Dec 5, 2015

Saturday, Dec 5th, 2015, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie~!

Words: 70 (missing G,Q,Z)

Blocks: 31

  I fi-ured we'd be -etting a Silkie, and happy to see that I was correct.  However, I seem to have -otten into a 'comfort zone' with Mr. Silk, expectin- to sail throu-h without a lot of trouble.  Today's puzzle was just enou-h of a challen-e, leavin- me with mere seconds of my personal allotted time left.  Some proper names slowed me down, and one or two bad -uesses; I did actually have a couple of -uesses that were astoundin-ly correct - but I hesitated to fill them in.  Triple 10-letter corners, and a two pairs of inner climbers, 10- and 11-letters;

6. Demon : EVIL SPIRIT

12. "The American Crisis" author : THOMAS PAINE

24. Blather : IDLE CHATTER

31. Oregon Treaty president : JAMES K. POLK

[ is there a mini-theme here~!  ;7)  ]



1. Fulfilled : CARRIED OUT - I tried 'SATISFIED', but it didn't satisfy the number of letters required

11. Powerful engine : V-TEN - like the one found in this car

Even looks like a snake

15. Prior name of Burkina Faso : UPPER VOLTA - I was thinking we were looking for a someONE, not a somePLACE....

16. Understanding words : "AH SO"

17. Raises may be tied to one : PRICE INDEX - here I thought we needed something like 'work review'.  I get reviewed at UPS, but it does not affect my yearly raise.  I was going to link a definition for price index, but despite being a relatively simple concept, it just seemed too complicated, even for me

18. Opinion piece : POST - as found here daily

19. First name in 1950s politics : ADLAI - one of those clues where I was going to throw this right in, then thought "eh, maybe we're getting misdirected here...."

20. Chemical relative : ISOMER - seen this in crosswords, so I did fill it in

22. Key with one flat: Abbr. : Dmin - slightly more complicated than just putting in "-M--OR" for any other "key of ---" clue; this one relates to the circle of keys, and I can never remember them - so I went with Fmin, and look how close I was

25. Slumgullion, for one : STEW

27. Remove : ERASE - second time in as many Silkie puzzles with a 'meh' clue for ERASE

28. Washington's forte? : RED TAPE

30. "I Love Music" group, with "The" : O'JAYS - got my apostrophes in their proper places this week....

32. Grandpa Munster portrayer : AL LEWIS - he drove the coffin car, which reminds me of this song

33. Big ape : OAF

34. Ltr. extender : P.P.S.

37. Birdwatcher's lure : FEEDER

38. Point in the wrong direction : MISAIM

40. Sam Spade, e.g. : TEC - deTECtive

41. Wrong : SIN

43. Fawning : SERVILE

44. Night calls : HOOTS - put it in, took it out, put it back in

46. Understanding words : I SEE NOW - which screwed up my "I SEE" at 16a.

47. Gushing flattery : SMARM - ah, not CHarm - but that's all of 60% correct

49. 1994 Polka Music Hall of Fame inductee : WELK

51. Eastern holidays : TETS

52. Feels sorry for : PITIES

54. Landlocked Asian country : NEPAL - or TIBET~?

56. Arbitrary stake : ANTE

57. Pine Tree State college town : ORONO, MAINE - one of those that I knew, but hesitated to fill in - and I knew it fit, as well

62. One still maturing : TEEN

63. Most common dolphin : BOTTLENOSE

64. Clarify, with "out" : SORT

65. A.1., for one : STEAK SAUCE


1. Sports prize : CUP - personally, the ONLY one worth fighting for~!!!

2. Patriots' Day mo. : APR - oops, not PATRIOT day

3. Home of the NCAA Engineers : RPI - been there....

4. Took back : RECANTED

5. Hot : IRED

7. Gives : DONATES

8. Number from the past : OLDIE

9. Off-road traveler, for short : UTE - dah~!  Not ATV

10. Sitcom set in a garage : TAXI

11. Misty : VAPORY

13. Assistance trio? : ESSES - aSSiStance

14. Hugo title word : NOTRE - as in The Hunchback of....

21. Marine bioluminescence : SEA FIRE - you get all sorts of fighter planes, boat extinguishers and restaurants if you do a search

