Jul 23, 2016

Saturday, Jul 23rd, 2016, Ed Sessa

Theme: None

Words: 68 (missing F,J,Q,X,Y)

Blocks: 28

     A little over a month since we had a puzzle from Mr. Sessa, and I reviewed that construction after I completed this one.  Similar solving experience, again, with getting a few of the long fills quick, but struggling with the proper names, again.  I did find some of the "definition" clues to be somewhat off-base, but I let them slide, and finished under my personal time.  Grids were very similar, too - triple 9's in the across, and paired 11- and 10-letter fills on the 'inside' downs.  The 11-letter answers;

11. Informal talk : BULL SESSION

22. Plane lane : AIR CORRIDOR - I learned there were "lanes" when I went flying with the architect I used to work for; we flew out of ISP (MacArthur airport, Islip, LI, NY) and being so close to JFK and LGA, you really had to stay in "your" lane....

Winona, MN -> Wales, AK -> Rincón de los Sauces, Argentina~!


1. One not to upset? : APPLE CART - my first pass I read this as "too"; with some crossings filled in, I realized the difference

10. Title from the Aramaic for "father" : ABBOT - seen this before in crosswords, but it didn't come to me without some crossings first

15. Subject of the 2015 Erik Larson nonfiction bestseller "Dead Wake" : LUSITANIA

16. Hurricane peril : SURGE - thought there might be a slight deception with singular/plural, and pondered WINDS

17. Perilous situation : PRECIPICE

18. Water park attraction : SLIDE - Splish Splash is right around the corner from my place, and I have been, but only once

19. Saruman soldier in "The Lord of the Rings" : ORC - this or ENT, so I left it blank

20. Guttural utterance : CROAK - not GROAN; that shows up later at 40a.

21. Bygone : OLDEN - made me change my "ASSIGNS" to ASSORTS

22. Similar : AKIN

23. Goes downhill : WORSENS - I had LESSENS at first

25. Flat-bottomed boats : DORIES - this came to mind, but I hesitated to fill it in

28. 19th-century dancer Lola : MONTEZ - no clue; this middle right section had me baffled for too long

29. Still : INERT

30. Takeout order? : MINUS SIGN

33. Poolroom powder : TALC

34. Capital of South Africa : RANDS - OK, I cheated - I have a 'money' chart in my dictionary

35. Fizz flavoring : SLOE

36. Used in an undignified way : STOOPED TO - eh.  Around here, it's more like "behaved" than "used"

38. Test on the air : PILOT - always reminds me of the post-titles scene from Pulp Fiction

39. Hags : CRONES

40. Pained reactions : GROANS

41. Four-time Depp role : SPARROW - Captain Jack, of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films

43. Either 2010 "True Grit" director : COEN - didn't see the movie, but this was a good WAG

44. Musical instruction : "HIT IT~!"

45. Even slightly : AT ALL

47. Justice Fortas : ABE - filled via perps

50. Indicator of a private thought : ASIDE

51. Riddick portrayer : VIN DIESEL - Pitch Black was a great movie; the Chronicles not so much; did not see "Riddick" from 2013

53. __ house : MANOR - oops, not OPERA

54. They often precede garage sales : ESTIMATES - I threw in "CLEAN OUTS"; but this is the 'other' reason for emptying the garage - the future man-cave

55. Some RPI grads : ENGRs - a Spitz and Splynter shout-out

56. Fitting place for sneaks : SHOE STORE - there's a "friend of Bill W." I know who calls the last row of chairs at a 12-step meeting the "Shoe Store" - sneakers, loafers and slippers; I went on to add flip-flops


1. Maker of TBONZ treats : ALPO - oops, not IAMS

2. Run well : PURR

3. Minute part of a minute, for short : PSEC - I tried NSEC; a picosecond falls between a nanosecond and a femtosecond; billionth, trillionth and quadrillionth of a second

