Mar 29, 2014

Saturday, Mar 29th, 2014, Julian Lim

Theme: None

Words: 64* (missing J,X,Z)

Blocks: 36

     In a word, this one was 'brutal'.  Period.  Feels like someone used a 15a. on me.... three-fifths of the grid filled, but the NE and SE corners were still blank when I reached my personal allotted time, so I caved and turned on red-letter; still had to play the letter-at-a-time guessing game.  Took the fun out of doing the puzzle, for me.  I like the challenge, but if you get nothing, then you have nothing to work with.  There were answers that were utterly unknown (e.g. 56a.), and others that were vague, but mostly, I just wasn't on Mr. Lim's wavelength - and he is probably the only constructor who has consistently stymied me.  Chunky corners of QUAD 8's, which I think led to the very short word count(*) for today, along with a staggered triple 11-letter stack in the middle;

31a. Real time news source : TWITTER FEED - I don't "tweet"

34a. Many a Saudi : SUNNI MUSLIM

35a. Quickly cooked cut : MINUTE STEAK - started with RIB EYE, which was not working with my downs

dOwN ward  ;7(


1. Lunch To-Go maker : STARKIST - Stuck on "Lunchables" from Oscar Mayer for the longest time, and that didn't fit; so I took a total (but sensible, considering recent puzzles) W.A.G. at "KITH", which gave me the "K", and an 'a-ha' moment

 9. Espresso feature : CREMA

14. Inherit : COME INTO

15. Boring tool : TREPAN - the pressure-on-the-brain type - not auger or drill, both too short; more on the process here - if you dare~!

16. A vacation often involves one : ROAD TRIP

17. State birds of Connecticut, Michigan and Wisconsin : ROBINs

18. Tony Soprano, for one : ANTI-HERO

19. Navajo relative : APACHE

20. Super Smash Bros. Brawl console : Wii

21. Pole, for one : SLAV - followed up with -->

23. Party person : POL - although this is päl, as in politician

24. Building owner, often : LESSOR - I may be a new "building" owner, if all goes well this summer - my first house~!

28. Air traveler's concern : LEG ROOM - Started with "LAG TIME", but that's not jet-lag; it's the difference between lightning and thunder; primary and secondary earthquake waves, etc.

36. Seawater evaporation site : SALT PIT

37. Brand no one wants : STIGMA - branded as in labeled, not 'name-brand' or 'store-brand'

41. Time of existence : AGE - so my time of existence is 43yrs....

42. "__ chance!" : "NOT A"

45. Poppycock : ROT

46. Prevails in : WINS AT

49. Listing : AT A SLANT - I knew where this was going, but could not get past AT A TILT, which was too short

53. Ocean floor dwellers : OCTOPI - if I had a large aquarium, I'd have me an octopus

54. Payback : REQUITAL - Long "I" sound

55. Like some angels : FALLEN - Blue Öyster Cult has a song by this name

56. Slow-cooking method involving plastic bags : SOUS-VIDE - Here's the Wiki; never heard this Frawnche term for "under vacuum"; I was stuck on "Bag N' Season", and even Shake N' Bake - can you tell I'm a bachelor?

57. Circular : FLYER - ah, not ROUND

58. Not entirely : IN A SENSE - ugh, I get it, but....


1. Rough writer's output : SCRAWL - I've asked this before, I think; who here is LEFT-handed~!??

2. Multimetallic Canadian coin : TOONIE - tried LOONIE, so good - 86% good

3. Guarneri relatives : AMATIs - two families of luthiers

4. Insta- relative : REDI- 

5. Cultural group : KITH - OK, who's the person who decided this was the word-of-the-month?

6. Words before a subject : IN RE - Latin, for "in the matter (of)"

7. Arouses : STIRS

8. One-named Tevye portrayer : TOPOL

9. Frame in a photo lab : CROP - frame as a verb here

10. 2000s sitcom set in Houston : REBA - I have seen it in syndication

11. Spenser's "The Faerie Queene," for one : EPIC POEM

12. Its arrival is often celebrated in ritual : MANHOOD - know what I got for my arrival into manhood?  Acne.

13. 11th-century Benedictine philosopher : ANSELM - dredged up from the depths of my mind, only after the "----LM" appeared

