Sep 23, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: Quintessential Tuesday

20A. Period of meaningful interaction : QUALITY TIME

28A. "That's using your head!" : QUICK THINKING

46A. Planck's Nobel prize-winning formulation : QUANTUM THEORY. I know about as much about this as I do quarter-tones.

52A. Small musical interval sung in choral warmups : QUARTER-TONE. Classic dictionary entry. "quarter-tone : an interval equivalent to half of a semitone."

65A. Surreptitiously ... and a hint to 20-, 28-, 46- and 52-Across : ON THE QT

Argyle here. Big words Tuesday. Seven letter stacks in two corners. Two big chunks of black on the sides. All-over, not bad.


1. Reduce to mist : ATOMIZE

8. Insubstantial stuff : PAP

11. Intro deliverers : MCs. (master of ceremonies)

14. Short outing for a jogger : MILE RUN

15. From A to Z : ALL

16. The smile on a smiley face, say : ARC

17. Green gem : EMERALD

18. Where to leggo your Eggo? : TOASTER. Tinbeni is our toaster.

22. Having the wherewithal : ABLE. First thought? Rich.

26. Take to court : SUE

27. From square one : ANEW

33. Detach from the dock : UNMOOR

34. Sharply delineated, as a contrast : STARK

35. Egyptian snake : ASP

36. Actress Charlotte : RAE Or 60D. Stephen of "The Crying Game" : REA

38. __ Lanka : SRI. Tourist enjoying the beaches.

39. Scooby-__ : DOO

42. Living thing : BEING

44. Make responsible for, as chores : ASSIGN

48. Insulting remark : SLUR

50. Equal: Pref. : ISO

51. Carnivorous dinosaur, briefly : T REX

57. Let go : UNLOOSE

58. Movie equipment : CAMERAS

63. "O, __ fortune's fool!": Romeo : I AM (3.1.136)

64. Start to practice? : MAL. Malpractice.

66. 8-Down treaters: Abbr. : DRs. 8D. Waiting room waiters : PATIENTS

67. Get at a store : BUY

68. Traditional Yuletide quaff : WASSAIL


1. Soul, to Zola : ÂME. Zola, the French writer.

2. "A Christmas Carol" boy : TIM. Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit's boy. Keep him away from the wassail.

3. Bullfight "Bravo!" : "¡OLÉ!"

4. Debussy's "La __" : MER

5. Syria neighbor : IRAQ

6. Last letter of a pilot's alphabet : ZULU

7. Mark similar to a hyphen : EN DASH. Traditionally half the width of an em dash.

9. Very much : A LOT

10. Be in the game : PLAY

11. Checking conclusively, in chess : MATING. Another strange definition.

12. __ de cacao : CRÈME

13. Carpentry fastener : SCREW

19. Performed really poorly : STANK

21. San __ Obispo, California : LUIS

22. Color of water : AQUA

23. Cookout supply : BUNS

24. Walk on a bad knee, say : LIMP

25. Novelist Umberto : ECO

29. Divided nation : KOREA

30. Teach a skill to : TRAIN

31. Jeweler's purity unit : KARAT

32. Dublin-born : IRISH

37. In every aspect : ENTIRELY

39. Couturier Christian : DIOR

40. Shrek, for one : OGRE

41. Black stone : ONYX

42. Grand Canyon pack animal : BURRO

43. Sudden wind : GUST

45. Chess pieces and board, e.g. : SET

46. Reservations : QUALMS

47. Barnyard animal, in totspeak : MOO COW. Now for something really different.

48. Ink squirter : SQUID

49. Like some ancient calendars : LUNAR

53. Mummy's home : TOMB

54. Genesis twin : ESAU

55. Grandma : NANA

56. CPR providers : EMTS. (CardioPulmonary Resuscitation/Emergency Medical Technicians)

59. Canadian interjections : EHs

61. EPA concern : AQI. (Air Quality Index)

62. Arch city: Abbr. : ST. L. (St. Louis)



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Blew through this one pretty Quickly Today. Needed the perps to get the Romeo Quote Though. Also had SHARP before STARK, but that didn't last long. Everything else was smooth sailing...

