Apr 24, 2016

Sunday, April 24, 2016 Garry Morse

Theme: "Musical Variations" - Definitions of three musical notes.


31A. SHARP : PUNGENT IN TASTE. The answer made me think of  Kimchi.


66A. NATURAL : CRAPS WINNER. New to me. Never played Craps. Boomer loves it. He once played in the same table as Dr. J.




We also have these PIANO (19. With 62-Across, many a sonata) and 62. See 19-Across : PIECE

Theme answers  in definition puzzles are often made-up, more suited to be clues. I tried a few myself. It's really hard to make them in the language and match one another in letter count.
1. Kitchen cover : APRON. This made RAYS (3D. One of eight teams that never won a World Series) easy to get, unless you thought of REDS. They have has 5 titles.

6. Outlaw played by Tyrone in 1939 : JESSE

11. Speculate : MUSE. Felt silly not to nail MASON (11. Layer of bricks). I was not thinking of lay-er, of course.

15. Letter-shaped beam : Z-BAR. Just filled in ?BAR and moved on.

20. Skateboard maneuver : OLLIE

21. Copied : APED

22. Living __ : A LIE

26. Student's complete file, to a teacher : CUME. Cumulative. Learning moment for me.

27. Enters carefully : EASES IN

28. Hardships : WOES

29. Trees whose fruit yields a moisturizing butter : SHEAS. Tempted to buy the pure shea butter on Amazon.

30. Author Rand : AYN

36. Some U.S. Army transports : UTES

39. Palmer with trophies : ARNIE

40. Nasty smiles : SNEERS. Not SMIRKS.
46. Mole's activity : SPYING

49. Cause of an allergic response : CAT. And 51. Unwelcome sign for a 49-Across owner : NO PETS

50. Pilot maker : HONDA
54. Actress Vardalos : NIA

55. Western, calendar-wise : GREGORIAN. Might have nailed if "chant" was referenced.

57. Medicated : DOSED

58. Cravings : URGES

60. Tech sch. overlooking the Hudson : RPI. 125. 60-Across, e.g.: Abbr. : INST. Both Spitzboov and his son went there. Splynter was there for a year as well.

61. Signing, perhaps : OK'ING

63. Ruth around bases : BABE

72. Tests for advanced-deg. seekers : GREs. Also 14. Teacher's deg. : EDD. Doctor of Education.

73. Didn't feel well : AILED

75. Drawn: Abbr. : ILLUS. OK, illustrated

76. Sense of self : EGO

78. Burning up : IRATE

79. Old enough : OF AGE

80. Game show host for 50 years : BOB BARKER. The Price is Right.

86. __ garden : ZEN

87. Capital of Kazakhstan : ASTANA. Well, Borat knows.

89. Earthen building material : ADOBE

90. Before, in verse : ERE

91. 1990s TV judge : ED KOCH. I only knew him as the New York City mayor.

97. Ferris Bueller's girlfriend : SLOANE. No idea. I did see the movie though. 

100. Tough as __ : NAILS

101. Some deposits : ORES

106. Incidentally, in texts : BTW. Also 115D. "Enough details, please" : TMI

108. Kindle reading, briefly : EMAGS. Not EBOOK, which would not need the "briefly" tag.

109. Online search results : URLS. Not HITS.

110. Ill-fated 2006 Kentucky Derby champion : BARBARO. He had a false start and broke his leg. 

114. Fighting : ANTI. Not AT IT.

120. Connections : TIES

121. "Sweet is the breath of __": Milton : MORN

122. Bordeaux bye : ADIEU

123. Time being : NONCE

124. Dost possess : HAST

126. Fall plantings : BULBS. We finally moved the three vibrant plants Irish Miss sent to me to our little garden. Don't think the cold weather will return.

127. Boss mocked by Nast : TWEED


1. Church area : APSE

2. Naan relative : PITA. This is the famous Xi'an-style Pita. The pork is cooked for many hours, with various spices. Xi'an has a large Muslim population. They normally use beef/ lamb and cumin.

