Feb 28, 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014, Daniel Landman

Theme: Pat, give me a G, no better make that a double! (an homage to our own Garlic Gal).

The letters "GG" are inserted into descriptions or expressions to create a new phrase clued wackily. My second offering from this rabbinical student living in Jerusalem, the first being a January Friday with PE removed from phrases. So we take away, we add, I wonder what is next. I like most of the theme, but not crazy about the middle grid-spanner for reasons listed below. The rest did not seem like a Friday at all with the plethora of 3,4 and 5 letter fill. with the longest non-theme fill 6 letters. Well into the fray, let's see where we come out.

18A. Non-magical "Harry Potter" animal? : MUGGLE DEER. (11). If you somehow missed the entire Harry Potter craze, Muggles are what the magical ones call humans. Mule Deer have big ears and live out west in the US.

23A. Camembert left out in the sun too long? : SAGGY CHEESE. (11). Supposedly the baring of the teeth which comes from enunciating 'Cheese' is where the expression started. Camembert like brie, often sags.

37A. Woman's enticing movements? : FEMININE WIGGLES.(15) A grid spanner, and the odd man out in two ways, as it is the only one with GG added to the second word, and the meaning of the phrase does not change much as wiggling is certainly one of the womanly ways of the world.

52A. Miracle in the mire? : BOGGY WONDER.(11). Boy wonder is used to describe any prodigy, from Mozart to David Steinberg; growing up in New England we all know BOGGS. I like the alliterative clue.

58A. Periodical dedicated to stylish boots? : UGGS WEEKLY. Are UGGS considered stylish, I always thought they were so named because they were ugly but comfortable? They advertise in US Weekly? Weakly?
and a bonus hint...

63A. Best Picture of 1958, and a hint to this puzzle's theme : GIGI. Love Maurice Chevalier, and I have always taken this advice to heart. LISTEN.(1:04).


1. "Poetic" or "Prose" mythological work : EDDA. No Icelandic hint on Friday.

5. Movie-rating org. : MPAA. Motion Picture Association of America

9. R&B singer known for popularizing Auto-Tune : T PAIN. Not only had I not heard of this artist, I had no clue there was such a device infecting modern music. I certainly was interested by the effects on Cher's Believe but I had no clue, even though I have heard the sound again. Jzb, your thought?  I really enjoy when a constructor teaches me something I never knew, and I feel rather foolish for missing the whole controversy. LINK.

14. Device for Marner : LOOM. Well George Eliot's Silas Marner will always stick in my mind if only because as a youngster  I was fascinated by George being a woman. The literary device of the LOOM can be discussed, but her contribution to Victorian literature in this and others like Middlemarch is only a question only of degree.

15. Orderer's reference : MENU. Orderer, what an awkward sounding word.

16. "In what way?" : HOW SO.

17. Not to mention : ALSO.

20. Shill : PLANT. The audience member placed there to fool the others into thinking they are having a good time, or need to spend money.

22. Serengeti predators : LIONS. Semi clecho, 25D. Serengeti scavenger : HYENA. Finally, 60D. Serengeti prey : GNU. Sums up the region and life.

26. Whammy : HEX. marks the spot? In Liverpool?

29. Cockney location word : ERE. We are not there, we are 'ere.

30. Bean opening? : SOY.

31. Constant flow : STREAM. Are we too early for prostate humor?

33. Annoy : MOLEST. I had a very hard time sussing this, as lots of people have annoyed me....

36. Inventing middle name : ALVA. Mr. Edison to you.

42. Gulf of __ : ADEN.

43. Stands : ARISES.

44. The Aztecs' Tonatiuh, for one : SUN GOD. Not up on my Aztec deities, but this filled easily.

47. Bert Bobbsey's twin : NAN.

48. Old sports org. with a red, white and blue ball : ABA. American Basketball Association. Home of the incomparable Dr. J., Julius Erving who played at UMass when I was in undergrad and graduate school in UConn. What a player, and the NBA owes the three point shot, slam dunk contest and other changes to the ABA. WATCH. (5:07).

