Aug 8, 2009

Saturday August 8, 2009 Gail Grabowski

Theme: None

Total blocks: 28

Total words: 70

Tough puzzle. Tough (but clever) cluing. Hardest Gail Grabowski I've ever solved. The grid is anchored by two 15-letter fills crossing each other right in the middle:

36A: Washington address: MISTER PRESIDENT

8D: Timber, for one: NATURAL RESOURCE

I was thinking of the place "address". Got the last intersecting letter T from ENTRE (31D): immediately, so I confidently filled in *STREET at the end of 36A. Very nice "Between, in Brest" clue. Delicate sexual innuendo. Alliteration too of course. Brest is the west extremity of France. ENTRE nous = "between us".

ELS (44A: 1994 U.S. Open champ) and EAGLE (21D: Some U.S. Open scores) were gimmes. Double bogey, bogey, par, birdie, EALGE are common US Open scores. Rare to see double EAGLE (albatross).

Across:

1A: Village People classic: MACHO MAN. Not a good clue, as CLASSICS is the answer for (60A: Some required reading). Y.M.C.A. is their biggest hit.

9A: Locale of a Stephen King residence: BANGOR. Look at his Victorian mansion.

15A: Latin-American pastry: EMPANADA. No idea. Looks like it's savory.

16A: Simple life?: AMOEBA. "Simple" indeed. But what a stumper for me. Kept thinking of the idyllic life little Heidi lives.

17A: Visited overnight: STAYED AT

18A: One might excite a gambler: HOT TIP

19A: Hinny's mother: ASS. Hinny is an offspring of a male horse and a female donkey. Female donkey is JENNY.

20A: Site of Europe's Parkpop festival, with "The": HAGUE. No idea. Wikipedia says Parkpop is the largest free pop festival in Europe, and it's held at Zuiderpark in the HAGUE on the last Sunday of June.

22A: Up in the air: UNSET

23A: Focus group?: CAMERA CREW. Despite the ? mark, I still thought of A.C. Nielson style "Focus group".

25A: Apollo's nymph: DAPHNE. Literally "laurel" in Greek. DAPHNE did not want Apollo's love and was changed into a laurel tree when pursued. The tree then became sacred to Apollo, who crowned the victors with laurel wreath at the Pythian Game (forerunner of the Olympics). Origin of "resting on one's laurel".

28A: Reminiscing word: AGO

29A: Not localized: WIDE

32A: Beginning of a response to "Eh?": I SAID. And ERS (56D: Sounds from the stumped).

33A: Stand for: ALLOW. OK, I won't stand for/ALLOW this behavior. I was in the "represent" direction, as in CRS stands for "Can't remember sh*t".

35A: It's often blocked on beaches: SUN

39A: Seasonal hrs.: EDT (Eastern Daylight time)

40A: Takes in: DUPES

41A: One with a pad, perhaps: NOTER. Thought of STENO first.

42A: They may be rough: SEAS. Of course, I thought of the golf fairway rough. U.S. Open always has the toughest rough.

45A: Kick out: DEPOSE

46A: Movie nerd, e.g.: STEREOTYPE. Stymied.

49A: View from the Acropolis: AGORA. The old Greek market. Parthenon stands atop Acropolis.

51A: Less ambiguous: SURER

52A: "We don't know yet, "on skeds: TBA

55A: Carnival ride?: CRUISE. Carnival CRUISE Lines.

57A: Starving: RAVENOUS. And EATS A LOT (62A: Reacts to being 57-Across).

59A: "Freestyle" performer, perhaps: RAPPER. Have never heard of "Freestyle rap". It's an improvised rap style.

61A: Pacers and Rangers: EDSELS. Nope. Both EDSEL Pacers and EDSEL Rangers were strangers to me. Thought of the NBA's Indiana Pacers and baseball's Texas Rangers.

Down:

1D: Formation with walls: MESA. Steep walls and flat top.

2D: Balance, e.g.: Abbr.: AMTS

3D: Bk. reviewers?: CPAS. Financial books. Very tricky clue.

4D: It's cut and dried: HAY. Perfect clue for our charming farmer/philosopher Windhover.

5D: Like a diving catch: ONE-HANDED

6D: Title for Dickens's Defarge: MADAME. No idea. MADAME Defarge is a character in "A Tales of Two Cities".

7D: Byword: ADAGE. Did not know the meaning of "Byword".

9D: Cross word: BAH. Cross is an adjective here, angry/annoyed.

10D: Illicit affair: AMOUR. It's just French for "love", fair l'AMOUR = make love.

11D: Unsurprising: NOT NEW. Wanted COMMON.

12D: Figures out: GETS WISE TO. This multiple word fill just drives me nuts.

13D: Award for "Hot l Baltimore": OBIE. No idea. The neon light of letter e of Hotel was burned out, hence Hot l.

14D: Engaged, in a way: RAPT

23D: Receipt: CHIT. Used to the IOU clue.

