Dec 9, 2008

Tuesday December 9, 2008 Normal Steinberg

Theme: Window Dressing

21A: Hollywood auditions: SCREEN TESTS

56A: Reappearance on stage: CURTAIN CALL

3D: Fix-up: BLIND DATE

36D: Elm or maple, e.g.: SHADE TREE

This theme is so similar to Doug Peterson's June 25 puzzle.

No pun or any wordplay in this puzzle. Very straightforward clues. Rather bland though. Take LEAP (31A: __ of faith) for example, I remember once we had "Act of faith?" clue. I also like "Quantum movement?".

I guess it's too risky to play with ERECT (68A: Upright). I can't remember which constructor tried to clue ERECT as "Like member of congress?" for the NY Sun. I had no idea that when not capitalized, congress can have a sexual meaning (#5). Is that a familiar definition to you?


1A: Westminster, e.g.: ABBEY. Beatles' fans probably want the clue to be "ABBEY Road". The song "Come Together" is on this album.

17A: Tissue layers: PLIES. I guess our editor was not in the mood for "Knee-bending movements" any more.

19A: Writer Shelley: MARY. She wrote "Frankenstein". Wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley. I was not aware that she was writer.

26A: Actor Borgnine: ERNEST. I guessed. Have never heard of this guy before. What did he say is his secret for long life?

29A: "Star Wars" warrior: JEDI

39A: Petruchio's wife: KATE. From "The Taming of the Shrew". Another guess. Knew Kate, did not remember her husband's name.

40A: Songwriter Newman: RANDY. Unknown to me. Wow, this guy scored so many films.

64A: __ incognita: TERRA. Or TERRA Cotta, TERRA firma.

70A: __ souci (carefree): SANS. What is the opposite of SANS souci? Avec souci?


2D: Manila machete: BOLO. I obtained the answer from across fills. Not familiar with BOLO knife. Coconuts are very hard to crack.

7D: Knowing: WISE. This is a new definition of "Knowing" to me. Can you say "He is a knowing guy"?

8D: Aunt Bee's nephew: OPIE. I am more familiar with the "Mayberry kid" clue.

10D: Hucksters: ADMEN. I just learned the meaning of HUCKSTER a week ago when it's clued as "Hawker". Had no idea that it could also be an adman.

28D: Jacob's first wife: LEAH. Rachel's sister. I vaguely remember this Bible story.

29D: Singer Jackson: JANET. I was actually watching TV when the "Wardrobe malfunction" happened. I did not think it's too much though.

41D: "__Never Walk Alone": YOU'LL. Does it refer to Elvis' song?

44D: Post-storm help grp.: FEMA. I can't imagine the lives of those FEMA employees. Too much pressure.

51D: Head covering: SCALP. I wanted SCARF.

53D: Sign of spring: ARIES. Wow, they need more than one marriage to find happiness?

57D: Ephron or Lofts: NORA. Did not know the British author NORA Lofts. I liked NORA Ephron's "Sleepless in Seattle". She has such a wonderful sense of humor. I still could not believe that Carl Bernstein did not tell Ephron who "Deep Throat" was when they were married.



Dennis said...

Good morning, c.c. and gang - another very quick one this morning, with just two perp assists.

Didn't know Petruchio's wife or writer Shelley, and an off-base GI is certainly not necessarily AWOL, which means Absent Without Leave. I thought it was nice of Norma to toss in "randy" and "erect" for any remaining DFettes.

Today is National Pastry Day - I got all excited when I first read it; thought it said National Pasty Day.

Have an outstanding day.

Dennis said...

c.c., "You'll never walk alone" is an old show tune from the 40's, and has been covered by a lot of great artists, Elvis among them.

Ernest Borgnine said the secret to long life was 'masturbating a lot' -- I have one friend that'll live to see the sun burn out...

And yes, I would think 'avec souci' is the opposite of 'sans souci'.

