Dec 8, 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 Ed Sessa

Theme: GRANDMA - Each theme entry is in the pattern of GR* and MA*.

21A. *"I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member" speaker : GROUCHO MARX

54A. *Score-settling competition : GRUDGE MATCH
3D. *2005 documentary about a bear enthusiast : GRIZZLY MAN

32D. *Brains, figuratively : GRAY MATTER

40A. Artist Moses ... and, when divided into three parts, a hint to the answers to starred clues : GRANDMA

melissa here. Clever wordplay here, was fun sorting it out once I snapped to the theme. Southwest corner was last to fall.

1. __-Saxon : ANGLO

6. Swedish quartet : ABBA

10. "Woe is me!" : ALAS

14. Plain-paper copier pioneer : XEROX

15. Rider's strap : REIN

16. Hitchhiker's ride : LIFT

17. "Revenge" co-star Van Camp : EMILY. Canadian actress.

18. Drug cop : NARC

19. Words to an old chap : I SAY. Fun clue.

20. Doughnut order: Abbr. : DOZ

24. Potsdam pair : ZWEI. German for "two." (Potsdam is capital of
26. Bum kin : HOBO

27. In great detail : AT LENGTH

31. Keyed into the register : RANG UP

35. Votes against : NAYS

36. Slender woodwind : OBOE

38. Loy of "The Thin Man" : MYRNA

39. Belief suffix : ISM

42. N.C. State's conference : ACC

43. Step : STAIR

45. Pitchers Darling and Guidry : RONS

46. Singer Lovett : LYLE

47. __-weensie : EENSIE

49. Paid for the release of : RANSOMED. Thought of bail first.

51. Dynamic opening? : AERO

53. Cake served au rhum : BABA. Polish rumcake.

59. Indent key : TAB

62. Forfeited auto : REPO. First thought of adjective.

63. __ San Lucas: Baja resort : CABO

64. Bandleader Shaw : ARTIE

66. Cupid : AMOR. Latin.

67. Gradual melting : THAW

68. Marsh stalks : REEDS

69. With 11-Down, Louvre masterpiece : MONA

70. Get wise with : SASS

71. Central Park's 843 : ACRES

1. Gave the boot : AXED

2. Jules Verne captain : NEMO

4. Cyberchuckle : LOL

5. Scuba gear element : OXYGEN. Liked this clue.

6. River of Pisa : ARNO

7. Belle's beloved : BEAU. French.

8. White state tree of New Hampshire : BIRCH

9. News show VIP : ANCHOR

10. Payment after a divorce : ALIMONY

11. See 69-Across : LISA

12. Quite a long distance away : AFAR

13. River of Hades : STYX

22. Harshness : RIGOR

23. 44th president : OBAMA

25. Director Craven : WES

27. Ouzo flavoring : ANISE

28. Aesthetic judgment : TASTE

29. Vanishing ski resort apparatus : T-BAR

30. Wedding vows word : HONOR

33. Cry of surrender : UNCLE

34. Measured in steps : PACED

37. Poet __ St. Vincent Millay : EDNA

40. Norwegian composer Edvard : GRIEG. This gave me a little trouble.

41. News network with a six-color logo : MSNBC

44. Dancer Duncan : ISADORA. Didn't know this either.

46. Return from Venus? : LOB. Love this clue.

48. Builds : ERECTS

50. North African expanse : SAHARA

52. Nebraska city : OMAHA

54. Fat measure : GRAM

55. San __, Italy : REMO. I needed perps for this.

56. In the know about : UP ON

57. "Down with," in Paris : ABAS. Had no idea here, tough for a Tuesday.

58. Auto club services : TOWS

60. Assistant : AIDE

61. Porgy's beloved : BESS

65. Camcorder button : REC


Note from C.C.:
Happy Birthday to dear Jazzbumpa (Ron)! Ron and I have collaborated on a few puzzles, his talents & craftsmanship always leave me in awe. He works  hard on each and every clue, trying to squeeze every juicy wordplay out of it. Thanks for always inspiring me to try harder, Ron!

 Ron and his wife Gloria


Barry G. said...

Morning, all (and an Amazingly Happy Birthday to Our Wonderful Jazzbumpa)!

