May 8, 2010

Saturday May 8, 2010 Tom Heilman

Theme: None

Total words: 70

Total blocks: 26

Quite low block count. 7-letter entries aplenty. Six in each quadrant. Clear Aye's "Pack and Stack".

But what a total disaster for me. Hindenburg crashing into the Titanic! The lower right corner was simply impossible.

So many unknown answers. Lots of unfamiliar references in the clues too. IAGO (26A. "So will I ... make the net / That shall enmesh them all" speaker) typifies the trickiness today. I know he is the "Othello" villain, but I am not acquainted with the quote at all.


1. Reacted with embarrassment, maybe: GIGGLED. Three Gs in this entry alone. I am embarrassed to say it did not come to me readily.

8. Moderate pace: JOG TROT. Unaware the existence of this term.

15. Legally gone: ON LEAVE. My first reaction is something death related.

16. Ignorant: UNAWARE

17. Spenserian beings: FAERIES. No idea. Edmund Spenser is an English poet known chiefly for his allegorical epic romance "The Faerie Queene", according to Faery is a variant of fairy.

18. Sparks resident: NEVADAN. Sparks is a city in W Nevada, E of Reno. I've never heard of it.

19. __ pro nobis: ORA. Pray for us.

20. Fry corrugation: CRINKLE. I know corrugation crinkle connection. But why fry? What fry?

22. Company abbr.: INC

23. Undersized one: RUNT

25. Nearly a billion people live in them: SLUMS. Wow, that's way more than I thought. The plural "them" and "Nearly a billion" in the clue did not prevent me from thinking of China (1.3 billion people). Felt stupid!

27. Rhone tributary: ISERE. Flowing from the Alps to the Rhone River. I drew a blank.

29. Janeane's co-star in "The Truth About Cats and Dogs": UMA (Thurman). Fun movie.

30. Asked for a hand?: ANTED. Oh, poker hand.

31. Excite: THRILL

33. Seen from above, as a view: BIRD'S EYE

35. In person: BIG AS LIFE. I've only heard of the idiom "bigger than life".

37. Deceptive lingo: JIVE TALK. Didn't know the "deceptive" connotation.

40. Carbohydrate used in jellies: PECTIN. It's stuff that makes jelly jell. Who knows they are carb? Well, maybe Al & Jazzbumpa do.

44. Chilled: ON ICE

45. Abner's radio partner: LUM. "Lum and Abner". Not in my radar.

47. Prefix with graphic: ETHNO. Ethnographic. New word to me.

48. Court org.: USTA (United States Tennis Association). Tennis court.

49. Techies' campus hangout: PC LAB

51. They can get high: SEAS. Stumped me. High seas are the open seas of the world outside the territorial waters of any nation. I was thinking of alcohol or drugs.

52. FDR home loan gp.: NHA (National Housing Agency). Outside my ken also.

53. Become payable: FALL DUE. Is this a real phrase?

55. Austin-to-Del Rio dir.: WSW. Got me also.

56. Make notes?: COMPOSE. Musical note.

58. Scholarly: ERUDITE

60. Italian colony from 1890 to 1941: ERITREA. Oh, I thought it's a French colony, like so many countries in Africa.

61. Frenzied fits: DELIRIA. Again, only knew the singular delirium.

62. Chamber group member?: SENATOR. Man, I was definitely not in the legislative chamber direction.

63. Watching carefully: ON ALERT


1. "Don't miss this chance": GO FOR IT. Just had this fill yesterday. Clued as "Words of encouragement".

2. Hurrying along: IN A RUSH. I instinctively knew the answer would not end in ING.

3. Information gatherer: GLEANER

4. Where BMW was born: GER (Germany)

5. Worldly: LAIC. I associate LAIC with nonclerical, not worldly.

6. Activist who said "You can kill a man but you can't kill an idea": EVERS (Medgar). Neither the quote nor the guy is known to me.

7. First "Mission: Impossible" TV production company: DESILU. The Arnaz-Ball studio.

8. Many ad circulars: JUNK MAIL

9. Law school newcomers: ONE Ls. One L = First Year Law Student.

10. Yielded: GAVE

11. Old carrier: TWA. Howard Hughes's airline.

12. Project, as cheer: RADIATE

13. Aptly named red tabby who played Cat in "Breakfast at Tiffany's": ORANGEY. Here is a picture. I only knew Audrey Hepburn calls the cat Cat.

