Jan 14, 2009

Wednesday January 14, 2009 Barry Silk

Theme: SETTLED THE SCORE (61A: Took revenge)

17A: Manassas conflict: BATTLE OF BULL RUN (Baseball)

23A: Meal container: PICNIC BASKET (Basketball)

38A: Calculus calculation: INFLECTION POINT (Football)

51A: Future target: LONG-TERM GOAL (Hockey)

What is INFLECTION POINT? Sounds like an abstract term to me.

Considering the basketball theme today, I wonder why MVP (44A: Letters for baseball's best) is not clued as "Letters for basketball's best". NBA does have MVP award, right? (Addendum: My bad. I misunderstood the theme this morning.)

The clue for ATF (21A: Booze, butts and bullets bureau) definitely needs an abbreviation hint. It should be "Org." rather than "bureau". I love the clue for ATTIC (3D: Top story?). Very clever.

Barry Silk mentioned last time that he is going to hold a presentation on crossword in D.C. (Tysons-Pimmet Regional Branch of the Fairfax County Library) on Jan 17 Saturday. Has anyone registered yet? I hope you can take pictures of Barry and share with us next week.


1A: Wild hogs: BOARS. Do you think "Hogs wild?" will be a good clue for BOARS?

6A: "Pygmalion" dramatist: SHAW. I wonder why the musical/film was renamed "My Fair Lady" later on. I rather like the mythological aura of the original title.

10A: Spiced tea beverage: CHAI. Rooted in Chinese Cha, meaning "Tea". Strange to see people put sugar, or milk, or spice in tea. Loose leaves and hot water, that's all you need for a perfect tea.

14A: John of the keys: ELTON. I like his "Can You Feel the Love Tonight".

16A: Sources of online help: FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)

22A: Bother greatly: EAT AT

29A: The Sweetest Place on Earth: HERSHEY. Ha, this is new to me. I did not know that HERSHEY is actually a town in PA. Thought it's only the brand name of the chocolate. I like M & M anyway. Look at this cute dispenser.

46A: Computer model: DESKTOP

56A: Do-it-yourself mover: U-HAUL

69A: Vaio maker: SONY. I don't think this is Barry's original clue. I am not familiar with Vaio notebook.


1D: Jazz style: BEBOP. What on earth is BEBOP style? Fast? Slow? Broody? Romantic?

2D: Norwegian king (995-1000): OLAV I. I guessed. It could only be OLAV I, OLAV V or OLAV X. Oh, I checked, there is no OLAV X.

6D: Passed quickly: SHOT BY

7D: Vanished union boss: HOFFA (Jimmy). Read stories about this guy in various JFK/RFK books. Very intriguing case. His son James HOFFA is currently the president of Teamsters.

9D: Sch. in Pullman: WSU (Washington State University). I guessed. Have never heard of Pullman. Is it named after the railroad sleeping car guy Pullman?

10D: Some major scales: C-FLAT

11D: Poet Crane: HART. New poet to me. Interesting name. How did his friend address him when they wrote him letters then? Deer HART?

12D: Lung opener?: AQUA. Is AQUA-lung a familiar diving equipment to you? I've never heard of it before. Hmmm, interesting, Dennis might like this one: "Marine opener?"

13D: Ain't correct?: ISN'T

33D: Multicolored: PIED. It's clued as "__ -a-terre" in Barry's last puzzle.

34D: Gender-biased suffix: ENNE. Like trix.

35D: Old-time postal rtes.: RFDS (Rural Free Deliveries)

42D: NASA unit: ONE G. There is no G in outer space, right?

47D: Like an oaf: KLUTZY

49D: Female peasant: PEAHEN. Funny how PEAHEN looks so different from peacock.

50D: English composer: ARNE (Thomas). Often clued as "Rule, Britannia" composer. I look forward to a "Secretary of Education Duncan" clue for ARNE after Jan 20.

