S A T U R D A Y   October 16, 2010
Barry C. Silk

Theme: None

I enjoyed the struggle of this puzzle today. I had a couple of trouble spots, but managed to piece it all together eventually. Some of the longer fill is just awesome. Look, I'm as tired of hearing about TIGER WOODS as the next person, but seeing him right there next to ZERO MOSTEL is pretty cool (30D: Three-time U.S. Open champ / 31D: He played Max Bialystock in "The Producers"). The trouble down in that corner came when I entered Lao-TZE instead of 30A: Lao-TZU. I felt kind dumb mixing those two guys up when I realized my mistake, but now that I've looked it up I see that both my answer and the correct answer are ways of referring to the same person.

Things that I just flat-out didn't know:
  • 17A: USAF plane for limited runways (STOL). Stands for "Short Take-Off and Landing." So it's not one specific type of plane, it's a way of describing the types of planes that are used, as the clue says, for limited runways.
  • 12D: Manny with 150 career pinch hits (MOTA). MOTA played for a couple other teams before settling with the L.A. Dodgers in 1969. After he retired from playing, he joined the Dodger coaching staff and is still a coach today.
  • 13D: Hungarian wine region (EGER).
  • 47D: 1966 U.S. Open champ Fred (STOLLE). After Funk and Couples, I'm out of Freds. And as it turns out, this clue is about tennis, not golf.
And I can't believe how long it took me to get PHILLIES (35A: 2008 World Series champs) considering that I know damn well Barry likes to include both Philadelphia and baseball in his grids!

  • 5A: Younger partner (JESSE JAMES). Turns out a guy named Cole Younger ran with the outlaw Jesse James. Who knew? I thought this clue was looking for a phrase like "older and wiser" only "younger and [something]." But I couldn't think of anything.
  • 18A: They need to be transcribed (STENO NOTES). The other day at work, my supervisor asked me if I had a recommendation for a book that would teach her shorthand. Hey, I'm old but I'm not that old!
  • 23A: Crime show in its 11th season (CSI). Is it possible that this show has been on this long?
  • 26A: "Per ardua ad __": RAF motto (ASTRA). "Through adversity to the stars."
  • 40A: Fiend (OGRE). Unless it's a crossword fiend. That kind of fiend is definitely not an ogre.
  • 41A: Stiff's nickname (EL CHEAPO). I thought "stiff" in this clue meant a dead body. Not sure what that says about me.
  • 50A: Result in a roped-off area, briefly (TKO). A TKO (technical knock-out) might be the end result of a boxing match, which takes place in an area surrounded by ropes.
  • 56A: Cobra-killing carnivore (MONGOOSE). Were we just talking about "meerkat" the other day? That was the only thing I could think of here. I knew it wasn't right, but for some reason meerkat and mongoose occupy the same part of my brain and I just couldn't distinguish them.
  • 58A: Networking asset (SHARED FILE). With the -ILE in place, I thought this would be some kind of SMILE.
  • 64A: Agent's accounts (SPY STORIES). I kept parsing this "spy's [something]," which kept me from figuring it out for quite a while.
  • 1D: Southwestern national park, or the primary plant that grows there (JOSHUA TREE). JOSHUA TREE National Park is in southern California. Pretty sure they shot an episode of "Entourage" there once.
  • 10D: Flower in the amaryllis family (JONQUIL). Can you get more Scrabbly than the JONQUIL?
  • 14D: Part of SSS: Abbr. (SYST.). Selective Service SYSTem.
  • 25D: Accepted principle (AXIOM). With the -IOM in place I actually wrote in IDIOM. Which makes no sense at all.
  • 29D: Disney acronym (EPCOT). "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow." I always forget this is an acronym and think it's somebody's name.
  • 42D: Like wind and surf (ERODENT). This one gave me a lot of trouble. I tried EROSIVE and ERODING before I finally got close to the correct answer but didn't know if it should end in ENT or ANT.
  • 60D: French iron (FER). Didn't know this one at all (I bet SethG did though!), but it was pretty easy to infer given that many words related to iron start with FER.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 63A: Sidewalk sale items (ADES).
  • 7D: Proof mark (STET).
  • 9D: Expressive rock genre (EMO).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 1A: Bring together (JOIN); 15A: Bone, to Benito (OSSO); 16A: Field for bug bugs (ENTOMOLOGY); 19A: Surgical instrument that stops bleeding (HEMOSTAT); 21A: Ice cream choice (QUART); 22A: A, in Arles (UNE); 24A: Modem speed unit (BAUD); 28A: Pope before Paul V (LEO XI); 33A: Bitter outburst (TIRADE); 37A: Baseball stats (RBIS); 38A: Small opening? (MICRO-); 43A: Formed from (MADE OF); 45A: Some MIT grads (EES); 46A: Screams (RIOTS); 48A: Manhattan Project notable (FERMI); 49A: Forward (BOLD); 52A: Earned (WON); 53A: Equally hot (AS MAD); 61A: Scribbles (JOTS); 62A: Scotch part? (PINE NEEDLE); 65A: Bikini component (ISLE); 2D: Apparent (OSTENSIBLE); 3D: Strength-training exercises (ISOMETRICS); 4D: Court plea, briefly (NOLO); 5D: Kids (JESTS); 6D: Necessitate (ENTAIL); 8D: Didactic term of address (SON); 11D: Voiced (ALOUD); 20D: Large number (SCAD); 24D: Quantum physics pioneer (BOHR); 27D: Impetuous (RASH); 32D: Act diplomatically (USE FINESSE); 34D: Spam, at times (EMAIL); 36D: Rich supply (LODE); 39D: 2001 high-tech debut (IPOD); 44D: Clueless, after "in" (A FOG); 49D: Discloses (BARES); 51D: Places for pads (KNEES); 53D: Ancient royal symbols (ASPS); 54D: Crow's-nest sighting (SHIP); 55D: Myriad (MANY); 56D: It covers the 51-Down (MIDI); 57D: Resort NNE of Ventura (OJAI); 59D: __ gratias (DEO).


