Oct 31, 2009

Saturday October 31, 2009 Samuel A. Donaldson

Theme: None

Total words: 68

Total blocks: 30

This puzzle is noticeable for its lack of 3-letter answers. Only 2. Nice stacked 9's in the upper left and lower right. My favorite today are the two scrabbly long Downs: TAKES A JOKE (11D. Tolerates teasing gracefully) and FOURSQUARE (27D. Unwavering). Awesome!

There is no A-LOP (25D. Crooked) in my dictionary, but I do remember someone found the definition somewhere last time when it appeared in our old puzzle.

An easier puzzle than I had expected. The abundance of plural S suffixes and fill-in-the-blank entries sure helped. Still had to cheat though.


1. War and more: CARD GAMES. Wanted CONFLICTS.

10. R.E.M. vocalist Michael: STIPE. Does it rhyme with stripe?

15. Strain: OVEREXERT. Came to me immediately. Nice entry.

16. Turkic inhabitant of Russia: TATAR. Was just clued as "Golden Horde member" yesterday.

17. Place with trays: CAFETERIA

18. Director Kurosawa: AKIRA. Probably best known for "Seven Samurai". Akira means bright/intelligent in Japanese, identical to Chinese character Ming (as in Yao Ming).

19. Aide's job: ASSISTING

20. Doctor's orders: TESTS. Mindlessly wrote down STATS.

21. Rolls on the lawn: SOD. Rolls here is a noun.

22. Hard to nail down: ELUSIVE. Like the first major title for Sergio Garcia.

24. Social blunder: GAFFE. And "Fish hook" is GAFF, without E.

28. Eritrea's capital: ASMARA. Man, I can never remember this capital name. I am surprised they speak Arabic rather than French there.

30. Ness et al.: ELIOTS. The most famous T-man.

32. Cosmetic surgeries: NOSE JOBS. Seed entry, Sam?

36. Vegan entrée: TOFU. Cantonese. Mandarin is doufu.

37. Imported cheeses: EDAMS. Dutch cheeses.

39. Cajun pod: OKRA. Stir-fried fresh okra is very tasty.

40. Sherry, often: APERITIF. By the way, do you use normal sherry for cooking or it has to be cooking sherry?

42. Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show costar: OAKLEY (Annie). I was not familiar with the show. Wikipedia says it formed in 1883 and lasted until 1913.

44. Grab before someone else does: SNAP UP

46. It merged with Kmart in 2005: SEARS. I was shocked when it happened. I thought Kmart was still struggling with bankruptcy.

47. Film that's out of order? PREQUEL. Is "Angels and Demons" prequel or sequel to "The Da Vinci Code"?

50. PC panic button: ESC

52. Mammal of Madagascar: LEMUR. Alliteration.

53. Seeking advancement at any cost: ON THE MAKE. New idiom to me.

60. Eastern Canadian province grouping, with "the": MARITIMES. Consist of three provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Unknown to me.

61. Saltpeter, to a Brit: NITRE. Niter to us.

62. Smithsonian collection: AMERICANA

64. Nielsen ratings subjects: TELECASTS


1. Caesar's partner Imogene: COCA. Strange name.

3. Court call makers: REFS. Basketball/tennis court. I was thinking of judge's court.

4. Cologne crowd?: DREI. German for "three".

5. Prepares: GETS SET. Wrote down READIES first.

7. Yucatán's capital: MERIDA. No idea. I peeked at the cheat sheet. Tough crossing with ASMARA.

9. Child actor's chauffeur?: STAGE MOM

10. Height: STATURE

12. Formal answer to "Who's there?": IT IS I

13. End of a pentamerous serial: PART V. Penta is prefix for "five".

23. Will Rogers prop: LASSO

26. High wind: FIFE. Liked the clue.

29. Messy situation: SNAFU. It stands for Situation Normal All F****ed Up.

31. Hairlike parts, such as those that help geckos cling to walls: SETAE. Stumper. I am used to the simple "stiff hairs" clue. Geckos have a million foot hairs (SETAE)?

33. St. with counties named Comanche and Choctaw: OKLA. Easy guess. What's so special about those two counties besides the C start?

