Mar 5, 2016

Saturday, Mar 5th, 2016, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie~!

Words: 70 (missing J,V,X,Z)

Blocks: 27

Always a pleasure to see we are getting to work a Saturday Silkie.  I found the grid to be on the chunky side, with another low block count, but several more three-letter words than last week's puzzle.  Still, a pretty good challenge, a little on the tough side for a Silkie, but always solvable as far as I am concerned - though I did have to check the dictionary twice.  Triple 5/8 and 9/6 corners, and nothing longer than those answers;

1d. Discontinue : BREAK OFF - I tried PHASE OUT, such as a car model; "---OUT" showed up later (see 37d.)  This discontinue has more of a "relationship" definition

6a. Software developers' get-together : HACKATHON - Actually a word (term)

39d. Firth of Forth outlet : NORTH SEA

62a. One looking up to his listener? : SERENADER - for the ladies

 he is wearing pants....

yONder windoWARD~!


1. Metaphorically dull : BEIGE - these are never dull

15. Attack : RUN AT

16. One with a tender heart? : ARTICHOKE

17. Brother competitor : EPSON - put it in, took it out....printer makers

18. Precedent sources : TEST CASES

19. "Can't fool me!" : "A-HA~!"

20. How some myths are taken : AS FACT - some of the lesser myths addressed on Mythbusters are actually quite interesting to me; e.g., a "bull in a china shop" turned out to be less of a mess than expected.  Last season this year

22. Losing scheme : DIET - Nailed it

23. Skull Island notable : KONG - just caught a few minutes of the 1976 remake of King Kong.  Good way to clue it would be 'star' of films released in 1933, 1976 & 2005 (excluding the "son of Kong" type movies, of course)

25. Deli request : NO MAYO - I prefer mayo over ketchup - sort of a "Pulp Fiction" kind of thing

27. Where ends may meet?: Abbr. : NFL - I enjoy watching football, and the chess-like strategies employed, but I don't get too involved with teams, players or positions

28. Dairy Queen Blizzard option : OREO

29. City between Algiers and Casablanca : ORAN - filled via perps (for those who inquired last week, the crossing answers in crosswordese are 'perpendiculars')

30. "Shucks!" : "AW GEE"

32. Handshake relative : FIST BUMP

34. No. : QTY - the period (.) might have been hard to see on paper

35. Influential capitalists : FAT CATS

36. WWII correspondent Reynolds : QUENTIN - no clue, but with half the perps in place, the most logical answer; clued as 'director of such films as....' and I would have nailed it

40. Comprises : HAS

41. FBI Academy site : QUANTICO - remembered this from seeing "The Silence of the Lambs" - the Wiki

42. Parade honoree, briefly : ST. PAT - almost timely

45. Accommodate : SUIT

46. Certain retiree's title: Abbr. : EMERitus, and I got it

47. __-Magnon : CRO

48. More mawkish : HOKIER - mawkish being one of the two words I had to look up

50. Sq., e.g. : RECTangle - all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares

51. File system's master directory : ROOT

53. Kid : BANTER - the verb

55. Theater warning : "SHH~!"

56. Like most circus performers : ACROBATIC

58. March winds, perhaps : OBOES - good WAG

60. They're observed : PHENOMENA - HOLIDAYS was too short

61. Tiny sucker : LOUSE - dah~! Not LEECH

63. Gene Vincent's "__ Lovin'" : LOTTA - my generation knows "Whole Lotta Love" or "Whole Lotta Rosie"


2. High state : EUPHORIA

3. Most senseless : INSANEST

4. Fed. auditing agency : GAO - Government Accountability Office - I think we've seen this before, but I didn't recall; I went with IRS - bzzzt~!

