Oct 29, 2015

Thursday, October 27th, 2015 David Poole

Theme: Team Games - Each of the five theme entries begins with a player from a professional sports franchise.

17A. Investment return for a New York basketball player? : NET PROFIT. Brooklyn Nets of the NBA.

22A. Reception room for a Texas hockey player? : STAR CHAMBER. Dallas Stars of the NHL. The Star Chamber was a court in Tudor & Elizabethan England where cases against primarily high-powered individuals or groups would be heard, to guard against the possibility that lower courts would be fearful to convict.

37A. Sudden fear for a California soccer player? : EARTHQUAKE ALARM San Jose Earthquakes of MLS. I learned two things here - I thought the team name was the "Quakes" (it's not, but that's what's on the badge) and I'd never heard of an earthquake alarm even though I live in an area of quite lively seismic activity. The only earthquake alarm I need is the sound of the house shaking and the glasses rattling around in the cupboards.

43A. Serious lapse for a Missouri baseball player? : CARDINAL SIN. St. Louis Cardinals of MLB.

57A. Luggage for an Ohio football player? : BROWN BAGS. Cleveland Browns of the NFL. The only plural of the bunch.

Morning! Steve here with a second-David-Poole-Thursday-in-a-row puzzle. David's going to think I'm a grump, but I've got a small issue with a little inconsistency - the first part of the clues for 17A and 43A could refer to the entire answer (investment return = net profit and serious lapse = cardinal sin) - the other three only clue the second word with that initial part (e.g. reception room = chamber).

Other than that, I think this was very nicely done - the sports references came pretty easily to me, I liked that each of the major professional leagues was represented and some great longer fill - ORATORIO; ACROPHOBIA/DISCOURSES stacked either side of the central grid-spanner. Good stuff.


1. Mall entrance features : MAPS. "You Are Here"

5. Bandstand boosters : AMPS

9. Big zoo attraction : HIPPO. Someone forgot the "potamus" - this one's a short zoo attraction.

14. Bee's relative : OPIE. Oh! Aunt Bee from the Andy Griffith Show.

15. Empty : BARE

16. Dot in the ocean : ISLET. Here's one where I've been scuba diving - Molokini crater off Maui.

19. Grind to __ : A HALT

20. "Messiah," e.g. : ORATORIO. Let's crank up the volume and rock out to some Handel

21. Gershwin title river : SWANEE

24. Capital on the Gulf of Guinea : ACCRA

28. Panama, for one : HAT

29. Bush Labor secretary Elaine : CHAO. Another name I was unfamiliar with.  Good crosses bailed me out.

30. High anxiety? : ACROPHOBIA. Fun clue. The fear of heights.

39. Conversations : DISCOURSES

40. Grab (onto) : GLOM

41. Nintendo's __ Sports : WII

42. Big name in transmission repair : AAMCO. Franchise operation named for the founder, Anthony A. Martino.

50. Wine city north of Lisbon : OPORTO. From whence comes port, the aperitif and digestif. The Portuguese call the city "Porto", of course we English-speakers decided to add an "O" to it for no good reason at all.

51. Forced to leave home : UPROOTED

56. All-nighter pill : NO-DOZ. NO-CLU in my case. Thank you, crosses.

58. "The L Word" co-creator Chaiken : ILENE. More crosses to the rescue.

59. Alien-seeking agcy. : SETI. Not the UFO-seeking clue that causes the Corner conniptions. Yay!

60. Fox hit since 2002, familiarly : IDOL

61. One whispering sweet nothings : COOER. I had "WOOER" first, slowed me down a bit with the volcano thing at 43D.

62. Part of AMA: Abbr. : ASSN. American Medical Association.

63. Get smart with : SASS


1. Like early Elvis albums : MONO

2. Mimic : APER. I think this is one of my least-favorite examples of crosswordese.

3. Gyro bread : PITA. Food! I love these sandwiches. One of the best I've had is from a truck stop on the I-15 near Las Vegas - The Mad Greek in Baker, NV.

