, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Saturday January 30, 2010 Brad Wilber


Jan 30, 2010

Saturday January 30, 2010 Brad Wilber

Theme: None

Total block: 30

Total words: 72

Tough slog again. Bogged down from the very start. Wanted CAREW instead of BOGGS (1A. Winner of five of six A.L. batting titles from 1983 to 1988). Rod Carew actually is a winner of seven batting titles and retired in 1985. Wade Boggs (Hall of Famer, 2005 Class) had a stellar career with the Red Sox. His baseball cards are very affordable, even the authenticated signed ones.

Quite a few tricky clues in the grid. My favorites are the two short ones:

49A. Serial ending?: IZE. Ending of the word serialize.

8D. Drunk's chaser?: ARD. Ard is the end of drunkard, hence the literal "chaser".

Anyway, I am now resigned to the fact that I will always have to struggle with Brad Wilber puzzles. His name equals "trouble" for me. Besides, I just can't handle themeless!


6. Produce unit: HEAD. Lettuce/cabbage, etc.

10. Mil. stores: PXS. PX = Post Exchange. Three Xs in this grid.

13. Taking undeserved credit, perhaps: ON AN EGO TRIP. Alas, my multi-word trouble continues!

16. Psychotic TV pooch: REN. And TOON (57A. 16-Across, e.g.). "The Ren and Stimpy Show". I was ignorant of the fact that Ren is a psychotic. Stimpy is the cat.

17. "Fully loaded" purchase: DELUXE MODE. I am all for basics, even my iPod is Classic.

18. "Bed-in for Peace" figure: ONO (Yoko)

19. Regress: EBB

20. Next: THEN

21. Barn loft: HAYMOW. New term to me. Dictionary says it's called hayloft.

23. Fish preparation gadgets: SCALERS

25. Like "Marley & Me": RATED PG. Have yet to see "Marley & Me". I like most of the Jennifer Aniston movies.

26. Place for wallowers: STY

27. "Heartland" autobiographer: MORT SAHL. Nice to see his full name in a grid. Not aware of his autobiography though.

28. Joes at a diner: JAVAS. Coffees.

31. Aptly named novelist Charles: READE. The English novelist. Pronounced like "read". Apt indeed then!

33. Perched: ALIT

34. Casual pants, briefly: CORDS. Corduroys.

35. Friday player: WEBB (Jack). Of "Dragnet". He played Joe Friday.

37. Footwear ill-suited for stealth: CLOGS

38. Paris's __ d'Orsay: MUSEE. My favorite place in Paris.

39. Volcanic crater feature: LAVA LAKE

41. Grafton's "__ for Noose": N IS. The only way to clue NIS.

42. Seismograph stimuli: TREMORS

43. Waltz segment: BOX STEPS. Stymied me also.

47. 1844 Verdi premiere: ERNANI. Last time Dan Naddor clued as it "Verdi title bandit". I simply forgot. The opera was based on Hugo's play "Hernani". H is silent I suppose.

48. Act as lookout for, e.g.: ABET

50. Emmy-nominated Charlotte: RAE

51. Utility offering: ENERGY AUDIT. Didn't yield readily.

54. Sch. where Buzz Aldrin got a doctorate: MIT. Unknown trivia to me.

55. Castaway's dream come true: RESCUE PLANE

56. __-pitch: SLO

58. Hand net user, perhaps: EELER. Thought eelers use pot.


1. Augurs: BODES

2. Last year of its kind: ONE BC. Oh, last non-A.D. year. I did not parse "last year" properly.

3. Nero's successor: GALBA. Will probably forget his name again next time.

4. Serengeti antelope: GNU

5. Some chamber works: SEXTETS. Group of six.

6. Geography-class mnemonic: HOMES. The Great Lakes mnemonic. Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior.

7. 007's alma mater: ETON

9. Hardly fair-weather friends: DIE-HARDS

10. Some limo sharers: PROM DATES

11. Anti-diversity type: XENOPHOBE. Xeno is a prefix for "alien/strange".

12. Popular paperweight: SNOW GLOBE.

14. Frank __, architect of L.A.'s Walt Disney Concert Hall: GEHRY. Complete stranger to me. I wrote down LLOYD, thinking of Frank Lloyd Wright.

15. Missouri tributary: PLATTE

22. Thumbs-up: YES

24. Aspiring atty.'s hurdle: LSAT

25. Courses: ROADS. Was thinking of meal "courses", not "route".

27. Amalgamate: MERGE

28. Consequences of one's convictions: JAIL TERMS. Again, my mind was in "belief" convictions direction, not guilty conviction.

29. Communion line setting: ALTAR RAIL

30. Upscale Roman shopping street: VIA VENETO. No idea. Have never been to Rome. Red roses, how romantic! Via is Italian for "avenue", right?

31. Corner pieces: ROOKS

34. Its trill opens "Rhapsody in Blue": CLARINET. Should be a gimme for Jazzbumpa. I am clueless.

35. Doormat: WUSS. No WIMP wobbling for me today due to the intersection U.

37. Plant geneticist, at times: CLONER. OK.

38. Homemade cassette with assorted songs: MIXTAPE. Mixedtape is more common, no?

40. Docs' lobby: Abbr.: AMA

41. "__ hath seen such scarecrows": "Henry IV, Part I": NO EYE. Shakespeare's stuff got me all the time.

43. Red Ryder, for one: BB GUN. It's featured in "A Christmas Story".

44. Word with bore or basin: TIDAL. Don't know what a tidal bore is.

45. Paperless read: EZINE

46. Fizzle (out): PETER

48. Not pizzicato: ARCO. Musical term for performance "with a bow". Same root with "Arc". Pizzicato is plucking rather than bowing the strings. I simply forgot.

52. That, to Teresa: ESO. Penned in ESA, since Teresa is a girl's name.

53. Diminutive suffix: ULE. Like nodule.

Answer grid.



Anonymous said...

My thanks to Lemonade714 for the blog suggestion yesterday. It was awesome!

To those posters who named a whiskey to keep them warm, I use Wild Turkey a good Kentucky whiskey!

Lemonade714 said...

Thanks RsD, we try to entertain and educate...I can tell by the massive response this puzzle did not amuse many.

Well we are not Kansas anymore, with some of the most obscure references in months; if my son were not majoring in Roman archaeology, I would have no lcue as to the first of the Emperors during the year of Four Emperors GALBA who served for all of 7 month.

Or how about a an author I never heard of CHARLES READE ?
I guess you left coasters may know GEHRY , but he meant nothing to me.

I have listened to Mort Sahl comment on life and politics for years, and know he has been a crossword staple for most of them, (we saw him often in our prior puzzles) but I have never heard of Heartland . Though his presence does provide a minor theme to the puzzle, for he, like GEHRY was a Canadian born Jew.

