Nov 23, 2013

Saturday, Nov 23rd, 2013, John Lieb & David Quarfoot

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing F,J,Q,Z)

Blocks: 29

     Started out really well, but this one crushed me and good - nothing really difficult word-wise, but the cluing was so vague that red-letters came up early, and even that wasn't good enough. John Lieb has appeared here before; C.C. mentioned David Quarfoot as one of the top themeless constructors. 

John Lieb

David Quarfoot

Pinwheel grid design of 9-letter and 8-letter corners, and nothing longer.  No spanners, and as discussed before, when you get a 15-letter answer, it usually opens the puzzle up a bit.  Some answers of note;

1. Holiday portmanteau : TURDUCKEN - The combination of a turkey, duck and chicken, one stuffed inside the other - have to say I have not tried this dish yet....

13. Kyoto-based entertainment company : NINTENDO - They make the Wii console, too - I tried the golf, and it just frustrated me; bowling was more enjoyable

35. Minor obstacle? : BABY GATE - Oh, so good~! Took a long time for anything in the south to take shape for, if I can just work this thingy here, and then slide that over there....

63. Stud revelations : HOLE CARDS - Poker; oh, THAT kind of stud; it annoys me when I get into a mindset, then stay trapped inside - I was thinking 2x4 framing lumber and males the whole time.  Hole Cards are the two you're ( usually ) dealt face down to start a hand



10. Turned up : ON END - ugh, that kind of turned "up"

15. Hoops situation involving a bonus free throw : ONE AND ONE - Basketball, when a player is fouled (?) - not my game

16. Odds, essentially : RATIO

17. Tennessee's state reptile : BOX TURTLE - Aww

18. Pointless : INANE

19. Mental health org. : APA - well, I figured it was an "A - A" group, the "P" is for Psychological, and here's a music link

20. Longest-serving Dodger coach Manny : MOTA - echo (echo)(echo) " batting - Manny (Manny)(Manny) Mota (Mota)(Mota)

21. Puts forth : POSITS

22. Bucks : GELT - Money slang

24. Like some sins : MORTAL - Yay~! I got one~!

26. Holiday serving : LEG - Oh so vague....I can think of a better clue for this;

27. Dental crown alternative : ONLAY

29. People magazine Sexiest Man Alive of 1999 : GERE - I started with gOre - Um, that's not right

30. Harmonia's daughter, in Greek myth : INO

31. Vituperate : CURSE AT

34. Menu option : UNDO - Just had this - SEND, EDIT, VIEW, FILE, etc

35. Program, perhaps : BOOKLET

38. Chaac, to Mayans : RAIN GOD -various spellings

40. Looking frightened : ASHY

41. Pretend, in a way : LIP SYNC

43. NCAA year-end games system : BCS - Bowl Championship Series - the Wiki; My buddy Mike is in Philly this weekend, I worked too late to go; next weekend he starts a whirlwind tour of the East Coast NFL and college games to promote his new "Quarterback Touchdown" game

44. Word with sugar or spice : MILL - Sugar Mill, Spice Mill - took forever to see this; again, I got stuck on Spice GIRL, and Sugar PILL

45. Put in : ELECT - Ugh, that kind of  "PUT"

49. Slangy agreement : YAH - Yea, Yep, just keep at it

50. Common hand span : OCTAVE - I am bruised on the forehead from the V-8 can; the hand can span the keys of a keyboard, which is an octave ( 13 keys )

53. Catch in pots : EELS - DAR~! Seen it before, couldn't remember

54. Receives : GREETS

56. Shakespearean "over there" : YONDer - Poetic

58. Go on : YAK

59. Doddering : ANILE - SEnile, yes, Anile, no.  Denile is not just a river in Egypt

60. Cut : EDITED OUT

62. Sign of emptiness : TO LET - as in apartments for rent; the one at mom's house has finally been filled, and the guy seems OK - let's see what happens Dec 1

64. Toponymic dairy items : EDAMS - toponymic meaning name derived from a place; in this case, the Dutch cheese

65. Summer TV offering with a "Jaws of Steel Collection" DVD : SHARK WEEK - I am pleased to say this one did actually come to me, sort of a logical educated WAG; I do not care for the show; not a big fan of sharks - they are cool, but I like


1. Lesser Antilles island : TOBAGO

2. Sealed : UNOPEN - meh

3. Old drugstore chain : REXALL - I tried READES, and it got me part-way there

4. "Can't Help Lovin' __ Man" : DAT

5. Word on a bill : UNUM - E Pluribus Unum - Latin; 'One from Many'

6. Storage medium : CD-ROM

7. Actor Yaphet __ of "Midnight Run" : KOTTO - also Parker in Alien (on the right in the image) - what was the cat's name?  Anyone?

