Apr 17, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015, Samuel A. Donaldson

Theme: Add a letter, add a pun and stir.

Four in the language phrases which have a word beginning with "W" are re-imagined by adding a "T" before the "W" and creating a soundalike, but differently spelled word. So we have a bit of add a letter and a bit of a punfest. This is our 10th LAT from the mind of Mr. Donaldson, who is a law professor with a fondness for tax law (coincidence this is tax week and his 2014 was published in April?) as well as a frequent visitor to other crossword blogs. His last effort here was a really fun letter substitution where we changed X to G and the meaning changed from prurient to pure. He was first published in the  NYT in 2008, with 16 under his belt there. You can read all about him in the 2009 interview which is linked to the right.

The puzzle sets up as a more conventional Friday based on word length and blocks, with some nice non-theme fill like FELT HAT,  SEASIDE, LAKE ERIE,  ONE FIFTH,  PEDIGREE,  TEA LEONI, CREAM SODAS, ERIC KARROS. He had told C.C. he like compound answers so see how many you find. Anyway, let's take a ride together. The combination with two gridspanners and humor and as well as picking the right words is hard to flesh out, so let me know what you think.

16A. Nail the Miley Cyrus impression? : TWERK LIKE A CHARM.(15). WORK like a charm mean it does well (like magic?) and we all know twerking. right? PG13 (2:18)

24A. Permanently deleted electronic message? : SHREDDED TWEET. (13) Shredded WHEAT.

41A. Minor trade adjustment? : BUSINESS TWEAK.(13)Business WEEK magazine.

55A. "The spasm preceded the other symptoms, Doc"? : TWITCH CAME FIRST. (15). WHICH came first, the chicken or the egg?


1. Year in which Salieri was born : MDCCL. I did not recall this Italian composer who also was a teacher to some very famous pupils. LINK. This made for a tough start.

6. Spunkmeyer of cookie fame : OTIS. No elevator here, this sweet clue.

10. Sports __ : BRA. Any more famous than this picture?

13. Key artery : AORTA.

14. Seattle's __ Place Market : PIKE.. A little home field clue for Sam who lives there.

15. Hazmat suit hazard : TEAR. Tear not tear; defeats the whole purpose.

19. "Madam Secretary" star : TEA LEONI. She has many failed tv shows.

20. "Family Feud" source : SURVEY. "Survey says...."

21. Stately tree : ELM.Stately Elm by Robert Hinshaw

Elm once clad in gold
   Has shed its colorful cloak
       Awaits winter storms
         Bare limbs lifted heavenward
            As if in supplication.

22. "... __ the set of sun": "Macbeth" : ERE. Shakespeare or not, three letters it is going to be ere.

23. Disney title girl from Hawaii : LILO.

30. Cinch : SHOO- IN. Nice fill.

32. "Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!" poet : POE. Lenore. LINK.

33. GPS suggestion : RTE. Route.

34. Prod : NUDGE.

35. Michaels et al. : ALS. The sports announcer from the 1980 miracle Olympic Hockey broadcast and now voice of MNF.

36. End notes? : OBITS. Like this clue/fill as well.

38. Pay extension? : OLA. Payola. Radio scandal from my childhood.

39. It goes around in winter : FLU. Sad but true.

40. Antarctic transport : SNO-CAT. Logical if unknown.

45. Majestic quality : HALO.  Angelic?

46. Playboy nickname : HEF.

47. Kentucky Colonels' org. : ABA. About the fifth time I have gotten the old American Basketball Association.

50. "The Caine Mutiny" Oscar nominee : BOGART. Wonderfully acted movie. Also a synonym of
25D. Be selfish about, in a way : HOG.

