Residents of dry open country in South America - FRIDAY, Apr. 24, 2009 - B Silk (Carrier of very destructive cargo / Reason to do a 2 a.m. shift)

Friday, April 24, 2009


Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: GUANACOS (3D: Residents of dry open country in South America) - A reddish-brown South American ruminant mammal (Lama guanicoe) related to and resembling the domesticated llama.

Honestly, I figured GUANACOS were some kind of people until I looked the word up just now. Yikes. That word crossing RIC (25A: Rapper _____-A-Che) was nearly fatal. Luckily, I was able (finally) to figure out the word that the rapper's name was supposed to sound like ("ricochet"), and even though the "C" felt iffy, I went with it, and ... success. That was the only scary part of this puzzle. I wonder if RIC-A-Che could FIND A WAY (49A: Succeed somehow) to put SUSAN DEY (37A: "L.A. Law" Golden Globe winner) on the ENOLA GAY (28A: Carrier of very destructive cargo). That would make an awesome rap song. As for the rest of the puzzle, it was solid Friday fare, pitched at just the right level of difficulty. It's a weird grid, in some ways. First, it has no answers longer than 8 letters. Second, it's got that looong (9 squares) diagonal wall in the middle, which makes the grid look like some odd racing track with two anterooms in the NW and SE.

Mystery answers for me today:

  • GREGG (26A: Texas county named for a Civil War general, with its seat in Longview) - oh, with its seat in Longview ... now I get it (sarcasm = high)
  • EMMETT (14D: Daniel Decatur _____, minstrel who wrote "Dixie") - I've been meaning to brush up on my minstrels.
  • MEER (48D: Physics Nobelist Simon van der _____)

Everything else was at least familiar. I started with RENT-A for 23A: _____-Car, but then changed it to ECONO when I realized that the Down cross on the first letter (23D: Plant problem) was probably EDEMA. Well, I was right to change it to ECONO, but I was wrong about why. Answer ended up as ERGOT, which is one of those words that broke me once in the past, and which therefore I will never forget. Grew up watching Fresno State play the Anteaters of UC IRVINE (52A: The Anteaters of the Big West Conf.), so that was easy, as was HTTPS (41A: U.R.L. opener indicating an additional layer of encryption), which anyone who has ever bought anything online should recognize. Most of the fill in the puzzle was familiar, but clued in such a way that I had to think hard or get some crosses in order to get at it. Just what Friday should be. The only things I didn't like in the puzzle were STRAYER (37D: Lost soul) - what the hell? - and ADRENALS (33D: They're located above the kidneys). Aren't they ADRENAL GLANDS? ADRENALS sounds informal. I'm sure it's common parlance in, say, hospitals, but it still feels like an abbreviation of sorts. I (desperately) had ADENOIDS, which are near your tonsils. To my credit, the ADENOIDS are, technically, "above the kidneys."

Bullets:

  • 7A: Its flag features an image of a stone-carved bird (Zimbabwe) - when I first looked at the clue, I already had the "M" and "W" in place. Got it instantly.
  • 19A: Kings Peak's range (Uinta) - the greatest crossword range of all.
  • 24A: 1984 perfect game pitcher Mike (Witt) - should have been in my baseball sweet spot, but I totally blanked on his name and needed first two letters before I got it.
  • 38A: Reducer of pier pressure? (jetty) - honestly, I'm not sure what this is, though I was familiar enough with the word to know that it was right.
  1. A structure, such as a pier, that projects into a body of water to influence the current or tide or to protect a harbor or shoreline from storms or erosion.
  2. A wharf.
So it can be a pier ... and it reduces pressure on ... piers. OK.

  • 47A: Phenomena associated with some dwarfs (novae) - figured it wasn't the Snow White kind of dwarves (dwarfs).
  • 53A: What wisdom outweighs, according to Sophocles (wealth) - on the scales of what?
  • 6D: Reason to do a 2 a.m. shift (DST) - that's a Great clue
  • 7D: Alfred Kinsey's field (zoology) - zing. You were thinking sex, weren't you? Weren't you?
  • 32D: Home of the World Museum of Mining (Butte) - "Can we go mom, can we go? Huh? Can we!?"
  • 39D: It was first publicly performed in Vienna in 1805 ("Eroica") - also, the first Beethoven symphony I ever heard performed live.