8. Swell : ENLARGE - I started with ENGORGE - say, where's my mind?

9. Formerly : NEE

10. Yankee foe : ORIOLE - baseball for C.C.

11. Some flatbreads : NANS

12. Selling using servers : ETAILING - "E" word; online shopping, and Cyber Monday happens to be "BLACK MONDAY" at UPS

14. Acts altruistically : DOES GOOD

21. Bash, affectedly : "PAR-TAY~!"

23. Tasteless : TACKY - like the preceeding answer?

25. Rushes : TEARS - tAres, not tEErs

28. Co-star of Steve in "The Magnificent Seven" : YUL

32. They may be dug up : RELICS - had it in, took it out, put it back in

33. Circus elevator : STILT - D-oh~!  Took W-A-A-A-A-Y too long to get

34. Godfather, sometimes : UNCLE

36. Academy affirmation : OSCAR NOD - great clue/answer

37. 1985 #1 hit for Ready for the World : OH SHEILA - I grew up with the song, but didn't recall the artist's name

39. Like Vivaldi's "Spring" : IN E - put in the "IN" and wait....

42. "Imagination Taking Shape" sloganeer : PLAY-DOH - Great slogan, too~!

44. Church compositions : MOTETS

46. Kiddie lit character with a detachable tail : EEYORE - Learning moment; I did not know this

47. Composer Debussy : CLAUDE

48. Reproachful warning : TSK TSK - my biggest "MEH" of the day

51. "There!" : VOILA - I definitely did not get my "Ta-DA~!!" on this puzzle

52. Join : ENTER

55. He or I, e.g. : ELEMent - way cool clue that did not fool me; Helium and Iodine

57. Sea level? : DECK - I had DOCK, which stumped me for the longest time; I was thinking dry land - sailors (tars, etc.,) might have been on the ship's deck wavelength

60. Half-hearted responses : EHs

61. Crow cousin : DAW



PK said...

TURDUCKEN? Fowl, I cry! Gibletish, not portmanteau. I filled the squares but with no sense of triumph. More "Huhs?" than "Aha's". Puzzle is INANE! This is my least favorite puzzle of 2013.

Splynter, our hero, working above and beyond the call of duty on this. Elem I didn't "get" until you 'splained.

P.S. An OCTAVE is eight notes. OCT = 8. The black keys don't count. They are half steps.

OwenKL said...

Well, I got it done, but so many red letters and WAGs that it doesn't feel like it. Too many words that even after perps filled them in, I didn't know what they were. I'm not that fond of themeless anyway, but this one had so many non-words (YAH, EHS, PARTAY), words I'd never heard of, and words used in ways that didn't sound right (if I was on a ship with the deck at sea level, I'd be frantically racing for the lifeboats!), that it was no fun at all.

(to the tune of 'Home On The Range')
Oh give me a theme,
Where the words form a team,
And the clues are amusing wordplay.
Where being a nerd
Can help find a word,
And the puns are all in proud array!

Words, words on the grid
Where the clues have amusing wordplay,
And being a nerd can help find a word,
And the puns may all proudly display!

How often in cells
Where the red letter dwells
And an answer is nowhere in sight,
Have I suddenly seen
As if in a dream
The solution, so glaringly right!

Chorus: Words, words on the grid...

When my crossword is done,
If I found it was fun
And I'm proud of the way it turned out,
I'll give praise to the mind
Who these words all aligned,
For the pleasure this game brings about!

Montana said...

Splynter, you are the best. If it weren't that I enjoy reading your expos, I wouldn't attempt Saturday puzzles. It is fair, however, that our expert solvers get challenging puzzles to work on at the end of each week.

As for the puzzle itself, Thumper says it all for me.

Have a good weekend,


Montana said...

Owen, I forgot to say you outdid yourself.
I sang your post today. Great fun!


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Real struggle for me as well today. I nearly didn't finish, but finally got 'er done after accepting that UNOPEN and ASHY had to be correct. I resisted those two for a looong time and really hated putting them in.

I was very proud of getting ELEM all by myself, however...


thehondohurricane said...

