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Feb 6, 2015

Friday February 6, 2015, Paul Coulter

Theme: Where can I hide the theme?  On the edges...

This puzzle was easier to fill than to discuss, especially to a crowd that does not like cross-referential cluing. (Sorry Barry G.). Each outside edge of the puzzle consists of three (3) four (4) letter fill, where the first and third fill together are the clue for the middle word. When combined, words 1+3  create a compound word, hence the reveal COMPOUND FRACTURE i.e., the compound word is fractured (broken) into two pieces. This was a hard Friday for me, and I hope you all stuck with it because there were lots of learning moments. This appears to be a debut LAT for a very active poster on puzzle blogs, so welcome Paul.

1A. Predicament : BOAT (4) a very tricky clue (in the same boat, being the easiest way to explain clue/fill) paired with 9A. Mutual fund charge : LOAD (4) (funds are no load, front load, or back end loaded) gives the clue for 5A.  Boatload: *1-/9-Across : HEAP which describes how much trouble you would be in if you did not see this gimmick.

73A. "Easy to be Hard" musical : HAIR (4) paired with 75A. Business : LINE (4) leaves the compound word clue for 74 A. Hairline: *73-/75-Across : THIN (4) as in a hairline fracture.

1D. Overdue, as pay : BACK (4) paired with 53D. Converse : TALK (4) produces the clue for 29D. Backtalk *1-/53-Down : SASS (4).

16D. Stern : HARD (4) paired with 64D. Reactor part : CORE (4) results in  the clue for : Hardcore: 39D. *16-/64-Down : AVID such as the fans for the Patriots or AC Milan, the soccer club.

The reveal is also cross-referential:
32A. With 49-Across, bad break ... and what each answer to a starred clue creates vis-à-vis the answers that define it : COMPOUND (8) 49A. See 32-Across : FRACTURE (8). A Compound fracture of a bone, as opposed to a simple clean break. (Hence bad break).

Add to the fun, the very difficult pair 62D. With 29-Across, Balkan city on the Danube : NOVI. 29A. See 62-Down : SAD.  Novi Sad according to wiki is  the second largest city in Serbia, the administrative seat of the province of Vojvodina and of the South Backa District. It is located in the southern part of the Pannonian Plain, on the border of the Backa and Srem regions, on the banks of the Danube river, facing the northern slopes of Fruška Gora mountain.

This is a very odd and very hard Friday, it seems like it should be easy with forty 4 letter fill, but the short ones like ABU, ARA, ELAH, AMUR  and the few long ones like  TONSURE, TREATED, TRUSTER , AMARETTI,  AVE MARIA, HEREFORD and RARE COIN were not gimmes.

I can hear all the grumbling, but when you consider he found 4 compound words which clued 4 letter fill, with each compound word 8 letters long that broke into 4 letter parts, and was revealed by two 8 letter reveals, the math is awesome. The architecture is very impressive. On with the show.

Across:

13. Up to it : ABLE. I was able and I finished without cheating, but it was work.

14. Prefix with plasm : ENDO. Already the ECTO/ENDO debate.

15. 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient : OPRAH. I did not recall but the OP___ had to be.

17. Nocturnal critter : COON. Aside from any politically unacceptable existence, is the reference to 'critter' enough to evoke the regionally popular abbreviation?

18. Source : ROOT. Of all evil?

19. Adams' "Nixon in China," for one : OPERA. I had LOAD, LOOSENS and OPP and wondered about OP--- over OP---. I have heard of but not listened to this work.

20. Handled vessel : KETTLE. Finally a stout clue.

22. Pouches : SACS.

24. Orch. section : STRings. JzB, is this abbreviation ever used as a notation in preparation for a concert?

25. Site of unexpected change? : SOFA. Wonderful clue/fill. So evocative and misleading.

27. Didn't trick, maybe : TREATED.

34. Prayer set to music by Schubert and Gounod : AVE MARIA.


36. Choice to sleep on : SERTA. Of course SEALY also fits.

40. Diva highlights : SOLI. In Latin the plural of a word ending in O (SOLO) can become I.

41. Distillery founder John : DEWAR. A CSO to Tin and all of our scotch drinkers.

44. "Ray Donovan" star Schreiber : LIEV.


45. Aptly named bird : SWIFT LINK.

47. Italian almond cookies : AMARETTI.

52. British pen pal's last letter? : ZED. A nice misdirection as this replaces our American ZEE as the last letter of the alphabet.

53. Part of a Buddhist monk's ordination : TONSURE.


56. Ridge just below the surface : REEF.

58. "Father of," in Arabic : ABU. I had the pleasure of portraying Auda Abu Tayi, who along with the Lawrence was a hero of the Arab revolt. He had married 28 times, which may explain why he has no fear going into battle.