34. Uncle Remus's __ Fox: BR'ER

38. One with immunity: DIPLOMAT

41. Buried: INURNED. I only know inter. Easy to remember though: in + urn.

43. One leading a spartan lifestyle: ASCETIC. How do you define a hedonist? One leading a what lifestyle? Decadent?

45. Marine bird: PETREL. Here is one petrel soaring with wings wide.

49. Cry on cue, say: EMOTE

51. U.S.: county :: U.K. : __: SHIRE

55. Flaky mineral: MICA

56. Latin 101 verb: AMAS. Amo, AMAS, amat.

57. Colleague of Lane and Olsen: KENT. "Superman".

58. Those, to Teresa: ESAS. Or ESOS. ESA/ESO = "That".

Answer grid.



Martin said...

10. R.E.M. vocalist Michael: STIPE. Does it rhyme with stripe?


20. Doctor's orders: TESTS. Mindlessly wrote down STATS.

I had ?ESTS from the perps so I wrote R to make RESTS. Doctors order rest. It took me a while to get STATURE.

22. Hard to nail down: ELUSIVE.

I wrote EVASIVE at first.

36. Vegan entrée: TOFU. Cantonese. Mandarin is doufu.

I worked at a kindergarten for a while and they told me I had to always speak English to the children (ie no Chinese). One day, one of the kids asked me what she was eating for lunch and I said "tofu". The kindergarten teacher got angry at me. I guess I was supposed to say "bean curd" but the fact is that we call it "tofu".

I did say I only taught there for a while, didn't I?

Film that's out of order? PREQUEL. Is "Angels and Demons" prequel or sequel to "The Da Vinci Code"?

Prequel. I actually wish the question mark wasn't there: a prequel IS a film that is out of order. Presumably when you watch movies on DVD you should watch the PREQUEL first before the original movie. I wanted MISREEL at first.

52. Mammal of Madagascar: LEMUR.

I wrote SLOTH at first.

53. Seeking advancement at any cost: ON THE MAKE. New idiom to me.

I've heard of ON THE TAKE: it means you're taking bribes.

33. St. with counties named Comanche and Choctaw: OKLA.

I missed understood St. and wrote OLAF. Note how OKLA crosses with OKRA and OAKLEY.

43. One leading a spartan lifestyle: ASCETIC. How do you define a hedonist? One leading a what lifestyle? Decadent?

Promiscuous. "Decandent" has a negative connotation. :)


Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

Overall, this was a fairly straightforward puzzle for me, but there were a few hiccoughs (or hiccups, if you prefer). One came when I couldn't remember whether the was spelled APERETIF or APERITIF, and the crossing was no help since ENURNED was just as likely (or unlikely as the case may be) as INURNED in my mind.

[I still have trouble accepting INURN as a synonym for "bury," btw, since an urn is something you generally leave above ground and not something you bury. And I don't care what the dictionary says...]

Anyway, the next hiccough was when I mistakenly thought (yet again) that Cologne was in France instead of Germany and tried to fit some French version of "three" into 4D. I couldn't quite remember if it was TRES or TREY or what, but I knew it at least began with a "T". I finally went with TREI, since that fit all the crossings. And then, of course, I stared at CARTGAMES for 1A and went, "huh?" Fortunately, that was followed shortly by a resounding, "D'OH!"

The last (and most significant) hiccough was the deadly and manifestly unfair crossing of MERIDA and ASMARA. Both were totally unknown to me, and the crossing letter could have been either an A or an O. Sadly, I put in an O, and when I didn't get the final "TADA!" I went back and changed it to an A. Which, in my mind, means I didn't really finish the puzzle unassisted.

Ah well. As I said, the rest of the puzzle was fun and smooth. I will say, though, that I question whether TOFU is really considered an "entreé" by anybody. More of an ingredient, I would say...

Happy Halloween, everyone!

windhover said...

Lois, the resident Okie, may correct me, but I believe the significance of the county names is that they are both named after Native American Indian tribes, or to be more accurate, subdivisions of larger tribes.
Also, I don't believe hedonism is quite so narrowly defined. It is simply the pursuit of pleasure as a lifestyle. Neither promiscuity nor decadence is a prerequisite for a hedonist. Both are subjective terms based on societal norms, and usually applied to the behavior of others by hypocrites.
Many of my acquaintenances think I'm an ascetic. All my friends know I'm a hedonist. As I once heard the Dalai Lama say (when he spoke in Berea, Kentucky in, I believe, 1996), "The purpose of life is to be happy".
No Puzzle or puzzling for me today. I'll have to find my pleasure elsewhere.
Very nice job yesterday, Ms. Hostess.

