Jan 29, 2011

Saturday Januray 29, 2011 Gareth Bain

Theme: None

Total words: 70

Total blocks: 34

C.C. here. I think this is Gareth Bain's first LA Times themeless. Congrats!

Gareth anchors his puzzle with a stacked 15 & 14 on top and bottom of his grid:

17A. "West Side Story" duet : ONE HAND, ONE HEART. Tony & Maria's duet.

20A. Ecstatic cry : YES, THERE IS A GOD. This could be the seed entry.

45A. Go from 10 to 8, say : DROP A DRESS SIZE. Nice answer. Crazy SSS in the middle.

50A. Angel's concern : BROADWAY MUSICAL. Angel refers to Broadway financial backer.

How's your solving? Quite a workout for me. Sweated a lot over several geography references. Tough cluing overall.


1. Edmonton's prov. : ALTA (Alberta)

5. North __ Sea, Syr Darya River outlet : ARAL. Wikipedia says the North Aral Sea is part of the former former Aral Sea that's fed by the Syr Darya River, which is a complete unknown to me.

9. Russian city to host the 2014 Olympics : SOCHI. No idea. It's pronounced like SOH-chee. On the Black Sea. Right side, see it?

14. Sounds of triumph : HAHs

15. Move, in real estate : RELO

16. Some soli : ARIAS. Soli is plural of solo.

21. Loan guarantor : SURETY

22. Whiz : PRO

23. Stir vigorously : BEAT. Egg whites, I suppose.

24. Fish you don't want to be biting : PIRANHAS. Ozzie Guillén (White Sox manager, very funny guy) said Twins are like piranhas.

29. Attached, in a way : GLUED

31. One-footer, e.g. : TAP-IN. Tap-in putt. Golf.

32. Peke output : YIP. Pekingese dog. Yips are of course also golfer's nightmare. No tap-in gimme.

33. They fit in locks : OARS. Nope, no KEYS. Boat locks.

34. Deli suffix : WURST

35. __ Squalor, Count Olaf's girlfriend in "A Series of Unfortunate Events" : ESME. The name is a reference to Salinger's "For Esme – with Love and Squalor", which rings a bell. The clue as it is means nothing to me.

36. Overalls part : BIB

37. Billy Dee's "The Empire Strikes Back" role : LANDO. Lando Calrissian. I just have no desire to watch those "Star Wars" movies.

38. Glove material : LATEX

39. How much radio is broadcast : IN STEREO. Did you get the answer immediately?

41. Pharmacist's datum : DOSE

42. Had a life : WAS

43. Tab competitor : DIET RC. Had trouble parsing DIETRC.

51. Site of a sacred building called the Kaaba : MECCA. Here is Kaaba (literally, "the cube") during Hajj. The most sacred building in Islam. So crowded.

52. Resort NE of Los Alamos : TAOS

53. Swarthy : DARK

54. Far from swarthy : PASTY. Nice "swarthy' clecho (clue echo).

55. Dustin's "The Graduate" co-star : ANNE (Bancroft)

56. Word of consequence : ELSE


1. Bridge call? : AHOY. Oh, ship bridge. Not the bridge game.

2. Pins may be at the ends of them : LANES. Bowling pins.

3. End-of-day destination for many : THE SUBURBS

4. Hardwood sources : ASH TREES. Used to make baseball bats.

5. CNN Gulf War reporter : ARNETT (Peter)

6. Towel off again : REDRY

7. Shrub with tubular flowers : ALOE

8. Anderson of "WKRP in Cincinnati" : LONI

9. Arid : SAHARAN

10. Ducks' home : OREGON. Ducks: University of Oregon. Beavers: Oregon State.

11. "Bye!" : CIAO

12. Like some copies and courts : HARD

13. Social end : IST. End to the word socialist.

18. Winning : AHEAD

19. Lively wit : ESPRIT

24. 1960s-'70s "Jeopardy!" announcer : PARDO (Don). Have faintly heard of the name.

25. __ jure: by the law itself : IPSO

26. Riotous : HYSTERICAL

27. Parisian lover's word : AIME. Love. Je t'aime.

28. Eyewear, commercially : SPEX

29. Home to many Bactrian camels : GOBI. Do you know the name for these camels?

30. Rested : LAIN

31. Some find it hard to carry : TUNE. Tricky clue.

34. 1955 treaty city : WARSAW. Warsaw Pact.

35. Manhattan's FDR Drive is on it : EAST SIDE. Guessed.

37. Traditionally, when women were allowed to propose marriage : LEAP DAY. Was unaware of this tradition.

38. Windblown soil : LOESS. Learned from doing crossword.

40. With an intermission : TWO ACT

41. Neglect : DISUSE

43. Familiar, perhaps : DEMON. Why? Don't get the clue.

44. Industry overseers : CZARS. Like Drug Czar.

45. "The Sopranos" Emmy winner De Matteo : DREA. Her name escaped me.

46. Elephants' predators, in myth : ROCs

47. It may be described in gigs : DATA. So gigs refer to gigabytes?

48. 2006 N.L. MVP __ Howard : RYAN. First baseman for Dennis' Phillies.

49. Sommer of "The Prize" : ELKE

50. Image file letters : BMP. What does BMP stand for, Al? Bitmap?



Lemonade714 said...

