Mar 23, 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016, Matt Skoczen

Title: A Peeling Duty

Kitchen Patrol is a common stereotype of punishment in the armed services. As most other military terms, like MP and AWOL, it has acquired an acronym - KP. No character better represents a soldier who is in constant trouble than our favorite buck private Beetle Bailey who is on KP seemingly interminably.

Matt's offering today offers four theme phrases which are two-word phrases that begin with the letters K and P respectively.

Theme entries:

17. *Freebie with fries : KETCHUP PACK - Are they easy to open for you?

38. *Spicy Chinese dish with chicken and peanuts : KUNG PAO - Or how a Superhero would order it

11. *South Korean subcompact : KIA PRIDE - Does 6' 1", multimillionaire Michelle Wei really drive a KIA or just cash their checks?

37. *Beer pong venue : KEG PARTY - In this Beer Pong game, somebody on the other team must now drink that cup of beer perhaps drawn from a KEG.


50. Mil. grunt work, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : KP DUTY - In the Navy too! Spitz?

1. Tatum O'Neal played one in "The Bad News Bears" : TOMBOY - Her character was also a GRIFTER, a word from last Thursday's puzzle. 

7. Burn a tad : CHAR - A CHAR-broiled Clearwater, Nebraska steak. Can't do better!

11. Keystone bumbler : KOP - Mack Sennett's wacky silent-movie police force

14. Running by itself : ON AUTO - Otto Pilot appears in my funniest movie ever

15. Drought-ridden : SERE - Not ARID this time

16. Suffix with infant : ILE

19. Woodworking tool : ADZ

20. Kosher deli offering : LATKE

21. Sipped sherry, say : HAD A NIP

23. Nails, as a test : ACES

24. Baptism receptacle : FONT

25. How some Bibles present Jesus' words : IN RED - Jesus had a lot to say in Matthew 11 and 12

28. Secure with a seat belt : STRAP IN - A lot of us grew up with strapless cars!

30. Stool pigeon : RAT FINK 

32. Barrister's topper : WIG - London Lawyer's Fake Coif

33. Playing card symbol : PIP - Go ahead and count 'em all. 364 pips + 1 joker = 365 days in a year and + 2 jokers = 366 days for leap years

34. Chief Valhalla god : ODIN - Valhalla is the Norse Hall Of The Slain ruled over by ODIN

35. Whiskey barrel wood : OAK - Aging in CHARred OAK barrels give whiskey its color

41. Big name in ice cream : EDY

42. It may be gray : AREA

44. In medias __ : RES - "Into The Middle Of Things" For example the start of the movie The Da Vinci Code has 
Jacques Saunière being pursued and killed in The Louvre by Silas and we don't find out what that's about for a while

