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Mar 14, 2015

Saturday, Mar 14th, 2015, Gail Grabowski

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,Z)

Blocks: 28

  This is my second Saturday puzzle from Gail - the last one dates back over three years - Mar 3rd, 2012.   I have seen many of her Sunday constructions for my local paper - Newsday; their "Saturday Stumper" is an accurate description.  Today's offering for the LA Times was much the same.  Lots of cloudy cluing which led to a white-wash grid over the first two passes, and while I got the proper names, it was the NE corner that gave me fits, and I caved in to Google, then red-letters.  Oh well.  Triple 9-letter down corners, triple 10-letter across corners.  Some of the longer fill;

16a. Dating term usually abbreviated : ANNO DOMINI - argh~!  I was looking for something like "IN SEARCH OF", as on a dating SITE

30d. Passing legislation? : ESTATE LAW - My friend from Ohio, Ibby, the woman who got me onto the movie set back in 1997, lost her husband yesterday - Friday the 13th.  I do not know the details, but he did have health issues

50a. Like some sirens : BEWITCHING - not the "SCREAMING" kind, but the female version of "siren"


3d. "Every Breath You Take" band : THE POLICE - they took reggae and made it commercial; this is my favorite pick from them


o-on-onw-onwa-onwar-onward~!

ACROSS:

1. D.C. sports group : NATS - The Washington Nationals - NLE Champs last year - and I'm sure C.C. is excited that baseball is back~!  That means just one month left in regular season hockey....

5. Hit the roof : BOILED OVER - I had "GO I---", tried "-NTO A RAGE", but needed a bigger grid

15. School acronym : ELHI - Elementary and High school

17. MSNBC anchor Wagner : ALEX - did I mention I love the name Alexandra~?  Gail had Alexia in that first puzzle, but that's not as pretty

18. Specialty brokers : LAND AGENTS - ugh.  Got the "AGENTS" part....

19. Head : TOP

20. The Whiffenpoofs of a cappella fame : ELIs - from Yale - and I did not know this

21. Finely contoured : SLEEK - Svelte did not fit

22. Only fair : TWO STAR - ah.  Like a review.  "The hotel food was only fair"

24. Sherry type : PALE DRY - ugh.  I did not see this listed in any of the sites I checked.  So it started as "PALE RED", and then I WAGed the "DRY" part

26. Swap magazines : RELOAD - I had RELOA-, and this just did not dawn on me.  Until now.  The clip of a machine gun - referred to as a magazine

27. Outback order : FILET - my only meh for the day

28. No-brainer? : IDIOT - like how I feel after a particularly rough crossword

29. Gifts for aficionados : BOXED SETS

33. VIP of the USAF : CIC - Commander in Chief

34. Chess grandmaster Spassky : BORIS - Once the "B" showed, it was WAG time

35. Span. title : SRA

36. Joint support : KNEE BRACE

39. Disastrous : FATAL

41. Come (from) : ARISE

42. They're assembled at bars : SALADS - oh, SALAD BAR.  Guess I'm still not that far from a drink

43. Player in eight Super Bowls : PATRIOT - ah - not a proper name at all; the New England Patriots

46. Herbal beverage : MINT TEA

47. Then, in Rennes : ALORS - Frawnche

48. Boring, maybe : LONG

49. Punch line, say : END

53. Kyrgyzstan border range : ALAI - not URAL - that's too far north

54. "Block-Heads" co-star, 1938 : STAN LAUREL - a-ha~! Did not have to Google it~!

55. Temporary place to stay : CAMP - not INNS

56. Project planning datum : TARGET DATE

57. Crimp-haired critters : EWES

DOWN:

1. Bit of cleverness : NEAT TRICK

2. Admitted : ALLOWED IN

4. Pack leader? : SIX - Six-pack, got it

5. It's not a complex number : BALLAD - well, some rock ballads can be - for the guitar player; here's one 'Top 100' List; here's my idea of a tough ballad

