Dec 20, 2008

Saturday December 20, 2008 Robert H. Wolfe

Theme: None

Total blocks: 28

Total words: 70

Noticed how this puzzle differs from the ones offered by Allan E. Parrish and Barry Silk? It has no letter X, Z or Q. There are also no Matthew Higgins style obscure librarian words.

Just a simple, straightforward, pop culture-free puzzle, with no twisted gimmicks. I've seen ELEVEN (2D: Side-by-side ones?) clued as "One by one?" before, so there was no "Aha" for me today either.

After seeing those suffixes like ER, EST, ED and S, I kind of missed the old "Sea Eagle" clue for ERN (5D: Directional suffix). Also, "Serpent tail?" for INE (60D) lost its appeal to me several months ago. Don't you think "Carol ending?" is more fitting for the Christmas season?

I also disliked the clue for DENIABLE (37D: Possible to contradict). Can you come up with a better one?


1A: Hijiki or sargassum: SEAWEED. Here is the photo. Unknown to me. Easy guess though. I only cook with kelp and wakame. And nori for my rice ball wrapping.

2A: Greek letters: LAMBDAS. Got it from the down clues. This letter and OMICRON often give me trouble. So do those rivers in Europe.

16A: Iridescent: OPALINE. I think "opalescent" is more commonly used. Does anyone collect Fenton milk glass?

22A: Backs of neck: NAPES. I want to see SCRUFFS clued as "Backs of neck" in our puzzle some day. Lots of consonants in that word, not as many as STRENGTHS though.

28A: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" co-star Garr: TERI. Where is TERI Hatcher's agent? Or he might think Tribune Media puzzle is too small for his client to make an appearance.

31A: Switch attachment?: EROO. Switcheroo. Smackeroo. Are you familiar with the slang Sockeroo?

33A: Insists upon the observance of: STANDS ON. I was only familiar with STANDS ON as in "STANDS ON the shoulders of giants".

38A: Gilded: AUREATE. Five vowels in this word. This is interesting. Have you ever used "Euouae" when playing Scrabble?

45A: French wines: VINS. Kind of boring clue, isn't it?

46A: Iris in heraldry: FLEUR-DE-LIS. Great to see its full name in a puzzle.

51A: Egyptian goddess of fertility: ISIS. OK, here is ISIS feeding her son Horus again. AMON/AMEN/AMUN is the "Egyptian fertility god". I wonder if President Clinton knows the meaning of IS IS.

54A: Open horse-drawn carriages: SHAYS. Here is an old one horse SHAY. Unknown to me.

62A: Country on the Adriatic: ALBANIA. See this map. Tirana is its capital. Lek is its currency. Wikipedia says that ALBANIA means "Land of the Eagle" in native language, hence the double-headed eagles on its flag. They sure don't look like eagles though.

67A: Stable seat: SADDLES


1D: Deli hangar: SALAMI. These are Cantonese style sausages, which are made of pork and sweet in taste.

2D: Side-by-side ones?: ELEVEN. 11.

3D: Victoria's consort: ALBERT. Easy guess. I did not know who was Queen Victoria's husband. Is that a real photo?

4D: Runs out of energy: WEARIES. I was thinking of WEAR OUT.

7D: Hereditary monarch: DYNAST. I only knew DYNASTY.

8D: Cut off: LOP. And 49D: Cut into: INCISE. Made me think of the Lorena Bobbitt story you guys talked about several days ago. I had never heard of it before.

12D: Spread far and wide: DISPERSE

13D: Foyer: ANTEROOM

24D: Certain musical chord: TRIAD

42D: Ancient empire on the Tigris: ASSYRIA. Wow, Its territory is bigger than I thought.

47D: Arctic boats: UMIAKS. I completely forgot this boat. Those guys look very cold.

48D: Minature train name: LIONEL. Forget about the train, I love "We Are the World". I only recognized LIONEL Richie, Michael Jackson, Kenny Rogers, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springteen. Who is the singer at 2:29?

50D: Summer ermines: STOATS. He is adorable.



Martin said...

16 minutes 54 seconds. Only unknowns were SHAYS, STOAT, YESM, LIONEL and STINT. I wanted SKIMP for STINT. I also wanted ILLNESS for ALLERGY, NEEDING for RELIANT and DEBATABLE for DENIABLE. Why did Star Trek have a ship called the Reliant if RELIANT means "dependent"? How ironic that the Enterprise had to rescue them. Anyway, a TRIAD for me is an Asian gang and a STINT is a period of time.