45. Dr. Mom's forte : TLC

47. Source of early clothing? : FIG TREE - I wonder what size Adam wore

49. With 56-Across, blamed for : CHALKED paired with 56. See 49-Across : UP TO

53. Antique photo : SEPIA - So named because the the ink sac of the cuttlefish SEPIA was originally used in photography

54. Heavy hauler : DRAY - Add to our Cartage discussion this month

57. Recognition : ACCLAIM

59. Fund : ENDOW

60. Part of dpi : PER - Resolution quality in Dots PER Inch

62. *Of its species, only the emperor is larger : KING PENGUIN

64. 747, e.g. : JET

65. Cyberzine : EMAG - Here's some EMAG's you can try online for 2 weeks for free

66. Inner strength : METTLE

67. Wily : SLY

68. Very best : TOPS - Baby if I'm the bottom, You're the TOP(s)! Can't go wrong with Cole Porter

69. Verne __, Mini-Me portrayer in Austin Powers films : TROYER - Verne and his ex-wife Genevieve Gallen. 


 1. Gertrude Stein confidante Alice B. __ : TOKLAS

2. Like Chekhov's "A Marriage Proposal" : ONE ACT

3. "As a __ of fact ..." : MATTER

4. Firewood-sizing tool : BUCKSAW - Here's a cute one on a whirligig 

5. Will-wisp link : THE - Problematic Musical Maria - A flibbertigibbet! A will-O'-THE wisp! A clown!

6. Thou, now : YOU

7. Political channel : C-SPAN

8. Intellectually stimulating experience : HEAD TRIP

9. Conquistador's chest : ARCA - Same root for the item Indiana Jones was seeking.

10. Weave anew : REKNIT

12. Antique : OLD

13. Brick-shaped candy : PEZ

18. Unit of loudness : PHON - Number of dB's at 1,000 Hz. You're welcome.

22. It may be supplied at a booth, briefly : INFO

24. Work (out) : FIGURE

26. Writer Bagnold : ENID 
A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again. Guilty as charged, ENID!

27. Seventh Avenue fashion initials : DKNY - Donna Karen New York or

29. Water__: oral irrigator : PIK

31. "So what?" feeling : APATHY 

33. Family-friendly ratings : PG'S

35. Big galoots : OAFS

36. Grammy winner India.__ : ARIE - She added the period because she liked how it looked 

39. "Ready for forty winks?" : NEED A NAP - Everyday at 1 pm when I sub!

40. Portuguese hi : OLA

43. Symptom ending : ATIC - My brother was ashthmATIC

46. Held fast : CLUNG TO

48. Dishonest activity : RACKET - After all his RACKETEERING, this sent him to Alcatraz

49. Kid's summer spot : CAMP - Hello Mudder, Hello Fadder...

51. French star : ETOILE - You can probably translate this children's song: Brille, brille, petite  ÃˆTOILE

52. Real drag : DOWNER

55. Gibson's "Lethal Weapon" role : RIGGS

58. Stretch __ : LIMO - I'm trying to get my mind around what group would use this one

59. Cabinet dept. : ENER

60. Nightcap complement : PJ'S

61. Sushi fish : EEL

63. CPR pro : EMT - Because of 
declining populations,  required training time and necessary availability at a moment's notice, some small towns no longer have  EMT's

All in all, a very nice mid-week exercise but now I've got a few taters to peel! Looking forward to your comments which I hope you will Keep Positive. Dismissed!


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Doable, but a bit of tough going for me today. BUCKSAW was completely unknown, and that mucked things up in the NE for awhile. Tried HACKSAW, then BAND SAW and really wanted BOW SAW.

Down south, I went for CHARGED/WITH until the perps finally convinced me to change it to CHALKED/UPTO. Really hard to come up with that..

Everything else was pretty smooth in comparison. Loved the clue for FIG TREE!

Tinbeni said...

Husker: Wonderful write-up and informative "learning moment" links. Good Job!

Fave today (as if you have to ask, lol) ... KEG PARTY ...

Needed ESP (Every-Single-Perp) to get TROYER ... never actually knew "Mini-Me's" real name.

Hope everyone has an excellent Hump-Day.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Nicely done, Matt and Husker. I noticed all the Ks in the puzzle, the Ps, not so much. Only writeovers were ANOMIE/APATHY and A LEG/LIMO. Another quicky.

Husker, back in '59 Wink Martindale had a mild hit record about those PIPs (4:56). Our DVD of Airplane has a big "No!" sticky attached to it, courtesy of DW.

The big question in movieland, can the upcoming 5th Indy Jones movie be worse than the 4th? It'd be tough.


Good morning !

unclefred said...

Uh. Completed the fill, but really struggled. Just not on the wavelength. With a few cheats I'd still give myself credit. Not so today. So many cheats I am forced to be honest and take a DNF, even though I eventually got the fill. You beat me, Matt!!

inanehiker said...

Slow and steady today- southeast corner came a little slower. What T-beni said about TROYER being all perps. Expected KING PENGUIN to be up top with the theme answers, but enjoyed the write-up with the variety of pics, HG!

Thanks Matt and HG!

Hungry Mother said...

Had SEAR instead of CHAR until I looked at the perp. Pretty smooth today.

thehondohurricane said...

Wow! BUCK SAW, ARCA, IN RED, KUNGPAO, TROYER, DKNY, ETOILE, & ARIE. I was convinced my finished product was going to be a FIW, but it turned out OK. Never knew Jesus' words were in red in some Bible editions. Kept thinking LATKE ended with an A. The others mentioned were never heard of or totally forgotten.

Used to enjoy the Keystone Kops when they were shown on TV. Been many eons since I attended a KEG PARTY. To the best of my recollection, I always had a good time.

Quite often, between two and three PM, I usually NEED A NAP.

HG, enjoyed the write up. Thanks for the challenge Matt.

billocohoes said...

BTW Beetle Bailey, as far as I know, is still an E-1 private, so he's not "our favorite non-com" or NCO to use crosswordese.

Anonymous said...

41A - The clue coulda/shoulda been written more humorously, such as:

"Big/short name in ice cream."

