Feb 21, 2009

Saturday February 21, 2009 Matthew Higgins

Theme: None

Total blocks: 28

Total words: 70

Now I am feeling like "A RAISIN in the Sun (42D), completely dried up. Some of the clues/ANSWERS are relentlessly obscure to me. I definitely need the theme as my Sherpa. Themeless is too much of a Sisyphean challenge to me.

I would prefer "Abused verbally" rather than "Assailed abusively" for REVILED because ASSAILANTS is the answer for 17A: Violent attackers.

To those who did not read my Wednesday's post, Argyle will blog Barry Silk's Bonus Puzzle tomorrow morning. Also, LA Times just published Barry's themeless today. The blog will be published here on March 1 (Sunday). I have never solved a Saturday LA Times before. Very curious to see how it differs from our TMS themeless.


1A: Navigation aid: CHART. Would be easier if the clue is "Navigation map". All I could think of is COMPASS.

14A: Financial aid form: PAPER CHASE. New term to me. Chinese government paid all my college education, so I did not need any financial aid.

16A: Hokey rural humor: CORN. Did not know it's a "rural" humor.

19A: Remove from active use: SHELVE

20A: Lesser Antilles republic: DOMINICA. Here is a map.

25A: Judicial: ARBITRAL. They are not synonymous to me. "Judicial" is pertaining to the judge/justice, while ARBITRAL has something to do with arbiter or arbitration.

31A: Entrench oneself: DIG IN. Did not come to me readily.

35A: African fox: ASSE. Simply forgot. Also called Cape Fox. It "inhabits dry areas of southern Africa and has large pointed ears, silvery gray coat, and a bushy tail with a black tip".

36A: Type of boom: SONIC. SONIC boom. Like the boom from Concorde?

37A: Matador's adversary: TORO

38A: Cool or groovy: HIP. "Hep" in old times.

43A: Sound units: DECIBELS. SONE is often clued as "Loudness unit". It's 40 DECIBELS.

45A: Impedes: RETARDS. I wanted HINDERS. But it did not fit.

47A: Fillet fish: SOLE. I've never had SOLE fish. It's also called flatfish. I misread "Fillet" as a verb, so SKIN & DEBONE popped into my mind.

48A: Named: ENTITLED

50A: Belgrade's republic: SERBIA. Fully landlocked. It gained full independence in 2006. Not an EU memeber yet. SERBIA (esp Kosovo) and the whole Balkan area baffle the hell of me, very confusing civil/ethnic/religious fights.

54A: Suit toppers: ACES

55A: Fading away gradually: EVANESCING. New word to me. I only knew convalesce.

58A: Form into a network: RETICULATE. Another new word. RETIA is often clued as "Networks".


2D: Corned-beef dish: HASH

3D: Area in a basilica: APSE. Sometimes the answer is NAVE.

4D: Chronologically unbroken: REAL TIME. The clue does not feel natural to me.

5D: Hot-dish stands: TRIVETS. Was clued as "Hot-platter platform" last time.

8D: John Jacob and Mary: ASTOR

9D: Hypnotic: MESMERIC. I am used to the word "mesmerizing".

10D: Formulaic stylistically: ICONIC. This clue is too fancy for me. Why not "Like Jackie's sunglasses"?

11D: House trailer: MOBILE HOME. And RESIDENCE ((26D: Abodes)

12D: Of the rules: PROCEDURAL. Would not have got this word without the across fills. Have heard of PROCEDURAL vote many times. Never understand what it means.

13D: Slammin' Sammy: SNEAD. Hogan and SNEAD, Jack and Arnie, Tiger and Phil.

21D: Reitman or Pavlov: IVAN. Did not know the Canadian film producer/director IVAN Reitman. His lower lip is very thick.

23D: Hazardous gas: RADON

25D: Old-time actress Menken: ADAH. No idea. She died when she was only 33. Wikipedia said she was romanced by Dumas when she performed in Paris. Dumas looks so content and happy.

27D: Splashes with mud: BESPATTERS. Knew SPATTER only.

28D: Like some tablets: LINED. Here is a somewhat LINED but MESMERIC face. Lots of milliadonis in my book.

32D: Lytton Strachey's first name: GILES. Bloody blue murder! Have never heard of this British writer/critic. He died in 1932. Wrote a biography of Queen Victoria.

36D: Blacksmiths' cohorts: SADDLERS. Oh, I had no idea that there are people specializing in saddle making/repairing.

