Dec 5, 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016 Brock Wilson

Theme: Catbird Seat? - I can see Tuesday from here.

17A. What the star gets on a marquee: TOP BILLING

23A. Dejected: CRESTFALLEN

37A. Level of optimal accomplishment: PEAK PERFORMANCE

47A. Meeting of world leaders: SUMMIT TALKS

58A. Honorable ... and like the starts of 17-, 23-, 37- and 47-Across: HIGH MINDED

Argyle here. Not much to say. A couple of clunkers but on the whole, a pleasant Monday.


1. Poets: BARDS

6. Ocean breaker: WAVE

10. Former Iranian ruler: SHAH

14. From another planet: ALIEN

15. Golfer's club selection: IRON

16. Golfer's target: HOLE

19. Express checkout lane unit: ITEM

20. "__ Haw": HEE

21. Contemptuous manner, in slang: 'TUDE. (attitude)

22. "Pet" annoyance: PEEVE

26. Wrap tightly, as in bandages: SWATHE

30. Poker holding: HAND

31. Charged atoms: IONS

32. Madame of physics: CURIE. Marie Curie, (1867 – 1934)

34. Guy's partner: GAL

41. Bygone jet, briefly: SST. (SuperSonic Transport)

42. Act with passion: EMOTE

43. Caution: WARN

44. Song at the Met: ARIA

45. Like most peanuts: SALTED

52. Name on rented trailers: U-HAUL

53. Lane with a nose for news: LOIS. Reporter for the Daily Planet.

54. Pasta suffix: -INI

57. Dirt road grooves: RUTS

61. Emancipated: FREE

62. Pigmented eye layer: UVEA

63. Watchdog warning: GROWL

64. Part of NIMBY: YARD. "Not In My Back Yard"

65. Swiss capital: BERN. Bern or Berne.

66. Foul, weather-wise: NASTY


1. It's drawn in a tub: BATH

2. Natural skin soother: ALOE

3. Unlike green tomatoes: RIPE

4. Star of the ball: DEB.(debutante)

5. Tattletale: SNITCH. BLABBY CAT.

6. Witty Oscar: WILDE

7. Astrological Ram: ARIES

8. Maria __ Trapp: VON Sound Of Music. (Today's French lesson.)

9. Subj. with grammar: ENGlish

10. Handheld riot gear: SHIELD

11. Marriott facility: HOTEL

12. Advil competitor: ALEVE

13. Macho guys: HE-MEN

18. Tempt: LURE

22. "The Hunger Games" nation: PANEM

24. Severe pang: THROE

25. Carnival: FAIR

26. Drinks that make a drink last: SIPS. Verb that makes a noun last.

27. Troubles: WOES

28. Vet sch. course: ANATomy

29. Disdainful click: "TSK!"

32. Zagreb native: CROAT

33. N.Y.-based educators' union: UFT. United Federation of Teachers, a New York City affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. A bit of stretch.

34. Insect in a dusk swarm: GNAT. Males assemble in large mating swarms known as ghosts, commonly at dusk.

35. Realtor's lot unit: ACRE

36. Allow to borrow: LEND

38. Danger: PERIL

39. Give out: EMIT

40. Tapered tool: AWL

44. Tickled: AMUSED

45. Less than 1%?: SKIM. Milk!

46. Give, as homework: ASSIGN

47. Like the beach during a storm: SURFY. Ugh!

48. "Star Trek" lieutenant: UHURA."Oh my!"

49. Alma __: MATER

50. Rags-to-riches author Horatio: ALGER. “Go West, young man” may well have been a paraphrase of advice given by Greeley in the New Yorker.  “If any young man is about to commence the world, we say to him, publicly and privately, Go to the West”

51. Lindsay who played Liz in "Liz & Dick": LOHAN

54. Wedding promises: I DO's

55. Mature eft: NEWT

56. Relaxed way to sit by: IDLY

58. O'Hare, for United Airlines: HUB. Chicago O'Hare Airport (ORD)

59. "__ been thinking ... ": I'VE. but not much.

60. Org. promoting hunter safety: NRA. (National Rifle Association)



OwenKL said...

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

There's a time for BARDS to cop a 'TUDE,
Act PEEVISH and extremely rude!
Blood-thirsty howl --
When critics TSK how they EMOTE a mood!

An IRON HAND and plastic SHIELD
May help to make the mobbers yield;
But as WAVES that churn,
They will return --
While Christmas sales their LURES wield!

