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May 23, 2015

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015, Tim Croce and Alex Vratsanos

Theme: None

Words: 68 (missing J)

Blocks: 29

  Well this one was just a complete "Fun Sponge".  I was just about blank on the first few passes, across and down, but then I was able to break through in some areas - but I could get nowhere in the NW, and the combined foreign words/proper names vagueness just dragged this one out way past my personal time, so off to Google I went.  Such a shame, really, but there's got to be one or two puzzles that just beat me up and take my lunch money, or I would not learn anything by trying.  Big, chunky quad-6- and 8-letter corners with two climbers;

3. Eagle touchdown site : TRANQUILITY BASE


12. It might make you comfortable : SOUND INVESTMENT

unward  :7(

ACROSS:

1. Strips near the water : ISTHMI - ugh.  strips of land, as in "isthmuses"- so I had an "S" in there for the longest time

7. One giving you a pointer? : UNCLE SAM - he wants you

15. Tire tube, e.g. : TOROID

16. New York racing venue : SARATOGA - horse racing in Argyle's neck of the woods.  I needed the first two "A"s before I remembered this - and I lived in Albany for a few years

17. Sycophantic : SMARMY

18. Skiing maneuver : STEM TURN - did not know this, but I am sure HeartRx did

19. Strands in a tree : TINSEL - Dah~!  I was thinking strands as in "abandons", not strands of silvery metal Christmas decorations

20. Wincing words : I HOPE NOT - "you gonna spend $15K to get your roof fixed~?"

21. Ques. : INQuiry - my first thought, but it seemed a bit of a s-t-r-e-t-c-h

22. Jerry who was head coach of the Utah Jazz for 23 seasons : SLOAN - just the "L" was a WAG; the rest, perps

24. Over the limit, on the rd. : DUI - .08 is the limit here; my first "infraction" was almost 3X that

25. Verdun's river : MEUSE - UGH.  Frawnche.

28. Dominate, in slang : OWN - The NY Rangers 'owned' the TB Lightning last night, winning 5-1; going back to MSG tied 2 games a piece

29. Mighty efforts : PAINS

31. What one might need to leave : EXIT VISA

33. Buff : FIEND - you know what I am a fiend of....the summer is officially kicking in this weekend, and the summer staff has returned to the restaurants - some familiar faces again, and some new cute ones~!



34. Shuttle sites : LOOMS - I took a moment to consider the Space shuttle, or a weaving shuttle - ah ha~!

35. "The Simpsons" shower : FOX TV

36. Drops : SINKS

37. Cuban genre also called the "contradanza" : HABANERA

40. Belgian-born artist with the 2012 Grammy-winning album "Making Mirrors" : GOTYE - total fun sponge

41. Slangy "No reason" : "CUZ" - because.  If I'm writing  dialogue, I spell it " 'cos "

42. Flattened, as a flat : RASED - the flat reference to an apartment building should have clued me into the British spelling of raZed

43. Kid with a trombone : ORY - Did not know this guy

44. Start of a wistful remark : "AH YES...."

46. ID checker : TSA - part of Homeland Security

47. Tiger Electronics' Poo-Chi, for one : ROBOT DOG - I was thinking "robo-pet" at first


50. Give nothing away : CLAM UP; and clecho at 26d. Giving nothing away : STONY

53. Pal of Beegle Beagle : GRAPE APE - I did watch this, I think

54. '60s defense secretary McNamara : ROBERT - I did actually recall this proper name

55. Entering with care : EASING IN - huh - last week, we had Eased Out

56. Right, in a way : AVENGE

57. Smooths : SLEEKENS

58. Liquidated? : MELTED

DOWN:       

1. "Let's go" : IT'S TIME

2. ZzzQuil alternative : SOMINEX - eh, I spelled it wrong; happens in the 'down'
4. __-la-loi: outlaw : HORS - more F'n Frawnche

