Nov 9, 2013

Saturday, Nov 9th, 2013, Norm Guggenbiller

Theme: None

Words: 68 (missing J,Q,W,X)

Blocks: 38

   This is a new constructor for me, but Norm's last LAT was this year in May.  As for the puzzle, lots of white on the first Across pass, but then some solid perp(endicular)s on the Down run filled in enough to go back and take some W.A.G.s.  Triple 9's in two corners and then a nifty little 4-way spiral of 9-letter words in the center, plus two 11-letter spanners intersecting two 11-letter climbers;

20A. Questionable strategy for a runner? : SMEAR TACTIC - Political office runners, that is

45A. Golf tournament display : LEADER BOARD - Lee Westwood is sponsored by UPS

11D. Bring up something sensitive : TOUCH A NERVE - Didn't quite "Nail It", more like I "pre-drilled" the hole for it - I pre-filled in "-N-E-S-S" for 29A, since a clue using "quality" usually implies this attribute

22D. Bodybuilding goal : SCULPTED ABS - I knew where this was going, but I started with SIX PACK, which was too short, then ROCK HARD, and that wasn't working.  So, for the ladies -

(dreaming) ONWARD~!


1. Long-odds track bets : PERFECTAS - I never understood horse racing bets - here's a link for anyone else who feels the same

10. Early launch rocket : ATLAS - some history

15. Marketing resource : EMAIL LIST - ends up in my SPAM folder

16. Gear part : TOOTH

17. Small-time : PENNY ANTE

18. All, in Assisi : TUTTO - like this?

19. Piece of work : ERG - Ah - not "ART"

22. Tastes : SIPS - had it in, took it out, put it back in

23. Kept from spreading : IN CHECK

24. Media __ : CIRCUS

27. Kind of colorful shirt : ALOHA - I wanted Hawaiian, but it didn't fit - never heard it called an aloha shirt before today

28. Bad blood : ODIUM

29. Stale quality : TRITENESS

33. Fire : ZEAL - Early on, I cannot tell if it's the "AXE" kind of fire, or this, the enthusiasm kind

34. A cup may be one : PRIZE - So where was my mind?  I had --IZE, and thought B-SIZE cup, C-SIZE cup, D-SIZE....oh, a trophy, like in hockey....

 35. Computer menu option : EDIT - gee, FILE, SAVE, UNDO, VIEW, COPY....

36. Polite assent : YES, PLEASE

38. Scrubber's target : GRIME

39. Comedian Fields : TOTIE - quick bio

40. Capitulate : CAVE IN - DAH~! I had giVE IN, which messed me up

41. Soil test measure : PH LEVEL

44. Reduce : PARE - my first thought, and yet one of my last fills

47. Cristal maker : BIC - Totally baffled me - Cristal is Champagne, the 'good stuff'; here the reference is to the pen from the company of disposable products

50. "__ Smith and Jones": '70s TV Western : ALIAS - IMDb

51. Available to order : ON THE MENU

53. "__ honest ..." : I'LL BE

54. Like a tense person's teeth? : SET ON EDGE

55. One who's doomed : TOAST - see 52D

56. Read impatiently : SKIP AHEAD - Like this scene ( @ 0:46 )?


1. Latino Muppet prawn : PEPE - Never heard of him, but I do recognize him

2. It calls for immediate attn. : EMERgency

3. Buzzed : RANG

4. "Jaws" omen : FIN - Na-num.

5. Mythological paradise : ELYSIUM - because Utopeea is not how you spell it

6. Woodworking devices : CLAMPS - ah, not LATHES
7. They have points : TINES - they ARE points

8. Dog star : ASTA

9. Make safe for use, in a way : STERILIZE
Na-num Na-num
10. Diplomacy figure : ATTACHÉ - I went with LIAISON - BZZZT~!!!

12. Singer Lenya : LOTTE - recognize her in "From Russia With Love"

13. Where to see some old clothes : ATTIC

14. Culture __ : SHOCK
Na-num Na-num Na-num Na-num
21. Fed. security : T-NOTE

24. Conspiratorial : COZY - I went with CAGY - seemed more appropriate

25. French bean product? : IDEE - Frawnch for 'idea'

26. River inlets : RIAs
Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na Na-Na~!
27. Come about : ARISE - like him?

