Oct 19, 2009

Monday October 19, 2009 Mark Bickham

Theme: All Keyed Up - the last word of each theme answer is a computer key.

17A: "Keep out" sign: DO NOT ENTER

24A: Pay for everyone's dinner: PICK UP THE TAB

40A: "All exits are blocked" situation: NO MEANS OF ESCAPE

50A: Throng management: CROWD CONTROL

62A: Four-on-the-floor, e.g.: STICK SHIFT

65D: Computer feature that ends each of the five longest across answers: KEY

Argyle here.

It hasn't taken our editor long to ramp things up it seems. Certainly harder than past Mondays, what with a Ceasar assassin and Jungian principle. And a new (to us) constructor, too boot. A nice mix of letter count although a little heavy on the use of "S". OTOH, very limited use of "RE-" and "-ED"s.

There are some entries that a casual solver might find hard but have become "gimmes" to the rest of us, ODER for one. How to account for these words when judging the relative difficulty of a puzzle, I don't know.


1A: "Overhead" engine parts: CAMS.

10A: __ the lily: ornament to excess: GILD. "GILD the lily", to add unnecessary ornamentation, a special feature, etc., in an attempt to improve something that is already complete, satisfactory, or ideal. By itself, GILD is to add gold leaf to an object.

14A: Doing the job: ON IT. Force of habit; I put AT IT first.

15A: Between, quaintly: TWIXT. Tastier without the last "T". And OPE (33A: Not shut, in verse). And ANON (2D: Soon, to a bard). All poetic fill.

16A: There oughta be one, so it's said: A LAW.

19A: Turn on a pivot: SLUE.

20A: Jungian feminine principle: ANIMA. Animus for the musculian principle. I am hoping someone can explain why the inner man is feminine.

21A: Coll. major for a future concert artist: MUS. Clunky.

32A: Peter, Paul or Mary: SAINT. All those three are saints. Nice play on the folk group "Peter, Paul and Mary". Then we also have the abbreviated STE (5D: Sault __ Marie).

34A: German river: ODER. May not known to all. Should be known to anyone doing crosswords on a regular basis. Polish/German border river.

45A: WWII submachine gun: STEN. British 9 mm submachine gun. The US used the B.A.R.(Browning Automatic Rifle) The M1918 was chambered for the .30-06 Springfield rifle cartridge and was designed by John Browning

54A: Witchy woman: HAG.

60A: Norse war god: ODIN. The Norse chief god. Tyr is "Norse war god" too.

67A: Division of society: CASTE. In Indian, esp.

69A: __ helmet: safari wear: PITH.

70A: Ease, as fears: ALLAY. I confess, I had RELAX and BELAY before ALLAY.

71A: Home on a limb: NEST. Cute.


1D: Musical finale: CODA.

4D: Defeat decisively: STOMP. Wow, a rather strong word I don't remember seeing used before in a puzzle.

7D: On, as a lamp: LIT.

8D: Like churches, vis-à-vis most taxes: EXEMPT. Wonder why the sudden use of vis-à-vis and a little shaky on that use.

9D: Rooster's gait: STRUT. I've seen some that were most comical.

10D: Tank filler: GAS. Simple but I like it.

11D: Unable to read: ILLITERATE.

12D: First lady before Michelle: LAURA.

13D: Dork: DWEEB.

22D: Small stores: SHOPS.

25D: Traveling show worker: CARNY.

26D: Sedona and Sorento: KIAS. A pair of SUVs from the Korean manufacturer. Sedona is an echo from Saturday. KIA is an abbreviation too. KI = "Rising" in Korean. A = Asia.

27D: Not made of interlaced parts, as fabric: UNWOVEN. This feels awkward.

30D: "American __": IDOL. Is anything happening with IDOL right now?

31D: Precious stone expert: GEMOLOGIST. This and 11D were a couple of nice, legitimate ten-letter fills.

35D: Stitch over: RESEW.

37D: Man of La Mancha: SENOR. Another great wordplay on Cervantes's "Don Quixote - Man of La Mancha".

38D: Acted like: APED. Are you happy with this clue/answer; it seems it wasn't liked very much the last time we had it.

39D: Contact or zoom: LENS.

41D: "All kidding __ ...": ASIDE.

42D: No-food protest: FAST.

47D: Snazzy entrance: PORTAL.

50D: Bite vigorously: CHOMP. STOMP and CHOMP, a strong echo here.

51D: Pie slice edges, geometrically: RADII. Plural of radius.

52D: One of Caesar's assassins: CASCA. Publius Servilius Casca was the first to strike Caesar with a dagger. Only remembered this after looking up the answer. Brutus is another assassin.

