Feb 27, 2016

Saturday, Feb 27th, 2016, Julian Lim

Theme: None

Words: 66 (missing F,Q)

Blocks: 35

I literally made a face ( to nobody in particular ) when I saw the constructor's name - I've never had much success with a Julian Lim puzzle, so why should today be any different~?  Have to admit to red-letter help, but no Google cheats - and that's an accomplishment, seeing the number of proper names * in the grid.  However, I am going to chalk this one up in the "win" column, as I somehow found the will to tough it out until I got my "ta-DA~!" and just over my personal allotted time.  Lowest word count I have seen on a Saturday, too.  Two spanners, two 13-letter spanners, and two 11-letter spanners;

20. Masters home : AUGUSTA NATIONAL - I was thinking golf to start, so I did not fall into some sort of "----MANSION" trap

48. Not as much : TO A LESSER EXTENT - very pleased I got this, tho I had to wait on perps and then allow it to coalesce in my brain
23. Chef's staples : SALT AND PEPPER - sort of echos the other 13-letter fill;

45*. Jet Tila and Mario Batali : RESTAURATEURS - I was pretty confident about the "-EURS" part at the end, so I tried "---AMATEURS", but no.  I do not recognize these names, but I am very familiar with the concept, seeing as I am regularly involved in the restaurant business - but I was looking for the "N", (restauraNteurs) which the dictionary says is an "Americanism" for the Frawche root word for 'providing food'

24. Shimmering South American denizens : NEON TETRAS - aquarium staple

40. Canterbury tales subject : ARCHBISHOP



1. Spot for a ride? : CAR AD - it took some time to parse this; now I think it's clever

6. Floored : AWED - an early WAG that worked

10. Pinking sound : SNIP - I happen to know that pinking shears are scissors, so another early WAG that stayed to the end

14. Meteorological prefix : ANEMO - meaning "wind"

15*. "United States of Tara" Emmy winner Collette : TONI - Perps

16. Corsair's syllables : YO HO - ho and a bottle of rum~!

17*. Colleague of Charms teacher Flitwick : SNAPE - good thing I am into Harry Potter - Filius & Severus; two guys with "tenure" at Hogwarts  :7))

18. Fly, commonly : LURE - or "A Lure", the first restaurant I started working at

19. "Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella," e.g. : NOEL - WAG

25. "Earth still holds __ her gate": Thomas Nashe : OPE - one of only four 3-letter fills

27. Juvenile : KID - the noun; I was in "adjective" mode at first

28. Man in black : NINJA - because (Johnny) CASH was too short, and "AGENT K" too long

32. Harvard's motto : VERITAS - needed a few perps to recall this

35. They'll put you down : ABASERS - pondered TEasers

37*. 2000s Vienna State Opera conductor : OZAWA - here's where the proper names started dragging me down

38*. Joelle Carter's "Justified" role : AVA

39. Geriatrics concerns: Abbr. : SRs

50*. Stop on the Turin-Genoa railway : ASTI

51. Pad __ : THAI - seems obvious now, but this just did not come to me

52. Place to find an argument, perhaps : ESSAY - COURT, ISSUE, nothing was working in the SE for me

53. Best selling point : PEAK - not PLUS, not PERK

54. Smokescreen : RUSE - not DUPE

55. Myrrh, e.g. : RESIN - I can never remember this

56. Get in on the deal : ANTE

57. Goes (for) : OPTS

58. Lifted : STOLE - theft synonyms


1. Condominio, por ejemplo : CASA

2. __ mirabilis: wonderful year : ANNUS - I went with annu-I

3. When Star Wars began : REAGAN ERA - because "A Long Time Ago..." would not fit

4. Shot container : AMPULE - ah, meds, not liquor

5. Inflicts on : DOES TO

6. Land down under? : ATLANTIS - I'm a big fan of "Ancient Aliens", and I am reading two books from authors featured on the show; this "lost" city is a popular topic

7. Hurt, as feelings : WOUNDED

8. All ears, say : ENRAPT

9. One cutting in the kitchen : DIETER

10. Abstract : SYNOPSIS - the noun, not the adjective, again

11. 2007 #1 hit for Alicia Keys : NO ONE

12. "It's been said ... " : "I HEAR..."

