Nov 19, 2016

Saturday, Nov 19th, 2016, Erik Agard

Theme: None

Words 70 (missing Q,V,W,X)

Blocks: 38

  First time blogging an Erik Agard LA Times Saturday puzzle for me; he has seven previously published constructions, and with a posting on a Tuesday, he will have hit for the cycle.  Odd-looking grid with the black corners, a high block count, and the step-stacks of 12-,13-, and 14-letter fills; 12 & 14 is hard to do.  Not much success on my first pass, and the short down clues did not help much - if it had not been for some "I know this" fills, I would probably still be working on the grid.  Got my ta-DA~! with one bad cell, silly mistake crossing a total unknown.  Oh well.  Some of the longer fill;

13a. ESPN game show where four expert panelists compete debate-style : AROUND THE HORN - I see it on the TV at the restaurants occasionally, but not an actual watcher - but I do like the chalkboard quotes

15a. "42" subject : JACKIE ROBINSON - my first thought was the "42" of Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and that was not working.  Baseball is not my thing, but once the -SON appeared, a vague recollection of this movie occurred 

65a. Early U.S. Navy flag motto : DON'T TREAD ON ME

66a. Likely to be returned : MISADDRESSED



1. Diagnostic aid : TISSUE SAMPLE - oof; vague

17. Water __ : SKI - oops, not "PIK"

18. Gets ready to eat, in a way : NUKES - affectionate term for microwaving; it's how I defrost chicken and re-heat pizza

19. Key of Beethoven's Sym. No. 7 : A Maj - I filled in the "M", and waited; it's going to be A-G, Major or Minor

21. Clipped affirmative : YES,'M

23. Other: Pref. : HETERO-

25. Scary story sound : CREAK

28. One of a prohibitive septet : SIN - the Se7en Deadly

31. Industry bigwigs : CZARS - ah, we've seen this before; did not occur to me at first; I went with EXECS

32. Hide out, with "down" : HUNKER

34. School offering belts : DOJO - martial arts

36. Get : NAB - oops, not "SEE"

37. Rihanna album whose title is a common prefix : ANTI - half perps and a WAG

38. Cosmic balance : KARMA

40. Analogy part : IS TO

41. An ace is under it : PAR - in golf, it's par, birdie, eagle; on a par-three hole, "ace" is a hole in one

42. Desert bordering the Altai Mountains : GOBI

43. Mitt with ten fingers : ROMNEY - clever

45. "Luck Be __": "Guys and Dolls" song : A LADY

47. Smoking evidence : ASH

49. Shuffles, say : iPODS - Apple MP-3 music players

50. Firming (up) : TONING - D-oh~! I filled in Boning, and 25d was anyone's guess

52. Italian recipe word : ALLA

54. User of recording devices called quipus : INCA - fascinating, for me - I had to find out what a quipu was, and here's the Wiki; down at the bottom, the article mentions Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt series, and I have read two of his books - now I need to get the one mentioned here.

55. WWII conference city : YALTA

58. Home of MLB's Redbirds : STL - St. Louis Cardinals



1. Persian for "crown" : TAJ - pondered "ABU" at first

2. Subjects of IRS Pub. 590 : IRAs

3. Belt : SOCK - ah, not "SHOT"

4. Japanese hot pot dish : SUKIYAKI - oops, not TERI yaki

5. Athlete's wear, for short : UNI - I believe it's short for unitard

6. Idyllic settings : EDENS - one of the few clues I got on the first pass

7. Toys with strings? : STRUMS - I have been known to toy with the strings of my guitars

8. "I see now" : "AH, OK"

9. "Leave __!" : "ME BE"

10. Trey Anastasio's band : PHISH - nailed it, but for the life of me I cannot remember my favorite song from them from a live concert; my brother might recall the name.  I spent way too much time looking for it....

11. Chaney of the screen : LON

12. Imitation : ERSATZ - great WAG off the "T" in hetero-

14. Unequivocal rejection : NO MEANS NO

16. Told : NARRATED

20. Alcott's "Little Men" sequel : JO'S BOYS

22. __ out a victory : EKE

24. Prefix with tourist : ECO

25. Indian flatbread : CHAPATI

26. Words with a dismissive wave : RUN ALONG

27. Unable to look away : ENTRANCED

I am unable to look away~!

