Jul 26, 2014

Saturday, Jul 26th, 2014, Kevin Christian

Theme: None

Words: 72 - Pangram~!

Blocks: 33

   Kevin Christian has had a steady run of mostly Monday and Tuesday level puzzles for the LAT, though he does have a Thursday and a Friday among the 11 grids that have been reviewed on this blog - and today's themeless has a gratuitous self shout-out at one across~! A true pinwheel design with all four corners consisting of triple-9 letter chunks, and a mini-pinwheel of eight-letter entries in the center, too - that made for tough going, but I did finish, but with a red-letter cheat to see what I had wrong - no Ta-DA~! for me   :7(    I had two squares wrong; see below.  Some of the longer fill;

15a. Poe title locale : RUE MORGUE - Oh, I am so disappointed with myself; this should have been a gimme, since Iron Maiden has a song by the same title - "Murders in the Rue Morgue"

12d. One in a bar lineup : VODKA SHOT - I don't do vodka; the night would get started with one bourbon, one scotch, one beer....and then I would do this song, by request, for karaoke

58a. Cyan relative : TURQUOISE

32d. Garden color : TOMATO RED

(must go) o-n-w-a-r-d- - - - - - - ~!


1. Bounty mutineer : CHRISTIAN - Fletcher vs. Bligh - the Wiki

10. __ ordo seclorum: Great Seal words : NOVUS

16. Words of refusal : I DON'T

17. Versatile seasoning : ONION SALT

18. Singer's better half? : SIDE A - Har-har~!!!

19. Screwball : WACKY - not KOOKY

20. Mariner's direction : AFT

22. Game similar to pinochle : SKAT

23. Letters after Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's name : D NH - Democrat, New Hampshire; this was a bit of a stretch for me; more about this history-making woman here

24. Spend leisurely, with "away" : WHILE

26. Zap, in a way : TASE

27. __ Provinces : MARITIME

30. __ tight : SIT - Dah~!  Went with AIR first

31. Informer : STOOLIE - my "E-magazine" made this slow to appear

34. Chose, in a way : X'ED

35. "On __ Majesty's Secret Service" : HER - James Bond #6, 1969, George Lazenby's only stint as our favorite British Spy

36. Fighting : COMBAT

37. Nucleic acid sugar : RIBOSE

39. She played Mia in "Pulp Fiction" : UMA

40. '90s-'00s reliever Robb : NEN - Baseball; C.C. nailed it, I am sure

42. Kitchen set : DINETTE - my little table project has run into a slight snag; more below

43. Base : BAG - Baseball; did you get it, C.C.~?  Only when doing the write-up did I get brained by the V-8 can

44. Pretax figure : SUBTOTAL - I had "suM total", and that didn't help with trying to figure out what "Jordan" we were talking about

46. Rat-__ : A-TAT - not just a sound effect, but a NYC musical duo, too

48. Kind of line : PARTY

49. 2000 Richard Gere role : DR. T

52. Nodding : DOZY

53. FICA benefit : SSI - Social Security Insurance - OOPS~! Supplemental Security Income (Splynter)

54. Madewell parent company : J.CREW

56. Like rock's U2 : IRISH

61. Cobra feature : VENOM

62. Credit card charge, perhaps : ANNUAL FEE

63. Utopias : EDENS

64. Rang true : RESONATED

1. Game attendees : CROWD - Dah~!  I threw in an "S", for the plural nature of the clue, and that screwed me

2. Province of southern China : HUNAN - A gimme for our blog host

3. Clinton Labor secretary Robert : REICH

4. "Nothing's broken!" : I'M OK - how you explained to mom that time when you built a ramp out of plywood and milk crates, then tried to jump over all the toys you could find in the yard - and didn't quite make it....

