Apr 16, 2009

Thursday April 16, 2009 Don Gagliardo

Theme: GEES (66A: Yegg's thousands)

17A: Toxic defoliant in Vietnam: AGENT ORANGE

27A: 1930s Fred Astaire partner: GINGER ROGERS

38A: Study of rock groups?: GEOLOGY

45A: Show runner: STAGE MANAGER

58A: "Adam Bede" novelist: GEORGE ELLIOT

Plus 23 more theme answers I will list later.

The above 5 long theme answers all have 2 or 3 G's each and are symmetrically placed. GINGER ROGERS is my favorite, the only one with 3 G's. Have never seen her full name in a puzzle before. Looks cool in the grid. GEOLOGY clue is made interesting with a question mark.

Just amazing puzzle! Total 21 G's. NY Times' record is 19. All soft G theme answers are positioned in Across, and hard G' in Down. Out of the 78 words in this puzzle, 28 are theme answers (14 Across and 14 Down). And if I counted correctly, there are only 60 non-theme black squares. That would be 125 theme squares, about 68% of theme fills. Definitely a first for me.

It reminds me of the Sept 19, 2008 Newsday "52 of a Kind" puzzle. Every word in the grid has a letter L, some are long, some are short. I asked Stan Newman if all of them are theme answers. He said yes, but "of course this is a special case".

Very creative puzzle. I enjoyed a lot. I wonder why SOFT G is not clued in the grid. Is it structurally impossible?

OK, here we go, more soft G (Across) theme entries:

4A: Sharp-witted: AGILE. Wrote down ACUTE recklessly.

9A: O. Henry's "The Gift of the __": MAGI. Read this story in Chinese. It's in our high school western literature class.

14A: Taunts: GIBES

16A: Windy City superstation: WGN. Owned by the Tribune Company, which also owns Chicago Cubs, Chicago Tribune, LA Times and of course Tribune Media Services (TMS) which syndicates LA Times and the old TMS Daily puzzle.

32A: Rowlands of "Another Woman": GENA

50A: Golden __: AGERS. Didn't we just see this clue the other day? Time for teen AGERS.

62A: Red-and-white supermarket logo: IGA (Independent Grocers Alliance). Sigh! I can't remember this chain name. It's clued as "Supermarket grp." in early April.

66A: Yegg's thousands: GEES. Feels weird to see G spelled out as GEE.

67A: Letter appearing only in down answers; its opposite appears in across answers: HARD G

68A: Glue is one: GEL

And hard G Down theme entries:

2D: Billiards player's consideration: ANGLE

4D: Tennis great who retired in 2006: AGASSI (Andre). Two-US Open champ, as clued in yesterday's puzzle.

5D: Prefix with hertz: GIGA. Only know gigabyte.

9D: Address to a pal, in Pamplona: MI AMIGO. "My friend" in Spanish. This refers to male friend only, correct?

11D: Satanic nation in Revelation: GOG. No idea. Got it from across fills. Is that how we got AGOG?

20D: '70 Olympics name: OLGA (Korbut). OLGA means "Holy".

29D: Skilled in: GOOD AT

32D: Tenet's CIA successor: GOSS (Porter). Gimme gimme. Leon Panetta is the current boss. Someone just mentioned on the blog yesterday that CIA's nickname is "The Company". NSA's nickname is "The Puzzle Palace".

38D: Donate, in Dundee: GIE. Scottish for "give".

39D: Club appearance: GIG

42D: Overlooks: IGNORES. Overlook is a Janus word. It means IGNORES, but it also means "to watch over".

44D: Logician's connector: ERGO

52D: Antisocial elephant: ROGUE. Is "Antisocial elephant" a slang? I am not familiar with this phrase.

55D: __ Khan: AGA. Sometimes it's clued as "Turkish title". Literally "Lord". Here is Anne Bancroft's "Yma Dream" again. AGA Khan is one of them. AVA Gardner, AVA Gabor, OONA O'Neill, IDA Lupino, Abba EBAN, UTA Hagen, Ida Lupino and most of the crossword stalwarts are in the clip too.

58D: Comical bit: GAG

Non theme fills (Across):

1A: Late-night name: JAY. JAY Leno. Another kind of soft G, right?

13A: Prop extension?: ANE. Propane. I like this clue. Much better than our old "Chemical ending".

15A: Key that often sounds gloomy: MINOR. Oh, I was unaware of this. So MAJOR keys are cheerful?

19A: Charlie Parker's instrument: ALTO SAX. Would not have got the answer without the down fills. I could only think of saxphone.

21A: Novel type: DIME

22A: Sings, so to speak: TELLS. "Where do I begin? To tell the story of how great a love can be?..."

23A: Philosopher __ tzu: LAO. LAO literally means "old" in Chinese. LAO-Tzu is "Old Master". My husband calls me LAO Po, literally "Old wife".

35A: Place for a stud: LOBE. Stud earrings.

36A: Tribute with a wink: ROAST. Like the annual Gridiron Club Dinner. Obama skipped his this year.

37A: Siouan speaker: OTO. Or OTOE.

40A: Old touring car: REO. The old Olds.

41A: 2005 horror sequel: SAW II. Easy guess. I don't watch horror movies.

43A: Artist who worked on Hitchcock's "Spellbound": DALI. Another guess. I only know the 2002 documentary "Spellbound". I bet those kids are great at solving crosswords. Have never heard of Hitchcock's "Spellbound". DALI was a close friend of Mia Farrow.

44A: O.K. Corral name: EARP. Learned from doing Xword.

48A: Certain, for sure: Abbr.: SYN (Synonym). I don't get this one? What does SYN stand for? (Note: Certain is the synonym of "sure". I am going to bang my head at the wall now.)

49A: LAX tower gp.: ATC. Air Traffic Control. I got the answer from down fills also.

54A: Actress Cusack: JOAN. John Cusack's sister. She is Cynthia in "Working Girl".

64A: "Lovergirl" vocalist __ Marie: TEENA. Here is the clip. I am not familiar with this singer. Wikipedia says she is nicknamed Lady T and her real name is Mary Christine Brockert. Why TEENA intead of Tina then?