4. Equinox mo. : SEPT.

5. Scrub : ABORT

6. Group at some crime scenes : MAFIA

7. Old conviction : PRIOR

8. Spike preceder, in volleyball : SET. The setter lays the ball up for the killer shot.

9. Longfellow hero : HIAWATHA. It took weeks to learn this back in my high school days:

"On the shores of Gitche Gumee,
Of the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood Nokomis, the old woman,
Pointing with her finger westward,
O'er the water pointing westward,
To the purple clouds of sunset."

10. Trumpeter/film composer Mark : ISHAM. I think I needed every cross for all the proper names today. Never natick'ed though, so all's good. This was my last section to complete.

11. Backup strategy : PLAN B

12. Point __: southernmost point of mainland Canada : PELEE. Extends into Lake Erie.

13. Aquatic frolicker : OTTER

18. Activist Parks : ROSA

21. Cookie cutter assortment : SHAPES

23. Fail under pressure : CHOKE

24. Nailed, as an exam : ACED

25. Starbucks offering : CHAI. Flavored with cardamom and other spices. At least I assume it is - I've never had their version.

26. Train units : CARS

27. Campus recruiting gp. : R.O.T.C.

30. Marcos' successor : AQUINO. I'm not sure how I remembered this, I didn't realize I was quite so up on my presidents of the Philippines.

31. Vatican administrative body : CURIA. Dug this one out of the inner recesses too - or should that be inner apses in this context?

32. Dorm mgrs. : R.A.S

33. One of Chekhov's "Three Sisters" : OLGA

34. Soothing ointment : BALM

35. __-Z: classic Camaro : IROC. Named for the now-defunct International Race of Champions

36. Magazine insert : AMMO Often fired by ...

38. Field artillery weapon : HOWITZER. More nice fill.

42. Erelong : ANON

43. Like volcanoes : CONIC. Is the "al" in "conical" redundant, or is there a different between conic/conical?

44. Speed skater __ Anton Ohno : APOLO. He cut a pretty good ballroom rug too, he won Season 4 of Dancing with the Stars paired with Julianne Hough.

45. Cowboy contest : RODEO

46. High-tech surveillance tool : DRONE

47. Worms and flies, at times : LURES

48. Ladybug features : SPOTS

49. "The Poseidon Adventure" producer Allen : IRWIN

52. Asian sashes : OBIS

53. Triumphant cry : TADA. Welcome sound for the online crossword-solvers.

54. They may clash in Hollywood : EGOS

55. Fast PC connections : DSL'S. Digital Something-or-others. Wait - Digital Subscriber Lines

57. "Be Prepared" org. : B.S.A. Boy Scouts of America.

Here's the grid and my work here is done!



Bluehen said...

Steve pretty much summed up my solving experience exactly, even down to the (mini)nits. Fun puzzle, David, and a sparkling review, Steve. Thank you both.

I completed the puzzle about three hours ago and have been killing time waiting to get tired. Darned insomnia. It seems to be visiting more regularly these days. Oh, well.


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Managed to get through this one unscathed, despite not being familiar with two of the theme teams (EARTHQUAKE and STAR) and never having heard of ISHAM and PELEE. PELEE was at least semi-familiar (I believe it's the name of a volcano in Hawaii as well), but ISHAM was a complete mystery that looked wrong in the grid. All the perps were solid, though...

And yes, it was nice to see better cluing for SETI.

Lemonade714 said...

Well pretty much everything I thought has been said. ISHAM indeed. ILENE who? It was a nice challenge as befits Thursday with ACROPHOBIA, HOWITZER ORATORIO fun words in a grid.

Thanks David and thank you Steve for the poem and pics

Big Easy said...

Perps to the rescue this morning. The theme answers were easy. Same for ACROPHOBIA, HOWITZER, HIAWATHA and ORATORIO. Those were gimmes but working them into the puzzle along with the long theme answers in a 15X15 puzzle was nice. In the NE ISHAM & PELEE were total unknowns especially after I initially thought of RHINO before HIPPO. The 14A clue confused me because every woman I've known with the name of 'BEE' spells it BEA, which is short for BEATRICE. But Elvis's pre-stereo 2 minute songs, APER, and the 50/50 chance equinox abbr of SEPT (not MARC?) solved it.

