May 1, 2009

Friday May 1, 2009 Gareth Bain

Theme: NIXON (Follower of Johnson, and a two-word hint to this crossword's theme) NIX ON ON is nixed.

18A: Communist watering hole?: THE RED BAR(ON)

59A: Place for a paw?: LEG OF MUTT(ON)

3D: Plead with one's frontier buddy?: BEG YOUR PARD(ON)

26D: Adorable, bottomwise?: CUTE AS A BUTT(ON)

CUTE AS A BUTT tipped me off the theme. And it's also my favorite theme answer. I wonder if it's the constructor Gareth Bain's seed theme entry. ((Note: Gareth told me his seed entry is NIXON). He is a very young South African. I was thinking of FOOT OF MUTT rather than LEG OF MUTT for "Place of a paw?".

NIXON is the best unifying answer I've seen in a TMS or LAT puzzle. Very creative. Once again, I did not really need it to get the theme answers. Just a wonderful Aha revealing moment. Lots of clever wordplay in this puzzle. I got most. Still don't understand the clue for CASINO (29D: Strip tease?"). How so?

Last time when AYE SIR (47A: Ensign's affirmative) was clued as "Mate's response", both Barry G and Frank (he served in the Navy) mentioned that the sailors normally respond with two AYE's , always "AYE AYE SIR".

This might be our last eased-up Friday puzzle. Rich Norris said the puzzle will return to normal at the end of April/early May.


1A: Not loaded: SOBER. Just learned that "sauce" is a slang for alcohol too. Off the sauce = SOBER.

6A: Guy: CHAP. Used to think that CHAP only applies to young LAD, but it can refer to grown-up man too.

10A: Nuts' opposite: SOUP. "SOUP to nuts" is a new idiom to me. What is a typical "dessert of nuts"?

14A: Slide subject: AMEBA. Ah, lab slide.

15A: Tuna order: RARE. This ahi tuna looks delicious. Sesame seeds are very easy to get burned.

16A: Ballpark phrase: OR SO

20A: Prius automaker: TOYOTA. Do you know why they named their car Prius? Is it some god's name? Paris' father is Priam.

22A: Fishing for marlin, e.g.: AT SEA. I like this clue. Technically ASEA is also correct, isn't it?

23A: Long-tongued Congo critter: OKAPI. Oh, I did not know this trivia. The long prehensible tongue helps them to grip and pull leaves. I can only remember its unique striped legs.

26A: MV ÷ V: CCI. Roman 201.

29A: French vineyard: CRU. Reminded of Meg Ryan/Kevin Kline's "French Kiss". Luc has a beautiful vineyard in French countryside.

31A: "Turn Me Loose" singer, 1959: FABIAN. No idea. His lip movement does not match the lyrics.

33A: Use up: BURN. Did not come to me readily.

34A: Costs of getting high?: AIRFARES. Great clue.

36A: Some National Music Museum treasures: AMATIS. Another good clue. I've never heard of the National Music Museum though. Strange, it's located in South Dakota.

38A: Deep sleep: SOPOR. Ugh, stumped. Saw identical clue before.

39A: Gen - ___: XER. This time range is a bit confusing. But I am a Gen- XER, born in 1971.

42A: Stressed type: ITALIC. Nice clue.

44A: Blowup in a jam: ROAD RAGE. I remember seeing one scary movie about ROAD RAGE, but I can't think of the title now.

46A: Teen movie stereotype: NERD. Have you seen "Napoleon Dynamite"?

49A: Virgo's mo., maybe: SEP. Virgo (August 23 and September 22).

50A: Roulette bet: ODD. Wrote down RED immediately.

52A: Twin Cities suburb: EDINA. This clue reminds me of our fellow solver T.J. He lives in Osseo, another 5-letter "Twin Cities suburb". Tomorrow is his birthday.

54A: D-Day beach: OMAHA

56A: Defendants' spouses, sometimes: ALIBIS. I like this clue too.

63A: Show jubilation: EXULT. And OOZE (54A: Exhibit aplenty, as confidence). This puzzle has a very cheerful tone.

64A: All-inclusive: A TO Z

67A: Ford, for example: WADE. I actually knew the shallow water meaning of ford. But I still couldn't get President Ford out of my brain.

68A: Lo-cal: LITE

69A: Readily accessible: ON TAP


1D: It can be helpful in a pinch: SALT. Love this clue too.

2D: Melville South Seas novel: OMOO. "Typee" sequel, learned from doing Xword as well.

4D: Project Gutenberg offering: EBOOK. Oh well, I am definitely living under a rock. Have never heard of Project Gutenberg. It's founded in 1971, and it's the oldest digital libary, according to Wikipedia. I've never seen a Kindle in person either.

5D: Haile Selassie worshipers's movement: RASTAFARI. Ah, Bob Marley. Here is "Stir it Up" again.

6D: Monitor, for short: CRT

7D: "I get it, but ...": HA HA. I don't get it. How so?

8D: First name in soul: ARETHA. Queen of soul. I don't like her hat and I don't understand all the rage about that hat.

9D: Image: PERSONA. Contrasted with anima the inner personality.

10D: Shake alternative: SODA. COLA works too, right?

12D: Permanent U.N. Security Council member: USA. The other four members are: China, France, Russia and the UK.

13D: Neighbor of ESP, in the Olympics: POR. No idea. Why? Spain & Portugal in Spanish?

19D: Dark'ning time: EEN. Opposite morn.

