Kwame advocate pan-Africanism first P.M. Ghana / TUE 3-16-10 / German design school founded 1919 / Film bomb of 1987

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Constructor: Paula Gamache

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: LOADED (52A: What 3-, 13-, 14- and 28-Down may be) — theme answers represent four different senses of the word LOADED

Word of the Day: Kwame NKRUMAH (27A: Kwame ___, advocate of pan-Africanism and the first P.M. of Ghana) —

Kwame Nkrumah (21 September 1909 - 27 April 1972), was an influential 20th century advocate of Pan-Africanism, and the leader of Ghana and its predecessor state, the Gold Coast, from 1952 to 1966. // He generally took a non-aligned Marxist perspective on economics, and believed capitalism had malignant effects that were going to stay with Africa for a long time. Although he was clear on distancing himself from the African socialism of many of his contemporaries; Nkrumah argued that socialism was the system that would best accommodate the changes that capitalism had brought, while still respecting African values. [...] Nkrumah was also perhaps best known politically for his strong commitment to and promotion of Pan-Africanism. Having been inspired by the writings and his relationships with black intellectuals like Marcus Garvey, W. E. B. Du Bois, and George Padmore. With perhaps Nkrumah's biggest success in this area coming with his significant influence in the founding of the Organization of African Unity. (wikipedia)
• • •

Short write-up today, as Daylight Savings is making time seem to disappear faster, and I gotta get to work. This one was OK — especially liked the crossing of BOOZEHOUND and BLOTTO (31A: Stewed to the gills) — but the theme feels a bit wonky. Specifically, TRICK QUESTION just doesn't seem like it belongs. A "question" "may be loaded," but I can't imagine saying that a "TRICK QUESTION" is LOADED. A question is a "TRICK QUESTION" or it is a "LOADED question." A LOADED TRICK QUESTION ... that seems redundant. I can't imagine anyone's saying it or thinking of it, unlike the other theme answers, which fit the LOADED concept nicely.

Biggest baffler of the day, for me, was NKRUMAH, someone I'd never heard of and whose name, well, has nothing inferrable about it. Needed every cross. Stands out garishly against the otherwise ordinary and familiar fill. Neither wife nor I have ever heard the expression OFF HOUR (36A: Period of low activity). She considered OFF DAY (didn't fit). I actually wrote in OFF YEAR because I had the "R." That answer seems pretty ... I don't know, weak? Especially for a central answer. DUDED UP hurts my teeth (45A: Dressed to the nines). It's quaint and cutesy in a way no one I have ever known has ever spoken. Wrote in ATARI for ASCII (47A: Computer data acronym) and CART for LIST (9D: Grocery shopper's aid), and impressed myself by getting ETHANOL (49A: Gasoline additive) off the "E" and then immediately getting OXIDE (50D: Water or rust) off that "O." I am notoriously terrible with sciencey answers — they all bleed together in my head. So the fact that I took these out one-two without hesitation felt like ... something. Yes, I know it's sad that knowing words that a seventh-grader might know brings me a feeling of pride. It is what it is.

The grid shape is unusual, in a good way.

Theme answers:
  • 3D: Tippler (BOOZEHOUND)
  • 13D: Donkey, for one (BEAST OF BURDEN)
  • 14D: "How many months have 28 days?," e.g. (TRICK QUESTION)
  • 28D: Rat-a-tat tat weapon (MACHINE GUN)

  • 15A: Radames's love, in opera (AIDA) — learned it from crosswords! Never seen any version of "AIDA" in my life, ever, but I know lots of trivial things about it from hundreds of crossword clues.
  • 21A: Film bomb of 1987 ("ISHTAR") — synonymous with "bomb" in the late '80s; see also "Heaven's Gate," "Bonfire of the Vanities," and, later, "Waterworld."
  • 35A: Lucy of "Kill Bill" (LIU) — crossing LIEU (32D: Place)! This amuses rather than offends me.
  • 8D: German design school founded in 1919 (BAUHAUS) — I know this because of my friend who is a modern German historian. And because of these guys:

  • 47D: Formerly common rooftop sight (AERIAL) — a nice, up-to-date clue.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

***P.S. It's NCAA Basketball Tournament time. Join my ESPN Tournament Challenge Group, "All Hail OOXTEPLERNON" (password: obolsmiff). Winner will get a copy of Bob Klahn's new crossword book, "The Wrath of Klahn" (unused!). Go here to sign up. [Crossword publishers should always feel free to send me swag that I can give away, hint hint]


Elaine 7:57 AM  

Rex, have you stopped beating your wife?
I would call that a TRICK QUESTION, or a Loaded Question, either one, so I thought the theme worked for all of the 'LOADED' verticals.

