Jan 4, 2014

Saturday, Jan 4th, 2014, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie

Words: 70 (missing F,J; see below)

Blocks: 35

   This was the most arduous Saturday Silkie I have had the pleasure of working in a long time~!  The answers came slowly, and the proper name crossings did not speed things up at all.  Very unusual grid design, with a set of overlapping 'rings';   I wonder if the blocks preceding 29a and 45a were not there originally.  Either way, we have triple 10-letter stacks and two 11-letter climbers:

11d. Orderly traffic pattern : ZIPPER MERGE - This just doesn't work; at least not here on Long Island - if Long Islanders (typically) could comprehend this, there would be no such thing as "rush hour" traffic - and I don't just mean work zones, either.

23d. Phone book feature : AREA CODE MAP - our local phone books actually have an area map that is folded up in the back

55. Weather vane : ANEMOSCOPE - from the Greek for 'wind', we also have the wind speed device, the anemometer - that's hard to say~!   Now try sphygmomanometer

sfig-mow, uh, sfig-man-a, sfig-mumble-mumble, DAH~! - ONWARD~!


1. End of a descent : SPLASHDOWN - astronauts and re-entry

11. Alternate courses : ZAGS - a WAG, but I did have -A-S

15. Gwadar Bay is an inlet of it : ARABIAN SEA - there was -R---N--A after some crosses, so "SEA" felt right; the ARABIAN part seemed like a good WAG, too

16. Fertile Crescent land : IRAQ

17. Commit, in a way : GET ENGAGED - some say you might need to be committed if you decide to get engaged

18. Indiana city where the International Circus Hall of Fame is located : PERU

19. Take up : USE - Meh

20. Dedicated lines : ODE

21. Telephone __ : POLE - a little history here; I also heard that Morse was under pressure to deliever his proposal to go country-wide to the US government, and having failed to bury his telegraph line, stuck ceramic wire supports in trees to carry the line from Baltimore to D.C. - now we're stuck with the system.   How many of our bloggers live in an area where there are NO telephone poles? 

22. Big name in shaving : ATRA

24. French 101 verb : AVOIR - I don't speak Frawnch, but I believe this is "to have"

26. "Mrs. Battle's Opinions on Whist" essayist : ELIA

27. Sound of waves : ROAR - neat little play on words

28. Uncovered : NUDE

29. Delay cause : WRECK - yeah, that and weather

30. How some equipment is acquired : ON LEASE

32. Drift : ROAM

34. Oil source : SESAME - canola, corn, shale, and dinosaur are some other sources

35. "Long-lasting" chocolate brand : RIESEN

39. Collectible sheets : CELS - I thought they were individual frames; I wouldn't call them 'sheets'

41. Routine that's not funny : RAT RACE

42. Colorful flowers : PHLOX - any one else throw in a plural "S" at first?

45. Not procrastinating : ON IT

47. Wax : GROW - a 'waxing gibbous' moon is one that is growing from first quarter to full

48. Crucifix : ROOD - learned this because I had an American history teacher, Mr. David Rood

49. Nitrogen compound : AMIDE

50. Downs : EATS

51. At a previous time : ONCE

52. Jack insert, briefly : MIC - this "M" was the last letter to fill, and I had to duck for the flying V-8 can; I should have guessed this immediately, as I have discovered not one, but TWO open-mic nites this past New Year's Eve - I can't wait to get up and jam~!

53. Barrett of Pink Floyd : SYD - one of the founding members; for those who do not know his story

54. Support piece : BEAM

60. __ noche: tonight : ESTA

61. Traces : DELINEATES - the 'outline' definition, not the 'last vestiges' one

62. Put one's foot down : STEP

63. Drop-down item that hopefully doesn't have to : OXYGEN MASK - I was stuck in computer mode, and kept thinking of some drop-down menu item


1. Sonoran Desert natives : SAGUAROS

2. Coolant giant : PRESTONE

3. Some gridiron passes : LATERALS

4. See 43-Down : ABE;  43D. With 4-Down, one-time White House nickname : HONEST

5. It's not a good thing : SIN

6. Witchy woman : HAG

7. Evidence of descent : DNA - semi-clecho, but this has a different 'descent' meaning

8. James whose company published the first U.S. edition of "The Prince and the Pauper" : OSGOOD

9. More unkempt, lawn-wise : WEEDIER

10. "Unsafe at Any Speed" author : NADER

12. Ring of color : AREOLE - it's been a while since we saw this one [C.C., can you find that classic link?] (From C.C.: Sure thing. And it's not copyrighted. What a big relief! The second one is for D-Otto!)

