Sep 18, 2013

Wednesday, September 18th 2013, C.C.Burnikel

(Note from C.C.: It's Jazzbumpa's turn today, but Steve blogged today's puzzle also. So a rare double treat for us! Jazzbumpa first, then Steve.)

Theme: My mom is one - TWINS.  Each starred clue is answered by one of a brace of famous real or mythical twins.  The crossing theme answer is the other twin of the pair.  Further, one of these twins is indicated by a two-word answer in which the second word is a red herring, while the other is a simple one-word name, clued in a way that should specifically identify the set of TWINS in question.

17A. *Edward Cullen's rival for Bella's hand, in the "Twilight" series : JACOB BLACK.  I haven't watched this series, so it took a lot of perp help. 

2D. *Biblical birthright seller : ESAU.  JACOB's TWIN.  Isaac's non-identical twin sons are both frequent crossword denizens.  You know the story.

23A. *She played Michelle on "Full House" : MARY-KATE. Tricky, since the roll was shared by both of these TWINS.

11. *"High Crimes" actress : ASHLEY JUDD.  As this point, having only half sussed the theme, I'm thinking - wait!  The Judd sisters aren't twins! But MARY KATE and ASHLEY Olsen are.  They have since grown up, or at least gotten older.

45 A. *Brother of Helen of Troy, some say : POLLUX.  I did not know that.

28 D. *Source of an age-old medicinal oil : CASTOR BEAN.  CASTOR OIL, of course.  I don't recall ever being subjected to this cure. CASTOR and POLLUX in Greek mythology, present a confusing case. Per Wikipedia: "Their mother was Leda, but Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus, the king of Sparta, and Pollux the divine son of Zeus, who seduced or raped Leda in the guise of a swan (Greek myths concerning divine sex are often vague on the issue of female consent)."  That's more than I can comprehend.  Better still, Helen also had a TWIN, the unfortunately named Clytemnestra.  CASTOR and POLLUX are also the brightest stars in the constellation Gemini, and a pet products brand.

59 A. *Beach Boys title girl : BARBARA ANN.  This takes me back to my ute.  But back in the day [1961] this was a hit recording for the Regents.  The Beach Boys cover came later.

44 D. *"Today" correspondent __ Bush Hager : JENNA.  BARBARA and JENNA are the daughters of former President George W. Bush, and clearly non-identical TWINS.  They also got older.  Here they are with their mom, former first lady Laura Bush.

And the unifier:  64 A. Target Field team, and each pair of intersecting names in the answers to starred clues : TWINS.  C.C.'s home baseball team is not having a good year.  They play three games against the Tigers next Mon.- Wed.

It took me quite a while to find C.C.'s wavelength.  But wow - eight paired, crossing theme entries, with the long theme entries in perfect symmetry, plus a unifier stacked below the last horizontal theme fill. Also, two TWIN sets are male and two are female. I don't even want to think about what it took to put this together.

Hi gang, a very impressed JazzBumpa here.  Let's see what else C.C. has in store for us the rest of the way.


1. Nation between Togo and Nigeria : BENIN.  Along the west coast of Africa where it takes a big sweep to the east.

6. "Look over here!" : PSST.  Sibilant attention getter. 

10. CSNY member : NASH.  Of course I should know what CSNY is, and of course, I didn't.  Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, famous for their tight harmonies.  Back to my ute again.

14. Private line? : ASIDE.  A stage line spoken to the audience, not the other players.

15. Elevator man : OTIS.  In 1853, Elisha Otis invented the elevator safety brake.  Now, 160 years later, his company's products are used in over 200 countries around the world.

16. "It's clear now" : I SEE

19. Genghis __ : KHAN.  No relation to Madelaine.

20. "The Plains of Passage" author : AUEL.  Jane

21. Former SSR : UKR.  The Ukraine.

22. Pharmaceutical rep's samples : PILLS.  

26. Dogpatch creator : AL CAPP

31. Alley cats, e.g. : STRAYS

33. Some crowns : TIARAS

34. Desert tableland : MESA.  Spanish for "table."

35. Blue bird : JAY

37. Looking for a fight : TESTY

38. Suffix with infer : IOR  This, I believe, is pushing it.

39. Cook, in a way : SAUTE

41. Bar bowl item : NUT

42. "Don't tell me!" : OH NO

44. 2007 "American Idol" winner Sparks : JORDIN. Pretty obscure.

47. Fails to pronounce : ELIDES.  This took some thought.  It means omitting a sound or syllable in a spoken word.  I heard it in my ute.

48. Image to identify on a driver's license exam : ROAD SIGN

51. Drifters : HOBOS

53. Diarist Anaïs : NIN

54. Neighbor of a Cambodian : THAI

58. Short race, briefly : ONE K.  One kilometer, about .6 miles.

62. Ruse : SCAM.  Phoney business.

63. Duel tool : EPEE. The most common crossword weapon.

65. Funny Dame : EDNA.  Dame EDNA Everage is a character created and performed by Australian comedian Barry Humphries.  That's all I know.

66. Bombs : DUDS.  Funny how language twists.  "A bomb" is a failure, but "THE bomb" is something really cool, while a "bomb" can blow you away.

67. Narrow piece, as of cloth : STRIP.  Other definitions are possible.


1. __ California : BAJA.  Spanish for "lower."  The peninsula extending south from CA is part of Mexico.

3. "Great shot!" : NICE.  Well done

4. Teen Vogue subject : IDOL.  Today's star, tomorrow's has-been.

5. Lincoln's st. : NEB.  Nebraska.  Gary can tell us all about it.

6. Beer garden music : POLKA.  Oom-pah!

7. Super Bowl I and II MVP : STARR. Bart, QB for the Packers.

8. [Not my error] : SIC.  Short for sic erat scriptum, "thus was it written."  Used when something in a quote looks not quite right.

