Jul 9, 2014

Wednesday, July 9th 2014 Gary J. Whitehead

Theme: Mélanges, Mash-ups and Minglings. Each theme entry is a noun that amalgamates. There -  four synonyms avoiding the word "mix" which is in the reveal:

20A. Recording industry technician : SOUND ENGINEER

The often unsung hero of the music industry. Here's the supremely talented Bill Price's mix for the Sex Pistol's "Pretty Vacant" including the curious "false start" at the three-second mark. Time Magazine in 2006 named the album "One of the 100 greatest, ever".

38A. One with a busy engagement calendar : SOCIAL BUTTERFLY. Hopefully not in the "betrothal" sense of the word "engagement"!

57A. Kitchen appliance : FOOD PROCESSOR. Food! My kitchen has five varieties in regular use - an electric whisk, a whizz-it up liquidizer, a stick blender big enough to mix concrete, a Cuisinart processor and when I need the big guns, a KitchenAid.

And now the twin unifiers:

68A. With 69-Across, what 20-, 38- and 57-Across do : THEY

69A. See 68-Across : MIX

Greetings, Earthlings. Steve here on either Wednesday or Miércoles depending on where exactly I am at 38,000 feet above the planet. Due to either alchemy or electro-magic I find myself connected to the interwebs and I don't see an ethernet cable trailing out of the back of the plane. Wonders will never cease. And Germany with a 7-1 trouncing over Brasil? Not quite sure what to say about that so I'm saying nothing! Let's move on ...

A nice Wednesday from Gary - a grid-spanner and two 13's, a couple of nice long downs and some other sparkle in the fill. Let's check out the rest.


1. Subway map abbr. : STA. Station. One of my all-time favorite bits of trivia concerns the London Underground. I've no idea how anyone actually came up with this, but there is only one Tube station on the entire system that does not contain any of the letters in the word "Mackerel". Wow!

4. Early fifth-century year : CDIV. 404. Emperor Flavius's web browser error message: "HTML CDIV. Page non est".

8. Dreadlocks wearer : RASTA. Rastafarian more formally.

13. Bud : PAL. Here's my pal:

14. Mechanical recitations : ROTES

16. Singer John : ELTON. Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE to be precise.

17. Transfusion letters : ABO. Not a good thing to get your blood types mixed up.

18. Stave off : AVERT

19. Nonsense : HOOEY. I needed the crosses for the ending of this - not a word with which I was familiar.

23. Tin Lizzie : MODEL T. "Any color you like as long as it's black".

24. Director Kazan : ELIA

25. Kingston Trio hit with the lyric "Fight the fare increase!" : M.T.A.

28. Fray, e.g. : WEAR

30. Santa __: Southwestern mountains : TERESAS. An obscure little range in Arizona.

32. Obsessed whale hunter : AHAB

35. It's not free of charge : ION. Nice clue!

37. Hoity-toity types : SNOBS

42. Take in or let out : ALTER

43. Petal puller's pronoun : SHE ... loves me, she loves me not.

44. Way out there : AFAR

45. Sicilian seaport : MESSINA

48. SOS responder : USCG. The US Coast Guard. Motto: "Semper Paratus", "Always Ready".

50. Prefix with thermal : ISO

51. Actress Catherine __-Jones : ZETA

53. Belief in one god : THEISM

60. Family car : WAGON. I hear a clecho.

62. Turkish titles : AGHAS

63. Galadriel in "The Lord of the Rings," e.g. : ELF. Not one to be messed with, either.

64. Deadly virus : EBOLA

65. Ruled perch? : ROOST. More nice cluing.

66. Ike's 1940s command : E.T.O. European Theater of Operations, as I'm sure most of us know by now.

67. Family car : SEDAN. I hear a clecho.


1. Jerk : SPASM. I looked at SPAS_ for quite a while before I realized I wasn't trying to find some vaguely non-PC word for an annoying person.

2. Forbidden thing : TABOO

3. One way to read : ALOUD

4. Nursery need : CRADLE

5. Woodworking joint : DOVETAIL. We had to make these by hand in woodworking class back in school. I think it took most of one semester to join two small boards together.

