Jun 7, 2014

Saturday, Jun 7th, 2014, Steven Riley and Charlie & Lauren Pollak

Theme: 2 triple-stacks

Words: 66 (missing J,Q,Y)

Blocks: 21

   I was preoccupied with the authors of today's puzzle, and did not immediately look at the grid - but when I did, I was taken aback by the expanse of white.  Very low word and block count today, with the two triple-stacks top and bottom.  I am unfamiliar with these constructors, but clearly, it's a collaboration.  I found today's cluing to be less of a Saturday level; the only reason this was not a speed run was because I just didn't know what we were looking for, especially in the triple spanners;

1a. Nocturnal desert lizards : WEB-FOOTED GECKOS

16a. Column opening : I NEED SOME ADVICE

17a. Gave everything to : TRIED ONE'S BEST AT

46a. Novel republished to commemorate its
2012 centennial : TARZAN OF THE APES

49a. Text following "@" : EMAIL DOMAIN NAME

50a. Appliance used in orthodontics : PALATAL EXPANDER - argh~! right smack in the middle of this clue....

70yrs Onward from D-Day


18. Crew members : HANDS

19. Actor Flynn : ERROL - Um, this one was just a little too easy for Saturday

20. Demonstrate one's humanity : ERR - To Err is Human

21. They're subject to inflation : EGOs

22. On-call accessory : PAGER

23. Mid-sixth-century year : DLII - Do you know I actually put D-L-I-I in, and said, "no, I better not WAG this and throw off my downs"~?

24. Bug-eyed cartoon dog : REN

25. "Yes __!" : SIREE

26. Convey : BRING

27. Reactions to throat tickles : AHEMs

28. Carroll's caterpillar smokes one : HOOKAH

29. Restaurant with an owl logo : HOOTERS - revised logo
32. Most like a slasher movie : GORIEST - not my genre

33. They might be twisted : ANKLES

34. Sure competitor : ARRID - Deodorants

35. The Renault 5, in North America : Le CAR

36. Common hymn word : BLESS - I can see this being common

37. Recipe meas. : TSP - Teaspoon

40. Circulate : FLOW

41. Martinique volcano : PELEE - I WAGed the "P"

42. Rachel's sister : LEAH - I put BETH in - and that was 50% correct; not up on my Bible "begats"

43. Nikon D3S, e.g., briefly : SLR - Single-Lens Reflex - 35mm camera style

44. "The Heart of Georgia" : MACON - again, I threw this in, took it out, and then ended up putting it back in

45. New, in Nogales : NUEVA - how do you say "easy" in Spanish~?


1. Shrivel : WITHER - in the down position, I thought I needed an "H" [ whither, which is a totally different word; 'to what place?' ]

2. Madden : ENRAGE

3. Share knowledge of : BE IN ON - does anyone else feel the clue/answer don't quite agree?  Share knowledge of - LET in on, that makes sense

4. Gratifies : FEEDS - ah, not SATES

5. Betting figures : ODDS

6. Baja bear : OSO

7. Swingers with pickups : TONE ARMS - for those with an extensive vinyl LP collection

8. Comes out : EMERGES

9. "You Gotta Be" soul singer : DES'REE

10. Show biz sisters' surname : GABOR - ah, Eva & Zsa-Zsa

11. Biographer Leon : EDEL - the only true unknown for me; all perps

12. Walgreens rival : CVS

13. Resembling a high flier : KITE-LIKE

14. Egg-shaped wind instruments : OCARINAS
15. Correct : SET RIGHT

22. Docks : PIERS

23. iPhone competitor : DROID - I have had my Droid now for two+ years, and all I need is a new screen-saver, which I ordered this past week; I replaced the battery last year because it got wet

25. Complete : SHEER - Aw, you know me, I can think of a MUCH better way to clue this~!!!
26. Rocky nemesis : BORIS - from the cartoon, not the boxing movie

27. Attorney chaser? : AT-LAW - Ambulance Chaser humor

28. Silver, e.g. : HORSE - nice misdirection that did not get past me

29. Semitone : HALF-STEP - Like from B to C, and E to F in the key of C

30. Nash priest, not beast : ONE-L LAMA

The one-l lama,
 He's a priest.
 The two-l llama,
 He's a beast.
 And I will bet
 A silk pajama
 There isn't any
 Three-l lllama.

