Feb 4, 2015

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 Gareth Bain

Theme: Pounding Heads. Four hardware fasteners and one booze-fest contribute to today's theme.

I say this to myself most days

18A. "Being John Malkovich" director : SPIKE JONZE. Why did I think he was spelt "JONES" at first?

22A. "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" co-star : BRAD PITT. One of my favorite actors. His performance in Guy Ritchie's "Snatch" is one of the all-time great ones, in my humble opinion.

49A. Saddle storage area : TACK ROOM. Redolent with the smells of old leather, horses and hay. I'd use it as my car air freshener if someone could bottle it.

54A. Nervous habit : NAIL BITING. I used to bite my nails - my mom painted them with a foul-flavored concoction called "Stop 'N Gro" and guess what? I liked the taste. She was not pleased, to say the least.

35A. Slangily, overimbibe; literally, what the starts of 18-, 22-, 49- and 54-Across can do : GET HAMMERED. It's only really "over-imbibing" if you didn't mean to get schnockered. If you did mean it, then you end up with precisely the right quantity of bibe. Right?

Woo Hoo!

Hi all. Welcome to the first Wednesday of February (what happened to January?) and Gareth's latest. I thought this one had a bit of a disjointed feel about it - the fill seemed a little 'bitty' and has the occasional "yeah, I get it, but no-one really uses it" (I'm looking at you, DEFAT). Some good stuff like AKIMBO and ARMADA though.


1. Beginning on : AS OF

5. No ordinary party : BASH

9. Keister : PRAT. A fool in British slang.

13. Big Island coffee region : KONA. Meaning "the lee side" of an island in the Hawaiian language. Quick - how many letters are there in the Hawaiian alphabet?

14. Sap-sucking insect : APHID

16. Put on board : LADE. I first came across this word when I worked for a marine insurance underwriter - the Bill of Lading was required to as proof of what cargo the ship was carrying when filing a claim for loss or damage.

17. Learning ctr. : INST. Some pretty wild architecture can be found at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

20. Bit of dust : MOTE

21. Readies for another voyage : REFITS

26. Portions out : ALLOTS

29. One making waves : OAR. I just finished reading 'The Boys in the Boat" by Daniel James Brown, a wonderful book telling the story of the 1936 US rowing eight who went to the Berlin Olympics. I think the coaches would be alarmed if those oars were making waves, the ideal technique leaves nary a ripple.

30. Sean Lennon's mom : ONO. A quibble here would be that Sean Lennon's mom is "Yoko Ono".

31. Occasionally : AT TIMES

32. Three-time Hopkins role : LECTER. Hannibal from "The Silence of the Lambs" and sequels.

34. At hand : NEAR

38. Fictional archaeologist Croft : LARA. The Tomb Raider.

40. Bakery array : LOAVES. There are 13 in a baker's dozen for absolutely no good reason I can find.

41. Promises : PLEDGES

44. "Hawaii Five-0" actor Daniel __ Kim : DAE. Thank you, crosses.

45. Cellular messenger : RNA. Dashed clever stuff, that ribonucleic acid. It contains four-stranded guanine tetraplexes amongst other doodads for those of you keeping track of your tetraplexes at home.

48. Ambien maker : SEARLE. I wasn't familiar with this company - I discover it's part of Pfizer.

51. Longhorn rival : SOONER. Texas and Oklahoma college sports rivalry. Oklahoma's "Boomer Sooner" fight song is notable in that the melody was "borrowed" from Yale and the last verse "borrowed" from UNC.

53. Mandlikova of tennis : HANA. She retired 25 years ago; she won four Grand Slam titles so we'll cut her some slack on the crossword longevity stakes.

58. Prophet's concern : OMEN

59. Promgoer's concern : ACNE

60. Really enjoy : EAT UP

61. One of 28 Monopoly cards : DEED. For all its ubiquity, Monopoly is consistently rated as one of the worst board games of all times. Hasbro announced yesterday that they're releasing a special edition of the game in France, some of which contain real Euro notes.

