Dec 21, 2008

Sunday December 21, 2008 Alan P. Olschwang

Theme: Black to Black

23A: Harry the magician: BLACKSTONE


45A: Picnic staple: FRUIT SALAD

49A: Romaine, e.g.: SALAD GREEN

69A: Setting sun phenomenon: GREEN FLASH

72A: Portable torch: FLASHLIGHT

97A: Navigation beacon: LIGHTHOUSE

100A: Do domestic duty: HOUSECLEAN

121A: Tabula rasa: CLEAN SLATE

123A: Dark color: SLATE BLACK

I was not charmed by the theme itself. Felt bored actually. But my goodness, look at those theme entries: all of them are 10-letter long and are symmetrically placed in the grid. Very impressive.

What is your answer for 96D (Sound of hoofbeats)? Right now I have CLOP-CLOP. But shouldn't it be CLIP-CLOP? Am I wrong in the intersecting 105A: Greek letter (RHO)?

I would prefer a simple "Uncooked" for RAW (119A: Cold and wet") as WET is the answer for 28A: Soaked. I also disliked the clue for ANI (122D: Tropical blackbird) as BLACK is part of the theme answers. I wonder why our editor continues to eschew breaking ANI into AN I. "Wheel of Fortune" buy sounds like a perfect clue to me.


1A: Cornered: AT BAY

6A: Charlie Chan's comment: AH SO. Had no idea why Charlie Chan would utter such a Japanese style exclamation.

10A: __ - wip (dessert topping): REDDI. I've never used this topping. Is it similar to Cool Whip?

19A: Saclike cavity between joints: BURSA. Here is a diagram. It's "purse" or "pouch" in Latin. New word to me.

33A: Bear in Barcelona: OSO

34A: John and Tyne: DALYS. Knew golfer John DALY. He drinks and gambles more than he should. Tyne DALY is a new actress to me.

36A: Kathryn of "Law and Order: CI": ERBE. Sigh! I had to google her again. What a strange name! Why not HERBE?

42A: Noted chair designer: EAMES . Not familiar with Charles EAMES or his wife Ray EAMES. Wikipedia says that "Charles EAMES was greatly influenced by the Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen". And EERO (43D: Eliel Saarine's son), would later become "a partner and friend".

52A: Clearasil target: ZIT

54A: Japanese P.M. Fukuda: TAKEO. He was the P.M. from Dec 1976 to Dec 1978. His son Yasuo also served as P.M. for Japan in 2007. I knew neither of them.

57A: Begins, slangily: GETS IT ON. Really? Are these totally made-up?

63A: Canvas coating: GESSO. This answer enabled me to make an educated guess on the intersecting IT'S GONE (38D: Roger McGuinn song). I could not find the song on YouTube.

82A: Industrial pollutants: abbr.: PCBS. It's banned in 1975.

87A: Bullfighter: TOREADOR. I can only remember matador.

102A: Center of central Florida?: EPCOT

103A: Web surfers: NETIZENS. Oh dear, I was not aware of this at all. It's a portmanteau of Internet and citizen.

108A: Virgil's shepherdess: DELIA. I simply froze on this clue. Can never remember this girl's name. Anyway, Virgil only mentioned her name in passing in his "Eclogues".

111A: One of Henry VIII's six: PARR. Catherine PARR, Henry VIII's 6th wife.

127A: Chinese province: HONAN. This answer drives me nuts. See this map. There is no HONAN. We call it HENAN (east of my hometown Shaanxi Province). And there is another province called HUNAN where Chairman Mao came from. DENG (13D: __ Xiaoping) was born in Sichuan Province.

129A: French title: COMTE. French for "Count". I love Dumas's "The Count of Monte Cristo". Its French title is "Le COMTE de Monte-Cristo".

133A: Tracker's trail: SPOOR


1D: Brother's keeper?: ABBOT. Good clue.

2D: Very fine netting: TULLE. It's named after the French city TULLE.

