Nov 8, 2009

Sunday November 8, 2009 James Sajdak

Theme: What's Yours? - Profession-appropriate mixed drinks.

25A. The barber ordered a __: VODKA TONIC. Made with vodka + tonic water. A barber might use hair tonic.

27A. The heating contractor ordered a __: BOILERMAKER. Beer + whiskey/tequila/vodka. A heating contractor might make or repair a boiler.

40A. The farmer ordered a __: PLANTERS PUNCH. Dark rum + orange juice + pineapple + something else. Farmers are planters.

60A. The popcorn producer ordered a __: HOT BUTTERED RUM. Light rum + sugar + butter + cloves. Popcorn producer needs butter to flavor up the popcorn.

84A. The orthopedist ordered a __: SINGAPORE SLING. Gin + Cherry-flavored liqueur +Dom Bénédictine+pineapple juice. An orthopedist may prescribe a sling for the patient.

102A. The high roller ordered a __: SEVEN AND SEVEN. Seagram's 7 whiskey + 7-up. What's the high roller and Seven and Seven connection?

119A. The handyman ordered a __: SCREW DRIVER. Vodka + orange juice. Screwdriver is a tool for the handyman.

123A. The citrus grower ordered a __: FUZZY NAVEL. Peach schnapps + orange juice. Citrus grower grows navel oranges.

Clever theme, unfortunately it does not resonate with me. Several of the above cocktails were complete unknowns to me. I imagine Argyle & Lois having fun tackling this intoxicating grid.

I love Long Island Iced Tea, what about you? Singapore Sling is a very popular cocktail in Asia too.

As the norm with a Sunday puzzle, quite a few clever and entertaining clues.


1. Ride without pedaling: COAST

10. Crosswind direction, at sea: ABEAM. Perpendicular to the keel.

15. Frost lines?: POEM. Robert Frost. And 115D. Pound of verse: EZRA.

19. Words before a car or wreck: RENT A. Not familiar with Rent-a-Wreck. What an awful name.

20. American-born Jordanian queen: NOOR. Queen Noor is very articulate.

22. It surrounds Città del Vaticano: ROMA. Città del Vaticano = Vatican City in Italian.

23. Chip producer: INTEL. Not your potato chips.

24. "Don't have __, man!": A COW

30. Whistling zebra?: REF. Vivid misleading clue.

31. Divisions politiques: ETATS. The French political divisions.

32. Maker of durable watches: CASIO

33. Title apiarist in a 1997 film: ULEE. "Ulee's Gold", starring Peter Fonda.

35. "I'm treating": ON ME. Thanks.

37. Band for a tea ceremony?: OBI. Kimono band. Nice clue.

39. Hoop site: EAR. Hoop earrings. I was thinking of basketball.

46. Sailor's sheet: ROPE. Not SAIL?

48. It helped Dr. Leary take some trips: LSD. Plenty in Woodstock.

51. Lower Manhattan district: SOHO

52. Monorail transports: TRAMS

54. Treaty gp. since 1948: OAS (Organization of American States).

57. Sheetful of cookies: BATCH. Wish I could have a chocolate chip cookie now.

59. Wine cask: TUN. And 2D. Winery prefix: OENO. As in oenophile.

65. Emulate Demosthenes: ORATE. I had no idea who Demosthenes (di-MOS-thuh-neez) was. A Greek orator.

67. 43,560 square feet: ONE ACRE. Oh, I don't really know the exact amount in an acre.

68. Early Yucatec: MAYA

69. Spirals: HELIXES. Had trouble obtaining this answer.

71. Some hi-fis: RCAS

72. Hit, biblically: SMITE. Past tense is smit.

74. "You're dreaming": AS IF

75. Emotional problems: HANG-UPS

78. Sinusitis specialists, briefly: ENTS. ENT = Ear, Nose, and Throat.

79. Baffin Bay floater: ICE FLOE. Does iceberg float?

83. "Tuesdays with Morrie" author: ALBOM (Mitch).

87. Driver's ID: LIC (License). And 101. Govt. -issued IDs.: SSNS

91. Naples-to-Venice. dir.: NNW. Clueless.

92. Native shelter: TEPEE. Native Indian.

93. Tiny farm dwellers: ANTS. Ant farm.

95. Obscene: FILTHY

98. Burning: LIT

106. __ cit.: in the place cited: LOC. Learned this footnote abbr. from doing Xword.

108. August hrs. in Augusta: EDT. Excellent clue.

109. TV ally of Hercules: XENA. Played by Lucy Lawless.

113. Drives the getaway car, say: ABETS

116. Rip off: ROB

126. Years, to Caesar: ANNI. Plural of anno.

127. Cherbourg ciao: ADIEU. I've never heard of Cherbourg, a seaport in NW France.

128. Regarding, in memos: IN RE

129. Whirpool subsidiary: AMANA. Our oven brand.

130. Demeanor: MIEN. Same root, mien and demeanor.

131. Scout's mission, briefly: RECON

133. Emerson's middle name: WALDO. Ralph Waldo Emerson.

134. Bunkhouse bud: PARD. Partner/friend. Did not know the meaning of bunkhouse, a rough building with bunk beds for those ranch hands.

135. Put up: ERECT


1. Bed that's hard to climb out of: CRIB. Another descriptive clue.

3. Look forward to: ANTICIPATE

4. Inscribed pillar: STELA. Also spelled as STELE.

5. "Honor Thy Father" author Gay: TALESE. See the book cover. I can only remember his wife's name (NAN), from "A Little Million Pieces" scandal.

