Apr 11, 2009

Saturday April 11, 2009 Bruce Venzke and Stella Daily

Theme: None

Total blocks: 32

Total words: 70

Another relentless uphill battle. These LAT late week puzzles are so hard for me. Saturday is the worst. I definitely need a theme as my sherpa. The eight 15-letter words are very intimidating, esp the stacks at the top and the bottom of the grid. The below long answers might be the reason why we have a noticeable amount of abbreviations in the grid:

1A: Jealous reaction to a witty remark: I WISH I'D SAID THAT

16A: Broad-based statistical standard: NATIONAL AVERAGE

17A: "The Dreadful Story of Pauline and the Matches" and others: CAUTIONARY TALES

24A: Sousa subject: STARS AND STRIPES

44A: Headed for home: ROUNDED THE BASES

59A: Tried to escape: MADE A BREAK FOR IT


63A: Didn't just dive in: TESTED THE WATERS

I know FDR's dog is called Fala, had no idea what breed it is. Also, I don't know Scottish Terrier is also known as Aberdeen Terrier. Have never heard of "The Dreadful Story of Pauline and the Matches". But I got *TALES filled in, so I decided that Canterbury TALES sounds good. And it fit pretty well.

I am feeling just so slow this morning. It took me a long time to understand why SIXTH (29D) is clued as "Like Friday or June". D'oh! Friday is the SIXTH day and June is the SIXTH month. Was also stumped by the rationale of the SET clue (42D: Seinfeld's apartment, say). Only realized a few minutes ago that his apartment is the SET of the whole show. I love "The Nazi Soup" episode.

I still can't believe the answer for 52A: "120/70, 130/80 etc: Abbr." is a simple BPS (Blood Pressures). I thought it would be like HDL/LDL, you know, something sophisticated and unrecognizable to common people. One small quibble: ETC is the answer for 21A: "More of the same, briefly" and then part of the clue for 52A.


18A: Shoppers' savings?: Abbr.: RCPTS (Receipts)

19A: Roadie's burden: AMP. Blanked on this one. I am used to the "Current/Electric unit" clue.

20A: Unique folks: ONERS. The first Across word I filled in today. I often confuse humdinger with harbinger.

23A: Ger. neighbor: AUS. My answer is always AUS whenever I see a "Ger. neighbor" clue.

34A: Namely: TO WIT

35A: Meter site: TAXI. I was thinking of the parking meter.

36A: Overseas okay: OUI. I like yesterday's "Nice way to beg off?" for NON.

37A: Sheepdog in "Babe": REX. Saw the movie. Can't remember the dog name. Oh, look, there is an ESME, another way to clue the "Salinger girl".

38A: Cleo portrayer of 1963: LIZ. She fell in love with Richard Burton while making "Cleopatra".

39A: Its parts may be eaten separately: OREO. Well, I never eat them separately, nor do I dunk them.

41A: Flavors, in a way: SALTS. Verb. I like this clue.

43A: Starlet's goal: ROLE. I wanted LEAD. Thought starlet wants a leading ROLE.

47A: 1946-'75 nuclear agcy: AEC. This has become a gimme. NRC replaced AEC in 1975.

48A: Marker's end: TIP. Was this a gimme to you? Pen did not come to my mind when I saw "Marker".

49A: Ones wanted by the mil.: AWOLS. Good clue.

55A: Dr. visits: APPTS


1D: Rise: Abbr.: INCR (Increase). Another unfamiliar abbreviation.

2D: WWII female: WAAC (Women's Army Auxiliary Corps). I can never remember this name. Our fellow solver Southern Belle is a WAAC member. Oh, no, she is WAC. How is different from WAAC?

3D: Words after live or give: IT UP

4D: Jobs for teens: SITTERS. I thought of WAITERS. It has the same number of letters.

5D: Derricks and cranes: HOISTS. I only know HOISTS as a verb. Did not know it's a noun too.

6D: Theban queen of myth: INO. Pronounced like "I know". Clued as "Daughter of Cadmus" in our puzzle last time. She rescued Odyssus from drowing by giving him a veil. I was thinking of Dido, but she is actually "Queen of Carthage". Do you know that Elissa is another name for Dido?

8D: Poetry-reading competition: SLAM. Have never heard of Poetry SLAM. Do you call this a poem?

9D: Group that grows as boomers grow: AARP. I like this clue too.

10D: Brown, but not white?: IVY. Stumped. Very clever clue. The "but not white" part is very tricky and misleading. Brown is an IVY League school. I pictured sauce and then bread. I might have thought the university if the clue were simply "Brown, for one". Hmm, I take it back. This clue might lead me to Michael Brown and the "heck of a job" he did.

11D: Roundabout route: DETOUR

12D: What mailed packages are in?: TRANSIT. Tricky. ENVELOP is the only word that popped into my brain.

14D: Golden __: AGER

15D: Polanski film based on a Hardy novel: TESS. TESS is the only Hardy novel I've read. I had no idea that Polanski made it into a movie.

22D: Bucky of "Get Fuzzy" for one: CAT. Absolutely no idea. I've never heard of this comic strip.

23D: Verizon rival, initially: ATT. AT&T stock ticker is just a T.

24D: Hound's find: SPOOR

25D: Abril-mayo zodiac sign: TAURO. Spanish for Taurus (Apri 20-May 20). I am not into horoscope, so I had no idea which one is for which month. And I don't speak Spanish. Therefore, a complete loss here.

26D: "Farewell, François!": ADIEU. I would like some lively & topical clue for ADIEU rather than the alliteration. They've said ADIEU to each other.

27D: U.S. Canada defense acronym: NORAD. Crossword stalwart acronym.

28D: Lived: DWELT. "Lived" is often a clue for WAS.

30D: California's ___ Verdes Peninsula: PALOS. No idea. See this map. PALOS Verdes is literally "green sticks" in Spanish.

31D: Dictator's fate, perhaps: EXILE. Stupid Saddam should have chosen this route and settled down in Syria. The Iraq War would have been avoided.

32D: Label data: SIZES

40D: Vigilant: ON ALERT. So hard to get used to multiple word answers.

41D: Wall St. watchdog: SEC. The current chairperson is Mary Schapiro, the first woman to head SEC.

43D: Camaraderie: RAPPORT

45D: Marquis of note: DE SADE. Sadism is derived from his name.

46D: Former African secessionist state: BIAFRA. Have never heard of BIAFRA (southeast of Nigeria). It existed from May 1967 to Jan 1970. Wikipedia says "Doctors Without Borders" were created in the aftermath of BIAFRA secession. Oh well, at least something good came out of this conflict.

49D: Latin 101 word: AMAT. "He loves". Amo, amas, AMAT.

50D: "Did gyre and gimble in the__": "Jabberwocky": WABE. No idea. All the "Jabberwocky" stuff drive me bunkers. It simply makes no sense to me.

52D: Writer Harte: BRET. I confused him with "Poet Hart" (Crane). Both appeared in our puzzle before. Wikipedia says BRET Harte is an "American author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pionnering life in California".

53D: Phnom __: PENH. Plus Pol Pot & Khmer Rouge, that' all I know about Cambodia. Their official language is Khmer. I don't know why Chinese translation for Phnom PENH is "Gold Border". Maybe there are lots of gold there?

56D: __ dieu: PRIE. The kneeling bench. I learned this from doing Xword.

57D: Large cake layer: TIER

58D: Narrow waterways: Abbr.: STRS (Straits). Again, not a familiar abbreviation to me.

60D: Where Goldilocks was discovered: BED. Anyone uses Sleep Number BED? Is it really that good?

61D: Royal Botanic Gardens locale: KEW. The KEW Garden was established in 1759. Have you been there? Their water lily pads look so strange.

Answer Grid.



Anonymous said...

It looks like numerous people prefer the TMS Daily. Is there any possibility they'll switch back to it? I have always LOVED doing Crossword Puzzles and have done so for over 30 years, but these puzzles make me feel dumb.

Thank you from
Another CC (my nickname from college)

C.C. Burnikel said...

Ouch! I've never seen you posted 48 minutes before.