53D: Threatened layer: OZONE. I don't understand the clue. Why "Threatened"?

55D: Loamy soil: LOESS. I can never remember this word.

58D: Egyptian god: ATEN. Or ATON. The Egyptian sun god. There is no vowel in Egyptian hieroglyphs, hence various variations in Egyptian God/Goddess names later on, including ATEN and ATON.

64D: The Racer's Edge: STP. Very strange brand name: Son of a Gun!.

65D: Disney collectible: CEL. Remember these three Disney "Snow White" CELS on Antiques Roadshow? Amazing price.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - a pleasant surprise, getting a midweek Silky Stumper.

I really enjoyed this one; it was full of fresh clues/answers. So many of the puzzles contain the same old tired 'crossword words'. I needed perp help all over the place, especially with the unusual-for-crossword- abbreviations, i.e., 'prez', 'c'mon'. Felt very good finishing this one.

Today is 'Dress Up Your Pet' day. Those with fish tanks, please send pictures.

And today's Words of Wisdom: "If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you're right." -- Mary Kay Ash

C.C. Burnikel said...

I like C'MON too. Why did you think of fish tanks instead of dogs/cats for "Dress Up Your Pet" day?

Pretty soon you will get used to my absence. I am tired of seeing my own comments.

I've changed yesterday's theme title into "Double Talk". Thanks.

Dr. G,
I like your "Double Dipping" too.

Dennis said...

C.C., it's called a dysfunctional mind.

Off to the gym.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Why "Repeat Replete"? I don't get it. Why "Replete"? For alliteration purpose?

Bill Brower & Calef & Seattle John,
Thanks for the explanation on Muslims and Arabs. I was just surprised that Iran is not an Arab country when it's located in that part of the world.

No, I've never watched "The Yearling". Some of the old American movies are too difficult for me to understand. Outlaw THONGS in FL? Wow, I wonder if Dennis still wants to move there. I like your "Redux" also.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Jim in Norfolk,
Your "MAN'S MAN" is similar to my concept. Thanks for the examples on "Gentleman's gentleman".

Clear Ayes,
WOW, a new way to clue WOW. Thanks for the link.

Thanks for the answers. Nice to "meet" you.

I do remember our "Waltzing Matilda" discussion a while ago.

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all. Nice puzzle today and one that caused me to do some thinking. I really struggled with some of the clues and like Dennis PreZ was a stretch. Also, CMON for 39D ...ah come on!! In addition it took me a while to see 40D as TVPG.

CC here is a definition for inflection point that I took directly from Wikipedia and is something I did remember from my days studying calculus.

"In differential calculus, an inflection point, or point of inflection (or inflexion) is a point on a curve at which the curvature changes sign. The curve changes from being concave upwards (positive curvature) to concave downwards (negative curvature), or vice versa. If one imagines driving a vehicle along the curve, it is a point at which the steering-wheel is momentarily "straight", being turned from left to right or vice versa."

Lots of snow and cold here today. Looks like more plowing this AM. Hope you all have a great Wednesday.

Argyle said...

Good Morning, CC and all

38A) Calculus calculation - inflection point / n.1: a point on a curve at which the sign of the curvature changes. 2: A moment of dramatic change

12D Lung opening? Aqualung

I wonder how much of Barry Silk's original clues got by the editor; I think this puzzle came through intact.

Martin said...

22 minutes 33 seconds but that needs to be adjusted due to the Silk effect which, in this case, is three 15-letter theme fills and two 12-letter theme fills. Whoa. Barry made us work hard this time.

Some DF moments today. I had HER???? for "Sweetest Place on Earth" and this was right above ATE. Oh and NAIL is clued as a verb meaning "Execute perfectly". Hmm. Q: "So, Bob, how did the date with Daisy go?" A: "I executed her perfectly."

Isn't the clue for OZONE ("Threatened layer?") - thankfully - out of date? We stopped using CFCs and the ozone layer has filled back in.

