, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Saturday, February 8, 2014, David Steinberg


Feb 8, 2014

Saturday, February 8, 2014, David Steinberg

Theme: None (With the quad-stacks 15's in the middle, this grid has 16 rows)

Words: 73 (pangram~!)*

Blocks: 36

   I have seen David's name before, but this may be his Saturday LAT debut; he collaborated on this SALMON puzzle that gave us fits, and a Friday puzzle with WATER "falling" in the clues.  I "LIKEN" (13d.) this one at about a Wednesday level - done in about half the time I normally allow myself to do a Saturday crossword; but as we've discussed here before, when you have triple- and quad-stacks, it tends to make the perp answers shorter, and therefore, easier.  There were two ten-letter words in the across, plus four nines 'perping' the quad-stack - impressive~!:

31A. Women seen standing at tables : DINER WAITRESSES

40A. Walmart advantage : ONE-STOP SHOPPING

41A. Attempts to best : COMPETES AGAINST

42A. Stretched, in a way : STOOD ON ONE'S TOES

on WA rd~!  ( to Seattle in the fall....)


1. They're used in British puzzles : ZEDS - nailed it, but I figure most of you did, too

5. Peter Pan rival : JIF - and I was onto this clue, too - the Peanut Butter, not the character

8. "The X Factor" judge : COWELL (Simon) - my only mistake; I did not get my "Ta-DA~!" because I put in "P"owell first; no wonder "PAF" made no sense....

14. Picked locks : AFRO - nice misdirection; hair, not doorknobs

15. Classified letters : EOE - Equal Opportunity Employer

16. God in a temple : ADONAI - a little Wiki for you

17. Lesson __ : PLAN

18. Double shot, say : STIFF DRINK - today marks 9yrs, 1month

20. Many an Urdu speaker : PAKISTANI

22. Appropriate : TAKE - the verb -  "uh pro pri ATE", not "uh PRO pri ate"

23. Rankled : ATE AT

24. Common desktop icon : TRASH CAN - mine's the PC recycle bin

27. QB's stat : ATTempts - there will be no more of these in the 2013-14 NFL season

30. Math group : SET

43. Italian article : UNA

44. MDCLIII ÷ III : DLI - Roman math; 1653/3 = 551

45. Stock problem : STAMPEDE - I had a feeling this was "live" stock, and not Wall Street stock

50. Georgia retreat : DACHA - ah, that Georgia

55. Ending suggesting wealth : AIRE - MillionAIRE, BillionAIRE

56. State treasury : EXCHEQUER - nice fill; gets the 8pts for the "X" and 10 for the "Q"

59. It's used in dashes : GARLIC SALT

62. 51-Down resident : ARAB

63. Old-fashioned "Neat!" : GROOVY

64. Starting to burn : LIT

65. Quail collection : BEVY

66. Looked bored : YAWNED

67. Spinner : TOP

68. Drinks from a stand : ADES


1. Posthumous 1995 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee : ZAPPA - brilliant musician, but I could never get into his music

2. Key of Shostakovich's "First of May" : E FLAT - guess what~! I HAD the "E" to start - so I did NOT have to wait~!

3. Pond swimmer : DRAKE - not to be redundant, since it's followed by;

4. The duck in Disney's "Peter and the Wolf" : SONIA

5. Bon mot : JEST - Frawnch

6. Jot : IOTA - I have heard this before - the smallest Greek letter, thus something miniscule; technically, the word "JOT" is IN IOTA, since there's no "J" in Latin

7. Artful action : FEINT

8. Stimulating substance, briefly : CAF - Caffeine, as in your coffee this A.M.

9*. "That's weird" : ODD - *it's ODD that I have an ODD number of words in a Saturday grid*

10. Net __ : WORTH - my net worth is not within an iota of anything like "-AIRE"

11. Giant with 17,468 vacuum tubes : ENIAC - The computer; short for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer

12. Sri __ : LANKA

13. Make an analogy : LIKEN

19. From the horse's mouth : FIRST HAND

21. Turned on : STARTED UP

25. Skylight insulation material, perhaps : AEROGEL - Never heard of this stuff being used in skylights, but it is highly effective in reducing thermal transmission

26. Words from one about to take over : STEP ASIDE

28. Black and blue, say : TWO-TONE - more deception, since "BRUISED" fit, too

29. Provençal spreads : TAPENADES - M-W online says: a seasoned spread made chiefly with mashed black olives, capers, and anchovies - I'll pass....

31. JAMA readers : DOCs - I went to the DPM this week - the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, who diagnosed my heel pain as "Plantar Fasciitis"; it started bothering me in my first week of UPS driving, and I finally had to have something done.  Now I have a foot brace I wear at night, and orthotics coming in two weeks - I can't wait to walk properly again~!

32. How some NBA games are resolved : IN OT - also in the NHL; the Rangers went INto Over Time last night, then on to the shoot-out, and beat Pittsburgh 4-3

33. Fictional captain : NEMO - of the Nautilus, in Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

34. Hockey Hall of Fame nickname : ESPO - Phil Esposito, one-time Boston Bruin and NY Ranger who helped start up the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning

35. Short retort : "IS SO~!"

36. Rain in scattered drops : SPIT

37. __-Indian War : SINO

38. Bay State motto starter : ENSE - Here's some interesting facts about Massachusetts

39. Friday et al.: Abbr. : SGTs - Sergeant Joe Friday of Dragnet

45. Needing a lift, maybe : SAGGY - boy, it's a good thing this wasn't followed by 48d.~!

46. Papal headgear : TIARA - I thought it was called a MITRE; I did not know about this piece of adornment

47. Common keyboard symbol : ARROW - we just had this discussion on keyboards last week

48. Winter __ : MELON - I like these winter melons - not SAGGY~!  How come THIS isn't in the Olympics?

49. Glorify : EXALT

51. Jordanian city : AQABA

52. Back to normal : CURED

53. Start of a nautical order : HEAVE - Spitzboov could share more

54. Chain with roast beef Mighty Minis : ARBY'S

57. Muse of history : CLIO

58. Start of many addresses : HTTP - the HyperText Transfer Protocol of website addresses

60. "__ had it!" : I'VE

61. Dancer Charisse : CYD



TTP said...

David Steinberg shines again.

Thank you too Splynter.

TAPENADES was easy. Alton Brown showed us how to make a Zesty Olive Tapenade last evening on a repeat of Good Eats.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Struggled a bit with this one, especially in the SW, but eventually managed to get the job done unassisted.

I assumed that 27A ended with an S, which kept TAPENADES from view for the longest time. Also had UNE instead of UNA and couldn't figure out STAMPEDE, so I was looking at SAPENE_ES in bewilderment. Once I finally thought of TAPENADES, I was able to quickly get UNA and the D got me STAMPEDES which helped down in the SW corner.

Elsewhere in the SW, I had MITRE instead of TIARA and really didn't want to let it go until STAMPEDE came along. Winter MELON meant nothing to me, and neither ARROW nor GARLIC SALT jumped out at me right away. Also couldn't remember if it was CYD, SYD or SID at 61D. SAGGY? Again, though, STAMPEDE gave me the foothold I needed down there.

So, yeah. TAPENADES. Good word to know today!

Argyle said...

I was too lazy to do the alphabet run so I let the red letter fill in my Q.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Quick romp for a Saturday morning. I was expecting some BS (that's Barry Silk to you non-regulars). I was able to do this one top-to-bottom. I can hardly ever say that on a Saturday.

Hand up for MITRE; I thought only women wore TIARAs. My "Classification letters" started out as ABO (blood). And with the S in place, I thought the duck was SASHA, but when SONIA showed up, that sounded right, too.

