Mar 28, 2015

Saturday, Mar 28th, 2015, Kevin Christian and Doug Peterson

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing V, X, Z)

Blocks: 33

  Man, I thought this one was going to crush me.  In the end, I had to cheat - two items, but it was worth it.  The SE corner had some genuine screw-ups on my part, which slowed me down something fierce.  Lots of white-wash in the top half as well, which left me discouraged - but then, a glimmer of hope~!  Triple 9-letter corners made up the longest answers; 

15a. Spider producer : ALFA ROMEO - lots of car manufacturers make a "spider", but this company seems to be most closely associated with the style.  Did you hear about the UK Top Gear presenter getting fired~?  I'm not sure I'm watching next year....

17. 54-Down cause, in modern jargon : FAT FINGER - Funny.  This should have clued me in that my 54d. "MEMO" was wrong

 58a. Little League game ender, perhaps : MERCY RULE - Some "baseball" for C.C.; I had "--- BUNT", and that wasn't making any sense - the Wiki

32d. Where billabongs flow : AUSTRALIA - not the clothing line - a new word for me; the Wiki

oh, and -

44a. What some authority figures wear? : THE PANTS - "Let me tell you, I'm the one who wears the pants around here~!

Game - ON -ward~!


1. Discouraged : SCARED OFF

10. Father of Reuben, in Genesis : JACOB - OK, I cheated.  I had to look this one up.

16. __ Bowl: Boston College won the last one in 2000 : ALOHA

18. Samurai without a master : RONIN - I recalled this from an "X-Files" episode

19. Sell the scene : EMOTE

20. __ Air : BEL

22. Have more than enough : O.D.  ON

23. Mtge. application datum : SSN

24. Hayek of "Frida" : SALMA

26. Meld : FUSE

27. Shafts, so to speak : RAW DEALS - as in "they gave me the shaft"

30. Court pos. : CTR - meh.

31. Hillshire Brands predecessor : SARA LEE

34. "Bad idea" : "NAH"

35. Skosh : TAD

36. High-protein grain : QUINOA - OK.  I cheated here, too - I was pretty sure "QUINCE" was wrong, but the "OA" was not coming to me

37. Great Plains tribe : LAKOTA - oops, not Dakota

39. Sch. whose marching band played on Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" : USC

40. Spray-making co. : FTD - ah.  I did not know these arrangements were called "sprays"

42. Golden Globe nominee for "Tommy" : DALTREY - Roger, from The Who

43. Second-most populous Afr. country : ETHiopia

46. God in 56-Across : ARES

48. Past : OF OLD

49. K.C. setting : CST - OK, I thought Kansas City was in MDT; sorry, my mid-west friends, I thought you were further west....

52. Item on a carhop's tray : MALT

53. Fox's leg? : GAM - my kind of clue~!

54. Reno-__ Intl. Airport : TAHOE

56. It concludes with Hector's funeral : ILIAD

61. __ mentality : SIEGE - I am familiar with "herd" mentality, but I have not "heard" this phrase

62. Yosemite attraction : EL CAPITAN - Old Faithful did not fit; besides, it's in Yellowstone....

63. "Blade Runner" actor Rutger __ : HAUER

64. "Days," for one : SOAP OPERA - my mom calls her favorite daytime drama "Days", in reference to "Days of Our Lives"


1. Gun holders : SAFES - ugh, took W-A-A-A-Y too long to figure out the "F"

2. Bucks : CLAMS - money slang

3. River in a Burns poem : AFTON - mostly perps

4. Great quantity : RAFT - r-aft and aft-on

5. City with a Penn State campus : ERIE - educated WAG

6. Get into : DON - Pondered "DIG" here, but we're talking clothes, not 'style'

7. Surprise letters : OMG - Text-speak for "Oh My God~!"

8. Ineffective : FEEBLE

9. Court leader : FOREMAN

10. Shake up : JAR - I got jarred in my hockey game this past Wednesday; I made the save on the guy who crashed the net, but I still have the headache