When Children Cry - White Lion

6. Happy way to walk : ON AIR

7. Temporary places to stay : INNS - Ah - here it is.

8. City served by Ben-Gurion airport : LOD


9. Author LeShan : EDA - perps

10. Husky follower : DOG SLED

11. They're filled and folded : OMELETS - I figured it was either a Spanish/Mexican dish, or um, that, er, whatsitcalled Italian thingy - Calzone~!  I just could not think of the word, and it was wrong anyway

12. Like some brick walls : VINED - Like, say, Wrigley Field

13. Join : ENTER - Dah~!! Not UNITE

14. Touch-and-go : RISKY - OK, I think of this phrase as more 'delicate' or 'sensitive'

20. Dakota du Sud, e.g. : ETAT - More Frawnche - that's Dakota of the South, of the United States

23. __ Canals : SOO

24. "Angry" adversary in Enid Blyton's "Faraway Tree" series : PIXIE - OK, I cheated.  I had to look this one up, even with "--XIE" - shoulda guessed

25. Dogfish Head products : ALES - sounded like a beer name to me - the Wiki

27. Pressure : FORCE

29. Sound off : BOAST

31. Business identifier : TRADE NAME - I thought it might end with "CARD" at first

32. They go with chips : SALSA DIPS - messed my 'INNS' up

34. Vivacity : BRIO

37. Hoop, for one : EARRING

38. Take offense : BRISTLE

39. Venom source : FANG - ah, not ASPS

40. Flying fig. : ALT - altitude - not ETA, ETD, or ARR. 

42. Unattached : SINGLE - like me~!   :7(

43. L.A.-based brewery : PABST - did not know this

44. Prince Valiant's bride : ALETA - mostly perps

45. "Path __": 2002 LBJ biopic : TO WAR

46. "Woman With a Parasol" painter : MONET


48. Pre-euro currency : LIRA

51. Monopoly token that replaced the iron : CAT - I remember the iron, but did not know it was replaced with a CAT


52. Cabinet dept. created under LBJ : HUD - Housing and Urban Development

53. One on the links : ACE - I pondered TEE, PAR, and PIN before realizing we are talking about a score of ONE

Splynter

Note from C.C.:

Happy 57th Birthday to our thrill-seeker JJM! He loves baseball, so do our TTP  & Abejo. So maybe you three should have a Corner Chicago Gathering.



44 comments:

Manac said...

Good morning everyone!
First off, Marti, Really enjoyed your
puzzle yesterday. With a New England flair
on the side. It made my day.

Didn't know Gail did Saturday puzzles. First pass all I had was "Idiot", Mocking me! Couple more passes and it all
came together. Just love a puzzle with my
Patriots in it.

Read ya all tonight.

Manac said...

By "couple" I mean about a hunnerd or so.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Man, I was so close on this one. Made slow but steady progress throughout, with plenty of *AHA* moments, and then I crashed and burned in a tiny section of the SE corner.

I had ESTATE TAX instead of ESTATE LAW and didn't know ALAI. As a result, I just couldn't get EWES or ACE. I thought maybe 57A might be OXES, but I BRISTLEd at the thought of OXES instead of OXEN. In desperation, I changed ESTATE TAX to ESTATE CAP, just so I could try APE there, but that still wouldn't give me anything sensible for 53A or 53D. I finally had to turn on the red letter help to muddle my way through.

In other news, while I loved seeing my beloved PATRIOTs in the grid, I thought it was very odd to refer to a singular player instead of the team. After all, no single PATRIOT has actually played in all eight Super Bowls.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This one took the full regulation playing time, but the home team won. No flags on the play, and no O.T. required.

I wonder why 33a mentioned USAF. The prez is CIC of all services.

Always have trouble deciding between EDA (LeShan) or ENA (Bambi's aunt).

With REL in place I WAGged WILL FARREL (misspelled), and then I saw the "1938." V-8 can, please.

Happy Birthday, JJM.

Pythagoras said...

Happy Pi Day!

3.14 15

You can even celebrate the Pi Minute at 9:26 AM. And then the Pi Second. And then, ever so briefly, the Pi Moment.

Big Easy said...

Today was a big DNF. NW and SE were easily done but the NE and SW slayed me. 33A-CIC is usually abbreviated. CINC. ALEX was a total unknown, just like MSNBC in the ratings.