4. ID with a photo : LICense

5. iPhone movie purchase : eTICKET

6. Garb named for an island : CAPRIS - somewhere between short and pants, and now like this~!

Wolford Bella Capri

7. Cation's opposite : ANION - way too easy, so I filled it in and expected it to be wrong

8. Costa __ : RICA

9. Art form offering plenty of kicks? : TAEKWONDO - the Wiki

10. Puts into groups : ASSORTS

12. Wedding planner's nightmare : BRIDEZILLA

13. City near the Great Salt Lake : OGDEN

14. Many Beliebers : TEENS - Justin Bieber fans

24. Sisyphus' stone, e.g. : ONUS - a "pointless task" just came up in a conversation recently, and I was curious to know where the story originated - this is why I do crosswords~!  The Wiki

25. Morse "H" quartet : DITS

26. Go __ great length : ON AT

27. Changing places : RELOCATING

28. They may be thin : MINTS - red lines didn't fit

30. Stirred things up : MADE WAVES

31. "And?" : GO ON....

32. Realizes : NETS - another "eh" - I prefer GETS or SEES; 'realizes' was a s-t-r-e-t-c-h in another recent puzzle

34. First female attorney general : RENO - WAG, had the "O"

37. Pub orders : PORTERS - semi-referential to; 48d. 37-Down, e.g. : BEER

38. Minor matches : PRELIMS - funny - I switched "CLEAN OUTS" to "ESTATE---", which left the "T" at the end of this answer - and I thought a prelit match was sort of dangerous....

oh, that kind of match....

40. Best Supporting Actress two years before Cloris : GOLDIE - clues phrased like this, which are great if you know the answers, are useless if you don't - like I was.  The movie was Cactus Flower from 1969 - I'm from 1971.  IMDb

41. Disgrace : SHAME

42. Fibonacci or Galileo : PISAN - from this city....

43. Poem division : CANTO

46. Mrs. Addams, to Gomez : 'TISH - Morticia

Tish, that's Frawnche~!

47. Concerning : AS TO

49. Besides that : ELSE

52. Parental encouragement : "EAT~!!!"



OwenKL said...

FIRight in only about three passes, which would be good even for a Wednesday!
Spitzboov: Thanks for the poem @1:59 last nite!

{B, B+, B-, C.}

Once there was, in OLDEN days,
A SPARROW, prone to mischievous ways!
The hem he raised
On an ABBOT, unfazed,
Made the "moonlight" service really blaze!

Alone and lonely was AN ION,
So she got a pet, a CAT ION.
With ionized fur
It tried to PURR --
The static discharge sent them both to Zion!

LOLA MONTEZ was to GO ON AT nine.
Nothing AT ALL was to cover her spine!
And AS TO her front,
Let us be BLUNT,
Once the band HIT IT, she looked just fine!

For every BULL SESSION, there's also a bear.
Sometimes it's a SURGE, sometimes just a hair.
Balance on a PRECIPICE?
Tomorrow, no ESTIMATES.
SLIDE to a MINUS SIGN or upward flare!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Got though most of this in one piece, but lost it at MONTEZ. No idea who she was and I misspelled TAE KWON DO as TAE KWAN DO, so I ended up with MANTEZ instead. Sure, it looked wrong, but not any more so than MONTEZ, so it never occurred to me. Ah well...

Big Easy said...

After the bad news of the last 10 days, it was nice to find and easy Saturday puzzle that I completed in 15 minutes. I guessed APPLE CART & ALPO, ANION & RICA were gimmes, and it was M-T speed after that. But it was a technical DNF because I misspelled TAE KW'A'NDO and MANTEZ (unknown).

Had a couple of write overs with DOTS becoming DITS and initially thought 30A-'Takeout order' had something to do with food and filled MENU before MINUS SIGN corrected it.

VIN DIESEL and GOLDIE Hawn were known-unknowns filled by perps.
I punching my E-TICKET outta this soon to be BULL SESSION before your opinion of me WORSENS.

Big Easy said...

And as I've said many times before, Barry and I seem to not know the same things.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I usually have trouble with a Sessa creation. Not this morning. Those stacked nines always impress me; how do you do that?