11. Hard to reach : ALOOF

12. Copper, notably : CONDUCTOR - the "T" from TAD led me to try "---- METAL" - bzzzt~!

13. Jack Nicklaus Museum campus : OHIO STATE - I WAGed "STATE" from TAD as well, and this worked

14. Time to celebrate : BANNER DAY - WAGed "DAY" from TAD, too~!

21. Dream state? : LA-LA LAND - shout-out, Linda~!

24. Misfit '70s sitcom character : SWEATHOG - Mista Kotter~!

25. Power chaser? : ADE - Powerade, the sports drink

27. Bolted : RAN

28. Up : ALOFT - ugh.  RISEN~? AWAKE~? ALIVE~? Nope.

29. Old will? : SHALT - Thou will not covet...

31. Easily appalled : SQUEAMISH - BANG~! Got it with just "---M--H"

33. "The Three Musketeers" antagonist : RICHELIEU - mostly perps

38. Ring concerns: Abbr. : KTS - dah~!  I had KOs, the boxing kind of ring, not the engagement type

41. Vilifies : DEFAMES - ooops, not ASHames

42. Indian lentil dish : DAL - all perps; last week, we had VORTEX cross with TEX; this week, it's DAL and DALtrey

45. Asian citrus fruit : POMELO

47. Part of a process : STAGE

49. Drag racing safety feature : CHUTE

50. __ system : SOLAR - DAH~!! Put in HONOR, and that blew up the whole corner; I was 40% correct

51. "Lovergirl" vocalist __ Marie : TEENA - WAG & perps

54. Paper slip : TYPO - Dah-dah-dah~!  Not MEMO; should have known it was wrong with the cross-referenced 17a.

55. "What __!": "I've been swindled!" : "A RIP~!"

57. Aachen article : DER

59. Onetime Hertz owner : RCA

60. Tube top : CAP - ah, not the clothing



Ergo said...

Couldn't I was thrilled to hear the newspaper plunk on the front deck an hour ago.

The fun didn't last long. The puzzle (save for a few low hanging fruit) was 90% impossible. Sakes... Might revisit it later, but right now it's time for more coffee.

Rainman said...

Started off slowly and got slower. Never could recover. Funny, seeing the completed fill, it doesn't look un-doable, but for me today, nah. Thumper rule, maybe. Obviously, the clueing was devious, and I mean that in a positive, Saturday-puzzle, way.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Well, this one was beyond me. I muddled through most of it (although I went with KOS instead of KTS, which gave me DALORY instead of DALTRY), but I just couldn't get into the NW corner at all. After much effort I finally came up with FOREMAN and UNABLE (instead of FEEBLE), and that mistake doomed me.

Finally turned on the red letter help to get rid of UNABLE and eventually guessed (with the red letter help still turned on) the correct FEEBLE. That opened up the corner enough to then get SCARE OFF and ALFA ROMEO. Still struggled to get the rest (AFTON?) but eventually got 'er done.

The SW and NE corners were the "easiest" for me today (still very hard, though), and I was proud of myself for getting QUINOA, RICHELIEU, HAUER, JACOB, BANNER DAY, RONIN and LAKOTA. Screwed up on DALTRY, as mentioned earlier (I was really sure that the "ring" in the clue for 38D referred to boxing, and DALORY seemed like a plausible name).

The SE was tougher, and almost killed me until I finally guessed at MERCY RULE. I was all ready to make a comment about how "What A GYP" is no longer PC, but then I finally realized it was "What A RIP" instead. Not an expression I've ever heard (RIP-off, yes, but not RIP), but at least it's politically correct.

Argyle said...

To hell with Thumper; I am not a fan of puzzles where I need to know the answer to understand the clue. Even more so of the likes of 1-Across: Discouraged : SCARED OFF. I got the answer but fail to equate it with 'Discouraged'. I expect Yellowrocks to clear that up for me. ;~)

Big Easy said...