Knowing so little about the inner life of my computer, I go straight to ASCII when I see an A___. And I love AIDA... but thank the Lord for the crosses, or NKRUMAH would have eaten my lunch!

I rate this puzzle Easy AND Super.

Ron Wood 7:59 AM  


jesser 8:09 AM  

OK, I agree about NKRUMAH. Who wouldn't? But no mention of OEIL? I had OE_L and R_TA and just took a wild stab, reasonsing that RITA was the most likely name to chuck in down there, although I've never heard of this poet and "Trompe l'" doesn't give me a damn thing to work with.

I loved the theme, and -- for whatever reason -- the fact that is was the downs that brought it to light. The acrosses usually (but not always) get the theme love.

At 3D, I wanted BOOZEfiend for a while, but was disabused of the notion early.

My best friend is building an impressive collection of NOLAN Ryan baseball cards for his son (now 3), so that one made me grin, as did DUDED UP, but for wholly different reasons.

At 5D, I wrote in BUN_EE, and had to wait for the cross, because I don't know from Js and Gs in a situation like that. Thank God for comedic GAGS!

And that will be all from jessland today. I hope everyone has a happy Tuesday!

Miare! (what I look into when I shave) -- jesser

dk 8:11 AM  

The metal munching mice from Rocky and Bullwinkle ate AERIALs. RTOTD (random thought of the day)

I like Paula's puzzles. This one with its Bs, Qs and DUDEDUP seems a homage to our own BEQ as he is the BEASTOFBURDEN (aka hardest workin man) of puzzledom.

Fine job and I liked TRICKQUESTION.

*** (3 Stars)

secret word: amimigar- my friend the long nosed fish

I have a book titled From BAUHAUS to Our house around somewhere.

Anonymous 8:17 AM  

Nice puzzle, took me about my usual Tuesday time, more or less. I liked the loaded theme, though it might be more appropriate for tomorrow.

Nkrumah was a gimme after I had the NK in place; I learned it listening to my grandfather's Vaughn Meader album, The First Family- a true comic masterpiece.

@Matt- to take a belt of liquor, for example, is to take a big swig/gulp. No typo there.

Elaine 8:20 AM  

I think BELT fits in with BOOZEHOUND-- the connotative shading of [Big swig] hints at liquor (or maybe 'likker') and a 'belt' would have more impact than a 'gulp.' IMHO it works, and works well.

Luke 8:37 AM  

I found this puzzle to be very difficult. I simply have never heard of AVON? BSA (never heard that acronym ever and I was a scout!) ISHTAR (to be fair it came out before I was born) NKRUMAH (then again no else has), BLOTTO, PDQ (I was looking for Bach clue :(), DUDED UP (yeah.. never heard this expression and would have a completely different context to me), AGIN, BOOZEHOUND, AERIAL, etc...

I think I could have gotten a lot more, but the cluing was just too difficult for me. First Tuesday puzzle in a long while where I simply could not finish and looked up the answers. Seems like a puzzle an older generation would get easy.

I also don't get the cluing "Big swig" BELT. ???

Finally, I do not like the cluing of ASCII. I understand where it's coming from but when I think of computer data, I don't think of ASCII code.

joho 8:38 AM  

On this eve of St. Patrick's Day I suddenly flashed back to a year past when I got all DUDED UP, sporting my new green jacket on my buff BOD and exuding ELAN, I trotted off to visit my corner pub, where, with GUSTO and an Irish jig, had a BELT or two with my fellow BOOZEHOUNDs. Even with plates piled high with corn beef and cabbage and a beautiful BRIE, we all got LOADED, well, BLOTTO was more like it. That was when I, putting on AIRS, asked my stool buddy, NOLAN, a real BABE, if he'd like to go to the parade with me. I'll never forget his words, "I REFUSE" which threw me into a dangerous MOOD swing. With a YELP I ran from the bar only to bump into a leprechaun with a MACHINE GUN dangling from a BUNGEE cord! At that sight I ran, on the PDQ, for the hills.

Thanks, Paula, loved your puzzle!

mitchs 8:56 AM  

@Luke - interesting perspective - never heard of Avon? That really surprised me at first, but when I think about it I realize that it has been awhile since they were a household name.

