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Jan 6, 2011

Thursday January 6, 2011 Gary J. Whitehead

Theme: You've got a lot of nerve! Revealed in 60A. Part of an axon (and what 17-, 28- and 46-Across each has?): NERVE ENDING. The last words of the three theme answers are all synonyms for Chutzpah.

17A. Marinara, for one: TOMATO SAUCE. Salty or heavily seasoned, saucy. Related: sass.

28A. Pentagon bigwigs: MILITARY BRASS.

46A. Not serious: TONGUE IN CHEEK. If you have cheek, you probably mouth off a bit.

Hi all, Al here.

Good puzzle for a Thursday. Some answers I didn't know, like LODZ, or NERI, but everything eventually fell with the perps for me today, no lookups. I think my favorite word was INEXORABLE; I want to be more like that. Other than a few, I thought all the answers were pretty easy. Some of the clues, though, were not...

ACROSS:

1. Techie talk, e.g.: JARGON. Argot is specifically the jargon of rogues and thieves. Jargon comes from Old French, literally a chattering of birds, unintelligible.

7. They have guards on both sides of them: Abbr.: CTRS. Centers and guards, football players.

11. Roman sun god: SOL.

14. Nine follower?: ONE ONE. 911. The emergency number, spelled out.

15. Menageries: ZOOS. From French ménagerie "housing for domestic animals". Zoo from Greek zoion "animal".

16. Worldwide workers' gp.: ILO. International Labour Organization. A UN agency.

19. Marked, in a way: XED.

20. Winter coat: SNOW. Or blanket. Nice misdirection.

21. Pusher pursuer: NARC.

22. The gamut: A TO Z. Originally the lowest note in the medieval musical scale "gamma ut", it came to mean the whole scale and from there expanded to mean the entire range of anything.

23. __ II, king who founded Borg (now Sarpsborg): OLAF.

25. Moor: HEATH. Swamp.

32. Swindle: CON.

33. Philip __: 16th-century Italian saint: NERI. If you say so...

34. Only just: BARELY.

36. Cheri who played Gail Hailstorm in "Scary Movie": OTERI. SNL alumna, list of characters including Ross Perot...

38. First person in Berlin?: ICH. Es gibt kein Ich im Team. Unless you look closely.

40. Yearned: PINED. Pine from Old English pineon "pain, torture, punishment".

41. Reliant Stadium NFL team: TEXANS. Houston. Unlike the Metrodome, this stadium roof won't collapse under the weight of snow. :-)

43. Latin quarters?: CASA. Spanish is a romance language derived from Latin. The clue may also mean Latin America.

45. French possessive: SES. His or her (things), plural form. Singular would be "son".

49. Artful dodges: RUSES. A clue reference to the artful dodger, who was a pickpocket in the Dickens novel Oliver Twist.

50. Mention with an ulterior motive: DROP.

51. Finish shooting: WRAP. The meaning of ending a filming session only is traced back to 1974...

53. Eldest Younger gang member: COLE. A play on the name Younger. Associated with Jesse James, and the James-Younger gang.

55. Louisville's river: OHIO.

59. Air base?: HUB. Like FedEx, I guess, a central location.

63. Feverish, say: ILL.

64. Natural balm: ALOE.

65. Browbeat: COERCE. Browbeat: to bear down with fierce or arrogant looks.

66. One of a jazz duo?: ZEE. Two letter "Z"s in the word jaZZ

67. It's often seen under a cap: GOWN. Graduation.

68. Swindle: HUSTLE.

DOWN:

1. Scribbles: JOTS.

2. Soon, poetically: ANON.

3. San __: REMO. On the Italian Rivera.

4. Commit a service infraction: GO AWOL. Absent without leave. Attempted misdirection towards a sport that has a central net, like a tennis fault.

5. Toronto's prov.: ONT.ario

6. Nursery arrival: NEONATE. Anyone else put NEWBORN at first?

7. Winter Palace figure: CZAR. The CZ spelling instead of TS for once. It was almost a welcome change.

8. Sensitive: TOUCHY.

9. "One Thousand and One Nights" bird: ROC. Associated with the story of Sinbad the Sailor.

10. GPS heading: SSE. Directional clues have apparently been updated for the digital age.

11. Intuition: SIXTH SENSE.

12. Spread on the table: OLEO.

13. One of Poland's three most populous cities: LODZ.

18. Exotic honeymoon, perhaps: SAFARI. This idea would never have crossed my mind. Heat, bugs, dust, rain, sleeping on cots in tents? Not so romantic to me. I could have the wrong impression, I suppose. Do they have safaris available using air conditioned travel trailers now?

22. Asteroids maker: ATARI. Early arcade video game.

24. Winter coat features: LININGS. Clecho with 20A.

26. Withdraw: EBB.

27. Wyoming tribe: ARAPAHO.

28. Choral piece: MOTET.

29. Unyielding: INEXORABLE. Like the martians in Jeff Wayne's musical War of the Worlds.

30. "Monster" (2003) co-star: RICCI. Christina.

31. Streamlined: SLEEK.

32. No-frills bed: COT.

35. NFL gains: YDS.

37. What the mouse did clockwise?: RAN UP. Hicory Dickory Dock.

39. Radio moniker: HANDLE. CB radio name.

42. Take to court: SUE.

44. Collision preceder: SCREECH. And here I was, trying to think of a prefix. I wonder if this was from the tires or from the passengers?

47. Money set aside: ESCROW. From Old French escroue "scrap, roll of parchment", originally a deed held by a third person until a debt was paid.

48. Lyric poems: EPODES. The third part of an ode, which followed the strophe and the antistrophe, and completed the movement.