BTW: This is MAGILLA. Somehow I got signed out, I can't remember my password, an Google won't let me change it without my entering the exact date when I opened the account. I have no clue. $&#%?##

Unknown said...

Difference between ignorance and apathy?
I don't know and I don't care.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

KILO PAPA. Got the theme with KING PENGUIN. Neat. Had buzz saw before BUCK SAW. Liked most of the puzzle bet did not like clue for REKNIT. Weave is a different process. Favorite clue was for FIG TREE.
KP DUTY - We had a version of it but did not call it that. Just "mess duty". New assignees to the ship below the rank of NCO (E4) would normally be given mess duty initially.

Lemonade714 said...

Matt always makes you work and HG always dazzles with his visuals.

I am not sure most of think of the KING PENGUIN as opposed to just Penguin.

Verne TRYER is particularly small at 2'8" but he does get around.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This gave me a lot more trouble than a usual Wednesday but, eventually, sorted itself out. I, too, expected to see King Penguin with the theme entries.

Thanks, Matt, for a mid-week challenge and thanks, HG, for an enjoyable write-up.

Have a great day.

Yellowrocks said...

Enjoyable, puzzle, Matt. Interesting write up, HG.
My 62A has a *, to indicate it was one of the theme entries.
I believe it was the Emperor Penguin that was featured in the March of the Penguins movie.
Only TROYER and ARIE were all perps. Not that difficult. I did the puzzle while waiting in the car and talking to my DIL on the phone.
I have no nit with KNIT. It is used in other ways than for a specific process. Thesaurus agrees it is a synonym of WEAVE.
My Kindle did indeed upgrade by itself. The Silk application is not as good as it was before. Sometimes it stops working and I have start it up again. Not all upgrades are progress. I am not looking for new bells and whistles.
I suppose I have rested by back long enough and must get back to cleaning.

Northwest Runner said...

I'm with Spitz. Knitting and weaving are different things. But since "reknit" rarely appears outside of crosswords and Scrabble anyway, maybe we can let this go.

Avg Joe said...

Very crunchy for a Wednesday, IMO. Had to rely on several perps in quite a few spots, including 1A. That's never a good sign. Complete unknowns were Troyer, Arie and the specific Kia model. Did see the theme before the reveal, so that helped. If you look again at Gary's write up, you'll see he even included the asterisk in the clue for 62A. So just an oversight.

Thanks Gary for the expo and Matt for the challenge.

Lucina said...

Hola y Buenos dias!

Gracias to Matt and Gary for today's Keen Puzzle experience.

Though I enjoyed solving this I had an embarrassingly large number of errors in the three letter fill which are normally easy. A few unknowns added to my DIW, BUCKSAW, RIGGS, ETOILE. TROYER and KIAPRIDE, most of which were completed by perps.

Interestingly, in Spanish KNIT and weave are translated the same, "tejer" although knit is "tejer de punta". Pronounced, teh-hehr.

Are PEZ candies really brick shaped?

Have a delightful day, everyone!

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. This was hard for me in places; smooth sailing in other areas. I thought FIG TREE for 'Source of early clothing' was particularly clever. Thanks Mark and Gary.

There's a local coffee shop owned by a couple of blokes from New Zealand. A few months back I came across Vern Troyer having coffee though I couldn't remember his name at first.

(It's just about time for my nap ... zzz...)

Bluehen said...

WEES about the puzzle. I'd like to thank the constructor, but I'm confused. Is his first name Matt or Mark? Oh, what the heck. Clever puzzle, thanks Mr. Skoczen. Loved the expo, HG.

Spring has final sprung and I'm grilling burgers outside today. Bacon cheeseburgers. Mine will be with blue cheese and Cajun blackening spices. Yum.


Misty said...

This felt more like a Friday than a Wednesday puzzle to me when I started out, and I was ready to give it up except I liked the reference to ALICE B. TOKLAS and didn't want to dishonor her. I can't believe I did actually get everything right except one letter in the end, but what a slog! But Husker Gary, your wonderful pics saved the day--many thanks for that.

Off to serve as judge to our local high school student writing contest this afternoon. The writing samples were not great, but not terrible either. Still, these are impressive kids all around.

Have a great day, everybody!

Jayce said...

