Oct 6, 2016

Thursday, October 6th 2016 Ed Sessa

Theme: Monster Munch - the Cookie Monster chomps through an Oreo

17A. OREO : CHILD'S SNACK. All the theme entries with the exception of 38A have a repeated letter in the middle which can sometimes make for tricky parsing.


38A. OR : SURGERY. The place, not the procedure. An operating room can also be called a surgery.

52A. O : ANTHEM'S START. Not "Oh say can you see ..."

62A. Muppet's explanation of the four all-caps clues : ME EAT COOKIE. He looks mighty dapper in this picture.

Welcome to Thursday, everyone. Tricky puzzle from Ed, I got a little bogged down in the New Mexico region but eventually things worked out. The odd letter combinations in the four of the theme entries contributed to a little of the crunch in this puzzle for me. Nice idea with the theme, I love the OREO gradually disappearing as we work down the puzzle.

Let's see what else jumps out.


1. Full of beans : PEPPY. Not gassy?

6. "I don't need __": regular patron's comment : A MENU

11. Sellout letters : SRO. Standing Room Only. I still don't think this is a sell-out if you can still get  a standing ticket - unless standing is free.

14. Apple app mostly replaced by Messages : ICHAT

15. Connoisseur : MAVEN

16. Recyclable item : CAN

19. TSA requests : ID'S

20. Aria, usually : SOLO

21. Suffix with social : -ITE

22. Bovine icon : ELSIE. The Borden spokes-cow.

28. Crème brûlée topping : CARAMEL

31. Defensive comeback : AM TOO. Took me a while to see this. I was on the "punt return" train of thought for a long time.

32. Little pill : TWERP

33. When workers may be dressed down?: Abbr. : FRI.

34. Terminal conveyance : TRAM. Tried TAXI and then tried to convince myself that Guy Friday was one of the X-Men.

37. Nicki Minaj genre : RAP

42. Langley org. : C.I.A.

43. City on the Rhône : LYON. Beautiful city, and home to the notable French chef Daniel Boulud. They say Lyon has the best food in all of France - it that's the case, it's going to be spectacular. I was young and broke when I visited, so I stuck to bread and cheese. I have to say, I still remember the bread.

45. Apartment bldg. info : NOS.

46. Medina native : SAUDI. I was thinking of the golf club in Illinois for a while, but then realized that's spelled "Medinah".

48. Offer a contrary opinion : REBUT

50. Reduced to pure metal : SMELTED

55. Saint __: Caribbean island : LUCIA

56. Card game using the entire deck : WAR. Not played this game, but I know of it.

57. Goof reaction : OOPS

61. Mont. neighbor : IDA. Aha! Here's a good excuse for some musical wackiness from the B-52's.

66. Title for Anthony Hopkins : SIR.

67. Serviceable : UTILE. I actually used this word the other day - I was rather proud of myself, until I had to explain what it meant. Defeats the purpose somewhat.

68. Pointless : INANE

69. "The Splendid Splinter" Williams : TED. New one for me, but I guessed baseball and I only think I know one Williams in the game.

70. Having glass sections : PANED

71. Hen, for one : LAYER


1. Short shots? : PICS. They don't seem to be called "snaps" any more.

2. Off-the-wall answer? : ECHO. Nicely done.

3. Dad of Haley, Alex and Luke on "Modern Family" : PHIL. Crosses for me. I've never seen the show, but I hear it is (was?) great.

4. California observatory site : PALOMAR. Owned and operated by Caltech. They're nice and let Cornell and the JPL play with it from time to time.

5. Annual rpt. column : YTD. Year To Date.

6. Dutch beer brand : AMSTEL. Named for Amsterdam's river. Here's a pic (snap!) I took in Amsterdam a couple of years ago - I tried for the grand slam of bicycles, trams, canals and the Heineken brewery in one fell swoop. I could have got extra credits for a windmill, Edam cheese, a pair of clogs or a weed shop.

