Jul 14, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011, Jeff Chen

Theme: The Truth Is Out There, revealed in 64A. You can find one in the four longest puzzle answers, even if you don't believe: UFO.

17A. Continental alliance's intl. strategy: EU FOREIGN POLICY. Abbr. European Union, and abbr. international.

25A. Treat thicker than the original: DOUBLE STUF OREO. Extreme oreo.

43A. Toyota RAV4 competitor: SUBARU FORESTER. SUVs.

57A. Complaint after a reluctant act: YOU FORCED MY HAND.

Hi all, Al here as usual on a Thursday, with a hidden word theme. Did you spot the Unidentified Flying Objects split between words in all cases? I hope there wasn't any deep probing needed.


1. Medea's husband: JASON. Sorceress daughter of King Aeetes, who possessed the golden fleece. Unwilling to give it up, he set a series of impossible tasks for Jason to obtain it. Medea fell in love with Jason and assisted him in return for a promise of marriage.

6. Tarboosh : Arabic :: __ : Turkish: FEZ. The 11th Doctor says Fezzes are cool. (spoilers, his significant other doesn't agree.)

9. When bulls crow?: BOOMS. Bulls make money in the stock market when the economy is expanding (buy low, sell high later). Bears are betting that there will be a downturn or recession on the way (sell high futures, buy back low later).

14. Utah County seat: PROVO.

15. Obit number: AGE. Astaxanthin resveratrol

16. Hamilton of "The Terminator": LINDA. In her prime, except for the fourth pic...

20. Prime meridian hrs.: GMT. Greenwich Mean Time.

21. Drops a pop: ERRS. Baseball. Pop-ups should become easy outs.

22. Otolaryngologist's diagnosis: OTITIS. Inflammation of the middle ear.

23. "Richard III" star McKellen: IAN.

24. E or G, e.g.: NOTE. Music, A through G.

32. Bluesy Waters: ETHEL. I so wanted to fill this with Muddy.

33. Resistance units: OHMS. Named for Georg Ohm, a pioneer in electricity theory.

34. "Outstanding!": RAD. Shortening of radical.

36. Looking displeased: POUTY. Glad it wasn't MOUEY.

37. 50-50, say: TIE. In basketball, perhaps. Possible but unlikely in football, very unlikely in other sports.

38. Covered in goo: GUNKY.

40. Allotment word: PER. Per diem means "for each day".

41. Rabbit's title: BRER. Shortening of brother.

42. Actor Davis: OSSIE.

47. Two-time Indy 500 champ Luyendyk: ARIE.

48. Old boat-steering tool: OAR.

49. Yes or no follower: SIRREE.

52. Askew view: BIAS. True clue.

54. Storm of the '90s: GEO. GM's release of an Izusu.

60. Slop: SWILL. Old English swilian, swillan "to wash, gargle," related to the root word of swallow.

61. Canada's smallest prov.: PEI. Prince Edward Island.

62. Moved like goo: OOZED.

63. Country's Tucker: TANYA. A millionaire by the age of 16, married Glen Campbell (45 at the time) when she was 21. When you look up "wild child" in the dictionary, it has her picture by the definition.

65. Draws closer: NEARS.


1. File format for pics: JPEG. Joint Photographic Experts Group. A compression format that allows pictures to retain their image, yet not take as much storage (if you choose).

2. __ lily: ARUM. Pretty.

3. Player's piano?: SOFT. The full instrument name, pianoforte, literally means soft-loud.

4. Ab __: from the start: OVO. A reference to one of the twin eggs of Leda and Zeus, disguised as a swan, from which Helen was born. Had Leda not lain the egg, Helen would not have been born, so Paris could not have eloped with her, so there would have been no Trojan War.

5. "Seriously!": NO, REALLY!.

6. Not foul: FAIR. More baseball.

7. Clutch contents: EGGS. A clutch is a "nest" in reference to chickens, from clekken "to hatch" perhaps of imitative origin (cluck).

8. Path to enlightenment: ZEN. from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word Chán, which can be approximately translated as "meditation" or "meditative state".