59. Identical : SAME.

61. Place where cheap shots are a good thing : CLINIC. Wonderful clue, especially now during flu season.

65. Allow to attack : LET AT. I nominate this as my meh clue, while accurate, it does not sound like a real phrase.

67. Dagwood's annoying little friend : ELMO. A new/old clue for this fill.

69. Inflict on : DO TO. Others.

70. 1985 Chemistry co-Nobelist Jerome : KARLE. Really hard for me. Embarrassed to say I had NO IDEA.

71. "Avatar" race : NA'VI. I hope no one blue this easy clue.


72. Always : EVER. Always and forever and more.

Down:

2. Instrument to which an orchestra tunes : OBOE. JzB, please explain again.

3. Bushels : A LOT.

4. Pitchers' places : TENTS. Very difficult to suss, especially with 1A a tough fill, but when I understood the theme and backed into BOAT, this made sense as one pitches a tent.

5. White-faced cattle breed : HEREFORD. I grew up driving by large herds of cows, who were the weather forecasters of my youth.


6. Roxy Music co-founder : ENO. Brian has become a staple.

7. Stirs : ADOS.

8. Knish filling : POTATO. No doubt most popular knish thought kasha and meat are also out there.

9. Unfastens : LOOSENS. This was the key word in loosening up the North and getting me the theme, along with....

10. Up and down, say: Abbr. : OPPosites.

11. "Give it __" : A REST.

12. Puccini's "Vissi __" : D'ARTE. An ARIA from Puccini's Tosca. If you listen, read the comments if you like to see debate about Opera, I love that it crosses 19A.

21. Like "la vida" in a Ricky Martin hit : LOCA. An odd duplication as VISSI is Italian for "I lived" and vida is "life" in Spanish.

23. French vineyard : CRU. Staying in romance languages, Alex, we have a French WORD, and then another.

26. Gallic girlfriend : AMIE. And another. 38A. Idée source : TETE.

28. Jane Eyre's charge : ADELE. Like ELMO above, the popular singer gets replaced by an old clue last seen here in a marti puzzle I blogged in 2013.

30. Declare : AVOW.

31. Where to find a hero : DELI. A common pun in the xword world.

33. Play with, in a way : PAW AT. Something for all our cat lovers.

35. Irritates : MIFFS.

37. Cheese holder : RITZ. This one cracked me up.

42. Russia-China border river : AMUR. Nope, no idea.

43. Numismatist's find : RARE COIN. Since coins are their interest...

46. Reliant soul : TRUSTER.

48. Casting aid : REEL.

50. Constellation near Scorpius : ARA.


51. Bind : CEMENT. Your friendship?

54. West Indian folk religion : OBEAH. I know of voodoo and santeria but not this GROUP.

55. __Sweet: aspartame : NUTRA.

57. Friend of Che : FIDEL. A recent picture is being shown on Television purporting to show a healthy Fidel.

60. Where Goliath was slain : ELAH. We recently debated the use of a sling versus sling shot, but where did it happen? HERE.

63. Rte. through Houston : I-TEN. I-Twenty, I-Forty all major E to W routes

66. Will Smith title role : ALI.

68. DIII doubled : MVI. For all you Roman math scholars...

A very long uphill battle, that some will love and some will hate, but welcome Paul; come share your commentary at this the friendliest blog on the web. Lemonade out.


Note from C.C.:

Yellowrocks asked if Lucina wore a wimple the other day. Here are two pictures of what Lucina's veil looked like when she was a Sister of the Precious Blood Community. You can click here for a clearer image. She was with her sister and her mother in the second picture.



70 comments:

Barry G. said...

Total slog for me today. In addition to all the cross-references, I thought there were too many obscurities and the cluing was just plain annoying in spots (once I ran the alphabet and finally got the crossing of BOAT/TENTS, I almost gave up right then).

Yeah, I eventually got the theme and managed to get through the entire thing unassisted, but it wasn't a very pleasant solve. Unknowns today included SAD/NOVI (gee, and a cross-reference to boot!), KARLE and ELMO (as clued). As for the annoying cluing, too many to mention.

Sorry I couldn't take the Thumper route today, but this one just bugged me. It wasn't a bad puzzle by any means, but I just really didn't enjoy doing it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the headache.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Lemonade and friends. Hmm... Not only was this extremely difficult, the theme made no sense to me. Even with Lemonade's explanation ...

That being said, there were lots of fun clues. I especially liked Place to Get Cheap Shots = CLINIC.

I saw Nixon in China. It seems like a dated piece of work. I am not sure how well it will translate in the future if the audience is not familiar with that point in history.

The RARE COIN jumped out at me immediately. It was one of the few clues i was able to answer in my first pass.

I also pulled out John DEWAR from the recesses of my mind.

Stay warm!