13. Bruschetta ingredient : GARLIC

14. Barely get (by) : SQUEAK

24. Adams of filmdom? : ANSEL - black and white film, that is

25. Saturn SUV : VUE - I had ION at first - which is their 4-door sedan

29. Take no action : WAIT

31. Former Food & Wine publisher, familiarly : AMEX - the Wiki

33. Make a delivery : ORATE - ah, not drive-brown-truck....

36. City south of Tampa : SARASOTA

37. Adaptable subspecies : ECOTYPES

38. Paper department : NEWS DESK

40. Aid for the restless : SOMINEX

41. Divest : RID

42. Examines closely : PROBES - not SCOPES - that showed up in 55a.

44. Pinpoint : LOCATE

46. Well : NICELY - such as saying "That will do well (nicely)"

49. "Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands" author : AMADO

56. Eurasian aircraft acronym : MiG - more Wiki

57. Unified : ONE

58. Hill fig. : SEN - REP, POL, which one?

59. Carolina quarterback Newton : CAM - the only sports figure I know named CAM is the former player and now preisdent of the Boston Bruins, Cam Neely


Here's your F & J ~!  (one block from my UPS route)


OwenKL said...

Today's crossword was crunchy as Silk
It was themeless, no words shared an ilk.
The whimsy of the Fates
Supplying word-pairs that make LATERALS tilt!

1a End of a descent: SPLAT!
35a Isn't "long-lasting chocolate" an oxymoron?
37d ECOTYPES: Adaptable subspecies? Nope, subspecies that has already adapted to a particular environment, and so is LESS adaptable than the species at large.

OwenKL said...

Should your OXYGEN MASK ever drop down
Don it quick, don't fiddle around!
Yours first, then your baby.
Two children? Then maybe
Decide now which you love most before SPLASH DOWN!

Southwest weatherman installed an ANEMOSCOPE
(Better known as a wind vane to common folk).
He mounts it on SAGUAROS,
For he's learned to his sorrows
On peyote it won't point, only grope!

When out from a ramp you emerge
Do you ever feel such a great urge
To let go, and get enraged
That cars won't GET ENGAGED
To execute a smooth ZIPPER MERGE?

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

This one played very hard. With a lot of perseverance and a lot of guessing, however, I finally managed to finish it unassisted. Well, except for a stupid mistake in the NE that kept me from getting the *TADA* at the end...

Tons of unknowns today, including AVOIR, AMIDE, VUE, AMADO, ANEMOSCOPE, RIESEN and OSGOOD. The fact that some of those intersected at key places made for some very unfair crossings today, in my opinion.

With enough (most) perps, I was able to guess ANEMOSCOPE based on my knowledge of the component parts. All the rest were total shots in the dark, though.

Oh -- my stupid mistake? I misspelled SQUEAK and had SQUEEK/ELIE instead. Oops.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused about the Mrs. Battle's Opinions on Whist clue. When you google it, up comes Charles LAMB. But the given answer is ELIA. Who is Elia?

Al Cyone said...

From Wikipedia: "Charles [Lamb] first used the pseudonym Elia for an essay on the South Sea House, where he had worked decades earlier; Elia was the last name of an Italian man who worked there at the same time as Charles, and after that essay the name stuck."

desper-otto said...

Good morning Saturday Soldiers!

Looked bleak at first, but finally everything fell into place. My biggest oops was FLIGHT MASK which made the "hill fig." an ANT -- that period should have told me it was an abbreviation. Nope, too dense. When OXYGEN showed up that whole section came together.