9. Smashed: BLOTTO. Soaked.

10. Slicker: OILIER.

11. Taking care of business: ON IT.

12. Year when "Hamlet" is believed to have been completed: MDCI.To believe or not to believe, that is the question...

13. Remarks: SAYS.

18. Beach bird: ERNE. The sea eagle.

19. Vanishing sounds: POOFS. Unless you're trapped in an elevator and can't get away. SBDs are only funny to one person.

23. "Doubtful": I BET.

24. Dígito: NUMERO. Spanish digit, number.

25. He played Dillinger in "Public Enemies" (2009): DEPP. Johnny.

26. Great Plains natives: OTOES.

27. Swahili for "freedom": UHURU. Or, the communications officer of the USS Enterprise.

28. "Got that right!": SO TRUE.

29. One taking things wrong?: THIEF. Nice meta-clue. Did you take it wrong?

30. Dadaist Max: ERNST. Certainly not boring.

31. Jack of "The Great Dictator": OAKIE.

35. Batik artist: DYER. This has appeared enough times to not have to search for it, right?

38. Show leniency toward: GO EASY ON.

39. Red letters?: USSR. Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

41. Prickly shrub: BRIER. To go along with Brer Rabbit.

44. Person sometimes 9-Down: BARFLY.

45. Biological ring: AREOLA. Not linking this, even with safe-search on.

46. Gallivant: ROAM. Play the gallant, flirt, gad about.

49. Part of DOS: Abbr.: SYST. Disk Operating System. Why is internal storage a "disk", but a CD-ROM is a "disc"? A disk is magnetic, and a disc is optical (and removable), but that still doesn't explain why...

50. Midwest university with 23 team wrestling championships: IOWA.

51. Bollix up: RUIN.

52. Grievance: BEEF.

53. Peculiar: Pref.: IDIO. Idiosyncratic.

54. Strip under duress?: GAZA. Today' geography lesson.

55. Cabinet dept. since 1977: ENERgy.

56. Numbers on horses: ODDS.

58. PC core: CPU. Central Processing Unit.

59. Soil-moving tool: HOE.



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Toughest puzzle so far this week, that's for sure! I got the theme reveal early on, which helped me get some of the theme answers, but it was still touch and go for awhile.

EUFOREIGNPOLICY just baffled me for the longest time, even after checking and double-checking all the perps. I originally started it with EURO (wondering what the heck SORT had to do with a piano), but finally realized that "piano" referred to the dynamic and not the instrument.

The clue for FEZ was completely impenetrable, but it made sense once I had the perps.

I had GO SOFT ON instead of GO EASY ON at 38D, which messed me up for awhile. Ditto for PLEASE instead of SIRREE at 49A.

Finally, just because I'm an idiot, I put in PAE instead of PEI at 61A. I really don't know why I did that, other than the aforementioned idiocy, but that kept me from getting the "TADA!" at the end until I wasted a minute or so checking all the answers for my mistake.

Anonymous said...

54 d Gaza w/o help from the others in the area. I had no clue.

45 down biological ring I was thinking this. Rings on tree.


Fun Facts by Dave Letterman

When Pope John Paul II visited Yankee Stadium in 1979, he struck out six Red Soxs in five innings of work.

Due to a clerical error, the Nobel Prize in chemistry was once awarded to a parakeet.

Anonymous said...

The earlier word is disk, which came into the English language in the middle of the 17th century, and (probably following pre-existing words such as risk) it was spelled with a k.

The spelling disc was introduced in the 18th century, following an increasing tendency to base the spelling of words on their roots: in this case the Latin word discus and the Greek word δισκος (note that kappa in Greek is usually transliterated by c rather than k).

disk vs disc

creature said...

Good Morning CC, Al and all,

Really took some time this AM. The theme was fun, but the fill for 25A tricked me with the single ‘F’.
It was hard to sign off on as was SOFT, which came from perps. I misspelled BRIER with an ‘A’, which slowed down SIRREE. My final and unyielding blank was the ‘P’ in 61A/58D; when I looked them up, it hit me. Doh!

Al, bravo! Thanks for all that work. I’m at a loss over 15A AGE link.

Jeff, bravo to you ,as well, sir. Many thanks for your work.

Have a nice day everyone.

Argyle said...