65A: Rapa __: Easter Island: NUI. Here is a map. I had no idea that Easter Island is also called Rapa NUI, the Polynesian name meaning "Big Rapa". Wikipedia says it's coined by labor immigrants from Rapa in the Bass Islands, who likened it to their home island in the aftermath of the Peruvian slave deportations in the 1870s. Maybe you can tell me where Bass Islands is.

Non-theme Down:

1D: Scold: JAW AT. Is JAW AT a phrase? I only know JAW.

3D: Streisand title role: YENTL. I still don't know the exact meaning of YENTL. But it's the root word of YENTA.

6D: Alpine goat: IBEX. The wild mountain goat with terrifying horns. Does IBEX shed their horns as buck does with their antlers?

7D: Sportscaster Berman: LEN. Ah me, I forgot his name. I recognized those bobbleheads, so I must have linked this picture before.

8D: More than -er?: EST. Cute clue.

10D: "Archie Bunker's Place" costar: ANNE MEARA. Ben Stiller's mother.

15D: Hospital scanner: MRI

23D: Matt of "Joey": LeBLANC. A rare gimme. Liked him in "Friends". Have never seen "Joey" though.

24D: Anatomical ring: AREOLA. The nipple rings. Are(a) + Ola. The plural is AREOLAE.

26D: "Mr. Triple Axel" Brian: ORSER. Got his name from across fills. A Canadian figure skater. How tall do you think he is?

28D: Marlins' div: NLE (National League East). Braves, Phillies, Mets and the Nationals are the other members. Our Twins belong to ALC (American League Central).

30D: Access ending: ORY. Accessory.

34D: "When pigs fly!": NO WAY JOSE

46D: Nape growth: MANE. The nape of lion/horse.

47D: Livestock identifier: EAR TAG. See this picture. I can almost feel the pain when his ear is pierced.

51D: "Dallas" name: EWING. This has become a gimme. Williams clued EWING as "Adlai Stevenson's middle name" a couple of times.

53D: Slow mollusk: SNAIL

57D: Tegucigalpa's country: Abbr.: HOND (Honduras). Tegucigalpa is the capital city. We just had ESTO clued as "This, in Tegucigalpa" a week ago. But I forgot it completely. New abbreviation to me also.

59D: Summer in the cité: ETE. Rather tepid clue. I like last time's "When the French fry?".

60D: Ordinal suffix: ETH. Sometimes it's clued as "Biblical verb ending".

61D: Meadow: LEA. I've never seen this meadow word in any book, but EWE might have.

Answer grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - well, I was really surprised I made it through a Thursday without reaching out to the g-spot. Certainly not a speed run with several unknowns, but they fell from the perps. And did anyone else have a sense of deja vu? 'Agassi', 'gibe' and 'lobe' certainly were familiar, as was our recent discussion of Agent Orange. Also, first time I've seen the National League East division abbreviated that way; usually it's written NL East when shortened.

Unknowns were 'Rapa Nui', 'gog', plus I couldn't remember Brian Orser's last name. I thought it was a great theme, with the hard and soft 'G's'. I really am liking these puzzles, with fresh answers such as 'No way Jose' and 'mi amigo'.

Today is National Eggs Benedict Day, National High Five Day, National Librarian Day and National Stress Awareness Day.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "Hold fast to time! Use it! Be conscious of each day, each hour! They slip away unnoticed all too easily and swiftly." -- Writer Thomas Mann

A couple more Fun Facts:

- A small child could crawl through a blue whale's major arteries.

- The Air Force's F-117 stealth fighter uses aerodynamics discovered during research into how bumblebees fly.

melissa bee said...

c.c., SYN is for synonym.

Dennis said...

Melissa Bee, are you still up from last night, or just up early? It's not even 4am there.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Got up extra early this morning so here I am. The puzzle was a bit of a slog for me. There weren't any actual unknowns, as best as I can remember, but it took awhile for many of the answers to come to me. Plus, I had a lot of missteps, such as MEGA instead of GIGA, LEESA for TEENA and ARIOLE instead of ARIOLA.

No WTF moments, but my award for Tricky Clue of the Day goes to "Certain, for sure: Abbr." Even after getting it correct via the perps, I didn't quite get it until just a few seconds ago. "Certain" is a synonym (SYN) for "Sure." Tricky, tricky, tricky... :)

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

I think this is my best LAT Thursday too. The incredible theme made solving easier. It's unavoidable that certain answers will repeat in puzzles. Except AGERS/AGER, I've never seen an identical clue in Rich Norris's puzzles. Are blue whale's major arteries that roomy? What's the average size/weight of a blue whale? I've never Eggs Benedict before.

Good morning. But synonym is a noun, the clue seems to be asking for an adjective.

What is the Korean for ka/ma?

Dennis said...

C.C., CERTAIN is a synonym FOR SURE - see it? Certain......for sure.

Blue whales can grow to over 100 feet.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Barry G,
Re: SYN. Ah so! A basket of Xie Xie to you.

Old Tex and other newcomers,

Razzberry et al,
Will read your comments later. Too busy lately.

Argyle said...

Good Morning, C.C. and sundries,

Strange it took me untill Thursday to fill a puzzle with out a mistake. What's wrong with this picture?

I tried to find a copy of Maurice Chevalier singing, "Gigi" but it was no way, Jose.

I love Eggs Benedict but good ones are hard to find.

Is "Antisocial elephant" a slang? No, but a rogue elephant is one that wouldn't live with the herd, hence, anti-social.

Argyle said...

How about this song? Gee Whiz

Argyle said...

This is a lot better version, UK release. Gee Whiz

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all,..a bit of a struggle for me today. I needed some outside help to complete the puzzle.

I had some of the same problems as Barry such as MEGA instead of GIGA and ARIOLE instead of ARIOLA. Even with the difficulty I find the LAT puzzles much more entertaining than those of the past.

Hope you all have a great Thursday. It is off to the gym then to the mountains for a long weekend.

Bill said...