C.C. Burnikel said...

What, his secret is what? Why were you excited about pasty? Pastry always refers to the savory salty dough, right?

A.R. Engineer,
Now I remember you. You are Mark.

Dr. Dad,
Thanks for amine. Wikipedia says cochineal is also called carmine dye. So I thought carmine might be present in red grapefruit juice as well.

Sharel in ID,
When I lived in Guangzhou, I tried bugs, insects, snakes, etc. Cantonese people eat everything.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Yes, I meant "ed" and "ing". I thought "an inspiring poem" means the poem inspires the readers, while "an inspired poem" means the poem was written with the inspiration from something else. What does "Ubi Caritas" mean?

But cooking can be very relaxing. Are you still doing NY Sun onlin puzzles?

Where did you get that puzzle? Who is the constructor? Alan P. Olschwang? Very odd theme title. Could CD be "Change Directory" (DOS command)?

Clear Ayes,
Thanks for the poem yesterday. Very inspiring.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Barry et al,
Argyle solved a Groucho Marx quip puzzle yesterday. It says: I'm not feeling very well. I need a doctor. Ring the nearest golf course.

The puzzle is titled "CD Collection". Do you know why?

Dennis said...

Uh.......a pasty is a small disc, usually with tassles, that strippers will wear in clubs that require that the nipples be covered.

Bill said...

Well, good morning, all! Not a lot of time lately, so I hope my absences will be excused.
Good one today. I actually knew all the answers, and (except for a coffee stop) never put the pen down. I think that, after a couple we had last week, we deserved yesterday and today!
And for the first time ever, I knew what CC was going to use for the theme. Well, almost. Either WINDOW Dressing or WINDOW Treatments.
Y'all been mentioning snow. We've had about a foot of new stuff since Sat AM. Just 7 miles east of us at least two feet and counting, 'cause it's still snowing as I write this.
Later today a wintry mix and temps to around 40F.
This after a day of near zero all of yesterday. No wonder every one around here has colds and flu.
Enough for now.
CY'all later.

Dr. Dad said...

Good morning.
An easy one this morning.

And if you are into pasties and then go home to nothing, you could live a long life as well. As was once said, sex on a bearskin rug by a crackling fire is nice but it is better if you have a partner.

As Dennis already said, it is National Pastry Day (yesterday was Brownie Day). Also, Ball-Bearing Roller Skates were patented on this day in 1884 and the first Christmas Seals were issued in 1907. For those counting, there are 16 Days until Christmas.

Have a great Tuesday.

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

Easy puzzle for me as well. No unknowns, and the only bump in the road occurred when I put SHAWL (not SCARF) for 51D instead of SCALP. As C. C. said, not the most exciting puzzle we've seen, but not bad.

And yes, I'm well aware of both meanings of the word "congress". I'm not surprised that clue was considered unfit for a daily newspaper. And yet, you never know what people will accept these days. Has anybody seen the new Arby's commercial where the woman dresses up like an Arby's employee to please her man? I can't believe they got away with showing his "reaction" when she entered with the food....

As for that other puzzle, C. C., I understand the quip but have no idea why it was titled thusly. Sorry. Maybe the title had something to do with the other answers in the puzzle?

Argyle said...

Good Morning, One and all

Puzzle was from a weekly paper; 21*21, by James Barrick. No editor is listed. United Feature Syndicate 11-23
The answers are printed in a small upside-down box. I saw no CD references anywhere. The theme in the next issue is REWARDS PROGRAM and is by the same constructor. I haven't done it yet.

KittyB said...

Good morning, all.

I was concerned this morning to see the headline "Tribune Company to Seek Chapter 11." At first I was worried about our crossword community, but it seems that may be premature. They are in the process of restructuring their debt, and plan to continue in business. The Cubs, and Wrigley Field are not part of the Chapter 11 plan. Can anyone tell me if that means the Cubs are fair game for a fire sale, or protected from being sold as an asset?

