Sep 24, 2016

Saturday, Sep 24th, 2016, Ed Sessa

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q)

Blocks: 32

The fourth LA Times Ed Sessa Saturday puzzle this year, and I feel like I am starting to get on his cluing wavelength.  That's not to say I was completely successful today - I had to cave in to red-letters for one answer, but I was 'this' close.  Slowed down by proper names, misdirected on a few of my initial fills, but I call this one a win.  So there.  Triple 9-letter Across corners, and pairs of 9- and 11-letter climbers;

9d. Sandford opponent in a landmark 19th-century case : DRED SCOTT - I learned about this case in grade school, but the Sandford part I don't recall; took some crossings (perps)

11d. Feature of Civil War General Ambrose Burnside : MUTTONCHOPS - and hence the term "Sideburns", which I have been sporting since I was in my 20s - but not this bushy

22d. Explosion surrounding a star? : MEDIA FRENZY - not fooled by the "?", I figured it had to do with paparazzi, cameras, "FLASH", but it was my one correction; I had FLURRY at first

30d. Ordinary people : COMMONERS


1. Time keeper? : NEWSSTAND - I was hip to this "?" as well, figured it was magazine related, but had to wait on some crossings first

10. Decorative Japanese porcelain : IMARI

15. Foggy : IN A STUPOR - I pondered "IN A ---", but waited on crossings

16. Warms with waves : NUKES - the 'affectionate' term for using a microwave oven

17. Shelled omnivore : BOX TURTLE - again, I pondered "TURTLE", but didn't know if it would start or end the clue

18. Guitar band : STRAP - here, too I gathered this was not an actual "group", but a part of the instrument; however, "strap" did not jump right out at me, and FRET was too short.
Hey, check this guitar out

19. Artful : SLY

20. Not a good sense : DREAD

21. Features of some 'Vettes : T-TOPS

22. Johnny Vander __, only pitcher to throw back-to-back no-hitters : MEER - I'm sure C.C. knew this one; didn't someone come really close this season, too~?

23. They stir things up : SPOONS - dah~! I had WHISKS

25. Out of one's class : ABSENT - ah, clever misdirection; I was thinking "AT SEA" - that is, being a "30d." among the elite

28. Nut in a cupule : ACORN - didn't know what a cupule was

29. High-end chocolatier : LINDT - ah, so close; I tried "S" and "Z" before the "D"

30. It may lead to an argument : CLOSE CALL - in sporting events, frequently, and baseball more than most, I think

34. Et __ : ALII - typed in "ALI-" and waited....

35. Tusk, in fact : TOOTH - dah~!! Not IVORY

36. Colors : HUES - these are "HUES", too

37. Allow it to go no further : SET A LIMIT

39. Informal qualifier : SORTA

40. Trailers often precede them : FILMS - got it

41. Meal : REPAST

42. Home to Mount Kinabalu : BORNEO - mostly perps

44. Guns : REVS - it was either this or "GATS", and I was right with my first guess

45. Downed, in a way : HEWED - HUE/HEW

46. Sound : NOISE - ah, not the SANE variety of 'sound'

48. Ending with humor : OUS - humorous

51. One-named musician whose last name is Chryssomallis : YANNI - learning moment, tho I am familiar with the artist who ends up as the butt of some jokes - his Wiki

Hey, it's Yanni Halen~!

52. Lasting ability : ENDURANCE

54. Mideast unitarians : DRUZE - all perps

55. Elaborate procedure : RIGMAROLE - 'round here it comes with a second "A" - rigAmarole

56. Best Moment and Best Upset : ESPYs - sounded like awards for sporting events, but it was not working with my "SITH" at 45d.

57. Mental comparison : STEEL TRAP - "he has a mind like a steel trap"


1. Ink dispensers : NIBS - dah~!!! not PENS

2. Hydroxyl compound : ENOL

3. Like fake fruit : WAXY - good first round guess on my part

4. Boomer until 2003 : SST - supersonic airplanes

5. Word after A, B or C : STUDENT - what~? you can't be a "D" student, too~?

6. Castle projection : TURRET - I wanted RAMPART, but it didn't fit; BAILEY did, but it's not really a projection

7. More suitable : APTER

8. Emeril's French Quarter restaurant : NOLA - well, it's in New Orleans, LA, so....

10. Imminent : IN STORE

12. Rubber home : AKRON

13. Gets as a return : REAPS

14. Web connectors, for short : ISPs

24. Like penthouse suites : POSH

25. Troubled word : ALAS

26. Ill humor : BILE

27. Sulky state : SNIT

28. Dr. Alzheimer : ALOIS - perps

31. Pervasive quality : AURA

32. "__ see ... " : "LET'S"

