Apr 24, 2009

Friday April 24, 2009 Robert H. Wolfe

Theme: Short Paths

18A: Speed?: BURN UP THE RD (Road)

24A: Average Joe?: MAN ON THE ST (Street)

35A: Badly fluster?: DR (Drive) TO DISTRACTION

50A: Excessive charge?: HWY (Highway) ROBBERY

57A: Way out?: AVE (Avenue) OF ESCAPE

Maybe it's not structurally possible to position all the above street-type theme answers at the very end of the phrases. Or all in the beginning.

Dictionary says "man in the street" means "Average Joe", not "on the street". I found out that MAN ON THE STREET is a Bob Dylan song. Actually, several of the above theme entries are song titles.

I had huge trouble with this puzzle. I always do when I can't catch the theme earlier on. Lots of abbreviations in the grid. Robert H. Wolfe (the last one on the list) is another of Stan Newman's Newsday regular contributors. His bio says he is a veterinarian.


1A: Year in which Michelangelo began work on "David": MDI. I got M immediately from MAI (1D: Printemps month), which is French for May. Printemps is "spring". But I had trouble obtaining DI. The clue would have been a straightforward "Roman 1501" if it were a Monday/Tuesday puzzle.

4A: NCAA Mountain West Conf. team: UNLV. University of Neveda, Las Vegas. The Runnin' Rebels. Wikipedia says it's located in a Las Vegas suburb called Paradise. Here is a list of all Mountain West Conference members.

14A: Jordin Sparks duet: NO AIR. See this clip. Someone (Embien?) linked this song on the blog before. But I forgot all about it. Jordin Sparks is the winner of Season 6 of "American Idol".

16A: Place: STEAD. I was thinking of a verb.

17A: Doctrine: ISM

20A: Marching band wind: FIFE. Just learned that FIFE is rooted in German Pfeife, meaning " pipe". FIFE can be a verb also. Chinese dizi is a kind of flute too.

22A: Kept in the loop, for short: CCED. Trouble for me. I was not thinking of the email cc.

23A: Barbera d'__: Italian wine: ASTI. Easy guess, since ASTI is the wine region. I've never heard of this red wine.

26A: Center: CORE

27A: Exaggerate: OVERDO

28A: Sash insets: PANES. Oh window. I was picturing kimono obi. Obi is literally "sash" in Japanese.

29A: Jacket specification: LONG. Not large?

30A: Antique shop transaction: RESALE. Someone bought this first issue of Sports Illustrated at an antique shop for only $15. I've never had any luck there. How about you?

41A: Puts out: ISSUES. I did not know "Put out" can mean publish.

42A: "Getting to Know You" singer on Broadway: ANNA. From "The King and I". I've never heard of the song.

43A: Splendor: ECLAT. Ah, "Brilliant success". I often confuse this word with ECLAIR.

47A: In any way: SO EVER. I've never used SO EVER alone, always "What SO EVER".

49A: Collar: NAIL. Verb.

54A: "Power Lunch" airer: CNBC. I like Sue Herera. The guy on her right is Bill Griffeth. My husband watches "Power Lunch" every day.

55A: San __: REMO. Which one are we referring to here?

60A: One might be run before bedtime: TUB. Yep, every night, for me.

62A: Volley: SALVO

63A: Folded food: TACOS. Not a fan of Mexican food. Too hot.

64A: "Walking on Thin Ice" singer: ONO. I was not aware of this song. Wikipedia says Yoko Ono and John Lennon concluded the recording of this song on Dec 8, 1980. And it was upon their return from the recording studio to their home that Lennon was murdered.

65A: Colchester's county: ESSEX. Alliteration again. I guessed. I pen in ESSEX for all the 5-letter county clues. I had no idea where Colchester is. Wikipedia says it claims to be the oldest town in Britian.

66A: Ships, to sailors: SHES

67A: Dietary no.: RDA. Is it Recommended Daily Allowance or Recommended Dietary Allowance?


2D: The doghouse, so to speak: DISFAVOR. Would not have got the answer without the across fills.

3D: At hand: IMMINENT. Are they really interchangable? Can you give me an example? I thought "At hand" means "close by".

4D: Straighten: UNBEND. Mercy me! This is a real word. I thought the constructor made it up.

5D: __-turn: NO U. Boy, I felt stupid. The answer did not come to me readily at all. Need more time to adjust to multiple word fills.

6D: Tree with durable wood: LARCH. Wikipedia says it's waterproof too, hence it's used in building yachts and boats. Like teak, I suppose.

6D: Edwards who played Ben Casey: VINCE. New actor to me. Have never heard of the TV series "Ben Casey" either.

9D: Odysseus' kingdom: ITHACA. OK, here is Sean Connery's ITHACA again. Still can't believe Connery is a misogynist.

10D: "Rob Roy" actor: NEESON. Which is your favorite Liam NEESON movie? Dennis probably likes his "Les Misérables".

11D: "La Nausée" author: SARTRE. See the book cover. All SARTRE's love interests (except Simone de Beauvoir of course) seemed to be pretty but dumb. He declined the Nobel Prize. Probably mad that Camus got his first.

