Nov 27, 2010

Saturday November 27, 2010 Victor Fleming

Theme: None

Total words: 70

Total blocks: 29

Interesting cross shape in the middle. It coheres the grid and gives the whole central part a tight connectedness which could collapse the entire puzzle if one fill goes wrong. Quite challenging construction-wise. The constructor also refrained from using any helper/cheater squares. Admirable.

I am quite fond of the paralleled triple 9s in Down today, all multiple words:

12D. Some clinic customers : PET OWNERS

13D. Run by an ex, as a household : ONE PARENT

14D. Bush country? : RED STATES. Those who voted for Bush?

30D. Be rewarded on the job : GET A RAISE. Sweet.

31D. Superhero first introduced as a teenager : SPIDER-MAN. Do you know his real name is Peter Parker.

32D. Track fixture : TOTE BOARD. Racetrack.


1. One is in the Guinness Book for its 1,728-word vocabulary : PARAKEET. Helpful hints with "its" and the number of vocabulary.

9. Foggy state : STUPOR. Always want *NESS ending for clues with "state".

15. It's SSE of Salt Lake City : OREM UTAH. Tricky combination. But the clue is asking for OREM UT, with abbreviated SSE.

16. Peaceful : SERENE

17. South-of-the-border sunblock? : SOMBRERO. Oh, hat.

18. Like "The Hurt Locker," e.g. : R-RATED. Haven't seen the movie yet.

19. Iteration opening : I SAID. And I AM (53. First two words of "Green Eggs and Ham"). I am Sam.

20. Ask too many questions : PRY

22. Big drop sounds : PLOPS

23. Actual wording : TEXT

24. It clashes with stripes : PLAID. Why "clashes"?

26. Hit : SWAT

27. Elbows on the table, say : FAUX PAS. Proper manner in our house.

29. Lobby with heaters?: Abbr. : NRA. Nailed it.

30. Guitar component : G-STRING. Our Al is a serious guitar player.

34. Where the Boss's band once rehearsed : E-STREET. I never know how the E Street Band got its name.

36. Horace works : EPODES. Lyric poems. New word to me.

37. Ludlum's amnesiac Jason : BOURNE. "The Bourne Identity".

38. Oberon's spouse : TITANIA. From "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Got me.

40. Conservationists' concerns : FORESTS

41. Drink suffix : ADE

42. Total : DESTROY. Verb "Total".

44. Sitcom named for its star : REBA

46. Weasel relative : STOAT

47. Building site sight : I-BAR

51. Woolf's "__ of One's Own" : A ROOM. Virginia Woolf.

54. Lose ground? : ERODE. Awesome clue.

55. Istanbul shelter : IMARET. Turkish hostel. I can never remember this word.

57. Liqueur made with coffee beans : TIA MARIA. Kahlua too.

59. Flaubert biographer : SARTRE. No idea. "Nausea", "No Exit", "Being and Nothingness" are all the works I know about Sartre. Womanizer. Most men cheat.

60. One may be civil : ENGINEER. Thought of MARRIAGE.

61. Ultimate objective : END ALL

62. Ones with "a case of mistaken nonentity": Barbara Stanwyck : EGOTISTS. Unaware of this quote.


1. Put forward : POSIT

2. Developed : AROSE

3. Big name in real estate : RE/MAX. Big indeed. But what does the company name mean?

4. Scope : AMBIT. No idea. I know gambit though.

5. About one in six Iraqis : KURD. Interesting trivia.

6. Hot time to see Nancy? : ETE. Nancy the city in France.

7. One of a swimmer's pair : EARPLUG

8. Insect section : THORAX

9. Lith., once : SSR

10. College Park athlete, for short : TERP. University of Maryland. College Park is a city? Sounds like a stadium name.

11. Source of some Russian copper : URALS. Unaware of the copper there.

21. Startled cry : YIPE

24. Multi-colored bloomers : PANSIES

25. 1981 Wolfgang Petersen film : DAS BOOT. "The Boat". A movie about some U-boat.

27. Evil sort : FIEND

28. Short __ : STORY

33. Suggested amt. to have : RDA

35. Want to take back : RUE

39. Moscato d'__: sparkling wine : ASTI

40. Setting up : FRAMING

43. Exactly : TO A TEE. Used to have problem parsing TOATEE.

45. Vital artery : AORTA

47. Farsi speaker : IRANI

48. Didactic types, often : BORES

49. Losing, after "on" : A DIET. Losing weight.

50. Backs : REARS

52. Jazz organist Saunders : MERL. His name escaped me.

54. Give out : EMIT

56. Address book abbr. : TEL

58. Back : AGO

Answer grid.



eddyB said...

