Jan 23, 2009

Friday January 23, 2009 Willy A. Wiseman

Theme: Heady Stuff

20A: Calming look?: TRANQUIL EYES (Tranquilize)

39A: Organs purchased on the sly?: BLACKMARKET EARS (Blackmarketeers)

55A: Kenny Loggins' rhinoplasty?: SOMEBODY NOSE (Somebody Knows)

"Blackmarketeer" is a new verb to me. I also have never heard of the song "Somebody Knows", so the PUN (63D: Play on words") for SOMEBODY NOSE did not come to me readily.

I was going to complain that EYES and EARS are plural while NOSE is singular, then it dawned on me that I only have one NOSE on my face.

Very bad clue for LUG (61D: Earlike part), as EARS are part of the theme entries. A simple "Pull/Drag" would be just fine. Is the brown colored section LUG? I have never heard of it before.


15A: Samoan port: APIA

19A: Toss about, as ideas: BANDY. Learned this word a couple of months ago.

23A: Taiwan currency: YUAN. I thought it's called 台幣 (Taiwan dollar) there. YUAN is the currency in Mainland China. Literally, "round".

24A: Florida raptor: OSPREY. Ah, the fish hawk.

28A: Boxer's stats: KOS (Knockouts)

38A: Small barracuda: SPET. New fish to me. I did not know the meaning of "barracuda" either. Looks menacing.

40A: Slick: OILY. I though of WILY first.

44A: Chemical suffix: INE. Could be ANE and ENE too. Williams likes to clue INE as "Serpent ending".

45A: Beethoven dedicatee: ELISE. "Fur ELISE".

46A: PAT value: ONE. No idea. Why? What is PAT?

47A: Perk up: ANIMATE. Intransitive?

50A: Silver or Leibman: RON. Learned RON Silver's name from doing Xword. Have never heard of RON Leibman. He looks familiar. I must have seen him somewhere before.

51A: Noble Italian family: MEDICI. Absolutely no idea. I only know ESTE (of Ferrara). Wikipedia says the MEDICI family were "a powerful and influential Florentine family from the 13th to 17th century. The family produced three popes (Leo X, Clement VII and Leo XI)."

53A: Chinese secret society: TONG. Not true. "Chinatown's secret society", yes.

64A: Actress Washbourne: MONA. Alien to me. The only MONA I know is her (or she?). Wikipedia says MONA Washbourne played Higgins' housekeeper Mrs. Pearce in "My Fair Lady" (1964). Oh, I forgot. I also know MONA Charen, the Neocon columnist.

67A: Any part of EAP: INIT. It took me a while to realize EAP is Edgar Allen Poe.

69A: Tierney and Tunney: GENES. Is GENE Tunney very famous? I've never heard of him.


2D: Professional golfers' circuit: TOUR. Meet Ryo Ishikawa, the sensational Japanese golfer, the youngest ever (born in 1991) to reach the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings. He was invited to play at 2009 Masters.

4D: Wet out: RAINY. "Wet out"? Isn't it a verbal phrase? "Wet" is enough for me.

5D: New Guinea language: PAPUAN

6D: Man-Lion figure: SPHINX. How an Egyptian figure became part of Greek mythology is beyond me.

7D: Continental crust: SIAL. Obtained the answer from across fills. Do not know what SIAL is.

8D: Grain-field weed: TARE. The Biblical weed? I am more familiar with the "Truck weight allowance" clue.

9D: Convent head: ABBESS. I only know ABBOT, the "Monastery head".

22D: "__ Got Mail": YOU'VE. Very romantic. Meg Ryan's "Courage Under Fire" is very confusing to me though. I still don't know who is telling the truth and who is lying.

27D: China's Sun__: YAT-SEN. "Father of Modern China". He was Chiang Kai Shek brother-in-law. His name is spelled as Sun Zhong-Shan in Mandarin Chinese.

32D: Legal phrase: IN REM. Latin for "In a thing". Here is the explanation. Unknown to me. But isn't "thing" RES in Latin?

33D: __ Ridge Boys: OAK. No idea. Easy guess though. Here is a clip.

38D: Poivre companion: SEL. French for "salt". Poivre is "pepper".

40D: Small portion: MINIM. Another new word to me. Dictionary says MINIM is roughly one drop of liquid. "Small portion" indeed then.

41D: Colonial blackbird: ANI. Here is the picture again. Why "Colonial"?

