, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Thursday, March 24, 2011 Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel


Mar 24, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011 Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel

Theme, revealed in 55 Across: Decide once and for all, and what one can do to the ends of 17-, 22-, 36- and 47-Across: MAKE-OR-BREAK.

17A. Romantic evening components, perhaps: DINNER DATES. Ask someone out, break their heart.

22A. California Gold Rush staple: SOURDOUGH BREAD. Earn money, start eating a meal.

36A. Alien statutes: IMMIGRATION LAWS. Aliens, of course, meaning foreigners, rather than ETs from outer space. Make legislation, break a rule.

47A. Wurlitzer whirlers: JUKEBOX RECORDS. Make a musical recording, best a formerly unsurpassed accomplishment.

Hi all, Al here, with the honor of blogging a Thursday puzzle with a very well known co-author, at least well-known around this particular blogosphere anyway... I hope I don't have to spell it out for you all. There's a note at the end from said co-author which explains the structure of the theme better than I could.


1. Soaking spots: BATHS. The original meaning was to heat, not to immerse.  Bath, in Somerset England, was named because of its hot springs.

6. Mideast ruling family name: ASSAD. Syria.

11. Field call: CAW. Corn field, not sports.

14. Language that gives us "kayak": INUIT. Inupik Eskimo inuit "people," plural of inuk "man."

15. Abu __: DHABI. The richest city in the world.  Today's geography lesson. Fabulous architecture.

16. She played Beatrix in "Kill Bill": UMA. Thurman

19. Strain: TAX. To put a burden the same meaning, really.

20. Reason-based faith: DEISM. A point of view that states a supreme being exists, but without interfering in human affairs, and without any organized religion.

21. Film in Cannes: CINE. French.

27. Watering hole: PUB. Where people gather and don't drink water, and 52A. 27-Across offerings: ALES.

28. 23-Down was one: Abbr.: SEN.ator with 23D. 2009 Peace Nobelist: OBAMA and also 49D. Homeland of 23-Down's father: KENYA.

29. "Able was __ ...": palindrome start: I ERE I saw Elba.

30. Try in court: HEAR.

32. Came around regarding: AGREED TO.

40. It can make a star shine: LEAD ROLE.

41. 4-Down titles: SRIS. An honorific prefix meaning "beauty" along with 4D. Gandhi, for one: HINDU.

42. Stadium take: GATE. Short for "gate money" collected from selling tickets.

43. Like sashimi: RAW. A sushi terminology and pronunciation guide.

46. Cause of star wars?: EGO. S.W. is not capitalized, so this does not refer to the movie nor Reagan's SDI.  Literally meaning in-fighting amongst actors because of their swollen sense of self-worth. Possibly clue-related to 2D. Darth, at one time: ANI. Anakin Skywalker from the Star Wars movies.

53. Plant moisture buildup: EDEMA. A swelling, not necessarily limited to plants.

54. Quaint stopover: INN. Old English "inne" inside, within.

61. Hens do it: LAY.

62. Novelist Jong: ERICA. Fear of Flying, which wasn't about flying.

63. Blue Cross competitor: AETNA. Originally sold fire insurance, thus the "Etna" name to invoke the image of a fiery volcano.

64. Yellow __: SEA. Bonus geography lesson.

65. He passed Lou in 2009 to become the Yankees' all-time hit leader: DEREK. Lou Gehrig, Derek Jeter, baseball. I sense C. C.'s influence here...

66. Pulitzer writer Kidder: TRACY. The Soul of a New Machine, about Data General Corporation designing a new machine under high pressure and an impossible schedule so that they could compete with Digital Equipment Corporation's VAX. Set in the 70's.


1. Certain eBay click: BID.

3. Large cask: TUN. Originally 256 gallons, and related to the ton weight measure.

5. Directs: STEERS.

6. Attaches to the house: ADDS ON.

7. SeaWorld performer: SHAMU.

8. Did nothing: SAT.

9. Symbol of honesty: ABE. A political rarity.  He didn't like the nickname, though.

10. Bad-mouth: DIS. Shortening of "disrespect".

11. Sweetie pie: CUTIE. For the ladies...

12. Whirlpool brand: AMANA. Once owned by Raytheon, the inventors of the microwave oven way back in 1947. Home use wasn't available until 20 years later.

13. Like some slippery floors: WAXED.

18. Sally in space: RIDE. The first woman in space. I always think of this song when I see her name.

21. Anglers' baskets: CREELS. And they say men don't like wicker.

22. "So I was wrong": SUE ME. I was just watching Guys and Dolls again for the umpteenth time tonight...

