Jan 10, 2015

Saturday, Jan 10th, 2015, Alan DerKazarian

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing Q, Z)

Blocks: 34

 I have not seen this constructor before, but I have seen a grid like this before - and typically not on Saturday.  Very few long-letter fills and simple corners, but a complex array of answers and clues that needed to be mined for hints made this one a healthy challenge.  Have to admit to two bad cells, both relating to "country" music - oh well.  We have two 9-letter crossings, and two 10's crossing 12-letter spanners;

21A. Quantum theory pioneer : MAX PLANCK
10D. Disaster : CATACLYSM

6D. "... forswear thin potations and to addict __ to sack": Falstaff : THEMSELVES - that's a long way to go for a personal pronoun
32A. Facetious Appalachian portmanteau : PENNSYLTUCKY - I am familiar with this type of slanderous nick-name; I lived just north of Cincinnati, near a town called Hamilton; the local yokels were said to be from "Hamiltucky"

30D. Safari coverings : SUN HELMETS - see here

41A. Smart alecks : WISENHEIMERS - learned from watching cartoons

33D. Kind of telescope : NEWTONIAN - see here
53A. Rare pro golf feat : GRAND SLAM - there's some ambiguity on this one; the Wiki

So, what do 10 and 12 have in common, but skips 11~?



1. Handhold : CLASP - don't like that we start with a 'meh'; I think of a CLasp as the little thingy that closes a necklace; a handhold is more of a GRasp

6. Part of a comparison : THAN

10. Montreal Protocol concerns : CFCs - here's a little from the UN environment programme

14. "Men in Trees" star : HECHE - Anne; did not know of this TV series

15. Roadside chain, for short : HO JO - Howard Johnson's - they've vanished out my way

16. Take __ at: try to wallop : A RIP - tried "A RUN" - 50% correct

17. Sean who played Samwise Gamgee : ASTIN - that would be the character from "Lord of the Rings", which sadly I could not get in to

18. Dash : ELAN - this could also be "A RUN"

19. Arum family tuber : TARO - a crossword educated WAG

20. Egyptian menace : ASP

23. Glides : SASHAYS

26. Heart part? : COCKLE - I am still looking for the girl who will "warm the cockles of my heart"

27. Texter's "... but that may just be me" : IMO - In My Opinion

28. Fertile deposit : LOESS - WAGed

31. Elizabeth of "Martha Marcy May Marlene" : OLSEN

35. Old blade : SNEE - had this last week

36. Like some grazers : OVINE - I went with VEGAN first, and I like it better

37. Span. girl : SRTA

44. Complexity : DEPTH

47. Inscribed marker : STELA - dah~! I had an "E" at the end first

48. High-tech worker : 'BOT - Robot

49. Taken out, in a way : ON LOAN

51. Back in the day : LONG AGO

56. Daughter of Loki : HEL - unknown to me, hence one bad cell....

57. "We Three Kings" kings : MAGI

58. Joining device : YOKE

59. Ring material : ONION - semi-fooled me, but once the "---ON" was in place

62. Desierto's lack : AGUA - once I figured out this was not a personal name, but Spanish for desert....

63. Ravel's "Gaspard de la __" : NUIT - considered to be one of the most complex solo piano pieces - watch here at about 16:30 to see how he crosses his hands back and forth

64. Nice book : LIVRE - French for "book". Ugh, enough with the  foreign stuff, OK~?

65. Treated : SEEN - like doctors; I was thinking "ON ME"

66. Mdse. containers : CTNs - I C a lt f ctns @ UPS

67. Pool events : MEETS


1. Chinese tea : CHA

2. Nessman of WKRP : LES

3. Be a team : ACT AS ONE

4. Turkish skewer : SHISH - kebabs~!

5. Friends you may never see : PEN-PALS - I saw that this was part of a popular discussion this week

7. Havana "How do" : HOLA

8. Trojan War hero : AJAX

9. Like some rude jokes, briefly : NON-PC

11. Cookout fare : FRANKS

12. Wait to land, perhaps : CIRCLE

13. Reserved, with "for" : SPOKEN

22. Style : LOOK - here's where I twas thinking "ELAN" first

23. Takes it slow, in a way : SIPS - I don't take it at all - Jan 8th was my 10-yr AA anniversary

24. "Yes!" : AMEN - huh; I had the "M" and "N", so I went with "I'm In"