5. "Spider-Man" movie company : SONY - Somehow, I knew this

6. __-80: old computer : TRS

7. Grocery chain initials : IGA

8. Starbucks request : AU LAIT

9. Big name in streaming : NETFLIX - I tried it, but they had nothing I wanted to see; I just end up buying the Blu-rays or DVDs

10. "__ for Noose": Grafton novel : N IS

11. Horace, for one : ODIST

13. Most restless : UNEASIEST

14. Growing symbol : STATE TREE - Well, it is growing, and it is a symbol

21. Recklessness : TEMERITY

24. Reports : WRITE-UPS - Like those here at the blog

25. Get going : HIE

27. Soprano group : MOB - I think this would have been better clued as "THE Sopranos", but it is Saturday

28. Graphic novelist Moore et al. : ALANs - Perps and WAGs

29. Twin Cities suburb : EDINA - Boy, C.C., this one has you all over it~!

31. Explore with a tank : SCUBA DIVE

33. Women's issue, familiarly : O MAGAZINE - bit of misdirection, as the capital "W" made me think we were talking about the actual magazine, Women

38. Where Antwerp is: Abbr. : BELgium

41. Jordan, e.g. : NBA STAR - The river, the country~?  Then I got the "STAR" part, but still, I was not sure if this was the British model "--- star" Jordan; ah, the basketball star, Michael

42. Common Internet symbol : DOT - yup, pretty common

45. Three in one : TRIUNE

47. Holyfield rival : TYSON

49. Go with the flow : DRIFT

50. Take in again : RESEE

51. Coarse cloth : TWEED

54. California's San __ Capistrano : JUAN

55. Part of a fast-food meal, maybe : COLA

57. __ Pinafore : HMS

59. "ER" extras : RNs

60. Status chaser? : QUO


  My idea of doing a "stone" finish on the rook table has been compromised by the fact that Home Depot does not carry a stone finish paint in a "Stone" color; really~???  Two stores carry brown, beige, and light beige ( light beige~?).  Michaels art store was no help; I will have to try A.C. Moore, or just go with plan B; a faux marble finish using a sponge.  I have done it before, and it does look pretty cool.


OwenKL said...

Tough puzzle, as it is meant to be. After several passes, all I was left with was the natick between artist Moore and ballplayer Robb. Had to turn on red letters before solve option was available, though, and when I did, I discovered I had misspelled MeRITIME. Changed that E to A, and ALANS became obvious enough I didn't need the solve button after all!


For today's Cryptic clue, I get to mention my own state!

"Imprimatur Quo" is expected to cover New Mexican symbol (9)


There was a young miss at Old Miss.
Who wanted to learn how to kiss.
Her naive TEMERITY
Caused classmates hilarity,
But her prof's were all glad to assist!

There was a young man with a truck
Who wanted to learn how to
His shirt in his pants
With no WACKY dance,
He felt like the UNEASIEST schmuck!

George Barany said...

What a delightful surprise to see a puzzle by Kevin 1-Across, who I had the pleasure of getting to know a bit back in March when we were both officials at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Brooklyn. The mindset for constructing themeless puzzles is quite different from the constraints of themed puzzles, and I appreciate that Splynter gave us some perspective on it.

On the subject of themes, though, I am honored to share with you the remarkable Escalation, constructed by my friend Steve Bachman. After working the puzzle, be sure to read its "midrash." Hope you enjoy this!

fermatprime said...


Not bad for me. Had 2 red letters. No other cheats. (Should have been able to finish. If I had just put it aside until after sleeping.)

Thanks, Kevin, Splynter!

I'm done in.

Watched World's End. Anyone see it? Rather amusing.

Have a great Sunday!

HeartRx said...

Good morning Splynter, C.C. et al.

Loved your write-up and links Splynter, but I think SSI is Supplemental Security Income. I had to chuckle at your "I'M OK" comment. My childhood disaster came when my sisters and I tried to build a roller coaster on the hill behind our house, using planks and an old baby carriage. I was so happy that they chose ME to be the first passenger...(oops)

For some reason, this one was really easy for me. I chuckled at the grandstanding at 1-Across. Then after filling in RUE MORGUE below it, I started checking the down clues and found each one almost filling itself.

