Mar 16, 2009

Monday March 16, 2009 Jo Vita

Theme: Colorful Places

29A: Southernmost city in Texas: BROWNSVILLE

58A: Town on Great Slave Lake: YELLOWKNIFE

11D: Virginia Tech location: BLACKSBURG

28D: Neighbor of Winston-Salem: GREENSBORO

BLACKSBURG brought back the horrifying scenes of the Virginia Tech shooting. It's the only theme answer I've heard of.

Why would someone name a town YELLOWKNIFE? Sounds haunted and dangerous to live. Is GREENSBORO a shortened word for Greensborough? BROWNSVILLE was very easy to obtain. Wikipedia says Kris Kristofferson was born there.

I had trouble with the intersection of NORMA and ADLERS. Otherwise, an OK grid, our last TMS Daily Monday puzzle. By the way, here is a picture of Rich Norris, the editor for LA Times Daily puzzle. He looks very serious, doesn't he? On the other hand, Barry Silk looks so relaxed and morally MOREL.


1A: Diet beers: LITES. I don't eat or drink anything LITE or no-fat. Have to eat real food.

9A: Native Israeli: SABRA. Dictionary says it means "prickly pear" in Hebrew. A person who immigrates to Israel is called OLEH (masculine) or OLAH (feminine). I suppose SABRA can be either a man or a woman?

14A: Stern or Babel: ISAAC. I did not know ISAAC Babel, the Russian Jewish writer. He was shot to death by Stalin's secret police.

17A: Very large in scale: MACRO. I think my diet mirrors that of Macrobiotics, except that I don't eat brown rice.

19A: National symbols: FLAGS. This is Chinese National flag, with 5 stars. The colors and designs kind of resembles the old Soviet Union flag.

24A: Glacial epoch: ICE AGES

26A: Skeans and dirks: DAGGERS. Skean is a new DAGGER to me. It's formerly used in Ireland and in the Scottish Highlands.

29A: Arlene and Roald: DAHLS. Someone mentioned last time that DAHL means "valley" in Norwegian language. Related to DALE I suppose.

31A: "Over There" cont.: EUR. Guessed. Why "Over There"? Old movie title?

42A: Verdun's river: MEUSE. No idea. I did not know where Verdun is. See this map. It flows from NE France through E Belgium and S Netherlands into the North Sea. Last time I linked the same map when ARGONNE was clued as "WWI battle site".

43A: Spanish dish: PAELLA. Literally "frying pan" in Catalan. Saffron is probably the most expensive spice in the world.

48A: Bellini opera: NORMA. Unknown to me. Wikipedia says it's first produced at La Scala in 1831 and it is generally regarded as an example of the supreme height of the Bel canto tradition, whatever that is. This is the only NORMA I know.

53A: Engaged: BUSY. I wanted RAPT.

57A: Poetic peeper: ORB. Maybe you can find me a poem where the poet wrote "Oh, how lovely thine ORBS are".

62A: Mythical weeper: NIOBE. Can you believe this is a gimme for me? Lots of solvers found me last year when they searched this word. Anyway, NIOBE had 14 kids, and she she bragged of her superiority to LETO, who only had two kids (the Twins Apollo & Artemis, fathered by Zeus). Then all her kids were slewn by Apollo and Artemis. And NIOBE herself was turned into stone by Zeus while weeping her loss.

66A: Stuffed __ (kishke): DERMA. Nope. Have never heard of kishke either. Looks just like sausage. I hope it's sweet and not garlicky.

68A: Jamaican cultist: RASTA. Ah, Bob Marley. Here is his "No Woman No Cry", to comfort our "Mythical weeper" NIOBE.


2D: Munich's river: ISAR

4D: Solicit persistently: EARWIG. New word to me. This insect shows up when I googled EARWIG.

5D: Wall bracket: SCONCE. Mine was SOCKET.

6D: Glacial chasm: CREVASSE. Same as crevice?

7D: 1953 Jane Wyman movie: SO BIG. The answer presented itself to me. The original novel won a Pulitzer for Edna Ferber in 1925.

12D: Moore or Mudd: ROGER. Not familiar with the journalist ROGER Mudd.

21D: Evening in Venezia: SERA. Italian for evening. I did not know Venezia is Italian for Venice.

26D: Star of "Sleepy Hollow": DEPP (Johnny). Have never seen this movie. "Heads will roll" sounds scary.

27D: Intangible quality: AURA. "Intangible" indeed.

35D: Aoki of golf: ISAO. Golf HOFer. He belongs to history. Now all eyes are on Ryo Ishikawa. Sensational. We will see him at the Masters this year.

44D: Henri's girl: AMIE. How to say "girlfriend" in Spanish? By the way, I've had enough Bernard-Henri Levy and his narcissistic unbuttoned white shirt.

46D: Garbage boat: SCOW. Barge popped into my mind. It's also a garbage boat, isn't it?

49D: Felix and Polly: ADLERS. No idea. Polly ADLER was a Russia-born brothel madam. Three Felix ADLERS here. I don't know which one the constructor was thinking.

54D: One archangel: URIEL

56D: Aluminum company: ALCOA. Oh my God, I just found out this morning that ALCOA is traded at $5.73/share. Unbelievable.

59D: Singer Delange: ILSE. I forgot. She is a Dutch country singer.

63D: NYC subway line: BMT (Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit). Can never remember this initial.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - fairly straightforward puzzle today, not much to comment on, other than the endless repetition of our friends 'conger catcher', 'future D.A.'s exam', and 'Q.E.D. word. The theme made the one unknown, 'Yellow Knife', easily to figure out.

Today is Everything You Do is Right Day; a good day to play the lottery?

Today's Words of Wisdom: "Let us cherish and love old age; for it is full of pleasure, if you know how to use it. The best morsel is reserved for last." -- Philosopher/Writer Seneca

And today marks the return of Mr. Fun Facts, with more information to dazzle and amaze:

- The Statue of Liberty's fingernails weigh about 100 pounds each.

