Dec 23, 2008

Tuesday December 23, 2008 John Underwood

Theme: Hollywood Actor Brothers

20A: Brothers Jeff and Beau: BRIDGES

22A: Brothers John and James: BELUSHI

39A: Brothers River and Joaquin: PHOENIX

56A: Brothers Ben and Casey: AFFLECK

59A: Brothers Alec, William et al.: BALDWIN

25D: Brothers Emilio and Carlos, a.k.a. Charles Sheen: ESTEVEZ

I am a bit confused by the clues. If it's "Brothers Ben and Casey", shouldn't the answer be plural form AFFLECKS?

I had absolutely zero familarity with the name PHOENIX. I watched and enjoyed Coen brother's "The Big Lebowski", but I did not know that Jeff BRIDGES was the guy who played "the Dude".

When you highlight all the six theme answers of this puzzle, the grid looks quite pretty, with ESTEVEZ crossing PHOENIX.

Why is the clue for "ONE L" (36D: S. Turow book) abbreviated? It's the original title of Scott Turow's book. If it were clued as "First year law student" related, then there should be an abbreviation hint.

Did you like the clue for AIMER (54D: Target sighter)? I would prefer a nice and romantic "To Love, in Paris" clue. It's so cold everywhere, hope this hot & sexy "Je t'aime... moi no plus" warm you up.


1A: Lead balloons: BOMBS

6A: NYC theatrical award: OBIE. No hesitation between TONY and OBIE this morning as I got the intersecting ODDS (6D: Track figures) immediately.

14A: To pieces: APART. Alright then, I love you APART. Hmm, it does not make sense. I guess I love you only "To pieces".

17A: Anatomical networks: RETIA. I only knew the singular form RETE.

24A: Birth-control pioneer: SANGER (Margaret). See here for more information. New name to me also.

28A: Writer Greene: GRAHAM. Knew his name. Have never read his books.

35A: Roman orator: CATO. "The Elder" ("The Censor") or "The Younger"? Wikipedia says The CATO Institute is named after CATO the Younger.

37A: Prince Valiant's wife: ALETA. See this list of all the characters. "Prince Valiant's son" is ARN. Both appeared in our puzzle before.

44A: Cinematographer Nykvist: SVEN. Unknown to me. I do like "The Unbearable Lightness of Being", but I've never paid attention to who the cinematographer is. Wikipedia says he "worked on over 120 films, but is known especially for his work with director Ingmar Bergman". He won 2 Oscars.

50A: Polish coin: GROSZ. No idea. GROSZ is 100th of a ZLOTY, which appeared in our puzzle a few days ago.

61A: Dublin's land: EIRE

63A: "Battlestar Galactica" role: ADAMA. Unknown to me. ADAMA is derived from ancient Greek "adamas" meaning "invincible".

64A: Rugged rock: CRAG. Looks too steep to climb.


2D: Puccini work: OPERA. "Tosca" doesn't fit. But it has 5-letter too.

3D: Metz morning: MATIN. Beautiful "Chanson de MATIN" clip.

4D: Female Fonda: BRIDGET. Is "Female" a wordplay on her movie "Single White Female"?

8D: Pitcher Hideki: IRABU. Former pitcher to be exact. His card is not worth much. Interesting, I did not know that Yankees fans called him "I rob you". That's a great play on his name I RAB U.

9D: Sportscaster Dick: ENBERG. "Oh My!". I do live under the rock. Have never heard of this guy before.

21D: Writer Segal: ERICH. I can never remember this author's name. How to pronounce ERICH? Like Eric? "Love Story" is so moving.

23D: Dr. Seuss book (with "The"): LORAX. No idea. What does "The LORAX" mean? Another whimisically made-up word?

32D: Newtons' filler: FIGS. Good clue.

39D: Chaplain: PADRE. It's "Military chaplain", isn't it?

43D: Angled fairways: DOGLEGS. OK, this hole doglegs to the left. I bet there are waters on the left so hookers will have trouble finding their balls. Most of my friends are slicers. I wish I knew how to fade/draw.

45D: Singer Mercury: FREDDIE. Foreign to me. I googled his name and found out that he wrote "We Are the Champions". I seem to remember that Josh Groban covered that song also, but I couldn't find it in the YouTube. Anyway, I love, love "You Raise Me Up", so good.

47D: Mammalian epoch: EOCENE. Would not have got it had I not cheated on the crossing GROSZ. Boy, my memory really sucks. We just had this word a week ago.