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Great one, Jeffrey, you naughty boy! In the top rows we have PLAY ALOT then MATING, CREME, & SCREW. Woohoo, ain't we got fun? That's real QUALITY TIME (IMHO). Then we're also ABLE & QUICK & ON THE QT. OLE! Only disturbing thing: ON THE QT under CAMERAS. Almost too exciting this early in the morning for this old lady.

Great expo, Argyle!

Rev said...

Slightly off topic here, but something I found interesting. It looks like the 9/18 puzzle was retroactively changed after too many people complained about the clueing. I just did that puzzle a few hours ago. I was reading the blog comments and noticed that there was a huge debate about ORL not being the code for the Orlando airport as the clue claimed (44A). That had me scratching my head, because when I did the puzzle the clue read, "Magic, on the scoreboards". After taking a closer look at the write-up I see now that wasn't the original clue. I've never seen them go back and change clues before and I wonder how common it is.

Lemonade714 said...

JW I found this offering Quite Tasty, with a nice blend of fill. It was heavy on foreign phrases which usually draws complaints but so far so good.

There was a bit of 60's with ENDASH which along with EMS were popular in the NYT at the time.

Wassail and Moo Cow excellent, UNMOOR UNLOOSE Not so much.

Thanks Jeffrey and Argyle

Lemonade714 said...

Interesting about the change in clue for ORL

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Nice one, Jeffrey. Cute title, Argyle. I really liked seeing so many uncommon (in cw's) words: WASSAIL, ATOMIZE, QUALMS. The RAE, REA Argyle pointed out was also neat. And there was a nice shoutout to Canadian Eh! at 59d.

Rev, somebody here commented a few days later that the Chicago Trib had made a correction to the ORL cluing. That's the first I'd heard of changing a clue after the fact. It's not uncommon to see different clues in the various papers that carry the LAT crossword. I suspect the cluing was improved, but not all publishers got the word in time to fix it.

Dennis said...

Good morning, gang - PK, I had the same reaction you did to the NE section. And it was offset by LIMP on the other side.

The puzzle itself was pretty much a speed run, with a grimace at UNLOOSE. Got a kick out of MOO COW; Argyle, funny clip.

Rev, that's interesting - I'm surprised they did went back and changed it, although I agree the clue was flawed.

A friend of mine sent me this last night; I'm at a loss to figure out how she does it. A bit of over-emoting by the judges, but it's a pretty amazing talent.

Hope it's an outstanding day for everyone; the monsoons continue here.

OwenKL said...

After a few days of "non-coincidences" to lull us, once again LAT and the Seattle Times had a word in common, an exotic Spanish-English LUIS clued in both puzzles as "San ____ Obispo, California"! LAT also had AQUA (color of water) and ST had AGUA (rain, in Spain).

I'm surprised we didn't also see singer Charles (RAY) or actress Perlman (RHEA). Could be a puzzle theme there?

This is the 2nd or 3rd time in the past year a retroactive change has been made to a clue that we were aware of, so it's rare but not unprecedented.

In 6 days, it will be a year since I started contributing to this blog, sometime between now and then that I discovered and started reading it. True to my bipolar failings, I've run out of steam before the year was up, and pretty much gave up on trying to do daily puzzle limericks during a fit of depression a couple weeks ago. I've tried to fill in with a couple non-limerick poems, so at least I'm still around, and expect to be for a long time to come, Google willing. It's been a great year, and I thank you great and kind folks here for making a lonely weirdo like myself welcome.

Mari said...

Good morning everybody.

Like Barry G, I had SHARP before STARK.

I didn't know WASSAIL or PAP, but was able to fill them in.

Very interesting Rev.

Glad to have you OwenKL.

Have a great day everybody.

fermatprime said...


Something woke me up after a few hours' sleep!

Good work, Jeffrey! Swell write-up, Santa!

No problems!