PDQ is sort of an old fashioned ASAP. Though I'm not sure what the letters stand for, anyone?

A very enjoyable Tuesday.

jesser 9:04 AM  

@mitchs and Luke: PDQ = Pretty Damn Quick

mitchs 9:12 AM  

Thanks Jesser. You can read a lot into the fact that "Pretty Damn Quick" changed to "As Soon As Possible".

mac 9:19 AM  

Hey, Matt, I haven't done the LAT puzzle yet!

Always love Paula Gamache puzzles, but have to agree with some of the iffy clues/answers. Belt is a loud scream to me. Love blotto, duded up, I refuse!

Isn't there an actress called Rita Scala? As said before, thanks for the crosses!

Glitch 9:29 AM  

I'm suprised anyone had difficulty with NKRUMAH --- after all he WAS on the cover of TIME (2/9/53). Furthermore the clue should be considered an *olaf* for most! :) :)


PS: Actually, I did remember the name, but not the spelling.


Ulrich 9:45 AM  

I, too, am old enough to remember Nkrumah--the end of colonialism in Africa was one of the top stories in the news when I grew up--wait to meet Lumumba, Kenyatta et al in the puzzles soon. True, the spelling is the iffy thing, especially since transliterations seem to differ across languages--I don't think there was an H at the end in German papers.

Chuckled over AVOIR--there is always some French stuff in PG's puzzles--nomen est omen!

And the recent Bauhaus exhibition at MOMA was spectacular in my view--went to see it twice, and could have gone again...

Anonymous 9:56 AM  

Easy for a 60 year old.

ArtLvr 9:57 AM  

Good one, Paula! I'm wondering what's in store for tomorrow too. And I enjoyed Rex's write-up, also @ joho's St. Pat's scenario.

I had no problem with NKRUMAH and worked the downs mostly from TRICK QUESTION. Smiled after finishing to see the GAGS, AIDA plus Show BIZ, and the less-than DUDED UP BOD. Very amusing fill...

Sympathizing with those sans French, though, as those vowelly words like LIEU and OEIL are too handy to pass up.


galke = gauche?

SethG 9:57 AM  

My second day in a row much slower than normal.

More importantly, what would the correct ignition timing be on a 1955 Bel Air Chevrolet, with a 327 cubic-inch engine and a four-barrel carburetor?

snowmaiden 10:01 AM  

The quote in it's entirety: XYZ PDQ
"Examine Your Zipper, Pretty Darn Quick"

chefbea 10:05 AM  

Fairly easy puzzle except for nkrumah and ascii. What does ascii mean.

Go cards!!!

fikink 10:15 AM  

Absolutely loved this Tuesday puzzle. So "in the language," clues and fill.
OFF HOUR is unknown to me, however.
Trompe l'OEIL is as familiar as SFUMATO, so - once again - we are what we know.

Very nice, Paula. Thanks for the pleasure.

Van55 10:29 AM  

I too was amused rather than irritated at the LIU/LIEU crossing.

I'd call this one at least medium for a Tuesday for the reasons expressed by Luke -- at least for the younger generation. Much of the fill is certainly not in household usage these days.

Being an exerienced citizen, I enjoyed it but needed all the crosses for NKRUMAH.

OldCarFudd 10:30 AM  

Geez, Louise, I'm feeling my age! PDQ is very much in my vocabulary, and it's a shock to realize today's cruciverbalists haven't heard of it. Ah, the indignity of antiquity!

By the way, my spell checker is fussing about cruciverbalists.

What am I missing? Some bloggers are answering Matt's question about BELT, but I can't find Matt's post asking the question.

Fun puzzle, but I didn't see the theme until I had 52A filled in; even then, I had to back and read read the theme answers again. D'OH!

the redanman 10:36 AM  

OFF time for OFF HOUR

NKRUMAH even with crosses ... re-re-recheck

DUDED UP how about DUDDED UP as in DUDS?


CoolPapaD 10:39 AM  

Absolutely loved this one! There were a few tough ones, easily gettable by the crosses.

I could not remember the infinitive form of the French verb (to have) forever, despite many years of junior high and high school French.

I knew rust was an oxide, but water?? I guess I'll wait for retired chemist to explain what constitutes an oxide!