62. Places for hats : PEGS

63. Jazz singer Horne : LENA

64. Icelandic literary work : EDDA


1. With hands on hips : AKIMBO. Great word. Here's Rembrandt's  "Portrait of a man half-length with his arms akimbo". Quite an unwieldy title, if he'd have added "wearing clothes and a hat and staring at the artist" we needn't have bothered looking at the painting at all.

2. Northern Mexican state : SONORA. Neighbor of Arizona and New Mexico.

3. GM navigation system : ONSTAR. It can also connect you to roadside assistance in case of emergency. I heard an audio clip of a race-tuned Camaro automatically calling for assistance when it blew a head gasket at the racetrack and the driver telling the operator he didn't need anyone to come and help.

4. Meant to be : FATED

5. __-relief : BAS

6. iPhone purchase : APP

7. See 12-Down : SHIRT. Hey Barry - here's your awkwardly cross-referenced clue of the day!

8. Enjoy the Pacific Crest Trail : HIKE

9. Literary arcs : PLOT LINES. Why arcs? Because a plot line is "an over-arching story", or arc for short.

10. Redeemed from captivity : RANSOMED

11. Carpenter's tool : ADZ. Someone chopped off the "E" with an axe?

12. With 7-Down, punny message site : TEE

15. Make leaner : DEFAT. I know it's in the dictionary, but I've been around food and cooking for donkey's years and I've never seen this term used. I trim meat and skim stock.

19. Leave at the altar : JILT

23. Expert on feet? : POET. Best clue of the day for me.

24. Foot part : INCH

25. Wrecks completely : TOTALS

27. Tetley offering : TEA

28. Estonia, until 1991: Abbr. : SSR. One of those pesky Soviet Socialist Republics.

31. Doomed 1588 fighting force : ARMADA. The Spanish fleet sent to invade England. A combination of bad planning, indecisiveness, English fire ships and storms conspired to give "armada" a bad name ever since.

32. Gigs for 22-Across, often : LEAD ROLES.

33. Expressive rock genre : EMO

35. Bribing : GREASING

36. Rescue op : EVAC

37. Smell bad : REEK

38. Old DJ's platters : LPS. Long-Playing records. Seems so quaint nowadays - you were lucky to get 30 minutes out of one side - I've got 11.5 days' worth on my phone.

39. India Pale __ : ALE. Brewed with extra hops to help preserve the beer on the journey from England to troops stationed in India, hence the name.

42. Shapeless mass : GLOB

43. Start of a selection process : EENIE. Meenie, Miny, Moe. Many alternate spellings too - great for crossword constructors.

45. Didn't stay put : ROAMED

46. "Thanks, but I'm set!" : NO NEED

47. Actress Plummer : AMANDA. Christopher Plummer's daughter.

49. Hackneyed : TRITE

50. __ Island : RHODE. The state motto is "Ictu Carebitis Eam" ("Blink, you will miss it"). OK, it's not, I made that up.

52. Bibliog. catchall : ET AL Et Alia - "and others"

54. Brief refresher : NAP

55. Solitaire foundation card : ACE

56. Wimple wearer : NUN

57. Credit-weighted no. : GPA. Grade Point Average. Credit hours weigh into the calculation.

finally the grid (you can see I disliked DEFAT so much I had to leave it until last to fill it in!):




Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Got off to a bit of a slow start this morning with REAR instead of PRAT, but once I decided to leave that corner and work on the rest of the puzzle, things went much more smoothly. Eventually, I had enough perps to go back and fix my mistake in the NE corner, et voila!

Cute theme. I suppose one could also HAMMER a PEG, eh?

OwenKL said...

With his vice, the young man was enamored,
For his the fix he daily has clamored.
Not drugs or booze,
But crosswordy clues,
But with the hard stuff he still can GET HAMMERED!

Frustrations no more we'll have with reCaptcha®,
Some times it was little short of disasta.
It now senses robots
So no longer probes us,
You can check off, but really don't hafta!

I haven't bothered to check that little box in a long time.

Big Easy said...