4. Like many fleet autos : ON LEASE

5. Cacophonous : NOISY

6. He frequently toured with Joel : JOHN

7. Architectural add-on : ELL

8. Sneaky : SLY

9. Comical Caesar : SID

10. Slogan ending? : EER. Just sloganeer.

12. Political surprises : UPSETS. And 112. Political contest : RACE

13. Welcomes : SEES IN

15. President before Millard : ZACHARY. All crosses.

16. Ma Rainey, notably : BLUES SINGER. Wiki said she's called "Mother of the Blues". Another learning moment for me.

17. Draw a bead on : AIM AT

18. Dodger teammate of Robinson : REESE (Pee Wee)

24. Preacher's subject : SIN

25. Lady in a lea : EWE

29. Increases : STEPS UP

31. Devil's wear, in a 2006 film : PRADA. "The Devil Wears Prada".

32. Dispirit : UNMAN

33. Bird's beak : NIB. Can also be NEB (119D. First st. admitted to the Union after the Civil War).

34. Shampoo, e.g. : GEL. I actually drew a blank.

35. Cozy home : NEST

36. Maritime safety gp. : USCG

37. Whaler's direction : THAR

38. Deco designer : ERTE

39. Latin lambs : AGNI. I thought Agnes' name originated in "lambs". But Wiki says it means "holy" and "pure".

42. Smack : WHOP

43. Architectural order including circular column tops : DORIC. Hi there, Dudley.

44. Mushroom in Japanese cuisine : ENOKI. In Chinese cooking as well.

45. Violinist's supply : ROSIN

47. Bridget Fonda, to Jane : NIECE

48. Noble __ : GASES

52. "Milk" Oscar recipient : PENN (Sean)

53. One of a cube's dozen : EDGE

56. Receive : GREET

57. Look for water : DOWSE

59. Strictness : RIGOR

63. Faux felt : BAIZE. Billiard table cover.

64. Put on : AIRED

65. Tabulae rasae : BLANK SLATES. Nice long entry.

67. Life of the party : RIOT

68. Radio code opener : ALFA

69. Backup option : PLAN B

70. Sweets : SUGAR

71. Jewish spiritual leader : REBBE. Same as Rabbi?

74. Parish officials : DEACONS

77. Hebrides native : GAEL

80. Herb in pesto : BASIL

81. "Strange as it may seem ... " : ODDLY

82. Shows of respect : BOWS. Seems harsh these days. But  I kowtowed to my old relatives when we visited them during Chinese New Year. Then they gave me red envelops with money inside. Normally it's one jiao. My older uncle, who was a doctor, always gave me two jiao, little over 2 American cents. How things have changed!

83. Dullea of "2010: The Year We Make Contact" : KEIR. Never saw the movie.

84. Fish-eating flier : ERNE. Not TERN or GULL.

85. Stds. of conduct : REGS. OK, regulations.

88. Plush carpet : SHAG

92. Academic expert, facetiously : OLOGIST. Never heard of it.

94. Like Shostakovich's "Symphony No. 2" : IN B

95. Folder aid : TAB

96. Hardly intellectual : LOWBROW

98. Impulse-conducting cell : NEURON

99. Proofer's finds : ERRORS

102. Not o'er : NEATH

103. __ vincit amor : OMNIA. 

104. Direct : BLUNT

105. PC port : USB

106. "Phooey!" : BAH

107. Nine Inch Nails founder Reznor : TRENT. Only know Senator Lott.

110. A/C units : BTUs

111. Tops : A-ONE

113. Pigged out (on) : OD'ED

116. Chocolate pet : LAB

117. Student's email ending : EDU

118. Van Gogh work : OIL



fermatprime said...


Thanks, Garry, CC!

Nice puzzle.

Many things obtained by WAGs and perps. To wit: OLLIE, CUME, SLOAN, BARBARO, BLUES SINGER, BAIZE, OLOGIST, TRENT. Tougher than most Sunday puzzles.

Have a great Sunday, all!

OwenKL said...

