Oct 4, 2013

Friday, October, 4, 2013 David Poole

Theme: The Mother of all cross referential Puzzles. Eh!

Another original  highly entertaining theme from out Canadian Constructor, who was first published in the LAT in 2009. INTERVIEW In this Friday frolic, he has words that are implied by the literal position of cross referenced clues, with the set being BEFORE., OVER,  BETWEEN, UNDER, and AFTER. Recognize the extraordinary balance of BEFORE/AFTER  and OVER/UNDER with BETWEEN in the middle making a perfect symmetrical, logical grid. Finally, each of the 4 ten-letter theme fill have the second word encompass the missing word, while the BETWEEN remains in the middle. My first quick pass through, before I started filling in the cross-reference clues with perps, was to notice how many words ended in "O" which had nothing to do with theme but was interesting. Once I sussed the theme from DOG DAY AFTERNOON, the grid filled quickly with many nice 7 letter fill, ASSERTS , CALORIE,  DECODER,  GRIFTER,  HONORED,  LET ME GO,  MOANERS,  MONSTRO,  PERDIDO, TREMOLO (three "O" words!) and some longer ones like MOUNT ARARAT, NOSE FOR NEWS. No "J" but I did get an ADE, so it is all good. Let us get to it.

14A. With 15-Across, verifies in advance, literally : CHECKS (6). 5A. See 14-Across : HAND (4).
Together we get CHECKS BEFOREHAND, as the fill Checks is before the fill Hand.

26A. With 32-Across, warm apparel, literally : WINTER (6). 32A. See 26-Across : COAT (4).
Together we get WINTER OVERCOAT.

37A. See 39-Across : MEAL (4). 39A. With 37- and 40-Across, nosh, literally : EAT (3). 40A. See 39-Across : MEAL (4).
Together we get EAT BETWEEN MEALS. My favorite visual, like the picture puzzles in the Sunday magazine, or the old TV show Concentration.

47A. See 51-Across : WOOD (4). 51. With 47-Across, former "American Idol" winner, literally : CARRIE(6).
Together we get CARRIE UNDERWOOD.

66A. See 67-Across : NOON (4).  67A. With 66-Across, 1975 Best Picture nominee, literally : DOG DAY.(6)
Together we get DOG DAY AFTERNOON, a great movie.

And the 10, 10, 11, 10, 10 fill preserves the symmetry.


1. Place for una familia : LA CASA. The home in Spanish. Or Italian?

7. Xerox insert: Abbr. : ORIGinal.

11. Advanced math deg., in Canada : MSC. No idea, but Mr. Poole is from the Toronto area, I guess it is Masters of SCience.

16. Suffix with Capri : OTE. A real Friday word, CAPRIOTE has history as well as inspiring our Dunce's cap.

17. Clubs with balls : DISCOS.

18. Yellow butterflies, to Brits : SULPHURS. Another all perp fill, for this BEAUTY. (1:01). I wonder what John Lampkin could teach us about them, or Gareth B.?

20. Two-note keyboard effect : TREMOLO. Take it away JzB.

22. Most fit to serve : ONE-A. Old draft status.

23. "Pinocchio" whale : MONSTRO.

28. Barcelona gold : ORO. More Spanish.

29. Kiosk : STALL

33. Fam. tree member : DESCendant.

35. Old cutter : SNEE. This old time knife, along with SMEE, is classic crosswordese

36. Sign of cold feet? : BRR.

42. Progressive Insurance spokeswoman : FLO. I think people either love or hate her.

43. B.C. law group : RCMP. Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

45. Starr-struck one? : DRUM. A great pun, from Ringo Starr beating the skins. 62D. Stand buy : ADE. Another great pun. By/buy. Simple and my suffix.

48. __ music : SHEET.

50. Fire : AXE. My old friends. LIVE. (5:53).

53. Con artist : GRIFTER.

55. Years in Claudius' reign : ANNI. Latin for Year.

56. Certain cracker : DECODER. No one from Georgia.

59. Guides in the direction of : STEERS TO.

61. Jason of "Harry Potter" films : ISAACS.

65. Fancy marble : TAW. Rules and words of the GAME.

68. People people: Abbr. : EDs. People magazine and its editors.

69. Celebrity chef Burrell : ANNE. Well since we do not have Jeannie anymore, here are some of Anne's RECIPES.

70. Initial stages : ONSETS.


1. Common HDTV feature : LCD. Liquid Crystal Display.

2. Sushi-grade tuna : AHI.

3. These, in Toulouse : CES. We switch from Spanish to French for the Downs.

4. Bank listing: Abbr. : ACCTS.

5. Culottes kin : SKORTS. Back again.

6. Declares : ASSERTS.

7. Overmuch : OH SO.

8. Fidel's successor : RAUL.

9. Just starting to roll, perhaps : IN LOW.

10. Econ. yardstick : GDP. Gross Domestic Product.

11. Image on the Armenian coat of arms : MOUNT ARARAT. One of a series of Mounts which are in Turkey, Armenia and the Iran border, and the biblical landing point of Noah's Ark.

12. Haight or Ashbury : STREET. The famous San Francisco hippie area which is at the intersection of these two streets.

13. "Dog Whisperer" Millan : CESAR. Never watched an EPISODE.(45:31).

19. Accepted, as a gift card : HONORED. The store, not the donee.

21. Bellyachers : MOANERS. Not my first thought....

23. Like platform shoes in the '60s : MOD. From the British MODS & 9ROCKERS.

24. Utah city on I-15 : OREM.

25. Journalist's asset : NOSE FOR NEWS. Nice long fill.

27. SALT topic : ICBM. Inter-Continental Ballistics Missile.

30. Percolate : LEACH. According to my living encyclopedia, think of a sewer field and leaching it so it percolates.

31. Prisoner's demand : LET ME GO.

34. Pepsi One's one : CALORIE.

38. California wine town near Stockton : LODI. West Coaster, a favorite place?

41. Posh : LUXE. not Deluxe?

44. Ellington standard whose title is Spanish for "lost" : PERDIDO.  The Duke  LIVE. (7:54).

46. Nice view : MER. More French, with the Nice/nice deception.

47. Opening lines? : WANT AD. Job openings.

49. Attaches, in a way : TIES ON.

51. Class : CASTE. Vidwan, you want to educate us on this time-honored tradition?

52. Pelé's first name : EDSON.

54. Some grenades, briefly : FRAGS. Fragments.

57. Bertie Wooster's alma mater : ETON. P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves novels. The FICTIONAL list.