6. Inflames with passion: ENAMORS

7. Andean stimulant: COCA. Chewed stimulant.

8. Connection: HOOK-UP

9. Creator of the pigs Old Major and Napoleon: ORWELL (George). From his "Animal Farm". I was ignorant of those pigs.

10. Off-rd. transport: ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle)

11. Philistine: BOOR

12. Earth, to Kepler: ERDE. German for "earth". Kepler was a German astronomer.

13. Invite trouble: ASK FOR IT

14. Extinct kiwi cousin: MOA. Had no idea that moa is related to kiwi.

15. Mythological shapeshifter: PROTEUS (PROH-tee-uhs). The Greek sea god who could change his shape at will. Total stranger to me.

16. O'Neil's daughter: OONA. Chaplin's wife.

17. Radiate: EMIT

18. British raincoats: MACS

26. Help for a while: TEMP. Tricky noun "help".

28. Omani money: RIAL. The Saudi Arabia money is riyal.

29. Keister: REAR

34. Brian of Roxy Music: ENO

36. Fraction of a min.: NSECT (Nanosecond). Wish the word "tiny" were added in front of "fraction".

37. Gardener's brand: ORTHO

38. Element used in a glass production: BORON. No idea. It's element #5.

41. Fragrance by Dana: TABU. "The forbidden fragrance".

42. Cheese burg.: EDAM. The cheese is named after the Dutch town Edam where it originated. Neat play on cheeseburger.

43. Benefit at a swap meet: NO TAX. Swap meet is the same as flea market, isn't it?

44. Laundry conveyor: CHUTE

45. Perfects: HONES

47. No-trade policy: EMBARGO

49. Faline in "Bambi,", e.g.: DOE. Faline is Bambi's wife.

53. Yield: SUCCUMB. I liked this fill.

55. Prepares for battle: ARMS

56. Gobs: SEAMEN. Gob is a slang for sailor. I was picturing a large amount of something.

58. Most saintly: HOLIEST

61. Use a ruse on: TRAP

62. Hardy heroine: TESS. "Tess of the D'Urbervilles".

64. Caning need: RATTAN. Misread the clue as "Canning need" and penned in BOTTLE.

66. Mixes, as cards: RIFFLES. Could only think of shuffle.

69. "Good Morning Starshine" musical: HAIR. Here is a clip.

70. Suffix with opal: ESCE. Opalesce.

75. "Papa Bear" of football: HALAS (George). Have faintly heard of this guy. "Brian's Song" is probably the most famous Chicago Bears related movie.

76. Flared dress: A-LINE

77. "SNL" network: NBC TV

80. Words without deeds: LIP SERVICE

81. Without a letup: ON END. It's back.

82. Spew out: EGEST. Opposite of ingest.

84. Last word at Sotheby's?: SOLD. Nice clue too.

85. QB's errors: INTS (Interceptions)

86. "The House at Pooh Corner" bird: OWL. Guessed.

89. Distant: AFAR

90. Movie technique using three projectors: CINERAMA

94. Bubbly beverage: SELTZER

96. Evil eye: HEX. My friend Roberto used to wear a deep blue evil eye pendant. He worked in Turkey for a few years.

97. First name in design: YVES. Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)

99. It "blows no good": ILL WIND. I liked this clue too.

100. Fly catcher: TOAD. Frog too.

103. Too interested: NOSY

104. Set up tents: ENCAMP

105. Lewis land by the River Shribble: NARNIA. Most of C. S. Lewis novels were set in Narnia, correct?

107. Arrow poison: CURARE (kyoo-RAHR-ee). New word to me.

112. Where to get down: EIDER. Eiderdown. Got the answer immediately, but I was not fond of word "where".

113. Throw a __: lose it: A FIT

114. Spots for burgers: BUNS. Wrote down BARS first. Some bars do serve burgers.

117. Place for a race: OVAL. Oval is a noun?

118. Compromise: BEND

120. Nuke-testing depts.: ENER (Energy). I could hear the whining.

121. Fed. anti-discrimination org.: EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Was more familiar with EEO or EOE.

122. Pipsqueak: RUNT

124. Dogpatch denial: NAW. Hillbilly talk again.

128. Thai language: LAO. Spoken in northeast of Thailand.

Answer grid.



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I've never been much of a drinker, but fortunately I used to work as a waiter a few lifetimes ago and therefore was familiar with most of the theme answers anyway. The only complete unknown was PLANTERS PUNCH. I also had a little trouble connecting VODKA TONIC with barbers. Something to do with hair tonic, perhaps?

The rest of the puzzle was mostly straightforward. I thought I had finished at just about the 15 minute mark (good time for a Sunday), but I didn't get the "tada!" and had to go look for my error. After a few minutes, I finally found it where I had OAR/REAMEN instead of OAS/SEAMEN. I think when I made my first pass through the puzzle I was thinking that "gobs" referred to "a lot" and I started to put in REAMS. I think I was also thinking of UAR and somehow came up with OAR instead. That'll teach me to do puzzle first thing in the morning before having my morning caffeine...

I had to dig deep for ALBOM, RATTAN, EGEST and LOC, plus I really wanted STELE instead of STELA, but I don't think there were any total unknowns in the puzzle today (except for the aforementioned PLANTERS PUNCH).

All in all, a great puzzle and no complaints from me!

Anonymous said... is down again.

Barry G. said...

All right, I lied...

There was one other complete unknown today. WTF is RIFFLES? Like C. C., I could only think of SHUFFLES, although I briefly entertained RIFLES as a plausible alternative. But RIFFLES?

Hmmmm... If Ruffles have ridges, do RIFFLES have rudges?