  • 41D: Plaza de la Revolución locale (Havana) - would like to visit (you know, once relations with the U.S. thaw or whatever it is they seem to be in the process of doing now)
  • 50D: Richard Gere title role of 2000 ("Dr. T") - this movie was no great addition to the cinematic pantheon, but man has it been gold for constructors. Without it, they'd still be waiting around for Mr. T to get his Ph.D.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

Two more announcements, one for L.A., one for NY.

  • L.A. - the Crosswords L.A. Tournament is tomorrow. It's a charity tournament. It's cheap. You will have fun. Go.
  • N.Y. - artist Emily Cureton, whose NYT crossword drawings are legendary, would like you to know that the Morgan Fine Arts Building is having a Spring Studio Open House tomorrow, 5-10pm. She writes, "My studio will be open to the public and decked out in my most recent work, plus a trashcan full of ice cold beer. Hope you can make it." You should go.

74 comments:

Retired_Chemist 8:31 AM  

A fun puzzle IMO. Good learning experience, with interesting obscure answers crossed by quite fair ones mostly. Thank you, Mr. Silk!

RIC-A-CHE and UINTA crossing GUANACOS – how Naticky is that! Guessed both right, fortunately.

The UC Irvine Anteaters – wow. Who knew? When they beat UC Santa Cruz do the headlines read “Anteaters devour Banana Slugs?” OK, maybe that doesn’t pass the breakfast test. But it does point out that the non UCB/UCLA campuses of UC have senses of humor. Google UCSC Banana Slug for the interesting story there.

DID NOT like the 41D clue – the Spanish in the clue called for HABANA, not HAVANA, so I needed all 4 other crosses to get 47A NOVAE and thus anglicize. A bit like NAVAJO/NAVAHO. I am not JOYFUL.

GEMS for ORES (43A) slowed things down a bit where the Anteaters and Banana Slugs play. The last to fall was the Pacific NW, where CUTESY for QUAINT (17A) gummed it up.

PuzzleGirl 8:37 AM  

Love this puzzle! The way I know a perfect Friday is that I read through the acrosses and know, basically, NOTHING. Then I start piecing together a few thing by looking at crosses and then it all falls together in a way that truly amazes me. That was exactly my experience today. Bravo, Barry Silk!

I did not know UINTA and spelled AQUILINE wrong, so I did end up with one mistake, but I really don't care because the puzzle was so much fun. Agree that the DST clue is awesome and, yes, as a matter of fact, I was thinking sex on the Alfred Kinsey clue. "Way up state?" had me scratching my head for a Good Long While.

I have two friends who recently took trips to Cuba (one as part of a religious group, the other a Team USA wrestler) and both said it was absolutely fascinating.

ArtLvr 8:38 AM  

Very happy with the whole puzzle, except for the NW -- I had Target instead of TAGGED, almost a good fit. If I'd caught on to the DST shift, that might have helped, but maybe not. I have no MANIA for rappers, just freeze up mentallly...

Yes, some of the rest was amusing -- BIG EARS, WARTY toads and UC IRVINE'S Anteaters. And one does think of Kinsey and sex-ology!

joho 8:42 AM  

I experienced exactly what Rex expressed in his write-up ... I feel like I could have written it (albeit not as well.) I was ready to cry Natick at RIC/GUANACOS but had an AHA moment with the "C" when I realized the play on ricochet.

I love Barry Silk puzzles and this one didn't disappoint. I also noticed that the only letter missing from the grid is "X." Very impressive.

A very nice Friday puzzle indeed!

Ben 9:05 AM  

Would it be in poor taste to say that it felt too easy for a Friday?

Not that I knew the weird obscure stuff (UINTA, RIC-a-Che, GUANACOS), but those aside, it was a steady exercise in filling in the grid. I like to struggle more on a Friday.

That said, it was another solid contribution from Barry Silk, whom I enjoyed meeting at the recent ACPT. Barry is an elegant grid constructor of the first order, elegant modifying both grid and constructor.

I like trivia-oriented "clue clues" like "Its flag features an image of a stone-carved bird." They're fun, you learn something, and even if you don't know the answer, as Rex pointed out, you can get there.

The most interesting clues reside in the netherworld between "I already know this" and "Even with most of the crossings, I still won't know this."