Hi all.
Hi C.C.
I was checking the late Friday comments and discovered you had already posted the Saturday xwrd.

I thought that the "Ds" were easier
so I started down the East side and finishing in the SW. Tough little puzzle tho.

I'll switch to Firefox when I get angry with IE. I use it some times.

Looks like the 30s at night are over for a while. Took the extra
blanket off the bed.

Take care.

Lemonade714 said...

Hey, C.C.,

A quick Saturday, as I try to get back into puzzledom. Mr. Fleming did much to deceive; SOUTH OF THE BORDER SUNBLOCK: SOMBRERO; hats off to that clue; LOBBY WITH HEATERS: NRA, the gun toting Washington influence peddlers, fried me; TOTAL: DESTROY, which I got immediately having caught on to Mr. Fleming’s wicked ways. I was trying so hard to come up with some exotic underwear for MULTI-COLRED BLOOMERS.

Any puzzle with R RATED, and G-STRING as well as JASON (yes!) BOURNE along with Shakespeare’s TITANIA is bound to be fun. I also like ERODE and EPODE in the same work. And the PLAID tie with the striped shirt surely would be a FAUX PAS. Having a town in France named NANCY is just silly, but easy to remember.

Ever since my son Devin dated a girl whose last name is Orem, I have has no trouble with Utah clues, and the parakeet was the only talking TALKING ANIMAL which I thought of that fit. Did I tell you about the very rich woman. Mrs. Gotrocks, whose daughter bought her a giant Red Macaw who had been trained to sing like Luciano Pavarotti, as a birthday present for the woman who had everything? The bird was almost 4 feet tall, and had a wonderful grasp of Pavarotti’s most famous work. Mrs. G. was ecstatic. One day, when she uncovered the cage, the bird tried to sing, but all that came out was a raspy, awful noise. She had the vet come, but he could not find anything wrong with the bird. In tears, she called her daughter, who suggested maybe the bird had swallowed a cracker wrong and it was stuck in the poor bird’s throat, causing the problem. Mrs. G., ran to the cage, and pried the bird’s beak open to see; eventually put her head inside to get a look down the throat. Sadly, the bird bit her head off.
The moral of the story you ask?


Hey give me a break, I am in recovery; and I was only 16 when I wrote that one.

fermatprime said...

Good morning all!

CC--great effort as usual!
LEMONADE--I could see it coming!
Also, Cool idea about Wednesday!

Spent all day trying to recover. Imagine a crippled hippopotamus getting shoved into (tiny) Prius, being driven 2 hours in front seat, pulled out of Prius on a slope, dragged backwards up steps into abode, nailed to wheelchair for hours and reversing whole process. Ache all over. Really tired. HOWEVER, it was great to see my 2 grandkids and daughter who live in Colorado and son's family in Palos Verdes. Great prime rib dinner. Have you had gluten-free chocolate cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory? Yummmmmm.

Today's puzzle difficult as usual for Saturday. Had trouble with NW corner and resorted to red letters eventually. With tired body goes brain in STUPOR.

Happy weekend all!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I breezed through most of this puzzle, totally on the constructor's wavelength. It must be my legal background, since POSIT and AMBIT posed no problem whatsoever.

However, in the end I totally crashed and burned in the SW corner. I had END AIM instead of END ALL. It didn't occur to me that END AIM could be wrong and, since I've never heard of MR. Saunders, I was was left thinking that MERI was an odd name and what the heck does TEM stand for? I finally had to change the skill level to get some red letter help. Once I saw that END AIM was, in fact, wrong, I was able to quickly come up with the correct answers, but by then the damage was done.

Ah, well -- the rest of the puzzle was a real delight. If only I could have stuck the landing it would have been a perfect "10"...

Bob said...

I didn't get much traction on the first pass through the clues, but gradually I got started and then was able to accelerate through them. Took 32 minutes to finish. The only ones I didn't know were IMARET (65A) and MERL (52D), but since I knew the rest, they weren't problems. First tried GETABONUS at 30D, SLAP at 26A and POSED at 1D. So, today's puzzle turned out easier in the end than it first appeared.

Tinbeni said...

OK, as Norm once said:
"It's a dod eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear."

Started right out of the box with:
Then my favorite aunt, TIA MARIA came to the rescue and after making enough changes to insure my Ink Blot Test FAUX PAS were corrected ... I finally finished.

