Feb 25, 2009

Wednesday February 25, 2009 Annabel Michaels

Theme: "Pulp" Art

17A: Accordion: SQUEEZE BOX

26A: Broadway moneymaker: SMASH HIT

32A: 1977-79 Broncos' nickname: ORANGE CRUSH

41A: Crash protection space: CRUMPLE ZONE

50A: Whiskey ingredient: SOUR MASH

61A: When push comes to shove: CRUNCH TIME

I think we've done two similar themed puzzles before, though neither contained so many theme answers.

What exactly is SOUR MASH? I got the answer from down fills. ORANGE CRUSH was an easy guess. I don't even know why Vikings were called "Purple People Eaters" in 1970's. Who cares! They want to move to Los Angeles anyway.

There should be a "briefly" with the clue for TKOS (60A: Fight stoppers). Otherwise, no twisty clues. Solvable if you are not PRESSed for time.


1A: Tessie or Milo: O'SHEA. Not familiar with Welsh actress/singer Tessie O'SHEA. She sounds like genuinely funny. Wikipedia says she was on "The Ed Sullivan Show" the same day when the Beatles made their first appearance.

10A: Sphere starter?: ATMO. Atmosphere.

15A: Corduroy rib: WALE. Faintly remembered the term corduroy WALE.

22A: French floor: ETAGE. The bric-a-brac shelf ETAGERE is rooted in ETAGE.

28AL Czech Republic region: MORAVIA. No idea. I could only think of Bohemia. Here is the map. Madeleine Albright is probably the most famous Czech American. She could, if she would, have become Czech's President in 2002.

31A: Balanced conditions: STASES. Singular is STASIS. Can you make a sentence for me? I've never used this word before. Equilibriums, yes.

35A: Wall upright: STUD. Very unfamiliar definition to me. Dictionary explains STUD as "an upright post in the framework of a wall for supporting sheets of lath, wallboard, or similar material."

36A: Moon car, briefly: LEM. To an untrained eye, this Apollo 11 Eagle looks ugly and junky. Who is that astronaut?

45A: Greek letters: THETAS. The 8th of Greek alphabet (total 24). Consonant. Interesting how Egyptian hieroglyph has 24 glyphes, but no vowel. I like that "tongue" (mdw).

49A: Wise king: SOLOMON. OK, the first paragraph here: "I've been staring at this Academy Award ballot for the past 20 minutes. The decisions! Now I know how SOLOMON felt." What does "The decisions! Now I know how SOLOMON felt" mean?

66A: "Bellefleur" writer: OATES. Probably our editor's favorite OATES book. He keeps using the same clue. Have you read Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar"? Joyce Carol OATES said it's a "near perfect work of art".

67A: Unfledged bird: EYAS. Uh-uh, nope, this is an imagined word.

69A: City on the Adige: TRENT. Called TRENTO in Italy. Adige River seems to be a branch of that unnamed river that runs through Trento, doesn't it?


2D: Roman acronym: SPQR. Senatus Populusque Romanus (the Senate and the people of Rome). I can only remember "pigs". Maria mentioned last time that Italians call SPQR "Sono Porci Questi Romani", loosely translated as "These Romans are Pigs".

3D: Soccer mom in Munich?: HAUSFRAU. It's just German for "housewife", right, Kazie? I don't know what's so fun about this clue.

5D: Peer Gynt's mother: ASE. I can never remember this lady's name. Nor can I commit the African bushy-tailed fox ASSE into my memory. Can anyone who has read this Ibsen play give us a short summary of what "Peer Gynt" is about?

6D: Bedside pitcher: EWER. No EWER on my bedside table. Never. What's on your bedside? EWER?

9D: Put forth flowers: BLOOM. "Put forth" sounds so laborious. Most flowers "Burst through". The clue reminded me of this Anais Nin quote: And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

11D: Synagogue scrolls: TORAHS. Does synagogue allow non-Jewish people in?

12D: Actress Smith: MAGGIE. She is so old. Time to clue MAGGIE Q, the hottest MAGGIE on earth.

18D: Yikes!: ZOWIE. I need to use this word often.

34D: Pitch callers: UMPS. Cute, so cute. Can't find an UMP bobblehead. Has to be 1960's & Made in Japan to be valuable.

