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Feb 6, 2009

Friday February 6, 2009 John Underwood

Theme: KNOT (69A: Tie tie)

20A: Green apple: GRANNY SMITH

31A: Step down: BOW OUT

37A: British royal residence: WINDSOR CASTLE

43A: Get it wrong: SLIP UP

57A: Geometric choreography?: SQUARE DANCE

I was not familiar with either GRANNY KNOT or SQUARE KNOT. So I had difficulty tying, or rather untying, the constructor's knotty knots. Took me a long time to figure out what his theme is.

Always thought the "British royal residence" is Windsor Palace.

Nice, scrabbly puzzle, with expensive letters like X, Q and J. As NCAA is the answer for 35D: Final Four letters, so the clue for ATH (56A: NCAA word) should definitely be changed into "Sports fig." or something else. Come visit the Comments section and tell us how you would clue ATH.

Across:

1A: Cloth belt: SASH. Here is a SASH KNOT.

5A: Man with ladder: JACOB. Faintly remember JACOB's LADDER story. Do you know if Job's Tears have any Biblical reference? They are supposed to be good for your skin. Too insipid for my taste though.

10A: Rue the aerobics: ACHE. Nice change from the old "Sore spot" or "Masseuse's target".

15A: Sunshine State city: OCALA. Is it really the "Horse Capital of the World"? Not Lexington, KY?

19A: Director Gus Van __: SANT. Liked "Good Will Hunting", did not know Gus Van SANT was the director. His recent film is "Milk", which nabbed 8 Oscar nominatons this year, including Best Picture.

23A: Baseball scoreboard trio: RHE. Runs, Hits & Errors.

27A: C.I.A. forerunner: OSS. I mentioned yesterday about my confusion over Michael Hayden still being Obama's CIA Director. Had forgotten all about Leon Panetta until someone emailed me about his Senate confirmation hearing yesterday. Strange to have a guy without any intelligence background as CIA head. Tough guy though. Monica Lewinsky hated him.

31A: Step down: BOW OUT. Brought to mind Tom Daschle's sudden withdrawal of his nomination as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Jaw-dropping amount of "consulting" income.

41A: Interferometer instrument: AERI. Got the answer from down fills. Have never heard of Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer. It measures "the absolute infrared spectral radiance (watts per square meter per steradian per wavenumber) of the sky directly above the instrument". Too abstract for me. I doubt this is Underwood's original clue.

46A: Part of R.S.A.: AFR. RSA is Republic of South Africa.

47A: Govt. bookkeepers: GAO. Oh, I always thought it stands for General Accounting Office. Turns out that the name was changed into Government Accountability Office in 2004.

65A: Pathogenic bacteria: ECOLI. The "Deadly African virus" is EBOLA. And Carlo Levi's book is titled "Christ Stopped at EBOLI".

Down:

2D: Oldsmobile models: ALERO. Why did they name the model ALERO? Is it a Greek/Roman god or something?

5D: Young kangaroo: JOEY. Have seen this clue too many times to be stumped.

8D: Acid in soap: OLEIC. Wikipedia says "OLEIC acid makes up 55-80% of olive oil".

11D: Shade of gray: CHARCOAL. Young girls probably like the frayed hem in this CHARCOAL mini-skirt.

38D: Dublin dudes: IRISHMEN. Nice alliteration. And EIRE (66A: Dublin's land). Now our blog needs a Scottish solver. We already have an Irish, a British and a Welsh.

40D: Valuable fiddle: STRAD. OK, here again is Joshua Bell's famous DC Metro rush hour incognito experiment. He and $3.5 million STRAD collected a total of $32 from over 1,000 passers-by.

48D: Famed jockey Eddie: ARCARO. The only guy to have won Triple Crown twice. Amazing. That's a strange photo. According to this list, he was not the jockey of Assault. He rode Whirlaway and Citation.

55D: "R.U.R."playwright: CAPEK (Karel). The inventor of the word "robot" (1921). Often see RUR clued as "Capek play".

C.C.

68 comments:

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - smooth sailing again today, with just a couple perp assists (Sant, aeri). At least there were some fresh clues. We really, really need some Silkiness thrown our way.

