Oct 20, 2016

Thursday, October 20th 2016 Jacob Stulberg

Theme: V-oice Exercise: A vowel progression on "V". I shared a flat with two drama students in London many moons ago, and they would trill their vowel progression voice exercises over breakfast: "Mah-may-mee-my-mow-moo-mah" or in this case "Va-Veh-Vih-Voe-Vuh". Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders were in the same class; Jennifer's boyfriend owned the house we were renting. What's that got to do with the price of gas? Not a whole lot, let's get back on track.

18A. Personal guide : VALUE SYSTEM. Not Nordstrom shopper?

24A. Shoe fastener : VELCRO STRIP. My bike cleats have these. Handy.

38A. Historic Manhattan jazz club : VILLAGE VANGUARD. Crosses all the way for me. The club opened in Greenwich Village in 1935 and became an all-jazz venue in 1975.

48A. Cloud above a peak : VOLCANIC ASH. One of those tricky-to-parse entries. I had "CASH" in place at the end, and once you see something like that, it's tough to un-see it.

58A. Source of the Romance languages : VULGAR LATIN. Or what is inscribed on the walls of Roman public bathrooms? We studied Latin poetry at school; let me tell you, some of the stanzas from Catullus and Martial would make your hair curl. Google at your peril.

Solid Thursday from Jacob; minor gripe is that VANGUARD repeats the first vowel progression and doesn't form part of the theme, although it's part of a theme entry. Minor, but a gripe.

Let's see what else we've got:


1. One of a pair in "Waiting for Godot" : ACT. Not "tramp" or derivative thereof - nice cluing. I once saw a production of "Godot" where Vladimir and Estragon were both in grecian urns with only their heads visible. It's not exactly the most exciting play, and this static staging was curious to say the least.

4. __ ray : COSMIC

10. Where rds. meet : JCTS. Roads/Junctions. How about some Tuxedo Junction?

14. Frat address : BRO. bluto@deltatauchi.bro? Maybe not that kind of address.

15. Iris ring : AREOLA. I'm going to sit back and wait for the picture links in the comments.

16. Obama's birthplace : OAHU

17. Basic resting place : COT. Basic Training. Barracks. Cot. Basic it might have been, but very welcome.

20. Start of "A Visit From St. Nicholas" : 'TWAS the night before Christmas ...

22. Common base : TEN. We geeks also have binary, octal and hexadecimal in our bag of bases.

23. "Joke's on you!" : HA HA!

27. Animal's gullet : MAW

30. "To see __ is a picture": Dickinson : HER

31. Make subservient : ENSLAVE

33. Nincompoop : BOOB. Snigger. With 15A. Snigger.

35. "Biggest Little City in the World" : RENO

37. Next Dodger after Fernando to win the Cy Young Award : OREL. If Clayton Kershaw keeps it up, he's going to be the next Cy Young winner.

41. Ancient Icelandic text : EDDA

42. Birthstone for some Scorpios : OPAL

43. Bavarian count opener : EINS, zwei, drei ...

44. Pose anew, as a question : REFRAME

46. Hosp. areas : E.R.S

47. Put away : ATE

54. Hideout : LAIR

56. Crude shelter : HUT

57. Thing on a string : KITE

62. Sound after a punch : OOF!

63. How some games are won, briefly : IN O.T.

64. Dawn goddess : AURORA

65. Aflame : LIT

66. Cuts : MOWS. All sing along: "One man went to mow, went to mow a meadow, one man and his dog went to mow a meadow. Two men went to mow, went to mow a meadow, two men one man and his dog, Spot, went to mow a meadow. Three men went to mow ... " Continue ad nauseam.

When I used to go to Stamford Bridge in London in the '70s to watch my soccer club Chelsea, prior to kick-off the pitch would be given the once-over with the mower, Zamboni-style, and the crowd would serenade the mower guy up and down the pitch. He usually finished around "Twenty-three men went to mow". We were easily amused in those halcyon days. You want an ear worm? Here you go!

67. Shows disapproval, in a way : HISSES

68. Far from friendly : ICY


1. "How to Get Away With Murder" airer : ABC TV

2. Actor Russell : CROWE

3. Whole : TOTAL

4. Member of the reigning NBA champs : CAV. This clue breaks the "time-independent" convention for crosswords. If I came to solve this puzzle next year, there's no guarantee this clue/answer would be correct.

