Jan 3, 2015

Saturday, Jan 3rd, 2015, Brad Wilber

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,K,V,Z)

Blocks: 30

 Welcome to another year of Saturday setbacks~!  I was so pleased to be able to fill in the first four across answers, sensing I might be on Brad's wavelength, only to crash and burn at the longer fills and caving in to red-letter help in the bottom half. [sigh] Oh well....Still, a great challenge, a little heavy on the proper nouns(*), and some clever misdirection, but all in all, a fun puzzle.  6x8 triple-word corners, two 11-letter, and one 13-letter spanners;

33. Carolina bisque tinted orange by roe : SHE-CRAB SOUP - Once the "--SOUP" part appeared, it was only a matter of time before I remembered this - the Wiki

36. Popular news group : MEDIA DARLINGS

39. It can be used to make gin : DISCARD PILE - Clever; alternative version of "gin", this time the card game; the clecho at 32a. "It can be used to make gin : SLOE" refers to the fruit used in drinks such as "Sloe Gin Fizz"



1.* Its construction created Lake Nasser : ASWAN DAM - nailed it; always good to start off with the correct fill at 1a.~!

9. Certify : ATTEST - and again....

15.* "Wuthering Heights" backdrop : THE MOORS - and then "fail" - went with "CIVIL WAR", since I have no clue when, where or what this book is about

16. Want : DEARTH - "fail" - went with DESIRE - but was 28.5% correct

17. Word not usable with an indefinite article, such as "magic" or "dust" : MASS NOUN - I had the two "N"s, and that led to --NOUN, and from there it was an educated WAG; you don't vacuum up "a" dust, or use "a" magic ( but you might have 'a' magic wand - but now it's changed to an adjective.)

18. Made up : UNTRUE - ah, not UNITED - this is the pretend, 'fake' made up, not the end-of-a-tiff made up

19. Heave-hos : OUSTERS - meh

20. Word with level or devil : SEA - I started with "SUB", which half worked

21. Bizarre : ODD

22. Snicker follower : SNEE - snickersnee - a large knife; unrelated to the next clue

23. [snicker] : HEH - which is a mini-laugh

25.* Skyler's sister on "Breaking Bad" : MARIE - if you say so; all perps

27. CPA's concern : TAX LAW

30. Darn things : SEW - cute

40.* Bobby Darin record label : ATCO

41. "Shame on thee!" : "FIE~!" - whoops, went with "TSK~!"

42. Weightlifting technique : SNATCH - clean and jerk did not fit; I have to admit to a little "snicker" at this answer - such a DF mind....

47. Academic administrators : DEANS

49. Lofty letterhead abbr. : ESQuire

51. Tolerated : BORE

52. LAX posting : ARRival - duped; went with ETA

53. Smidge : TAD

55. Business, informally : BEE'S WAX - As in the phrase "Mind your own ---"

58. Chemical relative : ISOMER - isoTOPE did not fit, and it took waaay too long to remember this word

60. Act out, say : RE-CREATE - I always get a laugh out of shows like "UFO files" that always include a "dramatic re-creation" of the events occurring on 'that night'

61. Deferential bow : SALAAM

62. Ravel, vis-à-vis "Pictures at an Exhibition" : ARRANGER - here's the Wiki; if you play the "promenade", you'll recognize it

63. Like Miss Marple's attire : TWEEDY - uh, OK

64. Speech disruptions : STUTTERS - Dah~!  I had this, changed it to stAMMers


1. No greater than : AT MOST

2.* "Entourage" publicist played by Debi Mazar : SHAUNA - I watched the show - liked it - but it never seemed to get 'dramatic'; this character I don't recall - but when I saw her pic, I remembered her from "Goodfellas" - IMDb

3.* "Far From the Madding Crowd" region : WESSEX - this is where the puzzle started to bog down on me with the proper nouns, and that sucks the life out of it when you don't have a clue

4.* Brewery bought out by Heineken : AMSTEL - a WAG from the "A"