This one didn't put up much resistance and I finished a full minute earlier than yesterday. The theme was cute, but I had already filled in three out of four theme answers by the time I got to it and didn't need it to get the last one. I think my only hang up was trying to figure out how BEAST could fit at 7D (hint -- it couldn't!) Other than that, smooth sailing.

OwenKL said...

No ta-da, so started checking my work, found I'd spelt the composer GRIGG, which gave AGRO as the prefix. Never heard of AGROdynamics, but it sure sounded legitimate enough!

One long serious story-poem today:

It was held together with spit, love, and paste.
It would fly was the trust of the pilot encased.
With a loud roaring sound
It will LIFT from the ground
While the designer, the father-to-be, only PACED!

It's a virtual law of AERODYNAMICS
The one whose GRAY MATTER designs the schematics
Must watch from AFAR
As the pilot's the star
Who puts the new sky-born babe through its antics!

A mother gives birth, with pain, fear, and drama,
A flier takes off against prop-wash or plasma,
AT LENGTH those who wait
For the triumph or fate,
Are just as impotent as a worrying GRANDMA!

Barry G. said...

Ah... ABAS was a complete unknown today for me as well, but I didn't actually see it in the grid due to the super easy perps in that section. No harm, no foul...

Hungry Mother said...

Except for ABAS and ISODORA, very easy today.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Nice outing from Ed and some nice visuals from Melissa Bee. Thanks, both of you. Remembered ISADORA and vaguely recalled ABAS, so this one went quickly.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning!

Happy Birthday, Ron!!

WBS--pretty smooth sailing here this morning. Thanks, Ed. My favorite clue: LOB as a return from Venus.

Busy. Busy. Finished cooking; back to knitting. Catch you later this evening. Have a great day.

desper-otto said...

Oops, happy birthday, JzB! I'll bet GRIEG didn't give you any trouble.

The Scarf that Killed Her said...

ISADORA Duncan was known for wearing long silky scarves. That was her demise.

Lemonade714 said...

A very happy birthday and year for JzB.

The puzzle contained ABBA, BABA and ABAS, interesting. My French is very rusty but I thought a bas just meant down, so the with was confusing. Jamie?

Always fun to hear from Melissa and Ed, thanks

TTP said...

Good morning, and thank you Ed and Melissa.

Favorite clue was "Return from Venus"

Perps for "Down with in Paris" answer ABAS and also for EMILY Van Camp. Ditto for BABA, and GRIEG. Plus ISADORA.

Knew the other names, including Darling and Guidry and Toth.

Happy Birthday JzB !

Avg Joe said...

Fun puzzle and a smooth fill with only Abas being unknown. My gram started out as a dram, which made for an interesting visual as "Drudge Match", but that corrected easily. Thank you Melissa and Ed.

And a very happy birthday to Ron! May you enjoy many more.

inanehiker said...

WBS about not needing the theme to figure out the puzzle, but it was very clever and sped up the solve at GRUDGE MATCH which was the last theme answer to fill.

Thanks Argyle, clever puzzle Ed!

and Happy Birthday Ron!

Argyle said...

Thank melissa today.

Husker Gary said...

GRand MAster Ed gave us a lovely Tuesday exercise.

-My fav GROUCHO line
-My friend called tthis REIN maneuver an emergency brake for horses
-Mix-up in Berlin – wanting to sound smart I requested two glasses of water and said Dos Wassers (ZWEI Aguas?)
-It’s harder for HOBOS as most trains now have their boxcars locked
-Someday I’ll understand how LYLE got Julia to marry him
-RANSOM reminds me of this O Henry classic
-My DW never got that third word that accompanies love and HONOR in those vows ☺
-ERECTING is getting an extended season with our 60˚F weather this month
-I wonder if Rhonda Rousey really wants to carry out a GRUDGE MATCH
-HBD Ron!!
-Off to give my time away to judge a science fair and then, FORE!!

Jerome said...


It's possible, but highly unlikely, that Ed toyed with this idea first, then realized it was a dead end. What else starts GRANDMA? GR AND MA as a theme is really, really clever.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Ed Sessa, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Melissa Bee, for a fine review.