"Ménage à trois is having three people in bed together at the same time for sex." Really? Are you serious? Argyle linked 2 pictures which illustrated perfectly the differences between bridle and halter.

No, I am not. I am intrigued too.

Lots of xie xie for the clip.

C.C. Burnikel said...

It's actually not difficult to speak Chinese. But hard to write the Chinese characters. Holy cow! I always thought Guernica is housed in El Prado.

I am so sorry to hear the fall accident. Hope you heal quickly.

Never say never. I know you will try the puzzle next Friday.

T. Frank said...

Good morning, C.C.,

I can't believe I am the second poster this morning. Everybody must be sleeping in.

This was a challenge, but perseverance won. I like long words, but the perps seemed hard to me. At least all the answers are legitimate words, unlike yesterday which smacked of NYT tomfoolery, I thought.

Have a glorious Easter.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Good morning! Yeah, lots of solvers are sleeping in. Also, many papers do not carry Saturday or Sunday LAT puzzle. How long did you spend on today's puzzle? Did you get INCR, WACC & BPS immediately? How about INO, BRET, SIXTH and SET?

I like your take on the puzzle @10:06 pm last night. I think we need an attitude shift.

What a perfect example: "Mother scolded the horse". Your understanding of Chinese language is very impressive.

Anonymous said...

I gave up trying to do the Thu thru Fri crosswords. I do it for fun and this is no longer fun. I miss the old puzzles.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning C.C. Our puzzle makers today must not believe in the Christian bible. In Genesis is says " . . and He rested on the seventh day . . and God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it .." In my lame brain, that makes Saturday the sixth day - not Friday - which, btw, is the Sabbath day in the Islamic faith.

Have a nice Saturday.


Argyle said...

Aw, for crying outloud! The old puzzle had some real stinkers and you never knew what day you might get one.

I liked today's. I did have to step back to see the phrases but on the whole, it came together nicely. BPS and Bret I got with no trouble. Most trouble was not that I didn't know them but I didn't remember them, i.e. Ino and the second A in WAAC.

I had another PERSE(Per Se) moment, looking at TOWIT and not seeing To Wit.

Oh yeah, Good Morning, C.C. and all.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

This puzzle was initially very intimidating as I looked at all those long 15-letter answers. None of them were things I could fill in off the bat, so I just concentrated on the perps instead. By the time I made my initial pass with the downs, I discovered I had enough letters to correctly guess most of the long acrosses (all of which were pretty routine phrases).

I think the only true unknowns were INO and TAURO. I originally guessed INA, but that got resolved quickly. As for TAURO, I was expecting TORO from the clue, since that's Spanish for "Bull." Although I'm reasonably fluent in Spanish, I'll admit to never having learned the name of the zodiac symbols in that language.

Oh -- and I've also never heard of an ABERDEEN TERRIER before (or, obviously, knew that was the breed of FDR's Fala). But I knew what a Scottish TERRIER is and I knew that ABERDEEN was in Scotland, so it wasn't hard to guess once I got enough perps.

And yes, TIP came to me immediately. It helps to have a 4-year-old, I suppose, who loves drawing all over the place (and himself) with markers. I've also been to a poetry SLAM before, so that was another gimme. And I've always been a fan of Jabberwocky ["`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the WABE. All mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe."] Oh -- and it's all meant to be nonsense, C. C., so don't try to understand what the poem means.

Anyway, not a bad puzzle for me today. Certainly easier than yesterday's monstrosity, but maybe just because I happened to be on the constructor's mental wavelength this time around. My solving time on-line was 7:45, which I guess isn't bad for a Saturday.

Anonymous said...

I cannot tell you how irritating and frustrating these puzzles from LAT are for my husband and me. Crossword puzzles are supposed to be cross WORDS not cross PHRASES!! This used to be a fun time solving the TMS puzzles together but now it is NOT. Is there a chance that we will EVER go back to the other format puzzles? Please let me know that there is hope because if there is not, we are going to cancel our newspaper! Please add my vote to the DO NOT LIKE list!!!

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - I loved this puzzle. I think I said before, I've always liked the 15-letter answers; they're tough, but once you get them, it opens up a lot.

Unknowns included 'ino' 'wabe' and 'rex', but the perps got 'em. I liked the cluing for 'tauro'. And you know how we were just talking about things we knew that we didn't know we knew? As soon as I had the 'Ab', I knew it was 'Aberdeen Terrier', but I have no idea how I knew it.

I truly hope that everyone who finds the puzzles overwhelming will stick with them. The more you do them, especially the earlier in the week ones, the more things will start to come to you. I really believe that you get in the same mind set after a while. And one of the best things you can do for yourself is to give your mind a vigorous workout. Anything that has the potential of pushing back Alzheimer's, etc. is a wonderful thing.

Today is 8-Track Tape Day (boy, did I have a stack of those), and Barbershop Quartet Day (Crockett, anything special today?)

Today's Words of Wisdom: "It is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong." -- Warren Buffett

Bill said...

CC, I didn't even wait for Friday. I punished myself today! But, after an hour and a half, the spaces were all filled in, and even made sense. I must admit, I do not understand the difficulty scale from Mon to Fri. Seems that this one (even with the long answers) was much more solvable than yesterdays mess.
Did not know SLAM,TAURO and INO. Don't understand 10d, IVY clue. BROWN, but not white. What does the clue refer to?
Also, I think 58d, STRS is STREAMS not STRAITS. Could be either I guess, but the first thing I thought of was the former.
As for 52a, BPS, I've seen enough of those lately that it was a gimme.
AMP and Roadie. How many times I've wished that I had roadie to move ALL my musical equipment, including my AMPS!!!!
Gotta go see Nancy D.
CY'All Later

Anonymous said...

Am thinking of canceling my newspaper in favor of one who's crosswords are fun. We looked forward to doing them but no longer do. Hope there is a chance to return to the old way.

Judi said...

I looked forward to doing the puzzles every morning but am really flustrated with these. I usually just give up and come to your blog.

T. Frank said...


I got Bret, Sixth, Set, WAAC, Sana and AARP right away. The others came more slowly. Somehow, Tess stuck in my mind. I still don't understand the Ivy clue. I went to Brown, as you know; are they speaking of it? All in all, I really enjoyed the puzzle, although it took me an hour online.

I continue to be amazed at the number of responders who don't like the LAT xword. Are all the Anon. objecters different people, or one person? I have found a lot of people just don't like change.

For me, doing the puzzle is only half the fun; reading the blog is fascinating, particularly for the cross section of views, temperaments, genders, ages, etc. it represents. Fortunately, it avoids politics for the most part.

I don't know how you find the time to keep it going, but your effort is very much appreciated.

SandbridgeKaren said...

I don't miss the old puzzles one bit. These new ones are clever, witty, and, yes, sometimes hard, but that's part of why I enjoy them. If I got every single one easily then I'd miss that sense of satisfaction when I do finish a difficult one. And I wouldn't learn as much as I do now.

I say that because 'hooray' after initially looking this one through and thinking I was dead in the water, I began working it and finished! Took some time but I GOT IT! My sense of satisfaction is off the charts at the moment. I tried RIP for TIP thinking of something on a grave market and once I realized SET was the answer for Seinfeld's apartment I finished. Guess I was trying to be too cute with the clues.

All I can add to what others have already said is just keep working the puzzles and don't give up. It really does get better the more you do and, yes, some are still stumpers for me but when you realize how much better you've become over time I think it's worth it. I'd agree that people just don't like to change!!!!!!!! But I'd take these over the TMS any day of the week.

KK said...

Wow, came across your answers to the crossword puzzle by accident. I too struggle with all the crossword puzzles from Wednesday on... Your answers and explanations are a godsend. Maybe considered cheating, but I sure have learned a lot from your explanations and humor.

Southern Belle said...

Good morning all - What a great puzzle! When I first saw all those long words, all I could think of was.....oh, no.....never; but then the perps really got me going in the right direction. Didn't keep track of the time, but around an hour.