I'll be back later, when I've had the chance to finish the puzzle.

Martin said...

I wanted YODA instead of JEDI, NEEDS instead of MUSTS, LACK intead of LEAP and SCARF instead of SCALP. The clue "fix up" made me think of cars instead of DATEs so I had a lot of trouble with the middle left but I still managed to finish in thirteen minutes and two seconds (online).


Dennis said...

Kittyb, I'm sure you already know this, but they've been trying to sell both the Cubs and Wrigley Field for some time now, with little luck.

Argyle said...

Arby's commercial

KittyB said...

Back again.

I knew that MARY was married to Percy, but when Percy did not fit the clue, my mind simply went blank. Luckily, the answer came from the fills, as did KATE.

When I saw "____never walk alone," I assumed that it referred to the song from "Carousel," by Rogers and Hammerstein.

Yes, Dennis, I knew they hope to sell the Cubs. I thought it odd that they would sell the team and the confines separately, but it makes sense from a financial point of view.

C.C., I'm familiar with both definitions of "congress."

The puzzle was easy, the downs especially so.

It has been RAINING in Chicago....will continue to rain and then turn to snow. YUCK!

I hope the rest of you have a great day.

Jeannie said...

Easy puzzle for me this morning. Almost got it in Dennis time. Wow, masturbation, sex on a bear skin rug and pasties so early this morning. Dennis I too caught on to randy and erect. Also caught the correlation of salty spasms. I am a little disappointed however that you missed trim and trysts.

g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all,

Easy puzzle today, hardly a pause. Any words that I wasn't sure of were made from the perps.

DrDad: You "hate" the GATORS. Wow, strong words, how come? I, of course think they are incredible as a "team", very talented and have a wonderful coach. Then, of course there is Tebow who I don't believe anyone has ever said an unkind word about him.

Lois: Thanks for the congrats! I have been watching the Sooners all year and they are a tough team, no doubt. Should be a wonderful game! Will you be at the game?

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Anonymous said...

Regarding 8 down, Aunt Bee's nephew is Andy. Opie is her great nephew.

Argyle said...

Regarding 57 down; It's Norah Lofts, not Nora.

Anonymous said...

mark - Buenos Aires

In the UK trade, curtain, blind, screen and shade would be described as "window furnishings"

"Youll never walk alone" is the anthem of Liverpool football club, recorded in the early sixties by Jerry and the Pacemakers.

On CNNI this morning it said that toaday is the anniversary (40th if I remember correctly) of the first public demonstration of a mouse (made of wood)

I like the Ernest Borgnine type movies was he in "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Dirty Dozen." I´ve just comeback from a long weekend at the Atlantic coast so I´m not firing on all cylinders yet.


Anonymous said...

My new personal best today of 11:22. I liked the word tryst but I was under the impression that tryst meant secret rendezvous.

This puzzle would have fit with the conversation yesterday of take it in the ear day.

On this day in 1775:

Patriots gain control of Virginia
The Virginia and North Carolina militias defeat 800 slaves and 200 redcoats serving John Murray, earl of Dunmore and governor of Virginia, at Great Bridge outside Norfolk, ending British royal control of Virginia. The Tory survivors retreated first to Norfolk then to Dunmores ship, the Otter, where the majority died of smallpox.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Happy Pastry Day! So much more straightforward than yesterday.

The puzzle wasn't difficult. I didn't remember BOLO and wanted SCARF instead of SCALP, but I didn't have any problems with the proper names.

KATE and Petruchio were the lead characters in The Taming of the Shrew.

ERNEST Borgnine won an Academy Award for Marty in 1955.

MARY Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1818 when she was only 21 years old.

RANDY Newman is a favorite composer. Although he wrote it for his 1974 album Good Old Boys in 1974 Louisiana 1927 became an political anthem after Hurricane Katrina. Many of his songs are satirical criticisms of current politics, racism and the rich (including himself). His movie scores, on the other hand have included Toy Story's You've Got A Friend In Me

LB and Argyle, Good catches.