49D: Mercedes-Benz model: E-CLASS. E stands for "Einspritzung", German for "fuel injection", says Wikipedia. I've never heard of it before.

53D: Bob Hope film, "Call me__": BWANA. Learned this film from doing crossword. Swahili for "our father".

59D: __ noire: BETE. What, a kind of cake also? Doesn't sound appealing, does it? I would try it if it were called BELLA noire.



C.C. Burnikel said...

Forgot to thank you for the Journey on Saturday. I would like to have some wine.

Your snowflake looks pretty.

Is that tea cup or coffee cup?

Thanks for "facetiously". Hope to see you on the map today.

Martin said...

14 minutes 45 seconds. A lot of unknowns: SANGER, CATO, ALETA, SVEN, GROSZ, IRABU, ENBERG, ERICH, LORAX, ONEL, E CLASS, BETE and BWANA. I wanted TONY for OBIE, PALE for DRAB, and HEATS for SEARS. I forget what the answer to 29D was: I wanted CURE. And is ACCUSAL suppose to be a noun? It looks like an adjective. Oh and, C.C., isn't 39D PADRE not PADRA?

There's supposed to be a Christmas party tonight but I'm way way too tired to go. Goodnight.


Dennis said...

Good morning, c.c. and gang - had to get an early morning workout in, since this day will be another blur. I've got special orders coming out my ears, and of course, everyone has to have it by Christmas.

No real problems with the puzzle; c.c., it's 'Affleck', which gives you 'padre', not 'padra'. Yes, a nickname for a military chaplain.

Today is "Roots Day", so celebrate your origins.

Clear Ayes, wonderful job on the map instructions - by the time I got to look at doing mine, the directions couldn't have been better.

Hope it's an outstanding day for everyone, and that you don't have to venture too near a mall...

Argyle said...

Argyle, is that tea cup or coffee cup?
Well, Darlin', it could be whatever you want it to be. I'm having coffee right now but I like tea, also. I used to love Red Zinger(rose hips and more) but I don't think Celestial Seasonings makes it any more.

Freddie Mercury - lead singer for Queen. Remember I linked Killer Queen awhile back.

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

Bit of a "meh" puzzle for me today. I finished it unassisted, but it left a bland feeling in my mouth.

The good news is that I knew every single celebrity brother mentioned in the puzzle today, so that helped a lot.

RETIA caused me some grief, since I confidently penciled in RETES at first. I've heard of RETE, but never seen the plural written out as RETIA before.

Other unknowns were SANGER, ALETA, SVEN, GROSZ, although I was able to get them all via the perps.

What really slowed me down, however, was the crossing of IRABU, ENBERG and DARN. I figured that 15A was either DARN or DANG, which would either give me IRABU and ENBERG or INABU and EGBERG. Since I didn't know either sports figure, and since each pair of answers seemed equally likely, I finally just had to guess. Fortunately, I guessed correctly. Yeah, I know that IRABU has been in the puzzle before, but it's just one of those names that refuses to lodge into my long-term memory. Just like, er, that other name I can't remember. You know -- the one with the thing.... ^_^

Oh -- and I agree 1000% with C. C. about AIMER. Yuck!

Anonymous said...

Good Morning to CC and Jeannie and all who blog here..............

17:06 today I had fun. It was easy if your are a movie fan.

Still frigid here today. I like cold not frigid. I would like some snow for Christmas. But that looks highly unlikely. :-(

Anonymous said...

49D: Mercedes-Benz model: E-CLASS. E stands for "Einspritzung", German for "fuel injection", says Wikipedia. I've never heard of it before.

I have heard of S Class Mercedes. I wonder what the "S" means?

Anonymous said...

The name "S-Class" derives from the German word "Sonderklasse" of which "S-Class" is an abbreviation. Sonderklasse means "special class" (or rather: "In a class of it's own"), and in automotive terms thus refers to "a specially outfitted car." Although used colloquially for decades, the "S-Class" designation was first officially applied in 1973 with the debut of the W116 model line.

according to wikipedia

kazie said...

Thanks for dealing with the German explanations. Yes, "sonder" means special, as in "Sonderangebot = special offer" i.e. something on sale. Spritz = spray, squirt

Jeff Bridges is very versatile. I think it's his voice-over in the Hyundai ads on TV now. I first saw him in "Starman".

I didn't know ONE L and sailed right through there with IVAN instead of SVEN, without having looked at the clue for TAOS. Other than that no glitches today. I wouldn't have known how to spell GROSZ, but it fell in when I recognized it from the Austrian equivalent (Groschen).

