Dec 12, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016 Michael Dewey

Theme: TWEET! - Those aren't birds tweeting.

20A. Locomotive operators: TRAIN ENGINEERS

25A. Singer for the cops?: POLICE INFORMANT

47A. Gridiron adjudicator: FOOTBALL REFEREE

52A. What 20-, 25- and 47-Across all are, in one way or another: WHISTLE BLOWERS

Argyle here. Unusual; the first three are needed to reveal the fourth, the unifier of the theme. I do like Michael's puzzles. I like the whole answer being theme, not just a part of it.


1. On the __: broken: FRITZ. Now there's a word to start the week on.

6. Dressed (in): CLAD

10. Quail or turkey, e.g.: FOWL. Ok, there are birds tweeting, sort of.

14. Prefix with economics: MACRO

15. Impulse: URGE

16. "Yeah, sure": "I BET"

17. Do over 60 in Hawaii, say: SPEED. Vermont, too. Any others?

18. Upsurge: BOOM

19. Null and __: VOID

23. Lao Tzu's "way": TAO

24. Republican org.: GOP

34. Flower painted by van Gogh: IRIS

35. Burns with hot liquid: SCALDS

36. Mai __: TAI

37. One who shuns company: LONER. Prefers solitude.

39. Many a Monopoly prop.: AVEnue

40. Kick out: EJECT

42. "Brokeback Mountain" director Lee: ANG. Ang Lee

43. Snoozing: ASLEEP

46. Rank between viscount and marquis: EARL

50. Motor City labor gp.: UAW. (United Automobile Workers)

51. Preacher's msg.: SERmon

60. Billiards triangle: RACK

61. "Garfield" pooch: ODIE

62. Paradises: EDENS

64. Lotion additive: ALOE

65. __ monster: lizard: GILA

66. "Rabbit food" course: SALAD

67. Remain undecided: PEND

68. Staircase part: STEP

69. Sporty sunroofs: T-TOPS


1. Radio choices: FMs. (frequency modulation)

2. Completely engrossed: RAPT

3. Bakery employee: ICER

4. Dissertation: TREATISE

5. It has a dozen signs: ZODIAC

6. Ice tray unit: CUBE

7. Scientologist Hubbard: L. RON

8. Intensely eager: AGOG

9. Divine-human hybrid: DEMIGODList of demigods, if you care to see if your name is there.

10. Quitting hr. for many: FIVE PM

11. Double-reed instrument: OBOE

12. Flow-altering dam: WEIR

13. Former Ford models: LTDs

21. Thumbs-down votes: NOes

22. Like Eric or Leif: NORSE

25. Rice dish: PILAF

26. Home of the University of Maine: ORONO

27. Jargon: LINGO

28. Poker wager-matching response: "I CALL"

29. Bellybutton: NAVEL

30. Baseball card rival of Topps: FLEER

31. On __: rampaging: A TEAR

32. Mother-of-pearl: NACRE

33. Owner's document: TITLE

38. Morocco's capital: RABAT

41. Made heckling remarks to: JEERED AT

44. Snooze loudly: SAW LOGS

45. Mexicali money: PESO

48. Like warthogs and walruses: TUSKED

49. Smallest number: FEWEST

52. Rolled-up sandwich: WRAP

53. In good health: HALE

54. Venerated image: ICON. A religious work of art.

55. Proofreader's change: EDIT

56. Irascibility: BILE

57. Jump: LEAP

58. Move, in Realtor-speak: RELO. (relocation)

59. Go off the deep end: SNAP

63. Vietnam War protest gp.: SDS. (Students for a Democratic Society)



fermatprime said...


Thanks to Michael and Santa!

Fun offering. Nice theme. No nits.

Have a great day!

OwenKL said...

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

A cry of anguish, a rending of robes,
A TEAR and A TEAR, for what dreams disclose!
When ASLEEP, minds in fogs,
Our noses SAW LOGS --
And we're also in public, sans any clothes!

FOWL fly in flocks, with seldom a LONER.
Their URGE is to migrate for finer fields of clover!
Birds of a feather
Make columns together.
They'll offer a pinion, if one needs a loaner!

