Mar 11, 2009

Wednesday March 11, 2009 Jo Vita

Theme: Crack Up

17A: Broadway moneymaker: SMASH HIT

30A: Blast from the past?: BIG BANG

47A: Soft drink: SODA POP

62A: Launch: BLAST OFF

11D: Bases-loaded homer: GRAND SLAM

35D: Radical food fad: CRASH DIET

Not happy with 30A clue. BLAST is part of the theme answer for 62A. Tell me how you would clue BIG BANG.

The clue for ESS (13D: Part of CBS?) is quite tricky. I thought of SYS first, then EYE. Finally realized ESS refers to the letter S in CBS.

Mary Elson, the Managing Director of Tribune Media Service, emailed me yesterday that TMS will be ending Wayne R Williams syndication puzzle on Sunday March 22, 2009. So, starting on March 23 (Monday) most of the papers that currently have TMS Daily will carry LA Times Daily edited by Rich Norris.

This is a great news for us, as LA Times puzzles are definitely of superior quality. Besides, we can have the same Sunday puzzles to work with. I am aware, however, that some of you might be given a different LA Times Sunday crossword edited by Sylvia Bursztyn. But you can always print out the Rich Norris Sunday puzzle from LA Time's website.


8A: 1997 20-game winner Denny: NEAGLE. Guessed. Have never heard of this pitcher. He was actually drafted by the Twins in 1989. Wikipedia says his name was mentioned in the Mitchell Report in connection with steroids. Boo!

14A: __ Valley, CA: SIMI. Reagan Library is located here.

19A: Bernhardt and Siddons: SARAHS. SARAH Bernhardt was a French actress nicknamed "The Divine SARAH". SARAH Siddon was a British actress most famous for her portrayal of Lady Macbeth. Of all the SARAHS in the world, our editor wanted these two, absurdly obscure. Boo!

20A: Nautical rescue system: AIR SEA

21A: Cossack chief: HETMAN. No idea. Last time the answer is ATAMAN.

23A: NASA outpost: ISS (International Space Station). Williams like to clue ESA as "NASA's ISS partner".

27A: Mil. honor: DSC (Distinguished Service Cross). I wanted DSM. Wikipedia says DSC is "the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of US Army". What is the highest then? Purple Heart? By the way, DSO (Distingushed Service Order) is the "British military award".

33A: Abominable: ACCURSED. New word to me. Same as CURSED?

36A: Vexed: GALLED. His chutzpah used to GALL me.

38A: Myanmar, by another name: BURMA. Capital city: Yangon. Currency: Kyat. Strange country. Governed by those bloody military juntas. Aung San Suu Kyi needs more than just the glibido from the west for her fight.

41A: Employment: USAGE

44A: Representative examples: EPITOMES

49A: Numerical ending: ETH. "Ordinal suffix" to be exact.

51A: C.S.A. soldier: REB. Opposite Yank?

52A: Actress Meyers: ARI. No idea. Thought ARI is man's name. What's her face shape? Square?

55A: Fanning of "Man on Fire": DAKOTA. She grows up quickly. Her interviews are uniformly boring.

58A: Signaled: CUED IN

64A: Lack of vigor: ANEMIA. Dates help. Lots of irons in dates. Nuts stuffed honeyed dates. Delicious!

65A: NRC forerunner: AEC (1946 to 1975)

66A: Heraldic border: ORLE. Learned this word from doing crossword. What's the difference between heraldry and coat-of-arms?

67A: climber's spikes: PITONS

68A: '60 radicals: SDS. Was this a gimme to you? I keep confusing SDS with '70 radicals SLA (Symbionese Liberation Army).


1D: Very, in music: ASSAI. "Allegro ASSAI" means very fast. Add one letter L, it becomes the "attack vigorously" ASSAIL.

4D: "Beth" singer: KISS. Here is the clip. Definitely not my style. Any KISS collectors there? Do you have the original KISS bobbleheads?

6D: Colonial cuckoo: ANI. Why "Colonial"?

7D: Prot. sect: METH. The same abbreviation as the drug?

8D: Savings: NEST EGG. Dwindling quickly! My GE stock is now traded at $8 per share. Terrible.

18D: Flights to safety: HEGIRAS. No idea. Dictionary also says that HEGIRA refers to the flight of Mohammed from Mecca to Medina in 622 ad. So it's the starting point of the Muslim era.

29D: Aqua and motor endings: CADES. Aquacade is new to me.

32D: Biographer of FDR: ALSOP. Almost every JFK book I've read mentioned Joseph ALSOP. Are you familiar with General Chenault's Flying Tigers? ALSOP served as Chenault's "Staff Secretary" when they trained in Rangoon, BURMA.

33D: Poplar tree: ABELE. I forgot. What's the difference between ABELE and aspen again?

34D: Flat face of a gem: CULET. No idea. See this digram.

43D: Spanish mates: ESPOSAS. Got the answer from across fills. It's Spanish for "wife". I thought it means "Spouse".

45D: Emetine source plants: IPECACS. I can never remember this word. Their roots contain "emetine", whatever it is.

56D: Sphere starter?: ATMO. Atmosphere.

57D: Down with!: A BAS. Know this from the French Revolutionary cry "A BAS le roi!" Our editor used to clue ABAS as "Arab garments".

61D: Verse starter?: UNI. Universe. "Sex starter?" is also good, yes?



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - by no means an easy puzzle for me today. Got through without visiting the g-spot, but there were a couple I just didn't know and wouldn't have gotten without the perps. Didn't know 'hetman', 'hegiras' or 'culet' (which, by the way, is defined as the bottom point on a cut stone, not the 'flat face'). The DSC, Distinguished Service Cross, is the military's second-highest award, behind only the Medal of Honor. And again we see 'Atra'??