53. Genealogical record : PEDIGREE. We think more about animals but it applies to people as well.

57. Used to be : WERE.

58. Hendrix hairdo : AFRO.

59. Royal __: scheduled 2016 British Open site : TROON. St. Andrews this year. LINK.

60. Unmatched : ODD. Fooled me. I luckily do not lose many socks in the wash.

61. The Taj Mahal, e.g. : TOMB. I was taught it was man's greatest erection for woman.

62. Garden plant that thrives in shade : HOSTA.


1. Lackluster finish : MATTE. Also tricky adding to the rough start for me.

2. Wooden pin : DOWEL. But this was easy....

3. Vanilla treats : CREAM SODAS. This was not easy,  but really nice fill.

4. Key not used alone : CTRL. Computer key, duh!

5. Bass Islands locale : LAKE ERIE. A CSO to our own.

6. Wrote an essay, maybe : OPINED.

7. Polynesian carving : TIKI. This is part of a CULTURE.

8. Turner of entertainment : IKE.

9. Vacation area : SEASIDE. How quaint.

10. Oregon State athlete, for short : BEAVers. In this age of pc sports team names, this animal does live on the edge.

11. Rather red : RARE. Nice alliteration and misdirection for 4 letter fill.

12. Legion : ARMY.

15. Lose illegally : THROW. The college basketball scandal of the 50's another from my youth.

17. Winner of six David di Donatello acting awards : LOREN. The ageless beauty....

18. __ film : CULT.

23. Some August babies : LEOS. My father was one.

26. Low grade : D PLUS.

27. Fox commentator who was the 1992 N.L. Rookie of the Year : ERIC KARROS. One of many failed Dodger first baseman since Gil Hodges.

28. Singer James : ETTA. Time for another LISTEN. (3:00).

29. Try : TEST. My patience?

30. Self-appointed expert : SNOB.

31. Online TV giant : HULU.  Their story. LINK.

35. Moreover : ALSO.

36. Common liquor purchase, once : ONE FIFTH. It is 1/5 of a gallon. Now the bottles are 750ml.

37. Scary squeezer : BOA. Alliteration again.

39. Homburg, for one : FELT HAT. Bah.

40. Nobel, for one : SWEDE. A Friday misdirection.

42. "__ when that happens" : I HATE.

43. Buster? : NARC. Another misdirection, nice!

44. Tough syndicate : THE MOB. Next to the narc?

48. Get drunk : BESOT.

49. Insurance giant : AETNA. This unlocked the entire corner for me.

50. USAF stealth plane : BTWO. I will leave commentary to all of our flyboys.

51. Due : OWED.

52. Prepare, as for action : GIRD. Ah, the loins. GIRD GIRO, so close.

53. Chicken __ : PARM. Hmm, do you serve Chicken Parmigiana, or chicken parmesan?

54. Early copter : GIRO. Easily infer-able but I find no reference to this other than as AUTOGIRO.

56. One may be a CPA : CFO. Chief Financial Officer.

Well another Friday done with lots to talk about, Sam stop by and give us some insight. Enjoy all; lemonade out.


George Barany said...

Fun, fun puzzle by Sam Donaldson, who I had the pleasure of meeting a few weeks ago at the ACPT, and no resemblance to the aggressive ABC newscaster with the same name. Each of the theme answers was a mirthful revelation. I also had to laugh at the resourceful clue for I_HATE, and had to wonder about D_PLUS--if a student's performance is so poor as to earn a D, that extra + is not going to make a whole lot of difference. Re 1-Across, Salieri was featured prominently in the play (and movie) "Amadeus," which took considerable liberties with the historical record to make some larger points about creativity genius vs. mediocrity.

Given some of the sports buzz in Sam's puzzle, along with Lemonade's writeup, and knowing the interests of C.C. and several of the regular visitors to the blog, it's a pleasure to share A Major Accomplishment by Tim Croce. Hope you like it as much as I did.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Well, I almost got through this one in one piece. Sadly, however, almost is only good for horseshoes and hand grenades, as my daddy used to say...

I figured out the theme after getting TWERK LIKE A CHARM and TWITCH CAME FIRST, but unfortunately those two answer led me to believe that every theme answer started with a T. So I instantly put a T at the beginning of the other theme answers. Oops.

I finally got that straightened out and slogged through the rest of the puzzle. I understand that Friday puzzles need to be harder than the other days of the week, but I'm not a hug fan of making things difficult simply by making the clues obscure. "Sports ___" and "Chicken ____" for example, just don't excite me too much.

In the end, I managed to get it all done until I hit the crossing of ERICK ARROS and TROON. Both were completely unknown to me and completely non-inferable. Even after I correctly guessed the A in ABA, I ended up going with ERICK ARRIS and TRION. I hope those were obvious to everybody else, but they certainly weren't to me.

Barry G. said...

BTW, George -- I love reading your comments about the day's puzzle, but could you maybe just once or twice leave a comment without also plugging another puzzle on your own site? You know, just so we know you actually care about our little community here and aren't just fake posting something as a way to justify your plug?

