Feb 21, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014, Peg Slay

Theme: I need to break you the LLs up!

Great symmetry in this letter replacement puzzle,  with the first "L" of double Ls in four letter words ending 'ALL', are replaced with an I (the first word in theme 1,3 and 5; the last word in theme 2,4) to give a new phrase clued with humor. This is our second offering from Ms. Slay, with marti expostulating on a letter add on in May of 2013. I found this on the easy side for a Friday, but since it is gimmick free that may be all I needed to make me happy. The pallbearers morphing into milkmaids seemed a bit macabre, but the rest were amusing. Let's look over the puzzle.

17A. Device that tracks certain weather? : HAIL MONITOR. (11). (HALL monitors prowl dormitories) This would be a very limited use device, but we do get a few hailstorms every year, once in a while enough to dent cars.

23A. Make a mournful cry louder? : DRIVE UP THE WAIL. (somebody wailing, like at the dentist, would drive me up the WALL).

39A. Follow, oater-style? : TAIL IN THE SADDLE. (TALL in the saddle will always conjure this IMAGE) (1:05).

48A. Run-of-the-mill letters? : PEDESTRIAN MAIL. ( I visited the 16th Street MALL when last in Denver)

61A. Eight maids a-milking? : PAIL BEARERS. (This combination cast a slight PALL on my solving experience, because images of funerals bring back memories). I think their are usually 6 pallbearers. Are Jack and Jill the most famous pail bearers?


1. "Sesame Street" lessons : ABCS.

5. Logo, e.g. : EMBLEM.

11. NASA vehicle : LEM. An actual acronym Lunar Excursion Module.

14. Word spoken con affetto : CARA. Some Italian, with affection dear.  22A. Together, in music : A DUE. Italian again, due is two.

15. Lead ore : GALENA. This is something I know only from doing puzzles; do we have geologists in our midst? I have a nephew who works in that field.

16. "Should I take that as __?" : A NO. Yes.

19. Ken. neighbor : INDiana.

20. Handle : SEE TO.

21. Karaoke need : MIC. I guess the world has decided this is an independent word.

27. Bulldog, perhaps : ELI. Yale has more than one nickname. This sort of ties to 37D. Annex, maybe : ELL, which I thought would not be in the puzzle because of the LL.

28. German article : DAS. The neutral (non-masculine or feminine) LINK. 1D. Rhine whines : ACHS. Little pun on wine/whine. Maybe you need a dictionary? LINK. Our multilingual crowd (Kazie, marti, etc., will tell you more).

29. Lollapalooza gear : AMPS. Another abbreviation (amplifiers) that appears to now be a word.

33. They may be in columns : ANTS. Army ones anyway.

36. More ironic : DRIER. senses of humor I guess, I thought this was very hard to suss.

42. Short exile? : EX-PAT. He is only  5'8" For all my New England Patriot cornerites.

43. Tops : A-ONE.

44. __-portrait : SELF. Selfies from the phone are taking over.

45. Watch : EYE.

46. 64-Across opposite : NAY. 64A. 46-Across opposite : YEA.

56. Pie crust ingredient : LARD. Not many big companies use pig fat anymore.

57. Tidy sum : WAD. He had quite a wad of cash.

58. Warmer for a snowy day : COCOA. Maybe this would WORK; I will mail you the A.

60. Tree ring revelation : AGE. Yes when the sequoias get together for a reunion, it is always a circus.

65. Jeans measure : INSEAM. Just be careful who is doing the measurements for you.

66. Auditor's mark : TICK. The check mark.

67. Humerus locale : ARM. Near the funny bone.

68. Expels : EGESTS. IN = into: E = from, immigrate, emigrate. Just simple Latin.

69. Santa __: dry winds : ANAS. A day late for our own Santa baby.


2. Sounded like a flock : BAAED. The were baaed to the bone.

3. Old-time newsman : CRIER. Really going back when you got your news from the town crier, who did not whine.

4. 1972 missile pact : SALT I. Strategic Arms Limitation Talks ; I was ratified, II was abandoned when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.

5. Id checker? : EGO. Nice Freud lesson, our ID (as in libido) is kept in check by our EGO.

6. "Holy cow!" : MAN.

7. Skycam carrier : BLIMP. Goodyear I lives nearby me. Come for the TOUR, then stop by for a snack.

8. The Beatles' "__ Be" : LET IT.  You want to be in this STUDIO. (3:09)

9. Cain's oldest son : ENOCH. Exile or not.

10. Deface : MAR.

11. Saved for the future : LAID ASIDE. In this context I always say PUT aside, but this WORKS.

12. Blasé state : ENNUI.

13. Hobby shop purchase : MODEL.A shout out to Dennis who is tolerating the Florida winter rather well. Speaking of models, Kate Upton.

18. Stir : MOVE.

22. Accolades : AWARDS. Comes from a Latin word for neck (collum) because recipients got stuff to wear around their neck. We still give out medals (see Olympics) that way.

24. Panache : ELAN.

25. Utah's __ Mountains : UINTA. We have had these a couple of times before, but they have not stuck in my mind.

26. Norse mythology source : EDDA. Classic crossword answer.

29. Put away : ATE.

30. "Where the Wild Things Are" boy : MAX. My youngest loved the story and we went to the movie when it came out many years later; he loved it. I did  not.

31. Winning the lottery, usually : PIPE DREAM. From the dreams of OPIUM DENS?

32. Left rolling in the aisles : SLAYED. Comedians, kill, slay,

34. E'en if : THO'.

35. Medicinal shrub : SENNA. A multi-talented PLANT.

38. Instant replay watcher : REF. The third abbreviation which is in this puzzle which has apparently become a stand alone word.

40. Jersey add-on : ITES.

41. Hannity of "Hannity" : SEAN. hard not link something political HERE.(2:37).

47. Gesture-driven hit : YMCA. The boys from the Village.

48. __ del Carmen, Mexico : PLAYA. mean beach in Spanish. Lucina?

