Feb 23, 2009

Monday February 23, 2009 Adele Mann

Theme: Down-load

20A: Not readily apparent: BELOW THE SURFACE

40A: Feeling poorly: UNDER THE WEATHER

54A: Lower than low: BENEATH CONTEMPT

This is the 4th Adele Mann puzzle we've solved in Feb. Ms. Mann, if you are reading this blog, please email me or visit us at the Comments section. We'd like to know more about you. Is Adele your real name?

No "Speak Persians?" cute clue today. No obscure name or imaginative word either. Feels quite smooth to me.

I don't think TERSE (64A) is "Short and sweet". Short, yes. Sweet, no. To me, TERSE connotes a sense of being "curt"and "rude".

Can you give me an example of TAWNY (30D: Brownish orange) color? Is this night owl TAWNY?


10A: Actress Blanchett: CATE. Very talented Aussi. I liked her the most in "The Good German". Her bone structure does have a Katharine Hepburn chiseled look. Her performance in "The Aviator" seems a bit rigid though.

15A: Pestiferous insect: ROACH. "Pestiferous" is a new word to me. What a contrast with melliferous.

43A: Cartoonist Drucker: MORT. Yawner. Just had him yesterday. Dictionary says MORT is also a 3-year-old salmon. What is a 2-year old salmon then? SMOLT? How about 1-year old? Will they be called adult salmon when they are 4-year old?

44A: Reddish-orange dye: HENNAS. Like this man's beard. I was thinking of SENNA (the medicinal herb), confusing it with SIENNA, which is a yellow-brown pigment or the beautiful SIENNA Miller. She looks like the current Ukraine Prime Minister, doesn't she?

46A: King of Troy: PRIAM. Father of Paris, Hector and Cassandra. Nouriel Roubini predicted this crazy housing bubble several years ago. He was dismissed as Cassandra/Dr. Doom.

49A: Two-masted sailboats: YAWLS. I thought of YOWLS first, and I was not wholly wrong. Dictionary says YOWL is a variant of YAWL the boat. I don't know a fig about sailing. Is three-masted sailboard quicker? Slower? Bigger? Smaller? More expensive? Cheaper?

71A: Collar stiffener: STAY. I've never seen a collar STAY in person.


1D: Sepulcher: TOMB. Now there is a word with very similar spelling as "Sepulcher" , but it means orifice or some other body part. What is it? I vaguely remember Dennis has a comment about that word a few months ago.

9D: Doubtful gesture: SHRUG. Don't think the French SHRUG indicates such gesture. "So what?", yes.

10D: Open clash: CONFLICT. Hey, my old obsession Netanyahu is back. With his hardline attitude, the CONFLICT there will go on forever. I've moved on anyway.

21D: More ironic: WRYER. Or wrier.

25D: Losing streak: SLUMP. Tim Geithner should be thankful for this clue. Isn't ironic that two years ago Bush did not even acknowlege the existance of recession? Now we are talking about depression.

27D: Arboreal lemur: INDRI. The Madagascar short-tailed lemur. Literally "Look" due to the misunderstanding of the local language.

34D: Feudal peons: SERFS. Sometimes the answer is ESNES. I don't know the difference.

37D: Highest degree: NTH. I wonder if anyone thought of Ph.D. It's the highest degree you can achieve academically, right?

41D: Bric-a-brac stands: ETAGERES

53D: Demonstrate subservience: KNEEL. Not always a sign of "subservience".

54D: Very dry, as champagne: BRUT

58D: Projecting rock: CRAG. The name Craig is derived from CRAG, right, Mr. Bond (Daniel Craig)?

59D: Peak on Thessaly: OSSA. Holy moley, do you know that OS is a stand-alone Latin word for bone? And OSSA is its plural form. I always thought it's a prefix like "osteo".