53D: Actress Lindsay: LOHAN. Showing off her talents.

57D: Longest river: NILE.

58D: Roswell sightings, briefly: UFOS. Roswell, NM is the the site of Area 51 (which doesn't exist either...or does it?)

59D: Printer's "let it stand": STET.

61D: To the __ degree: NTH. Echo of yesterday!

63D: One of many in the Aegean Sea: Abbr.: ISL. Abbr. of island or isle.

64D: Windy City transportation org.: CTA. Chicago Transit Authority or the band.

Answer grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, Argyle, C.C. and gang - this was a fun puzzle for a Monday, with several fresh clues. Seemed a tad more difficult than a normal Monday. And as Argyle said about 'stomp', have we seen 'twixt' before in a puzzle?

I misread 50A as 'thong control', and had several interesting images. "Four-on-the-floor" has become archaic, now that most manual transmissions are 6- or 7-speed. And I couldn't for the life of me come up with 'Casca' without perp help.

Today is Evaluate Your Life Day, something that we tend to do as we get older. Couldn't be happier with mine.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." -- John Andrew Holmes

And a couple thoughts on middle age:

- "Middle age is the awkward period when Father Time starts catching up with Mother Nature." -- Harold Coffin

- "Middle age is when you have met so many people that every new person you meet reminds you of someone else and usually is." -- Ogden Nash

Dick said...

Good morning Argyle, C.C. and all, First from yesterday C.C. I wish you good health starting immediately. Now, as to the puzzle, it did seem to be a bit more difficult than those we have been receiving recently. I like a lot of the cluing and found some of them new and refreshing, but all doable with some perp help.

Go Phillies and I guess you could say the Phillies “stomped” LA last night.

Hope you all have a great Monday

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

I wouldn't call today's puzzle particularly difficult, but I agree there were definitely some non Monday words in it. Fortunately, none of those words crossed.

Just to be a pedant, I have to point out that, while the phrase "GILD the lily" has certainly entered the language and isn't going anywhere, it's actually a conflation of the original Shakespearean line, "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily."

Mainiac said...

Good Morning all:

This was stepped up a bit for the recent Mondays. Never thought of a Portal as a snazzy entrance.

CC, Hope you feel better.

Gotta run!

Have a great day!

Martin said...

I didn't get the theme until I was able to solve the third theme fill. I expected the last theme fill to end with SPACE but that is considered a bar rather than a key.

I spoke too soon about finishing my puzzle! It occurs to me that beyond fitting everything into 15x15 grid and placing words symmetrically (including the symmetrical placement of theme answers), the limit of 43 black squares and 78 (or 72) words that one also must ensure that all the letters appear in two different words so that each word could be solved entirely from the perps if necessary. My puzzle, while meeting all other requirements, has 12 squares that are each part of only one word. Of all the requirements (stated or otherwise) providing perp support for all the words would have to be the most difficult on to achieve, especially if your puzzle has a lot of theme fills that you can't alter without going off pattern. I might just write it up for my blog and be done with it. It still looks pretty. :)


Lemonade714 said...

Morning all:

A new constructor, a different Monday, this was still very doable, but did require more thought. I hope all of our troop have a very healthy fall, as we face the flu and other challenges, and those not feeling well, heal quickly.

GILD THE LILY is one of those phrases that sounds really silly when you listen slowly.

Hahtoolah said...

Morning, CC, Argyle and Friends: What another fun puzzle. I am glad I am not the only one who thought this was a wee bit harder than the usual Monday puzzle, but I am sure not complaining. There were lots of fun and fresh clues.

This was a good puzzle to follow yesterday's NTH degree one, since NTH was one of the responses today (61D).

Like Dennis, I too, read 50A as "thong control"! There were some other "misleading" clues that I read correctly but wanted a different answer. I thought of PABA instead of ALOE for a Sunscreen Ingredient (68A), and initially had EL CID instead of SENOR for the Man of La Mancha (37D).

Since I have never seen American Idol, it took me a while to get the word "Idol" in 30D, which leads me to today's ...

QOD: I can't watch "American Idol." It's like karaoke without the booze. ~ Tracy Morgan

windhover said...

Well, I opened the Lexington
Herald-Liar this morning only to find - The Daily Commuter Puzzle back where the LAT has been for several months. The explanation was "After an overwhelming response to the changes in the Classified crossword puzzle, we have decided to return to the Daily Commuter.......".
So now I guess I go back go lurking and slapping the s--- out of the occasional anonymous neocon. There is a number to call, and I will call, but I doubt it's going to work this time. The Irish can download the puzzle and bring it home in the evening, but puzzling is more fun in the morning, and if I read any blog comments the puzzle is spoiled. Enough whining, I have a phone call to make and work to do. See you in the funny papers. (Not really, that's where they print the NYT puzzle.

