Sep 17, 2011

Saturday, Sep 17th, Tom Heilman

Theme: None

Words: 72

Blocks: 30

Good day to you all~! Our last from Mr. Heilman included the word "pasquinade", and our latest offering is a tough one that I could not finish in my personally allotted time frame - and I needed some red-letter help in the SE. Four triple-stacks of sevens in each corner, and a grid-spanner that took a long time to parse:

36A. Beyond unethical : MORALLY BANKRUPT

- but enough entries for WAG-ing, so as to "bend" the brain without breaking it...



1. Make even, in a way : JUSTIFY

8. Key rings? : JANGLES - Once the "J" from Jibes came up, I found this to be cute - rings as in the sound

15. More than concerned : ALARMED - makes me think of this movie scene quote

16. When forging started : IRON AGE - pretty obvious, no?

17. Juntas, e.g. : REGIMES - a WAG, but it was lurking there in the grey matter

18. Discarded storage technology : BETA-MAX - Sony's alternative to VHS, and "the" format in the studio when I worked on the TV movie back in the late '90's

19. Consider necessary : SEE FIT - I had DEEM AS to start

20. Round seed : PEA - tried NUT first

21. Blew, so to speak : WENT - oh, uh, as in "blew out of here", right

22. Moving experience? : EXODUS - needed the "X" to get it

24. Fine-grained soil : LOESS - more from Wiki; can you have Feet of Loess? (6D.)

25. Othello game piece : DISC - Yeah, I guess; I was trying too hard, and thought "OREO" would work - see here (OK, half an Oreo....)

28. Corpulent : FAT - such a polite way to say someone is obese

29. Unfavorably influence : JINX - I got JINXED last night on a carpentry job

30. PIN holder's record : ACCT - well, PIN is abbr. for "Personal Identification Number", so ACCT is OK, but see 35D.

31. Make fit : CRAM IN

33. Suffix with nanny : CAM - nanny-cam, for spying on your kid's babysitter

39. "Bambi" character : ENA - Bambi's aunt, and I gotta say, never saw the whole movie, still

40. Wire function : BALING - I used this when I worked in the supermarket, in the back room at the cardboard compactor - I actually enjoyed the task

41. Man cave channel of choice : ESPN - Entertainment and Sports Programming Network - the E part allows them to show poker, billiards, etc.

42. Wile : PLOY

44. __ vindice: Confederacy motto : DEO

45. Parker who played Daniel Boone : FESS - too '50's for me; this guy

46. Underlying values : ETHOS - WAGed it

48. Like protozoa : MOTILE - Def: biol. - 'capable of moving spontaneously'

50. Has a turn : GOES

51. Improved one's record : WON

52. Akkadian king who conquered Mesopotamia : SARGON - does anyone watch "Ancient Aliens" ? - This guy sounds like he could be in the next episode....

56. Kitchen tools : GRATERS - had to wait for a few crossers first

58. "Olly olly oxen free!" : IT'S SAFE - well, I knew it was a kid's game; this I found interesting

59. Dominions : EMPIRES

60. Mess up, as a punch line : MISTIME - have you ever tried to "pass on" a joke, then heard that same person garble it completely ???

61. Lot : DESTINY - C-3PO quote in Star Wars, ep. IV (0:15)

62. Slid (over) : SCOOTED


1. Makes shake : JARS - A tough puzzle JARS my brain

2. Fonda role : ULEE - This movie

3. Ranch brush : SAGE

4. Long-odds bet : TRIFECTA

5. Amalgamate : IMMIX - seen it before, this time, I put it right in (after having the MM)

6. Character flaw : FEET OF CLAY - A reference here; also a book by Terry Pratchett; funny, but the TV movie I worked on was about a Golem, a man made of clay....

7. Meas. of some field losses or gains : YDs - yards in football

8. Sailing maneuvers : JIBES - sudden shift from one side (of your course) to the other

9. Code word? : AREA - Area Code, a bit meh

10. "Psych!" : NOT~!!!

11. Eat at, as one's conscience : GNAW ON

12. Classroom response, at times : LAME EXCUSE - not really a 'response', but I get it

13. Pulitzer-winning writers Timothy and Jennifer : EGANS

14. Times of prayer in the Divine Office : SEXTS - I did not know this - but I am not Catholic

20. Tried to buy at auction : PUT A BID ON

23. She played Elle in "Kill Bill" : DARYL - the one-eyed nemesis of Uma's character Beatrix; typical Tarrantino, but I liked it

24. Online convenience : LINK

25. Pulp figure : DAME

26. Tiny paper clip, e.g. : ICON

27. Settings for "Junkyard Wars" : SCRAP HEAPS - fun show, where two teams would go into a junk yard to find bits for making odd vehicles and such, including boats, racing cars, garbage collectors, and my favorite episode, the "dragon" wrecker.

