Feb 9, 2012

Thursday February 9, 2012, Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Four Star Puzzle. You have to love a puzzle that gives you a bonus, in addition to the main theme!

I’m going to go about this bass-ackwards, and give the reveal first, because the entire theme makes more sense that way.

57A. Night sky feature, and a hint to a four-letter sequence hidden in 17-Across and 10- and 25-Down : STAR CLUSTER

So, we have anagrams of “STAR” in each of the other three long theme entries:

17A. Where pros play : SPORTS ARENA

10D. Like most valentines : HEART SHAPED (thanks for the shout-out, Don and C.C. !!)

25D. Ammo for a simple cannon : MORTAR SHELL

BUT WAIT!! There’s more!!! In addition to the main theme entries, we have a bonus entry that crosses each one, and is a word that goes with the anagram:

6D. Word with the 57-Across [star cluster] in 17-Across : RUSSIAN (tsar)
21A. Word with the 57-Across [star cluster] in 10-Down : LIBERAL (arts)

41A. Word with the 57-Across [star cluster] in 25-Down : COAL (tars)

How brilliant is that?

Marti (HeartRx) here, with my humble explanation of the other entries:


1. Honda Insight, e.g. : ECOCAR. Did you know, that your mood can affect your gas mileage?

7. Like some mus. keys : MAJ. or min.

10. Bale filler : HAY. Hey! Windhover, where you been?

13. 2000s New Hampshire John : SUNUNU. Great crossword name! But wait! There's more!! We have John Henry Sununu, who was governor for NH from '83-'89. He was the father of John Edward Sununu, who was NH Senator and later US Representative. But it was the father who was chairman of the NH Republican party 2009-2011. So I guess the vote on this clue entry goes to John H.?

14. Be up against : ABUT. I just love this word. Sounds like someone who gets up your butt, doesn't it?

16. Roth of "Inglorious Bastards" : ELI. Also starring Brad Pitt, in one of his better roles.

19. Vital statistic : AGE. I'll never tell!

20. Actress Kudrow : LISA. I just loved her in "Friends".

23. Woolen caps : TAMS.

26. "This American Life" host Glass : IRA. This guy.

28. Like some silverware : PLATED. I have a silver-plated tea set. It just collects dust...

29. Prefix with meter : ODO-

30. Lists of priors : RAP SHEETS.

32. Man of the cloth : PARSON. This was my major stumbling block in the puzzle. I wanted "pastor", and stubbornly refused to give it up until I came to 33D...

34. Mean mutt : CUR. Shortened from kurdogge; probably related to Old Norse kurra, to growl. Jerome?

35. She, at sea : SHIP. Aye, and she's yare !!

38. En route to the mechanic : IN TOW

39. Permit : LET

40. Twangy guitarist Eddy : DUANE. "The Master of Twang", as noted below this clip (sans "twang"). (1:19)

42. In great shape : FIT. As long as my skinny jeans fit...

43. Spot on a horse : DAPPLE.

44. Signed up : RECRUITED. Not the person who signed up, but the person who signed him up.

47. Hear here : EAR. Where do you hear? Here, in your ear!

48. Wish : DESIRE

50. Cleveland pro, for short : CAV.aliers. Basketball.

51. Dreyer's brand, east of the Rockies : EDYS. Ice cream brand.

52. Olympics participant : ATHLETE.

54. Far from fatty : LEAN. Maybe our 67A Stout: PORTLY. entry could use some lean cuisine?

56. Actress Charlotte : RAE. I remember her from "The Facts of Life".

62. Short, for short : L'IL. Little...or a short form of Elizabeth?

63. Dry run : TEST

64. Peter of "My Favorite Year" : O'TOOLE. As the drunkard Alan Swann. One of my all-time "favorite" movies!

65. 100% : ALL

66. Dallas opening? : DEE, the letter "d" at the start of "Dallas", cleverly abutting directly on 1D. Dallas closing? : ESS, the letter "s"


2. Trophy, often : CUP

3. "Dear Yoko" dedicatee : ONO. Do you know anyone else named "Yoko"?

4. Home perm features : CURLS. I wanted "frizz" here, as that is how most of my home perms turned out...

5. One opposed : ANTI

7. Scratch : MAR. I parked my car at the mall the other day and came out to find a 3 foot MAR on the drivers side. grrrrr....

8. Ill-fated brother : ABEL. Go read the story. It's in the bible.

9. Gin flavoring : JUNIPER. I always knew there was a reason I didn't like gin. I don't like chewing on pine needles!

11. Aquarium gunk : ALGAE. ewwww...

12. Right-of-way sign : YIELD. But, does that sign mean anything to Massholes?

15. Put on ice : TABLE. I bet Tinbeni never tables his drinks!

18. Org. promoted by Betty White : AARP. But I love it when she promotes Snickers, instead. (0:31)

22. Relishes, as gossip : EATS UP

23. Talking point : TOPIC

24. Hersey's bell town : ADANO. John Hersey's 1944 novel "A Bell for Adano" won the 1945 Pulitzer Prize. It is so realistic, because he was a war correspondent in Italy during the war.

