Oct 12, 2013

Saturday, Oct 12th, 2013, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie

Words: 70 (missing X)

Blocks: 27

 OH, the deception~!  I had so many good answers that were wrong, and at one point, I thought for sure I was going to have to go Googling, but just a few minor tweaks and I was almost perfect; one bad cell - at two crossing names - a WAG that ZAGged and did not ZIG.  Oh well.  We did not have any spanners or climbers, but a pretty pinwheel gave us two 9's and fourteen 8's:

1D. Monument on the Yamuna River : TAJ MAHAL - beautiful - a visit is on my 'to-do' list

18A. The Joker or The Penguin : EVIL-DOER - I know who they are - BAT FOES? nah. 

35D. Hwange National Park setting : ZIMBABWE - I did have ----BWE, which pretty much narrowed my choices down

54. How World Series winners celebrate : ELATEDLY - don't ALL winners celebrate in such a fashion?  I think Mr. Silk put this one in just for C.C.~!


1. Home to Iran's Iron Age Museum : TABRIZ - Early on, I tried TEHRAN, TIGRIS, and finally TABRIJ - because JOE sounded like a Muppet - maybe not a ballet Muppet....

7. Like some closet findings? : SKELETAL - nice twist; SKELETON was just not going to work

15. Time's 1986 Woman of the Year : AQUINO - the only news I could recall from 1986 was the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster - now a TV movie; Corazon Aquino was the first woman president of The Philippines

16. Float, in a way : LEVITATE - had to wait on perps

17. Mix up : JUMBLE - jOSTle was not getting me closer to done; does your paper carry the "JUMBLE" puzzle?

19. Steep-angle shot : MASSE - my first fill; a billiards shot struck down on the cue ball

20. Kuala Lumpur native : MALAYSIAN - DAH~!  Not TAIWANESE

21. Sailor's direction : AFT

22. Hero who first appeared in 1912 : TARZAN - oh, right

24. Needle point? : SSE - C.C. got me with this one in her puzzle - the needle of a compass, that is

25. Hustles : HIES

27. Card, e.g. : NLer - Ugh, more deception; a Cardinal, in the N.L. Central division - apparently, they are still playing in October - sorry, C.C., hockey is on....

28. Shorten, maybe : ALTER

30. Jellyfish relatives : ANEMONES

32. Year in Nero's reign : LVI - 56 in Roman times

33. University of Wyoming city : LARAMIE - Argh~! Not Cheyene ( OK, so I was missing an N )

34. Guatemalan currency, or the colorful bird it's named for : QUETZAL

38. Capital of 35-Down : ZEE - D'oh~!  I was so sure that this was money 'capital' that I never looked twice. The Capital letter in  ZIMBABWE. 

39. Ratatouille ingredient : ZUCCHINI - #$%^~!  Not RED BEETS - I don't cook, OK?

40. Quaker in the woods : ASPEN - the tree, because PENN did not fit

43. Next in line : HEIR - I had to send up a V-8 can alert....England now has the top three; Charles, William, and now George - hey, I'm 100% English, so I might be on this list somewhere....

44. Revival figs. : EMTs - oh, for the love of....THAT kind of revival - the ones that don't end up as "skeletons" - Emergency Medical Technicians

45. STARZ competitor : SHO - premium TV channels; Google has just made internet viewing on your HDTV easier

46. Tapped trees : MAPLES - had it, then tossed it for "HONEY" (q.v. 34D.)

48. Risk : BET

49. Waits : SITS TIGHT - I heard this a lot growing up

52. Bit of wisdom : PEARL

55. Jazz pianist Hancock : HERBIE - I first heard him (and the art of record 'scratching') on this tune

56. Not anymore : NO LONGER

57. Like some biblical boarders : IN TWOS - Rrrr - I put in PAIRED

58. Play areas : THEATERS

59. Directs : STEERS - Wow - this and bum STEER in the same grid....


2. Maker of FlavorSplash beverages : AQUAFINA - Pepsi's bottled water

3. Piece of crummy advice : BUM STEER

4. Kids : RIBS - Nope, not TOTS

5. Sound, maybe : INLET - Aw, man, I live on a SOUND, so I don't think of it as an INLET - but it does have a lot if inlets in it