Two Ponies 10:41 AM  

I had a couple crunchy moments but that simply added to the Tuesday enjoyment.
Bambi crossing Babe in the woods was cute.
Wasn't there a Blotto in Rex's write-up yesterday?
Rat-a-tat made me remember a recent rub-a-dub discussion.
Honestly, not one of Ms. Gamache's best but OK.
I've never seen Ishtar but I wonder if it is bad enough to be amusing in a campy sort of way or is it just plain bad?
@ Ron Wood, Thanks for showing up. As soon as I wrote in 13D I thought of you and the boys in the band.

B.S. Chem 10:41 AM  

Hydrogen Dioxide

Dummy! 10:42 AM  

Dihydro Oxide

Better to rule.. 10:46 AM  

@Rex - You didn't copyright "The Wrath of Klahn", did you? Big oversight. Hope you're having fun saving for college.

Two Ponies 11:01 AM  

@ OldCarFudd, I'm just guessing that matt made some sort of "spoiler" comment that got him bleeped. Perhaps in reference to the LA Times puzzle.

Glitch 11:39 AM  

As noted, an OXIDE is a compound containing oxygen and at least one other element.

Reminds me of a story (urban myth?) of a long suffering consultant reporting the municipal resevoir contained a high level of "dihydrogen oxide" thus sending the bombastic "Town Fathers" into a panic.


lit.doc 11:52 AM  

I just had to say something. In my post yesterday, I said "BLOTTO yes, JOTTO no". And what happens today? I blame myself.

A good Wednesday level of difficulty and, after I found out what the theme was (LOADED ended up being my last answer), I liked all the theme answers except TRICK QUESTION (I don't think it really passes the "means the same thing" test). Cool stuff along the way: especially liked BLOTTO crossing BOOZE HOUND and FOP crossing DUDED UP. And for some reason EIEIO makes me laugh every time I come across it, even while a little voice inside my head is screaming "That's a reeally dumb answer!" Not so cool: 27A MXYZPTLK (aks someone who grew up with Superman comix).

@retired_chemist or anyone else similarly qualified, is it really within the bounds of reason to refer to water as "dihydrogen oxide"?

See y'all in the morning. Running late here 'cause I'm in Colorado visiting family.

Elaine 12:03 PM  

It often helps me when I've met a mystifying clue, to read the Comments before posting--usually someone else has asked the same question.

Despite my arthritic fingers and thick bifocals, I wanted to take the time (I have plenty of it; I'm retired) to tell you about AVON. Once upon a time, when there were few occupations naturally suited to women, ladies would sell Avon Cosmetics door to door. The ads had a signature doorbell 'ding-dong' followed by 'Avon calling!'
Avon is still in business, but nowadays someone just passes a catalog around the office, teacher's lounge, or nurses' station.

Zeke 12:08 PM  

@Elaine - I'd delist your email from your blogger id for a little while. The phrase "occupations naturally suited to women" is sure to get some angry retorts, even though I'm guessing I know what you were getting

Tinbeni 12:10 PM  

W.C.Fields once said:
“I never drink dihydrogen oxide, that is the stuff that rusts pipes.”

BELTS, BOOZEHOUND, BLOTTO, LOADED what's not to like. Paula on St.Pats EVE, I toast you with GUSTO!

Don't know how I missed that cover of TIME, I was almost 5 months old.
Without the crosses I would still be the weeds.

George NYC 12:15 PM  

Good one!

Stephen 12:16 PM  

FISHTAR would be good in a puzzle.

archaeoprof 12:18 PM  

@Rex: thanks for the Johnny Cash! I'm still hoping for a country music theme puzzle someday...

Like Ulrich et al, I too remember Kwame NKRUMAH from my younger days.

Martin 12:28 PM  

All loaded questions are trick questions, but all trick questions are not loaded.

The trick question in the clue, "how many months have 28 days?," is not a loaded question. "When did you stop beating your wife?" is a trick question that is also loaded.

A loaded question is meant to falsely incriminate the responder. "Gotcha journalism" is a gray area. A question like "what newspapers do you read?" could be innocuous, tricky or incriminating, depending on circumstances.

"Oxide" has enough definitions to justify any answer you want to the question "is water an oxide?" If we're comfortable with the names "hydrogen peroxide" and "hydrogen sulfide," "hydrogen oxide" is the logical chemical name for water. But a case can be made that "hydrogen hydroxide" makes as much sense, and hydroxides are not usually classified as oxides. In fact, water is both a breath mint and a candy mint, and not a mint at all. It's all about the bonds.

william e emba 12:37 PM  

Everyone should know Trompe l'OEIL! It's art as classy illusion. A mural on a wall that consists of a painting of a window with outside scenery and a door is always fun. If you can't afford an expensive car, you can always try to fool passersby. A famous example is the floor tiling of the Basilica of St John Lateran. Modern chalk artists create stunning 3D works on streets and sidewalks.