4D: Fancy haberdashery item: ASCOT TIE. That's cranberry color, isn't it?

7D: Night bird: HOOT OWL. I wonder why it's called HOOT OWL. Don't all the owls hoot?

9D: Went too far: OVER DID IT

11D: What I'll do if I'am wrong: EAT MY HAT

12D: British mil. honor: DSO (Distinguished Service Medal). Wikipedia says "The DSO was instituted on 6 September 1886 by Queen Victoria".

14D: Grenoble's river: ISERE. See this map. It flows into the Rhone River.

24D: Actress Kurtz: SWOOSIE. One more new name to me. Great picture. Wikipedia says "She got her unique first name "Swoosie" (which rhymes with Lucy, rather than woozy) from her father. It is derived from the sole surviving example, at the National Museum of the USAF, of the B-17D Flying Fortress airplane, named "The Swoose" or simply "Swoose" - half swan, half goose - which her father piloted during WWII."

45D: Odin's wife: FRIGG. Friday is named after her.

47D: Czar's decree: UKASE. This is the first time I encounter UKASE. I bet not many English words starting with UK*. I can only think of ukulele and Ukraine.

48D: Opposite of an elementary particle: ANTILEPTON. No idea. I don't know what LEPTON is either. I wonder how many solvers can fill in this answer without the adjacent help.

58D: Reggae's cousin: SKA

59D: Letters on a rubber check: NSF. Most of today's 3-letter words are easily obtainable today.

66D: Attached with stickum: GLUED ON

68D: Early TV series, "The __ Family": ALDRICH. Read here for more information. Completely unknown to me.

75D: Old Testament prophet: HOSEA. I wanted MOSES.

76D: Wooden tableware: TREEN. My goodness. How come I've never heard this simple word before?

92D: Come by: ATTAIN

93D: One-time jazz center Greg: OSTERTAG. Another google. This is so strange. I thought #0 or #00 is reserved for mascot.

99D: Brennan and Heckart: EILEENS. Both are actresses. EILEEN Brennan was Paul Newman's lover in "The Sting". EILEEN Heckart won the "Oscar for Best Supporting Actress" for the movie "Butterflies Are Free". I had to rely on the crossing fills. (Note: Sorry about the spelling mistakes earlier.)

101D: R.E.Lee opponent: U.S. Grant

104D: Pakistan ruler (1977-88): ZIA. Absolutely no idea. He doesn't look like a Pakistani. He got the job after overthrowing Ali Bhutto, father of Benazar Bhutto, who was assassinated last December.

107D: City in northwestern Iran: RESHT. Or RASHT. Here is the map. Once again, I got it from across fills. Wikipedia explains that the city is called "Gate of Europe" because RASHT connects Iran to European countries.

113D: Right-hand page: RECTO. Opposite of VERSO (even-numbered page).

125D: NCAA acronym: BCS (Bowl Championship Series).



C.C. Burnikel said...

Abogato from Alabama & all those who solve TMS Sunday only,
I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Every time I think of my mom and dad, I can't help sobbing. So I won't discuss about it.

With your sunny attitude, you are going to reach 120.

Dennis & Argyle & Democrat,
Thanks for Steve Perry yesterday.

C.C. Burnikel said...

The real Cantonese food is never too spicy or too sweet. It's always fresh and light.

Jeanne & Promise me this,
Good to see you back!

See my blog entry on AUREATE (38A). You will know what Promise me this was talking about.

After that trip, I ruined the career and life of a man who cared about me deeply. You were wrong on FLEUR-DE-LIS. The singular and plural are the same. The original clue is correct.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Clear Ayes,
Thanks for answering my question on the photo of Queen Victoria and ALBERT.

No. I've never heard of "The Red Violin". I just added it to our Netflix queue. It looks interesting. Thanks.

No, I was not a war bride. My husband left the Army before I was born. I have no relationship with Tribune. We just have a very dependable newspaper delivery guy, who arrives at our door before 4:00am every morning.

Dennis said...