5. Mount __ Nicolosi, Italian ski area : ETNA

6. Millinery blocks : HAT FORMS - millinery was the other word I had to look up

7. GPS display : AREA MAP - ROAD map was not working

8. Source of inside info? : CT SCAN - cute

9. Pool : KITTY - I went with the verb, and tried AMASS

10. Virginia Cavaliers' org. : ACC

11. Longtime Mississippi senator Cochran : THAD - since I did not know this name, nor 6a., I thought it could be C-had

12. Scam : HOSING - Mr. Silk is good to me - two chances to add leggy pics~!

13. Michael of "Michael Clayton" : O'KEEFE - this guy; his IMDb - I recognize him from parts in Law & Order, CSI, and House, M.D. epsiodes

14. Poland Spring parent : NESTLÉ - I knew this

21. Prominent elephant seal features : SNOUTS

24. "Can't fool me!" : "GOTCHA~!"

26. Like granola : OATEN

31. Dana __, co-star of the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" : WYNTER - this movie scared the sleep out of me for about a year when I was 10 yrs old.  So now I had to research the film, and it led me to this 'disorder'

33. Mideast party : BA'ATH - never heard of it - the Wiki

34. Six minus deux : QUATRE - Frawnche

36. Amtrak unwinding area : QUIET CAR - I once rode the train from Ronkonkoma station on LI all the way to Seattle, WA.  I stopped in Minot, ND, but alas, I did not know I would find friends in MN years later~!

37. Ends unsuccessfully, as a computer search : TIMES OUT

38. Beer container : ICE CHEST

41. Tonic component : QUININE

42. Tosses : SCRAPS - another good WAG

43. Lozenge : TROCHE - rhymes with HOKEY (see 48a.)

44. Worse : POORER

45. Proceeded in a carefree manner : SKATED

49. Hawaiian-born head of state : OBAMA

52. Voice mail sound : TONE - Dah~! Not BEEP

54. Plane's longitudinal rotation : ROLL - I am familiar with how planes fly, but not quite as much as Dudley

57. "__ appétit!" : BON

59. Discontented cry : BOO


Note from C.C.:

Here are a few pictures from JD's trip to Maui last week.  She said "My favorite picture was one up at the volcano. If you can see it full screen, the colors were amazing. We were above the clouds." She also said that the lady in mermaid costume has "3 of those tails and this is her hobby".

Bob and JD


Click here for whales and a few more stunning pictures JD took.


Dennis said...

Good morning, gang -- hope everybody's doing well.

This may be old news (I haven't been following the blog, although I do miss it), but I thought I'd share this with you all in case it's new to you. With all the political crap and all the corruption in the world today, I always thought the crossword world was above reproach. Evidently not. Pretty sad.

Anyway, have a great weekend. Over and out.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Managed to get through this one in normal Saturday time, although the QUENTIN/WYNTER crossing was rough and I winced at some of the answer such a BANTER, HOKIER and HOSING due primarily to the cluing.

Elsewhere, I needed all the perps to get OKEEFE and had to guess at NESTLE. Fortunately, I was able to get HACKATHON, ARTICHOKE and TEST CASES with only a little perp help, or else that corner would have been a disaster.

TROCHE was something I dredged up from somewhere and am still surprised to have actually remembered.

Minor speed bumps included BAH before BOO and SRO before SHH.

Strange how GOTCHA can be used to mean both "you can't fool me!" (as clued) or "I fooled you!" (as most people probably use it).

And yes, Dennis, I was just reading about that crossword scandal earlier this morning. Probably not as big of a deal as some would like to make it out to be, but still unfortunate.

Big Easy said...

Nice pics Splynt. My toeholds in today were THAD, ACC, QUANTICO,CRO, ROOT and NESTLE. My request in the deli is always NO MAY0- I don't like it and it's 100 Calories/tbsp to boot.

The puzzle was doable with perseverance. OKEEFE, WYNTER, QUENTIN, ETNA, LOTTA were my unknowns. A few bad starts were RICOH, CANON before EPSON, and I was determined that HACKATHON ended in -CON. I couldn't figure out why INNANEST had two Ns and was going INSANE before my V8 moment hit. By only writeover was changing TYCOONS to FATCATS. I never noticed the CT-SCAN until I completed the puzzle, and I was on the track of thinking of an inside person.