9. "That wasn't nice" : TSK.  Comic book admonition.

10. Former Soviet leader Khrushchev : NIKITA.  Famous shoe banger.  Or maybe not.

12. Corporate emblem : SEAL.  I wanted LOGO.

13. Egg sources : HENS.

18. Bruises partner : BUMPS.  They go together.

22. Shade provider : PARASOL.  I wanted ELM TREE.

24. North Sea feeder : YSER.  I didn't know what I wanted.

25. Naut. speed units : KTS.  Knots.  Wikipedia again: The knot (pronounced not) is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile (1.852 km) per hour, approximately 1.151 mph

26. Env. router : ATTN. Abrv. for attention, often used on inter-office communication envelopes.

27. Stay awake in bed : LIE UP.  Or deliberately leave your golf shot short of a hazard.

29. Part of MOMA : ART.  The Museum of Modern ART.

30. Promotional bribes : PAYOLAS.  Big scandal back in my ute.

32. Composer Erik : SATIE.  French.

34. Cattle call : MOO.  Of the cattle, not to the cattle.

36. Hankerings : YENS.  I thought about going to Japan, but didn't have the YEN to travel.

38. "Need You Tonight" band : INXS

40. First name in shipping : ARI.  Onassis.

43. 1963 Newman/Neal film : HUD.  Family strife, sexual tension and diseased cattle on a Texas ranch.

46. Start of a show-off kid's cry : LOOK MA.  Followed by "No hands!"  and CRASH!

49. How traditional Chinese brides dress : IN RED.  Why not?  It's a festive color.

50. Taunts : GIBES

51. Garden waterer : HOSE

52. Burned, in a high-tech way : ON CD.  Probably the next music presentation format to become obsolete.

54. "I __ I taw ..." : TAWT.  A puddy tat.  Tweety Bird

55. It may have highlights : HAIR.

56. Years, to Caesar : ANNI.

57. Clouseau's rank: Abbr. : INSP.  Inspector Jacques Clouseau, the bumbling police detective played by Peter Sellers.  A portrayal by any other actor is a SCAM and a fraud.

59. Place to sleep : BED.  Or plant flowers

60. Bart's Squishee provider : APU.  He runs the Kwik-E-Mart on the Simpson's TV show.

61. ACLU concerns : RTS.  Rights, not routes, except for the one to the court house. 

There you have it.  This puzzle did not BOMB.  In fact, I'd say it was THE bomb.

Cool regards!


Theme: Double Vision: Squint a little further and there's another solve right there!

17A. *Edward Cullen's rival for Bella's hand, in the "Twilight" series : JACOB BLACK
2D. *Biblical birthright seller : ESAU: And a very expensive bowl of soup.

23A. *She played Michelle on "Full House" : MARY KATE
11D. *"High Crimes" actress : ASHLEY JUDD. And a very expensive backpack - $55,000 anyone? To be fair, Ms. Judd had nothing to do with this. A reference to the Olsen twins.

45A. *Brother of Helen of Troy, some say : POLLUX
28D. *Source of an age-old medicinal oil : CASTOR BEAN: You really should look these two up. Not appropriate for family viewing.

59A. *Beach Boys title girl : BARBARA ANN
44D. *"Today" correspondent __ Bush Hager : JENNA: POTUS 41 offspring.

64A. Target Field team, and each pair of intersecting names in the answers to starred clues : TWINS

Just because I love saying "Miiiinesodda" - here's POTUS 40 announcing a Twins game back in 1935:

Hi everyone - Steve again. Was this just me or was this a really tough Wednesday? I was picking around the corners, I couldn't see a theme, there were names, names, names .. these are the puzzles I love - I know I can ....... just ...... get ...... there ..... if ....... I .... keep ...... at Oh, then I see it's a  C.C teaser. Thanks, I swear she does it just to keep all the regulars honest! 


1. Nation between Togo and Nigeria : BENIN. I know that, I drive that road every day. Ummm.

6. "Look over here!" : PSST

10. CSNY member : NASH. Now this was thoroughly obscure for me. I was thinking "C whatever State New York" University- Nash College? Oh no, wildly wrong. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. My bad.

14. Private line? : ASIDE

15. Elevator man : OTIS

16. "It's clear now" : I SEE

19. Genghis __ : KHAN

20. "The Plains of Passage" author : AUEL. A thoroughly opportune vowel combination to guarantee crossword immortality! The book isn't bad, either.

21. Former SSR : UKR. My swim coach Dmitri is from the Ukraine, and coached for the Soviet Socialist Republics before he realized is was better to move to sunny SoCal and coach me.

22. Pharmaceutical rep's samples : PILLS

26. Dogpatch creator : AL CAPP

31. Alley cats, e.g. : STRAYS They strut, those stray cats ....

33. Some crowns : TIARAS

34. Desert tableland : MESA

35. Blue bird : JAY

37. Looking for a fight : TESTY

38. Suffix with infer : IOR, Hmmmmmm , not a fan of this one - it's not really a suffix infer/inferior - ah not the same thing

39. Cook, in a way : SAUTE Food! Yay! I sautéd some shrimp for dinner tonight

41. Bar bowl item : NUT. Don't eat the nuts on the bar unless you've seen them poured and you've had the only hands in them. I won't gross you out by explaining.

42. "Don't tell me!" : OH NO. After you find out about the nuts on the bar.

44. 2007 "American Idol" winner Sparks : JORDIN. Perps.

47. Fails to pronounce : ELIDES. I finally got this one after YEARS of telling myself to remember it. And I needed it for a whole bunch of crosses

48. Image to identify on a driver's license exam : ROAD SIGN

The ones in my native Ireland are not always too helpful as Irish Miss and Mari can affirm:

51. Drifters : HOBOS

53. Diarist Anaïs : NIN

54. Neighbor of a Cambodian : THAI

58. Short race, briefly : ONE K, I'm running a 5K in November in November as a prelude to a triathlon in San Diego in January. It's been mmmmnmmnmm years since I've run to the store, so it'll be interesting.

