Jan 2, 2016

Saturday, Jan 2nd, 2016, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie~!

Words: 70 (missing J)

Blocks: 27

A tragic start to the New Year, in terms of crossword solving for this blogger.  Too many proper names turned this into a fun sponge for me (*, I count 16).  I skipped red-letters and went straight to Google for one-off answers in an effort to solve the NE and SW corners, but even then I struggled up top.  I blame brain-lock, and doing the puzzle much too late to stay open- minded.  Can't even blame UPS - that's all over now, and I'm on a 3-day weekend....Triple 9-letter corners in the 'recto', triple 7's in the down on the 'verso' (trying to use what I have learned doing crosswords, uh, sort of), and two 10-letter spanners;

23. eBay feature : UPPER CASE B - and I got this one, but it was in a corner I solved

46. Silk Road component : KHYBER PASS - did not know the exact spelling

O       N      W    A   R  D~!


1. Diamond surprise : UPSET - yeah, and just about any sport, really

6. Change keys often? : ISLAND-HOP - I was just plain stuck in a musical frame of mind - USE A CAPO was clever, but too short.  Florida Keys never crossed my mind

15.* "You've got me on my knees" woman in a 1971 hit : LAYLA - I 51-acrossed this one; I happen to prefer the acoustic version to the original

16. Competition covering many miles : SPACE RACE - again, stuck in a sporting frame of mind, so TRIATHLON, IDITAROD (too short), etc.

17. Wing : ANNEX

18. Unix guru, e.g. : POWER USER - I just don't get this; are we talking "power" user as in a computer maven, sort of like wearing a "power" tie to the big business meeting~?

19. Biblical miracle component : LOAVES - the other part being fishes, specifically 5 barley loaves and two "small" fish - the Wiki

21.* ''Wedding Bell Blues'' songwriter : NYRO - no clue

22. Last Hebrew letter : TAV - no clue

25.* Designer Ricci : NINA - no clue

26. D.C. United's org. : MLS - I did know this was soccer

27. King ratsnake's defense : ODOR - I tried FANG to start - that's 0.0% any way you slice it

28. Arctic : GELID - and strangely, I 51-acrossed this one

29. Pencil contents, perhaps : EYELINER

32.* "Particularly small and particularly wicked-looking" villain : Mr. HYDE - I had MRH---, which led me to parse it as "Mr.----", and that helped.  Reminds me of a song I just downloaded;

Men At Work

33. Fateful day : IDES

34. Pick up : HEAR

35. Neighbors of Frauen : FEMMES - German & Frawnche women

38.* "The Roosevelts" documentarian : KEN BURNS - total perp and WAG

42.* Jordan's only port : AQABA - Google #1 - the "Q" was not happening

43. Benefit from work : PERK

44. Classified initials : EOE

45.* Tamblyn of "West Side Story" : RUSS - not AMBER, seen here in House, M.D.

I liked the way her character dressed....

49. Down : EAT - dah~! Not SAD

50. Bug : FLAW

51. Ace the test : NAIL IT

52. Dogfish Head sellers : ALE HOUSES

55.* Mobutu's land : ZAIRE

56. Most unforgiving : STRICTEST

57. Inception : ONSET

58. Slinky spots : TOY CHESTS - I figured this was the toy, and not the gentleman's club

59. Learning methods : ROTES


1.* Poe title answer to " ... 'What is written ... / On the door of this legended tomb?'" : ULALUME - got it via perps, but had to look this up to see if it was one word/name, so here's the Wiki

2. Impressive array : PANOPLY - again, I 51-acrossed it

3. Neural junction : SYNAPSE

4. Professeur's charge : ELEVE

5. Government, often : TAXER

6.* Juno, e.g.: Abbr. : ISP - Internet Service Provider; I was stuck on Roman God/2007 movie