I defeated today's puzzle unassisted by red! Last to fall was the NE where the truncation CUME was unheard of, and I tried I-BAR, T-BAR, and L-BAR before (as Pepe LaPew would say) zee truth, it came to moi!

He who HAST, for the NONCE, a good MORN
Can rejoice that he ever was born!
His gene won a RACE
In an intimate place --
Say no more, ERE this lapse into porn!

Oft predicted CRAPS WINNERS exact-ary!
His judgement was based
The dice smelt to his sense, olefactory!

Though nubile, the maiden was nubbly.
Her legs, although shaven, were stubbly!
Her condition depressed,
To the point she was NO LONGER BUBBLY!

{A-, A, A}

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Challenging Sunday puzzle, but doable in the end. A lot stuff was just out of my wheelhouse and I needed perp help to guess at (mostly the stuff fermatprime mentioned, although I did know SLOANE and TRENT). OKING looks really wrong, but I guess it's legitimate.

I almost met my Waterloo at the crossing of ILLUS, PLANB and ASTANA. ASTANA was just plain unknown to me and I had trouble thinking of PLAN B (although it makes perfect sense). ILLUS was just, well, bad. I never would have made it out of that section alive had it not been for the fact that I finally figured out CRAPS WINNER. I'm vaguely familiar with the game, but not enough to know that NATURAL has anything to do with winning it.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Yup, thought the team was the REDS. Didn't know there was a team known as the RAYS. Sunny bunch? I stumbled here and there, but managed to get it all in normal Sunday time. Sat for what seemed like minutes pondering what tree could possible yield shea butter? D'oh!

Yes, C.C., rabbi is Hebrew; rebbe is Yiddish.

KEIR Dullea had only a minor, ghost-like David Bowman role in 2010. He co-starred with HAL and the Monolith in 2001, A Space Odyssey. Learning moment: I'd misspelled Odyssey. Made me feel like an Iliad.

Yellowrocks said...

Cute theme, challenging, but faster than the usual Sunday.
I loved The Devil Wears Prada with Meryl Streep. She ably played a heartless character this time.
I almost always have a PLAN B. It frequently comes in handy.
After my Kindle updated itself recently, I needed to register it again, causing me to have to redo my email settings, apps, subscriptions and public library access. Thankfully much was saved and came back. A glitch deregistered me again yesterday and I had to redo the whole process. Arrrgh!
The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world.
Link Gregorian calendar
We are back on the diagnostic merry-go-round with Alan.

maripro said...

Good Morning All.
As usual, a stellar write-up, C.C.
I messed up with illus - makes perfect sense once you find out the correct answer. The theme fill was excellent IMHO. Thank you, Garry.
Have a lovely day, everyone.

TTP said...

Good morning all. Thank you Garry and CC. Shout out to Dudley, and a couple of associations to Spitzboov, starting with RPI.

Put it down and walked away 3 times. That helped, but still didn't get it done.

A whole lotta nevers today.

Never heard of EDD and CUME. Ditto with REBBE. Don't recall ever reading WHOP. OMNIA ? AGNIA ? Never heard of fighting as ANTI. Didn't know the capital of Kazakhstan. Didn't understand CRAPS WINNER. And BAIZE ? OLOGIST ?

My judge was WOPNER, Kindle reading, briefly was EBOOK (E abbrv for electronic), Fighting was AT IT and Dost possess was HATH. Didn't pay attention to the tense.

Sharp was SHREWD GAMBLER. Remember the Card Sharp and Card Shark debate months ago ? How about the yesterday with maven and shark ? Would Shark Tank personality Robert Herjavec be considered a SHREWD GAMBLER ?

Was pretty sure it was TRENT Reznor and the perps quickly confirmed it. BARBARO was on the tip of my tongue and went right in after one of the breaks... Have had NONCE in other venues lately.

Don't know if Desper-otto cared for my LOW BROW humor yesterday.

It's still early today and I already feel worn out. Thanks for all the explanations CC !

ENOKI I know, but I will be in the woods today or tomorrow hunting morel mushrooms.

Big Easy said...

