Feb 4, 2009

Wednesday February 4, 2009 Adele Mann

Theme: "No" Songs For You

17A: 1986 hit by Heart: NOTHIN' AT ALL

41A: 1963 hit by the Orlons: NOT ME

65A: 1984 hit by Berlin: NO MORE WORDS

11D: 1966 hit by the Beatles: NOWHERE MAN

30D: 1981 hit by Elton John: NOBODY WINS

I have never heard of The Orlons or the Heart bands. And the only Berlin song I am familiar is "Take My Breath Away". Nevertheless, all the theme answers are very easy to obtain.

Excellent theme. I also love Annie Lennox's No More "I Love You's". The video is a bit weird, but the song is beautiful.

I think this is the 4th or 5th time I saw WEN in a TMS puzzle. Every time it's clued as "Sebaceous cyst". Where is the creativity? The WEN Ho Lee nuclear espionage scandal is well known, right? I heard of it when I still lived in China.

I just mentioned two days ago that I wanted WEN clued as "Chinese Premier __ Jiabao". And yesterday someone threw a shoe at him when he was delivering a speech in Cambridge. That despicable protester is completely ignorant of China and the democracy movement there. He has no idea what kind of positive role WEN played during Tiananmen Square Incident. He has no knowledge of how WEN handled the Sichuan earthquake disaster. WEN is the most well respected Chinese leader inside and outside China, among us Chinese.


1A: Spill the beans: BLAB. Reminds of yesterday's ONAN (Judah's son). He "spills his seeds" on the ground. Might be a waste, but sure not a sin to me. Just learned Onanism from Barry G /Lemonade yesterday.

5A: Japanese entertainer: GEISHA. Here is a modern day GEISHA. The same article says there are now only 1,000 GEISHA left in Japan (compared with 80,000 in 1928) and they are not allowed to marry. “Memoirs of a GEISHA" is a fascinating read.

39A: River of Hamburg: ELBE. Literally "river". Wikipedia says "ELBE was recorded by Ptolemy as Albis, Germanic for "river". Here is the map again. It originates in Czech and flows northwest across German to the North Sea.

44A: Infamous Helmsley: LEONA. The "Queen of Mean". She left millions of trust fund for her dog Trouble when she died. The Helmsley Foundation is the No. 1 charitable giver in 2008 though. Total $5.2 billion commitment. Mayor Bloomberg is the biggest living doner. Strange that the Gates did not make the list.

56A: Legendary archer: TELL. Or "Spill the beans" again.

68A: Barnyard layer: HEN. It's also "Female lobster/octopus/salmon".

70A: Brightest star in Lyra: VEGA. Here is the diagram. Wikipedia says "VEGA was the first star, other than the Sun, to have its photograph taken and the first to have its spectrum photographed" (1850).


6D: Hurler's stat: ERA. Louis mentioned several days ago about Cleveland's saying "If a Feller has a Lemon He-gan Waynn". I thought that's a great line. Bob Lemon, Jim Hegan or Early Wynn were obscure to me. But Bob Feller is a big potato, HOFer. I thought his name "Feller" could be a great misleading clue. "Feller's start" for ERA sounds good to me.

37D: Pianist Thelonious: MONK. His middle name is Sphere, one of the most influential jazz greats of the 50's and 60's, according to Seattle John.

45D: Fact book: ALMANAC. I wonder how much this original book costs in this condition. Does anyone collect first edition books? I traded my first edition "Godfather" (1969) for some baseball cards several years ago.

50D: City near Rawalpindi: LAHORE. Here is the map. LAHORE is the second-largest city in Pakistan after Karachi. I got the answer, but did not really know where Rawalpindi is. Wikipedia says it's the military headquarters of the Pakistan Armed Forces and and also served as the nation's capital while Islamabad (10th largest city in Pakistan) was being constructed in the 1960s.

55D: Geneva's lake: LEMAN. Here is the name origin. LPGA holds its Evian Masters every year on the southern shore of Lac LEMAN. The golf course looks breathtaking on TV. Big purse, second only to US Open I think.