Liked The Blacklist!


Husker Gary said...

-ON THE QT (@:48) (1:24) is one of the many acronyms in this hilarious scene from Good Morning Vietnam
-MC is now an acronym for rappers – Mike Chanter
-People today may SUE over any perceived offense
-If you can deplane, I guess you can UNMOOR
-Adopting our kitty Lily gives us another BEING in the house. The two humans are adjusting
- Julia Ward Howe could have written “He has UNLOOSED the fateful lighting of his terrible swift sword”?
-Smile! There’s CAMERAS everywhere. Seeing an action is many times more effective than only hearing about it. Ask Baltimore Raven Ray Rice.
-Syria and IRAQ dominate our headlines these days because of people who have no QUALMS about heinous actions
-Why don’t these numbers match?
-C.C. has learned that I may not be smart but I am TRAINable
-One of these guys had the most famous LIMP on TV
-My 50-year-old H.S. class ring with an ONYX stone is in my dresser drawer. Where’s yours?
-Kate Middleton - BUNS and a GUST
-What characters were called SCREWS in old gangster movies?

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Another fun and clever early-week offering. Liked moo cow and ink squirter=squid. Nice CSO to Canadian Eh and enjoyed seeing Emerald (Isle) and Irish.

Nice job, JW, and nice expo, Argyle.

Hondo, I care very much.

Ferm, I saw half of The Blacklist; will watch the rest later. Just love James Spader.

Owen, you have provided much fun and enjoyment to the Corner over this past year and I hope you stay with
us, with or without any literary offerings.

Have a great day

CanadianEh! said...

This one was a fun romp. Hand up for SHARP before STARK. EGGNOG wouldn't fit so WASSAIL it had to be.
PK you are hilarious.

59D was a given! CSO.

Glad to have you here OWENKL limericks or not!

Interesting that the ORL clue was changed.

Have a great day all.

unclefred said...

I've been sailing for fifty years, and have never heard the skipper shout "Unmoor the boat!" Also, isn't "unloose" "tight"? Oh well.

Tinbeni said...

Argyle: Nice write-up & links. The MOO-COW was a hoot ...

Jeffrey: Thank you for a FUN Tuesday puzzle. QUALITY TIME well spent!

OwenKL: FYI your 1st comment here was over a year ago on Sept.13, 2013 (@3:15 pm).
Today is 1 year and 10 days.

unclefred: Wasn't it IAGO that said "UNMOOR the boat!" Just curious ...

OK, lets just get this straight ...
At Villa Incognito the Traditional Yuletide quaff is Pinch, Scotch, Neat ... 'nough said!!!
If you want to drink WASSAIL ... you will have to go somewhere else!

A "toast" to ALL at Sunset.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Jeffrey Wechsler, for a fine puzzle. Thank you Argyle, for a fine review.

Brother Owen, keep on trucking'. We sure like you!

I could not get started up north, so I headed south. Started at the bottom and more or less worked my way up. I could not get the theme identifier until I had a few of the Q words, but then ON THE QT appeared.

Qualms is a good word.

We used to call ZULU Zebra.

Never heard os an ENDASH.

STANK really describes performing poorly.

Liked AQI. Took me a while to figure it out, though.

I have to run. Had a big night last night and now comes the clean-up. We had a Commandery and Masonic Memorial Service for one of the Pillars of our Fraternity.

See you tomorrow.



Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

One write-over: had Quarter time before QUARTER TONE.
Liked the theme. Always good to see less-used letters of the alphabet used more.
7-letter stacks made a Tuesday puzzle a little more interesting.
UNMOORED. Here is a deck log entry of the USS Lansing (DE-388) getting underway in Bermuda in 1943:
"12-16-43 0705 Unmoored, underway standing out of Great Sound Bay"

Have a great day.

Bill G. said...

I enjoyed the puzzle. Thanks Jeffrey and Argyle. Owen, I enjoy your being around the Corner.

This guy has invented a very clever version of something we see and use often. I wish I had his imagination. Pizza box

Nice Cuppa said...