- Oklahoma is the state with the highest populations of Native Americans. It has no Indian Reservations.

- (This one's a good bar bet) If you head directly south from Detroit, the first foreign country you will enter is.......Canada.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Holy cow! 100 pounds each? I wonder how long her thumbs are. Why Oklahoma has so many Native Indians?

I like "The Gift of The Magi" too. Have only read the Chinese translation though.

Bring out more words like FEY. It's discussion-worthy.

I had the same thought as you did. But Scatter is not a card game. As for 108A, it refers to RIO CASINO in Las Vegas.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Try to click on FLASH PLAYER below the 30-day archive date in LA Times Daily website. Re-download the program and see if it works.

I know some of you read the previous night's comment. I was referring to the Saturday comment ALL GRAVY NO GRIEF made on a Thursday post. It's actually the proper thread there, but I don't think anyone other than I notices a new comment there.

Never mind. We only have one more Wayne R Williams Sunday left.

Dennis said...

C.C. said, Why Oklahoma has so many Native Indians?

I think they went there because of all the casinos.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Casinos in Oklahoma? Really? You said there is no Indian reservation there. Is "Scatter" a card game?

Martin said...

No googling today and I managed to finish it between classes. Well, almost: for "Gambit" I wanted RISK or PLAY and PLOY just never came to me. Nor did ISAO, MEUSE, PAELLA, SLR (Single-Lens Reflex, a type of camera), NIOBE, DERMA, URIEL or BMT; I wanted MRT, which stands for either Mass Rapid Transit or Mono Rail Train. I also wanted ALCAN for ALCOA, ALCAN also being an aluminum company, which confused me to no end because I also wanted ROE and SAD.

C.C., please, don't you think 我的 and 你的 look a lot alike? You saying that my mind is "warped" really hurt. *sniff* Seriously, I am so used to hearing people tell me my Chinese is good. I have trouble with characters that look vaguely similar or, worse, which look exactly alike but are actually different words with different pronunciations (like the 行 in 銀行 and 不行).


C.C. Burnikel said...

I often tell Dennis his brain is warped. He has never complained. 我的 and 你的 looks very different to me. Notice the parallel left to right structure in 你? Maybe your problem is similar to my SEX and SAX? Honestly, I am very impressed by your Chinese.

Dennis said...

C.C., no, not really. Bad joke. I have no idea.

Martin said...


YELLOWKNIFE is most likely translated from Inuit. There is a city nearby called WHITEHORSE which would have made a good theme entry. Actually, I was disappointed that there wasn't a theme entry ending in TOWN as that would ahve given us VILLE, BURG, BORO and TOWN.

A lot of celebrity's names are scrabbly: Johnny DEPP, Sean PENN, Jamie FOXX, Jamie FARR, Barry GIBB, Joan JETT, Simon PEGG, etc. There's also Arsenio HALL but he isn't much of a celebrity anymore. :)


C.C. Burnikel said...

D'oh! You betrayed my trust. I honestly believe in everything you say. Wrong start for your "Today is Everything You Do is Right Day". Have you ever felt hurt by "warped" comment?

You seem to know a lot about gambling, is "scatter" a card game?

Can you think of a "Colorful" town name?

Martin said...

我的 and 你的 looks very different to me.

To paraphrase Dr. Manhatten, the number of strokes are the same either way so to the universe there's no difference. Yay, now that the Watchmen movie is out geeks can quote it without sounding completely dorky.


Dennis said...

I honestly believe in everything you say.

Wow, never had a woman say that to me before.

Have you ever felt hurt by "warped" comment?

Certainly not. A badge of honor. Normal's way overrated.

Lemonade714 said...

Good Morning:

"Over There" was written during World War I, to signify our helping Europe. Over There.

I wonder if YELLOWKNIFE got its name from the discovery of gold in the area?

I wonder why C.C. you left the "s" out of Greensboro, twice?

Lemonade714 said...

REDLANDS California? ORANGE California?

lois said...

Good morning CC et al., It's gotta be just me, but this puzzle got me on the SW corner..ok, the NW too..I wanted chip not taco for 3D. Messed me up. And how is a 'tidbit' a choice morsel? unless it's referring to gossip maybe, which I abhor. I certainly got 'lites' and 'slots' being a seasoned veteran now of both. Anyhow, am looking forward to tomorrow's new puzzle. Ought to be fun.

Dennis: LMAO at your answer to CC. It may be true that there are no legitimate Indian "Reservations" in OK, but there is certainly huge amts of Indian Land set aside & exempt from taxes and other laws where the good people live and have their own Hospital and school (Kiowa)..or at least did when I was growing up there. There is also more land in and around Lawton where the Casinos are (Apache, Comanche) and even more lands further out where celebrations and Pow Wows take place. 'Reservation' may not be the term used, just Indian Land, but they are well endowed.

Love the WoW: I whole heartedly agree. The fun never stops! I'm going to use that Detroit 'tidbit' tonight. Ought to be a great bet! Thanks.

Dennis said...

Blue Ball PA. Down the road from Intercourse PA

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all,..a few sticking points in today's puzzle. I tried to spell 35D as IKAO which screwed up that section for awhile as I did not know 42A MEUSE. I needed help there.

Also, in the SE corner I could not get the cross of IlSe and RaSta.

It took awhile before I Read 31A clue as country; I wanted to read it as contracted and put in yon for the answer. More work to undo and correct.

CC you have referred to 28D as Greenboro and it is GreenSboro.

Also you asked Martin for a colorful town name. I recommend one in the area of Dennis called Blue Balls, PA.

Oops! Dennis already got that one.

Bill said...