51. Crackerjack: WHIZ.

52. Run the show: RULE.

54. Bakery appliance: OVEN.

56. "Cotton Candy" trumpeter: HIRT. A top 10 hit in 1964.

57. Not left out: Abbr.: INCL.uded

58. Curved molding: OGEE.

60. Henpeck: NAG.

61. "Strange Magic" band: ELO. Electric Light Orchestra.

62. __-turn: NO U.

Answer Grid.

Al

71 comments:

Dennis said...

Good morning, Al, C.C. and gang - I thought this was a tougher offering than the typical Tuesday-level puzzle. Then I realized it's Thursday. My schedule's all screwed up since we just got back Tuesday afternoon. Actually, as with yesterday, I had just one unknown (Neri), but unlike yesterday, I couldn't be sure of the theme until I read Al's summary. I never heard 'sauce' used as a synonym for nerve, so even though I recognized 'brass' and 'cheek' as appropriate, I thought maybe there was something else I was missing.

I got off to a fast start in the NW with 'jots' opening everything up (I tend to look at both acrosses and downs together when I'm solving) and ended up with a six-minute completion. It was a welcome change seeing 'czar' instead of the usual 'tsar'. 'Tomato sauce' saved me the error of putting 'newborn' for 'Nursery arrival' and 'military brass' saved me the decision of 'Arapaho' or 'Apaches' for 'Wyoming tribe'; I wasn't sure if the Apaches were ever in Wyoming.

As with Al, my favorite word in the puzzle was 'inexorable'; I've just always liked the word. Favorite clues were 'First person in Berlin' and 'They have guards on both sides of them'. Overall, a very enjoyable solve.

Today is National Bean Day as well as Cuddle Up Day. If you indulge in the former, best of luck with the latter.

Did You Know?:

- The potato chip was created out of spite. In 1853, when a customer at Moon's Lake House in Saratoga Springs, NY, complained that head chef George Crum's potatoes were soggy and not salty enough. Crum stomped back to the kitchen, thinly sliced some potatoes, fried them until they were golden, poured salt all over them, and dumped them in front of the picky customer. They became known as 'Saratoga chips' until Herman Lay, an enterprising young salesman, popularized the product throughout the country.

- Mr. Potato Head was the first toy advertised on television.

- Unlike other fruits, cranberries do not show their ripeness with color. Instead, they are sorted by bouncing; good cranberries bounce and bad ones do not.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Got off to a rough start this morning by confidently putting TSAR instead of CZAR at 7D and RTE instead of SSE for 10D. When I saw I had S_OT for 15A, however, I knew something was amiss...

I couldn't figure out the theme for the life of me, primarily because I'm not familiar with that particular usage of SAUCE. I didn't need to get it in order to solve the puzzle, though, so it wasn't a big deal. Just a wee bit annoying.

The only unknowns today were NERI and COLE, both of which came easily via the perps. Like Al and Dennis, I really love inexorable and try to work it into conversations whenever possible. And I think my favorite clue was "Commit a service infraction" for GO AWOL.

Hahtool said...

Good morning. Lots of misleading clues today. I wasn't fooled by some, but fell into the trap for others. I associate Saucy and Cheeky as being more closely related to nerve than simply SAUCE and CHEEK.

Hand up for Newborn instead of NEONATE.

I also wanted Hair for something that's Often Seen Under a Cap. I did, however, think that the Cap and GOWN association was clever.

I wasn't fooled by SNOW being a winter coat, even though I live were it rarely snows.

Tahiti fits into the spaces for an Exotic Honeymoon site. For a honeymoon, I think Tahiti would be much more romantic that being on a Safari. I'd save the safari for a later trip!

QOD: Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. ~ Aldous Huxley

Lemonade714 said...

A nice solid Thursday puzzle, which took me more than 6 minutes to complete. I enjoyed the new clues, including: They have guards on both sides of them: Abbr.: CTRS; and, Nine follower?: ONE ONE. 911.

SAUCY and CHEEKY seemed better.

It also was coincidental that Cole Younger was in this puzzle, as in the movie True Grit which I saw and praised, ended with the central character talking with COLE YOUNGER and Frank James outside The Cole Younger and Frank James Wild West Company , which was a real touring company.

Good to have you back on top Dennis, and I enjoyed the chip information. Odd, do you think Mr. Potato Head is a chip off the old block?

Dick said...

Good morning Al and all, a very difficult slog for me today. I just never got onto Gary’s thinking which made the solve today slow and torturous. I did manage to get the theme answers and the unifier, but I had a lot of trouble with the perps. There were several complete unknowns today: Lodz, Neri, I needed the V8 can for the A to Z clue/answer and Remo, which I knew, but misspelled it as Rimo. This misspelling did not allow me to see the one one in 14A.

Al, on the clue air base I saw it as an airline hub such as USAirways used to have here in Pittsburgh where they flew passengers to Pitt from smaller airports and then made longer distant flights from here, such as to Frankfort, Germany.

Fav clue/answer commit a service infraction/ go awol.

Also, ask JD if safari’s’ are romantic, as she just returned form one.

As usual Al a nice informative write up.

There was some original clueing today and that made the puzzle fun even though it was difficult IMHO. For a Thursday crossword this had about the right level of difficulty and overall, a nice puzzle, thank you Gary.

Hope you all have a great Thursday

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

In a rush today, so I'll read comments later. The puzzle was a bit of a slog for me and because of my own carelessness I had two goofs. The first was czar. Started out with Tsar, but zoo corrected my thinking, except I never changed the T to C. Second was 51D and 66A. I had whip, thought pee was a strange fill, especially for this crew, but whip (as in smart as a whip) looked good. I was really pee'd off upon seeing the error.

