Oct 15, 2016

Saturday, Oct 15th, 2016, Mark Diehl

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,X)

Blocks: 27

  A new Saturday struggle from Mr. Diehl - his last offering being just a month previous, and I fared better with that construction - but then again, I was awake longer than I usually am before starting today's puzzle and blog, so a 'mental fade' might have had something to do with my need to cave in to Google.  Just too many proper names, especially in the NE.  Oh well.  A grid similar to the last puzzle, with 6x10 corners in a nearly spiral pattern, and two 9-letter climbers;

11d. Stinging builder of mud nests : MASON WASP - I should hire these guys for my next tiling job~!

32. Like tournament favorites : TOP-SEEDED



1. Raid units? : SPRAYS - Kills bugs dead

7. Pass after all else failed? : HAIL MARY - football reference

15. Mine shaft tool : TREPAN - I can see how this would be a rocks tool - the only "trepanning" I was aware of involved the skull

16. Ambiguous part : GRAY AREA

17. Cab Calloway catchphrase : HI-DE-HO - knew this from "The Blues Brothers"

18. Jonathan's cousins : WINESAPS - learning moment for me, on both varieties

19. She plays Hermione in "Harry Potter" films : EMMA - the one proper name I knew

not the Hermione you knew

20. Falls behind, perhaps : OWES - dah~! Not LAGS

22. Some sleepers : SOFAS - Dah~!  Took too long to get this answer - I was thinking trains

23. Soup vegetable : LEEK - um, is there such a thing as BEET soup~? ( I looked; it could have been correct....)

24. Big name in diamonds : ZALES

26. Parishioner's place : NAVE

27. Reagan __ : ERA - grew up during this time frame

28. Word on a business card : CELL - ugh; CORP, CALL, then CELL

29. Old tankard material : PEWTER - even clued just as "tankard material" would have worked

found this one, as well

31. Stallone, in "Capone" : NITTI - hiding in my noggin from doing past crosswords

33. Name on some euros : ESPAÑA - wondered if it was a person's name at first

35. Takes in : ABSORBS

37. Replacement for unlisted items : AND SO ON - could be parsed as AND SOON, clued as an ultimatum

41. Charity tourneys : PRO-AMS

43. Throw out an idea : OPINE

44. Takes root : SETS IN

47. Eats : CHOW - ah, the 'plural' misdirection

49. Brief subject : LAW - pondered RES, but waited

50. Spot for a scrape : KNEE


51. Starbucks order : DECAF - oops, not LATTE

53. "__-daisy!" : UPSY

54. Thumb twiddler : IDLER

56. Dough : CASH - hesitated, thought it was too easy to be "CASH"

57. Pickup spot? : NAPE - think cats, etc.

58. Baloney : FOLDEROL - never heard the term; according to the online etymology, it's derived from song refrains

60. Where Mark Twain married Olivia Langdon : ELMIRA - perps and WAGs

62. Paratrooper's start : FREEFALL

63. Like beef loin, vis-à-vis chuck : LEANER

64. Commuting metaphor : SARDINES - think subways, and people packed into a silver can

65. Bands of cerebral nerve fibers : PONTES - not the first thing that comes up on a Google search


1. Napa County city that's home to Beringer Vineyards : St. HELENA - the website

2. Pricey cut : PRIME RIB

3. 2-Down and others : RED MEATS

4. Vertical, more or less : APEAK - one of those "A" words; seems to be closely associated with anchor lines - Spitz~?

5. Slangy agreement : YAH

6. Loser's mistake? : SNOOZE - "you snooze...."

7. "The Shape of Things to Come" author : H.G. WELLS - I did not know this

8. Develop : ARISE

9. Ziering of "Sharknado" : IAN

10. Soapmaking compounds : LYES

12. See 14-Down : ARAFAT - circumreferential to 14d. With 12-Down, 1994 Peace Prize sharer : YASSER

13. Work on, as a road : REPAVE

21. Peace Nobelist of 1983 : WALESA - cheated.  Googled.

25. Bridge : SPAN

28. High clouds : CIRRI

30. Fund : ENDOW

34. Ottoman officials : PASHAS

36. Craig role : BOND - he will return (as of today) for "James Bond 25"

38. Medium for da Vinci : OIL PAINT

39. Rampaging : ON A SPREE

40. Day of resolve : NEW YEAR'S

42. Magazine renamed Rosie in 2001 : McCALLS - no clue, but got it with half the letters from perps.  I do "ReCALL" McCalls; began in 1873, "apeaked" in the 60's, changed names, and was defunct one year later....