13. Exit __ : POLL - oops, not PLAN - that's 50% correct, but only 25% right

21. 31-syllable Japanese poem : TANKA - OK, who else went with HAIKU~!?  I was inspired to share with you my ventures into "limerickal" poetry; see below

22. "Dandy for your teeth" toothpaste : IPANA - really good WAG

25. Lacto-__ vegetarian : OVO

26. Candy created in Austria : PEZ

29. K-Cup competitor : NESPRESSO

sophisticated filter

30. Fantasy lit initials : J.R.R. - my first thought, but I figured the "T" for Tolkien needed to be in there

31. Sancho's "steed" : ASS

33. Sentence opener in many teens' stories : "I WAS LIKE..." - great clue/fill

34. Parisian fruit pie : TARTE - had it in, took it out....

35. Where to see some kites : AVIARIES - not AQUARIAS, which I know is completely wrong, but I mixed up my kites with skates

36. Scold vigorously : BASTE

38. Apprised (of) : ABREAST - always want to keep "a-breast" of the situation

41. 1961 Lenin Peace Prize recipient : CASTRO

42. Keep from spreading : HUSH UP

43. Spelling experts? : HEXERS - I knew we were looking for WITCH or WIZARD here

44. Get-go : OUTSET

45. 1953 A.L. MVP Al : ROSEN

46. Trouble greatly : EAT AT

47. Mail lead-in : SNAIL - snail mail~!  The good ol' Post Office

48. Spanish morsel : TAPA

49. Newcastle's river : TYNE - dah~! Not TYRE


The KID with an AWED puzzle bent

The clues I do wrest

To keep you A-BREAST

My ESSAY on what J. Lim meant

I HEAR what PEZ DOES TO your teeth

So take one’s toothbrush from its sheath

Know you just wanna

Brush with IPANA

‘fore they EAT AT whats underneath



Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Hand up for a general fear of a Julian Lim Saturday themeless, but this toothy bear did not outdo me. Reasonable guesses saved the day. With just a few letters in place I guessed at Neon Tetras, and the North fell fairly quickly. Resisted Snape until the end, because I misread "colleague" as "college", which had me trying to remember Flitwick's first name (couldn't manage it).

I learned years ago that there is no N in Restaurateur, so that fill went in smoothly. As for the Masters, well, I knew it was in Augusta, GA only because I visited the John Deere plant there in 1999, and saw road signs about the tournament.

Morning, Splynter, hand up for wanting Haiku, but perps made that one trouble from the start.

Dudley said...

Speaking of Harry Potter references: I saw a photo collection of clever graduation cap art. Some were just decoration, and some were words; in the latter my favorite was "Mischief Managed".

Wish I had thought of that.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I found the middle and lower section of this puzzle much easier to complete than the top section. Which isn't to say the middle and lower sections were particularly easy, mind you, but the top was really nasty.

I was actually extremely annoyed at this puzzle until the very end when I finally figured out that 5D was actually DOES TO and not DOESTS. After that, I was only mildly annoyed to have been subjected to CAR AD (which is actually quite clever in retrospect), AMPULE (as clued), ANEMO (as clued), TANKA (total unknown), etc.

I wanted ATLANTA GEORGIA for the home of The Masters. I'm not a golf fan, so I have no idea what NATIONAL refers to or how it can be the home of anything. Is it the name of a particular golf course or something?

I really, really wanted 3D to be PRE-CGI ERA, but the perps denied me that pleasure. Wrong "Star War", anyway. Or was it? Are we talking the movie or the missile defense system? Both?

Anyway, I managed to eventually get through this one unscathed. For some reason, I just don't get much joy out of Julian's puzzles, but that may have more to do with the clues that Rich concocts to make the puzzles Saturday hard and less to do with Julian's actual construction. Or maybe it's all on Julian. Just trying to be charitable here...

Barry G. said...

Hmmmm... I just noticed that today's NYT puzzle was also done by Julian, and I enjoyed that one much more than this one. Still challenging, but not as much of a plod. So, yeah, I'm going to give Julian all the credit and blame Rich for this one (regardless of whether it's true or not).

