Aug 26, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 Robert E. Lee Morris

Theme: Letter Combo - Today's puzzle brought to you by the letters A and C.

35A. Summer coolers, briefly, and a hint to this puzzle's six longest answers : AC UNITS

17A. Church area for enthusiastic responses : AMEN CORNER

21A. Painting course : ART CLASS

48A. Road service provider : AUTO CLUB. web site

53A. Morning warning provider : ALARM CLOCK

3D. One often precedes it : AREA CODE

36D. Military uniform jacket : ARMY COAT. Surplus favorite.

Argyle here. This is Robert's third puzzle so far this year. An easy puzzle in a complicated grid. Five sections with little connections and yet the themes interlock while the cheese, I mean unifier, stands alone.


1. Ancient calculators : ABACI

6. Off-ramp : EXIT

10. Makes a quick getaway : LAMS. Lam can be a verb or a noun.

14. Low-ranking noble : BARON

15. Move to another town, for short : RELO

16. Sheltered, at sea : ALEE

19. Bolivia neighbor : PERU

20. Open just a crack : AJAR

23. Point a finger at : ACCUSE

25. Clears a whiteboard : ERASES

26. English sculptor Henry : MOORE. “Man Enters the Cosmos”

27. Clairvoyant's claim : ESP. (extrasensory perception) 60A. Clairvoyant : SEER

30. 1-Down member: Abbr. : ATTY. (attorney)

31. Pie à la __ : MODE

32. SeaWorld tanks : AQUARIA. Plural.

34. Bullring bravo : "¡OLÉ!"

36. TV spots : ADS

39. Odd : STRANGE

40. Dagger in "Macbeth," e.g. : PROP. As in a stage production of the play.

41. Negotiator's goal : PACT. Had DEAL first.

43. Whopper : LIE

44. St. Petersburg neighbor : TAMPA. FLA., not RUS.

45. Local dialect : PATOIS. From French, as you might expect.

47. "Let's wait" : "NOT YET"

51. Cartel acronym : OPEC. (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries)

52. Excess : GLUT

57. German "a" : EINE

58. Actor Grant : CARY

59. San Antonio shrine : ALAMO

61. Banjo spot : KNEE So 40D. 61-Across bone : PATELLA. (knee cap)

62. Brit's bye-byes : "TA TA"s


1. Law gp. : ABA. (American Bar Association)

2. Emeril interjection : "BAM!"

4. Pull out of thin air, seemingly, with "up" : CONJURE

5. Words before "of emergency" : IN CASE

6. Goof : ERR

7. TV warrior princess : XENA

8. Robert who played a Soprano : ILER

9. Flourless cake : TORTE

10. Argentina's Río de __: River of Silver : LA PLATA

11. Yankees' div. : AL EAST

12. River to Liverpool Bay : MERSEY. Not a lip sync!

13. "Hop on Pop" author : SEUSS

18. Bauxite, e.g. : ORE

22. Award-winning detective fiction writer Robert : CRAIS. Crais began his career writing scripts for television shows such as Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, Quincy, Miami Vice and L.A. Law. - Wikipedia

23. Bullets and such : AMMO

24. Poised under pressure : COOL

27. Up (to), as a task : EQUAL

28. Branch of Islam : SUNNI

29. Baseball Hall of Famer Satchel : PAIGE

32. Unlike this ans. : ACR. (not down, across)

33. Hwy. : RTE.

35. Room accessed via ladder, maybe : ATTIC

37. Knucklehead : DOPE

38. Squabble : SPAT

39. Vespa, for one : SCOOTER

41. Talking parrot in a 1998 film : PAULIE. I did not watch it.

42. Bring into harmony : ATTUNE

44. '60s cartoon feline : TOP CAT. I did watch it.

