Sep 29, 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 Mark Bickham

Theme: So and So - Four three-word phrases ... oh, never mind.

17A. Like stickers that smell when rubbed : SCRATCH AND SNIFF

27A. Little girl's makeup, so they say : SUGAR AND SPICE



71. Metaphor for time ... and, when divided into three words, puzzle theme found in the four longest across answers : SANDS. S and S

Argyle here. A reveal, really? Hardly necessary. Do you suppose he looked at SANDS and decided it could be parsed S and S? It is interesting that there are nine different length entries. Four long columns; the two longer ones cross three of the themes and the two shorter ones cross two theme entries. Overly easy but not USA mindless by any means.


1. Diagram with axes and coordinates : GRAPH

6. Very top : ACME

10. Shift neighbor, on PC keyboards : CTRL

14. St. __ Girl beer : PAULI

15. Guard site : SHIN. Cute.

16. Nabisco cookie : OREO

20. Buckwheat dish : KASHA. Not Little Rascals Buckwheat.

21. Court order to all : RISE

22. Fruit seed : PIT

23. Drop-down __ : MENU

25. Like some microbrews : MALTY

33. Crisp covering : CRUST

34. Welfare : SAKE

35. Firebird roof option : T-TOP

38. What cake candles may indicate : AGE

39. On the rocks : OVER ICE

42. Bart Simpson's grandpa : ABE

43. See 44-Down : BEST

45. City near Colombia's coastline : CALI

46. Leica competitor : NIKON

51. Sounded sheepish? : BAAed

53. Pop singer Vannelli : GINO. Clip

54. "Life of Pi" director Lee : ANG

55. Flood preventer : DIKE

59. Louisiana cuisine : CAJUN

66. Words starting many a guess : "IS IT ... ?"

67. Kind of dancer or boots : GO-GO

68. Atlanta campus : EMORY

69. "Auld Lang __" : SYNE

70. Follow the leader : OBEY


1. Navig. tool : GPS. (Global Positioning System)

2. Pool hall triangle : RACK

3. Saintly glow : AURA

4. Some flat-screen TVs : PLASMAs

5. Until now : HITHERTO

6. Remnant of an old flame : ASH. Good one.

7. Blacken : CHAR

8. Prefix with series : MINI

9. Remnants : ENDS. 49D. Partner of 9-Down : ODDS

10. Grifter's specialty : CON

11. Exaggerated response of disbelief : TRIPLE TAKE

12. Equip anew : REFIT

13. Towering : LOFTY

18. "How many times __ man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn't see?": Dylan : CAN A. Lot of clue for a short answer.

19. Freeway hauler : SEMI

24. Boot from office : UNSEAT

26. Work with a cast : ACT

27. Natural cut protection : SCAB

28. Strong desire : URGE

29. "Still wrong, take another stab" : "GUESS AGAIN

30. Alfalfa's girl : DARLA. Now we're talking Little Rascals.

31. Coming down the mountain, perhaps : SKIING

32. Push-up target, briefly : PEC. Build them up by doing push-ups. (Not my first thought)

36. Reed instrument : OBOE. A Püchner Oboe, model 30.

37. Cooped (up) : PENT

40. DVD predecessor : VCR. You remember videocassette recorder, right?

41. Catches, as in a net : ENSNARES

44. With 43-Across, outstanding : THE

47. Historic Japanese island battle site : IWO JIMA. Still a little rock in a big ocean.

50. Merriam-Webster ref. : DICT. (dictionary)

51. Underlying principle : BASIS

52. Restless : ANTSY

56. "Othello" villain : IAGO. Perennial bad guy.

57. Door opener : KNOB

58. Periphery : EDGE

60. Well-versed in : UP ON or maybe DOWN ON?

61. Uncool type : NERD

63. AAA suggestion : RTE. American Automobile Association/Route

64. Dim sum sauce : SOY

65. Part of PBS: Abbr. : SYS. I'm shocked! Public Broadcasting Service, not System.



TTP said...

Good morning all. Thank you Mark and thank you Argyle.

Channeling Bluehen.

Three silly errors. Haste makes waste.
1) Had GeNO Vannelli.
2) Typed DyKE.
3) Entered SCAr.


Lemonade714 said...

A very clean Mark Bickham early week offering. Mark has a wonderful appreciation for words and avoids insecurities or unknowns. This is a puzzle that one could use to get new solvers interested.