An inflection point is a point on on a curve where the second derivative is equal to zero.



Dr. Dad said...

Good morning.

Breezed through the top half but the bottom half hung me up for a while. I must admit - I had an 'S' in klutsy, not a 'Z' until I saw Dennis' comment.

As for the abbreviation for ATF clue, I think booze and butts suffice as they are "shortened" versions for alcohol and cigarettes.

Emile Gagnan and Jacques Cousteau (famous for his show "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau) invented the modern demand regulator and an improved autonomous diving suit. In 1942-1943, they redesigned a car regulator and invented a demand regulator that would automatically deliver fresh air when a diver breathed. It also solved the problem of equalizing air pressure in the lungs with the water pressure acting upon the diver's body. They attached the regulator to three cylinders of air. The complete set of equipment was called the "aqualung" and would enable divers to dive deeper for longer periods. But there is another Aqualung.

In addition to Dress Up Your Pet Day it is also Bald Eagle Day and National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day (YUM!!!).

Have a great Hump Day.

Martin said...

Spiced tea beverage: CHAI. Rooted in Chinese Cha, meaning "Tea".

The French word for tea, the' (pronounced "tay"), comes from the Taiwanese pronunciation. I went to Plymouth, England back in 1985 with my Mom and Dad and I heard them use the word char to refer to tea.

Jazz style: BEBOP. What on earth is BEBOP style?

It was a gimme for me. According to wikipedia BEBOP is "is a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos and improvisation" that dates back to 1928 or so. Scat singing is included in BEBOP and two good examples of that are Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-A-Lula" (1956) and just about anything sung by American Idol 2007 rummer up Blake Lewis (who described his singing as "jazzy hip hop").

There is no G in outer space, right?

I don't know if we want to bring that up again. Basically you experience 0 G when you are in free fall and orbiting the Earth is basically falling towards it but always missing. On the moon you'd experience about 1/6 G (if I remember correctly).

Yesterday I was talking about the difference between a man's man and a lady's man. Well, there's also a family man which is neither of the above: a man's man would want to remain a bachelor and a lady's man would have to give up his old habits when he gets married. There's a fourth category, of course, namely the geek. Geeks make great dads because they can sit with their kids and watch cartoons and not get bored.


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Another silky smooth puzzle from Mr. Silk (he of the fabulous first name). One letter short of a pangram, I believe (unless the J is there somewhere and I missed it). I'm sure his original answers included a J until the evil editor changed things as usual... ^_^

No major problems for me today, although INFLECTION POINT brought back some unpleasant memories of college calculus. Actually, the clue brought back unpleasant memories. To be honest, I have no idea whatsoever what an INFLECTION POINT is. I wonder if it's really obscure or whether I've just blocked out the memory? Seriously, I absolutely loathed calculus. I was planning on a career as a chemical engineer until I took that gawdawful course, and that's what caused me to switch my major to philosophy in order to get to law school. So the next time you think there are too many lawyers in the world, just blame my old calculus teacher...

[For the record, although I got my degree and passed the bar, I'm not actually practicing law right now, so don't think too badly of me, OK?]

Anyway... Other unknowns today were ZOE, WSU and HART. And that was really it. I wasn't crazy about CFLATS being clued as "Some major scales" (since you'd never call a scale a "C FLAT" -- it's always "a C FLAT scale"), but that's a minor quibble in an otherwise great puzzle. And I'll blame the editor for that one anyway.

Oh -- as for the theme, I don't think it really has to do with basketball, per se, but is more about how sports in general are tallied. In basketball, you make a basket; in baseball, you get a run; in football or tennis, you get a point; in soccer, you get a goal. Etc., etc., etc. Just a thought.

Martin said...