44. One-person boats : SKIFFS

45. "Bewitched" role : ENDORA - I am not too young to remember this show, even if I saw it in syndication

46. Worker in a cage : TELLER - ah, here's my "cage" from last week

48. Useful : OF HELP

52. Nice school : ÉCOLE

53. Dispirit : UNMAN

55. S&L offering : RE-FInance

59. Fared poorly in the wash : RAN

61. Early August arrival : LEO



OwenKL said...

FIR! Final entry was a WAG at the cross of APEAK + TREPAN! Lots of nits, but I'll leave them for other people to enumerate!

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

Mary, do you see those clouds so airy?
Those wisps up high are known as CERRI.
Should moisture ARISE
Up into the skies,
It may fall as rain or icy HAIL, MARY!

Steins were once oft made of PEWTER,
Till lead was found to make men "neuter".
Left romancers damned,
Not unlike a modern nerd on a 'puter!

ENDORA the witch was sought out by men
Who wanted their "peanuts" to ARISE again!
Her fee for the cure
Was that she made sure
The revived ENDOWMENTS worked at level ten!

ENDORA the witch was sought out by men
Who wanted their peanuts to ARISE again!
This didn't surprise her --
She sold fertilizer,
And her classes on farming they would attend!

[Which of the last two you liked best is a gauge of how dirty your mind is.]

fermatprime said...


Thanks, Mark an Splynter!

I decided to be brave and try a Sat. Stumper late at night.

Cheated and looked up ST. HELENA. (That's really in CA?)

Otherwise, squeezed through in 30 minutes.

Have a great day!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Planned to sleep in on Saturday's to make up for my earlier weekday schedule, but Joshua has an early soccer game this morning. Ah well...

Found today's offering to be challenging, but ultimately doable. Had I not just so happened to know ELMIRA, it could have ended differently, but I did and therefore it didn't.

Had to guess at a number of things that sounded plausible, such as MASON WASP, APEAK, ST HELENS, NITTI, IAN and PONTES. Had to drag the aforementioned ELMIRA as well as ENDORA and HG WELLS (as clued) out from the dark and dusty recesses of my brain's attic, but they were there. But it all worked out in the end.

john in michigan said...

had beet instead of leek...knew something was wrong, but was never able to parse it out...great puzzle, nonetheless...hope everybody has a nice saturday

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This one started out as a Wite-Out workout. I had three words inked in and three others whited out. MASON WASP was new to me; I was familiar with MUD DAUBER -- it fit, but had mud in both the clue and answer. Bzzzt! My sleepers started life as SPIES. Finally, things started to click and the train made it into the station on time. Thanx, Mark. Tough, but fair, with some top-notch fill.

I used to hear my father say FOLDEROL, often on Sunday mornings.

Learning moment: PONTES Doubt that the "learning" will last until lunch, though.

Splynter, I had the same thought about TREPAN. If it can let bad stuff out of your skull, it'd probably help to get good stuff out of a mine.

unclefred said...

Well, DNF, SW stumped me. Having CIRRA instead of CIRRI, and KAYAKS instead of SKIFFS, did me in. By the time I got to the point of wrestling with the SW, my brain was poopered out from dealing with the rest of this Saturday Stumper.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Well, it wasn't a stroll in the park but it wasn't a teeth-gnasher, either. Trepan was an unknown and snooze, as clued, seemed a little odd but had to be. Folderol was a word my mother used in the sense of much ado about nothing. I had brown wasp for the longest time, simply because it fit and made sense to me, but perps changed that quadrant and mason sent brown packing! 🐝. Overall, a challenging but very doable Saturday.

Thanks, Mark, and thanks, Splynter, for a job well done.