12D: Swirls: EDDIES

19D: Summer term at UCLA?: PDTS. PDT is Pacific Daylight Time. I outsmarted myself, thinking "summer" is a wordplay on one who sums up, so I wrote down ADD immediately.

21D: Pass up: FORGO. "Precede" is FOREGO.

24D: Form: MOLD

25D: Spelling et al: TORIS. I was trapped again, thinking of the spelling spelling, not Tori Spelling.

28D: Fan-shaped muscle: PEC. I suppose it's "Fan-shaped".

31D: Leader of Senegal?: ESS. Can't fool me! Senegal starts with letter S, hence "leader".

32D: Onetime Beatle Sutcliffe: STU. I know there was a 5th Beatle. Could not remember his name though. I am so happy that it's not clued as "Alphabet trio" again like RST (8D: Alphabet trio).

34D: Catch, oater-style: LASSO

36D: Code word: DIT

37D: Billy Blanks' fitness program: TAE BO. Portmanteau of TAE kwon do and Boxing.

38D: Market figure: INVESTOR. I was thing of the real number, not person. Good clue.

39D: 18 holes, say: ONE ROUND. More used to "A ROUND".

43D: Box up: ENCASE

44D: Boxing surface: CANVAS. Just learned this fact a few weeks ago.

45D: Risks a lawsuit, in a way: LIBELS. I often misspell this word as LIBLE.

46D: dining area, perhaps: ALCOVE

48D: Haunt: OBSESS. Wrote down HARASS, which is actually "Hound".

50D: Otto I was its first leader: Abbr.: HRE. Holy Roman Empire (800-1806). The last one is Francis II, who abdicted and dissolved the Empire during the Napolenic Wars, according to Wikipedia.

51D: Lincoln-to-Cheyenne direction: WEST. I like this clue.

52D: Character-building grps.: YMCAS

58D: Roald Dahl's "Fantastic Mr. __": FOX. The answer revealed itself. I am not familiar with this book.

59D: "Annabel Lee" poet: POE. Nice clip.

61D: Squeezer: BOA. No idea. Is it because the snake squeezes?

Answer grid.

Happy Birthday to our fellow solver Kazie!



Dennis said...

Goooood morning, C.C. - today, I'm dumber than a bag of socks. Hopefully, 3 hours' sleep and a bottle or so of wine are partly to blame, but realistically, very few synapses could get together on this one.

There isn't time or space to go into all the problems I had, even once I got the theme (which was late in the game). I liked the misleading clues ('Spelling, et al'), and actually loved the puzzle for its difficulty, but damn, it made my head hurt. And 'so ever' for 'in any way'? I've heard of whatsoever, and howsoever, but not 'so ever' just by itself.

Anyway, I hope others had more success than I. I finished it finally, but it wasn't pretty. In keeping with the theme, it's time to get on the rd.

Today is Pig in a Blanket Day.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "I live by one principle; Enjoy life with no conditions! People say, "if I had your health, if I had your money, oh how I would enjoy myself." It is not true. I would be happy if I were lying sick in a hospital bed. It must come from the inside. That is the one thing I hope to have example and by talk; to make no conditions, to understand that life is a wonderful thing and to enjoy it, every day, to the full." -- Musician Artur Rubinstein

A few more Fun Facts:

- A sea hare can lay 40,000 eggs in one minute.

- Some lions mate more than 50 times a day. (Pray for reincarnation)

And this is early, but in case I'm not online for them: an advance HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Kazie (4/25) and T.J. in Osseo (5/2).

C.C. Burnikel said...

I've never heard of "SO EVER" alone either. Fell victim to the misleading "Spelling et al" clue of course. I am not fond of today's theme. Travel safely.

Encore! Another THE BENDS moment please.

Maybe the airline picked up EL AL because of its "skyward" meaning? Good to learn it has nothing to do with the settlement EL AL.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Yes, I am lucky. All of the posters here are very friendly and patient with me, so are you & Orange.

Ha ha, great SIERRA clue then!

Pinkerton China only provided security protection/evacuation to high level business executives like Bill Gates (He was very shy). We did not cover political figures. I got my Kofi Annan autograph by mail.

Lemonade et al,
Will address your questions later.

Anonymous said...


The snake is named a Boa Constrictor,

Boa constrictor, a large South American constricting snake.

It gets its name because it will wrap itself around its prey and squeeze it until the prey is dead.

Prey includes a wide variety of mammals and birds. The bulk of their diet consists of rodents, but larger lizards and mammals as big as ocelots are also reported to have been consumed.

KittyB said...

Good Morning, C.C. and all!

At 34 minutes I have to walk away with three letters unsolved. I'm simply out of time.

I liked this puzzle a lot. As you've pointed out, the words are not difficult, it's the cleverness of the cluing that is changing throughout the week.

I got all the theme answers, and actually understood the theme for once! Yea!!

If I can, I'll try to get those three letters later this morning, just to see if I can complete the puzzle. In all fairness, I should add that I was using the Regular version online, and had the help of red letters to tell me when I went astray. Otherwise, this might have been an all day puzzle for me.

Have a good trip, Dennis.

