Apr 25, 2009

Saturday April 25, 2009 Barry Silk

Theme: None

Total blocks: 28

Total words: 72

Almost a pangram. Only letter Q is missing. Our fellow LAT solver Anon HP said the other day that it's called a lipogram. A rather scrabbly lipgram, 2 J's, 2X's, and a Z, several K's as well, hallmarks of Barry Silk.

This grid looks interesting. The upper left corner and the lower right corner are almost blocked off, if not for the letter A (Intersection of 20A: ASTR & and 8D: GREAT WHITE SHARK) and its symmetrical partner letter H (Intersection of 47A: MATH and GREAT WHITE SHARK ). Phew! Dangerous.

I had huge, huge trouble with this puzzle. The grid itself does not look as intimidating as eight 15-letter themeless we had a while ago, only two 15-letter fills crossing each other, right in the middle of the grid. But boy, those 8-letter long words are hard to get. And there are 12 of them.

Lots of clever, tricky clues. My favorite clue today is AUGERS (41D: Boring things). I was thinking of the ENNUI boring boring.

I also noticed that our editor Rich Norris likes to clue one-word answer with one word clue that has the same first letter. In today's grid, there are SAG (Slump), MAUL (45A: Manhandle) and ASTONISH (12D: Amaze).


1A: Super: WHIZ-BANG. Stumped immediately, since my crossing answer for 1D: Totals (WRECKS) was SUMS UP.

9A: Winged mimics: MYNAHS. Barry used the identical clue for this bird last time. Also spelled as myna.

15A: Listening device: RECEIVER. Ah, of course, but I was thinking of the hidden camera/bug.

16A: Where to see saucers: TEA SET. I was trapped again. Could not get the flying saucers out of my mind.

17A: Drill: EXERCISE. Did not get this one either.

18A: Turkey appendage: WATTLE. Kind of ugly. Dewlap is 6-letter too.

19A: Trysting places, perhaps: CAFES. Oh, I thought a tryst always involves sexual activities.

20A: Sagan's subj.: ASTR (Astronomy). ASTR/ASTRO is a prefix for star.

22A: Sugar ending: OSE. As in fructose, sugar found in fruits.

23A: Presidential middle name: KNOX. James K. Polk.

24A: Needing to reorder: OUT OF. Mine was EMPTY.

26A: Shrub of the genus indigofera: ANIL. See this shrubby picture. "Genus indigofera" means nothing to me. I am more used to the "Blue dye/Indigo" clue.

27A: Line part: Abbr. SEG. I failed here also. Total mess in this upper left corner.

28A: Major artery: Abbr. EXPWY (Expressway). Another swampy area for me.

29A: It may be fine: PRINT. I was thinking of flour.

30A: God to more than a billion: ALLAH. Gimme. Last time Fred clued ISLAM as "Faith of more than 1 billion".

31A: Kawasaki watercraft: JET SKI. Have never heard of this brand name, nor have I heard of its manufacturer Kawasaki. Do they have factories here in the US?

32A: Immigrant's status perhaps: DUAL CITIZENSHIP. For some yes, China does not allow dual citizenship.

36A: Detach, in a way: UNCLIP. I suppose so. I thought UNCLIP is a made-up word. But it exists in dictionary.

37A: Yellowish brown: TAWNY. Oh well, last time it's clued as "Brownish orange". Good evening, are you TAWNY?

38A: Honored formally: CITED. I felt stupid. I had *ED there forever.

39A: O'Connor of "Xena: Warrior Princess": RENEE. No idea. Wikipedia says she plays the role of Gabrielle. I do know Lucy Lawless though.

43A: Speaker of baseball: TRIS. Should be a gimme for everyone now.

44A: German-speaking Swiss city: BASEL. Also spelled as BASLE. See this map. German-speaking indeed. Wikipedia says it borders France and Germany. And many pharmaceutical companies like Novartis and Roche are headquatered there.

46A: Yom __: holiday, in Hebrew: TOV. Elissa just mentioned that certain Jewish holidays never falls on Sabbath (Saturday). I forgot which ones. TOV is literally "good". Yom TOV is "Good day". Mazel TOV is "good fortune" in Hebrew.

47A: Course with many functions: MATH. I am bad at MATH. Are you?

48A: Dance with a kick: CONGA. No idea. Like this?

49A: Mate's response: AYE SIR. Ship officer. I was thinking of the Autralian pal "Mate". G'DAY is 2 letter short.

51A: Declared: ADJUDGED. New word to me.

54A: Picket fence: PALING. Also a new word. I think I will remember this word. Will associate it with Sarah Palin.

55A: Space science: ROCKETRY. Was this a gimme to you?

56A: Bastille Day party site: ELYSEE. I had no idea that French president holds an annual garden party at the Palais de L'ELYSEE on Bastille Day.

57A: London-born supermodel: KATE MOSS. Great to see her full name in a grid. That's her iconic tousled hair. My first thought was CAMPBELL (Naomi) though. It has 8 letters as well.


2D: Hydrocarbon obtained from petroleum: HEXANE. No idea. HEX is a prefix for six, and ANE is a suffix for saturated hydrocarbon.

3D: Weather phenomenon also known as pogonip: ICE FOG. Like this? I did not know the meaning of pogonip. Dictionary defines it as "an ice fog that forms in the mountain valleys of the western U." I wrote down EL NINO, knowing full well it's not right.

4D: Prestone competitor: ZEREX. Both are antifreezes. It appears in our puzzle before. Identical clue. But I forgot again.

5D: Some pens: BICS. My first fill.

6D: Prefix with fauna: AVI. Prefix for bird.

7D: Super __: game console: NES. Learned from doing Xword.

