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Sep 26, 2009

Saturday September 26, 2009 Barry Silk

Theme: None

Total blocks: 33

Total words: 68

There are exactly 34 Across and 34 Down fills. Very balanced. We don't often see an equal number of across and down entries.

Hey - it's Dennis. I really enjoyed this puzzle. Not just because it's a Silky, but also because a) there's no three-letter answers, a real construction feat (probably the reason why this puzzle is not a pangram), and b) there's a pair of stacked ten-letter entries in each of four quadrants, and I love the longer answers. Also several of the clues and answers hit home personally, as you'll see as you go through the write-up.

Barry said his seed entry was Cole Hamels. He had released 2008 Phillies Championship Tribute on our blog in Jan 2009. HAMELS was part of the theme answer, clued as "MVP of the 2008 Phillies". C.C. mentioned that the puzzle eventually made it into Phillies' organization.

Across:

1A: Dr.'s calendar item: APPT (Appointment).

5A: Arizona's southwesternmost county, or its seat: YUMA. Do you remember '3:10 to Yuma'? I remembered the 1957 version, with Glenn Ford & Van Heflin, but not the 2007 remake with Russel Crowe & Christian Bale.

9A: Narrow one's brows (at): SCOWL. Look displeased/angry.

14A: Tigger's pal: POOH. Just vaguely remember the characters of "Winnie The Pooh" in Hundred Acre Wood.

15A: "Stop pouring now!": WHEN. Think our DFettes ever say 'when'?

16A: NFL commentator Long: HOWIE. He was a great defensive end.

17A: Prefix with marketing: TELE. Telemarketing. We all love telemarketers.

18A: Phillies pitcher who received the 2008 World Series MVP Award: COLE HAMELS. Obviously, one of my favorite clues. Cole got us only our second World Series Championship in over 120 years. He's married to Heidi Strobel from Survivor.

20A: Car roof with removable panels: T-TOP. Here's an example.

21A: Instants of revelation, as for puzzle solvers: AHA MOMENTS. Who doesn't love that moment when the light comes on?

22A: Easier version, in music scores: OSSIA. From the Italian for 'alternatively'. Was originally spelled o sia, meaning "or be it".

24A: Iditarod destination: NOME. A great test of endurance for both people and dogs.

25A: Sports intermission: HALF TIME.

28A: Elvis's swivelers: HIPS. But not everyone got to see them initially. Early TV shows kept the camera above his waist when he performed. Watch this example from the Ed Sullivan show.

32A: Co-proprietor: JOINT OWNER. Scrabbly J.

34A: French 101 verb: ETRE. I was expecting 'amas' or 'amat' (Latin) from force of habit.

35A: Existing independent of experience, in logic: A PRIORI. Deductive or presumptive. Opposite a posteriori. Buckeye has given us several long lectures on A PRIORI.

36A: Libya neighbor: TUNISIA. It's at the very top of Africa. See it? Capital city is Tunis, which was gridded in our puzzle on Thursday. An intentional ALGERIA trap.

38A: Pimples: ZITS. Almost put a picture here but didn't, 'cause it wasn't pretty.

39A: Photographer known for his black-and-white American West scenes: ANSEL ADAMS. I love his photographs. This is my favorite of his works; I want that road.

41A: Citrus peel: ZEST. Only the colored portion of the rind. The white pith is bitter.

42A: Emits, as pheromones: SECRETES. I love how it perps 29D, 'It's a secret'.

43A: Part of MSG: MONO. Monosodium glutamate. The Chinese restaurant next to my hobby store is always filling our dumpsters with empty MSG drums.

44A: Snow coasters: SLEDS.

47A: Angler's item: FISHING ROD

53A: Bra size: B CUP. A bit smaller than this one, and a LOT smaller than this one.

54A: Carefully entering: EASING INTO. Ah, the images...

55A: Cube maker Rubik: ERNO. We should all have this guy memorized by now.

56A: Goaded, with "on": EGGED. Wanted 'urged' initially.

57A: Fiddling tyrant: NERO. He fiddled while Rome burned.

58A: Flat fee?: RENT. Good clue. British call apartment "flat".

59A: Hotsy-__: TOTSY. We have many on this blog.

60A: Dutch export: EDAM. Named after the town in the Netherlands where the cheese was first made.

61A: Souped-up Pontiacs: GTOS. My favorite muscle car. This is identical to one of the ones I had.

Down:

1D: Is __: probably will: APT TO.