Wow! Thur and I done gud!
The theme left me out in left field, so Hard G didn't make it into the grid till I came here. I knew that it would have something to do with "G", but had no idea.
Any that I didn't know came from the adjacent fills. Proud of myself, I am.
CY'All Later

T. Frank said...

Greetings, all,

I needed a little help with Teena, Goss and Joan; never did figure out the hard g soft g theme. Very clever. I cogitated over Oto for a while, but finally saw the light.

My brain kept saying, "Boy, there are a lot of gees in this puzzle", but the penny never dropped.

My major accomplishment yesterday was learning how to create a link. Your instructions were perfect, C.C.

Anonymous said...

Dennis, 6:04
Read the clue this way: "Certain" [is a synonym for] "sure".

Martin said...

What is the Korean for ka/ma?I haven't been to Korea in five and a half years and all I know were simple expressions which I have now mostly forgot. I went to google translate and a question like "Are you John?" is translated as "John isssimnigga?" and "You are John" comes out as "John issda" and "You are not John" comes out as "John hachi anhsimnida". Anyway, it looks as though statements end with da and questions end with gga but otherwise it looks very different from Chinese or Japanese.


KQ said...

Good morning,

I am ready to crawl back in bed today having not slept well last night. Tried to tackle this, and did okay on the top half, but rather bombed on the bottom. I agree the theme was great, but I wasn't getting it like the rest of you. Not until I filled in HARD G, which was extremely late in the game.

I was at a loss for GOSS, TEENA, NUI and not being a Friends fan, couldn't think of LEBLANC. Yep, not clicking today. I googled some answers, then eventually went to the online version to finish it up.

Thanks for the info on SYN. I was not getting that one, but it is a very clever clue. Too clever for me today.

Will have to try to be productive today despite feeling sluggish. Always hard to do.

kazie said...

g'morning all,
Not much time now, running off to a brunch. But I loved this puzzle--the only sport I ever watch is skating, so ORSER came easily. I did g'spot a couple of things which turned out to be useless, and I got the answers afterwards on my own by guessing anyway, except GOSS, which was the one I gave up on to come here. Never watch horror films, so wasn't sure about SAW II, the "s" was all that was missing.

Back later.

Argyle said...

The Bass Islands are the southernmost islands in French Polynesia and consist primarily of Rapa and Marotiri(bottom center of the map). Why the natives left their home land is unknown but they must have been good seafarers to sail against the trade winds to get to Rapa Nui. Over time, they destroyed the ecosystem of the island, were taken as slaves to Peru, and when they were released, brought back disease that nearly wiped out the population left on the island.

Unknown said...

This was such a nice puzzle, quite hard at first, but once the theme arose amid the plethora of "G"s it made me feel good all over. Originally I thought the theme was "anagrams of george".

To all those naysayers, here is the proof that the calibre of puzzle has risen a notch, and I for one am grateful.

lois said...

Good morning CC et al., Well, Don (hard G)Gagliardo really outdid himself. This was a great puzzle in every way. Loved it. Agree w/Barry about 'syn' being the trickiest. I didn't get that either until I came here.

Did anybody see 'Saw II'? I'm 'at sea' w/the attraction of that gore. It makes me 'gag' and almost 'earp'. I much prefer to 'dali' with lovers rather than fighters and with gentle men more than'rogues'. I much prefer those whose angle' is more about
the dangle than the 'ire' in your fire. But each to his own. Some people amaze me with their insistance on viewing things through a certain 'anatomical ring'. Myopia is a concern but they generally end up w/anal glaucoma - a much more serious disorder.

Enjoy your day and night. I'm going to 'throw' down w/mi amigo tonight a 'teena' bit...ok a lot. The g'lobe' may shake tonight! Party on!

Anonymous said...

The reason that "HARD G" was a difficult fill-in for so many is that it had an absolutely incorrect clue.

There is no "letter" in English called "Hard G." "Hard G" would be a non-scientific way to describe a particular sound in English. And the same sound can be approximated by various spellings (i.e., different letters), e.g. "jaw" versus "edge."

Elissa said...

I didn't know ORSER, NUI or TEENA and couldn't remember LE BLANC (I never watched "Friends") but got them from the perps. I was frustrated by the number of senior moments that made it so difficult for me to retrieve things I knew - like DALI, EARP and GOSS.

Major keys are cheerful and minor keys are sad. I have gone to symphony concerts since I was a small child, which I enjoy even though I am tone deaf and can't carry a tune without a suitcase. It is one of three things that my husband, who played trombone in the USC marching band, taught me about music, and that I couldn't believe I didn't know. Second was that the best seats in a concert hall are just to left of center about ten rows back so you can see the pianist hands and hear balanced sound. The third is that concerts are to be enjoyed and if you relax and fall asleep, that's okay as long as you don't snore. That's why I love the guy so much.

Anonymous said...

I found this site a few days ago and I have not told my brother and sister-in-law who live across the street from my house about the site. Now I have all the answers and it is driving them crazy. I guess this is very unfair but it is also fun in a mean way. I usually do very well without looking however and only need help with real hard puzzels.

SandbridgeKaren said...

Started out great - crashed and burned in SW corner. Am embarrassed to admit I totally missed the hard and soft g bit - realized it was a 'g' puzzle but the connection never hit my poor brain. Thanks, CC, for that amazing analysis of this puzzle - there is WAY more here than I initially realized - learned a lot today. When I saw orange and ginger I though there was a sub-theme relating to colors and that threw me off a tad.

Interesting eggs benedict story. About 10 years ago when I was VP of sales for a Philly company we sponsored a heathcare breakfast award program that gave accolades to companies and individuals who had done a lot to promote heathcare in the area. The major corporate award winner was US Healthcare (now Aetna) and their president and executive staff all attended the breakfast award presentation. Our VP of marketing, a huge eggs benedict fan, had them served as the main breakfast offering. All of the US Heathcare people took one look at the food, immediately sent it back and ordered a healthy breakfast instead. Needless to say, that VP never lived it down - serving the absolutely worst breakfast item to a company who gave apples to all visitors to promote healthy eating.

