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Apr 5, 2009

Sunday April 5, 2009 Will Nediger

Theme: In the Nonfiction Section (Add HOW to a familiar phrase)

23A: Handbook of euphemisms?: HOW TO PUT IT MILDLY

37A: Manual for talk show guests? HOW TO BE ANNOUNCED

44A: Guide for sore losers?: HOW TO BLAME

62A: Self-help book for compulsive liars?: HOW TO BE PERFECTLY FRANK

78A: Reference work for modelists?: HOW TO SCALE

85A: Vade mecum for neologists?: HOW TO COIN A PHRASE

105A: Therapeutic book for blowhards?: HOW TO SAY THE LEAST

I did not know a modelist is a person who makes models (as of planes). And I also did not know the meaning of "Vade mecum (manual, literally "go with me" in Latin). I think I need a dummy's "How to Read Rich Norris' Mind" crossword guide.

Look at these tricky clues he devised:

56A: Bouncer?: BALL. Sure, BALL bounces. I saw the question mark in his clue. And I know he is trying to play with my mind, yet I was still fixed on the bar bouncers.

13D: Take-out order?: DELE. Once again, the question mark did nothing to prevent me from thinking of food. I am so used to the "Editor's mark" clue.

30D: Notions holder: ETUI. To me, "notions" are just ideas. So I wanted HEAD. I was totally ignorant of the "small articles, such as buttons, thread, ribbon, and other personal items" meaning of "notions".

They are clever and entertaining clues once you understand the rationale. But quite frustrating if you can't think outside the box and see where the editor is trying to mislead you. Anyway, I picked up where I left yesterday. Another round of struggle.

Now looking back at my finished grid, I feel that I know lots of answers. But the cluing is so vastly different from the old Williams style that the puzzle was made so much harder to solve.

Oh, why "Ring site" for EAR (107D)? The "Ring" here is not earring, isn't it?

Across:

1A: Motorists' warnings: HONKS. My husband loses patience easily and HONKS when I don't think he should.

6A: A great deal: GOBS. And A TAD (103D: To a slight extend).

15A: "Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer" musical: CATS. Know the musical. Have never heard of the song. Very intimidating clue.

20A: Nimbus: AURA

21A: Humble home: HOVEL. I like the alliteration.

22A: Where Camus' "The Plague" is set: ORAN. Camus was born here, so was Yves Saint Laurent.

26A: Opening word?: MAMA. I thought of opening word in a letter, so I wanted DEAR.

27A: MD's workplaces: ORS. ERS too.

28A: Film introduction?: MICRO. Microfilm.

29A: Close call: SCARE

30A: Hinder: EMBAR

31A: Thread-spinning Fate: CLOTHO. No idea. Have never heard of the Moirae the Three Fates before. Only knew the three Furies (Erinyes) who are chasing Orestes.

33A: It's commonly twisted: ANKLE. I was thinking of PLOT.

34A: Sight in le ciel: ETOILE. Might be tough for those who don't speak French. "Le ciel" is "the sky". "Star in le ciel" would have been an easier clue.

40A: Large envelope feature: CLASP

43A: Patty Hearst alias: TANIA. Unknown to me. Surprised to learn that Patty Hearst is still alive.

48A: He played Sheldon in "Misery": CAAN (James). Someone mentioned this film at the Comments section a few months ago.

50A: Future elm: SEED. Oh well, I thought there might be a special term for the seed, like ACORN for "Future oak".

54A: Sushi fish: EEL. Or AHI occasionally.

55A: Item stolen in Pope's "The Rape of the Lock": TRESS. Uh-uh, nope. Have never heard of this Pope poem. I was confused by the title, thinking of the door lock.

57A: Bareback rider's lack: SADDLE

59A: Hindu god who rides a bull named Nandi: SHIVA. This detailed clue only makes the answer harder for me to obtain. I know SHIVA the "destroyer". Had no idea that he rides a bull. Why those male gods are pictured as feminine is beyond me.

60A: Programmer's output: CODE

61A: Bronze coatings: PATINAS. Heard this word a lot in Antique Roadshows.

67A: U-Haul rental: TRAILER

68A: Drift gracefully: WAFT. Why "gracefully"?

69A: Hard thing to kick: HABIT. Good clue. What's the one bad HABIT you want to get rid of now?

70A: Penn pal: TELLER. Tough clue for me. I am not familiar with Penn & TELLER . Are they very famous?

71A: Nincompoop: BOZO

72A: Lord's home: MANOR. Thought "Lord" was God.

76A: Facebook user's nudge: POKE. No idea. Not into Facebook or Twitter.

77A: Stand-up comic's need: MIKE. "Karaoke need" too.

80A: "Use your head": THINK. Well, obviously I don't know how to "Use my head". The answer did not come to me readily at all.

84A: Antidote target: TOXIN. What's the difference between antidote and antibody?

93A: Jason's vessel: ARGO. His band mates are called Argonauts. I can't remember the story. Did they find the Golden Fleece in the end?

94A: Melodious: ARIOSE. Need to chew some acorn. I can never remember this word.

95A: Drinks for Radar: NEHIS. Very odd poster. What is she holding on her hands?

96A: Get lovey-dovey: CUDDLE. And NESTLE (88D: Get cozy). So sweet!

98A: "Bingo!": RIGHT

99A: Quaint denial: TISNT. No idea. It isn't?

100A: Fencer's move: LUNGE

101A: Flapper's wrapper: BOA. Love the rhyme in the clues. All these flappers seem to have short hair.

104A: Venetian elder of yore: DOGE. Learned this word from doing Xword. It's like English "duke".

108A: __ Girl: former teen fashion mag: ELLE. Oh, I was unaware the short life of ELLE Girl (August 2001-July 2006).

109A: Colorado senator Mark: UDALL. No idea. He needs to appear on Chris Matthews' "Hardball" often for me to pay attention to him. Last time Wayne Williams clued UDALL as "Morris or Stewart of Arizona". I suppose they are all related somehow.

110A: Court statement: PLEA

111A: Jazzman Hines: FATHA. No, I don't know this Earl Hines nickname. What does it mean? Father?