37D: Protuberance on a bone: TUBERCLE. Only knew TUBER.

44D: Trig. function: COSEC. Mine was COSIN.

45D: Ranch in the movie "Giant": REATA. Carol probably still wants RIATA.

46D: "The __ Samurai": SEVEN. Probably the most famous Japanese movie ever made. The Tom Cruise movie is titled "The Last Samurai".

56D: Quick drink: NIP



C.C. Burnikel said...

Five posts per day from now on, including answers to my or others' questions.

Barry G,
Goethe said: It is in self-imitation that a master first shows himself. Can you interpret it for me?

Sigh! Florida is in my dream!

I like puzzles with baseball/golf/politics references.

Martin said...

I bought the paper today and I tried to do withis without googling. Really. But I didn't know TRIVETS, ADAH, ASSE, REATA, EVANESCING, RETICULATE or TUBERCLE and I wanted RETIRE for SHELVE, TRIBUNAL for ARBITRAL, TRIED for DARED, IMPAIRS for RETARDS, ANOINTED for ENTITLED, TIES for ACES, COSINe for COSEC and EVANISHING for EVANESCING. (If BESPATTER was a word then I figured EVANISHING was one too.) It actually didn't take me that long to do but I couldn't have done it without help.


C.C. Burnikel said...

The reason I asked Nimrod yesterday is because I didn't understand why his name appeared in Elgar's composition. Did find out later that Nimrod is a pun on his friend Jaeger (German for hunter), to whom the piece was written.

Some of the Google results shows that deer shed their antlers every year.

MINOR and MINER are of different roots, which are allowed in the same grid.

Calef et al,
Thanks for all the answers yesterday.

Martin said...

Tomorrow morning I will go to the airport to pick up my wife: she stayed behind in the Philippines because our oldest son was still in school. (Students in the Philippines have summer vacation starting this time of year and they go back to school in June.) With my son here, he will probably be using the computer all the time and I will only be able to use the computer at school. On one hand, it might seem the perfect time for C.C. to come down hard on me for the number of posts I've made recently because I'm not going to have time to post anyway. On the other hand, there's the question of whether I will even bother doing the puzzles now because I've been doing them online lately. Maybe I'll see you in June then.


Dick said...

Good morning CC and all,...another Saturday and I am forced to do the puzzle on line.

I did not particularly like this puzzle for the same reasons you struggled with it CC. There were far too many obscure words. I was able to get most of the obscure words from the crosses but the SE corner was the hammer for me, IE evanescing and reticulate. I notice that my spell check does not like either one of these words.

Looking forward to Sundays puzzle.

Hope you all have a great Saturday.

Is there any way to print out the TMS and LA Times puzzles that will show the clues?

Deepak Gopinath said...

Just click on print blank puzzle and it will print the grid with all the clues, I just did so

Dick said...

@ Deepak Gopinath, thanks for the information. It worked!

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - a most enjoyable puzzle for me today. I liked seeing some fresh clues, and some where the answer wasn't what it normally is, i.e., 'navigation aid' is usually 'loran'. Unknowns were 32D and 37D, easily gettable through the perps.

So now pert means jaunty, huh?

Today's Words of Wisdom: "As long as you can admire and love, then one is young forever." -- Pablo Casals

redsmitty said...

13D: Slammin' Sammy: I wanted Sosa instead of Snead

lois said...

Good morning CC et al., What a puzzle! I 'raced' through this one 'cram'ming letters in the cute little boxes that made sense, happy that I could think of and spell the words that came to mind. Only to find out, that in 'real time' it had taken me well over 30 mins, most of my words were incorrect from misreading the clue and/or were misspelled. In essence, I fell flat on my ...face. Got a 10 for the landing however. I'm good! The moral to the story is: Hangovers and crossed eyes do not make for an easy solve. My mental abilities are past 'evanescing' and it's time to reticulate with my bed and linens. I celebrated Argyle's birthday like a series of 'sonic' booms all night. I hope you felt the vibes and had a happy birthday, Argyle.

CC: LOL loved your 'mirror, mirror on the wall' comment yesterday?. I resemble that remark!

Ohhhhh, the decibels! That asse certainly does have a bushy tail! And with those ears, he can hear anybody come!

Enjoy your day.

Dick said...

@ Lois, absolutely one of your best posts today at 8:02am. I particularly liked "I 'raced' through this one 'cram'ming letters in the cute little boxes that made sense ......" LMAO

Dick said...

Here is a web site I found that I think is interesting. Hope you enjoy it.

