Apr 19, 2010

Monday April 19, 2010 Mike Peluso

Theme: Fantasy Baseball Players - Common phrases are humorously interpreted and clued as if they were baseball players.

20A. San Francisco players not paying attention?: SLEEPING GIANTS. San Francisco Giants. NL West.

25A. Minnesota players from old Bangkok?: SIAMESE TWINS. Minnesota Twins. AL Central.

49A. Anaheim players tripping over their own feet?: FALLEN ANGELS. Anaheim Angels, or rather Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. So awkward. AL West.

57A. Pittsburgh players from old Algiers?: BARBARY PIRATES. Pittsburgh Pirates. NL Central.

Ha ha, no AL/NL East is represented. Loved the theme. Very creative.

Two more baseball references:

35A. DH's stats: RBIS.

12D. Throws wide of the base, say: ERRS.

Besides my beloved Minnesota Twins, Mike also gave us my hometown XI'AN (18A. Central Chinese tourist city) and ANG (40D. Director Lee). Ang Lee is from Taiwan. Ang is simply spelled as An (meaning "peace") in Mandarin Chinese, just like the An in Xi'An.

Also, An/Ang is spelled as Ahn in Korean, like Philip Ahn, the "Kung Fu" actor, who stumps many solvers every time he appears in our puzzle.


1A. Anti-fur org.: PETA. They sure hate Anna Wintour.

5A. Ambassador's forte: TACT.

9A. Eggs on: URGES.

14A. Oft-palmed cards: ACES. Ah, this could be clued as baseball related too.

15A. Prefix with cultural: AGRI.

16A. H.H. __: author known as Saki: MUNRO. I only know his alias name Saki, which appears in our puzzle often.

17A. Conks: BOPS.

19A. Tall tale tellers: LIARS. Triple alliteration.

23A. Haberdashery accessory: TIE TAC.

24A. URL ending for 52-Across: EDU. And 52A. Longhorn State sch.: TCU.

32A. Hot time in Alsace: ÉTÉ. Summer in French. We also have IDÉE (22D. __ fixe: obsession).

36A. Artist M.C. known for illusionary work: ESCHER. Here is his "Drawing Hands" again.

37A. Snacks at the bar: NUTS.

39A. Robert E. Lee's org.: CSA.

41A. Classify: SORT.

42A. African with pierced lips: UBANGI. New word to me. Man, Painful to look.

45A. Terminates: ENDS.

48A. iPhone, e.g.: PDA.

53A. Word in an oxymoronic Michael J. Fox movie title: FUTURE. From his film "Back to the Future".

62A. Omega's opposite: ALPHA. Greek alphabet.

63A. Eye, on the Eiffel Tower: OEIL. As in the illusional Trompe L'oeil. French for "trick the eye".

64A. Anchovy containers: TINS. Salty, salty!

65A. Trig function: COSEC.

66A. Double Dutch need: ROPE.

67A. Slurpee alternative: ICEE.

68A. Adjust a little: TWEAK.

69A. Overwhelms: AWES.

70A. Crows' cries: CAWS. CC alliteration.


1D. Blue Ribbon brewer: PABST.

2D. Bacteria in rare meat: ECOLI. In veggies too. Like the spinach scare a couple of years ago. Terrifying!

3D. Plains dwelling: TEPEE.

4D. Balance sheet heading: ASSETS.

5D. Hack with a meter: TAXI CAB.

6D. Backwoods "anti": AGIN. Opposite "Fer".

7D. Jagged rock: CRAG.

8D. Faint hues: TINGES.

9D. Mötley Crüe duo?: UMLAUTS. The two diacritical dots above Mötley Crüe.

10D. Destroy: RUIN.

11D. Pesky biter: GNAT.

13D. Sailor's "Mayday!": S-O-S.

21D. Duo: PAIR.

26D. Voice amplifier, briefly: MIC.

27D. German steelworks town: ESSEN.

28D. English johns, briefly: WC'S.

29D. Chain restaurant with a blue roof: I-HOP.

30D. Dweeb: NERD.

31D. Mlle., in Barcelona: SRTA.

32D. A sufficient amount, in slang: ENUF. Quite a few abbreviations in this grid.

33D. Oompah brass: TUBA.

34D. List shortener. Abbr.: ET AL..

38D. NBC show where Chase, Belushi, Radner at al, got their big breaks: SNL.

43D. Recoup: GET BACK.

44D. Machu Picchu builder: INCA. Both Sallie & Clear Ayes have been there.

46D. Makes dirty: DEFILES.

47D. Derogatory remark: SLUR.

50D. __ borealis: AURORA.

51D. Radio interference: STATIC.

54D. City on the Erie Canal: UTICA.

55D. Take again, as vows: RENEW.