62D: Bridge team: THEY. I presume the other team is WE. I am a dummy. Will never understand this game. See this photo. We/THEY are on written on the top.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - not much to comment on; this was a sub-five minute 'pauseless' one. Easy theme. The only questionable one for me was 'they' for 'Bridge team'. I'm used to seeing 'east' or 'west', but is 'they' correct?

I think I'm just spoiled after the doing the two outstanding Silk puzzles.

Today is International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day. Go figure.

Today's Words of Wisdom: (hey, don't shoot the messenger) "From birth to eighteen, a girl needs good parents. From eighteen to thirty-five, she needs good looks. From thirty-five to fifty-five, good personality. From fifty-five on, she needs good cash."

And something new - Fun Facts: The first city to reach a population of 1 million people was Rome, Italy in 133 B.C. There is a city called Rome on every continent.

Dennis said...

C.C., I'm not sure what word you're referring to regarding 1A. The only body part I could think of that's spelled remotely like sepulcher is 'sphincter'.

If it was before yesterday, the odds of me remembering it are slim...

Off to the gym.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Yes, yes, sphincter! Who said those things about girls? So shallow! No brain, no love. Is Kings' Ron Hextall the buddy who visited you during last year's Stanley Cup playoffs?

I love this word, ichthyology. So "What are the five ways a player can reach first base without hitting the ball?" I always thought "intentional walk" is different than 4 balls.

Barry G,
You were right about the absurdity of DOMINICA republic last Saturday.

Is Colombian Gold Seed a drug?

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all,..very easy one today. Like Dennis there is not much to comment on. My only hang up was the spelling of 41D. For some reason I never remember this answer, but after a few perps it returned to my sleepy mind.

More snow here last night so I guess the plow comes out again. UGH

@ argyle I can only think of four ways to reach first base without hitting the ball: a) balk, b) pitcher throws four balls, c) pitcher strikes the batter, d) wild pitch and ....

Hope you all have a great MOnday

Argyle said...

Sorry, Dick, but a balk only advances the base runners. Wild pitch, by itself, doesn't advance anyone.

tawny cat

A Colombian Gold Seed can grow into a drug, marijuana, but as a seed, it won't get you high. It still could get you arrested.

Lemonade714 said...

Good morning:

Catcher's interference ia an additional way to reach first, and it is the wild pitch on the 3rd strike. so the batter gets to first.

It really was an okay puzzle, though it was foolish to have MORT Drucker for the third time in a week or so. There are tons of MORTS, including the French word for death, and if you want a cartoonist, there is the creator of BEETLE BAILEY and other cartoons.

Again, C.C., thank you for your kind words, I have always been very curious and like to know things, which was how I started doing puzzles, I did not like being left out when my parents did them. I learned to add and subtract watching my father play cribbage. Curiosity killed the cat, but filled an empty puzzle.

lois said...

Good morning CC et al., Enjoyed this breeze of a puzzle. Had the same spelling trouble as Dick on 41D. I don't play bridge but I've seen 'they' before. I am practicing Black Jack in preparation for my trip next wk to Las Vegas. I hope 'they' is not the dominant word in my vocab or in my pockets there. We'll see.

CC, Dick, Argyle: I know the 5th way to get to first base without hitting the balls...a six pack of beer and a looonng kiss.

Enjoy your day.

Lemonade714 said...

My memory of TAWNY is more like I was off at "BLACKFOOT" concert yesterday; a very fun southern rock band.

Argyle said... isn't often a wild pitch is swung at for a third strike although it can be and has been.

From Wikipedia,
an uncaught third strike (sometimes inaccurately referred to as a dropped third strike) occurs when the catcher fails to cleanly catch a pitch for the third strike. A pitch is considered uncaught if the ball touches the ground before being caught, or if the ball is dropped after being grasped.

On an uncaught third strike with no runner on first base (or with two outs, regardless of whether there is a runner on first), the batter immediately becomes a runner. The strike is called, but the umpire does not call the batter out. The umpire may also actively signal that there is "no catch" of the pitch. The batter may then attempt to reach first base, and must be tagged or thrown out.

NYTAnonimo said...

