Aug 17, 2018

Friday, August 17, 2018, Paul Coulter

Title: Breaking out the creatures.

PC makes a rapid return with this very creative 'reorganize the word' theme. As an added bonus each separation results in a living being.  The themers are set out in a pinwheel pattern, with wonderful consistency, as 1, 3 and 5 have an animal appear with 2 and 4 revealing bugs. Really well done. This is not an easy solve, but if you remembered the people in AVATAR are called NA'VI the whole puzzle falls in place. We have had many puzzles where the reveal was dependent on reparsing a word, but I do not recall one like this one. The hard part, of course, is that the clue does not inform as to the fill directly. The fill is just the pieces that together make a real word. The challenge of the concept left little room for much long fill, but we do get AMASSES  ROSEATE ROUTINE SMOTHER and TRISECT.

17A. Alien reptile in "Avatar"?: NA'VI  GATOR.(9). NAVIGATOR. This word is derived from the identical Latin word Navigator. Na'vi came from the mind of James Cameron; I loved the MOVIE. You think Cameron was thinking about the Navy?

42A. Pest that's gotten into the cheese?: BRIE  FLY (7). BRIEFLY. Brie was named from where it was first made; briefly from the Latin BREVE, which also gave us brevity. 

68A. Long-eared mascot of an L.A. newspaper?: TIMES  HARE (9). TIMESHARE. I love this CSO to the publisher, though I doubt a rabbit is the mascot of the paper. Most have decided timeshare is a waste of money, but the business still thrives.

11D. Tiny insect that casts spells?: COVEN  ANT (8). COVENANT. They both derive from the Latin word "convenire", which is a contraction of "com venire" or "come together". The words convene (to come together at an appointed place and time) and convent (a home for nuns) also have the same root. various. I love the imagery of some ants getting together inside a pentagram. 

41D. One of a group of feline predators?: GANG  LION (8). GANGLION.  Another wonderful mental picture of lions wearing leather and tats hanging out by their hogs.  It all has nothing to do with a structure containing a number of nerve cell bodies, typically linked by synapses, and often forming a swelling on a nerve fiber. I have a ganglion cyst on my shoulder. Oo plays with it and considers it her 'toy.'

On that bizarre note on to the solving. 


1. Amendment dealing with states' rights: TENTH. "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." No politics.

6. Hobby shop buy: KIT. A CSO to former hobby shop impresario and longtime Corner fixture DENNIS.

9. Longtime Wall Street name: SACHS. Goldman Sachs is major and controversial diversified investment company which was led by founder Marcus Goldman and his son-in-law SAMUEL SACHS. No politics.

14. Spanish month: ENERO. January.

15. Draft pick: IPA. Not a sports clue, but draft beer and India Pale Ale.

16. Outfielder Mike who finished first (twice) or second (three times) in 2012-2016 A.L. MVP voting: TROUT. This excellent PLAYER is not related to one of my favorite Detroit Tiger players of the past Dizzy Trout.

19. Snake, e.g.: RIVER. This water often winds its way into a grid.

20. Racks up: AMASSES.

21. Corpulent: OBESE. Or perhaps - fat, overweight, plump, portly, stout, chubby, paunchy, beer-bellied, heavy, bulky, chunky, well upholstered, well padded, well covered, meaty, fleshy, rotund, broad in the beam, tubby, pudgy, beefy, porky, roly-poly, blubbery, corn-fed. Cruel or not?

23. Connecting point: NODE.

24. "Bad Moon Rising" band, initially: CCRCredence Clearwater Revival.

26. First of a series: OPENER.

29. Small amount: TRACE. Made famous by CSI.

31. Worked the soil: HOED. Be careful there Mr. Imus.

33. Shopper stopper?: SALE.  Who doesn't love a good rhyming clue?

34. TV schedule abbr.: TBA. To Be Announced.

36. Buttonhole, say: SLIT.

38. Affirmative action: NOD. Cute.

39. Bit of horseplay: GAG. For three letters, this was tricky.

44. Castilian kin: TIO. Uncle. Spanish.

45. GP gp.: AMA. American Medical Association for General Practitioners.

46. Mex. miss: SRTA. Senorita. Spanish.

47. Jr. and sr.: YRS.

49. Brass component: ZINC. Brass is a metallic alloy that is made of copper and zinc.

51. Bit of swearing: OATH.

53. Slate et al., for short: EMAGS.

57. Merchant ship flotilla: ARGOSY. 1. a large merchant ship, esp. one with a rich cargo. 2. a fleet of such ships. 3. an opulent supply or collection. Not a word I use.

59. Ring bearer: EAR. Cute misdirection.

61. Baker: OVEN. More misdirection as it is, after all,  the oven that bakes it.

62. Sprite flavor: LEMON. I knew Paul liked some of my write-ups, and it is great to be in one of his puzzles - oh it wasn't for me?

64. Stage bit: ROUTINE.

66. North African site of a 1943 conference: CAIRO. An echo of last week's WWII conferences.

70. Stun: SHOCK.

71. "We've exceeded seating capacity" sign: SRO.