6. Santa Monica-to-Jacksonville rte. : I-TEN

7. Threshold : VERGE

8. Run through lines : REHEARSE

9. Soothing succulent : ALOE. I needed some of this yesterday - I spent about 10 minutes too long in the sun.

10. Leaves in a huff : STORMS OFF

11. Pump part : TOE

12. Vague amount : ANY

15. Circus support : STILT

21. Ones with much to learn : NEWBIES

22. German's "never" : NIE. I must have known this at some point, but it slipped my mind. Crosses to the rescue.

26. Indian drum : TABLA

27. Nineveh's land: Abbr. : ASSYR. Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian empire.

29. Hold up : ROB

31. Brings to a boil : ENRAGES.

32. "Same here" : AS AM I

33. Green targets : HOLES. Oh - golf! I was scratching my head for a moment with this one.

34. Hurricanes and tornadoes, in insurance policies : ACTS OF GOD

36. School sweater letters : NUS. The lowercase letter looks like a "v". Who Nu?

39. Grand Canyon State native : ARIZONAN

40. Calendar abbr. : THU

41. Precedent-setting trial : TEST CASE

46. Outlaw Kelly : NED

47. Bond trader's phrase : AT PAR

49. Well-developed, in a way : CHESTY. I'll leave the linking to someone else for this one!

52. Shop jargon : ARGOT

54. "__ to recall ..." : I SEEM

55. Conductor Sir Georg : SOLTI. Let's link to a wonderful view of "Nimrod" from the perspective of a third (?) violin with the London Philharmonic conducted by Sir Georg. What a treat.

56. Dahl's "Fantastic" title critter : MR FOX

58. "Return of the Jedi" dancing girl : OOLA. Thank you, crosses.

59. "This is bad!" : OH-OH

60. "Rushmore" director Anderson : WES

61. Civil War prez : ABE

That about wraps it up, and just as "we are now commencing our final descent into Los Angeles International Airport and the captain has turned on the fasten seat belts sign" I'd better "power down my portable electronic device and stow it safely for landing". See you all next time!



Lemonade714 said...

I would never have grokked the theme without the reveal, but it all made sense in retrospect. Glad we had TABLA recently and the THERESAS were unknown but it was a very fair Wednesday.

Loved Petal puller pronoun.

OwenKL said...

I expected a trick from the can marked "MIXED Nuts,"
When opened, a long thing on a spring would jump up.
With caution I battled,
But yes, the can rattled --
The nuts were all metal, with bolt knurls cut!

Potatoes with long eyes, and leftovers furry,
Green mystery meatloaf, and milk's a thick slurry.
Our overnight guests are starting to reek,
They asked for one day, they've been here a week!
They get smoothies tonight -- turn the BLENDER to puree!

She was a SOCIAL network BUTTERFLY.
The troll was more an annoying horsefly.
Still one magical tweet
The couple did meet --
And she was snarky enough that she made the guy cry!

OwenKL said...

The numeration was too much of a help yesterday, so I'm going to start occasionally dropping it. Once you see it, today's Cryptic clue should be easy even without it.

Bug's Michigan ancestor molted repugnantly

Bliss, a daily cartoon, 6/25. (I'm a bit behind on my reading.) Rubes 7/4. I guess jellyfish don't have brains.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Pretty straightforward solve for me today. I liked the fact that all the theme answers (as well as the other long, non theme answers such as STORMS OFF and ACTS OF GOD) were all common, "in the language" phrases.

Wasn't thrilled with CHESTY (had COMELY at first) and really wish OOLA would be banned from puzzles forever (seriously, was the character's name ever mentioned in any of the films?), but other than that it was a fun Wednesday romp.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This one felt Monday-ish, and finished in typical Monday time. Did I get the theme before the reveal. Of course not! In fact when I saw THEY MEX I shook my head. Oh, SOLTI not SOLTE. D'oh!

Cute CDIV comment, Steve. I also enjoyed your fish tale.

I've got a jig and a special router bit that makes creating DOVETAILs a breeze.

Lemonade714 said...

BG maybe this VIDEO Will help you appreciate OOLA.

HeartRx said...

Good morning Steve, C.C. et al.

