Dec 17, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 Steve Blais

Theme: Away to the window I flew - The first word of the theme entries can follow FLASH.

17. Canasta, e.g. : CARD GAME. Also a game with melds. FLASH CARD - educational aid.

23. Exasperate, metaphorically : DRIVE TO DRINK. Just don't drive from drink; take a cab. FLASH DRIVE - Stick it in your USB port. More

37. '60-'70s Canadian folk-rock icon : GORDON LIGHTFOOT. Famous for a Wreck. FLASH GORDON - Intrepid space traveler who battled Ming the Merciless

48. The same as it was hundreds of years ago, say : FROZEN IN TIME. Unaffected by global warming. FLASH FROZEN - Food is frozen in such a very short period it prevents the forming of large crystals.

60. Spontaneous gathering, and a hint to the starts of 17-, 23-, 37- and 48-Across : FLASH MOB. A YouTube favorite here on the Corner.

Argyle here. Similar to Monday's puzzle. Four theme entries but taking the first word this time, the two corner blocks are in rows instead of the columns and there is a spanner. This has a unifier instead of a reveal if you get my drift. Fifty-five theme entry blocks as opposed to fifty yesterday. Still satisfying and amusing.


1. Butter square : PAT

4. Young newts : EFTs

8. Most gentle : TAMEST

14. Brew that may be pale or dark : ALE

15. Baseball family name : ALOU

16. Environmentally friendly auto : ECO-CAR

19. Coke competitor : RC COLA

20. Hot-dish holder : TRIVET. Or hot flat iron holder.

21. Fleischer of the Bush White House : ARI. For President George W. Bush, from January 2001 to July 2003.

22. Train stopping at every sta. : LOCal

27. Barbecue fare : RIBS. Arc-shaped, finger-staining snack food?

30. Roamed without restraint : RAN FREE

31. "The Simpsons" storekeeper : APU. Or Ned, owner of The Leftorium.

32. Agitate : ROIL

33. Most characters on "The Big Bang Theory" : NERDS

41. "That's not in the script!" evoker : AD LIB. What Tim Conway was good at on the Carol Burnett Show. (unedited with extra footage)


42. Competes : VIEs

43. Capote nickname : TRU

44. Not at all deceitful : ARTLESS.

47. Honeyed liquor : MEAD. Liquor made from fermented honey.

52. Stimpy's sidekick : REN

53. Promise to pay, for short : IOU

54. Bottom, to baby : TUSHIE

58. Uphill climb : ASCENT

62. Bald spot coverer : TOUPEE

63. "__ Misbehavin'" : AIN'T

64. Plains tribe : OTO

65. Takes an oath : SWEARS

66. Butterfly catchers : NETs

67. __ Antonio : SAN


1. Diplomat's goal : PACT

2. Banned apple spray : ALAR

3. Garr of "Tootsie" : TERI

4. More than willing : EAGER

5. Old-style clothes presser : FLAT IRON

6. Alley prowler : TOMcat

7. "Peggy __ Got Married": 1986 film : SUE. IMDb

8. Intense fear : TERROR

9. Traffic backup causes : ACCIDENTs

10. Comfy shoe : MOC

11. Food-poisoning bacteria : E. COLI

12. Manicure spot : SALON

13. Liner notes listing : TRACK

18. Redbox rentals : DVDs

21. DOJ enforcer : ATF. (Department of Justice/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives)

24. Resort WSW of Boulder : VAIL. Shout out to Montana.

25. Add some pep to : ENLIVEN

26. Coral formation : REEF

27. Ravi Shankar genre : RAGA

28. Apple with tunes : iPOD

29. Folksy Ives : BURL


32. "The Bucket List" director : ROB REINER

34. Repetitive learning : ROTE

35. Toon explorer with a monkey friend named Boots : DORA

36. It may be ear-piercing : STUD

38. Rodrigo __ de Vivar: El Cid : DIAZ. All perps.

39. Basic idea : GIST

40. Reluctant to commit : HESITANT

45. Govt. securities : T-NOTES

46. Sch. with a Brooklyn campus : LIU. (Long Island University)

47. Interlock, as gears : MESH

48. Houses with Greek letters : FRATs

49. Plant anew : RESOW

50. Just as planned : ON CUE

51. Mandatory items : MUSTs

55. Managed care gps. : HMOs

56. Minuscule amount : IOTA

57. Dark, to a poet : EBON

59. Anti-pollution org. : EPA

60. Cooling device : FAN

61. Prevaricate : LIE. FINI, and that's no lie.



OwenKL said...