I'd love to see Julian stop by and explain what changes were made to his original submission.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Definitely not easy, but hey, it's Saturday'n' the band is playin', Honey could you ask for more? Had it not been for AUGUSTA NATIONAL and TO A LESSER EXTENT, this could easily have turned into a rout. Yes, HAIKU was my first thought, but the syllable count was too high.

I still think that MYRRH must be a treatment for hemorrhoids, or maybe catarrh. (Remember that one from your old Mad Magazine days?) Or maybe it'd just knock some frankincense into ya.

thehondohurricane said...

Julian Lim puzzles suck! When I nailed AUGUSTA NATIONAL & SALT AND PEPPER I began to think things are going to be better today. Not one chance in Hell! Did manage to fill in correctly the North Central. In the SW, had ROSEN & ANTE. A couple of other correct fills, a few not correct and the familiar sea of white. This guy is way out of key league.

I figured a 31 Japanese poem was TAIKU, seeing 17 syllables are Haiku. Never recall ever hearing of TANKA.

This was my last attempt trying to solve a puzzle from Mr Lim. He's beaten me bloody and I "ain't" giving him another opportunity.

Aside from my above failure, today promises to be a good day. DIL & grand daughter will be spending a big part of the day with us. UConn says good bye to it's graduating basketball lady seniors today. It will be emotional, but they have given us four fantastic seasons. And rumor has it a home made cake is in the offing., so sorry Julian, but you won't mess up my whole day!

billocohoes said...

Hand up for hondo's reasoning to try TAIKU.

Unlike Barry the top half filled in after the second or third pass, but most of the bottom stayed white. ROSEN opened up the SW corner, then figured out NESPRESSO, but using HAZE for smokescreen blocked the deep south, and after trying TO A LESSER DEGREE, then AMOUNT, EXTENT wouldn't arrive. My first DNF is quite a while.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I, also, cringe a little when I see JL as the constructor as he can be a devious little devil and today was no exception. I did finish w/o help but it was more of a slog than a fun challenge. I found some of the cluing odd and I may be dense but I still don't understand the clue for Noel. Can anyone enlighten me? Also, what is a Corsair to yo ho?

Thanks, Splynter, for the summary and to JL for another teeth-gnashing, hair-pulling Saturday stumper.

Have a great day.

desper-otto said...

IM, "Bring a torch..." is a Christmas song. And a corsair was a sailor, so "Yo ho ho," as Splynter wrote.

Big Easy said...

Too tough for me today. The unknown proper names wouldn't let me get a toehold as the only gimmes were AUGUSTA NATIONAL (nice place to visit but don't ask for tickets or membership) and TYNE. ARCHBISHOP, ____TETRAS,\and CASA were just lucky guesses and filling ANNUM instead of ANNUS never let SALT get started . I finished everything below OPE, KID, and NINJA the the north was basically blank except the previously mentioned plus REAGAN ERA and ATLANTIS.

As for what I definitely DON'T know the clues could have been 'United States of Zimbawbe Emmy winner', 'Bring a flaming pine knot, Jeannette', 'Southeast Podunkville College's fight song', ' Vito Corleone's role in "Justified"', '1898 A.L. MVP' and '98 syllable Mongolian drinking song'. My answers would have been the same although I did perp ROSEN.

AMPULE- no way; it contains the medicine. So does the VIAL. The "shot" is contained in the SYRINGE or 12, 20 or 410 gauge cartridge.

Splynter- did you notice on your picture of 'ABREAST' the third word was one letter short of LEVITRA?

Anonymous said...

Another half clad woman. So immature and so predictable. ..

oc4beach said...

Even though today is "National No-Brainer" day, JL's puzzle doesn't fall into that category. Officially a DNF because of the heavy reliance on red letters. There was no YO HO HOing on this one today. Although I didn't resort to Google.

I wanted PEST vs LURE. I don't fish and I've been around too many barns and livestock, so the only thing a fly could be is a pest.

The long fills weren't that bad today, but I did want AGUSTA GEORGIA instead of NATIONAL. This was only a speed-bump and not a road-block.