24D- 'Can't fool me!'- PYSCH wouldn't fit so I wrote GOTCHA- from earlier this week.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

It's softball season -- spring must be here. Mr. Silk lobbed an easy one our way. I finished in about half my normal Saturday solving time, even with Wite-Out decorating three corners of the grid -- Set AT/RUN AT, Tablet/TROCHE, Omens/OBOES, Leech (Yup, Splynter)/LOUSE.

EMER(itus) reminds me of a history course I took back in the day, taught by a Prof. Emeritus who also wrote the text. His lectures were rambling remembrances having no relation to the course, and his text as almost unreadable. Lesson learned, in one sense only.

Sad story, Dennis. But good to "see" you.

desper-otto said...

Yeah, there should'a been a "w" in there.

Yellowrocks said...

Easy and fast for a Silkie, except for that little NE corner. NESTEA before NESTLE. ARTICHOKE took a long time to appear. DIET was cute.
Off to visit one of my sisters. Another sister, my niece and her daughter will be there, too. Gotta run.

unclefred said...

Great CW by Barry Silk. Unfortunately, too tough for my meager CW skills. Big DNF. Don't understand how ANYONE could guess ARTICHOKE as clued. More power to you all for that. I'll crawl off to the corner, put my dunce hat on, and mope for a while.

Lemonade714 said...

I agree about today's puzzle and the more compelling story of Mr. Timothy Parker and the puzzles which he edits. While, we have seen a few theme repeats they all appear to have been unintentional. This is awful and his answer that he has a staff of 60 in house constructors who may or may not exist is classic. Computers make both the deception and its exposure possible.

Thanks for the pics JD, the write up Splynter and the smooth sailing Barry

CrossEyedDave said...

---Public Service Announcement---

I probably will not have time to tackle a Silkie today,
but had to tell you I opened my Email this morning to
find an Email from my Cable Company, no different than
any of the other Emails I receive from them, stating
that my Email account was at Max capacity & I should
click on this link to upgrade my Email account...

The link leads to the CABLE COMPANY WEBSITE,
where you are asked to enter your password and ID.


(If it could almost fool me, it could fool anyone!)

The actual sender was somewhere in Europe...

Read you all later.


Avg Joe said...

It was nice to see a Silkie today, but I didn't find it nearly as easy as many of you apparently did. The NW fell pretty easily. The rest, not so much. LOTS of erasures today. With SHH in place in the SE, I confidently filled in Irish Sea for the outlet and Hogshead for the beer container. That didn't work out all that well. I finally did wag and erase my way to completion, but t'warnt easy. Liked the mash up of QU's near the center.

Anonymous said...

Another blog w misogynistic pictures.
Every Saturday pics get juvenile & silly.
The other 6 days manage to be pleasant & informative without being ....well just so
Junior high

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I almost gave up on this but I guess I'm too stubborn, so I persevered and, finally, got the tada. I held onto hysteria too long before erasing most of it and euphoria dawned on me. Also, the mischievous misdirection of Michael of Michael Clayton led me to George as in George Clooney who played the title role, not Michael O'Keefe who was also in the movie. Artichoke was a long time coming, as well. Even though I finished w/o help, it took me a lot longer than usual to solve a Silkie.

Thanks, Mr. Silk, for the challenge and thanks, Splynter, for the expo.

Dennis, thanks for sharing the crossword story; it's disheartening but not surprising given the world-gone-mad we're living in.

JD, the photos are quite stunning.

CED, I've had 4 emails this week from the IRS and the FBI regarding several million dollars that I can claim if I share part of the funds. If I don't claim it, I can be prosecuted and sent to prison. I trust you'll send me one of your trademark cakes 🎂 with a hidden hacksaw inside? Also received emails from Bank of America and PayPal stating that someone has been trying to access my account, so I have to click on a link to verify my account information. I don't have an account with either business. Don't get me started on the Nigerians!