Splynter- my first and second thoughts on 30A & 38D are RAW DEALS. 18K or 24K gold yes, but 24KT or 18 KT gold - I've never heard it called that. And CTR as a Court posITION- I played it but never knew pos. as an abbr. for position.

It was a DNF because the only fill in the NE was OHIO STATE. RONIN, JACOB, & ALOHA are unknowns to me. The only gimmes in this puzzle were AUSTRALIA, EL CAPITAN, and ALFA ROMEO. I even tried to cheat on my package of Hillshire Farms Sausage, but it doesn't say SARA LEE so I had to work that one out.

FAT FINGER is usually associated with a stock broker or bond trader mistakenly buying the wrong quantity by a power of 10 or 100 or overpaying by a large amount.

So for the puzzle, I am asking for the MERCY RULE, having correctly done most of it.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Let me join the group of doom-sayers -- DNF. I was "certain" KOS was correct. DALO REY looked similar to ALDO RAY, and sounded OK in my mind. I left it and moved on.

AFTON was a gimme. "Flow Gently Sweet Afton amang thy green braes..." came welling up from some dark corner of my file of useless information.

My guns were in RACKS, so my "paper slip" resulted in a CUT FINGER. Only when TYPO showed up was I able to turn SACES and CLUMS into SAFES and CLAMS.

So, no brass ring today. I just have to accept that I got KO'd on this one.

TTP said...


The thieves were discouraged by the cocking of the shotgun.

Avg Joe said...

Bruised and bloodied. No other way to describe it. First fill was SeLMA, second was USC, third was cap and fourth was A rip. that got me mercy rule, so the long process of filling from the bottom up began, making many Rack, that were fixed.

Beaten in the end though. HTG for the D in Dal and accepted Dalorey even though I know Daltrey. I also had Eros instead of Ares. So....several errors that I should have caught, but I guess I was just too bludgeoned by that point. Uncle!

kazie said...

Complete disaster--I got only 6 correctly filled in, and most of the rest remains blank even now. Too much trivia and I really don't have the time to spend on it.

One nit: BILLABONGS don't flow--they are mostly stagnant pools, as it says in WIKI, they are seasonal, and like many rivers, dry up in "the Hot". Even if they originate each year in "the Wet", they don't flow anywhere, as they are essentially oxbow lakes that are no longer joined to a river when they do appear.

HowardW said...

I was convinced this was going to end in DNF, but persistence paid off. I was certain of very few answers on the first go-round, but I had a number of guesses, most of which turned out to be wrong...(KTS for KOS, UNABLE for FEEBLE, ALOT for RAFT, SATE for ODON are ones I can recall.

TTP already responded to Argyle's query of SCARED OFF for discouraged, but I was thinking along these lines, of which there are many variations.

HeartRx said...

Good morning fellow wound-lickers...

I got bloodied but not beaten on this one. First pass yielded only SSN, EMOTE and ERIE in the NW. I had to slide down to the SE and work my way back up from there.

Favorites were "Paper slip" for TYPO and "Tube top" for CAP.

More snow today - is it ever going to STOP????

Mr. Brown said...

Just adding a couple videos to Splynter's nice write-up...

Fleetwood Mac's Tusk was always a nice change of pace in Mtv's early rotation. They are touring again and actually have a gig tonight at Kansas City's Sprint Center. Hope everyone attending is aware of the time zone lest they may miss the start of the show.

I recently watched the movie 'From Dusk Till Dawn'. Well at least until this scene showcasing SALMA Hyek. The movie shockingly took a turn at the end of this clip towards a genre that I don't enjoy. Was happy that I watched long enough to see SALMA. Wow! In the words of BillG, 'she seems smart and nice to talk to'.

Mr. Brown said...

p.s. Per IMDb: "Salma Hayek has a real fear of snakes and had always refused to be near them. Naturally when she read the script, she knew her phobia would prevent her from taking the part. Robert Rodriguez conned her into thinking that Madonna was ready to nab the part instead so Hayek spent two months with therapists to overcome her fear."