DITS seemed off, but I guess that's dits and dahs. I learned Morse code in my ute. Don't remember why. Probably for the same reason I learned pig Latin. Nobody uses it anymore.

SURGE evokes images of Dr. Neil Frank, retired Channel 11 (he pronounced it "leaven") weatherman. He was hired in Houston, because he'd been head of the National Hurricane Center. I considered him to be my personal insurance policy. We never had a hurricane in Houston while he was at the helm. He always warned that the danger of a hurricane isn't the wind, it's the storm SURGE. They still resurrect him whenever the Gulf Coast is threatened by tropical weather.

Time for that bike ride...

Lemonade714 said...

MONTEZ was unknown but sounded more Spanish and I do know the KWON. She was an interesting woman who packed a lot of living in her 39 years.

The clue for GOLDIE was way beyond my skill; I did not remember that CLORIS LEACHMAN won an Oscar. For the bonus, who are the only two actresses to win multiple Best Supporting Actress Oscars?

ASSORTS- no thank you.

The rest seemed very easy for a Saturday; I do love Erik Larson's story telling.

Nice capri's Splynter, thanks and thank you Mr. Sessa

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning!

Thanks, Ed. This was a very enjoyable challenge. I flew out of the gate in the north west starting with APPLECART, and then my "process" began to wane. I wanted GROAN for CROAK, so that was an easy fill later. I was stuck at etude as a musical instruction until I had the "itit" of HITIT. I didn't see Sisyphus' metaphorical stone, so I tried onyx before my V-8 moment brought ONUS. I, too, am impressed with stacks and long fills.

Thanks, Splynter, for the tour. I especially liked the Bull Session.

Have a fine day! Stay cool and out of stormy weather.

Yellowrocks said...

Not too hard for a Saturday. It went quickly, but I lost it with the E at VIN DIESEL crossing EAT. I see his birth name is Mark Sinclair, which I like better. I never heard of either name. EAT never crossed my mind. I was thinking of something like PAT. I considered EAT to be an order, not an encouragement. I never needed to say that to my kids.
Fine expo, Splynter.
My older sister always says SNEAKS. Everyone else I know calls them SNEAKERS, except for the Brits with their TRAINERS.
Owen KL, again I rate the first poem #1, A.
ASSORTS was a gimmee to get the NE off to a flying start. From the NE I worked around the perimeter and ended in the center. I agree with Splynter that the middle was the hardest.
Busy day. Off to my chores. I need to sneak in time for the gym this afternoon.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I think this was my fastest finish ever for a Saturday. The long fill just seemed to fill itself and that led to a speedy solve. Naturally, there were a few bumps but nothing major. CSO to Spitz, Splynter and moi at RPI and to CED at purr! 🐱. Fav c/a was Take out order=Minus sign.
Thanks, Mr. Sessa, for a smooth Saturday stroll and thanks, Splynter, for guiding us along.

Another scorcher today. Looks like a very hot week ahead which is typical for the end of July, I guess.

Have a great day and stay cool.

ianehiker said...

I started out filling this quite fast for a Saturday, but had my comeuppance in the SW. It didn't help when I had CORONAS instead of PORTERS and thought the second O which crossed the answer for musical instruction was going to be something in Italian like LENTO instead of HIT IT.
I liked the Take out order clue too @Irish Miss.

Try to stay cool...
Thanks Splynter and Ed!

Anonymous said...

The 1A clue should have been THING not to upset (ONE indicates a PERSON, not an APPLE CART).
50A: An ASIDE is not private; it's shared with an audience.
The 38D clue needed a "for short" (PRELIMinarieS).

Anonymous said...

"Realizes : NETS - another "eh" - I prefer GETS or SEES"

No "eh" here.

GETS or SEES would be more appropriate for Mondays.

Sailor said...

The main trouble spot in this puzzle, as in the world, was the middle east. That was the only area, really, that felt appropriately Saturday-challenging. I loved the clue for MINUSSIGN, which took a while to decode. I generally dislike the sort of historical trivia represented by Lola MONTEZ, briefly the Countess of Landsfeld, which I did not know and got from crosses; but her inclusion here is redeemed by the fact that she was such an intriguing and tragic figure. She makes for an interesting Saturday morning diversion. Her Wikipedia entry is definitely worth a read.

oc4beach said...

