Nov 14, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013 Mark Bickham

Theme: "Homophonic Letter Strings"

18. *Make it not hurt so much : EASE THE PAIN. "E E E E"

23. *Marching order : EYES FRONT. "I I I I"

36. *Has unfinished business with the IRS : OWES BACK TAXES. "O O O O"

51. *Entice with : USE AS BAIT. "U U U"

58. *Sagacious : WISE AS AN OWL. "Y Y Y Y"

53. MLB team, familiarly (and what's missing from the sequence found in the answers to starred clues?) : THE As.

I can't think of any common phrase that begins with Aze (with the "long A" sound), can you? So the unifier is the perfect cop-out, IMHO.  Lots of fun clues with plenty of misdirection that kept the V8 can busy. Let me show you what I mean...

Across:

1. Moll's leg : GAM. Well, OK. This one was easy, but just wait...

4. Word after fire or power : DRILL.

9. Like some wedding dresses : LACY. Sexy was my go-to choice here.

13. Biblical priest who trained Samuel : ELI.

14. Zellweger et al. : RENEES.

16. Together, in music : A DUE.

17. Architect's add-on : ELL.

20. Tre times due : SEI. Italian "three times two."  Bill G., can you help me with the answer here? (^0^)

21. Bark relative : YIP. Oh man, I was thinking tree bark.

22. IHOP array : SYRUPS. I wanted "stacks."

26. Type of cranial nerve : OPTIC.

28. Role for John Cho in "Star Trek" : SULU.

29. Jets and others : TEAMS. Because NFLers wouldn't fit...

31. __ nutshell : IN A.

32. Mex. neighbor : USA.

34. Motor extension? : OLA.

35. At any time : EVER.

40. Spot on the tube : TV AD.

41. Good buddy : BRO.

42. Play about Capote : TRU.man.

43. Ran across : MET.

44. Film critic Jeffrey : LYONS. Did not know him. All perps.  He agrees with the Tomatometer 0% of the time on "Rotten Tomatoes"?

46. Long haul : TREK.

49. __ de Chine: light fabric : CREPE. This wedding dress doesn't look LACY or sexy!


54. Eggheads : BRAINS.

56. Govt. surveillance group : NSANational Security Agency.

57. PTA meeting site : SCH.ool. Abbr. in the clue gave me the hint.

60. __ out: barely make : EKE.

61. Aleutian island : ATKA. Population 61 !  Map.

62. Faunae counterparts : FLORAE.

63. Grassy area : LEA.

64. Harness part : REIN.

65. Yeats' "The Wild __ at Coole" : SWANS. I did not know this poem, but it was a WAG…I didn't think Yeats would wax poetic over "geese" or "ducks."

66. Many AARP The Magazine readers: Abbr. : SRS. Seniors.

Down:

1. Silly sorts : GEESE. Ahh…here's our geese!

2. Strike zones? : ALLEYS. Boomer! (Bowling alleys.)

3. Social setting : MILIEU.

4. Mr. Holland portrayer : DREYFUSS. I thought Richard Dreyfuss was brilliant in "Mr. Holland's Opus."

5. Put on again : REAIR. I had "Re-don."  D'oh!! TV, not clothes...

6. Hip joint : IN SPOT. Hip, meaning "cool" or "trendy." Great misdirection!  I really wanted "pelvis" but it just wasn't working...

7. Author Harper : LEE. "To Kill a Mockingbird."

8. Conversation opener : LET'S TALK. "Come here often?" wouldn't fit.

9. Drink à la Fido : LAP UP. Anyone else for "slurp"?  Show of hands?

10. Capable of change : ADAPTIVE.

11. Cookbook categories : CUISINES.

12. Nikkei Index currency : YEN.

15. Lacking the required funds : SHY. Tricky little clue for a three-letter answer.

19. Winged god : EROS.

24. Turned around : SLUED.

25. Opponents of the '60s-'70s New Left : NEOCONS. Neoconservatives. I won't get into politics...

27. Golf, for one : CAR. Another really tricky clue for a three-letter answer. VW model.

30. Simpsons creator Groening : MATT.

33. "Eight Is Enough" wife : ABBY.

35. Bedroom community : EXURB.

36. Orthodontic concern : OVERBITE.

37. Ride the wake, say : WATER SKI. Ya mean, they do it on water, too???

38. Awakenings : AROUSALS.

39. Some auction transactions : ART SALES.

40. "Movies for movie lovers" network : TMCThe Movie Channel. I always get TMC and TCM mixed up, and I watch them both.

