Apr 19, 2009

Sunday April 19, 2009 Merl Reagle

Theme: TV Shows I'd Like (To those who solved Dan Naddor's "Put a Lid on It!" puzzle, please scroll down the screen).

26A: TV reality show about owners willing to do anything to sell their domiciles?: DESPERATE HOUSE WISE (Desperate Housewives)

33A: TV comedy about a guy who keeps losing his patients?: DENTIST THE MENACE (Dennis the Menace)

57A: TV drama set in a deli?: SLAW AND ORDERS (Law and Order)

65A: With 76 Across, TV game show that requires no knowledge whatsoever?: ARE YOU SMARTER THAN

76A: See 65 Across: A CHEESE GRATER (Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?)

93A: TV comedy about being in a foreclosure?: MORTGAGE AND MINDY (Mork & Mindy)

104A: TV cartoon about a guy who's poor and not much of a dresser?: SLUMDOG SQUAREPANTS (SpongeBob SquarePants)

Ah, my first Merl Reagle LAT puzzle.

Have you seen "Wordplay"? Merl is featured prominently in the movie. I learned a few months ago that his name Merl/Merle is a kind of blackbird. His syndicated puzzle appears in Dennis's Philadelphia Inquirer every Sunday. They are always punny and funny, though the humor often escapes me. He does not use computer to construct puzzle, always pencil and paper. A natural. A genius.

Unfortunately I did not have enough time to really enjoy this puzzle. Hope you liked it. Lots of clever clues. I solved and blogged Dan Naddor's "Put a Lid on It!" earlier.


1A: Type of adapter: AC/DC

5A: Kevin's Oscar-winning role" in "A Fish Called Wanda": OTTO. Have never seen this Kevin Klein movie.

18A: Dragon's abode: LAIR. I have no idea where dragon lives.

19A: Random payoff: DROP

21A: Show your face? SHAVE. Good clue.

22A: Instant: IMMEDIATE

24A: Sister of Clio: ERATO. The Poetic Muse. Clio is the History Muse.

25A: Facts-of-life course, briefly: SEX ED. I stared at SEXED for a long time.

29A: Floor or ceiling support: JOIST

42A: Bobby Darin's label until 1963: ATCO (ATlantic COporation). Now owned by Warner Music Group. I was unware of that.

43A: Volga feeder: OKA. See this map.

44A: Drink with tempura: SAKE. Japanese rice wine. Mirin is also rice wine, used in cooking.

49A: Cadets' org: ROTC

53A: Tale-with-a point guy: AESOP. All his tales have a point, a moral point.

55A: Stinking: NOISOME. New word to me. It looks noisy rather than "Stinking".

60A: Spike TV, before: TNN

64A: Added bit of news: UPDATE

69A: Cellphones started one: NEW ERA

71A: Avid and then some: RABID

72A: Timber wolf: LOBO. I've never seen a LOBO wolf before.

73A: Classic British war film, "The __ Busters": DAM. See this poster. Not a familiar film to me.

79A: Ming, for one: DYNASTY. Ming DYNASTY ruled from 1368 to 1644. It's followed by Qing, the last DYNASTY in China. In Chinese , Ming is 明, the left 日 means sun, the right 月 means moon, so literally 明 (Ming) means "shining"/"bright".

82A: Goodman's instrument: abbr.: CLAR (Clarinet)

85A: Set of values: ETHOS

89A: 4.0 is a great one: GPA.

91A: Phony alibis, e.g.: LIES. I like this clue too.

100A: Skye cap: TAM. Skye is an island in Scotland. Good clue.

103A: Fox News chief Roger: AILES. Here is a picture. I know him, but don't know how to spell his name.

111A: 1969 Hitchcock film: TOPAZ. Did you see this movie? What's it about?

112D: City E of Le Havre: ROUEN. No idea. It's to the west of Paris. Joan of Arc was burned here.

113A: They often hang around a kitchen: SAUCEPANS

118A: Last Oldmobile model: ALERO. Discontinued in 2004.

119A: Memo starter: INRE

120A: "No harm done": I'M OK

121A: Slippery arenas: RINKS

123A: Global septet: SEAS. Nice clue.

124A: Letters on a Manhattan letters: NY NY


1D: Memorable Cosell interviewee: ALI

2D: Web or min follower: CAM

3D: Soften, as lighting: DIM

4D: Payment expectors: CREDITORS

5D: Paean penners: ODISTS

6D: Sucker bet: TRAP

7D: Bag or board preceder: TOTE

8D: Met wear: OPERA HATS. Do people really wear OPERA HAT when they go to the Met?