27. Buddhist monk, e.g. : ASCETIC

30. Steinbeck's "Cannery ___" : ROW. The street in Monterey, CA. was renamed in honor of the book.

31. Marching syllable : HUT. I bet Dennis and Spitzboov filled this in without blinking an eye...(I had "HUp" at first...)

33. It shines on the Seine : SOLEIL. French for "sun". This is the word that finally made me give up "pastor" and write in PARSON at 32A.

36. Cabinet design feature : INLAY. Some inlay designs are quite ornate:

37. ___ of the realm: noblemen : PEERS. Not much chance to link music in this puzzle, is there?? So, I will take advantage of a slight crack, to introduce a favorite from Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite". (4:19)...(Let it play while you read the rest of this blog.)

39. Lucy of "Ally McBeal" : LIU

40. Pa : DAD

42. Stewed : FRETTED. I almost wanted to put "tomatoes" in there...

43. Work on film : DEVELOP. Great misdirection!

45. Aquafresh rival : CREST

46. Locker room supply : TALC. um, powder?

48. Alfalfa's sweetie : DARLA. Oh, man. That goes waaaay back! (2:42)

49. Net sales? : E-TAIL. Although I don't normally like "e-" words, this one was really cleverly clued!!

51. Belgian avant-garde painter James : ENSOR. His paintings are often described as "nightmarish". I dunno, they kinda look like they're just having fun. What do you think?

53. Facility : EASE.

55. Mercury or Saturn, e.g. : AUTO.

58. GPS offering : RTE

59. One of the small fry : TOT...or, a certain 'tater.

60. Bent piece : ELL

61. Juan Carlos, to his subjects : REY. He is the reigning King of Spain, pictured here with his reina.

Answer grid.

That's all I have for tonight...I'll catch you on the "other side" in the morning!


1) Constructors' notes:

Don wanted to create a puzzle where the middle embeds are anagrams of a word. We brainstormed and came up with ARTS, TARS, TSAR and STAR. Then we decided to further enhance the theme by crossing each anagram with a word that can precede the key word.

2) Marti's note:

I just submitted an embedded anagram theme to Rich last week, and I really hope he rejects it. After seeing this one, I don't think I will ever find a better anagram puzzle!!!

3) Happy
41st Birthday to our Man Saturday Splynter. Hope 2012 is a very special year to you and the long-legged dream girl comes to you soon.


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Happy Birthday, Splynter!

I appreciate the complexity of this puzzle and how difficult it must have been to construct. I got the STAR CLUSTER theme eventually, but the secondary theme was just one big annoyance while solving due to all the cross references.

I eventually solved the secondary theme answers solely based on the perps and playing "guess the missing letter" and it wasn't until afterwards that I was able to go back and figure out what was going on. Again, kudos for the marvelous feat of construction, but it didn't make for the most pleasant solving experience I'm afraid.

Elsewhere, I had HYBRID instead of ECOCAR to start out. Also, given the authors, I really wanted "man of the cloth" to be TAILOR. Did not know DUANE Eddy (or Eddy DUANE?) and SOLEIL was far from a gimme.

Everything else was smooth.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. I have to confess, it didn't much care for today's theme. I recognized the star anagrams, but got frustrated with all the "Word with 57-Across" cross-reference. I'm with Barry G on this.

The puzzle seemed easier than the usual Thursday fare, so I could finish the puzzle without going back to figure out the cross-reference.

The Dallas Opening and Dallas Closing was cute, but I am really not keen on clue where the answer it the spelling of a letter.

Man of the Cloth was the most difficult clue for me, especially since my first two options (Priest and Pastor) and the correct (PARSON) answer all began with the letter P.

Happy Birthday, Splynter! 41!! Why it just seems like yesterday when we celebrated your 40th!!!

fermatprime said...

Good day, all!

Really interesting puzzle, C.C. and Don. Cool exposition, Marti. I just love Peer Gynt. I think that Morning could not have a better title.

What Marti said re PARSON.

I was so exhausted from my retail therapy, etc., on Tuesday, (and the fact that Harvey wanted to watch lots of TV afterwards--none at his domicile) that I slept most of the day. Except for dinner. Watched The River. Am glad that it is only 6 more hours, and not another disaster like Lost. Went back to sleep. What do you all think?


fermatprime said...

Forgot to wish Splynter a HBD! Many happy more to come! What a youngster!

HeartRx said...

Birthdays are always so much fun, aren't they Splynter? You should make a point to have one at least once a year!! ;-) (Hope this one is extra special for you!)

Anonymous said...

Big MEH. Show off.

desper-otto said...

Good morning to all and HBD Splynter.

