Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday, February 16 - Tony Orbach

I think this is the first Tony Orbach puzzle since I've been blogging, but he frequently comments at Diary of a Crossword Fiend. Tony also collaborated with Patrick Blindauer on Rear Axle, which appeared on my birthday/Father's Day...a tough puzzle that was fun to solve.

Today's was tough, and not as much fun for me. There were some great answers, and the clues were appropriate for a Saturday puzzle...but there were so many things that were complete unknowns to me.

Orange had difficulty with this one as well...I know because I finally gave up and checked out her blog to get some answers that I couldn't get from Dogpile.

The best of the best:

8A: Post boxes? (cereals). I don't think of cereal in plural form, but that was my first guess. The ? just put that connection...Post/ my head.

16A: Piece of silver, say (utensil). That took some time to get because of an error at 13D: Isn't very visible (lies low)...had lays low, so utensil didn't make itself clear.

20A: Many-sided problems (hydras).

32A: Patron of Paris (Genevieve). I didn't know that.

45A: Mother of Hyacinth, in myth (Clio)...and I didn't remember that. I remembered that she was one of the Muses, but not which one.

49A: Slew (passel). I've heard the word used, but I've never seen it in print and thought it would end in -LE. I was pretty sure that 42D: They work the earth (tiller) was correct, though, so I tried -EL.

52A: Touch-related (tactual)...not sensual or tactile, my first and second tries.

53A: Part of a special delivery? (triplet). Good one.

54A: Be quite enough for (satiate)...a word I've always liked.

55A: Amscray (vamoose)...I had get lost for too long.

57A: Give a bad name (slander). Slander is verbal...libel is written. That's still filed away from my years in law.

58A: "On Your Toes" composer (Rodgers).

9D: C2H4 (ethylene). That came together with a few letters in place.

12D: Singer of "A Foggy Day" in "A Damsel in Distress" (Astaire).

22D: Caused to be scored, as a run (drove in).

33D: Big Mac request (no cheese). Does anyone order a Big Mac if they don't want cheese? I have never eaten a Big Mac in my life. Once I saw the calories and fat content (540, 30 grams) way. A big slab of something sweet would be worth that, but not a fast food hamburger.

37D: Nearest, to Nero (proxima).

40D: Lessen (assuage).

52D: Peter or Paul, but not Mary (Tsar). I've seen that very same clue before, yet it wouldn't come to me. It didn't help that I had it beginning with SS because of the sensual error...see above.

And now...the many answers that were complete unknowns:

15A: Thinner option (Acutone). Is that something like acetone? Anyway, I was looking for something having to do with being/getting thinner...size six was my first guess. [Update:'s just like acetone. In fact, it is acetone. I was thinking of a soup tureen for 3D, so spelled it with a U.]

17A: Lab tube (burette). I learned and remembered I'll have to remember this one, which will only confuse me in the future.

22A: "Rugrats" baby (Dil). Have never (thankfully) seen Rugrats.

25A: One of the Gandhis (Sonia).

26A: Golden fish stocked in ornamental pools (orfe). I could only think of koi ponds and tried to come up with a plural that ended in E.

27A: Christening spot (prow). I was thinking of a person...that would be head. Prow sounded so foreign last night, but it's sounding familiar now...but I'm still leaving it in this section.

28A: Nottingham's river (Trent). I may have known that at one time, but I will definitely remember it in the future.

38A: Schubert's "Eine Kleine Trauermusik," e.g. (nonet). I've always thought of a nonet in relation to the group, not the piece of music (or number of instruments) that it was written for...duh.

43A: Some apƩritifs (Kirs).

50A: Anti-ship missile that skims waves at nearly the speed of sound (Exocet).

8D: Small, deep-fried pork cube (cuchifrito). I guessed the frito part but was clueless about the beginning. Click to enlarge this at your own risk.

49D: __ Nurmi, nine-time track gold medalist in 1920s Olympics (Paavo).