48D: Not accented: ATONIC. Was this a gimme to you? This is my first meeting with ATONIC.

52D: Val d'___, Fr.: ISERE. The ski resort in France. Our editor clued ISERE as "Grenoble's river" last time.

58D: Hautboy: OBOE. "Hautboy"/hautbois is French for OBOE.

59D: Very dry: SERE. Probably the same word origin as the verb SEAR.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - a bit of a hammer for me today - had to hit the g-spot for a few, and I question some of the clue/answers, but I'm late for the gym so it'll have to wait.

Today is National Pie Day - what a wonderful day! Celebrate with the pie of your choice...

Today's Words of Wisdom: "He who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition, youth and age are equally a burden." -- Plato

C.C. Burnikel said...

It seems like Williams "kicked up a notch" on the cluing today. MONA is a good example. Great quote today.

Arygle & Kazie,
Re: ABC Admiralty (to the East), Baranof, and Chichagof (to the North). What does the suffix "of" mean?

IKON has appeared in our puzzles several times before. I am not a hockey fan, so I don't know Johnathan Cheechoo. Thanks for the great links yesterday.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Clear Ayes,
I liked your "Stadium billboard displays, briefly" clue for LED.

Mark in Buenos Aires,
Turkic people use YURT as well. I think Turkic and Mongolian belong to the same language family.

Karen Q,
Please join the fray. We need fresh blood.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Donald David,
I thought it's cool looking like Justin Morneau.

I suggest you drop Webster Tarpley and this fascism topic immediately.

Hello? Hello?

Anonymous said...

14:30 for me today

For now enjoy this.

Smooth Jazz from Earl Klugh

Midnight in San Juan


Thanks for the explanation about today's theme. Now it makes sense.

24A: Florida raptor: OSPREY.

OSPREY is also a helicopter that is used by Marines.

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all. I definitely could not finish this puzzle without help. Like the comments you and Dennis have made I did not like some of the cluing. I thought 61D was especially poor, and yes the brown thing in picture is the lug.

I got the body parts of the clues quickly but, could not get some of the remaining words to complete the fills.

Hope you all have a great Friday and a good weekend.

Anonymous said...

PAT is point After Touchdown, football season ans Super Bowl coming

lois said...

Good morning CC et al,This one made me 'nuts' (oak, acorns). Never heard of 'Abbess' before. And 'staled' -really? Atonic? My thought w/that is "I'm going to have 'a tonic' and Citron with a twist of lemon" (aka drdad's drink). Think I'll just have that with some pie...pecan will do for today...more nuts. Maybe I'll go flying today and have pie in the 'sky' and a 'tour' of the isle of 'man' or of a 'man' in the aisle. Works for me.

Enjoy your day.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Definitely a bit of a slog for me as well today. I often wonder about puzzles like this, where most of the answers are relatively common and have straightforward cluing, but with some answers that are either totally obscure or have bizarrely misleading clues. I call them "schizoid" puzzles and can't decide whether the constructor is trying to make the puzzle hard on purpose or is just incompetent.


The upper central bit was truly nasty. I guessed PAPUAN based on the fact that I'm familiar with Papua, New Guinea (I had no idea the language was named after the city, or vice versa, as the case may be).

SIAL was a complete unknown (I've since looked it up and can only find "sialic" in my dictionary, and that's defined as "of, relating to, or being relatively light rock that is rich in silica and alumina and is typical of the outer layers of the earth," so I'm assuming that SIAL is any rock that is rick in SIlica and ALuminum).

What saved me was APIA, which I've seen often enough in puzzles to remember, even though I've never seen it clued as "Samoan port" before. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to get SIAL to save my life.

Other unknowns today were SPET, MONA, ATONIC and ISERE. Like C. C., I was unfamiliar with the song "Somebody Knows", so that took a bit of help from the perps to get. I couldn't believe that STALED was a real word, since I've never heard STALE used as a verb, but apparently it's legit. TORI and INIT both threw me for a loop for a bit due to the cluing, but I finally figured them out. I didn't realize that YUAN was the money of Taiwan as well as mainland China. And that was probably the most obscure way to clue LUG possible.

Oh -- and 33D is actually OAK, not OAKS. The OAK Ridge Boys is the name of an old country singing group, I believe.

Superfrey said...

