Dec 10, 2015

Thursday, December 10th 2015 Jerome Gunderson

Theme: Steve! This blogger's initials are added to the start of each theme entry to create a wacky new phrase.

17A. Airline seating for Mensa members? : SMART CLASS. I just took this online IQ Test out of curiosity. I'm not sure how accurate these things are, but I think I came out about where I expected.

65A. Mickey Rooney and Danny DeVito? : SMALL STARS. At 5'2", Rooney towered over DeVito by a mighty two inches. Danny's portrayal of Louie on "Taxi" is one of my favorites.

10D. Overly ingratiating little devils? : SMARMY BRATS

25D. "Hee-Haw" humor, but just a touch? : SMEAR OF CORN. And possibly an apt way to describe the theme entries?

Howdy, folks! Of course Jerome didn't construct this puzzle with me in mind, but I wasn't quite sure how to describe the theme so this seemed as good an explanation as any. Two theme entries across-wise and two downwards for a total of 42 squares leaves a lot of room for some nice fill, which is what we get. Very little in the way of crossword-ese makes for a smooth solve.


1. Mennonite sect : AMISH

6. Nasty bit of trickery : SCAM

10. Chopped side : SLAW. Food! I made some just the other day - both white and red cabbage and carrots.

14. Trunk full of organs? : TORSO. Fun clue.

15. "Casablanca" heroine : ILSA. Played by the wonderful Ingrid Bergman.

16. Speck : MOTE

19. Milne's Hundred __ Wood : ACRE. Based on the beautiful landscape of the Ashdown Forest in Sussex, England. Milne lived on the northern edge of the forest in a house subsequently owned by the Rolling Stones' ill-starred guitarist Brian Jones.

20. Fire dept. employee : E.M.T.

21. Many ages : AEON. Four of these in the Earth's geological history - Hadean, Archean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic. We all knew that, right?

22. Out of the country : ABROAD

24. Subordinate's yes : AYE SIR

26. Jewish folklore creature : GOLEM. Nailed it! Cropped up enough times in crosswords to finally stick in my brain.

28. He's a horse, of course : MR. ED. I'll go right to the source.

30. Watched for the evening, say : BABYSAT

34. Bar in a shower : CAKE. SOAP went in, SOAP came out.

37. Mark of approval : SEAL

39. Justice Kagan appointer : OBAMA

40. WWII threat : U-BOAT. I caused myself a couple of do-overs in this area when I had *BO** and immediately saw "H-BOMB". Wrong.

42. Andy Capp's spouse : FLO

43. Preen : PRIMP

44. Mulligan, for one : RETRY. Named for golfer David Mulligan, a member of Winged Foot golf club in the 1920's.

45. Counting-out word : EENY

47. Natural balm : ALOE

48. Embarrassing mistake : BLOOPER

50. Antihero? : GOAT

52. Big spread : FEAST

54. Like Yogi or Smokey : URSINE

58. One of the haves : FAT CAT

61. Prefix with port : HELI-. Here's a particularly vertigo-inducing example at the top of the Burj al Arab hotel in Dubai.

63. Constrictive creature : BOA

64. Empty auditorium effect : ECHO

68. Management level : TIER

69. Electrified atoms : IONS

70. Like some reprimands : TERSE

71. Shangri-la : EDEN

72. Goddess of victory : NIKE. Adidas is the German god of victory, or did I make that up?

73. Resting places : OASES


1. On the main : AT SEA

2. Toddler's gleeful shout : MOMMY!

3. More than just annoyed : IRATE

4. Abbr. on old Eurasian maps : S.S.R. Plenty of these in this example:

5. Windbag's output : HOT AIR

6. Grain holder : SILO

7. Metallic sound : CLANG

8. Donkey : ASS

9. Tandoori __: South Asian spice mix : MASALA. Food! This is my tin - I go through  a lot of this stuff, so I get three or four at a time when I go to the Indian market. The tins are vacuum-sealed, so keep pretty well in the pantry.

