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Feb 7, 2015

Saturday, Feb 7th, 2015, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie~!

Words: 72 (missing K,Q,W,Y,Z)

Blocks: 27

  Ah, a Silkie, and since I unofficially call his puzzles a "theme", that's two in a row for me~!  Pretty blank on the first pass, with triple 11-letter stacks in the Across, and then triple 8's in the Down corners to work with.  Slowed down by the proper names again, but I seem to be getting more open-minded about how I go about the solve (*); guess I've done my share of Saturday crosswords, and a good number of Mr. Silk's at that....all in all, a fairly fun solve.  Some of the longer fill;

15a. Reversible chemical process : ION EXCHANGE - I had the "X" from 5d., and not that I've heard of this process, but it sounded pretty good; think water softeners

14d. Followers : APOSTLES - pondered BOOSTERS ( had the --OST--S), then GNOSTICS; I got there eventually

67a. Bank counter convenience : DEPOSIT SLIP - becoming obsolete in my world; I can now run my checks thru the ATM ( in a stack of up to 30, not that I would ever have that many ) and get a print-out of the check on my receipt - no deposit slip required

37. Loiters : HANGS OUT

ONvacationWARD~!

ACROSS:

1. Three-volume biography of Winston Churchill : THE LAST LION - no clue to start, but that rarely fazes me anymore

12*. Summer, at times : CPA - open-minded; a "sum-mer", like my friend Ed, who does my taxes

16. Material flaw : RIP - I went with "RUN", but you know where my mind usually is....


17. Collectible late-'50s auto : EDSEL RANGER - I took time to read over some of the reasons for this epic failure, and found some of it quite fascinating

18. Mattel game since 1992 : UNO - I am working on a board/card game of my own right now, with the hope of selling it through my buddy Mike's company, Kid Agains - he's really taking off with the brand; in fact, he's in China now working out the details of the next 3 games they're producing for him this year.  I have a lot of work to do at the restaurant, and with the threat of more snow, I decided to take a week of vacation from UPS.  Any free time next week will be spent working on the game.

19. Inventing initials : TAE - Thomas Alva Edison

20. Almost null? : EINS - cute.  Zero and one in German

21. Dodges : EVADES - I went with AVOIDS; that's 67% technically, but the key was having the "V" in the right place

23. Four-time All-Star Oriole outfielder Jones : ADAM - C.C. would know more

25*. Former prime minister who grew up in Milwaukee : MEIR - WAG

27. Raise : ERECT

28*. Certain red giant : C STAR - here's what I mean; in past puzzles, we've seen "-"STAR, so I filled that part in, and WAGed a "G" to start

30. One often looking down : SNOB

32. File, for one : TOOL - Tried MENU.   Was 100%.   Wrong.

33. 54-Across holder : TUB - ah, didn't get enough circumreferential yesterday~?

35. Lucrative venture : GOLD MINE

37. They don't sound as welcoming as they are : HOSTELS - One would hope the environment is not "Hostile"

41. Bolivian president Evo : MORALES - mostly perps

42. Net : AFTER TAX

44*. Blues musician Mahal : TAJ - sensible WAG, but then I wondered if it might be "Raj", or something like that

45. NASCAR Hall of Fame locale: Abbr. : N. CARolina

46. Go (through) : SIFT - I tried PASS

48. Goes for : COSTS - picking up my new phone tomorrow.  There was nothing wrong with my old one, but I am really excited to start using the new Ryobi Phone Works tools - I have the scope, the moisture meter, and will probably buy the stud finder ( yes, it might just be a metal detector, HeartRx~! ) as well.  My new plan COSTS more than the last one because I added a 'hot-spot' device so I can print Home Inspection reports in the field - that is, from the trunk of my car.

52. Capturer's triumphant words : GOT 'EM

54. 33-Across filler : LARD - uh, see 33a?

56. Cheer : ROOT - not RAVE, not RANT

57. Tannery output : SUEDES

59. Smoke, perhaps : CURE - ah, like meat; think Beef Jerky

61. Fr. title : MME

62. "... and the __ below / As hush as death": "Hamlet" : ORB

63. Asset disposal option : AUCTION SALE

66. Original "Burn Notice" airer : USA - I tried the show; I liked it, but couldn't stay with it.  I am happy to see "Sirens" is back - more Denis Leary

68. Rx notation : TER - Dah.  Went with TID

69. Runoff facilitators : STORM DRAINS - went with GRATES to start

DOWN:      

1. Haberdashery item : TIE-TAC

2. Beginners with boards : HO-DADS - Dictionary.com calls this person a "non-surfer who spends time at the beach masquerading as a surfer"

3. Put on a throne : ENSEAT

4. Author Harper : LEE

5*. Wheelbarrow feature : AXLE - did my share of assembling these last summer ( not sum-mer ); how many 4-letter parts does one of these have, anyway~?