I remember when the song "Je t'aime" first came out, not long after the movie "10", if I remember correctly. Everyone was trying to "get it on" either to that music or "Bolero". It's one of the most DF pieces that exist, I think.

On the cover of the book you linked for ENBERG, I noticed there's a forward by John McEnroe, so he must have been more for tennis. I vaguely recognize his face, but wouldn't have got the name without crosses.

Bête noire reminds me of the English "black sheep" (of a family), in the sense that that person would always be seen as a threat to the family's good repute. In the old days, elegant British families would send them off to Oz to get them out of their hair, and send them an allowance to keep them from coming back. They were called "remittance men".

I never liked Dr. Seuss books for my kids because of all the made-up words. I think it's confusing.

Barry G,
It's funny to see you say you'd prefer a French clue for AIMER!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I was in Hollywood heaven with today's puzzle. I had no trouble with any of the brothers or the other famous names. OK, I didn't know IRABU, ALETA, SVEN or ADAMA, but the perps were friendly and helped me fill in the unknowns.

I'm glad the map instructions helped. It was Dougl who had the original idea yesterday and Crockett1947 who set the whole thing up. My thanks to you guys.

C.C. Maybe an English teach can explain the grammar rules to you, but the singular family name for the brothers is correct. For instance, you might say, "I saw the AFFLECK brothers today." You could also say, "I saw the AFFLECKS today." But you wouldn't say, "I saw the AFFLECKS brothers today."

We do have to get some shopping done today. Fortunately, it won't be at a mall. G.A.H. has some hardware stuff to buy and I'll pick up a few grocery items.

As our Governor would say, "I'll be back."

kazie said...

Another way to look at the surname question would be that each one is an AFFLECK, PHOENIX, etc.

Anonymous said...

To indicate the plurality of the brothers two given names are shown. Those names are followed by a colon (:) which then indicates the singular family name.

g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all,

No problems with this puzzle today, those I didn't know I could easily fill in from the fills other than Enberg which I guessed on, as Barry said didn't know if it was "Darn" or "Dang". In fact, pretty much ditto all of Barry's comments today for me!!!

Well, I must go to the mall to finish up last minute shopping sorry to say...

Kazie: Absolutely loved Dr. Seuss books and read all of them to both my girls when they were young. Both were avid readers, still are, and at least with them there didn't ever seem to be any confusion. My favorite was "Green Eggs and Ham".

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Anonymous said...

I still can't figure out the answer to 10 across (will fo over to google to see if I cn find it there). Also don't know 13 down or 12 down. Why aren't all the answers pur in here?

Anonymous said...

Not terribly difficult but got hung up on some things that everyone else got and knew some of the obscure things that others had trouble with. Not a big movie or TV person, except ages ago.

C.C. APART as in "it fell apart" is the as same "it fell to pieces" Not great English, but then it is a strange language. You might enjoy a funny book by humor write Bill Bryson called "The Mother Tongue...English and How It Got That Way". It explains some of the absurdities of our language and is very funny along the way.
When I was growing up I was a big MAD Magazine fan and they once did a take-off on Prince Valiant, in which his wife was portrayed as a very curvacious ALOTA...very funny, don't know why I remember such random things.
Thanks again to Clear Eyes for the terrific instructions on the map. I went back to change the icon, but there are apparently several of us in the same area. The coffee cup would have been my choice, but too much there, so I chose the purple icon to set things apart.
Cheers to everyone.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone! Another on-line day. Yesterday's newspaper got here about 1 pm, so that might be the situation again today.

Lots of unknown names, but easily got all but ESTEVEZ, which I had to G spot.

Can't find the map this morning. Anyone know where it went?

Seuss' THE LORAX is a heavy environmental treatise. Not your average nonsense book.

10A is ALDA, 12D is DISH and 13D is ANTI.

bethann said...

Today's puzzle put me in a good mood compared with yesterday's puzzle. I knew all the brothers also so it was pretty easy.

c.c. the ONE L is the title of the book. Its a very good book. Turow is one of my favorite authors and I have read all of his books (I believe). Have a good day all
- - :)

kazie said...

The map comes up normally for me. Try again. My computer has been slowing down sometimes when I'm on there, maybe while others are updating. I get it after refreshing google maps and clicking my maps, then checking the Star Tribune Crossword Corner choice.

kazie said...

You have a marker in the middle of the Pcific Ocean.