Well I am still awake, a bit of cough. I did nap earlier after work, so here are my thouhgts. Fun, the FAMILIAR is like the black cat which helps the witch/

The incomparable DON PARDO who came from my neck of the woods, announced on TV for many decades, including doing SNL into his 90's.

I did enjoy the whimsy of the Lemony Snicket (no relation) books, and movie and the character stolem from Salinger ESME SQUALOR .

Like most americans, I am so weak in geography, this was a workout.

Good night and thanks C.C.

fermatprime said...

Hi All,

Thanks for interesting write-up, CC!

Did not go to sleep last night; was stressing out over dentist appointment. Actually, it went fairly well. (Last time I was bedridden with compound fracture, I ended up losing two lower front teeth. Have bridge there now. AHOY there.)

Gareth not as bad as other themeless creators. Almost a pleasant experience. Almost. I looked up where the Ducks were. Tsk. Clearly Anaheim did not fly!

Never heard of the term SPEX, but it and other unknowns filled themselves in nicely. For some time I was vacillating between arf and YIP.

Time to try sleep again. (Must turn off computer a while beforehand, they say. Do not at for three preceding hours; no TV; no books of any kind, especially mysteries! Oh, and room must be completely dark and soundproof. And remember to take calcium, magnesium, tart cherry pills and (2) baby aspirin!)

Well, it works sometimes!!!


Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - A tough solve today, went down a lot of blind alleys. Had CIOUS for deli suffix, PARCHED for arid, and of course KEYS instead of OARS.

Had to Goog the Russian Olympic site. I seem to recall reading that the IOC was nervous about the suitability of the weather there. Other unknowns were kaaba, LANDO, and RYAN Howard. Sports clues get me every time. Mis-read the clue for IN STEREO as if it meant "so, how much radio is broadcast, anyhow?". That wedged the works...

DIET RC took ages to parse. Never heard of a Broadway angel, but LOESS was a gimme after it appeared so often in Clan of the Cave Bear.

Happy Saturday all, and if anybody wants some snow, I'm selling it cheap.

Argyle said...

I'll iterate what Dudley said. Perfectly good words that unfortunately, were wrong. Half of the hokey-pokey today; first I put them in, then I took them out and, for the most part, they stayed out.

Tinbeni said...

C.C. Thank-You for clearing up my Roschach Ink Blot test.

Here in Tampa Bay it is "Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day."
Yup, the annual invasion by the Gasparilla Pirates.
They will take the city and pass out 42,000 lbs of beads.
Then they will just "Pass-Out" from their libations.

It's a bit hookey ... but a great party.

Splynter said...

Hi There ~~!!

I did a double-take at first, since I was moving along well for a Sat., but then I hit the 15-& 14-letter fills, and said "oh, yeah..."

Can never remember how to spell PIRHANA at first...

I had ONE HAND ON A HEART, and so my "TA-DA" didn't show up - and I had TA-TA for CIAO, and yet I was still convinced the end of 20A was "A GOD".

I love camels, not sure why, but they do remind me of Tauntauns, from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK - in my opinion, the best of the six Star Wars movies, with it's DARK theme, and cliffhanger ending -

C.C., Start with the original, 1977 'Star Wars, episode IV, a new hope' - give the story a chance, and let the science fiction, space ships and special effects dazzle you....

I liked DROP A DRESS SIZE, and thought the SSS was cool, too.

Thought that the "end of day" destination could be BATH TUBS, but too many spaces in between!

Wanted Anaheim, too fermatpirme!

Thanks for the email, Argyle LOL !

Total day off, not even going to clear any more snow (well, maybe, since they're saying another storm Tuesday,,,,)


Jacel said...

No thank-you to Dudley. I used to live in New York as a child & I loved the snow. But I did not have to shovel it. Yesterday, in Houston we had a high of 78°. Nice.

I did not like Alta for Alberta. I would not have guessed it even though I know the Canadian capitals. I solved the answer through the other cues.

creature said...

Good Morning C.C. and all,

C.C., thanks for all the explanations! I didn't get the DEMON-FAMILIAR either. Guess I'll do some delving.

I did the puzzle in two parts: one really early and one after a few more hours of sleep. The sleep sure did help, but I had to g spot 3 times.LANDO,PARDO and DREA.

Lots I didn't know, but perps filled them out- along with wags.

I think Saturday's have to rely on remote names and places to add the difficulty that's needed. Although, I had a lot of straight
answers that needed to be changed as I was working it.

Thanks, Gareth.

Have a nice day everyone.

Lucina said...

Good morning C.C. and all stalwart Saturday solvers.

Thanks for a great write up, C.C.

WAG is the word of the day for me because except for a few knowns, most of the fill was pure guesswork.

The question mark at bridge call? assured me it wasn't the card game so AHOY went there. And usually ALBTA is the abbrev. for Alberta so that stopped me in my tracks but only a bit then LANES, ASHTREES and finally SUBURBS finished that corner.

Next to fall was ONEHANDONaHEART; that changed only at the blog.

Although TAOS and ANNE are familiar, the cluing was obscure but it came through. Same for Kaaba, MECCA but it lay in the deep recesses somewhere.

No idea about ESME since I didn't see the movie, but a good guess and hand up for YIP or ARF. AIME finally clinched it.

I vaguely recall Don Pardo's name and finally DREA popped up. I wonder of it's short for Andrea.

Two hump camels are dromedaries.

Good job, Gareth Bain, thank you. This took me only five minutes beyond my allotted hour.