37D: Black Sea arm: AZOV. I was unaware of Sea of AZOV.

45D: Pestilent fly: TSETSE. Have you heard of blow-fly? Wikipedia says it belongs to the same family as TSETSE fly does.

47D: Satellite of Jupiter: EUROPA. Galileo must be very versed in Greek mythology. Otherwise, he would not have named this moon as EUROPA.

52D: Noon and midnight, e.g.: HOURS. Boy, I felt dense. This did not come to me readily at all.

61D: 905: CMV



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - a very fast puzzle today, right up to the very SW-most corner. I thought an unfledged bird was an 'eye', which made Europa become Europe. Maybe it's an alternative spelling, but I've not seen it. I'll have to read C.C.'s writeup when I get back from the gym to see what she came up with.

Other than that, simple theme, simple puzzle. Is it just me, or is this really getting old?

Today is Pistol Patent Day, and as far as I can determine, no one has any idea why.

Today's Words of Wisdom, and boy, can I relate: "I have thousands of opinions still, but that is down from millions and, as always, I know nothing." -- Writer Harold Brodkey

And today's Fun Fact: The Amazon rain forest produces more than 20% of the world's oxygen supply. The Amazon river pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that, more than 100 miles at sea off the mouth of the river, one can dip fresh water out of the ocean. The volume of water in the Amazon river is greater than the next eight largest rivers in the world combined and three times the flow of all rivers in the United States.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I got nothing on EYAS. I think it's a made-up crossword word. Very intriguing FF today. 20% sounds like a lot, yet it's barely enough to supply the oxygen requirement of Chinese people. I think we make up 1/4 of the world population. As for your quote yesterday, does your wife allow you to "seek the abundance" in new people?

Barry G & Anonymous @10:35pm,
Can you give me a modern use of APOLOGIA?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for the research on ESNE/SERF.

I am very sorry about your loss. Hope the warm weather in FL ease your pain. Spring is coming.

Bob & A.R.E,
Re: BTU. Thanks. It still sounds abstract to me though. I had no idea that electrical engineer and mechanical engineer has such a distinctive "heating up" and "cooling off" job division.

Chris in LA said...

CC, Dennis, etal,

Re: Eyas

Hope all have a great day!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Re: Multi-generation golf families. I could only think of the current Bernhard Langer & his son, Jay & Bill Haas, Craig and Kevin Stadler. The Snead clan has produced quite a few golfers. Besides ELON, what are the other American Universities whose sports teams nickname are not plural?

Anonymous @1:34pm,
Yes, mullah is the word that escaped yesterday morning. It's so close to MOOLA. Thank you so much.

Good to know that there is no "i" in modern interpretation of those Egyptian hieroglyphs.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks. I only checked EYA, thinking S is just a plural suffix. Could not find the word in It is so similar to the Greek Three Furies word Erinys, plural looking, but singular in meaning. The plural form of Erinys is Erinyes.

Hey! Yes, I am aware of the differences. I think on-line version is our editor's final product.

Embien & Argyle,
I'ver never heard of the phrase "belong with someone". Always "belong to".

C.C. Burnikel said...

I want a theme music today.

Interesting way to remember HAOLE, A HOLE. I don't understand your MAB and Elton Johnson connection. Who is the Reggie you addressed to @1:30pm yesterday? Also, what's the 12-letter "walk" word for "Business-mindedly"?

Chris in LA said...


Yeah, I had to hunt it down a little bit, too - only for confirmation on spelling since I got it from the perps. Probably would have been more accurately clued as "unfledged hawks", but it's still pretty obscure - looks like someone needed to force something to fit.

Chris in LA said...

Not to steal Argyle's thunder, but I ran across this which might be appropriate theme music for a Wednesday

NYTAnonimo said...

Is Annabel Michaels another alias?

I wanted SOURMALT instead of SOURMASH-had trouble getting HOURS out of that and it didn't exactly fit with the theme!

I'd never heard of Tessie OSHEA or EYAS either, but I knew EUROPA was correct.

The King Solomon decision that comes to mind for me is this one C.C.