2D: Meter experts?: POETS. Poetic meter. Very clever.

3D: Golfers' tops: POLO SHIRTS. I was initially going for something involving a visor.

4D: 2002 film about a musician who survived the Holocaust: THE PIANIST. Remember Adrien Brody's liplock on Halle Berry at the Academy Awards?

5D: Girls' rec. center: YWCA. Since 1858. YMCA was established in 1844.

6D: "Here comes trouble": UH OH.

7D: Skin pigment: MELANIN. Albinos are not able to produce melanin.

8D: Wind-speed measurer: ANEMOMETER. From the Greek 'anemos' (wind); measures wind speed. Here is a simple one.

9D: Humiliate: SHAME. I was expecting 'abase'.

10D: Arrive: COME. Nope. Not touching it. Lois, any comments?

11D: Wilson of "Marley & Me": OWEN. He's been here in Philly lately shooting a movie.

12D: Droop like aging flowers: WILT. Any time I see 'wilt", I think of Wilt Chamberlain -played for Philly and the only player to score 100 points in an NBA game. He claimed in his book to have "slept with 20,000 women". Must've been a narcoleptic.

13D: Not so much: LESS.

19D: Self-government: HOME RULE.

23D: Range below soprano: ALTO.

26D: Dirt-cheap: FOR A SONG.

27D: Like some remote-control planes: TWIN ENGINE. We sell quite a few R/C planes, and about 90% of them are single engine. Twin engines add a whole new level of complexity, just as they do in real thing.

28D: German university town: HEIDELBERG. HEIDELBERG University is one of Europe's oldest educational institutes.

29D: "Don't tell anyone": IT'S A SECRET

30D: Schoolmarmish: PRIM.

31D: Sailors' milieus: SEAS. Was expecting 'bars'...

32D: Cool cat's music: JAZZ. JAZZ typifies Barry's hallmark scrabbliness.

33D: Mayberry tyke: OPIE. An old friend who visits often.

37D: Washington team: NATS. Washington Nationals. The doormats of the National League.

40D: Treated with disdain: SCORNED. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. I speak from experience.

43D: Mork's friend: MINDY. Played by Pam Dawber.

45D: Slangy "Beats me!": DUNNO.

46D: Windex targets: SPOTS

47D. Word after bare or square: FEET

48D: "Othello" traitor: IAGO. Another frequent visitor. No Moor!

49D: USMC rank: SSGT. Staff Sergeant (E-6). Would've been my next rank had I stayed in.

50D: Goes quickly: HIES

51D: Other, in Oaxaca: OTRA. Feminine. OTRO is masculine.

52D: Dire Destiny: DOOM. Nice alliteration.

Answer grid.

Should you have time, try to solve Barry's Newsday Stumper today. It's quite the hammer.

Dennis

Note from C.C.: Happy Birthday, Dennis! Thanks for the fun, knowledge and words of wisdom you bring to us every day.

62 comments:

Argyle said...

Good show, Dennis. You've been holding out on us.

C. C. said...

Argyle,
What were your trouble spots today?

Al,
Wow, you read my mind. Perfect G strings & UKE information.

Barb B,
Great picture. Congratulations on your new godchild Johah! It's been a long time since the dewy flower days, hasn't it? Jojoba oil is marvelous. Thanks for the suggestion.

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c., dennis, and all,

happy happy birthday dennis, fantastic write up. seems like barry was thinking of you with the marine, gto and philly references .. and a few others that will go unmentioned.

typically enjoyable, albeit a little easier, silky. liked seeing full name of ANSEL ADAMS, and loved AHA MOMENTS. great to see JAZZ and (a night in) TUNISIA together.

great links, HEIDELBERG is breathtaking.

may all your bday wishes come true, hope it's spectacular.

C. C. said...

Melissa,
Yes, indeed, this puzzle seems to be tailor-made for Dennis.

Windhover,
I've been enjoying your posts, from Ayn Rand to Border Cheviots, thanks for the input.

PJB,
Tradition, tradition, tradition...I seriously doubt LA Times will accept the Sudoku rating. Great idea though.

C. C. said...

Dennis,
Thanks for the great write-up and wonderful links. Very MOREL. Shall we start another sausage link in honor of your birthday?

Dennis seemed ...

Argyle said...

Oh, let's see.
Words I wouldn't have gotten without perpassist: Heidelberg, a priori, ossia, Cole Hamels. A couple I had to change: secretes(sends out), easing into(edging into). There probably are others, like not remembering ERNO Rubic, but were filled in before I had to really think about them.