 51. Germaphobia may be a symptom of it, for short : OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

56. British bishop's headdress : MITRE. A word every crossword solver should know.

57. Target : AIM AT.

64. Japanese comics : MANGA. My kids were very into MANGA and ANIME, I will ask YR to explain more about how they fit in Japanese culture.

65. Kitchenware brand : EKCO. I heard that before.

66. First name in case fiction : ERLE. Stanley Gardner, creator of Perry Mason.

67. Rebuff : SPURN.

68. Lunkhead : DODO. A shout-out to our own who derives her nickname from her name not a reminder of the extinct bird which was believed to be not very intelligent.

69. One may make you uncomfortable : LEER. Or it might make you pretty excited...


1. Go by : ELAPSE. Where does the time go, we are on the downs already.

2. Almighty __ : DOLLAR. Ah yes, the American Dream.

3. How much to take : DOSAGE. Well after last Sunday, it is nice to see AGE make a comeback.

4. First __ equals : AMONG. An odd sounding phrase from the LATIN to describe the senior member of a group of peers.

5. "Dee-lish!" : MMM. Good.

6. Little, in Lille : PEU. Straight French, an accessible one for those who parle un peu.

7. Position, as a pool cue : ANGLE.

8. Bellow title hero March : AUGIE. This was the first of his three National Book Awards; I have read his work and enjoyed them, not equally, but certainly Herzog and Mr. Sammler's Planet have stuck with me. He also won a Pulitzer Prize and a Nobel Prize. However my favorite AUGIE (0:20) who would fit because of the 2 G's.

9. Place to browse : THE NET.

10. Sci-fi vehicles : PODS. The ships or the home of the body snatchers?

11. Reverence : AWE.

12. Expert finish? : ISE. If we complain about ADE as a puzzle answer, how Expertise?

13. Here-there link : NOR.

19. Fan's disappointment : LOSS.

21. 1980s-'90s heavyweight champ : TYSON. Now a media star. UNDISPUTED TRUTH. (3:26).

 24. E. follower : COLI.

26. Word after raise or catch : HELL.

27. Place for a nest, perhaps : EAVE.

28. Short holiday? : XMAS. I thinks this is cute; certainly once I saw the answer I thought it was cute.

32. Joplin works : RAGS. I know Scott Joplin wrote Ragtime music, but I was ready to nitpick, but... Merriam Webster says it is a composition in ragtime, short for ragtime. First Known Use: 1897

33. Artistic dynasty : MING. C.C. any thoughts? (C.C.: My first reaction is Tang, as it's the  peak of various arts, esp poetry and painting. I only associate MING with vases.)

34. Sun. message : SERmon. Sunday.

35. Strong like string : TWINY. String is not strong, twine is strong string which is doubled up.

37. Burkina __ : FASO. I have never heard of this COUNTRY, let alone know where it is located. Damn you American geography.

38. Cabinet dept. : EDUCation.

39. Heal : MEND.  A HEART? (3:00).

40. Part of Caesar's boast : I SAW. VIDI.

41. Italy's largest port : GENOA. No, I did nota noa that.

45. Sci-fi character nicknamed Ben : OBIWAN. Kenobi. Ken, ben?

46. Heap affection (on) : DOTE. Followed by....

48. Regard highly : ADMIRE. Which leads to....

49. Hunting dog : BEAGLE. Snoopy?

50. More pretentious : ARTIER.

53. "__ is good" : GREED. Saw the promo a million times.

54. "Wall Street" antagonist who said 53-Down : GEKKO.. Michael Douglas.

55. Spinal Tap guitarist Tufnel : NIGEL. One of many CREATIONS (0:50) of Christopher Guest.

56. Roman Cath. title : MSGR. Monseigneur.

58. Verbal stumbles : UMS. Er, I hope you all got this one.

59. Disparity : GAP. Like this?

 61. PC screen type : LCD. Liquid Crystal Display.

62. "__-hoo!" : YOO.  Boo-hoo, we are done for another week.

