Dec 27, 2014

Saturday, Dec 27th, 2014, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie~!

Words: 70 (missing J,K,Q,X,Z)

Blocks: 32

  I figured we would be finishing up a year of Saturdays with a Silkie, and I expected it to be difficult at that - well, I was spot-on.  There was little to be had in the first pass of across and downs, but I managed to get a foothold in the SE, then crept my way up and left from there.  However, the top right was just not going to budge, and I am kicking myself for missing 7a. - oh well.  Yes, Red-Letter help today, and some of my fool-proof solving methods proved me a fool.  One 13-letter climber is all we have in lengthy fill:

15d. Group label further popularized by a 1991 self-named documentary : MTV GENERATION - I'm of the MTV Generation, but I did not actually have MTV growing up - we did not have cable, so I used to soak it up when I was at my friends' houses; one of the first videos I ever saw;

Men At Work

O - N - 2 - W - 0 - A - 1 - R - 5 - D~!


1. 2014 high-tech release using the slogan "Bigger than bigger" : iPHONE - I am not an Apple person, though I did hear they're coming out with a fan to compete with the Dyson bladeless - it's called the iBLOW

7. 1987 sci-fi film : ROBO-COP - Dah~! I am SO disappointed with myself for not nailing this one - and I have not seen the remake yet, to boot

14. Pointer, perhaps : BLAMER - I was in a 'dog' frame of mind

15. Soften : MODULATE

16. Feeding trough : MANGER - yeah, this time of year, you tend to forget what its original purpose was for

17. Opinion : TWO CENTS - ugh - took too long to dawn on me, but clever - and a**hole was not long enough - because everybody has one

18. Qantas' main hub, in itineraries : SYDney - I knew what we were looking for, but I was not 100% sure it was that straight-up; for example, the code for MacArthur airport around the corner from me is ISP - because it's located in the town of Islip

19. Winner of the 1997 and 1998 Super Bowls : DENVER - I like that there are a limited number of answers for this type of clue, but I was a bit irked because it was not the team, like RAIDER or NINERS, but the city/location

21. Little shaver : TOT - dah~!! - I went with TAD first

22. DJ Alan Freed's nickname : MOONDOG - perps and WAGs

24. Seething : ABOIL

26. 14-Across' concern : FAULT

27. 1959 Bobby Rydell hit : WE GOT LOVE

30. Luncheon follower? : ETTE - LuncheonETTE

31. Concede : OWN UP TO

32. Pickle : MESS - the dilemma, not the dill

33. Meeting focus : THEME - Agenda wouldn't fit

34. Big name in lingerie : OLGA - new to me, I gotta go check out the website

38. Knight wear : TABARDS - I knew this because I want to add another "B" to the spelling; here I am wearing mine for a wedding

40. Hunny lover : POOH - the spelling here was a give-away; Winnie the honey-eating bear

41. Body exhibiting sudden increases in brightness : FLARE STAR - dah!! - I tried SUPERNOVA, which is "technically" correct. I was left with the "key" clue ( see below ) and a WAG at Blare, Glare, and Flare; guess which one I did not pick first....

44. Monterrey jack? : PESOS - Mexican "money"

45. Navigation acronym : SONAR - Once the ---AR was there, I filled in the rest - and then my clever 'solving short-cut' betrayed me; see below

46. Rose in a big way : TOWERED

48. O, at times : HUG - X O X O in cards; one of these days....

49. 1944 Pacific island battle site : SAIPAN - dah~!!! Anyone else put in TAIPAN, or am I the only one who is confused = q.v.

51. __-eared : LOP - DAH~! Who else went with "DOG"~?

53. Against : AVERSE TO

56. Cuddles : SPOONS - one of these days....

58. Trusts : RELIES ON

59. Features of many impromptu speeches : PAUSES

60. "Something wrong?" : "PROBLEM~?"

