Jan 24, 2015

Saturday, Jan 24th, 2015, Julian Lim

Theme: None

Words: 64 (missing J,Q,Z)

Blocks: 37

  I would have to say I did a 43a. on this puzzle - but I did actually finish, with just one cheat, and one bad cell.  I consider it a victory.  A rare grid structure, with a high block count and a pair of central staircases of 4,5,6,7,7,8-letter words, but the ambiguous and nebulous cluing made this one a real grind.  Always the case with Mr. Lim on Saturday.  Two climbers of 12 letters and two spanners of 13;

6d. One of an elite eatery trio : MICHELIN STAR - I did not get this until I read that there's only "three" stars given out; technically, you can actually get zero, but that's not very elite....

18d. Subject of a 1996 holiday craze : TICKLE ME ELMO - DAH~!!! the --MEEL--- in the middle just messed me up; I went to Google and typed in "1996 holiday craze" and he came up; I was taking shots at him upstate

22a. Run using water, as a plant : HYDRO-ELECTRIC - ah, that kind of plant; at first I was thinking of the "roots and leaves" kind, and yes, those do run, using water, but....

35a. Greeting words : NICE TO MEET YOU



1. Meg, to Jo : SIB - no clue to start, but I surmised it would be "SIS" or something - a Little Women reference

4. Lighter : LAMP - ummm, meh

8. Fashion first name : COCO - Chanel; I was born one month after her death

12. Cathedral feature : CRUCIFIX - ummm, yeah, but I can find that in a local church, too - I was thinking more like PIPE ORGAN, which didn't fit

14. "Frère Jacques," e.g. : CANON - a musical canon, referring to the "in a round" style of singing;   hey - two birds with one stone~!

Frère Jaques on Pipe Organ

15. Heartfelt class? : AEROBICS

16. Dismiss, in a way : WAVE AT - meh.  I would wave OFF to dismiss

17. Adopted : RAN WITH

18. Daughter of Oceanus : TELESTO - there's more about the Saturnian moon on the internet than the mythology

19. Monopoly acquisition : DEED

20. Installments : EPISODES

24. Unsettled items : I.O.U.s

25. Gets absorbed : SINKS IN

26. Lightweight boxer? : PUP - Har-har~! Boxer, the dog breed

27. Redcap's workplace: Abbr. : STN

28. "__ Down In Darkness": Styron novel : LIE - Perps, all perps

29. Little projectiles : BBs - we shot Elmo with a .22

32. Hardly keeps cool : SEES RED - I was seeing the red of his fur....or is that Stoat?

34. Rock __ : SALT

37. Like some pasta : HOME-MADE

38. Full of vitality : GO GO

39. Filing aid : DIVIDER

40. Call before a head-to-head contest : EN GARDE

43. Reacted to a sock : REELED - yep, this puzzle punched me in the gut

44. Fruit sometimes fried : PLANTAIN - I had the "P", but still struggled to think of a fruit - then the V-8 can flew

45. City on the Rhone : ARLES - I threw in ESSEN, which was only 20% correct

46. Like some fancy stationery : EMBOSSED

47. Forest coat : MOSS

48. "Walkabout" director Nicolas : ROEG - just an 'ugly' clue/fill; more here

49. Many boomers: Abbr. : SRs - Baby-boomers, who are well on into Senior Citizen status now


1. Plastic surgeon's concern : SCAR - scaB?  The crossing didn't help

2. "Roger that" : "I READ YOU" - always reminds me of this scene - "Do you like movies with gladiators?"

3. Reduced to ashes : BURNED UP

4. Drive in the bedroom? : LIBIDO - cute

5. Words with throw or have : A FIT - ugh; throw yes, have, meh. Just MHO

7. Spots for private shoppers?: Abbr. : PXs - Private, Army style

8. Gave : CAVED IN

9. "Almost ready!" : "ONE SEC~!"