56D. Mountain curves: ESSES.

57D. Huff and puff: BLOW. Rhyme.

58D. Church section: APSE.

59D. Emu cousin of South America: RHEA. Both flightless.

60D. Cry of pain: "YEOW!".

61D. Sherlock Holmes's smoke: PIPE.

62D. Perform: ACT.

Answer grid.

Argyle & C.C.


Dennis said...

Good morning, Argyle, C.C. and gang - a definite speed run this morning, right at 4 minutes. Clever theme, good Monday clues. Not much on which to comment.

Today is Patriots Day and National Garlic Day.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions." -- Alfred Adler

And some Fun Facts on Language:

- Amen is the same in more languages than any other word. Taxi is second.

- There are more than 500 words for macaroni in Italian.

- The French word for walkie-talkie is talkie-walkie.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Here you go again, with your fast time. I sure don't want to solve my Sunday puzzle with you. Taxi is called Taxi in China too.

Hmmm, I've never solved puzzles in bed. Always on our kitchen table.

Seed entry unusually refers to one or two of the constructor's original theme inspiration. I suspect today's is FALLEN ANGLES. By the way, Gong Xi, Gong Xi means "Congratulations", not "Brava Zulu".

Dennis said...

C.C., Sunday puzzles are to be savored; Monday puzzles lend themselves to speed by their simplicity.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, CC. This puzzle was just custom made for you! Not only was it a Baseball Theme (which I loved), by also include your home town (XI'AN) and your home team (MINNESOTA [SIAMESE] TWINS).

This was a pretty easy puzzle (I had to go back to read some of the clues that had already been filled in). Still, there were some fun clues. I loved seeing BOPS for Conks.

Does Double Dutch refer to jump rope? I had ROPE filled in, but an not sure what it really means.

In honor of Saki (aka 16A) here are today's QOD:

The cook was a good cook, as cooks go; and as good cooks go, she went. ~ Saki

We all know that Prime Ministers are wedded to the truth, but like other married couples they sometimes live apart. ~ Saki

Dennis said...

Hahtool, double dutch involves two jump ropes, turning in opposite directions. Looks very challenging.

windhover said...

Kitchen table is fine with me. Like other solvers here, I sometimes prefer to do the Downs first.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Yeah, this puzzle made me happy. What's the significance with your avatar today?

I always start properly, with One Across, but then I jump around. I do find the lower part easier. By the way, JD loves Downs because her surname is Downs.

Dick said...

Good morning Cc and All,a typical Monday puzzle today. No outside help needed and like Hahtool several of the perps were filled by the time I got to their clue.

Just got back from a very fruitless trip to plant trees. I picked up the trees Friday and then the rain, snow and cold moved in and I was not able to get any of the trees in the ground. Plan B calls for hiring the planting done this year. Oh well so goes tree farming.

I also like to do it on the kitchen table.

Hope you all have a great Monday.

tfrank said...

Good morning, early birds,

A new record for me this morning: 12 minutes online. Like others, when I finished, I had to go back and read the clues for a lot of words already filled in. The theme was clever and appropriate for the season.

I forgot about Patriots Day. It is Boston Marathon Day, I believe. I never watched it when I lived there, for some reason.

Enjoy your day.

koufaxmaravich said...

Happy Monday, CC, Argyle and All.

Straightforward Monday puzzle - cute baseball theme. Was waiting for "cursed ny players" = damn yankees.

Nice to see cosec(ant) and umlauts.

Enjoy the day.

Argyle said...

Good Morning, Everybody.

I have to thank C.C. for doing the blog today, due to Cruciverb being down again and my having a long weekend, but I couldn't have picked a better puzzle to bail out on. This was tailored-made for C.C.; I couldn't have done it the justice she did.

I will say I thought it one of the best Mondays in a long while.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Without your ground work, I would not have finished the write-up in time. Agree that it's one of the best Mondays we've had.

Thanks for the JEALOUSY explanation yesterday. Now, what's the difference between "jealous" and "envious"? Also, the black squares in the two 14-letter theme entries theoretically are not cheater/helper squares, right?

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Put me in the "Speed Run" column for this one, despite the presence of UBANGI, COSEC and OEIL.

Looks like are vacation plans are definitely going to be canceled at this point. The volcano is still spewing ash, and even if it were to miraculously stop in the next day or so, my wife is too nervous to even consider flying at this point. We might try to reschedule for sometime in the Summer (perhaps in the end of July when our son's daycare is taking their vacation), but it will be significantly more expensive. One of the main reasons I planned the trip when I did was because it was the off season. We'll see...