15. Crosses : TRAVERSES - like an ocean

22. Pribilof Islands native : ALEUT - a W.A.G. that really helped me in the middle

25. Action movie staple : STUNT - I had BOMBS, which worked with my RIB EYE

26. Cop (to) : OWN UP - had ADMIT, worked well with my RIB EYE

27. Shepherd memorably rescued during WWI : RIN-TIN-TIN - ate my RIB EYE

29. F neighbor : G FLAT - music; the "kith" here is D sharp, E, F, G flat

30. Japanese hands-on healing practice : REIKI - there are some classes I know about in my "kith"

32. Pair with : TIE TO

33. Reg. symbols : TMs - registered TradeMarks

34. Without a peep : SILENTLY

35. Like love potions : MAGICAL

36. Shorten, in a way : SAW OFF - Like a shotgun

38. Cooking crust : GRATIN - learning moment; I thought 'au gratin' meant topped with could say I was right, 58a-ish

39. One-celled organisms : MONADs - so tempted to go with AMEBAs, but I was too happy with STIGMA to change it

40. Truman's U.K. counterpart : ATTLEE - right name, but I spelled it with a "Y" at the end, which didn't help

43. Tibia neighbors : TARSI  (tarsals in the image)

44. Used to hold food : ATE ON

47. Only : SOLE

48. Many an "SNL" performer : APER

50. Color slightly darker than electric blue : AQUA - I found one chart with both colors listed -->

51. Work (out) : SUSS - I did not "SUSS" out enough of this puzzle

52. "To travel is to __": Hans Christian Andersen : LIVE



OwenKL said...

There once was a controversial congress-critter
Who on his cellphone, all his time he would fritter.
But he met his downfall
When a salacious phone call
He inadvertently broadcast on TWITTER!

Adherents of the sect know as SUNNI
Aren't sunny, but instead rather gloomy.
They can't drink alcohol,
Can't have music at all,
And will riot over drawings cartoony!

There once was a vampire named Drake
Who was killed by something he ate.
He consumed so much beef
His cholesterol increased;
His heart failure was brought on by the STEAK!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Started out with a sea of white and still had a sea of white after my initial pass through the grid. After much mental gymnastics, I finally managed to cut a swath diagonally from the NE to the SW, but the other two corners remained empty. With blood metaphorically leaking out my ears, I finally managed to finish the NW corner. But the SE proved to be beyond my abilities today.

REQUITAL? SOUSVIDE? MONADS (as clued)? ATEON (as clued)? GRATIN (I always thought the GRATIN in "Potatoes Au GRATIN" meant cheese)? Sorry, I just couldn't SUSS out any of it, although I did eventually get ATTLEE.

OwenKL said...

CREMA, SALT PIT (I had SALT PAN), SOUS-VIDE, ANSELM, GRATIN (WSS & WBS), MONADS (WBS) were all unknowns to me. You'd think someone as fat as me would know some food-related terms.

44d used to hold food=ATEON or ATE ON I simply don't get. Where that crossed SOUS-VIDE was my DNF natick.

Big surprise was RIN-TIN-TIN. I only knew him from Ft. Apache, which was late 1800s. I had no idea about the rest of the history of this amazing canine! Asked LW and she likewise knew the TV series and didn't realize there was more.

Anonymous said...

Gave up. Didn't enjoy it. AT. ALL.

Southern Belle said...

Not a good morning (for this puzzle)

This puzzle was not fun! A struggle from beginning to the end.

Anyone notice that aqua is lighter than electric blue on the color chart?

Avg Joe said...


To borrow from DO's comment yesterday, the SE corner was the entire business district of Natick. Got the rest with a lot of struggling, but that corner did me in completely.

Off to see billions and billions of Sandhill Cranes.

thehondohurricane said...

After fifteen minutes of staring at a white snowfield with two fills, I said the Hell with it. Like Splynter, Mr Lim befuddles me every time.

Today was a DNF because IWS (It wouldn't start)

We're going to see The Book of Mormons today and from what I've been told, it's a lotta laughs. I need them. thanks to Julian.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

At first, I thought this was going to turn into a DNF. And I was right. WBS in his second paragraph...exactly. I got the center and the other corners, but there was zero traction in the SE.

Splynter, you sent me to the dictionary to find out what a luthier was. I always just called 'em violin-makers. I did enjoy the epic saga of the rib eye,

HeartRx said...

Good morning all!

Whew, I'm glad I wasn't the only one who thought this was especially tough for a Saturday. I finally finished, but it took me more than 30 minutes, and I had to look up ATTLEE for the correct spelling.

