May 19, 2016

Thursday, May 19th, 2016 Greg Johnson

Theme: Growing Pains - the circles reveal a squad of squabblers.

17A. Overindulged oneself : WENT TO TOWN. Tot. Going to town on tots can result in a Captain Morgan-sized hangover.

22A. Communications feature since the 1870s : QWERTY KEYBOARD. Tyke. Deliberately designed to slow people down to reduce typewriter lever jams. The French have AZERTY, for reasons known only to themselves. Odd folks, that Gallic lot. You know what the French can't do? Type "TYPEWRITER" using only the top row of letter keys. Mwaaahaaahahhaaa. They're SO missing out.

34. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" duettist : KIKI DEE. Kid. I saw her at a free concert in London's Hyde Park in the 70's along with Steve Hillage, supporting Queen. I don't recall a lot about her set though. Here's the production-values-challenged video of the hit with Elton John. Catchy tune,admittedly. Here I am - twenty-thousandth dot from the right middle tree. And it didn't rain! Yay!

44. "Looks pretty good, huh?" : WHAT DO YOU THINK? Youth. Or "yute" per Joe Pesci in "My Cousin Vinnie". The scene where Marisa Tomei is called as an expert witness is one of my all-time movie favorites.

and the reveal:

52. Psychology subject ... and what's contained in this puzzle's circles : INNER CHILD. Something to channel.

Morning! Tongue-in-cheek with my theme name today, I'm sure all the lovable little darlings in this puzzle are quite angelic.

Mostly smooth sailing for me today, a couple of rip currents in the Pacific North West caused me some momentary unease, but the ship came through without undue distress. I thought a pangram was on the cards when QWERTYK showed up, but it wasn't to be - we're missing an F and a Z. Let's see what else we do have:


1. Toddler coddlers : MAMAS

6. Office stock : PENS

10. Port container : CASK. Originally old brandy barrels to help preserve Portuguese wine on the voyage to England.

14. What's made "just in case" : EXTRA. I wanted "PLAN B" here, but as much as I wanted it, I didn't get it.

15. Follow : OBEY, Aye, aye, Captain!

16. Eclipse, to some : OMEN

19. It may sweep you off your feet : WAVE

20. "Me too" : DITTO

21. Sleeper's malady : APNEA. A couple of months ago in San Diego I had a meeting with the company who invented the sleep apnea breathing devices. In their lobby they have an array of disembodied mannequin heads wearing examples of the technology through the years. It looks a little weird.

26. Breakfast choices : JUICES

27. Spot for breakfast : NOOK

28. El __ : PASO

29. They're usually covered by grilles : AIR VENTS

33. __ out a living : EKE

37. WWII battle site, for short : IWO. Iwo To, or Iwo Jima in English. Sulfur Island.

38. Just beginning to develop : GERMINAL

40. Emailed a dupe to : CC'ED. We cc C.C. on blog-related emails.

41. Research ctr. : INST.

42. White of the eye : SCLERA. Not CORNEA then, as I confidently filled in first, in spite of being totally wrong.

49. 1945 meeting site : YALTA. Churchill, Stalin and FDR met to carve up post-WWII Europe. See how well that turned out for everyone.

50. Stern with a bow : ISAAC

51. __ marker : MILE. When you reach the first one in a marathon, you gleefully think "Great! Only 25 more of these, tack on 365 yards at the end and we're done!".

57. Rapper with the debut album "Trouble" : AKON. Who? I'm sure I should know Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam, but I don't.

58. Porch torch type : TIKI

59. Sun: Pref. : HELIO-. Greek root. Helio Castroneves isn't Greek, he's a Brazilian race car driver in the IndyCar series. He looks like he gets a lot of sun though.

60. Common allergen : NUTS

61. Right on an atlas : EAST. Unless you hold it upside down, or get the Australian edition.

62. A bit off : ASKEW


1. Litter attention-getter : MEW

2. Hefted tool : AXE

3. Hood, for one: Abbr. : MTN. Mount Hood in Oregon. I've flown over it a few times on the way to Seattle, it looks like a perfect snow-capped cone.

4. Like Radio City Music Hall : ART DECO

5. "The Daily Show" device : SATIRE

6. Where wee ones go : POTTY

7. Waiting room read : E-BOOK

8. Just out : NEW

9. Case, for instance: Abbr. : SYN. Nice clue! Parse it as "Case" for "Instance", and you'll see one is a synonym of the other.

