Jun 17, 2010

Thursday June 17, 2010 Robert W. Harris

Theme: Double Features - Each theme answer contains two movie names, the "short" & circled one is a single word and placed orderly from left to right (the first and last one are actually in perfect symmetry).

17A. Alan Alda feature with a Will Smith short: CALIFORNIA SUITE. The circled (green color) movie title in the answer is ALI (Muhammad, the boxer). Interesting to see 54D. Branch of Islam: SHIA in the grid, which means "followers of Ali", and is based on the teaching of Muhammad and his successor (cousin) Ali. Coincidence?

27A. William Hurt feature with a Warren Beatty short: ALTERED STATES. Circled movie: REDS.

47A. Barbara Stanwyck feature with a Dustin Hoffman short: NO MAN OF HER OWN. Circled movie: HERO.

62A. Michael Redgrave feature with a Helen Gahagan short: THE LADY VANISHES. Circled short movie name: SHE.

I found this a little tough for a Thursday, especially getting started in the southwest corner. Maybe because I was a bit anxious at starting to be a regular once per week.

Al here, hope you all had a good time with this one, I know I liked the challenge. So, let's get started.


1. Tired: LIMP. Wow, a DF answer right off the bat...

5. Hall & Oates hit "__ Smile": SARA.

9. Beast of burden: LLAMA. An "orgle" is the mating sound of a llama or alpaca, made by the male. The sound is reminiscent of gargling, but with a more forceful, buzzing edge. Males begin the sound when they become ready to mate and continue throughout the act—from 15 minutes to more than an hour. That must be as annoying as a vuvuzela...

14. Higher than: OVER.

15. GM subsidiary since 1929: OPEL. Wir Leben Autos (we love cars)

16. Lady who reportedly exchanged barbs with Churchill: ASTOR. Nancy Witcher. A Viscountess, the first woman to sit as a Member of Parliament.

20. Like some condors: ANDEAN.

21. Net worth factor: DEBT. Yes, your only worth in the US is to go into debt, to keep the economy going. I know I've done my share of patriotic duty...

22. __ leaf: TEA.

23. Part of a process: STEP.

25. They take vows: NUNS. From the WTF department: "Nunnery" is slang for a brothel??

32. Prefix with sac: OVI. Usually a deposit of insect or arachnid eggs.

33. Familiar saying: SAW. Old English "sagu" (proverb), also Old Norse "saga", which is from an Old English root "secgan" (say), also related: sage.

34. Fuses, as ore: SMELTS. From German schmeltzan, which contains the word melt.

36. Prepare to fire on: AIM AT.

39. Terhune collie: LAD. Albert Payson Terhune is the author of "Lad: a Dog".

41. Hot fragment: EMBER.

42. Sets aside for later consideration: TABLES. In parliamentary sense, originally "to lay on the (speaker's) table for discussion", but it has come to mean to postpone indefinitely.

44. "Excellent!": RAD. Slang shortening of the word "radical".

46. Montana motto word: ORO. "Oro y Plata" (Spanish: Gold and Silver)

51. Frantically: AMOK. To run amok first recorded 1670s, from Malay amuk "attacking furiously." Earlier the word was used as a noun or adj. meaning "a frenzied Malay," originally in the Portuguese form amouco or amuco.

52. Management ally of a sort: SCAB. Meaning of "strikebreaker" first recorded 1806, from earlier sense of "person who refuses to join a trade union" (1777), probably from the meaning "despicable person"

53. Former flier: SST. The Concorde's last flight was on November 26, 2003.

56. Dick of adventure fiction: MOBY. I was trying to come up with a detective name, like MOTO or CHAN.

58. WWII encryption machine: ENIGMA.

65. Ipse __: DIXIT. A Latin phrase meaning he himself said it. The term labels a statement asserted but not proved, to be accepted on faith. Usually from a person of standing, such as Aristotle.

66. Grand Marquis, briefly: MERC. A Mercury full-size car, equivalent to a Ford Crown Victoria. I think I heard a rumor that Ford will shut down the Mercury line soon.

67. Depressing situation, with "the": PITS. Said to be a shortened form of armpits. Could be worse...

68. "Gymnopédies" composer: SATIE. Eric, a frequent crossword clue.