33. Test with arguments, for short : LSAT

35. Five-point K, e.g. : TILE - oh, duh.  Scrabble TILE....

38. "Dancing With the Stars" numbers : LINDIES - I really, really wanted to try LIMBOS, but it was too short

39. A few : SEVERAL

41. Pick up again : RESUME

42. Brown University athletes : BEARS - perps

43. Confess : OWN UP

44. Hill crest : RIDGE

45. Fictional dark side : HYDE - yeah, I wanted SITH, but this is the 'dark side' of Dr. Jekyll

47. Taking care of business : ON IT - oops, I had AT IT

48. __ about : ON OR - and a second two-letter two word answer

49. Golden State sch. : UCLA

50. Bleed : SEEP

53. "Anything you can get away with": Marshall McLuhan : ART



OwenKL said...

FIRight! The SW took so long I was sure I was heading for a DNF until I admitted a few I was confident of were wrong. ALIa > ALII, tORNtO > BORNEO, ADMIT > OWN UP, but the hardest to give up was SITH > HYDE!

{B, B+.}

Wherever he went was a MEDIA FRENZY!
His popularity made FILM stars envy!
Of a popularity poll
Wasn't needed for a guy in a chauffeur-driven Bentley!

His ENDURANCE wasn't a fad, 'twas a feature,
He was the idol of each COMMONER dreamer --
"That's how it shoulda went,"
Proclaimed his STUDENT,
"That's how to treat a dedicated teacher!"

[If you thought the clue for 35a was a tad strange, consider this:]
A mammoth was known for two things: his hide,
(The wool kept him warm from the cold outside!)
And also his tusk.
The reason is brusque:
The TOOTH, the whole TOOTH, in fact was his pride!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Definitely hard in places. Hand up for Ivory before Tooth. I remembered the Dred Scott Decision, but not the opposing party, so that needed perp-nudging.

Lindt was easy - we visited the interesting chocolate museum run by Lindt in Köln, Germany. It includes a small factory which makes the chocolate from scratch and ultimately molds it into just a few forms, either for sampling on the spot (yum!) or for purchase in the museum shop. The fact that Lindt is a Swiss company didn't seem to matter.

Morning, Splynter, that minimalist guitar was fascinating. I'm going to re-watch that clip.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Bit of a BEAR for me, especially the SW sector. I guessed correctly at YANNI (he was the only one named singer I could think of with a name that seemed like it might go with that last name, as opposed to Cher, Enya, Adele, etc.), but then I hit a wall. I had ALIA before ALII, which didn't help matters. Never heard of LINDIES (although I have heard of the Lindy Hop before), didn't know the mountains of BORNEO, couldn't get DRUZE from the clue and had SITH before HYDE. Also had no idea about MEER. Once I finally [FINALLY!] sussed out MEDIA FRENZY, however, things started to come together and I was able to guess at BORNEO, LINDIES, DRUZE, etc. It was a CLOSE CALL, but I managed to get 'er done in the end.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Looked empty. Looked impossible. Looked ominous. Maybe. Done, and in good Saturday time, to boot. Gave up on the Star Wars franchise after the disastrous Jar Jar Binks, so SITH never popped to mind. MOWED rather than HEWED did slow the appearance of HYDE -- my only write-over. Hey, they could'a been BOARS. I can hear the Brown crowd cheering now...."Boring, Boring Boring!"

Yellowrocks said...

Easy NW, NE and SE, but completely blew it in the SW. I had the same problems as Barry, but unlike him, I didn't come up with MEDIA FRENZY, so was left with lots of white. I held on to TRUANT instead of ABSENT which precluded many answers. Mind like a wet noodle today. I knew IMARI. We went to an IMARI outlet in Japan, but I needed many perps to recall it. I liked time keeper/newsstand, out of one's class/absent. The only context in which I see repast today is for the meal after a funeral.
Alan has been very well all week and went back to work, better than he has been in many months. Phew!
Our square dance change of venue has presented many problems which I was able to resolve by Thursday.
I am still in a funk, although the only major problem left is my bathroom renovation which is coming together satisfactorily since yesterday. The glass is 7/8 full, but it still feels 7/8 empty. I guess that's life.

billocohoes said...

LINDT was easy because my Mom got a box for her 92nd birthday yesterday.

Didn't know the DRUZE were unitarians, but their militia has been in the news in the last few years as one of the many sides fighting in Syria.