gespenst said...

It's been forever since I've had time to comment on the blog, but today the stars aligned! (Turns out having 2 kids is actually more than twice the work ... that and getting to work earlier than I used to so I can pick the bigger kid up from school on time after work ... well anyhow, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

Most of this puzzle just fell right into place. the SE was really quick, followed by the NE and NW, but the SW took forever. F.o.r.e.v.e.r

The biggest problem there was I didn't know STOLLE, I had MAXI for MIDI, LAND for SHIP and EROSIVE for ERODENT. That gave me ---AS for "equally hot" so I was thinking it was going to be something like SLYAS (with the L from incorrect LAND) but I couldn't figure out in what way SLY meant HOT. I couldn't figure out how to parse VEEDLE ... so I finally changed that to NEEDLE and SHAREDFILE finally dropped into place, so then I had to figure out what word meant erosive but wasn't ;)

Anyhow, it did finally come together with just one google (STOLLE).

Glad I got a chance to stop in! Hopefully it won't be such a long time before I can be back again.

badrog said...

As always, how enjoyable it is to compare your commentary with my own difficulties and gimmes. Thanks, PG, for continuing to provide this wonderful sounding board.

First fill-in: 1D, JOSHUA TREE. Reminds me that it's time to make another day-trip to their rock-climbing areas.

Recognized 5A as a reference to the bad guy, but thought he might've been at the OK Corral, until crosses showed it was JESSE JAMES.

SW was the last of the 3x10 stacks
to fall. Had to google for 47D, STOLLE, and had 'land' at 54D for far too long. ERODENT was indeed nasty! And 62A, "Scotch part?" for PINE NEEDLE blew right past me, even with its "?"

With the oldie Tokay, and now EGER, I feel I already know too much about Hungarian wine!

Word of the Day: STOL, if only to avoid confusion with VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing).

Joon said...

yeah, i had EROsive too. held me up in the SW for quite some time. i still don't understand the PINE NEEDLE clue. does it have to do with scented scotchguard?

i think the mongoose and meerkat are closely related, so that's an understandable confusion.