Happy Birthday, Jazzbumpa, and many more.

Just got home yesterday from my mother's funeral in PA. It was really a fun time reminiscing with my siblings about our lives with our parents. Our mother had a long and active life. 91 years.

This puzzle went fine. Theme was nice and it was good to see Groucho Marx in it. He was always a favorite of mine.

My only unknown was ABAS and CABO. The B. When you cross two foreign languages it can be tough.

Never heard of the Bear Documentary GRIZZLY MAN. No problem getting the answer.

Lots to do today. See you tomorrow.


( )

HowardW said...

Interesting theme and clever reveal, although it didn't help because I didn't get to the reveal until all the thematic answers had already been filled in. Didn't know EMILY Van Camp, but the numerous other names were familiar. Thank my high school French teachers for knowing À BAS. Lemonade noted that today we had ABBA, BABA and ABAS. Two days ago, ABBA, AABA, and BAAS. Hand up for wanting to put BEAST as "Belle's beloved". But it doesn't fit, unless you follow the Calvinist approach.

I'd never heard of "Grizzly Man". Rather grisly story.

Thanks to Ed and Melissa, and HBD to Jazzbumpa!

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

46D: I got the correct answer from the crosswords but please someone explain this one to me.

8D: You can recognize a birch by the white bark and you can also recognize a dogwood tree by its "bark". (groan)

44D: 1968 film ISADORA is a bio of this 1920's dancer. See this link:

Anonymous said...

A winning lob from tennis star Venus Williams

thehondohurricane said...

GR GR GR- another FIW. Did not know either 63A or 57D and wagged a P yielding capo & apes. Everything else OK with no nits. 46D Return from Venus/LOB favorite.

Don't know if this is unique or not, but 9 across fills & 6 down fills begin with the letter A. Maybe Ed was on his A game.

Happy birthday Jazz. Hope your Tigers give you better results this year.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy Birthday JzB. Hope you have a great day. Timely CSO RONS.

WBS. Not enamored of the themeage, but it was not needed. Fun to solve; Ed's offerings usually are. No lookups were needed.
Potsdam pair - ZWEI - I knew what was meant but the German word for 'pair' is Paar or Doppel. Clumsy clue.

December 8, 2015 a

Unknown said...

Bon Fete Jazz ~!~!

Walk in the park today. Ron Guidry was a gimme. Related to me.

My only hang up was the B in LOB. As i'm not familiar with the cake crossing it. I looked hard at it and sussed it was a tennis player so loB it was and the TADA went off.

Tinbeni said...

Happy Birthday Ron, aka Jazz!!!

Fave today, of course, was that Ouzo flavoring ANISE ...
Have to admit, since I moved to Tarpon Springs, earlier this year, there is always a bottle of Ouzo at the new Villa Incognito.

Needed ESP to get the Norwegian composer Edvard GRIEG, otherwise a speed solve.

Finally, some weather change ...
Oh, it is Sunny and Beautiful ... but the High is only going to be 74 degrees today.

A "Toast-to-ALL" at Sunset.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Nice, smooth Tuesday offering. Only unknown was abas, but perps solved that issue. Like others, Return from Venus=lob was my fav. Grandma Moses lived not too far from Troy and, I believe, her son still lives in that area and is a painter, but I don't know if he follows her unique style.

Thanks to Ed and Melissa for a fun solve and summary.

Our weather is more like early Spring rather than December, but I'm not complaining. Saturday is supposed to have a high near 60 degrees. OTOH, though, I'm sure the skiers and snow boarders are chomping at the bit.

Have a great day.

Happy Birthday, Ron. 🎂 🎈 🎉 I hope your day is special.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Thanks to all for the birthday greetings and to C.C. for the exceptionally kind words, and the opportunities you've given me.

Couple of nits, but i really enjoyed tis puzzle. The theme is excellent and well executed.

Going to granddaughter Rebekka's concert tonight, rehearsal tomorrow, grandson Ryan's concert on Thus., to Toledo on Friday, Granddaugher Emily in The Nutcracker on Sat, collapse in a heap on Sunday.

My concerts are Monday and Friday next week. Anyone in the Detroit area who's interested, please email me for details.

Cool regards!
Ron = JzB

Lucina said...