Orange 9:17 AM  

You will be seeing UINTA again. Three vowels? The crossword likes it.

Your kidney terminology lesson for the day: Adrenal means ad- ("near") the renal organ ("kidney")—Latin prefix and root word—and the adrenal glands secrete adrenaline. Adrenaline is also called epinephrine, epi- being a Greek prefix for "near" and nephros being Greek for "kidney." On ER, when they demand a dose of epi, it's epinephrine/adrenaline they're talking about. But don't call the ADRENALS your epinephric glands, because nobody says that.

Chorister 9:27 AM  

This was full of Stuff I Just Don't Know, nor was I on Mr. Silk's wavelength. On the other hand, it was so well done I didn't want to give up, I just wanted to figure it out. Or failing that, look it up. So I admit it cheerfully, I googled quite a few entries and had a lovely time all around.

Scottsdale Community College are the Artichokes

nanpilla 9:29 AM  

I like this puzzle a lot. As others said, it was all doable with a little work. The C in RIC was my last letter. I was slowed down some by BIKINI for INNING ( I am still smarting from yesterday - nobody says Bikini Isle. Atoll, Island, yes. Isle, no.) ARTIST for TENANT and RENTA for ECONO.
I still managed to finish it in under half and hour, which is fast for me on a Friday or Saturday.
Thanks, Barry!

Retired_Chemist 9:31 AM  

@Chorister- what a cheer: Choke, choke... ARTICHOKES!

dk 9:33 AM  

3 things helped me with this fine Friday puzzle (sorry @ben we are coming for your Weblos).

One is I taught a course at UC Irvine
Two I had to relearn the internal organs for ski patrol as you never know when surgery will be required in the moguls.
Three, I had a crush on SUSANDEY from her L.A. Law days.

I sorta get JETTY. The Army Corp of Engineers use them to create "harbors" and beach erosion.

Rex I am with you on STAYER it sounds like Slayer one of the kill the teddy bear bands that evil stepson listens to in the freakin car I tell ya kids today... oops sorry.

@joho, I was sure ZOOLOGY was sexology giving me the x but not the z. I was wrong.

The last few days have seen some fine fill, on to Saturday.

dk 9:35 AM  

Albuquerque has the Isotopes, I am wearing the tshirt as a type. I sure hope no one mentions the Beavers of Oregon.

treedweller 9:41 AM  

Well, I was not quite there today. I saw the play on ricochet, but could not figure out GUANACOS, so I resisted the C (might have been K or Q or some other crazy rapper spelling). I finally guessed "guaranos" (that's something they dump into energy drinks, I think, but I was just grasping at straws by then), then when it was wrong, googled UINTA and RIC. Yes, I realize Rin-o-che makes no sense.

But that's pretty good considering how long I stared at at half-empty grid. After the googles, I stopped the clock at around 43 mins. This is about usual for me on Fri/Sat, assuming I can finish at all. I obviously need to shave off at least 10 or 12 minutes if I'm ever going to break out of the middle of the pack at an ACPT. I suppose, looking back, I've come a long way, and so I might just get there someday.

Anyway, a fun puzzle.

Norm 9:53 AM  

Still remember when UC Irvine opened and the students chose the anteater as the mascot. Do they still have the same (BC comic strip inspired) chant? "Give 'em the tongue! Right in the ear! Zot!"

Norm 9:55 AM  

Or was it "Zap!" I fergit.

Kurt 10:03 AM  

@Ben says that he "likes to struggle more on a Friday." He should have come to my house. There was lots of great struggle going on around here this morning.

I was just not on Barry Silk's wave length today. I worked my way through most of the south pretty easily. And the NE anteroom (Great observation, Rex) fell quickly. But if you try GOTHIC for the "Old Prussian" and DITTO for "Join the club", and you refuse to accept that there will be no SEX in Minnesota, then you're in for a long morning.

I also had major problems with the UINTA/RIC/GUANACOS crosses. It somehow made sense to me that GUATAMOS might be a short form for GUATEMALANS.

All of this said, I liked the puzzle a lot ... in the same way that you like an exhausting working at the gym or an hour with a really gifted dominatrix.

twangster 10:21 AM  

I was ready to throw in the towel at a couple of points but kept plugging away and pretty solved it. I say pretty much because I finished with GUATAMOS (which I thought might be short for people from Guatemala), RIM and UITTA.