Knowing all that, and NKRUMAH and BAUHAUS too, did not make up for thinking a Bear (crossing BAMBI) was the one "in the woods" at 1A.

Rube 12:46 PM  

Easy for an old guy. Got NKRUMAH from the _KR_. Didn't know RITA Dove. Have a friend who's father was an architect of the Bauhaus school. Would have liked to have seen 63A clued as "Geek school in Claremont", (daughter went there).

Actually, I think this is my first puzzle without any write-overs.

hazel 12:46 PM  

Well - aside from the trick/loaded issue (which I didn't really think about until I read the writeup) - I thought this puzzle was just fabulous. Pretty much a perfect Tuesday.

I did think it was sort of easy - but it was such a lively boozy easy - very smooth. Like a good buzz.

4 tuts and a hic.

lit.doc 1:19 PM  

@SethG (assuming you were asking a serious question and not making a joke that went over my head), if you can't find the spec's for your engine (my first car was a '56), try this.

Set aside the timing light and dwell meter, and loosen the set screw under the distributor. With the enging running (attempt to not electrocute yourself doing this), rotate the distributor back and forth just a bit and listen. Your ear will give you as good a setting as the spec's. Then check degrees off TDC and write it down someplace.

p.s. Have you played around any with the plug gaps? And, depending on your altitude, changing the jets can make a big difference too.

Marisa 1:26 PM  

@lit.doc - SethG's comment was a quote from "My Cousin Vinnie", and it was a trick question. Everyone knows that Chevy didn't have the four-barrel carburetor in the '55 327s (or someting like that).

Martin 1:31 PM  

'Cause Chevy didn't make a 327 in '55, the 327 didn't come out till '62. And it wasn't offered in the Bel Air with a four-barrel carb till '64. However, in 1964, the correct ignition timing would be four degrees before top-dead-center.
I, and many other men, fell in love with Marisa Tomei because of this line.

fikink 1:32 PM  

Nice hearing from you, Ms. Tomei.

lit.doc 1:38 PM  

@SethG, DOH! Puzzle bro' (who's much more of a mechanic than am I) just walked into the room and told me I'm an idiot. The question is from My Cousin Vinney, he reminds me, and (good one indeed!) it's a TRICK QUESTION. The '55 didn't come with a 327, which wasn't available till '62.

mitchs 1:52 PM  

I, too, fell in love with Marissa Tomei in that movie but it had little to do with that line.

Steve J 2:21 PM  

@jesser: I, too, thought OEIL/RITA was borderline, especially on a Tuesday. I got it, because I know the term trompe l'oeil (one bit of college-era art classes that stuck, whereas last week's gesso did not), but I thought that the two clues were obscure enough for a Tuesday level that that could be difficult for some. I would have thought Shortz would have gone for more obvious cluing on RITA on a Tuesday.

I can live with the TRICKQUESTION being erroneously labeled as loaded, because I really liked the theme. Anything that gets LOADED and BLOTTO into the NYT is a good thing, in my opinion. (However, AGIN is not. Only real clunker of the puzzle, for me.)

foodie 2:25 PM  

I love the response of Lit.Doc to Seth G's comment! It's amazing to learn that there's an empirical way to figure out the answer to that TRICK QUESTION! I love this blog! I love this country!

My husband adored My Cousin Vinnie because of this very TRICK QUESTION. I also loved the way MT said "my biological clock is ticking"!

Great puzzle, and I too think it's cool that the burdensome clue are all headed down.

edith b 2:33 PM  

ISHTAR is one of those movies that would be consigned to the dust bin of film history except . . .

Big budget movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty, who also produced it. I can just see all the movies' subalterns scampering around saying, "Great work, fellas, the best you have ever done!" FLW

ASCII is like porn: I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.

And like @Ulrich, the end of colonialism, like Sputnik, was part of what was going on in the world when I was a young teen. History a gogo. I recognized NKURMAH and it was just a matter of where the Ns, Ks and Rs went.

Martin 2:41 PM  

There was no mislabeling or error in either the TRICKQUESTION or LOADED entry. Its clue accurately clued "trick question." And a trick question "may be loaded."