24D: __Bay, largest Oregon Coast City: COOS. No idea. The city is located in COOS County, where the COOS River enters COOS Bay on the Pacific Ocean, according to Wikipedia.

25D: Symbols of thinness: DIMES. I wanted RAILS. Have never heard of the expression "thin as a dime".

26D: Where all kidding occurs?: ASIDE. Idiom: "all kidding ASIDE".

27D: Some Campbell's creations: PASTA SOUPS. I make my own soup.

30D: Kara Kum features: DUNES. Kara Kum is a desert in Central Asia. Turkish for "Black Sand". New to me.

33D: Half an incomparable mixture: APPLES. Comparing APPLES and oranges.

34D: Gallo gadget: WINE PRESS. Not familiar with the Gallo Winery, the largest exporter of California wines.

37D: Hand wringer: RUER

38D: Knucklehead: DOPE

43D: ATM card feature: STRIPE

45D: Textile factor fixture: DYE VAT

47D: Means of support: EASEL. Oh, support for painters.

48D: Lilting refrain: TRA LA

49D: Parcel unit: ACRE. Was thinking of the post office parcel package rather than the plot of land parcel.

50D: Scholarship drive donor: GRAD

52D: One of Churchill's four offerings: TOIL. Churchill's famous line: "I have nothing to offer but blood, TOIL, tears and sweat".

53D: Osso __: BUCO. Osso=bone. BUCO=hole. Have some.

54D: Short staffer?: ASST. Nailed it immediately.

58D: Bug-loving org.: NSA. D'oh, the listening device bug.

Answer grid.

C.C.

72 comments:

windhover said...

CC:
Like the simple farmer I am, the clues that fit me are usually three letter fills. Hard to get the tough ones without the gimme help, though.
For anyone who wants to try the osso buco recipe, I'll be selling lamb shanks for $7.50 a pound at the Lancaster, Kentucky Farmer's Market this morning. Only $6.50 for Crossword Corner bloggers. Shipping extra.

C. C. said...

Windhover,
I bet some want personal delivery.

KQ,
Re: HARP On/"Talk incessantly about". Maybe you were thinking of CARP?

JD,
Re: FILE. No. :-) Your ALOE has become a fig then.

Patricia,
Hey!

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - a tough, tough puzzle for me today, but one I really enjoyed; just chock-full of clever clues and new words.

I had several unknowns, including 'Site of Europe's Parkpop festival', 'Coos' Bay, and 'Kara Kum features', although I did have several unique answers for the latter. I loved 'Carnival ride', 'Pacers and Rangers', 'It's cut and dried' (a gimme for windhover, no doubt) and 'Bug-loving org.'. I originally had 'camera club' for 'focus group', and that took a while to fix. Also confidently put 'DST' for 'Seasonal hrs.', which led me to 'reeds' for 'Symbols of thinness', and that really screwed me up. And last, but not least, as I was skimming the top, looking for traction, put 'Emmy' for 'Award for Hot L Baltimore', completely forgetting that it was an off-Broadway play long before it was a TV series. I really do plan to be smart when I grow up.

Today is Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day. Long as it's not mine.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and you are free." -- Jim Morrison (I fear zucchini on my porch)

And a George Carlin quote for the day: "Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac."

Argyle said...

Ouch Morning!

When I saw 61A: Pacers and Rangers started with an E and that EDSELS fit, I knew this was going to be a toughie. I switched to "red" letter mode and G-spotting about halfway through...and it was still hard.

To be fair, usually when I got the non-proper name words, I'd say, "I should have known that."

Ah, what the heck; if all the answers were gimmes, we wouldn't be a LAT puzzle.

Argyle said...

Oops, that last line should read, 'it' wouldn't be a LAT puzzle.

I'm glad I did it online; after all the entries I put in, took out, only to put back in again, had I been on news print, I would have had to have gotten another paper(or two).

Dennis said...

Argyle, you're right - mine looked like an ink-blot test.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Definitely a toughie today, mostly due to the clueing. The only word I just didn't have a clue about was EDSELS, and I'm still not sure what that has to do with Pacers and Rangers. Are we taling Ford cars here or something? If so, I thought Edsel was a model itself and didn't now there were multiple types of Edsels. Or maybe I'm on the wrong track entirely...

I finished in just under 20 minutes, which is a bit long for a Saturday LA Times puzzle. I had a LOT of false starts and had to delete large chunks of the grid multiple times. STENO for NOTER, EARNS for DUPES and ALOFT for UNSET, for example.

Overall, a good puzzle. Challenging, but interesting and basically fair.

Jeanne said...

Morning all,
I have to admit that this was a Saturday puzzle I actually enjoyed. I have gotten to the point where I don’t even try the Saturday puzzles on paper; automatically do them online. The good news is I needed fewer red letter help today than normal; a few vowels here and there got me through. Dennis, my initial thoughts on some of the clues were the same as you had plus I wanted CIA for NSA. This one gives me hope; and believe me I was losing hope for the Saturday puzzles.