31. Tombstone location : OK CORRAL

32. Pollution control assessment : GREEN TAX

34. 2013 John Legend hit : ALL OF ME - OK, so here's another complete unknown

36. "Relax, dude" : BE COOL - I can think of two movies with the line "Be Cool"; Pulp Fiction, and the other is Dusk Til Dawn

37. Frisbee golf starting point : TEE PAD - I have played Frisbee golf, but did not know it was called the tee "pad"

38. Helpless heroine's plea : "SAVE ME~!" - I'm looking for a damsel in distress - "I'll save you~!"

39. Electric guitar effect : PHASER - The sound effect produced by this resembles a wah-wah/chorus mix; I have it built into my guitar stompbox, but prefer the flanger sound; there are numerous Van Halen songs that utilize the sound; it's most effective at the intro of Atomic Punk, but I just don't like the song, so I'll give you Eruption instead

41. It eats shoots and leaves : PANDA - ah, not KOALA

42. Comics daughter of Nancy and Frank DeGroot : LUANN

44. Shake alternative : MALT

45. "99 Luftballons" singer : NENA

47. Bhutto's overthrower : ZIA - President of Pakistan; more from Wiki

48. Unlike nerds : HIP



OwenKL said...

We may admire a firm such as Geico
They show no specism
In their hiring decisions --
But both the pig and the camel are psycho!

We're sitting in HOOTERS, thick as thieves
When a PANDA walks in, and he heaves
Himself on a stool;
We take off, PDQ-al,
Before the bear eats, shoots, and leaves!

Jane sent SAVE ME to her hero, her swain,
But TARZAN OF THE APES never came.
He had wired his vine,
His wi-fi was on line,
But she ERRed, mistyped his E-MAIL DOMAIN NAME!

(He's, not

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I struggled mightily in the South, but finally managed to get through it after switching NUEVO to NUEVA and taking a wild guess that PALATAL EXPANDER might actually be a real thing. ZIA was a complete unknown, I couldn't remember NENA (thought it might be NINA), had LUANE instead of LUANN for no apparent reason and it took awhile to realize that 31D was asking for a location in Tombstone and not for Tombstone's location.

I was not a fortunate in the NE, however. I had CASTS instead of HANDS at 18A and that just doomed me to failure since it seemed so right and yet was just wrong enough to mess me up. Ditto for LETS ON instead of BE IN ON. Yeah, the tense was wrong, but it fit so well with CASTS... I did manage to get I NEED SOME ADVICE all on my own, but simply could not get WEB FOOTED GECKO or TRIED ONES BEST AT.

Ah well, some times you're the bat and other times you're the ball...

desper-otto said...

Good morning, Saturday soldiers.

This one really came together fast! I finished in mid-week time, and without a single inkblot. Thanks, Steven and Charlie.

Splynter, the third Gabor sister was Magda. I agree that BE IN ON seemed awkward, given the clue.

I don't have a DROID smartphone (heck, I don't have any smartphone!), but I do have an anDROID tablet that I think is pretty neat. Lately, though, the xword app won't load the NYT puzzle, so I go to their site on my Mac instead.

OwenKL said...

Tough one. Got the top half with much effort and several passes, but the bottom remained reminiscent of a chess-board until I hit the check button. Only two letters went red, and only one of them I had had any confidence in, but living here in NUEVO Mexico, I was so sure I knew new in Nogales! Once I gave that word a sex change, the rest of the dominoes started toppling.
A few of my many misconceptions:
♠- I thought I'd nailed "swingers with pickup" with SKI-LIFTS.
♣- "Egg-shaped wind instrument" I knew was ANEMOMETER, and wondered why it wouldn't fit.
♥- I did
my homage to the ONE-L LAMA last month. (Let me know how that link works.)
♦- ZIA has another meaning also. It's the state symbol of New Mexico. As it happens, I live in Zia Vista, on W. Zia Rd.

Al Cyone said...

I took one look at those grid spanners and figured my streak was at an end. But I plugged in a few of the shorter answers and, as others have noted, this ended up being a little easier than one would have expected. Favorite clue? "Swingers with pickups". My "vinyl" collection is small but treasured. Finally, I can't see "ocarina" without thinking of the line "Teddy on the ocarina" from the 1967 parody of "Wild Thing" by "Senator Bobby". Of course, given the events of 1968, the humor is bittersweet.