7. Like lions, but not tigers : MANED

8. Actress Longoria : EVA

9. Japanese tech company : NEC

10. Broken, as promises : UNKEPT

11. Hair salon technique : SCISSOR CUT. My hairdresser uses scissors rather than the clippers.

12. Two of three sides of a typical pie slice : RADII. Because "straight" didn't fit

13. First stage : ONSET

18. __ wave : SINE

23. Crook's haul : LOOT

25. Little devils : IMPS

26. Take a chance : DARE

27. Mideast dignitary : EMIR

28. PC key : CTRL

29. Like the visiting team : AWAY

30. Course record? : REPORT CARD

33. NFL scores : FG'S. Field goals. Three points, or "wide right" if you live in Buffalo.

35. Guy Friday, for one : AIDE, yeah, not X-MAN.

36. Servant for the inn crowd : MAID. Barmaid, maybe. "Serving wench" went out of style in 1708.

39. E pluribus __ : UNUM

40. Spoils : ROTS

41. 1914 battle river : YSER

44. Radar O'Reilly's pop brand : NEHI.

47. City with a Penn State campus : ALTOONA. I'm assuming we're talking about the town in Pennsylvania, not the ones in any of Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Washington and Wisconsin.

49. Admit to the Enterprise, in a way : BEAM UP. Another famous phrase that was never actually spoken was "Beam me up, Scottie".

50. Pronounced : STATED

51. Singer Anthony : MARC

52. Top-tier invitees : A-LIST

53. Show that shows too much? : NUDIE. The L.A. Times Crossword is getting racier by the decade.

54. Marshy lowland : SWALE. The obvious SWAMP put a spanner in my works

58. Acceptable : OKAY

59. Fragrant wood : PINE

60. Reader of tea leaves : SEER

63. It may be delayed by rain: Abbr. : E.T.A. Rain? It'd better be a pretty biblical rainstorm to delay my E.T.A is this referring to travel arrivals.

64. German article : EIN

65. Black gold : OIL. AKA Texas Tea.


fermatprime said...


Thanks Ed and Steve!

Nice work! Really cute theme, but took awhile to catch on.

ALTOONA was perped and WAGed as was PHIL.

Cooler weather here. Not really my cup of tea (fibromyalgia and all).

Have a great day!

OwenKL said...

{C+, C+, B-, B+.} Extra credit for the acrostic and gassy pun.

Once a cute monster wanted a COOKIE.
Ritz crackers would do, with a topping goopie.
Either one would be
OKAY, said he,
So she gave him both -- and some extra nookie!

Made into a CAN, or a car, or a sled.
Something UTILE
That may last a while,
But better is a mind deposit in a head!

A TWERP of a Saudi from Medina
Played Brahms on his concertina,
With PHIL's harmonica
(That he got for Hanukah)
Keeping time to a howling hyena!

The foosball team from AMEN U.
Had a passing game unmatched by few!
When they stood in the park
They'd fart to the tune, in the key of phew!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Cookie consumed. Only slowdown was the east coast -- I'd accidentally torn off the last column when I ripped the puzzle page out of the Zest section. OOPS! I liked the "Course record" clue. Thanx, Ed.

Steve, " the decade" Funny.

I visited Mount Palomar Observatory back in the early 70's -- it looked old then. I can't imagine what it must be like now. I think most of the west coast work is now being done at Mount Wilson, near LA.

inanehiker said...

Puzzle theme brought a smile with its creativity, but also the familiar image of Cookie Monster devouring cookies - he always ate a whole plate so fast that the theme clues to be accurate would have been OREO and then CRUMBS.

NW was the slowest for me mostly because I only knew the more American etymology of "full of beans" meaning stupid, erroneous, misinformed instead of the more British etymology meaning energetic, vigorously active. Learning moment of the day - made me think of Mexican jumping beans. Perps eventually came to the rescue!

Thanks Steve and Ed!

Anonymous said...

In the good old USA, we say peppy kids are full of beans. Never heard it used to mean stupid. We say full of baloney for stupid or ridiculous.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Fun stuff, but I didn't get the theme until I read the reveal TWICE! I thought that YTD was used in quarterly, not annual, reports. Doesn't make a lot of sense if you are reporting on the entire year. Also thought "full of beans" is a synonym for liar. My family used to say "full of oats" or "feeling his oats" for peppy. When I was young enough to camp in a tent I spent a few days in a campground near the Mt. Palomar observatory. Beautiful drive to get there, and incredible night skies. On the tour they said that city light pollution was starting to diminish the scientific value of the big 200 inch telescope. I suspect that the space-based telescopes have turned all earth-based optical scopes into lesser grade resources.