5. Art with no lines : MIME

6. Theocritus works : IDYLS

7. It carried FDR to a 1943 "Big Three" meeting : USS IOWA - I had the first "S" and the last "A", and this was a pretty good WAG

8. Lane on Broadway : NATHAN - Clever clue, but didn't fool me; this guy

9. Theban ruler in "Antigone" : CREON - had to Google

10. Standing __ : LAMP - Ugh, really~?  I mean, I get it, but....

11. Novel ending : ETTE - meh.  I thought it was NoveLLA

13. Not a good way to run : AGROUND - Ooops~!



14. Short prayer? : MANTIS - the bug, that is

23. It may be insured : LOSS

27. Draw out : EVOKE

29. "Cars" studio : PIXAR

30. "Building a healthier world" sloganeer : AETNA

32. Virtual chats : IMs

33. Time keeper? : FOB - I was trying to come up with a magazine Time collector, but it's just the watch chain we're looking for

35. Trouble : FAZE - as in "that did not --- me"

36. Sisterly : SORORAL - ah - the other kind of sister

37. Christiaan who invented the pendulum clock : HUYGENS - this guy

38. Rise again : RESURGE

39. Modified : ADAPTED

40. Indulges and then some : GORGES

41. Most of his works were for solo piano : CHOPIN - a WAG having just the "I"

44. Bit of grandmotherly advice : ADAGE

45. Ejection interjection : "SCRAM~!"

48. Tyke of vintage TV : OPIE

49. Quite a run : TEN-K

51. "A temporary insanity curable by marriage," per Ambrose Bierce : LOVE - cute

52. Explorer Tasman : ABEL

Splynter

59 comments:

Anonymous said...


I don't think I've ever met a Tim Croce puzzle that wasn't a joyless slog, always containing generally obscure references and terms.

Argyle said...

I red-lettered and Googled right from the git-go ... and still had trouble. Sheesh!

HowardW said...

That was a tough one, but managed to finish. Biggest help was remembering TRANQUILITY BASE without any perps. [17-minute mark here.] Oddly, I also WAGged CHOPIN with only the I. CREON was also a WAG from the dusty back-alleys of the mind.

Lots of unknowns - Poo-Chi the ROBOT DOG, GRAPE APE, GOTYE, CUZ, HORS-la-loi. Enjoyed the Ambrose Bierce definition (as always), and "short prayer".

Thanks for the recap, Splynter!

unclefred said...

Way over my head. First pass got me "DUI" and "ROBERT". Second pass I still had those two. I could see I would spend all day on Google, or just give up. I took option two, and came here to find "ISTHMI", "TOROID", "SMARMI". Good job I gave up early. Sheesh!!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

A firm Technical DNF today. I got everything but the blasted NW corner unassisted. Tranquility Base was in place. I guessed - reasonably - at Poems for the poet Theocritus, but nothing else worked. Finally gave up and turned on red letters, and was shocked to find Isthmi and Idyls. Didn't see those coming.

Stem Turn was mostly perps, and since it looked wrong, I Googled to confirm it was a thing. It was.

Morning Splynter, glad to hear the summer crop is coming in!

As to the beaching videos: I'm given to understand that the salvaging of old ships is a big business in coastal Asia, in those sorts of countries where nobody gives a hoot about the toxic filth being allowed to wash into the sea from the old vessels. They just drive 'em onto the sands, and over time, chop 'em into scrap metal.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Add my name to the complainer's roll. I slogged through this one, got most of it via random guesses, and then threw in the towel in the NE corner. Turned on the red-letter help and ran through the alphabet to finally get STEM TURN and I HOPE NOT, which was enough to let me guess at CREON and LAMP, which in turn let me finally get MANTIS (cute clue) and UNCLE SAM (not very cute clue).