Tin should like 12-Down, especially since there is no I-C-E to be found in the grid.

Have a great day, everyone!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Nice vanity puzzle from Mr. CHRISTIAN. I liked it overall, but struggled throughout due to the obscure cluing. Really hated DOZY and couldn't quite get RESEE, but that was about it.

Tried BBALLER before NBA STAR, which seemed to fit for a little while. No other memorable mistakes -- just a lot of slow going and multiple passes until I finally got the job done.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

WMS (what Marti said) in paragraph three. My first thought for 1a was CHRISTIAN. My second thought was, he wouldn't dare. He did.

I signed up for NETFLIX earlier this year. I got hooked on the series 24 and was halfway through one season when NETFLIX pulled the plug on the series. Dang! At least that was the gist of what I said.

San JUAN Capistrano reminds me of Hitchcock's Vertigo, except the mission in that movie was actually San JUAN Bautista. Juan is like the other.

Fermat, I predict that one day soon you'll get it right.

Paul said...

Hey Splynter- if we are on the same page, look for a stone finish paint in spray can... Rustoleum (?).

Big Easy said...

1A and Kevin have the same name. CHRISTIAN- How convenient. The entire left side filled very quickly for a Saturday withe the unknowns DNH BAG DOZY filled by perps. But the right was almost a sea of blanks. About the only thing I was sure of was that sugars end in OSE and had to SIT tight. REBOSE was an unknown. Was it WRITES UP or WRITE UPS. I WON'T or I DON'T. But I struggled and went through LASE NUKE before TASE; then the NE fell into place. I guessed ALAN Moore but had no idea who Robb NEN was and DBA (doing business as) STAR just wouldn't be correct. Then Michael Jordan clicked as the NBA STAR.

You guys have a nice Saturday. My wife is flying back from Amsterdam today, currently over the Atlantic as I track the plane on

HeartRx said...

Paul @ 6:53, you are correct - it is Rustoleum's "American Accents" line. I've used it on a couple projects around the house and it really does look like stone.

TTP said...

Good morning all. Good morning Splynter.

I may have had a personal best for a Saturday. 45.59 Woke up around 3 AM thinking about work. Had a bowl of cheerios and looked to have the puzzle change my thoughts.

And it did. Answers to the clues came rather quickly, and even when the first and second choice didn't fit or weren't correct, the third choice was. Nailed many on the first choice, such as consecutive fills REICH, IMOK, SONY, TRS, AU LAIT and NETFLIX. Made solving the NW very quick.

After the second pass, I was almost done except for South Central LA and a bit east of there. Took more time there than the rest of the puzzle combined, because I had TRIPLE ("Three in one" - justification was bases) and SODA. I was absolutely certain that RESONATED was correct and those certain letters in TRIPLE and SODA were of for other fill. But "Cyan relative" starting off as TP could not be correct.

The breakthrough came when I finally realized QUO for "status chaser", ie, following status. Don't know why that common clue scheme or little three letter word managed to elude me for so long.

Best Saturday puzzle ever !

I was surprised yesterday that no one else thought of Bonsai for Mr Miyagi's art. ;>)

Well, that's enough for now. Have to finish up a plumbing project from yesterday.

desper-otto said...

Marti, that's the paint I used to disguise the telephone and cable tv "pillars" at the back of my yard. Haven't heard from those companies whether they appreciate my efforts. Don't really care.

Inanehiker said...

Slowly plugged away at this puzzle, but the northeast corner was my downfall, with odist, side A, skat eluding me. After Michael Jordan, I kept thinking about Horace as Horace Grant...

@TTP, I thought of Bonsai first, but didn't work with any of the perps, so it had to be abandoned. But I thought it would have been a great Fri/Sat cluing with Mr Miyagi.

Welfare Recipient said...

Nice Blog. Really Great.

What follows is not politics or not meant to be politics.
If you don't like it, complain somewhere else.
Not on this blog.
You may like it ---- or not.
But it is the law.
What follows, are only the facts.

SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income.

It is NOT a Social Security benefit, and is not funded from the FICA trust funds. It is funded from general tax revenues, from the federal income tax. It is for, generally, the seniors, and the indigent, and those who did not, or could not, save enough thru IRAs and FICA. It is merely administered through the Social Security administration.

Talking from personal experience it is much more profitable, er, generous than SS benefits. You do not have to have even paid into the FICA, ever. You need not be a US citizen, in many cases. Also SSI qualifies you for MedicAid, which is an even better deal, for free medical care.

Just correcting a small nit.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I finished most of the puzzle but put it A-side (MY better half!) because the northeast was giving me fits.) Getting back to it with fresh eyes finally worked and I finished w/o help. Didn't care for state tree, resee, or dozy but enjoyed the long fill, especially tomato red, scuba dive, temerity, resonated, etc., and, of course, Christian.

Kudos, Kevin, for a challenging Saturday and thanks, Splynter, for your spot on expo.

Another lovely day but I think rain is in the picture for tomorrow and Monday.

YR, how is Alan doing, and PK, how is your brother?

Enjoy the day.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Splynter, my compliments in arising every Saturday morning week in and week out, attacking these (brutal) suckers head-on and providing an erudite commentary.

Difficult slog thru the quagmire but finally finished it without having to resort to Google.
50d - rehem? resew? ah, RESEE. Crosswordese, but it's Saturday. I guess we can cut Kevin a little slack.
Had 'triple' before TRIUNE'.
Liked TEMERITY but it's a hard word for me to use easily.
DR. T. - After I parsed it right. As ret. Navy, I think of D R T - Dead Reckoning Tracer; found in every CIC (combat information center) at the time.
Favorite clue was for SIDE A.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! CHRISTIAN deserved his signature on this Saturday puzzle, if it is his first. Made me chuckle. I usually don't like or get Saturday puzzles, but I did better on this one.

I think Riboflavin is nucleic acid which would give us the RIB along with OSE for sugar. Didn't know these went together though.

Didn't know Madewell or JCREW, NEN, NOVUS (all I could see in my mind was a pyramid & big eye), TRS, AU LAIT. But wonders of wonders, I knew REICH, EDINA, SCUBA DIVE, etc.

Didn't know Gere played Dr. T. Wondered what DRT signified.

DOZY is an annoying word as well as an annoying condition. I've been DOZY a lot lately.

Several entries like WRITE, VODKA & STATE, I put in the key word and had to let it ruminate and perp to finish.

Irish Miss: My brother came home last Monday and was taking walks around the block on Tuesday. I haven't heard since. Such a miracle! We all thought he was a goner earlier.

PK said...

Splynter: How could I forget to thank our Saturday hero? I do appreciate your blog efforts and sharing your projects with us. Like the table idea.

Kevin Christian said...

Hi, this is Kevin, I made today's puzzle.

Hello George Barany from ACPT, thanks for remembering me!

I originally had JEREMY LIN at 1-Across. I created the first draft of this puzzle a few years ago when he was big in the news. I had I SEE IT intersecting the I in JEREMY LIN at 8-Down. When I sent it to the editor, there was some fill in that NW corner that he didn't like. He suggested changing 8-Down from I SEE IT to AU LAIT. He left it to me to find a suitable ???????AN at 1-Across. I tried several but settled on CHRISTIAN because it worked with 15-Across RUE MORGUE and 17-Across ONION SALT, both of which I liked. So that's how I ended up with CHRISTIAN at 1-Across. Not at all my original intent!

I included NETFLIX, O MAGAZINE, and TURQUOISE because I was going for the pangram. I would have been short a J upon the removal of JEREMY LIN, but I had an extra J at J CREW / JUAN in the SE, so the pangram held up.

Everyone enjoy the rest of your weekends.

- KevinC

JJM said...

I know that the clue for STATETREE is going on my 10 worst clues of the year. I'll cut RESEE as a fill, a break for now. Other than those two misses, very straight forward and solvable.