I remember discussing AQABA before. It's Jordan's only port city, and it was an important setting in Lawrence of Arabia.

Splynter, what's the story on Seattle? You movin' there? I wasn't familiar with the winter MELON, but those looked delicious!

thehondohurricane said...

Except for the South, a red letter day. Need i say more?

A STIFF DRINK. may be in order at sunset.

Al Cyone said...

I did not expect to finish this one. Even after I (somehow) got all four of the long answers there were too many unfilled squares. I had COVY before BEVY (and, worse, was sure of it). And I should have gotten AQABA sooner because I'm currently reading a great book about T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East.

I read "Appropriate" as an adjective, not a verb.

Favorite clues:
- "Classified letters"
- "It's used in dashes"
- "Start of many addresses"


desper-otto said...

Here's a question for you Massachusettsans (new word for me): In my ute I listened to WBZ in Boston. But at station identification time they always identified themselves as WBZ Boston, WBZA Springfield. Did they have a little transmitter in Springfield? Massachusetts is pretty small (at least by Texas standards). Couldn't 50,000 watts from Boston be heard in Springfield?

Bill G, from last night. How 'bout 10 and 12?

Yellowrocks said...

Splynter, I agree that this was unusually easy for a Saturday. AEROGEL is a new word for me. Thanks for the pic. ENSE and ATT were also all perps. I guessed ATT means attempts. I had JIF, bur kept trying to see how he was a character in Peter Pan. Finally "peanut butter" dawned. Hand up for COVEY before BEVY, but it is too short.
I had plantar fasciitis, too. Splynter. I'm glad you went for treatment. It greatly shortens the recovery time and lessens the pain.
Blue Iris, I sent you an email about river cruising.
Today's Cryptoquote, "Flaming enthusiasm backed up by horse sense and persistence is the quality that most frequently makes for success-Dale Carnegie." That is certainly true for xwords. I don't have that enthusiasm and persistence for Sudoku so I am less than successful there.

Splynter said...

Hi again~!

D-Otto, the story on Seattle is this; since I have been relegated to the part-time pre-load position at UPS for the next 3-4 months waiting on the new contract and an increase in work volume, I can take advantage of the company's "tuition assistance" program - and use it to transfer anywhere in the country. Now's the time - if I become a full-time driver here, I am locked in on Long Island until retirement, period.


Al Cyone said...


This Wikipedia article might answer your questions. It seems it wasn't, at first, so much a case of Boston not reaching Springfield, but rather Springfield not reaching Boston.

Kentucky Kate said...

Hats off to the accomplished finishers above. I got stuck with Ahab and Mist instead of NEMO and SPIT and didn't have enough persistance.

Yellowrocks (I love your picture), thank you for the Cryptoquote. It's the perfect thing for my DH as he faces new challenges on the job.

Happy Weekend, all,

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

I started out zipping along thinking this was a really easy Saturday. But then half-way down that changed. At 27A I had 'Int' before ATT for QB stat and everything after that was a struggle. Finally getting STOOD ON ONES TOES opened up an area and I was able to get this done after many erasures and write-overs.

~ I, too, had Mitre before TIARA and Mist before SPIT.

~ I had to guess at my final letter and the Q was right. But I had 'Docha' instead of DACHA, so no cigar!

~ I thought 28D -' Black and blue, say' was tough, but clever.

I really enjoyed your write-up as always, Splynter. Best of luck in your work-related decisions.

Husker Gary said...

The bottom and the top fell pretty easily and then I whittled away at the incredibly impressive quad grid spanners and it made for a very satisfying Saturday! Wow!