Elsewhere, it was nearly as bad. Took a long time to finally get ISTHMI in the NW, as well as MIME, HORS, MEUSE, IDYLS and SLOAN. Had LOOMS, but really wanted EDUCE before EVOKE and STOIC before STONY. FUSS before FAZE caused a huge roadblock. HUYGENS? GOTYE? ORY? SLEEKENS?

*UGH*

PK said...

Hi Y'all! ISTHMI (not ISland)? TOROID? What a diabolically cruel start to a puzzle! I did more red-letter runs to try to get started on this puzzle than ever before. Six on ISTHMI alone. Splynter, our hero!

I recognized it was the moon landing but tried sea of TRANQUILITY. When "T" showed up, I got the right word first, but BASE didn't come easily.

Short prayer was not MANTra but the bug! Ugh!

I could see Jerry SLOAN's face and knew his name started with S. The rest came slowly. I liked the Jazz during his tenure. It's been years.

USS went in at once. IOWA needed a couple perps which were hard to come by.

PIXAR & CHOPIN, I knew but HUYGENS I never heard of. Lots of words I never heard of. Buff = FIEND? Are you kidding me? On what planet?

Limit on the road: I was thinking weights for truck loads on cross-country hauls. You've seen these weight stations that truckers have to stop at?

desper-otto said...

Morning!

DNF due to LAMP. I knew it couldn't be LAPP, but STEP TURN sounded OK. What is a Standing LAMP, anyway? Is that what I would call a floor lamp? Really expected GOTYE to be wrong also -- looks too weird, and I'm not familiar with "Making Mirrors."

Unclefred, FIEND was for "Buff" -- as in art buff/art fiend. Mighty efforts were PAINS, as in taking great pains. I took 'em, and I got 'em. [Sigh]

thehondohurricane said...


Not a good day,

Got Jerry SLOAN, OPIE & SARATOGA. After that, I decided I don't do Crosswords clued in a foreign language. ISTHMI, MEUSE, HABAERA, & a bunch of others were totally out of my wheelhouse.

These constructors are on my "don't bother with it" list when I run into them in the future.

desper-otto said...

With a puzzle created (at least partly) by a Croce, you'd think time keeper would be something other than FOB. ie -- Time In A Bottle.

Avg Joe said...

Bruised. Bloodied. Bowed. Cowed. Thoroughly beaten about the head and shoulders with a cudgel.

Only had about 1/3 before I hit the g spot. Did get Tranquility base and ......investment without help, but there were too many complete unknowns to care anymore. Didn't Haight it, but it sure wasn't Gneiss.

HeartRx said...

Good morning everyone.

I promised myself that I would take a vacation from all of our projects this weekend. So I was able to actually sit down and do the puzzle before the day was done!

Fun run, as Splynter said. My first breakthrough was in the NE with SARATOGA. Then with the STE***** in place, my skiing maneuver wanted to be a STEM Christie. That is how I used to teach my ski school students, but it has been replaced by the parallel turn. So STEM TURN it was.

But I was finally done in by 38-Down. I had already filled in the SW and had GORGES at 40-down. When I came to the SE, I had enough perps to give me RE*URGE. So what did I enter? A "G"!!! Ugh, not a pretty vision down south. And a fail to start the weekend!

Anonymous said...

Ugh here too. Not enjoyable at all - can't understand why they would create something as obscure as this and expect folks to like it!

HowardW said...

d-otto: That would be an awesome late-week clue.
Croce's timekeeper : BOTTLE

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

WSS (What Splynter said) - "…or I would not learn anything by trying." Needed several red letters to finish. Some great clues such as for UNCLE SAM and EXIT VISA. "Getting' TRANQUILITY BASE, CHOPIN and even HUYGENS made up for not knowing GOTYE or ORY. Got SORORAL but it reminded me of a horse, Sorrel.
7d - Assumed the name of a ship and guessed it started with USS. Since it ended with 'a' in VISA, it left very few 4 ltr choices and IOWA, being a battleship seemed like something FDR would travel on.
SARATOGA - Grew up 2 miles from the battlefield and 12 miles from the racetrack.