10. Covers : COATS - like paint

11. More than not sure about : ONTO - implying some sort of shadiness

13. Quails : COWERS - ah, the verb, not the bird

14. Nutritionist's unit : CALORIE

16. Lincoln Center locale : WEST SIDE - I had ----S-D-, and it kinda came to me; had to guess EAST or WEST

21. Sword's superior? : PEN - "The PEN is mightier than the SWORD~!"

22. Not square : HIP - your social quality

23. Venerable : ESTEEMED

27. Forms a new state : SECEDES - had it, spelled it with two "C"s, took it out, put it back in

29. Aquatic plant that reduces erosion : BAY GRASS - Total WAG from "B------SS"; in fact, it was not until the write-up that I actually noticed it did not change

30. More rare, in a way : BLOODIER - ah, like your steak

31. __ Redman, Gary Sinise's role in Stephen King's "The Stand" : STU - I thought it was SYD, but then "nice to meet you" had to be correct

32. Like expressions? : SIMILES - an expression using the word "like"; 'her eyes are like pools of water'

33. Fuel __: reactor component : ROD - nuclear reactors

34. Rabbit predators : STOATS - new clue for the old "ermine/mink kin" answer.  I found this video of a stoat hypnotizing a rabbit

35. They have plots : NOVELS - yes, they do

36. Traditional beverage : EGG NOG

37. Prefix meaning "sacred" : HIERO - so, Hieroglyphs are sacred carvings, eh?

39. Scotch serving : DRAM - thank God it was not three letters~!

41. Local theater, informally : NABE - short for "neighborhood" (ney-bər-hoo d)

42. Purposes : ENDS

44. __ se : PER - Latin, "in itself"



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

This one was beyond me. Can't even blame the flu for it, since I am officially over that bug (just in time to deal with the ice and snow currently besieging us).

After my first pass I only had a scant few words, and finally turned on the red letter help to discover most of them were wrong in some way. SIS instead of SIB, PUG instead of PUP, I HEAR YOU instead of I READ YOU and USES instead of ENDS. At that point, I just kept the red letter help on and slogged my way through the rest. Totally didn't help with TELESTO, GOGO, BAYGRASS or any of the other bizarrely obscure stuff thrown in my face today.

Anybody have a link to that clip of Bambi's rabbit friend saying what his father always told him?

Argyle said...

Hey, Tinbeni, I was thinking of you. For 39D. Scotch serving : I immediately put in NEAT.

I wouldn't give up on 9D being IN A SEC instead of ONE SEC in the NE. A couple of the clues in that corner didn't help at all.

Madame Defarge said...

Hi all, I know it's Saturday, but still....

Funny on the first run across, I thought this isn't so bad. SIB, COCO, DEED, PUP and EMBOSSED--even HYDROELECTRIC. Then the hubris kicked in. ONTO seems like really knowing something. WAVE AT, eh, I like WAVE OFF better, also. Funny about the DIVIDERS: I thought of that immediately and second guessed myself--doesn't everyone file in folders on the computer these days? Couple of left over holiday items threw me: ELMO and EGGNOG.

I survived. Thanks Splynter for the write up.

RIP #14. Thanks for all the sunshine.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Whew! Wite-Out got a workout this morning. In the end I prevailed, but it was a real slog. There were three spots where I'd entered the wrong fill, but felt certain I was correct. ON THREE slowly, slowly morphed into EN GARDE. LOSES IT finally gave way to SEES RED.

And up top, it's a ROUND. Oops, it's French, so maybe it's RONDE. Hey, isn't there something in music called a RONDO? Shoot! It's a dang CANON. First time in a long time that I've had to Wite-Out my Wite-Out.

Boomers are now SRS, and I'm too old to be a boomer. How sad is that?

Avg Joe said...

This was a slog the entire way. Managed to take enough flyers to keep going and it came down to the last N in canon, the O in Telesto and the E in Roeg. Made proper guesses at all, but they were so iffy that I no longer cared.

A Saturday worthy puzzle, without a doubt. But too arcane in places to enjoy it.

John Lampkin said...