Wow! This was way better than Sat's LAT. That's not to say that I got it all without help, but not as much help!! Major stumblers were in the SW. PAELLA, NORMA, NIOBE and NORMA.
SLR, BMT. Didn't even think of PLOY as GAMBIT till I saw it here and then did the V-8 slap!!!
I can only think that Stuffed DERMA could be any sausage. And KISHKE is a particular blend of meat and spices.
CY'All Later

Anonymous said...

Hello!! I m still alive !! It s always amazing to wake up each day :)

I found this fun fact as I was doing the puzzle about Jane Wyman. To date, she is the only woman to have been an ex-wife of a U.S. president.

Pretty, okay puzzle. I used google. BTW is google the g-spot everyone is taking about here on THIS blog?? Honest question.

Lucky me gets to buy a car today :(
I guess the only thing going for me is that Everything I do today is right ! Hmmm?

Dennis said...

Kristen, Google is the 'g-spot' everyone but Lois is talking about.

Bill said...

Dick, Agree about 31a. Isn't CONT usually the abbreviation for CONTINUED?
And I kept turning the page in the paper to find the rest of the clue!
It wasn't there, but my daily was well read today!!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Not a particularly straightforward puzzle for me today, I'm afraid. In addition to being a bit weak on my knowledge of French, I'm also rather geographically challenged. So the intersection of BLACKSB_RG and ME_SE was rather nasty for me. I knew it had to either be E or U, and fortunately I guessed correctly since MEUSE just seemed "more French" to me than MEESE.

I didn't know ANY of the theme answers, which was problematic. Fortunately, though, I eventually got enough to suss out the theme and was able to go back and guess the answers.

The absolute worst section of the puzzle, though, was the crossing of DERMA and BMT, neither of which meant anything to me. I actually knew what kishke is (and no, I have no desire to try it. EVER), but I've never heard it called Stuffed DERMA. Anyway, the good news is that I finally decided to just make a guess and correctly put in M. The bad news, however, is that I misspelled URIEL as URIAL and therefore ended up with DARMA. Ah well.

In retrospect, I'm assuming that DERMA is Latin for "skin" and that, as others have mentioned, "Stuffed DERMA" is probably just a term for any sausage. If that's true, I'm not even sure that kishke would qualify, since it's actually stuffed intestines (hence my unwillingness to eat it) and not actually stuffed skin, except in the loosest sense.

Anyway, other unknowns today were NORMA [why not "___ Rae"?], ISAR, EARWIG [seriously, it's an insect and not a verb], SOBIG, ADLERS [what, Irene is too good for you?] and ILSE.

Today's WTF moment hereby goes to TACO, which was mysteriously clued as "salsa dipper" despite the fact that nobody actually dips a TACO into salsa. At least, nobody I know. And I know plenty of people, believe you me! No, no -- you put salsa in a TACO, certainly, but not the other way around. Nope. Uh-uh. Not gonna happen, wouldn't be prudent, etc.

And in closing, let me just reiterate, EARWIG???

Barry G. said...

Oh -- and I'm pretty sure that the "cont." in 31A is an abbreviation for continent and not country. I agree it's a nasty (not to mention contrived) abbreviation, but the editor seems to be incapable of adding a simple "(abbr.)" to his clues when warranted.

Dick said...

@ Bill 6:45 funny comment! LOL

Mainiac said...

Niobe and Derma are new for me so the SW corner did me in.

Dennis, I had to google a Detroit maps to check the Fun Fact. My brain couldn't compute.

The coyotes were active last night. They wound my dog up for awhile. Feeling a bit dungy for lack of sleep. Its another beautiful day though!

Hope everyone has a good one!

Bill said...

Barry, I hate to be the bearer or bad news, but most sausage (homemade) is exactly that........Stuffed intestines!
I'm not sure if commercial meat packers can even (legally) use intestines any more. But every year we purchase and have butchered a half of beef and a whole pig, The ground and the stuffed sausage is wonderful. And, guess what they use for sausage casings???

Barry G. said...

Ew. Well, hopefully the Jimmy Dean breakfast links I eat in the morning are intestine free...

Anonymous said...

Dennis - Lois sound G-roovy!!

Anonymous said...


'Scatter' sounds like a game kids play when they get bored and scatter the cards all over the room. Don't think that's allowed in casino's though. Seems I've heard the term 'scatter' used in connection with some of the new electronic card games. I know less than nothing about the electronic games.


Anonymous said...

As the old saying goes, there are two things you don't want to see made: sausages and laws.

SCOW just means a blunt-nose vessel. Barges are scows. There are also plenty of go-fast racing scow sailboats on the Great Lakes (and arouind Dallas, TX). Big and expensive, with no creature comforts. Buddy Melges is a champion scow sailor from WI and losing skipper of an America's Cup campaign, sailing's Holy Grail.

Anonymous said...

Pretty funny. You make jokes at the genocide of American Indians. I used to have some respect for this blog. Why do we not make fun of the halocaust while we are at it. Look up the TRAIL OF TEARS, you freaking eggheads.

windhover said...

One reason there are a lot of Native Americans in Oklahoma is the infamous "Trail of Tears". President Andrew Jackson sent the Cherokee tribe of NC & TN on a forced march from their Eastern homeland to OK, a trek which killed many of them. The survivors' descendants make up a significant part of the area population today. That is my NSFF of the day.
Counting down the days of WRW and eelers and the phonetic spelling of letters of the alphabet (cee & ess, e.g.). Why not are or eye?
BTW, why (or how) anyone can drink lite beer is beyond me. God would not have created barley and fire to roast it
if she wanted us to drink crappy beer. If you just need to get a buzz on they make some stuff in the mountains just east of here that will do the job, and you
only grimace (at the taste) once an hour or so. Otherwise, if you really like the your grain in liquid form, we have some very fine ales and stouts. I'm with CC on the lite and lo-fat question.
Pre-Spring rain here on the ridge today. Good reading day.

windhover said...

Just read the comment prior to mine. I reread comments from the top and did not detect anyone making light of the Trail of Tears, or even mentioning it until my post. It is, rightfully, a sensitive topic in some places.

