Aug 24, 2014

Sunday August 24, 2014 Gail Grabowski

Theme: "At Present" - AT is added to each theme answer.

23A. Extra vacation clothes? : SPARE ATTIRE. Spare tire.

29A. Big party for jalopy owners? : BEATER BASH . Beer bash.

46A. Clergyman who works wonders? : MIRACLE CURATE. Miracle cure.

93A. Biker's trail? : RIDING HABITAT. Riding habit.

110A. Volga Region daily? : TATAR PAPER. Tar paper.

118A. Bees battling over nectar? : HONEY COMBAT. Honeycomb. The only one-word base phrase.

33D. Swindler at a New York zoo? : BRONX CHEATER. Bronx cheer.

42D. Gave stars to kippers? : RATED HERRING. Red herring.

Easy puzzle, yes? Gail always makes the smoothest Sunday grids. She's not going to shock and awe young solvers with edgy & trendy phrases. Her focus is always her overall solvers.

Were you bothered by the HAS OPEN (105A. Didn't fill yet, as calendar slots) clue? I had ?AS OPEN and wanted WAS OPEN due to the tense.

1. China problem : CHIP. And 14. China setting : FAR EAST. China clue echo. I nailed CHIP immediately.

5. Brought to Broadway : STAGED. Also 115. Fakes being : ACTS

11. Clothing fold : CUFF

15. TV talk pioneer : PAAR (Jack)

19. Like some bears' market predictions : DIRE. Not DOWN. Also  22. Bear overhead : URSA

20. Happened next : ENSUED

21. New Balance competitor : AVIA. Got easily with the crossing 12. Iris locale : UVEA. Quite a few 4-letter sneaker brands.

25. Barely burn : SEAR

26. Reactions to mice, maybe : EEKS

27. Acct. earnings : INT

28. 2010 title role for Denzel : ELI. The Book of Eli.

31. Simply not done : TABOO

34. Trying experiences : ORDEALS

36. Catamaran mover : SAIL

37. Emergency supplies delivery method : AIR DROP. Wish we could eradicate those ISIS thugs. Bloody Jihadists.

39. Coll. drilling group : ROTC

41. Ball game delayers : STORMS

45. "As I see it," in texts : IMO. Also 57A. Intimate modern message : SEXT. Slight clue/answer dupe. I thought of our passionate PK when I read these steamy letters.

51. "How relaxing!" : AAH

52. Periscope part : LENS

54. Wood shop tools : LATHES. Hi there, Splynter/Jerome!

55. Mid-Atlantic st. : DEL

56. Sight from the Sicilian village of Taormina : ETNA. Gimme for long crossword solvers.

58. Clipped, in a way : SHORN

59. Shrill cry : YELP

61. Race : TEAR. Not an easy clue.

62. Corn or cotton : CROP

64. Bores for ore : MINES

67. Fairy tale food : PORRIDGE. I call my morning oatmeal "porridge" too.

69. Rival of Brom in an 1820 novel : ICHABOD.  Ichabod Crane/Brom Bones. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". I drew a blank.

72. Pops in the fridge : SODAS

74. Hoisting devices : WINCHES. New word to me, Santa!  Met with Spitzboo yesterday?

75. Wildly excited : FRENETIC

77. Classic pops : NEHIs

79. Solidify : CAKE. I don't think I've used CAKE as a verb before.

80. Frog's kiddie-lit friend : TOAD

81. Condescending sort : SNOB

83. Photoshop developer : ADOBE

85. Mother of the Valkyries : ERDA. I had E?DA, then I waited.

88. Makeshift shelters : HUTS

89. "Mr. Blue Sky" band, briefly : ELO

90. Future litigator's study : PRE-LAW

91. Airport transport : TRAM

92. Virtuoso : ACE

97. Ristorante suffix : INI

98. Upheaval : THROES

100. Call for : NEED. Joann told me she enriches their garden with Miracle-Gro every two weeks. Maybe I should try that also.