11. Daft : LOCO

12. Gillette razor : ATRA

13. Location-dependent plant designation : WEED

18. First known asteroid : CERES. Discovered by one Guiseppe Piazzi in 1801, it was first considered a planet, then suffered a Pluto-style downgrade in the 1850's.

23. Coltrane genre : BEBOP

27. Billiard table shape : OBLONG. A hockey rink is an oblong also. Oblongs can have rounded or square ends.

29. Postpones : DEFERS

31. Advance using wind : SAIL

32. Big bang cause, sometimes : AMMO

33. Sticky stuff : TAPE

34. Street border : CURB

35. Explorer Tasman : ABEL. Whence Tasmania and the Tasman Straits.

36. Japanese relative of the zither : KOTO. The immensely-talented June Kuramoto appeared with her band Hiroshima at my local music venue earlier this year. She described her koto as "a surfboard with strings".

38. Sierra Nevada product : ALE. The brewing company, not the mountain range.

41. Very ambitious sort : TYPE A. I'm more of a "B".

46. "__ be sorry!" : YOU'LL

49. Cancels the reservation, maybe : EATS IN

51. Blue blood, for short : ARISTO. My last fill. Nice word! The letter sequence doesn't immediately give the game away, especially with the final "O".

53. Express gratitude to : THANK

55. Structural beams : I-BARS

56. Old language that gives us "berserk" : NORSE. Coming up against a berserker or two bent on marauding mayhem was pretty much guaranteed to ruin your day.

57. Moves with care : EASES

58. Big bash : FÊTE

59. Battery fluid : ACID

60. Passé pronoun : THEE

62. Otherwise : ELSE

66. Miss Piggy tagline : MOI

67. Bigelow's Sweet Dreams, e.g. : TEA

Here's the grid, and that's all from me!



Lemonade714 said...

How fun to have a Jerome puzzle that gives us some S&M without any pain. Never thought of OBLONG having aware ends and KOTO and ABEL Tasman were new. I have benefited from Mr. Milligan many times.

Thanks JG and Steve.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Fun theme today. A few minor stumbling blocks (HASH before SLAW, BLUNDER before BLOOPER), but nothing too bad. Had the most trouble in the ABEL/CAKE/KOTO section, but eventually managed to get through there unscathed.

Tandoori MASALA was new to me, but I was familiar with Garam MASALA so I was able to guess it after a perp or two.

fermatprime said...


Thanks, Jerome and Steve!

Did not get the theme very soon so had a terrible time with some of the answers. However, finished it eventually without any cheats.


Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Thanks, Jerome for a smooth puzzle with a few fun crunchy spots. Thanks Steve for the tour. I especially liked seeing the Hundred Acre Wood.

Like Chapter 16 in Book Two of Tale of Two Cities: Still Knitting. ;>)

Have a great day.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Jerome provided lots of places to go wrong today. I found 'em all: AYE AYE, SOAP, BLUNDER, DELAYS, ORE, EDGES. The one causing the most trouble was "Out of the country" -- IN TOWN. Bzzzzzzt! I would describe a billiard table as rectangular rather than OBLONG. No foul, though. I did manage to muddle through, bloody but not beaten.

thehondohurricane said...

Goog grief, this was a trial. But an enjoyable one, although I'll need a new eraser tomorrow. Lots of back and forth fills and in the end had two errors. For 26A I wagged GOdEt giving me SMARtY PANTS for 10D & MASAda for 9D.

Wasn't MASALA Ben HUR's childhood friend and adult enemy?

Really wanted major league catcher for(Yogi (Berra)) & Smokey (Burgess).

Liked the OBLONG clue.....initial thought was rectangle.

I knew a lot of ARISTO's 0r maybe FAT CATS while at prep school. I weren't one, but befriended a few. A couple of those friendships still exist 55+ years later.

Thanks for the challenge Jerome & thanks for the m,any clarifications Steve.

inanehiker said...

Clever theme, though I didn't really like SMEAR OF CORN - one because the others were SMA and this was SME - but also didn't like the clue for it.
Otherwise fairly smooth sailing except for WEES about SOAP and also put ABOMB in for UBOAT initially and CAREY in for RETRY on Mulligan for the actress.