All together now, let's sing the SOMINEX jingle.

We have no telephone poles in my town, and very few electric poles. When an underground power line fails they isolate the break and then use high voltage gear to cause the break to arc. The noise is readily audible, so they know where to dig.

Anon@7:36 -- ELIA was Charles Lamb's pen name.

Yellowrocks said...

For me three quarters of this was THUR easy and fast in the NW, NE, and SW, but SE was my downfall. I looked up SYD. I had TYD, but stuck with Saratoga. V8 can moment I know Saratoga is in NY. I've been there. Then I looked up CAM. I couldn't think of any CA name. GRR.

I liked the conjunction of 29A and 29D. DELAY CAUSE and TAKE NO ACTION, A WRECK can make you WAIT for a long time, even if you are on the opposite side of a divided highway. Drat the rubberneckers.

I also liked make a delivery=orate.

Al Cyone said...

OwenKL: I think this might be a better reference for ZIPPER MERGE. It's not so much about on-ramps; it's the idea that, when faced with an upcoming lane closure, it's best if traffic uses all lanes (i.e. including the one that's going to close) until the last minute, then "zipper merge".

Montana said...

Good morning, Splynter. I enjoy learning new things from your Saturday blog.

I have never heard of ZIPPER MERGE but after reading your link, it makes sense. I knew anemometer but not ANEMOSCOPE. Thought I had never heard of RIESEN, but after looking at your picture, I have seen those in stores. Knew SYD but spelled it SID at first. I remember SOMINEX TV ad jingle but can't say I have ever seen it in a store.
I had to make too many runs of the entire alphabet to make this a fun puzzle. A DNF by my standards.

My son and crewmates were flying 45 bigshots from SF area to somewhere on the east coast. Shortly after takeoff the cabin filled with smoke. The crew (of 6) quickly helped the startled passengers put on the OXYGEN MASKS that dropped down. Crew themselves have individual oxygen tank/masks. They flew back to base and landed safely. Crew got commendations for their quick actions.

End of the good weather in Denver. It is snowing and 25 degrees now. It's only going to get colder. Arctic front is marching through!

Have a good weekend,

(I finally got a number for a Captcha! Maybe a person has to complain on the blog to get the easier to read ones.)

Montana said...

A couple years ago my phone company laid fiber optic cable down all our alleys. Took about 9 months. In the spring they connected cable to outside of houses. Electricians came next to do something outside (but homeowner had to be there). Then over a 3-month period, telephone personnel came into each house to put in a box (router?) near a main computer. First thing I remember is being able to watch a video without constant buffering.
There were lots of telephone call glitches, though, in the first 6 months. It was very difficult to call a cell phone in a different state and they couldn't connect with me, either. All is good now.

Since 2009, my rural telephone co-op has laid 900 miles of underground cable. We had no increase in our phone or internet rates. Grants pay for it.


CanadianEh! said...

Toughie today, but what else do we expect with a Saturday Silkie!

I would have clued SESAME as "kid's street from TV".

Another shout-out to GARLIC gal.
Have never seen RIESEN chocolate here.

This Canadian has never seen a ZIPPER MERGE but they look efficient. We have recently reintroduced Roundabouts and they can cause havoc because drivers here are not used to them.

SPLASH DOWN reminded me of the new book from Christmas about Chris Hadfield, our Canadian astronaut. But he came down on land in Russia.

buckeye bob said...

Thank you for another challenge, Barry. Thank you for an illuminating review, Splynter.

Opened the puzzle. Uh oh, it’s a Saturday Silkie. 31 minutes later, impatient and still a lot of white cells, turned on red letter help. Another 27 minutes later, finally finished the puzzle.

A lot of unknowns for me. Never heard of ZIPPERMERGE or ANEMOSCOPE or AMADO. Only know a little French, but not AVOIR. Didn’t understand 47A Wax = GROW until I read Splynter’s Splendid Review.