5. Big talker : ORATOR

6. Graf rival : SELES. Steffi and Monica of 90's professional tennis.

7. See 12-Down : MOUNT. Cross-referential angst for some.

8. The Seine's __ Saint-Germain : ÎLE. The city's' foremost professional soccer team is Paris Saint-Germain, which gives English-speaking commentators a crisis of pronunciation. Do you say "Paree" or "Paris"? You can't say "Parriss Saint Jerman", that sounds all wrong, "Parriss San-Germanne" is a curious hybrid and the correct "Paree San-Germanne" seems peculiar when you've been calling the city "Paris" all night. I'd stick to "PSG", but it's fun to listen to the manglings on TV.

9. Use to one's advantage : CASH IN ON

10. Tease : JOSH

11. Regatta racer : CATAMARAN

12. With 7-Down, sermon site : THE

13. (In) brief : SUM

19. Prattles : YAPS

21. Gentleman, at times? : SCHOLAR. Not always.

25. Sitcom that starred a singer : REBA

26. Kidney-related : RENAL

28. States as fact : AVERS

29. Join with heat : WELD

32. Comedian who said, "I have a lot of beliefs, and I live by none of 'em" : LOUIS C.K. Never heard of him, so had to look up how to parse the name. Crosses all the way for me. His real name is Louis Székely.

33. Lavatory fixture : BIDET. The first time I saw one I thought it was for washing your socks.

34. Chap : OLD FELLOW

35. Turn off : REPEL

36. Green of "Penny Dreadful" : EVA. Thank you, crosses. BBC America "psychological thriller" series, apparently. Here's Ms. Green looking appropriately deep and disturbed:

38. Designer Wang : VERA

39. Scene of biblical destruction : GOMORRAH. Twin city of Begorrah, Ireland. No, wait ...

40. Spice Girl Halliwell : GERI

45. Nike competitor : AVIA. I had ASIC first, forgetting the final "S".

46. Whole : ENTIRE

49. Blackens : CHARS

50. Jaguars, for instance : AUTOS. Funny, I'm much more likely to think of German cars as "autos" rather than British ones. Automobiles, maybe.

51. Garlicky spread : AIOLI

52. Unlikely to come unglued : STOIC

53. Big name in the bags aisle : HEFTY. Was looking for purses at first. Louis Vuitton didn't fit, Coach didn't work with my crosses, then I was struggling. Ah, trash!

55. Fed. employees : AGTS

58. Energetic spirit : VIM. Usually partnered with "Vigor". A tennis doubles duo you don't want to come up against.

59. Game with wild cards : UNO. Never played it. Anyone know the rules?

60. Him, to Henri : LUI

61. "A Queens Story" rapper : NAS. Slowly but surely this is taking root in my crossword brain.

Alrighty then! Heeere's the grid! My work here is done.



OwenKL said...

DNF. AI?LI + HE?TY + ?O? down in the SE. AIOLI was unknown, I was fixed on designer purses so didn't see HEFTY, and OOF I just plain missed. As for the V*L theme, Thumper knows my opinion of VoweL progressions. First 3 letters means VANGUARD doesn't interrupt the pattern.

Steve: thanks for the tip on LOUIS C.K. I've wondered why he only uses last initials! I like his irreverent stand-up routines, but his eponymous TV series not so much.

Yesterday was a frustrating day for me! (Settle back for a long story here.) I spent all day Tuesday doing something I've long put off, to whit: finally sitting down and comparing TV option: Xfinity, Dish Net, and DirecTV. Xfin, which I've had as Comcast since rabbit ears, was the most expensive and poorest equipment, while Direct had the most channels I liked, best equipment, and lowest price! So I went ahead and ordered it. Yesterday the installer came, and reported that A) the condo regs say the dish MUST be on our patio, and B) the cat cover (a wire mesh enclosure) prevented the dish from being placed on our patio. Ergo, we couldn't use any satellite, and had to cancel our cancellation of the only cable option. There's more, but I've run on too long already.

Can't let an indoor cat run free,
So a screened in patio is all she'll see.
But a satellite disk
Can't co-exist,
So the choice is a mean cat or good TV!

Big Easy said...

Since I've been up a few hours waiting for the Colyte to take effect and the newspaper hasn't been delivered, I printed the puzzle from the LA Times website and decided to work it. Not too many gimmes to gain toeholds but I sensed the v-vowel progression after VERA-BIDET, AVIA, AND VIM-UNO. I already had CAV and placed VE at the start of 24A. Easy sailing after that with the unknowns-ABC TV, LOUIS C K ( never heard of him either), EVA, NAS- filled by perps.