58. Road crew item : CONE. Reminds me of this SONG.

60. Genetic stuff : RNA.

63. Jazz lover : CAT. Hep cat back in the day.

64. GPS part: Abbr. : SYS. Global Positioning System.

Well my GPS tells me I have reached the end of the line and I must percolate out of here.
Have a great weekend, Lemon out. Thank you David Poole, sorry your Blue Jays ended up with all the old Marlins. They already had sent all the good ones to the Tigers or Dodgers. I hope Canadian Eh! stops by.

Notes from C.C.:

1)  I hope solvers in Southern California will attend this year's Crosswords LA, slated for Saturday, October 26. Please click here for details. The host Elissa Grossman said "this year's event will include crosswords and puzzle games constructed by Liz Gorski, Jeffrey Harris, Aimee Lucido, Todd McClary, Andrea Carla Michaels, Pete Muller, Trip Payne, John Doppler Schiff, Dave Shukan, Marc Spraragen, David Steinberg and Zoe Wheeler (with development managed by Tyler Hinman). It's likely that Merl Reagle will join us for the event finals. All money raised (over costs) is donated to a great non-profit (Reading to Kids)." I think our own Steve will be there. 

2) Kazie and her husband Barry visited their bilingual granddaughter Lea in August. Below are a couple photos. Click here for more. Love seeing her smile.

  With Grandpa.

 With her parents in their garden


OwenKL said...

A poker playoff was planned.
The stake was a cool ten grand.
Buy-ins were collected,
Credit cards not accepted,
And CHECKS cleared [BEFORE] any HAND.

Over summer he stayed on his boat
Where the weather was warm he would float.
But the start of cold season
He'd head north for some reason,
And WINTER [OVER] where he needed a COAT.

My siblings with Mom made a deal:
My brother only ate Malt-O-Meal,
My sister was fine
With oatmeal all the time,
And my porridge I'd EAT [BETWEEN] MEALs.

Washington's teeth were not good.
Proper hygiene was not understood.
He was whittled some teeth,
But alas, underneath,
Dental CARIES still formed [UNDER] WOOD.

The pet shows take place very soon.
The excitement makes some people swoon.
The cats have the floor
The whole day before,
And DOGs the DAY [AFTER], at NOON.

A toughie today to make up for the whiffles earlier this week. I won't even begin to list all the words I had trouble with. But a fun theme once I finally sussed it. WINTER COAT and CARRIE WOOD didn't reveal anything.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I rarely (if ever) say this, but I finally just gave up on this one.

I do not know Canadian advanced math degrees. I do not know what the British call yellow butterflies. I do not know the name of the whale in Pinocchio.

More importantly, however, I simply do not like cross-references in general and do not have the patience to slog through this many of them while trying to deal with unknowns such as the ones I mentioned above. I'm sure the puzzle is a marvel of modern construction, but I ran out of time and wasn't having any fun, so I quit.


HeartRx said...

Good morning Lemonade, C.C. et al.

Fun limericks today - you really outdid yourself, OwenKL!!

Chickie, from last night, positive thoughts going out to your husband!

Lemony, I think you tied up the theme nicely on this one, and highlighted all of the elegant nuances in the execution of the puzzle. I just loved it. Once I "got" the theme with WINTER (over) COAT, I was off to the races.

My favorite clue was "Clubs with balls" for DISCO. I was all over the place on that one! But "Certain cracker" for DECODER was right up there, too.

Have a great day, everyone - TGIF!!

Martin said...

I got LA CASA, CHECKS, DISCOS, MSC, ACC NO, MOD, ORO, ASSERTS, STALL, EAT, ARMS, FLO, PERDIDO, ONSETS, ADE and SYS but I had SCHOOL rather than STREET, DNA rather than RNA and the only butterflies I know are MONARCHS.

Martin said...

I also had Calorie and I had TOOL for CONE. I just realized that ACC NO and ARMS were wrong. (They should have been ACCTS and ICBM.) Oh and It had PUTS ON instead of TIED ON.

Anonymous said...

16 across is wrong. The spelling of CAPIROTE and the suffix clue is misspelled by Mr. Poole. Puzzle is tough enough without misleading errors!!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I almost joined Barry on this one. I didn't get the theme (or understand the theme answers) until I finally got NOON DOGDAY. GRIFTER started out as a SCAMMER. That Nice guy was looking at the EAU rather than the MER. The southeast is quite the inkblot this morning.

Got SKORTS only because we saw it just the other day. And I wondered for the longest time why anybody would put a MOUNTARA RAT on their coat of arms. (Thanks for 'splainin' that, Lemon.)

Cesar Millan was sort of a one-trick pony. He preached practicing calm assertiveness to get unruly dogs to behave. And he preached it week after week after week.

I've noticed lately that I often get no audio from the YouTube videos. Orange Barrels is a good example. Wonder what plug-in I'm missing?

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Lemonade and friends. About the only things I can say about today's puzzle are: (1) Nice Photos, Kazie!; (2) Great Commentary, Lemonade; and (3) Faboulous Poem, Owen!

I was not amused by the cross-referenced theme, and even filling in a few of those answer, the theme still eluded me. Most of the fills I had were correct only in my mind.

All the best to you and your husband, Chickie.

Looks like we will be spared a direct hit from Karen, but hope others along the Gulf are safe.

Seems apt following today's puzzle ~ QOD: Must swear off from swearing. Bad habit. ~ Rutherford B. Hayes (Oct. 4, 1822 ~ Jan. 7, 1893)


desper-otto said...

Anon@6:45 -- a CAPRIOTE is a native of the isle of Capri. Misleading, perhaps. Misspelled, no.