Excited as this is my last day of work for a few days as my daughter and son-in-law are coming in from Seattle and my college son is finishing study abroad and arriving from Costa Rica today - Woo Hoo!
We are having a balmy day with high of 65 today, so it doesn't really feel like December.
Thanks Steve and Jerome!

TTP said...

Thank you Jerome and Steve.

There was plenty of room for errors, and I made a few, but they were all overcome on steady path to success.

Good thing U BOAT, CURB and RETRY made CAKE obvious over soap, because ABEL and KOTO were unknown.

In the southwest, I ruled out gala for big bash, but latched onto FEST. That was before seeing it was FETE when I read the Shangra-la clue and knew it was EDEN. Same with entering DELAYS and then changing it to DEFERS when reading the clue for Andy Capp's wife.

I imagine that if I was doing the puzzle with pen and paper, I'd slow down and consider all the clues in a section, simply to avoid the smears and ink-blots.

Liked location-dependent plant designation. Trunk full of organs was also liked. OTOH, there was IBARS as an answer. I know. A few call them IBARS...

I've taken a Mulligan every now and then. Took one this year. This fall, on a course that starts with a Par 3 carry over water to an island green. No room for error, and I did. A 3 with or a 5 without.

In my view, saying that AMISH are a Mennonite sect is akin to saying that Protestants are a Catholic sect.

Yesterday was the 50 year anniversary of "A Charlie Brown Christmas".
The popularity of the special practically eliminated the popularity of the aluminum Christmas tree.

Big Easy said...

Steve- you're showing your European education. "Four of these in the Earth's geological history - Hadean, Archean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic. We all knew that, right?' How about PRE-CAMBRIAN, PALEOZOIC, MESOZOIC, & CENOZOIC? Eras, Eons, Periods_ it's about time. European & American Geologists have different names for the basically the same Eons, Eras, and Periods based on the fossils found.

Caught the reveal off the bat with SMART CLASS. I got lucky with the cross of GOLEM and MASALA and guessed "L". My only other unknown was KOTO and all three were filled by perps.

OBLONG- never considered anything with square ends to be oblong; RECTANGULAR would be a correct description. My only write overs were MOTE for IOTA and BLOOPER for BLUNDER. HELIports- not in NYC after the 1977 accident on the PAN AM (remember that airline?) building.

MULLIGAN- I'm playing golf today at English Turn, which a PGATOUR stop for 16 years. Hope to break 100.

Andy Capp- I loved the comic strip that was about a bum on the dole who wouldn't go to work. Sounds like a lot of people that I see all the time. They removed it from the local paper- described too many people in New Orleans.

Lucina said...

Hello, friends!

WEES. I fell into the same trap many of you did but managed to right the wrongs. That is except SLAW where I had SLAT and never looked back. AMISH came immediately to mind, but it seemed a stretch. And MASALA and KOTO are new for me.

Thank you, Jerome. I liked the clue for BOA, constrictive creature. And thanks to Steve as well.

Have a delightful day, everyone!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for that one Cornerite to stop by and provide his version of some additional theme entries.
Oh, wait - that person is Jerome...
Maybe he'll offer up some of his rejects?

kazie said...

I did know ABEL Tasman, having had to learn about Australia's explorers and being aware of the Tasman Straits. I only was in Tasmania once, at age 8, having won a weekend in a capital city of my choice. I picked Hobart because it meant having to fly over water. It turned out to be a lousy choice though, since everything there closed down tighter than a drum on weekends back in 1954. The only thing I remember doing thereis a trip up Mount Wellington to see the view, which I don't really remember at all, but the trip back down in an almost empty bus was pretty wild!

However I had trouble with the theme, and finished only recognizing two of them, but still not "seeing" what remained when the SM was omitted.

Other areas of difficulty were due to having CLANK before CLANG and GOON/GOAT. But eventually those were resolved too.

Anonymous said...

A SILO holds silage (compressed and fermented green fodder), not grain.

BEBOP was John Coltrane's "genre" only early in his career; he became a pioneer of "free jazz."