61D: Three-spot: TREY. No idea. It's always clued as "Low card".

Boomer bowled a 300 last night, his 5th perfect game.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang.

Easiest. Puzzle. EVER. Why is it that we're seeing the same tired words almost every day now? This puzzle and the several previous puzzles all smack of the same constructor/editor. Enough of 'wen' and 'elbe' and 'vega' and 'erie' and and and . I don't know if they're just not paying the other constructors, but these puzzles are starting to lose their enjoyment. If I want 'stupid easy', I'll buy a damn TV Guide.

Anybody else agree or am I just getting bored with them?

Today is Create a Vacuum Day and Thank a Mailman Day.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "When grace combines with wrinkles, it is admirable. There is an indescribable light of dawn about intensely happy old age....The young man is handsome, but the old, superb." -- Victor Hugo

C.C. Burnikel said...

Yesterday it's "Fill what's empty", today "Create a Vacuum"?

Very enjoyable posts in the past couple of days.

Once again, thanks for the wonderful blog post and the follow-up yesterday.

Clear Ayes,
Thanks for "high maintenance woman". A great list for a movie theme with words ending in LIFE.

NYTAnonimo said...

Hi CC. Noticed that 11D should be NOWHEREMAN not MEN. Wouldn't have picked it up except the online solve is saying I've still not successfully finished the puzzle and I can find no discrepancies between my screen and the solved puzzle. Anybody else ever have this problem?

I enjoyed "Memoirs of a Geisha" too. Did you see the movie?

It was my pleasure to do the blog and a great learning experience C.C.. Thank you!

Congrats to Boomer on his perfect game!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Is Punxsutawney a Native Indian name? What does it mean?

How about "Hosp. procedure" for MRI?

Jimmy S. Carolina,
Are you of Irish root?

Good revision of the puzzle. Looks like an inspired vacation in Manila, eh?

Anonymous said...

Good morning:
I agree with Dennis, there is little wit or originality in this puzzle. TREY is a card player designation for three, just as DEUCE is for two. I also find it hard to believe all these different constructors use the same word, WEN, and clue, over such a short time period.
Halfway home for the week, enjoy all as it is actually chilly here in So. Florida, 48!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Yes, I did. A bit disappointed that the leading actresses are not Japanese, though I do like Zhang Zi-Yi. Thanks for pointing out the MAN mistake.

Barry & Lemondade,
Both "The Life of David Gale" and "Death Becomes Her" are great theme answers.

Do stay. You sound like a fun person.

Mark in BA,
Thanks for noun/verb list. Can you bring back the daily crypic? I am slow in solving, but I do love the "Aha" once you explain the rationale.

Dennis said...

C.C., congrats to Boomer on the perfect game.

Just got done clearing 5-6" of snow off the cars; off to the gym.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for the extra information on "The Sacrifice of Iphigenia”.

Gator Mom,
Great movie clue too. It seems like OLLA is a legit fill for a spicy stew.

Re: Music and Brain. So, the Mozart effect is true, isn't it?

Anonymous @ 11:50am & 1:24pm
Thanks for Homeowners Insurance (HMO) and "The Great Escape" tunnel information on Tom, Dick and Harry. Both were unknown to me.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for TREY. I thought today's theme was pretty good. Very original. Most of the fills are lacking in creativity though.

Re: Animal Skin Glue. You had to mix the powder with hot water, right? Since the main ingredient is collagen.

lois said...

Good morning CC & Dennis, et al.,
"No more (new) words" is apparently the thinking of TMS,ediotrs/constructors. Dennis, what was your time measured in...nanoseconds? Being
'press'ed for time, I'm glad to have a fast one today, but really wish for a little more challenging one. Mr. O. comes tomorrow probably (wow! I'll be awake for that one!)with his quip....or whip (I'll definately be awake!).

Dennis: loved the quote and it's soooo true. I'm into 'superb'!