24D: Goat with recurved horns: IBEX. "Recurved" is "curved upward". It's clued as "Alpine goat" last time. I used to confuse IBEX with ILEX, the "Holm oak" Allan Parrish used in his last puzzle.

27D: Cower: CRINGE

28D: Marching well: IN STEP

30D: Took to the streets: RIOTED. Thought of the youth RIOTS in France a few years ago.

32D: Department bordering Savoie: ISERE. No idea. OK, they are bordering each other. ISERE is 38, Savoie is 73. I am used to the Rhone river clue. Actually it's clued as "Grenoble's river" in our last puzzle.

35D: Choose not to call: FOLD. Oh, poker again. I thought it's phone call.

37D: Native of central Spain: MADRILENO. New word to me. It's "a native or inhabitant of Madrid, Spain". Madrid is in central Spain.

43D: Confection created by heating sugar: CARAMEL. Hmmm, crème brûlée, want some?

45D: Operative princess: AIDA. And the "Operative prince" is IGOR. And "Sarah McLachlan hit" is ADIA.

48D: Violinist Menuhin: YEHUDI. Literally, "Jew" in Hebrew. I got his name from across fills. According to Wikipedia, he is commonly considered one of the twentieth century's greatest violin virtuosi.

51D: Global currency org.: IMF (International Monetary Fund). How does its function differ from that of World Bank?

55D: Working hard: AT IT

57D: The "she" in "Of all the gin joints... she walks onto mine": ILSA. From "Casablanca". My favorite line is "We'll always have Paris".

59D: Mason's field: LAW. Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason.

60D: Letter from Athens: ETA. Greek H. Vowel though.

61D: Mars, for one: GOD. Mars is Roman God of War (Greek Ares). I was thinking of the planet Mars. Good morning, Spirit!

Answer grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - I'm just about running on fumes this morning, but for some reason I got through this one fairly easily. I guess being this tired, maybe you don't try to overthink the clues.

I thought 'stressed type' and 'cost of getting high' were both great clues. I agree with you, C.C., I don't really get 'ha ha' either. I needed 'law' to get 'wade' for 'ford'. And I liked 'cute as a butt' all by itself.
C.C., casinos on the strip in Vegas are the ultimate tease. And maybe Prius was named after priapism, in hopes of attracting male buyers...

Mainiac, yesterday's Apache ride was absolutely breathtaking. I've been on fast boats before, but never one that handled the chop so easily at speed; just extremely smooth, like a knife through butter. We went down to Bayside in Miami and hung out at watering holes there, then came back about 1AM. He and I took turns at the wheel, and I'll tell you what, driving a fast boat at speed with just moonlight is incredibly exhilarating.

Anyway, another day in paradise - gonna be tough to come home after this one.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Oh, so Prius is named after a god after all. The MOREL guy Priapus. Japanese can be shockingly daring.

Mainiac & Toby,
Very beautiful wedding stories. Thanks for sharing.

I don't know. But palm dates are originated in Persian Gulf area I think.

Of course I googled. I also googled No Gravy Only Grief's "J Arthur Rank". So many confusing slang.

KittyB said...

Ouch. And you're telling me this was an EASY Friday puzzle?

There were only two words I didn't know: MADRILENO and ISERE, but I thought the clues were tough today.

CUTE AS A BUTT came first, and then most of the other theme answers fell into place.

I finished the SE corner first. The SW fell into place when I got help with the W in LAW. My husband is a brickie, so I was hooked on that type of "mason." And I was pondering Gerald Ford, or the car manufacturer, and couldn't see WADE. The NW corner was the last to fall, and I needed a lot of help to get there.

I don't care for HA HA either.

I'm going to go off and lick my wounds. This weekend I'll be away caring for my mother, so I may not get to the puzzles. Good luck with your solving!

Jeanne said...

Morning all,

I got about 2/3 through the puzzle in ink, then had to go online for the red letter help. Felt pretty good for a Friday puzzle. I am with you CC, cannot remember sopor-not a difficult word, but just won’t stay with me. Got all the themes except leg of mutt. In very fancy meals, nuts and cheese are served after the dessert with some after dinner drinks. Airfare for costs of getting high, italic for stressed type were both great clues. Did not know Rastafari so that gave me the most trouble. Starting to get more of the offbeat cluing but have a long way to go. Let’s hope this is a normal Friday puzzle and not one of the “easier ones”. Have a good day.

Martin said...

This might be our last eased-up Friday puzzle. Rich Norris said the puzzle will return to normal at the end of April/early May.

Rats. This was only barely doable for me. I thought "Follower of Johnson" meant "Supporter of Johnson" and as Johnson was a Democrat (ie one of the DEMS) and Nixon was a Republican I would never have thought of NIXON (even though I did guess EDINA for 52A).

CUTE AS A BUTT tipped me off the theme.

I figured out the theme eventually but in the meantime I wanted CUTE AS A BABY. I thought the clue "Bottomwise" refered to the idiom "Soft as a baby's bottom".

You know, if you said to a woman she was CUTE AS A BUTT I'm not sure exactly how she would react but I don't think it would be good.

Not loaded: SOBER.

I wanted EMPTY.

Guy: CHAP.

I was on the right track with MATE.

Nuts' opposite: SOUP.

I wanted SANE.

Slide subject: AMEBA.

Clue should have had "var" because I'm used to writing AMoEBA.

Teen movie stereotype: NERD.


couldn't get President Ford out of my brain.

I thought the clue had something to do with car manufacturers.

Lo-cal: LITE.

My first thought was DIET.

"I get it, but ...": HA HA. I don't get it. How so?

