Oct 26, 2016

Wednesday, Oct 26, 2016 Patti Varol

Theme: Mere Pittance - Each theme entry is a slang for "paltry sum".

18A. Peanuts : CHICKEN FEED

38A. Peanuts : SMALL POTATOES. Remember the black squares on both sides of this entry are not cheaters. The tricky 13 demands the black squares.

58A. Peanuts : CHUMP CHANGE

C.C. here, swapping blogging slot with Husker Gary, who wrote last Sunday's post.

At first, I thought this might be a Definition type, which often runs on Thursday or Friday. But no SCHULZ'S STRIP or BALLPARK SNACK or other made-up phrases. Patti has a tight set of all  solid in- the-language phrases.


1. Wander (about) : GAD

4. Fragrant bloom : LILAC. The scent is a bit overwhelming for me.

9. Utter disorder : CHAOS

14. Second person in Eden : EVE

15. Kitchen sponge brand : O-CEL-O.  Love 3M. They sponsor the annual Champions Tour here in our area.

16. Full of moxie : NERVY

17. Like many a gray day : WET
20. Sales meeting aid : GRAPH. Not CHART.

22. Feel crummy : AIL. Was on antibiotics for 2 weeks. Man, I felt so crummy. The periodontist is going to take off the stitches this morning. Yay!

23. Coal __ : TAR

24. Most populous continent : ASIA

25. Date night destination : CINEMA

28. One of a gallon's 16 : CUP

30. Like a successful business, presumably : WELL-RUN. Like 3M.

32. Stand against : OPPOSE

34. Northern California city : EUREKA

37. Birch family tree : ALDER

41. Hardly fresh : STALE. Hope you have Aldi in your neighborhood. This week's boxed Medjool dates are incredibly fresh.

42. Bit of photography equipment : TRIPOD

43. Southern California team : LAKERS. Not ANGELS or PADRES. Lakes are originally from Minnesota, "Land of 10,000 Lakes".

45. Inside information : LOWDOWN

49. Copper source : ORE

50. Hits the road : SPLITS

53. Albany-to-Buffalo canal : ERIE

54. Former Air France jet : SST

56. Geologist's division : EON. Not ERA.

57. Tops by a slight margin : EDGES
62. Picnic invader : ANT
63. Ready to hit the hay : TIRED. Also 66. Used up : SPENT
64. Invalidate : ANNUL
65. Maiden name preceder : NEE
67. Pond critters : NEWTS. Not FROGS.
68. Mexican Mrs. : SRA
1. Gaudy trinket : GEWGAW. Not a word I use.
2. Opposed : AVERSE

3. Enlargement advantage : DETAIL

4. Scot's swimming spot : LOCH
5. German "I" : ICH

6. Welcoming wreath : LEI

7. Highway through the Yukon : ALCAN (Alaska-Canada)

8. Newswoman Roberts : COKIE. NPR.

9. "Erin Burnett OutFront" channel : CNN

10. Pick up with effort : HEFT

11. Geographically based trio : AREA CODE

12. Makes trite, in a way : OVERUSES

13. Hoff who wrote the "Henrietta" children's books : SYD

19. Red "Sesame Street" puppet : ELMO

21. Light beer? : PALE ALE. Color-wise.

25. Biceps exercise : CURL

26. Not at all handy : INEPT

27. "Trainwreck" director Judd : APATOW. He was on the Bill Cosby crusade from the very start.

29. Pay-__-view : PER

31. Kings, e.g. : RULERS

33. Lumbered : PLODDED

35. "MASH" setting: Abbr. : KOR (Korea). Land of Kimchi & Tteokbokk. The latter is a street food, as  ubiquitous as our WIENER (47. Ballpark snack)

36. Lopsided : ATILT

38. Sci-fi fleet vessel : STARSHIP

39. Leave no doubt : MAKE SURE

40. GI addresses : APOs

41. __-mo : SLO

44. What a freelancer may work on : SPEC

46. Hearts, but not minds : ORGANS
48. Lipton rival : NESTEA

51. Lindsay of "Mean Girls" : LOHAN. She was once so promising.

52. Foolish : INANE

55. Anti-counterfeiting agts. : T MEN

57. Slim swimmers : EELS

58. Euro divs. : CTs

59. West Coast hrs. : PDT

60. Houston-to-Dallas dir. : NNW

61. Belly : GUT


fermatprime said...