Point of order for 28D....Steve McQueen was Yul's co-star.
Eli Wallach, the baddie, was 2nd lead (IMO).

Film had a fire cast, great music, and a predictable outcome. Still, it;s one of my all time fav westerns.

TTP said...

Good morning all.

Way too tough for me. Cluing left me befuddled.

Crown alternative - Abejo, how did the crown go ?

Program - Thinking of Desper-otto. Can you program the program to match the program ?

TECHNICAL and MOTA and UNUM and YUL were my solid fills on the first pass. Wait, ONE AND DONE, not technical.

Tasteless was TACKY rather than bland.

Liked Sign of emptiness TO LET, Circus elevators STILT.

EEYORE was DONKEY at first, and OSCAR NOD was OSCAR WIN until the red letters were turned on. Changing those got me going again. Left red letters on.

Selling using servers = ETAILING was clever, but a stretch. Why not selling using switches, or using routers, or using hardware ? C'mon editor, have a heart. :>)

Before I forget, I don't want cell phone use on airplanes. You ?

Time to go read Splynter.

Lemonade714 said...

I agree Splynter, the cluing was different and getting any kind of solving rhythm impossible for me.

I started out okay as I knew all about the Turducken from watching John Madden and his football broadcasts. Nintendo was also very big in my house, but after that it was all uphill.

Oh Sheila was a complete unknown and like Splynter, Octave was very slow in coming. Looking back it was all fair but no PARTAY.

Thanks Splynter John and David.

desper-otto said...

Good morning, i think.

DNF, DNF, DNF. The entire state of California is still white. YAH went in and came out. ANILE went in and came out. I had Church writing POETRY. When I finally threw in the towel after struggling for an hour, the three eight-letter downs in the SW were still empty. Even had to Wite-out my Wite-out. Definitely my worst showing ever! It must be the cold weather. That's my story….

Avg Joe said...

Purty much what Splynter said. A serious DNF. Had only to let, motets and the Y for 49A in California and couldn't break it open until I hit the G spot for Oh Sheila. That gave me enough to finish. The rest was a crawl as well, but at least there were no lookups.

I'd give it a C.

Cold here too, DO. 18 overnight, high of 24 today and 5 for tonight. Ham and bean soup is on the menu!!

Anonymous said...

"Holiday portmanteau : TURDUCKEN"

Only a murderer would know this.

KenoRunner said...

Strictly speaking, wouldn't SHUT have been a more accurate clue than SEALED for UNOPEN.
Also, shouldn't those signs on the back of big trucks say

Husker Gary said...

DOH! Couldn’t see TO LET, He or I as elements and not as CASE, OSCAR WIN or NOD or BID, OH SHEILA, and learned ANILE. TOBAGI, TACKY not VAPID and GELT (not PELF). I don’t even want to talk about NICE for Sugar and spice. I’ll take a few bad cells and move on, wounded but upright!

-AND1 is now an athletic apparel line derived from the bonus ONE AND ONE free throw opportunity in basketball
-Most betting today replaces ODDS with points you can give or take. The top entry on this page shows that if you bet on Northwestern (+7) against Michigan State (-7), you win if underdog Northwestern wins or loses by less than 7 points
-Elaine made a scene about wearing an ORIOLE hat to a Yankee game
-This is the last year where the two top teams will play in the BCS championship game with #’s 3 and 4 complaining. Next year, it’s the top four teams in a playoff and #’s 5 and 6 will whine about not making it in .
-OCTAVE was A CUBIT for awhile
-Remember when REXALL sold condoms under the counter
-OMG, I didn’t understand INE and now I see it’s played IN E
-Witty and smart song, Owen!
-What was the name of the character who altruistically said, “I meant what I said, I said what I meant, An elephant’s faithful 100%”

Argyle said...

If you are talking about vintage collectables, you want them in a sealed(unopened) package; shut doesn't work here.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Today's acronym has to be TIT. Not to indicate relative ease, though. It's Threw In Towel.

Got less than 50% on my own, and precious little more with selective Googling. I'm not usually a quitter but today I'm willing to try it on.

Splynter, you are the better man.

Cheers All

Manac said...

Taking Thumper's advice on this one!

I'm with Dudley, TIT

Off to Nashua

Unknown said...

Tough one. Kept going though. POSITS,ANILE,NAN(Nanwich?)and DAW were new learners for me.

thehondohurricane said...