I had OKAY at first. I don't understand the "but". If someone tells a joke and you laugh then doesn't that mean you thought it was funny?

Neighbor of ESP, in the Olympics: POR. No idea. Why? Spain & Portugal in Spanish?This was a gimme for me: Spain is ESPana and they abriate it as ESP at the Olympics. PORtugal is it's neighbour.

Took to the streets: RIOTED.

I wanted WALKED. I also wanted BUT NO for NOT SO.

Unknowns for me were OKAPI, CRU, IBEX, AMATIS, YEHUDI and EDIE. I got CRU from the perps though.


lois said...

Good morning CC: I don't know how you do it. I was completely 'at sea' w/this one and this is our last EASY Fri? Geeze! The incompleteness (like pard or bar) threw me. How is 'ire' bile? In my world, 'ire' can cause bile by anxiety and stress, but to BE bile? The clue for 46A Nerd is all wrong in my teen world - which is not a mere thing. Never heard
'sopor' 38A before...stupor -yes, sopor -no. Anyway, I want to 'burn' this one but only after I scribble all over it, rip it to shreds, crush it into the wrinkliest ball possible, and beat the peawaddin' out of it. Then and only then I'll take a torch to it. There is a lighter side to this puzzle, fertile material, but I'll have to settle down first.

I'll be back!

C.C. Burnikel said...

KittyB & Martin & Jeanne & Lois,
Compared with the previous Friday's, today's puzzle was definitely easier for me. No obscure TV series or actor/actress names. Maybe because the constructor is not an American?

Thanks. I was ignorant of the fact that the ROK marines were involved in Vietnam War also. What other countries sent troops there?

Some stories are better left untold. Some stories can't be told. Some are not worthy telling. Besides, I can't write.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for the interesting Etruscan culture information.

But you married the same wife for the second time, right?

Anon HP,
"A great deal" = lots. "deal' is just a distraction I think. Thanks for the decoding. I have difficulty working on Al's cryptic, but I enjoy reading your educating posts very day.

Al said...

Left middle gave me fits again for some reason... I'm seeing a pattern in these tougher ones. Just solve the right side and work backwards (maybe..)

Ha Ha, very funny. Think of the most sarcastic way you can say ha ha as separate syllables, with the first ha stressed and higher in pitch and the second much lower in pitch.

Cryptics later...

KittyB said...

I just caught up on the comments from yesterday.

Clear Ayes, thanks for the Sara Teasdale poem about kissing.

Warren, thanks for the link to the Google art work. I didn't realize how many of them there have been.

On weddings, 21 years ago we bought a lot that had been part of a nursery, and built a house that backed up to the trees. There's a portion of the grounds that has an open area surrounded by Norway pines and other trees, which we came to call "the chapel." When the house was finished we planned a wedding, and had a justice of the peace come to officiate. He was late. Partway through the ceremony, he said something to the effect that Dear Husband would make a good wife. That's become an oft-repeated phrase..."You'll make someone a good wife, dear."

We were married in September, and the rains that day held off so that we could have that outdoor wedding and receiving line.

Gotta go. Time for exercise!

Mainiac said...

Good Morning All,

My routine has been all over the road this week. Just like my experience with this puzzle.

I had similar mistakes that Martin had and I'm feeling like Lois as far as the Friday grids returning to normal. Uh Oh.....

Dennis, Sounds like a blast! Glad your having a good time.

Hooray, Hooray,
Its the month of May
All out door Screwing
Can begin Today!

A little raw for that here today. 45 with rain and wind. Its all good!

Have a good one!

Andrea said...

Never did figure out the theme or theme clues until CC's help.

For Mars, I confidently filled in Bar, which of course threw me way off in the SW... even after seeing the answer God, in my mind I heard it as GEE-ODE, and couldn't figure out what it meant.

My phone-a-friend choice to get help for "Long tongued critter" would have been Lois.

Isere was one of the few answers I knew. Olympic downhill skiing was held in Val d'Isere in the Albertville Olympics. I once was traveling through the area and stayed in a hotel that I think had been used as a dorm of sorts for athletes or spectators. We were there on the very last night they were open for the summer season, before they shut down to get ready for the winter season. So, we were at the mercy of what was left in stock in the kitchen for our dinner. Ended up eating a VERY tasty pasta carbonara with pancetta, egg, black pepper... yum... When someone is whipping you up something great out of nothing, France is definitely the place to be!

Anonymous said...

Hi there. Thanks for your commitment and diligence in putting this together each and every day!

Just a comment on today’s clue “strip tease” with the answer being casino. You indicated you don’t get it – my take on it is that the “strip” is as in the Vegas “strip”, the street referred to as the strip – with a casino being a teaser for making some fast money. Might be off-base in my conclusion but that’s what I get out of it!


KQ said...

I thought it was a particularly clever theme today. I would have liked to do this puzzle pieces at a time but know that I would not get back to it today, so just finished online.

My brain was not on he same track as the constructors. I got about 2/3 before having to ask for help. I wanted IMAGE rather than AMEBA, RED vs. ODD, BEGGED vs. RIOTED and PASS instead of FOLD. That was just the tip of the hat. I also was going for Ford the car company and a brick laying mason.

Cannot complain too much though as a whole bunch of clues worked immediately. Living near EDINA helps, and ILSA filled in immediately, as did XER, OOZE, ATOZ. You get the drift. So it as okay. I think I could have worked more if I had stepped away and come back later.

Hope everyone has a great day. Have a sick kid at home, not the swine flu I don't believe. No fever.

Anonymous said...