6. Open-weave fabric : SCRIM - new word for me; frequently used as a lighting filter and stage backdrop

7. Old Scottish officials : THANES - half perps, half WAG

8. Capital on the Grand River : LANSING - JazzB nailed it, right?


9*. Like Dvorák's Symphony No. 8 : IN G - more of that crossword intuition; it's going to be "IN" A,B,C,D,E,F, or G....

10. Fancy molding : OGEE - messed up my AVOIDS, but I am working on a new project at the restaurant - they're looking for some "wow" when they re-open for Valentine's Day, so the owner opted for a true 'fish house' look; chalkboards and subway tile - I like the contrast, and I love doing the work - the split between the two is the height of the chairs.  Hence, I am installing chair rail.  When I primed the wall, you could really see the dings from the backs of the seats


11. Audacity : NERVE

12. Well target : CRUDE OIL

13. Organ with scales : PINE CONE - well, uh, that's one way to describe it

22. Would-be designer, perhaps : ART MAJOR - the "J" from 44a. helped immensely

24. Had an impact : MATTERED

26. Basic rental : ROOM - Ah.  Not AUTO

29. Who's sorry now : RUER

31. Smudge : BLOT - not SPOT, so I took it all out - but was half right in the first place

34. Alphabetical orders? : BLTs - Odd, but I went with RSVP

36. Literary count, familiarly : DRAC - or VLAD~?  All I had was the "A"

38. "For certain" : "OF COURSE~!"

39. Regulatory legal association : STATE BAR

40. Breeze (through) : SAIL

43. Hard-to-define influence : X FACTOR

47. Platitude : TRUISM

49. Shilling spender : SOMALI

50. 2003 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor recipient : TOMLIN

51. Marinates : STEEPS

53. Honey beverages : MEADS

55. Sci-fi figure : DROID - my "GRATES" led me to try ZERO G - hey, that's sort of a "figure"

58. Haggis ingredient : SUET

60*. Start of an intermission? : ENT'R - ACTE; seen this in enough crosswords, so I was not fooled

64. USCG rank : CPO

65. Federal benefits org. : SSA

Splynter

35 comments:

Argyle said...

I had one of those days where walking away and coming back worked very well. I wasn't sure of my last fill and didn't get a Ta-da! lol The last fill was right but one of my "for certain" was wrong. Silkie wins again.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Another brutal solve, mostly to do the inane cluing. Or insane cluing. Take your pick. "Organ with scales" for PINECONE? "Almost null" for EINS?

Tough all over, but some notable missteps included TUN for TUB at 33A, which gave me WINE instead of LARD at 54A. Once I finally got TUB, I then changed 54A to BATH. A TUB of LARD? Whatever.... Also, initially went with CARLIN over TOMLIN down in the SE, which seemed to fit so well, and tried NEBR instead of NCAR at 45A. Took awhile to recover from those mistakes, but I did eventually get through unassisted and got the "TADA" exactly when I thought I should. So, a tough, but fair puzzle overall.

In other news, I remember first playing UNO during my college years, and therefore refused to accept that it was introduced in 1992. I guess I must have played it while attending law school and not in my undergrad days, however.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This one wasn't too tough, but in the end I managed to screw it up. Hand up for TUN/WINE at first. My HODADS started out as HAOLES -- I least i was near the ocean.

Splynter, your math is creative again today. Your "67% technically" is 33% actually IMO. I also used to cash my checks at the ATM sans DEPOSIT SLIP -- when I used to receive checks. Now that I'm no longer a mortgage lender the checks are few and far between.

Interesting (perhaps) sidelights on today's puzzle. Harper Lee has just published her second novel -- although written earlier, it's a sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird. And in San Diego an investigation is underway into the death of the owner of HODAD'S eatery.

Alas, I've avoided it as long as I can. DNF! Due to my TIE TAK crossing K STAR. Arrrrrgh!

HeartRx said...

Splynter, I had the same asterisked answers as you. I filled IN* and *STAR. I had OGEE at 9d, UNO, TAE and ENTR' on the first pass. Not much to go on, but I knew if I teased at the grid, it would eventually reveal itself.

