May 31, 2008

Saturday May 31, 2008 Matthew Higgins

Themeless

Hey, only 3 ING suffixes today: TRUMPING, TOEING & REVISING. And a few tolerable amount of ER, RE & S affixes. This constructor Mr. Matthew Higgins is getting better.

I had a nightmare at the DIS corner this morning. I simply had no idea what was 37A: Alaskan peninsular (SEWARD), though I vaguely heard of "SEWARD's Folly" before. And I penned in WAVERING for 39D: Changing, as one's opinion (REVISING), thinking of those politicians constant flip-flopping. Did not know what was 56A: Roman for Pluto (DIS). I had never heard of DRESSAGE either. Was not familiar with the carpentry meaning of TOEING (65: Driving nails obliquely). And NINON was a complete stranger to me, so were ABULIA & SYENITE.

Got very flustered earlier on, and quickly surrendered to Google.

ACROSS:

1A: Hindu maxims: SUTRAS. Know this word only because of "Kama SUTRA". Isn't it strange that a country that contributed this to the world can be so prudish about Richard Gene's public kissing?

7A: High-ranking military officer: BRASS HAT. Who is the highest BRASS HAT in Pentagon now? I suppose you can not call Secretary Gates as one.

15A: Deeply absorbed: ENRAPT

16A: Adjust to specifications: REGULATE

17A: Abnormal inability to act decisively: ABULIA. Can also be spelled as ABOULIA. Dictionary says it's "loss or impairment of the ability to make decisions or act independently". It's derived from Greek word " abouliā" indecision ( a-, without; boulē, will).

18A: Light musical production: OPERETTA

19A: Of a school period: SEMESTRAL. Can also be spelled as SEMESTRIAL. I did not know this. Only knew SEMESTER.

22A: General Arnold's nickname: HAP. Saw it in a TMS puzzle before, then I promptly forgot. General Henry H. Arnold.

26A: Elevator man?: OTIS. Why question mark? Here is model Carré OTIS. She has become a Buddhist.

28A: Large rays: SKATES. Ha ha, I caught it this morning!

33A: Free from obligation: EXEMPT

35A: Memory trace: ENGRAM. What, RANG ME?

45A: Crapshooter: DICER. And RAKE (20D: Profligate one), though it's not clued as "croupier's tool".

49A: Practice exercise: DRY RUN

52A: Bang: SLAM

54A: Brain cell: NEURON. Oh, my impulse carrier.

56A: Roman Pluto: DIS. Nope, nope. I barely know Pluto as the god of underworld. I looked up in the dictionary, it says Orcus is the Roman counterpart of Pluto. Very confusing, this Pluto, Hades, Orcus & DIS.

57A: Sea of Queensland: CORAL. Gimme for me. Someone down there in Queensland used to send me a bottle of Tendre Poison every Christmas.

59A: Neat and trim condition: NATTINESS

61A: Breadcrumb and cheese cover: AU GRATIN. Is it ready?

63A: Lack of vitality: ANEMIA

64A: Arizona city: PRESCOTT. Unfamiliar to me.

66A: Affected lovers of beauty: ESTHETES. Our Editor has become very arty lately. AESTHETE was clued as "Refined lover of beauty" on Sunday May 18, and ESTHETIC is clued as "Having a love of beauty" on May 20 Tuesday. What's next? "Memoirs of an Aesthete"?

67A: Infuriate: ENRAGE

DOWN:

1D: Land between tide marks: SEASHORE. And 10D: Wave action: SURF

2D: Zero in the loss column: UNBEATEN

3D: Topping like The Donald?: TRUMPING. I like this clue.

4D: Death rattle: RALE. Mr. Higgins used this identical clue in his April 19 puzzle.

5D: Foolishly imitative: APISH

6D: Conditions: STATES

7D: Battle weapon: BROAD AX. I had no idea.

8D: Abounding: REPLETE

12D: Bigot: HATER

13D: Churchill's successor: ATTLEE (Clement). Do you like David Brooks? I do, here is his Op-Ed with a brief mention of ATTLEE.

14D: Needler: TEASER. Dislike the intersection with SER (30A: Sun. homily)

24D: JFK, LBG, et al: DEMS. Would've filled in PRES if not for the D from 23A: Was in charge of (HEADED).

32D: Electoral district: WARD. Once and Again, no Sela WARD, you don't like her anymore?

36D: Dawn 'til noon: MORN. "Stay for just a while. Stay, and let me look at you..." Enjoy this September MORN and this September MORN (Paul Chabas). That's indeed too little of a MORN, and too much of a maid, isn't it?

38D: World of scholars: ACADEMIA

40D: Equestrian event: DRESSAGE. DRESSER means "To tame/train" in French (like DRESSER/Entraîne a dog).

42D: Igneous rock: SYENITE. Completely unknown to me. Dictionary says it's "an igneous rock composed primarily of alkali feldspar together with other minerals, such as hornblende". It's originally quarried in SYENE (now Aswan), Egypt. "-ITE" is a just a suffix meaning component, like NORITE, another Igneous rock. Too complicated.

43D: School skippers: TRUANT

44D: Mongol tent: YURT. Here are two YURTS in the Mongolia steppe.

46D: Type of clause or hatch: ESCAPE. Unknown to me. What are they? (Update: Here is Chris' explanation: an escape hatch is a submarine term for a way to get out of the boat in the event of an emergency, an escape clause is a legal term for a way to void a contract in the event of a failure to deliver.)

47D: Self-rising and all-purpose: FLOURS

48D: Firing-ranging object: TARGET

49D: Tore: SPED

50D: Write music: NOTATE

53D: Ngaio of mysteries: MARSH. I had never heard of her name before. Wikipedia says she was one of the four original "Queens of Crime" (Agatha Christie was another one).

55D: Sheer rayon fabric: NINON. Here is the definition: "A sheer fabric of silk, rayon, or nylon made in a variety of tight smooth weaves or open lacy patterns". Dictionary says this word probably came from French NINON, pet name for Anne, meaning "favor, grace".

58D: Add spirit to the punch: LACE. I am not familiar with this LACE. Adriana Lima's LACE looks pretty potent here, doesn't it?

60D: __ do-well: NE'ER. Yawned with ennui on this clue. Will we ever get poetic Mr. Williams? NE'ER?

C.C.

May 30, 2008

Friday May 30, 2008 Arlan and Linda Bushman

Theme: Put 'ER There

17A: Mail carriers' mascot?: POST OFFICE BOXER

37A: Winning bowman?: ARCHER OF TRIUMPH

58A: Artist's good fortune? LUCK OF THE DRAWER

Very interesting: SUPER (1D), TWO (60D) letter X's, and DENT (65D: Fender blemish). Does this remind you of Richard DENT and SUPER Bowl XX? DENT was the SUPER Bowl MVP in 1986.