Two women came before King Solomon with a dispute (1 Kings 3:16). Both women lived in the same house, each had a child; one of the children died in the night and each mother claimed the living infant as her own. King Solomon, called upon to decide which was the true mother, ordered that the living child should be cut in half and a half given to each mother. Obviously, it was only a symbolic solution on the part of King Solomon. But the symbolic solution prompted action. One woman was prepared to accept the decision even if it should mean the death of the child; the other rejected the decision though it meant losing the custody of the child who would continue to live. King Solomon declared the woman willing to surrender her claim to the child in order to save the life of the child to be the true mother. Why did the King decide in this manner? True motherhood is not possessive. A mother in the valid sense of the word, does not act as though her child belongs to her; rather she considers the life and well-being of her child more important than her own. The actions we value in motherhood are actions which bespeak life Generosity, and enabling love; not actions which connote ownership, domination, or commerce.

from here.

But he also makes some not so wise choices:

1 Kings 11 describes Solomon's descent into idolatry particularly his turning after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Further, "[i]n Deuteronomy 17, the Lord commands kings not to multiply horses, wives or gold. Solomon sins in all three of these areas. Solomon collects 666 talents of gold each year, a huge amount of money for a small nation like Israel. Solomon gathers a large number of horses and chariots and even brings in horses from Egypt. Just as Deuteronomy 17 warns, collecting horses and chariots takes Israel back to Egypt. Finally, Solomon, like the sons of God in Genesis 6, marries foreign women, and these women turn Solomon to other gods...Because of his sin, the Lord punishes Solomon by tearing the kingdom in two."

from Wikipedia.

Hope it's a good Wednesday for everyone.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Decent puzzle today with a nice, lively theme to it and plenty of great theme answers. My only hiccough came when I initially put HOME CITY instead of HOME SITE for 38D, which led me to put CRY instead of SOB for 57A. It didn't take too long for me to see the error of my ways, however.

Unknowns today included EYAS (of course), SPQR (yeah, I know we just saw it, but it didn't stick), ETAGE, ASE and AZOV. I know who Joyce Carol OATES is, but didn't know she wrote "Bellefleur." Similarly, I'm familiar with the city TRENT, but didn't know it was on the Adige. So those caused me a little grief until I got enough of the perps to guess them.

I see the question about Solomon has already been ably answered by NYTAnonimo. As for APOLOGIA, I'm not sure I can think of an actual modern example off the top of my head. But you see them all the time in the form of letters to the editor where people write in to defend somebody that was attacked in a previous letter or news article.

Lemonade714 said...

Good morning:

Pretty easy for a Wednesday, but many were words that came by fills alone (ELAS) or from recent puzzles. Vikings wore Purple uniforms, and the song "Purple People Eaters" was a novelty song of the 50's and 60's. This is similar to the Orange clad Broncos being named for a soda.

Golfing professional families: C.C. there are scads. Jack Nicklaus had two sons play professionally, Jack II and Gary. Gary Player's son Wayne has played professionally. Johnny Miller's son Andy played well at times, and Raymond Floyd had two sons, Robert and Ray Jr., play. We also have Briny Baird (son of Butch) Brent Geiberger (Al) Matt Weibring (D.A.) all playing now. David Duval and his father Bob Duval won tournaments on the same day. Then there is Marc Turnesa, who had a golfing grandfather, and two great uncles. There are more but these are the ones I can remember now.

As for sports teams, I like this game, so I will not give all I can think of, but the most famous are Alabama Crimson Tide, Tulane Green Wave, Stanford Cardinal.

Tennessee SOUR MASH is the name for our American bourbons such as Jack Daniels, George Dickel.

Have you never searched for STUDs in your wall so you could hang a heavy picture or mirror?

Must get ready for work....

Dennis said...

C.C. said, I'ver never heard of the phrase "belong with someone". Always "belong to".

How 'bout this: Oreos belong with milk.

Lemonade said, Have you never searched for STUDs in your wall so you could hang a heavy picture or mirror?

I'm have a feeling that's a daily ritual for Lois.

Chris, thanks for the heads-up on 'eyas' - never saw it before.

NYTAnonimo said...

I first remember hearing the term APOLOGIA when I sat in on a theology doctoral candidate's defense of his thesis. Came across this which explains it more. Don't think you come across it in everyday language.