It was the multi word phrases that really slowed me down: AT A SLANT, IN A SENSE, COME INTO, WINS AT, TIE TO, ATE ON. They were everywhere!

I finally got the SE, then the NW. FALLEN and OCTOPI led to RIN TIN TIN and the SW got done.

But the NE was last to fall, and I really didn't think TREPAN would pass the breakfast test, so hesitated to enter it. But CROP, REBA, EPIC POEM and MANHOOD forced me into it!

Oh well, I have put it off long enough - time to go tear out a ceiling...

Al Cyone said...

I'm not sure what made me stick with this one long after my cut-off time. The SE corner was blank and seemingly hopeless and the longer I waited the more frustrating the inevitable DNF was going to be. Then some WAGging revealed SOUS so I at least knew I was looking for some obscure (to me) French technique. It's hard to remember now but I think ATE ON (really?) may have broken the corner open. Who knows. The whole thing was improbable. I don't even feel like I solved it, just that it was, somehow, solved. Well, not solved so much as just finished. Kind of like the proverbial 10,000 monkeys on 10,000 typewriters. I should feel satisfied but for some reason I don't. I think a lot of the clues/answers were . . . what . . . arbitrary?


TTP said...

Good morning all.

Stumbled here and there, such as acquires for inherits at 14A, but that was corrected when I remembered that Canada has a coin called a lOONIE, and REDI and INRE proved it couldn't be acquires. ROAD TRIP was the first to mind, as was LESSOR, and WII. Couldn't suss 1A, and that made me question if 2D was loonie, goonie, moonie, roonie or what ? Thanks goodness STAR KIST became apparent. Sorry Charlie. And Canadian Eh.

Working from LESSOR down, I thought the center was surprisingly easy for a Saturday. This GSD lover did not hesitate at RIN TIN TIN. It did take a bit to figure out that LUGGAGE was not the Air traveler's concern. :-)

My waterloo was in the Southeast. Had TARSI, AQUA, LIVE, GRATIN, ROT and IN A SENSE. Knew the British PM, and even with the AT start could not bring his name back to memory.

That's where I caved, but it didn't help. Was stuck on trying to get a lease for my listing, find a container for my food, and exercise instead of figure something out. Never heard of either MONADS or SOUSVIDE.

Speaking of loo, my bathroom project and Saturday errands await.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone enjoy this puzzle? I doubt it. Not enjoyable at all!!!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I defer to Thumper, wholeheartedly!

Good expo, Splynter.

Have a relaxing Saturday.

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

Mission impossible. I filled in four answers, two of which were wrong. Why do I bother on Saturdays?

buckeye bob said...

What Splynter said. Brutal.

After the first pass, I had 8 words and no ideas. I turned on red letter help, and 3 of the words were wrong, leaving me with 5. Ugh.

The NE corner was last to fall. Finally finished it, with red letter help and WAGs, but not fun at all.

Time to go read up on Rin Tin Tin and get something from this experience.

Yellowrocks said...

After my sorry experience yesterday, today's puzzle was a REQUITAL for me with no helps, but a slight;y longer sdolving time.
The western half went rather well for a Saturday.
I knew TREPAN right away from many historical novels I have read about early medical practices. Although these practices seem primitive and painful, they were the start of modern medicine. I also read a good bit about early herbal medicines and tisanes.
I, too, got ANSELM from the LM and the date.
My son has all the OLD REBAs on DVDs and plays them all the time.
AQUA was the only possibility, but it seemed wrong.
I had S-USVIDE from perps and guessed that SOUS is a cooking term, although I never heard of it.
There was only one other unknown. Why ATE ON?
The GR gave me GRATIN. I have seen recipes for GRATINs with no cheese, although most have cheese. This cheese loving family always uses cheese.
I really enjoyed this challenge. I kept eking out just one more answer, then just one more answer, which encouraged me to keep going.
Thanks Julian, Splynter, and Owen for a delightful start to my day.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Splynter - congratulations on your building move. Good luck.

WSS - (What Splynter said). I seem to have trouble getting on Julian's wavelength, too. Had Inuit before ALEUT. Should have known better, the Pribilofs are in the Bering Sea. Did not know that RINTINTIN served in The Great War. Wanted SALTbed for PIT, too. Like that the Canadians are doing the TOONIE; Americans don't like $2 bills; guess they like to carry fat wallets for all the One's.

Enjoy the day.

nasafemme said...