Stalled on misdirection at 1D Sonoran Desert natives = SAGUAROS (thinking of people) and 24D Adams of filmdom? = Ansel (thinking of actors).

No utility poles here. It makes for a better view, but probably harder on the maintenance guys.

Splynter, I don’t “get” the F&J reference. Maybe I need more coffee…

Argyle said...

F&J is a link.

I love one lane round-abouts but hate two lane traffic circles.

buckeye bob said...

Argyle, thank you, but yes I know F&J is a link. Maybe I should have said "I don't get the point of the F&J link". Having my second cup of coffee now, and I still don't get it yet.

Argyle said...

Oh, ok. At the start, Splynter made the comment the puzzle had all the letters except F&J(see below) leading to the link.

HeartRx said...

Good morning Splynter, C.C. et al.

Of course I should have thought of you when I came to “Make a delivery,” but my mind was still on Thursday’s “contractions” and I wanted something to do with labor or babies.

For “Sonoran desert natives” I was trying to think of the name of an indian tribe at first. Nope – we’re talking about cacti! Fortunately, I was able to spell SAGUAROS correctly and that helped tremendously to open up the NW.

Loved the tricky clueing for DNA: “Evidence of descent” and for ANSEL: “Adams of filmdom?”

All in all a very satisfying Saturday Silkie!

Avg Joe said...

A serious crawl to the finish today. First fills were Hag and Syd. Finally gained some traction and got er done, but it was never easy. Last fill was that M at the cross of Amado and Mic, and even that took 1.5 mental alphabet runs.

The zipper merge doesn't work in Lincoln either. It's not a cooperative city when it comes to traffic. When we visit our son in the Bay Area, I'm always amazed at how well it works there. We also have roundabouts, and most are one lane and work well, but there's one that's too small, and it always causes some drivers to freeze in fear. There's also one that started with 3 lanes, and that didn't end well. They've scaled it back to 2 and it works better, but the jury is still out.

buckeye bob said...


Doh! Head smack! Thank you!

Avg Joe said...

Forgot to mention one thing. I found it interesting that the International Circus Hall of Fame was cited for 18A when the Ringling Brothers Museum is at Sarasota. Could have used a chlecho and made the 36D clue more confusing, though more specific.

desper-otto said...

The Circus World Museum is in Baraboo, WI, because that's where the Ringling Brothers had their original winter quarters. I seem to recall that one of our Cheesehead posters hails from Baraboo. Husker would know.

buckeye bob said...

Just caught up on Thursday and Friday late night posts.

@ J.D. Thursday 8:07 p.m.

No, mine is a hardback copy. Still in good shape after all these years, but the pages are starting to yellow.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

While Saturday "Silkie's" are always super-challenging, I usually finish, even though it may take forever. Not the case today. I was done in by zipper merge, Riesen and eats. Overall, this was one of Barry's tougher offerings, IMO, but, as always, I enjoyed the cluing and the solve.

Thanks to both Mr. S's for the puzzle and the expo.

I hope everyone is staying warm and safe. We have beautiful sunshine but frigid temps.

Husker Gary said...

May I have some whipped cream on my humble pie? The SE corner did me in for my first Silkie DNF. I couldn’t let go of MENU ending drop-down item and ZIPPERMERGE, ANEMOSCOPE, AMIDE, AMADO, ECOTYPES, RIESEN (not MANDMS). Oh my! The only thing on this MENU was learning, but so be it.

-Our astronauts had a SPLASHDOWN and cosmonauts (and Canadians ;-)) landed on terra firma
-Southern yellow pine phone POLES in waiting
-Last night we had a beautiful WAXING crescent moon setting early in the west sky
-Seinfeld does a funny bit about “chalk outline guy” who is an incompetent police sketch artist who was asked if he could at least TRACE the outline of the corpse.
-Oh, our dessert natives are not ambulatory – got that one Barry!
-A LATERAL is not a pass in football. If it falls to the ground it is a fumble and not an incompletion. This was a big deal this week with Peyton Manning
-OSGOOD Slaughter Disease was the bane of my high school athletic career
-PRESTONE sponsored a lotta NFL games in the 50’s and 60’s

Lucina said...

