some refreshingly new clues.

Supposed to be in the 60s here today; hope it's a great day for everyone.

NYTAnonimo said...

I bombed on this puzzle. Missed 7 letters throughout-did not know ALEPPO, ENNA, CALISTA, ESCUDO, or BREL.

C.C. Burnikel said...

How long did it take you to finish this puzzle? Would you be able to get ORIBI, SHAKO and BRITTEN without the perps then? What's the Day today?

I was shocked you missed ENNA.

How was your hunting last week?

Clear Ayes,
Thanks for the Webber musicals yesterday. I hope Buckeye got your "Ayes to eye" coded message.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Dr. Dad,
"Personally, I liked the Sopwith Camel as that is what Snoopy flew when he fought The Red Baron". Why did you mention this line last Wednesday (the SKI puzzle)? I did not get the thread. Hope your trip went well.

What did you feed your corn snake?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Five theme answers are a bit low for a Sunday 21*21, don't you think so? Garrison Keillor wrote in his last column: "...and it's the New York Times whose imprimatur you want on your book, movie, CD, TV... It's the National Good Taste Stamp of Quality, issued by wizened gnomes on Eight Avenue". I don't grok the last sentence. What's so special about Eight Avenue?

Dennis said...

C.C., a little over 7 minutes this morning. Oribi and shako are both frequent crossword words, and I'd seen Benjamin Britten in another recent crossword.

Today is National Lemon Cupcake Day - never a bad thing.

NYTAnonimo said...

Breakfast Dennis?

I saw Sicilian and just put ETNA cc. Did much better on the NYT today.

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

Brutal puzzle for me. By the time I finally gave up, I felt like a couple of apish thugs had been beating me over the head with rubber hoses. What finally killed me was the crossing of ALEPPO with LEW and PETR. I was able to guess LEW (since I couldn't think of any other plausible first name with the letters _EW), but my knowledge of the Czech language is nonexistent and I just couldn't guess a letter to begin _ETR). In retrospect, PETR is obviously a form of "Peter," but I ended up guessing SETR just because ALEPSO looked good to me for no discernible reason. The fact that I actually knew of the ROSS SEA didn't help a bit, obviously.

Other unknowns today included ESCUDO, DOODLEBUG and BREL, but I also had a higher than average number of false starts that really bogged me down for awhile. For instance, I initially put ETNA and YMCA for 10A and 19A, respectively, which gave me TEMSPRINT for 11D. I stared at that for quite awhile thinking, "That can't possibly be right," but unable to accept that ENNA or YMCA might be wrong (let alone both of them).

I also initially had SONG and APEX for 59D and 60D, respectively, which made getting ELOHIM and EOCINE a bit tricky.

In retrospect, the puzzle wasn't all that hard overall (or, at least, it shouldn't have been), but I still think the upper central section was just bizarrely difficult with ALEPPO crossing PETR. Unless, of course, ALEPPO is one of those common crossword answers that everybody is supposed to know from crosswords alone....

Barry G. said...

What did you feed your corn snake?

A live mouse, every week or so. It wasn't my favorite part of owning a corn snake, but it's all part of the Circle of Life, right?

Argyle said...

10D) online - French palace
paper - Palais du president

30D) online - Old Lisbon cash
paper - Former Lisbon coin

33D) online - Stout's Wolfe
paper - Rex's sleuth

57D) online - Belgian songwriter
paper - Belgian singer/songwriter

Dr. Dad said...

Good morning, all.
Some googling this morning. Some of it was 'torture.'

C.C. - because in last Wednesday's puzzle 67A was clued as "French WW I fighter planes" and the answer was "Spads." The Sopwith Camel was the famous British WW I fighter plane. And yes, the trip went well. Thanks for asking.

Today is, in addition to what Dennis already noted (National Lemon Cupcake Day), Bill of Rights Day, Cat Herders Day (where your life is so out of control that it feels like you're 'herding cats'), and National Firefighters Day. The first episode of "Davy Crockett" (starring Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen) aired in 1954, "Gone With The Wind" premiered in 1939.

Have a great Monday.

Anonymous said...

It took me 26 minutes today ugh! I'm getting better towards the end of the week.

Martin said...

I worked on it a bit this morning, a bit more during lunch, did some googling, had to go to class, gave the class something to do, worked on the puzzle, finally sneaked off between classes and finished it with a few more googles. It's okay: we're halfway through the book already and 'tis the season for the classes to do activities.

