Nov 2, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 Bruce Venzke

Theme: Political Exercise - While the first word of these phrases may be found in the gym, the phrases themselves could also indicate the actions of candidate on the campaign trail, a trail that ends today(and starts again tomorrow).

17A. Being convincing via coercion: TWISTING ONES ARM

27A. Making a comeback, say: TURNING THE TIDE


60A. Telling a little white lie: BENDING THE TRUTH

Argyle here, not running for anything. Tell me what you think about my take on the theme.

Two full width answers and two that just lack one letter. Very nice doable Tuesday and just a 'J' short of a pangram.


1. Throaty attention getter : AHEM

5. Contemptible person, in slang : SLEAZE

11. Brewery cask : KEG

14. Mideast's __ Strip : GAZA.

15. Set in waves, as hair : PERMED

16. Prompt on stage : CUE

20. Ski resort grooming vehicle : SNO-CAT

21. Yves's yes : OUI

22. Bow-toting god : EROS

23. Boxer sounds? : ARFS. A canine boxer.

25. Food package meas. : NT WT. Net Weight.

33. Gossipy Barrett : RONA. She currently runs the Rona Barrett Foundation, a non-profit organization in Santa Ynez, California, dedicated to the aid and support of senior citizens in need.

34. Vintage car : REO. Oldsmobile.

35. Ship-locating system : LORAN. LOng RAnge Navigation. LORAN use has been in steep decline, being replaced with the satellite based Global Positioning System. (GPS)

36. Yiddish laments : OYs

37. Sticks to, as a task : KEEPS AT

40. One of the "Little Women" : AMY. "Little Women" (or Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy) is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott.

41. Part of a front-end alignment : TOE IN. On your car, you may also have rear-end alignment with toe in adjustment.

43. Mississippi or Mersey: Abbr. : RIV. River. Good spot here for a musical interlude.
Ferry Cross The Mersey.

44. Water shade : AQUA. Not the shade of water in either of the aforementioned rivers.

49. "Was __ loud?" : I TOO

50. Drawer feature : KNOB

51. Actress Chase : ILKA. Ilka Chase(1900-1978) had a long career as an actress on stage and screen and wrote more than a dozen books.
Her book. Her epitaph reads: "I've finally gotten to the bottom of things."

54. Miner's find : ORE

56. Genetics pioneer Mendel : GREGOR. He was an Austrian monk and biologist whose work on heredity became the basis of the modern theory of genetics.

63. Pasture call : MOO. No connection to 68A. Melville's "Typee" sequel : OMOO.

64. Wobble : TEETER

65. London art museum : TATE

66. When one hand is up and the other is down : SIX. On an analog clock face; remember them?

67. Doctor's directives : ORDERS


1. FBI investigators : AGTs.

2. Goldie of "The Banger Sisters" : HAWN.
Poster for the movie, with Susan Sarandon.

3. Opera star Pinza : EZIO. From "South Pacific", singing
Some Enchanted Evening.

4. Lash cosmetic : MASCARA

5. One who's quick to anger : SPITFIRE

6. Sportscaster Berman : LEN. Since August 2008, Len has kept a blog and daily newsletter at, using the form to continue his type of humor and whimsical sports stories.

7. Therefore : ERGO

8. Total : AMOUNT

9. Nadir's opposite : ZENITH

10. Netherlands city : EDE. Inland from Amsterdam.

11. Plymouth Reliant, e.g. : K-CAR. Dodge Aries, Plymouth Reliant, 1981 to 1989.

12. Continental currency : EURO

13. Jeweler's stock : GEMS

18. Mountain lake : TARN

19. Brief fight : SET-TO

24. Dagger of yore : SNEE

26. Whip mark : WELT

27. "Happy birthday __!" : TO YOU. This has to be one of the easiest clue/answer yet!