Thanks, Patti and CC!

Cute puzzle. Theme answers easy to fill in.

Didn't know SYD and CNN, but easily filled them in.

Have a great day!

OwenKL said...

Only Wednesday, and I've got a FIW!
I was positive 1d was GEe-GAW, never heard of GEWGAW. How would that even be pronounced? eET for 17a was unlikely, but I was surer of the initial E than of either of the two following letters!
23a I was torn between eLDER & ALDER, and the perp AP?TOW told me nothing.

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

Lilah liked LILACS and lilies,
Liked ALDER and elder and elm trees,
She thought it a plumb
To have such a green thumb --
Which oozed purple-green pus and disease!

The congressman was almost a winner
Till they asked him his favorite dinner!
He said ORGANS meat
Can be a big treat
When ground up and flashed as a WIENER!

SYD wanted to GAD about on a STARSHIP
But a fare cost more than her bar tips.
So she serves up PALE ALE
But dreams ion trails
And buys tickets to the CINEMA for star trips!

The reason bananas are yellow
Is because pineapple gelato sets so SLO -
As OPPOSED to quick fits
Of cheerleaders doing splits,
Then you can't make ice cream SPLITS out of Jell-o!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Immediately WAGged GEWGAW at 1d -- old-timey expression my grandma used. My other WAGs were just as fortuitous, and this one came together in typical Monday time.

Heard the phrase many times before I finally figured out it wasn't Paper-View.

3M was a long-time leader in magnetic recording tape -- no longer used. It's gone the way of camera film. I don't own a TRIPOD, but I do have a unipod for my camera. Doesn't help. I still manage blurry shots.

Was planning to early-vote yesterday, but couldn't get near the courthouse annex. Looks like turnout is going to be huge this year.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, C.C., and friends. What a fun Wednesday puzzle. Definitely more than just Peanuts!

Hand up for Frogs before NEWTS.

I confidently wrote in ArkLaTex for the Geographically Based Trio. I reluctantly eventually changed it to the AREA CODE.

I learned that a Date Destination is not Dinner (and a movie), but rather Dinner and the CINEMA.

I also tried Robin Roberts before realizing that we were looking for COKIE. Both have a Louisiana connection, however. Cokie was born in New Orleans and Robin went to Southeastern Louisiana University where she played basketball.

QOD: Without a song, each day would be a century. ~ Mahalia Jackson (Oct. 26, 1911 ~ Jan. 27, 1972)

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Good Wednesday puzzle, even though I had one error - its the ALCAN highway, not the AmCAN. Other unknowns were OCELO, SYD Hoff and Jodd APATOW. Erasures were LA Rams for LAKERS, ein for ICH and Pabst LA for PALE ALE.

I was in my mid-50s before I ever heard GEWGAW. I giggle every time I hear it, but never use it myself.

NPAs (Numbering Plan Areas, also called "area codes") are losing their area association. It started about 20 years ago when NPA overlays started. If you have to use 10 digits for a local call, you live in an overlay area. Prior to that time, NPAs were split to add capacity, but every geographical location in the USA was assigned to exactly one NPA. Cell phones and no-charge long distance have furthered the blurring of the area concept.

Thanks Patti and CC for a fun puzzle and a good expo. I'll miss tomorrow - have to leave early to take our greyhound to an orthopedic vet, and I expect to get back too late to chime in.

unclefred said...

Great fun CW, Patti, and perfect for Wednesday, thanx! Nice write-up, too, C.C., thanx! LARAMS - LAKERS. Got one letter wrong, unfortunately, with ELDERS - ALDERS. Never heard of, or couldn't remember, APATOW. Thanx for the limericks, Owen: C, B+, B, C. Pussy thumb turned my grin upside-down.

Hungry Mother said...

Nice and easy for a Wednesday. I'm wary about tomorrow's puzzle.

oc4beach said...

Thanks Patti and CC for a neat puzzle and a great expo. I got through it OK, but had a few glitches that would have needed an eraser if I did it on paper. As usual perps were a major contributor to my success

Like Owen I was sure 1d was GEe-GAW, but then WET wouldn't work.

FROGS, then TOADS before NEWTS became apparent.