Up early today because there is much to do including a birthday party this afternoon.

I hope your Saturday is glorious. It will be here and I wish I could send you some warmth.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

First day in over two weeks I feel like I'm finally free of the flu. Coincidentally, first day I really worked a difficult puzzle. This was fun, but I sure was happy I began with a new eraser, because it was used often.

I wanted down a dress size instaed of drop, kept trying to make mice work instead of rocs for elephant predators, kept thinking of Wolf Blitzer for the Gulf War reporter and barracuda for piranha. Lots of other missteps.

To Mr Bain, a one footer may be a tap in to you, but I blew more than a few when I played. The D in Pardo and Lando was a WAG, never heard of either.

Tinbeni, sounds like you are in for a fun day. Would love to be there.

Lemonade & Fermatprime, sleep well.

CC, thank you for the informative write up.

A pleasant weekend everyone.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Nice commentary, C.C.

Liked the long fills which I got eventually. Nice meaty puzzle; WURSTlike. YIP and IPSO were WAGs. Liked the clueing for OARS and AHOY. Many initial unknowns, but by chipping away, the recesses of the memory came up with words like BMP and LEAP DAY. No searches were needed.

C.C. re: camel picture. They're Bactrians; its in the URL address.

5a. Syr Darya - The northernmost advance of Alexander the Great. Sort of parallel to the Amu Darya which is the Oxus of antiquity.

LOESS - The corn belt loess is a result of the aeolian deposits brought about by winds blowing over the detritus from the last glacial epoch. Very rich and deep loamy soils.

Enjoy the day.

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all, a very tough slog for me this morning. I ditto Dudley’s comments and want to add that I have no clue as to the familiar perhaps/demon unless Gareth is trying to imply we are familiar with the devil.

Carol, I sure hope you did not miss 10D. I tried Anaheim first, but could not make it fit.

There was just a dusting of snow this morning so I will leave the plow in the garage. I can’t wait until next weekend.

Hope you all have a great Saturday and weekend.

Husker Gary said...

C.C. and other linguistic weekend warriors, This one was like a date where your expectations are high at first but can hold some real surprises and reality checks quickly. The NW fell easily, even the long fills. I sang One Hand One Heart at a wedding once! I had to clean up 4 cells in the East to finish.

Very near 50F here yesterday but reality is coming back on Monday (see Alberta reference below) with snow and temps south of zed.

I am a little grumpy today because I did my taxes yesterday. It is an embarrassment that such a duty is impossible for most people to understand and has made HR Block a HUGE corporation. Give me a modified national sales tax (see Neal Boortz) and then I can decide what to pay and when.

Lovely write-up C.C. Familiar Demons? Better the devil you know. We all have demons that are familiar and are hard to face.

-Argyle, I hokey-pokeyed as well (see below). Great choice of words my friend.
-5 letter word for glove material starting with S? SUEDE of course. No, you say?
-Four letter word for elephant predator with third letter C? MICE. No, you say?
-Day when women propose? SADIE HAWKINS of course. No, you say? Sorry Al Capp.
Spelling Piranhas was as hard as spelling Pyrrhic for me. Ya gotta love spell check.
-Are those locks the first cousin of THOLES?
-ALTA for Alberta? Our cold weather is sometimes called an “Alberta Clipper”
-I remember Don Pardo very well when Art Fleming read the questions for the answers on Jeopardy
-CZAR opened SE corner for me! Our current president has many of these.
-Iowa and Nebraska are famous for their LOESS hills
-Camels? One hump or two? A similar sounding request for tea options from yesterday.
-Spizboov, nice info
-Farmers around here seldom wear bib overalls any more. With commodity prices where they are, they can afford some pretty expensive jeans!
-Farm riddle – why do farmers wear seed company hats but not seed company tennis shoes? Answer – seed companies don’t give away tennis shoes.
-.bmp are picture files that are way too big and I have to convert to .jpg to use easily.
-SPEX? Really?

Anonymous said...

RE: SOCHI - the alleged place for the 2014 Olympics - seems soo close to the Rep. of Georgia - could be a set of serious terrorism problems, with the Chechens and other allied groups.

What, with all thats been on the news lately - about the bombing at Moscow Dromodevo airport and so on -; doesn't/don't the Olympic committee(s) take such factors into account when they make their cockeyed decisions ? Russia does not have a very good record on terrorism containment-.

Just a thought - obviously nothing to do with the puzzle.

Grumpy 1 said...

Ohhhhh what a ride this morning! Like Dudley, I thought CIOUS, PARCHED and KEYS had to be right. Add to that SUEDE instead of LATEX, LOSE A DRESS SIZE, IMG for the image file and TATA.

I finally found a few things that I knew and gradually expanded from there. LONI was my first good entry and that led me to ARAL, which was a bit of a wag, but we see it often enough that I figured it was worth a try. From there the top kept expanding. Fortunately, I thought NCAA instead of NHL for Ducks and nailed that one.

in the end, everything was filled correctly but there were several entries that I could never have gotten without perps. I'm still not sure about DEMON, except that "they" say we all have our personal demons to deal with, so I guess we should be familiar with them.

Now that it's finished it doesn't look so hard, but I came close to throwing in the towel a few times. Gareth, you almost got me with this one.

Husker Gary said...

