Jun 23, 2009

Tuesday June 23, 2009 Gary Lowe and Nancy Salomon

Theme: COUNT (54D: Tally, and what to do with the last word of 18-, 26-, 45- or 60-Across)

18A: Informal polls: STRAW VOTES

26A: Cause of unhealthy weight gain: EMPTY CALORIES

45A: Rockies grazers: MOUNTAIN SHEEP

60A: Prominent schnozzes: ROMAN NOSES

I am more familiar with straw polls rather than STRAW VOTES. Fats and processed carbs often contain EMPTY CALORIES. Actually, they are high-calorie food with mostly empty nutrients. I wonder what sheep count when they can't go to sleep. AQUILINE NOSES would be an awesome fill too.

Nancy mentioned in her interview that she likes theme that are tightly focused. She and Gary Lowe sure delivered today. All of the COUNT objects are in plural forms and located at the end of the each theme answer. Nothing forced or strained.

My favorites today are the two long Down fills: ADVICE GURU (3D: Dr. Phil or Dr. Laura, e.g.: ) and its symmetrical partner INEXPERTLY (29D: Hardly in a skillful way). I also like how UNSEAT (5D: Oust from office) and VETO (19D: Bill killer) intersect STRAW VOTES.

Across:

1A: Algerian city on the Mediterranean: ORAN. Algeria is an OPEC member, so is Nigeria.

15A: Dressed to the __: NINES. Puttin' on the Ritz. Nine is an interesting number. Nine innings in baseball, nine justices in Supreme Court, nine muses. What else?

20A: Working busily: AT IT

22A: What's happening: EVENT

23A: Native American shoe, briefly: MOC

24A: Lee whom nobody doesn't like: SARA. "Nobody doesn't like SARA Lee".

33A: Single or homer: HIT. Or double/triple.

35A: "___ Millionaire" 2008 Best Picture: SLUMDOG. Awesome film.

38A: 17th century French playwright: MOLIERE. His stage name. MOLIERE said "It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do." So true!

44A: "Need You Tonight" rock group: INXS. Pronounced as "in excess". Australian band. I got the answer from Down fills.

51A: Big water pipe: MAIN

52A: PC bailout key: ESC. Nice "bailout".

58A: Johns, for short: LAVS. Or LOOS for "Johns", no "for short".

59A: Gusto: BRIO. Nice to see David Duval emerged from nowhere and played with BRIO in the US Open.

62A: Rebuke to Brutus: ET TU. How did Brutus reply?

63A: Lyricist Lerner: ALAN. Lerner & Loewe. "Gigi", "My Fair Lady", "Camelot", etc.

65A: Sheltered valley: GLEN

66A: Write to on a cell phone: TEXT

Down:

1D: Bedtime hr. after a late date, perhaps: ONE AM

2D: Totaled: RAN TO. As a bill.

4D: G.O.P. elephant creator Thomas: NAST. "Democratic donkey designer" too.

6D: Cabaret, casually: NITERY. Eatery, bakery. ERY is suffix for "place" here.

7D: Attainable: IN REACH

10D: Four-leaf plant: CLOVER. The good luck CLOVER I suppose.

12D: Flock's "Absolutely": AMEN

13D: Pain in the neck: PEST

24D: Hightailed it: SPED

28D: Prepare to fire: AIM

30D: Antony's loan request? EARS. I was not aware of Marc Anthony "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your EARS..." speech. I thought of Shylock and the guy in "The Merchant of Venice". His name is actually Antonio.

31D: Every other hurricane: SHE. Oh, good to know.

32D: Grrravy dog food maker: ALPO. Owned by Nestlé.

37D: Merry, in Marseilles: GAI

40D: Serpent suffix: INE. Ennui!

43D: All together: EN MASSE

46D: Swimming: NATANT. New word to me.

48D: Keep in a piggy bank: SAVE UP

49D: Sibilant catcalls: HISSES. Reminds me of the BOOER clue ("Raspberry blower") we had a while ago.

53D: Web destinations: SITES. Do bookmark my blog. Don't want to lose you next week when I change the title.

55D: House on campus: FRAT. No such house in our campus. Chinese colleges have very different systems than those in the US.

57D: Big-screen format: IMAX

58D: One and only: LONE. SOLE too.

61D: Never done before: NEW

Answer grid.

C.C.

79 comments:

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - a good Tuesday puzzle. Turned into a bit of a speed run, but I liked the cluing.
My one unknown was Alan Lerner - I only knew them as Lerner and Loewe, never knew first names. Needed the 'Mol....' to realize which '17th century French playwright' they wanted. Haven't we seen 'at it' quite a bit in recent weeks? I thought 'Antony's loan request' was a very clever clue. And I had no idea what the theme could possibly be until, obviously, the very end.

C.C., what system do the Chinese colleges use for housing?

Today is a GREAT day - National Chocolate Eclair Day.

TOday's Words of Wisdom: "I always say -- that everything is possessed of infinity and eternity." -- Musician Yehudi Menuhin

More Fun Facts:

- An x-ray security scanner that sees through people's clothes has been deployed at Heathrow airport. (I have one on order)

The body loses half a liter of water a day through breathing.

Martin said...

Managed to finish the puzzle in about half an hour. I googled a map of Algeria to get ORAN though: I had never heard the expression RAN TO before although we've had RAN INTO as part of a quip before and people said that was supposed to mean "totaled". I would have thought CAME TO was more common: can somebody use RAN TO in a sentence?