Good morning. Question- Are AKIMBO or EMO ever seen anywhere other than a crossword puzzle? I have never seen or heard of them elsewhere.

This puzzle was fairly easy, as a Wednesday one should be. But I blew it on one word- I filled HEAD ROLE instead of LEAD ROLE and looked at HECTER thinking that's ad odd spelling of HECTOR, even though I knew it should have been LECTER. Such is life. AT TIMES, the brain just doesn't think to recheck what I have done.

The correct maker of Ambien is actually SANOFI, which licensed it to the G.D. SEARLE Co( original maker of Metamucil, Ovulen, & Equal), which got bought out by PFIZER. Three six-letter drug companies.

SPIKE JONZE- I had seen it written somewhere but didn't know he was a movie director. I do remember SPIKE JONES. I guess we have to 'keep up with these JONZES' now.

Lemonade714 said...

Well BG my first wife was named Peg(gy) so your suggestion has all kinds of implications.

Anyway, Gareth always entertains and I too really enjoyed the clue for POET, podiatrist just would not fit.

Well as C.C. likes to say, I nailed it. Okay that was tacky; thanks GB and Steve, btw, I have seen DEFAT in a recipe , as I like to keep fat and salt low in soups.

Rainman said...

Nice Wed. workout, thanks to Gareth. Thanx, Steve, for a very good elucidation.

I, too, had problems in the NE. I just knew ADZ was the answer but because I had already put in SPIKEJONES, and I was so certain it was right, SPIKEJONZE was the last change, in SPIKE of everything.

BRAD reminded me of being a kid with a new Davy Crocket coonskin hat. The tails snapped on. And they snapped off, great for kids who wanted to have fun. Took the hat to a shoe store where we got the tails BRADded on, meaning now the bullies and meanies had to steal the entire hat, and why did I even mention this?

Anyone have any experience with Crossfire? I'm thinking of buying it but the website instructions were a bit daunting (download dictionary separately, e.g.). Thanks.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Thanks for a nice romp, Gareth. And Steve, great write-up. I especially liked your RHODE Island motto. Perhaps you were thinking of 40's bandleader Spike Jones who took us to the races-- "It's Cabbage by a head...Girdle's in the stretch, and here comes Beetle Bomb!" Steve, once they cut the number of tracks from 12 to 10, you were lucky to get 30 minutes out of both sides of an LP.

After sussing POET, I mistakenly wrote IAMB where INCH needed to go. Didn't last. And for some reason I always think it's ANNA rather than HANA. RHODE Island set me straight.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Steve and friends. I really enjoyed today's puzzle.

One making waves = OAR was my favorite clue and answer of the puzzle

I was also amused by the two Foot / Feet clues side by side - POET and INCH.

AKIMBO appeared in a recent puzzle.

QOD: Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength. ~ Betty Friedan (Feb. 4, 1921 ~ Feb. 4, 2006)

TTP said...

Good morning all.

I sailed around this Gareth Bain offering until I sunk in the northeast. Had no idea on the movie director, and having BOLT instead of JILT at "Leave at the altar" was not smart.

Since there were four letters instead of three, my first thought did not work for "Keister." Then I discarded REAR in lieu of SEAT. Having REAR or SEAT rather than PRAT was understandable, but made the down answers indeterminable.

Oh well. No ace, but it was still fun.

Thanks Steve. Yep, perps in a couple of places, including DAE. I got a kick out of your Little Rhody joke. My take on PRAT without FALL is very much the same as your take on DEFAT.

Off to the races. Well, not really, but it does sound better than off to work.

See all y'all later n'at !

Tinbeni said...

Steve, I'm with you on DEFAT. This from a guy who has lost 18 lbs since Oct. 1st.
Also, when I get ready for another voyage I repack. Geez, that area took a while for REFITS to emerge/write-over. (Thanks perps!)

But I especially enjoyed the GET HAMMERED theme. Go figure ...

All-In-All a FUN solve ... but hardly a speed-run.


Dan said...

I liked the theme but some of the cluing gave me a headache. Was like getting a root canal for me.