High 5's to all who did well on this puzzle and keep your stress level lower than whales in the ocean.

windhover said...

Anonymous @ 10:02 is the anonymous post, EVER. Love it. You go, anon. , and don't tell them.
Windhover, very approvingly.

treefrog said...

I found this site a couple weeks ago when I needed some clue help. Our newspaper just recently started running these puzzles. Different than I was used to.
I played heck finding it on my new computer. Yipee! Today I finally did.
I needed help today!!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I was rather pleased with myself as I was filling in today's puzzle. I felt that I was finally getting the feel of the LAT puzzles.

I'm pretty good at show biz names, so they weren't a problem. Even the sporty names, LEN, OLGA and ORSER came easily.

Although I am a big movie fan, horror/gore/stalker movies are not my cup of tea. I don't like them and I don't watch them. I got SAW II via the perps.

There were some fills that were sticky or tricky. GOG, GOSS, GIE, SYN and TEENA and "Tegucigalpa's country" HOND all had to be finished with perp help.

As I reached the bottom, I reviewed what I thought were the obvious theme answers and couldn't find a connection, except that I could see a lot of "G's". Finally at 67A, when I filled in HARD G, it was the best AHA moment yet!

It was Louis Jourdan who sang Gigi in the movie. This version contains Gaston's Soliloquy, which along with Chevalier's Thank Heaven For Little Girls might nowadays have given the movie an "R" rating. Just a little bit too close to creepy for modern comfort. 1958 was a much more innocent year. BTW, I loved the movie.

Anon@10:02, LOL, Get yourself a blogger identity, an avatar and come back. You'd fit right in around here.

Bill said...

Anon @ 10:02..
That's dirty pool, isn't it???
I approve. Always hold a little back and make 'em wonder........Is
he/she REALLY that smart??

windhover said...

Make that BEST anon post

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang,

It was a hard G puzzle for me, especially since I had forgotten what a hard or soft G was until I found this link to help explain it.
Too many years out of school I guess.


SandbridgeKaren said...

treefrog - bookmark this site on your computer and come back daily - you'll be glad you did. Not only do you learn about the puzzle, you learn lots more besides.

kazie said...

anon@ 9:38,
A lot of letters in our alphabet are described as "hard" or "soft", "voiced" and "unvoiced". They are not considered, or "called" separate letters, it's just a way to describe their pronunciation in combination with other letters.

Warren's link gives a good idea of how it works, except that in English, unlike French, the "i" doesn't always soften "g", an example is "give", where it remains hard. This rule doesn't work at all in German, where "g" is always hard, and maybe that's why English words derived from German often are exceptions.

Linda said...

Since children can learn jingles (soft G sound :) quite easily, I taught them ,"Soft "c", (clap clap), soft "g", (clap clap), are "use- zwa- lee" followed by "i" or "e".

Many of them have come back as adults and mentioned they remembered all those spelling "tricks" Another: (said very fast) "When a word....has only (say this word slowly and drawn out) oooooonnnnnneeee vowel, (back to fast) it`s usually short."

As to vowel sounds, "Short a" is the sound of raped machine gun fire: a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-! (my boys loved this.)
"Short e" Is the sound a deaf person makes with their hand behind their ear. "Eh? Whadjah say, sonny?"
"Short i" is the sound of a witch laughing.
"Short o" Is the sound you make on a cold night when you slip down into a warm tub of water.
"Short u" is the sound you would make if someone punched you in the stomach. (My boys loved that one, too. And I never had to reprimand them for actually doing it!)
Then the "long" vowels were simple, We sang, "Long vowels say their naaaaames" to a child-hood melody they all knew. "(someone`s) got a girl (boy) friend."

All these tricks have helped even my poor spelling...just not enuff.
I luv Kazzie`s explanations as to why our rooles don`t always appleye. I`m still lurning!

Anonymous said...

C.C. I agree with "JAW AT". I'm not familiar with it either. Seems strange and clunky to me.

There were a lot of new things for me in this puzzle, and like others the "G" theme clicked but the answer to the fill didn't. Was my very last fill...

I've been poking around Google and it seems that "Gog" and "agog" are totally unrelated. According to wiktionary, this is the etymology for agog:

Middle English. From Old French, en gogues, in a merry mood. See also the Italian agogare, to desire eagerly.

Conversely, in the Old Testament Gog is a person, usually mentioned as being from Magog. In the New Testament, specifically Revelation it is mentioned as a city, Gog and Magog. Gog also appears in the Quran as well.


Anonymous said...

Good afternoon all. I still believe it's morning; my husband suggested we go out for breakfast, and of course, I ate too much. So it doesn't seem possible that he's out there making some lunch already.

SandbridgeKaren: I too decided the theme was colors after Agent Orange and Ginger Rogers; therefore, had a hard time on the bottom half.

Anonymous at 10:02: Welcome and I agree you should get a name and keep coming. Love your attitude. Keep'em guessing.

KQ said...

Anon@9:38, I agree that the verbage is tricky on the clue, but that is also what makes it good. I just wasn't getting it, thinking how can a letter be in only a down but not across clue. Yes, quite an aha moment, and that is what makes it fun.

ClearAyes - I loved Gigi too, but then I love musicals in general. My Fair Lady, Sound of Music and Singing in the Rain would be my favorites. Have you seen the recent Enchanted? If you love musicals, you would really enjoy this. I took my teenage boys to it when it first came out, and thought they were going to pulverize me for humiliating them by taking them to this movie, and they came home singing the songs. Wonders never cease. I agree Thank Heaven for Little Girls could be seen as creepy in this era.

Was not familiar at all with the biblical GOG, and I studied Revelation. How sad is that. Thanks for the explanation Puzzled_in_pdx.

SandbridgeKaren - great story about eggs benedict.

Warren said...

Nice comments on how hard and soft works.

From this link:jaw definition:

transitive verb
Slang to scold or reprove, esp. repeatedly

Clear Ayes said...