I'm off to Indiana for the weekend later this morning.

Lemonade714 said...

I am so late, more than 30 minutes for this puppy. Lots of fun stuff, but I dislike all these gimmick puzzles, with letters left out, or three letters in one space.

MAN ON THE STREET was a running gad on Steve Allen's original Tonight Show, and introduced the world to Louis Nye and Tom Poston among others.

Men's jacket's are sized Short, Regular or Long. (They also have extra Long) so if you go to buy a suit and you are not tall like me, you ask for a 42 short.

Funny, you refer to email, with the CCED (ironic as it is you) the world having really changed, since the Cs stand for Carbon Copy, which we used exclusively when I began my work life.

I am glad it was ASTI, as that was the only four letter Italian region I could think of.

There actually were a couple of early Beatles, Pete Best, the first Drummer and Stu Sutcliffe the original bass player, who had the first Beatle haircut, from his girl friend Astrid. When I was wrestling in high school, I had my haircut like that, and the crowd would always sing to me when I wrestled; it was fun.

I really like WEST as an answer, since we always have three letter directions, it was off putting. For whatever reason, the Spelling family jumped in my mind immediately, especially Tori, who I see regularly, as I check out at the grocery store.

Dennis, safe trip, it is cool and crisp this morning, perfect weather.

Argyle said...

Good Morning, All, and Safe Traveling, Dennis.

It was stop and go, out there on the blvd of dreams, but I reached my destination without detouring to the Google tpk. I would come to a dead stop, then get one more word which would open up several more advancments. I was doing alot of switching lanes and shifting gears to get here though.

Started in the SW and when I got AVE OF ESCAPE, I was on the trail of the theme. Then, DR TO DISTRACTION, rolled under my wheels and I thought I was on my way. I felt I was the victim of HYW ROBBERY when I was gridlocked by the change to the end of the entry for the theme. The MAN ON THE STREET gave me good directions so I could BURN UP THE RD the rest of the trip.

Frey said...

A brutal puzzle.
@LEMONADE714...Wow !!! Greg Norman gave up his posh digs on Jupiter Island... I wonder if his first wife got the place.. it is spectacular. Boca is cool too. My BIL went to school with his first wife. For many years she was his business manager so I guess she knew where all the money was :):):)

Martin said...

Dictionary says "man in the street" means "Average Joe", not "on the street".

Which dictionary? Webster's and Oxford may disagree here because "on the street" is a common expression in the U.S. while "in the street" would be used in the U.K.

BOA is also a singer in Korea: I used to really like her when I was in Korea (along with a few other singers) but I couldn't get INTO their music because I couldn't understand a word of any of their songs. :)


Al said...

The puzzle today was shag nasty, about 40 minutes today with much head-banging. I even clued into the theme early on, but it didn't help much except to get a few missing letters late in solving. Got NE and SW corners first, managed to fill in SE afterwards and slowly worked up and back to the NW and NC. Finally got Larch because of the Monty Python "Trees" sketch, never heard of it otherwise.

JD from yesterday: Men remember toilet humor (especially the movies where it had been sort of a taboo subject until then) because even though they age, they never grow up. The ones that act grown up are doing just that, acting. And what fun are they? Now, even Disney gets into the act.

Anon-HP gave good explanations of the clues last night. I would add that there can be many different clue words indicating an anagram ("Different" being one of them). In "Warning signal activated later", the word activated indicates that some kind of action will need to be taken on the word "later". Also Ivories was indeed a clever alternate word for "Sort of key bones". With Skeleton, the word is singular for the "key" clue half and plural for the second definition (bones). Ivories could also be "key bones", which makes it OK to be a plural answer.

It helps sometimes to try to see where the clue can be split into two parts differently than the phrasing given, like this:

Sort of key

Two for today:

1) Craven white meat(7)
2) One lap around the current path(7)

kazie said...

Thanks Dennis,
I'll be away from my computer all day tomorrow, so I appreciate the early good wishes.

I'm afraid I just gave up on this XW. I never did get the theme and that caused almost as many problems as not knowing how to react to the many names, the literature, the golf reference, and much more. I wrote the ones I got in pencil, those I g'ed and what I got after coming here in ink, and it's about 50/50 ink and pencil.

I felt I was daunted by seeing so many names: people, teams and places, to start with, so that even the simpler things I should have got, I gave up on too fast. Also, wanting to get started packing for the weekend away (I start earlier than Dennis!), meant I was trying to hurry.

I did get SOEVER (guessed), and MDI (1A) I figured had to be 1500+ either one or five, so that gave me imminent quickly too. But that was the end of my easy St.

I'll check in later before I leave.

Fred said...

Well, from Monday to Friday my image of myself went from Albert Einstein to Mortimer Snerd. This was one tough puzzle! I solved it in about 45 minutes. I had to look up LARCH and UNLV. I never heard of either before(and they crossed!). I thought WEST was inspired for "Lincoln to Cheyenne direction". I was trying to figure out some combination of SSW WSW, etc. I liked CCED, too. I had too many wrong first guesses to bother to list them. Of course, when I saw Robert H. Wolfe was the constructor I knew we were all in trouble.