24. Leslie Caron title role: GIGI.

25. Sub: HERO. Hoagie, grinder, blimpie, po' boy, others.

26. British weapon designed in Czechoslovakia: BREN. A light machine gun. The name was derived from Brno, the Czechoslovak city where the Zb vz. 26 was originally designed, and Enfield, site of the British Royal Small Arms Factory.

27. Three-time Masters champ Mickelson: PHIL. Golf.

31. Ruffles features: RIDGES.

32. Had: ATE.

33. Challenged: DARED.

34. Campfire base: TWIGS. Or steel wool connected to a battery...

35. __ buco: OSSO. Italian for "Bone with a hole", veal with vegetables, and wine sauce.

37. Snatch: GRAB.

38. __-Rooter: ROTO. That's the name, you just flush your troubles down the drain.

39. "A Clockwork Orange" narrator: ALEX. The main character. Anthony Burgess, writer, Stanley Kubrick, director of the movie adaptation, who left the final "redeeming" chapter from the book out of the movie, because it didn't feel like it "fit" with the rest of the story.

43. New Jersey's state tree: RED OAK.

44. Top server: ACER.

45. Burrowing marsupial: WOMBAT. The wombat lives across the seas/Among the far Antipodes./He may exist on nuts and berries,/Or then again, on missionaries; /His distant habitat precludes/Conclusive knowledge of his moods,/But I would not engage the wombat/In any form of mortal combat. -- Ogden Nash

47. Puts in the can?: JAILS.

48. Radii neighbors: ULNAE. Both Latin plurals.

50. Volleyball great Gabrielle: REECE.

51. More elusive: RARER.

55. Dr.'s study: MED. Abbrevs in clue and answer.

56. Were now?: ARE. Present tense.

57. Cassis apĂ©ritif: KIR. Blackcurrant liqueur topped up with white wine.

58. Seventh Greek letter: ETA.

59. Mandela's org.: ANC. African National Congress.

60. Mary __ Ash, cosmetics company founder: KAY. Pink Cadillacs for the top sales people.

A note from C.C. about today's puzzle:

This puzzle was accepted last November. Don and I tried to engage MAKE & BREAK in a different context in each theme entry. We also felt it was necessary that certain ending words in the theme answers be plural to consistently apply MAKE  & BREAK. Gridding was a bit of challenge due to the theme phrase length  & the letter combination in JUKEBOX RECORDS. The wonderful clues for STAR ROLE & EGO are Rich's creation.

Don was very open to the idea of collaborating on puzzles. He feels that the process is inspirational for both sides, no matter the experience of either. It is fun to see the evolution of thought processes as they are explored through e-mail exchanges. I am very lucky to have him as a Lao Shi (teacher).



Dennis said...

Good morning, Al, C.C. and gang - what an outstanding, auspicious day, not just for us, but for the entire crossword community! C.C., CONGRATULATIONS on joining the ranks of published constructors -- it's so very well deserved. And what a great mentor in DonG!

My life has been complete chaos for the past couple weeks, and it's got a ways to go yet so I've got very little time, but I couldn't wait to do this puzzle and it didn't disappoint (except for the self-referential cluing, which I'm not crazy about). I got through the regular clues fairly quickly, but needed perp help for the first three theme answers. Once I saw the unifier, I realized how clever the theme actually was; C.C., how long did it take you guys to put this together?

Hope to have more later, but I just wanted to make sure I checked in on this, C.C.'s day. C.C., we're all extremely proud of you, even more so by how far you've come in so little time.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Wow, congrats on the debut, C.C.! You never cease to amaze. I mean, I'm a native English speaker and have been doing crosswords for years, and the thought of actually creating a puzzle completely daunts me.

Today's puzzle was very smooth. Perfect difficulty level for a Thursday due to the cluing, but nothing bizarre or unpleasant. Even SOURDOUGH (which I struggled with last time due to the clue) came to me easily today.

Again, congrats!

Hahtoolah said...

Congratulations, C.C.! I knew it was only a matter of time before we saw your by-line on a puzzle. You and Don did a super job! Looking forward to seeing more of your puzzles.

fermatprime said...

Hello all,

Great accomplishment, C. C. and Don! Fine write-up, Al. Especially like the WOMBAT poem! Will have to take time later to check out the links. A real learning experience. No cheats, but not very fast either. (Is ACER used anywhere but cws?)

More tests of enlarged heart tomorrow. Wish that I could find out what I did to have this so I could stop doing it!!! It poured cats and dingos whilst Alex and commuted to medical facilities and Home Depot. No lines at the latter for change!

