Oct 28, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 Barry Silk

Theme: "Knot Bad" - The first word of each theme entry is a type of knot.

17A: Life insurance clause: DOUBLE INDEMNITY

25A: Hoedown activity: SQUARE DANCE

43A: Apple variety: GRANNY SMITH

54A: Inadvertent remark: SLIP OF THE TONGUE

62A: 17-, 25-, 43- and 54-Across begin with a kind of one: KNOT

Happy Santa here, great week so far; Jerome, Fred, and now, Barry. As soon as I saw the clue for ON US (3D: "We're treating"), I knew right then we were in for a treat.

Knotty pangram, all 26 letters are used at least once, typical of Barry's creation. Quite a few refreshing clues too.

This puzzle is reminiscent of John Underwood's "KNOT" puzzle we had last February. Wayne R. Williams changed John's unifying KNOT clue into "Tie tie" and the theme was missed by many.


1A: Run smoothly: FLOW.

5A: Uzi filler: AMMO. Uzi is the Israeli assault rifle. (Update: Anonymous @ 11:23 AM correctly stated that the Uzi is sub machine gun. The assault rifle is the Galil. One of the main differences is in the AMMO they use, with the sub machine guns using pistol calibers, while the assault weapons use a larger round.)

9A: Bench warmers aren't on it: A TEAM.

14A: Excellent: A ONE. Like Barry's puzzle.

15A: Known as "the Impaler," prince who inspired "Dracula": VLAD. Not exactly what the little trick-or-treaters would look like.

16A: American competitor: DELTA. Airlines. Delta now owns Northwest, who rightfully revoked the licenses of the two pilots who overshot the Minneapolis Airport by 150 miles. Laptop distraction! Just what were they surfing?

20A: Printers' widths: EMS. Or ENS.

21A: A deadly sin: ENVY.

22A: Posh: RITZY. After the Ritz hotels, established by C├ęsar Ritz (1850-1918), Swiss hotelier. You won't find rooms like this at Motel 6.

23A: Neurologist's test, briefly: EEG. An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that measures and records the electrical activity of your brain.

24A: Publicizes: AIRS

30A: Poor, as an excuse: SAD. As in, "Those old puzzles were a SAD excuse for crosswords."

33A: Second most populous Oklahoma city: TULSA. Oklahoma City is number one.

35A: Marquis de __: SADE. Sadism is derived from his name.

36A: Youngest of the musical Jacksons: JANET. Her sister La Toya has said that the King of Pop’s ghost has been visiting the family dressed in the white pearl beads he wore in the coffin.

37A: Golfer's concern: LIE. The lies on the course aren't as big as the lies in the locker room.

38A: Mass of grass: CLUMP. Rhyming clue. And the answer also rhymes with the intersecting SLUMP ( 35D: Batter's dry spell).

39A: Vocalized: ORAL. Adjective.

40A: Defendant's answer: PLEA.

41A: Accountant's review: AUDIT.

46A: BMOC, for one: VIP. BMOC is Big Man on Campus.

47A: Washington neighbor: IDAHO.

49A: Yoked beasts: OXEN.

51A: Psychic's asset, for short: ESP.

57A: Common news hr.: TEN PM.

58A: "I'd advise against it": DON'T. Even Elvis agrees.

59A: Brand with a paw print in its logo: IAMS. Pet food brand. Was it a gimme to you?

60A: Bears, in Latin: URSAE. And 27D: Radii neighbors: ULNAE. Both the plural end with E rather than S.

61A: Pump or loafer: SHOE.


2D: Weaver's machine: LOOM.

4D: Surfing area with no water, with "the": WEB. Did anyone try NET first?

5D: Get even for: AVENGE.

6D: LXII x XVII: MLIV. 62 x17=1054.

9D: Regard highly: ADMIRE.

10D: Portable shelters: TENTS.

11D: Part of QE2: Abbr.: ELIZ. Queen Elizabeth 2 in the harbour, Sydney, Australia.

12D: ABA member: ATTY. Abbreviation in clue, abbreviation in answer.

13D: Perhaps will: MAY.