Wonderful write-up, Steve. And your links were priceless. Really? The Sex Pistols and Elgar?? I guess there's something for everyone today!! (BTW, there are only first and second violins in an orchestra.)

I had to pick my way around today, because there were several unknowns, as others have mentioned. But perps were solid and led me safely to the finish line unassisted. Thanks, Gary!

Another hot and humid day today. Stay cool, everyone!

Mari said...

Good Morning Everybody!

Great puzzle today, but I couldn't figure out how the theme answers fit together until I read Steve's post.

I had a few writeovers in the mid-East section. I didn't know Santa TERESAS, which messed me up a bit.

My favorite clue was 35A: It's not free of charge: ION.

Have a great day everybody.

Husker Gary said...

-Steve’s assessment works for me on this Wednesday tester (ARGOT, SOLTI, TERESAS, TABLA)
-Granddaughter realizes I am a SOCIAL BUTTERFLY – “Papa made a new friend”
-I thought of 404 error message too, Steve, just not as cleverly!
-Baseball commissioner forbid August Busch to name his St. Louis ball park Budweiser Field and so now it is called this
-Ford paid his assembly line workers enough so they could afford a MODEL T
-His portrayal of AHAB was amazing/disturbing
-Controversial 1964 daisy ad that ran only once
-Doesn’t THEISM need MONO for the worship of one god as opposed to polytheism (cwd denizens)?
-That TABOO list, for good or ill, is shrinking
-All my grandchildren loved having us read ALOUD to them.
-Seinfeld running lines (4:49@ 2:25) with ulterior motives
-Ever wonder how to how to fall from STILTS? (1:00) Me either.
-Those Green target HOLES can look like thimbles
-Our town has been a TEST CASE for enforcing illegal alien laws

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

A little crunchy starting out but then the bottom began to come together. Had SEDAN for WAGAN; then realized there was a 2nd family car clue. A little white-out and on to the top half. Got the theme fill and unifier ok. Actually it was best not to overthink this puzzle. NIE was a gimme. Misread 6d and had East before I-TEN.
Bottom line - I liked this puzzle.

CED - I responded to your link late yesterday.

Bill G. - I agree with your Jeopardy comment from late last night. The Army guy was guaranteed a return by betting O. By betting all, the woman at least would have had a chance to return with a 1st place tie.

Anonymous said...

For 33D, the only thing I could come up with was green meaning ecology, and the target was the holes in the ozone layer. At least it came out with the same answer!

Anonymous said...

SO glad Cruciverb is back!!

CanadianEh! said...

Enjoyable Wednesday CW that required some work in the south.

I had to move my SEDAN from 60A to 67A and wait for perps to reveal WAGON.

Didn't know ARGOT or MTA. I tend to agree with Husker Gary about THEISM but I see that WIKI agrees with the cluing.

I also enjoyed the ION clue.

Off to enjoy this beautiful day.
Kazie, glad to hear Leah is on her way to recovery.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I really liked this puzzle: clever theme, fresh cluing and fill, and a fun solve, to boot. It had just the right amount of crunch for a Wednesday. Fav clue was for ion. Fun to see Model T, wagon and sedan, also. CSO to Lucina with Arizonan.

Thanks, Gary, and thanks, Steve, for a witty and informative write-up. We're still waiting for the Lyon/tent/roundabout story!

We had terrific thunderstorms last night but right now we are back in the clutches of the 3 H's. If anyone watched The Bridge last year, season 2 begins tonight at 10:00 on FX.

Have a great day.

kazie said...

Thanks again for comments about Lea's progress. Today her appetite is returning, so she may be home tomorrow.

I wonder how PK's brother is doing?

I had a bit of trouble in the mideast today with TERESAS and its perps. I wanted TERESIA at first, but it all worked out in the end.

Have a great hump day everyone!

Yellowrocks said...

