May 29, 2010

Saturday May 29, 2010 Fred Jackson III

Theme: None

Total words: 72

Total blocks: 34

I think this is Fred's first Saturday. He now needs a Sunday to complete his LAT "hitting for the cycle".

Fred places triple stacks of 10's Across on the upper right and lower left corners. Then triple stacks of 9's Down on the upper left and lower right. He has a total of 13 multi-word entries in the grid. My favorite clues today are:

9D. Cell dweller: INMATE. Prison "Cell".

27D. Record holder?: FELON. Criminal record. Got me.


1. Powder holders: KEGS. Gunpowder?

5. Movie warning: PG-THIRTEEN. PG-13. Weird to see the rating spelled out.

15. Elision from Eliza: 'ENRY. Henry Higgins. "My Fair Lady".

16. Unequaled: ONE AND ONLY. Awesome entry.

17. Times when the French fry?: ETES. French for summer. Rich used this clue before.

18. Stern boss: TASK MASTER. Might be Fred's seed entry. I was thinking of Howard Stern and his boss the Sirius Radio.

19. Orphaned author raised by the Allans: POE. Did not know Poe was an orphan.

20. Winter warmer: HOT TEA. And PARKA (49. Winter warmer).

21. __'clock scholar: TEN O'. Ten O'clock scholar is "schoolboy who habitually arrives late". New expression to me.

22. Incomplete rainbow: SUN DOG. Hmm, this is the image of a sun dog to me. The "incomplete rainbow" definition is also new to me.

24. It may be fit for a queen: TIARA. Sweet clue.

26. Dry gulch: ARROYO. Nailed it.

27. Buff: FIEND. Enthusiast.

29. Kit Carson House site: TAOS. Not aware of this trivia.

30. They may come in a pack: LIES. Of course I was thinking of wolves.

32. Verbal flourishes: TADAS

36. "Here __ Again" (Whitesnake #1 hit): I GO

37. Start of a religious title: DALAI. Dalai Lama. Dalai is literally "ocean" in Mongolian. Lama is "guru". The current exile Dalai Lama is the 14th one.

39. Amphibian youngster: EFT

40. Score markings: TEMPI. Plural of tempo. Musical score.

43. When both hands are up: NOON. Oh, clock.

44. Some bank holdings: DATA

45. Club newsletter: ORGAN. No idea. Why? (From Dennis: "Organ'" can be used in describing newsletters from different clubs, a "periodical".)

47. Like some kisses: STOLEN. Sweet clue.

51. "Let's keep moving!": ONWARD

52. Champagne designation: BRUT. Very dry.

53. Tangles, or disentangles: RAVELS. Unravel has the same meaning, right?

57. Year before Columbus's fourth voyage: MDI. 1501. Who knows?

58. California shopping mecca: RODEO DRIVE. Expensive stuff.

60. Penn name: SEAN. Sean Penn. Nice play on "Pen name".

61. "It doesn't get any better than this": I'M IN HEAVEN. Another awesome entry.

62. Pioneering puppeteer Tony: SARG. How quickly have I forgotten his name!

63. Alabama and Mississippi are in it: COTTON BELT. Felt very clever getting one, Rose!

64. Large order: ELKS. The fraternal order. I was thinking of the large manufacturing order.


1. Doesn't quit: KEEPS AT IT. Superb!

2. Posse: ENTOURAGE. Great to see "Posse" used as a clue once.

3. Where one might anticipate being introduced: GREEN ROOM.

4. M.O. : SYS (Sytems). M. O. = Modus Operandi. I got the answer via crosses.

5. Vernacular jackpot: POT O' GOLD. Vernacular because "F" is dropped?

6. No-see-um, e.g.: GNAT. Was stumped last time by the clue.

7. Mike holder's opening, often: TEST. Indeed.

8. Cod cousin: HAKE. Have never heard of the hake fish.

10. Dietary no.: RDA. Recommended Daily or Dietary Allowance. I don't know which one.

11. Fiesta fare: TOSTADA. Looks delicious!

12. Decide to compete: ENTER

13. "Uncle Vanya" role: ELENA. No idea. Only spotted Yelena in this Wikipedia character entry. Are they the same?

14. "Stoned Soul Picnic" songwriter: NYRO (Laura). Can never remember her name.