ER... not an easy puzzle to PLOD (53D: walk heavily) through though. Had to overcome quite a few STERN (49D: Unyielding) HURDLES (47D: Track obstacle) this morning. I was mainly stumped by various names. I did not know Johnny's bandleader DOC. Knew Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but I had no idea who the author was (DAHL 31D: Willie Wonka's creator). HARTE (25D: "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" writer) was another unfamiliar name to me, later I did find him clued as "The Lost Galleon Poet" on a Feb TMS puzzle. Sadly, I was not familiar with OVID's "Tristia" at all. I would have got his name if clue were "Metamorphoses" poet.

This is only the 3rd Arlan and Linda Bushman puzzle we've done since I started blogging on Jan 21. In contrast, we've been offered 20 Alan P. Olschwang puzzles. Oh those dreadful QUIPS!

ACROSS:

5A: Part of LED: DIODE. Could not retrieve this word easily from my brain. LED is "Light-Emitting Diode".

14A: River to the Caspian: URAL. Or URAL Mountains.

23A: Jay-Z, for one: RAP STAR. Of course I filled in RAPPERS first. Here is Jay-Z with Beyoncé. Feel the STEAM (32A: Word with engine or iron)? They just got married.

27A: Website visit: HIT. And another computer term: ICON (55D: Symbol)

36A: Tom Clancy subj.: CIA. Jack Ryan. My favorite is Patriot Games because it's IRA related.

42A: Canal of song: ERIE. Not familiar with the song.

44A: Dancing on air: EXULTANT. This word just looks so happy.

48A: Resistance units: OHMS. Have not seen this word for a while.

49A: Abate: SUBSIDE

56A: Juanita's other: OTRA. Obviously not ESTA or ESA.

57A: Navajo creation: RUG. I always associate RUG with SHAH (24D: Persian monarch)'s IRAN.

63A: Wield a baton: TWIRL

66A: Fictional Lorna: DOONE. Written by Richard Doddridge Blackmore.

DOWN:

1D: Fantastic!: SUPER. Familiar with this Invisible Woman in Fantastic Four?

5D: Crush: DEFEAT. It's just a little Crush, a vision of you and me...

7D: "Tristia" poet: OVID. He said "At night there is no such thing as an ugly woman".

8D: Johnny's bandleader: DOC (Severinsen). Given today's puzzle theme, it could be clued as "ER" character, don't you think so?

10D: Rakish: SPORTY. I was only familiar with the "Dissolute" Rakish, not the SPORTY one.

13D: "Chicago" star: GERE. Here is Richard GERE's famous kiss in India. Hello Dr. Dad, don't be Unfaithful in Bollywood.

18D: Punctual: ON TIME

25D: "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" writer: HARTE (Bret). Here is more information.

31D: Willie Wonka's creator: DAHL (Roald). He also wrote Kiss, Kiss.

33D: Silly Rabbit's cereal: TRIX. Tough for our fellow solvers in Asia who do not eat cereal for breakfast.

35D: Brass: HORNS

45D: Keepsake jewelry: LOCKET

46D: Cosby's TV son: THEO. I don't know this one. Only know THEO as van Gogh's brother. Here is the sculpture The Scream in memory of the film director THEO van Gogh who was murdered in 2004. It's made of stainless STEEL (43A: Beam makeup: STEEL). I could not understand the symbol though.

50D: Golfer Hale: IRWIN. I always want his name to be ERWIN. This guy is good. Tremendous success in Sr. PGA Tour (I just can not get used to this Champions Tour name) as well.

54D: Yokel: RUBE. I wonder where this word RUBE came from.

56D: Louisville's river: OHIO

59D: Bouquet letters: FTD (Florist's Transworld Delivery). I want this.

60D: Tenth of a score: TWO. Looks like our Editor is really trying to settle some scores with us. Half a score (TEN) was in yesterday's puzzle.

A question for you: Do you guys also have the problems seeing the Chinese characters (中文) in my blog or Thomas is the only one?

C.C.

May 29, 2008

Thursday May 29, 2008 Alan P. Olschwang

Theme: QUIP (Evan Esar)

14A: Start of a quip: ONLY A

29A: Part 2 of quip: REMARKABLE MAN

41A: Part 3 of a quip: CAN

49A: Part 4 of a quip: LIVE DOWN A HOLE

70A: End of a quip: IN ONE

I've never had a hole in one before. I did hit a pin once. Jack Nicklaus has scored more than 20 aces in his career I think. The current record holder is a guy named Mancil DAVIS (40D: Ossie and Bette), who is credited with more than 50 hole in ones. He is also a very shrewd businessman. He has all the hole in ones INSURED (9D: Covered by a policy) for his "King of Aces"challenge events.

I don't think I've ever seen a TMS puzzle grid with so many 4-letter words. The QUIP is broken into so many pieces that I have difficulty cohering them. Saw AYESHA before, but it simply escaped my memory this morning. I had never heard of SABRAS. And I just spent way too long trying to figure out 26D: Sex grp (MASC). I could not get that M as I just did not remember the name of 25A: Actress Celeste (HOLM).

All in all, no BRAVO (32D: Cry at the opera) for Mr. Olschwang. I am simply HATING (52D: despising) this Thursday QUIP theme puzzle diet. Besides, my body was here this morning, but my mind had teed off. I simply could not enter my crossword TIGER zone today.

ACROSS:

10A: Nightstick: CLUB. No, not familiar with this kind of night stick. It sort of reminds me of the BOBBY clue we had awhile ago. Given today's theme, I would prefer it's clued as Wood/Iron/Putter related.

15A: Abreast: UPON. I've started to warm up to this Aword. Boy, these 2 clues really make me think of Mary Roach's BONK.

17A: Jazzman Davis: MILES. Hate the clue as DAVIS is the answer to 40D. Bad editing.

20A: "___ Fideles": ADESTE. What's your favorite Latin phrase? As you can see, "Audio, Video, Disco" (I hear, I see, I learn) is the motto of this blog. But I do love this "Veni, Vedi, Vici", our Dennisized version.

43A: Passover feast: SEDER

44A: Israeli natives: SABRAS. Dictionary says it derived from Hebrew ṣābār (prickly pear).

56A: NRC forerunner: AEC. I am just so tired of seeing this clue again and again.

57A: Player's bio entry: STAT. Tehee, I outwitted myself. I thought of golfer Gary PLAYER first.