I have a good friend who is very plugged in to the Philly scene, and he said that both of our papers are in serious financial trouble, to the point where the parent company may file soon. I think we all realize that the print media is on borrowed time, but it's still disappointing to think that the enjoyment of sitting down with the paper in the morning (especially Sunday) will be a fond memory in the not-too-distant future.

Today is Lame Duck Day and Babe Ruth's birthday.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball - the further I am rolled, the more I gain." -- Susan B. Anthony

Dennis said...

C.C., regarding your question on 'Alero' - the car makers use sophisticated programs to come up with car names now.

I just recently read that the Buick LaCrosse is sold in Canada as the Allure, because 'lacrosse' is French-Canadian teenage slang for masturbation.

NYTAnonimo said...

I did not get the theme even though I used to macrame. You are really good at this C.C.

You are also thorough. I did not know that GAO now stood for Government Accountability Office. Wish somebody would be accountable for something! Do you ever watch this when you just can't take the regular news?

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

C. C. said...

Dennis,
Very disconcerting news about your papers. I think NY Times is in financial trouble too. Aren't they seeking further investment from the Mexican millionaire Carols Slim? By the way, was "VAS deferens" a familiar term to you? And Onanism?

NYTanonimo,
I like newspaper news and newspaper crosswords.

Martin,
Failed to notice it's your day yesterday. Sorry.

Barry,
Shouldn't the clue for PINTOS be "Painted horse? " then? With a question mark.

C. C. said...

Democrat,
Nice to "see" you. I hate Yankees. Did the ice storm affect you much?

Bill,
So what's your definition of "a reasonable man"?

Clear Ayes and Jimmy in S Carolina,
Great Dublin playwright/author list.

Wolfmom, Kazie et al,
Thanks for the British food list. Now I want a fresh scone spread with strawberry jam.

Dennis said...

C.C., yes, I'd seen onanism before, and having been 'vasectomized', I'm intimately familiar with 'vas' deferens'.

By the way, there's few things more terrifying in life than looking down and seeing a wisp of black smoke come up from that area.

C. C. said...

Dennis,
What does "the black smoke" mean?

Embien,
What's the logo on your hat?

Richshif,
Very apt music link for the puzzle last night.

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all, I flew thru this one thinking I was pretty smart. Then I hit the south central and there was the wall. I looked and looked and finally from somewhere came "squaredance" which was the final fill.

New words for me was "aeri" 41A and "rolo" 58D. I kept trying to put "Roll" as in "Tootsie Roll" which did not work.

As of tomorrow I will no longer get the Beaver Valley Times on Saturday. They have gone to six days a week from seven and this is probably just the tip of the ice berg.

I hope you all have a great Friday and a better weekend. Its off to the gym and then the therapist.

Col_Gopinath said...

Good evening from India,
Smooth sailing here as well.Not understood how final four letters is NCAA,I got it from the across clues. ATH could be clued as Belgian City of Giants http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ath

NYTAnonimo said...

Good article here Dennis entitled Imagining A City Without Its Daily Newspaper.

Martin said...

Sixteen minutes today. I had no idea that the theme was knots. Unknowns were OCALA, AERI, GAO, ATH, ALEROS, OLERIC, CAPEK and ARCARO. I didn't realize that AFR was short for Africa, ATH was short for Athlete (I presume), CONG is short for congress and RHE was runs/hits/errors. Very confusing: I definitely needed the help from the perps. I also wanted CAME IN for GONE IN, had troble figuring out JACOB and I thought the clue for ONE SET was a bit weak. How about "Single arrangement of tea servers"?

I googled ATH and found this. Apparently ATH can be clued as "Belgian municipality" or "City of Giants". Personally, I think that's too obscure: I'd go with "Capital of Gre."

Martin,
Failed to notice it's your day yesterday. Sorry.


No need to apologize. We'll just keep an eye out for the puzzle that clues using RICKY Martin, STEVE Martin, Martin SHORT and/or Martin LANDAU.

Martin

NYTAnonimo said...

Info on NYT financial trouble here C.C.. Looks pretty bleak. We've had several price increases in the last year.

Anonymous said...

