Dec 25, 2008

Thursday December 25, 2008 Willy A. Wiseman

Theme: A Red and Green Christmas

18A: Eco-vineyards' product?: GREEN WINES (Red Wines. Eco=Green)

20A: Overnight flight to Ireland?: GREEN-EYE (Red-Eye. The Emerald Isle = Green)

33A: Sitcom set in Georgia?: RED ACRES ("Green Acres". Georgia soil = Red)

43A: Rookie emmet?: GREEN ANT (Red Ant. Rookie = Green)

57A: Embarrassed bird?: RED HERON (Green Heron. Embarrased = Red)

61A: Song about a jacket?: RED SLEEVES ("Greensleeves". How is "jacket" connected to Red? Red Jacket? If so, shouldn't jacket be capitalized?)

3D: Big star in canned veggies?: RED GIANT (Green Giant. Big star = Red)

40D: Five-dollar pickerel?: GREENFIN (Redfin. Fin is slang for five-dollar bill. Color of money = Green)

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wow, I've never seen a weekday puzzle with eight theme answers, which are more commonly found in a Sunday 21*21 grid.

I muddled through this puzzle like a mad mouse. I got the theme quickly, but I was utterly confused by some of the theme clues, esp 61A & 40D. Have never heard of the song or the redfin fish. Did not know the meaning of "pickerel" either.

Great puzzle from our editor Wayne Williams (Willy A. Wiseman is an anagram of his real name). I liked the balance of four red colors and 4 green colors. Wish EVE (34D: Night before" were clued as "Night before Christmas, e.g.".


5A: Wrinkly fruits: UGLIS. Have never seen an UGLI in person.

14A: Royal role for Liz: CLEO. The "Advertising award" is CLIO.

15A: Pearl Harbor's island: OAHU. And UKES (56A: Hawaiian strings).

16A: Mystery story?: ALIBI. Nice clue.

23A: Abnormal wobbling: SHIMMY. Is this SHIMMY "abnormal"?

22A: Resembling: QUASI

32A: Game pieces: MEN. This clue has worn out its welcome.

36A: Comparative phrase: IS TO. I wrote down THAN first.

38A: Larger and deeper fiddle: VIOLA. "Larger and deeper"? Compared to what? Violin?

39A: Some NCOs: SGTS

47A: Cubic meter: STERE

55A: Serving dish: TUREEN. This one looks very fancy.

69A: Burst of energy: SPASM


2D: "Telephone Line" grp.: ELO. Here is the clip, not a familiar song to me. But when in doubt, fill in ELO.

4D: Battle cry: TO ARMS. Why? I don't get it. Do soldiers really cry "TO ARMS" on battlefield?

7D: Chop __ : SUEY. American Chinese food. I had never heard of it until I arrived in the US.

9D: Big letters in Detroit: UAW. Why are they so adamanet about not cutting the salaries? Sacrifice should be shared.

10D: Superficial proficiency: GLIBNESS

12D: Spain's place: IBERIA. "Portugal's place" too.

23D: Area meas.: SQ MI. Lots of trouble in this area for me.

29D: Rhone tributary: SAONE. No idea. See this map. I am not sure if it's accurate. SAONE is supposed to join Rhone at Lyon.

37D: Female monsters: OGRESSES. Only knew OGRE.

44D: Notes of scales: RES. Sometimes RES is clued as "Legal thing".

48D: Drinks noisily: SLURPS. We Chinese/Japanese SLURP when we eat noodles too.

49D: Resume: TAKE UP. Really? They are not synonymous to me.

49D: Greek stone seat for several: EXEDRA. New word to me. Also spelled as EXHEDRA. Alright, EX is a prefix for "out of", and HEDRA is Greek for "seat".

52D: Golf events: PRO-AMS. Have not seen Mark McGwire for a long time. He used to be very active in those PRO-AMS.

54D: Uno e due: TRE. Italian for three. I think the best clue I've seen for TRE is "It's past due".

59D: Half of MXIV: DVII. Roman 507.

62D: Moon buggy: LEM



Martin said...

17 minutes 55 seconds. I too was confused by some of the clues: the only real unknowns were EXEDRA, SAONE and EDIES. I wanted AS IF for IS TO.


Anonymous said...

59d --you never heard of thou ="10c-notes". Where have you been? Pat yourself on the back, i have been doing crosswords since 1986 and have lived in this country all my life(69yrs).

You know more proper English usage and Literature than i will ever know. Pat your native land on the back also. Kids in America have too much time off from school and love to go out and play like i did. All i wanted to do is play ball. Summer vacations, Spring breaks, Christmas, Easter, Chanukah breaks.