Today is Johnny Appleseed Day and.......Worship of Tools Day, So many lines, I'm at a loss for words. I have a feeling someone will find them...

Today's Words of Wisdom: "They say stress is a killer. But I think no stress is equally deadly, especially as you get older. If your days just seem to slip by without any highs and lows, without some anxieties and pulse-quickening occurrences, you might not be really living." -- Actress Helen Hayes (If you don't believe that, think of how many people die within a year of retiring; I'll bet we all know some.)

Continuing the Mensa Invitational:

Arachnoleptic Fit: The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

Beelzelbug: Satan, in the form of a mosquito, that gets onto your bedroom at 3 in the morning and cannot be cast out.

Caterpallor: The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

Something a little different tomorrow.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Oh, Medal of Honor is the highest. I thought of your Purple Heart. "Johnny Appleseed Day" again? I thought we just sowed some seeds a few months ago when the ground started to freeze.I don't get the rationale for Beelzelbug. Who would want to come to my bedroom at 3 in the morning?

As for your "Dennis Moment" question yesterday, to me, it's a combination of Dense & Mensa. DENSA actually, like when you read "Beaver project" as "Beaver product" and wanted JOY.

Dennis said...

C.C. said, Who would want to come to my bedroom at 3 in the morning?

I think you'll get a several answers to that one today.

Off to the gym.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Only 3" to 6" for MOREL? That's rather short. Are the stalks thick then? How do you prepare them? Any special sauce?

I am a "she".

Hey, the link worked!

Karen Q,
See my icon picture? It's Justin Morneau.

lois said...

Good morning CC & Dennis: Hard puzzle. If I had used red ink for my mistakes and misses, the puzzle would have looked like it was hemorrhaging. Even the theme didn't help. 44A still gets me. I wanted 'specimen'... and 'culet'? Oh well.

Dennis: Love the TID (today is day): I know some 'tools' that I'd be very happy to worship any day.

Great WoW too; Fully agree w/Helen Hayes. Pulse quickening events are essential.

Enjoy your day.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Jimmy in S Carolina,
I am sorry for the "shout" comment yesterday. I was unaware that the font size might pose a problem to some readers.

Can you show me the 2 feathers side by side Egyptian long e (our y)? How can rabbits and parrots see behind without turning their back?

Katherine is happily married and has probably lost her interest in crossword. KittyB pops in occasionally. Don't know where Flyingears is. Hope the stock market is not too harsh on him.

If Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house, she sure has the imagination to fill in all the blanks in a crossword grid, correctly or not (She probably won't care). Yes, Claudio is the guy I was looking for.

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all,..a rather difficult puzzle today. Several words I have never heard of which caused a bit of a struggle.

Several new words for me included hegiras, abele, abas (as it is clued here) and ipecacs. Got most of the above from the perps. I can never remember assai for very, but now maybe I can with the assail hint from CC.

CC in the early nineties Denny Neagle pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates so this was a no brainer for me.

For some reason I did not find this puzzle enjoyable. I was able to complete it without g spotting , but it just did not seem to give me the satisfaction that I usually get from a difficult puzzle.

I hope you all have a great Wednesday.

C.C. Burnikel said...

How is the adventure in Las Vegas?
Given your worshipping attitude towards tools, SPECIMEN is not a bad guess, with MEN & PEC embedded. I am sure you see something else in SPECIMEN too.

Was Denny Neagle good at his ball control? How was his velocity?

Great picture! Wish I had your long hair.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Are two of your granddaughters twins?

Silver Fox,
Be patient, we will all share your misery/pleasure starting on March 23 Monday.

Clear Ayes,
Re: Hero's Love. I knew someone would fall into the trap and gave me Leander. The question is beside my LEAR comment, so I was looking for the Hero in "Much Ado About Nothing". But hey, Leander probably swam into Hero's tower at 3 in the morning and became Dennis' made-up Beelzelbug.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Shish = SKEWER, kebab = grilled meat. My hometown Xi'An is famous for its Shish-kebab (mainly lamb) along the streets in the evening time. It's impossible to enlarge the fonts in the Comments Box. Your granddaughter is very pretty. When you were away traveling, I implemented a strict 5 posts per day per person rule. I apprecicate if could stick to it. Dennis is helping me with the Comments section responses, so you might see him post more.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Today's puzzle definitely felt like a "blast from the past" to me -- a throwback to what NYT puzzle solvers like to call "The Maleska Era" (Eugene Maleska was a former editor of the NYT puzzle who loved using very obscure words in the puzzles). Fortunately, I've actually done a number of puzzles from that era (thanks to buying a book of old NYT Sunday puzzles), so I was able to get such words as ANI and ABELE today.

There were plenty of unknowns, however, that I needed the perps to get, including HETMAN, ARI, ALSOP, NEAGLE and CULET. Fortunately, none of those unknowns intersected in crucial spots.

Some of the cluing through me for a loop today as well:

* I know the group KISS, but not their music, so the clue related to their song "Beth" meant nothing to me.

* I've heard of a motorcade, but wtf is an aquacade?

* I know HEGIRA (although I've always seen it spelled as HEJIRA) with specific reference to Mohammad, but never as a generic term for a flight to safety, and I've never seen it pluralized. According to my dictionary, though, The capitalized "Hegira" is a specific example of the generic term "hegira."

* SARAH Bernhardt is very famous and I knew who she was immediately. SARAH Siddons, on the other hand, rates a great big "huh?" from me.

* I really felt that the clue for A BAS should have had some indication that it was a French phrase.