Anonymous said...

CC what time do you start the puzzle to have the answers in your blog so early in the morning? I know you live in the central time zone and I live in Florida so we are one hour ahead of you


James said...

I wanted close (at hand) - referring to distance - for IMMINENT, too. I finally got that it meant close - relating to time.

Noble life demands a noble architecture for noble uses of noble men. Lack of culture means what it has always meant: ignoble civilization and therefore imminent downfall.
Frank Lloyd Wright (example)

Anonymous said...


Good Morning,

"At Hand". In a certain context, like the 'the time is at hand', it means the time is near. Thus imminent is a good answer for this.

Elissa said...

My head hurts from the number of times I hit my forehead with my palm and said "doh" when answers were revealed. So many things I should have been able to fill in. And I had such a good start with MDI, UNLV and RINSE. I even understood the theme when I saw HWY ROBBERY, but still couldn't fully get the other theme answers without further forehead thumping.

Imminent and at hand are definitely interchangeable. For instance you could say "I certainly hope the economic recovery is imminent." or "I certainly hope the economic recovery is at hand."

I agree with the WoW. I learned a long time ago, I make myself happy or miserable with my own thinking. Through the worst inconveniences, bad hotel room, missed connections and weather disasters, my husband and I have never had a bad vacation. We were off work and together and 'bad' experiences make for 'great' stories.

SandbridgeKaren said...

This puzzle absolutely drove me to distraction. Got a lot of the right side but then hit a wall. Gave up and went outside to wash the car - it's the world's most perfect morning here. Came back, hit the g-spot, still couldn't get the theme and went to CC for the answers. Sigh.

CC - good eclairs are my absolute favorite dessert - haven't thought about them for a while as I'm watching calories. Thanks for bringing them up.

All I can say is it's Friday and these are the puzzles we get - some weeks are better than others; today not so much for me.

Hope the weather where you all are is as good as it is here and that Dennis has a great trip. But Dennis would you REALLY like to come back as a lion? Even good things can be overdone.

Elissa said...

Dennis - wishing you fair winds and following seas.

I'm off to DC next week, joining my husband on a business trip. It is absolutely my favorite city - all those free museums. Not sure if I'll be on-line.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone! Once again I started in the SE and built from there. When I got to HW I felt sure I was wrong, then got the HWYROBBERY and thought I had the theme, but BURNUPTHERD was the next theme answer to fall, and this was at the end of the phrase. WTF? Wasn't too happy with the theme treatment.

Had the devil of a time remembering how to spell MAI. I mean, how difficult can that be? I was leery of NOU, but VINCE was almost a gimmee. Guess that was when I watched a lot of TV, LOL. ESSEX was a lucky fill -- couldn't think of anything else to put in there!

Have any of The Oregonian solvers been able to find a theme in the new breed of puzzles? I certainly haven't.

Have a great Friday. Dennis, safe travels. Kittb and Elissa, good wishes for your trips as well. Off to the Red Cross for a platelet donation!

Linda said...

This was a three Excedrin puzzle...

Got a local festival going...would have helped to have had more time to devote to it...but probably not much.

I hope the cryptics get easier for me with more practice just like I`m still hoping Friday-Sunday puzzles do.

I don`t enjoy long, involved tasks
except a good novel. If I work half an hour on something and it still is inscrutable, I loose interest. Patience is not a virtue of mine!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, This one IS a toughie. I haven't finished it yet and have run out of time. I'm off and running again this morning, but it will be more pleasant than a doctor's visit. I'm heading to our wine country for lunch and some wine tasting with some friends. It should be fun.

Thanks to Sallie, Linda and others for their allergy comments and sympathy yesterday. I had been living in an allergy free world for so long. I had no idea how aggravating it can be. I sure know now.

Also to WM and anon-hp :o).... "MacBeth..MacBeth...MacBeth". I think it is only bad luck to say the play name if you are inside a theater, at least that is the way I've heard it. I'm not superstitious anyway, so if a meteor falls on my head, it is just an accident!

I haven't read C.C.'s or others comments and will save them until I get home this afternoon and can finish up the puzzle. See you then.

Mainiac said...

Good Afternoon Everyone,

Work called so I couldn't post this morning. Didn't matter because I didn't have much to say on this one. I may have imbibed a bit too much last night but couldn't click it in at all with this one. I quit on regular skill level after failing with a pencil.

Off to care for a sick child.

Have a great weekend!

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang, My wife and I managed to finish today's puzzle with me typing into the online version to see if our guesses were correct. She recognized the abbreviation theme which helped lots.

RE: San Remo? Remember that this is a LAT puzzle so I'll bet that t
this map near Irvine is the location...


g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all: Ugh, hard puzzle. Was happy though that I actually got the theme which helped out a lot. But, i had to google I'm afraid.

Dennis: Have a wonderful time in Florida. Perfect time to visit with low 80's and not much rain. How long will you be in Florida? Will you be looking at properties to buy as I know you are interested in that area of Florida. You might have answered some of these questions in earlier posts so sorry if you did. If you like mexican food there is a great one "La Bamba" off of SR7 (441)and Sample Road. Mondays used to be $1 Margaritas, not sure if they still have that. That would be South of Boca. Another great restaurant is right on the beach called Aruba Beach Cafe on Commercial Blvd. Definitely worth going to both of these restaurants.