Other then those issues everything fell into place, but not easily.

Later,

Hondo

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Thanks for the write-up, Al.

A somewhat difficult but fun puzzle to do. Got the theme unifier, NERVE ENDING early, but I'm with Barry G's comments about it. Got the top half fairly easily, but the SW was last. But that's where the delicious clueing for RAN UP, WRAP, HUB, and ZEE was. More WAGs than usual - OLAF, NERI, OTERI, REMO, and LODZ. Thanks Gary for a great puzzle.

ICH wünsche euch allen einen schönen Tag

kazie said...

Lots of wags and perp help or I'd have never got here today. Googled LODZ, RICCI, COLE, ELO, and HIRT. Didn't know what an AXON or MOTET were.

I got CZAR right off because I had ZOOS already. Also got SNOW without trouble. But it took forever to grok A TO Z, and I've never heard of the Younger brothers. NERI was a pure guess. NEONATE came easily since I had TOMATO and NARC already too.

I also liked inexorable, but thought first of HAIR for GOWN.

CASA actually does mean hut, barracks or cottage in Latin too.

Dennis,
I think SAUCE is related to being SAUCY. Interesting about the potato chip too.

creature said...

Good Morning C.C.,Al and all,

Thanks, Al,for the streamlined, but colorful write-up; clever translation example.

I quickly scan the clues, looking for a toe hold and today found Louisville river. It was a fun start for me. Like Dennis, I tend to check acrosses and downs as I go along. It was a little slower today,but about normal for a Thursday. I don't time myself but I know it took me much longer than Dennis. Inexorable is definitely the word for the day , and I'm sticking to it.

'Nine follower' was a fav clue.

Thanks, Gary for a fun puzzle this A.M.. Your theme was quite original
and the fill was exceptional.

Fermatprime, hope you're feeling better.

Jacel,hope you come back to play.

Have a nice day everyone.

Husker Gary said...

Al, et al, Good Morning from the soon to be snowy and bitterly cold plains. The write-up had some very nice references. This was a nice 3* that after some hunting and pecking was done all of a sudden. Very satisfying!

Musings
-Narcissistic variation of “There is no I in team”? “There is an I in win.” Terrell Owens?
-Titans and Texans both start with T and end in NS so I discover. This held up INEXORABLE
-DROP? This is another man/woman communication deal. She says, “It sure is nice out today.” She means, “It’s finally nice enough today that you should go outside and take out all those old bushes, go down to the nursery and get new ones and plant them like I mentioned 3 months ago!” He hears, “It sure is nice out today.”
-Oh, those CTRS
-Hand up on NEWBORN!
-I Left My Heart In LODZ? Not so much!
-Doctor asks friend at a bar, “What is that fruity drink you’ve got there with the little wood pieces in it?” Man replies, “That’s a hickory daiquiri doc!”
-EPODES? Not from this illiterate.
-My last four years I taught with a lovely woman whose maiden name was OGEE

Here is a Belated Holiday gift for my puzzling friends. I used the Quia website to generate this set of Crossword Puzzle Flashcards. I have about 120 words in there (I added EPODES today) and you can get the answer by simply clicking on the card and then decide to Remove the card for that round or keep it in the pack to do again before you finish. You can also do a matching game.

Let me know what you think! You can bookmark it as I add words every so often.

MH said...

It started off so well in the NW corner that I was already composing an "easy Thursday" comment in my head. Then came the rest of the puzzle. It took quite a while and in the end I had to guess a few and even look a couple up on Google. There were some great words like INEXORABLE and SIXTH SENSE.

BTW, nice blogging. I really enjoyed reading the explanations of the root of words like ZOO, JARGON, and GAMUT.

kazie said...

Husker,
How amazingly creative of you!

I forgot earlier to mention not knowing EPODES too.

AL,
Nice clean blog for a busy day today! I first heard the word ARGOT in France, so have always assumed it to be of French origin as well.

carol said...

Hi all -

What a puzzle! Hard for me but I did get it done with help.
I feel better that I am not the only one who didn't get the theme. Sauce does not mean SASSY to me. Saucy would work, but it just didn't occur to me.

NARC saved me from NEWBORN...but because I could not figure 14A (ONE ONE)out, NEONATE took a while. 14A was clever!

18D...I would never go on a safari...I know JD and her LH went and really enjoyed it. The clue did say EXOTIC and not ROMANTIC though...so it was correct, that would be an exotic thing to do. (just not for me)

Loved 'collision preceder': SCREECH.. I've been known to do that without hitting another car.

Never heard of MOTET but I'll bet CA has.

No idea who Cheri OTERI is/was, or RICCI...???

National Bean Day....hmmmmm. I made beef,bean and cheese burritos the other day. We made beautiful music all night!

How many of you had the original Mr.Potato Head as a child?? All you got in the box were the various pieces you stuck in a real potato: eyes, lips, noses, etc. I loved it.
I wonder what Mom did with the potato when we were done poking all those holes in it/them?

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Al - very informative.

Tough go today, though I finished - sort of. ARAPOHO gave me CASO. Not so good. TITANS for TEXANS - big problem.

The INEXORABLE SW corner was last to fall, until the TEXANS chased away the TITANS. Then it was a WRAP.

The MOTET is a polyphonic choral piece set to a scared text, usually without instrumental accompaniment. I think of the MOTET as something from the 16th century (incorrectly, as it turns out), but in remote parts of the world, people are still writing them in the 21st. Here is a beautiful performance of fairly recent SLEEK MOTET that retains an archaic feel.