Being a spy guy is a SNAP, I would BET!
Flying around at the SPEED of a jet!
If threatened with doom
By a bomb going BOOM
I'd just put it beside me -- and then hit EJECT!

It's a ranch, not a farm, his watery acre.
It's where he herds oysters, under the breakers!
You see, he's not seedin'
His under-sea EDEN --
He's happy as a clam, selling oyster-shell NACRE!

The DEMI-GOD thought that his chore'd be a SNAP,
Preparing some zombie for a forever nap!
But the body was hidden
In long strips of linen.
Still he finished, declaring, "This mummy's a WRAP!"

Lemonade714 said...

I am always impressed when a constructor finds two gridspanning clues/fill and manages to package them in Monday friendly puzzle. The rest was well done.

Thank you Michael and Argyle.

Hungry Mother said...

I surprised myself by writing down RABAT without any letters to help. I guess I do too many crosswords. Nice puzzle today.

unclefred said...

Excellent CW, thanx, Michael, well done! Only write-over WELL:HALE. Finished in my usual Monday time. I love Monday CWs! Terrific write-up, Argyle, thanx! I liked the quail video, too. Owen, where did you find them all? So prolific of late!!

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Argyle and friends. Good puzzle to ease into the work week. I immediately thought of the TRAIN ENGINEER and FOOTBALL REFEREE, but it took the perps to get the INFORMANT half of that answer.

I found it amusing to have both RAPT and WRAP in the same puzzle.

Beautiful photo of my alma mater ORONO.

QOD: I love good sense above all, perhaps because I have none. ~ Gustave Flaubert (Dec. 12, 1821 ~ May 8, 1880)

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I had the beginning and ending D's, but my first thought for "Divine-Human hybrid" was one letter too short. Otherwise, AVID to AGOG was my only writeover this morning. The first time I saw "rice PILAF" I thought somebody had misspelled "pile of." Of course, I also thought people set up "activity scenes" in December. Thanx, Michael an Argyle.

desper-otto said...

Where'd my D go?

TTP said...

Good morning all. Thank you Michael and thank you Argyle.

Didn't see a couple of answers until the write up.

Filled in a great big X first. Then completed the rest. The bottom middle was last. That's when I finished completing the theme answer WHISTLE BLOWERS. Very nice.

Blogger Publish after Preview is still on the FRITZ.

The Green Bay Packers picked apart the Seattle Seahawks "Legion of BOOM" defense last night on NBC Sunday Night FOOTBALL.

I like watching Joanne WEIR teach cooking on PBS.

D-O, I found your D under my thinking cap.

inanehiker said...

Fun puzzle for a Monday - definitely needed the theme answer to figure out the connection. First I thought - people who wear stripes!
Demi-god came quickly as I had just seen "Moana" with my great niece and nephew and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson voiced one of the main characters "Maui", a Polynesian DEMI-GOD. I recommend the movie - beautiful visually, a great heroine in Moana, and Maui and all his tatoos he interacts with are hilarious.

Thanks Michael and Argyle!

thehondohurricane said...

Nice start to the week, thank you Mike. Only miscue was 44d. Began with SAW wood before SAW LOGS forced their way in. Up to that point all fills were completed using the across clues. Have no idea why I filled in 44D ahead of schedule.

IMO, most FOOTBALL REFEREE's rely on TV reviews too much. I'm sure part of the reason is they aren't sure of or don't know the rules. I watch a lot less sports on TV these days because the I go "ape" with all the delays.

Anonymous said...

TTP, your thinking cap might want to check your NFL/TV schedule

MJ said...

Good day to all!

Wow! Grid spanners on a Monday. Needed the reveal to see the theme. The only baseball card brand I am familiar with is Topps, so FLEER was 100% perpped. Great puzzle, Michael, and thank you, Argyle, for the expo.

TTP-So glad you found your thinking cap. :)

Enjoy the day!

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Easy enough, but I did make four erasures: bird for FOWL, BOOn for BOOM, EviCT for EJECT and NACer for NACRE.

