Oct 12, 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014 Matt Skoczen & Patti Varol

Theme: "Twelve-Step Puzzle" -The end of each theme answer can precede "Step".

23A. Door holder's quaint invitation : LADIES FIRST.  Indeed the very "First step" of the theme set.

25A. "Hurry!" : COME QUICK. Quickstep.

39A. Native American ritual : RAIN DANCE. Dance step. In this type of Precede/Follow theme type, it's desirable when the key word has different meanings. But sometimes it's not possible.
41A. Comic collected in "Cows of Our Planet" : THE FAR SIDE. Sidestep.

50A. Where stars come out : STAGE DOOR. Doorstep. I saw two "door" in the theme answer clues. Don't bother me as my solving is very jumpy.

71A. Secure door feature : DOUBLE LOCK. Lockstep.

73A. Where many tweens may be seen : JUNIOR HIGH. High step.

93A. "No, No, Nanette" number : TEA FOR TWO. Two step.

101A. Birds Eye rival : GREEN GIANT. Giant step. Green Giant is based here in MN. Here is their Jolly Green Giant mascot.

103A. 1974 #1 hit for Helen Reddy : ANGIE BABY. Baby step.
123A. Prepare for the ring : SHADOW BOX. What is "Box step"?

126A. Like some test questions : TRUE OR FALSE. False step.

I thought of Splynter and his AA when I saw the "Twelve-Step" title.

Heavy themage. Total 116 theme squares. As I mentioned before, 12 entries is more challenging to grid than 9 entries with the same theme squares. I like that they're all arranged horizontally. There's a continuity in the 12-step.

Matt and Patti did a solid job with their fill today. They made all their long entries count and got all the 3's and 4's as clean as possible, which is not easy when you have 74 of them to deal with. 

1. Takes great pleasure (in) : BASKS

6. It may be fit for a queen : TIARA. Lovely clue. Queen Elizabeth has the world's most precious tiara collection.

11. Loathe : ABHOR

16. Sushi bar tuna : AHI. Yellowfin.

19. Three-time Wimbledon champ : EVERT (Chris)

20. Rigel's constellation : ORION

21. Alla __: music notation : BREVE

22. Big __ : SUR

27. Nebraska settlers : OTOS. Or OTOEs.

28. "G'day" sayers : AUSSIES

30. Network with regular pledge drives : NPR.  And 132. Network with regular pledge drives : PBS

31. Fifth Avenue retailer : SAKS

32. Unprovoked : WANTON. I associate this word with "Willful".

34. John of Scotland : IAN

35. Part of i.e. : EST. Id est.

37. Bolt, back in the day : HIE

46. Zesty start in London? : ZED. Just letter Z in Zesty.

47. TV production company co-founder, familiarly : DESI. I need Arnaz or Ricky or Lucy in the clue.

49. Like gossip : RUMORED

56. Quarterback Marino : DAN

57. Immortal Russian ballerina Galina : ULANOVA. Never heard of this "Immortal" lady.

58. Hard work : TOIL

59. Car and Driver check : ROAD TEST

62. Alain, par exemple : NOM. Alain Delon!

63. When two hands meet? : AT NOON. Nailed it.

66. Minute : ITSY. Not the time.

67. Work __ : ETHIC

78. Capital mentioned in "M*A*S*H" : SEOUL. So where is Kim Jong-un? I sure don't think there's a coup.
79. __ colada : PINA

80. Rubeola spot : MEASLE. I did not know the meaning of Rubeola.

81. GPS option : RTE

84A. "Gimme a break!" : GET OFF IT! I like all the four 8-letter entries in this puzzle.

87. "Are you __ not?" : IN OR

88. Likely will : IS APT TO

92. Dog park sound : ARF

97. Like helium : GASEOUS

98. It may be flat : RATE

100. Mal de __ : MER

109. Foto Hut owner on "That '70s Show" : LEO. Never watched the show. But I'm happy to see Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis together. Sweet couple.