18D: Ogle: LEER AT. Ogle is often clued as "Leer at".

19D: "Fear of Flying" author Jong: ERICA. She blogs for The Huffington Post.

23D: Painter's stand: EASEL.

24D: Like llamas: ANDEAN. Two-l llama, he's a beast.

25D: Missouri city nickname: ST. JOE. Saint Joseph (informally, St. Joe) is the largest city in Northwest Missouri, serving as the county seat for Buchanan County.

26D: Fundamental particle: QUARK. (An aside to WM: I finally got some quark but ate it before I made any cheesecake with it.)

28D: City in which the State Fair of Texas is held annually: DALLAS.

30D: Riyadh resident: SAUDI. Their currency is Riyal.

31D: Fess up: ADMIT.

32D: Pool measurement: DEPTH. Lots of consonants.

38D: Vegas attraction: CASINO.

40D: Evidence: PROOF.

43D: End a vacation, say: GO HOME.

44D: Mimieux of "The Time Machine": YVETTE. "It's those darn trick-or-treaters again, Honey. What do they want this time?"

45D: Mothers of Invention musician: ZAPPA (Frank)

47D: Robert of "The Sopranos": ILER.

50D: Strange: Pref.: XENO. It also means ALIEN (29D: Out of this world).

51D: Alaska's first governor: EGAN. It's clued as "Magnet and Steel" singer Walter in Barry's Sept 20, 2008 puzzle. (from C.C.'s write-up on Saturday September 20, 2008)

54D: Early Beatle Sutcliffe: STU. He died from a brain hemorrhage and contrary to rumors, he was a good bass player.

55D: NFL six-pointers: TDS.

56D: Ending with beat: NIK. Beatnik.

Answer grid.

C.C. will be back blogging tomorrow morning.



Dick said...

Good morning C.C. and all, another very easy puzzle today. It seems as if the crosswords have been getting easier as the week goes on. I did not know 15A VLAD, but it was attainable from the perps. Other than the above there were no slowdowns or pauses.

I did not find this c/w very interesting or challenging. Maybe there will be more difficult puzzles later this week.

Hope you all have a great Wednesday.

Martin said...

YES! I finished this one without googling! No, IAMS wasn't a gimme but we did have the "Alaska's first governor" clue of EGAN a while back. It was very nearly a stumper of an intersection!

I wanted PAR for LIE, EKG (a cardiologist's test) for EEG, LOTS for MANY and... that's about it. I didn't even have trouble with the theme answers: I just wrote them in based on the clues. (It help[ed that there was an old movie with William Holden with the name DOUBLE INDEMNITY.)


Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Happy Santa aka Argyle, CC and friends.

This was a fun puzzle. I loved seeing all the lesser used letters: Q, Z, X. XENO is a great response. I also liked the intersection of CLUMP and SLUMP.

I immediately thought of this song when I filled in ZAPPA. He died in 1993 of prostate cancer, less than three weeks before his 53rd birthday.

Lemonade714 said...

What an amazing week, now a Barry Silk pangram, what fun.
I am always curious how the "X" appears, and today's usage was creative, and reminded me of how all the terrorist threats have lead to many becoming XENOPHOBES .

Speaking of foreigners, it is great to have our friend Vlad the impaler back, as well as a forgotten French pastry Yvette Mimieux , who is part French and part Mexican, like a taco on a crepe?

Regards to all solvers all over the world.

Anonymous said...

Whew. I finished a Barry Silk puzzle without coming to the blog for help. Thanks, Barry.

Andrea said...

Morning all -

Very fun puzzle today - thanks Barry! I made it though most of the acrosses with very few words written in. Fills started emerging in the bottom half (as I should have expected), and then when I got to the downs, things really started FLOWing. When I got to Mothers of Invention, and figured that's where the Z would go, I knew I'd get it all; eventually I finished without any help.

Today is likely husband's last round of golf for the year - hope he has all great lies.

Enjoyed The Great Pumpkin with Zoe last night, as well as the followup one about the school election. Very fun.

Enjoy the day.


PJB-Chicago said...