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of CC throughout the entire puzzle. Some days I wonder if the constructors read our blogs and purposely put in these clues to entertain us. Loved BOPS also. What a fun one, for me also as I am such a huge Twins fan. However, it was not quite the speed run for me as it was for Dennis and others. With fills like OEIL, UBANGI, et. al. it slowed me down a little. In the end it all came through though. Great Monday puzzle.

Went to see the Twins yesterday on a gorgeous day. Couldn't have had a better start to the opening of the stadium. Sadly, it wasn't their best showing but a spectacular time was had by all anyway. We were just 3 rows up from the field, and so fun to see the players almost right next to you. Fabulous stadium. We have much to be proud of. Every team is entitled to a bad day once in a while I guess.

Back To the Future will always have a special place in my heart. All those shenanigans take place on our wedding day (the date appears in the clock in the car).

Barry, so sorry to hear that the trip is lost. I do hope that you reschedule. Travel is such a rewarding and fun opportunity.

Lastly, thanks all for the well wishes for my son. Likely I won't be around the next few days. We will be inundated with some doctors visits. Tomorrow he has to have a sleep deprived EEG - can only sleep 4 hours the evening before. How sleep deprived do you think us as parents will be? Everyone have a great Monday.

ARBAON said...

KQ: Just fyi...but I`ve been doing some reading which suggests that 3-D movies,tv shows, games might, in some cases trigger seizures. Could be worth checking.

Jeannie said...

Unlike many of you I had trouble with this puzzle. First of all I am not a baseball fan so that was a challenge in itself. I did think of you C.C. with Xian and this being baseball themed. I had to hit the g-spot for Escher and Munro, and perp help included oeil and rhea. Can someone explain to me “English johns”-WC’s? My favorite clue was “double dutch need” – rope. Believe it or not my sister and I could “double dutch”. The hardest part was operating the ropes.

Warren I am glad you and your friends enjoyed the tetrazzini.

WH I do it on my desk at work.

ARBAON said...

KQ:...also...strobe lights...

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang, I agree that today's was typically easy. I recognized Xian only after we got the i, doh!

For Jeannie: WC is short for water closet,or loo, or john...

Hahtoolah said...

WC = water closet.

CC: my avatar is because today is Israel's Memorial Day. Tomorrow is Israel's independence day

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone.

Jeannie, WC stands for water closet, and the term WC is used in Europe very often. In my experience, a WC has only the toilet, no sink, no tub, no anything. In Vienna we had a WC and the tub was in the kitchen!

Have a great day everybody. I'm off on my volunteer work.


Warren said...

Oh and Jeannie, one more thing about the Tetrazzini - it worked out well at the pot luck only because there was so much other food there. If we make it again I'll increase the amount of meat from 1.25 lb to perhaps twice as much. We had it for lunch and found that we were hungry again before dinner -- I think that was due to the low percentage of meat vs. pasta.

How much meat do you buy to get up to 3 cups full?


Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Easy Monday. Like C.C. my hometown UTICA is in the solve, too. Several French words today. No erasures or searches. Nice theme.

Vergessen das ESSEN!

Low German has lots of UMLAUT duos:

Some examples

Düütsch = German
Müüs = mice
gröön = green
Rööv = turnip
Tüüg = clothes
sööt = sweet

Can't think of any examples of standard German having this type of orthography. Maybe Kazie can.


kazie said...

Nice easy Monday, even for a non-sports fan, those theme expressions just fell into place.

My only hangup was misspelling RHIA because I had COSIN and BANK instead of BACK, all of which took a while to iron out. Meantime I got my fill of African lip piercings, looking for the blank in UBAN-I, yuch!

I liked seeing XI'AN, and also wondered if it was there with C.C. in mind.

Good luck with everything over the next few days. I hope you get some answers.

Keep an eye out for new discount specials in flights. They might be hungry for extra business after this hiatus is over. That might do away with the difference between high and shoulder season prices.

kazie said...

No, I've never seen any written out like that, but the way the Saxons pronounce things would sure explain a need for them!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I smiled a lot at this puzzle. I'm with Hahtool. It was a home run for C.C., the TWINS (plus all the other team references) and XI'AN.

My sister is a very good artist and has done (actually been paid for) quite a few Trompe d'OEIL murals.

Sorry, C.C. Machu Pichu wasn't me. I have a good friend who wanted me to go with her, but my work schedule at the time prevented me from joining her.

With about a half-dozen little girl cousins close to my age, we played a lot of hop-scotch, jacks and jumped a lot of ROPE, including double-dutch. We never tried anything like this!

Windhover, Thanks to you, I can see the way today's comment are going.

JD, be very, very careful! :o)

Barry G., what a disappointment. Kazie may be right and airlines could have some summer sales to get people back in the air.

KQ, Keep us posted on the test results.

windhover said...

So do I, but I'm self employed.