JannieB 10:26 AM  

I went to Fla Atlantic U - home of the burrowing owls!

Nice, nice puzzle. Got all but the NW where that RIC just didn't happen for me. Some first-rate cluing here.

And yes, tried Renta, and thought sex with Kinsey.

twangster 10:29 AM  

Meant to add: Even though I saw the Kinsey movie it took me forever to get ZOOLOGY. At one point I had the OLOGY so I knew SEX wouldn't fit, which led me to try OTOLOGY (the science of the ear) for a while.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:29 AM  

Really nice puzzle, even if it did take half-hour+. I also looked at clue after clue and didn't put anything in until I got down to 41 A, HTTPS. Would like to say it all fell into place after that, but didn't really. My last letter, as others, was the "C" in RIC/GUANACOS.

@Norm - "ZOT!" sounds right!

Jon 10:31 AM  

I seem to be in a serious minority, but this puzzle absolutely destroyed me. First Friday in months I had to Google to finish. I thought it was very fair, and a good puzzle, but, man, it was just way, way outside my wheelhouse. Bottom half of the puzzle was no problem (though I had Wisdom outweighing HEALTH in 53A, figuring that was the type of thing an old Greek would say to woo the ruddy youth). But the top half: Yikes. UINTA/GUANACOS were both complete unknowns to me, and, figuring out the "richochet" pun, I put in RIK for 25A. I threw up TAGGED/GAITS, figuring both were wrong, but I just wanted to be done with the friggin puzzle. Then they turned out to be right. Like I said, my mojo was off the whole puzzle.

Then in the NE, I had USTOO for join the club, never bothered to second guess it, put BIOLOGY for Kinsey, and so 7A, 16A, and 18A remained opaque til I googled ZIMBABWE.

Just an ugly solving experience all around. Ugh. Shake it off, shake it off.....

Bob Kerfuffle 10:37 AM  

@Norm - Here's the anteater as drawn by the late Johhny Hart. (According to Wikipedia, Hart died in Nineveh! [New York])

hereinfranklin 10:41 AM  

Perfect Friday challenge for me. Helps that I got QUAINT right off the bat...never hurts to have that "QU" early on. But I have to admit, I don't get DST at all...daylight saving time? Huh?

Lisa in Kingston 10:43 AM  

Fine puzzle, Mr. Silk, thank you!
The NE was nearly open for me, because I insisted on BIOLOGY. With METOO in place, somehow ONEALARM popped in to my head and then ZOOLOGY, dummy, get with it. Everything else came quickly after that. Well, except for UI_TA. I have been trying not to google on Fri/Sat, so I left it blank.

jeff in chicago 10:43 AM  

Loved this. Tough, but (mostly) fair. Some really great cluing, from TAGGED to PRISSY. All over the puzzle. This took me 45 minutes, but I'm OK with that considering my Friday history.

The University of Akron is just up the road from where I grew up. They are the Zips. Shortened from the Zippers. Named after a shoe. A SHOE! A shoe with a zipper. Someone might actually be afraid of an anteater, but a shoe??? The UA mascot is Zippy, a kangaroo. (And, according to Wikipedia, one of only eight female college mascots in the U.S.) I ended up a few miles away at Kent State and its Golden Flashes!!!

Sundance 10:46 AM  

I also don't get DST at all. Daylight saving time? Who can say what this means?

Ladel 10:52 AM  

@Sundance

The time shift usually takes place at two am to or from standard time.

PlantieBea 10:53 AM  

Thanks for the fun Friday Barry Silk. Like many others, I struggled with the UINTA/Guanacos crossing. Got the RIC, but had to look up King's Peak and UINTA for the N.

Like Nanpilla, I started with bikini for INNING. But the rest fell steadily enough. I thought it was a perfect Friday.

treedweller 10:56 AM  

@twangster re:otology

that's kinky!

Jon 10:56 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doc John 10:58 AM  

A solid puzzle today. Picked my way through it until I was finally done. Last letter to enter was the N in UINTA. Sort of kind of maybe saw it in some other puzzle sometime. As for the C in the RIC/GUANACOS crossing, although the rapper name could have been K or Q (or whatever), C is really the only letter that would fit for a Spanish word. K is rarely used and you wouldn't see a Q without a following U.