Anonymous said...

Desperotto--Mislead by the comment for the solution for 16A regarding dunce cap....therefore my complaint was based on 'capirote' not Capriote. Subtle spelling difference, huge definition difference!vol

thehondohurricane said...


This is a first for me, but there is nothing else i can think of as appropriate: I respect David's ability to create a puzzle, but this one I intensely disliked. I am not, nor will I ever be, a fan of cross referencing clues and by my count there were eleven today. Add in a bunch of obscure names, foreign lingo, etc, and I just said "screw it."

For the record, other then FLO, ORIG, ONEA, DRUM,
TAW, AHI, & OREM there was a sea of white with a preponderance of erasure smudges.

I'm writing this off to being in a awful mood rather then confirmation of my ignorance.

Working weekend and hopefully my spirits will have been lifted come Monday.

desper-otto said...

Anon@7:02 -- Point taken. If you go to Mr. G for CAPRIOTE the first thing that comes up is a definition of CAPIROTE. I'll bet that's what got Lemon confused.

[onedingi] Appropriate?

HeartRx said...

Kazie, I forgot to mention how adorable your granddaughter is! Loved all the pictures, but the last one of her with that impish smirk is just priceless!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

I tend to dislike cross-reference clues too, but I figure all is forgiven in an elegant creation like this one. It took me much too long to grok the theme, but once the light came on, I realized how crafty the scheme was.

Stumbled a bit at tremolo, which I understand to be a minor pitch oscillation. The clue seems to be more for a trill.

D Otto - I noticed missing YouTube audio for the first time last night, on a PC. I didn't investigate, but now you've got me wondering.

Avg Joe said...



Masterful construction? Yes.

Enjoyable solve? Not in any way.

kazie said...

I was totally with Barry on this. I was forced to give up as well, for the same reasons. Too much not to know, and too clever with the "literal" references for me.

That last one is my all time favorite too. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I wish this puzzle were printed on toilet paper so I could wipe my rear end with it.

Yellowrocks said...

Clever theme, which I did not get. Far too many cross referential clues. After spending an hour on it I had 7 or 8 answers left. I had STAND and could not come up with STALL, which cost me 4. The rest I was just too flummoxed to care. I guess this was the biggest DNF I ever had. usually, it is a word or two.
Cute granddaughter pictures, Kazie.
Chickie, healing thoughts for your hubby and concern for his caregiver.

Martin said...

I actually do have an M.Sc. in physics. And a Ph.D. I wasn't completely sure which one they were going for. You don't have M.Sc. degrees in the U.S.? I seem to recall a Spiderman comic where he was applying to enter a Master's program at ESU. You have a Master's in SOMETHING for people studying higher math.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, David Poole, for one tough puzzle. Thank you, Lemonade, for the fine review.

Well, this puzzle was too much for me. I got it, but had to get some help doing it.

I never got the theme.

There were some answers that were easy, but many were not. Got SULPHUR after a couple perps.

Tried SNEE, then EPEE, then back to SNEE again.

CES for 3D was definitely perped.

MOUNT ARARAT came easier than I thought. After a few letters it made sense. I am glad Armenia is it's own country again. Those poor folks went through some tough times many years ago. All the liquor stores and pork markets were owned by Armenians in Iran. When the revolution hit the revolutionaries burned all those businesses to the ground. Fortunately I had some suds stashed away.

In Pennsylvania now.

See you tomorrow.



Abejo said...

OweKL: Great poem today. Looks almost as tough as the puzzle. So mote it be.



Martin said...

It seems the M.Sc. degree is offered in the U.S. so I don't understand the clue.

Yellowrocks said...

We have an MS in Mathematics degree in the U.S. Science is abbreviated with an S only.

TTP said...

Mi casa, su casa ! Good morning all. Boy did I laugh once I started seeing all of the clues that were cross referencing. Then when I saw the clue and got the answer for 21D, I almost fell out of my chair. Literally. Really tough puzzle with lots of cross references was sure to draw ire and scorn.

David's offering was no piece of cake. I was wide awake at 3:00 AM, and after some reading, started this baby. Had to walk away a few times, but the clock still shows 3:36:32, and it was a battle. Starting with LA CASA, where I first typed Italia until I could only get ASSERTS down.

Since it is Friday, I held off on trying to fill "clubs with balls" until I got a couple of perps. Should have done the same with "certain cracker." I was hungry and thinking Ritz, Townhouse, Triscut, Club, animal... "Starr-struck one" amused me. We had SKORT a couple of weeks ago. Don't know why I struggled so long over STALL and LEACH. Probably because STAnd was firmly etched for "kiosk."

Eventually had HAND CHECKS, WINTER COAT, MEAL EAT MEAL. Literally. But I saw the play when my favorite American Idol winner was missing the first half of her compound word surname. Went back to the first three. Literally.

There were a few that perps filled that I otherwise would have had no chance on. SULPHURS, TREMOLO, MONSTRO, and PERDIDO.

Chickie, best wishes for positive results for your husband.

Late to work. Literally. Going to have to carve out some time later to read Lemonade's write up.

Montana said...

This puzzle was too tough for me, but I loved the write-up by Lemon. Thanks.

Chickie, best wishes for your husband’s health and you take care of yourself too.
Kazie, loved the pictures. Aren’t grandchildren precious?

I didn’t get more than about a dozen answers, but ICBM was one of them. There are 200 Minuteman III missiles in silos on the eastern Montana prairie. I am 210 miles north of MT’s largest city, Billings. There are very few bridges across the Missouri River. There is one south of me. Recently, there was some kind of gas leak at a missile silo site, and the military shut down the highway. They didn’t go back to an intersection to stop traffic—people drove up to where the problem was before being turned around. For a day, there was a 400+ mile detour to get home from Billings. Once they blocked the road at an intersection, the detour was only 300 miles long.

Have a great weekend, everybody,


Dudley said...

Montana, I am just amazed at the scale of things in your home state. Did you notice how compact New England is?

Just rewatched the Geico hump day commercial...yup, still funny!

GarlicGal said...