29. Loyal to a fault : JINGOISTIC - from the noun "Jingo", a person who announces loudly his or her patriotism

32. Zola portraitist : MANET - Image

34. Droid downloads : APPS

35. Chain letters? : MTNs - I'll let it slide, but there's no hint at an abbreviation; mountain chain

37. NYSE deals : LBOs - Leveraged Buy Outs - unpleasant, I believe

38. Cites : REFERS TO

43. Flipped : LOST IT

46. Vandalized, in a way : EGGED - Halloween prank

47. "Chestnuts roasting ..." co-writer : TORME - Mel, the "Velvet Fog"

48. Like some forest ground : MOSSY

49. Neck line? : LASSO - if you're a steer

51. Cactus __: state bird of Arizona : WREN

53. Canter, for one : GAIT

54. "Memories __": Billy Crystal film : OF ME - This movie; didn't know it or see it

55. Requisite : NEED

57. "__ tu che macchiavi quell'anima": Verdi lyric : ERI

58. Uses Trillian, briefly : IMs - I knew of the character from Hitchhiker's Guide, but not this software

Answer grid.

I'm on vacaTION (tiss) ~!

I'm on vacaTION (boom)~!

I'm on vacation~!.....



fermatprime said...

Hi all,

Typical hard Sat. for me! Must go back and check out your multitudinous links--thanks Splynter!

Wish some of you were closer to me. I need a lawyer!

MacMall sent me another MacBook Pro with Lion--despite promises--that I cannot downgrade from Lion. Well, I am learning things in the process.

No clue particularly memorable. Noticed how they disguised our old favorite ERI TU. You can be FAT without being obese!

Have a great weekend!

fermatprime said...

PS Those 118 Thursday comments blew me away. Winner was Ave.Joe I think.

(I found it to be a nice, rather friendly puzzle. No circles. Fantastic write-up Marti, if I recall correctly!)

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Definitely no walk in the park for me today! I felt pretty good about myself for getting IRON AGE right off the bat, but everything pretty much went downhill from there.

IMMIX and SARGON were not in my vocab list, despite the fact that we may have seen IMMIX before. And I was sure that a "long-odds bet" at 4D was something TO ONE. Maybe TEN TO ONE. That really messed up that corner for awhile.

MOTILE? Sure, but, then again, aren't we all?

GNAW ON is something mice may due to electric cords, but things GNAW AT my conscience.

And I'm with Splynter on Trillian. Or should I say Tricia McMillan?

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Hard, harder, hardest. I'd call this the toughest Saturday puzzle all year.

SARGON? IMMIX? SEXTS? Ouch. LOESS was familiar only from Clan of the Cave Bear, she mentions the soil a lot. Had TACKS for JIBES; the latter represents a riskier thing to do on a sailboat. Had to Goog pretty much all the names just to get something glued down, especially that Akkadian dude.

A former colleague with the surname Fessenden claimed that Fess Parker was actually a relative named Parker Fessenden, and that the name was changed for some career reason. Wiki did not agree, but who knows?

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Splynter, C.C. et al.

Whoo boy, this one kicked my butt today., but I really enjoyed your write-up, Splynter!

I had the same mis-steps as Barry and Dudley…and then quite a few of my own originals! For Divine Office I had “nones” instead of SEXTS. I think we had enough sexts on the blog the other day…does that make us MORALLY BANKRUPT?

35D Chain letters with the abbr. of MTNS is OK by me, since the clue indicated “letters”, not a full word.

But even with gg help, I still didn’t get this one done. And it’s been a long time since that happened. Oh well, “tomorrow is another day”.

Avg Joe said...

Good mourning everyone. Mourning cuz of a DNF. I had a lot of OK wags, but I didn't feel very good about it. DNF because I had BetaMap for MAX and didn't know sexts. Also didn't know immix or motile, but did manage to get them right. All in all a very difficult challenge for me, and less than completely satisfying.

Off the be a part of the sea of Red while the Huskers get fed to the Huskies. The line is 17 favoring NU, but I think that's WAY too optimistic. Tailgating is first on the agenda, so at least there's that.

Spitzboov said...

Good Morning all. Great job, Splynter; a tough one.