Annette: I responded to your suggestion late last night

Lemonade714 said...

Wow, I just reread the after 7:00 PM posts from yesterday, and did I miss the boat!

C.C., feel better. Yes, Windhover, it helps; Jeannie, glad I am the referee.

My my, never expected late Sunday to be so busy/

DCannon said...

Dennis, your Ogden Nash quote reminded me of a personalized license plate I saw a few years ago. It was on one of the vintage "humpbacked" Nash cars. It said simply "OGDEN." I wondered how many people would get that joke.

Puzzle was a little harder for a Monday. Had a little trouble with the bottom center. For some reason, I just couldn't think of the word "allay."

Got this done a little early today because the workmen are coming this morning to retile the kitchen floor and put in new countertops and backsplash. This has been a work in progress for over a year. My illness (RA) and husband's broken arm caused one delay after another. Finally, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all:

As others have pointed out just a tad harder than usual for a Monday but still doable. Did not know Casca but luckily got it from the perps.

Dennis: I believe "twixt" has been in puzzles before at least once or twice.

c.c.: Feel better quickly

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Anonymous said...

4D: Defeat decisively: STOMP. Wow, a rather strong word I don't remember seeing used before in a puzzle.

Speaking of stomp did any body see yesterdays Patriots/Titans game before CBS switched to the Bills/Jets snoozefest?

Patriots crush Titans

kazie said...

I agree it was a little harder than our recent Mondays, but not hard enough to be a head scratcher. We almost had "the great aorta" with there oughta be a LAW. I've never heard of a RAW day, and it didn't help that KIA wouldn't come to me--I knew I should know what Sedona and Sorento had in common, but I was in Italian cities and couldn't connect them. Finally put in the "A" as a guess and it still didn't hit me. Kia-Ora is a fruit drink in Oz, and a Maori greeting in NZ.

Also, I didn't know the expression GILD the lily. I liked Barry G's summation of it: certainly entered the language and isn't going anywhere. Thanks to him and Lemonade for the explanation.

I hope you are on the mend today.

Since I've only taught in WI and Oz, I doubt I'd know your mentors, but I mostly belonged to the WAFLT--Wisconsin Assn. of Foreign Language Teachers, not AATG or AATF. On the poor rural teacher's salary, all three would have been too expensive. Now I belong to DKG (Delta Kappa Gamma--International Society for Key Women Educators) and that's the state newsletter I've been working on for WI. If it is considered good enough, I'll be doing one four times a year.

Good luck with the food show!

Anonymous said...

4D: Defeat decisively: STOMP.



Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gsng -

Fun puzzle today. Nothing much to add beyond what's been said.

@ yesterday - I enjoy all varieties of pizza. Have never tried it with squid - now there is an adventure for a flaming squid-hugger like me to look forward to! Leaving nothing to chance, I have hot dogs with mustard, relish, catsup, onions, and chili sauce, if available.

PJB - Brilliant essay!

C.C. speedy recovery.

Can't let MINI pass without a visual.
this baby
. is topless, too!

Gotta run. I'm revising some music I want to have ready for rehearsal tonight.

JzB the rearranging trombonist

Warren said...

Hi Argyle, good blog job. I hope that C.C. is OK and will comment?

Today's puzzle was just slightly harder than last weeks, we finished it before my wife left for work. It helped that all of the unknown's were covered by the perps.

Here's another type of stomp: stomp out loud

MarthaMartha said...

In western psychology and spiritual philosophy the external personality aspect is considered male (animus) and the internal personality aspect is considered female (anima). Sort of like human bodies - male sex organs are literally external and female's are internal. This is not as dogmatically sexist as it seems - because every one as both aspects from a psychological perspective. The goal is to develop a balanced whole self with a healthy anumus and anima. And din't those Patriots just perk up their Animus's quite nicely yesterday.

windhover said...

Yes, they did. But in terms of your analysis (which seems spot on to me), does that mean that the opponents were activating their anima?
I didn't see the game, but the score indicates that the process was much like that suggested by your imagery.
Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. :-)

Lemonade714 said...

Yes, before I too forget, have a great food show Miss Jeannie. Do they ever get tired of each other and end up with huge food fight? Well, one can hope....