Time to sleep. Have a good day, all.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Well done C.C. and Don G! It was just a matter of time before "C.C." came to mean "Clever Constructor" ! :-)

Got completely stumped at 29a because the Able palindrome was unknown to me. Being unsure of GIGI and BREN didn't help. (There's also a British gun called Sten, right?)

Other sorta-unknowns included DEISM, PHIL, REECE, and WOMBAT. Perps took care of these. Must say, the volleyball world must be glad to have the likes of Gabrielle as a poster girl.

In a former life in which I designed small optical & video gadgets, I was contacted for advice by an American grad student living in Australia. She was studying the Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat and required a means of monitoring the critter by video while it was within its burrow. Not hard to do with today's technology.

Lemonade714 said...

Wow! I leave town and BAM a C.C. (and Don G.) puzzle. Great, loved it and Wombat was inspiring. AQnd many more...

Mainiac said...

Morning Al, CC and All,

Nice work CC and Don, even though my grid was rather smudged from erasing.

Carl instead of Phil, My Bad instead of Sue Me, Hunny instead of Cutie and missed the plural hint in 17A and wrote DinnerMovie (Even though I prefer to skip the movie and move on to more active entertainment). Once the mess was cleared out and I got Sour Dough Bread, things filled in pretty well. Loved 46A clue and answer, Banged my head on the desk to get 56D.

Lots of fun. Congrats CC!

Mainiac said...

Al, Excellent blog as usual.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Congrats CC! What a wonderful puzzle you constructed for your maiden voyage.

It was a nice, doable Thursday puzzle today with enough difficulty to be a challenge. Ulnae caused me a moderate delay when I wanted ulnas. Bren was new wanted Sten.

Liked the watering hole/soaking spots clues. Seems like you could switch the clues and have the same answers. I've taken a bath (watering hole) in more than one pub (soaking spot).........

Oh well, time to get a move on. Happy Thursday to all.

Grumpy 1 said...

Congratulations, C.C.! Your entry into the constructors circle was certainly a grand one. Thanks to Don G for taking you under his wing, so to speak, and encouraging your efforts.

This one went smoothly with no major hangups. It didn't seem as hard as the Tuesday or Wednesday puzzle this week, but only because there were several clues that were in my wheelhouse, as C.C. would say, but might be unfamiliar to some others.

What? no picture of a Wombat? Here's one taken in the Sydney zoo with my BH. She was told she could pet the critter but never put a hand in front of its face.

Abejo said...

Good Morning, folks! Great puzzle. Thank you Don G. and C.C. B. I guess I never realized that C.C. had never constructed a puzzle before. Happy Debut!

Thanks, Al, for the nice write-up and kind comments to our constructors.

This was a great Thursday puzzle, not too hard, but not too easy. I got through it all. Enjoyed my favorite palindrome "Able was I ere I saw Elba." Napoleon will live in infamy (even though I am sure he never said this, especially in English).

Very clever theme and answers, all logical and doable.

I needed perps for a few, ie: ANI, DIS, OSSO, and KIR.

See you tomorrow.


kazie said...

What a wonderful surprise! For once I checked the constructor before starting, and seeing C.C.'s by-line there gave me renewed confidence to tackle this Thursday with more zeal. Congratulations!

Thanks for a great blog effort too! I'll be in Green Bay for a convention April 8-10. Any chance of a meeting? Email if interested.

I did have a bit of trouble with the sports figures' names, but eventually they perped out. Thanks too for two shout outs--my name, and the wombat.

Good luck with today's tests!

On the whole a very enjoyable solve today. Now I have to be off so will return later on.

Tinbeni said...

Al, Wonderful write-up and links.

C.C. WOW-and-a-half !!!

What a FUN Thursday offering.

Even has a N.Y.Yankee, DEREK ... time for the regular season to begin.

OSSO buco is a personal fave, HEROs also.

Hmmm, PUB & ALES ... maybe I should try these sometime.

C.C. gets the first 'toast' at Sunset for her debut.
Don G. the second for mentoring our leader.
Y'all, get the rest.

Cheers !!!

Anonymous said...

Not only was it a fabulous puzzle today, but it was a CC one too, and her first. What a great debut. How generous of Don to work with you on this. Hopefully we will see more as the two of you certainly have a talent. And better yet, I was able to do it all, which has been rare for me on Thursday's as of late. Hopefully this will boost my confidence. A few unknowns, REECE, BREN, RED OAK but all doable with the perps. Congrats to both of you. As I am sure most of you will agree the favorite clue was Cause of star wars? Loved it!!!

