Sep 14, 2013

Saturday, Sep 14th, 2013, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie

Words: 72 (missing J,X,Z)

Blocks: 30

    Well it was about time I got beaten up by a Silkie ( or any ) puzzle, and it's no surprise that it comes on "Saturday, the 14th"; typically, I fare worse in "luck" today than on Friday, the 13th.  Mr. Silk got me with too many proper names; people places AND things.  One grid climber today:

7. Collective feeling of oppression : BUNKER MENTALITY

and two 11's crossing two 12's;

3D. Hunter with a distinctive cry : SCREECH OWL


22A. Special screening : SNEAK PREVIEW - I tried PREMIERE SHOW, which fit - it's what we called the viewing of the made-for-TV movie we did in 1997 for cast and crew only

46A. Where funnels are often seen : TORNADO ALLEY - Funny, but my brother tells me after hockey this past Wed. that he is planning on going as the Tin Man for Halloween - so I was thinking that a funnel would be 'seen' on the head


....anyway, this crossed another weather-related phrase;

28D. It may precede a cold front : SQUALL LINE - Thunderstorm, which is two letters too long, so I couldn't make it fit, but there's three "L"s in a line~! My friend Matt from high school wanted to be a weatherman since the day I met him, and he succeeded - clip

...and upward~! acrosswards and downwards~!
stop by the Corner to check on your answer(d)s


1. __ shirt : MUSCLE - yeah, this took a while, since I don't own one

7. Catholic pilgrimage destination : BASILICA - was looking for a city with a proper name, like "VATICAN"

15. Written to last : ETCHED - A lot of people have been asking about the new UPS driving position, and all I have been able to say is " far, nothing is carved in stone" - I'm thinking about starting a blog when I do go - call it "Driving Brown"

16. Member of DC Comics' Legion of Super-Heroes : ULTRA BOY - yeah, um, didn't know about him - I had SUPERMAN, then SUPERBOY, and (ahem) ULT-imately, ULTRA BOY

17. Coliseum team, once : L.A. RAMS - 'round here, Coliseum means Nassau, and the NY Islanders hockey team - NHL training camps have begun~!

18. March Madness event : NCAA GAME - Basketball; interferes with my hockey viewing

19. What busy people are on? : THE GO - "always on the go..."

20. WBA decisions : TKOs - Technical Knock-outs

21. Dos' followers : REs - Musical scale

26. Trauma sufferer's goal : CLOSURE - good clue; took me a while

27. Yellowstone grazer : BISON

31. Comic who wrote jokes for Kennedy : SAHL - Nope, not a clue - BMT ( Before My Time )

33. Start of a response to a brainteaser : Hmm.... - what else is Mr. Silk going to get me with?

34. Language "jai alai" comes from : BASQUE - well, here's one that got me

35. Latin 101 word : AMO - Orthorunica amo - "I love crosswords"

36. Jersey Shore resort : CAPE MAY

38. Nautilus letters : U.S.S. - two weeks in a row with this answer

39. Show deference : KOWTOW - I spelled it wrong, went with a "C"; it must be late....

41. 7 and 11: Abbr. : NOs - numbers, deceptively simple

42. Stuffing material : BATT

43. Mullah's faith : ISLAM

44. Regular guest on "The O'Reilly Factor" : STOSSEL - John; I have not seen him since his days on Ch. 7 here in NYC

50. Spot at the bridge table : PIP - on the non-face cards; learning moment for me

53. Slick : OILY

54. Its capital is Valletta : MALTA - OK, OK, I cheated, and Googled this one

55. Big name in racing : ANDRETTI - I got this one

58. "Turn Me Loose" singer, 1959 : FABIAN - and then I was back to Google - BMT

59. Cut across : TRANSECT

60. Double-edged : IRONIC

61. 1980 hit with the line "I longed to speak but did not dare" : HE'S SO SHY - The Pointer Sisters, and this IS my time - I grew up with the video on MTV, when it was a video showing channel

62. Just : BARELY - I had LIE for FIB, so I thought EVENLY was good here - Bzzzt~!


1. Softens : MELTS

2. Pioneer Day celebrant : UTAHN - seen this before; one from UTAH

4. 1963-'64 painter of the Paris Opera ceiling : CHAGALL

5. 1937 title gangster Pépé : le MOKO - I bet Mr. Silk is glad there's names like this one out there for crossword construction

6. Life support syst.? : EDs - Editors of Life magazine

8. Recess : ALCOVE

9. East German secret police : STASI

10. Portfolio element : IRA - retirement portfolio

11. Fail to keep up : LAG

12. Structural beam : I-BAR

13. Canine order : COME - OK, I gotta link this - adult content~!

14. Some votes : AYES

20. Ranking suit : TRUMP

23. "Bah!" : "PSHAW~!"

24. Selling point? : eBAY and; 48D. Net biz : ETAIL

25. Ill. neighbor : WISconsin; I almost decided to take the train to go to the Will Shortz presentation this past Thursday, but my supervisor screwed me out of my vacation.  I had a hockey game on Wed., too, so....maybe I visit C.C. this winter?