7. Back : SPONSOR - ugh, my sponsor will never forgive me for missing this one

8. Many a president : LAWYER

9. Having a bite : ACERB

10.* 50s-60s emperor : NERO - ugh - literally, from the years 54 - 68

11.* R&B group __ Hill : DRU - no clue

12. With urgency : HASTILY

13. Mythological sea nymph : OCEANID - all I knew was that it most likely ended with "-ID"

14. Fill : PERVADE - such as conversation in crowded restaurant

20. Tea cart items : SCONES

24. Vitamin C sources : ADES - oh, I didn't know you were a source of vitamin C, LemonADE....

25.* Prime minister sworn in by Mountbatten : NEHRU

28. Land __ : GRAB - I'd heard the term, but wanted to read more

30. An arm and a leg : LIMBS - har-har

31. Bean product? : IDEA

32.* "The Little Mermaid" composer Alan : MENKEN - more no clue

34. Wormwood, e.g. : HERB

35. China setting : FAR EAST

36. On a par with : EQUAL TO

37. Domination : MASTERY

38. Site of Truman's winter White House : KEY WEST - semi-clecho~???

39. Dreamer's opposite : REALIST - if I said this is my girlfriend - am I a dreamer or realist~?

Yep, her name is Gabriella, er, I mean Cora

40. "Ain't happening!" : "NO SIREE~!" - right, the clue just after my posted pic

41. Sonnet parts : SESTETS - I had SEPTETS, and 46a. ending in "-SP" seemed unlikely

43. Stages : PHASES

46.* 1971 title detective : KLUTE - heard of it, but never saw it

47. Carry-on no-no : RAZOR

48. Schroeder's love : PIANO - no clue - not a "Peanuts" fan at all

50.* WWI French marshal : FOCH - les Frawnche

53. It's heard at 52-Across : [hic]

54. D and C, in D.C. : STs



Bluehen said...

I normally love me a Saturday Silkie, but this one was brutal. After a couple of passes through, it was obvious I needed help. I turned on the red letters and this puzzle still took far too long and required several alphabet runs. I surrender, Mr. Silk. Touche.


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Add me to the list of fallen for this one. Gave up half way through and turned on the red letter help, and even then I needed to run the alphabet in spots to find the correct letters. Just too much stuff I simply didn't know (KHYBER PASS, LAYLA, ULALUME, MYRO, TAV, MENKEN, NINA, FEMMES) combined with some tricky cluing on the stuff I otherwise would have known (I'm looking at you UPPER CASE B). There was some nice stuff in the grid (lovely clue for SPACE RACE, for example), but it got overwhelmed by all the other stuff.

Nice Cuppa said...

Just back from Blighty last night so jet-lagged enough for an early post. So at least I enjoyed "KHYBER PASS" – well-known Cockney rhyming slang for ARSE.

In total agreement with Splynter (thanks) and Bluehen. When I look back at the answers there are not too many total unknowns. But the 2 9-letter stacks were the killers. In the NE, SPACE RACE - that was about technology, wasn't it, not distance, per se? POWER USER - I don't think that knowledge of the UNIX operating system makes me a POWER USER; you'd have to dig quite a bit deeper for that moniker to apply (almost any MAC user who's opened an X-window on his laptop would qualify by that criterion). And very few of the crosses helped.

In the SW, TOY CHESTS was too vague; STRICTEST was fair; HIC for sound from an ALE HOUSE ? - I did not realize beer brought out the Latin in people. Perhaps it was first intended as a cross reference to 1 Down, as in hic jacet, e.g., (Latin for "Here lies…." on tombstones), but quickly nixed by Rick.

In summary, too many proper names, too many vague clues. These categories are not pleasure-killers by themselves, only in combination. Sorry Mr. Silk.

desper-otto said...

Woo Boy! So much for the easy start to the new year.

The first pass yielded only LAYLA, OHIOAN (wrong!), KEN BURNS, AQABA, RUSS and STAIRWAYS (wrong!). Things looked bleak. STAIRWAYS gave way to TOY STORES and finally TOY CHESTS. Slowly worked my way back to the top until only the NE remained. Changing OHIOAN to LAWYER allowed ISLAND to appear, TANGY got the Wite-Out treatment, and that broke that section open. Suddenly it was finished. Very close call.

Remembered LAYLA, but thought it was later than '71. Thought of Klute, but mis-remembered it as earlier than '71. Splynter, hope you're better at dating than I seem to be. And, yes, you got the correct "take" on that Unix POWER USER -- sorta like Anon-T.

unclefred said...

Oi. Forget it. Far too tough for me. first pass got me five fills. Second pass two more. That was it. I surrender.

Argyle said...