Least favorite today was "Republican org." for GOP. I think of GOP being a nickname and RNC being the org. Favorite was "____ monster" for GILA. When I lived in Phoenix I could always tell when a speaker wasn't local when they would say "jill-a" or "gill-a" instead of "heal-a". Here in VA we can tell it when someone pronounces the city on I-81 the way it's spelled - "Staunton", instead of "Stanton". Or in my native Kentucky when folks call the city to the west of Lexington "Ver SIGH" instead of Ver SALES" (but they think "Pair is" instead of "Pa ree" is fine.)

Thanks Michael and Santa for a fun Monday exercise.

Anonymous said...

TTP, I don't think you found the correct thinking cap. The Seattle/Green Bay game was the late afternoon game on Fox. The Sunday Night game on NBC was Dallas/NY G-men. I can still here Chris Collinsworth rambling on...

Tinbeni said...

Argyle: Nice write-up. I guess it's OK to find-out my name is not a DEMI-GOD.

Michael: Thank You for a FUN Monday puzzle. Enjoyed the themes.

Write-over at 40-a, Kick out, had EviCT before EJECT emerged when JEERED AT appeared.

I'm NEVER an ICER with a CUBE ... since I prefer my SCOTCH NEAT !!!


TTP said...

Anonymous @ 8:50, You are correct. I think my memory card is starting to fail.

Have difficulty getting your socks on and off ? Saw this on the news this morning. Looks like a neat solution. Too good not to share. Sock Aid

Lucina said...

Nice Monday morning sashay! Thank you, Michael and Argyle. Great pics, Argyle.

Only write over was EVICT/EJECT and some silly mistakes due to incorrectly filling some cells. But all's well that ends well. I'm waiting for Spitzboov's explanation of FRITZ.

RABAT has one of the most extensive and beautiful beaches I've ever seen.

Have a splendid day, everyone!

Husker Gary said...

-Three different WHISTLERS but not the guy who did a painting of his mother
-With coal shipments way down, many Union Pacific ENGINEERS are now on furlough
-Max Interstate SPEED limit in Hawaii
-EJECTING from a high-speed jet is very hazardous
-In the midst of all the ennui, yesterday’s SER was pretty good
-NICE RACK – French pool table accessory?
-Newer houses here have 13 instead of 12 basement STEPS. Do you have basements in your area?
-Papa, what’s an ice tray?
-Interesting story about why orchestra’s tune to the OBOE
-Congressional NOES usually equal the number of the opposing party
-Diner LINGO – “Adam and Eve on a raft”
-C.C. and Boomer are our resident baseball card experts!
-Billboard outside Wahoo, NE hospital – “Get well in the least trips” Grammar Police on Line 1!

desper-otto said...

Interesting gizmo, TTP, but I'd have to be in lots worse shape to shell out $95 for those two little pieces of plastic. Similar products sell for about $10 on AtoZ.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Solved it easily enough. Liked the theme. No nits today.
WEIR - Virtually all dams alter flow in some way. But the clue is correct. I prefer to think of weirs as having a special cross-sectional shape, or, as a small dam with a notch so outflow can be easily ascertained.
FRITZ - Not usually heard among German speakers. Dictionaries don't know the origin, nor do I. Kind of a Katzenjammer kids expression. Germans would simply say: "Kaput".

Anonymous T said...

If someone asks - You say YES!. Loved 9d.

Play later. C, -T

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling thoughts":

Echoing Lemonade's comments; Monday solvable yet with a late-week construction

WOS, BIRD/FOWL; PITA/WRAP; EVICT/EJECT. I also put MAO before TAO. No real favorites, but starting with FRITZ was different. Our neighbors where I grew up had the last name Fritz.

If CC were clueing this puzzle she would've used the following for 12d: "Canadian Masters winner Mike"

Owen - liked the last one. Whatta ya think of this? (I HAD to use the final word ... )

Rice-A-Roni employee, Rudolph,
Was a part of a recent runoff.
At his town's nudist beach,
He impressed with this speech:
"Just you wait to see what I'll PILAF."