61. Least honest : SLIEST


1. Some old notebooks : IBMs

2. Kid's bud : PLAYMATE - My buddy Adam, who owns the restaurant,  is a daddy again - Pearl Snow, 7lbs-7ozs, born Dec 7th, 2014 - and they had picked Pearl as a name before the anniversary

3. Fliers, maybe : HAND-OUTS

4. Shocked letters : OMG - Text-speak for "Oh My God"

5. "You __ bother" : NEEDN'T - I read this as bRother my first pass

6. Fumbled, say : ERRED

7. "Lady Jane Grey" dramatist : ROWE - I would have preferred "Mike from Dirty Jobs" for a clue

8. Sign of something gone bad : ODOR

9. Raymond James Stadium NFLer : BUC - Rrrr....I went with RAM, and should have paid attention to the abbr. in the clue

10. Encouraging word : OLÉ

11. Playground retort : CAN TOO - I tried YOU too & ARE too

12. Holy Roman emperor, 1209-'15 : OTTO IV

13. Grinder : PESTLE - argh~! I keep missing this one, as well

20. Exasperated words : "NOW WHAT~!?!?"

23. Fat substitute : OLESTRA - I remember seeing this on "healthy" potato chips

24. Brief creator: Abbr. : ATTorney - because Fruit of the Loom did not fit

25. Goof : BLOOPER

26. Like La Niña, e.g.: Abbr. : FEMinine

28. Gingerbread house adornment : GUM DROP - some day I hope to build a gingerbread house in the style of a castle with kids of my own

29. Reveals, poetically : OPES

31. Some parlors, briefly : OTBs - Off-Track Betting

35. Hopeless : LOSE - LOSE

36. Joker's array : GOOD ONES - got stuck thinking of the jokers found in a deck of cards

37. Relaxed responses : AHs

39. __ Lingus : AER

41. Key of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 24 : F SHARP - OK, so I proudly filled in -M--OR, then waited....and got duped - not A MINOR, not D MAJOR, etc. - I think Mr. Silk checks in and tries to out-wit us

42. Vent part : LOUVER - ARGH~~!!  Took way too long to come to me

43. "Measure for Measure" deputy : ANGELO - Learning moment for me - did not know this was Shakespeare - the Wiki

44. Prison buddy? : PEN-PAL

47. Small flying predators : WASPS

49. Zaire's Mobutu __ Seko : SESE

50. Quark locale : ATOM

52. "Hey!" relative : psst~!

54. Needle : RIB

55. Pierre's pinch? : SEL - Frawnche "salt"

57. Pierre's permission : OUI - more Frawnche, this time "yes"


Notes from C.C.:

1) To reader Bob Niles: You made a comment on Dec 24 saying your newspaper has no circles for the "Silent Night" puzzle. Can you let me know the name of your newspaper? You can email me Also, to our blog regulars, if anyone knows how to get in touch with Bob Niles via his Google Plus profile, please let me know. I can't find his email address.

2) Happy Birthday to Dudley our Handsome Pilot! Dudley has been with the blog for almost four years and is an avid fan of Downton Abbey & Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!  Dudley met the great Karl Kasell in a private meeting, if I remember correctly. Click here for more photos of him. They were taken during Montana's visit to Northeast in September, 2013.

Left to Right: Marti, Dudley, Hondo & Montana


Barry G. said...

Morning, all (and Happy Birthday to Dudley)!

I couldn't get any traction whatsoever in the upper half of the puzzle to begin with, except for a guess that 1D ended with an "S". The bottom half was a lot smoother, although I had to guess that FLARE STAR was a thing and rely on the perps to get ANGELO, OLGA and SAIPAN. As usual, I'm AVERSE TO so many obscure proper nouns, but at least the perps were fair.

That still left a sea of white in the upper half, however. I finally made a few inroads with a guess at DENVER based solely on the N from NOWWHAT and another guess at WE GOT LOVE (never heard of it). I'm sad to say that I still couldn't guess MTV GNERATION even with __VGENERATION in place.

I eventually got through the rest with a grudging acceptance of BLAMER, a guess at MOONDOG and ROWE, etc. IPHONE was last to fall, which is ironic since I just upgraded my iPhone 4 to an iPhone 6 Plus last week. It's a total brick, and my wife says I look like a refugee from the 1980s when I actually use it as a phone, but I love the fact that I can use all the apps without needing to put on my reading glasses first...

desper-otto said...