Humans have fantastical memory,
That's how we today have the Odyssey.
FLASH CARDs, we did find
Helped to train the young mind.
A FLASH DRIVE's all we leave to our progeny.

Ming menaced Moon maiden, Mistress Morgan
His freeze ray almost made her FLASH FROZEN.
The space hero saved her,
For his reward he quick laid her.
"That was fast!" "That's why I'm "FLASH" GORDON!"

For Jared yesterday, there are pearls, there's pearls of wisdom, and pearls of humor.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Pretty straightforward for me today. Got a wee bit bogged down in the SE with ROB REINER, DIAZ and LIU all being in close proximity to one another. I know who ROB REINER is, of course, but had no idea he directed that particular movie. Still, I was able to guess him once I got a few perps going. DIAZ and LIU were complete unknowns, but once again it was the perps to the rescue.

TUSHIE is a quintessential Yiddish word, being a derivative of
tuchis (or tokus), and something I grew up hearing (like TCHOTCHKE, another Yiddish word). I have no idea if it is at all common outside of Jewish households, however.


Lemonade714 said...

Another from SB and like yesterday's from Gareth a really efficient and consistent puzzle. Owen I was waiting for a streaker reference, or maybe a Ashley Cripps from Martha Crimes' books.

I do not know Raga but the rest went quickly. Heading to Colorado Friday, but not Vail.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Argyle and friends. This was no FLASH in the Pan puzzle! it gave me a bit of a challenge. I definitely needed the unifier to help me with some of the theme answers. FROZEN IN TIME was my last theme fill.

I got hung up with Stir instead of ROIL. That really messed up that section of the puzzle!

My favorite clue was It May Be Ear-Piercing = STUD.

QOD: The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right. ~ William Safire (Dec. 17, 1929 ~ Sept. 27, 2009)


thehondohurricane said...

Howdy All,

Agree with Hahtoolah, a bit of a challenge today. Some unknown or not to sure of cluing had me going, but in the end a successful solve.

MEAD was a gimme. Popular spirit in Wales & I just finished re-reading Here Be Dragons, the first of Penman's Welsh Trilogy.

ARTLESS/ Not at all deceitful do not seem to go together to me. Probably why my artist wife claims my only taste is in my mouth.

I knew from early on, I was destined to be minus hair as I aged. Still, never considered a TOUPEE. I've always been a what you see is what you get type.

GORDON..... appeared as soon as I changed 28D from IPAD to IPOD.

Argyle, thanks for the write up and especially the Burnett link. She and Conway were so great together as were she and Skelton.

More snow coming, but what the heck, it's winter.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Nice Tuesday romp today. I didn't know diddly squat about DORA, but the perps came through. LIU, not NYU, not Lucy but Long Island.

Here's probably the best-known song by 37a 3:50

Time for that quarterly visit to the periodontist. Fun times!

Mari said...

Good morning everybody. Good puzzle today. I did not know RAGA. Never heard of it.

My mother listened to a lot of GORDON LIGHTFOOT when I was growing up.

LIU threw me off. I was thinking the Sch. with a Brooklyn Campus would be NYU, which screwed things up. I had ARTNESS for ARTLESS and I couldn't make sense of it.

Wishing everybody a great day!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Good intro, Argyle. Thanks.

Everything fell into place easily, today. No erasures or searches needed. I advanced more quickly on the East, so when ……FOOT appeared, GORDON LIGHTFOOT became a gimme. Enjoyed the FLASH theme. Liked TRIVET - probably an underused word.

Have a good day.

JJM said...

