May 12, 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 Bruce Haight

Theme: It's the berries

39A. Word that can follow the starts of 17-, 26-, 50- and 58-Across : BERRIES

17A. Scary R.L. Stine series for kids : GOOSEBUMPS. Gooseberry - Wiki.

26A. Panamas, e.g. : STRAW HATS. Strawberry.

50A. Witchcraft and such : BLACK ARTS. Blackberry.

58A. Symbols of Democratic victories : BLUE STATES. Blueberry.

Argyle here. All theme entries are in plural form. Very consistent.

The two longest entries are not theme related but are in the columns so not a problem. Three of the berries may be on your breakfast table but gooseberry, not so much.


1. Like a sluggard : LAZY

5. Bottomless pit : ABYSS

10. Diving duck : SMEW

14. Woodwind with nearly a three-octave range : OBOE

15. Popeye's nemesis : BLUTO

16. Water-draining aid : EAVE. Perhaps in the sense it spaces the rain out from the base of the wall.

19. Barely makes, with "out" : EKES

20. Construction beam : I-BAR

21. Invention protection : PATENT

23. __ the races : OFF TO. Preakness prediction?

29. Crossword constructor's chore : CLUING

31. "Fiddlesticks!" : "OH, DARN!"

32. Small boys : TADS

33. Scoundrel : ROUE

35. New York governor before Pataki : CUOMO. Tricky...Mario is the father of current governor Andrew.

38. Hosp. heart test : EKG. Here we go again.

41. Squishy lowland : FEN

42. R&B singer __ Marie : TEENA

44. Toon Snorkasaurus : DINO. The Flintstones' pet.

45. Way off in the distance : AFAR

46. Magazine with an annual list of the world's 2,000 biggest public companies : FORBES

48. In a wise way : SAGELY

53. Succinct : TERSE

54. Get a new actor for : RECAST

55. Fictional reporter Lane : LOIS

57. Memo abbr. : ATTN.

64. Like racehorses : SHOD

65. Grimm brutes : OGREs

66. Smitten to the max : GAGA

67. Parade honoree : HERO

68. Meddlesome sort : YENTA

69. Unrestrained indulgence : ORGY


1. Shipboard diary : LOG

2. Blood typing system : A-B-O

3. Field trip destination : ZOO

4. Adamant affirmation : "YES, IT IS!"

5. "Take a Chance on Me" group : ABBA

6. Makes fuzzy : BLURS

7. "Delicious!" : "YUM!"

8. "The Racer's Edge" : STP

9. Steel-wool scrubber : SOS PAD

10. Sheer, informally : SEE-THRU

11. Seller's suggestion : MAKE AN OFFER

12. Javelin throw, for one : EVENT

13. Adam and Mae : WESTs

18. "... the __ blackness of the floors": Poe : EBON

22. Gulf War defense acronym : AWACS. A(irborne) W(arning) A(nd) C(ontrol) S(ystem)

23. Nonet minus one : OCTET. 9-1=8

24. Speck of snow : FLAKE

25. Experimental margin of error : FUDGE FACTOR

27. Trap victim? : TOURIST

28. Germany's longest river, to Germans : RHEIN. (the Rhine)

30. Univ. senior's exam : GRE. (Graduate Record Examination)

34. Ham sandwich and a soda, e.g. : ORDER. "Would you like some fries or chips with that?"

36. Lunch and dinner : MEALS

37. How ham may be served : ON RYE

39. Sounds from pounds : BARKS

40. Daybreak goddess : EOS

43. "Sorry, that's impossible" : "NO CAN DO"

45. In the distant past : AGES AGO

47. Dugout assistant : BATBOY

49. Quarreling : AT IT

50. In-your-face : BRASH

51. River in Hades : LETHE. Its water caused forgetfulness of the past.

52. Wintry precipitation : SLEET

56. Peak of Greek myth : OSSA. In Greek mythology, the Aloadaes are said to have attempted to pile Mount Pelion on top of Mount Ossa in their attempt to scale Olympus.

59. Shirt size abbr. : LGE

60. Coffee dispenser : URN

61. Roofing sealer : TAR

62. __ on your face : EGG

63. Put into words : SAY



OwenKL said...

Birds and people on ripe BERRIES are fed.
The birds know which, by instinct it's said.
But folks make mistakes
And get tummy aches,
They forget that BLACKberries are green when they're red!

Bugs Bunny is known as a cartoonish actor,
But at empirical science he's also a master!
He has raw statistics
On raw carrot-ish sticks
But he must make allowance for an Elmer FUDdGE FACTOR!