When we went on a date in the days of my "Ute" we went to the MOVIES, never heard of the CINEMA back then.

The real stumper was AREACODES. Wouldn't have gotten it without perps.

Had LARAMS before the LAKERS perped up. I was sure the RAMS was right at first. Oh well.

It's National Pumpkin day. Apparently Krispie Kreme is giving away a free pumpkin donut. Not my favorite flavor, but it's free.

Enjoy your day.

Big Easy said...

I had a couple of unknowns in the NW- GEWGAW & OCELO- along with SYD and APATOW, but the rest was a speed run. The cross of APATOW and ALDER was a coin flip between A and E.

COKIE Roberts- both of her parents, HALE and LINDY BOGGS, were my Congressmen (woman). Hale Boggs died in a plane crash in Alaska and the governor appointed Lindy as his replacement.

Hahtoolah- COKIE may have been born in NOLA, but she never lived here. Her parents kept a French Quarter apt. as an official residence for voting purposes.

AREA CODE- want one that is NOT geographically based. Download Google Talk and you can pick a number anywhere in the USA that they will forward to your cell or land line.

oc4beach said...

AnonT from yesterday: The answer to my question " if your grandfather married his brother's daughter, what would her relationship be to you?

She would be your Grandfather's niece and his wife.

She would by your parent's (father or mother) mother and first cousin.

Therefore, she would be your grandmother and first cousin once removed.

Weird, but true. This was a not uncommon occurrence in the early days of this country when pioneers on the frontier did not have many opportunities to marry outside of their families. Although in many cases it may have been a more distant relative.

Genealogy is interesting.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Agree with C.C. - great puzzle from Patti. In the language, but lots of fresh fill.
No searches; one whiteout. Had dinner before CINEMA.
Liked the AREA CODE clue.

Have a great day.

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

Had EASEL before GRAPH in 20a, but otherwise it was a clean sheet. Needed ESP to get GEWGAW (new word for me). 47d clue suggested HOT DOG, not WIENER. Not sure I've ever heard a ballpark vendor cry: "get your wieners, here!" RED HOT would've made sense, too

Speaking of ballparks, Progressive Field - NEE, "The Jake" - was rockin last night. GO TRIBE! And for those who recall players who were being discussed just before the trade deadline, I wonder how Jonathan Lucroy feels about his turning down the Indians for the Rangers right now?! 😜

And in honor of today's theme clue, I offer a limerick I saw which commented on the recent "firing" of the cartoon character Snoopy as the mascot for Met Life:

The guy who fired Snoopy's a putz.
But you must admit it took guts.
The spokes-beagle they lost
Helped keep down ad cost.
I heard he just worked for Peanuts.

CrossEyedDave said...

Oh Nuts! (specifically, pea...)


3 names, each wrong by one letter.

Oh well,


(Also, what this puzzle revealed to me...)

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Another straightforward and smooth solve with a timely nod to a baseball park staple: Peanuts! And, via Moe's limerick, our favorite Beagle, Snoopy. No bumps along the way but I am more familiar with geegaw rather than gewgaw and I always want two "L"'s in o-cel-o.

Nicely done, Patti, and thanks, CC, for the succinct summary.

Our weather is turning colder and tomorrow's forecast is for rain, possibly changing to snow, especially in the higher elevations. Get out the fleecies!

Have a great day.

Tinbeni said...

C.C. Wonderful write-up & links.

Patti: Thank You for a FUN Wednesday puzzle with a nice theme.

OK, I needed ESP (Every-Single-Perp) to get SYD & APATOW.

And I will admit my first thought for "Date night destination" was bedroom but I ran out of spaces and CINEMA appeared.

tears on the out-come of last nights game ...


They get all of my CHEERS !

Lemonade714 said...

C.C. how nice to see your write up and I enjoyed learning about the Korean dishes. It is interesting that something that was created in the 50's has become a staple of the street vendor.

I always wonder why the LA Lakers never changed their name.

I grew up with Lilacs outside my bedroom window in the spring.

I know, but keep forgetting Syd Hoff even though my son loved dinosaurs.

I also blanked on ALDER.

I may never eat Peanut Butter again; thanks CED.

