Jan 1, 2011

Saturday January 1, 2011 Barry Silk

Total words: 70

Total blocks: 30

Happy New Year, everyone! Hope your 2011 is full of love, happiness & adventures.

Today we've got a puzzle with BLUE CROSS (21D. Early hospital services insurer) right in the middle of the grid and two cross-shaped black square blocks for visual effect.

I suspect the below two are Barry's seed entries:

36A. Experimental processor : QUANTUM COMPUTER. Gimme for Al/Grumpy I guess. I struggled with the answer.

36. Fictional harpooneer : QUEEQUEG. "Moby Dick". The ship is Pequod. Three Qs & two Zs & one J in the grid. Typical Silk scrabbliness.

How's your solving experience? Lower left was particularly hard for me.


1. Builds up considerably : AMASSES

8A. Game with beehive-shaped pieces : PACHISI. National game of India. Wikipedia says "It's played on a cross-shaped board. Symmetrical cross. Maybe we can add it to Barry's cross visual then.

15. Avian activity : NESTING. Misread the clue as "Apian activity".

16. Cruel : INHUMAN

17. Start working : GET ON IT

18. Common bait : MAGGOTS. Yuck!

19. Juillet is part of it : ETE. Juillet = July in French.

20. Chess stratagem : GAMBIT

22. Pop singer/songwriter Sands : EVIE. Not familiar to me. She looks pretty.

23. Steal : LURK. Why? They are not equivalent to me.

25. Yarborough of NASCAR : CALE. Well, eddyB must know this guy. Wikipedia says he's the first NASCAR driver to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated and he had total 83 NASCAR wins.

26. Fumble : ERR

27. It takes your breath away : APNEA. Gimme. I must have seen this clue before.

29. Normandy beach : JUNO. Absolutely no idea. I could only think of Omaha.

31. One with a spare in his boot : BRIT. They call trunk "boot".

32. F1 neighbor : ESC. Computer keyboard. Got me.

34. Put out : ETHERIZE

40. Like eagles : UNDER PAR. Golf. Two under par to be exact.

41. Do a typical teenager's job : SIT. MOW too.

42. Nobel Prize subj. : ECON

43. Signs of success : SROS. Sellout signs. SRO = Standing Room Only. I need abbreviation hint.

45. Some Wi-Fi offerers : CAFES

49. Great time : EON. Great clue.

50. Processing time meas. : M SEC. I like the consecutive "time" clecho.

52. Word with punch or party : LINE

53. Bit of wit : QUIP. Can you believe Wayne R. William still does the Quip puzzle every week?

55. Muezzin's temple : MOSQUE. I don't know the meaning of Muezzin. It's the mosque official who summons worshipers to pray.

57. Keep out : BAR

58. Increases : UPSIZES. Only familiar with downsizes.

60. Title lost love in a Poe poem : ULALUME. Not in my radar. Could only recall "Annabel Lee".

62. "You're my pride and joy, et cetera" girl in a Turtles hit : ELENORE. Here is the clip. You've got to commit it to your memory. ELENORE has very friendly vowel/consonant combination.

63. Fifth Greek letter : EPSILON

64. Unified whole : GESTALT

65. Expose : LAY BARE


1. German chancellor Merkel : ANGELA. Tough girl. Hard G in in her name.

2. Rendezvous : MEET UP

3. Opposite of ahead : ASTERN

4. Pou __: vantage point : STO. Greek. Literally "Where I may stand". Sto = I stand. Learning moment to me.

5. Do a number : SING

6. Room-sized computer : ENIAC

7. U.S. Army E-9 : SGT MAJ. Never know those ranks.

8. Antipasto veggie : PIMIENTO. Not to my taste.

9. It may be gross: Abbr. : ANAT. Hard clue.

10. Small fee? : CHG (Charge). "Small" indicate abbreviation I suppose.

11. Quite significant : HUGE. I like the consecutive "small" and "significant" contrast.

12. "It's okay now" : I'M OVER IT. Didn't come to me quickly.