WAAC was the first thing I inked in. This was the Women's Army Auxliary Corps until it was changed to WAC, Women's Army Corps, after WWII. When I can get 2D right off the bat, I knew this puzzle was doable.

As Christie's Poirot would say "The little gray cells" were busy on this puzzle.

I too, think the Anons are same person! Those TMS puzzles were just a waste of time. Nothing to really get your teeth into!

Martin said...

It took me a long time to understand why SIXTH (29D) is clued as "Like Friday or June".

Of course it did. 星期六 is Saturday, not Friday. :)

43A Starlet's goal: ROLE. I wanted LEAD. Thought starlet wants a leading ROLE.

I thought of FAME.

24D: Hound's find: SPOOR

Why? I had DRUGS.

32D: Label data: SIZES

I wrote PRICE and then realized it had to be plural.

I don't know why Chinese translation for Phnom PENH is "Gold Border". Maybe there are lots of gold there?

Don't you usually translate the names of Asian cities into Chinese from the local language? I know Western cities are written phonetically.

I wanted CRAM for SATE by the way, but I realised that was wrong when I got MADE A BREAK FOR IT and TESTED THE WATERS. If I had only known that "FDR's Fala, e.g." refered to a breed of dog I might have been able to fill the bottom three rows! As it was, I did okay down there but at the top all I had was DANA, AARP and TESS. :(

"Ménage à trois is having three people in bed together at the same time for sex." Really?

Yep. Or on a sofa. Or on a carpet. Where ever.

Your understanding of Chinese language is very impressive.


I just got back from a Jolin concert. Seriously.


windhover said...

Good Morning, All,
While CC has already mentioned it, I would to direct bloggers, including lurkers, to the comment of Lola at 10:06 Friday night. If you want a puzzle that you can work while driving to work, putting on makeup, or shaving at the same time, or like our former puzzle used the same words every day, then by all means find yourself a puzzle that doesn't require you to think. After all, television doesn't require you to think, and religion gives you all the answers to life's mysteries (except maybe tornadoes), so why the he'll would you want to try and think, anyway?
I'm currently getting, in the Lexington Herald-Liar, the "Daily Commuter Puzzle", which, if she had thumbs, my Border Collie Molly could solve. I Am lobbying the H -L to return to the LAT puzzle, because I possess a quality that could be clued as 10 letter word for " desire to know". If I need an ego boost I'll get Molly the Border Collie to lick my face. Of course, that might not last because she is generally smarter than me, and evidently most anonymous posters.
Two Questions for anonymous @ 7:59. Where on the planet do you live that you still have a choice between newspapers, and do you actually read the paper, anyway, if you're going to cancel over the Xword?
Windhover, competing with Dennis and PMT for MVP (most vilified poster).

Anonymous said...

Don't like these crossword puzzle we have been getting lately. No theme. Too many possible answers. Just not fun to do. Thank you...

Al said...

C.C.: De nada. Xie ni for keeping this blog going in the first place; it's something that actually makes me want to get up every morning.

There sure seems to be more non-english words and phrases in these puzzles. I guess I'd expect to see more Spanish from LA, but where is all that French coming from in the last few puzzles?

My favorites were Brown/not White for ivy league (or not) schools (they should have capitalized White, though) and a new way to clue for Oreo cookies. I wanted olio (stew) at first.

My daughter likes JPop, so here's a link to match the fallen dictator clue in exile.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone. When I looked at the grid I was really intimidated. Eight 15 blank answers? Egads!

My first fill was DANA, and then I went to the south and worked my way back northward. I didn't have to Google at all and only had one red letter show up. Finished in under 28 minutes, which I thought was an OK time. (nice time, barryg) Lots of multiple word answers, and I counted 90 of them (words).

Yes, TIP was a gimme. I don't understand the "but not white" part of the BROWN clue? A college and a color? So what?

We've had our sleep number bed for a number of years and find that it does deliver a restful night.

@dennis No, nothing special happening in my barbershop singing world. We don't do a good job of celebrating the founding day of our society (once dubbed the Society For The Preservation And Encouragement Of Barber Shop Quartet Singing In America, or S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A. for short -- now the Barbershop Harmony Society, or BHS).

I hope that some day the anonymous posters who want to return to the "old" TMS puzzle will wake up and realize that the puzzle is GONE. It DOES NOT EXIST!!

Having got that out of my system, Have a great weekend, all!

Fred said...

This was a hard Saturday puzzle. I was able to finish it in about 45 minutes without looking things up. I ran into all the same miscues everyone else did so no need to repeat them here.

I can tell you from personal experience that if you stick with it you all can do Thurs/Fri/Sat puzzles. When I first started solving LA Times puzzles years ago I could only do Monday and Tuesday puzzles. After I got used to the clueing I was eventually able to Wednesday puzzles. After several MONTHS I was able to finally do Thursday puzzles. And now I do Friday and Saturday puzzles. I generally don't care for themeless Saturday puzzles but do them to keep up with this group. Those of you who feel you can't do the end week puzzles, stick with it! You are smarter than you think you are. There is a great deal of satisfaction in solving harder puzzles. If you stick with it I guarantee you will amaze yourselves!!!

Linda said...

CC: My vote for the most clever clue today is 12d..."what mailed pkgs. are in."

"Starandstripes" came easily...had to google "aberdeenterrior"..."tow it" made no sense until I saw "to wit"...I`m a confuguration word solver...down words and multi-word clues are hard because of it.
To all the "cheerleaders" thanks! I`m hanging in there and I do see light at the end of the tunnel...I just hope it`s not a train!

JD said...

To all negative anonymous whiners,

CC is NOT your newspaper. She cannot change the puzzle in your paper. Go buy a cw book(or a People Magazine), especially if you don't even read your paper!

Gooo Windover!

CC, Doreen was serious. That is what most people think it means.Of course, there are always other definitions.

Anonymous said...

Friday and Saturday puzzles are next to impossible - takes all the fun out of it. Really long for TMS puzzle


Al said...

White College was a bit obscure to me, since it closed in 1978, unless I'm way off base in what the real reference to white meant (in which case then it's more than a bit obscure)...

Also, the discussion for whether Saturday or Sunday was the day of rest. I don't want to get into a religious argument over it, I just know that in the computer world, the week starts with Sunday, so Friday would be the sixth day there. To confuse the issue though, since numbering in programming (mostly) starts with zero instead of one, the value of Friday is actually 5, even though it is the sixth day in the list:
0 - Sun
1 - Mon
2 - Tues
3 - Wed
4 - Thu
5 - Fri
6 - Sat

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a brain workout. A great challenge. Regarding 10down: Brown univ. is a member of the Ivy League.

Crockett1947 said...

@al Thanks for the White College reference. I think White should have been capitalized in the clue, then. I just looked at my calendar and counted from the left. By golly, Friday is the sixth one!

@jd Good comment on the whiners.

JD said...

Good morning CC and all,

According to your WoW, Dennis, I did the right thing today. I went thru the puzzle once, came here and cheated filling in the 15 letter phrases( I knew Stars and Stripes :),and continued happily on my way.I was approximately right with some answers(wave for waac, ages for ager), but never precisely wrong.I am still fighting off that FoF (fear of failure), but am enjoying the learning process.If I remember correctly, many of our "old" puzzles were not fun either.

Oh, we also have a sleep# bed, and I find it very comfortable.The advantage would be when one person wants firm, and the other wants cushy,

Razzberry, I finally had time to go back and catch up. Your son's animation film was amazing. I watched it 3X! He's going places!

Today is Heroes' Day in Costa Rica, and Liberation Day in Uganda

Have a great Saturday

Chris in LA said...

CC etal,

I admit I had to hit "solve word" on a couple of these - they are waaaaaay tougher than TMS, but I agree with all who are in favor - gotta stretch those brain-legs every now and again.

Newsday Saturday, however, is ridiculous. I do LAT on-line during the week because the New Orleans "picky"-Picayune publishes Newsday Monday thru Saturday but I want to keep up with the group. Last two Saturday Newsdays are not even worth the effort for a relative newbie (1 year-ish) like me. I prefer to actually solve the puzzle vs. look up the answers on-the-line & just fill in the blanks.