20. Today, in Tijuana: HOY

23. List of acceptable behavior: DO'S. Do's and Don'ts.

25. 1099-__: bank-issued tax form: INT

28. Five-time Japan Senior Open winner Aoki: ISAO. Ao repetition in both his names.

31. Ending for Louis: IANA. Louisiana. The clue fails to amuse me.

33. Richard Simmons weight-loss program with color-coded cards: DEAL-A-MEAL. Not on my radar.

34. At night: AFTER DARK

35. Sports page feature: STANDINGS. Solid fill!

38. Cheeky: INSOLENT

41. Sign to heed: PORTENT

42. Nettle: IRK

44. Average fellow?: DOW. Dow Jones Average I suppose? Why "fellow"?

46. Party locale: GARDEN

48. Shipping wts.: TNS (Tons)

49. Ad: PROMO

50. Review of books?: AUDIT. Accounting book. Loved the clue.

52. __-a-brac: BRIC

54. __ League: ARAB. Did not come to me immediately.

55. On the qui __: alert: VIVE

56. Big name in jumping: EVEL (Knievel). The daredevil.

59. "Well, well!": OHO

60. 157.5 degrees from N: SSE

Answer grid.



Argyle said...

Oh, Fred!

Good Morning All,

Obfuscating clues and obscure definition entries; I hope you've had a better time than I did.

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang, and happy Memorial Day weekend!

I was gonna hold off on doing today's puzzle until later, but when I saw Fred's name, and all the long stacks, I had to do it now. What a week this has been - not an average one in the lot. Never got a chance to post yesterday, but that was just a great puzzle; loved 'ohm wreckers' and 'ughs and kisses' and the masterful a e i o u progression.

As to today's, of course I loved the long stacks, but I'm also a sucker for clever, misleading cluing, and this one certainly had its share: When both hands are up, Large order, Average fellow, Times when the French fry, Record holder etc. were all outstanding in my opinion. Sundog was the subject of a recent discussion, Tony Sarg and Isao Aoki we've seen before as well. My learning experience for the day included the "Uncle Vanya" role, "Stoned Soul Picnic"songwriter, the year before Columbus' fourth voyage and Elision from Eliza ('enry). Very little crosswordese in this one, which has to be so tough to avoid; great job, Fred!

The weekend here's off to a rainy start, but it's supposed to clear by noon and be sunny and hot (upper 80s) the rest of the holiday weekend. A lot crammed into this one, so I may or may not be around much the next few days, but I hope everyone has a magnificent, fun-filled safe weekend; it's the (unofficial) beginning of the best season of all, SUMMER!

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

Not a lotta time to discuss, but this one nearly did me in. Hard, hard, hard from top to bottom. I finally managed to get through it unassisted, but it was a real challenge. Lots of unknowns and half-remembered answers, plenty of false starts, etc.

Overall, a fun experience. Just very challenging is all.

Argyle said...

Sorry, Fred, just sour grapes on my part.

Al said...

This was really tough for me last night, and I'm not sure why. Lots of wrong guesses throwing me off, I guess, including the very incorrect FAT instead of RDA for "dietary no". I was all set to rip Fred a new one until it became obvious that wasn't the answer. Now I somehow feel like I owe him an apology...

Charles Dow was one of three reporters who founded the DJIA

I found one Uncle Vanya (Anton Chekhov) synopsis where they call her Helena too. Names are funny, especially Russian ones.

In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue. (the first time) so it seemed reasonable that it would be in the 1500s by the time he made his 4th one. That left only I, V or X for the last letter.

It took me until this morning to have the V8 slap on Buff/FIEND. Amy Renaldo (Orange) probably got it immediately. Seems obvious in retrospect...

I must admit, ORGAN for newsletter still has me stumped, though...

Dennis said...

I've heard the term 'organ' used before in describing newsletters from different clubs, and according to Merriam online, one of the definitions for 'organ' is 'periodical'.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. A real Saterday slog. Some red letter help, a nibble here, a nibble there. But eventually it all came together. No searches needed. 'Aha' clues included DALAI and DOW. Thought PORTENT,LIES, and AUDIT were clever. Did not know SUNDOG, RODEODRIVE, SARG, NYRO, and DEALAMEAL but got from perps. FIEND was obscure. DATA, while technically correct, seemed to be a real goofy clue. Overall, lots of fresh clever fill and fun to solve.

Enjoy this special weekend. Stay safe.

Bob said...

This one was hard. I got the bottom half pretty easily and then fought for almost every solution in the NE and then the NW. In the end, I still missed 32A (TADAS), although I considered that solution. Problem was, I didn't know 25D (INT) or 11D spelling for sure. Put CODAS for 32A even though I knew that didn't quite seem right. 62 minutes.

Bob said...

As for ORGAN as "club newsletter": It is used that way rarely in my experience. I've most often encountered this term in the plural referring to news sources, newspapers, journals or other official publications of a communist party.

Tinbeni said...

C.C. Very informational write-up showing me how my weekly Saturday Ink-Blot TEST came to pass.

