Feb 3, 2009

Bonus Crossword: Barry Silk Presentation Puzzle

THEME: Barry Silk Presentation Puzzle

Crossword Grid Found here.

Just click on iPaper, then print it out. Barry Silk kindly provided us with this special puzzle he made for a presentation on Jan 17, 2009 at the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library, a branch of the FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY. He spoke on the evolution of the crossword, its role as a daily showcase of wit and wordplay, and gave clues and tips for solving them. This venue is the theme of the puzzle appearing in the first part of the four long across answers.

19A: One of the most congested streets in Los Angeles: FAIRFAX AVENUE

26A: Dunmore caves site in Ireland: COUNTY KILKENNY

46A: National parks and forests, ex.: PUBLIC PROPERTY

54A: Reference storage: LIBRARY STACKS

Barry is a prolific crossword constructor with a wealth of experience. Check out C.C.'s interview with him here if you haven't already.

This puzzle was two letters shy of being a pangram-no J or Q, typical Barry Silk. For those of you not familiar with pangram crosswords they use every letter of the alphabet at least once. Here is an interesting crossword puzzle constructor story and an amazing triple pangram by Matt Gaffney.

Have you ever tried constructing a double or triple pangram Barry? Did they make a video of your presentation that we can view?

NYTAnonimo here subbing for C.C.. Bear with me as this is my first attempt at blogging.

I had to google 7D to complete this puzzle. Didn't know this Philadelphia university. Flew though it pretty fast except for that snag.


1A: Living room centerpiece: SOFA

5A: Scoundrel: CAD. Besides referring to a rake (check out the tavern scene) it is also an acronym for Computer Aided Design.

8A: Hits a high point: PEAKS.

13A: Not this: THAT

14A: Former Iranian president: Bani___SADR. More familiar with Sadr City in Iraq.

15A: Kramden of "The Honeymooners": RALPH Can be found here with 51D. Nice touch Barry.

16A: Coastal city: PORT

17A: Ballet movement: PLIE. Always wanted to take ballet but never did. How many of you have?

18A: Steer clear of: EVADE. Don't evade helping C.C. blog these puzzles-it's not as hard as I thought it would be. I'm sure the first time is longer too until you get the hang of it.

19A: One of the most congested streets in Los Angeles: FAIRFAX AVENUE. Unknown to me. The X from DREXEL helped me to come up with FAIRFAX. That's one of the reasons I like the way Barry tries to include the more uncommon letters of the alphabet in his puzzles. They are often what helps me pull the word from memory.

22A: Steinbeck's birthplace: SALINAS

24A: Super Bowl XLII MVP: Manning-ELI. I'm not much for watching sports so this is a weak spot for me in puzzle solving. I learn these sports names primarily from crosswords. Love to swim and hike though. Any other swimmers and hikers out there?

25A: Baseball great Mel-OTT

26A: Dunmore Caves site in Ireland: COUNTY KILKENNY. There is a beautiful castle in Kilkenny too. Have any of you been to this area?

29A: "Barbara __"(Beach Boys classic): ANN. Time machine time!

30A: (As written): SIC

31A: Wonder: AWE

32A: Father: BEGET. Think I've only seen this in the Bible. I'm plodding my way through this tome-up to Maccabees. My eyes glaze over in certain areas (like the begets). I also get sidetracked reading Bible commentaries (or books like Who on Earth was Jesus?) along with my regular reading.

35A: Butterfly catcher: NET

37A: Drinks with straws: SODAS

41A: Gym goer's pride: BOD (body)

43A: Sounds of hesitation: UHS

45A: Que. Neighbor: ONT. (Ontario)

46A: National parks and forests, e.g.: PUBLIC PROPERTY. How many of our national parks have you been to? Which was your favorite? I've been to Yosemite in California, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, Acadia in Maine and Buck Island in the US Virgin Islands (St. Croix). Have driven through the Smokies and Everglades but not stopped for a visit. My favorite was Yosemite. Saw it in August and would like to go back in the spring when there is actually a Yosemite Falls flowing!

51A: Prince Valiant's son: ARN. Wikipedia says the Legend of Prince Valiant is an animated television show based on the Prince Valiant comic strip by Hal Foster.

52A: Female deer: DOE

53A: It may fit all: ONE SIZE

54A: Reference storage: LIBRARY STACKS. Location of Barry's presentation.

57A: Model of perfection: IDEAL

58A: Riga resident: LETT. Wikipedia says this is an archaic word for Latvian.