CC started it, I'm just a bystander.

Dennis said...

Jeanie, yes, doing it on the desk at work was always fun, but there were time constraints. Now I like doing it on the dock in the morning.

Windhover, the day you're an innocent bystander, I'm the Queen of England.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Cute puzzle, lot's of fun and a great theme. And, as was pointed out, tailor made for C.C.

Got hung up in the top and bottom middle. Wanted MULTI for AGRI, and it doesn't even fit. TACT? What is that?

Yow, YEOW looks wrong. I wanted YELP. Don't like the cross with OEIL, which makes my eyes cross, and that makes me cross.

Double Dutch is a lunch date where each pays for the other's meal. Evidently, one has to get ROPED into it.

My son-in-law has to have shoulder surgery in a couple weeks. We'll be getting up early tomorrow to run Em to and from pre-school while he has some pre-surgery testing.

Shouldn't interfere with puzzledom too much.

Cleaned out a closet this morning. Seems a lot of my old suits and slacks have shrunk over the years.

JzB the not skinny trombonist

Jazzbumpa said...

Yep, desk and table are both fine places. I also like doing it on the couch.

Dock sounds a bit risky. You can get splinters in your bum.

Would it be out of place to add that trombonists do it in 7 positions?

JzB innocent trombonist

carol said...

Hi all: Some of you speed solvers must have very good hand/eye coordination!! I finally decided to time myself - I print the puzzle and use pen...14 minutes was the best I could manage. Reading the clue is fine, but sometimes going back and forth to find the corresponding squares is difficult for my eyes.

Loved the Double Dutch clue/answer. I remember seeing the double ropes but I could never do that.

Dick, I applaud you (and others) who do it on the kitchen table. I have heard of that before but it seems it would be so uncomfortable :0

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain why TCU is correct for the Longhorn State sch.?
TCU is the Hornfrogs.
University of Texas at Austin is the Longhorns.

Clear Ayes said...

National Garlic Day? Sounds good. Any "heavy on the garlic" recipes, Jeannie?

I've been speechless since yesterday evening. (A horrible state for me!) I had a little bit of a sore throat, but that is gone and all that is left is a voice that sounds voice, except for a few squeeks and growls.

I've been looking up laryngitis treatments online and oddly, sucking on sliced garlic is one of them. I don't think I'll go for that one. Ginger tea sounds pretty good to me.

Maybe all that singing at the yard sale caused it. Four members of our chorus contributed to the sale and we spent time between customers riffling through a crate of old sheet music and singing all the ones we knew.

Except for the laryngitis, we had a great time. The weather was fabulous and I made a few bucks to boot.

Jerome said...

C.C.- I don't read Jealousy and Envy as exactly the same thing. The former implies intolerance, the latter, resentment.

The black square at the end of GIANTS and in front of BARBARY are not cheaters, or "helpers" as Rich likes to call them. A cheater can be removed. You cannot remove a black square at the front or end of a 14 letter entry in a 15x puzzle.

And speaking of BARBARY, I hear

Jerome said...

carol- About a year ago I had a Monday puzzle in the LAT that a speed solver did in a little over two minutes. It took me just under three minutes and I wrote it!

Crockett1947 said...

Anonymous @11:55 The Longhorn state is Texas. TCU is in Texas. Ergo...

carol said...

Jerome, do you know the secret?

CA: Hope you get your voice back soon!! I have not had that problem in dogs years but I'll be there are times when others wish I would have - LOL. The yard sale sounds like it was fun, never have heard of one with singers but I am sure everyone enjoyed it, I'm sure it perked up things, might have even made for more sales.

KQ: wishing all the very best outcome for your son. I know it can be so hard waiting for information as to what the causes are and what can be done. Please keep us posted.

Gunghy said...

I agree with Carol, no mistakes, no real pauses and it still took me at least 10 minutes. I don't time, but my daughters stereo went through 3 songs as I finished it. Dennis, do you work the x-word online??

I knew ubangi. A class bully used to call me ubangi lips in grade school. My head grew to fit my lips, he just grew. Last time I saw him, he was well over 300 lbs and worn out from taking the escalator. QOD people, who said, 'The best revenge is living well'??

Also, I loved Saki's humor in high school and read everything I could find by him. Munro was easy.

I did try to dismiss FALLEN ANGELS because of tripPING. Past vs present. Perps quickly corrected me.

OK, all you Easterners (that's anyone that's not left of nevada)!! I started the negotiations with CC and just because you're done doing it before my sun rises doesn't mean you can horn in before I even arouse.

CC, my dining room table is an antique, so it's rather shaky to do it on. However, the breakfast bar is not only sturdy, but also of a height where you can do it while leaning against it or while sitting in a very comfortable stool. My dock is made of trex, no splinters; but it is scheduled for another 12-20 inches of snow tomorrow. (And the ski resort just closed) There is a much lower lake and you might find it fun to do one under sail.