If you have the time, here is a LINK to 10 Essential Laura Nyro Songs and another Wiki LINK to her all too short life. You will probably know most of her songs though done by other artists.

Avg Joe said...

Brutal. I guess Mr Silk decided to exact revenge for the easy few he gave us last year.

Actually managed to get it all with one Google, but cannot call that a victory. HTG Laura Nyro. I could hear it in my minds ear, but couldn't place the voice. And knowing it was the writer not necessarily the singer threw me off that much more. Coen? Cole? Who knew. Also fell for the Ohioan trap and wouldn't let it go until Upper Case B forced it. Got equal to early, so Aquba showed up and the U was later corrected. My detective started as Kojac, but at least that gave me Khyber Pass.

All told, it seemed like familiar territory for a Silkie, where at first it was impossible, then a toehold here and there opened things up. But it was a few pay grades up from the norm.

Lemonade714 said...

This was a challenge but I guess being older helps as most of Splynter' s unknowns were familiar. I agree with Argyle, Lara Nyro was a tremendous talent that should be recognized. Laura who was my age died much too young. Having NERO in the grid as well was a nice touch.

I also was saddened by the passing of Natalie Cole.

Nice Cuppa the HIC is not Latin but the accepted onomatopoea for a hiccup which is a standard image of a drunk.

Off to the gym to lessen the holiday bulge. Be well all

Argyle said...

I think I'll wait 'til later to comment on 54-Down. D and C, in D.C.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I hate to start the New Year on a sour note, but this was not only a bear, but a grizzly bear, at that. After spending way too much time and enduring way too much frustration, I said, " no mas"! The entire upper third was blank, from one coast to the other. I had steal for diamond surprise and using the l, thought for sure government was local. Of course, that went nowhere, as did Ohioan/lawyer and USS Juno/ISP. I just couldn't get any traction in this whole area, whereas I finished the other 2/3 slowly, but steadily.

Mr. Silk, while I mostly always enjoy and appreciate your talents and skills, I do hope you exorcised the demons who drove you to create such a diabolical 👿 offering. Ulalume, indeed! Splynter, nice job, as always.

Have a great day.

Big Easy said...

I'm with Splynter- too many proper names for me. I completed all but the NE. The SE fell first, then the SW and the I had to grind out the NW with SYNAPSE and LAYLA being my only known items. ULALUME was all perps. I had Marilyn McOo for NYRO-unknown- and NINA,NEHRU, and NERO were the only NE fills. NERO, NYRO, NEHRU, NINA- Barry's 'N' thing for today. Wanted POLAR for GELID, SATIATE for PERVADE. Juno-ISP,MENKEN, OCEANID, and DRU Hill- no way those would have ever filled on my paper.

UNIX- even though the clue should have been spelled in all CAPITAL letters- it is trademarked that way- and we programmed some of our computers in UNIX, the only way I can see POWER USER being the answer would be the programmer working 24 hours a day using a lot of electricity.

Let's just say that I wasn't EQUAL TO Mr. Silk's torture this cold Saturday. I didn't NAIL IT and there was no MASTERY today.

Madame Defarge said...

Oh my. . . . Two years ago I used to hyperventilate when I saw a Saturday Silkie, then Marti--HeartRx--said, "Just grab the fruit from the lower limbs." Thus I began to look forward to a Barry Silk puzzle. Today I was called to those former days. Barry, this Silk Road was rugged!

As you have already said, too many unknown names for me. I was certain Marilyn McCoo wrote "Wedding Bell Blues." Yep, I also fell into the Ohioan hole. Let's just stop there as my list is s-o-o-o long. . . . Bzzzt!

Thanks, Splynter, for a tough walk through.

Have a good day. The sun is out, and I am pleased!!!

SwampCat said...

WEES! Way above my pay grade today. Thanks, Splynter , for trying to make me understand.

Big Easy, I also thought POWER USER referred to plugging into electricity. Confusing, either way, but no more so than other clues/answers.

Welcome to 2016!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Just two words: crash & burn.

Got about two thirds through unassisted, but from there it took a lot of Googling to finish.

Morning, Splynter, glad you got through this minefield!

Yellowrocks said...

I was thoroughly trounced today. Far too many unknown names. The frustration quotient was too high for me to enjoy the puzzle in any way. I see I am in good company. Splynter, I enjoyed your review. Thanks for brightening my morning.