They had SUMMIT TALKS to define their area,
ARIES the ram and Ares of Olympus aerie-a!
The ram had some stars
The warrior, red Mars,
And they agreed, in an opera, they'd each get an ARIA!

The CREST of the WAVE made the surf look quite SURFY,
Nothing could WARN them, except Laws of Murphy!
They went at their PERIL
To ride the waves' barrel --
They came in okay, but their boards were now curvy!

The ALIENS were FAIR to the sides they aligned with,
They claimed they were really very HIGH-MINDED!
Some suspected a plot
But the truth was in pot --
Earth grew the best weed to get HIGH and blinded!

fermatprime said...


Thanks to Brock and Santa!

Very nice, easy puzzle!


Have a great day!

fermatprime said...

Gail G's theme at NetWord is similar to Brock's.

unclefred said...

Raced thru it so fast I filled all the ACROSS clues and never looked at the DOWN clues. And, thereby, my downfall. 43A CARE, not WARN, which left 40D ACL and 36D LEED. Oi. So because I never checked it, I end up with two wrong letters, and end up with .... what is it called when u finish but with errors?? Is it still a DNF? Dang! Anyway, thanx Brock for a terrific CW, and thanx Argyle for your usual excellent wrote-up. And thank for the limericks, Owen! Have a good week, everyone!

Hungry Mother said...

Never heard of SURFY, although I live at the beach in two states as a snowbird. "Sudsy" would work. Easy enough puzzle anyway.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Made a couple of slips (rUDE/TUDE, bAck/YARD) in my slide to the bottom. Both quickly fixed. Thanx, Brock and Argyle.

Rain should be ending this morning. Hope to be able to squeeze in the 3-mile march 'round the 'hood.

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

How about DNL - Did Not Look:-)

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Easy enough with no erasures for me. Unknowns were UFT and PANEM. Least favorite was "disdainful click" for TSK (OK, SURFY too). Favorite was "Swiss capital" for BERN, simply because New Bern, NC is one of my favorite places on earth.

Thanks Brock and Santa for a good start to the work week. I'm actually working 3 days this week - first time in quite a while.

inanehiker said...

Nice breezy Monday so I'll get to work on time! SURFY was filled by perps so I didn't even notice it until I got here.

Thanks Argyle and Brock!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Easy enough, in Monday style.

Two days in a row for Lindsay Lohan. Never heard of Liz and Dick, but reading up on it, I gather it was risky to cast Lindsay in the important role of Liz Taylor, what with her history of bad-girl behavior. Another child star spirals down.

Morning Argyle! Enough snow for ya?

MJ said...

Greetings to all!

Quick and easy today. Was unfamiliar with "Liz &Dick", but was able to fill in Lindsey LOHAN with just the L and the N. Cringed at SURFY. Thanks for being our faithful Monday guide, Argyle.

I've been AWOL for about a week. My 95-year-old mother was admitted to the hospital a week ago and had emergency surgery last Tuesday. I found a hotel room near the hospital to stay for a couple of nights, came home for a couple of nights, and then went back up for the weekend. I got her settled into a skilled nursing facility over the weekend. She has not been a happy camper. She loathes all medical procedures, especially anything involving a needle. Good news is that she is recovering well.

Enjoy the day!

Yellowrocks said...

EZ-PZ today. The gimmick was easy to suss, too.
SURFY was odd. It seems to be old fashioned. "I will try to get at it, but I am landing on a surfy shore, and am always driven back upon the open sea of various thoughts." from Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
I thought of TSK right off.
UFT was a gimme for us educators in the NY metro area because it is often in the news. We belonged to the NJEA.
Less than 1% = SKIM milk, cute.
We woke to snow this AM, wet and sloppy, not slippery. It is melting off the sidewalk and driveway on its own. I was planning to do the outdoor decor today, but it is too wet out. The next few days we will have rain followed by below average cold on the weekend. I should have decorated this past Sat.
Thinning paper files today, instead. UGH! The most onerous task of all, except for thinning WORD files, a task for January.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

A typical Monday offering: easy, breezy, a simple but fun theme and a pleasant solve. Perfect way to start the week. (Especially a week bringing such unpleasant weather conditions of rain, snow, wind and cold. Brrr!). My only nit is surfy. It sounds as silly as it looks. Oh well, into each life......

Thanks, Brock, for easing us into the week and thanks, Argyle, for being our faithful guide.