Yellowrocks said...

I am glad I am in such illustrious company today, a big fat DNF. Too many long alphabet runs sucked up all the fun, so half way through I turned on the solution. Even after seeing the answers, it was a real Thumper IMO.
At first i thought I must be brain dead. I had my other knee replacement surgery on Monday and came home on Wed. On Thursday, Alan became very ill and could hardly walk so a friend took us to the ER. Alan is still in the hospital where they have not yet been able to diagnose the problem. My friend took me back to visit yesterday and today my other son is coming to take me to visit. So soon after surgery my thigh is swelling and is quite painful with all this activity. My in-home PT says I am doing better than most, so I guess it is all good. It would be helpful if I could spend all day with Alan. So many comforts fall through the cracks when you depend solely on the staff, especially if the patient is too ill to ask or move around much.

Spitzboov said...

Re: 7d - Wiki says the Iowa took FDR to Oran (Algeria).
From there he flew on to Cairo and Tehran to meet with Stalin and Churchill.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Normally, I would defer to Thumper and leave it at that, but, in this case, I'm going to speak my mind. Never have I spent so much time on a puzzle with no satisfaction whatsoever but with much frustration and annoyance.

I think Mr. Croce and Mr. Vratsanos placed more importance on confounding and irritating the solver than providing a challenging, yet enjoyable experience. If I'm correct, they were supremely successful, IMHO!

Splynter, thanks for your restrained review.

YR, so sorry to hear of your post-op issues and Alan's illness. Best wishes to you both and please keep us posted.

Have a great day.

Zcarguy said...

At the half hour mark I thought IT'S TIME to take an Exit Visa from this slog and save my sanity.
I expect Saturday puzzles to be difficult.. But this was torture ....no fun at all ..sorry.

Paul in Montebello said...

I might build crosswords using words that I personally find interesting or important. People then would playfully start calling me "Jude the Obscure"...and find my puzzles to be a waste of time.

JJM said...

Not fun at all… and that's why I do crossword puzzles. Absolutely unenjoyable. I finished, but not without Google's help.So many things and people I never heard. I could go on with specifics, but that would be as pointless as this puzzle.

Spitzboov said...

To assuage some of the grumpiness expressed this am, here is a link you might enjoy: 11-year-old harpist

Husker Gary said...

Amen Splynter! When I looked up my unknowns, Google took me to sites dedicated to Crossword Puzzle words and not general knowledge. I’ll take my humble pie with a side of learning. Where’s my Saturday Silky? ☺

Musings
-SLOAN and ROBERT were gimmes por moi
-SEA OF TRANQUILITY was one letter too many but this NASA guy got it
-Did anyone else think of these tree strands?
-Do you remember what this cheer referred to – “SINK it, Gary, SINK it”
-The TSA has of course checked my ID, but has never laid a hand on me. Should I be offended?
-The wistful AH YES, I Remember It Well” song from Gigi by Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold has been linked often here.
-I now know HORS means “outside”
-FDR also was the first president to fly the Atlantic and did so in this Boeing flying boat The Dixie Clipper to get to Casablanca
-Do you remember the movie with this MIME scene?

C6D6 Peg said...

Yes, it was quite a slog and a DNF due to GOTYE and ORY? Way too much time spent this morning trying to finish. But it was a mind exercise, which I enjoy.

Thanks, Splynter, for your write-up. Maybe you should take French lessons in your spare time? LOL!

Anonymous said...

41A I spell it 'CAUSE.

57A SLEEKENS: Not a word. The verb form of "sleek" (if there is one) is "sleek."

14D Praying MANTISes are not short, for insects.

3D Another Eagle touchdown site is LINCOLN FINANCIAL FIELD.

10D Standing LAMP is simply a foul.

SwampCat said...