Good move Robert Rodriguez, Good Move. Thank you sir.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I rarely ask for help in order to finish a puzzle, mostly because I am too stubborn to cry uncle, so I just plod on, even if it takes forever. Today, though, that NW corner did me in. For surprise letters, I went from oho to aha to ono, all to no avail. I knew spider was a car model but didn't have the right fill until getting help. Overall, for me, it was a frustrating solve.

Thanks, Splynter, for 'splainin' it all and thanks to Kevin and Doug for your efforts, criticism not withstanding.

It is snowing here right now. Will this winter of our discontent ever end?

Have a great day.

SwampCat said...

WEES...Thumper and I DNFed this one! 'Nuf said...

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

I did this puzzle in the wee hours, at which time I was only able to muster a minority of active brain cells. As a result, the effort was quite like making an ice sculpture: knocking off a chip here and there, all the while still faced with an unmoving block of ice. These pinwheel shaped grids tend to limit perpage, of which I needed a lot.

For some reason I thought the name was Daultry, but that got chipped away to Dalltry, and eventually Daltrey. I liked The Who but not the movie Tommy.

Eventually smoothed the edges and pulled off a legitimate no-peeky.

Morning Splynter, I find it easy to believe that Jeremy Clarkson went too far. He had a reputation for world-class celebrity arrogance, and for being hard on his staff. It's too bad, since he really made Top Gear what it was in the present incarnation (slight pun intended).

Anonymous said...

Where I live, the Little League game ender is called the SLAUGHTER RULE, not the MERCY RULE.

22a ODON needs a "briefly" in the clue.

Jerome said...

Noah wasn't ALOOF because he wasn't A FOOL. Now he's the hero of the legend OF OLD FLOOD.

Ms. Hagen told me That it's pretty in AUSTRALIA. UTA'S A LIAR.

"So, Lucina, what uncles from Nevada Attend OHIO STATE?" My TAHOE TIOS."


September said...

I look forward to my puzzles each day, but my old brain can't begin to handle your Saturday challenges. Very disappointing. Do they have to be SO hard?

Anonymous said...


Yep, thats apropos!

desper-otto said...

For once, the Saturday NYT was actually easier/quicker than the Saturday LAT. I don't see that very often.

Manac said...

Re:1 Down

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the company


CrossEyedDave said...

I got exactly two answers, Australia & chute. Also let out an audible groan when I saw El Capitan from Yosemite & not Yellowstone...

Another discouraging thing about doing the puzzle on a computer with red letters, you can't crumple it into a ball & throw it in the fire on days like this.

Hmm, maybe one of these might cheer me up...

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

From breakfast coffee to noon, still couldn't come close to finishing. Glad I'm not alone.

Bluehen said...

Tough, tough puzzle today. I got about 75% done and hit a brick wall. Had to turn on red letter help. Red letters showed that SALMA was not spelled with an e and that ring concerns were KTS not KoS, amongst other mistakes. Finished, but cheated. Some of the cluing was not just misdirecting, it was downright devious.

Re: the FAT FINGER cross reference. Research has shown that of all the people with all of their various blood types, most misspellings are caused by Type Os.

JJM said...

Started out slow, but then all of a sudden everything came into light. Finished faster than a usual Sat.
There are days when I read the Corner and think " I should have gotten that as fast as he/she did, or known that… but I didn't". There are other days when when the exact opposite happens. It's funny how people's minds work. I think there were a lot of clues that were just in my wheelhouse today.
Going for a bike ride in 28 degree weather, at least there's not a cloud in the sky.

Husker Gary said...

This was well worth the battle to “git ‘er done”. Only the SE was easy. I thought AUSTRALIA was too easy and so I entered, erased, entered it.