Oh, and I was able to get IPECACS easily enough, because I've always heard of IPECAC Syrup as being an "emetic" (something that causes vomiting). I never realized that IPECAC Syrup came from a plant called the IPECAC, nor have I ever seen the word "emetine" before, but given what I knew it was easy to figure out what the clue was looking for.

In closing, I really hope my paper carries the same puzzle in the future that everybody else gets, since I've really enjoyed the time I've spent here. Of course, I'm also hoping that my paper is still in business in the future...

NYTAnonimo said...

This is one of those puzzles I decided not to waste any more time on-had a few squares left and decided to pull up a new window, select Regular Skill Level, then Solve Puzzle to find the missing letters. Lot of archaic crosswordese and too many abbreviations in here. Glad you finally heard from somebody at the Trib C.C.! Have a good Wednesday everyone.

NYTAnonimo said...

AQUACADE is an entertainment spectacle of swimmers and divers, often performing in unison to the accompaniment of music from New to me also.

Mainiac said...

Good Morning!!

Struggle would be my theme on this puzzle. New words for me were assai, accursed, hetman and have never heard of a poplar referred to as an abele. Banged my head against the wall for cued in! Needless to say I couldn't finish it until I checked in here.

I have witnessed the Hayes quote first hand. When I first took this job I had six employees approaching retirement. As they got closer to the date, everything slowed down. Once retired and not seeing them daily for a few months I was shocked at the change in their physical appearance. (Basic slumping, shoulders, bigger bellies, etc) We were attending their funerals 12 to 18 months later. Words of wisdom from my father: "If you keep on movin', you don't rust up."

A gray day here. We are entering "mud season". Maine's substitute for spring. Love it though. I get a lot of work done on the house.

Have a great day!!

maria said...

Good morning, c.c. and all
lots of G's as my CW Vocabulary would not have helped this morning.
Did not know Hegira, SDS, Ipecacs, Dakota , Culet, or Neagle or Hetman.
However i finished early today because, i don't know what entered my bedroom a 03:30 hrs. this morning, but i could not go back to sleep.

Now i' ll go to the Gym and get some
Pulse-quickening occurrences on the elliptical bike ! Lol

Pmt, the pedimeter i use for walking is a Tanita product i got from Jenny Craig when i started her diet.

Lemonade714 said...


A very difficult puzzle; too many guesses in the end for me, like ABELE and CULET (which apparently was clued wrong).

Denny NEAGLE (pronounced Nay-gul) was a one year wonder with the Braves, winning 20 games in 1997. Pitching with Smoltz, Maddux and Glavine really helped him.

SDS (students for a democratic society) a group that was popular on college campuses in the 60’s, and were leaders of the new left and anti-war activity in schools. They were non-violent, did lots of sitting in, and basically fell apart when they spawned the Weathermen faction in the late 60’s. The also were the political starting point for future senator TOM HAYDEN (also know as Jane Fonda’s husband) SDS

Very late for work, staying up too late with my son in town.

Lemonade714 said...


Yes, I guess I understand the link stuff enough now, thanks to everyone who made it simple.

Anonymous said...

My paper is the Lexington Herald/Leader, which as part of the McClatchy chain is cutting even more jobs. This puzzle is printed in the classified section, while the NYT puzzle is on the comics page. My guess is they will not replace this puzzle. I may then be SOL, because my only access to the Internet (and this Blog) is my iPhone, with a 2"x3" (about the size of a small morel) screen. We'll see what happens. I would miss this group more than the puzzle.
So Lois, did you have fun tooling around on your trip?

kazie said...

My theme for today would be total frustration! It's not worth discussing what I didn't know--that would be about 70% of it. Instead I'll gripe.

I object to Methodist as a sect. I think of sects as weird offshoots, and I don't consider methodism weird. It's a mainstream protestant church.

I actually did grok the theme before finishing today, a rarety for me, but it really didn't help. I ended up with only five wrong squares, but that was after much guessing, useless g'spotting and making up the Spanish word ESPOSAS and being amazed that it worked! I was aided there by its relationship to the French.

The stems of morels are hollow. I start by rinsing thoroughly to get the dirt out of all those little pockets at the top, pat them as dry as possible, toss them in seasoned flour, and fry in very hot butter and oil until crispy on the outside. They're very good this way, but it's one of those foods that I think are overrated, since much of the flavor is what you season them with. If I didn't have friends giving them to me, I'd never spend what they cost to buy them.

Anonymous said...

Clue for BIGBANG: Creation theory

papajim said...

Blocked today, I could not come up with air/sea. I also had "gauled" for 36a. Just not with it today.
cc.. I know you're a she, just trying for some humor if there was a "MR." cc. Never mind, it wasn't funny anyway.

Barry G. said...


Although the word SECT can be defined as "a dissenting or schismatic religious body, especially one regarded as extreme or heretical," it is frequently defined simply as "a religious denomination" and is synonymous with "faction" and "party".

I think that "denomination" would be a better word to describe the Methodist Church as a whole, and that SECT would be a better choice to refer to a subdivision within the church. But I don't think that SECT is, in and of itself, a pejorative term. Unlike, say "cult," which almost always has negative connotations associated with it.

Anonymous said...

The highest military decoration is the Congressional Medal of Honor. The purple heart is awarded for being wounded in combat. During the Vietnam war purple hearts were being awarded for paper cuts.

Linda said...

CC: Sorry for being so prolaughic!
BTW, the grand daughter looks just like me! (I wish!)

Elissa said...

I was dispirited by this puzzle until I came here and found I wasn't alone in having trouble solving it. Words I didn't know included ASSAI, HETMAN, ORLE, HEGIRAS. Many unknowns came from perps, others came from switching from Master level to Regular, although when I did that I was amazed to see how often I guessed correctly, especially when they were WAGs (wild ass guesses).