Before we go, I wanted to express my condolences to the family and friends of Harold Ramis, who died this week. He brought us ANIMAL HOUSE, GHOSTBUTERS, CADDYSHACK, and GROUNDHOG DAY among many others. Don't cross the streams!

Can you believe we are two months into the year already, the Olympics are over, and spring is on the way for all you who choose to live in the frozen north. I am off to my day job, so I will see you all at the beach next time. Lemonade out.


HeartRx said...

Good morning Lemonade, C.C. et al.

Wasn’t crazy about this theme. First, GIGI is pronounced more like “jhee-jhee” than “G-G.” Second, a MUGGLE is a human without magic powers, and not an animal. So MUGGLE DEER didn’t really work for me. And SAGGY CHEESE – huh? I also totally agree with you about FEMININE WIGGLES, Lemony!

I wish I could say that the fill made up for whatever the theme lacked, but I can’t. ABA, ISE, UMS, YOO, MPAA, MSGR? TPAIN who? And TWINY, with a clue at 47-Across that has the word TWIN in it? Is TWINY even a real word?

Oh well, maybe tomorrow will be better…

Anon.T from last night, I roared when I saw the video you posted. ”It’s not about the nail…” Too funny! But it does speak volumes.

TGIF – book club tonight. We are reading “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt. Great book, albeit a little long at 771 pages. G

OwenKL said...

The LION was in desperate straits.
All he'd eaten for weeks were some dates.
Something every GNU knew:
To show disrespect, you
Strike a pose, a moon aGGravates.

Even the HYENA took a try on
Making fun of the pride's fallen scion.
Till the smallest eland
Picked the wrong way to stand:
The shortest dis stance is in a straited LION!

(The GG theme didn't inspire much, so I went with the incidental Serengeti fauna theme. I used up my non-Gay straight lion on Tuesday this week, so a lion in straits had to fit in now.)

OwenKL said...

A struGGle, but I did it, with only a small bit of red letter help. Had WIGGLES in, but was sure Caesar's brag was VInI, VIcI, or VIdI so dropped WIGGLES, and they had to wiggle their way back in with perps. At first no ta-da. Turned on red and only 2 letters wrong, both basically spelling errors: expertESE instead of expertISE, and ECCO instead of EKCO. The two crosses were perped names, so they didn't give me any hints.
Sometimes too much knowledge is a bad thing. If I weren't a sci-fi fan, I would have seen OBI WAN more quickly than trying to go through the entire science fiction canon in my head! On the other hand, I'm weak on Oscar winners, so had to get the theme first to reveal the reveal!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Have I ever mentioned that G is my favorite letter to write? Sadly, I did this puzzle online...

Once again, the NW corner almost did me in. It was only after finishing the rest of the puzzle and figuring out the theme that I was able to throw a couple of Gs into 23A to get a foothold there. Even then, I initially went with SOGGY CHEESE (based on "soy cheese") and was a bit peeved that it was right above SOY. Is there even such a thing as soy cheese?

Ended up with one mistake elsewhere that I simply couldn't track down without turning on the red-letter help. Had GEKCO/ECCO instead of GEKKO/EKCO. Either choice looks equally bad to me and I simply guessed wrong. Oops.

In other news, TWINY? UGG!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

It's cold!!

There, now I've said that, on to the puzzle. There were lots of unknowns, Tpain in particular, but perps took care of everything today. Muggle Deer showed up early and established the theme, which sped up the solve a bit.

Unless I've forgotten something, this is the first month I know of in which Cruciverb didn't fail at some point. I hope it's a good omen.

Al Cyone said...

A clever theme and some good clues (e.g. "Short hoilday?") but I spent the final five minutes on a typo hunt. I had no idea who TPAEN was but all the perps looked good. Then it occurred to me that "expertISE" might not be spelled "expertESE". TaDa!