Have a great day.

oc4beach said...

A Saturday Silkie DNF even with Red Letter help on. Can't say I enjoyed it today. After I saw the puzzle filled in by Splynter I thought it was a uniquely good puzzle. Definitely not plagiarized.

The NE and SW were the killers. Although I like ARTICHOKEs I just didn't get it today. I didn't get the TEST part of TESTCASES. I guess I'm not much of a lawyer.

The SE with SERENADER, PHENOMENA and TROCHE (a total unknown) refused to fall in place. At this point I just went to the blog and Splynters expo.

I think I will give up on solving any other puzzles today and read the comics. Even Dilbert is not right today because Scott Adams has Guest Artists doing his artwork for the next six weeks. He deserves a vacation.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Great write-up, Splynter. Liked the leg pictures - all the way down to the ground.

I have not seen BEIGE used in that way, so it took a while to fill in the NW. EUPHORIA helped.
Got the bottom half first. Then had to nibble at the rest. Had THAD except for spelling. Finally broke the logjam with the WAG of OKEEFE. Many fine clues as is Barry's wont - especially those for CD SCAN and ARTICHOKE.
TROCHE was a learning.
ROLL - Splynter, that same diagram is applicable to ships and the destroyer I served on. At sea, it was always rolling. In a storm it would pitch badly with spray inundating the bridge. As the ship hogged over a large wave the bow and stern would vibrate in a vertical plane.
Of course, it would also yaw at steerageway too low to answer the rudder well.

Husker Gary said...

Someday I will understand why my always enjoyable Silkie solve starts in the lower right even though I got THAD and KONG first. Oh well, all’s well that ends well.

-Like Joe, the 3 QU’s in a diagonal line caught my eye
-Steve Martin – “"Would you like some red wine?" “Ooh you have colors, do you have BEIGE?”
-High school BB players now BUMP FISTS with the refs after being introduced
-QTY – our cheap principal asked how many single (not boxes) paper clips you wanted
-“Do the opposite George” saying SHH in a theater (:43)
-We’ve got the GAO auditing and are still $19,000,000,000,000 in debt. Good job guys!
-We had to use our GPS to get to a great fish fry last night
-For many of us, this will always our first Memory of a Michael O’KEEFE role
-The most famous BAATHIST?
-The best laid plans of men and mice can be SCRAPPED when reality hits
-Apollo 8 luckily got this incredible image of the year during a ROLL
-Lovely pix, Judy!

Lucina said...

Hola y Buenos dias!

A Silkie to solve and all is well with the world! I entered his wave length for 3/4s and solved fairly quickly the bottom, center, SW and NW with a minimum of errors. OBOES and ARTICHOKE were my V-8 moments! Clever, Mr. Silk.

I also had to look up mawkish and doubt I would have known HOKIER. My NE was a disaster held up by GEORGE since I didn't recall OKEEFE. So more looking up. I liked the truple QUs in stair step fashion. I had no idea about THAD and wonder if his full name is THADdeus which is also our Pastor's name.

How good to see you! I didn't know about that scandal and it's just sad.

Have a great Saturday, everyone! Book club meeting later.

Lucina said...

Oops. That should be "triple QUs".

Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos!

Lemonade714 said...

I am not sure how many read the Crossword Fiend blog run by Amy Renaldo but you should READ the comments about best constructors.

Minnesota rocks

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling thoughts"

Solved w some help from my mom (who's visiting and loves to do the LAT CWP) as I made a copy on my EPSON printer and we took turns blurting out answers! She is not a big fan of Barry Silk - always has a few answers she can't get - but today we tag-teamed, and came up with all the blocks filled. We had a few erasures and write-overs, but all-in-all it was a fun solve.

She got the "Q"s going (knew QUENTIN QUANTICO QUININE) as well as parts of the SE corner, while I took care of the SW and NE. Got ARTICHOKE which I thought was cleverly clued.