Did I ever fall FLAT on this one. The answers to the sharps and flats were easy. It was just the unknowns that I have never even heard of before: BAIZE, CUME, KEIR, OMNIA, OLOGIST, BARBARO and the 'regular unknowns solved by perps: OLLIE, REBBE, BLANK SLATE, ASTANA ( I knew ASMARA was in Eritrea). The SW did me in this am I filled AT IT instead of ANTI, OLOGIST was blank, I waffled Between HATH and HAST, didn't have a clue about BAIZE, thought WAPNER and didn't get the mayor of NYC, had OANE for SLOANE (is that a girl's name?) and BLANK SLATES was a 'blank slate'.

I didn't do any favors to myself in other places before correcting them. RABBI became REBBE and WHIP turned to WHOP. Luckily I got most of it today but the extreme SW made it a DNF.

desper-otto said...

TTP, I can go LOW BROW with the best of 'em. DW's typical response: "Yes, I heard that. No, I'm not going to react or reply to it."

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

It took a while to catch onto the theme (I was looking for musical references in the answers) but, of course, it finally made perfect sense. My favorite entry was Chocolate pet=lab; it made me smile. Overall, I enjoyed the theme, the cluing, and the satisfying solve. What more can I ask for? Nice CSO to Spitz and Splynter at RPI which is a stone's throw from my house.

Prada reminded me of a very interesting and sad article about Meryl Streep and John Cazale who was Freddo in The Godfather. They were a couple, very much in love, when she was 29 and he was 43. After a year or so of living together, he developed terminal lung cancer and passed away. The article stressed her strength and devotion during the months of caring for him and never leaving his side toward the end. It was a very touching story.

Thanks, Garry, for a pleasant Sunday sojourn and thanks, CC, for the excellent commentary. (I always associated Agnes with lambs, as well because St. Agnes is usually depicted holding a lamb and Agnus Dei means Lamb of God.)

Have a great day.

Irish Miss said...

PS - Forgot the CSO to Dudley, even though I enter Ionic initially!

Husker Gary said...

The SW corner nearly drove me to adult beverages but BLANK SLATES and ZEN got ‘er done for me. I will have to MUSE later.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Good intro, C.C. Thanks.

Solve went relatively easy for a Sunday. A few words like SHEAS and NONCE came from the perps, but otherwise, no issues.
Doric - Nice SO to Dudley.
RPI is easily seen from Watervliet and Cohoes, across the Hudson from Troy. I always think of IM too, now, in the RPI context.

billocohoes said...

OLOGIST should be clued as an "ending", the "facetious" is for a made-up term. Psychologist is a real career, while a bartender upgrades his job to a "mixologist", or a trash man is a "garbologist" (should be garbageologist, but who can pronounce that?)

Bluehen said...


Hello, fellow puzzlers. Finally checking in after spending the latter half of the week catching up on this week's puzzles and posts. Thanks for the kind remembrance, CC, and for all the kind thoughts and well-wishes from you nice folks. I am up and around with the aid of a walker and the pain level is about where it was pre-surgery. I absolutely refuse to take the oxycodone. Hate drugs.

This was a tough puzzle with a lot of unknowns to me, but I gotterdun in the end, thanks to perps and (sigh) red-letter help. No lookups, though!

I'll be checking in from time to time. The only thing I have on my plate nowadays is rehab. That frees up a lot of time for me to add my $.02 to the daily discussion. Brace yourselves.

Bill G. I told the sawbones that silly "florist friars" joke. I'm not sure whether he liked it or not. All he did was snort and shake his head. Oh, well, I liked it.

Unknown said...

Hi! First time posting here. I enjoy coming here after I've finished up the Sunday crossword to check my work.

I had a mild issue with referring to musical sharps, flats, and naturals as "notes". They really aren't. They are called "accidentals" in music--more like modifiers of a note rather than notes themselves. You couldn't play, for instance, a "flat" all by itself as you could a note. It just alters a note, like D or B, taking it down a half-step (the next lowest key on the piano).

My hope here is that there is a crossword in the future for which all this information will be useful.

Have a happy weekend!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Thanks, All, for noticing my favorite architectural order in the puzzle!