It got down to 1.7° overnight here in the beautiful mid-Hudson valley. Snow on Monday is looking more certain, the only question being how much.


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Oh, dreaded DNF, how I hate thee! My stutterer was uttering UHS rather than UMS, and HANGA looked just fine.

MMM started out as AHH, MOLEST as PESTER and PODS as UFOs. TPAIN really looked wrong, but I did remember T'Pau from Star Treacle, so I figured maybe it was correct.

Lemon, why damn American geography? It's Africa where the countries come and go faster than the mapmakers can track. I can't wait to see a crossword with the clue: Its capital is Ouagadougou. And by then, I'll have forgotten it.

Ming only reminds me of Yao. He lived in Houston.

Lemonade714 said...

Marti, I think you have to admit humans are animals (did you all catch the muggles reference on TBBT last evening)

Gordon Gekko ( 2 G ) speech Greed is Good was my favorite part because of all the Gs

thehondohurricane said...

GRRR day,

This was not a DNF, it was a good old fashioned butt kicking. The only thing I figured out was the double G theme. I could not get a foothold anywhere on this "piece of work".

My brain is either frozen or my advancing age is catching up with me. Fortunately, it's a working weekend and with no storms predicted until Sunday evening, I'm on a FRIGGIN LOA from Xwords until Monday.

Stay warm. With wind chill, temp here is -04.

Mari said...

Good morning everybody - happy Friday!

Nice puzzle today. I caught the "missing G" terms early onn, but was a little confused because I was unfamiliar with MULE DEER.

I didn't know EDDA, TPAIN, LOOM, ABA or PEU, but was able to PEP them.

I liked the clue for 28D: Short holiday? XMAS.

Lots of Serengeti's in here.

Well, we've reached the end of February. I'm hoping March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Here's to warmer weather!

Have a great day!

Mari said...

Barry G @ 5:51 am: Your "TWINY? UGG!" had me cracking up! :)

Anonymous said...

Gekko does not say, "greed is good." He says, "greed, for lack of a better word, is good." So, I think the clue is inaccurate. Otherwise, it was an ok puzzle.

buckeye bob said...

Marti and Lemonade,

I think maybe you are both missing the point about 18A. Or I am totally missing the point of your comments, which is certainly possible!

The clue is: 18A. Non-magical "Harry Potter" animal?

The clue relates to the entire answer, not just Muggle. So…

Non-magical “Harry Potter” clues “Muggle”.

Animal clues “deer”.

Put the 2 parts together and you get MUGGLE DEER.

Yellowrocks said...

This was not easy for me, even though I soon saw the double GG which helped a lot.Although the pronunciation is different, it also gave me Gigi.
I was sure of PODS, but TPAIN, just looked wrong. I flirted with Shania TWAIN, but she didn't do R&B, so I asked Mr. G. I thought the kitchen tools were ECCO, but GEKCO looked weird. I wavered between K and C and eventually asked Mr. G. Two cheats. I should have chosen before looking it up.I had a 50/50 chance.
I know that originally in Japan MANGA referred to comic books and graphic novels, which later became animated. ANIME in Japan refers to all the animation arts. I never discussed this with the Japanese.
Quite a few American teens were in my Japanese class because of their love of anime (American style). An adult member of our class attends anime conventions with costumes and all. I am not much into anime or MANGA. Wikipedia has a good article on anime if you are interested.
My favorite parts were the Serengeti clues.
I also think UGGS are ugly, not stylish, although I suppose they are the "in" thing.

Big Easy said...

The NE corner stumped me until the end because I kept thinking BUFFET for browse and UFO instead of POD. In Vegas most shills have ample cleavage and FEMININE WILES. MUGGLE DEER came only because I knew it had to have a GG (not familiar with Potter names). SUNGOD fell into place by perps.I was expecting Caesar's boast to be in Latin, veni vidi vici and initially had the wrong Bobbsey twin. MANGA only came by luck. Could have been RANGA. Nice Friday puzzle but it was a real TPAIN because he or she is a complete unknown to me.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I defer to my wise friend, Thumper.