@ sundance- 2am is when you "shift" the clock setting for DST.

My only nipicks: WOWIE and YOGAS.

elitza 11:04 AM  

This one fought me, and the clue that opened up the rest of the grid for me was ENOLAGAY. It took altogether too long for me to figure this out, given that Enola Gay is also my grandmother's name.

man.

Denise 11:05 AM  

Having the house filled with daughters, a son-in-law, and two grandsons did nothing to help my brain attack this puzzle. Thank you, Dr. Google. If I had filled in "quaint" -- which I did and then erased -- I would have gotten the northwest sooner.

Like many, I finished the south first.

A daughter told me that rappers often name themselves with wordplays, so we figured out "Ric."

The other day, someone said that they love a "gimme" in the NW corner. I am the opposite. I love a puzzle that I can scan, and maybe fill in a few -- and then go to work on. The challenge is the fun for me.

Anonymous 11:07 AM  

bunch of crosses where I had to guess and managed to get 90% of them wrong.

mccoll 11:37 AM  

Good puzzle for Friday. Thirty-five minutes plus one google for GREGG which gave INNING which gave ZIMBABWE and ONEALARM.
@Rex, I think Sophocles meant wisdom outweighs wealth on the Peace of Mind Scale. It would be interesting to ask him where he would rank abject poverty. Thanks Rex and Mr.Silk

Frieda 11:38 AM  

Fun solve that I had to work for--like Lisa in Kingston, not googling lately, this was definitely a puzzle full of things I'm glad enough to know (now). NW and SE corners opened first, and I was in the X camp regarding Kinsey a while till I put in OLOGY and waited for the rest. Dithered on RIC/RIK and figured GUANACOS just Looked Better. Now I know what they are! Loved MANIA.

Weird gimme was BUTTE--been to the museum and the toxically sublime Berkeley Pit. (Yes, let's go!)

On the roster of great mascots--U of M's Golden Gophers.

Alex 11:40 AM  

I'm sure I'm being unusually obtuse, but what is TWP as a unit of local government?

PlantieBea 11:42 AM  

@Alex: TWP stands for Township.

fikink 11:53 AM  

Alex, TOWNSHIP
First time through this puzzle, I thought I would be walking away because I have things to accomplish today. But it held me until I finished it which was very satisfying. There are things I did not care for, however. Things like BIG EARS, YOGAS, and STRAYER.
They were redeemed (for me) by WRAITH, WISPY, AQUILINE and the cluing of NOVAE...nice!

Two Ponies 11:56 AM  

For a while I felt like Emily's drawing of the deer in the headlights.
Lots of fun misdirection as we expect from a Silk puzzle.
Hard work but definately worth it.

Crosscan 12:28 PM  

Getting AQUILINE/UINTA/RIC/GUANACOS wrong doesn't count because none of them are real words.

Greene 12:37 PM  

A perfect Friday puzzle: all except for that pesky RIC at 25A where I went with a Q. Thought I was extremely clever at the time. Now it just looks stupid and the C seems quite obvious. Still in all, one error for a Friday seems not so bad.

First word in the puzzle was ADRENALS. We doctors are generally verbally lazy. So why say ADRENAL GLANDS when you can just say ADRENALS? And if you can find some bizarre combination of single letters like BMP or CBC, well golly that's even better.

@Orange: Thanks for your elegant linguistic explanation of the derivation of ADRENAL and NOREPINEPHRINE. Sometimes one is just so busy learning all the terminology that there is no time to pause and reflect on what the words actually mean. I never really thought about the derivation of the term NOREPINEPHRINE before, but after your explanation it makes perfect sense. Thanks for the lesson.

obertb 12:37 PM  

Cornhuskers at Univ of Nebraska used to be the Bugeaters. Wish they still were.

No one else has mentioned this, so I must have a blind spot today, but why is [11D Yard sale?] ALE?

This puzzle knocked me around a bit; had to google a couple of times, but I like a challenge.

joho 12:48 PM  

@obertb ... a "yard" is the glass from which you drink ale.

Retired_Chemist 12:55 PM  

@obertb - a yard is a 36 in or so tall glass in which ale is sometimes served, but I have only read about tehm. Never saw one but it googles.