T. Frank said...

Hi, C.C. etal,

Was cruising and feeling smug 'til I hit the SW corner. Niobe, Derma and using IRT instead of BMT did me in.

Had fun with the LA Times puzzle yesterday. Took most of the golf match to get most of the clues. Did anybody blog this?


Anonymous said...

As a Native American, I took offense to the comment that the reason why there were so many Indians in Oklahoma is because there are casinos there. The ignorance of that comment is astounding. As you mentioned the Trail of Tears is the reason most of the Indians are there. My comment was to point out that placing Jews in ovens is more humane than months of starvation and forced relocation, lets call it the way it is. You are does touch a nerve, enough said.

NYTAnonimo said...

Trail of TearsThe comment was in very poor taste Anon. @ 7:33 AM and I could see where it would greatly upset you. Name calling is also offensive.

Chris in LA said...

Good morning CC etal,

Not too bad today - I had the same troubles as others in the SW corner, so no point in re-hashing.


Re Crevise/Crevasse - quick online search produces: "Crevices are by definition tiny, like that little crevice between your teeth where the popcorn hulls always get caught. A huge crack in a glacier is given the French spelling: crevasse." Also, levee failures (which I am intimately familir with) are also referred to as crevasses.

"Girlfriend" in Spanish is either "novia" or "amiga" - I don't speak Spanish, but both look like good "crosswrd-ese" words

As was mentioned, I think all scows are barges, but not all barges are scows - not sure of the distinction between the two, though, perhaps someone more familiar with river traffic could enlighten us.

Took me longer to do Olschwang's USA Today puzzle than the LA Times today.

Hope all have a great Monday!

kazie said...

Good morning all,
anon @7:33 and 8:09,
I also re-read the entries to see where the insult might have been. I'm sure none was intended, but we're all guilty of ignorance in some instances, and that's why we do this every day--to learn more. I know very little of American history, though I knew of the trail of tears, I had no idea of where it took them.
There are other instances of similar treatment of other people, such as the forced march of prisoners by the Japanese in WWII, depicted in the film "A Town like Alice" starring Bryan Brown. Humanity's ill treatment of its own kind is unsurpassed in the animal kingdom.

My downfall in the XW was also the SW corner: DERMA, NIOBE and BMT (looks like an abbreviation for bowel movement).

My son has been experimenting with sausage making recipes, and he specially ordered the intestine casings because he says when the meat dries out, the natural casings shrink with it and there are no air pockets to cause spoilage like with the synthetic casings that won't shrink.

Chris in LA said...

Man's inhumanity to his fellow man is indeed sad & wrong. Unfortunately (and ashamedly) it has happened throughout history - from ancient times to present day - in every region of the world. The above link is obviously only a partial list as I can think of several others not mentioned (Andersonville, Dharfhur, etc.).

It's sobering and really makes me think...

Frey said...

DENNIS.... I seem to recall that you have to go through BLUE BALL on the way to INTERCOURSE and before you reach PARADISE. All of them as you know towns in Pennsy.

Anonymous said...

53A: Engaged: BUSY. I wanted ONTO

63D: NYC subway line: BMT
I wanted IRT

A few years ago I was interviewed in the local paper in a people you should know item about local ordinary people and the question of If I could have dinner with anyone living or dead who would I choose? I chose her:

She was so beautiful. I wish we could have been friends.

Anonymous said...

When I die I would like to be buried next to Marilyn Monroe so I can spend eternity next to a pretty girl!


Linda said...

Anon @7:33: I`ve also said that the way we treat/treated Native Americans is at least as offensive and degrading as the way Slaves were treated. I used to tell my students, "How would you react if someone walked into your home and said,'Get out! I`m taking everything you have and now, it`s mine!'" My husband is 1/16 Cherokee
and so it`s been discussed many times in our household. We found that both of us have ancestors who came from GA (mine Dutch/English), where the "Trail of Tears" began.

Having said that, you probably
won`t garner much sympathy through vitriol and name calling.

Kazie: Was it you who differentiated between "hamlet" and "village?" If so, could you "splain" the differences among "boro-berg-burg-ville"

BTW: My Mom peels any store-bought, link sausages...("don`t want to eat plastic") and she is very careful about the shells on medicine capsules...since many of them are made from animal-based gelatins. She`s terrified of "mad cow" disease. But if it`s something she likes, she will use another of Dad`s saying, "Well...we`re all gonna die of something, if a tree doesn`t fall on us."

Argyle said...

C. C. said...@5:40 AM Re-download the program and see if it works.

I didn't. I'm thinking now the problem might be in our local phone lines. Everything was loading slow this morning so I kept redialing the connection. The beeps and boops kept sounding strained and even my home page was slow to load. Finally, I heard the dial-up go smoothly and darn if everything isn't working well now. Hmmm.

Colorful name - tragic place: Ruby Ridge

Dr.G said...

C.C. What do the stars in the Chinese flag signify? The US flag has fifty for the states.

DoesItinInk said...

Despite the fact that this was a relatively easy puzzle, I had three errors. I have never heard of stuffed DERMA, which accounted for two of my errors. The third was the S in MEUSE.

31A and 42D both are in reference to WWI. Over There was a WWI song about the American soldiers who went to EURope to fight. And of course Verdun was the sight of a famous WWI battle of 1916.

I am familiar with neither Felix nor Polly ADLER. Howerver, ADLER is a “big” name in Chicago. Philosopher Mortimer J. ADLER from the University of Chicago created the Great Books Program and wrote the excellent tome How to Read a Book. There is also the ADLER Planetarium founded by Max ADLER, and of course, the ADLER School of Professional Psychological founded by Rudolf Dreikurs but based on the psychological theories of Alfred ADLER. It has never been clear to if any of these prominent ADLERS are related.

Elissa said...