Hello, friends!
A very happy birthday to Ron, AKA, Jazzbumpa, who often regales us with mirthful fun!! You're in the puzzle, too!

And a nice puzzle it is from Ed Sessa, thank you. It was a smooth fill with only ABAS unknown. BABA rhum is on old crossword friend. Hand up for LOB with the best clue.

Thank you, Melissa, for some nice visuals and a fine review.

Have a lovely day, everyone! Today I start the classes on diabetes, 3 hours. I should learn something!

Nice Cuppa said...

By way of coincidence, a major BBC headline today was "Hidden Portrait found under Mona Lisa". Will we finally see what's BEHIND THE SMILE?.

Agreed, a well-crafted theme, some nice clever clueing, but overall a little too easy for a Tuesday.

OBOE and REEDS in the same crossword - nice for JB.

Only dislikes: "Paid for the release of" = RANSOMED. Ransomed used in this sense is generally in the passive voice - "to be ransomed". In the active voice, "He ransomed his wife", seems to have the opposite meaning (although this might depend on my last thought below…)

My meh moment was FAT MEASURE = GRAM. So what is LEAN MEASURE?

We got the same clue again for RIGOR (= HARSHNESS), via a similar software library no doubt. The major meaning of RIGOR is in many ways the opposite of harsh; rather it is the "quality of being thorough and careful". I am happy to have a rigorous debate on that one.

I thought HONOR was more often heard in a DIVORCE court rather than MARRIAGE ceremony. I rest my case, your honor.

JD said...

Good morning all from a very foggy CA. There is rain north of us but always seems to stop short at SF.

I have not glided thru a puzzle this quickly in a very long time.Felt good. Only abas and baba needed perps. Thanks for the write up Melissa, and, of course, to you Ed.

HBTY, HBTY,♪♩♬♫•*¨*•.❤.•*¨*•♫♪•.¸¸.•´♫♪♩♬*¨*`•.♥.•´*♫♪♩♬ HB dear Bumpa, HBTY!

Misty said...

Terrific Tuesday puzzle, Ed--thank you so much! Not only was this a speed run for me, but I couldn't believe all the culture you packed into this puzzle: painting (MONA LISA, GRANDMA Moses), movies (MYRNA Loy), music (ABBA, ARTIE Shaw, LYLE Lovett, OBOE), television (EMILY, GROUCHO MARX), poetry (EDNA St. Vincent Millay), dance (ISADORA Duncan). Really, this was just an amazing puzzle, Ed, and will go down as an all-time favorite of mine. And thanks for the expo, Melissa.

I wish you and your wife a lovely birthday celebration today, JazzB.

Have a great Tuesday, everybody!

Lemonade714 said...


Montana said...

Happy Birthday, Jazzbumpa! Thanks for all you contribute to the Corner.

What everyone else said about the puzzle!

Husker, we also left that word out of wedding vows. Didn't sit well with the old priest, but he tried. Did a long pause, then kept going.


Anonymous T said...

HBD JzB! You seem like on of those fun / smart folks that would provide the OXYGEN at a dinner party. I hope you have a great day.

Crud - I FIW w/ on Tuesday. I had pyRO for AERO @51a and had no clue re: 40 & 44d. Pyro seemed Dynamite! Oh, well, it was fun. Thanks Ed, I really do appreciate both theme and execution, BUT (there's always a big but), xing dancers, composers, and poets, and puns.... Ouch. Thanks m. Bee for the writeup and pointing out my errors.

I was running so well in the N. too. I even got GROUCHO MARX sans perps. That's a fav. quote and why I'm not a joiner ('cept here). I don't know if I knew GR AND MA Moses or if my brain filled in the blanks, but it sure helped w/ getting GRUDGE (I wanted final, re-do something, etc).

W/os RON / ROy / RON again @45a. 53a was Bundt (oops)... Wait for perps.

Fav - 31a just for the c/a... I was off in left field thinking about music.

Speaking of music (Not gonna Rickroll you - Scout's HONOR)- ALIMONY, ALIMONY, payin' your bills... (I thought about STAIRway to Heaven). Too, there's STYX on blue collar MAN MATTERs. Finally, the classicMONA LISA. I could continue AT LENGTH, but have other stuff to tend.