This puzzle drove me crazy... I had too many blank spaces... did not even bother to google them... just went right to the Crossword Corner to learn the answers...

CC The Medici family basically ran Florence during the Renaisance promoting the arts etc. At least until Savanrola ( a preacher) whipped up the locals and had a lot of the artwork and books burned. Even the statute of David was damaged. Nice guy huh.

kazie said...

in rem--dative ending changes res to rem.

Russian ending -of: I don't know, but I'd guess it's the same as "of" in English, as in "of Chicago", etc.

Barry G.,
Papua is the region in the east of New Guinea, I'm not aware of a city by that name.

My foul ups were SPET, TONG and SOMEBODY. I completely missed the theme--thought it was themeless. thanks goodness for c.c.! Otherwise, I got it all g-spotless, but with guessing.

Argyle said...

Mornin' All

What can I say.

I spet on this puzzle.
(At least that spet is in the dictionaries.)

I've got more to say but I've gotta' cool off.

Barry G. said...

Barry G.,
Papua is the region in the east of New Guinea, I'm not aware of a city by that name.

City, state, region... it's all good! ^_^

Seriously, I've always just heard of "Papua, New Guinea" and assumed it was a city. Thanks for educating me!

Linda said...

cc: My "new thing I learned today" was that "Tongs" are China Town inventions...always thought they were truly Chinese...just as your constructor seemed to have thought. Are the braids symbolic? I`ve been "taught" by movies that it is a severe disgrace to loose the long, single braid.

My opine for the day: It bears repeating...doing xws over a period of time can be equivalent to a liberal arts degree.

kazie said...

I'm really no expert, but it took on that name to distinguish it from what the Indonesians took over (the western part) in the 60's (I think). After that there was a rush to learn Indonesian and Malaysian studies in the Oz schools and universities--more of the domino theory fears.

Anonymous said...

C.C. I have to agree . . Justin Morneau is a cool looking guy. HOWEVER, to us C.C. bloggers, no one is cooler than C.C.

And that's the truth.

Donald David

Jeannie said...

This one made me mona. I thought I had jumped into my Audi for the big race, but encountered too many u-turns feeling like I was KO'd and then KABOOM. Too many g-spots to count so I finally spet and said the end.

Dennis, in honor of National Pie day here's a nice cream pie in your kisser!

Anonymous said...

Well...another Star Syndicate puzzle Mother (93) got me interested about two years ago and we call each other every day and work the puzzle out...clues are really strange sometimes...

If you are not football knowledgeable...American style football that would not know a PAT is the single point awarded for kicking the ball through the uprights after a touchdown...therefore PAT ... Point After Touchdown...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your website and I have locked the site in my Favs...

Tom A.

Anonymous said...

A minor, but interesting, point. It appears that there isn't a single language called "Papuan".

Rather, Papuan Languages refers to a class of 820 languages spoken in Papua New Guinea. The official languages are Tok Pisin, Hiri Motu, and English.

I also found a list of languages spoken in Papua New Guinea. No "Papuan" on this list, either. I stopped counting when I hit 80 languages that begin with 'A'.

If the clue had been something boring (and correct) like "resident of New Guinea", I never would have know that!

Anonymous said...

Hi C.C.
Today's puzzle was a stumper for me without my wife's help. I call it plays
on words and I'm terrible at that.

BTW, I found out what sial was from



Linda said...

Tom A. WELCOME to our blog.

I`ve read that xw puzzles keep the mind agile...lately I`ve read that coffee has the same effect...I`ll be brain-agile into my 200`s!...Go 93 year old Mom!

maria said...

Hallo , c.c. and gang

finally after 20 yrs of living in FL i now know what an Osprey is , thanks again for all your humor and sharing of knowledge. i enjoy this Crossword Corner immensely

p.s. for all movie lovers and non-lovers I recommend " the reader " tremendous movie that makes you think, love to all. Maria

carol said...

Hi C.C. and gang, well I agree with Argyle, Jeannie and Barry! Too many weirdo words. I don't mind stretching my brain cells but when no matter what you do, you would never come up with an answer without going to Mr.G or the dictionary it ceases to be much fun.

Maybe I'll just join Lois for a day with "sky-high" pie fun. Lot's of things are good with whipped cream on them!

Auntie Naomi said...

