Oct 27, 2012

Saturday, Oct 27th, 2012, John Farmer

Theme: None

Words: 68

Blocks: 35

Well, this one was a complete clunker - I had about two-thirds done, ran out of my allotted time, and  had to red-letter solve the rest.  I was thinking that I have not been beaten up by a Saturday in a while, and as soon as I saw Mr. Farmer's name, I knew that this was going to be the one.  I said the same thing on his two previous Sat puzzles - and the irony is that the last one was on C.C.'s Birthday, and today is Boomer's birthday~!!!  Nothing terribly formidable, just things I don't know, and the DOWNS were even worse;   Four big entries:

 19A. Wearing one can block a mind reader, some believe : TIN FOIL HAT - uh, OK, I have seen this on some TV shows (Mythbusters, e.g.), but just not in tune with the idea today

25A. Hotel amenity : FITNESS ROOM - I had the "ROOM" part, but then I got the "S", too, and that led me to start looking for a ---'S ROOM, so I was never going to get it

40A. Unlikely place for his-and-hers towels : BACHELOR PAD - probably my favorite clue for the day, but unfortunately, I did not get it without help -- my bachelor pad has everything labeled HIS....

51A. Centipede, e.g. : ARCADE GAME - DAH~!!!  I knew this was an ATARI game, but forgot it came out in the 'quarter-per-play' 80's - and there was an arcade around the corner from me, too....must be me

Oh well, On ward....


1. Visit : STOP AT - I had "IN", and "BY", and they were both "the 16A"

7. Cleaned, in a way : VACUUMED

15. Ronald Reagan's alma mater : EUREKA - complete unknown

16. "Guess again" : WRONG ONE

17. Windy : PROLIX - new word for me; I knew POLLUX was in the constellation Gemini, tho....

18. Voice of Buzz Lightyear : TIM ALLEN - hey~! I got one~!!!

21. Modest profession : I TRY

22. Four quarters, in Quito : ANO - one year, in Spanish

23. See 47-Down : REINER; 47. With 23-Across, actor/director/writer with nine Emmys : CARL - "Ocean's Eleven", among others - he was "Saul Bloom" playing "Lyman Zerga"

30. One often seen from behind? : ALPHA DOG - well, I get it, but I don't like it; I can think of better ways to clue this without 'giving it away'

34. Its GTS model can get 70 miles per gallon : VESPA - I started with TESLA, the sports car that runs on electricity; enough to get me started

35. Fate of some old ways : DISUSE - like 38A

36. Treats with malice : SPITES

37. Operation Crossroads event, 1946 : A-TEST - again, I had "N", and "H", but never heard of "A" - but I get it; A as in Atomic

38. Vintage player : TAPE DECK - I did want EIGHT TRACK, with the "-CK" in place; I still have a tape deck; used it to dub songs and my talking to make cassettes to send out to friends

43. Bench order : NO BAIL - I have been arrested three times, and I have gotten "R.O.R." all three times; I doubt it will happen again - all three were drink-related incidents

44. One often sleeping on the floor : PET - @#$%%~!!!! I had DOG, CAT, TOT....

47. Free of charge : COMP - like the hotel with the amenities; I got a room comp'ed at Atlantic City - they make all their money on the gambling floor, so they love to keep you overnight~!

54. "I Cain't Say No" singer : ADO ANNIE - didn't know this at all, here's the Wiki

56. 1805 musical premiere : EROICA - the Beethoven symphony, #3, in E-flat major - hey, I figured I didn't know its premiere date, either

57. It may include gas masks and shields : RIOT GEAR - hey~!! I got another~!

58. 2002 Best Original Song Oscar winner : EMINEM - a learning moment for me; from the movie "8-mile"; I like his Marshall Mathers LP - a little strong for the blog, unfortunately

59. Chickens named for an Italian city : LEGHORNS - another learning moment; only familiar with this one


60. Port on the Loire : NANTES - map


1. Anatomical walls : SEPTA - Bzzzt

2. 2006 Winter Olympics host : TURIN - cheated, Googled it; wasn't Tokyo

3. Eponymous chief of the Penobscot nation : ORONO - name

4. Crooked gains : PELF - seen this before in crosswords, but I forgot

5. Japanese magnate Morita : AKIO - name, and one of those vague clues that just don't help (From C.C.: Aki = Bright, O=Man/Husband, hence Akio = Bright man. Similarly, the Akira in Akira Kurosawa means "Bright & Shining". Yellowrocks/Pas de chat can correct me if I'm wrong.)