Good morning, c.c. and gang - just thought I'd check in after reading your blog today.

Sounds like it was a decent puzzle; I know I learned things just from reading your recap. The one that surprised me was "The Aldrich Family" - I never heard of it, and don't know how I would've missed it back in those days.

Business has been better than I expected at the stores; not like past Christmases, but better than I had anticipated, given the fact that both stores contain nothing but 'disposable income'-type products. Hopefully it'll be a strong final 4 days.

I hope it's a nice, relaxing stress-free day for everyone.

Dennis said...

Oh, and one more thing (jeez, who am I?): 'Getting it on' is a pretty common term for any kind of sexual activity. I believe it was first coined by Lois back in the 70's.

Anonymous said...

I got anti-lepton, but then I am a physicist. Honan drove me crazy. I had "Hunan" but then I "slow" forced me to change it to "Honan". I think some clues are bogus. There is no such thing as a "hoot owl" and "Clop clop" is just silly. I had "clip clop" but "rho" is the only thing that fits (another benefit of a physics education!). I was familiar with "netizen" and "Zia" and "Cleo" were gimmies. I had a lot of trouble with "Reddi-wip"; never heard of it before. I tried dream-wip but Deng would not fit with that. I had "blank slate" for a while until "acre" forced my hand.

Clear Ayes said...

C.C., According to, Barred Owls (Strix varia) are also know as "Hoot Owls".

In answer to the question "Why do owls hoot?", Owlpages says, "Firstly, you should realize that not all Owls hoot. Have a listen at our Owl Calls Gallery, and you will see just how many different sounds Owls make. Now, Owls call for the same reason as any other critter makes noises - to communicate. A call may be territorial - warning others to stay away, or it can be to contact a mate or young, or advertise availability for breeding..."

C.C. 4D the color of the ascot is somewhere between purple and fuschia. Maybe someone else can name the exact tint. Here is a Cranberry bracelet. Not only is it cranberry colored, but it IS cranberries. I think I'll show it to G.A.H. and see if he can order it by Christmas.

winfield said...

Reddi-wip is made from real cream and Cool Whip is a non dairy product. Reddi-wip is in an aerosol can and Cool Whip comes in a plastic container and needs to be spooned out to use...

Interesting that Erbe & Eames are so close because Katherine plays Alexandra Eames on L&O CI

lois said...

Dennis: LOL Yeah, my coining 'getting it on' was a response to your coining 'getting off' a little earlier. I don't know who came up w/ "Give the guy a hand!" It's all good. The fun just never stops!

kazie said...

Thanks for reacting to my nosy question. Sorry I brought it up. On a more positive note, have you heard of the plans of a certain Don Trent in Spring Valley WI? He wants to build a replica of a section of the Great Wall and the Xi'an terra cotta soldiers. It would be huge museum just south of I94, north of Spring Valley. There was an article in our paper today, and I found this link by googling.

We had another 6 or so inches of the white stuff last night but today it's really windy and cold with sun--looks nicer outside than it feels.

Clear Ayes said...

We just got back from brunch at our local golf course restaurant. Apparently, I had my fill of "the milk of human kindness" (aka a Mimosa + two refills) and, as we passed the pro-shop on the way out, I noticed a great buy on a set of Cobra irons. It just so happens that Golf Addicted Husband has been hinting that he needs new irons. So, even though we had agreed that we were going to keep the Christmas buying moderate, we went into the shop and G.A.H. got the irons as a pre-Christmas gift from me. I guess the holidays make me pretty mushy (or was it the Mimosas?) and he really was delighted.

I know it seems like winter has been going on for quite a while. But December 21st is really the first day of winter....only three more months until spring.

The First Day of Winter

On the first day of winter,
the earth awakens to the cold touch of itself.
Snow knows no other recourse except
this falling, this sudden letting go
over the small gnomed bushes, all the emptying trees.
Snow puts beauty back into the withered and malnourished,
into the death-wish of nature and the deliberate way
winter insists on nothing less than deference.
waiting all its life, snow says, Let me cover you.

