Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wednesday, October 24 - Patrick Blindauer

You can add Patrick Blindauer's name to my list of favorite constructors, but this one was a bear...particularly if Latin is not your strong suit.

I haven't figured out why an asterisk appeared at each of the theme clues...it certainly wasn't much help. Maybe something was supposed to be in WordPad, but I didn't see it.

On to the theme answers...seven Latin phrases, some more tricky than others.

18A: * Solid ground (terra firma). A gimme, even before I figured out the theme.

20A: * You should have the body (habeas corpus). Another gimme, thanks to my legal background.

40A: * From the beginning (ab ovo). Since ovo = egg, that was easy enough to guess.

59A: * The die is cast (alea iacta est). I had to Google this one to see how to parse it. Definitely the mother of the Latin phrases...and I don't necessarily mean that in a good way.

62A: * Always the same (semper idem). I know semper from the Marines motto, so that was fairly easy.

4D: * Behold the proof (ecce signum). It almost looks like it says, Here is a sign.

31D: * Without which not (sine qua non). Another one I remember from law, although its definition makes no sense.

Maybe the theme is deeper than I realize...I just think there must be something more. In the recent past, Patrick Blindauer had us playing chess, doing an acrostic and doing a word search...all within the puzzle. Surely he wouldn't let us off this easily. Okay, I'll stop second guessing for now.

Favorite clues/answers in the puzzle include:

14A: "Just __!" (a sec).

24A: Pro at balancing (CPA). For reasons you can probably understand, I never tell Don that I frequently don't balance my checkbook more often than once a year. Don't any of you tell him.

32A: Erica who wrote "Any Woman's Blues" (Jong).

39A: Schoenberg's "Moses und __" (Aron). Didn't have a clue, but I got it from the crosses.

42A: Gray-brown goose (nene). I have been waiting for this answer to appear since our trip. Here's a picture of a nene--the state bird of Hawaii--that I took at the Kilauea Lighthouse. It was pretty exciting to finally see one. If you click on it, you can see his sweet face.

43A: "The Taming of the Shrew" setting (Padua). Didn't know that one, either.

2D: Stern that bows (Isaac). Very clever.

8D: He said "Slump? I ain't in no slump. I just ain't hitting" (Berra). Even if you didn't know that he said it, you knew that he'd say it.

24D: All alternative (Cheer). Another clever clue.

34D: Alertness aid (No-Doz). Do they still make this? I remember kids talking about it in high school.

37D: Briefs, briefly (BVDs). It's about time...I'll bet we have bras (or C cup) in the puzzle ten times to every mention of men's briefs.

44D: Lacking purpose (aimless). Had useless for a while.

54D: One who's not "it" (hider). I normally don't like the -er answers, but this one was just too clever.

57D: Some Peters (tsars). Again, a clever clue...for an often-appearing answer. Ditto for 66A: They're rather pointless (epees).

That's it for tonight. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


profphil said...

Hi Linda,

Love the nene pic. Are they still endangered? As to the theme, I just assumed they were Latin and therefore asterisked.

As to Sine qua non, without which none, it means essential. For example, oxygen is the sine qua non for life. Without oxygen there would be no life.(I know there are some aneorobic life forms so it may not be the best example.) Or perhaps a better example,language is the sine qua non for complicated though. Without words we would not be capable of complex thought.

I had to Google for Alea iacta est. I had all the letters except the "e" which crossed with cu"e"r.

MMajor Fan said...

Cute picture of the anser (noun, masculine)!

Anonymous said...

One small correction: Should be PENNS Grove NJ and ERST (as in erstwhile), not Penne/Eret.

This crossing completely stumped me. I thought ER__T was "erat" which is Latin for "it used to be," thus Penna Grove NJ?? But "erat" didn't seem right; no asterisk. ERST didn't occur to me until I'd googled PENN_ Grove.

Sic Semper Cruciverba.

Liffey Thorpe

luigi said...

I had ERST and PENNS GROVE,NJ also. Checked it out at Harris's blog and did a google map search to verify. Think it should be an S there instead of an E Linda. Liked your bird pic-always wondered what a nene looked like!

coachjdc said...