Oh -- as for the theme, I don't think it really has to do with basketball, per se, but is more about how sports in general are tallied. In basketball, you make a basket; in baseball, you get a run; in football or tennis, you get a point; in soccer, you get a goal. Etc., etc., etc. Just a thought.

In hockey, you SCORE. Also when a date is "executed perfectly" one is said to have scored.

Hey, when C.C.s away the DFs will play. :)


C.C. Burnikel said...

Barry G,
You are right. I now realize that the theme title is SETTLED THE SCORE. Thanks.

Re: HER* & "Executed perfectly", so DF.

Barry G. said...

My pleasure!

Dr. Dad said...

There are no g-forces in space if, and only if, the spacecraft is not accelerating. But, if the rockets are fired (e.g. to get the spacecraft out of earth orbit and headed to the moon), the spacecraft will experience acceleration and the astronauts will experience a force that can be called a g-force.

Superfrey said...

Another nice Silk Puzzle. I struggled with this one, ony because I goofed up on INFLECTIONPOINT, which in turn made the middle sloppy for me. Also, I never heard of a Pea Hen, though I got there through the perps. Barry Silk does make you think and his puzzles are refreshing. Expecting cold weather here in SW FL... only in the low 60s.... Burrrr

Anonymous said...

Re: Mary Kay Ash quote - The original of this was spoken by Henry Ford "Think you can, think you can't,either way you're right."
... maybe we'll se that as a quip in an Olschwang puzzle sometime?

kazie said...

G'morning everyone.
This one was hard for me. I screwed up on all the sports references, as usual--never heard of bull run, something was eating at me and so I couldn't figure out the "t" in the middle of 22A, had NIL for ZIP, so missed MVP, and also the "CT" of INFLECTION escaped me. Also had KLUTSY/PRES. All in all a miserable attempt. SONY took a while too because I kept thinking that VAIO looked like a car brand.

Beautiful out here today, but cold at minus 3 F. Two more inches of snow last night so I'm off to shovel the driveway.

kazie said...

I forgot, is CEL short for celluloid? I got it from crosses, but have never heard of them before. Interesting link!

g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all,

Great puzzle today. Although I originally had nil instead of zip for 36D, but changed it. I guessed on the C in Chai and had to google 11D Poet Crane. Oh yes, and as Drdad did I had pres instead of prez until I read Dennis' remarks. I love Barry Silk's puzzles, never boring!

Dennis: You didn't say whether you got my email or not, did you?
Impressive going to the gym at 5 something in the morning. I usually go somewhere around 1-3pm.

c.c.: I thought the theme was basketball also until I read Barry G's comments.

Have a wonderful day everyone!

KittyB said...

Good morning, all.

Thank you, Barry G., for making the point about the scales. It should have been clued as "Notes in a scale."

Brutal weather here n the Chicago area. We have lots of snow, and now below zero temps. It's a good day to stay inside and do the crossword!

Have a great day.

Dr.G said...

Almost gave up, but then developed second sight. Still had problems with 11D, 22A, 38A & 69D. Thank goodness for C.C.

I thought there wasn't a C flat major until I went to the following site:

Martin: An inflection point is a point on on a curve where the second derivative is equal to zero.
Huh? I'm too far in years from the curve to inflect anything.

Jeanne said...

Morning all,
Not a bad puzzle but went into a panic attack when I saw Calculus calculation. Just knew I wouldn't know that one nor was it buried deep in the recesses of my mind.

Did know Hershey since I live in PA. You used to be able to tour the factory, town, etc. and it has a wonderful amusement park. The smell of chocolate permeated the area although I don't know if that is still true. Hershey sent alot of the manufacturing to Mexico and because of that I try not to buy Hershey products.

I knew Disney collectibles because my son owns his own animation co. When he was in college he did some cel animation and it was so tedious. Now, of course, it's all done on the computer.

Have a wonderful day. I'm taking it easy since I developed a cold. Taking zinc, "Airbourne", made more spice tea and watching some recorded shows.

Dennis said...