Having said that i will wish happy holidays to you and yours and now i am going out to play.


C.C. Burnikel said...

Martin & Louis,
Merry Christmas! Do you know why TO ARMS is clued as "Battle cry" (4D)?

I am aware that our body can only absorb the nutrients of FLAX seed when it's ground. Do you keep the ground seed in the fridge or do you grind it freshly every morning?

The "altered" landscape scene looks like it's from Europe. Where did you get the inspiration?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Oh, Dennis meant "being a vegetable". I did not get it at all. Thought he hates OKRA.

Re: Migraine. Is it because of food allergy? I know dairy products, nuts and dried fruits can cause some people headache. You might want to give up the above mentioned food for a while and see if it works.

Nice log to Lois. How did you know there is no quip today?

Dennis said...

Good morning, c.c. and gang, and MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone.

I agree, c.c., good theme, and it certainly made the puzzle a breeze. Didn't know 'exedra', but the perps got it for me. "To arms" is a battle cry of old - the best battle cry I ever heard of was by a Marine, Dan Daly, in WWI: "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?" He won TWO Medals of Honor.

Gotta finish packing and get on the road - I hope everyone has their best Christmas yet.
C.C., you've given us a wonderful year-round Christmas present; for that I am eternally grateful.

See you all later tomorrow.

Argyle said...

To arms - what I picture Paul Revere yelling on his ride through the countryside, "To Arms! The British are coming!"

My foreknowledge - The Post-Star publishes every day of the year(Scrooge), but they let the Bob Cratchit's go home early so the papers were in the convenient stores by nine.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Gotta type fast because the little guy is probably going to wake up soon and want to open all his presents....

Fine puzzle today with no real surprises. I grocked the theme early on, which made it even easier. One of the only total unknowns was SAONE, and since 28A could have been either ESE or ENE, I briefly debated about putting NAONE instead of SAONE. But SAONE just looked better to me, so I went with it.

The other total unknown was EXEDRA, which sounds more like a weight-loss drug than a stone seat. It came easily via the perps, though.

And that's it! Have a great day, everyone. It's time to unwrap presents and then it's off to my mom's house for our annual Chinese food Christmas feast...

RichShif said...

Merry Christmas C.C. and all,

Overall fairly easy puzzle. Had a couple of mistakes that I corrected once I got here. Usually get stere and stele mixed up which made ogresses oglesser. Don't ask...I misinterrupted the cue and was thinking of what a female would think a monster was. I knew that I was wrong because I had LET instead of LEM which I knew. Had spurt for spasm and just knew that that had to be correct. I was wrong. Exedra is new to me and I had ENE for 28A, making 29D Saone which was another unknown. Made those corrections and now everything is right with the world.

RE: Migraine triggers....Mine occur mostly to stress. Have reduced caffeinne consumption which does help. Only drink de-caf coffe and tea. Funny thing about caffeinne is that it can bring on a migraine but can also help cure it. Biggest problem is that I have been off the preventative mdicine for about 5 mos. and that has lead to an increase of occurance.

Here is a Beatles song Night Before

Argyle said...

An easy puzzle for us may not mean an easy puzzle for the constructor. I liked how the theme answers' mirror image was the opposite color.

NYTAnonimo said...

Haven't had a chance to work the puzzle but just wanted to wish everyone a blessed Christmas and new year!

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. ~Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart. ~Washington Irving

Anonymous said...

18:50 for me today. When I was a kid there used to be a poor part of town called the shimmies. According to older folks it got it's name because when the train would come through all houses near the tracks would shimmy!

23A: Abnormal wobbling: SHIMMY. Is this SHIMMY "abnormal"?

Anonymous said...

Uh Dennis,

You don't win the CMH you are awarded. Only those who show extreme courage under fire are even considered. Some are awarded posthumously.

That is a common misconception people think it something to be won.

Anonymous said...


Merry Christmas Honey! The question has been answered.

Boomer said...

Well, I'm a little Red at crossword puzzling so getting about 95% of this one keeps me from getting Green faced. If you are travelling today, remember to stop for the Green lights and proceed when they turn Red, and have a safe and happy holiday!


Clear Ayes said...

Merry Christmas All, Fun puzzle. Once I caught the theme I filled in either RED or GREEN and it made it go that much faster. (Is that cheating? I don't think so.)

I remembered STERE, but SAONE and EXEDRA were new kids on the block for me.

No poem today, just a sincerely wished Merry Christmas to all of you.