Enjoyable puzzle and write up. Thanks C.C.. After reading your quote of the day Dennis I googled for a guy's or a man's needs and came up with this which I find more palatable. Agree with C.C. about the shallowness of those words.

"We have to stop trying to define what men and women are going to be in the world based on extrapolations from physical sex differences. That doesn't mean we ignore those differences when they matter, but we have to stop assuming they matter everywhere.

I don't think the planet can long survive if the current conception of masculinity endures. We face political and ecological challenges that can't be met with this old model of what it means to be a man. At the more intimate level, the stakes are just as high. For those of us who are biologically male, we have a simple choice: We men can settle for being men, or we can strive to be human beings."

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Not much to say about this one. Pretty much a perfect Monday puzzle, quick and painless. My only pause was THEY since, as other have noted, I have no idea what it has to do with bridge.

There was some interesting fill today, such as INDRI, LON and YAWLS, that might have tripped me up in earlier months, but I've now seen them enough times here that I actually remembered them. I guess this dog isn't too old to learn new tricks after all...

Dick said...

@ Lois 6:21 post, I think you just described a home run not a base hit.

Frey said...

Another none googler...
C.C. Thanks for reaching out to Adele Mann.... hopefully we can learn a little more about her.

Lemonade714 said...


Since the split-finger fast ball became so popular, I see wild pitch 3rd strikes regularly. No comment on "catcher's interference?"

I have always written "US" and "THEM" not THEY....

lois said...

Dick: LOL Oh,no my friend. That was just to first base. It takes a lot more than just one six pack and a good kiss to make it home with me. After all we are playing on a diamond field and I play hard ball.

kazie said...

As with the rest of you, nothing new in this one, and knowing nothing about bridge, I just let THEY fall into place on its own.

I think the owl is tawny too.
Good to see another aussie make it to the top last night.

Have a great Monday all of you!

Dennis said...

Sorry, I forgot to attribute that quote - it was Sophie Tucker.

C.C., yes to your Hextall question.

Argyle, I've only got 4: intentional walk, unintentional walk, hit by pitch, passed ball/wild pitch on third strike.

Argyle said...

An iteration of my question from yesterday and the answers so far:

What are the five ways a player can reach first base without hitting the ball?

CC got 4 balls; Hit by a pitch.

Crockett basicly got the "uncaught third strike".

and Lemonade714 got Catcher's interference.

What is the fifth way?

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone! TAWNY is a color I associate with a puma.

This is what I think of when I conjure up an image of HENNA.

I see argyle has a tawny cat link as well.

Don't know much about bridge, but I have seen team scores titled WE and THEY.

Have a great Monday!

Dennis said...

Argyle, isn't it catcher's interference plus the 4 I had?

Great question, by the way.

Argyle said...

Dennis, intentional walk or unintentional walk, it is still, "Ball four, take your base." and counts as one way.

Auntie Naomi said...

Good Morning C.C. and Co.,

I had not heard the term 'collar STAY' and, since I know nothing about bridge, I chose THEM and wound up with STAM. Oh well. No real problems otherwise. despite having seen INDRI and ETAGERES many times, neither came to mind immediately. They fell into place pretty easily with the fills, though.

Lemonade714, your reference would be a Tawny Kitaen (pronounced 'kitten') as opposed to Argyles tawny cat

NYTAnonimo, Thanks for posting that link. I have always shared the authors feelings and have counted myself fortunate to be equally at ease with the feminine and masculine aspects of my personality. I am often grateful that I am not a terribly large, hairy man who is very NELLy. It must be difficult for those guys.
I like this commercial.

Dennis said...

Dennis, intentional walk or unintentional walk, it is still, "Ball four, take your base." and counts as one way.

Well, since you have the answer, I'll defer to you; however they are two distinct ways, and are listed as such in most box scores.
I'm looking forward to seeing the last one.

Dick said...

@ Lois, could you at least give me a double or possibly a triple??