Or how about the less famous cousin of the hayloft, hay•mow (h mou )
1. See hayloft.
2. The hay stored in a hayloft.
3. Archaic A haystack.

There were parts I liked, XENOPHOBE is a nice word to work in a puzzle, and JAIL TERMS was pretty funny in the context clued and I loved FRIDAY PLAYER: WEBB, I remember watching Badge 714 when we went to visit people who had televisions, but this puzzle was like work.

Beach anyone?

Anonymous said...

Lemonade It was actually Thursday I'm a day behind.

As for this puzzle to letters come to mind, P-U!

Dick said...

Good morning C.C. and All, WOW, what a slog today. It took me about 1- 1/2 hours to complete this one. There were so many clues that I just stared at for long periods of time before the answers appeared. Sadly, when the answer revealed itself it seemed so simple I wondered why it took so long.

A few of my favs today were 31D “corner pieces”, 35A “Friday player” and 28A “Joes at a diner.”

There were some clues which I had no idea of the answer such as Charles Reade and Gehry. I would not have gotten them without the perps. I am not a fan of obscure names in any puzzle, but if they are there they should be located such that the solves are possible with perps.

I did find this puzzle to be very challenging, but the clues were fair and creative IMHO.

Hope you all have a great Saturday and a better weekend.

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - wow, this was one tough puzzle for me. I hit the g-spot, the h-spot, the i-spot, any spot I could find trying to get through this one.

I got 'Boggs' right away, so I initially thought this wouldn't be so bad, in spite of the name at the top. Wrong. Without taking up a lot of space, suffice to say I bounced all over the place. Lots of unknowns.

Some clues I thought were just outstanding: 'Friday player' and 'Consequences of one's convictions.' All in all, a very, very enjoyable solve; certainly woke me up.

Today is National Inane Answering Message Day.
Have a great weekend and do something fun.

Andrea said...

Morning all -

Had to solve this online this am - too cold to go out and get the paper from the driveway. Once Quincy woke up, he finally did go out and pick it up for me. I have never seen a dog sleep in like he does!

Since I was online, I had red letter help, which I relied on quite heavily. There were some very clever clues like Friday player, and then a whole bunch of names or words like Haymow where I just played the alphabet game until I got them right.

Off to a Mary Kay party today, and then the Beer and Cheese show. Should be a fun day!


kazie said...

Me too!
Another complete disaster, where I'd take a lot less time to list those I got than what I didn't! Some I was proud of getting right off: XENOPHOBE (first fill!), MORT SAHL (had the AHL, and he was the only one I thought might fit), GEHRY (I've never seen any of his work, but knew Lloyd Wright wasn't going to fit), HAYMOW (DH grew up on a farm), and VIA VENETO (C.C. I think VIA just means way or road).

I just know too little about music, sport and apparently a lot of other things!

Have a great day everyone--after getting over this sobering experience!

kazie said...

I guess ROOKS came fairly easily too, and for fully loaded, I knew it had to do with cars, but couldn't get the right way to express it. Same with RESCUE PLANE--had rescue without PLANE until I was here. I googled a lot of things without success, so just came here to save time. Ah well...

PJB-Chicago said...

Good Morning, all!
I'm not usually a quitter, but I abandoned the puzzle after fruitless efforts to make a dent in it. I just couldn't get on the right wavelength. It was like trying to watch TV in, say, Romanian. Every twentieth word seemed familiar for a brief second, then UPSY, it wasn't familiar at all!

I'm blaming the very cold weather for the brainfreeze. Not the constructor.

Time for coffee and the sudoku---at least there I have a 1 in 9 chance of being right in each square, as opposed to 1 in 26!

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, all.

Yes, a tough slog today. Had to finally G-spot BOGGS, and that gave me the NW, my last corner. Had LUXURYMODEL for DELUXEMODEL -- at least there was an "X" in my answer! Basically had to chip away at this one clue by clue and section by section.

@andrea Sounds like you have a fun day ahead of you. Enjoy!

@pjb Good to see your blue return. '

Have a great Saturday, everyone. Off to a regional chess tournament.

tfrank said...

Good morning, C.C. and all,

Wow! What a slog. I managed to get through it with a lot of red letter help and some good guesses, like Reade. I never heard of a haymow inside a barn; I usually think of it as being in the field.

Favorite clue was for jail terms. Took a long time to get cords, wuss and arco. Unknowns were Galba, Gehry and Ren, as the only cartoons I follow are the ones in my local paper. SW was tough with those stacked nines, if that is correct terminology.

Having finished, I look back on this solving experience with satisfaction.

Have a good weekend.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, OUCH! Everything that everybody else has already said.

I was going to thank Dennis for furnishing the cruciverb link last night, but now I'm not too sure I'm even speaking to him. :o)

Fortunately, I knew PXS, REN and ONO, so the NE finally kicked in for me and I got PROM DATE, XENOPHOBE and SNOW GLOBE.

Flowing westward (like a topped-off LAVA LAKE?) I got lucky in the SW with ALTAR RAIL and VIA VENETO.

After that, it was chipping away, one letter at a time. After completing so many fill (Hi, Jerome!), I still had no idea what I had, even though it looked correct. Wikipedia was my friend today.

I think this was quite fair for a Saturday, given the warnings we've had from Rich Norris.

I always get chills when I hear the CLARINET intro to Rhapsody In Blue.

lois said...

Good morning CC et al., 'O no!', for the lack of a 'BB gun!' I want to shoot this puzzle full of holes, tear its remains into shreds, stomp on that and then set the whole dang thing on fire! Even the perps didn't help, which nullifies the fun in doing it. Whatever!

Ok, on the up side, after walking away and peace-ing out several times by watching the snow fall, there are some cute and clever clues (just overshadowed by the difficulty of obtaining them). I had to laugh at 35D Wuss, esp in the same corner as 'peter'....not one of the 'die hards' obviously.

Time to go play in the snow. It's already blocking the front door and the worst has yet to come.

Enjoy your day.

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

wow, tough one today, but fair for a saturday. friday player/webb was great. never heard of haymow. i solved clockwise, so sw corner was the last to fall. several of the multi-words were just evil.

cannot see platte without thinking of michener's centennial, anyone watch the miniseries?

in honor of inane answering machine message day ...

lemonade, no mea culpa .. slips of the tongue are allowed.

Clear Ayes said...

Do utility companies offer to do a customer ENERGY AUDIT? It must be true, I saw it in a crossword puzzle.

LOL, almost a spit take at Lemonade714's 6:50 comment about a minor theme of famous Canadian Jews. I was surprised that Wikipedia (they have everything) had a list. I think that would be too tough a theme, even a minor one, for any crossword anywhere. Of course, as soon as it is mentioned, there is a constructor somewhere, saying, "Hmmm?"