Good morning,
a really straight forward Friday puzzle, though STRAD was easy, arent they supposed to give some indication it is to be an abbreviation? The big question is whether newspapers will survive as an electronic medium so we can continue to do our puzzles, and receive our instant gratification and community. GM was big into the letter A, as the ALERO was to replace the ACHIEVA, another word they made up. It was I believe to be a space age word to impress buyer with their technology.

Martin said...

NCAA stands for National Collegiate Athletic Association. I forgot to mention it as an unknown for me. I presume "Final four letters" refers to the fact that in athletic competitions the "final four" are the four top ranked teams that go into the semi-finals. I thought it was a very misleading clue: I wanted WXYZ.

Martin

Dennis said...

C.C., the black smoke occurs when they cauterize the tube.

Bill said...

Boy, I was all over the place this AM. Couldn't get anything to flow. Finally, after several trips around the grid, things started to fall, and I settlet for a slow finish.
I have a real problem with 56a. The clue indicates that the answer is supposed to be a whole WORD. Not an abbreviation.
Same with 40d. Should be "Valuable fiddle: familiarly" or "for short".
The guys name was STRADIVARIUS not STRAD.
Nice theme. Tried to figure what they had in common and mhad no clue till I got here.

A reasonable man???
I guess he would be someone who thinks things through then acts rather than reacts. The reasonable man could "take chances" after weighing all the info and the unreasonable man might just jump in and not think of consequences.
That being said, I agree with Dennis that a reasonable man CAN react when a situation arises that calls for decisions to be made without taking the time to think them through. (I think adrenalin might have a lot to do with that.)
CY'All Later

Bill said...

Boy, I was all over the place this AM. Couldn't get anything to flow. Finally, after several trips around the grid, things started to fall, and I settlet for a slow finish.
I have a real problem with 56a. The clue indicates that the answer is supposed to be a whole WORD. Not an abbreviation.
Same with 40d. Should be "Valuable fiddle: familiarly" or "for short".
The guys name was STRADIVARIUS not STRAD.
Nice theme. Tried to figure what they had in common and mhad no clue till I got here.

A reasonable man???
I guess he would be someone who thinks things through then acts rather than reacts. The reasonable man could "take chances" after weighing all the info and the unreasonable man might just jump in and not think of consequences.
That being said, I agree with Dennis that a reasonable man CAN react when a situation arises that calls for decisions to be made without taking the time to think them through. (I think adrenalin might have a lot to do with that.)
CY'All Later

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

Very easy puzzle for me today. I even managed to remember a bit of French (ILS) for a change! The only total unknown was AERI. It never occurred to me that it could be an acronym, and just didn't look like it could possibly be a real word. But all the perps were solid, so I went with it.

Barry,
Shouldn't the clue for PINTOS be "Painted horse? " then? With a question mark.


No, I wouldn't think so. Pinto and Paint Horse are basically interchangeable terms (I think one is a subset of the other, but I'm not sure which is which). And a pony is just a small horse, right?

Either way, I'm no horse expert but I knew the answer immediately and therefore didn't feel it was any sort of misdirection that required a question mark. In my mind, a "painted pony" is a Pinto, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

The final four basketball tournament run by the NCAA in March is an amazingly popular spectacle, with the top 64 teams (actually 65) palying until only one team is left. It is also known as March Madness

Frey said...

Smooth sailing on this one...my only hiccup was the NE corner... for 13D I had Detente...other than that it was a breeze.
@DENNIS Let's hope the papers hold on. They can always file for bankruptcy protection. Is there a parent Company for the Inquirer?
@NYTANONIMO... Interesting link on the NYTimes. I would imagine that they will sell assets to raise cash. I enjoy reading the Sunday NYTIMES on the beach each week. Let's hope they stay in biz.
Most of my friends would consider the NYT as a liberal rag... but to me that only refers to the editorial page. They do some great reporting...

kazie said...

Another easy one today, with several perp assists. I didn't like the abbreviations, several of which were complete unknowns. I rarely grok the themes until coming here so that wasn't unusual for me. After getting GRANNY SMITH I thought it would be types of apples. ONE SET was odd too. My last fill was GAO. ARCARO sounds more like a horse's name than a jockey to me.