6. Way across town : TAXI RIDE - ugh

7. 1970s military-style German import : VW THING - Volkswagen - yep, I remember this

8. Audrey's "Love in the Afternoon" role : ARIANE - name

9. Ancien Régime nobles : COMTES - Foreign

10. Señorita's "a" : UNA - Foreign

11. Hybrid edible : UGLI - sounds Foreign

12. Slough off : MOLT - hey, got one~!

13. Cabinet dept. formed in response to the 1973 oil crisis : ENERgy

14. Shoot down : DENY

20. Actor Jared : LETO - name

24. Offered regrets, perhaps : RSVP'ed

25. Fix : FASTEN - not REPAIR

26. "Criminal Minds" genius Dr. Spencer __ : REID - name

27. Bone: Pref. : OSTE

28. Org. that Angola joined in 2007 : OPEC

29. Pretense : MASK

30. Not much at all : A DAB

31. "Kiss Me Deadly" rocker Ford : LITA - Careful~! Maybe not an earworm, but the images...

32. Very brief time, briefly : PSEC - a picosecond, or one TRILLIONTH - HUP~!! you missed it

33. Quiet : HUSH

36. Stickball ball, familiarly : SPALDEEN - anyone play stickball as a kid?  Growing up, we did hockey with sticks from the woods and a tennis ball

38. Radioisotopes used in medicine : TRACERS

39. Island capital near Robert Louis Stevenson's burial site : APIA - name

41. Repair shop offer : LOANER

42. "Master and Commander" novelist Patrick : O'BRIAN - I prefer Conan O'Brien

44. Body shop supply : PAINT - not BONDO

45. Function runner : EMCEE - oh, that kind of function

46. Sides : TEAMS

48. Comics dog : ODIE - Garfield comic strip

49. "Switched-On Bach" instrument : MOOG

50. Course : PATH

52. "Forever, __": 1996 humor collection : ERMA

53. Get past the bouncer : GO IN - meh, period

55. Vietnam's __ Dinh Diem : NGO - see, now, I thought this was a place, and it's a him

Happy B-day Boomer~!!! (if I am not mistaken)


Note from C.C.:

Thanks, Splynter (and Marti), for remembering Boomer's birthday.  Happy 65th Birthday to my dear husband, the best chili maker west of Mississippi.

Boomer, Oct 1, 2012


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Man, this was one brutal puzzle. Thank heavens I'm getting a bit more sleep these days and my brain cells were fully functioning. It was nice to see PROLIX and PELF in a puzzle (and even nicer that I actually knew what they meant), and ADO ANNIE brought back fond memories of my high school musical theater days (I played "Poor Judd"). I even managed to get VW THING because one was featured on an episode of "Pawn Stars" that I saw awhile back.

But SPALDEEN? REID? NO BAIL? ARIANE? OBRIAN? TRACERS? So much stuff I didn't know today. And I couldn't even figure out what the clue for EMCEE ("Function runners") meant.

In the end, though, my head was bloodied but unbowed as I did manage to finish unassisted thanks to plenty of semi-educated and totally wild guesses (I'm talking about you, ERMA and EMINEM).

thehondohurricane said...

Good morning folks,

Regarding Mr Farmers puzzle ......


Barry G ... you're the man and anyone else who solved this "beauty" without assistance.

TTP said...

After my first pass, I had one answer across TIN FOIL HAT, and zero words down, so I quit.

Haven't read the write up and just jumped to comments, and haven't read them yet. May or may not come back to this one.

Read last night's posts. I would occasionally tune into the The Big Bang Theory for a few minutes over the last couple of years, and did find the humor funny. With all the discussion about it this year, I tried to watch it a couple of times.

Sorry, can't do it. I can't stand the annoying volume of the laugh tracks on TBBT. It's like the humor isn't that funny, so they turned up the laugh tracks.

I wonder if my decibel meter will pick up the difference ? I can watch the reruns on TBS and compare to this years.

Mrs. Danvers said...

I was amused to see EUREKA immediately following VACUUMED. Personally, however, I prefer my Hoover.

desper-otto said...

Wow, this one was worse than a Silkie! My fears from yesterday were confirmed. I finally got it, but the game went into overtime.

ADO ANNIE from Oklahoma got me going in the southwest. I slowly worked back around to the completely empty northwest. TURIN was slow in coming -- I remember it as the TORINO Olympics. That changed my CALL AT to STOP AT and ORONO magically appeared. Then it all came together. Whew! What a workout! Thanks, John Farmer. And good job, Splynter.

Anybody ever heard of SPALDEEN? I think she has a cooking show.

HeartRx said...

Good morning Splynter, C.C. et al.

You are a brave man to tackle these Saturday stumpers, Splynter. Yep to all your comments today! "Bondo" before PAINT, STOP "in" before AT, "N" TEST before A, "Tokyo" before TURIN...but, I came up with an original one for the sleeper on the floor: "sot"!!!

Just too many names and unknowns to finish this one unassisted. I burned up Wiki this morning, and things finally started appearing. Favorites were TIN FOIL HAT and ALPHA DOG. I went on a dogsled ride in Banff one time, and thought of the old saying, "If you're not the lead dog, the view is always the same."