10. Ranch hand : COWPOKE

11. Its website has a range finder : AMANA. Oh! Cooktops and kitchen equipment. Got it. Clever.

12. Divide into parts : SEVER. I got a new cleaver recently. Two pounds of severe severing steel sharpness. I'd better be careful with this bad boy. Finger (currently still attached) shown for scale.

13. Prep, at a pizza parlor : KNEAD

18. Mel and Ed with World Series rings : OTTS

21. Not subject to, as suspicion : ABOVE

22. Fault product : QUAKE. Plenty of these in my neck of the woods.

23. More learned : WISER

24. Plains "Queen Wheat City" : ENID

25. Days long gone : YORE

26. Photo file format : JPEG. "Joint Photographic Experts Group". It's a "lossy" compression algorithm - "lossy" because when the image is re-opened it has lost some definition. If you keep re-saving a JPEG you'll notice the quality degrading.

29. Feel poorly : AIL

30. Tidy (up), facetiously : NICEN. Not sure I've used this term. Facetiously though?

31. Dance provocatively : TWERK. No, I'm not going to link Miley Cyrus.

32. Pop : SODA

34. Cousin of "-ish" : KINDA

35. __ many words : IN SO

36. Pop's Perry : KATY

39. Things on strings : MITTENS. Hand up for my mother sewing my gloves onto a ribbon and threading them through the sleeves of my coat. Lost glove drama instantly averted. Playground lost cred instantly achieved.

40. Played-out sayings : CLICHES

42. Ratings unit : STAR

43. Ballroom dance : CHA CHA

44. Longtime Rolling Stones bassist Bill : WYMAN. Keith Richards claimed that Bill was only allowed to join the band because he owned an amplifier. Reading Keith's autobiography it's pretty apparent that he didn't think too much of the "walking bass".

45. 17-syllable work : HAIKU

Help me. I am trapped
in a Haiku factory.
Save me, before they 

46. Divvy up : ALLOT

47. Down and dirty noises : OINKS

48. "Can you __ in a sentence?" : USE IT. Not only a spelling bee clarification question, but the litmus test of crossword construction.

52. Relative of "-ian" : -ITE

53. Actress Peeples : NIA. Useful crossword name. I'm not really familiar with the her work.

54. Kind : ILK

55. One of a rat's pack? : LIE

56. Financial measure, with "the" : DOW

And .. here's the grid, circles 'n all.



OwenKL said...

It's creepy or else it's absurd
One day we're discussing a word,
Then the very next day
In the grid it has play,
As if some crossword god overheard!

Some spirit of words WENT TO TOWN
Drunk on muse-JUICE on the morrow was found!
The godling went wild,
Freed her INNER CHILD --
And WHAT DID SHE THINK would go down?

Could it be there's a god who's a nerd?
A COWPOKE with a clutch of prime words?
Who puts future themes
Into cruciverb dreams,
Then moseys along with his herd?

No, that version of godhood is ASKEW!
A numen of QWERTY KEYBOARDS won't do!
No god could be WISER
Than a crossword deviser!
No, that god must be the god of HAIKU!


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Not a lot of joy with this one, although I did managed to get through it unassisted. No circles for one thing, so the theme was invisible. KIKIDEE and AKON were complete unknowns, so I had to hope the perps were solid. And some of the cluing just, well, annoyed me. I don't know if its an attempt to be tricky or what, but I really hate overly specific clues for generic answers. I read EBOOKS all the time on my Kindle, for example, but would never in a million years associate them with waiting rooms.

I'm gonna guess, btw, that I'm the only person who reflexively went with Perry COMO before KATY Perry...

Hungry Mother said...

Missed the cross of AKON and WYMAN. Otherwise, OK.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Got a slow start when I WENT TOO FAR rather than TO TOWN. All fixed. Further down I Tangoed when I should have TWERKed. Otherwise it was a smooth solve. Didn't notice the circles until after I'd finished. Nice job, Greg and Steve.

There have been many attempts to supplant QWERTY with more "sensible" keyboard layouts -- so far, no luck. Attended a programming training session in the 90's. The instructor hated it when people would use his keyboard, so he moved the key caps around. He was a touch-typist, so it didn't matter. The home row on his keyboard spelled "GRUMPFISH."

Barry, about the only time my Kindle leaves home is when I'm headed to a medical/dental appt or to get a haircut. That "waiting room read" made sense to me.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

WBS, except that I went with Katy Perry. The NW was stubborn; tried Plan B before Spare, then Extra finally made sense. Circles helped me figure out that Went Too Far was wrong.