Yowza I didn't know OZOWA or TONI, but I did know Jet Tila and Mario Batali.

Although I've heard the Christmas Carol "Bring a torch Jeannette, Isabella", I didn't know the name. Plus I don't think it's one of the carols that you hear a lot during the holidays.

In addition to being "National No-Brainer Day", it is "International Polar Bear Day," so treat your favorite Polar Bear to something nice. Enjoy.

Yellowrocks said...

I cried "UNCLE!"

Irish Miss said...

DO @ 9:07 - Thanks for the info. I have never, ever heard of that carol not the term corsair. I guess I've led a sheltered life! 😇. Then again, maybe Mr. Lim really is a devious devil! 😈

unclefred said...

Oi. Far too difficult for my meager CW skills. I couldn't even cheat my way to a completion. Hand up for "uncle".

Bluehen said...

Brutal. Thumper squared. A DNF even with red letter help. I'm going to go lick my wounds.


PK said...

Hi Y'all! I woke suddenly out of a sound sleep then couldn't go back to sleep. Decided to do the puzzle. I usually like Julian Lim puzzles but approach with caution. When neither ups or downs clues produced anything but white in the first tier, I wondered if I was still asleep with a booger of a nightmare.

Aha, one I know: Augusta National. Announcers usually say both words together when talking about the Masters.

Always heard of "Canterbury Tales" but no clue what it was about. With ARCH showing & a vague notion of a cathedral, I WAGd BISHOP. Yay! Next try would have been "rivals".

I plugged in VERITAS immediately. Surprise! It's right! I'm telling my little successes here. The list of unknowns is too long.

Land down under wasn't Australia. The "A" was good. Finally perped ATL. Oh hey! Got it!

Shot container wasn't "bullet". It fit! AMmo didn't. AMPULE? Well Puley!

Did well enough on the bottom tier to start working back up a few letters at a time. A lot of my fill was from trying a word and having a letter or two right. Several more red-letter runs than usual on Saturday. But I got a Tada! It's a puzzle not a life test with me.

Splynter: Thanks for explaining the lack of "N" in RESTAURATEURS. That was worrisome. Never heard of Jet or Mario. Didn't parse REAGANERA (what?) until Splynter showed it was two words. Oh Splynter, may the force be always with you! And if leggy women pictures charge your battery enough to take on these monster puzzles, I for one, am all for it.

Husker Gary said...

I stand ready to doff my hat to anyone who found this easy. I finished but how long it took is my business, so there! ☺ One epiphany per corner seemed to get me through. Wrong OVA/AZAWO/TANTU/VERITUS/TORTE still gave me only 3 bad cells.

-Is it worth $3,000 to see two rounds of the Masters this year? I went with no.
-Tila and Batali are definite Saturday words to this cowboy, but eventually what else could they be?
-CAR AD fell last in fiendish NW corner. No make that SYNOPSIS in fiendish NE corner. No…
-My first man in black was ZORRO, which fit with RLS but no toothpaste
-Me too on PEAK, SYNOPSIS, HIAKU and ESSAY Splynter and SLICER gave way to DIETER
-“Myrrh is mine, it’s bitter perfume. Breaths a life of gathering gloom” gave me nothing
-This was my take on Star Wars and REAGAN ERA
-Being ENRAPT in Downton comes to an end next Sunday
-Yeah, when I think of peace, CASTRO is my first thought
-Nixon and Clinton both tried but couldn’t HUSH UP what they did
-Al Rosen was my first confident fill. What does that tell you?
-If I paid the bills around here, SNAIL MAIL would be cut by 90%

Michael said...

oc4beach wrote: "Although I've heard the Christmas Carol "Bring a torch Jeannette, Isabella", I didn't know the name. Plus I don't think it's one of the carols that you hear a lot during the holidays."

In 71 years' experience, never heard it before. Since I'm a Californian, maybe this is an East Coast thing?? (Otherwise the clue is as accessible as "United States of Zimbawbe Emmy alternate winner in 1973."

Yellowrocks said...