There are a couple of answers that I still don't get. Maybe someone can explain why 18A: A lot of foreign intelligence intercepts is chatter...or 14D: Shooter that may be digital, for short is SLR...or 41D: One using a crib is cheater.

Elaine came into town yesterday, so we'll have some girl time today. We haven't had more than a couple of hours alone since she met Mike, and I'm looking forward to having her here for the week.

Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Unknown said...

When I took Latin and had to translate Caesar (ugh) I used an interlinear translation rather than actually doing the work myself. And it was called a crib. I don't know if they're still called that, but I'm sure it's still in use.

Thanks for your blog Linda, I always enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Linda...felt the same way as you did about the puzzle...difficult even for a Saturday...looked over the puzzle and had about 6 gimmies then Googled and finally finished with help from a friend in NYC...believe that 3 down is TERRINE...Chatter is an expression used by CIA types...SLR refers to a digital camera and a CRIB is a piece of paper with answers written on it and concealed and used to CHEAT on a the way the RED YEAST RICE worked for me Cholestrol and LDL dropped 18% and Triglisirides 31%...sorry if the spelling is poor!!!
Have a good non-driving day!!!

MBG said...

Very hard puzzle. I finished, but not without some googling, and felt very accomplished when it was done. What a workout!

Among the things I'd never heard of was CUCHIFRITO. For some reason that word makes me laugh.

Also didn't know ORFE, or that Mt. Chimborazo was in ECUADOOR (or anywhere else).

I made the same mistake as you didi, Linda, lays low instead of LIES LOW, and wanted tactile instead of TACTUAL. I know I've seen RISHI in another puzzle, but couldn't come up with it. STETTING threw me for a loop too. Have never seen it used as a verb.

Linda I think the earthen casserole dish is a TERRINE, and that makes the thinner option ACETONE.

Congratulations on your lower cholesterol, Bob!

Have a great no-drive Saturday, Linda.

wendy said...

Remember a few years back, Linda, when we were having terror alerts heaved upon us, by color, every time we turned around? They would always talk about the increase in "chatter" that they were intercepting as their basis for upping the severity level.

This puzzle = not one of my finer moments. Of course, you could say that about every Saturday.

Re: PROW vs. brow, am assuming we're talking about christening a ship with champagne instead of a babe in arms with holy water. But I made the same mistake you did.

I suppose any puzzle that has the word MOTHEATEN in it can't be all bad!

Anonymous said...

I loved MOTHEATHEN too. I'm determined to use it in a sentence when I get back to work on Monday.

wendy said...

Tell us how you used it, and I'll do the same. It's in the same category for me as Hardbitten. Love it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

Today's puzle took the 2 cups of java to conclude this AM with some help from Dr. "G"

Bob - Congratulations on lowering the LDL and Cholesterol levels. Still curious on the Red Yeast Rice and in what form you are consuming. Would you mind dropping me a note when you get a chance? nnn1 at aol dot com. My triglycerides are off the charts! My Dr. attributes it to my martini habit. Thanks.

Linda G said...

Thanks, all. I fixed the ACUTONE/ACETONE problem. Sometimes I wonder why anyone bothers to come here to read this...

I'm glad that some of you mentioned MOTHEATEN. I wanted it to end in had GET ROTTEN. Didn't make a lot of sense...but it was as good as STETTING ; )

I saw a MOTHEATEN coat at the thrift store the other day...not really, but it would work.

Linda G said...

P.S. Thanks for the explanations of CHEATER, CHATTER and SLR. There's another one for you, Wendy. Say it with me...

Anonymous said...

anon 3:16

The number one entry on the list of things to do to bring down your triglycerides is to halt the intake of alcohol.

Torbach said...

Hey Linda,

Thanks for the nice comments - I've enjoyed hearing people's descriptions of their dealings with CUCHIFRITO: thanks too for the photo of the stuff!