22. First try : DRAFT

23. Free-for-all : MELEE

26. Romance : WOO

29. Way more than cool : AWESOME - I have to redeem myself for last week with a tasteful image

35. Experimental : PILOT - always makes me think of the opening scenes from Pulp Fiction; "she starred in one of the ones that became nothin'"

36. Diving ducks : SMEWS

39. Ballerina Zakharova : SVETLANA

42. Sydney's state: Abbr. : NSW - New South Wales

43. Team characteristic? : SILENT A - and still no "I", either

45. Familiarize : ORIENT

47. Fancy footwear : SPATS - I did not know this was a shortening of spatterdashes

48. "Exodus" actor : MINEO

50. Online reminder : eNOTE

53. Bad news reactions : SOBS

55. Skunk River city : AMES

58. Spoil : ROT

59. Obligatory letters : I.O.U.

60. White House advisory gp. : NSC - the National Security Council

61. Wide size : EEE

No Gs~?



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Definitely not a walk in the park for me today, but I did manage to get the job done unassisted in the end. In order to do so, however, I first had to convince myself that SEA FIRE was an actual thing (and not SEA FOAM, which probably isn't known for being bioluminescent, but was the only thing I could think of). I then had to convince myself that PRIME INDEX wasn't actually a thing and that REMANDED should be RECANTED.

Had to remove HEMI to go with VTEN, ISEE to go with AHSO, and a host of other minor missteps along the way. Nothing too bad after those initial problems, though.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Almost. Got all the squares filled, but no Ta Da. Hmmm. Looked around, but needed red letters to find I'd put in VTEC (a Honda feature) instead of V-Ten (Dodge, Ford...). So TDNF for today.

Morning, Splynter, good legs!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Ah, redemption. After two DNF's in as many days, I fairly skated through this one. Hand up for "I See" @ 16a. It finally came down to _R_FT, and an alphabet run gave me DRAFT. Finished well within my personal time limit.

ORONO MAINE was a gimme. One of my brothers spent most of his career working for the university there. RPI was another gimme. A one-time BIL graduated from there.

Is SEA FIRE the same thing as St. Elmo's Fire, as in Moby Dick? Spitz, do you know?

Sal MINEO, long gone, but still living on in cw's.

Jerome said...

If MINEO were to say, "I'M ONE who wonders what size engine Zakharova has in her car", you could respond by saying, "SVETLANA? A VTEN, SAL"

Ergo said...

Not even 8 a.m. and this Silkie has already slayed me.

Even the few footholds that I thought I had gained ended up being wrong. And now I'm the owner of an inky, blotted mess of a grid.

Otherwise, in the spirit of shameless self-promotion, I've reached the 20,000 word plateau of my latest novel. If you have a little time to kill this weekend you can read it for free at this site:

The Vending Machine Man

If the link doesn't work, merely copy and paste:

Thanks gang! Have a great weekend.

Big Easy said...

After yesterday's mega disaster, this was easy. After fillig 1D-CUP, 10D-TAXI, and 15A-UPPER VOLTA, I filled the left side, went to the SE and back to the NE without stopping. The long fills were the easiest- STEAK SAUCE, BOTTLE NOSE, ORONO MAINE, JAMES POLK (thank you WELK for the K), THOMAS PAINE.

SVETLANA sounded Russian, so after writing over BUTAN ( Bhutan) & TIBET, NEPAL was left over.
D-MIN-originally filled F-MAJ
V-TEN- we rented an RV that had a V-10
SMARM- one of those words that exist only for X-word puzzles

D-O I hadn't heard the term SEA FIRE before but 'St. Elmo's Fire' was one of the worst movies that I ever paid money for- we walked out after about 30 minutes.

HowardW said...

This one went relatively fast for a Silkie. Worst trouble spot was the NE, which was started with ISEE rather than AH SO, and OP-ED for POST. But THOMAS PAINE made both of those go away, and eventually VAPORY occurred to me for the "tada". Never heard o SVETLANA Zakharova nor SEAFIRE. On the other hand, I'll always remember UPPER VOLTA from 7th grade geography, due to its euphonious capital Ouagadougou. Liked the unusual answers such as SERVILE and RED TAPE as well.