Doc John 1:04 PM  

@ crosscan- AQUILINE is derived from eagle (or probably vice-versa) so it's a fitting description for that type of nose. Interestingly enough, I learned this word from Clive Cussler books, as he describes one of his characters, Dirk Pitt, I believe, as having a nose like this.

fikink 1:04 PM  

I've always thought selling yards of ale in this country was a yuppie gimmick. Probably because it was quite amusing to watch a guy order and then try to negotiate his yard of ale in the cramped space of the "Fox and Hounds" pub in the middle of St. Louis.
It reminds me of my mother-in-law returning from England and referring, from that time onward, to "the telly." She'd lived her whole life in Central Illinois and when she and the FIL went to Mexico, she called everyone back home, "Americanos."
Such entertainment!
(just had to share that)

mexgirl 1:23 PM  

La plaza de la revolución está en la ciudad de la Habana. Havana is the spelling chosen by English speakers (god knows why).

I also thought guanacos were people, not animals, given that I tried to put on "pamperos" first and "arapacos" second. Oh, well.

And I fell for the Kinsey one too.

chefbea 1:46 PM  

Very hard for me today. Lots of things I didnt know and had to come here for the solution. Have to go out so don't have time to read all the comments.Will do that tonight.
But can someone explain why transported=joyful?????

fergus 1:56 PM  

Transported, like moved, emotionally. I was JOYOUS before I became JOYFUL. And in SURINAME instead of ZIMBABWE; MADRID and not HAVANA.

Great puzzle -- each corner had a logjam that spilled most satisfyingly.

Retired_Chemist 1:58 PM  

@ chefbea - "transported" is used figuratively in exactly that sense. Transported to another (joyful) place I expect. That's how the dictionary in the Mac OS 10 dashboard says, anyway.

I best someone is thinking of answering, "Don't know. Beets me."

imsdave 2:02 PM  

Yards of ale - college. From the Don't Try This file, I had two yards of ale one night at the local pub and drove home (I know, I know - but I was 18 at the time - legal in NY then). Got pulled over by a cop and he asked if I'd been drinking. I said "a couple of beers" (truthfully), walked a straight line and he let me go.

Glitch 2:20 PM  

Re: Yards of Ale

Back in my college pub days, Murphy's (what else) Tavern's "yard" was not only 36", it was flaired at the top, and rounded at the bottom.

You couldn't set it down, and if you tipped too far and fast, it empied in your face with a big "glug" and laughter all around.

.../Glitch (No relation to Andy Gibb)

Lisa in Kingston 2:37 PM  

There's yards of ale in the movie "Beerfest." I think it's been discussed here before...

Jet City Gambler 2:41 PM  

As a former Banana Slug myself, UC Irvine was a gimme.

For those familiar with the UC system:

How many UC students does it take to change a light bulb?

UCLA: Two. One to change the bulb, and another to call their friends at USC and tell them how they changed it just as well and for much cheaper.

CAL: Three. One to change the bulb and two to debate about the metaphysical state of the bulb and how its invention has impacted human development.

UCSD: Five. One to hold the bulb and four to start smoking weed until the room spins.

UCI: Eleven. One to change the bulb and ten to sit around watching because honestly, what else is there to do at Irvine past 10pm??

UCR: Three. One to steal the bulb, another to drive the getaway car, and the last to call all his friends to throw the celebration party on a Tuesday night.

UCSB: Seven. One to screw the bulb and six to screw each other.

UC Davis: Zero. There is no electricity in Davis.

UC Merced: Two. One to hold the bulb while the other calls his friend asking for help in figuring out this "new college thing."

UCSC: None since they are hippies living in the forest

Frieda 2:43 PM  

@Glitch: I figured Yard (of) ALE was a brand name, but the college pub stories and your description made me remember actually seeing one as decor, every day of my childhood --the glass, in a wooden stand, just "there." Would never have occurred to me to ask what it was!

Dough 3:37 PM  

There is Yards ale, but the clue is definitely the glass. I fell for the sex and bobbled the Ric. I knew Dan Emmett as the writer of Dixie. Rex, you've got a picture of Emmett Kelly. Cute, but, there are pictures of Dan Emmett. Nice clean Friday puzzle. Loved the Zimbabwe challenge. And the 2am was perfectly brilliant.