25. Chuckleheads : YO-YOs

29. Hitch : STINT - Got it this time

34. Songwriter Green : CeeLo - had a huge hit with "F*** You"

38. 1991 "Favorite Album - Country" American Music Award winner : REBA LIVE - Reba TIME~!? Nope.  Reba VIBE~!?  Uh-uh.  Dang. 

39. 1970 sci-fi film starring Joan Crawford in her last big-screen performance : TROG - Never heard of it - IMDb       
Blue Oyster Cult had fun with her, tho ( more piano, too~! )

40. Regarding : AS TO

42. Start of a favorite-meal reminiscence : I HAD

43. 1998 "King Lear" Olivier Award winner : IAN HOLM - I know him from "Alien"

44. Doctrines : DOGMAS

45. Anger : ENRAGE

46. Harass : PLAGUE

50. "This I Promise You" band : *NSYNC - not that I heard the song, but with the "C" in place....

52. Bottled-up type? : GENIE - har-har

54. Boor : LOUT

55. Similar : AKIN

60. Scrap for Fido : ORT

61. Video game letters : NES - Nintendo Entertainment System


Note from C.C.:

Please click here for a Caesar coleslaw recipe Yellowrocks (Kathy) sent to me last night. Here is what a savoy cabbage looks like. As Kathy says, you have slice it thinly, the leaf has a kale-like quality.


George Barany said...

Happy New Year to all! I don't know Alan DerKazarian or much about him, but he has published three New York Times puzzles, all with rather memorable themes (November 7 and December 1, 2013, and January 5, 2014).

Changing the topic, I would like to introduce you to a fellow Minnesota constructor by way of two puzzles (look at them in this order): Mixed Company and Baby, It's Cold Outside. Hope you enjoy them! This same constructor's byline will appear in the January 16 Wall Street Journal, so keep your eyes out for that!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I shot myself in the foot with PENNSYLTUNIA. When CATACLYSM finally appeared, I saw the light. I shot myself in the other foot with ERASED before ON LOAN showed up. But I managed to limp home unassisted.

I thought of Lucina with SASHAYS -- she hasn't been doing that lately. And I thought GRAND SLAM was a baseball (or maybe bridge) thingy.

Splynter, you might have remembered IAN HOLM as Bilbo Baggins, if you hadn't been prohibited from seeing Lord of the Rings. :) Congrats on your ten-year anniversary.

JCJ said...

Hard and obscure today.

SwampCat said...

This was so far out of my wheelhouse it looked like a snowfall on my grid! I didn't even recognize most of the fill after Splynter 'sprained it to me! Talk about feeling dumb.... Guess I'll wait for Monday.

Madame Defarge said...

Thanks for a slow but doable run, Mr. DerKazarian.

Thanks Splynter for the clarifications. I, too, wanted STELe. Portmanteau(s or x?)are fun.

I have a friend from nearby Oxford who can switch to full out Kentuckyspeak in a flash.

Still hovering a 0 here, but a heatwave is due tomorrow: 30 degrees! Stay cozy.

Avg Joe said...

Oooof Dah! What a slog. Started out well with clasp, Les, asp, penpals and sashays (yes, thought of Lucina), but slowed considerably in short order. Tried Long ago very early, but really could NOT accept Trog. I must have erased parts of that fill 3 or 4 times. Finally accepted it and stumbled into a correct solve, but had a very low level of confidence in several fills. All's well that ends.

Congrats on 10 years Splynter.

Tinbeni said...

Splynter: Congratulations on your 10th Anniversary!
(I've just achieved 12 hours!)