You have to watch this 1974 episode of


-Don Pardo is announcing
-The mechanical question board
-The lowest answers are only worth $10
-Art Fleming is the emcee and can be somewhat condescending
-70’s clothes and hairdos
-Secretariat reference
-Outdated reference to horse racing live attendance
-Cost of an NFL franchise (Saints) in that year
-Players could ring in before Art stopped reading

Talk about a time capsule!

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

well that was fun. started out swimmingly with 1A, since i used to live in alberta ... but gareth made me work for the ta-da. seems like we're seeing relo pretty regularly - a little near to my heart at the moment. don't remember seeing lando in a puzzle before, but it made me smile. i'm not a science fiction fan, but did enjoy the first two star wars movies, and billy dee williams was quite dashing. loved the tune clue, did not know loess, and there's something amusing about seeing WURST right in the middle of the puzzle.

lois, plenty of material for you today. do check in and give us an update. good thoughts your way.

you too lemonade, and btw, absolutely brilliant write up yesterday.

argyle .. hokey pokey .. funny haha.

have a great saturday.

HeartRx said...

Good Morning C.C. et al.

Thanks for the write-up, C.C. This one was a toughie to do, so I can only imagine what it was like to explain everything so it all became clear!

I finished this one faster than yesterday's. I guess there were a lot of references that were in my zone:
- There is a great ski area called in Utah called ALTA. That is also the accepted English abbreviation of Alberta, with the French abbreviation being Alb.
- And of course, another great one is TAOS. Wow, two in one puzzle!!
-West Side Story is one of my favorite musicals. Although "One Hand, One Heart" is not the most well known of the songs in it, well...this IS a Saturday, after all.
-What woman doesn't know "DROP A DRESS SIZE"?
-"One footer" immediately filled TAP IN, even though I have missed a few of those, too, Hondo Hurricane!

There were also some total unknowns like ESME and DREA De Matteo, RYAN Howard and SOCHI. But between wags, perps and gg, they all appeared in short order.

All in all a fun romp for a Saturday! Have a great one, everybody.

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. Sunny and pleasant here but the earlier fog and dew spoiled a couple of car washes.

This puzzle was Saturday hard for me and not as much fun as a puzzle with a clever theme. Oh well. I certainly admired "Yes, there is a God." I had the same trouble as Dudley with misunderstanding the clue for IN STEREO.

In with Husker Gary; give me a FAIR simplified national tax and I'm in.

The early Star War movies were very enjoyable. I watched the later ones just because. The dialogue in the later movies was stilted. It was embarrassing to listen to the words Natalie Portman was given to say with a wooden delivery. Still, the first few movies were a lot of fun.

We are going out to lunch with my daughter and son at a little French bistro in Playa del Rey. I will probably get my usual sand dabs. I ought to try something different but I like sand dabs in a lemon-caper sauce so much.

Nice Cuppa said...

Thanks CC, and apologies for stepping over the line, yesterday.

The DEMON DRINK is familiar to many of us.

Mr. Bain, I found that this puzzle fell into the Curate's Egg category. Many great clues and original fill - loved the long entries-

- but "enthusiasm reduced" for me by the excessive use of unknown names. I don't mind if there are reasonable perps to help out, but there were too many obscure crosses -






as well the plain obscure - DIETRC, SOCHI


GarlicGal said...

Ya killin' me here, Gareth Bain! No where near his wave-length this morning. And on the eve of the Silicon Valley Crossword Tournament, my confidence level just tanked! Oh well, it will be a fun exercise tomorrow. (?)

Off to have coffee with my H.S. reunion committee. Everyone have a relaxing Saturday.

GarlicGal said...

I forgot! @Husker Gary-loved the old Jeopardy clip. Our family are big fans. Thx for posting!

JD said...

Good morning C.C. and all,
Mr. Bain, how do you know all this stuff?? Very fun, because I wanted to know it too. First of all, I wondered where many go at the end of the day. Got a laugh.
Have to run; we have an appt to dispose of old paint...will return.

Best...some find it hard to carry

Anonymous said...

As per 49d:

There was a damsel with a "familiar" spirit (in scripture) who followed Paul and his partner around saying, "These are the servants of the Most High God." Paul, knowing it would bring unwanted Roman attention, cast the "demon(s)" out of her, taking away the income of her "owners."

dasbarn said...

Just a ping to let everyone know how much I enjoy this site.


Argyle said...

You gotta like the conection between 50A. Angel's concern : BROADWAY MUSICAL and a song from a Broadway musical, 17A. "West Side Story" duet : ONE HAND, ONE HEART. And then we have, 45A. Go from 10 to 8, say : DROP A DRESS SIZE and you might hear, 20A. Ecstatic cry : "YES, THERE IS A GOD!"

lois said...

Good afternoon, CC, et al., Excellent write up, CC. Loved all the links and info. Always learn so much from you.

Altho' I like things 'hard' and my 'wurst' firm, this puzzle was inbetween- ‘hard’ but not quite the ‘wurst’- more like a ‘dose’ of ‘diet RC’ for me – ‘dark’ cola w/little sweetness. It ‘beat’ me pretty good and personally I’d like to feed it to the ‘piranhas’ but it’d probably taste like ‘latex’ to them too. It is Sat afterall, so wha’ d’ya expect –a ‘tap-in’ easy stroke on the downhill ‘east side’ of the green? ‘drea’m on! However, the ‘Oregon’ shout out today ‘rocs’ for our West Coast buddies. And of course the ‘spex’ eyewear is apropos- almost no more glasses for me. So excited. Visual acuity is greatly improved. Vision of the more profound and deeper meanings of life is still mysterious and mirky. For that vision, I’ll have to dance to a different ‘tune’, climb the highest mountain in ‘Taos’ or go to ‘Mecca’ for true insight. Even still, I’ll probably grasp all that the same way I hold on to money –‘Go-bi’tween my wide open fingers like ‘Saharan’ ‘loess’. Maybe my new vision will help me find some luck in Las Vegas in 2 wks. It’s all good.

