S A T U R D A Y   November 20, 2010
Barry C. Silk

Theme: None

This was a really smooth solve for me. Nothing was super easy, but it all fell together nicely with the crosses. The only real trouble I had was up in the Maine area where I threw "Fannie Mae" without really thinking about. Then I couldn't make sense of any of the acrosses up there (obviously). I was pretty sure LOX was right (10D: Deli delicacy). I DON'T CARE and TEN looked good (13D: "Whatever" / 14D: Number of hydrogen atoms in butane). But I didn't have a guess for 11D: Exec. So I did something I always say I'm going to do when I get in a spot like that, but I rarely ever actually do. I just erased everything in that corner and started over. I started with LOX and I DON'T CARE and (ta-da!) without FANNIE in there messing everything up, it all came together swimmingly.

  • 1A: "Finding a pencil," to Broadway's Charlie Brown (HAPPINESS). No idea where this clue was going until I had a couple crosses in place.
  • 18A: Noble gas (XENON). Are there any noble gasses besides XENON? Not in CrossWorld there aren't.
  • 19A: Fashion model Wek (ALEK). Needed every cross on this one.
  • 22A: "Parker Spitzer" airer (CNN). I'm kinda surprised that show hasn't been canceled yet.
  • 33A: Koala bear, e.g. (MISNOMER). I guess a koala bear isn't really a bear. It looks like a bear but it's … not.
  • 54A: Carrier units, briefly (ACS). I don't know what this means.
  • 57A: She played Linda in "Arthur" (LIZA). I totally forgot that she was in that movie! I guess Bo Derek was a little distracting. Oh wait that's not even the right movie. Dudley Moore was in more than one movie? Huh.
  • 60A: Peru was its leading exporter in 2009 (ASPARAGUS). Yum.
  • 64A: __ the hole (ACE IN). I must watch too much golf. The first thing I thought of was GET IN.
  • 66A: British satellite entertainment option (SKY TV). Never heard of this, but crosses took care of it.
  • 2D: Predecessor of Ginger (ADELE). Adele Astair was Fred Astair's dance partner before Ginger Rogers came along.
  • 24D: Hangs around (LINGERS). Tried "loiters" first.
  • 26D: 1969 rock opera (TOMMY). How is it possible that TOMMMY was that long ago?!?
  • 34D: Early rules for it were developed at McGill University in the 1870s (ICE HOCKEY). I'm not 100% sure where McGill University is, but something tells me it's up north somewhere. Yep, Canada.
  • 37D: Makeup option (ROUGE).
  • 40D: Phil, say (NL'ER). And there you have it. The Philadelphia reference. Now you know for sure it was really Barry.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 56A: Formerly (NÉE).
  • 25D: Meeting place in 31-Across (STOA).
  • 35D: Island near Eigg (SKYE).
  • 36D: Rock genre (EMO).
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Everything Else — 10A: Proper (LEGIT); 15A: Like climbing the walls? (IDIOMATIC); 16A: Common compound (OXIDE); 17A: Scoundrel (REPROBATE); 20A: What 'n' may mean (AND); 23A: Recipient of a record 16 acting Oscar nominations (MERYL STREEP); 28A: Roy Orbison's "__ Over" (IT'S); 30A: Robert who played Sam Fujiyama on "Quincy, M.E." (ITO); 31A: Pindus Mountains site (GREECE); 38A: Big name in financial advice (ORMAN); 39A: Playing surface with 24 points (BACKGAMMON BOARD); 41A: Flower also called a marguerite (OXEYE); 42A: Warning words (YOU'LL SEE); 43A: Domain (SPHERE); 45A: "How about that!" ("GEE!"); 46A: Gp. with the 1979 top-10 album "Discovery" (ELO); 47A: It's given for a second (SILVER MEDAL); 58A: It's a joint (ANKLE); 65A: Donut, possibly (SPARE TIRE); 67A: Fare computer (TAXI METER); 1D: Whiskey's Walker (HIRAM); 3D: Proverbial payee (PIPER); 4D: Daffy contemporary (PORKY); 5D: E-mail qualifier (IMO); 6D: Pick up (NAB); 7D: Letter from 31-Across (ETA); 8D: Lute cousin (SITAR); 9D: Vista (SCENE); 11D: Suit (EXEC); 12D: HUD corp. since 1968 (GINNIE MAE); 21D: What a tiny circle may signify: Abbr. (DEG.); 25D: Meeting place in 31-Across (STOA); 27D: Snag (PROBLEM); 29D: Texter's command (SEND); 32D: Desire personified (EROS); 33D: Quantum theory pioneer (MAX PLANCK); 39D: Big name in audio (BOSE); 44D: A, overseas (EIN); 48D: In any case, with "at" (LEAST); 49D: Piaggio transportation line (VESPA); 50D: Delight (ELATE); 51D: One, for one (DIGIT); 52D: Color similar to Brandeis blue (AZURE); 53D: Surgery tool (LASER); 55D: Cut (SLIT); 58D: Digital camera inserts (AA'S); 59D: Letter carrier: Abbr. (ENV.); 61D: Goddess of peace (PAX); 62D: Hebrew name meaning "lion" (ARI); 63D: Stage occurring several times a night, briefly (REM).



