Feb 9, 2017

Thursday February 9 2017 Alan DeLoriea

Theme: "He who hesitates is last" - Mae West

17A. War film with a cast of 60-Across? : APOCALYPSE LATER. Apocalypse Now. Coppola's 1979 Vietnam War release. And a perfect excuse for some dramatic background music from Richard Wagner.

28A. Newspaper with a staff of 60-Across? : USA TOMORROW. USA Today is missing one staff member, the crossword editor. Allegedly.

44A. 1969 hit song by a group of 60-Across? : NEXT MAGIC MOMENT. "This Magic Moment" passed me by unnoticed. Research tells me that the song was originally recorded in 1960 by Ben E. King and the Drifters, then Jay and the Americans took it to Number 6 in the Billboard Chart in 1969. There it has lain, untroubled by history, until today.

which leads us to

60A. Off-putting sorts? : PROCRASTINATORS. Great word. This has also sat, dusty and forgotten by crossword constructors since an appearance in the New York Times back in 1976. Welcome back!

Yay Thursday! Time for me to focus on the work I'm meant to get done this week. But first - there's a crossword to finish.

Welcome also to today's constructor Alan DeLoriea and an LAT debut. He also debuted in the NYT back in December, so a nice two-fer, considering how long it takes for a puzzle to actually appear in print. A quick Google reveals that he's one of the West Coasters among us, and he plays scrabble.

Three grid-spanners and one 10-letter theme entry means the grid has mirror symmetry, not the usual rotational, so that's a little different. "Now/Later", "Today/Tomorrow" are a solid couple of theme pairs. "This/Next" requires a little more thought and the addition of "week" or "month" etc. to fully come to life. There is quite a lot of three-letter fill, but there's some sparkly longer stuff to offset that.

Good effort!

Let's see what else catches the eye:


1. Subj. for a non-native speaker : ESL. English as a Second Language. Some native speakers could do with a refresher class, I swear.

4. __-top: Beatles' style : MOP

7. Much of "Star Wars" FX : CGI. Special Effects/Computer-Generated Imagery. I was blown away when I saw the first movie in the theater (or theatre?) back in England in 1978.

10. Clumsy type : OAF

13. __ Michele, 8-Down co-star : LEA. Good morning, cross-referenced clue. Thank you, eventually, perps.

14. "The Princess Diaries" princess : MIA

15. Tetris shape : ELL

16. Sporty truck, briefly : UTE. I can't help but think of "My Cousin Vinnie" and chuckle when I see this word.

21. "Rock and Roll All __": Kiss hit : NITE. Paul Stanley played my first guitar shortly after it was given to me as a present. Well, he picked it up, showed me an "E" chord and gave it back to me. My girlfriend at the time worked for the record label and he dropped by for drinks at a party we had just after New Year.

22. Reckon : 'SPOSE

23. Custardy dessert : FLAN Food! Flan is grande in Mexico.

24. Thrown for a loop : DAZED

26. Cool, once : HEP. Can't you still be a hep cat? I know you'd have to be wearing a zoot suit and playing sax, but still ..

27. Campus groups : FRATS

31. Dough for ramen? : YEN. Nicely done. Some of these: ¥ for a bowl of these:

Food! I've been learning some of Masaharu Morimoto's recipes recently, including making your own udon noodles for ramen.

32. Square __ : ONE

33. Traveler's aid : VEHICLE

37. "Hamlet, thou art slain" speaker : LAERTES. Act V, sc ii. There was so much jiggery-pokery going on in that scene (as well as Osric making a nuisance of himself) that it was difficult to keep track. I believe Queen Gertrude, Laertes, Claudius and Hamlet (appropriately) shuffled off the mortal coil in that order. Rosencrantz, Guildernstern, Ophelia and Polonius had already beaten them to the Pearly Gates. Cracking stuff.

42. Political __ : ARENA

43. Big name in big tractors : DEERE

50. Write in code? : PROGRAM. Come on over and help me with my Linux shell scripting. Please.

51. Actress Ramirez of "Grey's Anatomy" : SARA. More crosses - thanks very much.

55. __ d'Alene : COEUR. Nailed it (finally)!

56. Mideast sultanate : OMAN

63. Pie choice : Γ€ LA MODE. It's always a sneaky task trying to parse this with a few missing letters. I'm always looking for a fruit or savory filling.