Today's very good Sessa puzzle was challenging but ultimately doable. Splynter provided a lot of info in his write-up making today a good day.

It took a while to get the top of the puzzle filled in other than SURGE and SLIDE. Perps were key in getting the top done.

The flat bottomed boat gave me BARGES at first which gave me BITS instead of DITS and ultimately fits.

MONTEZ, GOLDIE and VINDIESEL were totally the result of perps. Even though I know the later 2, I had no clue to MONTEZ.

Pretoria, Cape Town and Bloemfontein are the three joint capital cities of South Africa, and didn't fit in the 5 space allotted, so, it had to be the Money of RSA, the RAND, although I'm not sure about the S on the end of it being proper. But, certain liberties are allowable in CWs.

Even though it was difficult, standing back and looking at the solved puzzle, it didn't look that hard.

Have a good day everyone and try to stay cool.

C6D6 Peg said...

Started off with a lot of white space! But prevailed in the end! Thanks, Ed, for a Saturday challenge!

Nice job, Splynter. Used to work for a company in Islip so knew that map pretty well!

Stay cool, all!

Anonymous T said...

Woot! I got a Sat. Sessa! I got the top 1/2 and most of the right-side in my 1st hour playing. Then, Bro & I went for a 15 mile ride around Lincoln Park, Lincoln's Tomb, down to the State Capitol and then back to Pop's house to finish the pzl. Thanks Ed! And, thanks as always to Splynter for the Sat. walk thru.

Almost a FIW - I had MINUSSInGS to go w/ sEeS (@32d). When I said it aloud I realized oops.

Other WOs: Oreos b/f Thin MINTS & inre b/f AS TO.


Fav: Clue for PSEC. Years ago I tried to spell minute as minuet and DW corrected it to minute. I said, that "mi-noot". V-8.



D-O: What I liked about Dr. Frank is he didn't get all giddy when a major storm was about to slam Houston. The others seemed to think only "Air-time!"

FLN - Our School had mostly lay teachers. I do recall the Nun for confirmation class. Kevin wouldn't sit still and she whacked him upside the head and blurted "What ails you boy?!" That was our catch-phrase the rest of the year!

A little encouragement: EAT Ludwig.

Cheers, -T

Yellowrocks said...

My father-in-law- constantly insisted that we were cheated by our realtor because the price of housing in North Jersey is so much higher than he was accustomed to in PA. He was totally shocked that we REALIZED a 250% profit when we sold.

When my old computer died two years ago I bought a new ONE.

From The Diacritics,"It’s a matter of contention whether the plural of “rand” is “rand” or “rands.”Articles 13, 14, 15, 55, and 57 of the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act of 1961 use “rand” as the plural. Many currency exchange sites,state that “rand” is the plural form. Most of the South Africans I’ve asked say they use “rand,” but I’ve also seen “rands” in some places, like the meter at the local gas station. I’ve also heard “rands” in conversation"
I suppose RAND is more common, but RANDS seems to be okay.

Many dictionaries list PRELIM as an actual word, although informal. Spellcheck accepts it. Some places list it as an abbreviation.

I've caught my breath now. Respite is over. Back to work.

Anonymous T said...

Oops, sorry Bill G. My first paragraph contains 3 links. C, -T

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Owen KL - LOL.

IM echos most of my comments. Better than most times I was on the constructor's wavelength. Applied a liberal use of WAGs but they actually worked, especially the long acrosses. BRIDEZILLA came near the end. Fodder for a Hallmark TV movie.

Hotter than a fresh loved fox in a forest fire here today.

MJ said...

Well, I thought I had this one, but alas, no "tada" due to WBS. Some fun fill like BRIDEZILLA and BULLSESSION. Thanks for today's challenge, Ed.

And thanks for the expo, Splynter. Some great links, as usual.

Enjoy the day!

Husker Gary said...