Liked the mini-theme:

Moscato d'ASTI was a total guess.
Hey, if I'm going to that Foggy state to catch a STUPOR ... well, I'll stick to Avatar as my END ALL.

A Toast all at Sunset.
Boy, the weather here has sure changed ... it's only getting up to 75 here today, no sunshine until after noon.

Cheers !!!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Managed to sprinkle a word here and a word there, and before long filled the whole thing in...except for that NE. Total roadblock in that department. What's SSR? Who ever thought up TERP as a sports nickname?

Impressive grid for sure. Saturday material, this.

Nice Cuppa said...

Thanks, C.C.

A jolly romp to brighten up the morning after the morning after. No "double-crosses" of obscure sports/sitcoms/Turkish bus-stops. And good to see the Kurds getting a mention. 1 in 6 maybe, but holding the country together nonetheless.

My most interesting moment started at 24D. I had most of the letters so "PANTIES" seemed to be a reasonable answer for BLOOMERS. But when I wrote in GSTRING and TITANIA crossing PANTIES I figured Mr. Norris would not allow Mr. Fleming to be THAT naughty. YIPE, what a bunch of PANSIES.


Splynter said...

Hi All~!

I thought I was going nowhere on this one, first pass gave me very little, but the D clues brought some life to the grid.

Couldn't understand PE-TOWN-ERS for the longest time, then I switched mental modes and realized we're talking about PARAKEETS and dogs...ohhhh.

Only place I ran into trouble ultimately was the NW - I knew we were looking for a hat, but could NOT think of SOMBRERO to save my time. Then "I CAME" occurred to me, and since I had RE/MAX and TEXT, I was finally able to get a foothold and then 'ta-da', just under the half-hour mark.

CLARK KENT fit for 31D, but I knew he was introduced as a "toddler", at least in the '78 movie, and that's his alter-ego, not his superhero name; and SPIDERMAN is my favorite - at least from the cartoon; not sure about the mega-grossing movies yet; I prefer the Chris Bale Batman....

Does this PLAID Clash ?
I'm not sure about the boots...


Nice Cuppa said...


SSR is "Soviet Socialist Republic" - one of the former "Union" - USSR.


Clarabel said...

Nice Cuppa: You are too funny! Panties, indeed!

Lemon: You are playing with fire to make fun of a judge.

Ferma: I wish you weren't so unhappy. You should be grateful that your family even wanted you to participate in the family meal.

Nice Cuppa said...


It's been some years since I participated in Rugby/drinking songs, but this silly little ditty is lodged in my brain, and therefore so is SOMBRERO.

Typical verse:

I like the vino
'cause vino is so supremo,
But most of all I like the whisky
'cause whisky makes me frisky


Ai, Yai, Yai, Yah
Si, Si, Signora
My sister Belinda
She ****ed out the window
Right onto my brand new sombrero.



fermatprime said...

Clarabel: Didn't I praise the food and company sufficiently? Of course I am grateful.


Hi, Everyone! Thanks, CC, for the interview. Always interesting to learn more about these creative people.

What a slog today. I eventually had to come to the computer for some red letter help since my pencil and paper were going nowhere. The NE corner had me completely in a stupor.

@Dudley - I think Terp is short for Terrapin which, I believe, is Maryland's mascot.

@NC - Thanks for setting me straight on SSR. I was thinking lithium battery and solid state relay - not Lithuania and the Soviets.

Well, I'm off to enjoy the last of my vacation days before returning to work on Monday.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

After the first pass today, I was staring at a puzzle that was roughly 99% empty. I got it going eventually from the bottom up until the NW corner. 1A, 17,A, 19A, 1D, 2D, 4D, & 5D had me totally dumbfounded. Posit and Ambit, & I said ? No way I was going to retrieve those words from my Stupor-ed brain cells.

Yet, I enjoyed this puzzle once I established a foothold. Ludlums original Bourne trilogy was an all time favorite read of mine. It's too bad the Damon movies and later publications have take so much of Jason's aura away, at least IMO.

Tinbeni... I see we have the same aunt. She's an occasional visitor giving me a break from Maker's Mark.

For you college FB fans, do you think the BCS is happier about Boise St losing or angrier that Auburn won? I'm going with the latter.

Have a good weekend.

Lemonade714 said...


I think the better question is what is a TERRAPIN and why are they not just TURTLES ?

NICE CUPPA, are you saying in IRAN, it is up to the KURDS to show the WAY?

Making fun of a Judge? I love Judges; I am just now reading a Margaret Maron Judge Deborah Knott mystery. Okay, maybe I used to be feisty in my youth and push the envelope, but I do not go to court any more, so I am safe.