Also there are two "Placemark 24" icons. How can that be? One is near Dennis and Winfield, and the other is the tsamsak one.

dougl said...

another movie recommendation -- The Fabulous Baker Boys, which stars both of the Bridges brothers.

Crockett1947 said...

@kazie I was able to get the map back, but it had a title of "Untitled." I deleted the Pacifuc Ocean placemark and the additional 24 placemark. I also changed the status so people cannot update. If anyone wants to add a placemark, e-mail me through my address on my profile, and I'll do it for you. Sorry to pull the plug on this, but having it open to the general public just wasn't working.


kazie said...

That's probably a good idea, keeping it under your control will avoid problems, intended or accidental. Thanks for doing all this.

Barb B said...

Not really a bad puzzle. That’s what I kept telling myself when I didn’t know a pitcher or sportscaster or pioneer or singer. It’s amazing what you can learn from a crossword.

I loved all the brothers, and I’m a little surprised that I knew them all. Of course, the older ones came easier for me. ☺

Thank you all for your warm encouragement last week. I made it into Portland and out again by a nose. I skipped the second ceremony with no regret, because I got to be in the one that was meaningful to me.

I don’t know if I should offer my sympathies to Carol, Crockett, Emblen, et all or not. I know it’s bad, but it’s also beautiful, isn’t it? As long as you have power and warmth.

carol said...

Hi everyone, I can only echo your sentiments on the puzzle. I too am surprised I got as many of the Brothers as I did. Did not know Phoenix. Also unknown were: IRABU, LORAX, GROSZ, ENBERG AND SVEN. Most of those were obtainable through the crosses & downs.

Barb b, you can send us your sympathies, we will appreciate them, especially Embien. He is located in a less populated area and I hope he still has power! We haven't heard from him today - did he comment yesterday? I am glad you were able to attend your ceremony!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Santa drinks herbal tea? Hard for me to imagine. I do remember the "Killer Queen", but I forgot the lead singer's name.

Calef, Kazie & Clear Ayes,
Thanks for the brothers explanation. Kind of brought to my mind a poem Clear Ayes quoted some time ago: We, few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother". You are the greatest. Thanks for sharing your knowledge so generously every day.

Very interesting information, "Everyone was trying to "get it on" either to that music or "Bolero".

C.C. Burnikel said...

Clear Ayes,
Is your "Hollywood Heaven" the same as "Cloud Nine"?

ALOTA? That's a much easier name to remember. I know "To piece" is a solid clue for "APART", I was just being facetious (Sallie's great consecutive vowel word) with "I love you to pieces".

I felt that I could not breathe while reading ONE L, so intense.

RichShif said...

Hi C.C. and all,

Not much time to comment on today's c/w...have company Christmas Dinner Party tonight. Guessed at Sven and did not know GROSZ. For some strange reason I did not read the clue for 18A but filled in DRAT, maybe I thought it was a continuation of the 15A clue and lunch showed up so I jumped a line. Here is Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen Brian May of Queen has reformed the group with Paul Rodgers of Bad Company and Free taking the place of Freddie Mercury. If I remember correctly Freddie Mercury was one of the first famous people ot die of AIDS. He kept his life style hidden until he was diagnosed with AIDS. In a interview that I saw somewhere, the other members of the band did not know that he was gay as he had many female visitors in his room whole touring.

Martin said...

The Brothers Affleck are Afflecks: Ben is an Affleck and Casey is an Affleck. I too wanted AFFLECKS but it immediately became clear that they wanted the singular AFFLECK. No big deal.


Anonymous said...

Are you serious? You think padre is military for chaplain? Everyone knows it's french for priest. Yuk.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 5:51

"Pretre" is French for priest. (There's a ^ over the first "e".)

"Padre" is Spanish for father.


Clear Ayes said...

Crockett, I think you made a good choice to close the map to all comers. I think it is better to have one responsible person in charge. That will keep the internetiots from messing it up for the rest of us.

Richshif, Thanks for Bohemian Rhapsody. I think Queen was one of the most innovative bands ever.

G.A.H. and I went to see the movie Cadillac Records today. If you like the Chess Records sounds, the movie does a really good job of reproducing the music and the times. Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters, Mos Def as Chuck Berry and Beyonce Knowles as Etta James are all very good.

Seeing Kazie and C.C's comments about Je t'aime and Bolero reminded me of the real Etta James and At Last. That was a song that could get just about any girl in the mood!

Anonymous said...