8D: Two-ton predator: GREAT WHITE SHARK. Is two-ton their average weight?

9D: Cal. sequence: MTWTF. Week days. I did not get this one. But I will next time. He can add Saturday and Sunday as well.

10D: Time for a revolution?: YEAR. I like this clue.

11D: Jazzman Adderley: NAT. Not a familiar name to me.

13D: National Museum of Finland site: HELSINKI. Easy guess. Where else could it be?

14D: Dart feature: STEEL TIP

21D: Vegan staple: SOY. Ah, Barry Silk.

24D: Plant in the primrose family: OXLIP. I had no idea that OXLIP belongs to the primrose family.

25D: __ the crack of dawn: UP AT

26D: Bohemian: ARTSY. So what's the difference between ARTY and ARTSY?

28D: Conqueror of Valencia in 1094D: EL CID. Interesting, Wikipedia says EL is from the Spanish article EL, then CID comes from the Arabic sidi meaning lord.

29D: Trattoria offering: PENNE. Plural of Italian PENNA, feather/quill pen in origin.

30D: Everything, to Ernst: ALLES. German for "Everything". Unknown to me. I could only think of the French TOUT(E).

31D: Valuable rock: JEWEL

32D: Multipurpose roll: DUCT TAPE. Only found out this morning that it's developed by Johnson & Johnson. I always thought it's a 3M invention.

33D: It merged with Goodrichin 1986D: UNIROYAL. No idea. Wiki said UNIROYAL was called The United States Rubber Company before 1961. And it's one of the original 12 Dow stocks.

34D: In an energetic way: ACTIVELY. I suppose so.

35D: First name in Western fiction: ZANE (Grey). Total stranger to me. Wiki says he was born in Zanesville, Ohio. And the city is named after his maternal ancestor Ebnezer Zane, some land speculator and road builder.

40D: Serenaded: SANG TO

42D: Knight who sings: GLADYS. This name looks very familiar to me. I must have googled her before. The only Knight I could think of is the Knight who throws a chair.

44D: One might precede a tug: BARGE. It's flat bottomed. It needs to be towed or pushed. That's all I know about BARGE.

45D: Way to the web: MODEM. I wanted LOG IN.

47D: Infielder's cry: MINE. 6-letter blank would be I GOT IT.

48D: Salad veggie: CUKE. Love pickled cucumber.

50D: Reunion moniker: SIS

52D: 1988 noir remake: DOA. No idea. The remake starred Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan. The 1950 original starred Edmond O'Brien (1950).

53D: Where sts. meet: JCT (Junction). Sts = Streets. I thought it's saints. But I can't think of a good abbreviation for heaven. Very tricky clue.

Answer grid.



C.C. Burnikel said...

Yes, it's the same Robert H. Wolfe.
I just checked the blog archive. We solved 21 of his puzzles in TMS Daily. Some are Sunday, some are Saturday, some Friday/Thursday. I've never been able to identify his style.

We have pigs in a blanket in Guangzhou too. But the sausages are sweet. Cantonese sausages are always lean and sweet.

Dr. Dad's company has a new policy. He can't access our blog in his work.

Anon HP,
What's your background? Are you a she or a he?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for the answers. Fascinating. Japanese/Korean TV series can be very addictive. I like this phrase: Otaku attitude.

Thanks. Someone emailed me that the VA Pilot information as well.

You are an advanced solver. And you can easily get the blanks filled by the crossing clues. I have to rely on theme answers for help because very often those crossing fills are unknown to me. I often feel lost on Saturday when there is no theme guiding me.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I guess I'm the only early riser around here on weekends, eh? [Oh, there you are, C. C.!]

This was a very challenging puzzle which had me scratching my head of a long time before I finally managed to make some progress. In the end, though, it did end up defeating me.

The NW corner in particular was tough. Even after I filled in most of the rest of the puzzle, that entire corner remained almost entirely blank (I had 6D and 7D, and that was it). Once I finally got GREAT WHITE SHARK, however, I guessed that 1A ended in BANG, which let me get BIC for 5D, which led me to WHIZBANG for 1A, which let me FINALLY remember ZEREX for 4D. That gave me enough to get both RECEIVER for 15A and EXERCISE for 17A. KNOX was completely unknown to me and SEG didn't anything at first, but by then I was able to guess both ICE FOG and HEXANE and that did the trick.

Sadly, I wasn't so fortunate down in the bottom central section of the grid. I thought MATH was a terrible non-specific answer for 47A (I wanted CALC), but I got it nevertheless. What I couldn't get, however, was PALING or BASEL, and therefore BARGE remained elusive as well. It didn't help that misspelled 56A as ELYSES instead of ELYSEE.

Other than that, it was a good puzzle with a lot of good clues and answers. My only minor gripe would be that I think "mates" on a ship actually say AYE AYE SIR and not just AYE SIR...

Barry G. said...


Make that "scratching my head for a long time" and "SEG didn't mean anything at first."

So much for posting before my morning caffeine...

C.C. Burnikel said...

Funny. BICS is my first fill. Saw similar clue before. KNOX is often clued as "Polk's middle name" in our old puzzle. Another presidential middle name Williams liked to use is ABRAM, often clued as "President Garfield's middle name". I was not aware that the sea men say AYE twice. Thanks. Did you get AUGERS immediately? The ELYSEE clue does refer to the annual garden party hosted by the French president, correct?

Al said...

Morning all. The whole left side was tough today, had to get help for TOV PALING and the spelling for ELYSEE on the bottom. Didn't know KNOX, OXLIP or what pogonip was. Didn't we have enough roadway abbreviations yesterday (JCT, EXPWY)?