A special thanks to C.C. for being such a dedicated blog leader and a genuinely nice person.

JD said...

Will say Merry Christmas before reading blog as I'm waiting for familt to arrive for the "Opening of the stockings"..breakfast is ready. It would be nice if you were closer.

Anyway, thank you Mr Williams for such a fun c/w. I had four little blank squares as I am rushing: M for men, and i as in is to. I was thinking yd or ft, nit miles.DOH! I guessed the S in Saone because Naone didn't seem right. I was stuck on ugli, so while looking it up I found an intersting blog that looks like it will be fun to peruse some day.. maybe not. Since I don't knoe the meaning of pique, that will be my last fill.

Have a great day all of you

I have not checked my spelling!

kazie said...

I echo clear ayes in wishing c.c. and all of you the very best of everything for the holidays and beyond. We decided to stay home today because the roads would have made the two hour trip north more torture than it was worth, and we needed to relax.

Only unknown for me today was EXEDRA, and I had LAMEST in the cross, so didn't correct it until coming here. Otherwise easy though.

Saône is correct on your map--it continues as far as Lyon, where it becomes part of the Rhône.

Be careful of those red/green traffic signals. I got rear ended Tuesday by a truck because I stopped for an orange left turn light and he couldn't stop in time on ice. Miraculously, my only damage was a scrape to the rear bumper, since he veered to try and avoid colliding, and I had moved forward as much as I dared when I saw him sliding behind me. Another reason for our leeriness about driving today.

Be safe, all of you!

Anonymous said...

Just want to wish all of you a very happy,safe,MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! And thanks to you C.C. for the enjoyment I get from reading all the comments and occasionally joining in.

WM said...

Happy Christmas and and wishing you a peaceful day.
Stuggled at bit at the start, maybe too much good food and wine last night. Off to more good food, wine and family this evening. The Red/Green theme was fun and helped. 43A stumped me because of emmet and had trouble with the F in 40D.
C.C. a special thanks for getting the puzzle done for us today. FYI: a viola is like a larger violin, but strung the same as a cello,the violin is strung the same as a string bass. Used to play both viola and cello in my much younger days.
As to the paintings, the castle(which is in Scotland) is the only "real" thing in the painting. The rest is just imaginiation. I gradually altered images on earlier paintings until I got to that point. Hopefully, in January sometime I will have my new and improved website up and running. We will also be adding a blog to it down the road. Will invite everyone to check it out when complete...for now, the older paintings are at:

Warmest wishes to all.

Jeannie said...

Merry Christmas to all that post here! It was an easy puzzle for me today, almost did it in "Dennis" time...not more that 10 minutes for me.

Did any of you other DF's out there notice the thread of shimmy, pert, sisters?

Democrat, hope your cold is managable. Keep up with the toddies, they seem to do the trick. If anything, they help you sleep!

Jeannie said...

C.C. by the way, if you buy an ugli fruit (you can find them at Cub) and keep it where you might have spiders, it keeps them away somehow. I seem to get them in my basement laundry room, and the fruit seems to work.

Crockett1947 said...

Merry Christmas, everyone! Messed up on the LAXEST/EXEDRA crossing. LAMEST/EMEDRA looked good to me. Time to start another new streak tomorrow -- had 35 in a row this time, my 9th best run since I started keeping records. It's finally above freezing and we can try to dig out the cars and prepare to get back into the flow of things tomorrow.

Have a lovely day.

lois said...

Merry Christmas CC et al: Easy & fun puzzle today w/a cute theme. Nice catch, Argyle, on the mirror image. And thank you for last night. The 'Yule Log' was exceptional! I hope it was as good for you.

Jeannie: I did notice the DF thread running throughout including your 3 words and 'men' at the start, followed by eclat, to arms, takeup, held, slurps,and spasm rounding the curve, then snit and alibi coming down the straightaway, ending with 'afar' at the finish. Great storyline and what a ride! I'm sure 'green eye' would fit in there easily as well.

Jeannie, I think a case of uglis would keep away a lot of things...unless paper bags were used. Merry Christmas to you too.

CC: I wish you especially the Happiest of Christmases and of everything. Thank you for all you do.

carol said...

A very Merry Christmas to you C.C. and to all of my blogger friends!
Thank you C.C. for doing this and making my life more interesting. I have learned so much here and have made several good friends. I want you to know how much I appreciate all you have done and hopefully will continue to do.

Argyle said...

Lois et al,

Here is the yule log I just couldn't get myself to link last night. Too DF?

C.C. Burnikel said...

I am also grateful for all the knowledge and fun you've been bringing to us every day.