-Laura Lush

JD, Keep those hibiscus covered!

Anonymous said...

anyone know the answer to 121A? my answer ends with 'tn'.

Argyle said...

My, my, I'm glad I don't get your Sunday puzzle, at least today!
Our Sunday puzzle is a nice Christmas one. I'll fill you in when I'm done.

Anonymous said...

I realize why my 121A ends with 'tn'. It' because the answer C.C. gives for 99D is wrong. Geesh. I thought she could be relied upon. Guess I was wrong. But maybe it was a typo and not C.C.'s fault at all. Guess I'll give her another chance.

melissa bee said...

anonymous@2:50: when you can complete a sunday puzzle without any mistakes or typos, start your own blog .. then others can visit and make boorish comments. until then try to show some class.

lois said...

anon are totally out of line. It's so easy to criticize hiding behind 'anonymous', which just shows what kind of troll you are. CC is so beyond any of us and has our utmost respect. I doubt she needs a second chance from the likes of you. Do us all a favor and take your 'magnanimous' attitude elsewhere.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Nothing seems to depress you, even the current economic downturn. Also, Jeanne asked you about the value of her 60-year old LIONEL train set yesterday.

"At once, good-night: Stand not upon the order of your going, But go at once". Lady Macbeth did not STAND ON". What does the quote mean?

Thanks for REDDI-wip. So you get our Sunday puzzle also?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Clear Ayes,
"Not all owls hoot". Interesting information. I was not aware of that. Thanks. What does "milk of human kindness" mean?

No, your question is not nosy. Somehow I just can't control my tears whenever I think of my parents. But really I don't hate Chairman Mao. I enjoyed very much reading the Terra Cotta solider link you provided. Was shocked that someone actually owned a real solider statue.

Any special planning for Christmas?

Clear Ayes said...

Melissa bee and Lois, It's funny how the anonuts usually come out on Sundays. I think it was Dennis who recommended ignoring them, except to laugh at their foolishness.

Speaking of LOL, Kazie, I'm coming down on the side of "snake-oil salesman" to describe Don Trent and his "world-class museum that has the complete backing of the Chinese government". I know anybody can buy reproductions of the Xi'an warriors, but I find it difficult to believe that the Chinese government, would part with even one original, as Trent claims he possesses. They are all priceless national treasures. C.C. what do you think?

I see he wants to build a one mile replica of the Great Wall. Since the Great Wall is about 4,000 miles long, his replica, if built to scale, would be a comparatively Teeny-Tiny Wall.

I did notice he would like to get about $300 million in donations or grants...wouldn't we all?

I kind of like the idea of the giant beer stein with the elevator in the handle. That would only require $10 - $15 million. Surely the government could add that to one of the bailouts without anybody even noticing.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Hot hotwick you reacted! Remember what you emailed me about anonymous comments way back in September? I listened. Hope you have a great time in OK.

Dennis said...

Hey anon, show some balls and post under a real name. And if you would, please enlighten all of us just when it was that you achieved perfection. Oh, and being a perfect ass doesn't count.

c.c., I'm just happy to still be here, so I'm not gonna waste time being depressed about anything.

Jeanne, if you'll email me some of the particulars about the Lionel set, I'll be glad to give you an approximate value; sorry I missed your post yesterday.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Clear Ayes,
"They are all priceless national treasures". That's what I was thinking earlier. I would not be surprised if he obtained the soldier before 1949. But he got it after 1983. Very suspicious. I hope your husband cuts down his handicap with the new irons.

I've got to learn from you how to stay positive and be happy.

Anonymous said...