Thanks for the expo, Lemon.

Goodbye and good riddance to February.

Stay warm and safe, everyone.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Found the top a bit crunchy and tough to get an anchor, so worked from the center downward. Then went to the top and slowly WIGGLED the solution home. Liked the GG theme but was clueless about MUGGLE DEER.
STREAM - Topic of frequent query from my urologist.

Have a great day.

HeartRx said...

Lemony @ 7:34 - Some, more than others...

buckeye bob @ 8:32, my point was that "muggle" doesn't just mean "non-magical." It specifically means a non-magical HUMAN. Since deer are not humans, they would not be called a "muggle."

But I probably nit-pick...

Point of order said...

50 Down, More pretentious, isn't Barry G.?
Even using Red Letter Help he won't admit to a DNF.

Yellowrocks said...

Since the clues are tongue in cheek rather than literal I can accept MUGGLE DEER.

Quote: "Animation is not the art of drawings that move, but rather the art of movements that are drawn. -Norman McLaren
That reminds me that our Peter Pan DVD contains a fascinating extra about the drawing of Tinkerbell for the film. They used a live actress with tons of personality and spunk to act out the scenes. Then they drew her in each position. She was fun to watch.

buckeye bob said...

Thank you for the puzzle, David. Thank you for an excellent review, Lemonade.

I thought this was easy for a Friday puzzle. I got the reveal early, which helped with the theme answers.

I didn’t know SUN GOD Tonatiuh or AUGIE March, and couldn’t remember a “little” French word like PEU, but the perps got them.

I had ANIME before MANGA.

First name in case (courtroom) fiction: ERLE appears in 2 crossword puzzles today. What are the odds of that happening?

I finished the puzzle in Wednesday time, but no ta-da. I looked over my answers and the only suspect was TPAIN. I don’t know rap music or Auto-Tune. But I liked the perps, so I left it. In frustration, I turned on red letter help, and only had 1 letter wrong, but not where I thought. I had ECCO / GEKCO. I changed it to EKCO / GEKKO and ta-da! Huh! A spelling learning moment for me.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

I may be in the minority but I really liked this puzzle. I had SAGGY CHEESE filled in but didn't catch the "gimmick" until FEMININE WIGGLES. I thought the theme was clever and even more so after getting GIGI as a unifier, not expecting to find one.

Lots of clues/fill I hadn't seen before, or at least not recently. I had to think over what seemed to be simple things, i.e. - 1D - Go by, where I was thinking of walking past something before ELAPSE and 'Orderer's reference - I was thinking of someone referring to something before MENU.

Write-overs: Yum / MMM, THE web / THE NET and Dolt / DODO.

Unknowns: FASO, AUGIE and TPAIN.

Thanks for all the info in your write-up, Lemonade ~ lots of good stuff! You showed me the error of my ways where I had Uhs crossing Hanga instead of UMS and MANGA. Oops ~ it looked good.

Thanks for the Friday challenge, Daniel Landman!

Hah 2 Sub said...

QOD: You've gotta be original, because if you're like someone else, what do they need you for? ~ Bernadette Peters (Feb. 28, 1948)

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi Gang -

Clever theme, but not a greatly enjoyable puzzle. SruGGles all over. T-PAIN is total unknown. MPAA - AUGIE was my natick, and the awful French PUE smells funny. I also call foul on MANGA. Too much foreignness and gratuitous obscurity for my taste.

IMHO, Autotune is for singers who can't sing, most notably Taylor Swift. In contrast, here is a real singer who can.

Each individual example of ragtime music, so named for it's ragged syncopation, I believe, is a RAG, plural RAGS. And an excuse to post this favorite.

On that note, happy weekend everyone.

Cool regards!

Argyle said...

How about an old chestnut?

The board was discussing putting in a new bridge in one town when an opponent got up and spoke agin it.

"Chairman, that stream is so small I can pee half way across it".