I have a neighbor with zucchini plants and will be checking my porch soon! Although I like zucchini especially roasted. @Windhover, very handsome and Lois thanks for posting the pictures. Wine press reminded me of my Italian childhood when we had 50 gal. wooden vats and a wine press to make our own Italian red wine. Lots of work but so worth it. We would drive to Philadelphia to pick up the grapes and then weeks of work would start. Funny how my memories of childhood largely center around wine and food.
Have a great day all.

Linda said...

CC and gang: Toughie...but oddly enough, "cut and dried" came right away...I kept google hot today. "Noter"...rather clumsy. My chuckle was "hinney`s mother." Now I know why that is yet another name for, well......."Focus group" was a clever mis-direction.
Wanted "cleavage" for "between in Brest" but it wouldn`t fit... :)

Grandbabies today...FUN! See you Monday.

Argyle said...

1958 Edsels:
Sedans:
Pacer, Ranger, Citation and Ranger
Station Wagons:
Bermuda, Villager

Kathy said...

From an old WI farm gal I wanted to clarify that hay is not "cut and dried" - alfalfa is cut and dried and that is then hay for feeding animals! Oats are harvested and the stalks are cut and baled which is straw - a bedding for animals.

Rainy day in WI - good for third crop alfalfa!

Moon said...

Good Morning. This was rough but I enjoyed it.
When I read through the clues, the only thing that I could fill on my first try was EDT and EAGLE.
Red letters helped me complete it.
I loved Washington Address?, Focus Group?, bug-loving org?, Carnival ride?
With pacers and Rangers, I was convinced that it was about sports. So when perp made it EDSELS, I got a shock. Like Barry G, I always knew EDSEL as a ford brand..didnt know there were many types of those (thank you Argyle)

Thank you CC for a wonderful interview with Gail.

On the personal front, I did the Xword everyday except Friday. Came here to read CC's blog and the early morning comments. Monday and Tuesday's puzzle didnt offer anything to comment on.
Wednesday was a special day: the two problems in my life got fixed...I landed a great job and learned that my better-half is coming home(he is in India due to some work issues, since March).
Joined the new place on Thursday and I'm really excited...its all cutting edge technologies..things that I've always wanted to learn but never got a chance to work on.
I'm really lucky that they hired me even though I dont meet their requirements..the manager said my approach and attitude got me the job.
Looking forward to putting in some long hours. So I might not comment but I'll visit this page everyday.

Thank you all for your support..I couldnt have done it without you.

KQ said...

This was a super tough puzzle for me today, and needed lots of red letter help. Loved the clue Washington address. Was one of those days where things just weren't popping into my head. Lots of d'oh moments. I wanted RAILS vs. DIMES too, DOLT vs. DOPE, knew Stephen King was in Maine, but couldn't think of a city there. That was how the entire puzzle went. Couldn't for the life of me think of any Village People song but YMCA.

I would say a typical Saturday puzzle though. What we might expect.

Dennis, loved your George Carlin quote. So true. As I am spending lots of time letting my son who just has his permit drive now, we take note of all those "maniac" drivers a lot these days.

CC - While you are correct on CARP vs. HARP, I am not savvy enough to distinguish I guess. Now I know. That is what I love about doing the crosswords. I learn something valuable.

KQ said...

Moon, how exciting. Congratulations. If you are too busy to visit, we will miss you, but couldn't be better news. I was going to ask about you during the week, but kept forgetting (senior brain coming too soon). Attitude is everything, and I am glad that they recognized that in you.

lois said...

Good morning CC et al., Well, this is Sat all right! A tough one thru and thru,and I don't think real fair cluing for some. 43D Stripe? It's a strip that you swipe...is that then a stripe? All rightie then! Kara Kum? Dennis, I heard that laugh all the way over here and then to have it so close to 'entre Brest' was hilarious.

Windhover: Are you selling a shank of ewe? Where exactly is this market?

CA closed yesterday by saying Sleep Well. I didn't. I made a lot of mistakes. I need to fix 'em too. 'Er, Er, Er (Ers),I know! I'll call a 'noter' who comes "with a pad, perhaps". My pad is 'not new'. I may need a new padder too..won't need to read 'entre' the lines here. I'm sure he'll be a good 'asst'-short staffer(54D) or 'macho man', we'll make 'hay' while the 'sun' is 'unset'and soar w/the 'eagles' in pure 'rapt'ure. But only if we 'get wise to' the 'hot tip' and 'stay(ed) at' a Holiday Inn Express in Bangor, or was it Bangkok, but either way, it's all good.

Enjoy this gorgeous day.

Sallie said...

Good morning, everyone.
Didn't even attempt today's after a glance thru it. Had to work with DH to install a new printer.

Congratulations Moon. Such very good news. And to have your husband back is very good news too. We're all happy for you.

Cheers

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, A great puzzle, but soooo hard for me. Definitely a red letter help day. I ran into trouble with 4D. HA-? I thought immediately of prosciutto and filled in HAM...wrong!