14. Police radio lingo: TEN CODE. Forgot. Here is Argyle's link again.

21. Knucklehead: NUMBSKULL. I am definitely feeling like one.

24. Manhattan district: TRIBECA. Portmanteau composed of the words "Triangle Below Canal Street" .

26. Spray targets: INSECTS

28. Cream of the crop: ELITE

30. Magazine revenue item: AD FEE

32. Airport on Flushing Bay, briefly: LGA. LaGuardia Airport. Was ignorant of the Flushing Bay.

34. Sewer's target: RIP. Sewer = One who sews.

36. Safe call: ALL CLEAR. Did you think of baseball also?

37. Bumps along: JOUNCES. Yet another new word. Sigh! Did you want BOUNCES also?

38. Close to the coast: IN SHORE. OK!

39. A, B or C, e.g.: VITAMIN. Another sly clue.

41. Deadline, metaphorically: THE WIRE. Again, I only know the phrase "Down to the wire".

42. Upset: IN A STIR. Is this a common phrase?

43. "A cinch": NO SWEAT. I liked the clue and the answer.

46. Managed: MADE DO

49. Public promenade: PASEO. Stumped many last time.

50. Raeburn van __, cartoonist who drew "Abbie an' Slats": BUREN. I peeked at the answer sheet. Have never heard of this guy.

53. Defense structure: FORT

54. "The Long, Hot Summer" vixen __ Varner: EULA. Another total stranger. This poster looks hot. What's the title of that song with lyric "... making love on a long, hot summer's night"?

57. Class action gp.?: PTA. Saw this clue somewhere before.

59. "Rugrats" infant: DIL. Absolutely clueless.


Anonymous said...

Impossible cluing and answers that only the constructor might know made this puzzle a lesson in frustration. I know it's Saturday but too many arbitrary, nebulous clues just made me crazy: "jive talk", "fall due", jogtrot", "tribeca", "crinkle",
"onels", "inshore", "big as life", Tom has made up his own language!

tfrank said...

Good morning, C.C. and all,

What a great puzzle this morning! I was on the same wave length as Tom, I guess, as I was able to plow through this in 36 minutes with no look-ups. Lots of good clues that were new to me. Being a Mississippian,, I knew Evers and Eula, and paseo as I live in a city with lots of Hispanics.

I started in the NW, then went counter-clockwise until I finished. Crinkle was my last fill. Favorite clues were chamber group member, asked for a hand, and court org.

This was a very satisfying start to the day. Thanks, again, C.C., for all that you do.

Gracie said...

Good puzzle this morning, though some of the entries required red-letter help and a cheat or two.

The Long, Hot Summer is one of my favorite movies, so I knew Eula and we've seen onel for first-year law school students. Crinkle/fry refers to frozen french fries, I think. Crinkle cut.

I think jive talk doesn't necessarily mean misleading.

A good start to the day -

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Wow -- easiest puzzle all week, by far!

I kid, of course...

Total slog, with lots of unknown names and obscure/made-up terms. The SE corner finally sent me packing to Google, since I didn't know Raeburn Van BUREN, EULA Varner or DIL. I did guess ERUDITE, but couldn't get DELIRIA or ONALERT without some crossings. It didn't help that I had IN A STEW instead of IN A STIR for 42D. Again, I had NO SWEAT, but couldn't see THE WIRE for the life of me.

Even when I finally Googled my way out of that mess and finished the puzzle, I didn't get the "tada!" Which was no surprise, since I knew something was funky with BOVETALK at 37A. I was fairly confident that 37D was BOUNCES and 38D was ONSHORE, but BOVETALK? I finally got myself out of that mess on my own, but it took awhile to think of JOUNCES and INSHORE is not a word I've ever heard before.

And speaking of words I've never heard before, JOGTROT? Really? I had DOGTROT at first and was sure it had to be correct, but I finally succumbed to JOGTROT when I realized there was no such thing as DUNKMAIL.

Ah well, it could have been worse. I was proud of myself for getting PECTIN, ERITREA, ISERE, FAERIES, UMA and LUM unassisted. Feeling pretty smart there for awhile, in fact. Until I hit the aforementioned SE corner, that is...

Argyle said...

The song with the exact wording, "... making love on a long, hot summer's night" is Casablanca by Bertie Higgins. I hope this is the song you were thinking of, C.C. Like a lot of the entries in today's puzzle, I never heard of it before and had to look up(Google) the answer.

I disliked the puzzle so I wonder if that means Rex will love it. I mean JOGTROT! Really!

Argyle said...

I swear, Barry G., we are so close together on our takes, I don't know if I even need to comment...but still I do.

fermatprime said...

Hello to all and thanks to C. C and other recent bloggers!

By the time I do the xwd it is too late to blog. Tonight I had one hour's sleep only. It is 5:10 AM here as I begin this letter.

Last week's themeless took 17 minutes but this one was 43 minutes! (Googled Buren.) That about says it all. Had blushed for giggled at first. Also bounced. Nice to know what Tribeca means! Crinkle cut french fries are (were?) well known. All full of bad stuff. Cannot imagine doing this puzzle on paper--so many changes!