13. Mock : SATIRIZE

14. Editor, at times : INSERTER. I'm OK with 1 or 2 ER words in a grid.

24. Actor __ Ivory Wayans : KEENEN. Is this dude very famous?

28. Celestial sci. : ASTR

30. Units measured by a multimeter : OHMS. Hmm, VirginiaSycamore just mentioned that the symbol for OHM is Omega. And the MHO symbol is an upside down Omega.

31. Painful, as honesty : BRUTAL

33. Afternoon service items : CUPS. Hello, Nice Cuppa!

35. "War and Peace," e.g. : EPIC

37. Separate : UNCOUPLE

38. Hunks : ADONISES

39. Tamarin relative : MARMOSET. Tiny squirrel like money. Another learning moment.

44. One often has a colon in its title : SEQUEL. Unexpected clue.

46. Leg bone : FIBULA

47. Bewitch : ENAMOR

48. Tranquil : SERENE

51. Apology ending : CULPA. Mea Culpa. My bad!

54. Ice cream purchase : PINT

55. Reagle of "Wordplay" : MERL. Merl is on the right (with red-colored tie). You can find my interview with him on the blog sidebar.

56. Relaxed : EASY

59. Suffix with Meso- : ZOA. Meaning "animal". Stumped me.

61. Stack site: Abbr. : LIB. Library? I've never seen this abbreviation before.

Answer grid.



eddyB said...

Hi all.
Welcome to 2011.
Tough puzzle for me for some reason. Must have been all the misdirection.
Cale had some exciting duels with the Allison Bros in the 70s and 80s. He now owns a Honda dealership in Florence,SC.

There was a special toast to all at

Take care.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Definitely a fresh puzzle - I loved QUANTUM COMPUTER - but in the end it defeated me. The NE corner was especially BRUTAL, what with PACHISI [what?], MAGGOTS [Eww! Who fishes with MAGGOTS???] and CHG [Boo!], and I finally had to turn on the red-letter help to solve that section.

The rest of the puzzle had its moments as well. ULALAME, EVIE and ELENORE were complete unknowns, and the clue for ETHERIZE was just ridiculous without some indication of it being archaic. I mean, seriously, does anybody use ether as an anesthetic these days?

Anyway, have a Happy New Year!!!

kazie said...

Too many names and other unknowns for me today. Three quarters of this were things I'd never heard of or would never have guessed in a lifetime. After struggling for an hour all I had right were: AMASSES, NESTING, GET ON IT, ÉTÉ, GAMBIT, LURK, APNEA, BRIT, ESC, ECON, SROS, BAR, EPSILON, ANGELA, MEET UP, ASTERN, SING, SGTMAJ, ASTR, CUPS, OHMS, FIBULA, ENAMOR, SERENE, ZOA. I did have a few other incorrect fills, like CONE for PINT, ERA for EON, and REWRITER for INSERTER.

As Carol says, too clever for me.

Enjoy the day everyone.

Mike said...

ASTR could be either astronomy or astrology, I suppose, although "sci." in the clue suggests the former. Something for everyone, I guess.

One of my favorite quibbles: There is no ECONomics Nobel Prize. The foundations for the Nobel Prize were laid in 1895 when Alfred Nobel wrote his last will, leaving much of his wealth to the establishment of the Nobel Prize. Every year since 1901 the Nobel Prize has been awarded for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace.

In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden's central bank) established and funded the "Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel" on the occasion of the Bank's 300th anniversary. While The Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences according to the same principles as for the original Nobel Prizes, I'm not at all sure that Alfred Nobel would feel good about lending his name to a prize for achievement in the Dismal Science.

A better clue, IMHO, would be "Subj. of the Nobel prize that's not a Nobel Prize."

creature said...

Good Morning C.C.and all,

C.C. after a workout like that,I can't imagine how in the world you do it! In addition, the visuals you bring up to tie it in with Blue Cross, would have completely escaped me. You're a genius.Thanks.
I, too, do not see Lurk=Steal. I will be looking for that later.

When I see Barry Silk's name, I{pick a word}:cringe, freeze, panic,get excited,curse,pray; and finally,I get a diet coke and start in.Oh,I also get my white out[used only after 2or3 changes].