44d Used to hold food - ATE ON
Rather inelegant every which way you look at it. This was dreadful for me and had to use red letter help after the first two passes.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Pretty much WBS, plus others. I managed to work out everything except that SE corner. Didn't know Monads, didn't know Gratin meant crust, forgot about Attlee, and failed to suss Suss. Resisted Ate On just because I didn't like it, it might have made the difference.

One big DNF for me. Thanks for sticking with it, Splynter! Oh, and if you get to buy a house, try not to pick one with a leaking loo...

Good luck Marti! :-)

Husker Gary said...

Splynter, “Me too!” I’ll OWN UP that the SE corner was my undoing with MONAD, SOUS-VIDE, REQUITAL (not REVERSAL) and ATE ON (clued that way)? I’ll take my “close but no cigar” and live with it. Are these obscure words and off-the-wall cluings what populate the crossword tournaments?

-I follow several fun and stimulating TWITTER accounts. (e.g. NASA’s and Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s)
-If you wanna see ROBINS, go out after a rain. Those early birds catch a lotta worms.
-I don’t want to be a LESSOR to anyone. I’ll send them to Marti! ;-)
-SCARLET A was a also few letters too many for an undesirable brand
-If you don’t want me to support your POL, put a FLYER under my windshield wiper
-My MIL did CROP her son’s wedding photo with a pair of scissors to excise the bride that she hated from the start. The marriage went to hell for other darker reasons.
-I had CHASE for STUNT first. How many variations can they come up with?
-GRA _ _ _ was GRAHAM (cracker) momentarily
-The great SNLers (hey if you can have NFLers…) were not APERS but rather blazed their own comedic trail. However, Joe Piscopo as Sinatra and this one
were pretty good

oc4beach said...

WSS, WBS - Really brutal

After my first pass I only had 7 words. After my second and third pass I only had 9 words. Pretty dismal. I had to put the paper down and go to the Mensa site with red letters turned on. Even with that it was hard.

Methinks Mr. Lim takes sadistic pleasure in devising his puzzles.

Anonymous said...

Got SOUSVIDE easily (my Dad's favorite cooking method lately), but otherwise pretty blank in the SE.
Kept wanting trephine instead of TREPAN, but crosses got it.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to doing the Saturday puzzles because I have the time. But it seems lately they are beyond this old brain!

CrossEyedDave said...

(with apologies to OwenKL)

The lack of words was a terrible blight.
The puzzle, seemingly, a sea of white.
So thankfully it was not a whim,

I saved last weeks kiddie puzzle from the comics page.
It soothed my ego, contained my rage,
all because of Julian Lim...

Anonymous said...

What is the purpose of puzzles that people can't solve, or atleast have fun with?

No thank you.

C6D6 Peg said...

It was a workout for sure.... not too much fun trying to get the SE Corner.... finally gave up after 90 minutes...

Splynter, I admire your bravery for your Saturday blogs! They are not for the weak of heart.

Maybe we can get a Saturday Silkie next week.

Southern Belle: Yes, it appears the aqua is "lighter" than the Electric Blue.

River Doc said...

Happy Saturday everybody!

Absolutely, positively what Splynter said. Although I'd say that to describe this puzzle as brutal is being kind....

Was able to solve only the SW corner before going red....

Only redeeming feature was reading about Rin Tin Tin, and learning that RTT the Fourth resided in Riverside....

Sidebar - did any of the other SoCal Cornerites feel the 5.1 "roller" last night at about 8 pm...? My first decent quake since returning to Cali....Woo Hoo!

tiptoethru said...

Whoa! I'm glad others ran into the SE corner and went, "what?" This old brain froze and I knew I'd never get done without checking here. Thanks for helping! It sounds as though we're headed into another snow storm, so I want to share---am I the only one that feels as if I'm in a snow globe and some jerk keeps shaking it? (quote from a Facebook friend) Anyway, TTFN

Lucina said...

Hello, Word Warriors! Hail, to you, Splynter, our solver-in-chief!

WEES! WEES! WEES! If anyone can stump me and brutally send my ego to kingdom come it's Julian Lim.

I did manage roughly 80% and was mightily pleased to get TWITTER FEED, SUNNI MUSLIM and MINUTE STEAK. TREPAN seemed strange but I left it as everything around it was solid.

APACHE was in fact my first fill, erased it as seeming too obvious but then reinstated it.

LEG ROOM is never a problem with me but for anyone taller it has to be. If you travel on Turkish Airlines and are tall, be prepared for some serious cramping.

