Feb 5, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 C.C.Burnikel

Theme: Spelling Homophones - Aaron and Tori's TV tour-de-force (or tour-de-farce depending on your viewpoint) made these numbers famous outside of Los Angeles. The first word of the five theme answers are each sound-alikes for the digits.

18A. Polite refusal, in Nuremberg : NEIN DANKE. German "No, thank you".

24A. "Fall on your knees" carol : O HOLY NIGHT. This was a new one for me. I couldn't shake "Silent Night", especially after the previous theme answer - I believe the original was written in German and titled "Stille Nacht". Crosses eventually to the rescue.

35A. Somewhat : TO A DEGREE.

51A. Only just broke the tape : WON BY A NOSE. My first thought was "NECK" until the crosses told me otherwise.

58A. "You gotta be kidding!" : OH BROTHER!

and the two unifiers, crossing each other:

44D. With 63-Across, city whose zip code is suggested by the starts of 18-, 24-, 35-, 51- and 58-Across : BEVERLY

 63A. See 44-Down : HILLS

Happy Geico Commercial day everyone. Steve here with the pleasurable task of writing up C.C.'s latest, and I thought this one was pretty slick. I liked the crossing unifiers, I liked the homophones and I naturally liked plenty of food! references in the fill.

Beverly Hills is close to me geographically - maybe not so close socio-economically. That's fine, I'll take my little neighborhood and my 91602 zip code any day.

Let's see what else we've got


1. Really mix up : ADDLE

6. Fashion : MODE

10. Alma mater of many gens. : U.S.M.A. The United States Military Academy at West Point.

14. Manitoba natives : CREES

15. Other, to Diego : OTRO, English, German and Spanish so far today.

16. "Cool!" : NEAT

17. Glass-half-empty sort : CYNIC

20. Resistance units : OHMS. These things: Ω

21. Bottom row key : CTRL. Does a Mac keyboard have ESCs and CTRLs? I can't remember.

22. "A Death in the Family" author : AGEE

23. North __ : SEA

27. Mammoth traps : TAR PITS

30. "Hometown proud" supermarket chain : IGA

31. "How relaxing!" : AAH

32. Fighting stats : TKOS. Or Technical Knock-Outs for those that don't follow boxing.

33. She dedicated Imagine Peace Tower to Lennon : ONO

34. Roy Rogers' birth name : SLYE

39. Mudbath offerers : SPAS

42. Clear (of) : RID

43. Ball honorees : DEBS

46. Tulsa sch. named for a televangelist : O.R.U. Didn't we just see Oral Roberts recently?

47. __ leaves : TEA

48. Hardly the latest buzz : OLD NEWS

54. Through : VIA

55. Symbol for Macy's : STAR I think it's neat how the star replaces the apostrophe in the logo.

56. Prime time rating : TV-PG

57. Give a darn? : MEND

60. Big Apple restaurateur : SARDI. Food! His eponymous restaurant has been at the current location in Manhattan since the 1920's.

61. Go-getter : DOER

62. Remedy : CURE

64. Duel tool : EPEE

65. "My word!" : I SAY

66. Until now : AS YET


1. Confront boldly : ACCOST

2. Arizona climate : DRY HEAT

3. Where Lego headquarters is : DENMARK. I don't want to see a picture of the building, I have a dearly-held hope that it's built out of giant Lego bricks.

4. Luau neckwear : LEIS

5. Top row key : ESC. Partner clue with 21A

6. Quite a while : MONTHS

7. New Mexico county : OTERO. This is where clever constructing and cluing works so well - crosses all the way for me.

8. Boring activity : DRILLING

9. Quite a while : EON

10. Eel, at sushi bars : UNAGI. Food! Say no more.

11. Mali neighbor : SENEGAL. SOMALIA went in, then quite rapidly came out. At least I had the right continent.

12. Seize the opportunity, sunshinewise : MAKE HAY.  Favorite clue/answer of mine today.

13. Had a bite : ATE

19. Comical Carvey : DANA

21. Private bed : COT. "Private" in the Army sense. West Point cadets also sleep on cots, methinks?

25. "Son of Frankenstein" role : YGOR. I always need the cross for IGOR/YGOR

26. Everyday article : THE

28. Supplies on TV's "Chopped" : POTS. Food! I love this show - I hear MC Ted Allen clearly saying "Chefs, you must each use all of the mystery ingredients in your basket in some way. You also have access to pantry and fridge". They also have access to pots, it would be a little tough otherwise.

29. Prefix with bar : ISO

33. Multivolume ref. : O.E.D. The Oxford English Dictionary. There's an awful lot of it if you get the full version - the second edition runs to 20 volumes. The third edition is expected to be completed in 2037!

34. Witnessed : SEEN

36. Locale : AREA

37. Carnation genus : DIANTHUS. I want to jump up and down and shout "I KNEW THIS! I KNEW THIS!" It's only taken fifty-mumble years, but I finally know the genus of a flower. Thank you crosswords!

