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Apr 10, 2009

Friday April 10, 2009 Nora Pearlstone

Theme: The 5K

18A: Sightseeing at The Steppes?: STARK GAZING (Star Gazing)

24A: Dogs' communication systems?: BARK CODE (Bar Code)

39A: Creative executive compensation techniques?: PERK FORMING ARTS (Performing Arts)

51A: Price for the village green?: PARK VALUE (Par Value)

62A: Ones who never know what to use for their salad?: FORK DUMMIES (For Dummies)

Ah, finally an offering from our editor Rich Norris himself. Nora Pearlstone is his alias name, anagram of "Not a real person". Of this list, I like Gia Christian the most (anagram of "Again, it's Rich"). How about you?

It seems that every Friday we have a wordplay puzzle. On March 27, it's PRE prefix. Then last Friday we had an IR-RI-tating IR to RI transformation grid.

Hard struggle this morning. I think I can only handle Monday to Wednesday LA Times. Lots of wite-out. I wrote down RABIN for 3D: Co-Nobelist Arafat (YASIR) immediately. And I thought I was smart. Then I did not know "What's up?" (1A: SKY). What a simple yet tricky clue! Can you picture the V-8 prints on my forehead?

Besides SKY, I also love the clue for NON (30D: Nice way to beg off?). Nice refers to the French city. Can you think of a better way to clue QUA (14A: Sine __ non)? I know one is Latin, one is French, but I still don't like the repetition.

Across:

4A: It may be split at lunch: THE TAB. Nice to see THE as part of an answer.

10A: Big name in shoes: MCAN. Learned several months ago that the brand was named after some Scottish golfer named Thomas McCann. Rory McIlroy, the next Tiger Woods (or possibly just a Sergio Garcia as Lemonade said), shot 72 yesterday. I think he is a more exciting RORY clue than "Golfer Sabbatini".

15A: "L.A. Law" co-creator: BOCHCO (Steven). Unknown to me. Wikipedia says he is also the co-creator of "Hill Streets Blue" & "N.Y.P.D. Blue". His teeth look fake.

17A: Young __: UNS. Is this L'il Abner talk?

20A: Medical suffix: ITIS

23A: Stand at attention: SNAP TO

27A: Wall St. trader: ARB (Arbitrager). What exactly is a arbitrager? Is he part of the hedge fund mess?

28A: Final: Abbr.: ULT

29A: Close-at-hand: IN STORE

33A: Point of view: ANGLE. Slant has 5 letters too.

36A: Cádiz cat: GATO. No idea. It's CHAT in French. I don't speak Spanish. Cat in Chinese is MAO, same spelling but different tone than the Mao in Mao Ze-dong. Mandarin Chinese has 4 tones: flat, rising, falling then rising, and falling.

38A: '50 campaign monogram: AES. Ah, just mentioned yesterday that the E stands for Ewing. He did have an affair with Lauren Bacall, didn't he?

43A: Stowe girl: EVA. I forgot. Saw this clue before. The girl in "Uncle Tom's Cabin".

44A: Hurt: PAIN. And THROE (7D: Severe pang).

45A: Healthy-looking: RUDDY. Ruddy? I really think Rory McIlroy looks like Tony Blair.

46A: Cow country sights: RANCHES

49A: Crooner's asset: EAR

50A: Soft & __: deodorant: DRI. I wonder who will be the first constructor to clue DRI as "Female yak".

57A: Increasing: UPPING

60A: Certain presentee: DEB. Tough one for me. The surrounds provided me with no help.

61A: Old Mercury model: LYNX. No idea. How old? Our local WNBA team is called Minnesota LYNX.

65A: Cool air feature: NIP

66A: Swing era bandleader Cates: OPIE. Which one is he? The only OPIE I know is the "Mayberry boy".

67A: Egyptian god: AMEN RA. Or AMUN RA. See the upper left corner hieroglyph. I am used to seeing only the single AMEN/AMUN. Did anyone think of Osiris?

68A: Windy City "L" runner: CTA (Chicago Transit Authority). This *TA ofen stumps me.

69A: Steamy: SEXY. And GRASP (36D: Get). Is this S & S, G & G repetition on purpose? Does it make the fill peppy in your view?

70A: __ à trois: MENAGE. Reminded me of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". What popped into your mind?

71A: Angry, with "up": HET. Crossword word. I've never used this phrase in my daily conversation.

Down:

1D: Witticism: SQUIB. New definition of SQUIB to me. I wanted BON MOT, but it did not fit.

2D: "Roots" hero: KUNTA. I saw one episode when KUNTA Kinte said the grits/dummy. Can't remember the exact lines.

4D: "Very funny" station: TBS. "We know drama" is TNT.

5D: Family-style Asian dish: HOT POT. Very popular winter food in China. The funny thing is that people seldom make HOT POT at home. Too much work.

6D: American Greetings "mailing": E-CARD

8D: Disgusted cry: ACK. I often use Ugh.

9D: Soft spots: BOGS. Another tricky clue. The swampy BOGS are indeed soft.

10D: Haydn contemporary: MOZART. Pure guess. I don't know those two are contemporaries.

11D: Medical office accessory: CLIP BOARD. Did not come to me immediately.

12D: Isn't wrong?: AIN'T. I like this clue.

13D: Canceled: NO-GO

19D: Literary miscellanea: ANAS

21D: Move stealthily: SKULK

25D: Pitch indicator: CLEF. The musical staff. Not baseball.

26D: Nonviolent protest: SIT-IN. Tiananmen Square Incident started with peaceful mass SIT-IN.

31D: Like Gen. Schwarzkopf: RETD. Oh, I have a question: Can you un-retire a general? For example, can General Shinseki be reinstalled into his previous Chief of Staff of Army post, since he was forced to retire?

32D: Swedish actress Persson: ESSY. No idea. I tried, Google asked me "Did you mean Person Essay"? Only one line entry in Wikipedia. So I guess she is not that famous.

33D: Imitator: APER. Another crossword word.

34D: St. Petersburg's river: NEVA. It's clued as "River to the Gulf of Finland" last time. Wikipedia says it's the third largest river in Europe in terms of average discharge, after the Volga and Danube.

35D: Formula One race: GRAND PRIX

37D: Chartres chum: AMI. Another alliteration. See this tiny map. Chartres is to the southwest of Paris. Unknown to me.

40D: "I __ you liked your drink", sez Gunga Din": 'OPE. Was this a gimme to you? I've never heard of this Rudyard Kipling poem.

41D: Attractive force: Abbr.: GRAV. Gravity.

42D: Kind of comprehension: AURAL. No idea. The only "Kind of comprehension" I am familiar with is reading.

47D: "Holy cow": CRIKEY

48D: Rear: HIND

49D: "La Dolce Vita" actress: EKBERG (Anita). Sigh, I could only picture how she looks in the movie. Could not remember her name.