Speaking of AL LEWIS, besides The Munsters he acted with Fred Gwynne in "Car 54, where are you?" Ah, the wasted hours of TV in our youth...

Thanks Barry for an excellent puzzle, and Splynter for an AWESOME recap.

HowardW said...

Oh, and AL LEWIS didn't play "Grandpa Munster". He was "Grandpa" on the show, but he was the wife's (Lily Munster) father, named "Vladimir Dracula".

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

A typical Saturday Silkie which I worked in the usual way: a chip here, a bigger chip there, and, bingo, puzzle is done! Of course, this chipping away takes time and patience, but, as always, the reward and satisfaction far outweigh the effort. Fun seeing full names: Thomas Paine, Al Lewis, and James K. Polk. Didn't notice the missing "G's"; that seems quite unusual, unlike missing Q's or Z's.

CSO to Hatoolah and Lemony with Orono ⚖ and Spitz ⚓️ and SplynteπŸ”¨ (and me) πŸ€ with RPI. πŸ“ It seems that NSW has appeared several times recently, yet, strangely, the ubiquitous Erie hasn't.

Thank you, Mr. Silk, for starting the day off so nicely and thank you, Splynter, for being our (g)uiding li(g)ht! πŸ”¦

A belated thank you to CED and Manac for yesterday's cat 🐈 and dog 🐩 fight links; they provided some much-needed comic πŸ€“ after a particularly difficult day! πŸ‘Ώ

Have a great day.

Irish Miss said...

Sorry, comic relief!

Apias said...

A.1. First try was state route... Hung me up in the SE corner for a while. Once I got James_Pol_ it came together. Good challenge, solved with a lot of perps.

Anonymous said...

"I have to redeem myself for last week with a tasteful image"

Progress, not perfection.


TTP said...

Thank you Barry and Splynter.

An inauspicious beginning, thinking that raises might be tied to performance or production, but no, to a PRICE INDEX. INDEX was easy after filling in OLDIE, UTE and TAXI

Hi Misty !

One man's proper procedure is another man's "Washington's forte."

Had HOWLS before HOOTS for night calls, but AWESOME corrected that. What's the record Gary ? How many times did you hear AWESOME in one day ?

Didn't get ORONO MAINE off the bat, but did fill in both BOTTLENECK and STEAK SAUCE, and then easily saw ORONO from SOBS, ROT and ENOTE downs. Then corrected NECK to NOSE. D'Oh!

A different kind of FEEDER.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! I don't dread Silk's puzzles anymore, but they are still outside my comfort level. Thanks, Splynter!

Got CUP and APR right away and filled the NW soon.

Had VTEN and nothing else in the NE until the last. Sad to say, the "E" in ERASE was the last to fill. I'd never heard of SEA FIRE. I tried FOX FIRE which, I think, is swamp gas electricity. I think St. Elmo's Fire is charges of electricity playing off the masts. SEA FIRE luminescence is seen in the water from tiny creatures.

I got UPPER VOLTA pretty easy but put "G" for "T" at first. Knew it was wrong before my finger hit the key.

Weather is lovely today. I'm going out for a Thanksgiving lunch with my two daughters and granddaughter. It was raining so hard and threatening ice on Thanksgiving, I didn't leave home. Better late than never.

Yellowrocks said...

Not a walk in the park for me, but a steep climb uphill. I felt fulfilled when I reached the summit without any assistance. Irish Miss and Lucina, your tenacity inspired me to keep climbing.
PK, we had a big discussion of St. Elmo's Fire long ago. You've got it! Can anyone find a reference to sea fire?
Fun puzzle and write up. Splynter, thanks for the tasteful picture.
I thought of RED TAPE right away but thought it couldn't be correct. It certainly is apt.
Much to do. TTYL.

C6D6 Peg said...

Chunky solve, but succeeded in the end. Thanks, Barry, for the great challenges you create for us.

Splynter, thanks again for your hard work.

HowardW said...

YR -
Re: seafire: Here's a picture from Australia. Full article with more photos here.

Yellowrocks said...