Montana said...

iPad freezes up when I try to prove I'm not a robot.
Enjoyable puzzle when the wind chill is -23°!


Yellowrocks said...

Good puzzle. After growing up with Spike Jones on LPs, I stumbled for a while with JONZE, but it had to be ADZ and TEE. I had TEE SHIRT but puzzled over why for a time, but I finally "got" it.
Lucina, did you ever wear a wimple? I was almost a Lutheran deaconess and would have worn a veil similar to that worn by today's nuns in modern dress, but I fell in love before graduating and and married instead.
If you look up "DEFAT RECIPES", you will see how common DEFAT is. Having lost more than 30 lbs in 3 months, I know this. AKIMBO was also a gimmee for me. One woman's common place is another's obscurity and vice versa.
CROSSFIRE is a square dance call.
RAINMAN, I hope you are recovering well from your surgery.
They REFIT the ship, not your luggage.

Husker Gary said...

Being wrong on ADZ (awl) and JILT (bolt) and having no clue on PRAT or TEE SHIRT made for 4 bad NE cells despite holding my nose on DEFAT. A first Wednesday defeat in many moons.

-The best athlete I ever coached was a NAIL-biting overachiever
-It took many weeks to REFIT this vehicle for its next voyage
-If you want to hear a half-hearted recitation of the PLEDGE to the flag, stand in front of a middle school homeroom everyday
-You’re right Steve!
-We couldn’t think of anything ONSTAR could do that our cell phones couldn’t, so we passed
-States have differing policies on who pays for an EVAC operation for reckless adventurers
-We have ROAMED far and wide but still live seven miles from where we graduated high school
-In what American movie classic does King Westley get left at the altar

Prairie Woman said...

Thanks for the write up, Steve. I always enjoy Gareth Bain's puzzles.

"She stood with arms akimbo." was a sentence used many times in the novels I previewed for my preteen girls. And, having dealt with several 12-year-olds with an attitude, that does describe the stance of many girls that age in my experience.

The puzzle is not published in our local paper so I must use the online version. Today's puzzle was already up when I went to the site, so I did this about one a.m. now to go back to do the Tuesday puzzle that I thought I was doing last night!

Happy Wednesday!

CrossEyedDave said...

9A Keister = prat? Never thought I would miss French in a puzzle...

Lemon, did you really say "you nailed it" & Tacky in the same sentence? ( I wish I thought of that...)

Who knew 2 spikes getting hammered could be artwork?

Obligatory cat reference. (Manac, your turn...)

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Other than keister=prat, all went smoothly. Caught the theme early on, so that helped. Liked the clues for poet and inch.

Nice job, Gareth, and entertaining expo, Steve.

YR, how is the rehab going? You sound like your old self again!

More snow coming today, tomorrow and Sunday/Monday. Ack, Ack, and more Ack!

Have a great day.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Gareth almost always hits on a Wednesday.

I couldn't come up with RHODE island, didn't remember HANA, and though the storage was in not of the saddles, so, sadly, a DNF.

Good theme, though one you may regret the next morning.

The town of ARMADA in the thumb of MI is pronounced ar-MAY-da.

Good ones Owen. I didn't know you could skip the check box.

Cool regards

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Good informative, breezy intro, Steve. Thank you.

Got the theme after BRAD; great concept. Went with JONZE when the z in ADZ stuck. My last fills were in the SW. DAE, SEARLE and SOONER were shaped by the perps which were solid. I didn't like DEFAT either. Steve summed up the ARMADA situation well.
Gareth did not disappoint today.

Have a good day.

Jazzbumpa said...

Gary -

My friend Scott witnessed an accident where a bus changed lanes and clipped a car, which then spun out of control into the median, just outside of Scott, LA.

He stopped and went to see if the driver needed help. The driver was slumped unconscious and Scott had this somewhat confusing conversation with the Onstar operator.

MYSTERIOUS VOICE [turns out to be Onstar]: Hello, are you OK?

Scott (confused): Are you OK?


Scott (still confused): I’m fine. Who are you?