Clear Ayes--I greatly admire your courage and fortitude. May you have a long life! I too am uncomfortable with prayers. However, I would like to believe that staring through the nursery window sending positive thoughts to my baby son who was dying of hyaline membrane disease (that killed little Patrick Kennedy despite his being taken to a high pressure chamber beneath the ocean-- whose chances were initially deemed greater) was instrumental in his recovery. (Nagging the nurses every time he turned blue might be a more realistic opinion.)

Whoopee, I found a new internist; as a consequence Medicare has given me a physical therapist for 10 visits. (No luck yet getting thyroid tested.) So far only lots more pain, but, who knows, I may not be so bed-ridden some day. Swimming is nothing compared to the exercises involved in the therapy. Who'd a thunk it! (Still swimming 1/4 mile with good friend (3-4 times per week) who outdoes me every time. Was hoping to be able to do the Australian crawl again someday. However, therapist says this is worst possible stroke for one's shoulders.)

Bill G.--I did the same thing with my new iMac. Unfortunately, my MacBook Pro was running OS 10.5.8, not Snow Leopard. (I had not installed it for fear that an upgrade would not be available for my Ricoh laser printer yet. Reading all of the articles that MacWorld sends has been very informative!) This has caused lots of crashes. I haven't felt up to re-installing a clean system on iMac as sitting up is problematic. Also, cannot run Ricoh from Snow Leopard yet. (Yes, I have been nagging them!)

Have a good weekend everyone!

Lemonade714 said...

Happy Saturday:

TFrank you win the day, as I join those who had a very hard time accepting JOG TROT as a phrase, or IN SHORE though they are both real. I also can find only one reference to IN A STIR . I also think van BUREN could be better clued by a reference to his cousin who was a president, and while I loved PAUL NEWMAN I had no clue as to the characters names. Also, like more Americans, I do not know my RIVERS / I am sure the clue was meant to bring to mind French Fries . Finally, those of us who grew up in the 60s will always remember Medgar Evers and James Meredith; sad times for a young teenager to watch.

Bob said...

This was a tough one. I usually limit my time on a daily crossword to one hour, and this one took the full hour. By that time I was pretty confident of all of them except for 37A (JIVETALK), which I never got. So I missed 37A and 24D (TRIBECA). A lot of false starts across the board but in the end figured everything out but those two.

Anonymous said...

@WH, "puff yourself and your ego up by publicly". That's you. I am surprised your post is not moved.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning C.C. and all.

A good slog but doable. Strangely my first fill was 18a, Nevadan. Did not really know where Sparks was but somehow it sounded right. Kept doing the acrosses; then the downs, the acrosses again until it gradually filled in. Last entry was RIP because I read 'sewer' as a waste pipe rather than 'one who sews'. No searches needed. Rhone feeder is usually ISÈRE or Saône. I thought CRINKLED, ANTED, and SEAS were cleverly clued. Did not know the IAGO quote but loomed from the perps.

GLEANER - a brand of grain combine; picker-upper of leftover grain in fields.

Enjoy the weekend. Happy Mother's Day to all you ERUDITE mothers.

Unknown said...

Great comments and links for folks who don't know history. Iago's quote is an all-time fave of mine, and jog-trot is a pace we use in half-marathon training. Can't wait for the next Xword! Cheers to everyone.

Al said...

@C.C. 20A French Fries are sometimes crinkle cut.

Pectin is a soluble dietary fiber, thus a complex carbohydrate. Eating whole foods containing it has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels. The mechanism appears to be an increase of viscosity in the intestinal tract, leading to a reduced absorption of cholesterol from bile or food. In the large intestine and colon, microorganisms degrade pectin and liberate short-chain fatty acids that have positive influence on health (prebiotic effect). Of fruits, apples have the most, thus leading to the expectation of them keeping the doctor away. Throwing them at him works too.

Re: Tribeca, on "How I Met Your Mother" there was mention of Dowisetrepla, which sounds very real-estate desirable until you found out it meant: "Down Wind of the Sewage Treatment Plant".

Rugrats was a family-friendly Nickelodeon cartoon from the view of a bunch of very young cousins that were together during the day. They had escapes, adventures and lessons learned. The oldest, Angela, was not angelic. The main family surname was "Pickles", so when the latest baby came along, the parents named him Dil. Very punny, if you're in the targeted age group. I had forgotten him at first, because he came to the show later. Was fooled at first because one of the twins was named "Lil".

Tough puzzle today, so many answers that turned out wrong. It took me about 45 minutes to get it all straightened out. No lookups, but lots of checking answers without actually revealing them, the equivalent of about 15 or so black triangles.

Crockett1947 said...

Al, your posts are so learned and full of new and interesting facts. You are quite an asset to this group. Thank you for your contributions.

Argyle,m I feel that way about BarryG as well. We seem to have the same reactions and problems, and he's got a three hour time difference advantage on me.

Have a great Mothers' Day eve!

Mary said...