Very acute observation on the mirroring of colors. I failed to notice that. I love the links you've brought to Lois lately. Wonderfully DF! But what is that yule log? Chocolate-covered something? Lovely mushrooms.

Jimbo et al,
Thanks for the sweet messages. I look forward to spending more Christmases and holidays with all of you.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for the VIOLA information. You've got a very imaginative mind.

I will try Cub next week. Always get our groceries at Rainbow. I think I want to eat UGLI.

35 in a row? That's incredible! What's your record?

Chris in LA said...

Merry Xmas to all,

Saw "Marley & Me" today - bring a handkerchief or half-a-box of Kleenex. Great book, movie well-done also.

No extra comments on today's puzzle. Theme was pretty apparent eventually & I struggled same places as others (what's an "ogress", let alone more than one to excuse the "-es" ending? Seems like an "afar" stretch to me).

I thought RED (green) HERON, RED (green) SLEEVES and GREEN (red) FIN clues were particularly weak as they made no sense to me then or now.

Anyway, enough ranting - hope all got what they wanted!

Jeannie said...

Lois, I was just giving you a rope so to speak. I was thinking more in the line of a "red eye" too. Hope you enjoyed your day everyone.

C.C. I have to admit I have never eaten an ugli fruit. Let me know how it is. I HATE spiders so I will try anything to shoo them away.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Merry Christmas! You did not watch "Marley & Me" alone, did you?

Clear Ayes et al,
Clue: Fall guy
Answer: MARK


Crockett1947 said...

Back in June of 2007 I had 57 puzzles in a row. That's with no errors, but it doesn't mean that I didn't use Google to check answers or even find some. I look at doing the puzzle as an educational exercise. That was also before this marvelous blog, so I was flying solo, so to speak. I seem to blow it on proper names, usually, so this one was a different error.

Razz said...

C.C. & DF's - Merry Christmas. Hope Santa delivered all of the presents that your hearts desired for the wonderful season of sharing. Thank you God for sharing your Son.

Interesting role reversals for the green and red. Made me scratch my head at Red Giant. Was pretty far along before the Doh, moment!

Pray for peace. Thank all of you that have served and are serving your country to keep us safe and free.

Again - Merry Christmas to all.

kazie said...

For those who are unfamiliar with the song "Greensleeves", this should help.

Anonymous said...


I have to wait until Friday I have no whiskey at home. I go to the bar and get a toddy. The question you posed on my blog has been answered.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Argyle said...

The story on making the yule log is at this site. Most of the pics of other logs showed them with the end sliced off. I shuttered.

Clue: Fall guy
Answer: MARK, patsy, scapegoat, sap, sucker; anyone being set up to take the blame.

Chris in LA said...


I suppose, technically, no as there were about 75 other people in the theater - none of whom were sitting next to me, though.

Terrific film & I reccomend it for all, especially those who have dogs.

lois said...

Argyle: Between Devil Dogs and Yule Logs, what's a girl to do? When ya can't choose between two, take both. Santa Baby, you have outdone yourself and fulfilled my wildest dreams. I hope you rest well. You deserve it. Great job! Thank you. You have an open invitation to my chimney.

RichShif said...

Lois made me do it. Here's Eartha Kitt's Santa Baby Santa did not leave me anything like that under the tree. I must travel with the wrong crowd.

Argyle said...

With great sorrow, I report that Eartha Kitt died today. I have two versions of Dan Fogelberg's bittersweet Same Old Lang Syne and I dedicate them to Miss Kitt's memory.



lois said...

Rich: Why, thank you! I'm flattered. However, I can only accept some of the responsibility with pride and pleasure. I credit Argyle for inspiring me with his mouth-watering and more than satisfying 'gifts'. Beyond that, who always wins the 'booby prizes'? Dennis. So even tho' he's not here to accept this 'honor' (or to defend himself), I think he deserves to share some of the credit (or blame) as well. At any rate, thank you for that most appropriate clip and apparently allowing me to help make you the 'upstanding' man you are .. a true credit to your gender. (BTW, flattery may get you laid by some, but it won't help you win any pool games, buckaroo. You're still goin' down!)

KittyB said...

Merry Christmas, all!

I wish you all health and good fortune in the coming year.

C.C., thanks for hours of diversion and companionship this past year.

lois said...

Argyle: That is so sad! She will be missed terribly and remembered forever. What a loss! Thank you for letting us know. Your tribute is so fitting and sweet.

Anonymous said...

17:02 for me today (26 Dec 2008) More comments as the become available on most of these CBS stations..................