Have a nice week, all ...

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was a most pleasant start to the week. I really like a puzzle that keeps the theme hidden until the reveal and this one certainly fit the bill! (At least for me.). Thought of Tin, naturally, at Icer and Cube. Hand up for Evict/Eject and Boon/Boom.

Thanks, Michael, for a fun Monday romp and thanks, Argyle, for your usual droll and delightful expo.

DO, got my first my chuckle of the day at "activity scenes."

Jinx, got my second chuckle at your list of mangled pronounciations. A local one that comes to mind is Cairo, NY, pronounced here as Kay-ro . Then, there is Calais, ME pronounced there as Calous. And I'm not sure how a new comer to our area would pronounce Valatie.

Have a great day.

TTP said...

Is that how much they cost ?

I didn't check the price. Just liked the idea. Bet a simple google search would find similar ones and not so costly.

JJM said...

Good puzzle to start the week. A little more difficult than the usual Monday fare, but very enjoyable. I too, really like a puzzle that keeps the theme hidden until the reveal.
Be well.

Tinbeni said...

I agree with deesper-otto that the "sock-aid" is a neat gizmo.
$ 95 though that means you were "the sucker born every second."

Personally, since my waist is still only 30" ... I will not be looking for "where to purchase" ...

Montana said...

Thank you Argyle and Michael.
I found this puzzle difficult. But I did solve it and I got the theme.
I used the LATimes site. I am unfamiliar with the current format, so that probably was part of the difficulty.

Montana (still in Connecticut)

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. Fun puzzle though I had some trouble in spots. Thanks Michael and Argyle.

Regarding the sock putter-onner; I think $95 seems a little steep but it seems well-designed and you are paying for a clever idea that is well-executed. I liked it.

Here's a nice video about a young man who's trying to preserve the history of WW II vets. I like movies about that era and I admire what this fellow is trying to do before it's too late.

WW II oral history

Husker Gary said...

-Lucina, thanks for the late night advice about the ennui in my current religious facility. Yesterday’s SER was about how he had to listen to so much griping from our huge parish (2,000 families) and he was so grateful that one woman saw him grocery shopping and gave him a compliment. So I’ll remain mum.
-Interest in that sock device might be telling me I have reached a certain age. ☺
-Neil Armstrong EJECTING (:45) from a LEM trainer seconds before it crashed to Earth. Whew!

Jayce said...

Nifty puzzle. I liked the long answers. Thank you for it, Michael Dewey.
I recall FLEER as being the manufacturer of "Double Bubble" bubble gum. Come to think of it, I sorta recall there being a baseball card in each package.
When my father was still alive, living in Tucson Arizona, he used to put birdseed out to attract the quail. He loved seeing a mother quail followed by her many chicks. He also used to put meat out to attract coyotes, but I think that's a no-no these days.
Good one about Nice Rack, Husker.

CrossEyedDave said...

Fun Monday puzzle,
just a little anticlimactic...

Learning moments:
Speed limit in Hawaii
(what? are they afraid you will fly off the island?)


I guess I sort of knew,
but not really.
Argyle, very pretty pic of a weir,
Just seems a little under powered...

That sock gizmo was great!
I bookmarked it to show DW...
(then I saw the $$$ comments)
Hmm, maybe I won't show it to her,
it might put me out of a job,
(plus I work cheap...)

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Michael Dewey, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Argyle, for a fine review.

Great puzzle. Liked the theme. Some long entries.

WEIR was unknown. Perps.

Never heard of FLEER. Of course I never really collected baseball cards.

I got FRITZ right off the bat. Everything just fell into place.

Missed the last few days of puzzles. Just too busy.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Argyle said...

The sock gizmo I use: $8:50


In fact, my first link went right to my Amazon I bought a new one

Misty said...

Terrific Monday puzzle, with those two grid-spanners--many thanks, Michael. Fun, but a little challenging, and I got it all--great way to start the week. And nice pictures this morning, Argyle--I enjoyed all of them, but especially the IRIS and the GILA (I know how to pronounce it now).