Anonymous said...

Mark - Buenos Aires

Just to pad out a little of "You´ll never walk alone". Its written in metalwork in the gates of Liverpool Football Club, but I really wanted to share the comment of Bill Shankley the most famous of its managers:

"Football is not a matter of life and death -
Its more important than that"

Sports fans around the world can embrace the sentiment of the quip.

Argyle said...

"Mama Told Me Not to Come" is a song by Randy Newman written for Eric Burdon's first solo album in 1966.

Anonymous said...


Not Mark.

Saw your rose garden on your other site. Very nice. My wife and I just planted our first rose plant this fall. It was a going away gift from her fellow teachers.
She had to quit her job teaching so that she could complete some required student teaching assignments that are part of her Masters Degree in Elementry Education.

Have a good Pastry Day,


A.R. Engineer

JIMBO said...

Good morning all,

This one was fairly easy.
The downs helped me fill in any acrosses I did'nt know.
I filled in AWOL for 6a, but did'nt want to because like Dennis said , being off base is not always being AWOL. I was off base many times in the army but never AWOL.
I did'nt time myself, but I am always happy to just get through a puzzle unaided.

Barb B said...

Another good puzzle today; I’ve started using the online puzzle without the red letters, so it takes me a little longer but is much more satisfying. The only new word for me today was BOLO.

I knew Randy Newman from Monk; perfect song for that show.

Some interesting DF words in the south; Most have already been noted. What would ‘sans dress’ refer to?

I didn’t get the theme until I finished, so they were no help, but it was all good.

DoesItinInk said...

I do not think puzzles come any easier than todays!

Every time I see the clue “BPOE member”, I try to think of a member of OPEC. You know BP as in British Petroleum and OE as in Oil Exporters. Then I remember BPOE refers to the “ Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks”. No matter how many times I see this clue, I go through this same thought process!

@cc: Yes, the song performed by Elvis is the one referenced by YOU’LL Never Walk Along. It was originally a song in the musical Carousel.

And yes, “congress” is a familiar, if formal, definition for sexual intercourse.

GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Illinois’ governor Blagojevich was arrested this morning. Is it possible that right may someday triumph even in Illinois politics! I wonder if he will be a roomie of our previous governor Ryan who is currently in jail?

maria said...

easy puzzle for me as well, but thanks for the Arby's clip i had not seen it before and I wonder if i would have caught on the double entendre had i not read all the comments today
I must say it was done in good Taste

Jeannie said...

Barb B I would venture to think "sans dress" would mean nekked...

Unknown said...

'You'll never walk alone'
was a song by Gerry and the Pacemakers in the 60's

kazie said...

be prepared for more of the same weather headed your way--we just got about 9 inches here is WI o'night. Hubby had to wait for the snow plow before leaving and that's why I'm so late getting to the computer this morning.

Easy puzzle, some clues I never even got to read because of crosses/perps.

Wouldn't have known congress either, though as a meeting or intersection it makes sense.

In German the same word is used for intercourse and traffic: Verkehr. To the great delight of students when they look it up, of course.

As to pasties, I would have thought of cornish pasties. Talking of pastry, I plan to try clear ayes hot water pastry for a pie later this week.

I used to love Ernest Borgnine on the TV show "McHale's Navy". Tim Conway was even better. Even though the show was puerile, they were funny. That was before his time with Carol Burnett on her show.

ubi = where, caritas = esteem, affection, dearness. So I suppose it's a question--Where is the affection? When we were in high school learning Latin, my friend liked the word "ubi" so much she took it as a nickname.

winfield said...

