Feb 5, 2017

Sunday, February 5, 2017, Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel


Did one of these wonderful toys ever find its way into your home? When the string was pulled and released, it played the sound of the animal selected by the center arrow.

Don and C.C. took the premise of this toy and turned it into a  very clever gimmick for today's puzzle. They took some common phrases that contain an animal and made a silly phrase using the SOUND associated with that animal in place of the animal's name. How cool is that? No reveal was necessary as you can see in these theme fills.

21. Sign of a lawn tractor problem? : HISS (SNAKE) IN THE GRASS - I don't care to be close enough to hear this sound

26. Inhospitable medical fraud? : COLD QUACK (DUCK- Not a frigid fowl!

41. Landscaping mulch specialists? : BARK (DOG) HANDLERS - Uh, who's handling who?

67. "Ahooga!" producer? : SILLY HONK (GOOSE) and 119. Posting that periodically reposts itself? : MIGRATORY TWEET (BIRD) - If they went south this winter and I didn't, how come they're SILLY? A specific and general bird reference. 

71. Hard golf club to swing? : GRUNT (PIG) IRON - An intermediate product of the smelting of iron ore usually shaped in ingots 

96. Excitement about the producer of the original "Charlie's Angels"? : SPELLING BUZZ (BEE) - Dirt on Aaron Spelling or attempts on these words

111. Playful crib liner? : SQUEAK (MOUSE) PAD - Here's an adversarial one

Now let's see what else Don and C.C. have for us in this, uh, HOOT of a puzzle:


1. Director's shout : ACTION - Clint Eastwood doesn't shout this because, "It even makes the horses nervous." He simply says "Begin".

7. Sulky-pulling horse : PACER

12. Woods on a tee : TIGER - Tiger's meteoritic career seems to be flaming out

17. With alarming suddenness : WHAMMO

18. Independent African nation since 1993 : ERITREA - Do you know where it is on this map? The answer is under the grid at the bottom of this write-up.

20. Arizona neighbor : SONORA

23. Frigid : ARCTIC

24. Iowa's state tree : OAK

25. Bucket list items, say : GOALS

28. __ Schwarz : FAO - I'll bet you know this movie, the star on the right and the song they are playing in this scene at the FAO Schwarz Toy Store.

30. Plant with edible leaf sheaths : LEEK

32. Clump on a lawn : TUFT

33. Org. that dropped "Lawn" from its name in 1975 : USTA - Grass/Lawn tennis surfaces used to be the most common but are rare now due to maintenance costs

34. Flexible pronoun substitute : HE OR SHE - Have you ever been to a Gender Reveal Shower?

37. Exit : LEAVE

39. Number for a pair : DUET

43. One way to learn : ASK

44. Like the viva voce part of some exams : ORAL - Latin for "with living voice"

48. 15-member sports org. : ACC - Clemson won the ACC and National Championship this year

49. Dorm room, perhaps : STY

50. Some float in place with the tide : PIERS

52. Irish brew : RED ALE

54. Pampas birds : RHEAS

57. Make more attractive : SWEETEN

59. "Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat" author : AMY TAN

60. Restless desire : ITCH - Tom Ewell is the other person in this iconic scene from The Seven Year ITCH

63. MGM motto word : ARS

64. Bottled surprise : GENIE

66. Pet Shop Boys label : EMI

73. Sch. in Tempe : ASU

74. Island veranda : LANAI - Word I learned on The Golden Girls

75. Anti-bullying ad, e.g. : PSA

77. 2014 "Cosmos" presenter __ deGrasse Tyson : NEIL

78. Register, as a sale : RING UP - I'll bet C.C. knew the umpire just did RING UP this batter

80. Sounded displeased : SNORTED

83. Did pre-heist planning at : CASED

87. How some goods are quickly sold : AT COST 

88. See eye to eye : AGREE

89. Director DuVernay : AVA

92. Conceptual artist Yoko : ONO

93. Ritz alternative : HI HO

94. Schubert's "The __ King" : ERL - Not on my playlist

100. '70s jazz band Spyro __ : GYRA

102. Model X maker : TESLA

103. Type of counter seen in kitchens? : CALORIE - High tech method using your 108. Part of iOS : SYST

104. Vogue rackmate : ELLE - My subscription has lapsed

106. Make a move : STIR

110. "Monsters, __" : INC

113. "The game didn't go well" : I LOST

115. "Top Hat" studio : RKO

118. Card game with tricks : EUCHRE - Contents of a standard EUCHRE deck

124. Common boot feature : LACING - One question in a recent survey asked whether I UNLACE my shoes when I remove them. I do. You?