101. Puts on the right track : ORIENTS

103. Evil sitcom organization : KAOS. Get Smart.

109. They may be rough : EDGES

114. Sharp turn : ZAG

115. __ premium : AT A

116. Traveling : AWAY

117. Cantina cooker : OLLA. It's similar to the traditional Cantonese soup pot.

123. "In your dreams" : NOPE

124. Wiped out : DEAD

125. Friendly court contest : ONE SET. Tennis.

126. Toledo's lake : ERIE

127. Delighted : GLAD

128. Three-part figs. : SSNs

129. Mouth formations : DELTAS

130. Identical : SAME


1. They may be writable : CDs

2. Fanny pack spot : HIP. Here is our Yellowrocks. Thanks for the book recommendations yesterday.

3. Portfolio element, for short : IRA. And 44. Portfolio units : SHARES

4. Game division : PERIOD

5. Reserved __ : SEAT

6. Demolition aid : TNT

7. Sunflower relative : ASTER. My daises bloomed for a very short period this spring.

8. Artisan group : GUILD

9. Like many King novels : EERIE

10. RMN was his VP : DDE. Nixon.

11. Analytical write-up : CASE STUDY

13. Punto and Bravo : FIATS. All crosses.

15. Colorado county or its seat : PUEBLO

16. Geometry figure : AREA

17. Sets a price of : ASKS

18. Reckless : RASH

24. Vast, in verse : ENORM

29. Voting coalition : BLOC. They did not ask for my ID  when I voted in the primary two weeks ago. I did see the $10,000 fine warning for vote fraud.

30. Baptism, e.g. : RITE

31. Formal affair wear : TAILS

32. Singer Mann : AIMEE

34. Media mogul with a Presidential Medal of Freedom : OPRAH. I just cannot warm up to her.

35. Mars, to the Greeks : ARES

38. Drips on the driveway : OIL SPOTS

40. Move like ivy : CREEP

43. Run : MANAGE

47. Elementary bit : ATOM

48. Matthews of "Hardball" : CHRIS. Very aggressive.

49. Fab Four name : LENNON

50. Sanction : ALLOW

53. Leaves high and dry : STRANDS

56. Flier's printout : E-TICKET

60. Competition with slashing : PRICE WAR. Oh, price slashing.

63. 2001 honor for J.K. Rowling : OBE. Order of the British Empire.

65. Suffix with stamp : EDE

66. Much of Libya : SAHARA

68. Genetic messenger : RNA

69. "Maybe even less" : IF THAT. Can you give me an example of how the clue & answer match?

70. Catching position : CROUCH

71. Enjoyed some courses : DINED

73. It's usually not a hit : SIDE B

76. 2014 U.S. Senior Open winner Montgomerie : COLIN. Surly & annoying at times.

78. Diva highlights : SOLI

82. Jerks : BONEHEADS. Lovely entry.

84. Relay stick : BATON

86. Poet who feuded with Pope Boniface VIII : DANTE. Easy guess.

87. Off the mark : AMISS

90. Advanced degs. : PhDs

93. Bring up : REAR

94. 14-legged crustaceans : ISOPODS. I didn't know they have 14 legs.

95. Equipment : GEAR

96. Connect with : TIE TO

99. Signed off on : OKAYED

102. One of four singing brothers : ED AMES. All crosses.

104. Corporate division : SALES

106. Form of oxygen : OZONE

107. Comic strip frame : PANEL

108. Spew out : EGEST

110. Strong flavor : TANG

111. Mil. no-show : AWOL

112. Appetizer in una taberna : TAPA

113. Not leave things to chance : PLAN

118. Mortar trough : HOD. This little word used to stump me.

119. Word of support : YEA

120. One may be padded : BRA. Have you been in a relationship where the guy loves shopping bras with you?

121. Intention : AIM

122. Driving need? : TEE



SwenglishMom said...

Hi C.C.! Thanks for the summary and thanks for the puzzle oh constructor. I was slow on this one and got stuck in the south east with EGEST, OZONE and HOD. HoneycombAT got me!