While I'm here; Bill, have you tried Heidelberg Bread made in Herkimer, NY. No preservatives but it, boy, it's good.

Argyle said...

Dennis seemed...darn needy...

Anonymous said...

Dennis seemed...darn needy..yet

windhover said...

Darn needy, yet topped

Moon said...

Good Morning!
Happy Birthday Dennis...I was sure CC was talking about you yesterday when she mentioned the guest blogger.
Wishing you all the fun and excitement that only birthdays can bring.
Wonderful writeup.

On to the puzzle..easier than most saturdays. The only place I had problem was the NW: couldnt think of APT TO and POETS. And I want to kick myself for not getting POOH immediately. I thought of all the characters: Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Owl, Piglet, Kanga etc and tried to remember which character has a 4 letter name ending with OH.
Maybe its the effect of all the whiskey I drank last night and less than 4 hours of sleep.

Loved seeing AHA moments.

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm off to a 6-8 mile walk/run now.

windhover said...

CC:
thank you. As you will see in a later comment, I always aim to please.

Dennis:
Very nice job, on a very nice puzzle. This one should please most, it didn't give up
easily, but was very doable, without help but with some persistence.

I'm sure Lois won't pass up the chance to parse this one, but as for me, when the Irish says 10D, I
never say 15A, and certainly no 54A.

As I've told you before (I think), my GTO was a '66, also a ragtop, but black, black top and interior, 389 Tri-power, 4-speed with 3.90 rear gear. Love to have it back.

Anonymous said...

Dennis seemed darn needy yet topped dark

KQ said...

Happy Birthday Dennis. I am sure you will make it memorable in some way. Me thinks it was a good start for you guest blogging a Silk puzzle tailor made for you. Great job!

Loved this puzzle. It was the right blend of doable with some challenge. Some great cluing, and loved AHA MOMENTS, JAZZ, ITS A SECRET, and on and on. I wondered whether CC was familiar with WHEN? Eat worms on ERNO each and every time. Don't know why that doesn't stay in my brain. We certainly have had it enough.

After the first picture on BCUP, I couldn't imagine what the second one would be. Dennis, your saying you are not touching COME constitutes a comment in my opinion.

Just saw an ANSEL ADAMS display at Balboa Park in San Diego so he was a gimmie. Tigger was my son's favorite character, so POOH was easy as pie too.

Interestingly, my kids just watched a utube video recently about the "World's biggest ZIT". I of course peeked, but wouldn't watch the entire 20 minutes or so. I will not link it as it was incredibly disgusting stuff but you are welcome to google it. I felt sorry for the guy, although you never see his face. Kids love the gross stuff.

Well, homecoming dance tonight for my kids. Pray for their safety if you are so inclined.

Al said...

ZITS is a very funny comic strip if you have a teenage son...

Pooh was a big deal for us when the kids were young. So was Kenny Loggins.

MSG is something to be avoided at all costs. It is difficult to do that though, because it is disguised with many names. Along with Aspartame (nutrasweet) it is an excitotoxin, which overstimulates your nerves and brain cells.

I really liked today's puzzle. It still took less than ten minutes online, but it wasn't just a race to fill in the blanks, and I even had to look up the explanation of a couple of the answers after solving via perps. Except for no theme, this would have been good for a Thursday.

I'll add a WOW today, since Dennis did the main blog entry (and a darn good job, too):

"The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same."
-- Carlos Castenada

Fun Facts:

Kangaroos and Emus can't walk backwards.

Butterflies taste food by standing on top of it. Their taste receptors are in their feet.

Andrea1263 said...

Good Morning All -

A fun Silky puzzle PLUS a great guest blogger! A very enjoyable Saturday morning.

Happy birthday, Dennis! Hope all your wishes come true.

Thanks all for the well wishes for tomorrow's race. One of our committee members was interviewed in a story on the cover of today's WI State Journal. She is a non-smoker who was diagnosed with lung cancer 12 years ago, shortly after giving birth to her oldest child. She is cancer-free today - quite an inspiring story. With the extra news coverage and a decent weather forecast, we are excited for a great turnout tomorrow!

Enjoy the weekend.

Andrea

Red state DEMOCRAT said...

I liked this one: 58 A Flat fee? RENT.


49 D USMC Rank SSGT

Here is a reference key in case it should come up again.