Good Morning from your REPROBATE commenter.

For me, HAPPINESS is finishing a Saturday puzzle without the need for Google. Well today I'm sad... needed some help... ALEK, ARI, TOMMY, and LIZA. All small words that stumped me. Boohoo!
Oh yeah, and I had to look up the C4H10 formula for Butane.

Had FANNIEMAE for the longest time before I realized that LEFIT just didn't fit.

Peruvian ASPARAGUS?? Who knew?

PG mentions XENON as THE noble gas in CrossWorld. Well, I seem to have seen NEON and ARGON in CWs recently. Seldom see HELIUM, KRYPTON, and RADON. Are there only those six?

@PG Carrier is a major brand of AC (Air Conditioning units).

SKYTV is the only decent TV channel in Britain. BBC stuff--- Ugh!

"Parker Spitzer" on CNN. I too wish they'd cancel that show. He's a disgusting idiot! But then, maybe that's what makes all these cable news channels so popular... jerks!

I really got a chuckle out of PG's "GOING ROUGE" pic of Sarah.

Here's a nice tribute clip of Fred & ADELE Astaire, but you just can't beat Ginger Rogers for a superb dancing partner. BTW, Fred Astaire and George Gershwin were real good friends... ergo, the Rhapsody in Blue background. What a great combo!

IMO, this was an easier that usual puzzle for Saturday. I enjoyed it though, as usual for Barry's puzzles.

Have a super weekend y'all!


I recently was in Montreal and I got a nice tour of McGill University, so that's how I knew that ICE HOCKEY played such an important role in Canadian culture. McGill is très bien as far as major universities go up there!

SethG said...

Smooth except for the NW, where the long acrosses were sticky and the short downs mostly unhelpful.

I want a Vespa, though I'll probably never get one. Phil? Who knew?

Avg Joe said...

This was a workout for me. Hiram and Adele fell immediately, but I was paying Peter instead of the Piper for a long time. But at least that lead to Happiness. Not being familiar with the play, I was less than happy since in the strip it's a Warm Puppy not a Pencil.

Tried Roe for Lox and could not get unstuck from Loiters for Lingers for the longest time. That caused trouble with BackgammonBoard, but finally got out of that trap.

Rouge came pretty easily and I too thought of the parody publication. I've never seen it except on the TV show "The Good Wife", but if that's accurate it's entirely filled with blank pages :-) Neat idea but hardly a million $ one.

Worst answer: Orman. Wanted something like E.F. Hutton here, and hardly think Suze is worthy of being considered a big name.

Oh well. Another one bites the dust without any help from Google, and that's a good day in my book.

gespenst said...

