SUNDAY, Nov. 25, 2007 - Trip Payne

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Two out of Three" - all theme answers are composed of words that share "two out of three" letters

This should have been way easier than it was. I mean, once you figure out the theme, then you have a huge advantage in solving theme answers, as with only a couple crosses, you can figure out how to fill in 2/3 of the squares. And yet a couple of answers really slowed me down, mainly because of inelegant phrasing. My one error was in a theme answer as well (stupid error - left a dumb, bad first guess in place and never went back to fix it). Overall, I thought the puzzle entertaining and ambitious, with a couple of answers that seemed to stretch the concept of viability - let's call them "inventive failures"

Theme answers:

  • 24A: Nonsense about a cocktail? (Rob Roy rot) - first theme answer I got. It works beautifully.
  • 25A: Warning about Mel Gibson on a wrestling surface? (Mad Max man may mar mat) - funny, and yet I couldn't figure out the "MAN" part and didn't know where "MAY" went, so I had to wait for some crosses.
  • 41A: Major book about a leader of the lighter industry? (big Bic biz bio) - this one doesn't read right to me at all. BIZ feels redundant, and there's no word for a person about whom a BIO would be written, so I had BIG BIC BI- BIO, and kept having to come back to it (the cross, 44D: Frenzied situation (zoo), was not immediately apparent to me).
  • 67A: Hound, typically? (foe for fox) - true enough
  • 90A: Why horses are attracted to a witch's headgear? (hag has hay hat) - by Far my favorite theme answer - it makes perfect sense, it's funny, and it reads like a real sentence.
  • 106A: Why guitar-loving Cooke was blue when his gal named her favorite instrument? (sad Sam saw Sal say 'sax') - aargh. This one took some time (comparatively). I think my brain could not accept that one could SEE someone SAY something. Got SAD SAM and SAX easily - the others, less so.
  • 112A: Witticism about a wrinkly little dog? (pug pup pun) - the PUP part is sort of buried here, in that a PUG is already a "little dog" - this is an observation, not really a complaint.
  • 3D: A nitwit like the loud noise? (dip did dig din) - don't like the verb DID here. DIP DUG DIN is much better (though obviously useless to the constructor in this situation). I had DIM instead of DIP. Dumb.
  • 63D: Complicate commercials for woodworking tools? (add adz ads ado) - this is a wholesale disaster, so much so that I almost admire it.

So the theme was entertaining if not always elegant. The non-theme fill, however, was almost uniformly fantastic. Lots and lots of noteworthy clues/answers. So let's begin.

Sometimes it helps to have been born in the late 60's. Yesterday, MEL'S DINER was a pop cultural gimme for me (though it drove tons of people to Google, according to sitemeter). Today, another slew of delicious 80's meat.

  • MAD MAX (see theme answers, above)
  • NES (121A: 1980s video game console, in brief) - didn't own one, but sure knew what they were
  • YURI (27D: 1980s Soviet leader Andropov) - why his name stuck, I don't know.
  • LUKA (97A: 1987 Suzanne Vega hit) - all Kinds of high school graduation-year flashbacks ...
I also have an inordinate number of smiley faces and question marks scrawled all over my puzzle. Let's see what all that's about then, shall we?

Huh?

  • 5A: Rigging technicians (grips) - I asked Sandy if she knew how TRIPS could be an answer for this clue. She said "could it be GRIPS?" Yes, yes it could. If I'd read the cross more closely, I'd have seen that the singer in question was not TORME but GORME (5D: "Eydie Swings the Blues" singer).
  • 18A: Fashion's Tahari (Elie) - fashion seems to be the go-to field for odd four-letter women's names
  • 51A: Snow leopard (ounce) - yikes. Some part of my brain knew this was correct once I got it, but it's a fairly vicious way to clue a standard unit of measurement.
  • 53A: Capital of Honshu (Yen) - ditto a standard unit of currency.
  • 59A: Margaret famous for painting waiflike children with big eyes (Keane) - also the name of Nancy Drew's creator (so much more palatable than this Keane's horrific paintings) [ugh, I'm wrong - Nancy Drew's creator is KEENE. KEANE created "Family Circus" / sang "Somewhere Only We Know"]
  • 62A: Japanned metal (tole) - :(
  • 69A: Subject of the film "An Unreasonable Man" (Nader) - once I got it, it seemed vaguely familiar...
  • 72A: He spent 29 years in the Knesset (Eban) - always forgetting how to spell this guy's name - I know him Only from crosswords.
  • 93A: Something "realise" lacks (zed) - I guess, but it also lacks a DEE, a BEE, blue eyes, facial hair, tickets to opening day at Fenway, etc.
  • 118A: Tannin source (acacia) - as if one ACACIA in a week isn't brutal enough. This version is even more vicious than the last. I had ---TEA for a while.
  • 56D: Italian saint Philip _____ (Neri) - no clue
  • 35D: Red-shelled fruit: Var. (lichee) - spelling this is always an adventure
  • 100D: Clinton's first defense secretary (Aspin) - spelled his name like the tree at first
And now, the abundant smiley faces:

  • 13A: Diamond points (bases) - I miss baseball already
  • 22A: Between green and black, say (ripe) - took me a while. In fact, it took me until after I'd completed the puzzle and realized my error (the aforementioned DIM for DIP) - I'm lucky I ever found the error, given that RIME is a perfectly serviceable word.
  • 50A: Like most jigsaw puzzles (die-cut) - I just love the word, for no particular reason.
  • 55A: Work with intaglio (etch) - nice to learn a word one day (INTAGLIO was in the puzzle recently) and profit from it the next.
  • 57A: Fixes a soundtrack (redubs) - had REDOES and then thought "that's too stupid." Correct.
  • 71A: Sportscaster Dierdorf (Dan) - I feel he played for the Kansas City Chiefs and is a big guy with a beard - off to Google ... Damn! He was a Cardinal, and the only facial hair he sported was an aggressive mustache. Maybe I was thinking of Dan Fouts...
  • 84A: Half of an animation duo (Hanna) - of course my first thought was JERRY or TOM or ITCHY or SCRATCHY or YOGI or BOO BOO ... and then I realized I was on the wrong end of the "camera."
  • 87A: "_____ Unleashed!" (cartoon volume) ("Odie") - I'm almost ashamed at how fast I got this.
  • 96A: Chang and Eng's homeland (Siam) - I love defunct geographical names - more PERSIA! More CEYLON! More NEW AMSTERDAM, I say.
  • 115A: Flame battler, at times (Canuck) - so good is this clue that I actually considered the possibility that CANUCK might mean "firefighter" before I considered that the "Flame" in question might be a hockey player.
  • 19D: Some crosstown trips (taxi rides) - gorgeous
  • 43D: Making a curling motion with the forefinger, maybe (beckoning) - the clue's a little too long, but I like it nonetheless.
  • 81D: Shoppe adjective (Olde) - brilliant
  • 92D: "Symphonie Fantastique" need (tuba) - here's a hint for all aspiring crossword solvers - learn everything you can about this piece of music. It won't go away (not that I want it to - it's, well, fantastic).
  • 101D: "_____ is just pink trying to be purple": Whistler ("Mauve") - the best clue quotation I've seen in a good long while.
  • 104D: Rider of the steed Babieca (El Cid) - Heston! As a medievalist, I'm vaguely embarrassed at how long it too me to get this. It's all about the parsing.
  • 111D: Her sidekick was Gabrielle (Xena) - another "fact" I know only from crosswords.

A few bad things:

  • 20A: Web-based education (e-learning) - one of the more ostentatious examples of the horrific E-prefixing trend.
  • 65D: Wrote a novel, e.g. (prosed) - [wincing ... more wincing]
  • 85D: William Petersen series ("CSI") - hate this show. Amuses me that "William Petersen" means Nothing to me. He's the star of the most popular drama on TV and ... nothing.

I can't believe that this is the first Trip Payne puzzle I've ever blogged, but it's true. Trip was featured in the movie "Wordplay." There is a link to his personal puzzle page in my sidebar.

Happy end of Thanksgiving weekend,

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

52 comments:

Pinky 9:08 AM  

Ok I was going to let ADZ slide (more common spelling is ADZE) but the clue said TOOLS and Wiktionary says the plural is ADZES. (It just keeps sounding weirder)

But what do I know, I had DADO somewhere in that mess, thinking it is a tool, but it's actually a cut made in the wood

Anonymous 9:54 AM  

"Carolyn Keene" is merely a pseudonym owned by the Stratemeyer Syndicate, who were the creators of "Nancy Drew," "Tom Swift," and others.

billnutt 9:54 AM  

Oh, this one was fun! I really admire the concept, although a few of the words gave me trouble.