I got in on the SE and did quite well for initial filling,branching to the N and W.At some point ,I decided I was going no further w/o 3 Dogpile visits:Pop singer Sands,needed the 'vie';fictional harpooner,needed the 'g' actor - Ivory Wayans,needed the 2 'n's.

The NE was the white-out section, but I finally pulled it out.

My fav was Small fee? CHG

Finally, I visited C.C.'s notes to discover that I had misspelled elenore[used an 'a';Missed processing time meas.,had 'p'sec instead of Msec.,and had Dale instead of Cale,ergo missing eniac.

So,you might say I really #%*# up, but I see it as a superior job, Barry Silk considered.

Thanks for the work out and all the learning opportunities, Barry.

I'm off to play New Year with my daughters and an old friend, in Louisville.

Have a nice day everyone.

MH said...

Tough one, even for a Saturday. I needed lots of Google help to get the unknown names and even then it took almost 40 minutes. PACHISI? I thought it was PARCHEESI. And ETHERIZE? Is that even a word?

Happy New Year to all!

Bob said...

Happy New Year to everyone.

I gave up on this one after about 50 minutes. Never worked out the NE or SW corners and didn't have the patience this morning to stick with it any longer. Most of the ones I got took some thought. A pretty tough puzzle for starting the new year.

kazie said...

I hesitated over ECON too, because I couldn't remember ever having heard of it, but I had the N and didn't know what else could fit.

I thought it was using "steal" in the sense of "stealing unnoticed" into a room or some such. Then it could be the same as lurking in the background somewhere.

Dr Betty said...

Re: steal and lurk -- if you lurk, you're stealing looks. It's a stretch, but cute clue. Tough typical Saturday grid. HNY to all!

Husker Gary said...

Happy New Year C.C. and other puzzlers! Well, one resolution is down (finishing every puzzle in 2011) the drain, I left 6 cells empty or wrong in the brutal NE. I guess losing 40 pounds is out the window too!

Musings before the football onslaught-
-As I said yesterday, a year ago today we were in $65 bleacher seats on Colorado Boulevard! Fabulous!!
-I try to disabuse my kids every year of the notion that astrology is a science. I taught with a beautiful and brilliant science teacher who had me read her horoscope out loud at lunch every day and it became a running joke for us!
-Mike, great info on the dismal science. I too think Alfred would take a dim view!
-Didn’t the Fonda’s play Parcheesi in On Golden Pond?
-I don’t suffer from APNEA but if you have a cure for 15 minutes of snoring every night, I know a lovely woman who shares my bed who would love to hear it.
-I thought of UTAH for that beach but of course OMAHA is the most famous. Next on my bucket list is to walk the beaches in Normandy.
-I thought BRET Maverick had a spare gun in his boot. Those BRIT’s have a bonnet and boot!
-Did anyone else think of LENORE for Poe’s lost love (I know, not the title, but I’m just saying…)
-Don’t people reach for MINNOWS to fish before dipping into the MAGGOTS container? Yuk!
-TONS? Nope, it’s HUGE.
-I was trying to think if AHAB had a surname for our harpooner but perped the correct answer
-Some sequels should never be made – Godfather? Yes, they keep pulling me back in! Jaws, Fokkers and Grease? NO!
-My ice cream was a CONE first
-ANGELA Merkel is a tough bird and one of many European leaders who are pulling in the reins on government benefits that countries like Germany, England, Greece, Ireland, Spain, et al cannot afford.
-Should we resolve not to jump on cripples like “Put out” as fodder for commenting? Nah!

Happy 2011 from Huskerville!

Spitzboov said...

Bonne Année everyone. Thanks for the commentary, C.C.

Another Silkie Saturday. A real toughie today. I had trouble in the SE and NW which fell last. Agree with C.C. about the seed words. Maybe MOSQUE and SEQUEL too? Agree with others about LURK ≠ STEAL. BUT Merriam-Webster does give: Related to LURK
Synonyms: sneak, mooch, mouse, pussyfoot, shirk, skulk, slide, slink, slip, snake, steal
. Quel dommage. I had 'castle' for chess stratagem before the perps indicated GAMBIT which we had the other day. I liked the clue for ANAT. I did not like ETHERIZE either, but I submit it was in use until a couple generations ago. I don't think many editors would like to be called INSERTERS either, but I suppose it's part of the job.