Thanks, Howard. I found similar articles, but none with the word Sea Fire.
Here is a quote from Howard's article. "Noctiluca scintillans – also known as “sea sparkle,” “sea fire,” “sea ghost” and any number of other delightfully romantic-sounding names – are a species of dinoflagellate that feed on algae, plankton and bacteria."
NSW, two days in a row reminds me of Oz and Kazie. We miss you.

Lucina said...

Good day, friends!

Not smooth as silk, but doable. As others have said, an uphill climb which started at the foothills for me. The SW corner filled early on and IDLE CHATTER with it. Hand up for HOWL before HOOTS.

Then the bottom three long fill gave me the --OLK and JAMES K. POLK was in. That opened up OJAYS, OAF, MISAIM and SERVILE. First I had to ERASE ISEE from 16A for ISEENOW then THOMAS PAINE came into view.

ISOMER is a word I know only from crosswords, thank you. Mentally, I knew UPPER VOLTA but checked my Atlas to be sure and it still has it! It's old, of course.

Last was VAPORY.

Splynter, thank you for your fine review and yes, good legs! Thank you, Barry Silk. I do enjoy the Saturday challenge though this one took a bit longer than normal.

I'm glad to have inspired you! LOL

Have a splendid day, everyone!

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. Saturdays, I just admit that I need help and turn on red letters to start. I don't use them to tell me the right letter but instead when I've entered an incorrect letter. I prefer that approach to a DNF. It was hard to finish even with the help.

Once in a while we get something here called a Red Tide producing bio-luminescence (as in HowardW's link that I just saw). It's red algae that produces a bright blue color in the water where there is turbulence. If you go down to the shore at night, the foamy curl of the breaking waves shows up as bright blue. I could look down into the dark water from the pier and see fish disturbing the water as they swam. Very cool!

Yesterday was Tim's birthday (oldest son). He picked a place to go for dinner. Not to my liking but the option was to keep my mouth shut or stay home. So I went along cheerfully. He took their dog so we had to eat on their outdoor patio at night overlooking the ocean. The view was missing since it was at night. (I kept looking out toward the dark ocean keeping a watchful eye for enemy ships.) The table and chairs were wet with the dew. There was a long walk from the parking to the restaurant but Tim didn't want to trust his car to valet parking. So the restaurant provided a golf cart tram for transportation. The food was OK. Barbara and I both feel a bit sick with different symptoms though I'm not sure it was the fault of the restaurant. Still, it was nice visiting with them over dinner.

Husker Gary said...

Both ends of my Ticonderoga got a workout today on Barry’s always-satisfying puzzle. I would pay cash money for a compilation of his work.

-Blather – Ever been to a teacher’s meeting?
-If you can identify over 10 African countries on a map, ya got me beat!
-Teacher performance reviews never made me richer or bad teachers poorer
-ISOMERS - both have 10 hydrogen atoms and 4 carbon atoms but are different
-RED TAPE has held up a viaduct here for 7 years and counting
-If someone put MISAIM down in Scrabble, I’d challenge them (just like spell check did here)
-TV’s King Of SMARM!
-Who gets to SORT this mess out? (1:17)
-IRED – Verizon lost 9 months of iPhotos when they transferred pix to my new iPhone
-When in the navy astronaut Jim Lovell had all his airplane instruments go dead but in the dark he saw the Bioluminescence from plankton stirred up by his carrier and landed safely
-Redemption unnecessary from these quarters, Splynter.
-I have never made a count, but AWESOME is ubiquitous in kid and adult language these days. Lazy! -AWESOME!

Irish Miss said...

YR @ 11:26 - I think you have enough tenacity of your own w/o needing help from others, but thank you for the compliment. BTW, did the epidural help Alan at all?

Bill G - I don't know if fathers always know best, but I do know the Corner fathers, (and mothers) including you, always try their best! Hope you and Barbara feel better.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Good intro, Splynter, as always. Must be getting into your busy time.

Pleased to see a Silkie, today, but had some hiccups, especially in the West. Didn't help that I had prime index before PRICE INDEX. Favorite clue was A 1 for STEAK SAUCE.
SEAFIRE - At night in the Atlantic, our bow wave was rife with phosphorescence from plankton and other small critters. We never called it SEA FIRE; just phosphorescence or luminescence. I never heard the term until Barry's puzzle today. I think St. Elmo's fire is a weather phenomenon involving static.
RPI - '59 grad. #3 son is '95 grad.