Thanks JW and Argyle

I always think of 8D as the IMPATIENTS

For those who do not know the word WASSAIL, or, like Tinbeni, dismiss it as EGGNOGG revisited, the word actually has a fine pedigree. It is Middle English from Old Norse, and is the first part of a TOAST:

WASSAIL! = Good Health!

The response is, or was:

DRINKHAIL = Drink Well!

So you now know how to respond properly when you are offered the stuff.

UNLOOSE is a perfectly legitimate VERB. It is in the King James Bible. John the Baptist, no less, talking about JC:

Luke 3:16 "John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to UNLOOSE: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

In re UNLOOSE, Shakespeare's Julius Caesar said "Cry 'Havoc!', and LET SLIP the dogs of war" which has been widely requoted/misquoted as "UNLOOSE the dogs of war.

UNMOOR is also perfectly legit. Herman Melville, no less:

"Where lies the final harbor, whence we UNMOOR no more? In what rapt ether sails the world, of which the weariest will never weary?"


Yellowrocks said...

Spitz, good example of UNMOOR.
Here is an example for UNLOOSE from "Dreaming in Cuban," written by Cristina García. It was a finalist for the National Book Award. "The continents strain to UNLOOSE themselves, to drift reckless and heavy in the seas."
Hondo, I care.
Owen, I'm glad you continue to post. I like your posts and I loved your last poem, limerick or not.

Misty said...

Wonderful Tuesday puzzle, Jeffrey--I just loved all those Q's and the variety of clues (hey, that rhymes!). Different countries (KOREA and IRISH), different actors (RAE and REA), different animals (BURRO and MOOCOW), and a TOASTER for Tinbeni (WASSAIL) although, sadly, he prefers Pinch. Fun expo, Argyle, as always--many thanks!

Nice Cuppa, loved your erudite explanation for those negatives.

Owen, we are so happy you are on the blog, with limericks and poems and interesting comments.

Did anybody happen to see the premiere of "Madame Secretary" on TV on Sunday? It got a good review in the LA Times so we watched it and were impressed.

Have a great Tuesday, everybody!

Lucina said...

Hello, Friends! Many thanks to Argyle and to Jeffrey Wechsler for today's QUALITY TIME.

By the second theme I had the QT in view and sashayed right along until every cell yielded its richness of fill.

Nice CSO to me at NANA.

And PK you provided the icing on the cake, so to speak.

Though I may not always say it, I always look forward to and enjoy your limericks when you post them. I'm glad you're with us.

Me too.

The monsoon here is slowly ebbing though we might have one more rainfall this month and then the start of cool weather, finally.

Have a tremendous Tuesday, everyone!

PK said...

Owen, we're just glad to have you hang out with us and UNLOOSE the limericks if and when the muse visits you. Most of us can't be clever every day. You've had a remarkable run. Maybe you need just a little time to recharge.

CrossEyedDave said...

Hang in there Owen, (I need a funny rhyme for "Sanskrit.")

I read 2D Christmas Carol as that movie A Christmas Story, thinking "what was that kids name? Tim or Tom?" (turns out is was Ralphie...)

I never heard of Wassail, & since I don't know how to make eggnog...

Quality Time?

Quick thinking!

Quantum Theory?

Chromatic scale is a serious topic!

On the QT?

Anonymous said...

Dennis and Bill G., both those clips were wonderful, one for extraordinary magic and one for sheer genius due to its simplicity.

Prof T said...

Fun puzzle with a few challenging moments for me today. Had "launch" before "unmoor" which slowed me down some, but perps took care of it.

Lime Rickey said...

Bill G@11:21:"Owen, I enjoy your being around the Corner."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Anonymous said...

Prison guards

Husker Gary said...

After coming back in from mowin’
I looked at the blog not knowin’
That there was not one iota
Toward my limerick quota
Wither thou goest, dear Owen?