About thanking the mailman... nah, he needs to thank me for delivering all the misdirected mail I get from him. I'll thank him to learn how to read, sort, and deliver accurately. His outstanding predecessor however was thanked frequently and loved by everybody. He was/is 'superb'!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Except Verna Suit's "Three Lines on Dec 3, 2008" that "broke your balls", TMS Wednesday is always the easiest. So, don't expect challenges on Wednesdays.

I agree with you on the lacking of oomph in recent puzzles. Maybe we should launch some kind of campaign asking for Barry Silk, Allan Parrish & John Underwood puzzles?

Col_Gopinath said...

Good evening from India,
Another walk in the park. Dennis' views endorsed.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

The only theme answer I actually knew was NOWHERE MAN, but the rest came easily enough with a little help from the perps, and the puzzle as a whole was a breeze. The only other unknown for me today was LAHORE, and that was only because of the way it was clued (I've heard of LAHORE, but Rawalpindi???)

Annnnd... that's it! Enjoyable puzzle, not particularly difficult, and nothing to complain about. I'm outta here... ^_^

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all. This puzzle was a "no brainer" and boring. Better luck tomorrow!

CC below is some information on Punxsutawney that I found.

The name of the town was derived from the Native American word for sand flies, a gnat-like insect that was abundant in the area.

Punxsutawney was originally a campsite halfway between the Allegheny and Susquehanna rivers. It is located on the earliest known trail to the East, the Shamokin path. The area was, at times, occupied by Shawnee or Delaware Indians and, sometimes, by Senecas or Iroquois.

According to the original "Creation" Story of the Delaware Indians, the "Lenni Lenape" (or original people), who were their forebears, began life as animals in "mother earth" and emerged centuries later to hunt and live as men. Thus it was that Oijik (Wejak), or Wojak, which was carried over to us as "'Woodchuck", came to be recognized as the "grandfather" of the earliest known inhabitants of this area.

Although the area previously served as a "border" between Indian nations, the displaced Delawares settled in large numbers about 1723 because of the pressures from white men in the East and Iroquois intrigue. The main move toward the west followed between l740 and l760 as the result of further pressure.

It was during this period that an lndian sorcerer first appeared in various forms and attacked travelers from the East. He was hunted and killed in combat by a young chief. His body was burned to destroy the "evil medicine" but miraculously turned to searing sandflies, or "ponksad," which plagued the area and the Indians. From that time the Indians called the location, " Ponksaduteney," which meant the "town of the sandflies." The sandflies are now gone, but the "ghost of the spelling" is with us to stay.

Bill said...

Good Morning, This was really easy to get through.Didn't know LAHORE, but it fell into place with the rest. Some of the song titles fell slowly till I finally recognized for what they were.
EYER? Is it really a word??
CY'All Later
Boomer. 300??? WOW! Great game!

Martin said...

11 minutes 40 secnds. Best time ever. Unknowns were STAN, HALES, ELBE, ENOS, OMOO, LEMAN and NOBODY WINS. I only had to guess two letters: the A in STAN/HALES and the E in ELBE/ENOS: I got OMOO and LEMAN from the perps and NOBODY from the theme. I wanted TALK for BLAB -although TELL works too- and my first thought for "Legendary archer" was HO LI (actually HOU LI) or Robin HOOD -although TELL works too. I wasn't disappointed that the answer wasn't HO LI though.

Anyway, C.C., as you brought up the issue of people protesting against Chinese envoys, how did you feel when you heard about the protests against CCP envoy Chen Yunlin in Taiwan? Personally I was disgusted by the way that Chen Yunlin was treated. On the other hand, he was there as an envoy of the government in Beijing and the protests were obviously against the CCP and were not personal. I think the protest against Wen should be seen in the same light. I hope shoe throwing doesn't become a common method of protest, however, because it is a form of violence and somebody could get hurt. Chen, Wen, whoever it is, they're just doing their job.


Argyle said...

Dennis, if you do that 'damn TV Guide' puzzle, from what I remember, you better have watched TV 24/7 because of all obscure TV clues, i.e., actors, characters, place names.

Anybody out there do the TV Guide puzzle? Am I right?