Good Friday morning,

Well I managed to complete another Fri. puzzle. Unfortunately I had to do it online. My printer was acting up. I would much rather wrestle with pencil and eraser than see those obnoxious red letters pop up. Oh well.

c.c. I immediately thought of Las Vegas when strip tease was clued. The casinos there pretend to offer entertainment while they slyly pick your pocket. A to z did not pop out at me until I got here. I kept wondering what a toz was. Hmmm! I also wanted torpor instead of sopor, but there weren't enough spaces. Double Hmmm! All in all I still like these new puzzles better than our old offerings. TTFN( This is Lola. My blue name disappeared again, and I didn't want to retype my message)

Rex Parker said...

Definitely on the easy side for a Friday, though could be very difficult for people who don't recognize the familiar xwordy answers like EDINA and ISERE.


kazie said...

g'morning all.

I had a hard time with this. Started on paper and had to pick my way around the edges, but then got stuck, so went for the red online. Found out my SANE had to be SOUP and LIFT FEES was AIR FARES. I had BAR for GOD. I think altogether before going for the red, I had 27 right.

I don't like LEG OF MUTT(ON), because sheep have hooves, not paws. I had MITT there before the red helped with the first part of it.

I also thought the Olympic part of 13D was a misdirect because in the Olympics, the countries come out in alphabetical order, not geographic. I wanted EST (fitted in with SANE)for Estonia. It would have been better without "in the Olympics" in the clue.

I also was not aware of CRU as a word for vinyard, but it is related to croître=to grow, and hence our word accrue. I only knew vigne as a vinyard.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the Friday puzzle to get harder - by then I will be in the looney bin


Linda said...

CC: "Some stories are better left untold. Some stories can't be told."
Now you`ve really piqued my interest.

Wanted "empty" for "Not loaded"...mis-read "nuts` opposite" and put "bolt", had to google "Turn Me Loose" singer..."still not fun...but got er done." On-line does help.

SandbridgeKaren said...

Interesting reading the comments today - it appears there's a wide range of how easy or tough folks thought this puzzle was (easy being relative since it is Friday). I always prepare myself to crash and burn on Friday so was pleasantly surprised to find I got most of it fairly easily - I got the theme and the theme-related answers right away so I had a lot of fills early. Missed the A to Z answer; I don't know why I can never seem to remember that; fills helped. Had no idea on Isere & Madrileno, and Sopor didn't look correct but fit. I too went for Red instead of Odd. Like the 'Mason's field' 'Ford for example' 'Stressed letter' 'Not loaded' & 'Costs of getting high' clues.

So now I'm feeling all warm and tingly inside for doing so well on Friday and CC drops the hammer that Rich Norris is going back to the hard stuff. Sigh .... just when you think you're making progress, Kapow.

Al - good thought on doing puzzles - I often start in the right or bottom and work back or up if the NW corner doesn't come easily. It's a mind game I play with myself - often I lose.

Thanks to all for sharing wedding stories - I'm fine with weddings just not marriage. Some of those stories were really great!

And Dennis nice to see you back as first poster today - sounds like you've had a great vaka - enjoy the remaining time in paradise before the 'real world' shows up again.

So Happy May Day to all and hope all your butts today are cute ones.

Anonymous said...

I was hesitant to even give this puzzle a try after my KAPOW yesterday with the Thursday puzzle but I was pleasantly surprised.I struggled a little bit but only had to hit the g-spot for Violinist Menuhin – Yehudi. To quote Linda, doing in on-line does (just inserted “stressed type”) help. I guess I am in agreement with a lot of other folks on my favorite clue of the day; cost of getting high, airfares.

I loved Napolean Dynamite even if it was quite “nerdy”. My favorite quotes were “Do chickens have large talons?” and “I caught you this delicious bass.” What girl could resist that?

C.C. I don’t think cola can work for soda as it is a kind of soda. Soda can be any kind of pop. 7-up, rootbeer, etc. Oh, and you just made me google No gravy only griefs and I couldn't find anything. What does it mean?

Mainiac, are you feeling the effects today of your tumble off your bike yesterday?

Dennis what kind of speed are you talking flying across the ocean?

Anonymous said...

Good morning, C.C. and all. I failed miserably on this one – to the point I didn't trust the few correct ones I had. Didn't get the theme at all. Sigh.
On to wedding stories. My second DH is a fundamentalist Christian; I am a Unitarian Universalist, having been raised Methodist and then becoming an Episcopalian to accommodate my late first husband. When my second and I were talking about the wedding in a UU church, my DH was doubtful. So my minister found a charming Methodist minister who was willing to participate in a UU ceremony. So we had his and her ministers. (And we each had two sons who were our attendants.) Wonderful.

JD said...

Good morning CC and all,

Well, I pretty much cheated again today. I started off filling in bolt :-( and Toyota, and switched to work down. Filled in salt and Omoo. Was stumped at "beg your pard", but I zipped around twice, filled what I could , then copied, which is not at all rewarding. I do continue to learn and know that some of you are also struggling.

Not fun when I fill in something and have no idea what it is, like ha ha, sopor, or so. I liked cute as a butt, and even though I got it it didn't help with the rest of the theme answers.

tuna- it's ruined when overcooked.

Love caramelized almonds in my green salad.

CC, didn't your just love the way Meg Ryan said,"Luc"?

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone. I really loved this one. The clues were so clever. I knew YEHUDI and got ATOZ quickly this time. Like others, I was cleverly misdirected by many clues until I shifted my thinking in another direction. I had a hard time using the theme clue on PARD -- I thought the continuation would be PARDNER. Finally the light came on.