38. Byrnes who played Kookie : EDD

39. Piglet's mother : SOW

40. Place to have a racket restrung : PRO SHOP

41. Opie's guardian : AUNT BEE

45. Shortchange : SWINDLE

47. Newbie : TYRO

48. Taloned predator : OSPREY

49. Cut of lamb : LEG. Food!

50. Inhumane person : SADIST. Did you know that fashion guru Pierre Cardin is current owner of the Marquis De Sade's castle?

52. Dance studio fixture : BARRE

53. __ barrel: in hot water : OVER A

57. Bordeaux "but" : MAIS, Adding French to today's language list.

58. Dedicated lines : ODE

59. Cable co. acquired by AT&T in 1999 : TCI

60. __ Na Na : SHA

That's it from me. I'm spending an unexpected night in Houston due to flight cancellations onwards to Cincinnati. I can't make it to my meetings tomorrow in time so I'm heading back home to LA. The Four Seasons bar is nice though - Cheers!



Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Zoomed through, I even sort of knew that flower genus, at least once there were a few letters. The theme is beautifully executed. As I've said before, I'm simply amazed at how much of the cultural landscape C.C. has absorbed.

I never saw a whole episode of BH 90210, so I don't know the background myself. I wondered at the time whether the show was invented to give Tori Spelling a job.

Morning, Steve, you make it look easy!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Absolutely amazed by the theme today. I wasn't sure what was going on until I hit the reveal, and then my eyes just goggled at the audacity and execution.

The rest of the puzzle actually played on the hard side for me, though. Struggled with complete unknowns TCI and DIANTHUS, and even some of the known stuff was hard to suss out from the clues ("really mix up" just didn't make me think of ADDLE for the longest time). In fact, it says a lot that my first confident fill was DENMARK at 3D, and that's only because I've ordered stuff from Lego and had to wait weeks for it to ship from there.

Bottom line, a little more challenging than I was expecting for a Wednesday, but an amazing puzzle and well worth the effort.

Oh, yeah -- and it's snowing here. I swear, one of these days I'm going to go out to shovel and not make it back in...

OwenKL said...

NEIN, I don't want to see this show!
OH no, you can't make me! No, no, no!
TO avoid it, I would've ate
WON ton soup (which I hate!)
OH, to BEVERLY HILLS I won't go!

(Never seen this show, can't even remember the real name of it if it's not written out right in front of me. The sentiments are real enough in this poem, except that I don't really mind won ton soup.)

Now Sherlock I think is a dream --
A weird and drug-induced scheme!
It's surreal on its face,
With time out of place,
And camera techniques are a scream!

Yellowrocks said...

CC, thanks for a delightful puzzle. Steve, what a frustrating Tuesday and Wednesday you have had. Safe home.I knew ADDLE right off. I liked MAKE HAY and TAR PITS.
Stille Nacht is Silent Night. O HOLY NIGHT is a different song.
Link O Holy Night
I beieve it is French, Cantique de Noel.

Yellowrocks said...


Here is SHEL Silverstein from yesterday's puzzle. He is one of my favorites.

NO THANK YOU by Shel Silverstein

No I do not want a kitten, No cute, cuddly kitty-poo,
No more long hair in my cornflakes, No more midnight meowing mews.

No more scratchin’, snarlin’, spitters, No more sofas clawed to shreds,
No more smell of kitty litter, No more mousies in my bed.

No I will not take that kitten— I’ve had lice and I’ve had fleas,
I’ve been scratched and sprayed and bitten I’ve developed allergies.

If you’ve got an ape, I’ll take him, If you have a lion, that’s fine,
If you brought some walking bacon, Leave him here, I’ll treat him kind.

I have room for mice and gerbils, I have beds for boars and bats,
But please, please take away that kitten— Quick—’fore it becomes a cat.

Well…it is kind of cute at that.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Smooth solve today. I didn't get the theme until the reveal, but it wasn't needed to solve the puzzle. Nice job, C.C.

Steve, if you've seen Oral Roberts recently, he was probably with Elvis.

OTERO/Oteri are handy words -- vowel-rich, and the last character can be O or I.

I'm surprised C.C. was familiar with EDD Kookie Byrnes --2.28 (but 30 seconds is probably more than sufficient).

Al Cyone said...

A nice puzzle with a very clever theme. Favorite clue: "Private bed".


Big Easy said...

nice breezy puzzle for a Wednesday. I am with Dudley in that I never saw the tv show but had heard of it. My problem is that my house is on Melrose Drive, but people always say Melrose PLACE, another show I never saw. The unkowns of this puzzle were MAIS, UNAGI, DIANTHUS that were solved by perps. I had never seen Beatrice abbreviated as BEE. Everybody spells it BEA but epee wouldn't work. I had a learning experience in that I Iearned that TV shows had ratings. When did they start that?

kazie said...