110. Fresno-to-Bakersfield dir. : SSE

111. Three times, in Rx's : TER

112. Doesn't agree to : DENIES

114. Complex course : MAZE

117. __ cat : FAT

119. Conceal : SECRETE. OK, I need to start using this word then.

122. Short side? : SLAW. Vividly remember the first time I tried coleslaw at KFC in Xi'An. Right before I left college in 1994.

128. Household cleaner : RAG. I like this clue. I was thinking of a person.

129. Polynesian tongue : MAORI

130. Chalet beverage : TODDY

131. Garbo of "Grand Hotel" : GRETA

133. Flagrant, as injustice : GROSS

134. Somewhat far : A WAYS. Quite a ways.

135. Mythical reveler : SATYR


1. Word after see or go : BELOW. Always need crosses for this type of clue.

2. Gamer's game face : AVATAR. Don't be fooled by Avg Joe's. He's a total standup guy who tolerates no nonsense. Great cook too.

3. Arizona cultural resort : SEDONA

4. Olympic skater Yamaguchi : KRISTI. Gimme. Her husband grew up here in MN. She won "Dancing with the Stars" a few years ago.

5. Sault __ Marie : STE

6. Veggie burger ingredient : TOFU. I can't picture life without Tofu.

7. Expanding-circle film effect : IRIS-IN

8. Respiratory cavity : AIR SAC

9. Prepared for use, as a violin bow:  ROSINED. Rosin can also be a verb?
10. Get in the game : ANTE

11. Easy as __ : ABC

12. Heathcliff's creator : BRONTE

13. Natural rope fiber : HEMP. Have you ever seen hemp plant? So tall.

14. Thorough repair : OVERHAUL

15. Like core courses: Abbr. : REQ

16. China setting : ASIA

17. Pap's son, in Twain stories : HUCK

18. Bugs : IRKS

24. Prepared for painting, perhaps : SANDED

26. Tries to charm with, as a pickup line : USES ON. When I met with Norm Duke in August, he asked me "Are you married?"

29. Goes after : SETS AT

33. Quatre et sept : ONZE. 4+7.  I feel like I need water after pronouncing "Quatre".

36. Glow : SHINE

38. "Joy of Cooking" writer Rombauer : IRMA

40. Fuss : ADO

42. Tutti-__ ice cream : FRUTTI

43. Waffle maker : IRON

44. "Whip It" band : DEVO

45. Red-wrapped import : EDAM. Also 50. Dutch burg : STAD

48. Swirl : EDDY

51. Cinematic pet : TOTO

52. Aborigine of Japan : AINU. Commit this to your memory. You'll see it again. It sounds like "I knew".

53. Lava lamp lumps : GLOBS

54. Camden Yards athlete : ORIOLE. Yeah, Royals rock, Gary.

55. Campus mil. group : ROTC

60. "Don't __" : ASK

61. "I come to fetch you to the __-house": Decius Brutus : SENATE

64. Grand __ Opry : OLE

65. Opposite of paleo- : NEO

68. Same: Pref. : HOM

69. Yeats' land: Abbr. : IRE

70. Support for a hora honoree : CHAIR

72. "The Black Cat" (1934) co-star : LUGOSI (Bela)

73. Skippy rival : JIF

74. Yard, e.g. : UNIT

75. "Money __ everything" : ISN'T. So true.

76. Pre-sunrise effect : GLOW

77. Sandwich choice : HERO

79. Sputtering sound : PFFT

81. 1997 Emmy winner for TV's "Rebecca" : RIGG (Diana) And 89D. Showed signs of age, as paint : PEELED

