Apr 29, 2017

Saturday, Apr 29th, 2017, Gail Grabowski

Theme: GG double double spanners

Words: 68 (missing J,K,Q,V,Z)

Blocks: 25 

 This one from Gail was a bear - and I am better off for the challenge. While I did find some of the clues to be a bit of a s-t-r-e-t-c-h, all in all, it was a healthy brain buster that took me over my personal allotted time and into red-letter cheating, but I did manage to stay away from Google.  Lowest block count I have ever seen, 26 being the previous low, and the structure of the puzzle lent itself to that most cruel feature of all crosswords, the "I can't get there from here" dilemma; I could not get into the mid-east section from "-FRIEND" to "REPOT" without some real Wild-Ass Guesses.  Two double-stack spanners;

15. Classic dessert : COCONUT CREAM PIE - I was looking to get ICE cream in there and then chocolate, since I am not a fan of coconut (don't like the texture) - but this is what fit

17. Childhood playmate, perhaps : IMAGINARY FRIEND - my first guess, but I can't say why I didn't fill it in

46. Find another way : ALTER ONE'S COURSE - I had LEAVE - -, which screwed that corner up until I went red-letter, and the SW lit up like we were on high alert

50. Least accessible areas : DEEPEST RECESSES - I had DARKEST - that's 4/7ths correct

Get it~?


1. Chaotic : IN A MESS - tough way to start the puzzle, with a phrase, and one that just didn't quite 'click' for me with the clue

8. Wunderkinds : PHENOMS

18. Gave up : CEDED

19. Carnival follower : LENT - Mardi Gras and the religious period after - I did not know the celebration was referred to as a "carnival"

20. Long of "In Too Deep" : NIA - perps

21. Rested : LAIN - I had laiD

22. First AFL-CIO president : MEANY - had MEA--, tried MEADE

23. Beat : BEST

24. Projection in the sky, briefly : ETA - dah~! Not etS, as in aliens - I can't wait to see the new Alien movie, "Covenant", even though I think it's going to be nothing more than a "remake" of the 1979 classic

25. Contractual arrangement : LEASE

26. One of the Visayan Islands : LEYTE - filled via perps; the "Y" was my last fill

27. Fields with multiple "Ed Sullivan Show" appearances : TOTIE - figured it was not "SALLY", and the crossings took care of most of it; her Wiki

28. Sushi fish : SEA EEL - total WAG, and a total cringe moment

29. Household current : AC POWER - meh.  Never "called" it that.

32. Becomes unproductive : RUNS DRY

33. Body shop convenience : LOANER

34. Provide room for growth, in a way : REPOT - if you have to send another message over the telegraph, is that remorse~?

35. Vaulted alcoves : APSES - NOOKS~? bzzt.  NAVES~? bzzt.  Eventually....

36. Its site has tracking tools : FedEx - the "other" guys.  Self-promoting advertisement

In my case, UPS is usually the 'down' side....

37. "So there!" : HAH - DAH~!!  Not A-HA; is that 100% zero correct~?  I had the right letters....

40. Cons : NAYS - ah, the votes, not the artists

41. Families : CLANS

42. It was founded to build engines for The Bull Tractor Company : TORO - learning moment.  And then when I read it again, "duh."  Toro = bull....

43. Garage sale buys : LPs

44. Adriatic resort : LIDO

45. Express __ : TRAIN - too easy, I left it out the first few passes

51. Suit goal : DAMAGES

52. Minority legal filing : DISSENT 

1. Frozen formation : ICICLE - ugh, I put in ice CAP

2. Dietary restriction : NO MEAT

3. National park SE of Bangor : ACADIA

4. Jewish star : MOGEN - I knew it as the Star of David; more from Wiki

5. City near Vance Air Force Base : ENID - a WAG

6. Word with block or screen : SUN - sunblock, sunscreen

7. Result of poor ventilation : STALE AIR

8. Hawthorne heroine : PRYNNE - dammit - I went with HESTER, and was right, but totally wrong

9. Substantial : HEFTY

10. Stirrup site : EAR - the little bones....

11. Feature of a two-ltr. monogram : NMI - No Middle Initial

12. Alert : OPEN-EYED - ah.  Not sure if it was the noun, or the verb - turned out to be the adjective

13. Service provider : MINISTER - ah.  That kind of service

14. With equanimity : SEDATELY

16. Pleat feature : CREASE

22. Monthly reading : METER

23. Brute : BEAST

25. The Home Depot rival : LOWES - I avoid shopping there at all costs - I'm a Home Depot guy

26. Service provider? : LENOX - got me.  That kind of service

27. Shades : TONES

28. Some caretakers, for short : SUPES - like building superintendents

29. "Two Years Before the Mast" star : ALAN LADD - oh man....I tried ALAN ALDA, and was again so right, with all the letters in the wrong places....

30. Get off easy, perhaps : COP A PLEA

31. Message medium : P.A. SYSTEM - I so could not parse this in the down - I had PA-T ST--, and could not make anything out of it

32. Descriptor akin to shiny, in song : RED-NOSED - that reindeer with the shiny nose

34. One involved in a plot? : READER - my latest book is 'Prague Fatale' from Philip Kerr; I found him through a book called "The Grid", which had a totally different writing style and feel

36. Spark producers : FLINTS

37. Husky : HOARSE

38. Off one's rocker? : ARISEN - har-har

39. Frank : HONEST

41. Confined, as quarters : CLOSE

42. Bind : TRUSS

45. Ring sites : TOES

47. Org. concerned with climate change : EPA

48. Short rule? : REGency - I learned more here

49. LXVII x III : CCI - Roman 67 x 3 = 201