Though I consider myself a fairly good cook, I've never heard of SOUS VIDE and I just quit at the SE corner because my mind simply stopped. This was not exactly fun but certainly a challenge that taught me how much I don't know!

Book Club today. We will discuss The Book Thief, a sad but enjoyable read.

Have a sensational Saturday, everyone!

Dennis said...

Afternoon, gang - been a while, but I had to post on this one.

It's been a long time since I failed to complete a puzzle, but looking at my filled-in spaces versus blank spaces, I'm at about 70%, if that. I absolutely love any kind of challenge, but jeezus, some of the crossings were impossible for me (GRATIN crossing SOUS VIDE, for example).

Even the stuff I filled in had problems. I had ODIC POEM (yeah, stupid) for 11 down, which backed me into AROMA for 'Espresso feature', then ALEUT for 22D led me to put LUGGAGE for 'Air Traveler's concern).

All in all, a pretty bad fail. My compliments, Mr. Lim, you beat the hell outta me. I'll get you next time...

Hope all's well with everyone here. Been a LOT going on on this end, some good, some not so good.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Yellowrocks said...

I think I get ATE ON now, but the words are better separated. We ATE Christmas dinner ON our heirloom China. We USED our heirloom China TO HOLD FOOD.
Dudley and Marti, I, too have a leaky loo, two of them, in fact. The shower in my upstairs hall bathroom leaks behind the walls and has damaged the wallboard. We haven't used that shower in many months. I am in the process of having that bathroom torn back to the studs and redone. The shower/tub in the master bath is ugly and the toilet there leaks intermittently, so it is hard to track down the reason for the leak.
It left a water ring on the garage ceiling, no dripping, then months later two more rings, then nothing. I had a plumber in twice and had a new wax ring installed. That wasn't it. The grout around the toilet continues to stain and be damp. I am totally redoing that bathroom, too.

john28man said...

On paper I had six entries *& it took me 25 minutes in the Mensa site with red letters.

Too many of our super experts didn't finish and this should alert the editors.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

Yep, "brutal" says it all. I came back to it after a few hours away and it really didn't help. I love to be challenged but as others have said, this just wasn't fun.

Thanks, Splynter, for all your hard work on this one. You described my experiences perfectly!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! WEES (except YR)! Julian and Rich, you are bad boys to do this to loyal cw followers! Naughty! Naughty! Go stand in a corner and think about this transgression.

This was totally undoable without red-letters. I don't mind a few, but when I have to red-letter alphabet search every stinkin' letter in half a dozen words, I just whimper.

But hey, I knew ATLEE right off. Knew SUNNI too, but thought it had only one "N".

Never watched the Sopranos. I tried "mafioso". ANTI HERO? Huh?

APACHE is more like an enemy than a relative to a Navaho. Oh well, I have some that are both too.

GRATIN is buttered bread or cracker crumbs to me, with or without cheese. I've been craving a casserole I used to make with tuna and a crumbled potato chip au GRATIN.

Splynter, so valiant to joust with this. You deserve your own castle. I hear Marti would let you have one cheap.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. I did not enjoy this puzzle today, for all the aforementioned reasons. Disliked the clue for TREPAN; the tool is a trephine. If anything, the TREPAN is the hole itself, not the tool to make it. Disliked the way ATE ON was clued. I, too, could not finish the SE corner. I used to accuse Wil Shortz of being a sadist ...
Best wishes to you all.

Yellowrocks said...

I know how you all feel about today's puzzle. That is the way I felt yesterday. I red lettered and Googled too many answers to find a lot of satisfaction in the solve, and most of you had little trouble. Today I was determined not to let that happen again It's strange how some puzzles are easier for some solvers and vice versa.

Yesterday I was finalizing the buying of a new car. Also I was getting "gel shots" for my knees. No, Tin, not that kind! I was told it would take 2 weeks or so to have any effect. My rigfht knee is much less painful and more useful already. The left knee is somewhat better. I can now descend stairs with only one foot on each stair. I am trying to put off knee replacement as long as possible.

Longbeachlee said...

Why did I like this? It took me a while to say the least, but ended up with no Googles and a good feeling. One of those where the answers came to me from outer space in keeping with the time that light travels from outer space, or maybe Julian's waves reach me.

Yellowrocks said...