I also googled NAST and EMPTY CALORIES but only after the puzzle was finished. I was also slowed down by having to choose between COLD and AGUE, RUN and HIT, LOOS and LAVS, CRIES and WEEPS, DORM and FRAT, ACTE and ROLE and LONE and SOLE. There was also a lot of French in the puzzle (AGUE, MOLIERE, LIEN, NATANT and EN MASSE).

I must say I didn't apprecoate being called an "idiot" yesterday. Granted, the comment wasn't directed at me personally but I do happen to agree with people who say that Monday to Friday puzzles should be simple. After all, most people who get the newspaper do so in the morning before they go to work and if they are going to do the puzzle at all it is because they think they are going to be able to finish it without it taking all day: it's not as if they can call their boss and take the day off because they haven't finished their puzzle. I think people like that deserve to have at least one day a week when they can finish a puzzle and still get to work on time. I think that if people ask for harder puzzles and end up with puzzles that they can't do then they reap what they SOW. (It would be hard, after all, for anybody to solve a puzzle if they couldn't spell very well.)

Seriously, one time with the previous editor we had a puzzle which had the clue "Manhattan project's oralloy" and I had the first five letters ENRIC so I thought the answer was somebody's name. When the answer turned out to be ENRICHED URANIUM I asked "Why?" and somebody told me that "oralloy" was a "code word" for enriched uranium.

Well, naturally, I wanted to take that newpaper, rip it up and burn the remains. By all means, give us clever clues but don't give us clues that mean absolutely nothing to the vast majority of crossword solvers. Even on Saturday, if two fills with obscure clues were to cross then I would be rather annoyed because it would mean that I wouldn't be able to finish a puzzle without googling. As it is, I haven't attempted a weekend puzzle for a long time so I don't know first hand how difficult they are but I believe people when they say they are killers because I've found the Thursday and Friday puzzles hard enough.

Again, I don't think people who complain about the clues becing difficult are whiners, just people who don't jhave all day to solve puzzles. Nor am I particularly impressed by puzzles with obscure fills: I know that even Dennis complains about puzzles that are just names and the current editor has even promissed not to provide us with puzzles in which two obscure names cross. Frankly, I am more impressed by constructors who construct puzzles using only well known words that you could find in any dictionary because that means that the constructor went to the extra effort of making the puzzle solvable: names, place names and foreign words should be kept to a minimum; at the very least obscure words shouldn't be allowed to cross.

That's my rant for today. Sorry if the post was too long, C.C.

Martin

Dick said...

Good morning C.C. and all, a nice puzzle today and it included a couple of unknowns for me. I did not know "17th century French playwright", "Lyricist Lerner" and 46D "Natal". All were achievable from the perps. My favorite clue was 58D one and only. I tried to put "aone" for the answer.

Must run as I have about four acres of grass to cut today and I would like to get done before it gets too hot.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday.

C. C. said...

Dennis,
Now I start to look at AT IT from Jerome's eyes and find the intersecting fills are good enough for a AT IT repetition. When I was in college (1990-1994), girls and boys lived separately. Every dormitory building had a 24-hour guard. Very strict.

Martin & Jerome,
Also, don't forget not everyone has computer access. And those who don't probably have difficulty understanding why NILE suddenly becomes "African flower?" and KID is "Little butter?".

Maria,
Try the Courier-Tribune (Asheboro, NC) & the Daily Tar Heel (Chapel Hill, NC).

C. C. said...

Hatoolah,
Great KEENE information yesterday. Do you live in NH? What does Hatoolah stand for?

WM,
Re: TSO. I think the waiters are probably used to all kinds of mispronunciations.

Kazie et al,
Thanks for SILVER TEA SET and other answers.

Anonymous said...

I was in a hurry and I mistyped the link for NAST.

C.C., I too though of the Merchant or Venice for "Antony's loan request". "Bill killer" also had me trying to remember the name of the Bride in Kill Bill (Beatrix Kiddo).

Martin

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

pretty straightforward this morning, but not exactly a speedrun for me, 12 and change. only complete unknowns were GAI, NAST and NATANT, but gotten easily enough from perps. loved your observation about ADVICE GURU and INEXPERTLY.

'i wonder what sheep count,' .. haha.

liked (reading across) SARA ATE EMPTY CALORIES, and ET TU following ROMAN NOSES.

dennis, you're right, it seems we're AT IT daily.

will be at the airport today, gladly SFO rather than heathrow.

C. C. said...

WM,
Below is an interesting mail I got from Martin last night regarding TSO.

"C.C.,
What a coincidence! I came across an article in a newspaper today! A teacher used a word in a high school class and got fired: the word was 操 (TSO/cao) but according to my dictionary it means "handle/manage, hold/grasp, exercise/drill or speak", none of which sound particularly bad. Then I remembered what you said about cao being the F-word and it all made sense. Thing is, it would appear to be an innocent word in most contexts. I guess it would be safer for learners of Chinese to translate "grab" as 把 rather than 操 to avoid any possible confusion."

Mainiac said...

Good Morning All,

A few unknowns. Nast, Moliere and I don't get the clue to Ears even though I successfully guessed at it. Nitery is new and only came with perps. I also had Cars instead of Inxs. I got my song titles mixed up. Check out the hair and clothes in this one.

Tarrajo, I like LGJ's name but would also be concerned about going by the initials. I will say I played football with a kid in high school who went by BJ for Benjamin James. I don't recall any ribbing and I ran the two together calling him Beej.

Work calls.

Dennis said...

I'll just say this about the puzzle debate: Puzzles, by their very nature, are supposed to be challenging, are supposed to make you think. Is there any thinking involved when the clue for 'kid' is 'baby goat'? I know I feel a good deal of satisfaction when I solve a 'little butter'-type clue; it stretches one's mind and their thought process.