USMC Enlisted ranks

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

NE corner got me. Put in FROWN for 9A, then I was cooked. Not knowing COLE HAMELS didn't help. C'mon, it's NL. Who knows from NL? Well, Dennis, of course. Great job, and happy B-Day.

Now here is my worm-eating, anti-AHA MOMENT. I misread NFL commentator as NFL Commissioner?!?
So the very easy HOWIE fill became intractable. Worms - Yum!

The LW and I went to the Detroit Symphony performance last night. World class outfit. They're traveling to Florida in a few months. Anyone in the the area catch a performance if you can.

They played Rachmaninoff's 2nd symphony. I just listened to our performance of the heartbreakingly beautiful 3rd movement
yesterday, so it was fun to hear the big kids do it. They played the whole symphony. Now I know why we didn't. It's a monster!

I went to YouTube to find a link to A Night in Tunisia - there are quite a few, and somehow was ablto to COME up with this. Makes no sense, but it's rather amusing, and reminds me of 53A.

We're off to T-town. Having lunch with the LW's former boss and his wife. Good people and always fun to spend some time with.

Cheers?
JzB the wondering what Julia Child would do with a worm trombonist

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

Happy birthday and congrats on a great blog, Dennis!

Andrea,
Again, good luck tomorrow.

Not much time today. My only real unknowns were COLE HAMELS and ANEMOMETER. Got the ends of each, but guessed on the middle, I had I for E.

That link to Heidelberg must be a reconstruction of Heidelberg Castle, which has been mostly a ruin since the French cannoned it in the 17th century. It stands on the hill overlooking the Neckar River. The actual university is spread all over the city, mostly in the old town, but the world renowned Medical School has been relocated where there was more space in the newer part of town. It's the oldest university still on German soil. The statue of Bunsen (burner fame) is in the old town in front of one of the science buildings.

Sallie said...

Good morning everyone.

Dennis, happy birthday. Puzzle explainer resolves some inquiring guesses.

I too had frown for scowl which held me up a bit. I wonder if Ah ha moments was with this blog in mind. It's certainly said frequently.

Al, you are right about the comic strip "Zits". DH and enjoy it every morning even tho my teenage sons are in their 50s and DH's is in his 40s.

Cheers

Bill G. said...

Hi Dennis and CC. Fun writeup.

This is maybe the first Saturday puzzle I've enjoyed 'cause I could do it successfully (just under 12 minutes). I enjoyed the clue "Stop pouring now!"

I like the Ansel Adams photograph. I'm sure he used something like an orange filter to make the clouds stand out against a dark-looking sky. Otherwise the photo would be much less dramatic.

Have a good weekend.

g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all: Fun puzzle, only google was A Priori, can't ever remember that one.

Dennis: A very Happy Birthday to you, hope your day is great.

Gators play at 6pm today and Tebow is sick but apparently will be playing. About 35 players have been sick within the last 2 weeks according to my daughter.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, A double cheery morning, a fun "gotta think" puzzle and a terrific puzzle write up by Dennis. Oh yes, a third reason..Happy Birthday, Dennis!

There were a lot of fills that I really enjoyed today. ANSEL ADAMS was a gimme. His photos of close-by Yosemite are seen in many touristy shops and cafes around here. Not as dramatic in color, but I think Dennis' road is just a few miles beyond this on Rte 132. Those foothills are in the distance.

I also liked HEIDELBERG. When my sister and I were there, we had lunch at a little restaurant just below the castle. We had delicious weiner schnitzel for the first time and when I asked the waiter what we should have to drink, he assuredly answered,"Ach..PILS!". Pils it was, and it was very tasty too.

I wanted HOLES IN ONE for "Golfer's tops", but the perps pulled me back on that one very quickly. I didn't know OSSIA or COLE HAMELS, but they were perpable too.

The cross of UH OH and AHA was fun to see. Just the exact progression of crossword solving emotions that I like. SECRETES and SECRETS was a nice cross too.

Al, Excellent WOW. Accentuate The Positive.

Dennis said...

Hey guys - thanks for all the b-day wishes - started off well, with friends coming over w/breakfast. No idea what the rest of the day holds; I just know I can't make any plans.

And thanks for the nice blog comments. It was fun to do. Once. I have a whole new respect for C.C., Argyle, and the others who have done it.

Al, great WOW and FFs.

Warren said...

Happy birthday Dennis! Great job!
My wife and I had no trouble finishing today's puzzle with no outside help, just pencil to paper.

