Jun 18, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011 Peter A. Collins

Theme: None

Words: 70

Blocks: 28

A tough offering from one of our regular constructors - I went with the Downs first, and so I didn't nail the first grid spanner right away-

17A. Top 10 single on the 1970 album "Abraxas" : BLACK MAGIC WOMAN - Santana

...had me a grid that was predominately blank for most of the time, until I hit on

29A. They're not near the action : CHEAP SEATS

... which broke it open for me; before that, I was considering throwing in the "red-letter" towel; and the other spanner,

54A. Didn't just go : ASKED PERMISSION - a simple, yet thoughtful fill

Splynter, here with another Saturday offering for your perusal


1. Old Eurasian letters : USSR - did anyone else start with CCCP, the Cyrillic version?

5. Bean counter : NUMBERS GUY - stared at "_u_bers guy" for a long time...

15. Home of H. Rousseau's "The Sleeping Gypsy" : MOMA - TATE? had to be a museum or art gallery, I figured

16. How travelers' bags are screened : ONE AT A TIME - I have not traveled by air for 8 years, was thinking "IN AN XRAY _ _"

19. Old-style street show : RAREE - I have heard of this

20. Tub contents : BATH - I had oleo to start

21. Depend : REST - I had RELY to start

22. Affected : ARTSY

23. A, B or C, perhaps: Abbr. : ANS - thought KEY, GRADE, etc.

24. Like an alias : FALSE - I usually hear "FALSE ALIBI", not FALSE ALIAS

25. Writ word : HABEAS - we have legal experts on the blog who can step in here

27. Wane : SAG - I had EBB to start

28. 1992 gold medal-winning Dream Team coach Chuck : DALY - I don't do basketball - personally, a waste of time and good hardwood....

35. Some six-pack contents : ALE - Felt good about my "ABS" here

36. Six-pack alternative? : BEER GUT - great answer, I had BEER KEG

37. It's best if it's well-seasoned : WOK - cast iron pans, too

38. Party stipulation : NO CHILDREN - I agree

40. Gentle way to go : EASY

41. Picker-upper's concern: Abbr. : ETA - Did anyone else think "Bounty", the paper towel?

42. Shuts out, in slang : SKUNKS - Both the Bruins and Canucks got shut out twice in the Stanley Cup finals; Vancouver in game 7, at home - they just plain "STUNK" in the series.  My brother drove up to Boston for the parade

44. Takes it slow : LOLLS

47. Eastern way : TAO - getting to be a crossword standard

49. '70s toothpaste with "green sparkles" : GLEEM

51. Call, in a way : HAIL - as a cab

52. Pot user : CHEF - uh, not my first thought....

53. Language that gives us "shampoo" : HINDI


58. Wood fastener : T-NUT - this do-dad

59. Certain tax determinant : ASSESSMENT

60. They may be first class: Abbr. : SGTS


1. Sunspot center : UMBRA - Latin for shadow; in this case, it's actually a "cool" spot on the sun's surface, relatively speaking

2. Phenomenon caused by ice crystals between the Earth and sun : SOLAR HALO - I don't think I have witnessed this; I have seen something similar, at night with the moon, so I thought "LUNAR" at first - I did have the HALO part....and two Astrological clues in a row....

3. One making cracks : SMART ALEC

4. Happens quickly : RACES BY

5. Camus, for one : NOM - see 43D - Albert Camus was "French", hence his "name" in French

6. Brazen : UNABASHED

7. Kid-lit Judy Moody series author McDonald : MEGAN - new movie coming out based on this popular character when I was a kid - but I was a boy, I didn't read about 'girls', with their cooties....

8. Entices : BAITS

9. Permanently mark : ETCH

10. Word with deal or nerves : RAW - First fill for me

11. Possible reason for folding : STORAGE

12. Letter on a dreidel : GIMEL  - I am not up on my Hebrew alphabet

13. Sch. with a Lowell campus : UMASS - so here's a map, just because there isn't much to link today

14. "Fiddler on the Roof" matchmaker : YENTE - Did consider YENTA to start

18. __ Luke of Charlie Chan films : KEYE

24. Ritual abstinence : FAST

26. Rapid Northeast train : ACELA - AMTRAK

27. Moxie : SPUNK

28. Castellaneta who voices Homer Simpson : DAN - the man who improvised "D'oh", which is now in the dictionary

30. Transpose digits, say : ERR

31. Golden, Silver, Bronze and Iron, to Ovid : AGES OF MAN - tried "precious" here

32. One may be rude : AWAKENING

33. Ejected : TOSSED OUT

34. Diving milieu : SKY - had SEA first

36. Smithereens : BITS

39. Athens native : HELLENE - Tried GRECIAN early on

40. Volunteers : ENLISTS

43. Disgusted chorus : UGHs - like seeing French in my crosswords....

44. High capital : LHASA - DENV'R didn't fit

45. Hops driers : OASTS

46. Fancies : LIKES

47. 100,000 BTU : THERM - Learning moment for me

48. John Denver album with an eagle's silhouette on the cover : AERIE - I am a HUGE fan, but this one I did not know - came out when I was 9 months old....nice alternative to "high nest"