Puzzles shouldn't be geared towards the lowest common denominator. I think the ratcheting up of the Monday-Saturday run is a good compromise.

Dennis said...

Just saw that Ed McMahon has died. Spent a lot of nights watching him and Carson. He was the ultimate sidekick.

danabw said...

Well, I d-eclair. I did enjoy the puzzle today. Favorite was 29d, Inexpertly.

Although I knew Dressed to the nines, I have never understood that phrase or 'the whole nine yards'. I know what they mean, but I don't get the origin.

Tarrajo: Love the name Brady Joe! How are things with the little girlfriend?

My 2 cents on the puzzle debate:
I think people do puzzles for different reasons. I like them to stretch out and really test my brain. Even though I may have to google some (a lot!), I enjoy learning new words and geographical locations.

I love the clever clues and the instant gratification of 'yeah, I got that one'. It makes me feel smart and that is a good thing.

The Sudoku puzzles vary in difficulty as well, so some days you may enjoy them, others you won't. No big deal, just skip the ones you don't like.

When I feel the need for a puzzle that I can zip through, I just pick up a copy of Collector's Crosswords at the store.

There is my compromise. If you don't like the one in the paper, go buy some that you do!

tfrank said...

Good Morning, C.C. & All,

I am back after five days of intensive U.S. Open watching. Exciting finish, I thought. I have been solving and lurking, but not posting. I am a hunt and peck typist, so my posts take a lot of time.

Today's edition was a breeze; 20 minutes with pencil and paper, which is about as fast as I can read the clues and write in the answers. I really prefer the medium hard puzzles; time is not a factor as I am pretty much retired. My main work obligation is keeping the books for my church, which is a part time, volunteer effort.

I can understand Martin's concern, however.

I, too, have grass to cut before it gets too hot.

Have a good day.

Linda said...

CC: If I have you bookmarked...whatever the name...won`t I still pull you up...(with apologies to Kazie...)

LAT NYT still doable and done...NYT had the last word of the previous theme answer as the first word of the next puzzle theme answer. Fun. And I also wonder why Parker hasn`t/ doesn`t give CC the "respect" she deserves.

CC: What did you take your college degree in and does China have the same system as many Asian countries where only the brightest students are put on college prep courses?

Jeannie: I live in the southern mid-west. Come visit me, and bring a kids meal with a transformer, please.

Anonymous said...

C.C.,

I recall when I studied French in high school, the teacher was teaching the word "phoque" which was French for "seal". We all had to practing "phoque". One student couldn't stop laughing.

Sometimes a word is just a word. :)

I haven't seen anybody post for 45 minutes now. There may be a bug in blogger preventing people from logging in. Maybe everybody can post anonymously today: just remember to write your names!

Martin

lois said...

Good morning CC et al., Interesting puzzle and cute theme, but not a speed run for me and wouldn't 've been even if I weren't doing it online. What Dennis said...'ditto'.. but I
misread 20A as 'a tit' for a second and was just about to lose it when I reread it all. As for 'nitery' -'nah', not even, and natant 46?D...new one...Does this work: I'm 'natant' in a sea of cowboys. Yippee!

At DFW yesterday, I sat for over 2 hrs on the tarmac waiting for a 'new crew'- I'm thinkin' the steward got sick or something. No, the 2 pilots were "removed". Never found out why exactly. They didn't seem drunk to me and I talked briefly to both of 'em. They wouldn't take the flight - a 50 min hop -for some reason. The copilot stormed past us in a huff. Really messed up the day for a lot of people. Kind of adds a new slant to fly 'American'.

Dennis: Interesting FF. That x-ray security scanner sounds very interesting but sad really.
I'll miss the personal touch of being wanded and patted down every time. I wear enough little metal things all over to darn near get a massage. On the other hand, I want to apply to be the security scanner's reader...then I can check out all the guys' packages.

I like the way the LAT puzzles increase in difficulty during the wk. It covers all levels of ability and provides a challenge to us all at some point. I agree w/Martin on obscure and weird words crossing, but then I do what I can (time allowing) and then come here and stand in awe of CC (and Argyle) for their expertise and learn a lot. I enjoy the puzzles, but I love this blog.

I'm sorry to hear about Ed McMahon. He and Johnny were quite the team.

Enjoy this bright, gorgeous (but hot- > 100 + degrees) day.

Anonymous said...

Wow. My last comment took two hours to arrive at this site.

Anyway, the only way I would be able to get KID from "Little butter" is if I had seen the clue before.

I still can't sign in.

Martin

KittyB said...

Good morning, all!

I found most of the answers fairly easy. Those that didn't come from the clue generally eased into place once there were some perps, with one exception.

I did not know 1A ORAN, and the "R" kept me from finishing 2D RANTO. I understand the intent of the clue (Totaled) now, but it clearly was a piece of misdirection that succeeded.

I didn't care for NITERY, or NATANT, and AMEN was slow to arrive. I question FRAT without an indication that it's an abbreviation, even though 'frat house' is a common phrase. I liked "Antony's loan request," and "Lee whom nobody doesn't like."

We all have personal responses to the difficulty level of the puzzles. I choose not to Google for answers, but I do the puzzle with red letter help. Were I to do the Master level, it would take me considerably longer to get through the crossword, so that's a compromise I've had to make.

The Libra in me is really coming out today. I believe that if you don't care for what the LATimes is offering, you are free to find another source of puzzles.