This turned out to be harder than I expected, but I solved it all without having to look anything up. Plenty of unknowns to me, including the Kia Pride, Verne Troyer, and Riggs. KING PENGUIN tripped me up because I thought we were looking for another penguin of the same species as Emperor penguin. That was before I got the KP theme. I speculate that I might have had no trouble with king penguin if I had known the theme first. Sometimes I think too literally and fail to see some other possibilities. Hand up for loving the clue for FIG TREE.

CrossEyedDave said...

This puzzle started out hard, with just one corner to work with.
but the perps came together like a zipper! my favorite kind of puzzle!

Will 0 the wisp had me looking on YouTube, but all the videos look like insects to me...
So, the opposite of Rap Music interlude here....

The Garden of Eden this aint...

Yes, Pez do look like bricks!

I could tell you some KP stories...

Oh wait!, here comes one now!

AnonymousPVX said...

Agree that this was a bit of a crunch but no issues. And not much else to add.

Michael said...

Yellowrocks @ 10:33:

<< Not all upgrades are progress. >>

Too often, they are 'regress' instead. Some bright guy decided that "we" will now change, say, the (old, familiar) Cmnd.-P -- for printing -- to Ctr-Alt-Shift--F5 ... and it takes months to retrain yourself, plus the new command doesn't work exactly like the old one, so there is another work-around to learn to get anywhere.

Oh, did I mention that the 'upgrade' has LESS features than the old one, so you can't do what you used to do so easily?

oc4beach said...

Solving the puzzle only took 5 hours to finish. Easy start then an emergency trip to the doctors office before returning to finish the puzzle. All is well now, but with a few scary moments this morning.

Just a few stumbles along the way today. Wanted to put in SEMI vs DRAY and had no clue about Verne TROYER since I never saw any of the Austin Powers films. I also had SEAR vs CHAR, ARID vs SERE and no idea that the Conquistador's chest was an ARCA. As usual perps were the savior again today.

OAK whiskey barrels was easy. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my cousin's Adirondack Barrel Cooperage in New York is now open and whiskey barrels are being made.

I enjoyed the puzzle from Matt and HG's write-up.

Enjoy the spring day.

Ol' Man Keith said...

A good tough chew this morning! I started easily & speedily enough, but bogged down about halfway--literally halfway down the grid, around 42A. For a while I thought I'd need at least one cheat, maybe to learn the surname of Mr. TROYER. But I persevered, and gradually worked everything out through the good offices of Mssrs. WAG and Perp.
I enjoyed it along the way. I picked up on the abundance of Ks and Ps, so that helped - and also pleased, aesthetically tickled me. When we catch onto a creator's private coding, I think we're always amused--to get a sense of his or her thinking.
This is about the perfect level for me--a pzl that doesn't come easily but doesn't get so far ahead that I'd rather skip the effort and run to Mama Google.

KenoRunner said...

Ketchup packs were not free (7 cents, as I recall) at the Copenhagen airport Burger King when I was there. And a burger was a whopping $12.

fermatprime said...


Thanks, Mark and Husker!

Struggled to get the Saw. Otherwise easy.


Bill G. said...

Keith, as is often the case, I find myself agreeing with your assessment of the difficulty level. Nicely put.

It's a beautiful day. I'm off for a short bike ride and visit to a local Farmers' Market. It would be great if their vine-ripened tomatoes are back in season. Then lunch, Then coffee and a read of some Louis L'amour on my Nook. Then some algebra tutoring with one of my really nice students. Then some TV. Then...?

Steve said...

Very smooth - no clangers to be seen anywhere in the grid. Neatly done!

@Keno Runner - I think you still pay for ketchup packs in McDonald's in England. It's been a while since I was in one, but they were 5p (around 7c, so the same as your Danes). Also, if you're a smoker, you have to pay for matches, and if you order a mixed drink in a pub you get a little bottle of the mixer (tonic, for example) and you have to pay for that too.

@Thomas Blevins - nice one!

If you're interested, barristers are so-called because when they become qualified they are "called to the bar" having passed the bar exams. Barristers can appear in the high courts; your average journeyman lawyer can only appear in the lower courts. They're called "solicitors", hence I'm always amused here in the US when I see a "No Solicitors" sign on a door (my ex-wife was a solicitor).

Tinbeni said...

... I thought KING PENGUIN was also a theme entry based on its symmetrical
location in the grid opposite from Ketchup Pack ...

Oh well, it's "Five-O'clock-Somewhere" ...

OwenKL said...

How or why is a bucksaw a Firewood-sizing tool?

Yellowrocks said...

A buck saw cuts wood to size. Of course, other saws do too.