9D: Placid: SERENE

10D: Bird's less showy mate: PEAHEN. The showy peacock and the plain PEAHEN.

11D: Intro to pi?: OCTO. Octopi, the plural of octpus. Tricky clue.

12D: Intro to art?: THOU. THOU art.

13D: Your house, e.g.: ASSET. Good clue.

14D: "Won't Get Fooled Again" group: THE WHO. Here is the clip.

15D: The quicker picker-upper: TAXI

16D: Currier's partner: IVES

20D: Gershwin's "__ Eat Cake": LET 'EM. Unknown to me. It's opened in 1933. I only know Marie Antoinette's "Let them eat the cake".

23D: One of Fred's tenants: DESI (Arnaz). From "I Love Lucy".

29D: George of the future: JETSON. No idea. Whom does George refer to here?

30D: Occasionally: ONCE IN A WHILE

34D: Matador: TORERO

35D: Bout stopper, briefly: TKO

36D: Slippery __: AS EEL. Do you know EELS are caught in pots?

37D: King or queen: CARD. Another great clue.

39D: "Let's go, sleepyheads": RISE AND SHINE

40D: Of __ (so to speak): A SORT

41D: Run out, as a policy: LAPSE

45D: Headset piece: EARPHONE

50D: Eatery with steamers: CLAM BAR. Is it New England eatery?

54D: Icelandic epic: EDDA. Literally "poetry". It inclueds the Poetic EDDA and the Prose EDDA.

56D: Uxmal residents: MAYAS. I don't know where Uxmal is. It's "an ancient ruined city in SE Mexico, in Yucatán: a center of later Mayan civilization". That pyramid looks very familiar.

59D: "You were __ a mile!": OUT BY

62D: Thief who breaks in: BURGLAR. What about those thief who does not break in?

66D: Pond plant: REED

67D: Sister in an Eastwood film: SARA

68D: Dennis of NBA fame: RODMAN. The guy with the weird hair.

69D: Fleet-related: NAVAL. Not "Ship-related"?

70D: 2006 spinach invader: E. COLI. How is diffent from salmonella?

74D: In conflict: AT ODDS

75D: "I'm not leaving till I've had __!": MY SAY

77D: Plasm preceder: ECTO. Sometimes it' clued as "Prefix for outer".

78D: New beginning: REGENESIS. I only knew GENESIS.

80D: In _ (spiraling downward): A TAILSPIN

84D: Emissions org: EPA

88D: Reloading need: AMMO

92D: "The Evangelist" of the Bible: ST. MARK

94D: Chefs' toppers: TOQUES

95D: Stickum appliers: GLUERS

96D: Hersey's bell town: ADANO. Here is the book cover of "A Bell for ADANO".

97D: Like Mr. Diesel: abbr.: GER. I don't understand this clue. Is Mr. Diesel a German? Who is he? (Note: It's Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of Diesel Engine.)

98D: Gets down on the floor?: DANCES

99D: Tick's cousin: MITE

101D: Wood-shaping tools: ADZES. ADZE can also be spelled as ADZ.

104D: Hollywood honcho: STAR

105D: City N of Stockton, Calif: LODI. Oh, it's indeed to the north of Stockton.

106D: Brush __ (study): UPON

107D: Get a grip: GRAB

108D: Play by yourself: SOLO. Verb.

109D: Unit of glass: PANE

114D: Humorist Sedaris: AMY. David Sedaris' sister. I love "Me Talk Pretty One Day".

115D: Prefix for profit: NON

116D: Blue puzzle piece, often: SKY. Jigsaw puzzle.

Answer grid.



Barry G. said...

You solved the wrong puzzle? Oh nooooooo! I just hate it when that happens...

Overall, I thought the puzzle was rather easy. I got bogged down toward the very bottom of it though, and that section probably accounted for a good 4 or 5 minutes of my total 16:46 solving time. I did not know ROUEN or TOPAZ, incorrectly had CZAR instead of STAR, and just wasn't thinking about SLUMDOG despite the movie that just won the Oscar for best picture. TOQUES and GLUERS were also not immediately obvious.

The other small section of the puzzle that gave me grief was the crossing of NEWERA and MAYAS. "Uxmal residents" meant exactly zero to me, and it took me a long time to realize that NEW ERA was two words instead of one. I kept staring at NEWER_ and thinking, "NEWERS? What the heck does THAT mean? I must have a wrong letter somewhere..."

Other than those two spots, though, it was smooth sailing and very enjoyable. And yes, I'd like to think that I am, in fact, SMARTER THAN A CHEESE GRATER... ^_^

Southern Belle said...