Today's WoW are so easy to agree with and so difficult to follow. Today, I will try to remember them. They brought this poem to mind. It's not exactly sad, just a little regretful. Beside reminding us of the passage of time, it will make you long for a summer afternoon.

Late afternoon, the crickets' vibrato songs
like urgent telegrams from the frontier
announce the summer's longest day.
Already we're waiting for rain
and the tomatoes haven't set their fruit,
the lilies arch, heavy with tight blossoms.
We sit on the patio with our gin and tonics,
the grass expectant before us. Children
should be here, in bright suits,
leaping through arcs of water. Instead
they're older, loosed and off with friends,
and we sit in the shade, listening.

- Athena Kildegaard

Anonymous said...

The hard/soft "g" theme today somehow inspired me to google "W" as a vowel, as it appears in one of my favorite obscure words, "crwth". I see someone has at last published a very good explanatory treatise on "W" and "Y", the sometimes vowels, here:

What Word uses w as a vowelEnjoy, fellow lexiconophilists!

JD said...

Good morning CC and all,

a big welcome to anon. @10:02,LMAO!

Like Bill, I did not grok The hard G theme; thought it was shades of orange, so I had __copper __ ready for 45A.No way, Jose! Fun puzzle. Did so much better than yesterday. Had trouble pulling out agers. Had eagle, then years before it filled in and had Seven(w/ Brad Pitt) for SawII; I don't watch scary movies either, but heard there was a sequel.My inc fills were stagemanager/nowayjose, and hard G.

CC, I enjoyed watching the YMA dream; must have missed it 1st time around. AND, poor Andy Williams ... his wife shot her lover, Spider Savich(sp?). What a shocker that was back then.

Dennis, very thoughtful WoW. The last episode of "Medium" had the same theme.The mom told her daughter that she could spend time being angry at her parents, or letting it go, but she'd never get those minutes back.It made me think of the silly minutes we waste being upset over trivial stuff.

WM said...

Since I am going to try and follow Dennis' WoW today...ARG! :o)

Got about 90% unassisted but as usual, my own worst enemy...Had MEGA for GIGA and didn't want to put in JAY(even though it was the only answer I could think of) because I could absolutely not think a scolding that started with "J". Same with GEORGE ELIOT who was my first guess w/o much thinking...I was also going with colors or ingredients after ORANGE and GINGER...funny what your brain does to you until the caffeine kicks in.

Anyway...came here, finally, for a couple of fills and to check and decided it was time to make peace with it and get busy today.

C.C. you never cease to amaze me and I found myself getting excited along with you about the puzzle as I read everything through. Many thanks, as always, for your insight and cleverness!

Auntie Naomi said...

Good Afternoon C.C. and Co.,

My time today was 24:05.
C.C., The puzzle is amazing, but you are more amazing. Where do you get all of the information? How on Earth could you know what the record number of G's in an NYT puzzle is? The statistical information you provide is fascinating. It would never occur to me to try to determine how many 'non-theme black squares' there were. It seems to me that none of the black squares are ever part of the theme. They are never part of any word in the puzzle. ;)

To the best of my knowledge, we do not have IGA stores around here. I had to get that one from the perps. I also did not recall what a Yegg is so I wound up getting GEES from the perps, as well.

My rig is powered by a 3.0 GIGAhertz Intel Core2 Quad chip. This baby purrs like a kitten. I built it right before I found this blog.

"MI AMIGO. "My friend" in Spanish. This refers to male friend only, correct?"
That's right. If it is a platonic friend who is a girl, you would say 'amiga'. If it were a group of friends who were either all males or a combination of males and females, you would say 'amigos'. You would call an all-female group of friends 'amigas'.

OLGA Hotwick! There was an article in the Sun-Sentinel recently about how the Florida Panther's (sigh) strength and conditioning coach, Andy O'Brien, makes shakes for the team members. He starts with a basic formula and then adds vitamins, herbs, etc. to customize each player's shake. He determined what to put in each shake by having hair samples of each player sent to a lab for analysis. It turned out that defenseman Karlis Skrastins had 300 times the normal level of uranium in his system. They suspect that it is because he grew up in Latvia about 300 miles from the Chernobyl. Olga Korbut is from Hrodna, Belarus which is also just about 300 miles form Chernobyl. I wonder if she has ever had her hair analyzed.

This elephant is definitely being antisocial.

Auntie Naomi said...

While the J in JAY is pronounced the same as the G in GINGER, I don't think you would refer to it as a soft G sound. If anything, I think it would be the other way around. In trying to explain the sound of a soft G, one might say it has the sound of a J.

Yes, it is the general consensus that Major keys are cheerful. However, there are always exceptions. Also, as the clue indicated via the inclusion of the word 'often, pieces in a Minor key are not necessarily 'gloomy'.' This piece would be a good example. The constructor or editor probably was thinking of the Aeolian Minor mode which is one that has often been used for darker works. However, Dorian is also a Minor mode and it has been used extensively in jazz for works that are anything but gloomy.

I love Charlie Parker :)

The word 'sings' in the clue for TELLS is used slangily to mean 'rats out'.

DALI claimed to remember being in his mother's womb.

HipHapa said...

I loved this puzzle! Very clever. "SYN" made me bang my head against the wall, too.

Razz said...

Dennis - Gee-I think to honor today's XW it should be Green Eggs Benedict Day!

More later.

Auntie Naomi said...

Why TEENA instead of Tina then? I suspect that it was spelled that way to make it more noticeable, an attention getter, and possibly also for branding purposes.

The ibices' horns are awesome. According to this, they are not shed.

I had never heard of Brian ORSER. I have heard of Elvis Stojko. I thought it was hilariously ironic when Mr. "I'm going to put the macho back in men's figure skating" lost his bid for the gold medal in Nagano due to a pulled groin.

I believe FF#1. I recently learned from watching a documentary that a Blue Whale's heart is the size of Volkswagen.

That's very funny. Mums the word.

Dennis said...

anon@10:02, you fit in here extremely well; do stay with us.

SandbridgeKaren, great blunder story. I think we've all got more of those than we'd like to admit.