William Petersen is a very good actor. I recommend the movies TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA and MANHUNTER. I have a friend who said he did excellent stage work in Chicago in the 1970s and 1980s.

ELEARNING - I agree, it's winceworthy, but not completely unexpected any more.

I admire the ingneuity in the CLUING (and how meta is it to see THAT in the puzzle!) of CANUCK.

rick 9:55 AM  

I just got the hockey reference to CANUCK. I was wondering how the clue would point to a country, why not FRENCH?

That whole area threw me. There are a zillion sources of tannin.

108D, beside ACAD, could have been USNA or ANAP. SNAP and STAY both fit in 110D at one point.

122A was POSED for a while also.

Anonymous 10:00 AM  

A stretch I realize but, maybe "Sal" knew ASL?

ArtLvr 10:15 AM  

I did like "big bic biz bio" with z crossing "zoo". Can't quibble much with "bio" for a business or product history. What alternative do you suggest?

My pet peeve now is slang spellings like "git" for skedaddle, and "yer" in an earlier puzzle you noted. Also, I'd declare a moratorium on cluing currency types as "Capital of __". Too-too trite.

Aaron 10:42 AM  

I thought this was well done. I got caught up trying to make DUM DUM DUG...DUN(?!) work, as well as HAG HAT HAS HAW (perfectly reasonable).

As far as "Capital of ___" and "E-____", I think both of them just become some of those things you think of immediately when you've been doing these things for a while. Maybe the Capital one isn't necessary, but it's a slight misdirection. And I'm sure if we barred E-everything, constructors would pull their hair out and call us bad names for it.

Fabiola Thing 10:46 AM  

88A: figure skating maneuver.
I had LUTZ, which completely threw me off! Then I put in LEAP, also wrong.
Finally I got it, LOOP.
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

wendy 10:47 AM  

Thoroughly enjoyed this despite, as you say, having to work awfully hard on some of the theme stuff even while knowing what it entailed.

But yes, much of the regular fill was spectacular, unexpected and never seen before (by me, anyway). My favorites:

SHMEAR - The half-Jew in me revels in this one
CIRCA - Just plain great, clue and answer
CANUCK - I was ecstatic when it dawned on me that this was a hockey answer
CLUING - Self referential, but that's not a bad thing once in a while
KEANE - O lord, my mother, the queen of kitsch, used to collect these awful things when I was a teenager; it was so embarrassing
TOO TOO - Tee hee
ANGELA - I will forever think of Ms. Merkel in relation to George W. Bush, who botched the pronounciation of her first name (it has a hard G) and groped her offensively at a state meeting a few years ago; the cameras captured her shrugging him off (see youtube)
FAUNA - Exquisite cluing for this
SIAM - I too love the defunct geog names; I hereby call for some equal time for Abyssinia, Tanganyika or Rhodesia (we see Zaire a lot too)
KEYPAD - The last word to fall; very tricky cluing

Orange 10:55 AM  

Wendy, did you know that Tanzania's name is a mashup of Tanganyika and Zanzibar?

Rex, ELIE is a man's name.
Elie Tahari is a man seduced by the truth and beauty of life
, his website says. There's also designer Elie Saab, writer Elie Wiesel—and a Frenchy professor I had in college.

Rex Parker 11:00 AM  

Well of Course it's a man's name. I was just ... testing you all. Yeah, that's it. Testing. Good for you.

RP

Fitzy 11:14 AM  

Speaking of being "self referential"... while Mr. Payne did not work his first name (or pluralized var. nickname)into the grid (it was GRIPS instead of TRIPS...but I could see where Rex was going)... he did manage to work it into the CLUING section (i.e. "some crosstown trips)...

foodie 11:45 AM  

Hi Rex

I think you were a little unfair to the ZED clue. The Brits spell the word "realise" with an S and the Americans "realize" with a Z, which of course is called Zed by the Brits. I thought it was very clever and most helpful for me in anchoring that ungainly string...

Otherwise, I feel as you do that this was a very entertaining puzzle except for some inelegant theme answers...

Ulrich 12:08 PM  

My admiration for getting the longest theme answers to work, i.e. result in sentences that make sense, is only off-set by the ..adz.. desaster. But perhaps it's expecting too much that such an ambitious theme could work EVERYWHERE.