I'm out of here to help a friend etch a couple of hundred wine glasses for a fund raiser at our local history center/museum. It will be a learning experience. I've never etched anything in my life.

Diane said...

Pretty hard; but gotta expect that on a Saturday! The light finally dawned on "rooks" after reading a few comments--I'm not a chess player.Needed to goggle Boggs, and Mort Sahl but after that (and putting it down several times) it all seemed to fall into place. Have a fun weekend everyone!

Dick said...

#spitzboov, you picked a great time to head south. I got an email from my mother in law this am and she said it was 17 below zero this am in Watertown.

Fred said...

Wow, this was a long hard slog. It took me a while to complete it. I had to look up BOGGS, GALBA, and BOXSTEPS.
Lots of nice clever, deceptive clues. Nice overall grid. Didn't care for the obscure names, though.

ipo said...

Hi C.C. and others:
Another difficult day for me. I started the cw and left the house for a few hours. My husband is here and he helped with GALBA and MORT SAHL. Then he left me to my own devices....not good.
Amazing that some in FL are having great weather and others cold rainy weather. But, it beats those of you in the frigid parts of the country. Keep cozy!

Otis said...

I have lurked intermittently around here and am now testing to see if I can figure out how to comment, primarily to vent extreme frustration.

I echo Entropy@9:03's last comment - there is nothing fun in a puzzle that is this difficult. Here's hoping for a doable Sunday puzzle.

I think today's puzzle is probably the least enjoyable puzzle I have ever attempted to solve. I managed about eight answers before coming here. Didn't even bother with google, the dictionary, etc.

A good puzzle for a Mensa publication.

MJ said...

This was, indeed, a slog today. Was able to finish most of the puzzle with much perp help and some lucky guessing, but came to a grinding halt with nothing in the NW above SCALERS. It certainly would have helped to have known BOGGS. Finally turned to dictionary help for BODES (I had been thinking "augers" and was looking for some tool reference.) It also didn't help that I misread 6D as "geology-class." Loved the many deceptive, sneaky clues! I agree that this was a fair Saturday puzzle.

Melissa Bee and CA, thanks for the hilarious links for answer machine and spit take! It's a good thing I wasn't eating or drinking at the time or I would have choked!

Enjoy the day!

Anonymous said...

I am totally with everyone else today. Lots of g-spotting and then to red letter help to get through this one.

Wanted LAVA TUBE, knew ABET but wanted WAGON for Red Ryder so the two wouldn't mesh, HAYLOFT, etc. And it goes on and on and on.

Should absolutely have know Frank Gehry as he designed the Weisman Art Museum at the U of M here. Very similar to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. He does some weird stuff. A local company build both of them, and a friend of mine flew to LA for the opening of the Disney Concert Hall. She said it was a spectacular event.

CA, yes, utility companies do energy audits. Our local companies do them to see where you could save money on your energy costs. In MN where our weather can be so extreme, you can save a bundle with small changes like adding insulation, window sealers, etc. They come out and give suggestions for free.

Which reminds me that we have an enormous icicle off our front eaves - tells me we have some fixing to do in our attic. Maybe I'll take a pic and post it. It is incredible large, and I am afraid someone could get impaled if it came down unexpectedly. Have to remedy that soon!

Good day all.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Well, there's difficult, and then there's gratuitous obscurity. Yes, CLARINET was a gimme, along with ARCO, PXS, too, one I figured out that the clue didn't mean store rooms. I put in BOGGS, then remembered politician HALE BOGGS, and couldn't come up with WADE, so I took it out again.

Yes, JAIL TERMS is clever. Probably my fav fill for the day, But I had JAIL TIMES. It didn't matter. The SW corner was intractable. Who the hell is Charlotte RAE? Never mind. I really don't care.

I never did READE Charles.

C.C.'s favs were ones I could do without. I hate affix fill, and even more so with cutesy clues.

I had ENERGY_____ and RESCUE_____ sitting there forever.

I'm not going to accuse anybody of anything, but ON AN EGO TRIP was very badly clued.

All slog. Very little fun. Pretty close to my all time least favorite LAT puzzle.

But it's the weekend, so -


Anonymous said...

Nonsensical clues.

Anonymous said...

OLIVA for 1-Across, Anyone? Anyone?

windhover said...

A curmudgeon at 39? Good for you. Loved your music and reading list, but I have a question? Where can I get a copy of Calving & Hobbes? I farm for a living, and this title sounds like a must-read title.
Welcome. Many curmudgeons here, always room for one more.

Mary said...

Brad, we don't all hate you. Remember guys, we were begging for the more challenging puzzles at least on Saturdays. I completed this one in three passes with no outside help. Having slept in helped, as did having time on my hands with no access to a computer.

Dennis said...

We had our warning from Rich that the puzzles were gonna get tougher. A puzzle, by its very definition, is a 'problem or contrivance designed for testing ingenuity'. I would argue that the Friday-Saturday puzzles are much closer in definition than the first couple days.

"Who's Charlotte Rae?" Jeezus, six decades in TV, a role in two long-running series, hardly an obscure name. I didn't watch either series, but certainly knew the name.

I thought we wanted puzzles that got progressively tougher, but were still doable. This puzzle took a bunch of time (read enjoyment) but was surely doable. And if you have to g-spot for an answer, well good, then you've learned something. Learning is good, no?

Rather than take gratuitous shots at the constructors, i.e., 'Brad Wilber on an ego trip', I think it would be better to realize the work that went into these puzzles for our enjoyment. Does anyone really think these guys/gals create puzzle to say 'Look what I can do; look how smart I am'?? I've got a whole book of Mensa puzzles if you want to see examples of that.

Anyway, enough rant. And rather than take up space here, something I know C.C. doesn't appreciate (C.C., sorry for this one), well, my email's readily available for further discussion. But let's try to make up our minds what we want, ok?

Windhover, LOL at 'Calving and Hobbes'. Best line of the week.

Jeanne said...

Good afternoon all,
I would have posted earlier, but I had to take time to heal my bruised ego! Just when I thought I was getting better-bam--along comes a Saturday puzzle that lets me know I’m not ready for “prime time”.

@MelissaB, I loved Centennial, the book and series. Love books that take you over many generations of a family. @WH, hagiographic from a post last night--I must confess I had to look that one up in the dictionary. I could tell by your writings that you are very knowledgeable, but had no idea of the depth of your perspicaciousness.

The rest of the day is going to be spent, reading and cooking Zuppa Toscanna. Keeping warm on a very cold day. No snow in eastern PA, so I’m grateful for small favors.

JD said...

