Feb 15, 2009

Sunday February 15, 2009 Ed Voile

Theme: Dig Dug








I blanked on "Plug", though I've seen QUID or CHAW clued as "Tobacco plug" before. Did not know "Slug" can be COUNTERFEIT COIN. I do visit this hugely popular website from time to time, but I've never bothered to check what's the meaning of "Fug", always thought it's the substitute of the bad F word.

Too bad "Hug" and "Mug" are missing, they should be fun to define. And "Jug": "A Jug of Wine / A Loaf of Bread / - And Thou ... "so crudely romantic.

I don't know what's happened to our editor, this puzzle is screaming for more editing. The word "devices" should not make the appearance in the clue for ADDABLE (82D: Like auxiliary devices) due to 17D. Interesting to see ARON (8D: "East of Eden" twin) and TWIN (27A: Womb-mate) intersects one another, but the duplication of "twin" spoils the fun tremendously . "East of Eden" brother/son should be sufficient. Or just a simple "Elvis' middle name".

Too many "*est" words:

83A: At the earliest: SOONEST

51D: Most merciless: CRUELEST

109A: Most compact: DENSEST

86D: Superlatively sage: WISEST

Right now I have SEP for 10D (Calendar-watch abbr.). Does it stand for September? If so, why? Is it because NFL kicks off that month?

Click here for Argyle's Valentine Dream blog post.


1A: Soaked up rays: BASKED. Wrote down TANNED immediately and messed up my 1D: Leg-up: BOOST. I wonder if anyone tried SUNNED.

7A: Movie collie: LASSIE. Wow, this is a very old movie trailer.

13A: Pitchman: SPIELER

25A: "The Bald Soprano" playwright: IONESCO (Eugène). Got his name from the down fills. Romania-born French dramatist, a leading exponent of "Theater of the Absurd." Reminds me of Chris' research on Camus last time.

28A: "Peanuts" regular: LINUS. I don't quite get this one. Election night conservative sentiment?

33A: Conceived: IDEATED. I CREATED again, of course.

36A: First name in cartoon skunks: PEPE. Bon what?

40A: Old Portuguese currency: ESCUDOS. No idea. Here is a banknote.

44A: Planet-finding grp.: SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). I wanted NASA, as I always do.

45A: Electronic navigational system system: SHORAN (Short-Range Navigation). Forgot.

47A: 17th-century opener: MDCI. The year 1601. I like this clue.

54A: God of the east wind: EURUS. No idea. He was supposed to "bring warmth and rain, and his symbol was an inverted vase, spilling water." I can't find a good picture of him. But he is winged, as is every wind god. See this painting of Zephyrus ("God of west wind") and his lover Chloris, goddess of flower (Flora in Roman). "God of the north" wind is Boreas, and "God of south wind" is Notus. They all reported to Aeolus, right? Funny every wind god ends their name with letters "us" except Boreas.

55A: Fish like a stick?: GAR. Because it's very long? I am accustomed to seeing GAR clued as "Long-nosed needlefish".

58A: Modifiers: ADAPTERS. Why?

67A: Well-known wheel-spinner: PAT SAJAK. Really?

71A: People conquered by the Iroquois: ERIES. Easy answer. But I was not educated on this history.

73A: Fannie of vaudeville: BRICE. The funny Fannie in Barbara Streisand's "Funny Girl". What exactly is a vaudeville? See this word often in the biographies of those old movie stars.

82A: Spirit of "The Tempest": ARIEL. This ARIEL does look very airy. Hebrew for "Lion of the Lord". Shouldn't it be "Lioness of God" then?

90A: Botches: MISDOES

95A: U.S. transp. reg. agc.: ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission). From 1887-1996. I don't like the clue. No need to abbreviate all the 4 words, one is enough.

96A: Former Turkish official: PASHA. I think AGA is still in use.

99A: Anchoring place: MOORAGE

106A: Demonstrates: EVINCES

107A: Rough shelter: LEAN-TO. I thought of shanty.