112A: React in shock: REEL

113A: Ready to ship: BOXED. My first reaction is CRATED.

114A: "Sesame Street" guy with a unibrow: BERT. Learned his name from doing crossword. Who's the guy on the left?

115A: Walk, often lightly: TREAD. Really? If TREAD already means "Walk, often lightly", why do we often say TREAD lightly?

Down:

1D: "The Farmer in the Dell" syllables: HI-HO

2D: Wavy lines, in comics: ODOR. I like this clue.

3D: Scrolling 25-Down feature: NEWS CRAWL. And MSNBC (25D: 24-hr. news source)

5D: Replay technique: SLO-MO

6D: Pampean cowboy: GAUCHO. Does GAUCHO and gauche have the same root?

7D: Beat in a regatta: OUTROW. Holy cow! This is a real word. I thought it's made-up.

8D: Con__: spiritedly: BRIO. I bet it's a gimme for Crockett.

9D: Took a load off: SAT

10D: Actor Alan: THICKE. New actor to me. A Canadian. Wikipedia says he was in "Growing Pains".

11D: "Très chic!": OO LA LA

12D: Blockbuster transaction: DVD RENTAL. The cluster of 4 consonants at the beginning of the fill looks quite cool together.

15D: Utterly ordinary: COMMON AS DIRT

16D: Mauritania's official language: ARABIC. I don't where Mauritania is. Dictionary says it's a former French colony. I am surprised that ARABIC is their official language then.

17D: Food wrapped in a corn husk: TAMALE

18D: Trapped: SNARED

24D: Heart: PITH

32D: Complex ABC drama: LOST

36D: Baffin Bay sighting: FLOE. See this map of Baffin Bay. I need an "Arctic" clue for the answer to leap to me.

38D: Rolaids rival: TUMS

41D: Road problem: POTHOLE

45D: Hush money payer: BRIBER

46D: Obsolescent vote finalizer: LEVER. Unknown to me. Here is a picture of a LEVER voting machine when I googled.

47D: Exec's "Fast": ASAP

48D: Citadel student: CADET. Would have got the answer immediately if the clue were "West Point student". I am not familiar with the military college The Citadel.

52D: Panache: ELAN

53: Student's station: DESK

56D: Big, in Variety: BOFFO. Here are more Variety jargon.

57D: Make a peep: SAY BOO. Why? I don't grok it at all.

58D: To begin with: AT FIRST

59D: Part of a femme fatale's outfit: STILETTO HEEL. Great answer.

60D: Pet rocks, once: CRAZE. We had a wild Twins medallions CRAZE several years ago.

65D: Fighter in the Battle for Endor: EWOK. Once again, the extra information in the clue is useless to me. I am used to the "Furry "Star Wars"creature" clue.

66D: Spring event: THAW

71D: Sunbather's depilatory: BIKINI WAX. Another great fill.

72D: Heath: MOOR

73D: 2008 economic stimulus provision: TAX REBATE. I like this answer also.

74D: Sacha Baron Cohen persona: ALI G. Were you thinking of Borat?

77D: 6, on a phone: MNO

79D: West Virginia resource: COAL. China accounts for almost 4/5 of the total deaths in COAL mine accidents.

81D: Party giver: HOST

82D: Bar stock: ICE

83D: Barely rains: SPITS. Dictionary defines SPIT as "fall in scattered drops or flakes, as rain or snow". New to me also.

85D: Higher on the Mohs scale: HARDER. Good clue. Diamond is 10 in Mohs scale.

86D: Colorful songbird: ORIOLE. Cal Ripken Jr. is an ORIOLE too. The price of his baseball cards really does not reflect his achievements.

87D: Toe movement: WIGGLE

89D: California's governor, facetiously: AHNOLD. Because of his accent? I got the answer. Don't understand the reason.

90D: More intense: ACUTER

91D: Beach topper: SUN HAT

92D: Trim or rim: EDGE. D'oh. Of course! V-8 moment for me.

97D: Jan Vermeer's hometown: DELFT. I like Vermeer's "Milkmaid" and "Girl with a Pearl Earring"(the Scarlett Johansson movie is good too). But I don't know he was born in DELFT, a city noted for its fine blue-and-white pottery.

99D: List heading: TO DO

102D: Wrokplace stds. org.: OSHA

105D: Where spokes meet: HUB

106D: LAPD alert: APB. This is probaly the only LA reference today.

Answer Grid.

C.C.

64 comments:

Thomas said...

Wow!
Haven't done the puzzle, haven't been to sleep, but to be First on the blog!?! Couldn't pass this up. Have a great solve, everyone!

TJ in Osseo

Barry G. said...

Hey, all!

I'm up earlier than usual for a Sunday because I've got to get three loads of laundry done before heading over to my mother's house for lunch to celebrate her birthday (next weekend) and my brother's birthday (last weekend). I'm also leaving on a 2-day business trip early tomorrow morning, btw, so I'll be out of touch for awhile.

Anyway... I finished this one on-line in 16:23. I found it reasonably challenging due to the clues, but not horribly so. I guess I'm on Rich Norris's (and Joyce Nichols's) mental wavelength or something.

The only totally unknown word for me today was EMBAR. It sounds like a legal term, similar to "estop," but it just didn't ring a bell. I got it via the perps easily enough, however, once I realized that 22A was ORAN and not OMAN and that 16D therefore had to be ARABIC.

I also had JOKE instead of MIKE for 77A at first, which led me to put JKL instead of MNO for 77D. I had a lot of trouble getting BIKINI WAX as a result until I realized my mistake.

Oh -- and the nastiest spot was the crossing of DELFT with FATHA. I had no idea where Jan Vermeer was born, but when I had DEL_T I figured his hometown might be the same name as the pottery I'm familiar with. As for FATHA Hines, that's my official WTF moment of the day.

And that's it for me! Gotta get washing... ^_^

C. C. said...

TJ,
Oh, now I understand your reason. But to get others to respond to your post, you will have to post earlier and post on the new blog Comments section. So complicated handle for Crockett.

