Jul 2, 2016

Saturday, Jul 2nd, 2016, Gail Grabowski

Theme: GG

Words: 70 (missing G,J,Q,V,W,Z)

Blocks: 28

 This was a truly enjoyable solve - I was talking to the same customer at each of the restaurants twice this week, as he was attempting to do a crossword in the newspaper.  I mentioned that I blogged the Saturday puzzle for the LA Times; he claimed that he drew the line at Thursday, finding every paper's puzzle to be too difficult on Friday and Saturday.  Today's construction had what felt like a lot of vague cluing, but in the end, with just a few tweaks I got the ta-DA~!   No Google, no red-letter, no cheating; I might have done better for knowing some answers straight up, but in the end, no sponges in this fun~!  Triple 9's all around;

6a. Where many leading males may be seen? : BALLROOMS - my one big gaffe was putting in "ACRES" for "BALES"; which led me to look for ACTOR - something here

54a. Russian Orthodox church feature : ONION DOME - how to build one, here


1d. Courses around courses : CART PATHS - misread this on the first pass as "courses AND courses"

31d. Bag lady? : KATE SPADE - I knew where this "?" clue was going, but the only expensive bags I could think of were Prada and Gucci

(How did GG NOT have any G's in the puzzle~?)


1. Prepares to strike, in a way : COILS - I have mentioned this before; once had a Ball Python that ate live mice - and it would stealthily coil up before striking; fascinating example of nature

15. Nocturnal problem, usually : APNEA

16. Source of some sauce : APPLE TREE - oh applesauce~! ACRES did me in here, too

17. Lets : RENTS

18. Help : LEND A HAND

19. Chic modifier : TRÉS

20. Advertisers say it sells : SEX - love those classic Hanes ads

21. Mother of Huey, Dewey and Louie : DELLA - all perps and one WAG

22. Service providers : PARSONS - Sunday service, that is

24. Hall of Fame NHL coach Roger : NEILSON - I knew this one, as he was once a NY Rangers coach - just didn't know the correct spelling at the start

26. Small power source : AA CELL

27. Paragon : MODEL - sometimes words I read in books make sense in the context, but stand-alone in a crossword, and I'm stumped; this is one of those words.  I went with MORAL first

28. Took a shot at : TRIED

29. Sticks : BOONDOCKS - ah, to be out in the sticks, which you could say of my present living situation, and I happen to like it - great water view

33. Google goal : HIT

34. "Semper Fidelis" composer : SOUSA - total WAG on my first pass, but it fit

35. "I like that!" : "AAH~!"

36. Encouragement before a shot : "SAY CHEESE~!"

39. Millions can play it at once : LOTTO

41. Frequent Greenstreet co-star : LORRE - Sydney Greenstreet, before my time; it's good to read that he got his start in films at age 62

42. Olympics competitor since 1896 : FENCER - France fit, too; 1896 was the year of the first "modern" Olympic games

43. To the extent that : AS FAR AS

46. Quaint inn room upright : BEDPOST - I went with SPINNET, but was pretty sure I had too many "N"s

47. Adjust one's sights : RE-AIM

48. Get even with : TIE

49. Pic Sans Nom, par exemple : ALPE - ah. "pic" here is Frawnche for "peak", and the translation is "nameless peak"; I considered "ANON", but since the whole clue was foreign....

50. Pet identification aid : MICROCHIP

53. Come up with __ : A PLAN

55. "Christie Johnstone" novelist : READE - again, all perps and one WAG

56. Got back to one's office? : RE-ELECTED

57. Threw wide, say : ERRED


2. Bellini's "Casta diva," for one : OPERA ARIA

3. Metropolitan area : INNER CITY

4. Muser's words : LET'S SEE

5. Nordic carrier : SAS

6. Agricultural units : BALES - dah~! Not ACRES, as I had ---ES to start

7. Culmination : APEX - ACRES led me to try CRUX here, which seemed to make sense

8. MD's employee : LPN

9. George Washington received an honorary one from Harvard U. : LL.D.

10. Prepared : READIED

11. Play that inspired an opera : OTHELLO - and the opera inspired the game~?

12. Grueling grillings : ORALS

13. __ Park, Calif. : MENLO - I spelled Neilson as Neilsen, so I couldn't make this correct answer fit