Lemonade714 said...

Good morning:
As with most Saturdays not an easy puzzle, and they are not as much fun without a theme, once I had PAPER CHASE, which was an old TV show about law school, I wanted to CRAM everything into that mold. I was feeling PERT, which was something different today. I do not agree that CORN has anything to do with rural humor, hokey ok, but...Filet of SOLE prepared well is a superior dish, especially DOVER SOLE for all of our anglophiles. ARBITRAL is not judicial, but they can both be arbitrary. Dont remember seeing ASSE before, but it was an easy guess. RETARDS was a politically incorrect word, when I was in school. I liked ACES as suit toppers. There are many "escent" words, PUBESCENT, FLOURESCENT, ICANDESCENT,OPALESCENT: "escent" is from "escent" (beginning of action)and is a common suffix. The "escing" is just the active part; I hope this explanation coalesces the group on this clue. Had not thought of the ASTOR family in a long time; they really had much influence on many presidents.

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

Decent puzzle today with only a few WTF moments. The only two words I absolutely positively did not know (but were able to get via the perps) were TUBERCLES and ADAH. WTF moments included PAPER CHASE (I've never heard that phrase used to describe financial aid forms before) and DOMINICA (I've heard of the Dominican Republic, but never the Republic of DOMINICA).

My one real stumbling block today was when I initially put in ASSAILERS instead of ASSAILANTS for 17A. That messed me up for awhile until I finally saw the light.

It was nice to see EVANESCING, BESPATTERS and RETICULATE in the grid today. I love those big, old fashioned words that still have relevance today.

Goethe said: It is in self-imitation that a master first shows himself. Can you interpret it for me?

I'm assuming that by "master" Goethe is referring to an artist. I guess it's saying that, while many artists are able to imitate the style of other artists, only a true master can successfully imitate himself.

Hmmmm... I'm not sure I really agree with that, assuming I've even understood it correctly.

Auntie Naomi said...

Good Morning C.C. and CO.,

IVAN Reitman would be a good example of negative milliadonis.
I totally agree that Robert Redford falls at the opposite end of the spectrum.

I do not care for the clue for PAPER CHASE. Also, between having SIP, COSIN and TUBERULE, I had fits trying to get EVANESCING. Consequently, the XW took me 25:44 today.

wolfmom, I saw the Marais picture while listening to the Chopin nocturne on Argyle's absinthe site. You are quite a painter. It is a shame that there are so many people who would be only too happy to rip off your work. It would be nice to see a large version of the picture without the watermark.

Thanks for the alphaDictionary link, Dick.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone!

Had a list of unknowns this morning, some of which I should have known: ASSE, EVANESCING, RETICULATE, IVAN, ADAH, GILES, TUBERCLE, REATA, but got most of them from the perps. I did have to G-spot ADAH/ASSE/DEEMS (had SEEMS at first).

I had the devil of the time with 5D -- I read it as "Hot-dog stands" for the longest time. Finally wised up, though. So, where's the seventh samurai? Taking the picture?

@lemonade714 Back when engines had carburetors and adjustable timing, one could retard or advance the spark for more efficient combustion.

Have a great Saturday!

Lemonade714 said...


I understand retard means what they say it does, I have heard it primarily as products being fire retardants; I was just musing on my college days, working for a mental health clinic and hearing cruel people yell “ree-tard,” when we would take the students out to teach them about the world.

maria said...

Well. i felt like c.c. all dried out after this workout. i thought i was on a retard mode, and it took me forever (wont tell how long) but i had a puma and and asse by the tail and wouldn't let go.

Now i'll go for a good walk and evanesce in the wild blue yonder

kazie said...

I had many of the same unknowns as everyone else, so I won't expand. Notable guesses were ASSE, TUBERCLE, EVANESCING and RETICULATE, but no g'spots.

I think the Goethe quote is an oxymoron--he felt that imitating oneself is actually being original, and that is the only true art.

Now your wife is back, you can spend more time with family, and less time with the addiction to puzzling!

Deepak Gopinath,
Thanks for the advice on the other puzzle--I was wondering too.

Thanks for the alpha dictionary.

carol said...

Hi C.C. and gang, I got hung up on the same words as most of you so won't re-HASH them. I admit to raising my voice a few DECIBELS when looking at some of the clues. I was going to SHELVE the whole thing for awhile, but stuck with it and did quite well after all. :)

C.C., I'll just accept REATA.
Also, thank you for linking the Barry Silk LA Times puzzle...I am looking forward to working it.