What a way to start a morning!I don't keep track of the time because I like to just relax,have a couple cups of coffee and wake up slowly.

No Mr.G or dictionary, just common sense. My idea of a perfect puzzle.

Gave a big "Tada" until I found that Sedaris was AMY and not ASY. IS OK seemed fine to me until I saw C.C.'s answers.

Didn't realize it was a pangram until I filled in all the blanks.

I really like a puzzle that has such clues as SHAVE for 'show your face?' TAM for 'Skye cap' and best of all AESOP for 'Tale-with-a-point guy'.

Had to stop and take a phone call, so this might be a repeat of another puzzler.

Jeanne said...

Morning all,

Well, I did have a different puzzle than this one. The one I have is by Dan Naddor with a theme of "Put a Lid on It". Found it on Rex Parker's blog. Think I'll do this one online later since it seems easier. Wonder why the difference? Have a great Sunday.

Southern Belle said...

C.C. - Really missed your imput today! You are certainly the inspirer (is there such a word?) to all of us.

KittyB said...

Good Morning, C.C. and all!

I'm short on time this morning, so I'll be brief. I thought this puzzle was easier than yesterday's crossword.

I ran into a little trouble where SLUMDOGSQUAREPANTS and TOQUES crossed, and "Skye Cap" held me hostage for a while. I love those "DOH!" moments!

It's rainy in the Chicago suburbs, and gray. A good day for doing the puzzle.

Have a great Sunday!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Southern Belle,
I just updated my main blog entry a bit. Too pressed for time this morning.

What's the name of your paper again? So strange that different paper carries different puzzle today. Scroll down the screen, you will find my entry for "Put a Lid on It!"Anon-hp et al,
Thanks for the comments yesterday. I will respond later.

Anonymous said...

C.C., maybe you're aware of this little glitch, but for others here I'm just noting the Saturday crossword comments appear to have vanished for the moment, replaced with an alternate Sunday puzzle entry on your main page.

It's a beautiful sunny and clear morning out here on the left coast. Think I'll spend more time outside today!


C.C. Burnikel said...

It's not a glitch. At the bottom of the page, you will see "Old Posts". Click on it, you will find the Saturday puzzle.

When you talked about German subject, verb and object yesterday, you mentioned this term "idea". What is it?

I can't remember clearly, probably around 10. I am a Google queen. But I find OneAcross to be more efficient to cheat.

Jeanne said...

@cc, The Reading Eagle in PA had the Dan Naddor puzzle. The Across Lite cruciverb site had Naddor puzzle also. Some publishing glitch is a possibility; just hope it doesn't keep happening.

Anonymous said...

C.C. I clicked on the older post link initially, but now I see I should have done so twice, since the first older post link still directed me to a puzzle from today. Does your paper publish 2 xwords on Sunday?

Anonymous said...

Forgot to sign that last post, as anon-hp

Al said...

Late morning all. I tried this online today and it kind of slowed me down. Took me 33:25 due to finding and correcting all the typos. Plus, it doesn't skip to just the empty squares, so that's annoying. When I solve the printed one in the paper, I have one finger on the across and another finger on the down, so that I'm thinking in both directions before writing, then usually fill a block (or at least most of it) all at once. The interface doesn't act like the way I think when I fill in letters. I accidently overwrote correct answers, missed squares and didn't see them until later, and so cleanup took me unusually long. I don't think I'll be doing that again, back to paper for me.

Here's The Jetsons. George is the dad. Tiffany sang a ballad in the full-length movie.

At first I thought of Vin Diesel, but he's not German. But Rudolph who invented the diesel engine is.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks. I had a very confusing morning.

Nice to see you on the blog regularly now.

Click on the "Older Posts" on the lower right corner.

Wow, indeed, no F, great observation.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Oh, now I see the GER connection. Thanks a bunch. Holy cow, STRAWY is a real word! As for your cryptic "Which organism contains this bloodlike fluid?" yesterday. I don't know. HUMAN? Can you give us the answer and explain the rationale?

Great links, as always.

Elissa, Warren, Buckeye et al,
Thanks for the answers yesterday.

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - this'll be quick, since it's another beautiful day and I need to be out in it.

I was happy to see that everyone else (most everyone, anyway) got a Sunday Merl Reagle puzzle, which is what we get each week. Always very clever, but eminently doable. Clever clues for me in this one included 'skye cap', 'gets down on the floor' and 'tale with a point guy'.

Fun Fact for the day: 4 and a wakeup!

cabrini said...