Scott (still, yes, confused): I’m Scott.

MYSTERIOUS VOICE: And where are you?

Scott: (you guessed it) Scott.


Scott: (baffled) Outside of Scott, Louisiana.

MYSTERIOUS VOICE: Don’t worry, help is already on the way.

EMS and police arrive soon.


Lucina said...

Greetings, friends!

Fun stuff from Gareth Bain with two Arizona references: SONORA, our southern neighbor and TACKROOM which used to be ubiquitous but are slowly disappearing with urban encroachment.

WEES about AKIMBO as any avid reader will tell you, it's a great visual in a printed story.

I wore a modified WIMPLE and shall try to post a picture. Incidentally, it was upsetting in the movie Selma to see such slovenly veils on the nuns who marched. It would have been easily resolved by consulting actual nuns who no doubt would have rendered free advice on the subject.

Such fun today with Gareth and Steve. Yes, Steve, I've seen DEFAT in recipes.

Have a special Wednesday, everyone!

Yellowrocks said...

Irish Miss,thanks for asking. In some ways I am doing very well, better than average balance and mobility, improving range of motion. I have been walking without a cane since Saturday, only 5 days after surgery. I probably have better than average pain management using ibuprofen. Boo hiss on narcotics. However I had a set back from Saturday night going forward. I feel sick, weak and tired. Since then I have been resting and sleeping quite a bit. Since I don't have fever my home care team misunderstands. Since I felt way better than this for the first 4 1/2 days immediately after the surgery I KNOW this is not normal. I will see the surgeon tomorrow. In spite of being sick, my range of motion is still improving.

Adam Spiegel said...

SPIKE JONZE is well known to the younger generation and watchers of Mtv. He helped to create the Jackass franchise and a related character, Bad Grandpa, both of which I find to be hilarious. But I also like The Three Stooges, Mel Brooks and the Marx Brothers, so what do I know?

Interesting that he once directed Sean Lennon in his music video for "Home". I wonder if Yoko ONO was on the set?

This video, also directed by Spike was big back in 1995 and won several awards for its innovation. The music video appears at the Museum of Modern Art's music exhibit.

fermatprime said...


Nice offering, Gareth! Swell expo, Steve!

No trouble seeing theme and completing this one. Also scratched head at DEFAT.


fermatprime said...

Daniel Dae Kim, now of Hawaii Five-O, used to be on Lost. He played a Korean who did not speak English, but, ironically, he had to learn Korean for the role! I like him.

Sfingi said...

Only Google, SEARLE, which didn't Google up, but I got only from "Crossword Ambien."

CC glad I'm not the only one who likes the smell of horses (and sheep, for that matter - but not chickens or pigs).

Long ago I learnt AKIMBO was an African word and, thus, appears more often in Southern usage.

Tom Belichek said...

I wonder if Ms. Plummer, Ms. Peet, Ms. Bynes, Ms.Knox and Ms. Seyfried all went sailing together, each on their own craft, would that be considered an AMANDA ARMADA?

With a nod to the celebratory parade of the Duck Boat ARMADA traveling down Boylston Street today, I give you AMANDA.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Zoomed right throught, not too many unknowns. I learned the meaning of Akimbo only recently, and from a much younger person at that. She did a lot of crosswords.

Morning, Steve! I recall a John Cleese routine describing the new Spanish Navy, including glass-bottom boats so they could get a really good look at the old Spanish Navy.

When I graduated from high school, the valedictorian held an impressively high GPA. But she had taken only the easiest courses all through school. Meanwhile, my bright next-door neighbor worked her butt off taking all the hardest courses and advanced match & science; her GPA was a few hundredths lower, so she was stuck being salutatorian. It was widely seen as an injustice, so a weighted GPA was introduced soon after.

Lime Rickey said...

TACKROOM is an Arizona reference?

Anonymous said...

KONA Brewing Company creates a decent IPA. After proving you're over 21 you can play with some tail.

Misty said...