Anon T from last night, I know as much about poetry as I know about Quantum Physics, but I liked your poem very much. 🤗

Have a great day.

Tinbeni said...

Argyle: Nice write-up.
Brock: Thank You for a FUN Monday puzzle.

Fave today, of course, was the "proper way to drink and make the Scotch last longer" ... SIPS.
I do enjoy many SIPS when I "Toast-the-Sunset."

Needed ESP to get UFT, never heard of that NY based educators' union.
(Guess that is what happens when you spend your life in Florida not NY).


oc4beach said...

Once across and once down equaled done. Not a tough one today. Nice puzzle by Brock and great write-up by Argyle.

My only nit was the same as others had. SURFY, c'mon. I've been a beach person forever and have had a beach house for about half of forever and never heard SURFY. Maybe surfs up or rough surf, big surf or even frothy.

Today is National Repeal Day which celebrates the repeal of the 18th Amendment that created Prohibition. Tin should raise a glass to celebrate the day.

Since I entered SIX SIGMA from the the puzzle the other day, I have been bombarded with on-line ads for SIX SIGMA Greenbelt and Blackbelt training courses. It's annoying how they track you.

Like YR I was going to decorate the trees today, but it's raining and about 33 degrees. I'll have to wait a day or two.

Have a great day and remember it's only 20 days until Christmas.

Husker Gary said...

-The LL’s were an early red herring in a very nice Monday puzzle
-This great duo ended after 3 movies when Tracy also demanded TOP BILLING
-Have any of you ever been challenged for being a few ITEMS over in an express lane?
-Swaddled is heard more this time of year than SWATHED
-Some think Al Pacino’s EMOTING (but he’s NOT A SNITCH!) amounts to over-acting
-Oregon Trail RUTS on sandstone in Wyoming
-Dog language
-When I sub in ENGLISH, I have to resist showing them now out-of-favor diagramming
-My Gastro Intestinal doctor has forbidden me to use ALEVE
-When dissecting chicken wings, kids are amazed by the similar ANAT
-Some teachers ASSIGN 50 problems when 10 would do nicely and then complain about missing homework!
-Yes, oc4, I included a picture or UGGS in a puzzle write-up last week and now am getting all sort of ads for them! UGH!
-Name that tune – “Pack up all your cares and WOES”

TTP said...

Good morning.

Thanks Brock Wilson. Thanks Argyle.

Mensa had 45D as "Less than 1?" for the clue. No % sign.

No idea on PANEM, but the perps filled it.

Lucina said...

Thank you, Brock Wilson, for an easy start to the week. I enjoyed this puzzle and couldn't miss the theme for a change. It all filled easily and quickly. And I also wondered about SURFY.

NASTY woman has become a catch phrase in certain circles.

It has been many years since I read The Hunger Games so I couldn't recall PANEM but the perps handled it. I had no desire to see the movies it spawned.

Yesterday I finally finished the puzzle after working on it off and on all day between chores. I thought it unusually difficult for a Sunday with many unnecessarily obscure clues.

Thank you, Argyle. I always appreciate your spelling out the abbreviations.

Have a spectacular day, everyone!

CanadianEh! said...

Quick Monday solve today. Thanks Brock and Argyle. Thanks Owen KL for the smiles.

Unknowns like UFT, PANEM were filled in by perps. I didn't see TUDE til I got here.
SURFY was a meh!
Some old CW favourites like ALOE, NEWT, ARIA.

Like HG, I tried to make the season appropriate Swaddle fit but then moved to SWATHE.

I remember the bear pit in BERN on our tour of Switzerland.

My alma MATER is U of T (Toronto). Anybody else?

Shaw Festival often performs a WILDE play. It was a Woman of No Importance last summer.

MJ, best wishes for your Mom's recovery. I had similar situation with 94 year old mother recently and improvement is ongoing.

Have a great day.

Tinbeni said...


Way ahead of you ...

National Repeal Day is an "Official Holiday" at Villa Incognito.

SIPS will be numerous in celebration.

CanadianEh! said...

Lucina, I agree with you about Sunday's CW. I may not bother to finish it. I decide based on Enjoyment vs. Effort (plus available time)!

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Bern translates to "bear", by the way. There are colorfully painted bear sculptures all over New Bern, kind of like the mermaids here in Norfolk.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Ditto what Argyle said. Easy and not much to say.
As is my wont, I'm intrigued by GN words as they tend to be of germanic origin. In this case:
GNAT - German Mücke. But, Low German is Gnitt, so there seems to be a connection.
(The Germans say: "aus einer Mücke einen Elefanten machen" - making an elephant out of a GNAT - for "to make a mountain out of a molehill")

Have a great day everyone.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Brock Wilson, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Argyle, for a fine review.