I don't even bother with ATMs anymore - I make deposits sitting at my desk, using my iPhone and the Bank of America app. Piece of cake!

I did read the Edsel article. You're right - there were some interesting facts. And I can't help but wonder if the paragraph you found interesting was the first one about the design controversies?

Time to brace for another winter storm. This one is supposed to last through Monday evening. Stay warm, fellow New Englanders! And you folks down south and out west can regale us with your temperature readings while we shiver in the cold.

Lemonade714 said...

HODADS? Sorry but this was too much for me and I gave in and gave up.

The misdirection on UNO which I played with my grandmother in the 70's I guess is ok since MATTEL bought the game in 1992.

Ah well can't win them all.

TTP said...


Good morning all.

I'm with you Argyle. I put this one down at least four times.

There were enough easy clues to get a really good start on that first pass. Just at the top I had first fills LEE, AXLE, THANES, IN-, OGEE, NERVE, EVADES, ERECT, UNO, TAE and ADAM. That helped, and so did the coffee at 6AM after the first break. Still had to defrock myself to the regular solver level during that third attack.

Oh well, got it done. Really liked "They don't sound as welcoming as they are" = HOSTELS.
Really disliked HO-DADS. Wasn't too keen on GOT EM as two "words" even though I got er.

Thanks for sharing Splynter. Liked your writeup.

D-O, I think he was basing it on four of six correct.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was a typical Silkie solve, a chip here, a wag there, and, eventually, a TADA. Alas, no TADA for me today. Needed help with CStar (I didn't want to let go of Cedar.) Never heard of hodads and enseat may be legit but I don't like it. The only null I'm familiar with is null and void. Overall, I did enjoy the challenge (as always) but some of the cluing/fill annoyed me.

By Monday night, we'll have another 15+ inches of snow, on top of the mounds already surrounding us. I think Mother Nature is on the warpath. Temps are nothing to brag about, either.

Have a great day.

Irish Miss said...

Sorry, I forgot. Thanks, Mr. Silk and Splynter, for a Saturday stumper and super expo.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

WOW. This one was a prime example of the influence of rest upon puzzle solving. I began at bedtime, and got just a few specks in a snowfield. After a night's sleep, it improved to a mighty slog.

This was also an example of how many plausible, solid-looking, and wrong answers you can fit into the pinwheel design of a Saturday Silkie. Example: Phase Change. That looked immovable to me. Wrong!

I didn't recall the Churchill bio at first, so Man of Action seemed reasonable. Wrong!

A few wrong letters had me thinking the vintage car might be some class of Rambler. But I got thinking, and of all the Dvorák compositions, only a very few were in the key of L.

Got there eventually, but honestly I've never heard of a Hodad. Thanks for hanging in there, Splynter!

Avg Joe said...

Serious slog! This one involved more wags than an overcrowded animal shelter during visitors hours. Got it in the end with no lookups, but it wasn't easy. Thanks for the challenge, Mr. Silk and the writeup Mr. Splynter.

I think that Mastroianni and Hart must live in New England based on today's B.C. Comic We had a tough week here with two blizzards, 14+" of snow and one overnight drop to -16F. But as of yesterday it's above freezing and we should get rid of most of the snow by Monday.

Husker Gary said...

A funny thing happened on my way to giving up after one circumnavigation. This left-brained guy took some chances and, boom, the top was done. Hello EDSEL RANGER, goodbye BOW TIE, remembered THANES, etc. Eventually I get simpatico with Barry and had a lovely time doing it.

Musings
-Winston’s mother was American Jenny Jerome, a real-life contemporary of Downton’s fictional Lady Grantham
-LARD TUB is the genesis for a horrible playground taunt
-People who get others into Amway seem to have a GOLD MINE by recruiting not selling
-No idea on MORALES but it just seemed to be a common Hispanic surname
-If you can’t afford 12 minutes and don’t want to get inspired and choked up like I did yesterday, skip this video about another racer in N CAR (12:54)
-Her issues make my Feb 27th surgery look like a piece ‘o cake
-We cat owners know all about SIFTING
-Harper LEE’s originally wrote Go Set A Watchman with Scout as a young woman. The publisher had her rework the book with Scout as a young girl in To Kill A Mockingbird and her original book looks to be a huge seller in 2015.
-One of the pitfalls of retirement is that you don’t seem to MATTER as much
-A singer can sing a song; a singer with the X-FACTOR can sell the song
-Except for the horrible starlings, even my birds turn their noses up at SUET

desper-otto said...