6. Ballet-dancing Muppet : ZOE - JOE, MOE, I took a guess

7. Lowlifes : SLEAZES

8. Defensive fiber : KEVLAR

9. 2-Down alternative : EVIAN

10. Water __ : LILY - Not gonna say a word

11. LAX listings : ETDs - departures, not arrivals this time

12. One seeking the way? : TAOIST

13. Not tense : AT EASE

14. "Camelot" lyricist : LERNER - filled in via perps

20. 1957 R&B chart-topper inspired by a schoolteacher : MR. LEE - The Bobbettes

23. Hall of fame : ANNIE - Annie Hall - movie from the same year as Star Wars; I tried Monty Hall, of Let's Make a Deal

26. Urban air problem : SMAZE - Smoke and Haze

28. Paris preposition : AVEC - "with" in Frawnch

29. Graceful : LITHE

31. It might be a warning : OMEN

32. Money : LUCRE

34. Bee output : QUILT - Geez, a quilting bee

36. Preceding : ANTERIOR - I hear this in a mostly in a medical sense, meaning "in front of"

37. Dragging : LISTLESS

39. Gentle breezes : ZEPHYRS

40. Agreement : ASSENT

41. 1862 battle site : SHILOH

42. Distillery waste : POT ALE - used for animal feed

43. 1980s middleweight champ : HAGLER - "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler - the Wiki

46. One in a humming swarm : MIDGE

47. Beat : SPENT

50. Column-lined walkway : STOA - it's all Greek to me

51. Fair sight : TENT

53. Deco pseudonym : ERTE - I like Art Deco, like the Chrysler Building; some other details of that era

55. Presley's "__ Latest Flame" : HIS - There's one guy who calls me "Elvis" at UPS - and I had to trim my sideburns down a LOT to become a driver.  


Note from C.C.:

For those who missed my write-up last Sunday, please check here to see our Saturday Stud Splynter in action. Can you identify him in the clip? 177.


OwenKL said...

DNF. Good thing I learned what natick was yesterday, because this puzzle sure fit it! It may have set a new personal record for the number of words in a puzzle that I didn't know: MASSE, NLER, SMAZE, POT ALE, plus places and people I'd never heard of.

What does the World Series have to do with ELATEDLY?

If there is any theme here, it's the number of Z's packed in. (That and the impressive stacks of 8's & 9's.) So, to honor that, a nonsense limerick:

TARZAN braved the SMAZE in TABRIZ,
Then on to ZIMBABWE chasing SLEAZES.
In ZEE he met ZOE,
And as ZEPHYRS blow,
Their pet QUETZAL eats their ZUCCHINIs.

George Barany said...

Greetings to L.A. Times Crossword Corner readers! C.C. kindly encouraged me to tell you about some other recent puzzles by our Barany and Friends group. Recently, we've been on somewhat of a tear on tributes, listed at -- these include "Dream Catchers" which has a sports theme of particular current interest to my (and C.C.'s) current home town, and "Lights Out!" which is also sports (a different one) and the town I grew up in. Puzzles are available as pdf or puz files, and for online solving. Hope you have fun with these and others! Best wishes, George Barany

HeartRx said...

Good morning, all!

Fun write-up, S.!! I didn’t fall for the misdirection of “Revival figs.” or “Next in line.” But there were other problem areas for me.

At 27-A I had N*ER. Then for the crossing at 20-D, I could hear the song in my mind, but could not remember the teacher’s name. “One two three, look at Mr. (…Bee? …Cee? …Dee?)” After skimming through the whole alphabet, I looked at the clue for 27-A again and whacked myself on the head when NLER and MR LEE dawned on me!!

In the SE, my biblical boarders were “by” TWOS. I was not familiar with HERBIE Hancock, and couldn’t quite bring myself to put in STEERS, when BUM STEER was already filled. So that corner took a while to straighten out.

In fact, this was probably the longest it has taken me to do a Saturday Silkie. Cripes, I even finished the NYT puzzle in half the time it took me to do this one.

Time to go lick my wounds…

HeartRx said...

George B., thanks for the heads up about the tribute puzzles. I loved the Opera one you did, but I definitely think your sports tribute would be totally beyond my ability...

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Massive struggle today. I finally managed to get the bottom half filled in (despite the presence of SMAZE and ANTERIOR), but the top half was a sea of white.

And then... the power went out for a few minutes. I guess my subconscious kept working on the puzzle during the down time, because by the time the power came back on and I was able to reboot the computer and get back online, I managed to redo the bottom half and get the top half in pretty short order. Yay, subconscious!

Of to take the family to the annual Topsfield Fair...


desper-otto said...

Good morning, Saturday soldiers!

I couldn't make it yesterday. I was too busy polishing my outuitive Apple. "Do not turn off -- downloading 2 of 123 updates..." But I'm gettin' there...

