SATURDAY, January 2, 2010 — Bob Peoples

Theme: No theme today.

Happy New Year, everyone! My New Year's resolution is to get organized and keep up with my commitments. How'm I doin' so far? So sorry I'm late. I covered today's NYT puzzle over at Orange's blog, but forgot I was supposed to cover for her here too. So this will be quick and you guys can fill in the gaps in the comments.

Really enjoyed the NW corner, I BELIEVE SO, CON ARTISTS, and IN THE STARS (1A: Hedged reply / 15A: Hustlers / 17A: How preordained events are written?) are all interesting, fresh phrases. Obviously, the NW and SE required three three-letter words all together, which isn't ideal, but at least in the NW, I'm gonna say it's worth it.

Things I Did Not Know:
  • 38A: __ Observatory, site of the larger Hale Telescope (PALOMAR). This one rings some very vague bells. Feels like I should have known it.
  • 49A: "__ Mir Bist Du Schoen": Andrews Sisters hit (BEI). "To Me You're Beautiful." The first ever female vocal group to earn a Gold Record was the Andrews Sisters, for this song.
  • 57A: Antique diamond shape (OLD MINE CUT). Never heard of this. But I'm so not a diamond person, so it's not really surprising.
  • 8D: Big Sur retreat (ESALEN). Sounds awesome.
  • 34D: Long legging attached to a saddle (GAMBADO). If you say so.
  • 18A: Start to till? (ROTO-). Did I ever tell you about the time we traveled to Costa Rica with three adults, four children, eight suitcases, and a roto-tiller? No? Probably because it's not a very interesting story.
  • 20A: Frazier rival (ALI). This clue could sure use some jazzing up. It's Saturday, after all.
  • 32A: Cherished (PET). Very tricky. Both can be verbs, one past tense, one present. But in this case they're both adjectives.
  • 12D: Household drudgery (IRONING). You got that right. See also 14D: Cleaned (off), as a counter (SPONGED).
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Everything Else — 11A: Gawain and Kay, e.g. (SIRS); 16A: Slicing, dicing, etc. (PREP); 19A: Fr. company (CIE); 21A: Altercation (RUN-IN); 22A: Impart (LEND); 24A: Warning (OMEN); 25A: Zipping through (ACING); 26A: Looking up to (ESTEEMING); 28A: Where it's at (VENUE); 29A: Saturate with (STEEP IN); 30A: Gulped with gusto (SWIGGED); 33A: __-ha: stink (HOO); 42A: Asteroids game company (ATARI); 43A: Alarming (WORRISOME); 45A: Metz mothers (MÈRES); 46A: "Carmina Burana" composer (ORFF); 47A: Part of Q.E.D. (ERAT); 48A: I.Q. test pioneer (BINET); 50A: Taxonomic suffix (-OTE); 51A: All-encompassing phrase (A TO Z); 52A: Locks out of a store? (HAIRPIECES); 56A: Herbert sci-fi classic (DUNE); 58A: Phone abbr. (OPER); 59A: Sliders at home, perhaps (GLASS DOORS); 1D: Cold fish, so to speak (ICICLES); 2D: Skinny to the max (BONIEST); 3D: Political agreement (ENTENTE); 4D: "Well, __-di-dah" (LAH); 5D: Wrath (IRE); 6D: They travel a great distance to get here (ETS); 7D: Daily supplement (VITAMIN); 9D: Philharmonic section (STRINGS); 10D: WWII hush-hush gp. (OSS); 11D: Flying boat built by Hughes Aircraft (SPRUCE GOOSE); 13D: Following (RETINUE); 21D: Ristorante fare (RAVIOLI); 23D: Long-term storage solution (DEEP FREEZER); 24D: Forgets about (OMITS); 27D: Modern pentathlon competitor, at times (ÉPÉEIST); 31D: Landing site (WHARF); 35D: Had the time of one's life (ATE IT UP); 36D: Without exception (BAR NONE); 37D: Blue pool target (TWO BALL); 38D: Image adjusters (PR FIRMS); 39D: Casablanca locale (MOROCCO); 40D: Pro's opposite (AMATEUR); 41D: Checks again (RETESTS); 44D: Golden Crinkles maker (ORE-IDA); 52D: Monopolize (HOG); 53D: Magnum et al.: Abbr. (PIS); 54D: Unaffiliated: Abbr. (IND.); 55D: Want-ad abbr. (EEO).



Take your time, Angela.
You're on holiday.