Eric said...

Wow, an easier Saturday than usual -- I actually finished :-) And with only a couple of Googles, too.

Gimmes: STOL
ENTOMOLOGY (cute clue: "Field for bug bugs")
MONGOOSE ("Rikki Tikki Tavy", from Kipling -- as a nerdy Cub Scout, way back when, I actually went off and read both Jungle Books)
BAUD (I've done work at 134.5 baud; geez, I could almost type faster!)

I wanted "Ice cream choice" to be a flavour. Most disappointed with QUART.

@PG: I'm with you on "Stiff's nickname". My first thought was JOHN DOE, but it didn't fit. Nope, not JANE DOE either.
And I too had Lao TSE at first (I knew it wsa a tossup; guessed wrong; the Z in ZERO MOSTEL (from crosses) set me straight).
Oh, and I just checked, and it turns out meerkats are members of the mongoose family, so you're not too far off after all!

I had the same troubles as a lot of people in the SW: LAND instead of SHIP (another tossup I misguessed on), the wrong suffix for ERODENT, and I too had to Google STOLLE. My variant was ERODERS, which made me want SPYS' STORIES for 64A, but that wouldn't quite fit, and gave me PINE R_E__E, which didn't make much sense. I'd probably clue ERODENT as "Computer mouse?" :-)

"Bikini component" -> ISLE: cute misdirection -- I couldn't find a word that fit for either the top or bottom half of a bikini -- and a good fresh clue for a pretty stale fill word. Bikini Atoll, in the Marshall Islands, was the site of two atomic-bomb tests in 1946. The tests were much in the news, with the result that the name was borrowed for the swimsuit style, which was introduced that year. The atoll would continue to be used for a-bomb testing until 1958, with a total of 23 devices exploded there, including the first hydrogen bomb test in 1954. An excellent eyewitness account of the 1946 tests is No Place to Hide, by David Bradley, whose job was to monitor radiation in the aftermath of the tests.

Actually, there's an a-bomb mini-theme going on here: Niels BOHR and Enrico FERMI both worked on the Manhattan Project.

STOL, STOLLE: another mini-theme. Adding STOLI to the grid would have filled it out nicely :-)

CrazyCatLady said...

@Gespenst - Nice to hear from you! It's a funny thing how two kids can seem like four.

Wow. This was a struggle for me today. The SW was an OGRE. It didn't help that I seem to be in A FOG this morning. I also had Land before SHIP and that PINE NEEDLE took me forever since I was thinking of @Tinbeni's kind of Scotch not a Scotch Pine.

I think I once read over on Rex's blog that an anonymouse commenter could be considered an E RODENT. I so wanted Nathan Lane at 31 down, but I already had MONGOOSE, PHILLIES (go Philadelphia!) and OGRE in place. Finally good old ZERO popped up. The story of Rikki Tikki Tavi the brave cobra killing MONGOOSE was a favorite when I was a kid. Liked seeing JOSHUA TREE and OJAI. Two beautiful CA places. My favorite was EL CHEAPO. Cute!

PG You just keep getting better! Thanks.

CrazyCatLady said...

Oh and I had to google to get Fred STOLLE.

Eric said...

@CCL, @gespenst: Given _E_TS crosses for 5D, "Kids", my first thought was PESTS. But nah, I thought; no way they'd do that. Imagine my surprise when the S fell into place :-)

john farmer said...

IIRC, Barry had COLE HAMELS in a puzzle right before his less-than-stellar 2009 postseason. With PHILLIES in the grid today, I'm thinking maybe the Silk curse will continue. As a Yankees fan, I can hope.

EROSIVE screwed up that SW for me. I like those three J's up top a lot.

Anonymous said...

My dictionary does not have "erodent". Does yours?

Anonymous said...

Uh, Ojai is NorrhWEST of Ventura, NOT NorthEAST

CrazyCatLady said...