125. August birthstone : PERIDOT - New word for me

126. Sherpas' language : NEPALI - Mt. Everest is Sagarmāthā in NEPALI 

127. Moves like a monarch : FLITS

128. Rent-a-car choice : SEDAN

129. Swimmer's bane : CRAMPS


1. Dr. Seuss title ender : A WHO

2. Seed used in smoothies : CHIA - Also a funky gift

3. Group on a mission : TASK FORCE

4. Uses Facebook Chat, briefly : IMS

5. "Jeepers!" : OMIGOSH

6. Ill-advised move : NO NO - Trying to dunk over LeBron James

7. Market before building : PRESELL

8. 2008 bailout beneficiary : AIG

9. Shaq's pos. : CTR

10. Obama __ : ERA

11. Get out of a pickle : RESCUE - This guy did not get out of one

12. __ wrench : TORQUE

13. Held at the station : IN CUSTODY

14. Suggested subtly : GOT AT

15. Former "Weekend Today" co-host Hill : ERICA

16. Pool triangle : RACK

18. Jennifer of "Zero Dark Thirty" : EHLE

19. Starting with : AS OF - AS OF today there are 44 days until Spring!

20. Down : SAD

22. Scout's find, ideally : TALENT

27. Old Fords : LTDS - 1984 Ford LTD Crown Victoria 

29. Genesis vessel : ARK

31. One with lasting merit : KEEPER

32. Den focal point : TV SET

34. I-beam relative : H BAR - An I-beam on its side?

35. Every partner : EACH - EACH and every one of  you

36. Takes in : HAS

38. Ovine sign : ARIES

40. Poland neighbor : UKRAINE - Probably easier to spot than ERITREA

42. Prefix with -lexic : DYS

43. Voice of the difficult homeowner in "Up" : ASNER

45. Yelp contributor : RATER

46. Enterprise rival : ALAMO

47. October Revolution figure : LENIN

51. The Skatalites music genre : REGGAE - Pioneers of Ska music

53. Ipecac, for one : EMETIC

55. Be on the disabled list, say : AIL

56. Galaxy Note accessory : STYLUS

58. Transitional state : WAKING

61. Local branch : CHAPTER

62. Doll : HON

65. Blue __: German wine brand : NUN

67. She played Buffy : SARAH - After seven seasons, she had become "annoyed" with the role

68. Question in Matthew : IS IT I - Engendered by Jesus' statement "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with Me will betray Me"

69. Day break? : LUNCH

70. __ cavity : NASAL

72. Stevedore's org. : ILA - Brando won an academy award playing Terry Malloy who took on the ILA

75. Gets ready to operate : PREPS

76. Braces (oneself) : STEELS

79. Return from searching? : GOOGLE HIT

81. Brian who has coached two Olympic skating gold medalists : ORSER and 85. Longtime Wyoming senator Mike : ENZI - Two names I didn't know and will forget

82. Indian lentil stew : DAL

84. Chip flavoring : SOUR CREAM

86. Nap : DOZE

90. Spoils recipient : VICTOR

91. Ducks, on ESPN crawls : ANA - The Anaheim Ducks NHL team

95. Farrier's tool : RASP

97. Overdo the flattery : LAY IT ON - The master

98. Shiny craft store supply : GLITTER

99. It's good in Quebec : BON

101. Itches : YEARNS - ITCHes is both fill and clue today 

102. Cleans : TIDIES

104. The same : EQUAL

105. "All My Children" Emmy winner on her 19th try : LUCCI

107. Pipe smoker's gadget : TAMP

109. Tab target : SLOT

111. __-starter : SELF

112. Brewery unit : KEG

114. Media player command : SYNC

116. Large seaweed : KELP

117. Spunkmeyer of cookie fame : OTIS

120. Hurdle for srs. : GRE

121. Disencumber : RID

122. Govt. lawyer : ADA

123. Employment org. created in 1935 : WPA

Here's the grid and if you wish to comment, we will  not say, uh, NEIGH:

Eritrea from 18 Across


fermatprime said...