Anonymous said...


I am surprised you had not heard of "Heart" they have had numerous hits lasting over thirty years. The core of the group are sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, who grew up all over the world, including in Taiwan.
Also, the Hales are Alan the actor and Nathan the patriot, an odd comination, but they could have put Barbara in as well (Della Sreet on the old Perry mason). Also, TELLS could be poker errors, ah well I am late.

Frey said...

I guess it is almost unanimous... this was too easy....a no googler with out stopping for a sip of coffee even... At least tomorrow we will get Olschwang and have to figure out a quote.
CC it is time for pitchers and cathers :-) in Spring Training that is.

Frey said...

Oops.... I meant "catchers"

kazie said...

Ditto all of you on the ease of today's XW. Though the only known theme answer for me was "Nowhere Man", the others fell in easily.

Congrats to Boomer, and to the rest of you, have a great day!

JIMBO said...

Hi C.C. and all,

Made it through the puzzle without a g, but had to rely heavily on the crosses. I was raised on "Country Music" so identifying Rock Bands and Artists is real tough for me.

I am in awe of Boomer and anyone that bowls a 300 game. In a practice session last Saturday, I started one game with six strikes in a row---but then fell apart and finished with a 211.

Way to go Boomer!!!!!

Boomer said...

Thanks to CC for bragging for me, and thanks to all of you for the kind words. It was a goofy night on the lanes. My first game had two splits and another open for 170. I started the second game with 6 good shots that produced only one strike and five 9 counts. I don't know what changed, but I finished with 18 strikes in a row, a personal best. It was my first 300 since March of 2000. Came close a number of times but I'm getting old and didn't know if I'd ever get another. Thanks. Then I topped off the excitement by finishing the puzzle this morning! My first this year. I know the puzzle was easy for all you gurus, but I'm more of a Sudoku person. Hope you all had a great Groundhog Day. No new snow here, but it's pretty cold for February. 8 below this morning. No golf today.

g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all,

Easy puzzle, enough said, Dennis said it all!

On the positive side, I don't think anyone would miss the word "wen" when clued as Sebaceous syst, lol!

Have a great day everyone!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Yes, it was an easy puzzle. Other than a couple of the theme songs, the only answer I hadn't seen clued before was ABYSMAL.

I got a smile when I saw 44A LEONA. I thought of her yesterday as an example of a high maintenance woman, but forgot to include her. She said, “Only little people pay taxes.” and spent some time in prison for tax evasion. Here's her mug shot.

No matter what, we do learn fascinating chunks of information here. Thanks to Dick for filling us in on Punxsutawney.

I am in awe of somebody who is capable of a 300 game. Congratulations, Boomer.

carol said...

Good morning C.C. and friends.

B is for Boring! I can't even get excited that I did the puzzle in "Dennis" time without going to the G-spot or c/w dict. Poo, guess I'll wait like everyone else for tomorrow's quip or quote. Maybe we all will be pleasantly surprised.

Way to go Boomer..congrats!!!

I just ordered "Memoirs of a Geisha" from the library...I know I have read it, but it was so long memory is not "superb" - it's probably in a "vacuum" from lack of C/W stimulation.

Auntie Naomi said...

Good Afternoon C.C. and Co.,

C.C., Franz Welser-Möst did say that the effects of music on brain development are very real and well-documented. However, doctors and scientists do not know precisely how the effects are achieved. There is on-going research taking place around the world to try to figure it out. The other gentleman who spoke was Dr. Ali R. Rezai, one of the leading researchers in this fascinating field. Dr. Rezai is one of the editors of this, soon-to-be-released, very expensive book.

DoesItinInk said...

I have nothing to add to the chorus of those who bemoaned this unchallenging puzzle.

@Dick: Great information on Punxsutawney and the Wojak!

I read Memoirs of a Geisha ages ago and enjoyed it very much. I saw the movie too, which though visually stunning, was only so-so and perhaps a bit confusing to anyone who had not read the book first. cc: I loved your picture of a modern day geisha! It was a wonderful juxtaposition of the traditional and very modern.