I blew it in the NE because I had ANNO D but didn't know how to finish DOMINI, but my dumb mistake was quickly writing ADA for EDA and not rechecking my clue. After giving up an looking up a.d., the NE toppled.

The SW would have never filled because I didn't know PBR was based in L.A. because it's not. The Pabst Brewing Company is now in SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS. On top of that, the unknowns ALETA, TO WAR, and ALORS completed my misery. After Googleing those three the rest fell easily.

Big ifs- IVIED or VINED, ENROL or ENTER, BRAND NAME or TRADE NAME, MONET or MANET, HEW or HUD, T-BONE or FILET. I know nothing about wine or sherry but I did like the cross of PALE dry and ALE.

Nice puzzle but one step above my pay level this morning. The only gimmes this a.m. were STING and BORIS.

Avg Joe said...

Oof-Dah! Beaten badly. HTG for pixie, ale and Aleta. The rest came together slowly with a number of erasures (Alai for Ural, eg). But it was a good fight.

Enjoyed the puzzle yesterday, Marti, but was in a class all day yesterday, so I never had the chance to post.

Fact Checker said...

From Wikipedia: "On May 14, 2011, it was announced that Pabst would be relocating to Los Angeles, California. Pabst retains a data center in San Antonio, Texas, the previous location of its headquarters."

HowardW said...

Wow...very long solving time. Got stuck in the SE corner. Had TRADENAME and SALSADIPS correct at first, but couldn't reconcile with PRO for 53D and ESTATE TAX for 30D. (Not to mention wanting to put URAL for 53A.) Eventually came up with CAMP around which everything finally gelled.

I had the same objection as Barry G to the PATRIOT clue. The team has been to 8 SBs, but the clue asked for a player. And I agree with desper-otto and Big Easy about CIC. I had GEN at the latter spot for the longest time. Not only is the President (as Commander in Chief) not specifically associated with the Air Force, but the the term is typically (always?) shortened to CinC. I've never seen CIC.

Aside from those gripes, a tough puzzle but one which gave satisfaction to finish. Quite a few unknowns requiring the perp-and-guess approach.

And happy Pi Day to all!

Wiggle Room? said...

USAF = United States Armed Forces

Yellowrocks said...

I had trouble on paper. I got some red letter help, but not so much as to spoil it for me. Now I wish I had solved it online w/o red letter. I may be becoming an online convert with very difficult puzzles. I can try different letters and erase them with no inkblot, making it much easier to see. I still prefer paper for easy to medium.
I have a copy of that Monet painting in my living room. I'm an impressionist aficionado.
I like ALEX Wagner and I think she is cute, besides.
Our Outback Steak House sells FILETs. Good clue.
To me a touch and go situation is one where the possibility of failure is great.
PATRIOT is a proper noun, just not a personal name.
I get this darn knee brace off on Tuesday. It will take a lot of therapy to get my knee to bend at even a 90 degree angle.
HBDTY you, JJM. hope you can do something exciting. Lots of rain here, not an outdoor day.
Thanks for a great puzzle, Gail, and an entertaining write up, Splynter.

George Barany said...

On behalf of math nerds everywhere, not only is today "Pi Day" but it goes far beyond the first two digits. I am trying to time this post for 3/14/15 as close as possible to 9:26:54 a.m. as possible. My friend John Child has two friends, twins in fact, who celebrate their birthday today. A Sunday-sized puzzle, Paws to Consider, is full of proper names that any solver should be able to deduce, but that have special significance to the puzzle's honorees. I hope some of you will try it ... and no, you don't have to know anything about pi either.

[Addendum: I drafted this earlier today, waiting for the right moment to send. Kudos to commentator "Pythagoras" at 8:25 a.m., who I can only assume is on EDT! Plus, I want to add good wishes to JJM!]

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Bumped into that same Estate Tax as Barry G, and didn't know Alai, so that SE corner was last to fall. Got there eventually.

Morning, Splynter - I have to take a class on Long Island this week, near Islip. Can you arrange pleasant weather? :-)

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

All I can say is Ms. Grabowski put me through the hoops with this hair-pulling, teeth gnashing, mind-numbing challenge. However, I'm proud to say I finished w/o help, even though it took one hour.