59A: Zen enlightenment: SATORI. It's just a simple "Eureka" in Chinese.

67A: Taunted: GIBED. Wow, I did not know this. I only knew JIBE.

68A: Cod-like fish: HAKE. What the HAKE is that fish?

69A: Perfectly: TO A T. More prepositions & "the" please!

71A: Summit: APEX. ACME is Paul's Word of the Day today. The reason? Edmund Hillary conquered Mount Everest on this day in 1953. If you have not, please subscribe to his free daily email.

DOWN:

1D: Fellini film: ROMA. Ah, la Città Eterna (The Eternal City). Could not find the "Italia" on YouTube, but to remember Sydney Pollack and his The Talented Mr. Ripley, here is Arrivederci, Roma.

2D: Actress Markey: ENID. Unknown to me. She played Jane in the original Tarzan of the Apes.

3D: Miss: Fr.: MLLE (Mademoiselle).

4D: Mohammed's favorite wife: AYESHA. Could also be spelled as AISHA. It appeared on Feb 22 puzzle. I just forgot. Her father (Abu Bakr) became the first caliph after Muhammad died. But Shia Muslims disagreed as they thought Ali had been chosen, hence the endless Shia & Sunni fight I suppose. Do you know that there are currently between 50,000 to 100,000 muslims in the US living a live in polygamous families?

8D: Gymnast's horse: POMMEL. Here is Xiao Qin's POMMEL horse routine at the 2006 Worlds in Event Finals.

11D: Heard: LISTENED TO. And 12D: Say: UTTER Interesting parallel.

23D: Fun Partner?: GAME. I don't understand this one. Why?

26D: Sex grp: MASC (Masculine). I was not thinking of this group...

29D: Piped Piper's pack: RATS. Hmm, is this how we get "Pay the Piper"? Wikipedia says "To "pay the piper" means to face the inevitable consequences of one's actions, possibly alluding to the story where the villagers broke their promise to pay the Piper for his assistance in ridding the town of the rats. The phrase sometimes refers to a financial transaction but often does not."

31D: Dessert option: MARBLE CAKE

39D: Sevareid or Idle: ERIC. Know Idle, not Sevareid. Did you watch the LAYLA (ERIC Clapton classic) clip NYTanonimo linked yesterday? Did you hear the only one word Pattie Boyd said in Beatles' A Hard Day's Night movie? "Prisoners?" What a weird coincidence to yesterday's PRISON TERMS theme.

45D: Six-line stanzas: SESTETS

51D: Slowly, in music: ADAGIO

53D: Turkish title: PASHA. Or PACHA. Literally "Head Lord" or "Master Chief". Wikipedia says PASHA is ranked above BEY (lord) and AGA/AGHA (lord, master). PASHA is also the name of that idealistic Bolshevik in "Doctor Zhivago". I just love this movie so much.

60D: Shawm's descendant: OBOE. I've never heard of shawm, have you?

Try to spell GOLF backwards, what do you get?

C.C.

May 28, 2008

Wednesday May 28, 2008 Robert H. Wolfe

Theme: PRISON TERMS

17A: Well-irrigated jail?: WATERING CAN

63A: Jail for cows?: DAIRY COOLER

11D: Maudlin jail?: HOKEY POKEY

29D: Soft-roofed jail?: FELT TIP PEN

And CELL, BRIG, what else? I've never heard of POKEY as a jail though.

Quite a few NO's in today's fills. NOOK, NO ANSWER, WELL NOW, NOYES and NONE. Are these somehow related to the theme? Would "Take NO Prisoners" be a better theme title?

I could not finish today's puzzle without Google's assistance. I simply forgot SENTA (34D: Actress Berger), and I had no idea who "Composer Dimitri" (41A: TIOMKIN) was. I did not know KEDGE, ALBERTO (45D: Writer Moravia) and NOYES, but I was able to weave their names together by the across clues.

But this puzzle makes me happy. I love these baseball nuggets:

30A: Dodger, in MLB jargon: NLER (National Leaguer)

8D: Smack: SOCK. Slug!

13D: Spring time: MAYS. "Say Hey Kid" Willie MAYS.

54D: Meet event: RACES

59D: Yankee, in MLB jargon: ALER (American Leaguer)

61D: Big times: ERAS. It's "Pitchers' stats (Earned Run Averages) to me.

65D: Not safe: OUT

ACROSS:

1A: "Sanford and Son" son: LAMONT. I can only remember FRED due to the Redd Foxx clue a few weeks ago. All these TV characters are killing me.

14A: Equal: ON A PAR

19A: Crucial fact: KEY. My mind wondered into a different direction. I was thinking of the cup size. It's a crucial fact to me.

24A: Threesome: TRIAD. I put in TRINE first.

36A: Harmonized: IN SYNC. 39A: So, we are here: WELL NOW. 4D: Not close-minded about: OPEN TO. And 26D: Carve toward the center: ARC IN. I just like these kind of fills, simple and elegant.

41A: Composer Dimitri: TIOMKIN. He was sure productive: It's a Wonderful Life, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, High Noon, etc. DIMITRI was clued as Composer Shostakovich on April 2.

43A: Art deco leader: ERTÉ (Romain de Tirtoff). ERTÉ is simply the French pronunciation of his initials R.T. This is his most famous Symphony in Black.

47A: Old-time newspaper section: ROTO. ENNUI! How about this ROTO-TILLER?

49A: Eric Clapton classic: LAYLA. Here is the song, just for you. I am not a Clapton fan.

51A: Squid squirts: INKS. I like the alliteration here, but I will probably yawn next time I see the identical clue. Please excite me with something new each day!

53A: Munchhausen, e. g.: BARON. I did not known him. Lois is probably familiar with the "Munchhausen Syndrome".

58A: Gawk: GAPE. And 71A: Gazes: STARES. And Here is SENTA (344D: Actress Berger).

DOWN:

5D: Thin wdt.: NAR (Narrow). Not a familiar abbreviation to me. Just found that NAR also stands for "National Association of Realtors".

6D: Singer Lopez: TRINI. Learned his name from doing crossword. Not familiar with his songs. I only like Peter, Paul and Mary's Lemon Tree & If I had a Hammer. I do like this Jenny (From the Block) Lopez.

7D: Impious: UNGODLY

9D: Bambi's aunt: ENA. Isn't ENA also a Spanish queen?

10D: Of kidney's: RENAL. Hmm, you've got to LEARN this RENAL. What an interesting anagram. Do you like HON QUIZ?

18D: Reply came there none: NO ANSWER. I don't get this clue. Sounds very strange to me.

