Dec 13, 2008

Saturday December 13, 2008 Michael T. Williams

Theme: None

Total blocks: 31

Total words: 72

This sure looks like a weekday grid, doesn't it? So many blocks and so many words. In case you forgot, the maximum amount of words allowed in a TMS Saturday themeless puzzle is 72.

Not an easy puzzle for me today. I used lots of Wite-Out. Misread a few clues and filled in several answers recklessly. Penned in EPEE instead of RAIL for 20D: Fence piece (thought it was "Fencing piece"). Also wrote down RED instead of ODD for 43A: Roulette bet.

I disliked the clue for TEAPOTS (52A: Tabletop brewers) because TABLEWARE (42A: Dining gear) is an answer in the grid. Seeing the clue for BIG TEN (31A: Conference of Golden Gophers) makes me happy.


1A: Aussie burrows: WOMBATS. He does look like a bear, doesn't he?

15A: Caspian's neighbor: ARAL SEA. See this map. They are not neighbors to me.

16A: Somewhat dilatory: SLOWISH. "Dilatory" is a new word to me. I thought it's related to dilate.

19A: "Dora Maar" painter: PICASSO. His "Dora Maar au Chat" was sold over $95 million at a Sotheby's auction in 2006. Astonishing! Gertrude Stein was very sympathetic to Dora Maar, who cried a lot during her tumultuous relationship with PICASSO.

20A: Disavowed: RECANTED. I misread the clue as "Disowned" initially.

22A: Particle in a meson: QUARK. New word to me.

25A: Oscar role for Ingrid Bergman: ANASTASIA. Not familiar with this movie. All I could think of is ILSA from "Casablanca".

28A: Vivian of "I Love Lucy": VANCE. I googled her name. Here is a nice clip.

30A: Like many elements: NONMETAL. The answer did not come to me immediately. I penned in MAC instead of MAN for the intersecting 21A: Fellow.

33A: Big mil. brass: GENL. The common abbreviation is GEN, right?

34A: "Dracula" writer: STOKER (Bram). Hot ER ending name.

37D: Market protests: BOYCOTTS

41A: Flower sepals: CALYX. The plural form of CALYX is either CALYXES or CALYCES. Good diagram.

44A: Intrinsically: PER SE. And 3D: Intrinsic quality: ESSENCE

45A: Western moniker: TEX (Ritter). He was the singer for "High Noon".

46A: Serpent: OPHIDIAN. Another new word to me.

49A: Webber musical: CATS. The only Webber musical that I know.

51A: Fawning sycophants: TOADIES

55A: Gregory Nava film of 1983: EL NORTE. No idea. Have you seen this movie before?

56A: Air sacs in the lungs: ALVEOLI. Singular form is alveolus. Foreign to me also.

57A: Minium: RED LEAD. Both the clue and the answer are new to me. I only realize right now that the clue is "Minium", not "Minimum".


2D: Pizza herb: OREGANO

3D: Greek cape: MATAPAN. See Cape MATAPAN on the upper middle part? I've never heard of this place. I thought the clue was asking for a Greek garment.

8D: Ad Astra per __ (Kansas motto): ASPERA. No idea. Literally "To the stars with difficulty". I wonder why Minnesota picked up a French "L'├ętoile du Nord" motto instead of a Latin one.

9D: Mouse sound: CLICK

11D: McGregor of "Moulin Rouge": EWAN. See this photo of him and Nicole Kidman. I gave up "Moulin Rouge" after watching it for a few minutes. Could not understand it.

12D: Far off: DISTANT. Cool is "Far out". Very confusing to me.

14D: Wearing wingtips: SHODDEN. I did not know the meaning of "wingtips".

22D: Doha's land: QATAR. This I know. The Doha forum. Al Jazeera is also headquatered in Doha.

23D: Mil. branch: USAF

26D: Great __ Mountains: SMOKY. I wonder why SMOKEY BEAR is not spelled as SMOKY Bear.

27D: E-mail forerunner: TELEX. Boy, can you imagine life without email now?

29D: Love-lit: AGLOW. Was I the only one who thought the clue is a shortened form of "Love literature"?

31D: Stendhal's last name: BEYLE (Henri-Marie). Got his name from across fills. He wrote "Le Rough et le Noir".

34D: Motorcycle's little brother: SCOOTER. I rather like the coded message "SCOOTER" Libby wrote to Judy Miller : "... Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them..."

35D: Frog of the future: TADPOLE. I had PRINCE in mind.

36D: Veteran: OLD HAND

39D: Bridge supporter: TRESTLE

44D: Pitiful piece of art?: PIETA. Good clue.