I also notice that tongue-in-cheek clues that are normally indicated by a ? appear now without it when the ? is used to indicate theme answers. This made the Montana section very hard for me although I had the 7D and 9D crosses right away. "Gray lines" and "General assemblies" just didn't yield no matter how much I banged my head against them. But I'm willing to call this "viciously clever" cluing.

Ralbert 12:30 PM  

Rex, got CSI immed because it is one of few TV progams I watch.
Liked Zed too.
But, can someone 'splain
Buttonfly - that really
bolloxed me up.
Didn't really take to this puzzle
as much as I normally do

Anonymous 12:33 PM  

The only time I've ever seen "ounce" meaning a large feline used is in Shapespeare. I don't believe the meaning is confined to "snow" leopard as opposed to all leopards/big cats. Perhaps it should have been clued as specifically an archaic word.
Sadly, I never comprehended the theme meaning - two out of three.
I kept trying to discern patterns while solving, but, never made the connection.
Is there some help somebody could offer regarding the interpretation of themes?

Jerry

Norm 12:34 PM  

Buttonfly rather than a zipper. Classic Levis style. Hated this puzzle. Just hated it. Thought the "theme" was strained and inane.

Michael 12:37 PM  

A clever puzzle that I found tough for a Sunday - I made 4 or 5 one-letter mistakes and had to do some googling in the luka, el cid area. I got messed up for a while by having "bonn" instead of "aden."

I was surprised to see "prosed." I'm sure it is legitimate but I can't remember ever seeing this. I suppose "poemed" will show up some time.

Anonymous 12:38 PM  

Can somebody explain 115A - 'flame battler at times' - ans. "Canuck".

I thought "Canuck" was a slang term for a Canadian absent any associations with flame battling/firefighting. No?

Jerry

Karmasartre 12:42 PM  

I had problems in Tennessee (UFOS, FLY) and New Mexico (the NES OMNES crossing), and where the AD_AD_ thing crosses SEABEDS. I had Lilac in MAUVE's spot, and for "Two-out actions", I started on an incorrect tangent, thinking of strategies to pursue when there are two outs. I agree with most of the comments so far. Very good puzzle, allowing a little slack for a couple of forced theme answers.

I'm glad Mr. Payne didn't use Pol Pot in one of his theme answers.

Dan Fouts was a very successful QB at THE University of Oregon, then for the San Diego Chargers.

William Peterson was wonderful as the sleazy governor in the underrated "The Contender".

Since the geog name Rhodesia became defunct, we persist in calling a dog breed the Rhodesian Ridgeback. What happens when you yell at a stray one "Go home"?

My parents left me a (Margaret) Keane original. I didn't care for it and wanted to unload it. Discovered a man in San Francisco with a store selling Keanes exclusively. Turned out Margaret and her artist husband had a messy divorce concerning rights to the Big Eyes intellectual property. I thought they were invented by Barney Googlesearch, but no. The piece, alas, was worth very little.

Ulrich 12:44 PM  

Re. ounce: I took this on faith based on crosses, but just found out after some clicking that it is a heraldic term for guess what? the snow leopard!

anoa 12:45 PM  

I also got ODIE way too quickly. But I think the reason is we've been seeing him way too often lately.

bestgirl 12:49 PM  

Clever puzzle. Thought the theme was giddy. Last to fall was ZOO-BIZ, even though I dredged up OUNCE from somewhere in the animal brain. First to fall was DORA in far SE - there are some benefits to having read a lot of Dickens.
Re GRIP - you have to sit and numbly watch the movie credits and they finally get to the best boys and grips.

jae 12:50 PM  

I only caught on to the three letter word all starting with the same letter part of the theme at first. This left me with a big problem on the gulf coast when I kept wondering why USNA wasn't working and why SAM's gal wasn't SUE. Couple that with CANUCK and I was bogged down for quite a while. Only after walking away for a while did it dawn that the first two letters were the same. (Head slap!) There was a lot of inventive/tricky cluing in this that made it very enjoyable inspite of a couple of iffy theme answers.

Doug 12:55 PM  

Anonymous

Up here in Vancouver, B.C., our local NHL team is the Vancouver CANUCKs, and occasionally they play the Calgary FLAMEs. It actually took a few passes before I got it.