I never got to answer on how I make my oatmeal -- I use a hot water kettle and pour the boiling water into the pan, so that I can add the oatmeal fairly quickly and turn off the burner right away. I used to use the microwave but got turned off them by the internet-born scares about what microwaving does to food. I think it does taste better on the stove.

Then I add honey and cinnamon and oatmilk which I hope is cold but sometimes i'm the one putting the new container into the fridge.

Happy Sunday all.

fermatprime said...


Thanks for very workable puzzle, Gail, and great expo, CC! Also, thanks for early write-up. So I am writing before summoning Morpheus, instead of at some late hour as usual.

Did not know COLIN but WAGged it from C and L.

No problems!

Was up late watching the transformation of Doctor Who. Twelfth Doctor rather old. Matt Smith (#11) grew old during the process. Strange. Anyone else watch? (Steven Hawking has been a devoted Doctor fan!)

Have a great Sunday! Cheers!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Had to work this one on my tablet. A-W-K-W-A-R-D. I latched onto the theme early, and that helped with the solve. I managed to fail in less than normal Sunday solving time. I thought the shoe was AVEA and reasoned FEATS could result in a Bravo. DNF. Not sure what a PUNTA is -- too many letters.

C.C. My first stab was HAD OPEN, but PHDS demanded an S. Here's an example of "if that" --I've got twenty dollars in my wallet, if that. In other words, I've got twenty dollars, possibly less.

Of to our RIDING HABITAT before it gets too hot to pedal.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Back from family vacation in Manhattan. Fun time was had by all, but I can't believe how much money we spent on food...

Today's puzzle was very smooth and enjoyable. I grokked the theme early on and it was a delight to work out the theme answers. A few unknowns, some minor nits, but nothing that distracted from the overall enjoyment.

Al Cyone said...

The Week in Review:

M 5:26; T 5:31; W 6:02; T 9:22; F 23:39; S 19:32; S 29:53.

The anomaly, of course, was the Saturday Silkie, though it looks like many others found this one a bit easier than usual.

Today's puzzle threatened to bring the week to a disappointing end with trouble in the central east side. ETICKET finally dawned on me and that gave me CAKE. I have to confess that the "D" in ERDA and DANTE (both unknowns), and the ensuing "TaDa!", was the result of a keyboard run.

As a kid who learned how to ride a bike in the Bronx, I was happy to see references to both in today's theme answers.

See y'all next weekend.

HeartRx said...

Good morning everyone!

I almost shot myself in the foot right out of the gate by filling in SPARE change instead of SPARE ATTIRE. A check of the downs made me change my mind, and I figured out the theme right away.

I didn't know what kippers were, so RATED HERRING came v..e...r.....y slowly. But it ended up being my favorite theme entry.

At 105A, HAS OPEN seemed correct to me. If I didn't fill a slot yet, I HAVE it open, not "had." It is currently open, so use the present tense.

It's a beautiful day, so we both agreed to take a day off. But we are sitting here wondering what on earth to "do" with it!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Smooth solve today. Latched onto the theme right away, and that helped in one or two spots.

Morning, C.C., I agree with you about ISIS. They'd be better as a memory.

Oatmeal/porridge is one of those comfort foods I remember from childhood. My mom generally made it when we came in from a hard day's sledding, all soggy and smelling like wet mittens. We used a dash of maple syrup as sweetener mmmmmm.....

PK said...

Hi Y'all! This was meaty Sunday fare but the theme entries were amusing. Thanks, Gale! Thanks, C. C., it's nice someone remembers me as being passionate. LOL! Great expo! My those letters were steamy!

I did two-thirds of this twice after the puzzle disappeared after the first time.

Flier's print out: ETICKET stumped me for awhile. I was thinking more like a pilot's flight plan. Couldn't parse ETICKET vertically until I wrote it on paper horizontally. Duh!

Didn't know ERDA. Had forgotten K.A.O.S. Rival of Brom's took some perps.

I still don't understand "They may be writable" = CDS. Are we talking certificates of deposit or what?