Thanks Mark and Argyle

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Pretty smooth sailing today. Got the theme by with SUGAR AND SPICE and that let me through down STARS AND STRIPES and SHORT AND SWEET based on a few perps without even seeing the clues. I didn't know KASHA from a hole in the wall, so that slowed me up at the beginning. I finally gave up on the NW entirely and solved the rest of the grid, but was then able to come back and get the job done thanks to the perps.

Nice catch on PBS, Argyle! I also thought the S stood for System, but a quick Wikipedia search shows that you are absolutely correct and Rich was absolutely wrong. And yes, I always blame the editor and not the constructor for mistakes since it's his job to catch stuff like this...

HowardW said...

I also had SCAr rather than SCAB, which made 44D/43A into THE rEST which didn't seem a good response to "Outstanding". Fortunately the alphabet run was brief. Liked the unusual entries IWO JIMA, HITHERTO, GUESS AGAIN, TRIPLE TAKE.

Very good catch on PBS, Argyle! I'm used to seeing SYS clued in that fashion but using CBS or GPS, so I didn't even think about it.

Jerome said...

A meaningless observation... but a bit of an oddity. ANDS is in every theme entry. An apt anagram.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Easy enough. I have to agree with Argyle that the theme didn't much need a unifier, although the Sands answer has some cleverness to it. I'll bet Mark wished that "baaed" could be avoided, but that's crosswords for ya. I'll have to go back and listen to the oboe player later.

JzB from yesterday - enjoyed The Heard!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Got the theme intuitively, which allowed me to plop down theme answers 2, 3 and 4 (no Oxford comma) immediately. Missed the reveal, because it was already filled in. Nice catch, Argyle; I would've missed it.

Are PLASMA TV's still being made? Doubt it.
BAAED is right, but it sure looks wrong.
I've heard of a double-take, but never a TRIPLE-TAKE.
IKASHA was unfamiliar, but I guess it must have been the inspiration for the Kashi brand.

desper-otto said...

Now how did that "I" get in there?

Anonymous said...

"Sounded sheepish? : BAAed"

Hmm ...

Unknown said...

For some reason today seemed easier than yesterday. CAJUN could have been Creole or Gumbo so i waited for a letter to pop up then BAM threw it in there like a bunch of GARLIC BAM !!!

Yellowrocks said...

Very easy today. Although I sussed the theme just from the long answers, I think the reveal should have been "divided into 3 parts," not 3 words. Is S a word?

I greatly enjoyed the Life of PI as a book and a movie. It is rare that I enjoy fantasy novels.

I am quite familiar with KASHA, although I don't care for this type of food. To my Jewish friends it is toasted buckwheat groats. It can be used for fill in knishes.
Link Kasha
With the large Jewish presence here I take it for granted that the Jewish culture I absorb from them is universal and am surprised when it is not.

thehondohurricane said...

Well, this one was testy for me The S AND S stuff came easily, but the surrounding fills proved troublesome. 14A, 20A, 25A, & 11D were the toughest. Like D-O, TRIPLETAKE was an unknown 5D HITHERTO also came late because I never thought PAULs beer was wrong. PAULI?

Wonder if one of our posters will take exception to OVER ICE?

This was an enjoyable challenge. Thank you Mark.

Middletown Bomber said...

The PBS clue is not entirely wrong PBS can stand for Public Broadcasting System or even Petroleum Broadcasting System. All over the world there are PBS Public Broadcasting Systems in the Good Old USA however the company that provides your TV channel (which has fundraiser for the channel) with programs like Nova, Sesame Street ect... is Public Broad Casting Service.

Mr. Google said...

The "words vs. parts" issue came up exactly one week ago with MOTOWN.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

A little fast out of the chute today; had Okinawa before SWEET swayed me to IWO JIMA. Otherwise, easy enough. Enjoyed the S AND S stuff.
PEC - was not my first choice, either, for push-up target.

Tin - Sorry about OVER ICE.

KenoRunner said...

The clue for 40-down should have been videotape predecessor (or DVR).

SwampCat said...

Easy and fun...what more could we want! Thanks, Mark and Argyle.

Thought of you, Boo luquette, at CAJUN, which I got easily from IWO JIMA. I found I worked it across and down at the same time.

Big Easy said...

After filling SCRATCH AND SNIFF and the first S in Sugar, the S&S reveal wasn't too hard to guess. HITHERTO ( the first and last time I'll ever use that word), let me figure out how to use HITHERTO in a sentence. I can't. I'm sure all my friends use it all the time. But I knew it but it's kind of archaic. KASHA-all perps; sounds like a dog's name.