Hi all,

Unfortunately after making one run thru, I gave up. Filling in about 10 things plus a couple of halves was not going to give me any traction, unless I wanted to rent Mr. G for the day.

When I saw perched, it reminded me of Snowball. Here's a new bird that likes Ray Charles.

I did not even think of javas for Joe's at a diner. I was trying to remember the dish we used to order at "Original Joes" while in college because it was cheap and fed 2 or 3 of us.It was fr. ground chuck sauteed with spinach, onions, eggs and mushrooms.

So, not a good puzzle day for me. Could be that I'm a bit cranky because I'm voice, sore throat, achy and a cough.

Jerome, I'm looking forward to the 8th.

Lemonade , I loved your tribute to CC. CC Writer was very clever, and some lines were very appropriate.

Jeanne, your cake recipe looks great, but I have a ? about the frosting. What is 10X sugar box?

rich scholl said...

eelers use nets because they(eels) swim in schools when in season. i have seen eels so thick in the yukon river that eskimos caught them with SHOVELS!

Anonymous said...

@Dennis: It's a free forum. To quote CC, "people should be free to say what's going on in their mind."

Dennis said...

Nice try, my cowardly friend, but no one suggested otherwise.

Jerome said...

tfrank- "stacked nines" is exactly what they are.

It's terrific to see solvers using constructor lingo.

Entropy and Otis- From Monday on puzzles get harder each day. Saturday is the toughest. Sunday is the largest puzzle but its difficulty level is usually equal to a mid-week one. This system is the fairest. It provides a way for rookie and expert solvers to have a puzzle that fits their solving ability. Brad Wilber is an accomplished constructor and today's puzzle is a nice example of a Saturday style crossword.

Anonymous said...

These puzzles of late are getting nasty again. The clues are so oblique that one cannot even use a crossword dictionary. Did the puzzle makers have a negative experience in school. No way they could be teachers and make their tests this obsucre. Please change up to a little more traditional format or perhaps the LA Times Puzzlers will have to be included in the demise of the newspaper. This is one of my reasons for continuing to subscribe. Offer two puzzles on Saturday then as an alternative.

Anonymous said...

@Dennis and Windhover, stop bullying anons.

Unknown said...

Puzzler from Alabama
I like hard puzzles and I enjoyed this one, even though I had to go on line to find answers like 1844 Verdi premiere.

Jeanne said...

@JD, Sorry I didn't explain further. Dominos Confectionery Sugar is what we refer to as 10X sugar. They have a recipe on the box for buttercream frosting and a cream cheese frosting.

Bill G. said...

I did finish this puzzle but had red-letter help turned on. It helps on a tough puzzle to know when I've made a misstep. I don't have anything new and different to add to what has been said already. My take is that puzzles getting tougher by Saturday is fine with me unless they get too tough. Then they aren't fun any more. This was a bit over the too tough line for me. Also, I don't know if I'm in the minority on this, but I would enjoy a harder Saturday puzzle more if it had a theme. I did the one at CrosSynergy which I enjoyed but then I don't get to talk about it with you guys.

Bob said...

I had a hard time with this one. It took me an hour and 17 minutes to complete, and I still ended up missing one (which I shouldn't have missed--by then I was getting tired and missing the obvious)--20A. Never figured out what the mnemonic (6D) was for, so I guessed TURN for 20A, which I knew didn't sound quite right. No lookups.

lois said...

While I was rereading the grid, this puzzle reminded me of the last dance I attended for the seniors....Prom. I 'Am-a' believer in helping those kids make happy memories for their lives, but I won't get their 'jail terms' reduced for them to attend. Do the crime, do the time. When one 'rooks' others, it 'bodes' badly for one's future, and that's nothing 'gnu'. Sorry about your bad decision. But those who do attend are dressed to the nines and often match their 'prom dates' outfits. Stunning! 'No eye' hath seen such transformations. Some even arrive in the 'deluxe model's of 'ren'ted limmo's. Quite the show. And they 'head' straight to the dance floor. It looks like the 'slo' 'box step' has 'merge'd with the tarantella and sometimes it is not 'rated PG'. I'd love to have a seismographic printout of the area that night. I swear I feel 'tremors'. Wouldn't that be a unique 'energy audit'! By the end of the night, things have 'slo'wed down and it gives a whole new twist to the idea of 'Mort Sahl's "Heart land". This is the last big hoorah for these kids. Some are 'head'ing to the 'altar rail', some to the military, and some to college. But whatever 'roads' they take, whatever 'homes' they make, this one night will be a 'snow globe' moment, an imprinted happy memory that we hope 'bodes' well for them in their futures. It's 'ard' to say good by to most of them. As for the others? They may have good hearts but I also hope they remember how to 'reade'.

Jerome: I agree with you that this system of increasing difficulty through the week is the fairest. Ya can't please everybody. And even tho' I'm one of the ranters today, I would still rather have it this way than the simplistic, no challenge, repetitive puzzles that we had before.

Dennis: you're right too. I'm sure the constructors hope to provide entertainment. Some are hits and some are misses and we applaud or grouse accordingly. You're absolutely right in not attacking the constructors. I for one will try to be more sensitive to the effort and appreciative of the challenge...albeit not doable for me. I'd much rather have this than the old way for sure. Thanks for sobering me up. Now, back to the 'snow party'.

Anonymous said...

The only other puzzle maker who is
"on a giant ego trip" is Stanley Newman from Newsday on Long Island, New York.


Annette said...

Dang! Another big struggle for me... Transferred my paltry 20 answers from paper to online with red letters to find a couple wrong. The next pass with red letters got me only about half complete. Then I had to resort to "solving" a strategic word at a time (3-4 overall) to jump start the rest of the puzzle. Once I had those perps to work off of, the rest was solved pretty quickly and easily, resulting in a good feeling for the puzzle overall. I'm glad I didn't give up totally, even though I used a few "cheats" to get me over the hurdle. And please don't think I'm judging anyone that said they did give up! I was pretty frustrated on paper, but had the time to keep trying today. If this were a weekday, I'd never have had the time or patience left to continue.

The problem with having a couple challenging puzzles in a row is that while I'm exposed to a lot of new information, you (well, I) can only retain so much. For example, I think I will remember GABON from yesterday, but like C.C., I doubt I'll remember GALBA...

melissa bee said...

one of the reasons i appreciate this blog so much is that my solving skills have increased exponentially. i've been doing crosswords since i was about 12, and had reached a sort of glass ceiling, rarely being able to complete a nyt sunday, even though i still enjoyed trying.

c.c.'s clear and careful explanations of both clues and rules of construction, and the input of constructors and fellow solvers, pushed me way beyond my self-imposed glass ceiling. if it weren't for the more difficult puzzles later in the week, i'd still be stuck at a wednesday level.

i'm not sure what the point of a puzzle is if it's not challenging. when i want to do something that requires not thinking, i meditate. when i want to exercise my brain cells, i do a saturday puzzle.