Fill echos (flechos?)
ATARI OTERI NERI
SAUCE SES ZOOS

Alternate clue for 37D:
What Michigan and Michigan State's opponents in bowl games did to the score.

Our initial winter coat got washed away several days ago. Today we're getting a brand new one.

I wonder if SAUCE is a British usage? I recall seeing it used for "SASS" in Tolkein.

Cheers!
JzB (all in my humble opinion, of course)

Nice Cuppa said...

Thanks Al

I agree, lots of original stuff.

Thinking of all you frozen people in the North and East, made me thing of the phrase BRASS MONKEY WEATHER. My MacDictionary has a delightful note on the origin of the phrase:

"ORIGIN late 19th cent.: perhaps from a type of brass rack or ‘monkey’ in which cannon balls were stored and which contracted in very cold weather, ejecting the balls." Yup, says it all.

NC

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning Al, et al.

I've reached the inexorable conclusion that Mr Whitehead got me today. I saw TITANS instead of TEXANS and didn't know MOTET. That left me with INETORABLE, which I was pretty sure wasn't right, but with some of the other obscure stuff, I figured it might be possible. I even did my usual of mentally running the alphabet for a replacement for the "T" but must have skipped over the "X".

I almost left NERO/ROCCI in place, but decided that I had heard of RICCI and made the change.

Like most, I don't really consider the three theme entries as being synonymous with nerve, but knew the entries were right.

Hahtool, Tahiti may be more romantic, but a SAFARI is where you will usually see the exotic animals. At least that was my take on the clue.

Hand up for the TSAR/CZAR error but that straightened out without too much effort.

Lots of back and forth and up and down and lightly penned entries today, but a solid Thursday level and interesting puzzle.

Jeannie said...

Wow, this was a workout for me today. I never did figure out the theme and still don’t quite get it even after reading Al’s thorough write up. I had to visit the G-spot for Lodz and Arapaho. My hand is also up for newborn rather than neonate. Perp help included Neri, ich, ses, and Roc. Favorites were “winter coat”-snow and “one of a jazz duo” – zee. It was kind of cute to see one one, no u, and a to z though. All in all it made me think which is always a good thing!

Dennis, interesting fact on the potato chip. There are so many different kinds and flavors now. What’s everyone’s favorite? My favorite is Old Dutch kettle cooked parmesan and garlic. Yum!

Husker Gary, thanks for the link and I laughed and groaned at the same time over “hickory daiquiri Doc”!

I hope everyone enjoys their day. It’s that time of the year again when I have to start working on the spring food show coming up at the end of March. It sure sneaks up on you!

(the often cheeky) Rose said...

"whiz" and "brass" are words I thought of in "other" contexts...

I read by configuration. Because of this, down clues and clues like "nou" and "atoz" really throw me. Had to look up cities to find Lodz, hand up for newborn, love San Remo shrimp, and I`m so glad Ms. Oteri came on the scene. Found her name when this odd combination of letters "appeared" in a puzzle I tried to put together. Some day!

Glad you`re back, favorite Marine. Did you get a windburn or sunburn or frostbite in sunny? Florida?

Potato chip favorite? salt and vinegar.

I`ll ask again, Anyone have/try Z-coil shoes? or Tom`s. The gray, flannel plaid ones are my favorite Tom`s. So comfy and comforting.

Anonymous said...

I'm just curious - is the g-spot - that, which is hidden by the g-string ? - How would 'hitting' that help in solving a puzzle ?

carol said...

Anon at 10:49.....LOL - Oh so many answers, so little time!
Seriously, the g-spot in this context is G (for Google). We 'hit' that spot when we are stuck.

thehondohurricane said...

Hello again,

Al, very informative write up. Dennis, National Bean Day & Cuddle Up Day? I'm not sure I'd want to do much cuddling with someone who celebrates Nat'l Bean Day by noshing a plateful or two.

Hand up for beginning with Titans. Motet got me back on track. Although I felt the cluing was clever today, the theme doesn't do a lot for me.

Dennis said...

Jeannie, I'm not familiar with those Old Dutch chips w/parmesan and garlic, but I sense an intimate relationship in my future. They sound pretty damned good. Current favorite is cheese/bacon flavored. I don't know who makes them because the bag lasts about 10 seconds.

Rose, yes to sunburn, windburn and not so much frostbite; maybe frostnip the first couple nights.

I'm just curious - is the g-spot - that, which is hidden by the g-string ? - How would 'hitting' that help in solving a puzzle ?

Good point - you'd probably be more likely to say, "what puzzle?". But actually, on this blog, 'hitting the g-spot' means using Google.

Nice Cuppa said...

Continuing our linguistic theme today, the Polish write the name of their 3rd city, thus:

Łódź

All of those strange strokes and accents (diacritical marks) are there for 2 reasons

(1) The Poles do not pronounce their city "LODZ", but something between "WUJ" and "WOOCH". (I visited this fine industrial town several times in the 1980s, when the country was under martial law).

Similarly, Lech Wałęsa , who became the leader of the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union - Solidarity (Solidarność) - is pronounced VAWENSA ( with a nasal N).

I was told that a Welsh National Athletic team visited Poland during those turbulent times, and were asked to change the name emblazoned on their shirts, which was - "WALES A".

(2) The Poles decided a long time ago to write their (Slavic) language using the Roman/Latin alphabet. The result is a nightmare for the rest of the world (Poles need to do MUCH more than dot their i's and cross their t's). Russian, for example, which kept to the Cyrillic alphabet, is a piece of cake- once you have learned how to pronounce the individual letters you can pronounce whole words with confidence.

English of course is the worst of all. The spelling and lack of diacritical marks often give little or no clue as to how to pronounce the word.