Almost got discouraged, but then, slowly, the squares began to fill in. SE came first. Somehow SARGON welled up from the distant past and helped anchor that corner. Then JINGOISTIC. Used red letter to get NOT. Also did not know SEXTS or IMMIX, but got with the perps. Besides the grid spanner, I thought the long downs of LAME EXCUSE, and SCRAP HEAPS were great fill. Overall, I enjoyed this one and learned a few things.

BALING - My Dad absolutely refused to use wire hay bales because of concern that a stub of wire might accidentally be ingested by one of the cattle. Always used twine. Taught me a life-long lesson about safety.
In the service we had an expression that almost anything could be fixed with "monkey s**t and baling wire." I saw many examples of that kind of concept working. (Our ship came home from the Caribbean once with masking tape plugging a pin-hole leak on the main engine steam condenser
exhaust (29" vacuum))

Enjoy the day.

Husker Gary said...

In the words of those renowned 20th century philosophers, ABBA, “MAMA MIA”. I too red-lettered after finishing the bottom third but was surprised both by what turned out to be right and what turned out to be possible but not right! Throw in, WTF’s, and you have my experience!

-Write-up and comments were first rate!
-I wanted IRONAGE across and TACKS down but one of them had to go. JIBES?
-I chose BETA and everyone else chose VHS early on. I was wrong!
-The Loess Hills surround the banks of the Missouri in Iowa and Nebraska
-I thought that PIN holder might get a RCPT, long shot was TENTOONE and NYSE had IPOS
-With all the CAMS around, what is private?
-When in doubt on mottos, try God (Deo)
-I first knew FESS as Disney’s Davy Crockett
-I thought BUS (bushels) might be field meas.
-Daryl will always be a mermaid to me
-EGGING was a Halloween event of my youth
-Take the points and bet WU but GBR!

Spitzboov said...

Loess are eolian soils typically deposited by winds blowing over unvegetated lands that had been recently glaciated. Here is a map depicting the expanse of loess in Europe.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning! Much the same experience as most of you, but did finally finish unaided. I started it, put it down and did the Sudoku, picked away at the xword some more, put it down and did the Daily Commuter xword. Third try and things finally started clicking, but I can barely read the SW corner with all of the write overs. Not fun, but satisfying.

Off to Miami this afternoon. We have two buses with about 100 rabid Buckeye fans going. Archie Griffin will join us for our tailgate party. Because of the NCAA violations and penalties that both teams are facing, this is being called the "ineligi-bowl". We'll have a great time though.

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-I am a Catholic (card carrying anyway) and had no idea on SEXT. The connection between Sexts and the Catholicism reminded me of Nixon’s former Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz, who like Joe Biden, couldn’t keep his foot out of his mouth

At the 1974 World Food Conference in Rome, Butz made fun of Pope Paul VI's opposition to "population control" by quipping, in a mock Italian accent: "He no playa the game, he no maka the rules." A spokesman for Cardinal Cooke of the New York archdiocese demanded an apology, and the White House requested that he apologize. Butz issued a statement saying that he had not "intended to impugn the motives or the integrity of any religious group, ethnic group or religious leader."

Not learning his lesson, Butz soon afterwards told a racist joke in front of Pat Boone and former White House counsel John Dean on an airplane flight and was forced to resigned!

Anonymous said...

I think someone needs their own blog.

eddyB said...


Have some time to say hello.

Sargon also the name of an early
computer chess game on floppy disc.
Used to play it on an Apple IIe.

Used a paper clip once to isolate a bad IF strip in the missile test
gear. Company Reps just shook their
heads when we got back to the yard.
But, it worked.

Enjoy the football games today.


Anonymous said...

lol @anon, but i wish he would tell the joke referred to.

Husker Gary said...

Anon, this is a very open-minded blog but Butz's joke is so offensive I won't tell it or link to it. If your curiosity is sufficiently piqued, there is plenty of info in my posting to Google what he said.

Eddy, I played a lot of SARGO also and your "work around" sounds like the old "penny in the fuse box" remedy. Whatever works to get by! Around here, farmers do that with baling wire and a pair of pliers!

Off to the Y!

WikWak said...

Well, this one well and truly worked me over! Had to turn on red letters and go to Mr. G a number of times. Probably the worst Saturday experience in a year or more... but I still had fun (frustrated fun but fun nonetheless).


Have a great weekend, all.

GarlicGal said...

DNF. Wayyyyy over my head.

Off to a Bocce tournament. Looking forward to a relaxing day full of friends, food and merriment.

Hasta La Pasta.

Yellowrocks said...

I enjoyed yesterday's puzzle and Lemonade's write up and links. Not too difficult for a Friday.

Happy vacation Splynter. Enjoyed your links today.