D-Otto, thanks for explaining buff/fiend. It made no sense at all to me. I guess you are right, but still...

Splynter, masterful job.....

For the rest, Thumper and I will wait till tomorrow.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All:

It took all of Car Talk and 1/2 of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and this is what I got per passes:

1. FOXTV xing PIXAR (cute); OPIE, LOVE, ROBERT, MELTED
2. TRANQUILITY BASE, GRAPEAPE
3. ?
4. ?
5. 2d, - ambienne? 5d - dada?, 24a DwI
6 - 11 ?

Screw it.

Thanks for the ABC link HowardW. 1st word from the Moon: Houston.

Cheers, -T

Dudley said...

Spitz 11:09 - Lovely!

Husker 11:23 - I remember the movie, sure enough. One of the times I saw it, I was aboard a ferry between Ireland and England with two women from New York; in the boat's theater was a small crowd, and we were the only Yanks. That explains why we were the only ones laughing when the movie got to the line "People don't want to see a play about toxic waste! They can see that in New Jersey!"

Jayce said...

Well, I gave up on this one. After almost 2 hours of looking things up and still not being able to solve it, I lost interest.

GrannyAnny said...

This is one of the only times I can remember quitting on a puzzle AFTER turning on "red letters" (half my entries were wrong)and then TRYING to look things up. Way too many proper nouns and esoteric terms for me.

Reminded me of puzzles years ago (1950's and 60's) before editors started trying to appeal to a younger generation of solvers.

Avg Joe said...

Yeah Gary, all I could think of was Spanish moss. And I was stuck on standing "TALL" forever.

Good luck on your procedure!

Steve said...

Next time I'm just going to hand over my lunch money right off the bat and save myself from getting beaten up.

Ric said...

Luckily I did not waste much time on this one. After three passes I saw the beautiful day emerging outside.

So....IT'S TIME. Let's go!

Ol' Man Keith said...

"Fun sponge," eh?
Yes, we had trouble, too, right here in River City. I must've looked up five or six after my first pass yielded only CHOPIN and a lightly penned CUZ. I couldn't even remember ROBERT (Rumsfeld with a conscience) McNamara's name at first.
I learned a few from this, though-- GRAPE APE, GOTYE, Poo-Chi. Hmm. I have a hunch I won't be needing these again in this lifetime.
In the end I managed to get all the blanks filled. FIEND was the most puzzling. The "fanatical fan" usage just did not occur to me-- until I read Splynter's exegesis.
Ah, my friends...
Sometimes life is too short.

Moses Nencom said...

NW corner crushed me. Even with SOMINEX, TRANQUILITY, and IDYLS (a bit of a wag because it usually has two "l's"), I couldn't finish this one without help. Oh well.

CrossEyedDave said...

Complaints? Yes, but in an odd sort of way...

I actually got excited after the 1st pass of across yielded absolutely nothing. Nada, zilch, the big white expanse...

But the downs, tranquility base was a gimme. So was Nathan, ette, pixar, & the re in resurge.

My reaction?

Oh crap! Now I actually have to try & do this poser?

Desper-otto, thanks for explaining Buff = fiend. That was incomprehensible.

Sleekens?

Spitz, that harp clip makes me believe in reincarnation...

coneyro said...

This puzzle was brain numbing.

This seemed to be a nefarious plot to make even highly intelligent, well-read people seem illiterate.

On 35A I kept on thinking SHOWER, as in "a place to get clean". Didn't get it until the blog. Did fill in answers, but too many errors. Gave up after wasting over an hour.

WEES about the obsure clues and references. I know weekend puzzles are supposed to be harder, but c'mon constructors, this is an example of the sublime to the ridiculous. We know you're trying to test our skills, but at least make it enjoyable.

That said, I'm glad I wasn't the only one with issues today. So everyone don't feel bad, just express your disapproval and maybe their future efforts will be more accessible to the solvers.

That's all folks....