I have so many shows in my DVR queue I don't know where to begin. Tonight should take care of a few as there is nothing on on Saturday night that appeals to me.

Have a great day.

Lemonade714 said...

Mark also prepared the NYT today if you have any energy left. It is a challenge

Thanks MD and Splynter, on target as always

inanehiker said...

This was steady solve for a Saturday- piecing things together here and there until it worked itself out. NW corner was tricky - I had HIDIHO which made for APIAK which I thought might be right since it was Saturday - land of obscure words. Wrong. Never heard of APEAK so didn't think of the switch to HIDEHO until late in the game.

FOLDEROL always reminds me of the Fairy Godmother in Rodgers and Hammerstein's version of "Cinderella" with the song "Impossible". Foderol and Fiddle dee dee - I still love the Lesley Ann Warren/ Celeste Holm version from 1965.

Heading to a German folk arts festival where a coworker and her daughter are demonstrating some old style weaving arts- looks like a beautiful day .
Thanks Splynter and Mark!

Tinbeni said...

it's drizzling ... so I decided to attempt the Saturday puzzle ...

Oh well, D-N-F ... **it happens ...

Not a clue where Mark Twain got married ... nor do I care.

But all is not lost ... today Gal-Pal and I are celebrating our 30th Anniversary.

Yeah !!!


Madame Defarge said...

Well, well, well. With no entries until 49A: LAW, I figured this was to be a serious DNF! Nevertheless, I didn't give up and plodded along. A few letters here and there opened up the clues for me. Mark, I wasn't on your wavelength during my first horizontal and then vertical passes, but then I saw the light. Thanks for the challenge. I agree with D-O on the mud dauber. It took a long time to clean that up with MASON WASP. I spelled FOLDEROL and HI-DE-HO incorrectly!

Thanks, Splynter, for clarifying everything!

MANY years ago, McCall's magazine used to have a great Fall issue called "McCall's Cooking School." It was a fantastic source for a newlywed cook. Betty Crocker, Southern friends (who taught me that bacon fat makes everything better!), and those McCall's issues convinced me that since I could read, I could cook. That confidence has kept DH a happy camper for 47 (YIKES!) years.

Have a very nice day.

oc4beach said...

A Saturday stumper that ultimately got filled in with perps and Red Letters, ergo a DNF by my definition. Splynter did an excellent expo today.

The North West side of the puzzle seemed to fill in easier than the North East. For some reason I entered SPRAYS right away and it turned out to be right. I knew HIDEHO (I worked with a nephew of Cab Calloway eons ago), EMMA, ERA, NITTI (from the Untouchables TV show in the 60's,) and ABSORBS. So I got a fairly good start, until I moved on to other parts of the puzzle.

I was surprised that I also knew WALESA, YASSER ARAFAT, HGWELLS and ELMIRA. They ultimately helped with the other 3/4 of the puzzle.

My Grandmother, who would be about 130 years old now if she was still alive, used the word FOLDEROL a lot, especially when complaining to my mother about whatever I was doing. The "dear" lady didn't like kids much even though she was a school teacher from the one-room school era. Or, maybe it was just me she didn't like.

Even though I grew up in coal country, I had never heard the term TREPAN wrt to mining. Here is the patent application for the Mining Trepan. Interesting piece of machinery.

Well, it's Saturday and almost time to settle in to watch a lot of college football. Enjoy the day.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

I'm glad that even the most accomplished crossword aficionados are challenged at least once a week. I also enjoyed Barry's contribution and Splynter's write-up. I just wish there was a "way beyond Jinx" warning on it.

I didn't even learn anything interesting today. YAH, not YeH? Not around here. Same for UPSY-daisy. Carolina Skiff, LLC. manufactures fine boats similar to Boston Whalers. None are designed for one person. The incredibly exciting 18 foot racing skiffs made popular in Australia can't be sailed by one person. MASON wasps are similar to potter wasps, except potter wasps use mud and mason wasps do not, according to

Oh well. Live to fight another day.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Got most of it OK, but slow going. Had to google ST HELENA in the NW. Not conversant with Napa Co. geography. Thought of Beers from de Beers for awhile on 24a, but we've had ZALES before. Wanted Teresa before Walesa loomed.
APEAK - We've had this before. I've always heard "up-and-down" for the vertical anchor cable position and never 'apeak'. (this was the usage in the earlier puzzle, I think.) It's usage with oars I am not familiar with. Perhaps some rowers could weigh in?