28. Racers Al or Bobby : UNSER. Automotive racers.

29. Decide to play for pay : GO PRO

30. Kuwaiti neighbor : IRAQI

31. Keep from flowing, as a stream : DAM UP

32. "Orinoco Flow" New Age singer : ENYA

33. Univ. military program : ROTC

37. Heal, as bones : KNIT

38. Pile-of-dishes place : SINK

39. Steed and Mrs. Peel's show, with "The" : AVENGERS.

42. Homeric war epic : ILIAD

44. __ VO5: beauty product : ALBERTO

46. Twelve o'clock meeting : NOONER. Ho, ho, ho!

47. Stuffed with food : GORGED

48. Do a laundry task : SORT

51. Certain PCs : IBMs. Personal computers from International Business Machines(IBM).

52. First of 13 popes : LEO I

53. Fort featured in "Goldfinger" : KNOX

55. Cigar suffix : ETTE

57. Largest of the Mariana Islands : GUAM

58. Director Preminger : OTTO

59. Prefix with stat : RHEO

61. Skater Midori : ITO.

62. The Beatles' "I Saw __ Standing There" : HER

Answer grid.

We are passing along this email from Peter Gordon,
editor of Fireball Crosswords. Hope you will subscribe for 2011. Fireball is one of the best (and most challenging) puzzles around.

"With just half a dozen puzzles left in the year, please send an email to me at with the subject line either YES or NO that answers this question:

If Fireball Crosswords continues in 2011, the subscription price will be $16 for 40 puzzles. Do you plan to subscribe/resubscribe?

Next year, if I get enough subscribers, I will continue with the puzzles, but I will open up the submissions to all puzzle writers. I will still make many of the puzzles myself, including probably all the themeless puzzles, but there will be more variety because some of the puzzles will be themed puzzles. Since I will pay the highest rate in the country for a daily-sized puzzle, $201, I expect to get the cream of the crop, and won't accept anything less. But even if everyone were to resubscribe at the rate I charged last year, I'd still be losing money on every puzzle written by others. Since both my wife and accountant think this is a Bad Idea, I have no choice but to raise the rate. If around 500 of the 710 current subscribers sign on for next year, I will continue.

Whatever the outcome, the only result that will upset me is if I don't get a high response rate from this question. Without enough replies, I won't know what I should do. So cast your ballot on this Election Day and let me know YES or NO.

Also, please spread the word about Fireball Crosswords. If you're a blogger, mention the site ( If you have a Twitter account, tweet about it. Put it on your Facebook page. And talk it up to everyone you know. If there's someone who likes really hard crosswords, why not give a gift subscription? It's the gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. (If you plan on buying two subscriptions, send two YES emails.)

No matter the outcome, it's been a pleasure puzzling you throughout 2010!"



Dennis said...

Good morning, Argyle, C.C. and gang - gotta love any puzzle that has 'nooner' in it (especially next to 'gorged'), and this one was fun, albeit quick.

For me, anyway, this was about as straightforward as it gets - everything just flowed from one answer to the next. The only pause was at the abbreviation for river - 'riv' just didn't look right to me, but it was obviously correct. I guess I haven't seen it abbreviated that often; I would've thought 'rvr' would be correct. Oh, and did I mention 'nooner'?

Argyle, your take on the theme was certainly better than anything I had. Also, for those who like tough puzzles, I can highly recommend the Peter Gordon Fireball crosswords; they're really, really good.

Today is All Souls Day, Look for Circles Day and Deviled Egg Day.

Did You Know?:

- The droplets in a sneeze can travel twelve feet and remain in the air for as long as three hours.

- A child just starting school knows about 6,000 words.

- Full-grown grizzly bears can bite through a half-inch of steel.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Man, I must be losing my touch here or something, since this was another unusually tough Tuesday for me. LEN, ILKA, LORAN, TOEIN, and EDE all conspired to trip me up and slow me down. And those were just the answers I didn't know. Add in AGTS and RIV and NTWT...

The one that really gummed things up for me was LEN in the North Central region. Not knowing the gentleman in question, I entered DON after getting the final N. That made SLEAZE and PERMED impossible to get (especially since I had trouble parsing the clue for PERMED and thought I was looking for a either a present tense verb or a noun).

I finally managed to muddle through unassisted, but once again it took me significantly longer that my average Tuesday time.