ANISE I put in Pizzelles. Youngest pressed ~100 for me last Sunday and we will press more this weekend.

HG - DW & I edited the vows too - to "yeah, whatever." It's worked for me for 27yrs. Lord knows obey ain't there :-)

TTP - FLN: V8 hit me w/ your morning post - that would be funny. I drop'd on my peers at this morning's conference (I was the speaker so, WTF) - "What's the difference between a black-hat & white-hat hacker?"

"A mortgage."

Your HONOR - LOL NC, that fit's w/ MARX too :-)

Cheers, -T

AnonymousPVX said...

If you haven't seen Herzog's "GRIZZLY MAN" be forewarned. At the end of the film after Herzog listens to the audio of the attack - you do not - he takes off the headphones and counsels the tape owner to never listen to it. That movie really shook me up.

The puzzle as fine other than the NATICK of COBO and ABAS.

CrossEyedDave said...

Delightful, different, ingenious even. But I do have nits...

1st, Keep Grandma out of this...

2nd &%$#@ eyesight, I thought 62A "fortified auto," so I put "tank."

3rd, 42A, how the frack would I know! So that left me the perpage of
Grey versus Gray. I thought long, hard, & carefully, & decided to go with
the American spelling versus English, & put an "E" (Bzzzt!)

4th, I successfully WAGed a "B" in 67A "Cabo/Abas."
However one of the pitfalls of doing it in ink, was that I was unsure...
So I did an alphabet run...

In addition to a "b", that box now has in ink a small c,d,j, & below
next to "by Ed Sessa" continues an m,n,p,,r,s,t,v,w & y as possibilities...

Anon @ 6:55, Holy Crap! I thought that was just a story!

Happy Birthday Jzb!

Bill G. said...

CED, if I understood you correctly, GRAY is the American spelling; Grey is the British spelling.

We got a job done much more pleasantly than in the past when we were poorer with kids in school. We used to get a Douglas Fir at Target, nailed onto a wooden base for around $10. It was all dried out by New Years. Now we can afford to go the the local nursery (the much easier way). We just picked out a 7-foot Noble Fir. When they get their original tree delivery, they make a fresh cut on the base, install a solid stand and the tree stays in water on their lot until it's delivered. We arrange a delivery window, they haul it up our stairs, lop a few low branches off the tree and place a big white trash bag around the base. Then we fill the base up with water and we have a fresh tree for several weeks. I didn't know this but they will also come, pull up the bag and haul it away. We didn't used to be able to afford such a luxurious approach to buying a Christmas tree but we can now. It's money well spent.

Anonymous said...

The GRIZZLY MAN was an interesting watch for me. I imagine the movie maker and the G man's friends behind the movie wanted to show how he was a "bear enthusiast" and loved the bears. I, however, came away with the opinion that he was a misguided, confused man who actually endangered the bears and his death was the inevitable outcome.

Yellowrocks said...

Fine puzzle. Happy birthday, JzB. I like your style.
NC said, "The major meaning of RIGOR is in many ways the opposite of harsh; rather it is the "quality of being thorough and careful". I am happy to have a rigorous debate on that one." I think an equally important meaning is harsh, which is well documented and frequently used. Like many words, RIGOR has more than one well used meaning.
for example,
Winter fluid is designed for the rigors of winter weather and won’t freeze on your windshield.
• Sen’Derrick, his knee is in good shape, but just the play-after-play rigors that it takes to play in the defensive line.
Washington Times Oct 7, 2015
• Existing tablets were not rugged enough for the rigors of primary school.
Time Jul 25, 2015.
Ransom meaning = to redeem from detention, bondage, etc., by paying a demanded price.
Another meaning is to deliver or redeem from punishment for sin.
"He ransomed his wife by paying the price" is common here. Also Christians typically say Jesus ransomed us from sin.
Those of us on a diet know that fat is measured in grams.
Oh, the rigors of transatlantic communication!

Unknown said...

Wow Misty is right about the arts being in there. If Splynter would have did the write up he would have thrown another fine art in there also LOL ~!~!

CrossEyedDave said...

Bill G.