DNF !!!
As God is my witness ... if there is a cookout at Villa Incognito the fare would include SCOTCH!
So that NE section wasn't ever going to fall ... FRANKS was never going to replace SCOTCH ... it fit ... and I was NOT going to change it.

Also had problems (many problems!) with characters from movies I never saw and quotes I never knew.

Well, yesterday was a Red Letter Day! ... I convinced Gal-Pal, Kris, to join (with me) Planet Fitness and we start working out together at 3:00 pm.

Looking forward to some excellent football later today.
Hope all-of-you in the cold climes warm up soon.


Lemonade714 said...

Newell done Splynter, just take it ten years at a time.

Odd Saturday with a mix of old and new and little things I did not know and stuff that seemed too easy for a Saturday.

Overall a challenge with the sound of HOJO YOYO CEELO

HeartRx said...

I finished by the skin of my teeth on this one. It didn't help any when I confidently entered "kebab" instead of SHISH at 4D. Then for CEE LO Green, I had put an "s" instead of the C. But then I decided that PENNSYLTUCKY sounded more likely than *TUSKY.

And hand up for grASP before CLASP, Splynter! That whole corner with the LES / HECHE / ASTIN crossings was a bear, especially if you are not familiar with those actors / characters. I finally remembered that the Chinese word for tea is CHA, which gave me clasp, which rhymes with ASP and wagged the LES that (sorta) rhymes with HECHE. Phew!

I have to go take a nap now.

Dan said...

Not fun today. Way too many obscure clues and proper names for me.

Northwest Runner said...

I'm willing to at least give a pass for clasp as handhold. If you clasp hands, isn't that a handhold?

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

34D: His name should never be used in the same sentence with Johnny Mercer, Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen, and all the other great/true song writers who have contributed to the Great Anerican Song Book. I'd be over the limit if I tried to include them all.

Realty? A song, and I use that term loosely, called "F**k You"? Gimme a break!!

OwenKL said...

Congrats one ten years of one day at a time!
Failure today. Had to turn on red letters after full pass still left over half blank. Only natick that I actually had to get the reveal on was CHA+HECHE, but so many others were WAGs that I wouldn't feel good about claiming any sort of victory.
Is PENNSYLTUCKY where you would find San Stad?
10 and 12 are even, 11 is prime.
George: your Mixed Company puzzle needed a lot of red letters, but Baby It's Cold wasn't too bad. Challenging enough to be interesting. Enjoyed them both, even if I could only claim full victory on one of them.

Yellowrocks said...

I finally and slowly eked about 75% of this with many lucky wags. STELA stymied me. I always see it with an E ending. The NE corner did me in. Had MAX, but had to look up PLANCK. Duh!Looked up OLSEN. Never heard of CEE LO.
Today I walked half a mile in the gym in 11 minutes with no shortness of breath. Only my knees held me back. I exercised for more than half an hour nonstop. What heart problem?
Saturday chores are calling loudly.

Rainman said...

What a workout today! I made it through this one just like a TROG, or more accurately, a troglodyte.

I got everything except the SE (mostly by guessing) where my least fave clue was for ONION, Ring material. Seriously? Not even a question mark?

When I turned on the red letters, I noticed my Weisenhammers was wrong. Lots of unknowns and only a few what i'd call misdirections.

I think my first 15 entries turned out to be wrong. I enjoyed the mental workout, however, but I just feel defeated. Maybe this will make me a bit more aggressive on the tennis court this morning.

Last night late I posted a Youtube vid link (yesterday's Corner) that I called "Hitler Rants on Bakersfield" in response to a question about Bakersfield and its country music, and I apologize if it offended anyone. No complaints yet but I should have suggested that if you're interested, just go to Youtube and search for
Hitler Rants Bakersfield.
There are at least two versions, I think, long and short, and I'd start with the one that's about three minutes long. It's truly hilarious, IMHO. Great caption editing, perhaps a film class assignment. If you want to see the Original movie clip with the real captions, scroll to find the "Original" Hitler Last Days, or something like that. It's there, too.