I had the same issues in the NE corner, but since I only know Sallie and Fannie, I DNF thanks to their "sister" Ginnie.

Backgammon board was my first long answer, which I hoped would help me fill in a lot, but I still had to google a few things (I think 3).

I also mispelled Johnnie as Jonny and thought that was the Walker in question, so that was one of my googles.

A good puzzle, if only I had followed PG's lead and started over in the NE. (I feel better because she admitted giving up too early yesterday, when I finished, and I did the same thing today.)

Tinbeni said...

PuzzleGirl, excellent write-up.

Now as to ADELE ... well probably 38 or 40 years ago I asked my Mom why I should know Fred's sister.
Seems they were a very well known dance team back in the 20's my Mom explained before he danced with Ginger.
What I remember most was that this became my 1st Crossword 101 ... then came iter, etal.

Well this Silky looks like my Rorschach Ink Blot Test of the year.
Marsupal before MISNOMER
Argon before XENON
AJA before ELO
BTU before AC'S
Jeez ... what a mess, but I "got 'er done."

As to those "Noble" gases ... well I just think of them as being "Inert" ... the whole list: Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton and today's XENON.

And, for the third time this week, my real initials ARI made the grid.
(Liked it better when our new buddy TESLA showed up regularly).

Then again, on the plus side, REPROBATE made the scene ... probably another "shout-out" to me and my perpensity for going to Hedonism II, Negril, Jamaica twice a year, then enjoying their indigenous flora.

Cheers to all at Sunset.

hazel said...

Get in the hole. Now, that's funny. I'm trying to imagine a situation where one would say that. They're all gruesome. Regardless, that has really tickled my funny bone this morning. Thank you, @PG.

I loved this puzzle. Love Barry Silk puzzles.

Anonymous said...

hazel, PuzzleGirl said what it's from. It's from golf.

Anonymous said...

Tinbeni: For God's sake, we get it already. You drink a lot of scotch and smoke a lot of dope and you're into public nudity. Have you ever noticed that NO ONE else is so fixated on their personal shortcomings here. Grow up, dude.

Rube said...

Wonderful puzzle. Jusat the right level of difficulty for me, both wordwise and cluewise. The only area that went quickly was the SE, the others required some ruminations. In the SE, BOSE and MAXPLANCK were gimmes and ICEH_ with a Canadian school was a no brainer, so I didn't even see the ELO clue.

Just now googled the name and boy there are a lot of ITOs. I see that it is the 6th most popular Japanese name, sort of like Brown or Davis here.

Never saw the Charlie Brown play. Let's see... yes, the animated version is now in my Netflix que.

My take is that Carrier is the air conditioner company, hence AC units.

Don't recall hearing of Suze ORMAN, so just Googled her. Here she is, "Suze Orman internationally acclaimed personal finance expert : The". Oh, wait, that's from the SuzeOrman web site.

Go Stanford, (or maybe CAL)!

Van55 said...

Wow, this is about as challenging a week for the LAT puzzles as I have ever experienced. Never heard of MAXPLANCK or ORMAN or ALEK Wek, nor Parker Spitzer. Had no idea Pero exported ASPARAGUS -- tried to think of some metal or mineral. Never heard of SKYTV. Phil= NLER is awful. There are so many more fathomable clues for that horrible entry.

The older I get the more I realize how little I know.

Maybe next week will be an ego booster rather than an ego buster.

obertb said...


Carrier is a brand of air conditioner.

obertb said...

Oops. Should have read the comments before commenting.

CarolC said...

@PG, thanks for the writeup. Going ROUGE made my morning.

I was going great guns, pleased with getting "REPROBATE" right off the bat, and NE corner fell nicely once I erased RIGHT in favor of LEGIT.

MISNOMER fell into place easily when I mentioned Koala bear to my husband, who immediately said, it's not really a bear.

For me it was the SE corner that almost did me in, yet as I look at it in retrospect, I can't tell why. Still, I'm pleased I finished without having to google anything.