Good morning bloggers,

Another Saturday slog. The NE
came easily, but after two or three passes I still didn't have much anywhere else. Eventually I marked 10 clues that I knew I could Google when ready to give in. That seemed to give me the impetus to keep going round and round until the perps worked their magic and I had it all but JIVETALK (not novetalk) and the SE. I guessed wrong on a few and came to CC for the right answers, not really IN A STIR.

CA, Congratulations on the good report. Best wishes for a long and healthy life.

Happy Mothers Day to all the blog moms. I get one son back from college and hear a recital by the other. Should be a fine day.

Tinbeni said...

C.C. Excellent write-up.

I got ERUDITE but the rest of the puzzle removed my scholarly feelings.

Liked that I got the ladies UMA & EULA. Took my VITAMINS. Remembered PECTIN for jellies.

Started with 1A, blushed and went down hill until my "Ink-Blot" test was complete.
Even the ONE-L's I had as L-ONE's. geez.


fledgling said...

Stupid waste of time! No possibility of relying on one's knowledge when the answers are made-up.

Spitzboov said...

fledgling: Try and be a little more patient The answers are not made-up although the clues are crafted to make the answers challenging. Concentrate on the Mon-Wed puzzles which are easier to get a 'rhythm' to your solving and getting on the author's wavelength.

Review the comments Lemonade714 @9:38 and Lucina @11:44 made in yesterday's blog. They encapsulated really well the mind set and thought processes that are helpful for the more difficult solves.


Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - What Barry said, except my woes were concentrated in the SW. Rivers and proper names - GRRR!

JIVE TALK doesn't seem misleading to me, it's a stretch.

Audrey Hepburn - MMMMMMMMM. Uma Thurman - MMMMMMMM and then some.

There used to be a small airport in the swamps (euphamistically called "meadows")of Flushing. Its runway was so close to the boundaries of LaGuardia that there had to be special traffic pattern rules to keep its users out of the airlines' hair. It was doomed to close, of course.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I must have spent some time staring at the radio (like Carol) and listening to "LUM and Abner". That's the only way I could have known it.

Other than LUM, I knew FAERIES, IAGO, UMA, ISERE, PECTIN and EULA. Oh yes, NUMBSKULL also came to me without a struggle. I guess that set the tone for me for the whole puzzle. Everything else was chipping away one or two letters at a time.

For years, GAH and I lived about two miles from the ocean. I guess that would qualify as IN SHORE, but I've never heard anyone use that expression. I don't think anybody in California talks about being at the SHORE. It is always "ocean", "coast", or "beach". Now we are "inland", which is where you are when you don't live on the coast, or near the ocean.

I have nothing to say about JOG TROT and JOUNCE, except that I understand they are real words in somebody else's vocabulary.

Do I sound like I didn't like this puzzle? Not so. Saturday challenges and Sunday Big Boys make Monday and Tuesdays that much more relaxing. I like them all.

Fermatprime, glad to hear that the new internist seems to have you headed in the right direction. What an interesting story about your son. I hope you will be seeing him tomorrow.

Fledging, Spitzboov is right. Don't give up. Saturdays are supposed to be hair-pullers.

Anonymous said...


After reading the following, "20. Fry corrugation: CRINKLE. I know corrugation crinkle connection. But why fry? What fry?" I just thought I'd mention the fact that some companies that make frozen French fries make a type called "crinkle" cut French fries.

Just thought you might like to know.


Lemonade714 said...

It still amazes me how many of us do not read what other people post, especially when there are links. I understand it takes a while to click them all, but it does eliminate the duplication, triplications etc., though maybe they are good because it will help people remember TRIBECA next time.

Relax and enjoy all the different perspectives

Gunghy said...

Ugh!! Nuf said. I'm going sailing.

Tinbeni said...

When I was solving early this morning I had the TV tuned to AMC and they were doing a feature on the TRIBECA film festival.

The timing was perfect.

Anonymous said...

L714, there's such a thing as too many links in a post.

Tinbeni said...

Anon 12:45
I like the embeds.

When I see the ones added by Argyle, Lemonade, Dennis, Jazz, Spitz and a few of the other regulars I generally check them out.
Find them to be informative and sometimes very funny.

If you are IN A RUSH and don't want to check out the links that is your perogative.

Jerome said...

Jive- "", from Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Edition.

Best puzzle of the last few weeks. And we've seen some damn good ones.

GIGGLED, JIVE TALK, CRINKLE, BIRDSEYE, NO SWEAT, JOUNCES, GO FOR IT, BIG AS LIFE, JUNK MAIL, JOG TROT (two words) and the fabulous NUMBSKULL. I'd be a happy pappy just to get three or four of those entries in a puzzle! Terrific job, Tom!

john28man said...

I share a last name with Tom but I am unhappy with him or maybe the editor. There is a difference between clever clues and misleading or very obscure ones. I had to do the puszzle online to have a chance of completing it.

Clear Ayes said...