Remember the Chevy Nova? They had to change its name in Mexico when it didn't sell. In Spanish no va means doesn't go! I wonder what sort of people they have picking names, but maybe that's why they have a whole braintrust doing it now.

Barry G. said...

Remember the Chevy Nova? They had to change its name in Mexico when it didn't sell. In Spanish no va means doesn't go!

Actually, while I used to believe this as well, it turns out to be just another urban legend.

Anonymous said...

7A: C.I.A. forerunner: OSS.

Strange to have a guy without any intelligence background as CIA head.

Fmr Pres. George W. Bush's CIA head was Porter Goss.

Goss described himself as "probably not qualified" for a job within the CIA, because the language skills the Agency now seeks are not languages he speaks and because the people applying today for positions within the CIA's four directorates have such keen technical and analytic skills, which he did not have when he applied to the Agency in the early 60s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_J._Goss

But GWB had no qualms appointing him to run the CIA.

Anonymous said...

CC,

No I remained unscathed this time. The ice storm of 2003 I lost power for 4 days. This time I was safe.

I have been a Yankees fan since the days of Reggie Jackson in 1977.

Now you have "seen" me when can we "see" you?

kazie said...

Thanks Barry,
i often wondered if "nova" as one word really meant "new".

Frey said...

@ANONYMOUS 8:24 AM... I don't think not having CIA experience should rule anyone out to run the Agency. George H. W. Bush when appointed to run the CIA had no direct experience and now the building is named after him. Panetta's appt was strictly to put in someone loyal to the President. That did not happen under W. Tennant did not have W's back... so to speak

Anonymous said...

you are not putting in enough answers, you used to

Dennis said...

anon@9:01, then just come here and ask. Not a big deal.

Argyle said...

Dennis said... seeing a wisp of black smoke come up from that area.

So Dennis, if it's white smoke, does it mean we have a new pope.

Here, Dick, got some Rolos for you.

Martin: NCAA, Final Four, Road to the Final Four, The Big Dance, NCAA Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight are trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single elimination tournament held each spring featuring 65 college basketball teams in the United States. The tournament takes place mainly during the month of March so it is also called March Madness. Much TV coverage, especially of the "Cinderella" team; a team from a small college that was a surpise pick for the dance and then advances toward the Final Four.

lois said...

Good morning CC et al., What a 'knotty' puzzle! 'lacrosse' fits right in as does so many of our words today...ache & acorn being at the top of the list w/Dennis' vas deferens explanation. I just learn so much here.

Argyle: if it's white smoke it might've meant a new 'pope' for us, but w/the black smoke, just means a new 'poke' for dennis!

DoesItinInk said...

Today the puzzle all fell easily in place for me, even though I thought I was going to have problems conquering the upper, right corner. My only unknown was AERI, though it was obtainable from the crosses. I loved the clue “Man with a ladder” for JACOB. JACOB’s Ladder was a song that was often included during campfire periods when I was a Girl Scout.

I am going to see Milk this afternoon. I did not know the director was Gus Van SANT. Wednesday evening I went to see a small, independent film Wendy and Lucy. Here is Roger Ebert’s touching review of the movie.

Dick said...

Argyle...thanks for the Rolos. The wrapper looks familiar but the name just never came to mind.

Dennis said...

Frey, Philadelphia Media Holdings is the parent company of both the Inquirer and the Daily News.

Lois, I would offer you a smoke, but it's bad for your health...

Dee said...

Just to brag...a little. Wendy and Lucy was shot in Portland (Oregon)...Gus Van Sant lives here...and Teri Hatcher walked the red carpet last night for the premiere of Coraline, Laika's stop action animated movie. I hope our filmmakers can continue to thrive...we need them!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, It was a crossword SQUARE DANCE for me on the today's puzzle. I went down, across, doubled back, alamaned left. curtseyed and still had trouble with OLEIC, RHE, AERI, ATH, NCAA and ROLO. They all were filled by the perps, but I had to come here to be 100% sure. Funny how those little words and abreviations are often the ones that make for SLIP UPs.