Yesterday, JD said "most of us have eaten a spider in our sleep." What is the strangest item or food combination you've eaten? I recently discovered dark chocolate bars with chili pepper seeds - it is like a little fiesta in your mouth.

kazie said...

All my guesses today were WAGS!

I first discovered chili chocolate in Germany. They also have such a variety of creme fillings in regular 100gram chocolate bars, dieting there is impossible! Ritter Sport is my favorite, because they're cheap and good, but I don't see the chili flavor in this link.

kazie said...

Just saw my first robins!! Spring is on the way!

Anonymous said...

C.C. said, Who would want to come to my bedroom at 3 in the morning?

Drew Barrymore, Alyssa Milano, Allison Hannigan and Pauley Perrette from NCIS!


Elissa said...

Best buy World Market Chocolate Bars

dugglesmack said...

I agree with Barry G. - (57d) Even after completing the puzzle I was still scratching my head trying to figure out how in the world ABAS could mean "down with!" .... PART of a french phrase??? please... I thought I must have somehow missed the perps...

oh well... Other than that, not bad for a Wednesday puzzle...

HipHapa said...

Second time I've seen "Skein" for some yarn-related clue. Will have to remember that one.

Col_Gopinath said...

Good evening from India,
Today was a tough one lot of unknowns as already brought out by many by the way is REHANGS a word never heard of AUTOBUS also

Anonymous said...

This puzzle had many new words, but the most confusing for me was "culet" since I entered facet and was stuck with the wrong letters. I finally was able to derive culet from the horiz answers. I looked up culet and it is defined as a small flat facet at the bottom of a brilliant cut diamond which is parallel with the top facet or table.

Anonymous said...

Tell me how you would clue BIG BANG

CBS TV show The_________ Theory

Windhover I also read the Lex Herald

Hi neighbor

Linda said...

CC: How many "postings" may we do in one post?

PromiseMethis on Tues. Good one!

Crockett1947 on Tues: thanks!

Anon on Tues. I like step aerobics, too

Dugglesmack: Do you know Kris Allen?

About the frequent use of "atra";
As a puzzle constructor (some submitted, non used yet), there are times that strange letter combos just happen...when they do, you can always find a real word with those letters. "Atra" is one of those (frequent) occurrences.

Dr.G said...

Hi all. Don't what the rest of you thought, but I was stumped. Even Google let me down. Most of the left side, for me, was impossible.

kazie said...

Yoga fogi,
I looked at c.c.'s link on CULET, and wanted to say it wasn't flat at all, but I suppose it could be a very tiny facet.

If it makes you all feel better, I didn't understand à bas until coming here either! And the only time I've seen AUTOBUS it was French too.

I think "Jo Vita" was just messing with us today.

Anonymous said...

oops the DFness in me slipped out.

does anyone know what DFNess means?


Anonymous said...


If you were counting steps if you walk for 30 minutes that is 3,500 steps.

I walk for 30 minutes twice a day 5 days a week and I was 283 now I'm 240.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I think things are getting back to normal. At least I had time to be aggravated by this morning's puzzle. I knew it would be a problem when I couldn't even get 1D ASSAI. 21A HETMAN?...that one was a blank until I got here. CULET and ABAS were only filled in with help from the perps.

On the other hand, except for NEAGLE, I did know all the "people name words". HEGIRAS came easily too. A little different spelling, but I've loved Joni Mitchell's Hejira since it came out in 1976.

WoW..I wonder if all of Mainiac's employees were men. Unfortunately, I think it is much more common for men to identify with their careers and not have enough outside interests to keep them active after retirement. I know that when my husband retired because of a disability, he was really at loose ends for about a year. He did come out of it, but it was a very difficult time for him. Certainly not a "rule", but women seem to have an easier time with retiring and finding new interests to keeps them, not stressed, but enthusiastic.

Time for me to be enthusiastic about getting my hair cut today. I'll check in later.

Argyle said...

How 'bout the first start up for BIG BANG?

carol said...

Good morning C.C. and all, glad I wasn't the only one having major trouble with this puzzle! Same unknowns as everyone else so won't list them. I agree that 34D was clued incorrectly...the clue says flat but the picture sure looks pointed to me.

As some would say "So many tools, so little time". Careful out there, if you 'worship' tools too well, you WILL get seeds from Johnny and all his friends.

Off now to quicken my pulse.

Auntie Naomi said...

Good Afternoon C.C and Co.,

Big Bang: Carrie Bradshaw's leisure activity (with 'Mr.')
Carrie Bradshaw was played by SARAH Jessica Parker
Aung San Suu Kyi is an incredible woman.
Yes, I think ARI Meyers face would be considered square and very pretty.
According to Wikipedia, "The art of designing, displaying, describing, and recording arms is called heraldry".
KISS had a pretty good gig going back in the day. After playing before a stadium full of 50,000 fans, they could go out and have pizza or something and nobody would know who they were.
Since 'mates' suggests the either husbands or wives, the answer should have been ESPOSOS, which does mean spouses.
According to Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary, "an emetic alkaloid C29H40N2O4 extracted from ipecac root and used especially to treat amebiasis". Also according them, amebiasis is "infection with or disease caused by amoebas".

24:45 today :(. Too many unknowns. I did not know NEAGLE. I got it from the perps. Same with HETMAN. I didn't recall ABELE, but got it from the ho's. I had FACET for CULET, until I saw the error of my ways. I had never heard of an AQUACADE either, Barry G. I also agree with you about the A BAS clue.

ClearAyes, You beat me to the punch on Joni Mitchell's Hejira. Here is another one clip of her playing 'Hejira' live in Japan.