For all you true beleivers, The Flying Saucer (Parts 1 & 2)(4:33) by Buchanan & Goodman, 1956.

"This is a restoration of the original pressing, before copyright lawyers forced Goodman to replace some of the musical clips with other versions of the same songs." - mojofilter02

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning friends. This puzzle didn't do anything for me. I got UFO before completing the other theme clues, so I knew I had to fit those letter in somehow.

I, too, initially tried Muddy Waters.

My favorite clue was Red Letters? = USSR.

Creature, I thing that Orbit Number = AGE refers to the fact that with every orbit of the earth around the sun, you age a year. At least, that's my take on the clue.

Today is Bastille Day in France.

QOD: History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville

creature said...


First, my puzzle says "Obit" not orbit; second, Al's link is what I don't get.

Your explanation definitely fits 'orbit'. Thanks a lot.

Barry G. said...

Hahtool: The clue was actually "Obit Number" and not "Orbit Number."

Obit is short for obituary, and those typically (although not always) mention the AGE of the deceased.

Barry G. said...

Or what creature just said... ^_^

I think Al's links are to supposedly age-reversing drugs that are currently being investigated.

Yellowrocks said...

About your comment last night:
Yes, I have read "Elephants Child" and love all the "Just So" stories. I believe that Elephant Child's curiosity actually helped him. All the other elephants saw the benefit of the long trunk and had theirs stretched, too. When I taught I had my students write there own Just So stories and collected them in a booklet. The stories were very creative and fun.
What puzzled me about teaching reading was that kids could read an article without understanding the meaning of the key word on which the article was based, and never care that their reading made no sense. I can't relate to that attitude. I look up unknown words all the time, ask dozens of questions, re read and Google.

Grumpy 1 said...

"Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please," said Brer Rabbit. "Only please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the BRIAR patch." ... Well, that's the way (and probably where) I learned to spell BRIAR and never knew until today there was an alternate spelling. Sure messed with my head for awhile as I knew 49a had to be SIRREE and not SIRREa.

There's another Davis in crosswords besides Geena and the Garfield creator?

Just yesterday I asked if constructors would ever run out of ways to clue OREO. Not yet.

Fairly slow for me for a Thursday, but all of my unknowns were 'perpable' so all is well.

Thanks for the write up and links, Al.

Avg Joe said...

Good morning Al and all.

Thursday tough and kind of a slog. IMO the theme was pretty weak, but there was enough else to like that it was worth the effort in the end. Still don't care for the alternate spelling for Briar, but it's legit so I guess I should just get over it.

And then, in the commentary, we get the visual image of an elevator emission! :-)

Since brier is likely to be a common gripe today, an appropriate earworm is in order. Johnny Horton. No need to thank me. :-)

Hahtoolah said...

What can I say, My eyes are dim, I cannot see. On closer inspection, I can see that Barry G is correct, I read the clue wrong.

sherry said...

Puzzle turned me off early. Way too tough. Solved the Sudoku instead. Easy!

kazie said...

I DNF today because I got hung up on unknowns and no time to google. PROVO, DOUBLE STUF !!??--where's the extra F? never heard of them anyway, since I never eat OREOS. Also never heard of ETHEL and wanted MUDDY, didn't know OAKIE, misspelled both SUBURU and BRIAR, had SPILL for SWILL, so in general a complete disaster. Got the theme and the other long answers though.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Went down the MUDDY road, flirted with GEENA, fell into the BRIAR patch, went all dada for PETER Max, felt a bit BLOTTO not recognizing JASON, came up dryer on DYER, and for some reason had trouble tucking TANYA into the SW corner. That's my IDIO BEEF.

Had to ROAM all over looking for perps, g-spotted a few names, finally finished. Tough Thursday!

Al - didn't want to g-spot AREOLA with safe search off (no kids in my house - why have it on?) but YOU FORCED MY HAND on those JPEGs. No SIREE, I will not BEEF. And since you always do such a great job, I'll GO EASY ON you.

The heat wave broke Tuesday evening, and last night was perfect for an outdoor concert.

We're driving the girls to another swim meet tonight.

Retirement sure is boring!

JzB the trombonist of a certain AGE

Jeff Chen said...