49. Bright-eyed : EAGER.

50. Country sound : TWANG. All you ever wanted to know and MORE.

51. Put up : RAISE. Or shut up?

52. Isn't busy : IDLES.

53. It originates from the left ventricle : AORTA.

54. Trap at a chalet : ICE IN.

55. Spanish poet Federico García __ : LORCA. I wish Clear Ayes was here to speak of this POET, a very influential Spanish writer killed by Franco's men during the civil war.

59. Queries : ASKS.

61. __ chart : PIE.

62. Cricket club : BAT. Cute misdirection.

63. 911 response letters : EMS.

Well I am not in Kansas any more, only passing through to Colorado, but I hope this Friday frolic left you smiling and confident in your skills. Lemonade out.


TTP said...

Good morning all.

Thank you lemonade and thank you Peg Slay.

Didn't know CARA, UINTA, and LORCA, but the perps filled them. Seeing the theme (YEA!) helped me fill TAIL, and then later BEARERS. TAIL BEARERS ?

A fail for me. Wouldn't let go of SETS ASIDE and WILD DREAM. I had to change the online game from Master to Regular. Then it all fell into place.

GALENA Blvd is nearby in Aurora, IL (home of cable TV's Wayne's World) and Galena IL, is in the far NW corner of Illinois where it meets with Iowa and Wisconsin. It was named after the mineral.

Have a good day all!

OwenKL said...

The principle of an I for an l
Ain't one for Hammurabi to sell.
To do others ill,
Revenge to fulfill,
Ends up making all ail as well!

I saw the theme right from the first entry, and am proud to say I sussed TAlL IN THE SADDLE and PAlL BEARERS right away, but the other two had to be mostly perped in before I could figure them out.
Struggled a bit with crosses to SLAYED, so changed it to SLEW 'EM and then back again. I spent a year at BYU at the base of Mt.Timpanogos in the Wasatch range so thought I knew Utah mountains, but UINTA threw me. The clues for 46a&64a seemed unfair, but once I got them the clues seemed inescapable! And I just now as I wrote that realized that the numbers were also reversed! The word that tripped me the worst though was 68a expels, which I first put as EVICTS, but was actually a clinical term for vomiting.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Started off a little slowly in the NW before I grokked the theme. Had CARO instead of CARA at 14D and went with HAIR MONITOR at 17D. Then I stared at SORTI at 4D for awhile until the light bulb finally went off.

The rest of the puzzle was pretty smooth, and the other theme answers came quickly. Really couldn't believe that MIC was clued with no indication that it was an abbreviation. First UKE, now MIC. Maybe the language is evolving, or maybe Rich is slipping as an editor.

Nice to see UINTA in the grid, although we usually called them "The UINTAs" when I lived there.

No shoveling today!

OwenKL said...

From yesterday
PK: When George says his site's puzzles can be worked on-line, he lies. The online software for working puzzles on his site is so buggy he'd be better off without it scaring people off. Fortunately, the Across Lite .puz files work just fine, and the puzzles are usually worth the effort.

No Tell Motels are the same things as the Hot Sheet Motels I had a limerick about back on Feb.3:
Wayward spouses, when they kiss and don't tell,
Will go to a "Hot SHEET Motel."
Where the staff is discreet
About patrons who cheat,
And the lovers are "hot SH**T" as well!

Middletown Bomber said...

I got the theme but and the theme clues but the rest of the puzzle seemed to get me. I eventually struggled through but I blew my time limit that I give for a Friday puzzle. have a good weekend all.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Enjoyable Friday frolic, that. Only suffered a couple of write-overs, and thought the theme was cute. I remembered UINTA, once the U and T were in place.

We used to have a Goodyear blimp base just north of Houston. I forget why they left town.

When I was still working, our Mexico base office was in Ciudad del Carmen, but I never visited.

Off for another periodontal spelunking session. Later...

Anonymous said...

With seven ? ?? And five fill in the blanks I already disliked this puzzle. And just reading what the theme was gave me a headache. Got most of it but a dnf for me.

buckeye bob said...

Thank you for a fun puzzle, Peg. Thank you for an excellent, informative review, Lemonade.

This puzzle was about right for a Friday. I got the theme after the first theme answer, but didn’t really need the theme to answer the others.

I wanted AMTS before ANT, EIN before DAS and EMT before EMS, but the perps fixed them. Hey, amounts can be in columns too!

I knew UINTA from somewhere, probably crosswords. I’ve driven near them, and flown over them, but never been there.

Favorite clue was 42A Short exile?

Learning moments today were 7D the Goodyear BLIMP lives at Pompano Beach, 35D SENNA (because ALOE didn’t fit), and 55D LORCA’s story. I want to visit the BLIMP next time I get to Delray Beach. Thanks, Lemonade!

Big Easy said...

This puzzle has me moving all around this morning. The theme was obvious on 23A, even though I hadn't finished the clue. We had double Italian CARA ADUE, double German ACHS DAS and double Spanish LORCA PLAYA this morning. I remember our football coaches calling the player who 52D IDLES a 56A LARD***. As far as 42A EXPAT, I think Aaron Hernandez will definitely stay one.

Al Cyone said...

PAILBEARERS revealed the clever theme and the "I" in ELI and UINTA was the last fill (when I dope-slapped the Yale bulldog connection).

The temperature actually stayed (just) above freezing last night for the first time in more than a month.


buckeye bob said...

14A CARA reminds me of this oldie.


Mari said...

Good morning everybody and Happy Friday!

The first theme clue I filled in was PAIL BEARERS, but it took me a second theme clue to catch on.

A lot of new words for me today, including: UINTA, ADUE, LEM, CARA, SENNA, EDDA, AND LORCA.

My favorite clue was 5D: Id checker? EGO.

My least favorite clue was 43A: Tops: A ONE. (I was expecting an answer that ended with an "S".)

Have a great day and a wonderful weekend!

Yellowrocks said...