52D: Pitch specialists?: AD MEN. Great clue.

53D: Madrid monarch: REINA. Spanish for queen. REY is king.

54D: "Mulholland Drive" director: LYNCH (David). He often talks about Transcental Meditation and the incredible "bliss" the practice brings to him. I tried once, and I simply could not concentrate.

55D: Get together: UNITE

56D: Politcal outcast: EXPAT. Really? I am a Chinese EXPAT living in the US, but I am not a "Political outcast".

57D: Sci-fi hoverers: UFOS

58D: Castel Gandolfo resident: POPE. Had no idea that Castel Gandolfo is the summer residence of the POPE. Wikipedia says it's 30km south-east of Rome.

59D: Largest of the Marianas: GUAM. "Where America's Day Begins".

63D: Fr. title: MME. "Sp. title" equivalent is SRA. I penned in STE first.

64D: MS. enclosure: SAE (Self-addressed Envelope). Baseball players will not sign your cards if you don't enclose a SAE. Politicians don't care. I guess their postage is paid by the taxpayers.

Answer Grid.

C.C.

91 comments:

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and (I assume) fellow head-scratchers - wow. Wow. Tough is one thing, but jeez, did I struggle. After realizing how dumb I am, I'm concerned that I'll be able to find my way to the store today.

I went from one g-spot look-up to the next. And I'm still not sure about a couple. I thought 'nice way to beg off' and 'isn't wrong' were clever clues, and found the theme quite ingenious.

I never equated 'ruddy' with 'healthy-looking' - I just thought it meant red-faced. I don't agree that 'in store' and 'close at hand' are synonymous. I would list all the words I flat-out didn't know, but I think we're trying to avoid mile-long posts. Again, WOW.

I will have to admit, however, that I do like this concept of a range of puzzle levels. I like going from 4-minute-easy to did-I-just-have-a-stroke?-hard.

Today is Golfer's Day (Dick, take advantage of it), and National Siblings Day.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "The great man is one who never loses his child's heart." -- Philosopher Mencius

And more Fun Facts:

- Baboons cannot throw overhand

- The body contains the same amount of iron as an iron nail

- The first successful open-heart surgery was performed in 1896

- Friday puzzles are a BITCH

C. C. said...

Dennis,
Is this the hardest puzzle you've solved since our shift? I like FF #4. Dictionary explains RUDDY as "Having a healthy, reddish color". I always associate RUDDY with those Scottish/Irish golfers playing in the windy, cold, bunker-filled courses.

PromiseMe,
Your BRIDE for "Runaway VIP' is cute.

Rob the Ranter,
Thanks for the explanation on those sailing terms. I hope I can digest what you wrote. Welcome!

Dennis said...

C.C., definitely the hardest LAT one, anyway.

I'm off to the gym, assuming I can figure out how to start my car.

C. C. said...

Dennis,
Hmmm, I wonder how many people will strike out with today's K puzzle.

Wolfmom,
What's Up? Have not heard from you for a few days.

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know - soda pop is called tonic in New England.

Lemonade714 said...

Yes, WOW!

I was pretty certain I would not finish, but eventually I actually slogged through, with lots of cross outs. Some of the clues were very witty; the theme was really hard, but once you see the first two Ks, it did help.

GRAV is just plain Gravity, I believe.

BOCHCO was very influential by creating the first large cast, continuing story dramas on television that were not soap operas. He also had continuing stories, so the audience needed to watch every episode to keep up. Until he came along, dramas were self contained hour long stories. He also created more than his share of flops, the ones I remember being BAY CITY BLUES, about a minor league baseball team, which had a great cast, including a young Sharon Stone, and COP ROCK, a musical police drama, one of the silliest and most awful shows ever.

I never heard of SQUIB defined this way, but I guess it relates to the little stories newspapers use as fillers, which I guess are supposed to be witty.

GATO, yes you now are learning Spanish, which you will need if you come to South Florida. OLA.

MENAGE; my first thought was wondering what Lois and LO-LI-TA would be saying; of course my French heritage made this one of the few gimmes.

I was a very little boy when Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall came to my hometown to campaign for ADLAI STEVENSON. My father had the honor of meeting them at the train station.

The Mercury LYNX is an example of why the Big Three in Detroit are in such big trouble, as this and the Ford ESCORT never were comparable to the Toyota Corolla, or Honda Civic.

CLIPBOARD was really a good clue, as we all get one when we go to a doctor's office.

Martin said...

I think I will NEVA attempt a Friday puzzle again. I wanted SALUTE for SNAP TO, OSIRIS for AMEN RA, FED up for HET up, CBS for TBS, EYES (or EARS) for BOGS, PARTY for UNITE, EXILE for EXPAT and first BAD DRESSERS then FOOD DUMMIES for FORK DUMMIES.

I agree with C.C.: I am a Canadian EXPAT living in Taiwan but I am not living in political EXILE. I still have my passport and everything. :)

I got everything from SKY to BARK and it was looking pretty good but then all I could get in the rest of the entire puzzle was MOZART, OLIO, PRO, SIT IN, PAIN, OPE, AMI, GRAVity, DRI, HIND, UPPING (yuck!), UFOS, GUAM, MENAGE and REINA.

C.C., AURAL comprehension means understanding by listening.

Martin

Anonymous said...

I ARKed through this one today. Whew, glad that's over.

Anonymous said...

70A: __ à trois: MENAGE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9nage_%C3%A0_trois

A french term meaning threesome.

Squib

also referred to in the industry as a squib pack. A plastic package filled with a red liquid used to simulate bleeding from gun shots in movies or TV.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squib_(explosive)

Mainiac said...

Good Morning,

Had to work in the field for a couple of days so no Xwording. I knew jumping back in on a Friday would be tough but what a beating I took today. My back, shoulders and hands are sore and now my brain is! Wow! I did get Sexy and Menage a Trois. Thought they were well suited together!! I liked Clipboard, Angle, Nip, and Hind. I am unfamiliar with Ruddy as a positive look. In store for close at hand? I forgot Arafat's first name and had Party for Unite (it must be Friday). Steven Bochco built a house in the town next to us on the island. Nice place and I still couldn't get his name spelled right.

Great weather today after being rainy the last few days. Crystal clear with temps in the 50's. The kids are psyched because the snow finally melted on the lawn. Baseballs are flyin'!

Have a great Friday!

kazie said...

Good morning--or is it?
Ménage refers to the household in French: faire le ménage is to do the housework/shopping etc. Sounds as if it has something to do with the management of it. So Ménage à trois is literally a household of three, but of course it's used to mean a guy and two female lovers.