62. Ruse : SCAM

63. Duel tool : EPEE

65. Funny Dame : EDNA. Dame Edna Everage. Here she is in all her glory:

66. Bombs : DUDS. There's a lot of folks wished the bombs they heard were duds.

67. Narrow piece, as of cloth : STRIP


1. __ California : BAJA. Just south of me, and a wonderful place to go. Don't believe everything you read in the papers.

3. "Great shot!" : NICE

4. Teen Vogue subject : IDOL

5. Lincoln's st. : NEB. Lincoln the town, not the President - he was born in Kentucky, not Nebraska.

6. Beer garden music : POLKA. It's Oktoberfest very soon - get ready to polka! Which is odd, as the polka is Polish, but what the hey! Drink beer and dance with a green hat and a feather!

7. Super Bowl I and II MVP : STARR. This Green Bay Quarterback also goes by BART, which fits nicely into a puzzle grid when the Simpsons are getting tired.

8. [Not my error] : SIC. Ooops

9. "That wasn't nice" : TSK. [Sorry, not my error]

10. Former Soviet leader Khrushchev : NIKITA

12. Corporate emblem : SEAL

13. Egg sources : HENS

18. Bruises partner : BUMPS

22. Shade provider : PARASOL

24. North Sea feeder : YSER. Not a fish, the Belgian river. Look, here's an Argyle-style explanation:

Oh wait, that's London - never mind

25. Naut. speed units : KTS. A knot is one nautical mile, and it is a precise division of the earth's circumference at it's equator. Lots of nice theme words and a bit of Scrabble in there!

26. Env. router : ATTN. Yeah, you lost me here.

27. Stay awake in bed : LIE UP. Nope. I stay up. When I can can't get up I lie in. Sorry!

29. Part of MOMA : ART. The wonderful Museum of Modern Art in New York City. I spent a day there lost in everything.

30. Promotional bribes : PAYOLAS

32. Composer Erik : SATIE. You've probably heard this but it's wonderful

34. Cattle call : MOO

36. Hankerings : YENS

38. "Need You Tonight" band : INXS. I'd post a link but I'm still listening to Gymnopédie No.1

40. First name in shipping : ARI. Jackie's friend

43. 1963 Newman/Neal film : HUD

46. Start of a show-off kid's cry : LOOK MA. Ends up in the ER.

49. How traditional Chinese brides dress : IN RED. C.C? We'd love to see you in red! (From C.C. I have a picture of Boomer dressed IN RED traditional Chinese coat.)

May 2003, Boomer Retirement Lunch

50. Taunts : GIBES

51. Garden waterer : HOSE

52. Burned, in a high-tech way : ON CD

54. "I __ I taw ..." : TAWT

I worked for Warner Bros. for a while - I learned that Warner Bros. is not Warner Brothers! Oh No! It is Warner Bros.(period) - as I hope I have adequately proven. Also, this this yellow annoyance is called Tweety. Not Tweety Bird. No bird - simply Tweety. Call this thing "Tweety Bird" and it's close to a hanging offense. I escaped - just.

55. It may have highlights : HAIR

56. Years, to Caesar : ANNI.

57. Clouseau's rank: Abbr. : INSP. The clumsy Inspector of the Pink Panther movies.

59. Place to sleep : BED

60. Bart's Squishee provider : APU

61. ACLU concerns : RTS.  Hmmm - Rights? I get the American Civil Liberties Union but ..

That's it from me - a great Wednesday from C.C. - had me guessing and picking all the way. Take care out here and have a wonderful rest of the week!


More from C.C.:

Some of you solved the "Crosswords with Friends" puzzle I put on the blog last Sunday. George Barany & Friends specially made it for the Will Shortz event. I chucked (Edited later: I meant "chuckled", D-Otto, :-), I'm amazing like that!) reading his comments on the TWINS clue change. See here (almost the bottom).

I submitted this puzzle in February and it was accepted in May, long before the Twins traded Morneau. Sigh. Go Pirates!


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Brilliant construction from our fearless leader. Unfortunately, I just wasn't on C.C.'s wavelength today and this one nearly crushed my soul as a result.

Did not know/remember that the Bush girls were twins or even that their names were JENNA and BARBARA. I got further confused by the fact that JENNA was clued as who she really is, whereas all the other starred answers were clued as different people/things. Does that make sense? As a result, I "knew" that whoever the twins were for that crossing, they couldn't possibly be the Bush girls since Bush was included in the clue for Jenna. It didn't help that I had no idea who JORDIN Sparks was, so I even doubted whether JENNA was correct in the first place...

KTS. Seriously? Guess I need to brush up on my abbreviations, but I was sure that had to be wrong when I didn't get the *TADA*.

As for why I didn't get the *TADA*, I had SHAM instead of SCAM at 62, which gave me the very off ONHD for 52D. I just assumed that this was some new way of referring to High Definition, but it didn't make any sense to me. But I was soooo sure about SHAM that I just accepted it and moved on.


Lemonade714 said...

Dueling banjos was just the beginning. First, an intricate theme and puzzle from the Twins former fan and then twin write ups fro our Wednesday duo, awesome.

Starting with BENIN did not make this easy, I never watched Twilight and had trouble all o r the place. Really nice challenge C.C. and now we have two perspectives...great, think you guys

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning Jazzbumpa and Steve. Interesting puzzle and interesting to have two commentators.

Barry G ~ the clue for one of the twins in each pairing was the actual twin of the pair. ESAU was the actual birthright seller; MARY-KATE was Michele on Full House, etc.

Thanks, Steve, for linking the Stray Cats. Brian Setzer is one of my favorite musicians.