Didn't check in yesterday because it was the day I hosted my annual Christmas party. Forty or so people showed up--it helped that I had it catered. Afterwards, a couple who are wonderful friends from the early days (she was one of my graduate students at Michigan) and I exchanged gifts. Mine were two crossword books and two sudoku books--Yay!

Have a great week, everybody!

TTP said...

Driveway is clean again, and I've caught up on the comments.

I definitely could have used one of those sock aids after my back surgery.

Still couldn't believe they ask $95 for it. So I just searched sock aid and the same one came up in the google images.

Looks like the normal price for it is $37. sock aid

Probably could find that same one for less with a little more searching.

Still, that's 4x the price of the gizmo Argyle linked.

Anonymous T said...

Took me a while and a cuppa joe to get going today - from the middle out. I was thinking of MJ's mom @1a and couldn't get beyond On the MEND(s?) for quite some time. The stars finally aligned and the NORSE Moon rose in my ZODIAC(. Nailed it!; Monday pzls are nice to me.

Thanks Michael for a fun, if not crunchy puzzle. (I still need to Google 4d for def./ usage; CED gave me what the heck a WEIR is. Argyle - as always a tip 'o the St. Nick hat.

WOs: N/A - Not quite true; I misspelt fowl as foul @1st but a U is a W with a little more ink. No one will notice :-)
ESPs: ibid. and FLEER [I kinda know it, but not enough to know, know it] then we had TTOPS baseball cards, er, cars.... [shouldn't that be 1 less T and one more P? :-)]
fav I done told ya' @10:03.

I also liked MACRO over SPEED - Macros speed up work so much you don't hafta work once you built it [and building is 90% the fun!].
Hathoola, I too caught RAPT and WRAP and grin'd - little life pleasures.

I CALL FOWL on NOES! Who's the "naysayers" with me? [and how should you respond? :-)]

As I approached graduation in ENGINEERing, Gramps asked if I'd get the Hat (<-link) or if I had to buy it myself. He wasn't clear on the whole EE thing...

{B,B,A-,C,A} {Chuckle}

Closing the loop Nice thinking Ray. I still like 9d.

Cheers, -T

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Cleared the driveway in time to dash off to a doctor visit - only to find the doctor wasn't in. Too much snow for the Range Rover, or some such thing, I expect.

Found the puzzle a trifle more challenging than the average Monday's. No idea how many baseball card companies there were or are.

FM versus AM: aviation radio communications have been around so long that the first equipment was AM. It's still that way today, even though FM has some technical advantages; it's one of those legacies we're just stuck with.

Flying over unfamiliar country sometimes results in having to guess the pronunciation of a facility's name over the radio. My first trip down the Atlantic coast brought me over Wicomico, Delaware. I didn't get that one right. Then, each of the Carolinas has its own Beaufort, but of course they can't say them the same way, no siree. Didn't get those sorted out either.

Lucina said...

I remeber FLEER's bubble gum! That was a long time ago and I didn't know the company was still around. Another item on my "I don't know it existed" list: sock aids. I guess if you need them, you need them. As yet, I don't.

SwampCat said...

I'm late to the party. But I had to thank Michael and Argyle for a fun, crunchy, and informative CW.. Thanks to both! Loved the theme!

Owen, I think all A's.... But I rate them by by giggle-meter!

Anonymous T said...

Scott Adams Blew the WISTLE on us Engineers. Today's Dilbert was +cute if you've not seen it. C, -T

Wilbur Charles said...

A quick nocturnal break. I loved when the theme appeared. I agree that this one needed the occasional perp.

Mike Weir was a replacement for Tiger's annual 'Challenge'. Weir is another victim of the Masters curse.

Did you know they actually had a 12 step mtg at the local nudist colony? It didn't work out though.

It seems folks couldn't identify, they were too busy comparing.

Micheal, thanks for an entertaining Monday. Argyle, Owen and C-Moe all at the top of their game.

Btw. Is anyone selling a sock takeroffer?

Misty, you missed a very crunchy Sunday xw.

My mother could make a 'die for' rice pilaf, casually on the stove. She taught me, showed me and I never could get it right.