Kippered herring was a delicacy I used to buy just for myself. No one else in the family would eat it. Suited me just fine with crackers.

Couldn't believe CAKE was right. Finally realized I'd cleaned off a lot of stuff that was CAKEd on.

Al Cyone said...

PK @8:24: Writable CDs refers to CD-ROMs.

Al Cyone said...

Well, if they're "Read Only" I guess they're not writable but I think the term (CD-ROM) might be used loosely?

desper-otto said...

Al, the writable ones are not designated CD-ROM, they're called CD-R. DVD-R is also writable.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

A very enjoyable, fun offering from Gail. Caught the theme right away at Spare Attire and it was a breeze from then on. Only write-over was Air Lift/Air Drop. Liked seeing Eerie and Erie (CSO to Abejo), Sodas over Nehis, and the Away/AWOL crossing.

Nicely done, Gail, and thanks, CC, for your spot-on write-up. Nice picture, YR, who is your cute, little friend?

My French Onion Soup turned out yummy and I have 5 more portions in the freezer for our upcoming "colder than average winter", per the 2014 Farmer's Almanac.

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Almost like last weeks puzzle, the element of the week club. AT , Astatine, Atomic No. 85 is a radioactive halogen. Fortunately, it exists only in extremely small amounts

If I paid more attention to puzzles like this I would probably be a physicist instead of a lawyer

Husker Gary said...

OMG, ETICKET. I was going for ETI (Estimated Time In…), ET (Extra Terrestrial In…) and then I got it (ERDA and CAKE didn’t help)! What a lovely puzzle and theme. HONEY COMBAT probably my fav.

-Many MIRACLE CURES for a SPARE TIRE. Yeah right!
-Nice BRONX CHEATER picture, C.C.
-1950’s CUFFS to allow for growth not for fashion
-If you sold SHARES in the DIRE bear market with the Dow at 8,000, it is now 17,000
-Lucy misunderstood something, hilarity ENSUED
-Do elephants go go EEK when they see a mouse?
-History’s most famous AIR DROP
-Recent Va. SEXTING story. Receivers may also be prosecuted.
-Best use for a LATHE
-The entire ELO playlist, SIDES A and B, should be in here by now
-Our 100 sq ft Miracle Gro garden has produced many cucumbers. No pickles for C.C. though! ;-)
-Nothing says “tourist” like my fanny pack. Don’t care.
-Reserved SEATS at our fav Omaha theater
-New buyers took all the IVY off my daughter’s house
-All that CROUCHING can wear out catcher’s knees. Hello first base.

Splynter said...

Hi there~!

Man, E-ticket screwed me. I just couldn't see it in the down, and CAKE never occurred to me, though I can see how it fits the clue....oh well, you can't smoke 'em all....

HuskerG, um, I can find some other uses for that lathe~! (LOL)

Jamie was back at the restaurant for one more shift - not in the best of moods, but I did get to joke with her one last time, so I feel a little better.


River Doc said...

Happy Sunday everybody!

Well, it sounds like I had a solving experience very similar to PK's. Had to re-enter two thirds of the answers after I inadvertently hit the "back" button on the iPad. Also had to revert to writing E _ I C _ _ T horizontally to grok ETICKET. CAKE and ERDU also did not help at all in the DELaware section of the grid....

Rosetta Stone = SPARE ATTIRE....

Hard to read miniscule Sunday clues on the iPad. I interpreted Bores for Ore as Bones for One. Skipped that one entirely at first pass....

STORMS as Ball Game delayers worked only because Batters Who Go In and Out of the Box and Pitchers And Catchers Who Can't Agree on What to Throw didn't fit....

Is a crossword constructor's (or editor's) misdirection clue considered a RED HERRING...?

Kept thinking of the old CBer term Bear in the Air at 22A....

Finally, would a crossword describe viewing an active volcano in Sicily as being AETNA...?

Doc out

Yellowrocks said...