Dick said...

Good morning Argyle and all, today was one of the easiest puzzles we have had in a long time. Having said that, I then made a blunder when I inserted curving… instead of curling… for 45A. Then looking at 42D I thought awhile about Homeric war epic starting with ivi and then the aha moment. Otherwise the puzzle today was fun and quickly solved.

Loved the clue/answer “Twelve O’clock Meeting”/”Nooner”; I wonder if the meeting was in the office.

From yesterday, Happy Birthday/Anniversary day Carol. Hope you and Joe had a "Twelve O'clock Meeting".

Hope you all have a great Tuesday.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning fellow solvers. Voted already so now it is time to ruminate. Argyle may be right, but not being a deep thinker, I thought the theme was contortionism.

Pretty easy puzzle today. One pass and a couple back steps and it was done. Did not suss the theme until near the end. No matter. No unknowns. TOE IN is the only 5 letter element of an alignment, the others being camber and caster. Liked SNOCAT for fill.

LORAN - Obsolescent now. Largely replaced by GPS technology.

Belated Happy Anniversary wishes TO YOU, Carol.

Hahtool said...

Good Morning, Argyle. LOVED your take on the theme! How apropos! What a relief to know that all those obnoxious phone calls from the politicians will cease after today! You are right, however, my thoughts were going more towards gym time.

Fun puzzle. I am not usually on the same wave length as Mr. Venzke. My favorite clue was: One hand is up and the the other is down = SIX, which is only a few hours away from the NOONER.

I also laughed at Boxer Sounds = ARFS.

Did I miss a J in this puzzle? I found all the other letters.

In honor of IKLA Chase, here is today's QOD: You can always spot a well informed man - his views are the same as yours. ~ Ilka Chase

Mainiac said...

Good Morning Argyle, CC and All,

Easier than yesterday but I still had to erase a bit. I spelled Hawn, Hahn, wrote Scar instead of Welt and I had no idea who Ilka was and wrote Inka. That had me scratching my head for a Pope named Neo? I also wrote Hemo first for 59D. Perps fixed everything, Gregor was a wag and I dredged Otto up from somewhere in the voids of my brain.

Loved havin' a Noonah in the grid!

Happy Election Day! Vote early and often.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day everyone,

Add me to list of those who got a kick out of "Twelve O'clock Meeting. Nooner brought back a few memories.

I found the puzzle rather tame, even for a Tuesday. Only a couple of delays, Mendel being one, but the perps took care of it (him). Knit for healing bones was a concern. I was thinking mend.

Initial thoughts on "Keep from flowing" was dam it, but Venzke let me down, damn it.

Argyle, your take on the theme is certainly appropriate for the campaigns in Ct. Some of the nastiest mud slinging I can recall. Really tough to decide who is a worthy, well meaning candidate.

Be well everyone

creature said...

Good Morning C.C.,Argyle and all,

Loved startng my day with Ezio Pinza and a puzzle with 46d in it.

Argyle good take on the theme for today. I saw it related to 'permed'; what you do to hair when perming it. Yours relates to our major focus for today and the end of politial opinions all over the place, I hope.So I'll vote for that.

Puzzle was easy. Nothing that perps and wags couldn't fix, that is. I found myself wishing for link to 'Enya'.I've seen it a lot, but don't 'know' it/her; probably missed an earlier link.
Also, 'The Avengers' was never on my 'watch list'
And I had failed to memorize Mendel's first name...Gregor... There!

Thanks, Bruce. Nice puzzle.
Thanks, Argyle for a neat write-up and your tip on the puzzle subscription. It sounds good.

Have a nice day everyone.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning Argyle, et al. Waaaay too easy!

I like your take on the theme and will be glad to see this election come to a conclusion. Well, at least in most places. I have a feeling there will be some races that won't be concluded for quite some time yet.

Spitzboov, Political Exercise and contortionist... those are synonyms aren't they?

I think we all have the same take on NOONER... but the entry to the right needs to start with EN to properly relate.

Carol, a happy belated double celebration, many more to come.

