Aug 21, 2016

Sunday August 21, 2016 Gail Grabowski

Theme:  "Company's Coming" - CO is added to each theme entry.

23A. Nickel that's worth big bucks? : MAJOR COIN. Major in.

25A. Eco-friendly lighthouse? : GREEN BEACON. Green bean.

47A. Rearrangement of suitcase contents? : SECOND PACKING. Send packing.

71A. Ideal takeover? : DREAM COUP. Dream up.

97A. Burlesque stand-up act? : COMEDIAN STRIP. Median strip.
121A. Where fowl spies meet? : COVERT COOPS. Covert ops. There's a stray CO. Smiled at the clue.

125A. Parka with different sleeve lengths? : COAT ISSUE, At issue.

36D. Sign of breakfast burning? : SMOKING BACON. Smoking ban.

41D. Abs trainers? : TUMMY COACHES. Tummy aches.

Heavy themage today. Total 9 themers and 99 theme squares. These constrictions did not leave Gail much room for long fill. The longest two are just 8- letter RARE MEAT (10A. Red-centered serving) and LINCHPIN (92D. Crucial unifying element )

I think I can figure out Gail's Sunday grids without looking at the byline. Lots of solid 4-letter & 5-letter entries. No weird 3-letter abbrs. Always smooth and clean.


1. Overrun : RIFE. Got via easy Downs.

5. Toothpaste portion : GLOB

9. Superfluity : FRILL

14. "Same here" : AS AM I. Not DITTO or ME TOO.

19. Psych ending : OTIC

20. NYC tourist attraction : MoMA

21. "The Great Dictator" Oscar nominee : OAKIE. I could only think of Chaplin.

22. Intel mission : RECON

27. One might not hold up in court : ALIBI

28. Basic element : STAPLE

30. Remote hiding places? : SOFAs. Remote control.

31. Pic Sans Nom, par exemple : ALPE

33. Guanaco cousin : LLAMA

35. Does a salon job : FROSTS. Same as highlights, right?

39. "Life Below Zero" channel, familiarly : NAT GEO. National Geographic.

42. Chef known by his first name : EMERIL

45. Not yet fulfilled : UNMET

46. Part of an academic address : EDU

52. I, at times : ONE

53. Easy win : ROMP

55. Allison of jazz : MOSE. Unknown figure to me.

56. Mighty small : TEENY

57. Hershey bar : SKOR

58. "The Count of Monte Cristo" author : DUMAS. Loved the novel.

60. Czar's edict : UKASE. We used to see this word frequently in the old Tribune puzzle.

63. Homework helpers : DADS

64. Clare's land : EIRE

65. Flair : STYLE

66. Sung syllables : LA LA LA

68. "That's true, but ... " : EVEN SO

70. Welcome center? : CEE

75. Oscar winner Lee : ANG. I mentioned a while ago that his Ang is the same character as the An as in my hometown Xi'an. Means "peace".

76. Attacks with force : STORMS

79. Puzzle : BEMUSE

80. Prestigious prize : NOBEL

83. Bone up quickly : CRAM

84. Assert with confidence : AVER

88. Zero out, say : RESET. Simple in retrospect.

89. Well past its prime : STALE

90. Affluent, in Andalusia : RICO

91. Court prop : GAVEL

93. At deuce : TIED. Also 40. Break point situation : AD OUT. Tennis.

95. OAS charter member : ECUA

96. Defense secretary __ Carter : ASH . Why not just "Defense secretary Carter"? I don't get the extra  ___ in clues sometimes.

101. Puts away too much, briefly : ODs

102. One of a hand truck's pair : WHEEL

104. "Purple Rain" musician : PRINCE

105. Shelley's "Ozymandias," e.g. : SONNET

107. "For honest men and bonie __": Burns : LASSES

109. 1983 Mr. T comedy : DC CAB

111. "This isn't good!" : OH NO

112. Shocks, in a way : TASES

115. Iroquoian family members : HURONs

117. Goes like crazy : ZOOMS. Car.

127. "The Tempest" spirit : ARIEL

128. Fox football sportscaster Long : HOWIE

129. "The Mikado" executioner : KO-KO. I only know the name Poo Bah.