Thanks to CC, Don and Gary!

Difficult puzzle in that it took a looong time. Screwed up R in ORSER. Gee, I knew that. Otherwise OK.

Very, very tired.

Need to replace pool heater. Egad.

Have a great day!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Tough puzzle! Started the first theme answer with HISSING, and that showed things down. Buffy was on for seven seasons? And I never saw it once. This one came together within the allotted time, so life is good. Thought the Ducks were from Oregon, though. Thanks D.G., C.C. and H.G.

H.G., I untie the laces when I take off my shoes, but I don't unlace them. That'd be tedious. My walking shoes have geezer hook-and-loop (Velcro) straps, so they're even easier/faster to put on/take off.

Later today I'll be redoing the WiFi network at chez desper. If you don't hear from me for a few days, you'll know it didn't go well.

desper-otto said...

Forgot to mention, I knew the location of ERITREA. It was UKRAINE that I screwed up. I picked Belarus.

TTP said...

Good morning all. Thank you Don, CC and Gary.

Theme answers were making no sense to me. Too groggy after too much sleep. On an A to F scale, I still earned an A+, but no TADA. Should have had coffee before starting.

Had to correct a number of initial answers. SODA for TAB, SUN UP for LUNCH, COMB for RASP, HORN for HONK, DIRT for TUFT, OMNI for HIHO, GRANITE for CALORIE, RELO for STIR, WANING for WAKING, ERASES for TIDIES. As if those entries weren't enough to slow me down, there were a also a few typos that needed to be corrected.

Learned viva voce means oral at a different crossword venue just this last week. So when I got to the clue, I read "Like the oral part of some exams" and was momentarily surprised that the answer was ORAL, until I reread the clue. Funny how the brain works sometimes.

Yellowrocks said...

This took a looong time. I finally guessed the gimmick with my last theme answer. Cute theme but difficult. Fun. I didn't note Gary's name, but absolutely knew it was his blog. I love your inimitable style, Gary. Be back later. It's way too late already.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Technical DNF today. I got mired in the south, having assumed the skating coach was Orsen and that Spin was a way to make a move. Didn't know Peridot, and couldn't recall GRE even though we've had that one lots of times. Thanks anyway DGCC for the challenge.

Since you brought up skating, after 45 years on hockey skates, I decided to try figure skates because I wanted to see what the difference was. So, Thursday I picked up my brand new skates, and Friday I hit the ice. Literally. With a thud. Four thuds, actually...have you seen that movie Cutting Edge? It's the one in which the washed-up hockey player tries to compete in ice dancing with a beautiful woman. If so, you know what toe picks can do to a fella. They are deadly. I am reduced to a beginner.

Dudley said...

P.S. Thanks for 'splaining, Husker. YR has it right, yours is a good style!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I'm "purring" 🐈 with delight over this puzzle! What a truly fun and clever theme our duo created. I had sun up before lunch, also, but, overall, everything fell into place in due time. There was some crunch but nothing that perps couldn't handle.

Many thanks, CC and Don G, for a most enjoyable Sunday solve and thanks, HG, for your wonderfully wry wit and elucidating expo!

My sister-in-law is doing well after the surgery and may be discharged tomorrow. Thank you all for your kind concern.

Have a great day.

Argyle said...

I have to say this one kicked my hee-haw.

Lucina said...

This seemed like the Saturday and Sunday puzzles in reverse. I found it very difficult and frankly, alienating. Of course, I didn't get the theme and had several errors and even had to GOOGLE some clues.

Naturally, ASU and SONORA were easy though Nevada and Mexico also fit. I know ERITREA from having several students from there. They are beautiful people, very different from other Africans, dark and with fine features. One student I used to call the Queen of Sheba.

PERIDOT slowed me as I was sure CITRINE was the answer. I liked SPELLINGBUZZ. Just me being slow on the others.

Thank you, DG and CC. It was still a good challenge.

Have a lovely day, everyone!

Anonymous said...

These puzzles aren't fun anymore.