If you haven't done so already, get out and do your civic duty today. As Mainiac said, "early and often!"

Lemonade714 said...

Argyle, I really like your topical take on the theme, though I also like the word GYROKINESTS .

We have an ice skater for our girls, though ITO was not one in my memory banks.

NOONER and WAS I TOO LOUD evoked some fine memories from the many offices I have worked over the years. Please do not think of me as a SLEAZE.

Are there any New Age singers other than ENYA?

I also like a puzzle that has REO and RHEO, just for the fun of the language.

Happy Tuesday

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Argyle, C.C. et al.

Thanks for all the explanations, Argyle. I thought your take on the theme was quite clever. I got it after the first two fills, but didn't connect them to "Political Exercises" until I came here.

I liked this puzzle, and didn't really have any glitches, except for 5D "One who's quick to anger" SPITFIRE. I wanted SPITEFUL, but that's an adjective, not a noun. I usually think of a "Spitfire" as someone who's always rarin' to go, or quick to get into the task. My thesaurus has shown me the error of my ways, though.

Hand up for NOONER.

I had to add this link for “ENYA’s Oronoco Flow. Even if you don’t like her music, the visuals are lovely, I thought.

Have a great day, everyone!

kazie said...

I got through this, but obviously with less ease than most of you. I didn't know the UNSERs, ILKA or LORAN, had OYE instead of OYS and ROMA for RONA. Guessed GREGOR, not knowing Mendel's first name. RIV seems odd for river. And I totally missed the significance of SIX even after it filled.

What's the joke about NOONER?

I too will be glad to see the end of this election cycle. It feels more like TURNING THE SCREWS than the TIDE.

Anonymous said...

@Argyle: Je t'adore.

Dennis said...

Given that today is election day, check out this site of political impersonator Steve Bridges; he's very, very good; his Obama and Bush are both right on the money.

Dudley said...

Kazie: A nooner is generally a sexual rendez-vous, squeezed in during lunch hour.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Thanks for your observation about the theme, Argyle. It didn't occur to me that it matched up with election day.

Unknowns: TARN, GREGOR, ITO. EZIO always looks wrong to me, seems like it should be Enzio or similar.

LORAN is toast in the US. The government shut down the transmitters in February. I've been busy un-installing aviation LORAN receivers from various aircraft.

Go vote, citizens!

MH said...

Fun, easy puzzle. Couldn't believe that the constructor used NOONER but thought it was pretty funny. Would anyone call a legitimate noon meeting a "nooner"?

I'm proud of the SF Giants - they won in great style. What I liked best is that it was such a team effort. Each game had a new hero.

Tinbeni said...

Argyle, Wonderful write-upS !!!
(Yeah, I went back and read yesterdays ... had MAJOR snafu with my "old" internet provider, SOOOO I how have AT+T anywhere PC Connect ... easy to get the gizmo and install).

Liked both Monday's and Today's puzzles very much.
Great RAH-RAH theme yesterday, election theme today.

Will NOT be voting today ... since I voted 15 days ago. Not really going to miss the "miss-information and outright lies" political ads.

NOONER? GORGED? does this constructor know Gal-Pal and I ???

For 5A, Contemptible person, in slang, I tried, and tried but TINBENI just would not fit. (Hey, Bruce, it is SEVEN letters not SIX!).

Got a laugh from the MOO and OMOO.

EUROs, currency I get paid-in from Moscow for the consulting work. Idiots didn't realize I was billing in USD so they paid in Euro's. (Thanks for the extra 39%).

Here in Florida I hope SINK gets elected.

FUN Monday & Tuesday puzzles.

carol said...

Hi All,

Fun, fast and enjoyable. Didn't know ILKA or GREGOR but the perps helped there.

Kazie, Dudley gave the explanation for a nooner...a morner is just a little 'sooner' :) Guess we could have had 'curling one's toes' for 45A but it was a letter too long.

Thanks again for all the nice wishes!

kazie said...

Thanks for Nooner. I agree about EZIO, but I made that mistake so many times before, I get it right now.

good one!