I really liked this one. I did the eastern two thirds, top to bottom in record time. WAIL and MAIL set the theme. Then I did the west, bottom to top fairly quickly.I knew ABCS and CARA, so 1 D had to be ACHS, although, like Tin refusing to write ICE, I hated to enter it. I don't like to see ACH clued as a complaint or whine.
The Pennsylvania Germnas use ACH very frequently as a simple intro to the sentence, the way we use WHY and OH in these examples. WHY, sure, I'd love to. OH, it's no trouble at all.
Bing dictionary says about ACH, "oh: used to express emotion, e.g. annoyance, surprise, or resignation, often as an introduction to saying something"
In my experience the only time I hear ACH as a complaint, or even to express emotions, is in ACH,du lieber (oh dear) and ACH, du lieber himmel (dear heavens), both very mild expressions.
ANON @7:03, we are all so different. Yesterday I was alone in not caring for the blanks. Today, unlike you, I love the ??? indicating punny. I also don't mind a few blanks like we have today.

thehondohurricane said...

TGIF everyone,

This was a "Bail Breaker", but for once I figured out the theme early on and it helped quite a bit. I walked away for a while thinking today was another DNF, but when I sat down later, it simply began to come together.

27A Bullgog, perhaps/ELI, Tops/AONE, 42A Short Exile/EXPAT & 5D ID Checker/EGO were favs.

PEDESTRIAN MAIL (Mall) a new term for me. UINTA came via all perps.

Thank you Peg for starting a dreary day on an upbeat note. Lemon, my first thought for EXPAT was Wes Welker.

Spent 4 1/2 hours yesterday de-icing the driveway. Today is a Tylenol extra strength day ( within the warning guidelines highlighted on the container.

Heavy rain with thunder and lightening today. Back to winter Monday. I think I'm ready for the heat and humidity of summer.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Really slow and tough slogging at first, although I did get ACHS right out of the chute. Couldn't get a real foothold anywhere, but finally got a launchpad along the bottom. Had pallBEARER for awhile, but it didn't make any sense. When I began to see the 'a' to 'i' shift; PAILBEARER; it all started to come together. Lots of white-out in this one. Last fill was a WAG, MAX. But that's my grandson's name, so it all worked out.

Have a great day.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

An enjoyable Friday puzzle ~ thanks, Peg Slay. As others have said, the theme was easy to spot and it helped with other answers. I did have some hesitations and had to rethink several answers.

~ At 3D - Old-time newsman, I was trying to think of an actual name.

~ I was thinking of 43A - Tops as a verb.

~ Write-overs: Alert / EAGER and Ejects / EGESTS.

~ I was puzzled at 47D - 'Gesture-driven hit' for the longest time. YMCA ~ duh!

Thanks for the write-up, Lemonade. ~ lots of interesting stuff. You also showed me that I didn't finish. I had a blank where UINTA and ANT crossed. I had planned on coming back to them ~ a tough spot for me.

A dreary, rainy day but no snow today! I agree with Hondo's weather sentiments.

Enjoy your Friday!

Yellowrocks said...

I remember the wonderful pedestrian mall in Copenhagen called The Stroget. The streets were closed to autos and trucks. It was a delightful place to stroll and window shop. Shops ran from reasonably priced at one end of the mall to pricey designer fashions at the other end. At a tavern in the Stroget I dined on the tastiest veal cutlet ever. It was cooked liked Weiner Schnitzel with a delicious sauce on top.
There are quite a few pedestrian malls in Japanese cities, including a large open air one in downtown Tokyo. I was surprised that tables and chairs were provided in the middle of the street. “Shop til you drop.” I have also shopped in underground cities in Tokyo and other Japanese cities with auto free shopping.

Lemonade714 said...

Hondo, I had you in mind when I linked the Welker pic, and I love your theme extra Bond jumper: BAIL BUSTER, or something like that.

Denver was the first place I saw a pedestrian mall back in 1975, but now they are everywhere.

Lemonade714 said...

ABEJO, Golda MEIR was not assassinated but lived in peace in Jerusalem.

Lemonade714 said...

Also from last night, Jeannie you little Lolita you, you came back for Argyle's birth and hit 69. Cool.

KF, I cannot imagine ever really retiring, but what I do does not always feel like work, so...

Al Cyone said...

Spitzboov@8:47: "Lots of white-out in this one."

I realize there are a lot of people here who prefer doing crossword puzzles the old-fashioned way (and I'm old enough to remember when that was the only way) but I think the ability to solve them online is the best thing since sliced bread. Or the automatic transmission. I could see using pencil (or pen) and paper if that was the only option but everyone here is online so I sometimes have to scratch my head.

Please understand that this is in no way meant as a criticism, just an observation. To each his own (as they say in France, using different words).

Montana said...

I started this puzzle late last night but gave up.

Snow plow working, woke me early this morning. I looked out to more SNOW! I live across a street from high school so plows work early and are noisy.
More snow moving in from west; below zero temps moving in from Canada. Ugh!!

I attempted the puzzle again, but a big DNF.
This was a Thumper experience for me.


oc4beach said...

The LA Times website was frustrating this morning. Halfway through the puzzle it jumped to an ad and said it would return to my content in 30 seconds. When it did, it returned to the beginning and I had to fill in the blanks again. I switched to the Mensa site to finish the puzzle.

Otherwise it was a fun challenging puzzle, but I was ultimately able to finish it. I even figured out the theme, which I rarely do.

50 years ago I was one of the approximately 200 Grumman Aerospace Corp. structural designers that designed the LEM. At that time it was known as the Lunar Excursion Module, but after a while NASA decided to rename it the LM, or Lunar Module because once it landed on the Moon it didn't move. So there was no Excursion involved. The excursion didn't happen at least until they launched the Lunar Rover car for the astronauts to ride around in.

The Apollo program occurred during a very heady time when NASA was King and it was really a lot of fun working on space programs. I retired after 40+ years of working on NASA programs which included the LEM, unmanned satellites, in-orbit repair and servicing using the Shuttle and the design and integration of the Space Station. Really a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

42A. Short Exile? : Why, NAPOLEON, of course!

Spitzboov said...

AC @ 0945. Non taken. I guess it's a little like some people prefer a manual transmission when perfectly good and efficient automatic transmissions are available and used by most.
I just prefer pen and ink when the puzzle is in my paper and when the paper is early enough for me to enjoy it. I like ball-point pen over pencil because the contrast on newsprint is much easier for me to read.
Sunday's is not in my paper so I do it on-line.

Anonymous said...