23D: Proto- or ecto- add-on: PLASM. Hmm, someone gave me ECTOPLASM as an example of " ECTO" prefix last week. ENTO (inside) & ECTO (outside).

31D: Appeal: ENTREATY

37D: "The Highwayman" poet: NOYES (Alfred). I don't know him nor do I know his poem. But what a strange name, NO and YES? You just can't have your cake and eat it too!

40D: Spinks and Ames: LEONS. No, I know neither of them. I got LEONS from across clues. LEON Uris yes! This is my favorite LÉON.

45D: Writer Moravia: ALBERTO. No, a completely stranger to me. I only know ALBERTO Gonzales. Wikipedia says he wrote Sophia Loren's Two Women. it further states that his novels "explore matters of novels explore matters of modern sexuality, social alienation and existentialism". Isn't Kafka's "The TRIAL" (33D: Legal proceeding) also a work of existentialism?

50D: Cat or goat: ANGORA

52D: Small anchor: KEDGE. Unknown to me. I am very weak at all the nautical terms.

57D: Fivers: FINS. I know sawbuck is for 10, double sawbuck is for 20, half C is 50, what about 1 and 2 dollars then? And 1K? Good to see ONE (35A) and TEN (69A) in the same grid also.

Finally, 46A: Have a hero?: EAT. Here it is. Enjoy!

C.C.

PS: Drdad, have a safe trip to India. To Mark in Buenos Aires, can you tell me the name of your newspaper please? Does it carry Monday to Sunday TMS crossword puzzle or only weekdays'? Thank you.

May 27, 2008

Tuesday May 27, 2008 Barry Silk

Theme: RE LOCATION

18A: Baltimore attraction: INNER HARBOR

60A: Sci-fi TV series, with "The": OUTER LIMITS

3D: Elite: UPPER CRUST

30D: Politician's promise: LOWER TAXES

Am I dreaming? Didn't we just solve a location themed puzzle several weeks' ago? Wait...OK, here it is: INNER, OUTER, UPPER & LOWER. Wow, so similar a grid structure! And UPPER CRUST & OUTER LIMITS remain unchanged. Look at the clue for 3D: Elite, exactly the same, unbelievable! This constructor Barry Silk may not be aware of it, but Mr. Williams certainly is, or should be. What a sloppy job he has been doing!

Quite a few abbreviations today: GOP, AWOL, STRS, NCAR, NACL (47D: Salt), IRA (9D: Portfolio letters?), SSGT (32D: Army NCO). Solving this puzzle this morning feels like watching a MOVIE (29D: Film version), lots of emotional ups and downs, full of SPIRIT (4D: Verve). The grid is blanketed with emotional words:

20A: Gloomy, poetically: DREAR

39A: Courage: BRAVERY. Parallel with AWOL (35A: Mil. no-show).

45A: Sassy: PERT

68A: Peevish: TESTY

49D: Swank: CLASSY

53D: Hazardous: RISKY

Plus SLY, though it's clued as "Stallone, to pals". And add LOOMS (37A: Is imminent), PAST (45D: Gone by), ALONE (64A: Lacking a partner), and of course MIRACLES (29A: Divine intervention). And we have Car (AUDI, REO), BOAT and plane (LEAR). With ABBA singing along, what a great MOVIE! But where can you find (such) AREEL (57D: Tottering)?

I had to flirt with Google to finish this puzzle. I was overly excited seeing TWINS in the puzzle that I could not think clearly.

ACROSS:

4A: One-time Alaskan capital: SITKA. Did not know this. Dictionary says "It's founded by Aleksandr Baranov in 1799, it was the capital of Russian America and later the capital of Alaska from 1867 to 1906". This word reminds me of the tough SIKA (Japanese deer) clue awhile ago.

14A: Republicans: GOP (Grand Old Party). Hmm, looks like Mr. Williams has adopted a "Fair & Balanced" attitude. Good, I yawn with ENNUI at every DEM(S) fill. But who buys LOWER TAXES promise anyway?

15A: Corsican patriot: PAOLI. Pasquale di PAOLI. Not a familiar name to me. I've barely heard of Corsica (Napoléon's birthplace). Wikipedia cited a 1768 NY Journal quote saying PAOLI was "the greatest man on earth". He must be very influential during 18th century then.

24A: Word with crescent or imagination: FERTILE. FERTILE crescent is new to me. It's "A region of the Middle East arching across the northern part of the Syrian Desert and extending from the Nile Valley to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The civilizations of Egypt, Phoenicia, Assyria, and Babylonia developed in this area, which was also the site of numerous migrations and invasions."

26A: Quattro automaker: AUDI. I am waiting 4 QUATTRO to be clued someday.

33A: Long-lasting do: PERM. And 41A: Sham locks: WIG

42A: Calf catcher: LASSO

44A: Ordered: TIDY

46A: Small amount: PITTANCE. And 21D: ATOM, though it's clued as Nuclear energy source.

51A: Early satellite: TELSTAR. I did not know this before. What does it stand for? Television Star or what? Wikipedia says a segment of Phillies vs Cubs game was broadcast live via the first TELSTAR TV signal relay on June 23, 1962. Then JFK gave his first live transatlantic press conference via TELSTAR.

54A: Mr. Mertz: FRED. Unknown to me. I've only watched a few clips of I LOVE LUCY.

59A: Video game pioneer: ATARI

DOWN:

1D: Lines on a staff: EGBDF. What's your favorite treble clef mnemonic?

2D: Sculptor Henry: MOORE. Nope, noo familiar with his name. Rae probably knows him well. Wikipedia says he is "best known for his abstract monumental bronzes" and his subject is nearly always a woman. See this Three Pieces Recling Figure.

6D: British weight: TONNE. Hmm, Mortise's Partner anagrammed. Interesting.

7D: Swiss artist Paul: KLEE. The only Swiss painter I know of. His works are too surreal for me. What can see from this The Twittering Machine? Those birds just look so weird. Are they twittering?

8D: Posted by plane: AIRMAILED

0D: Roofed walkway: PORTICO. Look at this PORTICO of Pantheon in Rome.

11D: "Waterloo" pop group: ABBA. They won Eurovision 1974 for this song. But I like Dancing Queen.

3D: Ocean passages: abbr. STRS (STRAITS). First time I saw this abbreviation.

25D: Small jet maker: LEAR (Bill). Have never heard of his name or LEARjet. Only know King LEAR.

33D: Insect's feeler: PALP. Another new word for me. Could also be PALPUS (PALPI is plural form)

36D: Index of flagged terrorists: WATCH LIST. DECK of CARDS came to my mind first.