Anonymous said...

Martin, Angels and Demons is the sequel to Da Vinci Code.

Argyle said...

Good Morning, Martin,

Here's something you might be able to use: 21Across. Rolls on the lawn:, I put down EGG, thinking of the EGG rolls on the White House lawn. Could be used around Easter.

The blog for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named on Saturday, July 04, 2009 had this entry:
Anonymous said @ 5:12 PM

alop adj. In a lopsided state. (Webster's 2nd International Dict.)

When our library opens up, I'll look in their Webster's Third International Dictionary. (Now that I know they have one.)

Anonymous said...

Funny story I once worked at a movie theatre and one night the movie Life is Beautiful came in and the manager and I were putting the film together since they always came in on separate reels. We spliced the film together backwards the end started at the beginning. Thats what I was thinking of Film that's out of order.


Anonymous said...

R.E.M. vocalist Michael: STIPE.

Losing my religion Classic REM from 1991 Happy Halloween.


Rex Parker said...

Wow, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. I'm honored.

ALOP is weird in that it's *not* in Webster's 3rd Int'l (which I use), but *is* (acc. to a commenter) in Webster's 2nd., as Argyle noted: adj. in a lopsided state. Not a word you want in your puzzles very much (virtually obsolete), but a valid word.


Martin said...

From the imdb:

Angels & Demons is a 2009 American film adaptation of Dan Brown's novel by the same name. It is the sequel to The Da Vinci Code, even though the novel Angels & Demons was published first and takes place before the novel The Da Vinci Code.

It is then, by definition, a PREQUEL.


Lemonade714 said...

Good morning all,

Kazie, you must be fuming at this one, as already mentioned, the MERIDA ASMARA cross was really very difficult. Last thought on yesterday, why did Rex attack Jeannie, and suggest she was being arrogant? Grownups usually understand it is not necessary to resort to name calling in differences of opinion. It did however make me laugh, because it reminded me of the classic ‘debates’ between Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtain on SNL .

Puzzle had some charm, Cologne crowd?: DREI,( a gimme for KAZIE) chauffeur?: STAGE MOM (not all of whom are very nice, ask DINA LOHAN , One with immunity: DIPLOMAT, which in light of the N1H1 crisis was particularly tricky, pentamerous ( which sounds like a frustrated person who is feeling frisky) ( or for Jerome, MEAN POUTERS, oops not more about yesterday) serial: PART V, which was fun for those who remember their Latin numbers.

I also never had thought about TOFU being a foreign word, nor what language it came from, so one more piece of information in the memory banks.

Finally, C.C., you should read about a an important figure in Americana, the amazing ANNIE OKALEY who was the first female superstar in this land.

Rex, it is good to see you continue to read our comments, and I hope you too are big enough to apologize to Jeannie who was only showing her loyalty. She certainly has the right to prefer free blogging, and all she really said was she believed you have a massive EGO, which other than an overused crossword fill, is a compliment the the self proclaimed 44th best.

Anonymous said...

Anent ALOP, Saturday, March 22, 2008 (5:46pm comment from Feste)

"The Oxford English Dictionary has a one line definition of alop. The word is hyphenated.
A-lop: Hanging over on one
side. "1865...hay-stacks, all


Argyle said...

I haven't read or seen either the novels or movies but I would say it is the story line (when the action takes place) that determines whether it is a perquel or sequel or original. How did they handle Star Wars?

Rex Parker said...

@Lemonade, I appreciate your evenhandedness. However: "a right to prefer free blogging?" But ... it is free. Totally free. I've never forced anyone to pay a cent for anything ever. People *voluntarily* give me money because I provide a service, and entertainment, every single day of my life, and they find it valuable. Plus, the word she used was "distasteful." Merely for having a Donations box up? Come on. It's a horrible thing to suggest that writers not only don't have a right to want some kind of remuneration for their work, but that they are being offensive if they even suggest it. I know she's family to you all, but that's messed up. Also, it was relevant to *nothing*. Just an out-of-the-blue swipe. How my suggestion that she enjoys feeling superior to others and her suggestion that I am "distasteful" are any different in tone, I don't know. I'm not apologizing for responding in kind to someone who clearly and unambiguously insulted me. When you can tell me how "distasteful" (not to mention all the rest of what she said) is not an insult, let me know. I will, however, happily forgive her.