As usual, I never did get the theme, but solved in good time. I do appreciate the difficulty of the theme within a theme design, now that I can see it.

Hand up for PASTOR/PARSON, HUP/HUT and also TAPE/TALC. For once there were no obscure, unknown words in the fill. That's unusual.

Since the Barnacle never lists the constructor(s), I didn't know it was a DG/CC until getting here. Great job, you two.

Middletown Bomber said...

nice complex puzzle for a thursday like barry wanted hybrid rather than ecocar. My french language expert was in the shower so soleil came with the fill When I got to 57A I saw I looked back at the 3 clues and saw stars did not get and still do not understand the subtheme with liberal. Happy birthday splynter thanks to don and cc for the puzzle. Great write up marti. BTW I am sure Ira Glass will be tickled pink that he is now a crossword puzzle clue.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

And Aloha! Back from the sun, surf & tours of Hawaii.Got back Monday evening, today is the first time I feel like I'm back on Eastern Std Time. Best part of the trip ... think I'm in good stead for a few years or so ... a happy bride is better then a warm puppy.

Happy birthday Splynter. Enjoy your day.

Today is my first puzzle in a couple of weeks and it was a grind, but got her done. Nice way to get going again with an offering from CC & DonG, spiced up by Marti's blog.

Never figured out the theme, but managed to eventually make HAY. Wags were a big ingredient for this solve. Net Sales/ETAIL was a favorite, really cute.
When I saw stewed, FRETTED was not the first thought that came to mind.

Enough for today, I'll get back on track tomorrow.

Happy hump day.

fermatprime said...

Just finished reading yesterday's blog.

Virginia--thought immediately of Kismet. Perhaps my most favorite musical.

Eddyb--what does market share to do with it? Have you seen Apple's share price? My grandson loves his little MacBook Pro (13").

Thanks for comments on my cat Lucky. A poundling.
Lovely coat in winter.

Yellowrocks--so glad that you are recuperating nicely!

I think Bates will probably be charged with the murder. But evil Richard did it. Why did "Patrick" keep asking if people recognized him? Who could? Can't wait for Sunday!

Wish I could eat a hot dog. Haven't had one in 20 or more years!

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning, Marti and friends. Thanks CC and DonG for a clever headscratcher and thanks Marti for the great blog.

Happy, happy birthday, Splynter.

I was on the right wavelength and only needed a letter or two to get almost all of the entries. I surprised myself by knowing some of the names without any crosses. I did put in cARLA but DESIRE corrected that quickly.

I didn't have any problem spotting the STAR anagrams. I had ignored the three clues that referenced the anagrams, but they had filled themselves. After finishing the puzzle I did go back to find out what RUSSIAN, COAL and LIBERAL had to do with the referenced clues.

I thought, overall, it was a little easier than Wednesdays puzzle, but quite enjoyable trying to figure out the multiple levels.

SOLEIL and DUANE were gimme's. Duane EDDY's "Rebel Rouser" was the first song I learned to play on my 6 string electric bass.

Grumpy 1 said...

Just have to link Rebel Rouser

Hondo, welcome back. Love your pearl of wisdom.

There was a really great anagram puzzle in yesterday's Washington Post, "Mad Scramble" by Tony Orbach.

Yellowrocks said...

Happy Birthday, Splynter.

The cross references were a little frustrating at first, but I got RUSSIAN, LIBERAL, and COAL from perps. When I realized these words crossed the anagrams which were evident early, the aha moment made it all worth while. Really fun puzzle, Don and CC. Sparkling commentary, Marti.

PARSON is legitimate, but seems so old fashinoned in the U.S. The main way I hear it is in the song, "In the meadow we will build a snowman and pretend that he is PARSON Brown." Also there is PARSON Weems, who is responsible for many apocryphal stories about George Washington.

I grew up in what we called the parsonage, although Dad was called Pastor, not Parson.

kazie said...

Quite a challenge for me. Had to get most of it via perps. I never did get CLUSTER--had SHOOTER.So DEVELOP was never finished either and HUP remained where I should have had HUT. I thought HUT was something used in football.

SOLEIL was my only gimme.

CAV was and is a complete unknown. I had CHUBBY for PORTLY and couldn't think of O'TOOLE either until I came here and got some perps from the blog beginning. In fact that was what filled that whole SE corner for me.

HBTY, Splynter!

Yellowrocks said...

Gin is flavored with JUNIPER berries, not needles. My husband was a martini lover. One of the bottles had a picture of juniper berries on the label. I can't find a picture of it now. I don't know whether it was a cheap brand from the early days or a more sophisticated brand from the later days.

ant said...

I had no problem with the sub-theme, but I agree that this puzzle was easy for a Thursday. It's always nice to mix up the grids like this, though (the themes, I mean, not the difficulty).

I have just about every Cirque du SOLEIL soundtrack, but my first one will always be my favorite - Saltimbanco.
Here's Francine Poitras singing Amazonia (9:06). Oh, and there's a trapeze act, too.

