Apr 9, 2016

Saturday, Apr 9th, 2016, Ed Sessa

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing G,K,Q,X)

Blocks: 30

  Normally it's hit or miss for me with Ed Sessa's puzzles, but today I couldn't enter the answers fast enough.  I just happened to be in a WAGing mood, and threw in what I thought was the most logical solution, and quite a few were good.  No Google, no red letter, and got my ta-DA~! in less than half my personal allotted time.  Triple 10-letter Downs, and nearly triple 10's in the Across, and another pair of 11-letter climbers towards the center;

5. Catkin bearer : PUSSY WILLOW - the Wiki

I found this, too

25. Went ballistic : LOST CONTROL

 o o o o o O O O ONNN WA A A aa aa rr dd d  d   d  ~ ~ !!


1. Heart : CORE - A Wild-Ass Guess ( tho educated ) to start; all my other W.A.G.s are "*", whether they were good or bad

5*. JFK Library architect : PEI

8. "The Well-Tempered Clavier" composer : J.S. BACH - I knew this, but failed to consider the "J.S." part

14. "C'mon, be __!" : A PAL

15. In abundance, in slang : UP THE WAZOO

17. Data lead-in : META

18. Flowerlike marine creature : SEA ANEMONE

19*. Latin 101 word : ERAT - ah, not AMAS

20*. Bear's call : SELL - stock market reference

21*. Worked on the road : PAVED

22*. Nowadays : LATELY - I went with "AS LATE"

24. Mine yield : SALT - rather specific

26*. Tails : SHADOWS - dah~! Not FOLLOWS

28*. Most lemony : SOUREST - dah~! Not TARTEST

33. Word with air or bed : HOT - I could only think of BUG and PAN, and neither worked with air

34. Ammo for Moe : PIES - Three Stooges reference

36. Peloponnesian War side : SPARTA - about the only WAG I did not throw in; the Wiki

37. One on a lot : AUTO

39. Didn't reach logically, with "to" : LEAPT

41. "Downton Abbey" title : EARL - a gimme for those commenters that watch

42*. "City of the Beasts" author Allende : ISABEL - a semi-WAG since I had "I--B-L"

44. Dissenting group : SECT

46. Tommy Pickles' younger brother on "Rugrats" : DIL - shows up often in crosswords, and I can never recall the name right away

47. Vitamin A form : RETINOL

49. Infect with the T-virus, in "Resident Evil" films : ZOMBIFY

51. Things that come in pairs : TWOS - like these~!

53*. Melody and Millie, to Minnie Mouse : NIECES

54*. Earth pigment : OCHRE

58. Jargon : CANT - new to me; straight definition (3) - here

60*. Wood strip : LATH - a WAG only because I thought SLAT might work, too

61. Focus of 1972 environmental legislation : CLEAN WATER

63. Stub __ : A TOE

64. "Yikes!" : "HOLY TOLEDO~!"

Die Hard with a Vengeance

65. No more than : MERE - ooops, went with LEST

66*. Bad temper : SPLEEN - I tried RANCOR

67. High-speed letters : DSL - internet service

68. Ain't right? : ISN'T - the correct pronunciation/spelling


1. Clothing material for John the Baptist : CAMEL'S HAIR

Heavy Metal Camel

2. Marx Brothers setting : OPERA HOUSE

3. Rapping sound : RAT-A-TAT-TAT - I wasn't sure of the spelling this time

4. Carried away : ELATED

6. Near-pointless swordplay? : ÉPÉE - fencing weapon

7. Romans and countrymen: Abbr. : ITALianS

8. Brad's ex : JEN - Pitt and Aniston

9. Suddenly involved (in) : SWEPT UP

10. 2016 College Football Playoff champ : 'BAMA - don't watch, don't follow, but this is a common abbreviation in crosswords

11. Sea of __, south of Ukraine : AZOV - dah~! Not KIEV; my green-eyed friend lives in a town w-a-y north and east of Moscow; we've been sharing emails for three weeks now; she's 1372 miles from this sea; it is one vast country....

