Jan 25, 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: 4-G Network. Every theme answer contains 4 G's sprinkled throughout the fill. 

Our lovely hostess is working weekends again and has acquired the services of GreGarious Guy Gary to blog for her very nice Sunday puzzle. Having  six theme answers across and two down supplied a nice element too. She produced some real learning for me with some of the theme fill and as usual provided entertainment with her always sparkling cluing.

I'm sure it was just serendipity that Don G had GettinG GoinG in his great Thursday puzzle! 

23A. What winners earn : BRAGGING RIGHTS - Texas and Oklahoma fight for these each October in Dallas  (1/2 orange, 1/2 red in Cotton Bowl)

41A. Search feature that tries to finish your thought : GOOGLE SUGGEST - New to this digital cowboy

60A. Grounded V-formation fliers : GAGGLE OF GEESE - Hey, once they take off they're a flock 

83A. Completely : BAG AND BAGGAG- "I threw him out, BAG AND BAGGAGE"

96A. Way to generate fresh website content : GUEST BLOGGING - I think that's what all of us do

120A. Flamboyant '40s-'50s wrestler : GORGEOUS GEORG- George Wagner from Butte Nebraska cut quite a figure in the 50's rasslin' game

40D. Kellogg's product slogan : LEGGO MY EGG

44D. Revelation nations : GOG AND MAGO- Not a clue

1. Give up : CEDE - The land Mexico CEDED to the U.S.A. after the Mexican-American War

5. 27 for Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata," e.g. : OPUS 

9. Body sci. : ANAT 

13. Fingers-in-one's-ears syllables : LA LA LA - If I can't hear you, it doesn't count... 

19. Subtle vibe : AURA

20. "Hogwash!" : BOSH - Would Rich have allowed "Chris of the Miami Heat"?

21. Rao's competitor : RAGU

22. Polling place sticker : I VOTED 

26. Pan creator : BARRIE - Mary Martin as Pan on NBC in 1955  is a fond memory for me

27. Like a designated driver : SOBER - I don't think driving drunk is taken lightly any more

28. Coptic Museum city : CAIRO - tradition has it that the Holy Family visited this part of Cairo while fleeing from Herod

29. Toffee bar with a crown in its logo : SKOR - one of my favorite candy bars as long as my teeth are good!

31. Bread sometimes prepared with chutney : NAAN - I've yet to sample either

32. Bowler Mark who was four-time PBA Player of the Year : ROTH - along with Boomer, a man who has had a lot 127A. Alley pickups : SPARES

34. Trellis piece : LATH

36. Wipe clean : ERASE 

38. The NFL's Falcons : ATL - They got an NFL expansion franchise in 1965 so they wouldn't go to the pre-merger AFL

44. Coll. transcript stat : GPA 

47. Rake's look : LEER 

49. Big diamond-mining country: Abbr. : RSA - a 507.55 carat white diamond taken from the Cullinan Diamond Mine in South Africa in 2009

50. Tells a tall tale : LIES - George Costanza, "Jerry, it's not a LIE, if you don't think it's a LIE"

51. Melodious winds : OBOES - As mentioned on Monday, also the voice of the duck in Peter And The Wolf 

53. Ready to drive : IN GEAR

55. "Fear not!" : BE BRAVE - It's probably not as bad as you think it will be

59. Aptly named baby carrier brand : SNUGLI 

62. Usher in : HERALD - Hark!

63. Drudgery : MOIL - I will learn this word. I will learn this word. I will... 

64. Ninth-century pope : LEO IV  - Served from DCCCXLVII - DCCCLV

65. Ousted Iranian ruler : SHAH - he was a despot but, by God, he was our despot

67. Dundee denial : NAE - "Nae, I did na think she was bonny"

68. ''Chances Are'' crooner : MATHIS - You can't be my age and not have, uh, "pitched woo" to this record