Big Easy said...

I did finish this one but it was tough. Way too many proper name clues that were and are still complete unknowns. All were solved by perps.

Montreal Protocol-?
"Men In Trees"-?
Samwise Gamgee-_?
Oliver Award-?
This I Promise You"-?
Gaspard de la ___-?

NEVER heard of any of them. OR any of the following fills.
THEMSELVES was a WAG and even though I guessed WISENHEIMERS, I had to look up its spelling.

My write overs were FRANKS over WIENER, A RIP for A POP, and YOKE for VISE.

But I really enjoy tough but solvable puzzles. I just walk away after 15 minutes and come back later.

Husker Gary said...

I could stare at IAN_OLM/_EL until the OVINES come home from grazing and not get it. Oh, it’s an H not a C. Not you too Splynter!

-A fabulous, learning experience!
-Counciltucky is the name Omahans have for Council Bluffs, IA (home to a lot of LOESS soil) across the muddy MO because they have topless dancing and gambling. Lots of Nebraska license plates in those parking lots!
-OMG, golf needs Tiger chasing the GRAND SLAM
-OPINION poster not for the fainthearted or prudish
-Check out these tree houses on Animal Planet’s Tree House Masters
-I was SEEN at 11:20 yesterday for an 11:30 Doctor’s appt. No, really!
-I’d love to meet some more of you electronic PEN PALS but I have met our lovely leader!
-Get to the point! – “Are you gonna keep CIRCLING or are you going to land that plane?”
-Joan Crawford in TROG? Hey, a girl’s gotta eat.
-Congrats Splynter, my dad made 40 years!

Montana said...

This puzzle was too tough for me, but enjoyed Splynter's explanations and comments.
Congrats on the 10 years!

Qli, may your football team prevail today. I am cheering for them too.


desper-otto said...

Rainman, I've only been through Bakersfield once, back in the late 70's. Even so,.that rant was hilarious. Didn't know what FML meant -- Googled it.

Only two more hours of this crappy weather....before it turns worse. I stand by my rule: When the temperature falls below my age, it's too darned cold!

Yellowrocks said...

When the temp rises more than 5 degrees above my age, I'm too darn warm.
I love the normal winters around here. (Low in the 20s, high in the 30s. But days and days in the single digits and teens, nor so much.

Lucina said...

Warm greetings, word wizards! I loved your take on this puzzle, Splynter.

However, CLASP was my first fill and I Sashayed through that NW corner and on down the road but PENNSYL---- stopped me cold. Thanks for the CSOs Desper-otto and Avg Joe.

From there I jumped, skipped and hopped around. Knew WISENHEIMER but took a long while to recall the spelling.

Back in the day, LONG AGO is something I find myself repeating quite often these days.

Finally, had to research some names that were too obscure for me, MAX PLANCK (I know we've seen him here but memory won't retain it), IAN HOLM, HEL and took a wild guess at GRAND SLAM. Wow.

Loved ONION as ring material.

Finished, pleased but bruised as I didn't finish the -TUCKY part. I had CATACLYSM but not the U.

LOL at your San Stad comment.

CSO to BillG with NEWTONIAN telescope.

When the temp is my age, it's perfect.

Have a great Saturday, everyone!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was a long, drawn out exercise but I did finish w/o help, albeit in twice my normal Saturday time. I polished off the southern section pretty easily, but the north, particularly the northwest, was brutal. CSO to our sashaying Lucina and to Chickie with hola!

Thanks, Alan D, for a real workout and thanks, Splynter, for making it all so clear. Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary.

Going to a birthday party later this afternoon. I dread going out in the cold and wind. Just have to bundle up and grin and bear it, I guess.

Have a great day and stay warm.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Couldn't figure out the theme today, so I'm a bit relieved to discover there wasn't one.