Okay, if the clue for 1A had been "911 respondents" then my answers RNS, DRS and ERS would have made sense. Big "Doh!" when I got EMS. (I came up with RANDY for 2D: "Virile". It makes sense, no? Or is it too DF?)

ENNA was a gimme. Sort of: I needed the perp to remind me what the second letter was. It took me a while to get UNDERWRITE. Shame on me! My dad was an insurance adjuster before he retired. (It was him job to say "NO!" and hang up the phone when people had a claim.)

ROSS SEA was a gimme, thanks to the perps, but I had to google PLAYA. Oh and ALEPPO, ATRA, LEW and PETR were all unknowns: was thinking TWIN for 4D ("Gillete Blade").

I wanted CRY for SOB. I didn't figure out SOB until I figured out how to spell CALISTA's name: that gave me SHAKO and SOB, which was a good thing because RILERS and YRITTEN looked very wrong! I had to google ESCUDO and SEDERS too - and ELUL for that matter. (I'm not Jewish.)

ONO crossing with NO NO? Cute. I mispelled ECSTASY as ECSTACY and stared at LACT for a long time. It took forever for TEPEE to come to me because my first idea was YURT. ORIBI and LOPES were unknowns so it took me a long time to get POSTSCRIPT and BEA.

I wanted SONG for SOLO and APEX for ACME and I initally wrote GOD instead of SIN (65D: "Sermon topic") Wouldn't it have been ice if GOD had crossed with ELOHIM? ELOHIM is plural for ELOAH so some would say that the old genesis chapter one was written with a pantheon of gods in mind. That is they would if they weren't posting to a blog where religion is a taboo subject. :)

Anyway, I wanted YAHWEH for 67A "Jehovah". From what I remember, in Exodus, when Moses asked the burning bush "Who are you?" the burning bush said "I am he" or, literally, in the ancient Jewish language "Yahweh". Some people interpretted the answer to mean that Yahweh was God's name and, in English, the name is Jehovah. Really. Of course YAHWEH didn't fit. Before I settled on ELOHIM I had guessed I AM HIM too.

EOCENE was an unknown that I eventually got from the perps. I didn't have a lot of time to talk about Saturday's puzzle. (I was 11:00 for me by the time I got online again.) I wanted TELL for BLAB, SILO for BARN and ALT for TAB.

It's 9:54 pm here already. And I have classes tomorrow morning. Goodnight.


Martin said...

Oh and putting ERUPT next to MANLY?! Especially when the clue for MANLY was "Virile"?! I'll let Lois comment about that.

Did anybody else want SEER for EYER or UNCLEAR for SKETCHY or PACE for LAST or YELL for YELP?


Crockett1947 said...

Good morning everyone from frigid Portland. 21 with a wind chill of 4. Baby, It's Cold Outside!

I had a lot of mis-starts today. MACHO for 2D, ETNA for 10A, LEAH for 16A, CRY for 24A, OILMEN for 25D, and mis-spelled ECSTASY. ESCUDO, PLAYA, AZOV, DOODLE BUG, ORIBI were new to me, but I was able to pull this one out of the hat.

Have a great Monday, wherever you are!

kazie said...

So it's cold there? Try a high of 4 and wind chill of minus 20! That's the promise here today.

This wasn't too bad a puzzle for me but I did have to g-spot ELUL, OCHOA, AZOV, AND ARIBI (for the b). Took a while to rethink screwdriver as not being a tool.

I was not aware that BREL is Belgian, since I don't like him, I haven't researched him at all. His singing always sounds like he's forgotten the words and has to look at them over and over.

I also wouldn't have got ELOHIM if not for the perps. LEW was gimme, but I misspelled it as LOU until I got UNDERWRITE.

Yes, Britten sounds like Briton.

clear ayes,
The pie crust went well. Thanks for the recipe! Now to do the carpet...

Crockett1947 said...

@kazie I just KNEW someone could top our cold. Stay warm and good luck with the wax.

Bill said...