VirginiaSycamore said...

Thanks for the write up Splyter and for everyone's comments.

I had high hopes for finishing this Silkie, but no use. I couldn't even find SMEW by Googling. I had S_EW, and so had to red letter to get SMEW, MISAIM, PILOT and PPS [I had PSS so never saw PILOT either]

HowardW, thanks for the great link to sea fire. Natural bioluminescence is so beautiful and has become very useful in the biological and medical sciences for labeling. Early scientists had to painstakingly extract them from jellyfish, lightning bugs, etc. but now there are techniques for growing them in bacteria, etc.

It took a bit of time to find the scene in The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon uses glowing fish as his night light.
Article on patented GLOFISH .
TBBT_SEASON1_EPISODE4_HIGHLIGHTS . Sheldon is experimenting @ 3:49 and Fish nightlight @ 6:43. This is the episode where Sheldon insults the new dean, Dr. Gabblehauser, and gets fired from his job. He goes from one wacky experiment to another until Leonard calls his Mom, who makes him apologize.

Note: There is a slight light on the fish because it does need a little light to glow back. But it is a really glowing fish, I think.

Live Well and Prosper

Ol' Man Keith said...

Got all but the mid-west portion! Could not get DRAFT (because I had SEEDER crossing out the "F"), and therefore missed D-MINor too.
I remember SMEW from earlier Xwds, and SEA FIRE just made sense (after trying to insert ST ELMO).
TEC is a curiosity. Like the TS-spelling for CZAR. I'm not sure I have come across it anywhere but in Xwds. I have read almost all of Dashiell Hammett, and don't recall him using TEC for Mr. Spade. Maybe in passing, but not so my old brain latched onto it.

AnonymousPVX said...

You know you are getting better at a Saturday Silkie when the previous day's puzzle was extremely hard by comparison.

So after yesterday's extreme challenge I got through the Silkie with no real issues. I had 4D as RECALLED before RECANTED and 18A as OPED before POST.

And that's about it.

OwenKL said...

Would practice to do-re-me-fa-sol.
Their movements in rythem
Were a vision of precision,
Till an opponent threw them off, the ass-ho!

When engaging a DEMON in IDLE CHATTER,
You'd best stick to subjects that don't really matter.
Your SIN, should he hear it,
Will present you a way out -- in a booby-trapped wrapper!

Jayce said...

Another work of excellence from Mr. Silk. Very hard for me, though. The very first answer I had enough confidence to fill was BOTTLENOSE. Of course I entered FMAJ at 22A, which messed me up for a long time in that area. And it turns out ATV was the cause of some difficulty in that area. Put in NOTRE then took it out because I wanted HEMI and OPED, then put it back in when POST was revealed. And so it went. Favorite entry was STEAKSAUCE, least favorite was TEC (which I always dislike.)

Yellowrocks said...

MISAIM is in my Scrabble Dictionary and my huge Webster's Unabridged print version. We use both as the gold standard here. MISAIM is also in online dictionaries. I believe a challenge MISAIM would lose you points in Scrabble. In my family we don't penalize for challenges. We just look up the words. After seeing a Scrabble puzzle in a magazine and looking at the optimal solution I realized that I was limiting my choices greatly. So many things which I found unacceptable are legit, so I bought a Scrabble dictionary.
I learned long ago not to be that nit-picky in crosswords. Being open minded and accepting words from all quarters, I find that many answers you all challenge no longer phase me. Crosswords don't always use Literary English. Many words challenged here appear in print.
TEC, as detective, is also in several online dictionaries. It feels normal to me.I have seen it in print, but I don't remember where.

PK said...

The pictures of the forklift mishaps were horrifying to me, although they were marked hilarious. Anyone who thought they were funny apparently didn't have to pay for or clean up the mess. My son recently fired two guys. One of the things he found out after he fired the first one: they had hauled his golf cart up to the second floor and rode it down the stairs. No one was telling him how the cart got wrecked. When he was considering firing the second guy, his secretary asked him if he had seen the video. The idiots had filmed the crack-up. Made up his mind right away about going ahead with the firing. He had bought the golf carts to haul customers to far reaches of his business property to see equipment. Young people watch these "hilarious" wrecks on TV or internet and have no respect for property or hard work.