QOD: I never hated a man enough to give him diamonds back. ~ Zsa Zsa Gabor (b. Feb. 6, 1917)

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This one went way into overtime. But I really liked it. It took me forever to get the theme, but when I did it changed AVOD to AVID and gave me a shot at the west coast. The "/" in the theme clues led me to think that some sort of math division was going to be involved. Not!

I made a complete mess in SoCal I tried IBN for ABU, ULTRA for NUTRA, SET AT for LET AT, etc. I finally managed to turn LASH (backlash) into TALK and then realized it wasn't NOVI BAD but NOVI SAD. Whew! So close to a DNF, but somehow I managed. Thank you, Wite-Out!

The cows of my ute were all Holsteins. And Lemon, what does growing up among dairy farms have to do with finding coins in the sofa? You totally lost me there. Was that sofa covered with cowhide?

Paul Coulter said...

Thanks for the kind write-up, Lemonade. And a huge thank you to Rich Norris, who was remarkably patient as this puzzle went through many permutations. His suggestions were uniformly helpful in making this a much better grid than my original submission. The only thing to survive were two of the six compound fractures from the first version. In that one, the halves of each compound word crossed each other, and the four letter synonyms appeared symmetrically elsewhere in the grid. Rich convinced me that this isn't really fracturing. But with all the edges and the center constrained, it did create a lot of difficulty finding reasonable fill. The only change I wouldn't have made was the very difficult BOAT clue in the NW. When you don't know yet what's going on, I think this makes the start extremely hard. And all credit for the SOFA clue should go to Rich - mine was "Where to find a coin collection?" Though I did like my original ELAH clue - "Where Goliath was a goner?"

Rainman said...

By making several wild guesses, I thought I was going to eventually get through this one unscathed, but in the end, I came up short. Got the theme, sort of, but still could not define it precisely until completely filled. Knowing it exactly might have helped. Not a bad theme, but the fill was... well, some learning moments. Yes, I blue it. No help from the NA'VI.

Still trying to suss "Pitchers' places" equals TENTS?

Time for an amaretto cookie. Nice write-up, Lemony. Looked like a tough one.

Rainman said...

Okay, one pitches a tent, got it. Two or more pitch TENTS. Pitchers' places. Still doesn't feel right.

Bill said...

I solved it, but didn't really enjoy the weird theme and cross references. Sorry, while appreciate the work it took to create it, it really wasn't my cup of tea.

TTP said...



Good morning all. You described it very well Lemonade. Thank you Paul Coulter.

Had a few errors. Apparently I wasn't firing on all cylinders this morning when I entered Biscotti for "Italian almond cookies." D'OH ! And for "Bind" I had TETHER.

Those didn't end up (turn out) to be good first pass fills. But nailed HEREFORD and AVE MARIA and OBEAH and some much easier ones on that first pass, so I had a fighting chance. Alas, it was not to be.

Liked the "Cheap shots" = CLINIC clue. Least favorite = SOLI. I know it's legit. Just don't like it.

"HARDCORE" was a late '70s George C Scott movie that came on "Movie" channel early this AM right after the ending of early 70s movie "The Paper Chase." Right now that channel is showing the mid-50s movie "The Court Jester" starring Danny Kaye.

OMG Lucina, your mother looks just like our friend down the street. I can't wait until I show my DW when she gets home from work.

Got to get to work. Later !

Madame Defarge said...

Hello, all.

I loved sofa, because I couldn't get to it and loved seeing how it was right in front of me! Who hasn't checked under the cushions for coins? Even RARE COINs! Wanted biscotti for AMARETTI. Got NOVI and could not pull up SAD. I liked the challenge of Pitchers' but couldn't get away from the mound? bench? Then I moved to water pitcher. Ah ha! Campers!

I enjoyed the challenge! Thanks Paul for the run down the and across the sides. That was fun once I found the SASSy west side. Nice write up, Lemonade.

Rainman, for some reason you look so familiar in your new AVATAR. . . . :).

Stay cozy!

Dan said...

Barry g. Said it all. With annoying cluing and a theme that made no sense to me I made one pass and gave up. Not to mention the cross references.

Tinbeni said...

Lemon: Outstanding write-up of an appropriate "Friday-level" puzzle.

Lucina: Great photo's !!!

Irish Miss: I thought of you at DEWAR (your favorite!) and I have been enjoying the Dewar's Highlander Honey since Thanksgiving ... along with Ouzo (re-discovered at the Tarpon Springs Epiphany celebration).

Hopefully I'll be back next Friday (after Villa Incognito relocates 5.5 miles North to Tarpon Springs).
But I will probably check the comments to see what Husker, CED and others "link" ... hey, I always enjoy a good laugh.

Cheers!

fermatprime said...

Greetings!

Thank you, Paul and Lemonade.

Can't say that I liked the theme. Real slog, but finally made it after trying, having a nap and trying again.

Cheers!

Ergo said...


Thank you Paul and Lemon.

Most of the time when I encounter a tough puzzle, I take breaks throughout the day and finish in stages. Uhmm, not so with this one.