70. Japanese IT services giant : NEC 

72. Map feature : LEGEND - This map and its LEGEND tell you where most people live in my, Joe's and Ergo's state.

74. Stable diet? : HAY - cute

76. Trace : HINT 

77. 2008 Jordin Sparks/Chris Brown duet : NO AIR

79. Letters on the back of a jersey : NAME - Coachspeak: 

81. Certain daisies : OXEYES

87. Trials and tribulations : RIGORS

88. Rhine temptress : LORELEI - I listened for her while floating down the Rhine, but all I heard were people at the ship's bar

89. "Under Siege" star : SEAGAL

90. Church doctrine : DOGMA - The Golden Rule is all I need

91. Kiara's mother in "The Lion King" : NALA 

92. Org. promoting hunter safety : NRA 

94. Fuss : TO-DO - Miss Bunting seems intent on creating a TO-DO whenever she is at Downton Abbey

95. Comic Philips : EMO - I always thought he was an odd little man

102. Airer of "Family Feud" reruns, briefly : GSN - How much Family Feud can you really watch? 

103. Hulu service : NET TV - Now that we have a "smart TV"...

104. Palm starch : SAGO - Harvesting the pith from the Sago Palm to make starch

105. Besties : PALS - BFF's (which last about a week in middle school)

107. It can precede Bravo : ALFA - Take it from Golf Alfa Romeo Yankee

110. "If that's true ..." : THEN - Simple If/Then flow chart

112. Dupe : REPRO - If a brother can be "bro",  a 
reproduction can be a REPRO

114. Online savings accounts offerer : E-LOAN - I've seen 391% APR on those babies

118. Text file with instructions : READ ME 

123. Blini topper : CAVIAR - EGADS! You eat caviar with a metal spoon! How gauche! 

124. Sweetie, in Tahiti : AMIE - Parlez vous Français in Tahiti? Mais oui!

125. In the know about : ONTO - Yeah, no one was ONTO Tony and Jack

126. Glimpses : SEES

128. Scorch : SEAR

129. Reflexology targets : FEET

130. Throw, as a party : HOST


1. Train station waiters : CABS - Our resident oenophile Marti might have clued this differently!

2. Vatican City coin : EURO - The cheapest tour of the Vatican will set you back €32,00

3. Lackluster : DRAB 

4. Champing at the bit : EAGER

5. Kimono closer : OBI

6. Wet weather wear : PONCHOS - The Pope wore the same cheap rain PONCHO when visiting the faithful in the Philippines. A true man of the people.