Other than the cross of MEUSE and ISAO and NIOBE and BMT, anything I didn't know got filled in with the preps. For some reason I always want SLR to be SRL, but knew PAELLA so I fixed that.

SABRA = the prickly pear is the fruit of the cactus plant which is abundant in Israel. It is prickly on the outside and sweet on the inside, which is the reasoning for calling Native Israelis SABRAs.

Roger MUDD and I share the same birthday, which I discovered when I turned 50. (Also Gypsy Rose Lee, Carmen Miranda, Judith Light, Alice Walker, Joe Pesci, Carole King)

Kiske/stuffed derma was served at every catered bar mitzvah when I was a kid. No one at the kid's tables ever ate it. It is so high in cholesterol, that it is seldom seen these days. It has gone the way of liver. Considering the foods, lead paint, no seat belts, et al, how did with survive our childhoods?

Dr.G said...

Blue Bell is also in PA, but Bird-in-Hand, PA is closer to Intercourse, PA

Anonymous said...

Hi C.C.

It was a medium hard puzzle for me today. My wife and I got all of the colors down before she had to leave for work. I finished it using some Google help for the bottom left corner.

RE: Yellowknife.

"The Yellowknives, Yellow Knives, Copper Indians, Red Knives or T'atsaot'ine are Aboriginal peoples of Canada, one of the five main groups of the Dene indigenous people that live in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The name, which is also the source for the later community of Yellowknife, derives from the colour of the tools made from local copper deposit"

Elissa said...

TV Guides' Sexiest Women in Film of All Time had Marilyn Monroe as number 1. #3 is Sophia Loren. #2 is Angelina Jolie. I took a survey of men I know and they disagreed, with that order. Elizabeth Taylor and Halle Berry rounded out the top five. Among those I asked AJ came in at 4th at best. What do you think?

Dennis said...

Guys, I'll just say this: my great-great-grandmother on my mother's side was Cherokee; I could not have more respect for Native Americans and their plight, and I back it up with donations on a regular basis to two different charitable organizations, both aimed as school supplies.

Let's try to stay off the PC high horse, huh?

Dennis said...

Elissa, I agree with M.M. at #1 all-time, at least until late in her brief career. And I also agree that Angelina should rank no higher than 4th.

NYTAnonimo said...

If that's what this blog is about Dennis-telling others they're on a PC high horse when they agree with someone else about how words can and do hurt I'm oughta here.

Dennis said... today I'm doing my Pirate impersonation, black patch and all. We set up a new salt-water tank a few weeks ago and introduced fish into it last night. I bought frozen bloodworms for food, which I used last night. Twenty minutes later, my right eye starts itching like crazy, so I flushed it and tried to ignore it. Woke up this morning with it completely closed, went to the doctor and found that allergies to bloodworms are very common. Just a word to the wise, should you have fish that feed on them. All I need now is the parrot.

Auntie Naomi said...

Good Morning C.C. and Co.,

I had never heard of ISAAC Babel, either. I have seen Isaac Stern a couple of times. I am very much looking forward to seeing and hearing Nikolaj Znaider perform Brahms Violin Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra two weeks from next Saturday.
I like paella, but I prefer jambalaya.
I believe that you are correct, saffron is the world's most expensive spice. I may have mentioned before that one should never buy powdered saffron. It is too easy to adulterate it. In Bali, there was a market that was selling very large bags of what they claimed was saffron for just a couple of bucks. I knew those had to be fake.
The clue for RASTA should have had something to indicate an abbreviation.
That earwig is scary looking.
Chris in LA beat me to the punch pointing out that 'Mi novia' is Spanish for 'my girlfriend'. Does it surprise you that I know that?
I have not seen Sleepy Hollow. I should, though. I have always loved Johnny Depp.
Although I have seen his name in the crossword before, I could not recall ISAO. The same goes for ILSE DeLange. I got them both from the fills.
A Hungarian acquaintance of mine works on a SCOW cleaning the Miami River.

"If you head directly south from Detroit, the first foreign country you will enter is.......Canada."
In fact, many Detroit citizens do just that. They go to Windsor to gamble.

Lois, Salsa dipper was a bad clue for 'taco'. Barry G. is right. Tortilla yes, taco, no. I've got a good taco joke, but I I've been in enough trouble lately, so I'll just keep it to myself.

My grandfather enjoys the song "Over There". He is a WWII veteran. His fellow soldiers nick-named him 'Ace' because they felt he was the best ambulance driver in North Africa.
My nieces' kids are half Native American and they are cute as can be. When I was a kid, some relatives on my step-father's side of the family were 1/3 Caucasian, 1/3 Native American and 1/3 Filipino. They were gorgeous ... everyone of them.

Argyle, I was not aware you are on dial-up. My condolences.

Elissa, I would vote for Angelina Jolie over Ms. Loren. Probably not ahead of Marilyn Monroe, though.

There is one hurtful word that I have not yet heard used with reference to myself. I want you all to know that I appreciate that very much.

Verisimillitude: One thousandth of one truth or the amount of truth-telling most politicians are capable of.

NYTAnonimo said...

The anonymous poster had a legitimate beef.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

dougl said...

I'm a geography buff and enjoyed today's theme. Some additional trivia -- Brownsville was the southernmost US city when I was a kid -- before Hawaii kaboshed it. Just as MN was the northernmost state (because of the "bump" of the NW Angle) before Alaska joined.

And an addition to Dennis's Detroit bar bet trivia: what South American country do you hit first going south from Detroit? The answer is surprizing -- you miss the entire continent! It's easy to forget how far east S. Amer. is compared to N. Amer.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting blog today. I think it's too bad so many got bent out of shape because of an Anonymous rant. (Which even had a misspelling, heavens to betsy.) Dennis said that his was a bad joke. That's enough. The teacher is through with her rant.

I just did the LATimes, and it was easier than our old standbys. Did Dennis make comments on today's? Too many "dis"es IMHO. I first tried it online, but quickly printed it. Doing it online is a real pain.