Zipped through this quickly. Caught the theme early.

Only inkblot is 45D. I wrote in SLIM when SKIM replaced that later.

LOHAN again. Just had her.

Took me a while to understand TUDE.

Never heard of NIMBY. But I have heard of Not In My Back Yard.

UFT was not know but perps worked.

Almost wrote in EURO for 65A. I had the R. Held off and BERN appeared.

THROE was a good word.

Well, I got Friday's and Saturday's done but no time to check in. Still working on Sunday's puzzle.

See you tomorrow.


( )

C6D6 Peg said...

Not too difficult for a Monday, with some unknowns, but perps to the rescue! Same thoughts as most on SURFY? Really?

Thanks, Argyle, for the tour today.

Montana said...

I forget to turn red letter help off. O'hura instead of U'hura popped up a red square. I would have caught it when SUMMIT filled in, but I feel bad seeing a red square on .Monday! Otherwise, a nice start to the week.
Byr, bye, Blackbird, Husker.
I once had a chemistry class of super achievers. It usually took pages & pages of problems for students to learn to balance equations. I would assign 20 equations every day. But, I said, as soon as you are sure you know how to do these, you don't need to continue. Do the first one, then write, "I know how to do these" and turn it in. My principal didn't approve but 19 students got 100% on the test. (And thanked me!) the other 18 students did the problems, learned and passed the test also.

Hope you are warm,


AnonymousPVX said...

A nice arrant to the week with a fun puzzle. SURFY was odd but ill not argue.

AnonymousPVX said...

"I'll" not argue…geez, sometimes it puts in the apostrophe and sometimes not. Fun with Technology.

AnonymousPVX said...

Arrant = start, ok I'll stop now, and start using preview, promise.

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling thoughts":


Debated putting VOWS in 54d, but read the perped clues and figured I DOS would be a better fit

Kind of saw the theme evolve as the across spanners filled; HIGH MINDED might mean "honorable", but it sounds sorta snooty

Lots of poem possibilities today; Owen took most of them, but left me with one word to pun, as I SKIMmed through his:

Persian leader retired. By law,
He must leave right away; withdraw.
Off to China he went
With a playful intent
To meet his long-lost cousin, Rick SHAH

JD said...

Good morning all,

Thanks Brock and Argyle for a nice start to the week.The few unknowns, like UFT and Panem, made me zig zag a bit. I thought dude was odd...liked rude better. I refused to put surfy in until I knew it had to be, but didn't know Uhura...more wags than usual for a Monday.
Gary, I'm getting ads for Thomas trains.
Have a lovely week.

CrossEyedDave said...

From yest.

Enjoyed the poems, and the soup recipe.
But it made me wonder,,,
(Hmm, maybe it is not possible)
Have you ever seen, a cooking recipe written as a poem?
(Hmm, it would certainly make cooking more enjoyable...)

Catbird seat? Obligatory Kitty Pic...

Being adventurous isn't as much fun once you are married...

Surfy? Hmm, that's a tough one to find a visual for...

Misty said...

Fun Monday puzzle--many thanks, Brock! I pretty much zipped through this one, and my only double-take came when EMOT_ didn't work because I had initially put THROB instead of THROE. But all ended well, and I got the theme along with everything else. Thanks too, for your always helpful expo, Argyle, Yes, it also took me a second to figure out that SKIM referred to milk--the kind I drink all day, as it happens.

BERN was easy not only because I lived in Basel, Switzerland, for a year but because I live on BERN Drive in Laguna Beach.

Fun limericks this morning, Owen.

Yellowrocks, how did you ever come up with that SURFY Coleridge quotation?

MJ, what a tough week you've had. Glad your mother is doing better.

Have a great week, everybody!

Michael said...

"SURFY was odd. It seems to be old fashioned. "I will try to get at it, but I am landing on a surfy shore, and am always driven back upon the open sea of various thoughts." from Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge."

You mean it's a real word??!!!!!???? Not like one of those crosswordese words with three Q's in a row, done to make the perps work?? Thanks, Yellowrocks -- my horizons have been expanded.

Yellowrocks said...