29. Actor __ Elba of "The Wire" : IDRIS - his IMDb; I was not aware he played the captain in the movie Prometheus, the 'prequel' to ALIEN

30. French handle? : NOM - Frawnche for "name"

33. "Citizen Kane" studio : RKO

35. Shake up : JAR

39. Old hoops org. : ABA

40. Thick paint applications : IMPASTOS

42. OB/__ : GYN

44. Sautéing substance : OIL

46. Unicellular alga : DIATOM

48. Abomination : HATRED

51. "Peer __ Homecoming": Grieg work : GYNTS

53. Rapper Kendrick __ : LAMAR

56. Mennen skin product : AFTA

57. Voldemort's title : LORD - from the Harry Potter series of books and films, portrayed by Ralph Fiennes

59. Cookie containers : TINS

60. __-Tokoin Airport: Togo hub : LOME

62. Pasta ending : INI - rotini was the only one I could think of, so I went looking, and found the pasta shapes dictionary

63. Soft drink ending : ADE

64. Young adult fiction author Vizzini : NED - perps



OwenKL said...

Did not do well on this one. The three rows were largely WAGs after red, and a small cluster of naticks around IMPasTOS / stl near the SE I guessed wrong.

If you are wise, you'll LEAVE ME BE!"
But the LADY of EDEN
Advice wasn't heedin'
Her SIN was chasing him up a tree!

Trapped in the garden of creation,
He ADDRESSED the LADY below his station:
"Don't you know that NO MEANS NO?
Now RUN ALONG and let me go!"
Said she, "I'm hungry to GET INFORMATION!"

He told her YES'M, and to HUNKER DOWN,
STRUMMED a limb, fruit rained around.
"If you trust my word,
Take those to your LORD
You'll be ENTRANCED by their crunching sound!"

fermatprime said...


Thanks to Erik and Splynter!

Not bad for a Saturday. One cheat: I looked up "42." Otherwise, lots of perps and wags were employed.

Had not heard of ANTI, CHAPATI, IMPASTOS, LAMAR, LOM and NED. WHEW! Was happy to get the TADA!

Have a great day!

OwenKL said...

{A-.} for one long poem. Tried for a 4th verse, but it kept getting religious instead of just folklore. I think this is the third time I've done poems about Eve and the apple!

Idris Alba I know mainly from Luther.

JB said...

I enjoy the blog, but can't figure out some of the "words" that are used (natick) and can't find out where to learn them. Help, please.

TTP said...

Good morning all.


JB, NATICK PRINCIPLE was coined by Rex Parker. "If you include a proper noun in your grid that you cannot reasonably expect more than 1/4 of the solving public to have heard of, you must cross that noun with reasonably common words and phrases or very common names."

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning,

I have really enjoyed this week--great constructions and, of course, interesting discussions. I haven't posted because my schedule was running so late, everyone had already shared what I may have.

Thanks Eric for a challenge this morning. It was a really slow start, but the long entries gave me enough to get moving. Faves today: ROMNEY, NO MEANS NO, ENTRANCED.

Thanks, Splynter, for another fine tour. I especially liked the pasta dictionary link.

Owen, That was quite a fine poem. Have a great weekend, everyone.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Don't know how, but I managed to conquer this one thanks to perseverance and Wite-Out. Whew! Thanks for the workout, Erik. There were so many that I didn't know, but they finally perped out.

JB, check out "Comment Section ABBRS" on the R-H side of the main blog. "Natick" isn't there, though. It's a small town in Massachusetts that noone (except locals) have ever heard of. Used here, it means the crossing of two names that a normal person wouldn't know -- might know one, but not both. Rex Parker created the Natick Principle years ago.

OwenKL said...

JB: The page desper-otto recommended has had comments added for natick and other terms in the comments section.

billocohoes said...

Though it's a secondary definition, isn't ABOMINATION usually used as the thing you hate, not the hatred itself?

Don't think of HUNKER down as "hiding" so much as settling into a safe place, like we may have to for the winter starting tomorrow.

I propose LOME replace Natick as an unknown place. Natick should at least be known to most of the Northeast - it's the last service area on the Eastbound Mass. Turnpike heading into Boston. The hub airport of Togo? Really? RUN ALONG

inanehiker said...

Fairly quick for a Saturday, but definitely worked from the bottom up on this one. The north got hung up when I had RAJ instead of TAJ -making it hard to see TISSUE SAMPLE until more of it was filled in. Enjoyed the clue for ROMNEY.
I had ASBESTOS before the IMPASTOS - knew it was probably wrong but thought it might have another meaning in the past.

Have a beautiful Saturday - finally have autumn weather in the 40s- yay! It was 80 on Thursday...