Today was my fastest Silkie ever! I started badly with TEHRAN but ZOE fixed that. And my JUMBLE started out as JUGGLE. Otherwise, no other write-overs today. Yea!

I can never remember if it's LERNER or Loewe who has the "oe" in his name. Oops! There was another write-over: SKELETON to SKELETAL.

Thanks, Barry and Ste, er I mean the sideburnless Splynter!

Mr. Barany, your Joe Green puzzle the other day did me in. But I did think your earlier tribute to Alan Turing was brilliant. I'm lousy at sports, so I expect the ones you've mentioned will stump me, as well. But I'm determined to try...

caffeine addict said...

Need some coffee shop coffee for puzzle.

thehondohurricane said...

Howdy all,

Well, I almost solved a Silkie, but one letter did me in and for the second day in a row it was a baseball clue. 27A Card/20D R&B .... were the culprits. Never saw NLER & did not remember MR LEE. Wagged a T and I have no logical explanation as to why a T vs any of the other 25 options.

The rest of it was a struggle, but somehow my guesswork was on target today. Doesn't bode well for the near future though. Knowing ZIMBABWE was very helpful.

59A STEERS .. I really questioned it but could;t come up with another option. Not like Silkie to use STEER in two fills. Made me wonder if 3D was a goof, but it too looked solid.

While it was a DNF, I feel pretty good that I came close.

Husker Gary said...

I always seem to wind up looking for a toehold in every part of a Silkie, but I always do and find a way out of his elegant offerings that I zipped through today.

-How much did I watch Batman in college? I could name Julie Newmar, Frank Gorshin, Burgess Meredith and Cesar Romero instantly.
-Run for office and your SKELETONS will be ferreted out
-Dr. J seemed to LEVITATE on his dunks
-Common pool hall prohibition to protect the table’s felt top
-The CARDS don’t overpay aging superstars. If salary demands are too high, buh bye Albert!
-The Huskers barely beat the Cowboys from Laramie this fall
-We don’t have ASPENS but the wind in their cottonwood botanical cousins here on the prairie is very soothing
-Bottled water
-That’s a KEVLAR flak jacket #7 is wearing
-Lots of athletes tear their ANTERIOR cruciate ligament (ACL) and then find other employment
-Wow, Owen!
-We are off to here for our 12th consecutive year. This man nets $400,000 per year being open for six weeks.

Husker Gary said...

Quick story about ADAGES, 10 year old grandsons and language -
Papa (after a lucky guess): “Well you know Hudson, even a blind squirrel finds some acorns”
Hudson: “What in the world does that mean?”
Papa: “It’s like in golf when you are just lucky when you make a very long putt”
Hudson: “Papa, squirrels don’t play golf!”

My 13 year olds weren’t any better the next day when I asked them what they thought it meant. The leap from concrete to abstract thinking is a long and winding road.

Rojo said...

Man, I thought this was going to be a big ol' fail until I got to HERBIE Hancock, who I was serendipitously listening just as I was doing the puzzle (specifically, the album Fat Albert Rotunda, which I recommend highly)! That got me ZIMBABWE and the bottom started to fill out nicely after that. The NW corner was the last to fall and SMAZE didn't help. SMAZE? Really? That's a word? *googles* Yep, apparently it's a word. mUddLE? No. bUMBLE? No. JUMBLE? Aha, TAJ MAHAL!

nice cuppa said...


Nice cuppa said...


Anonymous said...

Silk is a sadist.

Nice Cuppa said...

Dear All

Apologies for those earlier mis-posts. This is the real McCuppa. I've been back in the old country for a while, but happy to see so many familiar faces still postin' away.

So I naturally wanted "Spank" for 47 down.

As to the crossword, this was a smooth re-intro.

As a golfer, I wanted "Mashie" (an old word for a lofted club/wedge) for 19 across, and wondered if there was an alternate spelling. It turns out that it may have a similar etymology to Massé, which I hadn't heard of. Is "English" side-spin and "massé" top-spin?

I feel sure there must be a pun in 54 across - Elatedly, but don't know what it is. The fact it was an adverb gave me Zephyr at least. My friend's dad across the street in 1960s England had a Ford Zephyr, so I never forgot that word.

I got "Hall of Fame". Irresistible pun, but I don't normally associate "fame" with fictional characters, but it was also the name of movie, and "famous movie" is acceptable.

"dragging" and "listless" seemed a bit of a long stretch (pun intended), but otherwise very smooth.

Well that post was far too long. Promise to make 'em shorter in future.

Time to catch a few more Zees, methinks.

Over and Out.