Anonymous said...

32A: 1977-79 Broncos' nickname: ORANGE CRUSH

I was unfamiliar with this I think it should be this way

32A 1988 R.E.M hit Orange Crush

Anonymous said...

Pronunciation: \ˈhau̇s-ˌfrau̇\
Function: noun
Etymology: German, from Haus house + Frau woman, wife
Date: 1798 : housewife


Anonymous said...

Back when the Vikings wee in their HEY DAYS, there was a funny song out called The flying purple people eaters.

And being their uniform were purple, hence the name.


Anonymous said...

36 Across..the clue is wrong. The LUNAR LANDER is known as the LEM. The moon car is the lunar rover.

kazie said...

Yes, Hausfrau is literally "house wife". I didn't like it when the answer came to me, because I was looking for "Fussimutti" or some such from the clue.

BLOWFLIES are very common in Oz. The link gives a good idea of their appearance. They are a bit bigger than a normal housefly, but normally don't bite, unlike their relatives, I guess. They are known for "blowing" food or garbage to lay their eggs and the result is maggots which come out if the food is subsequently heated. You never leave uncovered meat out to thaw in Oz.

I also had sour MALT at first, which screwed up both SYRIA and HOURS. I had to google MIRA to get out of the mess.

ETAGE is the word for a floor meaning "stor(e)y"--the "e" is British spelling to distinguish from a tale. PLANCHER wouldn't fit. It's the kind that is "so cunningly laid, it is always under your feet". (from The Goons' China Story)

Otherwise, no real problems.

kazie said...

SPQR I forgot to mention--the "-que" suffix was used instead of "et" meaning "and" in phrases where the two linked items were so closely related that they normally always were together. This is probably why the suffix is given the status of a whole word in the SPQR.

If you ever built a house, or added a wall to finish your basement, you would know about studs--they are visible in the walls before the sheetrock covers them. "Studfinders" are devices to figure out where they are to hang something heavy on the wall, where you need more support than the sheetrock provides.

Anonymous said...

Yes,the clue for 36A is wrong. The Lunar Lander is known as the LEM. That’s short for Lunar Excursion Module. The E was later dropped and it was just called the LM as the word “excursion” sounded too frivolous.

The moon car (which is what the clue is) is called the lunar rover.

Auntie Naomi said...

Good Morning C.C. and Co.,

"What does "The decisions! Now I know how SOLOMON felt" mean?"
He means that he would need the fabled 'Wisdom of Solomon' to be able to make the tough choices as to who gets the Oscar and who does not.
Unfortunately, I have not read the Ibsen work. I am only familiar with the Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg.
I believe we had Sea of AZOV as an answer previously. If not, I must have seen it in the NYT puzzle.
I was just taking a cheap shot at Elton John. Suggesting he is the Queen of the Faeries. His real name is Reggie. He was the one to whom I was apologizing. I am actually a HUGE fan of his.
As for my clue, it was more of a misclue.
It should have been:
Business-minded (with 'walk') Answer: purposefully
To walk purposefully is to be business-minded; as opposed to someone who lolly gags or dawdles because they have nowhere they need to go or nothing that they need to get done in a timely fashion.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @8:53:

Good catch, I totally missed that as that clue was filled in by all the perps so I never noticed it. The rover was also designated LRV.


Auntie Naomi said...

"Today is Pistol Patent Day, and as far as I can determine, no one has any idea why."

I have an idea. Apparently, it was on this day in 1836 that Samuel Colt patented his revolver.

Anonymous said...

May I add my condolences to Geri on her loss. I agree with C.C. that maybe being in warm Florida will help her heal.

No real problem with today's puzzle accept ERGS for Joule fractions. Have no idea what the clue means, but the answer usually has to do with chair design.

Thank you Dennis for today's Fun Fact. Spent some time on the upper Amazon, so it was good to have this information.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Dennis, :o) It's a good thing we still have thousands of opinions here. C.C.'s blog would be pretty dull otherwise. Here are a few of mine.

I liked the six theme answers. Yesterday's double "OO"s made it too easy to fill in the blanks. None of the answers were ungettable today, although I started our with PHASES for 31A and BEAT for 59D. EYAS were a "Duh?" for me too. But, as usually happens the perps got me through it all without much sweat.