29. Head out West? : TRAIL BOSS

30. Emmy winner Falco : EDIE

31. __ Valley : SIMI

32. Uzi predecessor : STEN

34. Actor Gallagher : PETER

37. Tennis shutout : LOVE SET

38. Floral-sounding Los Angeles suburb : GARDENA - down in the grey area on this map - never been to L.A.

40. Sonic server : CAR-HOP

41. Braid : PLAIT

42. First response to a call : HELLO

43. Former boxer Ali : LAILA - Daughter of Muhammad

44. Page of music : PATTI

46. Short run, for short : ONE K

47. Eliot title character : BEDE - Adam Bede - a WAG, since I was not sure of BIC

48. "Listen to Your Heart" singer in the musical "Young Frankenstein" : INGA - could have been IGOR for all I know - loved the movie, didn't know there was a musical

49. Prompted : CUED

52. "Big deal" : MEH - and a crossword solver's response to an answer that seems a bit of a stretch for the clue



fermatprime said...


Thanks for the workable puzzle, Norm and swell review, Splynter!

Had misgivings about COZY, also. Had one red letter. Darn! Was puzzled by TINES. LEADER BOARD was a toughie.

Peter Gallagher is good on Covert Affairs. Only 2 episodes left for them to kill off Henry Wilcox. Can't wait! SPOILER: was sorry that he killed Helen.

Have a great weekend!

fermatprime said...

From yesterday: I still enjoy POI. Jim Caviezel is great! Hate Root though. What is HR? Thought that meant Human Resources.

OwenKL said...

A puzzle that hasn't a theme
Can be either a nightmare or dream.
Which one was today?
No, no, I won't say,
I don't want anyone to demean.

How hard should a puzzle really be?
That's unique for you and for me.
We're each expert at some thing,
Ignoramii at another thing,
In between, we're all over the tree.

What difficulty do we expect?
A sashay or a pain in the neck?
Some want it so hard
They'll come away scarred,
Others just hard enough for effect.

I started out with a story woven from today's longer entries, but it was pretty bad, even for me. I may post it around midnight so the morbidly curious can shudder at it tomorrow. The first verse was the only half-way decent one, for Bill G.

There once was a girl with such curve
Any young man who saw her would swerve
A sine curve, knee to torso,
Then a bell curve, but more so,
A cantilever structure, you'll observe!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I almost gave up on this one in disgust when I finally realized that 18A was TUTTO and not TUTTI as I had initially assumed. But I decided to keep going and eventually got the job done.

A few other sticking spots along the way, of course, including:

* Like Splynter, I was convinced that the "cup" in 34A was referring to a bra and therefore had _SIZE for quite awhile.

* GIVEIN seemed to be perfect for 40A (as opposed to CAVEIN) and had me stymied in the SE for awhile.

* Don't know much about horse racing, but TRIFECTAS seemed to fit perfectly at 1A. Again, that totally messed up the NW until I finally guessed there was something called a PERFECTA.

* With PHLE___ in place, I was sure I had made a mistake at 41, since I didn't think soil testing would have anything to do with blood. Nice feeling when the light bulb finally went off there.


Montana said...

Splynter, your write-ups are always great. Thanks.

Owen, whether you are first or later, it is always fun to read what you posted.

I used lots of red letter help, but felt like I had enjoyed myself when the puzzle was solved.

Have a good weekend,


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This was a really nice romp for a Saturday -- tough, but doable. Hand up for _SIZE, ___NESS, GIVE IN, LATHES. My TOAST was a GONER and I was SKIMming before I was SKIPping. But it still all came together in one swell foop.

Splynter, thanks for link on LOTTE LENYA. I knew the name, and I recognized the image from the Bond movie, but I'd never put the two together.

Uhoh, TRAILBOSS is stirring. Time to get out the bicycles...

Lemonade714 said...

I too went GIVE IN before CAVE IN and wanted Jimmy Page not Patti, but overall a speedy Saturday.

Mack the Knife makes Miss Lotte Kenya stuck in my brain.