Enjoy the weekend.

kazie said...

One of the reasons I am still waiting to be a grandparent is that my German d-i-l is trying to get a job there first, so she can avail herself of the benefits: 60% of her salary for two years after only a minimum 9 months work, to stay home with the baby. So she could theoretically get a job, immediately get pregnant, then collect for two years. I think I favor Angela's cutbacks!

The "G" is always hard in German, unlike the (mostly) "soft before i or e" in English.

Husker Gary said...

Kazie, I agree that producers can supply benefits to non-producers just so long and then pretty soon you either run out of money or the incentive for anyone to make money. The riots all over Europe today are testimony to this eternal economic truth for which probably no one ever received a Nobel prize.

BTW, visiting OZ is high on my bucket list as soon as I think I can tolerate the plane trip. I wish I was there now in their "good old summertime!"

ps Have you ever been to Alice Springs? It looks about as far from anything as a city of 25,000 can be.

creature said...

One really good resolution would be to adhere to C.C.'s rules -no religion and no politics- no matter how it's slipped in.

Anonymous said...

Nevil Shute, in one of his many (novels) books, wrote 'A town like Alice', which involves Alice Springs. The book, publ circa 1958, is an outstanding book.

Husker Gary said...

Creature, you are so right! My mea culpa! I'll try to do better!

Thanks for the gentle reminder!


Grumpy 1 said...

Happy, happy NEW YEAR, one and all!

When it's a Silky Saturday, it's gonna be tough!

I didn't have much luck at first, but GAMBIT and CALE were gimmees and made BLUE CROSS pretty obvious.
I visited the beaches of Normandy last fall so JUNO came to mind easily when UTAH wouldn't fit. From there I was able to work back to the NW and down to the SE. ULALUME was a total unknown, but with everything else in that corner completed it had to stay. My slow spot in that corner was SORRY instead of CULPA. Fortunately, that didn't last long.

I thought I had an AHA moment when I had enough perps to see COMPUTER in the grid spanner. With the crossing of BLUE CROSS, I thought it just had to be BIG BLUE COMPUTER. Not! That took awhile to discard.

I also fell into the MINNOWS/MAGGOTS and CONE/PINT traps. ETHERIZE was not in any way associated with my thoughts about 'Put out'. I was thinking along the lines of peeved, ticked off... yeah, sure I was!

Except for LURK for 'Steal', I thought everything was clued OK. I did not know about that ECON was not a true Nobel prize, so I just filled it and moved on.

I finally Googled QUEEQUEG and PACHISI. That gave me everything I needed to finish up, but it wasn't a pretty site.

I hope the finish today is not a harbinger of the year to come.

Scotty said...

I visit you all nearly every day to enjoy your comments. Today my paper was missing the section with the puzzle so I had to do it on line and it was a tough one.
Happy New Year everyone.

lois said...

Good morning CC and Happy New Year! How absolutely perfect to have Barry Silk to start the new year off (for me anyway). I remember meeting him in DC a few yrs ago and learned so much from his presentation. Super nice guy, too.

But all that didn't help me today. Besides being Sat, it was a hard one. I agree w/Barry G completely. Same pitfalls and questions.
The thought of baiting a hook w/MAGGOTS almost made me hurl. That should've had the GROSS clue from ANAT 9D and 'ANAT9D should've had the 18A MAGGOTS clue
COMMON BAIT. It would've made more me anyway. Besides, it's a way of fishing for many people. But far be it from me to LAY BARE any of the e-tricks of the e-trade that some people E-VIE with for "e-males" and e'tail (Lampkins' fav). Some think that e-dating is an E-CON game that one can E-SCape only after having been E-PSILONed on enough times. I
E-THERIZE that E-NAMOR'E can be found SITting in one of the wi-fi
CAFES having E-TEa with a handsome e-male online. It's one of the ADONISES at the next table who is getting UNCOUPLE-d
that you LIBerate with a QUIP and some GESTALTist revelations. Voila tout! It's EASY. One just has to SIT, listen & GET ON IT. Well, that's one trick of the e-tail e-trade, but you didn't hear if from me.