7. Org. that tests balls and clubs : USGA

8. Piercing : SHRILL

9. Specialized idioms : ARGOTS - We have 'em here! 

10. "Pass" : NAH - Coupled with NAE today

11. NSA figures : AGTS 

12. Rosa Parks' birth city : TUSKEGEE - She'd had enough, decided to BE BRAVE and showed true courage 

13. Some fall babies : LIBRAS 

14. Clark's "Mogambo" co-star : AVA - She was forced on director John Ford who wanted Maureen O'Hara

15. "SNL" creator Michaels : LORNE

16. Hair removal brand : ATRA - I guess shaving is hair removal

17. "Well, I guess you don't know everything about women yet" speaker : LEIA

18. Yemeni port : ADEN

24. Pirate's brew : GROG - A staple for Captain Hook in Pan?

25. Wrath, in a hymn : IRAE

30. Tram loads : ORES - Gold ORE in a slightly bigger mode of 

33. Manager with four World Series wins : TORRE - Four Yankee titles

35. Expressive dances : HULAS

37. Salisbury Plain monument : STONEHENGE - YouTube has many great theories about how STONEHENGE was built

38. Irreverent Sacha Baron Cohen alter ego : ALI G - Not my (Nice) Cuppa tea!

39. Break hr. : TEN AM 

42. Talky get-together : GABFEST

43. Hand over : GIVE

45. Big name in windows and doors : PELLA - In Iowa, it's a town with a fabulous Tulip Festival

46. Private remark : ASIDE - Bob Hope was a master at this in the "Road Films"

48. Aqua __: gold dissolver : REGIA - Literally Royal Water. Nitro-hydrochloric acid

52. Rough case : BUR

54. Extremely hot : ALL THE RAGE 

56. Locker room problem : EGO - A crossword stalwart with a huge EGO

57. '60s counterculture event : BE IN

58. Common crime drama theme : REVENGE

59. Plush carpet : SHAG

61. Ken of "thirtysomething" : OLIN - Another stalwart here

65. On the skids : SLIDING

66. Sage, say : HERB

69. Bad reception? : HISS - My MIL's radio HISSES constantly but it was a gift from her late son

71. Shade of black : COAL 

73. Pester : NAG AT - LA LA LA... 

74. Large crowd : HORDE

75. Geometry basic : AXIOM

78. Hydrocarbon suffix : ANE - It's been very warm this week and so I refilled my proPANE tank earlier than usual to BBQ

80. "Oh my goodness!" : EGADS

82. __ Kippur : YOM - Will 9/23 - 9/24, 2015 be long enough for me to atone for all my sins?

83. Hightail it : BOLT - Col. Pickering, "Where's Eliza?" Professor Higgins, "She's BOLTED!"

84. Spirited horses : ARABS 

85. Yoga posture : ASANA - I can do some of these 

86. Tesla Motors CEO Musk : ELON - He's building space vehicles too

88. City on I-15 : LAS VEGAS - 5 hr and 49 min north and you'd be in Salt Lake City. Hmmm...

91. Rembrandt's home: Abbr. : NETH

93. Comeback : RIPOSTE - here's one with our crossword weapon of choice

97. States : UTTERS

98. Minnesota, vis-à-vis Nebraska : LARGER - C.C. said she originally had Missouri but Rich put in Nebraska. Yeah 
right! ;-)

99. Arch in some Gothic architecture : OGEE

100. Vanish : GO POOF

101. __ club : GLEE

103. It's the pits : NADIR 

106. Play in the tub : SLOSH

107. Lob paths : ARCS - The result of many a Lob pass

108. Bound : LEAP  - See above

109. Bean variety : FAVA

111. Alaskan gold rush town : NOME - What great 1960 song has the lyric, "Below that old white mountain, Just a little southeast of NOME"?

113. Mysterious letter : RUNE - Early Germanic writing system

115. Snack sometimes fried : OREO 

116. Long stretches : AGES 

117. Place to find eggs : NEST

119. West in pictures : MAE - She really knew her, uh, assets

121. Coastal inlet : RIA

122. Figured out : GOT - I was so happy I GOT to blog this fine puzzle for my 
friend C.C.!

Thanks for this great puzzle C.C.! This site is now charging into its 8th year with you firmly ensconced in the position of leadership. How fortunate we are!

Husker Gary

Note from C.C.:

Ralph Bunker, the co-constructor of George Barany's "Enigma Variations" meta puzzle, visited MN yesterday, so our local constructors had another gathering at the University of Minnesota. The conference room we were at is named after George's parents, both Holocaust survivors. George also gave us a tour of their chemistry department and showed us this huge periodic table where you can touch some of the elements.

Marcia Brott, C.C., Tom Pepper, David Hanson & Nancy Herther
  Tariq Samad, George Barany, Ralph Bunker, Tom Pepper, C.C., David Hanson, Marcia Brott & Nancy Herther

George Barany, Nancy Herther, Tom Pepper, Marcia Brott, David Hanson, C.C.m, Victor Barocas,  Tariq Samad & Ralph Bunker

Click here for a few more pictures.

Also, the Fourth Minnesota Crossword Tournament will be held on Sunday, June 14, 2015. Please click here for more info. 


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Man, I really wish I had done this one on paper instead of online, since my favorite letter to write out is "G" and this one sure had plenty of them. In fact, I've often thought that if I were ever to create my own puzzle, the theme would be something like "Oh, Gee" and simply contain as many G's as I could cram in. Guess I don't have to to it now... ^_^

Other than the delightful theme, this was an enjoyable and mostly smooth solve. I had no idea what (or who) Rao was, so it took awhile to get RAGU (especially since I didn't know TUSKEGEE from the clue).