I wasn't confusing HOLY with SILENT NIGHT, but was wondering for a while because I already had IGOR, and was not aware of the YGOR spelling.

The story about Silent Night is that it was composed by the priest and a school teacher in a small Austrian village where the priest wanted something he could play on a guitar Christmas Eve night because the church organ had broken down. He approached the teacher to help, and together they came up with the new piece.

kazie said...

On rereading the story in my link, it says the friend was a church organist, not a teacher, but I've heard it the other way too.

Anyway, this was a nice Wednesday level puzzle, despite several unknowns that perps helped with. I didn't know SARDI, OTERO, SLYE or UNAGI. And in my tennis and squash playing youth, my rackets got restrung at the squash court by its owner.

Lemonade714 said...

Amazing! I am blown away at the theme and execution. C.C. You are incredible.

TCI was an unknown for me also and BARRE almost had me over that nearby barrel but it was a joy. Thanks Steve

Mari said...

Good morning everybody, from the igloo we call Chicago.

Wow, this was a brain buster. Are we sure its only Wednesday?

I got hung up on; UNAGI, DIANTHUS, MAIS, CREES, OTRO, OTERO, NEIN DANKE, SLYE, TVPG and SARDI. How's that for a DNF?

Oh well, at least my captcha is numeric today, and the daylight will last a little longer than yesterday. Have a great day.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Very clever puzzle, C.C! I did get the theme altho I never saw the TV show.

Thanks, Steve. Hope you get home safely. At least you aren't snowed in in Cleveland.

ONAGI and TCI were the only unknowns. I've learned to wait on the perps then WAG and am amazed how much more I fill in easily.

Our official snow fall was 8-12 inches. Amazing how much warmer my house is with snow filling in all the cracks and a foot of snow blanketing the roof. Good thing because official temperature is 3*. It snowed all day yesterday but the sun is weakly shining today. I'm staying in where it is warm but dressed in more layers than usual.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

I really enjoyed this puzzle, C.C. - great international flavor. I managed to avoid the unifier while I tried to figure out the theme, but it escaped me. Given the constructor, I knew it would be something clever and when it finally became clear ~ wow!

My one write-over was at 6A - Fashion - Make / MODE. Perps came to the rescue in a number of spots for unknowns - OTERO, SENEGAL, DIANTHUS, SLYE.

I liked the misdirection of 8D - Boring activity / DRILLING, and the clue for MAKE HAY.

Thanks for a great write-up, Steve. I like your idea of the DENMARK Lego building. :-)

thehondohurricane said...

Good day everryone,

Well storm one has arrived and so far five " of snow and now it's sleeting. The predicted weekend storm is being forecasted as a non-event. We'll see.

Enjoyable puzzle today that I breezed through until reaching the SE corner. The crossing M in 57A & 57D ended up being a wag. B looked okay too, so a coin flip was in order. The whole SE took more time to suss out than the rest of the solve.

CC, really clever, loved the theme, but no Burnikel trademark. i.e. a baseball clue?

Edd Byrnes son. Logan, is an anchor on the locals Fox morning news.

Avg Joe said...

An interesting and enjoyable puzzle with a new twist on the theme. What's not to like? Well, the fact that I shot myself in the foot by rushing through the clues and getting MAdE HAY for one. That gave me a natick at NEIN D_NdE, so I guessed at O. If I'd just read the clue more carefully and the K had been in place, I could have guessed danke. Ah well. It was still a lot of fun.

Woke up to +1F and wind chills of -19F. Only 3-4" of snow, so it's not nearly as bad as it could be, but it's still a nasty day. I hope those of you in the path of more snow can stay safe today. This one is pretty ugly.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

It's always a pleasure to see CC's name as constructor and it usually means a tad higher level of difficulty, which was the case today, at least for me. Needed the unifier to catch the theme, which was as clever as could be.

Great job, CC, and super expo, Steve.

It's still snowing but very lightly. The roads look a little dicey but I'm not going anywhere. Still unsure if we'll be affected by Sunday's Nor 'easter.

Stay safe and warm everyone.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

What Lemonade said (WLS). Interesting schtick today. I enjoy C.C.'s clever word themes. Got the NW easily . NE balked in spite of the NEIN DANKE gimme. So went counter clockwise, and zeroed in on the unifier. I use an Apple keyboard so wasn't sure about the 'control' abbreviation. Had 'cont' for a while, but then when I sussed MONTHS, I remembered CTRL. That gave me O HOLY NIGHT, and MAKE HAY, and the deed was done. Favorite clue was for 8d, DRILLING.
NIGHT - one of the English words where the 'gh' is silent but in whose German cognate, 'Nacht' the equivalent consonant sound 'ch' is pronounced with a gutteral voicing. Also:
eight - Acht
freighter - Frachter
neighbor - Nachbar
weight - Gewicht
bight - Bucht
light - Licht

On yesterday's Jeopardy ruminations, I'd like to weigh in by siding with Chu and most of you. He is using the rules to his advantage and what's wrong with that? When watching the show I always wonder where the double Jeopardy question is. I think itis being hyped to add buzz to the ratings.

