S A T U R D A Y   December 11, 2010
Barry C. Silk

Theme: None

This was a nice puzzle to tackle after a long day of shopping. PuzzleHusband's office holiday party is tomorrow night so I needed a new fancy dress. And, oh my God, you wouldn't believe the sparkly shoes I got! I'm not really into dressing up that much, but I'm kinda looking forward to putting this particular outfit on. Sparkly shoes!

Anyway. I had a little trouble in the northeast but everywhere else I was able to piece together from crosses more or less smoothly. The first problem I had was entering "ghosts" where GHOULS was supposed to go (22A: Halloween sightings?). That gave me *AGET for 7D, which obviously didn't work. It also gave me LSSTRE for 20D: Brilliance, in Bristol, a mistake I didn't notice for quite a while and which turned out to be the key to the whole mess. The L finally made BAGEL appear (7D: Follower of everything?) and then ::head-slap:: BEN E. KING! (7A: "Spanish Harlem" singer) That's a really tricky answer, dontcha think?! With the middle initial and all? I kept thinking "Is there someone named Gene King? Is it just a last name I've never heard of? Lenekind? Wenekint?" Yeah, it was ugly.

Highlights of the grid for me include CONCRETE JUNGLE (30A: Dangerous inner city area), PANDORA'S BOX (24D: Repository of Greek mythology), and NANOTECHNOLOGY (38A: Subject of Michael Crichton's "Prey"). Awesome long answers.

  • 17A: Dalí had a pet one (OCELOT). I learned this while looking for a picture to post with a Dalí reference recently. I knew it was an unusual animal, but couldn't actually come up with it without crosses though.
  • 18A: Sitcom with a robot named Hymie (GET SMART). This show is far enough before my time that I don't know a lot of the details, but I'm nonetheless always happy to see it.
  • 48A: Inventor who received a lifetime achievement Grammy in 1970 (MOOG). He died recently. Let me see when … 2005. Man time really flies. Even when you're not having fun.
  • 49A: Tarot suit (CUPS). Other tarot suits are swords and … pentacles and, um, some other stuff.
  • 1D: Event for 41-Across (PROM).
  • 4D: Woody Allen film (ZELIG). I've always had some vague knowledge of this particular movie, but the only reason I came up with it quickly today is because it appeared in a Woody Allen–themed New York Times puzzle recently.
  • 12D: "Wicked Game" singer Chris (ISAAK). I prefer this song.
  • 31D: She "sets my heart awhirl," in a 4 Seasons hit (CANDY GIRL). This answer made me go watch a video of New Edition's 1983 version of "Candy Girl" (totally different song). Wow. There are several points in the video where the boys do some kind of dance move that looks like they're trying to be sexy. I'm sure back in the day I thought that was cool but oh my God! They're like twelve years old! Now that I'm at *ahem* a different period in my life, I see how mismatched tween boys and girls look when it comes to maturity. In one part of the song, they refer to their "old ladies" and when they show the girls I honestly thought for a minute that maybe they were showing their moms. But I'm rambling. I was going to post the video here but I'm going to spare you. If you just can't help yourselves, it's here.
  • 37D: Part of MS-DOS: Abbr. (SYS.). I only know what the O and the second S stand for, so I was in luck today.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 28A: New York and Chicago have the oldest ones in the Americas (ELS).
  • 39A: "The Chronic" Dr. (DRE).
  • 10D: Cincinnati trio? (ENS).
  • 42D: Nice friends (AMIES).
  • 46D: Cousins of foils (ÉPÉES).
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Everything Else — 1A: Psychiatrist's recommendation (PROZAC); 15A: NFL team named for a Poe poem (RAVENS); 16A: Male models, often (ADONISES); 19A: Reason for an award (MERIT); 20A: TV host with a substantial car collection (LENO); 21A: Morning choice (JAVA); 24A: __ face (POKER); 25A: Music-licensing org. (BMI); 29A: Circulation aid (FAN); 36A: Munsee-speaking people (DELAWARE INDIANS); 40A: Gas: Pref. (AER-); 41A: 1-Down attendees: Abbr. (SRS.); 42A: Polyester used in casting (ALKYD); 45A: Topsy-turvy state (BEDLAM); 50A: Old Asian title (SAHIB); 54A: Gall (IRRITATE); 56A: Scour, e.g. (ABRADE); 57A: Weaken (ENERVATE); 58A: Easy to handle (DOCILE); 59A: Great Lakes routes (SEA LANES); 60A: O, in many cases (OXYGEN); 2D: Tear (RACE); 3D: Through (OVER); 5D: Synonymous with, with "for" (ANOTHER WORD); 6D: Gary hrs. (CST); 8D: Perfect places (EDENS); 9D: Say __: refuse (NO TO); 11D: Eastern leader since 1994 (KIM JONG-IL); 13D: Courage (NERVE); 14D: The sun is one (G STAR); 23D: Fatty acid ester (OLEATE); 25D: Alphabet trio (BCD); 26D: Big name in faucets (MOEN); 27D: At Dodger Stadium, briefly (IN L.A.); 29D: Pouring aid (FUNNEL); 32D: Continental trade gp. (EEC); 33D: Holy wars (JIHADS); 34D: Vientiane's land (LAOS); 35D: Caltech grad's occ., often (ENGR.); 43D: Greene of "Bonanza" (LORNE); 44D: North __, 11-Down's country (KOREA); 45D: Mesa's cousin (BUTTE); 47D: Mount __, New York's highest peak (MARCY); 49D: "Brian's Song" Emmy nominee (CAAN); 51D: Reagan secretary of state (HAIG); 52D: Not engaged (IDLE); 53D: "It's __ too long" (BEEN); 55D: Knoxville-based agcy. (TVA); 56D: Bother (ADO).