I got all the south except the P in EXPAT/NIP. But the north! WOW is right. I g'ed a few things but got bored doing that and came here without THe TAB, MCan, STaRKGAZing, sNAP
to, BarKCOdEs, ARB, ULT, inSTOre, Aes and perKForminGaRts, where capitals are the letters I missed.

The rest was still a struggle, but good mental exercise for the most part. I agree with objections already voiced re RUDDY--which I think means too red, from sun or windburn, or alcohol, and IN STORE, which implies a future thing. I wanted SIDLE for SKULK. Whenever I see Nice now it send up a red flag for a French answer. Chartres is famous for its enigmatic cathedral. The uneven spires are due to the rebuilding of one in the style of a different age after a fire.

Judi said...

I gave up and cheated. My mind just doesn't work with these clues.

Andrea1263 said...

Yikes!

I knew either Kunta or Kinte for "Roots" Hero, and had Nike erroneously for Big name in shoes. So thought about a potential K theme. Unfortunately didn't put it together for any of the actual theme clues...

There is a beautiful cathedral in Chartres. A nice afternoon outing from Paris.

If anyone is interested in expanding their french vocabulary, there is a great blog at http://french-word-a-day.com written by Kristin Espinasse, an American expat living in France, married to a french man, and raising bilingual children. She shares charming anecdotes about her life featuring various words in french. If you've ever spent time in France, you'll appreciate her stories. She also has a book "Words in a French Life".

Very appropriate that today is Golfer's Day. We will be watching the Master's all weekend. I like to watch this tournament as much to see the beautiful course as I do to watch the golf. It gives me hope that spring is truly on its way!

dugglesmack said...

Crikey!! This has to be the toughest Friday so far... I think the Saturday puzzles have been easier than this. I always like to put off googling until I just have to, but after getting only a marginal toe-hold in the south, I gave my browser a real workout. I finally had to come here to get Amen Ra since I wasn't sure if it was "MME: or "MLE" - Once again I was done in by the "two words instead of one" trap. Now that I see AMEN RA, I remember him, but only vaguely..

But all in all, I have to say it was still fun! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I hate this guy'sideas of "clever"...a real cheap thrill if you ask me!
Really miss 'the ol' days'...

Linda said...

CC: The section containing the puzzle (in all senses of the word) made excellent kindling, today. Again...you amaze me!

I used to tell my students "You ain`t supposed to say `ain`t` cause the teacher said you ain`t."

Some versions of Scripture call David "ruddy."

"The tab" came easy..."manage", "Kunta", "qua", "gato", "dri", "het", "sit in" "e card" too. Wanted nike for 10a. After that, all my synapses went off line.

I "do" puzzles to have fun...not to get frustrated and apoplectic.

Am I whining?

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I did not like this puzzle very much, and not just because it beat me over the head until I cried like a little sissy girl. Well, mostly because it beat me over the head until I cried like a little sissy girl, I admit, but not just because of that.

There was plenty of tricky cluing, to be sure (SKY, NON, AINT, etc.), but I didn't have a problem with that. And part of the problem was the fact that I was 100% sure that Steven's last name was BOCHIO and not BOCHCO (I finally had to Google it before I was able to figure out that 8D was ACK). But the rest of my problems were all due to just bad cluing and obscure words intersecting each other.

I almost muddled through in the end, but just could not get the crossing of POPE and OPIE. Never having heard of either "Castel Gandolfo" or "Swing era bandleader Cates," I put in POLE and OLIE and left it there until the bitter end.

I figured out the theme early on, but couldn't make sense of STARKGAZING even after I had all the letters. I'm guessing it refers to the fact the the Steppes of Central Asia are a STARK and barren landscape. Except that the clue was phrased as "Sightseeing at The Steppes" which made me think "The Steppes" was the name of a restaurant, band, nightclub, etc., and that STARK was the last name of a famous person. Unless, of course, I'm missing the boat and The Steppes really is a famous place or group where you can gaze upon Mr. STARK.

Oh -- and ACK is not something one utters in disgust. It's the sound a cat makes coughing up a hairball.

The crossing of EVA and NEVA was another bit of nastiness. I finally guessed correctly on the V, but it was only a guess.

I wonder far down the list of definitions you would need to go in order to find SQUIB defined as "witticism"?

ESSY Persson? AURAL Comprehension? Really? And what the heck is MENAGE a Trois doing in a family-friendly puzzle?

I dunno, maybe this is what happens when puzzle constructors edit their own puzzles, but this is definitely not how I want to spend my Friday mornings.

Barry G. said...

I wonder far down the list of definitions you would need to go in order to find SQUIB defined as "witticism"?

Just to answer my own question, I looked it up at www.m-w.com. Turns out that the first definition listed is, in fact, "a short humorous or satiric writing or speech." Go figure.

I still don't like it...

Lemonade714 said...

I wonder where Rich Norris is from, because as a New Englander, I heard the term HET up often, and we used a RUDDY complexion as a sign of good health.

Rex Parker said...

Glad to hear you all confirm my impression that this was the hardest puzzle you've seen since the TMS-to-LAT switch. That's the first thing I said about it. The good news - Friday puzzles won't get any harder than this. This feels about normal for the LAT Friday, maybe even a little on the hard side.

SQUIB threw me, too. ESSY was my big "???" of the day. Been doing multiple puzzles every day for years, and don't remember seeing her before.

rp

Karen Q said...

Good morning,

Things that go hmmmmm... Karen doing this puzzle. Must say I was neither successful nor patient enough to be successful. I tried some googling and got some of more fills, but ultimately just came to look at the amazing CC's answers. However, I still think it is a fair puzzle, and some of the answers were quite good. I also liked SKY for What's up? (maybe because it was one that I filled in). I think some days it is more about how well my mind is clicking.

CC you are absolutely right on the newbies coming up on the tour, but Tiger still has a plethora of experience they do not yet have. The Star Tribune article on him was interesting. They asked if he always thought he was going to win and he said "Absolutely!". A rare thing I am sure. I am looking forward to seeing some good competition for him though, and I think these young 'uns will present that.

As for the term RUDDY, I have always thought of it as red or Irish also. However, after reading 1 Samuel 16:12 as a lecture several times, it changed my view of the word. It is where god is leading Samuel to his choice of David to be the next reigning King. He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; for this is the one." It certainly presents the term RUDDY as a favorable characteristic don't you think?

kazie said...

Maybe RUDDY is considered an attribute because it implies one who works hard in the outdoors. Karen's Irish reference maybe is because they are often redheaded and redheads become flushed easily in the heat and sun.

I, for one, have never heard the word SQUIB before.

ESSY seems to me a play on the name PERSSON with the extra ess. I wonder if the name is real or assumed?

Dennis said...

Rex, that's certainly good to know. If they were still 'taking it easy' on us, I suspect many of us would take up self-flagellation as a preferable alternative.

And like you, I've been doing crosswords for several decades and have never seen Essy Persson before.