TTP@9:24 -- Splynter and I have a good-natured mathematical disagreement. Although EVADES and AVOIDS share 4 letters in comment (66%) only two of them are in the same location (33%).

I went to reading about star classes on Wiki, and saw that there was a K star, but no C star. Hey, maybe I'm right! Nope! The C-star is mentioned lower down -- it's definitely red and the K-star is not.

Argyle said...

this is only a test

tiptoethru said...

This Silkie totally slipped past me and I had to come here for the explanations. Wow, even with a second cup and a few washer to dryer exchanges, I couldn't come up with a hodad or a C-star. I still enjoyed the answers I did get. Was so proud of coming up with a gold mine, since I used to be a tour guide for the Homestake mine in Lead. It was very lucrative venture for a young girl back then. Hope all you North Easterners are able cope with this next storm. I'm off to more chores. Thanks, All!

TTP said...

D-O@10:32 - Yea, neither bit of that math was too hard to figure out, although, "...EVADES and AVOIDS share 4 letters in comment (66%)..." does. I think auto-correct may have auto-changed your intended word :>)

C6D6 Peg said...

Pretty tough start, but managed to slog through, even though a technical DNF. Had MURALES and RAJ instead of MORALES and BLOT.

Thanks for a nice workout Mr. Silk, and a great write-up, as usual, Splynter.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Ah, another Silkie. I solved it slowly a) because I couldn't think of fill any faster, and b) so as to savor each little wisp of sophisticated aura that emanates from Barry's puzzles. Eventually got all of it with only two look-ups, STEEPS and SCRIM. Had to white-out 'denim'. Got HODADS, TAJ, MORALES, and UNO from the perps. Had ALI; finally reached way down in my brain to get SOMALI.
20a. NULL - Grew up with NULL, in both Low and Standard German. Same vowel sound as oo in 'book'. (Dutch is nul.) We, of course, have the concept of the NULL space, etc.
DEPOSIT SLIP - Since my banking is all on line with occasional bank by mail, it's been at least a year since using conveniences of a bank counter. 'Sic Transit Gloria'

desper-otto said...

Yes, TTP, I've come to love and admire auto-cracked.

coneyro said...

Could someone explain to me 13D? I may be dense, but I have no idea what organ and pinecone have to do with each other. Did not know what summer had to do with CPA until I read the blog. Silkies are WAY over my head. Ingenious and devious, with encyclopedic answers beyond me. I wish I was as knowledgeable as some of you guys. And yet, clues like 25A came easy to me because of my background. So I guess everyone has their own well of facts, some just go deeper underground. I should start digging.

Have a great weekend folks.

CrossEyedDave said...

Conetro:
see 1st line

desper-otto said...

Coneyro, the pinecone is the reproductive organ of the pine tree. Its "leaves" or "petals" are called scales.

CrossEyedDave said...

In trying not to invoke Thumper, I was very impressed that the constructor, faced with the fill TAE, was able to come up with such a great clue... (19A)

28A Certain red giant, that's easy, Betalguese,,, except it wont fit, any more than I can pronounce it...

& a little research later...

It's not a C star, but an M2???

wait a sec...

WTF? When did they change the classifications?

What happened to "Oh Be A Fine Girl Kiss Me?

P.S. Coneyro, sorry for the typo...

Barry G. said...

MATTEL bought the game in 1992.

Ah, thank you for that, Lemonade. I was sure I had played it prior to 1992, but the clue had me doubting my memory...

Madame Defarge said...

Well, well, well. I had a lot to do this morning and didn't check the puzzle til about noon. I thought about not daring after a morning of feeling pretty smart for various reasons and tasks completed. I saw the usual Saturday Silkie, and thought, Eh, maybe not. BUT the first clue jumped out. I knew LION and tried THE. I thought maybe I might get somewhere. Alas, no. A DNF or CouldNF. Sigh. I had all the problems the rest of you have mentioned except MME, of course, the short version of Madame. I knew UNO rights were purchased by Mattel. It was banned in the student center at school when the director realized the kids were gambling with it. Who says teenagers aren't ingenious?!

Thanks Splynter for the very necessary run through!

Stay cozy.

Yellowrocks said...