MJ said...

Good day to all!

Eight complete unknowns which needed 100% perps made this slow going for me today. Wondered about the repeated ITCH in both clue and answer. Favorite clue/answer was "Return from searching?" for GOOGLE HIT. Thanks for today's challenge Don and C.C., and thanks HG for the thorough and informative write-up.

Enjoy the day!

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. I agree with Lucina; this was harder than usual for me for a Sunday puzzle. I had the most difficulty at the top and the bottom. It didn't help that I couldn't make good sense of the theme. But I still enjoyed it. Thanks Don, CC and Gary.

I don't like Brady or the Pat's coach much. I would bet on the Pats but I will be rooting for the Falcons, not that I really care that much.

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

Usually, for me, Sunday puzzles are medium difficult and take longer to solve due to the increased dimension of the grid. Today's was very difficult, mostly because it took me too long to get the theme, and also due to a number of proper names I didn't know or recognize or remember. But in the end I finished it, with some help from a GOOGLE HIT i got at 59a and 18d. I think the first solve that led me to "victory" was 111a - SQUEAK PAD. Then SPELLING BUZZ, and the others started to fall. A few more write overs than I like, but I stayed the course, as it were. I "Wilbur Charles'd" it!! 😀

Lots of limerick possibilities with this puzzle but I chose one "intersection" from the grid, that was almost a "Natick" for me, to craft my lim (or "lick" as WC calls it). Going "all Owen" on this one I'm afraid:

In Pennsylvania, a transgender star
Had a plan for new club. It's by far
The most gender neutral.
Hope it will be fruitful.
Folks there call it the "HE OR SHE" Bar.

CrossEyedDave said...

"PWP" (Posted while puzzled...)

I hope to do the entire puzzle today seeing that
it is a dynamic duo collaboration, but so far I have only
accomplished (with difficulty) the top quarter.

Action & tiger came quickly enough,
but whammo,eritrea,sonara?
Without Chia,nono,rack & ctr I would have had nothing at all to work with.

Frigid = artic? Well, yes, but, I just find the clue very hard.

& the theme? I have no idea!

What the heck am I supposed to make of "Hissyngrass?"

Cold quack I guess makes some sort of sense,
how it creates a the theme I have no idea at all...

Anywho, (shoutout to 1d)
I had to take a break to purchase Superbowl Party supplies
& get ready.
I was shaving with my old (30 yrs?) electric razor
when all of a sudden there was an explosion amid a flash of sparks,
& pieces of my old Remington went every which way...
Blades up,
plastic sideways,
& shavings everywhere...

The GFI outlet is fused solid, can't even push the buttons!

HArdware store is closed on Sunday...

Must rig up some kind of extension cord system
so DW can use her hairdryer tomorrow without
having a similar experience.

(may have to rethink this...)


I would love to join the party,
but I am a little busy.

Can't wait to read the Blog
to find out if this puzzle was extra tough,
or I was just having a bad day...

C6D6 Peg said...

Thanks, Don & C.C., for a challenge this morning. Did not get the theme at all, until Gary set me straight. Very unique theme and puzzle.

Have a good week to all!

maripro said...

What a great puzzle theme! Loved it.

Lucina said...

Gary, many thanks to you for providing the theme illustration. It answered my doubts and yes, my daughter and granddaughters each had the above illustrated toy. I enjoyed the SQUEALS of fun when they heard and could identify the sounds.

Jayce said...

Although I recognize and acknowledge the high quality workmanship of this puzzle, I found it extremely hard and it took me a very long time. Maybe that is a good thing, as puzzles are supposed to present a challenge. Well, I was challenged, all right. I didn't get the theme at all, but after reading your excellent exposition, Gary, I appreciate the imagination and originality of it. Many of the clues were just plain hard, and the clue for whammo, which is an interjection, not an adverb, seemed a bit "off." And the Schubert clue threw me, too, because Erlking (Erlkönig in German) is one word. On the other hand, there were enough straightforward clues and gimmes to give me a foothold. After I filled the whole puzzle I got no fanfare, so I turned on red letters and discovered I had TANK FORCE instead of TASK FORCE. A darn good effort by C.C. and Don.

inanehiker said...