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, CC and Friends. Another fun Sunday puzzle. I had lots of blanks on my first pass through. The first Drink Theme I got was down at the bottom: FUZZY NAVEL. After catching on to that, I was keyed into the theme. Not being up on my drinks, however, I really had to put my thinking cap on to figure out some of them.

My first mixed drink was a SCREWDRIVER, way back when I was ... let's just say I was a wee bit too young. What was your first mixed drink?

There were some great clues today. My favorite was Band for a Tea Ceremony: OBI. Nailed it.

It was nice to see ULEE without a clue reference to Fonda, too.

There are two Augusta ~ one in Maine and one in Georgia. Both are in the same time zone. Years ago, my somewhat absent-minded boss was going to a conference in Augusta, GA and had his secretary book the trip. He never looked at his ticket and ended up in Augusta, Maine.

I'll have to read/watch BAMBI some day. So many Xword clues make reference to the story.

QOD: Celebrity is just obscurity biding its time. ~ Carrie Fisher.

Al said...

@C.C. Ice expands when it freezes because of its crystalline structure, and is about 9% less dense than water, so yes, an iceberg floats, but ~91% of it is below the water line and very irregularly shaped, thus dangerous to passing ocean liners. Good for movie grosses, though.

C.S. Lewis wrote quite a few books, mostly all with a religious theme. The most famous and popular are the Chronicles of Narnia, but that was just the one series. Notably, The Screwtape Letters, about the scheming of the Devil's minions, is set in Hell. You might even say it was the first flame war...

The high rollers 7&7 reference is for the dice game Craps. You win immediately on 7 or 11. 2,3 or 12 are an immediate loss. Any other number and you must roll the same number again or else you lose. At this point if you had rolled a 7 instead, then the roll passes to the next player.

Ropes being called sheets is probably part of the sub theme for today's puzzle: Three sheets to the wind meaning drunk.

windhover said...

very funny boss story.
There is also an Augusta, Kentucky. It's a small Ohio River town in Northeast Kentucky with two claims to fame. One, it's the home of Nick Clooney, father of George, brother of Rosemary, and two, it was a stop on the Underground Railroad for escaped and runaway slaves, the last stop before the formidable barrier of the Ohio River and freedom on the other side. The Ohio is about half a mile wide at that point. It is also about twenty miles from my little hometown.
No fresh puzzle for me today. Instead I did last Sunday's, sent to me by one our bloggers a couple of days ago. Age related memory loss can be a good thing. I only remembered a couple of clues from reading the comments a week ago.
This farmer's favorite drink: a very well hopped pale ale or a rich creamy stout. I love tequila (Cabo Wabo, Patrone); it doesn't like me at all.

Anonymous said...

Faline is Bambi's mother, not wife, Bambi is a fawn. also the word teepee does not fit in 5 spaces so it's tepee!

Andrea said...

Morning all -

Wish I'd had a mimosa while solving this puzzle. Had LOTS of blanks after first pass across and down, but somehow Boilermaker came together so I was on to theme relatively early.

My first legal mixed drink was a Tom Collins. 18th bday, top of the Hyatt in the rotating lounge/restaurant in Milwaukee, at dinner with my parents. I also remember drinking screwdrivers the first night I arrived on the UW campus - I was 17 at the time, so not yet legal.

CC - your friend Roberto sounds interesting...

Off to continue raking and cleaning the garage. With plenty of breaks for jumping in leaf piles.

Enjoy the day.

Anonymous said...

Bambi's mother didn't have a name.

Al said...

I always thought riffling was the "second half" of shuffling where you flex the cars the opposite way to restore their flat shape, but as it turns out the riffle shuffle is where you apply your thumb to the edges to interweave the two halves of a cut deck, like riffling the pages of a phone book.

Argyle said...

"Faline is a female deer in Walt Disney films Bambi (film) and Bambi II. Her mother is Ena. First shown as a fawn and later as an Adult doe, Faline's role is as Bambi's firend and later mate." from

My head is still reeling from all that Noilly Prat yesterday.

Unknown said...

Bambi's mother was dead when the story took place. Killed by hunters.

Just Playin' said...

Oh my goodness! I stumbled upon this site by accident! I didn't know it existed. This was the first time I ever 'Google cheated' but I was going nuts with Sunday's puzzle. Then I find this page with almost ALL the answers! OMG! I'm just checking a few. I will be back. Thank you for this.

Sandra Wilkes said...

I'm actually more of a Monday/Tuesday puzzle person but lately I've been working hard on the LATimes. I like it for some strange reason. Today I thought they had made a mistake with "riffle" but, alas, I'm not that experienced! I hope to get better. 15 minutes! Wow! I am impressed. I've been on this for 3 hours this AM. What is wrong with me?

Anonymous said...

For the second week in a row the puzzle in the Globe and Mail is not the same as you are commenting about. I have not been able to get in touch with our newspaper to see what is happening and where they are getting their puzzle from.
It is called "Opposing sides" but does not give an author.
If this goes on, I will have to print the LAT puzzle just so that I can get in on the chat. But I really cannot handle two puzzles in one week. For me it is too time consuming.
Audrey in Ingersoll, Ontario

PJB-Chicago said...

Good morning!
Not too many unknowns today, but a long leisurely solve. Took several passes through downs and acrosses, but the theme revealed itself pretty quickly, like the lady who jumps out out a cake at certain parties. This lady was apparently "hammered" as we used to say. The technical term is "altered" although that has unpleasant connotations.

My first drink was probably a sip of brandy when I was a kid. In College no one enfrorced the drinking age at all, so much bad beer was consumed, although I had learned at home not to drink too much too fast. I only drank wine in my 20s.