JAYS are mean birds. They will taunt cats by swooping down on them and nipping their ears.

Yesterday we had a Fire alarm at the office. We had to evacuate the building. Lots of people used umbrellas as PARASOLS to provide some shade from the heat.

LIE UP is a new phrase for me.

QOD: There is no one who would have me ~ I can’t cook. ~ Greta Garbo (Sept. 18, 1905 ~ Apr. 15, 1990)


Montana said...

Good morning, everyone.
What a great Wednesday puzzle! I got BENIN, PSST and NASH. Then I got 1-13 down answers. I finished the puzzle quickly from there on. I guess I was on CC's wavelength.

Gramma duty can occupy nearly every minute of a day. I leave my iPad in my bedroom so can't read the blog until bedtime, and the adults stay up late. I am up earlier this morning.

Thanks to Marti, Dudley, and Hondo for driving to Hartford for lunch on Monday. I rode trains so I managed to get there also. It was so neat to meet some fellow crossword friends in person. Food was great, conversation was great and the walk in the park was great. Thanks again.

Gotta go. I hear the grandsons playing,


HeartRx said...

Good morning Jazzbumpa, Steve, C.C. and fellow solvers!

Wow, wow, wow is all I can say. I was somewhat intimidated by all the names that started appearing, but somehow they were all familiar – some vaguely, and some very. I did notice the TWINs where MARY KATE intersected ASHLEY, so that gave me the theme.

I finished it in a little over 11 minutes, so it took me a while to go back and stare at the grid to appreciate the elegance of the execution. Having one of each set of twins clued as the actual person, and the other twin only using the first word of the intersecting entry, added another layer of elegance.

Eight theme entries is a lot, and if you have never constructed a puzzle you need to understand how brilliant it is to have such a theme-rich puzzle with a bare minimum of inferior fill. IOR was about the only “meh” from me, but I still would go with that entry to have such a marvelous end result.

Thanks C.C. for a happy hump day puzzle! (I did laugh when I read the clue for TWINS, as I know you recently changed alliances…)

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Would you believe that I didn't get the theme? I thought so. Whew! There were a lot of names in this one, and a lot that I didn't recognize. Fortunately, I was not PERPlexed (lexed is a suffix for perp).

It's interesting that KHAN and KAHN are pronounced the same. Also interesting that Oktoberfest is held in September, and the no-smoking rules are enforced. Still interesting that the medicinal CASTOR bean is the source of the poison ricin.

A local development company is building a subdivision at the entrance to our town. Our woodsy mile-long drive from the freeway will soon be no more. Instead of MESA, they're calling it TAVOLA (Italian for table). I call it REVOLTA.

Steve, I could see that big wheel at the bend of the river YSER. Jzb, enjoyed the "did he banger, or didn't he" discussion.

What a difference a letter makes! C.C., I chuckLed when you chucked reading his comments.

Barry G. said...

Barry G ~ the clue for one of the twins in each pairing was the actual twin of the pair. ESAU was the actual birthright seller; MARY-KATE was Michele on Full House, etc.

Wow, you are absolutely right! I can't believe I didn't pick that up while solving...

Anonymous said...

Really fun theme-- although I don't know any of the Twilight stuff, but could figure it out by perps.
V-8 moment for me: got all the popular culture twin references (e.g. Mary Kate/Ashley, Jenna/Barbara), but couldn't see the Jacob/Esau cross until reading the blog. I kept thinking hmmm Jacob/Baja what twins are these? (especially embarassing with my spouse being a pastor).
Only weak clue was the oneK-- there aren't 1 K races generally except for "fun runs" before 5Ks because one lap of most tracks is 400m around so most races are 400, 800, 1200, etc. But able to get the answer with perps. The overall complexity was amazing.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. 'Dueling banjos' -Lemon- Good one. (Non-identical) twin intros from JazzB and Steve. We are truly blest. Cool BEANS.

Great puzzle, C.C.; enjoyed it very much. Caught whiffs of the theme during the solve, but Steve and Jazz laid it out. Liked POLLUX and CASTOR; two bright stars.
KT or nautical mile per hour. - A nautical mile is one minute of latitude. 60Nm is one degree of Latitude. It is a very useful measurement concept at sea, and in working out navigation fixes.

Have a great day.

kazie said...

I'm with Steve here--too many names almost had me quitting before starting. But wags and perps got me through it eventually, albeit with a break to do the sudoku before returning to finish the upper middle.

The theme was strange to me since the asterisks were hard to see and I couldn't find where the appropriate names crossed. I did realize ESAU as a twin, but didn't have time to find the others.

A very challenging Wednesday, but also satisfying to finally decode it!

Thanks C.C. and our two blogging genii!

Dennis said...

Haven't gotten around to the puzzle yet, but I wanted to share this video I was just sent; kid's amazing: Little girl steals the wedding

More later, hopefully.

Anonymous said...

It is Ukraine (21 Across) without "the" as in "I'm visiting Ukraine."

Yellowrocks said...

Thanks CC for an enjoyable Wed. puzzle. I was on your wave length most of the way. After I while I noticed that one of each set of twins was clued exactly, which helped a lot.
I was sure of the spelling of Satie, whom I enjoy, but the I in JORDIN seemed strange.
ASHLEY helped me to spell KHAN.
I frequently have a nit about "suffix" in clues like 38 A. Would "ending" work better?
In the SW I needed a while to think of MA to get SCAM. I was sure of EDNA and ONEK. Don't fun runs count as short races? It didn't say official races.
My first thought for Lincoln's st. was Illinois (ILL). It is called the Land of Lincoln. Have you toured Springfield, IL.? Very interesting.

Mari said...

Good morning everybody! I agree that this was a bit rough for a Wednesday, but I was able to finish it with minimal write overs. I had STOP SIGN instead of ROAD SIGN and RAIN instead of HOSE. I did get the unifier, even though I didn't know some of these folks were twins.