Luckily, MACHO MAN, BANGOR, EMPANADA and AMOEBA were pretty easy fills, but the rest of the puzzle was hunt and peck to fill in a letter here and there. I figured the last five letters of 27D had to be SOUPS, so I put that in and went backward.

There were lots of "D'oh, I should have known that." moments. But still, there were things I just didn't have a clue about. I had to "G" Parkpop, skeds and Pacers/Rangers.

Poor DAPHNE, it wasn't a good idea to attract the attention of a god. The girls, and boys too, often ended up as a NATURAL RESOURCE.

C.C. 25A "Symbol of thiness" DIME, may have been used in the sense of "I wouldn't pay one thin dime for that piece of junk." It is a pretty common expression.

A great big congratulations to Moon! We were hoping that your silence was because of good fortune. It turned out that it was.

Moon said...

Lois, Loved your picture of Windhover though I was expecting a pic of both of you. Missed your daughter's wedding pic as I'm just reading all the old comments today.

Thank you KQ.

Moon said...

Thank you Sallie and Clear Ayes (always love the gem of poems you find for us.)

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone! This puzzle really beat me down. I couldn't get a foot hold anywhere. For the first time in quite I while I gave up in defeat and used the online solve to try and help me understand what was what. Not a fun solve at all.

@moon CONGRATULATIONS! Excellent news on a couple of fronts. We knew that you were a go-getter with your job search reports and that really paid off!

Have a great Saturday.

WM said...

Quick hi...will be gone all day up in CA' neck of the woods. Unfortunately, she is also out and about or I would drive the extra time to finally meet her.

Have a great Saturday everyone.

KittyB said...

Good morning, all.

This was a toughie, but I really enjoyed it. The top two thirds filled in first and then I had to slog through the bottom section. Great clues (even the French...) I managed to complete the c/w without Googling. I used red letter help to let me know when I erred.

Moon, way to go! Congratulations to you. Perhaps you were meant to loose your last job so that you could make this step up. Clearly your ability and attitude account for the swift turnaround. Best of luck to you.

Clear Ayes, I took a class with my sisters last week at Sur la Table, and they used prosciutto spread with Maytag bleu cheese to stuff a chicken breast, and then created an apricot-rum barbecue sauce to go with it. Mmmmmmmm.

Windhover, that sounds like quite a Farmer's market. I can get shrimp and crab from the Gulf, and steaks at my market, but I've never seen anyone offer lamb shanks.

Someone opened the door to food discussion this week, and I wonder if there is a connection between crossword solvers and foodies?I bet I could get the government to come through with a grant to study it! lol

Lois...I love the pictures you've posted. While we all enjoy seeing windhover, we want to see you, too.

Argyle, when I was struggling with Pacers and Rangers, I finally realized that we had seen a clue like this before, but I never expected EDSELS would be the answer! DUNE was an outright guess, and all the other toughies fell to the perps.

I hope you all have a good weekend. I'm going out to check the porch.

Argyle said...

Moon, this should take you to last Thursday's comments. both pictures are there.

Lois

The happy couple...9:55 AM

lois said...
OK, here ya go! Windhover and I are at a quaint bar in Lexington.... 11:55 AM

IRISH JIM said...

Good morning CC and all.

Filled in the blanks about as fast as I could write today...... Of course I had CC's answers up on the screen.
Unknowns for me today were 1-62 across and 1-58 down. No I lie, did get eagle/edt/Tba/Els/Sun.
Thank you Sallie, Crockett and Lois for letting me know i was not alone..

Moon, heartiest congratulations to you.

Jimmy S. Carolina

Clear Ayes said...

Windhover, That blogger discount makes me want to hop on a plane!

KittyB, Wow, that sounds delicious!

WM is right. GAH and I are on our way out the door in a few minutes. It's a beautiful day for some wine tasting, so we are heading north for Calaveras County with some friends. There are some very nice wineries there and I expect to bring back a few bottles.

Our companions today are the folks who have gifted us lots of zucchini in the past. But we will have our eyes on them today, so I know they won't be sneaking up to our porch when our backs are turned.

I'll check in later. Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Hi-Instead of "thin as a dime" think of the phrase "one thin dime"--Nice job on the puzzle...thanks for the help. I had Pennsylvania Ave....which fit perfectly and kept me undone for a LONG time.

lois said...

Now this is my Baby Girl's REAL wedding pic...looks so much like her father, esp around the eyes. Spent $125 on the updo for the occasion and countless hours getting every feather just right. It was worth it though. The cantor (witch doctor) said the charm of the honeymoon should last forever as long as they each keep a feather. (I didn't ask where). I told her how you all wished her the best. She said to tell you all, "Hunk-a-ma-mon-ka-ta-dunk" which is "Thank you very much" in Cajunish kentuckyan. It was a beautiful ceremony.

Anonymous said...

Found some of the cluing a bit too loose for my taste today, but I did manage to slog through with some red letter help (something I rarely use). I did get Edsels quickly once I saw the E in the first position, thinking of what dogs AMC Pacers had been from a marketing perspective. I wasn't sure if Rangers had been as well, but at least the clue reference helped me think along the lines of Fords and their most notorious flop.