49D: Spelunking location: CAVE. I had to look up in the dictionary for "Spelunk". The study of the CAVE is speleogy, and the person who explores the cave is speleogist.



Anonymous said...

Had to come here to check out my answers because I finished so fast....except for the NE corner...I really wanted that mouse to squeak and it wouldn't!

One of my newspapers stopped using the Star Tribune for United Features (same as the other paper) so I have to go online every morning to get my puzzle fix that makes the brain awaken.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Southern belle,
Nice to hear from you again. Have not seen you for a long time. United Features puzzle? Does it mean that you also solved the Groucho Marx's quip puzzle last Sunday?

The quip is: "I am not feeling very well. I need the doctor immediately. Ring the nearest golf course." And the puzzle is titled "CD Collection". Do you know why? This has been bothering me for a few nights.

Anonymous said...

21:52. I struggled from 41 Across to end on the left and right sides of the puzzle after such a fast start from the beginning.

My birthday is in 6 days on Friday! Yea me!

Anonymous said...

I'll be busy tonight so I won't be talking about today's puzzle. 22 miuntes 20 seconds for me (online).

C.C. Burnikel said...

azie & Pattispa & Martin,
Are pants, panties, glasses and binoculars all singular words? In spite of the plural ending letter S?

Why did you capitalize H in "eine Hose" and B in "eine Brille"? Latin arrived later than Greek? Is that why we have Latinization but not Greek-ization?

You are still a hero.

I hope you take great care of yourself.

C.C. Burnikel said...

RBI: A slap on the forehead V8 moment for me. Thanks.

OK, "A Woody Is Born". Sounds logical to me.

Dan @8:41pm,
Interesting take on the basketball theme. But I disagree. It's a play on words.

Many of Dennis' lines are outside my vocabulary.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Some of your comments made me DeLirious.

"Double bagging"? Definitely new to me.

atlmainiac said...

Hose and Brille are German words and nouns in German are capitalized.

To dip and to swoop are synonyms.

atlmainiac said...

Frog IN the future would make sense as Prince, but frog OF the future makes more sense when the answer is tadpole.

Dennis said...

Good morning, c.c. and gang - I enjoyed the puzzle today, made me do a lot of thinking. The perps helped as well, since I didn't have a clue as to Stendhal's last name, or what Minium was. All in all, I thought this was a good one.

C.C., you should be happy you don't know what 'double bagging' means.

Today is "Ice Cream Day" - sure works for me.

Hope it's an outstanding weekend for everyone.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Doable puzzle today, but not without its quirks. NONMETAL was the final piece to fit into place, since I, too, wanted MAC instead of MAN. MATAPAN was completely unknown to me, as were BEYLE and RED LEAD (like C. C., I couldn't even figure out what the clue was). I wasn't overly happy with SHODDEN, since (a) I'm not convinced it's a real word and (b) even if it is a real word, it shouldn't be, since SHOD is perfectly adequate.

I didn't know that WOMBATS were burrowing animals, so I learned something new today.

Oh -- and I actually knew OPHIDIAN! I was so proud of that, but it helped that I used to own a pet corn snake years ago....

Jeannie said...

Dennis, I disagree. Having "double bagged" a few in my time.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous @ 4:25am,
You've got 2 Purple Heart medals? When did you get them? Did you serve in the Marines also?

I did not know that German nouns are capitalized. Is that a unique special for German language only? Thanks for the TADPOLE explanation. And a warm welcome!

Was QUARK a gimme to you?

I guess I did not catch Argyle's sarcasm in "stick figures" & "double bagging". Is "single bagging" a common term also?

Jeannie said...

Democrat in a red state, what part of Kentucky are you from? My mother was born and raised there and I still have some "kinfolk" I visit there occasionally. Did it bother you as a kid having your birthday so close to Christmas? I always liked that mine was in May so presents were kind of evenly spaced out.

Martin said...

azie & Pattispa & Martin,
Are pants, panties, glasses and binoculars all singular words? In spite of the plural ending letter S?

Pants are definitely plural: a pair of pants consists of two pant legs. Binoculars and glasses (spectacles) are definitely plural: they aren't popular today but people in the past used to wear monocles to see out of one eye. Panties? Well, they are really, really short pants aren't they? Men wear boxers or briefs and they're also short underpants. Of course, a thong is singular.


Dennis said...

C.C., here's a simple definition of 'bagging'. For example, if you're 'with' a really bad-looking girl, you might put a bag over her head so that you can stay sexually aroused. If she's reallybad-looking, you might use two bags in case the first one breaks. Hence the term "double-bagger".

Yet another example of the high-level conversations available only here...