"Sir, you are out of order!"

"True enuff. When I was in order, I could pee ALL the way across it!"

Tinbeni said...

Lemon: Nice write-up & links explaining my Rorschach Ink Blot.

Ufos before PODS
Soggy before SAGGY
'ome before 'ERE
twine before TWINY
gaf before UMS
anima before MANGA
gecko before GEKKO
geez ... what a mess!!!

And to "Top-it-off" ... no booze anywhere.
(Has Prohibition taken over my Crosswords?)

Oh well, I'll still make make my "Toast" at Sunset.

C6D6 Peg said...

This was a struGGle, and got the theme answers and reveal, but didn't understand the theme answers until Lemonade's great job of explaining them to me.

Put ECCO instead of ECKO, but otherwise finished.

Thank you Daniel, and thank you Lemonade!

Lemonade714 said...

JzB, as for your comment on singers who can sing, there are people who extract the vocal track from albums and play them unaccompanied and it is amazing how many famous singers, really cannot sing. The one I remember best is David Lee Roth and JUMP .

Isn't Harry Potter the product of a mixed marriage?

Husker Gary said...

Home from a no-wifi blog connection sub job of teaching direct objects for a crummy $67.50. Fun puzzle!

-If you’re like me, you’ve been doing cwd’s too long when you immediately fill in EDDA
-TWAIN (Shania)/UFO? Nope, TPAIN, whatever that is, and POD
-I found an online restaurant MENU that didn’t list prices. Hmmm…
-SHILL? The place that works on my car requires their employees to park their cars in empty services bays to make it appear they are busy.
-No need to worry about that predator tonight(3:05)
-MOLEST is on a whole different plane than annoy to me
-OCD germaphobe, thy name is Sheldon (:13)
-ERLE did not care for prosecutors
-The chief justice is said to be the first AMONG equals
-I usually the recipient of hell not the raiser of same
-Gotta run to get grandkids for the weekend. Read y’all later!

Misty said...

Well, this was a Friday toughie, for sure, but unlike others, I actually found it a lot of fun. So, many thanks, Daniel! Mind you, that doesn't mean I didn't goof up here and there, sometimes a bit stupidly. Had TRAIN since I never heard of T PAIN, but I should have seen that POD was better than ROD for a Sci Fi vehicle. But I did get a bunch of movie and literary references, like GIGI (which I loved in its day) and OBI WAN, and AUGIE March and Silas Marner's LOOM.

Thanks for the nice shout-out to George Eliot, Lemonade. Also, I got the idea that the theme answers would have the two GGs in them, but not that without them they spelled out a different sense (well, except for the disputed FEMININE WI(GG)LES.

Anyway, a great way to start a stormy, rainy Friday. Californians have no right to complain after what the rest of the country has been through this winder. But by 10am this morning chairs, lawn umbrellas, big pots of plants were all toppled and strewn about on our patio by the huge storm that has come in. Small potatoes compared to everyone's freezing cold, but still WEATHER, as we call it in California.

Have a good one, everybody!

CanadianEh! said...

Fun run today. Like C6D6 Peg, I "got the theme answers and reveal, but didn't understand the theme answers until Lemonade's great job of explaining them to me".

Hand up for YUM before MMM, BOO before YOO and trying to fit VENI, VIDI or VICI before I realized it was in English.

Some of us wanted SER before SIN yesterday so we got it today! RAGS were magazines/newspapers the other day and music today.

Saul Bellow was born in Quebec.

At first I thought I had a CSO and tried to put EHS for UMS at 58D!

Freezing here (but sunny)!

john28man said...

I got the GG but did not see the removal of that making another phrase.

I also thought this one was easier than yesterday.

Lemonade714 said...

HG: I agree about EDDA being an all too common fill. ERLE used to be very common, but with the success of Perry Mason books and TV show, you can understand. What many of you may not know that as HG commented, Mr. Gardner did not like many prosecutors, and based that on the real problem of manufactured evidence.