On the other hand, I think it's also fine to write to your paper to let them know you don't care for what they offer. It's been my experience that if you do not provide vendors with feedback, they have no way of knowing if you object to the service or the items they offer. Clearly, the writing campaign from those who want easier puzzles has worked, and WM and others have had responses to their letters as well.

I enjoyed the level of difficulty that we experienced when we first turned to the LATimes puzzles. I hate not finishing a C/W, but I don't care to do a puzzle that's a gimme.

Lois said it for me....I want a reasonable challenge, and then I want to come here to see what C.C. and Argyle, and all of you have had to say.

C.C., thanks for putting up with our long posts today. This is clearly an important issue for all of us.

maria said...

Good morning, c.c and all - real quick

Dennis, inre: FF, you are a crazy and funny guy ! Lmao
Choc. eclairs ? Empty calories, here i come !

imbo

kazie said...

Very enjoyable puzzle today, and doable. Favorite clue was Bill killer, because I also had a duh moment on realizing it wasn't the "Kill Bill" movie character.

The French for "to swim" is "nager", so in French "swimming" as a participle would be "nageant"; as a noun it's "natation". I've never heard NATANT in either language.

c.c.,
Another "9" thing: There is such a thing as 9-pin bowling. I heard a story once about why the extra pin was added, making 10, but I've forgotten the details, only that Martin Luther used to enjoy bowling, and that it started with people taking clubs to church to use as weapons against assailants on their way there. When they got to church, all the clubs would be stacked in a corner, and the game evolved as something to do with them.

I too enjoy the ascent in difficulty each week, and now that the level has tapered off a bit, even more so. I didn't google at all for the last weekend ones, and it was satisfying not to have to, though I did get red help Sunday, because I don't get the LAT in our paper.

I can feel Martin's pain though, since the cultural challenges often prove to be my downfall as well.

Martin,
what happened to your connection? Everyone else is still getting in normally.

maria said...

Or is it , you are a funny and crazy guy ?!

Elissa said...

KittyB and I seem to be in sync today.

I don't like NITERY - maybe it's a real word but I've never heard or seen it used.

My duh moments came with SARA, EARS and LAVS answers. I didn't really like the "Lee that nobody doesn't like" clue, but loved "Anthony's loan request?"

The ORAN/RANTO cross was my last fill. Just didn't get how RAN TO meant 'totaled' until I thought about it alot. Martin: How about "The accident repair bill ran to hundreds of dollars."

windhover said...

I wouldn't be a full-fledged "whinnier" if I didn't add my two cents to the puzzle difficulty ado. I predict that in the future, everyone will have his/her own personal puzzle constructor. Alternatively, the computer that will then do most of your thinking/decision making will deliver to you, at the exact time of day you are at your brightest, a puzzle precisely appropriate for your skill level/ mood.
I also predict that at about the same point in the future, the leading cause of death among Americans will be boredom.
I plan to either expire shortly before that or to fake my own death (either in a fiery motorcycle accident on a mountain road with no witnesses or a la Nelson Rockefeller) and escape to a remote hideaway with no electricity or computer. Hey, that's where I live now!! Oh, well, might as well cut some more hay until the Rockefeller solution gets home from work.
Enjoy the damn puzzle, people, or I'll find out what paper you read and write them to request they carry the Commuter puzzle.

melissa bee said...

IMHO, the graded difficulty level is a perfect compromise. it caters to a range of solvers, and helps lead less experienced ones to sharpen their skills. i used to rarely finish a sunday puzzle, but the simpler ones finally got me there. since you can't make everyone happy every day, what could be more fair than ramping it up monday thru sunday? if you can't finish friday, there's always monday around the corner.

@wh: perfect.

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang, a good puzzle for Tuesday, we just managed to finish it (without any online help too) before my wife left for work by guessing the S in INEXS.
But it gets harder to finish it that way when the difficulty level raises in the later part of the week...


Here's a link to

dressed to the nines
Meaning: Dressed flamboyantly or smartly.

Karen said...

Hi all,
I really enjoyed today's puzzle. I think it is the 1st one I have worked all the way through without ANY out side help since our paper switched to the LAT. Didn't know all the answers right off but they came easily form perps. The only one that really threw me was "NATANT". After I finished the puzzle I looked it up in my dictionary & there it was "swimming" right in front of me on the page.

Our paper had a note above the puzzle today saying, "Starting July 6, we'll let you try a different puzzle from another author." I don't know if this means they are going away from the LAT, or just introducing a new constructor. Did anyone else have a similar message?

KQ said...

Good puzzle for a Tuesday. I found it much harder than yesterday, but extremely doable. Never heard of NATANT, and NITERY isn't a commonly used word for me either. Got everything today with the help of perps on a few in short order. Even got the theme before all the theme answers. I liked Lee everyone likes and Antony's request. I think you are right CC, very tight puzzle theme and well done. Mildly challenging, but not too.

I agree with Melissa Bee - grading is good to give you different levels - some for new solvers, some for those who want more challenges. You cannot please everyone all the time.

Tarrajo, I missed some of the discussion on your son's name. Are we trying something new? I have one that goes by initials, one that goes by the middle name. Both work and they like them, but it can be a hassle sometimes.

Martin, don't know what is happening to your connection. Mine works fine. We are having brown out's here though - three yesterday, so I should stay offline some to save the computer. Maybe it is the heat!

Stay cool everyone.

Linda said...

Lois:

As we say in the Sä-ooth, "You a plu-perfect may-us." :)

Sallie said...