So the Assyrian empire lasted from 900 BC to 607 BC, eh? I guess those were the people the Greeks were fighting in 300. I heard that movie was banned in Iraq because it made Persians look bad. Well, duh, a movie's got to have villains. Anyway, seeing the territory occupied by the Assyrians, it is nice to see ASSYRIA cross with ISIS.


C.C. Burnikel said...

Interesting. I did not even think of the gang TRIAD. Did you study Middle Eastern religions/myths in school? You seem to know a lot about Ishtar and those strange gods/goddesses.

Online Etymology agrees with what Kazie said yesterday. MULCT indeed originates from mul(c)ta.

Very thoughtfully selected gifts for Jeanette. Will tell you next week what I got for Boomer. I never know when he reads the blog comments.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for the songs you bring to us every day. I have never heard of the band Waxing Poetics before, nor was I familiar with Beatles' "Let it Be Naked".

I decided long ago that I would live for the "brief shining moments".

I totally agree with you. Clear Ayes has an amazing ability to interpret everything (DF or not) in a very lucid way.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I am glad you are enjoying the blog. I look forward to reading more comments from you.

Kazie & JD,
Thanks for sharing your stories. My mom might have lived a long life if not for Chinese Culture Revolution. My dad smoked and drank all his life. My grandma, who brought up my brother and me, lived until she was 88 years old. Kazie, thank you also for the prefix explanation on emigrate and immigrate.

Martin said...

I guess those were the people the Greeks were fighting in 300. I heard that movie was banned in Iraq

Make that Iran. I checked wiki and I found out that the battle of Thermopylae took place in August, 480 BC. Wow. That was only 2488 years ago!

Oh and the USS RELIANT appeared in the movie The Wrath of Khan. I had the Reliant confused with the Defiant which was a ship that the Enterprise tried to rescue in the episode The Tholian Web. For getting that wrong, I should eat gagh! (Klingon worms.)


Martin said...


In elementary school, we learned about Greek, Roman and Norse myths but not about Egyptian or Sumerian myths. Nor was I ever taught anything about Chinese history and mythology even though I learned about Greek, Roman and British history in high school. I've since tried to fill the gaps in my education on my own.


Dennis said...

Good morning, c.c. and gang - I agree, c.c., a most enjoyable puzzle, with some fresh words for a change.
Had a bit of a pause at the intersection of 24D, "certain musical note", and 38A, which I misread as "glided". Other than that, pretty straightforward.

C.C., "forget about the train"? No way - Lionel's a big part of my business this time of year. And that smell of engine smoke makes 50+ years disappear for me in a heartbeat.

JD, how'd you know I don't snore? Very perceptive, I'd say.

For those so inclined, today is "Go Caroling Day".

Have a great weekend, and best of luck if you're venturing near a mall.

Argyle said...

A snow day in the a cold snowglobe.

We are the World with the names of the singers on the screen. I haven't got to 2:29 yet. I did the crossword quicker than my downloads today.

Dennis said...

C.C., Argyle, 2:29 is Steve Perry, formerly of the band Journey.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Yeah, pretty straightforward puzzle today. The clue for 1A threw me for a loop at first, but then I thought that sargassum might be related to the Sargasso Sea and was able to guess SEA WEED pretty quickly. I also didn't know AUREATE, but it was easy to guess given the Latin root.

Everything else was pretty obvious, with the obnoxious exception of EEW. I got it easily from the perps, but I'm really not convinced that it's a real word. I've seen it spelled EWW before, but never EEW. Of course, to be honest, I've rarely seen it spelled out at all, so maybe I just didn't notice the correct spelling before...

Argyle said...

Born in Hanford, California, Stephen Ray Perry is of Portuguese heritage. His family originally came from Pico Island, Azores. He is a singer and songwriter best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Journey from 1978-1987 and 1995-1998. For the 14 years Perry was the lead vocalist of Journey, he helped them to sell nearly 80 million albums worldwide. He also had a successful, but short lived solo career releasing Street Talk which went 2x multiplatinum and 1994's gold album For the Love of Strange Medicine.

Argyle said...

At once, good-night: Stand not upon the order of your going, But go at once.
Lady Macbeth did not 33A.