C.C. politely requested a link. Done and done. So easy.

Guilty on the EGO accusation.

But that was yesterday.


Argyle said...

Did you mean...A-LOP?

Martin said...


TOFU is also what they call it in Japanese.


Spiitzboov said...

Hardest puzzle this week but doable. Did not know STIpE or AKIrA, so missed PARTV. Also had "fourbyfour" and "onthetake" before the perps straightened me out. Also 101 verb tends to be esse, but was wary that it could be AMAS. (Did not know infinitive spelling.) ; and, also slow to remember ASMARA. More than usual # of F's and K's.

Loved DREI is a crowd in Cologne (Köln) :-)

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, good puzzle for me today. I was glad that there were only two three letter words. The easier they seem, the easier it is to trip me up. Luckily I have been to MERIDA, so ASMARA was perp heaven, even though I probably won't remember it in the future.

The four stacks of nine letters answers in both the NW and SE were fun to solve and I suspect were difficult to construct. Jerome or Fred are the go-to guys for that kind of information.

My favorite clues were "Child actor's chauffeur" for STAGE MOM and "High wind" for FIFE.

Happy Halloween, everyone.

DCannon said...

The NE section was hard for me. Had to google Stipe and Akiru. Also, read Part V as Par TV, so I was saying "Huh?" The hint was in the clue itself.

I also googled "Asmara" after it was filled because I had never had an occasion to know the capital of Eritrea and wanted to verify it. "Merida" I knew from study of the history of Mexico some years ago.

I'm not big on card games, so that had to be a fill for me. I, too, wanted "conflicts." Sometimes you can take clues too literally.

Cold day here. We were going to seal the grout on the new kitchen tile today, but we would have to open up the house. Don't think so - at least not this morning! I'm staying "hunkered" down!

kazie said...

I had to work a bit to get all of this but no outside help. Lots of guesses and perp help were enough. A few names but for some reason no big deal today. LOL!

Strangely enough DREI didn't hit me until I had a couple of letters. Wasn't thinking of "three's a crowd", which was obvious really, but was trying to think of a word for crowd in German other than Menge, which didn't fit.

I didn't know AKIRA, COCA, STIPE, A-LOP, MERIDA or ASMARA, but a few perps made them fall in.

I liked the catch phrases like "on the make". Haven't heard Americana used a lot before but in Oz there are Australiana stores for the tourists everywhere, so it was an easy guess.

Got FIFE but didn't connect the dots until I was here. FOURSQUARE is unfamiliar but was guessable. Child actor's chauffeur is probably my favorite today.

This was fun puzzle.

lois said...

Good morning CC et al., Enjoyed this puzzle but had the same problems as others...Asmara being the hardest, even knowing Merida. Any puzzle is a favorite of mine that has Okla in it plus Will Rogers and Annie Oakley. Rogers' museum is in Claremore, OK and is very much worth visiting. Oakley was a childhood idol even tho' she was long gone by the time I snapped out of it.

CC & WH: Even tho' OK has a lot of counties named after tribes, there are numerous counties that are not. I grew up in Comanche County, born in Stephens and went to school in Cleveland, at OU. I can only guess as to how the names were chosen...Beaver, Dewey, Woods, Woodward, and Love. Each county has a 'seat' - which adds a whole new dimension to the concept. Love OK.

About the puzzle: 53A 'seeking advancement at any cost' to me is not 'on the make'. 'On the Take' is a better fit for that for me, but maybe it's just my warped perspective that clouds my thinking on this one.

Big party tonight. Will be a take off on little 'or-fan Annie'. Should be fun.

Happy Halloween, all.

Barry G. said...


I totally missed yesterday's post (day was insanely busy and never had time to even think about looking at the puzzle). From what I've read here, though, I guess it's just as well.

One thing I've loved about this site is that (with the exception of the occasional anonymous troll), we're all just a bunch of friendly people who share a love of crossword puzzles. And that includes the person who runs the blog (hey, C. C. ^_^). No flame wars, no attacks, no overinflated egos.