Anonymous said: "Thanks for the headache." I would agree, except I gave up BEFORE my temples started throbbing.

I think it could have been a good Friday puzzle (with clever cluing) WITHOUT all of the ring-around-the-rosie business.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Put me down for a DNF. The Deep South did me in. I sussed the theme, got all the theme answers except Thin. Couldn't recall Na'vi. Having guessed Tonsura ruined my chances.

Oh well, I was in a hurry. I do appreciate the clever construction.

David R said...

It felt like I was doing 10 mini puzzles. The nine on the sides and one in the middle. I had almost everything filled in and still didn't get the theme primarily due to the cluing for BOAT. I think a lot of the success of this puzzle hinged on allowing us to get the theme from the beginning and that cluing threw the understanding out the window.

The SW corner is a particularly difficult corner with TONSURE, OBEAH, and KARLE all in there. A difficult puzzle to make with the restrictions on the side requiring heavy lifting in the corresponding near-by fill, unfortunately it felt that way for the solver as well.

Big Easy said...

For those who completed this enigma, congratulations. On my first pass I remember filling ABLE, HEREFORD, ELAH, AVE MARIA. Put the puzzle down after 10 minutes, put a load of clothes in the washer, and came back trying to comprehend what the '1/9' type clues meant.

I filled COMPOUND FRACTURE before I did any of the perimeter . And then the 'aha' moment hit me. I got the corners and that gave me the in-betweens. But in the end, it was a DNF because TONSURE, OBEAH, and KARLE were ( and still are) complete unknowns. I knew RASTA wouldn't work because of HAIR, of which I have none.

I've never heard of BOAT being used as a predicament unless it BOATLOAD ( one word, not two). LOAD- I always buy NO-Load funds- Vanguard.

The unknowns were so plentiful that it's hard to list. LIEV, NAVI, SAD NOVI, DEWAR, OPRAH, AMARETTI, POTATO, DARTE, and the three I didn't complete.

16D- BACK or HIND or HARD
14a- ECTO or ENDO
40A- ARII or SOLI
65A-SET AT, or LET AT
47A- AMARETTO or AMARETTI- DI SARONNO

Favorite clues- 25A for SOFA and 37D for RITZ

Anonymous said...


This puzzle was a poser for me. I finally worked it out except for the middle east. I just couldn't let go of seed for AVID. Thanks to Mr. Coulter for a good workout.

HeartRx said...

After I finished the puzzle, I just sat there studying it, and marveled at all the levels and nuances in the theme. I must say, I was really impressed at how it all fit together, with the compound words getting "fractured." But I don't think I could have explained it nearly as well as Lemony did!

I did realize that there would be some grousing, but after all, it is Friday. I really loved the devilish clueing on some of the entries, like "Site of unexpected change?" for SOFA, and "Place where cheap shots are a good thing" for CLINIC.

Paul, thanks for stopping by. Rich always makes us constructors look good, yet he always lets our personalities come through. I am looking forward to more of your puzzles!

Husker Gary said...

Well I was in a HEAP of trouble but BACK/SASS/TALK was the Rosetta Stone to an incredible puzzle! Wow!

Musings
-Lemon’s summary was spot on. His Serbian geography…
-It had to be BOAT but, huh? Oh, now I get it, it was Rich
-COONproofing bushels of sweet corn
-I wonder if a classically trained member of the STR section rues the day he has to play schlocky rock and roll
-The clever pluralization was on SOLO not ARIA
-This eponymous DEWAR’s flask for storing super cold fluids in the physics lab was invented by James not John (no relation)
-The Chautauqua TENT is the centerpiece of our town’s John C. Fremont celebration
-It amazes me that people misuse LOOSE for LOSE. “I knew we were going to LOOSE that game”
-Okay, I get it, the Seahawks messed up. Give it A REST!
-PAW AT – my avatar is an expert
-I’m more of a TRUSTER than my skeptical bride
-Since we’re all My Cousin Vinny fans around here, to what was the prosecuting attorney referring when he clapped his hands in front of the jury and exclaimed, “Identical”?

Husker Gary said...

Addendum
-Is it gauche to refer to a nun in a wimple as a cutie? If so, please don’t read this. Oops!

Big Easy said...

Hahtoolah- DEWAR came from a recess, not from my mind, but from somewhere else.

I certainly hope Saturday's puzzle is less time consuming than this one.


Mrs Delestet said...

Just as crossword creators need editors to make a good puzzle great, crossword explicators need a firm red pen to make a write-up enjoyable.

And while some puzzles don't need much revision to make them publishable, Paul shows us some grids need to be re-worked from the ground up.

Does CC review these write-ups before they're uploaded?

Mrsm said...

Finally finished! Tough one without a feeling of accomplishment, only relief. Still scratching my head over some of the clues.

OwenKL said...