Anon-HP gave good explanations again last night for the cryptics. Here are some short ones today, the regular puzzle was tough enough. These all have the same type of clue, and are all common "regular" crossword answers:

The boy in the glade(3)
Growth in a helmet(3)
Content with the quantity(3)
Originally called in one editor(3)
A sign from the galleon(3)
Can stink outside(3)
One editor's requirement(4)
The golfer's conceit(3)
No palace includes stone(4)
A song from Marianne(4)
Removal includes eggs(3)

Martin said...

I wanted TYRANNOSAURUS REX for GREAT WHITE SHARK but it had one letter too many: I thought maybe there was one N in TYRANNOSAURUS and that there were more than a billion people who considered JESUS to be God. I thought of TANGO and RUMBA but CONGA never came to me, I had ADDS UP for WRECKS (Oh, I get it now), OCTANE for HEXANE, TULIP for OXLIP (Huh?), GYPSY for ARTSY and I was working on JUST CAME OFF SHIP for DUAL CITIZENSHIP and thought I was getting somewhere. :)


Rex Parker said...

Yes, NW was the real bear here. HEXANE and ZEREX being ???s to me, and even RECEIVER being oddly clued. Never seen an ICE FOG anywhere but xwords.

Still enjoyed the puzzle, overall.


Dr.G said...

Friday and Saturday puzzles are approaching the impossible. They definitely are not fun.

Buckeye said...

Mornin' folks. Haven't done the puzzle yet, and may not. I have to agree with Barry G. "Aye" means "yes". "Aye, aye" in navel terms stands for "Yes, I understand and yes I will obey". That's why there's two "Ayes".

In crosswordeeselingoposting (See Fred), "Aye" is proceeded with the word "Clear". Anything posted as "Clearayes" will be entertaining, educational and fun.

Sneeked (snuck, creeped, weasled?) into Dr. Feelgood's office and found "Nurse Ratchet's" file. We never knew her REAL name; we just called her "Ratchet" because of - you know why. She's big, ugly and mean. She also has the biggest "Adam's apple" I've ever seen on a woman. More to follow.

Hope to hear from Dr.Dad in the future. Maybe we should pitch in and buy him a computer so he doesn't have to use the one at work. Dennis, I hope you're enjoying Fla. There's a great "sun screen" out there called "KY Silk-E." It will prevent burning - in certain places. Right, ladies?

I must be off

T. Frank said...

Hi, C.C. & Gang,

My trip was much like Barry's; I had all the answers except for the NW corner, which really stumped me. I finally G'ed Knox and icefog, which got me started.

Hard ones for me were avi, nes, wrecks, tov, doa, and jct.

As a former naval person, I confirm what earlier posters said. At least in the USN, it is always "aye, aye, sir".

Smooth seas and fair winds today.

Argyle said...

Good Morning,

As I sat here looking at the crossing of O_LIP and E_PWY, I thought to look at whom the puzzle constructor was and immediately put an X in the space.

Ah, to live in CA and not have to know about antifreeze and ice fogs.

Anonymous said...

Thursday's puzzles are hard, but Friday and Saturday are impossible. No fun at all - I long for the old puxxles


Thea said...

Very tough for me, knowns were mynahs, dual citizenship, Zane Grey (is one of my Mom's favorite authors) and Helsinki. The rest was torcher.

c.c. here is a conga line dance, hope it works, still not sure how to post a link.

Jeanne, did you try getting the NYT online thru the Seattle Times?

Buckeye said...

Argyle. re avatar. Try the Black Lable.


Argyle said...

Buckeye, I'm just trying to clean out my old stock. Some hve been around so long, there's no kick left in them.

Lemonade714 said...

ood morning:

Not sunny, so I am here.

Thea, the NY Times in syndication in Seattle is more than a month behind the current daily. It is a way to do them free, but you have work to get the benefit of the blogs like Rex's. The one the day you posted, for example, was the March 12, 2009, which I know only because it was rebus, with PED replacing the letter, and I do not like those.

I enjoyed this one, though the NW corner was very difficult; I really was fooled, but like the use of WRECKED. Silent W and K in the same corner, was good stuff. It was getting BANG that enabled me to back into the rest. It helped that I used to study the Presidents and think of this one as JAMES KNOX POLK.

The other big help, was getting some cultural gimmes like TOV and ALLES, and ADJUDGED, a favorite in law biz. My favorite was DUCTTAPE, knowing many people who keep their life together with silver strips.

I have never heard of PALING or OXLIP, POGONIP/ICEFOG and hopefully will file them away for future puzzles.

AUGER popped out as my answer immediately. I guess, I understand your comments about themes more, C.C.

The CONGA was the irritating dance parents did in the 50's, when they had a big party where everyone got drunk and paraded around the house, kicking in sync.

Finally, you should listen to GLADYS KNIGHT a very entertaining singer.

Considering our demographics, how many of you were Franki Valli and the Four Season fans? I saw Jersey Boys last evening and it brought back lots of memories.

Rex Parker said...

I live in NY and didn't know ZEREX (Prestone, I knew). ICE FOG I know only from xwords. If there's ever been an ICE FOG here in Binghamton, I missed it, or didn't know what it was called.


Anonymous said...

Ouch, ouch, ouch! Not much reprieve after yesterday's challenger. Seg for segment indeed! I first wanted salsa for the dance with a kick, and was a little disappointed that it turned out the more mundane conga, which has a more literal kick. TRex was my first thought on the 2 ton predator too. I was flummoxed by expwy for awhile, knowing it couldn't be "aorta" but trying to fit in something like "sthwy" (state highway) instead.

"Pogonip", "adjudged", and "paling" were my new words for today. The DOA film noir I'm guessing stands for Dead On Arrival.