44. "Aren't you a little short for a Stormtrooper?" speaker : LEIA. She was talking to Luke, and I think she probably regretted those words… 0:28

45. Isabel Allende title : SENORA.

47. Stands for things : EASELS. See? See?  I told you there was tons of misdirection in the puzzle.

48. Any of the top 25 NFL career scoring leaders : KICKER.

50. Song of praise : PAEAN. Trivia fact: When the USS Pueblo was captured by North Korea in 1968, they forced Captain Bucher to write a confession. He penned, "We paean DPRK, we paean their great leader Kim Il Sung."  What the North Koreans didn't know, was that he was using "Paean" as a homophone of "pee on," instead of singing their praises!

52. Egyptian dam : ASWAN.

55. Bad check letters : NSF.

58. Card game for two, usually : WAR.

59. "What are you waiting for?!" : NOW! I am done…

Til next week!
Marti


63 comments:

George Barany said...

Brilliant theme, Mark, with a neat twist. It's really hard to pull off something like this!

On another subject, if the readers of this blog can indulge a bit of local sports pride, we have a remarkable situation today insofar as it is possible to predict the outcome of a game before it gets played! Click here for the puzzle (as a pdf), and here for the solution and an extensive explanation. It is in the nature of the puzzle that it cannot be solved online, but only as a hard-copy printout of the pdf in the first link. Hope you like it!

Lemonade714 said...

Nice to see Mark B. again with a fun sound puzzle.

Marti SEXY for a wedding dress?

The puzzle filled easily, no pain and no easel.

Thanks guys.

OwenKL said...

-- Oh, what is missing, what is mislaid?
Give us a hint, at least some charades.
-- It's first of a sequence,
Its usage is frequent.
-- Ah, could it be ACE OF SPADES?

'Enery 'Iggs was found in the lane.
'E'd been beaten up once again.
When asked by a Bobby,
"Who does this as a hobby?"
He replied, "It was Mark, 'E'S THE PAIN!"

Back when Gomer was still just a grunt,
His sergeant was loud and was blunt.
Drill formation had need
Of someone in the lead.
Then Pyle pipped up, "I'S FRONT!"

Occupy's crowds were at maxes.
Now the 99% ne'er relaxes.
Movement leaders had planned
How they'd made their demand:
"For Wall Street fat cats, O'S BACK TAXES!"

For a speed-trap, the switch-back was great.
The troopers could just sit there and wait.
The curves were temptation
For the hot-roding nation --
Local lawmen regard U'S AS BAIT!

This bird is an interesting fowl,
His face a perpetual scowl.
His beak is upright,
Beetle brow looks uptight.
It's a shape called the Y'S AS AN OWL.

(Needed the red letters to steer me clear of a few traps, but no serious problems. Took a bit to suss the theme,* and then I noticed it was incomplete (unless RENEES was a stand-in for a first entry), which I remedied with the first verse above. Still no reveal, though.)
* P.S. I had filled 53D with perps before I ever got to it, so never saw it until I read HeartRx's analysis just now!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Really could have done without ATKA, but enjoyed the rest of the puzzle. Had no idea what was going on with the theme until after I finished, but had a nice AHA moment when it finally clicked.

Hand up for REDON before REAIR. HAd to make some semi-educated guesses (emphasis on the "semi") to get CREPE and SWANS, but everything else was pretty smooth sailing.

[rackosh]

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Hand up for STACKS before SYRUPS. But I was going great guns til I got to snow-covered Florida. USE AS BAIT was slow to arrive, and my SRS were RET. It finally all filled in, but I needed Marti to explain what team THEAS were.

SWANS came to mind immediately, but probably for the wrong reason. I was thinking of Yeats' Leda And The Swan.

it was a nice challenge , even if I didn't notice the theme. Thanx Mark & Marti.

TTP said...

Solved the puzzle, but missed the theme. Thanks Mark, and thanks Marti.

I didn't have REDON. I thought TV, so RERAN or RERUN.

I also read the clue at 48D as ONE of the top 25 NFL career scoring leaders. Had the K from EKE, so I entered BAKKEN for 60s/70s St Louis Cardinal HOF'er Jim. Then I thought that might be a bit obscure, so I reread the clue.