Just my opinion, though, and, of course, I could be wrong. Hope all are having a great Saturday!

SaminMiam said...

Morning all,
I really enjoyed today's puz, but was intimidated when I first looked at all those loooong answers. Then I realized that it's just like "Wheel of Fortune." Get a few letters here and there and the whole thing will fall into place.
I too think the anonymous people are all one people - er, person. One wrote that it's called crossWORDS and not crossPHRASES, but sheesh, haven't we come far since 1913? Why can't things change? For those who like the really simple puzzles, there's plenty of them to choose from. But how they can compare to a well-planned and intellectually superior puzzle -- well, there's no comparison.
Brown, but not white? was terrific, IMO. The question mark helped me realize there was some trick here. But no, no capital W for white -- it's not a school.
Enjoy your weekend, everybody!

Razz said...

CC - Yaks & Loons (aka DFs and DFettes)

Great puzzle today. Yes I had to tug on a g-string to make it through but good cluing and fun misdirection (Brown but not White).

I miss the TMS only because it is what started this fantastic group with CC at the lead. Other than that it really was getting stale in the waning days of its existence.

Love the LAT because of the interaction with other our editor Rich and other solvers like Rex. I think we are getting better every day and usually have something new and fresh to "Yak" about from the XW.

Things that make you go Hmmm!?!?

+ Why do anons want something that no longer exists?

+ Why do people never say "it's only a game" when they're winning?

Truism to live by...

+ The severity of the itch is proportional to the reach.

Thank God the grave is empty - Hope everyone has blessed Easter.

Lemonade714 said...

Really, we are supposed to be intimidated by these Saturday puzzles; I probably had only a few words done after five minutes, but kept plugging away, and when the 15letter words filled in, the process sped up, and I finished. You just have to overcome the urge to run and google, or look at C.C.'s blog, and slowly put in every letter you can and then build a corner, then go back and see if you can do more. None of the long ones were unfair, and other than INO, not much was too obscure. Barry, well done at under 8minutes.

I thought ROUNDED THE BASES was clued just for you C.C.

I also like SALTS and IN TRANSIT.

Beautiful sunny day here, enjoy moving day at the Masters; poor Rory, he almost did not make it to the week end after getting it to 4 under. Sergio however came alive, so it should be interesting.

Anonymous said...

I used to enjoy the puzzles so much as I found them relaxing while having my morning coffee. Some of these later in the week puzzles are impossible to do, and you can completely forget about Saturdays. I am thinking of cancelling my subscription to the Phila Inquirer because those puzzles were so much a part of my day. I can just read the news via the computer, and buy myself a good puzzle book at Borders.

Joyce said...

Good morning everyone. Yesterday's puzzle was a killer but I loved this one. I do the puzzles in the paper not online, and I like the new ones much more than the old ones. Did this one while I watched a Winnie the Pooh movie and juggled a stuffed bunny, Pooh, and my 4 year old granddaughter on my lap. It took me a while!

Here's the last word I have on "See you in the funny papers" if anyone remembers. I called my oldest relative and he said that he remembered that the governor of New York was the man who read the comics on the radio. With further checking I found out that it was Fiorello LaGuardia. Had an airport named after him too.

Crockett1947 - I still call it SPEBSQSA. What district are you in? My husband is competing in Anaheim with Illinois District.

Crockett1947 said...

@joyce We are the Evergreen District -- Oregon, Washington, part of Idaho, British Columbia and Alaska. Congrats to your hubby. I hope he has a good sing!

Linda said...

Fellow bloggers:
"The Ten Commandments" is airing tonight. SPOILER ALERT! The People of God ( always ) win!

Crockett1947: Bass? Baritone? Tenor?
Chocolate? Spumoni? Aisle? Window?
Coffee? Tea?

Crockett1947 said...

@linda Bari, dark chocolate, aisle, decaf. Anything else?

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang;
My wife and I managed to finish most of today's puzzle with a little help from Google to find "Cautionary Tale" and a few others.

My wife tells me not to psych-out on these type of puzzles. If you think it's hard to do it will be harder than it really is.

I found a link to:
So you want to be a roadie for you C.C.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Even though my eyes popped when I first saw today's puzzle, I definitely wanted to TEST THE WATERS. I didn't have a chance with the first set of Acrosses, so I filled in as many Downs as I could. I didn't have a lot of luck until the bottom half. I figured out the last three 15 letter fills and worked my way north. INCR and RCPTS were my last fills.

I had to come here for help with 10D IVY. The "?" at the end of the clue let us know that it was tricky. Since all clues start with a capital letter, we had no way of knowing if Brown was a proper name or not. Turns out, it was, and "white" is just a color.

Windhover, Great post, but you'll have to work on the vilification title. Dennis and PMT are lagging too. :o) The "I only get the newspaper for the puzzle" Anons are way ahead.

C.C. Maybe it is time to change to title of your blog. It might eliminate the annoying Anon "I want my puzzle back" posts.

Dennis said...

C.C., you need to remove post #38 - the link contains a trojan horse. As Crockett said, DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK.

Clear Ayes said...

Today's puzzle solving experience reminded me of this poem. Certainly, it's a different perspective on gravity, but it also reminds me that my head can occasionally be a solid block of granite.


Go on a starlit night,
stand on your head,
leave your feet dangling
outwards into space,
and let the starry
firmament you tread
be, for the moment,
your elected base.

Feel Earth's colossal weight
of ice and granite,
of molten magma,
water, iron, and lead;
and briefly hold
this strangely solid planet
balanced upon
your strangely solid head.

- Piet Hein

Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe that someone who grew up in China until the age of eighteen or so has such a wonderful command of the English language. I wish I was as good at it as she is. One small fault to find. Please watch out for the correct use of an before a vowel. It really grates on my ears when I read a apple or something of that sort.

An Old Man from Main

Carl V said...

Wow, good job getting todays puzzle! It ate my lunch, I could only get a few.

Thank you for your blog.

KQ said...

Yep - it was hard today. Did it online in regular and had to ask for some of the answers, but really no harder than most TMS Saturday puzzles.

I think we should all stop with trying to figure out if we like it better or not than the old ones. We don't have a choice so what is the point. If you are not up to the challenge, then don't do it, but no use in whining. Just go find a puzzle you like.

As for Friday being the sixth day, the biblical reference of resting on the seventh day would refer to the Old Testament. In Jewish tradition, the sabbath is on Saturday, so Friday being the sixth would make sense. Christians changed this tradition, I have no idea why. I am sure I have heard it before but someone could re-enlighten me.

Have a good weekend. I will be watching the Masters and enjoying Minnesota's nice forecasted weather for the Easter weekend. Happy Easter to all.

Anonymous said...

I worked with an English teacher who used "Jabberwocky" to teach part of speech. She may have put it on her final exam. She asked the students to determine which were the verbs, subjects, objects, etc., and asked them why. It can be done. She's still teaching long after the rest of us have retired.


SandbridgeKaren said...

KK - yes, it's a great blog. CC deserves about a million kudos for starting it and providing such fascinating insight, not to mention answers when you need them. Plus the comments are pretty darn entertaining; the blog can 'hook' you pretty quickly. Hope you stick around.

windhover - thanks for the candor. I'm so tired of anonymous whiners so 'ditto' to everything you said. Enough already. Cancel the damn paper if you hate the crossword so much or if you "only buy it for the crossword" - I mean who spends whatever your paper costs nowdays just for the xword. You can get a book of 300 TMS puzzles at for $12.95 which is a heck of a lot cheaper than buying 300 newspapers.

Been keeping my eye out here in Virginia Beach for Lois in the press or on the news - so far so good - I think we're home free. Can't wait to have her back; she missed a lot of great opportunities this past week.

Auntie Naomi said...

Good Afternoon C.C. and Co.,

This one was not as long as yesterday, but still a long one. It took me 50:56.
I never read the clue for 47A until I read it in your post, C.C.
I wanted INCL (incline) for 'Rise' and could not understand how LCPTs could be short for ''Shoppers' savings?'