Thanks for the insight.

Anonymous said...

Thanks CC. I finished Houston Chronicle puzzle in record time today! Never work Friday's anyway--too tough, so started playing bridge. Some puzzle writers' cerebral cortex too convoluted for me, but I'm left-handed. At least I can figure out Bridge.
TEX

SaminMiam said...

Good morning all,
Whew, that was some workout this morning. Now I don't have to go to the gym!
I have nothing original to say today, except thanks to all who responded last night.
Wait, a couple of questions: Does V-8 mean "I coulda had a V-8"? as in why didn't I think of that before?
And g-spot and other g's means googling?
I like your shorthand!

Southern Belle said...

WOW and another WOW!
Dennis, this was more than a head-scratcher....more like pulling out each strand of hair until bald.

Why is "very funny" station, TBS? I wanted COM for the Comedy station. Help needed, please.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone. File this one under the heading of "education." I hopefully learned a lot about Mr. Norris' cluing, because I didn't get much of this without some serious help. I got about 80% of the west, 60% of the central and 5% of the east before I went to standard level online and used the red letters to help me focus. MCAN, ROCHO, ARB, EVA, OPIE, SQUIB, YASIR (spelling), ANAS, ESSY, NEVA, OPE, LYNCH, REINA, EKBERG were all new to my solving experience. And there were many other fills that were difficult to come by. I still don't understand ARB. I only got the theme pattern first thing this morning -- it would not reveal itself last night.

Nice information on the editors' aliases. You certainly educate us! Never thought of French for NON. How do you come up with all of this at some ungodly hour of the morning.? Amazing. I thought MCAN had two ns! Apparently not. Arbitrager? Never heard the term. We have a couple of solvers from Los Gatos CA, outside of San Jose, so GATOS was OK for me. Great comment on DRI. Why is TBS "very funny?" GRAV is an abbr for GRAVITY, methinks. Nice write-up, C.C.

What's up with the numbers on your poll? Are people voting multiple times? Or do we really have that many lurkers out there?

Good to see that others struggled as well. Misery loves company. Have a great Friday!!

Lola said...

Hello to all who are still able to read this, after twisting your brains into amusing pretzel shapes. I was glad to find I was not the only one to find myself "on the ropes" with this puzzle. After reading Dennis and Barry G. I felt justified in my frustrations.

I agree with Barry's definition of Ack much more than Mr. Norris. Ack could also be the sound of xword solvers waking up to this mess. Ruddy has always implied burned by sun or wind, or reddened from drinking alcohol.

One last gripe and then I'll go soak my aching head. Though the theme answers all had k at the end of the first word they were not similar enough in feel or form to to be easily grouped.

TGIF

Crockett1947 said...

@saminmiam Yes, you're spot on in learning our jargon. Those are correct definitions. Maybe we need a FAQ section so newbies can understand what we're talking about.

Fred said...

This was the hardest Friday yet since the changeover. The only answer I had to look up was BOCHCO. The rest I was able to figure out eventually , but I struggled with the same clues everyone else has already mentioned. "What's up" was really good. Had me going for a long while.
HET UP was a phrase I heard a lot growing up. Older generations from the south/west/ and rural areas used it a lot. I think it was a corruption of "heated up". They usually said "don't get all het up about it" or some such. Don't hear it at all anymore except in old western movies.

Fred said...

C.C.
How many hits does your blog get a day? Do you have a way of telling?
Does the number jibe with the votes in the TMS poll? I simply can't believe so many people want the old puzzle back. I think a few people who hate the new puzzle are voting many times to stack the deck against it.

Linda said...

Mr. "44th best puzzle solver in the world."
Do you edit/work/construct puzzles for a living or do you also have a "day job?" If so...what is it, may I ask?
Also, is your avatar Mr. "Etc etc. etc." himself?

Anonymous said...

i do not repeat do not like these new puzzles i have been a puzzle solver for a long time but these puzzles puzzle me ha ha

Elissa said...

This puzzle was just too much for me. I'll skip mentioning what I didn't know. Who has the time. I'll just say that although I read "Road to Gandolfo" by Robert Ludlum, which involves kidnapping the pope and which I highly recommend, it was just one of the factoids that eluded me in this puzzle.

Barry G. said...

Why is "very funny" station, TBS? I wanted COM for the Comedy station. Help needed, please.

Because that's how TBS has been promoting itself the last couple of years. TNT is promoting itself with "We know Drama" and TBS is promoting itself with "Very Funny."

Rex Parker said...

@Linda, thanks for asking. I have a day job (professor) ... for now. I don't know what your comment about my avatar means.

Best,rp

carol said...

Hi C.C.and all, I'm not sure I have a head left to scratch.
Dennis (5:34a) I'm with you on this one, I'll have to use my GPS to find my door and my way to the car. Hardest puzzle I have encountered in dog's years!

C.C. if you haven't guessed, you can count me in the 'strike out' column.

Cannot comment anymore on this, so will wait and read all the other comments as they come in.

Now let me see if I can figure out how to post this... oh yes.

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & everyone else...
Crikey is right! Wordplay puzzles are the absolute hardest for me to get. It was even hard to cheat on this one.

Re: Gato, Spanish for Cat?

Los Gatos is a town in California very close to where I live which made this the easiest clue for me to solve.

Al said...

A head scratcher for me too. Like Barry, I inserted pole (ummm, no not that kind). I also wanted ATEN instead of AMEN RA, but I managed to fill and guess the rest.

Anyone else remember this? Or is it just me?

In English,
cat, hat
In French,
chat, chapeau
It really is quite obvious,
don't you know
In Spanish,
el gato in a sombrero
In German, I'm a katze
in a hut and don't ya know
I'm a gwunka
In a bunka-kwunk in Eskimo
He's a cat of many countries—
of many hats
He's a guzzbee in a buzzbee,
he's shnerka in a snatz
I'm a shavkah in a shlyapah,
That's enough of that—
I'm a cat in a hat.

wolfmom said...

C.C....Quick post today, I just scanned through things...thank you for missing me, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy :o)

I have my favorite and long lost(for 30 years) cousin, whom I just relocated in January,down here for a visit. I will most likely be "away" until Tuesday.

I am, at least, relived to see that many of you struggled because I was at crash and burn time...this is still terrific fun even though I could list what I knew easier than what I missed. When I see see the answers...definitely V-8 head smack.

Mr. Parker...thank you for at least letting us know this is a tough as it might get...I think that there is the possibilty of coming up to scratch some day on Fri and Sat...Fun but aggravating at times.

A happy Easter to you all...Pagan or otherwise. I chocolate bunny each of you.

SaminMiam said...

Crockett1947, thanks for the confirmation of your lingo.
Lola, I knew ACK from the comic strip character Cathy, written by Cathy Guisewite. She's always saying ACK.
(2nd post, I'm keeping count, not to go over).

luxor said...