Argyle said...

31A: Kawasaki watercraft: JET SKI. Do they have factories here in the US?Kawasaki was the first foreign vehicle manufacturer to open a manufacturing plant in the U.S.A.. They manufacture motorcycles, ATVs, utility vehicles and personal watercraft. (Jetski)

I thought UNCLIP is a made-up word. A common usage would be to say, "I unclipped my seatbelt."

39A: O'Connor of "Xena: Warrior Princess": RENEE. Gabrielle and Xena.

54A: Picket fence: PALING. Also a new word. A pale is a stake or pointed stick; a picket; paling, collectively. This guy, Vlad the Impaler liked to stick his enemies on pales. He is thought to be the basis for Count Dracula.

Judi said...

I also get lost on Friday and Sat and end up coming to the blog. They just are not fun anymore.

Argyle said...

rp, it must be this global warming thing. Of course, you're on the Southern Tier!

Fred said...

Doug P.
Thanx for the info on the LA Times xword puzzle books.

Yes, when a puzzle of mine was reprinted in a NY Sun xword puzzle book collection Peter Gordon sent me a comp copy.

On the other hand, I had puzzles reprinted in two USA Today puzzle books and only discovered that fact when I flipped thru the books at the bookstore.

Barry G. said...

Did you get AUGERS immediately?Ayup, that was a gimme for me.

Argyle said...

Pardon me, I must correct myself. Ice fog and freezing fog are two different things. The Farmer's Almanac has a good description of the difference.

Buckeye said...

Fred. You guys need to "copyright" or get a union like ASCAP. It sucks that you don't get reimbursed for your work.


Anonymous said...

I have viewed your Crossword Corner from the Star Tribune, though I travel a lot and don’t always have the paper with the puzzle. I do have today’s Star Tribune, April 25. But the puzzle in my paper and the one you have written about have changed. Are you no longer using the same puzzle as the Star Tribune? The puzzle I have is from Newsday and constructed by Dough Peterson.

Buckeye said...

Finally, Lennonade714. I'm glad I found another Gladys Knight fan. Everybody lauded Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" recording, but I always said, if you really want to hear the song done right ("GUD") listen to Galdys do it. She is sooooo boss!!. (You cleaver folks can Y-Tube it).


Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone. Started this one last night but couldn't crack it until this morning. Got the center diagonals first, then the SE and finally the NW. Had assistance from red letters online and finally had to go g-spot the NW. Pogonip? Final fills were DOA and JCT. Nice to see a Barry Silk puzzle. C.C., I think your explanation of 29D PENNE is incorrect. Penne is a type of pasta, which one would have at a trattoria.

C.C., if you're up at the latest at 3:45, where do you get your paper? Surely you don't have home delivery at that hour. I remember that the final edition wouldn't come off the presses until 3:30 to 4. I really appreciate your dedication to this blog.

Have a great Saturday.

Buckeye said...

Here's the ol' college try.

GLADYSHope this works


Lemonade714 said...


I agree, PENNE is the pasta, which I often order, alla Vodka.

ALLES is easy to remember if you listen to GERMAN ANTHEM.

GLADYS had many great songs, and she had the PIPS!

Argyle, thanks for the Vlad the impaler reference, it makes PALE and PALING easy from now on. That was a clue I could sink my teeth into!

TRYST is just the meeting, or meeting place of lovers, what they do is up to the circumstances. In DC they have tried to cash in on the titillation TRYST.

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

headed out to work so this will be quick, but wow, i think this was the toughest LAT i've done so far. good to see a silky though.

@santa: ahhh, now imPALE makes so much sense. thanks.

useless information unless you've studied kinesiology, but yesterday's puzzle had fan shaped muscle PEC, and today's had trattoria offering PENNE. those represent two of four muscle shapes: parallel, convergent (like a fan, PECS), pennate (like a feather) and circular.

today's earworm is now the theme song to spongebob squarepants, which begins 'aye aye captain.' groan. i gotta go listen to some van morrison.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, The left side of this puzzle gave me fits too. I thought I was so clever by starting out with SUMS UP for 1D "Totals". I quickly surrendered that side and headed east. I had most of the right side filled out, finally got DUAL CITIZENSHIP and worked my way up and down and across. Lightbulb was WRECKS.

My favorite clue was "Knight who sings." I wanted to fit in something to do with a courtly troubadour, but couldn't think of anything that fit. I was pleased when GLADYS finally appeared. Count me in as another fan. She is amazing. I love Bette Midler too, but Gladys owns "Wind Beneath My Wings".

Who knew that there are so many types of Fog? I did know that Point Reyes California, northwest of San Francisco is one of the foggiest places in the world. I've been there twice and couldn't see much of anything..what lighthouse?Buckeye, Thanks dearie, for both your concern last night and for the compliments. I've said it before, "You are a smoothie." Congratulations on the link, I knew you could do it.

carol said...

Good Morning C.C. and everyone -
Good tough puzzle and too much for me although I really enjoyed what I could get. My favorite clue was 42D (Knight who sings)--it really threw me though, as I kept picturing a knight in shining armor, on bended knee (which would have been nearly impossible) strumming a lute and singing to his lady.

C.C., I had the same trouble with 1A (Whiz Bang) - I put ADDS UP in for 1D, so I was in trouble right away.

I also spelled 18A as WADDLE and was a bit embarrassed to find out it was spelled 'wattle'...I really have never seen the word spelled out before, only spoken.