OPORTO, ILENE, CURIA,PELEE, and IRWIN were other unknowns.

NO-DOZ=VIVARIN= caffeine pills or just drink some espresso
SETI- if any 'intelligence' is ever found in the search, what will be done with it?
CONIC- not all volcanoes are conic. SHIELD volcanoes produced the Hawaiian Islands.

Adios amigos

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Steve and friends. Fun puzzle. Texas has a hockey team?!

I had pretty much the same unknowns as noted above. ILENE Chaiken (b. 1957), Mark ISHAM (b. 1951) and IRWIN Allen (1916 ~ 1991) are all new to me, although I had heard of The L Word and the Poseidon Adventure.

I had Lover before COOER. Three letters were correct!

QOD: I never liked the men I loved and never loved the men I liked. ~ Fanny Brice (Oct. 29, 1891 ~ May 29, 1951)

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Agreed. Perps to the rescue for ISHAM, PELEE, CHAO and ILENE. Still, it looked impossible until I realized I'd misspelled EARTHQUAKE as EARTQUAAKE. Once I fixed that, everything fell into place. Who would'a guessed? Steve, AQUINO also came welling up from some volcanic depth. That's what tipped me to my snafu on Earthquake. Good thing I didn't need to know the team names in order to solve the puzzle.

The constructors have gotta come up with a better clue for DSL. In 1995 it was fast -- faster than a 9600 baud modem, but It's a turtle by today's standards. Not sure you can still get it. And not all volcanoes are CONIC. Rainier and St. Helens are two good examples. And Barry, the only Mt. PELEE I know of is located on Martinique, but it is one of the CONIC ones.

Barry G. said...

@desper-otto -- You are absolutely correct. A quick visit to Wikipedia and I realize I was actually thinking of PELE, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, lightning, wind and volcanoes (and the creator of the Hawaiian Islands). Ah well, that's why I said it was "semi-familiar"...

Husker Gary said...

Dang! I kept WOOER/CONED/ELENE and will take a 2-stroke penalty on an otherwise very doable and enjoyable Thursday puzzle. Steve’s write-up was spot on as well.

-EARTHQUAKE mitigation
-The Missouri MLB team I follow is on the other side of the state
-A mall MAP without a golf, computer or bookstore is thumbs down to me
-This famous SWANEE version (1:49) seems racist today
-MLB manager Don Mattingly just got UPROOTED from LA to manage in Miami
-No APER/APED/APING fan here either but when you have to…
-Every Apollo command module had an ABORT handle
-Would an alien VB player execute a SETI SET?
-ROSA byway in Lincoln, NE
-HOWITZER moved in my hometown of 1,200 peeps
-DSL’s are fast?
-Off to see my surgeon for a 3,000 mile checkup!

Anonymous said...

As a Clevelander, it is good to see the Browns make an appearance. Coincidently, today it was reported in the NYTimes that Jim Brown at long last was able to get back his championship ring from 1964.

Tinbeni said...

Steve: Outstanding write-up! Especially liked the ISLET photo. Looks like a great place to scuba.

Well this was a total-slog-solve in double my normal Thursday time. No-big-deal since I'm retired. lol

OK, my 9-a, Big zoo attraction, started off as a RHINO (leading to that frolicking OTTER) but it took awhile for the perps to get me to change that to a HIPPO.

In fact without those friendly perps I would have been in the weeds.
Needed ESP to get OPORTO, ILENE, ISHAM ... and then a V-8 Can-Smack to get AMMO, clever clue!

Hand-up for being in the WOOER before COOER club.

Well another one of my 4 NY Mets T-Shirts has been relegated to the "DO-NOT-WEAR-AGAIN" pile.

But it is a beautiful day here in the Tampa Bay Area, heading to another great Sunset.
I'm certain "toasts-to-ALL" will be made.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi Gang -

Gotta run, so a quick in and out today. I love this kind of a word play theme.