Lemonade714 said...

A very doable puzzle with little deception, though I agree EAVE was the hardest to suss. I understand eaves keep the rain from the walls, but a singular EAVE seems wrong.

The Berry theme was very timely as they are very plentiful in spring.

Thanks for the puzzle and write up

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Mostly straightforward solve today. Had a little difficulty getting going in the NE with SMEW and EAVE due to the CLUING, but the perps eventually took care of everything.

Nice to see the "proper" EKG in the grid.

The theme was nice, although it would have been nice to see more types of berries. Speaking of berries, we apparently have a mulberry tree growing in the corner of our backyard. It appeared a few years ago as what looked like a large invasive weed. I wanted to rip it out, but my father-in-law adopted it and nursed it back to health after it got damaged. Last year it sprouted leaves for the first time, followed by berries. I had no idea what type of tree it was at first, so I left the berries alone. I later looked up the leaves online and discovered it was a mulberry tree and that the berries are supposed to be delicious. Now we are just waiting for the berries to appear again so I can snatch them up before the birds get them...

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Argyle and friends. Yummy puzzle!

EAVE didn't bother me, although I was initially thinking of draining a sink. It was the SMEW that was harder to come by. TEAL is the usual "go-to" duck answer.

I liked how Way Off in the Distance crossed with In the Distant Past.

My favorite clue was Trap Victim = TOURIST.

Mario CUOMO (1932 ~ 2015) died on the eve of his son's inauguration.

QOD: You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you. ~ Yogi Berra (b. May 12, 1925)

Lemonade714 said...

Good luck out smarting birds BG. We grew blue, black and strawberries when I was young and the birds went after the blueberry bushes. We put cheesecloth over the fruit to discourage them. It helped. Mulberry bushes/trees grow taller and harder r protect.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This was definitely Tuesday level (as in not Monday level). Shot myself in the foot with YESSIREE, and SANELY made AGES AGO slow to appear. Overall, I liked it -- definitely didn't Haight it.

Avg Joe said...

An enjoyable romp today. Needed the reveal to get the theme, and needed the theme to get the reveal. Luckily that worked out.

I see you're trying to gather some Ashberries DO. I don't think they grow in your area.

Enjoyed yesterday's outing very much, C.C. Just didn't have time to comment.

Yellowrocks said...

I zipped through this one in just a few minutes, even before I had my coffee. It was more of a simple Monday type. SMEW was obvious. I do ACROSS and DOWN simultaneously so I had the S.
What do GOOSE and STRAW have in common? Aha-BERRIES!. The theme came quickly.
The U in ROUE and TOURIST was my last entry. Although, the clue is acceptable, ROUE implies a lecherous person, not just any type of scoundrel.
We have more trouble with the chipmunks eating our bulbs and vegetables than with birds. This week a bear has been coming up on the patios in our development. I am keeping my slider closed so he can't come in through the screen door.
CC, fine puzzle yesterday. I like the way you make early week puzzles interesting.

Fact Checker said...

"[Mario] Cuomo died on January 1, 2015, in his home in Manhattan, New York, of heart failure, only hours after his son Andrew was sworn-in to a second term as Governor of New York State." - Wikipedia

thehondohurricane said...

Good day all,

I found this puzzle to be pretty dicey, albeit, I was the cause of most of my issues. For instance, 1A Logy/LAZY, 10A Loon/SMEW, 64A Bred/SHOD 28D Rhine/RHEIN & 35a Coumo/CUOMO. Needless to say, the eraser got a good workout.

As my initial errors were corrected, things went smoothly. Like Hahtoolah, my fav was Trap victim/TOURIST.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Easy enough solve today with no searches or erasures needed. Started drooling when the unifier fell (although I was less familiar with GOOSEBERRY.)
FUDGE FACTOR - Wondered if the clue should have hinted at slang. Not a word one would expect to see in a professional journal.
LOG - Did you know it is Naval tradition to write the 1st log (mid-watch) in a New Year in verse? I once stood such a watch and wrote (what little I remember):

"Moored at Pier 20
In a nest of 5 ships
Our radar's secured
There are no pips."
(……and so on……)

Tinbeni said...

Only needed ESP (Every Single Perp) to get SMEW & TEENA. Thanks for the link Argyle!

Last to fall was the reveal BERRIES and TOURIST (trap). Great CLUING!

Hondo: I guess you could say I picked the right NY YANKEE game, last night, to go to this week.