Anonymous said...

No fun at all doing this puzzle....................Bah Humbug!

VirginiaSycamore said...

WEES today!

Thanks, Splynter, for the explanation of the MANY answers I got by red-letters and QWERTY runs, yet still didn’t know.

It is simpler to list the ones I got right on the first pass:
59A Thought ROTES but refused to put in on 1st pass as NOT a plural word, IMO

Now I need to go do the USA Today puzzle to get my confidence back.


VirginiaSycamore said...

I do have to add that to me, UNIX is a bit more complicated than the average user can handle. I believe that in the parlance of Microsoft, they want us users to stay out of the system settings so that anyone who goes in to clear the printer queue, say, is to them a power user.


Husker Gary said...

Give me a hard earned “Got ‘er done” since OCEANID/TAV were right. The entire NE was a struggle but gave in slowly. CHANGE KEYS was fiendish (even with HST’s retreat), SPACE RACE had the same number of letters as GRAND PRIX and _O_ER USER cried out for CODE…. ULALUME (not one letter w/o perps), PANOPLY and ELVE weren’t much better.

-UPSET in the headline on this gridiron surprise
-I was at USE AND _ _ _ for key changes until ISP appeared
-We lagged in the SPACE RACE but got to the Moon first. Now?
-I’ve never seen it but it must be in cwd’s somewhere
-NINA and DRU dwelled somewhere in my subconscious
-EYELINER, C’mon, I wasn’t the only one with GRAPHITE
-Yesterday’s Grand Marshal KEN BURNS
-Bennies are better than PERKS
-I guess the UNIX Bash BUG is a big FLAW these days.
-I first figured ELEANOR would be any 7-letter Poe answer
-Many a LAWYER figures out how to beat the TAXER
-I resisted MERMAID for _ _ _ _ _ ID sea nymph
-Not that long ago…

Beach Bum said...

I was all proud of myself for completing this one without any cheats and then discovered I had put aLS for 26A and forgot to check 1D after I filled in the acrosses. Also, it didn't help matters that I confidently entered ANGIE at 15A before I finally had the "Doh!" moment. Also, I suppose I should look up GELID -- never heard of it and I lived in the arctic for a year. The SE was mostly WAGs and initially I had the verb PERfusE for 14D. Still, I always like a challenge and this was every bit that.

Beach Bum said...

Oops -- meant NE was mostly WAGs.

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

I walked two+ miles for this???!!!

As "easy" a start as yesterday's puzzle was, this was the Yan to the Yin, or the Omega to the Alpha, or the Nadir to (whatever the Astrologers refer to the opposite of Nadir!)

Let's just say that today's puzzle made me feel like I was in 1st Grade and the teacher began quoting Shakespeare - I started the f***up with putting ERROR in 1a, OHIOAN in 8d; I DID manage to NAIL 33a and 31d, but little else fell under my knowledge. I even managed to create several ink blots even after googling a half dozen or so clues

Hat's off to anyone who solves this without assistance - I'm curious to see if that AlJazerra guy (or whatever his name is) - the one who sometimes shows up on Sunday to boast about how quickly he solved the week's puzzles - was able to do this in less than an hour. It took me nearly that long to look everything up!! ;^)

PK said...

Hi Y'all! This puzzle was ACERB and most of us are biting back in comments. My comment is "boo hiss", Silk is a closet MR HYDE.

My mood will shortly be improved. I'm off to visit with all my children and grandchildren, four of whom I haven't seen for two years. Three of whom have now surpassed me in height.

Carry on without me.

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. Thumper and I didn't care much for this one. For me, it was even worse than most Saturdays. UPPER CASE B was clever, UPSET for Diamond surprise was weak and unfair I thought. Sporting surprise would have felt much better. I didn't like POWER USER much, ROTES seems like one of those plurals that shows up because the constructor is in desperate trouble in an area, D and C for streets that show up in Washington D.C. was really tricky but fair for a Saturday I think. Gary, yes I had Graphite at first. All in all, it was not an enjoyable struggle for me.

We are heading off to a Jewish deli/restaurant for a get together with some of Barbara's relatives and in-laws. I've not enjoyed this place much in the past. I don't like the food much, they won't seat us until everybody shows up yet Barbara wants to leave early. Oh well, I'll smile and enjoy the company.

hebow44 said...