My first fill was ONEA! A tough one. As soon as I started coming across all the cross referenced clues I couldn't help but LOL. I thought "Oh, the Corner Denizens are NOT going to be happy!".

I persevered, but the top middle finally did me in. "hANd", "Gdp", "OhsO". Oh well, at least it's Friday.

Chickie, my best to you and Bill. I know you will keep a close eye on him!

Have a great weekend, all. A Silkie tomorrow??? Oh, the humanity........

PS - I thought TBBT was the best episode I've seen in a long time...SWEET CAROLINE...BOM, BOM, BOM.

Husker Gary said...

Nothing I do at the Y today will match this workout! I had my white flag (Google) at hand and was ready to wave it but doggedness prevailed with only one (duh) bad cell. Learning, exasperation, DECODING and logic all generated My reaction! (:27)

-CARRIE (under) WOOD was my light at the end of a very dark tunnel!
-Holdups – Neon Cowboy/NOON DOGDAY, Moab/OREM, Stand/STALL, Ute (think NBA)/CAT, Sat/SYS, Salsa/SHEET, Can/AXE, ad nauseum
-The B.C. law group was not in Bedrock
-I wonder if Dave can find a visual double portmanteau of someone in a SKORT with a SPORK
-I enjoy The Dog Whisperer who “trains people and rehabilitates dogs”. Here are some interesting Cesar Milan quotes
-Golf Galaxy HONORED my $25 off coupon last Friday that expired on July 31st.
-Some of us avoided the teacher’s lounge which is where Bellyachers go to spawn
-LET ME GO Lover
-Ain’t grandkids, uh, grand Kazie? Beautiful child.
-Montana, maybe those roadblocks were a decoy for A Close Encounter Of The Third Kind like they did at Devil’s Tower ;-)

OwenKL said...

I'm new here, so it took me a while to interpret some of the odd lingo. Perps = perpendicular crosses (what Cryptic Crossworders call checks), WEES = What Everyone Else Said. But I still haven't groked what the seemingly random letters are in brackets at the end of some people's comments. Can someone enlighten me?


Qli said...

Owen, those are the letters that prove we are not robots. I bet a robot would have finished this puzzle, but I did not. It was fun reading the expo, though. Lots of thought went into the construction of this one. Kudos to Mr. Poole.

Qli said...

PS: fabulous limericks today. Loved dental CARRIES!


Yellowrocks said...

The theme is like the following Rebus puzzles.
Link text

Anonymous said...

hated this whole puzzle. do not appreciate symmetry. could not do on my own.

Mari said...

Happ Friday Everybody! Today's offering was just not my cup of tea. All the back and forth, and cross referencing crosswords made my eyes cross. You can chalk me up as a DNF.

Have a great weekend!

CrossEyedDave said...

I never saw the theme! (it's Friday, I should have known to look harder.) The only clue I had was looking at noon/dogday & wondering what happened to "after."

Now I am really bummed! This is an excellent example of why some puzzles should have themes. I would have loved to go digging for the over/under/before/after answers if I had the slightest inkling what to look for.

(If only I had more time on Fridays.) (sigh)

Take a tour of an old missle silo turned into a luxury home.

HG@9:51,,, a person in a skort using spork? No i can't find that one because people who use sporks are very conservative...

Barry G. said...

BTW, it says something about the overall difficulty of this puzzle that my first fill was actually OTE...

Tinbeni said...

Lemon's write-up was more FUN that this puzzle.

My personal reviewer is Thumper (:11)

Vidwan827 said...

Lemonade, nice blog.

Kazie, very nice pictures.

Owen, great limericks.

Did I miss anything ? I guess I'm supposed to be sorta happy, that I was not the only one who had a tough and miserable time with the puzzle. Misery loves company.

The random letters at the end of some peoples comments ..... Owen, .... some posters put the Capchta (sp?) clue at the end of their posts .... Maybe it's some sort of a rebellious gesture ... Or maybe it's a hint or a clue to others .... In case the capchta should repeat .... with my eyesight problems, I get one in three of the spellings right.

Have a nice weekend, you all.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

WBS. I did not like this puzzle, but do respect the craftmanship that went into it. Too many unknowns crossing and arcane abbreviations, Clues referring to other numbered clue also bug me. I plunged into it anyway for practice, but invoked red-letter help in the SE. I did like the long downs: MOUNT ARARAT and NOSE FOR NEWS. And EAT between MEALs was devilishly clever. But it is Friday and all part of the mix.

Best wishes to Chickie and her husband. I hope his treatment has a good outcome.

Have a great day.

Lemonade714 said...

Kazie, great pics of Lea and all I can say as I enjoy my Charlotte is THANK HEAVEN .

There is no question Friday is the day where we see experimental grids, and themes; I am sure you all remember when the fill was backwards and other wild variations. I did not think this was as difficult as a REBUS especially where the 'hidden' parts are sequential.

CED, what 'theme' would have assisted you in your solve? I was having the hardest time coming up with a Title that would make sense and I never came up with any that would have helped. I did enjoy the silo home, thought it was creepy.

Sorry about the CAPRIOTE-CAPIROTE mix up; just a bit dyslexic. I should have just gone with the Capri Pants instead of the SKORT.

Husker Gary said...

-Dave, she might have on a conservative SKORT because I’m pretty sure she ain’t “goin’ commando”
-The missile silos east of my hometown have come and gone and the crop ground has come back. Kind of like Pony Express Stations and motels off the Interstate.
-My first thought for clubs with balls
-Neither FLO nor the ubiquitous Gecko is going to get my business away from Am Fam
-Unlike CESAR, my SIL screamed at her dogs but never spent time actually trying to change their behavior. That doesn’t work in a kennel of classroom.

Anonymous said...

There should be another day of the week available,

Between Friday and Saturday,

So that some crossword constructors could publish puzzles

That Only They, the constructors, Could Solve.

Nobody Else.

Not even remotely possible.

The puzzle would of course be very clever, very involved, very logical, and fiendishly deceptive, and all that,

and very puny, with great imagination, and words that had been coined yesterday with clues only a chess grandmaster could even contemplate. It would be all so fantastically ingenious, and so sophisticated and daringly erudite, that the constructor would be eligible for some sort of star, on some walkway of fame.