43D: Pupil: STUDENT. Lots of people were perplexed by yesterday's ÉLÈVES (55A: French classful) clue. In French, ÉLÈVES simply means pupils (in École, Collèges and Lycées). But more often you see them ÉTUDIANTS (m) or ÉTUDIANTES (f) in French universities. ÉLÈVE is actually a very broad term. It can refer to anyone, whether enfant, adolescent or adult, full time or part time.

56D: School since 1440: ETON. Good to know. HARROW was founded in 1571.

C.C.

May 26, 2008

Monday May 26, 2008 Allan E. Parrish

Theme: LEISURE TIME (Rhyme)

20A: An easy crossword puzzle, say: SIMPLE PLEASURE

36A: After-school detention, e.g.: REMEDIAL MEASURE

57A: X on a map, perhaps: BURIED TREASURE

Isn't PLEASURE a MEASURE of our TREASURE? Can money buy us PLEASURE?

This is a very interesting puzzle. I am sure it's pure coincidence, but I do like the slight Cannes Film Festival tilt in the grid.

Let's start with 65A: French classful: ÉLÈVES (Update later: ÉLÈVES is French for students). French film The Class (ENTRE les Murs) won the Palme d'Or yesterday. All the cast are real teachers and ÉLÈVES. Very authentic yet artfully done docudrama. The best actor went to Benicio del Toro, who played the title role in Steven Soderberg's CHE (27A: Fidel's comrade). And the best director was awarded to a Turkish guy for his Three Monkeys (TRE: 19A: Uno e due). Very surprised to see audience & critics DERIDE (68A: Ridicule) and hiss La Frontiere De L'Aube though.

I did not finish the puzzle. I simply forgot ARTURO & BARRIO, and I could not hit the slope at 27D: SCHUSS. I've never heard of ASSE the fox either.

ACROSS:

1A: Writer Dinesen: ISAK. Out of Africa author.

5A: Soft stroke: CARESS

11A: "Washboard" muscles: ABS. Go to the gym if you want these Abs!

14A: Moon goddness: LUNA And 15A: Female grad.: ALUMNA. I like the feminine touch in this puzzle.

17A: __'acte (intermission): ENTR. ENTRE Less Murs literally is "Between the Walls", hence The Class.

18A: TV classic, "___ Room": ROMPER. Unknown to me. Inferable.

23A: Bundle of grain: SHEAF

24A: Brandy letters: VSO (Very Special Old)

25A: Temporary money: SCRIP

29A: Attention-getting shouts: YOO-HOOS

31A: "Undercover Angel" singer: O'DAY (Alan). Sorry about Anita Day mistake earlier. (Thanks, Melissa Bee)

33A: Altar constellation: ARA. I would not have gotten this one if not for ALB (34D: Priest's vestment). I only know coach ARA Parseghian.

35A: A/C measure: BTU (British thermal unit)

45A: Side by side: ABREAST

51A: Barge puller: TUG

53A: Esq. affixer: ATT. Why affixer instead of affix?

61A: Record keepers: NOTERS

62A: Skedaddles: GITS. Didn't I just see you yesterday?

66A: "___" Baltimore: HOT L. Nailed it this time.

69A: "South Park" co-creator Parker: TREY. Here is more information about him. He is a stranger to me. I only know low card.

DOWN:

2D: Parasol, e. g. : SUNSHADE. Here is Monet's Lady with a Parasol.

3D: 1862 battlefield: ANTIETAM. Is it very famous?

4D: Destiny: KARMA

5D: Sagan or Perkins: CARL. I know neither of them. Pieced the name together from across clues.

6D: Medicinal houseplant: ALOE VERA

7D: Hindquarters: RUMPS

10D: Circus Hall of Fame location: SARASOTA. This appeared on a March TMS puzzle.

11D: Conductor Toscanini: ARTURO. Wikipedia says he was one of the greatest conductor of all times, renowned for "his brilliant intensity, his restless perfectionism, his phenomenal ear for orchestral detail and sonority..."

12D: Latino quarter: BARRIO. Ugh, how can I remember this word? I only know bodega.

13D: Ratings' week: SWEEPS

21D: USA rank: PFC (Private First Class). Thank you for the service. And to those who died fighting for this country, to those who returned home safely, and to those who are still standing in harm's way, thank you.

22D: Hit the slope: SCHUSS. Have to commit this word to my memory.

23D: Restaurateur Toots: SHOR. Have not seen him for a while.

32D: Man of Sana'a: YEMENI

37D: Soundproofed: DEADENED

38D: Gathered, as volunteers: MUSTERED

39D: Like some motives: ULTERIOR

40D: Casino game: ROULETTE

41D: Faberge collectibles: EGGS

46D: Sultanate on Borneo: BRUNEI. I am so proud I got BRUNEI this morning. Lots of oil there I suppose.

50D: British sports cars: MGS. MG came from "Morris Garages", a dealer for Morris cars according to Wikipedia. I am not familiar with this at all. MGS appeared on a TMS Jan 31 puzzle.

54D: Fountain of coins: TREVI. The three-coin fountain.

56D: Anything whatever: AUGHT. It means nothing to me.

59D: African fox: ASSE. Cape Fox. It "inhabits dry areas of southern Africa and has large pointed ears, silvery gray coat, and a bushy tail with a black tip". Look at here. It's also called bat-eared fox. Have you heard of it before?

63D: Slightly shifty: SLY. Good alliteration.

C.C.

May 25, 2008

Sunday May 25, 2008 Robert H. Wolfe

Theme: TRIPLE LETTERS

23A: Gridiron group: FOOTBALL LEAGUE

40A: Past tolerance: ONCE TOO OFTEN

50A: Play by Shakespeare: RICHARD III

65A: Duel: CROSS SWORDS WITH

86A: Leaves in the direction of: SETS OFF FOR

92A: Best type of voting: FREE ELECTION

116A: 18th-century British statesman: PITT THE YOUNGER

A ho-hum puzzle. The theme entries are very dreary, or rather monotonous. TROIKA is a rare spark. Too many suffixes: S, ED, RE and ER. But LOIS, you are one, twice, three times a lady today.

I got very bored and annoyed by these ER's:

36A: Procrastinators: DELAYERS

22A: Ogler: STARERS

124A: Iron wielders: PRESSERS

71D: Doctor, often: DOSER

97D: Compliant one: OBEYER

And EERIER, DIRER, RERUN, REDRY. Very lazy construction.