Speaking of flying saucers, maybe the country will understand all the bad "reality" televison is teaching our youngsters, from the excesses of "Jon and Kate", to the deception of "Survivor" "Big Brother" and the latest stunt to mislead a nation with a poor child already saddled with a name like Falcon (we can see what good it did for River Phoenix and Joaquin) who will now forever be reminded of not only his participation in a scam, but his unwitting blowing the whistle on his selfish parents. STOP. Please do not watch "reality" TV; there is no reality to it.

Hahtool said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Lemonade, about "reality" TV. I never understood the attraction. The "balloon boy" story didn't pass the smell test when it hit news reports last week. The news media is a "co-conspirator", as it were, in making such a big deal over a story that didn't make sense from the beginning.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Back from a great visit with my sisters. I'm taking a vow of silence for a few days to give my voice a rest. It is amazing how people who have known each other for over 50 years can still find stuff to talk and laugh about....oh yes, and sing along with. We always watch Damn Yankees when we get together and this visit was no exception. We still love Ray Walston as Mr. Applegate.

I haven't had time to check the blog or the puzzles until today, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the level of difficulty seems to be pumped up a little. The cross of CODA and ANIMA didn't seem like our recent Monday fills to me.

I really enjoyed ILLITERATE and GEMOLOGIST, as well as all the theme fills. No "g-ing" for me, but I did need the perps for some of the longer fills.

My favorite clue was "Man of La Mancha" for SENOR. I wanted QUIXOTE to begin with, but it was not a good fit.

WH, Sorry to hear about your fellow Kentuckians lack of enthusiasm for the slightly more difficult puzzle.

Lemonade, Poor little Falcon (Yikes!) I understand that criminal charges against the parents are being considered.

embien said...

6:17 today. That makes it slightly tougher for me for a Monday puzzle. Otherwise, a nice, straightforward puzzle, but haven't we seen the "computer keys" theme several times before?

I personally don't like it when there are non-theme entries that are the same length (or longer) as some of the theme fill. Today, we get ILLITERATE and GEMOLOGIST as non-theme 10's. Some people don't care (or even notice), but to me it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Argyle said...

54A: Witchy woman

This close to Halloween I shouldn't miss a chance to link something spooky.

Witch Queen of New Orleans

Hahtoolah said...

Mea culpa! Mea culpa! I should have said "the news media are co-conspirators ..." because the word "media" is plural. Unfortunately, I can't delete because I was not logged onto my computer when I wrote that. Kazie, I'll take my 20 lashes with a wet noodle.

CC, I hope you are feeling better and will be back soon.

Clear Ayes, you were missed, but I am glad you were able to spend time with your sisters. I don't get to see mine often enough.

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

I hope we hear that C.C. is on the mend.

Kazie, I am also a member of DKG, and was in the Alpha chapter at U. of Ill.
Haven't done anything with it lately.

This puzzle was just right for me. I had to think a little, but not too much.

Embien, I totally agree about non-theme answers that are so long they confuse the issue. It surely confused me for a minute.


WM said...

Quick stop in...C.C. I certainly hope you are feeling better soon.

Jeannie, great success with your food show...I know what you are up against with that project.

I have been doing the puzzles which have been fun but no real struggles anywhere, although, Sunday was quite a bit of fun. Today had some nifty fills but was a non-stop fill-in(great job again Argyle! :o) ). I try to skim through the blog in the evenings but the puzzles have been so easy there is really nothing to add.

Husband is recovering fairly well from the surgery 2 weeks ago, but there are some side effects that were not expected and we headed back to the Dr.'s sometime today, hopefully.

Between taking care of pretty much everything, my mom, babysitting, and cooking my way through the garden, I have had no time to paint for the last 6 weeks and have had to drop the class the I was so looking forward to.

Also wanted to thank everyone so much for all your support on the painting. Apparently the award went to a painting of two little girls on a beach...but it was exciting to be in the final 10.

Also a big hi to the CA/OR ladies and appologies as I was pretty much running on fumes that day...stil, it was absolutely wonderful.

As soon as I can get control of things again I will try to post again.


lois said...

Good evening Argyle, CC, et al., First of all, CC, I hope you are feeling better today and are 100% soon.

As to the puzzle, it set me on my 'ear'. Gave me 'gas' in the center with 'raw' and 'kias' crossing, but 'aside' from that it was a trip down memory lane. Had to laugh at all the men's names that I recognized...and even remembered. I used to consider myself a 'JIMologist' at one point when I kept dating JIMs. Popular name - in there with the 'Eds'. Really laughed w/'Van' crossing
'fast' who was tight w/his
'pesos' and I would 'pick up the tab's b/c he was so a'mus'ing. Only knew one 'Len'(s) and one 'Ow(e)n', but there was this guy named 'Nest'er who was not the 'dweeb' you'd think. He was handsome,smart and drove a hot car. He was my 'idol'. 'Lit' me right up. Brought the 'anima'l instinct out in me when he would 'ope'n up those 'cams' and grab that 'stick shift'. Yeah, baby, 'cause I was 'on it', like white on rice. 'Bonus' was taken to a whole new level. He should've been nominated for 'saint'hood he was such an upstanding young man. Just goes to show ya, what's in a name! Great guy! Great puzzle!