Avg Joe said...

No doubt about it. This was an old fashioned ass kicking. Got it done, but not with a shred of dignity remaining. HTG: Tabriz, Quetzal, Zimbabwe, Malaysian, Aquafina, Hagler and Shiloh (the last two just for spelling). Stuck with eggplant for too long in lieu of zucchini. Had no clue on pot ale. Some of the cluing was very clever, some was just plain diabolical.

Oh well. You can't win them all. GBR! (Boilermakers on tap at 11:00 CST)

Captcha: stfacial. Seriously! I didn't know there was a patron saint.

PK said...

Hi Y'all, This is the first Silkie I enjoyed. Ever! Lots of unknowns, but I had some remarkable WAGs that were right. Had to Google the river to get Taj Mahal so I could start thoough.

Laramie was a gimmee. The son of good friends is playing football there this year. Sorry, Gary, I was so looking forward to "him" whipping the Huskers.

1,2,3 What Marti said. 4,5,6 -- can't remember the rest of the words if I ever knew them.

My daughter & SIL just got back from ASPEN, Colorado with pictures of the golden quakers. In word juxtaposition were the maples which have not turned pretty colors here yet.

We had a big old fat book of TARZAN stories that I read & reread as a child. Loved to LOLL in a tree and pretend to be Tanya the ape girl.

Hmm, AT EASE or A TEASE, which Silkies puzzle surely are.

Well, mean or not, I miss Windhover. Did we miss a ransom note? Dennis must have been kidnapped afar. And Yellowrocks has disappeared. Mercy me!

CrossEyedDave said...

Tonite is International observe the Moon night, & most observatories are hosting free viewing (check your local observatory.)

But if you can't make it, or it's cloudy, check this out (In full screen please...)

Now, off to tackle a Silkie...



TTP said...

Good morning all.

Some of my toeholds did me in, and I had to turn on red letter to get moving again. My Flavor Splash maker was coca cola and their alternative was Pepsi. My hustles was cons, my STARTZ competitor was HBO and my ratatouille had potatoes in it.

Eventually completed it, with the northwest to fall last. Had MASSE, AFT and LARAMIE, and BUM STEER and RIBS in there for the longest time and could not make anything work. Breakthough was crosswordese HIES.

Really liked (among so many) Biblical boarders INTWOS, Sound INLET, and Hall of fame.

Definitely got fooled with SSE, HEIRS and ZEE. The intersection of MR LER and NLEr was my last fill.

Thank you Splynter, excellent as always.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Just back from visiting the Utica farm market.

Daunting, but then it came together in Silkie fashion. Many misdirections. Lots of Z's. Had Tehran before TABRIZ. BUM STEER and INLET nailed it. If an inlet with inlets is not a sound, it may be a fjord. Had 'by TWOS' before IN TWOS. Wonder how many of the boarders were STEERed AFT. Favorite fill today was ZEPHYR and ANTERIOR.

"It doesn't matter if the water is cold or warm if you're going to have to wade through it anyway."
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955)

Have a great day.

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

Well, today was one of those Silkie's that did me in, despite two hours of Patience and Perseverance! The NW was my downfall due to stubbornly not letting The Alamo go for 1D, even though it didn't work. I guess the brain was still asleep and not coming up with any correct answers, so I finally threw in the towel.

Well done, Mr. Silk, and well done, Mr. Splynter. Here's hoping for a smoother solve on Sunday.

Have a fun Saturday.

Lucina said...

Greetings, Weekend Warriors! Wonderful stuff, Splynter. Your commentary, I mean.

Yowza! Woven like a Silk tapestry and I managed to STEER through it. Luckily, there were many associations for me, QUETZAL which my Guatemalan students would love to show us, ASPEN which was always a fun visit when living in Denver, and KEVLAR. Many ESL students work in the local factory making the products. I suppose they're furloughed now, come to think of it.

After staring at "hall of fame" for longer than I care to say, a huge light dawned, ohhh, the movie! I say, that's clever.

And right behind that came NLER. Another ohh, a sports team.

Tricky, tricky, Mr. Silk. And ZEPHYR is a word I learned doing crossword puzzles, one of the first.

I had Marvin HAGGER for a long time, but eventually, HAGLER boomed out at me and ELATEDLY I finished!

How nice to "see" you again! Welcome back. I had wondered about you.

I roared aloud with your saint comment!

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

Anonymous said...

It's very funny if you know how the under-50 crowd defines facial!!!

Pas is never coming back now...

CrossEyedDave said...