C.C. I'm not a Joyce Carol OATES fan. I didn't read Bellfleur, but I have read We were the Mulvaneys, which I didn't care for, and then gave her a second chance with I'll Take You There. I didn't like that one either. I kept wanting the characters to grow up, get a grip and stop acting so foolishly. Her admiration of Sylvia Plath may be rooted in Oates own rather grim (maybe I'm wrong and her other books aren't so frustrating) views.

Kazie, I don't think most Americans wouldn't be able to come up with an answer like "fussimutti", even with perp help. I know I couldn't.

PromiseMeThis, I always walk "business-mindedly". One of my pet peeves is to get behind someone in a shopping aisle and wait while they creep along and dawdle..often with cellphone in hand.....always in the center of the aisle, blocking my way to get past. Another pet peeve is at checkout, when the person in front of me doesn't have their credit card or check ready for payment and spends time digging through their wallet or purse to find card, check, pen, etc. Oh yes, we were at Costco yesterday. :o)

I meant to post this yesterday, but didn't quite make it happen. You Belong To Me was a big 1952 hit by Jo Stafford.

kazie said...

Clear Ayes,
You're right about Fussimutti, but I thought it would need to have something to do with Fussball--soccer-- in German. To me, Hausfrau denotes someone a bit more frowsy (sp?) and old-fashioned than the soccer mom concept in the US. Actually, I thought I'd made up a good German word!

maria said...

Good morning. etal

Started from the bottom up, seemed easier that way, a few Gs I thought i did well until . . crash
41A Onemilezone, i put umis instead of umps for no reason, so after cqt i now have Cramplezone ?
Give me a break!

C.C. you devil, you remembered SPQR

Kazie, i liked your " fussimutti " cute

Anonimo, i read the page of 1st chapter, Apologia pro vita sua, seems a book i want to read, thanks.

Dennis, loved the WoW and the FF amazing Amazon

carol said...

Hi C.C. and all, Not a bad puzzle today. Had a little trouble with 2D because I knew I had seen those letters before, but could not dredge up all of them and didn't know 20A so that didn't help much. The rest was interesting and I didn't have to go to Mr.G.
A lot of DF fodder in there too....Lois are you getting this? SEX, SQUEEZEBOX, BABES, BLOOM, STUD,if you mixed all these with SOUR MASH, well just think about it.

Our weather forecast is for snow tonight/tomorrow morning...they say it will only be in the elevations higher than 500' and I hope they are right! Even if it hits where we are, it is supposed to melt by afternoon. Blahhhhh, my daffodils are up about 6" and the Daphne is about to bloom!

carol said...

Clear ayes at 10:00..I forgot to mention this in my comment, but I so totally agree with your pet peeves in the grocery aisles!!! Some people have no concept of consideration for those around them!

Anonymous said...

Mark - Buenos Aires

The clue Europa reminded me of this cryptic:

"Venus wobbles orbiting Jupiter´s moon that´s green?"

Venus is an anagram around a moon of Jupiter making the word meaning green.

Anonymous said...

mark - Buenos Aires

I forgot to say, the answer has seven letters, meaning the moon has a 2 letter name.

Clear Ayes said...

Oops. Done in by a double negative! I don't think most Americans wouldn't be able to come up with an answer like "fussimutti". I meant I don't think most Americans would be able to come up with an answer like "fussimutti".

The Bell Jar was Sylvia Plath's only novel. It is a semi-autobiographical story of a woman who is suffering from mental illness. Plath committed suicide shortly after its publication. I haven't read all of her poetry, but what I have read is intensely personal and often dark and grim. Her personal unhappiness comes through loud and clear.

Winter landscape, with rocks

Water in the millrace, through a sluice of stone,
plunges headlong into that black pond
where, absurd and out-of-season, a single swan
floats chaste as snow, taunting the clouded mind
which hungers to haul the white reflection down.

The austere sun descends above the fen,
an orange cyclops-eye, scorning to look
longer on this landscape of chagrin;
feathered dark in thought, I stalk like a rook,
brooding as the winter night comes on.