I have no idea why I know this, but the speaker was a Seuss character. I was never a big fan of Seuss, so as to the exact speaker, I don't remember and that's assuming I once knew it.

I've liked the expression from the time I heard (read) it and still use it on occasion.

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. I haven't read the responses yet so this is my initial reaction. I'm sure somebody will say this was a 'speed run' for them but for me, it was too hard. I never would have finished without some help from red letters. If all crosswords were like this, I would find something else to spend time on. I'm not complaining about the quality of the puzzle, it was just a very hard Saturday themeless; too hard for me.

OK, I read the responses so far and I was wrong. Nobody has claimed a speed run yet. It was hard for everybody.

I've never eaten turducken and I have no desire to. It seems like a joke to me that some people took seriously. Yep, I got ELEM too. I enjoyed seeing BOX TURTLE in a puzzle. They bring back good childhood memories.

TTP said...

Thanks for the write up Splynter ! Jones.

PK, you cried FOWL above the foul clue ? LOL. I really thought it was going to be TECHNICAL, but technically, it can be either a one or two shot technical foul.

What she said about ELEM. Perps must have filled it, because I sure didn't get it from the clue.

Avg Joe, I think that they've called for a high of about 24 here as well. After b-fast, I went back under the covers to catch up on some reading. My neighbor is out there on his riding mower mulching up the oak leaves.

HG, you reminded me that I also had NICE before MILL. Also, thanks for explaining what that +7 -7 betting stuff means. I've often wondered how it worked, but never enough to look it up, and never though to ask anyone about it. Not much of a bettor, except for stuff I can have a personal role in. horseshoes, or in the old days, bowling and golf.

Talk about just realizing ! The answer was ONE AND ONE, and I glossed over it thinking it was ONE AND DONE and questioned the clue and answer ! BTW, I thought AND1 was derived from the single free throw awarded on a made basket where a foul was called. The player either scored a two or three pointer, but got the "AND 1" call for an extra point opportunity.

"One and Done" was the name for the phenomenon happened after the rule was instituted by the NBA that required that disallowed kids from immediately coming out of high school and going straight to the NBA. They have to be at least one year removed from high school. So many then went to college for a single year and then on to the pros. So "One and Done." Least that's what I understood it to be.

MANAC, sorry to hear that you've hurt your hand. Hope it heals fast for you and that there's no permanent damage.

Time for me to get something constructive done.

TTP said...

Where is my proof reader ? "that required" was to have been deleted. Corrected as follows.

"One and Done" was the name for the phenomenon happened after the rule was instituted by the NBA that disallowed kids from immediately coming out of high school and going straight to the NBA.

Bill, TURDUCKENs aren't all that uncommon for big gatherings in south, and especially in Louisiana.

PK said...

HG: The speaker was Horton the elephant. My grandson played the part in a school production of "Seussical the Musical" in 2011.

I first sussed the first fill as TURD UCK EN. Which sort of expressed my sentiments. I confess before you all that the only reason I got that filled was with a red-letter alphabet run for every square. I was afraid every answer was going to be the same kind of gibberish. I continued only because I'm stubborn.

TTP, Yes, I noticed I cried "fowl" above a "foul". It's what gave me the idea. It's the only amusing thing I found in the puzzle.

SPOT ON, Owen!

Misty said...

Never got a toehold on this one and even cheating didn't help much. Never thought I'd long for a Saturday Silkie instead. Not a great morning--'Nuff said.

Husker Gary said...

-Hondo, here’s your altruistic motto speaker (1:20)
-TTP, you’re welcome on the +/- betting info. BTW, Penn State is -1 at home against the Huskers. I know that minus sign makes you think the Nittany Lions are an underdog but no, they are a 1-point favorite.
-Except for Vegas and a few other places, betting is illegal and so on one does – (industrial strength wink!)
-Bill G – no speed run here but still enjoyable. Two word answers like TO LET, OH SHEILA, OSCAR NOD, CURSE AT, ON END and IN E were particularly perplexing but I loved HOLE CARD.
-ONE AND DONE is also a tournament where if your team loses one game they are eliminated. Double elimination tournaments are “two and barbecue” or “two and through”

buckeye bob said...

In a word: UGH!

What Owen said.

After my first pass, I still had mostly white squares. Kept at it and did finish, BUT only with perps and red letter help. Still had words I don't recognize, but, okay, maybe they are legit or variations.