Of course, if you are just fake posting to justify your span, I don't suppose you'll ever read this comment...

Big Easy said...

This started well since I knew Salieri was around in Mozart's era, guessing MDCC and LAKE ERIE fell easily. The TW gimmick popped up immediately and helped me ALMOST finish, but I missed on the cross of HO_TA and ERIC KARRO_. New word and person to me.

TEA LEONI- 100% PERPS. And B-TWO bomber for B-2 was an out of the box answer.

Great clues for SHOO IN and THROW. LOREN was a WAG. I initially wrote in Steve HARVEY for SURVEY and LEAK for TEAR in the NE and that caused that area to be the last to fall ( for me).

Speaking of GIRO (I think it should be GYRO, but who am I to know). I can't believe they let that idiot who landed a gyrocopter at the Capitol out on bail. They should have shot him down, no matter what his grievance.

Rainman said...

I got through this one, well, slightly scathed. Very clever theme. I got the four theme answers in reverse order but still had a difficult time getting TWERKLIKEACHARM because of the NE not gelling.

I had BEAV early on (W. coast coll.) but had sports BAR rather than BRA, so ARMY was slow to come, and that was the chink in my armor.
I'm working on a puzzle with a two-letter substitution similar to this and Sam Donaldson's has given me new inspiration to go back and try to make something of it.
I really wanted xxxxTREE instead of PEDIGREE.

WBS, about the Sports ____ -type clues. And I knew not of ERICK ARROS but finally got it when PEDIGREE fell.

Thanks, Lemon, and thanks, George, for the puzzle... IF you read this.


Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning!

A better Friday than I have had in a long time. Thanks, Sam. Lemonade, thanks for the expo.

I opened with Salieri's MDCC bd and just guessed at the L. Not many options left there. In the opposite corner HOSTA was a breeze since that's all I can grow in the sunless corner of my patio. I struggled most of all with the NE. CHARM was slow to emerge.

All I could think of for stealth was Delta Wing and that certainly was not working. When NAS Glenview was still in operation, it served as the base for the Chicago Air Show. All the planes flew over our area. The jets were amazing, but the Delta Wing Stealth was an astonishing sight. Now I think they fly out of Gary, IN.

Busy day today. I'll have a little more confidence tomorrow's puzzle; I hope it won't be dashed too quickly.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Pretty much the second half of WBS.. I wasn't sure if it was ERIC K... or ERICK A.... But I went with KARRAS and TRAON. Two sports references crossing the name of a sports figure was my doom. DNF.

Lemonade714 said...

Eric Karros is the ball player. LINK

inanehiker said...

Enjoyed the change a letter/spelling/new meaning theme.
WEES about ERIC ARROS - didn't know until I came here whether it was that or Erick Arrros.

I live only an hour plus from Whiteman AFB home of the B2 bomber - so that was a gimme. Not unusual to see one in the sky - so huge, but so quiet.
Have a happy TGIF day, thanks Lemonade and Sam D..

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling thoughts":

A Friday speed run? Whaat??! Hey, the brain was in "cruise CTRL" today I guess

What was not to like? All of the TW solves had great clueing; 24a was MY favorite; perps certainly helped along the way, but I can't recall a Friday puzzle with no ink blots or googles.

Thanks Sam and Lemony for an enjoyable half hour of puzzling and recap this morning

Oh, and of course a CSO too, to our Tinbeni for ONE FIFTH; though I'm guessing he buys his Pinch in a half gallon! ;^)

Happy weekend, all. Maybe a limerick tomorrow ...

Anonymous said...

"ERIC KARROS. One of many failed Dodger first baseman since Gil Hodges."

Another troll job by our favorite failed CFO, lemony? Or just ignorance?

CrossEyedDave said...

Just too many unknowns. (I guess that's my fault) but once you start looking things up, it takes the fun out of figuring out a Friday puzzle.

I will be back after my research into what it was I learned today...

Jerome said...

I need a little help developing a theme. Is anyone here aware of the phrase "Sit on a dime". Or can anyone come up with a phrase that's not contrived, and is in the language,that starts with Sit and is a total of twelve letters long.

Jerome said...

Oops... I meant ten or eleven letters long.

Anonymous said...

Sit right here

Sittin' pretty

Anonymous said...

sit right here

Anonymous said...

well that was fun, not!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Got the theme, which is quite good, but not the puzzle. Stymied in both right side corners.