Nice Cuppa said...

Thanks Steve, Jerome and Rich. Fun theme. I thought SMARMY BRATS was the weakest theme entry, as BRATS does not change its meaning. I also tried S–LIGHT SCORN for 25D before figuring the S&M theme.

I briefly considered ASSES at 73A for "resting places", before spotting ASS at 8D.

We've seen a lot of ILSA lately – but which man could complain about that?

Of course I spelt/spelled CURB as KERB first, and searched my grey/gray archives for a soap brand beginning with K; but then figured UBOAT – and the rest went down with her….

GARAM MASALA is the generic (and literal) phrase for mixed spices. There was a movie of that name a few years ago.

GOLEM was presumably the inspiration for Tolkien's GOLLUM, perhaps subconsciously.

My kids moved here 16 years ago when they were 2 and 4, but still call their Mother, MUMMY. That's the full extent of their Brit-speak now though, although they can still understand me (by and large - I need to Americanize my vowels though - but still proudly pronounce BUTTER and BITTER with a solid "T" (no glottal stops 'ere, mate)). One must maintain certain standards. I'm taking my 18 year old to Britland over Christmas. Can't wait to get to the pub – he can (legally) by himself (and me!) a pint for the first time - it's your round, son!!

Talking of KIDS, could someone please explain why "ANTIHERO?" = GOAT ? I realize that goat can be a general derogatory term for someone, but still don't get it.


Not Jerome said...

That one theme entry was so bad that I must

Tinbeni said...

Jerome: Thank You for a FUN Thursday puzzle with clever theme.

Hand-up for AYE-AYE before AYE SIR showed up.
And needed ESP to get KOTO, a learning moment plus.

Fave today, of course was the Sierra Nevada ALE. I do like grids with some booze. LOL


Argyle said...

Of course a silo can hold grain. That's what explodes out on the plains. Back east, they can have fires in their silos.

SwampCat said...

I LOVED this one! Thanks, Jerome. Got the theme early on and laughed at the clues. SMEAR OF CORN didn't bother me at all.

Steve, your details were wonderful. So much to learn! Thanks.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Fun and clever, as we would expect from Jerome. Nicely done, amigo!

No nits today. TORSO clue is especially good.

In my home town there are many grain silos along the river, used as storage before the grain gets loaded for shipment. So, yes, silos absolutely hold grain. Others hold ICBM's. Don't get hung up on a single meaning, even if it is the most common - especially late in the week. Pro tip - google can be your friend.

Coltrane was most famous for his post bop explorations, but was definitely in bebop, when the time was right.

Yesterdays confusion illustrates exactly why I hate the good/bad cholesterol concept. Cholesterol is a certain molecule with a specific chemical structure. It is vital for your existence, and does not occur in good and bad varieties. In the blood stream it binds to whatever lipoprotein is available. These can be of the HDL [generally plant oil derived] or LDL [generally animal fat derived] varieties.

It's is by association with these lipoproteins that cholesterol becomes either good or bad. Cholesterol bound to LDL can plate on the arterial walls as plaque - hardening of the arteries. This is a bad result. Cholesterol bound to HDL does not do that, and may actually reverse the effect. It's the HD and LD Lipoproteins that can be bad or good. Cholesterol is just along for the ride - or to get parked, as the case may be. So you want to keep your low density fat intake low, and your high density fat intake high, relatively speaking. Hooray for olive oil!

Cool regards!

Husker Gary said...

Our irascible but always fun and SMart Jerome has given us a great Thursday puzzle with a fun gimmick and unique fill! I loved SMEAR OF CORN, so there! ☺

-These kind of IQ questions keep me out of the SMART CLASS
-Rooney and DeVito had more brass than a marching band
-A small town mechanic may work on your car one day and your heart the next as an EMT
-Uh, I’ll just take a MIULLIGAN
-An arrogant GOAT last Monday (:32)
-Windbags on the golf course usually get a TERSE reprimand.
-Steve’s epicurean tastes belittles my fondness for mac ‘n cheese
-Remember our recent URSINE puzzle with a BEAR DOWN gimmick?
-“MOMMY, MOMMY…” jokes were a crude part of my yute
-One of the reasons The International Astronomical Union kicked Pluto out of the Planet Union in 2006 was because of its extremely OBLONG orbital path
-Speed through Wahoo, Nebraska? YOU’LL be sorry!
-Heads, I bring up that most of us have heard of I-BEAMS but not I-BARS, tails I don’t bring it up. It’s Heads!