Took a long time and plenty of perps to get PENNSYLTUCKY, but most everyuthing else was pretty straightforward for me today. The hardest section was the SE until I finally remembered HEL and guessed REBA LIVE. I didn't know IAN HOLM played that particular role, but I know the actor and was able to guess after a perp or two.

Lots of wonderful tricky clues, but they didn't fool me. "Nice book" in particular was one I was proud to get, but "Heart part" for COCKLE was also amusing.

NUIT was all perps, but at least I recognized it as a valid French word.

Are there still any Howard Johnson's anywhere?

Anonymous said...

PENNSYLTUCKY is not kin to Splynter's HAMILTUCKY or to KENTUCKIANA, which refers to those parts of Kentucky and Indiana surrounding Louisville, on both sides of the Ohio River, as no part of Pennsylvania joins any part of Kentucky. Rather, it is an insult to rural Pennsylvania – i.e., to any part of Pennsylvania not within the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh metropolitan areas. See the Urban Dictionary.

tiptoethru said...

Off to do the Saturday chores; somehow the animals have to have food and the humans do as well. But before that, it was fun to come here and read the explanations. Thank you all! This was a challenge and a half, but fun. I have never heard of Pennslytucky. My heart's cockles are warmed because the wind isn't blowing and the temps are out of the minuses. Take care, all and thanks again.

Jayce said...

I am thoroughly, completely, totally beaten by this puzzle. Perhaps a wavelength deficiency, but I simply couldn't get going on it. Had to cheat my ass off and still couldn't fill it all in without turning on red letters and then typing in letters alphabetically until the red turned to black. Even then it often took me 10-15 seconds after looking at the entry to go from "Huh?" to "Oh." And a not particularly enthusiastic "Oh" either.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Too many tough ones for me to finish. I THOUGHT I had completed it, but neglected to fill in the SE corner. Doesn't matter, as I wouldn't have got it right anyway.
Still I enjoyed where the pzl prompted me to leap to successful answers. I got MAX PLANCK, for instance, on just the "X" and "C." The same leap occurred with ACT AS ONE.
Always fun when you're a spectator of your own brain!

coneyro said...

I DO remember the show, "Men in Trees". It was very enjoyable. Ms. Heche played a relationship expert who moves to Alaska. She meets some wild and memorable characters. In fact, her co-star and show love interest, James Tupper, became her husband for real in 1997. They are still married. As far as the puzzle....a BIG DNF...Better luck on Monday.

coneyro said... was wrong too. Should be 2007....Where was my head today?

Qli said...

A DNF for me today, but very entertaining once I got here. Husker's opinion poster tickled the COCKLES of my funny bone!

I've always heard of SUN HELMETS called "pith helmets", but no idea why.

Favorite clue was for the bottled-up GENIE!

Hand up for kebab at first.

and may I just say,


coneyro said...

Accidentally removed my clarification error. Heche and Tupper are together, but actually never married....

Chairman Moe said...

"puzzling thoughts"

Even cheating (aka, googling the answer) didn't help today! Man, how my crossword solving skills have declined in 2015! Either that, or maybe I wasn't as good a solver as I imagined!

The few solves that I DID manage to get without cheats included:

CIRCLE (great cluing on that); PEN PALS (another clever clue) and MEETS. Obviously, once I resorted to Google, a few solves and perps helped me fill in the grid. I hate to leave blank spaces on the newspaper . . .

Maybe I need to work on a few limericks

Or maybe not

It's been a busy "season" so far, and that's a good thing

My DSO is celebrating a "special" birthday on Monday; we are celebrating by having dinners out (last night was the first) yesterday, tonight, Monday and Tuesday. She is the LOML.

Chairman Moe said...

A "leftover" limerick from the holidays . . .

An optometrist hired an elf,
And allowed it to sit on his shelf;
A "mini-me", I swear,
With eyeglasses to wear,
He made a spectacle of himself!

GrannyAnny said...

Well, this one broke my personally unprecedented 10-day winning streak of "TA-DA's" (with no red letters or lookups)solving LAT puzzles. I have NEVER accomplished that before and probably never will again!