-Speaking after pressing this button takes FAT FINGERS out of play
-Had to be corrected: Little league – HANDSHAKE, Samurai – NINJA, Hayek – SELMA, Quantity – A LOT
-The Aloha Bowl was famous for these kinds of crowds.. Is there something else to do in Hawaii in winter? ;-)
-UCLA , adjacent to Bel AIR, got bounced out of the tourney last night
-SARA LEE? I thought Con Agra owned all food compaies
-QUINOA new to me who lives in grain country
-Some LAKOTA descendants and speakers still live in Winnebago, NE. They were the “feel good” story” (worth reading) for the entire state when they won a state championship and whose star player is waiting acceptance into M.I.T
-Splynter, you’d have to go about 400 mi west of K.C. to get to Mountain time
-I thought Nicklaus’ museum would end in OHIO
-If you saw the video of our kitty on a leash this week, you know that I am afraid she would BOLT other wise
-Think child-proof CAPS are foolproof? Watch this. (4:01)

Misty said...

Well, thank you all. I was sure everyone was going to say this puzzle was a breeze, so I'm glad I'm not the only one who had to cheat and had trouble finishing it. But I actually got most of the South without much problem, and only really got stuck in the NE. Still not bad for a Saturday (I won't even say what I thought about yesterday's Friday bear), so it's beginning to feel like a good weekend, after all.

Have a great one, everybody!

Gramma Jean said...

what's with the Thumper comments?

C6D6 Peg said...

Very tough puzzle, today, but got it done with some WAGS and PERPS. Last to fall was the NE corner. Was workable, although it took way too long. Nice challenge, Kevin & Doug.

Good write-up, Splynter, and even thought what you would post when I saw "Fox's Leg" (GAM). Knew it would be a good one.

Anonymous Answerer said...


Jayce said...

Couldn't solve this one without cheating. I agree with Argyle about not being a fan of puzzles where I need to know the answer to understand the clue. I uttered a RAFT of "Oh jeeez"es on this one.

coneyro said...

Are you sure there isn't a cabal of sadists who get together anarch plot the mental destruction of Saturday puzzle solvers? I understand that weekend crosswords are supposed to be more difficult, but COME ON!

One clue I did know was DALTREY. One of my areas of so-called expertise. Wanted FUTILE instead of FEEBLE. 4D, ALOT or GLUT..Never heard of RAFT used this way. In Brooklyn, "WHAT A RIP " was a common expression when I was growning up. For TUBETOP, I was reminded of the stretchy wide band I wore as a teen in summer, in lieu of bra and shirt.

Alas, too much white was left. It's hard to enjoy a puzzle when you start off with a defeatist attitude. Try as I might, it kicked my butt. Interestingly. I usually get the answers to clues that others find difficult, but it is of the entertainment genre and some, I guess, find this subject trivial.

Anyway, March is almost over, the spring holidays, Passover and Easter are imminent. Days are longer, warmer and life goes on. Scream all you want about the hardship's of life. At least we are alive to do so!

Enjoy your weekend people. Peace and Love...

coneyro said...

First sentence AND plot..Sorry. typo

Steve said...

Learned SWEAT HOG today, that was a new one on me.

I agree with Kazie about billabongs not flowing anywhere - they're waterholes. I did know them from the song "Waltzing Matilda" though, so that was something.

Hand up for SELMA before correcting it.

D-Otto - I'm with you on the NYT vs LAT today.

Later, Gators!

Lucina said...

Hello, friends!

I see that I'm in good company with this challenging brain buster. I started quite early, got the SW corner filled thanks to AUSTRALIA and my daughter who loves QUINOA and has familiarized me with it.

Returned to bed then two hours later, slogged and toiled but finished the NW and some of the SE where TYPO led me to FAT FINGER, tee hee.

The NE and CTR punished and bruised me deeply until I had to research DALTREY and POMELO, changed BERATES to DEFAMES and whew, got done but the eraser had a good workout.

I'm with you all in misery!

Jerome: LOL!

Have a spectacular Saturday, everyone!

erocchio said...

thanks crosseyeddave!! that was a very funny link!!

Kevin Christian said...

I'm very happy to have collaborated on this puzzle with the great Doug Peterson. Doug recently got the gig doing the monthly puzzle in the Southwest Airlines magazine.