69. Spot: ESPY. Old French: espier, to spy.

70. Kiln for drying hops: OAST. Frequent crossword fill.


1. Crazy, in a Ricky Martin song: LOCA. Living la vida loca (the crazy life) Hot stuff!

2. Russian John: IVAN.

3. Blend: MELD. One for Argyle and Tinbini: The original reference is to whiskey-making.

4. Christian guide: PRIEST. Greek Presbyteros, to Latin prester, to Old English preost.

5. Norman athletes: SOONERS. Norman, Oklahoma, Oklahoma University.

6. Boston Marathon mo.: APR. Abbreviated clue (month) = abbreviated answer

7. Split apart: REND. Also rive and rent, all related.

8. Klingons, e.g.: ALIENS. Latin alienus, belonging to another, variant of Latin alius (other), related: alias.

9. Job application line: LAST NAME.

10. Fightin' Tigers' sch.: LSU. Lousiana State University.

11. Working: AT IT. OK, right, "working"...

12. Small particle: MOTE.

13. Region: AREA.

18. Inevitable outcome: FATE.

19. Borders: ABUTS.

24. Big ring: PEAL. From a bell. Clever clue, I was thinking bathtub and wondering: There's a name for that?

26D. 31-Down opposite: STEM. and 31D. 26-Down opposite: STERN.

27. Bird-related: AVIAN. Latin avis. (Rara Avis = rare bird, a pecular person)

28. Dance at a bar: LIMBO. The bar you bend under, not the one where you get bent out of shape.

29. Doc, for one: DWARF. Happy, Dopey, Sneezy, Grumpy, Bashful, Sleepy, and a list of about 50 unused names.

30. Attention-getting joint: ELBOW. Especially a poke in the gut.

32. Cereal grass: OAT.

35. Sign at a popular musical: SRO. You have to want to see a show pretty badly to pay and have to stand up all the way through it...

37. __ mater: ALMA. Bountiful mother.

38. Rice, to Montana: TEAMMATE. Tight End and Receiver both were the right length, too.

40. Some code signals: DAHS. And DITS. Morse code pulses.

43. Hair net: SNOOD.

45. Propriety: DECENCY. Appropriateness.

48. "I find that acceptable": OK BY ME.

49. Indian royal: RANI. For Queen, or the alternate spelling of RAJA for king.

50. San Luis __: OBISPO. Saint Louis, the Bishop. Halfway between San Fran and L.A.

53. Agreed-on guidelines: Abbr.: STDS. Standards. We have a saying at work, "The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from". Unofficial, of course...

55. Message often sent using thumbs: TEXT. I'm not one for doing phone text myself; I prefer the feel of a real tactile interface.

57. First name in fashion: YVES. Saint Laurent.

59. Karmann __: sports car: GHIA. Multiple car name clues today. This one's a VW.

60. 1986 World Series champs: METS. Game 6 is another coincidental movie theme tie in for this puzzle.

61. Helper: Abbr.: ASST.

63. First-century date: LII. 52. Wasn't thrilled with the clue for this. Could have been clued Caesar's deck, or something else helpful, instead of random unguessable Roman letters.

64. Dada daddy?: ARP. Jean, but also went by Hans. The other founders of the Dada movement were Max Ernst and Alfred Emanuel Ferdinand Grünwald.

LA Times website has no circles since its software does not support circled squares. You can see our Answer Grid to identify where circled letters are.


Note from C.C.:

I am very pleased to announce that Al will blog Thursday puzzles from now on. Al has been a quiet hero, always there when I have a computer or crossword related question. Welcome on board, Al.


Dennis said...

Good morning, Al, C.C. and gang - I thought this one got off to a weak start with 'limp' for 'tired', but it certainly picked up from there. Or maybe my brain just wasn't fully engorged...
A fun theme and some tough clues made this an overall enjoyable experience. Al, brilliant write-up as usual -- I liked your 'orgle' explanation; I'll have to try that next time I'm 'at it'. I had a number of missteps including thinking 'Terhune collie' was going to be something feminine (no idea why, maybe my brain saw colleen), and for 'Dick of adventure fiction', I had 'John Holmes', but then realized that wasn't fiction. Favorite clue, by far, was 'Norman athletes'. Least favorite was another unguessable 'First century date'.

