Feb 1, 2009

Sunday February 1, 2009 Robert H. Wolfe

Theme: Eat My Words

23A: Junk carrying fruit?: SLOE (Slow) BOAT TO CHINA

37A: Freeing a pungent plant? SPRINGING A LEEK (Leak)

49A: Force exerted by a fruit?: PEAR (Peer) PRESSURE

66A: Herb's organic processes?: BASIL (Basal) METABOLISM

88A: Mushroom stem?: MOREL (Moral) SUPPORT

98A: Veggies' contemporaries?: BEET (Beat) GENERATION

118A: Herb from the distant past?: THYME (Time) IMMEMORIAL

PEAR PRESSURE seems to be strained. PEAR and Peer sound very different to me. MOREL SUPPORT made me laugh, given our wild MOREL discussion last summer.

I wonder if any constructor thought of building a "Moral" rebus puzzle. Moral Ground, Moral Standard, Moral Code, Moral Principle, Moral Philosophy, Moral Decline, Moral Lesson, Moral Victory, Moral Obligation, Moral Conduct, Moral Fiber, etc. Lots of "Moral Issue" words to grid.

Very nice puzzle. Excellent theme. Quite challenging for me though. Had to seek Google for help. Definitely more rewarding than last week's simple "Face It". The only minor quibble I have is the clue for HIT (53A: SRO indication). SRO indicates an abbreviated answer, but HIT is not.


8A: Character on "The A-Team": MR. T. This guy often wears too much gold.

14A: Brother of Rebecca: LABAN. I forgot his name completely. He is the father of Leah and Rachel, Jacob's father-in-law. Who is his wife then?

19A: Do little or nothing: LIE DOWN

22A: Beatles song from "The White Album": I WILL. Here is the clip.

25A: Paroxysm: THROE. I did not know the meaning of "Paroxysm". "oxy" meaning sharp, as in oxymoron.

26A: "Lohengrin" heroine": ELSA. I can never remember this Wagner opera. The girl looks scared. What is the story about?

27A: Joyce Kilmer classic: TREES. "I think I shall never see /A poem lovely as a tree..."

33A: Fatality faker: POSSUM

48A: Light starter?: TWI. Twilight.

52A: French possessive: A MOI. How do you say "Wish you were mine" in French? I suppose French has real and unreal conditional sentences too.

56A: Barry Levinson movie: DINER. No idea. Have never heard of this movie.

64A: AEC word: ENERGY. AEC was replaced by NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission).

75A: Under the most negative circumstances: AT WORST. I hope we've hit the bottom and the worst is now behind us. So depressing and chilling to read those massive layoff announcements.

80A: Winged: ALATE. Like Pegaus. Sometimes the answer is ALAR. Ala is "wing".

87A: Few: pref: OLIG. As in oligarchy. Here are some examples. I suppose you can call Putin's Russia oligarchy too.

94A: Erect, temporarily: RIG UP. Why "temporarily"?

97A: Brain box: NOODLE. "Brain box" is a new slang to me. I think my "Brain box" is full. I can't seem to absorb and digest the new information I get from reading others' comments.

101A: Incursions: FORAYS

111A: Rutger of "Blade Runner": HAUER. Googled his name. Three consecutive vowels. Perfect for crossword.

123A: Cyst: VESICLE. New to me. What causes these VESICLES? Looks like cigarette burns.

124A: Shoelace tip: AGLET. Derived from French word "aiguille" meaning "needle'".


4D: Old music halls: ODEA. Singular is odeum. Is there any modern music halls/theaters called odeum?

14D: Well-read elite: LITERATI. Digerati is a portmanteau of "digital" and "LITERATI".

18D: Dodger, in MLB jargon: NLER (National Leaguer). Both ALER and NLER exist in crossword world only.

32D: Put that out of your mind: IGNORE IT

34D: Last of Socrates?: OMEGA. The last letter of Greek alphabet.