Very clever clues as one would expect expect from Mr. Silk! It was so nice to have one of his puzzles again. He makes me a better solver. I always learn something new. One of these days (soon) I will be able to solve one of these completely.

g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all:

I had everything from center to the right and then started on the southwest and worked up. I googled Basel, Paling, Hexane, Zerex, Nes, Renee. Well, you get the point. I'm only good Monday thru Thursday and sometimes Sundays.

Buckeye: I was also wondering where Dr. Dad was. He always adds a lot of interesting info when he is on.

cc: Thanks for the answer on Dennis. I have been on sporadically so I missed that.

Dennis: Read my comments on Friday to you about the restaurants in the area.

Anonymous said...

to Clear Eyes ~
Loved your comment "what light house?" (For those unfamiliar with the site, it's at the bottom of the long -~300 steps- stairway.) But do keep going back to the Point Reyes Seashore. It's a favorite place of ours for weekend get-aways. Yes, summer is often foggy and windy. But we've had great luck weatherwise in fall and even February. The view up the coastline from the lighthouse walk is spectacular...when you can see it.

to all ~
Regarding today's puzzle, it was a bear, and I didn't finish it solo, but still enjoy the challenge and creativity of construction, and the stretch it gives the ol' gray matter.

Clear Ayes said...

Hmm... my "Published" paragraphs and spacing aren't printing up the same way they do as with "Preview". I hope Buckeye knows I wasn't tacking my comments to him onto my "foggy" paragraph.

Anon@12:33, OK, I'll give Point Reyes another try. It isn't too far from where my sister lives, so it is very doable on a family visit.

I've wanted to post this poem for a long time. It really doesn't matter what your philosophical viewpoint might be. It is a nice cheery poem for any imaginative person who likes to walk around a well supplied hardware department at the local Home Depot. It also demonstrates how a poet can take an ordinary subject and make it thought-provoking.

A Hardware Store as Proof of the Existence of GodI praise the brightness of hammers pointing east
like the steel woodpeckers of the future,
and dozens of hinges opening brass wings,
and six new rakes shyly fanning their toes,
and bins of hooks glittering into bees,
and a rack of wrenches like the bones of horses,
and mailboxes sowing rows of silver chapels,
and a company of plungers waiting for God
to claim their thin legs in their big shoes
and put them on and walk away laughing.
In a world not perfect but not bad either
let there be glue, glaze, gum, and grabs,
caulk also, and hooks, shackles, cables, and slips,
and signs so spare a child may read them,
Men, Women, In, Out, No Parking, Beware the Dog.
In the right hands, they can work wonders.

- Nancy Willard

Jeanne said...

Good afternoon all,
Do you hear that? It's the sound of me patting my back after completing about 2/3 of the puzzle in ink. Could never break apart the NW corner which I found totally frustrating. Glad to see others did too. But for a Saturday puzzle, I'm pleased with myself. Hope they don't get too much more difficult. I'm anxious to see what we get for a Sunday puzzle since many of us last week had different versions of the LAT puzzle.

@Thea, the only NYT puzzles I found at the Seattle Times site are archived ones that do show the current date but they are not current. They never agree with Rex Parker's blog which discusses the current puzzle. Don't know if I'll try today's archived puzzle or not. May have used up all my gray matter for the day. And add me to the list of Gladys Knight fans.

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.
Argyle: Congratulations on the correct using of "whom". It is infrequent to see it used, let alone correctly. I salute you.

C.C.: Because I found this one nearly impossible, and because Barry Silk used to be fathomable for me, could you find out what changes the editors made on this one? It would be most interesting.

JIMBO said...

(Almost) totally destroyed, but not giving up on the week-ends. Had at least a dozen V-8's and duhs. (Like, I knew that). Just a matter of kicking the grey cells into overdrive and pulling out the unexpected.


My family has been on to me for ages about putting my life on the written page, but the truth is: I don't have the patience and I hate writing. Just can't bring myself to start. (Main reason why my posts are so short and far between).

Thanks for the encouragement though, but don't hold your breath waiting for those Royalties to come in.
I'm sure not. (smiles)

Vaya con Dios

embien said...

21:10 today. What a joy of a puzzle. It was difficult, sure, but totally fair and (unlike Friday's puzzle), fun to solve from top to bottom.

I had the most problem in the NW corner. Wow, that was tough! I only got AVI, HEXANE and ICE FOG from the crosses, and the crossing definitions for RECEIVER and EXERCISE required quite a bit of mental gymnastics to conjure up.

@c.c.: 1A: Super: WHIZ-BANG. Stumped immediately, since my crossing answer for 1D: Totals (WRECKS) was SUMS UP.Ha ha. I had ADDS UP, which caused an equal amount of problems for me. Not all WRECKS are totals--most are "fender benders" I'd guess.

@thea: Jeanne, did you try getting the NYT online thru the Seattle Times?The puzzle the Seattle Times posts (Seattle Times NY Times) is one week behind the syndicated NY Times puzzle. (For example the puzzle posted at that site is actually from the NY Times of March 14--coincidentally another Barry Silk puzzle!!!, whereas the syndicated puzzle in The Oregonian and other newspapers, for example, is the puzzle of March 21.) So, if you do it online at the Seattle Times site, you'll have to do a bit of hunting by date if you're going to Rex's NY Times blog. (Date links are along the right-hand edge of the blog.)

Buckeye said...

Jimbo" NEVER pull out unexpectedly. Plan A HEAD.

Regarding Susan Boyles and Elaine Paige. If you watch/listen to their renditions of "Dream...", you will see that Boyles had a better setting and better microphones. If you are on stage, even with the new mic. systems, you will hear/see Paige's greatness. Her passion for the lyrics is, and has been, the best ever. Stage requires voice, range, diction, expansiveness, acting abilities and emotion. Paige has it all. Boyles is great, but when it comes to "selling" the role, can she do it? Paige did, and does. (see "CATS").


embien said...

crockett: (speaking about the "Today's Crossword" that appears now in The Oregonian) @embien I figure since I've already paid for the paper I might as well solve the puzzle. Practice, practice, practice.Well, I honestly tried, but it was so dad-gummed boring that I didn't even finish (I tried a couple of them).

