Oct 17, 2009

Saturday October 17, 2009 Barry Silk

Theme: None

Total blocks: 27

Total words: 68

Again, 34 Across fill, and 34 Down fill, just like Barry's last COLE HAMELS puzzle. He seems to like this kind of balance.

No surprise. A pangram. All the 26 letters are used, at least once: 2 J's, 1Z, 1 X and several K's. (Update: Sorry. Argyle noticed that letter H is missing).

Smooth solving for me. Only peeked at the cheat sheet once for the crossing of EVANS (19A. "Macbeth" (1962) Emmy winner Maurice) and AKINS (4D. 1935 Pulitzer-winning playwright Zoë). I should have guessed with an N.

Wikipedia says Maurice Evans was an English actor noted for his interpretations of Shakesperean characters, and Marilyn Monroe's "How to Marry a Millionair" was based on Zoë Akins's play "The Greeks Had a Word for It".


1. Spears on the table: ASPARAGUS. Easy & healthy start.

10. Joplin at Woodstock: JANIS. Intersecting JIMI (10D. Hendrix at Woodstock). Nice "Woodstock" echo.

15. Basin that can result from a seismic landslide: QUAKE LAKE. New term to me.

16. Uncooperative words: I WON'T

17. Without equal: UNRIVALED. Like the Yankees' wealth, and arrogance.

18. 1980s attorney general: MEESE (Ed)

20. European ruler for 72 years: LOUIS XIV. The Sun King. He started the Haute Couture. Seed entry, Barry?

22. "I claim that!": DIBS

25. It ebbs and flows: TIDE

26. GI show gp.: USO (United Service Organizations)

27. Cotton Bowl site: DALLAS. The annual Cotton Bowl is played at the Cotton Bowl Stadium.

29. Give way: COLLAPSE

31. Spartans' sch.: MSU (Michigan State University).

33. Apprentice: TRAINEE

34. Home Depot kitchen department array: FAUCETS

39. It creates an adjustable loop: SLIPKNOT

40. It may be cracked by a spy: CODE. Barry's original clue might just be "It may be cracked".

43. Essayist Francis et al.: BACONS. Kevin is another Bacon.

46. "Concord Sonata" composer: IVES (Charles). Again, the answer revealed itself. Not familiar with this composer or his piece "Concord Sonata".

47. In __: seething: A RAGE

48. Notes after fa: SO LA. Wrote down SOLS first.

49. Alter, perhaps by using unethical techniques: REJIGGER. New word to me. JIGGER seems to have the same meaning.

51. Tehran language: FARSI. Moderan Persian.

52. Nuts: CRAZY

53. When business is slow: OFF-SEASON

56. Iron-rich meat: LIVER. True, but the smell of liver is just so strong.

57. Everly Brothers hit that begins "I bless the day I found you": LET IT BE ME. Here is the clip.

58. Musical exercise: ETUDE

59. Spoke to: ADDRESSED. Typical bottom edge word, with letter D's and S's.


1. Water conduit: AQUEDUCT. Rooted in aqua (water).

2. Driver's glare blocker: SUN VISOR

3. Certain conic section, in math: PARABOLA (puh-RAB-uh-luh). Got the answer. Don't really know what a parabola is.

5. Speeds (up): REVS

8. Guitar relative: Var.: UKELELE. Oh, variant of Ukulele.

9. Spiritual Arizona resort: SEDONA. My god, snow on the ground?

11. Blown away: AWESTRUCK

12. 1944 Sartre play: NO EXIT. The famous line "Hell is other people" is from this play. Sartre's "Nausea" is 6-letter too, but it's a novel (1938).

13. Where most stay when it rains: INSIDE

14. Martin and Allen: STEVES

21. Ship in 1898 news: USS MAINE. Gimme, right? We just had MAINE clued as "Ship to remember" several days ago and Martin mentioned the phrase "Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain".