Greetings, Word Warriors! Onward and upward, Splynter; thank you for your always informative posts.

PERU, Indiana, was my first fill because my BFF hails from there and has often talked of its wonderful exhibits.

After that it was touch and go until the entire West end filled. I wanted ARIZONANS for 1A but it didn't fit. SAGUAROS came later.

AVOIR was a pure guess after -IR was in and 28A had to be either BARE or NUDE. You know which one.

The east gave me fits and it took a long while to reconcile that ZIPPER was correct but MERGE took every perp. I'm familiar with GROW as wax because of the phases of the moon cited by Splynter but it didn't come easily.

Then ANEMOMETER but MEN didn't make sense and not knowing CAM Newton I had to research it. Phew! that did it!

Thank you, Barry Silk for another great challenge. I love these kinds of puzzles, todays and yesterdays. They require so much thinking and digging into the recesses of the mind.

I have Sunday's Masterpiece Classic set on Record for Downton Abbey. To quote Garlic Gal, "Woo! hoo!"

Have a terrific Saturday, everyone, and stay warm and safe all you who are snow bound!

River Doc said...

Happy Saturday everybody!

Well, my puzzle solving experienced mirrored Buckeye Bob's today. Lots of snow after the first pass. Had to rely on red letters to finish. Which is usually ROUTINE for me when Señor Silk is the constructor....

Wanted LONG BOMB for LATERALS, BARE for NUDE, IRAN for IRAQ, and some kind of MENU for 63A....

NICELY NICELY Johnson was one of the gamblers from Guys and Dolls (played by Stubby Kaye in the FILM)....

The only PHLOX I know was a doctor in Star Trek: Enterprise....

The only OSGOOD I know is Charles from Sunday Morning....

Well, I guess I should GET ENGAGED with my weekend chores - Doc out....

Splynter said...

Hi again~!

AH, yes, HuskerG, I had MANDMS to start, as well (M & M s).

Here on Long Island the roundabout which (we call a traffic circle) has replaced some sloppy stop sign intersections; I love them; the problem, as CanadianEH pointed out, is that NO ONE seems to understand the "keep moving" principle - and we have a two-lane circle that was completed about 2yrs ago, and that one gets to be a real challenge some days. I still like them - in fact, I found that when you design them into a Sim City game, it reduces the complaints from your citizens~!


Husker Gary said...

Map Update
-Kath in southern Carlsbad, CA and LaurieRo in western Nebraska are now “on the map”. Welcome ladies!
-Hopefully LaurieRo is another Cornhusker and isn’t among those in that part of the state that want to secede to join Wyoming ;-))
-Windhover, you have been on the map since the very first one. BTW, if you’re related to any Hall’s or Springgate’s in Breckenridge County, Kentucky, we might be related. Scary, huh?
-Buckeye Bob was kind of enough to point out it is Al Cyone (derivation?) and not Cyclone and I have made the change. He also told me of the location of one our regulars but it is my memory that she did not want to be on the map but I am very willing to make any amendments. Bob had another suggestion to alleviate crowding and I may have to go that way eventually as our blog readers continue to emerge from the electronic ether. What hath C.C. wrought?

TTP said...

Good late morning everyone. Back from my first round of errands before the onset of the next round winter storms hit.

The clock on my puzzle says 8:52. Oh yea, and then :49. I think my GSD needs some SOMINEX.

Felt pretty confident with nailing SAGUAROS, PRESTONE and ARABIAN SEA right off the bat, and enough fill in the next 10 minutes to think I was going to get this one.

I would have needed an ANEMOSCOPE to see the WRECK heading my way in the southeast. I needed an OXYGEN MASK (and red letter help) to complete this puzzle. That corner was brutal.

Much like the weather headed this way. Filled up the gas can for the blower and topped off the van. Another 3 to 7 inches coming in and then the record setting temps will be on the way. Back out for the second round of errands.