Across is nice, down is great, but I try to start in the NW corner with 1A or 1D and then fill in only words with a perp in them. I call it keeping connected. I've managed it with a Weds. puzzle, but so far no further into the week.

Have a great rest of your day.

Chickie said...

Hello All--C.C., I thought about you as I filled in the puzzle today. It certainly was "down your alley".

I didn't have any trouble today, as many have already stated. Any "unknowns" were quickly filled in with perps.

National Garlic Day is a bit early in the season for our area. We have the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival in our area. It is in July this year. Garlic ice cream, garlic cookies, and garlic everything! It is VERY well attended.

CA, I'm sorry that you are suffering with no voice today. When I was teaching, I had frequent bouts of laryngitis. There isn't any real cure, only resting the voice. That is hard to do sometimes.

Dennis said...

Gunghy, that would be George Herbert; it's one of my favorite quotes.

I do the puzzle in the paper; my online time would be slower.

Argyle said...

HELP! Somebody explain 'cheater' squares again. I thought if it could be removed and not change the word count, it was a cheater. An exemption might be the center square of a black block cross?

Chickie said...

Carol, Double Dutch is another things that neither of us could do well. I got so tangled up that I resorted to being the turner. That I did very well. I still marvel at the people who can jump in, and never miss a beat.

CA, I thought about you last evening while attending a fabulous Choral concert by the San Francisco Bay Area Chamber Choir in the old Mission San Jose church. The 200+ year old church has been beautifully restored, and the small venue with fabulous accoustics made for a wonderful evening.

Our paper this morning had an article about our Los Gatos High School band, orchestra, and color guard. They had to change planes in Germany, after a tour in Italy, and are stuck in Munich. They have been there four days and are loving it!! Luftansa and the tour company have been marvelous to them. As they were waiting to go to a local hotel, the kids played at the airport to while away the time and found themselves on German National TV.

Tinbeni said...

C.C. as I was filling in your beloved XI'AN, the History Channel was showing the Terra Cotta warriors.
Kind of a karma moment.

Half-cup solve, no idea how long that is but probably about as fast as I could write.

Jerome: re your 3 min.puzzle, that was a ROFLMAO moment.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Spitzboov et al,
From today's constructor Mike Peluso:

"I wanted to make a baseball-themed puzzle. The FALLEN ANGELS type of theme wasn't my first choice, but Rich liked it best, so I chose that one. DRAFT DODGERS, ANCIENT MARINERS, LONE RANGERS and PAPER TIGERS were some of my other considerations.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Your definition on cheater/helper square is basically correct. Those blocks with the theme entries are exceptions, from What Jerome (and Barry Silk) said. You just can't remove them. They are the first things constructors put in the puzzle and are fixed.

You sound like a fun guy to solve a puzzle with.

Hahtool said...

I solve the puzzle on the kitchen table, but sometimes, if it is a nice day, I'll do it in the back yard. The hedges make for some privacy.

Thanks for the link of the double dutch jump roping. Wow! Not something I could have done even when I was young!

C.C. Burnikel said...

I hope you can find the answer grid for this Barry Silk puzzle. I asked him about the black squares under OSS (13D) and above COMB (32D). Here is his reply:

"In this case, I'd say no. The reason is that the themed answers are 14 letters long and therefore those black squares are necessary. Let's say there was a black square in the "62" square (and a corresponding black square in the "9" square). In that case, it would be a cheater square since no themed answer was involved."

eddyB said...


Was tired of waiting for Cruciverb
to come up. Went to Fredericksburg
to down-load the grid at 9PM local time.
Definately a speed run.
Just caught the story on WCCO about it raining laptops. The kid was lucky.


Argyle said...

So today's cheater squares are
above 31Down and below 32Down, correct?

Lucina said...

Good day, C.C.everyone.

Luckily this was an easy fill, about 12 minutes, after coming home as I had some medical tests to attend to and rose much earlier than usual.

Even though sports was the theme, I enjoyed it because it was amusing and I thought of you, C.C. the minute I hit Xian and how you love sports.

Hack with a meter, TAXI and hot time in Alsace, ETE were fun. Motley Crue duo didn't fool me this time, nor did Saki.

I have an old clip board which belonged to my stepfather and I sit on a chair by the window where there is good light. Both up and down suit me.

KQ please do keep us posted on any progress.

Clear Ayes, that sounds like such a fun sale!

Hahtool, that last quote is priceless.

I hope you are having a great Monday.

hahtool said...