Argyle said...

After I got SMART CLASS, I'd hoped the gimmick was adding CL to the last word but, alas, 'twas not to be.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Had a few speed bumps (koto, Abel, cake) and a w/o or two, soap/cake, mote/iota, but eventually finished sans help.

Thanks, Jerome, for a Thursday challenge and thanks, Steve, for the interesting write-up.

Another Spring-like day, with more to follow.

Have a great day.

Jazzbumpa said...

Some thoughts on haiku. Skip if you're not interested.

What haiku is not -
- any collection of 17 syllables that can be parsed 5 - 7 - 5
- a 17 syllable sentence
- humorous
- ironic
- cynical

Haiku is serious poetry - a restrictive form with a set of rules - or at least guidelines. English language haiku is conceptually similar to Japanese haiku, but structurally different due to the characteristics of the two languages. A classical English language haiku will be of 5 - 7 - 5 structure, with an implied caesura after the first or second line. It is about nature, relates to a specific season of the year, and captures a brief moment in time that might suggest some insight or deeper meaning. This can be subtle, mysterious, and open to a variety of interpretations.

An elegant haiku will also have first - third line interchangeability, such that if the lines are read in reverse order, the imagery is intact. It also has phrase and fragment structure, resulting from [or perhaps causing] the caesura.

The senryu is structurally similar, but has different subject matter. I can be humorous or ironic, and relate to the human condition in a variety of ways.

I've written a lot of haiku shaped word clusters, and a few genuine haiku. Here are some examples.

for one dark moment
where have all the shadows gone
a cloud passes by

in the green meadow
amid the buds and insects
lurking orb weaver

a senryu

a porcelain cup
filled with tea and memories
graham crackers with mom

You can learn more here.


Lucina said...

Nice Cuppa:
My personal lament on American English is that we failed to adopt that solid "t" sound. Today's young people especially elide their words so much that it's becoming harder and harder to understand them. I find British pronunciation for the most part quite elegant.

Yellowrocks said...

Jerome, fun puzzle. I caught on to the theme quickly. I ran through the alphabet in my mind for the O in ARISTO, but didn’t get it. V-8 can moment. So, I also didn’t have the O for OASES. ASSES for OASES did occur to me.
No problem with GOLEM which I learned from a novel. We listened to a KOTO performance in Japan.
SOAP before CAKE. My showers and tub have never seen A CAKE of soap. Body wash leaves no soap scum.
As someone mentioned recently Eddie Haskell on Leaver it to Beaver is a SMARMY BRAT. I think this definition of BRAT is not the same as ARMY BRAT. Wiki says, “"Military brat" is known in U.S. military culture as a term of endearment and respect.. . . . “outside of the military world, the term "military brat" can sometimes be misunderstood by the non-military population, where the word "brat" is often a pejorative term.”
JzB, thank you for your excellent HAIKU discussion. Yes!! It seems that although I accept many forms of words and expressions in crosswords, I am not so lenient with loosely defined haiku.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but ARISTO is not just a cute way of of saying "Blue blood, for short". Suggest you Google your made-up fill before using it.

Anonymous said...

Wikipedia: Aristo is a slang term for a wealthy man who offers to support a typically younger woman or man after establishing a relationship that is usually sexual.

Bluehen said...

WIMS re: the puzzle.

Did anyone else take the ersatz IQ test? My results were down a tad - 138.