I just happened to be near RPI yesterday - and near Irish Miss as well - on my way to a piano recital in Albany. It was a beautiful day, the music was superb, and the reception afterward was...tasty.

Today's puzzle was a struggle in places. One answer I tried fell apart because Shostakovich wrote few, if any, works in the key of R.

Of course I had Rabbi in there, for a long time, because I never heard of a Rebbe. Perps forced this on me. Nonce? That's a word? Huh.

Thanks for untangling it today, C.C.

inanehiker said...

This puzzle was and exercise in persistence for me... I would get a spurt and then slow back down to a crawl. Helped to remember BABARO from somewhere as the KD horse. I remembered REBBE mostly from "Fiddler on the Roof" and Chaim Potok's novels where they often called their Rabbis - REBBE with a last name.
Nonce is a new word for me - didn't know I was right until I came to the blog.
@D-Otto - the RAYS started out in Tampa as the Devil RAYS (1995-2007), but shortened their name to just the RAYS in 2007. They were featured in the film, "The Rookie" with Dennis Quaid where a 35yr old high school coach tries out and eventually becomes a pro player-- I love that movie.
Thanks Garry and CC!

Misty said...

Bit of a Sunday toughie, although I got most of it before I had to start cheating a little. Never heard of a tree called a SHEA, and couldn't believe it was REBBE and not RABBI, but so it was. And I'm frankly a little ticked about CUME. I was a teacher for nearly forty years and have never, ever heard a student file called a CUME. Hope some of the other blog teachers can explain when this came into the vocabulary. Still, fun puzzle, Garry, many thanks, and great expo, C.C., so nice to hear from you on Sundays.

Bluehen, great to have you back and feeling okay.

Irish Miss, I thought of you with the lambs.

And Len, welcome to the blog!

Have a great Sunday, everybody!

CanadianEh! said...

Musical fun today (I also noted another musical clue at 94D's Symphony). Thanks Garry and C.C.

Many learning moments with CUME, RPI, ASTANA. Also not familiar with the EED and GRE here.

BULBS are finally flowering but they are shorter than usual probably because they were stunted by the cold weather and snow we had two or three weeks ago.

Greek Orthodox Easter is today as determined by the Julian calendar not the GREGORIAN! The Jewish calendar determined this weekend to be Passover. AGNI (and EWE) appropriate for both.

Welcome Len.
Glad to hear that you are recovering well Bluehen.
YR, what an exasperating Kindle experience! Thanks for the Meryl Streep story. Hope answers can be found for Alan.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Very challenging, Garry! Great expo, C.C.!

Didn't remember "natural" as a musical term. Therefore, didn't come close to guessing the theme. But then I'm not too sharp these days. My music teacher mom probably turned over in her grave.

Z-BAR? Really? Where do you use these?

Don't know if he was doing an OLLIE, but my skateboard whiz grandson recently had a "bad accident" trying to go down a bar. MRI showed a concussion but he was recovered and back in school before I was told. DIL sent a picture of him with his brothers at the youngest's birthday. He looks as bright eyed as ever, a darling redhead with snappy dark brown eyes. His parents are still suffering though.

I got EDD only because my finger stuttered on the D & two showed up.

ASTANA: a learning moment. Will try to remember...

BARBARO: I saw the race on TV. Couldn't remember his name. Perps to the rescue.

Tabular Rasae: no idea. All perps.

Bluehen, thanks for letting us know you are doing okay. I was wondering about you.

Len, nice to meet you. Come again!

Anonymous T said...

Sunday lurk say:

Not sure I'd have gotten GREGORIAN nor NONCE from the clues, but quite familiar w/ both terms. I wrote a Windows implementation of UNIX's Cal in C++ that took into account the Gregorian reformation. I still have the binary (and use it regularly), but alas, I lost the source code.

NONCE I know from Cryptography. It is a one time (psudo-)random number to seed the code.