Good morning everyone. My only complaint today is "frat" not being clued as an abbreviation.
As for the puzzle difficulties, I just come here to find what I couldn't figure out – like Antony's loan request. Also am chagrined that I didn't get every other hurricane, in that I live in hurricane country.

Dennis: love your comment about the airport viewing machine. DH likes your sense of humor too, even tho he doesn't do puzzles or read the Blog. I report to him on your comments.

Sallie said...

PS: Re the every other hurricane clue. It's not right. It's every other year that hurricanes are named for men one year and women the next.
So that's why I didn't get it. (That's a joke; I didn't figure any part of it out.)

windhover said...

OK, Linda, based on that last comment, I'm guessing Arkansas, probably Central Arkansas, and maybe even the home of one of my favorite authors, Conway, Arkansas.
Close?

windhover said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tarrajo said...

I had a little more difficulty today but solved it with just a little red letter help. I wanted loos for lavs. Some obscure ones to me I got with the perps such as Moliere, brio, and natant. This is why I do the puzzles, I seem to learn something new every day. I have never seen Slumdog Millionaire. The clever clue for me today was “Antony’s loan request” – ears.

C.C. there is also nine-ball in pool.

Danabw LGJ and his little girlfriend are thick as thieves always trying to outdo one another on every level. He’s a better skater but she’s the better skateboarder.

KQ, I was just giving Clearayes a hard time as she suggested Brady Joe could go by B.J. which I thought might cause some teasing down the line.

Lois, sorry to hear about your flight delay. Hopefully they had the beverage cart up and running!

Dennis, where are you going to set up your x-ray machine for optimum use?

Jazzbumpa said...

I sort of feel responsible for the difficulty flap, and resulting offenses taken. So I'll just apologize to everyone.

Lo siento.

This is not a place where I want to foment controversy.

When I'm critical, it's intended toward the puzzle constructors and/or editors, whom I greatly admire.

Re: the Sara Lee item. Their slogan was: "Everybody doesn't like something, but nobody doesn't like Sara Lee." The deliberate finger in the eye to grammar makes it both child-like sounding, and memorable.

Re: run to - The A/C repair man is going back and forth from the attic to the condenser in the back yard. I wonder what his bill will run to? Ooops, wrong tense, but you get the idea. Also, a true story. I'm eskeered.

NITERY looks like a made up word. NATANT is a new one. Both are g-spottable, though.

ATIT keeps popping out all the time these days. It's always nice to see an old friend. New clues, though.

"Bill killer" mislead me. It was a nice Aha! moment when VETO revealed itself.

Good puzzle today.

Cheers!

Chris in LA said...

@ Sallie

Hurricane names alernate male to female per named storm within each hurricane season, not by year.

Hope all are having a great day!

Linda said...

WO: Close...but no cigar...

Jerome said...

C.C.- Cats, it is said, have nine lives.

Dennis- you're right about crosswords being a challenge by nature. That's why they're called puzzles. Clues that are too easy ruin the challenge and make a crossword merely an excercise in filling in the blanks and penmanship.

This might be a fun challenge for solvers who would enjoy a taste of the constructing experience. 3 down in today's puzzle is ADVICE GURU. But before they came up with that answer I'm sure Gary and Nancy realized creating a 10 letter word, or phrase, that ends with a U would not be easy. What would your fill word be? Don't forget that contrived and made-up phrases are strictly taboo!

I'm not sure, but this may be a debut puzzle for Gary. If so... congrats!

Lola said...

Martin: My computer loses my blue name from time to time. I just go into my Google account and remind it to remember me on this computer. I hope this helps.

As to the puzzle difficulty discussion, the gradual increase in skill it takes to solve seems like the best approach for a diverse group of people. We all have our unique levels of experience and background knowledge. By sharing those with others we all learn and share with each other, expanding the base of knowledge for the group as a whole. Just a thought. I know that the more puzzles you solve the easier they get. Crosswordese is indeed a language. Hasta luego!

Jeannie said...

Linda, Transformers are a dirty word but for you I will bring you one. Do you want chicken nuggets or a cheeseburger? French fries or Apple fries with caramel dipping sauce? I don’t know if you are aware or not, but there are also game pieces attached to some of the paper products and you wouldn’t believe the security procedures we have to follow.

kazie said...

Tarrajo,
I also taught a kid who went by B.J., for Brian James, I think. But it caused no problems that I'm aware of.

I'm wondering whether that Heathrow X-ray machine can cause health problems for frequent flyers?

Here's a better link for Thomas Nast, who was a German immigrant.

carol said...

Good morning C.C.and all - this one was not too bad..a few unknowns, mostly what others have had trouble with so I won't mention them. I have noticed that 'toon' is used (47D) instead of 'cartoon'. This has happened several times and I have heard/read this 'new' (to me) term for a few years now. Does anyone know why cartoon was shortened to toon?

When did nightclub become 'nitery'? I can understand 'eatery' but this?

I hate to have to Google anything and since I solve the puzzles by printing them out, I don't get the red letter warning. This does stretch my old brain cell(s)...I may have more than one left. If the puzzles are too difficult, I come here for some education, then try again the next day.

Lois, sorry about your flight trouble...did you upset those poor pilots? I know the flight deck is a small area ....and the time restrictions! Can't do a good job when rushed.

KQ said...

Jerome, I totally concur with you. That is why we call it a puzzle. Great 10 letter clue ending with U.

Jazzbumpa, next time maybe we could clue ATIT as something a suckling pig goes after?

Linda said...

I love being "Waldo!"