No vocabularly building 50 cent words in this puzzle; but that's kind of par for the course in the LAT puzzles. It seems to me that just the cluing and references get trickier and more obscure as the week progresses, not the answers.

Great interview with Gail the constructor, c.c. I was amazed that a former English teacher would say that she did did enjoy cluing aspect of x-word puzzle construction. Maybe I'm reading too much into her paranthetical comment on the subject.

-anon-hp

windhover said...

Lois:
that market is essentially portable.

MJ said...

Congratulations, Moon!!
Your can-do attitude obviously shone through!
Best wishes as you reunite with your "better half."

Anonymous said...

I was OK until I got to the bottom left. I wanted to put in alum instead of grad, plus I didn't get the Pacers/Rangers thing. The actual Hotel Baltimore is on Skid Row in Los Angeles, I drive by it all the time. I remember the short-lived TV show as well.

chickie said...

Hello All--Er, Uh, Duh, and all the other sounds from being stumped. I gave up on the bottom 2/3rd's of the puzzle after doing fairly well on the top part and came to C.C. for help. My brain just couldn't get around some of the clever cluing. Had a lot of head slapping moments when I found out what the answers were.

Irish Jim, I LOL'd at your take on filling in (with C.C.'s answers in front of you!)

Congratulations Moon on both fronts. Life is sweet! Your attitute is so positive.

C.C. Another great interview with Gail Grabowski.

Welcome Patricia.

Jerome said...

Gail is a flat out terrific constructor and today's puzzle is loaded with fun and entertaining words and phrases. No need to recount them, they're all over the place. I walked away from this puzzle smiling. What more could you ask for from a puzzle?

Anonymous- A lot of constructors dislike writing clues. A lot of them hate it. Start writing your own clues for today's puzzle and see if you're not bored silly, or tired of the research within ten minutes.

KQ said...

Jeannie from yesterday, Nash Finch hosted a food show at the Convention Center Wednesday and Thursday. My daughter works for Acosta and they had several booths apparently. I am a little clueless, but I guess we were talking about two different things. If she attends the one you are talking about, I will let you know and you could say hi to her.

It appears you went to Oake on the water at Maynards on Thursday? I am jealous. Always want to go, but somehow never make it.

Chickie said...

I have a fabulous Lamb shank recipe from WWII days.
Steam Lamb shanks 45 min. to 1 hour in enough water to cover with one onion and salt to taste.
Sauce: 1 C. salad oil, 1 C wine vinegar, 1 heaping teaspoon Rosemary, 1 Tablespoon Worchestershire sauce, 2Tablespoons dry mustard, 3 cloves garlic sliced, salt and pepper.
Marinate steamed shanks in sauce for two hrs. and baste with sauce while BBQing.

We raised lambs for 4-H projects and these were a hit at the end of our fair season when we had a huge lamb BBQ for all the members of our group Lamb project. We bought the lamb, didn't eat one of ours!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone,

I was wondering why President Obama is ofter referred to as Mr. Obama.
In a recent news cast Mr. Clinton was referred to as President Clinton while President Obama was referred as Mr. Obama.


Best to all,
Geri

Jerome said...

Dennis- I asked a question of you but posted it in the section dealing with Gail's interview. I meant to post it here.

What do you believe to be the reason for this blog being ignored by other blog writers.

Dennis said...

Jerome, I have no idea. Fact is, it is. I've asked the question and received no answer.

embien said...

33:32 today. As you can see from my time, I had a severe struggle with this one. I did get it all filled in, eventually, only to not receive the "congratulations" pop-up.

I did know exactly where the problem was, as I had PURER for 51a: Less ambiguous, which made the incomparable mixture APPLEP. I had to run through the alphabet to get the final "S" as I just for the life of me coulcn't figure out what 33d: Half an incomparable mixture was going for. A real forehead slapping moment when I finally figured that one out.

@kathy: I'm an old Oregon farm boy and can assure you that not all hay is alfalfa. In fact, hay is one of Oregon's largest cash crops (the hay is trucked to large dairy operations such as the ones that make Tillamook cheese--they can't grow enough hay for their needs locally). Oregon Hay Growers Assn

Hay is made from any kind of grass that provides nutrition to the cows, with alfalfa and timothy bringing higher prices.

All hay is cut and dried. The reason for drying is because damp baled grass can spontaneously combust as it loses its moisture in storage.

I spent many miserable, hot summer days as a kid putting up hay--lifting 50 lb bales up over your head onto the truck is no picnic, I can assure you. It's now all automated with machinery doing the heavy lifting.

@moon: Congratulations! Attitude is 90% of getting ahead, I'm convinced. We always used to say "you can teach the technical details needed in the job, but you can't teach a positive approach to the work".

Jerome said...

Dennis- perhaps the silence is because it's hard for some people to admit, or realize, that they're psuedo-intellectual elitist snobs.

Dennis said...