Anonymous said...

my counter must be off because Kenny Loggins appears at 2:29.

Barry G. said...

Oh -- and one more...

I'm familiar with STANDS ON used in the sense used in this puzzle, as in "He STANDS ON ceremony and insists we all do things the right way." However, the phrasing of the clue left me scratching my head for awhile as I tried to parse what it was actually saying. Very awkward, I thought.

Anonymous said...

19:14 for today. I struggled with Fleur De-leis. I only knew it as Lily of The Valley.

Good Saturday to CC & Jeannie and all who blog here.

Here's hoping Monday is easy.

Anonymous said...

Let me introduce you to Journey led by Steve Perry. Enjoy.

Jeanne said...

Morning all,
Haven't been able to post in awhile due to computer problems, then a modem that needed replacing, then a day without electricity. With the ice we had yesterday, I'm not counting on a full day of lights again. Oh, the glories of living in the country.

The Lionel train talk brought back many memories. I still have one in the attic that is about 60 yrs. old and took a pill in the engine to make it smoke. Guess we will get it back out when the new grandson is old enough to enjoy it. Dennis, any idea on the value of the train set? Hopefully the third generation will get to enjoy it. Have a great day all.

Linda said...

"Reliant" also has a meaning akin to "dependable".

Auntie Naomi said...

Good morning everyone :)

C.C., did you misspell "Euouae"? According to Webster's dictionary it is not a word.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, weekend crew. AUREATE was my unknown for the day.

No, SOCKEROO is an unknown to me. Is EUOUAE in the Official Scrabble Dictionary? That's one heck of a vowelish word! "A One Horse Open Shay" is in "Jingle Bells." More on the double headed eagle . Those sausages look like they may be spicy hot as well. Thank you. I understand not publishing Boomer's gifts here.

@linda Try clicking on your blue underlined link with your name. That should take you to your profile page where you may add/edit.

Have a great weekend!

Auntie Naomi said...

Ah ... nm

I assumed you meant it was a word so I only looked it up with Webster's.
Googling it provided a Wikipedia link that explained it is a mnemonic.
I obviously never used it. I probably wouldn't have even if I had known it since I am not a big fan of Scrabble.
The 'We Are The World' video is very nice, particularly for the holidays. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Singer @ 2:29 is Steve Perry formerly of Journey.

kazie said...

Happy weekend to all!
I'm finally getting around to posting here after reading all the above posts, and spending time finishing up our Christmas cards.

Actually got all the puzzle out fairly easily with just a pause on 1A, until the perps gave me SEA, afer which the WEED followed.

Not meaning to pry, but in what way did the Chinese Culture Revolution affect your mother's longevity? I'm wondering if it was relocation or something more violent. No need to answer if it's a painful memory, but I really don't know a lot about what went on. It sounds like you were orphaned a lot younger than JD or I.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ya'll

Finished the puzzle without help. Oh well, I did use the dictionay a couple of times. Was'nt familiar with Aureate or Umiak.

C.C. I would'nt put too much stock in genetics, as far as longevity is concerned. Of course it can be a factor in some cases, but I feel that maintaining a positive attitude and the knowledge that Christians have not been given "The spirit of fear" serves to increase one's life span. Live a happy, worry free life if you can.
My mother died at 66 and my dad died at 76. I am still going at 84 and enjoying life everyday. (My goal is 120).

Just think positive and enjoy life.
Vaya con Dios

carol said...

Good morning C.C.and all, good puzzle today, new words too. I didn't know 8A (Lambdas), 38A (aureate) or 47D (umiaks).

Snowing here again! More to come later today and tomorrow too. Blahhh! Humbug!

Promise me this, I don't mean to be rude but what are you talking about at 9:49 and 10:17?

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, This was a fun puzzle for me. I did have an enjoyable light bulb moment with ELEVEN.

I would be more likely to use the "opalescent" in conversation to describe irridescent, but OPALINE was understandable and was the right number of letters.

AUREATE was a new word and since this is the Christmas season, I might actually have a chance to fit it into a conversation...."What a lovely AUREATE ornament you have on your tree."

Thanks to Sallie last night and to C.C. this morning for the nice compliments.

Crockett, I had to sing it through to realize the mistake. Jingle Bells has the line In a one-horse open sleigh. There is a poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. The Wonderful One Hoss Shay. That might be the one you are thinking of.