Thanks Splynter and Erik!

Jinx in Norfolk said...

At least I didn't suffer. After a couple of passes I just gave up and clicked on Splynter's narrative. It's good to have something to aspire to, but it will be a few more years before I'll be ready to tackle this level of puzzle in earnest. And I can always rely on a great leg shot from Splynter, for which I am always appreciative (especially since The Five doesn't air on Saturdays).

Anonymous said...

Let's play a game...

How old do you think the girl is in Splynter's chick pic? 18 I hope. Buy I couldn't argue with 15 or 16.

Oh, and her shoe straps remind me of a "circle what's wrong in this picture" game you would find in a magazine a girl her age would read. Like 'Highlights'.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was daunting at first glance but proved to be manageable once the long fill started to come together. It still took a lot of perps and perseverance to finish and, alas, it was a FIW because of the Chipati/Inca cross. Oh well, into each life..........

Thanks, Erik, for the workout and thanks, Splynter, for the grand tour.

Today is supposed to reach the high 50's, then a cold front is descending and tomorrow we expect some of the white stuff. Boo! Hiss!

Lucina, I suspect the tamales you have around Christmas will taste better than ever, after all of the hard work. (I can't imagine making 150 dozen of anything, let alone something as labor-intensive as tamales! Your mother was a marvel!)

Have a great day.

Yellowrocks said...

Really interesting and mostly doable today with a few sticky places. At 7D I didn't think of TOYS as a verb, so I impatiently red-lettered the U in STRUMS, which suggested the K in AH OK. All other wags panned out. My perseverance is thinner than it used to be.
Beautiful Costa Rica is known for its eco-tourism, one of Alan's and my favorite trips.
When I taught, the superintendent had a monthly meeting of reps from each building. He called each of us in turn to present problems. He called this "going AROUND THE HORN."
I'm off to the Y by myself. Alan is improving but still too weak to go. My BP is sky high these last few weeks and my weight is creeping up, partly due to my neglecting my here-to-fore strong exercise regimen.
Splynter thanks for the fine blogging, as usual.

Spitzboov said...

CHAPATI? Really? Why don't we have Pulihora, the delicious tamirand rice dish form Andhra Pradesh? My Indian bread stops at naan; or rupee.
LOME - agree with others. I have trouble keeping straight the W-E order of Ghana, Togo, Benin, and others.
Quipus - a new learning. Can you see an ancient INCA sending a messenger to the Quipu help desk complaining that his knotting system wasn't working right? And then sending him back with a (literally) SOFTware patch to allegedly make it work?

Northwest Runner said...

I had just enough across entries completed so that "enchanted" fit but one "chapati" came in nearby, and the responses that should have been par, Anti, and Inca made no sense I had to back it all out. With Romney in the mix and a presidential election just done I got stuck thinking that "42" was somehow about Bill Clinton but couldn't come close to making anything fit finally face palming when the answer came to me.

Big EAsy said...

A little too tough this morning. I got most of it but blew it oh PHIS_ and J_SBOYS. I never heard of PHISH and incorrectly guessed CETERA and JASBOYS. I also crossed ALLE instead of ALLA with IMPASTOS, which is new to me.

I didn't know CHAPATI or ANTI and did an alphabet run to PAR before the hole-in-one made sense. LOME-Tokoin Airport- I'll let you know when I fly there, as in never. I also didn't know IRS publications 1-589 but IRAS filled 2D.

On the flip side, I finished C.C.'s Saturday puzzle in today's Wall Street Journal. I caught the double consonant theme at BUSY BELLE. I did finish that one with just a few writeovers. A few unknowns were THERON ( I did see that movie), FRIDA Kahlo, TIMON. YESM in both puzzles this morning.

YESM C.C., you are moving up in the world. Congratulations.

Husker Gary said...

-AROUND THE HORN – I’ve seen the show hundreds of times, know the moderator is Tony Reali and could name many of the rotating guests but struggled to get the title. Agony!
-All MLB players wear #42 on April 15 to commemorate the day Jackie broke the color barrier in 1947
-_ _ _ _ E SAMPLE tempted me to put in another word
-Joann NUKED edamame and potatoes to go with our shrimp last night
-KARMA – in 2013 the Huskers beat Northwestern on a Hail Mary pass at the end of the game. Two years later, Northwestern did it to the Huskers in the very same end zone.
-UNI is short for uniform too
-ERSATZ grass in California
-RUN ALONG – Mom said, “Go peddle your papers”
-Goodness, IMPASTO is a word! No errors today.
-I use AFTA Pre-shave befo’ I shave

Lucina said...