I only recall GEWGAW because we had it on a Saturday in April in both the LAT and NYT- the LAT a collaboration of Patti V. and Doug Peterson, who also did the NYT but with Brad Wilber. As I said so many times, knowing that the two editors do not compare schedules, it is amazing how many times a constructor appears in both on a single day. This word is one of those where JD's suggestion to write down unknowns really helps.

Thank you PV and CC

Husker Gary said...

-A fun solve and write-up, Patti and C.C.!
-One line Ralph Kramden always used to denote a small amount to Alice was, “It’s a mere bag of shells” (Misuse of bagatelle)
-What Excel calls charts, I would call GRAPHS
-It isn’t COAL TAR but the black stuff in a cigarette smoker’s lungs is still TAR
-The old Minneapolis LAKERS were in financial trouble and couldn’t afford to change the name when they moved to LA in 1960
-The ERIE Canal went from “DeWitt Clinton’s Big Ditch” to the “Eighth Wonder of the World”
-10 celebrity ANNULMENTS
-I’m all for women keeping their birth names but when Mary Smith marries John Jones and choose Smith-Jones for the children’s surname, what happens when that child marries someone with the surname Thomas-Wilson? INANE?
-Other than LOCH Ness, I only know this melodic LOCH (4:15)
-Netflix is a Pay TO View channel and Sherlock has joined House Of Cards and Poirot as my refuge from commercial television

Lucina said...

What fun to GAD about this grid! Thank you, Patti Varol. I liked the theme, too. All went well with only one write over, GRAPH/EASEL. GEWGAW! Love it. I wasn't sure about APATOW but knew ALDER.

COKIE Roberts also wrote about the first ladies, Founding Mothers. It's enjoyable reading.

Thank you, C.C. It's nice to see you on a Wednesday.

Have a special day, everyone!

Bill G. said...

Thanks Patti and CC.

I had exactly the same problem as Irish Miss, I knew the words but couldn't spell OCELO and GEWGAW.

I had oatmeal with brown sugar and half-and-half. Excellent! I'm a big fan of Cream of Wheat too.

Misty said...

Fun theme in this morning's puzzle--many thanks, Patti! C.C., I loved your Sunday puzzle and it's nice to have you back this morning.

I had almost no write-overs this morning and got everything right--Yay! Also got both Sudoku and Kenken--making this a great Wednesday morning. Which is a good thing, because in another couple hours I take off to have surgery on my face (basal cell carcinoma under a small mole I had removed two weeks ago). I'm just praying that it goes well, without an infection afterwards, and that it doesn't leave me too disfigured.

Have a good day, everybody!

Nice Cuppa said...

• I don't recall this variant on the repeated clue theme in which the answers all have related slangy answers. it's not as much fun as the literal/slang/modern-culture combos.

• My "American as a Second Language" lexicon ENLARGED today.
NERVY in Brit-speak has the opposite connotation than in the U.S. In Britland, it means "nervous" or "easily alarmed", the opposite of the U.S. meaning of "bold or impudent".

• I seem to recall having GEWGAW within the last 12 months. Probably as a Friday/Saturday offering. It's a perfectly respectable word dating back to Middle English, but it is quite definitely "dated".

• We can probably blame the Poles for names ending in –OW. When they decided to convert the spelling of their Slavic language from Cyrillic to the Roman characters, they used older "–OW" instead of the modern transliteration "–OV" or –"UF". So the city of KRAKOV became CRACOW, etc. I would guess that immigrants to the US in the 19th century and later would often use this anomaly to switch the pronunciation of their names (to -OE) so they did not not sound instantly Eastern European or Jewish, both victims of discrimination in the U.S. until very recent times.

xtulmkr said...

It took me a long time to accept the obvious OPPOSE for 32A since the word was used in the clue for 2D.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Today's pzl reminds me that when we aren't learning new words (new to us) via a xwd, we are most certainly being reminded of old favorites. Today's friends include ASIA, ERIE, ORE, SST, and good ol' LEI. (Surprised we aren't seeing TSAR...)
Still and all, it's a good, solid entry from Ms. Varol. It may not have the extra fillips that Nice Cuppa wants but, as others have attested, it meets its theme goals nicely, and I enjoyed its smooth, steady unfolding. Thank you!

AnonymousPVX said...

Solid Wednesday offering, no real trouble. Will Thursday be like last week? Stay tuned…

Pat said...