Yep. Just got a surprise this week and found out we have 36A. Not the kind of mail one wants to receive.

The puzzle had enough misdirections to slow down my taxed brain. Just over 40 min.

Have a great day everyone.

kazie said...

I got it all with lots of WAGS and brain wringing. I also had DONS before AIRS, and couldn't figure out what THEAS meant or what was missing in each theme answer--I thought whatever was missing would be missing from all of them. Also never saw the significance of INSPOT until Marti helped me out here.

Nice Thursday challenge!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Marti, What about something like Asian restaurant, or Asia Minor? for the (long) a's sound.

Jumped all around today, but EYES FRONT and OWES BACK TAXES, went a long way to providing sufficient perps. Many mis-directions but most were fun; all fair. Didn't realize KICKERS scored so many points. Good job, Mark.

"A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion."

Off to play some bridge.

CanadianEh! said...

I expect a challenge on Thursdays and it was a workout but rewarding. Finally turned on the red letter help to complete. Thanks Mark.

Wow only 8 comments by 10am EST! Where is everybody??

Didn't get the theme until I came here. Brilliant. Thanks Marti for explaining.

Hand up for STACKS. Loved clues for HIP JOINT=INSPOT and STRIKE ZONE=ALLEYS.

Have a good day all.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Mark Bickham, for an excellent puzzle. Thank you, Marti, for the fine review.

Well, I got the puzzle, but not the theme. I looked and looked and could not figure it out after I was finished. When I came here, it all became quite obvious. Great job, Mark!

I could not get a foothold anywhere, so I bounced around and got it all, bit by bit.

Had EYES RIGHT first. RE AIR fixed that.

Had a heck of a time spelling MILIEU. I did not have the SEI spelled correctly. Once I tried a few letters and the I became the winner.

IN SPOT totally baffled me. Got it with six perps, but had no idea. Marti explained. I guess I am not too HIP.

Had PAL for 41A. BRO appeared with AROUSALS. OK.

Liked FLORAE. First time I have seen that crosswordese as a plural.

NEOCONS looked good. Was not familiar with the term. As Marti said, I will not get into politics and my opinions of Leftists.

Wanted ATTU for the Alaskan Island. That has been used before in many crosswords. However, ATKA won the battle.

Lots to do today. See you tomorrow.

Abejo

(ppievi)

Spitzboov said...

Marti, Asia wasn't quite in the right spirit.

How about city in SE France - Aix-en-Provence?

or

Brit Destroyerman's motto - 'Aze Grey and Underway?

PK said...

Hi Y'all! LETS TALK! This puzzle was engaging. If Mark can figure out what I mean by that, he will probably be as puzzled as I was by most of his offering. I did get and understand the theme.

Great expo, Marti! My hip joint was "iliac" first.

I had to wait for Dreyfuss to float to the top of my consciousness. I could see the face. Loved the movie coming from a family of music teachers.

SULU isn't spelled with a "Z"? EXURB? I don't like or understand the term.

Nit: Many AARP mag readers are "ret". ALL are SRS, I betcha. Do your kids pick up an AARP mag and browse through it? They don't even get the jokes.

You know that definition for insanity? That was me typing in Attu five times and not believing the red-letters which showed up. ATKA, a learning moment. The smaller islands have names? Duh!

Anybody else watch Dancing With the Stars? Anybody else shocked with who got voted off while Bill Engval was left stunned? I'm waiting for him to pull out a placard and say, "American voters, stupid can't be cured. Here's your sign!"

Abejo said...

I just read yesterday's comments. Thank you to "Just the facts, ma'am" for some information on glaucoma. I have never used marijuana in my life and probably will not. However, it is good to be aware of the evolving technology in medicine, especially as we get older.

Abejo

Just the facts, ma'am said...
Great puzzle, MaryLou, and thanks for visiting the blog .. Twice. I enjoyed the solve very much. Congratulations on your debut. Thanks Steve, for a wonderful blog.

Abejo, an MD Opth., alerted me to a condition of low pressure Glaucoma, where even reduction of the IOP - intraocular pressure can go only so far. Most laser surgery, like the common trabeculectomy, merely limits future damage, as applied to glaucoma. Regular eye check ups, and appropriate medical eye drops are the only possible things to recommend.

BTW, marijuana is one of the most useful drugs for lowering IOP. Only smoked or ingested, not topically applied. That being said, it should be noted that I am not giving you any ideas ..... Or advice. Good luck.