I'm going paddle boarding, then water skiing…. have a good rest of the weekend!

Lucina said...

Greetings, Word Warriors! Very nice going, Splynter, thank you for moving us ONWARD.

My symbol today is snail or turtle, either one is slow and methodical. Hooray for Mr. CHRISTIAN to use his own name.

Initially I was all over the grid on this until a few letters could be linked together. The SW & SE fell easily but COUNTRY was my first Jordan since I was recently there. But once the bottom filled NBASTAR became obvious.

My credit card's ANNUALFEE is steep but I get so many free trips, it's worth it.

In the NE, OLIVE TREE seemed so right but knew the motto wouldn't jive with it. And so it went but I still failed to check so SONY/WACKY didn't make it as I had WACKO.

Book Club meeting today. You all have a marvelous Saturday!

Splynter said...

Hi again~!

Yup, I never took the time to research what SSI stands for, so I royally screwed that one - sorry folks~! Gone in and fixed it; guess I'll have to start all over on my quest for perfection....

As for the table finish, the stone finish can/kit is exactly what I had in mind, and exactly what I cannot find out here anymore, period. I know that it exists, since I planned to use it on a biomorphic statue I once made for sculpture class - the teacher insisted that we NOT use such a tacky, easy way to finish the project. Besides, the whole faux marble idea sounds a bit challenging, so I am looking to try that again~!


Chairman Moe said...

Well, I felt like a Rebel - or Confederate - today, as everything south of the "Mason Dixon" line came pretty easily. I struggled with both the NW and NE corners. My first thought with 12D was SHOT GLASS; and then when the word SHOT came second, I tried JELLO SHOT (since I didn't know NOVUS, JELLO made the most sense to me!). Anyway, I finally gave it the old "1-2" (googled 1 across and 2 down) and filled in the NE, and then, after googling 10A I was able to solve the rest of the puzzle.

31D - great clue! 52A was a head-scratcher. Also, I didn't know that "pangram" meant using all the letters in the alphabet for the crossword. Learn something new every day! ;^)

21D - I kept thinking TEMERITY, but I always equated TEMERITY with having "balls"! But I guess the clue fits . . . and with that, I offer this "ditty":

I say this with all sincerity,
(Not wanting to cause polarity);
But I enjoy being crude,
And sunbathing in the nude,
Just glad I have the TEMERITY!

Anonymous said...

Would this work, Spynter? Many items not found in local stores I order from Amazon.
Link stone finish

Misty said...

Well, I was going to grouch about the difficulty of this puzzle, but after reading Kevin's informative and helpful analysis, how could I. I just couldn't get a toehold in the north without cheating--not unusual for a Saturday, I guess. But it was still fun. And thanks, Splynter, for your weekend work for us.

PK, so glad your brother is doing so well.

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!

OwenKL said...

"Imprimatur Quo" is expected | to cover | New Mexican symbol (9)
[imprimaTUR QUO IS Expected] [hides] [TURQUOISE]

KevinC: Thanks for stopping by! Constructors are always especially welcome!

Lucina said...

Forgot to say that I'm happy for you and your brother. I hope the healing continues.

Ol' Man Keith said...

An easy start. Both CHRISTIAN and RUE MORGUE were gimmes. Happy to see one of my fave words--TEMERITY. My usual approach was inverted, as it turned out the three-letter words were tougher than the longer ones.
I needed to check the Great Seal to be sure of NOVUS after laboring too long to complete the NE corner. I too had NUKE blocking progress for a while.
But in the end it all yielded to me. Patience, Keith...

And thank you, Mr. Christian!

Yellowrocks said...