Of the drinks listed, the first one I had was a variation. We mixed Vodka and Tang and called it a "Space-age Screwdriver." Pure gritty nastiness to drink but a beautiful color! Vodka tonic and 7&& have been on the drinks menus over the years, but not the others, so much. Never had a Singapore Sling but a couple bad Mai Tais.

I love to drink Campari and Soda, and once made a pitcher of it for a casual party on a rooftop deck. Out of maybe 15 people there, just one other person was willing to get near the stuff. She and I finally threw in some orange juice and other things and then people were like "Ooh this is good."
Mind you, it was the last and only available thing to drink at that point! You can only get away with a trick like that on a very warm day!

Words that tripped me up: Abeam, Casio (durable??), Riffles (nice play on words, BarryG), Tabu and Faline. Like Hahtool, I've never read or seen "Bambi", which short-circuits my ability to solve many a puzzle. I only have seen snippets of "Finding Nemo" as well. I can do a spot-on impersonation of "Dora the Explorer" which gets me some street cred from the under-5 crowd.
No, I don't do birthday parties....

Liked "frost lines" as a clue, and the references to LSD and OBI. Cheese Burg for EDAM was clever, as well.

CC: thanks for keeping this "ship" away from frozen water and icebergs. We had a good week of puzzle solving and conversations, didn't we? I hope this week brings us some more fun challenges.

PanGraham said...

Today's gave a good run for the money. Made me think but I still found it quite doable offline. So back to a no cheat day for me, although I did end up guessing (correctly) the A in the crossing of hAlas and Albom.

My favorite clues of the day were "Frost lines" and "Strips for breakfast". I liked the literary subtheme today too: Orwell, Frost, Lewis, O'Neill, Milne, Talese, Emerson, even Bacon (although not clued as such) all making an appearance in some fashion.

Clear Ayes, thanks for posting the helpful explanations of RX abbreviations the other day, and yes, agreed with what you said about Rumpole too.

eddyB said...

Hello. is back up. I down loaded Merl's from the Inquirer.

This one took several hours last night. But, I got it done with one eye closed.


Al said...

@Audrey in Ingersoll, the one your paper has today is the LAT "Calendar" Sunday puzzle here. There are two Sunday puzzles on the LAT site. This blog covers the "syndicated" one that does not actually appear in the printed LAT. Yours is apparently the one that alternates every other week between Merle Reagle and Sylvia Bursztyn (today's is by Sylvia).

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I couldn't get Cruciverb last night, but it came through fine this morning.

No major problems with the puzzle. I caught the theme early on with BOILER MAKER and went back and filled in VODKA TONIC. It was pretty smooth sailing after that.

I didn't like RIFFLES either, but it is one of the Mirriam-Webster definitions, so I'll have to go with it, albeit grudgingly.

I am a fan of HAIR the stage musical, but not particularly of the movie. Too many plot changes were made. Still, I do like Good Morning Starshine ..."Gliddy.. glub.. gloopy"

A day late catagory: ORWELL after yesterday's SATIRES. Animal Farm has probably been translated into every viable language.

Although it doesn't cause the near apoplexy that affects Jazzbumpa, I am now more aware of entries like ESCE (70D)...(Calm down, Jazz)

We all know about Chick Flicks. Brian's Song is the ultimate Guy Cry movie.

Bambi is the cruelest so-called children's movie ever. At six years old, I was carried out of the theater sobbing, "Why did they kill his mother?" It still gives me the creeps.

PJB, my father was a fan of Campari and Soda. Lovely to look at and very medicinal to the taste. My pre-dinner mixed drink favorite is a Vodka Gimlet on the rocks. After dinner is a little bit of Amaretto DiSaronno neat.

Hi and welcome, Just Playin'. Googling isn't really cheating, think of it as adding to your scope of knowledge.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Not a big fan of fancy cocktails, but liked today's theme answers, bar none. My dad was a "shot and a beer" man. Close to a BOILERMAKER, I guess. Martini doesn't work with this theme concept.

We could have ON END for days ON END, but it still would not mean "interminably."

I think the VODKA TONIC in 25A is a clear reference to hair TONIC. It's less of a stretch than FUZZY NAVEL, IMHO.

I'll guarantee there is no BORON in your window glass. Wikipedia has a decent write-up on borosilicate glass. Didn't we discuss Pyrex here a while back?

Amazingly beautiful day here. Might not make it to 70, but I'm calling it Indian Summer anyway.

JzB The glass trombonist

Crockett1947 said...

@al I don't think Audrey's puzzle is the "First State First" calendar puzzle. She said her title was "Opposing Sides."

Jazzbumpa said...

C.A. -

I must rise to the defense of RIFFLES. Rudges or not, it is the correct verb for the two-handed card shuffle.

Affixes are second, possibly third-rate fills. ESCE doesn't give me apoplexy, since the clue is honest.

Cheers! (#2)
Jzb the riffling trombonist

Al said...

@Crockett, you're correct. The Opposing Sides puzzle is the Wayne Williams one that's also in my paper today. I knew I did it, I just got confused where I did it. The new WW puzzles aren't online anywhere yet...

Clear Ayes said...

If you haven't read George Orwell's Animal Farm, or 1984, they are both available online at Look for the list of titles on the right side of the page.

Eric Blair, who didn't begin to use the pen name George Orwell until 1935, was also a poet. The following poem seems to be a recounting of an experience when he was in Burma between 1924 and 1927. An alternative (and more accurate) title is "An Ironic Poem About Prostitution".


When I was young and had no sense
In far-off Mandalay
I lost my heart to a Burmese girl
As lovely as the day.