Had to Genie PHIL, but I got everything else without help. Didn't know ICHAT, Nicki Minaj, or Marc Anthony (thought he wore a toga and visited the forum). Thought a Medina native was a Buckeye or Ohioan. Erased uhho for OOPS and Swamp for SWALE. Favorite clue was SHORT SHOTS? - tried to shoehorn in VACS for vaccinations.

Anonymous said...

Many annual reports contain all 12 monthly year to date totals.

Anonymous said...

Since when are OREOS just for CHILDren?

YTD is likelier to be a monthly "rpt." item than an "annual rpt. column."

PEPPY = funny way to spell POOPY (tried LYING first).

Husker Gary said...

-A great puzzle to brighten up a rainy Thursday. I loved the theme and was surprised there was a fun reveal!
-Count me in as a CHILD consumer for OREOS. Orange filling this time of year!
-My friend at the McDonalds drive thru knows my bkfst order as soon as I say Good Morning
-Every apartment building I’ve entered has the same stale smell/odor
-Funky RAP Medina (4:15). Gotta love the rhythms!
-Defensive comebacks and REBUTTALS are the lifeblood of the current debates. New ideas? Not so much, just promises that will be UNKEPT.
-OOPS! They weren’t supposed to knock over my hometown post office, just the bldg next door.
-PHIL exemplifies the typical TV trope “Father knows nothing”
-Aren’t men more likely to ignore the ONSET of a medical condition?
-My REPORT CARDS were no great shakes. I was allergic to pointless homework.
-George Burns – “There’s no reason for me to die. I already died in ALTOONA!”
-What movie used the Griffith Observatory for this famous scene?

MJ said...

Good day to all!

Fun puzzle today, well executed. Thanks, Ed. My only slow down was wanting ME wanT COOKIE , which of course didn't fit. Love the word TWERP, which my older sister often called me when we were young.

I knew Mt. PALOMAR, having visited there as a child, but imagine that it is a pretty obscure location for most. And I've always understood "Full of beans" to mean "You don't know what you're talking about".

Thanks for being our tour guide today, Steve. Nice pic of Amsterdam.

Enjoy the day!

Hungry Mother said...

Kind of crunchy, but a very nice puzzle. Enjoyable to solve.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This "cookie" had some crunch and was definitely a tasty treat. Only w/o was Uno/War but the NW corner needed some perps and patience. All in all, a fun and satisfying solve.

Thanks, Ed, for the challenge and thanks, Steve, for the fun expo.

I'm typing this from a Surgical Center waiting room where my friend is getting injections for back issues. She had to be sedated and needed a driver so here I am. She is in recovery right now so we'll be on our way soon.

Have a great day. Stay safe, all those in Matthew's path.

thehondohurricane said...

" Hail October" everyone!

Today's puzzle was OK, got it done although the NW corner darn near did me in. In my lingo Full of Beans or Full or full of whatever is referring to a untruthful person, not a PEPPY one. But I can't argue about the fill either. We all interpret phrases differently.

I'm no child, but a package of OREO cookies won't last long when they enter this household and without any help from Lucy or Casey.

YTD can be used for annual reporting as well as periodic. I never used it for end of year reporting. I assumed it was understood by the reader.

Up to today, the only thing I knew about ALTOONA was it's the home for the Pittsburgh Pirates AA minor league team in the Eastern League.

TED, the Splendid Splinter, was and still is, my favorite all time baseball player for a couple of reasons. 1) Like me, he batted lefty. Admittedly,he was a helluva lot better at it than I ever was. 2) He never wore a tie. I disliked ties from the get go. Can't remember how many times I was disciplined at prep school for neglecting my tie, but it was more then a few.

Big Easy said...

Steve- I confidently filled GASSY for 1A and realized PALOMAR or MT WILSON didn't start with a 'S'. ECHO and YTD were gimmes but PHIL and ICHAT were filled by perps. I noticed that the OREO clues were getting eaten away but didn't think of the Cookie Monster. No other problems.