Just solved the Merl Reagle puzzle on-line. Solved the Dan Naddor first (that was printed in the Scranton Times Sunday paper).
Thought that Merl's was an easier puzzle, but I always find solving on-line easier. Took me about 45 minutes.

Both puzzles have the word "daunt" as answers. Thought that was interesting.

Now I need to get off of my butt! This will be the last nice weather day for a while, so I'm on my way to purchase some tomato and pepper plants and will work on the garden today. Don't have much of a green thumb and will try container gardens this year.
Hope everyone enjoys their day.

Anonymous said...

CC: understood, for whatever reason earlier I kept cycling back when clicking on links to the Sunday puzzle and not to the Saturday comments. The old brain must not have been in gear yet.

Crockett: great observation. So that makes this xword a lipogram, my bonus word the day. I'm familiar with the word pangram, but lipogram was something new for me. It popped up during a quick search for examples og pangrams beyond the usual the quick brown fox....

OK, I'm off now to enjoy this gorgeous weather today. Hope the rest of you get to do as well.

-anon hp

Al said...

Yesterday's cryptic solution is ICHOR. See if you can spot the hidden word answer in the clue now:
Which organism
contains this bloodlike fluid?

Anon-HP, you get points for trying, kind of over-thinking it and still coming up with a reasonable answer. If they get that complicated though, I usually have to come back to them after I get a few letters from the perps. I did mention there were only 5 letters.

Here's one for today, more like a LA Times tricky clue, actually. Tell me if you like these or not.

Brown's profitable code (2,5)

The numbers indicate a two word andser and the length of each.

Anonymous said...

An easy one Al:

Da Vinci

Keep 'em coming.

Regarding yesterdays, I missed your5 letter direction. I do see what you're getting at though, with the word ichor contained within the actual clue. Great word, ichor. I liked the way it fit in the name of the Greek Muse too.

OK, OK, Now I'm REALLY off! Enjoy your day, Al and all.


Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, all. I was a bit taken aback when the "other" puzzle blog came up on my screen this morning, and then was relieved to find this one. Is the "other" puzzle available online?

There were lots of nice clues today. Show your face?, Tale-with-a-point guy, Cellphones started one, Skye cap, Slippery arenas, Global septet, Letters on Manhattan letters, Paean penners, The quicker picker-upper?, etc.

C.C. "The Jetsons" was a cartoon set in the future, and George was the father of the featured family.

@barryg Wow. I took over an hour, but I might have snoozed off there a bit as well.

@southernbelle I think we're minus an "F" for the pangram.

@anon-hp Thanks for the new word. The wikipedia article on lipogram was an interesting read. A novel with over 50,000 words and not a single "e"!

Have a great day, all!

Southern Belle said...

Rats. Didn't go back an check and you caught me!

WM said...

Quick hi...did the NYT first as it is in the paper...aced it! Only the second time, the first was the Barry Silk. Then decided to print off the LATimes...what fun and incredibly do-able or maybe it was the latte after the two cups of coffee! Loved the TV show clues and got every one.

C.C. Best Dragon lair movie: Monty Python and the Holy of my favorites.

Also have Amy Sedaris' book "I Like You" her brother is also hugely funny.

C.C...Thanks to you I started out clueless and can now do xwords with "perp"ose...

Summer is temporarily play day.

KQ said...

Everyone is busy today. Lots of short posts. I worked this puzzle in various time frames, going away, coming back. Each time things would click. Didn't have quite enough time to completely finish, but I got all the theme answers.

I would highly encourage you to see A Fish Called Wanda. Great movie and Kevin Kline is fantastic in it. I really like him anyway. Loved The Big Chill also.

Lots of clever clues, most of then doable too with a little thought and sometimes a few perps to help out. Really liked some of the down clues that were phrases. The theme was a little difficult to pinpoint at first, but once you got it it was very clever.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. The rain has invaded here, but we desperately need it. I would hope that it would rain a little harder if we are going to get some though. The sprinkling stuff doesn't do much.

kazie said...

Good afternoon all!
I didn't start until after noon over lunch today, and printed the Reagle puzzle out and got all of it without help except six tiles around OTTO, which I googled. Then the rest fell in.

Eminent satisfaction getting a Sunday out with just one g'spot! For once figured out the theme idea early, so was then looking for each one to see what deviation it would have from the original titles. Lots of fun, most enjoyable and definitely much easier than Saturday was.