Her skin was gold, her hair was jet,
Her teeth were ivory;
I said ‘For twenty silver pieces,
Maiden, sleep with me.’

She looked at me, so pure, so sad,
The loveliest thing alive,
And in her lisping, virgin voice,
Stood out for twenty-five.

Chickie said...

Hello All--Finished today online with red letter help. The first pass was done with lots of empty space, then I got Screwdriver and realized what the theme was all about. From then on the rest was pretty much a breeze.

I loved the references to Tabu, one of my favorite fragrances when growing up.

My first mixed drink was probably a Manhattan. At that time, I was going with my now husband and I was underage, but we were served at the country club where he was well-known. He was all of 21, but legal.

It is going to be a perfect fall day here in the Bay Area, so it's off to the Farmer's market and outdoors as much as possible.

Annette said...

This was by no means an easy puzzle for me, requiring a few more red letters than usual. However, reading through C.C.'s explanations, I was surprised by how many perp clues I never even saw!

Justplayin', please don't compare your puzzle times to others. Trust me, most of the solve times shared here are NOT representive of the whole group. Just savour your own enjoyment in the solving process. It's not a competitive sport.

My favorite clue was 30A Whistler's zebra = REF. Of course, I didn't understand it until after the perps filled it in for me, but I thought it was clever.

I agree that 46A Sailor's sheet doesn't fit the the ROPE answer. "Sailor's ties" might've been more appropriate for that answer. Maybe a last minute clue edit gone awry.

56A Gobs = SEAMEN had me thinking of Globs (globules) at first too, until a couple perps turned me around.

The word RIFFLES reminds me of those little comic books where each page has a slightly modified drawing in the corner. When you RIFFLE (flip) thru the pages quickly, the comic appears animated.

Crockett1947 said...

@al It will be nice when and if the WW puzzles get online. It's frustrating to want to rant and rave about them and not have a ready forum! Didn't know he does a Sunday one.

Annette said...

First mixed drink was probably a whiskey sour served at home on New Years Eve, along with spare ribs and lots of appetizers. I don't know at what age the drinks changed from being virgin though.

Being Italian, we were given watered down wine at an early age. And I'm sure some kind of alcohol was rubbed on our gums when we were teething.

My grandfather used to keep a bottle of campari in the back of his closet. I don't think I really believed he drank that awful bitter stuff! Knowing it was there, my mother used to argue with him about being drunk, but he swore he hadn't had any. Later, they discovered he was diabetic, which caused him to act that way.

Bill G. said...

I grew up in Virginia with Washington D.C. just eight miles away. Beer was OK in D.C. at eighteen. I wonder how many times I came home a bit tipsy, thought I had put one over on my parents and I'll bet they knew exactly what was going on.

At college, we did our own bartending at parties and whiskey sours were the drink of choice. One of the fellows made his own hard cider. He invited me over for some. After three water glasses full of the stuff, I went back to try to study and I couldn't read a word on the page. It wasn't much later that the room started spinning and I headed off to the bathroom.

I had an uncle who once gave me some moonshine from a Mason jar. Geez, that stuff was awful

Bill G. said...

Could some of you fill me in on your opinions of Wayne Williams? I came to this blog after Rich had become the editor and I had never heard of WW. I get the impression that many of you prefer Rich's output but some seem to miss WW. What are the differences?

WM said...

Afternoon already...sheesh. Had a lot fun with puzzle and just started at the top with a steady fill all the way down. Caught the theme on BOILERMAKER and surprised myself that all the drinks were names I knew even though I pretty much only drink wine and an occasional glass of either cognac or a good Single Malt Scotch...usually in the colder months. Maybe a couple of times a year if we eat out for Mexican food I have will either a straight up Margharita or a Cadillac Margharita...but thats about it. First mixed drink, a Tom Collins on my 21st at terrifically fun place, at the time, here in the Bay Area called St. James Infirmary.

About the only thing I really didn't know was HALAS, but it filled itself in.

I'm with CA on Bambi and I had pretty much the same reaction at a similar age. Just one of the many Disney animal abuse movies, don't even get me started on Dumbo and any number of others, including some feature films...terrible stuff.

A good Sunday to you all.

Martie said...

I looked it up and I know that Riffle and Shuffle mean the same thing, but until the bigtime poker tournaments announce "RIFFLE UP AND DEAL!", I won't be using it for cards.

melissa bee said...

happy sunday c.c. and all,

fun theme today, but never heard of PLANTERS PUNCH. also never heard of RIFFLES. still don't like PARD, but we see it pretty regularly. loved OBI and LIP SERVICE.

it's not just disney .. the number of children's fairy tales and movies in which one or more parent dies is staggering. besides bambi, there's cinderella, snow white, peter pan, jungle book, finding nemo, lion king, tarzan, aladin, lilo and stitch, beauty and the beast, the little mermaid, pinoocchio, harry potter, the LEMONY snickett series, and i'm sure others i'm not thinking of.

it's a brutal plot device that allows children to have adventures they wouldn't normally have.

wm, i used to work right down the street from st. james infirmary. it was so popular we named it 'building 3,' as we had two buildings in our complex.

Dennis said...

Bill G. to many of us, Wayne Williams was the bane of our existence for several months leading up to the switchover. Puzzles had become simply an exercise in mindlessly filling in blanks with the same clues appearing for weeks ON END (yes, interminably). I have no idea if his puzzles are still that simplistic.

On the subject of alcohol, I may have one of the youngest cases of intoxication. My mother told me that when I was very young, I somehow drank a quarter of a bottle of perfume that was on the nightstand next to her bed. I'm guessing I was 4 or 5. She said the doctor just told her to let me 'sleep it off'. I doubt a mother would get that advice today.