Al, I heard the same thing about Mercury; wouldn't be a big surprise, just a damn shame that another one bites the dust. And congratulations on the Thursday gig - I know I'll always learn something on Thursdays now.

Today is Eat Your Vegetables Day. Not to be confused with yesterday's Fresh Veggies Day.

Hahtoolah said...

Ipse Dixit: It is a legal phrase used for a statement which is unsupported by any other evidence than the fact that the person himself said it. The only proof of the statement is that someone said it. Lemonade can expand upon this phrase.

Dennis said...

Hey, check out the Non Sequitur comic strip if you get it - there's actually a mention of 'Occam's Razor' by one of the kids.

Argyle said...

Non Sequitur

Check out the comments. I'm going to bookmark this site.

windhover said...

I'm a farmer not a lawyer, but one of my favorite Latin legal phrases, and one that applies to the ill-conceived and unsolicited advice you got last night:
res ipse loquitor.
You or L714 may need to correct my spelling.

Mainiac said...

Good Morning Al, CC and All,

This was a struggle. I had absolutely no idea what the them was and perps were the only reason I guessed at the answers. I did enjoy the challenge. I liked the cluing also. Dick of adventure fiction led me looking for a last name. Slapped my forehead when I got Moby. Rice to Montana was a gimme and assisted greatly in that section. Nice puzzle!

Great informative blog as always Al.

Still playing catch up.

Have a great Thursday.

Paolo said...

Superb write up. Really enjoy the word origins and evolutions. Looking forward to more.

Favorite: PEAL
Disliked: MERC
New to me: SNOOD

Dennis said...

Windhover, almost. It's res ipsA loquitor, "the thing speaks for itself". Good point.

Argyle said...

For the car enthusiast, an Wiki article about Ford/Mercury/Lincoln Panther platform(frame). Link.

And a Mercury earworm. Mercury Blues, originally written by K.C Douglas and Robert Geddins in 1949 and originally titled "Mercury Boogie". Also known as, "Crazy 'bout a Mercury".

Dick said...

Good morning Al and all, quite the slog for me today, but for some reason fun. Not being much off a movie buff I found all of the theme answers difficult. I had to rely on perps and a few trips to Mr. G to complete this puzzle.

Like others, I do not like the inane clues like 63D “First-century date” as any answer would just be a WAG until the perps fill the squares. I liked the clue/answer Rice, to Montana/Team mate. “Moby” popped into my mind as soon as I saw the clue and “Obispo” has been in the puzzles numerous times so it was a given.

Al, look forward to your Thursday blogs.

Hope you all have a great Thursday.

Anonymous said...

Neat stair-stepped circles.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning Al and all.

Somewhat challenging today, but no lookups needed. WAGS included LLAMA, ANDEAN, and LII. Felt MOBY was clever. Got SATIE and the theme words from the perps. SNOOD has been around before. Crosswordese?

Don't remember STEM and STERN in the same puzzle before. Normally don't like clues of the form: A is opposite of B and then B is opposite of A. In this case I think it worked.

Enjoy the day.

Andrea said...

Morning, all.

Nice job blogging Al - now there's a reason to look forward to tough Thursday puzzles!

I had all kinds of trouble with this one. For example, all I could come up with for "Dance at a bar" was Lap... Fortunately after a couple sneak peeks at Al's write-up, I was able to get some traction and finish it up. Barely.

Off to a golf outing this afternoon. Looks like a lovely day!

Tinbeni said...

Al Very informative write-up.
Checking the extra dwarf list I wonder what is Hotsy's talent?

A puzzle with STDS, no wonder it started with LIMP and has an ABUTS DECENCY stack.

Normally I hate circles in the grid but today they worked well. The little movie titles helped me get the 4 main theme titles.

Like the ANDEAN / LLAMA connection.

First thought on Rice, to Montana was receiver but AIM AT got me the 'T' for TEAM MATE.

FUN Thursday.

Splynter said...