My mother just called me this morning to let me know that she is back in her house after a week without power. When she left her house to stay with friends, she left her faucets dripping, so there were no burst pipes or frozen lines. Now she has only to have someone to come in to clear out the trees and branches that broke off into her yard. This is a great relief!

Clear Ayes said...

All of us who are "of a certain age" certainly appreciate today's Words of Wisdom.

I can't help but be reminded that so many nice quotes about older people only mention men. Older men are considered distinguished, noble, learned and stately. Too often women just run out to the nearest surgeon or salon for lifts, Botox, tints and tans.

Her Beauty

I heard them say, "Her hands are hard as stone,"
And I remembered how she laid for me
The road to heaven. They said, "Her hair is grey."
Then I remembered how she once had thrown
Long plaited strands, like cables, into the sea
I battled in -- the salt sea of dismay.
They say, "Her beauty's past." And then I wept,
That these, who should have been in love adept,
Against my font of beauty should blaspheme.
And hearing a new music, miss the theme.

- Max Plowman

Linda said...

Clear Ayes; Lovely poem. Youth really is wasted on the young.
Here`s one about the "s" word.

The fenceposts wear marshmallow hats
On a winter`s day.
Bushes in their nightgowns are
Kneeling down to pray.
All the trees have silver skirts
And went to dance away.

( I forgot the author but not the poem!)

Three easy puzzles in a row...might HAVE to check out the TV Guide one, Argyle.

Lois: I add my congratulations on a job well done on the Silk puzzle.

Boomer: Haven`t been on long enough to know that you also blog!
I`ve bowled several "turkeys" in my "career" but never a perfect game. "WooHoo" as the crocodile hunter would say.
Noticed that you also collect bb cards. Is that how you and CC met?

JD said...

Good morning C.C. and all,

I agreed with you all that it was an easy puzzle, as I only ran into one glitch. I could not fill in Nobody Wins for the longest time, because I had Elna for Elbe (shame on me) and hay for hen. Don't they scatter hay ???? And so abysmal was my last fill, and like Boomer, I rejoiced in my efforts.

Congrats Boomer on your perfect game.I was on a bowling team once.LOL! 'nuff said on that.

Ok guys, I DID "G' Lahore, more for the information that to fill in the missing 2 letters.To add to C.C.'s info, Lahore is the 26th largest city in the world, about 10 million! Punjabi and Urdu are the native languages, but English is becoming more popular with the younger generation. It is known as "The city of Gardens," and much of its historic Mughal architecture, and British structures have been preserved.

Clear ayes, that was a truly beautiful poem today!

C.C., another fascinating read is GEISHA,A LIFE by Mineko Iwasaki.The author was born in 1949 and was Japan's star Geisha until she decided to retire at 29. She started her training at the age of 5. She may be the only geisha who has ever come forward to tell her real story.

maria said...

Hallo, everyone

easy breezy for me this morning and I was pleased as punch so I could go to the gym earlier

Argyle, I ditto your remarks to Dennis
one has to watch TV an awful lot to do the TV Guide and as tedious as anything !

Auntie Naomi said...

"I hope shoe throwing doesn't become a common method of protest, however, because it is a form of violence and somebody could get hurt."
Some people deserve to be hurt. Not boys who kiss other boys, but sinister politicians and business people who do REAL harm.

Grats Boomer, I have not bowled in ages. I am sure I never bowled a 300 game. I did set pins in an antiquated old bowling alley in the basement of a local gym for a time. As I recall, I got paid ten cents per line.

Thanks for the mugshot, ClearEyes :)

"It is known as "The city of Gardens," and much of its historic Mughal architecture, and British structures have been preserved."
Always nice to find that the cultural heritage of a place has been preserved. The Vietnamese of Hanoi did well in choosing to not destroy their colonial structures unlike the Javanese who did so with Batavia.

WM said...

Dennis and everyone else has covered it for today. A lot of these puzzles are similar to the ones in those DELL puzzle books you get in the bookstore...could they be lifting them for use in the paper?