Another beautiful day on the Outer Banks. DW and I were strolling the shore outside our condo yesterday, she looking for shells, driftwood, etc. and me with my metal detector. The detector sounded off with a strange tone that indicated neither a precious metal nor a ferrous one. It turned out to be a ring, probably a mans judging from the size of it, silvery, with four Celtic crosses etched around the outside. Probably not worth very much, but it beats the heck out of the dreck I usually end up with.


Argyle said...

What was the logic behind the Ralph answer? (IQ test)

ARISTO : we weren't looking for slang, were we?

tawnya said...

Hi all!

I saw Jerome's byline and immediately told my chihuahua's "Yay it's Jerome! This'll be fun, but I won't get the theme." I kept trying to find anagrams (I'm sure they are there...) and thought maybe SMART CLASS was a play on SMART ASS. Fun puzzle as I expected! Thank you!

Steve you have me trained to say "FOOD!" when I come across it but I also add "BEER!" to make good pairings. I do enjoy some Sierra Nevada's but not all. I prefer Sam Adams seasonal selections if given a choice between the two brands. (And thanks to Steve for the write-up and the beautiful picture of Hundred Acre Wood - it's gorgeous!)

If you have a minute, google "Define Anagram" - kinda entertaining.

Have a lovely day :)


Misty said...

I got off to a great start on this puzzle because I grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and so AMISH was a gimme for me. In fact, the whole top filled in so easily that I thought, wow, a Jerome Gunderson Thursday speed run! 'Twas not to be, the middle slowed me down because I kept thinking the bar in the shower had to be soap or some brand of soap, and TYPE A took forever to fill in because I just couldn't imagine a word for that clue that would end in EA. But in the end it all worked out and was a lot of fun--especially the theme--so, many thanks, Jerome, and you too, Steve. Glad your initials got top billing in this puzzle.

I too loved Andy Capp and FLO.

Have a great Thursday, everybody!

miss Beckley said...

art class ear of corn army brats all-stars


Jerome said...

I was solving a puzzle and one of the fill words was SMORES. I immediately thought of IRON SMORES- Fire roasted treats that are impossible to chew?
However, I couldn't come up with three other punny phrases where the SM started the last word. So, after messin' with it I ended up with today's themers that have the SM pattern in the beginning.
Simple puzzle, but I thought it was fun. I'm happy that most of you did too.

Argyle- Funny

Nice Cuppa- I have a friend that for years I thought was British. Turns out that he was raised there by his American parents. I also have a friend from Scotland and after twenty five years of him being my chum I still don't quite get half of what he says.

And, by the way, if you've never seen Robin Williams do his bit on golf using a Scottish accent you're missing one monstrous laugh riot. I'm a tech dinosaur so you'll have to Google it.

Jerome said...

miss Beckley- Yup.

CrossEyedDave said...

Jerome, you really had me going on this one.(*but more on that later)

1st, I assume this is the same Jerome that frequents the Blog with his marvelous wit.
So, from the get go I was concerned for a DNF. But I was pleasantly surprised
when perp after perp started to gel.

A few missteps, like 52A big spread could have been"ranch" especially if 53D
express gratitude to = "Honor." Plus I wasn't too happy with cake in the shower.

(*but the more on that later part...)
Not knowing Bigalow's= Tea, & leaving the E out of terse just in case,
& unlike Nice Cuppa, I never noticed the Ass in 8D,
& not being as eloquent as Yellow Rocks, I was not sure whether it was
"aristo, or arista. I was sure 73A resting places had to be either Arses or Asses.
(Hey! It's what I rest on...)

But of course an alphabet run dissipated that visual nightmare. (Links to follow:)

Argyle said...

You can find this on YouTube:

"And as his trusted little donkey
carried Don Quixote up the road,
he could see the gates of the city ahead.
Don Quixote's excitement rose as he contemplated
the nightly adventures that awaited him.

I see our time is running out, and there
we leave don Quixote sitting on his ass
until tomorrow at the same time."

(From Pardon my Blooper - Vol. 1, Jubilee 1, 1954,
collected & edited by Kermit Schafer)

AnonymousPVX said...

The mid-west gave me trouble. SOAP before CAKE, KOTO was new. Crunchy for a Thursday but finished it.

CrossEyedDave said...


