Dec 28, 2008

Sunday December 28, 2008 Josiah Breward

Theme: Santa's Upgrades

23A: Online funnies?: DOT(-COM) COMIC BOOKS

38A: Emoticon contests? KEY(BOARD) BOARD GAMES

70A: Collectibles featuring online notables?: E(-TRADING) TRADING CARDS

103A: Mini-Frisbee?: COMPACT (DISC) DISCUS

123A: Small round object? MICRO(SOFT) SOFTBALL

17D: Blazing blades?: HIGH (SPEED) SPEED SKATES

45D: Pick-up sticks call? PHONE (JACK) JACK STRAWS

I have never heard of JACK STRAWS before. JACK STRAW, yes, the ex British Foreign Secretary. Nice to see TRADING CARDS though. Hopefully I will be able to afford this graded 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle card someday, before I get too old.

BAH (79A: Scrooge's expletive) can not damp my enthusisam for this puzzle. Wow, what a great theme! Santa is a bit late though.

The clue for SUNUNU (74D: Political pundit John) confused the hell out of me. Can you call a current US Senator "Political pundit"? I don't think so.

I was not familiarwith PEPIN (43A: Son of Charlemagne), but Wikipedia says he is the father , not the son, of Charlemagne.

Also, too many Roman numerals for my taste:


4D: Fifth of MMMDV: DCCI

67D: 1700 in letters: MDCC

I'd like to share with you three excellent answers using Roman numerals as hinted clues:




I think I want Santa to upgrade me from C.C. to 200 today.


21A: Eric of "Top Hat": BLORE. Have never heard of this British comic actor or the musical "Top Hat".

22A: Newman of "SNL": LARAINE. I googled her name. Wikipedia says she is the original "SNL" cast member.

26A: "Seinfeld" gal: ELAINE. I did not find ELAINE's dance to be funny. "No Soup for You" episode is hilarious.

28A: Land of Oranjestad: ARUBA. OK, what does "-jestad" mean in Dutch then?

32A: E. O'Brien film: D.O. A. I got this answer from down fills. Saw this clue before.

34A: __ volente (God willing): DEO. In Islam, it's Insha' Allah.

47A: Heart rhythm: DIASTOLE. New word to me. I've never heard of SYSTOLE either.

51A: Actor Knight: TED. Here is a picture of him in "Caddyshack".

52A: Overrefined: EFFETE. If you say so.

55A: Volcanic rock ejecta: SCORIA. Holy hotwick. I completely forgot this word.

65A: Wire-service letters: UPI. Does it still exist? Feels like AP dominates all the news sources.

68A: Feudal laborer: ESNE. What's the difference between ESNE and SERF?

69A: Mary of "Where Eagles Dare": URE. A complete fail-URE for me. I can never remember this actress's name.

75A: Spanish red: ROJO. New Spanish word to me.

78A: Patriotic men's org: SAR (Sons of the American Revolution). "Patriotic women's org." is DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution).

81A: Porthos, to Athos: AMI. Great clue.

82A: Satellite of Jupiter: ELARA. Unknown to me. How can I remember it? E LARA (Zhivago's love)?

90A: Place position: SECOND. Win, place and show, horse racing term.

95A: Full of: suff.: ULENT. As in opulent and fraudent. I went through lots of trouble getting this answer.

100A: Hemlock homes: NESTS. Why?

114A: Kind of ray: MANTA. Great picture. Is it edible?

127A: Antiknock fluid: ETHYL. Ha, I got it today.

128A: Adenauer: DER ALTE. I am more used to seeing ALTE is often clued as "Der ___: Adenauer".

129A: Pearson and Flatt: LESTERS. The answer revealed itself after I filled in the surrounds. I knew neither of them. LESTER Pearson was a Canadian politician who won Nobel peace prize in 1957. Wikipedia says LESTER Flatt is "one of the pioneers of bluegrass music".


2D: Tropical lizard: ANOLE. Such a strange mix of green and blue.

7D: R. Reagan's Star Wars: SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative). Introduced in 1983.