12. Ice cream parlor purchase : CONE

13. Worked in a bed : HOED - oh, uh, a garden bed, I knew that....

16. Immortal Bears coach : HALAS - filled in via perps

23. Prune : LOP

27. Get it : SEE - ah.  "Now I get it (see)."

29. Singer Carly __ Jepsen : RAE - and a semi duplicate at; 57D. Comical Martha : RAYE

30. Uproots : ERADICATES - I think of 'uproots' as having to move abruptly; I don't necessarily think it means to utterly eliminate

31. In a state of endless conflict : STRIFE-TORN

32. You can count on it : TALLY SHEET

35*. Flier to Sundsvall : SAS - seen this Scandinavian airline enough to guess

38. Eastern sash : OBI - sort of too easy for Saturday

40. Loadable confections : PEZ

43. International accord : ENTENTE - I had DEtente

45. "More than I care to know" : TMI - textspeak for Too Much Information

48. Subway option : LOCAL - vis-à-vis express; I pondered TOKEN, but 'local' made more sense

50. Guy de Maupassant novel : BELAMI - again, filled via perps

52. Stuffed : SATED

54. "Draft Dodger Rag" folk singer : OCHS

55. Western sound effect : CLOP - my soon to be "eradicated" marriage featured my ex-wife's son clopping two coconut halves together, as I rode in on an imaginary Monty Python horse

I am about 60lbs lighter today

56. Inferno : HELL

59. "__ Declassified School Survival Guide": 2000s Nickelodeon sitcom : NED'S - never heard of this show; crossing "Jargon" at 58A., the "N" was a complete unknown/natick

62. Persuaded, with "over" : WON



OwenKL said...

A musical feller from Kalamazoo
Could play all night on his HOT kazoo!
His neighbors were gruff,
"Enough is enough!"
Now he plays his horn from UP HIS WAZOO!

Arnold Schwarzenegger has a knack
For parts where he's always under attack!
He was offered a role
Of a decomposed composer, and said "I'll be BACH!"

Between HELL and Texas, where would you go?
The Devil ruled both till he LOST CONTROL!
God restored the most vile
From His home in Ohio --
The Devil got Texas, gratias, HOLY TOLEDO!

{A-, A, B+}

George Barany said...

First chance to write to this group since returning from the east coast on a combination business/pleasure trip -- the latter included serving as an official at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford Connecticut. C.C. constructed one of the tournament puzzles, and I lost track of how many people told me of the high regard, even awe, that they hold for her work.

As for today's puzzle by Ed Sessa, it played very easy for me, and I enjoyed Splynter's colorful writeup. The Marx Brothers' "A Night at the Opera" is one of my favorite movies. I'm not nearly as much of a Three Stooges fan (see PIES), though Ellen Ross and I once constructed Spread Out! about them.

My bonus puzzle recommendation for today, especially for sports fans, is A Major Accomplishment by Tim Croce. He constructed the puzzle just about a year ago, but it's particularly relevant this weekend.

fermatprime said...


Thanks, Ed and Splynter!

Fastest Saturday ever for me! The TADA really surprised me!

The following were perped: AZOV, HALAS, BELAMI and NEDS.

Outlander is on again tomorrow! Can't wait!

Have a great day!

john in michigan said...

missed the "N" on CAN'T/NEDS and could never recover from falling into the FOLLOWS (instead of SHADOWS) trap even though i knew the entire time that something somewhere was obviously wrong...would prefer that the clues for JSBACH and 'BAMA and possibly even AUTO had implied abbreviated answers, but nonetheless, a great saturday puzzle as usual

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I found this to be ridiculously easy for a Saturday. I tried to throw down CAMEL HAIR right at the beginning, and was a bit miffed when it didn't fit. After a little perp help, though, I was gratified to see that I was close. Also wanted WEEPING WILLOW before PUSSY WILLOW became clear and tried ARAL before AZOV, but that was about it for missteps today. BEL AMI was all perps, but not hard to get. Loved ZOMBIFIED!

Sadly, I didn't get the *TADA* at the end and wasn't able to track down my error without turning on the red-letter help. urns out I misread a the tense of a couple of clues and had HOES/PAVES instead of HOED/PAVED. Couldn't find the error looking over the grid since I wasn't actually rereading the clues, just looking for obviously misspelled words. Oops.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Splynter, my experience was a SHADOW of yours. Hand up for Tartest. Still, finished in about half normal Saturday time -- my coffee cup's half full. I had a different take on the Subway clue -- Lo-Cal. That works, too. The N in CANT/NEDS was my final entry. I vaguely remembered CANT, but never heard of the Nickelodeon sitcom. CANT complain. Thanx, Ed.

billocohoes said...