Barb B said...

Since I’ve only been working crosswords a year now, I found one thing to like about this one. I finished it. Almost. That’s a huge ego trip. It was frustrating and I googled a lot, but in the end, I only had about 3 words I just had to give up on, and for me that’s a victory.

And I did like the 3 X’s; XENOPHOBE and PX’S, SEXTET and DELUXEMODE, then BOXSTEP and MIXTAPE.

Jeanne, a good book and Zuppa Toscanna sounds like a perfect way to spend a Saturday. Thanks for the idea.

Argyle said...

"...haystacks, all a-lop...

Dot said...

I haven't finished the puzzle yet so will not read the answers. So far, it seems easier than yesterday's. For some reason, Friday puzzles are always the hardest for us.

C.C. Thanks for the compliment although I don't know what I've said or done to deserve it.

Dodo, You've been fossilizing longer than I have. I'm a mere, almost 82. I haven't had time the last few days for the blog. A few friends and I decided we wanted to put together some personal care packets for our son to take with him to Haiti. As the word spread, so did the contributions. We have at least 150 Ziplock packets containing toothbrushes & paste, soap, hand sanitizer, bandaids, etc. Plus a number of boxes of medical supplies which are out-dated or can't be used in the local hospital for some reason. (Like surgical gloves that are not latex free.) We'll be taking them up north to our son on Tuesday. I just hope it doesn't snow!

Clear Ayes said...

Who knew there were kits to etch glass? Very easy and enjoyable, at least the company made it fun...lots of laughs.

Lois, loved your take on the prom! Not only clever, but so true.

I'm also loving the "D's", Dodo and Dot.

Melissa bee, Yes! Not everyone is going to like every puzzle, but Saturday is supposed to be the tough one of the week. Brad Wilber was just doing his job and he did it very well. If I can complete every puzzle, every day, without occasional aggravation and frustration, then it seems kind of pointless. I would have preferred a little less "agg & frust" today, but that's the breaks. I hope I can remember GALBA, READE and ERNANI next time, but if I don't...well, maybe the time after that.

DCannon said...

I can't add much to what everyone else has said. On a difficulty scale of 1-10, this was a 15, for sure. This was the first one I have worked in more than a week. I think I picked the wrong one to get my feet wet again!

It took over an hour and sitting down with Mr. G a lot. About 15-20 minutes of that time was spent on 39A because I read the clue as "Paris's d'Orsay" which is 38A. Being somewhat stubborn, I didn't go back and check the clue for a long time. When I did finally reread it, I knew right away it was "lava lake." Dang, one of the few answers I actually knew was the one I misread.

Hope all are doing well and holding up under the cold and wet. We have had several days of early morning temps in the low 20s with highs in the mid 30s. Had lots of welcome rain on Thursday. Our local joke is "Our average annual rainfall is twelve inches and you should be here the day we get it." It's almost true.

JD said...

Melissa, well said. If we are not up for the challenge, then find an easier puzzle somewhere else. Even though I can't do these harder ones, I am improving and I am always happy that many of you who are not challenged at all on Mon./Tues. are loving Fri/Sat's. I salute the the people who can put them together.
Bob, my easiest one was the mnemonic HOMES, the 1st letter of the Great Lakes. That's how different we all are.
Jeanne, thx.:)
Melissa and CA, fun links!

Lemonade714 said...

Melissa Bee, Thank you for the pass, but ultimately I guess it depends on the when and where of the slip of the tongue.

I think we all might remember GALBA if we think about the end of the Augustan line of Emperors, and the YEAR OF FOUR EMPERORS , and of course the memory tag of Gessica Alba.

Like others, I may grouse about obscure cluing, but it is how we learn new things, and I see some of our number knew GEHRY, so it was not too obscure, and READE certainly will be easy to remember if her reappears. I do know those who do not take the time for the Saturday puzzles, and it is reasonable to avoid them if you are not having fun. However with the feed back from CC and the red letter help available, they all are doable.

Speaking of CC, thank you JD for your kind words, I was pleased when I made the connection with the song, and a little disappointed no one else reacted.

Day almost done…drat.

Dennis said...

Jeez, Lois, the last thing I'd ever want to do is sober you up. What fun would that be?

Annette, congrats on getting through the puzzle. Feels good, doesn't it?

MelissaBee, wasn't quite 'meditation' that I was thinking of...

Our forecast 'dusting' of snow has become inches already, Good night for the fireplace, some SoCo, and reading all the nasty anonymous emails I'm getting, lol.

Bob said...

@JD: I must have slept through class that day. I'd never heard that mnemonic before. In fact, I can't remember many mnemonics being taught. Other people seem to know a lot more of them than I do.

Chuck of the West said...

This is a test!

Chuck of the West said...

Several days ago, "whilst" visiting this blog, I curiously hit a button that said "sign out" or some such. After that when I tried to log back on, I was denied access, and began a maddening trek through the G**D***ed Google Help labyrinth. I know some of you have had similar experiences. By the way, there are no human beings at Google.

Well, finally, I'm back. However, I had to log in under my name, not my former Google identity. In the process, I have lost all of my profile info, I have no avatar, and am, generally, in a very, very, very pi**ed off mood!

About today's puzzle. I agree with most of the gripes, but my wife and I worked it together, and we usually compliment each others knowledge. Mr. G did help us today, though. Several of the fills came easily, at least in part: 10D prom ?, 28D jail ?, 39A lava ?, 17A ? model, 51A energy ?, etc. But, most were tough. 35A came to me after a moment, but I couldn't remember the Sgt. Friday actor's name. My wife did. A fun, but tough, puzzle which I would have thrown in the towel on had I tried it on my own.

By the way, the other day someone questioned what was so important about Elko, NV. Elko is the home of the largest and, probably, oldest Cowboy Poetry Gathering held every year in the US at the end of January now for about 26 years.

And, from weeks ago, a carbine is not necessarily a semi-automatic gun, but is simply a shorter version of a rifle which makes it a handier weapon. In the Olde West, carbines were often the long guns of choice, as they were less of a burden strapped to a rider's saddle.

And, yes, y'all can depend on me for info on all things "cowboy," as I'm guessing I am the only one of the blog who has done any full-time cowboying.

Chuck of the West


Finally getting back here. I see we're all in agreement more or less... Today was a tough one but fun and gratifying ... learned a few more obscure things. Started it at breakfast waiting for a friend to arrive. SW and NE corners filled in quickly. Had LAVAFLOW which caused me to come to a complete halt working in the paper.