The doom clue made me think of an old ad on TV, I couldn't find that but I did find out that doom is also a video game?

lois said...

Good morning Dennis, CC, et al., Great puzzle and an outstanding job, Dennis. Happy, Happy birthday to you. I hope your day is spectacular! 'Yuma' hero!

LMAO with your 10D 'come' comment and the 53A Bcup pix. That girl in your link would get black eyes if she were to run. 'Howie' s'posed to compete w/that? I 'dunno'. Those hooters are measured in 'feet' not inches. She gives inflation a whole new dimension.
Easing into' 'polo shirts' with those 'twin engines' is what inspires 'poets' and why 'GTOs'
were made convertible. I look down and think eee'e-dam!' What
a 'shame'. My bigger than 'B cup's are 'no me're 'spots' but they will 'erno' 'rent' either. However they are 'apt to' 'jazz' up 'the pianist', turn a bass into an 'alto', and have 'egged' a 'fishing rod' or two to 'come' off the 'seas'. 'It's a secret' how that's done, but let's just say it wasn't exactly 'for a song'.

Went to my high school's football game Fri night and during
'halftime' 'joint owner' took on a whole new meaning.

Enjoy this gorgeous day. Dennis, I hope yours is especially memorable. Happy birthday!

JD said...

Good morning Dennis, CC and all,

Excellent job Dennis..so many fun little extras!Knew anenometer, but not what one looked like...thanks!

Hope the rest of your birthday is special, as you are.

Such an enjoyable puzzle. All those long fills take me 2 or 3 look sees before I can fill them, but "it's a secret' and 'a ha moments' came right away"( clever uh oh crossing). Polo shirts was an ah ha moment for me. "for a song" was my last fill, which filled in a priori-didn't remember that one.

Winnie the Pooh is such a great book for kids, but few will read it because they see it as a baby book.Each character in the book represents a different personality type.Being around an Eeyore would not be fun. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff explains Daoism thru the characters, a good read.

When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast? said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
"It's the same thing," he said.

Yesterday, in class, we were discussing why our skin is darker/lighter, and the amount of melanin needed if our relatives lived close to the equator as compared to those people living far to the north (Norway/Sweden). Their 1st unit in SS is about early man.They love the word Australopithecus once they can say it.

Thanks Mr Silk!

Barb B said...

An outstanding write up today, Dennis; thank you kindly. And here’s to a very happy birthday.

I thought it was a pretty easy puzzle for Saturday, and for Barry Silk, but it was fun. A giggle right away with APPT crossing APT TO. I knew there would be some z’s, so ZITS and ZEST were gimmes. JAZZ and FOR A SONG were fun, as well as Hotsy-TOTSY. Still, AHA MOMENTS was my favorite.

I’ll have to try the Newsday puzzle; it’ll probably take a long time, but a good learning tool.

CC, yes, the blog looks much different now, but even better. We still get our kicks once in a while – like sausage links. Jonah still hasn’t reached 6 pounds yet, so it’s a lot like holding a doll. I’m glad you like jojoba and coconut oil.

Al, thanks for the Kenny Logins link. I loved it.

Dennis seemed darn needy yet topped dark karo

KQ said...

Does anyone else find it odd that golfers wear "polo" shirts?

Al, LOVE the Zits comics. Of course, I have two teenage boys. I used to play Kenny Loggins version of House at Pooh corner endlessly when my kids were young. I liked it even more than they did I think.

In my travels to Heidelberg they have an outstanding Christmas shop. All handcarved items. I have several nutcrackers and other "German" traditional decorations that I still use today. They are over 25 years old.

Annette said...

Happy Birthday, Dennis! And nice job today.

Lois, I loved your post - it was hilarious!

There were a few fills I didn't know, but had been able to complete them with perp assists. 'Shamed' that I needed almost ALL perp assists for 'PoloShirts'...even the last letter - R - took me some deep thought before I had the 'AHA'. My niece in college on a golf scholarship would be surprised to hear that. I'd even bought her a few polo shirts last Christmas!

A few years ago, I drove some roads on vacation in the Canadian Rockies and Alaska that were very reminiscent of that Ansel Adams photo. So beautiful!

Clear Ayes - I love that song too! Thanks for sharing it.

Annette said...

Al: Thanks for the comics. ZITS is the best. The mom often reminds me of my sister dealing with her teenage son too. Interesting fact about the kangaroo. Now that you mention it, I can see why.

RSD: Thanks for the military reference. I guessed it this time, but it'll be nice to have handy for next time.