I do like how TROIKA parallels HORSE, and I am happy to see ONE and UNE (83A: One of the Parisians), NAH and NOS appear in one puzzle. Interesting to see BARE, BATHS (56D: Tubbings), IN A TUB, STEAMS & REDRY (54D: Tower off again) in one grid.

Dislike HONAN (107A: Chinese Province). It sounds so aged. Please clue it as either HENAN or HUNAN next time. And for 123A: British political party: LABOR. I suggest we call Gordon Brown and see if he accepts this American spelling.

ACROSS:

1A: Jonathan Swift or Mark Twain, for example: SATIRIST. Is Mark Twain a SATIRIST?

9A: Spherical: ORBED

20A: Opera-like musical composition: ORATORIO. Saw this clue before.

21A: __Adams (actress/wife of Steve McQueen): NEILE. Nope, I've never heard of her name before. Is she a well known name?

27A: Splits: RIVES

32A: Old sub: U- BOAT

34A: Stat start: RHEO. My first thought was those baseball stats.

45A: Radio host Don: IMUS. "Imus in the Morning". Not my cup of tea.

56A: Naked: BARE. I love this John Collier's Lady Godiva painting. Gorgeous!

59A: Music from the West Indies: REGGAE. Let's Stir it Up with Bob Marley.

70A: Words of wisdom: ADAGE

74A: Column in a wall: PILASTER. Unknown to me. Here is the definition from Wikipedia.: "A pilaster is a slightly-projecting flattened column built into or applied to the face of a wall." See this photo.

78A: Like Silver's rider: LONE. "The LONE Ranger".

79A: Opens an envelope, furtively: STEAMS

82A: Yiddish thief: GANEF. A new word for me. Why don't they spell it as SCHANEF then?

96A: Kennedy insider TED: SORENSEN. I like his book Kennedy.

101A: Joining: UNION

103A: Flex: BEND. I like how it crosses FEND.

114A: Writer Jong and others: ERICAS. Fear of Flying author. I was shocked the other day when I came across her blog, I thought she was dead.

119A: Adventurous rogue: PICARO. Unknown to me. Spanish origin.

121A: Skyrocketing: METEORIC. Hmm, Up and Up.

DOWNS:

4D: Addams Family cousin: ITT. Cousin ITT from The Addams Family. Learned it from doing crossword. ITT Sheraton (Beijing, 1985) was the first foreign hotel chain to operate a hotel in China. Just learned this morning that Sheraton was also the first hotel chain to be listed in NYSE.

5D: Whiskey cocktail: ROB ROY. Named after the Scottish folk hero Rob Roy. Did not know that there was a ROB ROY movie also. In fact, ERIC (106D: Actor Stoltz) had a supporting role in it.

6D: Aggressive poker table comment: I RAISE

7D: Cloud lining: SILVER. Needs to rework on 78A clue: Like Silver's rider (LONE)

8D: Lacquered metalware: TOLE. I like this floral TOLE tray.

11D: Whopper's rival: BIG MAC. No BIG MAC after "Super Size Me"

12D: Solution extracted using a solvent: ELUATE. No idea. The verb is ELUTE.

16D: Letter-directing words: CARE OF

17D: Coloratura's piece: ARIA. Did not know the meaning of "coloratura". Pieced this word together from across clues.

29D: Horse-drawn vehicle: TROIKA. I suppose it's Russian for threesome. Here is a Russian TROIKA.

33D: Plural of bonus: BONI. I always thought the plural is bonuses.

35D: Trigger, for one: HORSE. Roy Roger's horse. Trigger and SILVER, where is Mr. ED? Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?

42D: Dick of the funnies: TRACY

43D: High nest: var.: EYRIE. Can also be EYRY. A variation of AERIE. I did not know it.

47D: Berlin ice: EIS. Somehow I can never remember this E IS (for Evidence) word.

52D: Collection biz: REPO

53D: Shannon and Crandall: DELS. I know neither of them. I got it from across fills.

62D: MacDonald's sleuth Travis: McGEE. No, not familiar with him. I do know Willie McGee though.

67D: Forceful flows: SPATES

68D: Sports column: WINS

69D: Intestinal prefix: ILEO. Comes from Ileum I suppose.

72D: Cavern, in poetry: ANTRE. It derived from Latin "antrum". I had no idea. ANTRE is French for "den".

75D: Clumps of hair: TUFTS

76D: Modern mail: ENOTE. Is there a ELOVE?

80D: Make off with, biblically: TAKETH

86D: Chinese leader?: SINO. I filled in INDO first, had to scrap it quickly as letter N would not work for 90A: PILE. SINO derived from Qin, the Qin Dynasty. The pronunciation of "Qin" is similar to the phonetic "cheen" (or chin), which is considered by many experts as the root of the word "China". For your information, both Zhou & Qin dynasties had their capital in Xi'An.

89D: Dance wear: LEOTARD. Here is a crew neck sleeveless style.

90D: Indicate: POINT TO

94D: Mississippi city: TUNICA. No, I've never heard of it. Is it well-known?

95D: Where to find 3 men?: IN A TUB

106D: Isinglass: MICA. Got it this time.

111D: Shrek, for one: OGRE. I like how it parallels with ORCS (113D: Tolkien baddies). Here is Enya's May it Be (Lord of The Rings). Enjoy!

C.C.

May 24, 2008

Saturday May 24, 2008 Josiah Breward

Themeless

An epic battle this morning. I could not get a toehold at the grid at all. STEPPE was not an easy word to fish out of my brain so early in the morning. And I did not know the Roman fable writer PHAEDRUS or the Spider woman ARACHNE, nor was I familiar with TREMOLO. I've never seen CONFUTES (Disproves) before. A very tough start.

The lower right corner was hard too. Duse ELEONORA was a complete stranger to me. I know TOTEM, but I had no idea that TOTEMISM is a word. And I simply forgot ENTO is a prefix for inside. I did not know FLUORINE or ORIFICE either. So, a big stumper today. But it's good to see Z & Q in the same grid again. It's my initials.

There are three Russia references in the puzzle: USSR, STEPPE, MIR. And a bit of business undertone too: 24A: Shortfall: DEFICIT, ASE, and (UN) QUOTE.

Look at the below 3-letter fills today, none of them are lazy AAA, EEE or III words:

19A: Qty: AMT

21A: NYSE competition: ASE (American Stock Exchange)

22A: Pre. advisory grp.: NSC (National Security Council), overseen by NSA (National Security Adviser). Bush's NSA is Stephen Hadley, who could not tell the difference between Tibet and Nepal.

26A: Beat it!: GIT

27A: Stevedores' grp: ILA (International Longshoremen's Association). I did not know the meaning of "Stevedores"

52A: D.C. advisory grp.: NSA (National Security Agency). It's featured in Will Smith's Enemy of the State. I like it a lot. All those NSA directors seem to have a military background.