Just a token to let you know your efforts are appreciated, both in verse or simple text. As you can read above, the product suffers without you. We all just “do the best we can, where we are, with what we’ve got”.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, A quick fill in today. After the first two Qu answers I went down and filled in Qu at the beginning of the next two long fills. That helped my thinking a lot.

I had a hiccup in the SE corner as I had filled in MooMoo instead of MooCow for Barnyard animal tot speak. That didn't last long though and was my only erasure.

Thanks Jeff for a puzzle that makes me feel really smart and for Argyle for the writeup today.

Have a great day, everyone. I'm off to run errands and catch up on work that I let go over the weekend. We had too much fun on Sat. and Sun. Now we pay.

Chairman Moe said...

Owen @ 7:25:

IIRC, I found this blog this past June; I lurked for awhile before posting and "going blue" (which I did at your suggestion, BTW). I somehow thought the limericks were the daily routine, and had always been a part of the normal "corner conversation". Didn't realize until a few weeks into my participation that you (and then I) were the only ones to offer limericks.

And truth be told, I hadn't created a limerick in well over a decade until I came here to the Corner. You rekindled my love for that poetic expression, and introduced me to the limerick and haiku group, where as you've probably seen, I usually re-post my most recent lim's.

I do know what you mean by "running out of steam" when trying to come up with a limerick that ties into the daily theme of this puzzle. I'm still stuck on one for today! My dad (who passed away in 2003) loved to create limericks, and my mom (who is still alive, and a very active person at 85 yrs young) is a regular solver of the LA Times crossword puzzle. We often compare notes about the puzzle, and when I started sharing my "themed" limericks with her, it brought back fond memories of my dad. I've sort of created a monster, though, as she now expects me to have a daily limerick she can share with her friends where she lives! I will admit that I've sent her one or two of yours (giving credit, of course) when I either couldn't come up with one or was otherwise, too busy! Hope you don't mind!

At any rate, sorry for the long post (C.C., I'll do a mea culpa right now, OK?!). Owen, thanks again for renewing my love for lim's, and congrat's on being here for almost a year. I'll look forward to your poems and lim's. As I said quite a while ago, I am not looking to be the resident poet or "limerist" here at the Corner. I hope we continue to complement each other, and hope, too, that our efforts bring a smile or two to those who read this blog.

Chickie said...

I've enjoyed your contributions OwenKL. Keep up your blogging, we'll read and enjoy for a long time to come. 9000

Husker, my class ring is also in my dresser drawer. It hasn't fit for many, many years.

BV Ahlers said...

41d - Not all black stones are ONYX and not all onyx are black!

57a - doesn't it sound counter-intuitive for unloose to mean "let go" rather than tighten, the opposite of loosen??

SwampCat said...

What a great CW today! That's two in a row. Yesterday was my favorite in a long time, and today was just as good. Lots of new words and fun clues.

Best clue for me was 18A, for Toaster. And Moocow was fun.

Owen, keep on keeping on! Let us cheer you if it helps, and keep on enriching us with your contributions, whatever they may be. You hav e made me smile.

desper-otto said...

BV, it's like flammable and inflammable. No reason. It just is. Try to make sense of it, and you'll just make your head hurt.

BV Ahlers said...

Dennis, Thank you for that link. It was "Magic in Motion." WOW, wonderful!
OwenKL, just keep hanging in there. After every "down" comes an "up" as I have been there as well. Stick around and the inspiration will return. We all look forward to that!

HeartRx said...

Huh? It's already 3:30? (EST) Where did the day go? re: puzzle / Argyle's write-up / PK / HG / OwenKL / amazing videos...

I'll just add:
Really funny links, CED!
Well spoken, Chairman Moe.

I'm off to figure out what to make for dinner, and I haven't even had breakfast or lunch yet!

Chairman Moe said...