Hobophobe: One who fears homeless people

Argyle said...

I just completed the for a little ego boost. If your feeling frustrated, give it a try.

Jeannie said...

I don't have much time during my lunch hour to do the puzzle and this one stumped me right away so I gave up and just came here to read the comments. It sounds like this one was a toughie for most. Dennis I am very impressed you got through this one without hitting the g-spot.
When I saw that it was sowing your seed day and worship of tool day a whole other way to clue Big Bang sprang into my head. But then again, you know me!
DFness is short for dysfunctional, which is what some of this group is guilty of being.

Dennis said...

dp.johnson, there's lame Purple Heart awards in any war, but they're by far the exception rather than the rule.

Lois, welcome back - care to regale us with any DF stories?

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone! Tough puzzle today. NEAGLE, HETMAN, ARI, HEGIRAS, CULET, ESPOSAS, IPECACS, ABAS were all unknowns to be, but most fell to the perps. ESS clue was clever.

@lois Good to see you're back from LV. No update? Oh, that's right, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!
So I get a new puzzle for my birthday?! Will you start blogging the LA Times one (which is progressive) that day?

@kazie We just had deep fried dill pickle chips last night at Hooters. Surprisingly good!

@argyle Like your BIG BANG clue.

@carol Remember to always clean your tools and put them back where they belong so you can find them when you want one -- even at 3 AM in the morning.

@anonymous DFness means showing one's slightly dysfunctional side, and, with this lovely group, indicates something at least a tad bit racy. It is not a punt down but actually a compliment. Go figure!

Auntie Naomi said...

Capitool: Many a Congressman

DoesItinInk said...

Well, this was undoubtedly a more difficult daily puzzle than we have had for a spell. I had three incomplete squares but only by lucking out on some guesses. I have never heard of ASSAI, NEAGLE, HETMAN or ARI Meyers and can never remember AEC! I tried to fit “facet” into 34D but managed CULET from the crosses. I agree with Barry G…I have heard of motorcade but not aquacade, though I did work on aqua maid routines at one time. And 57D definitely needed a clue that the answer was in French!

I worked the Wednesday NYT puzzle today. The theme answers were MAID MARIAN, INN KEEPER, TIE GAME and JUAN PERON. The final theme answer was clued “bearers of a phrase suggested by saying the starts of the other theme answers”. So…MAID INN TIE JUAN is “Made in Taiwan”, making the final theme answer CHILDS TOY. Cute, if a bit dated. (Now it is “Made in China”.)

IMBO. TOday I am cleaning out storage cabinets!

Dennis said...

Linda, the answer to your question to C.C. is, as many as you like.

Crockett, when exactly is your birthday?

By the way, if you all want to give your birthday (month, day is fine), I'll keep a master list so we can acknowledge them. It's always nice to have someone wish you birthday greetings, but no one wants to say, "hey, it's my birthday". Up to you guys.

JD said...

Good morning C.C. and all,

I'm running late and have not yet done puzzle but wanted to add this to your day

*Liquidity - when you look at your retirement funds and wet your pants*

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

spun my wheels a bit on this one, but eventually got it done. thought 'flat FACE of a gem' was a lame clue since i wanted FACET. sorted that out easy enough with perps. did not know hetman or reb, had to wag the crossing of assaI and Iss.

interesting news about the upcoming puzzle switch, something to look forward to.

@c.c.: i know katherine is still in the honeymoon stage, perhaps she'll wander back in now and then.

@lois: good to see you back. do we get a trip report?

@lemonade: guilty as charged.

@kazie: not much gets past you either.

@dugglesmack: agree completely about abas.

and to commemorate tool worshipping day: genis - a brilliant penis.

melissa bee said...

@JD: also known as a peedbump.

carol said...

Crockett (12:26) LOL Nothing like a 'clean scene'...

Jeannie (12:14) Good one on the Big Bang!

Dennis - re birthday list, it's a great idea. Mine is Nov. 1st.

Argyle, thanks for the link to the Newsday puzzle.

Anonymous said...

Melissa - I really want to laugh but I just don' get it
Genis ??? If you could explain that would be great. I think I now know what I want to show up at 3 am in my bedroom.

melissa bee said...

@carol: re: hamateurs .. good one, i think we all know a few of those.

melissa bee said...

anon@1:05 - the mensa invitational (see dennis's 5:31 post)

genius/penis = genis

Anonymous said...

Dennis: I don't know how to get a blog, so I just use Anonymous to talk here. I read this blog every day even though I don't write something. My birthday is this month--March 23. It's a big one; I'll be 70. My children and I are going to a hot springs spa and relax all day and get massages before dinner.

C.C.: Esposa is Spanish for wife. Esposo is Spanish for husband. Epouse is French for spouse. Did you know that if a French word starts with an "e" (accute accent) it sometimes may start with an "s" in English, replacing the "e", and looks pretty close to the English counterpart. It's always worth a guess if you have the context. Example: ecole = school; ecran = screen; ecume - scum, etc.


Anonymous said...

okay...I am not trying to sound stupid but I am really not getting it. I am surprised I am not because I am usually more cleverer than this ( no need to correct my grammer) and right now I seem to being throwing clots.

Dick said...

Dennis my BD is Jan, 4

Bill said...

Welllll, This could have been better. CULET, HETMAN, SDS, ABAS, ORLE, HEGIRAS, ESPOSAS. Never seen any of them. And,7d! Somehow I'm supposed to know that PROT. is an abbreviation for PROTESTANT?????
So, to do THIS x word one needs at least 3 foreign languages, ESP (to read the constructors mind), and Gem Cutting 101. ALL Righty then. And I'm guessing that the LA Times x word will be even worse!!!
Oh, well, it's been fun.
CY'All Later

Bill said...