110A: Going astray: ERRANT. Off-course, of course.

111A: Uses a divining rod: DOWSES. No idea. I did not know the meaning of "divining rod" either. Only know douse.


3D: Region of France: SAVOY. Unknown to me. I do love SAVOY cabbage though. Are those two related? SAVOY is in southeast France, adjacent to the Swiss-Italian border.

5D: I problem?: EGO. Good clue. EGO is Latin for "I", right?

6D: Bombarding particle used in accelerators: DEUTERON. Another unknown. Dictionary defines it as "a positively charged particle consisting of a proton and a neutron, equivalent to the nucleus of an atom of deuterium", whatever deuterium means.

12D: Bit of facial hair: EYELASH. I suppose so.

13D: Red gem: SPINEL. New gem to me. I wanted garnet.

16D: First of a gender: EVE

32D: Assassinated Egyptian leader: SADAT. He was assassinated in 1981. Wait till Mubarak die, there should be an investigation on who on earth killed SADAT.

33D: Welsh actor Novello: IVOR. Composer as well. I can never remember his name. The annual British songwriters' IVOR Award is named after him.

34D: Graphic opening?: DEMO. Demographic. Good clue.

37D: Sentimental novelist Fannie: HURST. No, nope. Does Fannie HURST write sentimental novels or was she a very sentimental woman?

44D: Ascorbic acid deficiency: SCURVY. "Ascorbic" means nothing to me.

53D: B-complex vitamin: BIOTIN. No idea. It's also called Vitamin H. How is it different from thiamin then?

54D: N.T. book: EPH (Ephesian). It appeared in our puzzle yesterday. So hard to remember these books of the Bible.

57D: Seven Wonders lighthouse: PHAROS. Is Pharaoh somehow related to this word?

79D: Converging to a point (var.): FOCUSSED. Did not know this before.

88D: Witticism: BON MOT. I thought MOT alone is BON enough.

87D: Baseball bat wood: ASH. And THREE (93D: Final strike). Babe Ruth's uniform is THREE as well.

103D: __-es-Salaam: DAR. Forgot again. It's the largest city in Tanzania. Arabic for "Abode of Peace". I am just so used to our editor's "Patriotic women's org." for DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution).

104D: Literary bits: ANA. Anecdotal olio.



C. C. said...

Dick and Clear Ayes,
I am as confused as Carol was, why is Buckeye's madeup long name Guderamerdingstrassaholzers funny?

TINKER and TAILORS are pure coincindence. You should know how theme works. Is your paper in English or Chinese?

Thanks for the explanation on the name of "Broken Arrow". I was curious about that.

I know you met Jeff King during you AK trip. Is he the guy who blogged about his race last year?

C. C. said...

"The back of front?" is indeed a diabolic clue for IER. I won't be surprised if Dennis brings another "Blame Someone Else's Day". He has warped thinking. Or is it wefted?

Nice TINKERS comment.

Triple-stacked 15-letter fills are not rare in crossword at all. As for 14-letter fill, it's just hard to put a single block on the edge of the grid from the construction point of view. Actually 2 blocks due to the symmetry requirement.

C. C. said...

After one year of observing you from afar, I think now I know your taste for crossword: the more exotically obscure, the bizarrely excited you are.

Have never heard of ECCLES cakes. The Google images look so delicious!

I don't mind classic references in the grid, but stuff like UNHAT, DICER & ELA need to go.

Martin said...

TINKER and TAILORS are pure coincindence. You should know how theme works.

I know how theme works: they have to be arranged symmetrically and there needs to be at least three of them and, besides, Saturday's puzzles are always themeless but TINKER and TAILORS is a pretty big coincidence.

Is your paper in English or Chinese?

Of course it is in English. I doubt if a Chinese newspaper would carry a crossword puzzle in English.