5. Zilch : NONE - not NADA

6. Access point : DOOR

7. Frantic, perhaps, with "in" : A RUSH - "in a rush"

8. ISP with a butterfly logo : MSN

9. In tandem, musically : A DUE

10. Brunch hr. : TEN A.M.

11. Pic on a pec : TATtoo

12. Computer self-diagnostics list : ERROR LOG

13. Bookish : STUDIOUS

14.* Benchley novel : THE DEEP

20.* Shepherd of "The View" : SHERRI - mostly perps

24. Joint risks? : ESCAPES - ah - the "joint" here being jail; I had knees in mind first, then I thought this was a reference to eloping - that kind of joint 'escape'

26. LPGA part: Abbr. : ASSN - Ladies Professional Golfing Association

28. One side of the Bering Strait : ASIA - I threw in USSR, but that's kinda dated now

29. Berth place : WHARF

31. Squash court features : WALLS

34. Whirled : EDDIED

35. __-aimé: beloved, in French : BIEN - can't get away from the Frawnche

36. Tool for making precise crosscuts : MITER SAW - yeah, true, but I tend to associate a 'miter' with 'angle' cuts; my Sliding Compound Miter Saw

37. Salad green : ESCAROLE - whoops - I put in CURTSY for deferential bow, and forgot to change it, so the "R" was blocking my "L" ( and be careful when spelling curTSy )

38. No View, No Touch Trap maker : D-CON - becoming a crossword staple

39.* Max Ernst, for one : DADAIST

43. Without : ABSENT

44. Tugboat's fee : TOWAGE

45. Evidence of major impact? : CRATER

46. Bewitching types : HEXERS - ah, just the spell-casters, not the "hot girl" kind

48. Farm addition? : STEAD - Dah~! Went with STAND (60% correct) - more popular, and aggravating, down here on L.I. - I'll be upstate in Spitboov country today

50. Pyramid hopper in a 1980s arcade game : Q*BERT

54. Multitude : ARMY

56. Almond relative : ECRU - ah, the color, and usually associated with my favorite gratuitous image
57. Sum, in a different form : ERAT - remember your Latin; Sum, Esse (which I went with first), Fui, Futurus - "state of being" - I am so pleased I recalled that this is known as "declension"

59.* Novelist Rita __ Brown : MAE

60. Univ. peer leaders : RAs - Resident Assistants



OwenKL said...

This one defeated me soundly. One annoying natick in the NW at SHA_NA+O_STERS, the W & center were mostly empty the first time, but filled with WAGs the second time I attacked the puzzle, and 60 & 62a were blank where they crossed 44, 56, 57, & 60d, making the SE a barren wasteland. The frustrating thing is that, except for SHAUNA, they were all words I knew once I gave up and asked the software for some hints.
I'm ashamed I was so lazy to ask for hints before googling, but except for SHAUNA, googling wouldn't have given me the answers to anything anyway, because I was looking for the wrong things in every case, like a nut instead of a color for ECRU, mathematics instead of philosophy for ERAT, etc. Ones I really didn't know -- MASS NOUN, SHE-CRAB SOUP, TWEEDY, ATCO, ADUE, et al. -- were all filled by perps and WAGs.

Two things can be used to make gin,
You need only know where to begin.
A plum called a SLOE
To ferment can go,
Or with a DISCARD PILE card you can win!

DISCARD PILE I filled thinking of a fermenting compost heap for bathtub gin, and didn't get the double meaning until looking it over after finishing.

OwenKL said...

SNAK before SNEE. You, too?

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

Argyle said...


desper-otto said...

Good morning, and whew!

Splynter, hand up for DESIRE and NADA. But they didn't last.

FWIW, ATCO was also The Coasters' label.