72. Gauge: METER.

73. Chief Justice after Marshall: TANEY. Two very influential jurists, and members of a very exclusive group. There have only been 17 CHIEF JUSTICES compared to 45 Presidents. No politics.

74. It's big in London: BEN. Clock humor.

75. Salad green: CRESS. We have this word going back to 2008 when C.C. did all the blogging. LINK.


1. Letter?: TENANT.  This is also cute but is not a real word, as it is the landlord who has an apartment to let-  "chiefly British: to offer or grant for rent or lease let rooms."

2. Captivate: ENAMOR. Derived from the French, AMOUR. Love.

3. Area 51 locale: NEVADA. The true STORY.  Or if you prefer...

4. Cut into three equal parts: TRISECT. BI = 2. TRI = 3.

5. Keeps to oneself: HOGS.

6. Lawn gnomes, e.g.: KITSCH. Not to be confused with brownies. Infra. Kitsch is considered to be in poor taste but appreciated in an ironic or knowing way.

7. Snapchat had one in Mar. 2017: IPO. Initial Public Offering. Stock offering, actually pioneered by Goldman and Sachs, I think.

8. Poi source: TARO. Do you think a Hawaiian dish made from the fermented root of the taro, which has been baked and pounded to a paste sounds yummy?

9. Antibiotic target: STREP. Streptococcus bacteria. A nasty little guy a threat not only to your throat.

10. Crops up: ARISES.

12. Peach, e.g.: HUE. Hey you, what your hue, Hugh?

13. Orch. section: STRings.

18. Old nuclear agcy.: AEC. We had this recently.

22. __ harm: BODILY.

25. Promising: ROSEATE. Picturing the world through rose-colored glasses.

27. Wells race: ELOI. Always nice to have an excuse to post a pic of Yvette Mimieuz.

28. Make over: REDO.

30. Drops off: EBBS. And flows.

32. Brownie, in folklore: ELF. This was unknown to me. The most well-known and loved house elf in folklore is the Scottish Brownie. A brownie or broonie, also known as a br├╣naidh or gruagac. The Brownie is a small male creature, between one and two feet tall, who takes up residence in a deserving family's home and is helpful. They were the precursor to Alexa and other modern household helpers. Various sources.

35. Dry gulch: ARROYO.

37. Rubber in a boot?: TYRE. Boot being British for the trunk of a car where you keep your spare "tire."

39. __ Strip: GAZA. Gaza is a densely populated strip of land that is mostly surrounded by Israel and peopled almost exclusively by Palestinians. Israel used to have a military presence but withdrew unilaterally in 2005. Gaza was part of the Ottoman Empire before it was occupied by the United Kingdom (1918–1948), Egypt (1948–1967), and then Israel, which in 1994 granted the Palestinian Authority in Gaza limited self-governance through the Oslo Accords. Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has been de facto governed by Hamas, which claims to represent the Palestinian National Authority and the Palestinian people. Various sources. No politics.

40. "The Kite Runner" boy: AMIR. A very powerful and disturbing book and movie. A must watch, but no politics.

43. "Give __ rest!": IT A.

48. Overwhelm: SMOTHER.  A little daily double of mayhem, with...

50. Strong-arm: COERCE.

52. Mark of "NCIS": HARMON. When I first watched NCIS, initially it seemed like a mediocre cop show, as some have suggested. Now having watched all 15 seasons with Oo I see the skill of the writers who are putting forth a family drama, with all kinds of interesting twists and turns of personality.

54. Do the Wright thing?: AVIATE. I did not say it was not a real word, it just sounds funny to me. Now on the popular list.

55. Types: GENRES. I learned the word from watching movie reviewers.

56. Nasty smiles: SNEERS. Snidley Whiplash had my favorite sneer.

58. Idaho's __ Mountains: SMOKY. This chain is part of the Rocky Mountains and not to be confused with the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.

Idaho                      Tennessee
↞                            ↠

60. Fluke-to-be: ROE. Roe is fish eggs, and Fluke is a fish.
All Fluke Are Flounder but Not All Flounder Are Fluke. Generally speaking, left-side up flounder are flukes, and right-side up flounders are called flounders.  That sounds easy enough to remember, but it gets worse.  Flukes are also called “summer flounder,” and flounder, or right-side fish, are called “winter flounder.”

63. Black-box analyzers: Abbr.: NTSBNational Transportation Safety Board.

65D. Camp Pendleton letters: USMCUnited States Marine Corps.

66. K.C. hours: CSTCentral Standard Time.

67. "Caught you!": AHA. We all have our AHA moments here, as well as ones that inspire...

69. Rage: IRE.

I hope you have all put aside any anger in your lives and felt the joy of solving another fun but challenging puzzle from Paul. There was lots going on but in the end, we came to the end. Lemonade out.

Note from C.C.:

Here are two pictures of Lemonade's lovely granddaughters Charlotte and Harper. Lemonade said, "Charlotte is in real kindergarten" now. Click here for more.