Anonymous said...

g8rmomx2, Yes, send me your email and we can talk about books off the blog.

Argyle said...

A wild pitch and a passed ball are two distinct ways the thrid strike moves a player to first base and are scored differently but still counts as one way.

Since I'm already up to five posts, I'll give the answer (and don't hit me!): become a pinch runner.

Anonymous said...

Hi C.C.

It was a very easy puzzle today, under 10 minutes with me and my wife doing
it. The Barry Silk puzzles came in handy this weekend also...

RE: Tawny color?

This color reminds me of a tawny port see:
My first taste of a good port was at:

Anonymous said...

Hi again C.C.
5 ways to get to first base was on a car talk puzzler the week of 2/5/09.

I forgot about the 5th one until I found it again at

1. walk
2. hit by pitch
3. running to 1st base if catcher misses a third strike
4. catcher or fielder interference
5. pitch runner, OR be the first baseman.

DoesItinInk said...

This was one of the easiest puzzles we have had in a long time. My only hiccup was initially considering “never” for 32D instead of NOHOW, but that was quickly set straight when I wrote in UNDER THE WEATHER, an answere I was able to complete with only the T of WEATHER filled in.

I still have not had time to finish the Sunday puzzle, as this weekend was a hectic one focused on getting all the income tax forms ready for posting and helping two of my daughters with their FAFSA forms which must be submitted by 1 March. Then Sunday evening was lost to the fantasy of the Academy Awards. I was glued to the tv from 6 pm until they ended at almost 11 pm. I put the time to good use though by filling two grocery bags with pots made of strips of newspaper for my garden seeds.

WM said...

Good Morning C.C. and all. I figured this would be a no-brainer for all you whiz-bang puzzle solvers as I was filling in as quickly as I could write. I only messed myself up by initially putting NOWAY for 32D, but it quickly corrected itself.

C.C. Re: SERF/ESNE...A SERF was literally a slave and his labor and ownership could be transferred along with the land he/she worked.

DEMESNE: Land held as one's own, an estate occupied and controlled by owner and worked for his use. ESNE is Anglo-Saxon for "harvester"(akin to asans/harvest)and was the term given to the person holding the land who worked it for the owner.
I assume they would continue to hold the right to work the land even if titles were transferred.
I believe the main difference is that an ESNE could use a portion of the produce and animal products they produced to care for their families, but a SERF had no rights at all and existed at the whim of their master.

weather321 said...

Slam dunk puzzle. Only problem was trying to fit either east or west for 62D, until I re-read clue. Lois, I came home with the casino's money Sat., hope you do as well. This blog has moved to the top of my favorites, because of all the interesting comments of you nice, civil people. Thanks!

carol said...

Hi all,
Fun puzzle and not too difficult which is a good thing on a Monday morning. I ran into a small snag on the central west but finally got it. I didn't know 43A (MORT) or 27D (INDRI).

As to the baseball thingy...a man who has 4 balls will have trouble walking!!

JD said...

Good morning CC and all,

How dies one appreciate a dog biscuit?Those days of munching on a tasty milkbone are over for me.

Loved do an easy puzzle, no Ging, just erasing every so often. No nothing about sailboats so yawls was my slowest fill.

Wolfmomm, great explanation of serf/esne.

Doesit, I'd love to hear how you made those pots out of newspaper.

Lois@ 7:52 ..LMAO

It's still raining here; we are so thankful, although there are always the crabby people who are "tired" of it already.

Anonymous said...

The Baseball question always brings up a rhubarb with everyone.

In high school baseball the pitcher does not have to throw the ball 4 times outside the strike zone to walk the batter. All he or any other player or coach has to do is say "put the batter on" and he is walked. In college and pro ball the pitcher must throw 4 times out side the strike zone to walk the batter. I have seen many pro and college games where this has caused problems. The pitcher ends up throwing the ball to the back stop and the runners on base are able to move into scoring position or score if there was a runner on third. The examples given are the accepted methods:

Base on Balls
Hit by Pitch
Dropped Third Strike
Catcher Interference
Pinch Runner.