50. Cashier's counter bowlful : MINTS - the progress was PENNY, COINS, CENTS, MINTS

52. Naval noncoms : CPOs - Chief Petty Officer

55. AA issue : DTs - Delirium Tremens, more of a medical issue - THEN they suggest you start going to me, I have been there, and I am still there - see "Leaving Las Vegas" for a good example

56. QB's miscue : INT-erception, that is, passing it to the other team



fermatprime said...

Greetings fellow cruciverbalists!

Re yesterday's blog:

Lemonade--I was at a small get together once upon a time which included young Scottish dancers. They thought highly of the Hamish TV series and were quite perturbed by my objections!

Sorry about the cobb salad kerfuffle! I have only seen it (mis)spelled in restaurants, with one B. I omitted my favorite answer, which was STOLI. (Something I learned after I gave up drinking.)

I had a short nap after blogging and woke up with horrible itching all over. My ENT specialist had recommended Zyrtec, in lieu of rubbling various creams all over. It upset my stomach so bad that I had the worst acid reflux of my life! The day went down hill from there. Had no luck trying to get ATT Uverse to remove to egregiously unjust service charges for $55 each. Now they have risen to $150, I am told. (It would cost a small fortune to buy myself out of their contact!)

to be continued...

fermatprime said...

I have read all of Lisa Scottoline's books except the last. Do not think I shall buy the it!

Buckeye--your poem was hilarious! I always enjoy your posts!

On to today's disaster. Had to have red letters on until I got some headway. Then the thing practically filled itself in. Peculiar. Saw a program which featured the ACELA. Fascinating. Nice work, Peter and Splynter. Knew KEYE LUKE immedately. Faked Santana song. I also got attached to RELY, Splynter.

Thanks for article, Jayce. Was pretty disheartening, I thought.

Happy weekend!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - I wonder where Peter Collins hails from, that he would know about the Lowell campus of UMass. It's not as well known as the hefty Amherst campus. I graduated from there in 1982, when it was still known as ULowell.

Wherever he's from, he must have sprayed the NW of this puzzle with Stubbornite. That pesky corner wouldn't yield, even with SOLARHALO and SMARTALEC filled in. The problem: never heard of RAREE or KEYE, ARTSY didn't seem to fit the clue, and I was thinking Sanskrit or something instead of USSR.

The rest went the usual Saturday way, maybe a bit faster because BLACK MAGIC WOMAN went straight in and solidified the thing. I sure loved the Abraxas album!

Like your style, Splynter!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Really tough going today, partially do to cluing that seemed a bit off to me. Like Splynter, I had OLEO for 20A since it's hard to imagine how a BATH can be the "contents" of a tub. Similarly, SAG doesn't quite seem to fit "wane".

Anyway, I managed to make slow and relatively steady through the puzzle with multiple passes, except that the NW corner remained stubbornly undoable for a long time. I didn't know the song BLACK MAGIC WOMAN off the top of my head (although I did recognize it one I got it), so that was no help. I also went the extremely obscure route for 1A and put in EDHS (edh is an obsolete letter used in Old English and other languages). And I also put ABS instead of ALE at 35A.

DALY and KEYE were complete unknowns, and I incorrectly assumed that "The Sleeping Gypsy" was a story and that 15A was asking for the location where the action was set.

I finally replaced ABS with ALE, which got the ball rolling. That let me get SMART ALEC, which got me HABEAS, and everything suddenly fell into place after that. Fortunately, RAREE was one of the few answers that I knew early on in that section, so that provided a little toehold.

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Splynter, C.C. et al.

You could substitute my name for yours in the write-up, Splynter, because I had almost exactly the same experience with this one. Except I had "cents" instead of MINTS at first, not "penny". I put in USSR at 1A and thought I was going to fly through it. Then I got to 5A, 15A, 16A...well, you get the picture. Had YENTa, yes.

The next fill I was sure of was OASTS...waaaaaay down south. But picking and pecking eventually led to a completion, with only two lookups for KEYE and MEGAN (I don't read many children's books...)

Loved "Six pack alternative" for BEER GUT, next to ALE, "Some six pack sontents". Great stuff, and a really fun puzzle in the end.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Lemonade714 said...