Great job CC, You always make my morning brighter!

Enjoy your day.

Lemonade714 said...

Did you all notice the expensive bag appears to be decorated with various prescription drugs?

Blue Jays (except those from Toronto) are very aggressive and will swoop down to attack people as well.

I also forgot to mention I did not know LIE UP, as LAY UP is what I have heard, but then we have the old LAY IN BED, LIE IN BED controversy...

And the door opens....

CanadianEh! said...

Had to work hard at this one! Brilliant construction C.C. and thanks Jazzbumpa and Steve for explaining.
Yes our Toronto Blue Jays have disappointed us this season (after all the hype at the beginning). Hope springs eternal for next year!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Wow! another dynamic duo emerges with two wits complementing each other for a TWINS grand slam. Bravo, C.C.! Great puzzle!

I got the theme with the MaryKate/Ashley cross so I could write in TWINS in an otherwise blank block. This helped me fill BARBARA & POLLUX.

Last fill: the "N" in the ON CD/ONE K, natick for me. For some reason, I thought "short race" was short statured people, falling right after THAI. DUH! ONE K isn't a short race for one with bad feet/knees.

I read CSNY as CSI-NY again. That "got" me before.

InferIOR is how I feel when the Silkies appear.

JORDIN Sparks was my pick to win IDOL that year.

My blonde niece (not Chinese) wore a red sash and red Keds with her white wedding gown. The groom also wore red tennies. Florida beach wedding.

Thanks, guys, for explaining KNOTS. I like sea stories. I always wondered about that. Amazing what old seafarers came up with to navigate very intimidating bodies of water.

Martin said...

Tricky. I tried NIGER, ZAIRE and CONGO before I got BENIN. I tried VIET and LOAT before I got THAI. I didn't know CASTOR oil came from a BEAN. I assumed it came from FISH. I also wanted DOSES for PILLS, STOP SIGN for ROAD SIGN, NAPA for BAJA, LOGO for SEAL, LOOK AT (me) for LOOK MA and GOADS for GIBES. I was both happy and sad when I got JACOB. I swear I only saw the first one.

So I read "How traditional Chinese brides dress" and I imagined a Chinese bride and I asked myself "How is she dressed?" and I came up with IN RED. Then I thought about her some more before returning to the puzzle.

"Promotional bribes" I misread as "Promotional brides". TV in Taiwan used to have ads which gave numbers where you could call to "order" a bride from Vietnam. I imagine you'd have to fly there to meet her first. Anyway, I'm already married.

I never got ON CD although I knew what the clue was after. "I have an entire season of Friends on CD." "I have an entire season of Friends burned (onto CDs)." Oh. Okay. It does work.

Plus I misspelled JORDIN as JORDON.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Wow, what a dazzler you gave us today, CC! The craftsmanship and complexity of construction are stunning. And what a treat to have two expos by two very witty and knowledgeable 'splainers! Thanks, CC, JazzB, and Steve for a terrific start to the day.

Alas, I had a FIW because of Jordan instead of Jordin. Otherwise, any tricky areas were solved by perps. Didn't catch the theme until the unifier.

Steve, the Irish road signs certainly are confusing, but it was driving on the opposite side of the road that was the greatest challenge. My husband narrowly missed a woman pushing a pram and accompanied by two toddlers. He stopped to apologize and make sure they were okay, and in a lilting Irish accent, she politely and calmly said, "Sir, do you realize you almost killed me and my children?" and then turned on her heels and walked away. Very scary and upsetting for everyone.

Have a great day.

Misty said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! This was a real Wednesday toughie, C. C. and I first ended up thinking the NW corner was totally impossible, and so was the theme. But came back after a Sudoku, and followed some instincts (BAJA, just down the coast from us; and BENIN, even though I didn't know where it was) that together with ESAU and NEB filled everything in. And then TA-DAH, the theme suddenly made sense, although it took a bit to remember the JENNA/BARBARA connection. But I know my CASTOR and POLLUX story and ASHLEY and MARY KATE are still "People" magazine regulars, so it all worked out beautifully. An absolutely amazing puzzle, C.C. And of course the twin expo by JazzB and Steve was a special treat!

We had a little cockatiel for 23 years (before the doxies knocked over his cage one day, sigh) and I named him TWEETY after you-know-who.

Garlic Girl and Fermatprime, I was so grateful that you didn't produce a "Newsroom" spoiler yesterday. That ending was stunning, I never saw that coming, and couldn't believe it! Many thanks!

Boomer, you look fantastic in Chinese red!

Have a great Wednesday, everybody!

Lucina said...

Greetings, friends!
Yowza! A double whammy today, not only in the puzzle but the commentary, too. How great is that!

It was a gentle sashay all the way through and didn't even notice the asterisks until I finished. But then I had a V-8 moment at TWINS when I spelled TAUT instead of TAWT. But it got all sorted out.

JORDIN Sparks is from Arizona and she always gets plenty of press so that keeps her at the forefront.

The SW almost did me in as I kept staring at ONEK which made no sense, then, another v-8 dent as ONE-K became clear.

Brilliant, C.C.! You never cease to amaze me.

I hope you are enjoying this special Tuesday, everyone!

Lucina said...

Oops! It's Wednesday, not Tuesday and I do hope it's special for each one of you!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

C.C. has given us an ideal Wednesday mix of challenge and cleverness, I'd say. I had to guess at Oh No because I never heard of Hud or Inxs, but it worked. Amazing crossing (and cluing) of the related twin names!
Thanks C.C. and also to the twin elucidators of the day.

Tinbeni said...

Jazz & Steve, I enjoyed both of your write-ups & links equally ...

C.C. Double WOW!!! Though a slog to solve ... this was my ALL-TIME favorite of your puzzles.