Anonymous said...

Where's the big guy?

HeartRx said...

Good Morning C.C. et al.

Thank you so much for the fascinating interview, C.C. I love learning about the "behind the scenes" processes used by our clever constructors.

Dudley - I had the same experience in the N.E. couldn't get a toe in for the longest time, and actually had to gg the "College Park" athlete. I finally scratched out ONE PARENT and the rest fell from there.

N.C. Ha Ha - I did exactly the same thing with G-STRING and was soooo tempted to put PANtIES. But like you, I just knew that would not fly with Mr Norris. So had to settle for PANSIES in my bloomers.

Fermatprime, after everything you have been through, I am amazed that you were even able to get out of your house on Thanksgiving, let alone endure all the cramming, squeezing, jouncing, and sitting. Good for you! I'm sure it was all worth it int he end, and hope you continue to improve.

Time to go buy our tree and drag ornaments from the attic. We seem to accumulate more each year, so now it would take about a 20 footer to fit them all on.

Have a great day, everyone!

daffy dill said...

Thanks, C.C. Mornin', y'all.

My brain is in a STUPOR, I guess. I could get little traction on this one. First pass, working both ways, yielded only a few fills. I had "strings" instead of GSTRING, which threw everything else off in that section, including PANSIES which I got on first pass. I spent a lot of time trying to get "Texas something" or "something Texas" for Bush country. Even tried Crawford, but no go. I had SARTRE on first pass, but took it out when I entered something else wrong. All in all, this is an entertaining, but difficult puzzle.

Fermatprime, I understand. Sometimes the payoff has to be really, really great to be worth the effort to get ready and get there and back.

I'm going back to bed for a while. Had to take a pain pill, something I rarely do. It makes me very sleepy.

Have a good 'un.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning CC and all. This was a great Saturday puzzle. I ended up with a couple of wags that worked out OK in the end.

My worst spot was the NW. I put in POSED instead of POSIT. I finally saw the light and made the change needed to get words that made sense.

The NE was the easiest as I nailed SERENE and REDSTATES. That corner filled easily from there.

I still don't like that IBAR thing. I've spent years in construction and have never heard anyone refer to an I-bar or seen it on the specs or prints. They're BEAMS, not BARS! End of rant!

Fav clue was lobby with heaters/NRA. I'm a life member and we've seen a similar clue before but it still took me a little bit to figure it out.

Fermatprime, I know it would have been easier for you and your family to say it would be too much of a problem, but I'm glad you were able to make the trip and enjoy your time together. The aches and pains will go away. The good memories last forever.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, YIPE! Victor Fleming's puzzle was a difficult one for me. After one pass through the clues, I made sure I was in the "indicate incorrect letter mode", before I began again.

As often happens later in the week, my "picket fence" manner of solving was in full force. I finally found a perch at the cross of G STRING and TITANIA and worked backward and forward from there.

PARAKEET, OREM UTAH and SOMBRERO kept on skipping away from the front of my brain. Since POSIT and AMBIT aren't words that come easily to mind, The NW was the last to be completed.

24. It clashes with stripes : PLAID. Why "clashes"?
It looks OK to me, but the model looks like she'd rather be someplace else.

Lemonade, I'm glad you're feeling better, but that joke....groan.

Jazzbumpa, lovely photos of the grandkids. I hope you rested up yesterday.

I understand what fermatprime was saying. My problem isn't pain, but rationing my energy at family events. Thanksgiving with the gang was well worth it, but I was pretty much a couch potato on Friday. It is raining hard out there, so I have a good excuse to do the same today.

Is C.C. looking for an interesting debate today with her 59A comment? "Most men cheat." Having been married twice, I'd say the percentage is closer to 50%.

mtnest995 said...

This was a rough, but enjoyable ride for me. Had serene, Bourne, NRA and Reba on the first pass and that was about it. Took a break and upped the caffeine level in the coffee and somehow the brain started to fire on most cylinders.

Managed to finish (I don't want to know how long it took) without any help, but the grid looked like my two-year-old granddaughter grabbed Nana's pen and drew all over it.

Thanks, C.C. for the great write up and fascinating interview.

Cheers to one and all - enjoy what's left of the weekend.

JD said...

Good morning C.C. and all,

Pretty grid today, Mr. Fleming, and just enough of a challenge for me.G'd HORACE (epodes is new), Das Boot, and Lithuania-although I thought of the answer before scanning.Stoat and imaret are not in my voc, and Titania, estreet, and terp were perpable.