HeartRx said...

Good morning Saturday Solvers!

I thought this one was easy, but ended up with a DNF. Done in by the A in NUEVA / PHASER. I had NUEVo, and had no clue about electric guitars, so PHoSER was perfectly plausible to me!

BE IN ON didn’t bother me – if you and I already share knowledge about something, then I will BE IN ON the scoop, and you will BE IN ON the scoop.

OwenKL, your ONE-L LAMA link went back to the May 9th post, but you have to scroll down to find your poem @ 9:09 PM.

Have a great day, everyone!

Unknown said...

My paper published the wrong grid....AGAIN! Why don't they check these things? Grrrrrr

D said...

same here, Marcia
Someone should be held responsible!
Now, try finding that person...

Avg Joe said...

Like Marcia, the Journal Star had the wrong grid. And I mean the WRONG grid. As just one example, there should have been across clues for 1, 6, 11, 14 and 15 instead of the jump from 1 to 16.

I tried to find a foothold to no avail and came here to see what the sick joke was. Didn't even scroll down to the grid, but saw the first two answers in the write up and tried to fit them in on paper. No go. So, retrieved and printed the puzzle on line and went into it armed with the first two answers as a major cheat.

From there it really was pretty easy for a Saturday. No speed run and heavy reliance on perps, but the rest came together. Still, not a pleasant way to start the day.

buckeye bob said...

Good morning, weekenders!

I thought this puzzle was a good challenge. After the first pass, I still had a whole lotta white space. But patience and persistence got it done. I was able to solve it in Saturday time, without red letter help or searches.

When I finally completed the puzzle, no ta-da. I re-read my answers and changed REX / BE IN OX to REN / BE IN ON. D’oh! Still no ta-da. Then I found NUEVO/ PHOSER. I was certain of NUEVO, but PHOSER made no sense. I stared at that, did a mental letter run, and finally changed it to NUEVA / PHASER. Ta-da! Yay!

There were a lot of unknowns, but perps and WAGs got me through it. The bad news about long fills is that they can be hard to solve. The good news is once you get them, you get a lot of letters, and a lot of perp help.

TTP said...

Good morning all.

Ouch ! Took way too much time for me today. The Top 3 were the last to fall, and I NEED SOME ADVICE was the very last. I would have had no clue on the D in EDEL and the C in OCARINAS, nor DESREE as a Soul singer answer.

There were wags and good guesses elsewhere. But again, the self inflicted wounds did not help.

I was going to PASS ON knowledge to share it. MY Yes ----- became a campaign slogan. YES WE CAN. I had casts in lieu of HANDS and we started the Frisbee golf round from the TEE box.

I liked the tricky "Swingers with pickups" once I finally got it, but until that V8 moment, I didn't because nothing was making sense.

Oh yea, and I first had BLOW for circulate until I saw HALGS--- going down. I couldn't think of any word or words starting with HALGS. FLOW seemed like a real solid answer and gave me the much better HALFS---.

A very good Saturday challenge from the three collaborators.

And the usual fine review by Splynter. I think I went into musical shock in that near seque from Eddie Van Halen to NENA.

See all y'all later !

Lemonade714 said...

Hoo hoo everyone. Holland and Hooters
Guitars and geckos ...looked so undoable but it really filled quickly. Like BG I was slowed by Tombstone and PALATAL EXPANDER but it was fun. Thanks for the tour Splynter now for the story of the threshold????

Yellowrocks said...

Fun puzzle and great expo. Thanks, Steven, Charlie, Lauren and Splynter.
The sea of white was daunting at first, but the top 3/4 filled in like a Thursday puzzle. The bottom three long fills I had to work at, but they were still fairly easy. I remembered ZIA after a while and then Tarzan of the Apes opened up the bottom three. Although I didn't know PHASER, it was the only fill that made any sense at all.

I'll bet many of those aged 45 and younger have never seen a TONE ARM.

Has anyone else read Lynn Truss's clever book on the difference punctuation makes? The panda eats shoots and leaves is fairly harmless. The panda eats, shoots and leaves sounds dangerous.
But be careful what you criticize. There were other nits to pick which the author or proof readers overlooked in this book.