45. Book parts : PAGES. So simple it's hard.

46. Hanging loosely : SLACK

47. Name, in Paris : NOM. As in NOM de plume.

49. Mongolia's __ Bator : ULAN. Population: 1.132 million (2010)

50. Like Hubbard's cupboard : BARE

54. Kind of whiskey or bread : RYE. A toast for Tinbeni.

55. Nashville awards org. : CMA. (Country Music Association)

56. Fight enders, briefly : KOs...and I'm down for the count.


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Montana! Below is a picture of her birthday gathering in July. She said:

"...Mid-July was more  convenient than August for work schedules. My CT son rented a 10 bedroom condo in Vail, CO and invited all his siblings to come with their families. We had never all been at the same place at the same time before. It was a wonderful gift to me!..." 

Please click here for more pictures. Montana had to have furnace on the past few days. Are you still planning your autumn visit to Dudley area?

 My 5 children celebrated my 2014 birthday in Vail, CO


fermatprime said...


Thanks for fun-to-work puzzle, Robert, and great expo, as usual, Santa!

No problems. Very easy.

Happy Birthday, Montana! Have a great day!

Am really late for bed. Started watching The Book Thief and could not quite. Four hanky film to boot.

Anyone else skim through the Emmy's? It's a pity that Bernard Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman did not show up!


Barry G. said...

Morning, all (and Happy Birthday to Montana)!

Similar solving experience as yesterday. Mostly smooth sailing except for a few unknowns, in this case MOORE, MERSEY and CRAIS. Proper nouns just aren't my thing, I guess, although I did manage to get CARY, ILER and PAIGE right off the bat.

A few minor missteps along the way today (DOLT for DOPE, OCALA for TAMPA, etc.), but nothing major.

SwenglishMom said...

Hi and thanks ! Fun puzzle! A little hitch in the middle with aquaria and i had Hugh before Cary Grant, ridiculously enough. Amazing style always with Cary Grant as beautifully displayed here

The fandom informed me ahead of time of Martin's and Benedict's non-appearance and we all celebrated the recognition for our beloved show.

Thanks for a great lunch break!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Had a few stumbles, but failed to skin any body parts. I had BAH at first -- suddenly realized that's what I say to Emeril's BAM. I wasn't familiar with CRAIS and wagged an N at the end. Then stared at ACUNITN for some time before chilling out.

Some shirttail relatives from the Allgäu region of Germany speak a PATOIS that only the natives can understand. Ach, it's all German to me.

Happy Birthday, Montana.

Lemonade714 said...

Happy birthday and many more to dear Montana. The baby has grown since we met in Denver. It must have been great to bring the family which has spread out together.

The puzzle was fun, I am getting used to the pinwheel design, with the nice touch of the crossing fill. I too wanted DEAL and did not know CRAIS but it was all filled.

Jhart said...

Little tripped up in the middle light did not come on until a complete solve very enjoyable

thehondohurricane said...

Happy birthday Montana. Have an enjoyable day.

Double shout out to fellow NYY fan today with NLEAST, division for our favorite team & TAMPA, home of the infamous villa incognito.

Forgot to enter the M into square 12, so a DNF.
The crossing I for AQUARIA & CRAIS was a wag, but the only letter that made sense.

Hand up for Deal before PACT. First thought for 5D was A State.... but was sure Abaca was a no no.

Yellowrocks said...

I found the AC theme quickly. Several answers were filled in without my noticing them at all until I came here. NOT NOW before NOT YET. I placed PERU in the wrong slot and made an inkblot of that easy corner, but I got it after struggling to read through the mess. Only unknown was CRAIS.

June and July were beastly hot and humid here, and so we used plenty of AC. August has been so pleasant we used little AC and received a nice, low electric bill.
When I ask if Alan has done something he has forgotten to do, he never says no, always it is NOT YET.

Happy birthday, Montana. How nice you could have all your scattered family together last month. What a treat!

HeartRx said...

Good morning!

Happy Birthday, Montana! It must have been really special to have all your children and grandchildren together for your birthday celebration. What a wonderful gift!

Thanks for filling in the blank on Robert CRAIS, Argyle. It filled completely with perps, as I had no idea who he was. Oh, and I also immediately thought of the 11th-13th holes at Augusta for AMEN CORNER. Thanks for the pic!

Other than CRAIS, MOORE was another perp-filled answer. Since I had "calm" before COOL, the midwest had some write-overs. But the rest was smooth sailing.