I was out of town for four days and feel like my brain turned to mush! I can't believe how poorly I have done on the puzzles this week. I've worked them all and finished with lots of peeks at the grids. Thanks to the constructors and bloggers.

Happy Wednesday to all!


Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

FIW. Thanks Patti for providing a joyful distraction while I awaited torture at the hands of the stye Doctor.* Thanks C.C. for telling me I was 50/50 on my last WAGs. Oh, and givin' us the LOWDOWN on this fine Wed.

Final two WAGs: 'G' in GAD/GEWGAW [never heard of either] and the 'E' (bzzt) (Hi unclefred!) in eLDER - as in "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"

Like EES I thought there was going to be a Snoopy reference. But, it was all about the meh [as in, no big deal]. I like it.

WO: Spelt COKIE w/ 2 c's at first. She still shows up on NPR on Mondays [Lucina - Thx, I forgot about her book - I saw it on C-SPAN3 (I think) once]

Fav: NEWT - as in "She turned me into a NEWT"

Runner-ups: I like the DETAIL of how GRAPH and EDGES mirror; with Archimedes' EUREKA in there it feels a bit Euclidian. 11d c/a was pretty cute too.

{T,C+,B+,T}. {++ for MetLife ref. LOL!}

Jinx - interesting re: AREA CODES. Houston-metro is an overlay and I get confused sometimes when, at Pop's house, I'm only given a 7-digit number. Mom's house only had 4 digits until a few years back.

Oc4 - I got grandma after re-reading. The cousin thing feels a bit AK-ish :-)

Com'on Cubbies - SPLIT on the road.

*Misty - I feel you. ProTip: BYOD. I TILT'd two beers before DW drove me to the Dr. Unfortunately, while waiting, the buzz wore off before the needles went in (on my eyelids!!!!). I wish'd I had a flask 'cuz I was NERVY (NC's UK usage).

Cheers, -T

Wilbur Charles said...

I didn't even notice that this was a Patti Varol. And great to see CC, oopsy, make that Ms Burnikel on the write-up.

I knew a T-man. Let's just say, a very interesting character. Gave me the lowdown on the making of "The Friends of Eddie Coyle".

The old NBA was hard up for cash. I picked up Richmond's bio of Phil Jackson. He was talking about how the STLo drafted Bill Russell but traded him to the Celtics.

What he didn't mention was that there was another team ahead of the C's, the old Rochester Royals. So, Red Auerbach of victory cigar fame, dragged his owner to Rochester and traded draft picks.

And the "differ" as Mcbreen explained in an Irish ditty: Boston Ice Capades dates for the Rochester arena. An NBA month's attendance for three skating shows.

SMALL POTATOES for Walter Brown, 11 GEWGAWs for Red.

WC in prime time for a change

Wilbur Charles said...

Oh, I forgot. My prayers that your procedure goes well, Misty.

Anonymous T said...

SInce Tawnya isn't about: Boz Scaggs' - LOW DOWN. Cheers, -T

Picard said...

Fun theme. Expected other variations of Peanuts indeed including the comic strip.

One small nit: My brother is a geologist and I have never heard him use the word EON.

Nice Cuppa said...

• ALERT: Do not go to a hairdresser in the U.K. and ask for a POUF, unless you are specifically looking to meet a homosexual man. Variants include POOF and POOFTER – all offensive terms but still widely recognized.

• I have never heard the phrase: "Take a powder". I have it as North American informal = depart quickly, especially in order to avoid a difficult situation. If the phrase did originate from Northern England/Scotland, then it only survived via immigrants to the U.S.

I wonder if it is connected to the euphemism powder one's nose.
Or maybe keep one's powder dry = remain cautious and ready for a possible emergency.

• I found this puzzle remarkably facile, maybe because of all the FRAWNCHE words: étage, petit, enfant, carafes, café – admittedly, the last 2 are in the standard English lexicon, but their pronunciation has not been Anglicized.

And FYI: the "favor" in to "curry favor" is an "alteration of Middle English curry favel, from the name (Favel or Fauvel) of a chestnut horse in a 14th-century French romance who became a symbol of cunning and duplicity". As Michael Caine would say "Not a lotta people know that".

An of course, Indian curry has a quite different etymology.