Thanks Splynter and Norm

Avg Joe said...

A daunting challenge....but ultimately successful. Filled in from the SW, more or less. Many of my first guesses were right, such as Asta, but it took several passes to finally get to the "Oh what the hell" frame of mind and actually write them in. Slowly. Surely. It all came together. Biggest stumbling blocks were having shift for shock, then not being able to stifle Clu for Gallagher and cello for fin even though they wouldn't fit.

desper-otto said...

Avg Joe, I think Clu was a Gulager rather than a Gallagher. I had the same thought at first.

[ivitsent] den its sent

Anonymous said...

Thus the inane occupy their minds with the irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

oh what does this guy have against me? tough but solved. :

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

DNF. The opposite corners sank my boat today, particularly the area around Bic. Never heard of their Cristal. Glad you could 'splain it, Splynter.

Marti from yesterday: I liked your mathematical clock link. Had a little trouble at the seven position, though, because I didn't know the bar symbol over .9 .

Cheers All

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Tough one todeay. BEDE was a WAG, but had to invoke red letter help for LAILA/ALIAS. Had 'goner' before TOAST.

MR. Roberts in ELYSIUM

"A sailor’s joys are as simple as a child’s." Bernard Moitessier

oc4beach said...

Today was a perps and red letter help day. Can't take credit for finishing the puzzle.

Fermatprime: HR is an organization of crooked cops and possibly politicians.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Found this very much like a Silkie: first pass, lots of white space, second pass, chip, chip away, and, slowly, but surely, everything falls into place and finally, TADA! Tough but fun and doable, w/o help. Lots of misdirection and lots of great fill

Thanks, Norm, for a challenging Saturday offering and thanks, Splynter, for a super expo.

Gray and gloomy today and chilly. Can't complain, though, as we had a beautiful, long- lived Fall.

Happy Saturday.

Lucina said...

Greetings, Word Warriors! Nice job, Splynter, thank you.

Amazingly, from the NE, diagonally, to the SW, I sashayed quickly, ATLAS to TOAST then SKIPped between the NW and SE.

Finally, one cell at a time they began to fall like dominoes in slow motion. I wanted KAHN insead of INGA so that slowed the process until I had to research "cristal" and was surprised to learn it was from BIC.

I really chuckled at "French bean product" IDEE.

What a great challenge from Norm Guggenbiller. Thank you.

Birthday party for one of the toddlers, today, a great-great nephew. He'll be three.

Wishing you each a wonderful Saturday!

Misty said...

TADA! TADA! TADA! First Saturday puzzle I've gotten perfectly in ages. Thanks a million, Norm! Wasn't easy, but a fun challenge is always great. The only thing I had on my first pass was TOTIE--not much to work with. But slowly, slowly, it all filled in. Terrific day to start a Saturday. And enjoyed the always great write-up, Splynter.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

desper-otto said...

Good to see your blue self again, Misty.

JJM said...

Fairly tough, even for Saturday, but got the job done. Lots of 70's references today… TOTIE Fields was on the "Tonight" show all the time , "Alias SMITH and Jones" Western TV show, "Jaws" omen, PATTI Page, "Young Frankenstein". Good thing I watched a lot of television when I was growing up!

GarlicGal said...

WEES. Cristal = Champagne around here! We love Roederer's, actually (same family). Pens? Oh please...

Abejo, you ARE in our backyard. The CA Coven frequents a Starbucks in Los Gatos. I'm sorry we couldn't arrange a rendezvous, but it sounds like you are very busy. I have forgotten which Lodge you belong to.

Sunny in California. Have a super duper weekend everyone.

Yet one more repeating Anon said...

Dudley, thanks for your comment on Marti's. 999. Clock from yesterday. Made me go back and look. Sure enough, it has the 0.9 overbar , from along time ago.

9 - sqrt 9. + 0.9 ( overbar) = 7

If the bar is over a single symbol/number/character, it is a macron. Signifies, variously -, a complex conjugate ( a math expression, not crosswordese). Or an arithmetic mean or a negation of a logical expression (NOLE).