Barry,
生日快乐 to your mom and your brother. I noticed a few weeks ago how you segued into LA Times without any glitch. 16:23 minutes is insane.

Realtor from Pinellas,
When I first started doing Xword in early 2008, I was completely in dark. Simple words like UGLI, and EERO were impossible to me. I did not even know that every puzzle had a theme. But I did not give up. I hope you won't either. Together, we can conquer Rich Norris.

C. C. said...

Warren,
You look so cool!

Al,
I am slow to understand but I like your punny "bad" joke.

Barb B,
I've never seen the movie "EXTREME MEASURES". Thanks for the great example. Dennis makes me feel safe too.

Crockett,
I don't understand your question: "Why is there a link to "Really now..." showing at the bottom of the comments on occasion? This is the third time I've seen it this past week." Where is the link? At the end of the Comments section?

Barry G. said...

Barry,
生日快乐 to your mom and your brother. I noticed a few weeks ago how you segued into LA Times without any glitch. 16:23 minutes is insane.


I'll pass that along to them. As for segueing, it's all a matter of finding the time. It's easier on weekends, but work is so crazy lately that I often don't have the time to do it on weekdays until late at night (if I'm lucky).

And I hope you mean that 16:23 is insanely short and not insanely long.... ^_^

C. C. said...

Barry,
I meant yours is "insanely short". How long do you normally spend on your Sunday NY Times? Also,

Theme answers:

UNDER LOCK AND KEY
MANIPULATE STOCK
BARREL OF MONKEYS

Theme title: Total Recall. Why?

C. C. said...

Fred,
Re: Your comments yesterday @ 3:51pm. You meant a hard themeless, right? You can't possibly forget your own themed puzzle.

Jeannie,
Now, those #69 posts are much more interesting. Thanks for the effort.

Elissa,
Are you Jewish?

ALL GRAVY NO GRIEF,
How is your Mac better than PC?

Anonymous said...

Good Sunday Morning to you C.C.

I think your husband must be in Stuart for the winter. Our Snowbirds fly around here honking their horns like a gaggle of geese all the time. God Bless 'Em.

Hayrake

C. C. said...

Lemonade,
You still have not answered my question. What kind of stuff do you collect as a hobby? Does your son still have your Woodstock ticket?

Dot,
Another interesting post.

Only Night Owl,
I am glad you are the old Night Owl. Do leave a note when you stop by.

Kazie,
Thanks for explaining the difference between Epicurean and Hedonism. Now I understand why the cooking show is called Epicurious.

JD,
I've learned so much about mythology from reading your posts. Because of you, I don't PANIC any more.

Barry G. said...

Barry,
I meant yours is "insanely short". How long do you normally spend on your Sunday NY Times?


I never time myself, since the applet I use to do the NYT puzzle has the option to turn off the timer and that's what I do (I dislike the pressure of having a clock ticking while I'm solving). I'm pretty sure it usually takes me at least 20 minutes, though.

Theme answers:

UNDER LOCK AND KEY
MANIPULATE STOCK
BARREL OF MONKEYS

Theme title: Total Recall. Why?


"LOCK, STOCK and BARREL" is an expression meaning "the whole thing" or "all of it" (originally, in reference to the three main parts of a musket rifle). I'm guessing that's what the "total" in the theme refers to. Ad for the "recall" bit, I assume that's just to make it more obscure and also because "total recall" is a common phrase. Personally, I would have put the theme as "the whole shebang."

aboagto@aol.com said...

Intersting puzzle today, but i seem to be on the same channel as Mr. Nediger with the use of "How to". It is interesting that i have the same problem area with the other solvers like the actor"alan", "hines"; "jan's hometown"; and "embar". I solved it by 8:00 a.m.. My compliments to the Mr. Nediger.

Go: university of North Carolina to win on Monday

abogato in Alabama

Linda said...

CC: Couldn`t answer your ?`s yesterday because of the 5 post rule.
Our main street has turned into a flea mkt./ antique alley since the shopping has moved to the burbs. We also have many fine dealers in short driving range...one which carries massive pieces from castles in Europe. I "antique"...Raymond "flea markets."
Our fish takes are fresh water bream, crappie and goggle eye (a type of bass). We clean them, dredge them in seasoned meal and deep fry them...served with fries, hush puppies, sliced onion and tomato. I have to visit Mother to get fish to smoke or broil.
I attend one corporate service a week and one private Bible study. I study extensively on my own.
BTW...I`m about half through the puzzle...looked at the first "How to" answer only and was gratified I got it right!

Embien: Thanks for solving my keyboard/user problem. I have many of them!

Buckeye: I could never "honk" because I am sure. But "Every tub has to sit on it`s own bottom" as my Dad used to say and I respect everyone`s right to his/her opinion. I will say this: Please don`t judge God by His followers because they will always fail you. He never will. He knows every minute detail of our lives and STILL loves us and wants us! Go figure.

Jeannie: I`m actually afraid to answer you about the bobber! :)

Al: the first answer is probably "Doug", not sure about the second...but the third is definitely "Matt."

Kazie etal who chimed in on yesterday`s discussion...you all are closely read and respected.

kazie said...

TJ,
Thanks for the Water Music--I always associate Handel only with the Messiah.
Here are my reactions to some of your other comments on my remarks:

"English simply borrowed yet another French term instead of creating its own."
I know the history of the French influence on English, but was amused by the scenario you imagined about the Normans. In fact, English is literally a mongrel, having borrowed from many languages, which accounts for the richness of our vocabulary and the huge number of words compared with other European languages.

"Maybe you have yet to meet the right Germans"
--We all make national generalizations, such as the "ugly" American, or as you said, the "fat" American. It's why we have Polish jokes too. Unfortunately, it's the loud and obnoxious among every nationality who are noticed and who create the stereotype by which we are all judged.

Melissa's query was concerning the pronunciation of the word "zebra" --not the letter zee/zed. It was a follow up to the earlier discussion of the letter itself.

I won't get the puzzle in our paper today, but might attempt it online later in the day. We were at our son's yesterday, helping repair some water damage from a leak a few weeks ago.

TTFN

windhover said...