This was fun,a little more like Thursday puzzles. I didn't get the point until the very last letter, X. I enjoyed your write up Steve.
OOLA was all perps. I got Teresas with just a few perps and the rest WAGs. SOLTI was a gimmee. I'll bet Marti thought so, too. We had TABLA recently. I knew HOOEY. People say,
that's a lot of HOOEY."
I read that technically THEISM is belief in a least one god, but more commonly it is used as a synonym for monotheism. Puzzle constructors seem to like the least common choice to "puzzle" us more.
Good news about Kazie's Lea.
AT, I liked your pic yesterday. The windblown hair is sexy.
I'm having my dryer and airducts cleaned today. The AC doesn't draw well downstairs. This dryer is harder to clean than my others were. As someone said the other day my DIY kit has become my checkbook.
I was expecting links to CHESTY guys and gals.
Link Look

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Gary Whitehead, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for an excellent review.

Had an eye doctor appointment tis morning, so I checked to see if cruciverb was finally up. It was. Finished the puzzle at the doctor's office on the IPad.

Skipped the NW corner. Came back later.

Got the CD part of the year easily. The rest came with perps. CDIV.

RASTA was a perper.

ROTES and ELTON were easy.

Got the theme answers after a few teaser letters appeared. Then got THEY MIX after I had the three.

Never heard of the Santa TERESA'S. I will have to check a map.

MTA was easy. One of my favorite songs.

Not familiar with the word ARGOT. Will have to look that up.

Doctor's office visit over. My glaucoma pressure is good. 15 and 14. Cataracts a approaching.

See you tomorrow.



Lucina said...

Good day, puzzle people.

Though an easy start lulled me into thinking this would be done quickly, some of the later fill AlTERed that notion.

As a native ARIZONAN, I have never heard of the Santa TERESAS and not being a fan of the Ring movies didn't know ELF. SOLTI, however, is quite familiar and believe me I would listen to his renditions any time before the Sex Pistols, whoever they are.

So often "same here" is DITTO or ME TOO but AS AM I was verified by AHAB, that obsessed whale hunter.

Finally, when CHESTY occurred to me I had to laugh and it brought THEY MIX together. But a DNF because I had a Natick at TABLA/MTA.

Still it was fun and a good challenge thank you, Gary J. Whitehead and Steve, too.

We had rain here last night!!! But my roof leaked. Again. Grrr

Kazie, that's wonderful news about Lea and a relief to you, I'm sure.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

Maverick said...

I guess I must be having religious doubts today (perhaps inspired by last night's Frontline program about the Vatican).

Just a nit (but it wouldn't fit): Belief in *one* god would be MONOTHEISM.

I got the SEDAN and the WAGON right away, but in the wrong order at first, which left me with the perp ACTS OF DOG. I was reminded of the old joke about the dyslexic, agnostic insomniac who stayed up all night wondering if there really was a dog. :0 :) :0 :) :0 :)

unclefred said...

Still don't get 36D "School sweater letters" = NUS. What's that mean?

Misty said...

A bit of a Wednesday toughie, but I still got it, which felt great! So, many thanks, Gary, and Steve, for your expo when you could have been taking a nap on the plane! I loved your BUD picture.

Even though I got NUS, I still don't understand what that has to do with School sweater letters?

Kazie, so glad to hear that Lea will be coming home.

Have a great Wednesday, everybody!

Argyle said...

Nu - Greek letter found in the names of sororities and fraternities.

HeartRx said...

Although these days it's more likely to be on a sweatshirt or a hoodie, rather than a sweater...

Unknown said...

I remember Colonel Potter of M.A.S.H. saying "That's a bunch of Hooey".

Steve said...

@Irish Miss et al:

When I was 17 or 18, a friend and I took off for the summer to hitchhike around Europe. A trucker picked us up late one afternoon on the outskirts of Paris and dropped us off in the wee hours of the morning at the side of the road just outside Lyon.

It was quiet, pitch dark and starting to rain. We saw a little park on the other side of the road and so we ran over there, put up the tent, crawled inside and went to sleep.

We woke up to the sound of rush-hour traffic and a cop asking us what the heck we were doing. When we put our heads out of the tent - yep, the "little park" we'd pitched our tent in was actually a roundabout with four lanes of traffic rushing around it. It took us half an hour to get off the "island".

Tinbeni said...

Steve: Glad to see your write-up @ 38,000 feet made its landing.

