05.21 Sat

May 21, 2011
Barry C. Silk

Theme: None

Fun, tough puzzle to start off our weekend. Or does the weekend start on Friday? Whatever, this one is good. And if you just can't get enough of Barry Silk (and really, who can?), he also has the New York Times puzzle today. I haven't solved it yet. I'm guessing it's hard. But there's a lot to talk about, so let's go straight to the bullets.


  • 1A: Unhappy fans, in slang (BOOBIRDS). I don't believe I've ever heard this term before, but it was easy to infer with a couple of the crosses in place.
  • 15A: Encroachment (INVASION). PuzzleHusband accused me of encroaching on his half of the bathroom shelf the other day. I told him I was going to need a temporary easement. This is what happens when someone goes to work in a real estate law firm.
  • 18A: Cheerios' cousins (ADIEUX). Two ways to say "good-bye." ADIEUX is, of course, the plural of ADIEU. (French!)
  • 22A: "The Little Mermaid" prince (ERIC). Isn't the prince in the Nutcracker Suite also named ERIC? ERIC is also the name of the coach on "Friday Night Lights" and my cousin in Chicago. Coincidence? Most assuredly.
  • 32A: Dating letters (BCE). Before the Common Era.
  • 36A: Centennial debut of 1909 (LINCOLN HEAD CENT). I just learned that Abe Lincoln actually invented the emoticon. Can that possibly be true?
  • 43A: Bird suborder that includes gulls and terns (LARI). Needed every single cross for this one.
  • 48A: Divine, in a way (DOWSE). This has to do with finding water, right?
  • 57A: Rubble creator (TNT). Oh that rubble.
  • 62A: Jason, for one (SEAFARER). Oh that Jason.
  • 64A: One of only three golfers who briefly kept Tiger Woods out of the World #1 spot between 1/11/1998 and 10/30/2010 (ERNIE ELS). Fun to see ERNIE's whole name in the grid, but this clue is just flat-out ridiculous. I guess January through October is golf season? Is that right? Those dates seem really random, but I'm sure they're not.
  • 2D: Available, in a way (ON HIRE). Not a fan of this answer. Would like FOR HIRE much better.
  • 8D: Oct. 1975 TV debut (SNL). I remember it like it was yesterday. I guess some people still watch the show. Every once in a while PuzzleSister will say to me, "Did you see on Saturday Night Live last week …?" And I'm all, "Um, I haven't watched SNL for like 25 years."
  • 23D: "I Got a Name" singer (CROCE).
  • 31D: One concerned with clemency (WEATHERMAN). I thought maybe this was referring to the Weather Underground and its members' concerns for their legal treatment. But no. "Clemency" here is just a meteorological term.
  • 39D: Traffic controller, briefly (DEA). Drug traffic, that is. But you knew that.
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Everything Else 9A: Dinar spenders (IRAQIS); 16A: Scraps (REFUSE); 17A: Cruel woman (SHE-DEVIL); 19A: Poitier title role (SIR); 20A: Sargasso Sea spawner (EEL); 21A: Hunter, at times (SNARER); 24A: Clancy hero (RYAN); 26A: Principle (TENET); 28A: Four-note chord (TETRAD); 30A: Investment company T. __ Price (ROWE); 33A: 160 square rods (ONE ACRE); 35A: Ugly (MEAN); 40A: Downwind (ALEE); 41A: Sunbeam product (TOASTER); 42A: Nth: Abbr. (ULT.); 44A: Prom queen's concern (HAIRDO); 50A: Summit (ACME); 52A: Shade of red (BEET); 53A: High-profile 44-Across (MOHAWK); 55A: Title object of a 1981 film quest (ARK); 58A: Fine wool (MERINO); 59A: Polish (SIMONIZE); 61A: Observation while passing the buck (ANTLER); 63A: On the beach (ASHORE); 1D: "The Deep" co-star (BISSET); 3D: Ready to move on (OVER IT); 4D: Sinister (BAD); 5D: "Of course" ("I SEE"); 6D: Mouth formation (RIVER DELTA); 7D: Decoration under a bowl (DOILY); 9D: Modern-day theocracy (IRAN); 10D: Make an archaeological adjustment to (REDATE); 11D: Hot (AFIRE); 12D: Colonial leader (QUEEN BEE); 13D: "Glad to do it!" ("I SURE CAN!"); 14D: Word with appeal or change (SEX); 21D: They may wake you up (SNORES); 25D: Very old (ARCHAIC); 27D: Big top, e.g. (TENT); 29D: Year in Mexico (AÑO); 34D: Arctic jacket (ANORAK); 35D: Fast-food pork sandwich (MCRIB); 36D: Glorify (LAUD); 37D: Dark clouds, to some (ILL OMENS); 38D: Financial planning yardstick (NET WORTH); 43D: One resting against a stake (LEANER); 45D: Turn in (RETIRE); 46D: Washington of "Glory" (DENZEL); 47D: River rompers (OTTERS); 49D: 1970 Neil Diamond hit (SHILO); 51D: Gold medalist skier Hermann (MAIER); 54D: Passed slowly, with "on" (WORE); 56D: First name in diplomacy (KOFI); 58D: Barnyard bleat (MAA); 59D: Vane dir. (SSE); 60D: Clydebank contradiction (NAE).


JaxInL.A. said...

Yeah, this was fun and the NYT Silk puzz is even more challenging and more fun.