There is a difference between easy puzzles like this (which involve easy, straightforward clues and easy, straightforward word definitions) and clever ones like early-week NY Times and LA Times where there is a theme and some clever wordplay.

Oberhasli said...

OMG, I wasn't in the right frame of mind for this one this morning. Thanks C.C. for the answers. I googled a few but gave up after a few attempts. Not a fun one for me today.

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang,
I had to do some cheating on the online puzzle today, not much extra time and I have to leave shortly to go back to our pottery sale.

I liked the duct tape answer, but does everyone know that duct tape is good for everything except ducts? I've included a like to a Lawrence Livermore article: duct tape to dark energygotta run!

Linda said...

CC:Haven`t tried puzzle yet...
(Just about "festivaled" out. See, constructors aren`t the only ones who can remake words!)

Jimbo:Get a pocket recorder and just start speaking into it. Let someone else transcribe it. Just save it for posterity...I know all you saw and experienced, in such a time of change in our country, would be invaluable as history, if nothing else. Include things like architecture, store types and products, city services or lack there of, food, families, clothing, scenery, smells, churches, schools, law enforcement or lack thereof, other entertainments, transportation, and about your typical day...what your Mother, Father and siblings did etc. Please do it audibly if you don`t want to write.

Not to put a guilt trip on you...ok, perhaps I am , but you owe it to your family and your blog friends :) all your wanderings, did you ever see a cast iron smoothing iron with a compartment for coals in the body? Can`t even find one on the net. The body is about 4" deep to accommodate the coals or embers and has cutouts along the sides. There is a hardwood fastener for the lid, right at the front of the wooden handle.

Any info appreciated.

Auntie Naomi said...

Good Afternoon C.C. and Co.,

This is our first Barry Silk puzzle, since the switch, no?
The layout made for a difficult solve. I think it might have been impossible for someone unable to get the 15-letter answers. Yesterday was the first time in a long time that I was unable to finish the puzzle. I finally capitulated late in the evening and came to STCC to see the error of my ways. Today was not much easier but at least I was able to finish it. Although, it did take me over an hour to do it. The NW corner was tough, but it was not the last to fall. I believe it was in your interview with Mr. Silk that he said the secret to getting good at solving was to not give up. I put this one down a couple of times and then came back to it. It helped.

Here is the Wikipedia page for CONGA line dance. The one time I participated in a conga line, it was led by Nestor Torres.

Like much of the rest of this puzzle, ROCKETRY only came to me after much effort.

KATE MOSS looks like hell in that photo. I'll bet she wishes it had never been taken. I'd say that TAWNY Kitaen's mugshot looks as good.

I had never herd of 'progonip' and that photo of ICEFOG looks frightful.

According to Wikipedia, "The great white shark's "normal" maximum size is about 6 m (20 ft), with a "normal" maximum weight of about 1,900 kg (4,200 lb)."
Regardless of how big their average size is, I hope to never encounter one while diving, unless I am in a cage. One member of my SCUBA club has dove with them outside of a cage. I think he is nuts.

NAT Adderley was a gimme for me. I think that, the last time we saw him clued, I may have posted an erroneous comment mistaking him for 'Fats' Navarro.

"HELSINKI. Easy guess. Where else could it be?"
Last time we saw Finland clued, the answer was ESPOO.

Wouldn't MINE more likely be an outfielder's cry?

Clear Ayes,
Isn't Point Reyes the place where a zillion starlings or swallows or something flock to every year?

Did you ever see Carnivàle?

Rex Parker said...

Just to be crystal clear:

NYT puzzles in syndication are, uniformly, exactly FIVE (5) weeks behind on Monday-Saturday. The Sundays appear to be *mostly* ONE (1) week behind, though some seem to be two weeks back.

Even if I were to forget to update the link, there is No Need to go "hunting" by date at my site (or any blogspot site). The link to the syndicated puzzle is right there, plain as day, in the sidebar. Further, you don't have to "hunt" for a day, ever. Blog archives allow you to find any day with pinpoint precision.


Elissa said...

Since I'm so late in posting I can skip whining about all the problems I had with this puzzle.

But I did get DUCT TAPE.

I'm a big duct tape fan and a big fan of the Red Green Show, where they say "Duct tape is to adhesion, as WD 40 is to lubrication" and "if women don't find you handsome, at least let them find you handy." If you have never seen the Red Green Show, you are really missing something.

JD said...

Good afternoon CC and all,

Buckeye, I'm so impressed!Great clip and I agree that she owns that song.

Judi@ 9:48 Even if the c/w isn't fun, we are fun! Right,CC?

Argyle, interesting stuff on paling which seems to have been an unknown for most of us.

You would not want me to list my unknowns:alles ... basel......
Fav. clue? major artery
Fav. new word? pogonip

We do not have that type of fog here, but we have beautiful billowy clouds of fog that roll over the peaks of the Santa Cruz Mts., cooling off the valley after 3 or 4 days of heat.When we have a breeze , as we do today, you know the fog is out there on the coast.The central valley of CA has that ugly awful tule fog that rises from the ground and causes accidents.

Lola said...

¡Hola! If this hadn't been a "Barry Silk", I would have given up early on. As it was I kept pecking away until it was nearly complete. Whiz Bang never did materialize, so wrecks didn't make an appearance either. Even though we owned a Body Shop at one time and my husband was an insurance adjuster for years, my brain never connected totals with car injuries.