Thank you to all you dear friends for the well wishes earlier this week on the eye surgery. It went well. Like Carol said, it’s a great light show and pain-free. No more looking for lost glasses. Now if I could just find my mind.

Argyle: LOL funny hokey-pokey comment. Love your avatar too, if I haven't told you already.

Melissa bee: thanks for the kind thoughts. It's good to 'see' you. Beautiful pic of you.

Ferma: always wishing you well.

Lemonade: hope you are improving. Good to see you went to work.

Enjoy your day.

daffy dill said...

Morning, C.C. and all.

"Better the DEMON you know than the one you don't." If you are faced with a hard choice, it is better to stick with what you have? Hmmm, maybe, maybe not. Some people believe that the "familiar spirits" that visit psychics and mediums are really demons.

Not an easy one today, which is usual for Saturday. I messed up right away by entering ALbt instead of ALTA. That brought on bed and bath at 3D. I was thinking a different take on bed and breakfast inns. As a result, NW didn't work out until the very end. It didn't help that I am one of those who can't carry a TUNE, so music is not one of my great interests. After it finally fell into place, I did remember the song ONEHANDONEHEART. I had DIETRC early on, but took it out when I put tsARS instead of CZARS. I bogged down in the radio broadcast clue, although we have had similarly worded clues. Many unknowns. Eventually, it all worked out, but I relied on g's, wags, and ultimately red-letter help.

Fermatprime, I can identify with the nervousness about going to the dentist. I'm the same way about any doctor, though. Hope you are doing better after your nap.

G'day, everyone.

Bill G. said...

Husker Gary, I enjoyed the old Jeopardy link. Notice a change in the rules. Back then, contestants could buzz in whenever they chose. Now they have to wait for the 'answer' to be finished.

eddyB said...

Hi all.

A good solid Sat puzzle. Not easy.
But, not that difficult.

Thought of ANH for Ducks also.
Remembered Sochie and the Bear mascot..
Syr Darya is why the Aral Sea is
drying up. Too much water is being diverted for irrigation.
Have missed a few one footers.
CA has me thinking about a relo to Troon North in Scottsdale. Wouldn't
mind a move back. Wonder if they are the old McCormick courses.
Left the old mower on the parking strip when I went to get a new one.
Down to about 60 because of the fog. Rain tomorrow.
The old was gone when I got back.
Also waiting for next week-end.

take care.

MR ED said...

Hi CC, and friends,
An extremely trying puzzle for me today.
Lois, did you have cataracts removed recently? I did and I can see clearly now.

Fermatprime, I just lost two front teeth on top. Don't know what to do. Any advice?

BTW Lois, great blog today.

Argyle said...

I must confess, I don't know today's song and I haven't had much luck getting a decent link. Here is a link to the scene from the show(5:06) but the song doesn't start until 3:20.

melissa bee said...

c.c., i missed your question earlier about demon. ghosts, or angels, are sometimes referred to as a 'familiar.' i have a puerto rican friend who's mother always referred to her guardian angel as 'my familiar.'

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I was a little confused with (45A) Go from 10 to 8, say/DROP A DRESS SIZE. If I were on a diet, going from a 10 to an 8 would be two dress sizes (and I'd make sure everyone I knew heard about it!) There are odd number dress sizes after all. But I guess it just meant that size 9 was dropped from the series.

"West Side Story" is not my favorite musical, at least not the movie version. Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer just didn't seem to have the chemistry the parts called for. Neither did their own singing, so ONE HAND ONE HEART kind of fell flat for me. I did like the stage version much more.

I had fewer problems with the longest Across fill than I did with the three and four letter Downs...what else is new?

SPEX, BMP, ROCS and RYAN were all unknowns.

No problems with DREA, ELKE and PARDO. GAH and I are Jeopardy fans and watch (and learn) regularly.

"For Esmé - with Love and Squalor" is a perfect short story by J.D. Salinger. It's a little difficult to find online, but here is a site that has the whole thing.

Lois, glad to hear that you have clear eyes now too.

Dodo, sorry I left you hanging last night on RSD's blog name, but Windhover took care of the explanation.

melissa bee said...

also, alice walker wrote a book called 'the temple of my familiar.'

"A visionary cast of characters weave together their past and present in a brilliantly intricate tapestry of tales. It is the story of the dispossessed and displaced, of peoples whose history is ancient and whose future is yet to come. Here we meet Lissie, a woman of many pasts; Arveyda the great guitarist and his Latin American wife who has had to flee her homeland; Suwelo, the history teacher, and his former wife Fanny who has fallen in love with spirits. Hovering tantalisingly above their stories are Miss Celie and Shug, the beloved characters from The Color Purple."

LaLaLinda said...