130. Couture monthly : ELLE

131. Classic rock opera : TOMMY. The Who.

132. Without stopping : ON END

133. Break sharply : SNAP

134. Completely convinced : SOLD


1. Tomato variety : ROMA. Bought a jar of oil-cured black olives in Hy-Vee. Pretty good.

2. Emphatic type: Abbr. : ITAL

3. Suva's nation : FIJI

4. Environment-friendly carrier : ECO-BAG. Are plastic bags still used in your local grocery stores?

5. Letters on some SUVs : GMC

6. One way to hang : LOOSE

7. Pass over : OMIT

8. Yawn-inspiring : BANAL

9. Aid for dealing with pea soup : FOG LAMP

11. Cold War prez : IKE

12. "None of it is true!" : LIES!

13. Host with a TV "Garage" : LENO

14. It only offers partial coverage : AREA RUG. Nice clue.

15. Ticket period : SEASON. Season ticket.

16. NCAA div. with Seminoles : ACC

17. Jersey greeting? : MOO. Jersey cow.

18. Vacation stop : INN

24. Gets to : RILES

26. Closest pal, in text : BFF

29. Implored : PLED

32. Hardy work : POEM. Thomas Hardy.

34. Curving : ARCED. Have any of you tried those brow studios in malls?

37. Caruso and Domingo : TENORs

38. System with speakers : STEREO

39. Some intellectuals : NERDS

43. "Unböring" furniture chain : IKEA

44. "The Swedish Nightingale" Jenny : LIND

48. Was able to : COULD

49. Schindler with a list : OSKAR

50. Writer Zora ___ Hurston : NEALE

51. Its sessions begin and end with bells : NYSE

54. Capital of Sicily : PALERMO

57. Cross-referencing words : SEE NOTE. Used in rebus crosswords.

59. Come off as : SEEM

61. Swedish import : SAAB

62. Pulitzer playwright Rice : ELMER. Stranger to me also.

67. Elevated point : ACME

69. Many 1969 Woodstock arrivals : VANS. Lemonade was there.

72. Boots : OUSTS

73. Start of a fitness motto : USE IT. So true.

74. Singer Cetera : PETER

76. Many a signature : SCRAWL. Now I know how D-Otto writes, after seeing a few PDF files of his filled grids. 

77. Yearwood of country : TRISHA

78. Pudding starch : SAGO.  Sago flour and tapioca are from the different trees.

81. Lose in a chase : ELUDE

82. Numerical extreme : LEAST

85. Mae West persona : VAMP

86. "Did you __?" : EVER

87. Overhauled : REDID

94. One in a buffet stack : DISH. I was thinking of food rather than the plates.

97. Without a doubt : CLEARLY

98. Courtroom figure : ACCUSED. The accused.

99. In the neighborhood : NEAR

100. Eponymous swindler : PONZI

103. Think the world of : ESTEEM

106. Rope loops : NOOSES

108. Former JFK lander : SST

110. Strong lagers : BOCKs

111. Sanyo headquarters city : OSAKA. Literally "large hill".

113. Off-the-wall feedback? : ECHO. Nailed it.

114. Before you know it : SOON

116. Palindromic time : NOON

118. Fram Museum city : OSLO. Not familiar with the museum.

119. Ponder, with "over" : MULL

120. Flower child? : SEED. Sweet clue.

121. Stealthy animal : CAT

122. Metal precioso : ORO

123. Gusto : VIM

124. Be beholden to : OWE

126. Pajama part : TOP



OwenKL said...

FIWrong. A confluence of naticks. AL?E + ?OE? + ?OSE, all unknown or at LEAST unknown as clued. The theme took a while to suss out, but once I did, it helped with the last few entries.

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

I once wrote a song to be sung by a LLAMA,
And painted a picture to be hung in MOMA!
But the colors all ran
At the state of my VAN,
And the LLAMA COULD only sing tra LA LA LA!