Definitely a Saturday challenge, but not very satisfying when done.

Anonymous said...

The only good thing about this puzzle is that it led to one of Splynter's links to the female leg. You are a man after my own heart.
Otherwise I had no interest in this puzzle. When I cant even begin to get a toe hold in a puzzle, I quickly lose interest.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

KenoRunner said...

I too want my vintage collectables in a SEALED (unopened) package -- but UNOPEN, which means SHUT, was the answer.

GarlicGal said...

Yikes! I guess we need to add Mayan to our foreign language clues. Heehee...

I tried. Oh my, how I tried. Had empty squares: TO--T, ED--S, missed the H in holecards (I'm not a card player). Hand up for NICE before erasing.

Hard work for a Saturday a.m.

No se deje dar gato por libre...that's what I always say.

Adios Muchachos.

Anonymous said...

Yeah sorry this puzzle stunk.

Anonymous T said...

G'Afternoon all:

Still cold as snot in TX and the puzzle didn't warm me a bit... I got 6d, 9d, 24a, 13 d, 36d, 43a, and 65a. (and I couldn't be sure about any of them...). The rest of the puzzle is blank - TIT. I'm going to have to re-program my newspaper for this "red-letter help" everyone talks about Thanks Splynter for sticking with it.

Owen - Priceless! That's the coda for your book...*

HG - I see myself in Horton. Too stubborn to give up if I gave my word and too stupid to know I'm being taken advantage of...

For 3d I wanted SuperX. This was a drug store owned by Kroger (anyone know if it still exists?). In the '80's Kroger bought the chain my dad managed. That's how I ended up leaving IL for LA... Not all bad, I met my wife in LA and learned what a TURDUCKEN is.

My favorite name for a drug store: Ideal Drugs. (Say it aloud). It was in SPI on the way to the museum.

Cheers, -T
*Write it already - there's at least 30 of us in the corner that would pay for a hard-copy of your musings - not to mention the broader xword audience.

Sfingi said...

Harder than a Silkie, Googled 12 times before scarcely beginning, and DNF.

No fun, but the BOX TURTLE is a beauty.

CUR SEAT - seat for a down dog.

Here's a word for these guys - STRUGGLY - not that I'm saying they make things up...

Ol' Man Keith said...

Don't feel bad, fellow Puzzlings...

This was indeed tough. Congratulations to all who managed to put something in each box. I pat myself on the back (gently) for surviving intact, altho with a few googles along the way. Technically DNF, but who's counting - when the dragons I managed to slay gave me a real sense of victory.
I would never have come up with TURDUCKEN if the topic hadn't arisen at home just last night. (No, we're not going for it; my wife's brined turkey is the best I have ever known!)
What did I look up? SHARK WEEK & NINTENDO. Oh, and I checked out ONLAY & ANILE after the fact. The others I claim.

It took a damn long time, though.

Splynter said...

Hi again~!

Ta-DA~! At least TTP gets a Ta-da from me - that was the cat's name.

PK - what if I played in the key of B? Chromatically speaking, there are 12 KEYS, root note to root note


pacnw said...

My favorite movie - Jonesy from Alien.

Anonymous said...

Vague clueing indeed....had to go here to finish it and was left with a "oh, c'mon..." feeling.


Anonymous T said...

Keith - Argg! my iPad ate my post again...

I thought it funny (peculiar, not haha) that the clues you had to Google were of the very (very!) few I got.

Re: Brined bird. Will your DW share her concoction? I used brown sugar, salt, pepper corns and a few aromatics. I'd like to kick it up... Since SIL is doing the TURkey this year, I've got an extra bird to play with.

Cheers, -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

Anonymous T @ 2:08 ~

Sure! Janice roasts her bird in a traditional manner, but brines it first. This really keeps it moist--even the sometimes driest sections of the white meat. Flavors are naturally enhanced. For the brining process, she uses Williams-Sonoma's "Turkey Brining Blend," the apple & spices variety. Plan to start the day before; the proportions and process are explained in detail on the label.
We have enjoyed it on our holiday turkey for the past four years. It also claims to work on chicken and pork.
Bon App├ętit!

Bill G. said...