Xword done, with lots of help. But I have something more important on my mind, and I know this probably is NOT the proper place, but here it is:
According to my research this just surfaced in the US Sat, Dec 13.
NEW VIRUS: A couple of my customers have been attacked by this AV 360. Do NOT, under any circumstances, purchase this program. It is, in itself, a virus. When you purchase it for $29.95 it scans and offers to remove files that it claims are bad. SOME of the files are, in fact, operating system files! When removed your computer may not restart.
Go to this link. About half way down is a link to download an automated toll to remove AV 360.
Follow the instructions and you should be clean after it's through.
I know this is long but I feel I need to reach as many people as I can in a short time.

AV 360 fix

Bill said...

A few of you already got an email. But the rest I didn't know so I used this avenue.
CC Hope this is OK, If not feel free to delete it.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Just because I finished off the puzzle without Googling doesn't mean I had any idea of what some of the answers meant. I had never heard of LEW Hoad, PETR Beckmann, DOODLEBUG or ORIBI.

My guesses went well with one exception. For 34D, I had ABOV, and BOO for 40A. I figured if there was a "Bronx cheer", there wasn't any reason there couldn't be a "Bronx BOO" too. I'm not a New Yorker, so I wasn't familiar with the well known ZOO.

C.C. 58D: YELP. Dogs YELP. Do people YELP also?. If you knew my hypochondriac brother-in-law, you would hear YELPS on a regular basis. I love the guy, but he does like to call attention to aches or twinges with what can only be described as a YELP. He does have arthritis in his knees, but so do a lot of people who don't make startling noises like he does.

Kazie, Glad the pie crust worked well for you. Good luck with the candle wax.

Jeannie said...

Crockett and Kazie...try -8 this morning in the twin cities with a HIGH of -3 and windchill if -15. Tonight's low temp is -20. That's just too darn cold if you ask me. I had to break out the fleece lined slacks today!

dugglesmack said...

I had trouble with a lot of the names and places too, but I think what really bugs me about this puzzle (and a few others that seem to have this problem as well) is that some of it was painfully easy but those parts crash up against the painfully hard and/or obscure stuff. For a Monday puzzle it left me feeling a lot like Barry G. said he felt... (beaten up... etc.)

Oh well... On to the NYT Monday puzzle which should be easy enough to heal my ego a bit... ;-)

It's a bit cold down here in Central Arkansas this morning... It's beginning to feel a little more like Christmas!

Anonymous said...

mark - Buenos Aires

Hoe strange that yesterday was the 115th Argentina Polo Championship. The club world club. I watched it on TV and Elostina won in overtime.

Doodlebug is also the slang name fot the German rockets sent to UK in 1944. With these pilotless rockets he hoped to break the nation´s spirit. I suppose von Braun was more use to civilisation in America after the war.

Clear Ayes said...

Our chorus had our second (and final) performance yesterday afternoon. It was held in Coulterville, which is a little town about 1000 higher elevation than we are at home. By the time the concert was over, there were snow flurries. That is pretty unusual around here.

It rained here last night and the temperature was about 30 degrees, so snow wouldn't have been out of the question. We get snow here about once every five years, so it probably won't happen, but it it is fun and a novelty for us.

So while you all are shivering, scraping and shoveling, here's a snow-theme laugh for the day.


I made myself a snowball
As perfect as could be.
I thought I'd keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
Then last night it ran away,
But first it wet the bed.

- Shel Silverstein

Argyle said...

I was so disappointed when, in "The Graduate", they were headed to the zoo and they didn't play At the Zoo.

Bronx Zoo

carol said...

Good Morning! This was a wicked little puzzle. So many I didn't know, but it was a good learning experience.
46A made me laugh when I finally got it..I was thinking of the hand tool. 36D (Doodlebug)was a new one too, I could picture it in my mind, but didn't know the name.
Some of the unknowns were even tricky to Google, so once again C.C., I have to thank you. (I never remember 'shako' either):)

I stand corrected on our weather forecast..I truly did not believe the the reports. They were right! We will be riding the indoor bike for awhile!
Brrr and yes, I know Mn and Wis are colder, but you guys are used to it. People around here don't even have the proper shoes/boots, clothing for this cold...unless they ski.

bethann said...

Doing the crossword when I should be studying for a final in conflict management. I'm in clonflict. This puzzle was easy yet hard. I thought 67A was El Shaddai which obviously was too long but it was the only thing I could think of, it is another name for God. It is in the 20's here in Boise and we got our real first storm of the season, which we are thankful for. Now the ski resorts can open and hopefully we won't have a drought season. Hope tomorrow's xword will be easier.

kazie said...