Nice Saturday level puzzle… I BELIEVE SO!
I know lots of us SWIGGED a bit over the holidays, so this puzzle is probably a real “HOO-ha” to some who are blessed with a hangover.
This is a beautiful grid, full of nice long words, and some fun clues. Bob Peoples did a masterful job. The only part of the puzzle I struggled with was the SE. Never heard of OLDMINECUT and PRFIRM drew a blank for me. HAIR PIECES (Locks out of a store?) was very clever. I should know that CW101 says that whenever you see the word “LOCKS”, beware! Another one to watch out for is “Flower” (Flow-er), as we saw yesterday with MOLTEN LAVA. Even since April, when I started reading this blog, I’ve learned a lot of tricks, from the CW101, and the blogger’s and other’s comments.

(46a) ORFF… he composed perhaps the most magnificent choral piece ever… lean back, turn up the volume, and listen to this -----
Carmina Burana - O, Fortuna (Sky)

Wasn’t that magnificent?

(1d) ICICLES … My the eaves on my house are lined with beautiful ICICLES, some as long as 5 feet. I feel like I’m living in the “Ice Palace” of Doctor Zhivago.

@the California girls
Is the SPRUCE GOOSE and the Queen Mary still in the bay at Long Beach?

(12d) IRONING… who the heck still does this?

Never heard of EPEEIST (27d)… Is that really a legit word?

Some new words: GAMBADO, CIE and BINET (a genius should have known this one).

President Obama lives in The Casablanca, so I was sure there was something tricky about this one. (39d) (MOROCCO). Omigosh, I’m starting to think like a constructor.

Had a very late breakfast, I’m starting to ease up on those huge English breakfasts… New Years resolution to lose 25 pounds before my big SW trip in May. Yikes, I‘ll be the BONIEST guy on the trip… I‘m sure the pack mules won‘t mind that!

Y’all have a nice restful holiday weekend now !
And ORANGE, try that cool pool!
And you must bring back a bag of oranges.

mathcapt said...


Van55 said...

Nice write-up, JNH!

The GAMBDO/DUNE crossing killed me. Didn't like the cluing for ATEITUP.

I was slowed by putting SLURPED where SWIGGED belongs for too long.

Never heard of ORFF, but got it from the crosses.

Nice puzzle. Much more approachable for me than todays NYT entry.

Crockett1947 said...

@jnh The Spruce Goose resides at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, OR. Been there for almost 17 years, but on display for only about 8.

CrazyCat said...

Ditto Van 55 - Nice write up JNH!
@PG I make that same resolution re: organization and commitments every year. I guess I'l try again, but I think I'd do better with therapy : )
I got off to a great start in the NW. Loved I BELIEVE SO, CON ARTISTS. I had IN THE ? and then was able to fill in STARS with VITAMIN, ESALEN and STRINGS. By the way - my San Francisco son who often camps in Big Sur informs me that the clothing optional hot springs tubs at the ESALEN Institute are open to the general public for $20.00 pp from 1 am to 3 am. That must be an interesting scene! Any takers?
@JNH Queen Mary is still in Long Beach, but as noted by Crockett SPRUCE GOOSE is in OR. So what caused me trouble was EPEEIST, AT OZ ? GLASS DOORS - (kept trying to fit in a baseball phrase for Sliders at Home), RETINUE, and the awful GAMBADO? Reminds me of the LAMBADA. PALOMAR Observatory is in the PALOMAR Mountains North East of San Diego, kind of near Temecula. It's run by Cal Tech. All in All a very fine Saturday puzzle. Oh I just realized it's A TO Z,not AT OZ d'oh! It's Jan. 2 and my daffodils are blooming - all is well.

CrazyCat said...

@JNH Very Nice Carmina Burana. Thanks for sharing.

Parsan said...

Some very clever clues! At first I thought Golden Crinkles meant cereal but ORE-IDA filled in with the slyly clued GLASS DOORS. Tricky clue for GABFEST (seance didn't fit; rappers concert?). In keeping with the holidays, I thought Magnum had to do with wine, etc. instead of TV.

"Locks" (HAIRPIECE) clues no longer fool me, thanks to this blog. Rejected PET for a long time because it seemed wrong. Same for ICICLES. I guess a ROTOtiller ROTOtills?


Knew CIE, ESALEN, ORFF, DUNE, BINET, and PALOMAR so they got me started.

Really liked PREP, IN THE STARS, BAR NONE, BONIEST, DEEP FREEZE, and always had a fascination for the SPRUCE GOOSE. HH, a man who could afford to finance his dreams, but whose life ended in such a bizarre way.

Dare I admit I like to IRON(ing)? I find it relaxing.