My second less-than-proud moment came when I was 16. I came home from a night of getting in trouble and drinking with a couple buddies, and my parents were watching TV, as was my 6-year-old half sister, who was lying on the floor. They started interrogating me as to whether I'd been drinking, which I of course denied, and they kept after me for a little bit too long, as they found out when I finally threw up all over my sister. I think I got grounded for a month on that one.

kazie said...

I would never have finished today without red letters and lucky guessing. Too many unknowns to enumerate. Haven't heard of most of those drinks.

My first regular mixed drink was vodka and bitter lemon, which I don't think you can get here. Later I preferred screwdrivers, which were the only one of today's selection I really knew--I had no idea what the others were. These days I rarely drink much of anything but an odd glass of wine with dinner.

Jerome said...

Bill G- I have never understood and will never understand how anyone could do a Wayne Williams crossword and enjoy it. They are the most god-awful creations ever. Horrible cluing, crosswordese, obscure words, and scatterbrained themes abound. Many constructors, myself included, who are inclined towards self-torture have done his puzzles simply for the sadistic pleasure of asking ourselves, "This really can't be... can it?"

Crockett1947 said...

@billg The Oregonian started carrying the Wayne Williams puzzles shortly after he made them available via self-syndication. They are definitely a step above the thing that preceded them, but there are some glaring problems.

He used to do a quote or quip puzzle every Thursday, and they were certainly a different solving experience from any other day of the week. In this new incarnation, Wednesday is the day of choice for quips/quotes.

The main problem I see is that he has become the sole source -- writes, edits, and publishes. I think because of this there are problems that crop up on an almost daily basis. There are clues that are just out and out incorrect. There a lots of obscure geographic and personal name references. I think if there was another pair of eyes looking at the puzzle before it was published, the result would be an improvement.

Bottom line, I think if there were others involved, the quality would improve, Maybe, maybe not. At least that's my read of the situation.

Bill G. said...

My take on RIFFLE. There are several common ways to shuffle cards. When they start a poker tournament on TV, they spread the deck on the table and slide cards around until they are mixed up. Then there's the common overhand shuffle where small stacks of cards from the bottom of the deck are quickly placed on the top. There's the pharoah shuffle too. The riffle shuffle is the one referred to in the puzzle. So I don't think it's a synonym for shuffle but is a common type of shuffle.

Jazzbumpa said...

Geez. Now, I'll stand up for Disney.

Go back and read the Brothers Grimm in their Grimm originals. Disney softened the fairy tales in his films a LOT.

It's been a long time (decades) since I've seen Bambi. Does the mother get shot by a hunter? If so, that's just a touch of reality.

Bill -
The Wayne Williams puzzles are definitely a large step down from Rich Norris's. More lame and/or ridiculously obscure fills, far less clever cluing, and generally sparkle-deprived.

Jerome -
They are better than the dreary Commuter puzzles, though.

Cheers! (#3)
JzB Grimm trombonist

PJB-Chicago said...

IMHO, the problem with the Williams puzzles was that were no quality standards or controls.

One mind, one pen, one set of eyes is a bad recipe for writing anything. The puzzles had random fill repeating several times a month, often with identical clues. No thought seems to have been given to level of difficulty or with crossing unknowables with the unknown. Perhaps Mr Williams is/was a much better constructor, but the strain of having to crank out so many puzzles day in and day out wore the poor man's brain to a few semi-functional neurons.

The worst thing about the puzzles for me was a lack of cleverness or humor in the cluing. Rich and his roving horde of constructors do keep the fun in "wordplay," and I am grateful to him/them for that.

MJ said...

I made it through today's puzzle with only two letters unfilled at the crossings of ALBOM/HALAS and TALESE/CASIO, both of which I guessed correctly. However, it turns out I still didn't have the puzzle completely right as I had STELE for 4D, and was thinking, "What in the world is a 'cesio' watch?". An indication that the answer was a variation would have been helpful, IMHO. Favorite clues were 30A "Whistling zebra?" and 56D "Gobs".

My first mixed drink was a Tequila Sunrise when I was in college. I was underage, out with others who were all of age (21yrs.+ here in CA). It was two days after my 20th birthday, so when the server asked for ID, I cheerfully handed it over and stated, "Just in birthday was just two days ago!" He looked at my license, handed it back, and served me. I think he realized after the fact that he had been duped, because he gave me the strangest look a short time later. I rarely drink anything other than wine now. It's been over a year since I've had a mixed drink.

@Jazzbumpa-Awesome glass trombone clip! Thanks for sharing. Also, would you have preferred it if 123A had been clued as "The exotic dancer ordered a_____"?

Welcome JustPlayin. Stick around and join in!

Jerome said...

We are a few years into a Golden Age of crosswords. If you compare puzzles of 20, 10, or even 5 years ago to today's puzzles you can see a remarkable difference in quality. And the puzzles keep getting better and better. The bar is constantly being set higher and higher. The great veteran constructors are even greater. The rookies are much more clever, entertaining and have a lot more pizzazz than before. Solvers and constructors alike should be reveling in these glorious days of puzzledom.

In the few months that I've been commenting on this site I have never once, not one damn time, said a single negative word about a constructor's work. Ever. However, Wayne Williams should escape no wrath. He continues to trudge along in a crossword world long gone. His puzzles wallow in a sty of awfulness that's beyond belief. He is the ultimate hack who either cannot, or refuses to catch up to the rest of the crossword world.

Jazzbumpa said...