Dear LA Times Editors. I think I speak for many when I request a few more toe holds in puzzles like this. Perhaps we could then work out a few of the more difficult clues and WAG some of the unknowns, while the brilliant among us could relish in simply knowing the answers. I think we all enjoy difficult puzzles, especially when they start really slow and miraculously gain traction until completion. Or in my case, one or two squares short/misspelled.

I usually don't even open the Saturday puzzle, but since I've had more time this week and actually had some success on Friday I thought I might see how the real solvers live on the weekend. I guess I picked the wrong Saturday to be bold ... maybe I'll try again next week. Hard to believe I'm excited for Monday.

Happy New Year. I enjoy all the posts. So rare to have a blog that stays this civil.

C6D6 Peg said...

Yes, another Crash & Burn. Got enough of the answers, but nothing that would complete the NW or SE corners...... A real challenge for the start to the New Year.

Thanks, Splynter, for having to put so much effort into these Saturday toughies. You're to be commended.

Anonymous said...

I like challenging puzzles, but this one was just downright unfair. Way too many obscure and just plain ridiculous answers. Not a good start to the year.

Big Easy said...

hebow44- I can usually finish half the Saturday puzzles but this one really had to few toeholds to complete. The NE just killed me. And I was lucky in the SW knowing that German words that are plural end with an 'n', not 's'. My toehold there were AQABA and STS, guessing the French FEMMES and there is a street in town named Marshall FOCH. The rest was white.

SE- SESTETS and ZAIRE (could have been CONGO) was all there was. After I guessed PHASES, KHYBER PASS fell. I filled ROTES but didn't really like its looks.

Don't give up. The place is civil because no politics or religion is allowed. And I'll let you know what Mr. Trumps says tonight. An entire group of us are going to Biloxi for a good laugh road trip.

Jayce said...

This one beat me, too. Usually I look forward to a Silk puzzle, and looked forward to working this one. As I got a few toeholds (some of the gimmees being AQABA, SYNAPSE, KENBURNS, and RUSS) I thought that would get me going, as it usually does with Saturday Silkies. 'Twas not to be. As most of you said, too many complete and total unknown names and some cluing that seemed to be gratuitously vague, almost to the point of being unfair. When, after having looked up an answer, my feeling is "Oh, yeah, okay, if you say so" then I know I'm not having fun.
Best wishes to you all.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

I won't be UPSET 'cuz I knew at the ON SET I didn't stand a chance w/o some lookups, but boy did it get ugly. I'll take the win in the SE (NAIL'd IT) and go from there. Thanks Berry for the puzzle and Splynter for the answers (and the Men at Work clip - haven't listened to them since the '80s).

Though it [KEN] BURNS me that KOJAK wasn't right, (W/ the K from KHandar or some-such PASS) I won't be sad (really? EAT no wonder nothing worked over there). While, I'm a dreamer, I'm a REALIST when it comes to Sat. I'll be smart again on Monday.

Hand up for fang b/f ODOR - Silk, you stinky rat :-). I also assumed UNIX guru was going to be some type of nerd; that didn't help. [btw, I think it's the guru part that makes s/he a POWER USER, not simply *nix].

Fav - c/a for 31d. That was a Sat. PERK or, erm, UPPER.

Well, it's 2016 and TAX time soon; I'll check box 3 on this Silkie.

Cheers, -T

CrossEyedDave said...

Well I lucked out, because I never got a chance to be frustrated by the puzzle.
Too busy trying to fix my bike.
(having a motorcycle that won't run is like having a sick horse...)

New battery, and all is better.

Argyle! OMG!
What a v8 moment! Laura Nyro...
Wedding bell blues is one of those songs that made the car radio a place to hang out.
I never knew that all of these awesome songs were written by one person!

Finding live video for her is tough,
But Herr goes a link attempt on the old iPad.
Save the country...

Argyle said...

I see some of the songs in my original link were not her own compositions, just her recordings.

Live version of "Save the Country" LINK

AnonymousPVX said...

Got no where and quit early. Glad I did, when I saw the answers I realized I had no shot whatsoever.