See y'all later n'at !

LaurieRo said...

Husker Gary-- Thanks for putting me on the map! We've lived in SW Nebraska for 16 years and I don't think I've met a Nebraskan who was not a Husker fan. Nor have I met a Nebraskan who wants to secede to any other state. I spent my first 38 years in Colorado and my recently retired hubby and I are looking forward to moving back (but not to the potential new state of North Colorado) in the next year where we can watch the DENVER BRONCOS every Sunday during the season!

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Barry Silk, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Splynter, for the fine review.

The reason I am tuning in a little late is because it took me THREE HOURS to get this puzzle done. Phew!

I got almost nothing on my first pass through. A couple here and there.

I got HONEST ABE early on and that helped a lot with the NW and SW. My Middle name being Lincoln, I always relate to Abe.

Got ZIPPER early on, but MERGE came real late.

Had ANEMOMETER first. It fit. The METER part died with SARASOTA. I did have SEN and NEWS DESK so SCOPE fit and worked. Never heard of that instrument until now.

I lucked out with SOMINEX. tried that early and it worked.

ANSEL was easy once I had a couple perps. Really enjoy his photos.

PHLOX appeared with the H. Maybe I will learn more about flowers soon. I start Master Gardener School in a week and a half. I have always been more into vegetables than flowers. Hope I pass.

RIESEN was an unknown. Perped it.

AREA CODE MAP was easy once a couple letters appeared. We used to call Area Codes NPAs. Numbering Plan Areas. We had tons of mnemonics and abbreviations in telephony. I am sure there still are, but I have been gone for 12 years.

Well, my day is partly gone due to all this fun. Now it is time for some work.

See you rtomorrow.


(28253442 203)

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Not my favorite Silkie, but finally got 'er done. Got the whole west side ok, but ended up invoking red-letter help with SYD and ANEMOSCOPE. Two separate puzzles, really, with only weak interactive connections @ ROAM and CELS.

NYS is trying to reintroduce roundabouts, but many drivers are intimidated. They don't do ZIPPER MERGE here.

VirginiaSycamore said...

The clue of SYD Barrett reminds me of “Syd Barrett visits his accountant”, which someone posted in an earlier Crosswords Corner:

I didn’t know that SAGUAROS are cacti. I also was thinking a Native American group.
I don’t know how to get the links to embed. I thought I did it ok using PHP but got shot down. What style do the links have to be in and where do I go to get help?

We are having a “heat wave” of 30+ degrees for 2 days, then back to a very deep freeze, about 0, here in Cleveland.

Misty said...

Well, after I got my first Silkie a while back, I promised to stop calling his puzzles the "d______ Silkies" (not, it was not a cuss word). But this morning the urge almost came back. I got only about a half or so before I had to start cheating.

Had the same problems as many others (Indian tribe instead of cactus for SAGUARO, etc.). But at least I got NADER (heard him speak many years ago) and ANSEL, which I have to admit had a really clever clue. Also got ELIA, but only because it's such a crossword staple.

But it kills me that I missed PHLOX. I used to be such an avid gardener, doing all my own plant shopping and a lot of my own planting. But since my husband's stroke, the gardener has taken all that over and I've forgotten the names of all my roses and practically all my flowers. Sigh.

But it's a sunny day in California and the beginning of a good weekend. So I wish you all a terrific one too!

desper-otto said...

Husker, those pine trees are the same kind I've got in the yard. They get tall before they get broad and usually don't have any branches to speak of until they hit 80-feet or more. They are the Loblolly Pine (pinus taeda).

VirginaSycamore, see "Create Comment Links" under Olio on the blog main page.

GarlicGal said...

Wow. GARLIC made the puzzle 2 days in a row and was also a answer on Jeopardy! the other night. It doesn't take much...Thanks for the shout outs.

My last fill was miC and niCely. All I could think of was a tire/car jack. Boy do I have a headache from all the forehead banging! I think somebody should come up with a t-shirt that says "I Survived a Saturday Silkie".