If you jumped off a bridge in Paris , you'd be in Seine .

buckeye bob said...

Thank you for a fun puzzle, C.C. Thank you for a fine review, Steve.

This puzzle took about my normal Wednesday time. It has a clever theme, which helped me get BEVERLY HILLS.

This puzzle brought back some warm memories from my younger days. I noticed 2 actors from the 50s – 60s.

EDD Byrnes is a crossword puzzle favorite, I suppose because of the odd spelling of his first name. 77 Sunset Strip was a Friday night favorite of my father, so we watched it together.

Unfortunately, although I knew that Roy Rogers was a stage name, I needed 3 perps before I remembered SLYE. He was born Leonard Slye in nearby Cincinnati, on the site of what became Riverfront Stadium. He had a long and successful career, and was one of my early favorites.

Roy Rogers Wiki

C6D6 Peg said...

Loved this puzzle by C.C. She continues to delight by her refreshing themes! Figured out the reveal before the theme answers.

Also loved the "Make Hay" clue!

Nice write-up, Steve. Hope you enjoyed your stay in Houston!

Husker Gary said...

A ten (not a nein) on the cleverness scale! What fun. _ _ _ _ I ain’t SUSHI

-Close race definitely not decided BY A NOSE
-Recent research shows older people aren’t ADDLED but their brains are so full of info it takes a while to retrieve
- Name the countries of Africa quiz. Good luck!!
-The sun is shining today but below zero temps preclude any HAY MAKING
-I wonder if the OED lists “Bonnet” as the hinged cover over a car’s engine. Steve?
-Andy Griffith and Aunt Bee (Francis Bavier) clashed often on the set. She thought the role wasted her talents but it paid the bills.
-I agree on Jeopardy champ. Denver couldn’t tell Seattle to quit playing the way they were.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely HATED this "clever" puzzle. I totally dislike CC's puzzles.
Make Hay was garbage, so was dianthus and otero.

Bill G. said...

Well, I liked it because the theme seemed clever and caught me by surprise. I never watched the show except for a couple of little pieces where I wondered about Dudley's conjecture.

10A was tricky for me because I thought "Many gens." was referring to Many generations. CC, did you do that on purpose? If so, ya got me!

I too agree about Chu. He's a clever fellow and has done nothing wrong. Still, I don't find him very likeable.

Dudley said...

Yellowrocks - love the poem! We've had every type of cat over the years - lovey dovey, aloof, playful, you name it. Our present cat is kind of ungrateful and sulky, but she has the cutest face so we love her anyway.

Awol said...

Thanks, C.C., for a fun ride.
Today's trivia...90212 is actually the zip code with most of the really tony real estate.
And the Lego Headquarters is indeed designed to resemble Legos.
Stay warm everyone.

Tinbeni said...

Steve: Excellent write-up.
C.C. Thanks for a nice, FUN Wednesday puzzle.

Worked from the bottom-up.
Only needed 'every-single-perp' for OTERO, UNAGI, SLYE, DIANTHUS, TCI & MAIS.
(Hmmm, 6 'totally-unknowns' on a Wednesday seems like a lot).

Fave today (of course) was NEAT.
The "Cool!" way to have Pinch. lol ...


CrossEyedDave said...

No paper today, the forecast ice storm has turned into snow followed by rain, which is making shoveling a weightlifting experience.

Started out on the Mensa site, which made me think 10A clue "gens" was geniuses. Not knowing German, or the word for "eel" totally stumped me in the NE. Sardi crossing French! (No Fair!) & I had much more trouble in the NW than I should have. Luckily I grokked the theme at won & oh, otherwise I might have thrown in the towel a lot earlier.


Misty said...

I love, love, love C.C. puzzles and this one was no exception. I was going to ask how and why you came up with BEVERLY HILLS, and its ZIP CODE as a theme--since you live pretty far from California. Clearly, I never heard of the Tori Spelling show. But I got it anyway and thought the sound numbers were incredibly clever! A truly original puzzle, to my mind--many thanks, C.C.!

And you too, Steve--especially for giving us a great expo on a frustrating journey.

I'm glad folks explained the difference between SILENT NIGHT and O HOLY NIGHT. As soon as I saw the clue, the whole melody and lyrics for the song lilted through my head--with the exception of the first line, which would have given me the title. But thank goodness I remembered it before long.

Don't know much about computers except the KEYS.

Funny kitty poem, Yellowrocks!

I'm so glad I watched Andy Griffith, OPIE, and AUNT BEE all those years. Sure helps with crossword puzzles now.

Have a great Wednesday, everybody!

Al Cyone said...

Mari@8:22: "At least the daylight will last a little longer than yesterday."

There are days when I think that's the only thing that keeps me going. Thanks for the reminder.