Al said...

Favorite Liam Neeson films? Sure, some might say Schindler's List and Les Miserables, but I prefer him as Ra's Al Gul, Qui-Gon Jin, and, it's so bad, it's good: Darkman.

Lemonade714 said...

Fred, I like the Felix the Cat avatar. I, in my apparent recent identity crisis, have once again changed mine, to now show my oldest in his graduation finery. On May 1, he will be done with another stage of his life. As his father, I am beyond proud of his work, Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa and more, but also think he is pretty cute.

Dennis must be airborne, so we are on our own gang!

I really liked the symmetry of AIM, MDI, MAI and ISM.

I used to do the London Times puzzles, which are all cryptics but I have forgotten the hints to see if they are puns, anagrams, or hidden in the words, like our theme yesterday, but CHICKEN is too easy. Who can forget the tale of "ROBERT FORD, the Dirty Little Coward who shot Mr. Howard." I was always told he was a craven coward, which I always thought was a redundancy, but CRAVEN COWARD.

I am amazed at how many say that patience is not one their virtues, yet they love crossword puzzles which clearly require patience. I guess I am not the only conflicted participant. Don't worry, I am not revealing my virtues, or lack thereof....

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for BOA. Do you still solve the USA puzzle?

Argyle @ 7:29am,
Way to go! The best post from Santa, ever!

I googled Man on the Street, then Free Dictionary's Man in the Street shows up. As for INTO/"A Fan of", you are way "INTO the Wild"!

As I said on my main entry yesterday, I got the lower left corner first, then BEAN SALADS, then I noticed immediately LIMA hidden in SLIM AND NONE. I always find myself in trouble if I can't identify the theme earlier. Today is a good example. Thanks for the very informative post @7:05am. Is Tori Spelling nice in person? I really like the real Jason picture.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I got Chicken. By the way, how did you get interested in Japanese culture?

Have a great day tomorrow. Happy Birthday!

Is Robert H. Wolfe famous for being tough? I thought Doug Peterson is the Saturday Stumper guy.

Very early. No later than 3:45am.

Hi! Great IMMINENT quote.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anon HP,
How long have you been working on cryptic? Great explanation on the 3 clues yesterday.

Dennis is a bear.

I really like the way you analyze the theme answers now.

Gator Mom.
Dennis said the other day that he will be in FL for 2 weeks.

Elissa & Anon 9:41am.
Thanks for IMMINENT/at hand.

Barry G. said...

Hey, all!

I also had a huge amount of trouble with this one. It took me a looong time to figure out the trick theme (especially after reading the interview with "Rex Parker" where he said, "Rich's puzzles are less tricksy - you do not see elaborate gimmicks or even rebus puzzles in the LAT.")

Once I finally got the theme, I was still completely undone by the north central section. I had UTAH instead of UNLV, BEAT UP THE RD instead of BURN UP THE RD and TOE-Turn instead of NOU-Turn. I had never heard of NOAIR, and thought that NOSIR was likely. VINCE Edwards was also completely unknown. And NOU is just a crappy entry, I'm sorry. I have, on the other hand, heard of the LARCH and know what CCED means, but couldn't get them with all the other problems going on in that section.

As for the rest of the puzzle, it gets a good solid *meh* from me. I understand that late week puzzles are supposed to be harder, but I just really didn't appreciate some of the cluing. I mean, who runs a TUB before sleeping? A bath, yes, but a TUB?

Ah well, I'm probably just in a grouchy mood due to other things going on in my life right now. Sorry to be so negative...

WM said...

Quick post...Ouch, ouch and ouch...!

Had a very difficult time with this and I am definitely not up to this level of Friday solving. Got maybe 60%, came here for a few answers and was relieved that what I had already filled in was, at least, correct so I consider that a plus. With the help of about 3 clues from C.C.'s post I was able to manage a few AHA! and DUH! moments and finally complete it. I really don't like to Google and prefer to find the answers in the perps...Good puzzle but I'm not sure I like the road abbreviations...clever though.

Fred said...


Most of Robert Wolfe's puzzles are end-of-weekers, with most being published on Saturday.

Doug Peterson:

When your puzzles are reprinted in The LA Times book collections are you notified by Rich of your appearances in those books? Do you receive comp copies?


Thanx for the Felix note. I liked the early silent Felix The Cat cartoons, as well as the tv show. When I was young I collected the comic book.

T. Frank said...

Hi, fellow sufferers,

Got a late start today due to my early Friday meeting. 54 minutes online, regular, with much red letter help. Even after solving the puzzle, I could not see the theme until I came here for that V8 moment. I was trying to make a theme of the missing letters.

I don't think this was as hard as previous Friday challenges, but still, plenty hard. Most difficult answers for me were: disfavor, noair, cced, larch (wanted birch), pdt (grr), and imminent (was thinking available). If I were given the choice of solving a hard or an easy puzzle, I would pick the hard every time. I guess most of us prefer the mid-week versions.