Hi C.C. and Gang,

C.C., that's fine. Nobody seemed interested anyway. I hope I didn't upset you. I think you are terrific :)

Like Barry, I got hung up in the top center today. Unlike Barry, I never did get it straight. I can never recall the name APIA. I did not know SIAL, either. I opted for APUA and wound up with SUAL.

As for Papua, I mentioned the other day that I went diving in Indonesia last spring. I was scheduled to go on the maiden voyage of this ship. Sadly, it was not ready. It is now sailing and it is doing an alternate itinerary. I still want to go on it and dive in Raja Ampat.

I sit out by the river and do the XW so, in addition to getting to watch the Great Blue Herons I also get to see the occasional OSPREY hunting.

Despite being a diver and having been smack in the middle of about a hundred very large barracudas, I did not know the name SPET.

When I visited Taiwan, I did not have to spend any of my own money. I did not think there currency was called the YUAN because I knew that was the currency of China.

I have never heard the term LUG used with regard to the ear.

I misread the Kenny Loggins clue the first time and was thinking of Kenny Rogers due to the inclusion of 'rhinoplasty' in the clue. When I realized I had misread the clue, it also occurred to me that Kenny Rogers did not have a nose job, he had a face lift. None of this helped much since I did not know the name of the Kenny Loggins song.

Democrat, you have some extreme tastes in music. I am sure there are not too many Metallica fans who would care to listen to Earl Klugh.

Anonymous said...

You must be young not to know who Gene Tierny was. Her (not him) famous movie was Laura but she played in many other hits of her time. ie The Razor's Edge, Leave Her to Heaven, The Ghost and Mrs Muir, etc.

Anonymous said...

Where are the answers for 28,29, and 30 down??What is 35 acros 43 across and 46 across. What am I missing here?????

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone. Had the same problems as others: SIAL, SPET, MONA, IN REM, MINIM, ATONIC, SEL. Did have to Google for SEL and SPET. The clue for 61D was iffy at best.

Welcome to all of the "new" people posting today. Come on in, the water's fine!

Have a fantastic Friday!!

Anonymous said...

Hi once again C.C. Your question today about the Sphinx is valid confusion. The original and most often used name for that critter is Griffin. The Griffin is the powerful Eagle head and the body of a Lion, used by the Germans, Greeks, Turks the Middle East civilizations (if they can be called that)to guard precious things, and more, dating back to 3300 B.C. - and further. The Griffin called Sphinx in Egypt guards the 3 Great Pyramids where Pharohs and their gold are intombed. Entombed? The Sphinx is perfectly maintained over all these centuries, except it's nose was shot away by a bunch of Turk soldiers using it for target practice and sipping Ouzo. There is a fabulous show every night at the sight of the Sphinx. You should see it when you're in the neighborhood. Really - it's very worth your while. There is much more about the Griffin at

Will you be visiting the Twins' spring training camp this year?


Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Most of the time the perps clear things up, ie. SPET and LUG, but today I was staring at blank spaces. Is it better to purely guess at letter fills, or better to Google to get answers? I never would have figured out the cross of APIA with SIAL,and TARE without the "G". I had the same problem with MONA and ATONIC. What do you all think, guess or Google?

C.C. Ron Liebman is probably best know for his role as the union organizer in the movie, Norma Rae.

Maria, The Reader is a very interesting movie. I suspect Kate Winslet will get the Academy Award for her performance.

Oh Happy Pie Day! I just knew there was a day I could relate to. To celebrate, here's The Pie Song from the movie Michael

Dennis said...

Mitzi, 28D is kaboom, 29D is online, 30D is staled (yes, it really is a word), 35A is Antic, 43A is oily, and 46A is one (Point After Touchdown, or Extra Point).

Clear Ayes said...

C.C. I had to ask G.A.H. about Gene Tunney. Boxing is his other love besides golf....oh yeah, LOL, I fit in there someplace too.

Gene Tunney was the heavyweight boxing champion from 1926-1928.

Boxing fans still debate The Long Count Fight, which was the 1927 rematch between world Heavyweight champ Gene Tunney and former champion Jack Dempsey. In Round 7, Tunney was knocked down, but because of some new rules, the referee didn't start his count for about 5 seconds. Tunney finally got back up at the "9" count, after having been down for 13 to 14 seconds. Tunney got up and eventually won the fight by an unanimous decision.

G.A.H. hadn't been born then, but he has watched many classic boxing films. He has come down squarely on the side that Dempsey could have and should have won.