NC

JimmyB said...

Another tough Thursday for me. I don't know my stadium sponsors very well, so like Husker Gary, Jazzbumpa, Grumpy, et al, I tried to make TITANS work and it messed up my SW for a long time. I certainly never grasped the theme unifier until coming here. Thanks, Al.

It is possible to go on a SAFARI that is both exotic and romantic. A few years ago we celebrated our 30th anniversary by going on a safari in South Africa. Once, when our game drive guy found out we were celebrating an anniversary, he radioed ahead and the resort had a bubble bath waiting for us when we got back to our room. I think JD would confirm that safaris aren't necessarily hot and dusty.

creature said...

Jeannie,What does the spring food show involve? If that's too big of a question to answer, I'll understand.

$150-175 is about what I have paid for shoes from time to time: fantastic walking shoes for when traveling;good winter farm and general snow boots;riding boots. I always look for sales, if possible.

My favorite potato chips are salt and vinegar and Lay's original. I love snack foods, so White Cheddar Cheezits is always on the snack list with potato chips.


TOC Rose, No, I haven't.

Anon,10:49, 'G' is for Google.

Lucina said...

Good morning, Everyone!

Al, thanks for your great blogging!

Wow! What a fantastically original and clever puzzle! Waving my hands up for INEXORABLE and SIXTHSENSE. I love that.

I was on Gary's wave length almost immediately but started with TSAR and even after I changed the Z, failed to change the T, same as some of you did.

St. Philip NERI (1515-1595) founded a religious Order, the Congregation of the Oratory; his feast day is May 26th.

Christina Ricci was fantastic in Monster; it is a powerful movie which I would watch only once, it is so disturbing. Charlese Theron was unrecognizable in the lead; her face was disfigured to look like like Aileen Wuornos.

Agree with most of you, the theme was elusive because of SAUCE.

And although SNOW is a stranger here, it is not completely unknown and I see OLAF, the variant made an appearance.

I just want to reiterate that I loved this puzzle! Thank you Gary Whitehead.

You all have a lovely Thursday! It's overcast here. Rain? Maybe.

Lucina said...

Jeannie:
I don't buy potato chips much because I would eat the entire bag. I like most of them except with vinegar and do eat them when there is a dip, usually at a party.

Corn chips are high on my list, too.

Nice Cuppa said...

....and on the subject of SAUCE and SASS, JB asked if "SAUCE" was a British usage.

Yes, Brits use SAUCE in this context (esp. SAUCY, a lot like NAUGHTY BUT NICE). The word "SASS" (which is just a 19th Century variant of SAUCE) was unknown to me before coming to the US. In fact, to a Brit's ear, the American pronunciations of SASS and SAUCE are very similar. The American vowel sound in the word "SAUCE" is not used at all in Brit-speak (where the vowel sounds like Eliza's 'AW!' from MY FAIR LADY). And SASS would have a simple, short A sound that is rarely heard in US-speak.

Finally, BRASS is rarely used in the 'cheeky' sense in Brit-speak, although it is understood in context. Probably because Brits have adopted the Northern dialect usage of BRASS to mean MONEY.

So I suppose Mae West might have interpreted the title phrase by the Pretenders, "GOT BRASS IN POCKET", differently. Both senses are positive, of course.

NC

LaLaLinda said...

I really liked this puzzle ~~ lots of clues that were new to me. I, too, had NEWBORN until the O in TOMATO SAUCE gave me NEONATE. I was able to get TEXANS and not Titans because of the E in Motet. In the end I was able to solve with no look-ups. I studied the three long answers for some time trying to find a common thread but needed to come here for the answer. Enjoyed your write-up, Al.

We have a winter storm watch here in CT for tomorrow and Saturday. We've been lucky so far ~~ only one other storm.

Enjoy the day!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Wow...up and down..back and forth, skipping here and there. I got more exercise with this puzzle than I've had with a week on the treadmill.

My problems started with NEONATE and didn't stop until EPODES. BTW, I "G'd" it and apparently "Epode, in verse, is the third part of an ode, which followed the strophe and the antistrophe, and completed the movement." OK by me.

I finally finished up, but no matter how many times I looked over the Wiki article about "Axon", I never did find a word or words in 17A, 28A, or 46A that meant a NERVE ENDING. I finally figured out that wasn't the relationship and started to look for suffixes (ENDINGs) for NERVE that could be found in the theme answers....NERVELESS?, NERVELET? That didn't work either.

Theme understanding seems to be my biggest fault with late week puzzles. It was time to come to the blog and let Al tell me what I couldn't see for myself. Thanks, Al.

JD said...

Good morning Al, C.C, and all,

Al, thanks for clearing up all my "whys"(ctrs, zee) and explaining the theme.
I actually finished today, although the bottom came slowly. I hit the G spot for the Younger Gang... where have I been if it is the most famous? I went to my handy dandy word spiral to find ogee and motet as I knew we had seen them before.The word lists are growing, but I won't bore you with any more A-Z stories.

Screech was a V8 moment!

Favorites: finish shooting:wrap
often seen under a cap:gown

Dennis, interesting facts today. Funny how some of the best concoctions we have were created through mistakes.

A safari is definitely exotic and can be very romantic, depending on your lodgings.We stayed at the Inyati Game Lodge, one of many beautiful accomodations inside Kruger Nat. Park. Click on"the lodge" to see the rooms. Best trip ever!Some people(Carol) may not like the sounds of the lions at night, but all the more reason to cuddle.

windhover said...