The theme was easily recognizable and helpful. I had a few doubtful answers which I went back and checked with red letters, so I finished with help in 2 cells.
Like DO, I had AVEA and FEAT, bzzzt, and changed the E to I. FIAT is pretty much off my radar as far as cars go.
I was fairly sure of ERTA and wondered why TANTE seemed strange. Bzzzt. I'm sorry to say I didn't think of DANTE.

DEL was a CSO to bluehen and the University of Delaware team.

CC, thanks for the shoutout. A fanny pack is smaller than a backpack and handier than a purse.

I have seen Snooki's TV show, Jersey Shore, twice, IF THAT, (maybe even less.) Low class. it demeans all of us New Jerseyans.

Lime Rickey said...

YR@12:32: New Jerseyans could redeem themselves, just a tad, if they'd learn how to drive.

Montana said...

I moved right through this puzzle and figured out the theme, but, alas, a DNF. I could not fill in the 9 squares in the far NW. When I read CC's expo, I don't see how I could blank out on CHIP, DIRE, SPARE (had the rest of the phrase), CDS, HIP, and IRA but I did and I had PERIOD to perp with but to no avail.

Snow above 5000’ and inches and inches of rain in MT. High temps in the 40s and 50s. That's 35° below normal. Fall/winter is on its way? Wish I were on your porch, Marti, but appreciate the moisture.
Only complainers are farmers not done combining or haying an extra cutting.


Yellowrocks said...

Lime Rickey @ 12:45,very broad statement. Would you tar us all with the same brush?

Steve said...

Nice and smooth. I had to stare at a couple of gaps in the grid before I had my V8 moments.

We used to have kippers for breakfast occasionally when I was a kid back in the UK. Delicious, but the smell stayed in the house for ours and the taste stayed with you all day! I was going to be bothered by the kippers/herring plural mismatch, until I remembered that one herring produces a pair of kippers.

Some of my LA friends reporting feeling the Napa earthquake this morning, but my reaction was the same answer I'd get if I asked my girlfriends if the earth moved - "Nope, never felt a thing" :)

Bluehen said...

Thanks for your shoutout, YR, and thank you for responding to LR before I could formulate one. I was having a hard time coming up with a response that wouldn't get me barred from this blog.
And now for something completely different, my new favorite way to make oatmeal, a la Bobby Flay. It's actually not so much a recipe as a different technique.
One recipe's worth of steel-cut Irish oatmeal whisked into one recipe's worth of boiling water. Bring back to boil for one minute and remove from heat. When it reaches room temp, put in reefer (memories!) overnight. Nuke as much as you want the next morning. Great texture, great flavor. easy-breezy. Enjoy

Bill G. said...

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.

Good day to you all. I tumbled to the theme right away and it helped me with the solving. I couldn't read ETICKET vertically either. HASOPEN seemed OK. WEES.

I like oatmeal. One serving of oats, a little salt and one serving of water put into the pan first. Then allowed to boil or simmer for about five to 10 minutes. (I try to stir often and keep the boiling low to avoid sticking and tough cleanup.) Putting the oats in the water at the beginning seems to produce a smoother final product. Then serve with a little brown sugar and half-and-half.

I'm watching a bit of the Little League World Series. The LL bats used to be aluminum. They don't sound like aluminum any more. What are they made of these days?

Avg Joe said...

I'd heard some mention of the Napa quake earlier in the day, but only saw the extent on the evening news. much worse than i would have expected with the light news feed through the day. Is anyone on this thread affected? If so, I hope you are all OK.

Jayce? No word from you today. Anything to report?

Yellowrocks said...

Speaking of the Little League World Series in Willimasport, PA, did you catch the 13 year old female phenom in what is usually an all male competition? She pitched a 2 hit shut out in one of the games. Her fast ball is amazing and she is featured on Sports Illustrated. Young girl athletes have proudly picked up the slogan, "Throw like a girl." You go, girl! We are proud of you.
Link You go, girl!

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Cool puzzle today. I had a harder time with it than you all seemed to have. Penciling in INNING instead of PERIOD messed me up for far too long. I also clung to ERDE for a long time. Seeing ERDA sorta grates on my sensibilities, much as if I were to see PORSCHA in print.