Merry Chrsitmas to you CC. Just got back from visitng the reltives in Atlanta. the puzzle was difficult because fo the the two and three word answers. I prefer to have just the one word answers. Learned some new thngs today working the pauzzle. olschwang always offers a first rate challenge. Larry the Cabl;e guy uses the phrase " get it own" as spoken in true redneck slank. Wish you all a properous new year and merry christmas.

abogato in alabama

kazie said...

c.c., and clear ayes,
I agree the "genuine" soldier sounds very iffy. But I can see the others being copies. Maybe the whole thing is a scam. the newspaper article said it would be the biggest attraction in Wisconsin west of the House on the Rock (also in a small town area 23 miles east of us, in Spring Green). But most of the collection there is just replicas too. I guess we have nothing old enough in Wisconsin to be worth much, so we have to settle for copies.

Clear Ayes said...

Oops, I guess I don't remember who recommended ignoring the anonuts. Maybe it was C.C. herself.

C.C. the milk of human kindness means care and compassion for others.
The origin is Lady Macbeth. She worries that her husband doesn't have the nerve to kill Duncan and says, "Yet do I fear thy nature, It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness". She didn’t have that problem

Argyle said...

"Stand not upon the order of your going, But go at once". Lady Macbeth

If memory serves me right, there was a formal dinner when Macbeth started seeing visions and having fits. Lady Macbeth told her guests to leave at once and not worry about the niceties of thanking their hosts and formal good byes.

Treen, a new word for me, too. A good word for fictionary because the real meaning sounds made up.

Argyle said...

"On this day in 1913, the world's first crossword puzzle appeared in a special Christmas issue of the New York World."

dougl said...

...and that first crossword was diamond-shaped and had no black squares!

Anonymous said...

"Stand not upon the order of your going, But go at once"
Stand not =do not stand still=get moving=do not wait.

Anonymous said...

Sorry; I meant C.C., not Argyle.

melissa bee said...

@c.c.: like many, a low-key christmas this year. very blessed, very grateful, very hopeful.

Argyle said...

"Stand not upon the order of your going, But go at once"

stand on - to be particular about; demand: "to stand on ceremony." Or in this case, do not stand on ceremony.

Anonymous said...

Re: anonymous
121A is clean slate. 99D is Eileen. C.C.s spelling is correct. I know because that is my name!
Have never heard of treen.

melissa bee said...

@clear ayes: if i made an insensitive comment, i'd want someone to call me on it. and if i spent as much energy as c.c. does on this blog every day, i'd want someone to defend me. some anons are clearly just looking for attention .. i thought this one was just a little misguided.

Jeannie said...

Christmas for me this year will be lonely. I won't see any family for sure, but will make the most of it. I have some other misfit friends that I will probably cook for that will appreciate the company and the food. Most of those guys are widowed, or alone. Maybe it's an ego thing, but I like feeding their bellies...I'm a good cook and like to see their satisfied faces as I send them care packages out the door. I always make extras.


Clear Ayes said...

Jeannie, I remember when I was single, I did the same thing that you are doing at Christmas or on Thanksgiving. I'd invite six or seven single friends to dinner. I don't think what you are doing is ego. I think it is just doing a nice thing for people who would otherwise be alone. It is a nice bonus that it will make you happy too. Good for you.

Melissa bee, Inside I tend to agree with you about confronting an anon who is rude. Someone said a while back that is just giving them the attention they want. I don't know which is the best way to go. I think most of us are shocked when someone is purposely rude or insulting. It is just too bad that the whole thing comes up at all.

Argyle said...

oy veh! My puzzle didn't turn out so nice after all.
Scottish pound, once - trone(It's a weight, not money.)
Photographic developer - Ortol
Ruff females - Rees(Ruff is a bird.)
Small bone - ossicle(especially one in the middle ear)
And so on. Anyway...

23A) Destination of 104 Across - little town of Bethlehem
104A) They came to adore Him - the Wisemen from the East
50A) Guide for 104 Across - the brilliant star
77A) It shone in 23 Across - everlasting light

Some other answers...angel, Santa, gifts.

Anonymous said...

Hey jeannie

I wish I could be there! Christmas is always an empty day for me..........

Anonymous said...

This was a difficult one for me. I neer heard of "Gigue" or "lief". thanks goodness for this Star Tribune Crossword Corner!!!!