How about a extra day, like Grriday , ? For example.

And the blogs could also take that the day off, because , for once, even they wouldn't have a clue., until the solution came out on the next Grriday.

desper-otto said...

D'oh! My YouTube audio was missing because somebody (DW?) turned down the little volume control under the video display. I didn't know there was a volume control there!

Kazie, great photos!

Chickie, best wishes for you and your husband. My older brother also has CLL, but so far he remains at stage zero -- detected, but symptom-free.

Lemonade714 said...


Those were exactly the puzzles I thought of, and was referring to as being in the Sunday Newspaper magazines.

They drive me crazy but I like them

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

I finished w/o help but not w/o frustration and annoyance. This was one of the least enjoyable puzzles I have ever solved. Thumper, double Thumper!

Thanks, Lemony, for a clear, concise expo of a circuitous theme.

Owen, thanks for cheering me up. Ditto, Kazie, for the sweet pix of lovely Lea.

Happy Friday

Anonymous said...

Puzzle at least accomplished most hated puzzle ever!

Misty said...

This was a FRIDAY puzzle? Give me a break! Well, I suppose since Saturday puzzles can't have a theme, it had nowhere else to go, although I can think of a place or two, if anybody had asked me. Anyway, it was a relief to see that I'm not the only one who found the cross-referencing pretty much impossible to work and ended up throwing the paper down in frustration. Okay, after reading Lemonade's write up I concede it was clever--too clever by half. No, it was really very, very clever. Just no fun until seeing the answers you never got.

Owen's limericks redeemed all that a bit, what with poor Washington's CARIES. Quite a job to cover the whole territory!

Chickie, my thoughts too are with your husband.

Sweet grandchild, Kazie.

Hope everyone's Friday improves considerably as the day progresses!

Tinbeni said...

For Irish Miss @11:30

Double (:11) Thumper (:11)

I won't say this was my least enjoyable solving experience, but it is in the Top 2.

creature said...

Thanks David and Lemon for your efforts for the blog.

I just wish I would have the savy to ascertain this sorta hidden theme. I mean most themes are somewhat hidden, but its another layer of hidden. Or sumpin'.

I got left side of puzzle but right side was riddled with white squares.

Anyway, DNF.

Chickie, I hope your DH gets the benefit from the meds.

OwenKL, you turned in a masterpiece, which displayed your understanding of this difficult puzzle as well. Congratulations!

Have a nice day, everyone.

Anonymous said...

I have said it before, I don't care for puzzles that are all about the constructor, and not about the solver.

This puzzle reeks of arrogance.

I hope you achieved what you set out to do Mr. Poole, which I can only guess was to prove how far above the rest of us your intellect is.

This was a waste of space in my daily newspaper.

Keith Fowler said...

What a wonderful puzzle from Mr. Poole! Fine in just about every way--a clever, taunting challenge that really picked up my morning.

I suppose what I appreciate most about it is that it seems to break accepted rules-- using the word MEAL twice, for instance-- but does so by leading us to a consistently better set of rules-- treating us to visual word plays that yield answers beyond the ones we actually write.

I suppose my appreciation is enhanced by my completing the whole thing without helps, when for the longest time I was sure I was going to fail. I surprised myself several times by coming up with long buried, barely remembered words like TAW and Pele's first name. Even after completing some answers I was not sure until-- Aha!-- this dim bulb just supernova-ed!

Keith Fowler said...

As I read back over the many negative, even hateful reactions to today's Xword, I have to wonder why my reaction is so different...

Not only did I find Mr Poole's work satisfying, I thought he gave us a twist on the same old guidelines even while maintaining the same old grid. For me, this honored the game while taking it a step further.

I respect my fellow solvers' anger, however. We each have our own relationship to this common challenge. There are certainly times when I find a puzzle boring or unfair or, well, in violation of what I have taken the rules to be.

61Rampy said...

Anon@ 10:59: Your comment made me laugh! I fully agree.
WEES, too. Only took 6 or 7 Googles to finish, and my puzz looks like a Rorschasch test, but I got it done!
Nap time now.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! I'm probably one of the biggest MOANERS on this blog. However, this puzzle was so stunning, I felt elated when red-letter & I finished. I grumbled a lot before CARRIE under WOOD sang out the theme -- as for TTP & HG. I probably stayed with it only because I was having a very sleepless night and needed to unwind my brain. This certainly drained it.

I had the most trouble with 3-letter combinations.

My Duh moment: BC law group. Before Christ? (centurions?) Baja California? (Federalis?) Oh, British Colombia!

Last fill was square 46 the M in DRUM/MER cross.

Owen, Magnifique!

CrossEyedDave said...


Your absolutely right, what was I thinking! There is no theme that would have helped me "solve" the puzzle, especially with the difficult fill. (ie: 33A. Fam. tree member = DESC.)

What I was trying to express is how much fun it would be to know in advance that the clue/answers were tied to their locations, & then go looking for them.

So, a theme title? how about...

(it's all about...)

Location Location Location!

PK said...

I had a knock on my door at dusk last night, peeked out the window and didn't recognize the guy there. It turned out to be my next door neighbor who in almost a year has not acknowledged my existence whenever I was out and waved. (His wife now does reluctantly wave.)

He was just notifying the neighbors that they are planning a party Saturday night with about 50 people invited. Does this strike anyone but me as strange? I wished later I'd thought to say, "Oh fun, I'll be over. Can I bring anything?" Would have liked to see his horrified look. Do people really notify neighbors, "We're having a party, but you're not invited?"

I hope they all come with at least 4 people per car since our block won't park 50 cars. I hope they can hold their drinks so I don't have strange men irrigating my shrubbery. I hope I don't give into my urge to throw things at my neighbors' cars. Good thing I'm out of eggs.

Steve said...

Wow, I don't think I've ever seen quite so many vituperative comments on a puzzle, especially from the Anons.

I loved it. It took me more than an hour, but I'm in Keith's camp (@12:32) on this one. A round of applause from me to David Poole.