As someone said (Scarlet?) tomorrow is another day. Enjoy your weekend.

Al said...

C.C. Re: interest in Japanese culture. It's like insanity. You get it from your children.

My oldest was in a Manga club at school a while back, and my daughter liked Manga and Anime as well. We have some Anime on demand with our cable service, so I started watching with them. I always liked cartoons. I was going to say "as a kid", but that would be redundant, wouldn't it?

The kids started getting Shonen Jump, and Shojo Beat, watching Anime on the internet to see the latest shows come out, and a lot of the shows weren't dubbed, only subtitled. One of the shows we really liked together was Hikaru no Go on toonamijetstream, which is where I got interested in the game. We also all liked Full Metal Panic and its very funny companion, Foffumofu. Among all that somewhere, my daughter found out about Hayao Miyazaki (incorrectly named "the Japanese Disney", or at least he doesn't like being called that anyway.)

She started getting interested in learning the language from watching the shows with Japanese audio, and also from a friend that (I think) used to live there for a while. From there she progressed to learn some of the culture, cooking, Jpop, and more other things than I can even keep up with, including Japanese and Korean Dramas (soap operas, really, but she hates when I call them that).

So, while I do have some moderate interest myself, and even have some of the Otaku attitude about not watching dubs, I'm not all that adept in it. I would like to at least learn some more of the language, and most of what I know is merely out of self-defense just to try to keep up with her a little.

lois said...

Good afternoon, CC et al., 'Ith-a-ca'raazzy puzzle today. What a hammer for me! Got 'nail'ed yet again & 'so-sooo' didn't enjoy it. Could not get a foothold anywhere, nope 'nary a one'. Made me feel 'stu'pid. Failure was
'imminent'. However...

The history of the famous Wmsbg
'fife and drum corps' is told in this puzzle today. Look. It's all about this man who had some 'issues' that would 'dr (him) to distraction'. He kept
'obsess'ing over being a 'man on the street' rather than being one of 2 people with a 'tub' drum , the other of which would be that fox(y) 'Anna' that he wanted to 'lasso'. The 'aim' of course 'es-sex' but 'shes'
apparently con'vince'd him to wait. That made him feel 'unlv'd and 'long' 'overdo' for at least 'one round' anyway. So, he thought and thought and finally decided to 'invest-or' head
'west'. He decided to leave. Not willing to forgo the splendor she had come to enjoy, Anna blocked his 'ave of escape' and said "'ONO'you don't. Bring the 'core' of your 'panes' to the 'alcove' at high noon and I'll 'unbend' your fife made of larch." He did, she did, they got married and 'so (for)ever' more they made sweet music with his 'fife' and her nees -on the floor...uh drumming.They lived happily ever after. And that's one story of the 'fife' and drum 'core'...right here in Wmsbg. Believe it or not.

I'm going to go 'burn up the road' now. Enjoy your night and wkend.

WM said...

Lois...that is just amazing...possibly your absolute will be difficult to top that! Excellent and exceedingly clever word play...I vodka your talent...

Rex Parker said...


Everything I say in that statement: "Rich's puzzles are less tricksy - you do not see elaborate gimmicks or even rebus puzzles in the LAT" is true. You'll note the words "less" and "elaborate." They are modifiers. I used them for a reason.

Did not enjoy this one.


embien said...

21:56 today. About half the time of last Friday's puzzle, so I guess it was easier for me (though it didn't seem like it as I solved).

I tumbled onto the theme relatively early with HWY ROBBERY and from there it was largely figuring out which road type abbreviations would fit, and where.

I filled in UTAH for the Mountain West school (I forgot that UNLV was in that conference, and contemplated UTEP for a while when it was obvious UTAH was wrong). That messed me up....a lot.

I also had MAN IN THE ST for the longest time, which made FORGO an impossibility for me.

So, I struggled, bigtime, but I did eventually slog my way through. Not too much fun, though, I have to say. (Syndicated NY Times was waaaay more fun, though I'm not done solving it yet. A whole buncha stacked 15's.)

c.c.: 14A: Jordin Sparks duet: NO AIR. See this clip. Someone (Embien?) linked this song on the blog before. But I forgot all about it. Jordin Sparks is the winner of Season 6 of "American Idol".No, wouldn't have been me. I'm the only person in the US who has never watched American Idol, I imagine, much less link to it.

@crockett: Have any of The Oregonian solvers been able to find a theme in the new breed of puzzles? I certainly haven't.I don't even solve the "Today's Crossword" that The Oregonian has started publishing. They are too inane. I'll do a few of them to see if I find a theme, though.

JD said...

Good afternoon CC and all,

I have such a long way to go before I get a gold star. I seem to do the same as Kazie, start with pencil and fill in with pen what I learn from CC. It wasn't 50/50 today.Sigh. I wanted to see where I really was if I took the time to really stick with it. On a clean copy I put all my gimmes in red pen; and filled in anything I should have figured out with blue pen. Like Melissa said, the words are not that hard; it is the clever cluing. Anyway, I still have too many blanks on today's puzzle, like ism, so ever, salvo(don't get it), and the completion of the theme lines.I have the synapses of a slug some days!