Morning, Steve, I see your hair was different in that photo!

TTP said...

Good morning all. Thank you Greg and Steve.

Started in the SW and nailed Bill WYMAN for first clue read and first entry. Just watched The Rolling Stones - Rock of Ages (Full Documentary) the other day on Decades. Good period footage. Didn't need to watch the film to know it was Wyman.

Soon saw the clue for KIKI DEE as I climbed the stairs to the NE corner. Here's another favorite: I've Got The Music In Me (in HQ w/timed lyrics).

'Website that has a range finder' clue made me smile. Also thought 'Case, for instance' was a great clue. Waiting room read EBOOK is a bit presumptuous.

Thought of Jayce at quake. Another large aftershock in Ecuador yesterday.

Learning moment was Ed OTT.

Lucina said...

Hola y Buenos dias!

This seemed a bit awkward to me, too, but the fill came in smoothly. The entire eastern seaboard washed in like a WAVE fairly quickly. It's odd that we discussed typing and typewriter most of yesterday and today we have QWERTYBOARD. You captured it well, Owen.

Though I have a NOOK to read EBOOKs my preference is paper books.

KIKIDEE tripped right off my pencil. "Don't go breaking my heart" is definitely one of those unforgettable songs that immediately comes to mind. As for rappers, AKON filled entirely by perps. I know very few rappers' names. Had never heard that one. WYMAN is also unknown but filled with some lucky guesses.

Still, a few clever clues made me smile, for POTTY, ISAAC, LIES.

Thank you, Greg Johnson. This was mildly challenging.

Have a lovely day, everyone!

Lucina said...

Thank you, too, Steve. I recognize your distinctive style immediately.

Husker Gary said...

Fiendish cluing made for a fun solve. If we’ve had “Stern with a bow”, I’d forgotten it and loved it.

-WENT TOO FAR and PLAN B (me too Steve) fit too
-I’ve only found cranberry JUICE available in pretty good restaurants
-Of course, Patton wanted to fight Russia “while we’ve got the troops here” and to hell with YALTA
-What Martin Luther thought of Copernicus’ HELIOCENTRIC theory of the heavens - People gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon ...This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us [Joshua 10:13] that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth
-I can’t post this view of Mtn. HOOD from Portland’s International Rose Test Garden often enough
-Here is a friend and local COWPOKE. Leaf through the pictures and you won’t believe what he’s POKING now!!
-Professor Harold Hill wanted the Sadder but WISER Girl until he met Marian
-Steve, I love your slightly ASKEW point of view! ☺

Yellowrocks said...

I soon dove to the bottom where INNER CHILD helped greatly with the theme circles. Easier than most Thursdays. WYMAN was perps and wags. AKON was all perps. Nailed that natticky A.
EBOOK was a gimme since the ubiquitous People magazine didn't fit. I read my Kindle all the time, and especially at PT. I have to wait my turn before starting and between exercises. I sit through warm up and ice down periods. I would go nuts without it. The PT's WI-FI does not accept this blog, although it accepts the Net and email.
Before therapy I have to file the annual square dance club's state incorporation report and send an ecard to the IRS,although we don't have to pay.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Nice intro, Steve.

Initially daunting, but was able to cobble together the NE, which gave me AIR VENTS and we were off. Some lucky WAGS along the way. ISAAC and HELIO got the S going. Hat ETO before IWO. YALTA was a gimmie. Finally got GERMINAL and QWERTY KEYBOARD, settled on MAMAS, and we were done. Some very clever cluing enhanced the fun of doing this puzzle.
TWERL - A new word/learning.
17 Syllables - seems KINDA limiting.

The hunter crouches in his blind
'Neath camouflage of every kind

Husker Gary said...

-This video of me teaching was taken while I was talking to 200 fifth graders in our town. You can see that I am definitely a visual teacher and blogger!
-Yes, that is a NASA jumpsuit my kids got for me at KSC by pooling their money. I call it the “carrot suit”.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

A tad easier than the usual Thursday, probably because the theme (with circles) stood right out. Not familiar with Kiki Dee or Akon but am certainly familiar with "twerk", thanks to Miley Cyrus. Nicen is a stretch but it's Thursday, so all's fair, I guess.

Thanks, Greg, for the challenge and thanks, Steve, for the commentary.