Only needed EVERY-SINGLE-PERP to get JACOB BLACK and JORDIN Sparks.
Never have watched any of the "Twilight" series movie or "American Idol".
(or "Dancing With the Stars" or "The Voice" or ANY cooking competition show, ET AL ...)

NASH of CSNY was my first thought & entry.
NUT was my fave ... because it was a "Bar bowl item". Yeah, I like Bars!

Gotta get ready to watch some exciting America's Cup racing at 4:00pm (EDT) today.
(I'm sure the Sun will be 'Over the yardarm' by then).


Vidwan827 said...

Thank you cc for a very nice puzzle and jazzB and Steve for a very nice commentary.

I had Ghana and Niger before Benin.

I had Twins before I realized that was the theme. Then I looked for the twins. I know cc roots for her home team, so I smiled when I saw the word.

Have a nice day, you all.

creature said...

Double write ups were fun-really added to the solve this morning.

CC, possibly my all time favorite. Complexity, yet solvable, is big part of this Wednesday puzzle. BENIN was foreign for me(hmmmm)(from yesterday), ONEK,
Sham instead of SCAM. Uncomfortable with LIEUP, but kept it in.

Adding the theme to the complexity and originality and voila! it is my
All time favorite because I have twin boys and they are a delight to me.
A handful to raise, but fun at the same time. Sports were what saved me.

Thank you, so much for that hard work, CC.

Anonymous said...

What about the double letters (identical twins)?

creature said...

Double letters- brilliant!

fermatprime said...


Amazing puzzle, CC! Great write-ups, Jazz and Steve!

A bit chewy, but I prevailed. JACOB BLACK was total unknown, as was JORDIN. Thank heavens for perps!

Was not thrilled with season finale of Covert Affairs. Can't stand Gregory Itzin's character, but he always seems to prevail. Also, disappointed by Under the Dome. Any comments?

Happy hump day!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Different styles and approaches from my new-found brother Steve and me, but we linked the same piece by Satie. Here is a nice waltz.

Fun puzzle, nice comments.

Cool regards!

JD said...

Hi all, (writing before reading as I seem to always have a lack of time)

Definitely a Wed. puzzle that kept me busy for awhile. Lots of a-ha's and WAGS.For some reason Ari elUded me, which renamed the man Aru.

So much fun to read both write-ups and garner even more crazy information. Thanks Steve and Bumpa.

I was NOT familiar with Benin as I had no stamps from there. Guess it used to be called French Dahomey where they do speak French. At one time it was known as the Slave Coast.

JJM said...

I actually loved the theme and got it right away (extremely clever BTW), but some of the cluing.... I didn't quite get. I've run a lot of races and never heard of one lasting ONEK. And going down, ONCD. it fits but...

Regardless, I had fun solving.

Pookie said...

"Wow" from me too!
C.C., what an amazing puzzle, but I didn't get the theme until I saw the highlighted "twins"
I went to "Diary of a Crossword Fiend" and gave it 5 stars.

(Chinese New Year coming soon to a sky near you.)

John V said...

Got it right but completely did not see/understand the theme. Way too many pop names for me.

Very, very difficult puzzle.

thehondohurricane said...

Good afternoon everyone and ...............


NE corner did me in today. NASH?? Right! Spelled KHAN Kahn. Wanted to make Logo work for Corporate emblem. SEAL.... During my career I only was in possession of the Corporate Seal for approx 20 + years, so why should i remember the term. But it was NASH that did me in.

Relied heavily on the down clues today. Too many to mention, but a lot the across clues were out my wheelhouse.

I would like to know how you LIE UP in bed? Maybe I'm missed something!.

As is my norm, theme and unifier avoided me, sort of.

TWINS one of the across clues I nailed. CC, have you really deserted the team? Morneau has had it & they got a prospect or two for him.

Husker Gary said...

Creative, fun theme and cluing that was amazing for a humpday. SatIe/jordIn got me and I’ll bet others. NW fell last as this resident of Nebraska did not see its state capital and dutifully put in ILL (not KTY). Duh!

-Mary Kate and Ashley are only famous for being famous (and skinny)
-I can identify CASTOR and POLLOX in the sky much faster than African countries on a map
-OTIS made skyscrapers possible
-I live next door to a pharmaceutical rep and she is skinny, blond and hot, er, attractive
-The JAYs underperformed and were overpaid
-Another language twist, bad now means good (that’s right, I’m bad!), whereas it used to mean, well, bad
-Famous movie PARASOL
-I have seen golfers LAY UP but never LIE UP, Jazz ;-)
-HOBOS used to be common sight. The park near our old railroad station was called Bum’s Park because…
-Tin, what’s racing without crashes?
-p.s. I really enjoyed the C.C.’s Crosswords with Friends and yesterday’s puzzle but ran out of time to blog

Yellowrocks said...

Great twin expos JzB and Steve.
JzB, Your comment about the Olsens, "They have since grown up, or at least gotten older," was so apt, reinforced by Steve's picture of the expensive backpack covered with pills.
LIE UP as rest in bed is in the dictionary. I could not find that sense of LAY UP, except as being laid up when injured.
A Chinese-American member of our congregation wore a lovely red cheongsam style wedding dress for her wedding.
I found this article about Chinese weddings. How accurate is it, CC? Do you have a picture of your wedding dress?
The linked article on that site about Japanese wedding customs is too brief, but fairly accurate. I snapped a pic of a Japanese bride at a Shinto shrine in Japan.
When I taught a Japanese unit with my class after my brief fellowship in Japan, I was amazed that the students with Chinese and Indian backgrounds were finally more forthcoming in telling their own traditions without embarrassment. I deem this the most significant result of the fellowship. One of the girls had just attended her sister’s wedding in India. The wealth of exotic detail was appreciated by all the students and, especially, me. I wish I had recorded it, but that may have inhibited her. The Chinese students discussed their worship practices when I showed pictures of the altars in Japanese homes.