Anyway, I did the puzzle today: it took me over two hours, including time spent googling. I eventually had everything filled in but had EPS (Ephesians) instead of EPH and I was wondering what why SHOULDER SEAVE meant "Shrug". Now it makes sense.

I had BATHED first and then TANNED but changed it back to BATHED for BASKED when I got BOOST. I eventually got KNIT, BASKED and SAVOY. I also wanted ALOOF for PROUD, HURON for ERIES, CHANGERS for ADAPTERS, EGRESS for ESCAPE, QUARKS for SPECKS, FAA for ICC, OAK for ASH, STRIKES for EVINCES and I needed help from the perps to decide between LASH and BROW, ADJ and ADV and LTD and INC. I googled to get IONESCO, ESCUDOS, ELKS, PASHA, HURST, PHAROS and DAR.

I heard the word "plugs" used on CSI:New York to describe COUNTERFEIT subways tokens.

I guessed at BAD ATMOSPHERE for fug. I googled and found out that it means precisely that. Fugly is short for f***ing ugly.

why is Buckeye's madeup long name Guderamerdingstrassaholzers funny?

It's funny because people typically shorten and anglicize their name rather than elongate and make it sound more foreign. Some good examples were Telly Savalas and George Michael who originally had horribly long Greek names.


Lemonade714 said...

Vaudeville was a form of variety show that featured unrelated performers, offering a basically family show. There were comedians, singers, dancers, tumblers, poets; pretty much any kind of entertainment. It was the logical cross between the risque burlesque shows and the serious theater. It was the place where most famous 1920 -1950 american comedians began their careers, people like W. C. Fields, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Jack Benny.It also was where young singers like Judy Garland performed. It was a perfect entertainment expression of the united states, a little bit of eveything, and something for everybody.

One of the fun part of crossword puzzles, is they do bring back memories, like vaudeville, like "Broken Arrow," or the absurdity of Barbara Eden in her harem outfit, with her bare midriff, but no belly button.

JIMBO said...

Good morning C.C.

To finally answer your question---
My Sunday puzzle is from "The Los Angeles Times", edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis.
This morning's constructor is "Pamela Amick Klawitter".
I seldom try to solve a Sunday puzzle, because I would just wear out my keyboard from "Googling".

Off to early church service now---have duties to perform.
Vaya co Dios

abogato said...

I just finished the puzzle. I agrre it needed some edit imput from the powers to be. I thought that some of the clues were a stretch like "misdoes";"basked";"privoso"; and"shoran". I wonder if the author of this puzzle reworked it back after he had prepared the clues. Maybe i am just too critical after moany years of working the sunday puzzle.

abogato from alabama

dougl said...

I thought this puzzle was interesting in that he used less-common meanings for many of the "ug" words.

BTW, slug originally meant a round piece of scrap metal that is popped out of electrical boxes to open up a hole. People found they were the size of dimes and worked in vending machines (this was long enough ago that you buy things in vending machines for a dime!)

Soon after the machines were improved to tell the difference, but the definition remains. Apparently they worked longer in subway token turnstyles (which were simpler devices).

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all,....a very interesting puzzle today. It made me late, to get to the blog, because it took so long to solve. I had to Google to get 25A "Ionesco" because I did not know 13D "Spinel". I also wanted to put in garnet. I knew most of the others and if not, I could get them from the crosses. I did need help with the cross of 40A and 37D as I did not know either of them.

The clues/answers I did not care for are:
90A misdos
58A adapters
82D addable
along with a few others that I can't find right now.

CC a diving rod is also known as a dowsing rod and a witching stick. It is a "Y" shaped stick and the "Y" part is gripped in the hands, one in each palm, and the single leg is pointed away from your body. The hands must be turned outward, palms facing away from each other, while grasping the stick. And, for some unknown reason when you are near water the stick will twist in your hand and point downward. If there is a lot of water it is almost impossible to resist the turning of the stick.

Dick said...