For once, I actually remembered a birthday and sent an email greeting last night. (Did I tell you about the year that I forgot DH's birthday?) But it bears repeating:
Happy Birthday Boomer, and many more to come!!

Avg Joe said...

Just brutal! No other term for it. Made a lot of wags and prolly had 75%, but HTG for far too many. A lot of the clues were clever, but in the aggregate it was a killer.

Happy BDay, Boomer!

Avg Joe said...

Just caught the late comments from yesterday. I think I've seen all the TBBT shows this year, and realized that I'd never noticed the laugh track before this season. This year it's incredibly though turning it up will make it seem funnier. Bleah!!

Anonymous said...

most googling for help in a long time. Learning moments: spaldeen, pelf, obrian, lita Ford. Switch for Orono from Maine college town made it Saturday challenging.

Sfingi said...

New record for Saturday Googling - 17. I have to do it or there's nothing to hang the other answers on, For instance, I put in Victorola, proudly - but it was TAPEDECK. I liked my answer better, especially on the same puzzle as MOOG.

Of course, TURIN is really Turino (re: Desperotto) and LEGHORN is Livorno. The Brits are the worst at pronouncing foreign words. Even Byron called Don Juan "Don Jewan." yeesh.

Welcome new fact - VW THING.

HeartRx said...

Caught up on last night's comments - Bill G.@ 12:16 AM, those photos from the Ellen show were absolutely hilarious. But I loved the "cute" puppy most of all!!

Husker Gary said...

Worst experience in years of doing these puzzles, even though I got a lot of it. Stupid pride keeps me from Google help. When esoteric words and too clever cluing negates the fun it’s time to go do something enjoyable like sorting my sock drawer.

TBBT observation – In the beginning, the premise was so unique and funny and maybe it has just about run its course. I get it – Sheldon’s asocial, a sober Raj can’t speak to women, eternally horny Howard can’t leave his mother, less learned Penny’s ambitions are doomed and Leonard hates being a nerd. You can only go to the well so often. M*A*S*H and Seinfeld knew when to leave.

HBD Boomer!

Yellowrocks said...

This was the most difficult LAT puzzle I have ever tried to solve. There were many, many unknowns, and many should have knowns that I couldn't come up with. After I Googled five times, I quit. It felt like I was taking the solution grid and copying it onto the puzzle. No fun! Not my own work!

I did get Eureka and Ado Annie, but not much else. I was disappointed in myself for missing PROLIX.

Besdies this being an extremely difficult puzzle I am "non copos mentis" today. I am making so many small mistakes in all I do. One of our inexperienced dancers wears a pin that says, "Don't rush me. I am making mistakes as fast as i can." That's me, today. (That's I sounds weird.)

It looks like this storm will make landfall on NJ. I am not likely to have my home flooded, but I could have a long power outage, and many local roads will be blocked by trees and water.

Happy birthday, Boomer. Welcome back Grumpy1. Please don't be a stranger.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning Splynter and all.

Happy Birthday Boomer. Welcome to Medicare.

Pretty much agree with Splynter and others. Quite hard and some difficult words without mitigating brightness. To wit: PELF, PROLIX, PSEC, LETO.. Kind of grated against me. But there was some charm; I liked 21a, I TRY. Liked the shout out to CARL REINER, one of my favorites. He could be a real manic.. Skip ahead to time 1:30 if you want.

Have a good day.

PK said...

Finish? Barely started. I managed to get 5 entries on my own right: 13d ENER, 36a SPITES, 48d ODIE, 54a ADO ANNIE (I was set to play Aunt Eller but moved to Massachusetts instead), and 57a RIOT GEAR.

This puzzle theme at my house: 16a WRONG ONE!

Thanks Splynter for a valiant effort. If the great Splynter can't get it, it's too hard.

BOO HISS! Ruined my mood for the day.

Mikey said...

Way harder than usual, scored 6 on the Googlemeter. Got a surprising number of them -- TINFOILHAT fell immediately -- but still a lot of blank spaces remained after my inital A and D passes. Looks like I had lots of difficulties in common with others.

Last to fall was the NW; PROLIX was new to me, and will be held in reserve for my next Scrabble game. Had just watched Oklahoma! not long ago, so ADOANNIE also fell pretty quickly, as might be expected, I suppose.

In spite of the difficulty and the high Google count, it was very enjoyable.

ARBAON said...

HBTY Boomer...perhaps CC will make you a nice rice cake!
Mrs. Danvers: between a Hoover and a Eureka, I prefer the cleaning lady!
"Prolix, leto, pelf etc..." just go to show that you can google any corsswordese concoction and find a definition.
My sympathies to the upper east coast. Hurricanes are bad enough but to combine one with a nor`easter is horrifying!
Tried more than once to watch TBBT...While I recognize some of my traits in the nerd, for the most part, it`s a "niche" program and it`s not in mine.
We will have frost on the pumpkin tonight! (in my other "home.")