"Bring a torch" is often done at Christmas concerts. NOEL and YO HO were two of my very few gimmes. Also, AMPULE. According to one medical dictionary a SHOT can be "A small amount given or applied at one time," therefore referring to the medicine. Seems similar to me to a shot of whiskey.
I often enjoy difficult puzzles and keep returning several times. Somehow this one did not seem enjoyable enough to be worth the slog.

C6D6 Peg said...

Yes, a groan at seeing Mr. Lim's name on a Saturday. But prevailed in the end, with some minor corrections, and was satisfied to complete it correctly.

Thanks, Splynter, for a great review!

AnonymousPVX said...

I did something today I haven't done in so long I can't even remember: I took a first pass across and down and then put the puzzle aside.

I think this particular puzzle had the worst, most obscure clueing I can recall.

Again to contrast with the superior puzzle constructor Mr. Silkie - his puzzles may be tough but they are designed to at least give you a chance.

Mr. Lim's puzzles seem to me to be constructed so that he feels good about creating a puzzle that is extremely difficult to solve. Some of the clues and answers are just arcane. So, I hope Mr. Lim got his little thrill.

Alexscott68 said...

Tough puzzle, even for a Saturday. Didn't want to write in ABASERS since that isn't a word I've ever seen or heard, and ABUSERS was most apt. But I knew the toothpaste wasn't IPANU. A slow grind but finally finished with pen on paper.

I have to agree with the comment from the anonymous poster above. I don't know if the creepy cheesecake images that seem to accompany every write-up are meant to scare off women, or the writers are actually that clueless about what century we're living in, but they should really stop. They're obnoxious and don't distract from the fact that the write-ups are usually pretty dull.

Anonymous said...

I think I blew a circuit on this one. Toughest Saturday so far this year. Managed to slog thru it unassisted offline except for the ovo-Ozawa crossing (had ova-Azawa), and the veritas/tanka crossing (had veritus/tanku). Hand up for filling in haiku first, with the haik ultimately supplanted by the complete unknown tank and leaving the trailing u wrongly in place. I also got stuck on having quoters filled in for abasers for some time, not to mention being bugged by the missing "n" in restaurateurs already discussed.

I had numerous other trouble spots, but they sorted themselves out eventually despite my false starts. Have to agree with some of the other x-word fiends here that far too many of the clue/answer pairings were ridiculously obscure. Perhaps the constructor and editor feel all's fair in a Saturday puzzle.

CrossEyedDave said...

I am glad I have easier puzzles
that preoccupy my time...

CrossEyedDave said...

Like, why is the answer,,, 42?

Tal Fan said...

Red-letter help? Perps? WAG? I could figure out the puzzle more easily than the blog. What do they mean?

AnonymousPVX said...

PERPS - perpendiculars, when you get an across by solving a down or vice versa.

WAG - Wild Ass Guess

Red-Letter help - I believe there is a dialog, maybe on the Times site?, where you can ask the dialog to show you a letter.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I'll split the credit for solving Mr. Lim's latest opus, 50/50 between my own natural wit and a little help from my (i'net) friends. Truly, even with helps, this took a chunk of my brain power with it. (Could it be, what doesn't kill me leaves me duller?)
Anyway, I appreciated most of the cluing for being both straightforward and obscure. I mean they were honest but occasionally referred to subjects unknown to yrs truly--like Who those RESTAURATEURS were, and What is NESPRESSO (is it a brand or whole 'nother style of caffeine ingestion?).
CAR AD was the main disappointment today. My fault, I guess. I sweated it and thought too long about it before finally getting it--so, given the ratio of search time to revelation impact, my Aha! moment felt like a dud. Meh.

Jayce said...

Jeez, this one beat me to a pulp. It was far too much work for such a meager reward.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

I was much too hopeful when I said "Tomorrow is another day" last night. WEES, I especially echo Hondo. This pzl seems like it was setup for fail from the start. Spot for a ride? A Fiver perhaps for a short cab-hop in the rain? Nope.

Got AWED, WOUNDED, KID, LURE, & THAI. I knew it wasn't Dicers in the kitchen, but nothing else came to mind. Everything else was a miss. Saddest is Men in Black because I'm currently wearing a "Because NINJAs are too busy" black T-shirt [it's a Splunk> slogan].