A few years ago, I had a boa constrictor named "Cuddles" who was a classroom pet.The kids loved him, but after 5 yrs, he got too long and too heavy to be safely held. He never squeezed anyone, but he started to bite, which did nothing. He just wanted to be held comfortably.He lived with me every summer and all the neighborhood kids came over once a week to see him get fed.I hated putting a live mouse/rat in the cage. One day( in my home) he escaped, but we found him that evening in a bookcase( on the other side of the house) nestled behind some books to stay cool. I took him to a local science camp where there are animals(dead and alive) for kids to see.

kazie said...

Just stopping in to say goodbye for the weekend and to thank c.c. for her birthday wishes. I will have fun tomorrow at a conference, but actually, because of this planned absence, it's been stretching out all this week and I feel it's already half over--the birthday, that is.

Good luck to all on the Saturday offering!

Crockett1947 said...

@C.C. Thank you

@embien I figure since I've already paid for the paper I might as well solve the puzzle. Practice, practice, practice.

Jeannie said...

On this day April 24th...

1877 Federal troops were ordered out of New Orleans, ending the North's post-Civil War rule in the South.

1916 The Easter uprising began when some 1,600 Irish nationalists seized several key sites in Dublin.

1962 The Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal.

1968 Leftist students at Columbia University in New York City began a weeklong occupation of several campus buildings.

1990 The space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope.

No time to do the puzzle today. Maybe I'll have a chance later on tonight. By the sound of the posts here....maybe I'll save my frustration.

Linda said...

Kazie: On my way out to yet another festival function but wanted to wish you a happy 29th Birthday.

Oberhasli said...

Woooooie - hard puzzle. Googled to get Ben Casey's real name. I used to watch that show long,long ago in a galaxy far, far away :-). Also had no idea about Jordin Sparks duet. But, once I got those filled in it just sort of fell into place. I had a few moments of despair thinking this one was destined for the bottom of the bird cage, unfinished. But, I can just imagine what tomorrows puzzle will be like.

Buckeye said...

Hail and hearties to all.

I'll start by saying "thbbbb." (Place tongue outside of lips, close gently, and blow. Known as a "raspberry".) Here's what I didn't like. Across - 1, 14, 23, 42, 54, 55, 64, and 65. Down - 7, 19, 11, 25, 31, 32, 37, 50, and 58. I knew some of the answers, but too many Proper Nouns. Some of these answers I could never get w/o Googling, which I refuse to do on a x/w. I didn't learn much from this puzzle today, and felt that if this were a TWS puzzle we would be "bitching" like crazy. "Nuff said.

Dennis and Kitty B, glad y'all "get it". I'm having fits with the Fri. and Sat. x/ws.

Dennis - May the wind be always at your back, especially on this trip. Enjoy. Also, I'm with you. I'll try to live with the lions at 20 times a day. It may kill me, but as the old joke said, "It took three undertakers to get the smile off of his face.

Kazie, Happy B-Day.

Maniac. Hope the ill child is doing better. I've lived thru a lot in my life, but nothing is more heart-rendering than tending a sick child. My thoughts and hopes go out to you.

Barry G. I've never run a tub either. A bath or a shower, but not a tub. I suppose there are places in our wonderful lexicon where someone said "Run me a tub for a bath," but not in my world. We always said, "Jeeves, would you draw my bath, now?"

Garymon said...

Your blog made the VA Pilot in Hampton Roads. This is Norfolk and surrounding area. There has been hundreds of comments about the new puzzle. The responses are split between the happys and unhappys. The editor is going to wait until May 15 to make a decision. Under need help? in the article, he listed your blog along with LA Crossword Confidential and Diary of a Crossword Fiend.

At this point we have given up on Thursday thru Sunday.

Keep up the good work. You may be getting more participants.


Buckeye said...

I did not end my last post with "I must be off" because "I ain't done yet!" (Great joke!)

Lois. Your last post was the cleverest I've seen. You have such an expansive mind and a way of using words and "phrasing". You should start writing seriously, or hire yourself out to the "porn" industry for promos. Either way, you could make a fortune.

Finally, Clearayes, my sister. You and GAH do such great things and are so active. I love you, both.
Allergies do develop with age. I played 18 holes yesterday and today, and I can barely breathe. I, as you, have never had allergies in my life; but in the last three years, my eyes and nose has turned against me. They can be managed with the PROPER OTC meds, but be careful. Check with your RX dude for inter-reactions with any other meds you take. Love ya.

Finally, our "nurse" we have here at the GBRV, we always called Nurse Ratchet. That ain't her real name. More to come.

NOW, I must be off

Lola said...

Hi all!! I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling battered. Didn't we used to see Robert Wolfe in the old TMS? If he is the same constructor I'm remembering, I never did enjoy his puzzles.

Even though HwyRobbery was one of the first theme answers I solved, it didn't click. I kept going back to the clue to see if it had abbr. at the end.

Oh well, when Rex Parker, Dennis, and Barry G. don't like the puzzle it makes me feel better

Embien: Slog is the right word, no fun at all!!!