35D: Pitcher Warren: SPAHN. Ah,"Spahn and Sain and Pray for Rain", Hall of Famer. The winningest southpaw in Major-League history.

57D: Incoming, as a train (abbr.): INB. Inbound?

62D: Trellis: ESPALIER. Another new word to me. Very pretty. Is that an apple tree? Some of the fruits look like pomegranates.

70D: "I remember Mama" character: LARS. Got it from across clues. Have never heard of this movie before.

81D: Wood: pref.: LIGN. First encounter with this prefix. Dictionary gives an example of "lignite", dark brown coal with a woodlike texture.

82D: Three from Berlin: DREI. Eins, zwei, DREI.

84D: Corundum relative: ALUNDUM. No idea. The clue means nothing to me. Both end in "undum". I suppose you can call them relatives.

90D: Lacking in development: UNFORMED. This clue does not feel natural to me.

92D: Panama preposition: POR. Good alliteration.

100D: Wind: pref.: ANEMO. As in anemometer, the instrument to measure the speed of wind. Saw this clue somewhere before.

106D: Hindu deity: SIVA. I don't know which one is more common, SIVA or Shiva. Here is a statue. How does Hinduism differ from Buddhism? Some of the meditating statues look quite similar.

119D: NASA partner: ESA (European Space Agency)



C.C. Burnikel said...

Google crashed yesterday morning for over 30 minutes worldwide. I was warned "This site may harm your computer" when I tried to search for certain words on my own blog. Letter e-ending words also indicate their feminine nature, right?

Thanks for the LIT list. I still think abbreviated clues should not be used when other options are readily available.

Gator Mom, Lemonade, Linda, Dick et al,
Thanks for the explanation on "love" and "in love". I used to think "I love you" and "I'm in love with you" is the same.

C.C. Burnikel said...

It would make me very happy if you could guest-blog once in the summer time.

Reets, BK, Jimmy S. Carolina et al,
Welcome! Great to hear from you guys.

Some of the 1960's sports photos are highly-sought collectibles.

Thanks for the NARD/Valerian information. I truly enjoy the Greek/Egyptian tidbits in your various posts.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Oh, I was not aware of your name origin. Nice to know. Very clever Mayflower/Pilgrims riddle. As for your "virulent stomach virus", did you refer to your first pregnancy?

Clear Ayes,
Beautiful "Love" poem. Very touching. But what is salt rose?

Howard & Dougl,
I won't be where I am today without Google and Wikipedia. I often wonder how others solved crossword before the internet age.

C.C. Burnikel said...

What kind of electronic dictionary are you using? Does it help you with pronunciation also?

Hope to see you more after Valentine's Day then.

What? James Dean was a gay?

Anonymous said...

1D: Jabbers: GABBLES. A gaggle of Geese GABBLE. This would be called Alliteration.

kazie said...

Thanks for renewing my confidence in google. Just now I found the following article on the German social security system under Bismarck. Thank you.

"Wish you were mine" in French? I'd suggest "Je souhaite que tu soyais à moi", but it is just a guess, and doesn't sound idiomatic to me. "soyais" is imperfect subjunctive, the subjunctive mood being required after verbs of wishing, hoping and uncertainty.

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all. Today was somewhat of a struggle and I had to Google for a a few answers. Overall it was a good puzzle and took me quite a while to complete.

I really struggled to get 32D "ignore it" and the cross of 75A "at worst." That cross just did not want to appear at first. Also, the cross of 81D and 87A was the most diggicult.

I liked this puzzle as it required a lot of thought and unfortunately a few Googles.

CC I think there are a few Nickelodeons in the south. I am not sure of this but I think this is correct.

I hope you all have a great Sunday.
I will be glued to the TV, hopefully, watching the Steelers win the Super Bowl.
Go Steelerssssssssssss!!!!!!

Dick said...

CC, here is some information I found on a Nickelodeon in South Carolina.