NYTAnonimo: I posted this morning on your Barry Silk are awesome.

Clear Ayes: Lovely poem.

C.C. YEP... very hot water is the only way to the stuff and it just adds to the horrendous smell. I'm glad I don't have to use the stuff any more.

Dennis...another great quote...I am so there.

lois said...

Linda: I think you mean 'congrats to NYT' for the Silk puzzle. It was certainly a job well done.

Boomer: I also want to add my Congratulations to you for a perfect game.

Anonymous said...

I may get blasted for this, but I rather enjoyed today's puzzle. It is rare that I can finish one without "cheating" and was excited to do so today. Sorry, but I enjoyed "stupid easy".

Dennis said...

Anon @2:59, you're certainly not gonna get 'blasted' for enjoying the puzzle; that's what this blog is about. I think several of us were just expressing our frustration with the 'predictability', for want of a better word, of recent puzzles. And for me personally, I need to be challenged or I lose interest.

If you enjoyed the puzzle, then the editor has done his job for you.

g8rmomx2 said...

Boomer: Impressive! Congrats on your perfect score!

Linda said...

NYTAnonimo: Sorry for crediting Lois with your good work! (Silk Puzzle). Out of curiosity, how long did it take?

NYTAnonimo said...

I didn't keep track of the time Linda-it was a learning experience-first time blogging. Thanks to everyone for the kind words and encouragement.

RichShif said...

Hi C.C. and gang,

I have to agree with everybody about the abysmal attempt of this puzzle at being a challenge. Less than 10 min. for me.

Surprised nobody linked the songs. Nowhere Man No More Words Nobody Wins Nothin' At All Not Me For the Orlons link select the song you want to hear.

"Hosp. procedure" for MRI I guess works. How about "Dr.'s look see?"

RichShif said...

Forgot....Great job to NYTanonimo for the Barry Silk blog. Fun puzzle.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 2:59 PM.
Dont worry about getting blasted. There are a whole lot of individuals using this blog, and they are not all alike. Use it and enjoy it and identify with those whose attitudes you find attractive. It is just as easy to ignore those who dont think the same way you do. C.C. is a wonderful person to deal with all this difference among us.

embien said...

6:05 today. For variety, I tried to solve just by doing the "down" clues. It was kinda fun solving that way.

I didn't know the 1963 Orlons' hit (NOT ME) (never heard of the Orlons before), and I thought the title of the Heart song was NOTHING AT ALL (instead of NOTHIN'), so that took a bit of time to sort through. Other than that, I knew all the songs and their titles.

c.c.: Thanks so much for the link to the Annie Lennox video. I love that song, too, and her videos are always so inventive. I think she dressed as Elvis for her performance of "Sweet Dreams" on the Grammys many years ago. Oh wait, here it is: 1984 Grammy performance. Was Dave Stewart the first to play the guitar with a bow? (I don't remember when Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) did it, but I suppose that must have been in the 70's.)

And congrats to Boomer on the 300 game. I think the best I ever did was like 220.

My favorite bowling memory was an all-day affair with a couple of friends, drinking beer and bowling at the Burney Bowl (California). We bowled so many lines that I got a blister on my right thumb and had to finish the game bowling left-handed! (Well, we had drunk quite a few beers by that point so it didn't seem too awfully strange.)

WM said...

Anonymous@2:59 I second Caleph on that. I am one of the "slower" solvers and feel pleased with myself when I managed to finish unaided.
The best part of being here is all the interesting info and input. This is an incredibly clever and varied group...and the more, the merrier.

Embien...terrific new photo

Boomer...Whoo Hoo and way to go!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi C C and all
Was born in Ireland and moved to these shores in 1969. Lived Bos Ny/Nj before moving south 1998.
Snowed in Myrtle Beach today. A dusting really and everybody went gaga.
Echo everybody's comments on todays puzzle. When I dont have to even think twice about Sebaceous cyst you know its easy.

Jimmy, S Carolina

NYTAnonimo said...

Thanks for your kind words RichShif!