The key is that "14-Down" (in the clue for 52-Across) refers to the entry (TRICKQUESTION) and not the clue for it. This is the standard for cross-references. So even though "How many months have 28 days?" is arguably not a loaded question, the clue is fine because a trick question may be loaded.

This situation comes up periodically: a cross-reference clue seems wrong because the clue of the cross-referenced entry is considered rather than the entry. It's something to be aware of.

Stan 2:45 PM  

I'm among those who found this puzzle delightful, less for the theme than the language. My favorite section was the BAUHAUS/ISHTAR/NKRUMAH area. And cluing TRICK QUESTION with a real trick question -- great stuff!

Rex Parker 2:54 PM  

@Martin, re: TRICK QUESTION, it's defensible on a literal level, but the fact that you have to draw a Venn diagram to explain how it works means it doesn't work well (this is the issue you *never* consider — quality). Again, you would never say "that's a loaded trick question," whereas you could easily describe any of the others as "loaded" no problem.

Clark 2:56 PM  

You've all said it all.

The SethG - Lit.Doc - foodie sequence is beautiful. The empirical test would have failed when we discovered that there was nothing in the world to run the test on. Bertrand Russell famously worked on the logic of propositions like this. His example was "The present King of France is bald." The negation of that sentence ("The present King of France is not bald.") is both true and false, sort of.

SethG, You've been a lovely, lovely witness.

dk 2:58 PM  

@Joho, Ho Ho - *** (3 stars). Honey, that was no machine gun, said Tom rat-a-tatly.

sanfranman59 3:11 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Tue 9:17, 8:54, 1.04, 66%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:43, 4:32, 1.04, 69%, Medium-Challenging

This one doesn't seem to be in the same league as the past three Tuesday puzzles, but it still leans to the challenging end of the spectrum. By the end of the day, the Top 100 median solve time will probably come down into the Medium category. But the "All Solvers" median will probably stay in the Medium-Challenging range.

JenCT 3:13 PM  

@edith b - interesting porn reference.

Had Roger AILS at first instead of MUDD (or is it AILES?)

Slower than normal time for me.

hazel 3:32 PM  

@Seth G. That really was a good one, which did go over my head - until I saw @Martin's response. Wow. to both of you really. And to @George NYC who got it unaided.

Stan 3:38 PM  

Yes, @SethG's comment definitely wins the day. Good DEADPAN, Seth.

fikink 3:40 PM  


Recalls an old routine by Beyond the Fringe, parodying Bertrand Russell:

Russell confronts his neighbor, the philosopher G.E. Moore, who is sitting by the fire with a basket on his knee.
"Moore, do you have any apples in that basket," asks Russell.
"No," replies Moore, smiling seraphically, as was his wont.
"Moore, do you then have some apples in that basket?" asks Russell.
"No," replies Moore.
Russell's final lines:
" 'Moore,' I said, 'do you then have apples in that basket?'
'Yes,' he replied, and from that day forth we remained the very closest of friends.' "

George NYC 3:43 PM  

I actually used to set the timing on the above pictured vehicle. I think it was 15 degrees BTDC. Used a strobe light to see the mark on the flywheel. Still ran like crap, however.

Tinbeni 4:00 PM  

Sometime tomorrow on St.Pats Day I will probably ask my Gal Pal:

"Do you want another drink?"

Trust me, that will be a "LOADED" TRICK QUESTION.

JenCT 4:40 PM  

@Tinbeni - are you saying that as a BOOZEHOUND?

joho 4:42 PM  

@SethG ... that was brilliant!

Elaine 5:01 PM  

Zeke, Zeke, Zeke.
Women of a certain age are given to occasional tongue-in-cheek, even sardonic, little asides.

I'm sorry to report that I can't tell if anyone at all chuckled, but no one has flamed me, either. I suspect they were too busy with Marissa Tomei and loaded, trick questions. And I'm guessing Luke hasn't read any later Comments, since he didn't read those preceding his post.
Blooming unseen, again.

OldCarFudd 5:17 PM  

Timing light? I don't need no stinkin' timing light! Just set it so the spark is at top dead center when the lever is fully retarded. Always crank the engine with the spark fully retarded so you don't break your arm. Drive on full advance unless, under heavy load, the engine starts to pound; if it pounds, retard the spark until the pounding stops. It's all done with the little lever on the steering column - isn't it?

When I'm in the Stanley Steamer, I ignore all this, and just light the fire with a propane torch.

chefwen 5:20 PM  

@Tinbeni - Ha Ha, that was cute.