I'm sure the brining method can produce a very tasty turkey. I would love to try one someday. Another method that works REALLY well with no additional learning or effort is to cook the turkey breast down. All of the juices flow downhill into the breast meat and makes the white meat really tender and juicy instead of dry. We've been doing it for 30 years, ever since a radio chef recommended it locally. The only slight drawback is that the turkey needs to be turned over to carve it and the breast doesn't have the usual golden brown look. However, I guarantee that you will enjoy the extra-moist white meat more than before.

miss Beckley said...

Well, I finished it, but googled three times. The word toponomic is not in any of my dictionaries. I thought a portmanteau was something one wore, but now I think that's portmantle. I don't have red letters so that's why I google. Seems to me that sealed should be unopened, in the past tense to agree with the clue.
I wish I could figure out how to get the Sunday crossword from the Chicago Tribune. I feel so alone doing the Times.

PK said...

Splynter, dear, I am not a musician by any means but growing up with a music teacher, some did rub off.
Octave means eight notes or full tones. The other four keys are half-step tones within the octave. Oct is eight: octagon, octopus, october (8th month). The picture you showed is of a pianist's hand span of one key over an octave which is desirable. My sister who became a professional pianist/organist could reach three notes over an octave.

PK said...

I always filled the turkey cavity with 2 apples which also makes the meat very moist. I also tented the bird with aluminum foil. It browned nicely.

My SIL the professional chef cooks the turkeys these days. Last year he did a salt/fat/sage rub that was different. I'm not fond of sage flavoring, but the result was good.

buckeye bob said...

@ Miss Beckley 3:03 p.m.

I'm not clear why you can't get the Sunday Chicago Tribune crossword puzzle, so this may or may not help you.

You do have to wait out a short ad.

You can do it online. But if you print it out, it will not be missing the clues that the Mensa site seems to miss when you print it on Sunday.

Personally, I prefer the Mensa site Mon-Sat (no ads), and the Chicago Trib site Sun.

Avg Joe said...

For the first few years after we were married I insisted on a fresh turkey to get a result that wasn't dried out. I finally tried The Joy method and figured out it can be easily accomplished with a frozen bird. The two biggest keys are cooking temp and internal temp.

The gist of it is to start with a 450 degree oven and as soon as it gets back to temp, drop it to 350 (325 for birds over 12~ lb). Then cook to 170-75 using a thermometer. Pop ups are not acceptable. The end goal is to never let it get above 185 and it will continue to rise after you've cut the heat.

I'd never argue that a fresh bird isn't better, but if you are extremely careful to arrive at that final temp of 185, you'll never have to suffer a dry bird again.

Anonymous T said...

Bill G: My first ever turkey was roasted upside-down. I called MIL to figure out what I was doing wrong - it never browned. I was told to lie (lay? - never get that right) on my back on the floor with my arms tucked under me... We still laugh about it today...

Keith - I didn't know there was a mix. W&S has some great tools (Santa- bring me a 1 gal. fat-separator!). Alton Brown demonstrated brining on his program years ago. The first year I tried it, FIL (RIP) said it was the best turkey he ever had. Then, not being keen to the situation (good scotch), he asked aloud why MIL was kicking him under the table...

My way:
I brine for 15 hrs in the afore mentioned. Then clean & rub w/ salt, cracked pepper & peanut oil. I fill the cavity with Rosmary, Thyme, an apple (cut in two) & orange peels and roast about 20 min. at 450. Then I pull the bird out and "stuff" w/ carrots, celery, onions, & garlic. Finally, I surround the bird w/ baby-potatoes & more carrots, celery, onion, & garlic & roast @350 covered 'till done.

It's yummy, but getting old after 15 years - and I'm too chickens**t to deep-fry it like my LA buddies.

C, -T

Anonymous said...

Yeah, this was a toughie, but I kept at it. The SE was the last to fill in. It didn't help that I had Playtex for the "Imagination Taking Shape" sloganeer.

I used to be blue, but when Google made their changes, it locked me out of my account. I don't wish to go back and make another one.

NW George

Bill G. said...

The wireless keyboard that came with my iMac has white keys. It all looks good until the combination of my oily skin and accumulated dirt begins to show up on the keys. So I got out a sock and some isopropyl alcohol and cleaned the keyboard. Much better! Can you tell from my typing how much cleaner the keyboard is?


Avg Joe said...

Bill, I'd imagine that those socks are quite the fashion statement :-)

Anonymous T said...

Bill G.

That's some sparkle on your post! Where are my sun-glasses?