Anonymous said...

PAT = Point After Touchdown.

WM said...

Good morning C.C.

Pretty much the same issues on the same words, except that I got MEDICI(who were also famous for doing away with people using poison), ISERE and SPET( although I had never heard the word before) because I did know SEL. Knew OAK Ridge Boys because we once met them, briefly at a gas staion in Oregon where their bus had stopped on the way to the State Fair...nice guys, but a rather scuzzy bunch.

This is so cool to see all these new people ideas and input are always good.

ClearAyes...I usually try to guess as I feel a puzzle should be do-able without all the Googling...eventually on the really tough ones I give up and come here or go to One Across...ARRGH

Auntie Naomi said...

"famous for doing away with people using poison"
Don't people using poison do away with themselves?

Crockett1947 said...

@promisemethis Not if the poison is tasteless and put into a proffered drink.

WM said...

Thank you Crockett.

They often used a ring with a secret compartment in it to contain the poison, making it easy to slip the poison into the prospective victim's drink. The tradition of toasting people partly comes from this. Originally, people would pour a bit of their wine(or whatever) in each other's glasses, thus insuring that the poisoner would have to drink the poison also. I don't know how well it worked, but it has evolved into the symbolic touching of glasses that we now do at the beginning of a meal.

And now, I am off to bake a pie and paint...two separate endeavors.

Auntie Naomi said...

I was merely attempting to point out the ambiguity of wolfmom's statement. When I first read it, I took 'people' to mean all people, the Medicis included. In other words, people no longer needed to use poison because the Medicis came up with more efficient methods for offing folks. Of course, I knew the Medicis were notorious for their use of poison as a weapon. The other way the sentence could be taken is that they were offing people who were using poison, which would be kind of pointless.
I will have to try to remember, the next time I correct somebody's erroneous use of the term 'ironic', that a good example of irony is the fact that the profession that exhorts its practitioners, "first do no harm", takes it name from those famous assassins.
wolfmom, I did not know that was where we got the toasting tradition. Thank you for that bit of trivia.

Clear Ayes said...

I thought it would be easy to find a poem about pie online. Easy sure, but good poems, I don't think so. So many obvious rhymes, Pie, My, Sky, Try, By, Sigh, Why and even Die and Lie, there was also Sweet, Treat, Neat and (can't be) Beat.

Then I came across the Square Pie site. It is a shop in London that sells savory meat pies. They have a bunch of poems their patrons have written. I liked the sound of this one written by a happy French speaking patron.

Ton pie est excellent (Your pie is excellent)

Il me laisse par ailleurs languissant,
d'aller savourer un jour en bonne companie,
ces delicieuses tartes, sources d'extasie...
Peu importent qu'elles soient salees ou sucrees,
Car toutes sont pour moi sources d'intensite...

-Boubazine Abdelhakim

My high school French helped to figure out the gist:

It leaves me besides languishing,
To be going to savor a day in good company,
These delicious tarts, sources of ecstasy.
It doesn't matter if they are salty (savory) or sweet,
Because for me, all are sources of intensity.

I'm sure there is a better phrase for the first line. I think it would probably be, "Instead of sitting around on my a**". Is that right, Kazie?

WM said...

PromiseMe: you are correct...I should have said were famous for USING poison to do away with people. Sorry for the verbal confusion.

Crockett1947 said...

@promiseme After I made that post I wondered if you were addressing a usage problem. Thanks for the clarification!

Anonymous said...

I believe that a "marketeer" is a person, one who markets (sells) things. "Black" indicates that the seller deals in illegal or stolen goods. It is a noun, not a verb.

Gene Tunny was very famous when I was a youngster in the 1930's. I was always hearing about him on the radio. I think he remained famous for a long time after that, doing other things.

Dr.G said...

Why is Osprey clued as a Florida raptor? I've seen them on the Maryland eastern shore.

Anonymous said...

For those among us referring to the Osprey as a Marine Helicopter, or just as a helicopter - please allow me to hone it up a tad. The Osprey (V-22) is actually a special function airplane (aircraft), fitted with variable tilt engines mounted on the outboard section of each wing which gives the aircraft verticle takeoff and landing (VTOL) capability. It has many tactical uses for the Air Force and Marines.
I personally attended the Special Ops school at an Air Base down in the Florida Panhandle and saw quite a few exercises involving the Osprey, as well as the C-130A Gunship. These are some mighty weapons of war that we should be very happy to have fighting on our side. If we must fight.