Fun puzzle, but ARTLESS was a stretch for that clue.

desper-otto said...

Mari and JJM: Take a look at definition #3 for Artless. Works for me.

Yellowrocks said...

I found this puzzle interesting. My only stumbling block was wanting “drive up a wall,” before “”drive to drink.”
The Conway/Burnett link was hilarious. I’m a big fan of Carol and the whole ensemble.
I thought “The Bucket List” was a great movie.
I learned RAGA from x-words. It seems to come up a lot in regard to Shankar.
Around here tush, tushie, and tchotchke are used by the non Jewish people., as well, a melding of cultures in a cosmopolitan population. TUSHIE is baby talk.
ARTLESS is a quite common. legitimate word meaning deceitful.. Its base, ART, is found in artificial, and artful (the Artful Dodger in Dickens). Synonyms for ART are guile, deceit, craft (crafty).
ART and CRAFT are nearly synonyms in the sense of arts and crafts and also synonyms in the sense of deceitful.

Al Cyone said...

Great to see the legendary GORDONLIGHTFOOT make it into a crossword puzzle. He's still goin' strong at 75.

And not only does FLASH GORDON fit the them, FLASH LIGHT does too.


Al Cyone said...

Of course "them" should be "theme"

Husker Gary said...

-PHOBIA and HYUNDAI took a back seat to TERROR and ECOCAR
-Test your SAT Vocabulary with these electronic FLASH CARDS (100’s more on this site)
-My first 128 Mbyte FLASH DRIVE cost me $30. Now look at the size and cost of this cute one
-Images of my classmates will be FROZEN IN TIME at our 50th H.S. reunion this summer.
-Do those butter PATS have to be hard as a brick?
-A lovely note to the Alabama placekicker (#43) who missed kicks that cost Alabama the Auburn game and got him death threats from another #43 - George W. Bush (scroll down two screens)
-You might be working for one of those brilliant NERDS
-Did anyone here ever use an IRON for this activity?
-Funny/ironic lines Peggy Sue used when she went back in time to her high school days as an adult
-Yeah, I went from 78’s to 45’s to LP’s to 8-tracks to tapes to CD’s to now MP3’s for my iPod
-Being HESITANT can be worse than going all in or all out
-What butterfly was Bob Lind chasing “across my dreams NETS of wonder”

desper-otto said...

Husker, I don't know which one, it eludes me.

buckeye bob said...

@ Husker Gary --

The bright elusive butterfly of love.

Oldies rock!

Lucina said...

Good day, Puzzlers!

A nice offering from Steve Blais today and a slow sashay.

PAT slid right off my pencil as did EFTS which I learned long ago from crosswords.

TRIVETS are commonly used in my home but not FLAT IRONS. HG, I had friends in high school who resorted to ironing their hair.

APU is now as familiar to me as EFTS. And I have no problem with ARTLESS for the reasons YR mentioned.

STUD had my favorite clue!

I wish you all a tremendous Tuesday!

Tinbeni said...

Argyle: Wonderful write-up & links (esp. the Tim Conway!).

Fell into the 'stir' before ROIL trap.

FROZEN-IN-TIME almost never happens here in the Tampa Bay area.
The Weather Channel indicates quite a few of you are going to get that FROZEN stuff later today.

Faves today (of course) were ALE & MEAD, plus an RC-COLA for my buddy Husker.

I don't "DRIVE-TO-DRINK" ... my LOCal pub is less than half-a-mile away. (Though the crawl home can be a bitch!)


Misty said...

Totally fun puzzle for a Tuesday--many thanks, Steve! And you too, Argyle, for the always fun expo.

STUD was my favorite clue also.

Also liked TUSHIE--cute.

It's only taken a decade or two of doing crossword puzzles to finally get ALOU within seconds.

Growing up in Austria a kazillion years ago, I remember my grandmother heating a FLAT IRON on a wood-burning pot-bellied stove before ironing clothes (that had been hung up on lines in the basement in winter because there were no clothes dryers). Those were the (tough) days for women.

Have a great Tuesday, everybody!