GarlicGal said...

O, holy hump-day! Loved the theme. I was so trying to make something out of the "first letters" - O, N. T, W, O - of the clues. HAH! But the light bulb finally lit up. Duh...

I have committed Otero to memory and knew Dianthus. Yay me. AND I just watched Young Frankenstein last night. Love Marty Feldman.

Well, we are hoping for rain tonight and tomorrow. No shoveling here...

Thank you C.C. and Steve.

Spitzboov said...

Anon @ 1032 - What do you do when your car won't start? Do you HATE it or do you try and figure out what the problem is and how to get where you want to go?

I had to MAKE HAY a lot when I was a kid; and it was hard work. You'd think I would remember that, (and it is sun driven). But I still had to wait for the H in NIGHT and WAG the Y in SLYE to get it.

That's why it's a puzzle. If you knew every letter of fill, it wouldn't be a puzzle, would it?

CrossEyedDave said...

Stuck in the house, schools closed, nothing to do but try & find funny homophones (sigh...)

Finding Nemo would be a completely different movie if they were Hitler Gulls...

If you go to "O", Donovans, read the fine print...

Ack! I can't find anything funny for "To"

Hmm, I wonder who won?

Well, it kinda sounds like "Oh"!

Which brings us to now entering...

Anonymous said...

Legoland in Florida

Alex said...

RE: Jeopady champ Art Chu

I watch Jeopardy for the entertainment of it all. Therefore, I like to enjoy it as the clue writers and producers intend it to be. Like an novel author also does(Do you like to read the last chapter first?). From soup to nuts, or as the Romans did, 'ab ovo usque ad mala'. There is meant to be a progression to the clues and answers. Sometimes tricks and jokes are worked into the progression so skipping around spoils the innuendo.

Now, to defend Mr. Chu, a contestant is motivated not by enjoyment but rather by greed. So 'by any means possible' within the rules is understandable.

For instance when I solve the puzzle with my morning coffee, I start at the top and work my way down contemplating the possible themes as I go. I find this a challenge and am entertained by the mystery of it all. If I was to involved in a puzzle solving competition that paid thousands of dollars, I would go straight to the reveal and jump around solving all the gimmes first. Not fun but effective.

I guess its all in the perspective and from mine Arthur Chu is an aggravating spoil sport. If I were on the show I would probably emulate him.

Alex said...

p.s. from above

Mr. A Chu also seems to have thin skin. As far back as last week, he has been responding to teasing on social media.

Some of his retorts are childish and he should embarrassed by them. But he is young and arrogant so I think he secretly enjoys the confrontations.

One comeback that I particularly liked involved a bed, a pizza and the mother of one of the attackers. Many of his rants involve profanity and references to anatomy, both male and female. Not a good look for a genius.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, C.C., for an excellent puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for a fine review.

Not sure what the Anon at 10:32 is all about.

Great puzzle. Theme was excellent. Picked up on it early.

MAKE HAY was an excellent clue/word.

Did not know OTERO, but with some perps it fell.

Remembered Leonard SLYE. I visited the Roy Rogers museum in California when I lived there. In, or near, Victorville, as I recall. I understand it is now gone.

Did not know SARDI. Perped it. I think we have had that before.

TEA leaves. That's my favorite. Especially Earl Grey.

Remember the La Brea TARPITS very well.

I am cooking for 25 this afternoon. I had better get back to it.

See you tomorrow.


(55223563 19)

River Doc said...

Happy Wednesday everybody!

Took a little longer than usual for a mid-week, but well worth the effort to get the Ta-Da...!

Proud to say that I never watched BH 90210, but was pummeled with all the publicity when it was on that the name of the show itself was hard to ignore.... Shannon Doherty was the Miley Cyrus of her day....

Write-overs: UCLA for USMA, IGOR for YGOR, MCI for TCI, SHORE (Toots) for SARDI, and CARE for MEND....

Had a lot of perp-fills, like DIAN...whatever it is....

Glass half empty? Half full? I like to think of myself as a cynical pessimist, or a pessimistic cynic, so for me there was no glass....

Do Germans really say NEIN, DANKE...?

Finally, I'm guessing those alums of the USMA did a lot of DRILLING....

Doc out

Don said...

Great Wednesday puzzle, CC!
Not too difficult once the acrosses fell into place.
WE have about 40000 folks without power here in se PA due to an ice storm tha has taken down many branches and trees as well as (obviously)power lines. We're working off a limited backup generator, but have no heat (heat pump eats too many KW's).