I really like IRAQIS crossing IRAN, and seeing ACME in the grid. Haven't thought of the lovely Jacqueline BISSET in years. Apparently she had a recurring role with the male name James LeBeau in 2006 on TVs Nip/Tuck. And she's godmother to Angelina Jolie. Who knew?

I use triad and dyad in music but dont remember hearing TETRAD. I looked it up in Webster, Collins and thefreedictionary.com, and none of them give a musical definition, but all have definitions related to botany, biology and chemistry. My musical knowledge is far from encyclopedic, but does anyone else know of this usage?

Thanks, PG, and Mr. Silk.

Rube said...

Enjoyed this immensely, but then, it was pointed to those of us of an older generation... viz. Poitier, CROCE, BISSET, DENZEL, Neil Diamond, and probably others. There were some less than stellar entries such as SNARER, the clue for LEANER, and LARI. Not surprisingly, this is the debut of LARI according to Xword Info.

Would have preferred "_penny" instead of _CENT, but that would have had to extend to 2 lines. Thought the SE corner was very well done, even though I could not remember MAIER. For some reason, got ERNIE ELS from the "N"... it was just there.

MC RIB was inspired! However, what animal makes a MAA sound?

Thanks Barry... and @PG.

Dave in Bend, Oregon said...

It's a stretch but goats make a maa sound versus baas from lambs.

Really liked the cluing on Silk's submission. I am starting to recognize constructors now which I guess goes with the territory. Wish I could compare it to his same day NYT submission but I am on 5 week syndie delay so today's NYT is Patrick Berry.

Totally with you on the clemency thing PG! Had no idea that it was a meteorological term..... My thoughts were if it wasn't the subversive (oh oh there's that "s" word again that caused the kerfuffle a while back)group maybe weathermen look for clememcy when they get their predictions wrong? Right train of thought, totally wrong deduction.

As far as easement with PuzzleHusband goes, I strongly reccommend that versus a "lot line adjustment". I have been working on one now since November and STILL have not gotten resolution. Too many moving parts, buyer, county, surveyor, owner, title company, appraiser and worst of all the BANK!! Grumble grumble, well I picked this career.

Pffffeeww,,, It looks like 5/21 end of the world progonosticators were wrong and we get to solve another day.... Sunday nonetheless!!!!

Steve said...

Liked it, mostly. Wasn't a fan of "Centennial" in the clue and CENT in the answer.

Wasn't enamored with MAA, ONHIRE or LEANER

LongbeachLee said...

Another vote for geezer puzzle. I never found a Barry Silk puzzle this easy, or better, less hard. I'm a well qualified octogenarian geezer but on the other hand the only obvious geezer word was simonize. Do they make that stuff anymore? Maybe I just had clairvoyant morning?

CoffeeLvr said...

Well, Barry Silk beat me up good early this morning. First, HTG ten times for his NYT puzzle, and then HTG four times for this one. This one was a lot more fun overall, with lots of memory jogging associations.

I had "murdeRER" first for Jason, then thought of "that" Jason, and proudly filled in "argonaut."

I used one of my Googles for the Neil Diamond song. I could not fit this into 5 letters: Soolaimón.

Had diehaRDS before BOOBIRDS, and thought I was so smart.

Finished in the NE because I couldn't let go of the cereal association with Cheerios. The X had me thinking ADcheX, ADtriX, as some sort of generic or store brand.

Thanks for the write-up PG, and thank you Barry Silk.

C said...

A very nice puzzle. I didn't find it that difficult and, to put things in perspective, my parental imposed bed time precluded me from seeing SNL's premier.

Mom's crush on Neil Diamond helped with that answer and a memory that retains trivial information helped with the rest.

Sfingi said...

Jim CROCE - Sicilian American (half-Jewish), from S. Philly, 1943-73, died in plane crash right before I Got a Name released.

Got BOOBIRDS, LARI, TETRAD, SIMONIZE but couldn't get past ADIEUX; wanted some sort of cereal ending in CHEX.

The horsies and jockies are getting ready for the race at Pimlico. "Don't They Know It's the End of the World" as the late Skeeter Davits put it?

Ol' Man Keith said...

I could only think of cereals too, but managed to reach ADIEUX even before I got its meaning. Ohhh, Those Cheerios!
A tough one, the kind we live for. But as a geezer myself, I didn't think it all that slanted. The one that got me in the end was the LINOLN HEAD CENT. I couldn't get past LINCOLN HALF CENT. I know there's no such coin, but maybe there was, and the F seemed necessary to give me the FAA as a "traffic controller."

I got Silked, and it was fun.

SethG said...

I knew it was that Jason, so I entered ARGONAUT. My first thought for AxxxxX was an APPLE JACKS rebus of some sort. And, indeed, my first thought for rubble was "how the hell am I supposed to know who created the Flintstones?" before I realized I do know it, and it didn't fit.

Yes, ON HIRE is terrible.

MPPuzzler said...

I loved this puzzle. Thank you Mr. SIlk and @PG. I also assumed that clemency related to the WEATHERMAN underground somehow. I guess if there is inclement weather, clemency is the opposite.

ONHIRE is the only thing I didn't like.

mac said...

Another Barry Silk Beauty. Favorite word is boobirds, and I also liked adieux a lot.
Several expressions I didn't know, good learning experience.

@PG: what do you mean, share a shelf?

VirgimiaC said...

My fave was the clue for Antlers - observation while passing the buck. Can't believe no one else mentioned it.

Very fun puzzle

Anonymous said...

The NW corner eluded me, even with the assistance of Mr. Google. (Barney?) But I loved the "boobirds" synonym for unhappy fans and will add it to my working vocabulary.