Very creative puzzle today! Slow and steady solve

Thanks CC and Don G and HG for subbing on the blog!

Not very interested in the Super Bowl today - so will go to friends' house
and tune in for the commercials this time around!

Misty said...

Well, I found yesterday's Saturday puzzle really tough, and was too embarrassed to post, since most found it so very easy. I'm always excited to see a Don and C.C. puzzle, so I worked on this one very slowly, on an off, all morning, and I got quite a lot, even though I still had to cheat a bit. Had to look up EHLE and PERIDOT, among other items, but, hey, I got the ERL King, from somewhere in my German background, I guess. And I did actually figure out the theme before it was all over. So, many thanks, C.C. and Don, for a fun morning, and Husker Gary, for a fun write-up.

My biggest chuckle of the morning, however, was Chairman Moe's HERSHEY BAR. It sometimes helps to come from Lancaster, Pennsylvania!

Have a great Sunday, everybody!

Barry T. said...

Great puzzle. Very slow going, but perfect for a lazy Sunday. Lotsa erasures but finally got 'er done over more than the usual number of mugs of coffee.

Agree that the WHAMMO clue was mildly annoying, but mostly because I argued with myself about the "I" in OMIGOSH in the same area for an excessive time before I finally let it go.

Thanks for a fun Sunday...!

Yellowrocks said...

Irish Miss, glad to hear your SIL is doing well after the surgery. She, and you with her, have been through a lot.
Lucina, how is your SIL? Has her memory returned? Her situation sounded hopeful but scary.
My SIL had a heart operation just before Christmas. Ever since that she is experiencing heart failure with her lungs filling with fluid. She is on constant oxygen until she returns to the heart doctor in a week or two. My BIL has had very serious heart and lung problem for years. Then he developed fast growing prostate cancer which metastasized. Last week he developed a hernia. They won't operate because he is too fragile for surgery, but will push the hernia back into place manually when it pops out. His pre-surgery X-ray showed spots on his ribs now.
Alan, David, and grandson, Kenny, all are on the upswing right now.
WHAMMO! seems quite normal to me. I pondered over the vowel choice in OMIGOSH, but I have seen it before.
I love Chairman Moe's Hershey Bar.
Not at all interested in the Super Bowl. We did pick up wings from the deli for lunch. Yummy. I will read my novel tonight. I feel I am missing out on the commercials, but I don't want to sit through the game to catch them.
CC, I wanted to mail a donation, but your address seems so strange. Is it correct?

Wilbur Charles said...

See that's my problem: frontal cortex gone to pot. So, I read C-Moe's'lick and there's Misty and YR's "HERSHEY BAR". Huh?
So I reread and the V8 can hit.

So all this tells you that I never got the themes about Snakes hissing,Spelling BUZZing etc.
And I knew DAL but it wouldn't fit with SPELBIRG (Spielberg of course).
So I could have asked Betsy about PERIDOT so my google cheat is technically legal, right Misty?
I was thinking CC constructed the right half and Don the left. Lots of Naticks. A true WilburCharlie slogfest

Gary does a great write-up. C-Moe, I thought it was PwD before HERSHEY.

CC. It's okay to throw in a few more sports clues.


Misty said...

Great pics today, Husker Gary. C.C. I've wondered about that donation address too--it would be helpful if you could clarify that it's accurate.

CanadianEh! said...

Very late post during half-time. What a game so far.
This was a Sunday workout. Thanks for the exercise C.C., Don, and Husker G.
I needed some GOOGLE HITs and lots of time but I did get the theme.

I too wondered about ITCH clue and answer.
ORSER was familiar to me.

Off to see what Lady Gaga does.

Bobbi said...

Absolutely agree

Bobbi said...

This was an abysmally awful puzzle. The "cutesy" puns were inane and many clues unfairly misleading or absolutely incorrect ( i.e. the Skatelites were first SKA band and prided themselves as producers of a NEW firm of music and not a type of raggae!!!!!). Perhaps the producers of this "puzzle" might spend more time fact checking their clues rather than expressing their erudite elitism with puns of their own making. Am I to accept the fact that, as this puzzle suggests, LAT editors are aiming their creations at an ever-shrinking auduence so they can discontinue printing them due to lack of interest?