I do not like the L A puzzle at all. I will stop buying the paper.

Jeanne said...

I love the new puzzles, I love the new puzzles, I love the new puzzles-NOT.

Doing it online was still a challenge. Never had so much trouble even with cheating.

@Fred, On my laptop you can only vote once otherwise it asks you if you want to change your vote. I guess one could go to another computer and vote if they so desired. I really don't know if it's missing the TMS puzzle so much as just not liking the new ones. The ability level on this blog is varied-from Mensa to Densa. So the opinions on the puzzles will be varied, too.

Southern Belle said...

@Barry G: Thanks for the TBS & TNT help.....I'm just not a TV watcher.

weather321 said...

Went through the entire puzzle trying to find a clue that I knew. NOTHING. Paper now in the recycle bin.

C. C. said...

Linda,
Can you email me crosswordc@gmail.com?

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I got all HET up and wanted to light outta there, but about 1/3 of the way through I switched from "Master" (that's a laugh!) to the "Regular" solve and got red letters when I entered an incorrect fill. I don't think I would ever have finished up if I hadn't had that extra boost. Those of you who work on paper, with pen, must have had a pile of papier-mâché by the time you were finished.

I did understand the RK theme letters and early on and that helped with filling in the "5K's"

I won't bother to list the many clues I didn't understand and the fills I didn't get the first time around.

ESSY Persson (who??) apparently had one starring part in a 1965 Swedish soft porn movie. She was also in four other movies. The last one was 29 years ago.

OPIE Cates was a 1940's band leader who had his own radio sitcom show that lasted for 13 weeks. He was also had a part in the "Lum and Abner" radio show in 1949. Lum & Abner??

Come on, Nora Pearlstone....that's just downright mean!

Red State Democrat, Do your URL's need to be copied/pasted or can it be done without losing the blog? Could you just make them blue underlined links? I'm sure they are interesting, but I don't know how to get to them without losing C.C.'s blog. Help from anybody else?

SandbridgeKaren said...

memo to self - do NOT even attempt the Friday puzzles. Go immediately to Sudoku; do not pass go.

Just when I think I'm starting to get decent at this (4 for 4 for the rest of the week) - KABOOM! Glad the most of the rest of you agree; when Dennis struggles I know I'm beyond hopeless.

Somehow the first answer I got was 'menage' which now makes me worry about myself.

cc - would love a menage with butch and sundance; not what came to mind immediately but I like how you think. I'm going to ruminate on that thought the rest of the day and go to the beach.

barry g - I'm a sissy girl crying right along with you. I need way more brainpower to do puzzles like this.

ACK!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone,
I have to agree with Warren, even too hard to cheat!

Will turn on the tv, watch The Masters. Saw the Masters cup at The World Golf Hall of Fame.
Also had the privilege of being escorted around TPC Sawgrass. Had some pictures taken at the famous 17th hole.
A dream come true.
All the best ,
Geri

carol said...

SBKaren, what do you know...we are on the same wave-length, the first one I got was 69(!)A 'SEXY' and then 70A MENAGE. I really thought I was on a roll then!!! Too bad it 'petered' out. ;)

Linda said...

CC: Am I forgiven? Do I have 2 posts left?

Anonymous said...

re Expat,
It seems to me that expat is short for expatriot, which would mean a former patriot. Someone who has legal status as a citizen in two nations would not be "former" in the first one because status remains. However if the person is a political outcast in his initial nation, he is no longer a citizen there. As a political outcast the person is then an EXpatriot. This fits the clue for 56Down. I think other senses of expat are also in use.
Calef

SandbridgeKaren said...

carol - I sure hope you plan on having as much fun tonite as I will and things don't peter out for you; thanks goodness it's Friday; all the innuendos and double entendres this week, well, you get the picture.................

Lemonade714 said...

I finally had time to read up on ESSY PERSSON, and I think this is a totally bogus clue. Why in the world would an American puzzle doing audience, know or care about this Swedish actress who is marginal in her home country? You could ask me the leading Ukrainian actress, as well. Mr. Parker what is your philosophy on really obscure proper names, as obviously this PERSSON person was also unknown to you?

C.C. you may have a winner already in RORY, as he has played much better today. As soon as I said that he doubled 16….

I am shocked at not being shocked by LO-IS and LO-LI-TA when we have SEXY and MENAGE in this puzzle. What do you say ladies?

I was surprised so many had a problem with EVA, as UNCLE TOM's CABIN was a must read in my school days.

Clear Ayes said...

G.A.H. is celebrating Golfers Day just the way you would think. When he gets home in an hour or so, he will be settling down to watch The Masters and rooting for Phil Mickelson all the way.

I tried to find the complete version of this poem but this, the fourth verse, was all that was available. It is so true and so often ignored. It is my husband's biggest pet peeve to know that someone has been cheating on their card and there isn't a thing to be done. Golf is supposed to be a game of honor, but unfortunately winning is a little too important to some people.

Golf

It is a game of honor, too,
That tries the souls of men.
It’s easy in the public view
To all be honest then;
But he deserves an angel’s wings
Who paths of truth has trod
When left alone with just two things-
His score card and his God.

-Douglas Malloch

Anonymous said...

Even with the online solving, I finally gave up. It is ridiculous.

What about the votes? I missed how one votes. But I am not voting for LA Times. Too obscure. A few cute clues, sure. But that's not enough.

Menage a trois: Just means a household of three. So I vote for two guys and a gal. Why did you think it should be the other way around? Hah!

kazie said...

Sallie,
I hear you on ménage à trois. However, if it were the other way around, guess who'd be doing all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, and ménagement? There's be double the mess to clean up after, and the guys would have double the appetite that a woman would have for more than just food, so she'd be totally worn out all the time! A woman in her right mind would never agree to it. Maybe those in their left minds (righthanders) might though?

As to the vote, it's to the right of the main blog page in that separate column. Actually, voting against what we now have won't help much--what are the alternatives? NYT sounds even harder, TMS isn't available any more, so maybe we just have to get used to it and hope that over time this gets easier too.

Elissa said...

CA: You can copy and paste the URL into another tab, which you can open from the File drop down menu or by hitting Ctrl + T.

carol said...

Yea for you Sallie!! Two guys and 1 girl is the only way it should be.

Kazie, we can wear the guys out and still have energy. Besides, who says we have to clean up and do the cooking??? The guys should be grateful enough to do all that and serve it to us besides. ;)

C. C. said...

Kazie,
I like your idea of "Ménage à trois". It fits into Chinese tradition. My grandpa had 2 wives, so did most of other men of his generation.

Dugglesmack,
It's always MME or MLLE, not MLE.

Linda,
We whine because we love crosswords. I love constructive whining. Be patient, you will know more about Rex when he is back from vacation.