OREO- I read this week that HYDROX will be made again. The only slow down was writing ALMS before SAKE. I finished the puzzle with BAAED and THE.

DIKE- not to PC anymore unless you are a geologist or work on levees.

D-O- PLASMA TVs were discontinued this year because they cost so much more to make than LED and LCD. But they are a superior product, just like the BETAMAX was. Price always wins out in the long run.

Boo- Emeril LaGasse is not CAJUN; he's from Massachusetts. BAM!!!

Yellowrocks said...

Mr. Google @ 8:18, that was my comment last week, too. Does it bother anyone else or am I way off base?

Husker Gary said...

The theme was obvious and the reveal was clever. “Lila’s” puzzle yesterday was more difficult.

-I’ll take SHORT AND SWEET over verbosity every time
-Excel calls GRAPHS charts. See Chart tools on MENU for the bar graph
-You’d need this for all my birthday candles
-Our ultra-flat town has lots of upstream DIKES
-We all know the TV show with “IS IT bigger than a bread box?”
-Failing to OBEY the leader was not a good choice for me many times
-Old flame remnant – Last week a company here in town towed a car that had been on fire to their lot. 5 hours later, every car around it was on fire.
-The MINI-SERIES House Of Cards will not restore your faith in government
-After WWII Verner Von Braun came to America and REFITTED Nazi V2 rockets which launched America’s space program
-CANA – Jesus’ wedding site loses out to Bob Dylan
-THE BEST catch phrase
-Nice picture of Mt. Suribachi
-In what fabulous 1972 movie was this guy caught in the BIG CON?

desper-otto said...

YR, if I think about it, then it bothers me. But while solving, I tend to be amblivious of the whole thing.

Husker, that'd be The Sting, of course.

CrossEyedDave said...

A little sand + imagination...

C6D6 Peg said...

Nice puzzle, Mark. Thank you!

Argyle - always love your pics. Never pictured Iwo Jima as your post showed. Thanks!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

A pleasant enough Tuesday offering with a couple of w/o's: kaska/kasha and Pauly/Pauli. Liked ash and char next to each other and thought of Tin at malty 🍺 and over _ _ _ 🍸! It would have been cute if little boy's makeup had been included: Snakes and Snails.

Thanks, Mark, for a fun outing and thanks, Argyle, for being such an informative tour guide!

Stitches get removed this afternoon. Can't wait to get rid of the outer bandaging; it reminds me of a mummy!

Have a great day.

Lucina said...

Hello, friends!

Thanks to Mark Bickham for a clever puzzle, easy but not inane. WBS. Did have PAULA at first but HITHERTO switched A to I. Everything else was smooth as silk. Thought of Tinbeni at OVERICE. However, he might like St. PAULI.

NIKON was already in place so IWOJIMA fell quickly.

A big thank you to Argyle who always irons out the wrinkles in a grid.

Have a splendid day, everyone!

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Mark Bickham, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Argyle, for a fine review.

This puzzle went quickly. The theme was pretty easy to grasp.

My toughest word to get was SKIING. Just could not picture it. Did not know CALI and did not know Gino. Finally figured out SAKE and that fixed SKIING, as well as CALI and GINO.

Thought of SCRATCH AND SMELL. Held off until I had a down that gave me SNIFF. That worked.

Our buddy IAGO. Crossword staple.

My mother is doing better than on Sunday.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Abejo said...

All: I did go back and read yesterday's blog, since I was on earlier than I often am. Thank you all for your good wishes and prayers for my mother. As I said she seems to have had a resurgence. She is able to take some food now and can move her arm, where she could not on Sunday. We will see. One of my sisters and my brother live there and are visiting daily.

Best to all.


( )

VirginiaSycamore said...

Nice Tuesday puzzle, thanks Mark and Argyle.

Whenever I think of SANDS I recall this show opener:
I could ‘t find the link, but Bill and Ted in their Excellent Adventure tell Plato or someone the same phrase and are looked upon as wise.

Only error when I turned on the red letters was SCAr and rEST. It looked like it could have been outstanding, as in outstanding debts. The right way made sense once I saw the red.

HITHERTO only came because of all the perps. I wanted Heretofore or something like that. However, in my Kindle Oxford Dictionary of English, HITHERTO is the more normal word and Heretofore is FORMAL usage.

Abejo, glad your Mom is doing better.


Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Simple puzzle with an obvious theme, but really well executed.

I think the reveal is brilliant.

SCAB crossing CRUST is itchy.