82. Peter or Paul : TSAR

83. Soften : EASE

85. Mountain lakes : TARNS

86. Declaims : ORATES

90. Signal to start talking : TONE

91. Beach party challenge : TUG OF WAR

94. Cannes chum : AMI

95. It's for the birds : FEEDER. I think D-Otto's have cameras in.

96. "Awake, arise __ forever fallen!": Milton : OR BE

99. Admit an embarrassing mistake : EAT CROW. or DIRT.

102. Furrier family : ASTORS

104. Poet depicted in "Il Postino" : NERUDA. The Postman.

105. Hardly generous : GREEDY

106. Cochise player of '50s TV : ANSARA (Michael). Learned from my own cluing experience.

107. Soldier's lodging in a private home : BILLET

108. Beer critic's adjective : YEASTY

113. Cross one's heart : SWEAR

114. Car sticker no. : MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)

115. Fictional skipper : AHAB

116. Veers suddenly : ZAGS

118. Peek or bug ending : ABOO

120. Rider on Butch's handlebars : ETTA. Oh, this girl. Etta Place.

121. Messes (with) : TOYS

124. Texter's "Holy cow!" : OMG

125. Followers of nus : XIS

127. NFL overtime margins of victory, often : FGS (Field Goals)



fermatprime said...


Thanks, Matt, Patti and CC!

Entertaining puzzle. Do not know what an hora honoree is. So, there was a CZAR Paul?

Got through it, but took a while.

Beddy time.

Have a great Sunday!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Today's big grid went down without a fight, just plug & chug. Never even noticed the theme. The few unknowns, such as Ulanova and Ansara, were solidly perped.

Morning, C.C.! I was so jammed with work yesterday I couldn't do your Border States puzzle, but I hope to today. I've never seen hemp plants, but they look interesting. I've seen antique cordage equipment which makes rope of all sizes from hemp fiber, though.

I'm no dancer - completely hopeless in that area - but I've heard of the box step. I gather it's an elementary ballroom dance pattern, the sort of thing you do when you don't know anything else to do.

Lemonade714 said...

A puzzle with Greta Garbo, Bela Lugosi, Michael Ansara and Ulanova brought me back to my youth, as did box step which was what my mother taught me before my first school dance.

It also is interesting that you mention Mila Kunis as she was part of Black Swan and Ulanova first achieved fame for her Swan Lake .

Ansara was the husband of tv favorite Barbara Eden and along with Tonto the earliest of the noble native Americans.

I loved the Diana Rigg, Peeled combination you found C.C.

Thanks all

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Pretty much your standard Sunday fare in terms of fill and difficulty, I thought. Didn't grok the theme at all, since i was thinking this was going to be one of those puzzles where the first word in the grid slowly morphs into the last word via a series of "steps."

Not too much difficulty overall, although I did get mired in one section due to having ISO instead of HOM. I'm not entirely convinced that HOM (as opposed to, say, HOMO or HOMEO) is a valid prefix, but whatever...

Al Cyone said...

The Week in Review:

M 4:42 T 5:34 W 7:11 T 6:58 F 13:02 S 29:38 S 21:13

Today's last fill was MEASLE (singular?). Rubeola wasn't ringing any bells and HOM didn't occur to me (i.e. WBS). But enough about today; yesterday was the crunchy one. I had trouble in the NW, thinking "canine" had something to do with dogs, not teeth, but I finally figured it out. That left the SW where I was sure that TERRIFY had to be right. Five out of seven letters were. That's pretty hard to let go of. But let go I (eventually) did.

See y'all next weekend.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This one was a top-to-bottom solve. I fell into the ISO and ASTA traps, but managed to get out of them. Theme? There was a theme?

C.C., we need to hear more about your first SLAW experience. Did you wind up loving, hating, or wearing it? RIGG/PEELER -- cute, C.C. That critter-cam was a temporary detective device to determine who was dumping the hummingbird feeders overnight. Coon pleaded guilty.

I would think an "Expanding circle film effect" would be iris-out rather than in. Perps to the rescue.

I quickly remembered Michael ANSARA. He played Cochise with John Lupton as the Indian Agent in Broken Arrow. I must have liked it at the time. Years ago I visited the Cochise Stronghold in the mountains east of Tucson.

HeartRx said...

Good morning C.C.!

Oh, so that’s what the theme was all about. Totally missed it – didn’t care. I enjoyed solving the puzzle, and would have been just as happy if this had been a Sunday themeless!

It’s interesting to follow the speculations about Kim Jong-Un. I just read “The Orphan Master’s Son,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about his predecessor, Kim Yong-Il.