I thought maybe a loft was the place for a tryst. Cafes just seemed so public. Knox was a complete unknown. I had to google pogonip, since I couldn't think of a weather phenomenon that ended with the letter G. I too had adds up or sums up for totals.

c.c., Bics was also my first fill. What other pen name do we know with three or four letters?

I'm glad to hear that Barry G and Rex Parker didn't finish the puzzle either. I feel I'm in good company with my struggles. When I finally checked in here I only had 12 boxes empty or incorrect almost all of them in the NW corner. The D and J in adjudged were my other stumblers. A movie named Doa didn't make sense until I came here. My brain was so scrambled at this point that I just couldn't see jct, for where streets meet. But, I agree, it was a fun puzzle.

c.c. I'm really glad to see some familiar constructors, as long as they're not all the stinkers.

Bye for now!

Crockett1947 said...

@lola I'm certain Rex Parker finished the puzzle. I think he said he didn't care for it! Actually, he sadi, "Still enjoyed the puzzle, overall." And, on his other blog, "Took me 1/2 again as long as the NYT."

Linda said...

CC: With about a dozen "peeks" it still took me 31 minutes... but I finished a Saturday puzzle! Last Saturday...I was certain I never would. "Just keep slogging" really does work!

Now, where are those cryptics!

Lola said...

Crockett: It was probably just wishful thinking on my part. I interpreted his statement about not knowing Hexane, Zerex, and ice fog to mean that he hadn't finished on his own. No offense meant. It's just nice to know that the superstars also struggle. TTFN

Rex Parker said...


What Crockett said :)


Lemonade714 said...


Where are you hiding? Or did you find your young man, and you are too busy for the crossword world? Of course it is NFL draft day, which means another 40+ millionaires created today. My gramma always told me it was just as easy to love a rich girl, so maybe it works the other way.


You find Florida?

Jeannie said...

I found this puzzle really hard. I never did get a chance to solve yesterday. As you all know by now, if I don't get at least the first half of the answers I throw my hands up and come here to see where I erred.

Lemonade...yep you live in FL; if you lived in MN you would understand why "duct tape" is an essenstial, why we value our "augers" and why we are "paling". We do tend to turn a little bit more "bronze" as the summer comes about. Shoot we sit out in the sun when it's sixty something in our bikinis.

Al said...

@Linda, I posted the cryptics at 7:04 AM. They are all three and four-letter words today, so I posted quite a few.

Jeannie said...

On this day April 25th...

1507 "America" was first used as the name of a continent on a map. German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller used the name in honor of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci.

1859 Ground was broken for the Suez Canal.

1901 New York became the first state to require automobile license plates.

1959 The St. Lawrence Seaway opened to shipping.

2007 The Dow Jones industrial average topped 13,000 for the first time, ending the day at 13,089.89.

Lemonade714 said...


You are back! I stopped wearing my bikini years ago, even when it is in the 90's. I am afraid my Minnesota experiences are limited, but I went to high school in the Berkshire Mountains, and often woke up for the half mile walk to breakfast with the temperature below zero, hitting a low of 28 below one morning. The school used to save money by turning the heat off for a few hours overnight; many mornings if I had any juice in the room, it would be frozen. I slept in my sheepskin lined coat. I moved to Florida for a reason. Besides I never liked being PALE, preferring to be TAWNY. So with my neck WATTLE jiggling in the breeze, while I JET SKI, which is held together by DUCT TAPE, for EXERCISE, being a WHIZBANG at it, I often ASTONISH the GREAT WHITE SHARKS that are practicing their CONGA not far from the BARGE hoping to MAUL me and leave me DOA. Anyway, all of you 'sotans have the choice of many other states.

Speaking of weather, nobody liked the Four Seasons?

I also am surprised with our crowd there are no Zane Grey fans, or at least Louis Lamour. Anybody watching 3:10 to Yuma. Well I am off to the CAFE, so I can GET OUT of the house, and practice my MATH, or at least see what adds up.

Anybody else excited about the Star Trek 2009?

Jeannie said...

Lemonade...I am not all that excited about the new Star Trek movie. You'll know why when you go have your next Burger King visit. Do you ever check your e-mail? There might be a coupon in there for you.

LUXOR said...

I would like to know how can one tell the nationality of an Asian/Oriental person.

Linda said...

don`t know
don`t know
How`d I do?

CC: my head hurts!

Linda said...

Lemonade; I am a Louis LaMour fan! My favorite, "Down the Long Hills." (talked about it ages ago)

Martin said...

I would like to know how can one tell the nationality of an Asian/Oriental person.

I suppose you could ask them, except if they are living in the U.S. they would probably answer "American". :)


Jeannie said...

Lemonade, living in MN, "MY NAHS" might "KNOX" the socks off you. It might "ASTONISH" you that we get warm weather up here. We do hate to see those guys here with "SAG" "JEWELS" in their speedos though. Us gals are "ACTIVELY" looking for the "UNIROYALS".

Anonymous said...

Linda: I'm pretty sure you have the right cryptic clue answers there. Here are my answers for the two that you didn't know:

The one above LEO is NEE (originally called).

The one below LEO is TIN (synonym for CAN).

Like the other answers today, you'll find them hidden words in the clue phrasing.

Here's a tongue-in-cheek cryptic clue that working the Friday and Saturday crosswords might induce in a person:

acute pains (6)



embien said...

@Rex: NYT puzzles in syndication are, uniformly, exactly FIVE (5) weeks behind on Monday-Saturday.Except that the online Seattle Times version is six weeks behind, not five. Online solvers will have to do some additional navigation on your site and not just click The Syndicated Puzzle link.