Marx Bros.' OPERA HOUSE crossing with a reference to their previous film "Duck Soup" in which Harpo and Chico are supposed to spy on Rufus T Firefly (Groucho). After giving excuses for why they missed him Monday thru Friday the villain asks

"So you didn't shadow Firefly?"
"Sure, we shadow him all day/"
"What day was that?"

Happy Shadow Day everybody.

Yellowrocks said...

Two easy weekend days in a row, today's even easier than yesterday's! Will tomorrow's be a killer? Seems many of us found this puzzle easy. I wonder why Rich did not complicate it a little more.
Follows before shadows. CANT was a gimme. Example: "His book is finely constructed, free of cant, and practical in its conclusions — marks of an engineer." -Los Angeles Times Mar 5, 2015.
Several answers were gotten with easy perps and wags. IMO, entries which are commonly heard, such as JSBACH and 'BAMA do not need to be clued as shortened forms on a Saturday. AUTO has become an acceptable word in itself.
I was surprised to see the pink pussy willow picture. Pretty, but to me those gray earrings look more like the real thing. I have a fake pussy willow wreath for the front door which I use in early spring. It looks so real that guests think that it is.
As for the Friday puzzle, I have often heard of fluffing one's lines in a play. I got it with just the last F showing. I also have frequently heard DUPES for duplicates. Seeing one X made that easy. When I was a waitress we used carbon copies beneath the orders we wrote out. We called them dupes and hung them up for the cooks to use.
Off to the gym.

TTP said...

Good morning all. HOLY TOLEDO !

I started with that 7 x 7 center area and filled outward from there. I too was surprised at the relative ease. It was pretty easy to anchor so many of the first fills. Slowed down by entering follOWS, but even that didn't last too long as it was soon disproved with ELATED.

No problem with SOUREST as HALAS was a very early and easy fill. You can't (the contraction) have lived in Chicago as many years as I have and not heard of HALAS.

With -E-I-OL in place, geritol looked promising, but the clue had Vitamin A, so RETINOL it was, and that prevented deTENTE. Didn't know ENTENTE, but the E was logical if the unknown author was named ISABEL.

The N that intersected CANT and NEDS was my last fill.

Was Carly RAE Jepson's "Call Me Maybe" the most parodied song of the century ?

TTP said...

Old Sage in Virginia (from yesterday),

1) Try printing the puzzle from a different site such as the Merriam Webster puzzle site, or
2) Try using a different browser. If you are using Internet Explorer or Edge, try printing it from the Mensa site using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

thehondohurricane said...

First to admit to a DNF today. The space for the N in CANT & NEDS was left blank,unintentionally.
I meant to enter a wag, but forgot it. I had nothing in mind so my chances of being successful were one in twenty six.

This wasn't as easy for me as others, but I kept plodding along and stuff began to fill in. The only other area that I struggled with was 46A & 49A. Talks SHEET for 32D &sOMBIFs for 49A. Some back and forth finally made the fills look OK, but wasn't sure until I checked in to the corner.

HOLY TOLEDO, a shout out to Jazz. How the Mud Hens looking this year? Your Tigers beat the Yankees butt yesterday, dang it.

Avg Joe said...

I found this one pretty tough as well. A lot like a Silkie, but maybe not quite as difficult. Certainly no speed run. To start, Core looked likely, but I relly wanted Sack Cloth for the down, and A Pal worked, so that area had to wait. Nothing came all that easily, but I did manage to get it done in what is about avg time.

It's time to get the kitchen garden tilled today. But with the temp barely above freezing, motivation is in short supply.

Husker Gary said...

This did fill fast although camelsSKIN, folloWS, SEA and AmAn did clutter up the NW for a while and, like Splynter, caNt/Neds was a good antidote for my Natick virus at the bottom.