I totally agree with d-otto about IRIS-IN. An “expanding” circle would be iris out. (Scroll down the list to see the definition.) So, how can that clue correct??

Self-imposed seclusion for me today: there are just too many leaf-peepers on the roads to make any trip outside my driveway worthwhile!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Finished this with a small bump here and there but was totally in the dark about the theme until reading CC's fine expo. Nice work, Matt and Patti.

I watched some of Last Vegas last night but gave up after about 30-40 minutes of mind-numbing silly and stupid situations and dialogue. What a waste of talent!

Have a great day.

Lucina said...

Greetings, word warriors!

Theme? I didn't even try but had fun sashaying through Patty and Matt's MAZE which over all filled surprisingly easily. Natick at ULANOVA/IRMA so had to research them.

IL Postino is a heartwarming, delightful film that I don't mind watching many times over; it demonstrates the love of the Italian people for Pablo Neruda and vice versa.

ANSARA? Six perps is all it took.
Also, NEMO then AHAB.

So, C.C., I'll ask, too. How did you like SLAW?

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

Anonymous said...

The date of this puzzle is October 12th, not October 1st.

Reading last night's late post confirms what I've noticed over time: C.C. is no longer the nice person I found when I came here as a lurker 4 years ago. This is a very successfull blog, but success can breed arrogance, and I fear that's what has happened here. It appears that if your not one of her 'favorites', your not held in very high regard.
This will surely bring out the defenders, but look at her tone over the past several years.

Husker Gary said...

LIMBO BAR, COCOA, ANNIE, MELT and LUPINO finally went away(s) and, as at Appomattox, the south surrendered.

-My life is/was full of Tweens
-He should have been flagged for HIGH STEPPING and bowing (1:29)
-Some think DAN was the best QB to never win a Super Bowl
-Find where it’s near NOON on this map
-MEASLES, mumps and chicken pox always hit my sibs and me at the same time
-My GPS sometimes doesn’t get it right
-IN OR OUT? can also end in …”or get off the pot”
-Helium is usually GASEOUS since it boils at -450F
-All my mortgages have been a FLAT RATE and not an ARM
-Hit Start twice and use the arrow keys to play this MAZE game
-A pol gets money from FAT CATS and then DENIES it later
-ROSIN as a verb in this fun song
-I bought this rather than OVERHAUL my Vaio
-Making a WAFFLE cone with an IRON
-My Royals seem like a team of destiny
-In what movie was Richard Dreyfuss the author of Baby Steps

Lime Rickey said...

Here's another musical take on ROSIN . . . The Beau.

More (of course) at Wikipedia.

Avg Joe said...

I found this one more challenging than most Sundays. Had the most double in the NW where for the longest time I could only get ladies first and Ste. So the balance was filled and I came back. Finally got it after misspelling Kristi a number of ways. Never did get the theme, but it didn't diminish the solve.

I'm not sure what I might have done to evoke the compliment, C.C.....or that it's deserved. But thank you!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Nice high-stepping puzzle today. Center south was last to fill, but most of the solve flowed well enough. Perps were ample enough to get fill like ULANOVA or the spelling of the day for OTOS.
ANSARA needed perp help but YEASTY made up for it.
BILLET - My first thought for billet is the usage for an official personnel slot in a Table of Organization, such as 'Ops Officer on board USS Neversail'.
Also see use of billet in metallurgy.

Have a good day.

C.C. Burnikel said...

D-Otto and Lucina,
I did not like KFC's coleslaw or mashed potatoes. "So weird westerners eat their cabbage & potato this way", I thought at the time. KFC was new in Xi'an then, and a hip spot for college kids. I did absolutely love the French fries when I moved to Guangzhou and visited McDonald's for the first time.

Anonymous @9:37am,
Thanks for pointing out the date error. As for your "not nice" comment, I've been getting anonymous attacks every since I started this blog. You should allow me to steer this blog the way I see fit.

TTP said...

Good morning all.