Long ago, I should have started counting how many late week puzzles I do where the bottom is done and the top looks like Swiss cheese. This would be AKIN to those.

-I shared Splynter’s experience and had a good time.
-ON THIN ICE for PRECIPICE (_ _ _ _I _ ICE) was my only erasure
-BULL SESSIONS in the teacher’s lounge cost my nephew a promotion
-Wanna see current AIR CORRIDORS? Zoom in and out.
-America chose to follow Washington’s advice to “stand apart from Europe” despite the LUSITANIA’S sinking
-I had GROAN and then saw GROANS later so…
-Are men more likely to let a medical issue WORSEN before acting?
-An earworm from the only artistic MONTEZ I know (2:23) HIT IT!
-LBJ’s buddy ABE became the first nominee to the Supreme Court to fail to win Senate approval since 1795
-I MADE WAVES in front of 350 colleagues once to no avail
-Here you can see the progress on this PISAN landmark from 1992 - 2012 to keep it from falling over

Anonymous said...

@Desper-Otto: Morse code is still used by thousands of amateur radio operators around the world.

Argent said...

Yellowrocks said everything I was thinking.

The previous Sessa puzzle got the better of me, so I was pleasantly surprised to finish this one. Thanks for the walkthrough, Splynter.

Jayce said...

What Barry G, Anonymous T, and inanehiker said.

john28man said...

Does anyone know what happened to Barry Silk? I always did will on his creations.

Yellowrocks said...

Every weekend I take Alan for pizza at Pizza Hut in the mall. That was my task this noon while I worked puzzles to pass the time. I heard parents saying, "Hurry up," "Quit fooling around," but none said "EAT." The remarks I heard are more up my alley and are an expression of annoyance rather than encouragement. Still I "shoulda" known EAT. No excuses.
Alan was 50% better yesterday and 100% better today. This yo-yo effect is highly anxiety producing. I guess I used to ignore it more, but since last year's crisis with no dire warning I am always in the alert.
An ASIDE contains private thoughts "shared" with an audience as a dramatic device. They are AKIN to a thought bubble in cartoons. They are not really shared overtly. Like a thought bubble they are still private.
I watched a few BRIDEZILLA clips, but they are so cringe-worthy I won't look at any others. How can any bride be so self-centered, insensitive and unfeeling for her family and friends?
No gym today, hopefully tomorrow when there is no pizza run.

AnonymousPVX said...

First pass left the grid looking like a blizzard hit it, lots of white.

Worked it from the bottom up, NW last to fall. Misleading but fair clueing and the puzzle is a well constructed beauty.

It's lizard hot here in SC with unbelievable humidity. So, just another mid-summer day. Thank technology for AC.

Longbeachlee said...

My first entry was Montez, but I have no idea where it came from or why I was so sure. Sometimes crossword puzzle solving is just weird.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Interesting puzzle, Ed, thanks. Thanks, Splynter, liked the SHOE STORE joke.

Got APPLE CART right away. Yay, off to a good start. Got harder right away with ABBOT one of the last fills.

BULL SH__ing, er something else before SESSION. One of my husband's crude cowboy terms, ya' know.

Waves before SURGE. Hand up for pAT before EAT. At my table, my kids were more likely to be "encouraged" to not EAT so much. They snarfed up stuff like vacuum cleaners. My grandson made a game of not EATing to get attention from his mom.

CROAK: what I do when I try to talk after not speaking for a week.

MONTEZ nor Ortiz or Gomez. Had the "Z" first so... RIDDICK? Who dat? Never seen Vin Diesel but had heard the name.

My formerly favorite niece was a BRIDEZILLA who had a destination wedding that most of her close relatives could not attend because of health & expense. Then she was hurt because we didn't come. Never sent a thank you for the big cash gift I sent.

My son-in-law's father died half-way across the country in Georgia yesterday afternoon. He had been failing for the past few years with nothing working quite right. Finally had a stroke and passed on. Poor SIL has had a bad year. A nurse, he took care of me when my foot was broken. Now he's spent two weeks trying to keep Dad alive. Lately Dad had been making large donations to friends & charities, benevolent fellow that he was. We're hoping he left enough to cover final expenses. Doubtful at this point.

desper-otto said...