Finished it online when I got home with a couple g-spots and 3 or 4 red letters to help. Loved JAILTERMS and Charles READE made sense once the perps helped fill it in. No idea who he is though!

For all of us in the frozen tundras, stay warm.

dodo said...

Afternoon, all,
Well, I have to agree that this was a tough one. But if you didn't have to 'puzzle' it out, it wouldn't be a puzzle, would it? If you knew all the answers, it would just be a test. What fun is that? The fun is in the solving. Of course, the side effect is learning something new. It's surprising how often a word or an answer will come up in a conversation and you realize that you learned that word or fact from doing a crossword. Also makes you look smart; my neighbor thinks I'm a genius just because I work crosswords. But my other neighbor took a look at the new harder crosswords when they changed and decided she wouldn't be bothered. I kind of think she does them on the sly and won't talk about them. It takes all kinds.

I did finally finish this one but never got the 'o' in arco. And it never occured to me to spell out 'one' in 'onebc' so that threw the whole NW out. I, too, had a feeling that a car was the answer for 17D but with all the other mishmash in that corner Imissed it. Wanted to make 'boxstep' 'sixstep' know, 1,2,3;1,2,3. That's six, whynot?

I really, really enjoyed this puzzle. I can't take issue with any of the clues. Sometimes I find one that I feel is unfair. Frinstance, not too long ago somebody had "sheer fabric" for "toile". I had never seen toile in anything lighter than a drapery or upholstery fabric until its recent revival, but because it has become so popular again, I have seen it in dress weight cotton. Never sheer, however. Of course, that doesn't mean it's not available.

I'm with Melissa, just since I've been lurking here my solving skills have improved.

Dennis, I'm glad you used 'cowardly' regarding Anonymus. I've been privately thinking that myself and felt it about myself when I was lurking.

Thank you all, especially CC, for the fun and good feeling that abounds in this blog

Jazzbumpa said...

Actually, I have made up my mind what I want. The puzzle should be enjoyable. That comes from the simple fun of working it, the pleasure of the AHA moments, and the joy of a brilliant clue. A theme, in addition to its inherent fun, boosts all of these, so a themeless puzzle starts in the hole.

What I want for fill are English language words and phrases. Conceding to reality, there will be less desirable stuff: abbrvs, Proper names, foreign words, obscurities of all sorts, even word fragments. The fewer the better, and scatter them widely, please. But don't try to justify poor fill with a cutesy clue. "Half a fly?" just makes it worse.
Crossed or stacked obscurities constitute flaws, IMHO.

Some crosswordese is probably close to inevitable. Again, less is more.

There has to be some give and take, so none of the above is cast in granite. What is not open to negotiation is that the clue and the answer have to precisely correspond: correct meaning, same part of speech, gender, number and case.

With all of this, I'm relatively indifferent to difficulty. If I lose, I lose. But I want a fair contest.

These are my expectations. YMMV.


JD said...

Elko is also one of the only towns around along highway 80 to go to the bathroom, especially if you blinked going thru Winnemucca :)

lois said...

Lemonade: I too loved that link and the connection you made w/CC writer. It was a stroke of genius! I just forgot to say something which I do a lot. I'll read a post, follow the links, then mean to include that in my post and then forget to put it in. But that was very clever and a good fit. Well done!

Al: ibid. for the kid w/the uke. Phenomenal!

CC (esp. you), CA, and always Argyle, and whoever else I'm forgetting to include, thank you for the links. That really is part of the fun here. How else would I ever remember the horny male ibex among all the others we only read about. LOL thank you all.

Dennis: No worries. It was only a temporary set back. SoCo for you too? Cheers, my friend!

melissa bee said...

dennis: MelissaBee, wasn't quite 'meditation' that I was thinking of...

you were thinking?

lois said...

Chuck of the West said: I'm guessing I am the only one of the blog who has done any full-time cowboying
Well, buckaroo, that depends on what you call having 'done any full-time cowboying'. It's just semantics. Welcome aboard. Sorry for the frustrating experience.

windhover said...

With all due respect, Chuck OTW is technically correct. "Save a horse, ride a cowboy" is a damn good bumper sticker, and a skill in its own right, but it is not "cowboying" in the Baxter Black sense of the word.

cowMan here. Unlike COTW and his western kin, most of the cowboys in Kentucky are "big hat, big buckle, no cattle".

Hope you get squared away soon, but forget beating the b-----ds. For all of us, Google is a Robert Johnson-esque deal. At least Gates or Murdock doesn't own it. Yet

JimmyB said...

Not much to add that hasn't been said. Got stuck wanting LAVADOME or LAVAFLOW. New things learned today were HAYMOW, ERNANI and GALBA.

Lois - Loved your always twisted take on the clues and answers. Your prom theme was one of your best, in my opinion. And only RATED PG at that.

Annette - I personally would hope we would stop feeling like we're "cheating" just because we need a little help once in a while in order to make a little progress. I bet Windhover's goats don't feel like they're cheating the birthing process just because they take advantage of his kind assistance. Sometimes the alternative is much less pleasant; same with puzzling. And like Dennis says, if we learn something in the process, it's all good!

End of mini-rant.

JD said...

Lois, how could we ever forget morel without viewing CC's links!This is a constant learning experience.
Loved your take on the prom. My youngest daughter wore cowboy boots with her lovely dress;so glad it wasn't her high top Converse tennies.

windhover said...

A big right on to that! I just did last Saturday's puzzle, and was very proud to finish it with no outside help, although I picked it up and put it down several times over the course of a few hours. But a few days ago I did the previous Saturday puzzle, and only completed about a third of it. After G'ing a few clues the rest of it fell into place. As Dodo and several others said, what the fun in fill in the blank puzzles. I do the early week ones pretty quickly (not nearly as quick as Dennis, Bob, and some others), but they really aren't as much fun as the ones that test your knowledge and your intuition in figuring out the twists in the clueing.

As for the goats, like older women (and yes, older men, they are sooo grateful.

Dennis and Lois:
My only knowledge of SoCo is that JJ drank it on stage. I G'ed it and found some very interesting drink names and recipes, one of which is a "Greek" version of a popular drink. Never tried either, but after a couple or three of those, WTH, why not?

carol said...

Hi C.C. and all - Wow, checking in late is an experience in itself.

First, about the puzzle: it was!

Lemonade (6:50a), Dennis (7:54a): thanks, I don't feel so bad knowing this was a struggle for you.

I actually got XENOPHOBE and ROOKS for all the good it did me.

I loved 35A (WEBB) and 28D (JAIL TIME)

Melissa Bee and CA, Thanks for the hilarious clips, like MJ said, I am glad I did not have anything in my mouth at the time.

Dot and Dodo, you two are such fun!

JD )6:03) LOL

Lois (6:05) Don't forget the wonderful link to the infamous 'MOREL'.