I have seen hemp plants growing thickly along the pasture edge close to the woods line. So did the farmer, who alerted the authorities, who in turn came in and cut them all down and took them away. That was in the early 70s.

111. Three times, in Rx's : TER - Entered TID which didn't work out. I tried to rationalize this clue as ok due to "IN." Ter is in TID. But, three times ON a prescription would be TID. That's my take.

Lime Rickey said...

TID = tir in die = three times a day. So "TIR" is the "three times" part in the prescription even though "TID" is what's written on the prescription form. In other words, the prescription form is not the prescription. Or, as Korzybski put it, the map is not the territory.

Lime Rickey said...

Oops. TIR should be TER. That's what I get for messin' around with Latin.

Argyle said...

Then there was the guy that " flew from his fingertips as he rosined up his bow."

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Great fun puzzle, Matt & Patti! I didn't see the theme. Read the title and forgot to look for the "steps". Too sleepy when I finished.

C.C.: You do not deserve the criticism from Anon at 9:37. I hope he/she learns to use your/you're correctly when he grows up.

Loved the Dalai Lama quote.

I thought NOON first but was thrown off because it didn't have enough letters and midnight was too long. Perped an A and nailed it.

I've never eaten TOFU, but my vegetarian granddaughter eats a lot of it. My farm grows soybeans, so probably some of it is made into TOFU.

HORA honoree: I remembered the wedding scene in "Fiddler on the Roof" where they lifted the bride and groom (?) in chairs in the HORA circle. A gimmee.

Rubeola is probably known by anyone who was having children in the 60's when it was discovered to be causing miscarriage & birth defects. I had two friends who had profoundly deaf babies after their older kids had measles during the pregnancies.

HEMP a/k/a marijuana. Most of the guys I knew of who cut down this plant would be too stoned to make very good rope.

Irish Miss said...

Trying to figure out why I keep losing my Google Account Identity.

Avg Joe said...

There's still ditch weed in Nebraska. Evidently they did raise industrial hemp for rope in the days before it was outlawed and the plants escaped into the wild. Not nearly as common as it was 40 years ago, but you still see it at tiimes. It's often referred to as Nebraska Wonder Weed. If you harvest it, you wonder why you bothered. Or so I've been told.

Speaking of harvest, I need to harvest my leeks today. I dehydrate a couple of quarts for soup making every year and I've got some this year that are nearly 3' tall. Vichisoise for supper as well.

Big Easy said...

Let's get technical- ETTA is not on the handlebars in the picture. She's on the crossbar of the bicycle in the picture.She was a perp because I had no idea what the clue meant.

C.C.- BOX step in the only dance move I know, and I do it badly according to my wife.

This puzzle took longer than usual for a Sunday due to the SE with three complete unknowns- ANGIEBABY ANSARA & NERUDA. I also was slow on TOFU or SOYA, PFFF or POOF , RATE or ROOF, HERO or OREO Other than that the rest was a smooth fill in spite of the unkowns- ULANOVA, SENATE, THE FAR SIDE, LEO, ONZE, IRMA, & RIGG.

AS anybody else out there been to SEDONA. We laughed when we went there and the big thing in town was the Crystal Gazers, New Agers, and fortune tellers. The town has a lot of weirdos that have a lot of money. Unfortunately some died in the Sweat Lodge incident after paying $10,000 each for the privilege.

inanehiker said...

Slow but steady today, I didn't get the them until I got here either. I thought at first it would have first, second, third after the first theme answer of "Ladies First", but knew that would probably be incredibly challenging. Thanks, CC for clarifying as usual!!

@PK - I think what you are thinking of that was discovered to cause birth defects is Rubella- the scientific name for the 3 day measles or German measles. Rubeola is the name for the Red measles or 2 week measles or just Measles. Fortunately, they came up with the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines over ~ a decade in the 50/60s and now it is given as an MMR vaccine to cover all three - once at 12 months and a booster before kindergarten age 4-5. Unfortunately, we are seeing a rise in cases of these diseases in pockets due to those who haven't vaccinated their children.