@JNH--Made Dutch Babies (always in a 15 inch paella pan) served with powdered sugar and blackberries, bacon, coffee, and Fuzzy Navels for friends this morning. Good luck on your diet!

Thanks PG!

lit.doc said...

A big "Thank You!" to Bob Peoples for a challenging yet still really enjoyable puzz. And of course to PuzzleGirl for her as-always witty write-up. Nice break after two days spent in Room 101 (1984 allusion) with the NYT puzz's. (BTW, even if you didn't do the Fri. NYT, you've got to read Rex's write-up!)

My nominee for Best-Of-Show clue: 52A "Locks out of a store?", HAIRPIECES (visions of bewigged union busters).

Unusual solving experience for me in that I had so many excellent wrong answers that I was tempted to go rogue on the whole thing. 22A GIVE instead of LEND is actually closer to the meaning of the clue. 55D EOE and EEO are both used. I gave myself little smiley-face stickers for 41D RETOTES instead of RETESTS, and 24A SIGN (abetted by 9A STRINGS) instead of OMEN. And I really think I could have made 1A ...ORSO work. And I still think 26A IDOLIZING is better usage than ESTEEMING.

Was saved from 36D EACHONE only by knowing BINET (wife was a clinical psychologist). And 44D OREIDA and 37D TWOBALL, in some miniscule way, vindicate my days of bongs, yellow food, and bar games.

Tinbeni said...

Never have SWIGGED my 15yo Scotch.
Sank many a TWO BALL earning my way through college.

How preordained events are written? Wanted 'in stone' accepted IN THE STARS (an OMEN?) and puzzle fell together.

BINET from the Mensa Staford-Binet requirement of a test score necessity of 132 (there are no RETESTS, and I won't reduce my scores by 50 points) actually, from A TO Z, the stupidest org. I ever joined.

Have never seen OTE used as a suffix of Taxonomic.
___ha, stink = HOO ha, Stunk!
Learned ESALEN & ORFF, couldn't remember BEI.

Like @JNH, learned by coming here some CW tricks, so HAIR PIECES got a grin, OLD MINE CUT a groan.

@PG How did your team do at the matches.

mac said...

Good puzzle, with lots of new words for me, like Esalen, gambado, and old mine cut. Epeeist isn't too pretty, nor is esteeming. I tend to like unusual consonant runs, such as prfirm.

Thanks for the Carmina Burana, JNH. Our son sang in it years ago when he was in a school choir. Just thought of it this morning.

Happy New Year to you too, PG!

Sfingi said...

Turned out to be easier than Thursday or Friday. I kept going round and round, like patching a worn out spot. For instance, didn't know the leggings, but figured it started with GAM. Next time around, tried the endings.

Never heard of OLDMINECUT, but started with OLDROSECUT, a beautiful facet. Turns out, it is also round, attractive and often surrouinded by little diamonds.

Thought "Alf" was Fraziers rival as a TV show. Finally, my non-sports mind saw ALI.

Wanted "seance" for GABFEST, also.
For some unknown reason, GLASSDOORS was one of the first words I got.

Things I did not like:
ACING. The fish reference for ICICLES. HOO-ha has a nasty meaning, so I rejected it 'til the end.

On 2/9/08 Rex did not like taxonomic suffix = OTE. To quote, "ouch. Ugh. Harrumpf." I could not find it on an actual list of suffixes. I guess it has something to do with living things, but it can also be from "otl" a Mexican suffix, as in Coyote.

Is that all that can be said about Kay and Gawain? SIRS?

Otherwise, rather clever.

Still own my vinyl ORFF.

Some day I think we'll get puzzles on request, i.e. : The Non-Sports, non-French, Highly Sciency and Artsy Puzzle Book. IBELIEVESO, because I just heard how a computer can create jazz in the style of Miles Davis, but not yet Ornette Colman. Personalized clothes patterns should be next.

@Parsan - my mother loved ironing while watching soaps. We often ate on linen (which smells nice while being ironed, true?)

Tinbeni said...

Retotes instead of retests just showed you did the NYT puzzle first.

Start to till = ROTOtill = naaaah!
It is a rototillER. Ergo this type of obtuseness is what we get in CW's all the time. The Editor's think they are "cute & zippier" ... I just think they insult our intelligence.

Parsan said...