My lunch with daughters, granddaughter & SIL went well. I had half a chicken chimichanga with sour cream & guacamole. The other half came home in a box for supper. The restaurant was pretty noisy and I missed about 2/3 of what was said. But spending so much time alone, I am happy just laying eyes on my progeny.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

"I see" that "op-ed" is way off, I was "MISled" in that area to my demise. I did know JAMES K POLK* from TMBG, but WELK, not so much (though it was always on maternal-grandpa's TV every weekend)

I didn't think I'd ever crack the left-side of the puzzle, but TAXI finally STEW'd in my head and I got 6d to the right. CUP finally gave me PRICE INDEX, thus APR, & RPI. REdacted to RECA?????. My Google SIN for Granpa got me CANTED. I wish I'd have RECANTED my op-ed to POST.

I'll simply bask in the glory that the entire SE I got w/o error. IOU and EEE -> STEAK SAUCE (wow! that worked) and then the rest of it.

Thank you Barry for a relaxing Sat while my computer finished some work for me. Thanks Splynter for showing me why hard-NOSE'd solving is OAFish.

No time to chase everyone's links yet, but I'll come back and play later.

Cheers, -T
*sorry for studio version, but the live versions I found had poor sound quality

Freond said...

I found today's to be a real beast, but I didn't give up and eventually solved it. Also fell for trying HEMI and ISEE while struggling in the NE. Not sure it was worth the 80 minutes I put into it (The Shortyz app has a timer.) Didn't appreciate the self-referential ESSES and SILENTA, but I'll take Yellowrocks' words of wisdom to heart, and not complain about it further.

Anonymous T said...

Oh, hell, my nap can wait. HG - that forklift was Awesome!!! :-) VS, thanks for TBBT. OKL your rhymes led me to this EVIL SPIRIT link. C, -T

Lucina said...

I hope you bought the latest Scrabble Dictionary which included 5,000 new entries. Even abbreviations, which were never acceptable, are permitted.

You might want to check that out as well.

Misty said...

Well, I'm never going to get a Silkie, but I'm glad I tried this one because I got more than 2/3 before I had to start cheating a little, and then got the rest. I never seem to guess answers that involve letters, ESSES and SILENT A, things like that, so that was one of my problems. But I loved that this puzzle mentioned two of my favorite TV shows of all time, "The Munsters" and TAXI. I hate horror movies, but the Munsters were so charming and innocent and funny, I just loved them in spite of, or maybe because of their weirdness which they themselves never saw. And Taxi just had such a varied cast of characters. Great fun.

Clues about SAL MINEO always make me sad that he died so young.

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!

Hungry Mother said...

About half way through, I expected a DNF, but I persisted and kept slogging until it was done.

Manac said...

Vapory? Seafire? OK, if you say so.

Immediately thought of HG with Awesome!

I've been having to fill my Feeder here almost daily.
The birds don't even give The Bears a chance.

OwenKL said...

Sooo late today! Wrote 2 limericks after finishing the puzzle last night, but not feeling too hot (just generally achy, but sneezing a lot), so went to bed after Murdock Mysteries (a fave once I discovered it, but it's only on at 2:30am!), and slept through past noon! First thing I did when I woke up was post the lims, then reading the blog, with a lot of side trips! For example, HowardW your link on Al Lewis is fascinating! And Ergo, I've started Vending Machine Man, but is it the full complete novel or still an incomplete novel in progress? Splynter, I tried to find a pic of some nice legs for you, which sent me off on another chase.

Moodnuck said...

Once again Silk finds words that don't exist. Vapory, really? Once again America does a hatchet job on the English language !!

Argyle said...

Webster's 1828 Dictionary
VA'PORY, a. 1. Vaporous; full of vapors.
2. Hypochondriac; splenetic; peevish.

Anonymous T said...

J. Moody - yeah, that's the beauty of the language. The bard showe'd us the way. And we play.

DW taught me long ago: If it conveys meaning and falls within the symbolic construct, 'tis a word.

For the record - I didn't ink it either; YASDNF (Yet Another Sat. DNF).

Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

If it helps, Murdoch Mysteries can also be found on Netflix