v-man said...

I didn't think the difficulty level was that high for a Saturday but I did enjoy the long answers. Being a Clevelander and Browns fan the Ravens answer dredges up ill feelings. I remember watching Get Smart as a kid but I don't recall a robot named Hymie at all. I'm not sure if Saturday's puzzlesare getting easier or I'm getting better but I always enjoy the challenge.

Maggie Moschell said...

I do remember Hymie. He looked like an ordinary man, but was very clueless because he took everything literally and moved in a stiff way that was great for physical comedy. Every time someone said his name, someone else would say incredulously, "HYMIE??" and the comeback was alway "His FATHER'S name was Hymie." Don't know why, but I found that hysterically funny every time. It was a great show until 99 and 86 got married.

Avg Joe said...

I really had to struggle with this one in all quadrants. Surprisingly, Kim Jong Il came pretty easily, which helped a lot, but the majority was a slog. For some silly reason I had Dodger Stadium in NY for a long time, but finally had a "doh" moment on that one. Last to fall was the juncture at 7, HTG for Ben E King, which gave me bagel, but I still don't get that answer.

PG, MS-DOS stands for MicroSoft Disc Operating System. If the clue is more historic, there was also once DR-DOS, but I haven't a clue what DR stood for.


I was intimidated by this puzzle at first, but it turned out to be a lot easier than I first thought. I too struggled with BEN E KING and had GORDY GIRL for the longest time before I realized it was CANDY GIRL. Kept thinking that 30A just HAD to be ASPHALT JUNGLE, but didn't fit so after many erasures in the leftside-center and a big duh, I finally got it.
Surprisingly the four corner blocks came pretty easily after much pondering. This puzzle took me over an hour to solve.
New WOTD: CUPS "Tarot suite".

Somehow the term SEA LANES just doesn't seem right for the Great Lakes.

@PG With that sparkle in your eyes and that glitter on your shoes, you're sure to charm them all at your hubby's office party... just watch out for that wicked witch.
How about a photo of you two in your party finery next week?

Loved your Chris ISAAKS vid clip, but where the heck was that venue? Looks like some shopping mall. Nah, couldn't be.

Here's a pretty funny photo of Salvador Dali with his OCELOT. Weird huh?

Have a super fun (partying) weekend y'all !