I have a nit on TWERK LiKE A CHARM. Unless Miley Cyrus is somehow a CHARM, the fill makes no sense, and for that reason, I was very reluctant to complete the entry. The other theme entries are fine. Chicken PARM? Shouldn't that be indicated as an abrv?

Never heard of ERIC KARROS.

IF BEAV had been clued as Bluffton University athlete, I would have known it.

Lackluster finish is a great clue.

We have a concert on Monday with guest artist Roger Ingram.
Quite a kick. If you're going to be anywhere near Livonia MI on Monday evening, email me for details. Yes this is a shameless plug.

Barry G - I always enjoy reading your comments about the day's puzzle. But we don't need self appointed arbiters of other regular commenter's comments. George is sharing things that are relevant to a puzzle loving community, that we otherwise almost certainly would not see. If this annoys you, feel free to not read what he posts. I'm almost certain he won't be offended.

Cool regards!

Anonymous said...

Great puzzle. Theme was very helpful
One Natick, ERIC KAREIS and TRION. I substitutes I for O.
Famous AMOS cookies before OTIS, but I sussed it in time.

Anonymous said...

Sit straight

Sit this out

Sit on a story

Sit on a tack

Anonymous said...

Jazz said "Barry G - I always enjoy reading your comments about the day's puzzle. But we don't need self appointed arbiters of other regular commenter's comments. George is sharing things that are relevant to a puzzle loving community, that we otherwise almost certainly would not see. If this annoys you, feel free to not read what he posts. I'm almost certain he won't be offended."

I admire the irony of being hypocritical!

Jazzbumpa said...

Jerome -

I'm not familiar with SIT ON A DIME.


Sadly, SIT ON YOUR HANDS has way too many letters.

SIT THE BENCH (11) preside or, in a different sense, be a 2nd teamer

SIT ON A CASE (10) as an attorney

To SIT ON something, like evidence or a matter under deliberation, also means to hold back or suppress, if that helps.


Jazzbumpa said...

I admire the inability to distinguish between hypocrisy and irony.

Even more than my appreciation for lack of reading comprehension.

Anonymous said...

How can someone, who supposedly watches baseball, not heard of Eric Karros? I imagined you would have some sort of statistical graph charting some meaningless information that shows justification of his inclusion to the Dodger HOF.

Ralph Malph said...

Sit on it, Potsie!

Husker Gary said...

Lovely summation counselor on this Friday tester! Dang, ERIC/ERIK, SNOCAT/SNOKAT coin flip was wrong

-TWERK LIKE A CHA(MP) and TWI(NGE) CAME FIRST until theme became more obvious
-Get along little doggie PROD
-Al Michaels, “Do you believe in miracles” and Russ Hodges, “The Giants win the pennant…” are the two most famous calls in sports history
-Downton Abbey worked the post WWI Spanish FLU pandemic into the storyline
-Caine expected loyalty even when he had clearly gone off the deep end
-Lauritzens Gardens in Omaha are nationally know for their countless varieties of HOSTAS
-Mike Reilly was a high school star QB in Corvallis, Oregon (home of the BEAVS) and coached there for two stints. He gave it all up to be the new Husker head coach last year.
-How does a chef make sure a $60 steak is RARE while doing everything else?
-When you see how ballplayers were treated, it’s not hard to see why they were open to THROW the 1919 series. Whether they did or not…
-Frank Pentangeli did not NARC on THE MOB
-I have done many of George’s lovely puzzles and had some great email exchanges with him

Howard said...

I agree Husker. My vote to round out the top 3 would be:

"Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!"

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I will graciously defer to Thumper.

If I never hear of or see Miley Cyrus again, it would be too soon. OTOH, seeing Tea Leoni was great as I think she is absolutely spot on in Madame Secretary. Casting her in the title role was a stroke of genius on someone's part.

Thanks for the detailed expo, Lemony.

Have a great day.

Lucina said...

Greetings, friends!

For the most part, this filled easily but I definitely have a nit about some impossibly getable sports clues, ALS (Michaels), ERICK KARROS, which require dedicated knowledge. ABA was also too obscurely clued.

PIKE Place is a site we visited last summer while in Seattle. But the NE corner held me up for a long while until SURVEY emerged then BEAV and all the rest.