Puzzle was great, only unknown to me was NKRUMAH, had to get that using all the downs.

Had gulp before BELT and anti before AGIN, those were my only two BLIPS.

Was feeling a little tipsy last night after solving.

George NYC 5:22 PM  


Maybe Toyota should install one of those levers for emergencies

Zeke 5:29 PM  

@Elaine - I missed the [sardonic]...[/sardonic] clues. Just looking out for you girl.

Sfingi 5:35 PM  

A Lot of great oldster clues, including your first four: NKRUMAH, ASCII, DUDED UP, OFF HOUR. ALso, BOOZE HOUND, AERIAL, PDQ. If they want to step even farther back, "pixelated" used to mean drunk. I own a collectible shot glass indicating this on degrees of drunkenness. The new word differs by one letter, pixilated, meaning having much pixels.

I got the 4 senses of the theme, but didn't spell out the theme 'til the end, at which point I said, "Oh!"

Of course, sports got me, esp. crossing way-out geography. Never heard of ALTA. Guess it's high. Guessed at UCLA. Never heard of Cyclades and didn't even guess at STL. Still looking for a site which has the scoreboard initials listed.

@DK - From Bauhaus to Our House by the dapper Southern, white-suited Tom Wolfe.

@Elaine - (Yesterday end) yes, I know the "Horsey Set," since I graduated from Skidmore where some girls brought their horses with them; but think of horsy girls not as horse-toothed but big-boned.

@Zeke,zeke zeke - she said "Once upon a time." I lived through that time. Don't like to talk about it.

@Fikink - Picky, picky. Did you happen to read Wittgenstein's Poker? Only if you want a headache.

@Edith - funny re: ASCII.

@ChefB - ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange. We used to fool around with this in the '60s. On punch cards (wha?). Don't worry about it.

Has anyone done a Tom Swifty crossword?

My 3rd! captcha is antenai - Does it take some of one's words and do a number on them?

Anonymous 5:56 PM  

Hands up for the got the @SethG comment immediately - that movies has soo many quotable quotes ie I could do with a good oldfashioned whooping and do you think the deer cares what pants you're wearing?

Got Bauhaus from Tom Lehrer and Alma

fikink 5:56 PM  

@Sfingi, that is remarkable! I am working on Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus which begins, ""Die Welt ist Alles, was der Fall ist." ("The world is everything that is the case") and relating it, in the context of ethics for younger people, to the contemporary maxim, "It is what it is." Even been talking to Ulrich about it.

chefbea 6:15 PM  

@sfingi love tom swifty's.. havent seen one she said whilely!!!

PIX 6:22 PM  

@fikink: the key to the Tractatus is not to start at the beginning but to start with the last few pages which are readily understandable, especially the last line: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." If only more people would follow that, the world would be a better place.

Glitch 6:31 PM  


So, Grasshopper, at 5 months, you had a lot to learn.

Now you have.

Respect your elders, pay attention to world events, (NKRUMAH was active through the '60s), if all else fails, Vaughn Meader routines. Also in 1964, the correct ignition timing would be four degrees before top-dead-center, and remember to floss.

Me... I was 5 (years), and only bat 3 out of the 5 above ;-)


Ulrich 6:35 PM  

@PIX: True enough. What always intrigued me about that last sentence is that the German version (Worüber man nicht reden kann, darüber muss man schweigen) is almost colloquial and unaffected in its tone--one talks like that on the street. Yet, there does not seem to exist an equally simple English translation that stays close to the original--I mean, who uses "whereof" and "thereof" with his buddies at a bar?

PIX 6:57 PM  

@Ulrich: For what it's worth I think the wherof and therof are there simply to make it sound highly intellectual and profound, with the translator not caring about the literal translation. For what it's worth the Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy offers a different translation (of "Pears/McGuinness") which states: "What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence." Still not exactly the language I use in a bar with my buddies but at least it won't get me thrown out!
To me the really interesting thing about the Tractatus is that later on in life Wittgenstein repudiated the whole project and moved on to other explanations of what is important in life. I don't know if the man was a genius or of no use, but he sure was interesting.

Tinbeni 7:06 PM  

In his write-up Rex said:
A LOADED TRICK QUESTION ... that seems redundant. (My comment was a bad pun).

Moi a BOOZEHOUND? Not really.

Though Scotch, neat in a snifter does get a BLIP on my radar.

Actually tomorrow I'll enjoy watching the fake Irish get BLOTTO on BELT after BELT of green beer.