I love this blog. I don't post very often but read it almost every day. Occasional unnecessary jibes aside, I also enjoy the personalities.

Thanks again, @PG for keeping this going, and both educating and amusing us.

choirwriter said...

@anonymous: Really? How childish to come on here and criticize someone without having the guts to identify yourself. Typical troll. Do you think anyone gives any credit to what you have to say? You are really pathetic.

hazel said...

@Anonymous - the whole golf comment went right over my head. I think my eye just skipped immediately to GETIN part. Thanks for pointing that out, though, even though it was sort of a buzzkill.

No offense at the buzzkill part, @PG, its just the thought of you, who seem like such a nice person, standing there telling someone to get in a hole struck me as really funny.

Cheers, @Tinbeni!

Dilbert said...

Cheers Ari.

MaryPatOregon said...

This puzzle was fun and smooth, like Barry's always are. SethG, if you really want a cool original Vespa, email me at MaryPatOR1@AOL.com. My son restores them. PuzzleGirl, thanks for your wonderfully educational and amusing blog. I read it every day.

Eric said...

I wanted to give up several times, but stuck to it ... and still didn't quite finish. I got messed up in the SW, due to not knowing SKY TV, thinking of SNIP and CLIP but not SLIT for "Cut", and being successfully misdirected by "Letter carrier: abbr" -- I couldn't get past thinking of postal workers.

NW and SE were the areas I wanted to give up on, but finally slogged through them.

Part of it is that my brain just wasn't working. "Record 16 Oscar nominations"? Gotta be Brando, which didn't fit, or ... yeah, she was in Out of Africa and Kramer vs. Kramer, and I could picture her, but what's her #&!(@ name? I had to go away and come back several times before MERYL STREEP surfaced from the misfiring neurons. And then, for far too long, I delayed putting in SITAR, thinking it must be too distant a "Lute cousin" for the puzzle to be looking for.

Only one Google in the end: GINNIE MAE, which was a natick with ORMAN. (Not being American, the only reason I've heard of any of those Mae's 'n' Mac's is that Fannie and Freddie were so much in the news a couple of years ago when the meltdown hit the fan. Ginnie wasn't, that I recall.)

Noble gasses are as @Tinbeni listed plus radon, but most of them can be clued in other ways (balloons, Kal-El's home planet, etc.); only argon and xenon lack obvious (to me) alternatives. (There's also a cell in the periodic table for one more noble element, ununoctium at element #118, which is "presumably a gas at [25° C]", but I'd be surprised to see any of those placeholder element names in a general-audience puzzle. They've only ever made 3 (count'em) known atoms of the stuff. I guess that's not enough to tell for sure what its room-temperature state might be -- or to qualify for the right to name it.)

Sfingi said...

This is the most Googling I've ever done - 15. But, if you can still finish it on a Saturday, it's educational. I have a different view from John.

Guess what I didn't have to Google for? ICEHOCKEY. Rex, you are in ICEHOCKEY country, and you should visit Montreal sometime - very European. I suggest you bring along a French speaker in case they get hackley. Don't ask for French fries for many reasons - one being that they put mayonnaise on them, which is all wrong.

@Rex - Guess you're not gay, or you'd love Arthur.
I think I've seen radon in a puzzle, but probably as a poison. Another noble gas with CW possibilities would be argon. Used in welding or to keep things from rotting.

There are so many Goddesses of peace. Tara Irene Eyasha. Notice they are all Goddesses, not Gods. War is for men. Crime, too.

In certain mountain locales, pronounce HIRAM Walker with one syllable. In the song, The Hanging of Hiram Hubbard:
Harm Hubbard was not guilty
I heard great many say.
He was not in this country
He was several miles away.

@Vans - you would love Max P.

Carrier used to be made in Syracuse. A cousin of Hubster's was sent to Saudi Arabia by them to build a new city.