A trepan is indeed a tool as well as a verb.In the novels I have read about early medicine it was always called a trepan. The trephine had not been invented yet.
Century Dictionary:
"n trepan An instrument, in the form of a crown-saw, used by surgeons for removing parts of the bones of the skull, in order to relieve the brain from pressure or irritation. The trephine is an improved form of this instrument"

I have also met TREPAN as a seige machine in the middle ages. I like novels about the storming of castles.
"n trepan An instrument for boring; a borer. Specifically— An engine formerly used in sieges for piercing or making holes in the walls."

Jayce said...

Okay on TREPAN, then. Technically/factually correct.

Misty said...

Well, the only thing I got on my first run-through was (ironically) NOT A chance! An omen, if ever there was one. I did get both TOPOL and ATTLEE after that, but that was pretty much it. So Julian Lim has replaced "the dreaded Silkie" to become "the dreaded Limmie" for me.

Worst clue answer of all time: ATE ON

Have a great weekend, everybody--if you can, after this morning disaster.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I'm with Splynter. A NASTY puzzle today. I give myself 94% for three lookups and a few more than that to confirm some WAGs before going on. But even though finishing I agree that the fun was missing. The misdirections seemed tough without offering humor. The only "Aha!" moment I had was for RIN TIN TIN, my first and only fill on my first go-round. My only other "Aha!" was for REBUTTAL, which turned out to be wrong and forced a rewrite. Everything else required piecemeal letter fills.

My favorite time today came from reading OwenKL's EPIC POEM. Thank you, sir!

unclefred said...

I was SO GLAD to see others struggled with this puzzle. New words for me included "trepan", "reiki", "monad", "Atlee". Atlee? Churchill didn't fit, so I knew it was someone else, but, jeez, I'm surprised I hadn't heard of him. This was one bear of a puzzle, which I never would have completed my usual way, lying on my belly in bed with the newspaper and a pen. Even with doing the CW online, with red letter help, jeez, how often should I have to run the whole alphabet? Without red letter, this would have for sure been a DNF. The way it is, I feel like I cheated my way through a 45 minute severe beating. Boy, what a tough one!!

Argyle said...

I joined Sherman and Mr. Peabody in the Wayback Machine and went back to when I first started crosswords, back when ever puzzle was a DNF and then I'd spend a lot of time using it as a learning experience.

Sadly, it didn't make me feel younger.

oc4beach said...

Unclefred: I knew Atlee from recently watching a movie about Churchill during the war years. Atlee was the head of the Labour (The Brits spell funny) Party who defeated Churchill in the first post-war elections.

Sadly I knew little else.

Lemonade714 said...

Clearly the hardest Saturday in some time. The Barry Silk in the NYT took me less time. Amazingly the one of the reviewers found it easy and finished in four minutes.

My oh my.

Dennis great to hear from you.

Welcome tiptoethru, nasafemme, longbeachlee.

Nuff said

GarlicGal said...

Okay, maybe today's NYT's Silkie will seem easier....HA!

I finished the puzzle, but I had to verify REQUITAL because I didn't believe monAds, thinking it should be monOds. Sousvide came easy, we have friends who actually have one. Spelling it correctly took some time though. You see them occasionally on the cooking shows.

And here we go with KITH again! How many times has it appeared this week alone?

Ah Saturdays...gotta love 'em.

GarlicGal said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Lemonade!

windhover said...

Hi there,
Since I won't see this puzzle until Monday evening, I haven't yet read today's blog. I just finished yesterday's, though, and thought I would stop by and make a few comments about both the puzzle and the blog (again, yesterday's).
I read the same J. Krakhauer book as Tenzig, just a few months ago (got it for Xmas), so I knew cols. like another commenter, I thought the theme gimmick was just a play on words, but I did figure it out, which helped in the solve. I found this to be a Goldilocks puzzle; just right. Hard enough to be a challenge, but solvable. I'd surmise that that makes it a relatively easy Friday offering, because my usual Friday experience is DNF. So it was, in a word, enjoyable.

The blog, however, was not, and has not been for some time now. Don't get me wrong, Lemonade did his usual entertaining expo, as have the other bloggers for as long as I remember. So what's the problem, you ask? (Or possibly, you DGAS, but whatever, let's pretend for a moment that you do.)
Maybe I can describe my dissatisfaction by asking a few (somewhat) rhetorical questions.

Do you folks ever get tired of whining about the unfairness or incorrectness of clues? Invariably, some later commenter will cite a reference that verifies the original. But the whining goes on, day after day.

Do you think the constructors and the editor(s) are idiots who just pull clues and made-up words out of some remote body orifice? Ya think? Really??