Hello Everyone ~~

When I started this puzzle I thought it was going to be an all day event. So many names--most of them unknowns. After an hour I took a break. When I came back to it, I was somehow enlightened and was able to get the long answers. Little by little the rest filled in with perps and some guessing. Some of my problems ... ALBA for ALTA, FRESCO for DIETRC and SUEDE for LATEX. For the last fill I had to guess at the O in the IPSO-LANDO cross. I was amazed when it was suddenly completed with no look-ups! I really enjoyed the challenge and the thinking involved in this puzzle.

C.C. ~ I always enjoy your comments in your write-ups. Thanks for the explanations which help with some of the answers making sense.

Husker Gary ~ Thanks for the Jeopardy link ... I really enjoyed the comparisons to the program today!

Argyle ~ I liked your "connections."

It's an ordinary winter day here ... it seems strange that it's not snowing ... at the moment anyway.

Enjoy the day ~~

thehondohurricane said...

melissa bee,

A few years ago I enrolled in a Creative Writing class at a local Community College. First assignment was do a poem in response to a poem titled "I Said To Poetry" by Alice Walker.

She has to be the same gal ..... isn't she? Always liked her poetry.


Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Much the same trials and tribulations you all had with this puzzle today. It was hard but doable. And I'm glad I didn't have to googoolala anything to finish it (patting myself on the back).

I sure never would abbreviate Alberta as ALTA, but I guess that is the "standard." From the constructor's point of view, I guess the issue is how to clue ALTA now that it's already in the grid.

Easies (not quite gimmes) for me were LANDO, RELO, BIB, MECCA, and ANNE. Hardies were legion, resulting in many eraser crumbs. Yep, I confidently entered KEYS and had to erase it, SUEDE and had to erase it, and so on. Well said, Argyle, about it being like half a hokey-pokey.

For the life of me, PIRANHAS just didn't come to mind, but as soon as I read the clue to my wife she answered "piranhas" almost immediately. Different wavelengths for different folks. By the way, I rememeber how to spell it by remembering that tne sound represented in Spanish by Ñ is represented by NH in Portuguese.

I thought Drea DeMatteo was wonderful in that show "Joey," starring Matt LeBlanc.

Yes, BMP stands for bitmap. They are usually large files because they are not compressed as JPG files are.

Speaking as a graduate of the University of Oregon, "Go Ducks!"

Took me quite a while to get INSTEREO, and even after I got it my brain didn't parse it for several seconds. DIETRC was even harder to parse: "What TRC? Dieter what?"

Seeing little SOCHI on the Black Sea reminds me of the time the waiter at a posh restaurant asked the patron, "And how did you find your steak, sir?" to which the patron replied, "I looked under a tiny mushroom and there it was."

It is truly encouraging and comforting to read about how much better you who have had cataracts removed can see, and how painless and successful the procedure was for you, because I was just told that they are just beginning to form in my eyes and that I may need the procedure in mayve five years. It kinda scared me until now.

Best wsihes to you all.

melissa bee said...

hondo, the same alice walker, yes.

Jayce said...

Jeez, I proofread and I proofread and still miss some typos. Sowwy.

JD said...

...back from donating all our old paint.We had to make an appt., but were amazed at the number of cars lined up. 100's, dressed in white hazardous material suits, were engaged in removing cans from vehicles. The area was covered in plastic- what a smooth operation.

Gareth, your puzzle was a challenge, but a delight.Loved most of the clues, but could not complete DIETRC/DEMON

Visited Mr. G several times, but wagged,and had success with the long fills."Yes, there is a God!!!"

After filling in aloe, I said,, indeedy.The images were clear; Mine does not have flowers; maybe it is not happy.I know, it's a plain jane.

Didn't laugh over surety, lain, hahs, or Alta. Laughed at myself when CC wrote tap in;not one word, JD!! Thanks for your write up, C.C.Always a joy to see you here.

Argyle, loved the hokey pokey remark.

Lois, you are as good as it gets!

HuskerG, thx for .bmp>.jpg

Our sunny morning just turned into a gray day.Hoping for some rain.

Anonymous said...

The "familiar" clue refers to witches. In "Macbeth" for instance, the three witches each have a familiar: brinded cat, hedge pig, and harpier (harpy).

Susan said...

Loved today's puzzle although it was very hard for me. Thanks for the Jeopardy clip--that's one of my favorites. I watch it as often as I can.

Speaking of musicals and witches. I'm going with my daughter to Albuquerque tonight to see "Wicked." I saw it last summer in San Francisco and loved it.

I used to always show "West Side Story" to my students after we read Romeo & Juliet and watched the Zeffereli (sp?) version.

Anonymous said...

I know from Shakespeare's Macbeth that a "familiar" is a demon that serves a witch. Witches call their familiars to make their spells. I didn't know about the tie between "Angel" and Broadway, though, so I looked it up on your blog. Thanks for your blog. I just found it.

HeartRx said...

Lemonade, Amelia is such a cutie pie! I forgot to tell you yesterday when I saw her picture.

Fermatprime, I laughed when I read your post yesterday about “to and toer…”. I’m glad to see you are still keeping your sense of humor even though life seems to be throwing you some curves lately.

Husker, thanks for the old link to Jeopardy. It does seem “ancient”, with the mechanical board and only $10 for the first answers. And good catch Bill G about the ringing in before the answer was completely read. I remember when they changed that rule. Supposedly because people would ring in early, then have a few extra seconds to think of the question while he finished reading the answer to the others. Not fair! I have always been a fan, but now I really enjoy watching “Cash Cab”, too. People get into a taxi and are “surprised” by the driver, who informs them they are on a TV game show. Love Ben Bailey – every time I go to NYC, I keep hailing cabs, hoping to catch him.