64. Like bread knives : SERRATE. I wanted SERRATED. I'm sure the usage is fine, but I would never describe a knife as "serrate" - I'd say "serrated", incorrectly as it turns out. Learning moment. Here are my knives - the serrate is third from the left next to the cleaver and the boning knife. The cleaver cost me $16 from an Asian restaurant supply store, weighs 2lbs and makes you feel like a bad-ass when you're chopping stuff with it.

65. Well-to-do : MONEYED

66. Unpredictable : ERRATIC


1. Twisty-horned antelope : ELAND. Twisty robber-baron and founder of Stanford? LELAND

2. Photo app effect : SEPIA

3. Founder of Taoism : LAOTZU. My last fill was the "A" as LEA was unknown. I just couldn't pull the correct spelling out of my memory banks. LAO looked better than LEO so that's what I went for.

4. Sport for Ronda Rousey, for short : MMA. Mixed Martial Arts. Her reputation's taken a bit of a beating(!) after the last couple of fights. I wouldn't like to get on the wrong side of her though.

5. Aromatherapy array : OILS

6. Outmoded public convenience : PAYPHONE. It's amazing how quickly these things have disappeared. I'm not sure I'd be able to remember how to use one.

7. Center of moral corruption : CESSPOOL

8. TV show with mashups : GLEE. Never seen the show. The mashups are well known though. Check out YouTube.

9. Down with something : ILL. My first thought went with the modern parlance "in favor of" then I talked sense into myself.

10. Wanted one : OUTLAW

11. Bothered a lot : ATE AT

12. Fronded plants : FERNS

18. Mediocre marks : CEES. I'm not a big fan of these "grade" fills, especially when pluralized. I'd have tried to find something else.

19. Sonnet, e.g. : POEM

20. Do maintained with a pick : AFRO. Strictly speaking, shouldn't it be 'Do?

25. Kids' summer activity : DAY CAMP

27. "Another word for nothin' left to lose," in a Joplin hit : FREEDOM. "Me and Bobby McGee" and a classic. She never sang it at Woodstock, contrary to what a lot of people think. She only recorded it a few days before she sadly passed away.

29. __ Aviv : TEL

30. Genetic messenger molecule : RNA

33. The Scooby gang's Mystery Machine, e.g. : VAN. All together now: "Mr. Jenks!!!" "And I'd 'a gotten away with it if it hadn't been for you darned kids!"

34. Ode preposition : 'ERE. As the cockney Grecian Vase thief said to his accomplice "'ere, 'ode on to this while I go back fer the uvver one".

35. Spell : HEX

36. QB's mishap : INT. I still can't get over Sunday's "Big Game".

38. Dream state letters : R.E.M. Rapid Eye Movements; not dreaming about Michael Stipe.

39. Technical foul signal, in basketball : TEE. "Tee him up Ref!"

40. West ender? : -ERN

41. Place : SET. So wait, a place setting is a place placing? Or a setting setting? English is a great language.

45. Centipede home? : ARCADE. Atari video game from the '80s.

46. Stimulated : GOOSED

47. "Oh, now __ it!" : I GET

48. All-in-one vacation : CRUISE

49. Eliot's weaver : MARNER. Silas. I'm not sure the book would go over too well if it was written and published today.

51. Canned meat used in Hawaiian cuisine : SPAM. Food! I love Spam musubis. My Japanese "Auntie" Satchi makes them at Christmas.

52. "The Good Dinosaur" dinosaur : ARLO. Crosses. Mr. Guthrie gets a rest today.

53. Reddish horse : ROAN

54. Source of cartoon explosives : ACME. Made me laugh. Wile. E. Coyote was a good customer of theirs.

56. Other, south of the border : OTRA. Down Mexico Way. Canadian Eh! might argue this one.

57. Castle defense : MOAT

58. Basic class with easels : ART I. Funny, after my question regarding LATIN I last week, now we see another "I". I always thought it was "101", but then again I never went to school here.

59. Tiny time pd. : N-SEC. A nanosecond. Tiny indeed. 1 nanosecond:1 second:31.71 years.

61. Siegfried collaborator : ROY. Their performance days were pretty much over when Roy was bitten by one of the tigers and almost died.