Enjoy your day.

LaLaLinda said...

Wow ~~ I really struggled with this one. I'll often put a puzzle aside if I'm having trouble and then gradually get it filled in. After my first look-up, I knew that wasn't going to happen today. Many unknowns ~~ I would never have figured them out. If I had known Bob gave up, I would have quit early on! ;-)

Thank you for your informative write-up C.C. I always enjoy your comments and explanations.


Anonymous said...

Muezzins are a common sight - or at least a common 'sound' in all muslim countries ( and also some non-muslim majority, but religiously 'tolerant', countries, like Singapore, India, Sri Lanka - etc. ). They shout from the minarets ( mini-towers : 'rooftops ? ') and 'call' the faithful to prayer. Thanks to highly-attenuated powerful amplifiers, you hear them in the early dawn hours - whether you like it or not. They are the 'free' alarm clocks, at daybreak - which can never be shut off with a 'snooze' button. As yet, they have not been accorded the same privileges, in these United States.

'Gestalt', as a concept can also stand for 'familiarity' or 'experience - as a confidence builder'.

Thus the theory of 'Gestalt' psychology is that a student who has taken one or several attempts in practicing for (say) an SAT exam - is bound to do better than an equivalent student, who may be just as smart and knowledgeable - who is sittng for the same SAT exam, for the first time. (Hence the big success of Kaplan Review-like courses.)

Anonymous said...

Muezzins are a common sight - or at least a common 'sound' in all muslim countries ( and also some non-muslim majority, but religiously 'tolerant', countries, like Singapore, India, Sri Lanka - etc. ). They shout from the minarets ( mini-towers : 'rooftops ? ') and 'call' the faithful to prayer. Thanks to highly-attenuated powerful amplifiers, you hear them in the early dawn hours - whether you like it or not. They are the 'free' alarm clocks, at daybreak - which can never be shut off with a 'snooze' button. As yet, they have not been accorded the same privileges, in these United States.

'Gestalt', as a concept can also stand for 'familiarity' or 'experience - as a confidence builder'.

Thus the theory of 'Gestalt' psychology is that a student who has taken one or several attempts in practicing for (say) an SAT exam - is bound to do better than an equivalent student, who may be just as smart and knowledgeable - who is sittng for the same SAT exam, for the first time. (Hence the big success of Kaplan Review-like courses.)

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Well, the year did not exactly start out on a good note for me. I lost big time today. There were too many unknowns to make any headway. I always thought Lenore was Poe's long lost love. I don't recall Ulalume from any of my Lit classes. If maggots are a common bait, I think I'll give up eating fish. Fictional harpooner was not a DNK, it was a couldn't remember. I thought of Utah initially for Normandy Beach, but got Juno when I filled in SgtMaj. But there were too many dead ends.

OK, I'll be the dope who mentions it. My favorite clue was "put out." Took me back to the old days musing in the locker room with my teammates after a practice. More often then not the discussion would turn to our feminine classmates and someone would wonder who would......... Enough said.

2011 started out in an expensive fashion today. The puppy sliced open one of his paw pads. $380 later, he's been repaired, but has to lay low for a week and a half. It's going to be a looong stretch for Lucy and me.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning and Happy New Year to all. Like others (Hi, Creature) I get a "deer in the headlights" feeling when I see Barry Silk's name attached to a puzzle....always so clever and often misleading.

I played PARCHEESI as a child, but have never seen it spelled (8A) PACHISI.

23A LURK makes sense if you think of "Steal" as in With catlike tread upon our prey we steal from The Pirates of Penzance. The pirates sneak up on their prey very least they think they do.

(34A) Put out/ETHERIZE was particularly difficult until I thought of ether being used to put a patient in the operating room "out". Do anesthesiologists use ether anymore?

(39D) "Tamarin relative" was read as "Tamarind relative". The tamarind is quite a fruit and has lots of uses, but has nothing to do with a MARMOSET.

60A and 62A held me up for quite a
while. I've never read ULALUME by Poe and I admit I thought of The Raven's "rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name LENORE", even though Lenore didn't fit the number of letters and wasn't in the title anyway. I barely remembered The Turtles song. I had to get 62A's title girl ELENORE from the perps.