Have a great day.

Yellowrocks said...

GRR! I have spent the last hour and a half filing the IRS 990N for the club. The IRS has a new site for this that doesn't work very well. You have to send for a special code (I sent for it 3 times)and make a new profile. I was on hold twice for 7 minutes,each time. The past six years the whole process took 15 minutes or less. This is progress?

Gary your teaching clip was marked private.

Husker Gary said...

Thanks YR. I saved it as public and went back and did the same thing. Does it open now?

desper-otto said...

YR, Congress has been punishing the IRS. Since 2010 their mission has been expanded (Obamacare, for example), but the agency budget has been cut by 17%. I can only see things getting worse going forward. The IRS is going to have to follow Konstantin Jireček's motto: “We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.”

desper-otto said...

Gary, your space link is working now. Here's a song you could add to your presentation: Werner von Braun (1:47).

Husker Gary said...

Thanks Otto! This was my first YouTube upload. I loved your song as well.

Bill G. said...

I enjoyed the puzzle. Thanks Greg and Steve.

Lucina, I prefer 'real' books too but I'm enjoying my Nook more and more all the time. Yes, I take it to waiting rooms. I love it even more when I want to get a new book and I can pay for it and have it downloaded in a matter of a minute or two without having to make a trip to the bookstore.

I just got the first batch of peonies at the supermarket yesterday. They are so pretty but have no smell.

I was sad to hear that Morley Safer has just died. He only announced his retirement last week. I miss him already.

Bill G. said...

Here's a nice piece on Morley Safer.
Morley Safer

Big Easy said...

I sped out like a race car and had a crash on the first turn, filling WENT TOO FAR before pulling out the dents and WENT TO TOWN on the rest. I wasn't on the correct WAVElength in the NE because the clue for the AMANA 'radar-range' didn't sink in for about 5 minutes. But the one that really gave me trouble was NICEN crossing THE unknown SCLERA ( I also filled CORNEA initially Steve, so you are not alone).

The circles made the theme obvious after TOT and TYKE. Starting in the NW ( doesn't everybody except TTP?) and after filling the downs with QWE I already thought QWERTY KEYBOARD before I read the clue. GERMINAL is a word that I might have seen before but don't remember when- easily guessable. AKON- yeah I knew that one and the Queen Elizabeth is a personal friend too.

As far as Bill WYMAN, most of the famous rock groups used studio musicians for their recording sessions but didn't let the public know.

Yellowrocks said...

HG, that was a fine presentation. I was hoping the camera would zoom in on the presenter, at least for a moment.
I used to prefer print books, but in these last few years I have appreciated the advantages of the Kindle. I can take four or five books on vacation, loaded on the Kindle, instead of lugging such a large volume of volumes, not to mention weight, especially with air travel. I can upload a book 24/7 anywhere there is WIFI access and do not have to return it to a physical PLANT. My house is loaded with print books so I only buy extremely special ones. I can house no more books. I get many ebooks free or from the library. I only use print books when I want a specific title that is not available in ebooks.
Thanks for understanding, DO. I didn't get to file the NJ annual incorporation papers. Tomorrow I hope that is more straight forward.
Off to PT and reading my Kindle at odd moments.

TX Ms said...

Bill G, So very sad news - he was my very favorite 60 Minutes journalist. His interviews were always thought-provoking, and I loved his irreverent sense of humor. I watched his retirement special last week, and thought how sad that that he was retiring, but was happy that he could spend more time with his family. And now, well, rest in peace, Morley.

CrossEyedDave said...

Definitely difficult today,
I had three questionable areas, but only one FIW.

It took a long time to toss 10A Port Container = Cork in favor of Cask.
& I managed to dredge out Cowpoke & Sever...
But,11D rangefinder had me thinking US Open website,
& 16A eclipse = omen makes no sense to me at all...

So I went with a cross between US open & a toothpaste for 11D & put Apana????
(What the hell, it got me out of puzzling this dang thingie...)

Helio was a gimme for an amateur astronomer...

Inner Child #1

Inner Child #2

Inner Child #3

& finally, My reason for being...

CrossEyedDave said...

OK, now I get eclipse = Omen...

Misty said...

Well, I have to say this felt more like a Saturday than a Thursday to me when I started out and after my first run-through I wonder if I should even try. But miraculously it started to fill in very slowly, and in the end I had to cheat only twice to get the whole thing--after looking up WYMAN and KIKIDEE, two complete unknowns to me. I did like the theme a lot--so, many thank, Greg. And you, too, Steve, of course.