14. Impala, e.g. : SEDAN - Chevrolet model of a four-door car; still searching for my used silver Dodge Grand Caravan

20. Subj. of some "Bossypants" chapters : SNL - Tina Fey's biography, and Saturday Night Live - great fresh clue for a common crossword answer

23. Like some timers? : OLD

24. Ominous oater symbol : NOOSE

25. "Hairspray" mom : EDNA - I had IRMA to start, and it didn't sound right

27. Logitech product : MOUSE - Nailed it, but then again, my mouse IS  a Logitech

29. Transvaal settlers : BOERS

30. It may have a bell on it : CAT COLLAR

32. Cut : SHORTENED - made me think of editing a film

34. Shot contents : SERA

37. Maker of AgeDefy products : CLAIROL - again, I knew we were looking for some sort of "beauty" company, but it turns out to be hair color - I was close....

38. Insulin, for one : HORMONE - learning moment; most often when I hear insulin, I think 34D. and Diabetes

39. Preceded : LED

40. Theoretically : ON PAPER - I remember there being this 'clever' idea on a Pontiac Gran-Am of the 90s that used the inside of the glove compartment door as a cup holder - and it worked great until you started driving; looked good ON PAPER, I am sure....

42. Lawyer's charge : FEE

43. Defensive covering : ARMOR

44. It flows through Troyes and Melun : SEINE - a sensible Frawnche WAG

45. Prima __: self-evident : FACIE - I hear this all the time on "Law & Order"

46. Ostrich, for example : BIPED - Two feet, though not necessarily two LEFT feet

48. iPhone display : TIME - I had the "T", but hesitated; too easy~?

51. Agcy. concerned with drug-resistant bacteria : CDC

52. In : HOT

53. Equals : ARE - twelve items are/equals a dozen



OwenKL said...

FIR, but only because I was incredibly lucky with a WAG into a complete natick. I had no idea who KATE SpADE is, nor what Pic Sans Nom means. I really should have left it blank and taken a DNF.
The rest of the puzzle I actually zipped through fairly easily.


The rake, although randy, would not be a groom.
A vasectomy was A PLAN that would forestall that doom!
His vas deferens would be SHORTENED
To disarm his SEX organ,
An L.P.N. READIED him for his trip to the BALL ROOM!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Mostly a speed run (for a Saturday) today, but the NE section remained completely blank for the longest time and had me thinking of defeat before I was finally able to crack it.

Major missteps today included INSOFAR before AS FAR AS, IDEAL before MODEL, ACRES before BALES and CHEVY before SEDAN.

Total unknowns were DELLA, NIELSON and READE.

Guesses included MENLO (I'm only familiar with MENLO Park, N.J., as in "The Wizard of...") and ALPE (the guess was actually that "Pics Sans Nom" meant "Peak without a Name" and was a mountain).

Looking forward to a very nice birthday dinner tonight. I don't know when I've last eaten at a restaurant that required reservations, and it was nice to have the restaurant call me yesterday to (a) confirm the reservation and (b) ask if we were celebrating anything special. It'll be a good excuse to wear a suit (which I haven't done since my father's funeral last year), so maybe I'll be able to get an updated family picture for the blog.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Nothing too obvious. Nothing too difficult. Nice Saturday outing. Thanx, GG.

Hand up for ACRES (I'll bet everybody tried that one) and SO FAR AS. My "Trackball" is a Logitech, so that was a gimme. BED POST, because chifferobe was too long. Read "settlers" as "letters"-- no excuse.

I agree, Splynter. It's odd that there were no Gs in this cw. Doubt it was done purposely, though.

Haven't worn a suit in 20 years. Doubtful that I still have one. Wouldn't fit, anyway. I've been "reshaped" over the years -- shorter, but wider.

TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you Gail and Splynter.

Started in the SW and flew up to the NE. Then stalled. Couldn't make anything work with Hollywood (where leading males may be seen) and Render Aid for those that needed help.

The NW filled quickly. CART PATHS was immediate for this dubber. At some public courses here in suburbia, the lure of the open expanse of greenery and the smoothly paved cart paths is apparently irresistible to some cyclists, walkers, and people walking dogs. Nearby Pheasant Run Resort hosts a lot of conventions, expos, and some weddings. Despite the warning signs, people wander the cart paths of the tree lined fairways like they are strolling through a suburban park. I haven't golfed there in probably five years or more. Maybe it has changed.

RENTS, PARSONS, and OLD had cute clues in that NW.

In the SE, it was having peT COLLAR that brought the delay. But after getting rid of Hollywood and Render Aid because of easy answers ORALS, MENLO, and SEDAN, and then entering APPLE TREE across AND READIED southward, BOONDOCKS became apparent. My mistake there was thinking only in terms of adheres.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning!

Well, I got it done. I had too many spots where I couldn't' move from my first thought. I wanted Posse for NOOSE. Silly me, I tried it twice. Liked APPLE TREE. MICRO CHIP was current as my grand kids' dog recently returned home--via police escort--as a result of being "chipped."

Thanks, Gail and Splynter!

unclefred said...

ACRES b4 BALES; DAISY b4 DELLA; DUTCH b4 BOERS; FENCEE b4 FENCER. Oi. Lots of write-overs today, CW looks a mess. But miraculously managed to overcome so much dopiness and still manage a fill, although it took me 41 monutes of brain pummeling. Nice workout, GG, thanx! Terrific write-up, Splynter, thanx! Great limerick, Owen, thanx, A+!

inanehiker said...

Enjoyed this puzzle - with slow careful fill followed by AHA moments.

The SE was my slow corner - partly because my first fill was FRANCE instead of FENCER and OOH instead of AAH. Once I know I have led myself to a dead end, I have to step back and take out everything that might be iffy and look anew. Had a D'oh moment with KATE SPADE - I like her designs and she was born in my hometown of Kansas City.

Thanks Splynter for the write-up and Gail for the puzzle!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

It's a comfort to read that others went into the same ruts I did. The NE was ornery, because Acres and Render Aid looked so solid. I avoided Menlo Park because I was sure it was in New Jersey. In my solution, General Washington became Doctor Washington when Harvard granted him a PhD. Neilson needed all perps as usual.

Got there with persistence. Morning, Splynter, thanks for 'splaining.

JJM said...

NW was my tough spot today. Funny how previous posters all had trouble in different areas.

Lucina said...

Thanks to Gail Grabowski for this g-less gem. WEES about the write overs, ACRES/BALES, but ELAND/SEDAN. SW fell first starting with prima FACIE and HORMONES I quickly filled in the missing links. Then over to the SE where I verified READE and with LOTTO, BEDPOST and APLAN the rest filled.

So it went though NEILSON had to be Googled as no way would I know it. Once realizing that ACRES was wrong, the erasing took over and that was done.

Fun time today and thank you, Splynter, for contributing to it.

Have a grand Saturday, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Defining "prima FACIE" as "self-evident" takes a bit of a stretch. "Prima facie" means "at first sight." For example, "prima facie evidence" is evidence sufficient to raise a presumption until controverted; a "prima facie case" is made by evidence sufficient to support a judgment if not controverted.

Husker Gary said...

Oh my goodness! The west half surrendered without incident and then it rained red herrings on the east. When I got to Splynter’s always great write-up and saw KATESPADE/ALPE was a good guess, I was gold. What a workout Gail!