59A: Object of worship: IDOL

62A: Prefix with grade: CENTI

63A: Southwestern earthenware pot: OLLA

64A: Neighbor of Senegal: MALI. The stamp collecting hobby my uncle introduced me to when I was a kid has proven useful in solving crosswords.

65A: Cosmetics maker Lauder: ESTEE

66A: Scottish negative: NAE

67A: Cry in court: OYEZ. Think they teach this in law school?


1D: "The racer's edge": STP (Scientifically Treated Petroleum)

2D: "Well, whaddya know!": OHO

3D: Extending over a wide area: FAR FLUNG

4D: Achieve: ATTAIN

5D: Kind of leather: CALFSKIN

6D: 1998 Sarah McLachlan hit: ADIA

7D: Philadelphia university: DREXEL. My Achilles heel. Did you have one?

8D: Sneak showings: PREVIEWS. Check out the upcoming movies here.

9D: Icicle site: EAVE

10D: Substance abuse support group: ALANON (Alcoholics Anonymous)

11D: Mil. assignment: KP DUTY (Kitchen Patrol)

12D: Ghost costume, basically: SHEET

14D: Uses a hose: SPRAYS (Guaranteed to make you smile.)

20D: Bank statement abbr.: INT. (Interest)

21D: __-Seltzer: ALKA

22D: Sign of healing: SCAB

23D: Top-notch: A ONE

27D: Freeze: ICE UP. Have you all thawed out yet?

28D: New beginning?: NEO (As in neocon, neolithic, neoimpressionism, neoplasm, etc.)

33D: Wane: EBB

34D: Perjured oneself: TOLD A LIE . How m a n y m o r e can you think of? I've found and good places to check the veracity of dubious claims.

36D: Engine valve: THROTTLE. My knowledge of car parts is limited-VERY limited-I know how to use the dipstick to check the oil level, how to measure tire pressure and add air to the tire, and could probably change a tire if I absolutely had to. My first car was an old Chevy Nova I had my last year in college. The floor boards in front developed a hole that went all the way through. You could see the street below. My friends used to joke that I could stick my foot through to brake-kind of like driving your car Fred Flinstone style. It drove like a tank (or at least how I think a tank would drive). Memories! What was the first car you owned?

38D: Her last film was "With Six You Get Eggroll" (1968): DORIS DAY.

39D: 1998 animated bug film: ANTZ. Have we seen ANTZII in a puzzle yet? Looks like that would be a no for the NYT from Jim Horne's stats. Can't remember if it's been in a Trib puzzle-do you know C.C.?

40D: Eye trouble: STYE

42D: Stylish Christian: DIOR. Though he died in 1957 his name lives on.

44D: Beethoven's "Moonlight ___": SONATA

46D: Groups of lions: PRIDE

47D: Straight: UNBENT

48D: Sri Lanka, once: CEYLON. Also a type of tea.

49D: Chest muscle, for short: PEC (pectoralis major and pectoralis minor)

50D: Igloo dweller: ESKIMO

51D: Kramden of "The Honeymooners": ALICE

55D: Give a "G" or "PG," say: RATE

56D: Actress Ward: SELA. I actually saw a movie she was in-just didn't remember it-big surprise! (Well it was a minor role for her-but I don't watch many movies or much TV and have trouble remembering the plots, characters and titles of the ones I do see.)

60D: Bullfight cheer: OLE

61D: Taylor, familiarly: LIZ

Lot of familiar crossword words in here but still an enjoyable puzzle.

Phew-this first try at blogging took a while-gives you a new appreciation for what C.C. does (everyday) ! Thanks to C.C. for the blog and to Barry for all the fine puzzles!


Dennis said...

NYTAnonimo, an outstanding job! A most enjoyable read; with all that research, this must've taken a good bit of time. Thanks for doing it.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Excellent post. Great links. I've seen ANTZ twice in TMS puzzle before. I am not aware that there is an ANTZ II. As for the puzzle, I totally agree with you on RALPH and ALICE. It was a smooth solving for me, as I knew the exact location of Barry's presentation.

NYTAnonimo said...

Thanks Dennis and C.C.. I'm glad you read it and enjoyed it. Sorry about the lack of bold print on the clue words. It was there until I tried to change the font last night to match C.C.'s. Then I lost all my links as well as the bold print. Reconstructed the links but forgot about the bold print until this AM. This is a learning process!

BTW C.C. I finally got around to reading your interview with Alan P. Olschwang and found it quite interesting. That's intriguing that he enjoys the construction more than the solving and excels in that area. That was very kind of him to respond with such an indepth and enjoyable response.