Whistler/Blackcomb mountain just opened this weekend and we got our first snowy turns in. They are ready to rock for the 2010 Olympics, highlighted by the new Peak-to-Peak Gondola that goes BETWEEN the two mountains. Vertical: 4 x Statue of Liberty and Horizontal: 3.5 x Golden Gate Bridge. Imagine it will be in a Jamed Bond movie....

http://ww1.whistlerblackcomb.com/p2pg/home.html

Kathy 1:12 PM  

Like Rex, I had DIM instead of DIP, so why did Across Lite give me the happy message that the puzzle was finished? Doesn't it usually stand by stoically until you find and fix your error?

Great puzzle, even though I did experience some vertigo while solving!

Kathy

wendy 1:23 PM  

Orange, I didn't know about Tanzania. In that case, I think Tanzibar would have been funner. ;) (a nod to Elle Woods)

Regarding that vile E-LEARNING, I guess we can coin the term E-talking for what we do on here. Next to E-mag, this kind of contrivance is so out-of-the-language I would think the constructors would be E-ashamed.

I forgot to ask, how is Puzzled DOPED out? What am I missing?

Kim 1:33 PM  

This was the easiest sunday puzzle for me since I started doing the NYT this past summer. I only had to google twice(a personal record!). The theme ws apparent right away with ROB ROY ROT.

Loved the cluing for FAUNA (safari sightings) and CANUCKS (flame battlers)

Did make the same mistake as many on DIM for DIP and TORME for GORME.

I do have a complaint about the NES cluing. It appears from the cluing that Ninento was only sold during the 1980's when in fact it is still sold today. They could have left off the 1980's and just said "video game console - abbr." I had originaly put GEN for the Genesis system. Am I wrong here?

profphil 2:37 PM  

Rex,

I take umbrage at being called dumb, I prefer dim. I had dim until I read your blog even though rime did not make much sense. Pretty dim of me.

profphil 2:48 PM  

As Symphonie Fantastique was not originally written for the tuba but for the ophicleide, Is the clue with "need" correct?

Anonymous 3:28 PM  

To ease your frustration about the "Big Bic biz bio" clue, "business biography" is actually a genre of writing which chronicles the life of the business (Bic itself is the leader of the lighter industry) rather than the life of anyone specific in it.

mac 3:36 PM  

Got the theme pretty quickly, but had some problems, especially in the SE. Again a lot of names, much harder for someone who didn't grow up here. I'm blaming my slow-wittedness to the fact that I watched all 5 hours of "The Forsyte Saga" on PBS last night.

Ulrich 3:43 PM  

To anonymous: OK, you made my day easier by easing my frustration about the "Big Bic..." answer. But you would really MAKE my day by easing my frustration about the "add adz ..." answer. :)

Hobbyist 3:44 PM  

A dull not worthwhile puzzle today. Maybe Trip Payne is famous but...kind of a dopey presentation today in my books. A bit blah.

dickswart 3:47 PM  

Re: Bic. Ahh, non, Anonymous. M. Bic(h) intros ballpoint in France in the 40"s and adds his name to the list of eponymous penmakers eg Parker, Waterman, Schaeffer, Biro.

M. Bic(h) later turns his hand to lighters and sail and surf boards.

Spent some years in Janesville toiling for Parker.

Isabella di Pesto 4:15 PM  

I didn't like this puzzle at all. There's is probably only one puzzle per year that I hate, and I guess this one was it.

"prosed" was awful, IMHO, and I was stuck for quite a while on Gray lines. Duh!

The whole puzzled seemed forced to me. Not clever.

So now I look forward to loving the puzzles for the rest of the year.

I'm glad this one's gone.

Leon 4:18 PM  

Any puzzle with SKOSH , SHMEAR and ODIE is ok by me.
Although I always spelled it SCHMEAR,the one used is an acceptable variant.
The CLUING was MAD RADS.

Squash's Mom 4:31 PM  

I got GRIPS right away, as my son worked on a little independent film made here in Michigan this past summer, he pretty much held wires and lighting and was credited as a grip.

I'm all for the next Brian ENO answer to be clued as such "crossword composer." That's pretty much what I know him for.

I was trying to fit STIMPY in for the cartoon duo, it seems we've had REN so much lately, I thought he was due.

I'm not getting that DOPED out means puzzled.... anyone? Maybe I just haven't heard that term used before.

My favorite clue had to be "skosh." What a great word.