WO:I DO have family in Conway, AR...in fact they are on staff at the church Kris Allen attends when he`s home...I told you, I`m in the "witless" protection program!
Is Dee Brown the author?

Jeannie...all the above...

About the puzzle difficulty level (MY 2 cents): I do what I can then look at the answer grid...I always go back and re-read the clues for each answer...In the weeks of doing this...I`ve had to look at the answers less and less...even Sat. and Sun. Practice really does help...

Steve S said...

"the whole 9 yards" -- comes from the contents of a concrete truck: 9 cubic yards.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I liked just about everything with this puzzle. The theme was very clever and fills like ADVICE GURU and INEXPERTLY were new and fun to figure out.

Sure, NANTANT was new, but including one or two new words in a puzzle is a bonus as far as I'm concerned. It may have to show up one or two more times before I remember it, but it will find an anchor in my brain eventually.

I don't think anyone should have been personally insulted by Jerome's comments yesterday. He calls 'em as he sees 'em. I thought he was obviously talking about people who want "The Commuter Puzzle" level of difficulty, and complain that the LAT won't fall that far. I don't think that applies to anybody here.

Jerome, I really enjoy your comments. You look at the puzzle from a constructor's point of view. As a solver on the upper end of "beginner", I don't often look at how words intersect, how the grids are set up and how clue difficulty for the same fill is geared to the day of the week. I find your comments interesting and often enlightening.

Jeannie, I never had any thought about what goes on behind the scenes in the food industry. Interesting stuff.

About Waldo, I mean, Linda's home territory...I don't think we will ever know exactly. We have eliminated Florida and the Carolina's, but it is still east of the Rockies and south of the Mason-Dixon line.

C.C. Brutus didn't seem to care about Caesar's despairing dying question. His next line is, "People and Senators, be not affrighted; Fly not; stand still; ambition's debt is paid."

Jazzbumpa said...

Carol -
This is just a guess, but I think TOON comes from the movie, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," where the plot revolves around the fate of Toon Town. Great movie, highly recommended.

NITERY looks like a real stretch to me.

KQ -
That's on way to go AT IT.

Cheers!

JD said...

Good morning CC and all,

Another beautiful day and a fun c/w. I did it online for the 1st time and it really helped speed things up..no "G-ing" needed if that red letter HONKS at you.

Like yesterday, groking the theme did not help as I had filled them all except the word Roman when I came upon count. I immediately laughed like the Sesame St character-so sad. I wanted to put in LOIS for one and only since I had an LO--.

Antony's loan request was so clever AFTER CC explained it.LOL

I agree with CA that learning a few new words(like natant & nitery) each time is beneficial. I had seen ague before but did not know its meaning.I love it when I come upon one of these new words when reading. Just came across General Tso Chicken in current novel,Shelter Me.Sixth graders loved seeing their "Wordmaster" words in print too.

I enjoyed Jerome's comments and agreed with him. If someone wants an easier c/w, buy a puzzle book! I did get frustrated when the answers were obscure words, but the clever clues keep my mind more alert. Well, some what...

BTW, 1st hurricane of the season, Andres, is off of the Mexican Pacific coast. Next one will be a she.

embien said...

7:48 today. Much easier than Monday's puzzle for me.

Blogger has erased my comment box twice now (this is my third try). I'm not about to retype all my pithy entry for a third time, so no further comment from me.

windhover said...

Linda,
It's Donald Harrington.
CA: We'll find out eventually.

JD said...

Reliving History

1949-1st 12 women graduated from Harvard Medical School

1955- Walt Disney released Lady and the Tramp

1982-In the So. Pole temperature dropped to an all time low -117F
Now that is frost!!

Most European nations are celebrating Midsummer Eve, esp. the Scandinavian countries, but even Australia celebrates. Lots of pre-Christian history and a variety of ways to celebrate..bon fires,etc., like Halloween. It is also a celebration of the nativity of St. John the Baptist, as it is written in Luke 1:26 & 1:37 that he was born 6 months before Jesus. So, start shopping,C'mas is only 6 mo. away!!

Southern Belle said...

There must be such a thing as 'crosswordese' because that is how I got to NATANT today. Back in the 60s I was working a puzzle in the car (as a passanger) and the clue was 'indoor pool'. I finally managed to make the fill, but had never heard of the word
'natatorium' so had to look it up when I got home. My memory isn't always this good, but the longer you work puzzles, the easier it is to decipher the clue.

Anyone having trouble with the Sunday puzzle being in minature? I'm getting ready to write a letter. During the week, I have to print the puzzle out, but they do run the LAT on Sundays.....but I can't write in the tiny squares!!

Have a great day! Well, afternoon here.

Clear Ayes said...

It is interesting how one thing leads to another. I thought I would search for an appropriate little poem about the relationship between Caesar and Brutus. That didn't happen.

What I came up with was a biography of a South African poet I had never read before, Dennis Brutus.

His experiences as an anti-apartheid activist, who was imprisoned for 18 months in 1963, fascinated me and I looked a little further.

According to the racial categorization of apartheid, Brutus was classified as a "Coloured" person. He risked arrest and further imprisonment because of his affair with a white woman. He wrote the following poem in 1973, during his separation from his lover as a result of the Group Areas Act, the Immorality and Mixed Marriages Act, and the Population Classification
Act.

Nightsong: City

Sleep well, my love, sleep well:
the harbour lights glaze over restless docks,
police cars cockroach through the tunnel streets;
from the shanties creaking iron-sheets
violence like a bug-infested rag is tossed
and fear is immanent as sound in the wind-swung bell;
the long day’s anger pants from sand and rocks;
but for this breathing night at least,
my land, my love, sleep well.