Sept 19

Crockett1947 said...

@dennis The 23rd.

Auntie Naomi said...

For those in the dark regarding the Mensa Challenge, read Dennis' initial post from a few days ago.
Dennis, my BD is Nov. 14th.
Bill, Take a deep breath. You know that deep down inside (PMT swings his pocketwatch in a hypnotically, pendulous fashion while intoning) you love doing crossword puzzles.

Jeannie said...

Melissabee, GENIS - LMAO! Don't think I ever met one though. But I'd worship one if I did!

Crockett1947 said...

#doreen Cool. We share a birthday!

Auntie Naomi said...

Melissa Bee, Might I offer an alternative definition for 'Genis'? A penis that grants your wish when you rub it!

Mainiac said...

Clear Ayes, yes all men with very unhealthy habits which I suspect only worsened after retirement. One per year for the first three years. I thought it was me! It is now my motivation to hit the weight room and ride my bike. My biggest battle is that I love cooking, then eating.

I'll try some Mensa........

For the those in northern zones and in honor of "mud season",

Frost Heave- Surprise car ramp in travel lane that when hit at superlative speed results in chipped teeth, bumped head and bitten tongue. Vehicle damage could be, but not limited to blown tires, cracked rims and the air bag being deployed if you really hit it right. Once teeth are removed from tongue a thorough cursing out of every public works official follows.

For everyone.......

Frost Heave- Ice cream puke.

melissa bee said...

@PromiseMe: they all do that. snort.

weather321 said...

C.C.: Yes, they are twins, first in a couple generations in our family. They will be one year old on 16th of April. They and their sister live across the street. When they are put into stroller, they know they are going to 'Nana' and 'Papa's' house. Starting to walk, it will be a madhouse here this summer. Sorry, for the rambling, but grandparents know(and I don't carry photos).

JD said...

CC, here is the Egyptian alphabet. It is a double reed, not a double feather (looks similar) for the ending y in many names, like mine.

Today's puzzle was so annoying that I gave up, came here and am enjoying all of the clever "talk".

Elissa, even the WAGS didn't help.The abbreviations really stop me, and I feel like I'm wasting my time. Just too many to list.

Promiseme, great word!

anony @ 11:40, keep it up. You must be feeling good.

b'day: Jan. 14
strange combination before I gave up mayonnaise: salami and chopped olive sandwiches.Yum!

Jeff King is in 5th place and is down 1 dog.

Lemonade714 said...

And I have said before I share August 27 with LBJ and Hannibal Hamlin...

Anonymous said...

This puzzle sucked, clues were totally irrelevant

kazie said...

My bd is April 25th--Anzac Day in Oz. Took me a while to get used to having to work on that day here.

Anonymous said...

Democrat in a red state:
Pleased to meet you. Like your politics, also your taste in music & books. Not so your b'ball loyalty, although you have the best coach. Sad But True Our side ran off a good one. Bad karma ensued, now we're Unforgiven. Sandman about to Enter for Billy G.

embien said...

13:34 today. Did not immediately parse A BAS correctly (kept looking at it as one word), so that was puzzling. Did not know ABELE or CULET at all (got from the crosses).

@c.c.: Besides, we can have the same Sunday puzzles to work with. I am aware, however, that some of you might be given a different LA Times Sunday crossword edited by Sylvia Bursztyn. But you can always print out the Rich Norris Sunday puzzle from LA Time's website.

The (Portland) Oregonian has said they won't be changing their Sunday puzzle, so that means the syndicated NY Times (one week delay) for us.

Tell me how you would clue BIG BANG.

The start of it all?

(@argyle beat me to it, looks like.)

Elissa said...

bd: February 9

Auntie Naomi said...

Fonedue: Attempted to communicate, but the message got lost in the digital melting pot.

I think that's six. See ya'll tomorrow.

Linda said...

Dennis: July 5th.
Loved your "Mensas." Looking forward to your new shah lahnj (French for...Oh, forget it!)

Argyle: The Newsday puzzle was ego solve (salve) after today`s TerribleTribgrid. (known from now on as "TTG."
Thanks for the link.

Weather 321: Are you aware that no pictures of GRANDchildren in purse/wallet is a capital offense?

Lois: Where`s my plastic pen filled with shredded $100 bills?

ClearAyes; Glad to see you back.

Off (some say "all the time!")to take Granddaughter to 16th BD dinner!

CC: I really tried today...

Valerie said...

Wow...what a puzzle. Too many unknowns for me to even mention. I won't even go there. I've not read or heard anything about the status of our puzzle. I hope it stays...but, then again. Oh, well.

C.C and Dennis...thank you for your compliments. Much appreciated!

Aaah...the elusive genis...has anyone ever actually seen one?

My BD is November 1st.

Probably won't be on tomorrow. I hope to spend lots of time holding my new grandpunkin'! He should be here by 8:30am. Wish us luck!


T. Frank said...

CC; Thanks for the link to the LA Times puzzle; downloaded & worked it - not too hard, not too easy.

Dennis: My birthday is 12/19/30

embien said...

For those who are getting a trial run of the LA Times puzzle this week, you can do it online

My time 9:48 today, a fun puzzle, indeed. Of course, the amazing Orange did it in 3:21, roughly a third of my time.(Orange's miniblog is here Diary of a Crossword Fiend (click on the "read more" link to get to the rest of the blog).