53A: Color of the Italian sky: BLU

48A: Mazel __! TOV. Hmm, Yiddish words every day now.

54A: #: NUM

55A: Orbing part of Russia?: MIR. Wrong clue, MIR was de-orbited in 2001.

4D: Cut of an agt.: PCT

31D: Amusement: FUN. Yes, come to this blog "If You Wanna Have some FUN".

32D: "Le Coq ___, " Rimsky-Korskoff opera: D'OR. Unknown to me. I know nothing about opera. I love coq au vin though (definitely need morel to make it tasty).

40D: Tallahassee sch.: FSU. So what is their mascot now?

ACROSS:

1A: Plains of Siberia: STEPPE. This is a STEEPE in Kazakhsan.

8A: Say again: ITERATE

15A: Spider woman of myth: ARACHNE. Dictionary says it's "a Lydian woman who challenged Athena to a weaving contest and was changed into a spider for her presumption." Here is ARACHNE (literally spider).

16A: More constricted: TIGHTER

17A: Having a will: TESTATE

28A: Climbing palms: RATTANS. This reminds me of NIPA (Malay thatch).

30A: Disproves: CONFUTES

32A: Refuse to believe: DENY. We get some attitude here: CONFUTES & DENY.

34A: Inside: pref: ENTO. I always want INTRA (as to EXTRA). EXTRO is outside prefix, so are ECT(O) and EXO.

37A: Duplicate: TWIN. Who is this Twin?

40A: Most reactive nonmetallic element: FLUORINE. Symbol: F. Atomic number: 9. Dictionary says it's "a yellow irritating toxic flammable gas" and "a powerful oxidizing agent".

45A: Dinner finale: DESSERT

50A: Verbatim finale: UNQUOTE

56A: African nation: SOMALIA. Iman is from SOMALIA. There is simply no effective government there, all Sunni Muslims.

58A: Hole in the head: ORIFICE. It's "an opening or aperture, as of a tube or pipe; a mouthlike opening or hole; mouth; vent". ORIFICE came from Latin ōrificium, ōr is mouth, fic is a comb. form of facere to make.

60A: Free verse poet: IMAGIST. Wow, I thought the clue was asking for a particular poet who was famous for his free verse or something.

61A: Changes dimension: RESIZES

63A: Chair part: ARM REST

DOWN:

1D: Devilish: SATANIC. Fiendish.

2D: Vibrating effect: TREMOLO. Here is the definition: "a tremulous or vibrating effect produced on certain instruments and in the human voice, as to express emotion."

3D: Photography pioneer: EASTMAN. The Kodak founder.

5D: Roman writer of fables: PHAEDRUS. Wikipedia says "He is recognized as the first writer to latinize entire books of fables, using the iambic metre Greek prose of the Aesop tales.". There is another dialogue PHAEDRUS written by Plato, see here.

6D: Petitions: ENTREATS

7D: Take care of: SEE AFTER

8D: Cornell University city: ITHACA. Is ITHACA always on your mind? Do you want those fine merchandise? I want those "pleasurable perfumes of all kinds".

9D: Makes a connection: TIES IN

10D: Marsh birds: EGRETS. Her neck is rather long, isn't it?

12D: All fluttery: ATINGLE

13D: Pull against gravity: TENSION

14D: How to stand at attention: ERECTLY

34D: Classic actress Duse: ELEONORA. What is a classic actress? From silent movie era?

34D: One providing sustenance: NURTURER

36D:Shamanistic belief: TOTEMISM

37D: Pass across: TRANSIT

38D: Fetching: WINSOME

39D: Think tank member: IDEA MAN. What about women fellows/scholars?

41D: List: ITEMIZE

42D: Prospective members: NOVICES

43D: Highest peak: EVEREST. "Because it's there".

47D: Deep knee bend: SQUATS

45D: Irish capital: DUBLIN. OK, here is When the Stars Go Blue again, from The Corrs, Live in DUBLIN 2002 (I do love the Live 8 version more). Enjoy!

C.C.

May 23, 2008

Friday May 23, 2008 Robert H. Wolfe

Theme: A MATTER OF CONCERN

17A: Brewer's concern?: BEER MARKET (BEAR MARKET)

27A: Cab driver's concern?: FARE SHARE (FAIR SHARE)

36A: Shipbuilder's concern?: SAILS PROMOTION (SALES PROMOTION)

43A: Fabulist's concern?: TALESPIN (TAILSPIN)

59A: Shoemaker's concern?: SOLE SAVING (SOUL SAVING)

Except BEER and BEAR, all the others are homophones, very interesting. Is 36A a solid clue to you? I don't really get it.

Quite a few new names/words for me in today's puzzle: Enrico FERMI, Nagy IMRE, ANSON Williams, Jared LETO, PABA, BIS, COPA and XENON. Most of them were inferable, but the M between FERMI & IMRE was impossible for me.

I like the way EDIT (34A) is structured at the heart of the grid. It befits the theme entries. And I am happy to see it intersects ADORN (28D: Beautify). There are also 3 SS's in the puzzle: ASSAULTED (20A: Attacked), ESSES, and MUSSES (18D: Disarranges). I am OK with that, as the total account for S's is well within my tolerance range. For your information, there are 69 letter A's on a March 2002 NYT Thursday puzzle.

ACROSS:

5A: Doofus: SCHMO. Isn't POOP (1A: Inside info.) also a fool? Nincompoop?

15A:Type of terrier: CAIRN. Here is Toto and Dorothy.

16A: PBS series: NOVA. Know it, but I've never watched it.

19A: Judah's son: ONAN. The only Judah's son that I know of.

21A: Tabs horn: BUGLE. Still waiting for its anagram BULGE to appear in a TMS puzzle.

22A: Dr. Leary's turn-on: LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide). I like the clue. Dictionary says L. S. D. is also the abbreviation of "Pounds, Shilling & Pence". I wonder why pound is always abbreviated as lb, and why D for pence?

23A: Drag along: LUG 24A: And 24A: Drags forcibly: HAULS. Why drag twice, Mr. Editor?

35A: Again, in music: BIS. I don't know this word. Got it from down clues. Again is always "Encore" to me.

41A: Nagy of Hungary: IMRE. Nope, I've never heard of him. I only know its anagram EMIR.

42A: Absinthe flavoring: ANISE. Is it legal to sell absinthe in the US now?

48A: Furry TV alien: ALF. Got it this time. Also ALF Landon, the Republican guy who was defeated by FDR in 1936.