Mainiac said...

CC, I should have paid closer attention to your blog this AM. Thanks for the Antony explanation. Pop!!

I am very much enjoying the LAT grids. I don't think I would have gotten a clue like Bill Blocker while doing the Trib puzzles. I noticed that last Thursday and Friday were doable for me which is a change that was much appreciated. I haven't attempted the Saturday and Sunday yet because we have dial up at home and I'm not waiting to print out a complete struggle. I will when wireless comes to my area, hopefully this summer.

I swear my kids are trying to send me to the nut house this week. Summer camps don't start until next week so this is make Dadio more of a nut job week! One more little nudge and my Empty Calories with turn this Slumdog into a Mountain Goat and climb all over their asses then I'm gonna punch their Roman Noses. Hee, hee, hee!


Introducing Zivah! Hank tomorrow.

Have a great evening!

tarrajo said...

Jeannie, LGJ LOVES the Transformers. He has a few and I’ll be darned if I can’t figure out how to “transform” them. He can do it in a matter of a couple of minutes. I am told (by a reliable source-LGJ) that the movie opens up tomorrow. I know it’s on the to-do list this weekend, and has been a good source for good behavior this week. And yes I know it’s rated PG-13, but he’s almost nine and he’s pretty mature for his age.

Jazz, I loved the movie “Who framed Roger Rabbit!” My favorite line was from Jessica Rabbit. “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.”

Mainiac, who are Zivah and Hank?

Clear Ayes said...

WH, I believe you might be correct. All we need is a million dollars to finance our search and 50 years or so to track 'er down. You furnish the money and I'll be sure to live long enough to find her. Watch out Linda....here we come!

Embien, As one who has lost (the best) comments, I have learned to ALWAYS highlight and copy before hitting Publish, just in case my comment goes away. That way I can Paste if the worst happens. It is so frustrating and it always happens just when you have figured out the solution to world hunger, the economic crisis, or how and when to withdraw from Iraq.

Mainiac, Zivah is a beauty. Did you tell us how old the puppies are?

JD, There are going to be a lot of hung over Swedes in the next couple of days.
Here is the proper way to skål, or "skoal" for the English pronunciation. According to the instructions that went with the handsome 1967 Max Von Sydow photos, "The proposer of the toast engages the eye of the person being toasted, and "skoal" is said. A slight bow of the head, and a twinkle of the eye—and the aquavit is drained in one gulp (if the drink is wine, a sip is taken). Just before the glass is put back on the table, the eyes meet again and there is another friendly nod."

Now, go ahead, lift that bottle of aquavit and...practice, practice, practice!

Anonymous said...

A good puzzle today, Harder than yesterday, but it could be done without too much trouble.

I think Dennis said it best in that the puzzle shouldn't be geared to the lowest common denominator. We are all different in our levels of expertise and we ALL need a challenge--at least I do.

As we get older they say that we lose brain cells. I find that by doing the CW I learn something new every day-natant today. I'm hoping that I'm finding some of those lost brain cells and that they stick with me by doing the CW.
Chickie

Anonymous said...

Hi C.C and everyone,


I have to agree with Jazzb that nitery is a bit of a stretch.
Never heard of natant.

Also still trying to figure out ranto.
Totaled a car or added something up?

Have a good day all,
Best,
Geri

carol said...

Mainiac, Zivah is beautiful! (hope it is a female),if not then then him he's very handsome! LOL. What breed is she/he?? From the picture, it looks like a large dog in the making!

CA...skoal to you (from a 1/4 Swede,1/4 Norwegian-the other 1/2 is German, but we will ignore that part). Aquavit is a powerhouse of a spirit! I guarantee a hangover if we do as you suggest. :)

Jazzbumpa said...

Geri -

"Totaled a car" would be RAN INTO. I did that once. It was a very bad day.

Cost to repair the damage RAN TO more than the value of the car. Many bad words were spoken.

TJ -
That's evrybody'e favorite line.
My favorite dialog bit is when the detective guy asks Jessica what she sees in Roger. "He makes me laugh," is her perfect answer. Though I don't recall her ever laughing in the movie.

We're taking Samantha to lunch tomorrow, for her birthday (a couple weeks late.) She just turned 7 - the youngest of three girls in her family, and the middle grandchild of our 11.

The following day day she gets gonzo braces/expanders/appliances/machinery/whatever. Her upper jaw is not developing properly, and needs mechanical assistance. No bubblegum for the duration. This is going to be very hard.

Anyhoo, after lunch I have to go to T*-Town, so I might not check in at all. We'll see how it goes.

Cheers!
__________________
* No, not Toon.

treefrog said...

Glad to check in today. What a week.
Thanks for the rant Martin.It was a good one:}
Didn't like Nitery or Natnat. Although, after Southern Belle's comment I did remember I have heard of a natatorium.
Elissa-you're ran to sentence makes sense. Still, a stupid
clue:{

Sounds like everyone is busy today. Hope to check in tomorrow, between chores.

Anonymous said...

Jazzb,
Ouch, must have been hard on the pocket book.
I have a red Tarus with many diffrent colors on the bumpers.
Hope it never gets worse than that.
Geri

JD said...

Still practicing links.

just for fun

Kitty B- cute jingle-it works! We'll remember Keene, Hatoola. I know, I'm a day late.

Crockett-enjoyed the train link

Linda said...

CA and WH: I`ll leave the porch light on!

Sallie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sallie said...

I see you are correct, Chris in LA. They do alternate male and female names within the year.
Am I correct that they don't call them hurricanes in the Pacific?

lois said...