Maybe the reason so many of us had problems with JIVE TALK is that the guys don't want to admit they sported one of those shaggy, mullet-ish, Peter
-like haircuts, and the women don't want to remember their crushes on Robin and Barry Gibb. Poor Maurice, nobody seemed to have a crush on him.

Where would John Travolta be now without "Saturday Night Fever" the BeeGees and Jive Talkin'?

Jayce said...

Hi everybody,

Thank you, Bob, for your explanaton last night at 8:34 PM of the term Punic and your brief history of the Punic Wars. I appreciate it a lot.

As for the puzzle today, I felt about as numb in the skull as you did, C.C. I started off on the wrong foot by plunking BLUSHED in for 1A "Reacted with embarrassment, maybe." However, I nailed FAERIES righT off the bat, having been forced to read The Faerie Queen in highschool. I remember absolutely nothing about it except the word faerie.

Even after the perps made it totally clear that the answer to 30A "Asked for hand?" was ANTED, I still couldn't figure out what ANT-ED meant; the past tense of ANT? Man oh man the V-8 can got really crushed when it finally dawned on me. It seems we had ANTE in another puzzle recently, with a similar clue involving the word "hand," but I still took 10 minutes to get it.

I had to break down and look up some of the specific names such as ISERE (or would that turn out to be SAONE?), EVERS, LUM, DIL, van BUREN, and EULA, which helped to crack the puzzle open.

I knew Sparks, being a Californian and having been there a few times, but even so I didn't trust NEVADAN right away because I had been wrong about so many other entries. I kept thinking it couldn't be that straighforward.

Oh, and I got PECTIN easily too, as I used to help my family make jelly every autumn. I always thought it is a protein, but I guess proteins are carbohydrates too?

The term IN A STEW is not a common phrase in my experience, nor is FALL DUE. I have used and read the word ethnography many times, but never ethnographic.

I, too, was thinking of something having to do with drugs for "They can get high." I also tried to come up with something that flies. Sneaky but fun!

A couple of 7-letter districts in Mahattan jogtrotted through my brain, garment district and theater district, before I finally remembered Tribeca, which I believe was given that name by Robert De Niro (I should factcheck that, though.) ... I checked, and I'm wrong: it was not created by Robert De Niro. LOL

Hoo-kay, I'd better stop now.

Best wishes to you all.

dodo said...

Hello, everyone. I thought this puzzle was great. It was a long slog for me, but other than the SE corner, it was very doable. I put down 'Saone'for 'Isere', but when the perps didn't support it, changed it quickly. 'Faeries' was my first entry, 'Nevada' second. I knew Sparks; I believe it is known for its bordellos. Couln't for the life of me think of 'do' after 'made' and put 'it' which made the SW even more trouble because even though I had 'Buren', of course it wouldn't work and like a 'numbskull', I erased that instead of 'it' until after I despaired of finishing and looked up 'Raeburn van'. Surprise, Surprise! 'Eula' was a WAG but until I came here I still couldn't clear up the corner! I too had 'in a stew' and was stumped on 'the wire'.
I've read all the posts and am taking a risk of duplicating wbat had already been posted, but that's the way it works if you live on the left coast.

Lucina said...

Good day, C.C., everyone! Many interruptions for me made this a long haul.

Yowza! I love that word. What a hair pulling, nail biting, frustrating puzzle. Loved it. Thank you, Tom.

The top third was fairly (I use that word guardedly) easy in that once started the fills revealed themselves, but "jogtrot"? Now that is a good Saturday word if ever there was one. I had "TWA" for a long time, just couldn't accept it until junkmail, radiate and oneL made it inevitable.

My big surprise was "Lum"; it came from out of the blue!

CA: we must have heard the same radio programs. LOL.

Class action: PTA was priceless
Isere, Rhone tributary also jumped out at me; must have crossed it when visiting there.

Paseo, can you believe I missed that? I may have to retire my Hispanic roots (if possible).

In a final surrender I ggled Van Buren, Eula and Dil. It's too long since granddaughter watched this.

Finally, I wanted "FHA" instead of NHA for FDR home loan gp.

All in all, a really good challenge for today.

I hope you are having a wonderful Saturday. Happy Mothers' Day!

dodo said...

Oops! I have to retract my statement about Sparks, Nevada. I guess it a small town not far from Sparks, whose name I don't remember that has the bordellos.

Oh, and I also started out with 'blushed'. Forgot!

Jayce said...

Hi again everybody,

The difficulty of today's puzzle has been noted by many. It reminds me of something Lucina said a few weeks ago, that she prefers the really difficult puzzles.