8D: "Fernando" group: ABBA. Here is the clip. It's a new song to me. Who is "Fernando"?

10D: Hornswoggled: ROOKED. "Hornswoggle" is new word to me.

13D: Rains and Debussy: CLAUDES. Monet too.


24D: Wholly confused: CHAOTIC

29D: Incarnation of Vishnu: RAMA. No idea. See this picture. I bet I will forget it after lunch.

35D: Versifier Nash: OGDEN

38D: Bleaching vat: KIER. Have never heard of this vat before. Sounds like a German name to me.

40D: Gilberto of Bossa-Nova fame: ASTRUD. I forgot her name. Do remember the song "The Girl From Ipanema".

42D: Michael Caine film: ALFIE. "Jude Law film" too.

43D: Salad green: ESCAROLE. I always call it endive. It's quite bitter, so different from Belgian endive.

56D: Small isles: AITS. This word only exists in the crossword world, doesn't it?

58D: Center starter?: EPI. Epicenter.

59D: Windy City rail inits: CTA (Chicago Transit Authority). Wikipedia says CTA is "the second largest transit system in the United States and fourth largest in North America". New York City's MTA is the #1 I suppose? Who are the other two before CTA?

60D: Soprano Te Kanawa: KIRI. I googled her name. She is from New Zealand, and she sang at Diana and Prince Charles' wedding.

71D: Indonesian island group: ARU. I can never remember this island group (lower right corner).

72D: Long-snouted fish: GAR. Also called needlefish. This GAR is ruthless.

73D: Masticated: CHEWED. "Masticate" is a new word to me. Sounds so DF.

77D: University of Maine town: ORONO

83D: Dijon donkey: ANE. I wish it were broken up as AN E ("Wheel of Fortune" buy).

86D: Travel stamps: VISAS

91D: Trump namer: DECLARER. Bridge?

99D: "The Bells of __": ST MARYS. New film to me.

101D: Quantity of a look?: EYEFUL. Nice clue.

104D: Like successful jingles: CATCHY

111D: Boston cagers, for short: CELTS

112D: Small harbor: INLET. How is it different from cove?

116D: Ed or Leon: AMES. I got it from the across fills. AMES is always clued as "Iowa college town".

124D: Eng. instruction letters: ITA (Initial Teaching Alphabet). Too obscure for me. This is where I prefer the clue to be a partical, you know, "Call IT A day" sounds so much better.



Anonymous said...

As a born and bred southerner, I can verify that southern people do like testicles for supper. When a little lad, I watched my grandpa castrate the pigs with his pocket knife and carefully divvy up the prizes with the black men helping him. If there were an accidental miscount, the men would fight for their fair share of the pig testicles. But southerners aren’t the only lovers of porker delicacy. On the highway over Mount Rose between Lake Tahoe Nevada and Reno there is a very nice restaurant with a large banner across the building proclaiming “Turkey Nuts”. They really were just that – and they sold a lot of them

Chris in LA said...


Nothing substantial to add other than:

3000 - "Tastes good"

Happy Sunday to all!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Are those "Turkey Nuts" heavily spiced?

Mmm, good one. Have you tried "Turkey Nuts" before? How about turkey eggs?

Thanks for the fire/pyre doublet link yesterday. Fascinating read.

Now I won't have problem remembering Lake Titicaca again. It brought to mind The Grand Teton National Park.

C.C. Burnikel said...

That's a nice COLETTE quote. I hope you are enjoying the sun & the sea with your wife.

Clear Ayes,
Your taste in poems in impeccable. I love how you always pick up a pertinent poem for our daily amusement & inspiration. That's a hot, sexy, "Wet" poem yesterday.

Hope your mom is doing well. What is a stash wall?

Re: Cabaret. What is "a blushing girl"? Is it the same as "shrinking violet?"

Chris in LA said...