A little problem ... after getting RASTA at 8-a, I was sure that 13-a, Bud, would be POT ...
That's what happens when you solve at Villa Incognito ...

Ol' Man Keith said...

Rather enjoyed seeing the word HOOEY again. I must find an opportunity to use it. Shouldn't take long.

Lucina said...

A little research yielded the fact that the Santa TERESAS are in the south eastern part of the state in Graham County. The closest town is Safford, about 25 miles west and the New Mexico border to the east. It's an extremely rugged area but accessible by foot, motorcycles or 4 wheels. Not my cup of tea.

A voice in the crowd said...

The TV program that Maverick referred to Frontline, PBS, on The Secrets of the Vatican. Its all about scandals that rocked the mother church, in Rome.

The video is very loong ---- 83:44 (!) and many, if not most, issues are probably familiar to the well informed here. Old hat. Water under the bridge. This post is not meant to be a diatribe, or an anti-Catholic dissertation. I personally don't think it's worth watching, if at all. If you happen to be of that faith, you'll probably find it distasteful. Que sera sera.

I found the use of 'school sweater initials' to be unnecessarily obtuse. Why not just 'the whole F* Greek alphabet ?".

To Owen's cartoon on the psychologist's need for a five letter word for 'infuse', maybe 'steep' or 'imbue' ?

Certain religions, like, say, Christianity, who profess in a single God, but also worship many (other) deities, like Mother virgin Mary, Joseph and various Saints may probably, properly, be called a Henotheism .

Very nice puzzle, and a great blog Steve. Happy safe return.

Lemonade714 said...

Fun story Steve, here you would likely have been robbed while you slept.

Occupation force said...

Lemonade, none of the 'Occupy Wall Street, Chicago, Baltimore et. al.' got robbed while they slept in their 'tents' in the center of the city. Or overslept.

Maybe because they were the 'other' 99% ? ;-D)

Lemonade714 said...

VIC, interesting reading.

desper-otto said...

Lucina, I think I must have driven close to those mountains back in December. Heading back to Texas from Mesa, I drove Hwy 70 from Globe to Safford and on to New Mexico.

Owen's cryptic clue was particularly easy today. Now I'm up to three days in a row. Tomorrow I'll probably get my comeuppance.

Lucina said...

Since it's been mentioned I believe it warrants a response here. Catholics do not worship the Virgin Mary, Joseph or any other saints. We believe in only one deity; we acknowledge and revere those saints because they lived holy lives. Nothing more.

I've been meaning to comment that I often find the final wagering on Jeopardy somewhat mysterious including last night's. As you say, it must be the pressure.

Irish Miss said...

Steve @ 12:11 - Your story was worth the wait. I laughed out loud !

DO @ 1:27 - You and I are on the same roll of 3 in a row. Can't wait to see what Owen has up his sleeve tomorrow.

A voice in the crowd said...

Lucina, you are not only a highly respected member of this blog, but arguably, probably, the most respected. I am overwhelmingly awed and humbly defer to your opinion and statement.

The word,'deity' is a very amorphous word, which IMHO can be construed as broadly or as narrowly as one's subjective frame of mind.

Religion, as someone said, is as personal as your toothbrush. Thus, any generalization thereof, including my earlier statement, is probably bound to be wrong.

fermatprime said...


Thanks for interesting Wednesday offering, Gary, and swell expo, Steve!

I, too, scratched my head at THEISM and put in SEDAN before WAGON. But it all worked out OK in the end.

Kazie--nice to hear good news!


CrossEyedDave said...


I managed to fill in all the spaces, but it did not make much sense.

For 7D Threshold, I had Ledge, & ended up trying to change the whole section by making "avedt" into "avoid.) (or evade...)

I could not parse "as am I," & wagged an E at the end hoping I could blame it on an editors mistake...

I did get "argot" but still don't believe it's a word... (It's just not in my lingo...)

Sign on a Sound Engineers door.

Hmm, I could have used this idea on todays puzzle!

What happens when you mix a social butterfly with "chesty..."

Glad to see that most of you found this puzzle easy.

"Bonus Link" ( I found this under Bad Mixer...)

CrossEyedDave said...