Cheer up everyone, and enjoy the day. And Dennis, you're OK.

papajim said...

Easy puzzle, now....
Mike Royko, a long time writer for of the most of the Chicago papers once wrote a column about Mexico and its' economy. He said,"The only thing wrong with Mexico is that it's run by Mexicans." I thought it was funny. But the next day there were scores of people protesting the Tribune and Royko for its' racist remarks. The Trib. stood firmly behind Mike saying that Mike has always has written his columns "tongue in cheek," and that it's humor, not racsim. I know that there is a saying that for something to be funny, it has to have a modicum of truth to it, or an assumed truth, if you will. You can go nuts trying to figure it all out. Although there is a "line" that can be crossed, I don't think anything in todays' blog came anywhere close to it.
If you don't like the show, turn the channel.
Happier things... Grandson update--What a beautiful little boy. He eats, sleeps,and,--well you know, but it's all just great. One week old Saturday. Can't get enough of the little guy!

carol said...

Good morning C.C.and all - I had the same thought as Lois for is a taco a 'dipper', guess I don't know how to eat one then...I have never 'dipped' one.
Lots of names I did not know but surprised myself on a few others (35D, 32A, 62A).

What is it with PA?? We had a discussion of their city names last summer, as I recall. Hysterical! I can't imagine anyone naming towns like that now...the "PC" crowd would have a field day LOL. It is a wonder they have not started petitions to re-name all of them! Too funny. We had a similar 'dust-up' in Oregon a few years ago about re-naming all the rivers, lakes,canyons,bridges,etc that had the word 'squaw' in them. That word is apparently offensive to some. Funny it took so many decades to be 'offended'. Native Americans did not have any problem with the word, why should we? It is their language!

Barry G, agree about 4D...makes no sense to me either!

Dennis said...

Sallie, papajim, thanks - and I think I'm just in a bad mood because of my current mono-vision, and that fact that I wanna rip my eyeball out and scratch it.

Sallie, I did today's LAT puzzle, and had the same thought as you - it was a 'dis' theme, but way too easy. Can't stand doing them online either.

Lemonade714 said...

You say, "My comment was to point out that placing Jews in ovens is more humane than months of starvation and forced relocation, lets call it the way it is."
You obviously have read nothing of the holocaust, nor viewed the films of the conditions on the trains, the marches in the snow. Dying is permanent whether by oven, march or combination thereof. While the thousands who died as a result of the Trail of Tears and other US atrocities is awful and a terrible legacy of this country, it does not compare with the death of Six million Jews, either in number or percentage, as over 90% of the Jews in many countries were eradicated. We are all here to have fun, and I do not blanch at comments because I am Jewish, and my great great grandmaother was a Mic Mac, so I have a share in many pains. Humor is personal, but I do not believe we have any active haters here. We are a diverse group of many backgrounds, beleies and opinions who come together to play crossword.

Hey, we Jews even had to eat Kishka growing up....

kazie said...

Linda asked:
Kazie: Was it you who differentiated between "hamlet" and "village?" If so, could you "splain" the differences among "boro-berg-burg-ville"

No, I don't remember discussing that before. But this is what I do know:
VILLAGE is smaller than a VILLE (town or city in French)
BORO is a simplified spelling of the British BOROUGH, referring to an urban area, but derived from the German word BURG.
BURG (fortified town or castle) often got added to the end of town names if they started out as walled cities in medieval times.
BERG means MOUNTAIN in German, so if the town was on a hill, its name often ends in BERG.

This distinction gets confusing to remember, as Burgen were often built on Berge so unless you distinguish the pronunciation of each, rather than using the schwa sound like in English, many of them could go either way. (Burg sounds like boorg, Berg sounds like bairg.)

Hamburg is not on a hill, but must have been fortified at one time. Nürnberg is on a hill, and it does have a Burg as well. So there you go!

Auntie Naomi said...


Key West, Florida is the 'Southernmost City' in the continental US.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Barry G....Yes, although the verb is in the online dictionary, EARWIG will never be anything other than a bug. I didn't know MEUSE, but I remembered the perp ISAO from previous puzzles. After BROWNSVILLE and BLACKSBURG the theme was apparent and the other theme answers came quickly.

Now, about that elephant in the room. To Dennis' credit, he did admit early on it was a bad joke. I trust he meant it in the sense of "poor taste", rather than "not funny".

Anon's comment comparing the incineration of Jews as being more humane than The Trail of Tears was in very poor taste. Jews were routinely held captive in ghettos, deprived of their possessions and starved before being shipped to the death camps. Any genocide is equally vile and reprehensible.

Anonymous said...


The LA Times always publishes the constructor's name along with the puzzle. Some local papers remove the name, although most don't.
One thing you will find out about The LA Times is that the puzzles are always well crafted. Rich Norris is an excellent editor.

Anonymous said...

I just read this in the paper this morning. Checked it out and it is true. The tongue of a Blue Whale weights more than a full grown elephant.

Jeannie said...

Re: state's cities names...In Minnesota you gotta get to Aitken before you get to Remer.

Dennis said...

Oh jeez, now Lois is gonna take up ocean swimming...

(Sorry if I offended any blue whales)

carol said...

Dennis at 12:57 LOL - that'd be a 'whale' of a tongue job!!!

Mainiac said...


#1 Marilyn

#2 Sophia

#3 Halle

#4 Liz

WM said...