-AHAB, KIRK, ah NEMO. HEAVE not WEIGH, COVY (spelling be damned) not BEVY
-I wanted my women to be at surgical tables first, not the ones in Five Easy Pieces
-Wal Mart – as Niles Crane said, “French fries in one aisle and French doors in the next”
-Kenny Bell – wildly popular Husker AFRO worn by #80 in 2013
-Congrats Splynter! My dad made 40 years after his bout with the DT’s
-I thought of Warm Springs as a Georgia retreat where this momentous (scandalous?) event occurred in 1945
-GARLIC is one ingredient in this seasoned SALT we use here
-Local restaurant has DRAKES and hens on bathroom doors. Really?
-I always thought it was “Shall I LIKEN thee to a summer’s day”. Nope, Bill used COMPARE
- Who sang “If you see me comin’, better STEP ASIDE”

OwenKL said...

Ah, the frustration! DNF by one natick letter! ATt+tAPENADES.

I did have a lot of write-overs, but perps straightened everything out before crunch time. E.g. JOKE before JEST, because it gave me OBO for classified letters, BRUISED as Splynter noted, etc. Wondered what A TEAT had to do with rankled (colic?). Still wondering about SPIT.

Start of a nautical sequence: first you HEAVE, then you wish you were dead, then you're sure you are dead?

ADONAI figures in Mormon theology, too, but a bit differently. Capt. NEMO was also in a movie I saw yesterday of another Jules Verne book, Mysterious Island. There was also a Capt. Nemo in a Japanese anime series, and that was the name Odysseus gave for himself to Cyclops.

OwenKL said...

HG: "Lotta men didn't, and a lotta men died!" My favorite as a kid, sang it a lot and wished my voice could go that low. Amazingly, it did!

thehondohurricane said...


Ole ERN, aka Tennessee Ernie Ford

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

On first pass, I thought eek! Then, with a little chipping here, and a little perping there, voila, it all fell into place. Nice job, David, and great expo, Splynter. Congratulations on your milestone and good luck with your job changes.

Another cold but brilliantly bright sunshiny day. Lemon, you would love it, but I know you get plenty of sunshine in Florida. (Moonshine, too, eh Tin! (-:)

Have a great Saturday. BTW, to all the dog lovers out there, the Westminster Kennel Dog Show is on Monday and Tuesday evenings. CED, eat your heart out. (-:

Yellowrocks said...

Splynter, good luck with your move to Seattle. "Tuition assistance?" Will you be going to school?

KK, I wish your husband well in his new job challenges. I am sure his enthusiasm, common sense, and persistence will pay off.

At home we used to use SPIT as a verb to refer to raining or snowing in scattered drops. It isn't really raining, just spitting.

I believe that mitres are all made of cloth although often embroidered or bejeweled. They are worn my bishops. In later years popes have chosen to wear papal mitres instead of papal tiaras. Wiki: "At the end of the second session of the Second Vatican Council in 1963, Paul VI descended the steps of the papal throne in St. Peter's Basilica and ascended to the altar, on which he laid the tiara in a dramatic gesture of humility and as a sign of the renunciation of human glory and power in keeping with the renewed spirit of the Council. Since then, none of his successors has worn a tiara." Tiaras are made of metal. Gold?

desper-otto said...

"He was broad at the shoulder
and narrow at the hip
and everybody knew you didn't give no lip
to what's-his-name."
That was more popular than, but not as good a song as I Won't Go Huntin' With You, Jake, But I'll Go Chasin' Women

Al Cyone @ 9:00 -- Thanx for that. I've wondered about that for years.

Bill G. said...

I got it done and had a good time in the process. Thanks David and Splynter.

I've had TAPENADES as a starter with bread in some nice restaurants. Very tasty.

D-O, Yep. My student called me being unable to get the correct answer. Turns out he had made a careless mistake with a negative sign.

Gary, that would be BJ.

I'm having a hard time getting interested in the Winter Olympics. I am less interested in winter sports and I am having a hard time getting interested in the Russian environment. I'll keep trying though...

CrossEyedDave said...

Irish Miss@ 10:34,

That's OK, because today is Caturday...

tiptoethru said...