C. C. said...

Tex,
Who authored your Houston Chronicle puzzle today?

Sam in Miami,
Another abbreviated word the regulars here use often is "perp", meaning perpendicular fill. Dennis can give you more explanation. He coined those words.

Crockett & Fred,
Jeanne is right. Nothing wrong with the poll. You can only vote once. The result right now is true refection of solvers' opinions. Some paper carries LA Times from Tuesday to Thursday, some from Monday to Saturday, so the hit is not stable. The average is about 5,000 hits/day.

C. C. said...

Al @ 11:10am,
Re: Cat/GATO. Is that a poem? A song? I've never heard of it.

SandbridgeKaren & Carol,
Now I am worried about you two. I thought everyone should have got PRO (22A) first. Knotty naughty!

Sallie,
As far as I know, only "The Oregonian" published four different puzzles in the past month and asked the solvers to vote their favorite. All the other papers changed to LA Times or Newsday or other syndication puzzle without any reader input.

Thomas said...

Hello C.C. & all
Ouch! I can barely sit down after the spanking this puzzle gave me. Can never remember cheating so much to just finish. The hardest one we've ever had, for sure!

As for 'menage', my vote is MFF.

Red-bottom TJ

embien said...

48:14 before I gave up.

ACK! CRIKEY! The "theme" was a real snoozer for me. I'm still not sure what STARK GAZING has to do with The Steppes. Are they implying that there's nothing to see in those vast vistas of rolling hills of grass? The other theme entries were OK, with BARK CODES leading the pack. FORK DUMMIES not so much (FOR DUMMIES being a partial and not a "real" phrase in my book).

Oh well. I've been defeated before, but this was truly ugly.

Leftover from yesterday:
@OrAngie: I've been struggling with the "GITS" explanations too. They make sense, but they all seem like too much of a stretch to come up with solo. I mean, did anybody solve that clue without the help of the cross fills? I feel like one letter might be guessable, but not the whole thing. -shrug-

Your post highlights a different style of solving, where you fill in the definition word for a clue. (This style is amenable to Google or dictionary lookups for "help.")

What is unique to crossword solving (as opposed to the "fill in the blank" trivia contests) is that many times the answers reveal themselves slowly as you fill in the crosses. You kind of circle around, until finally the answer reveals itself. See my other post on GITS for how this works.

Anonymous said...

C.C.:
A menage a trois is quite different from having two wives. It is having three people in bed together at the same time for sex. It could be two men and a woman or two women and a man.

Andrea1263:
Thank you for the French blog for french-word-a-day. I'll check it out.

I like the increasing difficulty of the puzzles. With the help of this blog, if I learn just one new way of looking at a clue on Friday I can grow.

Thanks everybody for all your comments. I don't add something every day, but I do read them all.

C.C.: Did you get your answer yesterday about the difference between a bridle and a halter? A bridle has a bit that goes in the horses mouth and sits over the tongue. Reins are attached to each end of the bit and are used by the rider to direct the horse. A halter is a set of straps over the horses head used to lead the animal around the corral. Usually a rope snaps onto a ring under the chin for this purpose.

If I were a good as Dennis, I would be off to the gym now, but...
well, we know how that goes.

Doreen

Linda said...

CC: Are you the NYT guest blogger for next Wednesday? Do not let them hire you away from us!

I do love puzzles but this one was waterboarding!

Al said...

C.C.: I should have known it would be on youtube and linked it earlier: TCITH... Not exactly like I remembered, but reasonably close. You need to watch about half-way for the fish to summarize the part I remembered.

Anonymous said...

Give us our old puzzle back. This one sucks!
Tom

PromiseMeThis said...

Good Afternoon C.C. and Co.,

C.C.,
"I like Gia Christian the most (anagram of "Again, it's Rich"). How about you?"
I think I am partial to Judith Seretto (Just the Editor).
I think that one ties with Nora Pearlstone (Not a real person).

"Is this L'il Abner talk?"
I think it is just more of the same southern/western slang as yesterday's 'GITS'.

"What exactly is a arbitrager? Is he part of the hedge fund mess?"
Yes, that is what they do, but not in the traditional sense.
From TheFreeDictionary.com -
Arbitrage
"The simultaneous purchase and sale of substantially identical assets in order to profit from a price difference between the two assets. As a hypothetical example, if General Electric common stock trades at $45 on the New York Stock Exchange and at $44.50 on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, an investor could guarantee a profit by purchasing the stock on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and simultaneously selling the same amount of stock on the NYSE."
Hedge funds are basically unregulated investment funds that put their members capital into very risky financial intruments. Buying into a hedge fund is neither possible nor desirable for anyone other than the truly wealthy. The funds require a substantial buy-in investment on the part of the individual, typically starting no lower than a million dollars and often starting considerably higher. The high risk of hedge funds is something that very wealthy investors are willing to take on because the potential gains are also very high. The average investor in the market cannot afford to risk a million or more on a hedge fund, even if he/she could get into one.
If you are not already aware of it, C.C., Veryan Allen's 'Hedge Fund Blog' should be of interest to you.

"Mandarin Chinese has 4 tones: flat, rising, falling then rising, and falling."
Those variations in inflection are the reason that I think it is highly unlikely I will ever have a clue about how to speak most Oriental languages. I think I would have to permanently move to China to ever learn to speak the language.

"Steamy: SEXY. And GRASP (36D: Get). Is this S & S, G & G repetition on purpose? Does it make the fill peppy in your view?"
This for me is an example of your crossword expertise. I didn't notice this, and likely would never have done so.

"Reminded me of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". What popped into your mind?"
A couple of young guys from Guadeloupe.
Hey, you asked!

"I wanted BON MOT, but it did not fit."
Wow. Good for you. I was clueless on this one. I got it from the fills.

"Haydn contemporary: MOZART. Pure guess. I don't know those two are contemporaries."
You may also be surprised that Haydn was a brief teacher of Beethoven. He basically told him that he should, "Give up." Can you believe that?

OnlyNightOwl said...

Greetings CC and all -

CC and Warren and all other puzzling over “GITS”:
I did some more research and actually found out that Donna Levin’s original clue was “Notting Hill jerks” and Rich Norris changed it to “Lights Out” according to Donna: “a clue that's playfully misleading. I kinda like his.”

I was thinking the entire time that it was a noun – never entered my mind that it could be a verb. Guess I was around the Army too long.

Finally after all my research the “light bulb” came on and seeing it as “lighting out” (running away) it finally made sense. Now I “git” it. :)

I haven’t done today’s puzzle yet. But I do have a sense of accomplishment in my own mind that I know what’s behind “GITS.”

Better “git” out now and start on today’s puzzle.

TTFN

OnlyNightOwl

PromiseMeThis said...