The NYT today has a similar theme today, so I guess it's a popular Tuesday offering.

Have a fun day, everyone!

Mari said...

Good morning everybody.

For the most part this was an easy puzzle for me. I didn't know LAPLATA (10D), which affected my cross with AQUARIA (32A).

I guess it's a generational thing, but I wanted actor HUGH Grant.

I first heard the word PATOIS while reading a book on Bernadette Soubirous (St. Bernadette). She was an uneducated girl from southern France who spoke "the local PATOIS".

Have a great day.

Mari said...

Happy birthday Montana. Great looking family you've got there, and what a generous gift to have them all together.

CanadianEh! said...

Loved this fun puzzle today.
HBD Montana.

We have not needed the AC all summer here but perhaps today. Predictions are for 30C!

Off to work.

Husker Gary said...

-Tuesday with MOORE, PATOIS, CRAIS and ILER? Okay.
-How did we grow up without A/C?
-I haven’t used an ALARM CLOCK for years
-Siri got me on the correct EXIT RAMPS in Minneapolis
-If my Skippy’s lid is slightly open, do I have A JAR that is AJAR?
-I ACCUSE in Frawnce, J’accuse
-Middle school kids compete to see who ERASES the whiteboard
-Would you go to this SEER for stock advice?
-Oh, near Tin’s city not the former czars
-IN CASE of an emergency
-My best HS friend was Ron Suess not Seuss
-Not uncommon VESPA sight in Roma
-HBD, Montana!

Qli said...

Great puzzle!

I have actually read a few books by Robert CRAIS, so that one came easily.

Had a little trouble with TAMPA; hand up for thinking Russia.

Happy Birthday, Montana! what a thoughtful, wonderful gift from your family!

My father's family speaks "low German", which I guess is a kind of PATOIS. Maybe because they came to America as Germans from Russia.

kazie said...

Nice and easy for me today--easier than yesterday. Caught the drift of the A.C. early so that helped a bit.

Without looking it up first, my gut feeling is that PATOIS is a sort of cross between dialect and jargon, kind of an "in the language" thing among the not so well educated.

My concise OED confirms my suspicion: "Dialect of common people in a district, differing materially from the literary language."

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Breezed through today's puzzle with Monday speed. Morning, Argyle, I have no doubt you've earned the esteem in which C.C. holds you!

Loved the Gerry and Pacemakers link. It reminds me that I've always wondered why rock & roll insisted on becoming so grungy in its costumes. Gerry and his band were so tidy and well dressed.

Swenglish Mom - really enjoyed the Cary Grant link! I barely knew the actor when I rented Arsenic and Old Lace in recent years, and was surprised to learn he had such comedic style. And height.

HBTY Montana! I'm amazed it was possible to round up the whole clan, even from Hawaii. That's a remarkable gift.

Dudley said...

From last night: the Mensa site has been recommended quite a few times, especially when Cruciverb misbehaves. I haven't dug into the matter yet; do you have to set up an account to get a puzzle from that site? Can you do the puzzle online, or is it solely for printing?

Yellowrocks said...

Here is the Mensa site. No account is needed. You can solve online with or without red letter help. Red letter is called regular. You can also print it out.
Link check it out

Montana said...

Good morning everyone! It is a beautiful day (predicted 30°C/86°F here tomorrow, CanadianEh!) So, that means no furnace on for awhile.

I was surprised to be able to do the puzzle early last night. Dudley, the Mensa site uses Flash, so it cannot be used on an iPad. All the other sites I have checked—same thing. I am getting better at using the LA Times site CC has linked, but it is clunky compared to Cruciverb.

WEES about the puzzle. I got the theme early, and that helped as did perps along the way.

I am still planning a trip to CT this fall, probably October, but no firm plans yet. Plane tickets are very expensive right now. Air Force son and Hawaii family were able to get a ride on a cargo plane to Topeka, KS, where they rented a van to drive to CO. They flew back home out of Travis AFB, CA. DIL and newest grandson saw snow for the first time in their lives. They are from the Philippines. (My other grandsons are half Aussie and granddaughters are half Lithuanian. We are quite a worldly family!)