Andrea: Best wishes with your event tomorrow!

Clear Ayes said...

Dennis seemed darn needy, yet topped dark karo oozing

MJ said...

Dennis-Happy birthday! Thanks for a terrific write-up and links. The Ansel Adams photo reminded me of Hwy. 50 across Nevada, "The Lonliest Road in America."

Al-Thanks for the Kenny Loggins clip. Were any of the girls pictured near the end yours?

Jazz-Beautiful Rachmaninov! Pulls on the heart strings.

Only two brief hiccups today as I filled in ROOT for 47D instead of FEET, and FROWN instead of SCOWL for 9A. The latter, in the NE, was the biggest hang-up due to the double stacked sports clues, both complete unknowns to me. Finally had the AHAMOMENT when I figured 13D was probably LESS.

Enjoy the weekend, all!

eddyB said...

Hello all,

A more difficult puzzle today and I had to stop and think. I really enjoyed it. Great write-up.

I was an E-5 by the end of the first four. Would probally have made E-7 if I had stayed in for another four. At that time all one needed was time in grade and passing a little test. We had seven E-5s in the divison when I left the ship.

Broke out my old 45EPs of Mario Lanza singing The Student Prince.
Loved the album and the movie.

It's time to go back and open some
links.

eddyB

Al said...

@MJ No, not my video. I just picked that one because it displayed the original (non-Disney) illustrations and the original version of the song.

@JD, I agree, Milne is vastly underrated by the people who most need to read him. There are lots of lessons there. Along with Tao of Pooh, there is also The Te of Piglet, but you probably could skip that and not miss out on anything profound (or even nice).

@Sallie, I had to read your comment twice. The first time through, I thought you were saying that DH was in his 40's, not the "kids" ;-)

Chickie said...

Hello All--First, Many Happy Returns, Dennis, and thank you for the great write up today. The links were both fun and serious. I have to go back and look at all of them when I get a minute today.

I had a hard time with the NE corner as there were three names all crossing. Howie, Cole Hamels and Owen were all unknowns. I guessed correctly today so did finish the whole puzzle on my own. It was harder than the previous ones this week, but the satisfaction came with being able to finish it all without Googling.

Aha moment was my favorite today and A priori will be filed under new words in my CW dictionary.

Years back the husband of a dear friend was a guest math lecturer at Heidelberg University so this was my first thought when German University City came up today.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. It will be very warm here so we are planning indoor activities. Watching the CAL/Oregon game will number one on the list.

WM said...

Dennis...HBDTY, HBDTY,HBD dear Dennis, HBDTY...and have a fabulous day, much earned by a terrific blog...and gee, thanks for the boob link...so glad I had swallowed my coffee! LOL

I didn't even notice this was a Barry Silk puzzle...way too easy and I am not an expert solver by any stretch of the imagination. Only two unknown words today were OSSIA and APRIORI, but the perps filled them in along with COLE HAMELS.

Never thought I'd say this, but could we please have at least a couple of struggle puzzles a week? The satisfaction of finally solving it, and those great AHA MOMENTS, is sadly missing.

Recently saw the the fabulous Ansel Adams/Georgia O'Keefe show at SFMOMA so even that wasn't a hang up.

Hot again today...cleared everything off to paint and ick...next week when it is cooler There are pre-surgery appts and things to take care of...I just can't get it right.

Al...great WofW...I live by them...happy is just as easy as miserable...onward and upward.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Dennis. I enjoy your daily comments.

Sara

Barb B said...

Dennis seemed darn needy, yet topped dark Karo oozing gapeseed

Luxor said...

Dennis,
happy birthday.

carol said...

Well Happy Birthday Dennis - Hope you get to do something really 'special' today and tonight....you can handle that, right? Also terrific job on the write up.

The picture of the woman with the huge boobs made me laugh out loud...geez, I can't imagine why anyone would want those hanging off of them!! As Lois so cleverly said, she could seriously knock herself for a loop with them...SHE wouldn't need a V-8 can!!!

CA...thanks for the picture of the weiner schnitzel - I have never seen it before and until now, thought of it as some sort of glorified hot dog. Love this blog, learned so much here!

Lois, terrific comment as usual! What a talent you have, and I still say you should be writing professionally.

Lots to do - our interior painter is coming on Monday morning and I am taking things off the walls in living, dining rooms and hallway. I have always done the painting but decided I've had enough...let someone else have a turn. :) New carpeting is coming next month. Yea!