No nit here. We are all "in on" the
secret. We all "share knowledge" of the secret.

Yellowrocks said...

Do any of you handy types know anything about bath room exhaust fans and roof vents? I am having my hall bathroom remodeled and need to address the cause of excessive moisture buildup in there. I have no idea what kind of unit to look for. I have read that the duct to the roof vent should be rigid, as direct as possible, and smooth. Most ducts that I see online are not like this. The remodeling contractor is letting me on my own to work this out and the condo manager is less than useless. If you have any ideas for me please email me. I am at a total loss. thanks.

Husker Gary said...

Wow, what an expanse of white! Such a construction by the three puzzleteers must have been daunting but the fill was very doable and made for a wonderful Saturday experience.

-There’s one TV GECKO that I wish would leave my life
-Dr. Beeper didn’t call it a PAGER
-GORY movies are not entertainment for me. Now Psycho…
-Scroll down this page to see the procedure teams use to prevent ANKLE twists
-Mary Poppins’ opined that a TSP (TBS?) of sugar was very helpful
-NUEVA/NUEVO? PhAser took care of that.
-To BE IN ON the joke can be fun or cruel
-Is there a law that a CVS must be built near a Walgreens as seen here in Edina, MN?
-Yup, there is no B sharp or C flat
-A PHASER like this sold for $231,000 at an LA auction
-On the TV series that also featured Rocky and BORIS, who was most likely to yell, “SAVE ME!”

River Doc said...

Happy Saturday everybody!

Wow, upon first glance this puzzle looked like a white-out storm in Fargo, ND. And it made about as much sense....

Slogged through, one HALF STEP at a time, but unfortunately had to go red about 3/4s through....

PHONE for PAGER, PLANET for TARZAN, IDI for ZIA, THE PIN for TEE PAD, KOALA for PANDA and RHEA for LEAH didn't help any....

Also started out with GONE WITH THE WIND, only because of the 15-letter coincidence....

Favorite clue = swingers with pickups....

We used to refer to LE CAR as LE CRAP....

Nice shout out to the Giants 3rd baseman at 41D....

Finally, agree totally with Splynter regarding BE IN ON and SHEER....

Doc out.

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

I guess I'm in the minority today as I couldn't crack this tough nut to save my soul. I really went astray and paid the price with a big DNF! Had Dali Lama/one llama, sates/feeds, mates/hands; didn't know Des'ree or Nena or phaser. Because of these errors and unknowns, I couldn't make any progress so just gave up in frustration. (A very rare reaction.)

That said, hats off to Mr. Riley and the Pollaks for a Saturday stumper (for me, anyway) and to Splynter for an enlightening expo.

Have a great day.

Misty said...

Six grid-spanners? Give me a break. I hardly got off the ground this morning with only the middle east filled in, thanks to HOOKAH. At least I know my Lewis Carroll critters and their habits, if not much else.

Not a great way to end what has otherwise been a great week--but I'll survive and look forward to an easy start on Monday. And at least I didn't have to deal with a messed up grid like other bloggers.

Have a terrific weekend, everybody!

Splynter said...

Hi there~!

D'oh~! I didn't read the full Wiki article, so I did not know of the third sister, D-Otto.

River Doc - right on, brother~!!!

Lemonade - what threshold? From a few weeks ago?


CrossEyedDave said...

Wow! very impressive grid design, I love how nice & neat the numbering is.

Being Saturday, with daunting gridspanners, I immediately went red letter. But to my surprise, this was the first Saturday Stumper I have come across that was actually doable! Still lots of red letters, but fun and perpable. (Although I still think Tombstone is in Arizona...)

I had never heard of an Ocarina until I played the legend of Zelda game. I assume this crossword crowd has never played it, so you may find this interesting...

(no, I didn't listen to the whole thing, & you don't have to either...)

But it made me think, what would an ocarina sound like playing classical music? My 1st search result was nice, but (side link on right, middle.) I thought Canon in D might be nicer. (After about 5 minutes of that I wanted to blow my brains out...) So here is my 1st link after all.

I would love to look for some Rocky & Bullwinkle links, but it is a beautiful day, & I am going to go out & be part of it...

Yellowrocks said...

Link Save me! Save me!