Can't tell you how much I HATED this puzzle, so I won't.

CanadianEh! said...

I was SLAYED (in the meaning of 32D) by this puzzle by Ms. Slay! I had switched over to red letters because of the large amount of white space and then I caught the theme.

I wanted PARKA before COCOA, and TUTTI wouldn't fit for ADUE. I smiled at ANTS in columns. Favourite was TAIL IN THE SADDLE!

Actually, OWENKL, EGESTS includes more than just vomit. "to discharge, as from the body; void (opposed to ingest)"

More Gold Olympic AWARDS for Canada already today (Men's curling, women's ski cross with gold and silver).

Time for the big Canada-USA men's hockey game. I'm not sure anything can top the women's hockey yesterday!!!

TTP said...

Desper-otto from yesterday. I went looking for your survey. Very interesting. American Community Survey

CED from last night:
How to Prevent Ice Dams (News article) - Good Diagram

You need to stop all sources of heat getting warming your attic, and/or take steps to evacuate that heat through either active or passive vents. And add more insulation. Gov't recommends R49 to R60 in your zone. It will help your puffer keep the house cooler in the summer as well.

Steve said...

Nice puzzle Peg, and thanks for the expo, Lemonade. I'm not sure I'm thanking you for the YMCA ear-worm though :)

I saw Village People give a free performance at Dodger Stadium after a game a few years back. Fun!

TTP said...


If the Gold medal wasn't stakes enough... Loser Keeps Bieber

Lucina said...

Hello, friends! Yes, Lemonade, PLAYA=beach in Spanish and Pedro Garcia Lorca, though he was a freedom fighter in the war, many believe he was deliberately sought for his homosexuality.

Fun puzzle! My pencil liked the entire eastern and midwestern areas which filled very quickly. I even EYEd the theme early on and that enabled TAIL IN THE SADDLE to finish. It was the last fill.

Very clever, Peg Slay, and to also include you name. Thank you.

As usual, Lemonade, you AMP the fun and thank you for that.

Al Cyone:
It is supremely satisfying for me to finish a puzzle with pencil and paper in hand knowing that I had to think for myself without an electronic trigger. It's what I've been doing for more than 60 years so I doubt that will change.

I'm pleased for the younger generation who feel the confidence to use electronic equipment. But it DRIVES UP THE WAIL for me.

Have a fantastic Friday, everyone!

Misty said...

My goodness, this was a real Friday toughie for me. I got the theme pretty early but it still didn't help with the mid-West and south-West until late in the day. I was already at the computer, ready to click on the Corner, when TADA, I filled in AMP and EXPAT and finally got it! Yay! So, many thanks, Peg, but please make the next one a little easier. And I loved all the LEM shout-outs to you, Lemonade!

Okay, so what exactly is a LOLLAPALOOZA? I've heard the word before but realized only this morning that I have no idea what it is. Had HENNA before SENNA for a while--guess I sure don't know my medicinal shrubs. And, like TTP, I wanted WILD DREAM for the longest time.

Favorite clue: ID CHECKER for EGO. I do know my Freud.

Have a great Friday, everybody!

Ol' Man Keith said...

I thought I would need to cheat to avoid a DNF, but it turned out I only needed to confirm ENOCH, and everything else then fell into place. It took time, but it got done.
The theme helped. Once I got the "IL" switch I could suss the missing parts of TAIL IN THE SADDLE and PEDESTRIAN MAIL.
I learned today that GALENA is more than the name of a town, and that UINTA is actually a word.

Bill G: Very sorry to read (yesterday) of the passing of your tennis friend. I lost a pal like that at the beginning of last summer. It is strange to hear of the death of someone you just assumed would be out there somewhere.
We'd better get used to this... from now on.

Yellowrocks said...

I am a pen and paper solver. Like Spitz, I find ink easier to read than pencil lead. I write very lightly if I am unsure.
I use pen and paper because I like to have all the clues visible at the same time as I check back and forth. Scrolling drives me nuts. With pen and paper my eyes can light on the word and the clue I want instantly, and just as instantly I can flick to another word.
Also I try harder without the red letter option sitting right there tempting me.
I like the computer for finding more info about the subjects in the puzzle or for Goggling clues that seem impossible for me to get. I don't use those places that give answers to crosswords. I Google the main idea so I can read about it. To each her own.

PK said...

Hi Y'ail! "I" got the "L" out of there. Good puzzle, Peg. Great expo, Lemony.

This really wasn't on my wave length at first, but I did fill it. NW had nothing in it at all until the very last. But like YR, I filled the NE 2/3, worked to the bottom and back up.I got the theme on the second one, but couldn't come up with HAIL until the end. Duh!

I've been in the UINTA mountains and knew it was a name like no other, but my mind had EGESTed it. Didn't know EDDA or LORCA.

As an old bookkeeper, I intended to put AmTS in columns, but hit the "N" instead and got it right.

Ken. was not Kenya but Kentucky! Oh! INDiana, not INDia which is nowhere near Kenya anyway.

Flock? I was thinking birds at first. Too BAAED!

Neither my mother nor I used lard. Crisco ruled our kitchens. No heart disease in our family either.

CrossEyedDave said...

TTP @ 11:05, Excellent link on ice dams.

Re: puzzle, I managed to ink everything in, but I had to Google just about every name & foreign word to do it...

Does anyone have any advice, or tips on how to suss names & foreign words?

I think a hail monitor might be useful.

Here's a place where you can drive up that wail.

um, a slightly DF tail

pedestrian mail was slow to dawn on me...

Why would you need 8 maids?

& finally, (re: 65A) I would be dysfunctionally remiss if I did not link how Joey of Friends thought tailors measured inseams...

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

I'm with Misty, no firm idea what a lollapalooza is. Apparently it needs a band - a loud band. Struggled where Eli bumped into those mountains, because Uintas just didn't look right. Still doesn't.

I see everybody got the ice damn joke easily enough. At the old house, our problem is well known: the LW had a whole house fan put in ere we met. I've been bitching about it for 16 years, because it is a ginormous warm air leak, but she insists it stays because of the ten or so days per year it comes in handy. So we have lived with the unwanted side effects, which include bad ice damn formation.

