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Dec 27, 2014

Saturday, Dec 27th, 2014, Barry C. Silk

Theme: Saturday Silkie~!

Words: 70 (missing J,K,Q,X,Z)

Blocks: 32

  I figured we would be finishing up a year of Saturdays with a Silkie, and I expected it to be difficult at that - well, I was spot-on.  There was little to be had in the first pass of across and downs, but I managed to get a foothold in the SE, then crept my way up and left from there.  However, the top right was just not going to budge, and I am kicking myself for missing 7a. - oh well.  Yes, Red-Letter help today, and some of my fool-proof solving methods proved me a fool.  One 13-letter climber is all we have in lengthy fill:

15d. Group label further popularized by a 1991 self-named documentary : MTV GENERATION - I'm of the MTV Generation, but I did not actually have MTV growing up - we did not have cable, so I used to soak it up when I was at my friends' houses; one of the first videos I ever saw;


Men At Work

O - N - 2 - W - 0 - A - 1 - R - 5 - D~!

ACROSS:

1. 2014 high-tech release using the slogan "Bigger than bigger" : iPHONE - I am not an Apple person, though I did hear they're coming out with a fan to compete with the Dyson bladeless - it's called the iBLOW

7. 1987 sci-fi film : ROBO-COP - Dah~! I am SO disappointed with myself for not nailing this one - and I have not seen the remake yet, to boot

14. Pointer, perhaps : BLAMER - I was in a 'dog' frame of mind

15. Soften : MODULATE

16. Feeding trough : MANGER - yeah, this time of year, you tend to forget what its original purpose was for

17. Opinion : TWO CENTS - ugh - took too long to dawn on me, but clever - and a**hole was not long enough - because everybody has one

18. Qantas' main hub, in itineraries : SYDney - I knew what we were looking for, but I was not 100% sure it was that straight-up; for example, the code for MacArthur airport around the corner from me is ISP - because it's located in the town of Islip

19. Winner of the 1997 and 1998 Super Bowls : DENVER - I like that there are a limited number of answers for this type of clue, but I was a bit irked because it was not the team, like RAIDER or NINERS, but the city/location

21. Little shaver : TOT - dah~!! - I went with TAD first

22. DJ Alan Freed's nickname : MOONDOG - perps and WAGs

24. Seething : ABOIL

26. 14-Across' concern : FAULT

27. 1959 Bobby Rydell hit : WE GOT LOVE

30. Luncheon follower? : ETTE - LuncheonETTE

31. Concede : OWN UP TO

32. Pickle : MESS - the dilemma, not the dill

33. Meeting focus : THEME - Agenda wouldn't fit

34. Big name in lingerie : OLGA - new to me, I gotta go check out the website

38. Knight wear : TABARDS - I knew this because I want to add another "B" to the spelling; here I am wearing mine for a wedding

40. Hunny lover : POOH - the spelling here was a give-away; Winnie the honey-eating bear


41. Body exhibiting sudden increases in brightness : FLARE STAR - dah!! - I tried SUPERNOVA, which is "technically" correct. I was left with the "key" clue ( see below ) and a WAG at Blare, Glare, and Flare; guess which one I did not pick first....

44. Monterrey jack? : PESOS - Mexican "money"

45. Navigation acronym : SONAR - Once the ---AR was there, I filled in the rest - and then my clever 'solving short-cut' betrayed me; see below

46. Rose in a big way : TOWERED

48. O, at times : HUG - X O X O in cards; one of these days....

49. 1944 Pacific island battle site : SAIPAN - dah~!!! Anyone else put in TAIPAN, or am I the only one who is confused = q.v.

51. __-eared : LOP - DAH~! Who else went with "DOG"~?

53. Against : AVERSE TO

56. Cuddles : SPOONS - one of these days....

58. Trusts : RELIES ON

59. Features of many impromptu speeches : PAUSES

60. "Something wrong?" : "PROBLEM~?"

61. Least honest : SLIEST

DOWN:

1. Some old notebooks : IBMs

2. Kid's bud : PLAYMATE - My buddy Adam, who owns the restaurant,  is a daddy again - Pearl Snow, 7lbs-7ozs, born Dec 7th, 2014 - and they had picked Pearl as a name before the anniversary

3. Fliers, maybe : HAND-OUTS

4. Shocked letters : OMG - Text-speak for "Oh My God"

5. "You __ bother" : NEEDN'T - I read this as bRother my first pass

6. Fumbled, say : ERRED

7. "Lady Jane Grey" dramatist : ROWE - I would have preferred "Mike from Dirty Jobs" for a clue

8. Sign of something gone bad : ODOR

9. Raymond James Stadium NFLer : BUC - Rrrr....I went with RAM, and should have paid attention to the abbr. in the clue

10. Encouraging word : OLÉ

11. Playground retort : CAN TOO - I tried YOU too & ARE too

12. Holy Roman emperor, 1209-'15 : OTTO IV

13. Grinder : PESTLE - argh~! I keep missing this one, as well

20. Exasperated words : "NOW WHAT~!?!?"

23. Fat substitute : OLESTRA - I remember seeing this on "healthy" potato chips

24. Brief creator: Abbr. : ATTorney - because Fruit of the Loom did not fit

25. Goof : BLOOPER

26. Like La Niña, e.g.: Abbr. : FEMinine

28. Gingerbread house adornment : GUM DROP - some day I hope to build a gingerbread house in the style of a castle with kids of my own

29. Reveals, poetically : OPES

31. Some parlors, briefly : OTBs - Off-Track Betting

35. Hopeless : LOSE - LOSE

36. Joker's array : GOOD ONES - got stuck thinking of the jokers found in a deck of cards

37. Relaxed responses : AHs

39. __ Lingus : AER

41. Key of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 24 : F SHARP - OK, so I proudly filled in -M--OR, then waited....and got duped - not A MINOR, not D MAJOR, etc. - I think Mr. Silk checks in and tries to out-wit us

42. Vent part : LOUVER - ARGH~~!!  Took way too long to come to me

43. "Measure for Measure" deputy : ANGELO - Learning moment for me - did not know this was Shakespeare - the Wiki

44. Prison buddy? : PEN-PAL

47. Small flying predators : WASPS

49. Zaire's Mobutu __ Seko : SESE

50. Quark locale : ATOM

52. "Hey!" relative : psst~!

54. Needle : RIB

55. Pierre's pinch? : SEL - Frawnche "salt"

57. Pierre's permission : OUI - more Frawnche, this time "yes"

Splynter


Notes from C.C.:

1) To reader Bob Niles: You made a comment on Dec 24 saying your newspaper has no circles for the "Silent Night" puzzle. Can you let me know the name of your newspaper? You can email me crosswordc@gmail.com. Also, to our blog regulars, if anyone knows how to get in touch with Bob Niles via his Google Plus profile, please let me know. I can't find his email address.

2) Happy Birthday to Dudley our Handsome Pilot! Dudley has been with the blog for almost four years and is an avid fan of Downton Abbey & Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!  Dudley met the great Karl Kasell in a private meeting, if I remember correctly. Click here for more photos of him. They were taken during Montana's visit to Northeast in September, 2013.

Left to Right: Marti, Dudley, Hondo & Montana