Sounded sheepish is clever. Draws attention to that one bad fill, though.

VirginiaSycamore @ yesterday - I suppose the raffia makes a rustling sound, but we were at a considerable distance, and there was a lot of ambient noise, so we couldn't tell. I can tell you that Amanda was thrilled to be part of the event.

Dudley - glad you liked it - thanks.

Cool regards!

Chairman Moe said...

HG @ 9:40 - Robert Shaw as Doyle Lonnegan in The Sting? Thought that movie was released in 1973, not 1972 . . .

Lemony @ 0 dark 30 - don't know if you saw my email; congrat's on being a grandpa for a second time!

"Puzzling Thoughts":

Found this link to a web page that describes how SCRATCH AND SNIFF works and was created. I knew its origins were at 3M, as I was a proud employee of theirs for 25 years

Did the puzzle early this morning; no write-overs or cheats! Difficulty level for a Tuesday (based on a 1-10 scale) was a 7. Good theme; proper spot for the "reveal", given that most puzzlers solve from top to bottom, left to right. Nice use of misdirection; enjoyable! Thanks to Mark and Argyle.

BTW, nice SO to both Irish Miss and Tinbeni, who are the "Yin and Yang" of Scotch Drinkers - OVER ICE could not have pleased IM more, nor TB less!! ;^)

Mr. Google said...

VS: Here's the "Bill & Ted" clip.

Misty said...

I found this a little crunchier than yesterday's puzzle, but loved the theme answers, which came readily--so, many thanks, Mark! I too never pictured IWO JIMA that way, thanks, Argyle. And nice observation about the thematic anagram, Jerome.

Irish Miss, I loved the little Tin symbols in your post. And glad your hand is recovering. Abejo, it's a relief to hear that your mother is a little better today.

Have a great Tuesday, everybody!

Minnesota Fats said...

2 Down brought to mind several images other than the triangular pool accessory that MB clued. For example, he could have had these images to clue:



or THIS!!

Note, #3 images are somewhat triangular in shape, too . . .

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-No golf today due to a Sunday back spasm. Chiropractor straightened me out yesterday in 20 minutes but told me to wait until Wednesday to hit the links. Does anyone else have an MD who disparages chiropractors?
-Oops, I did ERR by typing 1972 and not 1973 for The Sting
-Days Of Our Lives and its SAND in the hourglass was playing in the background in this great 1977 movie when Roy Neary went nuts building the Devil’s Tower in his living area
-It seems that many people with big personalities from Louisiana are called this
-S AND S Locksmith is a business 2 miles from here

Jayce said...

What do sadists engage in when there is no masochist available? S and S!

Chairman Moe said...

HG @ 11:52

I guess whenever I hear or see the word Chiropractor, I am reminded of a certain sitcom character who played one for over a decade - this clip is one of many that appeared on this long-running comedy hit; pretty funny!

Nice Cuppa said...


Agreed. You don't hear that wonderful phrase:

"Put one's finger in the dike" very often these days

(meaning "Try to stem the advance of something undesirable").

Now that WOULD be non-PC, on at least 2 counts…...

Unknown said...

Big Easy you are correct but he is of Canadian french origin and His flagship restaurant is in NOLAand does promote Cajun and Creole cooking. He loves cooking with garlic Bam

Bon Apres Midi from CAJUN Country !!!

Argyle said...

and now : Buckwheat Zydeco .

Nice Cuppa said...

And in defense of the NERD, who has been receiving unflattering cluing over the past few months:

Don't forget that the second meaning of NERD is:

"A single-minded expert in a particular technical field"

So next time your PC dies from some wicked worm, vicious virus, or malevolent malware, you be very grateful for the existence and attentions of the


Nice Cuppa said...

PIT versus PIP.

In Brit&Comm., a fruit seed is called a PIP rather than a PIT. Although the former is listed in US dictionaries, it has never been clued this way in my experience of US crosswords.

Likely reason? The origin of PIP in this sense can be traced to the late 18th Century, the time of the (linguistic) NORTH ATLANTIC RIFT.

And so, as is the case with many common words, the PIP was pipped for usage when pitted against the PIT.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe no one complained about VCR as the forerunner of DVD. VCR was the recorder/player of video cassettes. It was the forerunner of the DVD Player, not the DVD, which was the disc.

Nice Cuppa said...

Boo luquette@12:35 pm

….the point being that CAJUNS are of FRENCH-CANADIAN origin (the people, and etymologically speaking), I assume.

Nice Cuppa said...