If the bar is over several symbols/numbers etc. it is a Vinculum. ( No, not the stuff to examine the woman's vagina ... That's the speculum .). Vinculum signifies, variously -, a radical, a line segment , a repeating decimal or a NOLE, as above.

Thus. 0.9 overbar, as above, = 0.99999...etc. ~ 1.0

Dudley, thanks for refreshing my memory.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Happy Saturday, friends!

A lot of good clues here, with slight misdirections or ambiguities: "Stale quality," "Buzzed," Fed. security," "French bean product," and "Head out West?"

Thought it would be tough - and it was for a while. But this turned out to be my quickest Saturday fill in a long time.

It was almost a DNF because I could only think of "Fire" as either the hot flame stuff or the get-tossed-on-your-ear type. I reached a point where, because of using RILS as a perp, I had ZELL as my response. That was the last error I caught. I changed to RIAS and ZEAL just in the nick.

My other almost-error was in the NW corner, where I had PETTY ANTE for the longest time. The double Ts in other parts of the pzl encouraged that error. But PETTY kept nagging at me until I Googled the word (not the answer but the error) and so realized it could not stand.

And so I completed this Sat pzl w/o a single help! (Well, no *direct* help, anyway--and it's our own rules that apply here, no?)

Lucina said...

Have you thought about writing limericks for NPR? I believe yours would be good enough for them and might even elevate the show!

HeartRx said...

I spent the day tearing out moldy walls in the bathroom next door. UGH! So it is with a huge sigh of relief that I can finally sit down and put in my 2 cents worth.

I think I had all the same missteps as Splynter and Barry. But I was positive that the "Dog star" was Sirius, so wanted something line "cana." BZZZTTT!! When I finally figured out ASTA, I almost kicked myself.

Hand up for triFECTA before PERFECTA…

Dudley, glad you enjoyed the clock! It was really clever how they used all nines to make each hour, and following on the heels of Bill G.'s math games, I couldn't resist posting it.

Have a lovely evening everyone!

Anonymous T said...

G'Day All:

NaFC for me (Not a F***ing Chance) for me today. I don't know how you folks get a toe-hold in a Sat. I had ATLAS, TOOTH, SHOCK, HELLLO, SKIm and ONEK. And couldn't suss out anything else (after 3 hours!). Thanks Splynter for keeping me from going mad and giving me an exit when I raised the white flag.

But, I didn't come here to rant - I know I can't do a Sat - but instead to see how everyone is doing (and to be completely humbled by those that can do a Sat.) :-)...

YOMRA (anon @12:25) - I didn't notice the 7 on the clock, thanks for the refresher course on "bar."

Have a great weekend. Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

Oh, Owen - Lucina got it right... NPR would love your limericks.. esp. for Carl Castle on WWDTM. Don't let ego (or lack thereof) get in your way. Publish! Cheers, -T

River Doc said...

Happy Saturday everybody!

Same result as a lot here - slogged through the mine fields word by word, got most of the grid except the NW, then DNF as the red letters got turned on....

Still a satisfying puzzle, imho....

Bill G thanks for reminding me about factorials! Although I still don't like that 0! = 1, somehow it just doesn't seem right....

Appropriate catchable is Geeksr....

River Doc said...

Make that captcha - damned autocorrect!

Anonymous T said...


I agree that 0! = 1 is not right; as is root(-1) = i. It works out in our symbology (and electricity!), but when it gets to factoring primes (to break crypto), I think a different number representation (one I still can't figure out) based on base e or (root(5)+1)/2 would serve us better.

My fascination with this started in HS with Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio.* Every now & again I pull out the ol' notebook and play with the idea.

Cheers, -T

*I went to State for math reversing Fibonacci's formula to determine if any give number (n) falls in the sequence. A personal discovery of irrational numbers. Yes, I am a nerd - DW loves me anyway ...

Irish Miss said...

River Doc - My curiosity has been piqued! I know why you were Vegas Doc and then Doha Doc, but don't know meaning of River Doc. Can you fill us in? (-:

Bill G. said...

Mr. Doc, 0! = 1 does seem odd at first but it fits in with everything else. How are you with n^0 = 1? (That's any number n to the zero power equals one.) That always seemed wrong to me when I first learned it in high school but it makes perfect sense now and it fits into all of the other rules and definitions. How about not being allowed to divide by zero?