Had to go with red letters and then WAGs in the east. ADELE & LIEV were complete unknowns, AMARETTI I couldn't spell, and AVID I didn't have perps to guide me. Other unknowns found only by perps were CRU, AMUR, OBEAH, KARLE, DARTE, ABU, NOVI-SAD, SOLI; and several I couldn't identify from the clues alone-- BOAT, LOAD, ENDO, OPRAH, DEWAR, TONSURE, et al.

I don't know what they're called, but multi-words that contain prepositions or articles like LET AT, DO TO, A LOT, PAW AT annoy me, though A REST was similar but I liked.

Pitchers' places I have mixed feelings about. The pun, once I got it, was fun. But TENTS are the objects they're putting onto those places when they're in process of pitching. Once they're up, TENTS are places, but then the pitchers aren't pitching them any more. The clue seemed as convoluted as what I just wrote.

Some nice clues though: unexpected change, sleep choice, cheap shots. And I liked the theme, even though it seriously abused cross-referencing.

oc4beach said...


Was able to finish with red letter help and perps, so, it's technically a DNF. Never got the theme, but after Lemon "Splained" it, I sort of understood it.

Paul: This was very clever and well done, but I'd like to see some other puzzles from you, hopefully with Monday through Thursday levels of difficulty.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and I am looking forward to the snow disappearing soon.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Trying to recall if I've seen "STR" anywhere outside of a puzzle. Probably, but "strings" is a short enough word to not need an abrv very oft.

An OBOE is tuned at the factory. Strs can be tightened or loosened, as needed, and brass insts have tuning slides. Other reeds are tuned by adjusting the mouth piece position.

I don't know what keeps the oboe from varying. It's pretty short, so maybe it doesn't have much potential to wander.

I'm not going to grumble about this puzzle, though it beat me. Couldn't come up with AMARETTI. Pass the V-8 can.

ADELE and AMUR are unknowns.

I did get all the theme fill, though it was pretty mysterious for a long time.

Gimmicky - sure, but in an acceptable manner, IMHO. and so well constructed.

I was thinking about the HAIR LINE on my head, and took THIN personally.

Cool regarsd!
JzB

Jazzbumpa said...

Stayed up til midnight to watch Wings v Avs. I said yesterday that the old rivalry was no more. Then there was a fight 44 seconds into the game. HA!

Wings were flat in the first period, but Mrazek was brilliant in goal. Avs put one in the net, but it was disallowed on a hand pass.

Wings got one on a power play in period 2, then 2 more into the empty net at the end for a 3-0 win. Avs goalie was also brilliant.

Wings have won 8 of their last 9, but in the one they lost they were horrible in every way.

Cheers!
JzB

Lemonade714 said...

After pitching the tent, the place where the PITCHER rests his weary brow is IN THE TENT. It is his temporary home.

Lemonade714 said...

HG, thank you for your constructive criticism, when I am writing I often make notes, not necessarily by the clue/fill and go back and correct everything. But I worked late and did not, but I have deleted the missplaced message.

However, your implicit challenge to the words about NOVI SAD- as I wrote, the comments were " according to wiki."

Paul nice to see you, I have read many of your comments elsewhere and even your minipuzzle. Keep in touch.

C6D6 Peg said...

Very challenging, but enjoyable puzzle. Trying to figure out a theme like this and working it out brings satisfaction on doing it. Thank you, Paul!

Lemonade - like you said, the puzzle was easier to work than to explain. You did great!

Anonymous said...

lemony's write-ups have the same affect on me as a Brian Williams' newscast. A lot of head shaking and eye rolling.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was not much to my liking, mostly because of the cross-referencing which makes me dizzy. The theme was clever but suffered from some odd cluing and obscure fill. I did finish w/o help but it wasn't a very enjoyable solve. (Except for Mr. Dewar! I thought of you, too, Tin!)

Anyway, Mr. Colter deserves credit for this intricate challenge and Lemony deserves a medal for explaining it so definitively, despite Mrs Delestet's criticism.

Lucina, lovely photos of a lovely young nun. The convent's loss was our gain. ☺️

YR, your recovery and progress are amazing. Are you pain-free, or is it too soon to expect that?

Have a good day.

Yellowrocks said...

About 85% or more was usual for a Friday. No problem. That part was fun. I had COMPOUND FRACTURE early on. But all the cross referencing made it a rare Thumper for me, although I did get BACK from having SASS and TALK. Too convoluted with some unknowns crossing the convolutions, or maybe I am grouchy today.
I thought the orchestra tuned to the violin. Oboe surprised me. JzB, thanks for expalining.
No nit with COON. We were adequately forewarned.
Looking back over the puzzle now I can appreciate it intellectually, but it was not fun to solve.
Lemonade, I always enjoy your write-ups. This one made the morning worthwhile.
Lucina and CC thanks for sharing the the great pictures.

desper-otto said...