Biggest problem now is that I can't get that Suzanne Vega song out of my mind. "My name is Luka, I live on the second floor......"

rick 6:27 PM  

"Doped out" is old slang for "figured out". I don't think anyone's used it since the fifties unless it was in a movie about 1930's gangsters

Alan 7:51 PM  

I hated this puzzle. It had my wife and I talking baby for the better part of an hour.

Alan 7:53 PM  

correction- baby=baby talk

bonnie.zimmer 8:10 PM  

I thought this puzzle was so much easier than most.
Loved certain of the clues - including the missing ZED in realise!
Didn't understand 107 D "Two-out actions: Abbr." however.
Someone tell me... what is a DP?
OOPS Double Play???

Thanks!

Bonnie Zimmer

wayfarer 8:29 PM  

I thought ARON looked odd. According the official site, ARON was on his birth certificate and AARON was on his tombstone, so it seems like either is ok. And, yes, I am embarrassed to have elvis.com in my cache.

Anonymous 8:40 PM  

Doug,
It's true, I never thought of the battlers of the flames [canucks] as hockey teams!
Not to nitpick, but, isn't the cluing off a bit here in regard to proper nouns being capitalized?
If 'flames' is the name of a team, it should be written with a capital 'f'.
It seems to me very odd that it's Vancouver that hosts the Canucks.
Isn't Vancouver the province least like Quebec?

Thanks for the comment,
Jerry

mac 9:21 PM  

The King's middle name, Aron. We seem to have the post office box some Elvis product or marketing company used to own. It's very odd receiving mail addressed to Elvis....

Anonymous 10:01 PM  

re 61d, 'vote in Quebec'; I liked that because I have never been in a situation of a referendum or plebiscite where the ballot had 'yes or no' on it.

Ellen 12:02 AM  

Anonymous (Jerry) said: Not to nitpick, but, isn't the cluing off a bit here in regard to proper nouns being capitalized?
If 'flames' is the name of a team, it should be written with a capital 'f'.
* * *
The clue to 115A is "Flame battler, at times" with Flame capped because it's the first word in the clue. I don't understand your comment. Do you have a different version of the clue?

Anonymous 10:28 AM  

I had trouble with two of the theme answers, before I had fully figured out how the theme worked. I had "pumpuppup" (pump up pup), which I thought would be a joke you might make about a wrinkled little dog that had shrunk. And "addadzetoads" (add adze to ads), which seemed to make more sense than the actual answer.

Loved canuck when I figured it out, which was after I had it filled in through crosses.

Jim R

Bruce 4:57 PM  

After trying 4 days (without cheating,honest) I gave up on this darn puzzle!! The theme of the :two out of three: just defeated me! I know, I am dumb, but I didn't think I was this dumb!
Now that I see the puzzle solved, I know for sure! ;-(

I will now make a mental note to be wary of future submissions from Trip Payne!

Larry 3:47 PM  

We prepare to do the puzzle in this morning's San Jose Mercury news, and I note the theme: "Two Out of Three" -- but my wife points out I've misread it, it's actually "Two Out of There"... OK, so probably removing two letters, or even T-W-O, from the answer. The first obvious theme answer to fall is "Rob Roy rot" -- hah? How is there two "out of there" in this?

Well, you know the answer, of course. There should be a special place in purgatory for people who insert typos in crossword puzzles. (I'm a reasonable man; Hell would be a overkill.)

Once we got past the merry mixup, it turned out to be a fun puzzle. "Flame battler" was the only answer that perplexed us even after we got it, hence my arrival here... . Thanks as always for the explanation.

Jet City Gambler 5:39 PM  

(one week later from the Seattle P-I)
@ Kim:
Actually, NES is correct, it stands for Nintendo Entertainment System, released in 1985. It was supplanted by the Super NES in 1991, followed by N64, GameCube, and now the Wii.

I spent more than a decade in the mines at the Big N. Fun puzzle, even if the theme did give away 2/3 of the theme letters.

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

I only got "ounce" after using my favorite go-to source for obtuse crossword clues, Wikipedia. (Hey, if I don't know an answer, I never will, and if the Down doesn't help, I'm not going to leave it blank if I know where to look it up!) According to them,

"The Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia or Uncia uncia), sometimes known as the Ounce, is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of central and southern Asia."

I can't figure out how you figure "snow leopard" could be a clue for 1/16th of an ounce?

Your blog has saved me more than once, by the way.

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