52A: Not another person: NO ONE ELSE. NO ONE ELSE comes close you, no one makes me feel the way you do...

61A: Acid type: AMINO. It's the protein unit.

64A: Inert gas: XENON. Came From Greek Xenos, hmm, foreign to me that's for sure. It's Element #54.

DOWN:

1D: Sunscreen ingredient: PABA (Para-AminoBenzoic Acid). Completely unknown to me. Here is the definition: "A crystalline para form of aminobenzoic acid that is part of the vitamin B complex, is required by many organisms for the formation of folic acids, and is widely used in sunscreens to absorb ultraviolet light. Also called vitamin Bx"

4D: One type of parking: PARALLEL

7D: QB's command: HIKE. The clue seems to be asking for an abbreviated answer, doesn't it?

8D: Sitcom equine: MR. ED. No problem this time.

10D: Stop, already: ENOUGH. Yes, everyone has a limit.

11D: Round instrument: GONG. Do you love GONG Li ? She starred in Memoirs of a Geisha. She is my favorite Chinese actress.

23D: Actor Jared: LETO. His face looks familiar to me. But I don't remember his name.

24D: Lacks: HASN'T

25D: Guam port, once: AGANA. Capital of Guam. Why "once" in the clue?

26D: One of the archangels: URIEL

27D: Nuclear physicist Enrico: FERMI. He won Nobel Physics in 1938. Not a familiar name to me.

29D: Singer LeAnn: RIMES. "And tell me now, how do I live without you?"

30D: Seething: ABOIL. And 39D: Hotly: IN FEVER

32D: Middle of messes?: ESSES?

37D: Corncob or briar: PIPE. Are you familiar with "Meerchaum Pipe"?

38D: Initial data sheet: TABLE A. What is it?

44D: List of printing mistakes: ERRATA

48D: Williams of "Happy Days": ANSON. Ugh, I just hate TV sitcom characters. Could not never remember their names. I wonder how much this Cap ANSON Old Judge card costs. He is Baseball HOF.

49D: Nightclub in Manilow song: COPA. Nope, I am not familiar with COPACABANA.

52D: Town on the Seward Peninsula: NOME. Often clued as "iditarod terminus".

54D: Prefix for wine: OENO. Also Greek Goddess of wine according to Wikipedia.

57D: Breastplate of Zeus: EGIS. Or AEGIS. It's "the shield or breastplate of Zeus or Athena, bearing at its center the head of the Gorgon". Here is a picture of Medusa's head.

59D: Jazzy instrument: SAX. Why "jazzy" instead of "jazz"?

C.C.

May 22, 2008

Thursday May 22, 2008 Alan P. Olschwang

Theme: QUOTE

20A: Start of Christopher Fry quote: WHAT AFTER ALL

23A: Part 2 of quote: IS A HALO

37A: Part 3 of quote: IT'S ONLY

49A: Part 4 of quote: ONE MORE

50A: End of quote: THING TO CLEAN

This is a quote from British playwright Christopher Fry's 1949 comical drama The Lady's Not for Burning (Act I). In the same play, act III, he wrote:

"The moon is nothing

But a circumambulating aphrodisiac

Divinely subsidized to provoke the world

Into a rising birth-rate."

I've never heard of him. Wikipedia says "he was also one of the writers of the classic 1959 film, Ben-Hur".

This is my 19th post on Olschwang's puzzle, 17 of them are either QUIP or QUOTE. He should really give up on this exhausting odyssey and expand his repertoire. I enjoyed his other 2 non-Q offerings very much, esp the PLAY BALL puzzle on March 23.

The theme is very uninspiring, and most of the clues are bland, or rather, stale. Lots of repeat offenders, characteristic of Olschang's work. I do like the upper left ZIP corner and hate the last AIL/ILL grid.

It seems like ELI has appeared on our puzzle every day lately. But to our editor's credit, the clue has never been the same. Good!

ACROSS:

1A: Hera's husband: ZEUS. Or Hera's brother. Wasn't her mother RHEA in yesterday's puzzle? Guess we will see her son ARES (God of War) tomorrow. The Roman equivalent of Hera is Juno, ZEUS is Jupiter of course.

15A: Name-tag word. HELLO. HELLO, David Cook, wow, you won, BRAVO (33D: Cry of appreciation)!

17A: Related to yew?: PINY. Hmm, very interesting clue.

18A: Wickerwork material: OSIER. You can not make wicker out of this Red Osier Dogwood, can you?

26A: City on the Rhone delta: ARLES. This is where Van Gogh painted his Starry Night Over the Rhone. My favorite is La Chambre de Van Gogh a ARLES. His use of yellow color always overwhelms me.

31A: Valhalla bigwig: ODIN. He is the ZEUS of Norse mythology. I only learned this morning that ODIN gave up one of his eyes to gain wisdom. Didn't Van Gogh cut one of his ears for his lover? I don't mind striking a "Faustian Deal" with Devil either, but for one day only, just to be wise.

43A: Gassers: RIOTS

44A: Even___: STEVEN. Unknown to me. Inferable though.

55A: Minute plant structure: OVULE. Seed to be.

60A: Opposite of aweather: ALEE. I've never heard of "aweather".

62A: Spike or brad: NAIL. Clever little clue. I like it.

64A: Comic Foxx: REDD. What a strange name! DD & XX.

DOWN:

4D: Server's request: SAY WHEN. Here is Sadao Watanabe's "SAY WHEN". I love his "I thought about you."

5D: Sandbar: SHOALS. Schools of fish? Can you say that?

8D: Treble, for one: CLEF. Do you like Sophie Marceau? You want find la CLEF to her heart? You'd better finish your crossword under 3 minutes.

11D: Highlanders: GAELS. "My heart's in the highlands, my heart is not here..."

22D: Kind of bird?: EARLY. Good clue.

24D: Passover feast: SEDER. In the month of Nisan.

42D: Leftover piece: REMNANT

45D: Pekoe or Assam: TEA. Another Indian reference is RAVI (42A: Sitarist Shankar) Norah's father.

46D: __ of roses: ATTAR. Rose oil. I've never used any pure rose oil or rose water. Want to try some of these fruit shaped marzipans? Most of them are flavored with rose water.

47D: Sedimentary rock: SHALE. I did not know that you get get oil out of this SHALE.

49D: Stew pots: OLLAS.

57D: Tony Randall movie, "7 faces of Doctor ___": LAO. I've never seen this movie. Not familiar with Tony Randall at all. LAO means "old" in Chinese. LAO Tzu (Taoism) literally means "Old Master."

C.C.