Can't believe you don't read the earlier posts more carefully - see KenoRunner@8:48am

fermatprime said...


Cool puzzle, Mark! Thanks, Santa. Great write-up as usual!

No problems, except PAULI was perped.

Did you watch Castle last night??? Any comments?


Bill G. said...

So I got fitted for a bridge going between two anchor teeth and filling in the middle for a badly-decayed tooth that had to be removed. The temporary bridge came out last night in the middle of enjoying a piece of cake. The dentist had warned me against sticky stuff like Tootsie Rolls but not cake. Anyway, I just had it replaced and I going to throw out the rest of the cake.

On a totally different matter, many of us link to popular or rock songs that they like. I just stumbled across this treasure by John Fogerty. I hope you like it too. Blue Moon of Kentucky

Tinbeni said...

D N F !!!
C'mon ... am I the only one who @ 39-a, "On the rocks", forced in BOAT CRASH ???

As noted by Irish Miss, I was NEVER going to enter "OVER _ _ _" ... lol

Therefore my fave today, of course, was St. PAULI Girl.

Cheers !!!

Anonymous said...

YR is right to ask if "s" is a word or not, but what if Mark was implying "ess" which is common crossword fill? Wouldn't that make the construction even cooler? You would then have a literal and an implied answer for sands. Just about anything is possible in crosswords.

Kudos to Mark and Argyle for the entertaining puzzle and expo.

Yellowrocks said...

Good point, but ESS is not a part or a word within SANDS. S and S. Essandess?

To my mind PIP is a normal American word, a small seed of a fleshy fruit having several seeds, such as an orange, pear, or apple.
A PIT is the hard stone of a drupe, a fleshy type of fruit with only one seed, such as a cherry, plum,peach, or olive.
I cross checked with my unabridged Webster to see whether I was on the right track. There may be other meanings, but these are the ones I am familiar with.

Good news Irish Miss and Abejo. I am happy for you.

Argyle said...

Spots on dice - pips

SwampCat said...

Boo, thanks for defending Emeril!! He made his culinary mark in New Orleans, cooking Creole and Cajun food.... Trained at Commanders Palace. How much more New Orleans can you get?

And he is forever associated with Gaaahrlic! Yes, he was born in Massachusetts, and is Portugese . But he got here as fast as he could! BAM,

TTP said...

Emeril is aok fine wit me.

Still, I'm a bit partial to Paul Prudhomme, and regularly use his Cajun Magic spices. Both him and Tony Chacherie or however you spell his name.

Boo, Swampcat, and Big Easy, we had a puzzle a few years ago where Jambalaya was equated to stew. Both Hahtoolah and I disagreed. See my 7:46 AM comments. Fold. Not stir. Or you wil be outed.

Jambalaya = Stew ?

coneyro said...

Didn't do the puzzle until a little while ago.

Extremely easy theme and fill.

KASHA..Another staple in Jewish cuisine. Favorite dish is KASHA with bow tie pasta and gravy (Varnishkas).

Also noticed PBS error.

Nothing else to comment on. A good evening.

Big Easy said...

Emeril's vs. K-Paul's ( Prudhomme's) vs. Commander's Palace vs. Galitoire's vs. Antoine's

Been to all of them multiple times and I like K-Paul's the best. My wife loves Galitoire's and my next door neighbor went there every Saturday afternoon for at least 15 years because that was the only time a coat wasn't required. And it's on BOURBON street.

SwampCat said...

Oh!, TTP you may have started another Oxford comma diatribe! Hehehehehe No! I do NOT think Jambalaya is a stew! It is a rice and meat ...thingy.... in a class by itself.

Tony Chacherie's seasonings are also in a class by themselves. Hot, yes , but flavones you can't get by mixing herbs and hot sauce. I can duplicate Paul Prudhomme's so they are not as essential, to me.

SwampCat said...

Oops! Where did " flavones " come from? Dumb auto correct! I meant, of course, flavors.

Avg Joe said...

Ah! There but for the grace of the Oxford Comma go I!

Regarding earlier conversation about non PC phrases, I've had the (dis)pleasure of reading tens of thousands of Realtor comments on MLS tickets over the years. Some of the typos are hilarious.....most have involved a DeCK, with various qualifiers such as "huge", "oversized", "fantastic", or whatever. But the funniest one that I can recall was "features a built-in Butch." I never did go check it out, but I imagine she must have been noteworthy.

Tom said...

Agreed! I had VHS in there for a while before the perps ruled it out.