@Avg Joe
I too am baffled by the "Follower of everything" clue for BAGEL.
Would someone please explain that?

howardlwatson said...

I still don't understand what "bagel" has to do with "Follower of everything" It just doesn't make any sense even in crossword license.

Eric said...

The last few days have definitely been easier than usual.

Yay for seeing Bob MOOG in the grid! GET SMART too (my one Google).

7A is complicated by the fact that Aretha FRANKLIN (which has the right number of letters) covered "Spanish Harlem". I had to get enough crosses to find out it wasn't looking for her, before I could fail to remember the original singer and need to get it all from crosses...

Yup, GHOSTS for GHOULS here too, with the same resulting confusions. And KIM IL SUNG for KIM JONG IL (never can keep that family straight), which caused no end of problems.

BEDLAM is a corruption of "Bethlehem", the name of a historic insane asylum in London. The institution still exists, and is now at the forefront of treatment for mental illness, but in the past it was apparently a nasty place. Its former location is now the site of the Imperial War Museum.

Eric said...

History of the everything bagel, from the guy who claims to have invented it.

Avg Joe said...

Eric. Whoa! I had no idea. Thanks for the enlightenment.

But I gotta say: That's an esoteric clue if I ever met one.

ddbmc said...

What a pretty grid! (See what I've learned by coming here?)

For the life of me, could not spell KIM JONG IL. Left out the "G," wanted N or ILL. Just didn't have picture in my mind of that spelling, although the late night shows lampoon him fairly often! CONCRETE JUNGLE took care of that.

Loved the long words/phrases. Didn't know BEN E KING off the top, but filled in nicely.

ZELIG was a gimme. Woody used the old Strand Theater, in Jersey City as a location. Was "on set" for an afternoon, due to former job.(minor brush with fame!)

Barry had his baseball ref., IN DODGER STADIUM, briefly.

My kids love EVERYTHING BAGELS. Again, big here in the NY Metro area. Bagel shops everywhere!

Time to finish the Christmas lights.
Thanks, PG and Mr. Silk for a nice Saturday word cruise.


Thanks PG for that CANDY GIRL clip, but omigosh that was pretty bad. They'll never make it as the "New Jackson 5". What you said about the gender mismatch and their trying to look sexy was right on.
I still prefer the oldies version (the original Four Seasons hit) of CANDY GIRL.

stevee said...

I made a right turn at 11d with king, but managed to get back on track ok.

Rube said...

@Eric, thx for clearing that up. As for obscure, well, I'm not a great bagel fan. Or are they a NYC thing?

For the real Candy Girl, look here.

Had GHOstS before GHOULS, of course. Felt most embarrased that MARCY didn't come to me immediately since I had climbed it back in the 60s. (Actually more of a long walk... it's only about 5000 ft.)

Very good puzzle. Loved the long downs. This _STAR thing is getting popular.

CrazyCatLady said...

This was a bit of struggle for me today, but I finally finished. ZELIG was easy thanks to that NYT puzzle. @Eric Thanks for the "Everything BAGEL" explanation. I lived in NY from 1974 to 1984, but it doesn't ring a bell - and I ate my fair share of bagels. I've never heard of Mt. MARCY either.

PG Have fun in your sparkly shoes!

Argyle said...

The Hudson River runs from Tear of the Cloud on Mt. Marcy in the Adirondacks to the everything bagels in New York City. How's that for stretching a connection?

Anonymous said...

We've got everything bagels in California,too - yummy!

Tinbeni said...

PuzzleGirl described my NE experience to a 'T'.

PANDORA'S BOX finally got that ABRADE for scour.

@Eric, thanks for the 'everything BAGEL' info.
Think I'll have to pick some up.

@Rube & @Arygle, thanks for the Mt.MARCY info.
Highest peak in Florida is up near Alabama.
It tops out at 345 feet.

Got an earlier flight, so I'm leaving for something a bit different for the next week.

Cheers from 38,000 feet later.

Anonymous said...

