Mar 26, 2016

Saturday, March 26th, 2016, Mark Bickham

Theme: MB

Words: 72 (missing J,X,Z)

Blocks: 34

   I typically cringe when I see Mr. Bickham's name in the title, though upon reviewing his last two Saturday offerings, I see that I fared well on the last one, and claimed to have breezed through the one prior to that.  This week, I have to say, I threw in a few WAGs and they worked out for the best; they helped my long answers tremendously, and led to a fast solution.  I might have discovered the wavelength that Mark operates on.  I will admit I had one letter wrong, which I discovered when there was no "Ta-DA~!" at the end.  I'll take it.  One climber, and one spanner, with a pair of 12-letter fills stacked either side;

7d. Loan document : PAYMENT SCHEDULE

35a. Response acknowledging familiarity : I GET THAT A LOT

38a. Couple getting away together? : PARTNERS IN CRIME

41a. Beyond reproach : SQUEAKY CLEAN

вперед~! (62a.) 

1. She played Madeleine in "Bel Ami" (2012) : UMA - did not see this movie

4. Get really excited : FLIP

8. Mug shot result? : FAT LIP - not sure which "mug" and "shot" we might be looking at; the one involving arrest, or the one involving 'arrested development' ( that is, consuming alcohol excessively ).  Turns out neither - instead it's a shot to the mug

14. __ data : RAW

15. "The Diana Chronicles" author Brown : TINA - filled via perps

16. Rooks, e.g. : AVIANS - I was on a chess wavelength; here it's the bird

17. Social follower? : ITE - socialite

18. Levitate : DEFY GRAVITY - that's what it means

20. Fashionable : CHIC - I did technically post a pic of legs last week, but just to be clear, this is still what I call "chic"

22. "Enough, José!" : "NO MAS~!"

23. Shout after a muleta manipulation : OLÉ - Spanish uno mas - a muleta ( having had to look it up ) is a red cape fixed to a stick.  I pretty much figured out what the answer was without knowing, though the actual definition of the word is "crutch"

24. Hard-to-hit pitch : HIGH C - ah, not baseball

26. __ fail : EPIC - this was my first thought, but I hesitated

28. Carrier of many old couples : ARK

30. Historic Buddhist temple : SHAOLIN

33. You can count on them : ABACI - got it

42. Lemony spice used in Middle Eastern cuisine : SUMAC - I'm guessing it's not the poisonous kind....

43. Question of time : "HOW LONG~?" - I tried "HOW SOON", and two "O"s were good to go

46. Half a drink : TAI - and of course, I tried MAI

47. Not out : SAFE - ah, here's the baseball

50. 2000s Showtime series, with "The" : L WORD - heard of it, have not seen it

52. "Star Trek" initialism : TNG - "The Next Generation", which truly was MY generation's Star Trek; I could not get into the original, tho the movies with the original cast were to my liking.  Now we're being shown Star WARS, the next generation

54. In a big way : BADLY

57. Party where lomi salmon may be served : LUAU - I tried BRIS to start; bzzzt.  The internet claims it's actually lomi-lomi

58. Runway highlight : BEAUTY QUEEN - I have been communicating with a girl who was the beauty queen of a dance at her college - and she is a cutie; 29, with beautiful green eyes - maybe more next week....

61. Treasury Dept. variable : GNP

62. Fitting game : TETRIS - one of my all-time favorite video games

I also found this, this and this

63. 1970 Kinks hit : LOLA

64. Stand in a barrel : AGE - think the verb

65. Outsmarts : ONE-UPS

66. Good place to see plays : ESPN - more likely to see RE-plays, actually

67. Rocker Nugent : TED


1. "Spenser: For Hire" actor : URICH - It took a moment to recall his last name; I knew his first name was Robert; I knew him from "The Ice Pirates" from way back in 1984

2. He's no Johnny One Note : MATHIS - I have one of his Christmas albums

3. Barely clear of the bottom : AWEIGH

4. Co. with a bouquet in its logo : FTD - Florists' Transworld Delivery - the Wiki

5. Bank security : LIEN

6. Scoop : INFO

8. Iranian language : FARSI

9. Clark's "Mogambo" co-star : AVA

10. It helps you avoid seeing spots : TiVO - the "spots" being TV ads; I DVR all my stuff so I can skip the commercials, too