-A teacher can’t LOS(E) CONTROL. “Never let ‘em see you sweat!”
-PEI and OBI are 3-letter gimmes and loading a PEZ dispenser was fun fill
-The gov’t built this Utah facility to store METADATA
-Warren Buffet – “Buy when everyone else is SELLING, SELL when everyone else is buying”
-Grandson has not found SOUREST candy yet. He keeps looking!
-Talk about a HOT bed of HOT air (both sides)
-The EARL of Grantham is addressed as LORD
-OZONE LAYER fit for _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ E R
-First ice cream CONE
-LOPPING is severe pruning
-After 60 yrs, this show and its TALLY BOARD are no longer on the air

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Found this a tad easier than the usual Saturday because of the longer answers filling in relatively quickly. Not that it was a walk in the park, but it solved smoothly once I got some toeholds.

Thanks, Ed and Splynter, for the challenge and expo.

I opted out of attending the shower due to a queasy tummy. No Bloody Marys today! 🍹 😔

Have a great day.



Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the name of someone with a leg fetish?

CanadianEh! said...

I'm glad I tried this Saturday puzzle. I always turn on the red letters for Saturday and found myself moving right along. Thanks Ed and Splynter.

Enjoyed the new cluing for EPEE and the crossing of Bear's call and Bears coach.
Didn't know HALAS or the Jargon=CANT meaning.

Totally missed fellow Canadian Carly RAE Jepson as perps had already filled.

I saw 30D uproots=ERADICATES with a gardening slant ie. uproot the weeds to eradicate them.

We learned the interesting historical economic importance of SALT mines when visiting Salzburg, Austria.

If I could get fibre-optic, it would be faster than DSL.

Have a great day. I need to get doing some housework.

Lucina said...

Oh, my, this was fun! Most enjoyable was filling the long answers which was doable with only a few letters in place. Thank you, Ed Sessa!

CAMELSHAIR arrived slowly but once AMAT was changed to ERAT, that clinched it and I am a big fan of ISABEL Allende so no problem there. EARL of Grantham, too, was easy as I am a huge fan and sorry that it's all over. I hope Julian Fellowes creates another series; he's a genius, IMO.

UPTHEkAZOO held me up as well, but that was soon corrected and SWEPTUP fell in to complete SOUREST.

Thank you, Splynter, for your added sparkle today.

Have a splendid Saturday, everyone!

unclefred said...

With early fill including PUSSY and WAZOO, I was wondering where this CW was headed!! But it soon calmed down, and I put my dirty-old-man mind to rest.

Sad to see everyone thought this was easy for a Saturday, I struggled. But I struggle almost EVERY Saturday, so nothing new there. At the end-of-the-day, fun CW thanx, Ed, I cheated my way to a finish. And nice write-up, thanx Splynter!

Northwest Runner said...

A no spanners Saturday. I usually feel like a jerk for saying I sailed through it, but this one was easier than yesterday's for me.

Observing the no politics practice, no links to songs, but for those who remember him, today is the 40th anniversary of Phil Ochs's passing.

Anonymous said...

BAMA WAS clued as short, if not abbreviated: "champ," not "champion."

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Made good time except for that stubborn NW corner. I didn't recall what John the Baptist wore - hey, it was a long time ago - and the Marx Brothers reference was lost on me. Put in Follows early and it stayed a long time, blocking out Ratatattat which I didn't want anyway, plus Repo instead of Auto. Got there in the end, but Cant was a struggle.

Splynter, King of the Britons, son of Uther Pendragon, Sovereign of all England: just remember that strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

Jayce said...

I loved the long answers, especially UP THE WAZOO and HOLY TOLEDO. I laughed out loud at ZOMBIFY. Good stuff! Naticked out at the N crossing CANT and NEDS; had to do an alphabet run. The odds are not really 1 out of 26, as some letters can be eliminated right away as very unlikely, such as B and M.

Misty said...

I can't believe that except for one cheat (googled HALAS) I got a whole Ed Sessa Saturday puzzle! Woohoo! Many thanks, Ed, for this great gift at the end of a difficult week, and you too, skinny Splynter!

Having the Bears coach and the Bear's call intersect threw me off because I was thinking sports for both. But it's a clever crossing all the same.