Ol' Man Keith said...

I missed PHASER. Settled for PHOSER, 'cuz I didn't think of NUEVO as feminine. Oh, well.
I think it was a fine pzl, but for me it just felt like drudge work.
Except for ONE-L LAMA. Whenever there is even a hint of Ogden Nash, there is good humor. That picked me up (in a way that TONE ARMS did not).

OwenKL said...

Lemon: I'd tell you the story of the threshold, but I couldn't get over it.

Longbeachlee said...

Stuck with clii, even though I've never heard of the Croid phone

Steve said...

Thanks for the expo, Splynter.

This great big empty white puzzle looked daunting at first, but oddly I didn't actually have lot of trouble with it. Learned a few things along the way too.

In hindsight and reading the comments, the NUEVA/PHASER cross might be a little on the awkward side unless you're into electric guitar.

Flushed with success, I trotted over to the NYT and brought myself back down to earth with a crash. Not just a DNF, but a DNRGS (did not really get started).

Jayce said...

I really loved this puzzle and admire the constructors.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Whew! Tough to get started on this one. Almost none of my first guesses were right. Without ERR, ERROL & CVS, my top half would have been empty on the first pass. Hooray, for HOOKAH & HOOTER got me going on the bottom half.

TRIED ONE'S BEST sort of defines the whole experience today. Throat tickles didn't make us "cough", but AHEMS. Sure competitor was not "rival", but ARRID. 3D "teach" didn't fit for "share knowledge".

I never heard of a PALATAL EXPANDER although I contributed big bucks to an orthodontist for one child. I tried to plug in some type of "retainer".

Honestly, did you ever see an egg shaped like those OCARINAS? I wanted anemometer too, but couldn't think of the name, only saw the whirly things in my mind.

Why would desert GECKOS need web-feet? Those are swimming apparatus, aren't they?

Thank you, Splynter, for hazardous duty.

Unknown said...

When I first looked at this puzzle and saw all the white, I thought WTF.

The top 2/3 of the puzzle was relatively easy, but it was a big DNF for me. Didn't know half step or one llama. Thought 31D was where Tombstone is located not what is located in Tombstone. Didn't know Zia. Had Nuevo instead of Nueva.

Oh well, I'm looking forward to tomorrow's puzzle.

tiptoethru said...

Was all set and ready to settle in to my Saturday challenge and, what Marcia Rogers said, GRRRRRRR. There was the wrong grid and I had no idea what was going on until I came here and checked. Well, maybe they'll do an apology-not.

JJM said...

Splynter, You're a better man than I. This one took me longer than any Saturday this year. I'm glad it was a speed run for you! Not me. To be honest, I didn't like some of the clues and I was also completely misled on some of the answers. But, I finished.

Yellowrocks said...

Wiki says, "Web-footed geckos, in the genus palmatogecko are two species of Gecko that live in the Namib Desert. They have webbed feet in order to move more easily across desert sand. They don't possess eyelids so they must lick their eyeballs clean in order to keep them moist."
When I was hiking in the Pine Barrens' sandy soil in New Jersey, it was like hiking in deep snow in just hiking boots. I wish I had web feet that would act like snowshoes to keep me on top of the sand.

Tombstone location can mean a location in Tombstone, as well as the location of Tombstone.

When viewing it from the top, an ocarina seems more egg shaped.
Link egg shaped

TTP said...

Back after spurring on the economy today while simultaneously lightening my wallet. Thought I'd see how other Saturday solvers felt about the puzzle.

YR, I'll bite. Building codes can vary dramatically, and you contractor should be the one that knows the type of ducting that's code.

Having said that, don't confuse the venting that's part of the DWV for the plumbing system. It's generally not a good idea to tie exhaust ducting into your DWV system. Your code may not allow that type of connection.

I have three bathroom exhaust vents in the house. The basement bathroom vents out through an opening in the rim joist. That's about a couple of feet above grade and right next to where the clothes dryer line exhausts.

The bathroom directly above exhausts overhead and through the roof. The third bath exhausts through a soffit vent.

All three are legal here, and all three have the flexible 4 inch ducting.

Flexible ducting is most often code-approved for bath fan exhausts, and most often not allowed by code for dryer ducting, water heater ducting, or kitchen exhaust ducting, but again, local building codes will dictate what you may or may not do.