SCISSOR CUT- about the only time you hear of the 'singular' SCISSOR-S.
NUDIE- why pay for a movie with nude scenes. All the newscasters (women) are showing cleavage, not to mention every celebrity and half the women on the street. They are wearing yoga pants that accentuate every crevice below the waist. What you see is what they want you to look at- but not comment, let alone touch. OOPS, TMI.

HG- I never took a book home from school. If I couldn't finish any assigned 'homework', aka busywork, at school, it didn't get done. I was also allergic to pointless busywork.

Hondo- there's a reason we don't buy OREOs or any cookies either; we have no self control.

CanadianEh! said...

Fun time today. Thanks Ed and Steve. LOL at the theme when it revealed. Hand up for loving Oreos.

Also hand up for the British definition of "full of beans=PEPPY". I commented previously about our surplus of beans in the garden and our neighbours being "full of beans".

I had Elite before A LIST and was thinking of a conveyer Belt before TRAM.

ANTHEM'S START could have been appropriate for O Canada also!

St. LUCIA is a beautiful island!

Off to enjoy another beautiful day.

TTP said...

Loved the theme.

Impulse buy last week was the family sized package of OREO cookies. Then had to get another gallon of milk the next day. I can relate to the Cookie Monster.

Smooth sailing today. Hand up for knowing "Full of beans" as MJ stated. Never knew it for PEPPY, but the perps said it had to be, and it does make sense as an alternate definition for that figure of speech.

Favorite was also in that NW corner with "Off-the-wall answer" for ECHO.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Eventually got it all. Had to look thru my desktop programs to get I CHAT. Ultimately sussed out the munching of the OREO down to O. Clever.

Have a great day.

oc4beach said...

A well put together puzzle from Mr. Sessa and Steve's write-up was insightful and entertaining. I was able to finish it without too much trouble wit the usual Perps help.

I agree that OREOs are not just a child's snack. Especially when dunked in ELSIE's product (milk). My FIL worked for the Borden company making evaporated milk, so ELSIE was a gimme.

I live next to the main campus of Penn State and the ALTOONA campus is about 40 miles down I-99 from here. One of my friends from Altoona whose wife was born and raised in New York City (and has a heavy NY accent) calls his hometown Altooner.

Around here Full of Beans meant Full of Bull S---. Peppy wasn't it.

I had ST CROIX for the island before perps prevailed (LUCIA)

It's Mad Hatter Day. Enjoy it to the fullest.

Argyle said...

ME LIKE PUZZLE! [num,num,num,num]

Anonymous said...

A MENU is terrible fill. I know why it is there but it stands out since it is front and center.

Avg Joe said...

Like most, I didn't know that definition of full of beans and gave serious thought to "gassy". But I waited and the perps showed the way since I knew all the downs. Didn't quite "get" Surgery, but did get it with perps, and now understand it. Needed the reveal to understand the theme intent, but had noticed the shrinkage as I went. All in all, a fun little romp with no major nits. Thank you Steve!

Can't say I'm a big fan of Oreos. I really like homemade chocolate chip or M&M cookies though. If you like Oreos, you might try the facsimile made by Trader Joe's: Joe-Joes. Those are pretty tasty.

I don't know if the creepy clown thing is getting as much ink nationwide as it is locally, but here it's pretty crazy. However, I did see an amusing joke on FacePlant that applies: "If you are attacked by a group of creepy clowns, go for the juggler."

I hope all that are in the path of Matthew are safe.

Unknown said...

Fun puzzle but the end was a little anticlimactic for me. I got the reveal before the themed answers.
Then,I spent way too much time looking for a commonality to the themed answers.
Maybe the missing letters in the clue are added to the answer? Nope.
Maybe the missing letters in the clue are also missing in the answer? Nope.
I just kept looking for something that wasn't there until I finished the puzzle.

Lucina said...

Hand up for someone who never buys OREOS. They wouldn't last a day. Same thing for chips of any kind. No self CTRL.

At full of beans I thought of Mexican jumping beans, ergo, PEPPY. This was quite straightforward and the disappearing cookies made me laugh. I wonder though, is Sesame Street how the ubiquitous use of me as a subject started?

Modern Family is really funny, but I can watch it only so long; all the neuroses from the various characters soon annoy me.