I love finding quotes for the day's words. Most of the time the disputed words actually are found in liberal doses in recent publications and are not so obscure as people might think. Other times words like SURFY are mostly found in literature, especially old literature. Samuel Coleridge lived about 200 years ago.

'Tude is slang for ATTITUDE. Dictionary: Informal NORTH AMERICAN meaning truculent or uncooperative behavior; a resentful or antagonistic manner:
"I asked the waiter for a clean fork, and all I got was attitude"

I just had my credit card declined after spending an hour shopping for $100.66 worth of groceries. The sale was cancelled. As a last resort I counted my cash. I had exactly $101 and they let me take my groceries. I called the bank and the computer had placed a hold on my card for "unusual"(huh?) transactions. I was feeling plenty of 'TUDE. All solved now. Off to the ATM to refill my wallet.

Irish Miss said...

YR @ 2:19 - I don't know about 'Tude, but I sure got my "Irish" up earlier when I was informed by Caremark/CVS that a prescription wasn't refilled because they didn't have a credit card on file to automatically charge it to when the doctor submitted it. My credit card has been on file with them for about 15 years. Grrrr!

MJ, hope all goes well for your Mom.

Three-quarters of the lights on my pre-lit Christmas tree have died. I don't dare light it because it's in my front window and I can just imagine how ridiculous it would look from the outside. (Actually, it would look pretty ridiculous from the inside, as well!) 🎄

desper-otto said...

IM, that happens to me, too. Usually it's because the bank has issued a new card with a revised expiration date (and validation code), and the vendor has the old card on file.

Wilbur Charles said...

Bye, bye blackbird?

Ol' Man Keith said...

I have to admit this was the toughest Monday pzl in memory. Nobody else seems to think so, so I guess it may have to do with the fact that my preferred mode of attack was thwarted. Yes, I finished all w/o any cheats or look-ups, but I was blocked from doing it my favored way (direct from 1-A to 56-D) by the central parallels of CROAT and THROB.
I so wanted CZECH and had SHARP as a place-holder. They wouldn't work, kept me from continuing on that path, so I had to do fills on the perimeter and work my way in, a method that should only be necessary from Wednesday on.
My fault, not Mr. Wilson's, bless his clever heart.

Jayce said...

A nice easy breezy Monday puzzle. I mostly filled the acrosses without needing the downs, so I went back afterward to read the down clues in order to extract the maximum enjoyment from Mr. Wilson's work.

While in college I had some friends from Zurich and a friend from Bern. The Zurich folks would kid around with the Bern guy, claiming he didn't really speak German but rather something they called Bernese, which they found hilarious. Good times.

Wilbur Charles said...

Well, here I am. I too found Sunday unusually sticky and came in here and ???

I was doing the NYT Xword. Now I've got to chase down my TB times Sunday XW.

THROB had to be changed. Breezy, TIME TRIAL(oops, that may have been NYT)

started to put BIG before HIGH.

Hopefully, I can get Sunday done before Tuesday


Irish Miss said...

DO @ 3:58 - Thanks for giving me a nudge in the right direction. You may remember (I had forgotten) that my Discover card was compromised in August and I was issued a new card. However, I'm 99 % sure that I notified everyone who auto-bills of the new account number. But Caremark could have fallen through the cracks. Anyway, thanks for calming my "Irish" ☘ down!

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

WEES - A quick Monday go of it. Thanks Brock and Argyle - I too appreciate the spelling out of abbreviations & acronyms.

WO: started w/ committee @47a.


{A, B+,B,B,A}. And thanks for the feedback FLN.
Funny Moe.

MJ - good to year your mom is on the mend.

YR - I was just as stunned as Michael that SURFY was real! Thanks for the ref.

Cheers, -T

CrossEyedDave said...


Is surfy an offshoot of Selfie?

Wilbur Charles said...

Owen, since you reserve the A level for your ERATO inspired limericks I I'll have to simply give you five B+ s. Moe, I rode in a rickshaw in UDON.


MJ said...

Thank you for the encouraging words, CanadienEh!, Misty, Irish Miss, and AnonymousT. I appreciate how caring the community at the Corner is. Yes, it has been a long week, but thankfully my sister returned home from vacation today. She lives closer to the facility where Mom is and will be able to help out.

Husker Gary said...

-A sultry version of ”Pack up all your cares and woes” by Mrs. Jack Webb (Sgt Friday) from Japan
-Joann is the caretaker for her mother and gets some help from her twin sister. I hope it all works out, MJ!

Cindy said...

Yes, Bye, Bye Blackbird!