Usually my technique for solving a Silkie is, when I get stuck, hit the solve button for all names of people. Strangely, there were not that many people in todays puzzle. (names of places autosolve is a second line of defense only to be used if absolutely needed, & with the exception of Tabriz, wasn't needed.)

I felt unusually in tune with Mr. Silk today as most of the fill fell into place. Even "Stoa" (crosswordese # 3,967 to be remembered) did not trip me up.

But what did trip me up in the end was the entire SW corner, because I refuse to believe that there is "any" waste in distillation. & the Y in Zepher (Jeez, I still can't spell it that way.) & that there are two "C's" in Zuchini. (are you sure?)

Anyway, all these Zs make me want to catch some more of them...

Barkeep said...

Avg Joe: Drinking sooo early? Oh well, it is Saturday. Cheers.

Misty said...

Well, I don't call them the dreaded Silkies for nothing. On my first run through I had only ASPEN, though a little later I got MAPLES. I guess at least I know my trees. After thinking EGGPLANT for a while, I finally got ZUCCHINI--mainly because I figured that BEE OUTPUT was going to be a QUILT--and that, in turn, gave me ZEPHYRS. And so it went for about a third of the puzzle, when I had to start cheating.

Made some silly mistakes, like putting BATMAN instead of TARZAN for that 1912 hero, even though I figured it was a little early for them with their Batmobile and everything.

Put SMOKE because I've never heard of SMAZE and SMOG didn't fit. I still don't get how SPENT means BEAT? Oh, okay, tired. Okay, got it.

Owen, you need to take a nap and catch a few ZZZZs after that limerick. You're probably SPENT after all that work.

Cool pic with a cool shirt, Splynter!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Lucina said...

I forgot to say how much I liked your photo. Any girl would like to look at that every day!

PK said...

Splynter, forgot to thank you. Hope all your right turns are going smoothly.

Keith Fowler said...

I felt like Splynter--so many missed first attempts. I made it finally, but I confess to Googling at least three times, two of them after the fact (just to be sure), but AQUINO was one I needed.

I was happy to see so many Zs, as this alone led me to answers like ZEPHYRS and QUETZAL that I would probably not have stumbled onto.

Interesting (maybe): I am developing a rule for looking stuff up. I usually forbid myself from looking up an unyielding word directly. The trick to me is to look up the next nearest unknown, probably an easier (shorter) one, in hopes that it will yield the perps that will eventually cast light on the word I am really seeking. In this way I aim to keep at least some of the sport in the game.

Ah, the contortions we'll use to maintain our dignity!

Keith Fowler said...

and thanks, Mr. Silk, for including ZIMBABWE!

I mean the word, not the poor land-locked, impoverished dictator-ridden "republic." But purely as a word (derived from the ancient ruined city of Zimbabwe), it is one of my favorites to say aloud. As a colony it used to be Rhodesia, a skimpy sound that's a bit of a forward-facial resonator, a nasal wheeze close to a puny sneeze.

Ah, but ZIMBABWE lets you drop your resonators all the way to your chest, and then you can trail off with a nice throat rattle, if that's your thing....

maverick said...

Missed it by that much! TABRIM/AQUINA/MAE instead of TABRIZ/AQUINO/ZOE. Lots of trouble up in the NW corner, mostly due to the fact that I couldn't think of an Iranian city other than Tehran or an INA drink other than Orangina. Finally got the aha on AQUAFINA and the Q gave me Corazon but I misspelled it as AQUINA.

Nice Cuppa said...


Nice to see you too, and nice to be remembered.


Bill G. said...

I'm never a fan of Saturday themeless puzzles but I liked this one more than usual because of some of the clever clues.

CED, I loved your moon video. We just met my son and his girlfriend's rescue dog for lunch. Very nice. Pretty weather. We almost got back in time for the first pitch.

Vegas Doc said...

Happy Saturday everybody!

My 0-fer-Silkie record remains intact, thanks to today's brutal offering....

Virtual white-out in the upper half, my only real toehold was in the SE....

So many unknowns, I would use up my 20 lines and still have room for many more....

Oh well, it is what it is. On the bright side, I made an offer on a house today, after going over it with a fine-tooth comb for 2 hours this morning (my second visit). I only hope I don't find out the owner's name is Silk....

Bill G. said...

Is this cool or what! SpaceX rocket test

Bill G. said...

Another video for your late Saturday night enjoyment. Tractor/Drummer

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Ultra late to the party. I gave a reasonable effort on this Saturday Silkie, but only managed about 75%. The upper half was out of reach.

Hello Nice Cuppa, good to see you back.

Night All