18A...MAGGOTS? Yuck, no wonder I'm not interested in fishing. Give me a harpoon over a line with a maggot anyday.

I knew (36D) QUEEQUEG, although another 8 letter Moby Dick harpooner was Tashtego. The third harpooner was Daggoo...only 6 letters. ISHMAEL wasn't a harpooner and was one letter short anyway. Maybe it was lucky that he wasn't a harpooner because he is the only character who survived. QUEEQUEG did get me started in the SW and I worked my way up.

I still had to google for some fill like STO, EVIE, JUNO and MSEC. I never would have finished otherwise.

Time to check out the bowl games schedule. Have a great day everyone.

Seriously? said...

anon: Are you kidding me!?! These United States do not allow prayer in public schools nor crosses and/or the ten commandments in courthouses. We are also in danger of losing the Pledge of Alligiance wording.

Btw, those tolerant countries are also outlawing yodeling as they deem it disrespectful of the Muezzin.(Look it up in the NYT)

Also try drawing a satrical comment on Muhammed or Islam without getting a bounty on your head.

Meanwhile Jesus and Christianity are lampooned on a daily basis here in these United States.

Just wondering... said...

Anything happen in Egypt today with those tolerant Muslims?

kazie said...

Sorry to hear of your pup's ordeal, it's hard to deal with their pain when they can't tell you how they feel.

May I refer you to my photos from the trip in May-June 2010. However, on going through both the older and newer posts today, I'm not sure if I included any of Alice Springs itself.

The story of "A Town like Alice" was mostly about the rotten treatment of Aussie POW's at the hands of the Japanese during WWII. A little at the end got them to Alice Springs, but the main character, played in the movie by Bryan Brown, talked a lot about it all the way through.

JD said...

Happy New year C.C. and all,

This was a 57 minute triumph for me- an hour is usually my limit.I had to visit Google :Evie, Keenen marmoset(shame on me), Ulalume, Queequez, and Elenore..." I think you're really groovy, Let's go out to a movie...".

After 3 rounds, when things became more obvious, I was on a roll, but still WAGGED Juno, gambit, and brit( thanks for that V8, C.C.)

Barry, I have never fished with maggots-yuk!

pachisi? I thought parchisi-bad spelling included, and too long.

DH walked by and told me to add computer to my quantum, so that REALLY helped.Last letter was the Z in etherize/satirize..throw me another V8!

Barry Silk, you are just too smooth.How do you know all this stuff???

Have a great day all. I'm going to enjoy our tree a few more days. We used to wait 'til "little Christmas", but nobody does that any more.

Jerome said...

Three highly unusual entries today:
QUEEQUEG- This is simply flat-out fabulous.
MAGGOTS- Don't think I've ever seen it in a puzzle. Doesn't bother me a bit, but I would think there would be "Breakfast Test" considerations for the squeamish.
MERL- First time I recall seeing a crossword constructor referenced in a puzzle. The clue said, "Reagle of "Wordplay". But still. MERL would have fit nicely in a puzzle of mine a couple of years ago. I asked Nancy Salomon about using it and her response was that using constructor names was pretty much taboo. Well, just about.

Should be taboo-

INHUMAN- Was Attila? The MAIN HUN.


Jayce said...

Hello everybody and warm first-day-of-the-year greetings to you all.

Fabulous puzzle today. Very hard, but doable and fair. I got a lot of pleasure out of it, and several slap-myself-on-the-forehead moments.

I really liked ETHERIZE, once I groked it, and it immediately brought to mind the poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot which starts out "Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;"

I love that image. For some reason it also brings to mind a completely unrelated snippet of literature, this time by Mark Twain, who, in his story A Double-Barreled Detective Story, wrote "...the sensuous fragrance of innumerable deciduous flowers rose upon the swooning atmosphere; far in the empty sky a solitary esophagus slept upon motionless wing; everywhere brooded stillness, serenity, and the peace of God."

With regard to comparing the NYT and LAT xwords, you said it very well yesterday, Windhover and JimmyB. Far more articulate than my remarks a day or two previous to that. Thank you both.