I limped to the end with some bad cells but did enjoy the challenge. Thank you, Sammuel and ALSO Lemonade. I always learn something from you.

If you haven't read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, I believe you would enjoy it. Much of the story focuses on vintage airplanes from WWII.

Have a lovely Friday, everyone!

Lemonade714 said...

As the person who spends the time preparing the Friday write up and who (along with C.C.) reads all of your comments, I think little family spats are common for any community and the diversity of opinions is necessary for the survival of the blog.

I understand the comments made by our regulars today and believe I understand why they were made. I also know that each solver has certain prejudices by which a puzzle is viewed. Too much sports! I hate baseball! Who cares about opera? Astronomy? Celebrities? Miley Cyrus? Proper names? Puns, so lame. Anagrams, those aren't anagrams!

Now imagine you are goign to construct a puzzle to please all of the audience; what would you include?

This is a game. Enjoy.

Peripatetic Wanderer said...

Difficult puzzle, Nice blog, Lemonade714.

Re: Barry G.'s comment on George's plug. We all know he posts to plug. And some of us have even taken him up, on it.

That also, the plug is relevant to this blog subject matter.
He doesn't personally profit from the plug - and he has immensely profound academic qualifications- George Barany, that is.

Having said that, I also greatly admire Barry. G. and I agree with his letter. It was well written and respectful - and in a sense it had to be said - though only once.

Plugs on this site should be OK, so long as it's not pure spam. Heck, I would like to plug something myself - though I doubt any of you have ever used Gum Arabic in your cooking cuisine.

Have a great weekend everybody.

Anonymous said...

...says the self-appointed expert.

Anonymous said...

As the person who prefers the color blue, that sentence makes no sense.

Bill G. said...

Good morning everybody. I enjoyed the puzzle though it was hard (in places) for me. I don't know how anyone could start off successfully with an obscure Roman numeral date (though I do remember Salieri from Amadeus). But the date, no. Also, though I wagged PARM, I agree it seemed odd not to give a hint of an abbreviation. I'm guessing it was thought to be something "in the language" though not in my language. I thought Eric Karros was fair. He was a well-known baseball player and is now a color commentator.

Thanks Sam D. and Lemon.

I certainly prefer to solve a puzzle with no Googling and no red letters. However, I would far rather get a little help than just declare a DNF.

Irish Miss said...

I just read yesterday's late posts and would like to respond to Anonymous @ 2:18. If I ever made a statement that I do not respond to Anons, it would have been directed at the ones who use this forum to make snarky and mean personal attacks, not Anons in general.

Lemon @ 11:02 - You must know by now that I rarely complain about the puzzles content or cluing. And, I most often praise the constructor's efforts and ability, even if the puzzle wasn't my cup of tea. My comment about MC was a generalization, not a reflection on Mr. Donaldson.

As far as what would I include to appeal to a broad audience, I would be the first to admit that developing a theme for a puzzle, creating clues and fill, would probably be achieved right after I win the Nobel Peace Prize.


Anonymous said...

Since when did a SNOB become a self-appointed expert?

Peripat Wanderer said...

Gary H,: How does a cook ensure that $ 60 steak is RARE while doing everything else ?

If he knows how to keep his job, he will SIT ON IT - on the skillet, that is, while the steak is cooking.. and get off when he can't bear the pain. That's RARE.

A recently heard, ancient jewish joke...

A patrol officer in NYC observes an old man driving at 10 mph. through the city streets, at 3 a.m. He stops him, for a casual look.

-- Hey, old timer, what are you doing driving at such a late hour ?

-- I am going to be attending an important lecture on the evils of drinking and its effect on family life.

-- whaaat ? Who's this whose giving this lecture on alchoholism at 3 o'clock in the morning ?

-- my wife.

Misty said...

I almost, almost got this one without cheating--my first Friday puzzle in ages. And I only had to cheat a tiny bit to get the NE corner (just didn't think of Miley Cyrus as a CHARM and figured the Disney girl's name had to end in an A, like LILA). But this still was a totally fun and delightful puzzle, many thanks, Sam. And I liked seeing that ELM poem, Lemonade. So, a great way to end the week!

Irish Miss, I'm with you on liking TEA LEONI's performance on "Madame Secretary"

And thanks, Barry G.

Have a great weekend coming up, everybody!

Peripatic Wandeererer said...

Bill G., here's a math puzzle - that you may have heard of before, to ADD to your math collection.