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

I originally had horror for 8 down. The crosswords set me straight later. Other than that it was an easy one.

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

A nice, smooth Tuesday offering. Thanks, Steve, and ditto to Argyle for a fine expo.

I'm looking out on a pretty winter wonderland. Getting more snow and there is a weather advisory in place. The kind of day to curl up in front of the fireplace with a good book.

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Artless means guileless, not prone to deceit. Just sayiin.

CrossEyedDave said...

Fairly easy Tuesday puzzle, nothing much to find funny with though. So I made it a little harder for myself & looked for the 2nd theme...

Game Mob

Drink Mob

Foot Mob

& Mob Time

Lucina said...

I also remember my grandmother heating several hot irons on the wood stove and replacing one after another as she ironed. Those were very hard times and that was the 40s but she lived in a rural area.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Piece of cake overall. By coincidence we recently watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, the 1964 animated classic narrated by Burl Ives (as Sam the Snowman).

Speaking of which: we just love the two main stop-motion animated movies from Rankin/Bass, Rudolph and Santa Claus is Comin' to Town. Along with Charlie Brown and the Grinch, these are our favorite Christmas specials. How about yours?

Lucina 10:03 - asking from complete ignorance here, does hair-ironing actually work?

Bill Wasik said...

I remember when FLASH MOBs were cool. For about 6 months back in 2005. Now, not so much. They are about as spontaneous and entertaining as a presidential debate.

Yellowrocks said...

Just reread my 8:55 post. I meant artless means NOT deceitful. Did no one catch me or were you just reading what I intended?
Sorry! (blush, blush)

Argyle said...

I thought you had meant ARTFUL, the opposite of ARTLESS.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Steve Blais, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Argyle, for the fine review.

Well, this puzzle seemed more like a Wednesday or Thursday. Not a cake walk at all. But, I persevered and got it.

The entire North was pretty easy, except for ALAR, but with four perps it appeared.

No idea who DORE, the toon explorer is. Perps.

ARTLESS was tough.

I tried ROC, but MOC overcame that.

Liked the theme. Made sense.

DIAZ was unheard of. With D and Z I wagged the rest.

Got back from my eye doctor. Pressure looks good so far. Check up next week.

We have 6-8 inches of snow on the ground. It is supposed to rain in a couple days. That will be a mess.

See you tomorrow.



PK said...

Hi Y'all! Fun puzzle, Steve, but I had to work at it. Great expo, Argyle! The Carol Burnett outtake was hilarious, but I had to go back three times to try and see what "Mama" said that broke up the party.

We haven't had EFTS in a while and I tried to put an "N" instead of "F". Not a word I use in polite conversation.

ECOCAR wasn't a Prius or Toyota which my daughter has that "sips" gas. Her words for the economy.

Remembered ALOU, ARI, & APU. Hey, we're on "A" roll. Didn't know LIU but perps took care of it.

I never heard of TUSHIE until after I was an adult. Jewish people didn't live out here in the boonies.

Sun & 50 degrees. Need to fill my tank with gas before freezing weather returns on Friday. Then I'll go through the bank drive-thru to do my Xmas shopping.

Abejo said...

Yellowrocks: I figured you are smarter than I am, so I did not want to challenge you.


Abejo said...

Liked the Tim Conway/Carol Burnett skit. They are a riot. Tim Conway is from Parma, OH.


willow said...

How do you pronounce "raga"?

Manac said...

Fairly easy today, No real hangups except Diaz and artless.

Cold and snowing now, just waiting it out, So....
Flash Card

Flash Drive

Flash Gordon

Flash Frozen

Flash Mob

Anonymous said...

This blog is so friendly.

Rex Parker depresses me.

Jayce said...

Rāga is pronounced "RAH guh". The first a is a "long" a, which in Hindi is pronounced "ah" like in Italian. An a not marked with an overline is a "short" a, which sounds more like "uh."

Loved the Tim Conway/Carol Burnett skit. They are indeed a riot, as Abejo said.

Yellowrocks said...