Just coming out of the dregs of the flu. Hope to fly to San Diego tomorrow to get out of the snow. Thankfully, feeling good enough to do that now.

John Lampkin said...

Thanks Al, and good morning all.

Congratulations to C.C. on her debut!
And wow, what a warm and fuzzy it is to see our friends' names in lights!

Just a few years ago a very common theme gimmick was to make the unifier a "word-that-can-follow-the-ends-of- *, *, and *." That idea was done to death and most editors, Rich included, instantly reject such puzzles.

The trick then is to take the gimmick a step further by adding some sort of a twist. Last week I myself used a positive sign in the middle of the grid as a visual echo of POSITIVE, which was a unifier for the other theme entries. C.C. and Don came up with this very clever idea which gets the brain going down three different forks. Love, love, love it!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I could scarcely believe my eyes when I saw the byline for today's puzzle. Congratulations to C.C. and a thanks to Don G. for mentoring. The two of you did a very nice job on this puzzle.

I really enjoyed the long theme phrases and how they all "locked" together with the unifier MAKE OR BREAK.

Of course, what is a crossword puzzle blog without a "crybaby area". I'm sure she is "great", but until Monday Night Volleyball shows up on ABC, I won't have Gabrielle REECE on my radar. I was at a loss with TRACY Ridder too. A 31 year old non-fiction Pulitzer winning book is pretty vague, even for a Thursday....Nope, I never read it.

I got a kick out of WOMBAT. We don't see those very often. 40A "It can make a star shine": LEAD ROLEwas my favorite clue/fill.

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Al, C.C. et al.

Wow!! I saw the constructors’ names when I went online to do the puzzle, but it never clicked until I came here. Outstanding debut, C.C. ! I had such a fun time with this one, and came here prepared to extol its virtues. Now I see why. I know how excited you must be to finally see your hard work in print, and I can’t wait to see more from you. What a great mentor you had with Don G. – I am envious! We all knew that you have done puzzles before, but it is so gratifying to have one of them published for all the world to solve.

Al – great write-up, and what an honor to blog this one. I was scratching my head trying to figure out the theme as I filled in the grid, and finally got the AHA when I reached the unifier at the end. Thanks for your terrific explanation of each one.

I loved the clue “Cause of star wars?” for EGO and “Ruffles features” for RIDGES. Lots of fun fill with WOMBAT, CAW, LEAD ROLE, CUTIE and SUE ME. Nice clean grid and a totally fun romp!

Have a great day everyone, and shine on, C.C. and Don G!

Spitzboov said...

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

Congratulations, C.C. on becoming a published constructor. BZ. One more notch in your list of signal achievements. You teamed up with a mentor whose talents I respect, and look forward to solving and he partnered with an enthusiastic, very competent, technically proficient puzzle moderator. Is that synergy? I think so.

A fun puzzle with typical midweek difficulty. Got the theme fills before fully understanding the unifier. I wanted 'sten' too, but had seen BREN in earlier cw's. Did not know REECE but the perps showed the way. Interesting to see ACER (maple genus) next to RED OAK.

Have a good day.

Unknown said...

Congratulations to C.C. on her debut! Thanks to Al for the blog.
I must be getting better at this because I stuck with it until I'd finished. Maybe that has more to do with having a lazy day at home than any brain power of mine!
Havea great day everyone!

MJ said...

Good morning, Al, C.C., and all.

Wowzers! What a delightful surprise to find today's crossword was co-created by our own C.C. and Don G., one of my favorite constructors. I found it to be a very enjoyable solve, with the many unknown (to me) names being perp friendly.

Thank you, Al, for another excellent blog today, and thanks to all others who blog on a regular basis--C.C., Lemonade, Argyle, Melissa, Jazzbumpa, Splynter, as well as to occasional guest bloggers (Hi, Boomer!).

Congratulations, C.C., on your debut L. A. Times puzzle!

Vidwan827 said...

Congratulations CC and Don G on a very nice puzzle. I was so happy to see CC's name as one the constructors - I resolved to do the puzzle - come what may - generally I avoid Thurs. puzzles and am rather busy these days. Thank you, both of you. !!!

Thank you Al, for your wonderful blog - enjoyed it very much, as usual !!

I found the puzzle easier, for a Thurs., and I even got the theme - which is a big thing for me ...

When I saw Obama, Gandhi and Mandela - I thought this had something to do with 'peace-niks' - maybe that was the sub theme.On the other hand, when I saw 'Immigration laws', I thought of CC's recent citizenship - and how appropriate that was.

Finally, again, my heartiest congratulations to CC, - on your debut - and many more and best wishes. We knew you had in you.