Ice is about 1/4" thick but that added up to enough to bring down three 30+ year old white spruce trees in our back lot... a shame.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I learned DIANTHUS today. It's always good to add to one's stored lore.
Neat theme Congrats to CC for both idea and execution, especially in the use of homophones which kept us from seeing it coming.
Beverly Hills, eh? I once ran a theater company there (not one of my happier experiences) but have little occasion nowadays to visit the enclave of the rich and... well, the rich.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I remember my mom telling me what Roy Rogers' real name was. She seemed to hold it against him, like he was trying to withhold some truth from us. "Leonard SLYE." I didn't know there was an "E" at the end of his name.
He was my favorite cowboy in my growing-up years. My younger brother and sister got caught up in the Hopalong Cassidy revival, but Roy was my hero. His sidekick was Gabby Hayes, a fussy, hyperbolic, misogynistic corn-swoggling ol' pard. I didn't even mind that Roy was one of those "singing cowboys," like Gene Autry. His backup boys, the Sons of the Pioneers, had those smooth 1940s' harmonics.
Autry was a bit old-fashioned and seemed like a sissy to our gang.
Western movies taught me my first lessons in dramaturgy. I always secretly cheered for the villain because the longer he could get away, the longer the movie would last.

Yellowrocks said...

Don, I hope your power is back on shortly. Please let us know. When the power loss goes on for more than 24 hours, it is a real PIA.My son near Princeton, NJ has also lost power due to downed trees.
Although we had 4 or 5 inches of snow here topped by at least 1/4 inch of ice, the frozen precip stopped before noon. The temps rose and we have had misty rain ever since. It will refreeze after dark.
My car was in the shop overnight so I had a loaner which was too large to fit in my garage. By morning the loaner was a frozen mess. I hacked away at it, but my weak knees and bad arm soon gave up.
A kind young neighbor deiced it for me and refused any compensation. What a nice neighbor.
I just now picked up my small car for $500+ and housed it in my garage.
Alas, I'm not as independent as I used to be and I had to rest up the remainder of the day.It is so great to have thoughtful neighbors.

fermatprime said...


How on Earth do you think of these themes, CC? Thanks for the chewy Wed. offering! Really got the old neurons fired up. Maybe time for a nap?

Steve: enjoyed your write-up, as always!

Unknowns were OTERO and TCI. Filled in with perps.

We chewed over Chu last night. Was surprised to see him here again. As I said, he is annoying. Evidently immature, although I have not been accessing social media sites to see his comments.


Bill G. said...

As we were speaking about Chu again, there was another contestant, Monday I think, that I also found unpleasant. He would look annoyed if another contestant hit the Daily Double, especially if the question seemed easy and the other contestant was able to answer it. He looked cocky when he knew the answer but seemed annoyed when the other contestants were doing well.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I've missed blogging the last few days, but I have done the puzzles and read people's comments.

We took a quick trip south to Ojai--Clear Eyes' town for many years--to visit with daughter and SIL. SIL left for Baltimore, Maryland last Friday to a new job. Our daughter will follow once their house in CA sells. It will be a big change for them and us. They've lived in CA within visiting distance for over 35 years. We'll miss them dearly.

As for the crossword today, I had a DNF. I goofed on Fashion. I put in the verb, Make, rather than Mode. So Atero and Krilling were the two down words that didn't make sense, but I told myself that maybe I was having a learning moment. LOL.

I thought Give a darn? and Private bed were great clues. My favorites today.

C.C. has come up with another gem for all of us to work on.

We're supposed to get some more rain this evening. The little bit we've had will help, but not cure the drought which worsens each day. We are in a water rationing mode, now.

Have a great day, everyone.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I'm surprised to see Chu here again. I asked yesterday - but way at the end of the day - what there is really to DISlike about this amiable fellow? He is a good-looking lad (except for the way he plasters his hair flat), and he certainly seems honest enough.

Beware of the "intentional fallacy." Some here seem to *know* what the makers of the game had in mind in constructing it--that players are meant to go down the rows in order. DEven if that were true, it wouldn't necessarily make the game more enjoyable for viewers. We're not reading a novel or a syllogism here.
But anyway, if the makers really wanted everyone to proceed in lock step, wouldn't they have made that part of the rules? It would have been simple enough.
I side with those who think the "Chu flap" has been manufactured by the network, or at least pumped up. It is pretty obvious that local ABC newscasters are reading those teasers from prepared scripts.
Go, Chu!

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. I liked this puzzle a lot. Slick theme, wonderful clues and fill. There used to be a Minolta camera commercial on TV with the slogan "From the mind of Minolta." I say, "From the mind of C.C." And what a mind it is.
Our internet connection was broken all day yesterday again. The dang thing was down for a prolonged period of time just last weekend, too. Hmm, could it be copper wire thieves? Interestingly, it seems internally that the left hands in AT&T don't have a clue what the right hands are doing. Talk about "stovepiping." Man!
I hope you all are well, and here are best wishes to you all.

Jayce said...

Keith Fowler, I'm with you re Arthur Chu and Jeopardy. Actually, I agree with a much of what you say.
I sure hope Hahtoolah is all right.
OwenKL, I enjoy your verses.

Anonymous said...

Aggravation is in the mind of the agitated.

I am allowed to dislike the chunky asian with the bad haircut.