Thanks for the birthday wishes. I didn’t feel old yesterday, but I do today. Hope the feeling passes.


Dudley said...

YR - thanks for the link. I gave it a try on the iPad, and couldn't even get the whole page to fill in for the reason Montana mentioned. I'll try it on a desktop later.

I have certainly kvetched enough over the years about the Arkadium game interface used by the LA Times site, simply because it is clunky beyond belief. I use it only when I have no alternative. Its only advantage is that it has a built-in version that does run on an iPad. I rarely solve puzzles while seated at a PC.

Montana - too bad you couldn't stow away on a C-5 headed for Westover. That'd put you just a few miles from here.

Chairman Moe said...

OK, I've been waiting for some sort of golfing reference for a limerick I wrote several weeks ago, but did not post here. Since AMEN CORNER is a solve for today's puzzle, and as both Argyle and HeartRx pointed out, is best known to golfers as the three hole stretch on the back nine of Augusta National, here is my "golfers" limerick . . . as spun from the original source of golf (Scotland) . . .

While playing golf at a Scottish links course,
The young laddie had to pee like a horse;
You cannot drain your putts
When you must drain your "putz",
Nearest "relief" was behind some thick gorse!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Happy Birthday, Montana. Hope you have a wonderful day. Your early gift was one to remember!

Easy, breezy offering from Mr. Morris with only a minor hiccup here and there: deal/pact and Jersey/Mersey. Caught the theme early on so it was a quick solve. Thanks, Argyle for your expo. CSO to Tampa-area Tin!

Swenglish Mom - I, too, thank you for the Cary Grant link. He is my all-time favorite movie star. I saw him in person when he was on tour with An Evening With Cary Grant. He sat on a stool, on stage, and talked about his life and career and took questions from the audience. His wife, Barbara, sat right across the aisle from us. It was a magical evening for me.

Montana, I forgot to mention how lovely those family pictures are. Thanks for sharing.

I watched the Emmys and was pleased that Julianna Margulies won after all. I like Seth Myers but I think the host of this show has to be more versatile, like Neil Patrick Harris, to keep it fresh for three hours.

Have a great day.

CrossEyedDave said...

HBD Montana!

hot stuff

cool cat?

Lemonade714 said...

Moe, loved your limerick. It reminds me of how many people do not know the meaning of 'putz' and 'schmuck' and would be quite shocked to know what they were saying when they use those words.

I too thought only of Augusta with Amen Corner, which as clued seemed clunky.

Chairman Moe said...

My "puzzling thoughts" . . .

This was going along so easily, until I came to the SW corner and the brain went dead. It ended up being a DNF puzzle, as I couldn't for the life of me get GLUT and SCOOTER in the SW Corner. Had to read Argyle's informative recap to have the proverbial V8 can hit me upside the head.

Other than that, no write-overs, look-ups or cheats; had perps help me with 40A (PROP) and 22D (CRAIS).

Lemonade714 @ 6:45 - don't know if you saw, but I sent an email to you at the address listed in your profile. If you didn't, please let me know . . . thanks

kazie said...

How could I have forgotten to wish you a Happy Birthday! I was really impressed that your family all managed to gather at the same time like that. You are obviously very special to them all! I loved all the different photo groupings. And finally don't feel old today--it's only one day older, after all! So enjoy it!

Misty said...

Fun Tuesday puzzle--many thanks, Robert E. Lee! The theme was cool, and except for that darn CRAIS, everything was pretty accessible (although I too had DOLT before DOPE for a while). Fun expo, as always, Argyle (I finally got why folks call you Santa, thanks to C.C.'s pics yesterday).

Wonderful family photo, Montana--have a great birthday!

And have a great Tuesday, everybody!

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

Thanks for the puzzle Robert E. Lee.

Though they didn't meet in a confluence, the two rivers in the NE corner only revealed themselves thanks to PERPS. I too put an answer in the wrong spot (CMA in 54d instead of 55d). Just a minor setback and enough to get me laughing at myself.

Good Tuesday offering. Spot on for difficulty (or should that be ease).