@doesitinink: I worked the Wednesday NYT puzzle today. The theme answers were MAID MARIAN, INN KEEPER, TIE GAME and JUAN PERON.

doesit, that puzzle was actually the NY Times syndicated puzzle from last Wednesday. Maybe your paper is six weeks behind instead of five? Originally published in the NY Times Jan 28, 2009 (the puzzle is number 0128 if you'll notice). You can see Rex Parker's blog of this puzzle at

embien said...

@democratinaredstate: Tell me how you would clue BIG BANG

CBS TV show The_________ Theory

The TMS puzzle editor does not allow partials, democrat. So he wouldn't accept this clue. (Probably the only puzzle in the world with this stricture.)

Dr.G said...


June 1.

maria said...

Mamma mia !
The mood for today, was Allegro Assai (very gay) had quite a few hee-hees, what with all the Df repartees

Kazie i love Ritter choc. had no idea so many flavours, so little time .

Doesitinink. i finally had the Horse chow, I like it !
it's an easy granola fix and probably less calories.

Dennis, new piece of equip. at the gym today. the Arc Trainer i tried it for 15 min. on top of my regular cardio , will see how my legs are tomorrow!
My b'day dec.18

Have a good one everybody !

p.s. All you Grandparents, lucky stiffs

carol said...

Melissa bee, LMAO - and at snort too.

Argyle (or anyone else) will you put the link back for the In the Ranks c/w please. JD needs a copy and I cannot find the link. Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much. Do appreciate it.

Re Wow. Retired in 1993, people said you have to do something. I said no I dont. Have yet to have a day when I said " what am I going to do today". Keep busy and laugh a lot.

B day Jan 13

Jimmy, S. Carolina

C.C. Burnikel said...

Yes! Our Star Tribune will start carrying LA Times Daily on March 23. No more Wayne R. Williams.

Thanks for the French e & English s connection. Kazie mentioned that a while ago.

Great glyph link. I've added it to my original post so others can share the information as well.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous @ 1:16pm,
"Right now I seem to being throwing clots". What does it mean? What is "throwing clots"?

Sorry. You will have to get used to the limit. I do enjoy your lively posts very much. You said to Dennis earlier "Looking forward to your new shah lahnj (French for...Oh, forget it!)" What were you trying to explain?

Good luck! I look forward to seeing the baby photo.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Is Black Fly edible?

Let's wait and see. Maybe your paper will carry the LA Times Daily puzzle. Otherwise, you will have to learn to solve puzzle with your iPhone. "Sandman about to Enter for Billy G." Who are Sandman & Billy G?

Sorry for the confusion. Sometimes I don't get others' jokes.

Elissa said...

CC: Will the Chicago Tribune puzzle link switch to the LA Times Daily puzzle? If not, will you be able to have a similar link to an on-line version of the LA Times Daily puzzle?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anyone can plant appleseeds, but yours are organic and electrifying. Thanks for the effort in bringing creative ideas for discussion on the blog lately.

Once I had some sweet Japanese style rolled omelet. It tasted strange. Not sure of the Chicago Times' puzzle switch, but I've given the LA Times online puzzle site on my blog entry today.

Argyle et al,
Great BIG BANG clue.

Bill said...

OK, maybe the LA times won't be so bad after all. I just did today's (online, what a pain) and finished it without help. OK, so it took me 27 minutes. I can honestly say that I'd rather use my pen and make a mess! Can't take in the whole thing, so it's harder to move back and forth through the clues.

Bill said...

Yeah, I know, I probably could have printed it, but I got lazy!!!!

Anonymous said...

52A, Meyers. CC, I believe that ARI is short for Ariadne. In any case, she certainly doesn't look like a guy to me. katze

Clear Ayes said...

I share a birthday with G.W. Bush and Nancy Reagan.....YooHoo!!...July 6th is our day.

Melissa bee, LOL about organ that is more than a "one trick pony".

Anonymous said...

C C - Throwing a clot = when someone is having a stroke, a brain attack, it is usually caused by a clot. I was definitely having a brain attack with the new word GENIS.. I kept thinking of GSPOT and penis and it just was not clicking for the word Brilliant ??? Yes I felt really stupid for asking but I got so excited about a possible visitor at 3 am I needed to make sure I knew what I was getting into. :)

JD said...

CC, sorry I did not get this rabbit/parrot info. earlier; had a traumatic day, but here is what I found out:
"A rabbit's field of vision is immense. He has large eyes that are located on the sides and upper part of the head, enabling each eye to see more than one half of a circle. Together, they can see in every direction. Therefore, a rabbit can see an approaching predator and be on the lookout for an escape route simultaneously.I found the same info for parrots, and it seems neither have very good depth perception because of this.

Quick fun fact: The average housefly lives for about one month.

RichShif said...

Hi C.C. and all,

Had to call AIRSEA Rescue and get airlifted here to finish this bad boy. Some I had a Duh moment when I filled in the answer. Glad it's over. Hoope our paper wilol carry the same puzzle when the change over is done.

How about "universal theory?" for Big Bang?

Argyle said...

In the Ranks

Re: Genis: but of course, it's where a man's brains are located.

Crockett1947 said...

@jd at 7:37/ Not in my house!

carol said...

Argyle (8:04)LOL!! Could that be why guys seem to have trouble finding things? Their 'brains' are in the 'dark' a lot of the time.. but sometimes - whoa, their is a ray of light! Look out!

Also thanks so much for the link to that puzzle :)

Crockett: the fly is an endangered species in our house as well. We used to leave their disposal up to the cats, but since those sweet things have gone to what ever reward was theirs, we have to do the dirty deed.

Dutch Uncle said...

Very glad to see we're getting a new editor ! Hurray for better quality !Good luck to all of us ....

Argyle said...

The 'In the Ranks' puzzle has a clue/answer combination I'm afraid we will see more of.