CC:
Still no LA Times puzzle for me, so I am lurking again for now. I called Herald-Leader editor; she said they had complaints that LA was too difficult. I explained that it was progressively harder through the week, and should satisfy all by sharpening their skills. She will consider. It's not really practical to solve online on iPhone. We shall see. As WRW might clue, an inane ado. I would miss this menagerie; unlike Noah's boat, only one of everything here. Thanks for asking.

Jeannie: Come on back.

Melissa Bee: Clever? How so?

Windhover, hopefully. On the puzzle, too.

Fred said...

C.C.
Well, you're right. I remember themes, but I don't remember the fill. After all, fill is just...fill.
Sunday's puzzle wasn't bad at all. I just had to look up CLOTHO and "Mauritania language". Earl Fatha Hines was a gimme because I'm a jazz fan and he's a jazz legend.

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all,...a very interesting puzzle today. I found it difficult but doable with help from the perps. I managed to complete the puzzle, but not in Barry's time. I had to rest the mind a few times before I could complete the cw and this made my time into hours.

At first I had OMAN in lieu of ORAN, but when I got some of the other fills in that area ARABIC became apparent. I wanted SIVA for 59A, but it did not fit. I am still confused with the spelling of siva. I guess it is in the translation.

Over all this was a very good puzzle and I think I am getting on the same wave length as the constructor/editor.

@ Kazie, I agree with your comments on Germans. I have traveled to Germany for 25 years on business and some of my closest friends are Germans. I find them to be very warm and caring, but first you need to get away form the work environment. Since I retired I go back to Germany about every two years and it is always like a homecoming. Party time with lots of beer, singing and dancing. I love it.

Nice and sunny with low 60's today so maybe off to the links.

Hope you all have a great Sunday.

Dick said...

It's a very sad day here in Pittsburgh today. Yesterday there were three policemen killed and a fourth one wounded while answering a call to a domestic dispute. They were gunned down by some wacko for no apparent reason. This and the situation in New York state this week makes one wounder where you are safe.

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

not as tough as i expected, but definitely required some THINKing. plugging in all the HOWTOs helped, but i didn't love the theme answers that were totally made up. PUT IT MILDLY, BE PERFECTLY FRANK, COIN A PHRASE, AND SAY THE LEAST are all common phrases, but BE ANNOUNCED, SCALE, and BLAME aren't. was looking for something to tie them together and couldn't come up with anything.

CLOTHO and EMBAR were unknown to me, and got tricked by some of the easier fills, expecting them to be difficult, like BALL, SEED, and THAW. commonly twisted was clever for ANKLE

i think EAR for RING SITE does refer to an earring. WAFT does seem graceful to me, like a feather floating in the wind. antidotes are made from antibodies. the girl in the poster has her hands on a ship's wheel (ship wheel?). ernie, of rubber ducky fame, is to the left of bert. not sure if it was just a typo, but 25D is NEWS CRAWL, not SCRAWL .. the words that crawl across the bottom of the screen. SAY BOO is just a saying, as in, 'i said hello, but she didn't say boo to me,' meaning, she didn't say anything.

wouldn't the hush money payer be the bribEE, instead of the bribER??

@kazie: ZIE are the first three letters of my last name ohhhh. thanks for the reply, was just wondering.

@windhover: 'pussle.' i pay attention.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone! I didn't time this, but I'm impressed by BarryG's time. I know it took me much longer. I despaired a few times but finally tucked the whole thing away.

@C.C., I will take a screen shot of the link. Yes, it shows at the end of the Comments section. I went to get the shot from yesterday, and it's gone! Curious. Yes, BRIO was a gimme. Good memory on your part!

@anogato Go MSU! I hope it's a good game.

Have a great Sunday!

Al said...

Ring site: I had tub instead of ear for awhile, but the site (location) of an earring is defintely in some part of your ear. I've never understood why people have piercings done, it just seems like mutilation to me, even in the "traditional" place in the earlobe.

Knew the three fates from one of my early favorite rock groups ELP's first album (side two). Not my favorite part of the album, though. Lucky Man and Take a Pebble are more to my tastes.

I had always heard "waft" used as "wafting on the breeze". A breeze being gentle, would cause graceful movement.

I would call Penn & Teller "shock/comic" magicians. They do tricks that look like they would hurt, like sticking a large needle through your arm, or getting shot. You know it's fake but they make it so realistic. Teller never talks (part of the act), but he can make pain look realistic. They also did a non-magic series on HBO called Bulls**t, where they debunked popular icons such as Mother Theresa and the Dali Lama and recycling. Recycling was in three parts, though, so I didn't bother linking it here.

An antidote is something injected or swallowed that counteracts a poison. An antibody (immunity mechanism) is what your body produces to fight invasive infections, and sometimes even itself in the case of auto-immune diseases.

Bert and Ernie were innocent Sesame Street "pals", until someone politically correct questioned why two male puppets were sleeping and bathing together.
Also, they ruined Cookie Monster. Now for him, "Cookies are a sometimes treat". What a crock.

I took Out Row to be two words, i.e. to row faster.

It's a common idiomatic phrase to say someone "didn't say boo" or "didn't make a peep" when they are "quiet as a mouse" or simply not protesting what someone else said or did. So if you did make a peep, then you said boo. It isn't used that way in ordinary speech though, just a construct for the puzzle.

Bikini wax: The pain women can tolerate amazes me...

Ahnold: Your guess is correct; he has long been called that by comics making fun of his accent.

Linda: Yes, Matt was the third answer. Doug (dug) was pretty clever for the first, but he couldn't have done the digging, so the answer I always heard was "Phil" (for C.C., a homonym for "fill", what gets put back in a hole). The second answer was Art (hangs on your wall).

Barb B said...

I got stuck with the Spanish words – BRIO and GAUCHO. I can’t believe it. Not that I speak Spanish, but at least I should have known gaucho as a fashion term; I love gaucho skirts. Some words I solved with swags, like ARIOSE – unknown to me. Never heard of EMBAR, unless it was in a long ago puzzle. It looks made up, but I’m sure I’m wrong.

Totally agree with Melissa Bee – BRIBER is the person taking the money, not the one who pays.