This puzzle started with FAT FINGER (is that one word or two? I don't know), BANNER DAY, MERCY RULE, and the SQUEAMISH / QUINOA crossing. I had the most trouble filling the NW corner. Doug is the one who came up with SCARED OFF and ALFA ROMEO to go there.

I like THE PANTS, SWEATHOG, and LA LA LAND, I think all of those are funny.

Today is my wife's birthday. Happy birthday Helen my love!

Hello to my peeps at the ACPT, sorry I couldn't make it this year.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Thanks for admitting to your "cheats," Splynter. That made me feel less like an oddball. I too looked up QUINOA after starting with QUINCE, and JACOB too. I did get a number of long answers right off the bat (RICHELIEU & AUSTRALIA were gimmes), but the short- and medium-rangers almost did me in.
This pzl was distinguished for that, for making itself seem easy at first, then getting down & dirty.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Hard but more satisfying to solve than yesterday's puzzle. I had red-letters flashing all the way and it took some alphabet runs to get toe holds. NW was a groaner. First pass thru I only had ERIE & EMOTE.

Out in the boonies where I used to live, gun holders are "racks" over the back windows of pickup truck cabs. You can bet they are loaded too.

MERCY RULES? I tried "mama calls" and "night falls" as good reasons to end. My 9-yr-old grandson's basketball team won a game this winter 27-0. No MERCY RULES involved there, I guess, but they all went home after the first half after traveling an hour to get there. Ridiculous? My son took off from work early to make the trip. Only consolation was my grandson made 18 of those points.

Had to look up Reno-TAHOE airport. Didn't realize TAHOE was near Reno. Duh!

Reuben's daddy popped into my mind the second time over. This is definitely due to reading "The Red Tent" which some of you ladies recommended last year. Thanks, girls!

Headache still, Splynter? Could it be a concussion? Great expo.

Bill G. said...

Thanks Kevin, Doug and Splynter. Happy birthday Helen.

I just came across a day-long Columbo marathon. They bring back fond memories.

Is it 2015? said...

PK@2:33 said . . .

"you ladies" and "Thanks, girls!".

Avg Joe said...

If there's anyone out there that enjoys college baseball, and gets the Big10 channel, Nebraska and Texas just finished 9 innings scoreless. It's a great game!

PK said...

Yup, I said that. So what? I'm a throw back.


fermatprime said...


Drat! Did very well for 75% of puzzle and got stuck at that point. Enjoyed the gimmes, though (AUSTRALIA, ALFA ROMEO, AFTON, EL CAPITAN).

Enjoyed your posts, as usual!


Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Oh, I got this one! Scrunched up, over DW's SUV, and right into the recycle bin... 3-points for sure :-)

NW was doable as was the SE. USC was easy once UCLA didn't fit. I got DAULTRY - I won a bet w/ step-mom when I was 13 on who did Tommy's Pinball Wizard (she insisted it was Elton John). I love both bands.

I so wanted Ziggy, the Deli Man, for 10a. He makes one hell of a Reuben (save half for dinner). D-O, the next time you're in the Galleria area stop in.

NAH, I won't be a downer - I loved the c/a for GAM @53a (and Splynter's pic!).

Cheers, -T

HowardW said...

Anonymous T: " I won a bet w/ step-mom when I was 13 on who did Tommy's Pinball Wizard (she insisted it was Elton John)."

Well, Elton John *did* sing the song in the movie version. Inferior to the original, imo. But perhaps you should give your step-mom back half of the bet. ;)

Bill G. said...

AnonT, I loved your Deli Man video.

Anonymous T said...


No money was involved - just me, a precocious 13yr-old, besting his elders. Now I've got two of my own kids trying to best me - there's step-mom's 1/2 :-) Cosby's curse...

BTW - that was the fine-point in my arguement - Elton did it in the movie, but the rock-OPERA album is all The Who.

Cheers, -T

Steve Lewis said...

It was a tough slog, requiring at least three sittings, but I finally finished it with no help from Google. Tough but very fair, I thought. This is my kind of puzzle, one that really had me thinking.