23. Lunchbox alternative: PAPER BAG

27. Comic Carvey: DANA

30. Like wax museum figures: LIFE-SIZED

32. Has dinner: SUPS. And SCARFED (39D. Gobbled (down)).

34. Beat with a stick: FLOG. Verb.

35. Signs on the back: ENDORSES

36. Arduous: TOILSOME

37. Tense, as relations: STRAINED

40. Oater wagon formation: CIRCLE. Hence the idiom "circle the wagon".

41. Past the pain of breaking up, say: OVER IT. Again, the answer jumped out itself.

42. "Been there, done that" feeling: DEJA VU. Literally "already seen".

44. Biological ring of color: AREOLA. AREa + OLA. Again, like this.

48. Swedish autos: SAABS

50. "Did __ and gimble in the wabe": "Jabberwocky": GYRE. Obtained the answer from crosses also. "Jabberwocky" is pure nonsense to me.

51. Fancy party: FETE

54. Florist letters: FTD (Florists' Transworld Delivery)

55. Churchill's title: SIR. Churchill's mother was American.

Answer grid.



Anonymous said...

For 48 across, I also tried SOLS, and had to go to the dictionary to discover that SO is an "also" form of SOL.

Is it my imagination, or are the LAT puzzles getting easier? The last couple of weeks have generally been "as fast as I can write" exercises.

Al said...

What a coincidence (or maybe not?) We just had a Monkey Wrench discussion the other day, and today, the WorldWideWords newsletter discusses the possible origin (and casts some doubt on the Monckey explanation)

Jeanne said...

Morning all,
Has it been awhile since we saw a Barry Silk puzzle? Really enjoyed today’s puzzle; seems a bit more difficult than what we have been having recently. Had to guess at Akins and Evans and never heard of quake lake. Remember helping to make a parabolic solar reflector for older son’s 7th grade science project which was somewhat coned shaped. And Sedona is my favorite U.S. city that I have seen so far. Nature’s architecture beats all of man made architecture IMHO.

@Phillies’s fans, Charlie Manuel really blew it last night taking out Martinez. I had to stop watching.

Having a birthday party today for my one-year old grandson. Can’t believe how fast the year went by. He’s even saying words very clearly but not quite walking on his own. Should be lots of fun. Have a great day all. And all of us in the Mid-Atlantic area, maybe we should start building the ark!

Argyle said...

Good Morning, All (that get here before noon)

My problem was rooted in aqua, also. As in misspelling aquAduct, which gave me Maurice Avens. Since I had never heard of anyone named Avens, I changed that to Evens and Mr. Happy Pencil said I was right.

"Dry Martini, jigger of gin,". To much REJIGGERING and you might be using unethical techniques!

Dan Naddor Firday, followed by a Barry Silk Saturday; Sweet!

Martin said...

Almost finished it today without help: I had misspelled AQUEDUCT as AQUADUCT. I was still able to guess at the intersection of EVANS and AKINS. I wanted SAFE for CODE but I got CODE from the perps.

C.C., I'm not familiar with the words jigger or REJIGGER but I've heard the expression "jiggery pokery". My understanding is that years of jiggery pokery can land you in prison with a sentence of 150 years.

Everly Brothers hit that begins "I bless the day I found you": LET IT BE BE.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - ok, this is more like it; as soon as I saw that we had a Silky, I knew it was gonna be a good one, and it's a pangram to boot. A most enjoyable solve, but no time to go into details, as today is our Oktoberfest and it's gonna be pretty hectic. Hope it's a great day for everyone.

Al said...

@C.C. examples of parabolas in real life are the St. Louis Arch, modern roller coaster loops, the McDonalds double arches, the cables on suspension bridges, radio-telescopes, skateboard ramps, and the shiny reflectors behind light bulbs in flashlights and car headlights. When you switch from low to high beams, an element closer to the back of comes on providing a tighter focus of light.

Argyle said...

Opps, make that Evans.