Argyle, hope you have pulled your head out of the absinthe bottle by now. Did you have fun?

WM said...

Morning to all...I didn't fare well with this today and was in a hurry to finish since we have to be away most of the day. Same problems as most of you but had some weird fills like BONESPUR for 37D because I had put in BULL for 37A...then realized that I needed PUMA fo 40A and had to erase everything. So it went.

C.C. Thank you for the Barry Silk link...that will be fun, and sorry about the Nimrod thing yesterday...I just didn't take it far enough to actually answer the question.

PromiseMe...thank you and I will be very happy to send you an image once I can override the stupid Activex control is blocking attachments and I can't remember how to fix it...must get my computer-literate son-in-law back over here. BTW that painting has sold, but on the new website there is at least one new Paris painting from along the Left Bank, just up a ways from Shakespeare and Co. and Notre Dame...I've seen the new website and it may be uploaded this weekend...keeping my fingers crossed.

A good day to you all. This will most likely be my only post, so appologies for it's length.

BobR said...

Greetings. It usually feels like a success if I can get more than half the Saturday puzzle without a "chart"... so today was a success.
1) With all the past "Giant" ranch discussion I couldn't recall how to spell the darn thing.
2) Kept trying to make Cosine, Cosyn, Cosin.... but couldn't recall a Cosec.
3) At least there were no French or Chines clues - yipee.
3) Is The Seven Samuri worth renting? I'd never heard of it.

Anonymous said...

Today's puzzle was a humbling experience.

Seattle John

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, It was nice to see a puzzle with some new clues and answers. Making full use of the perps, the top section trotted along quite merrily. It was when I came to the cross of ADAH and ARBITRAL, that I got thrown from my pony and could have made good use of both a blacksmith and SADDLER. Piggy-backed EVANESCING and RETICULATE were tough and with COSEC and TUBERCLE (whaaat??) tossed in for good measure, I was limping pretty badly toward the end. I finished up with no errors, but it was due to more luck than skill.

The only way I have heard RETICULATE used is for a Reticulated Python. This one is named "Fluffy"...cute, isn't it?

Thanks to attorney Lemonade714 for clearing up ARBITRAL.

Martin, I don't think C.C. was speaking only about you. We will all be limited to a total of five posts per day, replies included. Some days that is easier than others. I wouldn't have so much trouble keeping my mouth shut if the rest of you weren't so clever, knowledgeable and funny.

BobR, The Magnificent Seven is an American movie with the same basic plot as The Seven Samurai. If you liked that one, and you don't mind subtitles, you should definitely rent it. It is a real classic.

ferd 77 said...

I have wasted too much REALTIME on this REVILED CHART.I feel a right ASSE SOLE and am ENTILTLED to a SONIC CORN dog for a meal.Get the TRIVELTS out Y'All

Ferd 77

g8rmomx2 said...

c.c. and all:

Got through this, but barely. I guessed on ADAH, couldn't remember! Had Cosin at first, but changed it to cosec. Had Sip instead of nip at first. I only googled Asse, and then made the changes.

JD: I absolutely agree with you "The Watchers" is my favorite by Dean Koontz also. My daughter's too! I haven't read the other book you mentioned that is also with the golden retriever, so I will have to pick that one up.

Retread38 said...

Out here in the west we know about these things. Check out this site for saddles and saddle-makers.
Remember, horses don't come with saddles attached; they have to be made--by experts.

Clear Ayes said...


"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay,
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash, and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more--that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue--
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke--
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb,
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is---Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

- Shel Silverstein

G.A.H. and I are headed for a matinee performance (isn't that what retirees do?) of a local theatre company's production of Fiddler On The Roof. Yes, we've seen it several times, including the movie, but our companions haven't. So we, like Shel Silverstein's Peggy Ann, are going out to play.

g8rmomx2 said...

Clear Ayes:

I soooooooo love Shel Silverstein, had all his books when my kids were younger. I saw Fiddler on the Roof with Zero Mostel in Hawaii, unbelieveable experience.

crazyhorse said...

Hi all
I haven't posted for a while. You are all too clever for me. I managed this puzzle fairly well. Could not get evanescing til I came here.
I was gone last week visiting my mother in Arizona and my daughter and grandchildren in LA. Nice to get away from the snow and cold.
There is another puzzle in the Chicago Tribune on Saturday i the books section. Does anyone know if it is anywhere online?

Argyle, Hope your birthday was great! Mine was just a few weeks ago on the 5th.