Step one complete--the wax is gone and there's a light greenish hue left which I'm hoping I can get out with the Nylac that is now soaking on it. Considering the candle was dark green and the carpet is beige, I think it's pretty good so far.

Crockett and clear ayes, thanks for the good wishes.

Stay warm!

Barb B said...

I actually did ok today, but slowly. ALEPPO and ROSS SEA were my Waterloo. I don’t care for SOB; it seems much more intense than just shedding tears.

I knew Elohim. It is the first name for God in the Tanakh, the name used in Gen, !:1. It is the plural form of El, but is used with singular verb forms, adjectives and pronouns. Thus the mystery of multiple and one in the same being.

The Jews, like Native Americans, often used descriptive phrases for names. ELOHIM is used in conjunction with descriptive phrases as names for God – “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” is used as one name for God.

The burning bush (or the being responsible) spoke to Moses and said "I AM WHO I AM. Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM (hayah) has sent me to you.'" Ex 3.14
Moreover God said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: 'The LORD (YHWH) God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.'" Ex 3.15

The Greek translation for I AM is ego emei. The fact that Jesus used that phrase to identify himself is the basis for many people believing he is God.

I have the day off, because the schools are closed here. The library closes on school snow days. WHO HOOO!!!!

dougl said...

Argyle, I noticed your pic of the Bronx Zoo has the rather odd URL of "" -- kind of a long side trip!

I'm in the deep freeze also (-20 wind chill) though it's bright and sunny. High in the 60's sounds awful nice though.

Doodlebug was new for me today, but kind of a fun word. My theory on Gillete's Atra was they wanted a brand name that would get lots of free publicity in xword puzzles -- think they're that smart?

kazie said...

anonymous @ 11:25,
Pourquoi écrivez-vous en français? Ça ne paraît pas être votre langue maternelle. Expliquez, s'il vous plaît!

Final result on the wax is a success. I can't see any suggestion of the color left now! Thanks to all whose wishes gave me confidence to go at it with a vengeance.

Argyle said...

I got into this yesterday. Are any of you familiar with Soundies?

embien said...

11:15 today. I had CRY instead of SOB for 24a: Shed tears for the longest time and that really made things difficult in the center of the puzzle.

@c.c.: 30D: Former Lisbon coin: ESCUDO. No idea. Wikipedia says it was also a money unit in Spain and its colonies before Euro was ushered in.

Actually, the peseta was the Spanish currency from 1869 until 2002 (when the peseta was replaced by the Euro). Escudo was replaced by peseta in 1869 in Spain.
Spanish Peseta

@c.c.: 66A: Hebrew month: ELUL. Last month of Jewish calendar. Did you write down ADAR first?

embien raises his hand. I guess I've seen ELUL before, but ADAR is my typical response for any clue like "Hebrew month" or "Jewish month".

@kazie: Crockett--
So it's cold there? Try a high of 4 and wind chill of minus 20! That's the promise here today.

Kazie, the thing to remember about Portland is that they get snow only about every couple years, so when the first flake falls all the TV stations go to 24x7 coverage of the "winter blast".

Where I live, in the Coast Range west of Portland, snow falls every year and driving can be quite treacherous (unlike the flat expanses of the midwest).

Jeannie said...

Embien, regarding the flat expanses of the midwest not being treacherous driving conditions. Out where I live it is all open fields, so add a 17-20mph wind and the roads become one big ice rink with white out conditions. My morning commuted to say the least really bit.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anon's comment is a private message to me. He should not have posted on the blog. I like the way you describe BREL's music, so true. Is "courtesan" the French equivalent of Japanese "geisha"?

Clear Ayes & Argle,
"The Bronx ZOO" (40A) is in quotation mark, so I am sure it's not about the real ZOO.

What does "What a Gas!" mean in "At the Zoo"?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Barb B,
Are you Jewish?

Nice explanation on ATRA.

Am I right in saying that "The Bronx ZOO" clue is not about the real zoo? I remember you mentioned the book about the Yankees before.

I knew you would fall into the ADAR trap. Your "Jewish month" law did not apply to the Xword today. Thanks for peseta. I hope you read my response regarding the "CD Collection" puzzle. It's not available on line.

Anonymous said...