Splynter, this is for you (1:41).

ant said...

Whoops! Corner warning - brief nudity. Splynter, close your eyes at the 1:05 mark of your video. Or don't.
Happy birthday!

Lemonade714 said...

Marti: I guess you like your new job as caddy for C.C. and Don hard G. You are all on a roll. I love anagrams, and the secondary clues while not my favorite thing, resulted in such a well sculpted piece, I cannot grumble.

I also appreciated how they worked HEART SHAPED into the puzzle, just for you Ms. Hugger Mugger.
Le Soliel always reminds me of the opening paragraphs in L'Etranger my first existential novel.

Who knew SUNUNU? Used to also listen to lots of Duane Eddy.

HH, it is good to see you back from Hawaii, but I need to advise you, today is Thursday.


Anonymous said...

Anon @6:41
From one anon to another: It seems you`ve chosen this "arena" to vent your spleen. Hope all that bile gets gone quickly, for all our sakes. (How`s that for one troll feeding another!)

Sfingi said...

I was able to finish with no Googling, but afterwards had no idea what the theme was till I came here.

I love the look of DAPPLE grey horses - but they never seem to win.

Mari said...

Happy Birthday Splynter

I'm in the Hybrid, Tape and Pastor Camp. Although Barry's idea of Tailor for 32A is interesting.

Unfortunately for me this was a DNF. This puzzle has me seeing stars!

Have a great day, y''s almost Friday!

Hahtoolah said...

Honda: good to see you again and glad you had a wonderful time in Hawaii on your anniversary trip with your bride.

Irish Jim from last night. Good to see you again, too. It has been a long time since we heard from you. Come back more often.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning. Good write-up , Marti.

Yep, I took my EASE with HUT.

Why a SHIP is a SHE..

Had pastor before PARSON. After getting the unifier, STAR CLUSTER the solve went somewhat easier. The SW finally fell after getting MORTAR SHELL. In hindsight, interesting theme. Just didn't 'get' much of it during the solve. Nice job, Don and C.C.

Mari said...

I loved 47A: Hear Here: EAR.

Now listen up. This puzzle seems to be sending me subliminal messages: FIT, PORTLY, LEAN, STOUT, ATHLETE, SPORTS ARENA. Hmm...maybe I'd better lay off the HEART SHAPED box next week.

Anony-Mouse said...

RATS, I actually completed the puzzle and never got the theme. Thank you Don G. and C.C. for a complex, but enjoyable puzzle. If I had a choice, I'd have gladly bet against myself, not to complete. I am ready to retire for the week.

Thank you Marti for a wonderful wonderful commentary and your gentle humor is a delightful pick-me-up, this morning.

Etail is what a guy is looking for when he goes on the internet, searching for a call girl...

ALT QOD:- Sure ! Luck means a lot in football. Not having a good quarterback is very bad luck. ~ Don Shula.

Tinbeni said...

Marti/HeartRx: Nice write-up & links.

Well, my Locker room supply was TAPE and it took way too long to change it to TALC and finally get the STAR-CLUSTER.

Also, I wanted Betty White's Org. to be the SPCA or some-other animal/pet Org.
Geez, it took a long time to get AARP.

Splynter, Happy Birthday. Just think, only 9 more years and you can join Betty's Org.

Hahtool, where you found the Dallas closing & opening clues cute, we see these a-lot.
Way to often. Like the cross-referenced clues, I think they're lame. (JMHO)

Not a fan of all the "ICE" clues lately.

A "Neat" toast to all at Sunset.

Anony-Mouse said...

I remember John Sununu, the New Hampshire Governor, who was later Ronald Reagan's Chief of Staff, and his recommendation of the appointment of the(then ) Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, David Souter, to the U S Supreme Court.

And how his critics, during the confirmation proceedings, were concerned about the fact that David Souter had never (been ) married....

And now Justice Souter has retired.

(I feel so old ....)

On another subject, I notice, in the photograph, that the King of Spain, isn't smiling - though his wife is.

'Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown'.

HeartRx said...

Aloha, HH! So, does that mean you're off the hook for Valentine's Day???

Yellowrocks @8:04...even so, I still don't like gin!

Spitzboov @9:07, thank you for linking that hilarious explanation of "she". I don't think I will ever question why again!!

Anony-Mouse said...

Thank you, Spitzboov for the Ship's 'She' explanation link. I am in awe of the fact, that that a retired Admiral can make a subtle humorous note-worthy, point in such a genial manner, and still remain politically correct, er, sensitive .... quite an achievement in these days.

I have a question - 'curls' was clued as 'Home perm features'. Not knowing these things - do the salons use some other method or appliance ?

Tuttle said...