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. Count me in with those who found this hard and somewhat unpleasant. Thank goodness for red letters to tell me when I had made an erroneous guess. WEES. I would much prefer a hard Saturday puzzle with a theme but I guess it will never happen. I think the NYT has themeless puzzles now on Friday and Saturday. Yuck!

Have you noticed there aren't any models anymore? All the good-looking young women who model are now supermodels.

Nice Cuppa said...

This might have been suitable for NYT, but not LAT. I switched to red-letter help pretty early.

• The plural "Isthmi" is only used in the anatomical sense,meaning "narrow connective organs". The English Isthmuses is normal usage for strips of land.

• I would have thought "Not a good PLACE to run" would be a better clue for AGROUND

• I was surprised to learn that SMARMY was standard US - I thought it was Brit&Commonwealth.

• In Britain we have a STANDARD LAMP, which is a free-standing light, but never heard of a STANDING lamp.

• For a frid-spanner, the clues for SOUND INVESTMENT was very vague.

• Finally figures "wine buff" = "wine fiend", but Jude the Obscure indeed.

• Agree about "short prayer". Although I wrote it in after DUI, "short" is just silly to describe an insect.

• "RAZE" is preferred in British also, to avoid confusion with its opposite, raise.

• Agree that "SLEEKENS" is not found in standard dictionaries.

• PAINS as "MIGHTY" efforts is a stretch and abuse of the original meaning of mighty.

• I am willing to work with classical/historical names, but GRAPEAPE, SOMINEX, GOTYE (Got Ya?) ROBOTDOG (guessable), CUZ, IMS, etc., should be used in moderation.

NC

Anonymous said...

Okay, this is the perfect puzzle to compare to a Saturday Silkie. The Silk puzzle may be just as difficult BUT Mr. Silk would clue it in such a way to make it solvable.
Contrast that approach to today's, where the constructors obviously took great delight in making the clues as hard as possible.
This was the most unenjoyable puzzle that I can remember in quite some time. Absolutely no joy at all, and I am not one to just quit. But I did. And I was angry as well.
Like I said, some take a perverse joy in making a puzzle unsolvable or as difficult as possible.

HeartRx said...

Spitz @ 11:09, when I played the clip for DH all he said was, "Ya know, she died 300 years ago..."

(CUZ she has to be an angel!!) ;-)

Dudley said...

Just watched the young harp player again...fantastic!

CrossEyedDave said...

OK, I normally don't link Saturday puzzles, because there is nothing to get silly over. But seriously:

Sleekens?

Sleekens?

Sleekens?

Sleekens?

Sleekens?

Yea, real smooth...

Lucina said...

Hello, word wizards!

Late again! It took me all this time to finish this, having taken a long break. The entire eastern hemisphere fell more or less quickly once UNCLESAM pointed me in the right direction. However, AGAINST before AGROUND slowed me a bit and couldn't believe FIEND=buff. Thanks for 'splainin.

Down south filled quickly.

After my break had to search some names, HUYGENS and GOTYE before proceeding. Ironically, EXIT VISA was one of my first fill thinking of how much it was used in CASABLANCA.

EVOKE and elicit are words much used in teaching manuals.

Though I finished it was joyless because of extreme obscurity but learning is my goal and I did.

Thank you, Splynter and Mssrs. Croce and Vratsanos.

I hope you've enjoyed your day, everyone!

Bill G. said...

I was just starting to nod off for a short nap this morning when our house shook a bit and the windows rattled. It was a small earthquake centered about four miles NE of here.

I enjoyed the young harp player. Thanks.

Anon at 3:18 and others; yes, this puzzle was too hard for me too and therefore not much fun but part or maybe most of the responsibility lies with the editor doesn't it? If Rich didn't like the clues, he would have changed them. Or maybe, many of those clues were his doing.

Big Easy said...