I liked the theme fills, because I could guess them, even the ones that were not common phrases, because they were logical – models are ‘to scale’ etc.

Melissa Bee
HI!

Linda,
You are very gracious.

C.C.
How is a mac better than a pc? Let me count the ways……

Or not. It seems that people seem to be wired for one or the other, and don't change. Maybe their internal wiring matches their computer. ☺


I’ve been using macs since 1985,when the company I worked for had a strategic alliance with Apple to test our software on their computers. We tested on pcs too, and when I saw the differences, I made up my mind to stick with Apple. All the macs I’ve owned since then have become obsolete but still work exactly like they were designed to work.

I can’t say the same for myself. ☺

Crockett1947 said...

@barbb Con BRIO is Italian, not Spanish. It means "with brilliance" or "with spirit." Funny comment on yourself. As parts get old and cranky, we have to figure out some work-arounds. Does that mean we're PCs, LOL!?

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, It took me a while, but I truly liked this puzzle. I "got" the theme early on and filled in "HOW TO in all the right places.

The theme answers make sense if you make a familiar phrase out of them, beginning with the "TO".
TO PUT IT MILDLY
TO BE ANNOUNCED
TO BLAME (iffy)
TO BE PERFECTLY FRANK
TO SCALE
TO COIN A PHRASE (answer to the theme)
TO SAY THE LEAST

I didn't have any problems with any of the fills. It just took a while, since it was a larger grid than the weekday puzzles.

After catching up on last night's posts, I understand that some of you are still getting snowed on. Huhhh? That's just not right!

Warren said...

Hi C.C.

I printed out both a blank puzzle and the answers. We managed to finish 90% of the puzzle but needed help in lots of spots.

BTW, here's another idea for ear ring site?

tinnitus: a ringing or similar sensation of sound in the ears.

kazie said...

We had snow predicted here from late last night, but it only arrived at about 6am today, and despite the 5-8 inches originally predicted, it's been on again off again all morning, so maybe it won't be much.

I'm not sure I agree about briber. If you are bribed into doing something, you "take a bribe". The bribe is the money paid by the briber to the person bribed, or bribee, isn't it?

melissa bee said...

@CA: that makes a little more sense, yes, to remove the HOW. thanks.

@barb b: obsolete, hee.

@warren: excellent thought about ringing in the ears, i guess either would work but i like yours better.

@kazie: The bribe is the money paid by the briber to the person bribed, or bribee, isn't it?

hm. in the sense of 'hush money,' i think of the bribe being the promise to hush, but i guess it could go either way. if i pay you to keep quiet about my mistake or indiscretion (a common bribe), you are bribed by the $$ and i am bribed by the silence.

i have no idea why i put myself on that end of the equation.

Clear Ayes said...

Oops, I hit "Publish" before I was ready. I didn't have any problems completing today's puzzle, but there were a couple of words that were, "OK, if you say so." fills.

DELE started out as DELI, and CLOTHO AND EMBAR were perp-ers. Don't tell anybody I'm so out of it, but I don't have a Facebook page, so POKE was also a perp fill. I guessed at SHIVA after I had STILLETTO and POTHOLE. It took me a while to remember that M*A*S*H's Radar liked NEHI soft drinks (Soda? Pop?..depending on where you grew up.)

I'm getting better at the tricky clues, so I'm having more AHA moments. That makes for more fun.

Melissa bee, glad to help.

Interesting takes on BRIBER. I'm coming down with Kazie on the BRIBER discussion. The person doing it is the "ER", the person accepting is the "EE".

I will be looking for Will Nediger in the future. He combines, at least for me, the right amount of difficult words with easier perps to help with the fills.

Thanks Jeannie for keeping an eye on my keys....they finally showed up on the counter in the pantry.

Linda said...

CC: So frustrating to put down your first thought, decide it`s too simple and he`s too tricky...not be able to fill with one that fits and THEN come here and find your first thought was right. Examples: ankle, saddle, manor, poke ( have a Facebook page and am on Twitter...not much time for either...)clasp. Ones I probably would never have gotten : hovel (I wanted shack),embar, dege, commonasdirt...(wanted runofthemill). Wanted lots for gobs. Bikini wax came easy...where I grew up...you could have your choice of "bikini" or Brazilian" and they were advertised everywhere.

Going to pay tribute to our Troops.

melissa bee said...

The person doing it is the "ER", the person accepting is the "EE".

of course. but the question is what is the bribe, the money, or the silence? depends on which end you're on. 'i'll keep quiet if you pay me,' is just as much a bribe as 'i'll pay you, if you keep quiet.' in that sense, the bribER can be the payer or the payee.

anyway, no more posts from me about that.

Anonymous said...

On the Orange County Register is not on the solution to your web site. The formula is: Register date minus 5 weeks plus 2 days. This has always worked on the past.

What happened?

Elsie

Al said...

Wouldn't the real question be where the transaction initiated? If someone arranges to get money in return for their silence, then that is extortion, not bribery. If instead, someone wants silence, and offers to pay for it, then that is bribery.

Anonymous said...

I am addicted to crosswords - must do both Baltimore Sun and NY Times everyday - on Sunday I include the Washington Post! Just thought that I would drop you a funny line - always read your comments after finishing the puzzle on Sunday - and I always see the baseball card picture and when you said that comment about honk and mentioned your husband I thought that you were gay - as I am - then read your blog and found out that you were a girl - How funny is that? Anyway, keep up the great work.

S.R.

Dennis said...

Good afternoon, C.C. & gang - sat on the dock this morning, did the LAT xword and fished. Is there better multi-tasking for a Sunday morning? (Yes, Lois, I know, I know.) Not only did I get through the puzzle g-spotless, but I caught 2 largemouth bass, neither one of which would have exactly qualified for enshrinement in a museum. Oh well, it's not about catching the fish anyway, right?