Husker, you call that "schlocky?" That was a high-class production back in my HS days.

The "pitch a TENT" concept totally escaped me. I was thinking of the revivalist preacher pitching his spiel in the TENT. Worked for me.

CrossEyedDave said...

I have come to look forward to Fridays just to see how they could make a puzzle a little wacky, this one did not disappoint. Perfect for a Friday Poser...

Unfortunately it was way too hard for me, & I had to start looking up things, like tonsure/obeah, sad novi, etc...

Still, cheating did not make finding out what the heck was going on any less fun! (except boatload=heap, in which even cheating was no help...)

Hereford? Dang! But Knish filling = potato kept me going for a while...(mmm, with mustard...)

Oh Well...

Those are the breaks. (um, er brakes?)

I hope this isnt an omen of Saturdays puzzle...

One for the road...

Rimshot... (just press the red button & get it over with...)

Husker Gary said...

Musings 3
-Otto - Hey, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? ain’t exactly a concerto but ya still gotta pay the bills. ;-)
-I found out that the Shirelles lead singer, Shirley Owens, thought it was “too country” and wouldn’t record it until the strings were added. It was the first #1 song for an all-girl group in America.
-Here is co-author Carole King’s lovely bare bones arrangement of the song that asks the ultimate question about an evening’s tryst
-Lemon, there was no criticism any where in my post. Perhaps I did damn by faint praise but your foray into central European geography was not easy for this idiot to follow. I’m sure I do the same with my blogging (see Shirelle info above?)
-We are off to see a surgeon in Omaha today to see how he is going to remove by partial intestinal roadblock after looking at all my high tech pix. The end is in sight, pun intended.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Lemon thanks for the informative write-up and explaining the theme. I got whiffs of it but couldn't fully explain it to myself.

Got most of the NW - SE diagonal early on but took a while to fill in the rest. Did not know names like KARLE and LIEV - HAD TO TRUST PERPS. Torn between avow and aver but AVOW let me get SWIFT which made sense. AMUR was easy and its placement helped with much of the center section.
Favorite clue was for SOFA. I don't always expect to finish a Friday puzzle, so, except for a couple minor spelling errors, I was satisfied.

coneyro said...

My only comment for today....WHAAAAATTTTTTT????

Lucina said...

Hola, friends. Ay, caramba! Thank you, Lemonade, for an exceptional analysis of this grid.

And thank you to Paul Coulter for the challenge. It took me a long while and some studying to decipher the theme but with COMPOUND FRACTURE in place I saw it and was amazed at the cleverness of it.

That's not to say it was easy. Some fill was quick, ECTO/ENDO, AVE MARIA, TONSURE, ELMO and those all led to finishing their respective sections. I vaguely recalled OBEAH, didn't know KARLE but it emerged.

However, it was a FIW because I misspelled ELAH, didn't know NAVI and altogether missed THIN.

I really wanted that ta-da but it was not to be. Yet, it was satisfying.

Thank you for your kind words regarding the photo. I was a novice then, 17 years of age. Later I wore a black veil.

Have a happy Friday, everyone!

tiptoethru said...

Scratch, scratch, scratch...me doing something with my hair line. I'm in a hurry, but had to come here and say this puzzle caused some hair pulling. So glad to have this place to come to for an explanation and some fun comments. Thanks. Hard Friday all the way around.

unclefred said...

Managed to finish it, but with so much Googling and "run the alphabet"ing as to make it a totally un satisfying finish. Even when complete, did not see theme until I read Lemonade's nice write up.

HeartRx said...

Lucina, I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed seeing those pictures. They brought back fond memories of my school years!



Lemonade714 said...

I too enjoyed seeing the young nun who I guess finally broke the habit. Very nice pictures, and maybe since we have had such a turnover in regular solvers/commenters it is time for another round of oldie but goodie pictures.

Just to clarify, the place is NOVI SAD (not SAD NOVI) I thought it was very cool that he got NOVI and NA'VI both in the puzzle.

Lucina said...

Lemonade:
Thank you for that last explanation. I resisted using both since neither one was familiar and when running the alphabet, the "i" seemed redundant. I never saw Avatar, them movie.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Got it all - except for the precise spelling of KARLE and OBEAH. I was past the half way point before I caught on to the theme cluing. I couldn't tell if the dash or hyphen was to be interpreted as a minus sign or not (What is a BOAT minus its LOAD?), or if the forward slash meant to divide the first element by the second. (What if you split HAIR by LINE?)
Don't laugh! MY sample questions are about as sensible as adding HARD to CORE and getting AVID!

But all pzls must eventually be solved, and so was this one after a moderate amount of grief.
A fine attempt by Lemonade to explain the inexplicable...

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I tried, I failed and didn't conquer today. I came to the blog to get the answers so I could learn something from my total failure.