Thought it might be NOON before I waded through some of the obscure clues.

It was the lunar Moondog we had recently, so
SUN DOG was a wag.
When I disentangle I call it UNRAVEL.
ELENO, "Uncle Vanya" role and NYRO, the songwriter, never heard of them. Learning moments I think I'll forget soon.

Like Al when I saw the Roman Numeral, knew it was 1500'something so I popped in the MD_ and waited.

Put in Tempo for score markings, giving me Ork, so I looked for Mork, didn't see him which IRKed me so I made the change.

Faves were the powder KEGS and pack of LIES.
AUDIT and 1099-INT were gimmies, past life experience thingy.

Lrc said...

Good morning everyone.

Great puzzle, but started very slowly. Eventually got through (almost) all of it. I had "tempo" for 40A & didn't notice that 42D was then "ork" and since Robin Williams' home was not the clue I had that wrong. I was not familiar with elision but a visit to the dictionary cleared that up.

I think of "organ" in the context of a newspaper published by an oppresive regime. Since an organ will play the note of the key you press, so will the newspaper print what the party leaders tell it to print.

A special remembrance to my cousin ElRoy and all the others who never came home; you are not forgotten.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone!

Didn't think I'd have an entry today. Tried to do this one last night and came up a total blank. Upon arising this morn I thought I'd give it a shot and was able to do the northwestern quarter, then the northern, and on around. Surprised myself by getting it finished.

Nice puzzle, Fred. The mis-direction clues were a lot of fun.

C.C., there's alliteration in the clue for 15A. Thought you'd mention that.

Everyone have a safe weekend!

Al said...

Heh. I get it now, an organ is a very large wind instrument, so the output from it is a bunch of hot air...

Dudley said...

Morning, Puzzlers - Man, what a slog. It looks like I made the same voyage as others - TEMPO and ORK for instance. Lots of clever stuff, though! I put PGTHIRTEEN right away, just lucky.

Fell on my face in the east, though, because I was convinced the average guy was JOE. Even my best hammer couldn't make anything fit around that. DEALAMEAL is sill unknown to me. Needed red letters to get out of that ditch.

Never made the EVEL connection until coming here - thanks, C.C.!

koufaxmaravich said...

Good morning CC and all

VERY tough one for me today. Enjoyed the clever cluing, but was stumped in the NW and needed serious help elsewhere. Thank you, Fred. All in all, a terrific week of puzzles.

Favorite clues: Both hands up NOON, Like some kisses STOLEN, Cell dweller INMATE (was looking for ribosome!) Big name in jumping EVEL.

Here are two famous Laura Nyro songs: as mentioned in the puzzle, the Fifth Dimension singing Stoned Soul Picnic, and Barbra Streisand's version of Stoney End.

Enjoy - have a great Saturday.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Stacked, packed and my brain was wracked...this was so challenging for me.

There were enough red herrings here to stock an aquarium. 30A "They may come in a pack" LIES, 43A "When both hands are up" NOON, 64A "Large order" ELKS, 27D "Record holder?" FELON and 44D "Average fellow?" DOW were all wonderfully misleading.

Then, there were things I just didn't know. 22A "Incomplete rainbow" for SUN DOG was a new definition for me too. I think everyone except Dennis was thinking "Huh?" at 45A ORGAN.

I'm still wondering about 27A clue "Buff" for FIEND. I understand buff as a fan or enthusiast, but doesn't FIEND mean an addict or someone who is obsessed. "Cigarette fiend", or "dope fiend" are old fashioned phrases that come to mind.

A Diller, A Dollar is an old English nursery rhyme.

'A diller, a dollar,
a ten o'clock scholar,
what makes you come so soon?
You used to come at ten o'clock,
and now you come at noon.'

Clear Ayes said...

Oops, my last paragraph disappeared. The internet poltergeists are at work again.

I wanted to add that I really enjoyed all of Fred's nine and ten letter entries. Have we ever seen DEAL-A-MEAL, or RODEO DRIVE before? I was also impressed by KEEPS AT IT, ONE AND ONLY and I'M IN HEAVEN. Thanks Fred for a fun and frustrating Saturday. (Just as it should be.)

DCannon said...

Mornin', y'all!

Some fills were givens, such as RODEODRIVE, EVEL, and ARAB(league.) I got DEALAMEAL right away because I remembered all the TV ads for it. TENO(clock scholar) came easy because of the nursery rhyme:

"A diller, a dollar,
A ten o'clock scholar,
What makes you come so soon?
You used to come at nine o'clock,
And now you come at noon."

Had to resort to red letters to finish this one. The names (SARG, ISAO, ELENA were not on my radar.