If you aren't already convinced that I'm simply a curmudgeon, here's the defining proof: a rant (within a rant) about the "new generation". This s--t simply did not happen back in the old days (2009-10). The current crop of bloggers appears to be a generations of pickers of nits and callers of non-existent fouls.

Speaking of nonexistent: Bumppo, I seriously doubt that any of the deities you mention are offended by the alteration of their names, because they are, the 49A, imaginary. Their many followers, unfortunately, are not.
So, Lemonade, my friend, next time you're wondering "where have all the old regulars gone?", they've (for the most part) been undone by the incessant prima donna whining that is the Corner most days.
If ClearAyes (another friend) wasn't dead, she'd tell you the same thing.
End of Rant.

Abcderian said...

I loved this puzzle. Yup, got them all,without any lookups. No cheats, no Googles or red letter help.

Thank you, Thank you, Julian Lim - absolutely brilliant construction and your punny clues were delightful. Very tight planning and no cheater squares and all hints were shown appropriately.

I hope to see you again, real soon. Bravo !! Would love a replay.

This is where we separate the men er, man from the boys. Whine, complain, snivel and rant all you want but it ain't gonna change matters.

Naa, Na, na - nah, nah !

A Real Man's puzzle - Thank God.

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous. Horrible editing.

Bumppo said...

A better clue for "ATE ON" might have been "Worked at, as an apple" (or, "Wouldn't get up from the dinner table").

Ol' Man Keith said...

LOL, Abcderian,

[Habakkuk 2:4] “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him..."
[2:16] You will have your fill of shame instead of glory. Drink, yourself, and show your uncircumcision!

Anonymous said...

Um, Windhover, you exceeded the 20 line limit. Just sayin.

PK said...

Windy, on a day when the puzzle lacerated most of us you come on and poor salt in the sores of us poor unworthy blog frequenters. Sounds pretty whiny of you. Why aren't you here daily raising the standard of the posts? Or are you just cranky from lost sleep during lambing season?

And to make matters worse, two of your state's college basketball teams beat the stuffin' out of two of my state's very good teams during March Madness! Oh, the agony!

Otherwise, welcome back. We missed you.

PK said...

I've spent the day trying to remember what ATTLEE's given name was, so finally had to google. Clement, middle name Richard, ATTLEE. I was pretty little when he was in power. Don't know how I remembered his name at all.

Dennis, good to hear from you. Wondered if you had had bad news or were sick with your reported health puzzlement.

The oringinal PK said...

The above is not the real PK.

I would never grovel to an obviously grumpy old man.

Get over it windy. We do just fine around here without you.

Nancy Murphy said...

I agree with what so many of you said: Brutal. This was my worst puzzle solve (or nonsolve) in years. Was able to get everything except the SE corner.

I prefer solving with pencil and paper. However, I do solve on line occasionally. I don't use red letter help or google because, personally, it doesn't feel right. I either solve on my own or I don't.

Have a nice weekend.

Anonymous said...

To Yellowrocks
I note your problem with knee joints. If you are interested in easy solution, E mail me at
and I will share with you what has really helped me. I will be 76last of April, still working full time. One year ago, I felt bone on bone in left hip joint. Added a couple of supplements to my vitamin regimen, now no apparent problem with any joints.
My slightly younger brother also takes them, and he is still flying helicopters in the gulf of Mexico for the oil companies.
Old Sage in Virginia Beach

CrossEyedDave said...

Ouch! Windy! I'm just trying to have some fun with my nits, (& it sounds like you need to have some fun with your n-ts...)

What's really bothering you, old friend...

(I think I know, you miss the old days.) Absence makes the heart grow fonder, & special times would not be special if we did not miss them.

Please post to set us straight whenever you feel the need. (but read what we said 1st pls...)

Speaking of fun with my nits:

what this puzzle did to my brain.


Hmm, I actually learned something...


Ah, Reiki! Now I get it...

windhover said...

I wasn't talking to or about you. You're (almost always) worth reading. And fun, which is a large part of my complaint about the puzzle critics. The thing is 99% excellent, day after day, and guess what, it's free!
It's a pastime I enjoy, just as I once did this blog, and hope to again.
OTOH, I'm quite sure, as an earlier cowardly anon said, that the blog can and will get by just fine without me.
That said, I appreciate your response.

The oringinal PK said...

Well then, windy, do be such a coward. Tell us, just exactly WHO were aiming your worthless venom to?

windhover said...