Quake lakes are formed by lanslides filling in a drainage area and forming a dam. "Quake Lake (also known as Earthquake Lake) is a lake in southwestern Montana, United States. It was created after a massive earthquake struck on August 17, 1959..." from Wikipedia. Many were formed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Re: Monkey wrenches were made when most all nuts and bolt heads were square shaped. When they started using six-sided nuts and bolts, the "Crescent" wrench was developed because in effect it could grip it better.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Mostly a "smooth as Silk" experience for me, but in the end I just couldn't close the deal. I knew neither AKINS nor EVANS and, while I guessed the intersecting letter might be N, I unfortunately misspelled AQUEDUCT as AQUADUCT and therefore couldn't get the final "Tada!" no matter what letter I tried. Looks like I'm not alone in that mistake, though, so I don't feel too bad...

Andrea said...

Morning all -

Such an enjoyable today - nothing like a good Silky on a sunny Saturday morning. Just difficult enough, but not defeating. After my first pass, I still had mostly blanks, but as words slowly started to emerge, things came together nicely.

I got tripped up at the same Aqueduct/Evans/Akins intersections as everyone else so far. I do these with pen and paper, so no red letter help - I just came here to get the letter N. And the letter E in aqueduct, as it turns out.

No sitter for Zoe today, so no Badger/Hawkeye game for me... fortunately it's nice out today - perfect for jumping in leaf piles instead!!

Enjoy the day.

Anonymous said...

@andrea1263, how do you cook coconut rice?

Spitzboov said...

Enjoyable Barry Silk puzzle but didn't seem as hard as his past ones. Didn't know EVANS or AKINS but took a chance on the N.

Loved QUAKELAKE. Geologists refer to these as Graben lakes. Think Lake Tahoe.

Good weekend to all

Anonymous said...

44. Biological ring of color: AREOLA.
I was thinking of the link when I saw that word.

1. Spears on the table: ASPARAGUS.
I thought of pickles first and then broccoli

Jeanne said...

@BarryG-hope you are feeling better and the leg is on the mend.
@KittyB-the minestrone soup turned out great. Saved some for my son and dil when they get here today. Soup is always good on a cold, rainy day.
@Al, I wish I could have sat beside you in science class-maybe I would have learned more or had a good "cheat sheet" close by.

Lemonade714 said...

What fun to find a Barry Silk puzzle, I really enjoyed beginning with ASPARAGUS though somehow my first thought was for a different SPEARS .

We obviously do not have enough degenerate horse players who would recognize how to spell Acqueduct ; or Roman scholars like my son Roman Acqueduct , or even followers of Indie music Acqueduct .

My fondest memories of the classic Shakespeare actor Maurice Evans is his role on Bewitched . The link will allow you to watch all the episodes of the series.

Clouds have rolled in meaning we will finally get our version of fall, all the way into the 60’s tonight! It will not snow…

Anonymous said...

Did we all have aquAduct? Me too. Enjoyable puzzle, and I did so well with Mr. Silk I cannot believe it.

Gotta go. Onward to the Johnnies vs Tommies game in St. Joseph. Huge rivalry - St. John's is one of the most decorated college football teams of all time. D3 school. My son is visiting today. Should be fun. The temps are finally going to reach about 50. Coldest first two weeks of October EVER in Minnesota. Brrrrr.

Dennis - good luck on your Oktoberfest.

MJ said...

Good morning, C.C. and all,

Such an enjoyable Saturday puzzle from Barry Silk. Six nine-letter stacks crossed by eight-letter fills. I had to guess the "n" where AKINS and EVANS crossed as they were two of a total of six complete unknowns for me today. Ditto for the "g" in the cross of REJIGGER and GYRE. I didn't fall in the AQUaDUCT trap as AQUEDUCT was a vocabulary word in this week's science unit on water.

I wish I could can some of our SoCal heat and send it to those in the chillier zones. We sizzled in the mid-90's yesterday, and much the same is expected today. The good news is that the nights are cool, so the house is at a pleasant 70 degrees this ayem, thanks to leaving windows open overnight.

C.C.-Sedona is at about 4500' so they do get some snow from time to time. Thanks for the beautiful link!

Al-Great examples of parabolas.

Dennis-Hope the Oktoberfest is an enjoyable success.

Have a great weekend, folks!