Looks like all my stumbling points have been covered, so I'll not rehash those. I wanted 'feeling' for 'bareback rider's lack', as in lack of feeling in one's ass after riding bareback. Thought of Melissa with 'massage target', and Elissa with the 114A 'unibrow' clue. (You'll have to read her book to understand that one). My answer for 'get lovey-dovey' wouldn't fit, and I wouldn't be able to repeat it here anyway. And 'bikini' made me think of the ongoing battle here in NJ over bikini waxing. The legislature is trying to do away with it as dangerous and the salons are staging uprisings in protest. Been going on for some time now. Some politicians, getting flak from their constituents, have been beating around the bush, and have been accused of pussy-footing around the issue. It is as yet unresolved. I'll be sure to keep you apprised of the goings-on.

Melissa, I'm really confused about the briber/bribee conundrum - could you explain it all again?

T. Frank said...

Good afternoon, all,

Melissa and BarbB are both wrong. Think payer and payee when it comes to paying bills.

Thought I had the cw solved until I came here. I had boldly for mildly, so that made thocke and scary wrong as well. I had raft for waft. Otherwise, I was OK. Made a lot of good guesses and thought the perps helped a lot.

Far be it from me to impugn anyone's integrity, but has anyone checked the clock in Barry's computer? I mean, 16:23 for a Sunday puzzle? I think whoever lives closest to him should go run an audit next Sunday! Istarted online this morning, and after 15 minutes I had only 6 clues solved.

Seriously, Barry, I am impressed, and conclude you must have been doing this for a while, in addition to being brilliant.

Great links today, C.C.

Barb B said...

Crockett--Con BRIO is Italian, not Spanish. It means "with brilliance" or "with spirit."

Oh good! Thank you for pointing that out. I feel a little better. I have absolutely no gift for language. My friend and coworker grew up in Brazil and her native language is Portugese, but she also speaks Spanish and Italian. They sound interchangeable to me. I suppose it's because they all have Latin roots. She still has trouble with english and it is a source of delight in the library. Last week we found a note attached to a plastic bag we use for game pieces. The note read "Where's the shekers?" Since all the checker game pieces are accounted for, we are still wondering....


Does that mean we're PCs, LOL!?

Well, the created thing resembles the creator. Speaking for myself, I'm a Mac.

InRe the briber/bribee question, I'm so confused now that I don't understand the arguments. The clue was HUSH MONEY PAYER, and the answer was BRIBER. I'm thinking that Frank has the right answer that I can understand.

Crockett1947 said...

@dennis@2:36 What a riot about the waxing!

melissa bee said...

@dennis: bite me.

Dennis said...

Uh....can we talk about it?

embien said...

33:32 today (double @Barry G's time). It didn't really take me that long, but I've no idea how long I was away from the keyboard with the clock running.

Two days in a row the puzzle hit a home run for me. I loved it!

Thanks to @clear ayes for expanding on the theme--I hadn't seen it mentioned before here, though it was immediately obvious to me as I solved. (To reiterate, if you take away the "HOW" from each of the theme answers, you are left with a commonly-used phrase. I don't think our old TMS puzzle ever achieved this level of wordplay.)

@c.c.: 95A: Drinks for Radar: NEHIS. Very odd poster. What is she holding on her hands?

Not sure I follow, c.c., she's holding the ship's wheel in both hands.

And, to answer your question, I spent probably three hours last night on the syndicated NY Times puzzle (originally published 02/28) and I'm still not done with the NW corner. I find most Friday and Saturday NY Times puzzles to be at the limits (or beyond) of my abilities, but I'm definitely improving as I do more puzzles.

In fact, that's my advice to all who are having difficulty adapting to the LA Times puzzles from the old TMS puzzles. The LA Times is more difficult on Friday and Saturday, sure, but you get a big reward when you see the wordplay in the clues and fill and the inventiveness of the theme. Keep plugging away, do the best you can, read the blogs, and I absolutely guarantee that you'll show steady improvement.

embien said...

@c.c.: 59A: Hindu god who rides a bull named Nandi: SHIVA. This detailed clue only makes the answer harder for me to obtain. I know SHIVA the "destroyer". Had no idea that he rides a bull. Why those male gods are pictured as feminine is beyond me.

I was also curious about this, so I queried my wife who is familiar with Hindu deities.

She says that the Shiva in your link (Shiva) is in male form, not female. It only appears female to Western eyes. If it were truly the female form, the breasts would be quite pronounced, as that is the custom in Hindu art.

She went on to say that it is true that many deities are depicted in female form. Evidently the female can leave the body in meditation more readily than the male (I suppose this has something to do with approaching nirvana).

I personally know nothing about any of this stuff, just quoting my wife, who studies in that field.

jim said...

No all caps today. Also no LA Times puzzle today. If this type puzzle is desired, do the NY Times puzzle. That is what I did. Much better.

jim said...

I didn't do the LA Times puzzle today. Idid the NY Times puzzle instead, much better if that the tppe puzzle you want.

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon, everyone. I was all set to set everyone straight on the briber answer. But I see it's been beaten to death already. (I'm with Kazie and ClearAyes; hate to disagree with BarbB as she's another Mac user.)

Today's was a tad easier than yesterday's, which I didn't put pen to after looking it over. The "How to" helped a bit.

Am still looking forward to tomorrow when I'll be able to do the puzzle!

cabrini said...

Late start on the puzzle this Palm Sunday.
Found it easier to solve than Friday or Saturday. I was able to finish without any do-overs (I use ink). Weekly puzzles are done on-line, but our Sunday paper carries the LA Times and I am able to work on it the more enjoyable way. Don't print out the weekday puzzles because our dog Masha (best dog in the world!) gets upset when the printer prints. She is older (13) and has trouble breathing when she gets excited. We have tried to take all the stress out of her day. Broke the news to the family that we will not be having Easter dinner at our house. So far, no one has stepped up to the plate and offered an alternative.
Agree with Warren's explanation re:Ring site. Tinnitus makes more sense than earring.
Thoughts and prayers are with Pittsburgh PD and families of slain officers. We live an hour from Binghamton and know a few people from there and thoughts are with them also. Crazy week.
Stay safe and enjoy the day.

Anonymous said...