I used the term "idea" to indicate a single concept and the distinguish it from a single word. Sentences can contain one-word-ideas, but also an idea can be a whole phrase or clause. In my example, the adverbial clause "because I needed to buy something" gives one idea: the reason I went to town--the "why" concept. When explaining German word order it's important not to think of each separate word as an idea, because often the concept consists of several words linked in a single thought. Let me know if this is still confusing.

Anonymous said...

Hello all. The Naples News ran the Dan Naddor puzzle. I surely don't understand the two puzzles appearing in different papers. The online was for the Reagle puzzle, so I couldn't use it. Aargh or aarh.

C.C. Burnikel said...

You can go to Cruciverb's website for Dan Naddor's puzzle.

Thanks for ICHOR. I am slow but eager to learn. Agree with Anon B.P. on Da Vinci.

You aced the NYT Sunday Barry Silk? Incredible!

No idea. There is no clear pattern as to which paper carries which puzzle.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I like today's post length. Long post makes me headache.

I will digest your "idea" later. As for DORP and dorp connection yesterday, you mentioned "letters f,b,p,v often are interchanged in words developed in German and borrowed into English. Also happens with t <-> d." Can you give me some examples?

WM said...

C.C. the Barry Silk NYT was the one from about a month or so ago...since then, today's is only the second Sunday one that I have completed unassisted. I am up to #67 in my NYTimes 1,001 Omnibus puzzle book and am reading the Amy Reynaldo book. are an insightful instructor...Merci beaucoup. I said today, it might have been that extra shot of espresso because I was pulling words out of my head that I didn't even know I remembered. Must be the great weather! :o)

Anonymous said...

Need to point out that "One of Fred's tenants" is wrong. While DESI is the answer and refers to Desi Arnaz, Desi was NOT Fred's tenant. Ricky Ricardo, the character was, as the character Fred was played by William Frawley. Yes, I'm anal, but clues like this tick me off even if I do get them right.

kazie said...

Here are a few: Tanz/dance; tot/dead; tief/deep; dicht/thick; Tropfen/drop; geben/to give; greifen/to grip, grasp; reiten/to ride; helfen/to help; trinken/to drink; denken/to think; Bad/bath; Bart/beard; Firnis/varnish; Faß/vat.
I went through those letters in a dictionary to try and find more, but many of the changes are at the ends of syllables, and I wasn't seeing them.
The d or b at the end of German syllables are usually unvoiced (i.e. they sound like t or p), so they switch to t or th, and p in the English equivalents. Also German v at the beginning sounds like f, so that's a logical spelling change in English too.

Jeannie said...

On this day, April 19th...

1775 The American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord.

My mom grew up close to Lexington, KY.

1897 The first Boston Marathon was run.

I couldn't even attempt there anyone out there that has run a marathon?

1943 Tens of thousands of Jews living in the Warsaw Ghetto began an uprising against Nazi forces.

1989 A white female jogger in New York's Central Park was brutally beaten and raped. (Five black and Hispanic teenagers were imprisoned, but the convictions were overturned in 2003 when a serial rapist confessed and DNA evidence tied him to the crime.)

Can you imagine being wrongly accused and sent to prison?

1993 A 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended when fire destroyed the structure after federal agents smashed their way in. Dozens of people, including sect leader David Koresh, were killed.

1997 Flooding from the Red River forced more than 50,000 residents to abandon Grand Forks, N.D.

It happened again this year...just not to that degree, I don't believe.

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang,

It was an easy slog and enjoyable puzzle this morning.

I finally found a good article comparing salmonella-e-coli for you C.C.

Anonymous said...


The Dan Naddor puzzle was in the Idaho Statesman today too. They had been sticking with the LA times puzzle for Sundays, but they changed it up today.

Thomas said...

Hello C.C. & all,

Do you have the broom out? I found it very satisfying that Nathan struck out Hunter to complete the sweep of the Angels!

Cutesy puzzle, today, with a few stretches in the cluing and answers, but overall an enjoyable puzzle.

Jeannie, the only marathon I ever "competed" in was in the boudoir. And we both finished first, over and over again!!

Anon @4:10pm,
You make a valid point, even if I got the correct answer, that Ricky and Lucy were Fred and Ethel's tenants, not Desi! Good catch!!

great link to the Jetson's.

Also nailed the NYT puzzle, what a nice feeling! Two for two with the LAT and NYT. Good for you!

Kind of a slow blog today/tonight, no doubt C.C. appreciates the shorter posts, to ease her headaches, but it seems like spring fever has kicked in, and sunshine and nice weather is dominating. None the less, all you contributors still give an insight to your solving methods and perceptions
that are fun to read from this "lurking Loon" and sometime participant.

Goodnight from,

TJ in Osseo