29. Kick out : OUST

30. Emulate bees : NEST - meh, but I was not fooled with "BUZZ", as I had USS crossing earlier

31. "The Storyteller" storyteller : SAKI - another proper name, crossing SAHL, that did me in - some Wiki

32. Book by a prophet : AMOS - and another

34. Low man : BASSO - low vocal man

36. Interrogación word : COMO - I know ¿Cómo estás?, "How are you?", and depending on WHO is asking, I might consider it to be an interrogation....

37. Hardly chipper : MOODY

40. Use a shuttle : TAT - I was on this wavelength, and started with SEW; TAT, back-formed from Tatting, to make a kind of knotted lace of cotton or linen thread with a shuttle.

42. Over-explain : BELABOR

44. Rat : SNITCH

45. City on the Volga : SAMARA - another proper name that got me

47. Basic teaching techniques : ROTES - gritting my teeth on this one

49. '50s TV adventurer __ Derringer : YANCY

50. Way : PATH

51. Dictator's phrase : IN RE - Also Latin, "in the matter of"

52. Modern info holders : PDAs - I tried DVDs first.  I went for a test drive in the new Dodge Dart, and the CD player is in the center arm rest, along with the mp3 jack; I remember when an anti-theft pull-out cassette deck AM/FM radio was THE most advanced auto audio you could buy

56. BP checkers : RNs - Blood Pressure, and Registered Nurses

57. That, in Tijuana : ESO

58. Bit of fiction : FIB - ah, not LIE




Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Flat out DNF. That NW corner went empty, with just the incorrect Eases at 1d, for a long time. Even after I looked up the painter Chagall, I couldn't break the logjam. Then there was that chunk where Saki met Sahl - not on my radar. For one thing, a Google search for "The Storyteller" came up full of info about the author Jodi Picoult, but not Saki, at least on the first page. I had to red-letter that section.

Barry Silk: 1. Dudley: 0.

Morning, Splynter the 'Splainer, I hope I may take it from your review that you hit some rough patches too!

Montana - glad you made it, and brought fresher weather with you!

Cheers All

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Well, maybe I am just getting used to Mr. Silk's cruelties, but this one ended up being a lot easier than I initially thought it would. I started out with a sea of white space and no idea, but then things started to click.

I did have to make one WAG at the crossing of MALTA/SAMARA. I didn't know if it would be MALTA or YALTA, but SAMARA looked slightly more likely than SAYARA. Another WAG was at 49D, but after getting Y__CY I figured that YANCY was a pretty safe bet.

Elsewhere, I've heard the name STOSSEL somewhere before, so I was able to get it after getting a few letters from the perps. Ditto with CAPE MAY and CHAGALL -- couldn't get them from the clues, but a few perps let me guess them.

I was proud of myself for remembering that jai alai came from BASQUE. Totally useless knowledge, except when doing crosswords...


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This was pretty easy for a Silkie. It turned out to be a top-to-bottom solve with just one write-over: BALL/NCAA. It was a big help that the three long verticals came to me almost immediately.

Splynter, thanks for 'splainin' EDS -- I got it, but didn't get it. And I enjoyed the song about the dog named Stains. I'd never heard that before. Reminds me of when I was about 10, and we were trying to think up names for our sandlot corkball teams. My dad suggested Sheiks and Trojans.

Barry Silk must be at least my age if he remembers YANCY Derringer and FABIAN (and no, please don't link his song).

River Doc said...

Happy Saturday everybody!

Well, all I can say is GRAWLIX!!!!!! Never finished a Silkie and was THIS CLOSE ( as Maxwell Smart would say), but no cigar. Only the friggin' K in KOWTOW kept me from the Ta-Da....

"Woe is me" - Psalms 220:5
"Oh, the humanity" - Herbert Morrison
"The pain, the pain" - Dr. Zachary Smith

If he was alive today, I'm sure Dante Alighieri would include an additional ring in The Inferno for us poor, wretched souls who have never completed this particular brand of torture....

Mr. Solk-118, Da Doc-0....

Okay, maybe a little too dramatic? A wee bit over the top? Perhaps a pinch of BUNKER MENTALITY? (Stifle yourself, Doc!). All valid points. It's just that I've been traumatized and am in need of CLOSURE....

One of these days....POW!

Martin said...


River Doc said...

Correction - Mr. Silk, not Solk. Chalk it up to a general SULK on my part....

Avg Joe said...

What a brute!!

But.....I got it with three or four toeholds a a few dozen wags. Had manifold troubles, but the worst was with the spelling of squall. With bison, USS and tornado alley in place, I knew what the answer had to be, but just couldn't bring myself to accept the second L in squall. Finally put that in and the final cell was that M in Malta, using identical logic as BarryG.

One other trouble spot was that Jersey Shore resort, and it was purely a mental block. For some stupid reason Itchicoo Park got into my head and would not leave. Nevermind that it didn't fit, and nevermind that it's fictional. It wouldn't go away and I needed nearly all the peps before Cape May appeared.