So what parks have you two been to and what was your first car Dennis-I know you must have a story about that!

Dennis said...

Got my first car in '63 - a '57 Pontiac convertible. The top was in bad shape, and at some point during a drinking binge at a drive-in movie with 4 buddies, we ripped all the canvas off the top, leaving just the frame. Went home that night, left the top down. Woke up the next day w/no recollection of the previous night's activities.
I had a date that night with a girl I'd been after for some time - taking her to dinner at a very nice restaurant. So when I got to her house and we're walking to my car, she wanted the top up because she'd had her hair done. Of course, the parents are watching from the door. So we get in, I hit the button, and up comes.....the frame, with a couple ragged pieces of canvas hanging from it.

I didn't get the girl.

lois said...

Good morning NYT, CC, et al., Great job, NYT. Impressive. I enjoyed your comments very much. It does make one really appreciate what CC does every day. I liked your suggestion of taping Mr. Silk's presentation or even having a webcast...distant learning set up so that all of us can see him. It would be well worth the effort.

Enjoy your day.

NYTAnonimo said...

That was a good story-I was sure you had one-thanks for sharing it with us.

Thanks for your kind words Lois. Hope you have a good day in the classroom.

Anonymous said...

What a great job NYTAnonimo! I started working on it and gave up before I got to the half-way point. Like you, I really admire CC's comments more for the experience. Thanks for taking the time and talent.

kazie said...

Thanks so much for doing this. It does look like a lot of work!

I only got around to doing the XW this morning before checking out this blog. I had to g-spot DREXEL, SADR and like you, wouldn't have got FAIRFAX without the perp.

My first car was in Oz, a Ford Cortina (British Ford, I believe). No great stories like Dennis though--that was a real LOL one.

Clear Ayes said...

NYTanonimo, Good for you! Thanks for stepping up to the plate and guest hosting the blog.

I really enjoyed this Barry Silk puzzle. Come to think of it, I always enjoy his puzzles. The FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY theme was very nicely done.

I didn't have a car until I got married, so it really wasn't just mine. In 1960 and 1961, one of my BFF's had a terrific 1955 Pontiac Starchief with white tuck & roll interior. We'd each chip in 50 cents for gas and cruise around town all evening long. We got invited to a lot of parties after "seeing and being seen" in that car.

lois said...

My first car was a '67 mustang that had a piston head for a gear shift knob. It was a hot red number w/3 on the floor, a tight fourth in the back seat and a fifth under the seat. I loved that car!

NYTAnonimo said...

Thanks for checking in Southern Belle, kazie and Clear Ayes. And thanks for the compliments. I'm enjoying the car stories and pictures too. Your cars were undoubtedly better looking than mine-it was a strictly utilitarian vehicle.

lois said...

Clear Ayes: I just realized that the Starchief was my 1st love's car in high school but a different color and am not sure about the year of his model, but definately a memorable car...most definately!

Dennis said...

Coincidently, my topless convertible was a Starhief as well. Must've been something about the back seat, huh?

carol said...

NYT great job on the puzzle! I admire your "grit"...that couldn't have been easy to do.

Lois, I like your idea of taping or web-casting Mr.Silk's presentation. Also had to laugh at your description of your first car. My cousin had a Olds 442 with 4 on the floor - very fast car for the time (we were in a few drag races down a city street in '66). Lucky we weren't caught, geez the things kids do. Back seats were way more fun in those cars, and you were well hidden too. (Except for the cop with the flashlight when we were parked one time).

Dick said...

NYTA great job of guest hosting. I enjoyed you analysis, research, time and links. Great job!

As a teenager my friend loaned me his car (I think it was a Cadillac) but it had a straight 10 cylinder engine in it. I loaded the car with friends and went for a drive. I soon realized that we needed gasoline , and I had $3.00 in my pocket. That was a lot of money, at that time, and gasoline was selling for 22 cents a gallon. Being the big shot I was I told the attendant to fill it up. Not know the car had a 40 gallon tank it became very embarrassing situation as the register clanked on toward $5.00 and I had to borrow money from the others to pay the bill. I did not use my friends car again.

Crockett1947 said...

Nice job, NYTanonimo. Thank you for stepping up where so many feared to tread.

My first car was an Opel Rekord (not made for sale in the USA). Should have known better. Getting parts for that thing was nigh onto impossible.

Been to lots of national parks, but pressed for a favorite would have to go with Yellowstone. It is so "other worldly."