Unfort., solution is enclosed.

Lemonade714 said...

Lilo and Stitch was an interesting movie.

Bluehen said...

Never jump to conclusions. I looked at 1a. and thought "Oh, no. Roman numerals. I'm going to hate this puzzle." I liked it. I really, really liked it.
Thanks S.A.D. And thank you, Lemonade714, for your usual erudite expo.

AnonT from yesterday: Definitely the Emeril way. Definitely. I can only imagine the carnage that would ensue if I were to plop down the dish from the first picture in the middle of our dining table. Food, blood and gore everywhere.

And finally, thanks to whomever linked the "Duck Amuck" cartoon. ROFLMAO.

inanehiker said...

Anon @ 11:37 -- I think of self appointed expert with SNOB - in the context of eg a wine SNOB.

Anonymous said...

Lemony, a good explicator would have included the LILO and Stitch reference in the original write-up. However, I do appreciate you using (wasting) one of your five posts to do so now.


coneyro said...

Whew...This one was a test of fortitude.

Starting at 1A, I knew from the start it was going to be a rough ride. What year? Who's Salieri?

The theme was easily figured out, but like others, the NE corner ...BRA/BAR, did not know BEAV, had no clue, so could not get CHARM. I do not like "fill in the blank" entries, especially because it's often only guess work, and takes so much time to suss out. CULTFILM? No one could possibly get that as a first try. No tie in at all. Just skip it and wait for perps, if you're lucky and know the cross entries.

Learning moment...SNOCAT, ERICKARROS, TROON, HOSTA, GIRO. For 53D, thought of chicken WIRE, then the M from TOMB made me change to FARM. Only after the SE corner filled in a little more and I realized PEDIGREE was 53A, did the PARM emerge. I realize the word is short for PARMESAN, but it's not clued as an abbreviation. Wasted a lot of time on that.

Spent much longer than I wanted to on this one. It beat me, but I stayed strong to the end. Filled in 2/3 on my own, perp help with some and then to the blog for the remaining. Went down fighting.

Just a note...Adding chocolate syrup to taste and about 2 tablespoons of whole milk to a cup of CREAM SODA makes a mock egg cream. It's fattening but delicious!

And another week is kaput. This month is speeding by too fast. Too much to do, in so little time.

Have a good weekend all. Stay safe.

coneyro said...

Just looked up SALIERI. No wonder the name was unknown to me. While I am a music lover with diversified tastes, concertos, operas, and such of this genre are not "my thing. Sorry for being so uncouth and undignified.

George Barany said...

Hi again,

To the already-mentioned list of great sportscaster's calls, please add "We'll see you tomorrow night."

Also, apologies to anyone I may have offended whenever I have brought "bonus" puzzles to the attention of this group that so clearly loves crosswords. I have had numerous rewarding e-mail exchanges with several of the regulars here, starting with your leader C.C., and I am gratified to know that, on balance, my occasional contributions are appreciated.

Today's puzzle was constructed by Tim Croce, one of the top cruciverbalists active today, who has his own site where he offers a weekly themeless puzzle. Tim is also a huge sports fan, as are so many of us, and was inspired by recent events to construct a themed puzzle that he felt was more suited for my Barany and Friends site than his own. I was of course delighted to oblige, and thought that many of you would like to know about it too.

Paul in Montebello said...

That's the point.

Paul in Montebello said...

Easy...but I wouldn't have gotten HOSTA except that I had everything else.

C6D6 Peg said...

Late to post today. Helped some friends with a garage sale this am.

Thanks, Sam, for a very "punny" offering today. My favorite type! It was a DNF due to the Eric Karros and Troon crossing.

Thanks, Lemonade, for your usual great write-up.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Afternoon, Argyle and friends. Funny theme. TWITCH CAME FIRST was my first theme answer, which helped figure out the other theme answers. I must say, however, there is nothing CHARMing about Miley Cyrus and her TWERKing!

I knew Salieri and Mozart were in the same century, which helped to narrow down the Roman Numerals.

TROON was a complete unknown.

I have a lot of HOSTA growing in my back yard.

Enjoy the weekend, puzzlers.

QOD: An incinerator is a writer’s best friend. ~ Thornton Wilder (Apr. 17, 1897 ~ Dec. 7, 1975)

Jayce said...