Abejo @12:25.
You are too kind, and modest, besides. I have learned so much from you. I am fascinated by your background and travels. You always leave me hungry for more.
I love this blog because we have posters who are knowledgeable in so many disparate fields. It is interesting and enriching to learn things about which I know little.
Anon @ 2:17, my sentiments exactly, about both blogs. That's why I follow this one. I hope you soon choose to "go blue" so we can follow your thoughts and comments.

Cautiously Curious said...

Flash mobs, ... are pre- planned, and exhaustively and meticulously arranged. Are they really .... Spontaneous ?

Spontaneous is supposed to mean .... As a result of a sudden, inner impulse ... And without premeditation.
Like spontaneous applause or spontaneous combustion. But, flash mobs ?

Rex Parker's blog is about a bunch of know-it-alls,... And they try to out do each other and pretend how blasé the rest of the solvers world is.

This blog is about people who barely know it ... No, no, no, .... Who know enough, but not all of it .... And not afraid to expose their foibles. Come to think of it, with made up names and avatars , there is no reason to impress anyone else, anyway.

CED , you continue to amaze me. Maybe that's not your intention, but you do it anyway.

CrossEyedDave said...


"Flash card" won't open for me on Google Chrome because it is from TheMetaPicture, (its a protected image), can you go back to Google Images & find it, click on the image, then click "search by image" to find a different source so I can see it?


In the meantime, Here's a some Flash Cards worth remembering.

Manac said...

Does this one work for you?

Flash Card

The other link still works for me
But thanks for the heads up about Meta Pictures. I'll look at the source from now on.

Any other protected sources that you know of? You can just email them
to me if you want.

CrossEyedDave said...

Manac, Thanks, Yes it works!

Very funny stuff :)

Usually the source tells you if it is protected, but TheMetaPicture is freaky. It looks fine when I post them too, & yet some browsers cannot open them. It's the only source I have found that does this, & it drove me nuts until I just started avoiding them altogether.

Dudley said...

The mention of Gordon Lightfoot sent me back to Google to read up on the Edmund Fitzgerald. Apparently, it is not obvious even after great exploration what triggered the chain of events leading to the ship's sinking.

There have been lots of excursions to the site of the wreck. In one trip, the ship's bell was retrieved for posterity, and another put in its place out of respect. The replacement had been engraved with the names of the lost crew. Touching!

Lucina said...

The flash card wouldn't open for me either.

I can't tell you first hand if ironing works on hair, but I do know it was a fad in the 50s so I suppose so. Now, of course, there are actual hair irons for people with curly hair who want to straighten it. (Makes me want to cry) My daughter and granddaughter both used them. Sigh. They have gorgeous curly hair which I would love to have.

Tinbeni said...

Dudley @11:44
I probably also watch Charlie Brown and the Grinch every Christmas Season.

I'm more curious about what Christmas movies everyone prefer.

One of my favorites was on late (or is that early?) last night at 2:15 am on TCM.
"It Happened on Fifth Avenue"

I actually set my alarm and got up to watch it.

WOW ... what a beautiful Sunset!

TTP said...

Thank you Steve Blais and thank you Argyle.

Train stopping at every station ? We called them milk runs.

FLAT IRON. AKA, Sad Irons, but some would argue they are different. Generally, you had to have two flat irons. You would be heating one while using the other. You could fill some irons with hot embers as they cooled. Good catch on the TRIVET association Argyle. Mom and dad sold plenty of each in their antique shop. When I was young, flat irons, sad irons and their trivets always seemed like an odd thing for people to collect.

I so hope PK doesn't have to RESOW her yard !

The AD LIB line that may have saved a network ? What you talkin' about Willis ?

YR @12:13, I read what you intended, just as I read that Abejo intended DORA at 12:23.

Abejo, good to hear that it is going well.

CED and Manac, fun stuff again.

kjinkc said...

Very much enjoyed this puzzle.

Train stopping at every station? We called it the 'doodlebug'. You'll have to go to Wiki yourself and search for Doodlebug (rail car) as I still don't know how to add a link. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Tin - my favorite xmas movies are 'Miracle on 34th St'; A Christmas Story'; and, 'It's a Wonderful Life'. (and if I happen to catch it, I still find myself watching A Charlie Brown Christmas'. Still a kid at heart I guess.