Ack! I messed up the punchline for 7D threshold, I meant to end the sentence with "but I failed to take the plunge..."

Unknown said...

Very fun puzzle. Thank you Gary Whitehead, and thank you Steve. I loved your Lyon story, Steve.

Like many of you, I had SEDAN at 60A, but changed it to WAGON when I discovered there was another SEDAN at 67A. TERESAS was mostly solved by perps as was MESSINA. OOLA was totally solved by perps.

I'm glad to hear the good news, Kazie.

Abejo, I also went to the eye doctor today, and my glaucoma pressure was the same as yours, 14 and 15.

HeartRx said...

Steve, hearty chuckle over your roundabout story!! Thanks for sharing.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, Late in getting the puzzle finished again today.
The plums keep calling. Today it was plum torte. These freeze beautifully, so I have lovely summer fruit tortes into the fall and winter.

Teresas, I-Ten, and Mr. Fox were all unknowns, but perped out nicely. Thanks, Steve for the theme. I didn't get it today. This was a bit hard for me today. I had to put the puzzle down, and then come back to it several times before I finished it all.

I had To do in at first for Fray, and with Rts, in for subway map abbreviation I had to erase that whole corner and start over.

One of my boyfriends had an old Model T. It didn't have any seats and we sat on fruit boxes and crates! He was "fixing" it up, but I don't think it ever got totally "fixed".

Have a great rest if the day, everyone.

OwenKL said...

Here is the solution to today's Cryptic.

Bug's Michigan ancestor | molted | repugnantly (5-1)
[MODEL-T] = [MOLTED] [anagram]

William B said...

My first time poster. I checks out and looks at and cries again and again at the Vatican scandal on PBSFRONLINE. It is unbelievable and beyond comprehenssion. How could this be allowed to happen in our world and nobody did anything for all this poor souls. This i refuse to believe. How this can exist in todays modern world and all the horrible things and worse are still happenning even as I write now. I pray to mama mia mother of god to save us. We need you more than ever before to save us from evil and tempttion. Please deliver us and succour us and care for us.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Thanks for the write-up Steve and the Lyon story, not as CHESTY as I imagined - though still funny as heck.

TDNF - DW had to help me with TERESAS and REHEARSE (I was missing the R and thinking RE-HEARS (E?) no, that doesn't run down the telephone line...) - I've I told you SHE is smarter than I (Loves me not, loves me, loves not, OHOH, loves me :-)).

SOUNDENGINEER fell with U and R, so smart.. AM I? No, the rest of the puzzle rolled like a WAGON.

Maverick - that's one of my favorite jokes as I suffer from all tree.

Though a TDNF - thanks Gary for a fun puzzle and for everyone's entertaining posts.

Cheers, -T

Bill G. said...

I have never ridden in a Model T. But I have enjoyed a Model A a number of times. I would love to have one in good shape just to putter around town in.

OK, I'll admit it; I'm a fan of America's Got Talent. There are lots of creative, clever talented people out there and I enjoy watching them strut their stuff. But I am dismayed at the trend to give just about anybody who doesn't suck a standing ovation. That used to be reserved for those people who had outstanding talent and did something really noteworthy. Now, any schlock singer who's written an original song can get one. Slightly better than mediocre has become the new standard for a standing O.

Anonymous T said...

Bill G - try going to a child's performance. I know we are supposed to pass out trophies like candy, but common' PAL - it's not Madam BUTTERFLY.

So I don't sound like a total curmudgeon, my eldest is pretty good for a 15 yr old (she's been in many try-out type choirs and sings for money at the church), but not SHE's not a diva performing an ARIA* One day the practice will pay off an the standing-O will be meaningful if she continues pursuing it.

Cheers, -T
*OK, that was the other day...

kazie said...

Late again, but no time later this afternoon to look in here.

Argot is definitely a word. But my first encounter with it was as a French word, referring to a kind of slang. In English I believe it is used as a synonym for jargon, in fact the two may have the same roots.

My other forgotten-to-make comment was that I always thought belief in only one god was called monotheism, not just theism.

Lucina said...

I wonder if the clue had been worded as "belief in god" then no controversy would ensue. For that is the meaning of THEISM, belief in god.