Bill G. said...

I have been doing crosswords on LAT, USA Today, Cron and the Universal crosswords on MSNC.com. I am getting better so I seldom need red-letter help. I got my comeuppance today when I worked on the Sunday NYT puzzle from September 1996 that came as a sample in the Across Lite program. Geez. Words and people I had never heard of. I had to get help around ten percent of the time. It wasn't much fun at all for me. I had no idea it would be that much more difficult. It might be a worthwhile challenge for some of you pro solvers.

lois said...

Annette and Carol: Thanks for the compliments.

Carol: I agree w/you. Taking turns is a good idea...in many different ways.

CA: Thanks for the Accentuate link. I love Bette Midler.

Al: thanks for the Kenny Loggins link. That's the best!

S-L
Dennis seemed darn needy, yet topped dark Karo oozing gapeseed
(grapeseed?) delicately

Barb B said...

Gapeseed - something that causes wonder.

embien said...

9:11 today. Not paying too much attention to the puzzle as I was watching the Oregon Ducks (my alma mater) wallop the #6 Cal Bears 42-3.

I, too, wanted ABASE instead of SHAME, and I continue to persist in putting EERO instead of ERNO for Mr. Rubik. And each and every time I remember that EERO is Saarinen, the architect. Wasted a lot of time getting that SE corner sorted out.

I'm with you, CA, on the weiner schnitzel, one of my all-time favorite dishes. Wish there were a restaurant around here that served it. (sigh) I will be having a nice NY strip with peppercorn sauce washed down with a bottle of Bonterra Merlot (organic) tonight, though.

Great job of blogging, Dennis.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Dennis & thanks for all the information you supply on a regular basis.

Dot

Argyle said...

Dennis seemed darn needy, yet topped dark Karo oozing gapeseed delicately yodeling graphic...

carol said...

cuss words

JD said...

Dennis seemed darn needy, yet topped dark Karo oozing gapeseed delicately yodeling graphic cordial limericks

Great links and comments from all today!

Al, so many.. Kenny Loggins, loved it, MSG,hard to find food without it, Zits,shared it, WOW,should follow it. Thanks!

CA,loved that version of "Accentuate the Positive."

Kazie, Bob and I enjoyed the link on Heidelberg.I've never been, as I didn't "cut" school to go on DH's business trip. He will never let me forget it.

Andrea, hope all goes well tomorrow.

Carol, I cpied the recipe for ind. omelets. What a great idea!!

gmony, it was too late last night for me to send congratulations over completing yesterday's puzzle. I was smiling with you.

Lois, did you spend half time under the bleachers??? :)

JD said...

oh carol, I liked yours better...erase mine

Linda said...

Dennis: Been out of town...but Happy Happy Birthday! Hope it was terrific!

Bill G. said...

Embien, congratulations to you and the Ducks. They looked great.

He also mentioned cooking a NY strip steak. Do any of you shop at Costco? They have prime rib-eye steaks for $6.99 a pound. I put a thin film of Jeff Foxworthy BBQ sauce on them, some fresh ground pepper and grill them medium rare. They are better than any other steak I've made at home and better than most I've had at restaurants. As a result, I never get steak at restaurants anymore. Prime rib instead maybe. Mmm..., I'm getting hungry.

eddyB said...

Hello,

I down-loaded the News Day puzzle.
I WILL finish it if it the last thing that I do. If it isn't, I also down-loaded the solved grid.
Right now it has six stars on the 1to 5 scale of difficultly.

Loved the story a few weeks ago about the Oregon coach sending a check to the disgruntled fan to reemburse him for travel expenses
to the Boise State game. ($439.00)

Bill G, There are many books written about how Ansel Adams produced his prints. He developed
what he called the Zone System where he defined the white and black points in the dark room. Many
hours were spent getting the exact image that he wanted.

I can't pick a favorite. I have many of these books that are full of his images.

I also can't pick a favorite comic strip. I like Dilbert because I used to live in a cubical and meet some the characters.

Have to go to check on the Penn State game.

eddyB.

JD said...

Just for fun

Moore said...

A question for you all- Is anyone else finding the puzzles easier than they have been? For the last couple of weeks at least, my husband and I have noticed that every day seems like Tuesday as far as the degree of difficulty goes. Even Friday and Saturday present no real challenges. Is it just me or have any of you noticed the same thing?
Thanks,
Nancy

Mary said...