Those who solve the syndicated NY Times puzzle in the dead tree version have no such problem.

Al said...

@Linda, 82% is pretty good, you're on a roll. The two you missed have the same kind of solution as the others. Look carefully for a word indicating a maiden name (Originally called) and what a Brit might call a can, or the material it is made of.

Clear Ayes said...

PMT, the swallows come back to Capistrano. I'm not sure about the starlings.

JD, I am familiar with Tule fog. I don't make early morning appointments in Merced or Modesto in the winter just because I don't want to possibly deal with that two-feet-in-front-of-your-face fog. Unless it is an emergency, doctors, dentists and car tune-ups wait until 10 AM when the fogs burn off.

Buckeye, We truly were separated at birth. Even after a hundred viewing, how can a person not get goosebumps while listening to Elaine Paige sing Memories? I wish Susan Boyle all the best, but I'm with you on Elaine Paige.

Ah yes Jeannie, I remember it well. 2007, those were the good old DOW Jones days.

Auntie Naomi said...

Clear Ayes,
It appears that I was mistaken about the bird phenomenon. I was sure that when I heard about that I had looked it up and found that it took place somewhere north of the Bay area. It appears that I must have been thinking of the Return of the Swallows to Capistrano.

It is hard to believe that it was just a bit longer than 18 months ago that the DOW peaked at over 14,000.

I only ever read one Louis L'Amour book, Haunted Mesa.
Although it's not a good time to hide out in a movie theater, I am looking forward to the new Star Trek movie. Florida was almost perfect today. It was perfect a couple of days ago.

Orange said...

I don't know if more than a few people knew ZEREX. My blog got more traffic from the "Prestone competitor" search query than just about any other clue, ever.

I didn't see an answer to the anonymous commenter at 10:30 a.m. The Star-Tribune is now running the Newsday puzzle, which I don't think anyone is blogging—aside from the "Saturday Stumper," which I cover at Crossword Fiend each weekend. Lately that puzzle has become wickedly hard!

Thomas said...

Hello C.C. & all,
Barry Silk rarely disappoints, and today was tough (I cheated twice) but doable in 18:17. Fun!

For anyone doing the NYT in syndication, I google Rex's crossword blog by the puzzle date (which is the puzzle number, and today is No. 0321), and the constructor. Today it was 'rex crossword march 21 2009 wolfe'. Boom! I'm there at the google link. And no, I will not donate to keep his site "ad free" when I'm reading it five weeks later and can't contribute.

You're a hoot, a coot, and a kook, befitting all of us loons. Take it in a good way. Don't let Nurse Ratchett increase your meds!

I agree, Kate Moss looks wasted.

Love the "Red Green Show"! Duct tape was my favorite answer today. Had a duck hunting hat just like his as a kid, always wore it to put the angel on the Christmas tree. "I am a man, I can change, if I have to, I guess". Great link!

I call my 'tan' this time of year 'belly up dead fish white'!

Linda and LemonDCCXIV,
Also a L'Amour fan! Chick Bowdrie is my favorite character. Did you know he also wrote four 'Hopalong Cassidy' novels under the name of Tex Burns?
"The Rustler's of West Fork"
"The Trail to Seven Pines"
"The Riders of High Rock"
"Trouble Shooter"
Now in reprint by Bantam Books, under his true name. And I admit, moving from one genre to another, that I am looking forward to the new "Star Trek"! The truth is out, I'm a 'Trekkie'.

If the sunburn has you back on the computer, thanks for the premature shout-out on the b-day.

Swedish sounding Doug,
I stared... and stared... and stared... at your Newsday 'Stumper' today. I thought you were a nice guy! Now I see your evil side!! You kicked my a**!!

TJ, in that other five letter MPLS suburb.

Anonymous said...

Argyle: What's antifreeze?

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi, CC and all.

Nice site and a nice community here.

This puzzle was annoying. Right off the bat, 1A clue and answer don't match. Super is an adjective, Whiz-bang is a noun.

2D is a lousy clue. First, all hydrocarbons are (or can be) derived from petroleum, so most of the clue is empty verbiage. Limiting to simple hydrocarbons, ethane (3 carbons) , propane (3), butane (4), hexane (6), octane (8), nonane (9), and decane (10) all fit. I'm all for a little ambiguity, but this is no good.

9d I'm a bit conflicted about non-word answers. This one seems to have crossed some line into non-acceptabiity.

4d, 5d, and 31a commercial product names in answers seem like flaws to me. Two in one puzzle crosses the line. Three is an outrage.

Lack of a theme - the two by four that smashes this camel's vertebrae.

This outburst probably makes me look like crank. Sorry for the bad first impression.

Doreen -

Antifreeeze is a liquid (mostly ethylene glycol plus rust inhibitors and other stabilizers) added to the water in a car or truck radiator to prevent freezing and boil-over (for those in L.A.) by greatly increasing the temperature range of the liquid phase. More precisely, it is called coolant.

C.C. Burnikel said...

WHIZ-BANG is an adjective too. Saturday's puzzle is always themeless. Thanks for the great comments.

KittyB said...

I was away for the weekend and came to do the Barry Silk Saturday puzzle after I finished the Sunday crossword.

For the first time, I walked away from a puzzle with my hands in the air. I managed to complete all but the NW corner, mostly adding a letter here and there until it made sense to me. I got GREATWHITESHARK and CAFES, but the rest of that corner was a total loss.

I wanted something from physiology for what turned out to be EXPWY, and PALING is a new word for me.

I still enjoy Barry Silk puzzles, but I need to get up to speed with the more competitive ones.