Spitzboov said...

I misspoke with APEAK. Was thinking of 'atrip'. So I don't remember having APEAK before. Apparently refers to rowing, though, and holding the oars in a vertical position.

C6D6 Peg said...

DNF.... APEAK and HIDEHO got me. Otherwise, nice puzzle. Thanks Mark for the challenge.

Thanks, also, Splynter, for explaining ANDSOON..... could not parse to AND SO ON.....

Happy Saturday to all!

Husker Gary said...

-Here is a picture showing 1) My solving surface, 2) Who’s with me and 3) How most of my Saturday solves first start
-TREPEN/YEH gave me one bad cell
-SPRAYS came to mind but went away until I finished there
-Losing or winning on HAIL MARY passes are very emotional both ways
-SOFA sleepers always have that uncomfortable bar “right there”
-Non-lead character in a Capone movie? È molto facile (it’s very easy)
-Talk about hard to ABSORB!
-News people today OPINE rather than report. Where have you gone Huntley/Brinkley?
-No offense, ELMIRA, but I thought that site would be more exotic
-A Nobel Peace Prize for the Mideast seems oxymoronic
-BOND? There’s Sean Connery and then some other guys to me. ☺
-C’mon, like Fred and me, you thought KAYAKS before SKIFFS
-At least you’re OF some HELP
-Congrats to Tin and Kris!

Lucina said...

My computer is about to start an automatic update so I'll be quick.

The SE blossomed quickly then with KAYAK in place I though the SW would, too. But no, so SKIFFS replaced it and it fell nicely together. Next the NE and it surprised me to see YASSER ARAFAT's full name. Didn't know it was HGWELLS but that perped. The NW came more slowly. I knew of STHELENA from my trips to the Bay AREA.

A good challenge; thank you, Mark Diehl and thank you, Splynter. Another Saturday in the books!

Have a beautiful day, everyone! Our weather is lovely. Hope yours is, too.

MJ said...

Good day to all !

Nice to "see" you this morning, Barry. Thanks for making my post so easy: WBS, except no soccer game because the grandkids are out of town for the weekend.

Thanks for a fun puzzle Mark. Excellent expo as usual, Splynter. Thank you for being our faithful Saturday guide.

Enjoy the day!

Ol' Man Keith said...

Well, I RAN from this one - sooner and faster than I have bailed from any pzl in the past year. Sorry, Mr. Diehl, but I just couldn't get started when, after two scans, the only gimme I could find was 60-A, ELMIRA. (I belong to the legion of Clemens/Twain fans, so couldn't miss that one.)
Proper names are a problem for me; I find I can't keep so many in mind. In the end I completed about 60% on my own, with lookups getting me through the remainder. I left the "mine shaft tool" and "vertical, more or less" until checking Splynter's Corner, to keep this DNF official. I might have WAG'd APEAK, but it was one of those "iffy" answers I just couldn't like. Not my day.
But congratulations to all who managed to tame it!

Misty said...

Wow, I almost, almost got a Saturday! Yay! Only goof-ups were HI-DI-HO and APIAK, like several others, I noticed. So I consider this a great start to my weekend! Many thanks, Mark! And, Splynter, I loved the TOP SEEDED cartoon!

I always enjoy the art and lit references--H.G. WELLS, Da Vinci's OIL PAINT, Mark Twain's ELMIRA--and the TV clues, ENDORA comes up a lot in puzzles, doesn't she?

Congratulations, Tinbeni!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Yellowrocks said...