Not only has the volcano disrupted Barry G's plans, but there have been other unintended consequences of the eruption as well. Dod you know, for instance that the prime minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg is stuck in NYC, so is governing his country with an ipad?

There are also expected to be food and flower shortages in Europe because some of these items do not survive slower forms of transportation, such as ships and trains.

The Boston Marathon, which is being run even as I tyoe, is missing some anticipated runners because they couldn't cross the pond. And European soccer games hare being postponed, horror of horrors!

Which leads me to my last comment. Apparently, some people believe that the volcano looks like Edvard Munch's painting The Scream, which is thought to have been inspired by the red skies caused by the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in 1883!

Bob said...

Easy 10 minute puzzle. No real challenges today. Also, easy theme.

Anonymous said...

ARBAON - thanks for the info. I am aware of that. However, he was at work at a meat market, so that really wouldn't have been a consideration this time around. He worked right after school. He really doesn't have too much time to be in front of screens - except the computer of course which he needs often for homework.

As for doing the puzzle, I really like best to print it out and do it in pen - the kitchen table usually, but the couch at night or even in bed if I don't get her done in the am. I do it on the computer if I am short on time, but not my preferred method.

As for testing tomorrow, my quick research tells me that we are unlikely to find out much. Most seizures go undiagnosed as to the cause. They just need to be controlled by medication generally. We just want him to be able to live his life as normally as possibly. He seemed to be doing pretty well until I had to pick him up today after school. Quite sad about not driving now. I am sure we will see lots of ups and downs on this journey.

Jerome said...

carol- Speed solvers practice, practice,and then practice some more. They even know the quickest way to write a letter. For example, they make a T with one stroke instead of stopping to cross it. They can even 'sense' how an area of the grid is developing word-wise. They also have an uncanny ability to see multiple clues at one time and keep them sorted out in their mind.

Even more amazing than my story is one that took place at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. A constructor, whose name I forget, memorized every entry in his puzzle and exactly where in the grid it was. In a race with a speed solver the constructor won by only 15 seconds or so! The speed solver had never seen the puzzle before!

Argyle- Today's puzzle has no cheater squares.

Argyle said...

Jerome, could you point some out to me then?

Buckeye said...

Guday,all. Thought of c.c. immediately with this c/w. Twins, baseball and Xian. I got homesick for my "blogies". A fun and easy Monday.

A lot has happened since last I eloquateded. I still don't get 'cheater squares", but will look it up.

CA, my sister. Take care of that beautiful, dulcet voice. It sings in my heart.

Barry; Hope you and the family can get your trip worked out. If not, plan a beautiful July ski trip in Williston, North Dakota. Talk about saving money....

KQ: Hope things work out well with your son. I've been working on some heart problems and I KNOW your Doctors are better than mine. Just stay positive.

Believe it or not, I do it in my bed, on my back with a book as a backstop. Try it - you'll like it.

I'll relate my last month with Dr. Feelgood and my "pump" at a later date. Don't want to get too verbose.

I must be off!

Jerome said...

Argyle- If you go back on this site to Dan's puzzle on Friday the 16th you'll find two cheaters. One is next to square numbered 7. The other is its symmetrical counterpart next to square numbered 62. As you can see, if you erase those two black squares the word count in that area stays the same. Dan simply added the cheaters to make the job of filling that section easier. It's a common practice and to use cheaters every now and then is fine. I'm sure adding them was a last resort. By the way, most of the time you'll find cheaters around the perimeter areas of the grid.

I really do prefer Rich's definition of a cheater as a "helper". After all, the constructor's not trying to cheat. They're just looking for some help in a tough area to fill.

Spitzboov said...

Jerome and Argyle

Re: Cheaters. I had the same question. Clear as 'mother's milk' at first but I think I'm getting a bead on it. Will keep digging in to it and the subtleties concerning black squares.

Thanks Jerome

Clear Ayes said...

Brother Buckeye, there must be some kind of genetic psychic connection, I was just thinking about you (honest!). It must be the identical twin thing, except that we aren't the same sex, are different ages and god only knows what our parents were up to, back in the olden days. Don't be too long letting us know how you are.

Al said...

Jerome, If in Dan's Friday puzzle, he had made the words APERSE (A PER SE, A person or thing that is preeminent, or which has unusual merit) and ASTEEP (in hot water, poetically), would that eliminate those two black squares from being counted as "helpers"? (never mind the "quality" of those two replacment words...)

Argyle said...

Ok, Jerome. Now why are the two I mentioned not 'helpers'.

dodo said...

Oh, Buckeye, You're back! Hooray! Things just haven't been the same without you! And you missed a lot unless you've been reading the blog. I'll leave it to the others to bring you up to date. Please hang in here with us!

dodo said...

I'm not sure Gunghy knows the secret.

JD said...