62. PDX info: Abbr. : ARR. Arrivals into Portland International Airport. The terminal is famous for the carpet design; the original was replaced in 2015; swatches of the original carpet being sold off to the public. The last time I was in PDX I was changing planes on my way home from Seattle to LA in a torrential rainstorm in a little turbo-prop puddle-jumper. We deplaned outside the terminal, I dripped a lot onto the new carpet when I finally got inside. Here's the old (left) and new side-by-side:

And with a carpet swatch, I think that wraps up this one! Heeeere's the grid!


(I just noticed that if you blur your eyes, the grid looks like a Teddy Bear with a "Sting" 80's spiked haircut. And I promise I've not been smoking anything.)

Notes from C.C.:

1) Steve, grids with left/right symmetry tend to have funny looks. Re rice balls, did we miss an important event in your life?

2) Happy Birthday to dear Splynter (Richard), who turns 46 years old today. Splynter started blogging for us since March 2011 and only missed one Saturday when he was sick. He's this dedicated to our blog and readers. We're so lucky.


OwenKL said...

Just finished reading a short story (~15 pp) "by Neil Peart, the drummer and the primary lyricist for the band Rush." It's in a SciFi e-zine, but except for an evil magic mirror, it could be in any slum. I did find it dark and depressing, but YMMV.

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

There was a thin FRAT boy whose hair was so burly,
He could hide in his AFRO as weird topiary!
He used to have dreadlocks
And mimic rag wet MOPS,
But changed when he tired of all of the swirlies!

The time had come for the last APOCALYPSE,
But God had no GLEE when he saw PROGRAM clips!
So Satan told his guy
To use more C.G.I. --
This would be a VEHICLE for some Tom CRUISE hits!

A OUTLAW there was, an ERRATIC OAF
Who could turn the air to SEPIA with his oaths!
At the slightest offense
Vile HEXES he'd vent!
He even DAZED the monster when he fell in the MOAT!

A public PAY PHONE, once, was like writing a POEM:
It could send a message when one was lonesome.
Transmission could be spotty,
Operators could be haughty,
If a verse isn't clear --well, it's only a dime sum!

He got safely out, but felt such a fool!
He had a merde stench
(If you'll pardon my French!).
In shame he enrolled in an ELAND Elan School!

fermatprime said...


Thanks to Alan and Steve!

Cute theme!

Perped and WAGged: LEA, MIA. SARA, MMA, VAN, ARCADE and ARLO. ALERTS from the L.

Happy birthday, Splynter, you youngster!

New pool heater arrived today. Not cheap.

Have a great day!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I thought this one was tough, especially central California. Had no idea what a QB's mishap would be: concussion, broken leg, torn ligament -- all too long. Thought Scooby-Doo's vehicle was a BUS and that kept me from seeing VEHICLE for some time. D'oh! Finally straightened everything out. Thanx, Alan and Steve.

Happy birthday, Saturday Soldier Splynter.

desper-otto said...

Forgot to mention, DW cals her SERRATE knife a brotmesser -- bread knife.

Anonymous said...

Who else had as a first thought for 7 down: CONGRESS?

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Really enjoyed this puzzle, and the perps had me suspicious that Procrastinators would emerge someplace - how handy it's a fifteen letter word!

Morning Steve, today you've made me particularly hungry.

Happy Birthday Splynter, and many happy returns!

It's snowing intensely hereabouts. I've pre-positioned the Deere just inside the garage door, for the big upcoming snow removal effort. Estimates vary, but it looks like 15" or so will fall here.

Big Easy said...

I couldn't finish today because I was stuck on __X_MAGICMOMENT. I was totally clueless on the Scooby Do VAN, wanting BUS. For some stupid reason, even though I caught the theme immediately and filled PROCRASTINATORS after LATER and TOMORROW, I was stuck on THIS with "Jay and the Americans" singing in my head. Amateur mistake.

'Cool'- I wanted HIP but you cant be a 'HIP cat' so HEP it was. But I've never heard of anybody being called HEP. Unknowns today were rousey- MMA, GLEE, LEA, SARA, and the spellings of COEUR d'Alene, Idaho and LAO TZU are always jumbled in my mind; Know 'em but can't spell 'em and I wait for the perps. And since when are animals 'good' or 'bad'? Placing human opinions on animals' actions is ridiculous. And I never heard of ARLO either.

SERRATE- everybody says serrated. I would never use a cleaver because I want to keep my fingers.

Steve- I have you beat on storms in turboprops. In 1998, I had to fly in a 15-seat US AIR turboprop into three successive hurricanes- Earl, Frances, Georges. To make matters worse, after flying during Hurricane Earl, when the plane landed, I went to start my car and noticed that I had left the headlights turned on four days earlier.