AIOLI- know it but just can't remember if it it AE or AI.

My only two write overs were RESTATE to REFRAME and VELCRO STRAP to STRIP.

Food. None since Tuesday. My first stop after the gastroenterologist.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This one was suitably tough for a Thursday. No, I didn't get the theme, though I did notice all those Vs. "Russell" evoked Goldie's guy. LOUISCK didn't evoke anything. At least VELCRO STRIP (tried strap, too) was familiar -- my New Balance walking shoes have them.

Steve, never heard that "mow" song. In my youth we were higher class with 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. Clayton Kershaw would be a good name for a zydeco musician.

Time to pull those Velcro strips...

Chairman Moe said...

I haven't done the puzzle this morning - hence the no "puzzling thoughts" - but wanted to post this limerick while I'm still feeling giddy about my "tribe":

As a lifetime fan of the Cleveland Indians, I offer this lim. If you follow the team you'll "get" the punchline:

In this post season year they're succeeding
Without having their starters. They're needing
Good innings from bullpen.
Which they've gotten again!
What a great way to stop all the bleeding ... !

Good news/bad news: 7 out of 8 teams who won their league championship with a 4-1 record have gone on to win the World Series. In each of the last several WS, the team with the longest layoff between the championship series and World Series has lost the WS.

C'mon Indians! Break YOUR jinx/drought and win the WS!

Jhart said...

Where is Barry G

TTP said...

A lack of a good night's sleep is conducive to an erratic and inaccurate solving experience.

Loved Personal guide = VALUE SYSTEM.

CASH IN ON was hard to see because I had VELCO STRAP instead of STRIP. As soon as I tried to parse it as CASH ANON, I saw the error of my ways.

TERI or GERI ? "I know this. We've had Halliwell before. Not too long ago. I know this. It's er, um... I know this. C'mon, you got this ! You know it, it's... Well nuts... Not sure, but I'm going with G."

LOUIS CK gave me fits. Along with the aforementioned GERI, and unknown EVA, all crossing VILLAGE VANGUARD, which I've never heard of before. I got the VANGUARD part only after putting the puzzle down for awhile, and then later staring at the letter sequences to find a word that made sense. Oh yeah, the world's largest mutual fund company... which gave me the V in EVA and the U in LOUIS.

No tada when I filled in VANGUARD. Forgot to go check areas that I wasn't sure of.
- Never heard of "How to Get Away With Murder." Thought it must be an old movie. Entered AMC TV.
- Cuts. Thought of reaping. Entered SOWS.
- Clueless on Romance language sources and the rapper. The filled-in letters looked like Bulgaria. Created new word Bulgariatic.

Oh well.

If you live in AURORA, IL you might reside in one of four different counties. It is the second most populous city in the state, and was the first city in the country to have all electric street lights. So it is known as "The City of Lights" but you may know it better as the home of Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar.

Thanks Jacob. Thanks Steve.

fermatprime said...


Thanks to Jacob and Steve!

Not too hard. Strap before STRIP. Saw the theme afterward.

Harv back today so had dinner! Fell asleep and ended up working puzzle just now.

Have a great day!

TTP said...

Moe, I get it. Hovercraft error. Reminds me of Mets pitcher Bob Ojeda and his hedge trimmer. DOH !

Anyway, the teenager that the Tribe trotted out to the mound yesterday held sway over the powerful TOR lineup long enough to get to the pen. Man that dude looked young.

BTW, glad it "was only" a torn meniscus and we have a bye week coming up...

unclefred said...