WAAC was a toughie. I had only ever seen WAC before.
I see that Southern Belle not only was a WAC, she lives in prime oyster territory.

I did not know that Elissa is another name for Dido and it has been so long since I read The Odyssey that I could not recall INO. I got that one from the fills.

I would say that
'I slam.
I am!'
qualifies as a poem. It is not necessarily a very good one, though.

I once visited the ruins of the Marquis DE SADE's castle in Lacoste, France.

I had to get WABE from the fills.

Auntie Naomi said...

My guide in Cambodia was from Phnom Penh he told me that it was very nice and encouraged me to visit the city. I did not get the chance on that trip, though. Maybe one day I will. However, I did get to see this.

I have not been to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. However, I will be in London for a week beginning June 15th, so perhaps I will get the chance to see them then.

The Queen Sofia Museum, where Guernica is housed, is an adjunct of the Prado. It is located just a few blocks down the street across the Paseo del Prado from the Jardin Real Botanico.

Back in the time of Emperor Constantine there were so many different religious sects that trying to keep them all happy was a real balancing act. Christians were on the ascendancy so their religion wound up becoming the official religion of the empire. However, Constantine belonged to a sect known as the Cult of Sol Invictus. As the name implies, they were sun worshippers. Making 'Sun'day the official day of worship was a concession to them.

Buckeye said...

Good afternoon to my fellow bloggers.

A few years ago, when my "rag" switched from an easy x/w to TMS, some of my local buddies here at the "Golden Buckeye Retirement Center" complained that it was too hard. I told them to stick with it and as we got to know the contributors and caught on to Williams'(?) style, they became fun. Barry Silk's puzzles were always challenging, but fun.

At the end, however, they DID become stale. We needed to move on.

Then came the LAT puzzles. IMHO, I think Windhover SOUNDED a bit elitist. I do NOT enjoy the Friday and Saturday LAT puzzles. I, personally, do not have two or three hours to spend on these puzzles. It isn't that I want to "put on make-up or shave" while doing a puzzle, but my mind, apparently, is not as agile as Windhover's. If I have to figure out "I wish I'd said that" while trying to cross "incr", "waaf", (instead of wave), "ino", "slam' "ivy" (no clue of 'league'), and "ager" I guess I AM too stupid to do Saturday's puzzle. "Aberdeen terrier" crossing "wabe", "prie" and "strs"? Not for this feeble mind.

For example, for 1.a I had "Ain't f****n' funny". IT FIT!! But then I got 15d, "Tess" and knew 1.a was a bust.

I commend those of you who enjoy and can complete these puzzles. I laud you!! I will continue giving some time to the difficult ones, and come here to see the answers and how well y'all did, but I won't bother you with my stupidity nor inane remarks. (About the puzzles! I will continue with other inane remarks).

Regardless, "I had as leef not be, as live to be in awe as such a thing as I myself".

Here comes Nurse Ratchet. I come to c.c. on Sat. to fill in the answers to the puzzle, and when Ratchet gets near, I hold it up for her to see. She departs faster than a vampire seeing a cross.

Linda. I will pass on the movie tonight, "The Ten Commandments". Read the book.

I must be off

Barry G. said...

I must be off

I'll say! ;)

Anonymous said...

For the discussion of the meaning, here's what my online dictionary says:
ménage à trois
an arrangement in which three people share a sexual relationship, typically a domestic situation involving a married couple and the lover of one of them.

ORIGIN French, ‘household of three.’

carol said...

Hi C.C., Loons and DF's: I was very leery of this at first glance and the top half gave me fits but as I started on the lower half I got Aberdeen Terrier and 'made a break for it' and the rest of that half was easier. The top was very difficult for me. Never did get 'Cautionary Tales' but after I peeked at that answer, the rest was easier.

I agree with Lola (from yesterday), Winhover, SBKaren, SaminMiam and Crockett (from this morning)...take time and come back to it. If it were easy, it would not be fun. I'm not happy about losing most of my hair in the last few days, but hey, it'll grow back :)and I'll feel smarter. I know that I have tossed a few puzzles out in the past, but now I really try to stretch myself and it does work.
If you don't care for the puzzle, as was said by several people already, go buy a book of the easy ones! and quit bitching.

Southern Belle said...

@PromiseMe: Don't feel bad.You are too young to remember WAAC! I think I am the oldest blogger here.

Best oysters in the world are found right here and we love'em....cooked or uncooked!

C.C. Have you tried eating oysters?

windhover said...

Hey, Buckeye,
I sort of expected to get cussed out by some anonymous haole, but to get even gentle flames from the likes of you is a pleasure, and believe me, I ain't being a damn bit sarcastic. But I'm afraid you have misjudged me, and in this case, much to my advantage. I would guess myself to be in the lower part of the upper half of the bloggers in terms of my xword abilities. Like most here, I find Mon/Tues to be ridiculously easy, Wed about my speed, Thurs challenging but doable, and Fri/Sat often well beyond my abilities. But I do like to try them. I don't have a lot of time either, especially when the weather is good, so I put it aside and try later. I just get tired of whiners, particularly anonymous ones. And I don't really believe that xword competence has a lot to do with being "smart". Reading widely, being persistent, and enjoying a challenge is much more important. And in this game, nobody really loses.
I see you are from Middletown. I grew up near Maysville, Ky., and half the people there have a relative in Hamilton, Fairfield, or Middletown from the 50's migration. There used to be more hillbillies in Price Hill than in Kentucky (except on the weekend).
By the way, as I'm sure you all know, the 10 letter word is "curiousity".
As for the elitism, it is true that I am a "legend in my own mind", and my Border Collie's. And she's the smart one. She trained me.
Buckeye, you are a class act. Thanks again.
Windhover, sincerely.

Anonymous said...

I started to hyperventilate when I saw all of the long clues, and I didn't fill in anything for a long while. I did manage to finish the puzzle with a couple of google hits. I am getting used to the new format. I whined a bit in the beginning, but I am learning more and they are challenging.

On another note, stayed up late last night delivering baby goats. Sooooo cute. I worked the puzzle waiting for the big event.


KittyB said...

HI, C.C. and gang!

It's been ages since I've posted, but I've lurked when I've had the chance.

I was pleasantly surprised to be able to finish the puzzle. Of course, I used the regular on-line version, so I had some guidance from the 'puter on wrong letters.

My initial reaction to the 15-letter answers was a groan, but the phrases were pretty common, and very guessable. I didn't care for RCPTS, and didn't know INO. My sense of spelling deserted me on SPOOR and PENH, but things came together as I worked across and down several times.

I've been following the comments on the TMS vs LAT puzzles. What strikes me is that the defenders of the LAT crosswords are becoming as irritating as those who are whining about the shift to them. Since it's a moot point, perhaps it's time to set aside the discussion.

I've enjoyed the Monday-Wednesday crosswords. When I have the time, I try to keep at those from later in the week. I was surprised at how easy today's puzzle was. I forget which of you posted the encouragement to keep trying. I'm sure it's good advice. When I was much younger, I kept at it until I could do Eugene T. Maleska's expert crosswords in the Dell magazines. I'm sure that becoming familiar with LAT's cluing will make a difference for all of us.

I hope you all have an exceptional day tomorrow, and bid a "Happy Easter" to those of you who will be celebrating.

Thanks, C.C. for continuing to do a great job!

Linda said...

crockett1947: Should have read your bio...I sing in trios...second soprano...I love good harmony...

Nothing else...was just being sentsilly...

Buckeye: And the Book is always better! (and it`s that Book NR is afraid of...)

Barry G. said...

Newsday Saturday, however, is ridiculous.

I'll say! I've never done one before, but I figured I did today's NYT and LAT puzzles without too much effort, so how hard could it be?

Holy crap! They don't call it the "Saturday Stumper" for nothing. I finally finished it in 30 minutes with the help of numerous trips to Mr. Google, and I'm still not sure what ACE has to do with "Fighter's director"...

Anonymous said...

Windhover and Sandbridgekaren
And who is whining? chill out.

Buckeye said...

