Feb 6, 2016

Saturday, Feb 6th, 2016, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie~!

Words: 68 (missing F,J,V,W,X)

Blocks: 32

Can I just say that it didn't matter how difficult this puzzle was going to be, I was just happy to see "Silk" at the top, next to the author's name~?  Not a walk in the park, mind you - some clever fill and clues, but somewhat dulled by a few "meh" ones.  The thing about Mr. Silk's puzzles is that if I just "sit" with a clue, eventually an idea will "40D."  and give me a fighting chance.  The last corner to fall for me was the NE, after I changed one four-letter entry.  Pretty standard grid, with triple 10-letter corners connected to a fourth 10-letter spanner, offset, and the one nine-letter central clue;

33. Old, fading ad on a building : GHOST SIGN

Furniture AND Undertaking~? I wonder what they kind they make....

5. Potential diamond winner : GO-AHEAD RUN - not sure which diamond it might be; we were talking at UPS about skiing this week, and there are 'diamonds' in that pastime, too

58. Newark neighbor : EAST ORANGE - New Jersey - my birth state



1. R&B Foods brand since 2014 : RAGU - Once I got the "U", I went with a WAG

15. Old Testament book : AMOS - oops, I put in ENos - but I had the "OS" part already, so I'll call that 0-for-2

16. Far from perfect : ERROR PRONE - like, say, my first pass on a Saturday solve

17. Prepare for a meal : MAKE - I get it, but....meh

18. Bakery aisle offerings : ONION ROLLS

19. Burpee product : PLANT SEEDS - a bit redundant to me, but I see boxes from the company at UPS all the time, so I knew what to look for

21. Place to build : PLOT - dah~!  Not SITE, my four-letter mistake - 25% correct, 100% wrong

22. Get together : AGREE - I tried UNITE first

23. D-Day transport : LST - been a while since this has appeared in a Sat puzzle

24. Indicator of stress: Abbr. : ITALics

25. 1997 Hawke/Thurman sci-fi film : GATTACA - didn't see it; - IMDb page. I just watched "Bridge of Spies" - very good movie, but a bit drawn out

28. Cell terminal : ANODE - battery cell; I did ponder TOWER or PHONE at first

29. Hummingbird's pair? : EMs

30. Guzzle : CHUG

32. Kudos : PROPS - praise synonyms

35. Jazz dance : STOMP

37. "Aaugh!" : "OH NO~!"

38. Avoid, as an issue : BEG - around these parts it's more like "beg off"

41. Crystal of country : GAYLE - one of my first fills

42. Poisonous plant in the nightshade family : HENBANE - the Wiki

44. How some data is backed up : ON CD

45. Low-fat meat source : EMU - one of those Saturday learning moments

48. Busters : NARCS

49. Psalm words : O GOD

50. Plan Z? : LAST RESORT - clever

53. Most elementary level : GROUND ZERO - this was exactly what I was talking about at 1A. last week~!

55. Cyan relative : AQUA

56. Putty base : LINSEED OIL - ah.  I am familiar with putty, but never checked the ingredients

57. Crave, with "for" : LUST - not PINE; see 32D.

59. Nantes noodle? : TÊTE - Frawnche - and for those who are offended - see here @ 40A.


1. Agitated state : RAMPAGE - also a pretty cool arcade video game; you start out as a city-bashing creature, but if you take enough damage, you revert to your human self

2. Mixture : AMALGAM

3. Mario game racers : GO-KARTS - this is one video game I never got into

4. Online discussion venue : USENET - been popular on Saturday lately

5. Storms of the '90s : GEOs - GM Chevrolet sub-brand; they made the Metro, which had a 3-cylinder engine - the Wiki

6. Alençon's department : ORNE - more Frawnche - I did not realize their "counties" are called departments

7. Fourth-largest moon of Uranus : ARIEL

Odd place for a "Midsummer Night's Dream"

8. Range protectors : HOODS - ah.  I was thinking of some "park ranger", but we're talking this kind of range

9. Physicist Mach : ERNST - oddly, my first two 'confident' fills were proper names; just goes to show, you either know it, or your don't