I didn't get the connection to the clues with arose, ambit, posit and terp, so thanks all of you who commented on them.C.C., you always are right on.
I looked and looked last night for the origin of "LOOK OUT BELOW" No luck. DH thinks it was used most often on ships when guys were working on the masts, dropping tools, etc.

Favorites: faux pas, pansies and "one may be civil"-engineer.All made me smile.

Nice Cuppa and Lemonade, you two crack me up.

Ferma, so glad you were able to get out and enjoy your family.The aging process is rough on our bodies. I ice my back between visits from my grand sons who love to be lifted up to see what is going on.

Have a lovely saturday. Raining here...ahhhhhhh :-)

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. A quick in and out to say hello and send greetings to you all.

I had the identical experience with today's puzzle that Barry G had. Barry, you said it so well. It took me about an hour and a half to work it, all fun and time well spent.

Thanks to you all for your comments, observations, and jokes, both groaner and non-groaner. You guys crack me up.

Last Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving Day, was a tremendous success. Good to see so many people! Thank you for suggesting it, Lemonade.

Still on vacation here, so gotta go. Best wishes to you all.

john28man said...

Robert Ludlum, who died not quite ten years ago wrote three books about Jason Bourne. Others wrote a few more according Wikipedia.

I imagined that to destroy meaning total comes from wrecking a car.

If one Googles for the origem ofthe RE/MAX name a website says it comes from "Real Estate Maximums"

erieruth said...

Hard puzzle for me today, I got oremutah and sombrero, but couldn't get parakeet until I came here ... thanks!!

For all you FB fans ... TCU is my alma mater ... we are undefeated & ranked #3 in the nation ... and looks like we'll still be after playing NM today!!! Go Horned Frogs!!! (BTW: TCU is Texas Christin University in Ft Worth, Texas).

erieruth said...

Oops...typed too fast...had to get back to the game...Texas CHRISTIAN University!!

Bill G. said...

Just put the finishing touches on a turkey sandwich. Almost as good as the original stuff.

My son turned me on to Great Migrations on the National Geographic channel.

Husker Gary said...

Good Afternoon all from a non-cheating man who had two friends cross that line (that I know of),

I finished the puzzle (except for 4 cells in the SW - IMARTRE, MARI and Iike Barry I had ENDAIM) but had a good time after being stumped in the NW but coming on like gangbusters in the NE and going on from there. We left this morning for Omaha just as I got done and just got back and that why my blogging is tardy.

What fun comments today! God, I love this place!

-I have heard that The Hurt Locker is a movie that is very powerful and you only want to see once
-I too play guitar but might have wanted a more picturesque GSTRING (looking ain't cheating, is it?)
-No chance on EPODES, perps got it
-wanted SUNI for Kurd and IRANI but not enough spaces at the top and IRANI revealed itself
-had PEONIES for bloomers (not personally...) which are the harbinger for Memorial Day here
-Aksarben Race Track in Omaha (Nebraska backwards) used to be one of the biggest race tracks in America attracting 10,000 people/day but dog racing (less time between races = more opportunity to lose money) and casinos drove it out. Its TOTE BOARD was a focal point!

Very enjoyable puzzle and would have been perfect if I had known more about Turkish lodging and Merl's organ!

The Huskers won and all is well in the world! They are just about where they should be and getting another win might be tough. Bad night to be a Boise State fan - I went to bed at halftime!!

dodo said...

Hi all,
This puzzle was an ordeal for me! When I read it back, I oan't really see why. Guess I was on the wrong wave length. Many lookups, mostly things I should have known! Wall, tomorrow's another day.

Haven't read the comments yet, so maybe I'll be back.


Mary said...

Hi C.C. and gang,

I had to wait until this evening to do the puzzle and then raced through it for a Saturday. However, I came to the blog with OREn UTAH misspelled, wondering what AnBIT meant. And TimeBOARD looked good to me. I should have got TITANIA, but EPODES was not in my vocabulary. A day when the ink and paper failed me -- I wouldn't have got the ta-da online.

Seems like we have a sub-theme of amphibian college mascots, terps and horned frogs.

C.C. and Victor,
Thanks for the interview. It's always fun to get a look at the constructors' world.

Fermatprime, Lemonade, Clear Eyes and others that are hurting, I hope you feel better soon. Pacing and rest sound like a good prescription. Jokes, good and bad, are another part of the medicine!

Dudley said...

After being away all day:

Oh, Lithuania!! D'Oh! I was thinking lithography.

Even after explanation TERP sounds kinda offbeat.

Lemonade714 said...

Sorry for the punishment, but Jerome and JL keep me thinking