My mom did too. She would consider a crosswrd puzzle worth doing only if it kept her busy for at least half the day. She loved the New York Times puzzles because they were usually so hard. Of course, back then there were no personal computers or internet, so she worked the puzzles with pencil on paper (and a big eraser handy too.) She had a wonderful bunch of dictionaries, atlasses, thesauri, books of quotations, and various other reference books. Her dictionary was huge, a good six inches thick! She kept that sucker on a special sort of pedestal thingy so that one could open it and use it without having to lift it. And never have I been able to find an atlas as good as the one she had, a beautful world atlas with every doggone continent, country, state, province, river, mountain range, capital and major city, etc. clearly shown. I should have snagged it when she passed on. I think my brother got it. The last two houses she lived in she had floor-to-ceiling bookshelves built along an entire wall, and her collection filled the whole thing. As a kid I wondered if she had actually read all of those hundreds of books. (I confess I have not. Not even close.)

Hoo-kay, I'd better stop now again.

Best wishes to you all again.

Lrc said...

Hello, all.

I am a triple newbie. New to this group, new to blogging and relatively new to puzzles. I have been reading your comments for several months so I hope I am prepared.

Tough puzzle, but I did finish with only 2 Googles and 1 atlas (more later). Eritrea has special significance to me. In 1986, a group of Ethiopian parents sent 6 or their 15 and 16 yr old sons to North Dakota to escape the army and the fighting then going on in the Eritrea region of Ethiopia. The boys originally were at a Catholic boarding school but the school closed and the parents had to scramble, from afar, to find places for the boys. One of the boys (Michael) lived with us for two years. I have always wondered how much courage or faith it took to send your child half way around the world to live with complete strangers for an indeterminate time as they could not return to Ethiopia.

Now, back to the atlas, which I used for the Del Rio clue. Wasn't Del Rio the place where Wolfman Jack came to fame?

Doug said...

Hello people, back in northern Twin Cities from AZ to coolish weather that feels fine to me.I noticed on the Wed. blog, someone mentioned jarts. My powerful clue for market removal was stunning. The nearly blunt metal tip on the jart totally pierced the cross-section of the yellow tube, rolled into the hoop target all the way to the shoulder on the metal tip!
Who woulda thunk

Lucina said...

Your mother and I could have been sisters. Since I started xwds way before the Internet was even considered, I have accumulated a small library of dictionaries, thesauri, etc., etc. which surround me right here in a spare bedroom converted to office.

Only occasionally do I now need to consult them.

Fledgling and Anon@6:26:
A guest constructor, Mangesh Sabharam Ghorge (from India) has published a wonderfully informative article about initiating oneself into crossword puzzles. You can check it out on the blogsite where the constructors names are listed.

I do hope your ailments are soon a thing of the past. Fortunate that you have good therapy.

Ditto on Crockett's post.

I add my thanks for the review of the Punic Wars last night.

One learns much on this blog. So many of you are such experts and explain well; it's a dynamic meeting of the minds which we are fortunate to witness and assimilate.

Lucina said...

What a touching story about the Eritrean refugees. As a mother and grandmother I can't even imagine sending my children like that. How courageous are some parents.

You also have a sharp memory. Wolfman Jack was from Del Rio, TX.
is fascinating reading. I don't know why that doesn't link!

Spitzboov said...

Wolfman Jack

Lemonade714 said...

Well we are sneling up om mother's day, so I hope you all are going to have some family fun. Speaking of family and DIL Pickles, son of Phil and Lil; my cousin Thea was Tommy on the national Tour of LIVE ACTION RUGRATS , which I had forgotten until today's puzzle reminded me. Tommy was great, but sarcastic Angelica was the star to me.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Lots of diverging opinions on today's puzzle. I tried to work it while at dance comp today. Didn't like either experience very much.

Hip hop dance gets real old in about 10 seconds.

This puzzle, while clever and having some great fill, abounds in JIVE TALK (for which I had FAST TALK) and gratuitous obscurity. Raeburn van BUREN, TRIBECA, DELERIA, JOG TROT, LUM (WTH?!?). ORANGEY was at the tip of everyone's tongue, I'm sure.

FALL DUE and IN A STIR are OK, but a bit stretchy.

I suppose one might have GIGGLED when embarassed, but BLUSHED and FLUSHED both fit the space, and are both better answers.

BIG AS LIFE is not a good correspondence to IN PERSON. PTA is clever, but GLEANING (another very poorly clued fill) the charter on their website, I can find no mention of anything resembling "class action."

OTOH, I did learn something. I thought PECTIN was a protein, rather like a vegetable equivalent to the pig extract that gels Kosconya.

Live and learn. BTW, great post, AL.

IAGO has become a crossword stalwart. But didn't Al Gore make the net?

JzB who, like Tinbeni, does not have his single malt ON ICE

carol said...

Well happy pre-Mother's Day to all of you who are.

I couldn't come close to completing this bad boy, so I chucked it. When I have to look up every other word it takes all the fun out of it.