Well, more than a little challenging, even for a Saturday; wait, this is Thursday? Oi! Got 're done w/o red letter but w/ a few embarrassing cheats. Never heard of LOUISCK, and it just looked SO wrong! YOYO b4 KITE. STRAP b4 STRIP. Couldn't figure out how to make INTERSECTIONS fit in four letters for the longest time. Very slow for me today, 41 minutes!! Very challenging CW, thanx for exhausting my brain, JS, I think I'll go back to sleep!! Nice write-up, Steve, except for the lack of AREOLAs. Dang! Owen, a long time ago I decided to switch from ATT to Comcast for internet service, and decided to switch from Dish to Comcast at the same time for TV. The installer put the Internet in, then hooked up the TV. I did an A/B: Dish/Comcast, one channel after the other. The picture from Comcast was so incredibly inferior, I told him to take the TV box. He refused, saying I had to take it to the Comcast place myself. I took it there the same day, and they asked for my second TV box. I explained that I only had one TV box, the other one was the Internet box, and I'm keeping the Internet service. No, she said, the installer gave me two TV boxes, it says so right here on our website, and we can't give you your Mandy back or your installation fee back until I bring in the other TV box!! I finally prevailed by making a huge scene in their Fort Apache looking store. I've now had a six month fight with Comcast over their constantly interrupted internet service. They keep bringing up that I still owe them a TV box!! That was twenty years ago and they STILL think I have their damn TV box!! What good would it be if I didn't have the TV service turned on!! Unbelievable!!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Didn't take long to see where this was going, although there were a few bumps along the way. Yoyo/Kite, Eat/Ate, Strap/Strip, etc. Being a New Yorker, Village Vanguard was a gimme. Overall, enough of a challenge for a Thursday.

Thanks, Jacob, for a job well done and thanks, Steve, for your humorous summary.

Tx Ms from yesterday: Loved your "one foot in the cave."

J Hart @ 7:12 - Due to work-related changes, Barry G only posts on the weekend.

Condolences to Canadian Eh.

Have a great day.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Got VILLAGE OK due to the V_L vowel progression, but did not know VANGUARD. Since I also was not familiar with LOUIS CK, I was faced with a classic Natick. Got everything else, tho, so, for a Thursday, I'm satisfied.

LIT - See Lit vs lighted.. "Lit off" is typical idiom for energizing equipment. On our DD it was common to say Boiler # 2 was lit off. But it was always logged as (for example) :"Fires lighted in #2 boiler at 1520." The main engines were lit off, however, as was the radar, the gyro, etc.

JJM said...

I thought this was hard for a THUR. Got the "v" vowel progression, buy still had some problems with other clues. All's well though.
And on another note, as Steve explained in his summary, Catullus was a strange, different kind of person. I too studied his poems during my 6 years of Latin study. Strange

Husker Gary said...

-V___S___ looked like a promising pattern after two fills. VOLCANO SOOT was a candidate before VANGUARD muscled in
-Conflicting VALUE SYSTEMS
-VELCRO looks better and better, as my shoes get creeo farther and farther away from my hands
-I ate with many of my kids at Disney’s huge COSMIC RAY’S Starlight Café (You have to look closely to see Ray’s name)
-In the binary world, you’d get a Slurpee at your local 111/1011
-Would EDDA be lost to the world without crossword puzzles?
-REFRAME – “If we can’t get more viewers with intelligence, how do we make it more vulgar?”
-It’s amazing what was inside their HUT (Mary Ann! No question!)
-MOWING is secondary to mulching leaves now with my Snapper
-English butlers always seem to be the personification of STOIC

Chairman Moe said...

TTP @ 7:30 --> regarding Big Ben . . . yes, glad that it is only a torn meniscus and nothing more serious. But even with the "bye" week, I doubt he will be back before the Browns. Three tough opponents to face while he heals: Patriots, Ratbirds and Cowboys. Glad that two of those are at home; Landry Jones has to come up big.

I'm curious. Are you also a Pirates fan or have you been on the Cubs bandwagon? I root for the Bucs in the NL, but have been a Cleve Indians fan since the late '50's. I know that the TV network doing the World Series, as well as their sponsors, will be rooting hard for the Cubs to win the NLCS. That is now a "dream" matchup

Bill G. said...

Good morning!

I thought some of the clues for the fill were trickier than usual. Still a fun solve. Thanks Jacob and Steve.

How to Get Away With Murder" is one of the few TV programs I actively dislike. I don't like the story line and I dislike most of the actors, especially the lead actor. Just my two-cents worth.

oc4beach said...

Jacob provided a Saturday level puzzle today. Doable but required Red Letter help. Steve provided a truly enjoyable expo of this tough ride.

I did figure out the progression eventually, but the puzzle was almost done, so it didn't help. I think that VILLAGE Green or VILLAGE People or something along those lines would have been better than VANGUARD which skewed the progression a little. Just my opinion.

OOF again.

There is no 8 in Octal, or 9 for that matter. But there is a 10.