For Jeannie and others about 69:
When I was teaching 6th grade, the boys started holding up signs reading 69 and giggling. Back then, the girls were oblivious. So I sent the girls to gym and told the boys that if one of them ever held up a sign like that again, he would not be able to be in my class until a parent came with him. Sure enough, another appeared. So I sent the boy to the guidance office; he and his mother and the guidance counselor appeared an hour later. So we talked in the hall. I asked the boy to tell his mother what he had been writing. She asked what 69 meant. The boy answered f*&^. I told him he didn't even know the meaning, and we agreed he wouldn't do it again. He went into the classroom and his mother left. The guidance counselor (a male about my then age – 35 – asked what it meant!
So I explained.

Elissa said...

Worked the puzzle on-line because it isn't in our paper on Sunday. Got the theme which helped fill in a lot of spaces and got a lot of others right off the bat or from the fills. There were definitely stoppers and blanks I wasn't getting, so I switched from Master to Regular and kept going and finally finished. It's a learning experience.

No one mentioned SPITS. When I lived back east we had lots of ways to describe rain, including spits. But in California we don't get much rain and generally only during the winter months. So you see people with umbrellas at the first sprinkle from December through February, but they don't use their windshield wipers from March to November unless it is a downpour.

C.C. - Yes, I am Jewish. My husband is Southern Baptist. Makes it easy to figure which family to go to for the holidays, but when Easter is in the middle of Passover, as it is this year, I take my box of matzah to my mother-in-laws house and it's all good.

PMT and others - Still don't know why the on-line puzzle page suddenly shrinks but found the Zoom In/Out function on the View tab on the menu bar and I can now get it back to a reasonable size. I used to use a Mac at work and didn't like it. And Bill Gates provides a lot of the software for Macs too. I'm definitely a PC (and I love those ads with the 4 year old who knows as much about her PC as I do, if not more).

Sallie - Thanks for the funny story about '69'. I graduated in HS in 1969, so the number was prominently displayed everywhere and everyone wore it proudly on T-shirts and sweatshirts.

Dennis - thanks for the plug for my book.

JD said...

Was anyone else married in 69? It was a gooood year, and my husband will never forget the year. LOL

Do most(or some) of you have a Facebook page? My daughter sat me down to educate me, and to share her page. She has reconnected with many old friends. I thought e-mail did that for me.Anyway, says she, "Wouldn't it be great Mom?" So she registers me, and my page sits empty, forgotten. Then, I get an e-mail from an old college roommate who says,"I see you have NO FRIENDS." LMAO

Puzzle? I'm still working on HOW.
Clear Ayes, I do agree that those a-ha moments do make puzzling fun, even when the answer comes from some other source.

C. C. said...

Barry,
Thanks for the whole shebang. Have a great trip.

Argyle,
Forgot to thank you for the ECTOplasm, ECTO - 1 & "Ghostbusters" connection. Thanks also for caring email this morning. There is no price for your awesomeness.

PromiseMe,
What is Brythonic Gaelic?

Linda,
Your fish/fries sounds delicious. What's your best find in antiquing? I once bought a Twins 1961 program for a quarter, it's worth over $100.

C. C. said...

Melissa,
You covered all my questions today. Thank you so much. I've never seen earring shortened as RING.

Barb B,
Yes, EMBAR was in our puzzle a while ago.

Crockett & Barb B,
I am definitely a PC then. My body and mind do not work as they are designed.

Clear Ayes,
Thanks for the further explanation on the puzzle theme.

C. C. said...

Embien,
One more mystery solved. Thank you a bunch! Col G, who lives in India, could not provide me with a convincing answer last time.

Frank,
Barry G is indeed a brilliant solver. FYI, Quite a few speed solvers conquered today's LA Times in less than 10 minutes.

Windhover,
Can you print anything out of your iPhone? I feel bad that you can't enjoy the fun/frustration we have. Inane Ado made me laugh. Hope your "hopefully" turns into "thankfully" soon.

PromiseMeThis said...

Good Afternoon C.C. and Co.,

C.C.,
I think 'Self Help' might be better for the theme. Don't you?

For 'Take out orders', I kept thinking along the lines of "Hit ém!" as in "Rub ém out!" or "Give ém a tag on his toe!"

I, too, was thinking 'head' for 'Notions holder'. I had to scratch my notion holder when I got the answer from the fills.

I thought 'Opening word?' was clever. That might have been my favorite clue today.

"What's the one bad HABIT you want to get rid of now?"
I don't want to get rid of any. I want to pick up new ones to ensure that I don't have to spend eternity making Jesus smile ;)

"Did they find the Golden Fleece in the end?"
They did but, not surprisingly, everything turned out tragically anyway.

"Quaint denial: TISNT. No idea. It isn't?"
That's right. It is a makeshift contraction of the two words.

My favorite FLAPPER :)

"FATHA. No, I don't know this Earl Hines nickname. What does it mean? Father?"
Yes. This one, like most all jazz related clues, was a gimme for me. Although, I will admit that I first put in EARL and, realizing that I was short one letter, added an E. that had me scratching my head for a second before I realized that FATHA was the right number of letters.

I have it on good word that BERT & Ernie are gay.

"If TREAD already means "Walk, often lightly", why do we often say TREAD lightly?"
When we TREAD, we often do it lightly.

"Does GAUCHO and gauche have the same root?"
No. Gauche is of French origin, while GUACHO appears to be a Spanish corruption of a native South American word.

I had to get BOFFO from the fills. WOW! How would you like to figure out 'Stix nix hix flix' for 'Variety jargon?' Yikes!

"Were you thinking of Borat?"
Yes. that scene with him rolling around with that ultra-fat, naked guy was disgusting. he had his face right in the guys .... (shudder)

That poster that you linked with designer Tom Ford, Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson was scandalous.
I loved it :)

I found today's LAT puzzle to be a bit too tame for a Sunday. I will try it for another Sunday or two, but I am not sure I will stick with it. I enjoy the NYT Sunday XW and find that it is typically much more challenging than today's LAT. I cannot take the time to do both.

C.C., That was a typo. I meant to say Brythonic or Gaelic. It is a bit complicated. Wikipedia has a good article on the Brythonic Languages.