Jerome -

Holy Yikes. I have no recollection of you ever saying a negative word about anyone or anything. Well - there was that one time with me, but we'll let that go.

Those WW are pretty bad, but wow. just, WOW! Can I buy you a BOILERMAKER?

MJ -
Thanx. I had no problem with FUZZY NAVEL. And your alt clue is pretty clever. But, isn't there somebody who dusts the dancers occasionally?

JzB the dusty trombonist

Anonymous said...

I have always heard of cards being RIFFLED when they were shuffled. Always thought it was related to the sound that was made. All in all, thought it was a great one. Got it with no help today!
Joanne S.

A.R.E. said...


Good evening. Got to this puzzle late. I had a fundamental problem with the "Sailor's Sheet" answer. A knowledgeable sailor would never call one of his lines a "Rope". Sailing has a very specific lexicon for the rigging and control lines. Examples include:

Main Sheet: Control Line for adjusting the main sail boom.
Jib Sheet: Control Line for adjusting the angle of the foresail.
Main Halyard: Line used to haul up the main sail.
Forestay: rigging line from the top of the mast to the bow deck connection.
Docking Line: used for tying up the boat to dock, pier, etc.

No sailor would call any of these lines by the name “rope”. It just isn’t done.

Have a good evening.

windhover said...

BillG @ 3:08,
Sorry about your moonshine experience. My wife (aka The Irish) has a first cousin who is a high school science teacher in Western North Carolina. He has a friend and fellow teacher who is a retired chemist teaching as a second career. Together they make a few batches of moonshine every year for home consumption and gifting. Our Christmas present every year from cousin Norb (so named because Uncle Bruce was a huge Redskins fan) is a quart of this nectar of the gods. Imagine the very best Irish, Canadian, or Scotch whiskey you've ever tasted, and then raise the bar a little higher. It is a sin to dilute this stuff with anything other than spring water and/or ice, and it is best when sipped slowly and savored. I'm convinced that
god wants us to enjoy fine spirits, and actually feel sorry for those who can't/won't. I'd love to share, but I only get a quart a year.

Hey man,
It's OK to say what you really think. Don't hold back on our account. BTW, my take on WRW is that his puzzles were better a few years ago when he edited other constructors work. The last few months we here did his puzzles, it seemed as if he knew the gig was up and he really didn't give a damn. Same word/clue several tes a week, heavy dose of crosswordese every day, etc. Like most here, I am very happy with Rich and his very competent band of constructors. The variety of styles keeps things fresh. I really am not into criticism, although I sometimes cringe at certain clues, but I think most of what our bloggers say is constructive criticism. It is a crossword blog, and how boringbif every day, everyone said, "Great puzzle" or I loved this puzzle". Most of us would choose LAT and Rich over WRW or Commuter in a heartbeat, but given that angst is the predominant human condition, it is necessary to bitch and moan therapeutically. The presence of constructors here, especially those we admire, like yourself, Dan, and the others, is often inhibiting, but endlessly interesting. I started out to make a point, and it may yet be found in the bottom of this glass of pale ale. I should just stop now. I'm sure you'll

Annette said...

JzB: That must be why they invented Body Shots - to clean out all those Fuzzy Navels!

Bill G. said...

Windhover, what do your moonshining friends do to mellow the whiskey? Jack Daniels filters theirs through charcoal. Others store the whiskey in charcoal-lined barrels. But that all takes time.

Dennis said...

Windhover, my senior year, I was a counselor at a YMCA camp in northern Georgia (not a smart move on someone's part). The local moonshiners (and there were quite a few up there) would occasionally give us a little mason jar of the stuff. As I recall, it was like drinking the sun. My compliments if you can handle it.

Bill G., between the four of us, I assume we answered your question?

Jerome said...

windhover- That the presence of constructors on this site often being "inhibiting" is something that has not occured to me at all. I understand completely the spirit in which you say that and it's a valid point. Now that I'm thinking about it it suddenly dawns on me just how right you might be. It's certainly an eye-opening thought.

Clear Ayes said...

For anybody who hasn't seen Bambi, here is THE scene Bambi's mother dies.

It is true that the Grimm tales were pretty gruesome, but most kids didn't read them until they were a little older than six or seven. Bambi was touted as an anthropomorphic and adorable animated movie for very young children.

Jazz, LOL "Does the mother get shot by a hunter? If so, that's just a touch of reality." Reality would be the hunters would be arrested, fined, their licenses revoked and (with a little luck) jailed for shooting a doe with a fawn.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to intrude on today's post...but there's something I'd really like to know: On Friday a lot of the comments had the initials DF in them--could someone please tell me what DF stands for?

Anonymous said...

As in "DF reaction"

Jazzbumpa said...

Annette -
Fortunately I wasn't drinking anything. I would have spewed it all over the lap top. So, you could drink a FUZZY NAVEL from a fuzzy navel. I'm sticking with martinis.

Jerome -
Well, you can see how it holds me back.

C.A. -
Wow that clip does not look familiar at all. But the gruesome deed takes place off screen, at least.

Re: reality - there's that little detail of actually catching them . . .

Anon0 Nuevo - DF is local dialect for sexual content - sometimes innuendo, sometimes more blatant. DF = DisFunctional.

#5 and out
JzB the fuzzy, inhibited, and occasionally DF trombonist

windhover said...

Just lost a long and pithily (no lisp involved there) sincere comment which I don't have the energy to rewrite. So for now two words: triple distilled.

Hahtoolah said...