Thanks for the write-up, Lemonade.

JeffK21 said...

Something unusual, I found it challenging and almost gave up but kept at it. I ended up with one thing wrong as I had "in tow" instead of "in low". This made yellow butterflies "sutphures" which sounded odd but I had no idea they were "sulphurs" either, so who knew? I got the theme with Carrie "Under" Wood, this helped.

Bill G. said...

Hello! When I began working on this puzzle late last night, I was put off by what appeared to be a lot of cross-referential clues. My second thought was that some folks are really going to dislike this. I finally got so stuck in the upper-right corner that I turned on red letters to let me know when I had gone astray. At some point, I figured out what was going on, I got into the spirit of the theme and I began to enjoy the solving. With the small assist from a few red letters and a couple of Googles, I finished the puzzle. Instead of being frustrated and pissed off, I was pleasantly in awe of the theme and the construction. It was probably a bit of a stretch for Rich but I appreciate the cleverness. Like Keith, I can understand why some people didn't like the puzzle and I probably would have been in that group if I hadn't gotten some needed hints to finish.

I see that Qli and Vidwan already explained about the Captcha letters. I'm thinking that when CC first instituted Captcha to prevent spam, it seemed new and interesting and some people thought it was worth sharing their Captcha letters at the end of their posts. At this point, I doubt that any of us cares what somebody else's Captcha was and it's just ignored. But that's only my opinion and it's worth just what you had to pay to get it. :>)


Irish Miss said...

Tin @ 11:46. - Thanks for sweet Thumper's words of wisdom; he always makes me smile!

Anonymous T said...

G'Afternoon All:

I liked the idea of this puzzle and groked the theme at 14a, Literally. But, way too much I just didn't know.

However, I could only fully solve WINTER [OVER] COAT. Part themes were CHECKS [Before] ?A?n (GNP hung out at 10d until I had to give up and start cheating of of LEM's paper here and there), ? [Under] WOOD, and MEAL ??? MEAL.

45a was fav!

Back to work. I'll try to check in tonight.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

Had some creative moments with this one-- but enjoyed the theme. First one I figured out was winter/coat and thought winter top coat. So took me until Wood/Carrie to get the over/under, etc. theme. Favorite was the Nosh as eat between meals.

I enjoy being stretched, thanks, David Poole!

Bill G. said...

Say, the Dodgers looked pretty good last night, didn't they?

I was reading this week's copy of our local paper, the same rag that has been kind enough to publish my column for the past 19 years. The ex-editor has a weekly column that I enjoy. (His wife used to be in my algebra class about 40 years ago.) Anyway, I was reading his column from this week when I came across, "For at least the last 20 years, there has always been a pair of Silvas competing in the race’s team divisions. Usually it has been my brother and I in the Brother Division..."

I began to wonder, "Should it be 'my brother and me' or is that one of those tricky things, something like a Predicate Nomnative that I've never understood very well?"

Lemonade714 said...

I do not believe we see many Captchas quoted unless they accidentally spell something interesting; when first instituted there was a drop off in comments, but we weathered that storm and the adjustment was made.

Jeff K, welcome; the only Jeff K I am aware of was major leaguer jeff kent who hit many home runs for many teams. Are you related to OwenKL?

By my quick glance we have 16 HATED it; 13 non-committal; 9 loved it,

Steve said...

@Bill G - how funny, I was just reading this article in the online edition of the UK newspaper "The Guardian" - 10 grammar rules you can now forget. Number 5 talks a little to your question.

Anonymous said...

5 Stars!!! What a fantastic theme!!!!

Lemonade714 said...

I would suggest it is "my brother and I", in that context because the implicit phrase was, my brother and I COMPETED, with I being the subject.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Well, I'm bruised and bloody. I won't go through the whole sad litany o my travails. Let's just ay if there was a way to get something wrong I did. Plus the ones I couldn't get at all.

Brilliant theme, perfect execution, but too gimmicky for my taste. The foreign references made it intractable.

I was looking for a genre of music. SHEET was of the radar screen. That's on me.

Re:TREMOLO. Sorry, that is just wrong. The clue describes a trill. A TREMOLO involves either repeating one note, or electronically varying the volume of a single note. Here's a wonderful example of the first type.

On a brighter note, I did get today's sudoku.

Cool regards!
JzB [actual CAT]

Mike C said...

Lodi, a town located in the central valley east of the SF bay area, is a great wine producing area. Most wines are under $20 with many under $10. No snob factor to pay for.

Jazzbumpa said...

WOW - I LOVE those pics of LEA.

Gary - for you.

OWEN - You got an LOL out of me. Really clever.

Some awfully negative comments today, with a little veering into the hateful. Not necessary folks. It's a puzzle. Criticize the puzzle, but personal attacks are really out of line - in fact against the house rules.

And there really is a lot of good stuff in this one.

One the one hand, if you're going to put your creation out there for the world to see, there will be somebody who will hate on it. That's just ugly reality. On the other, directed criticism can help the constructor and editor make more audience pleasing puzzles in the future. Plus, personal preference is just that, and nothing more.

But recognize that this puzzle, whether you like it or not, is brilliant. Full Stop.



Anonymous said...

Dog Day Afternoon was 1976 best picture nominee.

Spitzboov said...

Bill G @ 1338 - The verb 'to be' is intransitive; no direct object. Therefore it takes the nominative form of the pronoun 'I'. Ergo, "my brother and I"; not: 'my brother and me'. If this usage doesn't sound stuffy, it's ok to use.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:57pm Yes, but the movie was released in 1975. Late week clues are often more than a bit misdirectional in how they can be read.

JzB. Well said. IMHO it was the most sophisticated theme we've had in a puzzle all year.

Just have to add that my early piano training taught me the two note tremolo. A check at supports the way it was clued, as well as your take on the term.

PK said...

Disclaimer: Despite my mental wish to bombard my neighbors, I have never in my life willingly and knowingly damaged or destroyed anyone's property. Besides, they are 40-50 years younger and meaner than I. I could only lose a petty war.

Point of order said...