Well, since it was a Gareth Bain puzzle, I figured it would be a Wednesday toughie. It was, but also a lot of fun. Had no problem with AKIMBO because our Laguna Playhouse produced a cute play called KIMBERLY AKIMBO some years ago. But, boy, did I ever have a problem with JONES, which of course let nothing fit in that corner until I gave in and put JONZE. Very challenging, but still a lot of fun. And Steve, your write-up was also a delight this morning.

Owen, I think literary critics would refer to your limericks this morning as "self-reflexive"!

Tom B, chuckled at your ARMANDA AMADA.

Thanks for a fun morning, everybody, and have a great day!

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

Someone is going to have to explain 23D to to me. Am I having a senior moment? I can't make the connection. 😕

coneyro said...

Hope I'm not starting something, but the remarks by Occasional Lurker at 2:08AM got me a little po'd. He made a point of of letting us know why it's so wonderful to live where he is.

I'd rather live in the good old USA with its high prices, taxes etc., but have the freedom to complain about it without fear of reprisals. Anyone see the cover of today's New York Post? 'Nuff said.

Today's puzzle was a challenge. I "nailed" the theme right away. The top half of the puzzle, though, was pretty much blank. Couldn't get 18A even with knowing the synonym to look for. And tomorrow starts the hair pulling.

Be well and take care.

Anonymous said...

i dont get the feet-poet connection. can someone

coneyro said...

To magilla-gorilla @12:05-the connection between poet and feet is that "feet" are metric units of rhythm in poetry. Hence, a poet is an expert at it. Understand?

Jazzbumpa said...


haiku failure
couldn't get the syllables quite right
agony of de feet.


CrossEyedDave said...

FWIW, Thought I would pass on 2 "AHA" moments I had today. Not about puzzles, but computers...

For the past couple of weeks DWs IPAD kept flashing msgs saying it could not verify the server I was connecting to, & would not open YouTube at all. I was going to delete & reinstall the apps, but thought I should check the WIFI connections 1st. While poking around settings I noticed something unusual:

The date & time were set to "auto," but the time was wrong. when I looked further the stupid Ipad was auto set to January 12th 1970???

I manually reset the time = no more problems.

Aha moment #2:

My new PC (year & 1/2 old) suddenly became very slow on the internet about the same time the Ipad went kerflewie. It has a direct wire connection to my wifi router. I noticed today that while the direct line showed connected, the wifi line was continually switching between connected & connect"ing".

What was my PC with a direct line doing on wifi anyway? I turned off the wifi on the PC, & now my connection is superfast!

Now, how did all these settings get kerflewie anyway? Can't be a power fluctuation, the Ipad runs on internal batteries....

Anonymous said...

At 43D, the correct spelling is EENY, MEENY, MINY, MO. See here.

And at 35D, is "bribing" a sufficient clue for GREASING? Shouldn't there be some reference to the palm?

coneyro said...

Steve: In reference to your "bakers dozen" quiry. In ancient times if a baker delivered his goods and the count was less than the customer ordered, the baker could lose a body part, i.e. his ear or hand. Therefore it became a habit to overcompensate, as in one extra per each dozen, so that an error was less likely. Better to be short a penny than a limb.

Bill G. said...

This seemed harder than expected for a Wednesday. Good stuff though... WEES

Unlikely buddies >> Best Pals

Lucina said...

Yes, sir, the Arizona where I was born and raised will always be to me a southwestern place of ranches, horses and cowhands in spite of the vast urbanization now taking place. Already Phoenix and Tucson are at the point of merging into one large metropolis.

Yet, many small communities harboring those very ranches, etc. dot the state and contain many TACKROOMS.

OwenKL said...

Jazz: Great!

Recipe failure
Too much lard in the ladle,
Snatch from jaws, DE-FAT.

coneyro: it's exploitative, but what might be censurable about this NYP cover?

Actually, I'm a wee bit skeptical about UAE Lurker. I tried to find out more about that crossword blackout he mentioned, (not that I doubted it, but it seemed odd that ARAB was the offensive word), and came up with zip.