Hi all!

I had a tough time filling this grid, and when I was relatively satisfied (leaving a random Roman numeral is one of my pet peeves but couldn't avoid it) I started to clue UHURU around Star Trek... then realized it's Lieutenant UHURA! Rats. Some Trekkie I am (I was a huge TNG fan, not so much the later cruddy stuff).


Jazzbumpa said...

Now, THIS is an interesting (Heliacus) AREOLA image.

And even safe for work!

JzB the shell-shocked trombonist

Tinbeni said...

Al: Super write-up. Thank you!

Jeff: Thank you for a FUN Thursday.
Loved the BLOTTO & BAR-FLY fill.
(I wonder why?)

Literally did this from the bottom-up.
UFO was my second entry (off the CPU).
EU FOREIGN POLICY was my fave theme ... though
I think I'll pickup some DOUBLE-STUF OREO at the grocery.

When I solve (on paper, in ink) I cross off each clue as I go along. If I'm not sure about the answer (ie. a WAG) I circle the clue.
When I finished today, I had 16 clues circled.
Soooo, I guess this was my "all-time" WAG-fest.

Cheers to all at sunset.

Argyle said...

So it's up to me, huh?

One arum lily & two areolae.

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Al, C.C. et al.

I really enjoyed your write-up today, Al! Great links.

I had many of the same mis-steps as others with this one, and some original ones of my own. "at IT" instead of ON IT, yUcKY instead of GUNKY, grueL instead of SWILL (See? I was getting really creative with this one.)

Fav clue/answers were "Strip under duress" for GAZA, "Clutch contents" for EGGS (I was thinking of a "clutch purse", contents could be anything), "When bulls crow" for BOOMS, and "Player's piano" for SOFT. Great stuff.

Have a lovely day, everyone!

Tinbeni said...

How did YOU get that shot of Gal-Pal?

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Thanks for the Pianoforte explanation, Al. I admit, I got lost on the Obit/AGE link too. So much to read about and absorb.

Kazie, :o) you just need to be a few years older to get some of the clues. ETHEL Waters was one of the first black women stars. Later in life she place "Beulah" on TV. Jack OAKIE was an affable comedy actor in the 20's and 30's.

Avg Joe, Loved the Battle of New Orleans video. I couldn't figure out if Johnny Horton was costumed as Santa Claus or an angel version of one of the combatants in the Battle.

Grumpy 1 said...

Jeff, thanks for stopping by. I wondered if some of the fill was the result of trying to find something that would work, There were certainly a few unusual entries. Good job.

Spitzboov said...

Hello everyone.

Jeff, thanks for stopping by. You are forgiven. Just had more trouble than usual getting on Jeff's wavelength. Needed red letter help in the NE and had trouble with the theme words. Could not make the leap from bulls to Wall Street. DUH. Agree with most of the other comments. Thought GAZA and EGGS had great clues. Jeff pushed us on this one which I do appreciate; you always learn something.

Have a good day.

Lucina said...

Hello, all and Al, thanks for the great blogging. I always learn something.

This was fun to grok and ETHEL Waters helped to break out the center, along with Johnny DEPP (beautiful man!).

Ditto on "orbit" first then, finally, obit which gave me AGE and EGGS.

I'm in the BRIAR patch, too.

Some great clues:
red letters? USSR
when bulls crow? BOOM

Thanks, Jeff! This was fun!

Have a beautiful Thursday, everyone!

kazie said...

Thanks for acknowledging my problem. that makes me feel a lot better.

I wasn't being unappreciative earlier either. I just get upset when I can't conquer these. it was a good puzzle despite my shortcomings.

And Al,
I don't know how you do it--so many areas of knowledge to give so many details on. Great job again!

JD said...

Good morning Al, C.C. et al,

Hats off to you Jeff. You aren't the only one who had a hard time filling the grid. LOL!You do a great end of week puzzle. I had to seek Al's help for too many things: booms, otitis, ohms, ovo, Ernst....You're the best, Al.

The obit link didn't jive with me either; I will return to it.

Argyle, fun flying saucer link.

favorite clues were for thief and Gaza.