G8rmomx2, sorry, yes I did get your email, and I'll be responding shortly. Again, I appreciate all the info.

I have to go to the gym early, before my body realizes what's going on. Otherwise, no chance.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone! Looks like we're a J short of a pangram. Did not know ZOE, INFLECTION POINT, and do not agree with the clue for 49D. Admittedly, a female pheasant is a hen, but I do believe that a PEA HEN is a female peacock, yes?

C.C., I grew up with my dad putting cream and sugar into his tea, so of course I learned to drink it that way and still do so to this day. Dear HART ... ROFLO

@dennis I like your strategy on getting to the gym early. Now, if I could only act on it!

Anonymous said...

Reading all the comments I feel better. Slow start, but only needed help with three words - easy stuff like, I had PEEL instead of PARE.

weather321 said...

Good thinking puzzle. Spent two days in PA in '04, toured Gettysburg and Hershey. Probably the best two days of vacation. Typical SW OR weather here, FOGGY. As always, learned something new from blog crew.

kazie said...

I like milk and sugar in tea. I grew up with it that way, as most aussies do. When I first went to Europe and could only get it with lemon or cream, not milk, I had to start thinking of it as an entirely different drink. Have you tried milk instead of cream?

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I never would have figured out INFLECTION POINT if it hadn't been for the perps. I still looked at it and said, "Huhh??" I was glad I could come here and get an explanation of the term...."Huhh??"

I think Barry Silk's clue for 49D must have been changed from "Female peafowl", or maybe "Peacock's mate". I googled and didn't find any reference to a female pheasant being called a PEA HEN. Everyplace I looked it was just a "hen pheasant".

I must really be old. I remember the first few times I went to Disneyland, there were animation CELS for sale in the shops for $5.00 each. That was too expensive a souvenir for me in 1959.

C.C. BEBOP music is a type of jazz. Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie were early bebop musicians. Here's an example, Dizzy Gillespie's band and Salt Peanuts.

Jeanne, You've had a bad week. Take it easy.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Dad,

Actually, all things with mass experience the G-Forces of all other things with mass. The condition of orbital zero G is really a balancing act of the pull of earth’s gravity on a spacecraft against its inertia to travel in a straight line. As Martin said above, the vehicle is always falling (and accelerating in a new direction). The humans on board will seem to be in zero-G as they are accelerating at the same rate as the vehicle. Also, while working at NASA, we developed micro-G experiments, not zero G experiments, because perfect zero G cannot be obtained due to a wide range of other forces that affect the vehicle and contents.


Barry G. said...

I googled and didn't find any reference to a female pheasant being called a PEA HEN. Everyplace I looked it was just a "hen pheasant".

Try googling on "peahen" instead of "pea hen." It's one word, and you can find plenty of references to it, including in this article on Wikipedia.

Linda said...

For Anonymous:
While at NASA did you meet a female, Procurement officer? (don`t want to give names for safety`s sake)
She`s a relative...

Argyle said...

Peafowl are pheasants so 49D; Female pheasant - peahen, works, in a backward sort of way.

lois said...

Good morning CC et al, A good puzzle, but struggled in the central part. 'Inflection point' got me. Thanks, Dick, et al, for the explanations. I wonder too how much of this puzzle is originally Silk's. Maybe he'll share that with us.

I hesitate to say that I've registered to see Mr. Silk in Fairfax. Don't want to terrify the guy. With the inauguration, traffic may make the trip impossible. All hotels are full and triple the normal prices, which probably nullifies staying to party. Was hoping to experience a 'foam party'. Guess another time. I will get pictures for you, CC, if I can.

Enjoy your day.

Clear Ayes said...

Barry G and Argyle. Thanks for the peahen information. I didn't know that peacocks were members of the pheasant family. I've said it before, and will undoubtedly say it many times again..."Live and learn."