10. Diamond birthstone mo. : APRil - my birthstone is Amethyst - the chart

11. Surprise with a visit : DROP IN ON

12. Antique shop furniture item : ROLL-TOP - desk, very elaborate construction-wise and still stylish today

13. Vents : UNLOADS

14. Get cozy : NESTLE - OK, I was asked to show some scantily-clad men, so....let's get zesty

20. "I want to learn" : "TEACH ME"

26. Ocean turbulence : CHOP

27. It borders It. : AUS - not many choices, really, so I went with SWI - then SUI, then SUS, and then oh, right, AUS

28. French battle site in WWI : ARGONNE

31. "Little modified Pon-Pon" in a 1964 hit : GTO - pretty good WAG on my part; then again, weren't half the songs in the 60's about your girl and/or your car~?

32. Needle source : PINE - ah, here's where PINE goes

33. Valuable particles : GOLD DUST

34. Proctor's warning : SHH~!!!

35. Wine-and-fruit beverage : SANGRIA

36. Barons : TYCOONS

38. Bernini's genre : BAROQUE

39. Coat, in a way : ENCRUST

40. Develop over time, as an idea : GESTATE

41. Android developer : GOOGLE

43. Volcanic rock : BASALT

45. Superior : ELDER

46. Tribute maker : MAZDA - more cars; same thing as a Ford Escape

47. Apply to : USE ON

51. Course with many angles, briefly : TRIG - ah, not GEOMetry

52. Something to fill : ROLE

54. Hero in a virtual reality film trilogy : NEO - "The Matrix"



OwenKL said...

Thought I might have it today, but nope. The central North eluded me. Googled Uranian moons and French department map, but those left me with two cells still blank. Checked red, and found I had LAT for LST, which gave me that perp. _OA HEAD RUN and _EOS still stumped me, so at that point I gave up on it.

Oh, crud, I've got the crud!
Constant cough, phlegm in flood,
Painful joints, top to toes
Tissues for my runny nose.
The world is fuzzy, is it there?
The way I feel I just don't care!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Very challenging, but ultimately doable today. I knocked out the entire west side after some effort, but the east coast remained a sea of white for awhile until I finally started chipping away at it. Having URIEL instead of ARIAL hid GO AHEAD RUN from sight. And I was so proud of myself for getting URIEL...

I knew GATTACA, but I initially misspelled it as GATTICA, which hid TEACH ME from view for awhile.

Some inspired guesses included LINSEED OIL and HEN BANE. GHOST SIGN needed all the perps, but I smiled once I got it since it seems perfectly accurate. One of those "there needs to be a word for it" words.

I take exception to BAROQUE being clued as a genre instead of a period. The genre would be "classical" (or "art music", if you want to get technical). Of course, I'm probably wrong since Rich doesn't make mistakes.

Thanks for the link to RAMPAGE. Boy, that brings back some memories! That and Spy Hunter were my two favorite arcade games in the 80s.

Madame Defarge said...


As I have said, I used to cringe on Saturday when a Silkie apeared, but I am now confident enough to know that once I start with the doables, I will be able to finish. And Splynter, ERROR PRONE is right. I liked finding LAST RESORT and GESTATE. I struggled with EMS. One of these days I will not take so long to get the letter bit. LINSEED OIL should be easier since it's all over the place: workshops, art studios. . . . PLANT SEEDS sent me astray on Nantes noodle as Nantes is a type of carrot. Ah, TETE! And ORNE is actually a departEment.

Thanks, Barry. Fun Saturday morning--off to grandson's basketball game. Actually nine year-olds are more fun than the NBA--especially here in Chicagoland.

Thanks, Splynter--une explication tres charmant, comme d'habitude. [Sorry I don't know how to use accents ;)]

Have a wonderful day.

unclefred said...

Well, I got 'er done, but took 47 minutes to do so!! And even now, after coming here, don't know how "Storms of the '90's" is GEOS, or know what ORNE is. Perps one and all. In spite of my ignorance, NE was where I got a grip, and worked my way down the East coast, bottom, and up the West coast, making the NW the last to fill. Don't remember GATTACA. All perps there, too. I had to look it up, and I guess I know why I don't remember it, the movie lost a fortune, like $20 million, so I guess not many people went to see it. Anyway, got the Jumble today and got the Saturday Silk, even though it took a long time. So off to a good start for a Saturday.