Ooooftah! This last Saturday Silkie of the year required some heavy lifting. I was still tied up when the buzzer rang, and the match went into overtime.

I was so proud of myself when I entered BVD as the "Brief creator." Bzzzzt! Splynter, I also got caught in the _M__OR musical trap. Bzzzzt! And I managed to move Monterey to Spain and entered EUROS for the "jack." -- Bzzzzt!. I thought the 1987 sci-fi film was COCOON, which I misspelled with a second central C. Bzzzzt! (Actually that film came out in '85. Dang! That's almost 30 years ago.)

Somehow, I managed to muddle through to victory. But it was close. (Memo to self: Buy more Wite-Out.)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Dudley. Have a great weekend!


desper-otto said...

On a cheerier note, Happy Birthday, Dudley! I hope it's a soaring occasion.

Three weeks ago a neighbor posted flyers about their lost kitten. After all this time we were pretty sure it was a goner. But on our walk yesterday, it calmly marched out of the woods and came up to us to be petted. It was well-groomed and appeared to be well-fed. That's the good news. The owners are out of town until late next week, so we've temporarily got another stray in the menagerie. That's the bad news.

Montana said...

New way to post a comment.
I'll see if I can follow instructions.


HeartRx said...

Good morning Saturday Solvers!

Happy Birthday, Dudley!! I hope you get to do something fun today.

This one was harder than usual for a Silkie. I had the NW filled and thought it was going to be a piece of cake. But then I got stuck in the east - it looked like a blizzard on the coast, with huge swaths of white.

I had Bali before OLGA, ad libs before PAUSES and hand up for dog-eared before LOP.

I finally figured out POOH, PESOS and SPOONS which helped fix that SE corner.

In the NE, I struggled with the are TOO / was TOO / CAN TOO entry. Then I figured out OTTOxx and PESTLE. With ODOR and BUC in place, everything else finally came into focus.

It wasn't pretty, and I am sure if I were solving on paper, the puzzle would have been one massive ink blot!

Have a fun day, everyone!

Big Easy said...

I got the NW

I got the SE

And? That was it.

Never heard of MTV GENERATION, MOON DOG, OLGA, ROWE, the song 'WE GOT LOVE', TABARDS, ANGELO. I also wanted SUPERNOVA but it wouldn't cross OLESTRA or AER Lingus.

I figured 41D would either be ___SHARP because 45A would be either RADAR or SONAR. For 48A across I thought maybe the "O" would be either TIC, TAC, or TOE but knew it couldn't cross MAJOR, MINOR, or SHARP. HUG??? Give me a break.

I initially put in BATAAN for SAIPAN ( which I did not get) and I can never remember the Zaire strongman's middle name. That's about the same as remembering the SECOND verse of the 'Star's Spangled Banner'

Well now that i have put my TWO CENTS ( did not get) in and OWN UP TO ( also did not get) the fact that this puzzle was above my head. I had SCAR for ODOR, IMP for TOT , TATS for OTBS, and just made a MESS ( I did get that one.

Rainman said...

Chalk up another learning day here. Seems most of my guesses were not even close, and for that reason, the puzzle did not come together until late. I had BATAAN for SAIPAN and as BarryG said, a sea of white for a long time. One clue was "Problem?" something... well, yeah, a few!!!!

I got my iPhone 6 Plus two months ago and it's large enough that I can now do without my iPad Mini. Haven't tried the Ocarina app yet but there are a lot of these that are just easier to see and use.

Question, the newbie asks: Is there a best way to deliver comments and refer back to the online puzzle while doing so? Thanks.

Avg Joe said...

This felt like a Bataan march all the way through. First pass netted only ATT, PSST, FEM and ETTE after reading every clue. Started sniping at that point and picked off a few S's where two plurals met. Wanted to fall into the Major/Minor trap, and also wanted SUV Generation, but wasn't feeling very committal. Did fall into the areTOO trap and further complicated that with Rah instead of OLE. Let's just say the eraser got a workout.