BTW, the states most favorable for the enjoyment of medical cannabis are Alaska, Colorado, California., Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Arizona ( Hi Lucina -), Washington and .... DC (yes!). Now, isn't that cute of the politicians ....

Illinois allows it, but no home cultivation.

Again, good luck with the surgery. And, keep on trucking. ;-)

November 13, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Abejo said...

To Lucina: Thank you as well for your support. Looks like we are in the same boat.

Abejo

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Hand up for Redon before Reair, but other than that, smooth sailing. Enjoyed the fresh theme and the fun way the missing A's got snuck in! Nicely done, Mark.

Morning, Marti, you're not alone when it comes to the names of the Aleutians. :-)

Cheers All

CrossEyedDave said...

Totally out my wheelhouse in ink, I guess I'll take Thumpers advice...

I can say that this is one time I really liked using the red letters!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This fit my definition of an enjoyable puzzle: a clever theme, fresh fill, subtle misdirection, and, most important, a fun solve. I did go astray with arf/yip, slurp/lap up, and pal/bro, but, after corrections, finished w/o help. Fav clue was hip joint = in spot.

Thank you, Mark, for a delightful Thursday offering and thank you, Marti, for explaining the theme; I had no inkling until I read the write-up.

We have a beautiful Fall day; lots of sunshine, brilliant blue skies, and a high of 48. What more could we ask for in mid-November?

Have a great day.

Husker Gary said...

I saw the theme early and thought the A’s in Renees was the initiation of the sequence. The A’s were in Kansas City during my ute and we rode a train down to see them play before Charlie Finley headed for the bay.

Musings
-Ray Kinsella was told to EASE HIS PAIN in Field of Dreams
-USE AS BAIT? Anyone think of that goat in Jurassic Park
-How ‘bout this JETS and others
-Have you EVER noticed images in TV ADS are never on screen over a very few seconds?
-My daughter went to a Pink concert in Lincoln and her SR. colleague got “carded” that same night she got her AARP card because of bar policy.
-Very nice video on how dogs LAP UP (:41) water
-I must be ADAPTIVE today as I am doing an ELHI (yuk!) subbing stint and have kindergarteners one period followed by seniors the next.
-Lida Rose’s boyfriend was about a thousand kisses SHY
-Most small towns around here within 40 miles of Omaha are now EXURBS
-The running joke line about the diminutive, European, early KICKERS like Gary Ypremian was that his that his occupation was, “Keek ball, geet check”
-What hysterical move contains the character LACY Underall?
-Bonus question in honor of ATTU/ATKA – what sci-fi classic contained the phrase: Klaatu barada nikto

Lucina said...

Good day, puzzlers! I'm so glad you explained the theme, Marti. THE A'S sounded like a football TEAM I've heard of.

Mark, this was a fun to solve puzzle, thank you. I did sashay quickly from top to bottom, but I was in a stupor, apparently, because I forgot to return upstairs to finish INSPOT which had given me fits so that and TEAM remained T-less.

And at BRAINS I transposed the A and N which gave me BRANIS and ISF. Otherwise, I finished and now should probably go back to bed and start the day over.

My hand is up for SLURP and for mixing up TMC and TCM.

Loved the clue for EASEL

PK,I, too, loved Mr. Holland's Opus and re watch every now and then.

EXURB is a real word related to suburb.

Yellowrocks said...

I’m baaack. I missed you all, my virtual buddies. Yesterday I returned from a ten day tour in Israel. The latest archeological findings are fascinating and what the Israelis have been able to do with that desert environment is impressive.
This was a fine Thursday puzzle with sufficient perps to easily complete it. The theme helped. I liked all the misdirection
Mr. Holland’s Opus is one of my favorite movies..
I always thought crepe de Chine was a neat word and fabric which makes it easy to remember.
Abejo, I am pulling for you in dealing with your glaucoma.
I looked up some of the triumphal paeans sung in ancient Greece. They seem heavy to modern ears so I won’t bore you with an example. On the other hand, I have often seen the term used in contemporary writing. For example: Vincent Canby wrote in his review of LA Story that it was Steve Martin’s PAEAN to Los Angeles.

Lucina said...

I forgot to wish everyone a joyous Thursday! Have one!

Misty said...

A real Thursday toughie, but a lot of fun--thanks, Mark! I even figured out the theme after I was done.