Tonight it is "nail-biting-time" with the Lightning-v-Canadians game. I'll watch on TV.


Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Thanks Bruce for a sweet Tuesday. This was actually a FIW for me as I neglected to notice that I had lads for TADS, so the OCTET was wrong. Generally, I did a better job of checking perps so GOOSEBUMPS fell nicely after I peeked at the LOG.

I usually run Horizontals and then Verticals. My son is always chastising me for that. So I have taken to checking perps right away. Checking perps save erasers.

I struggled with TEENA, I was looking for Tina and thought this must be someone else. I, too, liked Trap victim--nice CLUING!

Thanks again for the links, Argyle. I was stumped by SMEW, but I won't be again now that I know what a beauty it is.

The weather is cool, but that helps to hold all the beauty of Spring flowers. Enjoy your day.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

A smooth and easy solve. "Berry" nice, Bruce and Argyle.

Cooler temps and rain today but we need it.

Have a great day.

SwampCat said...

Easy Tuesday for me, but I shot myself in the foot with YentE instead of YENTA. OSSE seemed ok to me, so I can't claim victory.

Fun write-up, and great poetry today, even the naval kind!
Thanks to all.

Montana said...

Nice Tuesday puzzle. Thanks.


CrossEyedDave said...


Roue & Rhein are not in my lexicon, & I doubt I will be using them any time soon...


Just don't ask where Bagel street is!

The Black Arts today...

Red States, Blues States? Oh well, We all have our priorities...

(ESP= Every Single Perp. Good one Tinbeni!)

OwenKL got me wondering, I like to eat raspberries while hiking, but how to know that they are not unripe blackberries?

In a nutshell,
ridged stems = blackberries
smooth round stems = raspberries
As per this site...

CrossEyedDave said...

Actually this site is better...

A red raspberry will be hollow when picked, an unripe blackberry is not hollow.

JJM said...

Tinbeni…Ryan Callahan is out for tonight as he had an emergency appendectomy last night. I think that tips the scales towards Les Habitants even though the game is in T.B. Stamkos will have to up his game some.

C6D6 Peg said...

Really liked the offering by Bruce today. Favorite fill was FUDGEFACTOR. Haven't heard that in a long time.

Argyle, thanks for the excellent write-up.

Tinbeni said...

The "scales-were-tipped" when the "Disney-On-Ice" show FROZEN was booked to appear at Amalie Arena this weekend.

Geez, there are about 40,000 little kids locally routing against the Lightning so those shows won't be cancelled.

Callahan's loss will be easily erased by "The Triplets!"

ALL my Sunset-Toasts will be for the Lightning!

Bill G. said...

This puzzle's theme reminded me of several trips we made up the coast of California to Oregon and beyond. Very scenic. Often I'd see wild blackberries growing on the side of the road. I'd stop and pick some. My arms and legs kept getting scratched up from the thorns. Lots of free, ripe berries though.

When we are in need of some jam, Smucker's seedless boysenberry jam is about as good as it gets.

JJM said...

No question Tyler Johnson is an exciting player. I love to watch that kid skate. Kucherov is a really nice player as well. And Palat compliments them nicely. I think the loss of Callahan is huge though. Former NYR Captain… that's a player you don't want going down in the play-offs. It'll be hard to replace what he gives that team in intangibles alone.

Spitzboov said...

BERRIES - In northern Scandinavia they have lingonberries. Tart but when made into a compote or jam, very delicious. I've had it with reindeer meat. A superb combination.
Also known as cowberry and these other names:

mountain cranberry
red whortleberry
lowbush cranberry
mountain bilberry
partridgeberry[11] (in Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island)
redberry (in Labrador and the Lower North Shore of Quebec)

Big Easy said...

Pretty fast breeze 'thru' with GOOSE BUMPS and TAD being my only unknowns. I thought TAD was a name.

Started out with YESIREE but quickly saw that it wouldn't work.

FUDGE FACTOR- Which has the greatest? Medicare fraud, food stamp fraud, or free cell phones? My money is on Medicare.

I had an EKG last Tuesday but the printout read 'Normal ECG'. Even the hospital calls it two different things.

Now where is the picture of Mae WEST in sheer? That dress would be BUSTing at the seams.

Lucina said...

Hello, friends!

WEES. This was the BERRIES with very nice CLUING which made it fun and fast. Kids love the GOOSEBUMPS series of books so that posed no problem.

TEENA was a pure guess and SMEW took a while until realizing that Adam and Mae were WESTS.