Won't see the puzzle for a few hours yet, so I'm trying to avoid direct puzzle comments.
I just stopped by to say that while the "Comment of the Day" award has been awarded only sparingly lately, yesterday's award goes belatedly to Jeannie @10:04, hands on..... I mean hands down.

john28man said...

I am happy that NERI was in the puzzle. The Catholic Parish just east of the one my Catholic friends were members of was St Philippe Neri (around 72nd and Jerffery on Chicago's near SE side.

That led me to look up my grammer school. I guess i'm now supposed to call it elementary school. Anyway, I found one of my fellow alumus of Paul Revere on their web site and emailed him.

Thank you Gary Whitehead.

Bill G. said...

Tough puzzle for me with some clever cluing. Like Lemon, I'm saying it took me more than four minutes to complete. :>)

I thought 53A could have been even trickier if it had been clued just "Younger gang member" since "Younger" would naturally be capitalized being the first word.

Since I had V-8 this morning, what excuse do I have left?

I like the plain Kettle chips best but I've hardly met a potato chip I didn't like.

Husker Gary wrote: This is another man/woman communication deal. She says, “It sure is nice out today.”
The fellow responded, "Sure is. I think I'll leave it out all day."

eddyB said...

Hi all.

Took a little longer than 6 min
Had Titans for the first go around.
Theme was elusive.

Favorite is Sour Cream and Onions.

Glucose level was in the high 500s
this morning. Going back to bed.
Still very shaky.

Take care.

Gunghy said...

TZAR and TITANS got me. I finally googled Reliant stadium, but never fixed the T so TTRS left me woozy. Those and Ms Oteri were the killers, but nothing came easy. I've done Saturdays that flowed together easier than this one. Mr. Whitehead, my cap is off to you. (Gown, too; I need a nap after this one.)

But, Hey, I knew Cole and Ricci!!

I tried to fit Othello into 25A.

Carol, my mom cooked them.

Dennis, the Apaches were well south of Wyoming.

I claim I don't like potatoe chips, (Quayle) but have trouble leaving them alone if they are around. The one I will consider buying is sea salt and pepper.

Since we are still on shoes, not counting ski boots, I have paid > $150 for a pair of Oregon Pedorthic Services walking shoes and $250 for hiking boots. Rose, I've never heard of z-coil or Tom's shoes, so don't even know if they make a men's 14EEEE.

Mark Twain said the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Fransisco. It is currently 41 degrees, overcast with an 87% humidity. Last week I was outside in a t-shirt and vest in 25 degree weather. In this stuff, I wear a long sleeve t-shirt, fleece and down jacket just to fetch the mail. But the worst was the year we went 39 days without sun.

Have a good day.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Loved today's theme, and the clues had enough pepper on 'em to make it interesting. Had to settle for red letter help to get LODZ. No way could I match Dennis' 6-minute fill, I was more than twice that.

Nice Cuppa - interesting stuff about the diacritical marks and such! Language fascinates me, though I've never studied beyond high school French and Latin. I have long tried to imagine what a "perfect" language would be built from - a short alphabet, no irregular verbs, no gender in the nouns (except perhaps as we do in English), pronounciation that can be figured out directly from the spelling without superscript or subscript marks, logical sentence structure...

I presume Esperanto was meant to do all of the above, anybody know?

It would seem to be very helpful and unifying to have a language spoken by every person on the planet, although it might leave poets with a problem for quite some time.

Lucina said...

I failed to mention earlier that the Apaches live in Arizona and New Mexico. A distant relative, (my great-great-great-great grandfather) was captured as a boy and lived with them until he was a teen when he escaped and returned home.

He would often return to visit his adoptive Apache mother; he and his family were kept safe from their raids throughout his life.

Clear Ayes said...

When GAH was having problems with plantars fasciitis an acquaintance suggested that he check our Z-Coil shoes. After one look, GAH went to a podiatrist and got a pair of custom orthotics. The orthotics have worked just fine...no more fasciitis and he doesn't have to walk around in Z-Coils. He never would have anyway.

I've heard of Tom's Shoes. I might buy a pair for the charitable aspect. Tom's donates a pair to a needy child for every pair that is purchased. Without that, they are pricy for a fabric deck shoe/slipper. They look comfortable for schlepping around in jeans.

I don't care for most potato chips (fries are a different thing!). Vinegar and salt are always good additions. GAH likes Fritos scoops with the salsa we get from the local market.

Abejo said...

Thanks Gary, for a great puzzle. Thanks Al, for a great write-up.
Thanks C.C., for posting it all.
Thanks Nice Cuppa for your great description of some Polish words and pronunciations. I enjoy that sort of stuff.

I enjoyed the puzzle. I wa slow at getting going. I had the NERVEENDING early in the game. Much before the three supporting answers. I could not quite get the theme. I read some of the other write-ups and thye make sense. It just eluded me during the puzzle. I had a tough time with artful dodges/RUSES. I matched every letter of the alphabet for the first letter. RUSES was the only thing that sort of made sense. I thought yearned/PINED was a neat clue/word.

I am a little late getting this out again. Pretty busy this morning. I had it done before I got to work, but at work had no time to peruse the internet. See you all tomorrow. Abejo

Jeannie said...

Dennis, here is a site where you can perhaps find my favorite chip. I warn you though, they are addicting!

CA, I wouldn't be caught dead in those z-coil shoes. No offense to anyone that wears them. Just not my style.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I had the same missteps as others did today. I had to look up Lodz, Neri, Cole, and Oteri. With that help I did finish, but in considerably more than six minutes.

Epodes was my new word for the day and has been entered in my personal CW dictionary.

Hands up for Newborn vs Neonate. Even with CTRS in I still didn't think of Football, and had a question mark beside that clue.