But lots of challenges along the way. Like others, had REDON, and SLURP and YIP for the dog references. Couldn't imagine what MARCHING ORDER would begin with EYES. Had LENO (sounded like something he'd say) instead of LEIA at first, and never connected that answer to 'Star Trek' until the blog.

But my most frustrating moment was MR. HOLLAND. I could picture the actor perfectly, standing there in front of his school orchestra with his baton. But I couldn't think of his name to save my soul. Even after letters started to fill in, it still eluded me until I used the alphabet. Richard DREYFUSS, of course! Geez, I hate getting old!

PK, I too couldn't believe the elimination of Elizabeth, the absolute top dancer who was clearly going to be the winner, on "Dancing with the Stars." Almost gives us second thoughts about continuing to watch it.

Have a great Thursday, everybody!

Misty said...

Oops, that should have been ARF, I had, instead of YIP.

Keith Fowler said...

Very clever, this Thurs crossword!

I'm glad the LA Times doesn't print the theme titles, or this would have been too easy. Not knowing the pzl had anything to do with homophones made it feel much more of a victory. When I closed the SE corner with THE AS, I had to go back and sound out the starred answers to catch on--and to understand that THEAS wasn't a single weird word.
I felt somehow ennobled! That's what a good puzzle does for us.

Best clues: I liked "Isabel Allende title"; that kept me going for a while. Also "Stands for things." And while I needed perps to solve for LEIA, I liked her quote: "Aren't you a little short for a Stormtrooper?" (although I wonder why that was capitalized).

JD said...

Good morning all,

Had many "arfs" today, but the perps were good.Laughed at the word exurb as it sounds ridiculous.
Had no clue as to the theme, so thanks Marti AND Owen for making it even clearer.

Luckily I knew the right nerve, as I don't know the other 11.With this song I am now informed.

PK and Misty, I think everyone was shocked. I am so surprised that Bill has so many fans.Hope they don't vote out Corbin next.He's fun to watch.

Tinbeni said...

Marti: Wonderful write-up & links.
Caught on to the vowel progression theme early. THE-A'S confirmed it.

Fave was ASWAN (or is that A-SWAN) crossing into SWANS. Nice construction.

The only Aleutian islands I remember seeing in our puzzles (before today) are ADAK and ATTU ... waited for the last 3 perps to get ATKA.

Nothing to drink in the grid ... I guess I'll wander over to the pub.
Cheers!!!

john28man said...

I finally had to use red letters to get the SW. Otherwise, it was a good workout for a Friday.

Argyle said...

Tin, you could wander over to Ihop and drink the syrups. Ooh, sugar high!

Barkeep said...

Au contraire mon frere Tinman.

There are a couple of drinks available to LAP UP to EASE YOUR PAIN:

SYRUP

and

GEESE

or combine the two

Pancakes, Mr, Bond? Maybe with bacon strip stirrer?

Lemonade714 said...

HG

I loved Michael Rennie in The Day the Earth Stood Still, the Keanu Reeves version, not so much. The phrase has been used many times in movies and even Star Wars paid homage.

Caddyshack was filmed here in Davie on a course we all have played.

YR, welcome back, I had planed as part of my write up for tomorrow to inquire about your locale?

John28, sorry but today is Thursday.

Argyle, awesome job on the potent potables for Tin man.

GarlicGal said...

My favorite clue today? Hip joint! That fill made me smile.

Totally missed the theme. Thanks for the interpretation, Marti. It's always a crap shoot whether I "get it" or not.

JD, loved the photo yesterday. Those boys are just tooooo cute! And it was great to see Dodo's post. (Ok, I'm a little behind.)

Got a good check up at the dentist today. Now that's a reason to celebrate!

XOXO

Pamela said...

What is "SLUED"? Never heard of it.

Yellowrocks said...

Marti, Captain Bucher's Paean confession was hilarious. thanks for the quote.

Sara Lee said...

It was nice to Soupy's younger, slightly less famous brother, ART in today's puzzle. (Art is on the right)

CrossEyedDave said...

.
Ease

Eyes

Owes

Use

Wise

Lucina said...

Today's Latin lesson while I wait for the brownies to cool:

exurb:
from ex: with, out of,from, from within
urban:
city (shortened, of course to urb)

suburb:
sub:
under, up toward, close up to
sub+urb (see above)

I knew that Latin dictionary would come in handy!

River Doc said...