@tarajo I think C.C. hit the g-spot for J ARTHUR RANK.

Have a great Friday, all!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I got through all the theme answers. I figured out that ON would be missing after CUTE AS A BUTT. But I still didn't get the connection, even when I had NIXON filled in. I came here for the Aha....Oh yeah...NIX ON.

I think Al@7:12 has HA HA nailed.

Kazie, I think they're talking dogs, not sheep with the LEG OF MUTT clue.

C.C. Maybe the ROAD RAGE movie you saw was 1993's Falling Down with Michael Douglas. It is about more than road rage, but the lead character is triggered by being stuck in a summer Los Angeles traffic jam when his air conditioning fails. That would drive anybody nuts.

LOL. Ooops, sorry Dennis, I forgot that you have a sports car. Generalizations are always just that. On the other hand, maybe you are onto something with Priapism. :o)

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang, I used the online puzzle again to check for red. Finished about 1/2 or so without too much help. The I beg your pardON clue made me think of the song: I beg your pardon.


Clear Ayes said...

What fascinated me about the photo of YEHUDI Menuhin was the description of the violin he is holding. I had to google "1936 matchstick violin" and came up with information about an amazing guy Jack Hall, who, in the late 1930's, created musical instruments out of used matchsticks. There is also a YouTube video featuring Glen Campbell playing and describing the matchstick guitar, groups of "matchstick" musicians playing others of Jack Hall's instruments and Jack Hall himself.

For those of us who recently said patience wasn't one of our strong points, let's just think "Jack Hall".

Al said...

I didn't know CRU either. Merde! French gives me a great deal of trouble.

Anon-HP gave good cryptic explanations late last night. He(?) must spend a great deal of time on them.

Get these answers and you can win a great deal of kudos:

1)Pass South African after six(4)
2)First Lady is in discomfort, that's obvious(5)

C.C. Burnikel said...

The Prius is a Latin adjective for "prior". Not the silly Priapus. I will take whatever you say with several pinches of salt from now on.

Yes, Luc sounds very unique coming from Meg Ryan's lips. I thought Juliette (Charlie's girlfriend) is very pretty.

Crockett is right. I googled J. Arthur Rank. All Gravy No Grief is the name of one of our posters. He is also lawyer (like Lemonade).

Crockett et al,
FYI, the constructor Gareth Bain told me his seed entry is actually NIXON.

Jazzbumpa said...

Had my eye test this morning. fortunately, studied hard all week and did OK. Don't even need new glasses - first time Evah.

Made it through the puzzel with only a coupe of erasures.

Kazie - Paws go on leg of mutt, not leg of mutton.

I agree with everyone - casino and italic are cleverly clued.

Very clever theme. Liked this puzzle a lot. Still, not pleased with Isere. I have to downgrade -5 for obscure geographic reference.

Or So for ballpark phrase? Me no dig.

Making me do math - even simple math - in Roman numerals is close to unforgivable. -10

I remember Fabian. He was awful.

Still recovering from dilation drops. Gotta run.

carol said...

Hello all and happy Friday and 1st of May. (Mainiac: LOL, I have that 'poem' on a business card I received in the '70's)
This puzzle surprised me because I started out so well..somehow I got 1A (SOBER)right away and the NW corner was filled in before I crashed in the lower middle.
I think my favorite clue was 59D (Mason's field). I thought of brick masons - there was the 'ol V-8 moment when I saw the answer! The other was 35D (choose not to call)...very fresh, clever cluing!

On the whole I did better than other Friday's but if this is going to get worse from now on, I'll have to sign up for an anger management class.

I agree with others about 7D (HAHA), I don't understand it either.

All the wedding stories were so much fun to read!

Dennis, I admire your guts(?) for speeding through water at night, after partaking of watering holes, I'd have had to change my pants! I am glad you are safe!

kazie said...

Clear Ayes,
Thanks for the MUTT justification. I was thinking of the "leg of" part instead of the end, which does appear to be the pattern in all the theme answers.
And thanks for Jack Hall--fascinating!

maria said...

Good afternoon, c.c. and gang
i have been lurking around, also had my favorite nephew visiting from Milano so did not do puzzles for 2 weeks. When he comes he has me running around like a blue ass fly.
Anyway i definitely solve on line week-ends, much easier on the brain and time wise.
I enjoyed the puzzle today as i do every day , and when something does not make sense i come here because i know C.C. will get to the bottom of it.

What really stumped me today was 26A. MV+V how does that equal 201 ?
I am befuddled .

Another day in paradise, so i'll check back later and see if some kind soul can see my predicament.

Have a good one everybody !

Buckeye said...

Guday c.c., and "The Gang". First off, let me say that I woke-up on the wrong side of my web today, so I'm not my usual self. (The hand clapping is deafening).

First to KQ. My thoughts go out to you and I hope your sick kid is getting better. It's a scary time for illnesses, and I hope he/she is getting better.

Clearayes, you eclectic little sister. Your vastness amazes me. Matchstick instruments, Japanese fur balls and Sara Teasdale in two days proves to me that when we were separated at birth, you got the better deal. However I wish you could have seen the cute little trailer I grew up in. (Or is it "the trailer within which I grew up - oops - the trailer within which up I grew. Oh, screw it!!"

Next to Sallie. You, too, are a U.U. person. I was "Chairperson" of the Billings Unitarian/Universalist Fellowship (BUUF) for two years. Do you get tired of saying, "No, we have nothing to do with Reverend Moon?"
I loved out two bumper stickers. "Honk If You're Not Sure", and "To question Is The Answer". Now to the puzzle.