Tinbeni said...

Happy Birthday Splynter ... Hope you have a great day!

Steve: Wonderful, informative write-up. Good Job!

Alan: Thank You for a FUN Thursday puzzle with my "new" favorite theme of the year.


Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy Birthday Splynter. Hope you have a great day in spite of the blizzard warnings up for eastern Long Island.

Great puzzle today. Lots of fresh or not often seen content. Interesting theme, the thrust of which made getting 17a and 28a easier. MMA was a pure WAG. Perps were helpful.
SPAM - Ah, regular Saturday luncheon fare on our ship. Not bad, actually. Made up for it on Sunday nights when dessert frequently was Baked Alaska.
DEERE - Two Aficionados of Big Tractors

TTP said...

Thank you Alan and thank you Steve.

Pretty quick solve for a Thursday. Perps saved the day in a few places.

Spent about half of teh solve time in the same area as D-O. Knew the song was THIS MAGIC MOMENT, and that THIS was going to be changing, but it took quite a bit to work out NEXT. Had Political DRAMA at first. And ERE down. Tried BIT for spell after erasing drama, but that went nowhere quick. Was confident with INT, took out bit and entered BICYCLE. Erased that, put ERE and INT back in, and then finally realized NEXT, proven quickly with HEX and VAN and it was done. TADA !

Happy birthday Splynter !

Yesterday Argyle linked Tommy James' Crystal Blue Persuasion, and I loved it. Spent a few hours listening to songs of the 60's and 70's with great harmonies, linking from one song to the next. Today we have This Magic Moment - Jay and the Americans. Not going to spend hours today Reminiscing - Little River Band. Great lyrics and vocals.

Now as the years roll on, each time we hear our favorite song
The memories come along
Older times we're missing, spending the hours reminiscing

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning,

Happy Birthday, Splynter!! Thanks for your dedication to the Corner and your explications of the difficult Saturday puzzles with wit and wisdom.

Nicely done Alan. Lots of fun! CESSPOOL is certainly referring to the government in Springfield, Illinois, where there has been no state budget in more than eighteen months, accruing massive interest on unpaid debts daily. Not PROCRASTINATORS--simply selfish and ego-maniacal. I wonder how that would work in my household? Over 30,000 people left Illinois last year.

Great tour, Steve. As always, fun and informative. Thanks so much.

Take care in the snow. We are still way under normal. Lots of clouds prior to a lovely sunny day here. I hope you find some sunshine even in the snowstorms.

BunnyM said...

Good morning!
Nice debut from Alan- thanks for a great puzzle and thanks to Steve for another excellent write up. If I didn't know who was writing the blog each day, I would definitely know yours. I am getting better at recognizing the writing styles of each of our wonderful contributors, though.
Happy Birthday to Splynter- wishing you a most joyous day!

This started out much easier for me than yesterday since I knew most clues right away except ELAND - I couldn't think of it and my perps helped until "Thrown for a loop" - I had Tased because of misspelling LAOTZU with an S instead of a Z. None of it looked right then remembered the correct spellings.

Got the theme early on - well, sort of. What threw me off was only having the end letters of 60A : TORS and immediately thought it would be some type of Editors due to the "Newspaper with a staff of 60A" But the down perps for the whole answer were easy enough and I soon got PROCRASTINATORS with ARLO and ARR being unknowns ( I wasn't thinking airport codes with PDX but military store- PX for some reason. Doh!)

SERRATE- I also thought it was Serated. Thanks for the explanation Steve- another CW learning moment.

MIA was a gimme- my daughters watched "The Princess Diaries" over and over. BTW, our cat is named Mia. Not for the princess (although she is one!) but due to us thinking she was pregnant when she decided to show up at our house one day and proclaimed it her new home. No kittens, just a fat tummy and she was (and still is) a Mother Hen with our dog. So I called her Mama Mia, which is now just Mia :)

MMA - DH and I watched the fight in Dec where Ronda Rousey made 3 million getting knocked out in 48 seconds by her opponent who only made $200,000. Rousey was of course favored to win, so a big shock to all. Not a bad way to make a few million but I doubt her pride agrees.