The Northwest and the Southeast were hard to crack. Had no idea re the band and held onto Ural far too long. Sometimes, a simple clue really throws me off, I.e., Pack leader=six. Overall, though, it was a typical Saturday with lots of fresh fill.

So, thanks, Gail, for the mental marathon and thanks, Splynter, for the great expo.

Happy Birthday, JJM. Hope you celebrate in style.

Have a great day.

C6D6 Peg said...

This was crunch, but challenging. Not Ms. Grabowski's usual weekday fare. Enjoyed the workout.

Had IVIED before VINED, but that didn't last too long.

Thanks Splynter for you write-up.

Bill G. said...

I've never been a fan of themeless Saturday puzzles but I liked this one more than most.

I love baseball but the Dodgers games are still blacked out locally, even the pre-season games. The two different owners have not been fan-friendly over the last 10 years or so. Rats!

It's supposed to get to 88 today. Rats!

Later...

Anonymous said...

No fun at all. Nebulous clues. No way to build a solution. DNF as I got fed up and quit. First time in ages I just said "the h*ll with it".

CrossEyedDave said...

Must read the Blog, because I never know where it will take me...

I have to take a Thumper on the puzzle, way too hard for me. But the write up sidetracked me at Ballads, & I lost an hour on YouTube. I think I will spend this rainy day firing up the fireplace, & trying to learn Styx "Lady' & Sail Away on the piano. (Tx Splynter...)

Manac, you're up early. Did that time change mess you up?

HowardW@8:57, Love that Avatar!

While the puzzle kicked my butt, the Blog made my day. So much so I may get a little daring with the Birthday Cake! HBD JJM!

Lucina said...

Hello, puzzlers!

Happy birthday, JJM!

THE POLICE got me on Gail's wave length as I love that song and finished the NW in record time. Sidled south and the same happened but not as fast. PATRIOT and ALORS required every perp. Changed ELAN to BRIO when I searched for BORIS which I should have been able to guess.

The SE also fell when I changed ESTATE TAX to ESTATE LAW and knew of ALAI mountains. Cute clue for EWE.

The NE gave me a headache, figuratively speaking, especially since I had IDA and UNITE, erased those, guessed OMELETS and the rest filled in but very slowly. Once I realized "complex number" was not, in fact, a digit of any kind, BALLAD emerged. PIXIE was a pure guess.

Thank you, Gail, for the very good challenge and Splynter for the fine analysis.

Have a terrific day, everyone!

Splynter said...

Hi again ~!

Dudley, are you flying into MacArthur ~?

I'll see what I can do about the weather.

Splynter

Ol' Man Keith said...

Happy B'day, Jim...

The SE corner held me back for as long as I was unwilling to give up URAL. I almost had the same delay in cracking the NE because the first three letters of PALE DRY led me to think that answer should be something to do with PALO CORTADO sherry. Of course that wouldn't fit, so I was having no luck until solving more perps.
The only easy answer today was (Ready? drum roll...) BORIS.
Where did I have to cheat today? To pin down THE POLICE.

Avg Joe said...

Dudley, Our local paper had an article this morning about an in flight controller talking a guy down after his instruments quite working on an IFR flight. Archie League Award. This would be mighty scary. Luckily it ended well.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Oh, and I didn't know about the CAT either. Thought the answer was going to be HAT. It has been so long since we played Monopoly, and last time I checked our old game set, the Iron was still there.

Is the exchange for a CAT automatic? If I open up our set, will I find the Sandman or some PIXIE has switched out our iron? If I play with the Iron, will Parker Bros void my winnings?

coneyro said...

A beautiful day to all.

Today was a surprisingly easier puzzle compared to most Saturdays.

I found it amusing that because of my ethnic background, FILLED AND FOLDED automatically made me think of BLINTZES. Of course that was wrong..too many letters. After getting 5A, the cook in me knew the "O" for a first letter meant OMELETS.
Didn't get the "PASSING" reference to 30D until the blog. I had ASTATELAW, because that is what happens when legislation is passed. But 29A couldn't be BOXEDSATS, so I changed the letter to "E" and moved on.
.
I also questioned CIC for 33A. I thought of the President, and he is CIC of all military divisions, not just the USAF. Maybe this was a generic term.