I used to be a regular poster at another crossword blog, but stopped after the person in charge stated how much he disliked my long-winded posts (since, after all, it was his blog and not mine, and nobody wants to read lengthy posts by anybody but him) and another poster agreed with him and suggested I needed therapy to deal with my obvious "issues." At that point, it was no longer a fun experience for me.

[The above, btw, is a paraphrase of my recollection of events that took place a long time ago. I admit I might have misinterpreted or misremembered some bits, so please don't anybody who was there start to pick nits. The point is simply that the owner of the blog flexed his ego, I was made uncomfortable, and so I left.]

Anyway, although I don't have the time I once had to spend here, I still enjoy it immensely when I do have the time and sincerely hope that C. C. can keep it running for a long time to come.

Now, please -- can we all (fellow posters and constructors alike) please just check our collective egos at the door and keep this place a fun place to hang around?

PanGraham said...

I usually work the xwords offline in pen and paper, getting more enjoyment out of solving them that way. I ended up having to guess at the final/starting A in MeridA and Asmara (which I did correctly). Otherwise no major hangups in this puzzle for me. I'd initially filled in stageMAN rather than stageMOM, and doses for tests, but they sorted themselves out quickly. Agreed about alop being a reach, answer-wise. I also wasn't familiar with "foursquare" in the unwavering sense. Still, it wasn't too much of a stretch since I did know of it as a sturdy, boxy house style. Sure enough "foursquare" is confirmed as unwavering at OneLook.

Like BarryG., I have a little quibble with the bury clue for inurned as well. I typically think of funerary urns placed on a shelf or a niche, say on a mantel or in a columbarium, but not in the ground. I guess bury here is used in a broader sense of disposing of remains somehow, so it's probably technically correct as a clue.

Not to stir up more, but I do see Rex has indeed reciprocated with a link back to this site today. Surely we can move on now? I enjoy both his and C.C.'s sites myself; of course, your mileage may vary.


Pangraham/ anon-hp

PanGraham said...

Forgot to say, Argyle, great moniker you came up with for RP here. Reminds me of the running "She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed" joke in the Rumpole of the Bailey series.


PanGraham /anon-hp

DCannon said...

Lois, I was born (at home) in Comanche County, OK. on North of Cache Road, near Lawton. I'm sure that part of the county is inside the city limits of Lawton now. Went to school at Broxton and Geronimo. Left the state after third grade. Had relatives at Anadarko for years, but I don't know if anybody is left there now or not.

Anonymous said...

Where is the nutritionist Al? Love your recipes too Jeannie.

Clear Ayes said...

Thanks to Rex Parker for correcting what seemed to be an oversight, not a slight, and linking C.C.'s blog.

PanGraham, I loved Rumpole. Most TV is iffy at best, but once in a while, somebody like Rumpole comes along. It's too bad it usually only happens on the BBC.

Here's an appropriate Halloween post concerning INURNED. Most of my mother's cremains were scattered in three widespread areas of the world. But some of her ashes were also inurned in four small porcelain containers that are now resting comfortably (one can hope) in the three daughters' and one granddaughter's homes. (For a little woman, she went a long way.) So is she buried, even when I can pass by the glass front cabinet and say a cheery, "Hi Mom."? I suppose so, since Mirriam- Webster defines bury as "to dispose of by depositing in or as if in the earth; especially : to inter with funeral ceremonies". There was no funeral ceremony for Mom, but the idea is the same.

Please excuse my somewhat cavalier attitude, but I don't really think my mother resides in a ginger jar on a shelf.

eddyB said...

Hello all.

Gee. After yesterday, I was looking
for Zebras when there wasn't any Theme.

Another Gee. I had no idea who Rex Parker was/is. Now I know too much.

I mistook a G for a Q and wound up with Gyatt. Which is the USS Gyatt

I'm a digital guy in an analog world and must learn to think out side the box.

I liked this puzzle. There were a lot of unknowns but it was fun.


Anonymous said...

Just understood like others the significance of fife...thanks--like being surprised! And doesn't SNAFU mean fouled up--that's how I've always heard it.enjoy today's extra hour--i'm off to the pool, a beautiful day for a swim in soCal.

Mainiac said...