Thank you, Ed Sessa and Steve for elucidating us.

Stay safe all you in Matthew's path.

Have a peaceful day, everyone!

C6D6 Peg said...

Thanks, Ed, for a fun and entertaining puzzle. Loved the theme and reveal from Cookie Monster. LOL when discovered.

Nice write-up, Steve. Hope you get a chance to eat in Lyon sometime!

Jayce said...

Very clever theme. Overall a good puzzle but with a couple of clunkers such as FGS crossing NOS. Liked the clue for ECHO. Noticed MANED and PANED. Had to change BELT to TRAM.
Good one, Avg Joe.
Steve, thanks for your write-up and the photograph.
Best wishes to you all.

Bill G. said...

I enjoyed the puzzle. Thanks Ed, Rich and Steve.

My mother preferred Hydrox cookies to Oreas so that's what I got used to as a kid. Later on, when I was buying my own cookies, I found I preferred Hydrox too. It was about then that they discontinued them.

MJ, yes, I agree. Full of beans meant you don't know of what you speak.

When I assigned math homework, it may have seemed like pointless busywork to some students but for me, it was to provide necessary practice. I can't imagine very many students would be able to understand and use the quadratic formula to solve quadratic equations after having seen one example worked out. When my guitar teacher guided me though a new arrangement, my learning was done at home during the next week as I practiced.

"...go for the juggler." Good one Avg Joe!

Lucina, yes, many of the characters can get annoying, expecially Phil. All except Sofia Vergara that is. She is nice to look at, funny and intelligent.

Good luck to all in the path of Matthew. It appears to be big and ugly.

gmony said...

I thought this one was easy. Wow. Go Giants!

TX Ms said...

Avg. Joe, yes, that idiotic craze is driving me crazy. It dominates the Houston news stations. Does anyone have any idea where this childish punk thing started?

Lucina, thank you for your concise review of Modern Family. Couldn't miss watching it for a couple of years. Now I don't bother, and I couldn't ever put my finger on why. Yes, neuroses overdose killed it for me.

To all those affected by Matthew, please stay safe. I hope the damage will be minimal, but with my experiences with hurricanes, it's hit-or-miss. My family evacuated during Hurricane Carla (1961) as our Brazoria County farm was within the projected storm surge, 20 miles inland. When we returned, we could not believe the destruction - dead cattle in power lines; brick homes gone, nothing but toilets still anchored, while the next house, a wooden shack with a corrugated metal roof, was intact. Prayers to all in its path, and I'm hoping it somehow weakens before landfall.

Irish Miss said...

After bringing my friend home and staying until I was sure she knew what day it was, I stopped at the farm stand for corn 🌽 (after suffering withdrawal for the 9-10 days they were closed) and then dropped my car off at the shop to have them solve a problem they've probably not encountered often, if ever. While getting into the car yesterday, a small piece of chain came off one of the tchotchkes on my key chain and fell into the narrow space between the horn and the steering wheel rim. At first, I could hear it rattling around, then the noise stopped. Today, while driving, the horn sounded by itself about six different times. (Annoying and embarrassing.) I have no idea if this presents any danger vis a vis the air bag. We shall see.

I don't think I have ever, ever purchased cookies 🍪 🍪 for myself. Potato chips and popcorn 🍿 however, are a completely different story!

AnonymousPVX said...

A crunchy Thursday puzzle that was also cleverly constructed.

I'm just west of Charleston SC, about 25 miles inland. I'm hunkered down although technically in an Evac zone. No one knows why we are in one, not a flood zone and no impact from the "fire hose" storm a year ago. No mail yesterday but both mail and trash collection today. Doesn't make sense? Welcome to SC!

Misty said...

I loved this clever Ed Sessa puzzle, though, like others, I too had a bit of a tough time in the Northwest. Thank goodness, I too have been to PALOMAR, and I just watched PHIL on 'Modern Family' last night. I actually like the zaniness of "Modern Family" which keeps it from turning into a sentimental family sit-com. I also figured out the theme after getting one or two of the long answers, so the final ME EAT COOKIE made me laugh. Many thanks, Ed, for an enjoyable Thursday morning. And great expo and pics, as always, Steve.