A bit easier than the typical Thus.

Rather strange to see non-theme fill longer than some of the the theme fill.

No nits, and it looks like SETI is right this time.


Cool regards!

thehondohurricane said...

Lots of fun clues today with a shout out to all the national professional team sports. They helped this sports fan big time! And I had no issues with the cluing. The ILENE/OPOLO crossing L had me going. I wanted Irene, but I was 90% sure APOLO was right.

No quibbles with SETI either because I knew the down fills were good.

14A, Bees relative had me scratching the dome for a while, but then it hit me that it was Aunt Bee, not bumblebee. Favorite clue today.

I don't have a dog in the World Series fight, but I believe it would be good for baseball if KC were to prevail. Of course my opinion would differ radically in the Giants were the opponent again.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Caught the theme with Net Profit but I'm not familiar with the Earthquakes or the Stars. Didn't matter, though, because perps were solid. Non-favorite entry was Acrophobia; just typing it makes me queasy!

Thanks David and Steve for a pleasant workout and expo.

We have a beautiful Indian Summer day with plenty of sunshine and mild temps. Sort of makes up for last night's wild and windy deluge!

Have a great day.

TTP said...

Argh ! FIW.

Good morning all. No idea on Vatican admin body. Should have realized the crossing word was aCro v aERO, but that question mark at the end of the clue suggested to me that it was another theme answer.

Also fooled by old conviction. I was thinking opinion or position. But old. "My grandmother was of the conviction that if you swore, you should have your mouth washed out with soap."

Some unknowns such as OPORTO and ISHAM and ILENE, but they perped in.

CC, I read yesterday's comments. Did your Google search start working ? If no, left click the little magnifying glass in the toolbar on your Firefox browser, and try a different search engine such as Bing, Duck Duck Go, Yahoo, or Amazon.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Great Thursday puzzle, David! Interesting expo, Steve!

This was easier than some Thursdays for me. Took some hunting and pecking.

Unknowns: WEES

Tried DISCussion before DISCOURSES.

MAFIA: All perps. I figured they would have fled the scene rather than being found there.

Yay, Royals! Whoever heard of a 14 inning game? They put out extra effort so that didn't happen the second night. My brother who lives in a suburb of KC is an avid fan. He wanted to come to my house to watch the game because they were camping out at a lake near my home with no TV. I was too ill and probably catching to host them. I felt bad about saying, "No!" until I learned about all the extra innings long after my bedtime. Haven't heard if they found another place to watch.

C6D6 Peg said...

Pretty smooth solve, today. Got the theme entries early on, which helped fill some of the unknowns. Thanks, David, for a fun puzzle.

Nice write-up, Steve. Too bad there was no food for you today!

Bill G. said...

Thanks David and Steve.

Julianne Hough is a great dancer. Very cute too.

I was drinking my macchiato yesterday when I saw two teenage girls. They were both tall and athletic-looking. Our local high school is a perennial powerhouse in girls' volleyball so I'm pretty sure they were spikers/setters.

I had wooer before COOER and discussion before DISCOURSES. Looks as if others did too. I knew discussion had to be wrong because it should have been plural because of the clue and the plural wouldn't fit no matter how hard I pushed.

I wonder if Supergirl is going to be able to hold my interest for more than another episode. I'm guessing not.

Nice Cuppa said...

There was of course a Roman Catholic Cardinal Sin** (died 2005), the Archbishop of Manila - Clecho with Aquino? The "People Power Revolution" of 1986 made major headlines worldwide with the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship.

**Not to be confused with "Carnal Sin", which was once how Jimmy Carter's elision of "Cardinal" was once translated during a sensitive trip behind the Iron Curtain to Poland in the 1970's, when the Catholic Church was a major vehicle for dissidence.

Steve - one would simply need to CRANK the HANDEL to hear his ORATORIO - you recall I am sure wind-up phonographs (back before the days when DSL was considered fast).