Enjoy your night.

lois said...

CA: so glad to see you back. You were missed.

Argyle: thank you for that Witch Queen of New Orleans link. LOVED it! Great job too on the blog BTW!

Warren & Biscuits as well. Good music and amazing rhythm! Enjoyed it.

Jeannie: Good luck w/the food show. Look forward to hearing about it.

WM: hope everything is ok.

Chickie said...

Hello All--Everything has pretty much been said about the puzzle--a tad more difficult, but doable. I did enjoy the answers for Man of La Mancha, Home on a limb, and Peter, Paul and Mary. The latter led me astray, but I finally saw the light.

I too, enjoyed the Nth degree entry today after the fun puzzle from yesterday with the Nth theme.

Even after getting the Kias entry, I didn't "get it". Doh! I wanted something Italian but nothing would fit.

Dennis, the middle aged comments are all too true!

WM--Keep us posted, please.

And for all those who are under the weather, get better soon.

Chickie said...

I forgot. Jeannie, good luck with the show. I know how much work they are!
And Lemonade, well said about the reality shows. I've never watched any of them and can't say that I've missed much from what others have said.

Bill G. said...

Hatool said: "Mea culpa! Mea culpa! I should have said "the news media are co-conspirators ..." because the word "media" is plural."

I didn't know that. I didn't think of the fact that media is the plural of medium. I guess I assumed it was a collective noun.

Aside from my weak attempt at I/me humor, I do try to use words correctly and pay attention to loan vs. lend, fewer vs. less, etc. Now I can add "the media are..." to the list. Thanks for that.

carol said...

Hi gang -
Good puzzle for Monday - no troubles with it and enjoyed 32A clue although it seemed strangely familiar...did it appear in a puzzle many months ago? Also had to laugh at 62A (Four on the floor) and thought of Lois and her 'fifth under the seat'...LOL.

C.C. Sure hope you are feeling back to normal very soon, and hope it is not the H1N1 that got you. It is hitting the people under the age of 40/45 more that us 'oldsters'.

Clear Ayes, welcome back - you have been greatly missed. Hope you had a good visit with your sisters.

WM, good to hear from you again and hope that your hubby will be ok. It's so difficult to have to 'wear so many hats' take care of yourself so that you don't get sick too.

carol said...

Jeannie - I also want to wish you all the best on your show. Please let all of us know how it went!

Dennis and WH - always love your well thought out comments! (and your tongue-in-cheek :) ones as well. I also misread 50A and thought of someone putting a tariff on underwear.

Annette said...

Argyle: Nice play on TWIXT and Twix.

My favorite clues were also 'Peter, Paul or Mary' and 'Out on a limb'. Together, they remind me of the song "Lemon Tree".

I'm not a musician and didn't know ANIMA, so I needed help filling in that A at the junction.

Windhover: Who said the bets would be laid in the hands of the competitors? ;-) I think the match would definitely put people in the mood, with all that testosterone flowing!

Jazzbumpa said...

Well, I, for one have no interest in seeing Dennis and Windhover wrestle.

Wouldn't mind liftin a few cold ones with them, though.

My favorite Anamoose is Bullwinkle!

JzB the ANIMAted trombonist

windhover said...

Does everybody have the flu? It's after 11:00 and only 37 posts.

;-) back at ya. I, and I'm sure Dennis, always like to
give a lady her due, but I'm afraid the arm wrestling match is off. Cooperation might get us farther than competition. Perhaps you've heard the old joke about the
young bull and the old bull, on their first day
together in the pasture?

Make it Bell's?

Hope you are feeling better soon. I need some commiseration and words of wisdom about the loss of the puzzle in my paper. I know you'll have some

Martin said...


Have you noticed that just about every reality show is a game show where the contestants come back every week? That concept is as old as television and nothing new. Did you see the movie Quiz Show? Again, it seems that manipulating reality has always been part of the concept.

All TV is manipulated. I went to see a speech once and it was being televised so before the speech started the director came out and asked us all to look intently to the camera as if the speaker were saying something interesting. They would then splice in these shots of the audience later when they edited. That way the audience could go to sleep during the speech but on TV it would seem as though they were paying attention the whole time.