@Sfingi--Yes, and some synthetic fabrics smell awful during ironing when the cemicals (petroleum) they are made of get warm! And--

About the music: maybe they can create "in the style of" but never recreate the improvisational originality or soul of the music of Miles Davis (like most artists, some of it was not good). Perhaps because music and mathmatics are closely linked a computer can be so programmed. I would think Ornette Coleman would be easier to do for he mostly disregarded chord structure, which has form, and played "free" jazz. For me, it was kind of "any note, tempo, or key would do", regardless of what other musicians were playing. Saw him in one of the worst concerts I"ve ever heard. Fun to play, but hard to listen to, for me; but he has many fans and maybe after all my years of music I just don't get it. Also saw Miles in a concert where he kept his back to the audience all evening and played only about 9 notes! End of diatribe!

Parsan said...

Tinbeni--Right on!

CrazyCat said...

@Parsan & Sfingi - agree about IRONING. I like doing tablecloths, napkins, pillowcases and sheets while watching a DVD. Don't like IRONING shirts.


@parsan, sfingi, and crazycatlady
My mom ironed everything--- socks, underwear, even dust rags. She had a strange looking gizmo that she ironed big stuff with called a MANGLE. I always thought that was a strange name for something that smoothed out cloth. She also listened to soap operas and said that ironing was relaxing. Now theres a good crossword word....MANGLE

Tinbeni said...

@Crazycatlady etal
Believe it or not, I have No Problem IRONING shirts (vanity, I like to look good) and enjoy the sheets wrinkled.

As to your earlier comment, ESALEN Spa being clothing optional from 1:00am to 3:00am for $20 ... well first off, where do you keep your wallet?
As a visitor to Hedonism II, Negril Jamaica, over 30 times since 1985, half the resort is a nude beach. Guys are constantly saying "the waters cold" ... no biggie. And the conversations are actually more interesting.

CrazyCat said...

@JNH - I think all Mom's in the 50's and 60's used IRONING as an excuse to watch the SOAPS. Never heard of a MANGLE, but Williams Sonoma sells this huge ironing thing for a small fortune. Don't like IRONING that much! Good luck with the 25 LBS - Me too.

CrazyCat said...

@Tinbeni I send my husband's shirts out or I'd being IRONING ad nauseum. Your comment re: clothing optional/cold water/no biggie reminds me of a certain Seinfeld episode involving George and cold water. I am LOL.

Tinbeni said...

I'm glad you got the elucidation, LOL (it was one of their best episodes!).
In all honesty, the least sexy place I know are nude beaches.

CrazyCat said...

@Tinbeni - I concur!

CrazyCat said...

@Tinbeni - so back to my original comment about ESALEN. I was thinking - hmm, Big Sur, ESALEN, open to the public, clothing optional = old naked hippies. Get the visual : )? Hope I am not offending anyone out there.

Tinbeni said...

As to the visual, I BELIEVE SO!
Hell, I'm an old hippie who became an accountant and likes nude beaches.
I'm thinking, Big Sur, a Pacific Coast VENUE, it would be cold there, LOL
Shrinkage, now that would be a good CW answer.
The question: "What was George's problem on Long Island?"

(See I got us back to the puzzle)

Sfingi said...

@Parsan - I've heard about how rude Miles Davis was. Glad I didn't have to pay to see it.
My dream was to have Frank Sinatra sing everything. It would even be hilarious, sometimes. My son introduced me to Skanatra - this is another twist - a Ska (Reggae) group sings Sinatra songs, in a Sinatra-type voice, but in Ska style. Very good.
Another is the Italian who has an Elvis voice. Hubster's not home, so I can't ask him this crooner's name. He's not Elvii, since he sings his own stuff and in Italian.
Elvis, himself, did sing "O sole mio."

NPR once did a half hour on "Bei mir bist du shon." The guys who wrote it never got rich on the song. Sammy Cahn bought the rights after hearing it in Yiddish at the Apollo.

Ironing - My mother also ironed everything, including factory work clothes and potholders. She had a mangle for sheets when my paternal g'ma was bedridden. One interesting fact for the history of ironing is what some inmates do. Since they aren't allowed patterns on their clothes,they iron complex geometric patterns into the back of their shirts.

Tinbeni said...

Every so often I find myself at a Karaoke place.
I do Frank Sinatra version of " New York, New York" but unfortunately I don't have his voice.
So I sing in the key of "Bob Dylan" ... he can't sing either.

mac said...

@Tinbeni: I've somehow never found myself at a Karaoke place.
About nude beaches: in Holland you can wear as little as you like anywhere at the coast, but full nudity is usually limited (by choice) to beaches a little removed from the main roads to the North Sea.

@JNH: I think this mangle is a gadget to get the water out of the sheets before you hang them up to dry. It hails from the days before centrifuges.

CrazyCat said...

@Tinbeni I believe George's problem was "SHRINKAGE" That would be an interesting CW answer.