Anonymous T said...

Bill G:

And thus my issue with representation... 1/0 = infinity or a singularity / undefined. We are doing it right for the macro: $3 - $1 = $2, but it's so wrong for "real" problems. I'm just a dope thinking about it. Maybe there's something there with waveforms, but I'm too dumb to get it just yet... Like a Sat Pzl :-)

Doc: I was gonna ask the same as IM, but it didn't fit the post. Where the heck are you? With Sawyer or Finn with Jim on the Missisip?

Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

really don't like the sexist pics

Argyle said...

Doc is in Riverside, CA now.

Husker Gary said...

I had this puzzle 90% done and Joann decided she wanted to go to a Veterans Day Parade in Bellevue near SAC Air Force base on a perfect fall day. We then spent two hours at a craft show and another hour at Kohl’s. My brownie points runneth over.
We got home in time to see Huskers beat Michigan in Ann Arbor with many, many subs due to injuries. Life is good.
Not much point in Musing this late today but here’s one vote FOR sexist pictures. I can take ‘em in the spirit in which they are offered and could never play a Puritan if our Crossword Corner players put on a Thanksgiving pageant.
Finally got a captcha code!

Manac said...

Evening All,
1A put in Trifectas cause Exactas didn't fit and was off to the races.
Came back to that area and wouldn't let it go. That was my downfall:(

Decided to rake the leaves near the mailbox today and uncovered a phonebook still wrapped in plastic.
It was dated 2011! OK! So I'm a little lax in yard work.

HG, Is this you on the Golf Course ?
And what the Hell

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. No time to post much, and pretty much WEES anyway. Been working a lot today; have some good contracts. Hard puzzle, but I solved it. I think I'm becoming a better solver. Love xword puzzles! Best wishes to you all.

Misty said...

Many thanks, Desper-otto! Couldn't have done it (turning blue again) without C.C.'s help.

Husker Gary said...

A lot of things get said on the golf course that would never be said under ordinary circumstances. I think you and I live with strong wives, daughters and (for me) strong granddaughters that we know that this joke is just that.

BTW, Did those coeds eat you out of house and home ;-)?

Manac said...

Just dropped Nicole off in a neighborhood dubbed Spice Alley. All streets are named for one and some of them loop . I need a GPS unit just to get out of there!

HG, Yes.. they sure know how to raid a fridge, the mystery package was an inside joke to MWC fans.

And I thought you would like that golf joke. :)

River Doc said...

IM and AT, Argyle is correct. Escrow on the house in Riverside closes this Friday....

Bill G. said...

I just watched last week's episode of TBBT where all the guys are competing for tenure. Geez, what great stuff! Penny's ploy was classic!

OwenKL said...

Anon. at 12:25: .999... isn't just ~approximately equal to 1, it is equal to one when taken out to infinite decimal places.

Lucina & -T, thanks for the encouragement. It's been years since my hearing was good enough to listen to the radio, so I don't really know anything about NPR.

I've rewritten a couple stanzas since yesterday morning, so it's not quite so bad. You can take the limerick I posted then or not.

Her effect on guys was catalytic.
It made other women apoplectic.
So they said she was shallow,
With a brain of marshmallow.
But really, it was just a SMEAR TACTIC!

I suppose he had SCULPTED ABS,
Lurking somewhere inside of that flab.
But he ne'er lacked a honey,
'Cause he had lots of money,
And love-handles are made for to grab!

They met, and the guy was just floored
By her beauty, which at once he adored.
But she wasn't impressed
By the suit that he pressed,
He didn't rank on her LEADER BOARD.

Such rejection disturbed his reserve.
He let his passion for her TOUCH A NERVE.
He stared with vim
To frequent the gym,
And thus self-assurance preserve!

If this story has you SET ON EDGE,
Or you decided to just SKIP AHEAD,
"Women inspire
In men a desire
To improve, 'cause they mess with his head!"

Anonymous said...

set on edge stumped me. should have gotten it, but didn't. It was fun to see others had some of the same problems I had. This puzzle was challenging but fun.