I did have a few choice words for my experience with this puzzle, but that was my problem...not the puzzle or the constructor. As Dodo so aptly expressed, it would not be a 'puzzle' if we could just fill in the blanks.

I will now find some liquid relief for my bruised and battered ego.

lois said...

WH, darlin': You're absolutely right and that's the way I'm sure he meant it...technically a la Baxter Black (who is wonderful!). But on the other hand, he doesn't do 'cowboyin' the way I do either, so now that's a matter of semantics. It's all good. And I LOVE that bumper sticker...and song. I'm just so glad to have a cowboy here I could just go save a horse! BTW, those KY cowboy buckles are very appealing and it's nice not to have cattle sometimes -don't have to worry where you're steppin' all the time. 'Course ya have to scurry around to find materials for the cow patty throwin' contest. It's a trade off.

CA,JimmyB: Thanks. Appreciate the kind words.

Dick said...

Lois, I don't know how to describe your comments except to say don't ever stop. You are a very integral part of this blog and give me so many laughs. Today's prom comments are no exception. I would like to meet you someday so I can enjoy the humor first hand, but if not keep the humor coming.

Robin said...

toot toot hey beep beep....

carol said...

Ah, Lois - A truly inspired discourse on prom hat is off to you!

Chuck of the West...don't think for a moment that Lois doesn't know her cowboys, or cowboying..(is that a word?)
Wow, there is a warning signal that goes up (and that's not the only thing that goes 'up') every summer in Oklahoma...that is when she descends on the area. The 'boys' crowd the airport to greet her.

Dennis said...

Ok, let's try that again. Sorry for the confusion, I was cleaning up some spam.

MelissaBee, an excellent point. I should stop that.

Lois, what Dick said.

Robin, Bad Girls, right?

Chuck of the West said...

Lois, Howdy pard. I've worked cattle all over the West, but was "on the payroll" for a time at the Cross Ranch Cattle Co. in Pescadero, CA.

Windhover, I'm not sure we're talking about the same kind of cowboying there, pard. By the way, SpellCheck doesn't think "cowboying" is a real word, but to some of us, Carol, it absolutely is! And, the saying, as I have heard it, is, "All hat and no heifers."

Any y'all out there know how I can clear up this snafu with the blog/Google interface, let me know.

Happy Trails

Lemonade714 said...

Toot Toot

Lemonade714 said...

VTQILMOM, the reason I posted the hyprelink to Charles Reade is so we could all know who he is; for me the links the posters use are part of the experience and often take me off on a interesting mental tangent.

LOIS, thank you.

Donna Summer cost me a lot of money in the late 70's early 80's

Annette said...

C.C.: I've always heard them referred to as MIXTAPEs, rather than mixeD. I'm not sure if it's proper English, but it seems to be a standard term in the music industry, started by DJs, I'd guess. In retrospect, my rationalization is if I were referring to a box of chocolates, I'd say it was a mix of nuts and soft centers. To support your answer though, a jar of nuts containing peanuts, cashews, filberts, etc. is called MIXED nuts... Maybe one of the linguists of the group can explain it for us.

About the difficulty today, there are plenty of other puzzles out there online, on my Nintendo DS, and in books that I can turn to when I need an easier, ego-boosting puzzle to pass the time without being too taxing. And as PJB said, there's always Sudoku and other puzzles too! If the LAT is too difficult one day, I can follow-up with one of the others.

In the same vein, if I REALLY want to be challenged and learn a lot, I'd do the NYT or W-Post puzzles, neither which I'm ready for... There have been days where I was frustrated by the LAT puzzle and LET it affect my self-esteem and mood, which I know is wrong... However, I still respect the constructor's work, and wouldn't begrudge the other solvers that enjoy the challenge. Who knows, the next day might be a puzzle full of clues that are gimmes for me, and stumpers to many others on the blog! :-)

Chickie said...

Hello All--I had the same "troubles" others had today, but didn't have time to finish the puzzle in one sitting. After putting it down for a few hours, I went back and almost finished the second time around.

I have two very good "old" CW dictionaries that I use all the time. I Google when I can't go any further with the dictionaries. One dictionary today had Galba and the other had Ernani. So tough spots were helped with both those fills.

BB Gun came immediately to mind as my husband still has his boyhood Red Ryder BB Gun. It isn't in very good shape as it was used a lot but it a memory for him. What we keep is sometimes a mystery.

A busy weekend for our household. Have a wonderful Sunday everyone.

windhover said...

Annette, et al,
Re: puzzle difficulty, NYT, etc.
I do the NYT puzzle every day except Saturday, although that will end tomorrow when my no-fault -of -mine divorce from the Lexington Herald-Leader is final. When they carried the LAT, up until a few weeks ago, I rarely bothered with the NYT puzzle. Why? It had nothing to do with difficulty. The LAT is just more fun, better clued, more interesting. As JazzB said earlier, YMMV, but that's the view from here.

Bad girls, good girls, nice girls. The only difference is the payment plan. But worth it at any price.

That sounds like a long, sad story. Love to hear it.

Dennis & Lois:
How much snow? SoCo doing the job?

Annette said...

For those of us that joined more recently, does anyone still have the "MOREL" link...?

Dennis, 7:45 am: I think you missed a spot... ;-)

Andrea: He may be a sleeper, but Quincy's so cuuuuute! I like your term "Alphabet Game" too.

Clear Ayes: Our energy company offers a free audit. I'd like to have it done someday, but haven't yet.

I do remember learning HOMES back in school, but sadly didn't remember it today until C.C. pointed it out.

Chickie said...

Forgot. JD I'm sorry that you are under the weather today. Try a Hot Toddy. They do it for me.

Lois I loved your take on the Prom. Limos were unheard of when I was in high school. We actually WALKED to my senior prom from our house to the gym at school--along with two other couples and had a great time doing it.

Dennis said...

WH, it's keeping me warm. As far as the snow, as Lois would say, it's only a few inches; child's play.

Annette, I'll certainly try to do a better job.

JD said...

LOL! Most everyone seems to "do it" after proms now-a-days. Chickie, I'm sure that is NOT what you meant.

Clear Ayes said...

Chickie my friend, you can't get away with anything around here.

This week seems to have been a particularly bright, amusing and fact-filled one. I didn't think it was possible, but I'm enjoying the blog more and more all the time.

lois said...

Chuck OTW: I've worked cattle too, but mostly it was a lot of bull in Ok. Where do you live now? So glad you are here.

JD, Carol: Holy Hotwick! How could anyone forget the MOREL...
the Dennis emblem. LMAO! Thanks for pointing that one out.

JD: I bet your daughter was beautiful...and a girl after my own heart. Cowboy boots at the prom! Absolutely love it! Got a picture by chance? I hope she had a wonderful, memorable time.