I must be off

Buckeye said...

Today's puzzle proved again that I am not ready for "cute and clever". I got through Thursday's OK, but it left me with a headache and in need of dental work; but today's .....?

Some really cleaver clues, but I never got the theme (I admit I really didn't spend a lot of time on it, for various reasons), and some clues were "down right" stupid. I'm a Virgo and I've never seen September abb. SEP. SEPT? Yes. SEP.? No!

"Ha Ha?" Ta Ta.

56a. Crap.

Fishing for marlin - "At sea?" Sorry, c.c. That is PP. (pis* poor).

Friday and Saturday are word games, not x/w's IMHO. Those who get it, have fun, I'm just too densa. But I'll stay at it, just to attempt to improve what's left of my mind.

More on my next post, so c.c. can edit, if she wishes. IMBO

Al said...

@jazzbumpa, "Or so" is a ball park estimate in this way:

We have about 25 or so loons posting regularly here (I'm guessing).

A ball park estimate is an approximation, so called because no one knows the exact actual attendance at sporting events. Not everyone that buys a ticket shows up (and others sneak in sometimes), so when they announce how big the crowd is, it isn't because anyone actually counted heads, it's just an estimate.

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

had a little trouble with this one, but managed to get through it. southwest corner was a bear. loved the 'nixon' clue/theme.

so peaceful and scenic here in the redwoods .. off to explore.

Dennis said...

Back for a shower/change of clothes, then back to South Beach. I'm starting to realize how old I am...

Mainiac, "good time" is a definite understatement; this has been one of the best domestic vacations yet.

SandbridgeKaren, thanks for the reality check. Couple more days.

Tarrajo, we pushed it up to 90mph both ways - on the water, speed feels doubled. Wonderful adrenalin rush.

C.C., that's what you get for taking me seriously.

Carol, my very favorite place to be is 'the edge' - nothing like it.

ClearAyes, no offense taken. The reason I own a 'small, expensive sports car' as someone put it earlier? See preceding sentence.

Buckeye, now I'm really looking forward to your next post.

Buckeye said...

c.c. has created a wonderful "thing" here. I love coming here and enjoy this blog more than anything I do on my computer. There is a freedom of expression, and NORMALLY we respect each other's opinions and control out emotions, feelings and language.

I have been called out by c.c. for "going over the top", and on every occasion, she was right. I needed to be reigned in. So, I say to those who commented about "alcohol or drugs" being an insperation for a persons post, without knowing anything about that person, is "over the top". You have the right to express that attitude, but, to me, you are extremely shallow. You can say that about ME!, because I'm under CONSTANT care here at GBRV, but think about others before you show your ass.


xchefwalt said...

Hi gang-

I, too did not like the clue for 59A. Lambs have hoofs (I have never heard of a ‘mutton dog’; sheep dog maybe).

I used to do a lot of Tuna when I was a chef, and I always listed it in the menu as ‘medium rare’. The joke in the kitchen was that when someone asked for it well done, we would always have a side of mayo to send out with it…

Re 43D: here Creme Caramel is another dessert using the same confection. The custard is the same as crème brulee. In this, the sugar is cooked and layered on the bottom of the dish, the custard is then cooked inside the dish in a water bath, cooled, then at service the dessert is turned upside down on the plate.

@tarrajo (from yesterday): thank you for the kind words. I was a fair chef that would still be in it if not for the brutality of the business. All three of my boys play. My oldest (17) plays ice hockey only ay the travel and high school level, and will play for the University of Central Florida’s club team come fall. My middle (13) son plays roller only at the AA travel level (he is front row left, 1st spot). My youngest (9 next month) plays both at the AA and AAA level. All I can say is that the sport is their passion, also; and my finances suck along with everyone else’s. Somehow, I find a way. I know that roller hockey in Minnesota is a red-headed step child, but in my opinion it’s a great sport that is significantly less expensive than ice hockey. Whatever you do, keep him skating. It’s the greatest sport on earth.

xchefwalt said...

@al- it used to be (I don’t know if it still is) that in National League parks the attendance figures was based on bodies through the turnstiles; American League parks used ticket sales for their attendance tally.

Anonymous said...

C.C. and Crocket, NOW I see. I came up with gray briefs…which reminded me I am out of bleach at home. I’ll just add this to the long list of other “blonde” moments. Hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself once in a while….

Dennis, Ninety miles per hour….in the dark…holy crap you must have huge cahones. You must have one brave wife too. I can only imagine the rats nest my hair would be @ :o)
@ is the closest thing I could come up with for rats nest.

Xchefwalt, I will check into roller hockey. He has rollerblades and skates on those all summer. He would rather do that than ride his bike! Oh, and you just triggered my nemesis - my sweet tooth.

KittyB said...

I was relieved to see that Lois had the same reaction to today's crossword that I had. It was a "Guilt recruits" sorta reaction on my part. I was glad to be in good company!

C.C., I should apologize for my complaints about the puzzle difficulty, because they are probably leading you astray concerning how I really feel about our change to the LATimes feed. I enjoy the challenge of these puzzles. I thought last Friday's puzzle was snap, so I wasn't prepared for the level of difficulty of today's puzzle, and I'm a little unnerved to know that Friday SHOULD be more difficult than what we've experienced.

I hope you'll pardon my occasional complaints. Sometimes the first mug of tea hasn't had the chance to do it's work before I hit the blog. In all, I like these puzzles better, and I've already begun to pick up on some of the standard cluing.