JD: salvo= volley of shots fired.

Crockett: I have not found a theme in The Oregonian's xword, but I don't care as the theme never helps me very much. When the LAT puzzle is too hard the one in the Oregonian will boost your ego. I agree with embien that it is easy, but you're right, practice helps improve your skills for the trickier ones.

Last, but not least, oberhasli, don't despair, sometimes the Saturday puzzles are easier than the Friday offerings.

¡Que les vaya bien!

carol said...

Hi all, I didn't get my laptop back until just about 45 mins ago. Had to read all the comments and glad I was not alone in the frustration this puzzle caused me.

Dennis (5:31a) What is a Sea Hare? I have heard of Seahorses. Also Pig in a Blanket Day brought back pleasant memories of a favorite restaurant to have breakfast..the menu description was: Three Pigs in a Blanket. The pork sausages were small,tender and without gristle, wrapped in 3 pancakes. They offered a choice of fruit syrups or maple syrup. Delish!!!

Kazie (9:20) and Linda (10:47) I'm with you - if I had a bird, the cage would have lining.

Fred (9:21) LOL - I KNOW I am Mortimer too. I also loved Felix cartoon and comics. Thanks for the memories!

Kitty B and Elissa - I also want to wish you safe and fun travels.

Lois (2:28) LOL - Once again proving you are the Queen of word play!!!

Argyle said...

Ah reckon when I was a young'un, drawing a tub for a bath was just that. Saturday night was a bath in a tub, and I mean a real tub, as in a wash tub. It didn't happen every night but you did have to be clean for the Sunday service. (I'm not quite as ancient as the boy in the picture but close.)

Anonymous said...

I remember Ben Casey had the bedside manners of a bulldozer.

Barry G. said...


I know what you said was true, and I'm certainly not trying to say you were incorrect. I'm just saying it lulled me into a sense of false security to the point where I wasn't looking for any sort of trickiness whatsoever.

Buckeye said...

Argyle. I mentioned that there were groups that would understand "draw a tub". Should have known from our previous coms., you would have been one of them. I guess we go back long enough to remember DAMNED near anything. "Draw me a tub", "Draw me near", "Draw me a picture", and "Draw me a drink". But do you remember the best? "O.K. outlaw, DRAW". I remember when we "shot down" the MacDougal" gang, outside of Fornicate, Nebraska. What a "f*****g mess that was. Thanks for the help, Doc Argyle.


Buckeye said...

My last post. Barry G. We seem to be on the same page regarding these new puzzles. They stretch the imagination, but not the vocabulary. They're fun, but not expansive!. They're word games vs x/w. IMHO


JD said...

I think it might not be safe for me to be out after dark, but I have to say hats off to Lois... best ever!!!!Another clever epic of laughter!!!

Barry, I love your posts, even when you are down. You explain things so well.

Kazie, Happy Happy birthday.. hope you get cake.

Happy trails to Elissa and Kitty. Dennis, we hope you have finally left, and have arrived safely.

Buckeye said...

c.c. I'm sorry. I'm one over. Where is DrDad?


Anonymous said...

Yes, that was one bear of a crossword today. I did get it all eventually, but not without a little googling. I suspect Saturday's xword may be tough, but easier than today's.

On the cryptic clues:

1) Craven white meat(7)
Lemonade and C.C. already posted what I agree must be the answer to this one, you know, Tastes like?2) One lap around the current path(7)
circuit is clearly the answer. I'd first thought of raceway, in its electrical conduit sense, but that didn't work well with the "one lap" portion of the clue.

C.C.: to answer your question, these cryptic clue puzzles are just something I've worked on a few times in the past. Wordplay and word games in general though, well, they are things I've enjoyed since grade school.



Lemonade714 said...

You have to feel bad for Tori Spelling; her father was too rich and too successful, so what did she have to look forward to in her own life? She is not gorgeous, not anything that could compete, and then he died and left her almost none of his 500 million dollar fortune. But she is a survivor, and continues to work, so I guess it is all good.

Just came from the Broadway Road Company performance of Jersey Boys, and I had forgotten how many hit songs Frankie Valli and the boys had 4 Seasons lots of fun. Dennis if you are in the sound of my voice, it is a very well done show at the Broward Center of the Performing Arts, tickets at Stub Hub.
Well I be tired...

Thank you C.C., for the kind words, and your thought process, I guess I will never be a theme person, fighting these puzzles one letter at a time.

Martin said...

I googled Man on the Street, then Free Dictionary's Man in the Street shows up.

Try googling the entire phrases "Man on the street" and "Man in the street". "Man on the street" gets 6,160,000 hits while "Man in the street" gets only4,170,000 hits. It's definitely a question of American English versus British English: in Britain if you live "in the street" you live in the community whereas Americans would say he lives "on the street" to mean he's homeless. :)


Doug P said...


Hi, Fred. No, you aren't notified when your puzzles are reprinted in the LA Times collections, and you don't received complimentary copies.

The NY Sun used to provide comp copies to the constuctors who appeared in their collections, but the editor (Peter Gordon) also worked for the company that published them. I don't think Rich Norris has much control over what's done with the LA Times collections.