My "puzzling thoughts":

**a few write-overs; notably, KARAT (I wrote CARAT), RAE/REA (thought both Stephen and Charlotte spelled their last names identically), GUSH before GUST (which I had long before solving the "theme".
**Does Jeff Wechsler also construct Friday/Saturday puzzles? Today's was at a "higher-level" Tuesday, but one you could still solve without look-ups. Nice challenge
**Enjoyed the recap, Argyle
**thanks for the link to the Good Morning Vietnam clip, Gary - one of the funnier scenes in a movie that was both comedic and poignant
**It's nice to know that editors are either looking at this blog, or are being updated by others, when cluing for a puzzle is found to be incorrect.

Mom texted me recently, asking about today's limerick! Finally, something came to mind . . .

The deaf actor felt quite ill-at-ease,
At rehearsal, he started to freeze;
The crew members decided
To wear shirts that provided
All his lines written on the "CUE" TEES!

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Fun puzzle today. I quickly made a QT notation in the margin when I grokked the theme, so filling in QU for the first 2 letters of the long fills was fast. Loved MOOCOW.

Avg Joe said...

I don't often use the term speed run, but this was it. No major stumbling blocks anywhere and the only erasure was the same as Chickie's with Moo Moo to Moo Cow. Even suspected the theme with the first QT answer and confirmed it with the second.

Fun puzzle due to fill, but one of the easiest in a long time.

Pat said...

Sheesh, a DNF on a Tuesday! I'm chalking it up to having been out of town for 4 days and getting back into the routine. Thanks, JW, for the fun puzzle I didn't quite finish. Thanks big time, Argyle, for explaining my blank spaces.

Hondo, I care. Please keep us updated.

Owen, thanks for your contributions to the Corner, limerick or not.

Happy first day of Fall!


Anonymous said...

Ya know, I thought about this too much today and then suddenly realized the obvious. To respect Hondo's request or risk rudeness? I'm a tough guy who went through this recently. It is very, very hard. Skip, I am sure every decision you made was the correct one. You are in my prayers.

Avg Joe said...

Yup, Anon. I went through it 3 years ago. It hurts. A lot. Count me as one who cares, Skip.

PK said...

Do you suppose Jeffrey has a toddler in his life? I can think of no other reason to have MOO COW on the mind.

Here's a little song that's been sung to little ones in our family for generations:

The MOO COW MOO gives milk to me. I don't drink coffee and I don't drink tea. So a very good friend the cow is she. MOO COW MOO. (Repeat as requested, usually a dozen times.)

Does anyone else know that one?

Lucina said...

Well done! I like your limerick.

Husker Gary said...

I'm in the care column too, Skip! Our new kitty has to have a procedure next week and I can really sympathize with your feelings.

Bill G. said...

Gary, Anon beat me to it. Screws is (are?) slang for prison guards. I remember hearing the term in The Shawshank Redemption.

Here is a very enjoyable dog video. Who knew they could be so insightful? Great dog video

Blue Iris said...

Not much to add, so thought I would give you my WASSAIL recipe. Nice addition to a Christmas Party.

Christmas Tea

3 to 5 quarts water
3 cups sugar ( or Splenda )
1/2 to 3/4 cup candy red hots
6 whole cloves
1 quart cranberry juice cocktail
6 ounces orange juice concentrate, undiluted
6 ounces lemonade concentrate, undiluted

Mix all ingredients. Cook on low in crock pot for approx. 4 hours. Turn crock pot to warm setting till served. (Start with 3 qts water and then add water as needed)

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Quite the Theme! Thanks Jeff for a fun puzzle and Argyle for what you DOO.

Late to the party today so WEES. Including re: Owen. Owen Buck up Little Camper; we all like your posts and, with the exception of a few anons, enjoy the daily limerick.

PK - you cracked me up. I assume that's the real PK...

Bill G - funny doggie diaries. STARK contrast from pop's dog's diary. I read it one day; page after page of "Squirrel!"

Fav - QUANTUM THEORY. I've been trying to wrap my Newtonian head around this for years.

Other fav - MOO COW (warning MA - Lewis Black uses stronger language than SCREW).

Cheers, -T

Boo LuQuette AKA Boudreaux in Eunice, La. said...

Laughingly at you girl good quick thinking on that ROFL!!