-If you have one of these, it can tell you to get back on the CART PATH
-I spend as much for a golf bag as KATE SPADE wants for a tiny purse
-What?? Donald is cheating on DAISY??
-Sticks? ADHERES TO worked too
-This movie portrayed SOUSA as the Rock Star of his time. There’s even selling the movie with some intimation of SEX in the background.
-LOTTO – The idiot’s IRA
-LORRE, Greenstreet, Bogart and Astor in a climactic scene (APEX?)
-Me too, SANS NOM seemed to be without a name and so ANON leapt forward
-Day one when you get to congress, you start planning on how to get RE-ELECTED
-Cities like Detroit are aggressively rejuvenating their INNER CITY
-The MENLO PARK I think of first is in New Jersey
-My oater omen was first SMOKE (signal), POSSE and then NOOSE
-Our Lilly had a MICROCHIP but we use a harness and no COLLAR

desper-otto said...

Husker, I thought of Daisy first, too. But the little guys call him Unca Donald, so Daisy couldn't be their mother.

KATE SPADE was a total unknown for me. I just don't dig it.

C6D6 Peg said...

Thanks, Gail, for a nice challenge to a Saturday morning. Worked closely, and the NW was the last to fall. Really enjoyed the outing!

Thanks, Splynter, for the write-up. The "LEGS" photo was somewhat less revealing, eh?

Have a great holiday weekend, all!

Anonymous said...

It's always entertaining to read these guys say what a breeze this was...............

tiptoethru said...

I'm sure all you loyal bloggers think this Black Hills' lady has disappeared, but I'm still around. Just extremely busy relocating my parents into assisted living. One tough move. But, I still can do the crossword puzzle and "cheat" by logging on here. Thank you all for all your fun comments and wonderful explanations. Today, I went for a long growing season to become a sauce provider and had apple seed! TTFN

Big Easy said...

I found this a normal Saturday puzzle until I reached the SE with the unknowns READE and ALPE having to be solved by perps, and having a mental block on BOOND___S didn't help matters. So I mowed the lot, pressure washed under the carport, and voila, BOONDOCKS jumped on the page and the long down fills fell into place.

Roger NEILSON and LORRE (or Greenstreet) were total unknowns filled by perps.

Keep up the good work Gail and I always enjoy the 'legs' splynter.

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

While this wasn't a stroll in the park, it wasn't a Saturday slog-fest, either. As others have noted Acres/Bales slowed cracking that NE corner. And, in my case, it was compounded by my certainty of Camille (LaTraviata) before old Othello proved me wrong. Also, had pet collar before cat (Hi, Mr. Meow! 🐈) collar, and Rhine/Seine. Kate Spade was a gimme as was Spusa, but needed perps for Reade, Neilsen, and Alpe. Getting the long fill early really helps with the solve which, for me, was much faster than usual for Saturday.

Thanks, Gail, for a fun challenge that left me hair intact and my teeth ungnashed, and thanks, Splynter, for guiding us so well!

Barry G., have a terrific birthday dinner. We'll look forward to an updated family photo.

CED from yesterday: Re Facebook; I don't plan on getting addicted; I already spend too much time jumping from one article or subject to another at the various news outlets, etc. (Add time spent playing WWF and I'm not sure when I sleep!)

Have a great day.

Irish Miss said...

'Scusa, I meant Sousa not Spusa, and my hair not me hair!

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

I don't usually show up on Saturday, but having solved today's - finally - without any GOOGLE HIT(s) - made me want to share some of my trials and tribulations, and ultimate triumph . . . TA DA!!

First, to TTP @ 6:58am (before I forget): I, too played Pheasant Run when I lived in St Chuck; IIRC, there were a few short par 4's that you could almost reach with your tee shot. Goofy course but they would offer discounts to attract non-guests (i.e., locals). I loved their driving range (across the street) and used it often, but I'm sure that it's no longer there - that land was too valuable, methinks

Back to the puzzle . . . WEES (and Splynter, your recap was almost verbatim what I experienced in today's LAT CW) about ACRES before BALES, and having the NE corner be the last to fall. I was also hung up on using PHD for 9d before realizing that LLD is also an honorary degree. I was certain that SEDAN was correct for the Impala clue, but as others said, I didn't know that MENLO Park exists in CA as well as NJ. All in all, a very doable puzzle but still difficult enough to qualify as a Saturday-level. Good job to Gail and Splynter.