Ernest Borgnine is probably most famous for his 1960's TV Series "McHale's Navy" which was on for 4 or 5 seasons. He won a Golden Globe & Oscar for his role in the movie "Marty". He was married to Ethel Merman at one time for like a few months. I guess two loud mouths don't make it! I read somewhere that "Marty" is the oldest film with a Best Actor performance from someone still alive. And he is the only living actor who has won Best Actor for performances given prior to 1960. Not withstanding his masturbation claim, his wife Tova(I think that's her name) sells beauty products which he claimed years ago in an infomercial kept his skin smooth and supple. Or maybe since then he has found another use for these products...

Clear Ayes said...

Kazie, Good luck with the recipe. I've never had a problem with it. Let me know how it turns out.

The clue of MARY Shelley reminded me of this favorite Percy Bysshe Shelley poem. Ozymandias, one of his more famous poems, is about the transitory nature of power.

Doesitinink, Perhaps, Illinois' governor(s) should have paid attention when they read this one in English literature class.


I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert ... Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works ye mighty and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Dr. Dad said...

g8rmomx2 - It was all because of Steve Spurrier.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone! Only unknown today was BOLO. I liked the clues for 51D and 53D. The Ernest Borgnine clip was a riot! C.C., going a bit to the DF side, CD could be Cross Dresser?

Have a great Tuesday.

Dennis said...

"You'll Never Walk Alone" has been covered any number of times, including this disparate group of artists:
Righteous Brothers
Perry Como
Doris Day
Ray Charles
Johnny Cash

Winfield, funny line.

Mr. Ed said...

Good morning C.C. & all - I came, I solved - Another quick blackout despite a couple of false starts. Got over confidant on the west coast. 3D blinddate and 51D scalp were momentary stumbles - first wanted scarf & blindside. In retrospect, I think 51D was a very good clue! Deliberately misleading but 'good'. Anyway, perps straightened out those miscues. In a sense, Dennis is correct on AWOL but if you look at the clue as meaning "delinquent", it becomes correct.

Hope you all have a nice day...


g8rmomx2 said...


Now I totally understand, LOL! He is a loose cannon. It was really nice to destroy them in November of this year. But, Urban Meyer is not a Steve Spurrier! My brother, believe it or not, loves Steve Spurrier. He gradauted UM but did his law degree at UF. My husband and I are definitely not fans of his. The guy is nuts!

JD said...

Good morning C.C. and all

nice theme, although I didn't get it which made "curtain call " difficult.The puzzle was easy because of the perps. I had no clue who Auntie Bee was, but 6,15&18 were easy. I think AWOL is fine as we are always looking at numerous variations of definitions.I wanted Randy/Randy to cross, but the peso told me that it must be Janet.

For those of you who enjoy Nora Ephron's humor ( I loved "I Feel Bad About my Neck") she writes blogs on the Huffington Post.

C.C., the E. Borgnine You Tube was hysterical, as was the Arby's clip, Argyle.

Clear Ayes, enjoyed Shelley's sonnet. I used that poem when I taught 6th graders about ancient Egypt. I did not go into how Ozymandias symbolizes political power, but used it to refer to the mighty works of Ramsesses II. Shelley wrote it for a contest and was inspired by a colossal statue of R. II that had just arrived at the British Museum. His poem paraphrases the inscription on its base: "King of kings I am Ozymandias. If anyone would know how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass me of my works."

more good news of the day:
John Thain, who drove Merrill Lynch into bankruptsy, said yesterday that he should get a 10 million dollar bonus. Today he said he would not seek it.

Clear Ayes said...

JD, The loser in the Ozymandias contest was On a Stupendous Leg of Granite, Discovered Standing by Itself in the Deserts of Egypt, with the Inscription Inserted Below by Shelley's friend Horace Smith. It is not surprising that Smith's poem didn't catch on the same way Shelley's poem did. It was noted in a New York Times article a few years ago, when comparing the two poems, "Genius may also be knowing how to title a poem." LOL

Winfield, For some reason I forgot about McHale's Navy. Shame on me. Good line about alternate use of Tova's cosmetic products.