Thanks Al for the explanation of the theme and CTRS. I didn't get either until coming here. Also thanks for the Motet music in the beautiful little Swedish Church.

Favorites today were, Winter coat/Snow, and Asteroid's maker/Atari. Atari can be clued so many ways.

Have a great afternoon everyone. I'm off to buy a 2011 calendar. We didn't get a single freebie this year and we usually have 5 or 6 before the end of the year.

carol said...

Gunghy, it is now 44 degrees with 99% humidity...and it's not raining. We went out at 9:00 this morning (40 degrees, same humidity) on our bikes, got back at 10:20. We were dressed fairly warm, but I ended up taking my gloves off the last 5 miles.
(no wind either :))

CA: Z-Coils ??? Really?? People wear them?? Wow, I couldn't keep a straight face! As to Tom's, some of them were sort of cute but I'll bet none came in a narrow...if they don't lace, I can't keep them on my feet because most are a B width. I have very little choice in shoes. I know the spendy ones will come in narrow. (I have a pair of Ecco's)

As to potato chips...I try to leave them at the store. It's true, you can't eat just one! My favorite's are Lay's lightly salted.

Gunghy said...

Carol, Rain is rarely 100% humidity, that is reserved for fog. I just got the humidity meter for the house, but during last week's snow at the cabin, the humidity was about 30%.

My daughter's fiancee works for one of the largest pistachio producers. My Christmas present was 5 pounds. Who has time for chips???

Hahtool said...

My favorite chips are Zapp's. The company makes some really spicy (not SAUCY) ones. The founder, Ron Zappe died only a few months ago.

Cheri Oteri used to make a frequent crossword appearance. I remember her because her name rhymes.

I first saw Christina RICCI in a movie called The Opposite of Sex. As I recall, it was an interesting film. She is a talented actress, but has made some odd film decisions.

creature said...

I just saw CA's link to z coil shoes and the answer is No! I also think they would cause you to trip.

Lucina, that is a neat story about your relative and the apaches.

Jeannie, they do sound addictive; if I see any, I will try them.

LaLaLinda, hope the storm passes you by.

John28man, you are to be commended for following through on your reconnection. It's a good story.

Mn Doug said...

Good evening. This one was hard puzzle for me. I'm only a year so far into doing puzzles. I hate question marks! I do remember: hickory dickory dock. the mouse ran up the clock: the clock struck one, but the rest escaped with only minor injuries.

carol said...

Gunghy, being a native Oregonian (western side), I know ALL about rain!
I do realize that the humidity is not an indicator of rain, but can be a big factor in one's comfort. We don't get as much fog as you do. Sort of too bad to, as I love fog! At least when we get it, it doesn't last more than a few hours mostly in the mornings. :)

JD said...

Jeannie, those chips sound addicting, so luckily there aren't any stores within 50 mi. of my zipcode that sell them.The Terra Taro chips that I love are very hard to find too, which is a blessing.But I am a sucker for Cheetos, but like Lucina, I rarely buy them.

Lucina, great story!

CA, I saw a cocktail waitress wearing a pair of Z-Coils last month. Odd looking, and even "odder" walking, but I'm sure they were of great comfort on that cement rooftop of the Marriott@ Waikiki.DH also had plantars fascitis, and he bought some green Superfeet, and did exercises for a month or so.Problem solved...we hope.

Lucina said...

CA:
Ditto my feelings about z-coils and Tom's. I had not heard of them before and they are definitely not my style!

On Jeopardy! just now, there was a category on word origins which was really interesting. I'm sure some of you will catch it later.

I think I got carried away on the "great" before. Thomas Perez was my great-great grandfather.

windhover said...

As someone said earlier, no offense to anyone who wears them, but the Z-coils put me in mind of the famous SNL sketch by Steve Martin (forget the character's name) about how he and his "brother" picked up women in bars.

Dennis said...

The two 'wild and crazy guys'?

windhover said...

That's the one!

Grumpy 1 said...

In our travels around the world, we like to visit local grocery stores and see how the products and prices compare to "back home". Lay's potato chips seem to be everywhere. Something that is not often found, and is about the only snack we buy, is pretzels. Rold Gold Tiny Twists is our favorite. We found Stixies in Chile that were quite good. If I recall, they were pretzel sticks made with potato flour.

We found that one of the most "Americanized" stores was in Invergordon, Scotland. I suspect that the oil rig workers from the LA and TX areas may influence the products they carry.

Marge said...

Hi all,

I sort of enjoyed this puzzle. It didn't seem too bad at 1st but got harder the further I went.

I had no problem with neonate, having worked in premie and new born nurseries. Babies are so wonderful.

I knew Reliant wasn't Titans because we've gone past Titan stadium several times. It was flooded last year when Nashville had that bad flood.

'Go awol' came ok and so did Tomato sauce and Military brass. The last 2 long answers were more difficult. The Ohio river was easy, I lived in the little town of Charlestown,In. when I was 8 to 10 years old. It was the beginning of World War II and my Dad worked at a powder plant on the banks of the Ohio river. we were not very far From Loiusville.

Cole Younger took awhile but when I got the C I figured it out. There is a Jesse James museum in St. Joseph Mo.Jesse was killed in St. Joe. The Younger and the James boys worked together. My husband grew up in that area. We've never been to the museum though. They have a Pony Express museum there too. That is where the Pony Express left from, to head to California.

As for No U turn, I just now got that. Duh! In the Atlanta area, U Turns are legal. Left turn lanes at stop lights often have as many people doing U turns as they do left turns.It's very convenient.

I guess thats all for now.
Good evening all.
Marge

PS- Thanks for the great write up Al.

PJB-Chicago said...