First time in a while I haven't solved a Silkie, but this was to me extremely difficult.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I had a great start. It was one of those mornings when my first intuitions were all right on the money, even UPPER CASE B. It was lucky that ULALUME is one of my favorite Poe pieces, but even so I was knocking out answers right and left to things I ordinarily wouldn't know.

But then Silken Reality sank in. It was the NE corner that caught me. I got SPONSOR and ACERB easily enough, and NEHRU, but the rest resisted--firmly. Once I caved and sneaked a peek to get DRU, I couldn't stop cheating. I just had to look up POWER USER before I could see my way to the finish...

But let me wish a belated Happy New Year to everybody!

CrossEyedDave said...

Hmm, still having iPad issues.
Argyle, yr save the country link will not load for me.
So I do not know of it was the same one I posted .

But I should have just gone to the 2012 awards for a recap...

Irish miss, sorry for the link foul up delay,
But here's hoping this starts your New Year off right.

Anonymous T said...

CED - I feel your pain on a dead battery. I tried to start the Alfa a while back and nada. I got a battery charger but did something wrong 'cuz I made it worse [I know an EE should be able to do this... Hey, don't judge :-)] The poor car is currently under 3 weeks of to-be-recycled boxes - our recycle comes only on Fridays.

Argyle - I've never heard of Nyro; not my norm but very good music. Thanks for sharing.

When I ran out of squares for additive @14d I was hoping it was going to be a circular-Xword-reference and Fill == answers. That could'a been meta.

CED - OMG Dogs and Cats living together?. Biblical proportions!

Cheers, -T

Irish Miss said...

CED @ 3:39 - The Mr. Silk-induced frown has been replaced by a great, big CED-induced smile. Thanks for the "cute and cuddly" creatures! 😻🐶

Lucina said...

Greetings, friends!
WEES and double WEES! I concur that this was a beast from beginning to end with way, way too many names. it could be called a BioPuzzle. I did know NINA Ricci and LAYLA which is still playing in my head.

As all of you have stated, this puzzle contained too many gratuitous generalities to be fun. Usually I relish Barry Silk's Saturday puzzles but this one did me in. I finally had to look up some things just to grab a toe hold. I was pleased with my self for filling GRAB, KHYPER (but spelled wrong, also AQABA). There is no way I would have solved ISLANDHOP or UPPERCASEB without help and especially since I had TAW not TAV for the last Hebrew letter which frustrated PERVADE for a long time.

Thank you, Splynter, for shedding some light on this darkness.

I hope all have enjoyed your day this lovely Saturday!

Lucina said...

Oops. I meant KHYBER Pass.

Anonymous said...

I'm probably just in a snit because I was so thoroughly defeated by this puzzle.

That said, "steal" seems a much more appropriate answer to 1A - a surprise that only happens on a baseball diamond.

"Unix/UNIX guru" to me suggests a greater level of knowledge than a power user would have.

Oh well, I can only improve from here.

Anonymous said...

Could I get some help with 44A, I'm still not getting it. I figure it is something to do with classified adverts but EOE isn't clicking.

Avg Joe said...

Anon at 5:38 EOE stands for equal opportunity employer. Those initials can get mixed up by things like equal employment opportunity, but it's crosswordese that will almost always involve E's and O's.

Anon at 5:31, pretty much everyone agrees that the clue for upset was unfairly vague. That, in part, is why there's so much kvetching today. It was a brute. No doubt about it. May the rest of the year be kinder.

Misty said...

Well, I actually got the bottom half of a dreaded Silkie this morning--but that was it. Tried and tried and got almost nothing more. So, it was a huge relief to come to the blog and find out that I wasn't the only one struggling with this bear (grizzly, you're right, Irish Miss). But Saturdays are usually pretty tough for me, so I tried not to make this feel like a rotten start to the new year. And the expo and comments made it all fun in the end.

Have a great beginning to this new time in our lives, everybody!

Barry G. said...

OK, this is a bit embarrassing, but it turns out I actually do know the song LAYLA from hearing it played on the radio, at dances, etc. It's just that I never knew the name of the song and honestly thought the words were something like, "You've got me on my knees, ayuh." Live and learn...

Boo LuQuette AKA Boudreaux in Eunice, La. said...

Totally beat me up today. 1 Across I put UPSET right away. Knew that was a sport clue.
Put fareast for china but took out cause i thought SAD went in for EAT

Pshaw mostly white when I turned on the red letters and Didn't have any red. I thought I didn't turn them on. All the fill I had was correct which wasn't much. Like I said I got beat up ~!~!