He formed with others THE COURT OF LAST RESORT which investigated those who claimed wrongful conviction. They even did a TV show which dramatized some of their cases.

The problem with bad convictions has been made more clear with the use of DNA evidence to overcome circumstantial evidence. It is the subject of a book by successful author John GRISHAM .

To give Gardner credit, he always made Hamilton Burge act pleased to see justice served even when he lost so many cases.

Ol' Man Keith said...

This was fun. Thanks, Mr. Landman, and thank you, Lemonade. Very tricky until the reveal.
Technically a DNF because I settled for ESE instead of ISE (the T PAIN perp offered zero corrective influence), but like Owen I give myself full marks because I refuse to hold that particular lack of knowledge against me.

I had to check with my wife to be sure UGGS was a reasonable response at 58A. She assured me it was - altho I'm pretty sure if I said "UGG" when sizing up her footware I would not see a smile in reply...

Ol' Man Keith said...

Stay dry, California!

We're in our second round of rainstorms today. I awoke to see our rear patio flooding. We hoped to ward off problems by having our gardener unclog our drains last week. Still, when it really pours they back up. Ours is not all that serious a problem; our only concern is that water not leak into our family room and damage the flooring.

- a little later -
Finally, we have a pause in the rain; the water level is slowly descending. If we keep getting breaks like this, we'll be OK. But it reminds us of the greater danger faced by folk who live along the shore or beneath a hillside. A few years back, some friends had their home swept away in a Laguna Beach mud slide.
These rains threaten to be even more damaging.

Annette said...

Ahhh, it's nice to feel youthful every once in a while! I do know of T-Pain, from his features in some of Chris Brown's music. I'd never heard of auto-tune though, and couldn't say whether he uses it when collaborating in other's music. If so, he seems to use it to enhance, not distort. If they come out with an enjoyable product, I don't mind it.

I do know that I usually have to change the station when Cher's "Believe" comes on. That sound is like nails on a chalkboard to me, but then I feel the same about people whistling. I always thought that song was produced by a synthesizer though.

Stay warm and safe this weekend, all of you in the path of the latest storm!

Yellowrocks said...

Hand up for liking this puzzle. Good job, Daniel.
I used to think that the only meaning of MOLEST was to accost or attack with sexual intent. Now I frequently come across its other uses in varying degrees, ranging from attack with malevolent intent to merely pestering or annoying.
The mosquitoes molested us mercilessly one day at Assateague. (true)
When the toddlers molest the cat she creeps under the bed. (true)
The big sister hid all day in her room so her little siblings wouldn't molest her while she read.(true)

One solver's obscurity is another solver's commonplace. I knew MPAA, UGGS, and MANGA right off. I knew ECKO , but not its spelling.
To me, and it seems to many others, also, TPAIN was an obscurity, more like A PAIN.
In certain fields, especially names and entertainment, what I find obscure others find commonplace.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. What Jazzb said. I didn't enjoy this puzzle. Solving it simply didn't give me a feeling of satisfaction.

Cleaned out our gutters a couple of months ago in anticipation of coming rains. Rain didn't come. Apparently dirt did, because sure enough several of the gutters were clogged. Cleaned 'em out again this morning. What a ton of crud!`

Best wishes to you all.

Bill G. said...

I see Marti's (and others') point about some of the theme answers but I am less sophisticated CW puzzle-wise and I was delighted to figure them out and fill them in.

I can't get Cruciverb to work like I used to. I would download puzzles and work them in AcrossLite. Now I get gibberish. Do I have to enroll and pay a fee to get the puzzles? Is there a better option for more good puzzles than Cruciverb?

Lots of rain last night.

My dead old Camry got towed to the independent repair shop just now by AAA. It occurred to me that it might be out of gas (along with a broken gas gauge) but I doubt it. The trusty mechanic will figure it out. Luckily, the only thing I need that old car for is lugging my bike to and from the beach and I won't be doing any riding in this rain.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! I liked this puzzle only because I caught on to the "GG" theme early. With most of the top half a field of snow, I was saying things like HELL, PEU, UGG! Gave me TPAIN! Too many unknowns! The bottom went better but, UMS, not easy.