@Windhover. Seems we're on the same x/w level. My patterns mirror yours. I've read your comments and that's why I capitalized "SOUNDED" elitist. (I knew you came from "good stock". Maysville and all them thar Clooney folks). Know about the Ky./Ohio connection. We're changing our name from Middletown to Middletucky.

On Friday evenings, there's more traffic heading south on I-75 to Ky. (ever' buddy headin' "home"), than there is from the Middletown commuters coming "home" from Cincinnati.

Keep up the great posts.

BarryG. You, more than most, know how "off" I can be. Was just told by my buddy, Jack Mehoff, "I sure am glad we got 'lectricity".

I said ' "Why's that, Jack?"

"Well," he replied, "if we dint have it, we'd have to watch T.V. in the dark".


Anonymous said...

re days of the week:
To keep it short I wont give arguments, I'll just give my take on the thing.
Saturday is the day of the Sabbath, which means Seven. That is the day of rest as we have it from the ancient law of the Jews.
Jesus was executed on the cross on Friday in order to avoid desecrating the Sabbath day, Saturday. He remained in the tomb all of Saturday.
The day afte the seventh day,the Sabbath, Jesus arose from the dead. It was the first day of the week, Sunday.
Christians came to observe Sunday as their day to worship, because that is the day the Christ (Messiah) rose from the grave. Sunday is still the first day of the week, and Saturday is still the Seventh day of the week.
The names of the days of the week in English have almost nothing to do with all this ancient history.

Linda said...

Speaking of "trojan" web sites...

I had two text messages (before I powered it down...) on my cell today from unidentified sources with a web site for a "multi-media" message.

I deleted them...don`t want to take any chances.

embien said...

17:23 today. About 100 times easier than Friday's puzzle, and this was a lot of fun to solve
(while watching The Masters on TV).

The stacked 15's seem pretty intimidating at first, but if you slog your way through the downs, you will eventually get it filled in (at least that's the way I do it). If you try to guess at the 15's with few or no crosses, you'll go crazy. You also can't use Google or a dictionary on them as they are almost always phrases and not single words. I'm sure that frustrates many solvers used to the old TMS ways. Once you get them filled in you'll usually find that the phrases are way common and not really difficult at all.

(Crossword bloggers call this phenomenon being "in the language", unlike, say ETUI, which we all know but No One ever uses in everyday speech.)

I got in trouble by having WAVE instead of WAAC, which led to the also-mistaken REBTS (rebates--I didn't say it was pretty) for 18a: Shoppers' savings?: (Abbr.) I can never remember all those old military acronyms and this particular one took me a good long while to sort out.

I also had SIDES for 32d: Label data (thinking of record label sides), and I didn't see the error for the longest time since 38a: Cleo portrayer of 1963 meant nothing to me (didn't think of the movie role until I had actually filled in LIZ, to tell the truth).

@c.c.: Embien,
Ouch! I've never seen you posted 48 minutes before.

Friday's puzzle truly left me battered and bruised. Even with 48 minutes I still didn't finish correctly. The most difficult LA Times puzzle I've seen by far. The syndicated Friday NY Times was easier.

Lemonade714 said...

You ready LO-Li-TA?

I love to be the one to get you home.

I wonder if the the attack of the viral lurker was premeditated? I am not a very trusting person, and it is a little suspicious that the timing is there to disrupt our little band, so soon after the changeover.

Every calendar I see has Sunday as day 1.

Off to rest.

Elissa said...

OMG, I am so proud of myself for finishing this puzzle without any help. There were some missteps (OLIO for OREO, OLE for OUI, mostly because I misspelled ADIEU at first) but I got it straigtened out. I was stumped by the middle - TO WIT and DWELT, but was thrilled when I filled in the X is SIXTH and I was done.

Hayrake and KarenQ: Friday would be the sixth day for Jews, since Saturday is the sabbath. I was surprised to learn that Christians also think it is the sixth day (as I was thinking Sunday is sabbath and therefore the seventh day), but my husband and his Southern Baptist family told me Sunday is the "first" day because that is when Christ was "risen".

I only recently learned that Elissa was another name for Dido. Elissa is also the name of an Tall Ship.

Lola said...

It's nice to hear that we are starting to succeed with the new puzzle. I too finished, without google, in about 40 minutes. I used to average about 10 minutes for the TMS puzzle.

Anon @ 11:05 The new puzzle is not "impossible", just challenging.

Linda, I also liked the clue for what mailed packages are in. Clever wording!

Crocket and Clear Ayes, when I'm stumped at the beginning I also go to the end and work backwards. I don't know why this helps, but it does.

The only glitch I encountered today was when I put ages for ager, which gave me oness for oners. If that's the biggest problem I encounter I'm happy.

Feliz Pasqua a todos

C.C. Burnikel said...

Barry G,
Fighter is airplane. ACE directs his plane. Does it make sense?

'OPE yesterday is HOPE. Loved your SCENE II. Continue on! I also like this new abbreviation you coined: FoF (Fear of Failure).

Janet @7:20am, JP, Mel & all anons,
I am very sorry to hear your frustrations. I've been struggling too. But a new era has started. This is the way modern crosswords should be, full of lively words/phrases and tricky, challenging & entertaining clues. Be open and patient, together we will improve.

STRS is straits, which are narrow passages of water.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Judi & KK,,
Welcome! If you are stumped by any clue, please don't be afraid to ask. All the loons and YAKS are here to help.

Thanks for "See you in the funny papers". Welcome to you too.

Southern Belle,
Both Jimbo and Calef are older than you. I love raw oysters.

How do you explain the Chinese "Beautiful Country" 美国 translation for "America"? Did you go to the Jolin concert alone?

Barry G. said...

Barry G,
Fighter is airplane. ACE directs his plane. Does it make sense?

Errr... not really. An ACE pilots his plane or controls it, but it seems a stretch to say he "directs" it. Then again, this is supposed to be a "stumper"...

C.C. Burnikel said...

Hey, nice to see you again. I thought EWE were too busy with the farm. What's the 10 letter word for possessing a quality that could be clued as "desire to know"?

Now you mentioned it, we do have lots of Spanish words in LAT, don't we? I did not pay attention to it before. The old TMS Daily editor used French words regularly in his puzzles, esp the down clues for Thursday quips/quotes. I did not notice any significant increase in our new puzzles.

I totally agree with Sam in Miami, the word "white" in the IVY clue is not an university name. So no need to capitalize it. Just a tricky decoy. Does your daughter speak Japanese?

Lola said...

Lemonade 714: Just to muddy the waters a bit as we try to put a logical order to the days of the week, Spanish calendars start on Monday/Lunes.

With a nod to Buckeye, I must be off.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Crockett & Dennis,
Thanks for the warning. I deleted the post immediately after reading your comments. Those people are so mean.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. How long have you been solving LAT puzzles?

Of all the themeless Saturday puzzles, Newsday "Saturday Stumper" is probably the hardest. Doug Peterson (today's constructor) has a "wicked" mind.

Thanks for the roadie link. I like your wife's advice. No Fear of Failure Factor for me.

Clear Ayes said...

Did someone else link this alreadyOrigin of days of the week English names? PromiseMeThis did his homework earlier with his comments. Doesn't he always? :o)

I hope that those of you who celebrate are having an uplifting and strengthening Pesach.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I am happy to hear that you adapted to the new format quickly. Are you a farmer also?

Great to see you again.

Clear Ayes,
I can't just change the blog title. More than a thousand of solvers come to the blog every day by googling "Star Tribune Crossword Corner" rather than bookmarking it.

I can't believe you missed Elissa & Dido connection. Elissa made the link last time and you read everybody's post so carefully.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I like your observations on the cluing lately.

You are becoming my favorite "Tibetan beast of burden". Holy Hotwick! What a YAK!

Yes, I love ROUNDED THE BASES & the clue. Now, who will wear the green jacket on Sunday afternoon?

Calef & Elissa,
Thanks for the Saturday explanations.

Lola & Linda,
Do you both speak fluent Spanish?

Jeannie said...