You should be able to get a copy of the applicable building code from your local regulating authority for gratis to a relative few dollars. I would surmise that flexible ducting is approved, perfectly suitable for the need, and would also be your least expensive installation option. Hope that helps.

Time to get ready for the race. I'm pulling for California Chrome !

One last thing. Did anyone else see Shaquille O'Neal dressed up as a jockey ? AS IF ! He'd need a Pennsylvania draft horse to support his build, and they aren't exactly thoroughbreds.

Bumppo said...

I am a musician, and I have hung out with other musicians all my life; and I have never heard any of them refer to a HALFSTEP or half-tone as a "Semitone" (29D). I am aware that all the dictionaries define "semitone" in terms of intervals of musical pitch, and that there is an article in the current issue of Scientific American using the word that way; but I beg to differ. When I saw the clue, I was thinking of artistic differentials in coloration.

And then there is 39D "Electric guitar effect" = PHASER. The phaser is not an "effect"; it is the device that produces the effect. The effect is "wah wah."

Anonymous said...

Bumppo, whatever is wrong with you?

Bill G. said...

Has there ever been a cooler name for a race horse/family pet than Smarty Jones? I'm picking California Chrome just because I want him to win.

Yellowrocks said...

Bumppo, do you ever research your opinions? I usually can find tons of counter evidence against them.

OwenKL said...

We've talked here in the past about sudoku and cryptics and jigsaw puzzles (Oh my!). Does anyone else do diagramless? Years ago, before themed puzzles, I had a crossword magazine whose puzzles I found were all too easy for me. The grid was always in the top outside corner, so I pulled out the scissors and chopped that corner off the magazine. Pulled out my pad of quadrille graph paper, and did the rest of them as diagramless. Don't think I'd want to do that voluntarily with a Saturday level puzzle, but it wouldn't be impossible.

PK said...

Alas, poor California Chrome just did not have enough kick left to win today. I felt sorry for the owners, but they have had to enjoy what success is theirs. I had tears in my eyes too. Those animals are so beautiful.

YR: I tried walking in soft sand dunes in the Carolinas and could not make it in boots. My feet aren't made for walking there or much of anywhere, for that matter. However, I don't think webs would help. Of course, a GECKO has less weight. LOL!

YR: As for your bathroom to roof vent, much depends on how much distance there is and whether the pipe/hose can go straight up and exit in an appropriate place or has to angle to another position. For example, you can't have a rigid pipe going straight up and exiting at the roof peak. You can't cut away your ridge pole without weakening your roof. Will it run into other piping or roof joists? This is one thing you can't read about and make a final decision. You have to be in the attic seeing what is in the path of the pipe/hose. If you can't go straight up, you probably are better off with a flexible outlet hose.

Anonymous said...

YR, "research" on the internet can prove anything....most of it wrong. Bumppo seemed to be speaking from experience. Not sure he is right, but he was giving his opinion.

Pamela said...

@Owen, I used to love to do diagramless, which I learned from my mother. Those puzzles taught me everything about crossword layout. I used to buy the Dell crossword magazines every month just for the challenger puzzles, the diagramless, logic problems, and -- oh, what were they called, those combination word and quote puzzles -- anacrostics? I can't find those good tough puzzle books anymore.

This was a tough Saturday. I could not finish the top section without googling the soul singer. Good thing I did -- I was expecting it to be a man's name. Also needed a oouple of tries to get PALATALEXPANDER. Other than those, I toughed it out. Good hard work!

Bill G. said...

A mother cat. Her work is never done...

Poor Mommy!

Splynter said...

Hi again~!

Um, Bumppo, did you read the write-up~? That's exactly what I said about the Phaser. Oh, and semitone is common in my circle of musicians, too.


Unknown said...

I didn't find a colmment on Ogden Nash (one-L lama and 2-L llama but no 3-L lama). Shortly after he wrote that, someone corrected him that there is also a 3-L lama (a 3-alarm or "3-L lama" fire). But you all know this...bob h-k

Argyle said...

30-Down, in the wrte-up, had this:

Nash priest, not beast : ONE-L LAMA
The one-l lama, He's a priest. The two-l llama, He's a beast. And I will bet A silk pajama There isn't any Three-l lllama.