Dennis seemed darn needy, yet topped dark Karo oozing gapeseed delicately yodeling graphic cordial limericks since embien

Happy Birthday you needy blogger. Nice job!

Thanks to all for the fun links. My favorite clue was AHA MOMENT, definitely had this blog in mind.

Clear Ayes said...

Dennis seemed darn needy, yet topped dark Karo oozing gapeseed, delicately yodeling graphic cordial limericks, since embien nodded

That is one long and convoluted sausage sentence....so far.

Another hot 102 degree California day. It is supposed to cool down next week. I bet WM would like to get back to her painting as soon as the weather permits.

Nancy, the puzzles have become easier over the past couple of months. LAT editor Rich Norris is trying to find a happy medium of difficulty that satisfies the largest number of crossword fans. That's a tough job to accomplish. I hope he gets the big bucks!

Al said...

@Nancy (or Moore?) Yes the puzzles have become very easy lately. The editor (Rich) has had to cave in to pressure from the syndicated subscriber newspapers who apparently have some very vocal detractors after Wayne Williams retired and they picked up the LAT as a replacement. the graduated difficulty was a big surprise to a lot of people.

It's still better now than the commuter puzzle that some papers (including mine) have taken to publishing instead. That one is completely lifeless and trite. These still at least have some fresh words and clues.

I'm hoping that Rich has a plan to slowly (and secretly) raise the difficulty back to its former levels over time, but money talks and he might not be able to. I don't imagine he feels all that happy about it right now. The LAT puzzle used to be the second-hardest, arguably more fun, puzzle after the NYT, but right now, it is only a little better than mediocre.

I just got done with tomorrow's Sunday puzzle, and it was much better for me, tired as I am, than the weekly ones have been lately. Took me nearly an hour, so it's something for everyone to look forward to, but more on that later, no spoilers tonight.

kazie said...

Dennis seemed darn needy, yet topped dark Karo oozing gapeseed, delicately yodeling graphic cordial limericks, since embien nodded doubtfully

JD,
I hope you get another chance to go to Heidelbeerg some day. The Germans can't figure out what Americans like about it so much, but it was always a hit with my students--and me too.

Barb B said...

Dennis seemed darn needy, yet topped dark Karo oozing gapeseed delicately yodeling graphic cordial limericks since embien nodded doubtfully; yet

PJB-Chicago said...

Dennis, Happy birthday! Nice job blogging today--you're a natural! Thanks for your daily contributions that help us all start the day right, with just the right mix of wisdom and wit. Don't limit your b'day celebration to just one day, okay?

Today's puzzle was decent enough. Got Howie Long, "ossia" [no idea how I knew that...] and "a priori" but bungled some of the easier ones. "Anemometer" was quite the lucky guess. "Aha moment," by the way, has been in the language since at least the late 1930s; Ms Oprah may have popularized the phrase, but it's not of her own coinage....
["Hmmm, PJB gets a little snarky, doesn't he?!" ]

C.C.: Yes, tradition is important to Rich. My best guess, based on your interviews and other interviewees' comments is that he probably dislikes having to ply us with so many "easy" puzzles and let his filing cabinet of Thursday/Friday puzzles go unused.

Since it was pressure from TMS that seems to have led to the recent changes, and that pressure came from unhappy readers, I think the only thing we can do to counterbalance the pressure is to write our local papers to express our desire to have more challenging puzzles later in the week.

I will add to my Chicago Tribune letter my "rating" suggestion(s) from yesterday because I think it might help beginners and regulars alike co-exist, but I have no ego invested in that specific idea as long as they find some way to include some more challenging clues/fill somewhere each week.

@WM, welcome back, I missed you. @Carol, I love your omelette idea. @Al & JazzB, thanks for the music links.

I'm just getting back on the bus home, feeling tuckered out after doing a 7 minute set, and watching 6 other people do the same thing. It's still hard to get used to performing on the same stage as people whose work I so admire. I'm not as polished as some of them, but getting to "play" with the "bigger kids" is an opportunity I won't pass up, despite twinges of sweaty insecurity. My mantra is "be brave," and I will sleep well tonight knowing that I held my own. Sorry to be self-indulgent.

Started Sunday's puzzle. No spoiler here other than to say it's a treat!

Moore said...

Thank you to Clear Ayes and Al for your explanation of why the puzzles have been so much easier lately. I do hope you are right and Rich can step it up at least a little without stepping on the wrong toes. I have written to the LA Times and will again in the hopes of giving him some support.
Thanks again for your response.
Nancy