Fun, but tough. Like HG I started solidly in the southern tier. After that I slowed down and had to Google two. Great challenge, none the less. Fine puzzle, Mark and your usual fine job, Splynter. I knew trepan, but needed perps to jog my memory. I use fol-de-rol for "showy but useless, such showy nonsense."
Like Ol' Man Keith, Elmira was a gimme. I am into Mark Twain, too. This pen name for S. Clemens has several explanations. "As a riverboat pilot, Samuel Clemens would have heard the term 'Mark Twain,' which means 'two fathoms,' on a regular basis. According to Justin Kaplan, the term many also have come from Mark Twain's time in Nevada, where saloon keepers used 'Mark Twain' to represent two drinks on credit." I prefer the riverboat one.
Hg, I could open only your clipboard with puzzle pic. I couldn't move forward into the other pics.
Now that I see it, McCalls was a women's magazine of my youth.

Anonymous T said...

LOL Jinx - that was my thought too re: puzzle Title: "Above your pay-grade bit**!"

So many mis-starts and ???? That I finally exhibited the behavior of the solver in the DRABBLE comic C.C. linked yesterday...

A). How is it not a pick-ax? And WTF is a TREPAN? [oh, thanks oc4beach].
B) HAILMARY fits nicely w/ MUD DOUBER (Hi D-O!) and PEuTER [sic]
C) YASSiR and Bibi? Wait, Another laureate?!? Oh, hell.
D) w/ EL in place maybe Twain made it to EL paso [bzzt]

I'll spare you the rest...

Thanks Mark for the effort. Splynter, you were OF great HELP w/ the expo. Kudos.

HIDiHO- Minnie the Moocher - Even wrong, I can't let that go w/ out a link :-)

Tawnya - I want to watch a movie w/ the girls tonight. I'm thinking Better off Dead - got a better idea? [we've seen most of John Hughes' films]

Congrats Tin.

Time to go buy new ballet shoes for youngest. Play later.

Cheers, -T

billocohoes said...

In A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Mark Twain contrasted the Boss' magic of science with Merlin's magic of folderol.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Hand up for not knowing trepanning in connection with mining, just as a machining operation and as a barbaric surgical practice. Apeak was all perps. Another hand up for Lags before Owes.

Three words about the lovely Emma Watson: all grown up.

So glad Cab Calloway's Blues Brothers performance was remembered! There was a lot of big talent in that goofy movie. I bet it was a blast to make.

Howdy Splynter, thanks for elucidating.

Hungry Mother said...

Lots of wags, but my patience got me through after some long hours. Pretty happy that most of my wags weren't random.

tawnya said...

Hi all!

Ugh...Saturdays...I always look at them as learning opportunities and this was no exception. Thank you for the reveal, Splynter. Hasn't Hermione aged wonderfully? Hard to believe she's the same frizzy haired girl from the first movie.

Blues Brothers is how I learned about Cab Calloway! It's still one of my all-time favorite movies and soundtracks. And, fun fact, it held the record for most wrecked police cars in one movie - until Blues Brothers 2. Orange Whip anyone?

@HG - I just downloaded Stephan Hawking's Pocket Universe app for iOS - it looks like he's trying to make everything a little bit easier to understand for the masses. I just got it last night so haven't started it yet...

@Anon-T - you challenge me! So it's Halloween therefore it's time for a family round of Day-O. Of course, any John Cusack is both entertaining and ear-opening so I choose either High Fidelty or Grosse Point Blanke for their amazing soundtracks. There's always the old favorite, and often overlooked, Drop Dead Fred. Sigh. Ultimately, if they haven't seen it yet, I think I would choose Nicolas Cage's film debut Valley Girl. The prom scene at the end is my absolute favorite. Enjoy :)

I remember MCCALLS but didn't know it's been changed to Rosie. But really I remember the sewing patterns. Not that I ever used one!

Happy Saturday everyone :) Go Dodgers!!


Anonymous said...

Re 14D "With 12-Down, 1994 Nobel Peace Prize sharer" (12D "See 14-Down"), I got 12D first, ARAFAT; and so, with "sharer" the clue, I was looking not for ARAFAT'S first name (which there are 702 ways to spell, including YASIR), but for whom he "shared" the prize with – Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. Both surnames were only 5 letters for 6, of course; so with perps I was up to _ASSER for 14D, and I was tempted to fill in NASSER just to blow it off. Lame clues, lame answers, lame puzzle, FOUL. You can call it "clever misdirection," but I call it for what it is. And, yes, for the coup de grace, what Husker Gary said.

Jayce said...