Vega 3:42 PM  

I too really liked the clues in this one. DST made me laugh out loud.

I'm *finally* getting to the point where I take for granted that I'll finish a Friday, probably without googling. It may take me upwards of an hour, but I don't give up in despair anymore. It's highly satisfying. Part of my success is listening to/modeling Orange and Rex (and others) and just putting in my guesses, like METOO, BUTTE, ZIMBABWE, YON, WARTY, etc etc. Lo and behold, it works! Awesome.

-Vega

John 4:27 PM  

I have no idea why, But my first thought for the flag clue was Zimbabwe. I didnt enter it rhght away ,and felt JOYFUL when it turned out to be correct!

DanaJ 4:27 PM  

Happy to see the shout out to UCIRVINE, my alma mater. ZOT! Fond memories of drinking many a half-YARD of beer during that time. (We stuck to half-yards because you had to put down a hefty deposit on the yard-long glasses, in case you broke one). TGIF!

mac 5:02 PM  

Beautiful puzzle with great words and even better clueing. Only now figured out why the clue for Navy is better than I thought this morning.... That's typical Mr. Silk! No googles, but a little bit of time this morning.

@Alex: thank you for asking. I had health as well. DST came because of the crosses, but I thought it had something to do with pay, like double overtime, maybe double standard tariff? The stuff I make up, you should have heard me with only a few letters, imagining Kinsey's field...

jae 5:11 PM  

Had the same experience in NE as Lisa in Kingston. I knew from the movie it wasn't X but couldn't remember what it was so went with BIO at first. Then ONEALARM dawned and... Like Doc John I'd seen UINTA in a puzzle before so my only guess in this one was the C in RIC which, as someone said, kinda looked right. Fine puzzle, just about perfect for a Fri.

edith b 5:27 PM  

AQUILINE was my first entry, followed by SQUATS and I filled in the NW pretty much straight-away. I have a granddaughter who keeps me young, er informed regarding rap music so I knew Ric-A-Che.

I worked the Upper Midlands thru OCEAN/OLIOS into the NE where I was familiar with the symbol of ZIMBABWE. I moved down the Eastern Diagonal into the SW where EROICA was a neon for me, crossing another neon UCIRVINE which I knew from an article I read about unusual college sports mascots.

I've always found Barry Silk to have a preponderance of two and three word phrases that are "in the language" scattered throughout his puzzles and today was no exception. FINDAWAY was the kwy to the South, leaving only the SE to finish which I pieced together from the SYMPATHY/SUSANDEY cross.

This one wasn't very difficult for me but I found it to be a refreshing professional effort and I enjoyed it a lot as wordplay carried the day. I liked the clue for TAGGED, NOVAE and JETTY, disliked BIGEARS and WARTY.

SethG 5:43 PM  

College! C almost had the best mascot of all...

This felt like two different puzzles. I zoomed throught the whole swath from the SW to the NE, but had much trouble in the other corners. In the SE, I also went with ADENOIDS (and ARTIST with the crosses--I was thinking along the lines of TENANT, but TWP stayed hidden for a while).

Bigger problems along with everyone else in the NW. Finally broke into that area with TAGGED and DST--awesome clues for both that I just couldn't parse at all for a long time. But I wound up trying AQUILANE, and the RAx didn't help me get the C at all. I had a lot of junk in that corner before I finally got it all to work--raise your hand if you tried TJUTA for the mountains like I did....Bueller? Bueller? Must just be a (Seth)G thang.

Hey, there are a lot of bird flags.

Anne 5:58 PM  

All I have to say is google, gooogle, and more google. At least I no longer feel so discouraged. I did learn a lot; I hope it sticks.

Anne 6:12 PM  

And, after reading all the comments, I want to say thanks for the explanations from everyone, trnasported, yard, etc. I'm so much better for reading these comments.

PhillySolver 6:57 PM  

Seth G....loved the line Class of '89, graduated 1990. Reminds me of my daughter,m Class of '88 Graduated '92. Barry is a source of pride here in Philly. I like the phrase, That was so last year. I also liked LASTYEAR. We are in an age of rapid change. My grandaughter will probably be saying, "Egad, that was so last week!"

michael 9:37 PM  

I poked my way through this, but managed to finish without googling. I felt that I should have done this faster, but the clues were tricky enough to puzzle me for a while. I'm mostly irked about how long it took me to retrieve Mike Witt's name.