"Can you un-retire a general? For example, can General Shinseki be reinstalled into his previous Chief of Staff of Army post, since he was forced to retire?"
I don't see why not. The military is not a democracy and the President is the Commander-in-Chief. It seems to me that his word is law where the military is concerned.

"Wikipedia says it's (NEVA) the third largest river in Europe in terms of average discharge, after the Volga and Danube."
I am embarrassed to admit that I did not know this one since I will be there for three days starting June 4th.

"Was this a gimme to you? I've never heard of this Rudyard Kipling poem."
Yes. As I have mentioned before, I was a huge Kipling fan as a boy. I am partial to Kim and Captain's Courage.

"Attractive force: Abbr.: GRAV. Gravitas?"
That works. Though I suspect that the 'Not A Real Person' was simply referring to gravity. Gravitas can be an attractive force if say one is engaged in light-hearted talk and suddenly some very bad news demands one's attention. The bad news then has an attractive aspect, one that forces you towards it, to have to face it, deal with it. I am sure Dennis knows a thing or two about this.

"REINA. Spanish for queen."
When I saw the Picasso painting that I referenced the other night, Guernica, it was housed in this museum. I suspect it still is.

'CRIKEY'?
I am at sea here. To the best of my knowledge, I have never heard this. Perhaps it is a regional colloquialism.

'HIND'. That one I know.

"GUAM. "Where America's Day Begins"
I had not heard it termed this way before. Thank you.
I am aware that there are no birds left there thanks to the proliferation of non-native snakes.

Once again, here is The Steppes of Central Asia

PromiseMeThis said...

As an avid jazz buff for longer than I care to admit, let me assure you, OPIE Cates is obscure.

This was a ballbuster today. I don't even want to tell you how long it took me. OK, I will, it took me 1:35:29 to do this bad boy. There were plenty of times that I thought I might not be able to finish it (I don't ever Google). I had to put this one down and come back to it repeatedly. My time reflects clock stoppages whilst away from the puzzle and I recognize that this is probably cheating. However, I did finish and only got one letter wrong. I fouled up the SE corner. I kept misreading ' Angry, with "up" ' as, ' Angry with, with "up" '. I was confident that the answer was 'fed'. When I finally realized my mistake, I was then sure it was 'set', as in 'upset'. To make matters worse, I knew 'LYNCH's name and could not recall it for the life of me. Add to that not knowing the name of the company that runs the Chicago 'L', I opted for LYNNS as the director, even though I knew that was not right.

Andrea1263, Thanks for the French blog link :)

PromiseMeThis said...

Lemonade,
Email me and I will tell you what I know about where to get LUCID around these parts.
"Why in the world would an American puzzle doing audience, know or care about this Swedish actress who is marginal in her home country?"
Marginal? Hell, the Swedish invented modern pornography. :)

"What the heck is MENAGE a Trois doing in a family-friendly puzzle?'
Barry G.,
Oh, is this a 'family' friendly puzzle? Good to know :)

Doreen,
"A menage a trois is quite different from having two wives. It is having three people in bed together at the same time for sex. It could be two men and a woman or two women and a man."
Or it could be three men or three women together.

I am amazed by people who grumble about the puzzle being too difficult. Is it hard to get the mindset of a new constructor(or even an old one for that matter)? Yes, it can be. Yet, I get the feeling that a lot of people just want to do an easy puzzle so that they can go through the rest of the day thinking that they are smart.
Dennis commented that he left for the gym feeling pretty stupid. This puzzle made me feel the same way ... and that's a good thing. This is also why I enjoy this blog so much. The people here regularly remind me just how ignorant I am. As has been said, "Use it or lose it."

jeannie said...

On this date April 10th...
Okay, I am late. I might be #72

1847 Newspaperman Joseph Pulitzer was born in Hungary.

Is this where the name Pulitzer prize came from?

1866 The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was incorporated.

1866? I am truly surprised by this date. Most animals at that time were for working or consuming.

1912 The luxury liner Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, on its ill-fated maiden voyage.

Believe it or not I lost a great aunt on this vessel.

1925 "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald was published.


1932 Adolf Hitler came in second in voting for German president to the incumbent, Paul von Hindenburg.

Too bad he wasn't asassinated at that time.

1959 Japan's Crown Prince Akihito married a commoner, Michiko Shada

Hey, I'm a commoner, where's my prince?

1963 The nuclear-powered submarine USS Thresher and its crew of 129 was lost off Cape Cod, Mass.

My brother was on a nuclear sub for 4 yrs from "82 to "86. He hated it. Up three months, down three months.

1972 Some 70 nations, including the United States and the Soviet Union, signed an agreement banning biological warfare.


1981 Imprisoned IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands won election to the British Parliament.


1992 Financier Charles Keating Jr. was sentenced in Los Angeles to nine years in prison for swindling investors when his Lincoln Savings and Loan collapsed. (The convictions were later overturned).


1996 President Bill Clinton vetoed a bill that would have outlawed a technique that opponents call partial-birth abortion.


1998 Negotiators in Northern Ireland reached a landmark settlement that called for Protestants and Catholics to share power.


2001 The Netherlands legalized mercy killings and assisted suicide for patients with unbearable, terminal illness.

If I am going down for the count and costing my family money, do me in.

2002 Eight Israelis were killed by a suicide bomber aboard a bus in Haifa.


2007 A woman wearing an explosives vest strapped underneath her black robe blew herself up in the midst of 200 Iraqi police recruits in Muqdadiyah, killing 16.

Hey, she knew how to party.

papajim said...

Way over my head today. Been away for awhile, fell while running. Did a good job on my ribs and foot. A real bitch to get up, sneeze, cough, or even open a jar of pickles for my darlin'. As Mike Ditka said, "This too shall pass". I do most of my reading on the couch, I don't have wireless. Made it to the computer today tho. I used to heal ALOT quicker when I was 20.
Jeannie.. too bad in 1972 they didn't include Agent Orange in that biological warfare thing.
Jim

papajim said...

As I slowly made my way back to my comfy perch I realized that Agent Orange was a chemical, not a biological weapon.

Whatever
Jim

Dennis said...

PapaJim, were you exposed to Agent Orange in 'Nam? I just missed it; tour was up in mid-'66.

Lemonade, Lois is still wreaking havoc on VA beach. I keep waiting for the 'Breaking News' bulletin.

C.C., you're getting 5,000 hits a day?? That's freaking outstanding; you've truly created a monster.

kazie said...

PMT:I get the feeling that a lot of people just want to do an easy puzzle so that they can go through the rest of the day thinking that they are smart.

I agree. Most of us probably are way out of our comfort zone with these puzzles. But it's always true that the more you know, the more you realize what you don't know, and maybe some find that realization uncomfortable. But by toiling on, we will all benefit from the learning. I remember when I first started doing these puzzles in the USA being awfully frustrated by what I didn't know about the cultural references. Then they got easier as I struggled on. I'm hoping these will too.