Yeah, I know - I still haven't found a G spot. Did you get my e-mail Dennis?

embien said...

13:50 today. A time that high usually means I had a major problem, and in this case it was SIAL and SPET/YAT SEN, none of which I'd heard of previously.

I was a geography major in grad school for a while and had several geology courses. I never once encountered the term SIAL. (Admittedly this was a while ago and perhaps the term is more common these days.)

I couldn't believe the constructor would use the clumsy PHAR in the grid, but what else could it be (I was missing the 'A')?

I had SPEO and YAO for a while (thinking of YAO Ming, the basketball player). When the puzzle wasn't accepted (I solve online in "master" mode), I decided the unknown fish must be SPET and voila, I was done.

I like Barry's characterization of the puzzle as schizoid. I agree, and generally dislike that kind of puzzle (which appears all too often in TMS).

@c.c.: 32D: Legal phrase: IN REM. Latin for "In a thing". Here is the explanation. Unknown to me. But isn't "thing" RES in Latin?

I'm no Latin expert, but I believe that REM is a different case of the word RES (different case needed because the answer is IN REM). So, both RES and REM refer to a thing, just in different contexts. I'll defer to someone who actually knows Latin for a better explanation.

kazie said...

You are right --my 8:03 concurs with your explanation of REM. i said it would be dative, but maybe ablative--whatever, you were right about the different form for the case ending.

Clear ayes,
One minor change --otherwise instead of besides--would be all I would suggest.

Welcome to all the newbies!
I missed a lot because of being gone all day.

As you may have guessed, I prefer guessing to googling--it gets me here quicker, and I'm always amazed at how much I guess correctly!

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember the Yuan as the unit of currency when I was in Taiwan. I think I still have some yuan notes someplace.

I guessed at PAPUAN but it is an incorrect clue. There are over 800New Guinea languages but, as already mentioned, papuan is not one of them, unless I am way off base. TOK PISIN, HIRI MOTU and ENGLISH are the official languages.


I did not understand PHAR as Rx place. (15a

Seattle John

kazie said...

Seattle John,
PHAR is a very poor attempt at a short version of PHARMACY.

Clear Ayes said...

Dennis, thanks for the dancing skeleton, very funny!

Thanks Kazie, I remembered more French than I thought.

Wolfmom, are you going to do a painting of your pie? I hope so. Your paintings look good enough to eat AND zero calories.

After posting the London Square Pie Shop poem, I was reminded that Mrs. Lovett had a pie shop located below Sweeney Todd's barbershop. Hmmm...her customers loved her pies too.

I was also reminded of Sweeney Floyd: The Dim-Wit Barber of Mayberry, a terrific Sweeney Todd parody and fun for Mayberry fans.

Anonymous said...

Yeah pretty hard for me this time. I usually complete this in like 5.24 minutes but it took me 7.76 this time because my nanny kept feeding me and wouldn't let me write. Didn't even have to hit the Gspot. Hope you guys are getting for the the Crosswording Championships in Kuala Lumpur this Spring! See you there!

Argyle said...

I'm back...

8D: Grain-field weed: TARE. The Biblical weed?. No, the thinking is that this is the Biblical weed.

7D) Continental crust - sial / the assemblage of rocks, rich in silica and alumina, that comprise the continental portions of the upper layer of the earth's crust. Origin: Si(licium) silicium + Al(uminium) aluminum

sima / an assemblage of rocks, rich in silica and magnesium, that constitutes the lower layer of the earth's crust and is found beneath the ocean floors and the sial of continents. Origin: Si(licium) silicium + Ma(gnesium) magnesium

Martin said...

Hi, everybody. I'm in the Philippines, specifically Manila. My wife put a downpayment on a condo here so I guess it's official: when the day comes I'll be retiring here.

I didn't do today's puzzle: I forget which paper here carries the TMS puzzle. Maybe they all do but they aren't up to date.

Anyway, "blackmarketeer" is a noun, not a verb. It's somebody who works at a blackmarket. I suppose a blackmarketeer could be described as "blackmarketeering" but it is primarily a noun. The -er, -or and -eer suffixes all refer to people who do something (cf farmer, actor, musketeer).