I would also offer that this brouhaha was not initiated by the network but by social media(meaning fans of the show). Btw, which network? In my town the show airs on the NBC affiliate and my son's broadcast is on his ABC channel. Wiki tells me it is distributed by CBS Television distributers.


HeartRx said...

Hello everyone!

What a brilliant, fun, fantastic puzzle from C.C. today! I was having fun solving, and didn't even look for the theme until I got to 44-Down. And I loved how she even had the two cross each other. Wow!

When I filled in NEIN, DANKE, I wondered how many would complain about a German phrase like that. It was a no-brainer for me, though. ("Nailed it!!")

I found myself humming "O Holy Night" all afternoon as I was painting. Huh? Christmas is over, right??? Equally elegant was that the first "0" in 90210 was just O while the second one was OH. No detail goes unnoticed with C.C. at the helm!

Stay warm and safe all those in the Northeast!

Avg Joe said...

The things you can learn here!

Jeopardy is on CBS in our market and I had no clue it wasn't puerely a network show. Looks like it's kinda a hybrid distribution arrangement.

Also, Chickie and Jayce (or any other Bay Area residents), I'm curious what the water restrictions actually mean in practice. My son lives in an apartment and has no real idea how it impacts everyday life for homeowners. I'd like to hear much more about the particulars.

Jayce said...

Avg Joe, some of the techniques that residents have to conserve water are:
1. Flush only once or twice a day. "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down.")
2. Don't let the water run while you brush your teeth. Also while washing your hands. Turn the faucet on only while you are consuming the water. Turn it off otherwise.
3. Take abbreviated showers. Again, turn the water off while you are soaping up.
Farmers have other (expensive) ways to save water, including using drip irrigation and not over-irrigating.
Agriculture consumes by far the greatest amount of water in Calif. IMO anything we residential consumers can do is miniscule compared to the conservation measures agriculture can do.

Jayce said...

Man oh man, I am bummed out by the response I just got from my 21 year-old granddaughter, who is an aspiring opera singer. She was asking me how a singer can differentiate herself from others, and what characteristics make a singer stand out from others. When I suggested she study what qualities singers such as Maria Callas, and even Linda Ronstadt, have that made their sound unique, she told me she won't do that because her teacher told her NOT to listen to other singers lest she get distracted from developing her own style. Makes no sense to me. Much like a struggling author friend of mine told me she never ever reads "modern authors" lest it corrupt her. Sheesh.

Avg Joe said...

OK, thanks Jayce. Pretty much the usual suspects for water conservation rather than draconian measures. And I'd imagine that they have some restrictions (and policing) of outdoor irrigation and car washing etc.

I'm sorry to hear about your granddaughter's dilemma. It's interesting that one of the artists you cited had a hit with "Different Drum". There's really no such thing as an entirely new approach. It's just a different take on an old idea. I wish her the best, and hope she listens to your voice as well as those you recommend.

Yellowrocks said...

Keith @ 4:43 and Jayce @ 5:03. I agree. How do others claim to know the writers' intentions?
Jayce. I truly believe that studying the styles of others in your field helps you define and differentiate your own style. You are a wise grandfather. Good luck to your granddaughter.

OwenKL said...

Make hay while the sun shines -- save your nights for sowing wild oats!

I'm surprised no one has put pictures of LEGO buildings up. I found 3 -- the "LEGO cathedral" is actually an exhibit hall built with colored cement blocks, the LEGO house was built for a TV show, and several office or LEGO apartment buildings, otherwise normal buildings painted to look like the blocks. Plus several homes and restaurants with LEGO interior themes.

Pat said...

What a day! Started with shoveling 4" of snow with ice on top. The snowblower couldn't dig into it so it was all manual labor. DH shoveled for 5 hours, me for 3-4 hours. I worked the puzzle while I took a break but my brain wasn't into it.

Got an email from my sister that Mom was in the end stage of dying. Mom has been in a nursing home for 1 1/2 years because she's too weak to care for herself. I got the call around 5:30 that death was soon and I emailed siblings about it. 45 minutes later I got the call that Mom had passed. As hard as it is to lose a parent, this is a relief.

I got the theme early on. It helped to start a couple answers.
Under the circumstances I don't remember much about the solving process today.

Hug your family members. Let them know that you love them. A new journey starts today.


CrossEyedDave said...

Jayce @6:50pm

I asked Daughter#1 what she thought of your post, & asked if she wanted to comment. (Big mistake) A half hour later, after discussions on soft versus hard palate in creation of warmth of tones. (not to mention Opera is a totally different method of singing.) Her response (in a nutshell) would have to be,,, yes, & no...

Like you, I came away from this bummed...

But if you want my 2 cents worth, I think the answer should be "how can you learn to sing if you don't listen?"

(& as far as style is concerned, I am sure it will come out if you just do what you like best...)

OwenKL, that Lego house,, I sure hope he puts down some thick carpet. Those dang things really hurt your feet!