FLAN as Steve said is grande in Mexico! I may have mentioned before that the best I've had is from a tiny restaurant 'Pita Amore' on Isla Mujeres. So yummy! The owner uses his Madre's recipe.
The island is also the most recent place I've seen a PAYPHONE. They have several I know of but I've never seen anyone actually using them. I wouldn't know where to look for one around here anymore.

We got almost 2 inches of snow overnight but the roads are too warm for it to stick there, just on the grass and cars. The dog was happy romping around until he got too cold; I wasn't happy scraping the layer of ice that had formed on the windows underneath the snow. Anyone who has to shovel today- I feel for you! Stay warm and safe.

Wishing everyone a great day :)

Lucina said...

Happy birthday, Splynter!

And thank you Alan and Steve! Great grid and great expo as usual from Steve.
At first glance I didn't think I would like this puzzle but it slowly grew on me and when PROCRASTINTORS filled I went back and filled the missing theme answers. Sadly, though, I misspelled APOCoLYPSE and had no idea who was Rhonda Rousey so MMA passed me by.

The spelling of COEUR always makes me hesitate; French don't you know. So it's SERRATE without a d? Thank you, Steve. How have we got it wrong all these years?

ESL, my CSO!

My FLAN is, I think, as good as anyone's. A friend loves it so anytime I visit her I make her one.

From sunny Arizona, have a lovely day, everyone!

Husker Gary said...

-Cross-referencing was fun and not a problem after the first theme fill for this PROCRASTINATOR who has produced some nice lessons under time pressure
-Wonderful write-up and background music Steve!
-Both Jay’s of Jay and the Americans produced MAGIC MOMENTS for me especially this one with a Crossword friend of ours in the title (2:29) No voices like that on the charts today!
-Wanna teach ESL here?
-A UNL FRAT is under investigation for alcohol abuse. Some things never change.
-Everyone in today’s political ARENA is 50% loved AND reviled
-WWII Code for D-Day is imminent
-Rhonda and Danica Patrick had minimal success in sports and then cashed in their sex appeal – Google at will
-We passed a PAY PHONE once and grandson asked “What’s that Papa?”
-Meds were only moderately helpful with being ILL with my recent 2-wk cold
-Where those CEE’s are in today’s grade distribution
-Can fans really HEX the opponent’s free throw shooter?
-Pitch players around here fear “going SET”
-SPAM made here in Fremont, NE makes its way to Hawaii?
-HBD to my fav delivery person/carpenter!

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

First off, HBTY Splynter, from a fellow Aquarian

Second, a very clever puzzle theme with great answers to the "reveal". Excellent recap Steve.

I was able to solve nearly blot-free; I needed ESP to get CGI and ILL in the top row, and the LEA/LAO cross in the NW Corner had me for awhile - another WAG.

Proscrastinator or mooch?

I've been kind of "saving" this limerick for a time when the punchline word was used in the puzzle. In this case, the word was used as a clue, not a solve. Hope you enjoy!

When Trump first travelled to Mexico,
He said this to SeΕ„or Nieto:
"When I get elected
Wall will be erected."
And now Congress will ask: "where's Wall-DOUGH?"

CanadianEh! said...

I got the theme today and won't be a PROCRASTINATOR in commenting. Thanks for the fun Alan (congrats on your debut here) and Steve (loved your cockney thief).
I have become so used to accommodating for American clues that I did not even notice the "south of the border" - LOL!

I had Rad before HEP, I see before I GET, ETA before ARR, Chaotic before ERRATIC.
Unknowns or forgotten were ARCADE, CGI, LEA, MIA and MMA. Perps to the rescue.

GOOSED is not common here. Sounds rude. Place=SET was a big?? for me. Like others, I am more familiar with SERRATEd. DEERE is well-known in our household.
I pronounce VEHICLE with the accent on the first syllable. Do all Americans accent the second?

Happy Birthday Splynter!
Have a great day all. We don't expect much snow here.

CanadianEh! said...

Thanks for the link to the short story, OwenKL. Peart is a local boy who grew up in Port Dalhousie.

Dudley said...

Canadian Eh, in my part of the country, we accent the first syllable. Years ago I saw a military comedy program - possibly MASH, but I can't recall - in which an officer had to be punished for some driving infraction; he was sent to the motor pool for re-education under the care of some low ranking hayseed of a man. The teacher's first lesson was to firm up the point that in the Army a driven machine is called a vee-Hickle. I always wondered how true to life that was.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

What a fresh and clever theme this was! Had a few hiccups that needed perp help but, overall, smooth sailing in normal Thursday time. I had "That" before "Next" (Magic Moment) which didn't make much sense and was soon corrected.