The new house is carefully insulated at the second story ceiling, no penetrations whatsoever into the attic, except for the access hole that's required by code. There will be no ice damns. There won't be attic storage, either, but we can do without it.

Bumppo said...

Clever as this puzzle was, with TAIL IN THE SADDLE and ail [sic] (good one, hondohurricane), it borders on the illiterate. Let's start with 19A "Ken. neighbor" = IND. "Ken." never was an abbreviation for Kentucky; it was "Ky." even before postal regulations required 2-letter all-CAPS abbreviations. Or maybe the puzzlemaster meant it for Kenya; and the answer is not ETH, or SOM, or SUD (or SOU), or UGA, or TAN, but IND for INDIA. Kenya and India are sorta neighbors, in the sense that Africa and Asia are neighbors (alphabetically as well as geographically – e.g., H, I[ndia], J, K[enya], . . .). You were right the first time, PK.

Then there are the abbreviated answers not called for by the clues (both relating to electronically amplified sound): 21A "Karaoke need" = MIC; 29A "Lollapalooza gear" = AMPS. And, no, "mic" is not an independent word; it is an abbreviation for "microphone." The short form that is an independent word is "mike," not "mic."

And, finally, 32D "Left rolling in the aisles" = SLAYED?! The past tense of "slay" is "slew," not "slayed."

Foul, foul, foul, foul. One more and you're outta here. . . .

P.S. Is it interesting, or not, that 64A's YEA is an anagram of AYE? Which rhymes with its neighbor 45A's EYE . . . .

buckeye bob said...

Misty and Dudley,

Apparently Lollapalooza is a 3-day cultural experience and music festival (hence AMPS) at Grant Park in Chicago.

I'm sure our Chicago Cornerites can fill us in more.


Lucina said...

AnonT & Anonymous:
Thank you for explaining ICE DAMS, a new term for me and obviously nothing I have to worry about.

I'm glad you solved the damn ice dam problem.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of pen & paper - can someone who does the puzzles in such a way scan or post a copy of the puzzle from yesterday's newspaper?

I do the puzzles online, but I would love to see all the ______ clues as written out in the paper.

TIA! This blog is awesome!

desper-otto said...

Anon@12:54 -- Too late! It's already at the bottom of the catbox. DW is *very* efficient.

Lemonade714 said...

If you are going to rant about 'abbreviated' words, do not forget REFS (referees) at 38D. Then some wanted abbr. where also not hinted (AMTS e.g.) I think the theory is MIC AMP and REF have become words on their own.

Nice SLAY : SLAYED reference.

Point of order said...

Contrary to popular belief, there is not a crossword rule that a clue should indicate the answer is an abbreviation.

CanadianEh! said...

LOL TTP. Poor Bieber isn't wanted on either side of the border. Seems he has too much fame and not enough common sense to realize the trouble he is getting himself into.

Great hockey game for our Canadian men. Still no goal for Crosby though.

I'm with you PK - my pastry recipe (inherited from my mother) specifically says NOT to use LARD and I will only use Crisco shortening.
PK, I thought I would be the only one thinking Ken. was Kenya because of my trip there last spring.

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

Late due to a busy day. I enjoyed the puzzle and had no problems, except ciao before cara. (Don't ask!). Thanks, Peg Slay, and great expo, Lemony.

Expecting heavy rains, winds, and possible thunder. Cold air heading back, also, but at least a lot of the snow has melted. Although, I saw some pretty tall snowbanks earlier, and dodged (or tried to) numerous pot holes. (Just heard a rumble of thunder.)

I thought the figure skater from Italy gave one of the most beautiful and electrifying performances that I have ever seen. The young Russian who won was terrific but she didn't have the elegance and grace of the Italian. I also thought Ashley Wagner out-skated Gracie Gold. Polina was quite good, as well, and certainly has a bright future ahead of her. Naturally, this is all IMHO. :-)

Have a great day.

Bill G. said...

I liked the puzzle and the theme. I couldn't have put it into words very well other than "Replace the first L of a pair with an I."

Movie quote? "Wanna kiss me, Duckie?"

Bumppo: I wouldn't bother except for your smug tone-of-voice but from the Merriam-Webster dictionary -- Slayed: To delight or amuse immensely as "He slayed the audience."

BTW, I agree with you about Ken. neighbor.

Keith, thanks. I know you are correct...

Spitzboov said...

Re: MIC - Meriam Webster gives the definition of Mic as microphone. It does not term it an abbreviation.

MIC is, however, an abbreviation for Methyl Isocyanate. It is also an abbreviation for Micah.

Your call.

Yellowrocks said...

ANON @12:54
Try this website. You can either solve online or print it out to solve on paper. Puzzles from earlier in the week are there, too. I like to do the Acrosses and Downs together, which would require a lot of shuttling around on the computer Do the computer solvers actually try all the Acrosses first and then all the Downs?
Link puzzles to print out
Happy solving.
Yellowrocks to you from Kathy

River Doc said...

Happy Friday everybody!

Well.... At least I got ail the theme answers. No wait, I had DROVE instead of DRIVE....

Other errors included WRIER for DRIER, and GOLETA (?) for GALENA, which led to Holy Cow! being MOO for a while....

Still, not whining, since it is Friday after ail....

Also noticed the not-so CSO at 32D...? Connected to 44A perhaps...?

Finally, in Tin's stead I'll mention that he would've had an on-purpose DNF due to 54D, and I for one applaud his stick-to-it-ness....

Doc out....

Post-script, today's captcha is 3222228...!

Anonymous said...

This is "Bumppo." I cannot answer the recent replies to my commentary because the blog has suddenly decided not to recognize my URL, and not to allow me to post my remarks as "Anonymous," either.

Let's just sum it all up with my 21st century maxim, "There are no standards any more."

Anonymous said...

Someone please e-mail me about this: Either I have violated the "terms of service," or the blog has developed a serious glitch.

Montana said...

I see all the across and down clues and the puzzle on my iPad. It looks exactly like the puzzle in my newspaper. Early in the week, I have red letter help turned off, so the experiences are quite similar.
Late in each week, I turn on red letter help, but if I see red, I consider it a personal DNF.