I solved 6D with the crossings and wondered who the heck MICHEL INSTAR was. Now I know.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Just barely creaked across the finish line. That Roeg fellow was guesswork, because I surely never heard of Nabe. Thanks for knowing that, Splynter! By the way, I don't blame you for ventilating Elmo.

Ergo said...

Walkabout reminded me of a phone call I received 10 years ago from a music video producer. "Chuck, please tell me that you haven't cut your hair or shaved." Me: "Uhmm, no, I've been letting it grow for a couple of years now." Him: Great! I need you to star (appear would be a more appropriate word) in a music video. And all you have to do is walk!"

Ergo’s Walkabout

Avg Joe said...

That's pretty cool Ergo. Not everyone can say they starred in a music video.

I've never been to that part of Sioux County. Very pretty. That alone would make the effort worthwhile.....but I imagine the royalties are what have really paid off. :-)

TTP said...

Good morning all !

Where did I go wrong ? Let's see. SIB was SIS. "More than not sure about" was ASEA. Installments were payments. "Like expressions" were smileys. "They have plots" were movies. Traditional beverage was coffee. Rock STAR. Rabbit predators were coyote. Purposes was uses, "Fruit sometimes fried" was tomatoes.

So I went to red letter and pretty much started over.

Didn't like Full of vitality = GO GO, but really liked Traditional beverage = EGGNOG. "Spots for private shoppers" was another favorite, but the best was PEN for sword superior. A lot of other clues seemed stretched and forced.

Full day today. See all y'all later n'at !

Montana said...

A DNF puzzle today, but I solved most of it, so it was fun to do.

Enjoyed the music, Ergo. The video is very well done.

My avatar is now an aerial picture of my hometown taken last week.


Yellowrocks said...

Average Saturday, except for the NE. Tickle Me Elmo was my Rosetta stone.
Like Argyle I clung to IN A SEC. which made me doubt WAVE AT. I never heard of TALESTO. I missed the 2 O's in COCO (for shame) and ONTO. Major nit, I didn't like "more than not sure about." If you are ONTO something or someone you are very sure that there is something wrong. I thought of ONTO and said to myself, "Impossible."
But I did like GO GO. I find it common. A GO GO person is very active, a doer.

Husker Gary said...

Even with getting NABE in the nabE/roEg natick area, the NE still said, “We’ve got some lovely parting gifts for you”. Wow, I erased that corner down to its last paper molecule. 4 bad cells.

-Covers wasn’t TARPS, HIDES or BEATS (the point spread) and WARY didn’t work for more than not sure
-Daughters of Oceanus - there’s a bunch of ‘em!
-Oops 3 more bads - STN not STA, SINKS not SOAKS
-In one Downton EPISODE, Lady Edith’s lover beat a card “sharp” and tore up the IOU’s he had collected
-At Offut Air Base in Omaha, it’s called the BX - Base Xchange
-The PEN is mightier than the sword
-William Tecumseh Sherman well remembered that after SECEDEING, S.C. was where the first shots of the civil war were fired and took the Union’s revenge
-I thought Interstellar was a series of special effects looking for a PLOT
-What we SRS think of with GO-GO

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I finished (after a fashion) w/o help but with little satisfaction. I didn't care for some of the clues and agree with TTP that some seemed stretched and forced.

Whenever I see Mr Lim's byline, I go uh-oh and today was no exception. Thanks, Splynter, for the neat expo.

Ergo, congrats! You are a fine "walker." I liked the music.

It's snowing right now but we're only getting an inch or two. You New Englanders take care and stay safe!

Have a great day.

Avg Joe said...

95 daughters! Good grief! Can you imagine trying to come up with names for 95 children?

Hopefully the last one was named Vasectomus.

HeartRx said...

Well, the snow seems to have petered out around here, and it wasn't as bad as predicted. No problems with that!

Thanks for the write-up and links, Splynter! I really enjoyed this puzzle - a suitable Saturday struggle to get 'er done. The NE corner was last to fill. I had WAVE** and wanted either “by” or “on.” But AT?? How is that a dismissal and not a greeting?