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-Hemp (ditch weed) is mostly a tall, sturdy nuisance around here.
-Some use cornfields to hide their cannabis crop.
I do remember the 2-block long rope making facility on our tour at the Maritime Museum in Bath, ME
-Baby Steps clip (1:32)
-Bill, and our other left-coasters, I’d do a RAIN DANCE for you if I thought it would help with this

Spitzboov said...

Big Easy - re: ETTA - Just looked at a movie trailer for Butch Cassidy and she is riding the handlebars. In the B&W C.C. posted, she is apparently not.

Bill G. said...

The puzzle was pleasant. The theme didn't do much for me. Thanks Matt, Patti and CC.

Re. cole slaw. Of the local fast food emporiums in this area, El Pollo Loco has the best cole slaw for my taste. Barbara agrees.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Nifty puzzle today. I liked the process of solving it. When I got LADIES FIRST I thought the 2nd word of the next theme answer would be SECOND, and then THIRD and so on. When I saw that would not be the case, for some reason my brain spoke "First, do no harm." to me. But no, that's the start of the Hippocratic oath, not the Twelve Steps.
I loved that quote of the Dalai Lama. He is a wise man.
Had no trouble with Michael ANSARA. I've always respected his work. Speaking of work, at a company I used to work at I had a colleague named Roya Ansara.
I like YEASTY beer.
Best wishes to you all.

Lucina said...

Thanks. I'm not surprised you didn't like the slaw. The only agreeable one for me is homemade. Usually it's overloaded with mayonnaise or miracle whip; either one is often overdone.

SEDONA is a beautiful spot and one goes there to relax and admire it's wondrous beauty, perhaps go camping or hiking.

Jayce said...

inanehiker, I see you said the same thing about first, second, third, etc. that I did. Sorry, I did not mean to copycat you or to diminish in any way what you had to say.
I had measles as a kid, but not chickenpox. I think maybe that's a big "Yay!" because I guess I don't have a predisposition to getting shingles.

Avg Joe said...

For those of you at get the week old NYT Sunday puzzle, I thought it was a very interesting offering today. It had a gimmick (not a rebus) that was a little hard to catch on to, but once you did, it was consistent, helpful and a lot of fun. I had a couple of questionable entries, so I checked the site run by that guy named after the ale, and even he liked it. That's a first.

Jayce, you bring up something I've been wondering about: I never had chicken pox either, but have had ample exposure. e.g., our 3 kids all had it at the same time, but neither my wife or I came down with it. So I'm confident we're immune, but to be immune,you have to have antibodies. IOW, we've had it, but in such a mild form it was undetectable. With all the hype about shingles on TV these days, I'm wondering if we have that to look forward to. Anybody out there that has any experience or an answer for this scenario?

inanehiker said...

@AVG Joe and Jayce:
In my clinical experience, most people who have gotten to adulthood and even had their kids get chicken pox, but think they never had it--ACTUALLY HAVE-- but it may have been a mild case in the summer with just ~10 pox, which a busy mom with multiple kids probably thought were just bugbites (since many don't have fever with it). I recommend getting a IgG titer which will show if you are immune. (which is usually ~ 49 out of 50 people) Because if you ARE immune, then you need to get the shingles vaccine if you are 60 or over. If they AREN'T immune then they need to get the chicken pox(varicella) vaccine in 2 doses a month apart. Another misconception is that if you had shingles already you don't need the vaccine, that is incorrect - because you can get shingles multiple times.
Hope that helps.
Oh and Jayce, no problem about reapeating-- I have often typed something and not realized someone else has already posted it. As they say, "Great minds....."

Avg Joe said...

Thanks Hiker. You're confirming my suspicions....and perhaps my paranoia ;-)

Either way, it deserves further investigation. Gracias.

Jayce said...

Thanks, inanehiker.

Bill G. said...

Avg Joe, at your recommendation, I started the NYT puzzle earlier and I just tumbled to the theme gimmick. I agree with you. I like it too.

Nancy Shep said...

The Chicago Tribune also runs the LA Times crossword and today they left out three ckues. And I STILL finished. Easy one.