Happy Thursday everybody!

For some strange reason, this late week puzzle seemed a bit EASE-E to me....

Hands up for ARF and not having a bloody clue what the theme was until Marti 'splained it. I grokked THE A'S and kept looking at the long answers as they revealed themselves, thinking "there's no missing A's in the answers...?"

A lot of bad relationship-related conversations start with LETS TALK....

Wanted PASSERS, the PACKERS before seeing KICKERS....

Another write-over was EYE TEETH for OVERBITE....

Also held onto AMC (American Movie Classics) instead of TMC - the T was the last letter to fall....

Doc out....

Lemonade714 said...

Pamela
The definition of SLUE .

Hooter said...

58. *Sagacious : WISE AS AN OWL. "Y Y Y Y"

For some reason 58a made me think of this.

Which reminded of the sign that hangs in Doug Heffernan's man cave garage on the King Of Queens sitcom.

Pamela said...

Thank you, Lemonade714. I am truly slayed by slued. I have heard of a slew of things, but never slue as a verb, that I can recall.

Husker Gary said...

-His 150th round of golf since 2008 was played this week at the Caddyshack course that once had a character named LACY Underall filming there.
-I read that Patricia Neal had a terrible time keeping a straight face while saying the “Klaatu barada nikto” line in the movie The Day The Earth Stood Still
-Mr. Holland’s Opus was a fine movie and a highlight was
-the performance of this fabulous (redundant?) Gershwin classic!
-One of the funniest occurrences in NFL games is when the diminutive kicker is the last guy to try and tackle a kick returner because he has evaded the 10 other guys who were supposed to get him. Hilarious!

Bill G. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill G. said...

My whole post just disappeared. Rats!

I had said that I really enjoyed this puzzle, theme and clues. I got this theme pretty early on while others had trouble earlier in the week, CC's theme completely eluded me while others seemed to have no problems. Go figure.

I thought many of the clues were very clever and I was pleased with myself for figuring them out. Among my favorites were: Strikes zones = ALLEYS, Hip joint = IN SPOT, Golf for one = CAR and Stands for things = EASELS. So this puzzle ended up being a favorite of mine. Thanks Mark and Marti.

Kaley Cuoco and Kelly Pickler were on Craig Ferguson last night. Two really cute young women! Since several of you are fans of TBBT, you might enjoy this article I found on my homepage. TBBT

Have a nice afternoon. Catch you later...

Anonymous said...

Hooter@3:04p

Your name reminded me of this.

Hey kid! EYES FRONT! You know they are only for USE AS BAIT!

Lemonade714 said...

Anon, are you suggesting the young man is staring at her chest? If you click to the second picture in the sequence he has his tongue out, hmmmm.

White Owl and Mel Allen, many memories.

HG, you played Rolling Hills in 2008? You should have called me, my brother lived on the course.

Anonymous said...

Hey HG, whatta ya think that duffer is saying in that photo?

"Hey Alonzo, if you like your mulligan, you can keep your mulligan. Period."

Anonymous said...

I adore the dress in 49 across. I think it IS sexy!

HeartRx said...

Well, I finally have a chance to check in…sorry I'm so late! A nightmare of a renovation next door continues. What started as a simple soffit repair job turned into a complete roof demolition (luckily, it was only a bay window roof) and we found a nest of carpenter ants, to boot. (How strange that CARPENTER ants should be my nemesis, LOL!!!)

OwenKL, ACE is close, but sounds more like ais than aaze...Spitzboov, Aix-en-Provence is pronounced more like “aches.” AZE Grey might work, but themers have to be pretty much “in the lingo.”

So you see the problem? No matter what you come up with, it ends up on the cutting room floor. I am sure Mark tried every possibility, but the solution he came up with is absolutely brilliant!

XWORD wannabe said...

Thanks HeartRx for explaining the problems constructors have, to make late week puzzles. And I thought all that was required was a sadistic personality. While I am sure there are numerous technical and obtuse details and formal rules and regulations , - imagine the contortions a solver has to go through. But then, I guess that's what the "late weeks" are all about. To establish the creme de la creme, and the absolute top pecking order, albeit a voluntary self honor bound report. Except when it comes to the ACPT, when the pecking order becomes rigidly enforced, and the competition, albeit still voluntary, becomes brutally fierce and unmerciful.

I better stick to my day job.

Bill G. said...