Yellowrocks said...

So sorry.
Link Chinese wedding traditions

Bill G. said...

Thanks CC, Steve and JzB. I enjoyed your efforts.

Has anybody mentioned the Google Doodle today? It celebrates the Foucault pendulum. It's a wonderfully simple scientific device that demonstrates the earth's rotation. I love that kind of clever thinking. Galileo was full of that kind of intelligence. Also, 2000 years ago, Eratosthanes who calculated the earth's diameter very accurately with another very simple but clever experiment. Another hero, Rutherford, who demonstrated that the nucleus of an atom must be very dense. Who are some of your science heroes?

Ol' Man Keith said...

I join with others who didn't know that POLLUX was a supposed brother to Helen of Troy. In checking on it, I see too that he and his twin Castor were thought by some to be Helen's brothers. But (and get this!) Helen and her sister, Clytemenstra, were also TWINS!

Yes, I knew the ladies were sisses, but No, I did not know they were twins. I suppose they weren't identical because nobody has ever raved over Clytemnestra for having "a face that launched a thousand" etc. etc. ...

And twinned by twin brothers? Gad. What are the odds?

Tinbeni said...

Sheldon ...

Yellowrocks said...

I found many news articles about 1-K fun runs for kids. They are not for you competitive adult racers, but they exist in many places. For example:

"New" Kids 1K Fun Run!
Kids! Lets get movin! New this year to the SJO5K will be a Kids 1K Fun Run! The 1K will be for ages 4 through 12. The 1K race will begin after the 5K race finishes (approximately 8:30am). Each 1K participant will receive a goodie bag and runner ribbon! The top 5 in winners in each age group will be awarded a St. Joseph Fall Festival unlimited carnival ride wristband!

JD said...

Marti, thanks for enlightening us as to how brillant this puzzle was today. Not having ever created one, it is hard to know the difficulties. I do know why we get fills that seem awkward to us; I'm surprised when there are none.

I also laughed when I saw C.C.'s theme, knowing that she followed her player.

Dennis, that girl has rhythm!

onek...ha,ha,one k. was an a-ha! YR, we also have lots of them in our area too.Truman and Grady ran around the Shark Tank a few months back.

Montana, I find when I DON'T hear the boys, that I have to check them out.

creature said...

JD, your note re: can't hear the boys go looking. That was the story of my life.

I think that a lot when I follow you and those babies
. It's a lot, but its s worth it.

Thanks for sharing.

HeartRx said...

JD and Creature, when my dear late MIL was a young mother, and all was "quiet" in the house, she would command my late DH to "Go find your brother, and whatever he is doing, tell him to stop it!!"

Dennis, hands up for laughing (and watching) through the whole dance of that little girl. I expect we will see her more in the future...

CrossEyedDave said...

You got me CC!

I was burned by the crossing of "oncd" & "onek." (what the heck is an onek?)

I was happily looking for all the double letters until MaryKate emerged. (where are the double letters???) I might have grokked the theme if I knew my Judds, but I put Kahn, & thought CSNY was a university...

Lemonade714 said...

PK, I love the thought that C.C. is now the Dynamic Duo all by herself. Perfect for today's effort.

thehondohurricane said...

YR, with due respect to the dictionary, when I see lay up, two points come to mind. When I see lie up, I'm still wondering if I missed something wonderful.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. This was an interesting puzzle, on several layers, especially in the way the twins were presented. It usually takes me lots of thinking to get C.C.'s clues, which strike me as eliding across a couple of implied intermediate thought steps in getting from here to there. It's like, "Speaking of blue jays, I saw the most adorable Gucci bag in Nordstrom's yesterday."

My granddaughter had the great honor and pleasure of singing as a member of the backup group to Jordin Sparks at a benefit concert she gave in the Phoenix area a couple of years ago. Otherwise I would never have heard of her.

Those of you who never watched any of the Twilight movies, let me assure you you did not miss anything. They were horrible! (LW and I only watched because the neighbor lady foisted her DVDs onto us and insisted that we would love the movies. No excuse, I confess.)

Sorry they are doing that REVOLTA project near you, desper-otto.

Best wishes to you all.

Lucina said...

That is too funny!

creature said...

Marti, thanks for your comments. One of my "babies", now 55, just dropped by and I showed your comments to him.
He roared.

Thanks for joining in the fun.

Steve said...

C.C. had me so bamboozled that I manage to blog the wrong day - that's a first!

Irish Miss - scary experience!

Nice expo, JzB!

Spitzboov said...

Twins today and POLKA

Die Twinnies - Bayernmädels

Yellowrocks said...

LIE UP was not in my vocabulary or experience before today, but it is "in the language." Most of the references I see are medical. "The patient must lie up for 5 weeks" or stay in bed. Crossword entries do not have to be common, just legit.
Although Rich and his team may make an occasional mistake, they thoroughly vet these clues. They are more reliable than most armchair quarterbacks.
LIE UP was a learning experience for me. Rather than pooh pooh it, I will try to file it away for future use.

Martin said...

Right. I had SIT UP for LIE UP for a while.

CrossEyedDave said...

Waay behind schedule today, (& I am missing TBBT reruns that I haven't seen) but had to mention to CC that CSNY is a favorite of mine, & I am really bummed I did not get "Nash."

A little CSNY Gossip! Graham Nash's song Our House describes his brief affair with Joni Mitchell.

I always thought Knot (see origin was derived from throwing a knotted rope of the back of a ship, & however many knots floated was how fast you were going. But it is a little more complicated than that. see construction & usage.

I would include some funny twins, but they were all so syrupy sweet it was disgusting. But wait a sec... If you can post twins on roller skates playing polka on accordians,,, then I can post these guys!

Martin said...

Chinese New Year nay be coming but the Mid-Autumn Festival is already here. Today. (It's morning where I am.)