Clear Ayes: Your comment about shooting a doe with a fawn reminded me of one of my first cases. Some hunters had been out shooting and killed a doe when it wasn't doe season. They thought they could fool the wildlife agents by tying antlers to the deer's head. Guess what. No one was fooled and I did revoke their licenses and give them a large fine.

MR. ED said...

Re 7d coca , is this where chocolate comes from?

I think I read somewhere that only part of an iceberg is above water. Most of it is submerged under water.

PJB-Chicago said...

CA: I now know why I wasn't taken to see Bambi as a child. I loved detective books and mysteries more than fairy tales. Didn't have much taste for gore. Charlotte's Web passed muster and books about weather or space travel. At least Dr. Seuss was able to keep his dark side pretty carefully hidden.

My favorite book of all time is still GO DOG GO. I never tire of it:
--Do you like my hat?
-No, I do not!

Wikipedia has a short page devoted to it and YouTube has a few video "readings" that are OK. The shades of the color blue used in the book are pure magic, especially in the drawing toward the middle where the dogs are sprawled out in a big ole bed at night-time. Anyone else remember the book? Parents who probably had to read the book thousands of times must shudder at the thought, now!

I also don't tire of or the smell of play-do(ugh). Just about every place I've worked I've semi-secretly passed out cans of the stuff, and although no one has seen me do it, I reportedly have been known to open a can and breathe deep when I am under great stress.
Better than a fuzzy navel! Less than a dollar, too.

I agree with MelB too about the odd mesages kids may read into those stories. Much has been written about how in kids' books women have to be "princesses" and men have to be "heros" but those themes still are popular even after all the bad press. Orphans do abound--I never thought of that.
Even Harry Potter's parents are dead, and if I remember correctly, died gruesomely so. Major plot (which I know is for much older kids) brutality there!) Even Charlie Buckett of the Chocolate Factory fame was an orphan, right? We never actually saw Charlie Brown's parents either, come to think of it.

Jerome: I respect your opinions. Without knowing squat about constructing, I knew that the Norris generation of puzzles was going to be a lot more varied and clever. I struggled, I swore and I complained at first, but I haven't looked back.

Re: constructors visiting: I would like to believe that I wouldn't say something about a constructor behind his/her back that I wouldn't say with him/her in the "room" but of course I know I'm not always that that careful at times. Every puzzle involves rewriting and editing and compromises, so I hope that a comment about what I may think is an "off" clue wouldn't be taken for more than one guy's biased opinion. I'm happy they pay us a visit, and I hope they know they will get honest feedback. From many of us.

I got over my own fear of negative comments by actively engaging in a hobby which often results in booing (most of which is done by my friends!) and that quickly teaches you that a boo is just one form of feedback! How you deal with booing pretty much says more about how good you are on your feet than how you deal with applause and phone-numbers slyly placed into your palm.

People boo much more often on TV comedy shows than they do in real life. TV encourages it, they hold up signs even, whereas the ultimate indicator that your set is tanking on a real stage is pure, cold, dead silence. And when you're done NO ONE will make eye contact with you. Survive that, and not much anyone can say about you ever again will taste quite that bad.

Jeepers, there was a little slice of my life I wasn't planning on spilling! About 1983 in Springfield Illinois. I went back a month later and did much better. I did wear my hair a little differently the second time--maybe that's what did the trick. "Ya gotta make sure it's gonna catch the light!"


Annette said...

The Wizard of Oz definitely had some pretty traumatic scenes in it too. I was always confused by how someone without a brain was able to talk...let alone one without a heart!

I don't recall them ever explaining why Dorothy lived with her Auntie Em, instead of parents either. It's on a couple times later this week. I'll have to watch and look for that.

Al said...

OK, just my not-so humble opinion here...

I think it is important to have kids see that everything in life doesn't turn out rosy, but only once they are old enough to understand it when we can explain it to them. We need to watch those movies with our kids, warn them and be prepared to tell them about life's lessons, how it was bad for the hunters to kill a mother animal, how parents do eventually die, and especially if the children are fortunate enough to still have both parents, that they should appreciate them all the more; to be able to see that no matter how bad it seems that their life is, that circumstances could be much more sad than they are.

There is too much unattended TV and movie baby-sitting of kids at a young age today, we need to commit to be present, watch with them and give them moral support. It's also important that is early enough that the movie still can hold a child's interest. Is five too young to watch those kinds of events? It depends on the parent's judgment of how developed the child is; they don't all mature at the same rate. Yes, that's a tough job, and no one gets an instruction manual when the baby appears, but that's really a comment on how much we (don't) learn in school to prepare us for being parents and dealing with the realities of life. I agree that you don't want to traumatize a child that hasn't developed enough yet to be able to deal with grief, and childhood should generally be a happy place, but life is too cruel to send our children out into without them being prepared to deal with reality.

PJB-Chicago said...

Al: well said. I don't have kids and have no right to comment on how others raise their kids. I do agree though that the developmental stage of the child has to be taken into consideration when discussing any delicate topic with children: death, disease, sex, job loss etc. My parents were smart in just answering basic questions without lying to us, or elaborating beyond the actual question. I'm grateful for that. Neighbors told their son that their dog ran away, when in fact it had been hit by a car. He was a smart 6 year old and might have been introduced to the topic of dying a little earlier like when the goldfish overdosed on something and when he saw a cricket eat a fly. I think it was a cricket.

I'm still not ready to watch Bambi, though.

Robin said...

I did not have time to do the Sunday, but enjoyed every ones comments. My favorite comment was Haltool @ 2100. Thank you so much for defending our wildlife! You are one pretty cool judge!!

Anonymous said...

72 across - hit, biblically
answer was smite...past tense is SMOTE, not smit as stated.

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