Plenty of bleeding red letters for me in the east today.
I usually hear and read TEMERITY only in the phrase "had the temerity to". In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch says, "And so a quiet, respectable, humble Negro who had the unmitigated temerity to 'feel sorry' for a white woman has had to put his word against two white people's."
PK, I am happy your brother is improving.
Alan went to work on his scheduled 3 days this week. He is missing the money he would have made during the three weeks he took off, which is a good incentive to keep working. I am sort of in the position of a mom deciding whether her kid is sick enough to stay home from school. I think I was right. Given his inarticulateness this is a tough decision.
This afternoon there was an immature bluejay that sat immobilized 18 inches from our patio door and only only blinked his eyes when we came near the door. There were several feathers on the ground. Maybe a hawk attacked him. I worked on the laundry near the door for about an hour. When I looked out an hour later he was gone. It is hard to believe he was able to fly away. I hope the hawk didn't nab him.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Nope, it wasn't CONGA line, darn it. That would have fit with the JPG I entered for 42D.
I knew it had to be CHRISTIAN at 1A because Fletcher wouldn't fit. My dentist's first name is Cristian.
Getting CHRISTIAN and RUEMORGUE right off the bat made the NW corner fill easily, and seduced me into the expectation that the whole puzzle would be that easy. It wasn't, but I liked it anyway.
I knew RNA is ribonucleic acid and involves ribosomes, so RIBOSE made very good sense.
My mother does not wear COMBAT boots. Being a Tucson, Arizonan, she did, on the other hand, have quite a bit of TURQUOISE jewelry. She also liked all the John Hillerman novels (so did I) and wrote poetry about the beauty of the Sonora desert.
Best wishes to you all.

PK said...

YR: maybe your bluejay flew into the glass and was dazed awhile.

How nice that Alan can be back to work and you can have some alone time. Too much togetherness with any other human being gets claustrophobic, I think.

Jayce said...

I just learned that a good friend of our son, a Dutch gentleman, and his wife and 2 children were on the flight that was shot down over Ukraine, and were all killed.

Anonymous said...

Jayce, so sad and such a tragic inane happening. My condolences.

TTP said...

Hi all.

My plumbing project is done. $330 later.

Awful quiet around here.

Anon-T... Steve and Nice Cuppa are not one and the same person.

White Sox and Twins are on deck tonight with Chris Sale pitching. Jose Abreu is lighting up the record books, but the Sox are still 9 games back of the Tigers. Meanwhile, the Pirates are 3 games back of the Brewers.

Here's a poser. What 6 letter word has only the "and sometimes Y" vowel ?

I've been summoned to dinner.

See all y'all later !

Spitzboov said...


TTP said...


You Sir, are correct !

OwenKL said...

Spitz: Ask a person with crossword software a question like that, and beware of what you'll get!
Mine found 17 words, including CRWTHS (a Welsh fiddle) & DRY-FLY (2 words or hyphenated), GHYLLS & XYLYLS (not in my dictionary), MYRRHS & SYLPHY (standard extensions of 5-letter words, though not in my dictionary). I won't spoil other people's fun by listing the other 11 normal words, but 4 start with S, and no other letter starts more than one. All but RHYTHM and 2 S's just add an S to a 5-letter word.


Husker Gary said...

-Hello from Portland, Oregon, the incredible International Rose Test Garden!
-Doing these on a keyboard ain’t’ fun but his was a real challenge
-Our TOMATOES are just turning now that we are 1,500 miles away
-The county sheriff got TASED in a festival held in tornado ravaged Pilger, NE to raise $1,200 for charity
-A double in baseball is sometimes called a 2-bagger and also…
-Step away from the PARTY LINE and you’re in trouble. Term limits where are you?
-My daughter couldn’t find the first 3 movies I wanted on her NETFLIX and so I’m passing
-The same daughter broke-up with a man, decided to RESEE him and married him two weeks ago
-Off to dinner on the Willamette (Willamette dammit –rhyme) River! Read y’all later.

Anonymous said...

PK, you may be right about the jay. I was concerned because last year a hawk drove a smaller bird into the same patio door. They both hit the glass with a bang and loss of feathers. They landed on the patio and immediately rose and flew off in different directions.

Lucina said...

I forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed today's limerick. Very funny.