The Nickelodeon Theatre is a small 77 seat store front theater located in Columbia SC on the corner of Main and Pendleton Streets, adjacent to the campus of the University of South Carolina. In operation since 1979, "the Nick", run by the Columbia Film Society, is home to two film screenings each evening and an additional matinee three days a week. The Nick is the only non-profit art house film theater in South Carolina and is the home for 25,000 filmgoers each year.

Dick said...

CC, BTW I had drip for 104A "Tear or Rain Unit" and "Unfirmed" for 90D and it sure looked OK to me. Your solution looked better.

Anonymous said...

I grew up watching my parents solve crossword puzzles everyday, with Sunday morning spent with breakfast in bed and the New York Times puzzles, that went back and forth between them. The only aid they had was a crossword puzzle dictionary, which had obscure words like ERS, which was always the answer for BITTER VETCH (a favorite fill in word by Will Weng of the Times). I never knew what BITTER VETCH was but I knew what answer to put in the puzzle. Now with google and wikipedia, I know it is a legume.
Well happy Super Bowl to you all; the only thing we know for certain isone quarterback will win his second...

Dr. Dad said...

Good morning to all.

I was surprised that I didn't have to do any googling. The perps got the ones I didn't know.

I agree that Pear and Peer are a stretch. The others, e.g., morel and moral, sound the same.

I'm going to go against the grain here and say that Arizona is going to win the Super Bowl.

Possum is also seen as Opossum.

When you rig something up it is usually temporary.

Rutger Hauer - played William Erle, the CEO of Wayne Enterprises in Batman Begins. Also played the terrorist Wolfgar in the Sly Stallone flick, Nighthawks. Most will probably remember him for his performance in The Hitcher.

Lignum is Latin for wood. The chemical compound, lignin gets its name from this word as well. Lignin is an integral part of the seconday cell wall of plants and is the second most abundant organic polymer on earth (cellulose is first).

Corundum is aluminum oxide (Al2O3) which is also called alumina. Alundum is a substance made of fused alumina. I guess you could say that alundum is a "child" of corundum.

Today is Super Bowl XLIII!!!!!! It is also National Freedom Day, Be An Encourager Day, G.I. Joe Day, Give Kids A Smile Day, Hula In The Coola Day, Robinson Crusoe Day, and Spunky Old Broads Day. Why so many on February 1st? Your guess is as good as mine.

Have a Super Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear so many others needed to Google today. Thought I was losing my touch, and I agree with the comment about what did puzzlers do before the internet!

Go Cardinals! Actually, have always liked the Steelers in the past, but I find Kurt Warner to be such an inspirational human being. While you're googling, google him and his website. What a guy!

kazie said...

I also own two XW puzzle dictionaries. My mother used one for so long the edges of the pages were worn down in the middle, as are those of the OED that I inherited from her.

Before there were XW's, her parents used to entertain themselves by trying to trick each other with words from the dictionary. They'd take turns with the dictionary and ask for the definition of obscure words. This was before regular radio broadcasts or, of course, TV.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All,

C.C. I had a feeling you might ask about salt-rose. I'm just not sure, except that Bolivian rose salt is used both for seasoning food and for bath salts. Apparently, it is considered to be unusual and has exceptional flavor. The poet, Pablo Neruda was from Chile, which shares a border with Bolivia, so this may be what he was referring to.

Argyle, LOL, you got the last word on Riata/Reata last night. Somebody is going to have to rent the Giant DVD to settle the issue.

Yes, C.C. It is well known that James Dean was gay. As with many male movie stars through the 80's, the studios set up fake romances for them with pretty starlets so that the public wouldn't know about their private lives. The fan magazines usually had stories that said, Rock, Tab, Richard and Jimmy were "looking, but just hadn't found that perfect girl." Happily, nowadays, actors like Rupert Everett and Neil Patrick Harris don't have to hide their personal lives and can still get roles as sexy, womanizing leading men (they are actors, after all. :o)

Enjoy the game, everybody!