Owen, I liked your first limerick a lot.

I also couldn't believe Morely Safer just died after seeing his retirement comments just a week ago. How terribly sad.

Have a good day, everybody. I'm going to see a play at Laguna Playhouse called "Sex and Education" this afternoon. Hope it'll be fun.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! No circles, no matter, I could see the "CHILDren" anyway once the reveal was found. NICEN theme, Greg. Great expo, Steve.

POTTY? We actually had that in a puzzle? Well, guess it goes with the theme. Liked the fact that the puzzle started with MAMA. Then there is the fact that a little one will wear a HOOD.

Thanks to whoever posted QWERTY KEYBOARD yesterday that fill was a gimmee. I had never heard that term before then. Recognized why it was called that immediately though.

Never heard of JPEG or GERMINAL (tried tERMINAL). Ed OTT? Saved by Mel. AKON & WYMAN definitely a NATICK. ENID was a WAG.

3D: MTN took me awhile to get after it perped in. Oh, MounTaiN Hood.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? The current political frontrunners are 68, 69, & 74 years of age. Isn't that pretty old to be taking on the hardest job in the world? Can some of the rhetoric be blamed on senility?

Tinbeni said...

Well I was in the Honda Dealership waiting room this morning ...
Yeah, my CR-Z needed its 10,000 mile Oil Change, and a "New" battery (after only 5 years, 4 months and 13 days) ...
And I had the LAT Crossword Puzzle (on a clip-board) and a David Baldacci "luddite" book ...
Sooooooso it took a while before E-BOOK appeared at 7-d.


Jayce said...

The puzzle on the LA Times website, which uses the Arkadian technology, does have circles, which proved to be very helpful today. I used to do the puzzle in Uclick format, which does not show circles, on the Yahoo Games site until Yahoo closed it down. I liked the puzzle today. Usually I really like clever cluing (such as melissa bee's clue for ANKLES on Sunday) but I feel today's cluing was just trying too hard and falling flat. Crossing WYMAN with AKON was almost a Natick for me; I guessed the A only because WYMAN is a common name and far more likely than, say, Wymon or Wymen. A few gimmes got me started. Gotta have those gimmes! Oh, and it took me a while to realize that ATE TOO MUCH was wrong.

Yeah, big quakes in Ecuador! Unfortunately, our nearest detector is in Peru, too far away to detect the events in Ecuador. I wish (as I'm sure the boss does also) we had enough money to install detectors every 20 miles along the entire "ring of fire." So many major quakes occur where we don't have coverage, which is frustrating.

Misty, please let us know how you enjoyed "Sex and Education."

Dudley, funny :)

Best wishes to you all.

fermatprime said...


Thanks, Greg and Steve!

Interesting puzzle.

Perps helped with unknowns WYMAN and AKON. Scratched head at POTTY. (Really?)

Falling asleep. Lousy time yesterday.

JJM said...

I'm gonna guess here, but II think it was 1976 " that Don't Go Breaking My Heart by by Kiki Dee & Elton John came out.
Speaking of music.... were any of Bill Wyman's wives over the age of 25?? Just wondering

Avg Joe said...

Clever theme and good puzzle. And it was very interesting to see qwerty after yesterday's conversation. Having the circles, after the first two filled with perps, the 3rd and 4th were easy enough to guess with a few other fills as seed. Threw in youth with just the Y (in pencil, I'd add). Nicen was the biggest meh fill, and Akon was all perps, but otherwise the dreck ratio was low. Thanks for the roundup Steve.

Heading out in a couple of hours to see Paul Simon in concert under the stars. I'll be interested to see how many Simon and Garfunkel songs he does, and if he'll have a tenor to play the Art role. It's a safe bet he won't have anyone to sing Phoebe's part if he does Gone at Last. Should be a good time!

Yellowrocks said...

My first thought at 6D was, Where wee ones go/LOO, but it was too short. I was on the right track. --TTY had to be POTTY .
SEMINAL was too short. Oh, GERMINAL. Actually a better answer.
CE Dave, I can relate to your inner child,# 1 and 2, after all the PT I have had in the past 16 months. More scary is that this idea is beginning to apply to my sons, especially ALAN. In some ways his body is older than mine.
Columbus used an ECLIPSE of the moon as an OMEN to trick the natives into supplying his mission with food.
Link eclipse as omen

Dudley said...