Al, I also put "fat" instead of RDA because I ignored the "." after "no" signifying an abbreviation.

I've always heard of the inter-company newsletters or magazines referred to as the "house organ." My company had a monthly publication, now quarterly. We referred to it as the "house organ." Make of that what you wish - we did.

lois said...

Good morning CC et al., Interesting and as CA said, challenging enough for a SAt. I enjoyed the same misdirecting clues as Dennis and was so off base w/ wishing for a Chipendale pic or something.

And Organ? Never heard of that before in my world. Puts yet another slant on 'organ donor'.

Loved 'stolen' kisses. Cute cute cute.

Gotta run. Hope everyone enjoys this fabulous wkend.

Many thanks to all of those who
have given so much to keep us safe and free, including my late husband who died b/c of Agent Orange in Viet Nam.

Anonymous said...

Does Buff equal Fiend? Buff may mean Fan, which is short for Fanatic and a Fanatic might be called a Fiend, but I think it is a stretch. Clear Ayes mentioned Dope Fiend, but has anybody heard of a Dope Fan, or weirder yet, a Dope Buff?

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

How about fresh air fiend? At a nudist camp, would that be a BUFF in the BUFF?

Truly a great week here at the corner, especially with our old friends Jerome, Dan, and Fred.
Hard, hard puzzle today. We stayed home, so I wasn't doing it in the car. Lot's of G-spotting, and I still couldn't finish.

Just couldn't find Fred's wavelength. Many crushed V-8 cans. Couldn't even come up with a pack of LIES. Well - some days the puzzle gets you.

Great Job, Fred, though I think TEN-O is an extremely awkward partial.

34D could have been AFTER DARK or AFTER DUSK. How often to you see a nine-spot with two possible ans. having 7 common letters? Yikes!

Several hot, sunny days in a row here - No SUN DOGS, though. Did some yard work in the a.m., more on the slate for early evening. Don't need the A/C today, but it is uncomfortable in the sun.

JzB the lazy feeling trombonist

Jerome said...

I'm with C.C. I'M IN HEAVEN is terrific. I'll take it a step further. The entire puzzle is terrific.

Bet I'm not the only one who wanted to fit an F in POT 'O' GOLD.

TOSTADA- Neat looking word. SUN DOG, fun word.


All in all, one of the best puzzles of the month.

ARBAON said...

Lois: You may not see this until after the holiday...but I was remiss in not thanking those "left" when thanking those who have given so much to keep our Nation safe/free. To all the women and men left at home, thank you for your brave sacrifices, also. "Never have so few given so much for so many."

I received an E-mail which had three pictures:
"The price of hotdogs" with their picture, "the price of gas" with a gas pump pictured and "the price of freedom" with a picture of row after row of military gravestones. It made my heart hurt...

Bill G. said...

Saturday puzzles are usually too hard for me and not much fun, so I skipped it. I have a question though, for Jerome or anyone else. How does Rich grade the puzzles for difficulty? Does it depend on measurable things or is it entirely subjective based on Rich's vast experience?

Second question. There has been a lot of discussion about NCIS around here. I watched the finale but found, when it was over, I really didn't understand what had happened. Did Gibbs kill the Mexican baddie or did Mike Franks? Whichever, how are they going to avoid the consequences?

dodo said...

Somewhere I have heard or seen 'house organ' pertaining too a periodical put out by a business, I think probably a manufacturing business.

This was a real slog for me! I almost threw in the towel after the first scan. Went to the bottom and started doing verticals and a few fell into place and from there I could go on. Until I g'ed the names, I was stuck in the middle but finally got everything but 'fiend'. I had looked at 'record holder' so long that when I finally had 'elon' I still couldn't believe 'record' wasn't LPs. I had 'irk,' so no problem with 'tempi'.

All in all, a real workout. Thanks Fred, you've finished off a great week! And thanks, CC, for the great blog.

Lucina said...

Good day, C.C. and fellow solvers.

What week this has been! One fun puzzle after another. Thanks, Fred.

The entire lower half fell in for me fairly quickly and really enjoyed the misdirection: large order (elks), loved it; record holder (felon), average fellow (dow), start of a religious title (Dalai), naturally made me think of a book title but pot o' gold and the rest illuminated me.

Tostada, of course, is a favorite food and hoy a given, but my northern problems started when I filled "heater" instead of "hot tea" and I resisted changing it.

Sundog was a recent disscussion topic; Poe was easy. I once subbed for a semester in a reading class and learned a great deal about him, his works and his life.

Organ and buff as newsletter and fiend really threw me; thanks, C.C. for your explanation, but I still have questions.

Still, it's been a stupendous puzzle week. Many learning moments and delights were in store.