Got almost all problems worked out with wags a determination, but in the end I suffered a FIW. I'd started with Battan, then went with Taiwan, then settled for Taipan. You're a better man than I, Gunga Silk.

A very Happy Birthday to Dudley!

Tinbeni said...

Splynter: Thank you for explaining my DNF (not even close!) final INK BLOT of 2014.

It was a total failure I got about 10 answers before I "Toss It!"
At least I knew it was the Tampa Bay BUC who played at Raymond James Stadium.

Na zdorovje!!!

Tinbeni said...

oops ...


Cheers to you at Sunset!

desper-otto said...

Rainman, just leave the puzzle in your browser, and open the blog in a second tab. How to do that depends on the browser you're using. [Command]+T works in Safari (also works in Chrome on my IMac), and I think [Ctrl]+T works in Internet Explorer. Once opened, you can switch back and forth with just a mouse-click.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

The good news is I finished w/o help. The bad news is it took me 1 1/2 hours to do so. The broad cluing caused many write-overs: gnats/wasps, dog/lop, toasts,/pauses, Tarawa/Saipan, no point/I No I can't/Now what, Puppy Love/We Got Love, etc. I do love Silkie's puzzles but this one was a doozy!

Thanks, Barry, for ending our year with a head-scratcher and thanks, Splynter, for 'splainin' it all.

Happy Birthday Dudley; hope your day is fun-filled!

Have a great day.

Mikey said...

Or, easier for me, at least, open a second browser window, then you can switch back and forth via alt-tab, leaving the mouse for mousing.

What everyone else said about this Silkie Signoff for 2014. Way too many sure guesses that didn't work out, and obscure factual stuff, but ultimately enjoyable. Happy New Year...

oc4beach said...


I'm sure Silkie is a synonym for "undoable." After trying to do it in the paper and erasing through it, I turned on the computer and tried red letter mode. Even that took a long time and a lot of trial and error to finish. Technically a DNF today.

In today's paper there was an article about POOH. Apparently the original stuffed Pooh and friends are in a display in the New York Public Library and the British want it back. The Library is not giving in, saying that Pooh and friends are perfectly safe and sound in New York. Let's hope it doesn't spark an international incident.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and wish you all a Great New Year.

Husker Gary said...

I was languishing with a big hole in the middle and casually asked Joann for a gingerbread adornment. She gave me RED HOTS and then GUMDROP and voila that changed BATAAN to SAIPAN, etc and the skids were greased on Barry’s Saturday fun exercise.

-I have to MODULATE my voice with a microphone
-My first POINTER
-MOONDOGGIE is on the right
-We have a four-footed cuddler/spooner who alternates between us at night
-Like us all, President Obama seems to have many PAUSES when speaking extemporaneously
-Don’t you agree that Barbara Walters ERRED by naming this woman as the most fascinating person of 2014. Seems pretty shallow to me
-Now What in the lab
-I was thinking of Batman’s Joker
-HBD, Dudley. What a stellar and handsome group in that picture.
-What resident of DENVER became a legend after a 1912 event?

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Didn't want the day to pass without wishing Dudley a Happy Birthday. Hope you have a great day.

Not my cup o'tea today; what with TABARD, MTV GENERATION, ROBO COP and that ilk.
However, I did not want to pass up a chance to mill about in a Silkie, even tho I was in a MESS a lot.
Got the West ok, but needed some help on the E side.
Got tongue-tied with SAIPAN, but after awhile 'Saigon' receded, and Saipan was entered.
Got LOP-eared on the 1st pass.

Have a great day.

Spitzboov said...

HG - Unsinkable Ms Molly Brown.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this site. "O" for hug made absolutely no sense to me and loselose equally so. Glad to know there is a smart place to go before I abandon this puzzle in the name of sanity!

Anonymous said...

No one noticed that clue19A was incorrect for the answer given. Denver won '98 and '99 not '97 and '98

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

I think it's time I stopped wasting time on Saturday puzzles.

Misty said...