Misty said...

Many thanks, Buckeye Bob--I love learning new things on the blog and this is one of them.

PK said...

YR, I solve on-line and go back and forth between across and down in each section like you do. It isn't that hard to make the shift -- just click a couple times. Remembering to do it sometimes puts letters on the wrong plane, but no big deal. Sometimes getting on the wrong plane is helpful if it fills in some letters that turn out to be right.

Irish Miss: in re, your ice skating comments: AMEN! The only reason I could see that the Russian girl won is her unique moves. She definitely wasn't my favorite either. They were all lovely.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Mid section did me in. Couldn't suss ANTS, wanted TOPS to be a verb, didn't know SENNA nor UINTA.

Clever theme, which I very slowly figured out.

Disappointing hockey game today. Canada was much more dominating than the 1-0 score would suggest.

Now I'm for Sweden.

Nest week - return of the Polar Vortex. Yucch.

Cool regards!

Bumppo said...

test only

buckeye bob said...

Yellowrocks at 2:25 PM –

I am a former paper solver who now solves online. But my method is the same either way.

I started solving crossword puzzles on paper, in ink, as a teenager. Now that I am retired and do 2 or 3 puzzles daily, I do them online.

I make a first pass through the Acrosses and the Downs, filling in the answers that I think are certain.

Then I either (a) go back to the beginning at 1A, or (b) go to an area with some answers filled in. From there on, I work the puzzle similar to you.

I work the Acrosses and Downs at the same time. Sometimes the perp gives me a clue to the answer. Sometimes the perp confirms an answer. Sometimes it takes several perps.

After that, if I am stuck for an answer, I do a mental alphabet run, which sometimes triggers an answer.

If I still have white spaces, with no idea about the answer, no hope in sight, and I am out of patience, I turn on red letter help. Usually that works. (On paper, this is where I would Google it.)

I try to learn from my unknowns in the puzzle, from the Reviewer, and from the Comments through online research.

I do crossword puzzles for fun, for the challenge, and to learn. Sometimes I think Solvers take this stuff too seriously. After all, it’s just a puzzle.

As Al said at 9:45 AM, to each his own.

Maci45 said...

I've been reading the Blog for a month or so now; I know 'perps' means getting the answer for one answer by the boxes that cross it. But where did the word 'perps' come from? I do the puzzle from the actual L.A. Times paper, and can't get to it until mid-afternoon. Wish there were red letters that would pop up in my hard copy!

Yellowrocks said...

I am not a purist, but rather a pragmatist.So, what is the advantage of online solving? Why bother with the learning curve when paper and pen is so satisfactory? I hate the extra maneuvers needed online. It is more cumbersome. Try paper and pen again and see what I mean. The Mensa site and every other site I have tried gives you all the clues at first, but when you get into writing the answers you need to plod along with scrolling. I am impatient with that. Why bother?

PK said...

YR, I discontinued the paper because the print throughout became too small for me to read comfortably. I can enlarge the news I want to read on the computer. The puzzle size was so small there was no hope of reading it in the printed form. For awhile, I enlarged it on my copier till that went defunct. That is the only reason I went to solving on-line. I enjoy it more now. I never do anything without a good sound reason. But I remain flexible and adaptable. I was married to a pragmatist a long time and did a lot of flexing and adapting.

Husker Gary said...

I loved subbing back at my old school but their filter forbids any site with blog to open as it is called a “game”. Imagine that! The theme and fill made for a nice Friday while supervising 13-year-olds. Now to read what y’all opined.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Definitely a paper solver - and pen instead of pencil. It is not just that pen contrasts well with the paper, but that the flow of a pen is smoother than the typical drag of pencil graphite, especially over the newsprint surface.

Like YR, I write lightly when I'm unsure, so refills aren't hard to read. Well, in rare and extreme cases, the refills can become so thick I just have to remember what the most recent fill was supposed to be, & I may even tear the paper - but that's what I mean by "extreme"!)
I have tried doing pzls on line, but it isn't quite as satisfying--especially when those red letter helps are so near at hand.

Lastly, I like the feel and weight of a twice folded newspaper on my lap. The posture feels right and seems to reinforce the artisanal aspect of crosswording.

Argyle said...

Mary, perps stand for perpendiculars. (The words at a right angle to the target word.)

TTP said...

Hi all, catching up again this afternoon.

I'm not sure what you mean by solving online and needing to scroll, or scrolling. Are you using an external mouse ?

The Mensa site uses uClick puzzle application, and using the Tab Key should advance you to the next field, as does the Enter key. There is a Help section that tells you what the keyboard controls are. The USA Today puzzle is a uClick puzzle.

As PK said, double left clicking the mouse changes the direction of the fill from horizontal to vertical and back again with two more clicks. My laptop keyboard has a built in mouse, so my hands are never leaving the keyboard.

Some websites use the Arkadium format which takes a little time to get used to, but basically the same. The big diff there is that you have to compensate for letters that you've previously filled in. Desper-otto espoused his feelings a week or so ago about that. The Chicago Tribune and Washington Post use the Arkadium format. It also has a Help section that speaks to navigation.

Other sites, other formats. Stan Newman's site... Must let java run, and you don't want to use the Tab keys... Use enter to advance.

I prefer online. Hardly print anything. Don't get newspapers. Changing the game from Master to Regular is just a matter of self discipline.

HeartRx said...

I have not had time to read the comments yet (later), but I thoroughly enjoyed this offering from Peg (she SLAYED me !!) (^0^)

I loved your write-up, Lemony! Lots of fun links and quips. as always.

I caught on to the theme with the first entry HAIL MONITOR, so that helped with the other themers No major hang-ups, and I finished in a Tuesday-level time. Wow, was it really that easy??

GTG - making homemade pizza tonight, with dough from a local Italian bakery - should be excellent!

HeartRx said...

I have not had time to read the comments yet (later), but I thoroughly enjoyed this offering from Peg (she SLAYED me !!) (^0^)

I loved your write-up, Lemony! Lots of fun links and quips. as always.