Hi All,

I agree with Spitzboov that clue A is opposite clue B, and vice versa is a bit weak, but it did work here. Not terribly happy about 1A, but I got it. LLAMA and SAW broke open those AREAs for me, and the SE corner was tough, but I had _._IGMA, so that was a guess. Glad I had heard of ALTERED STATES, made LIMBO a V-8 moment, and the other theme clues were WTF to me...too young? I did remember HERO, tho...favorite of the day, uh, I guess it was 'attention getting joint' I could have used a mental elbow this morning !



Janet said...

C.C., I'm new here in blue, so I hope it is OK if I make a comment about the blog instead of about today's puzzle. I understand you have been busy, but I was hoping after you got your citizenship you would return to make regular daily comments on the blog. It makes me sad, because not only has that not happened, but you will only be blogging for three days a week and maybe that will dwindle down even more in the future.

Please don't misunderstand, I have nothing against Argyle, the Wednesday guest, or Al. They are very good bloggers and make interesting enjoyable comments, but you are the person who made this blog so popular. You used to ask questions and answer questions and suggest topics. Now it seems like there isn't anybody in charge to guide the blog in the enjoyable ways of the past.

I like the blog a lot, but I miss your hands-on contributions. I may be the only person who feels this way. If that is true, I apologize for stepping out of line.

Anonymous said...


Perhaps you haven`t thought "blogging the puzzle" through. It`s 365 days a year of getting up a great while before dawn...spending hours @ the computer to have the blog ready for the rest of us. After over a year, I imagine CC just got weary. Wouldn`t you? Getting to sleep past 4AM a few days a week is all good and we get to see the talents of other bloggers. I don`t mean to put words in CC`s mouth but that`s the way I see it.

Warren said...

Hi Al, C.C. & gang, a toughie for Thursday, my wife and I only managed to finish ~2/3 of it before she left for work. After I finished it (in Red) I was still mystified by the circled theme letters, I didn't equate that to another movie title until I came here.

Here's the version of 'Buy me a Mercury' that I remember.

See Ford drops Mercury, Ford is dropping the Mercury line at the end of 2010.

JimmyB said...

Really tough for a Thursday, I think. Had to Google to fill in a gaping hole in the center. I didn't remember HERO, and wasn't familiar with NO MAN OF HER OWN. And I thought it was DOTS not DAHS. Plus I don't know my collies, and SAW escaped me.

Dick and Spitzboov - I think I've figured out what you meant by WAG, since I made a few lucky guesses this morning. But for a while I couldn't figure out what Wives And Girlfriends had to do with crosswords.

Janet - I think you've tactfully brought up what a lot of us have at least thought of. C.C's background and her takes and questions on the puzzles are what initially brought me here and created this pleasant addiction. But I can imagine how time consuming and draining it must be to blog the answers every day so I've come to love the different angles taken by Argyle, Al, and all the guests. The result has been a synergy that makes this site such a fun place to check out every morning.

Splynter said...


If at some point those in the "know" get comfortable with me here, I wouldn't mind a guest blogging to allow the others to avoid a 4am wake-up call - heck, in my near future I might have to be up at 4am to start a shift with the ups man...

Richie Splynter

JD said...

Good morning Al, CC and all,

Welcome to Thursdays, Al. You are full of information and clear out most cobwebs for me.Learned about Adam Opel, the orgel, saw (grr),the snood (odd, no?), and lastly, got that Lad was the book- not all those collies are males.LOL! I am still in the dark about the DaDa movement.
I knew 2 of the movies, but never heard of The Lady Vanishes.Had to use perps anyway for all of them, and my copy had no circles. Clever theme.

Had trouble with stern (thought U-turn) and stem for a bit.Left 53A SS (stds/shia) came to mind.Did go to G for Klingons-I'm not a trekkie.Love the word.

attention getting joint/elbow
net worth factor/debt
and nobody will ever come close to the impeccable style of Rice and Montana-49ers have never been the same.

dodo, @ last night's comment.The comment made to Hahtool was a bit snarky.Dennis's comment/ perfecto.

Anonymous said...

@JD, no circles on my puzzle neither.

Anonymous said...

ARBAON said...
I thought I had "gone blue"...but couldn`t get anything to post...
so I was "anoymous" @10:41...CC

eddyB said...