C. C. said...

Al,
What a great post @ 11:33am! My favorite of the day. The Mother Teresa link was shocking to me.

Warren & Cabrini,
Your ring/EAR is what I was thinking, though I did not know the word "tinnitus". It sounds quite DF.

Sallie,
This DF 69 was a complete stranger to me until a few months ago, so was 77, "Spoon and Fork", "Rain and Shine", etc. Apparently I've been living under the rock.

C. C. said...

Dennis,
Remember Spring Break? Lois is fishing somewhere else for fun. So hard to multitask. I can only focus on one thing or one person at a time.

Jim,
Thanks for the font change. Your NY Times is the one week later syndication, correct? This LA Times is the real "live" puzzle. Maybe you can go to their website and print one out. Would be interested to hear your view on the Sunday puzzle.

PromiseMe,
Wow, I want to be like you. I have so many bad habits. I love your "Self Help", great title, much precise. Yeah, I remember the Tom Ford link. I think you were the only one who commented on it, not surprisingly.

jeannie said...

I'm not sure we are going to get to my coveted number today so here are your facts in history on this day.

On this day in history April 5th:

1614: Pochahontas, daughter of the leadder of the Powhatan tribe married English colonist John Rolphe in VA. (Now there is an early inter-racial marriage!)

1649: Elihu Yale the english philanthropist for who the Yale Univiersity is named is born in Boston. (Any one go to Yale?)

1792: George Washington cast the first presidential veto rejecting a congressional measure for apportioning representatives among states.

1887: In Tescumbie, Alabama teacher Anne Sullivan taught her blind and deaf student Helen Keller the meaning of the word water as spelled out in the manual alphabet.

1908: Bette Davis is born in Lowell, MA
(What is your favorite Bette Davis movie?)

1964: Army general Douglas MacArthur died at age 84.

1976: Reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes died at age 72.
What did you think of Leonardo Dicaprio's portrayal of Howard Hughes?

1984: Kareem Abdul Jabar became the highest scoring player in the NBA, scoring 31,421career points. He still hold the record today with a career record of 38,387.

@Dennis regarding bikini waxing saga...are you sure you aren't being "bush whacked"?

Dennis said...

Jeannie, why would you make a crack like that?

I like the 'today in history' stuff; hopefully you'll keep it going?

Argyle said...

"Quaint denial: TISNT. No idea. It isn't?"
That's right. It is a makeshift contraction of the two words.


Wouldn't that be the contraction of three words? It is not.

Clear Ayes said...

PMT, LOL, I don't think there is much likelihood of you spending eternity as a celestial jester. On the other hand, believers sometimes say God has a sense of humor, so you never know.

Jeannie, Good "today in history".

The Miracle Worker with Anne Bancroft is one of my favorite movies. I always get chills at the final scene, where Helen finally understands. Very moving. It really makes me appreciate what amazing people both Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan were.

My favorite Bette Davis movie was All About Eve..."Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night." Notice a young Marilyn Monroe, not many lines, but she was beautiful.

I haven't seen a Leonardo DiCaprio movie I didn't like! :o)

kazie said...

Jd.,
I have just recently joined Facebook. I was invited in by a former colleague and I in turn invited all the people I thought would be interested from my email address list. Many of my former students have "discovered" me through the ones I was in touch with, and the list keeps growing. So it's a way to get in contact with more people than you have already. A group from the 80's at our school here invited me to join the group, and many of those students (now in their 30-40s) have greeted me as a friend. It's fun!

Linda said...

CC: I think this cast iron iron with the full length coal compartment may be my most intriguing...but I would say my music box collection is probably the most valuable. A globe-trotting MD and wife bought them all over the world. I have a cowboy playing "Turkey in the straw" on a "fiddle"...an Emmet Kelly-type clown with a fishing pole with a fish on it who whistles "Summertime" (the clown, not the fish), tiny little dressed-in-people-clothes mice on a typewriter... more such mice on an old, hand cranked sewing machine and they all are fully functioning wind-up music boxes. I got an excellent deal by buying all that was left of the collection. My regret is that I wish I knew where each piece was bought. BTW...Raymond makes the yard sales each Th Fri and Sat.
Speaking of fish fries...in FL, we always had grits, swamp cabbage (hearts of palmetto) and syrup on our hush puppies at fish fries. Here, we have the items mentioned and often cabbage slaw and pickled, green tomatoes.

PMT: One of my all-time favorite perfume scents is " Rive Gauche" which I`m pretty sure translates as "Left Bank."

Dennis said...

Clear Ayes, great picture - I love the colors. Reminds me of a Renaissance-period painting.

JD, you're right - I got talked into the Facebook thing a few months ago, and in no time at all, there's all these requests to add 'friends', and even referrals from people who think someone else should also be a friend.

Anonymous said...

C.C.: "77, Spoon and Fork, Rain and Shine, etc." are still unknown to me. Wow. This blog surely updates one's vocabulary. (That is if anyone clues me in to what the above terms mean.)

Sweet dreams everyone.

Clear Ayes said...

Thanks Dennis, I guess I got the renaissance look I was after. (This one is a gift for G.A.H....he does like a couple of nice melons.) I'll never be a professional artist like Wolfmom or Elissa, but I'm enjoying it. I'm learning a lot about shadows and highlights. I am surprised at how much more I can see in an object when I REALLY look.

I tried My Space so I could be a cool grandma and communicate with my grandsons . I found out that after I became their friends (pity on their part, I'm sure), the only other friends I got was the My Space founder, my son-in-law and my son-in-law's cat. I figure that Facebook would be just as humiliating, so I decided that some 21st century communications weren't for me.

JD said...

Dennis and Kazie,thanks for the input. I better get on the ball, and keep up with the times.

Clear Ayes, another lovely painting! Favorite media? Pastels?

Jeannie, great history facts! I very much enjoyed Leonardo Dicaprio's portrayal of H.H. Such a strange man.

Fun Fact: The average person over 50 years old will have spent almost 5 years waiting in lines.

PromiseMeThis said...

"Wouldn't that be the contraction of three words? It is not."

Yes it is, Argyle.
I stand corrected.