Denny said...

Great puzzle. As others have noted, the perps generally came to the rescue for the unknowns. The theme was smart, though I had only one more theme entry to work out by the time I sussed out the theme. But knowing the theme made that possible (although the connection with "making" a jukebox is a bit tenuous, I have heard the phrase "breaking" a jukebox, even if I forget exactly where).

Had to GG in only one or two spots, one of them, curiously enough, was Gigi (I kind of knew it had to be that as I had the G and the I, but that's the one spot the perps were no help. Didn't know the palindrome, but Google turned that up too.

I also thought STEN instead of BREN, but wisely resisted the temptation to fill it in until the perps confirmed it, which of course, they never did.

Seemed to be on CC's and Don's wavelength, getting, for example, EGO for "Cause of star wars" without a second thought, even with the tangential misdirection of the earlier DARTH clue (combined with the other mini-theme about Obama).

Congrats, CC. Haven't been hanging around here long enough to have made the connection between the name printed in my newspaper (South Florida Sun-Sentinel, if you wanna know) and the blogger here, but now that I do, I guess this is kind of a big deal for you!

I had no idea when I first stumbled into this blog it was such a center of the crossword world. I was just looking for some answers! But it's so cool to be able to hear from the constructors here and to know some here take out seriously enough to pursue becoming puzzle constructors themselves. I couldn't imagine even trying to build one of these things!

Denny said...

If I went over the word or line limit there, I apologize...

Splynter said...

Hi There ~!

Well, C.C., I guess there was no need for you to blog this one, eh?

Congratulations on getting published, I feel that it is a tremendous accomplishment for someone with English as a second language....I am working on my own puzzles, and struggle to get working grids set up.

As for your debut, I did not have many hang-ups, and I was able to see the theme with _ _ BREAK at the unifier, and got a bonus when MAKE went in, too ~!

You got me with "CAW", figured you were going with a baseball reference and confidently put in "OUT" - - - Bzzzz.

And I am guessing the gang here is going to 'let you off' for the three circular clues about Barrack, too (LOL)~!!


creature said...

Good Morning C.C.,Al and all,

Al, especially super write-up. What a thrill for you to be able to blog C.C.'s first nationally published puzzle! DonG how lucky C.C. was to have you hold her hand as you two skipped to the Corner.

Its all been said about the puzzle,but, I liked the clue and answer for 11A the best. It felt so fresh; not 'out','moo' or 'baa'.
I thought all the cluing was fresh;
and thoughtful, not ridiculous. My unknowns were:ANI,KIR,REECE andTRACY. The perps helped there.

Thanks for this fine surprise and treat. It has always been a matter of time, in my mind.

Have a nice day everyone.

creature said...

Denny,reread 55A-"End of"

Scotty said...

Denny- re the jukebox quandry, how about breaking RECORDS?

Dan said...

I did a great double-take when I opened the puzzle today. "Hey... isn't that...?" Congratulations, C.C.!

Warren said...

Hi Al, C.C. & gang, WOW is all I can can say C.C., congrats on co-editing a puzzle!

For Al: I noticed your link to Uma was broken?

Here's a link to Uma Thurman

Anonymous said...

Hi CC,

I was disappointed in the clue (reason-based faith) for twenty across. There is a lot of confusion about Deism in the news today and a lot of people try to claim that George Washington was a deist. I am glad you gave your explanation of deism because most Christians know that reason is a gift from God that strengthens faith. Millions of Christian priests have written sermons based on the "reasons" and proofs that Jesus actually rose from the dead on Easter Sunday!

George Washington was an Anglican and he attended Christ's Church which is still standing in Old town, Alexandria, Virginia. He was devout in his belief that God loves us and he wrote many prayers thanking God for things such as harvests and other blessings. Reason is a huge part of Christianity, and "dogma" is a term that actually means truths that can be proven true. Pope Benedict was a professor of "dogmatics" prior to his becoming Cardinal (Joseph Ratzinger).

It is only bothering me since my friends and relatives try to insist I am not a Christian for being a reasonable person, and they know I will prove them wrong so they constantly hint that I am a Deist. I am not around them much anymore.

Kathleen B

Doug P said...

Congratulations, C.C.! And a tip of the hat to Don too. This was a fun theme with great entries. You two did a nice job of fitting in five theme entries without compromising the fill in the rest of the grid. The first thing I entered was DEREK, so that put a smile on this Yankee fan's face. I look forward to solving your next one.

carol said...

Many congratulation C.C.!!! I enjoyed this puzzle more than yesterday...which I didn't really finish. More about that later.