Okay, a couple of comments for the puzzle today. Why is Friday included with the Month of June (6th)? Some really good clues:

Meter site: Taxi...not too many taxis taken out my way.

Eaten seperately, Oreos. I dunk mine in milk. I never unscrew the flavors to to speak.

After my polar plunge earlier this year, you should ALWAYS test the water. Yeah, I know, if you drill a big hole through the Ice, it will be cold.

Writer Harte was my big "G" spot and I am pretty sure he didn't even appreciate it.

Lemonade, I think I have birthday suit too. Mine might look just a little different than yours though. As far as the postal guys...there were only two as I was a participant...which makes us even closer to a lawsuit as they did not deliver. Sucked.

Anonymous said...

Southern Belle - I'm not a very regular blogger here tho I enjoy reading C.C. (I think she's wonderful) and all her friends very much. Was surprised to see you served in the WAC in Korean War. Did you ever run across any Navy Wing Nuts flying off of the USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31), better known as The Bonnie Dick? We flew close air support (CAS) missions for the Marines and the other great young men fighting it out in those nasty, muddy mountains during the summer and fall of '52. And now you and I both live in Florida. Shall we do some oyster diving? I love 'em too.

@Elissa - Thanks for trying to clear up what days of the week belong to Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Sounds like the Jews have it one way, the Christians another and the Southern Baptists maybe a nother way? :^) Hard for me to understand any of it any more since I'm retired and don't need to know what day it is anyway.

And a happy Easter to everyone who cares.


Doug P said...

@Barry G

That was my Saturday Stumper, and I'm not sure how ACE = "Fighter's director" either. I'll ask and try to find out. Obviously that wasn't my original clue. The editor, Stanley Newman, is known for coming up with very difficult clues. He has some tips on his website for tackling his Stumpers:

BTW, Dan Feyer, who C.C. interviewed a few days ago, finished the Stumper in 3:18!

Clear Ayes said...

Hayrake, "I'm retired and don't need to know what day it is anyway."

Ain't it grand? The only reasons for my tracking days of the week are Monday-art class and Thursday-chorus practice. Everything else is "all gravy, no grief". Oops, sorry for borrowing a fellow contributor's name, but it is a great one and happily applies to a lot of us.

KittyB, It is always a treat to see you. Stop by more often.

Same goes for you too, Buckeye. I miss my Groucho fix.

Jeannie, some funny comments today.

C.C. I am impressed. I had no idea that you had that many non-bookmarked seekers. It would be quite a blow for them to lose track of your blog. Perhaps there is still a chance of the Star Tribune picking up the LAT puzzle. That would solve a lot of confusion.

Bill said...

OK, I still don't get the Brown vs white IVY thing. Could someone spell it out for me???

BTW Nancy D. coming home tomorrow, mid AM.

Lemonade714 said...

Mr. Peterson, thank you for the link and the insight. Reading Mr. Newman's writings, he really believes he is the ultimate creator of difficult puzzles. I do not get TADA as "check it out," or the ACE as Fighter's director. What was your clue? The stumper was very difficult, but was possible to finish. I really enjoyed "sauce holders" "introductory course." Again, we appreciate your stopping by and helping us to learn. I cannot write fast enough to do it in 3:18 even after I finally finished.

Lemonade714 said...

LO-LI-TA, I always keep mine well pressed, so I hope it would look different from yours; the bumpy parts are also moving about. The history of the post office as "private" is part of the fear of our government taking over banks.
Happy Saturday and Happy Easter to all.

Lola said...

c.c. I understand Spanish fluently, and can speak it passably. My Mother was from Guatemala, my Dad from the States. When I was little they would each speak to me in their native tongues, but I would always reply in English. I took four years of Spanish in High School and three in college. When I retired from the Post Office, 4 years ago, I got a job with our local Parks and Rec. Dept., teaching Spanish to preschoolers. I love working with 4 and 5 year old kids if you can call that work. Thanks for asking. Adios

Linda said...

CC: Pay no attention to the cretin who gave you advice about "an before a vowel." That`s not always the case since it`s an "a" before a long "u".
Then to confuse us even use "an" before some consonants "an" before "historic."

Just be your own, charming self. It will all "shake out!"

No...I lost my Spanish fluency when I found out I would have to spend two summers 300 miles away from my family to complete the requirements to be "la professora de Espanol." I still can read it fairly well. I`m told by native speakers that I do have good pronunciation skills...just a little bit southern. Think: Paula Deen does Antonio Banderas.

Tener un Dia de la Resurreccion bendita!

windhover said...

The "10 letter word" is actually a nine letter word if you spell it correctly, which I did not do in an earlier post. The word is actually "curiosity", without a 'U'.

See Buckeye, not very elite. But my aunt went to school with one of the Clooneys, Rosemary.
Windhover, correctively (is that a real word?)

Fred said...

I've been solving the LA Times puzzle for about 10 years, with time off for good behavior...

Anonymous said...

We are also Anonymous but there are two of us and we are Lurkers. We have really enjoyed this blog--the puzzle, the company and the comments--but the last few evenings have not been much fun. Tonight we tried the Chronicle of Higher Education puzzle and it was a good experience. Hope they change back - we enjoy you guys!

Anonymous Two

Jeannie said...

Lemonade, thank God you can't finish in 3:18. I am still standing by my (our) lawsuit against the Govt. I think we might have a case. Should I wear the birthday suit?

Argyle said...

Hello...change back to what? The past is gone; there is no going back. Evolve or become extinct.

Barry G. said...

@Barry G

That was my Saturday Stumper, and I'm not sure how ACE = "Fighter's director" either. I'll ask and try to find out.

Thanks for that, Doug. It was a good puzzle -- just a bit (!) harder than I expected. I guess I always assumed the NYT puzzles were the hardest out there, especially late week, but now I see the editor of this puzzle prides himself on outstumping everybody. Well, consider me stumped!

Anonymous said...

Between Rich Norris and the persons for 04/11/09 crossword, I'm giving up! I've always enjoined looking up words that stump me and expanding my vocabulary. The current crosswords do not offer that challenge any more. I'm done with TMS puzzles.

lois said...

Good evening CC et al., Tried the puzzle but just didn't have the time to devote to it, as I just got back home. Have to adapt to the wordy answers.

Apparently I missed quite a revelation of my blogger buddies. Sallie? You rock! I've experienced a menage a Trois... several times actually and in a couple of different ways. It's a CA wine which 'comes' in red or white. I will imbibe in the wine again tomorrow at family dinner. The other way? When Buckeye escapes from the Home. That may be a safe call considering Nurse Ratchett, but I'm always ready.

As for living in sin? Yeah, baby! It's not only a choice, it's my lifestyle. What do you think LOIS stands for? It's an acronym for Living Only In Sin. Party on!

Buckeye: you just crack me up! Make me laugh so hard!

SBKaren: VaBeach is in tact- kind of. Ate at SB Island. Played on your beach and felt the earth move. See if you notice any relocation of large amts of sand, maybe a new dune or two. Great time!

See all y'all (plural form) Mon.

Terry 313 said...

Terry 313 said
o.k. i am really confused. I worked the same puzzle in the Naples Daily News, but the credit goes to Bruce Venzke & Stella Daily in this paper. Thank God the puzzle was not as bad. Did the downs first and got the long ones off of them. Still would like to know why Doug P. is not credited

Garymon said...

First I want to say I have been a lurker for a long time and have deeply enjoyed your blog.

The Virginian Pilot in Norfolk, VA finally had a comment on the new puzzle. Apparently a lot of people are complaining. This was my answer:

"The Times puzzle will not grow on me. See:

There has been a lot of discussion on this site about the new editor. It is not going to get easier. Go back into the archives. There is an interview with him near the first day of the new puzzle.

We do the crossword for entertainment. It is an evening ritual at supper time. When we are finished eating we watch the news and do the puzzles. I do the Cryptoquip while the wife starts the crossword puzzle. When I am finished we then finish the crossword together. Monday and Tuesday are OK. Wednesday we get a few words. The rest of the week is lost. It is strictly for crossword enthusiasts from Wed thru Sun. The puzzle should be fun with the level of difficulty aimed at the average person every day.