A good Friday puzzle...

sillygoose 9:44 PM  

I took the "Anne" route to solving - completed with heavy Googling. I enjoyed this puzzle experience.

Of the things I Googled, I think I will remember UINTA.
GUANACOS will most likely be remembered as guacanos, as I have been thinking of guacamole all day.
RIC ... I already forgot RIC.
Simon van der MEER will remain confused with Vermeer.
The flag of ZIMBABWE has a bird on it, but something tells me the next time Zimbabwe is called for it won't be clued like this and I won't get it.

Thankfully many unknowns fell through crosses and I didn't have to look them up (EMMETT, WITT, TWP).

Dare I try a Saturday?

I always thought an aquiline nose was straight, like a quill pen, which I thought was straight like a normal pen. This means I have been picturing all my fictional characters the wrong way. Oops.

mac 11:00 PM  

@Philliesolver: when we lived in Hamburg, Germany for three years we would watch the graduated high school class (Abitur candidates) on their parade. Most of them had the current year written on their forehead in red paint, but some, actually quite a few, would have the next year drawn on....

Alex 11:47 PM  

The Banjo category on tonight's Jeopardy had the following:
THIS BANJO-HEAVY MINSTREL SHOW FAVORITE BECAME THE SOUTH'S UNOFFICIAL ANTHEM DURING THE CIVIL WAR -
DIXIE. Dixie-land was acceptable.

Andrew M 12:44 AM  

Cruised through most of the puzzle before getting stuck in the dreadful northwest. TAGGED fell eventually, which begat DST, then ETNA and GAITS. QUAINT and SQUATS came next, and ALAS was in already, giving me AQUILINE (sounded right). Couldn't make heads or tails of TSQ_A_ES and couldn't even guess on _I_TA (had the U after Q but what kind of word starts with UI? I think this is why I couldn't figure out TSQUARES) or GUA_A_OS or _I_ (-a-che). Weird vocab corner! Fie!

andrea carla michaels 2:55 AM  

@Rex
you needed only the first two letters of WITT? I needed the first four!

I thought you'd have a whole special section for birthday wishes for PuzzleGirl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's still before midnight here if that counts...

@jeff in Chicago
Whose afraid of a shoe? Prob the same that are afraid of Anteaters...ants!

@jet city gambler
Thanks for those UC jokes! I was changing a lightbulb the other day and my German roommate was helping me and I was trying to explain to her what lightbulb jokes were, but the only ones I could remember were too meta to explain the idea (eg
How many lesbians...?
"That's not funny"
and how many Jewish grandmas
"Nevermind I'll sit in the dark"
so couldn't quite explain it, but we seemed to be living one at the moment
(how many cohabitating Jews and Germans does it take...)

Puzzle could have used an X and the UINTA thing freaked me out. But very satisfying after the initial blank staring thing.
Oddly ADRENALS was one of my first answers as it's ANDREA + L in Scrabble and there are only four words in Scrabble you can make with ANDREA+?:
ADRENAL
ANEARED
VERANDA
ARANEID (spider)
so remember it as ANDREA + EVIL (or VILE or LIVE)
That's your Scrabble lesson for today!

OK, will report back from Loyola tomorrow if I go to sleep NOW and don't get lost (FINDAWAY)

Oh! And in the 60's my dad was offered a job at UC Irvine to help start the Med School...but he didn't want us to grow up where there was no there there.
So that's how we ended up moving to Mpls...but DK, you and I could have overlapped! I don't know about this whole Susan Dey thing tho...I feel, oddly, jealous! ;)

And as a namer, I've gotta love Ric-a-che (but not as much as Flo Rida
or whatever that guy's name is!)

WilsonCPU 12:50 PM  

Lurker from the future here; I was pleased to finish in 15 minutes and no errors - this puzzle was HARD! That "C" in "RIC" was almost a Natick for me, too, but like a lot of other folks the sound and appearance pushed me the right way.

azisman 4:47 PM  

As a Canadian, I'm able to visit Cuba, which I did late in 2004. Noting the Spanish spelling in the clue ("Plaza de la Revolucion) I assumed the answer would also have Spanish spelling- Habana... though the resulting 47 across- 'nobae' made no sense. Oh well!

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