Let me add my heartfelt thanks to all those who now serve, have served and especially to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy our lives.

My flag shall fly for you on Monday.

I hope you are having a stupendous Saturday!

Jerome said...

No apologies to anyone who might be offended.

There's a reason why this blog is popular among solvers and a large group of constructors. It doesn't trash puzzles. Even if the puzzle doesn't generate a lot of interest, it's treated by the blog host and commentators with some respect and dignity. All understand that the constructor is doing their best to entertain us.

I was disappointed to see a blog host and frequent guest writer trash today's puzzle. Mark my words, there's only one thing that that will lead to if it continues- A steady decline in solver support of the 'Corner', and disenchantment among many constructors.

Anonymous said...

He now needs a Sunday to complete his LAT "hitting for the cycle".

Can someone please explain to me what CC means?

Bill G. said...

Hitting for the cycle in baseball means getting a single, double, triple and a homerun during a game; in other words, every possibility. I assume what C.C. meant was that Fred Jackson had a puzzle published on every day of the week, Monday through Saturday, and if he gets one published on Sunday, he would have 'hit for the cycle' and gotten in the paper on every possible day of the week.

Anonymous said...

Wow, instant replies. Thank you. I love this blog.

Anonymous said...

@Argyle - One Rex Parker is enough.

Chickie said...

Hello All--This puzzle left me in the middle of the ocean calling for help. It squashed my ego, but good.

I'm afraid I never found my footing in any one area and so came here for the answers. I only had about 1/4 finished after 45 minutes. I don't usually give up, but I did today.

Dennis listed all the misleading cluing that stumped me. He got them, I didn't.

Enough of my whining.

A busy weekend, so I'll just say, enjoy your time off and think about what this weekend is all about. Our men and women in the armed forces are to be honored for their service, and those who didn't come home, honored for their sacrifice.

MJ said...

Happy weekend to all. My gratitude to all our service people, past and present. Thank you so much.

What a stellar week of puzzles! I had to hunt and peck my way around the grid today, but smiled at just about every curve in the path. Same favorite clues/fill as many others. Had to laugh at 52A "Champagne designation" as well, as I kept reading "Champagne destination", and was totally stumped for a four letter answer. Also liked the fact that even though SUNDOG is an incomplete rainbow, it ended at POT O' GOLD nevertheless.

Great puzzle, Fred! Thanks for the ride.

Enjoy the day!

Clear Ayes said...

Jerome, I respectfully have to disagree with your 2:04 post. I didn't see that anybody, including Argyle@5:51, "trashed" today's puzzle, or Fred personally. He even apologized for his "sour grapes" at 6:52.

In the past we've seen plenty of "Yuck!", "Blah!" and even "Hated it!" a few times. Why would today be any different?

You come with a special insider's perspective of crossword construction. I've yet to see you post a comment saying you didn't like a particular puzzle. I think that is because you understand how difficult the process is. Your appreciation of other constructors' work is admirable and we thank you for giving us some terrific insights into the way it all comes together.

However, I think it is important that posters feel free to voice their inexpert opinions, including stating what they didn't like. Not every puzzle is going to please everyone.

IMO, "A steady decline in solver support of the 'Corner', and disenchantment among many constructors", will only come about if we feel we must be "Yes Men", only praising every puzzle that is published. What a boring blog that would be.

Annette said...

Wow, this was a tough one for me, but I wasn't going to wimp out and give up too easily 2 days in a row! Red letters helped a lot, and I broke down and "solved" 1-2 letters where I didn't know either perp.

The most frustrating was when I thought I knew the answer, typed the first letter and since it wasn't red, I'd happily start typing the rest of it - only to have all the rest be in red!

27A I was thinking along the lines of being Buff physically. Like Lois, I was disappointed...

Of course, every online solver's favorite sound: 32A Verbal flourishes: TADAS

Well, no rain yet today, so I'm heading out to the pool while the sun's still shining!

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang, an enjoyable if tough puzzle today. My wife and started it in pencil in our sun room and after a few minutes we reverted to our standard Saturday puzzle method with me going online to check our guesses... We finished that way but I had to come to the blog to understand how 'DOW' and 'ORGAN' fit the clues. I thought the best trick clue was "when both hands are up".

This blog means many things to many people but you can bet one thing: it's never boring!