I also thought sirens...ambulances...Was hitting my head trying to find a loud noise sound starting with a "B" and ending in "ING".BLASTING,BLARING..Nope, too short. It was my last filled answer after the perps helped.

Did not know ALETA, ALEX, SOO. Got PATRIOT on my own. Guess living with my husband is paying off after all. Just joking, he's worth a lot more than sports clues.

In the end, I finished with minimal assistance.That is a "win" for me on a weekend level puzzle.

Florida weather is getting better everyday. Air conditioners are running, and neighbors are preparing their pools for imminent use. The cool temperatures are behind us. YAY!

Enjoy the weekend, folks.

Bill G. said...

OK, I couldn't help it. Some of these made me smile; some made me laugh. Silly stuff

Rainman said...

Thought we'd have a Pi puzzle today, no pi yet.

Enjoyed going through and solving BRIO, ALEX, ANNODOMINI, all on the first pass. But a technical DNF for me on this tennis day (temp in the 80s and sunny), but enjoyed the challenge. Mostly a time challenge. Good misdirections. A few new words... but totally doable and fair, I thought.

I decided to throw in the towel at the mention of an iron. Sorry, I just don't know that word... (I- what?), Iran? Iron. Nope, not coming to me, but it looks familiar.

Seriously, I do not own an iron, as my friends can quickly attest to. Nor an ironing board, another of which I have no knowledge. Why any independent person would concern himself with a few wrinkles, I do not know. Not in this wash-and-wear day and age.

Time for an OMELET, ALES, PALEDRY sherry, but no MINTTEA, thanks, I tea'd already.

Dudley said...

Splynter 1:41 - that's just the thing. My class is at MacArthur, but we have snow showers forecast for tomorrow. Right now I expect to drive and ride the Bridgeport ferry. I did fly down a few days ago just to see where the place is - that was a turbulent day, the kind that makes you ask yourself why you're still in aviation.

Avg. Joe 1:56 - that article left it a bit unclear what went wrong. In general, it sounds like that Piper has conventional instruments. If so, two of them are vacuum powered; a pump or system failure affects both instruments, but it can take a while to notice the problem. The Piper has a low vac warning light, but perhaps the pilot missed it. It seems clear he did not adopt partial panel procedures, the practice of which is drummed into the heads of instrument students. Three cheers for the calm intervention of the controller!

Lucina said...

OMK:
Re: the cat. A contest was held several years ago first, to choose which icon to change and then some options for the new ones. I don't recall what the choices were.

Irish Miss said...

UAlbany is going to the Big Dance! With 1.6 seconds left, Peter Hooley, an Aussie who lost his mom to cancer in late January, made a 3 pointer for a 51-50 win. This is the team's 3rd straight trip to the tournament.

Bill G. - Enjoyed your "Silly Stuff" clip, as usual.

Argyle said...

I wanted my WALLET to be "Filled and folded".

Anonymous said...

Part of me wants you all to get a life. since I am using the crossword as a distraction from memorizing lines for "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", studying for CNA licensing as a requirement for my job and vacuuming. But I too had a great time doing the puzzle and then reading some of the comments. Sometimes I feel all alone in the world and then I find a site like this one with Gail's qwirky comments and I somehow BELONG
Was that an attack? sorry

coneyro said...

A beautiful day to all.

Today was a surprisingly easier puzzle compared to most Saturdays.

I found it amusing that because of my ethnic background, FILLED AND FOLDED automatically made me think of BLINTZES. Of course that was wrong..too many letters. After getting 5A, the cook in me knew the "O" for a first letter meant OMELETS.
Didn't get the "PASSING" reference to 30D until the blog. I had ASTATELAW, because that is what happens when legislation is passed. But 29A couldn't be BOXEDSATS, so I changed the letter to "E" and moved on.
.
I also questioned CIC for 33A. I thought of the President, and he is CIC of all military divisions, not just the USAF. Maybe this was a generic term.