Only nit to pick was 58a, although Silk did use the modifier, "perhaps". My youngest played bassoon so I came to know the double reeds pretty well. Both my kids were in their HS Marching Band and there were no marching OBOES. Or bassoons. But I get it, that coming up with new clues for the word OBOE is getting difficult ...

CrossEyedDave said...


Beige (1a)crossing GAO (4d)was a personal Natick of all Naticks.
(only one letter missing, & all 26 did not fit?)

Hackathon, hatforms? (Oh me, Oh my...)

But what really pissed me off, was not knowing beer container!
(It should have been a gimme...)
Well Mr. Silk, La Di Da!
Too hoity toity to use a cooler like the rest of us?

(Ice Chest...#$@%&*)

(I need a beer...)

oc4beach, thanks 4 the Dilbert update.
When I read it this morning, I thought there was something wrong with my coffee!

Dennis, Tx 4 the input! Good to hear from you!

Lemon, Interesting links, I bookmarked them for reading as time permits.

C6D6 Peg said...

Always love a "Silkie" and this was another great challenge. Got it done, with some looking up of Mawkish and Millinery, same as Splynter.

Thanks, Splynter, for the write-up. Looks to me like you have 3 pics of legs (including the serenader)! LOL

Steve said...

Wow, breezed through this before I finished my first cup of coffee! Sometimes you're just on the same wavelength as the constructor.

Interesting story, Dennis - thanks for posting. I don't buy that any reputable editor would not bother to check for duplications. C.C. advised me be very careful when I first tried my hand at constructing. The themes should all be unique, and any constructor worth their salt checks the Cruciverb database for a similar theme idea before investing the time and effort in constructing and cluing the puzzle. You don't want to get a reputation for copying other ideas.

Sometimes duplications do occur by sheer accident - puzzles which have been accepted for publication can sit in the queue for months or years before appearing in the paper, so it's not unknown for a similar theme to appear in a different publication due to the publication time-lag. My last collaboration puzzle with C.C. which was published last month had been in the LAT queue for almost two years.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @10:17--

Since you always seem bothered in this way and no one else seems to be, why do you keep reading week after week? Just wondering.


And today was a personal best for me: 23 minutes to finish a Silkie! So much in this one that I enjoyed.


Jayce said...

I liked the puzzle today.Somehow it didn't seem quite as elegant as most Silk puzzles, but it was fine anyway.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:17 must have short stubby legs with huge varicose veins and lots of hair, she hates the sight of pretty long legs so much.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Barry Silk, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Splynter, for a fine review.

Dennis: Nice to see you. I read your article in its entirety. Wow! I guess some things are the same the world over.

Normally I am out all day Saturday at Commandery events. Today we had none, so I stayed home and worked the puzzle. Took me about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I was just glad I finished it, no matter how long it took.

Tough getting started, but I did get a foothold in the Southwest. CRO, ST. PAT, TONE, BON, OBAMA. Then I just spread from there.

Lots of write overs and therefore inkblots. LEECH became LOUSE. SRO became SHH. OATEY became OATEN. HOMIER became HOKIER. DIVE became DIET. CATCAN became CT SCAN. FIST PUMP became FIST BUMP.

Got ARTICHOKE after a long while. I do happen to really like ARTICHOKE Hearts.

Most of the long answers appeared after I had a few letters to give me a clue.

HAT FORMS took a long time.

On the other hand, BAATH was easy.

So, now I am waiting for the Sunday puzzle. I really enjoy that one. Don't always finish, however. We will see.

See you tomorrow. Abejo

( )

AnonymousPVX said...

As a person who spent over 30 years in IT, I must disagree with 6A, SW developers are NOT Hackers. I also didn't think that 18A was accurate either, precedents are NOT test cases, they may well have been BEFORE they were ruled on. A TEST CASE is a case with no precedent, that's why it's a test. Finally, I never realized my GPS was showing an area map, I thought it a ROAD or TRIP map.