I caught on to the theme with the first entry HAIL MONITOR, so that helped with the other themers No major hang-ups, and I finished in a Tuesday-level time. Wow, was it really that easy??

GTG - making homemade pizza tonight, with dough from a local Italian bakery - should be excellent!

Avg Joe said...

I'll jump into this paper vs computer discussion.

I think the biggest factor is simply familiarity. I solve pencil on newsprint because it's what I'm most familiar and most comfortable with. I've tried on line solving twice. Once just to see what it was like. Once because I was traveling and didn't have either a paper or a printer available. Hated it both times! Even switching from the newspaper to a printed puzzle from a website throws me off because it looks different. I do that at times if the paper is late or if I can't sleep and want to kill some time until the paper does arrive, but it's not in my comfort zone.

Another factor worth mentioning is that anytime red letter help is turned on, it is a form of electronic assistance. While you might see no red squares and think you did it without help, the mere fact that you had confirmation for every entry is not the same as having no feedback.

As always, YMMV.

Lucina said...

I'm with you on the reasons for using pencil and paper. And actually I use an artist's pencil which has a thick lead, easy to see and erase and that works well for me.

I am just grateful to my fourth grade teacher who first introduced me to crossword puzzles for doing spelling lessons. It is a most satisfying hobby. You all are witnesses to that.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Fun puzzle. Took me a while to get the theme. Still kicking myself for not knowing the I crossing ELI and UINTA. I like solving on paper with my mechanical .5mm pencil. Gotta go, bye!

Kentucky Kate said...

Cheers to all,
Just putting in my vote for Paper and Pen as my primary preference. I've done some on the computer and that is sometimes more convenient and available, but I must admit that, for me, it's similar to reading books. I've now read several on Kindle and that has aspects I enjoy. But not nearly so satisfying emotionally as having the physical book in hand. I'm confident that's an artifact of my age and young habits.

Happy to say this Friday puzzle went pretty smoothly, once I got over Parka for COCOA and let go of BACK IN THE SADDLE. It was obvious it wasn't right (and I didn't write Back - but I sure did want to). I was delighted to finally figure out TALL.

Happy Friday, Folks!

Bill G. said...

The word "whining" has occurred several times, recently and today. It can mean the siren-like sound coming from a mechanical object that's about to fail (like a transmission or differential) or constant complaining about little things. I think I'm correct that in England, they use the word "whinging" for the second meaning like, "Stop your constant whinging about your homework." I like it.

Buckeye Bob, right you are. If I had grown up doing crosswords, I'd probably be doing them on paper. But I came to the CW party later on in life. I started doing them online and continue to do so. I think the only serious drawback to pencil/pen/paper solving is when you get stuck and can't finish. I wouldn't be satisfied with that. I much prefer to be able to turn on red letters if I get seriously stuck rather than take a DNF. I think we're all creatures of habit and prefer what we get used to.

CrossEyedDave said...

What Avg Joe said... even with no red letters, black is a confirmation. (+I don't want help with my spelling, it's half the fun.)

I prefer ink on paper so I can lightly fill any box I am not sure of, but want to remember but write over if necessary. It would be nice if the electronic version in addition to black & red, had a grey option for "maybe." A lot of times there are several options for an answer, & I like to lightly fill just the 1st letter just to remind me what I thought it might be when I come to the perps.

YR, are you doing the puzzles on an Ipad or notebook? If you do them on a PC, it is easy to just use the mouse to click on any square which brings up both cross & down clues automatically.

Once again, I must ask... Does anyone have a method, advice, or tips for sussing out names & foreign words, or do I have to keep banging my head against the wall?

CrossEyedDave said...

(nuts, I forgot why I wanted to post in the 1st place...)

Ink & paper is necessary to get totally stuck, & have to come to the Blog, for which I will always be eternally grateful for all the enlightenment, tidbits, camaraderie, & learning it provides.

How boring to have a computer give you all the answers...

(red letters,,, Bah Humbug!)

fermatprime said...


This clever offering took quite a while! Thank you, Peg! Loved the expo, Lemon!

Great theme! Confidently filled in GALiNA at first. Easily fixed later. Barely remembered UINTAS.

Finally got the TADA. No cheats but lots of anxiety.

Bill: So sorry about your friend.


windhover said...

Wow!! Did somebody piss in the blog Cheerios this morning or what?
First, Rich is "slipping as an editor", then "George lies".
And of course as usual Bumppo's panties are in a wad once again, even though over the past couple years 99% of his objections ("fouls") have been overruled by evidence offered by later posters.
Are we having fun here? As Husker Gary's school filter recognizes, crosswording is a game. A diversion. A pastime.
I'm definitely not a Fri/Sat level solver most weeks, but I got this one. And as a native Kentuckian, and since I already had _ND, that one was pretty obvious. The Dakotas are often here as SDAK or NDAK, so what's the beef?
In other news, I'm a pen and paper solver. I've solved a few times online, but if that was my daily experience I'd find another pastime. But you should do whatever churns your butter.
Cue the trolls.

fermatprime said...

Here is a little game that is habit forming (but supposed to increase mental prowess). I read about it on the NYT Personal Tech site. Great for tablet or phone!

Lemonade714 said...

Like many I started solving online because I could get the puzzle at 10:00 pm. Once I blogged it was mandatory to get the puzzle as soon as possible to have time to pick the words and links. The newspapers also are so messy and take up so much room until recycle day.

Argyle said...

With Cruciverb and the AcrossLite, your option is "Indicate incorrect letter immediately". If you are wrong, a black flag appears in the corner. If you ask for the right letter, then it becomes a red flag.

If you opt out of the immediate indicater, you won't know if it is right or wrong until you check it but you may change a word or letter with no penalty.

Dudley said...

What Argyle said. I choose the electronic option which gives no support, most closely mimicking the paper & pen experience. The biggest difference is that it is possible to change incorrect answers without making a mess, so you can be a bit carefree in testing potential spellings or whatever.

When solving on newsprint, which I still do occasionally, I prefer the challenge of doing it in ink. I consider it ideal to have every square filled in neatly, correctly, with no write-overs. That can be tough on Saturdays.

Lucina said...