Then for “Hardly stays cool” I wanted SEEthEs. But the Lincoln center is definitely on the WEST SIDE of Manhattan, which gave me SEEthED. No, no, no!! Wrong tense for the clue!?!?! I finally changed STa to STN, saw the MICHELIN STAR and straightened that mess out. Phew!

Favorite clue was “Heartfelt class” for AEROBICS. Go figure!

Prairie Woman said...

I tried this puzzle just after midnight. I almost gave up when I tried the NE. But, all in all, this one was better than the last Julian Lim. The same difficulties as everyone else.

HG: Air Force Bases have a BX. Army bases (posts) have a PX.

Thanks for your explanations, Splynter, and a puzzle to challenge us, Mr Lin.

Anonymous said...

I am 76 and really like to TRY the puzzles, but lately they are no longer for me. Just for you" pro's" and I am left with nothing to do.

billocohoes said...

Scenes for the 1961 musical "West Side Story" were filmed a couple of blocks north of where Lincoln Center is today.

Husker Gary said...

I loved the video, Ergo! Heck, I could play a guitar and walk too! ;-) Lots of familiar landscape.

Bay Area Bob said...

Julian Lim's puzzles are always a trial for me. I was able to finish this one after a lot of false starts, and thanks to one last-minute change of ANTI to ONTO in the utterly confusing NE corner. My head hurts.

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling thoughts":

WEES, my list of boners today included: SIS, SOAKS IN, IN A SEC, and SEETHED (instead of SEES RED), all of which contributed to some weird perps and a FIW/DNF.

Still, I was proud of some of the clues I DID manage to solve, and without cheating, I might add. Probably my most favorite clue/solve was 15a (AEROBICS for Heartfelt Class?)

Today's limerick/pun:

There's a Tween who adores certain flicks,
Risky Business is one of those picks.
It is okay with her Mom
To have a poster of Tom
On her wall. It is her CRUCIFIX! (Cruise affix, get it??!!!)

Rainman said...

Started out really slow today, even with a little help from TTP, whose comment mysteriously showed up in response to Friday's Buchman work. That's okay, though, it all came together in a little over 30 minutes, so I'd say that's below par for a Saturday.

First I filled in the NW by guessing at PUP and HIP, then most of the rest fell from perps and wags, and re-wags. Kept making passes, used TTP's help, and voila, the fanfare.

Thanks, Splynter and Julian. Not bad at all !!!

Barry G, glad you're over the flu, more or less. I'm interested in the Bambi clip you asked about, but cannot help you.

Ergo, enjoyed the video. Reminded me of my childhood surrounds in SW OK, like Husker Gary's area.

Argyle said...


Anonymous said...

Hard to enjoy a puzzle like this one. I've been doing them for 30+'years and I've never ever heard " nabe" as a theater reference.
Mr. Lin seems to take pride in clues of the most arcane sort. Not really enjoyable when you see the answer and it still doesn't make much sense.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Got this one!
But only after Googling to find more cathedral features than I ever thought to acquaint myself with. That NW corner was a doozy, wasn't it? - and it gave in only after I stopped thinking of architectural parts. CHANCELS was my provisional answer, even though it required a plural form to fit the boxes. It enabled two of the perps, one of which turned out to be correct (SCAR instead of SNIP) and one other that fit (I HEAR YOU instead of I READ YOU).

Ol' Man Keith said...

I agree with those who prefer WAVE OFF to WAVE AT. I think there is an etymological mix-up behind the connection of "wave" with the act of dismissing. It sounds like "waive," which can be used alone to mean 'dismiss" or "substitute something for."

Misty said...