I know I promised links,
but quite honestly, I have no idea what to do with "SM" (unlike Jerome...)

So I thought I would link funny resting places for each of the Blog regulars,
I had a few lined up, (funny too..) But then I realized that it would be in
horribly bad taste...

So as not to waste a bad idea, My own resting place...

Stoic Stork said...

Argyle, I had to go through the I Q test again, to find out 'Ralph'.

Ralph likes 25 but not 24; 400 but not 300; 144 but not 145. What doe he like ?? 10 / 50 / 124 / 200 / 1600.
The correct answer is 1600.
25, 400 and 144 are all perfect squares .... 1600 is 40 squared.

BTW, I scored 153. The I Q test and such others are all full of complete b.s. and total nonsense. Bar no exceptions. If the test meant anything, I should have got one and a half Nobel Prizes and be world famous...

I believe to succceed in life, you have to have VISION, AMBITION and above all, COURAGE.


There is no IQtest for that.

Men defining Haikus
like trying to sculpture a cloud
much amusement ensues

Jayce said...

Argyle @ 10:10, Hah, I just got it! Excellent!

CrossEyedDave said...

Smart art class?

Small All Stars?

Smarmy?I have no idea what to do with"Smarmy",oh well, that means another cat pic...

I haveone (& only one) really bad link for smear of corn...

Paul in Montebello said...

Me: This one can't be SMA...
Hmmm, CAKE fits...
ding-ding-ding, puzzle finished!

Bill G. said...

Good afternoon. Thanks to Jerome for a fine puzzle. Thanks to Steve for the write up. No matter what the dictionary says, I don't like OBLONG for the shape of a clearly rectangular pool table. Maybe a running track instead? Maybe an ice skating rink?

It's been a noisy morning. Some neighbors were having tree work done with chain saws and wood chippers running. The noise makes me feel a bit stressed. Maybe it reminds me of the end of "Fargo."

I got a phone call; much like one I've gotten several times before. A guy with a thick Indian accent tells me that their software indicates that my PC has been infected with a virus or malware and that they can help me solve this serious problem. (In the past, I told them that this sounded a bit strange since I had a Mac. At this point they just hung up on me.) But this time I played along. I said that I was worried and it was great they could help me solve my problem. I said to hold on a minute and that I'd be right back. I set down the phone and went about my business while they were holding on. Finally the guy hung up. I did too. A few minutes later I got a call back and the guy apologized profusely because we had gotten disconnected. I set the phone down. A few minutes later I could hear him yelling "Hello!" Finally I think he gave up. Usually, I feel bad for these people. I know they aren't the guy in charge but somebody trying to make a few extra bucks cold-calling working for minimum wage or less. So I usually just say No Thank You. But not this time.

CrossEyedDave said...

Bill G, I hear you re:oblong.

However, for scatterbrained perspective The Urban Dictionaryis always interesting...
(I like#4...)

Re:Indian Microsoft Scam
These guys are seriously the scum of the Earth.
Your best bet when you get one of these calls is to walk away.. just walk away...
(make sure you hang up the phone first...)
Once, after much politeness, I just asked the guy
"Does your Mother know what you are doing?"
Apparently it struck a nerve, because he got really pissed off...

Anonymous said...

I always thought IBAR was just terrible, lazy fill but I now realize that sloppily adding a "S" to it makes it my newest cringe worthy answer. Puzzles should be rejected for it.

Unknown said...

I finished with no cheats but "GOAT" for Antihero? I don't get the reference. Can someone explain, please. Thanks.

Bill G said...

Jerome (1:22), I agree with you regarding that Robin Williams routine about inventing golf in Scotland. It's one of the funniest things I've ever heard or experienced. People need to be OK with generous use of the F word though...

To me, a GOAT is the object of blame, sort of the opposite of a hero. Just my two-cents worth.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Fun & a few seconds faster than yesterday. The puzzle CLANGed my bell, Jerome. Thanks. Very interesting, as usual, Steve.

Only unknowns were MASALA & KOTO but they filled with perps.