Bill G. said...

Jayce, I would have the same frustration as you with the advice given your grand-daughter. I think people should learn good technique and then modify it to suit themselves. I think that's why I like Chet Atkins so much. He obviously took a lot of lessons and advice and then used his innate talent to develop his own style. That's as opposed to some guitar players who race up and down the strings riffing away but couldn't play a melodic song if their life depended on it.

Wrist watch musings:
Years ago, my son gave me a watch he didn't want. He had gotten it as a safe-driving award from FedEx. I put my father's old geezer expansion band on it and was very pleased. Especially pleased because it has an analog face and keeps time to within about a second a month. It needed a new battery today. I love it!
Then there's a cheap old watch my mother got for me years ago by sending in a few dollars and a Ritz cracker box top. The face has crackers instead of numbers. My students thought it was neat. I called it a Ritz Watch and told them it was the latest technology. It never needed any batteries. Just give the little stem a few turns each day. They loved it.

PJE, I'm sorry for what you have been going through. When my parents couldn't cope by themselves and needed assistance, that was the worst and most stressful period of my life for sure.

CanadianEh! said...

No sun to MAKE HAY today. Just snow and more snow. So it was nice to open the newspaper after working (again) and find a C.C. puzzle!

I started off well and even got the 90210 zip code but bogged down in the SE because I didn't know the city. But I kept digging and eventually saw it. Also had problems in the N centre because I didn't know OTERO and of course I was misdirected by BORING ACTIVITY.

I remembered DIANTHUS from the pinks I had in my garden.
I smiled at the new clue for ODE. I must remember UNAGI. I guess I don't frequent Sushi Bars often enough.

I don't think of OVER A BARREL as being in hot water (with connotation of being in trouble of your own making) but rather being in a circumstance where you don't have any choice of action. Is this just a regional difference of meaning??

Sympathy to you Pat in the loss of your mother.

PK said...

Condolences, PJE, now that the worst is over, you are free to remember your mom as she was her most vibrant self. I hope you can enjoy your memories of her.

Anonymous T said...

Hi all!

What a fun C.C. Puzzle! It was hard (for me) but doable. I had to jump all over the place a word here, a fix there. AAH Done.

Write-overs USNA before USMA and MCI before TCI.

I loved TARPITS as I thought Mammoth was a misdirection and I shold think big.

I did see the unifier earlier and knowing it was going to be numbers from a zipcode helped. Never watched the show, but I heard enough about it hat I could write 90210 in the margins.

NW was last to fall as more thinking was required. Once CYNIC fell (I had OHMS and thought DRY HEAT was too easy - gotta be some other arid word I don't know. Trying the Y fell CYNIC against ESC. Budda-bing.

Thanks for the write-up Steve. Gald you're home, but sorry I won't see you at IAH tomorrow :-)

Cheers, -T

Irish Miss said...

Pat @ 8:08 - Sincere condolences on the loss of your Mom. I remember sitting at my mother's hospital bedside praying that God would take her from her pain and suffering. But the loss is immeasurable. Kind thoughts.

Dudley said...

PJE - I understand and I sympathize. My mom passed under similar circumstances, and I remember feeling torn between grief and relief. Peace be with you!

Bill G. said...

I just e-mailed Ellen a "classic joke." I can't remember if I've shared it here before or not. Here goes...

Q: Why should you never kiss a canary on the beak?

A: Cause you might get Chirpies and..., it's untweetable.

CanadianEh, I completely agree with your definition of OVER A BARRELL.

fermatprime said...

Pat: So sorry to hear of your family's ordeal. You have my sympathy. My mother took a long time to die and was in a semi-vegetative state for 2 years.

I am not fond of Cho because he appears to be quite conceited. Not looking forward to seeing him again.

Jeopardy is on ABC here in L. A. (I got today's final--for a change.)

They say it's going to rain tomorrow! We'll see.

Anonymous T said...

Jayce - I recall when my grandparents returned from their stint in C.A. back to IL in the '80s. They said the same Yellow-mellow, brown-down couplet. They were both frugal anyway from the Depression and always shared their bath water (usually not at the same time).

G&G C were fun folks. In their late 60s (still in CA) they went to a strip club in Tahoe. Grams gave Gramps a dollar to put in the dancer's strap. Gramps couldn't get the dollar to stay in place and kept reaching down the dancer's drawers to put the bill in the strap.

Relating this story, Grams turned to Gramps and asked "Did you get a sensation?" "Shut up old woman," he replied... "'Cuz if you did you had to pay for it!" Grams roared with laughter.

To get a puzzle ref in here - I had UNAGI with lunch yesterday (vendor buying :-)). Yummy!

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

I was just reading posts and saw the news from Pat -- So sorry to hear about your loss. -T

Bill G. said...

Here's an article about a Houston man who zeroed out some students' accounts who were behind in paying for their school lunches. A good samaritan