I haven't had a military background, so I didn't think much about 6A clue. When Dennis called the constructor on AWOL, I could see what he was talking about. Carl mentioned the "delinquent" meaning. It also occurred to me that it could be meant as being "in the wrong", as in "You're way off base on that." A GI who is in the wrong could be AWOL.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea that when not capitalized, congress can have a sexual meaning.

I saw this typo in a newspaper story once that said sex keeps congress in session.

Anonymous said...

They tried to bring pasties here. But a local lawyer filed suit saying the law as written was unconstitutional and the state Supreme Court agreed.

Having to pay a cover charge to see naked girls is fine but having do it and not see a girl naked defeats the whole purpose.

Anonymous said...

I like this commercial!

embien said...

6:01 today. I've no time as I'm off to the dentist, but let me say there were no unknowns. It was fun typing in BOLO with no crosses, as that was in the NY Times recently (or it may have been BOLA and BOLO came up in the discussion, I forget).

@c.c.: Embien,
But cooking can be very relaxing. Are you still doing NY Sun onlin puzzles?

Yes, cooking can be fun, but my wife is now vegetarian so I'd be cooking two meals at the same time--that doesn't sound very relaxing to me.

I stopped doing the NY Sun puzzles when they went to subscription, after the NY Sun stopped publication (though the fee of $12 is quite reasonable, and I know I should be supporting the crossword community).

I find doing the TMS and NY Times (syndicated) puzzles each day and reading yours and Rex Parker's blogs takes about as much time as I should be devoting to puzzling each day. Well, I should say that I don't always solve the NY Times Friday and Saturday puzzles, but I do try.

Dennis said...

You guys are right -- I was way off-base on that one.

And anonymous @1:57....amen.

embien said...

I forgot to mention that if you are interested in subscribing to the NY Sun puzzles (a very worthy set of puzzles, IMHO), you can do so here:

The fee is $12.50. I really should go there now and subscribe...

(end of gratuitous commercial)

RichShif said...

Hi C.C. and all,

An easy puzzle today. Did learn one thing from the blog today and that is when dealing with Congress or congress, somebody is getting screwed....usually a taxpayer. And we don't even get a pasty dangled in our face for incentive.

I also noticed nobody mentioned Randy Newman NON-PC (polictically correct) Short People

Who could forget Roger Miller singing about Westminster Abbey in England Swings?

KittyB said...

Doesit... I can't believe it took this long to catch Blagojevich. I'll bet that for every count they prove, there are dozens they can't tie to him. I still don't understand WHY he was re-elected.

lois said...

Good evening/night CC et al, Holy Hot Wick! What a puzzle! Norma needs another 'curtain call' for this hot one! Lordy, I about had spasms just doin' this one. Got my 'tutu' a little fluffy, don't ya just know. Feelin' so 'randy' now a 'peso' would get me 'sans dress'! 'Janet's got nothin' on me! Oh, the games we could play..
musts for the wise elders I know who may have been shut up, but not dried out nor used up. It may have leaned but it's still erect. Yes sir, you're not on the shelf yet, son, so lets usher you in and take that leap. The fun never ends! And like on Abbey Road, we'll Come Together... What a puzzle!

Rich: you are hilarious! Great comment!

carol said...

Lois, what can I say??? Once again you have proofed you are the Queen of Df'ettes here!!! I stand in awe! Sooo good.

carol said...

Proved.... geez

Argyle said...

Hi c.c.,
Here is the next week's puzzle, same constructor, little better theme. Another quip, REWARDS PROGRAM.

I've been on so / many blind dates, I should / get a free dog. - Wendy Liebman

I think I'll skip any future puzzles with this constructor and a quip.

Anonymous said...

18:10 today! thanks in part to people with difficult names to spell isn't anyone named Jones or Smith anymore?

20, 38 & 55 can take a hike!