Argyle, I am sounding like a broken record, but WELL DONE today.

We're having a good week with the puzzles, eh? Barry Silk's pangram felt perfect for a Wednesday, and although I drew blanks on some of the easier stuff, I eventually heard TADA. (OK, that was me saying it because I mostly solve in paper and pen and sweat and tears). Just "knowing" LIE, IAMS and VLAD does not mean that they're my first guess!

Missing work today, taking it slow here. May not be posting very much for awhile but will be reading! Will check in later if possible.

kazie said...

Very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks Barry!
Hi Argyle, C.C. and others.

I saw it would be a pangram as soon as I got ZOOS. Was surprised the Roman numeral math was more complex than usual, didn't even see the RITZY clue, as perps filled it in. Also didn't see St. Joe filled in though I had looked at the clue.

That photo of QEII brought back memories, thanks Santa! Taken from the top ot the AMP building, I think (Aust. Mutual Providence).

If you mention QUARK to a non-scientific German, they'd think of food--it's also a cream cheesy substance made from yogurt, often used for cheescake, in dressings and in other desserts or sauces.

Annette said...

Since Allen Ginsberg's been discussed on this blog lately, I thought some of you might be interested in this.

I just read an article that said actor James Franco has a 'starring role as a much better looking version' of beat poet Allen Ginsberg in "Howl".

I wasn't familiar with the actor, but some of you may recognize him as "Spiderman's friend".

The article says he also: was James Dean on the silver screen. He kissed Sean Penn on the mouth in "Milk." He acted all kinds of stoned in "Pineapple Express," and he's about to begin a lengthy – and surprising – guest arc on the soap opera "General Hospital."

Here's a link to the full article: Howl!

Annette said...

I'm sorry for the bad link. I had an extra space in there. Here's ther correction:


Jeannie said...

I got square dance and granny smith right off the bat and when I skipped ahead to 62A and got knots that helped me fill in the rest of the theme answers. I did get perp help with Vlad, ems, Sade and Andean. It was refreshing to get a more difficult Roman numeral clue. I have always been good at Roman numerals. I smiled at QEII as I once had a car named that. My favorite clue today however was “ending the beat” – nik.

All in all I enjoyed your puzzle Barry. As always, I enjoyed your write up Santa baby.

Lemonade, I don’t think a taco in a crepe would be too tasty.

Dennis, where are you this morning? I hope you aren’t sick too.

PJB, I hope you start feeling better soon.

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone.
I,too, most enjoyed the new clue for onus. Thanks Barry.
And thanks for a good post, Argyle.

I truly hope you get well soon, PJB. And I hope it's not the dread H1N1.

It's a beautiful day in Naples. I am enjoying seeing an anhinga drying its feathers by spreading its wings. I can see it and an ibis from my window that my Mac is facing. And since I moved here 20 years ago from Evergreen, CO, and they're having many inches of snow, it's even more wonderful.


Crockett1947 said...

Welcome to favorite constructors week! Three in a row. And nice puzzles to boot.

Like martin, I had PAR in first.

@pjb Sounds like a sensible plan. Stay on course on getting well.

@sallie Spoken like a true snowbird transplant.

Have a great Wednesday!!

Hahtoolah said...

Sallie: I live very near a body of water where egrets and herons congregate. I love to watch and photograph them. At night the gather in the cypress trees, making the trees appear white. I, too, moved south from the wintery climes. The first snow of the year was always fun, but it became old very quickly.

MJ said...

Good morning, all.
This is certainly a week of great puzzles from some very talented constructors. Such a treat! And Argyle, thanks for your informative blogging today.

Today's first two theme entries came easily to me from the clues. However, DOUBLE and SQUARE had me thinking that the theme had something to do with math, and I just couldn't think of an apple whose name fit that category. After getting GRANNYSMITH with some perp help, I had that "aha" moment and was able to drop down and fill in the final theme answer without any perps. I also noticed many clues referencing cities and states. (Seven total if you count 30D Riyadh resident.) Would this be considered a sub-theme? If not, what constitutes a sub-theme?