@ Doug, the larger knock outs on the electrical boxes were also good fakes for quarters.

Anonymous said...

My newspaper (Concord Monitor, NH) carries a TMS puzzle by Pamela Amick Klawitter today - Where is this Ed Voile puzzle available?

Anonymous said...

I was unable to get going on the NE corner because I had garnet and was sure of it, stubbornly. Also the mid west was left open until I came here because I had only two solves. I translated Aus. to be Australia, even though I lived in Austria for a year!
Guess the coffee wasn't strong enough this morning.
Don't like proud for haughty nor maimed for disabled. They may be correct, but they don't sound right to me.
Happy Presidents' Birthdays weekend everyone.

JD said...

Good morning C.C. and all,

@ Jeff King- I believe it was Jeff's wife who blogged during last year's race.

@ pharaoh/Pharos- Two Egyptian words per-aa are the basis of the word pharaoh, which means great house. At 1st it only referred to their royal palace, and not until the 18th dyn. were the kings referred to as pharaohs. Since Pharos is a lighthouse, I would think it came from the same root.

Buckeye said...

Thank you, Martin. (Sigh)

I must be off.

Crockett1947 said...

@c.c. 111A I don't think that's a picture of a divining rod. I think this is what you want.

Have a great Sunday!

Anonymous said...

C. C.
Concerning "but stuff like UNHAT, DICER & ELA need to go" I don't get the reasoning behind that. It is your blog and I am grateful for it, but this makes me unsure of what the limits are.

Lemonade714 said...

"...this makes me unsure of what the limits are."


While I would never presume to speak for C.C., or anyone else, when I see ELA repeatedly used, or any of the other made up words, I am disappointed, because it is the wit, and the creativity of the crossword constructors that makes us come back day after day. This is what makes our minds work and makes this fun. When we are tricked, and have to work for an answer, we are happy. When we finally crack the code, and see the answer, we have accomplished something. To remember ELA for a week, is not enough of a challenge.

kazie said...

Garnets are usually shades of red, but SPINELS can be any color at all. I discovered this when researching because of a family heirloom brooch which has spinels all over it. Unfortunately, mine are almost colorless, but they can be beautiful.

Dick said...

Thanks Crocket, I could not find a picture of the diving rod earlier. I wanted to include one with my explanation.

Anonymous said...

That was a good answer to my question; thank you. My approach to the puzzle is different from yours, which is why I didn't get it. Mainly my approach is a matter of vocabulary.

PromiseMeThis said...

Hi C.C. and Co.,

This dowsing rod seems to conform to your description; the rod itself, not the way it is being held here.

Dick said...

@Promise me, The description I included is the way I learned to use the diving rods. I guess it is not a method that is cast in stone, but it is a method that worked for me for many years and was very successful in finding water.

DoesItinInk said...

I really did not think I was going to be able to finish this puzzle! It took me a long time just to get a toe-hold, and almost every answer came with great effort. In the end however, I did manage to finish it…without Google, and only one letter in error where SHRAPNEL crossed SHORAN. There were a few unknowns such as IONESCO, HURST, IVOR and EURUS.

I went last night to a concert featuring the Portuguese fado singer Mariza. What a special evening! She is the best of the new fado singers, so full of soul and passion.
If you have never heard her, you may want to check out some of her music.

@PromiseMeThis…you asked yesterday if I time myself. No, I only have a sense of a puzzle going quickly or slowly, as with today’s puzzle. I do not always work a puzzle in one sitting, sometimes because of needing to do other things. But other times I walk away from a puzzle when I can’t “see” an answer, hoping that when I come back to the puzzle, I will have a different take on the problem area. I never Google in order to complete a puzzle. Working the puzzles on-line can be done in two basic modes. The easier way is to turn on the feature that highlights in red any letter that is typed in incorrectly, giving the solver immediate feedback on errors. The harder way is comparable to working the puzzle on paper in that the solver does not know until the puzzle is completed if it is correct or not.