Last summer's reeds are all engraved in ice
as is your image in my eye; dry frost
glazes the window of my hurt; what solace
can be struck from rock to make heart's waste
grow green again? Who'd walk in this bleak place?

- Sylvia Plath

Cheer up everybody, I promise not to post anymore Plath poetry and Spring is only a few weeks away!

kazie said...

Clear Ayes and Maria,
Actually the Germans have a word that's better suited to the modern mothers--at least those in the western states, where the women frequently have husbands that can support them without their having to work: "Schimmischick". It implies one who has nothing better to do than dress fashionably, give coffee parties and go shopping when the Putzfrau, or cleaning lady, comes.

Anonymous said...

Please help with 60A: I have TKOS, which obviously isn't a word.

But my downs are:

And my across words are:
60A: TKOS ????

So what am I missing?

kazie said...

Nothing--TKOS = Total Knock Outs--a term used in boxing

Anonymous said...

Re: Your first post this AM. No, it isn't just you. These puzzles are getting old, and boring as well. When multiple clues and fills are repeated day after day, week after week, solving the puzzle becomes a matter of rote, fill in the blank memory retrieval. It seems as though the constructors and/or the editor are just "phoning it in".
I certainly don't want unsolvable puzzles every day, but I do like a challenge. Why else bother? I have solved puzzles in 8 or 10 minutes, but it isn't very rewarding or much fun. In fact, the only fun I've derived from these puzzles lately is coming here and reading the lively repartee among what is obviously a very "frisky" and intelligent group of people. I do enjoy all the exchanges and comments and the mutual respect for a life of the mind that characterizes most of the participants. I know we recently flirted with a ban on whinning or whinnying or whining, but the last few weeks of puzzles have been mostly repetitive pieces of @&$# (insert appropriate DF word here).
I want my xword (apology to Dire Straits). And I feel better already.
C.C. : Is there some collective action we can take to influence the editor without completely p___ing him off?
Sorry for the rant. I am, I know, a relative newcomer.

Dennis said...

Kazie, actually it's "Technical Knock Out" - used when the fighter is deemed unable to continue, but not knocked unconscious.

Anonymous said...

TKO stands for Technical Knock Out, and occurs when, in the judgement of the referee, one boxer is in danger of being KOed and will be hurt if the bout continues.

kazie said...

Dennis and Windhover,
I figured that I could be wrong. Thanks. Either way though, they don't feel too good!

WM said...

C.C. and all...This was actually a bit fun as I got all the theme answers, so it helped a lot. Initially, just looking at the puzzle I thought I would have a lot of trouble with it. I did confuse myself by putting TRAIN instead of SPARS for 14A which messed me up for a abit.

C.C. I will try a Cliff Notes version of Peer Gynt.

Based on Norwegian folklore, it is a play about a life based on avoidance. Peer Gynt, a rather bad boy, falls in love with Solveig. Her parents won't allow them to marry. He leaves the village and goes on adventures.In the Hall of the Mountain King he avoids marrying a troll(saved by the church bells!). He also almost marries the daughter of a desert chieftan. Finally, returning home, he finds his mother has died of a broken heart, comes across Solveig(still unmarried), marries her and they live happily ever after.

Peer Gynt Suites was written at Ibsen's request to accompany his play(around 1875). Probably the most well-known piece(and a favorite of mine) is the Hall of the Mountain King...

Thank you to everyone yesterday. The surgery is this Friday and things are going very well at this point.

Clear Ayes said...

Wolfmom, I like In The Hall Of The Mountain King too.

I was interested in finding out a little more about Edvard Grieg the composer. He is the most famous of Norwegian composers and is also well loved for his Lyric Pieces, many of which were written in praise of the beauty of Norway.

From Wikipedia - "Grieg expressed his unhappiness with what is now considered one of his most popular compositions from Peer Gynt, In the Hall of the Mountain King: "I have also written something for the scene in the hall of the mountain King - something that I literally can't bear listening to because it absolutely reeks of cow-pies, exaggerated Norwegian nationalism, and trollish self-satisfaction! But I have a hunch that the irony will be discernible."

I don't care, I still like it!

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone.

@embien Rest assured that late night posts are read before today's posts.

A very doable puzzle. Did not know EYAS, but it came easily from the perps.