Whew! It is Saturday, isn't it? In the southern hemisphere most of the fill came easily, even the long lower ones. However, I had IMPACTOS and no idea where the Redbirds played and LOME?? So that was a FIW. Also, no idea about quipus/INCA and like others my knowledge of flatbread is naan.

So for me this was a way to GETINFORMATION and learn something, actually several things, new. And finally at the top, since I have guests coming for lunch and will be quite busy, I just looked up the ESPN game which is something I never watch and sadly didn't recall JACKIEROBINSON.

I also know IDRIS Elba from Luther.

Thanks Splynter and Erik.

Yes, my mother was a remarkable woman, all 4'11" of her.

Have a great day everyone!

C6D6 Peg said...

Another fun challenge today from Erik. Thank you for the workout. Was able to work it from bottom to top.

Thanks, Splynter, for the info on "quipas" and many others.

Enjoy the cooler, fall weather!

CrossEyedDave said...

JB @ 6:28AM

Being a fairly newbie to the CW world,
(about two years now)
I remember being introduced to the "Natick Principle"
a little differently...

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe it all came about
due to a crossword clue that was something incomprehensible except to a local.

like "Mile 9 on the Boston Marathon" = Natick

(I think it was mile 9, I dunno, I never ran the dang thingie...)

But what is lost to history is the incomprehensible perps
(or crossing words) that made "Natick" such a "No Fair" & impossible answer.

Does anyone remember the original puzzle words that crossed Natick?

(play the Jeopardy theme here...)

Yellowrocks said...

After perping most of impastos, I vaguely recalled seeing it before, so I knew the P. This painting technique provides an interesting texture. It comes from the same Italian root as pasta or dough. You can see examples at Wiki.
With the buggy Preview button I no longer link anything.
IMPASTOS looks like the name of a TV show called IMPASTOR, very impious. Seeing the trailers and ads I am totally turned off by it and won't watch it.
Very late September-like weather this month. After a chilly overnight it soon warms up enough to wear just a light jacket or none at all at 60+ degrees. We see people wearing shorts. Many days and nights my heater does not run at all.
HG< my, mom said, "Go peddle your papers," too. The saying has died out in our generation.
MITT/ROMNEY was cute.
Careful Big Easy, you are revealing WSJ answers.
Way back in the 50's when I waitressed at Howard Johnson's we used the word NUKED.The microwave oven may have been called a Radar Range. It took many years before microwaves became practical for households.

Ann said...

Yellowrocks. Was cute? Mitt is still a good looking guy!

AnonymousPVX said...

Quips was a reach, who has ever heard of that? Impasto was new for me as well. Live and learn.

Anonymous T said...

Hi all!

What Jinx said... After 6 Google's I just looked at Splynter's grid. Yeah, I still has a lots to learn :-)

Thanks Erik for the outing, but I could only fill center out on my own. @13a wasn't even the only ESPN show I've heard of - Stump the Schwab. Sadness...

I did enjoy the post-season ref: to the Redbirds. Only a few months 'till Spring training!

Thanks Splynter for fixing all my bad ink. I enjoyed the expo!


YR - Good to hear you're taking care of yourself 1st. Sad to hear about Alan's turn.

@8:20 anon - I think you doth protest too much - you studied down to the shoes? [but, yeah, she doesn't look like she want's to be on that hotel-lobby carpet].

Lucina - 150x12 ?!? Holy Tamales of EDEN Batman! Tip o' the Hat to your mama.

Fave: NUKES w/ NOME. Back in '96, while with the DOD, I heard this story and it was a (fake?) warning for us comm. engineers. My boss, back in the '60s, actually laid cables along mountain sides in AK. There was a pic in office with him hanging off a mountain side securing a 3" cable to the rock. ++KARMA for him.

Cheers, -T

Jayce said...

Well, lots of things I didn't know at all, affording me many opportunities to learn new stuff. Some I will probably remember and some I will no doubt not remember. This puzzle is an outstanding construction. Well done, Mr. Agard.

Creepy Pete said...

Anon T:

Who said I was protesting?!?

I'm for anything that combines Jailbait with The Shining. Besides the fact that she has a great set of gams.

Don't worry though. I try not to look at girls your daughter's age. Not too long at least.

Ol' Man Keith said...