Tinbeni said...

Argyle: Nice write-up! Esp. enjoyed the "Gerry and Pacemakers" link.

Robert E. Lee Morris (probably a Southerner, lol) I enjoyed your A/C puzzle.

Liked seeing PAIGE and PAGES in the grid.
Also AL-EAST & TAMPA (site of the NYY Spring Training facility).

CRAIS was a gimmie, since I've read many of his books.
But I needed my ESP (Every Single Perp) to get the "Hop on Pop" author, SEUSS.

Surprise! Surprise! ... my fave today was the Whiskey, RYE ...
Who-da-thunk? lol


Tinbeni said...

Happy Birthday MONTANA!!!

Tonight's "first toast" at Sunset is to YOU and your clan.

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon everyone.

A puzzle from R E LEE Morris. At 16a, could that be a kind of selfie with A LEE? In Aachen could that be clued as EINE LEE? So many questions; so little time.

Liked the A/C slant today. Could D/C be in the future? Dire Consequence.
Relied on the perps to give me CRAIS. Otherwise, no searches or erasures. Overall, a nice breezy puzzle.

Since nobody here has yet thought about this today, let us consider how a
Dolphin is born.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, Happy Birthday, Montana. Great family pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Today's puzzle was pretty much a breezy run through. What I didn't know (Top Cat and Patois) came with perps.

I had Dodo for Dope at first, but erased that pretty quickly. I wasn't sure of the St. Petersburg neighbor but that also appeared with the perps.

A fun puzzle. Thanks Argyle for the write up and the links today.

Have a great day everyone. I'm off to run errands. We'll be in Tahoe next week and I'm trying to get everything done here before we go.

Steve said...

Happy Birthday, Montana!

Thanks for the expo, Argyle, and for the Gerry & the Pacemakers link. That's a great song.

For more 60's pop, here's Amen Corner . Some great haircuts on display, and the pitch of Andy Fairweather Low's voice might have something to do with his tight pants :)

Thank you all for your kind words yesterday on my puzzle debut with C.C. I can't tell you how generous she is with her encouragement, enthusiasm and advice. I'm very humbled by her skill and creativity.

Chickie said...

My Son-in-law had open heart by-pass surgery two weeks ago. Everything went very well, now he is home for his recovery. We are so thankful he recognized symptoms and even took himself to the hospital. No heart attack, but the blockage was such that stints weren't an option.

I hope everyone heeds those warning signs and takes the proper precautions--it is life saving!

The earthquake here in our area was just a rattling of the cupboards and we didn't feel anything. However, the wine country is another story. I'm sure that this has been discussed the past couple of days. We have our kit in a huge garbage can and keep it up to date. You never know living here in Earthquake country when the big one will come.

JD said...

Good afternoon all,

Fun puzzles, both yesterday and today.Great perps for words I did not know: Crais, Iler, Paulie. I am more aware of the several types of plurals (abaci, aquaria) since doing CW's.

1st time seeing lambs as a verb.

A HA...AC units...acunits?!? Thanks Santa. We have lived in our house for over 35 years and just put in AC upstairs, only because we needed to replace original heater. Have used it only once. Opening windows at night works just as well.

Happy Happy birthday Montana!! Best gift ever!! Love your family pictures.

DH just educated me on the branches of Islam with a great chart on line.Can't yet add links using new computer so sorry not adding any info.It is a whole new way of thinking ; the people of Afghanistan take pride , not in their country like Americans, but in their sects.

River Doc said...

Happy Birthday Montana!

One disappointment from the Emmys: watching McConaughey and Harrelson's mouths form the letter "B" but it was Benedict, not Billy Bob, for best mini-series actor. Like both Sherlock and Fargo, but BBT was the better actor, imho....

JD said...

Hopefully a chart will pop up, not just this Wikipedia article.

C.Moe, funny poem.

Bill G. said...

I enjoyed the puzzle. It seemed a little harder than I would have expected but I got 'er done. Thanks Mr. Morris and Argyle.

We had our retired teachers brunch this morning. Lots of talking, some eating.

Happy birthday Montana! I hope you have a great day.

