Thursday, November 1, 2007

Friday, November 2 - Barry C. Silk

Barry Silk really knows how to stack things up....with three ten-letter stacks top and bottom and six seven-letter stacks left and right.

With only one exception, the words or phrases are smooth as Silk (I've always wanted to say that.)

Stacked horizontally at the top:

1A: He had a hit with "The Joint is Jumpin" (Fats Waller). Knew this one thanks to History of Popular easy A class that was also fun and informative.

15A: First #1 hit by the Beach Boys (I Get Around). We didn't cover the Beach Boys in that class, but I was a big fan of theirs.

17A: City of the Transcontinental Railroad (Reno, Nevada). I love when the answer includes city and state, although I typically struggle to figure it out. This was no exception.

And at the bottom:

55A: Block head? (auctioneer). Great clue, Charlie Brown.

58A: Committed a sports no-no (interfered). Even a novice like me knows that's not a good thing.

60A: Succulent African shrub popular as a bonsai (Desert Rose). Here's a picture of one...although not as a bonsai.

Stacked at upper left:

1D: Internet Explorer alternative (Firefox). That was one of the answers that just hung somewhere in my brain and wouldn't come out without a lot of coaxing.

2D: Facial feature, later in life (age line). I had age spot...although you'd rarely see just one of the damn things.

3D: Carpenter, at times (tenoner). This is the one. It's better than most -er words, though, because tenon is a much better word than, say, nail or saw.

Moving to the right...

12D: Big name in credit reports (Equifax). In case you didn't know, you can get a free credit report once a year from each of three companies (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian). Go to this site every four months, alternating the company you use. It's a good way to check and make sure no one's using your credit information.

13D: Greyhounds may run in it (bus lane). Raise your hand if you were trying to think of another word for the track in dog racing.

14D: Wilde things? (satires).

At bottom left:

35D: Fictional doctor (Zhivago). That one took me far too long to get.

36D: "This is no joke!" (I mean it)...a gimme for some reason. I think we've had it a few times.

37D: Letter writing, some say (lost art). I love it...the answer, not the fact that it's a lost art. Sad but true.

And, finally, the bottom right:

40D: Like some surgery (in utero). Probably gross to some, but a good answer. Truly, it's amazing what they're able to do before birth.

41D: Group that starred in the 1968 film "Head," with "the" (Monkees). Hey, hey...

42D: Match-starting cry (en garde). I know that's been in the puzzle before, but not recently.

Before calling it quits, there were a couple of other things that I really liked:

The connected answers beginning with 25A: With 52- and 39-Across, gradually (one / step / at a time).

The line consisting of 29A: They're not originals (Xeroxes) and 31A: Materials used as inert paint fillers (silexes). Three Xs in one line!

28A: One of a primer pair (Jane).

35A: Whole slew of (zillion).

7D: Hippie happenings (love-ins).

It's way past bedtime. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


coachjdc said...

Between it being a Friday puzzle and being 6:30 Friday morning, I had a heck of a time with this one. Googled quite a bit. 7:15 now, have to get to work....TGIF

Linda G said...

Coach, it wasn't any easier last night...I Googled a few things when I couldn't get a toehold in a section. Whatever it takes to finish a Friday puzzle ; )

I'm with you...this weekend has been a long time coming. At least it will be an hour longer!

wendy said...

Nice commentary on exquisite puzzle. Not too much crosswordese and lots of originality and diabolicality (if that's not a word, I just created it) Among the stuff I liked:

WEBS for 'signs of neglect.' I stared at that one for some time trying to figure out what it meant before the lightbulb went off. Holding back on the 'cob' was diabolical.

LUST for 'some people have it for life.' Awesome cluing.

WIN for 'best people.' Another one that I had to wait for the lightbulb on even after I got it. This is a great example of the "never assume you're looking at the part of speech you think you are late in the week" rule.

PITCHING for 'tilted.' Gotcha!

IES for 'what Y might become.' Wow!

OWLS for 'they're known for head-turning.'

I had Eternal for ENDLESS at first and Jail for WALL. I was pleased that I've learned to recognize Cabbage in a clue as likely referring to money.

Anyway, stellar effort Barry Silk.

coachjdc said...


Please explain WIN: I'm still not getting it :-)

Linda G said...

coach, I'll answer for Wendy since I saw your question first.

WIN as in getting the best of someone...or someones (people) in this case.

wendy said...

Bingo! Now I'll ask about one that I forgot about and don't get: ENLS for 'requests for developers.' I'm sure it's very obvious - or will be when someone advises me ... Initially I was thinking RFPS (as in Request for Proposals) but that was soon scotched given the crosses. But I really have no idea what this is referring to.

wendy said...

I think I just got it; enlargements?

Anonymous said...


I too did not get Enls both literally and figuritively.I thought I actually finished the puzzle wihout Googling which is pretty new for me on Fridays as I only started doing Fridays a few months ago. Up till then I did Sunday through Thursday. Still don't do Saturday's. Sorry back to "enls," I dicovered I had the incorrect answer for enls. I had ells, thinking Lualda (instead of Luanda) as I know neither of them and ells for what developers add on to houses. When I read the blog, I was clueless as to what enls could mean. Even when someone pointed out it's not a building developer, I still was baffled and then the D'uh moment: a photo developer and enlargement. Well I came close to completing a Friday correctly.

cornbread hell said...

alternate-WOTD: 1A, fatswaller, is also an overweight bird that summers in capistraner.

Anonymous said...

ENL and ENLS are very common in the NYT puzzle for "enlargement/enlargements". This is one of the things that doing a lot of puzzles will help with.