Morning all.

Puzzle and circles were available at 7PM last night.

Love Non Sequitur every morning.

For more chuckles or snickers check
out last night's Letterman's monologue and top ten ten list

If I'm too esoteric, ask me to explain. Just say, " Hey eddy WTH are you walking about?"

JD. Snarky?

dodo. I was talking about the oil spill.

Carol. The pills are working. The glucose reading was under 100 this morning. BTW this batch is blue.

THWI. Go ahead and obsess.

Better living through chemistry.


Jerome said...

Hahtool- What precisely is the difference between Ipse Dixit and hearsay?

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, High fives to Al.

The theme today was very clever. It is a good thing that the short movie names were circled. I don't think I could have gotten them otherwise.

No MAN OF HER OWN and THE LADY VANISHES are not movies I'm familiar with, so the bottom section of the puzzle had a lot of perping going on.

I couldn't remember 43D SNOOD and I have to admit the 56A "Dick of adventure fiction" brought a similar reaction as Dennis'. At least I dismissed that idea before I remembered John Holmes.

I also thought 40D should be DOTS rather than DAHS. Haven't we seen it as DOTS and DASHES before?

Al brought out the ALI/SHIA connection. Here's another one. The short movie title for 27A was REDS. The short movie title for 62A was SHE starring Helen Gahagan. Under her married name, Helen Gahagan Douglas, she ran for US Senator from California in 1950 against Richard Nixon. Mr. Nixon accused her of communist sympathies and charged that she was "pink right down to her underwear." In return Mrs. Douglas popularized the name, "Tricky Dicky". When it was all over, he won the election. BTW, as a juicy sidelight, when she was a congresswoman, Mrs. Douglas had an affair with congressman Lyndon Johnson.

I understand Janet's concern. I miss C.C.'s daily comments too, although I understand that the grind of a daily blog is exhausting. Perhaps the concern is that C.C. involvement has lessened quite a bit and may dwindle even more. Are more guest or permanent bloggers in the future?

Hahtool's comments about the Gulf crisis are of interest to many people. As always, people are free to follow the links or not. OTOH, I have some sympathy for eddyB and his medication requirements. I think he has mentioned before that he takes medication for his emotional equilibrium and well as for other health issues. In this instance, eddyB was asked to explain his first post, so he did. Not everybody is going to like every post.

Lucina said...

Hello puzzlers, especially Al and thank you; welcome to Thursdays. I look forward to many enjoyable moments of learning from you.

Yowza! What a maze to walk through this one. I decided to fil in those I knew for certain, then proceeded to expand from there.

LOL at SNOOD and OAST, one of the first crosswordese I learned and recall going through many searches in dictionaries to find them.

Somehow, quadrant by quadrant it was filled in; 20A, ANDEAN and 9A, LLAMA, tickled me.

I really liked:
"Dick of adventure fiction" MOBY
Dance at a bar, LIMBO
Big ring, PEAL

Thanks, Robert Harris, for a real head scratcher, very enjoyable puzzle. Clever theme.

Yes, Occam's razor in Non Sequitor was in our newspaper; made me laugh.

I hope you are enjoying this lovely Thursday.

JD said...

EddyB, yes snarky...don't you just love that word? It means irritable, touchy..and you have a right to your opinion too.

Spitzboov said...

Thanks to Al for the précis on orgling. Somehow the female seems to have lost interest or is quite blasé about the whole thing.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone.

Al, welcome to the regular rotation! I'm sure that C.C. will enjoy having a bit more personal time, and I'm looking forward to your style of informative posts on a regular basis.

I agree that this one was a bit tougher than expected. I had to go deep before getting much traction. My final fill was the L in the LIMP/LOCA cross, and I still don't feel great about it.

Interesting info on the "orgle." That incessant noise on the World Cup is VERY irritating!

Unfortunately my first car was an Opel Rekord, a model not made for the US market. Getting parts for it proved to be extremely difficult and frustrating. Not a satisfying experience at all. Had to push start that thing so many times. When I traded it in, I got out of the dealer's lot quickly before they had any problems trying to start the thing!!