Sure was fun while it lasted...

...and this one wasn't even close! Finally started looking things up and then resorted to red letters.

I agree with Anonymous at 11:41 that town or place names combined with "TUCKY" are putdowns -- at least that was the intention when used in Ohio where I grew up.

Have you ever noticed that the "world's worst drivers" are always from the state bordering the one you are currently living in?

Avg Joe said...

We talked about Eggs Benedict earlier this week. This morning we were watching a food channel show and they had a tasty sounding version. It had the usual items of an English muffin poached egg and Hollandaise, but it then had shaved ham, smoked salmon and it was topped with caviar. Looked and sounded delicious.

Bill G. said...

For those few of you who weren't up late last night and didn't read the late posts, here are two really good videos I found. The first is about the amazing Bird of Paradise.

Normally, I'm not a big fan of dance videos from the modern era. I tend to prefer Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth. But, I came across this really enjoyable dance routine to a Bob Marley song. A great dance video.
I hope you enjoy them both.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I see the PENNSYLTUCKY portmanteau as more of an insukt to Kentucky than those rural areas outside of Shitsburgh and Filthydelphia. Either way such an insult shouldn't be included in a puzzle. IMHO. Entire puzzles have been rejected for less, right rattlesnake?

Rainman said...


Glad you enjoyed the Hitler Rants at Bakersfield. Thanks for checking it out. I urge everyone to do so, it's a phenomenal laugh, even if you're not familiar with Moo's Creamery and the Green Frog Supermarket. :O) Just goto and type in Hitler Rants in Bakersfield.

Yes, that's definitely a good rule: It's too cold when it gets below 72 (my age). But it's been in the low to mid 60s for a week now. Calling for rain tonight:
"a 40% chance of sprinkles." Hahahahahah.

This is Bakersfield, the driest of the dry. If we get any rain at all, it'll be a new record. Often.

Avg Joe said...

I've got to agree with Anon @ 4:21. I'm familiar with the version Gary mentioned, and in all cases, while the other city, state or region is being dissed, it's certainly not a compliment to the Bluegrass State. The fact that "non pc" appeared in the same puzzle is ironic, but it's poor cover for the slight. I'd call foul.

Ergo said...

Thank you Alan and Splynter.

Been working on this one off and on throughout the day. Albeit a DNF, it was a rewarding DNF for a Saturday. A few personal victories ease the disappointment of an incomplete grid.

Avg Joe said...

I'm watching the Ravens / Patriots game. A couple of minutes ago there was a penalty. The crawl at the bottom of the screen noted two details: 36 - Miles. Obviously these were player number and name, but my first thought was "that's a stiff penalty. I've never seen one over 15 yards."

TTP said...

Good evening all !

The clock on my puzzle says 9 hrs, 29 minutes, and 17 seconds.

Sure glad I got it done before I went over that half hour mark.

Really glad all of that clock time wasn't spent on the puzzle. Still, it was too tough. My overall impression was much AKIN to Jayce's.

Corrected so many first pass errors. KABOB, ELAN (in the wrong place), WISE CRACKERS, DOLTS, and ALBATROSS.

No one else had WISE CRACKERS for smart alecks ?

Was not going to give up on albatross. That euro, what's his name, had one a year or so ago.

Loved "Take A RIP at: try to wallop." I've tried to wallop a driver off the deck more than a few times. Usually in scrambles when there is little risk and great reward. Still, never came very close to an albatross.

The SW and SE were my downfalls. Couldn't think of DOGMAS. and at 46D harass, I had the ---GUE and couldn't get harangue out of my mind. Of all things in the SE, it was the NI in GENIE. GENIE, duh ! ONION Duh ! Never would have got LIVRE based on the clue anyway.

TTP said...

Actually, now that I think about it, never would have got LIVRE based on any clue. It could have been "Lyon book", "Paris book", or "Book, in French" and I would have had no clue.