Lrc: welcome, I read your profile, and had to smile at your reference to the one room school house. My Mother was born in Bismark in 1913 and went to a school house like that. In 1995, my sister and I were fortunate enough to be able to go with her to Bismark. We visited her brother (her only remaining sibling). He was so sweet to show us the school house out on the prairie. It was not in the best of condition but despite decades of N.Dakota winters, was still standing. We went inside too. I took lots of pictures, it was quite a heart warming event and meant so much to my Mom.

koufaxmaravich said...

Good evening.

Very painful and humbling puzzle today. Got almost the entire right side, but the left was pretty empty. I got KNUMBSKULL early, but I kept doubting it as mt perps felt wrong.

Some terms were new to me, JOG-TROT, IN-SHORE, and IN-A-STIR, but overall a fair puzzle which only pointed out my inadequacies.

I'm pretty embarrassed because there were several NYC-related clues which I never got.

Airport on Flushing Bay should have been a gimme (the land in Queens on the other side of the bay from the airport houses Shea Stadium, the new Citi Field, and the USTA's National Tennis Center), but, as I always abbreviate it for myself, I had LaG (short for Fiorello LaGuardia) instead of universal airport code LGA.

For the life of me, I could not think of TRIBECA - I went through WALL STREET, MEATPACKING district, SOHO, NOHO, DUMBO (even though it's actually in Brooklyn), the VILLAGE (that would be Greenwich) - I earned a case of V-8 today.

Medger Evers College is a unit within the City University of NY system (which includes Brooklyn, Queens, Baruch, City, and Hunter Colleges)and is located about two blocks from the old Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.

Al, thanks for the great write-up on pectin. About 30 years ago, while working in my first biotech, we developed a product called Cellu-Pec from citrus peel and pulp thrown away by juice processors. It was composed of cellulose and pectin, and absorbed about 100 times its weight in liquids. Wonder if anyone has ever developed or marketed something like that? I wish we could just spread that stuff over the oil in the gulf.

Have a wonderful Mother's Day all you Moms and Grandmas. And good health wishes to all who are on the mend.

Bill G. said...

I don't have much to say about the puzzle since I usually skip difficult themeless ones. From everybody's comments, it looks as if I avoided a lot of frustration. I would never have gotten JOUNCE or JOGTROT but I remember my parents speaking of Lum and Abner from their radio days.

Speaking of pre-Mother's Day, we had our son, daughter and grandson over for a pre-Mother's Day brunch. Ever since I learned some tricks about how to cook omelettes properly from watching a cooking show on TV, that has become my responsibility. I'll bet I can do almost as good a job as Jeannie.

eddyB said...


Pit up 1-0 after one.

Remember growing up in Pit area and listening the Wolfman on KERF
from Mexico.

Tin. Probably a lot of DNFs this morning.

No comments from Rex.

eddyB 22

koufaxmaravich said...

I forgot.

Jazzbumpa - re FALLDUE: your assessment of "OK but a bit stretchy" is spot on. A bill or invoice tends to turn into a payable when it COMES DUE or BECOMES DUE. When talking about future cash flows, we talk about when bills FALL DUE, but it's obviously a much less common term.

Lucina said...

Thank you for the link. I am sooooo tech challenged.

Later this month I'm going to attend an all day "boot camp" at the college where I teach. I hope they can help me.

Spitzboov said...

Lucina: Niets te danken.

Follow the procedure here to create a link. Test it in the 'Preview' window before posting.

Lrc: Welcome aboard.

Tinbeni said...

Whenever I see ON ICE my first thought is hockey or skating.

OK, the beer can be ON ICE.
The Avatar does not allow it.
Cheers !!!

A DNF is always OK by me b/c then when I see the solve it proves to be a learning experience.

But then there are the answers that you look at and say to yourself "What the F*** my brain has left me ..." followed my that V8 can slap.

Unknown said...

Wow, I jounced along unaware for an hour or so!
Yall need to rent "The Long Hot summer"! It is one of my favorites. Loved the "Tribeca" clue. These guys really do twist and bend the language; don't they?

JD said...

Good evening all,

Lots of clever clues in this pzl,too clever for me. I cheated to finish up, BUT I really enjoyed the parts that worked. I spent 11 min. on the NW corner, so knew what was coming, although it never came.Too many molasses moments.

Loved high seas, and chamber group(senator)..wanted something musical like strings. Hated going to hear "chamber music". Yawn.

Crinkle was an a-ha since the clue confused me. Cinch, I thought of those little sucker bugs, but learned that they are spelled chinch.

JzB, I think giggling is more common when embarrassed than blushing, but then I've spent these past 40 yrs with middle schoolers who rarely blush.

Welcome LRC, your story was lovely.

Lucina and Jayce, I also have kept a large collection of reference books, as my memory is so poor. I prefer using a real atlas rather than going to Google. But then alas, I get very side tracked.Another favorite is my Desk Encyclopedia..just enough information.After being caught off guard with Eritrea, I checked it out.During the last 8-10 yrs. I have had many students from there, all wonderful kids.