Anon@11:57 -- In my ute, learning Morse Code was required for beginning amateur (ham) radio operators. No more. Today you can get a Technician license just for passing a 35-question exam. There's not much incentive to learn code when you can grab the mic and start talking so easily.

Big Easy said...

Splynter & Anon "Realizes : NETS"

Straight from my Morgan Stanley. When you have a capital gain, You NET that amount. These are the categories on the website for personal accounts.

Holdings Activity Realized Gain / Loss Portfolio Reports Documents

If your money is in an IRA-SEP-Roth, you gain is UN-realized and you get taxed when you pull it out.

PK- most people have 'destination' weddings hoping certain people will not show up and have a party at the bride's family's expense. Went to one last year in Destin, FL and none of the bride's relatives other than her brother and parents showed up, which was fine with them. Just about 100 friends.

CrossEyedDave said...

Started with the red letters on,
& one hand hovering over the solve button in anticipation,
but was pleasantly surprised to find I was on the constructors wavelength
for 99% of this Saturday Stumper.

OwenKL, I think the 2nd one is an "A" (go figure...)

Pub order, (with 6 letters?) gave me trouble for a while.
It's always been Ale, hmm, for 6 letters & an order,
it must be Ale! Ale!

Anywho, I saw this on Facebook today, & had to smile...
(It was titled,"For those who like to shower periodically...)

Ol' Man Keith said...

Yikes! Impossible to solve w/o significant cheating.

Looking over others' comments, I seem to be the one who knew what they didn't but didn't know what they did! MONTEZ, for instance, was an immediate gimme, but I still don't know why ANION is "Cation's opposite."
I am glad to learn I was wrong at 30A. I ended it with a weird gerund, MINUSSING, which I took to be the act of extracting or "taking out" something. MINUS SIGN makes a helluva lot more sense. Still, I hold-- along with our highly respected Splynter-- that in the perps, GETS makes much more sense than NETS (although I admit that GO ON surely makes more sense than NOON).
But in my defense, NOON can be understood as a response to the clue "And?" if you imagine it being pronounced by an elderly Jewish mother anglicizing the Yiddish prompt, "Nun?"

OwenKL said...

Just found this CATION while surfing a friend's Facebook page!

inanehiker said...

@Ol' Man Keith -- both anion and cation are ions (charged particles)
the ANion is negatively charged and the CATion is positively charged
same as the ANODE and CATHODE poles of a galvanic cell(like a battery)
- the ANode is (-) the AN from the root meaning without and the CAThode
is (+) . I'm not sure the origin of the CAT at the beginning.
Confusing part is that in another kind of cell (Electrolytic) that is reversed
but explaining that is more up HG's alley as a science teacher!
Hope that helps.

CrossEyedDave said...

OwenKL@ 3:15


(but I would hate to be the one to brush her,,,
all that static!...)

Ergo said...

I'll view it as a conditional victory. Everything filled except for the MONTEZ, RANDS, ONUS conjunction. Probably could have come up with ONUS with a little more patience, but a South African city (so I thought) just couldn't end with double consonants. Sakes...

Otherwise, best Saturday satisfaction in ages. Loved unravelling MINUSSIGN.

fermatprime said...


Thanks Ed for a doable Saturday. Thanks for the review, Splynter!

So it took me 30 minutes but no cheats!

Several things were perped and WAGged. GOLDIE AND PORTER come to mind.


PK said...

Big Easy, in the case of my Bridezilla niece, out of sixty-some of her relatives who received invitations only six showed up and
it was a hardship because of the time of year and work obligations for her parents. Groom had only 2 of his 4 children there. They had no real friends only a few work acquaintances. I was told fewer than 20 people including the minister. Expensive dress, expensive venue. Big party. Almost no one came.

Jerome said...

Wasn't there a discussion about ANGUS BEEF recently?

Anonymous said...

Capital equals money. Capitol refers to seat of government and the building that houses it.