My first pass through garnered about 8 answers in all and those weren't enough to get anywhere with the rest of the puzzle.

Thanks for the writeup,Lemonade, to help with my education today.

I wanted to tell Lucina how much I enjoyed the pictures of her in her other life. I loved them.

Have a great day, everyone.

GrannyAnny said...

Lemonade: I thought your write-up today was excellent and very helpful, especially since I spent about a third of the hour I worked on the puzzle trying to figure out what in the heck those "../.." clues meant. It was a DNF today with three bad letters including SAD for BAD.

Would someone please refresh my memory about "Thumper". There were references to him (it, that?) both yesterday and today.
Thanks.

Steve said...

Wow, another toughie!

I enjoyed puzzling it out, but some of the clues I think got too far on the obscure side, especially CRU and TONSURE. I think most people associate tonsures with monks generally, not Tibetan ones specifically, and CRU as a wine term is generally assumed to mean "growth" (Premier Cru, Grand Cru, etc.) rather than a vineyard.

Speaking of wine, I'm off to Napa for the weekend. Time to call an Uber an head to the airport.

Cheers!

desper-otto said...

GrannyAnny, it's a reference to the rabbit in Walt Disney's Bambi whose most famous line is, "If you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all."

Lucina, nice pix!

Anonymous said...

Wow i thought today was fun. I know fridays can be difficult and i was ready for it. Some clues were down right easy while others were not. I kept with it with some answers didnt make sense but got thru it. Have a good week end.

CanadianEh! said...

I got this puzzle done only by turning on red letters and resorting to Google, but I still needed Lemon's help to fully understand the theme. But it is Friday!

Liked the British ZED clue and smiled at 27A Trick or TREATed. Hand up for Biscotti.

Canadians always have "cheap shots" as all standard immunizations are provided by Public Health and through Dr.'s offices at no cost. Recent measles outbreaks have prompted extra measles vaccine clinics.

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Any orchestra that tunes to an oboe is crummy. It's the first chair violin. The oboe is a honker.

Lemonade714 said...

TUNE IN

TURN ON

Oh Boy OBOE!

Lemonade714 said...

Yes GA, in general this is a friendly place that does not believe that we know more than the constructors or the editors, so we try to focus on the parts that please us. When the puzzle give no joy, many revert to Thumper and just say hi.

Mikey said...

In this age of digital printing, why is there still an incomprehensible mishmash of characters used instead of a +?

kazie said...

I got nowhere in a very long time today. Even after coming here, the theme still didn't make sense to me so I pretty much gave up on all the others for which I simply had no knowledge to help me.

Lucina,
Very sweet picture of you in your former life. And thanks for answering my question about reflexives yesterday. I think we just have to consider those odd ones idioms.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Ouch. DNF

The breakdown: w/ HARD, CORE, ZED and biscoTTI in place, AVID! Off the the races for me, BOAT LOAD = HEAP, SASS - change aria to SOLo, I'm flying. No. Leo persisted at 50d. Things went bad. Eventually I got REEL and a face-palm at AMARETTI (stupido!*)

So, I got the boarder "answers," but not the unifier 'cuz the middle was one of those jigsaw puzzles that look like a Where's Waldo. LOCA, SOLI, some cow, blue people, and a river that's likely polluted?

I did like CLINIC at the end. I was thinking it couldn't be a bar ref, gotta be a photo... qikpic? 25a too: unexpected change? == unemployment. If that happened, I guess I would be digging though the SOFA.

I did have fun Paul and enjoyed Lem's effort at 'splain' it.

HG - See you in Hades... That was my 1st thought at Sister Lucina's pic. Perhaps two Our Fathers (my 1st thought at 34a), a Hail Mary, or an AVEMARIA will forgive us.

Cheers, -T
*Dad's pet name for us when we're not SWIFT on the up-take.

Anonymous T said...

Ack! - some times the TETE moves faster than the fingers (or is it the ohter way around?)... Off to the races is what I meant.

Lucina - one thing I noticed in the photos, you're the only one smiling. It's that smile that makes you a pleasant presence here at C.C.'s CC.

Time for a quick nap before building shrimp linguini for dinner in a white-wine (CRU yesterday? - it is a $5 bottle) cream-sauce. C, -T

GrannyAnny said...

Thank you D-O and Lemonade. I remembered noticing the "Thumper" reference from a few years ago when I first started reading the Blog, but had continued to think it referred to one of the regular posters whose comments I'd missed. A very useful term for those of us who don't like to be totally negative.

tawnya said...

i usually do the puzzle online (because my local paper is not worth reading) and while on lunch today, there was the local paper sitting right there on the table! i started flipping through it but couldn't find the puzzle page. eventually decided i should just wait to do it online because it's friday and i will probably need help with it. man oh man, am i glad i waiting! i got about halfway before the red letters came on, so that's a good friday run for me.