C.C. Buckingham Palace is the royal residence in London. Windsor Castle is in Windsor. They aren't very far apart and I have no idea why the royals find it desirable to move between the two homes.

About Paints and Pintos, According to rarequus.com "When someone talks about a Paint horse, they are talking about a breed. But when someone talks about a pinto horse, they are talking about a color. The difference is that while most Paints are pintos, only some pintos are paints!" Are you really confused now? Here's rareequus' Paint/Pinto explanation.

Dennis @5:59 and Argyle @ 9:12 Very funny!

We're having some needed California rain, so rather than stay inside, we are going shopping.

Doesitinink, We'll also be seeing Milk today.

I may not be getting any more power to help the world as I age, but I have noticed that the further I am rolled, the more I gain (literally!).

g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all:

Well, the northeast corner was the last part for me to fill in. I wasn't sure if it was "squaredarea" or "squaredance", but was leaning toward the latter which turned out to be true. I googled Arcaro, and then the rest came easy. I probably would not have gotten Aeri or Ils without the perps. I agree that "oneset" seems a bit obscure, but nothing else fit.

Like others, I did not know the theme until I came here. I thought it was a "themeless" day!
We can always count on c.c. to figure it out. WTG c.c.!!!

c.c.: Used in college football recruiting with no known position for the player = ATH

Off to the gym! Have a great day everyone.

carol said...

Hi C.C. and all -
Dennis, you said to ask about an answer so here goes...what is 13D and 16A? I have had the worst time with this &%$$# corner. I was going to put THEN in for 16A but that would make 10D ATS which is hardly a "sound of disappointment".
Thanks in advance.

Dennis said...

Carol, 13D is 'entente' and 16A is 'when'. 10D is 'aws', as in 'aw, shucks'.

maria said...

Good morning, c.c. and gang

Not a walk in the park but almost, did a lot of guessing which worked well .

Dennis , i' m sorry for the black smoke but you must admit Argyle had a quick comeback

Argyle, you are funny.

Nytanonimo, thanks for the link "Daly News"
hilarious

Anonymous said...

Nice puzzle for Fri.
Would have preferred Nam enemy or somthing for 67 across. You dont often see Cong. used as an abbreviation.
agree with Dennis about newspapers. There are those who would say good riddance but we would all be poorer if they were to go away.

Jimmy, S Carolina

maria said...

c.c. dennis, anyone

just noticed, i' m the only post that has a trash can behind it , why is that ?

I know its a loaded question , please don' t trash me

Bill said...

Maria, That's so you can delete your own comment. Just in case you want to "Take it back, Take it ALL back"

johnboy said...

The editor of this puzzle seems to be unable to understand that "ATH" is not a "word".

There have been other similar clues in the past, such as "NATO word" for ATL.

See 46A (Part of RSA = AFR) for a correct way to clue something like this.

On the other hand, AERI is an acronym for "atmospheric emitted radiance interferometer". I don't think it is familiar enough to everyone to be considered a word, like "laser" or "radar".

Maybe I'm just too picky.

Dick said...

Maria, I asked the same question several months ago and I see you have received the answer from Bill.

wolfmom said...

Actually got the theme today but really had issues with ACHE...put it in, then took it out(wanted DETENTE), then got CHARCOAL, so put it back in...so it goes. I am usually always my own worst enemy.

I was with Martin in thinking that because of 46A AFR, That 56A might as well be Gre. city.

Thoughts on where Buckeye is...I'm thinkin' that maybe nurse Ratchett nailed his Bunny Slippers to the floor and he can't get to the computer. Buckeye, we miss you...yoo hooo...anyone out there?

maria said...

Bill, Oh, okay, many thanks

Anonymous said...

LOVE your blogspot!! So happy when I came across it a few months ago while seeking the answers to a brain jarring Sunday puzzle. (Though a more direct link to ALL the answers would be helpful.)

Read some of the comments today, and although I think we are getting the puzzle a day late up here in British Columbia, I thought you might appreciate a website I found on Scottish words. Actually, an online Scottish dictionary.

http://www.dsl.ac.uk/

Thanks for keeping the rest of us informed!! Best of luck in all things.

KM

PromiseMeThis said...