Hope all who are ailing, solvers and family alike, recover soon!

Enjoy the day!

PanGraham said...

I of course very much enjoyed the A to Z aspect of the puzzle today. Weaving in a good theme AND a pangram in a single xword is quite an accomplishment. It must be irritating to puzzle constructors who find themselves a letter or two short of alphabetic perfection, unless they were really aiming for a lipogram.



Anonymous said...

Actually the Uzi is a sub machine gun. The assault rifle is the Galil.

DCannon said...

Not up to par physically this morning, so the puzzle took longer and had more false starts than usual. Didn't need help, though. Didn't get the theme until the very end because I was trying to put "knot" in front of the theme clues - DUH!

PJB, I hope you get to feeling better soon. Take it easy.

A few years ago, the governor of Alaska clue was in almost every puzzle, so it was a given for me today. Had "purr" for 1A at first (as in the engine "purrs like a kitten.") I bookmarked the site for figuring Roman numberals, but didn't need it this time because the fills took care of it.

Hope everyone has a really nice day.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Another fine blogging job, Argyle.

It was so nice to see Barry Silk's name on today's puzzle. All the tougher letters, Q, V, X, Y and Z filled in so smoothly (as Silk? :o). Yet when I went back and reviewed I could see how cleverly he fit the pangram together. I particularly liked OXEN and XENO. His double use of Z in ELIZ/RITZY and ZOOS/ZAPPA kind of said, "See, this isn't so tough.".

I really like the clue "American competitor" for DELTA. I got it from the perps and it took a couple of looks to realize the reference was to airlines, rather than a country (CHINA?, JAPAN? INDIA?).

The little three letter words EMS and EEG, which might have given me a problem, were filled in with the Downs before I even saw their Across clues. I had no trouble with LIE, rather than PAR. GAH is always concerned with the LIE, his hope is PAR.

Hello PanGraham, I think you may get Jerome or Fred working on a Lipogram puzzle. Can you imagine a crossword puzzle without a common vowel like E or I?

Chickie said...

Hello All--I was able to finish the puzzle earlier than usual. Had to be up early so had time before the day became too busy.

I also had purr for the first fill, so had to redo the NW corner, but other than that the puzzle was very doable. I didn't have to have any help, but I didn't get the theme until the very last answer! I was trying to tie the first three beginning theme words to afghans, but slip was not a fit--doh.

Thank you Arglye for the picture of Vlad. No wonder Dracula was based on him, he is really scary looking! Also, your title for the CW was great today.

I pulled quark out of somewhere, and liked the Like llamas clue best today. This puzzle was great fun for me, especially since it used every letter of the alphabet--not easy to do. Thanks Barry.

PJB and DC Cannon, keep getting better.

We had a lot of wind yesterday, and as a result, (maybe) a huge chunk of steel and a large cable fell from the underconstruction Bay Bridge into San Francisco. Three cars were hit, but NO injuries. The steel weighed 5,000 lbs. and someone could very easily have been killed. Luck was on the side of everyone yesterday afternoon as it was at the height of the commute. Needless to say the bridge is closed until further notice as they inspect and repair.

Al said...

I almost always like Barry Silk puzzles, and even though it wasn't all that difficult, this one was no exception. Just right for a Wednesday, I thought.

With all the mention of flu again, here's an interesting article from an Irish newspaper about Canada stopping flu shots and recommending vitamin D. It seems you have to go outside the US to get the rest of the story.

eddyB said...

Hello all.

I must have missed something because I thought it was fast, easy and not very interesting.
I did it last night while eating the other half of the acorn squash.

Before I fill-in 1A, I look at the D clues which gave me the L and W this time. There were too many old answeres and clues.

Maybe tomorrow. My fingers are crossed.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Fun puzzle. KNOT too hard, and KNOT what I expected. After DOUBLE and SQUARE, I was looking for other math functions.

Must be some sort of cube.

SHOE AMMO reminds me of Richard Colvin Reid, aka Abdul Raheem or Tariq Raja.

Would the A TEAM URSAE be the three bares?