Hi C.C and all,
Tough one for me , I gave up!!
Clear Ayers, like the Snowball poem.
I will take it over to my mom, we had a bit snow , it did not last, she was very disapointed. She will love this. Tks.

Dennis said...

C.C., you're correct - "The Bronx Zoo" is a book written about the '78 Yankees.

Barb B said...

C.C. – No, I’m not Jewish, but Christianity evolved from Jewish faith and traditions, and I study the Old Testament to understand the New Testament. When you're “reading someone else’s mail” so to speak, it helps to understand the history. More fun, too.

Did anyone else think of the Ant Lion for doodlebug? When I was a kid, we used to look for their homes and catch them.We always released them, but we liked to hold them in our hand to watch them move. They move backwards, never forward, They’re cute and soft and kinda furry, although that might have been dust instead of fur. They kick the sand up as they dig, and the result is like an inverted ant hill. You know I can never do the links right, but here’s the website address where you can watch one at work. We only knew them as doodlebugs, and only found out the real name as an adult.

embien said...

@c.c.: Thanks for the heads up regarding the CD Collection quip puzzle. I don't usually read the Sunday blog because we don't get that puzzle in our paper (Oregonian) on Sundays.

Maybe someone could scan that puzzle in and email it to me? (I think my email is in my profile.)

kazie said...

Sorry to disapoint, but not all the midwest is flat. Here in SW WI we are in the unglaciated region known as the Kickapoo Mountains. They are really only hills, but still treacherous in snow and ice. Our weather has been weird lately too--rain last night, so I expected ice today, but the wind had dried it all off overnight and everything was on time today (schools I mean). The change to the cold so suddenly is strange though.

Sorry if I reacted too quickly to anon. I wondered how he would be interested in our crossword.

I also had ADAR to start with.

clear ayes,
I liked the snowball poem too.

Barb B said...

Here's a clip of the backwards traveling doodlebug (antlion.)

RichShif said...

Hi C.C. and all,

Sounds like I had a lot of the same problems as everybody else. I hate it when there are too many obscure proper names. But anyway here are the Beatles with P.S. I Love You. I actually have this on a pre-Capitol 45. It was put out by Tolley Records. Side A is Love Me Do, Side B is P.S I Love You.

Martin said...

Why bra and thong are often in singular form?

C.C., just for you, I am going to dedicate as much time as I can for finding out an answer to this question, no matter how much online research is required! I'll be sure to use references that have a lot of pictures.


Anonymous said...

Pleasant challenge this morning. Wanted cry instead of sob which stalled that section. And went off in the wrong direction for the screwdriver part.

Thanks, Bill, for the heads-up on AV 360 virus, which showed up here last week. Although I didn't buy it, I still had to get rid of all the crap popping up like crazy. My anti-virus company talked me through that. They knew exactly what it was: "Don't buy it!"

C.C. Burnikel said...

Is "courtesan" the French equivalent of Japanese "geisha"? Christophe came to the blog because of BREL's song (Ne Me Quitte Pas) I linked.

Thanks for the song. I think the title P.S. I (love you) might be a better clue than the movie I suggested.

Barb B,
Interesting links. Thanks.

I look forward to your answers. Also, I enjoyed reading your solving odyssey today. ERUPT & RANDY? NONO (35D)!

kazie said...

Sorry I forgot to answer your courtisan question earlier.I don't think they are anything like a geisha, who gets intensive training in giving pleasure.

Courtisan is the masculine, courtisanne the feminine, and the terms were used to describe the people who hung out in the French royal palaces like Versailles--royal groupies, if you will. Literally, people at court. They were often high bred people considered upper crust, but they acted like rutting rabbits most of the time (think: "Les Liaisons Dangereuses"). So the modern term now refers to a person of loose morals, especially in the feminine, though it's a bit of a euphemistic way to refer to a prostitute.

It can also have the sense of sycophant, because those courtiers used to get what they wanted by flattering the royals.

I hope this helps.

JD said...