Holy hot peppers! Maggie Q!!

@dennis Amazing FF for today.

@nytanonimo Thanks for the Solomon education.

@carol Isn't that amazing about the snow forecast? That would be a real event. I can't believe that we have less than average snowpack in the mountains.

Have a great Wednesday!

WM said...

ClearAyes@12:40...That is hysterical!!! Cow-pies??? I always liked that piece of music...but then again, we are almost always our own worst critics.

Also...Dennis...the WoW today pretty much nailed it. I always feel that older I get, the more I know that I don't know. When you're young, you think you know everything and have all the best answers. Sometimes my best answer is "I don't know, but I can Google it".

shron said...

eyas: never heard of it. i had to ask google. apparently it is singular for "an unfledged or nestling hawk." i also think it is mostly an imaginary word.

Anonymous said...


A TKO is a "Technical Knock Out". The person hasn't really been knocked out, but the referee sees that the boxer is so badly hurt that he can't possibly continue.


Argyle said...

This is a variation of the song that Chris in LA linked

EYAS is a very old word that may still be used in falconery. Older spelling was EY'AS. The Latin root meant nest and F. niais, meant fresh from the nest.

WM said...

Argyle@3:02...OMG...I actually knew all the words and I still have that album! I think I may have listened to way too much Simon and Garfunkel in college.

That was a fun reminisce(sp?) the new "photo". What a nifty looking bottle of Absinthe.

carol said...

Just a note to all...DrDad has solved the Barry Silk puzzle of the 21st on his blog. I just found it, he did a great job but I noticed that there were no comments so I didn't think any of you knew it either. Check it out :)

WM said...

I'm just going to throw this out there...but has anyone noticed that the amount of posting here has steadily decreased over the last week or so?

For a while we were getting a lot of new people posting, which was terrific. Are we not finding enough to talk about, or, are the puzzles so boring lately that there just isn't enough to discuss?

For so long, when the quality of the puzzles was better, the discussions were lively and funny and I miss that. We all seem to get bored after about 3 posts.

Just curious what y'all think about this?

Thea said...

Just thought of a way to make the xwords more challenging. Since they seem to use all the same clues/answers, why not make it diagramless? any takers?

RichShif said...

Hi C.C. and gang,

Not to bad of a puzzle today. I have to agree with most, that the puzzles have no spark as of late.

Here is the Who's Squeeze Box It features a lady who has a nice squeeze box.

Dennis said...

Couple thoughts. Certainly the blandness of the puzzles lately (listening, Mr. Williams?) has contributed greatly to the lack of posts. There's just not that much to talk aboout when we see the same tired clue/answers time after time. You'll notice when we have, say, a Silk puzzle, the blog just seems more vibrant.
I feel (and this is strictly my opinion) that the almost total absence of our previous DF/double entendre conversations has also contributed. We used to get comments all the time from people talking about how they liked the 'spirited' conversations, and I don't think the recipe talk or the discussions of 'preemptive connubial pronouns in an infricative phrase', as Dave Barry would put it, are leading to much outside input.

I'm with Wolfmom on this - it's not the fun it once was. I've told C.C. via email that I don't know how much longer I'll hang in, and it's no fault of hers - she's worked her ass off to create this blog.

What's everyone else think?

Dennis said...

One other thing - a few weeks ago, I told a friend of mine who lives in Alaska about this site; he does crosswords so I told him to check it out. His comment? "Seems like a very pretentious group." I wonder if that's how we're perceived.

carol said...

Dennis (8:46) I echo your thoughts completely. I used to look forward to the DF comments (and made a few myself) as well as the funny, historical and otherwise remarks and our ability to respond without having our comments LIMITED to 5 per day (and even that was with restrictions). No wonder there are fewer and fewer comments each day, and some of them are from people who have not even read the previous ones, so are just repeats.

Anonymous said...

The answer to your question in 11 down is YES!!! In fact in some synagogues it is encouraged.

Anonymous said...

The answer to your question in 11D, the answer is YES!!!. In fact in some synagogues it is encoraged.

Anonymous said...