Pet owners - are IAMS A ONE?


For a while, the only Texas city
I could think of was Dennison. That was a head smacker.

I came up with YVETTE Mimieux's name right away, but she does not look familiar.

Got MLIV from the perps. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate Roman Numeral fills?

My ULNAE are fine, but I have an elbow problem with my right radius.

Off to another meeting.

JzB the radius KNOT trombonist

Argyle said...

Anonymous @ 11:23 AM

Thank you for the correction. It led to some interesting reading. I had know idea of the range of AMMO the Uzi could be chambered in.

Clear Ayes said...

Fannie Stearns Davis was an early 20th century American poet. This poem isn't specifically about Halloween, but it does kind of make you shivery when you read it.


I am almost afraid of the wind out there.
The dead leaves skip on the porches bare,
The windows clatter and whine.
I sit here in the quiet house. low-lit.
With the clock that ticks and the books that stand.
Wise and silent, on every hand.

I am almost afraid; though I know the night
Lets no ghosts walk in the warm lamplight.
Yet ghosts there are; and they blow, they blow,
Out in the wind and the scattering snow.-
When I open the windows and go to bed,
Will the ghosts come In and stand at my head?

Last night I dreamed they came back again.
I heard them talking; I saw them plain.
They hugged me and held me and loved me; spoke
Of happy doings and friendly folk.
They seemed to have journeyed a week away,
but now they were ready and glad to stay.

But, oh, if they came on the wind to-night
Could I bear their faces, their garments white
Blown in the dark around my lonely bed?
Oh, could I forgive them for being dead?
I am almost afraid of the wind. My shame!
That I would not be glad if my dear ones came!

- Fannie Stearns Davis

Lemonade714 said...


Thanks for the information on Quark ; I was ignorant of this cheese and would have kvetched all day.

Clear Ayes said...

The QUARK cheese discussion came up last year I think. (C.C. could probably give the exact date.) I made quark using this Quark recipe. It turned out well and as I recall I used it in a cheesecake. I haven't made it since then, because quark does take a while to make and I don't make cheesecake very often.

We've been having a lot of wind east in our area too. Sorry to hear about the bridge damage in San Francisco. Whenever I visit my sister in Sebastopol, which is north of SF, I go via the 5.5 mile Richmond-San Rafael bridge. I always mutter the mantra, "No earthquakes today", when I am crossing....particularly on the lower level west to east direction.

WM said...

Had to check in, because, with the terrifically fun Great Pumpkin puzzle, this Barry Silk one makes four Treats for the week...Started right at the top and just kept filling in. No particular hangups anywhere and no worms to eat...Loved the extra Zs an Xs but have to admit that I didn't actually get the theme until the last clue. Had to go back and read some of the clues because they had filled themselves in already.

I guess that TEN PM is a fairly common newshour, but here in the Bay Area that is considered early news with all the regular news at 11 pm...minor quibble.

Argyle...great job and glad you finally got to try the Quark. I could never seem to keep it in stock when I was cheesemongering...and how come we have never seen a cheese many great names.

PJB I do hope you are feeling much better soon and, if possible, try to take that extra day or so to really get well and avoid a relapse.

I just heard from a friend who is an awesome painter who is experiencing the same issue of not getting into the studio, although her reasons are different from mine. We are making a promise to each other to get in there by next week. I am going to miss submitting a couple of miniature paintings to a show that is being juried by someone from SFMOMA...something I was hoping to do. And for Jeannie who, I am sure, thinks I am a total flake by now, your empty canvas is sitting on the easel so it will be the first thing I get done.

Waiting for the wind to stop howling around and CA, your poem was very creepy and entirely appropriate to the current weather and season...Cheers

Chickie said...

Whoa--The bridge goes into San Francisco and is underconstruction. The cable fell onto the top deck hitting three cars. My sentence structure was terrible. I hope this clears it up. I even proofread!

CA--How appropriate is that poem today with Halloween coming and all our wind these past couple of days?

Jeannie said...

That's okay WM. It sounds like other things more important than my daisies came up. They will be coming just in time to perk me up in the period where the beauty of fall is gone and the start of winter is upon us.

embien said...