Good afternoon and brrrr to all of you who have received a gift from Alaska. Even for us in CA it's a bit nippy. :-)

Byblos (Aleppo) was my 1st error.I had YMCA for a bit. Ross Sea was a gimme as I've heard of the Ross Ice Shelf. Cry for sob gave me chako,so I checked to see if it was a military hat on G. IT SAID IT WAS!Loved 46A clue..took me awhile on that.I did not know of Lew Hoad, but had seen and knew of his doubles partner,Ken Rosewall. Tennis used to be my life. Fun clue for 35D, as Truman is now hearing "no-no" and "hot"(not referring to his grannie) .By the time I had filled in everything, I didn't care if I misspelled ectasy with a C. Lact could be a new word.But I did need the final letter P, for ISP, as I gave up.Thank you C.C.!

Enjoyable c/w, Josiah Breward!

Kazie, did you use a double brown bag or go with a white towel to iron it? I'm so glad you had success.

Clear ayes, another good poem. You may be getting more flurries in the next few days.Cover your Hibiscus!

Anonymous said...

The picture of President Sarkosy and his wife (living in the Elysee Palace) is that of the wrong wife. It's interesting how the newest wife is a younger version of number one shown in the picture.

Argyle said...

C. C. said @ 6:18AM, Argyle, five theme answers are a bit low for a Sunday 21*21, don't you think so? Yes, I do.
What's so special about Eight Avenue? I finally got an answer from my brother-in-law. (He was raised in NYC. Now he lives in one the areas of Columbia County that is still without power because of the ice storm.)
As I recall, the NYTimes building was and still is on Eighth Avenue.

C. C. said @ 2:37PM,
Clear Ayes & Argle, "The Bronx ZOO" (40A) is in quotation mark, so I am sure it's not about the real ZOO.

Argyle, What does "What a Gas!" mean in "At the Zoo"?

A "gas" is a fun thing, something to make you happy. Possible from using nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for recreational purposes. It's like getting the right answer, even if it was for the wrong reason.

kazie said...

Thanks for the good wishes.
I opened a bag up and used the single layer of paper and a medium setting for the iron without any towel or washcloth. Someone had told me about the method a few years ago, but I googled to be safe and looked at several suggestions then chose what seemed the most expeditious. The Nylac cleaning spray at the end clinched it after the wax removal, to get the residual color stain off.

Anonymous said...

Clear Ayes: Really love your Shel Silverstein poem. He does it so well, especially the ones for kids.

Clear Ayes said...

Glad you all liked the poem. It was a nice lighthearted way to start the week. Shel Silverstein's poems are so charming.

G.A.H. had an esophagogastroendoscopy this morning. I can't pronounce it, but it is a camera down the throat to the stomach. No problem, but his father died from stomach cancer, so it was just a good idea to have it done. After last week's colonoscopy from the other direction, he should be good for another 100,000 miles.

On our way home, we saw a nice dusting of snow on the fields about 10 miles from our place. That is just about enough snow for us. We are more than willing to lose the snow and chill factor battle with the folks from just about anyplace else.

Don't worry, JD. My hibiscus is well covered..I was wearing my long underwear today. LOL

KittyB said...

There were a handful of answers I didn't know, but they came from the fills. ELOHIM, ENNA, ESCUDO, LEW, ORIBI, and PETR.

Kazie, we managed to make it to 12 degrees today, but it will drop to 1 tonight. Dear Husband put the plow on his truck today. That means we're going to catch it.

Wow, win the weather contest!

Clear ayes, I love Shel Silverstein's poems.

Embien, I finally learned ADAR, and they use ELUL. Hmpf. I sure wish the "flat expanses" had listened to your opinion about them not being treacherous this morning. I waited to venture out until 11:00 and was really happy I had four wheel drive! In response to the economy, all three of the cities I drove through had chosen not to plow.

I assumed that Jacques Brel was French. You all know what happens when you assume... :-(

It's nice to have the chance to catch up with the DFs. Congratulations on the wax removal, kazie!

Anonymous said...

I am suprised. With as difficult as some of you found this puzzle, nobody used the "hammer" word.

We are living in interesting times (chinese curse?) Oil close to $40.00/barrel, wow.

Anonymous said...

jeannie it sounds like you need a heavy parka to keep you warm. It's been a while since we here in KY have had a white Christmas. I'm hoping that snow is thick enough to stick around til the 26th.

Anonymous said...


This clue always confuses me because Yahweh (YHWH) is the Hebrew term in the Old Testament for Jehovah. Or anytime you see the proper word LORD it is referring to Jehovah. Elohim is the plural, in other words, "Let us make man in our image" as in Genesis.