I complain about getting older but then I remember that it is a privilege not bestowed on everybody.

Great dolphin birth video!

Billy Bob Thornton may be a good actor but he was good at playing such a despicable character in Fargo that I wouldn't vote for him as dog catcher.

HeartRx said...

C. Moe, loved the limerick! Very funny.

JD, I did see a chart, looked it over, memorized it, and now I am ready for my quiz. (...NOT!!)

desper-otto said...

JD, it's not just Muslims; I know some American teens who are proud of their sexts.

Unknown said...

Fun puzzle. Solved it with no write-overs. I knew CRAIS right away as I've read some of his books.

Happy birthday, Montana.

River Doc said...

Bill G, you've just described why Billy Bob's acting in Fargo deserved an Emmy - he played his part so well that you now wouldn't vote for him as dog catcher (is this still an elected position...?). Similar to Margaret Hamilton's post Wizard of Oz experience, where school kids were so afraid of her because she did such a good job being a wicked witch....

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Great puzzle, R.E.L.M.? I thought the theme would be the "A's have it". Didn't notice the "C" factor. Duh!

Thanks, Argyle! Specially liked the "Ferry on the MERSEY". First time I knew what they were saying.

CRAIS is often in book lists for my Kindle so I knew that. I've never read him, but like the TV shows Argyle said he's done. May try him next time I'm out of something new to read.

"One often precedes it" was a stumper with all perps. Don't use the one with my cell phone.

Happy birthday, Montana! Great family pictures.

YR: finished "Shanghai Girls" last night after your promo the other day. Very interesting and hard to put down. Now reading the sequel.

Spitz: the dolphin birth was really great but I kept wanting the people to get out of there and leave her to it. What mother wants an audience of strangers?

Unknown said...

Finished today but hands up on deal before pact. 22d had me but aquaria fixed that wag. Never seen aquaria before for a plural, but what the hey its crosswordese I guess. Jargon for patois, but erased it when doing the downs. Yes I do mine in pencil since I buy the Baton Rouge Advocate/ Acadian advocate since we are in southwest instead of the eastern part of the state. Bon nuit from Cajun Country !!!

JD said...

Spitz, lovely dolphin video.

River Doc, still can't watch Wizard of Oz...way too scary. She played her part well.

Chairman Moe said...

Regarding the dolphin video . . . I know that dolphins and sharks inhabit the same waters. Sharks are said to be able to smell a drop of blood from miles away. Since dolphins are mammals and have a "live birth", I just couldn't help but wonder if in nature, the birthing process would attract a shark every now and again. Or, maybe, I just need to watch some different TV channels and get "edumacated" ... ;^)

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

HBD Montana! Great pics.

Thanks Mr. Morris for a fine diversion today. Thanks Argyle for a write up. I wasn't sure about PATOIS - never heard it... I wanted accent for it (45a).

Pretty much what Tin said, though I didn't know CRAIS but did know SEUSS.

Fav. c/a pair 3d. I kept thinking what goes before "it"?

Dudley - Asked & Answered, I was just going to point out that I access it on the road, and you can tell by my posts they'd never let me be a member :-)

TTFN (TA TA for now)

Cheers, -T

Bill G. said...

River Doc, I agree. Good acting. Give him an Emmy. I still don't like him.

Sallie said...

Good night.

And belated happy birthday, Montana. What a wonderful gift from your children. And you get to celebrate twice.

Spitz: the dolphin birth was amazing. And I agree with PK that people should have kept out of the way.


Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Robert E. Lee Morris, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Argyle, for a fine review.

Started this earlier in the day and finished heading back home after a dinner and meeting in Des Plaines, IL.

Good puzzle. About a Tuesday level, except for a couple toughies, that were peeped. CRAIS and MOORE

Wanted TACT for 41A. Pact won out.

Like the word ATTUNE.

Theme was fine. AC

Fermatprime: I read "The Book Thief." Very good book. Never knew there was a movie out on it. I will try to watch it sometime.

Montana: Happy Birthday. Nice photo of you and your kids. Must have been a great time!

See you tomorrow.