So no joy for me today, those 3 clues/answers lost me. Barry wins.

Bill G. said...

Good morning! I finished the puzzle with some help. It wasn't a lot of fun for me. Ah well...

Dennis's article about Timothy Parker was very interesting though. I think the man is a thief, a successful minor-league editor and a hack. His weasel-word explanations don't help his case. That being said, I don't have a big problem with some small theme duplication. If a LA Times constructor submits a puzzle with a similar theme to an earlier puzzle, Rich would probably reject it but it wouldn't be a problem for me. We've had several constructors try to solve their own puzzle with difficulty before they realized they had constructed it months before. Copying a theme word-for-word or copying fill word-for-word is thievery. But if parts of a clever theme are similar to something published before, it's probably fine with me. A good joke or story is worth repeating. I enjoy reruns of old TV shows. I doubt if I would recognize most previously-used themes, especially ones from other high-quality sources like NYT, The WSJ, The Chronicle of Higher Education, etc. I'd rather see a good puzzle with some repeated parts than a brand-new mediocre puzzle. Still, what Timothy Parker seems to have done is an embarrassment.

tawnya said...

Hi all -

I think I've reached a strange state of being when I get excited that it's a Silkie Saturday. I always do the whole thing with red letters and did pretty well on my own without google or running the alphabet. But I was stumped in the NE corner. Google helped and I eventually got it.

I read the article Dennis linked (George shared it on Facebook bright and early). I do the USA Today puzzle almost every day (it's free and easy) and have often seen clue and theme replications. I just can't believe someone would copy almost an entire puzzle and say it was a coincidence. When I commented on George's post, he (or his proxy) said this: "Clue replication is nowhere near as egregious, as long as it is done in moderation and with good taste. After all, there are only so many ways to clue OREO. There are also situations where, due to entirely honorable circumstances, theme duplication occurs. What is unconscionable is having the same theme entries in the same positions in a similar or identical grid, with a sizable portion (in some cases, approaching 100%) of the fill words also in the same positions." Well said.

So I will no longer be doing that puzzle! Anyone want to recommend a free and easy-ish daily besides my favorite LAT?

Have a great day!


PS - although I don't appreciate the leggy pictures as much as some girls, I always enjoy their male counterparts! I wouldn't kick that Romeo out of bed for eating crackers :)

Ol' Man Keith said...

I felt a smile stretching my lips when I saw that today's crossword was-- "a Silkie!" Like others, I've come to appreciate our friend's high standard, so much so that I don't feel deflated when he gives me a DNF, as I usually learn something--and am in good company when I see so many colleagues hitting the same wall.
The good news is that when I manage to complete a Silkie, w/o any look-ups, I take special satisfaction in the matching of wits.
Today is a case in point, as I knocked this one off in good time and with only a few checks (as I call them when they aren't really look-ups, but after-the-fact confirmations before proceeding further).
I couldn't get a toehold until the midpoint, at 32A, when I grokked FAT CATS. The clue, "Influential capitalists," caused it to just leap into my mind, instantly. Such intuitive catches are rare, but not all that infrequent among regular cruciverbalists. When they occur at the start of a pzl, they invariably signal success ahead. The boost in confidence is one reason, but the clean rightness of the answer is itself a sign that our brains are on the same circuit of slyness as the pzl maker. In today's case, I knew right away I would not be slowed (not by much) by clever indirections like "Handshake relative" or such misdirections as "March winds perhaps" and "Kid."
Oh, and EMER jumped out at me - because as of December 1st I became EMER myself, retiring after 35 years at my last university.

Anonymous T said...

Good day Sat. Solvers!

Barry is hard, but fair - except crossing names at 31d & 36a. I needed some help in that area to keep the "AW GEE, reallys?" a comin'. Thanks Barry for the fun puzzle. Thanks Splynter for the write-up.

My puzzle started at 6a - Codefest was too short and after 3 seconds of noodling - HACK-A-THON came to me. Backwards from that I got the NW, but the NE was paused at ARTICH??? I kept thinking of a polar bears (ARTIC Hugger?)