Yellowrocks, I really did see the benefit of his curiosity, although a good nose pull doesn't sound advantageous. My class also wrote those clever stories, before we had to spend more time writing 5 paragraph persuasive essays.

A beautiful day for a picnic here.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Fun puzzle today. Started off with JASON as a gimme, then went totally blank until IAN and OHMS, and more blanks until I tentatively entered PEI. A lot of white space! I really should have known LINDA right off the bat, but as is more and more usual these days I remembered her face but not her name. It took a lot of back and forth to little by little solve the whole thing, but I'm gratified I didn't have to look anything up.

Hand up for penciling in MUDDY; had to erase it, of course. Felt as uncomfortable with the spelling of BRIER as I did yesterday with SAKI.

Couldn't help but notice a mini-thingy going on with some of the downs, namely NO Really, SO True, and GO Easy. I kept looking for a unifier.

Loved SUBARU FORESTER; fabulous fill! BLOTTO, OTITIS, GUNKY, and SWILL were pretty cool, too.

Our paper printed the clue for 24D as D'gito, so I had no clue (haha) what that was all about, even after filling in NUMERO.

Al said...

@Barry, you have the right idea, except that those are natural nutrients (antioxidants that delay the effects of age), not drugs. If they became classified as drugs, then the FDA would ban them because as natural substances that can be obtained from foods, they can't be patented. And if you can't patent a "drug", then the drug companies can't make money from it. If you can't make money from it, then the drug companies don't want you to be able to use it, especially if it actually works, so they "persuade" the FDA to make it illegal, so they can sell you something expensive to treat the symptom, instead of addressing the underlying cause or deficiency. Companies that sell them simply as nutrients aren't allowed to advertise or even claim that they affect your health in a positive way, or they have to apply for a patent to prove it, which they can't.

I think that might just illustrate the principle of AB OVO (in the puzzle today), and also CUI BONO, which means "who gains?" loosely: follow the money...

Bill G. said...

Like many others here, I found this puzzle difficult. It almost felt like a Saturday themeless since the theme didn't help in the solving and wasn't especially enjoyable. There were some clever and tricky clues but I wasn't excited about Obit number and BRIER. Still, overall it was a challenging and enjoyable process. Thanks Jeff, and thanks for the excellent writeup, Al.

I just saw a Chinese actress on The View, Bingbing Li. Very attractive. She has taught herself English and speaks it very well. She's in a new movie, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. It's supposed to be good. C.C., do you know of her?

Spitzboov said...

Clear Ayes: I have thought about your need for a new printer and would like to recommend the following 3D Printer. It should satisfy most of your copying needs,

GarlicGal said...

DNF for me! I just couldn't erase TAU which should have been ZEN, therefore that whole block was screwed up. Missed FEZ, SOFT, BOOM...Ugh! I did get the theme but couldn't put euforeignpolicy together. Where was that V-8 can when I needed it?

Can't wait (?) for tomorrow's puzzle. HA!

Thank you Al for clearing up the many, many mysteries this morning.

crazyhorse said...


Thanks for picking up the DF reins!

Unknown said...

Great but frustrating Thursday puzzle! I finished it this afternoon while waiting for my mouth to wake-up. My husband was hoping for a longer time!
I can't add anyhing new to the discussion. Y'all said it all.

Favorite clue-Brer
My kids loved the stories and hooted when I read them in dialect. Is that politically incorrect?
Don't even go there!
Bye now.

Lucina said...

I just saw The Tree of Life and would love to know someone else's take on it.

My only comment is it should have an Oscar for cinematography.

I had the same trouble with TAU and ZEN but when obit became clear, not orbit, I erased it and started over. Sometimes it's hard to discard a fill that seems so right!

HeartRx said...

"Sometimes it's hard to discard a fill that seems so right!"

Lucina, the same thing could be said for either solving or constructing!

Clear Ayes said...

Spitzboov, Ha, I'm sure one of those 3D printers could fulfill just about any need at any time....the mind boggles!

Nice time today with cribbage pals. Going to have lunch with daughter and granddaughter tomorrow. Maybe I will be able to do some at home relaxing over the weekend.

"Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" was an excellent book. I think it would make a good movie. The author, Lisa See's father is Chinese and her mother is American author, Carolyn See.

Lucina, still waiting for The Tree of Life to show up around here.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I did complete the puzzle today, but with my Handy, Dandy CW Puzzle dictionary by my side. Swahili for Freedom was even in my copy. This was an unknown.

I thought the crossing of Brer and Brier was fun. Thanks Al for your always inlightening writeup.

Otitis is the MOST painful ear malady. I suffered from this from early childhood into high school.

Heart RX--All of your favorite clues were mine as well. I circle the unknowns, too, and then go back to see if I can get them after a few more letter fills. If not, out comes the dictionary.

Chickie said...

OOps! I hit the wrong button when I went to preview. My correction is with the word enlightening not inlightening!

Making a rice pudding for dinner tonight.

Lemonade714 said...

Well my long post got eaten, so I guess I was not meant to make it today. Jeff thanks for a fun puzzle; you have me going with the theme as the first three had "fore" in the middle, and since this was the first day of the Open Championship, I thought we were going to have a golfing theme.

Loved many clues and having BRER rabbit and BRIER was brilliant, as was Gene Rodenberry who jury rigged UHURU into his communications OFFICER .

As always, AL

Lucina said...

I'd love to taste your rice pudding! My mother made a lovely one I really miss it.

Jeannie said...

Hi folks, once again late to the party. Nope, didn't do the puzzle and from reading about it, I probably wouldn't have fared so well, so no time wasted. No offence, Jeff.

HeartX had to laugh (internallly) about your comment that "sometimes it's hard to discard a fill that seems so right." Me oh my, I might have to get a t-shirt like that! On that note, Argyle, liked your lily and aerola pic, and to go along with that, today is National Go Nude Day. It's gotten humid after the rain today and the temps are supposed to rise. I am following the National day in the privacy of my own home.

BillG, Burger King is coming out with a full ice cream menu featuring sundaes, shakes, and cones. It is all new products for me addding up to 32 new items to purchase. Also, they are coming up with a California Whopper that many of you on the west coast may have tried with guacamole. Oatmeal is also coming out. I fear I am over my lines now.

Bill G. said...

Jeannie, sounds good. Re. ice cream stuff, any chance for a coffee malted? California burger sounds good too. Anything with guacamole is probably good.

One of my favorite TV shows is "Friday Night Lights." So far as I can tell, nobody else I know watches it. I see where it's been nominated for an Emmy along with its two lead actors. In case anybody is interested, the series finale is tomorrow night on NBC. Reruns are starting on one of the ESPNs

Jeannie said...

BillG, as you know I am a football fan but most Fridays I am usually at a Happy Hour that puts me home after it starts. Hey, a gal needs to let off some kind of steam, even in rural MN. I am however, a huge fan of "Modern Family" I think it's funnier than all get out. I have a couple of gay friends that have adopted a daughter. Have you watched it? I think you have an open enough mind to find it funny.

Anonymous said...

Someone please define "perp" for me. No dictionary can help me, not even the urban one (not that I was really expecting it to).

Grumpy 1 said...

anon @ 9:30, 'perp' is short for perpendicular, or the crossing words. So when we get a word via perps we are checking the words that cross to help see some or all of the letters.

Anonymous said...

Credit where credit's due. The phrase 'perp', as well as several others in use here, was coined by Dennis.

Anonymous said...

"sometimes it's hard to discard a fill that seems so right"

That's what she said.

Bill G. said...

I mentioned that I like "Friday Night Lights" but I don't know anybody else who does. It's just the reverse with "Social Network." It was nominated for lots of Academy awards. I recorded it and am just over halfway through watching it. I am not enjoying it and may not finish it. It seems to be a well-made movie about unpleasant people that I don't care much about.

Jeannie said...

It seems no one else is enjoying National nude day. Sad. Where is Lois anyway. I just googled the blog looking for xchefwalt's recipe for mussels. Miss him. I had to read all the posts. I was Cokato back then. Funny. It seems Drdad dropped off again too,

Lemonade, not touching golf.

Lemonade714 said...

No we got in much trouble when we talked about golf, back in the day Lolita. Now you leave my clubs and balls alone.