Yellowrocks said...

This is one of those Silkiies that are very satisfying in retrospect, the way I used to feel after completing a long, hot difficult hike, back when my knees were still working well.
I started very slowly with quite a few blocks. buzz for nest,lie for fib, bow-- for kowtow. I thought of many wags which I didn't use initially. When I dared to use them I was able to complete the puzzle very quickly. They resolved all my missteps.
Momentum is a big thing for me. Once I get some momentum I can usually pick up speed.

fermatprime said...


Hand up for google to find MALTA.
Otherwise no problems.

Thanks Barry S and Splynter!

Can't seem to sleep. Typing almost impossible.


Burrito34 said...

Good Saturday Morning everyone,

Like you Barry, I found this one was easier than many Silkies and managed to finish without outside help. To me this puzzle was a cranial featherduster that cleared off a number of my mental cobwebs, such as STASI, SAKI, and LARAMS. Perps were a big help today and the WAG that stood out for me was 6D, "Life support sys.?" (Eds, for editors). I have not seen Life magazine in years, is it still being published?

Best to you all,

desper-otto said...

No Burrito34, Life is dead. It's gone to that great magazine stand in the sky. It last existed as a dotcom, but even that shut down over a year ago. That's life.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Seemed daunting at first as was to be expected, but then gradually filled in top down for once. Have to remember not to overthink Barry's clues. ie, NOS, INRE, and RNS. Got MALTA easily enough, but did not know SAMARA; got it from the perps. Somehow remembered BASQUE for jai alai.
PIP - I've played bridge for a long time but have never heard them called that. Still learning, I guess. Is it a Brit term?
Almost had a Natick in the SW but thought of PATH, so voilà, no searches needed.

38a Here the USS Nautilus (SSN-571)is berthed behind us.

Have a great day.

Yellowrocks said...

by David Ronald Bruce Pekrul

He crouches behind the camouflage,
watching - waiting - quiet - still,
just one of many,
all eyes on the horizon,
hearts pounding - expectant - eager - patient.
First there appears the thin line of dust,
then distant thunder,
growing louder and louder,
until the ground trembles
with the pounding of a million hooves.
The hunters are visible now,
and the bison are panicked,
but it's too late.
They try to flee,
but are squeezed from both sides,
a narrow funnel forming up ahead.
They quicken their pace,
and then see the cliff.
Hooves dig into the hard earth,
eyes roll in fear,
mouths froth.
There's no stopping now.
Those in front are pushed by the weight
of the mass behind,
and flung over the edge.
Tortured screams fill the air,
below, only the dull sound of soft bodies,
thud - thud - thud.
Time, suspended, frozen,
finally merges with eternity.
The hunters look on in haunted silence,
The spirits of the bison have been released.
They have sacrificed for the people,
and the people are grateful.

TTP said...

Warning. I am going to BELABOR my solve.

As I imagine Jayce would say, "YOWZER!" This puzzle was tough all over, although I was on a fairly steady pace of fill from the northeast diagonally down to the southwest. During that run, I had some partials like -----PREVIEW, ---SURE, CAPE---, ---TOW, and TORNADO----- that I just couldn't initially complete.

Oh yea, and ---RABOY. LYC got stuck in my head. "Here he is folks, DC Comics' Legion of Super-Heroes Member LYCRABOY!" "We also call him Spandy. He has no special powers, but he does look sharp in his superhero outfit!"

At any rate, there was enough fill to easily see BUNKER MENTALITY. Soon thereafter, SNEAK and CLO fell and gave me SCREECH OWL down. Used ABEJO's "look from a distance" to get ALLEY, and then had enough SQUA-L--- to see SQUAL LINE.

The Southeast wasn't easy either. ETAIL and FIB were my toeholds. Wagged YANCE. BELABOR fell. -ALTA could only be MALTA. A friend's au pair was from MALTA. SAMARA was all perps. That corner ended up taking up BARELY over (I was thinking JUST in terms of fair handed) 15 minutes, and my ol' pardner became YANCEY. (In real life, FWIW, I know more people named YANCE than YANCEY. That's just part of growing up, like going from Bobby to Bob or Tommy to Tom.)

TTP said...

Part deux:

West and Northwest ultimately did me in. Had LA RAMS and THE GO and SNEAK and AMO and ISLAM on the west to east fills. Never heard of LEMOKO, SAKI or SAHL. Turned on red letter help hoping to find errors, and only had one. It seems it's spelt KOWTOW. Not with a C.

Now with -AKI, wagged the S as SAHL seemed reasonable for Kennedy joke writer. Then with --AGALL down, east to see CHAGALL, so MUSCLE and ETCHED soon fell. Don't know why those two stumped me for so long.

OK I have BELABORed this enough. Thank you Barry Silk.

And thank you Splynter. I also got, but did not get EDS. Some of us remember when having one of these in your cars was THE coolest thing for audio Car 45 Player

John A. said...

got stumped pretty badly on the SW corner...nice puzzle, but bad form to not imply abbreviated answers in the clues for both 17 and 18 across

PK said...