Not only do I know another Yoko, it's a musical link as well! And much better music (IMO) than ONO has ever produced;

Yoko Kanno. She's probably the most famous composer for Japanese film and television. Here's her composition for the Cowboy Bebop theme: Tank! and here's the opening of Ghost In The Shell: Inner Universe.

carol said...

Hi all,

Well what do you know??? This was easier for me than that Wednesday thingy.
Although I really didn't 'get' the theme, I knew it was about stars and then I filled in 57A. Very clever.

Marti: thanks much for the great write-up, I would never have understood the 'lesser' themes without your help.

Tinbeni: I agree about Betty White and AARP, not the one I was thinking of either, knowing what a great animal lover she is.

Splynter: Happy Birthday!!! Wow, 41!! You are still a youngster, enjoy, enjoy!!

I had ROBUST for 67A and wondered why it didn't work for the longest time. Of course, I didn't know REY either. sigh.

Spitzboov: (9:07) I got a good laugh reading the explanation of 'SHE' ... thanks :)

Virginia said...

Happy Birthday Splynter!

I really liked this puzzle and the write-up. Started off with a bang, but wrong, wanted Honda Insight to be Hybrid and stayed with that a while - finally got over it and that corner worked. And I wanted 29A to be an OHMmeter, I sure hope my brain isn't doing stuff like that all day! And as for the painter having fun? I don't think I'd want that on my wall! Maybe in the guest house/room so people don't get too comfy?

Anyway, finished and felt good about it! Recently I've had trouble with Thurs. being too much more difficult than Wed. This seemed to be more gradual. Does that make sense? I thought it was great!

Anony-Mouse @ 9:15 Your etail remark made me LOL. Thanks for that.

Mokus said...

The scratch clue felt like a golf clue so pAR went in before MAR. Then I remembered Mar & Par Kettle visit Boston.

Having been RECRUITED IN 1961 I got to hear a lot of Duane Eddy because a recruit in a nearby bunk had a few twangin' LPs. I countered with Elvis and Jerry Lee.

I enjoyed today's puzzle and would like to thank the constructors.

Irish Miss said...

Good morning to all:

Happy Birthday, Splynter!

CC and Don: very clever and fun puzzle. Marti, superb commentary and expo.

Like Barry, I chose tailor for man of the cloth until perps told me otherwise. Didn't see secondary theme until coming here. Sometimes I wonder if I need new glasses or a new brain!

Happy Thursday everyone.

Tinbeni said...

Betty White promoting AARP just doesn't make sense.


Thanks for the Yoko Kanno links.
(Hope I filed that info correctly for recall when we see her in the grid).

Don G. & C.C.:
Forgot to mention earlier that all-in-all I really liked this puzzle.
The "bonus" themes crossing their Star-Anagram was very clever.


Lucina said...

Hello, Marti, C.C., Don G. and all. Thank you for "Morning" it always puts me in a good mood.

Happy birthday, Splynter! Such a youngster.

Brilliant puzzle C.C. and Don G. though I have to echo Barry and Hahtool's experience.

Very easy solve for a Thursday except for SOLEIL and of course, PRIEST / PASTOR since MORTAR SHELLS are not familiar to me.

Finally I got the RUSSIAN (Tsar), LIBERAL (arts) COAL (tars) connection, thank you HEART SHAPED, Marti. Very convoluted, i thought.

Welcome back, Hondo!

I knew John SUNUNU but had SUNUNI at first. And a friend of a friend I met at a party is named Yoko. I'm told it's a common name in Japan.

Now to read Spitsboov's article.

Everyone, enjoy your Thursday, especially Splynter!

CrossEyedDave said...

Fun puzzle, but way too many unknowns for me. using red letter, it took me 40 minutes. (but i really do have to get back to work!)

Marti, i am opening multiple windows now to save time. Unfortunately Pier gynt suite got drowned out by let me call you sweetheart, (which i enjoyed very much) but luckily bookmarked it for later.

Splynter, happy B-day, rock on, that pic is very Led Zep man! One thing about 12 strings is trying to tune them, and you have 18! So my B-day wish to you is "stay in tune." (or better yet, have a roadie that tunes for you)

Someone mentioned "3" clues that there were anagrams, i saw none at first. Other than the unifier, what were the other 2?

mtnest995 said...

Can't believe we had a C.C. Puzzle with nary a baseball clue/reference! Tried to figure out how 50A could be an abbreviation for the Indians, but it just didn't work, obviously.

Enjoyed the puzzle and was able to finish with no lookups. TGFP (thank God for perps). I did finally understand the theme and all the cross references once I reviewed the grid before coming here, but the theme/unifier didn't help with the solve.

Thanks C.C. and Don for a fine puzzle and to Marti for an entertaining review! Have a great Thursday everyone.

HeartRx said...

Tuttle @10:09, I like her style – very lively, judging from the clips you linked.
Lucina @10:35, I didn’t know it was such a common name. Interesting!

CrossEyedDave, just check out the theme explanation at the beginning of the write-up today.