Good Afternoon All,

If you're surprised to see me here on the weekend, so am I. We finally got DSL at the house. I now know through personal experience why our phone service provider has filed for bankruptcy. The most aggravating part is the cable company ran the service to a pole I can hit with a rock from the end of my driveway. Oh well! We've finally got it and all of us kids are happy!

This grid was quite a challenge for me. I got about 50% on master level and switched to red letter to complete. Like most Asmara, Merida gave me fits as well as On The Make which I think of someone pulling a scam or taking a bribe.

Heavy Fife warnings here this afternoon and tonight. Hopefully I won't have to work so we both can take the kids trick or treating.

Back to cutting wood!

Chickie said...

Hello All--I ran into the same problems as most others who have already posted, so I won't repeat my woes.

Setae is just the scientific term for hairs. Since I was a science major in college that came easily, but I know that for some these terms are hard to come by.

C.C. I use sherry for cooking for the flavor. I don't necessarily use an expensive one, as I prefer to drink that in an aparitif.

Many high school drama departments do "Annie Get Your Gun" for their school play. If you have a chance, watch a high school presentation of this play. It is a nice interpretation of Annie Oakley's life and times.

As to Foursquare for Unwavering, I couldn't get my head around anything other than the playground game of four square. When I finally filled in the answer, I still didn't grasp the meaning. Thanks to the help of the people on the blog, I now have a new meaning for the word.

just wondering said...

To those who criticized the other puzzle site for its request for donations, what's the difference really between that and the Google ads on this site?

Anonymous said...

I never click Google ads.

lois said...

DCannon: It certainly is a small world, isn't it? Cache Rd is seemingly endless now and Lawton itself is almost reaching Duncan.
Email me, so we can talk.

Almost all the kids will be home shortly to whoop it up tonight. There will be one empty stall, but he'll be here next wkend.

Lemonade: forgot earlier. Loved the SNL link. That is so dang funny.

Argyle: Baby, you gettin' your red suit ready?

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang

Speaking of A-LOP, I had a tree in my front yard that was somewhat ALOP, on a grade; wasn't staked properly early in life, and grew slanting down hill. (As the twig is bent, So the tree's inclined.)

All of that in the past tense, since half of it came down last night in the high wind. (Which is what I was thinking of, not FIFE - today's great clue.)

Alas poor Bradford Pear.

My spelling of APERTIEF caused all kinds of difficulty. Crossing MERIDO with OSMARA didn't help.

ON THE MAKE means seeking something, but not advancement, unless it refers to making advances.

A Madagascar Vet might order LEMUR TESTS.

Have you ever stir-fried OKRA with TOFU?

I won't watch the World Series of Poker. CARDGAME TELECASTS are boring.

Is herring served in the MARITIMES' CAFETERIAS?

If not for Frodo, the minions of the original He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, would take AXE TO the SHIRE

A guy is coming back tomorrow, to take AXE TO my after the SNAFU tree.

"Fouled" for that F is bowdlerization.

JzB the ego-free trombonist

Anonymous said...

As for the answer to 53 Across, listen to the AC/DC song " What do you do for Money " and that is in there. " You're always on the make, Squeezing all the blood out of men". Means to use others for one's own personal gain.

Clear Ayes said...

Here's a little reminder for those of us who must wander around the house tonight doing mundane things like setting the clocks back. Don't OVEREXERT yourselves. We have 12 indoor clocks (can't forget the DVD players, microwave and thermostat). There are also the cars and the clocks on the patio and in the garage. At least the computer resets itself!

Time Change

In spring when maple buds are red,
We turn the clock an hour ahead;
Which means, each April that arrives,
We lose an hour out of our lives.

Who cares? When autumn birds in flocks
Fly southward, back we turn the clocks,
And so regain a lovely thing
That missing hour we lost in spring.

- Phyllis McGinley

Hypatia1 said...

C.C--If you use cooking sherry, bear in mind that it has been adulterated so as to insure that no one will want to drink it! Lots of salt as I recall. Use the real stuff. Cook it down in any event.
cooking sherry

Robin said...

Happy Halloween everyone, have a safe evening out and about, especially with the kids and grandkids. This is always a busy night for us.
I found this puzzle fun and challenging. I was hoping for more of a Halloween theme.
My favorite was STAGE MOM and the link to Dina Lohan and SNL! I love anything by Akira Kurosawa. If you haven't seen his work, check it out. I'm sure Clear Ayes has! Beautiful cinematography. I am new to this blog, but enjoy that big old can of whoop ass that you have on hand! I'm gonna need the recipe for that Jeannie ;)

Barry G. said...