Hi Y'all! COME on, Splynter! Stains? Good grief! Without the laugh track, I would have been weeping.
Reminded me of the commercial for giant fishing worms from a company called Master Bait.

For once I sped right through a Silkie. Only had to do a red-letter alphabet thrice. Don't know how I got these but they came easy. Well, maybe not. But easier than the usual Silkie. Maybe it was the euphoria because for the first time in almost two weeks, the feeling was gone that someone had whacked me across the lower back of my head and neck with a 2 X 4. Bye bye, virus! (I hope.)

I went to Cape Ann first before it was MAY day. Lot of this one I didn't know but kept pickin' away a few letters at a time then WAGed some successes.

Anonymous said...

NCAA is more common and easier to suss than the full "National Collegiate Athletic Association", which you almost never see or hear.
LA is also so common it should not need the crutch of being marked as an abbreviation.

TTP said...

From last night, john28man said, "Maybe this isn't the place to ask this. If so , I apologize. I am getting a little box with a red "x" in it on any crossword or Sodoku and a small percentage of pictures."

That's frustrating isn't it ? It could be a number of different things that are causing that to happen. It could be something wrong at the website you are downloading from, it could an issue with cache or temporary internet files on your computer, it could be a problem with the browser and it's settings, and it could be an issue with java. Probably more, but let's start with those and see what happens.

1) You might want to clear cache and try again. Refresh your cache has a good explanation of why. Left click on Cache ? for more, and then for the how-to instructions, left click on the name of the browser you are using...

2) I would suggest you try using a different browser. I have multiple browsers installed so I would do this first. If you are running internet explorer, I'd suggest you download Mozilla Firefox and see if you continue to get the same red x. Or download Google Chrome. Here's the place to download Mozilla Firefox.

3) If 1 and 2 don't work, try updating your java code. Open your Control Panel and double click on the Java cup icon. the Java control panel will appear. Click the Update tab and then select "Update Now."

Hope that helps you John.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Mr. Silk and I were on the same page this morning. I started strongly in the Northeast, then worked South and Southwest. Things came to a screeching (owl) halt in the Northwest. FINALLY, muscle, LeMoko, Chagall, etc. all fell into place and the TADA was music to my ears.

Usually, patience and stubbornness keep me from Googling or using red letter help and today was no different. Even the toughest Silkie's can be conquered, if I stick to my guns long enough. So, thanks, Barry, for a fun and satisfying challenge and thanks, Splynter, for your excellent expo.

Happy Saturday.

60s_music said...

Life has been gone for a while, but here is a link ( to a 1962 Gabriel and the Angels song about life.

Anonymous said...

60s_music, here is your link
That's Life

Misty said...

Boy, did I ever DREAD a dreaded Silkie this morning--especially when I saw that 7D grid spanner. After my first run-through I had only LAG and ISLAM, not much to work with. But the Marti advice kicked in and LAG suggested GAME and ISLAM hinted at COMO and so on. Very slow progress, and I stopped twice to take a break with Sudoku, which helped. Had many of the same initial goofs as YellowR--LIE, BUZZ, BOW. But in the end, to my amazement, I got everything but the SW, like John A. Never heard of PIP, even though I have played bridge. Got PATH and could almost see ANDRETTI in my mind's eye but didn't quite remember the exact letters in the middle. Didn't know the song and still don't understand PDA. But a much better result on a Silkie than I've ever had, I think. Whew! What a relief!

So what's GRAWLIX again?

Great expo, Splynter. And I promise that if I ever do an entire puzzle of yours, I'll drop the DREADED, Mr. Silk.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Maverick said...

Yup, the SAHL/SAKI combo got me too, which kept me away from KOWTOW. I had BOW LOW or LOW BOW. Went with the latter which left me with DAHL /DALI. Oh well I feel pretty good about a tough but satisfying effort.

Lucina said...

Greetings, Weekend Warriors!

WEES and WBS. However, I managed to find Barry Silk's wave length after sashaying around a bit with ETCHED, COMO, and BASQUE, which I learned from crosswords.

Then it started coming together though I was dead set on either CAMPOSTELA or LOURDES for the pilgrimage site. BASILICA surprised me but LAG, IRA, IBAR and STASI filled it for me then BUNK stayed for a long time.

Finally, MENTALITY surfaced and I was on a tear, sort of. SAKI is very familiar so then SAHL made sense.

Like Barry, SAMARA seemed more correct than SAYARA so MALTA was done.

Thank you, Mr. Silk for another enjoyable day made even more fun with SPLYNTER's sparkle and style.

Today is Book Club day so I'll be taking off shortly.

I'm wishing a spectacular Saturday for you all!

HeartRx said...

Good afternoon Splynter, C.C. et al.