Johnny Vander Meer's record is probably the safest in baseball, because to break it you'd have to throw THREE no-hitters in a row. Other than June 11 and 15, 1938 he was an inconsistent, pretty average pitcher.

desper-otto said...

It's National Punctuation Day, today honoring the lowly apostrophe. Take the quiz. I failed miserably.

That glass'll look better tomorrow, YR.

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

Really? Did anyone really finish this puzzle or even reach 80% without using an on-line aide?

Big Easy said...

This was the fastest I completed a Saturday puzzle taking a leap of faith on the guesses of IMARI and STRAP. The STRAP is not part of the guitar.

I'm glad the perps were solid in the SE because STEEL TRAP was a complete unknown. And my RIGMAROLE also has an extra 'A'- rigAmarole. Five-point K- TILE was all perps; never played Scrabble and didn't know they had tiles. Brown BEARS makes sense after I thought about it but I didn't know that there were grizzly bears in New England, only black bears.

BarryG- after I finished I asked my wife if there was a dance named LINDY and she told me there was so I let LINDIES stay.

Magilla- I don't use any on-line aide[sic] because it would take away the challenge of finishing.
NOLA- might pass by it today on the way to Jackson Square. A group of idiots, looking for media exposure, want to tear down Andrew Jackson's statue in of all places- 'Jackson Square'. You can't undo or re-write history but some fools think you can. I'll take a seat at Cafe du Monde and watch the action.

Husker Gary said...

-I think I have avoided my “one-cell error” syndrome in Ed’s straightforward puzzle
-A court decision that helped spur the Civil War and a general who fought in it
-Every once in a while we honored a student who went K-12 (Boo ELHI!) without being ABSENT.
-If a baseball manager reenters the field after a video review of a CLOSE CALL, he is ejected
-When I play blackjack, I SET A LIMIT of what I am willing to lose
-Trailers delay published SHOW time by 15 minutes
-This ESPY Best Moment will put a lump in your throat
-STEEL TRAP mind? I nominate our lovely blogmistress in Minneapolis!
-My first rubber home was the MOUND, where the pitcher puts his back leg
-BILE and SNIT are APTLY juxtaposed (how ‘bout dat word?)
-Wanna sample some LSAT questions?
-The SEVERAL, the Proud, the Marines? Nah!
-It’s amazing what happens when you RESUME a puzzle after a timeout
-If Pete Rose did OWN UP to gambling on baseball when he was caught, he would be in the hall of fame. This country forgives easily but despises liars
-47 Across clue and Elvis’ motto on bottom of his grave marker

Jinx in Norfolk said...

I almost rejected this puzzle after a cursory look, but I had some time so I gave it a try. It didn't help that I misread one clue as "guitar bRand" and tried to force-fit Fender and Gibson, the only two brands I know. Left it blank for a while until some perps showed me the error of my ways. I got a lot further than I expected, but had to use Google for LINDT, BORNEO and YANNI. BEARS and LINDIE were (correct) guesses. I knew MEER from hearing the golden voiced Vin Scully (whose final broadcast is tomorrow) talk about him so often, but guessed the spelling as MEIR. TURRET fixed that one. Had no idea about IMARI, DRUZE OR ALOIS. At least I didn't have anything wrong in the end, and I'm glad I gave it a shot.

Thanks Ed and Splynter.

MJ said...

Good day to all!

Finished today's fine offering (thanks, Ed), but only with help. Had to google for ALOIS, BORNEO, and YANNI. Favorite clue was "Time keeper?" for NEWSSTAND. One small nit is the word APTER. I would be more apt to say more apt.

Thanks for the great expo and links, Splynter. Interesting guitar.

Enjoy the day!

C6D6 Peg said...

Thank you, Ed, for a nice challenge this am. Looked pretty bleak after the first pass. It's funny how one fill-in guess can soon get a whole corner and then the entire puzzle done!

Nice job, Splynter. Was amazed by the guitar and the quality of sound it produced!

Bill G. said...

Gary, good stuff as always. I thought I aced the apostrophe quiz but I only got a grade of 60 percent. Rats!

Yes, I hated Jar Jar Binks. I don't much care for Chewbacca either.

Some of those kids with perfect attendance are probably responsible for the absences of other students who caught something when the 'perfect attendance' kids came to school even though they may have been sick with a temperature.

Great ESPY link. I love stories like that.

As great a player as Pete Rose was, I can't get past his arrogant demeanor. I wouldn't go to bat for him. No tears from me on his behalf.

Lucina said...