Some other random "thoughts":

Sticks = BOONDOCKS was the best clued solve!

A big thanks goes out to my better half, Miss Ellie, as she provided two answers that enabled me to solve the puzzle without cheating. First was to help me fill in KATE SPADE (I was missing the P and the D - suppose I could've used a WAG, but always like her help); and the second was to provide me with SEX (in 20a!) as I was in need of a foothold in the NE. So, I am officially thanking my DW for giving me SEX this morning . . . it provided the APEX I needed!! ;^)

Last, but not least, here is today's riddle . . . what do a cheap hotel and a tight-fitting pair of boxers have in common? No BALLROOM . . . !!

Happy 4th all . . .

Ol' Man Keith said...

Didn't know what KATE SPADE was supposed to mean. Even after I filled it correctly, my old brain wouldn't go to ladies' purses, but wondered if I had missed out on some wonderful story or movie or TV show. Glad to have been set straight by Splynter...

Maybe it's time to amend "Live and Learn." How about, "Live, Do Xwds, and Learn"?

Misty said...

Got about a third of the way through before I had to start cheating--too many unknowns (KATE SPADE, ALPE, NEILSON, etc.) But at least I got OPERA ARIA and OTHELLO, and INNER CITY and BOONDOCKS. I'd say SAY CHEESE had the funniest clue. So even though this was a toughie for me, many thanks, Gail, and Splynter.

Have a wonderful birthday, Barry G. We'll look forward to the photo.

And have a great long weekend, everybody!

Lucina said...

Chairman Moe:
The word BALLROOM will never again be the same for me!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Whew! But at least this was easier for me than the last two days. Thanks a lot, Gail. As usual with a GG, the answers are never right on the 1st try and sometimes not on the 3rd try. Red-letter redirection is a must to prevent anxiety attacks (well, almost).

To save space I will just list the only words I got on the 1st try (Yay, me!): COILS, SOUSA, HORMONE, BOERS, FACIE. (Woohah!)

I knew KATE SPADE from "Price is Right" fame. Such a shock to know that she had the audacity to charge such exorbitant prices for a bag. Her name became etched in my gray matter. I only own one all-purpose purse right now for which I paid around $20. Until now I haven't had money that I didn't pinch tightly from necessity.

Irish Miss: I thought "me hair" was just your Irish Accent. LOL!

Where oh where has Hahtoolah gone? Miss her.

Thanks, Splynter!

Hungry Mother said...

Surprised I had no errors, since I do it in the newspaper and didn't know who KATESPADE is/was and still don't and probably won't.

CrossEyedDave said...

Very busy on this holiday weekend,
only signed on to say:

I hate you!

Twice! I accidentally hit the solve all button instead of one letter!

Dang it! All I wanted to do was find out who was the mother of Huie, Dewy & louie!

(Made a fun time annoying...)


Oh well, no problem really,
because a daughter of mine got me the Times Sunday puzzles book (27th edition)for Fathers day...

CrossEyedDave said...

Aw Crap!

I went to hit "publish" & accidentally closed my browser!

Thank goodness for control S, (or is it control T)
to bring me back...


(I can screw up twice, but three times makes me wonder if I am losing it...)

Unknown said...

Tricky, but very fun. ACRES before BALES gave me RENDER AID before LEND A HAND.
I had one wrong entry. Not knowing French, SANS NOM sounded like it should have something to do with alias, so I guessed L instead of P in ALPE.

Jayce said...

Wow, what a masterful puzzle this is! Plenty of fresh, sparkling fill and devious yet amusing clues. Same ACRES and RENDER AID false starts as many of you. Even though MENLO PARK is just up the road from here, all I could think of was BUENA PARK, which contributed to my following the wrong path. Wanted ARMOIRE until I finally realized it was BEDPOST.