Stephanie said...

Question for you guys - do you manage to solve these entirely with out using reference sources, or do you google a name or such for some of them? I can usually manage on Mondays, but as the week goes on, I am certain to have to look up the country between Togo and Nigeria for example. Not sure if that is considered cheating or not. (Assuming of course, I am not looking it up her, but from an actual reference site.)

Argyle said...

I trusted the crosswords (Down) to get BENIN. They also gave me AUEL. I will google afterwards to learn more.

Everyone has different methods.

Manac said...

I started the puzzle this AM and put it down in disgust after reading all the proper name clues ( No offense C.C. ) Picked it back up this PM and finished it. Thought it was a clever theme. As much as I hate proper names, pop culture, etc. in a puzzle, you made this one enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

I tolerated this one.

Anonymous said...

CSNY before the Y. Still good stuff.

Anonymous T said...

G'Eve all:

BT (Big Time) DNF - When I saw C.C.'s name I knew it was going to be tough for me. Then all the names. Oh, well. Monday's just a few days away :-)

Thanks to the double-mint twins Steve & JazzB for the expo. I needed both expos for these names to stick!

Bill G: Feynman.

Cheers, -T

Manac said...

@ Stephani,
To each their own considering what is cheating. I consider red letter help or google while solving online cheating. I think using a dictionary or thesaurus while solving isn't. What do constructors use for references to make these puzzles? Marti? C.C.?
Should it be a fair playing field?

CrossEyedDave said...

Stephanie @8:28

Cheating Who?

When it comes to crosswords, you can only cheat yourself...

Put it down,
come back & try again refreshed,
if you really cannot find the answer, then it is not cheating, it is learning.

Now, if you came on the Blog, & triumphantly claimed to solve a Silkie, you would still only be cheating yourself...

(the fun is in the "aha" moment...)



Anonymous T said...

Well, speaking of Feynman... Someone may have discovered a way to simplify calculations of Feynman diagrams. The formal paper is due out by the end of the year.

Stephani - I try to do as much as possible without resorting to outside resources. Then I try to do more. I will never compete or be at the level of >1/2 the folks on this blog. I do x-words because I like puzzles and it reinforces letter-patterns to overcome dyslexia and my general lack of spelling ability. Make your own rules (unless competing) and have fun!

My personal goals are 100% of Monday (~95%), 100% Tuesday (95%), >95% of Wed, >80% of Thur, 80% of Fri, and at least one entry on a Sat :-)

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

Since I don't want to re-post my link (I want to go watch Colbert), I won't delete my post. But...

CED, you said it better that I.

Oh, and anyone who claims a Silkie must never have a typo or grammar error in their posts* :-)

Cheers, -T
*that is unless we already know & love them

[of a head?]

JD said...

Stephani, these puzzles are supposed to be fun for you. Most people on this blog are so much smarter and can do these in no time. It takes me awhile to even remember words I know.I read all of Jean Auel's books, but took me a minute to think of her name.On Mon and Tues I do it in pen without help, but Wed I usually look up 1 or 2 depending on time.Leaving and returning helps too. I don't know why some bloggers say they cheat. It should be a learning experience... and ultimately fun.

Creature and Marti,having had 2 girls, these 4 grandsons have opened a whole new world to me. They do keep me on my toes. We're not just dealing with Batman and Superman. There is Silver Surfer and MORE.

Bill G. said...

JD, I completely agree. I am much better at these puzzles than I used to be. Later in the week, I too need Google or a red letter to tell me I've made an error. I enjoy solving the puzzles without help but if I need a hint or two, I would much prefer that to not finishing.

I started tomorrow's puzzle and it's been hard for me. In fact, this has been a harder than usual week for me so far.

Back to the Dodgers game. See ya tomorrow.

River Doc said...

Happy Wednesday everybody!

Did this crossword a few time zones ago. Really liked the Twins (of course!) theme from C.C. Feels great to be Back In The U.S.S.A !

My idea of cheating has evolved. Used to ALWAYS have to resort to the Internet for obscure references (or languages), and did not consider that cheating, just a justified use of available resources. Now that I'm a little better at solving (sez who?) my definition for cheating has been refines to the use of anything other than my cranium....

River Doc said...

Make that refineD. Little tired right about now....

Argyle said...

Welcome home.

Anonymous T said...

Vegas Doc

Welcome home... I did remember to think about you at IAH today. I was in Clearlake (1.2 hrs away from the otther side of Houston).

Speaking of Cheating... Wed's Sherman's Lagoon. Use what you can if you need it.

BTW, I do appriciate the Beatles reference :-)

Cheers, -T

C.C. Burnikel said...

I'm just pouting. Morneau was my favorite Twin. He's as nice as Killebrew. Stupid concussion.

That article is quite accurate. But China is huge, wedding traditions differ in places. In Guangzhou, the brides wear white gown, just like westerners.

You made me laugh with your "implied intermediate thought steps". So true.

Constructors use all kinds of tools, online dictionaries, googling, Cruciverb database, OneLook, etc.

Abejo said...

Good Thursday morning, folks. Thank you, C.C., for a fine puzzle. Thank you Jazz and steve, for two fine reviews.

No time to read all the blog entries. I got home last night at midnight and started the puzzle in the Trib. Went to bed at 1:15 AM and finished this morning.

I finished the puzzle, but had some errors. Spelling of some names. That is the difference in doing the puzzle in the newspaper and doing it via cruciverb. Cruciverb tells you when you have finished correctly.

Took me a while but I got the twins theme.

No idea who JORDIN or SATIE are. They crossed. That is why I spelled them wrong on my puzzle.

Of course I wrote in ILL for 5D. Fixed that later to NEB. One of my many inkblots.

Nice seeing AL CAPP. My favorite cartoonist.

Lots to do. See you tomorrow.