I felt the Napa earthquake but my LW didn't. That's because I happened to be awake at that moment, sitting on the edge of our bed having a coughing fit. It started out as an up-and-down "shaker" for maybe 6 seconds then changed into a horizontal "roller" for about another 15 seconds. It occurred on the Napa fault. I think the only property damage was in the town of Napa and nowhere else. The news reported that it is the largest quake we've had since the magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta quake in 1989, which really surprised me. As heartless as it sounds, this is the kind of event we earthquake researchers hope for: lots of data and a minimum of havoc and damage.

Best wishes to you all.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Gail Grabowski, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for a fine review.

Well, never even started yesterday's. Went to Dixon, IL, for the day. (Ronald Reagan's boyhood home)

Started today's puzzle in the morning. Got 2/3's through and had to go to a reception all afternoon. Got home and finished. Total, about 3 hours. Not sure how many of you good folks do these Sunday puzzles in an hour or less. Good for you! I am not that sharp.

Puzzle started fine. Got SPARE ATTIRE easily and then I knew the theme. Helped with the remainder of the puzzle.

A few rough spots. I also had a problem with E TICKET. Maybe because it was a Down word, but I was thinking of something the pilot would print. Not knowing ERDA did not help. Eventually got it.

TATAR PAPER was tough. I was thinking of Russians because of Volga. It fell eventually.

ZAG through me for a loop. I wanted EJECT for 108D Finally pieced it together. EGEST worked.

Wanted CRAWL for 40D. Once I got PORRIDGE CRAWL became CREEP.

Hey, my old lake was in there again. ERIE. Thanks for catching that Irish Miss.

I need to mow my lawn now, but it is too hot. I will catch it in the morning.

See you tomorrow.



aka thelma said...

Since I am not clever enough to link the site.... check out the news on the internet.... this earthquake shook the whole of the san francisco bay area....


Unknown said...

Good puzzle and write-up. WEES. The last to fall for me was ETICKET.

Avg Joe said...

Thank you Jayce and Thelma!

OwenKL said...

WEES. I'm surprised no one has commented on WINCHES (are winches a type of crane or are cranes a type of winch?) being opposite ICHABOD Crane!

Argyle said...

Cranes are specialized winches.

Bill G. said...

Owen (7:45), ah yes. WINCHES are some of my favorite things. I like them in movies, I sometimes sing songs about them, I can look at them lovingly at great length... Oops, winches. Not wenches. Never mind...

Husker Chuck (a.k.a. Ergo) said...

Hello puzzlers,

I worked on this blasted thing all day before throwing in the towel on ETICKET and CAKE.

Felt pretty bad until reading the comments of veterans here who anguished on the same connectors.

I ran through the alphabet and even spoke it out loud: "CAKE" but it just didn't seem to fit the solidify clue.

Other than that hiccup, a solid Sunday offering.

Big East said...

Out of town and late to the comment party today but I'm with Montana. The NW was the last fill. For 1A I had _HIP and 1D _DC. So I did the alphabet run and got 'C'. As for the puzzle, there were lots of new words, both in the clues and answers. BEATER is a new word to me for jalopy, as are TAORMINA, BROM, KIPPER, ISOPOD, TABERNA, ERDA. Awards today from both the U.K. and USA for OPRAH and Harry Potters' creator. Perps filled DANTE, ELI, AIMEE, FIATS, ASTER.

I figured out the theme at MIRACLE CURATE, as BEATER BASH came later because the only FIATS I ever saw were in junkyards and I had no clue as to their model names.

I never needed a power WINCH to get the anchor up from my CATAMARAN, but it was nice (really mandatory) for bringing in the 200 feet of anchor line and 40 feet of rode (chain) on the 33 ft sailboat.

I thought the puzzle was very straight forward without misdirecting clues.

Dudley said...

Oh, here we go again. Just tried Cruciverb for the Monday puzzle and it's missing. Rats.