CUOMO did confuse me so thanks, Argyle, for reminding me of the father/son connection. ORDER was my last fill though ON RYE appeared early on.

TOURIST was my fav also as I've often been that victim.

Thank you Bruce Haight and Argyle for a good start to the day.

Have a wonderful Tuesday, everyone!

coneyro said...

Very tasty puzzle.

Just a side note regarding yesterday's comments on plane crashes. The famous singer, Kyu Sakamoto, who sang Sukiyaki(one of my personal all time favorites) was aboard the Japanese plane on August 13,1985, which came down near Tokyo killing 520 persons. It is the deadliest single plane crash in history to date.

Never heard of the term "FUDGEFACTOR".

Did anyone else think 34D might be LUNCH? Perps eventually helped with ORDER. Too obsure for me. Would not have thought of it.

For a reporter, Lois Lane wasn't too bright. Glasses as a disguise isn't much of a coverup.

The repairman just left after fixing the AC. It was supposedly repaired last year, but wasn't. Cost over $200.00 a month in electric bills, and it wasn't cool at all. Now it works correctly. Can't wait to see the new utility bill. Comfort costs money!

A good Tuesday romp today. Be cool you all.

Anonymous said...

Spitzboov, beaverberry is also sometimes known simply as cherry.

Yellowrocks said...

Spitzbov @ 11:57. This spring a square dancing couple I am friendly with visited Finland, their ancestral home, and brought back dried reindeer meat and lingon berries to share with the club. Everyone raved about the treat. I was in the hospital at the time and missed it.

Anonymous said...

Another nice theme answer would have some sort of reference to the city/peninsula of DINGLE in Ireland.

Anonymous said...

My paper does not print the theme, so it took a while to get "berries". That made the middle a bit tough.

A good puzzle, nicely constructed and solvable with some work. A bit tough for Tuesday but that's ok with me.

Jerome said...

Bill G- Luther Burbank brought the Himalayan Blackberry to California. It's not native to America. He thought they were great, but over time birds pooped the seeds all up and down the West Coast. Classified as a noxious weed, they grow so rapidly that they're a major cause of the destruction of many natural habitats. Trust me, most of us despise this thorny monster on steroids. When they invade your yard your screwed. They can branch out forty feet in one season. Thanks, Luther.

Lemonade714 said...

Of course glasses and a curl are not a disguise. How believable would that be? Kal El used a mild form of hypnosis to keep people from recognizing him as Clark.

Lucina said...

When mulberry trees spread their roots they can be deadly on water pipes. That has been our experience and at great cost. Good luck, Barry, I hope it doesn't happen to you.

In Newfoundland we ate partridge BERRIES and found them on the bitter side.

The BERRIES theme inspired me to have STRAWBERRIES with cream for dinner tonight. Yummy.

My daughter just informed me that one of the seniors at my granddaughter's high school committed suicide at the school. What a tragedy! He was a good scholar and athlete with numerous offers from colleges. I feel sad for his parents and family.

Bill G. said...

Jerome, I can see what you meant about the invasive blackberries. Having never seen them before, I found the idea of being able to pick a bowlful of ripe berries a real treat when we were traveling up the coast in our VW camping van. I'm sure I wouldn't like one taking over my back yard.

Growing up back in Virginia, there was another plant that was fast growing and would take over. What was it called...? Oh, I remember. Kudsu, the vine that ate the South.

Husker Gary said...

-Too beautiful a morning to do the puzzle first, so FORE!!
-LETHE convinces me I will never do a puzzle where I know every entry
-I have been begging my LAZY sister to tell me when her son’s grad party is so we can accommodate everything else we have to do
-The ABYSS!!
-Prokofiev’s OBOE animal (2:00)
-Drug prices seem to have no ceiling until the PATENT expires
-Did you know this about Mario CUOMO?
-TERSE? Not a good trait when you have to fill a three-hour sports talk show with the subject of deflated footballs
-He had won the role of Indiana Jones but it had to be RECAST when he chose a TV role instead
-C.C., are you SHOD in Jimmy Choo shoes?
-Last week the car dealer did MAKE AN OFFER on my car that, unlike the Godfather, I did refuse
-$14,000 + my car? NO CAN DO!
-A TOURIST TRAP if ever there was one.
-A foolproof BERRIES choice for me!

desper-otto said...

My grandma used to live in the country. She could tell when rabbits were around because of the nanny-berries. Does that count?

Don't make fun of kudzu -- kudzu can zu and does. It gives a whole new meaning to "insidious."