Michael said...

The one that got me was the ' "Ahooga" producer? ' at 67a. All I could think of was those WWII submarine movies, where the captain is yelling "Dive! Dive!" while the ahooga is blatting in the background.

"Silly honk"? Never in a million years would I have thought of that ... maybe it was too many nuclear bomb drills in elementary school.

Misty said...

Wilbur, go ahead and google all your heart desires. I do, and do one's ever deducted any points for me, even though it does of course give me a DNF. But hey, that's not the worst thing that can happen to us, is it? I'm just learning to live with it.

Chairman Moe said...

Misty, WC and YR, glad I could offer some humor today! ;^) I being originally from York, PA also made that pun as easy one to create into a limerick.

WC, don't get the PwD --> maybe you can provide ME with a V-8 can to the noggin'!

Have a good week, all. Guessing the Falcons won't . . .

Misty said...

Loved it, Chairman Moe. Just to explain, Hershey, Pennsylvania is in the south-eastern part of the state not far from Lancaster and York. It's had a theme park for as long as I can remember, with, of course, chocolate at the center of it. As you might imagine, I just loved going there as a child, both for the fun rides, but also for the chocolate. Almost killed me when I had to give up chocolate as an adult, due to high blood sugar, etc. But to celebrate all this tonight, I enjoyed half of a chocolate bar. Yum!

Lucina said...

Thank you for asking. I spoke with my sister today and she claims she is feeling better. Our other sister flew in from Charlotte, NC, to help with the grand children so that alleviates a lot of pressure. I'm sorry to hear about your dear ones' travails and do hope they are soon well.

OwenKL said...

Still struggling with the new machine. Good thing my old one is still available during the transition, and probably for a good while longer!

Mostly wanted to drop in and congrat Moe on an exceptionally good lick today!

For the rest, mostly WEES. I did get the theme after the 2nd or 3rd theme entry and it helped. HISSY ??? GRASS I tried to replace TOT for HISSY since I didn't know what else would make a hissy-fit sound.

Argyle: LOL on the hee-haw!

Wilbur Charles said...

To paraphrase Owen, C-Moe Passed with Distinction.
Misty, I thought it was you who said "It ain't 'cheating' if you ask someone instead of googling". My DW, Betsy, gave me a long explanation of PERIDOT and it's Leo powers.
On the other hand, I try forever to stay away from the lkup because of the anguished DUHs to follow. Also, and you've said something similar, vis a vis the Sudoku break, I still have the rear cerebellum which given time will work things out.
Like the NW. But, by the TIME I've worked it out all you nice folks are on to the next days xword.

WC in the gloaming. And... Who was that actor and movie, Gary?

Ps. Back to the SB torture. Thx for no spoilers.
PPS. Re. THE GRASS and the anguish. And I forgot who mentioned Big Brother Bob Emery:

That little row, we had to hoe(everybody)
Oh boy that's hard...

Freond said...

Had to come here to get an explanation of the theme. OK, maybe clever, but since the original phrase had nothing to do with the clue, the strained association didn't seem to be of any use. And the the answers ended up being weird phrases like MIGRATORY TWEET?? Guess I had to think harder about it. Made for a long, tough slog. Thanks for explaining.

Beaugency said...

I rolled my eyes at several answers. Some didn't make sense to me.

Uke Xensen said...

Awful. HISS IN THE GRASS? MIGRATORY TWEET? Truly inane theme answers. Very little pleasure in working them out.

Steve said...

Hated the theme. It is the first theme I've never been able to figure out.

Picard said...

I enjoyed the clever theme. The title helped. Agree that it was a slow but fairly steady solve.

Quite a few unknowns: EHLE, USTA, ERICA, ACC, ENZI, ORSER, LUCCI, EUCHRE, ERL, PERIDOT and PACER as clued. But the perps in each case worked out OK.

Why was LTDs OK without an abbreviation warning?

Did anyone else think NAMIBIA before ERITREA? I was in the SONORA desert last year inside Arizona!

Argyle said...

LTD is ok because it isn't known what it stands for!!

Picard said...

Thank you, Argyle! I like your explanation and you prompted me to look up the Wikipedia entry for Ford LTD. They agree with you!