40a - Canterbury tales elicited a grin at least - I liked the story of the guy sticking his arse out the window to blow a most foul air before getting a poker in it :-)

24a got me in Rio at Carnival and back in NOLA's Mardi Gras. Little fish never crossed my mind.

Though I didn't get it, I do like the c/a for 6d. Hand up for Australia at 1st? (b/f running out of squares).

Thanks Lim for spelling out my ignorance and Splynter for showing the way.

Pad THAI - reminds me I gotta get w/ my buddy Tuesday for lunch... We haven't since Oct.

Cheers, -T

Bill G. said...

Wow. Anonymous complaints about a skinny woman in panty hose and another relatively-new poster mentioning usually-dull writeups. I guess getting new blood isn't always a positive thing. I can't imagine my finding a blog and jumping in with both feet with criticisms. BTW, thanks Splynter. Most of us appreciate your good work.

Red-letter help has been explained many times before but here's another input to go along with PVX. If you solve online (I prefer the MENSA site), you can choose to set things so that mistakes show up as red letters. I don't usually need them until Saturday and sometimes on Fridays. I think red-letter help is much preferable to my mind to not being able to finish at all.

I'm not a fan of themeless puzzles on Saturdays in general and I agree with many of you that this was more of a slog than most.

Anonymous T said...

Red-letter help is, I think, working a puzzle on the computer and "turning on" red-letters so that when you start keying in a clue the letter turns red if it's wrong. That's what I saw when I tried to do the puzzle w/o pen & paper. I prefer ink & pulp to really test what I know - which ain't much today.

Cheers, -T

Manac said...

A Julian lim Saturday puzzle,
I started cheating at the first proper name.
He just isn't worth the aggravation.

Good afternoon everyone,
The only thing more puzzling today is why
was Hondo being so nice this AM with his critique?
Must have been in a real good mood :-)

Ol' Man Keith said...

The IPANA clue fooled me at first because that isn't the slogan I remember. I think the jingle most of us recall is that annoying "Brusha-brusha-brusha" ditty. If you don't remember it in the original, you may think of this scene in GREASE.
If that doesn't get under your skin, you can always go back to the original, starring Bucky Beaver!

Dave J said...

I've had "Bring a Torch...." as an ear worm driving me nuts for a week, and you had to put it in a puzzle?! By the way, I still don't know what a "WAG" is.

Anonymous T said...

PVX 'splain'd it @2:19. WAG is a Wild-Ass-Guess. As opposed to an EIOMSG - Educated, It Only Made Sense, Guess ;-). C, -T

Dave J said...

Aha! Danke schoen.

Avg Joe said...

All the gripes have been griped. Had to goggle at least a half dozen times....early and often. A major fail. Not a good day.

The puzzle certainly wasn't the highlight of the day. But scoring tickets to see Paul Simon in concert was.

PK said...

I wasn't even sure "Bring a torch Jeanette Isabella" was a Christmas Song so I was dumfounded when Noel showed up. I thought of the futile charge of the light brigade when they all rode to burn the bridge and no one thought to bring something combustible to set it off. Thought maybe the men were blaming poor Jeanette Isabella for not showing up.

Forgive me for being a little goofy. I'm giddy from finally walking all on my own today for the first time in 8 weeks.

Spartacus said...

Ouch! This one hurt! DNF.

Some nits to pick:
17A - Not a fan of proper names nor Harry Potter (sorry).
19A - Never, ever, heard of this "noel" - but comments seem to suggest that I'm in the minority.
35A "abasers" crossed with 36D "baste" - Just seems too, I don't know, close?

Should have printed this one out instead of solving it online. For some reason, I'm way more patient and deliberate when I solve a printed puzzle - takes much longer but usually ends in a more satisfying result. Solving a puzzle online just makes it too easy to access online help. I suppose I could resist, but, alas, I'm worthless and weak.

Lucina said...

Hello, friends!