Those impressions are pretty good. I'd never heard of Steve Bridges before either.

Hahtool said...

I never considered on quick to anger as a SPITFIRE. Here's another take on the term.

I am about to go vote now. We get the day off. Apparently, it takes us the entire day to pull those levers in the voting booth.

Lucina said...

Good day, Argyle, C.C. and fellow puzzlers.

Santa, you are right on the money about the theme. If I never hear a political ad again, it will be too soon. They were particularly smutty this year and if everything said were true, they should be in jail.

My vote went in the mail last week.

What a slick puzzle from Bruce today, quick and fun with some old xwd friends, TARN, EROS, AND LEO I.

I didn't even notice LEN Berman, it filled in so fast, however was unsure about IRAQI OR IRANI so AQUA helped there.

Got a kick out of NOONER crossing BENDING and I TOO.

Very nice, Mr. Venzke, thanks.

Have a lovely Tuesday; I have an early appointment today.

JD said...

Good morning Argyle, C.C. and all,

Good take on theme, Argyle. I will be so glad when we are not receiving those annoying phone calls. Does anyone REALLY listen to a taped political message???We voted a few weeks ago.

I thought the puzzle was very easy, but there are ALWAYS a few that puzzle me.Gregor was almost filled with perps..all except the final R (rheo). Knew neither so left it blank. Had NT, but it took longer to fill in the WT part.

Favorite? nooner
At 17 I was really naive, my 1st yr in college. The Canadian baseball players that our group hung out with kept referring to a girl as "Nooner Mandy".And from there, my education began.

Another beautiful day in our neighborhood.

Husker Gary said...

Good Morning Argyle, et al, our newspaper had two crosswords everyday and I worked the one for the hoi polloi being very disappointed that it was too easy and had no theme or wit. When I came here and saw Argyle's first explanation, I realized my error, shut down and went back and did the big boy LA Times puzzle which was fun and in line with Argyle's judgement.

I too can not wait to see the ads end! All those people who were going to fix Washington 2 or 6 years ago are now the problem. What in the hell is in the air once you cross the Potomac River that makes you forget why you are there in the first place? I am all for term limits and I think we are going to have a defacto example of that today!

Ezio Pinza's "You Have to be Carefully Taught" from South Pacific shows how the arts can be a precursor of societal change!

I much prefer Len Berman to "it's all about me" Chris Berman in sportscasting.

I ain't never heerd of a TARN and so I growed today.

Omaha has a man named Billy McGuigan who does a Beatles show at the Omaha Playhouse and all around the country using the entire Beatles catalog and he and his band are fabulous. His last song of every show is always "I Saw Her Standing There" and it brings the house down! People of a certain age can still get rockin'!

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Argyle, your take on the the theme is perfect. Living in Florida, I am so glad to be able to answer the phone again. Didn't during all the awful calls before today.

I truly liked solving the theme answers.
Twas fun.


Jerome said...

KNOB, KNOX, KNIT. I like this. ITO and I TOO, too.



EROS- Cupid's weapons.

AMOUNT- What a jockey rides.

IRAQI- Balboa's response to "Me Tarzan"

thehondohurricane said...

I forgot earlier, but in days of yore I knew a lady who called it Noonsie. Nooner/noonsie, it never mattered to me. I hope I haven't exceeded the limits of good taste.

Dilbert said...

Hi all.

A speed run but alot of fun to do.

Voted early but only once.

Guess they waited untill the last game to decide on the MVP. Tough choice. And yes, I watched part of the game.

Indy cars have their front tires toed out for ovals and a more
neutral toe for road and street courses.

Waiting for lab results on blood work. Really concerned about the
creatinine level.

Take care.

Robin said...

Love Argyle

Love the puzzle

Love the theme

Love nooner (s)

Love y'all

daffy dill said...

Hi, Y'all. Great blog, Argyle.

I'm glad we had NOONER or we would be stuck on trying to explain "Boxer sounds." Not at all a hard puzzle today. I didn't know some of them, but perps filled them in nicely. Got stuck on GREGOt and tHEO, but changed it because GREGOR looked better and I was right. Overall, it was easier than yesterday's, I think.

