Theme: It is all about that GROSS not the NET. (MUSIC plays in the background).
Well hot on the heels of her latest Sunday, MM makes her Friday debut with an 'add a three letter word' puzzle, where NET is added to in the language phrases. Melanie who has become a bit of a Sunday specialist, here provides a Monday looking grid, with lots of blocks and short average word length, but some very hard clue/fill to make this a challenge. She did begin her publications at the LAT with Argyle blogging her work. Some of the cluing really slowed me down, not knowing if it was her clue or Rich's, makes it hard to tell her intentions. Not much in the way of non-theme long fill, but we do have : ANKLES, DANGER, IF ONLY, MORE SO, ENWRAPS, I MEAN IT, TACTFUL, TOPPLES, MANNERISM, TOTEM POLE.
I do like the theme consistency where 1/4 take a single word and by adding NET you get two words, while 2/3 are two word phrases to begin with. Well lets get our Friday feet a movin'g
16A. Sign posted on an office computer? : NETWORK OUT (10). I remember when network only referred to TV companies.
22A. Attractive legumes? : MAGNETIC BEANS (13). I guess they have great personalities. Magic beans was hard to suss.
50A. Dark-haired brigade? : BRUNETTE FORCE (13). Brutus was the alternate name for the big guy in Popeye; I like the clue/fill very much. Is MM a brunette?
60A. Blaze at a hat factory? : BONNET FIRE (10). A slightly sexist view but I like this one as well.
And the reveal,
36A. Taxable amount ... and a hint to the four longest puzzle answers : NET GAIN (7).
1. Unit of volume : LITER. QUART fit, so this was a slow start.
6. One of the Twelve Olympians : ARES. Also hard, as both GREEK and ROMAN deity are considered OLYMPIANS. We have ZEUS, HERA as other Greek gods, JOVE, JUNO and MARS in the Roman pantheon. Then we have a four letter god from Scandinavia 18A. Ruler of the Valkyries : ODIN. With 17D. Russo who plays Frigga in "Thor" : RENE.
10. Factory container : VAT. Okay maybe the downs will be easy.
13. Inexpensive opening? : ECONOlodge?
14. Bering Sea port : NOME. Just south of the Bering Strait.
19. Venison source : DEER. Cool! A 100% easy fill!!!!!
20. End of basketball? : ELS. Oh the the deception!
21. Exasperated : IRKED. Don't let it get to you.
26. Overthrows : TOPPLES. Like governments.
28. Omegas, to a physicist : OHMS. A quick PRIMER.
29. Sprang (from) : AROSE. An A word that actually gets used.
30. Train station stat : ETA. Arrival.
31. Its national anthem is "Peace to the Sultan" : OMAN. All perps. LINK.
35. Chum : PAL. I do not believe either of these words are in popular usage any more
40. Diamond standout : ACE. baseball diamond.
41. Winter vehicle : SLED. No Tin, golf cart only works in Florida.
43. Find, with "up" : DIG. What 'journalists' do these days generally bad things about people..
44. Italian white wines : ETNAS. Never heard this term and since the Mountain is in Sicily, are the grapes from Italy or Sicily? QUESTION?
46. Deuce follower : AD IN. Tennis.
48. Unequivocal statement : I MEAN IT. Confusing letters to parse, but nice fill when done.
54. Thigh-toning exercise : LUNGE.
55. Stick : ROD. careful now; juxtaposition is tricky. It could be a ...
56. Decoy : TRAP.
59. Pot enhancer : ANTE. Glad this was not a drug reference. It might cause a...
63. Furor : STIR.
64. Labor long hours : TOIL.
65. Turns red, maybe : RUSTS. Is rust really red? I asked this man...LINK.
66. Frostbite victim : TOE.
67. Cheese manufacturing byproduct : WHEY. Showing you the WAY.
68. Wes Craven film locale: Abbr. : ELM ST. If you saw these letters without the clue, you could go elmst meaning the most elm?
1. Allow to use : LEND.
2. Arctic Blast maker : ICEE. BBT's Sheldon and the ICEE vs. Slurpee.
3. Tlingit feature of Seattle's Pioneer Square : TOTEM POLE. Just an educated guess.
4. Completely surrounds : ENWRAPS.
5. Joey of fiction : ROO. Kanga's kid is back.
6. Places for electronic monitors : ANKLES. To keep tabs on people.
7. Chick bar? : ROOST. Nice literal clue/fill, not a pick up bar.
8. Grounded Aussie : EMU. Flightless birds, why?
9. Unbendable : SET. As, set in your ways.
10. Bloody Mary ingredient : VODKA. Along with Screwdrivers, my introduction to Vodka.
11. "The War of the Worlds" character : ALIEN. How cool, coming so soon after Jeffrey Wechsler's Orson Welles tribute puzzle in the NYT Wednesday.
12. Minds : TENDS. Like a flock.
15. To a larger extent : MORE SO. Good two word fill. Also, 48D. Wishful words : IF ONLY. 51D. Eagerly head for : RUN TO.
21. Lenovo acquired its PC business in 2005 : IBM. The DETAILS.
23. Rural valley : GLEN.
24. Smidgen : IOTA.
25. Beverage flavored with cinnamon and cardamom : CHAI. Actually it is black tea that is flavored to make Chai tea.
26. Bugs : TAPS. Listening devices.
27. Like film narration : ORAL. Why film? All narration by its nature is oral?
30. Person, slangily : EGG. really? I know a good egg is an accepted phrase, but egg by itself? Is this a yolk?
32. Individual way : MANNERISM. Like Johnny Carson and David Letterman playing with pencils? Crossword puzzle no no. 49D. Manner : MODE.
33. Popular palm fruit : ACAI. All you ever wanted to know about this wonder FRUIT.
34. Hornet hangout : NEST. Alliteration always welcome.
37. Doctor, perhaps : EDIT.
38. Color variant : TINT.
39. "What, will these hands __ be clean?": Lady Macbeth : NE'ER. Nope, sorry they never will be.
42. Jeopardy : DANGER. Knowing this to be true, did you ever wonder why Merv named the game show?
45. Aptly sensitive : TACTFUL.
47. Welsh/English border river : DEE. It is also in both countries.
50. Verbally assault : BLAST.
52. Remove, as a cravat : UNTIE.
53. Bath-loving Muppet : ERNIE. Does he love the bath or his rubber ducky?
57. Culinary pursuits : ARTS.
58. Unwelcome garden visitor : PEST.
60. Texter's "I almost forgot" : BTW. My phone has taken to translating my texts to the full words.
61. Wowed one's word : OOH. One who is wowed often goes....
62. "I __ Piccoli Porcellini" : TRE. I am sure marti knew but I was unaware of the highbrow music for the Three Little Pigs.
I am very curious what you all think; recently if the puzzles are easy not many comments and if they are hard lots of complaints. Enjoy. Lemonade out.
Note from C.C.:
D-Otto (Tom Uttormark) and I made today's puzzle for the Chronicle of Higher Education. You can click here (the very first puzzle) for the puz file. Click here to solve online. Click here to read pannonica's writeup.
Brad Wilber, crossword editor for CHE, came up with the fantastic "Waffles, Anyone?" title and greatly improved our fill & clues. Brad is a total pro and another unsung hero behind so many puzzles.
This is the very first puzzle Tom & I made. Just like he is on the blog, Tom is super fun to work with. Extremely efficient. Congratulations on your CHE debut, Tom!