And speaking of blunders, I had a couple of teenage girls in the hobby store today and overheard one ask the other if she knew about the "Samoan pilots" that the Navy killed. My first reaction was to explain that they were Somali, and that they were pirates, but i couldn't stop laughing long enough. Made my week.

Treefrog, welcome; C.C. has created a wonderfully informative blog.

Warren, great link -- thanks.

JD, I think your last paragraph can be tidily summed up by a saying I've tried to live by for many years - Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. Just ain't worth it.

Wolfmom, I couldn't agree more about C.C. - her analysis of each puzzle, and the fact that she does it at O-dark-thirty, is just amazing to me.

7 and a wakeup.

kazie said...

I just remembered I hadn't re-read your first post after returning this morning. I have to agree about the déjà vu feel of things today. It's uncanny about our discussion topics recurring as often as they do too.

I also liked the WoW today. I had to read several Thomas Mann books for German in college, including Buddenbrooks--a tome about his years growing up in the family business in Lübeck; and Death in Venice, which was made into a film and an opera some time back. He moved first to Switzerland, then to the US during the Nazi regime and became a citizen in 1944, but moved back to Switzerland in 1952 and died there in 1955.

marg said...

Please discuss 67A. I did not understand this one.

Dennis said...

Marg, have you read the previous posts? It's been pretty well covered.

Marg. said...

**Dennis**: I did not, thank you!

Linda said...

You guys have been so kind! "raped" machine gun fire???? (Should have been "rapid")The other mis-spellings were intentional...but this one...Oh boy!

The_JVN said...

Dennis: déjà vu, indeed! I knew 4D, but was unsure of the spelling. I looked at yesterday's answer grid, just above. There was Agassi.

JD: 50A Golden _____ was a gimme for me, age 72.

I like the new puzzles because some are much easier -- I'm not into sports and TV shows, so all the names stop me cold.

Jeannie said...

Okay, to start out, I followed Dennis's advice and took a "National Strees Day" off. I just now came out of the sun and balmy 70 degree weather to complete the puzzle. Had to hit the g-spot for Adam Bede...that's it so I didn't do so bad for a Thursday. I was surprised. Can someone explain to me the Yegg's clue? I got it from them perps.

Couple of things...nipple ring-OUCH! As far as livestock getting an "pierced" ear...not so bad.

C.C., yesterday and today you mentioned you haven't tried a BLT or Eggs benedict. Karenbridge this is for you as well. First BLT...skip the mayo...use a little plain yogurt for your "glue". C.C. you can buy some really lean bacon at Coburn's meat department. Nothing better than a fresh warm tomato off the vine with some crisp cool lettuce and nice hearty wheat bread Summer is coming.

Karenbridge...and C.C. try toasting a whole wheat english muffin, poaching a couple of eggs in some procuitto you have browned. Roast some asparagus with olive oil, garlic and pepper and serve the eggs on top the veges.'ve just lost tons of calories but no flavor. Long post...Sorry, C.C.

WM said...

Dennis...Samoan Pilots????LMAO...however did you keep a straight face...on the upside they were at least paying some attention to world events...perhaps there is something we missed??? ;o)

Also...I put in my vote for Anon@10:02...I say...just keep 'em guessing...

Linda, I certainly hope that it doesn't mean that we are getting used to your intentional faux pas' never cease to amaze me! If I had that much information in my brain it would explode. I'm still working with the Commodore 64 model brain...delete stuff to make room for the new! ;o) avatar for all you cheese people out there. Goat and Sheep's milk cheeses...

Anonymous said...

P.S. I wish I knew how to use he spell checker on this thing too.


Razz said...

CC – Yaks & Loons…

Golly Gee Willikers what a great game got us going today.

Geez – With all those Gs it was hard to keep ones mind on solving instead of contemplating G-Strings and G-Spots – OMG!

Even brought back an old childhood memory:

Great Big Gobs of Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts,
Mutilated Monkey Meat,
Dirty Little Birdie's Feet,
Great Big Gobs of Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts:
And I forgot my spoon!
(contra-voice response:) ...but I've got a straw....

While I’m on a roll here is Mr. Golly himself Jim NaborsThings that make you go Hmmmm?!?!

+ Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?

+ If you had a three story house and were in the second floor, isn't it possible that you can be upstairs and downstairs at the same time?

Truism to live by…

+ For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

Good Thursday puzzle. It made me goofy. Gosh I just can’t quit.

Grab hold with both hands (you too Lois) tomorrow is Friday. Google Google (guffaw)

Anonymous said...

Dennis - are you the 'blog administrator' who removed my 4:52 post? Why? Something I said to you about the Navy release today?


embien said...

12:04 today. Nice, easy, breezy Thursday puzzle, and an awesome bit of construction skill.

My only unknown was GOSS. The 'O' was my last fill (I'd only ever seen the tribe as 'OTOE' before, so I was confused.)

I love eggs benedict, but it's so hard to get them prepared properly. I had some the other day where the whites weren't set (yuck!), and so often the hollendaise sauce 'breaks' or curdles. Double yuck.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

I removed your post. Not Dennis. I don't like your second paragraph.

Buckeye said...

Guday c.c.. and my fellow crosswordsolvateers. "He's got it! My God, I think he's got it!!!" Had some gronks early but the "gees", and "hardg" got me on track. Fun puzzle.

Anon 10:02 AM. I cannot believe that you could deceive your brother and sister-in-law that way. You are living a lie and making them think you are wiser than you really are. It sounds to me like you need professional help. Try joining me at the Pia Zadora's Golden Buckeye Retirement Village and I'll arrange some sessions with Doctor Feelgood and Nurse Ratchet. Here, you will learn to understand your short-comings and find ways to polish them up so that you can pull the same things on these "nitwits" on c.c.'s blog. It's hard work, because these guys are sharp!!!; so you have to be "carefully taught". Stay with it. YOU HAVE EXCELLENT POTENTIAL!!!

Having been Conducer of voice and melodic accoutrements at Earl's Sympathetic Development of Musical Stuff and Match Box Design, I can tell you that "breath control" while "performing" makes all the difference between a poor and a great performance. Sometimes, the more you can accomplish on one breath makes a HUGE difference.