This is how long it took me to work on Julian Lim's torture chamber although I managed at least 90% unassisted. Knowing AUGUSTA NATIONAL from the newscasts lured me into the delusion that it might be easy but of course it wasn't. I also finished the NE corner quickly and amazingly OVO/PEZ/OZAWA was correct as was VERITAS. So much for my continuing illusion. I misspelled RESTAURATEURS and so that held up the entire SE. When I looked it up and saw my error the corner fell. Naturally I did not know Al ROSEN so that r4equired another trip to Google and it was done. CAR AD took way too long and I guessed at SNAPE since I've heard of him.

This was a worthy Saturday effort but I do prefer Mr. Silk.

Thank you, Splynter, for your usual encouraging analysis.

I hope you've all had as wonderful a Saturday as I've had no thanks to this puzzle!

Lucina said...

I'm not surprised so many of you are unfamiliar with "Bring a torch, Jeannette, Isabella". It's not usually played on the commercial stations but heard on the classical music station which I listen to. They play more religious carols than do the other stations.

I see that I mistyped REQUIRED.

Spartacus said...

Just thought of one more nit to pick:

30D - "JRR" for "Fantasy lit initials"
Sorry, but in what world are "JRR" the initials for John Ronald Reuel Tolkien? Since when can you just exclude someone's surname from their initials?

Thanks for letting me vent.

Yellowrocks said...

As well as hearing this on classical radio and in Christmas concerts, it on several of my Christmas CDs.


Ol' Man Keith said...

I have to thank this blog for explaining (years ago) that a noel (lower case) is a synonym for a Christmas carol. I know it's strange for newbies, but for older hands t'was a gimme.
There are lists online of words & names commonly used in crosswords that are rarely used elsewhere. ATRA, SMEE, ENO, ONO, TSAR (with the "TS" spelling), OPT, NOEL, OLIO/OLEO, EWER, ALEE, ENYA, UTA, YPRES, ST. LO, etc., etc.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Spartacus @ 5:37,
I balked and picked at the same nit, but I suppose the point of cluing JRR by "Fantasy lit initials" is that John Ronald Reuel Tolkien used initials for all BUT his surname.

Argyle said...

Sing We Noel(2:07)

RetFizz said...

Hardest puzzle I've ever seen in my 20-odd years of xwording. No fun at all. I had to use both Google and red letters. Never heard of the carol or the usage of "noel" for carol. etc, etc. Bah.
I do puzzles in the following order:
Pen (erasable, of course) on the printed page in the LATimes Calendar section
Red letters - The online LAT site gives you a choice of a month's worth of puzzles; once you pick one,
you can pick Play Regular or Play Master. Regular gives you red letters for wrong
choices; I don't do Master.
I was surprised that some of the long-time commenters thought Googling was "cheating" more than red letters; to me it seems the other way around.
Reading some of the other comments gave me the only pleasure of the day; I feel smug that when I first started to read this blog, a few months ago, I was able to figure out what perps and WAGs were on my own.
Shorts again today. Where is El Niño?

RB said...

I thought "Star Wars started before Reagan!" then I realized they meant missile defense not the film.

Bill G. said...

Lucina: Don't worry about your occasional mistyping. You spelled the very tricky "r4equired" perfectly!

Agreed. El Niño is a major disappointment so far.

Bill G. said...

Q: What's the difference between bird flu and swine flu?
A: The first needs tweetment and the second needs oinkment.

Q: Why should you never kiss a canary on the beak?
A: 'Cause you might get chirpees.
And, it's untweetable.

I'll got to my room now...

Anonymous said...

Bill G: Too funny. Thanks!

PK said...

Bill G: Too funny. Thanks!

CrossEyedDave said...

Q.Why do Seagulls fly over the Sea?
A. If they flew over the Bay the would be Bagels...

Lucina said...

BillG and CED:
Thank you for the laughs! Very funny.

Bill G. said...

CED: Heh heh. I like it! :>)

This is a witty crew... but I'm only halfway there.

Roselyn said...

Can someone tell me what perps and wag mean? There are other solving abbreviations that I don't know, too, and don't know where to find them.

Argyle said...

Comments Section Abbreviations It's there on the right side, below the interviews. Olio