JD 2:25: Your 56D thought for 'one and only' is hilarious! Love it!

Tarrjo 10:58: yes, they did have the beverage cart up and running...I kept them busy for as much as they would sell me during the wait. The time was well spent. Ended up w/ a couple of bloody mary's and 2 fruit juice/vodka drinks that rivaled drdad's (where is he?) citron drink. Being surrounded by military men..in uniform... actually was the thrill..the drinks were the bonus.

Linda 10:34: whyyy, thank yah, dahlin'. That's verry sweet of y'all.

Carol 11:39: Actually, I may have upset the young pilot. I had a feeling we were screwed when we had to enter through the rear (LOL but seriously) but then I asked the handsome young pilot walking behind me, "Is the way we boarded any indication of how you fly, babe?" yeah, could have upset him. He did chuckle, but assured me he sits in the forward cabin and flies straight. I never saw him again. He bailed. But my antics on any size flight deck can NOT EVER rival Dennis' fun w/a stewardess in a plane's cramped bathroom. I bow at his feet...or something.

CA: Skoal, baby! Great stuff!

Warren said...

For Southern Belle @2:38 PM about Sunday LAT puzzles?

I have to print them out also and I've found that it's possible to write in the squares but the font size is smaller and it's more difficult. The biggest issue with printing out Sunday LAT's is that all of the clues don't always fit. There's usually one clue that is either off the edge or is missing some text...

How do you do the daily LAT? My method is to cut it out of the paper and enlarge it by 125%.

Just my 2 cents...

Warren said...

I just noticed that in today's Mercury News puzzle page there's a notice that says that they're now running the LAT puzzle and it ramps up in difficulty through the week. Then it goes on and gives the URL for this puzzle blog suggesting that if you have problems doing the puzzle then come here!

;-)

Dennis said...

Warren, that's great - and I have a feeling we'll be seeing more referrals to this blog.

WM said...

Warren...I did that. Sent them a letter thanking them for returning to LAT and some background on C.C. from her blog page and the link to this website...seemed only fair and I like to offer information to back up my comments.

The monster painting is almost complete...but I'm back to the studio..Ta!

kazie said...

Southern Belle,
The University of Wisconsin, Madison, has a NATATORIUM on campus. So I didn't think that word was so unusual, unlike NATANT, which I did find in Webster's but not my concise OED.

Mainiac,
Cute dog! Hope Samantha adjusts well to her new mouth gates.

carol said...

Lois, I just remembered that that area on a plane that houses the pilot, co-pilot and the guy that does the navigation is called the 'cock pit'....no wonder you were so interested in that area!LOL.

Dennis said...

Sallie, in the Pacific (west of the dateline), they're called typhoons. They tend to be a bit stronger than hurricanes, due to the warmer western Pacific waters.

tarrajo, the xray will be positioned at the entrance to my store - we'll see who's worthy of a discount.

Lois, not that it matters, but that rest room romp you're referring to actually took place on a train, during the 1966 airline strike.

mainiac, great looking puppy! Bernese?

I'm surprised at all the questioning of 'natant' - we've had that word before. Comes from the Latin, 'natare' (to swim).

Lola said...

Dennis: In Spanish it's nadar/to swim. I'm sure that Italian and French have very close cousins to this word.

kazie said...

Lola,
From my 9:21 this morning:
The French for "to swim" is "nager", so in French "swimming" as a participle would be "nageant"; as a noun it's "natation". The dictionary does give natant's Latin origins.

tarrajo said...

Mainiac, I just caught on to your puppy's avatar. When I see your name I just usually read your posts. Hang in there Dadio...

Jazz, I am sure your Samantha will endure her process even if it will probably be uncomfortable. They have come a long way in Orthodonture. Actually, Tashajo's Zoe was born with a cleft pallet and she had surgery just three months after birth and you can't even see her scar anymore.

Lois I am glad you found the drink cart and know your way around a "cockpit" as Carol pointed out.

Dennis, I am thinking of heading east towards you this summer. LGJ is a HUGE hockey fan. If I go through your xray machine what kind of discount are you offering. As you know, I am on a fixed income. If it's decent we might make a stop.

Jeannie said...

@Dennis, if I remember right, many moons ago you claimed to be a member of the "mile high" club. I am sticking with Lois on this one.

I, like Tarrajo am heading east this summer. What do you have in Vikings memorabilia? I am waiting for the summer slaughter to send you the last bet I lost to you. Perhaps we can come to an alternate agreement?

Anonymous said...

Carol, about 20 yrs. ago we took the Canadian train from Vancouver to Winnipeg and it was wonderful. The reason we went west to east was that the train went thru the Canadian Rockies during the day, whereas from east to west it went thru at night. Stayed in the Banff area for a few days and then reboarded. Had a private bedroom with a picture window to watch the beautiful scenery go by. Great food in the dining car, there was a 2-story scenic car and a caboose with a bar where we could watch the front end of the train enter the many tunnels. One of our most memorable trips. Don't know if all this is till done of course, but would recommend checking into it. Liz

lois said...

Carol: LMAO you are hysterical!

Jeannie: thanks for the vote of support. I remember it as a plane as well, but w/my memory and the CRS disease creeping up on me, it could 've been a 'plain' train a mile high in the mtns with deadheading stewardesses. The main point is that wherever it happened, it just shows that where there is a will, there is a way, and Dennis is such a willful and morel fellow that the conquest was just utterly remarkable. I still bow at his...uh...feet.

Dennis: not that it matters, but wherever it was, you still rock!