Doreen, you beat me to it!

C.C., I told you I am often too literal. It gets me in trouble with the xwords sometimes.In the Mad magazine satire, it was Prince Violent and Princess Alota...that's how I came up with ALETA. Like I said, obscure information resides in my brain.

Kazie...I love that you liked Starman...such a fun movie.Also read most all of the Dr. Seuss books to our girls.


kazie said...

g8rmomx2 and Kathleen,
Don't get me wrong, our boys had some Dr. Seuss books, I just didn't like them myself.

I did like Starman a lot. In fact in was what made me a fan of Jeff Bridges for all those other interesting roles he's played, including the one in "The Fisher King". He has another brother, Garrett, and their father was actor Lloyd Bridges.

You can get the accents by using the ALT key, with the numeral lock on, hold ALT down and punch in the numbers with the number keypad at the right of the keyboard, then let the ALT key up afterwards, as follows:
â = ALT131, à = ALT133, ç = ALT135, é = ALT130, ê = ALT136, É = ALT144, î = ALT140, ô = ALT147, û = ALT150

These are just the French ones. You can access the others by looking at the character map and clicking on the ones you want to see a box show their ALT codes.

carol said...

Clear ayes, thanks so much for the Etta James clip...sure do love that sound and that song!! It sounds sooooo much better than some of the female vocalists of today that try to hit every note in the scale through whatever song they are singing! I have been known to leave stores because I cannot stand the music(?) they pipe through the place. Why do they think everyone will appreciate it? A nice medley of instrumentals would be much better, not at all offensive to anyone. But that's just me and I am wound a little tight at times :) I am now done with my rant.

Joe and I did get out for a 3 mile trek through the snowy streets - I think I looked pretty funny trying to keep my balance at times, but I did not fall. I don't do that too gracefully anymore!

We are apparently in for another 3 to 5" of snow tomorrow and then some freezing rain on top of it, with more snow on the 25th! I will be one of thousands that will be happy to see our rain return and they predict that will be Sunday or Monday.

kazie said...

I just found this again online, originally clear ayes found it before, I think:
foreign characters

Once there you can bookmark it for future reference.

Anonymous said...

For all you Queen fans out there, there is a really beautiful CD called THE QUEEN SYMPHONY, written about 5 years ago, in honor of Freddie Mercury, by British composer Tolga Kashif...extraordinary!

Kazie...I can agree with you about personally not liking the Dr. Seuss. They are often odd, sad and a little unsettling, especially his later ones. Our oldest daughter seems to be mostly avoiding them for her daughter...Winnie the Pooh is a favorite.

Barry G. said...

Barry G,
It's funny to see you say you'd prefer a French clue for AIMER!

Oh, I didn't say I'd prefer a French clue. I just agreed that AIMER was a horrible word... ^_^

Linda said...


Great HS band used to go to "Gator Growl"...Tebow rocks!

What map are all ya`ll talkin` about?

kazie said...

Yesterday Crockett and Dougl got the idea of setting up a google map of where we are all located. He linked it so we could all go in and add ourselves, but then someone started messing with it, so now you'll need to email crockett--his email is linked in his profile, and ask to be put on there if you want to be in it. It's really cool.

You should be able to access it to look: go to, click the "my maps" tab, and type in "Star Tribune Crossword Corner" in the "search maps" space and click it.

If that doesn't get you there, check out yesterday's blog, towards the end and look at clear ayes instructions, but you probably can't put yourself in now without Crockett's help.

lois said...

Good night CC et al, Thank you CC and Clear Ayes for the HHHHHOOTTT clips of Je t'aime and At Last. Great stuff & stuffing... and will now add a whole new meaning to 'stuffing' tomorrow at our family dinner. Having gravy may put me over the edge.

Rich: thank you for the Bohemian Raphsody. I have always loved that. Hope you enjoy(ed) your Cmas party.

Argyle: I answered you on yesterday's(Mon) blog. That was just so dang funny! You are priceless!

g8rmomx2 said...


Thanks! What HS band did you belong to? Both my daughters graduated from UF and one is still there but will graduate from Med school this May. As you said, Tebow rocks!

Anonymous said...

17:57 for me today on this Christmas eve 2008. Merry Christmas to all. I had no problems.......More comments later if time permits.

Martin said...

"Padre" is Spanish for priest.

In keeping with the season, "santa" is Spanish for "saint" (cf Santa Maria and, of course, Santa Claus).

16:40 for me today but I thought it was tough.