I can't believe I almost got this one--a Saturday Julian Lim puzzle! I got SIB and SCAR immediately and that let me fill in the NW corner. After that the West filled in, and then the South and Middle--only the NE corner just eluded me. I tried and tried and finally looked up Oceanus only to discover that he had 3000 daughters! What! Finally found a site that listed only a couple dozen and found TELESTO, but even that didn't help because I read the clue for 11 down wrong. I thought "More than not sure about" meant something like "knowing nothing about" rather than "knowing." Aaarggghh. But this still turned out to be one of the best Saturday mornings I've had in weeks--so, many thanks, Julian.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Barry G. said...

That would be the Bambi clip I was thinking of. Thanks, Argyle!

Anonymous T said...

Hi all!

Wow! It only took me the better part of two hours, but I almost got a Sat Lim! The NW was my fail. I had SIB and wanted SCAR / Skin / Scab?, but wouldn't commit for a long time. 2d was I hEAr YOU thus 19a was rEnt (I didn't know how to spell 4d, my fav c/a pair).

Another fav: PXS. I thought of BX at first, but the P turned on the LAMP.

Other than that, the E in 41d was my only bad cell. Not that there weren't many write-overs (HYDRO powered__), hides before COCO COATS me in fashion. That helped change 11d from asea (clueless) to ON TO. I guess both make sense.

Thanks Splynter for fixing the NW and your writeup. STOATS are now something I'll forget by Monday :-)

Did anyone else read 39a and PEN funnels? One L short I guess.

Ergo - cool.

Today it's finally back in the 60s! I'm going to prep the garden for spring tomatoes for my HOME MADE pasta.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

Here's a nice video of a concert by Pearl Jam in Wrigley Field. Frontman Eddie Vedder from Evanston is a big Ernie Banks fan.

Make sure to watch Mr. Cub at 6:15

Anonymous T said...

Nothing to do with today's puzzle, PER SE...

Bill G. - You turned me on to Ricky Jay and I caught the latest on PBS's American Masters. I thought you'd enjoy. Cheers, -T

CrossEyedDave said...

I attempted this puzzle early this am online as I had no dead tree version due to the snow, red letters on, it was really pretty. The screen lit up like a pinball machine...

My 1st thought was, I must ask Yellowrocks to explain all this because the cluing was really obscure.
(P.S.) Tx Yellowrocks for the GoGo explanation.

Ergo@8:39 Very impressive video, I watched in HD/FullScreen & it really made me appreciate Hearth & home...

Fruit Fried? Aren't tomatoes a veggie???

GoGo take 2, thanks HG that was a good clip. It was just 2 days ago (before I wiped my browser history) that I found a side link to one of yr links that had the best GoGo dancers ever. (wish I had saved it) I will probably spend another 10 years searching the internet for it as it was a unknown song... Here's another view in the meantime...

HG (& Misty) Holy Cow! that Oceanus guy should stop trying for a son!

Your post really touched a nerve.
You have to "try" to do the puzzles, so you can come here & bitch about them like I do... (It's half the fun...)

P.S. Pro's? (I'm not getting paid... anyone else here getting paid?)

luxor said...

This puzzle gave me fits, and I needed a lot of red-letter help to get it done. I agree with the anonymous poster who referenced 'nabe'. I've never heard that used.

I was catching up on the blog yesterday, and I noticed something that made me wonder. Chairman Moe talked about a "woman's slit", and nothing was said. Three or more of the regulars a while back engaged in some double entendre talk and were ripped and basically told by the blog mother to go away. It certainly seems like a double standard now, doesn't it? I'm guessing there's more to it than we know.

Anonymous T said...


Tomatoes fried - yum; best ever was in Asheville, NC. Pickles almost fit too! Where to draw the line on fruits / veggies & planets / dwarfs (looking at you Pluto!)?

I'm a Pro, but not for x-words. I get paid by by my corp but not for this. They'd probably wouldn't be pleased if they caught ONTO how I waste my time here :-)

Did anyone else giggle with LiBIDO and ROD in the same puzzle? I thought it was NOVEL(S).

Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

Come on! CANON? GO-GO? STN (not DEP, not STA)? TELESTO? WAVE AT? Mr. Lim needs disqualified.

Madame Defarge said...

Indeed Cross EyedDave to Anon at 11:26. I am new to the live participants here. You cannot feel intimidated by all the brilliant people here. I have recently signed on to participate. It's a very welcoming group. Everyone here has something to offer. I am loving how much I am learning. Don't leave!!!!!!

Spitzboov said...

Good evening all.

WEES. Real stinker today.

HYDROELECTRIC. Cluing seems like a mismatch. The fill is an adjective. I don't know what the clue is.

I counted 12 cheater squares. Any significance?

Big Easy said...

I started this one at 6 am today, had to leave after 20 minutes to go watch a grandchild in a tennis tournament that started 40 miles away at 8 am.

First pass-ZERO done. Guessed PXS, ARLES, and SRS. Then things started to fall into place. Wrote SIB instead of SIS, guessed DEED and HIP and mistakenly put PUG for PUP. Wanted IN A SEC instead of ONE SEC, YVES for COCO and pulled HYDROELECTRIC out of the blue. After getting back home at 4pm, I almost finished but got stumped at two crosses.

NABE and ROEG- no way I would have ever gotten those two and I kept wanting to put IONS for IOUS but BURNED-NP made no sense, thinking maybe BURNING but HYDRO would fit.

I gave up. DNF. Uncle. You win Mr. Lim.

Big Easy said...

Also, never heard of TELESTO or BAY GRASS. 100% perps.

Bill G. said...

AnonT, thanks. I have started watching the Ricky Jay video. I thought I could find the show on one of our PBS stations but no luck. He is SO good!

Ergo said...

luxor at 5:17 p.m. I looked back at yesterdays post by Chairman Moe and I would agree that it was in poor taste. Granted it was tagged with a disclaimer, but shouldn't the recognition that it could be offensive to a few be sufficient reason to defer sharing with all?


Chuck Stepanek

Ergo said...

Thanks for the comments about the music video. We covered about 1,200 miles of Nebraska territory to get the shots. Astute viewers will have noticed the electrical wire used to lace my that were 4 sizes too big in order to enhance my shuffling 'drifter' gait.

The tumbleweed shot was a creative accident. An empty potato chip bag fell out of the van, flew by the Producer and on down the road. The Producer bellowed: "Who did that!?" The cameraman confessed and the Producer hollered: "Well do it again! Only use those--pointing to tumbleweeds caught in the fence line. We then engaged in tumbleweed bowling until the shot was just right.

Also cool; the church that let us use their message board told us to leave our passage on the sign. They would merely modify their Sunday sermon to match our posting. Good times.

luxor said...

Ergo, you make an excellent point. However, it still represents a double standard and hypocrisy, which I find disappointing on this blog.

Bill G. said...

Luxor, for a relative newcomer, you seem surprisingly quick to criticize.

Argyle said...

Luxor goes way back. He liked trouble back then, too.

Irish Miss said...

Personally, I question anyone who doesn't put the slightest personal information in her/his profile. Anonymity covers a multitude of sins. Just my personal opinion.

Anonymous T said...

IM - I resemble lack of PII in my profile!* :-)

Lux - I think sometime when we "know" someone's tenor we cut a little slack if a Blue is a bit blue. Also, we are self-policing - OKL cut back on the limericks after a few ribbings from others; his muse is still welcome here.

Speaking of tenor - I'm guessing Ergo Chuck @943 isn't the Ergo we "know". If I'm wrong, I O Us.

Cheers, -T
*I do have a profession to maintain, a mortgage on a DEED and kids to feed.

luxor said...

Anonymous T, I've been off and on this blog for a very
long time (Bill G, get your facts straight). Are you saying that the blog didn't know the "tenor" of the long-time blog residents in question, or that it was somehow determined that the "tenor" of the remarks was more offensive than a woman's "slit"? (And by the way, I enjoy Chairman Moe's posts very much).

I enjoyed the repartee of the four "dearly departed" members even though I had several "disagreements" with one of them. I said it before, there's either a double standard or hypocrisy at play here.