Avg Joe, DR stood for Digital Research, the company that developed DR-DOS. Going back a bit further OS-wise would be CP/M, also by Digital Research.

Eric said...

We have everything bagels in Toronto too, else I'd have been as mystified as y'all.

If a certain rapper had made a different career choice, would we now be talking about DRE-DOS? Or if he'd become a hair stylist, DRE-do's? :-)

Anonymous said...

Too funny, Eric. That could have led to DR DReadhead-DOS too. Fortunately that alternative reality is DRe-DOSderous!

SethG said...

I like POKER, GET SMART, and the answer CONCRETE JUNGLE. I dislike KIM JONG IL, but that's a great answer. I hate the Baltimore RAVENS.

Everything bagels are not regional. Or, well, they're no more regional than bagels are...

wilsch said...

I'm very happy with myself that I was able to completely solve a Barry Silk Saturday puzzle. I usually don't know who the constructor is until I read it here; my paper doesn't list the constructor, and I still solve the old way (in the print edition of my local paper). Anyway, the NE corner was also difficult for me. 7D refers to an "Everything" Bagel, which, I believe, is one with all kinds of seeds and flavorings. Many performers sang Spanish Harlem,; I got BENEKING from the crosses. I also don't remember Hymie the Robot from GETSMART. Good puzzle, with some interesting and obscure fill. I mean that in a good way.

C said...

Thought this was a relatively simple Saturday puzzle. Fun to solve and it got me to listen to the Specials which is always good. CONCRETEJUNGLE was the answer that inspired my musical selection.

gespenst said...

MOOG was my proudest moment in the puzzle. No crosses and a seemingly random clue about a 1970 award. Put my thinking cap on, thought about people who invented musical stuff, thought about the era of music, and quickly surmised MOOG. I did google to confirm my suspicion and was very pleased with myself!!! I made my husband give me props!!!

Only problem I had was the intersection of BENEKIN- and -STAR ... couldn't parse the first and didn't know which type of star the sun is.

Anonymous said...

this is the second saturday in a row i finished with only a couple googles i too must be getting better they usally kick my butt

John Wolfenden said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle. Difficult, but didn't drive me up the wall with a ton of superobscure references. Not that weren't any, like Mt. MARCY and Knoxville as the HQ of the TVA.

The "inventor" of the everything bagel tells a good story, but it sounds like just that...a story. I doubt he would've been able to patent it anyway.

I wonder if alien cultures who lives in solar systems with A,B,C,D,E or F stars look down on us with our lowly GSTAR.

Favorite PG wisdom: "Time flies, even when you're not having fun."

Sfingi said...

Very Googly for facts: BEN E KING, GETSMART, BMI, CAAN, ISAAK, GETSMART, DELAWARE INDIANS. Very Saturday and Barry Silk for me.

The everything BAGEL is my favorite, which I'll have tomorrow after church in the cellar.

For some reason, I always thought Blue Mt. was the highest, probably because I've been there. It's not even 2nd!

@Eric - I knew your stuff, today. And you always know your stuff. Don't stop writing, even if it's long!

ZELIG (which means holy) is a really good movie. Woody plays a guy who adjusts to the people around him; sort of a blank slate.

Hubster gave me CANDY GIRL, from his favorite group.

I guessed RAVENS. Did they give themselves the name because Poe is buried there?

Didn't even notice INLA!

@John - GorDY GIRL would be good for a Detroit group. The 4 Seasons were South Philly.

mac said...

Loved this puzzle, as I usually love Barry Silk's puzzles. got sidetracked a few times, with asphalt jungle, thinking bagles are not that good, feel like a brick in your stomach,but mainly this was a nice Saturday.

@PG:it's all in the accessories, including the shoes! Hope it's fun.

*David* said...

I found the puzzle pretty smooth, my trouble spots were the BMI/MOEN crossing sorry never heard of those faucets and I think of BMI as a weight indicator. The other letter was the BAGEL/BEN crossing where I was thinking RENE. The rest of the puzzle had enough gimmes that I could easily correct mistakes, impressive long word count.