This Sat. puzzle was a real challenge. I made it worse by writing IRON AGE in the wrong row and not finding it wrong for quite a while. In the SW for NECKLINE I had the L and the last S, so I stubbornly held to LEASH. After successfully eking out the lower 3/4 of the puzzle, I found I was spending too much time and resorted to Mr. G. I finshed, but was quite unsatisfied. I should have put it down and returned the way Grumpy did.

We used to say "All ee, All ee in free!, no oxen, on olly.

It was a fine challenging puzzle. I hope I learned a lesson in patience. Our minds need to be stretched sometimes.

Spitzboov said...

Re: 58a - Yellowrocks, we, too, said something like Oley, Oley in free. One etymology of the puzzle clue is thought to be from the German "Alle, Alle auch sind frei" meaning 'Everyone, everyone is also free'

Anonymous said...

Another of our sayings which is a corruption of a foreign phrase:

"Boo coo`s" or "boo coodles" from "beau coup"

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. After putting in 8.5 hours at work yesterday I finally got time this morning to catch up, doing both yesterday's and today's puzzles. I say "doing" tather than "solving" because solve them I did not. They were both too hard for me. Even looking something up and solving one more fill I made no progress. Getting one perp didn't help in getting another. But I'm not mad; the puzzles were good, my brain was exercised, and I learned a few things, even though I was unable to finish either of them.

Excellent comments by all of you. It almost took me longer to read them (and savor them) than it took to work the puzzles.

Best wishes to you all.

Jayce said...

I know we've had this discussion before, but we always said "all-ee all-ee all in free."

JazzB, LW and I listened to Pictures at an Exhibition recently and I thought of you, especially during The Catacombs. Lots of brass!

Masking tape is wonderful stuff! So are paperclips.

I sure wanted "Neck line" to be NOOSE.

I'm glad my name isn't Butz.

Yellowrocks said...

Much of what has been said resonates with me. Right on!!

HEARTRX "in chain letters with the abbr. of MTNS is OK by me, since the clue indicated “letters”, not a full word."

Spitzboov "In the service we had an expression that almost anything could be fixed with "monkey s**t and baling wire." We had a toilet at church which none of the men could fix. For 2 different problems I used fishing line. It's been in there for years and is still okay.

SPTZBOOV, again.
"Alle, Alle auch sind frei" Yess! The most plausible explanation I have heard.

BARRY & DUDLEY I'll accept that we had IMMIX before, but it does not ring a bell. Such an odd looking word!!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Splynter!
Same for me; blah, blah, blah.
This one flipped me over and kicked my fanny!
The best thing that I can say is; I finished it!

dodo said...

Hello, everyone,

I worked far too long on this puzzle and still ended up DNF! I guess it's good to set a time limit.

Splynter, terrific write up. I can't say the challenge today made me feel very fine. I did Friday's puzzle but didn't post. Friday was much easier than the usual.

Anon @10:45 : Me too.

dodo said...

Dudley, I vaguely remember some talk last spring about lots of us meeting for an air show in Reno. If it was yesterday's I'm very glad it didn't work out! What an awful tragedy!

Dudley said...

Dodo, a tragedy it was. The Reno air races are popular, but I personally hate them, in part because rare and irreplaceable aircraft are modified beyond recognition and put at risk of total loss by people with way too much money and, probably, testosterone. We only have so many Mustangs left in the world.

The risk to life and limb is a personal matter for the pilots, but no so much for the bystanders.

Nice Cuppa said...

Thanks Splynter

Great job. By the way, a NUT is a fruit, not a seed.

My general feeling was that this was a strong, tough crossword, spoiled by some "desperate fill" and a few poor clues.


GNAW ON - should be GNAW AT, as Barry pointed out.

SEE FIT = consider correct or acceptable, NOT necessary.

JINX - MUCH stronger that "unfavorably"

ACCT - Agree with HG. You get a RCPT. An ACCT is not a record of transactions.

LAME EXCUSE - why classroom?

BALING - I don't recall seing a Bale wrapped in wire. Curiously, BAILING would have been an acceptable answer.

WILE (singular) is generally used for the verb, not the noun.

JINGOISTIC - I thought the clue needed a question mark, since the word is always used in a derogatory sense, while "to a fault" only hints at overdoing it.

Deperate/obscure fill - SARGON, IMMIX, IMS, DARYL


Argyle said...

Chain letters : MTNS...or CVSs or any other company that can have a three letter abbreviation.

Another three letters, "MEH!".

Yellowrocks said...

Nice Cuppa,
Please pour yourself a nice cuppa tea and relax. Your nits don't resonate with me.