Jerome, from your lips. Well said, my friend.

embien said...

clear ayes (from yesterday): Yes, I had Trini Lopez and Luis Prima confused in my feeble brain (the movie in question is Big Night). My confusion doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the movie...

tarrajo said...

Well it seems I have some thank you notes and just a couple of zucchini back from the neighbors. Funny thing is that LGJ, his friend and I went to the garden to inspect the damage, as we had a heck of a storm last night. One of my cherry tomato plants took a hit but lo and behold I just picked another EIGHT zucchini. Can anyone or anything kill this beast? Two more loaves of bread are in the oven and I used another one for Jeannie's au gratin recipe.

lois said...

Jerome 3:08: Well said! You rock!

Moon: congratulations! I'm so happy for you and so proud of you. You are a lesson to us all. I hope you love your new job.

Windhover: portable? Isn't that like the lamb being on the 'lam'?
I like how you think just the same.

carol said...

Hi all, I did not complete the puzzle, it 'completed' me. I carried it gently to recycle.

Moon, what wonderful news! I knew you wouldn't have to wait long with your good attitude. Also so happy about your husband as I am sure you are!!!

Dennis, that Carlin quote struck a nerve with me...I am afraid that is how I react when driving. Of course, I am perfect. :0

Sam said...

Dennis and Jerome,

My guess about why other bloggers don't post here is (1) they don't have the time, and more important,
(2) there isn't so much concentrated talk about the puzzle and much more talk about personal stuff.
All you guys know each other very well, and the blog comes off like a coffee klatch.
Don't get me wrong -- I think that's a lovely thing, but it might make a difference to someone interested in analyzing the puzzle.

Just my 2 cents!
Sam

Golf Gal said...

Difficult, but interesting puzzle today. I am impressed by the early solvers.
Golf Gal

eddyB said...

Hi everyone, For a bit of a chuckle, check out Peanuts in Sunday's comics.

eddyB.

PJB-Chicago said...

Hello, all. Tough puzzle, eh!? I am relieved that at least some of the many mistakes I made were the same ones made by some of our veteran solvers.

In my defense' "BOX OF WINE" has the same number of letters as WINE PRESS for 34D, and "MICHELLE'S NEW PAD" could have fit quite nicely in 36A. Those darn perps would't cooperate.

Since I was solving in a crowded non-chain coffee shop, I was more than a little hesitant to see what turned up when I google-ized 30D. Kind of a risk, there for me because I don't want people thinking I am looking online for "exotic dates." "Ruins" was my first semi-informed guess, but later perped my way to DUNES.

@Moon. Congrats on the job! They're lucky to have you. You and your husband have much to celebrate.

@C.C.: Thanks for the clear & helpful write up as well as the fine interview with today's constructor. I think I would have given up on the brain-wracking grid if not for this blog & the people you've gathered here. Thanks!

Barb B said...

I’m with Irish Jim today, or worse. I looked up everything, but wouldn’t give up. It’s all good.

Congratulations Moon! I’m not surprised that your attitude helped land the job. We’ve noticed that here too.

JimmieB, thanks for the info on Babette’s feast. I liked it the first time I saw it, but liked it even better the second time. Did the restaurant really serve all the same food? I’m not sure I could enjoy the quails in their coffins.

I’ve been busy in the kitchen, but not making dinner. Today it was german chamomile infused oil, orange skin cream, and elderberry toner. Added them to the cuticle cream, night cream, marshmallow hand lotion, and green salve previously concocted. Comfrey cream is next. So much cheaper and more fun than commercial products, but can’t compete with Eminence. (that’s a line Melissa Bee introduced to me. Unbelievably fragrant and expensive.) MBee makes some pretty nice things herself. We share recipes but rarely have the chance to work together.

Tarrajo, I’d dig those plants up and use them for compost. ☺

Jerome said...

Sam- The fact that other bloggers don't post here is fine with me. Nothin' wrong with that. And you're right, sometimes this site does seem like a coffee klatch or a chatroom for sharing recipes. However, most folks here are serious solvers, love crosswords and often make astute and clever observations about puzzles. C.C. is a terrific blog host and her affection for crosswords is clear. I would also add that many top constructors have gladly consented to be interviewed here. That list includes people like Nancy Salomon and Merl Reagle. Both legendary constructors.

That said, my beef is this. Almost all crossword blogs publicize links to other crossword discussion sites. I cannot find one that has a link to this site. Cruciverb does, but that's not a blog. I find this no less than a slight done knowingly and with snide intentions. This omission looms even more ridiculous and foul when this blog is, in fact, among the most popular. There's a stink to this that reeks all the way to hell.

Libeara said...

CC:
Very enjoyable puzzle today.. really made me think. Loved the Carnival ride clue! Made me laugh when I finally figured it out. Still working on the Edsels???

Don't stop thinking about tomorrow!

kazie said...