Thank you so much for your superb Saturday scribbles, Splynter! I got EDS without “getting it” until I read your explanation. Same with IN RE. It filled itself in, and I just was on the wrong wavelength with “dictator.” I agree about ROTES…I resisted filling that one in for the longest time, until it was obviously the “correct” answer.

I bet Doha Doc got BASQUE without blinking an eye. He and I recently had a discussion of “basquards.”

Other than than, WLS (what Lucina said!!)

Have a happy rest of the day, everyone.

Pookie said...

Hunter with a distinctive cry?
Softens. MUTES! Nope.
MUSLin shirt! Nope.
Why is dictator's phrase IN RE?
I don't get it.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Unlike many of you, I found this puzzle to be very hard. I had a lot of trouble with it, and had to look up several answers just to get a foothold. The only answers I could fill in right off the bat were ISLAM, ANDRETTI, BISON, BASQUE, and STASI. (Okay, so that is already a toehold, if not a foothold.) Like Splynter did, I gritted my teeth at ROTES. MUSCLE shirt? Sheesh. Exactly as Splynter did, I put in LIE instead of FIB, which led me to enter EVENLY instead of BARELY. Bzzzt! And is a BASILICA really a pilgrimage destination? HMM ..

TTP, it is Lucina who is noted for saying "Yowza!" I'm more of a "Man oh man" kinda guy.

So, is refusing to respond to trauma caused by verbal (emailed) abuse, refusing to get into a pissing match, CLOSURE? Maybe in a few more months ...

Best wishes to you all.

Bill G. said...

Happy Saturday to everybody! This puzzle were pretty damned hard for me. WEES. ROTES just feels and sounds wrong. If the constructor needed it to make the rest of the puzzle work, OK, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

Pas, for a dictator (1:20), think of someone giving dictation (in the old days) to a stenographer. They might say, "In regard to ..." or shorten it to INRE. So it's a different kind of dictator than we were thinking of at first. Very sneaky...

Spitzboov said...

Pas @ 1320 - The dictionary defines 'in re' as " in the matter of : concerning, re —often used in the title or name of a law case". So if you were a lawyer dictating a letter, you might start out with: IN RE ……(the matter at hand) …………….
Ergo; a dictator's phrase.
and what BillG said

Pookie said...

Thanks Bill G and Spitzboov.
V8 smack!!
I was thinking Lourdes for the pilgrimage too, Lucina, but it wouldn't fit.
I start out trying to solve on paper, but Saturdays I resort to red letter help.
And it didn't help thinking WBA was Women's Basketball Assoc.

Anonymous said...

What is the point of puzzles like this one? I don't see the purpose in making a puzzle that's impossible to solve.
This is all about the constructor, and nothing about the people who enjoy crossword puzzles.
The people here continue to stroke 'silkies' ego, as if he were some sort of genius. He's not.
He comes off as arrogant and elitist.
Anyone can make a puzzle that is impossible to solve. It takes real talent to create a challenging, yet enjoyable puzzle.
I will continue to petition my newspaper to no longer run garbag puzzles like this.

I'm off to find a Stanley Newman puzzle.

Good day all.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Speaking of BMT ("Before My Time") I started this one Before Mr. Silk's Time. That's why I had TORPEDO ALLEY long before the perps forced me to change to TORNADO ALLEY. Back in the day, pre-nuclear subs (like the USS Nautilus) would glide along near the surface so their air funnels could reach above the water line. But of course the recent headline-making rash of tornadoes should have wiped that memory from my mind. (Shoulda but dinna.)

I got this one, although at first it felt beyond my reach. Only a few re-writes were needed. One of them was the "Rat" perp (44D) from TORNADO ALLEY. I had a "P" for TORPEDO, and that forced my 44D "Rat" to be SPITCH. Somehow I guessed that a heavily accented stoolie was not what was wanted.

Anonymous T said...

G'Afternoon Folks:

After staring at a blank grid for more than an hour, I finally put in IBAR. And that's all I got. /sigh

@1:43 Anon... Others who know way more than I (me MALTA = Italian Malt?) enjoyed it and Silk's puzzles are, well, puzzling. I don't think there's an arrogance about it, just a hard darn puzzle that gives folks who find Mondays & Tuesdays boring somthing to really noodle on.

Splynter - thanks for doing the expo and putting me out of my misery. A fun test will be to see if, even reading the answers, I can approach the puzzle after a nap and get more than IBAR :-)

Have a great Saturday all. I'm off to Fry's to pickup some gear.

Cheers, -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

I've been reading some of the complaints today. The only one I can really join is in the cry against ROTES. In practice, more than one rote would still fall under the use of the singular term, rote, as they're all part of the "rote system." In the same vein, we wouldn't say "memorizations" or such opposites as "critical thinkings" or "spontaneities."

The other complaints--for BASILICA, for instance (many a Catholic pays a pilgrim visit to the basilica of a new town), and for EDS (who obviously failed in giving support to Life)--seem sour grapes to me. (I'm just sayin'.)

My gimmes were few, just SAKI, SAHL, ISLAM, and CHAGALL. I was surprised when BUNKER MENTALITY fell pretty quickly after that, but that opened up the center of the crossword and helped me to the momentum that Yellowrocks extolls.