Congratulations, Tinbeni and Madame Defarge.

Bill G. said...

I just came across a PBS show (Great Performances) honoring Linda Ronstadt among others. Of course they had someone (Martina McBride) sing Linda's version of Blue Bayou. As usual, it brought tears to my eyes.

Yep, I agree with Tawnya and Dudley; Emma Watson is all grown up. She's gone from cute to really pretty. Smart too..

Anonymous said...

WAY too many proper names! :/

CrossEyedDave said...

Hmm, I struggled with the puzzle,,,

Then I struggled to try and find an UNanniversary cake for Tinbeni...

Then I realized.
to celebrate Tinbeni, I don't need to find a cake,
I need to find a drink!

CrossEyedDave said...



Are you sure you're not married?

TX Ms said...

CED! - I just spit wine all over my computer screen! Priceless! Where in the heck do you find these links?! Still laughing - gotta save that one. Many thanks!

Lemonade714 said...

Tin hopefully the next thirty years will give you joy and insight. Best wishes

Anonymous T said...

I forgot: { A, LOL! A+, A, A} Thanks OKL. The 'puter one w/ pewter in the puzzle made me laugh... D&D figurines are pewter too :-)

Anyone know the cost of pink ballet slippers? Holy Gee - I could get a good pair of Johnson & Murphy's for that price. And mine last >3 years not <6 mo like pointe shoes.

Did no one else try to put lemmings into 64a? All I could hear was Synchronicity II. "Packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes. Contestants in a suicidal race..."

CED - LOL. TxMS, I've got a new keyboard if you need one :-)

Tawnya - Thanks. I think High Fidelity is over her head / boring to 14yro. The others sound good and we'll try again. Eldest is out making $$ babysitting so Youngest & I [and NetFlix - what happened to their selection?] agreed on Spielberg's No Batteries Required. Apparently not much of a plot required either - 80's developers have grand plans of NYC towers and kick people out of brownstones through buyout or force. Alien fix-it-bots rebuild all the damage. If there's a sequel, I'm sure the developer runs for office.

Youngest was done with the movie in 30 minutes - "It's so cheesy dad - you can see the wires..." This dope sat through waiting for it to get better.

Cheers, -T

Bluehen said...

CED, I'm a few minutes early but Happy Birthday and many happy returns. Your posts brighten this old man's life. Thank you.

TX Ms said...

Tin - my sincerest apologies - I was just expecting a CED hilarious cake as usual. Congrats to you both!

Anon-T - Luckily, my keyboard survived, but if you have a "'new'(or even used) Microsoft ergo X06 19331" ...? Yeah, didn't think so. :-)

Wilbur Charles said...

Ditto, Lemonade. Ditto HIDIHO and APIAK.
I'm shuttling all day so it was So then over the mountains to Florida by way of ELMIRA(I knew that).

I had HAZYAREA for awhile. Then my gray area figured it out. I liked HAILMARY once I got it.

I never agree with Owen's grades. I liked that first one best.

Well, let's see what Sundays looks like.

Btw. Thanks Mark and Splynter. I was at a B&B this morning if you get my drift.


Did I remember to wish Tin a happy 30th?

I had a late Fri post, btw, as in ten am today😀

Lucina said...

I also forgot to offer you congratulations on your 30 year anniversary!!!!! May it continue for many more. I'm sure by now you are deeply into your celebrations but perhaps you'll see this tomorrow.

Anonymous T said...

TxMS - Actually, I do have one. I love that keyboard; second only to the IBM M series in tactile feedback.

Is it really CED's B-day Bluehen? I need to go cake shopping. Cheers, -T

Picard said...

This seemed utterly impossible to finish... until I finally did so!

The NW seemed especially challenging. Never heard of TREPAN until I was reminded here of the skull drilling use.

Yes, of course there is bEEt soup! It is called Borscht! I had to keep it open between bEEt and LEEK until the very end.

I was even at ST HELENA many years ago for wine tasting and I was not getting it. Is it fair to have an abbreviation without warning?

WINESAPS was my last fill! I had filled in WIrEtAPS with no idea why that made sense!

PONTES was a learning moment. As was MASON WASP.