Hello all - Yes wolfmom... we are still out here. We are not being anti-social, it's just we do the puzzles after the kids go to bed and by 10pm there have already been 50 or 60 posts and we've nothing clever to say.
I would guess there are others like me who are blown away by how easily you and the other regulars are solving these puzzles. I still find them difficult and challenging.

* I'm glad someone answered the synagogue question. I've always wondered if I could wander in.

* Does the Marshal Thundering Herd count as a singular name for a football team or a plural???

* And I had CRUMPLELANE instead of CRUMPLEZONE and that threw me for a loop.

kazie said...

I seriously doubt that too many of us find all these puzzles as easy as Dennis does. I still get stuck on the sports names, though now that everything gets repeated almost daily, I can even remember a few more of those, and the CW singers, and the historic and geographic names as well. But we learn by repetition, and the things I knew nothing about a few months ago, I now am familiar with.

I like a puzzle to be full of clever references, rather than trivia. I still feel they should broaden vocabulary, but maybe that's my linguistic bent. It's no fun nor does it give a sense of achievement to spend too much time at the g'spot searching, sometimes in vain, for an obscure name or location. It's just frustrating, and I don't see the value in such knowledge.

So, in short, I agree that real challenges are more discussion provoking, and we seem to have run out of energy to come up with all the discussion topics ourselves, when the puzzle isn't as fruitful as it once was, and doesn't offer us much to chew on.

Clear Ayes said...

WOW, go away for a few hours and the topic gets pretty interesting.

I agree with everything that has been said about the blandness of the puzzles keeping posts down. It is difficult to find new things to discuss when the clues/answers are the same old stuff, day after week after month.

I don't find the people here pretentious at all (well, most of the time :o)). Most of the participants here are pretty modest and self deprecating. If you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?

I think there are a lot of unseen readers out there. A lot of people don't have the time that some of us retired or self-employed folks have to pop in several times a day. Whenever a newbie does write, I have seen how welcoming everyone is. Not pretentious at all!

For myself, I started including daily poems at C.C. request. Recently, I've only been putting them in about 4 times a week. I love poetry, but I want to keep them pretty, inspiring, fun, or timely. If that is perceived to be pretentious, well I guess "showiness" is in the "eyas" of the reader.

I can also understand the frustration of the "old-timers" (LOL, a year goes by fast, doesn't it?) about the limit on posting. I don't think C.C. ever said she didn't want any DF posting, but it did seem a while back that the last 30 or so comments per day were one line sexual zingers and double entendres between the same four or five people. That can get just as repetitive as the same old puzzle clues and answers. Considering that C.C. is reading all the entries, it could have become pretty tiresome for her.....she does have a real life out there. When the total posts reached 200 a day, I can imagine she must have been about ready to scream.....Blue Murder!!

Auntie Naomi said...

"the same tired clue/answers time after time."
I think that most would agree with this point.

"I feel ... that the almost total absence of our previous DF/double entendre conversations has also contributed."
From kazie@11:13, "It's no fun nor does it give a sense of achievement to spend too much time at the g'spot searching, sometimes in vain, for an obscure ... location."
It appears to me that the DFness is alive and well!

"We used to get comments all the time from people talking about how they liked the 'spirited' conversations"
Comments of that type continue to come in regularly.

"I don't think the recipe talk or the discussions of 'preemptive connubial pronouns in an infricative phrase', as Dave Barry would put it, are leading to much outside input."
Obviously, there are many of us who enjoy cooking. As for the 'language speak', I am often in awe of those who have such extensive knowledge. They are, certainly, some of the ones who help make this a diverse and interesting group. They also help remind people like me of just how much I still do not know(as per recent discussions and daily themes.)

"I'm with Wolfmom on this - it's not the fun it once was. I've told C.C. via email that I don't know how much longer I'll hang in, and it's no fault of hers - she's worked her ass off to create this blog."
I think the blog is great fun. If you are not having fun then, by all means, do not waste any more of your time. Of course, everyone admires C.C.

p.s. I agree with Clear Ayes about how quickly "one line sexual zingers" can become tiresome.

redsmitty said...

Hi Clear Ayes,

I share the same pet peeve with you but here is another that is connected when you swipe your card and the cashier hits the wrong button it rejects the card and you have to re-swipe it again. For example if you have a credit card and the cashier hits the debit card button.