Knew about GOLEM from reading a Jonathan Kellerman novel written with his son with that word in the title. Kellerman Sr. is one of my favorite writers as is his wife. Didn't like this book. Mostly just scanned the GOLEM chapters & read the other chapters which weren't bad. Weird book. The son writes like he is on drugs or something.

SMEAR OF CORN was a hiccup. SMEAR is more like what you put ON corn, but the term is okay by me.

TTP said...

Better known for his defensive prowess, Pittsburgh Pirate second baseman Bill Mazeroski was a hero after he hit the game winning home run off of New York Yankees pitcher Ralph Terry in the bottom of the ninth inning of the 7th game of the 1960 World Series.


Three times his team got to one strike away from winning it all in the 6th game, but Boston Red Sox First baseman Bill Buckner became the goat of the 1986 World Series as he bore the brunt of what many consider to be unfair criticism by frustrated fans when he let a ball go through his legs, allowing Nancy Lopez' husband to score in the bottom of the inning and take the victory.

Anonymous said...

Kids these days use GOAT to mean "Greatest Of All Time". As in: Wow that catch was awesome. Could Gronk be the GOAT?

Get used to it, I heard it on ESPN the other day...

SwampCat said...

Bill G., I think running tracks and ice rinks ar OVAL not OBLONG. It's all in how you see it, I guess!

Oblong table cloths, for example, are more or less rectangular....not sure why they aren't just called "rectangular"! I had no problem with the clue or the answer, but it is certainly not definitive!

Isn't language fun?

Jerome said...

Sorry guys, but a pool table is an oblong as well as a rectangle. You may not like the clue, but it's factual and true. There are these books called dictionaries... well, never mind.

Madame Defarge said...


Great haiku lesson!


Anonymous T said...

Hi all!

First thought - Bugger, it's Jerome. He's too SMART for me... But, I kept plugging at it and finished! Thanks!

Thanks Steve for the great write-up; love the pzl title :-)

BLOOPERs (W/os): Gala b/f FETA, DElayS too. The worst was TEA for 38d. Seeing TEA again at 67 made me go back. Oh, AdE... Wrong consonant (66% thou, right?). Finally got FLO and muttered "oh, yeah, I've had that beer. Duh -T."

Final empty squares: C__E? Showers: baby?, clean yourself?, April? So consulted the Google with WTH is a zither (fish?, plant, bunny?) Oh, strings, KOTO... (do I still get a TA-DA if I looked up a clue word? If not, give me a Mulligan) :-)

Fav - seeing berserk (Erik the Viking)

ABROAD cracked me up too - Les Nessman reporting "Carter sends Mondale A BROAD."

If you fed an ARMY BRAT, is that MRE'D?

Tin - surprised WEED wasn't your fav :-)

Argyle @10:10a - LOL!

NC - I have Brit, Scott, and Aussie mates that I can perfectly understand one-on-one (I speak 'merican). Put all of them on a conference call though - I can't context/accent switch that fast!

Bill G. warned you...MA: Robin Williams on Golf.

Weird Al's AMISH Paradise.

Cheers, -T

Tommy Flanagan said...

Jerome, you are a classy and sympathetic man.

Yeah, that's the ticket.

Anonymous T said...

Wait, did no one else want gyro for Antihero? -T

SwampCat said...

LOL....AnonT. @ 8:31. How 'bout Po Boy? That's what we call 'em down here in the Swamp!

Yellowrocks said...

I think I knew OBLONG before I knew RECTANGLE. It seems such an ordinary word.
When I taught we read a children’s book about an emperor who wanted everything to be oblong even wheels.
The Emperor's Oblong Pancake by Peter Hughes (Abelard-Schuman, 1961)

As has been said, some tablecloths are advertised as oblong.
"Regal Home Collections Laura Rose Damask Oblong Tablecloth, 60-Inch Wide by 102-Inch Long, Burgundy"

A chief character in a book or movie who is not heroic by any means is an ANTIHERO. The antihero could be a GOAT in the sense of a scape goat or victim or in the sense of
a licentious or lecherous man, "the old goat."