A TV show hosted by LENO or EMERIL
COULD never appear on the channel NAT-GEO.
Only vicious wild animals,
Bugs with big mandibles,
Or natives too primitive to have invented the WHEEL!

Sometimes I sit to puzzle and BEMUSE
On how I DREAM UP the rhymes that I use.
Somehow I just know 'em
When I write a POEM;
They come as natural as a cow udders MOOS! [sic]

Are STAPLES in STYLE, or are they STALE?
Do they have FLAIR, or do they just fail?
BANAL and bland,
Brilliant and grand?
Who gives a flip about a threepenny nail?

A FIJI fellow from SUVA
Tried to master the tuba.
The neighbors complained,
The AX was enplaned
And dropped just offshore by Aruba!

fermatprime said...


Thanks to Gail and CC!

Liked the theme!

Had never heard of ELMER and MOSE. Otherwise OK.


PK said...

Hi Y'all! The puzzle was engrossing but Gail's theme was too clever for my foggy brain this morning. Thanks, C.C. for making sense of it for me.

Cold war prez: kept trying initials. IKE & OAKIE were the last to fill. Duh! Like C.C., I wanted Chaplin. Who the heck was Oakie?

Didn't know MOSE, AD OUT, KOKO, HOWIE, ELMER, Suva=FIJI and probably a few others. Lot of WAGS & pecking around. I filled it with some red-letter help.

Emphatic type? Not bold but ITAL. 'Scuse me but bold is more emphatic.

TRISHA, a gimmee. I was a real fan 20 years ago. Her song "How Do I Live?" was popular when my husband died and struck a chord with me. She is married to Garth Brooks.

C.C.: my grocery store still has plastic bags. I carry in reusable bags. I get one plastic bag with my eggs and bread in it handed to me at once. That is so the sacker doesn't plop my eggs and bread in the bottom of a big sack and pile cans or other heavy stuff on top. Had that happen once. Also I want one plastic bag for my little bathroom wastebasket.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I struggled with this one, and it took the full time allotment. Didn't make a lot of missteps, just slow in seeing the light. That extra CO in COvertCOops grated on me.

C.C., my handwriting doesn't rise to the level of a SCRAWL. Scribble is a better description. My goal is to get it right, neatness doesn't count. Remember those penmanship report card grades of your ute? One time I managed to get a C -- only once.

There is no "paper or plastic" option around here -- just plastic. Occasionally you see a cloth ECOBAG. I use one, not for shopping, but for making M-O-W deliveries.

There are Brow Shops in the malls? I've never seen one. But then, I seldom go to a mall; maybe once a year.

Big Easy said...

Most of it was easy but the crosses of unknowns did me in this morning. ECOBAG-ALPE-POEM-MOSE- I was thinking BUS not bag. Then there was DC CAB-BOCK-KOKO. Never heard of either the movie or the executioner and even though I had three Shiner BOCKs last night I couldn't get PORTER out of my head.

ELMER, OAKIE, and NEALE were the only other unknowns completely filled by perps.

EMERIL is opening a new restaurant next month named after his daughter and probably a new crossword fill-MERIL.

billocohoes said...

Jack OAKIE was a B-movie character actor mostly in the 1930s and 40s. Oscar nominee for The Great Dictator as a Mussolini parody. Captain of the trans-Atlantic ship in 1956's Around the World in 80 Days

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Lots of tricky spots for me in today's big grid, but got there in the end. Glad we had Recon recently, that came a little faster because of it.

Morning, C.C., thanks once again for your style!

Cross Eyed Dave - if you're tuned in today, could you do a favor? I want to show a friend that image you titled "Arithmetic Mean" in an earlier post. A Google search turned up hundreds of those "we can't afford the cat/dog" meme-style images, but not yours, so far as I could see.

Anonymous said...


Aug 8th at 1:55PM

Arithmetic Mean

Husker Gary said...

I conquered one section RIFE with proper nouns – OSKAR, MOSE, NEALE, but not another - KOKO, BOCKS, OSAKA. So I’ll take a couple of bad cells, a good laugh at TUMMY COACHES and call it a morning. What fun, Gail.