Wanted BAY for TEA in 22A. TRACY wouldn't fit in 56A. SATIE was a slam dunk. Had ATOM, then IOTA before finally getting 12D. Didn't care for the 26D/31D dyad.

Dennis, made me chuckle.

Tinbeni, I also don't care for gimmicks in puzzles -- circles, rebus, whatever -- but have to agree that this one worked out.

Janet, I understand your concern about the diminished presence of C.C. on the blog, but my take is that she is able to have some more personal time. How she ever kept doing the blogging alone in the first couple of years is a mystery to me.

Hope everyone has a fantastic Thursday.

Jeannie said...

I finally had time to take a lunch today and attempt the puzzle today. First of all I didn’t know one single movie so that caused me trouble right off the b at. I had to hit the g-spot for Karmann Ghia and got lots of red letter help with Satie, Obispo and others. Snood was a new word for me today.
I knew Hall and Oates “Sara smile”. Matter of fact that was the first concert I ever attended. I also knew about the “enigma” machine as that was the focus of one of my favorite movies; U571. Or maybe it was because Matthew McConnaughy was in it .
Spitzboov, I agree the female llama doesn’t look all that enthralled with the mating process. I’m not sure I would be either with all that orgling going on.
As for Hahtool’s comments on the oil spill, remember she lives in that area and it seems to me that it literally hits closer to home for her.

john28man said...

Maybe its because I am an engineer but I always heard the term SWAG which is a scientific one.

I haven't gone to the movie house for almost 40 years so I always have trouble with movies unless they are rather old.

Bob said...

Just a little more challenging than yesterday. Took 21 minutes to finish. Nothing particularly tricky or difficult.

Windhover and Dennis: Almost right--it's res ipsa loquitur.

JimmyB et. al: It's dots and dashes or dits and dahs. You're liable to see any combination of these in a crossword puzzle. Just curious. Does anyone else on this blog actually know or do morse code than me?? (Extra Class amateur radio operator for about the last 30 years.)

JD: Google "Dadaism"--flourished around 1900 in Europe as a nihilistic art movement. Since many had lost faith that there is any inherent meaning in life, art should reflect it and be equally meaningless. Jean Arp, Tristan Tzara, and Marcel Duchamp were pioneers of the movement.

JimmyB said...

Bob - Thanks for the Morse code clarification. I guess I could have looked it up but all you helpful folks on the blog tend to be more concise.

dodo said...

JD,I'm crushed that you feel I was being snarky in my comment yesterday. I certainly didn't mean to be. I really thought you could explain Eddy B's comment to us and hoped that it had to do with the Jane Auel book you'd refered to. Actually, I felt he was a little out of line telling Hahtool to cool it! Anyway, forgive me, I'm probably one that should cool it!

Jayce said...

Greetings all.

Well, not unexpectedly I had to work pretty hard to finish today's puzzle, but I feel good that I didn't have to look anything up. By working alternately across and up&down the fils slowly, ever so slowly, fell into place. I didn't know any of the movie titles except for Altered States, so the circles didn't help, even when I figured out their intent.

I hate to say it, but although I appreciate a challening puzzle, somehow I got no feeling of satisfaction or pleasure from finishing this one (except for the aforementioned satisfaction at not needing to looik anything up.) I was all, "Meh."

Specifics: I dearly wanted NEW for ____ leaf, and was not happy that the correct fill was TEA. Gimmes for me were ASTOR, ENIGMA, MOBY, IVAN, SATIE, GHIA, and SHIA. Favorites were PEAL, SMELTS, SCAB, ANDEAN, and ELBOW. I really don't like stuff clued as "this is the opposite of that and that is the opposite of this" because it can mean anything. The same goes for that LII, as many of you have already pointed out.

Sorry to be so negative, but as BarryG once said, "Meh."

Yeah, I also read that Ford is dropping the Mercury line. It seems the Mercurys have for years been just fancier versions of Ford models anyway: Crown Victoria = Grand Marquis, Taurus = Sable, and so forth.

I'd better get to work or my boss will sic the Klingons on me!

Best wishes to you all.

dodo said...

What's happened to our avatars?

Hi, all. I didn't even greet yawl I was so anxious to apologize!

Just want to say that like most of you I thought this was a great Thursday puzzle and that we're very lucky to be able to look forward to some more great blogs like the one Al gave us today! Of course we'll all miss CC but I'm sure she'll be interacting with us in other ways. I think she's being smart to wind down a little before she gets burnout. Iknow how it is to commit to something and have it begin to loom larger than life. If you don't ease away, you begin to hate the whole thing!

Chickie said...

Hello All--My Crossword Dictionary had a real workout today. I am not knowledgable about movie titles, so there were many vacant squares after the first two passes.

I eventually got most of the answers, but many were guesses, and some were plain wrong answers. I had dots for dahs, therefore that section was a problem. I put in TWA for former flyer and I know that SST is the stock answer for this clue--V-8can here I come.

The last corner to fall was the SW. All I could think of was a name for the thumbs up gesture one makes for an a-ok sign not a text message. Another V-can here, too.

I had a difficult time, but a challenging one. I did manage to have almost all of the puzzle done before I gave in and came here for the last answers.

Thanks, Al for a very informative blog. I look forward to more Thursdays with your help on those puzzles that give me a problem.

Chickie said...

Al, I had to laugh at your bathtub ring thought for Big Ring. This kind of out-of-the-box thinking is what gives me answers some of the time and sends me off in the wrong direction at other times. Don't you just love the clues that do this?

We are Mercury owners and we recieved a letter from the Ford Motor Company just yesterday saying that they will be discontinuing the Mercury line at the end of 2010. They assured us that they would contiue to support the line with spare parts, etc. But for how long is another matter. We'll see.

I have entered SAW into my personal dictionary for later use. This is a new term for me. Thanks Al for a superb definition of the term.

sj said...

Fun little puzzle; I really liked the "movie in a movie" theme. Not a football fan so 38D had me stuck for a bit.

Alexander Woollcott famously wore a snood.

JD said...

dodo...NO!!!! You weren't snarky; I thought Eddy was snarky in his comment to Hahtool.

Anonymous said...

Janet, I'm not sure, but I believe Dennis (first poster each day)is unofficially in charge in C.C.'s absence. I'm sure someone will tell me if I'm wrong.

Always a nice, eclectic mix of posters here. I love looking in each day.

Inquiring Mind said...

Anonymous@10.41 "I don`t mean to put words in CC`s mouth but that`s the way I see it" and Anonymous@5.18, "I believe Dennis (first poster each day)is unofficially in charge in C.C.'s absence. I'm sure someone will tell me if I'm wrong"

That is the problem. It is C.C.'s blog and her readers aren't getting information directly from her. Other people are guessing what she is thinking or planning.

carol said...

Hi all - well I did try and I didn't do very well. I am not a movie goer so most any movie title throws me for a loop.

EddyB...I didn't mean to make light of your medications last night, but really, you were the one who pointed out that your 'happy pills' had arrived and I just couldn't leave an opening like that alone. I had no way of knowing how many pills you must take each day or how serious your medical condition must be. I am sorry if I hurt your feelings.

Bill G. said...

It's almost time for the start of game seven. I'm nervous. I understand that courtside seats are going for $50,000. I guess there won't be any retired teachers there. Of course, I could sit in the nosebleed sections for about $1,100.

~ Bill G.

erieruth said...

Very challenging ... my favorite clues: 29D Doc, for one and 56A Dick of adventure fiction.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Kinda late to the party today, so all my thoughts about the puzzle have been put into words already.

I have long suspected that C.C. must arise shockingly early each day to prepare the write-up, as others have opined. The time involved must be pretty serious as well. I certainly support her in a quest for more personal time, if that's the cause. I think it speaks very well of her long-time labor of love that various guest bloggers, presumably unknown to her at the beginning, became such reliable allies.

Thank you once more, C.C., for giving us this delightful cyber-meetingplace! I really enjoy your crafty blog style, and a few days a week will do.

For the guest bloggers, keep up the good work. You all bring such fun to the thing.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

First off - great blogging, Al.

I'll admit, I did not like this puzzle at all. A Roman numeral with a ridiculously vague clue, two clues that reference each other, while giving ZERO information, and an interleafing of a bunch of movie titles, some of which I never heard of.

Clever - yeah. But MEH! anyway.

This puzzle is jammed with obscurity for its own sake - which I'm sure makes a great sounding phrase in Latin.

As an occasional guest blogger, I'll mention briefly what it entails. I can get the puzzle from Cruciverb at 10:00 pm, my time (9:00 for C.C.) By the time I work the puzzle, put the text together, track down links, and proof read about 5 times, cuz I'm really bad at it, I rarely get to bed before 2:00 a.m.

And this is the worst thing to do before retiring. It's impossible to shut the brain off. Plus, I end up second guessing myself, and wondering how much I stuck C.C. with fixing.

Every time I blog here, her hand is in the result, though you might not ever know about it.

Watched 4 granddaughters dance tonight at their studio's end-of-season banquet. Emily got right up there and got AT IT with her 4-yr-old peers. We were really proud of her. Amanda (12), Rebekka (9) and Samantha (8) are seasoned veterans. It was a great show, and a decent dinner, too.

JzB who sometimes blows his own horn

Dot said...

Since I know nothing about movies, this was a tough puzzle which I only completed after coming here. My paper had the circles but what are they for? I wrote down all the letters and they don't spell anything.

I agree with Janet about C.C. & how much she is missed when she doesn't do the blog. Maybe C.C. you can compromise and just make some comments like the rest of us when you aren't actually doing the blog.

Today, I finally got a new sofa bed for my family room in the lower level to replace the one we lost in the flood. Unfortunately, I did not check the measurements when I ordered it.The two grandsons tried bringing it in through the garage. Couldn't do it. Then we went to the front door. After removing the door closers on the storm door, and the legs from the sofa, it came in. But they had to move a lot of the furniture in the living room to get it to the stairway. Then off came the bannister. By squishing the back cushions, they got it down the stairs. Both boys say we have to sell it with the house. They're not taking it out! Thank goodness, they both work out and have plenty of muscle.

eddyB said...

Hello all.

Just did tomorrow's by Doug Peterson. Good luck!

@Carol. No hurt feelings. I thought you might be serious about
wanting some pills for about a half
of a second.

@JD. Did like snarky. I was really

Hope someone went to to watch Letterman.

Will drink my Scotch to night to the next crisis that we can do nothing about.

BTW Obamma used the words "to the little people of the Gulf region"
to promise things would be better
than before the spill.

Drugs are great. Nite


Annette said...

Al, congratulations on your new gig! Nice blogging today too. When I first saw it, I thought "OMG, so much to read!" But it all was informative and pertinent.

When I first saw the actors, I had no idea at the movie titles. But once I got a few perps, all except the last one were known. I didn't know either actor in that one, but I must've seen the name "The Lady Vanishes" somewhere because it came to me verrrrry slowly.

I liked STEM to STERN, as well as TEAMMATE. I thought the clue for LIMBO was clever.

I had to google for ENIGMA, SATIE, and GHIA. I wanted a BAY leaf too.

The stack of LIMP above OVER, MELDed by a 'Russian John' brought a DF grin to my face.

Remember, C.C. also reads every post, plus I'm sure additional emails. Don't forget all the wonderful Constructors who probably wouldn't be as forthcoming in their comments or provide us with insightful interviews if it weren't for her. All that is due to C.C.'s groundwork and earned respect from Solvers, Constructors and Editors. She's built all this while studying for what sounds like a very difficult Citizenship exam, and lord knows what else in her personal life. I miss C.C.'s input too, but I sure appreciate all she does! And she selects excellent guest bloggers...

Anonymous said...

Good night, all.
Sorry to be so late, but...

I truly want to thank you, Al, for a great write up. And it's good that you'll do Thursdays. I mostly just do a few that I know on the days after Wednesday, so it's good to know you'll be adding so much to the Thursday experience.

Let's leave C.C. alone for a while. She gives us so much!

Sleep well, all.

Anonymous said...

Annette, amen to your comments, which I read after I posted. Good job.

Anonymous said...

Actually learned the word snood as a useful word because of a band I used to play in. The singers wore them on stage.

Limbo clue should have read "dance with a bar".