NUT Where was Nut askwed for. It was SEED I believe. A PEA is a seed of a pea plant. Also the word NUT refers both to the friuit and the edible SEED inside it.

Carnegie, Andrew (1835-1919) Summary |
By the end of the 1880s, however, the sentiment expressed in his 1868note began to GNAW ON Carnegie's conscience.

see fit - definition from Cambridge Dictionary Online: If you SEE FIT to do something, you think it is good or NECESSARY to do it

BALING WIRE Ads for baling machines mention baling wire, although, as noted, smoe prefer twine.

JINX is often used trivially. When you speak as someone is about to putt, you JINXED him.

ACCOUNT The PIN holder's record does not refer to his receipt, but to the record the bank has of all his tranactions.

JINGOISTIC "To a fault" is strong enough for me, just overly patriotic.

WILE can be a noun 1.cunning strategy: a trick or cunning ruse
jingoisitc "to a fault" only hints at overdoing it.

Yellowrocks said...

Sorry for going over 20 lines.I was trying to split this into 2 posts and almost lost it. Instead it published as it was. I lurked on this blog for several weeks, maybe months, becuase I found some of the nits to be unreasonable.

Anonymous said...

Yellowrocks, just try to respect other people's opinions.

Bill G. said...

True, I'm not a fan of Saturday themeless puzzles, this being no exception. I'm not being critical; I just don't care for them. I did appreciate the excellent writeup.

We got our new kitchen floor in. Looks great. The appliance company replaced our defective new refrigerator with a temporary loaner. It took my wife a long time to transfer the food for a second time. Our second new refrigerator arrived two days ago requiring a third food transfer. It got properly cool but the ice dispenser doesn't work. It makes ice but doesn't want to let go of it. So, another repairman is due out Tuesday afternoon. Oh well, at least the food is cold and probably no more food transfer will be necessary.

Jayce said...

Bill G, your experience with your new refrigerator renews my amazement and dismay at how often products are defective. It almost seems the norm to expect something not to work. Perhaps with something as complex as a satellite or the Hubble telescope it may be expected that something won't work right, but a refrigerator ice maker? As a design engineer, I am troubled by the unreliability and poor quality of so many everyday manufactured products.

Yellowrocks said...

ANON @4:17 "You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts."

Anonymous said...


Jayce said...

It sure seems altogether too easy to blur the line between facts and opinions, claiming one to be the other.

JD said...

Ha,ha...and I told my class that Sargon was someone they ought to remember! I can tell that many of you do not remember that "Fertile Crescent"
I haven't had time to search for the puzzle this past wek, but did want to say hello.Looking at your great write up Splynter, I can tell This would have been aDNF for me.

Bill G. said...

Jayce, I agree with your dismay. Wouldn't part of the manufacturing process be some sort of a quality control check of the ice maker? Push the ice lever and see if the motor goes around? Oh well. At least it's keeping food cold and making ice that we can take from the receptacle.

For those of you who have cable, do you get the Hallmark channel? They have four Frasier reruns at night. I have been recording some of them. They are much funnier in an intelligent sort of way than most anything I can find on TV these days. Now if they would only start showing WKRP reruns...

ltl said...

Yellowrocks: "I lurked on this blog for several weeks, maybe months, becuase I found some of the nits to be unreasonable."

Maybe lurking is better suited for you if you're going to continue criticizing the regulars here.

Avg Joe said...

WKRP reruns? Yesss!

And Taxi too. I really miss Jim! His best line ever was "I just smile knowingly and walk away."

BTW, The Corn did prevail today, but failed to beat the spread. Improvement was shown, so my skepticism was a bit overdone.

Anonymous said...

I disagree ltl.

Accuracy should prevail over any so-called legacy.

Yellowrocks is correct in every assertion. NC was wrong.

dodo said...

NC I don't know what you mean about 'wile' 'used for the verb'
What does that mean? Wile is a noun usually seen in the plural.Also I think it was Spitzboov who mentioned that his father didn't like to use wire for baling. Bailing is another meaning.

Chickie said...

NC, A bale of hay is not totally wrapped in wire, but has wire wrapped at intervals to keep it from falling apart.

Spitzboov, your father had the right idea as the wire from hay bales can be very dangerous to animals and to humans if not handled correctly. Was there a special heavy duty twine used by your father?

Argyle said...

Binder twine, used by most farmers.

Spitzboov said...

Chickie said: Was there a special heavy duty twine used by your father?

At that time "Baler Twine" was commonly available. I wouldn't call it 'heavy duty' but it was strong enough. Two strings around a rectangular bale. Sometimes they would break but it was a lot better than using wire. Most of the farmers in our area used twine.