-Making an anti-extremist film today COULD be more dangerous than in 1940
-Here’s a lame ALIBI
-73 yrs and a month ago, Patton took PALERMO
-Good luck with worthless ”new common core math” homework DAD!
-AD OUT/DEUCE, etc. – Tennis scoring is about as complicated as new math
-Kids will soon find out that they can’t RESET life like they can a video game
-Howie could call a game where both his sons are playing
-Good pitchers are said to be able to SNAP off a curve ball
-2,000 SEASON tickets out of 90,000 were available in May for Husker FB
-Can you imagine Caruso and Domingo in STEREO?
-Joann does not know any of her songs but loves her Food Network Show
-Gotta Run!

Dudley said...

Hey, thanks, Anon! I went back a few days but not to August 8th.

Now that I see the kitty again, I realize I totally mis-remembered the photo. Funny how that happens...

At least it appears to be a Siamese cat, one of my favorites!

maripro said...

Thanks for an enjoyable puzzle and write-up Gail and C.C.
I, too, wanted eco bus, but when that failed, eco bag made sense.
I was also stymied in the alpe section until I figured out that pic means peak in French. Then that section fell into place.
Have a lovely day, everyone.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning!

Thanks, Gail. Loved ECOBAG and MOO! Jersey greeting: Didn't see it even though I think they are the prettiest cows. Didn't see the theme until I was about 30 minutes in. That moved my finish along.

Thanks, C.C., for the tour.

Have a good day, everyone.

Irish Miss said...

HI Everyone:

I love Gail's puzzles for their oh-so clever themes and theme answers and fresh cluing. Favs today were Jersey greeting=Moo and Flower child=seed. I caught the theme early on so that helped getting some of the answers.

Nice job, Gail, and nice, smooth summary, CC. My grocery store uses plastic bags only, but I recycle them.

I watched "Trumbo" last night and was impressed with Bryan Cranston's performance. I never saw "Breaking Bad" except for a few clips but I can understand why it was such a hit with Cranston's talent. In the movie, there were several scenes from the actual Senate hearings and you would be hard pressed to tell the real Trumbo from Cranston's portrayal.

Have a great day.

Jerome said...

A long time ago during a tour of Hanoi I had this wonderful baked salmon dish called COHO CHI MINH

Misty said...

I just loved this Sunday puzzle, Gail--many thanks! Almost perfect for me, except I had NET GEO and DC CAR, but otherwise everything else was great. And the solving was just a lot of fun. Also, wonderful expo, as always, C.C.--many thanks to you too!

Have a great day, everybody!

Jayce said...

I like Gail's puzzles and this one is no exception. I did find it to be quite difficult, though. I didn't cotton to the theme until I had finished 3/4 of the puzzle. Lots of total unknowns, such as UKASE, MOSE, OAKIE, ELMER, PETER, and NEALE. Loved the cluing for MOO and SEED.

So, does one buy brows in a Brow Shop?

Best wishes to you all.

tawnya said...

Happy Sunday everyone!

I love Gail puzzles and this one didn't disappoint. Although for the life of me I couldn't figure out the theme - no big deal though. Thank you for the write up, C.C. I'm going to have DH look for those olives at our Hyvee, they sound yummy.

We still get offered paper or plastic around here. I generally bring my own bags but have to be careful with the baggers - they tend to put everything in one bag so I can barely lift it! Once I had a not-so-bright Target holiday temp worker looking frantically for a price tag on my Trader Joe's bag...sigh.

Favorite clue: Jersey greeting! Got it right away and laughed out loud! And the SEED one was cute too.

Even though we live in city limits, we are constantly dealing with wildlife of all kinds - deer, skunks, foxes, bobcats... Last night I took the crew out for their last potty before bed and the 11 pound chihuahua, Beulah, caught something. She's been skunked twice so I'm never sure if I should run up to her or away from her! This time it was a baby possum and it looked pretty dead. I got everyone inside and went back to check on the little guy. He gave me quite a dirty look before scampering away unharmed. He played possum and it worked!