CanadianEh, thanks for reminding me of the fascinating salt mine tour I took several times many years ago in Salzburg (I'm originally from Austria).

Have a great Saturday, everybody!

AnonymousPVX said...

Wow, a relatively easy Saturday puzzle - and no, that is certainly NOT a complaint. It still had its moments.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Slow and steady wins the race.
I confess to a lookup-and-a-half. Not being well versed in coaches' names and getting nowhere via perps, I couldn't close the deal with HA?AS--so, yes, I Googled to get HALAS. My 2nd cheat wasn't as egregious; it was just to get a definition for "catkin." From there I could deduce PUSSY WILLOW.
The rest of Mr. Sessa's pzl was relatively easy, but fun all the same. It's nice to start a Saturday with a feeling of accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

Splynter - I'm sure there's a story behind your decoupling, but I would think any woman that allows Monty Python into her wedding has got to be a keeper.

NW Runner - I see that the blog states "No politics, no religion and no personal attacks," but I fail to see where it says "No links to songs."

Fav c/a: Most lemony: SOUREST

Yellowrocks said...

I didn't mean to give the wrong impression. I enjoyed today's puzzle. Well done, Ed. I was just surprised that it was a Saturday rather than a Thursday puzzle.
We had brief snow flurries just past noon. They very lightly coated the grass and have all melted by now. The last desultory flakes are melting as they hit the ground. We had very warm spring like days in March and even a few in February. Wacky weather. The blossoms and daffodils seem to be bearing up, never-the-less.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Glad yous thought it easy; I was in left field and never came in to bat. Evidence: Heart == soul @1a and Jlo @8d SEA whaaaa?... /sigh.

Thank you Splynter for fixing my Total-DNF. I had many of the same splat -(*)-doh!s but you fixed yours.

Thanks Ed, but you're above my pay-grade. I had fun but only got 11 answers right... Pretty sad, eh?

Fav: SALT - Steve and I mentioned the book last week. Not funny, but there you are. ZOMBIFY was a T-WAG and a close fav runner up.

For 'da Bears, Mike Ditka was right out.

ISN'T the best video, butMilo was the king of HOLY TOLEDO. I have an eBottle-opener that that call's the 9th with Milo announcing "And the pitch.... If it stays fair, if it stays fair. HOLY TOLEDO a home run! Astros win! Astros win!"
[so far, not much this year - 1-3... sadness ensues].

Splynter - The coconut bit is funny and leads me to this drivel...

DW, out of town, hasn't a say*
To the movie of the day
Last night HOLY Grail was the craze
Tonight, Brooks' Saddles we'll Blaze

{E+ for Effort}

Cheers, -T
*I don't ask DW for permission, just forgiveness. I'm trying to bring these kids up right. We did watch Quest last night and Blazing Saddles is queued up.

CanadianEh! said...

Misty, we loved our Switzerland-Austria tour. Vienna and Mozart concert are among our favourite memories of Austria.

YR, the daffodil and hyacinth pots that I put in my front porch urns for Easter have had several snowfalls. They have not opened up at all in the last 3 weeks. I've never had them last so long.

OTOH, the pot of daffodils that I had inside the house lasted a week.

Avg Joe said...

Anon T, re bringing kids up right: our 3 are all Python fans, more so than we are. But on that train of thought, 4 or 5 years ago we got together on Christmas Eve and 2 of our 3 kids were wearing the exact same T shirt. It was graphic with no text, but showed a picture of a lime, then a plus sign, then a coconut. There'd been no pre-party coordination. It just happened. It was a proud moment for me!

Anonymous T said...

You did good Ave Joe. You did good. Cheers.

OwenKL said...

All right, on behalf of the semi-fans of MP, what's the meaning of lime + coconut?

Anonymous T said...

OKL: It implies they're migratory in a temperate clime.

Don't forget about the Moose & Llama. My sister was bit by a Moose once, she was carving her aarrrrgggg.

//maybe it was dictate

Anonymous T said...

OKL - I was just pulling your leg...
The T- Shirt graphic Ave Joe mentioned is a reference to This silly song. Put the Lime in the Coconut... Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

Leg fetish is legophillia.
Check this blog every Saturday for examples

Argyle said...

It also appears you suffer from lower extremity phobia.