At first I had AMP before TEN because in electronics, a common base (also known as grounded-base) amplifier is one of three basic single-stage bipolar junction transistor (BJT) amplifier topologies, typically used as a current buffer or voltage amplifier. Why I remember this I don't know. The brain works in weird ways sometimes.

Even though I know who LOUISCK is, this was totally filled in by perps.

Everybody seems to be avoiding Steve's challenge on AREOLA.

Time to take DW to KOHL'S since she has a 30% off coupon for this week. We don't need anything, but you can't pass up a 30% off coupon now can you.

Have fun today and all of you baseball fans should not take the World too Serious.

L1_Survivor said...

Bill G@ 10:41: I'm inclined to agree with you on the "How to Get Away With Murder" show. I tried to watch it during the first season, but found it just too annoying. I tried to give it a second chance on the second season premier and realized my first impressions were right.

Steve said...

@oc4Beach - remember you don't need to keep "VILLAGE", you just need "VI-". If we wanted to stick with a grid-spanner, something like VICTORIA'S SECRET or VIRGINIA CREEPER work just fine. Of course, it's back to square one with the fill, but ...

C6D6 Peg said...

Wasn't sure about the theme. Didn't catch the vowel progression at all....STRAP before STRIP caused some gnashing of teeth, but FIR.

Thanks, Steve, for your write-up. Lots of laughs provided!

Lucina said...

This got off to a slow start today and that's never a good sign. However, cell by cell it eventually was filled and on seeing the theme, I put a V at each theme line. That helped. I did not know VILLAGEVANGUARD and it took a while especially since I spelled LEWISCK wrong. LOUIS clinched it.

Finally, I recalled EINS and CSO to me. My middle name is AURORA, after my paternal grandmother.

CASHINON was the last to be completed due to VELCROSTRAP so STRIP appeared. Had to verify NAS and EVA, both are unfamiliar to me. Hmm, AREOLA and BOOB in this puzzle.

Thank you, Jacob Stulberg and Steve; your humor helps.

Have a beautiful day, everyone!

Michael said...

Dear TTP:

" Created new word Bulgariatic. "

I love it ... this should mean something like how one feels after eating too much Bulgarian feta cheese!

AnonymousPVX said...

Tough tough tough, and on a Thursday. Not much else to add.

Misty said...

Well, I too thought this was a Thursday toughie, and was grateful that I got about 3/4 of it before I had to start cheating. Turns out that I had figured out a lot of the missing items but was just afraid they wouldn't work. But I did get the progressive V theme early so that helped--only it was the second word that gave me a lot of trouble. And LOUISCK drove me crazy because the name made no sense to me, either as a first name or a last name. You can tell I've never heard of the dude.

Anyway, still fun, in spite of the problems--many thanks, Jacob and Steve.

Have a great day, everybody!

CanadianEh! said...

Hard work today. Thanks for the fiun Jacob and Steve.
DNF due to SE corner. I had Yoyo not KITE, spelled AIOLI incorrectly and couldn't see STOIC.

I did know CAV because they beat the Raptors to go on to the NBA championship round.

There is no joy in . . Toronto
Mighty . . Edwin . . (and Troy and Josh) . . has struck out!

TTP said...

Chairman @ 10:39, I read my earlier sleep-deprived posts. Meant drone. Typed hovercraft.

Pirates fan first and foremost. Tigers fan in the AL.

Growing up outside of Youngstown, baseball and football fans were predominately split between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. You could probably make a reasonable guess by looking at the rooftops to see which way the antenna was pointed. NW to Cleveland. SE to Pittsburgh. I remember when we got an antenna rotor. It was a big deal. Didn't have to go outside to spin the mast...

There were a few Reds fans. My best friend was one. He's been a Cubs fan since he moved to Chicago around 1980... He always picked on his younger brother who, like you, was and is an ardent Indians and Steelers fan. I always thought that puzzling. I'm told his man cave garage could be a feature story on fan devotion - to either team, or both.

Yeah, I jumped on the Cubs bandwagon late this season as my click to pick in the NL and go all the way, and didn't think the Tribe would make it this far. Now that the Indians are in it, I still want the Cubs to take the pennant, but will pull for the Indians in the Series. As for the Cubs, "there's always next year."

Michael @ 12:36, true, but Bulgariatic probably won't catch on. BTW, my neighbor's Bulgarian born girlfriend was making some kind of Bulgarian sausage the other day, and the aroma caused me to stop my gardening and go find out what she was making. Asked her to pick me up a pound the next time she goes into the city. Can't wait. Hope it's soon.