Wishing you all a lovely day!


PS - can't let a TOMMY clue go by without at least one video!

Anonymous T said...

Sunday Lurk Say...

{B, B-, A, A, B}. [OKL, 3&4 are funny]

Gail - I didn't play but wanted to say: Jersey greeting is a brilliant c/a. The c/a for ECHO is also very good IMHO. Thanks C.C. for letting me be here in spirit.

DO - My SCRAWL is draftsman's style printing corrupted by Palm's Graffiti. (Wiki)

HG - I saw "Over Exaggerated" yesterday on CNN while passing through the living room. Really? Can we, as a civilized society, stop euphemizing "I lied; a big whopper that one, eh?"

Also, yeah, "new-new-math": I tried to help eldest w/ Trig last year; I hadn't the FOGiest idea what she was saying* - talk about over-complicating a fart.

Jerome - LOL!

Tawnya - Love the TOMMY clip! Thanks.

PSA: DO & TX MS (and other taxpayers) - I donno if you read "Deep in the MUD" on p1 today but here's some fun context on Special Districts (John Oliver - 15m) [MA - "It's not TV; It's HBO"].

Instead of puzzling I turned all the groceries (Plastic please; so many uses) into EDIBLEs this morning: A roast w/ all the fixin's for tonight & Mon., another stringy-type-roast w/ tomato-sauce for grinders Wed & Thru, and a massive pasta salad** for a side. The kids can pack some of the pasta w/ broccoli & cauliflower, cubes of meat and cheese, and/or berries for lunches next week as school gets underway. I feel like a good dad today... Now, about daddy's other nap-inducing IPA :-)

Cheers, -T
*remember I have an BS EE which basically includes a minor in math!
**Ask if you care re: recipe

Lucina said...

Hello. This was a fun ROMP today although I had more than one Natick. I finally got DCCAB which finished ACCUSED and HOWIE also emerged. But I had no idea about ALPE since French is completely lost on me and had ECOBEE instead of ECOBAG. Our stores use paper or plastic but I always take my own which when my car was in the shop for a new transmission, all my bags and CDs were stolen.

In California they charge 5 cents a bag if you don't have your own and paper only.

I also liked MOO and SEED. Very cute. Oh, I had BLOB instead of GLOB so FIW in so many places. It makes me wish my newspaper had a red letter feature!

You have great STYLE, C.C. Thank you for your detailed commentary. And thank you, Gail, for a maze of amusement.

Family party for August birthdays today.

Have a great day, everyone!

Lucina said...

BTW, my handwriting is a combination of Palmer and Zaner-Bloser method, completely slanted, almost like calligraphy.

Anonymous said...


And, by the way, PLED is not a word. The past tense of "plead" is "pleaded" – few judges know this, and fewer lawyers, clerks, court reporters and journalists (shut up, Yellowrocks, I know it's in the "dictionary").

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

My biggest challenge was knowing that the "carrier" in 4d was a BAG. I was thinking a vehicle and had ECO BUS! Nevertheless I was not familiar with the "familiar" NAT GEO (I know the channel but the BUS ending made it a moot point). Other ink spots showed up but perps soon solved. I also got caught in the left center of the puzzle at the POEM/MOSE Natick. Cute theme; liked 36d SMOKING BACON best of all - and as I like to say, what doesn't go well with BACON??!

So, I've been sitting on a POEM for a week or so, waiting for a clue word to show up in the puzzle. My clue word has nothing to do with the limerick, but I hope it brings either a smile or groan. Of course my posting this at 8:15 EDT will probably limit my audience. And C.C., I wasn't thinking of you when I created this!! 😀

There is a woman from China, you'd say,
Who's about always getting her way.
She enjoys being boss,
And at times appears cross;
Her personality's CLEARLY "Taipei"!

Lucina said...

It must be miserable to be so grumpy.

Chairman Moe:
I liked your poem.

TX Ms said...