I had heard of HART Crane, but wasn't familiar with his poetry. Here is a short poignant poem about secret lovers.

It sheds a shy solemnity,
This lamp in our poor room.
O grey and gold amenity, --
Silence and gentle gloom!

Wide from the world, a stolen hour
We claim, and none may know
How love blooms like a tardy flower
Here in the day's after-glow.

And even should the world break in
With jealous threat and guile,
The world, at last, must bow and win
Our pity and a smile.

Hart Crane

bethann said...

Not to bad of a puzzle this morning. the bottom seemed easiest for me, I got 61A fairly quickly which suprised me because I usually need the perps to get the long answers, but this one seemed to jup right out at me. Maybe it was because I just had a conversation with my son about being a better person by NOT settling the score.
Barry G. don't worry I know ALL lawyers are not scumbags. My husband is one and he is not aone of the bad ones. If you did practice law what kind would you like to practice? My daughter just changed her major because she couldn't pass calculus for the third time!!!!!!!
It is foggy here as well. Our first inversion for the year! Have a wonderful day and stay warm:)

Barry G. said...

If I had my druthers, I'd be practicing corporate law of some sort, just because it seems less scummy than many other areas of practice (divorce, criminal defense, personal injury, etc.). But I've been out of the loop for way too many years now to really even consider getting back into it.

Crockett1947 said...

@kazie I should have said with milk and sugar, not cream and sugar.

@argyle Thanks for the info on the peahen actually being a type of pheasant. As clear ayes said, live and learn.

Anonymous said...

In re: 10D. My chromatic pitch pipe has NO C flat note on it. Nor do any. One-half step down from the key of C is the key of B. New invention? C flat?

kazie said...

I wondered if that was what you meant. Cream just doesn't seem too good with tea.

g8rmomx2 said...


Thanks for the reply. Just wasn't sure if you got it or not. Still impressive at 5 something in the morning going to the gym. What time do you get up? Of course, the crossword puzzle only takes up 5 minutes of your time, I forgot. My husband is an early bird, but I usually stay in bed until 8 or 8:30am. Depends on when I go to bed. I know our gym is open at 5:30, but seriously I can't even imagine that. Good for you!!!

embien said...

10:06 today. When I filled in BATTLE OF BULL RUN with no crosses for 17a: Manassas conflict I knew it was going to be a great Barry Silk puzzle. Even INFLECTION POINT came easily!

I have raised pheasants in the past (I bought about 25 chicks from the feed store for half price after the "season" was over and they were getting too big to sell). We raised them to adulthood and then released them. Only a few survived more than one year (or perhaps most of them just flew off somewhere).

You have to be very careful and gradually wean them off being fed all the time--otherwise they have a hard time learning how to forage (no adults around to learn by watching).

When I was growing up we called them Chinese pheasants and they are quite common in Oregon. According to wikipedia they are called shan ji (mountain chicken) in China.

Anyway, that's just to say that PEAHEN (one word, not two) came easily.

Our family had a tradition of naming our dogs after musical figures. My favorite dog was named Mozart and his mother was Bebop (I think my grandmother, who named her, mistakenly thought Bebop was a composer or something instead of a musical genre--all our other dogs were named after composers, I think.)

Anonymous said...

Good night everyone. I'm fighting a terrible cold, which is unusual for Florida. Haven't had one in about 5 years.
I would like to recommend a book: "ZERO The Biography of a Dangerous Idea", by Charles Seife. I am finding it fascinating, even tho I received only a C in HS geometry, which was a present because the instructor knew how hard I was struggling. Those of you who knew calculus and others I think will find it intriguing. It even goes into theology of the idea of zero, among many other things. And infinity.

Anonymous said...

21:30 for me today (14 Jan 2008)

Hello to Jeannie!

Thanks CC for renaming yesterday's theme after my suggestion.

Here's a daily dose of Metallica

Devils Dance with the San Fransisco Symphony Orchestra.