Yellowrocks said...

ANONYMOUS T, well said answer to ANON @ 1:43. Some of us enjoy the mental challenge of a Silkie, whether or not we get every answer every time. Look how many solved this puzzle 100% correctly without or with just a little help. Look how many have been able to find more and more correct answers after repeatedly trying Silkies. Keeping an open, optimistic mind about puzzles like this could make you successful, too.These mental calisthenics help us to grow. We tolerate Mondays and Tuesdays. Please tolerate Saturdays for us.

desper-otto said...

Anon@1:34 -- Saturday puzzles are supposed to be themeless and challenging. Check! Should include some nice fill: BUNKER MENTALITY, SCREECH OWL, TORNADO ALLEY, SQUALL LINE. Check! If proper names are used, they should come from a variety of backgrounds: CHAGALL (Arts), SAKI (Literature), AMOS (Bible), ULTRABOY (Comic Books), ANDRETTI (Auto Racing), STOSSEL (Newscaster), FABIAN (One-time Teen Idol). Check! Cluing should require some thinking outside the box. Check! Put it all together, and this one was just right for a Saturday. Tough, but ultimately doable.

Spitz, what's the significance of "E A E" on the side of the Nautilus? Eye test, perhaps?

desper-otto said...

Damn dyslexia! I meant 1:43.

Ol' Man Keith said...


I enjoyed the mawkish fun of the "Dog Named Stains" song, but I have to demur about the snorting laugh track--which only made me groan. For me, that kind of snarky accompaniment intrudes and signals that the artists don't trust their material.

Floored said...


The anon's post at 1:43 was ridiculous indeed.

But your comment, "We tolerate Mondays and Tuesdays. Please tolerate Saturdays for us." was even more so.

Seriously? You TOLERATE Monday and Tuesday puzzles?!? There are several elitist posters here on the blog and now you're eligible to the be club president.

Jayce said...

Holy wow, the New Zealanders almost capsized their boat! (America's Cup)

Bill G. said...

Heh heh, as much as it pains me, I find myself in slight agreement with Anon (1:43). I was ready to write him/her off as the usual ill-tempered snark but his 'Stanley Newman' closing comment made me smile. Maybe he is a droll fellow just putting us on a little bit. (On the other hand, maybe not.) Saturday Silkies are never my favorites. Like AnonT and YR, I admire the skill to construct the puzzle but I don't much enjoy the result. Your mileage may differ. Do any of you know, does Mr. Silk ever construct themed puzzles?

I would never have guessed I would find a predictable sitcom with a laugh track to be as enjoyable as I do when watching some older reruns of The Big Bang Theory. When so many smart CW people here whom I respect recommended it, I had to give it a fair tryout. I just finished a rerun of Sheldon going to traffic court. The writers that day had their act together for sure. There were some really great scenes and lines such that I found myself laughing out loud several times.

CrossEyedDave said...

Anon @ 1:43pm

I am in 100% agreement with your statement " It takes real talent to create a challenging, yet enjoyable puzzle." What makes it even more difficult is that the puzzle solvers out there are in all different stages of development. I enjoy Monday thru (sometimes) Thursday puzzles, but Friday & Saturday (for me) are something to aspire to. Can I do it? (obviously no...)

Someday, somehow, I will complete a Saturday Silkie unaided. & it is striving for that day that keeps me alive...

Mr. Silk, (can I call you Barry?)
You vex me!

(normally I would include a link of Kahn cursing Captain Kirk here) but I love being puzzled!

Keep up the good work!

(Can you imagine Saturdays with out a Silkie?) (I rue the day...)

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

As usual with Silkies, I went from: this is impossible - OK, I got a few - walk away, come back get a few more - maybe I'll give up - whole areas open up - and then, miraculously, it's done!

I broke through after finally getting MUSCLE shirts (I had Tie-dye) and then changing 6D - Life support syst. from 'EMS' to EDS. Like others, I didn't "get it" until Splynter enlightened me.

The other area that broke things open for me was NCAA GAME. I had the 'GAME' but couldn't figure out how to fit 'tournament' in front of it. Sigh.

I really enjoyed guessing my way through this one - it was fun when everything started to come together, even though I had a number of unknowns. Like Spitzboov, I tend to over think Barry Silk's puzzles at times.

Splynter ~ I always enjoy your information and especially your comments. Your solving experience always makes me chuckle ~ love your reactions to the cluing/answers. Thanks for tackling the tough ones!

C.C. ~ I really enjoyed reading about "An Evening with the Puzzle Master." The pics were wonderful - a great one of you and Will. Thanks so much for sharing.

Anonymous T said...

Floored -

No, I don't think it's "elitist", it's simply that YR has been doing puzzles for a long time and has a truck load of info in her head and finds some puzzles just too boring. I've found myself not enjoying a Monday now and again because it was too easy (I'm sure others have too). However, when I first started playing, I was so happy to get through a Monday without help. Then a Tuesday, and I'm almost up to all Wednesdays... Not that some Monday's still aren't a challenge.