Andrea1263,
The French blog looks very interesting--I've bookmarked it. Thank you!

Terry 313 said...

Terry 313 said...
I crashed and burned. I wondered how stupid I was, well now I know. Too many obscure clues. I think i am going to raise the white flag! NOT. It is just a matter of getting in the mans head. Try, Try again.
I need a cold one.

Argyle said...

I had a busy day so I gave up after awhile, but I was pleased to see how many I did have right.

papajim said...

Dennis, according to a court decision I read recently, all personnel that served in the "Nam" between 1965 and 1975 are assumed to have had contact with Agent Orange. I have no personal knowledge of being actually contaminated, but several of my buds have.

Bill said...

Well, I thought I'd give Friday a try as there was nothing to do this AM but wait for Dr.s and Nurses. (Surgery was fine and she should be home sometime Easter Sunday.)
Anyway, the HAMMER fell, Between us we got about 16 1/2% (And that's a stretch!) And then made a perfect PITCH into the large rectangular file that was near the wall.
What an absolute disaster!
Nuff said.
Never again will I attempt a Friday or Sat.
CY'All Later
BTW, ALL the hair is in THROES now.

Razzberry said...

CC – Loons & Yaks,

Sorry I didn’t get back yesterday the thank all of you for the kind words about Cookie… Jeaanne – I will give Ben your email for reference, he is still putting out feelers and trying to get that one break that will start producing revenue from his schooling. PromiseMeThis – I will check with him on Stan Winston.

Ben has the talent – I know both sides of his brain work – sigh, wish I could say the same!

Today was difficult – g-string pullin’ for sure, but starting to get the hang of some of the clueing.

CC – I would have fallen out of my chair if (50A) Soft & ___ had been clued as female yak!

btw… PromiseMeThis – my apologies for inserting my head up my nether region and speaking out of turn. I wasn’t having the best of days. From now on I will let CC and Dennis hold the reins.

Things that make you go Hmmm?!?!

+ If it's zero degrees outside today and it's supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?

+ Clones are people, two

Truism to live by…

+ Never do card tricks for the group you play poker with.

Razzberry said...

Thomas - I posting tonight from Firefox without problem. I also use Apple Safari for PC just to change things up and have no problem with that browser, either. You may have some option settings that need tweaking.

Razz

jeannie said...

Rob, the ranter, I enjoyed reading your sailing terms. As you read last night, I was just being flippant with some terms I know as well. Thanks for chiming in and I hope you stick around. You will find my sense of humor is a little bit different than some on the blog. Winona? That really isn't far from me.

Lemonade...You still haven't gotten my check in the mail? Those damned postmen. I thought that the menage a thingy might have paid my postage. I have there names; am I still under retainer? ProBono? We might have a law suit.

JD said...

Good evening dummies..ha,ha,ha!

To quote Lois,"HOLY HOT Wick" and CRIKEY!!! I couldn't fill in most of the east coast of this cw. I spent a good 10-15 min. of every hour this morning going round and round. Had no access to G today (in a normal Silicon Valley classroom!!), so I really struggled, but felt great about the 6 or 7 a-ha's.The funniest a-ha's are when I come to the blog and only then do I discover a boo-boo. I had ranchos/opo. Ope sounds just as logical. What is it???? I'm sure it's been discussed.

I bet we all could write some fun definitions for squib, if, like me, you'd never heard it. Is it the tip of an ink pen? Well, actually... who cares/
Jeanne.. LOL

Al, loved the poem; have never seen it.

Warren, loved the link to my little town. Yes, our hills had many mountain lions at one time; not too many any more. Poor animals get shot when they get too close to our neighborhoods.Did I tell the story about when we were gone a raccoon kept coming into our house (via cat door)? Our neighbors locked it at night for us and he was stuck inside. He tore the daylights out of that catdoor to get out.

Yesterday was also a busy day, so I didn't post scene II. It took place in a drab food court at the Mali Mall.Aoki was speaking in Banto to Eno while sewing a temporary stitch in his aqua tassel, while drinking cocoa. Eno, a tonic, drinker, was fiddling with his carpet fastener. A third man, Bob, stops by their table with a bridle. They shun him, because he is yelling,"Let's swap!" This is not a saga so it has no end, and it needed more work. LOL

cheers!

Lola said...

After reading the comments throughout this "Hammer" of a Friday, I have gained a little insight(very little), but please indulge me. We all were feeling pretty smug about our puzzle solving abilities, and don't like being knocked down a peg. If we treat this as a mind expanding experience, instead of a criticism of our intelligence, it might become more enjoyable to struggle with the obscure clues. After all, if we wanted a fill in the blank puzzle, we could go back to fourth grade and be the teacher's pet. In other words, lighten up everyone and enjoy the ride. Just a thought. Viyan con Dios

Martin said...

"Mandarin Chinese has 4 tones: flat, rising, falling then rising, and falling."
Those variations in inflection are the reason that I think it is highly unlikely I will ever have a clue about how to speak most Oriental languages. I think I would have to permanently move to China to ever learn to speak the language.


You could try listening to some Chinese songs. If you go to youtube and do a search for Cyndi Wang, Jolin Tsai or Rainie Yang videos you might be able to find some songs that you could learn to sing along with and then you'd be imitating the tones without even consciously being aware of them. Plus you'd get to look at some pretty young women. :)

I just typed "Mother scolded the horse" into google translate and got 媽媽罵馬 which (without tones) is pronounced "Mama ma ma". Seriously.

Martin

PromiseMeThis said...

Martin,
Thank you for the suggestions, but (as I am sure you know) it takes a bit more concerted, as well as extended, effort to learn any foreign language. Chinese or any other East/Southeast Asian language would be as hard for me as any. That being said, it could do no harm to lend an ear to those songs on YouTube. I will look into it. Likewise, watching pretty young women can be a pleasant thing, even for someone of my persuasion.

Crockett1947 said...

@jd Don't know what you're smoking/drinking, but I think I'll stay away from it!! Interesting stuff, LOL.

Lemonade714 said...

"Hey, I'm a commoner, where's my prince?"

Still a frog, LO-LI-TA.

"Is this where the name Pulitzer prize came from?"

Yes

"Believe it or not I lost a great aunt on this vessel."

No, I do not believe it.

"If I am going down for the count and costing my family money, do me in."

Going down? Your choice of words...some things come naturally; yes I mean it.

"Lemonade...You still haven't gotten my check in the mail? Those damned postmen. I thought that the menage a thingy might have paid my postage. (It paid the freight, not the postage). I have there (their names? three names?) names; am I still under retainer? Way under ProBono? We might have a law suit."

Well I have a few suits, including birthday...