Loved the theme...very clever making both MAKE and BREAK fit the endings.

I had to look up two of the names as I had no idea who TRACY KIDDER was or ALEX (39D).

I spent the entire day at the hospital with my friend yesterday. She had to have a PET scan and when that was over (2+ hours), they wanted an MRI of her brain ASAP. They were able to schedule her at a place a few miles away. That took another hour +.
I was glad to be able to be the 'driver' as she is too weak. We will know in 2 or 3 days the extent of the melanoma spread. It's a very sad case.

Husker Gary said...

Al, Don and C.C., Just the right feel for a Thursday in C.C.’s spectacular debut! R in IERE and BREN eluded me. Other unknown names fell eventually.

-SIL was in Abu Dhabi to talk to some Indian investors about building huge apartment complexes. He skyped from there and I was more impressed than grandkids!
- I saw a lot of EDEMA’s in twisted volleyball player ankles!
-I have not been to see Shamu since he dragged a trainer into the tank and don’t know if they still get in the water with the orcas or not. Wild animals are wild animals are wild animals!
-There are worse things to WAX
-_ E _ E _ yielded JETER first
-Every golfer thinks of Phil when they try to hit a shot they probably shouldn’t!
-I had circle Radii on the brain for a while
-Subbing today and here come the 13 year olds! Yikes!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU Warren for that link to Uma Thurman ....

I knew I was missing something, and my day was not complete - since Al's link 'did not light up'. Warren, you complete me ( err, rather my day -). Officially, I mightily, and most zealously, disapprove of such scanty pictures being hinted at, in this ( otherwise ) intellectual blog.

Clear Ayes said...

I almost got stuck on little ol' 25D "Sub". Clever C.C. and Don G. Sub, as in submarine? Sub, as in substitute? Sub, as in underneath? Finally, sub as in sandwich. C.C., I bet you were smiling last week when we had a sprightly discussion of homonyms.

Nice write-up Al. Thanks for the 11D/CUTIE. I think that "Sweetie Pie" photo might have originally been meant just as much for some young men as for the ladies. :0)

Dennis, I can't help smiling. I believe it was you who wrote a while back that it was better to apologize after the fact than to ask permission.

Denny@9:31, just "Preview" your posts and then you will have to actually count your lines to stay below the "around 20 lines". No reason to annoy C.C. on her special day.

Kathleen B@10:21, what a shame to lose friends and family over religious discussions. That's why C.C. has asked us NOT to do it here.

Dudley said...

Tracy Kidder is well known in W. Mass. His book "Home Town" is about Northampton, the location of my favorite puzzling cafe, among many others. "House" takes place across the river in Hadley. IIRC he now lives in Amherst, where young UMA Thurman went to school, and where Bill Cosby became Dr. Cosby.

Uma Thurman. Goddess. 'Nuff said.

JimmyB said...

Well, a C.C. debut is enough to bring me out of the woodwork! Congrats C.C. and Gags for a top notch puzzle. Like Abejo and Husker Gary have said, it had a Goldilocks "just right" feel to it: challenging but not too frustrating.

I wish I had more time to read all the kudos yet to be posted. I'm sure there will be many. Again, congratulations!

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Thanks for the nice comments, everyone. I now fully understand Marti's warm & fuzzy feeling when she had her puzzle published.

Anonymous said...

Alternate QOD: Consultants have credibility because they are not dumb enough to work at your company. - Scott Adams ( Cartoonist and creator of 'Dilbert').

Joon said...

congrats on your debut, CC! it's a lovely puzzle and you should feel very proud.

melissa bee said...

c.c., congratulations!!!!! just delighted to see your name this morning, i knew it was just a matter of time. are you doing something special to celebrate?

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

What a spectacular first published puzzle, C.C.! As has been noted, we're all so proud of you and amazed at your abilities. Good to have hard G be your partner.

Great write up Al. I hadn't noticed the constructors until I came here.

The puzzle was fun, but, as usual, I didn't get it all. My favorite was "SUE ME". I don't know why.

Carol, I'm so sorry about your friend. That's a tough row to hoe for both of you.
And fermatprime, I hope you do well. It's about time for a break.

This has been a week with no appointments or responsibilities except for helping at church Monday AM and seeing my primary care doctor for a checkup tomorrow. It's been great!


eddyB said...


Yes, congratulations CC. So we learn your last name at last.

CA. the guip is attributed to RAdm Grace Hopper,USN. One of Jill's favorites. I use it all the time.

Ferm. You did nothing and can do nothing about it. I have had the condition for about 20 yrs.

Ten straight days of rain and two to go.