11 cross-referenced clues.
Sophisticated theme?
B*ll Sh*t!

HeartRx said...

Keith Fowler and Steve, I am in your camp on this one. I thought it was an unusually challenging Friday offering, and I would love to see more like it. But I can imagine the frustration at not being able to finish such a gem.

JazzB @ 2:52, well said!

If I had even half of the negative comments today about one of my puzzles, I would think twice about spending, oh, say, 80+ hours on a puzzle, only to be rewarded with the hefty paycheck of $85.00. Hmm, that would net me (after taxes) about $0.85 per hour for my work?

And how often do you do the puzzles and get enjoyment from them, anons and all detractors? If you didn’t finish it, fine. If you didn’t like it, fine. But keep personal attacks to yourself. (You know who you are, who spoke about the “arrogance” of the constructor!)

OwenKL said...

Wow, the sour grapes are ripe today! If I had picked a theme name, I'd go for INDECENT PREPOSITIONS. I love rebus puzzles, but I can see how having them sprung on us unexpectedly like this may have gotten some people collar/hot.

But the cross-referencing I want to defend. Besides being essential to the theme of today's puzzle, they were all adjacent answers, not spread out helter-skelter across the grid. They could (and probably should) have been clued as
14 & 15 the clue, literally
instead of
14 the clue, literally
15 see 14
Contiguous clues, as 3 out these 5 were, are not in the same category as ones where you have to hunt through the clue list, losing your place in the process.

Yellowrocks said...

I did find the theme clever, although it beat me up and took my lunch. Don't you think that "posiionally" instead of "literally" would have avoided many of the complaints? I am actually looking forward to a Saturday Silky to redeem myself.

Bill G. said...

Oooh JzB, you linked one of my favorite pieces of classical guitar music. Thanks. I always wanted to be able to play it but I didn't have the necessary manual dexterity. Lovely song though. I LOVE classical guitar music. I got to where I could play some songs well enough to think that I was making pretty music but it was only through effort and repetition. I just didn't have any natural talent.

CrossEyedDave said...

AAaargh! Jzb beat me to it (2:52)

Re: HG Skort/Spork request@9:51

This was as close as I got.

As frustrating as the puzzle was (& ingenious by the way) I did not want to have two failures today. So I was thinking about different ways to approach Google Images while I was waiting to pick up my daughter from High School, when out walked 3 cheerleaders, in uniform...

They were wearing Skorts!

I immediately jumped out of my car, ran up to them & said, "If I run to the cafeteria & get a plastic spork, can I take a picture of you & put it on the internet?

Well, it didn't go over too well. But thanks to this modern day & age, instead of one pay phone call, they let me use my smartphone. (this is it.)

Uh, HG, any chance you could wire bail money???

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, Wees! I didn't finish this one, and only had one correct theme answer.

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes for my husband. Time will tell. CLL is not curable, only manageable, but the Doctor is very positive--so we are, also.

Kazie, What an adorable picture of Lea.

Garlic Gal, We laughed ourselves silly with TBBT episode last night. It was one of the best. The writers just get better and better and the actors are superb.

Have a great rest of the day everyone.

pje said...

I'm happy to see that I'm not the only one to have problems with this one. My answers were along the line of: huh?/I dunno/WT?/really/I give up. Thank you for educating me, Lemonade.

There was a discussion about auras a couple days ago. That led me to think about auroras and borealis. Tuesday night one of my brothers took video of the Aurora Borealis and posted it yesterday. Here's the link to it. Pretty awesome.

Kazie, you have a beautiful family. So sad they're so far away.

Chickie, positive thoughts for your husband.

Have a great weekend, everyone.


CrossEyedDave said...

I was trying to Google images of other examples of words describing phrases, but what comes up is not what I am looking for.

Is there a word or phrase that describes this example that Google would recognize?

Anonymous T said...

CED - I already recycled Sunday's paper, but there's a puzzle page in the insert (USA Weekend (like Parade)) that has these types of word/letter placement puzzles. I'll look this weekend if no one else enlightens us as to it's title. -T

HeartRx said...

CED @ 4:36, it is callled a "rebus." YR linked examples @ 10:12 AM.

Lemonade714 said...

Some call them REBUS puzzles. CED; meanwhile you search efforts are the best. It is interesting how quickly people do get personal in their attacks, I wonder if the first Greek playwright who used actors instead of a chorus was pelted with old souvlaki?

Neither constructors, nor editors and certainly not bloggers are perfect; we all make mistakes but there are always also difference of opinion. With the way dictionaries and other old reliable sources are changing, I am reluctant to ever suggest a clue/fill are WRONG. The world is filled with variations, and that is a good thing

Spitzboov said...

Anon @ 1214 - So why don't you complain to your paper about its composition. Perhaps they could run a type of puzzle more to your liking.
Don't blame this blog for what is in your newspaper. Most of us are here because we enjoy the LA Times puzzles including the weekly ebb and flow of its difficulty.
Also you should be mindful of no ad hominem attacks permitted here.

kazie said...

I'm very glad to hear the doctor feels positive about your DH. I hope things continue to progress well.

Thanks to all for your kind remarks about Lea. I know all babies are cute, so I hope my sharing pix of our granddaughter doesn't imply that we think she's more special than most. Just that those were the most important photos we took this time. Most of the others were of family members, so nothing too touristy worth sharing.

Have a fantastic weekend all of you!

Anonymous T said...

Creator and Critic for MA only.

So that's what rebus means. Thanks! Cheers, -T

fermatprime said...



Swell pics, Kazie!

Charming poetry, Owen!

My neighbors in front notify me in advance of their bashes, inviting me too! Hah! I can prepare for a sleepless night on those occasions. Last time, however, someone called the police at 2 AM. Then blessed peace. (Sometimes they went on with the live band into the next day. This approx. 25 feet from my bedroom window.)


Husker Gary said...

From the VB GYM - Thanks for the portmanteauish pix Dave and Jazz!
Bail money is in the mail ;-)
I love the little word stand Rich runs here and would never criticize him or our $.85/hr constructors who I hold in high regard!
Our paper runs a Jacquiline Matthews puzzle everyday who want the satisfaction of guaranteed completion so...