Hi everyone,
I have to admit failure today. My 20 minute effort over breakfast wasn't enough to get real traction. I had HAGUE, SEAS, EDT, DUPES, NOTER, ENTRE and DUNES before we had to leave for the day. On arriving home about an hour ago, there has been too much to do to get into it again. So I came here to admit defeat.

Tarrajo,
I repeat, if you'd like those recipes, I have them scanned ready to email you if you will just drop an email to me so I have your e-address. I promise I won't haunt you for any reason afterwards!

WH et al,
I also have a lamb shank recipe from my Oz life:
Fry shanks in a pan until browned slightly, then place in a pot big enough, with a little oil in the bottom. Sauté2 chopped onions in the pan juices, add 4 oz. sliced mushrooms (canned or fresh) with some green pepper and a 15 oz can crushed tomatoes, or fresh equivalent. When soft, add to meat in pot, sprinkle with thyme, paprika, salt and pepper and add a bay leaf and a little white wine. Simmer slowly until meat starts to leave the bones. Then thicken the sauce before serving with rice or potatoes.

JimmyB said...

Barb B - re Babette's Feast, yes the exact same meal. We had dinner first, then the movie, so some of the preparations had us wondering what was going on here! The Mercury had an article about the restaurant's effort, so we weren't totally in the dark.

Clear Ayes said...

Just got home a little while ago. We had some wonderful wines and a very good lunch too. The rest of the evening will be devoted to patio relaxation and a bottle of newly purchased Semillon.

I'm with you Jerome. I think this blog is plenty crossword concentrated. Our first comments of the day zero in on problems, questions and opinions of the daily puzzle. But after that, how much can be said about the clues and answers? I've read some of the other crossword blogs and the "Comments" usually stick to "I liked this", "I didn't like that", or "Help!".

For some, a crossword blog should be about the puzzle and nothing else, but C.C. has encouraged us to range free. People come for the crossword information and they stay for the personal interaction. Other blog hosts or participants may not consider this blog to be "crossword pure" enough.

Not being included in the other blogs list of links is the price to be paid for apparent crossword blog heresy, but the price is being paid by their participants, who may not be aware of the great vibes going on over here.

I'm certainly glad that C.C. is independent enough to steer her blog in a way that is the most informational, instructive AND the most fun for any Free-ranger who happens to drop by.

Dennis said...

Sam, as Jerome so eloquently stated, the concern isn't about other bloggers joining us, it's about the snub from the other crossword blogs. I wrote a very nice, polite email (I know, I know, hard to believe) to the 'gentleman' who runs another crossword blog, and pointed out that C.C. has a link to his blog, and would he consider doing the same. I wasn't deemed worthy of a response. I don't get it. Hell, we even have regular bloggers here that won't hesitate to post a link to his blog, but wouldn't think to do the same on that blog.

Sorry for the mini-rant, and I know C.C. won't be happy with my talking about it, but it truly pisses me off.

kazie said...

Dennis, Sam, CA and Jerome,
If the other blog sites don't admit that we're their equal, then they must just have their noses out of joint because we have more fun. At least in that sense we're superior!

Moon,
Congrats on landing the great job. I just got around to reading your comment more thoroughly.

Dennis said...

Kazie, an excellent point - there can only be one reason why they wouldn't want to acknowledge C.C.'s blog.

Moon, I missed it too - only had time to skim the posts today. Congratulations and good luck - it was apparent from the beginning that you had a winning attitude.

Jeannie said...

We all start the day by doing the puzzle and commenting about it. That is our common thread so to speak. I am stepping up to the plate. I have been a part of this blog for over a year. Not always a popular one, but none the less I have changed my ways for the most part. I would be willing to bet that 95% of the people on this site found it "googling" an answer. (I really wondered how Dennis found it.) I degress. Dennis has made a great point as some of us have become friends via e-mail, visits to other's towns, (Lois/WH) is a good example. It is what makes this site so enjoyable. We want to hear about a new birth of a grandchild, a new scrape Brady might acquire, and even sickness and death that a blog friend is facing. Moon, when you lost your job, everyone here rallied around you. That's just another example why this bog site is special. C.C. I implore you, don't change it.

Anonymous said...

Jimbo, A while back you offered to send copies of the xeroxed pages you have from"Santa anna's Peak". I did not respond because I wanted to see if the book is available from our library. I have found out it is in the UW Historical Library so I will plan to make a trip over ther soon to check it out. In the meantime, we're ready for another story.

Also, if anyone is interested in WW II stories, I just received notice that a book about the woman who was taken prisoner by the Japanese from Attu Is., Alaska will be released Oct. 1. The book is, "Last Letters from Attu" by Mary Breu. Many people are not aware of the fact that the Japanese invaded Alaska. Foster & Etta Jones were the last white people on Attu. Foster was killed & Etta was held as a prisoner in Japan along with some Australian
nurses from a different island. I'm looking forward to reading the book.

Dot

Anonymous said...

Hi C.C and all,
I have been here since about day one.
I found this blog googling.
How about the rest of you?
I also tell everyone who will listen to me about it as well.

Best to all,

Geri

kazie said...