Misty said...

Well, I'm afraid this one was too clever for me, giving me a rare Thursday DNF. I got everything but the SE corner, and like Kazie, kept thinking SHOOTER instead of CLUSTER for the unifier. Also I would never have figured out either the anagrams or the 57 bonus answers without Marti's write-up. Many thanks for that.

So a pretty 'umble start to the day, to quote Uriah Heep. (I decided to finally read "David Copperfield" because after dozens of puzzles listing "Dora" as his second wife, I wanted to find out who the heck his first wife was. Also Uriah Heep shows up so often in crosswords, I decided to finally meet the dude in the book. See what crosswords can do to you!
The only catch: the darn thing is 760 pages long!)

Splynter, have a terrific birthday!

thehondohurricane said...


What makes you think I ever know what day it is?


Off the hook for Valentines day? Not one chance in Hades.

Jerome said...

If someone gave me this idea I would have told them they must be bonkers. I couldn't imagine the patience, mental gymnastics, and cleverness to pull this off so well. The last puzzle I was really impressed with was Marti's. This is as terrific!


RAP SHEETS- Hip-hop Halloween costumes

How'd you DEVELOP those muscles?

DESIRE- He's rules destud farm

DAPPLE- Fruit for d'pie

Anonymous said...

OMG, Jerome! You are hysterifical!
You had me literally rolling on the floor, laughing my (e)tail off! Tears are still streaming down my face!
How DO you do it?!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Very impressive composition today from our prolific double STAR. Alas a DNF in the SW corner. 'Short for short" and "Charlotte" did me in.

Is RAE-REY a flecho?

HBD, Splynter. Did you notice the metal song was transposed from MAJ to min?

Gloria and I call falling in love being struck by lightning. Maybe it's more like being struck by a HEART-SHAPED MORTAR SHELL.

The old sports/concert venue in Toledo was called the SPORTS ARENA. They tore it down a few years ago, and built the Huntington center downtown, close to 5th/3rd Field where the Mudhens play.

Here's an odd fact. After transporting to Toledo by rail, they SHIP COAL to the Detroit Edison power plant by barge. It's cheaper that way.

SOLIEL is bright in a cloudless sky today. Rather than ABUT the couch for the next little bit, I'm going to go take a walk. Which reminds me that in Spanish, you give a walk.


eddyB said...


At least JD got to see Jokinen's hat trick.

Ferm. Will answer your question via mail rather than tie up the blog.


CrossEyedDave said...


Thanks, it wasn't until the 3rd time i read the theme explanation that the light bulb went on. But what can you expect from a guy that thought
25D. "Ammo for a simple cannon" should be "spitball."

Hey, maybe you guys can help me. I was trying to set up a link, and was wondering, "if the Wicked Witch of the West LOL'd," how would you write it?

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

What an adventure ... I did enjoy this! Like others, I filled all the blanks with few problems. I, too, had 'tape'/TALC and 'Spca'/AARP. Really loved the clue for EAR!

When the puzzle was completed I then set about to discover the next layer of complexity which I knew to expect from Don & C.C. I actually had a whole sheet of paper with a chart kind of thing trying to plot out all the referential clues! I was really pleased with myself for finding the STAR anagrams, but there my brilliance ended. I completely missed the four words mentioned in the unifier.

Well done indeed, but just a bit over my head. Thanks, Marti ... you did a wonderful job pulling it all together!

Welcome back to CT, Hondo ... not exactly a Hawaiian atmosphere but not bad for Feb. 9th!

Happy Birthday, Splynter ... wishing you lots of fun and happiness in the coming year!

HeartRx said...

Crosseyed Dave @12:59,I believe that the Wicked Witch’s laugh could not be anything like “bwah hah hah…”, as hers was very high-pitched. So maybe something like this:
MWHEH_HEH_HEH_HEH_HEH (and your little dog, too!)

Jerome@11:58, too funny!! If I were to write my laugh for you, it would be something like

HeartRx said...

...hee,heh,heh (sniff, coff)

Anonymous said...

For Jerome (copied from this blog long ago.)
Macabre : What`s left after I eat my corn.

JD said...

Good afternoon Marti, C.C. & Don,

A-HA..anagrams..very cleverly done. Would never have figured out why Russian, etc were there without your humorous, informational write-up, Marti.

This is rare for me to finish (all but 1 letter) a C.C.& Don masterpiece.DNF Ecobar crossing Ess .Took a venti V8 to remember aDano crossing oDo. Sheesh!

Have fond memories of watching the Our Gang Comedies after school.

HB Splynter..hope it's a good one.

eddy, enjoyed the nice tribute to Owen Nolan more..crowd went wild.

small fry here today

Hank M said...

Hello All,
Can anyone help me--after I do the puzzle i come here to see how I did. But today when I tried to actually bring up the LA Times Crossword Puzzle at this website:
the page loads but the actual puzzle is not there? Anyone else experiencing the same thing?