I was doing downs and got the last GI so knew the movie had to be "GIGI" a very sad favorite and a warning to a teenaged girl that I was in 1958.

Strangely, I knew Burkina FASO having seen it recently when I was researching something. It stuck in my mind because it is such a weird name for an African country.

Didn't all of Scott Joplin's songs have the word RAG as part of the title? So RAGS is not a stretch.

Didn't know the movie, but aren't GREED and Wall Street synonyms?

Barry, Tofu is kind of a SoY CHEESE. I had so much trouble with the CHEESE adjective: StinkY, StringY, SAppY, SoGGy. SAGGY? Are you kidding me?

MMM & UMS in the same puzzle? Hmmm!

PK said...

Where is Montana? Is she still digging out the snow in her avatar car? Did an avalanche cover her? This inquiring mind wants to know the answer to that puzzling question. I can't rest easy until I know.

CrossEyedDave said...

Muggle Deer?

Saggy Cheese?

Feminine Wiggles? (60's style,, Yeah baby!)

Boggy Wonder?

Uggs Weekly?


Bill G. said...

Not all of Scott Joplin's piano pieces had the word "rag" in the title. There's Bethena and Solace, a slow, romantic favorite that was also featured in "The Sting," a really enjoyable movie BTW.

I got caught out in a downpour. Even with an umbrella I need to change most of my clothes and put my shoes in the drier.

Lemonade714 said...

CED you outdid yourself, your links are worth the price of admission.


Jazzbumpa said...

Lemonade -

One would hope talent ruled, but, alas - no. The rich and famous are often far less talented than their back-up singers.

Harry Potter was not the product of a mixed marriage. Both of his parents were very prominent in the magical community. However, both Hermione Granger and Prof. Severus Snape were half-bloods.

Or "mud-bloods," as some of the nastier pure-bloods called them.


fermatprime said...


Thanks for the g-full puzzle, Daniel, and interesting expo, Lemon!

Was a DNF for me. Had 3 red letters. Got stuck like desper-otto. Not my day.

Unbelievable rain in Northridge. Could not go to sleep. Knocked down a cabana outside the door that I use to exit. Lots of rain in the living room. Supposed to escalate soon with thunder and lightning. (Open beam ceiling in my room is lovely but really can prevent sleep.)


Ol' Man Keith said...

Great contributions, CED!

Especially the Wiggles. Who knew Betty Boop had all those moves?

Bill G. said...

I always thought it seemed obvious that Harry would end up with that foxy smarty-pants, Hermione. But no. I see where J.K. Rowling has had second thoughts about her ending.

Montana said...

I'm still around. My avatar is an abandoned vehicle on my farm. I was going through some of my pictures and found it.
Thanks for caring,


-30° tonight before wind. Only expected to get UP to -16 tomorrow then drop again.
West coast rains look wicked on TV.

PK said...

Montana, thanks for answering. I was afraid that idiot who was driving through your fences had broken out your car windows or something. Glad you are all right and don't have to drive the snow shrouded vehicle.

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you Daniel Landman, for a swell puzzle. Thank you, Lemonade, for a fine review.

Well, I worked on this off and on all day. Finally gave up and looked a few items up. The NE corner was my Waterloo. TPAIN? MUGGLE DEER? AUGIE?

The NW corner was pretty easy. EDDA, ELAPSE, DOLLAR, DOSAGE, AMONG. They all fell easily.

Theme took a while to suss out. Finally got it. GIGI, and then all the rest.

We have three pair of UGGS in the house. None are mine.

GEKKO was unknown to me. Wagged it and EKCO.

Liked TWINY. Good one.

I will be gone most of tomorrow, but will take the puzzle with me. I may get to work on it for a little bit. We will see. I will be with the Knights Templar all day.

See you tomorrow.


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