I started here last July after landing here from google. I had never blogged or had any online contacts other than email before.

I have several friends who do the XW daily, but are still working and don't have time to blog. I've told them all and forwarded them the website though. Maybe some are lurking, like one of DH's cousins said she would.

MJ said...

As a newbie at this site, here's my take on the current discussion.

@CA-- I think you summed it up well when you wrote "People come for the crossword information and they stay for the personal interaction." That's how I found this site, and why I'm sticking around.

ALSO...I'm blown away by C.C.'s incredible grasp of the English language and culture.

ALSO...Many of the posters tickle me! I giggle, LOL, chuckle, guffaw, and more at many of the postings. Thank you all. (My award for today goes to Irish Jim!)

PJB-Chicago said...

Good evening, all!
Reading the discussion here about "the other blogs" has me thinking. As a relative newcomer to the group, I have to say a few things.
I admit to checking on the other blogs from time to time, and don't wish to play down their contributions to lovers of crosswords, but I cannot understand why they wouldn't link here as they do to so many other tools or resources for solvers.

There is, after all, no competition for ad dollars, awards or viewership. Better said, if someone reads--or posts at--all, one or none of the blogs, no blog-host gains or loses anything tangible that I can figure out. Am I missing something?

This blog is a community. Everyone is welcome and greeted once they start posting comments. That is huge for me. second, no polite question is met with derision. I may get hard clues about golf or French or history, for example, but anything involving, say, hockey or physics is goin' straight over my head. No prob here.. If someone says "please explain....", someone does.

The depth and breadth of expertise here in our circle is a huge draw. Among many others, we have constructors, artists, scientists, linguists, historians, teachers, scientists....the list unfurls. Can most of us do a Saturday puzzle in under five minutes? Probably not. I doubt most us consider speed our top priority.

Of course, top of the list, it's the magnanimous, whipsmart C.C. who keeps us coming back. She sets the tone through her careful parsing of clues, explanations, comments and interviews.
Dennis and Argyle contribute as well, and we're all lucky that CC has such good people to help her out as needed.

She deserves acknowlegement not just from her followers, but from her peers, too. Any of us who host or co-host a blog (or blogs) would do well to take a long look at her playbook, and emulate her ethics, drive, class and poise.

Clear Ayes said...

There are so many witty, intelligent and just plain nice people here. Every day brings a new tidbit of knowledge and always, two or three good laughs. To top it off, we start with an excellent breakdown of the daily crossword. What's not to like?

Geri, I found the blog last summer, the same way everyone else did. I was stuck on some obscure piece of crosswordese, googled it and there was C.C.'s blog. Like most everyone else, I lurked for a while and watched the fun, until it was just too tempting and I had to jump in.

Dennis said...

Hey, I don't wanna see this become an 'us against them' thing (well, I don't care, but I know that's not what C.C. wants), and I think we're all on the same page, so let's see if we can't move on to a different subject, say, why both Windhover and Lois were grinning so much in that picture, for example. I'm the one that started the 'other blog' thing, and I'm gonna get hollered at enough already for that.

PJB-Chicago said...

Dennis. agreed!
New topic: who put the zucchini on my doorstep!?
Wait, there's an Enya c.d. too. Do I smell hay?!

Night, all...
pjb

Clear Ayes said...

Dennis, An even better topic of discussion...how'd that green paint work out for you today?

Moving on with my last post of the night. Thanks to that half bottle of Semillon and instructions from Crockett and Embien, I've already finished up Sunday's puzzle via Cruciverb.com It's a goodie. I hope those of you who will wait until tomorrow morning's newspaper can sleep well knowing that a fun and (a little) frustrating time awaits you.

Crockett1947 said...

As another "old timer" here on the blog, I found it by going to the g-spot for an answer I couldn't get, and there was C.C. and this marvelous blog. I lurked for a while and finally posted a comment. Didn't know how to blog or really understood what a blog was. I've watched it grow into a great community, and miss it greatly when I can't access it.

I can understand the smile on windhover and lois' faces. It's so good to meet a friend in person after establishing the relationship over the internet.

Good night, all -- see you tomorrow!

tarrajo said...

PBJ in Chi-town...re: the "Z" word ummm...not me.

tarrajo said...

KittyB did you not receive your "shipment"? I have a tracking number if not. Just thinking about my neighbors to the east.

Chickie said...

A quick comment on why I came to this blog. I had Googled a clue for an answer and this Blog came up. I became facinated by the expertice of C.C. and the banter of all the Bloggers. I lurked for almost a year, then finally commented for the first time at the urging of WM.

We lost our L.A. Times Crossword and I e-mailed WM that I had sent a complaint to our editor at the Mercury News in San Jose.

WM told me to stop lurking, go on-line and print the puzzle out there. We both e-mailed our paper, and lo-and-behold the L.A. Times puzzle was put back into our paper!

Since then, I have met two of the Bloggers (WM and JD) who live here in the San Jose area, and hope to meet others as time goes on. This has been a fun journey with everyone here.