If I ever get gangrene, I will request the doctors apply sterile maggots to eat it away rather than be subject to the surgeon's knife.

And that's all the stream-of-consciousness remarks I have for today. Best wishes to you all.

Husker Gary said...

Kazie, thanks for the great pix! Warm up the plane, I'm ready to go! I really loved the truancy sign in Alice Springs - No School No Service! Alice truly seems to be a place where "you gotta be goin' there to get there!"

Anonymous said...

OUCH! This puzzle was IMPOSSIBLE for me ... thank goodness for this remarkable blog ... it prevented a meltdown!!

Happy NEW YEAR to ALLLLLLL of you ... I already LOVE 2011!!!

erieruth said...

The previous Anonymous *ouch* comment was mine...sorry... I don't want to be anonymous!!!

Abejo said...

Happy New Year to C.C., Barry Silk, and all the crossword gurus. This puzzle was a real tough one. That is why I am sending this late in the day. Of course, I never got out of bed until 11:00 AM, so I did get a late start.

I had major trouble in the NE and SW corners. I actually had MAGGOTS to start with, but then changed it to MINNOWS. That was my downfall. The SW corner was worse. I did get MOSQUE quite easily, having heard the muezzin many times daily for three years while living in Iran. OHMS was easy for me having measured them for thirty-six years in the telephone business. We called the instrument a V.O.M. (volt-ohm-milliammeter), but multimeter is correct, nevertheless. I got EPIC for War and peace, but wanted TOME initially. ETHERIZE fixed that. In my job today I pay doctors and hospitals. One clever anesthetist, that I have paid a few times, has the name of his business as "The Ether Bunny." I laughed over that for quite a while.

Well, I vow to get up early tomorrow and get a running start to Sunday's puzzle. It cannot be harder than today's. I hope to get it done before church. That is my current new year's resolution. I may reconsider that tomorrow. Happy New Year to all. Abejo

Abejo said...

To "erieruth"

You are not from Erie, are you? I am.


GarlicGal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PJB-Chicago said...

Happy New Year, everyone!

A Barry Silk.....What a way to begin 2011! I was glad to have skipped the champagne last night, because it took all my neurons to get this tough-but-fun puzzle solved.

Glad I'm not the only one who found the grid challenging-and-then-some; although every right answer felt like a small victory, incuding a dozen WAGs. Finishing it made me want to put my party hat back on.

Getting QUEEQUEG was a boost to the ego; grappling with ULALUME and ELENORE put me back in my place.

I got PACHISI *only* because I once lost a Scrabble game to m-i-l who played that word, which I stupidly contested. (I should have known better.)

ETHER is still used as an anesthetic in poor, developing countries, as attested by a physician friend who did a stint with "Doctors Without Borders." Apparently, it's inexpensive, unlike the stuff used elsewhere. And highly flammable.

@ClearAyes: I fell into the tamarin(d) trap too. Thanks for the apt poetry yesterday.
@Jerome: Agree about MAGGOTS and the "breakfast test." BTW: I'm never playing Scrabble with you! I wish my mind worked like yours.
@Jayce: Thanks for the Prufock/"etherize" connection....

@C.C. Your blogging today shows---yet again---your brilliance. And all the work you've put into mastering puzzles.

"See" y'all during the week.

MR ED said...

for your info: 'e-9' can be a sargeant major, which has a star in the center of the stripes; or a first sargeant, which has a diamond in the middle of the stripes.

Anonymous said...

That's incorrect. A First Sergeant is an E-8. E-9s can be Sergeant Major, Command Sergeant Major, or Sergeant Major of the Army.

MR ED said...

btw, i was an e-5, buck sargeant. Dennis, what were you?

Anonymous said...

Gave up on this one - too hard. Aren't editors supposed to weed out silly defs. (like LURK for "steal?) and overly esoteric (i.e. unknown to almost everyone) like the obscure Poe poem (ULALUME) or a techie reference (QUANTUM COMPUTER)? And where can you find the definition of ETHERIZE" as meaning "put out" (would KNOCK OUT be better". Though I have to admit the "eagle" reference threw me (I hate golf), but , as a life long fisherman, I've only met ONE angler that uses MAGGOTS as bait (in Alberta, Canada).