An hour and a half later now. Just had a wonderful telephone conversation with our son and grandchildren. We are so happy they all are doing so well.

Best wishes to you all.

Lucina said...

You do make me laugh! The main reason I know KATESPADE is that I enjoy wandering about the aisles looking at the high scale purses and chuckling at the exorbitant prices. Yesterday I discovered two new names, Patricia Nash and one I can't recall. The designs are very different and colorful but $299? No, not for me.

I found a very nice one for a moderate price and with a Macy's coupon, it went even lower. Have bag, will travel. I also miss Hahtoolah. Maybe she's on a round the world trip.

Irish Miss said...

PK, you make me laugh, also. No Irish accent but definitely a New York one. I'm glad I stopped drinking "Caaaw-fee"; no more teasing about that. My husband used to tease me about "gaaawn" also known in some circles as gone.

TTP said...

OK, a few of you apparently thought of Daisy rather than DELLA. At least you didn't think of Daffy.

Chairman Moe, on that tight layout there were a few par fours that could be reached by the long hitters. One of the things I liked about that course were the tight tree lined fairways. Sort of a poor man's Medinah. Good course for forcing you to learn how to hit long irons straight. At least for me. I kept the driver in the bag on most holes ! Remember that it was out of bounds left on 8 out of the first 9 holes or something like that ? Not a good place to use the driver when you had a penchant for snap hooking...

Off to go see a game with the Arizona Diamondbacks class A affiliate. The Kane County Cougars are playing the Quad Cities River Bandits. Should be fun.

Jerome said...

I'm only going to tell you this once Moor, OTHELLO, you're going to HELL, TOO, and when you get there say HELLO TO the devil.

TX Ms said...

Jerome, good ones! A+

Lemonade714 said...

I do not believe I have ever found a Saturday themeless to be a breeze, but sometimes things fill in without any outside help, and once in a great while I get one done under 15 minutes. Not often, but life is filled with help; a close friend's daughter worked as Kate Spade's assistant; Roger Nielson was hired as the first coach of the Florida Panthers when we got hockey; the READ/READE always comes to mind...anyway, this one except for the unknown DELLA filled from pieces of my brain.

PK said...

Darkness fell about half an hour ago here and several families on the block have big fireworks. Usually this makes me nervous, we are so closely built. However, the heavens opened and gave us downpours. This didn't slow the guys down much until the rain finally put out some freshly lit boomers. The poor fox who trots through my yard is beside himself. He has been running back and forth, escaping from whatever sector is firing at the moment. My yard is a safe zone with battles raging on four sides. I feel sorry for the poor fox. He usually hunts for food at this time of day.

Anonymous T said...

Does any really know what time it is on a Saturday in the park?. IM, it that you in the tight jeans up front? JzB is that you on the horns? [I'm still stuck on '70s Chicago]

Oh, the puzzle. Yeah, crash and burn. Acres @6d and cruX @7d doomed me. I got the entire NW and that's a 'win' for a Sat. Thanks Gail & Splynter and all the chimers-in. All A's for OKL & Jerome.

Fav - c/a for LOTTO. I also thought "that's a nice freash clue for SNL" If you haven't read Bossypants - do yourself a favor.

Cheers, -T

Lemonade714 said...

Disney World opened shortly after I moved to Florida and I used to go often. I also watched Mickey Mouse Club with Annette and Funny. Still, I had no memory of Della Duck...Della Street sure. So looked her up and this LINK explains my confusion. Disney is not even sure who she is. This made the northeast a bear but after all was said and done it was said and done.

Jerome you do see the world in wonderful way

I am down to owning three or four suits but still dig them out now and then
Thanks Gail and Splynter

Picard said...

Got it all, but I am not happy about READE/SPADE crossing. No idea about either and no idea why I should care about either.

Likewise for NEILSON/EDNA crossing.

I like challenges, but obscure names crossing each other is not a challenge, it is just annoying.

BTW Hand up for acrES before BALES and rENDerAiD before LENDAHAND