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, First a very happy birthday to Splynter.

This was a wonderful puzzle. I did the same thing today, as yesterday. I put in Hybrid for Ecocar and wouldn't give it up. I had McCain for the New Hampshire senator, and things went from bad to worse in the NW corner. I finally gave up, erased everything and started over. Anti was the only fill that I knew for sure was correct.

Marti, Thanks for the writeup. I did get the anagrams for star in the main themes, but the secondary themes totally escaped me. I was crossed eyed for looking for another word. Thank goodness for your explanation today.

Hatool, I also put in Tailor for man of the cloth. We had the same thought processes today.

I've never had or given a home perm. I've enough frizz without adding to the problem. Frizz was my first choice, also.

Have a great day everyone.

CrazyCat said...

Hi everyone. Marti - thanks so much for your write-up and explanation of the theme.

I was able to finish, and got the STAR anagrams, but the other theme answers eluded me. Now that I understand, I agree that this is quite an impressive feat of construction by C.C. and DG.

I have to admit that all the cross referenced clues gave me a bit of a headache though.

Hand up CARLA and PASTOR.

Splynter - Happy birthday to a fellow Aquarian!

Chickie said...

Fermatprime, and Others, I have all the same thoughts on Downton Abbey. But, I think the evil Richard paid somebody to do in Bates' wife. I hear that Season #3 is already in production. I haven't had as much anticipation for a new episode of a TV show since 'Upstairs, Downstairs'.

The period costumes and the scenery are magnificent.

Anonymous said...

Hank M,

apparently not,how about going to chicago trib crosswords.that should do the trick. your welcome

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Was sick yesterday so didn't do yesterday's until today. I gotta say I liked today's more. I was not able to finish yesterday's. So many comments! Took me quite a while to read them, time well spent.

WEES. Hands up for hybrid and pastor. Also hands up for not even bothering to solve the cross-referenced ones; just let the perps work then went back to see what happened.

Good to see you yesterday, Melissa Bee.

Sorry about that 3-foot scratch you got in the parking lot, HeartRx.

Happy birthday, Splynter.

Asus is a good brand; they seem to work well.

Still not fully recovered, gonna go catch a snooze.

Best wishes to you all.

HeartRx said...

Hank M., there is a 30 sec. advertisement at the site you linked. If you have slow speed, or have blocked ads, maybe that is the problem...or, if you just wait for the 30 seconds, it might show up eventually. You might have better luck with the Chicago Tribune site. Follow this link, and copy it onto your bookmarks bar. Hope that helps!

CrazyCat said...

I've just started watching season two of Downton Abbey. Please don't let any "cats" out of the bag.

Thanks : )

LA CW Addict said...

All I can say is what a wonderful treat today's CW was! I think CC & Don's puzzles get better and better. When I first looked at it, I thought, oh no, this will be a DNF because of all the personalities and sports references I do not know, but eventually, once I sussed the theme, it all came together. I too tried to put pastor in instead of parson. Who even talks about parsons anymore? Luckily I had read Pride & Prejudice as a teen. The best part was figuring out the bonus entries prior to reading the blog which I usually do not get.

Marti: I enjoyed your commentary as well. Ensor's works remind me of Edvard Munch's The Scream. Not very pleasant to look at, and not sure which is worse, Munch's or the Ensor example you should us.

Had to look up Massholes! What a great expression. Wish we had something like that in NY where I live. We are stuck with a_ _ holes instead!

Super puzzle day. Have a great evening all!

Lucina said...

LOL! Many times we would like to ship Sen. McCain to New Hampshire.

HeartRx said...

LA CW Addict, if a resident of MA uses the term, it is a source of "pride", but if any out-of-stater says it, it is definitely a derogatory remark. Since I am from MA, I can proudly say that yes, I am a MA-hole. (Just ask my DH, who is terrified every time he has to ride while I drive...)

PK said...

Hi Y'all,

Along side the great Eddy Duane link was another tune I just had to click on called "The Happy Organ". Hondo, could that be your theme song for the successful Hawaii trip?

Brilliant puzzle, C.C. and Don! Feel so successful when I finish one of yours. Great write-up and links, Marti!

Happy birthday, Splynter!

Take care of yourself, Yellowrocks. Worry less about others good time or take a pinch-hitter. I shared my husband with a good friend at dances when I was lame. Just don't let it backfire!

Avg Joe said...

Late to the party today, but I'll chime in on the side thinking this was too reliant on the cross references to be genuinely enjoyable. Got 'er done, but felt like I had a mouth full of feathers. OTOH, it's certainly a thing of beauty from an architectural viewpoint. Very very neat to tie those anagrams into their crosses. But I think it would have been more enjoyable to eliminate the cross references then tie the anagrams in with a longer unifier. BWTFDIK?

Best learning moment of the day? Massholes, hands down.