11. Boxer who retired undefeated : LAILA ALI

12. Building security device : INTERCOM

13. Humanities dept. : PSYchology; I see that it might be considered a science instead

19. Clothing giant : GAP - different "gap" from yesterday

21. Starbucks latte order : CHAI TEA

25. Courvoisier and Hennessy : COGNACS

27. Taunt : CATCALL

29. Surfer's option : KITE - my one wrong letter was the "K"; I had SITE, which makes internet surfing sense; I did not check my crossings

31. Garlic relative : LEEK

32. "Just doing my job" : "I TRY." - this week I had a new truck in my UPS line-up, and it was a disaster the first day of the week; I did not feel very good about the job I did.  I recovered pretty quickly, however, as the driver told me I did an outstanding job two days later.  I try.

34. Nocturnal bird : BARN OWL

36. City name that looks like an oxymoron : HILO - High, or Low~?

37. Over : ANEW

38. "Hey!" : PSST - oops; with my MAI, I tried AHEM

39. "__ Hunger Force": Adult Swim cartoon : AQUA-TEEN - I have seen a few episodes of this show, but I was more a fan of "Robot Chicken"

40. Ponder : RUMINATE

44. Milky Way component : NOUGAT

45. Farm : GRANGE - my first AA home group was in a community center we called "The Grange"; I am guessing it was once a part of a local farm, as it is now an historic landmark

48. Profundity metaphor : ABYSS - this one goes "deep"

49. Provider of answers, briefly : FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

51. Had : DUPED - "I've been duped~!"

53. Provider of answers : GURU

55. Some summer births : LEOS

56. Kennel noise : YELP

58. "Takin' Care of Business" rock gp. : BTO - Bachman-Turner Overdrive; classic rock of the 70's

59. Bills left behind, perhaps : TIP

60. Indian bread : NAN



OwenKL said...

A poor showing today. I got about 2/3rds done on my own, gave in, and turned the red letters on. Even from that point, with about half done, red only took me a little ways further, and I had to ask the program to give me a couple more seed letters.

The AQUA dress shimmered on the lovely TEEN,
Like her reputation, it was SQUEAKY CLEAN.
Well, except for that prank.
And those boys.
...And that tank.
Still, the cars were crunched by a real BEAUTY QUEEN!

Flying a KITE is such fun to see,
Floating as if to DEFY GRAVITY!
Its tail streams out
As it glides all about,
And then, with a FLIP, it plunges into a tree!

Life is checkered, like a giant chess board.
The white squares our triumphs, the dark are absurd!
But let it all TIP
So the squares may FLIP,
And the game, instead, is weekend crossword!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Still have a low grade fever and some breathing issues. Not sure going to a doctor would accomplish much other than have him tell me I have the flu, but if I don't feel better soon I may need to do it anyway. I spent all night lying awake listening to my breath squeak every time I inhaled, so I'm hoping it's not turning into pneumonia or something...

Today's offering was very enjoyable. Despite a few head scratches that I needed the perps to get (BTO and SUMAC, for example), I was mostly on Mr. Bickham's wavelength. Threw down BARN OWL off the initial B, for example, and didn't need any perps to get AQUA TEEN. I got all the long answers with a minimal amount of perps help as well, so that was nice.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Seemed tough, but it came together quickly. So, well done, Mark. Nicely explained, Splynter. Thanx for filling out BTO; my "rock" age ended in the 60's. Initially tried SWORD for the SHO show until CATCALL set me straight. Also thought it was TETRUS until TIP showed up.

We've been using the DVR (TIVO) for the NCAA tournament. It's particularly helpful during the final few minutes of the game when the time-outs come fast and furious. Yeah, the rest of the world knows who won before we do. Don't care.

Barry T. said...

This one was almost the death of me... was forced to turn on red letters to finish. Can someone 'splain:

-- In a big way = Badly ?
-- Surfer's option = Kite ?

Those have me stumped! Thanks.

thehondohurricane said...

It's a rare Saturday when I have an opportunity to get my butt kicked, so today turned out to be a pleasant experience. Thanks Mark for the challenge.