Argyle said...

I must point out the gimmick is more than V + vowel, it is V + vowel + L. VANGUARD doesn't fit the pattern.

Jayce said...

Pretty hard puzzle, but I was able to solve it without turning on red letters. Had many of the same write-overs you folks did, such as STRAP to STRIP and YOYO to KITE. And sure enough I spelled AIOLI wrong. I remembered that LOUIS guy with two initials in place of his last name but didn't remember what the initials were. It took changing YOYO to KITE to finally get it.

AURORA is a pretty name.

I agree about How To Get away With Murder. Watched it once only. That one viewing, plus the many commercials (trailers?) for it being aired recently, confirm my opinion that it's hardly more than a showpiece for Viola Davis to overact.

You guys have strengthened our resolve to never use Comcast. Our son got a very exciting new job that requires him and his wife to move from Arizona, where they have excellent Cox cable, to San Diego, where the only cable is Comcast. Argh. Our neighbors have it and love it, though. Maybe it has something to do with proximity to Sedona, Arizona.

Steve, thank you again for another interesting and humourous write-up. Best wishes to you all.

Lucina said...

I finished your puzzle from the WSJ. Great job! Thank you and C.C. Some of the fill tested my brain, but it was satisfying to finish it.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Mostly sailed right through, but got slowed down at LouisCK. Missed the theme entirely, having done the puzzle last thing before lights out last night.

Howdy Steve, I read recently that Dawn French is thinking about a potential reboot of The Vicar of Dibley, brought forward in time and place, with Geraldine having been promoted to bishop. The earlier Dibley village setup is thought to be unworkable now because the actors have aged so much.

My favorite Vicar of Dibley bit: "I can't believe it's not butter." Superb.

Hungry Mother said...

Hard enough, but I got the theme early on. I love LOUIECK, so getting that answer quickly helped.

oc4beach said...

Steve@11:31: If Argyle is correct then VANGUARD doesn't bother me. However if Jacob's intent was just the first two letters, a V with a progressing vowel a, e, i, o and u, then I stand by my original statement.

Just got back from KOHL'S where we supposedly saved over $130.00. It still cost me over $80.00 though. Whoopie...

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Hand up for yoyo and strap. Had to have a little help - Googled "sermon on the mount" trying to find WHICH mount. Major V8 moment when I finally figured it out. (How do you make Jinx laugh out loud on Thursday? Tell him a joke on Wednesday.) And I still had an error - AoRORA for AURORA (didn't have a clue about French for "him"). Steve - I'll play - I liked AREOLA and EVA Green in the same XW, since hers make appearances in a lot of her films. Snicker snicker.

Worked on hardware that used base 4 numbering (0, 1, 2 and 3), but was represented in software in hex. Got good at doing the conversion in my head (F=3,3; A=2,2 etc.). Where is 99 > 100? On a microwave. I love playing with number systems.

We use Cox Cable for internet and DirecTV for TV. DirecTV works great for us, because when we hit the road in our motor home we just take a DVR from home and have great TV by just pushing a button. When we get to southern Georgia we change our local channels to Tampa, then we change them back when we return north. When wireless providers deploy 5G technology here, we'll probably fire Cox and just use our wireless service data for our home internet too.

Favorite clue was "big name in the bags isle" for HEFTY. Like others, I started down the path of Hermes, DKNY, Coach and other aisles I have been dragged down. Least favorite was "jokes on you" for HAHA. A little sophomoric for a puzzle of today's level, IMO.

Thanks Jacob for a nice Thursday puzzle, and to Steve for a fun tour.

Northwest Runner said...

Maeda just might be the next Dodger to win a Cy Young, higher ERA than Clay, but the other stats are at least as good. But they'll both need better stats to get the nod in the future. Voting takes place prior to the playoffs, but we won't know the result until next month. Hard to see how Scherzer with his 20 wins will be denied this year.

Jayce said...

I learned a new food last night. It's the chayote squash, common in Mexican cuisine. Last night my wife cooked it, Chinese style, into a noodle soup based on homemade chicken broth. In China, the chayote is known as the "Buddha's Hand Melon" 佛手瓜 fó shǒu guā. (Some Mandarin speakers call it 合掌瓜 hé zhăng guā.) In soup, at least the soup LW prepared last night, it looks and tastes to me a lot like winter melon. It turns out she got them from our neighbor who grows them in their back yard. I like it.