Avg. Joe, I agree that Nicen is a bit odd for a puzzle. Day-to-day, however, I find I love to use similar words just for fun or to confuse my listeners. A favorite is "fixen", such as "we decided to fixen up the place". Suffixes such as -age and -itude can be pasted onto a variety of words with fun results. Then there's the word repurposing: a carafe easily becomes a giraffe, and as many already know, a chimney is just as happy being a chimble or a chimbly. Such is my world!

Avg Joe said...

Oh I know, Dudley. I know. Keep in mind that I coined the term "tuneagement".

I think the biggest crime against humanity one can commit is to take oneself too seriously. Attempts to show a light hearted side don't always succeed, especially online, but word banter is nevertheless a great contact sport if everyone is on the same page.

desper-otto said...

Dudley, you are obviously not an east Texan. Down here "fixin'" is synonymous with "gittin' ready to." For example, "I'm fixin' to go to the Food's Fair for some vittles." But we'd never be "fixin' to NICEN up anything." -- that's just wrong! (I do recall Aunt Eller calling it a "chimbly" in the basket auction scene of Oklahoma. Never heard of a "chimble.")

OwenKL said...

To add to the deja vu of QWERTY, might I point out that I used POTTY in a limerick just yesterday?

SwampCat said...

Oh! What fun! Let's all fight over "fixin". (Hey! Better than some things folks fight over.)

D -O, I agree....fixin is gitten' ready to do something. But then NICEN was in the puzzle ...... And we all knew what it meant! If we know what someone else means, does it matter how he says it?

Communication is everything!

TTP said...

Yep, Big Easy. Until Old Man Keith mentioned it, I thought I was the only one here that looked for patterns in the grid before starting. If there are corner to corner diagonals, I'll solve those first, always starting in the SW or SE. Sometimes I'll do just a center square section (when it's available) or opposing middle sides and top / bottom first.

Desper-otto nailed the essence of the southwest (Texan) "fixin." I've been taking grief for using fixin' from my first and second generation in laws ever since the DW and I exchanged nuptials.

Here's another that's heard along the Gulf Coast that can be misconstrued. "Fish or cut bait."

Yeah, the last time I saw more people reading EBOOKs than magazines in a waiting room was... well... never. I guess that the clue can fit, but it also might just as easily have been... well... never mind.

In addition to the QWERTY keyboard, I have seen both Katakana and Kanji keyboards, but I would be clueless as to what each key represents.

Eighteen holes in the sunshine reddened my arms.

CrossEyedDave said...

Yellowrocks post sent me on a tangent,

It had me wondering what shipworms were...

The good news is you can eat them! Eeeeewww!

CrossEyedDave said...


would you prefer Tamilok, or a coke?

Bill G. said...

I am willing to try most anything, but raw shipworms...?

Kanye West was on Ellen this afternoon. I hadn't realized how much I dislike him. He comes on a big TV show looking like a slob and ranting about stuff that he seemed to be passionate about but that made little sense to me. I'm not really sure what his talent is supposed to be. What an ego! And the worst part was that Ellen just continued to suck up. The word 'toady' comes to mind. Am I using that correctly? But then again, maybe she was quietly taken aback while continuing to try to be a good talk-show host. Oh well...

Ol' Man Keith said...

Checking in - a little late today, folks. Was gonna get on line much earlier, but my to-do list was longer than usual, from some belated post-retirement university paper work to catching up with re-potting and pruning in the garden and upper deck.
Spitzboov caught my response with the "initially daunting" assessment. It took me two or three scans before I dared any fills beyond an occasional "s" for plural clues. In fact it was the "S" in 62A (thanks to the perp at 40D), that allowed me to enter ASKEW as my first fill.

I enjoyed it once I got rolling. I was tickled by the challenge at 22A that stared blankly back at me once I had "QW" fr starters! What on earth could begin with QW rather than QU?
After filling BOARD at the other end, I wanted to go back and force it into some variation of OUIJA BOARD. Wouldn't that have been a great answer to our search for a "Communications feature...."?
But no, I came to my senses. QWERTY BOARD is funny enough.

Picard said...

No circles in my puzzle. But I am proud I found all four "inner children"!

But AKON? I wonder if even one person who solves these puzzles has heard of this person. I love the Rolling Stones but only vaguely remembered "WYMAN" and was not 100% sure of the spelling.

Thanks, Steve, for the amusing Haiku!