@Anon 1:13 Uh, if OJAI was northWEST of Ventura, it would be in the Pacific Ocean. Totally.

mac said...

Excellent puzzle and what a fun write-up. You probably should have excused the pun in "infer"!

I was looking for a junior partner, but Jesse wouldn't be denied. Don't think I ever saw ostensible, only ostensibly. Four stacks of 10, beautiful!

Tinbeni said...

PuzzleGirl, Excellent and informative write-up.

The crosses were working overtime all thru this grid.
JONQUIL, STOLLE and ERODENT, all via crosses, all learning moments.

Hey, I looked a E-RODENT and thought ... WTF????
is this another "E-thingy" I have to know?

Silk usually kicks my ass.
But like my NY Yankees (aka 'The Evil Empire') last night, just when I thought it was over, I made a come-back.

And wouldn't you know it, it was because of ...
62A, Scotch part, PINE NEEDLE.
Of course I was thinking 'Large pours'.

Back in college we had another use for that HEMOSTAT (and we did inhale).

Well it's time to take the BOD to the gym. ISOMETRICS will play a small part, "pushing tin" (what I call the weights) a large part.


This puzzle took me forever to finish today and it really tested my mettle as far as crosswords go.
I agree with everyone else about that mean SW corner. I guess it was the STOLLE, FER, DEO, and ERODENT that stymied me. Had ERODERS and I just couldn't budge from that "absolutely correct" entry. That cock-sure thing happens to me a lot.
I usually enjoy Barry Silk's puzzles, but today I got so weary getting through, that it sort of killed the excitement for me. I accidentally got a lot of the words merely from the cross, but still said WTH on a lot of the drop-ins.

My tripping point is always TSE versus TZU.

I was wondering if the blood-stopping instrument, HEMOSTAT is where the urgent term "STAT" came from. Any doctors here?

I thought the same thing as Puzzlegirl about the word EL CHEAPO for "Stiff's nickname"... DEAD something... duh!

The Scotch Pine (or Scots Pine), known botanically as Pinus sylvestris is a very beautiful but disease prone conifer tree. It is easily identified by its two needle clusters and cone shapes. Yes, I too thought Tinbeni would have been ecstatic to see "Scotch part" as a clue and then I wished I could have seen his jaw drop when it ended up to be in my alley and not his.

Good clue:
"Field for bug bugs" (ENTOMOLOGY)... I always get that spelling mixed up with ETYMOLOGY.
Bad clue: "Equally hot" (AS MAD).

Since the 57D clue was so controversial, I decided to look it up in my National Geo Atlas. It is indeed "NNE of Ventura", but geez it's almost straight north and I can see where that could cause some confusion.

Well even though I didn't find this puzzle entertaining, I did like that I learned some new things (thanks to Puzzlegirl and @Eric):
- The "Younger" partner of Jesse JAMES.
- Per ardua ad ASTRA.
- MONGOOSE and "Rikki Tikki Tavy", from Kipling.

The A-bomb mini theme should also include the Bikini ISLE (or atoll), because that's the place where they did all the testing.

I do my birding over at the grounds of FERMI Laboratory in Batavia, so that one was a gimme for me.

Okay, how about some EPCOT fun with Goofy. My older son played the character role of Goofy at Disney one summer and when we went to visit him I said, "I alway knew you were Goofy".

Have a wonderful weekend y'all!


It was so good to see you drop-in.
Do that more often!
But I understand how it is with that new one... so just say "hi" every once in awhile.
I always enjoyed your insights, as I do with so many of the commenters.

Rube said...

Had no writeovers until I got to the SW. What a bear. Like @Gespenst & others, had to Google for Stolle. Knew DEO Gratias and FER from Chemin de fer, (very limited French), but the 10s wouldn't come until STOLLE. Also had Mumu before MIDI.

Worst clue of the week: "equally hot", humbug.

Still don't understand "Stiff's nickname." Wait... that's the guy who runs out of a restaurant without paying, i.e. "Stiffing" the waitress. I'll bet ELCHEAPO is the mildest of the expressions she uses to describe him.