I also thought sirens...ambulances...Was hitting my head trying to find a loud noise sound starting with a "B" and ending in "ING".BLASTING,BLARING..Nope, too short. It was my last filled answer after the perps helped.

Did not know ALETA, ALEX, SOO. Got PATRIOT on my own. Guess living with my husband is paying off after all. Just joking, he's worth a lot more than sports clues.

In the end, I finished with minimal assistance.That is a "win" for me on a weekend level puzzle.

Florida weather is getting better everyday. Air conditioners are running, and neighbors are preparing their pools for imminent use. The cool temperatures are behind us. YAY!

Enjoy the weekend, folks.

Manac said...

Dave, There was a time change??
Dang! Why am I always the last to know?

I came across this the other day.
Now that you're playing piano, must
be a snap for you.
Waltz

Here is the Sheet Music for it.

JJM said...

To all my corner buddies…. thanks for all the well wishes today! It's been a great day here in Chicago and we enjoyed every minute of it. C.C. never forgets does she. What a great person! She probably is the only one here that loves Baseball more than I do. Thanks C.C. !

Lemonade714 said...

A nicely put together Saturday with some advantage for the older solvers.

You can buy a MAGAZINE for any automatic weapon including handguns.

I agree about ballads one not simple one I enjoyed is BATTLES

Sallie said...

Good night, all.

Had fun reading all the comments. Thank you.
But I have a question that I hope someone can answer tomorrow (when I'll be reading the blog). What happened to "good wishes"? All I've been seeing lately is "well wishes", which I don't like the sound of as well.
Anyone?

Cheers

SwampCat said...


Anonymous at 7:01...welcome to the blog. You are not alone.

Hope you come back and read this. I get here late when no one is around

Lucina said...

Argyle:
You are funny!

Bill G. said...

Hey, I read and post late too but you already knew that...

Too hot here for me. I'd love to be able to share it with some of you. While on my short bike ride today, I bought some lemonade from an enterprising girl. I didn't really need the lemonade but I wanted to reward her pluck.

'Vulgarity is no substitute for wit.' (The dowager countess)

Lucina said...

BillG:
You likely already know that we here are also experiencing above normal temps. Too much too soon. The 90s are just too hot.

Bill G. said...

Yes but it's a dry heat. :>)

Anonymous T said...

Oh, I stink at Saturdays says...

TITT - Thank for all the answers Splynter. I got the NE and SW while wondering where Gail's Bruce was. Gail, you beat me silly - I'll kick-back and RELOAD for Monday.

Anon@7:01p - many of us are in different time zones and/or don't sleep much. Post what you find amusing - it's not FATAL. Feel free to play (nicely) w/ others.

Marti - I loved your Friday Puzzle! I didn't post because DW's cousin(?) (I still don't know the connection - her grandma's bother's grand-kid; there's blood there, but what's the term?) and niece came in. We treated 'em to Texas BBQ and a working ranch. I missed the SE because I kept lima (why not?) for PINA... Oh, bother. Thanks for the other sussing fun!

JJM, Happy un-birthday and happy un Pi day.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

Red letters for the center.

Never got to ESTATELAW instead of ESTATEtax, which gave me EXES for crimped-critters. Well, many exes do crimp their hair, right?

Had SPEAK and CRACK as in "crack wise" for sound off. BOAST did not occur to a humble chap such as I.

NEAT TRICK was not my fave, nor was PATRIOT. I'm still reeling from ARISE for come (from). SALSA was fine, SALSADIP seems redundant, but I got it, anyway.

Had SETS for 29A. Kicked myself for typing BOX__SETS and then quickly abandoning the BOX idea instead of thinking BOX-ED-SETS.

For Sherry, I had cooking, then got DRY and tried ROSE and WINE. No dice.

Tough puzzle, muddy cluing. Eh, 2 STARS. ;-)

-BDole

Anonymous T said...

See Anon@7:01p - 24/7 :-)

Anon@4:07a, you did better than I. I kept thinking cigars had to be part of 29a's answer and I tried to run through evey Cuban smoke I knew. Doh. Cheers, -T