When first scanning the clues I thought it was in a foreign language until slowly, very slowly, it started coming together. NUKES was my first foray then AKRON which I thought was cleverly clued. I knew about Burnsides sideburns but it took quite a while and some perps to dredge up MUTTONCHOPS.

Eventually the entire western hemisphere flooded in and when TOOTH emerged that helped the center. Vander MEER made sense when I thought of the Dutch painter. YANNI also appeared after some deep thinking about Greek musicians. These days my memory is as slow as the proverbial snail. I did look up BORNEO.

ONTH, ESPYS came to mind of its own accord. In the NW STUDENT, APTER and DRED started me and since I didn't know the name of Emeril's restaurant, NOLA seemed like a logical guess.

Thank you for the challenge, ED Sessa! And thanks always to Splynter for keeping up the beat in your stellar way.

Now I must go fill some deviled eggs for today's family celebration of September birthdays.

Have a delightful Saturday, everyone! It's gorgeous and cool here. Yea, yea!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I'm with Big Easy on this one and am still in shock at the fastest finish time for a Saturday, ever, ever, ever! I couldn't believe how everything fell into place so easily and so quickly. The few unknowns were dispatched handily by the strong perps. I knew Johnny Vander Meer as I once read a three-volume history of baseball. Smiled seeing "rigmarole" again so soon and also noticed the coincidence of Dred and dread.

Thanks, Ed Sessa, for an enjoyable and satisfying solve and thanks, Splynter, for the guided tour.

I had 66 emails in my inbox this morning and, come to find out, 60 of them were confirming my opting out from receiving any more offers from Nutri System which I never signed up for in the first place! This invasion, on top of the incessant "telemarketers'" scams are just the warm-up to the coming onslaught of the political robo-calls, a mail-box jammed with their "tout sheets" and, worst of all, their door-to-door vote solicitation. As Cathy would say, ACK.

YR, glad to hear that Alan is doing better.

HG, could you expand on the Elvis reference as there is no 47A clue and I don't understand the picture.

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

What Husker said about ELHI!
I too have a mind like a steel trap--everything that goes in gets mangled...

Argyle said...

47-Down. Taking care of business : Elvis motto : TCB

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Power and cable outage this am so my day is a little topsy turvy. On an even keel now.

Couldn't get squat this morning, but by lunchtime, I was going apace. Finally got it all w/o assistance; and no erasures.
Agree with Splynter's intro comments. Sessa usually has puzzles that I enjoy and I liked today's challenge which included some great and at times deceptive clues.
NOLA - BH and I dined there in Aug. of 2000. Very good food and a great friendly staff.
Got RIGMAROLE easily mainly because of the other day's brouhaha.

Have a great day.

Jayce said...

I also needed help to finish this typically difficult Ed Sessa Saturday puzzle. Pretty much WEES. I second Gary's nomination for steel trap mind. Got 70% on the punctuation quiz. Best wishes.

Anonymous T said...

Nope - I'm not suffered death Death by PowerPoint but yet to have time to puzzle-play...

BigE - enjoy the show. I find those who wish to erase history seek to re-write their own version.

My mind's a steel trap... rusted shut.

DW and I are at Epocot for our 28th (tomorrow) so you don't have to hear from me for a spell ;-)

Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Cheers, -T

Avg Joe said...

Started quickly with Enol, Waxy and Sly, but slowed to a crawl after that and had to resort to wag mode. Thankfully, that worked pretty well. Had to laugh at Rigmarole because of the other day, but have never heard that pronunciation in real life. Imari, and Druze were all perps, but both seemed vaguely familiar. Had no idea on Alois or Meer, but again the perps worked. Didn't know the mountain, but with BO...O in place it could only be Borneo. Yanni dredged up memories of our kids playing that album or VCR tape to death when they were little. Never knew his last name....or cared.

All told, it felt a lot like a Silky. Brutal for a while, but eventually solvable.

Hungry Mother said...

Wanted TURN for the K and stuck with it longer than I should've. Never got the Scrabble connection when I ended up with TILE. The SW took me time, but I remembered learning the Lindy from a foxy lady of my parents' generation at a wedding reception in Queens in the late 50s, so that helped. Anyway, patience was a virtue again.

Irish Miss said...

Argyle @ 12:19 - Thanks for the explanation.

Scored 80% on the apostrophe test. Tricky little devil, it was! 😈

OwenKL said...

d-o: took the apostrophe quiz, don't know if 60% is a passing grade or not. Correct 6, Incorrect 1, Missed 3.

I used to know Dr.Alzheimer's name, but forgot it.