Irish Miss, what a busy morning you've had. Am glad your friend, your car, and you are all okay after that crazy morning. Hope you get a good nap this afternoon.

Have a great day, everybody!

Tinbeni said...

Soooo, those religious zealots go to AMEN U???
Where is that university located?

Enjoyed the OREO theme as it was eaten. Good job on the FUN puzzle Ed.

Getting a little tired of this "new show" Matthew on the Weather Channel.
Hope it ends soon.


Wilbur Charles said...

No time so my thousand words on Teddy Ballgame will be condensed to .406. Another magic number like 712,744 and MM's 536

Speaking of M&M. Couldn't Work have had a cousin visit him and thus be about ETS?

Main problem is brain fog. Couldn't spell UNAM nor NEHI so I had RIBAT

Ol' Man Keith said...

Count me in for the common objection to the CHILD's half of CHILD'S SNACK. I suppose one could make the case that children love Oreos as much as anyone else does. Still, it seems strange to narrow a consumer group arbitrarily. So much else is beautifully arranged in this pzl.
SWALE is a wonderful word, especially at the end of a misdirection. I liked RADII too, and SURGERY, both for different reasons. Isn't it curious that in Britain a SURGERY is a doctor's office whether or not any surgical procedures ever take place there.

Anonymous said...

"I'm just west of Charleston SC, about 25 miles inland." -- perfectly positioned for August 21, 2017 AnonPVX. The shadow is coming!

Avg Joe said...

Anon at 5:43, I'm pretty happy to be right in that stripe as well. It's only about 30-40 miles wide. Still haven't bought an old school welders helmet for the viewing, but I'm on it. Now if only the weather cooperates...........

Again, on Matthew. It's looking very, very fugly. I hope all in the path are battened down and prepared, or better yet, out of the way.

Wilbur Charles said...

And Ilsa never said"Play it again Sam" nor did Sherlock say"Elementary...

I liked the older sister in MF. During the course of the show little sister grew a head taller than MJ Foxx. Been there, seen that

This was certainly easier than Wed. And I meant Mork as the ET from my earlier post

Ted Williams was dragged back into the Marine Flying Corps for the Korean conflict, left after a few weeks in 1952 batting.407, and after crashing his plane on a Carrier returned to the redsox in '53 and hit 400+ the rest of the year.

You can't make stuff like that up

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Nailed it before work and had a PEP in my step all day. Second Sat constructor this week that I could solve 'cuz it's not a Sat. Thanks Ed - I loved the theme and OREO not being in the fill(ing). Thanks Steve for the witty writeup and confirming my WAGs right.

WOs: Hand up SWAmp. NSA b/f CIA.


Fav: (Theme and execution aside) BEAM UP. I mean, who doesn't like Trek?
Runner up: SCISSOR CUT. I can't do the shaver thing - Basic Training flashbacks!

Random useless knowledge - Did you know ELSIE's hubby is/was Elmer of glue fame? [scroll to 9/29]

{C, C, B, A-}

HG - LOL RAP Medina.

Ave Joe - Creepy Clown closed schools here. Youngest asked me about it - she was sure it a hoax. "Juggler" - LOL Hey, wait, I juggle!

Lucina - yep, just like with Arrested Development - funny in small doses.

OKL - did those who SMELT'ED, dealt it? :-)

Cheers, -T

Tinbeni said...

Funky Cold Medina is probably the only Rap Song I ever enjoyed ... LOL.

I have tried ... really tried ... but I'm hooked on this "New TV show" Tracking Matthew on the Weather Channel ...

Hurricanes are "No Bull-Shit" ...
270 dead from this storm already ...

Glad I'm on the West Coast ...

Hope Lemon and Chairman Moe are SAFE ....

Michael said...

D-O @ 6:52:

Nope, Mt. Wilson is even less useful for night observation than Palomar ... light pollution, so it's only good for solar work ... but if you go up there on a clear night the view of the L.A. basin is stunning.

Picard said...

I get OREOs three or four times a year: After blood donations, they give them to us as a treat!

Agree with Jayce that FGS and NOS crossing was unfair. I was sure it was wrong, but I did get it.

Never heard of "Full of beans" as PEPPY. WEES that it means full of either lies or BS everywhere I have lived in the US.