Didn't understand the "Younger" clue until got here.

Good puzzle, if not quite doable for me because of that accursed SW.

Anonymous said...

A big hiss and boo to the editors! A look at the etymology of ERODENT
clearly shows it is a medical term comparable to "caustic". Further, the Euro-centric Scotch Pine referral was just plain silly and "spy stories" was a stretch to the limits. Otherwise a mediocre puzzle at best

John Wolfenden said...

Like PG I had "eroding" and "erosive" before "ERODENT." I agree with Eric, "erodent" to me brings to mind a robotic capybara or something. Overall, a tough but rewarding puzzle.

I don't buy "Discloses" for BARES. You can bare your soul and you can bare your midriff, but you can't bare a piece of information. Anyone (dis)agree?

Eric said...

According to Google Maps, OJAI is NNE of Ventura, and NNW, depending on which part of Ventura you're measuring from. Ventura's fairly long in the E-W direction, and Ojai is pretty tiny, and due north of more or less Ventura's middle. This assumes that that whole built-up area actually is all Ventura, from the Ventura Fwy / Ojai Fwy interchange (US 101 / #33), east to the subdivisions NE'ish of Wells Road (#118); can a local confirm or correct me?

@CCL: Nope. Carpinteria's not noticeably in the drink. (The coastline veers sharply northwest at Ventura -- actually, a little more west than north. the Ventura-to-Carpinteria direction (as a crossword clue might phrase it) looks roughly northwest-by-west, i.e. half-way between NW and WNW.)

@JNH: Yes, of course Bikini Atoll's ISLE is part of the a-bomb mini-theme. That "actually" was meant to tie the two paragraphs together.

Re. "Scotch part?", I was thinking along Scotch-whisky terms too. I figured pine was an ingredient. "They use peat, so why not pine needles too?" Especially since gin is flavoured with an evergreen, juniper. Shows what I know. So I got the right answer for a totally wrong reason!

Turns out I was onto something with my quip: "erode" and "rodent" are related! They both derive from the Latin verb "rodere", "to gnaw". Who gnew? But @JW, I like your "robotic capybara" better than my "computer mouse" for E-RODENT.

CrazyCatLady said...

@Eric - I beg to gently disagree. Yes, if you're going north on the 101 you graze Carpenteria, Summerland and Santa Barbara. However the coast doesn't turn significantly until you hit the Gaviota pass (which is about 40 or 50 miles north of Ventura and north of Santa Barbara. So technically Lompoc would actually be NNW and still be on dry land. Ojai is a very close NNE to Ventura (17.9 miles). I think that's why Barry used Ventura as a reference point. Liked your PESTS comment!

Eric said...

@CCL: Hmm, the map seems to say differently, but you're the expert, so what am I missing? It looks to me as though taking "101 North" from Ventura doesn't take you north, but NW'ish. See the blue line on this map.

The red lines show what I'm talking about re. Ojai -- it's NNE from the west end of Ventura, but NNW from the east end :-). But then, I was just being silly -- pointing out the amusing paradox that both of you were right simultaneously. I suppose what matters is the driving direction -- and that is indeed NNE, seeing as the road heads inland from the extreme west end of Ventura.

I spent a week or two in Ojai, 30 years ago, helping a friend proof-read a rhyming dictionary, among other things. It was a pretty little town; is it still?

CrazyCatLady said...

@eric- Well my spouse agrees with you that the 101 goes in a NW direction, but OJAI is inland and still NNE from Ventura. I'm not an expert, but I drive that route probably twice per month to go visit my daughter who lives in SLO (San Luis Obispo). Ojai is still a lovely town.

*David* said...

Egad most of the puzzle went reasonably quick but just couldn't finish up that SW corner. I had LAND instead of SHIP,ARS instead of DEO, MAXI instead of MIDI, and EROSIVE. Too many problem children to get it cleaned up by myself.

I grew up in Ventura which is a lot longer then Ojai E/W so it could be N,NNW, or NNE. The simplest way to look at it is simply North of Ventura.