Oh, right --it's Halloween!

My little guy couldn't make up his mind what he wanted to be this year. First, he wanted to be a skeleton. Then, he wanted to be a pirate. Then, a skeleton. Then, a pirate.

So this is what we came up with:

The Little Guy

And here's one with me next to him just to provide a sense of scale:

The Little Guy and Big Guy

[That's the beard I grew while staying in the hospital that I swear I'll get around to shaving off one of these days...]

embien said...

10:01 today. I don't prefer themeless puzzles, but they are supposed to make up for the "themelessness" by having a lot of sparkling fill, usually involving stacked blocks of long words/phrases. This one fell a bit short of the mark for me. INURNED and ALOP are horrible words to my mind, and TAKES A JOKE isn't really common, is it? Oh well.

Barry, for a vegan, tofu is the main part of the dish, so I think that one is OK (Vegan entree).

c.c.: never use "cooking sherry" for cooking. It is the cheapest possible wine with tons of salt added (to make it unpalatable to drink). I believe it was invented in the days of prohibition, to get around the laws.

An old chef's maxim says "never cook with a wine you wouldn't drink". The only viable use for "cooking sherry" is to put it in cat food cans outside as slug bait.

WM said...

Wonderfully fun head scratching, AHA moment puzzle. Almost fit into the TRICK catagory, but I ultimately finished it. Pretty much the same unknowns as for everyone else. First fill, CAFETERIA and the NW corner fell fast. I spent a lot of time second guessing myself, putting things and taking them out and putting them back in again which slowed me down considerably. Favorite clue, high wind. And for JazzB I think it pronounced more like Maar ee teem...French.

C.C. yes, cooking wine and cooking sherry are salted. Historically it was done to keep the cook and other servants from sipping while cooking...nasty stuff. When you cook with spirits/wine, always make sure it is something you would otherwise drink as once the alcohol evaporates you are left with the taste of the wine, and reducing it intensifies the flavor. It certainly doesn't have to be expensive, just tasty.

I also agree that Tofu is an ingredient rather than an entree on it's own. There are so many kinds available but I don't think it is ever really served as chunk of tofu.

Husband is 1 month past surgery as of yesterday, pretty much over his cold and so we are going to attempt some minor yard clean-up together, right after I carve my awesome pumpkin that I found on our trip to the pumpkin patch with our granddaughter last week.

BarryG so good to finally "see" you and your son is quite a charmer( I would say cute, but I wouldn't want that getting back to him).

Jeannie...Giada since she is a from scratch, fresh ingredient cook.

Cheers and Happy Halloween.

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang, we finished every clue today except for the crossing of the two unknown capital cities of MERIDA and ASMARA. I had to look up the location of Asmara and found it's almost directly across the bay from Saudi Arabia?
I thought that Dan's Friday puzzle was more difficult than today's only because there was no theme to figure out.

For Jeannie: I printed out your recipe for Swedish meatballs and we'll try to make them tonight. I can't remember the last time I had them.

Re: Clock setting? I agree that we have entirely too many clocks and very few of them are of the self setting kind. It usually takes us a week to track down them all after the time change. At least now we have a new DVR that knows what time it is, that saves some time having to reset the VCR times like we used to...

LUXOR said...

Saltpeter is potassium nitrate (K NO 4). It is used in gunpowder to supply the oxygen needed for the explosion

Clear Ayes said...

Robin, I haven't seen as many Kurosawa motion pictures as I would like. They aren't shown often on IFC or Sundance channels and we don't live in an art theater area. Ran is a about cinematography!

Barry G. Loved the skeletal pirate...or is he a piratical skeleton? Either way, he is a real keeper and right out of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Argyle said...


The Crandall Library in Glens Falls has a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, where-in I found the entry for a-lop.

Adverb, prepositional phrase, A+Lop - Hanging over to one side.
1865 A. Cary, Ballads 81 "Mildewed hay-stack, all a-lop"

Upon further research, I have discovered the actual ballad, titled "If and If". It begins,
"If I were a painter, I could paint..."
[the stanza of interest to us]
I could paint the fields, in the middle hush
Of winter, bleak and bare,
Some snow like a lamb that is caught in a bush,
Hanging here and there, --
The mildewed haystacks, all a-lop,
And the old dead stub with the crow at the top.