Just my 2 cents;


Seldom Seen said...

ncis spoiler alert!!

billg: i am going to watch both parts of the finale again at i am a chronic channel surfer so i need to watch again without distraction! but i think part of the cliffhanger was that will still do not know who shot the drug lord. i remember a scene showing where gibbs is going to need legal help. so, i am assuming the attractive female lawyer who is gibbs recent antagonist will reluctantly help him in his defense. and, that trial will shed light on the identity of the killer. or, i could be wrong and will find out when i re-watch those episodes! i love how david bellisario does not spell everything out in detail for us, but you better not switch to the ballgame lest you might miss one scene that is crucial to the plot!

my apologoes to all non ncis watchers out there but i know of a least 10 regulars who "indicated" they love this show. i would never go on about something like deadliest catch here!

Jerome said...

Clear Ayes- Heaven forbid that anyone be a yes man or a toady. There's nothing more despicable. In fact, I enjoy many of the remarks made by our in-house contrarians. Spices things up a bit. However, what I said was going to happen is going to happen if a blog host at the Corner wishes to be snide and mean because they think it clever, cute, or endearing.

As for me and my comments- I'm a constructor, and it's simply my belief that only an ass or a jerk or a supreme narcissist would make negative public comments about a fellow writer's work.

Seldom Seen said...

ca: i agree with you 100%. i am new here to the blog so i hope im not out of line.

i feel that sometimes when a puzzle is from a constructor who visits, our comments are less abrasive and more to the "yes man" angle.

and if this blog ever gets censored: no solve times, no recipes, no poems, no baseball talk, no sexual inuendos no god bless yous... i will move on to something else

Anonymous said...

64 A - did he mean lodge?

Seldom Seen said...

oh, and i forgot the anti-morrison talk!!! that was one of my favorite "back and forths" i've had here!

i'm off to the cincy/houston ball game and taste of ciincinnati.

i'll check in later to see who i offended!

lois said...

CA: Well put and fully agree.

Jerome: Whoa, there sir. With "No apologies to anyone who might be offended"? Isn't that a bit aggressive?

We're all entitled to our opinions, you included, but to be so abrasive about it and esp to our frequent guest blogger and one who is an integral part of this community, one who almost always supports the effort and who always helps us understand is totally uncalled for. There was no
'trashing', esp when $50 words were used. It seemed like a well spoken declaration of frustration to me.

It's the comfort and acceptance of openness given here to express our opinions that makes this blog so fascinating and entertaining.
Although we enjoy the insights from the constructors, I would hope that they come here to learn from us as well. Like CA said, what a boring blog this would be if we all agreed. You can go on complimenting and siding with the constructors. We won't fault you. But to attack an avid super intelligent dearly loved and highly respected solver for not being a toady and expressing his opinion that differs from yours is, as you say, dispicable. You owe our frequent guest blogger an
'unobfuscated' apology.

Dennis said...

SNH, rest assured, and I know I'm speaking for C.C. as well, this blog will never be censored. It's the kiss of death for any blog.

I think the reverse of your second paragraph is true: when there's been favorable comments about a particular puzzle, I think the constructors are more inclined to stop by, rather than the visit, then the favorable comments. And do you really sense a 'yes man' attitude here? Most of us are on this blog because we truly enjoy crosswords, and we all appreciate the constructors' efforts (even though some may have an unusual way of showing it), so we go into a puzzle expecting to enjoy it. The comments typically reflect that.

There's more, but you get the general idea. You're a great addition to the blog, by the way; glad you joined us.

Clear Ayes said...

Almost time for the BBQ...great weather here at last. Still time for a last comment.

I could be wrong, but my take on Argyle's comment was that he speaks as a blog host on Monday and Tuesday and as just one of the guys for the rest of the week. He's the only one who can elaborate, so I'll leave it there.

On to another can of worms. Didn't Jim Morrison write a song about a can of worms? Never mind, that was another obfuscating lyric, "squirming like a toad". (LOL, "Hi", SNH.)

lois said...

ARBAON: (1:23) Thank you for your most thoughtful comment. It brought tears to my eyes, esp since today is my husband's birthday. Your touching comment was greatly appreciated.

Al said...

Peace all, please... I can only assume that part of what Jerome referred to at least partially included me, and I think it is a misunderstanding.

That's the trouble with e-communication; you can't see or hear a person's emphasis, or tone from when they are just typing, let alone know what is going through their head at the time. And, when it is you doing the typing, it may seem perfectly obvious to yourself what you mean, but that doesn't always get communicated correctly.

Having said that, if it was indeed my remarks in question, first, I never said whether the puzzle was good or bad, only that I had a hard time with it. And, that was due to my own fault, not Fred's. I expect a Saturday puzzle to be hard. I like a Saturday puzzle to be hard, and I get much enjoyment out of finally beating it when it is tough. I just didn't say that in so many words though, and so since I only had a negative statement as my lead, it may well have seemed like I was being negative towards the puzzle, when actually only the reverse was true.