Speaking of surviving re: last's night discussion - a 3.1 earthquake is hardly noticeable up in NorCal. Now a 5.+ and up, gets our attention.

Tonight we are off to a "home concert" with Geoff Muldaur (formerly with Jim Kweskin's Jug Band, early '70's). Anybody remember jug band music??? Looking forward to a hoot!

Happy Saturday. Keep busy and warm al you snow bound folks.

Lucina said...

Welcome! I hope you stay and comment frequently.

I have to say that seeing the clue "essayist" immediately recalls ELIA if it's four letters.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! I've found the only way to enjoy a Silkie is to not give a hoot about each answer and just slog along. Thanks, Splynter, are you in show up to your eyebrows?

I was in the mood for all the DF in the puzzle:

Make a delivery was not "birth" (as a verb). Nor was the desert dweller an Apachee. Lots of unknowns WEES. I'm not sure BCSilk lives in our world.

Never heard of ZIPPER MERGE. Sounds painful to me. OXYGEN MASK was an immediate gimmee.

PK said...

Splynter, are you in SNOW (not Show) up to your eyebrows?

CrossEyedDave said...

VirginiaSycamore@11:55, you can go here for aid in creating links.

Whew! I'm back,,, what a mess at Newark Airport last night. The line for customer service was about ten gates long filled with people sleeping on the floor waiting for standby flights.

To catch up...
A belated HBD to Dudley, (I ran into some headwinds...)

I enjoyed your "thats when the fight started" jokes. I wonder if this news clip started a fight...

I can't remember who brought up weed last week, but it turns out we are not the only species that likes to get high.

Especially interesting was Bumpos' comment yesterday @ 6:48pm. I must go back & try to make sense of all the things he disliked, as I too, had a nit with Valedictorians nightmare = EFF. But when you think about it from a puzzle constructors point of view, here you are with "EFF," how do you clue it? The constructor could have said:

"Cranky puzzlers grade of this puzzle"

but that would be too easy for a Friday level puzzle...

Point of order said...

Ever notice that Barry G. will never admit to a DNF?

CrossEyedDave said...

I found the 21A telephone pole history link very interesting. I always wondered why when a telephone pole transformer fuse blows, it sounds like a shotgun blast.

It turns out a blown arrestor packs quite a punch!

Jayce said...

I really liked this puzzle a lot. It was hard, but very fair and doable. Some awesome fill, and some terrific cluing. My last entry was the M crossing MIC and AMADO. I could pick some nits but won't; the solve process was just too much fun.

Jayce said...

CrossEyedDave, I laughed my taill off at the newspaper article you linked. Thanks for that.

Splynter, yes, I put in S as the last letter of 42A, and forgot to revisit it later, ending up with PHLOS and AMES. So, FIW.

If I recall, the neighborhood of Tempe, AZ, where our son lives has no telephone or power poles. It's all underground. Zillions of telephone poles here, though, and the one in our neighbor's back yard is waxing ever more atilt as time goes by. I swear it's gonna snap some wires soon. Called the electric company and they actually did send somebody out to have a look at it. He reported back that everything is fine and there's nothing wrong with the pole.

BarbieMom said...

Southeast corner almost did me in. I had never heard of riesen or zipper merge. I do have phlox in my yard. Fun puzzle once I googled long lasting chocolate.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

My solve experience was pretty close to Abejo's 11:45. Also, what Spitz said a minute later: there was little crossover between the left and right ventricles of this puzzle.

I gather that Areola and Areole are interchangeable, along with the British (?) variant Auriole. I just learned last month that I'd been mispronouncing the former. Oops! Not that I've had much use for the word at parties...

Thanks CED! Love the graphic! Also, the few times I've happened to hear electrical trouble, I've come away with the impression it would be spooky to be nearby. Just watching the utility guy hook up my live 240 volt service drop was scary - tightening up those big clamp things with metal wrenches - I dunno how they get so casual about it.