Husker Gary said...

-One abiding worry about blogging is to ERR and it appears I had a double-header today but I have gone back and corrected them. I mistyped Matt’s name and made hapless Beetle a non-com. My research shows he would have to be an Army corporal or above to deserve the non-com label. I am trainable. ☺
-Your positive comments about my blogging provide salve for my efforts
-In case you haven’t sensed it, I am/was a VISUAL teacher and blog in that same manner. I try to make to the pix interesting, unique or educational and not just filling space.
-Here is something a friend sent me - A very funny Lucy/Desi (~4:00) link about our capricious language


Thank you Matt and Gary. Fun puzzle and entertaining and informative write up. Well done on both accounts.

Like AvgJoe, I didn't know the KIA model, but it perped in easily enough. My hangup was FIGleaf. Trying to work fill around those four incorrect letters was too tough for a Wednesday, and then I reconsidered the clue.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

TOM, er Matt, BOY was this a slog for me. Not that you didn't warn me to STRAP IN and I can't Monday-cruise ON AUTO, but I wasn't sure I'd finish. Thanks for the challenge.

HG - thanks for confirming every square was good. Enjoyed the write-up; is that you playing beer-pong? :-)

Dyslexia almost got me today. I put in pkDUTY and struggled w/ CHALpED UK_O. It took forever to realize I transposed it. DnkY didn't take so long to unwind.

Hand-up oc4 - I had semi too. As Splyter grades - 100% wrong :-)

WAGs - both "R"s in 15a and 36d. Grey AREA?!?....V8!

Fav: WEES c/a == FIGTREE

RobertB - did last night's instructions work?

Steve - Is said sign posted on your door? :-)

Being a Reservist (Army), my only KP memories are from Basic Training. I didn't mind it for the most part. Could'a been worse - i.e. outside my the platoon in El Paso's August heat.

Cheers, -T

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

I'm back.

TTP said...


In retrospect, and contradicting my own comments of yesterday, adding Blogger to an existing G+ account IS relatively simple. And vice versa. There were too many trees to be able to see the forest. Now it looks oh so simple.

Kinda like finding out about the Windows x key for Windows 10... Hidden in plain sight.

I also see where I wrote Google when I wanted G+ in a couple of my comments, so I may have confused Robert. See yesterday's comment section for the how-to. Adding would be preferred to reverting for G+ users that want to keep their G+ friends and circles and whatever else....

Husker Gary said...

Anon T - I don't Beer or Pong! :-)

CanadianEh! said...

Late to the party today but wanted to thank Matt and Husker Gary for the fun.

I got the theme early and said "KP duty would be a good title" and then I reached 50D and smiled. But I had to work hard to get there.

Buzzsaw before BUCKSAW led me to Matzo for my kosher item (hey, Passover is only a month away) and since I could not remember TOKLAS, this was the last to fall.

AREAS can also be grey.

Waiting to see if the Freezing Rain warning occurs. Bring on spring!

Big Easy said...

I had some trouble right off the bat today. I had no idea who TOKLAS was or the 'A Marriage Proposal' was a ONE ACT play. To add to my misery, I had BUZZ SAW and so the NW was basically empty until I was put on KP-DUTY, and place a K to start 17A.

Other unknowns fills by perps and WAGS were ACRA, FONT, PHON, RES, OLA, & TROYER. I have a BACK SAW, BOW SAW, CROSS-CUT SAW, HACK SAW, JIG SAW, CHAIN SAW, RADIAL ARM SAW, two SKILL POWER SAWS, A MITRE SAW, and a regular old fashioned SAW to cut lumber but I have never seen a BUCK SAW. I only know India ARIE because my wife was watching American Idol last week and one of the singer sang one of her songs and she asked me who India ARIE was.

This was a tougher than usual WED with PJS, PGS, EMT,

My next-door neighbor's Chinese restaurant lists KUNG BO (chicken, shrimp, beef) but I've seen PAO in other restaurants.

PIP-Gladys Knight back-up singer
FONT- complete set of letters and characters.
FINK- I have two Dutch friends with 'fink' as a last name- FINKE and VINCKE

Steve said...

@Anon T - yup!

fermatprime said...

Where did I get the name Mark? Sorry, Matt!

Notice that Joe Piscop has an extra puzzle at the NYT site today. Lots of fun.

That guy is sure prolific. After the big crossword scandal was publicized, they ran his offerings in USA Today for several days!