NYTAnonimo said...

Thanks Crockett, Dick and Carol-glad you checked in.

I know about Opels from crosswords only. The NYT Sunday puzzle clued it as European car, so I even know that!

I have heard Yellowstone is beautiful Crockett, so that is on my list. Has anyone flown into the airport at Jackson Hole? I've heard that's an experience in itself landing amid the mountains.

Twenty-two cents a gallon for gas sounds cheap now Dick (unless you're in Venezuela!). Enjoyed hearing your story.

embien said...

Nice blog NYTAnonimo!

I tripped up on the 'D' where ADIA crossed SADR (can never remember the name of that Sarah McLachlan song). I also initially put in TEMPLE for the Philadelphia university and that tripped me up for a good little while.

I didn't know about the Fairfax County thing, so I sat there looking at the theme entries wondering "what the heck is the theme here?"

My first car was a 1955 Ford Tudor that I bought with summer farmhand money along with my younger brother. It was a pretty good deal for me as I had my license but he was still too young to drive (legally).

Most of my money in those days was spent on gas, fancy hubcaps and drive-in movie tickets (for a teenage boy in the 50's the back seat was a strange, yet wondrous place. I'm always reminded of the Bob Seger song "Night Moves". Wait, let's listen to it again, and remember: Night Moves.)

I'm pretty sure we've seen ANTZ in a TMS puzzle, but definitely in the NY Times. You'd never see this puzzle in TMS, however, because of the partials (21d ALKA-Seltzer, for example).

Barry S said...

NYTAnonimo - Thanks so much for your great writeup of my puzzle! I really appreciate it.

I'm surprised several people had not heard of Drexel University before. It is one of the premier (or at least it used to be) science and engineering schools on the East Coast. Drexel's basketball team, the Dragons, even made the NCAA playoffs four times. I'm partial to using DREXEL in my crosswords as it happens to be where I attended undergraduate school.

Hope everyone enjoyed the "bonus" puzzle.

Barry Silk

NYTAnonimo said...

Enjoyed listening to Night Moves, the 1955 Ford Tudor and your comments embien-thanks! Have you seen the new NYT blog An Englishman Solves American Crosswords?

Barry S said...

One more comment... NYTAnonimo asked whether I have ever created a double or triple pangram. The answer is no, although I came very close to a creating a double pangram once. I can't remember which puzzle it was.

That triple pangram puzzle by Matt Gaffney is quite an amazing construction feat. Truly a work of art.

Barry Silk

g8rmomx2 said...


Super job, great links, I know you made c.c. proud. Thanks for all your effort!!!

I sure love Barry Silk puzzles!

Thanks Barry for allowing us the pleasure of solving one of your great puzzles. Always a treat!

Dick said...

NYTA you are famous now even Barry Silk writes to you. Again, you did a great job.

As to the puzzle I found it to be very easy and I was able to complete it without help.

Hope you do a guest blog again if the situation arises.

Dick said...

BTW Drexel was a gimme for me as my cousin got his degree there.

Dennis said...

Same with me - my father graduated from Drexel.

Barry, a fun puzzle - thanks for the bonus.

NYTAnonimo said...

Thanks Barry, g8rmomx2 and Dick. It has been a pleasure to guest blog for C.C.!

WM said...

NYTanonimo...WOW! You did a fabulous job with this.

I am posting next day because I didn't get to the puzzle until late last night.

A very elegant and fun puzzle, typically Bary Silk. It was a joy to solve and I only missed the DR in SADR with the ADIA cross. I was guessing that it was dRexel but waited to come her to check it.

Thank you so much for your hard and very competent work on this.

NYTAnonimo said...

Thanks wolfman-glad you stopped by and glad you enjoyed the posting!

Anonymous said...

NYTAnonimo, I agree that you did a great job of posting this one. (I'm late, so I hope you read it.) It was easy in that I could do it without coming here to get the answers, but I do have one problem: A46 public property crossing with stye. Somehow I get styee. What did I do wrong, someone?
Thanks for your stepping up to do this. And to get a comment from Barry Silk! How neat.

Anonymous said...

PS, NYTAnonimo, I just figured out my problem, so no one needs to help me out after all. I had an extra line in my printout for the puzzle. (It wasn't very clear, and I had to draw in some of the dividing lines.) So all is well.
Have a great evening anyone who is still reading this.

NYTAnonimo said...

Glad you figured it out Sallie and glad you stopped by. Wolfmom, sorry I put wolfman, sometimes my eyes give out when I'm online too long!