You are not the original PK. She is a classy farm woman, you are a (can't think of a word, but "putz" comes to mind). Great crossword word, BTW.
We having fun?

Gene R. from Chicago said...

Windhover said:

"The current crop of bloggers appears to be a generations{sic} of pickers of nits and callers of non-existent fouls."

What current crop of bloggers are you talking about? Don't be a coward and hide behind that insulting comment. Not too long ago C.C., who is your hostess and the reason you are allowed to be here, pleaded for you and certain others to stop your whining and wishing for the good old days. She also stated that the current atmosphere is the best she has had yet and was glad the childish df banter of yore is over.

Another important guideline C.C. has requested you consider, no religion, apparently means nothing to you. You constantly ignore C.C.'s polite rule and insult fellow bloggers' obviously important personal beliefs and mock them about your perceived ignorance. Personally, I'm not very spiritual but I have enough respect for others spirituality to give them their due. Btw, both Jesus and Mohammed did exist and are not "imaginary".

You, my friend, are a bore. Your long periods of absence around here are greatly appreciated.

Mary Keller said...

I think maybe this puzzle put us all in a bad mood. I'm pretty new here but enjoy the blog and learn a lot from it. Today was a DNF because it was a DNS. Took one look at it and knew it was out of my realm. The blog helps my crossword self image when I see one or two of the well established bloggers struggled with the answers as well.

61Rampy said...

WEEEYRS- What everyone else except Yellowrocks said - this was my worst DNF in ages. I too was done in by the SE. It made me feel less stupid to find almost everyone had troubles too.
I guess people were so into whining about the puzzle, or the bloggers, that I didn't see anyone answer Splynter's question.
LEFT hand UP for being a leftie!

Spitzboov said...

Norwegians playing grab ass.

Argyle said...

That adds a lighter note to the festivities.

Spitzboov said...

Some more grab ass by Nor. accordion players. (Starts about 30 sec into the clip (2:27))

Bill G. said...

Ahh, those crazy, fun-loving Norwegians!

Dennis said...

PK, thanks - the TSA shot me down because of the blood trace in the urine (which may have just been a convenient way to address the age issue, even though I aced all the mental and physical tests). After a bunch of tests, still no idea where it's coming from, and I'm having THE procedure Tuesday morning to rule out anything serious. I'd rather stick a fork in my eye, but that wasn't an option.

Gene R., your revisionist history is.....interesting.

Spitz, great link.

Lemon, four minutes?? For THIS puzzle? Damn.

Big Easy said...

First trip through I got STARKIST WII POL NOTA SLAV APACHE TOONIE and GFLAT. Too many complete unknowns to even make WAGs. SOUSVIDE TREPAN CREMA REIKI SALTPIT. Not knowing colors it coild have been NAVY or NILE. LONE MERE or SOLE. As many times as I look at it ATEON still doesn't make sense.

No way that I came close to solvjng this puzzle

blogit said...

Gene R, Thanks for your post ,which is what I was hoping someone would say.

You nailed it!! Windhover constantly demands others to "not be anon",yet he was too afraid to name names.

Poor bastard

Who needs him? He contributes nothing to society!! Much less a crossword blog about cwpuzzles cause he doesn't even, oh never mind

Thanks again u said it best

C.C. Burnikel said...

Very annoying post!

1) How do you think I and other constructors can improve our next puzzle without learning the lessons gleaned from the constant nitpicking from posters?

2) You just like living in the past, don't you? This blog is never good enough for you. Even in those "old days" you mentioned in your disparaging post. Remember your PromiseThis blog?

Stop bashing our regulars. Enjoy it as it is, tomorrow is not promised to you or anyone.

Participate, lurk or just leave.

George Barany said...

Fascinating stream of comments. Sorry about being late to the party, but Saturday March 29 was my anniversary, and I would like to share this puzzle which is "Dedicated to the One I Love ..." The accompanying photo was taken a perfect number of years ago, also a Saturday, but otherwise no specialized knowledge about my family is needed.

Then, if you are still in a mood for more puzzling, my friends and I offer Start Spreading the News! and Putin on the Fritz. Both deal with current events, although the first is much more sports-themed. We hope you like one or both, and start spreading the news!

JJM said...

First Saturday that not only didn't I finish, but was completely stumped in two different areas. I can't remember the last time thatvhapppened.

Anonymous said...

windy, what's wrong bro? did someone break your loom?