Anonymous T said...

Sonnava... - MIL came over for ham-bone bean soup (only fair I share; it was her ham) and (almost) finished / corrected my grid! (She didn't get her paper today).

From the "It's only funny 'cuz it's true" Dept.: Houston is hurting w/ oil down >30%. How bad?

Overheard at an oilman's luncheon spot: "It's so bad in the pipe business right now that people who aren't going to pay ain't even buying pipe."

A Yogi-ism if I ever read one. That was in the paper today (unfortunately not in the humor section). Cheers, -T

Paul in Montebello said...

I got this one. Fun!

fermatprime said...


WEES! A real bummer to start the year!

Had my days mixed up. So didn't miss Sherlock after all! (DIRECTV had nothing under that name. Stupid me.)

It was a great show!


Freond said...

The one clue that didn't make sense still didn't make sense after looking over today's blog: D and C in D.C. Had to ask my wife, who figured out they were STreetS. "STs" didn't make that clear for me.

To me, a POWERUSER is anyone that goes beyond the basics of using software. They can find deleted files, write batch files to clear the print queue, edit the registry, stuff like that. So I had no trouble with the clue, although it took me too long to get the fill.

I guess I should be happy that I got about 80% of this puzzle without help, all but the brutal NE, where there just weren't enough perps to get any traction. And I had (Carole) KING instead of NYRO, until I gave in and looked it up. (Knew of and liked her, but didn't realize the amazing number of songs she wrote that others covered.) I took 50's and 60's to mean 1950-69. The only emperor of that period I could think of was from Flash Gordon: MING the Merciless. So even the perps I thought I had were wrong.

I second a lot of complaints of others. Baseball is not usually a game with overwhelming favorites, so UPSET is a term that seems rarely used. The space race had little to do with distance per se, so that was really weak, as was GELID. Cold is a characteristic of the Artic, but not a good synonym--my touchstone is whether the clue and the fill are interchangeable in some reasonable sentence, and I'm not sure this passes. DRU is pretty obscure, as is a rare variant for acerbic, as is JUNO, as is NINA. "Change keys" for "island hop" is poor too; who uses "change" for "travel"??

It seems this is a puzzle for the top pros, not for me.

And can we please stick to English, or COMMON foreign phrases. I've had a year of German and 2 of French, so I'm not helpless. ELEVE translates, per Google Translate, to "high." Are professors in France supposed to be drug dealers? What the heck is this supposed to mean? Something about elevating or promoting? If I wanted French crosswords, I'd go find some. I could translate Frauen to FEMMES without excessive trouble, but there's a limit, and this crosses it.

Greek letters are used in frats, sororities, and math and other sciences, so I guess they are fair game. But sorry, Hebrew letters are too specialized and don't belong in a crossword, IMO. What's next, Arabic calligraphy terms?

Sorry for the rant, but this is posted so late, most probably won't even see it.

Anonymous T said...

Freond - Oh, we'll read it... FWIW, I only know computer languages and have a cursory understanding of English. When Germann rivers cross French I'm stump'd. Hebrew is right out.

Paul - Show-off ;-)

Upon further reflection of UPSET... I've read/heard, for instance, "Today the Jay's UPSET New York and the Astros beat the Braves" or some such. So maybe it's not an upset as seeded but it was a win that just made the other team sad (um, EAT'n) for the day. Though it's not a surprise but just dog-days of summer day-to-day. My $0.02.

Cheers, -T
//Paul - Just kidding: Tip o' the hat...

Argyle said...

I was surprised to see D and C procedure pass the breakfast test, then I realized it meant the lettered streets in our Capital.

Dudley said...

Fermat - that Sherlock episode was complicated! We kept it for future re-watching, in the hope of improved comprehension. The alternate Mycroft storyline is hard to grasp.

Argyle - Hand up for being surprised at D & C. I missed the street connection entirely. I justified it as Delaware and Colorado - poor, I know.

-T - "Hebrew is right out!" brings a smile.

VirginiaSycamore said...

CED @ 3:39, both your links send me to a list of youTube videos I have watched the most last year.

Freond, I read your post. I liked your definition of what is called a "power user".