Good Afternoon C.C. and Co.,

14:16 Today for me. I, too, had not heard of AERI or ACARO; had to get them from the fills. I also had never heard the word 'tippler', but I got BARTAB from the fills, as well. Those, and the fact that I misread 'prosperous' as 'preposterous', slowed me down a bit.

@Barry G., Thanks for the 'Urban Legend' link.

@DoesItinInk, Thanks for the Wendy and Lucy review. Is Roger Ebert still hospital-bound?

@ C.C., I suspect that " Job's Tears" is related to the biblical Job. I am no expert, but I do recall hearing about Job being tested by God. God allowed Satan to cause Job insurmountable pain and grief, basically robbing him of everything he held dear. Wikipedia says, "Job ... declares, “my eyes pour out tears to God, that he would maintain the right of a man with God”.
Anyone, please correct me if I am wrong on this.

Dr.G said...

How about the clue for ath being part of the anatomey spoken with a lisp?

Linda said...

CC: There is a tropical plant called "Job`s Tears."

PromiseMeThis said...

@Dr.G.,
Once, during a 'Rescue Diver' course, the teacher asked, "What is the number one cause of a leaking regulator?" I replied, " Hairlip!"
I was just being an ath.

Crockett1947 said...

@dr.g & promisemethis Very funny!

carol said...

Dennis (at 11:49) Thanks so much!! I just have days where I can stare at some clue and just never catch on...I knew it would be a V-8 moment when you answered me.

Our newspaper is another one that is "shrinking"...and they still increase their price. It is noticeably thinner than it was last year. The only thing I really would miss would BE the c/w. I dislike doing puzzles on line but I would just print it out.

Argyle said...

carol said...February 6, 2009 4:10 PM The only thing I really would miss would BE the c/w. I dislike doing puzzles on line but I would just print it out.

I don't think you can print out the interactive version because not all the clues are viewable at one time.

carol said...

Argyle, rats, I'll go into withdrawal! I'd just better hope the paper stays around!

Anonymous said...

WOW - This puzzle was difficult for me, a novice!

ATH & AERI made me think. Windsor Castle had me baffled! I try so hard NOT to end up on Google. I even forgot ROLO is a candy.

Thanks, Again, C.C. I agree with your theme wholeheartedly.

DoesItinInk said...

@PromiseMeThis...No, Roger Ebert is no longer in the hospital. He and his wife recently attended the Directors Guild of America awards ceremony where he was honored with a lifetime membership. He is however unable to speak. I assume his wife speaks for him now at these events.

@Dee...I did not realize that Oregon has such a thriving film community. I saw Milk this afternoon and was moved to tears several times!

lois said...

dr g & promiseme: hythterical!

Dennis: go ahead and offer me a smoke. I love a good pipe!

carol said...

Lois, is it a "piece" pipe???

JD said...

Hi C.C. and all,

Was just lurking tonight as Bill @ 6:56 spoke for me. It took awhile to complete. Actually, I had easy/ententy until Carol asked.I thought it was a weird word, but so is ath!! Dr. G and Promiseme, you are a hoot. Not to take anything away from Dennis; great visual. LOL

I have no words of wisdom-ever, but here's some trivia: The first toilet ever seen on tv was on "Leave it to Beaver."

lois said...

Carol: LOL. One can only hope!

Col_Gopinath said...

Argyle & Carol: The interactive version can be printed with all the clues

Argyle said...

Thank you, Col. Gopinath, I didn't know that it printed the clues, too. One more reason to get my printer working.

embien said...

9:27 today.

I'm checking in a day late because I was off to be a witness at my dad's wedding, they tied the KNOT. (he's 87, his "new" spouse is 86. They've been together for 18 years and are getting hitched because of some hiccups in the social security system).

It's not every day that one gets to attend one's father's wedding (at least when there are no divorces involved).

C. C. said...

Embien,
What a great KNOT. Congratulations to your Dad and his new bride.

wolfmom said...

Found it thanks to kazie...Embien, that is just terrific!

Anonymous said...

i would clue ATH as perhaps 'greek cptl.', or whatever the abbreviation for capital is!

C. C. said...

Anonymous,
ATH is also the airport code for Athens.