Anonymous said...

A lot of the words in these puzzles are a stretch. Used to be a person like me would know most of them. No more. Sigh!

Auntie Naomi said...

As a kid, I lived for Saturdays :)

carol said...

Ferd 77 at 12:18p LOL Very clever!

Clear ayes, great poem... as to that snake, well I'll bet it ATE Fluffy! Ughhh!

Crazyhorse, Happy belated Birthday!

I finished the Barry Silk LA Times puzzle after a marathon struggle and I am still now sure about one word so am looking forward to the answers. It felt good to work such a clever puzzle!

embien said...

12:44 today. I had to guess at the cross of ADAH and ASSE. I know we've seen that African fox before in our puzzle, but I can never remember it. TUBERCLE was completely unknown to me but filled in from the crosses.

I loved seeing REATA after our long discussion of a few weeks ago.

@clear ayes: "Fluffy" doesn't look very pettable to me, thank you!

JIMBO said...

Hi ya'll,

Just to say I finished the Barry Silk puzzle for Sunday. (Minus a couple of boxes that I could'nt even get with Mr."G").
Love that theme though. "Cool".

Dennis said...

Same with Baryy's themeless L.A. puzzle - dman tough, but really, really good. We sure could use more of those.

kazie said...

I still have two blank tiles in the one for tomorrow, and I can't make a dent in the L.A. Times one yet.

Auntie Naomi said...

I have completed Barry's and have no real issues. I am going to start the LA Times puzzle ... NOW!

DoesItinInk said...

Today’s puzzle was my Armageddon! I had “sip” or 56D and, like cc, “cosin” for 44D resulting in no end of problems in that area of the puzzle. I also could not for the life of me get the B in BESPATTERS since I was trying to work in “splatters”. So in the end I had 6 incorrects. YUCK! I knew Slammin’ Sammy SNEAD because he was a favorite of my father who was a golfer. I liked the clue for 54A “suit toppers”, and the clue for 39D “jaunty” is much better for PERT that the previous “chic”.

We had another snow dump last night. It is beginning to feel like Groundhog Day all over again!

JD said...

Good evening puzzlers,

Was in and out today. Truman(17 mo.) got his 1st haircut.Awwww

I bumbled along with words like arbitral and assailants , but completely stumbled when I hit the SE corner. Did not know evanescing, tubercle,& cosec. After seeing reticulate, I do remember it as it refers to the veins in a leaf.I thought tubers referred to plants, not bones.Each day I learn more.

@ Dennis- loved today's quote.

@ Dick- the alphadictionary looks like it will be fun WHEN I FINISH MR. SILK'S PUZZLE. I will get 'er done before dawn.

@ Clear ayes- That is my favorite S. Silverstein poem.

Had a chuckle like most of you over reata.

SHARKS are back on track!! Woo Hoo!

Auntie Naomi said...

Why are they called the Sharks, JD?
You guys don't actually have sharks there (in the San Jose area) you?
It seems to me that one of our Florida teams would be more justified in taking the shark as our mascot.

The Panthers are playing the damned Bruins tonight. The game is over, but I have just begun to watch it on TIVO. I hope they played better than they did against Chicago and Washington. Wish me luck!

p.s. Redsmitty, you didn't answer my question. Are you a Calgary native?

WM said...

PromiseMe...I'll answer for JD. San Jose is just off the end of the San Francisco Bay and about an hour drive to the coast, so, Sharks works for us. We have them in both places and some great whites have been spotted off the coast along with many other species. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has several different kind in one of their large aquariums. You occasionally find smallish ones washed up on the beach. SO...yep...we've got lots of sharks.:0)

How did the Greek Shephard's pie turn out? Looked very yummy. After I printed it out, I noticed it was from the New Bon Appetit...which means I had it in an issue I hadn't read yet...

JD said...

Thanks wolfmom, I was finishing the puzzle. Got 'er done before dawn!

wishing you luck, Promise Me.

Dennis said...

JD, I didn't realize you were a Sharks fan; one of my best friends is now the assistant GM of the Kings after many years as the Flyers' goaltender. They're working on rebuilding the Kings from scratch and expect to be contenders in another year or so.

Do you get to many games?

Auntie Naomi said...

WOW Dennis ...

You must be referring to Ron Hextall. That is SOOOOO cool!
Does that mean you are Kings fan?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Not sure if Dennis will come back for this post. Maybe you can copy and paste it to Sunday's Comments box.