A few Googles, but fun puzzle. We played UNO in the 70's, too, but not by Mattel, I suppose.
Alan was into surfer music so I knew HODAD.
Today my older son came to take us to lunch and lift my spirits. Wonderful surprise!
Off to get Alan a hair cur. My appt. is on Tues. We look like hippies.

Ol' Man Keith said...

We sometimes get to our answers by the most circuitous routes. Faced with "Summer, at times," I didn't see, as Splynter points out, that a CPA can be understood as a "sum-mer," i.e. one who works with mathematical "sums." I reasoned instead that it was Mr. Silk's reference to economist Larry Summers, who as one-time Secretary of the Treasury, probably had the skills of a CPA.
It doesn't matter how we get there, right? So long as we get there...

Big Easy said...

This bugger took 8 hours in three 15 minute sessions but I was determined to finish. I'm baby sitting my wife who just had knee-replacement surgery so I've got nowhere to go.

First pass- not very much. Got UNO, TAE, OGEE, MEIR, MORALES, and guessed N. CAR and TAJ. And how much free press can the new Harper LEE book get? Then the fun began.
Was it EVADES or AVOIDS, BUILD or ERECT, EDSEL-what......, VOID became EINS( and I know German), TAKE HOME or AFTER TAX, LEATHER or SUEDES, SORT or SIFT, BLANK CHECKS or DEPOSIT SLIP and I wouldn't bore you good people who HANG(S) OUT here with the DOWN either/ors not that it MATTERED.

The NW fell first even though I didn't know HODADS, ADAM, SCRIM, or THANES. I really liked the clues GOT EM, TUB of LARD, and GOLDMINE.

This was definitely a solvable puzzle; it just took three sittings.

Big Easy said...

Husker- I'm a cat owner but don't sift. He stays outside.

Spitz- bank by mail? I just take a picture of the few checks I receive, which are always written by my wife's friends to her. Is it me, or do all women pay each other in checks but men pay each other is cash?

Coneyro- we're no smarter or dumber than anyone else. Just been working puzzles longer and remember lots of useless information.

Jayce said...

Man oh man, there was no way I could finish this puzzle without looking up many of the items. Like so many, the puzzle seemed much easier and straightforward in retrospect. I too penciled in CARLIN and TIETAK at first. Also EDEN (Anthony) instead of MEIR. 5 out of 5 on the hardness scale.

Anonymous T said...

Hi all!

52d was my key to 63a, 67a, and 69a. That led to carLIN, STEEPS, and isrALI (wasn't there supposed to be an e?). My paper became a mess from there. At 1d, I confused Haberdasher w/ Milliner and put in tophat - TAE told me I was way off base and I couldn't recover. The rest of the Silk EVADES me.

Thanks Splynter for keeping me from pulling out more hair.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

Oops, too much MEAD - 53d. C, -T

Lucina said...

Greetings, word warriors! Nice expo, Splynter, thank you.

Better late than never I say. I started this in the morning, got about 3/4 through then went to a movie with a friend and finished it on my return.

Most were brain ticklers for sure but quite sussable with a few fill in place starting with LEE then MEIR and I vaguely recalled having read President Evo's name and slowly MORALES seeped out of my memory.

That's the way it went until done. Thanks for reminding me of CURE for meat, Splynter, it wouldn't come to me but everything fit.

It was laborious but vastly satisfying.

I hope you've all had a sensational Saturday! Now, I'll read what you said.

Lucina said...

I recently saw HODAD in another puzzle or would not have known it and SCRIM is one of those unusual words that just stays in my head.

Hardest for me were BLTS/ATER TAX, XFACTOR and CURE. TUB of LARD zipped right out for some reason.

coneyro:
After doing these for a few decades your mind will be filled with all kinds of information, useless or otherwise.

Bluehen said...

I like Saturday Silkies, but Spitzboov said it best. Challenging, but in the end doable and therefore rewarding. I had a hard time wrapping my head around a PINECONE being an organ with scales, but the perps were solid and the explanation works. Thanks CED, Barry Silk and Splynter. Lotsa fun. Cya!

Danelaw said...

My parents lived in Lead in the mid-1920s when my father worked at the Homestake gold mine. At that time, the mine went down a mile. A few years ago, my husband and I toured the mine and were told that it was 3 miles(?) deep. He quit the mine when his hand was crushed in an accident. He recovered fully but never wanted to work underground again. I have a core sample from around the 2.5 mile point, I think. Alas, I see no gold in it. I'd love to see the company records for his dates of employment and pay. Best regards, James Petersen