I was zoomin' along singin' a song, but when I got to Georgia, Wham! Stopped dead in my tracks. That area remained under snow cover for quite some time. I tried APPLAUSE; I tried CLAPPING; I tried STAMMERS. I finally tried STUTTERS and things started to work. Didn't help that I WAGged a U below the Q or made those RA's into TA's. But I did manage to prevail...finally. Thanks for the early year IQ test, Brad.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I blew through the NW corner and thought I was in for a speed run today, but it was not to be. I did manage to get through the other corners OK (after fussing a bit with TOWAGE, BEESWAX, BORE, SNATCH and RECREATE down in the SE), but the center section really held me up.

I had SHE CRAB SOUP and HEH, and that was basically it. I didn't know SHERRI, never heard of MEDIA DARLINGS, don't know enough about GIN (the card game) to guess at DISCARD PILE, couldn't get ESCAPES and kept wanting BON for the French clue (I tried BOEN for awhile).

The breakthrough was when I finally guessed SEW for 30A, and that gave me just enough of a toehold to guess at WALLS, SHERRI and ESCAPES. Without SEW, I'd still be staring at a whole mess of blank space...

Nice Cuppa said...

Good Morning, I just wrote far too much for a standard post so will divide into 3.


Just returned from the UK for the Christmas hols, so I am temporarily shifted 8 hours into the future (or is it the past? This was a fair crossword - as Owen pointed out, once you got the answers.

The only points of desperation for the constructor seemed to be ATCO (crossing DCON); and QBERT (???). One can't help feeling that EBERT would have been far preferable, which would have given ESE instead of ESQ. Also, OUSTERS one might guess started life as OYSTERS to partner SHE-CRAB SOUP; and there are several (real-life) SHAYNAs out there, at least one of whom doubtless uses her SNATCH on a regular basis:


Big Easy said...

I filled in the NW in less than a minute without seeing 17A and had to stare at it as I had never heard of a MASS NOUN. The NE took about 2 minutes and I thought this would be the easiest Saturday I ever did until I reached 33A. From there to the end was blank with SNATCH and ISOMER being the only ink on the page.

Even though I have a MITER SAW (mitre?), I only filled SAW as I hastily filled 52A with ET_. This puzzle required WAGS- D-CON, STEAD, FIE, STUTTERS and many perps to fill complete unknowns- SHERRI Shepherd, BIEN, ESCAROLE, MAE, ATCO, MARIE,Q-BERT,ARRANGER.

The guesses on this puzzle were lucky as I had never seen 'The View', 'Breaking Bad' or played whatever game Q-BERT was in.

As a side note, I downloaded my first movie ever last night- 'THE INTERVIEW'- it was hilarious. I only did it to support Sony.

Nice Cuppa said...


• My Latin is still good enough for SUM=>ERAT so I patted myself on the back for that one.
• Good to see Eddy used as verb - reminiscent of AB FAB.
• Berth place is an old misdirect, but it had a nice pseudo-CLECHO in THE MOORS.
• Nice to see ISOMER, which is a molecular variant i.e, same number of several different atoms but different molecular organization. Sometimes it's just a "mirror-image" - getting the right mirror image is critical for life….
...rather than ISOTOPE, which is an atomic variant - different number of neutrons in the nucleus (has same chemistry but may give rise to inherent instability (e.g. Uranium-235 vis-à-vis Uranium-238) or nuclear spin (a handy "label" for spectroscopic techniques). Enough already.

• At 18A, I felt that "Made up" should have been hyphenated" as it is used here attributively as an adjectival phrase.


Nice Cuppa said...


• My Christie is good enough for TWEEDY and my Hardy is good enough for Wessex. The latter is actually a real ancient Brit-Kingdom, whose name was recreated after a 900-year gap as an Earldom for the current Queen's youngest son, Edward. He apparently took a fancy to it after watching "Shakespeare in Love (1988)". He is now engaged in a sex scandal of his own.

• She-crab soup was guessable after a few perps, but I have an inherent aversion to eating critters and their offspring in the same dish.

• I agree about MITER SAW. MIne makes crude cross-cuts, rarely precise, but that may be due the operator's ineptitude rather than the tool.

Right, that's it. I can get on with the rest of my Saturday - still an hour of darkness yet, but sunny sixties forecast so a good day to build a rail for my deck and get it up to code.

JCJ said...

A real head scratcher but eventually powered through. Right, heavy on the proper nouns.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Managed to navigate past most of the pitfalls with reasonable guesses. I studied Latin in High School, but couldn't see the Sum-Erat connection until Splynter's 'splanation. At least I guessed right. I read "tugboat" in that clue but my brain went to "ferry"; thus Totage made sense, though clumsily. That bollixed the area right to the end. Once I saw Beeswax, it all fell into place.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning all. I feel like I have lived every misdirection here. The list for the past three days is long and embarrassing. One after the other, I exclaimed. Duh, I knew that!! Thanks to Mr. Wilber for a challenge and to Splynter for the write up. (I tried miter box first--not so fancy as yours!)

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Sticky in parts but lots of toeholds to build on, so finished w/o help in decent time.

We're expecting some snow later on, changing to rain and 49 degrees tomorrow. But, Old Man Winter is coming back with a vengeance during the week. The Joys of January!

Have a great day.

Irish Miss said...

Sorry, I forgot to thank Brad and Splynter! Well done, guys!

Avg Joe said...

This has been a tough week. I wanted to believe we'd get a break on at least one day. But no! Managed to struggle through this one, but it was challenging after 1a.

My sister is visiting. She enjoys, and is good at solving crosswords, but is not used to the LAT. so it's a bit harder for her. I'm trying to stay out of it, but have given her a few tips as to right or wrong. She can't figure out the bisque at all. So under the auspices of menu planning, I took a can of She Crab Soup out of the cabinet and have it sitting on the table in front of her. I'm curious what she'll call me when that penny drops.

Husker Gary said...

Wow! WEES about MANY proper nouns which made for much to decode.

-MASS NOUN is new on my radar
-Google UNTRUE political statements
-Interesting/disgusting derivation of mind your own BEESWAX
-My favorite Beautiful A DUE music (5:05)
-Jacquline Bisset’s T-shirt was a big hit in the movie version of The Deep
-Is Shawshank Redemption your favorite prison ESCAPE movie too?
-Beringia pre-dated the Bering Sea
-Curtsy protocol. How do they keep track and does anyone keep score?

Anonymous said...

What is WSS? (Argyle)

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Kinda like Brad's puzzles. Started of with a gimme; ASWAN DAM. Also ISOMER and MITER SAW. Got SHE CRAB SOUP using Splynter's technique. Liked DISCARD PILE. Lots of good cluing,; ie. BEESWAX and ESCAPES. Had nada before NONE. QBERT ATCO and MAE came from perps.
Got it all with pen & ink and white out.
TOWAGE can mean 'fee' by itself. (Not a nit)

I'll be looking for you, Splynter.

A Tennessee State trooper pulled over a pickup on I-65. The trooper asked, "Got any ID?"
The driver replied, "Bout whut?"

HeartRx said...

Good morning!

Thanks for the informative write-up, Splynter. Other that "nada" before NONE, this was a total speed run for me, and I finished in just over ten minutes. Thanks, Brad!

I put on a Saturday solving cap, and looked for the most straight-forward answers to some of the trickier clues. So "Darn things" made me think SEW immediately. Loved the two gin clues, and SHE CRAB SOUP is a must-have if you are ever in Charleston.

HG, thx for the link to "The Flower Duet." Love that one!

Anon @ 10:15, WSS means "What Splynter Said." Usually people will refer to the comments of earlier posters that way, instead of repeating them in their own comment. WBS is seen quite often, since Barry G. usually posts very early in the morning.

Have a relaxing day, everyone!

CrossEyedDave said...

No reflection on the puzzle, but...

WSS=What Splynter said

I was Sloe to do this puzzle...

Oh Well...

Steve said...

Lots of crosses required, but it came together. Thanks Brad, and Splynter for the write-up.

One minor grump for SLOE - you don't make gin with sloes, you flavor gin with them. Gin + sloes = sloe gin. Just like vodka + lemon = lemon vodka; you wouldn't say you can use lemons to make vodka.

Lucina said...

Greetings avid puzzlers!
Good for you, Splynter, if you got this on your own.

It stomped, stamped and shook me though at first with ASWAN DAM it deceptively led me on the primrose path. But not for long. Corners NW & SW filled fairly quickly but not easily. Then I had to look up the unknowns, SHAUNA, QBERT (?), WESSEX and SHERRI. That helped to finish once I erased NADA.

Though I've visited NC many times had never heard of SHE CRAB SOUP and got all but the SHE part. DNF there.

Thank you, Brad Wilber for once again showing me my limitations and for learning moments. Many of them.

Have a wonderful Saturday, everyone!

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling thoughts":

Well, I am 0-3 in 2015 as far as solving the LA Times CWP without cheats. Notwithstanding that the year started on a Thursday, but still - I guess I left whatever solving skills I had back in 2014

WEES, MASS NOUN was a part of grammar I had never heard of, though it makes perfect sense; I guessed MITER BOX in 36d which slowed down the SW; I DID have SHE CRAB SOUP, DISCARD PILE and SLOE (I like to play and drink Gin), and a few other random answers. Mr. Wilber, you "ginned" me and caught me with a boatload!

If you want to get into the "loop",
Have a cup of my mom's SHE CRAB SOUP;
It's loaded with sherry,
To make you feel merry;
Aren't you glad that I gave you the "scoop"?!

Dudley said...

Nice Cuppa, Part III, 7:52:

That must be the difference between me and the prince. After seeing Shakespeare In Love, he took a fancy to Wessex; me, I took a fancy to Gwyneth Paltrow.

CrossEyedDave said...


You are correct, of course. but there are alternative viewpoints...

Jayce said...

Sheesh, it was ATCO, not ATMO (a la Bev-Mo), and ESMAROLE (a la Esmerelda) looked okay to me. So FIW. Had difficulty getting SEW because no matter how I stared and squinted at the clue, it looked like "Dam things" to my eyes. That font difficulty has tripped up a number of us. I only conceded that the clue was "Darn things" after I got SEW from the crosses.

Dam good puzzle, though.

Cold here. 25F here at 7 AM, and is 40F currently (almost 11 AM).

Warm wishes to you all.

Bill G. said...

Spitz, good one!

Steve, I had the same thought as you regarding gin/sloe.

Dudley, I've always fancied Gwyneth Paltrow too though she seems to have fallen from favor in some circles.

My daughter and her extended family invited themselves over for breakfast. I made buttermilk hotcakes (made with Bisquick and real buttermilk) and served with pure maple syrup. I haven't made them in years but even the aroma brought back old memories. It was a bit of a nuisance but I'm glad she appreciates the stuff she remembers from her childhood.

GrannyAnny said...

A 48 minute slog after ASWAN DAM and SHE-CRAB SOUP, with many mental alphabet runs to get anything filled in. A lot of work but a satisfying outcome.

Thank you, Mr. Wilber for the mental workout and Splynter for the write-up.

These last three puzzles have been real challenges. Wonder what tomorrow will bring?

(HeartRx, I'm in awe of your time today!)

Anonymous T said...

Hi all!

GrannyAnny - I'm in awe of anyone that can even do a Sat. puzzle. I try and typically get only 10-15% of the puzzle. I'm proud of myself for getting ~40% of today's.

Thanks Brad for the diversion and Splynter for the answers & writeup. BTW, nice MITER SAW. Mine doesn't have the extra wings nor the sliding arm. It just chops.

Q-BERT is a video game I played in my ute.
Mom gave the girls BEESWAX lip balm made from her own hives as stocking-stuffers.

ERRORLOGs are invaluable in trouble-shooting. It amazes me that so few "techs" even bother to look at them and just throw darts at the problem.

Everything I know about THE MOORS is from Python's semaphore sketch.

Cheers, -T

Unknown said...

"Declension" is used for nouns and adjectives in some languages, including Latin. "Conjugation" is used for verbs.

desper-otto said...

I thought declension was what you did with de teeth!

BarbieMom said...

Finished Saturday on a Saturday. Sometimes life happens and I don't even get a chance to look at the puzzle. It took a while. The southwest was the last to fall. Once I got discard pile it all fell into place. I have never heard of snee, but I just went with it. I hope everyone had a great New Year's Eve/day. Now on to a great 2015.

CrossEyedDave said...


I was going to provide (for educational purposes) a link to "How to curse in Semaphore" but I am afraid Catherine, (& others) would flag me down...


I a using DW's iPad and for some unfathomable reason whenever I click on a YouTube link, I get sound but no picture? I then have to exit Safari & enter the YouTube app and manually type in the video name to see it! (very annoying.)

Any ideas? Is it something in settings?

Rainman said...

I liked this puzzle, kind of like an old childhood rival after being beaten and bruised by him. Thanks Brad, and thanks, Splynter.

I ran into so many problems early-on that I phoned an old friend who is sharper and smarter than I. Together, we enjoyed finishing it. Most of the stuff I didn't know, she did. Who says doing these puzzles is a solitary endeavor?

Ones I should have known right off but did not:
QBERT, MASSNOUN AND DISCARDPILE. Took me forever to figure out Joint risks? was referring to, oh!, the Joint. I did not want to insert an easy fill such as ESCAPES. And my kids and I used to play Qbert with the kids on an old Atari 800.

Other Favorites: BEESWAX for Business, informally; ECRU for Almond relative. Great gratuitous graphic, Splynter.

Quite a workout today, but very enjoyable. Yes, Onward... no where else to go... Mañana.

Lucina said...


Jayce said...

desper-otto, good one about de teeth!

Anonymous T said...

CED: Tossing a dart at your iPad issue...

Try to delete the YouTube app and see if that fixes the issue. I've had no-picture/only-sound issues a few times but just hitting the refresh icon made things work. I do not have the YouTube app installed.

I'm now 1/2 way through my Christmas book "What If - Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions" by Monroe, creator of xkcd. I can ATTEST it is a fun read for nerds. I've only seen one fallacy re: space the Internet takes up. TTP, HG, Bill G., you may enjoy the trains-of-thought as he goes off into THE DEEP end.

Cheers, -T

Rainman said...

She Crab Soup's Greatest Hit?

Who would've thought?

Ergo said...

Thank you Brad and Splynter.

Had a luxuriating Saturday working on puzzle in between errands, lunch, cigars, and football.

Finally waved the white flag having completed all four corners but nothing in the middle. A good effort for my skill level.

LOL at Rainman's analogy of a childhood rival. Ha!

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Brad Wilber, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Splynter, for a fine review.

This puzzle was great, just took me several hours toy finish. This was Perp City. Without them I would not have finished.

ASWAN DAM was easy for a start and it helped with most of the Downs in the NW.

MASS NOUN was new to me.

I read THE DEEP many years ago. Excellent book about subs.

My biggest holdup was confidently writing in MEDICAL REPORT for 36A. Never heard of a show like that but it sounded good and it fit. Needless to say my center section was blank for a long time. Finally got WHARF, EDDIES, and ESCAPES. That helped a lot.

Tried MITER BOX for 36D. Fixed that to SAW after a bit and some perps.

I did not know SUM and ERAT were tied. Now I know.

Liked TOWAGE. Even got that without perps.

Liked the Gin words. Very clever, DISCARD PILE and SLOE.

Anyhow, I am beat.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Bill G. said...

AnonT, whoa! My son got me that book as a Christmas present. I haven't read it yet but I'm looking forward to it; even more so now that I know you like it. (I've seen some of his essays on the Internet. Good stuff!)