97D: Opener for all: OMNI

Instead of meaning a word that would come before 'all', it is looking for a prefix that means 'all'. In this case, OMNI, e.g., omnivore.

lois said...

Y'all crack me up!

Dennis: Not on your life! Vegas was great! Won a bunch, lost a little, laughed a lot, drank even more, but Crockett is so right - What goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Melissa: Good to see you! LMAO w/genis.

And Carol is spot on: so many genises, so little time.

PMT: I found the magic condom, I mean kingdom.

I went practiced for Black Jack and doubled my $ right away, but ended up preferring roulette, where I made a ton of money.. paying 35/1 w/ a $10 min. It was hilarious. Beginner's luck. One of the highlights was going to the Ghost bar on top of the Palms, 55 stories high and looking out over LV at night from the balcony (beautiful), then standing on the balcony's glass floor and looking down on the 1/2 acre pool below which looked a little bigger than a postage stamp. The fun never stopped...Caesar's Palace, the Balagio, NY NY, on and on. It was great. Am going back this summer, hopefully Carol will meet me there.

Linda: as to the plastic pen? Never saw one. I'll look next time, but in my opinion, a
'pen is' better when not in plastic. It's all good.

Linda said...

CC: Your blog-your rules...I respect that...thanks for the kind words...
At the end of Dennis` first post today...he said "Something a little different tomorrow." I took that to mean a new word-type "challenge"...the French part was a lame joke...don`t feel bad...sometimes even I don`t get my "jokes" :)

Only 4 posts today!!!

My Grand daughter got her first car (for her 16th birthday )this evening...I`ll always remember that I was with her...the boyfriend has impeccable manners, which was a BIG plus in Grandma`s book!

Auntie Naomi said...

While I am aware that I already bid you all adieu, I feel compelled to chime in, one last time.
Nobody said today that they got A BAS without the benefit of the fills. Even kazie admitted that she was taken aback by that clue.
Yet, C.C. knew it outright.
I am that much more in awe of her intellect. Here's hoping that, whichever puzzle we are presented with, she is able to sustain this fascinating and enjoyable cruciverbalist community for now and the foreseeable future. My hat is off to you, C.C.

Anonymous said...

Where to start? In his profile Democrat IARS says he is a fan of Metallica, as am I. A couple of years ago the University of Kentucky, a school with a rich basketball tradition and more than a few boorish fans (I used to be one), not-to-subtly ran off one of the best college basketball coaches in the country, Tubby
Smith (who is now coaching in
your town at the Univ. of Minnesota),
because many fans thought
he was not upholding the UK "winning tradition". The newly hired replacement, one Billy Gillespie (BillyG), has lost even more games than Tubby, and the faithful are once again calling for his dismissal.
In my post, the words "Sad But True"," Unforgiven", and "Enter Sandman" are also Metallica song titles. I thought
Democrat, who is undoubtedly aware of the ongoing soap opera at UK, would pick up on this.
BTW, my birth date was (and is)
12/7/45, aka Pearl Harbor Day. I missed being a boomer by 25 days.

Lemonade714 said...

MB: Yesterday you were double entendre; today no more fooling around....I see progress here.

So I am a bit confused (very busy this week at work, and then amusing my son) but will this puzzle diappear, or will it just leave thr Tribune papers? Do we know which papers will switch to waht? Sun-sentinek readers, help!

A bas, la bas, it all French to me...

WM said...

Argyle@12:09...Thank you so much for the puzzle link...much more doable.

Dennis...BD yesterday, March 10...turned 60...and in about a month I will starting a 9 Ft x 41 ft mural! I'm just a bit crazy.
You now have a year to prepare...because next year I am going to be 59. A friend told me that when you reach 60 you get to start counting backwards. I'm all for that!

JD...thanks for yesterday's wishes.
I think it is so sad that that sled dog died...80(

Spent the whole day with our year old absolutely charming granddaughter...tossed the puzzle because I had no time to puzzle over it.

Anonymous said...

good evening all

Denis - I mean Dennis- my b day Dec 28th.

Good night

Thomas said...

Hello C.C. & all.
Late to the xword & even later to the post. Had to attend the memorial of an Uncle today. Silver lining, reconnected with a "kissing cousin" that I haven't seen in over 25 yrs. Aunt was hugs & kisses 4 coming, & cousin averred to a better cousin connection.

Some of the best advice my dad ever got when contemplating retirement was: don't retire from.. retire to.. Echoing Clear Ayes, to have something to look forward to.. He's still going @ 82.

Panic attack @ Doesit @ 12:35! I'm a syndicated solver [sometimes!] 5 wks behind of the NYT's puzzle. Thought U were posting today's answers! Embien @ 3:45 set me straight, & then I realized that the moniker DoesitinInk can't be an on-line solver. D'oh!! [slap forehead now]

@Embien: Rex is my 2nd favorite blogger. Real time C.C. is the best!

As 4 the puzzle... all of the above. In my over 30yrs of doing xwords, I cannot ever, ever remember culet as an answer or a clue! Maybe I just don't want to..

@Lois: U crack me up! The blog is always so much more fun when U chime in. Mmmm.. ringing the chimes with a genis??

TJ in Osseo

Ps: C.C., I will not change my google acct. I will continue to sign off as TJ in Osseo to set myself apart from the other Thomas. OK w/U?

Thomas said...

Oops, sorry Dennis!

BD is May 2.

Keep up the flogging for the blogging!

TJ in Osseo

Unknown said...

are you serious? dan blocker played hoss cartwright on bonanza, along with other acting roles. he held a master's degree, so he was clearly smarter than you are. unfortunately, he died rather young.

Anonymous said...

Dan Blocker played Hoss on Bonanza