I agree the NW was the most difficult section but RAREE was one we have had before. ARTSY was slow to fall. I did like seeing STENTORIAN, which is an old time newspaper word used to describe the speeches of politicians. There are some advantages to being around for along time. Like most Saturdays, the puzzle looked impossible, but once the long ones filled, it was over.

Anonymous said...

Lemonade, I respect you greatly, and your knowledge is prodigious - but the link you provide above is a bunch of JUNK.

Anonymous said...

( I really regret having to say this - )

Anonymous said...

And it's not the first time.

Husker Gary said...

Splynter, OMG, I got the NE corner quickly and then just a piece here and there. I turned on my trusty VAIO and had to get help on about 9 cells before it all came.

-Hard Northwest Passage for me as well
-No chance on RAREE but theme parks are full of wonderful street performers who are amazing to watch!
-Wondered where that gypsy might be sleeping for a long time
-Had YENTA, SEA and EBB too
-Wanted SUNDOG
-Reason for folding – BADHAND?
-DTS are an unpleasant memory for me near Father’s Day
-It looks like Vancouver fans stunk after the game too

Grumpy 1 said...

Yup.. same problems as the rest of you. I really wanted 'accountant' for 5a, but a quick check of the downs told me that wasn't going to work. This was definitely a pick and shovel job, but after it was done I looked at it and thought "OK, what was so tough about that?" But then I looked at all of the strikeovers from the misdirections. Mr Collins did a great job on this one.

jjinfl said...

This puzzle was too difficult for me. I struggled over the long entries (I struggled over "Numbers guy" thinking first of "accountant" and that got me off track from the start. There were words in here that I never heard before (stentorian)and a couple of the two-word combinations (beer gut..I had keg) and (cheap seats..was thinking more of a war situation). Had to look up too many answers.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Thanks for the commentary, Splynter.

A really tough one, but then it's Saturday. I had many of the same experiences as most of the rest of you. Needed red letter help in the NW with BLACK but that was enough to get UMBRA and SOLAR and finish it. Got the east and bottom without much hassle. WAGs included MEGAN and DAN. Especially liked the clueing for LHASA, NOM, SKY, and WOK. T-NUT made me think. A good Saturday grinder.

eddyB said...

Hello all.

A solid Sat puzzle. Knew a few to get started. Some we have had before.

Usually wait in the free cell lot and wait for Jill to call. (41A)
Her turn to wait the end of Sept.

Speeking of Sept, hockey starts in 3 months. Dallas hired their AHL
coach to lead the Stars.

Watching practice at Milwaukee.
Dario has P1 during session 2.

Take care.

Bill G. said...

I'm not a fan of Saturday puzzles but I got it done with more red-letter help than usual. I was pleased to suss out STENTORIAN with no help or crossing letters.

I would say that aliases are always false; alibis can be true or false. At least that's the way it seems to me.

Unlike FP, I didn't much care for the poem yesterday. Too belittling? Hits uncomfortably close to home? Dunno...

HeartRx said...

Lemonade, from yesterday, I had to look up John Lescroart because I didn't recognize the name. But I realized that I actually did read "The Vig" many years ago. None of the others as far as I can remember. After going through all of Ludlum's Bourne series, I think I lost my taste for spy novels.

Hahtool, I'll have to check out Wedding Song, too!

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

It's raining here! What a surprise. We need it badly.

Splynter, the few I got and the few I guessed matched your comments. DNF, which is not strange for a Saturday.
I agree that SAG does not seem to go with Wane. Had candy, not mints. But that's close!

With our surprising rainy afternoon, I believe I shall spend it reading & snoozing.


Tinbeni said...

As a NUMBERS-GUY, for over 36 years, I just want to say:
"I have never, ever, counted a bean."

In my youth, I was a 'Pot user' ... I guess, in a way, I was a CHEF.

jjinfi; I like your Beer-KEG.
I put in Scotch's (hey, it fit).

I do the 'daily-crossword' to have FUN.

Can't say I've enjoyed Saturday's for a while.

DNF ... after 8 wags and at least 10 WTF's.
Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

Cheers to all at Sunset !!!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I just hit the wrong key and lost my post. !@#$%&! I hate when that happens. Oh well, it wasn't really anything special and just agreed with most the problems that everyone else had.

The puzzle did seem kind of "theme-ish" to me. Not at a Santana BLACK MAGIC WOMAN concert, but at a long ago Hall & Oats concert, the BEER GUT guys in the CHEAP SEATS were being SMART ALEC SKUNKS and got TOSSED OUT, ONE AT A TIME. I guess not everybody had a crush on Daryl Hall like I did.