We've been wanting to donate to help the relief effort in the Philippines. I had kinda zeroed in on four charities: Oxfam, Heifer, Habitat for Humanity and Mercy Corps. Any thoughts or other suggestions?

Marti, interesting information about the problems involved in staying within the theme constraints. There's obviously a lot more to it than I had imagined.

I'm off for a short bike ride, an espresso and then back for an hour of tutoring.

Irish Raider said...

Go RoseMountVille!

fermatprime said...

Greetings!

Not much to say today. Really tired. Finished the puzzle with no cheats. Thanks Mark, Marti!

Welcome back YR!

Bill: thanks for article!

Cheers!

CrossEyedDave said...

Bill G.

Daughter #1 posted this before & after Cyclone link on Facebook, I thought you & the Gang might be interested.

HeartRx said...

Bill G., there are a lot of politics involved with the charities you mentioned that I don't want to go into, but I would say that Habitat For Humanity is one of the leading charities in the US, as far as getting needed help to individuals. But, it is one family at a time, and there are thousands affected by this tragedy...

Manac said...

Finished the puzzle but was clueless on the theme. Thanks Marti for that V-8 smack on the head!

Hmmm... Use as Bait

#1

# 2

# 3

# 4

Anonymous T said...

G'Eve All!

I thought I had the theme early on with the unifier solved early on and 18a, 36a, & 51a in place. Thus, 23a started with an I and 58a w/ a (sometimes)-Y. I finally gave up on that to finish off (what I could, NW was last to fall & I needed to lookup 13a, 20a, & 50d - never heard of PAEAN). So Marti - thanks for 'splainin' it!

And Mark - Brilliant!

No one had tRuck at 4a? That took a while to get to my fav: INSPOT.

sci-fi sub-theme too: SULU from Star TREK (nicely mirrored in the grid too). And LEIA from Star WARs in the SW. Misty - that was for you :-) The line was spoken when Luke was going to put on a Stormtrooper uniform as disguise (IIRC).

Did anyone see Jon Stewart calling Ted Cruz a "dirty SYRUP guzzler" and/or Ted Cruz's response? I won't link as it's too political, but I did get to use SYRUP as a drink for for Tin :-)

Mark, if you are reading, was the sub-theme intentional? Did you try to get Luke to mirror LEIA before edits? Just curious.

Lucina - Dyslexic Igors are bad lab assistants as they bring mad-scientists a Brian.

Don't feel bad though... It could have a worse BRAIN mix-up .

Cheers!

-T

Bill G. said...

A little girl sings the National Anthem. What a sweetie! Little girl singing

Elk vs photographer

River Doc said...

Anon-T from yesterday, the move is now scheduled for a week from now. Had the final walk through yesterday with the (original) owners of this (old) house - nice people. I promised to take good care of the house for them....

Lucina said...

AnonT:
Thanks for that. I find myself writing more and more in a dyslexic fashion. I wonder if that means my brian is fried.

BillG:
I noticed you didn't mention the Red Cross. They seem to be especially efficient in getting the job done.

Math love said...

Bill G

Thank you for the little girl singing.

We should all be so blessed by her enthusiasm.

God bless her, and us all.

Bill G. said...

Lucina, "Fried Brian." Very droll!

I am not sure what to do. In the past, the Red Cross would have been my first choice. I have read on the Internet that they spend too much money on administrative costs like salaries and not enough on the people who need the help. I don't know if it's true or not. Do you think differently? I want to help but I want the money to go to charities that are likely to accomplish the most good.

Anonymous T said...

Bill G.

Well, I was about to defend the Red Cross but Charity Navigator didn't have them in their top-10. Globus Relief and Direct Relief seem to be the best of the best.

I'll still say that Red Cross has a global reach. After the 9/11 fiasco of donation "banking" they got a black eye. My reaseach is SHY of complete. Start with that web site and see what you find. Share so we know too.

Lucina - I've been dyslexic forever, but never learned it until DW got eldest tested. I passed! Er, failed. I never knew why I was the dumb kid who couldn't spell and transposed numbers in arithmetic and made low grades (and that was after teach's leniency), but aced advanced math and could "see" solutions (or rather how to find a solution) in problems & puzzles.

Or..., it's just you need new glasses like my youngest :-) [her spelling improved after a visit to the optometrist].

Cheers, -T

Martin said...

Didn't get the theme as I had OKE A'S in the corner. Oh well.