Should I mention Susan Boyles and maybe Kate Smith?

I must be off!!

Warren said...

For Anon @4:55PM
Re: Spellchecker?

If your mistype something wrong it appears in red underline on my PC e.g. mispeell

If you then right click on the red underline it should give you some choices?

Just my 2 cents worth


Jeannie said...

On this day April16th.. I know it's early but I am cooking and keep an "eye" on things...

1789 President-elect George Washington left Mount Vernon, Va., for his inauguration in New York.

I have been to Mt Vernon and visited George's spread. Very nice. Lois, like VA?

1862 A bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia became law.

Good for you Canuk's...any of you Canadian's out there please don't take offense.

1912 Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.

I have never heard of her before. E.H. yes. (sorry too lazy to type that out) same thing with my reference to San Fran yesterday. No offense to you San Francisoan's...

1945 In his first speech to Congress, President Harry S. Truman pledged to carry out the war and peace policies of his late predecessor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1962 Walter Cronkite succeeded Douglas Edwards as anchorman of "The CBS Evening News."

A fond memory for me...listening to his voice on the evening news just before supper. Supper or Dinner? We might have had this discussion before. I think it is a cultural/demographic thing.

1964 "The Rolling Stones (England's Newest Hitmakers)," the band's debut album, was released.

What is your favorite Rolling Stone album? Mine is Tatoo You. Very weird album cover. But great songs. I have never seen them in concert and it is on my "bucket list" right up there with eating my way through Italy and seeing an actual Broadway play.

1972 Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon.

I remember this like I was 10 yrs old...oh wait, I was.

2003 Michael Jordan played his last NBA game as his Washington Wizards ended their season with a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

In my opinion, the best basketball player to ever play the game.

2007 A student killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., before taking his own life in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.

@lemonade...still practicing my terms. More to come.

Buckeye said...

Speaking of breath control, check this out. Mel Torme shows his greatness. Scan forward to the 3min 15 sec mark and listen. He holds the last three DIFFERENT notes 17 seconds. Doesn't sound long, but sing along with him and see if you can follow. Hope this goes through.

Mel TormeIMBO

WM said...

Jeannie...the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech...a friend and I arrived in D.C. just a day or so after...all the flags were at half staff and any number of hotel lobbies and restaurants had candles burning for each of the victims. It was very moving. Couple that with a visit to all the war memorials and it was a very emotional visit.

We also went to Mt. Vernon and to the newly opened Whiskey distillery, that made old George most of his money in later years, and the grist mill nearby...exceedingly interesting.

Wasn't so much a Stones' fan as a Beatles fanatic...still have all their records.( I know...I'm really pitiful ;o)) are a man of many talents...please keep sharing, it is good to see more of you recently.


Auntie Naomi said...

Very tasty!
I got tuned onto Mel Tormé in a big way from the best jazz radio station I have ever heard, KPLU FM 88 out of Tacoma while living in Seattle. It wasn't the Mel everyone knows and recognizes, it was very early stuff from Mel and the Meltones. They were very cool. My favorite vocal version of It Don't Mean A Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing is one by Mr. Tormé. Unfortunately, I could not find a video of that one to link, but here is Mel & The Meltones, I Hadn't Anyone Till You.

Dennis said...

Jeannie, for me, favorite Rolling Stones album is 'Aftermath'.

Wolfmom, did you get to 'The Wall'?

Clear Ayes said...

Buckeye, Thanks so much for the link to, not only the super smooth Mel Tormé, but also to Blossom Dearie. I had really forgotten her. Both she and June Christy were my teenage introduction to women jazz singers. I used to listen to both of them for hours. So cool!

Jeannie, My favorite Rolling Stones LPs, yes LPs, but I have transferred them to CDs, are the early 12 X 5 and later Some Girls. I never saw them in person, but my daughter did. She must have been about 20 years old, so that made the year 1982 or 1983. When she came home she said, "Yeah, the music was great, but Mom! They are so old!". Keith Richards was 40 years old in 1983. I'll have to ask her what she thinks of what he looks now.

Thanks to PromiseMeThis for the additional Mel Tormé link. You can't ever have too much Mel.

WM said...

Dennis...yes...and cried all the whole way...I found several of my friends from high school that I knew we had lost then... I also really liked the Korean War Memorial...I have an uncle who was a pilot then, and M*A*S*H(the TV show) brought that period alive for me. I also took a photo of the Guam image in the WWII Memorial because that is were my dad served as a Marine.

I am hoping to get to see my friend again this fall and we want to go see the Korean Monument at night...I understand that it is awesome and very moving.


Dennis said...

Wolfmom, yes, I think I mentioned here earlier that the Korean War Memorial at night is absolutely haunting.

What did your dad do in the Marines?

JD said...

Jeannie, have never been a Stones fan, but like Wolfmom, I have most of the Beatles albums,along with Glenn Yarborough, and Kingston Trio,AND -(drum roll)- all of Rod McKuen's poetry books!! LOL! Carol put all her albums on her computer... very smart. Mine collect dust.

Promiseme, I enjoyed the information on O'Brien's shakes based on hair analysis.

anon @ 1:03, enlightening article about w as a vowel. Thanks! And, crwth is a new word for my book.

Dennis, we visited the wall. It's like visiting a holy place; I felt privileged to be there.

Goooooo Sharks!!! (I'm so glad none of you are Duck fans)

Razz said...

Jeanie - Know this is weird but my favorite Stones album is Their Satanic Majesties Request. Most likely because it was taboo and I just had to have it!

Favorite Stones song - Time is on My Side

Jeannie said...

Wow...Rolling Stones fans everywhere...I should have asked this question. What is your favorite tune? Mine is "I'm just waiting on a friend".

Okay Lemonade, you have been somewhat silent the last couple of days...did I lose you as I polished up on my golf terminoligy...

Okay, I might have a "handicap"-I might even be a "hazard" with a golf club in my hand; it might be my "impedient" "interlocking grip".
Please "honor" my "iron hard pan" as I might be "holed out" after that "hook".