I found this puzzle to have easy places and very hard places. For me, TEA LEONI, LILO, and BOGART were easy. The whole SW corner was impossible for me, not knowing HOSTA, TROON, nor ERIC KARROS. I once knew personally Mr. Harold Pitcairn of autogyro fame, but we always spelled it GYRO, so that added to my difficulty in that area. Putting in CREAMPUFFS also messed me up. Gotta admire Mr. Donaldson's craftsmanship in the construction of this puzzle, though.
I once nicknamed a chopstick "Roddy McDOWEL." Long story.
Best wishes to you all.

Unknown said...

Great puzzle !!! I do agree with Barry G's comments about the obvious plugging. It invades the community that has evolved here

JJM said...

This was a tough puzzle that took me longer than usual to finish, and I admit to using 2 red letters in the SW corner. Love TEA LEONI….especially in the film "Family Man" with Nick Cage. Got ERIC KARROS almost immediately as not only does he work on the Game of the Week but also was once a Cub. speaking of which if you're a fan you'll get to see Kris Bryant in his MLB debut today. Worth watching. Could be the next Mike Trout!

Tinbeni said...

Was at a Tax Seminar ... maybe I will attempt the puzzle later ... after attending the NY Yankee -v- Tampa Bay Rays game (where I get to "root!" for both teams).

Just had to THANK George Barany for his many comments regarding Crossword puzzles and the pleasure he gives us by linking bonus crossword puzzles.

Chairman Moe @9:16
I usually purchase the various Scotch Brands in the 1.75L bottle.
Though I did find Black Bottle in a 1.0L size. (It's smooooooooth!!!)
Haven't purchased Pinch since last July 1st when they raised the price from $45 to $60 a 1.75L bottle.


Jerome said...

Thanks for your help everyone. I might have to Sit this one out.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Never heard of HOSTA before this morning. Thank you, XWD! And thank you, Mr. Donaldson!

Lucina said...

Of course, you are right and I'm sorry I allowed my irritation to show. It's all in one's frame of reference, after all. Though I have absolutely no knowledge of ERIC KARROS, I do know about Salieri and the century in which he lived.

Thank you for your perspective and your wise words.

And thank you, George Barany, for bringing us more sources of crossword puzzles. I do many of the ones you link as I'm always looking for more puzzles to solve.

Recently I saw a clever clue for HIVE, bee flat. Has anyone (besides Rich, I imagine) ever seen that? It made me chuckle.

Anonymous T said...

Hi all!

Even w/ no idea who Salieri was I figured it had to start w/ an M or a C, hence MATTE. I played with the lackluster perps and AORTA and ELM was felled. Next Roman numeral please...

M, C, or D? DOWEL fit the hole.

I had fun puzzle, but finally had to lookup 27d to help breakup the SE. DNF.

In the NE, car, bar, BRA? I tried each down and ARMY made BRA a SHOO IN.

W/os - OPINENs 1st and trying to squeeze Dminus in at 26d.

Fav - OBITS. End Notes for those who WERE before the TOMB and HALO.

Thanks Samuel and Lem.

Jerome - I didn't read on before playing w/ 12 letters - sit and listen and sit right back. I liked Anon Ralph's suggestion.

A buddy was a test-pilot for BTWO's (no, B2s) after repair at TAFB. Gutsy.

I think of Miley as the TWERK.

A BUSINESS TWEAK was needed at Bloomberg today.

Cheers, -T

Pat said...

Wow! A Friday puzzle that didn't totally defeat me. I didn't get the themes and got most of the rest of the answers.

Thanks, Mr. Donaldson, for the challenge. Thanks, Lemonade, for the write-up.

I'm still surprised sometimes at things I think are hard and other find to be easy, and the opposite. I have lots of HOSTAs in my yard, so that was easy. Deer love them. As long as they eat the ones at the top of the hill in the back yard, I'm OK with it. Just stay out of the landscape.

It's a beautiful spring day today. I could take a few months of weather like this: 76*,40% humidity, sunny.

Have a great rest-of-your-day.


CrossEyedDave said...

Whew! It's past 5 o'clock here on the East Coast... TGIF! Even if it had a rough start...

Actually, I think it was 1A that got me grumpy from the get go. Bill G @ 11:35, I agree with you, & I should have gone red letter. It is just that it felt like I had to look up everything! (ever have one of those days...) I have since reread the puzzle, & was surprised at how much I got, & if I had went with my WAGs I might have nearly finished this puzzle...