Good Evening, all.
Bravo, Al, on the blogging, especially the word origins.

Did.Not.Get.the.Theme. here, but the rest of the just-right puzzle pulled itself together after a few struggles.

I would like to see the word "chutzpah" in a puzzle -- but that set of letters might have too little "exorableness" to play around with!

"EPODE" sounds like a John Lampkin word, doesn't it? Or a place to buy/store your podes online.

I believe Cheri OTERI's combolicious name has probably outlived her career in comedy. Perhaps St. Philip NERI chose sainthood instead of TV work because he knew that would keep his name on Church calendars forever!

Parsing ON EON E took some doing. You can call me a "D'oh Boy." NEONATE is such a great puzzle word; but I still guessed "newborn" first. Droll cluing for NARC -- funny that we don't hear the word "(dope) pusher" so much these days. The word "dealer" just doesn't have the same snap.

Potato chips are a weakness for me, so I'll buy a tiny five-chip bags at 35 cents just to stave off the "walking home from the grocery store" munchies. Also like the flavored popcorn called SmartCorn. I doubt it's done much for my brain power but it's might tasty.

I hope the New Year is shaping up nicely for one & all. "See" you in the next few!

Dennis said...

Windhover, you're referring to George and Yortuk Festrunk, one of the best routines ever on SNL.

Lemonade714 said...

Dennis, we are safe from the Parmesan Garlic kettle chips as Old Dutch Foods is a regional company with distribution primarily in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Love the Dan Akroyd Steve Martin Polish brothers; a subtheme in our comments today, and since my ancestors emigrated from Poland, i say cieszyć piątek. Not to be confused with Freddie Patek

Lemonade714 said...

I know they were Czechs, I was just trying to be relevant

Lemonade714 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dennis said...

Lemonade, and right next to the locations you cited from the web site is a button to order online. I'll let you know how they are...

fermatprime said...

Hello cruciverbalists!

I am so entrenched in healthy eating that a potato chip is now repugnant to me. Even a saltless one. Oh, maybe that's because I have sensitive gums!!!

Thanks for write-up and puzzle, Al and Gary, respectively.

Not on the ball last night. Puzzle took longer that twice six minutes! No cheating, though. Hands up for TITANS and NEWBORNS. MOTET quickly disabused me of the former, however. Am getting sick of OTERI!

As I recall, we had HENS clued as COOP LAYERS or such recently. Used to be clued just as LAYERS. Or, perhaps that was in my (smarter) NY Times years.

I have been trying to give up prescriptions and such that supposedly lead to Alzheimer, as per Canadian website I have misplaced. Among them is NEXIUM. I have been blessed with horribly acid stomach for last four days. Today is a bit better. (PREVACID and others are in same category.)

At least, insomnia has abated. (More later during prime blog-time hours!)
Thanks all for interesting information! Thanks to Creature also!

fp

Spitzboov said...

Something for the golfers.

Jeannie said...

Dennis, save your shipping/handling. I'm sending you a case from my company as that is one of our vendors and I can buy them at cost.

Fermatprime, I am sorry to hear that you are still struggling. Why do bad things happen to good people?

Lucina, I am amazed at the family history that you know of. I run into road blocks all the time trying to trace my family tree. I can't imagine how afraid your Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather must have been. I find it touching that after he escaped home he kept going back to visit with his Apache Mother. I also wonder what kind of skills he must have learned.

Gunghy, really 14EEEE?? Is there any correlation to that?

Creature, to put the foodshow in a nutshell, well I can't. I have bored most of the "Old Timers" more than once on that subject. I will send you an e-mail.

Democrat, it's good to hear from you once again. Are you involved in any thespian roles right now?

Windhover, at least I know someone reads late posts at night. You didn't answer my querie though. Isn't it about time for lambing?

My retired cop friend that is recovering from colon cancer went in for his yearly colonoscapy. All is well as he claims that the way to a guy's heart starts from the stomach, and the colon goes there, and thus my cooking for him must have done some good!

Hahtool said...

PJB: Good to see you again. I hope you can come by more often this year.

Lucina said...

Jeannie:
In later life he became a leader among his people in the town where they lived.

Most of my family can be traced to the 17th century during the Spanish conquest.

A few journals exist, but most research has been completed through church records.

Fermatprime:
I often think of you and sincerely hope that you find some sort of comfort and healing.

Jeannie said...

Lucina, it has been most difficult to trace down my Father's side. His Mom immigrated from Poland and his Dad was a Chec. We have found my Grandma's records of landing at Ellis Island, and I knew she made her way to Chicago where she met up with her sister and that's where she met my Grandpa. Unfortunately, my Grandma Agnes never really learned much English. I was Jenalla, my sister Karen was Karolee...I do know that my Grandpa Joe was a barber/turned farmer and they ended up in Northern Wisc. and he actually cut Al Capone's hair and used his truck to run bootleg. I guess if you had 10 kids you did what you had to do back in those days.

In retrospect, I guess my ancestors where doing a lot of "that" as my Mom is one of ten and my Dad is one of nine. I guess that was before TV.

Gunghy said...

Jeannie,
Not only are the feet 14EEEE, but my head size is 8 1/4 (I couldn't play football in high school, no helmet.) and my glove size is a 12 or XXXL. Oh, and you should see my...
thumb.

Jeannie said...

Gunghy, if you are a "melon head", "all thumbs", and can ski on your own "two feats" (pun intended) include "Muy" on your next excursion!

Anonymous said...

You over-posted again, Jeannie.

Gunghy said...

Jeannie,
I'm on a permanent excursion, so join me anytime. That invite is open to anyone on the blog, except for Anon 11:08.