Trying to learn...Lo-li-ta.

Lemonade714 said...

Good evening troupe:

Still fighting my cold, so perhaps more incoherent than ever, but as usual your comments have brought back some fine memories. I saw the Rolling Stones live at the Gator Bowl in 1972, not a great concert site, but a great place for watching Florida stomp Georgia, but I digress. Mick Jagger looked anorexic and not very appealing, but the girls still screamed. Ladies, please explain to me how skinny, wimpy guys like Jagger and Prince become sex symbols.

Mel Torme, also some fine memories of a fine voice, some entertaining songs he wrote, and a wonderful self-deprecating sense of humor, which was highlighted for years on the sitcom Night Court.

Practice Lo-li-ta, that is what lawyers do, we never get better, we just keep practicing.

And then there is the Jim Nabors, Rock Hudson connection, proving eye of the beholder is a real concept, oops I guess I explained Jagger after all.

My final comment, is the result of listening to GOG and MAGOG, jarring the name Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg from my childhood. The 17 uses of the letter "g" are pretty impressive. My grandmother had a boyfriend who owned a cottage on the Lake, so we went often, and loved the name. Of course, most people just say Webster Lake. It is not far from a wonderful tourist trap OLD STURBRIDGE VILLAGE,, which I recommend to all.

WM said...

Dennis...I'll use up my final dad was the equivalent of a foot soldier...and he rarely ever talked about it...most of what we got was that he didn't like to go camping because he had done enough in the war and some things about rats sliding down the roof of the tents and the awful rain. My dad was a very sweet man and went on to be a high school music teacher, quite a dashing fellow.

My uncle, on the other hand, was a pistol...he got pink-slipped for buzzing the runway during his time in Korea...he also figured a way to roll the plane so he could sight in faster and he got in trouble for coming back with payload because he was so frickin' accurate...he eventually became a corporate pilot and even in his late 70's he is still a pistol.

My husband's dad was career Navy and my husband was Air Force, but technical stuff...he missed going to Nam by 2 days...he got out of the service...I would say, just in time...

Anonymous said...

Wow, never leave the puzzle until late at night - I felt beat before I even started! I barely filled in any clues across, so I decided to do the downs first. I did get it done although it took me about an hour. Tricky, tricky puzzle. I've decided I'm much better in the morning with my coffee.


Jeannie said...

Lemonade, I am getting the sense that this "nonsense" means no sense. I was just trying to "fit in" to the "golf" talk. It will cease. Sorry you don't feel to well. FORE...

Dennis said...

Wolfmom, I was Marine infantry too; best job in the service - tip of the spear. The highest honor of my life was leading Marines in combat.

And like your dad, I will never camp out again.

As to your uncle rolling inverted to line up his target faster, I'll bet Hayrake could speak to that rather well.

Your husband was indeed lucky, and from what I've seen, still is.

Lemonade714 said...


Hey, I really have not felt great, but I enjoy all the silliness, and all the effort; I am sure after some grog, and a good night of sleep, i should be back at it soon. There is plenty of sense in the middle.

My oldest just arrived in Buffalo, for a tour of where he will be attending for his PhD, then we are going to be in Tallahasses on Sunday for his receipt of an award. Many miles to travel. He, born and raised in Florida, will have a large adjustment come September.

I am a little hazy, but I do not recall anyone answering why GEES was the answer for the YEGGS, but if someone did I plead illness; if not, a YEGG is a bank robber, and GEES are $1000.00 denominations (a grand, a g-note, as opposed to a c-note, $100.00).

To sleep, perchance to dream of doing the Friday puzzle before work, while practicing with my I did not say niblet.

Jeannie said...'re on the fringe. Good luck with your niblick; it should be a gimmee. You should also be proud as a flagstick to have such a son.

kazie said...

I never really appreciated the Stones enough when I (and they) were young. But our own kids rediscovered them about 15 years ago and I started to like them better.
We also know a 55'ish German couple I met where we had our exchange arrangement in Hessen, who are absolutely fanatical about them. For several years, they traveled to all their concerts everywhere on the continent, and even came here to see them in Chicago (I think, or was it New York?) one year and planned a whole US trip around it. Their house is largely decorated with Stones memorabilia and posters.

Clear Ayes said...

Lemonade, I can't say that I ever thought Mick Jagger or Prince were sexy. I've always liked a man with hair on his chest and a little meat on his bones. I never understood why some movie stars shaved their chests. I like a man who looks like a man....well maybe not as hairy as Robin Williams, but a happy medium somewhere between Robin and Mick Jagger. :o)

About "The Greatest Generation". My father was in the Navy in WWII. He seldom talked about his experiences in Africa and the Mediterranean. The only stories we ever heard were amusing anecdotes about him and his buddies. He just didn't want to talk about it. After he died, my mother said he didn't talk much about it to her either. Even his "war letters" to her, which I now have, are mostly light-hearted, or nostalgic notes about things he missed at home. I think most of those guys just sucked it up and went on with their lives. Would it have been healthier if they have talked about it more? I don't know, I just know my father didn't. A sad/funny note, my father was 26 years old when he enlisted. He was the oldest enlisted man on his ship. His buddies called him "Pops". After seeing what happened to some of those kids, maybe that was why he didn't want to talk about it.


As much as I enjoyed this puzzle - "geez, what gives?" - I was very much annoyed by 48 across, especially since "No way, Jose" is a stretch for "when pigs fly". The clue "certain, for sure" abrv. is opaque at best. And, even if you stumble upon "No Way Jose", you still have to scratch your head at "syn".

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Lots of "opaque" clues in LAT puzzles. I like the ambiguity. I find them to be cleverly tricky.

Anonymous said...

One slight mistake,Deniro was spelled wrong which also changes obiter for 42 down.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

You misplaced your comment. I've copied and pasted it on today's blog. Welcome!

Unknown said...

As you said,pooh-bah is slang for the person in charge. AA Milne wrote the Pooh stories for his son,and they took place in the woods ,at the farm he owned.So Milne was the Pooh pooh bah.