I have a white-chicklet keyboard (It's the only keys I can play - so I won't comment on notes in a scale) for my iPad,,, It got nasty in a hurry... I like to use my iPad in the garage, garden, and just when I'm too lazy to fire up the laptop... But we digress... C, -T

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. I simply could not finish this puzzle, and I had to do a lot of looking things up to get most of the answers. Putting ST BART in for 1D was not a good start. A large part of the SW corner remained blank. Not on the ole wavelength at all today!
Excellent writeup, Splynter. Best wishes to you all.

BarbieMom said...

I see others had the same issues that I did. I finally finished, though. The southwest was the last to fall. I HTG "Oh Sheila". Once I got that and learned what a toponym was, I was able to finish. I am so old fashioned I work the puzzle from the newspaper using a mechanical pencil. I don't have red letters and I erase a lot. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Maverick said...

Wow! I had given up when I was down to the cross of ANILE and MOTETS. Whoda'thunk those were actual words. That SW corner was killing me. I thought I had a clever answer with BABYBUMP. Once I gave up on that and tried some more conventional answers I got the GREETS and the ELEM (cute) not NOUN; TO LET (euro sign). Never could figure out what a DAW was supposed to be even though I'm a birder (Guess I didn't see a DAW on a TO LET sign). Vivaldi's IN E was a puzzler too

Maverick said...

... not ONE, or UNE of the Four Seasons I guess.

PK said...

Maverick, is there a story behind the duck in the glass avatar?

Bill G. said...

Well, I chose a sock for a cleaning rag because it was upstairs where I was; a sock instead of a tee shirt because I figured the cleaning process might leave a dark smudge and nobody would see it if was left on the part of a sock inside a shoe. (Hmm, upon rereading that, it sounds a little like Sheldon...)

Have you noticed how many people, in person and on television misuse lay vs lie? Very few folks seem to lie down anymore; they get tired and lay down. Almost nobody gets it right.

On my short bike ride, I passed a fairly tall, attractive young woman going the other way with two tallish guys with her. Who was it you ask? Maria Sharapova, that's who.

Aw crap. I went to close my garage door and something went wrong with the linkage for the electric opener. These automatic labor-saving conveniences are great until they break. So we called our handy dandy handy man. He's coming by tomorrow. Just a small nuisance and some money. No biggie I guess.

Bill G. said...

Wow! This guy can ride a bike even better than I can! BIKE

A very cute little magic trick even I could do. MAGIC

A great little cartoon! CARTOON

CrossEyedDave said...

If it were just me, todays puzzle would have made me take thumpers advice, but something wonderful happened.

Daughter#1 was sitting next to me when I tackled 1A, & even though I knew portmanteau from Lemonade714, she insisted I Google it. It was that 1A that captured her attention, & fighting thru 1thru9D (combined with some acrosses) finally revealed it.

Since we had the entire NW corner, we kept at it. However, being a Saturday Stumper, I had the red letters on, & you would not believe the fights we had when I said, "It's a proper name! We get to hit the auto solve word button!" C'mon, there is no way in hell we are going to get 7D "kotto!" (By the way, the cats names was Jones, Aka "Jonesy.")

Believe me, the puzzle was a B*tch, we are still arguing over some of the clues, (Octave for instance, & the comments only added fuel to the fire...) but I am glad I did not have to tackle it alone.

Thank you John Lieb & David Quarfoot for some lovely family time.

P.S., even with all the red letters & cheating, it still took us over 59 minutes to do the puzzle, (not including the write up.)

kjinkc said...

What a struggle today, but finished with red letters and WAGs on many. I just can't go away and leave it undone.

Dudley-Love the new acronym of the day and to that I say I was 'LMAO'!

I too thought Octave was 8 when I learned piano at age 5. Never thought it to be anything different.

HG - The Rexall behind the counter items I remember where for girls only and wrapped in brown paper so no one would know what was in it. Yeah right. I did buy something recently (not the aforementioned product) which had a Rexall label on it and was surprised as I thought Rexall was defunct. I'll have to look around and figure out what it was...something I bought at Dollar Gen I think.

I put my turkey right side up in a broiler pan with a small bit of water to keep it from sticking, take a pastry brush and cover with any softspread butter, make a tent from aluminum foil and cook as per directions provided. Always (yes always) stays moist from the tent. Check water level a couple of times during the cooking and that's it. No fuss, no muss and delicious.