I started unbelievably fast for a Saurday with TRANQUILITY BASE and SOMINEX, guessed EXIT VISA and was off to the races, the amoeba races that is. It was totally blank until I filled FOX TV, CHOPIN, PIXAR, & DUI. And it stayed fairly blank.

NW didn't know HORS (d'oeuvres ?) or SMARMY. The NE almost came around after I decided it was STEP TURN instead of STOP TURN- both wrong. What the hell is a standing LAMP? But SOUND INVESTMENT was easily guessed.

I got HABANERA by trial and error; I guess it is a hot sauce. 35D-trouble-gave three feasible answers that started with F, FUSS, FUZZ ( as in the FUZZ), and I finally wrote FAZE.

Liquidated- I think it is a bad clue. I guess it could be used in the term on your money MELTING away.

SW- Total diaster. I had HUYGENS and CHOPIN and lightly penciled in OPIE. Never heard of GOTYE, ORY, ROBOT DOG, GRAPE APE, and SLEEKENS doesn't sound like a real word.

I guess that's enough bitching for today so I'll SCRAM and MELT into cyberspace.

Splynter, I'm glad I wasn't the only one feeling beat up today.

PK said...

Cathy, I hope your knee surgery is successful and not just "swell" time. Hope Alan has a quick recovery. Does he get anxious when you have these procedures? I'll be beaming get-well thoughts your way.

I guess most of us hit the saturation point with obscurity today.

Big Easy, I think HABANERA is a Spanish dance. I remember having a piano piece with a Latin beat called HABANERA when I was a kid.

Raining hard here now. Wish we could bottle half of it and send it to California. We finally had a dry enough day that my yard man could mow. Couldn't see the robins walking around in the grass anymore. Hundreds of little maple trees had sprouted in my gutters. The helper had to crawl along the roof with a trowel and bucket to get them out. The gutters had been cleaned 2 wks. ago.

Misty said...

Yellowrocks, what a difficult week you're having--I am so sorry to hear this. Your surgery alone was clearly trying, but having Alan get sick and be in the hospital is very worrisome. I'm glad your other son will help, and will keep my fingers crossed that Alan will get healing treatment and that your recovery goes smoothly. Take care of yourself, and know we care about you and your family.

inanehiker said...

totally demoralized today, but totally encouraged by being in great company with the Crossword Corner peeps

Thanks Splynter for slogging through an explanation of this puzzle!

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or the Saturday clues getting tougher these past few weeks? Is there a new editor assistant or something?

Yellowrocks said...

Irish Miss, Misty and PK, thanks for sharing in my concern about Alan. He has a very serious blood infection and his body is shutting down. He can't walk, can't swallow, doesn't talk and is receiving oxygen, etc. We don't know the prognosis. They are still culturing the bacteria. Very scary.

aka thelma said...

Yellowrocks..... my thoughts and my prayers are with you... I wish you all many blessing...

thelma

PK said...

Cathy, Alan's condition certainly sounds serious and scary. I will pray for the best outcome for both of you. I hope you will feel some of the love being sent your way.

Anonymous T said...

YR - Love your way. You and Alan have been through too much recently. L, -T

Bill G. said...

Yellowrocks, best wishes and good thoughts for Alan and you. I hope things start to improve soon.

Irish Miss said...

YR, I know it's late but I want to send you much love and prayers for Alan and good health to both of you.

Steve Lewis said...

Had to look up three words on Google: the river in Verdun, contradanza, and how to spell the name of the fellow with the pendulum clock.

I enjoyed the challenge. I figure if it took two men to put this puzzle together, and using Google, too, I bet, then three words is not bad at all.

VirginiaSycamore said...

My prayers to YellowRock and Alan.

I quit red- lettering it when I got FIEND = Buff.
Also agree that Sleekens is not a word.

VirginiaSycamore said...

Clarification,

I gave up when I saw they wanted FIEND = Buff. Obscure answers AND misleading clues is too much.