No "turkey nuts" (had never heard of them until Bedeviler's post this morning) and no turkey eggs. I'm not a big fan of "gamey" tasting meat, ("specialty" meats, deer, etc.). My best turkey "experiment" was deep-frying one the first Thanksgiving I lived down here (8 yrs. ago) and I'll never eat turkey any other way again as it is the most delicious way to prepare the bird - if you haven't tried it before, you should put it on your "Bucket List".

C.C. Burnikel said...

Barb B,
I think I mentioned this before, Cantonese sausages have honey or sugar as ingredient. They taste sweet. They are the sweetmeats to me.

Here is my understanding after reading your "Catch -22" link: "Jamais vu" seems to hint that you've seen the word before, but when it's clued in another form, you can't recognize it. For example, I have no problem getting EVE if the clue is "First sinner?". But I might experience a "Jamais vu" moment if the clue is "First lady?" See here for more information.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Do you know where all the turkey eggs go? I've never seen them at any grocery store.

Bounty Hunter,
Thanks for the coaxial cable and triaxial cable yesterday. You have a cool name.

kazie said...

I'd guess ORANJE is ORANGE and STAD is CITY. Stadt is city in German. The Dutch royalty is the "House of Orange", and during the world's cup in 2006, I saw soccer supporters in Amsterdam all wearing orange outfits.

And thank you for the wiki link on "jamais vu". I learned something! It also explains "presque vu" further down.

Chris in LA said...


Re: Turkey Eggs

Looked it up.

Martin said...

C.C., I suppose ITA could be clued as "Spanish feminine suffix" or is that to literal a clue?


Anonymous said...

late paper today. I thnik that the new delivery person had too much eggnog. I agree that this christms puzzle is little late in the year, but it was worth a sunday morning. I learned some new words like "escorole"; "ITA";"scoria" ; abd"elara". question: Do other puzzle workers work out the only possilbe answer and then look it up to check or vice versa. Most of the time if i come back toa clue, i can figure it out based on various letter combination that just have to be right. Some words i semi-remember and get them based on the answer that i know are right. What about it CC. Also does anyone have a good memory techique for the roman letters for numbers. After one, five, and ten; i am lost with the c's, d's and m'.

aogato from alabama

Chris in LA said...

@ abogato (sp?),

I use google for "spell-check" all the time. As far as Roman Numerals are concerned - 4 years of High School Latin and one year of College Latin - all from Jesuit priests have pretty much seered the details into my brain. Search "Roman Numerals" on google and I'm sure you'll find a ready-resource for how they work (IMHO).

kazie said...

For the Roman numerals, I just do remember the L for fifty, but C is connected to CENT--100 in French, or our cent coin, one hundredth of a dollar. The M is part of the French or Latin MILLE which means 1,000 in both languages. The D (500) is one I have no real explanation for, except if it stands for DEMI, as in half 1,000.

Chris in LA said...


Didn't you used to have a Roman Numeral link on the main page?

kazie said...

Here is wiki's explanation of their history

Anonymous said...

C.C., I've consumed just a half dozen turkey nuts in my life, and that on a dare atop Mount Rose one night. Hard to say if they were spicey or not since nothing in my history with which to compare. I would say they were lightly battered, tender and tasty. Could compare favorably with lightly battered fried oysters - if anyone would stoop to frying a tender and succulent fresh oyster.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, No Sunday puzzle for me, but I do like to read C.C.'s posts and all the blog responses.

47A DIASTOLE. Anybody who has had their blood pressure taken (everybody??) should know about systolic and diastolic pressures

The top number is the systolic blood pressure reading. It represents the maximum pressure exerted when the heart contracts.

The bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure reading. It represents the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest.

In adults, the systolic pressure should be less than 120 and the diastolic pressure should be less than 80.

Chris in LA, I don't know if it will do your blood pressure any good, but deep fried turkey is the best! We have one of those big outdoor deep fryers and make turkey, pork loin or chicken several times a year. BTW, deep fried meat can be frozen, thawed and heated in the oven...almost as good as right out of the deep fryer. It is quite amazing, when done correctly, how little oil is absorbed into the meat.