GarlicGal, good luck at the tourney tomorrow – sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun!

Lois – ha ha! I just was waiting for you to show up today, and you didn’t disappoint! So glad to hear (see?) that your eye surgery went well. Both you and Lemonade, continued good luck with your recoveries!

Oh, and Bill G, we spent the past two days shoveling 3 feet of snow and chipping 3” of ice off the flat roof over our solarium. So enjoy the morning dew, even if it does ruin a car wash here and there ;-D

Lemonade714 said...

MB, Thanks.

For all who do not recall all the black cats as familiars, you can read LINK and learn

Annette said...

I forget, is Harry Potter's "familiar" an owl or a falcon?

I remember that both his friends had different animals as their familiars, but I can't remember what they were either. :(

My brain must be nearing overload. I had to get each letter of BMP from the perps - and my profession is in computer technology! I knew what it was referring to, but couldn't remember its name for the life of me.

Good luck to all who are entered in tomorrow's tournament! If I recall, a few of you were thinking about attending. Let us know how it goes.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, With ALBT for the abbreviation for Alberta, things went from bad to worse for me today. Thanks C.C. for the great explanations, and to everyone else for the links, and comments.

I wanted Mice, also, for Rocs and when it crossed with Mecca, I just knew it was correct. I also had Air waves for In Stereo and Ite instead of Ist for Social end. These were just the tip of the errors for me today. However, my learning curve went up by several points.

Lois, I don't think you've ever lost your head!LOL.

Fermatprime, I'm sorry to hear about your insomnia. I hope your nap will help and not hinder again tonight.

Also is Aloe a shrub? I guess it is in the botanical sense, but I've always just thought of it as a succulent plant, not a leafy shrub.

JD, e-mail me with the number or address of where you took your old paint!

Will be away to Ojai to visit children this weekend. Be back next week. In the meantime, Good Luck Garlic Gal at the Crossword Tournament this weekend. Let us know how things turned out.

Argyle said...

Students at Hogwarts did not have "familiars". Rule #6: The only pets allowed are small pets, such as an owl, a cat, a rat or a toad.

Harry's pet was Hedwig, a snowy owl that Hagrid gave him for his eleventh birthday. Ron had a rat and Hermione had a cat.

John A. said...

frequent lurker, especially on re: husker gary/don pardo...slightly remiss for not mentioning "live from new york, it's saturday night" or his appearance in this LEGENDARY weird al yankovic song at roughly the 2:00 mark: ...always enjoy this blog immensely...everybody take care

lois said...

Mr. Ed: yes, I had cataract surgery in one eye but it was done as a lens implant. So, I have mono-vision = far vision in left (new) and near vision in right (old). I’m the epitome of contradiction now- new/old; far/near; left/right; in/out; never know if I’m coming or going (well, I do sometimes…yeah, baby!).

Jayce: I'm pleasantly surprised at the painlessness of the procedure. It's a lot of light and nothing to be terrified of. And in 5 years, who knows what they may be able to do...probably do it remotely through your TV while you're watching a football game in the comfort of your den. Who knows!

CA: thank you. It’s good to see clearly but you are the Queen of Clear Vision, Clear Ayes. I bow at your feet.

JD: Funny, I think you are! LOL at your Aloe comment.

Susan: I’m with you on Wicked. I LOVE that musical! Have seen it twice also and want to see it every time it comes around. Let me know how this one compares to the last one for you.

Where's Carol?

Socaltomatoes said...

I missed the tap-in, I had GIMME. Speaking of missed tap-ins, I had INSTUDIO as opposed to INSTEREO. The need to fit in WARSAW (only city I could come up with that fit) took me to the correct answer.

It took me forever but I was able to complete it with only one letter missing. The DEMON answer was completely unfamiliar to me, but it was the only word that fit.

lois said...

HeartRx: thank you. Always enjoy your comments too.

Chickie: LMAO! Sure try not to lose it and try to keep it coming.

Argyle: I love that you know so well about Harry Potter. You rock!

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang,

My wife and I paired up on today's puzzle, she came up with 'drop a dress size' and that's something I'd never have gotten on my own.

Here's more than you want to know about.bmp format


dodo said...

Hi,C.C. and all the rest,

Remember the Wicked Witch of the West's monkeys? Familiars, I should think.

C.C., you asked how our solving was going? Today mine has been a disaster! I did a lot of Argyle's Hokey Pokey. Put in answers I was positive were right and then erased them for perps that didn't fit , then had to put them in again and found some of them were right the first time!

I succumbed to look-ups at last. My eyes are practically crossed from trying to find 'Syr Darya' on the teensy maps in my Atlas, which, BTW, is quite dated now as aren't they all. This changing world. Then Google let me down trying to find out where the Ducks' home is. All about Anaheim, like Fermatprime's experience!

Additionally unhelpful was the newspaper printing 'solwi' for 'soli'(which I knew)! Solwi is in Google somewhere; take a look!! not even readable! Even when I got 'a-ias' I thought it must be Asia(s)! Now, I ask you!

C.C., you are my savior! Thank you!

Mr. Bain, I hope that on our next meeting, our minds will be on somewhat the same wave length! But thanks, I guess! My new-found confidence is shattered!

Jayce said...