8:47 today. I was surprised at my time because as I was solving I was thinking "this was easy", but nearly nine minutes indicates I must have nodded off at some point.

Although I mostly enjoyed the puzzle (and its pangrammaticity), there were a couple of clunkers, notably ELIZ and the dreaded "Roman numeral math clue". I know sometimes those can't be avoided, but...

Hahtoolah said...

No one else has a Zappa tune? What about Deep Purple's reference to Zappa and the Mothers?

Anonymous said...

59A: Brand with a paw print in its logo: IAMS. struggled with that

57A: Common news hr.: TEN PM. common news hour is eleven.

FOX is not news they have an agenda they are a propaganda arm of the RNC and the CBS, NBC & ABC have an agenda also since Clinton signed the broadcast bill in 1996. It moved the news division into the entertainment division so instead of reporting whats actually happening in this country we get entertainment news holly wood celeb news and the hoax story about the boy in hot air balloon.


Dennis said...

Hey guys - my turn with the bug. I guess with all the kids coming in the store, it was inevitable, and it really knocked me on my ass. All I want to do is sleep.

Anyway, it's been a good week for our group thus far crossword-wise, and a Silky certainly helped keep things going. Most of my comments have already been addressed, so I'll not repeat them; suffice to say, it was a most enjoyable puzzle. Even made my head stop pounding for a little bit.

Hope it's a great day for everyone and a great night for the Phillies.

WM said... sorry. Please take good care of yourself...same info applys...take that extra day or so to be really well, not just almost well.

Annette said...

Since eleven didn't fit, I put in SIXPM for the Common News hr. The 5 pm and 10 pm newscasts never seemed trustworthy to me. Once I realized it was TENPM, the rest fell into place.

I'm sure if C.C. were here today, she'd have brought up the nice stacking of SAD and SADE on the right edge. She usually picks up on those types of fill similarities. I seldom notice them while doing the puzzle, but appreciate the finesse of the constructor that much more once C.C. points out the added wordplay.

I hope everyone feels better quickly! I was laid up last week and somehow the jumble in my head would clear just enough each day to enable me to complete the puzzle. Take care all!

Clear Ayes said...

Favorite Zappa song has to be Montana. What an amazingly talented AND unconventional guy he was.

Sorry to hear about all the flu going around. Take good care of yourselves and get lots of rest. We've dodged the bullet so far by staying close to home. Maybe we'll up the dosage of Vitamin D, just to be on the safe side.

DCannon said...

Ten PM is the common news hour for central time. Local news at 5, 6, and 10. Nat'l news at 5:30 pm.


Anonymous said...

Double Indemnity starred Fred MacMurray, Edward G. Robinson, and I believe Barbara Stanwyck. Phenomenal movie.

Anonymous said...

Nice Barry Silk puzzle today, as you all have noted. Liked Granny Smith being in there, as it is apple season. My first thought was that it was going to be a fall theme.

Sorry to hear about all the sickness going around. Does anyone know if they really have H1N1? How can we verify that this is what people are getting? No one is really getting tested to see that this is the strain that is going around. Hmmmmm.

Al, my chiropractor told me about the Vitamin D thing. He showed me an article from a medical journal which noted that those who died from the flu all had Vitamin D deficiencies. I have doubled my dosage from 2000 to 4000mg daily.

Off to San Diego for an anniversary trip. Get to take the San Diego to Minneapolis trip on Northwest on Sunday. Yippee. Thank goodness those two pilots are grounded!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Still no puzzle from the

Argyle said...


Argyle said...


WM said...

I think what may have happened is a computer issue. My computer clicked back to Standard Time on Sat/Sun...the original set the clocks back date. If you go to Cruciverb after 8pm PDT(until this Sat/Sun) then the puzzle is clue but it seems to be working. The computer is currently off by one hour.

Argyle said...

Ah. Cruciverb is Canadian so they may have fallen back already.

No, no, Google says they are the same as ours.

Anonymous said...

has anyone else noticed that eke is there just to make ulnae.