I always love a crossword learning moment, NKRUMAH & BAUHAUS filled the bill today.

Now those Vaughn Meader routines I know by heart.

And its NEVER a Grasshopper. (I know your Cain ref.)
I'll stick with the Pinch.

fikink 7:15 PM  

@Pix, @Ulrich, I also like Will Roger's, "Never miss a good chance to shut up."

Ulrich 7:16 PM  

@PIX: I'm using up my last comment--goes to show how much I care. The "whereof" and "thereof" mirror exactly the German "worüber" and "darüber", and in general, this translation stays as close to the original word order/meaning as is possible in English. What I find startling is the difference in tone and and pretense this generates.

As to the later Wittgenstein: I find his interest in how language comes to mean what it means really intriguing and absolutely legitimate, even necessary for a philosopher (whose main tool is language after all) to pursue . But then I would expect that something gets produced with the tool--like a painter who studies the properties of colors to exhaustion should paint a painting in the end--no? (I'm waiting to get called to order--I'm way out of my league here)

SethG 7:16 PM  

I started Wittgenstein's Poker, maybe more than once... Turns out, I'm better with movie quotes than with Austrian philosophy.

Bob Kerfuffle 7:23 PM  

Fun, easy puzzle.

Three (words) and out.

mac 7:49 PM  

Great blog and comment day! You are all in great form.

@SethG: that was brilliant. My strongest memory of that (really fun) film is Vinny, in front of the judge, talking about yutes (sp?).

@Stan: You got the new cat? Hope it settles in well!

captcha: etsterci!!!

michael 8:00 PM  

Just another example of how a clue that is impossible for some people is a gimme for others. I got Nkrumah with no crosses -- as easy for me as Tito or Brezhnev (showing my age, no doubt).

I also knew Rita Dove immediately for no good reason ..

tekchic 8:00 PM  

Great puzzle today, although I had to resort to Google for NKRUMAH *wince*

As a software developer, ASCII does indeed stand for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, but most people recognize it when they see "ASCII Art" such as this...
(hope it comes out) :)

/ \

Stan 8:31 PM  

@mac: Yes, she's here!!!

[Off-topic alert]

Thanks for remembering! Willow is now ensconced in the Dining Room (formerly known as the room full of tools and moving boxes -- now a fully tricked-out cat habitat), and seems cautiously relaxed and happy. The rest of the herd are a little freaked out but trying not to show it. The key is gradual...

[We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.]

mac 8:47 PM  

Willow! Beautiful name for a sleek cat. Hope the herd will accept her soon. Another nice little note today!

ArtLvr 9:27 PM  

@ Stan, congrats on your new cat! Do you have a Furminator? If not, do try to find one -- it brings out the purring and the love like nothing else... I learned about it here over a year ago, and no, it wasn't a clue or an answer in the crossword, but everyone who had one chimed in with ringing endorsements!


savitly, an observation a Swifty would use sagely...

PIX 10:35 PM  

@Ulrich...I had posted a longer comment but I think my computer ate it...For the record, my copy of the Tractatus, translated by C.K.Ogden, intro by Bertrand Russell,Routledge & Kegan, 1922 and multiple reprints...says WOVAN [not Woruber} man nicht sprechen kann...since i don't know a wovan from a woruber I leave it to you to decide the significance of that...

Your second paragraph is a bit confusing to me...I will point out that the-next-to-next-to-last paragragh of the Tractatus does say: "my propositions...he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless...he must throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it." Later in life Wittenstein realized his ladder was made of sand and you cannot climb up on it...

Guten Nacht.

sanfranman59 12:44 AM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 6:55, 6:55, 1.00, 55%, Medium
Tue 9:25, 8:54, 1.06, 69%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:30, 3:40, 0.95, 42%, Medium
Tue 4:30, 4:31, 1.00, 54%, Medium

andrea b. michaels 4:25 AM  

I felt for you when I saw AVOIR, LIEU, OEIL going down the puzzle, but it sounds like you were ok.

@ron Wood
Thanks for transporting me back to Crete '78? '79?

I loved the very first clue about BABE in the woods!

This was one of those "$20,000 Pyramid" can almost hear Tony Randall with hands tucked under his butt going "A TRICK QUESTION, a BOOZEHOUND, a MACHINE GUN..."
and the contestant screams "Things that are loaded?!!!"
ding ding ding

Wouldn't be surprised if this puzzle wasn't meant for St. Patrick's Day.

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