I woke up dreading a Silkie this morning and arrrrgghhhh, there it was! Got little more than ABOIL and POOH on the first run, and not much more on the second, so this turned into a cheater pretty quickly. Putting in EUROS instead of PESOS didn't help but at least I figured out what "jack" was. Some of the clues were clever though, so I tried to enjoy the solve even if it was a toughie. Thank goodness for the blog--it's a relief to find I wasn't totally alone in this.

Have a wonderful birthday, Dudley, and what a great photo of four of our good-looking pals!

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!

Sallie said...

Good afternoon everyone.

I don't even try to do the puzzles after Wednesday. But DH & I are off to eat at Steak n Shake, so all is not lost. (Certainly no weight is lost.)

Happy Birthday, Dudley. Fun to read your posts.


desper-otto said...

Anon@11:13 -- I'm not much of a sports fan. OK, I'm not any sort of a sports fan. But it would seem to me that the Superbowl in 98 was the conclusion of the 97 season. Similarly the 99 bowl ended the 98 season. The clue may be technically incorrect, but seems correct "in spirit."

Yellowrocks said...

Happy birthday, Dudley.
The western half was pretty decent for a Saturday. I had to Google a few in the Eastern half.
I will agree with the online solvers that when you write over so often that you have an illegible inkblot, online solving w/o red letters is a big help. On just a slightly less arduous puzzle, I still prefer pen and ink.
ANON @ 11:13, I looked up the Denver Super Bowl stats and saw the error, too.
Lose/Lose: In a win/win situation or deal each side gets something of value. In a win/lose situation, one side gets something of value and the other side gets little or nothing. In a lose/lose neither side gets much of anything, truly hopeless for all concerned.
I have only one gift to return. I will mail it back tomorrow. Unfortunately they no longer have the item my sister wanted in her size. And I have no Plan B.

tiptoethru said...

There's a reason I shudder when I open the paper and find it's going to be a Silkie solve. Yow! I fumbled my way from bottom to top and froze about two-thirds of the way up. There's always a wonderful fall back though when I can come here and fill in the emptiness. Thank you all and Happy New Year. On to the laundry, it's waited a long, long time as I scratched my head over this puzzle.

Anonymous said...

Avg Joe said...

"This felt like a Bataan march all the way through."

Clever? No.

Insensitive? Yes.

I have a Filipino neighbor/friend who tells a story of his grandfather's experience with the Imperial Japanese. It is in no way comparable to solving a puzzle.

CrossEyedDave said...

Did not get a chance to even try this Silkie. The recent heavy rain pointed out that our roof is past its 20 year lifespan. Water seems to be percolating to the front of the house, & coming down inside the walls. My morning shower was interrupted by the tiles falling off the wall. To my surprise, the water was draining into the shower tub instead of raining into the kitchen thru the lighting... (I will take whatever good luck I can get...)

HBD Dudley
(except I think I used that last year.)
Here is a backup cake...

Excuse me, I have to bail...

Bluehen said...

Tough, tough year-ending Saturday Silkie. I usually enjoy Mr. Silk's challenging puzzles, but not today. After two passes through, there was so little fill that I gave up and turned on red letter help. It still took me forty five minutes to get the "Tada".
On a happier note, HBD Dudley. Can't wait for my Penzy's order to get here so I can make your glog recipe.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Did it, with just a coupla lookups. Very respectable for a Silkie, no?

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Many thanks for the birthday greetings! Today is a spectacular day by late December standards, so we just had to take an airplane trip. We're now on the beautifully decorated island of Nantucket, waiting for chowdah in one of the few open establishments.

For those who remember: the chowdah will not contain tomato. :-)

Anonymous said...

19 Across came with a Tribune mistake... '97 Super Bowl Champ was Green Bay. '98 was Denver. I think the Trib meant to put '98 and '99 in the question as Denver is the right fit.

Bill G. said...

Happy Second Day After Christmas to everybody. This was a typical Saturday experience for me; a well-constructed themeless puzzle for which I turned on red-letters. WEES about SAIPAN, TABARD and FLARE STAR. I'm a bit of an amateur astronomer and bike-riding friends with another one and I've never heard of a FLARE STAR though I'm familiar with the concept (but not the terminology).