Take care.

Argyle said...

In case you forgot it or missed it, here are a couple of links to C.C.'s tribute puzzle back in September.

Click here for the puz file (Across Lite), and here for the pdf version.

Lucina said...

Congratulations, C.C.!! And to Don G. as well for being generous enough to mentor you.

This was a fun romp, not too easy, not too hard. Just right.

I sashayed through the top but had DINNERDANCES until ABE stopped me in my tracks, then hit my stride again, but really wanted SUGAR for sweetie pie. Aftger erasing it, the corner fell in place.

DEREK, of course,stumped me, but I just let it work out and KIR royale is one of my fav drinks! I'll have one tonight in your honor, C.C.

Ditto on LEADROLE and EGO as well as LAY, hens do it. Loved the clues!

Have a beautiful Thursday, everyone!

Annette said...

Just stopping in for a quick CONGRATULATIONS to C.C. on her debut! What a wonderful surprise!

Thanks to you too, Don.

HeartRx said...

HaHa, C.C. "Warm and fuzzy" says it all. And I bet Boomer is even prouder of you than we all are (if that's possible?) !!

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. A quick in and out. Wonderful puzzle; loved doing it. Congratulations and thank you, C.C. Didn't know the names of the sports figures, as usual, but they were gettable from the perps. Very intelligent theme. Hands up for wanting STEN but knowing it couldn't be that, because of the BREAD. EGO made me smile. Had to wait for the perps to indicate whether it was WHALE or SHAMU. (I had the H and A already). ASSAD and DHABI right next to each other, wow. Best wishes to you all.

lois said...

YeeeeHawww! Congratulations, CC! What a great puzzle, awesome theme, and fun solve! Excellent job! And how fun to work w/Don Hard G! I'm so happy for you and so very proud of you! You are just utterly amazing! Like Dennis, I was wondering how long it took you two to do this. It's really exceptionally good! Very clever! Congratulations, CC! Thank you and Don both for the effort and fun.

Piano lessons, tax prep, drinking. May be back later...may be not. Enjoy your night.

Jerome said...

One hell of a high, isn't it C.C.

It was always a matter of time. And now that day is here. C.C., Crossword Constructor... sounds damn good to me.

And you're a lucky person. Don's one of the best.

SOURDOUGH, JUKEBOX, WOMBAT. Great stuff. Keep 'em coming!

Clear Ayes said...

There was a lot about Elizabeth Taylor on the news last night. I wasn't a big fan, but she certainly was a star in the shining LEAD ROLE sense. I heard mention that she was 5'4" tall. They're growing them a lot bigger nowadays. Today's UMA is 6'0" and my unknown Gabrielle REECE is 6'3". BTW, that thong has got to be uncomfortable!

Carol, I'm very sorry to hear the latest about your friend. It is so difficult to see someone dear to us suffer. As well as taking care of her, take care of yourself.

Oh yes, as HeartRx said, Congratulations to Boomer too. You're one lucky guy (but you knew that already).

dodo said...

Afternoon, peeps,

This is the first Gagliardo puzzle I have been able to finish. I did look up 'marsupial' because I didn't know any others than the possum and the kangaroo group. I suppose that's cheating, but I did have a learning experience.

I really like this one and it moved along quite smoothly, and for me, fairly fast. Thank you, Don & C.C.! And Al, your blog was great, as usual!

So now there are two creators from our little group! I haven't checked
out any other xword blogs, but I'll bet they can't hold a candle to 'ours'!

Congratulations, C.C. and Marti!

HeartRx said...

dodo, don't forget Jerome, who always has something witty to say! And I am still waiting for Splynter...

Anyone else??

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

A puzzle from C.C. and Don - Oh, My!

And - wow - what a gem. Felt just right for a Thursday.

Clever, original theme, cross- referenced clues, ALES, JAILS, CREELS and a WOMBAT!

Great fun. I will MAKE (OR BREAK) nothing of the symmetry of UMA and LAY, which I believe is a potato chip.

ACER could have been clued as State tree of New York, Rhode Island (the RED variety), Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

C.C. and Don - truly a wonderful accomplishment. I BID you, do it again ANI time. Soon, please.

What a terrific day here at the Corner!

JzB the very impressed trombonist

Unknown said...

Congratulations C.C.! Very enjoyable puzzle. You were mentored well by DonG!

Jazzbumpa said...

C.A. -

If you think that thong is uncomfortable, Check this out.

As my son put it, "That headline writer is my HERO!"


g8rmomx2 said...

Congrats to C.C., great puzzle! I actually got the theme which helped a lot in the solving.