Misty said...

Terrible morning with endless computer problems, problems getting access to our health portal, water out for a long while to have Water guys install new meters (California drought thing, probably), and other issues driving me crazy. Bruce's puzzle had to be done in dribs and drabs, my least favorite way to do a puzzle, but it got done and was one of the bright spots of the morning. And Lucina's post about the high school student reminds me that my hassles are only small potatoes, and shouldn't be griped about at all, what with all the tragedies in the world.

So thank you, blog, and have a great day, everybody!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Berry good puzzle & expo.

OH DARN, I forgot about SMEW, tried "loon" first.

Not Bruno, but BLUTO. Perps to the rescue -- that guy was always trouble. Hand up for RHINE.

Some nice little birdies pooped me a black raspberry thicket under one of my cedar trees when I lived on the farm. Best berries I ever tasted. One year they were so plentiful, I made the most delicious jam. Gave some at Xmas to special people. My son's piano teacher and her husband were on the way to Colorado to their cabin where they got snowed in. All they had for Xmas dinner was crackers with my raspberry jam. It was so good, all year the husband kept offering me money for the last half-pint jars on my shelf. Last bid was $50. My kids would have killed me if I'd let it go.

We had a German shepherd who ate all our strawberries as they got ripe. Also dug up and ate all the tulip bulbs but one.

Avg Joe said...

As fate would have it, we planted 3 raspberry bushes this weekend. So this theme was timely

One thing not yet mentioned about mulberries is that they are a significant cause of forced car washes. They are pretty tasty, but having one in the backyard is a guarantee that your car will be bombed with great regularity. If I were you Barry, I'd rip that sucker out of the ground right now! If not for yourself, do it in order to ensure domestic tranquility.

Still trying to find some Ashberries, but no luck at this point. C'mon! Haight-Ashbury.....

It seems like a natural to me.:-)

fermatprime said...


Thanks, Bruce and Santa! Nice work.

Swell theme! I grow boysenberries. (Planted them eons ago.) Years ago, had many types of berries. Especially liked the champagne raspberries.

PK: aren't tulip bulbs poisonous?


Argyle said...

Champagne Raspberries

New to me.

Hahtoolah said...

Here's a story about regional colloquialisms that some here might find amusing. I have lived in several states, however, and have never heard of some of these terms. I am familiar with things being wicked good, though.

CanadianEh! said...

Well Tin, it looks like the Canadiens are bowing out to your Lightning. Congrats!

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

OH DARN, a Tuesday DNF. I left lADS in place...

I enjoyed Bruce's puzzle and Argyle's writeup.

OK, really, no one linked SnozBERRIES nor elderBERRIES?

OFF TO call my brother. Cheers, -T

SwampCat said...

Hahtoolah, I was interested in your take on regional colloquialisms. I, too, have never heard of some of them. I have lived in Louisiana for years and years and never once heard of the LA entry, cowcumber for cucumber. I'm not sure we even grow many cucumbers down here, do you?

And we have many strange words down here that could have made the cut!

Wicked good, yes! I think that's universal!

PK said...

Fermatprime: I don't know about tulip bulbs being poisonous. They didn't hurt that big dog, but I'd be reluctant to try them. Dogs eat a lot of things I wouldn't. Roadkill, etc.

Bill G. said...

I've heard (37. Oklahoma: larruping — delicious) and (8. Delaware: sneak — tennis shoe). Most of the others are a puzzlement.

This may be the cutest video I've ever seen. A little girl rocking out to Elvis. I saw it a few months back but I'm enjoying it all over again. You? A very young Elvis fan

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

At this late hour, not much to add. Just couldn't resist adding Cackleberries to the list.

You know them...they're also called eggs.

Anonymous T said...


I've lived in IL, LA, OK, and TX and been to many other states - I've not heard most of those regionalisms. I have heard wicked good and #20 as putzin' around / about. Growing up it was smorgasbord, sometimes pot-luck but never scramble-dinner.

SwampCat - If you like cukes, look for General Lee cucumber seeds in the Johnny's seed catalog. After moving to TX, my neighbor turned me on to them. They are bread for the southern climate and make OK pickles (the skin is kinda chewy).

Bill G. - Cute kid going GAGA for the The King. It looks like the series is coming back to you - Rockets beat the Clippers.

Cheers, -T

Lucina said...

That's an interesting list of colloquialisms most of which I've never heard. I am surprised to see "colchon" as it is mattress in Spanish and very much in use though maybe not in English, or Spanglish, perhaps.