Wow! 71 posts and probably more while I am typing...The puzzle started out with difficulty, but slowly filled in, especially once I figured out the theme answers. Can never remember Aoki because I always want Rocky Aoki who was a restauranteur(sp?) here in the Bay Area. Again, most of BarryG's frustrations were mine...the surprising thing was that I actually finished it with only 3 errors. I'm so amazed at what C.C.'s blog has taught me in just a few months. I was also really pleased to come across 2 Norma Steinberg puzzle in my NYTimes puzzle book...I filled them in no problem!!! 80)

C.C./PMT Saffron IS the most expensive spice in the world. There about 5 stamens per flower and they have to be picked by hand and dried. I actually grew the saffron crocus in my yard for a few years...very pretty tiny purple flowers that bloom in the spring. PMT you are correct in saying that you NEVER buy powdered saffron, it is most often adulterated with Turmeric, which gives it the same color. You always want to see the individual threads.Vanilla is the second most expensive ingredient. The orchid pods(vanilla beans) are very labor intensive to handle and dry correctly.

Sausage casings are generally from sheep, although I think you can get pork also. They are hard to find, but we do have a place locally that can get them. They are really easy to use and make a better product than fake stuff. You just run cold water through them and pull and scrunch them up over a stuffing attachment and fill. With home made sausage, at least you know what is in them!

I'm just sticking with the food things today. Much safer. The PA town names are a hysterical...had no idea. We do have some really funny stuff out west too...will have to look around.

PromiseMe...could that word be...CUTE?

Dennis...I do like those fun facts.

Clear Ayes said...

Considering he wound up with a Russian/Swede, G.A.H. likes the more sultry women.

His list is
1. Sophia Loren (a long time crush)
2. Halle Berry (a newer crush)
3. Marilyn Monroe (she wasn't really a blonde)
4. Liz Taylor (her voice turned him off)

Anonymous said...

Today is the first day of the "new" puzzle in the Seattle Times. I will definitely be downloading the Star Tribune puzzle an alternate. The Seattle Times offering by Grabowski/Newman took me all of 5 minutes and I am certainly not up to the caliber of most of you who gather here. You would be sorely disappointed. I guess I can use it as a stretching exercise before I get into my main workout.

Seattle Johm

Clear Ayes said...

My son-in-law makes has made sausage at home. (Calm down, DFers!) He orders the sheep sausage casing online.

It hasn't been easy getting saffron around here until Costco started carrying it. I used to get it online, but wasn't too sure of the quality, even though it was threads. Costco's Kirkland brand saffron is quite reasonably priced too.

Anonymous said...

Our newspaper is discontinuing the Star Tribune Crossword Puzzle saying that the puzzle is discontinuing syndication. Has anyone else heard this? I am very disappointed.

kazie said...

anon @ 2:48,
Yes, we've been discussing the demise of Willy Wiseman all week. Next week most papers will switch to the L.A. Times XW, and most people here are looking forward to the change, The blog will continue based on the new XWs.

papajim said...

Just wanna weigh in here on movie stars: Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman, Gina Lollabrigida, MM.

Lemonade714 said...

My final comment on the mini-controversyof the day, "fraaking eggheads." Come on, we may be accused of lots of things, but while we all love words, this is hardly a bastion of elitist, effete self-professed intellectuals. We are a diverse group that enjoyss a bad pun, a well thought double entendre, and the progress we make individually in our lives, from our children and grandchildren, to our own little corner of the world. If you believe anyone here is disrespectful out of malice, then it is time to move on. I personally am disrespectful because it is amusing, but I certainly do not intend to ever insult, offend, or harm anyone. I may provoke, okay, but no more than that.

Elissa said...

I can't speak for Blue Ball, but those those who find Intercourse and Paradise salacious are in DFmode.

There is a test to become a Turtle that comes to mind. (Are there any Turtles out their? If you are, you know how you must respond.) To be a Turtle you must think with a clean mind and you must be willing to stick your neck out for yourself and for other people in need. Becoming a turtle requires answering the following:
1. What is it that a man does standing up, a woman does sitting down and a dog does on three legs?
2. What is a 4 letter word ending in K meaning intercourse?
3. What is it that is hard and sticks so far out of a man's pajamas you can hang a hat on it?
4. What 4 letter word ending in U-N-T is sometimes used to describe a woman?

Remember, you need a clean mind.

1. Shake hands. 2. Talk 3. His head 4. Aunt

Linda said...

Papajim: What is your little red convertible? That`s my youngest son with our `64 Buick Wildcat. We play "chase" with our `57 Ford Fairlane 500 conv. until he can`t stand it anymore and passes me. The Buick has a bigger engine but the Ford has "dualies" that pop and rack off "RAT-tuh-tat-tat". I love it!
Do you show you car at car shows?...My husband has two trophies so far...usually for "People`s Choice." When we get the 57 Crown Imperial running (yes, it has a hemi), NO ONE will get in my`s like a Sherman tank!

Dennis said...

Lemonade, very well put.

Elissa, "you bet your sweet ass I am"

WM said...

Elissa...Oh dear...I am hopelessly a Turtle! I answered all 4 questions correctly. That's me...soft heart and squishy brains.

For example...our youngest daughter rescued a dog that was running up a freeway ramp...called us and asked to bring the dog over until she could get it to a CARE center on Sat...she showed up at the door with a white pit bull! She is a very lovely dog but we now have her for the week until the CARE Center can take her. We also have to go pick up actual dog food, etc for the week...this is how my life goes.

I do appreciate the DFness and DE's on the blog, of which Lois gets Queendom and maybe a Tiara, and my language occasionally is peppered with Anglo-Saxon words(I'm a big fan of British slang), plus, I can, on good days participate in the snappy comeback, but generally I am apparently a Turtle.

Lola said...

@Normal is way over rated.

Edgar Allen Poe, "I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity."

Just a "tidbit" to remind everyone to "liten" up and enjoy the ride.

Hasta luego amigos

Lemonade714 said...

E. You left out one of my favorites, what does a dog do, that a man steps in?

You should have not put the answers in your post, to allow the questions to percolate in all the DF minds....

good night all, that is my five....

Auntie Naomi said...

I am actually a turtle. Who knew. I got number 2 right off. Then number 4 followed by number 3 and finally number 1 before noticing that you included the answers at the bottom. I guess I was so worried about not looking down and seeing someone else's answers that I didn't even look down far enough to see the end of your post.
I am not sure I know the answer to Lemonade's 5th one, though. I will have to think about it.
Nevermind. I just figured it out.