Be a lover, not a hater Bro...


Pookie said...

I was "puzzled" about some answers today, but the most thought-provoking part of the blog for me today was the poem you posted, "Spirits of the Bison"
I read it three times and still didn't really understand how I felt about it.
After some Googling I found "buffalo jump" and that it was a way for many tribes to kill and process the bison.I never knew that. Thanks, YR for a learning moment for me today. Thank you.

Burrito34 said...

Anonymous T.

I agree with what you said. I would like to add that this is one of the friendliest blogs I've run across and I don't see anything elitist at all, just folks who enjoy crosswords, good conversation and discovering the new factoids and items that these puzzles bring. Even the Monday and Tuesday ones.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, barry Silk, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Splynter, for a fine review.

This was tough. It is supposed to be.

I spent 2 1/2 hours this morning on it and could not finish. I had a funeral to go to, so I left. After that had a birthday party of a friend and went there. When I got home I hit the puzzle again and finished in a half hour. Sometimes it helps to get away for a while and then attack it again.

Needless to say I could not get a foothold anywhere, just bounced around with a word here and there. Finally got the NE corner. finally got all but the NW corner and the middle.

Had NUM for 41 A and UMM for 33A. Finally tried NOS for 41A which gave me MOODY and BASSO. Then CAPE MAY appeared and PSHAW.

My start in the NW was MELTS and LARAMS. Had OWL already, so SCREECH fit and worked. Then ETCHED and MUSCLE appeared. SNEAK PREVIEW became obvious.

BUNKER MENTALITY was easy after a few perps.

My last letter was the third S in STOSSEL, which also gave me SAMARA. Just ran through the alphabet until I got it.

I believe a PIP is a spot on a card. Could be any card game. Doesn't have to be bridge.

Now I have one more birthday party to go to. So that's 1 funeral, 2 birthdays, and a 3 hour crossword today. The day will be shot.

See you tomorrow.



PK said...

Keith: I don't like laugh tracks either, but it took me a while to catch on to the DFness of that piece. Duh! If it hadn't had a laugh track, I wouldn't have caught on at all that it was mawkish and it was soooo sad about the boy dying...

I've been trying for two days to get ahold of my eldest brother. Last time I heard from him two weeks ago, they were pulling their camper to Estes Park, Colo. He didn't say how long they were going to stay. Since they were taking that big ol' thing, I thought they might stay awhile. They are probably just somewhere with no electricity or back home and leading their busy social life. But I don't like not being able to connect during a major disaster.

My daughter & SIL have reservations at an inn in Estes Park for later this week. I'm trying to convince them to go elsewhere. After 12 inches of rain, I'm guessing mountain roads might not be too stable. And some are already washed out. She thinks I'm being alarmist. You betcha! She doesn't watch the news.

Spitzboov said...

D-O @ 1517. I believe those should be read as individual letters and that they represent excellence awards that the Nautilus earned at sometime during her career. You see those frequently on surface ships. Probably won at the Squadron or Force level. The 'A' is probably for ASW (antisubmarine warfare), the 'E's' are probably for Weapons or Operations. A red 'E' would signify engineering, and a green'E' maybe aviation. The Sub museum at Groton probably selected the awards from the ship's history it wished to show. If any former Nautilus sailors read this, please chime in and comment or correct me where I'm wrong.

JJM said...

My 14 year-old and I made the PILGRIMAGE down to Notre Dame to watch the Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks open up their training camp. What a great day we had. Watch out for them this year as well.

Puzzle took a few minutes longer than usual but fun!

Anonymous said...

PatSolver: Is it possible that the cluing for 51D is incorrect? I thought the answer was INRI--phrase ordered by Pontius Pilate (dictator)to be placed on Jesus' cross- Iesus Nazorenus Rex Iudaeorum

Yellowrocks said...

pas de chat, sorry the poem seemed obscure. The Native Americans hunted bison by herding them towards a cliff. They formed a funnel shape of men and horses squeezibg the herd into a narrower and narrower amount of space. Too late the leaders of the herd would see the cliff and those behind, not realizing what was up ahead, would stampede them over the cliff. The Native Americaans used every part of the bison for food, clothing, shelters, ropes, thread, etc, unlike the new Americans who wasted the bison for sport.

Bill G. said...

I realize that earlier today, I assumed (as I often do) that an Anon was male. In the past, several people began posting in black and then changed to blue. When I read their Profile, I realized I had assumed their gender incorrectly. For whatever reason, I tend to assume snarky anons are male. Do you do the same? I'm guessing it's true in general though I don't know why it should be.

Pookie said...

The poem was great! David Pekrul is talented. I looked him up and will read more of his work.
Up 'til now, the only poetry for me was:
A harpist must have pluck
A long black dress
And a truck
No need to apologize just because it was obscure to me. I sussed it out eventually and learned something to boot.
Thanks again, and keep 'em comin'!