Martin, My daughter's first date with a particular boyfriend was to a Star Trek convention. He was entralled, she was puzzled. She still married him. That was 20 years and three kids ago. ^_^

Anonymous said...

At first glance I thought "Oh no...I am going to have big trouble with this..." Then I settled down and filled in ALLERGY and FLEUR DE LIS and things started to fall into place...I guessed at AUREATE with the gold connection but even after filling in EROO I was being too literal(as I often am) and couldn't think what that had to do with a light switch! All in all a lot of fun.

Thank you to everyone who welcomed me to the blog. You all seem to "know" each other so well. It is a very friendly place to be. Have a nice weekend everyone. I finally, after an unplanned 2 week hiatus, can get back to painting...Cheers to you all...looking forward to Monday.

Kathleen in SF Bay Area

Crockett1947 said...

@clear ayes Oops! You're right -- 'tis a sleigh and not a shay. Oh well, it helped me get the answer, LOL

@carol This snow and cold and wind calls for a visit to the woodshed to get warmed up. BRRRRRR

embien said...

9:22 today. Nice straightforward puzzle today, which is always enjoyable for a Saturday. AUREATE was my only unknown, but easy to get from the symbol for gold (Au).

I'd never seen or heard of SOCKEROO before, c.c.

We are expecting a major storm in Oregon today and I'm already snowed in (18"). Wonder when I'll be able to get out of my steep driveway again, sigh.

Anonymous said...

mark - Buenos Aires

Have I got 52A right? "Yesm", I dont understand it if so.

c.c. why was the train from Paris to Brussells bad?

Bethan - Yes I am from the Potteries area, apart from the "fame" of those that went to East Liverpool, my ancestor (on my mother´s side) was leader of the first legislative assembly in what is now known as the USA (in 1619) I believe. So before those "newcomer" Pilgrim Fathers.

I always spell "Fleur de Lys" so checked on wiki, Lys is the singular and Lis the plural so to be boringly pedantic the clue should have been "Irises".

Have a good weekend to all.

lois said...

Good afternoon CC et al, The fun is 'ceaseless'. I see we're back in the 'saddles'again & in 'bed' -
with a 'sac' (bag or 2)as 'needs' dictate... which is a dreadful blow to the 'egos', but a blow nonetheless and 'stands on' its own 'merit'(s). I'm going to the firing range and then 'sip' some 'vins'. Hopefully no 'EMS' or 'priests' will need to be called.

Enjoy this day.

Mr. Ed said...

G'day C.C.& all - Nothing unsolvable today thanks to well worn words from previous xwords and perps that filled in nicely. One cup of coffee and done. Now, it's snow shoveling time in my neck of Oregon. Have a good weekend all.


Chris in LA said...

@ Mark,

"Yesm" is southern colloquial shorthand for "yes maam"

Anonymous said...

mark - Buenos Aires
I understand Yes'm to be a shortened form of Yes Ma'am or Yes Madam. I am from the midwest USA and this term was used a lot in stores to indicate agreement or compliance with the customer.

Barry G.
I agree with your comment on "StandsOn", 33A. I am sometimes one of those obstinate people who stand up on their pulpet and insist on "doing things right". I try not to be that way.


RichShif said...

Hi C.C. and all,

Had a few unknowns that I needed the dictionary to finish. Know Lambda believe it or not from the Tri-Lams in the Revenge of the Nerds. I was surprised that I remembered "fluer de lis". Did not care for the clue for 52A. Yes'm is still strongly used today in our neck of the woods. Maybe clued as Southern agreement.

Everybody has already identified singer at 2:29 as Steve Perry of Journey. That band is from the S.F. Bay area, I believe. I feel that most of their success was with Steve Perry as their singer. It seems to me that he also had some medicial problems that prevented him from trying to return to Journey. Plus the band had some hostile feelings towards Perry. Steve Augeri replaced Perry for a while and all of the concert goers said that he looked and sounded like Perry. Recently Augeri was replaced by Arnel Pineda. Journey made the news on how this singer was selected. Auditions were held on the internet and Pineda was selected. He is from the Philipines.

Clear Ayes said...