The other bit was just reporting my initial feeling over just the one clue where I thought that Fred's answer to "Diet no.", which I initially read as "Dieting no-no", was going to be FAT, and that I owed him an apology for even thinking that he would make a mistake like that. (Eating the right fats are very important in a diet, but I won't go into that here).

I thought that any perceived negativity in the post would be interpreted as self-condemnation, not pointed in Fred's direction, but I guess that sentiment just didn't make it into the actual words in the post.

And FWIW, that's how I interpreted what Argyle's initial post was actually saying as well. We all need to take a minute sometimes to try to read what others are saying to see if it really could have been meant differently than our initial gut reaction to only the words we see. Then think twice about posting something in anger in return, lest we start an unintended flame-war, anon troll posts included (or even especially emphasized)...

Argyle said...

For anonymous @3:59 PM

64 A - Large order: ELKS. Did he mean lodge?

No, their full name is The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks

Dennis said...

Lois, what a tough day this has to be for you. i hope you'll find some comfort in the fact that there's a lot of us who think, on a daily basis, about the guys who didn't come home. Sacrifices like your husband's will NEVER be forgotten. Ever.

Jerome said...

Al- Actually, I enjoyed your post. I also think your writing as a host is terrific. Your one of the better blog writers out there.

Chickie said...

I think that when we "complain" about a puzzle, we are venting our own frustrations at not completing the puzzle. We aren't saying the puzzle is poor, only our solving abilities on that particular day.

I'm a relatively new crossword solver and since I've been visiting this blog, reading constructor's views, and finding other solvers who have or have not had the same problem I did, has helped me so much. I like to think that the difficult puzzles I don't finish give me a real learning opportunity.

Today I entered several of the more obscure clues into my own personal Crossword "dictionary". This helps me with future puzzles, and also develops my vacabulary.
I might not enjoy a particular puzzle, but I would never tell a constructor it was awful--only my soving ability is awful some days.

Fred said...

Thanks everyone for the kind comments to my puzzle. I created this puzzle about ten months ago so I had forgotten all the answers. I must say it kicked my butt too, but I finally solved it.

CC: You are right, this is my first Saturday puzzle anywhere. As far as "the cycle" is concerned I do have a Sunday puzzle coming up this year in NEWSDAY (my first Sunday puzzle!)but I don't know when.

Bill G: The level of difficulty is decided by the editor very subjectively, he has a feel for the right mix for every day of the week for his puzzles. it's an art not a science.

Clear Ayes said (not to me): "You come with a special insider's perspective of crossword construction. I've yet to see you post a comment saying you didn't like a particular puzzle. I think that is because you understand how difficult the process is. Your appreciation of other constructors' work..."
Those are words I live by and why you never see me knock another constructor's work. There are lots of elements beyond a constructor's control that affects the finished puzzle.
Myself, I don't mind criticism if it is constructive. I've learned much from constructive criticism of my work. But I ignore people who make snotty comments for no good reason or can't back up their statements with anything constructive, or even rational.

carol said...

Hi - my apologies first off that I didn't do the puzzle today.

I wanted to comment on the weekend and to thank all who have served this country and are in service now. We don't know what our situation would be if not for their sacrifice.

Lois, my friend, my heart goes out to you as I know this day is especially difficult for you. As Dennis said, we will never forget.

dodo said...

After rereading my comment re:'organ' I see it needs clearing up a bit: read 'house organ' as 'in-house organ' since the organ referred to is meant for the people involved in the particular business which publishes the periodical. But I also see that that's been said in another comment.

xtulmkr said...

Tough puzzle. First pass yielded three fills but I "kept at it" and was eventually able to say "tada"!

Argyle said...

Fred, do you disagree that the clues were misleading and answers were not the most common definitions of the word, i.e. organ & buff? I thought that is what I said.

But if that was your intent, which it should be for a Saturday puzzle, why then, you did a splendid job!

Fred said...

Argyle said: "the clues were misleading and answers were not the most common definitions of the word, i.e. organ & buff?" Yes that was my intent all the way! For a saturday puzzle, editors encourage 2nd and 3rd meanings of words (which are less common and more obscure).

ARBAON said...

Lois: It`s the very least I could do. Consider yourself warmly hugged, and when you visit your husband`s resting place, tell him about your blog friends who will never (as Dennis said, "ever") forget his nor your ultimate sacrifice.

Tinbeni said...

I agree with your accessment of todays offering.
"Organ" as periodical, pointed out by Dennis in the online Merriam, was the 4th definition.
"ELENA" from the 1897 "Uncle Vanya" Anton Chekhov play is identified as Yelena and as Al pointed out in another source as Helena. A bit obscure but doable from the crosses.
"Buff" well that one got me smiling since I'm often "in the buff" at Hedonism II in Jamaica.