Favorite clue/answer: 36A end notes?=Obits

Favorite write up comment: 61A The Taj Mahal E.G.,

Best learning moment: Jzb@9:54 (I looked up the difference between irony & hypocrisy) Excellent!

Twerk... (with kudos to last nites Anon!)

Tweet? (I wish...)

The 1st tweak

And finally, Me doing the puzzle this morning...

Jayce said...

What do you get when you run a bird through the food chopper? Shredded tweet.

fermatprime said...


Thank you, Sam and Lemonade!

Fun puzzle, but some naticks, as mentioned above. Hence, a FIW.

What Irish Miss said about TEA LEONE.

It is a beautiful day here!

Can't swim since pool timer has conked out again. Lasted only one year out of its supposed five year life. Sob.


Big Easy said...

Having never solved a puzzle on a computer, I always try to solve the puzzle in ink in the newspaper. It's the challenge of leaving the square blank and seeing the finished product with only the correct letters. Years ago I would Google movies and actors but just leave them blank now until the perps fill in. That's how I got the Bogart and Leoni answers today. I give in after 15 minutes except on Saturday.

LTL said...

Is this the same Barry G. who used to shamelessly and repeatedly hawk his own for-profit web site (cheap t-shirts, dumb slogans, etc.)? Certainly smells like hypocrisy from here.

Anonymous T said...

fermat - pool is a 4-letter word.

Pool guy finally showed up with the board for the heater, then told me the blower was bad after a TEST. New heater? My checkbook TWITCHed.

LTL - You're thinking of someone else who(m?) I won't out.

C, -T

BarbieMom said...

Fun puzzle. All I can grow in my yard is hosta.

Avg Joe said...

I'd agree. Fun puzzle, but never easy. And it's also interesting how some things come easily for some solvers, but others don't. For me, Troon and hosta were cake. Eric Karros was ESP. Got er done, but with great difficulty and about an hour effort. Hope tomorrow isn't too punishing.

Avg Joe said...

One other thing. I did get Gyro immediately, but had to correct the Y to I. But more to the point, I'm curious about Dudley's thoughts on the DC event yesterday.

SwampCat said...

Is it too late to comment? I loved the puzzle, though it defeated me. I was thrilled that I got so many things right!

Lemon, as always, a witty and informative expo. Thanks!

And as for the family feuds, oh c'mon, kids. Chill! We're all in this together! Yes, there are posts some of us don't like. But at the end of the that too much of a cliche? .... We all love the CWs and talking about them here. Thanks, C.C.!!

Anonymous said...

It was a protest, man. Hold your fire.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Late to the party again. Put me down for a solid DNF for this one, I couldn't get the NE corner without red letter help. I think I got the baseball player right but only because of perps.

Lucina 10:58 - the LW finished Unbroken recently and added it to my book list. Sounds good! I admire the resolve of the Greatest Generation.

Avg. Joe 7:15 - honestly, I'm not too sure what to think of that gyrocopter stunt yesterday. I assume the security force knew the craft was on the way, and sorta guess they chose to let the thing land rather than cause a huge uproar by blowing it out of the sky. After all, burning, descending wreckage creates a greater hazard than a gently landed machine. As to the legal side, there's a lot I simply don't understand. Restricted airspace exists all over the nation, and pilots fear to penetrate it without authorization because the FAA has authority to revoke licenses; however, they don't have the say-so to put people in jail. This episode is just that - an unauthorized use of very restricted airspace, as far as FAA is concerned. What happens on the ground is somebody else's business. Dunno what laws are involved. I do know I'm not tempted to find out!

Anonymous T said...

Re GIRO-man: From what I've read his buddy know about his plans and, fearing for his safety, alerted authorities. My favorite part is GIROman (a postal worker) put stamps on all the envelopes addressed to the congress-critters.

Rainman - re: Bill G.'s anon (last night) - I don't know what the donations are for, but server upkeep is Google's problem ( is a Google service - the better to know you with :-)).

As far as posts on the blog, SURVEY says* "If it's OK w/ Argyle, it's OK w/ me."

D-O - still above water. I saw animals lining themselves up two-by-two this afternoon.

And now for something completely different Tacky from Weird Al. Mentions both TWERK and TWEET.* (@2:18)

Cheers, -T
*Worst holloween idea ever