In total there are 13 ways to reach base are in the rule books.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I seldom time myself. I usually start, stop and get the first cup of coffee, continue the puzzle for a couple of minutes, get interrupted by G.A.H. wanting to know where his wallet/glasses/etc. are, and so on. Today was so quick that I thought the onscreen timer would be pretty accurate. It was seven and a half minutes. I'll settle for that any time. So, like for everyone else, it was smooth and not very challenging sailing.

I'll have to reread all the baseball comments and see if I can stump G.A.H.

We also watched the Academy Awards show last night. I liked the new format of having five former winners present awards. I was also pleased with "the Oscar goes to" recipients. The only surprise was Penelope Cruz, although I enjoyed Vicki Cristina Barcelona very much. G.A.H.'s brother called this morning, totally thrilled with Sean Penn's win and acceptance speech. Yes, B-I-L is gay and had met Harvey Milk and Cleave Jones, 'back in the day'.

Today's WofW were SOOO Sophie Tucker. She loved to shock everyone.

More comments later. I'm on my way to visit a friend who is recuperating from surgery.

WM said...

Dennis@5:30 am...How in blazes can you write so fast? "sub five minutes", and can you read it when you're finished?

I know that I could never finish a puzzle that quickly, but then, I like the letters all neat in their little boxes.

Liked the Words of Wisdom...there IS an element of truth in it...alas.

Dennis said...

Wolfmom, I'm slow by many standards - there's guys on YouTube routinely doing the NYT puzzles in under 3 minutes. Now that's fast! I prefer the harder ones, like Barry Silk's LA Times puzzle, but once the first few clues in a puzzle are easy, I find myself trying to race through it. Stupid, yes.

Lol, and yes, you can read mine.

lois said...

Dick: Sure I can give you a 'double' or even a 'triple' but unfortunately it will be 'on the rocks' and not on the 'diamond field'. However, I would like to offer you a VIP box seat where you can enjoy all the action....with me!

WM said...

Dennis...Thanks! 3 minutes??? NYT!!!WOW!!! I don't think I could even read the clues that fast!8o)

embien said...

8:38 today. Only thing worth commenting on is that I clearly remember bridge scorecards with "WE" and "THEY" printed on them. "East", "West", "North" and "South" designate the four positions at the table, but "WE" and "THEY" are the teams in common parlance.

@dennnis: There is a city called Rome on every continent.

Including Antarctica?

@wolfmom: Thanks! 3 minutes??? NYT!!!WOW!!!

Actually, wolfmom, the Monday/Tuesday NY Times puzzles are often easier than the TMS ones (perhaps not today, though). You can see world crossword champ Tyler Hinman solve a Monday NY Times puzzle here: Tyler Hinman solves

Auntie Naomi said...

"...called this morning, totally thrilled with Sean Penn's win and acceptance speech."

Yes it was a good acceptance speech: ""You commie, homo-loving sons of guns," Penn began in accepting the prize. "I did not expect this and I want it to be very clear that I do know how hard I make it to appreciate me often.""

Robert Deniro was also funny when, by way of introduction of Sean Penn, he asked, ""How for so many years did he get all those jobs playing straight men?""

Here is another video I like.

WM said...

Embien@2:27...Okey-Dokey...That was just amazing!!! I don't think my brain actually works that least not until I finish that double espresso in the morning.

Thank you so much for the link...nice to have a visual on that kind of xword quickness.

Dennis said...

And the new Fun Facts segment goes down in ignominious defeat. Embien, you are correct, there is, of course, no 'Rome' on Antarctica.

Mr. Fun Facts editor will try again tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

C.C. - from Pinellas Realtor

My husband's collar stays are plastic and I insert them under his collars - you should remember to take them out before you dry clean the shirts. Well, if you forget, nothing really happens.

Thanks, as always, for your post.I never heard of YAWLS.

JD said...