After shoveling the driveway again (and again and again), I came in, grabbed the coffee and dove in. Thought-easy! Nope, had all the oopses everyone else had, plus a few more. This was a good puzzle to take two cups of caf and some walk-away-froms and finally come back for the answers. Then it was fun to check here and see what all of you have been up to. Stay warm and hope for spring. Thanks for the explanations!

Lucina said...

Hello, puzzlers all! Well done, Splynter, thank you and good luck on your work options as well as on your feet! I've heard it's really painful.

WEES. My experience exactly! This was a fun puzzle, tough but doable. I started in dribs and dabs then settled into the bottom where EXCHEQUER gave me a foothold. I learned from Jeopardy that the name stems from a checkered table cloth used as an abacus in ancient times.

As YR explained, bishops wear MITRES, which I filled first, then TIARAS dawned on me and with GARLIC SALT finished that corner.

But the same as Splynter, I left POWELL instead of COWELL so a dreaded DNF. TAPENEDES is my new word, too.

I've been reading the posts from Sunday forward and agree with Jayce: you are all interesting people.

Your annoyance with radio commercials makes me wonder that you don't listen to NPR which has no commercials and on Saturday mornings, especially, is very funny.

Have a sensational Saturday, everyone!

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-The “STEP ASIDE” song I was thinking of was Ernie Ford’s 16 Tons Lyrics but Jimmy Dean’s Big Bad John had some of the same concepts about a very tough miner. These narrative songs like El Paso seem to be an anachronism today.
-Me too, Owen, I can definitely sing that low NOW
-Re: Bob Dylan in yesterday’s discussion: I was stunned to see him do a commercial for Chrysler Car Company on the Super Bowl. His nasally, cartoonish voice was never my favorite but at least he seemed to have some artistic integrity. Anybody think Woody Guthrie would have pitched Studebakers?
-The trappings of the Catholic hierarchy leave me cold but the institution itself does tremendously good works for poor people the world around.

Bumppo said...

Lotsa "misleaders" in today's puzzle. Tiara/miter (mitre), bevy/covy (covey), spit/mist already mentioned (where I've lived, "spit" is used only for snow, not for rain).

But the one that really BUMMED me out was 64-A "Starting to burn: LIT." The font of the clue made it appear to be "Starting to b_u_m," not "Starting to b_u_r_n" (spaces added). I was looking for a 3-letter word indicating apprentice panhandling. The r-n = m appearance is a problem with many fonts, particlular sans serif. Slight spaces between the letters would help.

Bumppo said...

And 37-D, SINO-Indian War? What Sino-Indian War? There was a month-long border skirmish in 1962 . . . .

john28man said...

I have completed only a few Saturdays unaided so, for me, the fact that I got the NE & SE quickly was a big plus. It took red letters to finish.

Tinbeni said...

Splynter: Congrats on the 9 years/1 month ...
I'm up to 12 hours!

AEROGEL & TAPENADES were both "All perps" and learning moments.

My fave today (of course!) was STIFF DRINK ...
Does "3-fingers of Pinch" in a snifter, GROOVY (neat) quality?
yup! Hondo that will come into play at Sunset.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Learned TAPENADES today.
I didn't enjoy this as much as Splynter. I'm still new enough to the game that the combination of grid length answers and unfamiliar perps leaves me with too few places to start. Other than JIF, DLI, and ARBYS, nothing came to me on the first go-through.
I cheated about three times. The first was to check the Bay State motto - just to get a toe hold somewhere else. (Although I lived four years in MA, they never drilled me on the motto.)
HOOK and AHAB preceded NEMO.
I might have made better time if I had followed a few more intuitions, but I hesitated to enter DOCS because of its informality. SAGGY likewise seemed a crummy word. When I finally gave in, of course, the dominoes fell.