YUAN would definitely have been a gimme for me today. In ordinary writing, people use the simplified character for YUAN but the traditional character appears on actual bills. The Tai in Taiwan is usually written in simplified form because it's much easier to write than the traditional character. In Japan, the currency is YEN and in Korea the currency is WON. YEN...YUAN...WON. I think it is the same word.


Argyle said...

I'm back...again

Anonymous said..@11:57 AM You must be young not to know who Gene Tierny(sic) was. Her (not him) famous movie was Laura but she played in many other hits of her time. ie The Razor's Edge, Leave Her to Heaven, The Ghost and Mrs Muir, etc.

Two things, anon, CC is new to our country so be nice and she was asking about Gene Tunney. We covered Gene Tierney some time ago.

Hey, Hayrake, are you sure about a sphinx and a griffin being the same? Sure look different to me.

And spet, the barracuda. Much googling shows the best clue for spet would be The most common way to misspell the ninth mo..
Entry after entry had Spet instead of Sept.

Argyle said...


Argyle said...


Argyle said...

One last thing...

I think Willy A. Wiseman should let Barry Silk edit his puzzles.

lois said...

Argyle: I thought the Sphinx was the head of a 'man' on the body of a lion. Your link shows 'boobs'! What's up w/that? Are they 'man boobs'? Or am I just delusional?

BobR said...

First timer! I've been following your blog for a few months now and really enjoy the education. I've decided to finally chime in with this tidbit from my son. He wants me to inform Dennis that today may be National Pie Day but March 14 is National Pi Day (get it ... 3.14)!!

One other comment on the clues... I have a hard enough time with my native tongue, but I despise clues where I am suppose to know French and Chinese. Poivre and Sel.... arrggh.

Have a great day -

Jeannie said...

@crosswordprodigy...too bad you finished in under "Dennis" time. You might find some of us there at the tourney. Just look for the C.C. logo on our t-shirts. I don't think you'll miss mine. Lois, Carol, Clearayes, you want me to "procure" yours? I have a source.

kazie said...

Not sure Kuala Lumpur is on my itinerary for this year. But thanks for including me in your invitation.

Wow, what a great lot of new bloggers today! Is it the anniversary that brought you all out of the woodwork? Welcome to all of you!

Clear Ayes said...

Jeannie, "Procuring"? Sounds like fun. Count me in.

Lois, I think you're right about the Sphinx, Dude Looks Like A Lady.

Jeannie said...

Sorry Kazie, I thought you might want to be included in the group. It's been silly busy at work the last couple of weeks. I usually do the x/w on my lunch hour which has been non-existant. I try to read the blog everyday, but don't feel I should comment unless I have actually given the puzzle a try. Today was a fluke and wouldn't you know it, it was a hard one, and I HATE to "G" spot too many answers. I usually give up. It's really cold here tonight. Minus 7 with the winds still blowing at 15-20mph. The winds would be perfect if I was on my sailboat on a 80 degree day. Those are coming, at least I keep telling myself that.

kazie said...

Wasn't too bad here today--32 above, but windy, with drifting across the road in many places. Stay warm and enjoy your weekend! Try windsurfing on the lake!

Auntie Naomi said...

You are not you really going to Kuala Lumpur, are you?

Auntie Naomi said...

ClearEyes, you had the HTML tags right, but you put only the text between them. Perhaps
is what you intended to link to.

JD said...

Good evening C.C. and all weird word lovers,

Yikes! Didn't know papuan, apia, sial or tare.68A was a trick! Phar was weak, and I'm not sure that I agree that a pariah is a leper. Lepers were considered pariahs back when they sent them to Molokai.All I can say is I'm glad I had all day to do this. I love retirement!!
Argyle, I agree with your 8:25 comment, and that sphinx is a fraud.LOL! Could it be the pharoah Akhenaton? He was very weird; had a very girly shape.Actually, in Greek mythology a sphinx is a winged monster with a lion's body and the head and breasts of a woman.

Jeannie said...

Kazie, I that was our weather yesterday, and usually you get our crap a couple of days later. Believe me friend, it probably will come your way in the next day or two, hext the wind. Promise me, Kuala Lumpur I am afraid is not on my GPS system. I was just irritated on their smugness on puzzle solving. Maybe it was a joke...don't know.

Auntie Naomi said...

I suspected as much, but I wasn't quite sure what to make of your reply. Put me down for one of those tee-shirts :)
Is there really an XW championship going on there?