Martin said...

Only a few unknowns for me (GENL, CALYX, OPHIDAN, MATAPAN, ASPERA, SHODDEN and BEYLE) but the live action movies ANASTASIA and EL NORTE were before my time. I did like the fact that VINCE crossed with VANCE. I think "Western moniker" refers to the fact that some cowboys are given the nickname TEX and doesn't refer to a specific person.

I didn't like the clue "Frog of the future" for TADPOLE as it suggests that frogs will all become tadpoles in the future. I would have prefered "Frog to be".

C.C., Tom Cruise is a native speaker of English so we can rule out the possibility that he made a mistake when he described his wife's participating in a race as "inspired". He must have meant that it was an inspired (ie good) choice for her, ie a good thing for her to do. Sometimes people believe that they were inspired by God to do something. In his case, he would be more likely to think it was aliens who inspired his wife.


Martin said...

If she's reallybad-looking, you might use two bags in case the first one breaks. Hence the term "double-bagger".

I thought the second bag was supposed to be put over your own head so that if her bag ripped then you still couldn't see her.

Me, I don't have this problem.


Martin said...

Drat! I forgot to explain QUARK!

Okay, think of a hygrogen atom: it consists of one proton (the nucleus) and one electron. A helium atom consists of two protons and two neutrons in the nucleus and two electrons. And so on. The protons and electrons have opposite charge and thus atoms are neutral.

Protons and neutrons are much more massive than electrons. When two protons crash into each other at high speeds this is refered to as a "high energy collision". Mesons appear as a result of proton collisions: they will quickly decay into positrons, electrons and x-rays and researchers had to look very carefully to be able to see that they were there at all.

The question was where the mesons came from. It was eventually realised that protons always have mesons inside them and that this is what accounts for their mass. So protons are not point particles: they have internal structure.

A meson consists of two quarks and a proton consists of three quarks plus any number of mesons. You can imagine mesons breaking off of protons when they smash together. This would not be an incorrect way of describing what happens, except that the protons don't lose mass when they collide: instead the energy of the collision is turned into mass, not entirely of course because momentum also has to be conserved.

Oh dear. I think that's as far as I want to go on this blog.


Dennis said...

martin: I'll be busy tonight so I won't be talking about today's puzzle.

martin, I can't imagine the volume if you did have time...

It's all good.

Barry G. said...

Was QUARK a gimme to you?

As a matter of fact, it was! I used to be a real science junkie back before I decided I hated math too much to pursue a career in it...

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered using an erasable pen? Much easier than wite-out.

winfield said...

A bit of trivia..John Ritter was the son of Tex Ritter. John is probably best known for playing Jack Tripper on the TV show "Three's Company."

Anonymous said...

Yes, abbreviation for general is usually gen. Also, I have never seen Smoky ever spelled that way. It is usually spelled Smokey or referred to as the Great Smokies. Living at the tailend of the Smokies would lead me to believe that that is a variation of the spelling.

I have an iphone (question asked earlier this week). Love it!!


kazie said...

What I at first thought was going to be a hammer for me turned out all right--only needed to define some of the clue unknowns with my OED. No g-spots today!

Yes, all nouns, not only proper nouns get a capital in German--no confusion as to what they are! And I guess your assumption about Latin or Greek-ization would be true too.

Anonymous said...

Wingtips are a type of dress shoe, somewhat a dated style of shoe but here is a pic of one. Thanks for posting your answers on your site everyday, its the first place I go when I need a little help.


JD said...

Good morning C.C. and all,

Lots of interesting words today. I finished it all, but had some major and minor mistakes. First of all, I had to look up the meanings of dilatory, meson, and minium.Upon completion,I went to G for understanding of a quark.After reading a few sentences (..."are elementary fermions")I knew I would never grok it, and read the next def.: a fresh cheese of Cent. Eur., known as curd.More betta!Martin, even after your enthusiastic dissertation on quarks, I am not able to comprehend such things. God bless scientists!
29D did not make any sense, nor did my answer because I had birted for Big Ten, and genr for genl.And, last of all, nonmetal is much better than potmetal!How embarrasing to share my dumbness with you all.

I am in awe of many of Picasso's paintings.It is amazing how much they resemble the real people he used for his portraits.

kazie said...

Oops, I forgot the thing about pants, tec. I guess it's a matter of how you view the concept. Some languages obviously see them as one garment/item, where in English they are expressed in the plural form. That would also explain the use of "a pair of" when talking of them. Maybe the history of those items would yield more insight. For example if pants were originally in two pieces or glasses starting out as a single monocle would mean the new invention of "trousers" or "glasses" being thought of as two of their ancestors.