Sparks..not as fancy as Reno or Las Vegas, but certainly a gambling town. It is known for having "Hot August Nights" where cars are "cherry" and cruisin' is "too cool." Many of those classic cars show up at Lake Tahoe even though it is an hour away.

Carol, loved your limerick last night.

dodo said...

Welcome, Lrc, from another NDak native. Born and raised in Grand Forks. Nice to have you here.

What's DNF?

JD, when you say the cars are "cherry" is that the color? Because we used to see caravans of really red classic cars on I-5 occasionally. We assumed they must be on their way to an auto show somewhere.

I too,have an assortment of reference books that I've accumulated over the years for help with crosswords. I find I use the p.c. more now,too. I really, really hate to google or use a reference until I'm aabsolutely sure I can't do any more without help. Since I've been coming here, I'm getting less dependent on help. Thanks, C.C. and friends.

kazie said...

Well count me among the failures for today. I only got about half of it before coming here for the rest. Many were clever, but there were too many names and references to names, most of which were in a rarified atmosphere beyond my ken.
Since I was gone all dy from 6am, and not back to try it again until this evening, I really had no energy to persevere.

Welcome, Sue and Lrc.

Fermatprime, I hope your pain subsides quickly.

And to those bemoaning the lack of interest in links, I usually try to use them all, but not today--it's too late. BTW, I didn't see anyone comment on my link to the different edges of the Euro coins yesterday, which I thought was interesting given the discussion on reeding.

eddyB said...


Sparks is also a major distribution hub for
for the West.

Tied 1-1 after two. I'm listening to Jill scream at the tv while working on tomorrow's puzzle.


Al said...

@Dodo, think in a different (read: risque) direction for the meaning of cherry cars, as in "they appear so pristine that no one could have ever ridden in them"...

Lucina said...

I linked onto the euro article and spent quite a lot of time perusing it, fascinated. However, did not have time to comment because had a birthday dinner to attend. Glad you reminded.

Normally, because of time constraints, I return later to check on links throughout the day. There's always something interesting. Please keep them coming.

Good night all! Love to all mothers.

Lucina said...

And to the men who are by their side.

Annette said...

Whew! C.C., I had most of the same problems as you, and then some! I had to cheat - a lot... When I do the puzzle online, I usually just start guessing letters, rather than googling. If I'm doing it on paper with a computer handy, then I'll google unknowns. If no computer handy, then I giv eup. Count me in as having BLUSHED...! I had a much easier time in the east than the west or north.

Welcome to all the newcomers! I hope you continue commenting.

Jazzbumpa said...

dodo -

A car that's cheery is one that cheers you up when when you see it.

No -- wait . . . that's not quite right. It's a car in "good as new" condition.

Though, why it's not called a "peary" is a mystery to me.

I suppose a Lutheran could drive it to Kirche am Sontag.

Happy Day tomorrow to all you moms. I'm going to visit mine, and my MIL. My sis is making chicken paprikas. Now THAT is some Hungarian food that's worth the trip to T-town.

JzB who is not above a lame attempt at a bi-lingual pun

JimmyB said...

If this were the first puzzle I had ever tried I would probably never try one again. Luckily I've done enough of them to just lick my wounds and hope for a better tomorrow. Or maybe Monday.

I couldn't even get the V-8 feeling with some of the answers: JOUNCES and INSHORE just seem wrong to me, even though I guess they are technically correct. And ORANGEY? Usually I don't mind learning something new, but learning the name of a cat that played a cat who had no name in the movie? It doesn't get more obscure than that.

kazie said...

Thanks for mentioning it. It's good to know someone liked it.

dodo said...

Al and Jazz, Thank you for your discreet answers to my DUMB question. Next time I'll ask stupid questions on email! My, I do have much to learn, dont I? You are both very kind.

Kazie, I was interested in the coin edges link, too. I like the links, too. It seems very awkward to me to look at them, though, since I lose my place in the comments, going back and forth. May be there's an easier way to get to them than I know, somewhat technologically challenged as I am.

We haven't heard from Jeannie today. I hope she's not lost on one of those thousand lakes in Mn.

Why are so many of our newbies hiding their profiles? I like to know where people are from and what thay do or did for a career.
It's nice to know ages, too, if you're not afraid to tell it. Don't be shy, folks. We all bared our souls; so can you.

Al said...

@Dodo, instead of clicking the links directly and losing your place, use the right-click button instead, then in the drop-down menu that results, choose "open in new tab" or "open in new window" to view them. When you are done looking, just close the new tab or window and you will still be where you started on your original page.

Jeff said...

Bills will "fall due"
By The Mogambo Guru ( from " Asia Times".

Lum & Abner - likely well before your time and mine also, and I'm 69.

Frenchie said...

Good night all you beautiful people. It is heart warming to be a part of a group who is so caring and supportive of each other.