17a is a 'nuther pile of ink. W/ GAO in place, xerOx -> canON -> finally EPSON. Whew. That finished off the NW except for 23a - KONa; what do I know? That finally got fixed when I SCRAPPED veT's as honorees.

That's >2 hours in and I finally gave up on the SE w/ only ROLL and ICE_H___ correctly in place. That and I couldn't give up on squeezing Googlewhack (<--LINK) into 37d even though QUANTICO forbade it. Gimme some... (<--LINK) didn't fit @63a either, esp. not w/ Doh! In place at 59d. BOO me...

LOL moment - Splyter giving me 39d: I got a buddy, a Scot, named Michael Clayton who works in the NORTH SEA. Can you see why I want'd "1st name" @13d?

Fav - Got ROOT @51a. Good thing you didn't get ROOT'd / HACK'd today CED. Good eye. LOL IM - Nigerian princes...

Runner-up QUININE to finish OFF my G&T from last week. (NOUNS - bah!)

JD: thanks for sharing the pictures w/ C.C. and the rest of us. I loved the volcano peaking out of the clouds.

Dennis - good to see you even w/ the scandalous news. Wow - who'd a thunk?

PVX - Think of HACK as an elegant work-around / piece of code. I've been doing IT for 25 years (35 if you include my teenage antics). Or, think of it as a political-HACK, someone who knows pols inside & out.

Anon @10:17 - Leg's today? I was waiting on AW GEE blasphemy...

Cheers, -T

Copy Stoic said...

Without much hoopla, I would like to offer an opinion that the plagiarism issues in crossword construction dont have to be, and shouldn't be, such a big deal. If a xword is good, maybe more solvers in other venues should get a chance at it. This seems like a big problem for those experts, who having mastered it all, now want 'raise the bar' and pontificate on newly invented, esoteric matters, that most of us don't even think about. If one puzzle is very much like, or has common threads with another puzzle,- well, most solvers won't remember it anyway. Unless, the puzzle was ENTIRELY lifted, whole and sole, some clues or even common themes should not be matters worth hyper ventilating about. Otherwise every detective story writer, ( and Agatha Christie, by herself, for her numerous stories ) should have been shot dead for stealing same-same ideas and themes. End.

Thanks Splynter, I must say I enjoyed your leggy pictures. Kept my eyes from glazing over. The puzzle, not so much. But then, thats me.

fermatprime said...


Thanks, Barry and Splynter!

Fell asleep during this one. Looked up THAD.

Otherwise ok.

Nice to see you, Dennis!

Great pics, JD!


Ol' Man Keith said...

The plagiarism "scandal" may be news in Xwd land, but many have been on the lookout for unauthorized copying in other fields for ages. In academia, it is a primary sin--and one far harder to bring off in these days of computerized comparison. What we tend to see among certain student offenders these days amounts to a creative work-around, wherein the "cheater" copies the ideas and the structure of a given essay, but carefully re-words the piece, phrase by phrase and sentence by sentence.
In my field of theater, different rules apply. We steal like bandits, and make no bones about it. I'm speaking of directing a particular script. Following the famous Bertolt Brecht (who took authorial credit for many pieces written by his mistresses), we may not approve, perhaps, of stealing writing credit, but we have no qualms about reproducing another director's approach to how a scene's actions should unfold, or how an actor should time a particular speech or physical business. The prevailing principle is, "If it works, use it!"
Over the years I encouraged my students to be aware of other artists' work, and whenever they found something that worked better (than their own imagination), to incorporate it! I had faith that such liberty would end up pollinating their own imaginations--leading to better choices on their own.
In theater, no matter where an idea comes from, the actors must ultimately be able to "own it." This means that, given the individual egos and temperaments of each ensemble, each group of actors, whatever it is will end up being executed differently anyway.

CrossEyedDave said...