C.C. 3D, That is a photo of Victoria and Albert. Victoria reigned for almost 64 years. Sadly, she was only 42 years old when Albert died and she dressed in black for the remainder of her reign. Queen Elizabeth II, Victoria's great-great granddaughter, looks like she is going to make a run at Victoria's 64 year record. Elizabeth, who is 82 years old, has been queen for almost 57 years and seems to be in fine health. Her mother lived to be 102 years old, so her genetic makeup seems to be in favor of Prince Charles being Prince of Wales for a long time to come.

It sounds like this is going to be a tough winter for a lot of you....snow and more snow. Maybe this poem will cheer you up. Of course, look who is offering to you, a Californian who thinks that 30 degrees F. is pretty much as cold as she wants to get. Be that as it may, it is still a charming poem and reminds me of being a kid....."YEA!...Snow day!!"

Winter Reigns

Shimmering, gleaming, glistening glow--
Winter reigns, splendiferous snow!
Won't this sight, this stainless scene,
Endlessly yield days supreme?

Eying ground, deep piled, delights
Skiers scaling garish heights.
Still like eagles soaring, glide
Eager racers; show-offs slide.

Ecstatic children, noses scarved--
Dancing gnomes, seem magic carved--
Doing graceful leaps. Snowballs,
Swishing globules, sail low walls.

Surely year-end's special lure
Eases sorrow we endure,
Every year renews shared dream,
Memories sweet, that timeless stream.

- Mary Youngquist

RichShif said...

Forgot to mention the Lionel train set that my dad had was under the Christmas tree every year. The coal tender had the train whistle in it. The engine was very heavy and we would run it around in circles too fast and it would derail. Also remember the odor of ozone from the engine. Those train were built. He gave the train set to a former brother-in-law. I wish he would have given it to us. There were boxes and boxes of buildings, switches, rail cars, trestle bridges. He had it all.

Anonymous said...

Another confusing line in Jingle Bells is "bells on bob-tail ring" Some say it is the horse's name which is Bobtail...I have actually seen it in Christmas trivia quizzes as the answer to the question.."What is the horse's name in Jingle Bells?". But it was the fashion at the time to 'bob' the tails of the horses - that is, cut them short. Thankfully, people realized that bobbing tails was cruel, because horses need their tails to swish flies, and they stopped doing it.

For miniature train name I was going for gauge o gauge etc...


dougl said...

cc, sorry to her of your family history with the Cultural Revolution. Have you seen the movie The Red Violin? It has a poignant section set during that most unfortunate period.

Linda said...

Do you work for the Tribune or are you just unbelievably fast? What time do you get up in order to do the puzzle and all the links and still beat most people most days?
Your love for beautiful flowers reminds me of an Asian Aunt of mine.
She was a war bride. Were you?

Jeannie said...

It's snowing and blowing here in MN. Lots of snow but the wind is making it even worse in the farm area that I live in, it makes for white out conditions. Winds are to pick up to 30mph tonight into tomorrow so I am here until Monday. I did manage to secure supplies so all will be well. Speaking of Lionel dad would always put that on his Christmas list and one year (when we were older and had the means) my brother found a 1944 Lionel trainset that we all went in on. My dad still sets it up every year around the tree.

Martin said...

"Reliant" also has a meaning akin to "dependable".

Presumably that's "reliable", unless "reliant" is another one of those words that means its opposite.


JD said...

Good evening C.C. and all,

I filled in most everything today in between coming and going.Didn't understand clue for 31A. I had dispense for disperse, so I had anoo. I hesitated to put the m, as in yesm,because it didn't sound right, and I had never heard of umiak (great picture, C.C.).Was also unfamiliar with those def. to triad and stint.Wasn't Poseidon holding a triad, or was it a trident?I'm only familiar with the ante room in King Tut's tomb. There were many rooms in there.Amazing tunnels!
1st time I've seen eew written down. Thought it was funny; reminds me of 6th grade girls who "eww" at everything.

C.C., you mentioned the vastness of the Assyrian Empire.It was the strongest power in the Middle East around 1100 B.C., and were known for their brutality.The barbarians came on horseback ( rather than those bulky chariots) and destroyed them with their expertise with bows and arrows.Then the Persians took over.

@Dennis, lucky wife!!!

anon@4:14-interesting information on the bobbed tails.

Clear ayes, another enjoyable poem!! I've been covering my hibiscus. I bet y'all are laughing, but we're not supposed to have freezing weather. The birds don't like it either, esp the hummers.