I was really floundering for a while though. 18A looked like DEFY GRAVITY was the fill, but I was sure 11D was Marciano.
Then I remembered Ali's daughter, tried it and all sorts of empty squares began to fill in.

Had a similar experience in the South. I was absolutely sure 62A was tennis, leaving me at sea! I thought 40D was RUMINATE, but maybe it ended with ...ane rather then ....ate. Finally gave up feeling sure TETRIS was wrong. Clue still leaves me cold, but what I know about video games wouldn't fill a tea cup.

Eraser got a pretty good workout today, but all ended with success.

Happy easter to all.

thehondohurricane said...

OOPS! Should have read Splynters post before commenting. One spelling error....28A /28D I entered ars/site. Never saw the error.

Oh well, now I feel better. My Saturday failures continue.

Lemonade714 said...

Starting out with a movie that grossed $120,000.00 seems a bit much even for a Saturday. There are so many UMA roles to choose from.

The rest was not bad for a Saturday as Mark always includes some fun fill. I liked SQUEAKY CLEAN, BEAUTY QUEEN and the using of the complete name LAILA ALI along with many others.

Thanks Mark and Splynter

Lemonade714 said...

Happy Easter and Barry go to the doctor before it gets worse. Feel better

Steven J. St. John said...

Two comments. 1 - This was a beautifully constructed puzzle! That middle stack was all very nice, and the crossers weren't bad at all. Great job. 2 - My Psychology Department just proposed switching from the Social Sciences Division to the Natural Sciences Division. We are about as far from Humanities as you can get. I would be shocked if more than 10% of Psychology Departments are in Humanities divisions.

Steven J. St. John said...

Barry T. - Google kite surfing. It's a reasonably popular activity for the thrill-seeking type. As for in a big way = badly, that's got me stumped too.

desper-otto said...

He failed badly.

oc4beach said...

Third DNF in a row. The Thursday one was unexpected, but Friday is usually expected and Saturday is definitely expected. Today was a challenge I could not overcome.

I think I'll look in on the Washington Post or the Florida Today puzzle for an easier puzzle.

It's time to Hunt and Gather.

Have a great Easter everyone.

Anonymous said...

This puzzle started my day off terribly!

Kent Mauk said...

"I want it so badly!"

Barry T. said...

Thank you very much, Steven J. St. John, desper-otto, and Kent Mauk. I appreciate it... whew... My day sucks when I have unresolved xword issues! :)

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

This started out looking like a clock-cleaner. First pass was Arctic. But, then, a few lichens took hold at the southern extreme. A few letters let me try Payment Schedule and the whole thing came together.

Thought I had never heard of Bel Ami, but looking at Splynter's link, I remembered having seen the movie just because it had Uma in it. Considering the cast, it must not have been a cheap film to make - too bad it wasn't worth it.

Hand up for the Site/Kite error. Never heard of Aqua Teen, or for that matter, Adult Swim. Let's face it, a puzzle with mainly youth culture oriented clues would be nigh impossible.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This took me a tad longer than usual to complete, mostly due to the SE corner, but I did finish w/o help. Some tricky cluing had me stymied but that's the way Saturday puzzles are.

Thanks, Mark, for the workout and thanks, Splynter, for the tour.

Barry G, you should see your doctor just to be on the safe side.

Happy Easter to those who observe.

Have a great day.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Got most of it un-aided. Used lots of WAGS like Splynter said. Invoked Mr. G for SHAOLIN,AQUA TEENS, L WORD and SUMAC.
High degree of fresh fill compensated for the difficulty.
Favorite clues were those for ARK and HIGH C.
Good job, Mark.

Here is a game that you can play while you are in a holding pattern, FLIPPING to comment on the next profound comment.

Husker Gary said...