C.C. and Clear Ayes, the Matchstick musical instruments are fascinating! I really enjoyed hearing the different performances. The two of you really know how to surf the Net for interesting information.

Buckeye, you are endlessly entertaining. Please stick around and share your personal take on life (and Nurse Ratchet) with us.

I had intended to garden today, but I've been rained out, so the office calls.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

embien said...

21:15 today. Whoo hoo! What a great theme.

I loved this theme (NIX ON), but I'm wondering why so many seem to question the LEG OF MUTT answer. A MUTT is a dog, and a paw is on the leg of the dog.

All the theme entries have ON removed from the end of a common phrase, then the resulting wacky words are clued ? style. The clue and wacky phrase have nothing to do with sheep--only the resulting theme phrase (with the ON appended) has to do with sheep.

As for my own solving experience, most all my time was spent in the SW corner. I put in LAW for Mason's field on my first pass through the clues, but then took it out when I couldn't make anything else work. Eventually I came around (WADE was the key word for me), but it took A Long Time to get there.

anon 8:26 (Lola) and other online solvers: If you choose "Master Mode" instead of "Regular Mode" you don't get the red letters when you fill in something incorrectly. Another was is to solve in AcrosLite via the link at (that's the way I do the puzzle).

Mainiac said...

SandbridgeKaren, I also find it interesting the how varied the responses are here. As many have said, we are truly an eclectic bunch.

Thanks CC for doing this!

Another Friday and I've been arguing with state bureaucrats. Why can't they get the attitude of getting the job done! I'm going to do some cooking (among other things)this weekend to forget about it .

Warren, I used the recipe link you offered last week to marinate some beef for carne asada tacos this weekend. I'm not big on following recipes to the letter so it'll be interesting to see how they come out. Couple of Margaritas will make the cook happy with anything. The boys are my best critics!

Tarrajo, I ate some advill this morning and have no ill affects. Thanks for asking. I'm hitting the road (on two wheels) tomorrow. Weather is supposed to be great!

I'll be slogging through Saturday's LAT on my own tomorrow thanks to dial up.

Have a good weekend!

puzzled_in_pdx said...

Without the red letters I am lost after Tuesday. This puzzle kicked my butt, after 45 minutes I ended the misery and came here to find out what the theme was.

I think I'll crawl back into a cave if this was an easy puzzle for Friday... I agree that the difficulty has definately ramped up!

OrAngie said...

The theme was fun. My friends and I never managed to fill in the area around 24, but aside from those six squares (okaPI, fABIan, and Xer), we fared much better on this Friday puzzle than we usually do. Looking back, I should have known IBEX from Sim Safari. We put in DER for GEN-; Gender vs. Gen. X. Apparently I'm Generation Y (because my parents are Baby Boomers). I thought I was Generation X, but the link puts the cutoff as 10 years earlier than I thought (1980 vs. 1990).

I have class with a few people from Edina, so it was fun to show them their hometown in the crossword.

Martin - I was stuck for a while on AMEBA too. I had only ever seen it spelled as "AMoEBA" before now.

OrAngie said...

puzzled_in_pdx: I agree. I didn't think it was easy at all. The only reason we got as far as we did is because we had six different people working on it (myself included) over the course of three hours (during class and lunch). Working alone, I wouldn't have managed much of anything!

Dennis said...

tarrajo, no big cahones - there was enough moonlight to see, plus we had electronic 'eyes'.

xchefwalt, it's really great to see you back - how've you been? Still at the same job you were with when you left us last?

You all have a great Friday night - do something fun.

kazie said...

I have both cryptic answers! I got the first one right off, but the second one took until just now. It's a great feeling to get the "aha" moment with those! Now, if I wait to give others a chance, you'll think I was bluffing, so I'm jumping in here.

The first is VISA--S.A. for South Africa after VI, Roman 6, and a visa is a pass of sorts.

The second is PLAIN--the first letter of "lady" inserted in the word "pain", and plain means obvious.

Buckeye said...

KittyB. Thank you.

Tarrajo. Where have you been? You should have been here a year ago when the DFer's were in full swing. You'da fit right in - and you still do. Love your posts.

I HATE DENNIS!!! Intelligent, "Lazy Boy" on a dock, trips to "exotic" Fla., flying around the Atlantic, drinking great booze, and probably getting all the "ginch" he can handle. He's "All that and a bag of chips". BASTAR*.

If you're so cool, Dennis, find me some original LIME LifeSavers. Try that one on for size, you MENSUS DEVIL.

Nurse Ratchet took a few days off. She is being replaced with a nurse who has a large Adam's apple and a lot of body hair. She's quite ugly. Her name is Dixie Normous. I think I'm in DEEP trouble!


Anonymous said...

Dennis, I meant no offense. I just think going 90mph in a boat would take some big cahones.

Mainiac, I am glad to know you suffered no ill effects and will be out enjoying your Maine weather tomorrow.

Buckeye, you seriously crack me up. You ask where I was a year ago…why right here in MN. I just hadn’t found this site yet, or believe you me I would have been on it. As it is I was a lurker for about 2 to 3 months before I got the “guts” to post. Thanks for your warm welcome. I concur with what this site is all about and I learn something almost every day. Take morel guy for instance. This spring when I am in the search for those tasty morsels, they will remind me of this site and what they imply :)

xchefwalt said...

@dennis- I'll be poking back in as time allows- things are slowing down here, and I think this summer will be the worst I've seen in the 17 years I've been here.

Maybe someday you'll pop over to the 'left' coast so I can buy you an adult beverage (or 5).

carol said...