About learning names. I'll tell you my methods. I keep a Crossword Puzzle Dictionary, organized according to general vocabulary, authors, French or other foreign languages. It is very handy and with luck if a name is repeated enough times I recall it. Writing it seems to help the remembering.

Since reading is my second hobby, many names come across my eyes as authors or references.

German words are the hardest for me so I have a small German dictionary to which I occasionally resort. Fortunately I speak Spanish and it relates well to Italian and other of romance languages. I also studied Latin for two years.

Sometimes it's the constant repetition which provides familiarity. When you come across an unknown name you could try putting it on a 3 X 5 card or a small notebook.

TTP said...

OK, so here I am arguing / defending a position I don't care to argue or defend, but, "What Avg Joe said... even with no red letters, black is a confirmation..." is not a true statement when playing at the "Master" level.

And I don't think that's quite what Avg Joe said. He said, "...anytime red letter help is turned on..." which means that the player has either preselected the game at "Regular" level or has changed the option to that level during the game. As Seinfeld, would say, "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

So black letters is not a confirmation when playing at the "Master" level. Try it and see. Make obvious mistakes. No red letters.

Also, with a number of other online puzzles, there are no Master/Regular options. For example, if you are doing puzzles at the Newsday site, you either get it or you don't. Same as Master here.

Some may dismiss the other offerings such as Washington Post, USA Today, or the Newsday puzzles, but I frequently see the same creators elsewhere as we see here. The difference, IMHO, is the quality of the editing by Rich, and the consistency and currency in the cluing.

Personally, I'm stubborn enough on most days to stay at the Master level for excessive periods before reverting to Regular. I don't set time limits, and as I learned while having a beer with Abejo, neither does he. There have been some late week puzzles that I've worked on and off all day. On other days, I'll change the game back to Regular, and red letters may reveal errors in some of my supposedly rock-solid fill.

I also see no issue, as Spitz has previously opined, in getting stuck and researching what stumps you. Whether you Google or revert to your personally maintained or formally published book of crossword answers and clues is up to the individual you.

As Al Cyone said earlier in the day, "To each his own..." and I pass no judgement on those of you that are still stuck using scribe and parchment. That was a joke my friends !

Avg Joe said...

I make every effort to choose my words carefully. I don't normally object to being quoted, but I do prefer to not be quoted out of context, or worse yet misquoted. Your assessment was correct, TTP.

Maci45 said...

Thank you, Argyle, for the definition. I kept trying to apply the criminal definition ( watching Castle too much!). I enjoy reading the blog - I guess most bloggers are on the east coast, so they get a good jump on the puzzle and blog before I do. Really glad I found it! Thanks again for the perp definition.

Anonymous said...

TTP - I feel I must pass judgment:
Your inclusion of USA Today puzzles among the others you mentioned is appalling. Please do not do this again.

CrossEyedDave said...


Ack! you mean you have to work at it?!

(I was hoping for an easy way out...)

Anyway, I took your crossword dictionary for a test drive, by putting in the clue, Ken. neighbor, & this is what I got...


( I need a blog for that one...)

(I wonder if I got cross eyed from beating my head against the wall...)

BCC: CC; Being superstitious, whenever I try to post, if the captcha is incomprehensible it makes me think I shouldn't post because I am posting crap...

(I think captcha is stifling free speech...)

(Ack! it still won't give me #'s,,, maybe I shouldn't post...)

Ok, after 20 freakin' captcha's, I am going to try "smffin." (If this doesn't post, it's just Karma...)

Irish Miss said...

To add my 2 cents, I use Cruciverb/Across Lite on my iPad and I don't have any help unless I specifically ask for it in the form of a clue to a letter or word; there is no red letter help. If I ask for help, then it's DNF.

OwenKL said...

CanuckEh: My dictionary agrees with you about EGESTS, but I recall seeing it a novel where ralphing was certainly being referred to. And if it's the opposite of ingest, well, the only things ingested at the other end are suppositories, enemas, and colonoscopes. (We'll ignore sexual practices.)

Short exile: I don't think it has anything to do with a ballplayer. EXPAT is short for EXPATriate, "one who has taken up residence in a foreign country." Another of those neologisms like MIC and REF and THO.

SLAYSlay (make laugh) may be related to slay (to kill), but it's used differently, so it's proper for it to use the regular way to indicate past tense, instead of the irregular way of the base word.

CED: I like the Across Lite format, and it does have exactly that pencil option you asked for!
As for foreign words, one tip is cognates. English is a meld of Germanic, Greek and Latin, so nearly every word in French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, German, Greek and a surprisingly lot of Russian have has a similar word in English.

Bill G. said...

Thank you all for your sympathetic words and thoughts. I miss my buddy Pete.

I don't know who wins the college Jeopardy yet but I like the girl from Princeton the best. Dunno why...

OK, now I know. At the end of the show, she was trying to get a couple of words in, probably to thank some people but Alex kept talking with his canned spiel and she never got to say a thing. Anyway, good for her.

Lucina said...

I have forgotten to tell you how sorry I am about the loss of your friend. I hope you have some good memories when you think about him.

I'm sorry to say that, yes, it does take some work to develop techniques for solving. But the good news is that once you do, they are yours forever and you build on them.

Bumppo said...

My apologies for the earlier profanity, which was judiciously removed. With Argyle's help, I discovered the "failure to communicate" (it was a rather dumb error message of a failure to complete html protocol; the blog could do better). Here's what I tried to post:

Lemonade714 @1:30 pm:

Good point: "Ref" as a short form is acknowledged (cf. ump). But even there, while "abbr." is not required, some indication in the clue is indicated (e.g., "for short," "in short," "briefly," whatever), by established standards.

You can say "amp" (though short-form) is a word in itself, but you cannot say that about "mic."

Brevity/abbreviation was indicated in 63D by the inclusion of the word "letters" in the clue for EMS. It was not needed in 47D because "YMCA" is the title of the song.

And Bill G. @2:01 and Spitzboov @2:07@:
Merriam-Webster is merely caving to H. L. Mencken's boobocracy.

Or, you can just adopt my 21st century maxim (not exactly contrary to "Point of order's" remark @1:50): "There are no standards any more."