Paul, i'm amazed at the lay out. really and truly. most impressive! although it took awhile to catch on to the fractures (hair line was my aha moment), i really enjoyed it! and there were a lot of learning opportunities! so thank you very much for this effort.

and lemony, i love your write ups because you almost always explain the things i didn't understand.

thanks again and have a wonderful weekend!

tawnya

Jayce said...

Whew, I finally got it, but I'm not sure I get it. Like desper-otto I thought the "-" and the "/" in the clues indicated some sort of subtracting and dividing was involved, and I still don't get why the clues need that "/" or what it means. A fracture slash? Anyway, I appreciate and applaud this awesome piece of work. A very difficult solve for me, and ultimately 80% satisfying.

Yellowrocks said...

I think I would have enjoyed this if the reveal had been worded differently. I like compound fracture. Backtalk is fractured into two parts and sass intervenes between the two parts fracturing the compound. But sass,the intervening word, also defines the compound. I think the reveal should have alluded to the defining aspect.

Madame Defarge said...

Lemonade,

Again thanks for the write up and the clarification that newbies, comme moi, need not be intimidated here. We are all working our way through these puzzles in many different ways with many different knowledge backgrounds. As I see it, it's all about the love of language and the challenge of a puzzle. Thanks.

Lemonade714 said...

Thank you all for the kind words, Fridays really do make for interesting themes. I think the dash (-) was to suggest the connection between the 2 outside clues.

Saturday awaits

Anonymous T said...

Where'd everyone go? :-)

DW & I are back from a visit to the cantina after my shrimp linguini. While making dinner I had a BOAT (no, predicament) - I would swear I had parmesan on hand to thicken and sharpen the sauce... What to do?, what to do?... (what movie was that HG?*) Mozzarella and a pinch of cayenne!

Cheers, -T
*Hint Cary Grant had that line and my fav: "Not enough air pushing through the windmills of her mind"

Occasional Lurker in UAE said...

Hi Lemonade ! This is your ( least favorite ?) pesky, roving reporter from the Oil derrick off the coast of Al Kethbah Of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. My guide, a local Sheikh and general poo-bah informs me that the word kethbah comes from the hebrew Ketubah, which you are no doubt familiar with. Small world.

I was doing the Friday LA Times puzzle, (while relaxing on the heli-pad - ) from the Dubai Delivery News and what do I see but CC's puzzle. ( again ?). It was relatively easy, ( for a Friday ???) --- and then I realized I had done this puzzle before (!!!) The main theme answers were types of 'Clouds', like STORM OUT ( Storm cloud -), DUST JACKET, MUSHROOM SAUCE and FUNNEL CAKE, and THE CLOUD. Some of the other answers were COSTCO, NAURU, CAMISOLE , TILDE and WATTLE.

This can mean only one thing - and of course this means WAR !!!

1. Either the Emiratis are really "" I. Q. challenged "" ( in short, downright stoopid - ) and don't have, or use any puzzles past the Wednesday ones....

2. In any case, they are RECYCLING the easy puzzles, and stiffing poor C C and the L A times Tribune of the millions of dollars of royalties for the late week puzzles. So, they need to be sued for copyright infringement and all that yummy money making stuff .... and who else to defend their rights but you - in the catbird seat ? huh ?

I would like to suggest though, that you and CC and the LA Times should sue with appropriate islamic names, because non-muslims do not have quite as much equal rights in this area of the world. Maybe you could temporarily change your name to Lemon Sherbet ( which means the same - ) and the La times could become the La illah Al illah tribune etc.

Just a friendly suggestion, for the wise ...
Have a great weekend... which is just ending here today....

here the weekend is Friday and Saturday. Sunday is a regular working day.

Occ Lurker, again from Abu Dhabi said...

Lemonade, Lemon Sherbet-

I forgot to compliment you on your excellent blog, with all the wonderful pithy and punny comments.


Also I would like to humbly compliment our dear Lucina on her wonderful good looks and beautiful smile. And for my two bits worth, I would like to opine that the world has gained from her later wedded life. I am sure she'd have made a wonderful companion for any man. Best wishes to her.

Anonymous T said...

TAIT* was the chain of restaurants my buddy and I thought to open while in Cairo We landed on a "what day is this?"** and had to report for duty on a Sunday.

I guess you're not the guy I knew from OKC as you mentioned teaching.

Have a great end-of-the-weekend OcLurk.

Cheers, -T
*Thank Allah It's Thursday.... We saw a TGIF and thought "that's outa place"
**Long layover in Germany - the lounge was nice and the beer was free (and potent).

Anonymous T said...

HG - Never-mind... I just looked it up and it wasn't really Cary Grant in the movie I was thinking of, just his ghost portrayed by a very good actor (SAD I was so obviously fooled). The movie is Touch of Pink, a send-up to Touch of Mink; if you can find it it's worth the laughs and nostalgia for good movies. C, -T