Anonymous said...

Not bad today...some strange words and how would we know the motto of Kansas w/o Google?
Moulin Rouge is loosely based on the opera La Boheme(the Bohemians). Standard story of a poor girl who falls in love with a rich man, is convinced by his uncle to let him go. She is dying of that favorite Victorian disease consumption, from living in an unheated garret in Paris, and he, of course returns to profess his love as she dies. Viola! Fini!
The aside on this is that the young woman in this story is actually buried in Pere Lachaise cemetary in Paris.

I like puzzles that I can finish without having to look stuff up.

carol said...

Happy Saturday C.C.and everyone, I had quite a time with this puzzle. The stickler was mostly mid-east:
BARN (I wanted silo)
PER SE (know we had this recently, but couldn't think of it)
BEYLE (no clue)
TABLEWARE (silverware or flatware was all I could think of)
GENL (no idea)
Then there was 55 and 57A-didn't know but got from fills.

We are still waiting for the BIG SNOW (personally, I am embarrassed for the way they hype these storms). Geez, you'd think it had never snowed in Portland before. The media coverage of it here has actually become a joke!!

If anyone can stand still another comment on the 'panties, briefs, glasses' issue, why do we say 'panty liner'if we are always referring to that piece of clothing as panties? Why is it A bra, since there are 2 'cups' just like there are 2 legs in pants, 2 lenses in glasses...isn't English fun?

Dennis (9:11) LOL

If you have to 'bag' or 'double-bag' someone maybe you'd be better off with a '3 dog night'!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All,I started running into trouble with PER SE. Why do I always see PERSE and then draw a blank? Then came OPHIDIAN and finally RED LEAD. I filled them in with perp help, but like C.C., I was still reading "Minimum" until I came here, said "Huhhh?" and went to Google for "Minium".

For E-mail forerunner, my first thought was TALKS.

I could be mistaken, but it looks like Dora Maar could use a "pair of bra".

C.C. The only Webber musical that I know. Come know Evita too.

Maybe Minnesota has a French motto because the first Europeans who came there were French fur trappers. I'd forgotten, but looked it up and part of Minnesota was included in the Louisiana Purchase and had previously belonged to France. The German and Nordic settlers didn't come until later on.

Jeannie, I thought of something different with "double bagging". Maybe you did too. What I thought of was a hunting sense. If a woman can "bag" (capture) her guy and is happy with the result, she might want to "bag" him again for a second time around.

Calef, sorry I misspelled your name.

The western "Ayes" branch of the family sends a "thinking of you" to Buck of the Ohio "eye" branch. BTW why the "e.e.cummings" style of non-capitalization? Still can't understand why you decided to americanize the old French fur trapper family name.

Aside to C.C. none of the previous paragraph is true, just kidding around.

Argyle said...

To avoid confusion, I'll repeat last night's post and include the author's exact words.

Argyle said... Re: Pair of bra

A guest essay in Newsweek, Dec. 8, called, Confessions of a Fat Runner, mentions that women who are more than stick figures will sometimes wear two bras for added control. It is known as "double bagging". - December 13, 2008 1:03 AM

"Self-conscious women sometimes 'double bag,' slang for wearing two sports bras." - Jennifer Graham

carol said...

Argyle, and then there are the more 'endowed' women who run (jog) and don't wear any bra at all!! It's a wonder they don't knock themselves out! Quite a picture (maybe they are looking for a different kind of action).

lois said...

Good afternoon CC et al, Fun puzzle but was struck by a minor theme of the stereotypical
essence of a 'man', which I thought was hysterical. No offense meant but...just look at these:
tadpole - little man
apes - big galoots (the clue)
war/retaken - fights, territorial
map/asks - great b/c he never asks for directions
tee - no need for directions
...instinctive 'hard drive'
recanted - a smart man
accedes - another smart man
sex - yes, constant focus
stok 'er - gets lucky
big ten - in their dreams (see above)
blessed - see above
idol - in MY dreams (see above)
non metal - reality
boycotts - where men sleep aka dog house
distant - can't deal w/emotions
cave - safe retreat when upset
gabs - no,thus the cave (see above)
tattoos - one way to express look macho
tableware - fingers
Tex - a real man
teapots - portable urinals
alveoli - the interior of the man's conversation focus when talking to a woman
toadies - yep, flattery will get you laid

What a puzzle!

As for double bagging? Always wondered what those guys were doing carrying around brown paper bags. I always thought it was for hyperventilation - which is what they ended up needing them for. Learned something new.

Dennis said...

Argyle, so conceivably you could double-bag a double-bagger. I think that's a home run.