JIMBO said...

C.C. Was the question about Laban's wife?

I don't think she is mentioned in the "Bible".
However, Jasher 28:28 in the "Dead Sea Scrolls" names "Adinah" as the wife of Laban that
gave birth to twin girls---Leah and Rachael.

Linda said...

CC: the first "spell" really was a virus. It was the second one we named "Bryan". :) "Lindo" is the Spanish word to go with masculine nouns/pronouns. "Linda" of course goes with the feminine. Didn`t understand the reference you made to my name ending in "a" until I re-read your posts...No thank you. Never wanted to be one of many wives (ala Marc Anthony). I like being the only fish in my pond!

Kazie: There is actually a game in which you name an obscure word, each player makes up a plausible definition (one player gives the real one) and the designated player has to choose which answer is correct. Points are kept. It is FUN! Better than Scrabble! And all you need to play is a good dictionary and pen and paper.

We only get the NYT puzzle on looses it`s punch, though, because they print the solve on the same page!

Let me know how any of you like the instant potato soup mix...very warming and easy in cold weather.

Linda said...

...and the riddle for today is: What is black and white and black and white and black and white and black and white and black and white?

JD said...

Good morning C.C. and all,

Since Mickey Rourke is up for an Oscar this year, there have been lots of articles about The Diner, where he was 1st recognized( late 50's, early 60's). Kevin Bacon, Steve Guttenberg and Paul Reisner were also in the film. It's about a group of close friends who are sitting around all night in a diner talking about the changes that will happen , as one of them is getting married.

Dick said...

Linda, answer to your question is the five TVs in my basement.

JD said...

Kazie, thanks for the advice about my mission slides. Taking digital pictures of them would be an efficient way to save them,although they are still in mint condition.

Anonymous said...


A nun rolling downhill?

grew up with a nunnery on one end of the street, and a catholic school on the other end. The parade was always on, and it was great when my two year old niece came out and said, :Look at all the kings."

Dennis said...

Linda, my first thought was a nun in a clothes dryer.

JD said...

Linda, police cars?

Here is a bit of trivia: Drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain almost immediately, without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional "pain relievers." My Bob says it works for him.

Linda,we also played that dictionary game; the kids even liked it at school.

kazie said...

Thanks for the game description. It does sound like fun.

The advantage of having the slides on a CD is that you might access them more often if they were something you'd want to look at. I have thousands of slides from trips to Europe and other places, but never want to drag the projector and all that equipment out to look at them. I've digitalized a few that I wanted for a powerpoint before, and it makes it easy to edit them and improve the clarity too. I should really do the rest too and follow my own advice.

Anonymous said...

For those of you watching the Super Bowl (I won't be - am totally disinterested): watch for Edgerrin James. He's from Immokalee, the poorest town in my county.(It's mostly itinerant farm labor.) He rose from nothing and has done well as a running back, whatever that is. He has bought 200 tickets for the game for family and friends, and wishes he could bring his whole town to it. He says he's playing basically for free having spent so much on tickets.

Linda said...

Dick,Lemonade714, Dennis, JD, Sallie:

I like all your answers...(the tried and true one is a Nun rolling down the hill and the cleverist one is the five old TV`s)...but. being who I am...I would say the answer is "What I keep shouting to people who want to bend the rules until there are only shades of gray!"

So, Sallie, another Floridian, huh?
We better tell them it`s "Em-OCK- uh-lee.

kazie said...

I agree about the lack of interest in football, but I might turn it on to see what all the excitement is about and watch the ads, which apparently are often funny--it will be the only time I do watch any ads. Besides, there's nothing else on tonight, but if I get too bored, I might watch a DVD.

To the rest of you, enjoy the game!

DoesItinInk said...