I spent several hours last night singing along at the top of my lungs at our neighborhood "joint". GAH is more of a "hummer-along". Our around-the-corner neighbor is a a decent guitar player and singer and does a pretty good cover of just about every Eagles/Creedence/Doobie/Lynyrd Skynyrd and even Pink Floyd number that we could think off. Lots of fun, but tiring...I think it's a good time for a Saturday nap.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Well, yesterday's and Thursday's I could not finish, but today's I did. Prolly because I actually spent time and effort to work it. However, I could not have finished it had I not looked up Abraxas, Jusy Moody, and the John Denver album. Had many of the same pitfalls that you folks did.

I still have to go look up raree to see what the heck it is.

Somehow I remembered Keye Luke, but I don't know why. At first I thought I was wrng because I thought his name was spelled Key.

Naturally I incautiously entered ACCOUNTANT and had to erase it later. Of course.

Loved STENTORIAN and HABEUS. Did not like UGHS.

Fermatprime, I hope you get the various difficulties that have been besetting you solved soon.

Lucina said...

Good afternoon, Splynter, C.C. et alia.

I echo your experience, Splynter, almost exactly, except coins.

This took me most of the day because I did it slowly and in small chunks of time as I'm busy washing and packing for my next trip when I shall meet the CA Coven!

Being very proud of myself for finishing the SW I thought it might be EASY, but huh? who am I kidding on a Saturday. Luckily I recalled that shampoo was from HINDI, the AGES OF MAN and so it went but knew I had to search for the many unknown names, DAN,ACELA, MEGAN and DALY.

NOM, Camus for one, was clever and did not fool me. However, plenty of other fill did but enjoyed the trip. Thank you, Peter.

You are always included in my prayers.

I hope everyone's Saturday has been stupendous!

Splynter said...

Hi Again ~!

(sigh) - yep, three months to hockey....

I did have BAD HAND to start with folding, too.

And, uh, I was a "chef" at one point, too.


Jayce said...

Oh my oh my! Lucina, you are coming to Calif to meet the coven. Wow, Calif is gonna rock! Might even shear off the mainland and becme and island! I wish you all have tons 'o' fun!

JD said...

Good afternoon Saturday bloggers,

This one looked impossible after filling only 10 that I was sure about.Luckily I'm married to a numbers guy, so I picked away at the NE, one at a time.Gimel fell in there after changing rely to rest.Had to G Megan.

Looked up Moma and Daly, wagged black, and finally topped solar with a halo.Got a big laugh out of cheap seats,and ale next to beer gut.

Although Gleam and Hindi went in on my 1st go around, I DNF the SE. I gave Al and Peter a namaste.

I have been running in and out all day gardening. It helps resee and rethink those clues, like "writ word".

Bill G. said...

Do you want a foul ball as bad as this one guy apparently did?

creature said...

Good Evening C.C,, Splynter and all,

Lots of happenings today and couldn’t get to puzzle til much later. Thanks for a super write-up, Splynter. It was definitely a challenge. Thanks to Peter, also.

I had most of the problems/slow downs that everyone had. It took hours of back and forth on the grid and lots of guess work and aha moments. I don’t often string them along to this extent, but it became my avoidance / relaxation mechanism. Whew! Lots to learn {remember}.

Get a good night’s sleep everyone.

Lucina said...

Yes, the meeting might be akin to a sonic boom! Listen for it next week.

Lemonade714 said...


it may be too late, but Lescroart writes lawyer mysteries now; he is one of a group of authors from the Sacramento area

Abejo said...

Good Evening, folks. Thank you, Peter, for the puzzle. I must say it was not very doable. Thank you Splynter for your great notes.

I never really got a solid foothold on this. As I have said before, I do puzzles hard copy and with a pen. When you have multiple wrong answers it really makes it hard to get past those and start fresh.

The NW, SE, and the center were the toughest spots for me. That's all. I got KEYE Luke, STENTORIAN, NUMBERSGUY, ONEATATIME, and quite a few others.

I had THE SECONDS instead of CHEAP SEATS. That was just impossible to overcome.

Anyhow, I hope Sunday's is at least completable.

See you all tomorrow.


dodo said...

evening friends,

It's so late no one will be around to read this. Didn't do today's puzzle after trying a round and getting nowhere.

I just wanted to say, Lemon, I just finished a John Lescroart from 2001. "Nothing But The Truth". A friend put me on to Lescroart about a year ago and I read one and liked Dismis Hardy but lost track of him and his writer. Finally I found the above mentioned at our Friends of the Library Used Book Shop, a really fun place. How great to finally find a forgotten character! I got another one, too, 'The Suspect'.

Fermat. why do you suppose they deliberately ignore the character's physical description when casting the movies? The same thing turned me right off of the Elizabeth George adaptations. The main character is supposed to be blond and blue-eyed and very tall. They put a dark-haired very ordinary man in the part!