Bedeviler, I've never tried testicles, Rocky Mountain, Turkey Nuts or otherwise. Next time we are in Tahoe, I'll take a chance and look for the restaurant.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Wow, a "jamais vu" moment for me on stadt. You explained it to me before. Now Oranjestad looks perfectly normal. Thanks. Is "g" to "j" transformation a normal occurrence?

I think your ITA clue is perfect.

Thanks for the turkey egg link. Now you piqued my curiosity. I want to have turkey eggs. I've just put Roman Numerals and Greek Letter links back. I accidentally hit DELETE rather than SAVE key in late Oct when I tried to make some changes

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous @ 11:41am,
Hmmm, oyster again. You are Bedeviler, aren't you?

Clear Ayes,
You are one daring lady. Have you tried turkey egg before?

Abogato from Alabama,
I know I won't see you for another week. So Happy New Year to you! I think different solvers have different solving strategy. Letter combination option is one employed by many speed-solvers.

WM said...

I'm in the same situation as Clear Ayes...we only get the NYTimes one which is often very weird. Not nearly as much fun, though always more challenging.

C.C.:When I was growing up (eons ago), we had friends in the CA Central Valley area that had a turkey farm...we had turkey eggs for breakfast when we went to stay with them...reaching back in my memory, I think they were much stronger in flavor and I don't remember particularly liking them, They were definitely fresh, mostly fertile, and pretty much organic by today's standards. Their mom usually served them scrambled as they were fairly large for a single serving fried.

kazie said...

Rather than a "ge" sound, in Dutch the "j" often combines with an "i" to form a vowel sound and looks and sounds like our vowel "y". For example, in their word for dyke (Brit. sp.), dike (Am. sp.), which I believe they spell dijk. So it sounds more like a "y", (as in German e.g. Johann). In Amsterdam the huge Rijksmueum is another example. (cf. German Reichsmuseum).

As a consonant it also sounds like our "y", but the sound is ignored (dropped) after certain other consonants like n or t. The letter "g" is always hard, like our word "good". So when we use a soft "g" in English, it's maybe derived from a root word where the letter "j" was used instead, regardless of its original pronunciation.

In many ways Dutch sounds like a cross between German and English. Much of what I know is from observation, and a little "Teach yourself Dutch" book I still have from my youth.

Anonymous said...


Diastole is the bottom half of the blood pressure reading, for instance if your BP is normal 120/80, diastole is 80 and systole is 120.

Elaine looks like she is having a seizure, hence her BP would be elevated!


dougl said...

Some trivia on "effete" -- one of Nixon VP Spiro Agnew's infamous quotes was “A spirit of national masochism prevails, encouraged by an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.” Almost as good as his "nattering nabobs of negativism” line. He later resigned over a bribery scandal dating from his previous term as a governor. May make this word easier to remember if it ever appears again.

KittyB said...

C.C., I have a set of shelves in my bedroom that are 8 feet wide by roughly six and a half feet tall which hold fabric for quilting. The fabric varies in size from a quarter of a yard to as much as ten yards in one piece. I am very conservative, so my fabrics are jewel tones, neutrals and darks, rather than novelties or pastels or brights. Quilters call their collection of fabric a "stash," so the area where I store it is my "stash wall." The red and green and tan quilt I use as my picture was made from fabrics I pulled from that stash There are easily 50 different fabrics in that quilt.

I checked in to find the answers for a few of the clues in my c/w and found that you have a different puzzle than I have. Mine is "Old/New Things," and the answer for 1D is "Isobars." No toys in sight.

C.C., Mother is holding her own, not getting better, but not seriously worse. Thanks for asking.

KittyB said...

Wolfmom, what's your most favorite cookbook? I seem to have amassed a fair collection of them over the years. I like to joke that in the Bubba Gump cookbook all the recipes start out with:

"Take a pound of butter..."

snowwolf said...

Hi C.C.
I seem to be having a problem with either 13A.Clashes? and 15D.AR?AR for Bellowing[15D.]
I seem to be going off track because ARUAR has no meaning if i'm correct.
25A. I have AMUNGST

Great site C.C.