Buckeye, LOL - Dixie Normous indeed!!! Just watch out for that rectal thermometer and the placement of hands. She probably thinks you are as 'cute as a butt'!

Maniac - I forgot to mention that I'm glad your bike spill was not the kind that left you in traction.

Al said...

@Kazie: Congrats! (and all those other kudosy words) on the cryptics.

It appears that I may have been a little off-base on my ballpark explanation. I always thought that it referred to the attendance figures, but I've found two other definitions. A hit baseball can be a home run (or a fowl) into the seats, but it is still "in the ballpark", in other words, close. Also saw one saying a person might not be exactly in their assigned seat but they are still there in the ballpark. I never knew ballpark estimates were so complicated...

Joyce said...

Good puzzle today.
C.C. - I'm glad I'm not the only one who laughs at the clues and answers. I love the humor in some of them.

As for soda and shake - growing up here in the midwest, Coke and Pepsi and the like were always pop. A soda was a combination of ice cream a flavored syrup and seltzer water. My favorite was chocolate. The guy who mixed all the ice cream concoctions was a Soda Jerk. A milkshake is ice cream, milk and flavoring, and a malt is the same but with the addition of malt powder.

Buckeye said...

Joyce, you should have been around when we bantered milk shake, sodas and frappes. What a kick.

Carol. Believe me when I say I'm keeping BOTH eyes open when it comes to Dixie.

Tarrajo. Trust me when I tell you that most of us lurked for months before we tested the water. Once you're in, it's amazing how quickly these "knuckleheads" accept you. But always remember, probie, you're still "chum" to these "folkseoligists" (see Fred - to you nubies, Fred is - Fred Webster's Community College Dictionary and Guide To Motorcycle Maintenance - my Bible.)

Be yourself and have fun. As Dr. Freidman said on MASH, "Don't think it once, and don't think it twice. Just pull down your pants, and slide on the ice". My today's poem, Clearayes.


Buckeye said...

My final post, Terrajo. I have hunted the elusive "morel" for over 60 years. I've hunted them in 12 states. That state up north, (I'm in Ohio so we can't use the M. word) and Oregon are the two best states to find them, but they grow everywhere (in northern climes). Weather, (temp. and rain), determine yield. They sell here in Ohio between $20-$65 a lb. That's why I hunt them. This has been a bad spring. Too cool and not enough rain, until now - but I think it's too late.

Until tomorrow, I wish all of you the best of luck with the Kentucky Derby. I know most of you "high-brows" could care less, but "The Sport Of Kings" begins tomorrow. If you cannot see the grace in horse racing, you're either blind or spending too much time on the ice.


Linda said...

Buckeye: You`re making entirely too much sense. What has that new nurse done to you??!!!

(BTW, Have you watched "Hildago?" All good racers aren`t blooded..."heart" is just as important.)

Maria: The clue says "MV divided by V."

Hasta mañana!

Dr. Dad said...

Good evening to all of my old friends! It is 10:00 p.m. and I thought I would drop by. Most of the comments on the puzzle have been made so I will not add anything. Just wanted to tell all of you that remember me that I sure do miss this place. I still do the crossword and miss all of you "old timers" that helped make this a place of fun. Remember when C.C.'s log only had a few visitors at first? What a change!!!!! Double entendres, etc.? Don't want to sound maudlin here, but I really do miss being able to give comments on a 'more than minute to minute basis' as that was a big part or my morning. Hope all of you are doing well.

Crosswords are tougher as the week goes by since we switched to the L.A. Times puzzle, that's for sure.

Take care. And keep up your 'morels.'

Dr. Dad

Anonymous said...

Al: I'll have to settle for a single kudo today.

Here's my answer to cryptic no. 1:

Pass South African after six(4)
Visa: VI (Roman numeral for 6) + SA (abbreviation for South African, I suppose) yields VISA, a kind of official pass.

I can't think of a quick solution for the second cryptic at the moment, but I'm guessing it may incorporate EVE as the first lady reference. PeEVE doesn't feel quite right though. I did notice that the letters for "first" appear in "discomfort", but the remaining letters of "modoc" aren't settling into anything meaningful to me in terms of the clue. I'll have to sleep on this one; maybe inspiration will strike later.



kazie said...

See my 3:16--the second one is plain=obvious. It's pain (discomfort) with the first of lady (l) inside.

I was amazed at getting them both, and thought it must be easier than usual.

Buckeye said...

'Tis the wee hours and I'm over my limit, but, excuse me c.c. - GREAT TO HEAR FROM YOU DRDAD. I MISS YOU!! Times change, but WELCOME!! Please check in as you wish. I do.


tobylee said...

I am guessing that everyone has toddled off to bed since it is late on the left coast. I had a busy day today and didn't do the puzzle until late this evening. Same as everyone else I thought I was doing well until I heard the difficulty will be ramping up. I still don't get the themes until I get here.

Thanks CC and tarrajo for the kind comments. My husband was a good 'ol boy. I used to say he could teach a longshoreman some new words. But a good man and loving Father.
I saw that you were using the word 'cahones'. When I worked at the Post Office, people often thought of me as the "church lady". (I am really not humorless) Anyways, the word came up and another older woman, even older than me, said 'I have always wondered what that meant". The next thing I knew everyone disappeared into their workstations, and I was left alone to try to tell this woman....the definition. I can't remember exactly what I said but I will never forget the look on her face.

Crockett1947 said...

@tobylee You go! Sometimes the best is to just lay it out straight. What a memory for you, LOL.