@Anon 1012. Let's see, I'm a chikentarian, a chocoholic; I like weed unless I have to drive, or even find another room in the house; I collect certain things to excess which I celebrate with a license plate: OCDOCD. I've been called a curmudgeon by fambly members. Any golf comments go over my head. Unfortunately, I have a scar from an actual golf ball hitting me in the head and knocking me out. People be People (that's a tautology).

Avg Joe said...

@Eric I really was laughing out loud reading about your misfiring neurons. I had a nearly identical scavenger hunt the other day while trying to think of a celebrity....."Let's see, he was in this n that n the other thing" I came up with about 5 or six movies before I could retrieve the name from the unused recesses of a dank mind. It was Marlon Brando I was looking for. :-)

John Wolfenden said...

DNF, disappointing after doing well the rest of the week. The picture of Ace Frehley cheered me up though, PG. Also the animated animal conversation...there's a hilarious one going around explaining what "quantitative easing is" and how the Fed is using it as a fancy term for printing more money.

I'm on the fence about whether Suze Orman qualifies as a big name or not. She certainly hasn't been around long enough to be a historical name in financial advice.

I liked seeing SITAR. The lute in turn was a successor of a Middle Eastern instrument called the oud.

Favorite clue: "Koala bear, for example" for MISNOMER.

Tom in the D said...

Great write up pg as usual. I wish I would use pencil instead of pen,, I could've erased the same corner you erased, It was the only area I didn't finish. Fannie mae made too much sense to question it. The easiest clue for me was carrier units, briefly, Because that is what I do for a living fix carrier units. For 64 across, my first thought was "it's in the hole", From caddyshack. Always nice to see my name in the puzzle at 26 down. leaving for the east coast early in the morning tomorrow I'll miss doing the puzzle but I'll check on the blog everyday. have a great thanksgiving everyone

John Wolfenden said...

Hazel, it is hard to imagine a context for "GET IN the hole" that's appropriate for family hour.

I keep thinking it might be what Saddam Hussein's loyalists in Tikrit must have said to him when they showed him the spider hole they'd dug for him.

Nighthawk said...

Hilarious @John Wolfenden! "Get in the hole, Saddam!"

Another nice write-up, @PG. Liked the book pic and Kiss axe man Ace.

All but the NW, and the pesky Mae family (Freddie, Fannie, Sally, and baby sister Ginnie - I had faNNIE and scratched my head about, but left in, LEfIT, thinking it must have been some mangled Franglish idiom for proper, and OXaDE seemed LEGIT enough) was fairly smooth.

Although I had HIRAM, SITAR, and SCENE, just could not think of how Charlie Brown and a pencil meant HAPPINESS. A warm blanket, yes. Maybe even a warm gun, but not a bleeping pencil! Then, just couldn't parse the IDIOMATIC clue, even after scratching my way into most of it backwards, when I had CITAM_ _ _ I. Perhaps because ADELE and ALEX were unknowns. Couldn't turn mentally loose of GOofY for PORKY and with a small host of greek letters (chi, rho, phi, tau, eta) just couldn't pick the winner.

But all good fun. I was delighted that the other long As almost filled in by themselves. So close, but yet so far.

@Sfingi - love the OCDOCD plate! Fun plates tickle me. Recently, I pulled up behind a black Mercedes sedan with this plate: FNGSHUI.


I'm the mother of a teenage girl whose life was snuffed out by one of those so-called "moderation drinkers". I am apalled by that man who boasts about his indulgences in alcohol and drugs. He's just disgusting!

Sandra, a MADD mom

Tuttle said...

There are so many Goddesses of peace. Tara Irene Eyasha. Notice they are all Goddesses, not Gods. War is for men. Crime, too.

The Romans had a goddess of war, Bellona (from which we get the words 'belligerent' and 'antebellum'), and a goddess of thievery, Laverna (from which we do NOT get the name 'Laverne').

Granted, as a more animistic than pantheistic people, the Romans had a god for everything. More than one usually. Plutarch once complained that many Italian villages had more gods than people.

-Tuttle, another proud member of the LA Xword and Bong club.