"That's me...soft heart and squishy brains."
I couldn't agree more, you're a sweetie :)

Leffete: My doggies after hoofing it to the top of the Empire State Building

kazie said...

I answered your queston at 12:04.

Anonymous said...

C. C.
The song "Over There" had a lot of emotional impact on people of the time. It referred to the sons of Americans who were being sent to foreign countries on a foreign continent, Europe. Many of them did not come back and their families and friends were sorely affected. That song was precious to those people and still deserves a lot of respect.

Elissa said...

As Dennis knows, there is more to being a Turtle than answering the questions. Check it out at Turtleville where you can also find more questions by clicking on the "Are you a Turtle?" picture on the right.

Linda: My husband calls the new picture "My Wife and Kids". The car is his '82 Ferrari 308 GTSi and plane is his '80 Piper Dakota.

embien said...

6:11 today. I sailed right through this except I misspelled URIEL (I had ARIEL) and it took some time to find my error.

@dennis: Oklahoma is the state with the highest populations of Native Americans. It has no Indian Reservations.

Actually there is at least the Osage Indian Reservation, which is conterminus with Osage County (largest county in Oklahoma), roughly all the territory between Tulsa and Ponca City. Osage Nation

Does anyone know which puzzle is in today's Oregonian? It is uncredited, so I can't search on constructor name, even. The initial clues are 1a: Goat cheese and 1d: Raise pigs if that helps.

Linda said...

Elissa: When I tried to "enlarge" the pic of "wife and kids" I got your book`s dustjacket...I`d like to see them a little better...It seems as if GRANDkids, xw puzzles, collecting and old cars just all go together, huh?

Kazie: Thanks for the answers...I knew I could count on you.

WM said... there any way to get your puzzle for today online? I just went to the website and they don't even seem to have a daily puzzle. I just thought that any puzzle that started out with goat cheese would have to be fun.

PromiseMe: Blowing kissies back atcha!;0)

Elissa: the Turtle link was they know something I don't?

Dennis: AARRGGH and shiver me timbers!(are you still wearing the patch? I'm guessing you make a pretty good pirate!) ;0)


Elissa said...

Linda: Try again.

carol said...

Embien, Crockett was going to research the Oregonian c/w this morning...I also noticed that it was 'unsigned'. Not a bad puzzle but it's difficult to vote when the constructor's name is left off. I know we could say we like week #2, but why not name names?

Dennis, I hope you can enjoy being a 'pirate' but I am so sorry about the allergy. Who would know? Thanks for giving a warning to those who have fish. There are a lot of Koi lovers in Portland...must be our weather, I don't know but I do know the racoons LOVE the ponds in the backyards! How long are you going to be saying ARRRRGH?

To all Turtles, Joe (hubby) joined that illustrious group about 35 years ago...glad to see it is still around. LOL

Wolfmom, I am also a big fan of British slang words...some of their 'regular' words are pretty funny but not meant that way. ie, keep your pecker up means keep your spirits up or keep smiling. It works in reverse too, ie, they would either howl with laughter or indignation if you told them you were 'sodding' your front yard. LOL

Linda said...

Elissa and Southernbelle: Lovely pictures!
Elissa: Is your book available anywhere on line?

CC: Around here, the boys call their GF`s "Me Chika" (may chee kah)

Dennis said...

Linda, I'm reading it now; if you like, I can send it to you when I'm done.

Elissa said...

My novel (Lawyer, Liar, Pants on Fire) is available on
Amazon and

Dennis said...

Elissa, my apologies - that was stupid of me to take away a potential sale. Having a bad day, obviously.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Calef!
What with the Trail of Tears, two World Wars, sausage skins, and a bloodworm eye, it has been an emotional day. I have enjoyed it but I am beat. Going to eat supper and hit the hay. You all keep up the good work! See you tomorrow.
Old Sage in Virginia Beach.

Anonymous said...

Extending on previous comments.

"Over There" was a WW2 song -- "'til it's over, over there". While it could have been a reference to the Pacific it was targeted at Europe, specifically Germany.

In the mid 1980s Chrysler ran ads with that song comparing their *American* cars to *German* cars like BMWs.

Oklahoma was originally called the Indian Territory -- one of the many legal formulations the US used in the 19th century to rationalize the treatment of the natives. Indians were moved to the territory from other areas. If you read "Little House on the Prarie" to your children you'll recall that the prarie house of the book (not the TV series) had to be vacated because the Wilders were told they'd built in the Indian Territory. (Decades later that was shown to be incorrect -- they were just north of the Kansas border.)

Long after the surrounding territories were made states the US gov't decided to rename the Indian Territory to Oklahoma and to open much of the land to homesteaders. Oklahoma qualified for statehood in 1907 -- 46th in the nation, just before Arizona and New Mexico in 1912.

Buckeye said...

@Dennis. Where's Ambion? I miss you Oregonitis people.

Lemonade714. Did you copy my post I sent about a year ago. Be careful! Many will miss the humor!!


Dennis said...

Buckeye, I have no idea where Ambion is; should I? What 'Oregonitis people'?

Buckeye said...

@Clearayes. It was said about Sophia Loren, "Her nose is too big, her lips are too fat, her face is too square and her large eyes are too far apart. Basically, she's a mess". I go with G.A.H.!! She's the sexiest woman EVER!!!

I like Halle as second, but Marylin never did a thing for me. Too phony. Jane Russell, altho a lousy actress, was a piece of work. Just ask Howard Hughes.

Fourth would be Kate Hepburn. She possesses all that I love in a woman. Character, independence, passiveness and self confidence. If I had my choice, I would put her first. WHAT AN INDEPENDENT SOUL!!


Buckeye said...

Sorry. c.c. When I posted, I was 96.