Avg Joe said...

Quite the rodeo today. Many errors, including Bake for Make, Site for Plot, Galaxy for Google, Honda for Mazda (which led to RHE...a. Wait a minute, fiddn't dit), Geom for Trig, Hole for Role and Gattica for Gattaca. Maybe others. But half an eraser later, was able to rope, wrestle and tie this one up. Hen bane was ESP and didn't care for Beg, but it all worked out. My experience was similar to yours, Splynter. Thanks Mr Silk and you as well, Splynter.

Loved the Puppy Bowl last night. Go Donkeys!!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Firm TDNF today. Why? Because I was sure the poisonous plant was Hemlock, which led to Accrete for the "coat" clue. Totally logjammed the SE. Had to red letter out of that mess. Once I remembered Henbane, the V8 can flew.

Missed the last couple of days due to workload, so a few notes:

CED, fascinating story about the manuscript (forgot the name).
TTP, I'm well familiar with those Murphy days, where any one problem begets at least two others...
PK, glad you navigated your way out of that jam!

MsTx from last night, loved the Puppy Predictions!

Magilla Go-Rilla said...


desper-otto said...

Good morning! (Is it still morning?)

Was getting absolutely no traction in the NE, so put the paper down and went for the morning "march" around the hood. When we got back I poured another cup of coffee and five minutes later it was finished.

Hand up for SITE, Splynter. BTW, furniture and undertaking are frequent companions, probably because the old-timey undertaker also built the coffins. He knew cabinet-making, so he could make furniture in his spare time. Sixty years ago my father and two uncles each had a furniture/funeral combo in separate towns.

Argyle said...

For Uncle Fred : Geo Storm.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was one of the rare Silkie's that I just couldn't crack open. Both the SE and NW areas gave me fits but eventually solved the SE, then spent a lot of time trying to do the same in the NW, but no such luck. Finally asked for a hint and that did the trick, but still a FWH. No complaints, though, as Mr. Silk is still my favorite Saturday stumper!

Thanks Barry and Splynter for a challenging offering and expo.

TxMs from last night: Enjoyed the puppies and hope their prediction is correct! 🐶 🏈 🏆 Thanks for sharing. 🤗

Have a great day.

Husker Gary said...

I wandered long in the desert before BAROQUE/AQUA/TETE/NARCS/LONG (later LUST) arrived while I was looking for a white flag! Then it was delightful torture the rest of the way where AMALGAM/DROPINON/SANGRIA unlocked their respective corners. Wow!!

-ERROR PRONE? - Look at my grid today!
-CHUG – cue Roger Miller…
- High Flying STOMP! (4:02)
-BEGging the question is a form of logical fallacy in which a statement or claim is assumed to be true without evidence other than the statement or claim itself. Hello election season!
-My acquaintance with AMALGAM
-That HOOD is very useful when I MAKE dinner (burnt OFFering from last Sunday?)
-DROP IN ON cedes “ending in prepositions champ” to What did you bring that book that I don't want to be read to from out of about 'Down Under' up for?
-Lovely TEACH ME (2:55)
-I chose ARDENNE (forgot about the silent S) over ARGONNE with AR _ _ NNE showing.
-Pon Pon in GTO? No way! Yup, I looked it up and there it was!
-In Paint Your Wagon Ben and Pardner tunneled under buildings and collected the GOLD DUST that fell through floor boards of gold rush buildings

Anonymous said...

Fouls: MAKE and PROPS. MAKE would be OK if the clue were "Prepare a meal," as in MAKE DINNER, without the "for."

Anonymous said...

OK, OK, MAKE a salad, MAKE a meatloaf, etc. etc. WSS: Meh.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I felt the same as you, Splynter. When I spotted Barry Silk's name, I thought, "a REAL Saturday pzl!"
And, sure enough, it was a tough one. Even after three or four cheats to get a foothold, I found myself scraping thee bottom of my memory recesses to come up with the other answers. Funny how some right answers pop into my head even though I can't find any conscious connections to When or How I learned them. Equally strange is how many long answers come into focus with only one or two letters to start them. It's one of the beauties of crosswords, isn't it, to get us acquainted with our own mental processes?

Maverick said...