Pretty day on the prairie. High in the upper 30's. The deep freeze is nigh, however. A front is sweeping in and zero is predicted for the next 2 nights. TGIF (February).

LA CW Addict said...


I hope you were not offended. It does sound pejorative, and I only got to read a little bit of the Google explanation because that particular link was blocked. Hard to believe it could be a term of endearment, but you live there!

Believe me, we have our share of NYholes up here. At least 2x a week, I have to lay on my horn to get some fool who is coming down the middle of the highway back in their own lane. Usually they are on a cell phone, which are supposed to be illegal in this state except for hands-free. It is scary when this occurs; many people cannot multi-task, but the phone always comes first!

Bill G. said...

I finished the puzzle early on but couldn't think of anything clever to add to the comments.

I went for a bike ride a little while back and, though this area is well-known for its nice weather, today is spectacular. The temperature is in the low 70s and the sky is a bright blue from horizon to horizon. I think I'll go get a car wash and open the moon roof on the way there and back.

Lucina said...

I just went back to study today's puzzle in more detail and I have to agree with Avg Joe, it is a thing of beauty from its architectural design, just brilliant, in fact.

Too groggy this morning to appreciate it but I had a good afternoon nap.

HeartRx said...

LA CW Addict, no offense at all! In fact, I use the term "tongue in cheek" all the time, and can completely sympathize with those not from our fair state who are completely befuddled with our driving habits.

I worked in Boston for many years, and dealt with taxi drivers who thought they could take me on...HA!! Most of 'em are now buried in a watery grave under the Charles River...(but you didn't hear that from me...)

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, C.C. And Don G., for an interesting puzzle. Thank you, Marti, for the write-up.

I liked this puzzle and got through with few problems. I did not get the theme until I came here. A little too obscure for me. I can only Putnam much time into figuring that out, especially if I have finished the puzzle. Had fun. That's the main thing.

I did this one on my IPad. I got it fixed yesterday. Actually, reset. Yesterday I could not get tom the puzzle on cruciverb. Today I could. ???????

So, today I solved this puzzle via cruciverb. It worked fine. Yesterday I had to log on to a hotel computer and print it from the Chicago Tribune site. At a cost of $3.00. It got too late to enter it via this blog. I may do itblater.

Today we went to Mt. Vernon. Beautiful place.


Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Busy day, late to the dance, WEES, hand up for HYBRID, TAPE, and I forgot what else.

The Yoko I know lives nearby; she became famous locally as a vigorous campaigner against domestic violence. Her daughter and grandson met a terrible end in a particularly ugly domestic warfare situation.

CrazyCat : please hurry up and get up to date on Downton Abbey! We have much to discuss and don't want to be spoilers. :-)

Chickie - if evil Richard did as you (and I) suspect, he did the world a favor. Unfortunately, it deepens Mary's obligation to him. Meanwhile, I hope that conniving O'Brien gets what's coming to her!

Argyle said...

Check the answer grid; it may help because of the highlights.

Speaking of lights, I notice they are quick to jump the green in Boston and in NYC, they are slow to stop for yellow/red. And never the twain shall meet...hopefully.

CrazyCat said...

Dudley -

I'm watching as fast as I can. I took an hour off this afternoon to watch episode 3.

I'm so addicted!

Dudley said...

That's what I would call understandably hopeless!


Yellowrocks said...

Pk @5:35, thanks for the kind thoughts. I will try to heed your advice. Our club was losing money, interest, and attendance before I became president. This has turned around because we focus on making sure all of our guests have a wonderful time. As a result the spirit of fun and bonhomie invigorates us. I try to be the "hostess with the mostest" and the members follow suit. I suppose I can become single minded to the detriment of my poor knees.

Splynter said...

Hi All ~!

Thanks for the B-day words - and videos ~!

Late to the puzzle, all my obligations are in the AM on Thursday - but loved the complexity of the crossings of the crossings, thought maybe it was going to be Valentine's heart shape related at first.

My brother took me out to watch the Rangers take a win in OT from the Lighting - about the only highlight of an unpleasant day, I have to admit.

Hand up for HYBRID over ECOCAR and PASTOR over PARSON, - funny, but the 'church official" at the AA meeting today came down to the basement to tell us to "keep it down, and keep it clean" - we were getting loud and rude....can't take us anywhere.


Lemonade714 said...

HBDTY Splynter, it is still today in California.

Welcome all the newbies, keep on coming; so to speak

Ol' Man Keith said...

This is a late post because I thought I hadn't finished yesterday and didn't want to admit it. Turns out I DID finish, but for all this time I couldn't believe FRETTED was a correct response to "Stewed."
I still don't get it. Is it a literal variation for heating something with other foods to soften or partly liquefy them--or is it metaphoric for one who has imbibed too much? Does it relate to angst, where we might say one is "stewing in his own juices"?

Argyle said...

I'd go with angst but my first thought was drunk.