JD said...

Clear ayes, merci beaucoup
Tres bon poem, and I loved the pie song!

I really like the fact that we have such a variety of c/w's, because everyone's brain is wired differently. I like having a few names in the c/w's to see if I'm on track. With just synonyms you never know until you're in deep doo doo.( C.C. that means I have to use my eraser a lot!!)

Found the Isle of Man's motto today:
"Quocunque jeceris stabit" which means "It will stand where ever you throw it." So different than "In God we trust"
Did you know that it does not belong to the United Kingdom; it is self governing..quite a govt. with that motto!They call their island Ellan Vannin. Ellan is Gaelic for island. They have a Manx culture and used to have a Manx Gaelic language, but now it is Manx English. Whatever, we probably couldn't understand them.

Looking forward to tomorrow's c/w

Jeannie said...

Promiseme, I was kinda half kidding about the t-shirts...just defending C.C. and her blog. I do have a source though....

Jeannie said...

In the olden days this would mean something....HEY I WAS NUMBER SIXTY NINE! Some of you know what I am talking about.

Argyle said...

Ah, a new day(EST)...I can post again. Oh wait, I'm answering a question so it doesn't count anyway.

The Egyptian sphinx is a man but in classical mythology she was a woman; seated on a rock outside of Thebes, she proposed a riddle to travelers, killing them when they answered incorrectly, as all did before Oedipus. When he answered her riddle correctly the Sphinx killed herself.

Now the DF part, the derivation...late Latin sphinctēr, from Greek sphinktēr, from sphingein, to hold tight. And as we all know, everbody has a sphincter

Auntie Naomi said...

JD, I had no idea that the Isle of Man was not a part of the UK. Fascinating. I did know that their particular variety of Gaelic was called Manx. I am sorry to see it is disappearing.
With that I realize that I have surpassed my allotted number of posts for the day.


Anonymous said...

PromiseMeThis : I liked Metallica growing up and still do as I got older I also like smooth jazz. I like classical it helps me sleep. I just don't rap or country.

I like Bob James, Earl Klugh, Candy Dulfer.

Anonymous said...

SERE can also mean


WM said...

Re: the Sphinx...Argyle's photo is correct, and Hayraker is basically correct. The Griffin(griffon, gryphon) is a classical, mythical creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. A sphinx is an Egyptian creature of mythology with the head of a man OR animal and the body of a lion. A sphinx is ALSO portrayed a having the head and breasts of a woman, the wings of an eagle and the body of a lion(hence Argyle's photo). The Sphinx of Thebes(the female version with the wings and lion's body) posed riddles to travelers, if they couldn't answer, she destroyed them ( I would say ate them, but that's just too DF)

SO...folowing that line of reasoning, a sphinx could also be a griffin. It is just more usual to see the sphinx w/o the wings.

WM said...

Sorry, Argyle...I must have been typing while you were posting. Didn't mean to duplicate.

Jeannie said...

I myself don't find anything DF about a sphincter. To me that has one purpose...exit only.

Argyle said...

Sorry. I just had to post this

Martin said...

Did anybody see the movie 10 000 BC? It was good for a laugh. Some funny bits were the scene where our heroes got attacked by giant ostriches (?!) and then, later, a scene in whicg we saw the Sphinx being constructed. Yes, acording to a few websites I found, the sphinx is over 12 000 years old: this is based partly on evidence of water erosion (which would only have been possible during the millenia following the end of the Ice Age when Egypt underwent flooding) and partly on the argument that 12 000 years ago the sphinx would have been directly facing the constrellation Leo.

I say 10 000 BC was good for a laugh: besides the giant ostriches, there were the pyramids that were being constructed, which is completely wrong as the pyramids would have been constructedillenia later as tombs forthe pharoahs. Some of the lines that came off as funny were a line early in the movie where an old wise man (named A'Gor perhaps?) warned that the Earth was getting warmer (naturally, as the Ice Age ended) and then an exchange at the end of the movie which has our hero asking a friend from another tribe what they would do when the wooly mammoths are all gone (and they can no longer hunt them) and his friend says "Plant these" and hands him a handfull of seeds, blatently telling the audience that this was the end of their old hunter-gatherer way of life and the begining of agriculture.

In case I don't get to use this computer later (because I'm borrowing somebody else's laptop), I did today's puzzle on line and finished in 24 minutes and 33 seconds.