May I have the judges' ruling? GO CARTS and MACE (to flavor with said spice, or slang for macerate) for GO KARTS and MAKE (such a pedestrian word for a Saturday)?

Yellowrocks said...

Difficult for me today, needing a few helps. I am kicking myself, a Jersey girl, for needing so many perps for East Orange. I have frequently passed by there on the highway, right next to Newark. I thought the NE was easy, but much else was not.
Mario game uses GO KARTS with a K.
BAROQUE is not just a period, but also a style or class of art, sculpture in this case.
"GENERA is a class of art (or artistic endeavor) having a characteristic form or technique," so BAROQUE would qualify.

AnonymousPVX said...

As is usual, the Silkie gives and takes away. I agree that with his puzzles you can just look at it for a bit and the answer pops into your head, at least sometimes. It did today.


So a lot of misdirection before a successful solve.

Jayce said...

Well, I fully anticipated enjoying a Saturday Silk puzzle, but I didn't like this one so much. Perhaps because some clues seemed off to me, such as BAROQUE being called a genre, as Barry G said, and MAKE being clued as "prepare for a meal" instead of prepare a meal. I also got very messed up by ROLL crossing ROLL at 18A/12D. BEG for "Avoid" made me cringe. I couldn't shake off HEMLOCK, which is a case of myself annoying myself. Anyway, I guess this puzzle didn't tickle my satisfaction bone.

I am not saying the clues were wrong or unfair, and I am not saying it was a bad puzzle. I'm simply saying I didn't like it very much, so please don't quote the dictionary to me.

Best wishes to you all, really.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, just adding Baroque architecture as the case may be. Bernini was also one of the key architects of the Italian Baroque, an architectural style in its own right.

Oliver said...

I BEG to differ.

Please, please, let me differ!

Longbeachlee said...

Bernini's genre was sculpture. End of story.

Longbeachlee said...

Not a robot took so long to give me a check, I was worried that I had become a robot

Unknown said...

Ragu for R & B brand since 2014 went right over my head. Nobody else seemed bother.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Silk and I never think alike. Nuff said. I managed to get the whole EAST side & a few others such as AMOS & SEEDS. Tell me what else but PLANTS have SEEDS. Maybe pearls. Could I think of PLANTS? Thought that was too unSilk-like.

I knew GAYLE. Her hit song, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue", could describe how I felt about this puzzle. Too many unknowns & mehs to be fun.

EMU: has anyone here ever eaten an EMU? Seriously.

My partly antique ROLLTOP is used to pay bills and do other business things. My husband bought the base at an auction for $5 and years later I had a local furniture maker reconstruct a top for it. Love it.

I didn't know Uranus had moons. I just thought some juveniles used it to moon someone. Meh!

I thought Bernini was just a brand of sewing machines.

The things I did like in the puzzle could be boiled down to NESTLE, LUST, & TEACH ME (how well I remember that lovely song, Gary).

Robert, I filled in RAGU next to last, so it bothered me a bunch.

Good one, Splynter!

Big Easy said...

I made two WAGs in the NW, RAGU & AMOS, and still couldn't finish it. No way in hell I would have ever filled GATTACA or GO KARTS and MAKE was nowhere to be found in the nether regions of my brain.

I BEG to differ but is someone here PREGNANT- GESTATE??? Get serious. This one was stillborn because HENBANE was a total unknown and though I had STATE there was no way I could think of GESTATION other than the obvious. Nine months?? Is HEN BANE some type of pox on chickens?

UncleFred- GEO Storm & Metro- one step above a YUGO but not too much higher.

HG- I could have shown my newspaper grid , which was not ERROR PRONE, but had some BLANK spaces: M__E, GO___TS, ____ACA, BE_, HENBAN_. When I had zero knowledge of the movie, game racers, or the poisonous plant there was no way to finish. But the Madri Gras parade was fabulous tonight.

john in michigan said...

love me a saturday silkie, but i BEG all crossword constructors to be just a tad more fair

Northwest Runner said...

I don't understand how you get ground zero from elementary level. Either the constructor or the editor seems to have confused this with square one.

Dudley said...

Glad you brought that up, NW Runner. I was confused by that connection as well. To me, ground zero is more or less the center of a circle where something forceful has happened - earthquake, bomb blast, what have you.