Let’s see, I got the bottom and worked my way up. Must be Saturday! A long but eventually rewarding slog. HIGH C bedeviled this baseball guy for a long time, MARCIANO was my first undefeated boxer and PIECES for Rooks

-10 – 4 on Splynter’s summative paragraph. How’s he gonna get legs in this one?
-We hate debt, let alone LIENS, and so we always pre-pay on that PAYMENT SCHEDULE
-These PARTNERS IN CRIME came to a gruesome end
-RAW Data and intelligible representation
-CHIC - Oh that’s how he’s going to do it! ☺
-HOW LONG (3:24) by a one hit wonder group
-Like Splynter AHEM/MAI gave way to PSST/TAI. Stacy KEECH in _ _ _ CH before URICH
-Oops, two bad cells due to not proofing! Splynter’s and Hondo’s K was one of mine too
-I can’t imagine how many CATCALLS Jackie Robinson had to endure
-The ABYSS is my wife’s purse. “I know I’ve got it, I just don’t know where!”
-Want to DEFY GRAVITY? Take a dive in NASA’s KC 135 (:45)

Dudley said...

Husker - heh heh! I once had a girlfriend whose purse was like a drawstring gym bag, only made of black leather. I called it The Black Hole.

Big Easy said...

Started badly but finished with a flourish. 1A,1D, were unknowns and URICH and UMA apeared after a WAG on MATHIS. Thought maybe SCRAPE would be 3D but the NWA finally filled after SHAOLIN and HIGH-C, with help from a V-8 moment. I had to walk away twice before I finished.

My last fill was KITE after filling I GET THAT A LOT. Unknowns today were TINA, L-WORD, CHAI TEA, TETRIS, and AQUATEEN. False starts were MARCIANO for LAILA ALI, I'M OK for I TRY, GDP for GNP, TAB for TIP, ISM for ITE. The Milky Way has many stars so I guessed NOUGAT. And the cross of ABYSS and BADLY drove me crazy for a while. oH, I'm still crazy.

Have a nice Easter.

C6D6 Peg said...

Got-er done, although the mid-section took a while! Thanks, Mark, for a challenge today!

Nice work, Splynter. Thanks for the pics and links!

Lucina said...

Hola y Buenos dias!

Thank you, Mark Bickham, and Splynter.

Like most of you I thought this looked daunting and undoable but then the NW filled easily once MATHIS paved the way. That was a delusion. After several passes, the only cells I filled were scattered around then slowly, very slowly, I started to get traction when PARTNERSIN CRIME occurred to me. I liked the clue for HILO and then a LUAU came later. The same as desper-otto for TETRUS/TETRIS and TIP.

Ditto with SITE/KITE and since AQUATEEN was unknown to me I missed TNG.

And sometimes I am my own worst enemy. At 21A I was sure BASTA was right until sense saved me and NO MAS emerged and FARSI (CSO to Abejo) flew in as well.

Well, duty calls. I have cookies to bake and deviled eggs galore to make.

Have a wonderful, safe Saturday, everyone! Happy Easter and happy Sunday to all.

Jayce said...

Excellent and hard puzzle, lots of fun challenge. Loved the clue for MATHIS.

Misty said...

I was very pleased to get over 3/4 of this Saturday puzzle--and actually got all of the long answers, including the daunting PAYMENT SCHEDULE. It was the smaller clues that did me in because of things I just didn't know (ULRICH, SHAOLIN, TETRIS, LOLA). But not bad for a Saturday, and a lot of fun, thanks, Mark and Splynter.

My only real gripe is that I've taught in four Humanities departments over the years, and PSYCHOLOGY was always in the Social Sciences. Thanks for backing me up on that, Steven St. J.

Fun poems this morning, Owen.

Barry G., I hope you go to the doctor today. Even if he or she just agrees it's the flu, you might get advice and treatments to help you sleep, etc., and get better.

Have a lovely Easter Sunday tomorrow, everybody. I'll sadly be home alone with no eggs or bunnies or a great dinner, but will enjoy the sunshine and the roses coming into bloom.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All:

Well <1/4 solved before I answered "HOW LONG must this go on?" [Devo] and cried NO MAS!

Thanks Mark for the challenge and thanks Splynter for fixing my grid (hand up for sITE - for the old couples carrier I was trying to come up w/ something GRAVITY DEFY'n akin to TWA - way off). Saturday puzzling in still beyond me.

I was so keen on NCC for 52a. I was sure it had to be the Enterprise, NCC-1701.