MR ED said...

I guess it changed since I was in, 1962.

Bill G. said...

As you may already know, a quick search of Wikipedia showed that PACHISI is the original name of the game from ancient India while Parcheesi is the Americanized version.

Did any of you try the Wall Street Journal puzzle? I'm having a hard time making sense of the theme.

Happy 1/1/11 in the US!

MR ED said...

Oh, I forgot HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone.

JimmyB said...

Creature - From your list I would choose "cringe" as the word that best describes what I do whenever I see a Barry Silk puzzle. I just never feel like I'm on the same wavelength, nor do I seem to know the same trivia, like PACHESI, QUEEQUEG, ELENORE, ULALUME, etc. But then it's a Saturday, so I guess that's fair enough.

C.C. - Thanks for explaining the British trunk/boot connection. I was totally lost on that one.

suziq said...

keenan wayans is spelled with an "a" not "e" as in keenen

Clear Ayes said...

Just checking in to see who has been commenting.

Nice to see you PJB. It's always a pleasure to read your remarks.

I have to make another trip to Tracy tomorrow. Unfortunately, my sister's older female dog took an instant dislike to the little female pit-mix we arranged for them to have. Apparently, there was a lot of snarling and attempted biting on the older dog's part, so we will pick up Dollie tomorrow and return her to the folks across the street from us. It makes GAH and me sad because it should have been a great match.

Sorry, Suziq, all the movie and TV info websites say it is spelled KEENEN (not Keenan) Ivory Wayans. Here's the Wikipedia article.

C.C. Keenen Ivory Wayans is most famous as the creator of the TV show "In Living Color", a very edgy sketch comedy show that had Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Lopez as cast members.

Chickie said...

I'm with Kazie and others in that there were too many unknowns for me today. Even with help from Google, I had a lot of blank squares and had to come here for help from C.C. Thanks, once again for your comments and learning moments.

We've never used maggots(ugh) for fishing bait. Crawlers are what even the children will put on their hooks.

When I separate something, I untangle it--though uncouple is more correct, I think. These were just a couple of my missteps today.

I wanted to wish everyone here Un Prospero Ano Nuevo.

Grumpy 1 said...

Chickie, I guess it depends on what you're separating. If you separate cars on a train, you uncouple. If you separate strings of Christmas lights that were all piled in a box, you untangle (and probably cuss a lot).

I wanted KEENAN, also, but knew that UNDAR PAR wasm't going to work. It's bad enough when the constructors throw somewhat obscure names at you, but then they pick ones that can't even spell their own names correctly.

Anonymous said...

this was the worst crossword of ALL TIME.

LaLaLinda said...

Bill G. ~~

I just finished the Wall Street Journal puzzle. I think my favorites were 'BUNIONSOUP' and 'RITZ QUACKERS.'

MJ said...

Happy New Year to all!

It was an all day process for me to complete today's terrific Barry Silk crossword, and also a 750 piece jigsaw puzzle. Both are finally completed, so I took the opportunity to read C.C.'s great blog and poster's comments. Had the Rose Parade on with re-runs all day as background. Many wonderful bands and awesome floats, not to mention animals, etc. I had planned to drive up to Pasadena to watch the parade in person, but it was just too cold this morning, so I snuggled in at home.

My favorite part of the puzzle was the expression "I'm over it". That's been my mantra throughout this holiday season, as plans with family were in constant flux, yet we all had a wonderful time in the end.

Best Wishes to all in 2011!

erieruth said...

To ABEJO - I'm not from Erie, I'm from Galveston, Texas...and I went to TCU, winners of today's ROSE BOWL!! Yea. Thanks for asking...

JD said...

erieruth, for some reason I thought you lived in the town next to me. No? Congrats to the Hornfrogs!

erieruth said...

I'm right next to u...I meant I was born in Galveston...too literal am I.

Susan said...

This was WAY to hard for me! I had behind instead of astern which messed up the whole corner. I had to read the blog to get anything going.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. We haven't had Christmas yet because we are waiting for my older daughter who will be here on Monday.

CC you make it seem so easy when you do the answers. You completely amaze me--thank you.

Anonymous said...

"Great time" is not an eon.