I had to google some of the bottom half latin answers. Latin is Greek to me :-D

wendy said...

That's NENE's neck is quite elaborate! How fun that you got to use it fairly quickly.

I don't know what these Latin phrases have in common either, since they don't all appear to be from legal contexts. When we find out, it'll probably be some hideously obvious connection that they all have. I got the same two first that you did.

I don't get JAPAN for black laquer. What does it mean? Overall an intriguing puzzle, I thought, although I objected to ECASH. Is that some sort of generic term for things like Paypal?

Linda G said...

Profphil, thanks for the explanation...makes much more sense than the literal translation.

Thank you, Liffey and Luigi, for pointing out the not-so-obvious wrong answer. Some nights I don't bother to check the grid online...last night was one of them.

The nene is still protected...not sure if it's still on the endangered list. Their biggest predator is the mongoose...which aren't on Kauai. The story we heard is that when they brought them to the island, a mongoose bit the handler who then threw all of them overboard.

I took several pictures of nenes, and I'm sure it will appear in the grid again...so you can look forward to another nene shot ; )

Wendy, I don't get JAPAN either. Maybe someone else can explain it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda...did a Google search for Black Lacquer and I found the following "Japan Black is the name of a lacquer or varnish used for metal, particularly iron. Because of its high bitumen content the coating provided a protective finish that was relatively durable and dried quickly. These features allowed for the extensive use in the production of automobiles in the early 20th century in the United States. It is also called Brunswick black and Japan lacquer"
Also spoke with a friend who does the printedition of the puzzel and the *'ed clues were in italics, so there is no additional hidden meaning other than the answers are non-English words
hope this helps

Anonymous said...

I did not care for today's puzzle at all. I agree with you that the fixation on bra's and sizes is out of proportion to the names of men's underpants. Reflects the sexism in our society. My sons stopped wearing BVD's when they were 8, 9, or 10. Thus, this clue was absolutely obscure to me. I only clued in on four of the latin phrases, and relied on you answers to finish the puzzle, which gave me no satisfaction. Keep up your good work, and maybe we should all just move to Hawaii.

sue said...

Sometimes the theme is just difficult, and I sure don't know Latin, but I thought the cross clues were mostly easy enough to lead one to the Latin. Some of my favorites were on the northern California coast: NO DOZ (took it once in college), JAPAN, PADUA, and ATOMIC.

The stopper was ALEA IACTA EST. I had to go to bed without the third letter, crossing with [round dance official]. In the morning, I hung my head and googled round dance.

My husband studied Latin for 8 years (under some duress, I believe), and he would have done well, if he only did puzzles!

dann walsh said...


absolutely loved your comment, referring to yogi berra "even if you didn't know that he said it, you knew that he'd say it." too, too cool!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comments about my latest word baby. I, too, enjoyed the close-up of your NENE. I also enjoyed reading your blog from the Queens County Courthouse, where I started jury duty today. Here's hoping that "tempus fugit" holds true during the trial tomorrow so I can make it to the Pleasantville tourney on Friday on time.

Look for my next puzzle at CrosSynergy on Friday.


Elaine in Arkansas said...

If you were a Dorothy Sayers reader, "Have his Carcase" was plain, and "Terra firma" is common usage. "Sine qua non" is used a lot in nonfiction writing-- as we try to find the governing principles or absolute minimal requirements. I even knew "semper" was "always." But I ran aground on the type of number--duh, atomic! and I've seen that clue before. All of the rest were so easy, but I gave up on the little patch with "mush and "aimless." I just hate to fall short over such simple answers, but there you are!

Elaine in Arkansas said...

Duh-- I meant to spell out, "Habeas Corpus" is translated in British law as "Have his Carcase"....

Linda G said...

Elaine, it's always nice to get your comments from the past. Blogger is amiss today, though. I'm supposed to get an email when a new comment is posted, in real time or syndication, and I haven't gotten any of the emails today. Don't know what's up with that...but I'm glad I came by here to check.