I finished today’s puzzle with only one wrong letter – I had reeSe and Sesicle instead of REEVE and VESICLE. The cross of OLIG and LIGN and ALATE slowed me down a bit, and there a few words I never seem to remember no matter how many times I run across them - ESA (NASA partner) and AGLET (shoelace tip).

I was unfamiliar with Paul Anka’s Eso Beso but do remember songs like his Puppy Love.

Clear Ayes said...

I only watch one game per year and this is it. No company this time around, but G.A.H. is happy about that. He doesn't want to be distracted by a lot of partying. We do have some good chips and dips for snacks and some BBQ chicken for dinner. Husband is rooting for the Steelers, so I'm going with Arizona....just because.

BTW, here's a photo of a chunk of rose salt. It is quite pretty.

Kazie, we have a lot of old slides in the closet. I'm going to take your super hint and get them organized on CD's.

It's time for a pina colada and to get serious about watching the game.

kazie said...

clear ayes,
The rose salt looks a lot like rose quartz.

Don't forget to set the camera to "no flash" to take pix of projected slides! I forgot to mention that to JD before too.

annshaw said...

Funny family story. My aunt was aware of famous pitcher Lefty Warren Spahn. Since that was the way my uncle always referred to him, she thought his name was
Lefty Warrenspahn

Linda said...

Dick: Sorry I omitted your name...yours was the most clever (and original) answer.

And he WAS in bounds!

Auntie Naomi said...

Hi C.C. and All,

Very late I know, but I don't get the Sunday TMS. If I had, I am sure I would have gotten a couple of wrong letters for VESICLE. After the NYT puzzle (they print the solve on mine, too, Linda, but it doesn't lose any punch if I don't look at it!), the trip to the store, dinner and waiting for the former Mayor to call ... well ... here I am.

The puzzle sounds like it was a tough one.

This theater is no longer called the Odeon, but it was not so long ago. Here is a live clip from the Odeon Hammersmith.

"100D: Wind: pref.: ANEMO. As in anemometer, the instrument to measure the speed of wind."
I picked up a CD of the Greek band, Anemos, at the Virgin Record store in Athens a few years back.

"How do you say "Wish you were mine" in French?"
How about:
"j'aurais toujours faim de toi' (I'm still hungry for you)
"Mais non pouvons faire ce que nous voulons
J'aurais toujours faim de toi
Mais non pouvons faire ce que nous voulons
J'aurais toujours faim de toi

No matter what I do
I'm still hungry for you
No matter what I do
I'm still hungry for you"

kazie, Did your mother leave you the unabridged OED? It was probably somewhat smaller back then, but still humongous.

JD, Gatorade? ARGH!!! That stuff will kill you. It's almost as bad as Coca-Cola, but at least you can smooth Coke out with a little rum :)

JD said...

Promiseme, if someone has a BAD headache, you wouldn't be drinking the Gatorade for pleasure.YUK! My husband always keeps one handy for the beginning of a migraine. Me? I don't drink it, nor anything carbonated. Coke is so bad that it will clean away rust!

Again, thanks Kazie...

Linda said...

JD: ...but sometimes, ONLY a real coke will do! (everything in moderation!)

Dennis said...

JD, I've been drinking Gatorade with sports and workouts for at least 35 years; been drinking Coke/Diet Coke for over 50 years, and I think you're right -- the Coke truly is keeping the rust off.

Dick, congratulations on the Steelers; one helluva comeback. They deserve the Lombardi trophy. I was betting on the Cardinals, but fortunately had 6 1/2 points.

Col_Gopinath said...

Hi CC et al,
Could not do the CW today as Chicago Tribune does not have it online on Sundays :-(. Anyway shall comment on the comments. SHIV or SHIVA is more common as compared to SIVA. The statue of SHIVA that you have shown in the link is here in Bangalore the town where I stay (though I have not gone and seen it myself!!!). There is a vast difference between Hinduism and Buddhism, the main one that I can think of is the many many many .... Gods that we Hindus have including a whole lot of re-incarnations to add

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