Fred, on Saturday I expect this level of difficulty and found this to be a challenge.

I don't understand.
You don't want the blog guides to be a toady but if they have critical thinking they are a supreme narcissist?
Maybe a look in the mirror is in order.
You are a constructor but not the ONE AND ONLY person who comes here with the ability to arrive at an opinion about whether a clue or answer or theme series was a good one, too obscure or sub-par for the days puzzle.

Lucina said...

Lois, please accept my most sincere thanks to you and your husband. I cannot imagine what you must go through today. A warm, tight squeeze has been sent your way.

We ask so much of our service men and women, not just them personally, but their families as well.

I honor all of you.

Dennis said...

Well, it seems that we've seen today perhaps both an overreaction and an overreaction to an overreaction. I know I've been guilty of overreacting on occasion too. But now that it appears everyone's had a chance to vent and speak their piece, let's give this discussion a rest and not further besmirch C.C.'s blog. I know she'd appreciate that, as she hates any kind of discord here.

Thanks in advance.

Bill G. said...

Dennis said: "But now that it appears everyone's had a chance to vent and speak their piece, let's give this discussion a rest and not further besmirch C.C.'s blog. I know she'd appreciate that, as she hates any kind of discord here."

Well dammit, I just disagree with that! :>)

BTY, I haven't said anything about Memorial Day. I hope everybody has a good weekend and I too appreciate all the sacrifices of our servicemen and their families.

Bill G. said...

I thought you might enjoy this Memorial Day story from MSNBC.

Lucina said...

Hello, All.

I just returned to offer my two cents worth on the discussion.

The construction of a xd puzzle is a constant source of astonishment; I can't even imagine the sort of effort that goes into it. As a result, the more of a challenge it is to me, the more I admire the construction.

And then to finally complete such an opus with its challenges, misdirections and quite often amusing quips, is supreme satisfaction for me. I strive to complete each one with only my efforts and no outside help.

If I'm frustrated, it is due entirely to my limitations and possibly lack of depth or knowledge in certain areas. But it's a learning experience.

Good night to all.

Re NCIS: I thought the ambiguity at the end was intentional.

Tinbeni said...

Bill G
I read that earlier at the MSNBC site.
Timely I'm glad you posted it.
Still caused me to pause.

I'm up late watching the WWII movies on TCM.

Earlier is was The Best Years of Our Lives.
Now it is Pride of the Marines.

Tomorrow, or should I say today, is the only day of the year when I recognize that I was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. (family came to FLA, seven months later, back in 1953).

Otis said...


Yet another terrific puzzle. Favorite clues: review of books, they come in a pack (I first thought of cards, beer, and wolves), mike holder's opening (hello, ladies, gentlemen, welcome, etc. etc.), and average fellow. I wouldn't let go of average "Joe" until the bitter end (coming here, to be precise - "jeta, jota, jota - something has to be code for bank stuff"). Tried "keepout" for 41S (I'm in door-knocking mode), "sloppy" for 47A, and "adult theme" then "adult-rated" for 5A. Didn't finish unaided by any means, but I don't expect to by Wednesday/Thursday. My Saturday puzzles are a fine example of why NOT to attempt xwords in ink, regardless of how faint the letters are set down.

Sundog is a new word. Loved the pot 'o gold at the end in the pzl!

I've been enjoying International Jazz Day with some of my favorites, including a jazzy rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Cheers to JzB for his contributions to this most fine musical genre.

Otis the Polar Bear

Tinbeni said...

I thought of a pack of cigs.
Actually spelling out PGTHIRTEEN instead of PG-13 used a different part of my brain. Hell, I'm too old to worry about any movie's rating.
Your avatar is subtle. Is that a Montana Griz?

Eddy B
Count down to the Indy start has begun.

lois said...

Dennis: Thank you for your kind and heartfelt words. Coming from you especially, that means an awful lot. We both have burdens and scars to bear with daily reminders. Thank you for your dedicated service and your own personal sacrifice.

Carol, Lucina, ARBAON: thank you so much for the sweet comments, warm hugs and squeezes, on behalf of all of us who are left to manage without our beloved fallen soldiers. Thank you again.

Seldom Seen said...

back home from a crazy night...

happy b-day tinbeni

thank you dennis for the welcome...

qustion: how does it feel when you are at a sporting event and everything stops for the national anthem??

answer: Incredible

Unknown said...

Hello c.c. -
Just got around to working on it.
In the Wikipedia referenced for 13 down (Elena/Yelena) the Russian spelling is given as Елена - either that or it was an elision (grin)