Billscohos: Funny re: garbageologist. Garbology, aka dumpster-diving, is crucial when playing on the red-team hacking a company. The goal is to find useful info that was tossed instead of shredded. You know what people say when they see nerds in a dumpster? //I can go LOWBROW w/ the best of 'em :-)

Glad to see you back Blue Hen! Don't overdo it on PT, but then, don't under-do it either.

Welcome Len Poche.

Well, I dump'd kids off at choir practice and Girl Scouts and now DW is off to gather them. Time for a quick nap.

Cheers, -T

Yellowrocks said...

I remembered tabula rasa (and its plural)from college psychology.
Link tabula rasa
It's amazing which odd tidbits of info stick after all these years.
Bluehen, welcome back. I hope your recovery goes smoothly. I refused to take oxycodone, too. Ibuprofen and ice were good alternatives.
In college we used the abbreviated form, cum., pronounced cume, when discussing our cumulative averages, not exactly a file.
Canadian Eh, thanks for your support.
Our square dance group had our annual dinner party at a Chinese restaurant this afternoon. Delicious. Alan was invited, too. Nice to just sit around the table and chat, reminiscing about old times. Some of us have been together for 25 years or so. I am reminded that getting out among friends is more uplifting than pulling one's head in turtle style.

Husker Gary said...

-Having the SHARPS up high, the NATURAL in the middle and the FLATS low was another piece of excellence!
-I’m a SHREWD GAMBLER – I don’t
-The source for granddaughter’s PIANO PIECES
-As a former MASON, I was thinking COURSE for brick layer
-CUME folders are very familiar to me but are mostly digitized now
-Golf desperately needs a big personality like ARNIE
-Joann’s twin sister can not have a CAT because of her grandson’s allergy
-Did you learn the GREGORIAN Calendar C.C. growing up?
-It appears Prince, like Elvis, might have been over-medicated
-It’s hard to find EDD’s. They’re never around kids
-He was criticized for OKING this
-Like Rainman, I wanted WAPNER for that judge
-ZACHARY and MILLARD’s passivity left a mess for ABE
-Kentucky-born PEE WEE REESE was a big help to Jackie Robinson
-These two great ball players made so little in the big leagues, they took jobs as casino GREETERS at the end of their careers
-My name is Golf ALFA Romeo Yankee
-I think KEIR DULLEA is one of the coolest names ever!

Avg Joe said...

Roy G Biv!

We've had a storm pass, and now have a full double rainbow. The second one is a bit pale, but the primary one shows the full r-v spectrum. Intensely. Really, really cool!

Ergo said...


Sorry, just not much fun today.

Avg Joe. Send that double rainbow a bit north. I saw one in its entirety several years ago. No wonder our ancestors based many of their beliefs and rituals upon the fantastic things they witness in the sky.

Michael said...

CanadianEh! @ 3:01 p.m.

<< Greek Orthodox Easter is today as determined by the Julian calendar not the GREGORIAN! >>

Sorry, but nope. Orthodox Easter is NEXT Sunday, May 1, due to reasons that all of you would fall asleep for, were I to lay them out here before this panel.

CanadianEh! said...

Thanks for setting me straight, Michael. I was misinformed.

Anonymous T said...


I grew up Catholic, but, for some reason, I'm compelled to know all tradiditions. Plus, I need a bedtime story. Why, the delta? No one else is here - lay it out. C, -T

Lucina said...

Well, the day is almost done and it's been a full one for me. I actually finished the puzzle early in the afternoon but went with my sis to a movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. We loved the first one and the second was no disappointment. It relates well to our family which, although Spanish not Greek, is big(no fewer than 25 at any party)loud and very close.

So WEES about the puzzle. It was mostly fun, thank you, Gary Morse. He is either a Latin Scholar or a Roman Catholic or both. So many CSOs, to Dudley, Irish Miss and wasn't aware of the RPI connection so thank you for that information.

The area containing RIOT/ILLUS gave me fits and finally I had to research it. Drat. I hate that.

DOWSE reminded me of AnonT. Didn't you tell us you knew someone who could find water?

C.C., thank you for your Sunday sparkle and giving clarity to some otherwise obscure fill.

I truly hope your Sunday was wonderful, everyone!