Barry G. said...

@BarryG-hope you are feeling better and the leg is on the mend.

Thanks. I'm making progress, but I'm still not 100%. I've been back at work fully for a week or so, but the inability to keep my leg elevated as much as I would like means I still have some pain and swelling. I'm certainly a lot better than I was, though!

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. Even though I prefer theme puzzles, I could do this one and enjoyed it. Harder but not too hard. I have a couple of minor quibbles though, but I don't want to come across as being too picky or negative. I would appreciate other people's opinions.

The scale is do, re, mi, fa, SOL, etc., not SO. People may sometimes say it or hear it incorrectly but that doesn't make it right.

Also, it's easy to misspell UKULELE as UKELELE since it is often shorted to UKE. (I wasn't sure either and had to look it up.) Still, it's not correct.

So I had a little trouble in those two areas of the puzzle trying to figure out the intentions of the constructor. But I did manage to finish the puzzle and enjoyed the process.

I learn a lot from everybody here on a variety of topics so here is my two-cents on a PARABOLA. It is an exact shape described by a mathematical equation. CC, for an example you would be familiar with, it's the arcing curve made by a fly ball in baseball (affected a little bit by air friction). However, it's a little different from the shape of the St. Louis arch and hanging cables. Those are very similar curves called catenaries.

Lemonade714 said...


While you are correct, I think the constructor is safe, because UKELELE is an accepted variant spelling of UKULELE .

Also, if you read about the history of the solfege, it has permitted SO .

Part of what always made the NYT puzzles so hard was the use of variant spelling, so I while you are right, I think saying he was wrong is too strong a reaction. IMHO

DCannon said...

Guess I've forgotten some of my college geology because "quakelake" didn't even register until it worked itself out. Had to look up "Akins" but everything else worked out with fills. I also had "aquaduct" instead of "aqueduct" and I don't know why; I know how to spell it. Never heard of "rejigger."

I love liver and onions, but can't eat much fried foods these days. My sister used to make a delicious liver stew.

Our weather is not bad today. Mid-60s right now - will probably get to mid-70s by late afternoon. I'm sorry for those who are getting the winter weather already. Bundle up and keep warm.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Had a kids soccer game this morning. Third shutout in four weeks, and this was with Samantha in goal the second half! One of our kids scored on a corner kick, but I looked away for a second and missed it.

@ yesterday, The Weather Channel is also headquartered in Atlanta.

I believe C.C.'s AREOLA link also illustrates PARABOLAs. Thay may transform into catenaries over time.

Enjoyable puzzle today, but a lot less work, as compared to a few months ago. OK, since I'm busy today.

That's AQUE with an E, not LIZA with a Z. Fooled me.

When the STRAINED AQUEDUCT COLLAPSEs, does the water flow into the QUAKELAKE? You wouldn't want to be INSIDE or OVER IT.

Was MEESE CRAZY? (Careful - no politics.)


Some people object to name plurals. So BACON can't be kosher.

Business was exceptionally good during the UNRIVALED OFF-SEASON.

Q: Would you like some pepper?
A: No, thanks. I'm OFF SEASON.

One who disembarks is OFF SEAS ON land.

Gotta Run. Having a house full of grandchildren tonight.

JzB the TOILSOME trombonist.

embien said...

6:16 today. Has to be the easiest Saturday themeless LAT puzzle ever. Lots of fun fill, but a couple of "ouches."

The cross of EVANS and AKINS was ugh-ly, as others have noted. In fact, the whole NW, with the variant spelling of UKELELE, coupled with the horrible cross, was suspect. REJIGGER sounds like a made-up word, but I'm sure it's in some dictionary.

I'll raise my hand on AQUADUCT, too. Didn't make my travails in the NW any easier, but I did get it sorted out when AVANS didn't look right. I also erred in initially putting in BROWN BAG where the puzzle wanted PAPER BAG (does anyone really call it a "paper bag" lunch?)

"I loves me some liver." Julie Powell from Julie and Julia. Me too. Liver is the most unctuous of meats. I think more people would enjoy it if they didn't know it as "ewww liver".