Nice the see Irwin, who directed the original 1972 movie, not the 2005 remake of The Poseidon Adventure. One for the if we could remember names that far back.

CONIC refers to the mathematical entity, the CONE. CONICAL means "shaped like a cone" - i.e., a real-world object. At least that is how it used to be. So the clueing is inaccurate.

It seems that Thursdays are becoming Wednesdays but with a few more obscure names thrown in to make them "harder". Maybe just my pet peeve.

coneyro said...


Don't know how I did it, but I managed to finish.

The only team I knew was the NETS. However, wags, perps, common sense and luck filled it in.


Honestly, even though I completed it, it was not a joyful experience. I guess the subject matter and the uncommon answers were not fun for me. But, to each his/her own.

Speaking of sports. The Mets better get it together. They haven't come this far to get a "Royal" beating.

Greatest comedy event of the week on TV last night. GOP "debate"....'nuf said.

That's about it. A good day to you all.

Jayce said...


CrossEyedDave said...


Coneyro, I know how I managed to finish, ( I cheated..)

Oh well, I did learn a lot. ( I just hope I can remember it...)

Steve, I hate the Tada! especially when the kids have been playing with the volume control.

Star Ledger Thought for Today:
"Put it before them briefly so they will read it,
clearly so they will appreciate it,
picturesquely so they will remember it and,
above all,
accurately so they will be guided by its light."
Joseph Pulitzer, American newspaper publisher
(born 1847, died this date in 1911).

This little nugget was in the Horoscope today under Leo:
Shared grief is half the sorrow,
but happiness, when shared, is doubled.

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Enjoyed the puzzle. Got the whole shooting match unassisted but guessed wrong at 43d; had CONed instead of CONIC. Two wrong letters. Last fill was TADA.
Liked the theme fill, and the long downs HIAWATHA and HOWITZER.
Favorite fill was OPIE for Bee relative.
PELEE was a welcome firm anchor in the NE. A Canadian colleague loved pointing out that PT. Pelee extends farther South than the Calif. Oregon border.

Enjoy the day.

Misty said...

No wonder I had to cheat a little on this puzzle, since I don't know my sports at all--well, except for APOLO Ono because I watch "Dancing with the Stars." Still, I did pretty well and enjoyed doing it, so thanks, David, and Steve for the write-up and pics.

Off to see a musical this afternoon, "Getting My Act Together." Has anybody seen it?

Have a great day, everybody.

CrossEyedDave said...

Ah Nuts!

I was looking up funny pics for "net profits" when I realized
it's a basketball reference. Alas,I will be the only one to see
all those beach volleyball pics...

Still, in the volleyball pics I did see something that reminded
me of what David Poole thinks reading my comments...

(also, this pic came to my mind as Dave's net profits...

Oh wait! Here's a net profits pic!

Hmm, Star Chamber... I was looking for a hotel lobby hockey game when it occurred to me
that Texas, & hockey seemed a little far fetched....

Earthquake alarm, hmm, I found this silly pic but thought it might offend some of our California readers. So I guess I should insult everyone
equally...Manac, don't look!

Greed is being dropped?

& finally, brown bag... These guys must be Mets fans...

Anonymous said...

For those who can’t read the political prohibition on this site, Dave’s SOFT SERVE T-shirt is for the questions that poor old “it was all about the video” questions Hillary gets, not the gotcha questions that were shamelessly the main fare last night. Frankly, my dear, I’d rather stick with crossword topics.

CrossEyedDave said...


I have no idea how the soft serve T-shirt could possibly be political!

Did I miss something not watching the debates?

(email me if necessary...)

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Hmmm, struggled quite a bit today. I don't know sports teams, Catholic hierarchy, and a bunch of other stuff. Hand up for Wooer before Cooer (is that a word?). Had to red letter a few things.

Howdy Steve, looks like a nice warm water dive to me...

Lemonade714 said...

Soft serve? A LOB? HUH?

CanadianEh! said...

Pretty much WEES by this time of the day. No TADA today because of the cross of APOLO and APORTO. Perps to the rescue for some of the other names.

We visited Point Pelee a couple of years ago in September when the monarch butterflies were on their migration to Mexico. Beautiful! We took the ferry to Pelee Island and stayed at a B&B to enjoy the island for a couple of days. Quiet at that time of year but beautiful with acres of grapevines and Pelee Island Winery pavilion. We shared the return ferry with carts full of grapes as the processing part of the winery is on the mainland.

Bill G. said...

Sorry... Did you miss me? We are experiencing Santa Ana winds where there's an area of high pressure and we have winds from the desert instead of a sea breeze. Anyway, we had a power outage, from the winds I'm thinking. No computer, no TV, etc. What was I going to do??? I was reduced to a nap, getting a macchiato or reading a book on my Nook. However, I'm saved! It just came back on.

CED, I took your volleyball picture for a slightly humorous comment on volleyball. Anon at 2:16, yes, I think you should stick to crossword topics. You are obviously too thin-skinned and must feel politically picked upon.

Anonymous T said...

Hi all!

Arggg! No TADA (in my head) for me. DNF w/ 2 open squares @ 44d xing 50 & 58a. While discussing (er, DISCOURSing) w/ MIL she said "think greek" (wasn't that PITA?) Oh, APOLO. It took more than a MONO-brain for me today.

Thanks David. I loved the theme just 'cuz I could fill those w/o perps :-)

Thanks Steve. It's obvious you keep up w/ the blog... SETI can stop; we found intelligent life in CA. (I think CA qualifies for extra-terrestrial - living on a fault and all ;-) )

W/os - DISCUSSSES (wait, whaaa?) and my "CARDINAL err" was inking just that (2 extra hours in purgatory for that SIN...)

WEES re: ESPs. I suppose it really is a Thurs. //I truly thought "this is easy" as I sailed through the north w/ only 2 open squares.

Favs - LURES due to c/a. BEE / OPIE was cute too. @28a I was expecting Panama==ISL, but it was a total Right-turn Clyde.

NO-DOZ: Got me through High School. EphedrineHCL got me through College :-)

D-O - I have DSL for all the iThings and as a backup for the cable modem. I'd say the latter is down more oft, hence the former.

PK - Oh, the MAFIA (hey, we don't talk business at the table) was at the scene alright... Waaaay before the coppers, hence no PRIORs.

CED - yeah, nothing political sprang to mind w/ the VB-Tee. OTOH, what are you sayin' 'bout my tennis game?!?

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

I just re-re-read Anon@2:16 and have a sincere question... Are you saying that the Tee is being sold by one of the campaigns as "a woe is me" or "I'm tough; If you can't take the heat..."? I'm currious 'cuz I wouldn't want to buy it for Eldest's friend (on her way to Notre Dame for VB in 2 years!) if it really is a campaign effort.

As far as Qs from last night "What is your greatest weakness?" is just as dumb in that setting as it is in a job interview. Plea to Press: Stop being a PITA and learn to think again...

C, -T

Bill G. said...

Here's a nice feel-good story I thought you might enjoy. GOOD DEED

I think the anon at 2:16 wasn't thinking about a tee-shirt being sold at all; rather just a resenting a perceived poke at his political party. But I could be wrong...

I stumbled upon a local Farmer's Market in Hermosa Beach yesterday when I was on a bike ride. I found some good-looking tomatoes. They look like the ones you can find in the supermarket but I could tell the difference even before I tasted them. They even smell like real tomatoes should. It's a shame what the supermarkets offer for sale but I guess it's the best they can get that will survive the shipping.

Anonymous T said...

Bill G.:

I carry few beliefs, but one I strongly hold is that >99.999% (that's 5-9's!) of people are good. Thanks for sharing that story.

Quick like father, like daughter... Youngest (13), awaiting her Harry Potter socks (supposedly delivered last Sat) to complete her Halloween costume, hacked DW's Amazon account and sent the retailer "please I just want my socks by holoween" [sic].


Coda - we found them under the front mat today. She's SET.

Cheers, -T
don't get me started on tastless tomatoes...