Oh nuts! I even looked it up to be sure, & still got it backwards!

(You know I still sometimes write the date as day/month/year)

Oh well, as Splynter would say; OnWardS...

Groucho Marx.

Grudge Match Actually, this was my 1st choice...

Grizzly Man?

Grey/gray Somewhere between black & white matter...

Anonymous T said...

Gray is a color, grey is a colour. C, -T

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Got a very late start today because our DSL was out again since yesterday. Every time it happens, which has been altogether too frequently, they keep saying it's the modem's fault and I keep refusing to believe it. This time it really was the modem, which has been rigorously and faithfully serving us for about 10 years. The new modem, which I was able to buy at the local AT&T store, works great. It's a small, temporary pain to program the new settings into every computer and iPhone in the house, not to mention the TV and the Blu-ray player. So the wonderful puzzle today was my reward. I love the GR and MA gimmick. Hand up for scratching my head at A BAS.

Warm wishes to you, Jazzbumpa, for a pleasant birthday today and for many more.

Anonymous T said...

JzB - You seem like ONE of those fun... oops. HBD. Hope it was fun.

Jayce - just imagine when IoT (Internet of Things) becomes pervasive. The fridge, the oven, the thermostat, the toaster... The security implications alone are a disaster waiting to happen (Google VTech hack TL;DR: Kids' toys' data compromised).

YR - Your word RIGOR is much appreciated. I enjoy those little tidbits.

I meant to thank @6a Anon re: ISADORA. I knew the scarf story, but not the who. DW thinks I'm nuts (in general, not just for this), but I won't let her wear loose clothing in the convertible. (wait, that sounds wrong... :-))

CED - you always find the best links. Also, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks "Who the hell knows that?" at clues.

Bill G - We still don't have a tree and this weekend guarantees to be eaten w/ two office parties, 2 or 3 Nutcrackers, and whatever else the kids are in. I've always threatened: "Next year, I'll just stick a Menorah in the window and call it done." This may be the year DW agrees :-)

Cheers, -T

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Fun & fast puzzle, thanks, Ed! Thanks, Melissa.

Only unknow was ABAS which filled before I read the clue.

Happy birthday, Jzbumpa!

Busy day.

Bill G. said...

Happy birthday JzB!

AnonT, let me know and I'll ask the local nursery to ship you one. :>)

The old Douglas firs that I used to get aren't available locally anymore. They have Plantation firs that have had the ends of their branches pruned and shaped. They are pretty and symmetrical but are very dense. I guess most people like them better. Not us. Because of the denseness, they are harder to decorate with hanging ornaments. Douglas firs smell the best too. It would be great to be able to go out into the woods and find a pretty one, about seven feet tall with a completely natural shape.

That was a uninspiring group of Jeopardy players tonight. I might have even been able to hold my own.

I came across an old Huell Howser 'California's Gold' segment on wind sailing. Looks like great fun.

Anonymous said...

A fun and easy one today! Although, ABAS was an unknown to me!

Lucina said...

I agree about your assessment of tonight's Jeopardy players, very lackluster. The new champion looks like he might inject some vigor into the contest. We'll see tomorrow.

Blue Iris said...

Happy Birthday to Windover and Jazzbumpa!

I get Grandma Moses and Grandma Layton names mixed up even though art technique could not be more different. Grandma Layton is from this area.

I noticed Grizzlyman is available thru Netflix mail,but don't think I want to see a bear eat somebody.

Thanks everyone for all the links. I didn't suss out the theme till coming here.

Martin said...

Okay so I am commenting on a puzzle from three days ago which probably seems weird but the truth is that I only like doing Monday to Wednesday puzzles because Thursday on is too difficult for me to do without having to google. Anyway, I just finished Wednesday's puzzle yesterday and I had a minute so I thought I would comment.

The fact is that ACCURACY is not the same as precision: let's say I told you you were two meters tall. This is not a bad approximation as most people are between five and six feet tall which is closer to two meters than one or three. This is, therefore, an accurate approximation but not a very precise one.

Now imagine I told you you were 3.051 meters tall. This is a very precise approximation. It is not a very accurate one: it is in fact probably off by a factor of two. Often when we get more precise we are actually becoming less accurate.