I thought the theme had something to do with going to the gym or wrestling. I didn't make the political connection because I voted the first day of early voting and that was it for me. I don't watch much TV and we just don't get those phone calls for some reason.

The Rangers didn't play like a championship team, so they lost. I was disappointed they didn't win, but I was more disappointed in their performance, or lack thereof. Congrats to Giants' fans,

Happy B.D./Anniv., Carol.

Argyle said...

Tarn, with tor in the background

Jeannie said...

I thought this one was easier for me today than yesterday. I too, thought the theme had something to do with going to the gym. Nice connection Argyle on election day! Not being mechanical in nature I wouldn’t have gotten “toe in” for front end alignment without the perps. I didn’t know Ilka Chase, but do like here epitaph. Favorite today was “when one hand is up and the other is down”- six, and hey, who doesn’t enjoy a “nooner”….it’s been a while.

Dennis, I was completing the crossword in the lunch room and noticed someone sneezing. Thanks.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

I thought this was about right for a Tuesday.

My take on the theme was what do Chubby Checker's dance, lathe operation, and sliding stones on ice have to do with preparing to recieve an inoculation?

This is election day - vote early, vote often. Turn out is heavier than expected, for whatever that might be worth. Maybe it's the vote often part.

Yes, we would call a lunch time working meeting a "NOONER" - more than a little tongue in cheek, of course.

Too bad NOONER couldn't cross the Banger Sister. Maybe we should change LIP to TOES.

Though I suppose a NOONER could lead to BENDING THE TRUTH.

I have a headache. Can you tell?

Time for some meds.


Tinbeni said...

Those political phone calls became SOOOO annoying I disconnected the land line here at Villa Incognito.
I guess that also takes me off the grid for various calls from the pollsters since "cell" is the only way to contact me from now on (and I gave out my number to very few, less than 20, family, friends and business clients).

Congrats to the Army Ants last night with there 4th win. (You know ... the GI ANTS).

Hey, here in Tampa Bay water is (finally) falling out of the sky !!!
I think it is called rain ... I remember my Dad telling me about this phenomenon.

Dennis said...

'Nooner' could have also been the answer to 'front-end alignment'.

Just sayin'.

Nice Cuppa said...

Thanks Hahtool, for pointing to the SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE BATTLEOFBRITAIN . With the HAWKER HURRICAINE, they held off the LUFTWAFFE until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and your guys joined in. The rest is history. There are still a flew flying today, and will feature in the Remembrance Day activities next week (11/11).


Nice Cuppa said...

I'll try that link again


Jerome said...

Or a rear-end collision.

Lucina said...

I see that Ted Sorenson died, RIP. I guess that was yesterday.

Jerome, too funny.

lois said...

Good morning Argyle, CC, et al., Yeehaw! What a puzzle! Clever and cute. This was one of the ‘gems’ of my world. Tears of joy made my ‘mascara’ run. Perps took care of everything I couldn’t get straight up. Almost a speed run got me ‘twisting’ ‘turning’, curling, bending for good morning exercise and looking forward to the en‘gorged’ ‘nooner’ at the ‘zenith’ of my day. There ‘otto’ be a law that requires some noon time ‘knob’ exercise here in the states. For this? ‘Al-be-rt-o’ver to whatever office ‘keeps at’ the most ‘teeter’ing with the least ‘welt’s. Loved this puzzle.

Great job, Argyle, as always.

Dennis & Jerome: Head on collision is another possibility.

Dilbert said...

Love 'Off the Mark' today.
the mark.

Tin, don't let that stuff falling from the sky any where near the Pinch.

seen, is that the Ohio?

We still have people coming to the
door urging us to vote. Tight race?

Take care.

Bob said...

Easy puzzle (12 minutes).

Anyone remember Lupe Velez, a.k.a. The Mexican Spitfire? She really put the "spit" in "spitfire."


Lemonade714 said...

Well done Dilbert,

We love you ANONYMOUS .