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

This one was a bear. DNF.

Montana said...

Started with SEPTA and TURIN, maybe STOPin? Then ENER, TRACER, ODIE & EMCEE.
End of story! The rest were too hard, and the words I filled in were too scattered in the puzzle to help. I quit and went to the blog. I can’t usually solve a Saturday puzzle, but can get more than 9 clues. Glad (sad?) that more experienced solvers also had problems. I don’t feel so bad.

Happy B-day, Boomer.


Irish Miss said...

Good morning:

This was a very difficult puzzle, IMO. I needed help with the NW and had trouble in other areas. Mr. Farmer deserves credit for the construction but I didn't enjoy trying to solve it. Nice expo, Splynter.

Re TBBT sound track comments, I read that the show is performed before a live audience. Whether that is still the case, I don't know. But, unless some major changes are made in future episodes, there won't be any audience at all.

Happy Birthday, Boomer.

Happy Saturday to all.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

Glad to see I'm not alone on this one. As Marti said: "Just too many names and unknowns to finish this one unassisted." When it turns into a Google fest, it just isn't fun anymore. I look forward to a Saturday challenge, but I'm glad I didn't spend any more time than I did (way too long) trying to come up with things on my own. After looking up the names, etc., I found that these are things I never would have known anyway. Nice work, John Farmer, but way beyond me!

Splynter ~ another wonderful job explaining it all. Your comments made me feel better about my many unknowns.

Grumpy1 ~ Nice to see you!

Happy Birthday, Boomer ~~ hope you have a wonderful day!

desper-otto said...

Hope your right-coasters have got your hatches battened! Good luck.

Hand up for SOT before PET. Plus I kept thinking [something] GONE, so WRONG ONE was slow to appear.

HBD Boomer. Hope ya roll a 300!

Misty said...

Well, I've pretty much stopped commenting on Saturday puzzles, since I decided if I had nothing nice to say, I wouldn't say anything at all. But the comments today made me feel a little better, starting with Splynter's--many thanks. I actually did get the SW corner unassisted but after that it took tons of cheating to get through.

Am worried about what Sandy will do to the Northeast--especially Pennsylvania where my dad and brother live. Hope all of you living in the area will be safe.

Happy Birthday, Boomer--great photo!

Have a good weekend, everybody!

Tinbeni said...

Happy 65th Birthday Boomer !!!

As for the puzzle ... DNF Ink-Blot.

Though I did like the "shout-out" to my FOIL-HATs.


Kevin Ajax On said...

Late posting today. Slept in a little then spent the next 2 hours or so tearing my hair out and cursing this puzzle to no end. What a tough go. Finally finished this dog of a puzzle. Now I am off for a nap with a hairline resembling that of Kelsey Grammar. Have a good weekend everyone.

CrossEyedDave said...

Sigh, as i sit here typing, with my tin foil hat,,,

Did Boomer ever type on the Blog? I don't remember, (then i don't remember much these days.) But, behind every great woman, there must be a man! So, Happy Birthday Boomer! ( & lets hope CC gets the msg,,,)


36D Spaldeen, (Desperotto@7:56 that should be typed SpalAdeen) I 1st had Spalding, then Spaldene,,, never did get Spaldeen, but it did remind me of a story...

Having grown up in Brooklyn, (4th St.) Stickball was mandatory. I was playing outfield, center, a lonely position, just me & the manhole cover. When the batter cracked the ball,, (excuse me, Spaldeens do not go crack!) Well, that dang Spaldeen went flying straight over my head, above the tree tops, i had no choice, i had to at least try to save the game! So i ran. Ran as fast as i possibly could, hoping to at least catch that dang Spaldeen on the 1st bounce & throw it home!

Having my eyes in the air, i did not see the Van double parked... I noticed it at the last (picosecond!) It was too late to stop! (funny how time slows down in these situations) All i could do was lift up my legs to avoid my knees slamming the bumper, as i tried to use my arms to slow the impact of my face into those rear double doors!

Well,,, these 2 big guys jumped out of the van to see who had rear ended them, only to my skinney little me jumping around & holding my knees cursing!!! (the van was still rocking!)

Until next time...

CED Prolix Corner,,, signing off...

chin said...

This was a killer but
I got it, finally with no help. My DIL called and talked a while giving my brain time to regroup and get the last few.

Actually, based on my time living in Britain, I would say that the Brits do an excellent job pronouncing foreign words when they are speaking in that language. The problem arises when they are speaking English. I think they do not feel that foreign words and names are worthy of proper pronunciation since they are not up to their standards.