Learning (&WTF) moment: Googlewack
(quickly followed by Googlewhackblatt, & Antegooglewhackblatts...)

Also, Anonymous Ts reminder of JDs (very pretty) volcano peeking out of the
clouds reminded me of todays Zits.

And, reminded me that when I called my cable company to advise them someone was using
a copy of their website, they told me that all I had to do if I receive another call
from a Nigerian Windows Tech, or Robo IRS call, was to dial *57 & hang up.
(check with yr service provider as some companies charge for this service.)

But wait, there's more...

This stolen idea thing has been going on for a long time... (Burns & Allen 29:30)

Anonymous T said...

OMK - you mean like Shakespeare ripping Chistopher Marlow? [I'm ducking tomatoes as I type] :-).

Just kidding. I agree performance lends to artistic license. There's something about imitation is sincere flattery.

I love comedy and I see good comics "lifting" materials from others' jokes. I'm sure crossword constructors must be somehow influenced by puzzles they've solved (like The Stones were influenced by the Blues), but ripping a whole theme w/ the grid slightly adjusted (as Dennis' link demonstrated) is F'ing lazy; like lifting a Brittanica entry and changing a word or two for a report in 6th grade (guilty).

Cheers, -T

Avg Joe said...

Well, AnonT, if you want to talk about recycled jokes, I'd offer this vintage version of BC Licking his feet. This gag has been around in the ethnic joke circles for decades, but I was very surprised when I saw it on newsprint.....sanitized a bit, of course.

Going back to today's solve. I was so pleased with myself by coming up with Hogshead for the answer to 38d that is caused an earworm that I haven't been able to dislodge all day. Never one to be selfish, it's only right that I share same:-) Mr Kite

Jerome said...

tawnya- Go to On the top right there's a short list of daily puzzles.
CrosSynergy and Creator Syndicate are easy puzzles. Creator Syndicate is the easiest. However, their Saturday puzzle, The Stumper, is a real beast and by far the toughest of any mainstream puzzle out there.

Anonymous T said...

Ave Joe - If I could do that, I'd never leave the house... C, -T

Anonymous said...

Now, now anonymous 1:04.
Let's keep personal attacks off the site.
Thank you

Ol' Man Keith said...

Anonymous T @ 4:08,
Will S. would take a tale from Marlowe (or Kyd or Lodge or Boccaccio) and pass it off as his own. The only problem is that, being himself, he couldn't stop his hand from making a few modifications. The more straightforwardly he'd present the story, the more it would be his own.
Good advice for anyone in the arts. Take whatever source you like, and offer it as objectively as you can. Don't try to be cute with it, or muck it up. Just be clear. If there's anything of value in your hand, or eye, or ear, it will come through-- all on its own...

Ergo (Husker Chuck) said...

Yikes. Perhaps 50% complete. Silkies have always been tough for me. But it is a good opportunity to fritter away the whole day. And I mean the WHOLE day!

Anonymous T said...

Eldest told me about these two ripoff-artists w/ cellos a few weeks ago and heard them interviewed on NPR last week (I tried to find the show, but...). Splynter - this LINK is for you, Give it 40 seconds. Cheers, -T

Moodnuck said...

Mr Silk, you are a total Ahole for your bastardized slant on the English language!!

Argyle said...

Interview with 2CELLOS (13min 49sec) Click the link under the first picture.

Paul in Montebello said...

I dont know why but I thought hack a shaq first. But realized hack a thon. easy for saturday.

Moodnuck said...

Compromise = has???really???

Anonymous T said...

Argyle - thanks for the link. That wasnt' the show but the gist is the same as the one I heard on Fresh Air? All Things Considered?, aaah - BOO me for not recalling. I love their story though, they know their sh** and build upon something else entirely. America!

John M. - Re-read the clue: Comprises. As in "it is made up of" or HAS.

DW leaves tomorrow for Italy for 2 weeks. Sadness ensues. -T

Bill G. said...

AnonT, I'll be thinking about you. Good time to hang out with your eldest, etal.