Good afternoon CC and all,

Cool theme! Enjoyed both the used and unused "teams", Mike. It took my mind off of hockey; I'm so glad nobody here is a zealous AV's fan.What a horrible ending to a very exciting 0-0 game. Our player made their goal:(

CC, this c/w must have been made just for you.

Escher is one of my favorite artists and my art class loved designing tesselations.

When Munroe filled itself in, I mistakenly thought he was the author of Ferdinand, but that was M. Leaf.

I loved Double Dutch, but didn't like turning the ropes. Then I graduated to the Hoola Hoop.Wish I had more of that hip action today.

The kitchen table sounds like a great place to do a crossword; not so enamored of doing it on the deck- too windy.Carol, I think it all depends on the correct posture. You wouldn't want to end up with a backache.Oops, I'm on my way to the chiropractor..

CA, I had that dang laryngitis a few months ago, and I really could not talk for 4 days, and then my throat felt awful for weeks. Bob was thrilled.Doctor told me not to whisper.Did I say Bob was thrilled?

Gunghy said...

Dodo, you're right, all I know are secretions.

carol said...

Buckeye, so glad you escaped from nurse Ratchett long enough to visit us!! Please do provide us with details of your 'bout' with your favorite Dr. ;0

Gunghy: you naughty boy, you fit right in here. I'll bet you do it on your boat.

JD: Should I be at a right angle???

Jerome said...

Argyle- Because they HAVE to be there. You can't leave a blank space at the end of ....GIANTS or the front of BARBARY....

Al- I think you've got the cheaters wrong. One is at the end of SPAT. The other is in front of ESSE. (oops, I mean helpers). Are you sure you're looking at Dan's grid from Friday the 16th?

dodo said...

Whoever posted that website for the article about pandas getting an F rating, would you please post it again, or email it to me? I tried to email it to a friend and somehow wiped it our completely, even from my 'sent' and 'deleted' files. Apparently it's lost forever and I haven't been able to find it in the archives or to google it. I can't seem to get the keyword. Please help! Thanks.

Al said...

Jerome, right puzzle, I just thought that if you got rid of the squares that are adjacent to the helpers instead of the helpers themselves, that would make it so that they become necessary to separate the words. But now I think I see the flaw in that. The two black ones I filled in would not have any crossing words, so they could only be solved one way. That probably isn't allowed, right? Is there a rule that states that all "lit" squares must be part of both an across and a down word?

Tinbeni said...

Argyle: I remember once asking you "what is a cheater square" and you explained it very well to me.

Now, after reading the comments here, I know why my avatar is what it is.

Conumdrums do that to me sometimes.

Therefore, it is now time to say cheers!

Jerome said...

Al- Yes. In an American style crossword all letters must be part of both an across and down word.

JD said...

Jeez Buckeye, we are all relieved to hear from you. Didn't you hear us calling you to come out to play?

Carol, erect, I mean correct.

It puzzles me that it is National Garlic Day. It is neither the shortest day of the year (when it is traditionally planted) nor is it the longest day (when harvested).At our Gilroy Garlic Festival, they have the BEST galic lime calamari ever.I am not a fan of that ice cream..ewwww.

Dick said...

Carol at 6:27, no you should be prone not at an angle.

Jeannie said...

Warren, I usually make turkey tetrazzini after I have baked a turkey and have all the leftover meat. I would suggest that you and your wife buy a Jennie-O turkey breast and bake it ahead of time and use that.

Buckeye, your position on "doing" it sounds comfortable as long as you have the right lighting. I'm not so sure about the book backdrop though. It was very good to hear from you today.

Gunghy, I knew you were being coy.

Dennis, enjoy your morning solve on the deck.

WH, thankfully you are self-employed.

Lemonade, you are silent today. Okay counselor?

CA, most of my recipes involve garlic one way or another. Try to find the tomato/basil pie or screaming heads(brussel sprouts)...they are both packed full of it.

I was wrong on the date of my Mom's surgery. It's Wednesday. I will keep you posted. I am going to visit Memorial Day weekend. I just booked my car-ferry ticket today. I am excited as I haven't been home in two years. Thankfully I have had a sister or two that have come to visit me; but nothing beats shooting the breeze with "Thelms". It always amazes me how much she has "shrunk". I think my Dad is actually taller than her now. That isn't a good thing either.

Argyle said...

Thank you, Al. Once again you have come to my aid and now I understand. Lord knows how many incorrect cheater squares I have counted. It is the same reason the center of a black block cross isn't counted. You can't get a crossword in there.

Anonymous said...

And now to belabor the point...
in this puzzle, Tuesday, April 13, 2010 David W. Cromer, the block in front of 24A/above 31D, and its reciprocal, are cheaters.

Am I correct?