Enjoyed the lavishness of the Olympics opening last night. Huge, splashy effects, with a clumsy narrative of Russian history. As enormous as those sky islands and galloping horses were, they were surprisingly graceful. And when all is said and done, there is something to be said for overkill with fireworks!
The NBC commentators were irritating. They apparently knew very little of Russian history themselves yet felt compelled to yak about it. And I didn't appreciate being told how beautiful Russian music is--while the music is playing.

Yellowrocks said...

Bumppo, The Six Day 1967 Arab-Israel War was even shorter and was basically about borders.

Anonymous said...

It's always strange to think that some people have to tell everyone, whether asked about or not, about why they went to the doctor (DPM), and specifics about it, when it has nothing to do with explaining the answers to this puzzle. Perhaps it's people who use the computer too much to tell all their friends about each and every detail of their lives, when it isn't even asked about. I'm thankful that he didn't take laxatives, or we would have all heard about that also.

JimmyB said...

I only got 34D because of the bumper sticker that was popular in the Boston area during the 70's:

. . . but Espo scores on the rebound!

Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:44
Lighten up`ll give even trolls
a bad name. What if you caused someone with no one to do something drastic??!! I`ve lurked for a while and I know these people are a caring least on paper. And remember what Thumper said!

Irish Miss said...

CED @ 11:23 - Caturday gave me a few chuckles, especially "No, I haven't seen the cat.". Good one!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! I sped right through the top line of answers then ground to a total stop. Finally did fill the top and bottom tiers with nothing in the middle section except STARTED (didn't have up). Everything I tried turned red. Finally had to do some alphabet runs to get some starting letters. Got it filled. But you made me think, David. Thanks

I have a nit with use of the term "suggests wealth" for AIRE. Wouldn't the word "denotes" be more accurate?

Never heard of TAPANADES (doesn't sound like an edible) or AEROGEL. For the latter, I kept trying AIR LOCK since "space" didn't fit.

I had WAITRESSES first but couldn't figure out what kind for a while. I think more of DINER dolls standing behind a counter.

Kept trying to think of a 4-letter word for French & Indian War. Finally tried SINO with great doubt.

JAMA? Not a brand of night wear?

Splynter, thanks for a great expo and sharing little bits of your life with blog friends. Before you commit to Seattle, have you ever driven out there?
The hills, water and traffic make it a difficult city to drive in, I think. Then add the rainy season... Pay would need to be very good.

Anonymous T said...

تحيات from Cario!

I did not work the puzzle today, but wanted to say "hi" to my puzzle pals. Lots of sight seeing today and wonderful meals with old friends (a buddy from Houston moved here 7 years ago and showed us around today). Work starts in 6 hours!

Cheers, -T

desper-otto said...

Be safe, Tony. Cairo ain't Houston. Not even close.

OwenKL said...

PK: If I had to interrupt my solitaire to answer a questionnaire, I'd have to say I was a hundredaire. Maybe a thousandaire.

CanadianEh! said...

Late to the party today. Started the puzzle this morning and returned to it after a jaunt to see icy Niagara Falls.

WEES. Liked the new cluing for AFRO. Hand up for MITRE. I never remember JIF (not a popular brand here).

Enjoyed the Olympic opening ceremony. Enjoyed even better Canada's 3 medals today!

Bumppo said...

OK, Yellowrocks. The 1967 "Six Day War" was not about borders; it was about terrorism, invasion or pre-emption thereof, and a nation's right to exist. And it was much more dramatic (it produced "heroes," like Moshe Dayan).

Then, compare the casualties: Israel, in the "Six Day War," incurred more than 3,000; its enemies, more than 22,000. India, in the Sino-Indian conflict, incurred fewer than 2,500 casualties; China, fewer than 3,000. (Not counting POW's, in either case – killed and wounded only.)

And there were four countries involved in the "Six Day War" (unless you believe the "UAR" was one "country"), only two in the Sino-Indian conflict.

Now, you wanna discuss the 3-year "police action" in Korea?