I started out with TUSH at 9a. Finally decided both it and LADE were wrong and erased them both.

AKIMBO shows up sometimes in sci-fi (superheros always stand that way). I finally got curious about that cliche, "He stood with his arms akimbo on his hips," so looked it up, to find the familiar phrase doubly redundant!

Steve said...

@ Anon 12:53 - I don't think anyone would claim that there's a "correct" spelling for a counting rhyme dating back 140 years. That's part of the linguistic fun, surely?

OwenKL said...

Tars Tarkas or Vishnu might need to have AKIMBO clarified...

Lime Rickey said...

I'm just not sure that when most people think of TACKROOMs they think first of Arizona. Maybe Wyoming? Colorado? Montana? Kentucky? Or maybe no particular State at all.

Anonymous said...

UAE Lurker may be a real person actually located where he claims. The two cities he has mentioned he is posting from are about 150 miles apart. So he must have a mobile office in that Porsche Cayenne S of his. good for him.

He seems like a decent guy, just lonely and acting up, looking for attention.

CanadianEh! said...

I've been lurking all week due to not completing puzzle until later in the day and by then WEES.

Today, I had the same problem as many with KEISTER. My BRIEF REFRESHER was liquid and started out as SIP, then NIP, before my lightbulb moment and change to NAP. I prefer my sip to be Red Rose before TETLEY.

I had GALA, then BALL, then BASH. Also BLOB before GLOB.

YR, hope you are feeling stronger soon.

Ergo said...

I just couldn't get any traction on this puzzle. At one point my mind tried to justify it by suggesting that Friday puzzles are expected to be tough.

Uhmm... Friday?

The moment was fleeting, but evident. Not sure what it means when the crossword puzzle tries to become your calendar.

Curly said...

Here is a nice clean example of Spike Jonze's Jackass' antics. Remember this classic commercial? Jackass style. Don't click on any of the sidebar videos. You'll be disappointed.

Max L said...

Very kool, Curly. Hadn't seen that one. It brings back memories.

tawnya said...

hey all -

first, i had a ton of fun with this puzzle (when else does one get to glory in the knowledge of such a useless word as 'akimbo'). well done, Gareth - it was a pleasure as always!

one that made me giggle the most: Brad Pitt starred in Mr. and Mrs Smith with none other than Lara Croft.

again, lot's of fun and i really enjoyed the run tonight.

Lucina said...

No, TACKROOM, likely wouldn't bring Arizona to most people's minds, but that just shows how little they know about our state.

Anonymous said...

coneyro they are sucking you in. Ignore them. This isn't the place to respond to the baiting.

JD said...

Good evening all,

Spent morning learning at Apple store after doing CW, and afternoon in Kindergarten, a good day.

I have to say that this is my favorite puzzle from Gareth to date. I did not "zoom " right thru, but sure had a good time with my Magic Rub. So many possibilities in many areas beginning with prat, then bash...and I wagged Marco before Rhode.I was sure repack was right until it wasn't. Loved "get hammered".

For some reason I gave Daniel Dae Kim another middle name, even though I know his work well. BTW, 2 others from the "Lost" cast also have roles on 5 O; guess they all decided to live there after such a long run.I've spotted Terry O'Quinn several times in Kauai.

Jazz @ 12:29...loved your Haiku!

YR, sorry about your set back. Maybe you are doing too much?

Thanks Steve, for a great write up. It's ALWAYS a learning curve for me.

Anonymous T said...

Hi all!

Boy, AT TIMES this was a toughie for me, esp. the NE and SE corners. Palm-to-head many times. NO NEED to EAT UP your time w/ all my errors. (TACK hoOk -> RaOM -> ROOM, eg).

Theme helped - I GET'd HAMMERED w/ just the H_M in place.

But, DNF. I didn't question JONSE / ADs and now that I type it, it should have been sp.'d JONes. Oh, well always fun with Bain; Steve's commentary is always amusing and informative. That, of course, counts for all of our post-puzzle expo-ers.

Fav? (Boomer!)... SOONER! Wearing the sweatshirt now - it's 57F out here.