Anon-T! - Thank you, thank you - I was hooting :0! Never heard of John Oliver, but I bookmarked it-hilarious. Blood pressure went down as I watched the YouTube Clip - had no idea it was a pervasive national thing - just thought it was another "innovative Texas invention." [I'll say no more ... the political comments rule]. I read the Houston Chronicle article last fall and was incensed then - darn developers getting a free-ride at taxpayers' expense to provide services for their profit-driven development. So I didn't read today's article fully. Blood pressure normal now after watching your funny clip. PS I need to go back to previous blogs - I meant to "bookmark" your "Sutherland's no negative waves, man," but things got busy here. Thanks for that also, Tony!

Yellowrocks said...

From the ABA Journal: "That much-debated question is being aired in the Daily Report. On one side is John Chandler, a senior litigation partner at King & Spalding, who advocates “pled” despite the opinion of the editor of Black’s Law Dictionary. “I know, I know: Bryan Garner says that ‘pleaded’ is the ‘predominant form in American English,’ ” Chandler writes. “But does the guy listen to people talk? Nobody says ‘pleaded.’ ” The shorter form is also favored by readers of Above the Law responding to online polls, he argues, as well as the characters on Law & Order."

So journalists do not use pled? The Grammarist says, “Pled is fairly common in American, British, and Canadian popular usage. Here are a few examples out of many:
Eighty-two confessed, while half a dozen others pled the Fifth Amendment, which protects people from being forced to incriminate themselves. [Washington Post]
So too did the Miami-based accountant … who pled guilty to helping forge documents. [Financial Times]
A Kelowna Mountie has pled guilty to a pair of charges stemming from a violent domestic dispute. [Vancouver Sun (article now offline)]”

Crossword puzzles frequently use common and less formal words, not just those approved by the AP Style Manual. YR.

Ergo said...

My first mistake was playing chess against a buddy for 7 hours and THEN tackling the crossword puzzle. It quickly became evident that I had few brains cells left to transfer from the chessboard to the crossword grid.


Eventually discovered the well hidden theme, but waved the white flag with a dozen obscurities remaining, principally in the NW corner.

Thanks for the puzzle and the write up. Now I'm off to dream of rooks battling grid-spanners and knights being attacked by verticals.

Chairman Moe said...


Wilbur Charles said...

I do the puzzle via newspaper. Unfortunately, the answers are on the next page. So. The _OE_ in the middle of the Hardy clue never became POEM, nor ALPE(I thought Pic was simply an abbreviation for picture, like a French selfie.

So. Instead of putting it away and finishing in the clear light of morning, I DNFed.


Gail G. constructs a nice(but hard) xword

Thanks CC, Owen, C-Moe and Jerome for the laughs.

Did you know that Ho Chi Minh was a bus boy at the Parker House in Boston? He really got around.

The key to handwriting is to be able to alter letters later without too much mess

As I said once(UnRead) some guy wrote a book on how to alter letters. As I also said: There are 650 possibilities

Wilbur Charles said...

Wow, I just looked it up. Wiki has Ho as a baker and Malcolm X as a busboy and lo and behold, our EMERIL as sous chef.

X's 'talent' was as a ballroom dancer superb. He considered it an athletic event. Boy, what a three minute video of that would be worth today

Anonymous said...

Would someone please explain the "major coin" (major in') answer? Thanks.

Argyle said...

The base phrase is MAJOR IN, as in, "What are you taking in college?" To that you add CO to become MAJOR COIN. A nickel that's worth big bucks might be considered a MAJOR COIN, a la the three-legged buffalo nickel.

That's my take on it anyway.

Picard said...

As Big Easy and Chairman Moe experienced, I also wanted ECOBus not ECOBAG as a carrier. Never heard of ECOBAG.

In the city of Santa Barbara, CA plastic bags are banned. Paper bags cost 10c. But outside the city plastic bags are still given out.

I was stuck with bellYCOACHES and it took a long time to realize it was TUMMYCOACHES. Did anyone else think belly instead of TUMMY?

I also thought there were a few Naticks too many. But I did get it all unassisted in the end.