Print Title: Ballads, lyrics, and hymns.: By Alice Cary.
Author: Cary, Alice, 1820-1871.

Now to the word, LOP: the meaning that I think applies here is, verb, to hang loosely . With the addition of "A-", it becomes an adverb.?
A haystack is layed up much like thatch, so as to promote rain run-off. stack The hay is pulled out from the bottom so the protective thatch is undisturbed. Of course, the skill is to pull that hay out evenly so the whole thing wouldn't tip over!

Bill G. said...

Hi everyone.

I've gotten most of my clocks reset already. It is a nuisance but like Warren said, I do appreciate the DVR (and computer) setting themselves. As I get older, the time change annoys me more and more. I would rather Congress pick one and stick to it. I know the reasons for it but I still don't like it.

I loved High Wind because I was able to figure it out!

Argyle said...

Alice Cary (April 26, 1820 – February 12, 1871) was an American poet, and the sister of fellow poet Phoebe Cary (1824–1871).

Robin said...

Thanks CA I have not seen Ran, I will look for it tomorrow :)

Anonymous said...

Good night all.

Barry G. Loved the pix of you and little guy.


just wondering said...

Barry G @ 11:10am, I gather it's Rex Parker's blog?

RussT said...

I'm new. Hope to be an active participant.

Jeannie said...

Didn't do the puzzle, as weekends for me mean catching up on things. I admit I got a little overzealous last night defending C.C.'s blog.

I will salute you Rex for finally linking C.C.'s wonderful site to yours. If I remember right she interviewed you about 7 months ago.

Seems to me you should interview her. She has made an astonishing accomplishment with this blog being from another culture and the imagine the language barrier. My hat's off to her. She's one bright cookie.

She has created one hell of a site here.

Just a thought...Rex.

Signed Arrogant, Jeannie.

Lemonade714 said...

Welcome Russ and just wondering, and anyone who is new and just revealing to the rest of us. Barry, love the pictures of your boy, but he was not confused, he was merely a crew mwmber on the BLACK PEARL under Captain barbossa .

Robin, I am glad you liked my links; this blog is very much about entertainment.

FESTE it was nice to have the flashback, but is is kinda sad how so many disappear.

Don't eat too much candy

Annette said...

A-lop wasn't sinking in for me until I remembered the word "lopsided". I guess a-lop is its origin.

Barry: I loved your little guy's costume - and think you look good with the facial hair.

Today's was a good thinking puzzle. It took me a little longer to muddle thru it, but completed it with only a few red letters. The NE corner was the last to fall - just as I was about to give up and come here for the solution. I'm learning to persevere and not be so quick to give up.

I've only heard the phrase "on the make" as another way of saying "on the prowl".

I'd never heard the work INURN before, but my wishes had been to be creamated, then buried. In that case, inurn would be accurate.

"Seven Samurai" has been on a couple times this summer - on TCM, I think. I was expecting it to be IFC or Sundance too. It's the only Akira Kurosawa movie I was aware of, and just heard of it this past year when my niece requested the DVD for Christmas. I haven't seen it all the way through yet, but thought it was very impressive for the time period. I'll have to see if I can get her "Ran" or one of the others this year then. Thanks for the idea!

Annette said...

Welcome, RussT. We look forward to your input.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Jeannie banned by C.C. before?

kazie said...

I'll add my welcome to Russ T, and any other newbies here tonight. I've been away all day but now have changed 11 of our 16 clocks, with the downstairs guestroom one, the water softener one, one I forgot in the kitchen, the VCR and the cars to go, so found time to check in here.

Barry G,
Thought both photos really cute. The melding of the costume themes is brilliant and the beard looks great!

Jeannie said...

Anon 11:14 Nope. Never been banned here on this site. Pushed the marker a couple of times, been reprimanded on site, off site and sideways. I understood, took my licks, got stubborn, stayed away for awhile. Toned down my DF'ness, became the local "foodie". As you can see though, I do have an opinion and will use it when necessary. I personally thought it was necessary yesterday. Using my opinion again tonight...anon...if you are going to "name" someone on the blog come up with one of your own.

Anonymous said...