Smith's (the Kroger chain outlet here) has a "Friday Freebie" promotion, and a LINDT bar was it a few weeks ago. That's how I knew that one. Last time I saw my doc, she said I've finally crossed the line into diabetic, despite my good genes. I'm still in denial on it, but have sworn off candy and bread, so no more chocolate. :-<

Bluehen said...

WAJS about the puzzle. Very similar solve to a Saturday Silkie. Good fun. Managed to dredge up IMARI from watching "Antiques Roadshow". Funny the stuff that stays with you. Great puzzle, Mr. Sessa, thank you. Equally enjoyable expo, Splynter, kudos to you as well. THAT Gittler guitar just blows my mind. Could the name be a contraction of "Get Littler"?

Only got 60% on the apostrophe quiz. Expected to do better. I guess it's good to be taken down a notch occasionally.

Re: Mr. Alzheimer's name. . . they say that memory is the second thing to go. I wish I could remember what the first is.

Anyway, Cya!

Ol' Man Keith said...

Well, boys n' girls, I knowed we wuz in for it - soon as SIDEBURNS wouldn't fit 11-D.

This one wasn't for sissies. I thought Mr. Sessa had licked me after scanning through a first time without a single fill to my credit, other than the occasional "S" or "ed" ending, or "R" start. Even the proper names YANNI, MEER, were outside my wheelhouse, and I only got ALOIS (3rd scan) because it was the name of my grad school Austrian professor.
But two cheats (9-D and 42-A) bought me a toehold, and perseverance pulled me through. There were a lot of vague memories (y'know, those echoes of once-heard 2nd and 3rd hand references) that emerged and gelled along the way. The rest I attribute to WAGs and - I dunno - pure, native genius, I guess.
Thanks to Splynter for a fine exegesis. I appreciate your admitting to red-letter help. It makes it easier for us mortals to 'fess up too. BTW, I spell it RIG(A)MAROLE too.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I took the apostrophe quiz. Is 100% a good score?
There was only one that was tricky. I almost missed it, a reference to the dogs' owners' tone of voice. The apostrophe goes after the "r" for a single owner and after the "s" for multiple owners--but the number of owners isn't mentioned. It is, however, implied in the next line by the pronoun, "they."
But this is problematic nowadays. The movement toward accepting the multiple pronoun "they" in place of "he or she," while politically correct, must lead to linguistic confusion in exactly this kind of situation. It may not mean much in a cute quiz like this, but it's very troubling to those who look to language as a precision tool for anything from poetry to courtroom testimony.

Misty said...

I'm afraid I only got the East and a few odds and ends this morning, before I had to start cheating, even though I had DRED SCOTT and TOOTH early on. Saturdays are getting harder and harder for me, but I won't stop trying them!

Yellowrocks, great news about Alan.

Have a good Saturday, everybody!

Ol' Man Keith said...

I tried and failed for years to get students to accept "one" in place of "he or she." It is, after all, already part of traditional language, but I guess it sounds too formal to be regularly talking about "one's possessions" and "one's attitudes," etc., much less to start a sentence with "One is going to the car wash."
But I don't think the problem of linguist sexism is solved by accepting "they" in place of gender-specific pronouns. It reinforces sloppy speech and creates a whole new set of problems. Maybe we need to get a fresh start. How about sh'he as a dandy subjective case?
Pronounce it "shuh-hee." Go ahead: try saying it aloud, and you'll see that even if it doesn't solve all issues, it has the virtue of forcing a smile and sounding like a titter from the speaker.
The objective would be sh'her and the possessive would be sh'his. These borrow w/o favoritism from each current gender.
C'mon! Dare to topple the patriarchy! The matriarchy too!

Avg Joe said...

Keith, I've always used the hyphenated term "He-she-It". Say that real fast...

I did go back and do the apostrophe test. Failed badly.

Also watched the Gittler video. Pretty amazing piece of machinery. Got me thinking. I've got a set of titanium rods in my back. I wonder if they could be strung....... Prolly not. :-)

Jerome said...

Why is it on this crossword blog we have to be exposed to the creepy fascinations of grown men having fixations about a young woman's body? This is the stuff of giggling nine year old boys hiding in their room after finding a Playboy magazine, not a mature and responsible man.

Anonymous said...

Amen Jerome!

Add also, goodbye to the rants of a certain wine country contrary fellow. This blog used to be more than early morning poets and late night hackers. Oh well, life does move on. So, I guess, my main point is...shut the hell up Jerome!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jerome, I'm personally offended by muttonchops. Down with the muttonchop photos!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Anagrams vs. Long legs.

So. We ponder.