ARBAON said...

Buckeye; Glad to put a name with the mask! Very glad you are back and my guess is you are doing the "crossword" on your back because you are recuperating. Just make sure your Dr. says you`re healthy enough for crosswording.

Jeannie: Having had the surgery your Mom faces (and quite young) I know it doesn`t change your crossword ablities, in fact, you feel more free to do fill-ins than ever before! (sorry I put that image in your mind :) "Thelms" will be fine... My Mom was a mite taller then my Dad also...she used to say, "He stands on his shorter leg to embarrass me!"

carol said...

Dick and JD: Prone and erect???? Well that would make things easier wouldn't it? LOL Gotta be both for easier solving of that wonderful crossword.

Jeannie: nice to talk to you:)
Wish your Mom well for me, let us know how she is doing. We all shrink a bit as we age, I was 5'6" but now am 5'5", not too bad but I can see where this is going. All the more reason to keep those extra pounds off. Hey, crossword solving can be a fun exercise!

Spitzboov said...

anon @ 8:31 said Am I correct?

I vote aye

Jerome said...

Anon and Spitz- Now we're gettin' somewhere! You are correct!

Jeannie said...

A Rose...yea, thanks for that. One could only hope for that long term intimacy. Not that they don't have intimacy. I assure you they do. I have witnessed it both when I was seven and when I was 37and sharing a hotel room. It was just a little different in between the 30yr time span. At 7 I really didn't understand what I walked into. At 37 I realized there were different types of intimacy and what I witnessed touched my heart and soul.

dodo said...

CA, You and Buckeye don't look much alike, either. You're lots prettier!

JD said...

dodo, check your e-mail.I think I found your article.

MR ED said...

Very eazeee! puzzle today. Three minutes and change. Good to see you back Dennis.
Favorite clue was about the siamese cats, and I know the one about Xi'an was a certain someone's fav.

Jeannie said...

Bill G, Irish Jim, what happened to you guys as well. Are you okay?

Counselor??? I may be in some need of well, counseling.

Lo-li-ta. S-O-S.

Bill G. said...

Hi Jeannie, thanks for asking. I'm OK. For whatever reason, I haven't been inspired to comment on anything. Being a west coaster, by the time I've solved the puzzle, everything has been said puzzle-wise. So I look for other stuff to comment on. I'll try to do better about contributing on other stuff.

Here's an e-mail I got from a person who stumbled upon a comment I made on the blog about a week ago.

Re: comment I saw on a crossword blog:
"comprised"  is used two different ways, both considered correct.
See not the best source, but they have the essentials. 
Apparently both these statements would be considered proper:
Many schools comprise the University.
The University comprises many schools. 
The way language usage is going, this and many other questions will soon be moot.

I replied, Right. That was me. The way you see and hear it used most often is 'The University is comprised of many schools.' I think that's considered substandard usage still.

~ Bill

Jeannie said...

BillG, we are a very diverse group here as you can see. I don't give a hoot about "cheater squares" so just read over them...sorry Argyle. Just like some people don't like to read my recipes or CA's poems. There is much more to this blog than just crossword puzzle solving. I have missed your comments and you aren't the only one from your area. Don't fret, and here's a big MN nice-one from Jeannie.

Gunghy said...

Jeannie, I don't think anyone has ever accused me of being coy before. I think it's kind of like when one of my students called me nice a couple of years ago. I knew then it was time to retire.

By the way, I've been wanting to comment on how much I have enjoyed the good grammar and spelling in this blog. I figure it's to be expected in a blog devoted to words, but I'm amazed at what is put out that should have been proofed.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about cheater squares. Not I. Boring.

Jeannie said...

Ghunghy, if that's a shot at me I will take it. OUCH. Sometimes my fingers get the best of me. I have been having trouble with those fingers of mine of late. And here I go thinking I was being nice again acknowledging your acquiesence? (sp)?

C.C. you better re-name me.

I guess Lo-li-ta better fits me than MN nice.

Lucina said...

I'm in the same boat as you, but I enjoy this blog so much; everyone is kind and so smart! And it's about so much more than just xwds.

As for the grammar question you posed: I believe the passive voice is slowly falling into disuse, that would be "the university is comprised of many schools" which I agree with you is correct.

But that is a reality: language is always in flux, consantly changing.

Have a good night, all.

Did everyone enjoy Castle tonight? It was good!!

Gunghy said...

Jeannie, No shots, I am actually trying to learn to be nice. It's just that my personality is such that I've really never been called coy. Loud, obnoxious, rude, self-centered; these are much more likely to be used as descriptors. So if there is anything I type that you might think is offensive, point it out and I will apologize.

The second part was sincere. I've seen a few typos, but everyone here writes enjoyably.