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Count me among those who liked this puzzle. Although I did a lot of head scratching and wondering what the heck was going on, the feeling of satisfaction I had after solving it, and the feeling I had of admiration for its construction, cannot be denied. Keith Fowler expressed it very well.

Postal address:


Carrie Underwood, Andover, Mass.

(I'm keeping my day job.)
Best wishes to you all.

Bill G. said...

pje, really nice aurora video. Thanks.

CED, those puzzles are called Wordies. I first saw them years ago in Games Magazine. You can find thousands of examples by Googling.

PK said...

Jayce, PO address no less. Bravo! But seriously, don't give constructors any even more difficult puzzle ideas! LOL!

Ferm: Interesting about your neighbors. I guess it is done. I knew last week mine were probably going to have a party when they were stringing "fairy lights" on a wire. The next thing, the cable guys were back there because they'd pulled the TV or internet wires loose.

Raining, thunder, lightning beginning. Nothing as violent so far as what went on north & south of here. Good luck, Hahtoolah, Montana & you Neb. guys. It was 87 degrees today so no winter yet.

Chickie, my MIL who had CLL found it manageable. Her death many years later at 85 was from an unrelated heart attack.

Misty said...

Well, now I feel a little guilty about my cranky morning response to the puzzle. The puzzle was brilliant, but I wonder if it's terrible to say that it made for a frustrating experience for at least some solvers? Wouldn't a constructor want to know that the structure created an impediment that might have interfered with the pleasure of solving? Having said that, I'm glad that many of the bloggers both solved and loved solving the puzzle. But it's hard for me not to hope that maybe the rest of us will get a more doable challenge tomorrow.

TTP said...

Just read the review after a long day at work. Thank you Lemonade. Also liked the baby pics !

Then read all of the comments that have been made since I posted at 9:11. As I said then, I thought there would be some ire and scorn - for the puzzle itself - but personal attacks against the constructor ? Really ?

The puzzle took me 3 hours and 36 minutes. No look ups. No Googling. And since I woke up at 3:00 AM, I had the time. Of course, I was still late to work. :>)

I've tried a couple of Neville Fogarty's "impossible" puzzles. I worked on one, "Election Projection" if I recall correctly, off and on, for a couple of months. Talk about walking away for a while ! I never did get it.

I may never get to Desper-Otto's, or Al Cyone's or Tyler Hinman's skill level or speed in solving puzzles, and I will use red-letter assistance to point to errors in my filled in answers if I get stuck, but for heavens sake, it's a puzzle, and there is no call for personal attacks.

Manac said...

This one was definitely a toughie for me. First theme answer was Winter Coat and thought, Huh? That's what it's called around here. Carrie Wood was getting too DF. Finally got the theme with Dog Day Afternoon.
Just one Question. If this was a rebus puzzle, I thought you constructors said Rich doesn't accept them. What am I missing here? Seriously.

HeartRx said...

Manac, there are two different types of "rebus" puzzles. One is like todays, with word positions making up the theme.


...for "Carrie wood"

The "other" type of rebus puzzles are the ones that appear in the NYT, typically on Thursdays, where one square in the grid may contain more than one letter. For example, yesterday's NYT puzzle was a rebus, where "To Be" in the answers had the letters "BB" in each theme square. The central entry was BB OR NOT BB. Rich does not accept puzzles with more than one letter per square.

Manac said...

Bill G is about to swear here on the Blog.

That reminded me of when I went to pick up Nicole at middle school one day on my motorcycle. I was not dressed for a business meeting. She was nowhere in sight so I went over to one of her teammates that I recognized to ask where she was. Immediately I was surrounded by administration. The Girl jokingly said she didn't know who I was. OH! Boy!

HeartRx said...

Sorry, I meant "Carrie UNDER wood..."

Manac said...

Thank You Marti.

I think I get it now.
I never cared for gimmicks in
crosswords and that turned me off to
the NYT. So I'll be on my toes for the next one.

JD said...

Holy Hotcakes! That creation was nowhere near my wheelhouse..not under, above, below or anywhere in between. Seeing those 9 cross references before reading even 1/2 the clues, told me I was in the wrong place.Alas.

Best part was tuning in to Owen's limericks, and seeing Kazie's darling Lea.

... and Bill, your captcha was a gem.

Until, maybe Monday...

Lemonade714 said...

Anonymous T you took my critic comment even further back in time than Greek theater, you went to when Sid Caesar was young. AWESOME link.

Bill G. said...




Anonymous T said...

Bill G:

Gross Injustice
foot in the door?
small business

I did one puzzle in an airline magazine that used the check-mark for clues like bag(checkmark)er and Chubby (checkmark)er.

Chickie - I haven't said it yet (didn't post yesterday), but DH is in all our thoughts.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

Even the Brit Lepidopterist we had at our resort poolside today had no inkling as to " sulphers" . Good "quit".

Yellowrocks said...

From a butterfly aficionado:
Lemon, I loved your butterfly clip. Although I missed quite a few answers, I nailed SULPHURS with just the S--PH---. They are common around here. I was puzzled by the Brit. reference in the clue so I looked it up. I learned that there are sulphurs world wide.
I suppose Brit. in the clue refers to the spelling. But, here in the U.S. it can be spelled SULPHUR butterfly or SULFUR butterfly.

CanadianEh! said...

How could I have missed a Canadian puzzle?!!! Busy canning pears and didn't get to the puzzle yesterday but probably could not have completed anyway.
Thanks for the shout-out Lemon. Yes our Blue Jays disappointed us but now the Maple Leafs have started (2-0 already!) so hope springs eternal.

Carrie Underwood married hockey player Canadian Mike Fisher.

And we Canadians know all about winter overcoats (but thankfully no snow here yet like in Wyoming).

I have a Canadian BSc but no Masters.

It wouldn't be a Canadian puzzle without the iconic RCMP. Love their Musical Ride.

Now if Mr Poole had used HONOURED that would really be Canadian Eh!

Anonymous said...