Dick: Thank you. You are as integral to this group as I am. The 3 D', Dennis and Drdad (I miss him). I'll never forget the anagram you did of Lois to 'soil' response was something like: "You nailed me: old as dirt, rich and fertile." You were the first to nail me here. It was truly a memorable experience and hilarious! I would LOVE to meet you someday. Email me your address. I go to PA periodically and could easily work it out. I'll make it happen...even if I have to ride my horse...or cowboy.

Dennis: thank you as well. What can I say? You are phenomenal...
utterly amazing in so many ways.. 'morel' character being one and of course who could forget your excellent thumb measurements! What a prize you are!

Lemonade: you are welcome. I enjoy your posts very much. You add so much to this blog. As for the beach? Where and when? I'm up!

Chickie: Bussing pretty much stopped the walking to any school.. and it stopped parent involvement which really took a toll. I'd love to see parents at the prom. 'I bet' that rated PG would be as risque as dancing would get.

Wh: Let's see. Snow = 8 inches. Like Dennis said, it's only a few inches - child's play. (love that!) Soco? not enough! Still counting! good times!

Lemonade714 said...

The pier at Atlantic tomorrow at 8:30 am; all are welcome, it was in the 80's here today.

WH, as with most of my life; many stories and sad and happy spread all over them.

Good noght all

Annette said...

Imagine the fun we'd have at a Crossword Corner Blog Conference!

I think Vegas is probably the only city that could handle this DF-minded group...

PJB-Chicago said...

Visiting very late to report that I got out of my early snit and finished the puzzle!

Are the lights still on at the late night cafe?

Amazing what a cup of java and a brisk walk will do! The SNOWGLOBE, RESCUE PARTY and PROMDATEs were inspired, and I can't wait for Jessica GALBA's next movie! §

Loved the prom stories. Lois, you're a gem. If you ever get to Chicago, I'm finding you a stage. And a microphone.

Speaking of things comedic, and a stage, I did tonight a brief recap of my prior rant on the Dr.'s intrusive "intake form" and my complete awkwardness answering the drugs/sex/alcohol and "what did your grandmother die of" questions. The piece played quite well, although I had to juice it up a little. People now suspect I'm more worldy than I actually am! Based on comments after the act, it turns out that many people just put question marks or leave blank spaces on those darn medical questionnaires. That never even occurred to me! Next time faced with such forms, I'm using roman numerals and answering in Latin! Or naughty Swedish...

PJB-Chicago said...

¡¡ I now know I just surpassed the lifetime limit on using exclamation points in a single post. Mea culpa!!

Truth is, I almost stabbed my lovely prom date in the, um, chest trying to pin her corsage on. The zipper broke on my rented tux, the brake on the car was being skittish, we got lost, my ex-girlfriend stole her purse, and three people [not us] got scary sick from the seafood salad. The photographer was drunk off his buttoot (sp?) and not a single picture turned out. Maybe that's not a bad thing. I had good hair then, though.

The last time I googled the woman I was "seeing" then in '79, she was living five miles from me, and unmarried, but seeking love on two singles' websites. I blame myself for traumatizing her so much that she had to wait 30 years before hitting the dating circuit again!

Chickie said...

OOPs, better check my preview window a little closer. JD, might have known that you'd pick up on my er-slip!

PJB, Yes, the lights are still on, at least at this late night cafe. Your post was so much fun to read tonight. Did all that really happen at only one prom? Poor fella.

Otis said...

Oops, sorry: Post one:

First, apologies for my first post being negative, and apologies to brad for a very, very clever puzzle - it is not your fault I am not going to win any solving contests. Ditto for typing error in book list, although I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a “Calving and Hobbes” title existed ‘round these parts - you might wanna check with them in the know find out. We got three farmin’ and ranchin’ folks in our big ol’ three congressional seats.

Thanks for the welcome of a (relatively young? - don’t feel it) curmudgeon. Are hermitic, antisocial, and blithering idiots as welcome? I might have found a place to hang out.

I started to create a blogger profile to ask questions from the comments in the past couple of days, like what is “?-spot” - I don’t recall the letters now, but “g” was one (I assumed google), but I have no clue as to what the other letters represented. Ditto “DF” yesterday (Annette?) and other random stuff. I think “perps” is perpendiculars, but which? Aren’t across and up/down equal, or is one supposed to be solved first? What is the “red-letter” thing?

Otis said...

SORRY again, especially to the constructor.

While I’ve been doing random crosswords (and other puzzles) for a long time, I’ve usually been a non-owning participant. As in: growing up, my dad did the puzzles in the family newspaper before he went to fit pipes at a refinery, and when I worked there and many other placesa few of us made copies of a newspaper’s crossword, and I tried to make a go of it from my photocopy, not always being able to see the following day’s answers. Years of coffee shop, library, and other semi-pilfered sources followed. For the past seven years, however, I’ve “owned” about a 1/3 percent supply of the L.A. Times crossword in lengthy stretches here and there.

The problem I have with the puzzles today is that the earlier crossword props were static - old school - and, as such, didn’t seem as diverse. The tools? A dictionary or an encyclopedia - static. An atlas - static. A Rand McNally road map collection - static. And, the biggest cheat of all - the last to reference - the crossword dictionary - static. Now, with the G-spot, the second I hit the computer, I feel like I failed. Why is this? It is so much faster with so many more possibilities (and cheats???) that the answer seems the quest, whereas before, the knowledge (and the much more time-consuming effort to gain it), seemed to be the quest... As I mostly have not had internet access and have owned a television for six months of my adult life, I am rather limited in certain areas of knowledge. With the internet, I remember much less from searches. I guess I just like the vocabulary-based puzzles the best...

Why is Sunday so enjoyable? Yes, it is midweek level often, but not really. It often is so big and diverse that a person can keep getting answers as the day progresses and the mind flexes. I suppose this week, I was somewhat spoiled by Thursday and Friday puzzles, in that over course of the day, they substantially emerged. (The time listed in my first post for today was not consecutive, it was a bunch of ten minute (or more?) concerted efforts. I probably should have tried harder and accepted google efforts - I usually do by Thursday/Friday). Sorry.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Welcome! All those Perps, DF, and G-spot terms are coined by Dennis. He should be able to explain to you later. If you solve LA Times puzzle on line, your letters will appear red if they are wrong. Hence, red-letter help. I am coping this post to Sunday Comments also.

Chuck of the West said...


I'm in Santa Fe, NM. We had horses and helped out on friends ranches in the region, but the cattle business has taken a dive, and we weren't riding the horses, so we sold them. I still shoot that cowboy stuff (photos) whenever I get the chance, and am working on my cowboy photo book, as we speak. More info at: