Sep 24, 2010

Friday September 24, 2010 Kelsey Blakley

Theme: SPOONERISM - Two-layered theme. The initial consonant(s) of common word/phrases are switched, and the end of each spoonerized two-word answer is a type of knife.

17A. Choose deli platter items? : PICK CHEESE. The unspoonerized word is Chickpeas. Cheese knife.

25A. Beef marinated in Jim's bourbon? : BEAM STEAK. Steam Bake. Not a familiar cooking term to me. Steak knife.

34A. Rooster's spread? : COCK'S BUTTER. A bit DF, isn't it? Box Cutter. Massive spoonerism in this one. The only entry where the middle consonants X experiences spelling CK change. Sound remains the same of course. Butter knife.

49A. "Casablanca" nightclub income? : RICK BREAD. Brick Red. Rick's Cafe in "Casablanca". Bread here means "money", right? The other three theme entries all end in real food. Bread knife.

58A. What each of the other four longest answers in this puzzle is : SPOONERISM

55A. Ironically, the 58-Acrosses in this puzzle end in types of them : KNIVES. "Ironically"? Are they supposed to end in "SPOONS"?

We also have TINE (19A. Jabber?). You use fork to jab I suppose.

Rather complicated scheme, isn't it? I was clueless about theme until I reached the unifier. Even then I still needed a bit of head-scratching to untangle the initial base phrase.

Total 21 non-theme entries of six or more letters. Quite impressive. Mainly a result of breaking down left and right edges of the grid into two rather than our normal three parts. Two-part edges are often seen in Saturday themeless.


1. Elián Gonzalez's home : CUBA. Easy start.

5. Legendary brothers in law : EARPS. At O.K. Corral. Not brothers-in-law.

10. Hogwarts messengers : OWLS. Lovely entry for Argyle.

14. What the connected have : AN IN. Have an in. The connected people.

15. Sole projection : CLEAT. SPIKE too, in golf.

16. Unconvincing : THIN

20. Opera set on Cyprus : OTELLO. Verdi opera based on Shakespeare's Othello. Did not know where it's set.

21. Spiced 23-Across : CHAI. And TEA (23. See 21-Across). Several cross-referenced clues in the grid.

24. Oater camp sight : TEPEE

27. Both Begleys : EDS

28. Chrysler division : RAM. Dodge Ram.

30. Shooting gadget : SYRINGE. Was not picturing medicine shooting.

31. Oklahoma tribe : KIOWA. Only know OTOE.

33. Dutch physics Nobelist Simon van der __ : MEER. No idea. 1984 Physics co-Nobelist. Still alive.

38. Shelled out : PAID

40. Rival of 2-Down : US AIR. And UNITED (2D. Red Carpet Club flier). Also, MOTH (54A. Light-headed flier?). Flier clecho (clue echo)

41. Bring charges against : ARRAIGN. Learned from watching "Law & Order".

45. Stumble : ERR

46. Sagittarian's mo., probably : DEC. Probably, yes.

51. Friend of Jesús : AMIGOS. Funny clue. To me, Jesus lived in Israel and spoke Hebrew, so did his friends. (Correction: The answer is singular AMIGO.)

53. Shih __ : TZU. The Tibetan dog.

56. Pack member : WOLF

60. Subj. with skeletons in the closet?: Abbr. : ANAT. Nice clue too.

61. Balm : SALVE

62. Within: Pref. : ENTO. Opposite ECT(O).

63. Place to keep stock? : YARD. Livestock? Don't quite get the clue.

64. Grammy winner Gormé : EYDIE. Faintly rang a bell.

65. Mtg. : SESS. Meeting/Session.


1. "In Cold Blood" author : CAPOTE (Truman)

3. Arm & Hammer logo feature : BICEPS. Arm & Hammer baking soda. Novel clue.

4. __ socks : ANKLE

5. Pilot's "E" : ECHO. Well, gimme for our pilot Dudley.

6. It may be blonde or brown : ALE. Got via crosses. Tricky clue.

7. Volleyball star Gabrielle : REECE. Model too.

8. Ottoman lords : PASHAS. Used to stump me.

9. Hot and heavy : STEAMY. Love. Sex.

10. Baseball's Master Melvin : OTT. Man, I never knew Mel Ott is nicknamed called "Master Melvin".

11. Bleach : WHITENER

12. Roots : LINEAGE

13. British : trainer :: American : __ : SNEAKER. Really, Nice Cuppa, you call sneakers "trainers" in Britain?

18. Ayatollah, e.g. : CLERIC

22. Camp David Accords signer: Abbr. : ISR. Egypt too. Camp David Accords.

25. Upscale imports : BMWS

26. Source of ticking : TIMER

29. Verbal thumbs-up : A-OK. Reminded me of Jennifer Aniston "Love Happens".

31. Maker of the FunSaver disposable camera : KODAK

32. __ Dhabi : ABU

34. Advertising notice : CIRCULAR

35. Recycled : USED

36. What many rural roads lack : TAR

37. Albania's capital : TIRANE. How can I remember this name? Looks so ordinary.

38. Not completely : PARTWAY

39. Home of Carefree Highway : ARIZONA. I guessed.

42. Chip maker : IBM. Computer chips.

43. Detroit suburb __ Pointe : GROSSE. Nope. Was it the place first settled down by the French?

44. Take-home : NET PAY

46. Like some wisdom : DIVINE

47. Discharges : EGESTS. Opposite INGESTS.

48. Carl Sagan PBS series : COSMOS

50. Get __ of: locate : A HOLD

52. Entangles : MIRES

55. Bouncing joint? : KNEE. Bouncing what? Soccer ball?

57. Wire svc. involved in many arrangements : FTD. Oh, flowers.

59. Egg opening : OVI. Prefix.

Answer grid.

Since many of you do not come to the blog on weekend, I'd like to share with you a birthday puzzle I made for a special blog contributor, who is celebrating his birthday this coming Sunday. The clues are very general, you don't need to know him to solve the grid.

Click here for the puz file (Across Lite), and here for the pdf version. I also had a write-up of the puzzle and my thought process. But don't read until you solve the puzzle. It's here.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - this one was a real slog for me. The only upside to the struggle was that in bouncing around trying to find traction, I got 'spoonerisms' before any of the theme answers, so I knew what to look for. I liked the theme clues/answers, but I admit I had to check the perps a few times to make sure 34A was correct. I think I'll leave the comments to Lois on that one or I could get in trouble with the Boss Lady.

I needed perp help just about everywhere, and I really enjoyed solving this one because of all the fresh, clever clues. Loved 'shooting gadget', 'It may be blonde or brown', 'bouncing joint', 'jabber' and 'light-headed flyer'. Unknowns were 'Hogwarts messengers', 'Albania capital'. Overall, I thought this was a nicely-done puzzle.

C.C., livestock are typically kept in a stockyard, and 'bouncing joint' refers to bouncing a baby on your knee.

Today is Native American Day and National Cherries Jubilee Day.

Did You Know?:

- Saltwater crocodiles can weigh up to one ton.

- The life expectancy of American high school dropouts is 9.2 years less than that of graduates.

- Watermelon is a vegetable.

Nice Cuppa said...

Ooh, naughty but nice.

It's not a bright Californian morning yet. The sun has not risen. I woke up early and thought I would begin the Friday X-word. 15 minutes later I had finished it (inc. time to make coffee). I could write in SNEAKERS even pre-coffeee, and the rest was a breeze.

My only hesitation of course was 34A. WOW! REALLY? SURELY NOT!

I shall be thinking about LAST TANGO IN PARIS for the rest of the day. It's going be a long day.

I am relieved of course that our discussion on the usage of "bugger" was last week, not this.

Reminds me of one of those classic XWord clues:

Clue "Pay attention to aural sex?"

Answer in next post.


Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, CC and all. I loved this puzzle. Today's was a much easier solve for me than yesterday. I did need to solve SPOONERISM, however, to fully appreciate the other theme clues. Without uncovering that word, I was wondering what the theme clues meant.

Since I am a Sagittarius, I knew 46D was more likely to be DEC than Nov.

I though for sure you would provide us with a glimpse of Gabrielle Reece.

Here's another AHH from the puzzle.

I didn't know that the Carefree Highway was in Arizona, since the singer is Canadian (I think). Do the semi's in Arizona really have teeth?

My favorite clues were: Jabber? = TINE

Place to Keep Stock = YARD.

QOD: The worst-tempered people I've ever met were the people who knew they were wrong. ~ Wilson Mizner.

Nice Cuppa said...


I think I had better stop now and try to focus on my day-job. Nah, I'll do the Sudoku instead.


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Not a lot of time to discuss this morning, but this one slapped me up, down and sideways. I finally had to turn on the red-letter help to finish, in fact.

Even knowing the theme, I couldn't guess the last half of BEAMSTEAK. Never heard of Steam Bake. Also had no idea that SNEAKERS were called "trainers" in the UK. The whole NE corner killed me, in fact.

And who knew that IBM made their own chips? I thought they bought them all from Intel. And RAM is a "division" of Chrysler? I thought it was just a model they made.

Ah well, gotta go. Have a great one!

Barry G. said...

Oh -- one more thing. I really, REALLY hate cross-referential clues that don't provide any useful information. For 21A and 23A I had SPAM and HAM, which further killed the NE corner for me...

Dennis said...

C.C., my birthday puzzle was an absolute gem! You definitely have a future as a constructor. I've never enjoyed solving a puzzle more, and I can't thank you enough for what I know must've been a long ordeal. Obviously I loved the theme, and your cluing was just outstanding; I liked 'small cells', 'topless?', Hawaiian band?', 'court coverup', 'port authority' and of course, 'half of sex-'. I'm truly honored that you'd take the time to do this, and I can't thank you enough. Won't get a better birthday present than this one.

fermatprime said...


Thanks to CC and Kelsey!

CC -- Jesus is an extremely common name for both men and women in Spanish speaking countries.

Thank you all for your advice and support concerning my insomnia. As you can see, it's 4:06 PDT and I still am awake.

Yes, I take melatonin. Dr. Oz says to take it 2 hours before attempting sleep. Also, eat tart cherries. But you are not allowed to eat anything after 3 hours before retiring (?)

I agree with Dennis--this puzzle was a real slog! Also, the capital of Albania is spelled TIRANA. (Before the 20s it was Tirane.) I knew this one. Really screwed me up. Did you all spot the spoonerisms before filling in the corresponding clue? I sure did not.

Happy weekend!

Anonymous said...

I knew that "Jesús" was a Spanish name by the accent over the "u". That's how I got "amigo".

Anonymous said...

Caught a typo: For 51 across you list the answer as AMIGOS, but it's actually the singular AMIGO.

Anonymous said...

There's also a third layer to the theme - I believe every themed clue also has a switched spelling for the same sound (is that called a homophone?). For example, peas vs. cheese, steak vs. bake, cock's vs. box, and red vs. bread.

Mikey said...

Re Friend of Jesús: AMIGO[S], I always keep in mind that it could just as well be AMIGA[S]

judi said...

A stock yard is a place to take cattle to market. Sioux City, Iowa and Chicago had large stockyards.

thehondohurricane said...

I don't know about the rest of you, but puzzles in two main sections, rather then the more traditional thirds, always prove more difficult for me and today was no exception. After a struggle I did finish with one goof. Had Thai for a spicy tea instead of Chai. Never heard of Gabrielle, so I figured Reete could be a name as easily as Reece. Thai food is supposed to be spicy, so their tea should be too, I thought.

Lots of Wags today and perp help was mandatory. But I enjoyed the puzzle because it took some thinking, but was doable with a lot of clever clues.

Jabber and Hogwarts Messengers were new to me. The Earps was a clever fill. Took a while to understand it.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend. I'm off to the Berkshires on Sunday and Saturday I'll be a couch potato enjoying college football.

creature said...

Good Morning C.C.and all,

C.C., I think the irony is that they do end in an eating utensil,knife, as spoon is an eating utensil. Awkwardly put,but..

Honestly, after this puzzle,I can't quit with the word play. Somebody help!

I had to Dogpile 33a and 7d, and with perps and wags and more wags,and lots of breaks ,I came here with 1 empty block- I didn't think chai was a tea. Never heard of it.

In spite of the difficullty,I really liked the theme and its complications; most original and challenging.

I am attending a funeral this a.m.- a friend's mom- So I will work on C.C.'s puzzle later today; can't wait!

C.C. thank you for the write-up,also; well done, as always.

Anonymous said...

@anon 7:50am - it's the feature of spoonerism. there's no third layer.

kazie said...

Seeing that Dennis had to slog makes me feel much better. I had all kinds of problems, starting with having REESE despite having had to g' it.

I also started with BEEF for BEAM, INDIGHT (misspelling indict) for ARRAIGN, TIRANA, AXIOM for -ERISM, STUFFY for STEAMY. the latter screwed up CHAI and PASHAS.

It was clever, but no fun for me. I don't like being tricked too much or having to hit the g'spot for more than a couple of clues. I'd also forgotten what a spoonerism is, so would never have caught on to the theme.

Add to these comments an ECHO of all that Barry G said.

Happy Birthday! After this one, I probably will just enjoy C.C.'s puzzle and not even look at Saturday's.

Anonymous said...

@anon 8:50am - I believe there is a third layer - please re-read my 7:50am post more carefully. Most spoonerisms do not contains homophones. The spellings are usually identical, they just swap between the words - i.e. the college football taunt, Muck Fichigan. However, all of today's theme answers switch spellings as well as swapping between words.

Mainiac said...

Good Morning CC and All,

Tough one for me. My youngest decided to join us in bed last night. I think the bowel of chocolate ice cream at 8:PM was the culprit. That kid is nothin' but knees and elbows. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! I got going in the SW with Arizona, Circular and Partway. I like the idea of BeamSteak. It's almost cold enough to switch to bourbon at night now. I wouldn't have gotten the theme in a million years. Thanks CC.

Favorite clue: Bouncing Joint had me thinking of different names for bars, pubs, taverns etc.

I haven't figured out how to print the B-day puzzle yet, but I will. Have a good one Dennis and thanks for what you do around here!!


creature said...

Anon 8:50 and 9:03- I'm referring to C.C.'s Blog re:55a. and its answer.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Thanks for the commentary, C.C.
Happy Birthday, Dennis.

A fairly tough one, today. Got early anchors in the NW and SE. The N - NW was last to fall. Patient chipping away got it all done without lookups. Many clever clues and answers. Liked SYRINGE, SNEAKER, LINEAGE, CLEAT, ALE, and EARPS. WAGS included SPOONERISM, MEER, and PASHAS. OTT was a gimme. Totally skipped the TINE clue because it filled in from the perps. ECHO - I assumed pilots use the same letter names as the NATO alphabet. All in all a challenging but fun puzzle.

A 'Bravo Zulu' to Kelsey.

Adios AMIGOs

Vidwan827 said...

CC - VERY nice blog to a puzzle I 'could' do - except for 6 words - not bad for my 'level'.

I didn't know IBM made chips - Intel, AMP and others, perhaps - but IBM is more into consulting and software. Ironically, I could not get 'chai', since I put 'PLO' for the Camp David signers... since UAR did not fit.

Your puzzle in honor of Dennis is a marvel - I am off at a 'location', so I just drew my own grid, on graph paper, and filled the numbers in - and solved most of the puzzle - I'd say a Wednesday level. Not to put a damper, but you missed a few good men.

I'm sure, Dennis feels grateful - and what better as a birthday present... I'm sure it touched his heart. It must have taken oodles of time, energy and dedication - you should be justifiably proud .... what next ? puzzle constructor ... and then puzzle editor ??

It always amazes me that how enthusiasm, hard work, perseverance and 'sheer will' can eternally triumph over so many hardships like lack of language and culture that you have had to overcome. May I humbly wish you even more success in your future.

I am now reminiscing ( with teary eyes ... ) about a japanese-american, who I knew 27 years ago, who was a graduate student in Physics, and who was totally blind, and for whom I used to read for, and transcribed. (parts of ) 2 books on quantum physics and Fermi-Dirac statistics. The irony was, I understood only 5 percent - just the english language - but he followed me with his ears - and always knew 'exactly' what I was talking about.... Truely, miracles are not associated with God alone.

Dilbert said...

Hi all.

A great double layer puzzle.
I'm not touching 34A either.

Stopped looking for the keys when I caught myself looking in the re-

Watermellon also high in potassium
and not allowed on the diet.

In addition to turning the ship around, I got a WD from the trailing ships for hitting the drone skin to skin. A very spectacular sight.

Take care. Great Harvest Moon last night.

kazie said...

I forgot to say I also misstepped with CHICKENCOOP for COCKSBUTTER at first.

I just did Dennis' birthday puzzle, and have to echo all that's been said about it so far. C.C., you constantly amaze me with your abilities. I would never even attempt something as complicated as this. I really enjoyed it too!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I was all set to rave about today's Kelsey Blakey puzzle. Then I checked into the blog and saw C.C.'s tribute puzzle. I was totally floored/amazed/impressed AND more!

First back to the SPOONERISM puzzle. Everything but the theme came without too much difficulty. I didn't know (7D) REECE, (33A) MEER, or (37D) TIRANE, and a few tricky fill like TINE, SYRINGE and MOTH had me scratching my head for a while, but the perps did their job and got me through.

The theme phrases were tough. I thought I had it when (55A) KNIVES showed up, even though the phrases didn't make sense. I had no idea of the SPOONERISM connection until I finally got down to 58A. I got a great "AHA!" when I unscrambled them.

STEAM BAKE is used for recipes like crème brulée. The custard is put in baking containers and then into a larger pan that is filled with boiling water. The whole shebang is put into the oven and is baked and steamed at the same time.

Okay, on to C.C.'s effort. I am in awe of her tribute to Dennis. It was no amateur effort. It would have been a wonderful compliment to a dear friend all by itself. But it was an excellent puzzle on top of that.

I loved all the Marine references and got a laugh out of how (1D) WHO AM I? and (2D) DENNIS cozied up to each other. Another smile for the ever popular (66A) MOREL.

I don't know who I should congratulate first. Early Happy Birthday to Dennis, of course. Then a big round of applause for C.C.!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Today's puzzle is brilliant, clever, and a study in criciverbalist virtuosity, rich in themeage, irony, and spoonery - all things that I love. And the long down fill is fresh. OTOH, I did not enjoy it at all.

To Barry's point - cross referential clues add some spice to a puzzle. But when they total about 1/4 of a clue between two of them, it's just an annoyance. This is not cute, not clever, and not fun. It ruins a puzzle.

I was totally unable to suss the theme, and misspelling TIRANA made the unifier intractable. Having the obscure EGESTS as a perp wasn't helpful - especially since ENDO for ENTO made that intractable as well.

OK - some of this is on me. SPOONARIUM makes no sense at all. But, still . . . COCK BUTTER?!?!

The classic from Rev. Spooner is "The Lord is a Shoving Leopard." You can tell that one in church.

On the brighter side, we had Gabrielle REECE just two weeks ago today - she's always welcome, and here is some more virtuosity.

Windy here - gusts up to 50 mph. T-storms in the forecast.

I'm looking forward to CC's tribute puzzle to Dennis to brighten my day.


Anonymous said...

My fist encounter with "spoonerisms" was in high school when we spoonerized each other`s names...until we got to Art Massey.

Anonymous said...

first encounter

Bill G. said...

Wow! This was really hard and tricky. Thank goodness for red letters. Since I avoid the Saturday puzzles, I think this is the hardest one I've experienced.

Thank goodness for CC's blogging. I totally missed the cleverness of brothers in law though I did get friend of Jésus. How a non-native speaker can complete a puzzle like this one is beyond me. I'm anxious to try her puzzle.

Anonymous said...

"...until we got to Art Massey."

Mart Assey??

Margie said...

Did the "Chai" and "Tea" cross reference clues really "ruin" the whole puzzle for Jazzbumpa or others? I thought the constructor was pretty careful to make sure the perpendicular answers would fill in at least most of the letters for those two. Maybe they were a little annoying, but not enough to totally ruin the solving experience.

I've never seen a perfect puzzle and probably wouldn't know one if I did. I recall that Jerome remarked we sometimes have to put up with little crosswordese tricks and overused words to get to the good stuff. I think today's puzzle was clever enough to get past "Chai" and "Tea".

Anonymous said...


Try drinking hot milk , be carful not to burn your tongue
it'll help you sleep.

Just being helpful said...

Art Massey = Smart Ass-ey ?

Steam baking is used, more in Near east and Far East Asia, for cooking rice cakes and other 'dim sum' and sweet and salty savories, which would probably disintegrate if deep fried or baked at high heat. I would probably describe it as 'steaming', for an extended period.

For a probably irrelevant nitpick, ... I have not come across a singular 'tine' ... whoever heard of a dining fork or even a tuning fork with just one 'tine' ?

Clear Ayes said...

I found the following at "Like most European languages Albanian belongs to the Indo-European language family, but in a separate branch from any other language. You may notice variations in the spelling of some place names, e.g. Tirana/Tiranë, Berati/Berat. This is because the form used in Albanian depends on the grammatical context."

We've seen SVERIGE before as the native spelling for Sweden and both ERIN and EIRE for

I don't know one word of Albanian, but it seems that Tiranë would be an alternative spelling used in the Albanian language. Any Albanian speakers out there to let us know about this?

Spitzboov said...

C.C. - A twofer today. First an LAT, then a CCBP (birthday puzzle). Loved the clueing and the fill. Challenging enough (midweek?) and fun to boot. Nice theme choices. Don't know what Dennis' connection to SARATOGA is, but I'll be there Saturday night for a special dinner.

BZ to you, too.

Occasional tea lover said...

A simple recipe to make 'Chai'....

Make the tea with 2 teabags ( per person - ), in a cup of 100% whole or skim milk .... add a 1 inch slice of ginger, and a genial pinch of cardamom powder, ... sugar, generously, to taste ... and boil an 'extra' minute, to make sure all flavors enter the solution . .. and filter the result.

The tea is incredibly rich, but makes a lotta sense for people who have but one cuppa day.

Tea purist, please delete this post immediately, lest it upsets your stomach or sense of propriety.

Lucina said...

Hello, C.C. and cyber friends.

C.C., again you amaze me! What a wonderful, delightful gift for a friend who loves puzzles! I haven't done it yet, probably tonight as i have the baby so, please, no spoilers.

Yowza to this puzzle! Some parts, like the corners flowed easily; I drink CHAI TEA and so with PASHAS I susssed it out. Did not know REECE, however but I had EARPS and so that led to STEAMY and CHEESE.

I've seen TIRANE at least three times this week in various xwds so I think I know it now.

Re: AMIGO, it was clued as Jesus's friend therefore masculine; had it been AMIGA wouldn't it be clued as Maria's friend, or some such.

I really liked the fresh clues for lightheaded flier (brillian) MOTH and shooting gadget, SYRINGE.

All in all, challenging, but doable. Oh, yes, I had two blanks YARD and WOLF because I couldn't part with PARTIAL. The blog gave me PARTWAY.

Have a terrific Friday, everyone! I can't wait to do your xwd, C.C.

Anonymous said...

Lucina: Are you saying that Jesus can't have a female friend?

Argyle said...

Our family reunion does what we call a steam bake. Two big copper boilers over the coals, filled with clams, corn, white and sweet potatoes, sausage links and some celery. They have instuctions on when to add the various items so they all get done at the same time and that time is coordinated with the grilled BBQ chicken and more sausage links. Good stuff. copper boiler image.

Classic Rev. Spooner: My queer Dean.

In high school, we had a family named Whitman, unfortunate children, Suzie, Sandy, and Stevie.

Argyle said...

Spitzboov, I'm no Dennis but I could meet you in Saratoga. Email me.

Bill G. said...

C.C., I just finished your jarhead puzzle. I loved it! Very clever and professional. Amazing, especially for a non-native speaker. Have you thought about running it by Rich?

My understanding is that from a botannical point-of-view, a watermelon is a fruit because it's the ripened ovary of a flowering plant and contains seeds as are tomatoes and zucchinis.

Jerome said...

Elian Gonzalez always cooks with at least one CUBA butter.

It's not a SPOONERISM, but if you want to be a jail house Stooge go to MOE'S PRISON.


In the Ottoman Empire everyone wanted TO BE C.C.S TURK.

"Nefertiti, why give her a loan?"
"Because C.C.S BROKE, TUT"

Jerome said...

I don't need no stinking apostrophies!

Anonymous said...

We all knew how to spoonerize "Art Massy." We just couldn`t stop ROFL long enough to actually do it!

Tinbeni said...

My St.Pete Times had 58 Across clued "Ironically, the 58-Acrosses in this puzzle end in types of them.

Throw in the 55 Across clued as: "Ironically, what the 58-Acrosses all end in."

I guess I'm "pit nicking" but ironically I found nothing ironic about this theme. (And I hate being in an Alanis Morissette song).

TIRANE was a gimmie since I've been there. Glad it was a business trip, not one of my "bucket list" destinations.

As to that CHAI TEA ... I hate, (YES HATE!) these type of clues at 21A & 23A. First, it gives you nothing, then it indicates they are related.

Not sure, but I thought IBM got out of the chip making biz years ago.

Eye ball.

Natch said...

I am a huge fan and many thanks - not just answers but humor and info too.

Natch said...

I am a huge fan and many thanks - not just answers but humor and info too.

Jayce said...

*** Spoiler Alert ***

Hee hee hee. RENMINBI. Couldn't fool me! I remembered :)

Awesome puzzle! I mean the "Happy Birthday, Jarhead" one. Holy cow, some awesome fill (HIHAT, STROP, CLEFTS) and some nifty cluing! So many favorites, including Topless?, Small cells, "He loves me" piece, and perhaps most of all, Beat-nik?

I put check marks next to clues that made me laugh out loud, and there are 21 of them! And an exclamation mark next to the PASCAL clue; I sure didn't know anybody else knew it was a computer programming language.

And didn't you say you rehemmed that dress that so many of us thought looked so pretty, to make it shorter?

And yes, got LEHI from the perps :)

I, for one, am happy as a clam.

Super duper happy birthday wishes to you, Dennis!

Clear Ayes said...

fermatprime, I hope this poem isn't too dark. I was rereading some of Wislawa Szymborska's poems last week and was reminded of you when I saw this one. Chronic insomnia is awful. Best wishes to you in getting your sleep when you can.

Four a.m.

The hour between night and day.
The hour between toss and turn.
The hour of thirty-year-olds.

The hour swept clean for rooster's crowing.
The hour when the earth takes back its warm embrace.
The hour of cool drafts from extinguished stars.
The hour of do-we-vanish-too-without-a-trace.

Empty hour.
Hollow.  Vain.
Rock bottom of all the other hours.

No one feels fine at four a.m.
If ants feel fine at four a.m.,
we're happy for the ants.  And let five a.m. come
so we can go on living.

- Wislawa Szymborska

Lucina said...

I was responding to Mike @8:01 who claimed the fill could be amigo or amiga. Usually the clues parallel the fill as to gender, abbrev., sing., pl. etc.

STEAMBAKE is also used in making flan, a custard dessert popular with Mexican dishes. It's made very similar to creme brulee.

Otis said...

Adios, AMIGOs,

But for OVa/EYDaE, I would have broken the DNF w/o help streak. Names will always be a problem for a 2+ decade largely TV-less & movie-less existence. Ah well. I just wish I could remember them from crossword to crossword. It is hard enough for me to remember people's names I personally know!

Oops, I see another mistake. Didn't realize I'd misspelled SPOONaRISM, until fermatprime's comment. I was certain the capital of Albania is TIRANA. Thanks for clarifying the issue, C/A. Nice poem, also.

I quite enjoyed the puzzle. I know spoonerism has come up on this blog before, but I'd forgotten what it meant, so I while I got the knives part, I missed the spoonerisms until coming here. Gotta love this blog. I credit it for the for a significant proportion of the strides I've made in puzzle solving in the past few years. So, thanks to C.C. and all.

I second what Margie said. Rarely does a clue or two (or even four or five) ruin a puzzle for me. Ten or fifteen obscure names crossing each other? Yes. But two self-referential clues numerous other clever clues? Nope, not for me. Incorrect clueing is another matter.

JBF@11:49 - you might JAB a person in the kitchen with one tine of a two-tined meat fork and say "Get your paws outta that (fill in the blank)". Perhaps?

Thanks for the Chai recipe, OTL@12:05. This sounds "authentic". I loved Chai in India. They sell it everywhere in small clay cups for about 5 cents. People throw the cups to the ground after finishing, and people collect the pieces and make more cups (or so I was told). Been a while. Chai here is not the same.

Looking forward to the 'bonus' puzzle - TIA.


Jerome said...

C.C.- If you don't pursue the crossword craft it would be a terrible waste of obvious talent. A couple of mistakes aside, your effort was outstanding! I have no doubt that you could become a fine, well respected constuctor. Develop the gift... you've got one.

Hahtoolah said...

CC: I was going to wait until Sunday to do your puzzle, since you said that is the date of Dennis' birthday, but with all the comments made here, I decided to give it a go. Wow! you are amazing! That is a puzzle that would make Rich Norris proud. You do, indeed, have a marvelous talent. Congratulations!

Otis said...

Re: Tribute puzzle (no spoilers)

Mainiac - you should be able to click on pdf version of puzzle, then print. Worked for me.


KUDOS for your puzzle!!! You did an excellent job, and while I thought you used a lot of fun and new fill, I particularly loved the cluing for 26A, 32A, 42A, 65A, 3D, 40D, 47D, and 53D. I had some mistakes, but they were my fault and not due to problems with the puzzle. My spelling has been going downhill in recent years. Must be a use-it-or-lose-it kind of a thing.

Your alternative for 3D wouldn't have driven me nuts. I wouldn't have known the answer, but I'd have burst out laughing when I found out!

I won't say much else, so as not to spoil it for others, except to say if comments were an option on the write-up page, I bet you'd get a lot of positive ones. You should pursue puzzle construction.


ARBAON said...

This puzzle took some effort! I`ve always loved spoonerisms..."played" with them most of my life. The one Anon @ 9:03 gave was a new one for me.

Not knowing the correct spelling of "Eydie", forgetting the "e" on
"Grosse" and the clue for "syringe" really threw me. I`m not a Harry Potter fan ( I know, it`s almost un-American!)so "owls" did not come readily. Cleverest clue? "Casablanca night club income"

Since the word "ironic" was used to describe the fact that the last words of all the clues were kinds of knives...was that intentional (by the constructor?)

CC: Being a budding constructor myself, kudos to you for an wonderful job with a favorite theme.

Dennis: I don`t usually "show up" on both weekend days (sometime, neither of them) so I want to wish you a happy birthday. CC knows quite a bit about you...seems to think highly of you...and spent a great deal of time on you. I`ve always heard that "Time" is the greatest gift you can give to a person. You`re rich indeed.

Jeannie said...

First of all I didn't get the theme. I wanted a food answer for knives as they all ended with a food item. Cheese, steak, butter and bread. Sounds like the makings of a good sandwich! I read 22A as "singer" not "signer" but the perps took care of that. I didn't know Ottoman Lords or who Gabrielle Reece was. I laughed right out loud at "cock's butter". Ironically, I had to take a rural dirt road detour this morning on the way to work as the main road was under water. All in all a fun puzzle.

C.C. you really should take up crossword construction. I am curious how long that took you to construct.

Lucina said...

I was able to do your puzzle while the baby was napping and let me tell you, it is superb!

Are you going to be a regular contributor now? You should be!

It's an extraordinary achievement for a person to maneuver the wiles of language in a crossword when it's the person's second language. Simply marvelous. Congratulations, C.C. and thank you for sharing it with us. Dennis is very fortunate to be the recipient of such a gift.

Husker Gary said...

C.C., A hard go from the teacher's lounge but enjoyable.

I will try your puzzle later as I have to run the video board for the FB game tonight.

I always enjoy Dennis' subtle and sometimes not so subtle comments and hope he has a great BD.

I told the Apollo moonshot story to 250 kids today and nobody thought it was a hoax!

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. I'm taking the liberty of quoting JazzBumpa here because what he said is almost exactly what I thought of today's puzzle. I can't say it any better than he did.

"Today's puzzle is brilliant, clever, and a study in criciverbalist virtuosity, rich in themeage, irony, and spoonery - all things that I love. And the long down fill is fresh. OTOH, I did not enjoy it at all."

Well, I enjoyed it a little bit, but my enjoyment came from having been able to solve it without looking anything up, not particularly from the content of the puzzle itself. Again, I won't repeat or otherwise paraphrase what JzB already said so eloquently, including his remarks about clues that don't do much more than refer to another clue.

The very warmest of wishes to you all.

Jayce said...

BYW, I have a question/comment on what constitutes or identifies a work as a poem or as an essay. I always thought a poem had to have both meter and rhyme, though so many "poems" these days seem to have neither. To me, they are really pretty essays. What defines/characterizes poetry these days? Is it simply that the line lengths are chopped up or that words and phrases are spaced/scattered strategically on the page? Seriously.


Dennis said...

Hey guys - very, very busy day today, but wanted to check in. Thanks for all the kind words and yes, as ARBAON, Lucinda and others pointed out, I'm rich indeed to be given such a gift. I won't ever forget it.

Natch, welcome to the blog - good of you to join us.

And to all you 'anons' today, why not grab an identity, go blue, and join the group as a regular? It's a good way to tell us about yourselves.

creature said...

C.C.- Your puzzle is wonderful from every aspect; your 'heart' for Dennis, your brains[I've always been amazed},your 'constructor talent',your 'fill' content, just your overall eye- 'style'.

I feel so lucky to be a part of your blog- thank you for sharing. Its so much fun!

creature said...

C.C. promise you will pursue this.
You're a natural.

Dennis said...

creature, just a matter of time till she gets published; she's definitely got the hang of it.

Anonymous said...

Good puzzle, and very well constructed with all the deep meanings. My brain just couldn't figure it all out though. Great job blogging CC and also constructing the puzzle for Dennis. Outstanding cluing. What a nice gift.

Happy b-day Dennis. Today is my daughter's golden birthday. Haven't heard from her at all. I am guessing she is having lots of fun tonight. We go out to dinner with her tomorrow.

Also, my son randomly decided to come home for the evening, so looking forward to seeing him. He has actually been asking to see us, and we are quite surprised. So it should be a good weekend after all.

Go Twins!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Busy days of late, but I wanted to check in.

I don't know Spanish. I realize that amigo and amiga differ by gender, but does the gender of each noun apply to the "friend-er" or the "friend-ee"?

In other words, it feels odd if a male friend is rightly called an amiga - is it possible?

I hope to do the special C.C. CW soon.

Early Happy B.D. Dennis!

Cheers all -

Bob said...

Pretty challenging puzzle. Can't say I enjoyed it much, though. Finished it successfully in 24 minutes. Usually, I've seen the capital of
Albania spelled TIRANA. I guess TIRANE is an alternate spelling.

MJ said...

Good evening, folks.

I thought this was a well constructed puzzle. My favorite clue/fill was 57D: Wire svc..../FTD.

But by far the best part of the day was to enjoy your tribute puzzle to Dennis, C.C. Absolutely awesome! I always star clues that I find amusing given the fill, and had so many today. My two very favorites are 13D: It's stunning/TASER and 56D: Port authority?/WINO. I look forward to seeing your by-line for a crossword in a major newspaper in the near future. Your talent is amazing!

Night all!

Bill G. said...

Today's adventures at the frozen yogurt store. I wanted some frozen yogurt but Barbara was watching Jordan so I agree to bring her some. She had two $1.00 off coupons. I figured hers would melt while I was eating mine so I got mine first. The young fellow behind the counter weighed my purchase (it came to about $2.50) and said I couldn't use the coupon because it only applied to orders of $3.00 or more. So I grumbled, said OK and paid. Then I said that I was going to get another order to go for my wife and couldn't I use the coupon for the total. He agreed that would be OK so I said let's do it. He said he couldn't because he had already rung up my purchase. Geez...

So I ate my yogurt and got a similar amount to take home. He recognized me and said maybe he could put some more weight on the scale to make it come to over $3.00 so I could use the coupon. He tried a bunch of stuff but it wasn't enough. Finally he tossed on a bunch more stuff and it came to about $3.35. So I got it for $2.25 and saved about $0.25 in the process. Not time and energy well spent.

Anonymous said...


Clear Ayes said...

Jayce@6:17, that is one dilly of a question. I don't have a good answer for you. This article What is Poetry is about as good as it gets. The last five or six paragraphs sums it up pretty well. Whatever else it does, poetry should evoke emotion with the fewest words.

In the case of the poem I posted today, it must be remembered that it was written in Polish and would have a different rhythm and euphony than the English translation. Even so, the emotion it evoked (for me, not necessarily anybody else) was more deeply moving than a short story or novel about being awake at 4:00 AM.

Poetry is so subjective. It is perfectly legitimate for a reader to expect rhyme and meter. I like a lot of rhymed poems and just as many that aren't.

Maybe it's like the 1964 opinion of pornography by Supreme Court Justice Stewart, "I know it when I see it."

Dot said...

We gave up on today's puzzle. We even missed things we should have known without thinking. I think we both developed mental blocks. However, I found yesterday's puzzle easier than many of the bloggers apparently. And then the "Happy Birthday, Jarhead" was great. I'll e-mail you C.C. with my comments so I'm not giving away any answers.


Nice Cuppa said...

@Jeannie, Dennis, et al.

Re 34A - Overall, I feel relieved that no-one picked up on (or else chose to ignore) my allusion to Last Tango in Paris. Not in front of the children, please!


g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all,

Had to google a couple, Reece and Tirane, but otherwise I muddled thru it. Hogwart's messengers was a gimme because I read all the Harry Potter books. I had "ash" instead of "ale" at first. And, some I got from the perps.

Dennis: Happy Birthday! What an amazing present from C.C. I just finished it and it was wonderful. C.C.: I am truly amazed at your abilities with the English language and all of your great clues that you used. Dennis must feel very honored I know.

Argyle said...

g8rmomx2, HP was I learned about trainers.

NC - chose to ignore(after I stopped laughing).

Bill G. said...

I should've known to keep my mouth shut about the cool summer and pleasant sea breezes. It's in the 80s now heading toward 91 on Monday. Probably just fine for Lucina and others but way too hot for me. I hope the foothills can avoid the serious brush fires that often accompany the hot, dry, windy weather.

HUTCH said...

Dudley.Sure 'amiga" is OK for a guy if the friend is "queer".

Anonymous said...

Good night, all.

Great write up, C.C.. I don't know how you do it.

I am in total agreement with Jazz's statement of all the impressive things about this puzzle, ending with, "I did not enjoy it at all".

I did get some things, and did enjoy those, but had no clue to the theme. Of course I liked seeing Hogwarts.


Annette said...

I wasn't that crazy about today's theme, but there were a lot of really fun, tricky clues that made it a very enjoyable experience! I've heard of spoonerisms, but couldn't remember what they were, so once it didn't help me with the theme at all. Since I didn't get it, I liked the 2nd half of theme - being types of knives - better.

C. C., you did a terrific job with that puzzle! I liked 44A CHARM, because DENNIS exudes it. I think my favorites were STONER, 'Flower child', and the clue for ENOLA. There were many other wonderful clues and fill. Excellent work!!! Based on your analysis of the puzzles, I always thought you'd be really good at construction, too.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone,
The day's crossword puzzle was a slog for me and I didn't finish it as I had put in Partial for Partway and was unwilling to give it up.

The theme eluded me until I came here, even though I had all the answers in and spoonnarism as well. I'm not good at unraveling them.

However, C.C. I have to congratulate you on your Birthday present for Dennis. It was fantastic. I enjoyed doing the; puzzle and did get all of the answers. I thought some of the clues were brilliant and out of the box good!!

Dennis, Happy Birthday and enjoy your day. You deserve it. Such a nice gift from C.C. This is one birthday I'm sure you'll remember.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Lucina said...

Hutch got it right; an amiga is always female and vice versa, unless of course, it's a matter of preference.

What a beautiful poem, but then I always like your choices.

Lucina said...

Good night, all and have a great weekend. Dennis, in case you aren't around Sunday, I wish you a fantastic birthday!

dodo said...

Evening, everyone,

This puzzle was one of those that I thought I would never finish. After lots of changes, I finally made it. Like Jazzbumpa, I did not find it very enjoyable. I had to ask friends about Hogwarts messengers. Then it seemed so simple. Several other 3-letter fills stumped me, too: Ram, BMW( a friend suggested bags for that), IBM. I didn't know Gabrielle and got her last name from perps but I spelled it Reese, which of course gave me shai. I was pretty sure it was wrong because I remembered cha from Two Cups of Tea. And we had Tirana in a clue just the other day ending with A, so I ended up with spoonarism. I got all the theme fills but couldn't remember what a spoonerism was (I get it mixed up with malapropism), so it didn't mean much to me until I got here.

My one embarrassing experience making a spoonerism myself was in mentioning the name of a person my husband had met through business. His name was Thomas Farquahar Muckenfuss! It was the last name I goofed up! I still have a business card of his to remind me of that gaffe! The name would be bad enough to live with without spoonerizing!

CC your blog was great and I can't wait to do your birthday puzzle. What a great tribute!

And to you, Dennis, a very Happy Birthday when it comes!

dodo said...

Fermatprime, my mom used to have a bowl of cereal with CREAM and sugar occasionally before she went to bed. Never heard of the "nothing 3 hours before bed time" rule. Is that because of 'gurd'? If so have you tried a bolster under your pillow?

Anonymous said...

For 58A, "spoonerism" makes sense as the answer for your paraphrased clue "What each of the other four longest answers in this puzzle is". For the actual clue "...the 58-Acrosses in this puzzle end in types of THEM", spoonerisms would be a more grammatically correct answer.