Temp here was hi of 24 with low of 8 expected. And, Bill G., I had so many wonderful joys of home ownership last week, I was heard to exclaim, "just another lovely day in Paradise". Stopped up you know what, caulk on basement windows, new single lever faucet for washer/dryer, put up pencil sharpener in granddaughter's closet (an old-fashioned one somebody left here when I bought the house 9 years ago), caulk on kitchen tile the tiler missed, defrost mini-fridge in basement, well there's not enough time or room to detail all. Never ending...

CanadianEh! said...

I don't usually have time to do the Saturday crossword but I finished reading the newspaper and decided to try it. Now I know why I don't usually do it!! But at least everyone else agreed it was difficult.

I agree with PK about OCTAVE. The notes go from A to G and then start again at A so there are 8 in an octave. The black keys are for the sharps and flats ie. A sharp=B flat. (And that reminds me of a small nit in Vivaldi's Spring clue as the strictly correct answer would be "IN E MAJOR". My hand span is two notes over an octave but I don't play the piano as much any more.

We still have Rexall drug stores in Canada.

Lucina said...

Good evening, weary warriors! Splynter, I could hug you for ELEM which I could not understand and perhaps because I was tired. No, I wouldn't have known.

And today is National Adoption Day so, of course, we celebrated with my niece and her husband who have adopted their fifth child.

Some of you know the story. The birth mother is an addict and has given birth to five children all of whom have now been adopted by the same family. Their blended family consists of 11 children, though four are old enough/married and don't live at home.

Before I left this morning I had the northern hemisphere filled. It wasn't easy, but with some key fill, the rest spread little by little

Tackling the south was extremely challenging and I sympathize with the rest of you. Clueing this obscure is grounds for severe punishment. I jest, of course.

BABYGATE broke it open for me and OSCAR BOW gave way to OSCAR NOD and that corner was done. I confess I has to look up OH,SHEILA and had CHANTS before MOTETS.

I almost gave it up in the SE but I will never say die in a puzzle. VOILA was slow but not SHARK WEEK which is my daughter's favorite.

Well, I truly hope you all had an enjoyable Saturday. For us it's bittersweet in that the children are loved and protected but their mother is still a lost soul.

Irish Miss said...

Good Evening:

I have never posted this late but I was out for most of the day, then came home and prepared dinner for my sister, Eileen, who just left a few minutes ago.

So, here I am, bloodied and bruised from this Saturday Sizzler that makes Silkie look like a pussy cat. The SW corner did me in and, other than that, I'll let Thumper have the final say.

Nice expo, Splynter.

fermatprime said...


For me, this Saturday Stumper was better than usual. I got stuck in the southeast corner, though. Then had to use red letters.

Thanks for mentioning problem with octave picture, PK.

Really disliked UNOPEN.

Anyone here have had TURDUCKEN? Is it good? This one filled in immediately.

Good one, Owen!


Moodnuck said...

Couple of wankers who need to study the proper use of the English language!!

fermatprime said...

Enjoyed your write-up, Splynter!

Bill G. said...

Does Rich every lurk on this Corner and read our comments? I know he doesn't post here but ...? The reason I ask is that I would think he would like to know that many of us thought the puzzle was so hard; too hard for me. Also, I get the feeling that the NYT enjoys its reputation for having difficult late week puzzles. Yes? For those of you who do them, how do the harder NYT puzzles compare with this one?

Anonymous said...

Six posts again, Bill G.?

Blue Iris said...

I sleep most of the day and did the crossword puzzle late. I have to go back and read all your comments, but feel like I just flunked a word definition test I forgot to study for:(

Misty said...

I'm just relieved that many others also found this puzzle unpleasantly--rather than pleasantly--challenging. Hope next Saturday's returns to the old level of difficulty--even if it is a Silkie level.

David R said...

I do all types of levels of puzzles, I put this one up there with a Friday/Saturday NYT as far as time taken to finish. The real difficulty in this puzzle was the cluing, the problem was it was offputting in an awkward way. If you want to see brutal cluing that you'll appreciate afterwards try the Sunday Washington Post Puzzler edited by Peter Gordon, he does it right.

Craig said...

I am new to reading Crossword Blogs. What does the term "red letter" mean?

Needed the blog &/or Google for most of the bottom left corner; too tough for my wife and I.


C.C. Burnikel said...

Lots of our regulars solve the puzzle via Mensa's website. If you fill in a square wrong, the letter will appear in red.

Lou said...

Probably the worst "Clue-ing" I have ever encountered.