Interesting that we had "SO" today after the syndicated NY Times this week, which had the more proper SOL in it. (Those who did this puzzle will know what I'm talking about.)

c.c.: "Jabberwocky" is pure nonsense to me.

c.c., "Jabberwocky" is pure nonsense to everybody. But I love the poem--considered the epitomy of nonsense verse.

Argyle said...

15ACROSS. Basin that can result from a seismic landslide: QUAKE LAKE
I have to call this clue into question. It doesn't really need the seismic qualifier. Any type of landslide that blocks the drainage of a valley will form a basin, albiet shallow with, most likely, an unstable dam.

Graben lakes, caused by rifts and faults, create the world's deepest lakes and to not need dams. Lake Tahoe

Anonymous said...

It was the most freeing LAT puzzle for me. I only had a few spaces left of unsolved parts and AREOLA was one of them. I was going to put it in - but thought, "NNOOO....couldn't be THAT". Love the visual.

lois said...

Good afternoon CC et al., 'Crazy' about this Silk puzzle - more difficult for me, but not frustrating. Very enjoyable.

Love the ref today to Dallas and the Cotton Bowl in the same puzzle with 'Etude' (Chopin) and even 'rejigger' as in mixed drinks. Perfect! Had to LOL with the 'deja vu' feeling of 23D
'Paper bag', remembering the conversaton about keeping 2 bags handy on dates. I prefer having a 'slip knot' available myself and a sign that reads 'no exit' on the closest door. I just use those on ma-kin. 'U-ke-le-le'an uns and bigguns any time that way 'off season'. 'Let it be me' is the mantra. Everybody is 'unrivaled' so it's all good.

Great links Argyle, Lemonade, and Al.

GO OU!!! and Va Tech!

Enjoy your day.

Jerome said...

(Misplaced on Friday Comments section).

Any puzzle with QUAKELAKE, REJIGGER, LOUISXIV, SLIPKNOT, AWESTRUCK, LIFESIZED, PAPERBAG, and DEJAVU holds enough fun for me. The rest of the fill is icing on the cake. I've never done a Silk puzzle that wasn't superb.

Odd stuff- GOLF, FLOG

Ridiculous stuff- MEESE! SEE ME!
For wine lovers- Have you read BACON'S essay ON CABS?

My Ma was a great ASPARAGUS cook,
but it wasn't as good AS PA'S RAGU.

Faucets- Actresses who take courses in Egyptian plumbing are
Pharoah Faucet Majors.

Barry S said...

C.C. & solvers:

My seed entry for this puzzle was QUAKELAKE.

Although many clues were changed from my original submission to make the puzzle easier, I was disappointed in particular about these changes:

JIMI, JANIS were both clued as "First name at Woodstock"
EVANS: "Ernest ___ (Chubby Checker)"
OFF SEASON: "Sports fanatics dread?"

I'm pleased that most of you found it enjoyable to solve. Thanks for the nice comments!

Barry Silk

Argyle said...


Upon further reflection and research, I've changed my mind about my 1:20 PM assessment of the clue. Without the qualifier, seismic, the lake caused by a landslide would be just that, a landslide lake. However, if the landslide was caused by seismic activity then the lake could truly be called a QUAKE LAKE.

Chickie said...

Hello All--I enjoyed this Barry Silk puzzle a great deal. I felt it was more difficult than the puzzles the rest of the week, but the challenge was what made it so much fun.

I didn't have many fills for the first pass, but the words just kept coming one at a time until I had it all done. I'm not especially good at names of movie stars, and other celebrities, so the names of Evans and Akins gave me trouble , too. However, I guessed right for a change and did spell Aqueduct correctly so that helped.

I loved the clues, Spears on the table, and "I claim that". Dibs was a favorite expression when I was growing up.

The link to Sedona with the red rocks and snow was gorgeous. It is high up in the mountains, so snow isn't unusual in the winter.

Nice weather here so far, but rain is forecast for Monday. Bring it on as we have had enough drought for a while.