Irish Miss said...

Bill G. @ 4:08 - I don't know about now, but the early TBBT was supposedly filmed before a live audience. As I have over-dosed on re-runs, I know the episode you are referring to which, indeed, was one of the better ones.

Last season, however, Mari, Jace, and I (and maybe others) were very disappointed in the show's drift into meanness, unnecessary and juvenile "potty" language and, at least to me, a fixation on female anatomy. The show lost its originality and uniqueness, IMO. It'll be interesting to see how the new season fares. (Although, it was still the #1 show almost every week last season. That's because of the 18-49 demographic, I suppose.)

Pookie said...

BTW, DH just came home with a live Maine lobster from Ranch 99.
$7.99 a lb.
He took a hot bath.
SoCal solvers, "Get thee to a Ranch 99"
Too hot tonight, but tomorrow, it's "Lobsta Roll"

Blue Iris said...

I had trouble with most all formal names and places, but always feel like I learn something new after trying to do a Silkie. After WAGS and red-letter help finish, I went back later in the day and re-did puzzle. Felt like a genius!! LOL

I have "get me out of this BUNKER MENTALITY!" Thanks Bill G. for identifying with me the other day. I think I'm most afraid of tendon blow-out!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Irish Miss said...

Pas @ 7:49 - Enjoy that lobsta! I had one last night. ($5.99 per lb.) but it was a chick. Enough for me, though, with sides.

Lucina said...

Hello, again. Just returned from a lively book club discussion and I'm catching up on the comments.

I'll just add that a BASILICA is a pilgrimage destination for special blessings which reside within its dedicatory assignation. The Pope may designate a particular year or saint's day for a Plenary Indulgence.

River Doc said...

Marti, yes, BASQUE was my favorite answer....

WMEES - What Most Everybody Else Said - about difficult Saturday puzzles, especially Silkies. At first, just finishing Monday and Tuesday puzzles was an accomplishment. Now it's more of a test to see how quickly they can be completed. Friday and Saturday puzzles are a challenge, as they are supposed to be. More misdirections, much more obscure culling and answering. They can be daunting, but also much more of a personal achievement when solved. On the day when I finally do a Silkie, I'll probably do a little jig or something then set a new goal for myself. I forget who it was, but someone on The Corner here had a great idea for a personal test - getting an entire weeks worth of puzzles done without outside help....

Bill G. said...

Two questions I asked earlier. I'm hoping somebody knows the answers or at least has an opinion. Or, maybe not.

1) Does Saturday Silk ever construct themed puzzles? Have any been run recently by the LAT? If not, where?

2) Do you usually think of snarky anons as male or is it just me? If so, why do you suppose we assume that?

Blue Iris, you are welcome. Do you take anti-inflammatories? Which ones?

PK said...

YR: The last bus tour I took went to Buffalo Jump. Tonight I can't remember whether it was in US or Canada. I think the latter. After cutting everything they could use from each buffalo, the Indians would burn the area to purify the earth, according to the Indian who spoke to our group. The ash would turn their moccasins black and they became known as "Blackfoot" Indians.

One of the woman on the tour thought driving the buffalo off the cliff was "so cruel and sad." I told her it was also ingenius and necessary when they didn't have a handy supermarket and freezer to keep from starving.

Argyle said...

Barry Silk did do weekday puzzles but you have to go back to 2010 and older to find them.

OwenKL said...

Really late posting this. Had a hard start, but was eventually amazed at how far I got before having to resort to googling. ULTRAMAN and TORNADO CLOUD etc. balled me up for a while, but on the other hand I knew Mort SAHL right off. 6D and 17A though -- I have LARAMI & EDI. Larami was bought by Hasbro, but after it invented Super Soakers and Nerf Blasters, so Larami teams were common enough, though I don't know about Coliseums. E.D.I. has so many possibilities, but the most likely seems to be the onboard artificial intelligence program in Mass Effect 2 & 3 that controls everything, including the ship's environmental systems.

Anonymous T said...

Bill G:

I can't comment on Silk's puzzle style as I've only started paying attention to the constructors since joining the blog.

I suppose I assume that snarky Anons are male as my bias/stereotype is that men are trained/encouraged to be forward and speak (even if they should just Thumper). Women are trained to be more timid and "nice." I, however, try to train my girls not to take a back-seat to anyone. I grew up during ERA and my wife's work includes women's studies so I'm an enlightened male (or at least now know how to pretend :-)).

Cheers, -T

aka thelma said...

Late... I'm always late.... and usually try to keep my thoughts to myself... :) didn't do worth a darn on this puzzle today... but always appreciate the puzzle even while I am complaining... :) so.... thanx Barry S and Splynter...

Tho....... I'm not so sure how many jokes Mort Sahl wrote "for" Kennedy... more like critical of Kennedy... of course I could be wrong..... ??

My best wishes to you all.....


redtail said...

UTAHN? Yes, I realize (now) that Utahans call themselves that sometimes, but it felt pretty low of Mr. Silk to use this version, even on a Saturday.