Relatedly, there is a guest aircraft in my hangar for a few months. It's one of those specially outfitted helicopters that does work on high voltage lines. The pilot is senior and very businesslike. The young fellows that actually climb out onto the wires are, well, crazy.

Avg Joe said...

Dudley, we have a 345 KV line about 2/3 of a mile E of our home. There are approx 12 towers per mile, and 8 are clearly visible from our back windows. A couple years back they had to replace all the insulators on the length of the line and did it with a helicopter. Between each tower they had to ferry 2 long hanging ladders and either 4 or 6 linemen. It took 4 to 6 trips each time to get it all moved (can't remember for sure). They were fighting winds that kept changing in intensity, so just that partial mile involved parts of 3 different days. Both the pilot and the linemen are either plain crazy or they have balls the size of basketballs. Maybe both. At any rate, it was interesting to watch.

PK said...

Dudley, maybe I missed it but I've been wondering if you are moved into the new house yet?

Anonymous said...

Retired lineman here; I've been a "lurker" since June 2013. Avg Joe; I wouldn't say its crazy or balls; for me it was having confidence in ones training; equipment and fellow worker.

Avg Joe said...

Fair enough, Retired Lineman. But to the casual observer that hasn't had any of that training, it sure looks daunting.

Lemonade714 said...

Never heard of zipper merge, not likely here in SoFla.

IncrEdulous and Splynter write up.

HG I too suffered from Osgood Schlatter part of my youth.

Dudley said...

Avg Joe - I'm with you. The whole business looks risky to me. On the other hand, the Anon right after you survived to retirement -!

Seriously, though, the crew I've met seem to run a competent business. I don't get the impression that they take unnecessary risks. They just have to bring a level of fearlessness to the job, without which they would perhaps be dangerous.

Hello PK - I haven't commented on the house business much lately. Our project suffered during the Fall. The work crews were busy on other pressing projects, and practically nothing got done (other than what we performed ourselves). New life got injected mid-December, however, and now we're close to final inspections. We expect to ease into the house later this month. It's been a long pull!

Casually curious said...

CED , first , how do you clue an 'EFF' ?

What ( sort of -) word a crossword constructor wouldn't even dream of cluing...(var.)

.... The F word.

I loved, loved, loved your underwear joke... And it was so funny I showed it to prissy wife, who read it, smirked and asked if it was all true. I said, it's in the newspapers, ain't it ?

I also read the previous story on that article, where a woman is visiting a fortune teller....

She took a few deep breaths to steady herself, and stop her mind racing. She had to know ...

She met the Fortune Teller's gaze, steadied her voice, and asked, " Will, I be acquitted ? ...."

One could easily make a story along that ending punch line. Thanks for the laughs.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Very tough and very rewarding. I wish I had more time to finish it at breakfast, but this is a busy, busy day for me -- getting ready for our 12th Night bash tomorrow night. Our King Cake arrived from Naw'leens, but there are still plum puddings to be steamed and Glögg to be brewed.

Still, between painting walls and re-hanging decorations, I found the time to get 'er done. But it remains a DNF because I settled for PHLOS instead of PHLOX (but if Misty could miss it, I guess I am not too deficient), thinking that the cross perp, AMES, was enough of a familiarity w/o going all the way to AMEX.
Very enjoyable.
Now, back to work...

NEVI linesman in Nashville, TN said...


The arrestor pack mini explosion, was the mistake of the second linesman.... And I'm surprised nobody got fired over the incident.

What the top lineman is trying to do is connect the wye circuit breakers, on a delta connection. The wye tie floater connection should have been grounded., before he puts the final arrest or rod in.

What this is is ... A bunch of linesmen who do half asss work, and think its a f----- joke. I have worked on much higher tension lines, 60kva and 78 KVA and NEVER. Had anything like this in 26 years of service.

This video is pure stupidity, a waste of expensive ceramic insulators, and men acting like daredevil kids, on company time. They should lose their electrician licenses.

Manac said...

Just for S & G'S




CrossEyedDave said...

Oh boy...

I didn't mean to create such a brouhaha,

I hope this will calm things down a bit...