The only gimme on my first scan was A LADY. Otherwise this was an opaque wall of white squares. On a second scan I hazarded a WAG with DON'T TREAD ON ME. What other flag motto does anyone remember?
From then on it was real slog. But after two cheats (for PHISH and JO'S BOYS) I managed to PHinish with my pride intact. My learning point today was "quipus," what those INCAn knotted ropes were called. Thanks, Mr. Agard, and thanks, Splynter!

Larry Jordan said...

See desper-otto supra 7:04.

Robert Emerson said...

Thanks, Erik Agard, for a very entertaining Saturday Puzzle.
And thanks, Splynter, for the great write-up.

Started out tough but wound up finishing with no cheats.

The few unknowns will still be unknowns the next time I run into them. I'm old and my brain is getting full. I don't commit words to memory that I am unlikely to ever see again.

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

FIW due to the CHAPATI/PAR Mile Marker 9, and the same mile marker for IMPASTO/IS TO. Had BAR and AS TO instead for the acrosses.

Knew JACKIE ROBINSON; the 10-finger Mitt = ROMNEY was a great clue; "toys with strings = STRUMS, not so much. That kept me from getting TISSUE SAMPLE as I was thinking ____ EXAMPLE instead

My way to clue AROUND THE HORN might be 5-4-3 double play in baseball. For anyone who played the game or kept score would get it

My daughter - with whom I spoke on the phone today - gave me the answer to the key of Beethoven Sym #7. I'm sure she's played it several times

Taking a day off from limericks and puns

Weird to hear Christmas songs on the car radio today. Can't they wait until after Thanksgivjng? Not complaining, as I do enjoy listening to them, but there are still 35 shopping days left before Xmas ... and, it's still in the low '80's here in S FL! 😎

Norman R. said...

Spent the day in the yard cleaning the beds, both flower and vegetable, while the wifey went to the market to get the chili fixins. Now the house smells wonderful and I'm readying the fireplace. Can't wait to settle in to a warm and comfy night by the warmth of the crackling logs drinking and eating all the while flipping back and forth from movies and sporting events. Cannot imagine how life will be without this time of year if the DW gets her way and we move away from my favorite time of year.

MJ said...

Greetings to all!

Although I needed to look up a few things in order to finish, I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle. Favorite clue/answer was "Mitt with ten fingers?" for ROMNEY. Thanks, Erik for today's offering, and thanks Splynter for your (as always) fine expo.


TTP said...

Yep, it was a Nope today.

Had gelING for firming up, and had no idea what/who the user of a recording device called a quipu was... No chance at CHAPATI, but I got most of it. Don't immediately recall ever having heard of a hole-in-one called an ace before, but I'll accept that some color commentators probably use it. If I was to call it anything other than a hole-in-one, it would be called an eagle on a par three.

Eight or ten or so columns to the east of that, I couldn't decide whether it was going to be an A or an E in IMPASTORS, but I guess-wagged the A based on remembering ALLA Breve from other puzzles.

LOME was filled by the perps. Wouldn't have known that.

All in all, it was a challenging Saturday puzzle for me. Thanks Erik. You too Splynter.

TTP said...

hairman Moe,

This ESPN fan knew AROUND THE HORN program off the bat. And I get the "around the horn" for third to second to first you mean, but we always threw "around the horn" after a strikeout with no men on.

With ground ball pitchers on the mound, and Kris Bryant at third, Javier Baez at second, and Tony Rizzo at first, the Cubs have good odds to turn plenty of inning ending 5-4-3 double plays for years to come. Maybe a few 5-4-3 triple plays as well. Looks like the NL Central will be owned by the Cubs for at least a few years, with STL and PIT vying for second and a wild card shot, while MIL and CIN fight to not finish last.

TX Ms said...

Norman R - hope you had a great evening with a fire burning in the fireplace, chili and movies. Don't know where your DW would like to relocate, but Texas is a definite no-go for fall seasons. We have fall temps for maybe two weeks, but not even the meteorologists know when those two weeks will arrive.

Picard said...

Wow, that was a challenge! I was pleasantly surprised to get it all!

Last fill was a WAG for CHAPATI/PAR. Don't know golf terms. Thought it might have been bAR as in a symbol on a slot machine.

Did anyone else try LIBRA for the Cosmic balance?

JOSBOYS I could not parse and was sure it was wrong.

Some learning moments worth remembering. IMPASTOS in particular. Did not know TAJ was Persian nor its meaning.

Never heard of AROUND THE HORN. Why is it called that? I see the comments about it, but I don't get it.