Wow dodo, it sounds like you had a "doody doody doody doody (Twilight Zone theme)" experience.

Lois, you rock.

WikWak said...

C.C.: RE the North Aral Sea...
Used to be just the Aral Sea, when I learned it back in H.S.; it was considered one of the world's 4 largest lakes. Then the Soviets diverted most of the rivers that fed it, using the water for irrigation, and now only about 10% of the original is left in 4 smaller lakes, with the largest part being called the North Aral Sea.

Bill G. said...

Did anybody try the Chronicle of Higher Education CW puzzle? The theme has me flummoxed. It seems to have something to do with chemical symbols but I sure don't get it.

JD said...

Lemonade, very enlightening article-thanks!

Good memory Argyle! I so enjoyed all the books.It sure gave a boost in reading to kids who had never read before, and who had been afraid to read anything longer than a comic book.Annette may be correct according to this article @ Hedwig.

Good thinkin' on those monkeys, dodo. Those critters and the sound of that horrible witch( my little pretties..yikes, gives me the shivers) made it my all time worst movie..too scary.

Chickie, yes,aloe is a succulent, but some varities do have flowers, as I learned today. Not mine.

Argyle said...

I am sure that JK never referred to any of the pets as "familiars". That's not to say they weren't magical, just that they weren't supernatural, in the Muggle sense. Afterall, Scabbers, Ron's rat, was actually...well, I won't say, it would be a spoiler.

Abejo said...

Good Evening Folks (Instead of Good Morning). Congrats to Gareth Bain on a doosie of a Saturday puzzle. Great write-up and posting C.C. Thank you.

Most of my day was tied up with my father-in-law's death last night. This morning my daughter and I were preparing to head to PA. My wife is already there, having gone on Wednesday to help her father. But, as it turned out there will be no service at this time due to the weather. There will be a memorial in the spring. So, we are not going.

After all that I got started on the puzzle. It went along OK, except for the West. I wanted THESUBWAYS instead of THESUBURBS. I wanted SEWED instead of GLUED. I wanted FLY instead of BIB. Amazingly, all those meshed. Had I had more time I would have tried some different words.

I could not tie the clue Angel's concern to BROADWAYMUSICAL. I got the answer, but with perps. Enjoyed the Swarthy and Far from swarthy clues. That was clever. A few here and there I did not know but the perps got them as well.

Hopefully, Sunday will be better. After all, tomorrow is another day.


MEMBAH said...

I didn't read every blog, so perhaps someone already said this. A familiar is an evil spirit said to act as a servant to a witch, often in the form of an animal. Good example: the black cat in "Bell, Book and Candle" and old film with Kim Novak and James Stewart.

Grumpy 1 said...

@ BillG, if you see this. There are several squares that need two letters in the square. all of the two letter boxes are the symboles for elements. 17a is (IR)ON C(HE)F (AM)(ER)I(CA)

JD said...

"The main purpose of familiars is to serve the witch/young witch. The service the familiar would provide would be to protect the new witch coming into his/her new powers"

from earlier Wiki article.

Bill G. said...

Grumpy; Ah, two letters! That's what I was missing. Thanks.

Frenchie said...

Alta, Aral, awkward!!! Sochi...tough for me. Saturday puzzles have become difficult for me. My recall has been wreaked havock with since I was ill last Fall. I slog on to rebuild.

14.a Sounds of triumph/hahs...ok, I'll give that one, though it felt like it would be ha ha, the expression as opposed to the reference.

Oh, I see how you've zeroed in on this one...familiar/demon. Very interesting. Thanks.

I say, "yes, there is a God," when I drop a dress size! I can relate to that!

38. Glove material : LATEX I was visualizing soft leather gloves with rabbit fur lining for this as I pictured you snow bound people handling shovels!

32. Peke output : YIP My favorite today!

1. Bridge call? : AHOY. Now I thought the game and lemonade and his family around the table playing in their cozy kitchen while the snow fell outside.

2. Pins may be at the ends of them : LANES. Bowling pins. My husband went bowling for work Friday for a team building exercise. He said it was lots of fun. My husband is now working out of his company's San Diego office Monday - Thursday. He is home Thursday night through Monday morning. When I finish our kitchen remodel and a few odds and ends, I'll join him in Del Mar. By then, the weather will be fabulous. We'll keep our house here (Scottsdale, AZ) and come back and forth.

11. "Bye!" : CIAO...lemonade on this one, too. He says, "ciao ciao" often at the end of his blog entry.

28. Eyewear, commercially : SPEX is a large Chicago optical shop catering to high fashion clientele. NOBODY MENTIONED IT, so I will, (groan!) Remember the ads in the back of comic books and Mad magazine? I wanted some of these so I could see what the big deal was with naked bodies! X-Ray Specs

@Jacel---precious dogs! Love the outfits! Are you new to the blog? While I've been on since October 2008, My presence on the daily blog has been dodgy.

@Lucina "The question mark at bridge call? assured me it wasn't the card game so AHOY went there." Lucina, I really admire your attention to detail noting the punctuation to rule in or out possible response. Very sharp!

@eddyB-Hi, how you doing?

I'm out.

Chickie said...

Abejo, I'm so sorry to hear about your Father-in-law. My condolences to you, your wife and your extened family.

May your memories be what sustains you at this time. My thoughts are with you all.

Anonymous said...

Just had a chance to post as #69 and couldn`t resist!