Happy birthday Dudley! I hope you have a very enjoyable day!

Here's a nice kitty giving some serious massage therapy to a doggy friend. A feline masseuse

Dudley said...

Schweeet! We just snagged a WiFi signal.

This is some very, very good chowdah.

Oh, the puzzle was kinda hard. Technical DNF today!

Dudley said...

CED 12:17 - now that I'm on WiFi, im able to view this year's cake(s). Love that biplane kitty!

Man, if I were a Gazillionaire, this would be a nice place to stay & play for the whole of December. That's what it would take....

Avg Joe said...

I'm jealous Dudley. While I admit I do like the tomato based imposter, there's no real comparison. Given the choice, it would be N.E. Clam Chowder 99% of the time for me. But the thing I miss the most being this far inland is fried clam strips. I can find or make a passable chowder, but not fried clams.

However, I'm not drowning too badly in my sorrows since we'll be having an evening meal that's equally coveted here in flyover batter deep-fried walleye filets.

Oh, and then there's a football game tonight. GBR!

HeartRx said...

Dudley, glad you are enjoying some well-deserved "chowdah" on Nantucket. My mouth is watering!!

C.C., I bit the bullet today, and got my hair cut "almost" Dame-Judy-Dench-short. And guess what? DH liked it! He had never seen me without the spiky do, so I wasn't sure if it would go over very well. But the cats, on the other hand, just looked at me and said "Who are you, and what have you done to our [feeder], [litter cleaner], [door opener], [treat giver]????"

thehondohurricane said...

howdy all,

Happy birthday Dudley. Hope the day has been and well continue to be terrific.

I was a model of efficiency with todays puzzle.........after 15 minutes I said the Heck with it.

Dudley said...

Wow, what a fine day. Clear, warm and dry - not your average winter day in New England. The atmosphere was as smooth as it gets, and air traffic was light. Magnificent!

My long standing avatar photo was taken by Marti two years ago; on that day I had borrowed my boss's airplane for a visit at her place. This avatar was snapped today in the sunset by the LW, with my dear Catherine (the airplane). We were parked right near the terminal, something unheard of in summer, when Nantucket is overrun with expensive private jets which expect to get the best parking spaces. We Provincials are invited to use the far distant unpaved parking area in summer.

Rainman said...

Wow. Nice. Thanks for sharing. Always wanted to fly to Nantucket in my Skyhawk. Farthest I made it was Hilton Head, still a cross-country flight. I miss having a plane but not much. What I do miss is the feeling of freedom many of us pilots don't acknowledge much anymore. Sounds as if you experienced that today. Waytogo. Seems I recall you're having a natal anniversary today? Happy one! --

Jane said...

Dudley - clicked on your profile to get a better look at your plane, then had a Freudian moment when I noticed you like old roosters! You dog!

Anonymous said...

"to soften" is to moderate NOT modulate, that kept me from finishing which is why I'm here in the first place...rats

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Barry Silk, for a fine, but tough, puzzle. Thank you, Splynter, for a fine review.

Wow! Tis puzzle beat me up pretty bad. Could not get the NE corner. Had to resort to looking a few up, such as ROBO COP, OTTO IV, and ROWE.

Barry: I just got an iPhone 6 plus, as well. It is a little tough to carry around, but the jury is still out. I hope I like it.

Liked TWO CENTS (once I got it).

I hope future Saturdays are a bit easier.

Happy Birthday to Dudley, and many more.

See you tomorrow for an easy Sunday puzzle.


( )

John A. said...

i got silked pretty badly...had _E_O_LOVE for the bobby rydell song...knew it was an oldie from the pre-MTV generation and SEAOFLOVE fit perfectly...that caused a disaster...also ASSumed the beethoven key was something MAJOR or MINOR, so naturally i filled _M__OR thinking i was all smart...little did i know, i was only spinning more and more of a silk web!...hope everybody is having a nice holiday season

C.C. Burnikel said...

Way to go! I always chicken out at the last minute.