LPS are making a comeback of sorts - eldest (15) wanted a turn-table for Christmas. It has USB out!

Glad someone 'splained 23d... TOTALly over me. Whoosh...

Dudley - I recall that Python ARMADA sketch. I looked for a link, but didn't find one. I'll try again.

Anon Adam@10:34 - Thanks for the Weezer link. I also loved Undone - Sweater Song.

YR - sorry to hear - you're wise to see the Dr.

CED - what happened to the iPad 12 days ago? 1/1/70 is the Unix EPOC, so I'm guessing it reset 12 days ago.

How about this TEE SHIRT for math nerds?

I enjoyed the OwenKL & JzB POETry slam today.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

If I were as good as CED...

YR - You were wise to see the Dr.

CED - What happened?. Ask a question. Provide a suggestion. Take a look at it.

Cheers, -T
now, that's how CED would do it :-)

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

I remember iambic pentameter. Didn't remember feet. Thanks for clarifying.

Occasional Lurker in UAE in GCC said...

Hello all, I just finished tomorrow's puzzle.

What time is this ? What day is this ? Are we now in March ? Is the Superbowl finally over ? Is the Earth spinning in the wrong direction ? I am confused as heck.

Hello Steve. Really great blog. I miss your foodie items. This is your pesky roving ( read as 'unpaid' -- ) reporter Occasional Lurker, reporting on the rich and the flamboyant, in where else but the oil fired Oven of UAE.

I'm here in Sham Al Acqsa in the UAE. This is an 'ancient' Mall, here in the UAE - that means its more than 2 years old ....

The weather is 91 during the day - but with air conditioning who cares.

I went shopping at Tom Ford's in the Burj al'Khalifa - but they asked for my I.D. Here, in this part of the world, -- the ID is your credit card - and my credit card did not have the mandatory six figure credit limit, so they showed me the door. Out, that is. The men's calfskin wallets start at $ 1600 USD. I've never even had $ 1600 in real money ever in my pocket...

I 'ran into' some ISIS / ISUS/ ISI et al. members at the Sandstone Mall. Actually without their 'usual' hardware - and you IT Geeks will understand my code - they seem pretty decent people. I wouldn't mess with their women if I value my life. But here they are pretty nonchalant, and even attend social functions at the local US Embassy. Its only when they get into their regular milieu that they transform into terrorist devils and their more recognizable avatars.

I waved to one of them, and he in turn, gave me the 'finger'. I pretended not to understand him. Diplomacy in this part o the world...

See you later, and Please, please, try hard not to delete me. ;->)

Occasional Lurker, reporting to the BLOG said...

Hello all, further reporting on the glorious OILY city of Dubai,

Its been all night and not one more post. I can't believe all of you sleeping the night away...

In Abu Dhabi, I went to the major CarreFour which is some Frawnch supermarket. The fruits section is like a veritable General assembly at the UN. There are fruits from China, Taiwan, Singapore, New Zealand, Botswana, Mauritius, South Africa and Brazil. Cherries from the USA (???) - I bet you couldn't find those cherries anywhere in the USA at this time of year !

Cherries ( from the USA) sell for AED 64 per kg. Roughly 4 AED (Arab Emirate Dirham ) make a USD, and 2.2. lb is a kilo, so if you divide by 4x2 = 8 you get USD per lb. or roughly $ 8 per lb. Not too bad, considering the time of year.

Pharmacies will sell you any antibiotics, of your personal choice, withOUT a doctor's prescription - but importing the cough medicine, Desoxy-methorphan ----- which is Over The Counter in the US, is illegal. It could land you for 6 months in an air conditioned COOLER !!

Other than that the 'locals' ( Emir-atis ) are VERY NICE, very pleasant and extremely gracious people, and love Americans... even if they make 4 times as much money as you do - and pay no taxes whatsoever. The women are naturally beautiful and put on tons of makeup - and the menfolk are tall and good looking - even with the usual hooked noses.

Enough for today. Enjoy your puzzles tomorrow. Bye.