Mark ROTH was another complete unknown, but the perps took care of him. I'm guessing he's not exactly a household name if you don't slavishly follow bowling, but I could be wrong.

I really wanted SPLASH for "Play in the tub", but it wouldn't fit. SLOSH just doesn't seem as playful to me.

The center section was the final to fall, mostly because NO AIR was completely out of my wheelhouse and it just took awhile to come up with BEIN, NEC, COAL, etc. Plus, I forgot that BAG AND BAGGAGE was an actual phrase and not just a redundancy. Not an expression I use or have heard anybody else use, but I am vaguely familiar with it.

John Lampkin said...

Gosh Golly Gee, Goodness! Am I the first to post congrats and thanks today?

Big Easy said...

C.C.- Good puzzle today. And this is from someone who was called GORGEOUS GEORGE- my name, back when Gorgeous George, Jr. was wrestling 50 years ago.

I almost got it but was tripped at MOIL and REGIA- totally unfamiliar. Also missed ASANA and PALS- don't know yoga and didn't know what 'besties' were.

RAO is a brand I have never heard of but RAGU filled in easily.

GOG AND MAGOG- what is that? It was 100% perps for me.

Favorite- GO POOF.

Steven SEAGALL- easy one due to the fact that he was a real sheriff's deputy here in Jefferson Parish, had a show on A&E named Seagal Lawman filmed here, my neighbor was his costar, and he came to our neighborhood watch party every year. He's gained a little weight.

Other unknowns were E-LOAN, ROTH, NO AIR, BUR.

I will finish my comments by generating fresh web content, aka GUEST BLOGGING, a new term for me.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Nice surprise offering this morning by C.C. Not hard - a few crunchy spots. Liked the 4G theme. Favorite fill included OXEYES and LORELEI.
16d - ATRA - I had the same reaction as Gary.
113d - RUNE - We saw Runic inscriptions while visiting Gripsholm Castle, W of Stockholm.

Thanks Gary for an interesting write-up.

Thanks C.C. for the puzzle and for sharing that interesting photo of the cabinet, housing the Periodic Table samples at the U of MN.

Rainman said...

This was an exceptional work, I thought. Thanks, C.C., and thanks, GGGG. HG, I wonder how much time you spent on this but it is obviously worth it, excellent write-up and links. Enjoyed them both very much. Like Barry G, the center was kind of the last place to fall. Bit of learning today: I didn't know a lot of the answers but fortunately the guesses and perps came through. I never got to the point where I had to go through the alphabet (where two unknowns cross).

I admit I remember Gorgeous George from the 50s. He and Wild Bill Berry, or something like that.

Was it "North to Alaska" with those lyrics re. white mountain and Nome? I'll not look it up now but it seems that song was actually on the hit parade for a while.

And thanks for the photos of the Univ. conference. Very nice. I'll post this... thankxagain... and look over the other links. Very good start to my Sunday. --Raymond

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I printed my puzzle from the LA Times site (thanks again, Barnacle!) and the puzzle title came out as"4.

You didn't fool me too much, C.C.. Only two over-writes this morning. ONYX to OLIN (I misread the position of the "shade of black" clue.) And GUEST BLOGGERS / BLOGGING -- a definite shoutout to HG. BTW, Husker, here's that song you were asking about. (Marti, don't bother. You won't like it.) It was a pretty good song from a really terrible movie.

Does the NSA really have AGTS? Or just techies behind desks?

With only the N in place, I thought the baby carrier might be ON BORD. Nope.

GOG AND MAGOG -- weren't they adversaries of Godzilla?

Unknown said...

The Week in Review:

M 5:28 T 5:00 W 6:22 T 12:19 F 8:00 S DNF S 32:00

After the previous week's roller-coaster ride I was hoping to get back on track and things were going swimmingly until Saturday. Like many, I was hung-up in the NE, thanks to some hideous, unforgivable, cluing for ONTO and WAVE AT. When I finally gave up and turned on the red letters my problem wasn't there at all. It was down south at the crossing of NABE and ROEG. I didn't know the director and I have never, ever, heard anyone refer to a local theater as the "nabe". Never. Ever. (I had an "O" where the "E" belonged.)

But today's puzzle was a real treat and completely washed Saturday's bad taste from my mouth. I had to typo-hunt to get the "TaDa!", changing LOS VEGAS to LAS VEGAS, and then REPOSTE to RIPOSTE, but all the cluing was fair and, often, inspired. Count me among those who are in awe of C.C.'s mastery of a language I love but that I'd hate to have to learn.

We got about three inches of snow yesterday in the beautiful mid-Hudson valley. That's about the current limit of my (diminishing) shoveling ability. A lot more is in the forecast for Monday/Tuesday. I'm getting too old for this. If I survive I'll . . .

See y'all next weekend.

HeartRx said...

Good morning everyone!

Before I opened the puzzle this morning, I briefly thought, "I wonder if this will be a C.C. puzzle today?" HA!!

Great writeup, HG - thanks for pinch hitting. You're right about CABS - I definitely would have clued it as "Reds in a bar" or something. I also thought of "North to Alaska" for that song about Nome. d-otto, I did open the link and enjoyed it - what a blast from the past!

It seemed as if there were a lot of tough names crossing other unknown names today. ROTH/TORRE was particularly vexing to me, and the T was a total WAG. And NO AIR? (No clue!) I finally got it done without any look-ups, though.

Big Easy - my fave was also GO POOF, and I chuckled when I filled it in.

Well, we have to clean up from last night's storm that dumped more snow on us after we had already shoveled. And then we have to brace for the next Nor-easter on Tuesday...

Argyle said...


maripro said...

Congrats C.C. Great puzzle with several challenging areas, especially the SE corner. Thanks also to HG for excellent comments and links.

Qli said...

Thanks, C.C. and HG for an enjoyable morning. Did this one online, and even with the red letters, RAGU/Rao didn't make sense to me. GOG AND MAGOG rang a bell; book of Revelations in the Bible.

I had a fried OREO once at the State Fair. They are better not fried.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning,
That's both a greeting and a description of my time solving this one. It was pretty smooth and since I never work for time, it was fun and filled with learning moments.

Not familiar with Rao, but thanks to Argyle, I recognized the jar from somewhere. Didn't know Aqua Regia before the fill, but it made sense when I saw it. Two bowling references. I think bowling is making a comeback. Maybe more upsacale.

Liked GO POOF! Didn't see it at all and chuckled when I got it.

(I think) when a flock of geese is in the air, it's a skein. In V-formation.

Thanks C.C. This has been a great anniversary for you and the Corner.

Thanks Gary for the write up and the photos. Good choices!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was an enjoyable solve with no serious stumbling blocks. Thought of Boomer at spares and, of course, CC's baseball fervor at Torre. As others have mentioned, vanish=go poof was my fav.

Thanks, CC, for a satisfying Sunday and kudos to Gary for 'splainin' it all! BTW, CC, enjoyed the photos.

Have a great day.

Lucina said...

Greetings, Besties! What a grand welcome home for me, a C.C. puzzle! Congratulations on another good one, C.C.!

Actually, I solved the puzzles all week, just couldn't blog as we were having a GABFEST the entire week, two of my friends and I.

This was great fun and fairly easy today and some unknowns just emerged with perps, REGIA, e.g.

I have no BRAGGING RIGHTS, however, as I missed AGTS/RAGU and didn't notice. All else came out well even ROTH/TORRE, a rough guess for me.

It's soooo good to be back in warm, dry AZ again. Yesterday I finished Julian Lim's torturous puzzle on the plane coming home but it was too late and I was exhausted so didn't check into the Corner.

I sincerely hope you've all enjoyed a wonderful week and a beautiful Sunday today!

Yellowrocks said...

Great puzzle, CC. I am surprised that you knew Gog and Magog. The theme answers were easy, looking for 4 G's.
Great pinch hitting, Gary.
Fries OREOs? NAH I'll pass.
MATHIS was my favorite in my youth for "pitching woo," as Gary said.
SLOSHING is different from splashing. When my grandson was a toddler we had plenty of sloshing in the bath. What fun with tons of giggles. We had to be careful not to slosh water on the floor.
I almost visited Stone Henge, but my English tour was changed to "all city," no countryside, during the mad cow scare. We were allowed to opt out of the tour and I did.
I always need perps for ALI G.
My Kindle has an aggressive autocomplete program which I can't stand. I causes me to write gibberish.
My hardest spot was SEAGAL. ELON, and ASANA. Two cells wrong.

Husker Gary said...

-I never know what to do with myself on Sunday mornings when I’ve already done the puzzle and blogged.
-C.C.’s knowledge of cultures and ability to weave them into these puzzles will never cease to amaze me.
-I appreciate your comments on my, uh, comments whether positive or, dare I say, negative.
-Johnny Horton’s songs like North To Alaska, Sink The Bismarck and The Battle Of New Orleans cost me a lot of nickels (yes I said nickels) at the local café jukebox.
-Question: Do you know why one side of the V-formation of flying geese is always longer than the other side? Answer: There are more birds on the longer side.
-I really liked the Periodic Table display case.
-Well we’re off to Lincoln to watch [insert grandchild] [insert activity]! How ya gonna do better’n that?
-As you may have noticed, I’ve always liked to elide, but it took crossword puzzles to teach me the word for that. How ‘bout dat?

Avg Joe said...

When I opened the last section of the paper this morning, I was actually guessing it would be a C.C. well as a Gary write up. Pure luck, of course, but it worked out nicely. Thank you both!

I'm not sure how to do this search, but would be interested to know if C.C. holds any record for the most puzzles in the shortest time frame. It wouldn't surprise me. You've been very busy lately.

Alas, I was beaten today by the Natick at the corner of Magog and GSN. Not knowing either, I guessed M. Bzzzzt! But it was enjoyable nevertheless.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing in the definition of GAGGLE (60A) that ties the geese to the ground. Indeed, a common definition in standard dictionaries is "a flock of geese."

And HERALD (62A) does not mean "usher in." To herald is to foretell. Crocuses herald the spring, but the equinox and the sun (or maybe a March blizzard) usher it in.

Spitzboov said...

Anon @ 1110 - Re HERALD.

At least one on-line dictionary gives this definition for herald used as a verb: to indicate or signal the coming of; usher in.

Anonymous said...

You can always find at least one dictionary to say anything you want it to say.

desper-otto said...

Yeah, I guess Websters must be one of those untrustworthy, fly-by-night dictionaries...

Herald \Her"ald\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Heralded}; p. pr. & vb.
n. {Heralding}.] [Cf. OF. herauder, heraulder.]
To introduce, or give tidings of, as by a herald; to
proclaim; to announce; to foretell; to usher in. --Shak.

Madame Defarge said...

For Anon at 11:10

I learned this from an old copy of AN EXALTATION OF LARKS--filled with collective nouns--in my classroom. Once the flock is airborne, it becomes a skein. My students loved the book, and began to create their own. "An exhaustion of AP Seniors" and "An annoyance of English teachers" are two I particularly remember. :)

As a knitter, I still like to use skein in another context around my pals who play with wool and sticks.

First hit for "Skein" on Google:

~a length of thread or yarn, loosely coiled and knotted.
~a tangled or complicated arrangement, state, or situation.
"the skeins of her long hair"
~a flock of wild geese or swans in flight, typically in a V-shaped formation.


Madame Defarge said...

On dictionaries:

Dictionaries generally fall into two categories, PROSCRIPTIVE and DESCRIPTIVE: the former explains the proper usage and the latter the way a word is used. Hence the sometime disparity in the order of first, second and third definitions.

At any rate, I'll bet the cruciverbalists know ALL the third definitions, common or not!! ;)

Yellowrocks said...

Many dictionaries equate HERALD with USHER(in), using one sense of the verb.
Many dictionaries define GAGGLE as a group of geese on the ground.
Dictionary editors sample word usage from a wide variety of print and oral sources. Just because we ourselves don't use the words that way does not make them incorrect. In addition, I have been finding that some words that bloggers consider uncommon are well used in highly regarded books and publications. I often wonder why we make our own experience the only arbiter of what is correct or common. End of rant.

Yellowrocks said...

Madame D,you are a gal after my own heart. I have been reading more and more about prescriptive and descriptive language after joining this blog.
I read that “Because of all of the outside forces acting on the English language ......very few modern dictionaries are technically prescriptive. The last major American prescriptive dictionary was Noah Webster's ‘An American Dictionary of the English Language,’ published in 1828.”
What's more, what is acceptable, even in very formal situations, is changing over time.
I believe that there are different types of language appropriate to different situations. Informal language and slang are appropriate to some situations. Not using formal language in those settings is not incorrect, just as not wearing a suit and tie to a picnic,is not incorrect.
Some words have many different meanings which are equally correct. Being 2nd or 3rd does not necessarily make them less correct. I see that different dictionaries place different meanings or spellings first.
In crossword puzzles insisting on formal correctness does not work. We see slang, obsolete words, regionalism, British terms, variants, etc. etc.

GrannyAnny said...

Impressive write-up today, Gary, and I really enjoyed this puzzle, C.C., even though my brain is not working particularly well today. Thanks to both of you.

As semi-related comment about dictionaries, I use the Farlex/Free Dictionary (on-line) when I want to look up a crossword query. Couldn't figure out what in the heck BESTIES could be and finally decided to check it out. Farlex only brought up several German usages so no help there today.

I hardly ever use Google any more for crosswords since it brings up so many ads.

Argyle said...

Interesting. There was a time when suit and tie were worn to picnics.

Madame Defarge said...


Language is fluid. Think about how fast a language changes in a lifetime. In terms of humanity, that's only about 75+ years--a blip on the screen. It's moving even faster today with such easy access to communication. Twenty years ago, I would have done my Sunday puzzle and put it to bed--maybe I would have talked to another person who did X-words, but not as many as I can learn from here.

I learn so much in this Corner!

Anonymous said...

Bestie is slang for best friend.

inanehiker said...

Enjoyed the puzzle, CC and write-up, Gary!! The minute I saw the theme I wondered where GAGGLE OF GEESE would show up and wasn't dissappointed. I didn't use any google help, but I often think out loud on tricky clues while my husband is reading the rest of paper. He chimed in LORELEI and GOG AND MAGOG so WE solved the puzzle today.
GOG AND MAGOG are mentioned in the book of Revelation in the bible as well as Ezekiel as nations mentioned in end-times prophecy (a gimme for my pastor husband.) I think they are mentioned in the Quran as well.
I always remember them as the names of Anne Shirley's china dogs in the Anne of Green Gables series

JD said...

How nice to wake up on a nice leisurely Sunday and find a C.C. Creation. Funny how most of you found the middle tough, and I ran out of steam at the bottom. Always lots of unknowns-Pella, Torre, Roth- but in most cases the perps helped or just a WAG. I'm sure I went thru the ABC's a few times.

I confidently put Hermes instead of Barrie, and slat for lath without checking perps 1st. Oboes threw me too. I was thinking wind currents like the Santa Anas, so I had heard of Hawaii's kolas and pali winds that sweep thru.I think oboes was all perps.

Never noticed the crown on the Skor...had you CC? How do you know this stuff?? I usually go for the Heath Bar instead, and cut them up for a yummy cookie recipe.

Oreos fried?? Really? LOL

This puzzle has left me humming many of my favorite Johnny Mathis songs.

Kudos on your great write up, Gary. You never leave anything out so I feel educated. You are a bit of a show off listing Leo's dates in Roman Numerals ...ha,ha.

TTP said...

Great stuff CC.
Great stuff HG.

I didn't guess right at MOIL and REGIA. Guessed an L.

Didn't know the intersecting G at SNUGLI and GOG, but it had to be.

Rainman, I am more than not sure that I inadvertently posted my Saturday comments to the Friday blog.

I think I am ON TO something about that. In fact, I am certain that is exactly what happened. That would most assuredly be more than less certain. Or more than not sure, as it were.

Al at 8:01, I found the clue especially tough and devious, but fair for a Saturday puzzle. Devious.

I take it you didn't like it, with your comments, "... thanks to some hideous, unforgivable, cluing for ONTO and WAVE AT..." implied that even though you didn't like it, at least you understood it.

Bill G. said...

Happy Sunday! As expected, I enjoyed the puzzle and figuring out the G-filled theme answers. WEES. GGGGood fun! Thanks GGGGary and CCCC.

Yesterday AnonT reminded me of our enjoyment of master magician Ricky Jay. This morning, who should be featured on Sunday Morning but PENN AND TELLER, another favorite magic act, and, they even got Teller to talk.

I also enjoyed this informative and beautiful feature on STONEHENGE.

HeartRx said...

Bill G., I saw that Penn & Teller piece. As always, they were very entertaining!

Madame Defarge @ 11:50 AM, I once submitted a puzzle to Rich called “Groupies,” with my own definitions of groups of things. Here are some of the ones I came up with (not all were in the submitted puzzle, though):


…he promptly rejected it.

CrossEyedDave said...

GGaGGle Of GGeese?

Avg Joe said...

I'd heard about the storm threatening the NE prior to today. But the evening news indicates that it will be much worse than expected a day or two ago. I hope all of you in the path are able to outlast it without threat to life or limb. Stay safe!

HeartRx said...

If no one hears from me for a couple of days, I'll just be hunkered down. We have a cord of wood, plenty of candles, driveway salt, gasoline for the snow blower, and a bulging refrigerator. If the power goes out, we can put all the food in the snow bank. So, no worries!

Madame Defarge said...

HeartRX at4:52

I am chucking here! These are great. I'm sorry they were rejected. I think it would be a great theme.

Sometimes the new weather forecasters are the voices of doom. Makes for a few days of good ratings. If you are snowed in, spend your isolation creating a few puzzles for us to enjoy. Stay cozy! :)

TTP said...

Husker Gary,
As I finished clearing the driveway, I remembered that I failed to comment on your, uh, comment, about "pitched woo." I had never heard that before. Had to search that !

Hunkering Down Marti,
It's been one busy weekend. Didn't watch any news. Had no idea there was a storm heading up through the northeast until seeing your (and Avg Joe's) comments. I'll sometimes go to for quick bullets on current events. In case anyone else has been working in the mushroom factory this weekend, Winter Storm Juno: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.

Liked your groupies !

Manac said...

First off it needs to be said.....

Steven Seagal Can Not Act!!!

Second, latest predictions calling for
18" to 25" of snow.
Snowthrower Time

Unknown said...

For those of you in the Hudson Valley, here's my "go to" weather site:

Stay safe. And warm.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Late to the party. Congratulations C. C. on another major puzzle! How did you know Gog and Magog? I never heard of them.

Much of today was about getting set for post-blizzard dealings - food, gas, diesel, equipment repairs, the usual. We're feeling ready, same as Marti. A few days without power would be no big deal.

My brother borrowed my spare snowblower, and today, while getting the paths ready, managed to feed it a piece of plywood that was on the ground. It took much persuading to free it. Now he says there's a clunk in the front. Oh great.

Stay warm out there!

Argyle said...

Talk about making the big time.... Elon Musk in both a crossword puzzle AND in an episode of The Simpsons on the same day.

Manac said...

Dudley, No real problem. The clunk
is just a bent auger. You'll soon see where it is hitting the side of the snowblower and then just bend it back.

Argyle, are you admitting that you actually
watch The Simpsons?

Argyle said...

Hell, yes.

Irish Miss said...

We're going to be affected by the storm but not as seriously as the coastal areas. Just hope everyone stays safe and warm!

Dudley said...

Manac - that's what I expect. I'm due to look at it tomorrow. You may conclude from this that I am historically the better mechanic.

Dudley said...

Oh, for cryin' out loud! Cruciverb is broken again!