Embien, thanks for that clip. Where was his coffee and toast???I heard one "Oh", and not a very excited one at that.And he won't keep the "Magic Rub" co. in busuness. He doesn't even talk to himself. I like to savor the c/w; I don't savor in under 30 min. :)

Anonymous said...

I was accustomed to "WE" "THEY" I used to get Louisville Cardinals basketball poster and after each game there was place you could choose between WE (U of L) or THEY (the other team)as to which team won the game.

Anonymous said...


How about sending some that snow to Kentucky? Everyone else gets snow and we get robbed!

redsmitty said...


What if the bases are loaded and the batter is hit by a wild pitch it would have to advance a runner then because 2 people can't be on base at once can they?

DoesItinInk said...

@JD...I used a device like this pot maker.

@PromiseMeThis...great video!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Whitesnake video Lemonade!

Tawny Kitean was David Coverdale's girlfriend at the time.

Maybe I should trade in my Corvette for a Jaguar!

Sign me


Anonymous said...

I suspect Adele Mann is a pseudonym for our editor Wayne Williams. I'd never seen her name before she started appearing in the TMS puzzle, and Mr. Williams doesn't seem to have many regular constructors left!

If she's not a pseudonym, I'd love to hear from her.

Dick said...

@ Democrat you don't know how happy I would be to send you all of this damn snow. Last weekend I went to my camp in NE PA and there was 4 feet of snow in the driveway. We had to use the front loader to clear the drive and the drive is 1400 feet long. Made for a long cold day.

@ Lois, I will take the triple and then maybe I can steal home if you don't balk (the pitch that is).

Anonymous said...

Another two-masted sailboat is the ketch. The ketch has it's mizzenmast (rear mast)forward of the helm and the yawl has the mizzenmast aft of the helm.

Seattle Sam

Dennis said...

I prefer my mizzenmast at the helm.

Auntie Naomi said...

Seattle Sam,
IIRC, the actual differentiation between a yawl and a ketch is not where the aft mast lies with respect to the helm, but rather with respect to the keel.

I am glad you enjoyed the Willie Nelson video. As a kid, I always enjoyed singing that great Willie Nelson classic, Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowpies. I think that was Willie Nelson ... maybe it was Waylon Jennings. Who knows? Ah well, if you've done one cowboy you've done ém all!

JD said...

Does it, thanks for taking the time to send me that pot maker catalogue info. I'm ordering one. I'll start sunflowers in small pots this year and fool the squirrels.

lois said...

Dick: I won't balk as long as you come out swinging with a hard wood...bat. Let the games begin!

Dennis: It's obvious that your mizzenmast is clearly at the helm. I don't think you're ever 'mizzen' much - just enjoying the wind whichever way she blows.

Auntie Naomi said...

Your post with the link to the article about the need to temper the masculine spirit made me recall an amazing documentary that I saw some time ago. It was about a unique group of South American natives who are (ostensibly) the only ones to have survived the colonization with their culture intact. They live in the high sierra of the Colombian Caribbean. They are called the Kogi. They believe that they are the descendants of the 'first men', that long ago they sent away their 'younger brothers' who had transgressed. They sent them to the Orient, only to have them eventually return ... armed with technology. They agreed to allow a BBC film crew into their protected land so that they might have the opportunity to issue a warning to all mankind that we must stop sucking the blood of the Mother Earth (OIL).
The relevance of this to your post is that: Their men, during the course of their daily activities, make use of a miniature mortar and pestle that they use to grind an herb which they then ingest. They claim that the ingestion of this herb 'tempers the masculine spirit'.

Auntie Naomi said...

Last one for today ... 12-letters.

CLUE: Business-mindedly (with 'walk')

carol said...

I always said Dennis is our "wind gauge"!
He should be at the helm since he likes to 'face' what blows. Lois, you are correct, he doesn't mizz much!! :)

Anonymous said...

I have the OC Register, which publishes the Star Tribune Crossword, but today they had a completely different puzzle where the theme answers were: