Feb 21, 2015

Saturday, Feb 21st, 2015, Jonathan L O'Rourke

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing Q,V)

Blocks: 27

  Upon reviewing our list of constructors, Mr. O'Rourke has but one prior LAT puzzle, dating back to Oct 30, 2011 - a Sunday, and from the same year I started doing the Sat blog.  I was able to do 75% of this one, but the SW corner was just crash and burn - too many proper names/locations, and as a result, kinda sucked the life out of this otherwise engaging excursion.  Oh well.  Triple 9- and 10-letter corners, and two 11-letter spanners - one which I knew immediately, but didn't know the exact spelling;

30. "Die Hard" cry adapted from an old cowboy song : YIPPEE KI YAY - I was really close - just had an "I" at the end of of my favorite movies, all time, and I like to watch it at Christmas

43. Range for some power measurements : ZERO TO SIXTY - in reference to cars, but the definition just doesn't jive with's not really a measurement of the power so much as the rate of acceleration - which might be incredible, but have no reflection on the actual 'power'; take the Jaguar XF diesel - only gets up to 140mph, but it's 0-60 is 5.9secs.  I tested my 2000 Dodge Stratus about two years ago - 11+ seconds.  258,000 miles ago, it probably got close to 140mph.


[Gasp~! The number of the beast~!]


1. Modern location code : IP ADDRESS

10. Vertical sides : JAMBS - doors and windows, e.g.

15. Ability to stand? : TOLERANCE - I can tell you, my tolerance got pretty high when it came to alcohol, which leads to the next clue/answer;

16. "What I always get" : USUAL - like, say, Scotch, NO ICE~!!!

17. Baby, for one : SPICE GIRL - dah~! Clever. the others;
Scary, Sporty, Ginger & Posh

18. Ward cry? : NURSE - "it's medication time~!"

19. "Bless __ ...": Psalm 68 : YE GOD

20. "Shadow of the Vampire" Oscar nominee : DAFOE - no clue; WAG

22. Mr. __!: old detective game : REE - get it~?  Mister - ree....?  Har-har

23. Churchill's "so few": Abbr. : RAF

25. Chess tactic : PIN - new one to me, since I have played a lot of chess, but I get it

26. [Oh, my!] : "GASP~!"

27. Reagan era mil. program : SDI - the "Strategic Defense Initiative", which the media referred to as "Star Wars", and since I grew up with the movie/myth, found it a little insulting

33. Trap catchings : LINT - This took WAY too long....might be because I was at the restaurant and in a 'lobster' & 'crab' frame of mind

35. Wager : LAY - meh. I get it, but.

36. Get comfy : NESTLE - I do hope to get to nestling, soon - and she's wearing 65a.~!

37. "The Hangover" star : ED HELMS - totally unhelpful for me - not only did I NOT see the movie, but I still have no desire to, either, and I don't recognize the actor - IMDb

39. Is worth something, in dialect : AIN'T HAY - once the first "A" filled in, I got this

40. Fifth-grader's milestone, maybe : AGE TEN - ARGH~!  ELEVEN fit, too, and I was 11 in 5th grade

41. One may involve a homonym : PUN

42. Like the Negev : SERE - Dah~! Not ARID

46. "The Spanish Tragedy" dramatist : KYD - Had to cheat the "K" - Natick, in the truest sense; two names crossing?  Ouch.

47. Behan's land : ERIN - Duh.  Sounded IRAN/IRAQ at first

48. Robot extension? : ICS - Robotics

49. Chinese dynasty during Caesar's time : HAN - WAG - but, three letters...?

51. Little : BIT - This puzzle frustrate you~? A "bit".

52. "__ yourself!" : BRACE

54. 1946 Literature Nobelist : HESSE

58. Nice parting : ADIEU - That's "Neece", the Frawnche city

60. Baklava flavoring : ROSE WATER - I thought it was going to be honey-something

62. One removed from the company? : LONER - Two's company, three's a crowd; one's a me  ;7(

63. Cocktail portmanteau : APPLETINI - I can never remember the definition of portmanteau when I see it in crossword clues; need to remember it's a 'name' derived from parts - in this case, an apple-flavored martini

64. Start using Twitter, say : LOG ON - ugh.  I don't "tweet"

65. Victoria's Secret purchase : BOYSHORTS - I prefer seeing these on a woman over a thong any day, twice on Sunday


1. Tiny : ITSY

2. Urban, e.g. : POPE - did not fool me

3. Boorish Sacha Baron Cohen persona : ALI G - I saw Borat, and stopped there

4. Style : DECOR

5. 1993 rap hit : DRE DAY - Dr. Dre

6. Low-quality paper : RAG

7. Home of Phillips University : ENID - ugh.

8. Full of spunk : SCRAPPY - I wanted sNappy, but it was too short

9. Instagrammed item : SELFIE

10. __ bug : JUNE

11. Pac-12 sch. whose mascot carries a pitchfork : ASU

12. "Swingin' Soiree" DJ : MURRAY THE K - this would have been a very neat corner were it not for the "K"....and the guy was before my time - his Wiki

13. It doesn't include benefits : BASE SALARY

14. About to crash? : SLEEPY-EYED

21. About 1.8 tablespoons, vis-à-vis a cup : ONE-NINTH - Funny, but "ELEVENTH" worked here, too, and since I don't usually divide my cups this way....

24. "Double Indemnity" genre : FILM NOIR

26. Basic ideas : GISTS

27. Despicable sort : SLEAZEBALL

28. Australian wind : DIDGERIDOO - ah, the musical instrument; I was thinking along the lines of some sort of "DEVIL ZEPHYR" - Bzzzt (pun intended)

29. Willing consequence? : INHERITING - Doesn't look right, but it is - "I bequeath..."

31. Step on stage : PAS - meh meh meh meh - Frawnche

32. Grasp : KEN - and yet I nailed this three-letter fill

34. Jackson Hole's county : TETON

38. Court call : LET - DAH~!  I was in 'law' court, and thought it was OYE

39. TV input letters : AUX - Hmmm, didn't think it was VCR

41. 1980s "SNL" regular : PISCOPO - OK, I cheated - I got as far as PI---, and could not think of his last name - but I knew he was a guest in one episode of Law & Order

44. Sacred beetle : SCARAB - Hey~!  One answer I felt confident about~!

45. Name derived from the Tetragrammaton : YAHWEH - once I had ----EH, there weren't too many names you could think of

50. "Far out!" : NEATO

52. Cheat, in slang : BURN 

53. Notice : ESPY

55. Hullabaloo : STIR

56. Text status : SENT

57. Most massive known dwarf planet : ERIS - fascinating - I did not know about this; did you, Husker~?  The Wiki. Take a look at its orbit

59. Fair-hiring initials : EEO - DAH~! Went with EOE, which is 100% right, and yet still wrong - correct, D-Otto~?

61. 2012 British Open winner : ELS - three letters and an open winner~? Try ELS



Argyle said...

As Thumper said, "Quote".

Anonymous T said...

Why do I try said...


I got 1a & 1d off-the-bat and thought YIPEE! ALI-G I knew before the Borat movies so I kept up. ED HELMS was on Jon Stewart before "The Hangover" - easy.

44d was gonna be an anchor, but I was stuck on Bra??? for 65a. What a mess o' ink. Learning day for me.

Thanks for the answers Splynter!

Cheers, -T

Lemonade714 said...

Sometimes being my age helps, never heard of MUD or the Spanish Tragedy, but MURRAY THE K was a gimme.

I did enjoy YIPPEE KI YAY and after a brief struggle got the spelling.Vertical sides:JAMBS seemed creative and I have a cousin who makes baklava so ROSE WATER was easy.

It warmed up but it will rain

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Not quite a Thumper puzzle for me, but I will say parts of it were totally out of my wheelhouse and I wasn't able to finish unassisted. I nearly gave up when I came to the crossing of the complete unknowns MURRAYTHEK ("What sort of last name is THEK", I thought to myself) and KYD, but as it turned out my WAG of a K at the crossing turned out to be correct.

In the SE I would have done OK, except that I couldn't spell DIDGERIDOO. I forgot the second D and went with DIGEERIDOO, which completely hid ED HELMS from view. Not that I likely would have gotten him anyway, since I haven't seen the movie and don't really know who he is. Anyway, I had to look the movie up on IMDB, and even then took awhile to pick the right actor because of my aforementioned spelling mistake.

The NW is where I really crashed and burned today, however. I had ME GOD at 19A, which ended up being a letter off, and ALIG, which I wasn't sure about, and that was it. I finally turned on the red letter help and stepped through the alphabet until M turned to Y ("Bless YE GOD?" If you say so...). That was barely enough to give me a foothold, but I still needed to keep the red letter help on to finish that section. DREDAY was just not something I was gonna get without all the perps...

So, all in all, a challenging puzzle that was too much for me, but pretty fair and enjoyable over all. Still, I call foul on that MURRAYTHEK/KYD crossing...

HeartRx said...

Good morning all.

I have to admit to a fail on this one. The K crossing done me in. I wasn't sure of LAY for "bet" or BURN for "cheat" but they both had to be.

In other areas, I had a bit of trouble spelling DIDGERIDOO and YIPPEEKIYAY, but finally got there.

Then at 21-D I initially entered ONE teNTH until NESTLE and AINTHAY showed me the error of my ways.

So even though it defeated me, I still thought this was a very good puzzle for a Saturday, so thanks Mr. O'Rourke!

Anonymous T said...

Barry - It could have been worse. @19a - I had Bless... "ed are" at 1st. I took a while and a pen full o' ink. C, -T

Big easy said...

I don't mind difficult puzzles but using obscure people and words takes the fun out of it.

Never heard of YAHWEH, APPLETINI, ED HELMS, MURRAY THE K, REE, BOY SHORTS. Is ERIS (never heard of) bigger than PLUTO? I figured Phillips Uni had to be related to '66' and in OK and guessed Enid. DREDAY- what the hell is that?

I knew DIDGERIDOO AND YIPPEEKIYAY but couldn't spell them correctly so that didn't help with the crosses.

16 tablespoons= 8 oz and I did the math. Bible Verse- this isn't another religion where people memorize the book.

When I work X-words, I NEVER pull a book, dictionary or use Google. I found this one impossible for me to complete.

Anonymous said...

Dre Day?

Murray the K???


Thanks for the migraine, O'Rourke.

Madame Defarge said...

Hello there,

This was no fun. Too strange for me. Fifth graders were turning 11 when I was in school in the last century? Now it's more like twelve for boys. I knew it was trouble when bet wouldn't work for wager. Didn't know a lot of the pop culture stuff: Yippie! A near total white out. I'm only here today to learn something. Thanks, Splynter for helping me with that.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

That makes it two in a row! How I hate the dreaded DNF, but I had absolutely no chance on this one. Managed to complete the SW, NE and Center, but was left with YE_O_ in the NW and the three stacked nines in the SE where there were five correct letters in each, but I couldn't imagine what the other four could be.

Yes, Splynter, my EOE finally became EEO; it went from 33% to 100%. I didn't know how to spell DIDGERIDOO (though I knew that was the answer), and I was unsure of the spelling of YIPPEE KI YAY (I could have spelled the rest of that expression just fine).

I remember listening to MURRAY THE K in my ute when everybody listened to AM radio. You could pull in skip waves from distant stations at night -- KOMA in OKC, KAAY Little Rock, WBZ Boston, WABC and WOR New York, and most important of all, WLS in Chicago.

A total of 28 squares were Wite-Outed (???) today -- I think that may be a record! Lucky for me, today's not a school day, because my lunch money is gone!

Avg Joe said...


Had to google too many times to call it a fair fight. Got it done, but, certainly not a victory.

Anonymous said...

Disappointing and no fun. Did not even want to finish.

Gramma Jean said...

Argyle at 5:36! Wonderful comment! My thought exactly!

Yellowrocks said...

Anonymous @ 8:46, Argyle @ 5:36 and Gramma Jean, I agree.
Belated happy birthday, Argyle. I hope it was a good one. Thanks for all you do for the corner.

Dan said...

One word.Aggravating.

kazie said...

I didn't follow my own advice yesterday and looked at a few clues before deciding to give up. One was Australian wind, for which I confidently entered WILLYWILLY. The "I"s were in the right place so it would have been difficult to abandon had I had any hope of solving much else.

A willy willy is a kind of mini cyclone or dust devil, a whirling dust storm in the outback, wherein Aborigines were once said to conceal themselves to approach unseen when hunting prey.

Seeing that others here whose solving ability I respect had trouble today, I'm glad I didn't persevere.

inanehiker said...

Pretty much what Marti and Barry said. I knew some of the answers but not the spellings. Definitely a day for Google.
And Madame Darfarge - kids are still turning 11 in fifth grade these days, so more likely a fourth grade milestone.
Thanks Splynter for the write-up!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Even though I spent an inordinate amount of time on this, the Northwest did me in. I now defer to my good friend, Thumper. Good expo, Splynter.

Very cold and windy with much worse to come later in the day. Stay safe and warm everyone.

Have a great day.

Montana said...

Argyle at 5:36. My thoughts exactly!


Husker Gary said...

I had to put away my figurative white flag for each corner but eventually conquered all manner of obscurities. Thanks Jon!

-Maturity and fear of “road rage” has increased my TOLERANCE
-My surgery is Friday and I hope I’m not in a ward
-As you can see in this chart, Vegas is LAYing 30:1 odds on my Royals to win the World Series
-The 5th grade Girl Scout from whom we bought seven boxes of cookies has just observed her ELEVENth birthday
-HESSE/ERIS, MURRAY THE K/KYD – Gary 2 Naticks 0
-The “unmanly” APPLETINI was JD’s choice of drink in Scrubs
-Sheets of RAG paper
-A bad SELFIE decision?
-DJ’s I know – Cousin Brucie and Wolfman Jack
-My first year teacher BASE SALARY was $5,800
-Since FILM NOIR is “frawnch”
-I immediately knew DIDGERIDOO but needed help spelling
-Nope, didn’t know ERIS :-(
-Who said this non sequitur, “Papa, please! It's Capulets' like you who make blood in the marketplace! YE GODs!”

Rainman said...

Overslept, late for tennis. Puzzle too much for me today. Finished 95% maybe. Too many unknowns. Mostly not pleasant for me, sorry. The NW was the last to get. Thanks.

I'm a huge baklava fan but never heard of ROSEWATER, so... mañana.

Husker Gary said...

-Belated birthday wishes to Argyle. My email exchanges with him have always been gentlemanly and helpful.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

I see I'm in good company: a Technical DNF today. I finished, but not unassisted. The NE corner would not make sense, so I elected to Google that Swingin' Soirée, which was before my time. Certainly never heard of Murray the K. Once that was in, the rest fell into place.

Belated HBTY, Argyle! Thanks for all you do at the Corner.

Morning, Splynter, I quite agree. Thongs just don't do what those shorts do. Good example, too, by the way!

September said...

Snowbound in Ohio. And puzzle did me in!

September said...

Snowbound in Ohio. And puzzle did me in!

Dudley said...

Husker 10:42 -

Your example of rag paper reminds me that I was a bit stuck on that clue. I've always thought that rags, or cotton fiber, made for the very best paper, such as that used in currency. Maybe the clue refers to a rubbish quality newspaper, such as the National Enquirer. Dunno.

Relatedly, local folklore holds that the paper used for U.S. notes is made right here in Dalton, MA. The Crane Paper Company has been there for ages, making quality stationery, so they're the likely vendor. Security surrounding the product is said to be very tight, and the formula is said to be a national secret. Fair enough.

Yellowrocks said...

Dudley said, "Maybe the clue refers to a rubbish quality newspaper, such as the National Enquirer." My thoughts, exactly.

Jayce said...

I did not enjoy attempting to solve this puzzle. Even solving some of the answers without needing to look something up gave me no satisfaction.

Husker Gary said...

-Dudley and YR, yeah I think you guys are right. I pretty much knew RAG Paper was the answer but my “stream of consciousness” brain leaped (lept/leapt) ahead to currency because I somehow remembered that is what is used for our paper money. Damn it’s crowded up there, except for any useful information.

desper-otto said...

By my count, of the 28 comments so far, only Husker and Lemonade sound victorious. I do believe that's the worst showing the Cornerites have ever turned in.

HeartRx said...

I forgot to wish Argyle a belated Happy Birthday! And thanks for being the blog stalwart.

HG @ 10:42, as soon as I saw "YE GODS," I knew it was said by the annoying daughter of Mayor Shin in "The Music Man." But darned if I could remember her name, so I had to look it up: Zaneeta.

Anonymous said...

That is correct, Dudley: A RAG is a low-quality NEWSpaper.

29D "Willing consequence" = INHERITING is incorrect. An INHERITANCE is what you get from someone who died intestate – i.e., without a last will. What you get from a last will is a DEVISE (of real estate), a LEGACY or a BEQUEST. Ask yer neighborhood lawyer.

Misty said...

Well, I wasn't even going to comment today after the nightmare of trying to even get started on this puzzle. (At least I got SCARAB and KYD and USUAL, for a start). So it was a huge relief to come to the blog and find I wasn't the only one having trouble with this puzzle. Never thought I'd long for a Silkie, but I almost did this morning.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Yellowrocks said...

INHERITING may not be technically correct in lawyer's parlance, but in its everyday, common use it is correct.
According to a scientist the only WORK you did on this puzzle is move your the weight of your pen through a short distance to shape letters or your fingers to type them. The everyday, common use of WORK includes the mental processes, analyzing, organizing, and much more.
Many words have technical definitions as well as common, everyday definitions.

Anonymous said...

2/21, 6 down is wrong!
Rag paper is of the highest quality because it contains a large amount of cotton fibers derived from "rags".
Cheap paper is all wood pup and recycle

C6D6 Peg said...

This was truly a slog today. A DNF due to the K, same as Marti.

I do like the challenge, however, so thanks Mr O'Rourke.

Thanks for the explanations, Splynter. Great job as always!

coneyro said...

Why do I even bother on a Saturday? Even my "confident" answers were wrong. Put in GENRE instead of DECOR, BET instead of LAY, EOE instead of EEO. That was just part of my headache.

Nice to see MURRAYTHEK as an answer. When I was a teenager in Brooklyn, in the 60's, he used to produce concerts at the Fox theater. He, COUSIN BRUCIE, and of course, DICK CLARK, were iconic entertainment promoters and TV and radio personalities. IMO, after that decade pop music took a definite downward spiral and "filth“ became the norm. Sorry to say...

Hoping most of you are keeping warm. These historic low temperatures are doing a lot of damage countrywide. Glad I'm I Florida, although it's cooler than I'd like it to be.

Everyone have an enjoyable weekend.

CrossEyedDave said...

I did most of yesterdays puzzle in the waiting room of an Oral Surgeon while Daughter #1 had a wisdom tooth removed, the noises I heard were quite a distraction...

The last comment I read was just before CC's, so I missed Argyles Birthday. (Rats!) So, happy belated birthday Argyle, your always #1 with us!

So, with yesterday behind me, why did finding answers to todays puzzle seem like pulling teeth? (Ouch!)

Ol' Man Keith said...

Did someone say "Ouch"?
The easiest (first pass gets) for me were KYD and ERIN, both directly in my field.
Then came RAF and ALI G.
After that, everything was tough. Every. Thing.
I was fooled by some neat misdirections. In the end, I finished it all -- but ended up with five wrong. ENDURANCE for TOLERANCE and such straight errors. This was a challenge, and I lost it to Mr. O'Rourke. Kudos to him.

Nice Cuppa said...

Anonymous@12:46 pm

RAG is a jocular or mildly derogatory term for NEWSPAPER.

So the clue is essentially correct, but not always low quality.


desper-otto said...

HBD, Argyle, even if it is late. I think I'd finished the blog page and had moved on to the comments before C.C. posted her mea culpa. I totally missed it. You do keep this place "hummin'", and we appreciate it.

Nice Cuppa said...

Always worth a re-read. What you get by crossing an American mother with a British father:

"The gratitude of every home in our island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world except in the abodes of the guilty goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unweakened by their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of world war by their prowess and their devotion.

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day…."

…held on just in time, before you Yanks finally joined in and Britain became the largest American aircraft carrier in the North Atlantic.

Bluehen said...

This puzzle was a killer. I managed to finish it, but only because I saw the "handwriting on the wall" early on and turned on red letter help. It was still a slog. I would have preferred a Saturday Silkie.

A belated very Happy Birthday, Argyle, and many more to come. Thank you for all that you do for this Corner.

Anonymous said...

What's the diff between EEO and EOE? When to use one or the other?
This has bugged me forever.

Avg Joe said...

Anon @ 3:02, I'm always flummoxed by that too. And I'm prolly talking through my hat, but I think the difference is that one refers to the specific job offered: equal employment opportunity. And the other refers to the firm in general terms: equal opportunity employer.

FWIW, I also made that same mistake, as well as most others mentioned. Without google, I had about 75% of this bad boy. Oddly, I didn't hate it, just found it too hard to be enjoyable.

GrannyAnny said...

I see I'm in good company today! Don't remember ever seeing so few posters who actually had success with an LAT puzzle. Just couldn't find the "wave length" on this one as I occasionally can with a "Silky".

Had to laugh about coneyro's comment @ 12:58 that "pop music took a definite downward spiral" after 1970. As a pre-boomer who came of age in the 1950's, I thought the downward spiral started at least ten years sooner than 1970! I find that "oldies" from the sixties sound much better to me now than they did when first released. Must be mellowing with age.

Madame Defarge said...


How rude of me. I missed your birthday yesterday. Happy Birthday weekend!

Spitzboov said...

Good evening everyone.

Had to look up a few on this one. Helped me to enjoy the ones I could get like DIDGERIDOO vs. the ones I couldn't, like ROSEWATER. Mostly beyond my pay grade. Getting 19a involved using the right bible translation. King James worked.
But some clues and fill were just very good like that for AIN'T HAY , GISTS, LET, POPE, and even, LAY.
Obscure clue for HAN. They are the major Chinese ethnic group.

Thanks Splynter for dealing with this one.

Rainman said...

Argyle, have a very happy (belated) natal anniversary.

Thanks for all the help!
Argyle birthday

Squarehead said...

Now that was tough...

Argyle said...

A belated thank you to all my belated well wishes.

Mokus said...

Thank you, everyone! Misery loves company and this was a miserable solve for me.

Lucina said...

Hello. Better late than never I say. This morning was the HOA annual meeting so couldn't work on the puzzle.

But when I did!!!!!!!! WEES! Ditto! Ditto! Ditto! Not only was this a monster to solve, it wasn't enjoyable even when I filled some cells. Cluing was too obscure and arcane. ASU of course was my first fill but it gave me no joy.

I had much the same experience as most of you especially spelling DIDGERIDOO.

Thank you, Jonathan L. O'Rourke and thank you, Splynter.

I hope you all had a lovely Saturday or at least stayed warm.

fermatprime said...


Worst disaster that I have ever encountered in the LAT!


Bill G. said...

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me...

PMS jokes aren't funny. Period.

How do you make holy water? Boil the hell out of it.

Broken pencils are pointless.

Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

Anonymous T said...

Funny Bill G. I was txting the kids' dentist and good friend of DW's for an appt. She's Vietnamese and knows DW & I were born in '70 (year of the Dog).

>We're closed until Monday for Chinese New Year

Happy New Year! Do you say Goat or Sheep?
I've seen both

>It's a good year for you and K.
I herd.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

Finished but with some red letter help at the end - the Nw corner was a slog.
Had ITTY, then changed to MINI to see if I could get the Bible verse fill b/c Y wasn't ringing any bells. Tried ATOM for MYGOD, but sacrificing TOLERANCE proved to be too much.

The NW was a near slaughter. Never heard of Dreday or Murray the K, or KYD and took forever to get to BASE SALARY instead of CASH SALARY. :^(
GASP to GOSH to GASP again.
SLOPPY to SLIPPY to SLEEPY only came with NURSE.

I keep up with astronomy, but I've never heard of Eris.

ONE TENTH also fit. I did the calculation and figured that was close enough. Nope.

Is it cheating to look up the spelling of words like DIDGERIDOO and YIPPEEKIYAY?


Unknown said...

Pretty good challenge in one corner. Got bogged down with "tweet" instead of "logon" and thought didgeridew might be an alternate spelling! ~ LSK