Fav: I did like RAW vs. INFO. I use an analytics system that takes in about 600G/day of RAW data and can parse it down to when an end-user went to the can. Not that I need that INFO (yet)... :-).

Your DVR dollars go to TiVO after they won their suit against Scientific Atlanta. A buddy works at TiVO. His team designed the user-interface. Forward complaints to him ;-)

A few years ago I set the PAYMENT SCHEDULE to a 15 years on a 28yr NOTE (doh! LEIN) at 3.1% INT (double-doh! GNP). In ~12 years I can get my goats & rest.

HG - Was that photo from the DC Crime museum? It looks like where Eldest (a BEAUTY QUEEN in daddy's eyes) & I went last summer (at her request) whilst in DC.

I can't let BTO pass w/ out a link...

Have a great Sat. Everyone & Enjoy the day! For me, a pleasant nap.

Cheers, -T

Crispy816 said...

My Saturday solve was similar to Husker Gary's - started from the bottom & worked my way up. Wonderful xword puzzle!

Many thanks, Anon-T for the Fawlty Towers clips! I so enjoy torturing my teenagers with random Python et al. quotes.


Dudley said...

-T. 3:19 - I read the Wiki on Bonnie and Clyde, whose story I knew little about, and saw that the car is on display at Whiskey Pete's Hotel and Casino in Primm, Nevada. Sounds like a real fun place.

Anonymous T said...

Triple-Doh! 2x this week I posted I/E transposed in LIEN...

Crispy816 - Glad you liked it. I just finished a Fish Called Wanda w/ Eldest. She was meh 'till the penultimate scene.

Dudley & HG - I asked her about said car. She said, "No, we saw Ted Bundy's car." Dad's wrong again...

I'm about 2 weeks late in planting, but I have tomatoes, cukes, peppers, & herbs ready to go in tomorrow. I also found out my favorite guy at Enchanted Gardens retired. Not only is he as good as Gramps on plants but he has a Vinyl collection that would blow your mind (and ears).

Cheers, -T

CrossEyedDave said...

Well, I guess it's late enough that I wont annoy too many...

Saturday? In order to enjoy a Saturday puzzle, I solve on computer,
red letter on, hit solve for every name I never heard of,
& then enjoy trying to solve whatever is left...

Been Uber busy with my flight simulator,
&, (I am sorry Splynter)but it has caused no joy with UPS!
I ordered a new joystick online because no one sells these things in stores anymore.
For the past week, I have been tracking this package. Friday it was 10 miles from me.
(I was sure it was going to be delivered today...)
Dang it Splynter! I need this joystick to fly with the big boys!

On another note,,, DW is getting around on crutches quite well a week after her hip replacement.
So much so that she spent the day trolling the house & yelling at me to clean this & that
in prep for Easter Sunday company.
(The party is over...)

BarryT @ 10:26am, I have not had unresolved xword issues since I joined this Blog!
(but I know what you mean...)

HG! Bonnie & Clydes car! (OMG!)
(that car looks like my plane after flying in Cliffs of Dover...)
(P.S., you have to know how to really fly a plane in this simulation....)

& finally, when UPS doesn't deliver...
Just make lemonade....
Note, this stuff is that weed you see growing next to every highway.
just make sure it is the RED staghorn sumac. (No white berries...)

Anonymous T said...

CED - Glad to hear your DW is back in order and putting you that way too. Now you can stop playing w/ your JoyStick...

Didn't know that re: Sumac tea. Hmm, I think I'll pass - I'd confuse myself & end up with the white ones. I can hear me now: "No, Hun, CED specifically said stay away from red ones." Another -T EPIC Fail...

Your post was >20 lines* and now My Brain Hurts [Python]. Or should I see this Doctor? [Kids in the Hall].

Seriously, glad she's doing well and keepin' you on your toes. Good to see you back Mate.

Cheers, -T
*kiddin' - you could go on for 28 lines :-)

Picard said...

The NW corner was full of proper names unknown to me and "AWEIGH" was not obvious from that clue. But I did figure it out without help.

And I also had "Basta" before "NO MAS". Our Early Music group is performing the "Echo Song" which has the singer saying "Basta" to her echo, so Basta was on my mind!