I know I am not on much as far as comments, but I always tune in to check on all of you.

Wishing you all a great day!

mtnest995 said...

What a pleasant surprise today. I add my congratulations to you, C.C., to all the others you have already received.

This was no speed run for me, but I was finally able to finish with no assistance. I felt the cluing was fresh and clever.

Thanks again to C.C., Don G. and Al, of course.
Cheers to all!

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

What a great puzzle! Congratulations, C.C., on this accomplishment. Your talent for blogging puzzles and now construction is remarkable! I enjoyed this puzzle more than any of the others in the past week. I caught the theme pretty quickly and really liked a number of the clues, esp. "So I was wrong."

Looking forward to your next one!

Enjoy the evening ~~

Barry S said...

C.C. - I wanted to offer my congratulations to you on a fine debut puzzle! I'll look forward to seeing your byline again.

Thanks C.C. & Don!

Barry Silk

Bill G. said...

I didn't finish this puzzle until late today. When I saw Don's (hard G's) name at the top, I knew I was going to enjoy it. C.C. looked very familiar too but I didn't know for sure about the last name. Then it all came together and I really enjoyed the result.

Thanks C.C. for thinking about me and not including any words like 'aboil' or 'aroar' in the fill. :>) Clever theme and interesting fill. Excellent!

An old friend (almost an old girl friend) and her husband stopped by for a short lunch visit today on their way back from Australia and New Zealand heading home to Williamsburg, Virginia. We drove around Palos Verdes for the scenery and had a good lunch at a little coffee shop there. All in all, a very pleasant day resulting in a late start here at the blog.

dodo said...

OOPs! Sorry, Jerome! I meant three! Is that all or am I missing somebody else? Hope not.
I'm in awe of all of you!

Don G. said...

This theme idea was totally C.C.'s. I recall when constructing this puzzle that C.C. displayed a quality that is very helpful, and that is the resolve to never quit. This puzzle has a tight theme, meaning there are not too many words that satisfy the theme requirements. Thus, theme phrases must be chosen carefully. Also, having five theme entries is always a great challenge, and this one turned out to be especially so. We both worked hard at finding the magical grid that would allow things to happen. I suppose we could have chosen different theme answers, but we really liked JUKE BOX RECORDS, and having a 15 in the center was also nice. So we slugged it out on this one. Rich added some very lovely touches on the clues. C.C. shows tremendous promise as a constructor. Right now she fills a puzzle as well as I can. I admire that, considering how long she has been doing this. She has come a long way in a short time!

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, Wow! What a great puzzle for your premier publication. Congratulations! You know that we are very proud of your accomplishment. Well done C.C. and Don.

I had to look up Kidder's first name and the NE corner was the last to fall. I tried Moo, Baa, then Out and finally had the light come on when cutie filled in.

Tracy Reece was also an unknown, but I guessed at Tracy and that worked.

The rain has stopped for the moment. But I spent the afternoon at the theater in the mall watching "the King's Speech". What a great movie.

Have a great evening everyone.

Clear Ayes said...

It has been raining so hard with 40 MPH wind gusts, that our chorus practice this evening was canceled. That's too bad because we need all the practice we can get. OTOH, nobody should be out on the roads in this kind of weather. There is also the bonus that I am already in my pajamas with a glass of shiraz at the ready and next stop is tomorrow's puzzle.

Thanks again to C.C. for the special treat today. We all hope that you will soon be on Rich Norris' list of regulars.

Have a good evening everyone. Hope you all are safe and dry.

HUTCH said...

Dear Kathleen B. Look up Scholastisism someday. It was, and is a pretty good approach.

WikWak said...

Having followed C.C. since the early days at the Star-Trib (usually lurking in the bushes), I feel as though someone in my family just graduated Magna Cum Laude from a prestigious University. Congratulations, C.C.!

Jalmar said...

C.C. you are awesome, and I really appreciate the shout out from Barry Silk, Doug Peterson, Joon pahk and our own JL and Jerome

Jeannie said...

Someone took my number. C.C. you should be really proud of yourself being published. I have not attemped your puzzle as I have a huge show looming up ahead and lost a day (yesterday) as we got a foot of snow here and they didn't forcast it and did not plow my road until 2pm.

JVJ24601 said...

C.C. *clap,clap,clap,clap...* Congratulations!!!

JVJ24601 said...

And you would be right. Hubba! Hubba! LOL :o) ;)
I also liked the wombat poem. Its style, reminded me of Roald Dahl's "Revolting Rhymes". CA are you familiar with them...his poetic, ADULT versions of several fairy tales? Here's one: Cinderella