We won our flag football game today. Got my bell rung pretty good when i got a shoulder in the head, but everything seems just fislhnvsietntsretln.

Argyle said...

The author was writing about running in competition but was quite humorous. Another line was, "I look so unlike a runner that, when I first started jogging, passing motorists would pull over and ask if I needed a ride."

carol said...

Lois, you are a scream! LMAO. Don't forget 'Ophidian"...remember the Puff Adder???

Clear Ayes said...

Lois, LOL, I agree with Carol, very sharp and funny. Your list is a "girl" thing, we can all relate to at one time or another.

JD said...

Kazie, did you have luck removing the wax from your carpet? If not,try covering it with a brown paper bag, and press it with a warm iron.

Arglye, it gives another meaning to the phrase, she comes with a lot of baggage.

dougl said...

re: El Norte, I saw it many years ago (yikes -- 25 years ago, according to the clue!) and remember liking it a lot. Very indie/off beat story of a young woman making her way from Guatemala to Calif. Recommmended if you like that sort of movie.

Also liked spelunking when I did it many years ago, but it's not for the claustrophobic. Part of the sport is making your way thru very small spaces. I also recall wondering if the trip leader would remember how to get us out of the cave, which fortunately he did!

JIMBO said...

Hi ya'll

To be truthful, this one tore me up. I'm totally embarassed at how much I don't know. Matapan, Aspera, Quark, Beyle, Alveeli, Ophidian, Toadies and Redlead to name a few of the unknowns. Google helped but C.C. had to finish up for me.
Thanks C.C.

Happy birthday "Demo". I had one on the 18th. Just turned a young 84.

Oh and I rejoined my bowling team Thursday night after about a five week layoff. Did terrible, but did'nt seem to hurt the rib. PTL

carol said...

Jimbo, so glad to hear you are able to bowl again! Hope I can do as well at your "tender" age :)

JD you have become our newest DF'ette! Very clever lately, keep it up.

embien said...

No good time today. My clock says 15:52, but my computer froze for a couple of minutes and the clock continued to run.

When I saw 25a: Oscar role for Ingrid Bergman I typed in ILSA and was stuck thinking "what was her last name, anyway?" Eventually, the correct answer made itself evident.

I had never seen the term minium before (I didn't misread the clue, but I was still clueless).

Put me in the SILO instead of BARN camp. That messed me up for a while.

c.c.: And the puzzle is titled "CD Collection". Do you know why? This has been bothering me for a few nights.

Is this puzzle available online anywhere, c.c.? I could have a go at it...

DoesItinInk said...

I liked this puzzle, because it was easy enough to work without Google but hard enough to make me think. Like others, I first read the clue 57A as “minimum”. When I finally saw it read “minium”, I had to rely on the crosses, as I had no clue what it meant.

I especially liked the clue “pitiful piece of art?” for 44D. After reading the clue several clues and focusing on the word pitiful, the answer came to mind immediately. I also liked 35D “frog of the future” for TADPOLE.

I too considered SILO and BARN for 37D but quickly filling in BOYCOTTS resolved the dilemma.

I had difficulty with 35D “veteran”. For a long time I had OLD_AN_, but after stepping through the alphabet, HAND fell into place.

@cc: Yes, I saw El Norte when it first came out. It was an excellent movie about a Mayan brother and sister who entered the US illegally to escape political violence in Guatemala. It gave a sympathetic view of the struggles they had in trying to survive in the US as illegal immigrants. The ending of the movie was very sad. I have thought of this film several times recently and would like my children to watch it.

lois said...

JD: and yet another brown bagging experience. Depending on the amount of wax, Kazie might have to resort to triple bagging. I DeFinately love this day!

Steve S said...

What about 44 down? Pitiful piece of art? PIETA? Do you understand this clue?

Steve S said...

Never mind. I just found it on wikipedia. I feel sheepish.

Anonymous said...


I'm 10 miles from Lexington. No it didn't bother me having my bday so close to Christmas.

I would like to email you maybe we could meet for a drink when you are here. Just reply to a post on my blog. The response won't be public until I approve it at which time I will email you and we can correspond with each other if this is amenable to you.

kazie said...

Thanks for asking, jd and lois.

I haven't got to the bagging yet--couldn't get hubby out of the house, so just left it covered with the coffee table until he leaves for long enough to work on it. I did scrub, brush and vacuum, and it did look better than last night, but will bag it at the first opportuntity.

Anonymous said...

This one was the crossword for the MN Daily for finals week. It was misprinted, so a big streak of white-out was over some of the across clues. May have been intentional, but made an already difficult puzzle even harder. I mean, that minnium clue was just nuts.