Unknown said...

Tough for a Thursday but I managed to finish without cheating.

By the way, Vanguard isn't supposed to fit the theme. VILlage is.

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-From yesterday - The man who BROKE EVEN in the darkness (3:31)
-I’m hoping to see a Cubs/Indians World Series. They both have a long dearth of World Series championships. All right, it’s 108 yrs for the Cubs but it’s 68 for the Tribe.
-I have no idea what retail means at Kohls, oc4beach!

oc4beach said...

HG@6:17: If you pay retail at Kohl's you are overpaying. Example: A mixer retailed at $449.99 and was on sale at $100.00 off with and additional $20.00 off coupon from the sale flyer, then taking the 30% off coupon resulted in a price of $230.99. I could have gotten it on Amazon for $229.99 with free shipping. But then where would the sport in the hunt be.

CrossEyedDave said...

Owen, bummer with the cable/condo/cat thing.
There must be some way around this bureaucratic bulldinkies...
(yeah, spellchecker doesn't like it, but somehow you have
to find a way to deal with the little crap...)
What's the worst that could happen if you just nailed the dang dish to the roof?
When they get pissed off, just nail it to a flagpole & salute it!
(I'm sorry, but when bureaucracy gets involved with cats,I tend to flip out a little...)

However, I am so tired of trying to find funny vowel progressions,
That I cannot take a Thumper...

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

It's pretty bad when your first fill is finally(!) 17a (COT) but then I 'TWAS off to the races... Like a turtle.

Thanks Jacob for a fun puzzle. All the Vs tipped-off the theme. Steve, your expos are always a delight.

WOs: shY b/f ICY; mEL- => mELD =>WELD to finally get GAW [my last fill - the East was a bugger!]; and Cathod{e} @4a - oops. Hand-up STRap @1st.

ESPs: all the foreign words and GERI.

COT's clue was very cute as was KITE. GOMORRAH and CATAGARAN added sparkle, though the latter threw me - I didn't know there was an extra syllable. I swear I've heard it as KAT-A-RAN. Live & learn.

Fav: LOUIS CK. It took until L-U-SCK was in place to finally parse. For all y'all that never heard of him: wha?, I posted a link on Columbus Day :-). Here's the cleanest clip I could find.

Jhart - Yes, what IM said. Barry's commute was from the bed to the den. Now the new owners of his company wants to see his pretty face. Hopefully, they get sick of it soon and he can go back to his old commute and complain about not having the circles :-)

If it wasn't for C-SPAN and easy HBO, I'd cancel cable and just use the antenna. Jayce, when tried to go that route, I called Comca$t and they cut my rate 50%. I also use their internet service, so not a bad deal. My backup connection is ATT DSL.

Oc4 - LOL Kohl's coupon.

Thanks Lucina, re: WSJ.

Jinx - Funny. I'll give you a good laugh for tomorrow. It's a knock-knock joke. You start. :-)

I can't be the only one who thought "Blessed are the cheese makers" @THE MOUNT. Can I?

Cheers, -T

Wilbur Charles said...

It seems like this week has been a good progression of difficulty leading us to a sticky Friday.

I didn't recognize Basic as in Training. Did mine at Quantico but for a greenhorn like me, I might as well have been at PI.

Speaking of the Cleveland Indians and 1948, has there been any good Sibbi Sisti talk? There was a famous pick off play ib that Series that it was alleged the umps got wrong

The 1948 Boston Braves are now in Atlanta with a sojourn in Milwaukee. Johnny Sain joined with Warren Spahn and two guys named Rain in that miracle season.

Sain became a great pitching coach: and actually the'48 Braves had a pretty good third guy named Vern Bickford who didn't fit the rhyme scheme.

Wilbur Charles said...

Where's Hondo when this cool, ancient baseball talk erupts(Speaking of VOLCANIC ASH).

I would think The Plain Dealer would have a lot to fill in while the Cubs try to survive the Dodgers

Picard said...

I got the VAL, VEL, VIL, VOL, VUL progression. But I kept wondering if it had a deeper significance?

The SE nearly did me in after getting stuck with YOYO as others did. Glad it was a kind of bag I know about from organizing trash cleanups in the mountains for the Sierra Club. Would have no idea about purses!

Hand up for no idea about LOUISCK. I tried parsing it as LOU and LOUIS and neither seemed to work.

Also hand up for VELCRO STRaP.