Might comment more later. No time now as a late Basketball practice for granddaughter is calling me.

Manac said...

Thanks for the advice.

Now to try it.

Flash Frozen ;~)

Bill G. said...

Has there ever been a prettier ballad written than "Danny Boy"?

Argyle said...


Argyle said...


Montana said...

I worked the puzzle late last night while Cruciverb was still down. I miss my home in Montana where I can print the puzzle each morning from my online state newspaper. I still read the paper, but I don't have a printer.

I was surprised to see VAIL in the puzzle. Lemon, are you going to be anywhere near Denver?

I know we tease me about saying I am a 'snowbird' when I only moved from near the Canadian border to Denver, but it was 65 degrees today and forecast to perhaps reach 70 tomorrow. That is good enough for me! Took my granddaughter out in the stroller.

Misty and Lucina, my 3 married sons all have MILs who don't have clothes dryers. (Lithuania, Australia and Philippines.) My DILs all grew up without them so sure appreciate them here in the USA.

Have a good evening,


Lucina said...

I have a clothes dryer but use it only for towels and sheets. All other clothes are hung outside as solar power is abundant here.

Tinbeni said...

Bill G. @7:21
(but it is a subjective choice).

Yellowrocks said...

Lucina, out of curiosity I looked up a tamale recipe. Where do you get corn husks for 25 dozen tamales?

But then, you don't have a real winter. We have had 4 snow and ice events in the past ten days, with temps frequently in the 20s.

Anonymous T said...

Hi all - late to the party again...

Steve's puzzle was a fun little exercise with write-overs here and there, but Argyle's ADLIB link was a riot - I laughed so hard I cried. Thanks!

Everyone elses input (I didn't know TUSHIE was Yiddish) and links made for a fun evening.

River Doc - still out there? I'll be in Cairo in a few weeks and need pointers - I've never been to that part of the world. Tell me what not to do.

Between the new job (w/o vacation days) and Christmas fast approaching (does Amazon deliver next Wed?!?)... It's enough to DRIVE me TO DRINK. I think I'll have a beer (no MEAD) now and plan tomorrow.

Cheers, -T

Husker Gary said...


I liked all the classics but this is a great modern Christmas movie and even better in IMAX with your grandchildren along side.

Bill G. said...

Gary, we saw the Polar Express a few years back and really enjoyed it; especially fun was the dancing scene in the dining car. I remember thinking that I wouldn't have thought it was anything special except for seeing it in IMAX and 3D (if I remember correctly).

AnonT, did you give us any details about your new job? If so, I forgot. If not, I'd be interested.

Speaking of AD LIBS, do you remember Tim Conway playing a dentist working on Harvey Korman? The mishaps with the Novocaine had me with tears running out of my eyes.

Anonymous T said...

HG - Did you hear the story about the 1225 yesterday on NPR?

Cheers, -T

Bill G. said...

These are spectacular microphotographs; the winning images from an Olympus contest. Slide show

Lemonade714 said...

Montana I will be in Denver

Lucina said...

Actually, 25 dz is a small number for us; 40-60 dz is more normal but the younger generation have been on a weight loss spree all year so we downsized.

Corn husks are a common item in these parts. All the grocery stores sell them and in fact often display all the necessary ingredients for tamales in a central place in the store.

Tamales are so popular that contests and festivals are held featuring them. I suspect the same is true of all the border states in the southwest.

My last post today, so have a good night all.

willow said...

Thank you, Jayce; is it hard G or soft G?

kjinkc said...

I'm back and wanted to see if I can do a link to my earlier post in re 'a train stopping at every sta., so here goes:


Anonymous T said...

I just realized I didn't clarify - the 1225 is the engine that provided all the sounds for the Polar Express. If you have a few minutes, give the story a listen. The train was headed to scrap and saved... the engine number has significance. -T

Bill G. said...

I had passed over the story about the 1225 but I went back to it just now. I love old trains. Thanks!