Have you tried it?"

I am 75 years old and the gray cells are not adjusting and will not adjust to the new puzzles.

I will see you on Mon and Tue. Thanks for all you do.


Martin said...

Good Morning C.C. Our puzzle makers today must not believe in the Christian bible. In Genesis is says " . . and He rested on the seventh day . . and God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it .." In my lame brain, that makes Saturday the sixth day - not Friday - which, btw, is the Sabbath day in the Islamic faith.

In the Hebrew faith, the Sabbath is on Saturday. The Romans chose to move the Sabbath to Sunday because the Romans had previously worshiped sun gods and already considered Sunday to be a special day of the week.


Argyle said...

for Terry313...

Barry G. said @ 2:28 PM
C. C. said @ 3:50 PM
Barry G. said @ 3:55PM
Doug P. said @ 5:06PM
Barry G. said @ 7:36PM
Terry313 said @ 7:45PM

Please review.

Martin said...

Jesus was executed on the cross on Friday in order to avoid desecrating the Sabbath day, Saturday. He remained in the tomb all of Saturday. The day after the seventh day, the Sabbath, Jesus arose from the dead. It was the first day of the week, Sunday.
Christians came to observe Sunday as their day to worship, because that is the day the Christ (Messiah) rose from the grave.

The bible also says he spent "three days and three nights entombed in the earth".


Lola said...

Garymon: Don't underestimate yourself. If you just stay loose and let your subconscious roam around the clues you'll be surprised what will surface. Enjoy Monday and Tuesday and use the rest of the week as practice. When I first started doing the TMS xword, that everyone loves so much, I rarely finished it. By the time they took it away I was solving in around 10 minutes. It's amazing how these things grow on you!

Martin said...

How do you explain the Chinese "Beautiful Country" 美国 translation for "America"? Did you go to the Jolin concert alone?

Because 美国 is pronounced "mei guo" and America is prounced "A-mei-ree-ka". :)

Yes, I went to the Jolin concert alone.


Anonymous said...

What was with Yasir on 4/10/09in lieu of Yasser?

Clear Ayes said...

Lois, Thanks for reminding me. Wolfmom and I have discussed Ménage à Trois wines elsewhere. They are really nice,reasonably priced, California wines. For anybody who would like to try them, they are produced by Folie à Deux Winery (there's another interesting French term) in Napa. I don't know about other parts of the country, but here in California they are available at Costco.

As far as the other kind of ménage à trois goes, I claim total ignorance!

Have a great evening all.

Unknown said...

I like the new puzzles - though they certainly require a lot more time - for me, at least. (Yesterday's puzzle - like a nightmare better forgetten.) I usually don't get to puzzle till late AM (second cuppa), and often put aside, return later (like tonight) to finish. Yesterday, I just looked here for the answers.

I thought this one was hard but I finally did finish - 2 mistakes (7D - Slam, and 18A - RCPTS (I had FFpts, couldn't make it fit...

I got 29D Sixth with the perps - Yikes, what a clue! And it took a late arriving eureka moment to get 16D Ivy.

Happy Easter to all.


Anonymous said...

To all you wonderful bloggers: I did some of today's puzzle, but didn't even try to go to online solving to get the top half. Carol, I think we should leave it to C.C. to admonish those of us who comment on the puzzle to "quit bitching" if that's what she wants. I did get all of the bottom third, which I felt was a good job.
I especially like Buckeye's comments. They almost always have something worth quoting to my husband. So keep them coming, Buckeye.

Col Mustard said...

I received my first assist from this blog in Feb 2007 and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it ever since. Never enough time to participate much but felt compelled to toss in a comment.

We all enjoyed the TMS xword but since it has bit the dust, like most others I have persevered with the LAT taking all the inverviews as to solving techniques and special tips into consideration. It has gradually gotten easier as one poster said it would. It is a different but refreshing style and over the few weeks it has been a pleasure to meet the new challenge. I would suggest to all the scoffers that they bear with the program under CC's tutelage and it will indeed improve the skills.

Thanks to CC, Dennis and all of you who make this a blog above all.

Lemonade714 said...

Yes speed is really overrated in many things, such as posts per hour. Wow, I was gone for a while and now we are triple digiting away. I would not even be warmed up in 3:18 (not to be confused with 3:16). The lawsuit will have to wait until next week.

C.C. I am very impressed with the way Angel Cabrera held up today; it reminded me of his US Open play when he won. There are still many possibilities, from 48 year old Kentucky boy Kenny Perry, to the log jam at 4 under. With the rain, and the greens soft, everyone has a chance. Have not seen a 4 putt yet this year.

kazie said...

Glad to see you're soldiering on with the new XWs! Keep at it!

When is everyone going to realize the TMS puzzles no longer exist? There are apparently still some who are unaware of this.

I only had time this morning to barely start the puzzle before leaving for the day. So I came home and after supper tonight had another look. Still baffled, I filled in a few guesses in the verticals, and started to see some possibilities for the long clues, which eventually made sense. After that most of the rest materialized--don't ask me how.

I came here without the R in INCR, the M of AMP and the R of ONERS. All easy ones, but I think my brain had had enough by then.

I'm finding that just looking at the partial fills does it for me as often as anything else--they begin to look like words and ideas fall into place. And in the end, I feel very smug about getting so many of a puzzle I at first had no idea about.

c.c. and Linda,
As an Aussie, I refuse to ignore the "h" at the beginning of words like historic or herb. It's an affectation in English, taken from the French whom many of those same people scorn and joke about. Only if the "h" is silent would you use "an" instead of "a" before those words. Would you also omit the "h" sound in the word hotel?

Auntie Naomi said...

See my comment to KarenQ @ 1:32

I actually get TADA for 'check it out' and ACE for 'Fighter's director'. I suppose I should give that puzzle a whirl.

Right now, I am giving my LUCID a swirl ;)

Lola said...

Kazie: No longer does the TMS puzzle exist, but The Oregonian is trying to pawn off old puzzles as new. I started to solve their offerings, but found that the answers came much too easily, since they had been previously deciphered. The Buddhists say that you can never put your foot in the same stream twice. I say you can never solve the same puzzle twice. The puzzle is dead, long live the puzzle. TTFN

Anonymous said...

At the risk of being labeled one of those "anonymous whiners" who can't get over the lost TMS daily, I have found the new LAT puzzles disappointing. Why? Not because of the challenge level, which I have found quite satisfactory, even late in the week. (I did this puzzle in about 20 minutes offline without help over my Saturday morning big breakfast). It's the general feel of the things. I have yet to run across anything in them that made me think I was really learning much of anything new or useful, something that the old TMS puzzles were more apt to deliver (usually later in the week) in the form of some peculiar new word, fact, or funny quotation. So far, I've found the LA puzzles favor shorter words (or phrases made up of them) over anything more esoteric. Maybe this sounds elitist, but I like puzzles that stretch my brain a bit, not just eat up my time filling in the word grid. A crossword puzzling relative of mine was more blunt. Without any prompting from me, they summarized the answers in the LAT puzzles (a Saturday one at that) as "dumbed down" (in comparison to the old TMS and alternative NYT puzzles). I hope I'm being clear that neither of us are complaining about the ease or difficulty of the new L.A. puzzles. It's the amount of pleasure they are able to provide us as we work them.

I HAVE been enjoying some of the new wordplay in the LA puzzles though.

Another difference between the puzzles that I've noticed is that the LA cluing style seems less precise. By that I mean that in general, the TMS crossword definitions and answers were more faithful to the wording in published English dictionaries. The LA cluing style feels looser to me, taking more liberties with words and their definitions that aren't quite as true to standard dictionary entries.

I have the sense that the NY Times daily crossword may be a better fit for my particular tastes, but I plan to hang around and give the LAT puzzle a fair shake and not jump ship just yet.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous @ 7:42pm,
Very interesting observation. I've copied and pasted your comment to today's (Monday, April 13) Comments section so others can share your view as well. Thanks for leaving a comment.