Chris in LA said...

@ snowwolf


snowwolf said...

oh my god,,I never even thought of checking the spelling of AMUNGST...AMONGST.
I was so focused on 15D.

Chris in LA said...

@ snowwolf,

You're welcome - that's what we're here for. Have a great day!

Jeannie said...

I don't get the Sunday paper, but do read the blog and comments. Regarding turkey eggs...I drive by two big turkey farms everyday from rural MN into work. I happen to know one of the owners and have had a turkey egg. It's like having two chicken eggs at once. They are a little bit tastier in my book, as the taste of yolks are deeper. On a sad note, about 4 times a year as I drive by the farm, I'll notice a lot of white feathers on the sides of the roads which tells me he has had them loaded up on a truck to take to slaughter.

JD said...

Hi C.C. and all,

Like Clear ayes and Kathleen we don't get the Sun. puzzle either, but like to check in and learn new things.
Clear ayes that was a very clear explanation of diastolic & systolic. I thought I knew what they were, and I only sort of did. Does anyone else have the "white coat" syndrome where you get so nervous at the doctor's office so your blood pressure goes whacko? I monitor mine at home, and I'm still alive.

I'm kind of an ABBAholic; love their sound. I could not find out who Fernando was,but it was first recorded in Swedish by Anni-Frid Lyngstad ( I only told you that because of her last name)on a solo album.The following year,1975,her group, ABBA, recorded it in English. It was the biggest selling single in Australian history until Elton John's "Candle in the Wind."

I'm not as brave as Clear ayes, I will pass on those terkey nuts.Eeewww!

Our crown molding is complete, even sanded and painted. Looks fabulous!

WM said...

KittyB: My 2 most used cookbooks ar Julia's Mastering the Art of French cooking, Vol 1 and a very old, original copy of Jaques Pepin's La Technique. Of more recent ones, I love to cook from Bouchon by Thomas Keller. For Desserts I love Alice Medrich and Flo Braker(both Bay Area ladies). I too have the Bubba Gump cookbook and I think that the butter thing is bothe French and Southern, as Paula Dean is big on Butter(although I don't have any of her cookbooks). My husband built 2 beautiful 4' x 8' bookshelves to house my cookbooks and when I started piling them on the floor, I thought it might be time to stop for awhile. Do you have one that is always a "go to" when you need a particular recipe?

C.C. Knitters and Crocheters also have "stashes"...lots yarns and left over bits from projects.A Friend who is an avid quilter has a whole room with shelves and tubs full of fabrics. We even brought fabric back from trips to Europe.

Jeannie, your taste recollections on Turkey eggs are definitely more recent and perhaps, as an adult, I might find the eggs very tasty now.

Barb B said...

"I think I mentioned this before, Cantonese sausages have honey or sugar as ingredient. They taste sweet. They are the sweetmeats to me."

I would be willing to try those; they seem much more appealing as sweetbreads/sweetmeats.

I never had turkey eggs that I know of; Where DO all those eggs go? On second thought, maybe I did eat them when I was a kid. We had about a dozen turkeys on the farm, and when you're 2 or 3 years old, they are at eye level. And they are not friendly. They ran loose in the yard, and I was terrified to walk down the porch steps.

One of my good 'dad' memories is of him eating the eggs off my plate when mom turned her back to the table. Maybe the reason I didn't like them was that they came from the dreaded turkeys?

Ahhhh, another childhood mystery solved. :-)

RichShif said...

Good evening C.C. and all.

No Sunday c/w for me. To answer C.C.'s question...I think in the song Cabaret, blushing girl and shrinking violet could be considered the same. Generally I think of a blushing girla as some one who is easily embarrassed. A shrinking violet is a very shy person. A wallflower and shrinking violet would be the same.

Anonymous said...

That is surprising that CTA is the fourth-largest transit system in North America. You're right in supposing the New York's is the largest.

The second largest is Mexico City Metro and the third-largest is the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).

Toronto is also home to Lester B. Pearson International airport :)

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for the answers.