Thanks, Alan, for a fun solve and thanks, Steve, for the grand tour.

We're getting clobbered with snow and gusty winds with no let up in sight. A good day to stay put, have some soup, and curl up on the couch with a good book!

Happy Birthday, Splynter, hope you day is fun-filled! πŸŽ‚πŸŽπŸŽˆπŸŽ‰

Have a great day.

CrossEyedDave said...


Marvelous puzzle!

(I am so glad I did not put it off to do later...)

Me? A procrastinator?

Roused b/4 goosed
(& I always thought the Mystery Machine was a VW Microbus...)
Castle defense made me think of "Keep." But I inked moat anyway.
Turns out there are alot of defenses (not all listed here) but a learning moment was the spiral staircases...

Happy Birthday Richard!
Finding a cake for Splynter is not so easy...

However, I don't know why I find this one so appealing...

Steve said...

@BunnyM et all - thanks, all. Bunny - can you get the recipe next time you're down there?

@C.C. - nothing to confess! She's my best friend's Aunt; the "Auntie" coming from me is an honorific!

@Dudley - it's certainly true for the cops (the poe-leese) in the south!

Bill G. said...

I very much enjoyed the puzzle and the clever theme. Good job Alan and Steve.

Gary, I read recently that the Nebraska state flag was flown upside down for 10 days or so without anybody noticing, calling for a redesign of the flag. Yes?

When I go out for lunch, one of the things I look for is good soup. Some places have nothing better than a bland chicken noodle soup. The little coffee shop I went to yesterday had an excellent cream of spinach soup. My favorite of theirs is cream of carrot. Delicious!

Yellowrocks said...

Wonderful theme. Hung up a litle on VEHIVLE, VAN and NEXT, but got it. I forgot what TETRIS is, but then realized only ELL fit, so that led to GLEE and CGI.
4D and 14A was my natick. No idea for MMA and the name could be LIA MIA or ZIA. MIA seemed best but MMA seemed wrong.
Happy birthday. Splynter.
We accent VEE in vehicle. WE say inSURance. I have heard middle America say INsurance.
If you want to buy a knife, you look up serrated knife. Mine was advertised as serrated. I Everyone I know calls them that. I use serrate as in serrate leaf.
Six to eight inches of snow. It stopped at about 10:30 am. Our street is finally being plowed now at 12:30.

TX Ms said...

Happy birthday, Splynter!

Anon @ 6:52 - funny.

Steve, I always enjoy your interesting and witty summaries.

Fun puzzle, but it took me a while to catch the theme - Apocalypse Later opened up the rest of the puzzle, but I had the same WAGs as Fermatprime. Didn't know PDX was an airport code.

I've always loved Janis Joplin. I read a recent article about when she went to her class reunion in Port Arthur a few weeks before her death. The committee had a meet-and-greet before the reunion was to start, and there was a long table with a white tablecloth set up for her. She breezed in, wearing a see-through blouse, glanced at the table, and said "Oh, wow, The Last Supper." I'm sure Janis would also have a few choice salty words about her psychedelic postage stamp, which I gladly stand in line to buy. The 7"x7" pane looks like a 45 record sleeve, with a close-up picture of her on the back.

Stay warm everybody!

CrossEyedDave said...

Dudley @ 11:09

That was indeed M*A*S*H,

& the driving lesson was administered by Sergeant Luther Rizzo.

Unfortunatley, no clip of it exists on YouTube,
but you can be suitably entertained by typing in "the best of Charles Emerson Winchester."

Argyle said...

Vehicular changes to stress v-HIC-u-ler. Agree?

Dudley said...

CED - thanks! More entertainment. Just the thing for a snow day.

Argyle - yes.

We're about halfway through the snowfall period. I just went way out in the driveway to get some idea of depth. Let's just say that it's a good thing my ruler goes up to eleven.


Husker Gary said...

-Bill, New Nebraska flag? Former governor and frequent golf partner Dave Heinemann is in the picture
-Yes I do remember that episode with Luther Rizzo, the king of the motor pool!

Yellowrocks said...

I have found dozens of quotes on serrated things, including knives.
"Use a serrated knife to cut off the uneven ends of the cake." Washington PostDec 9, 2016
"A serrated knife with a black handle was found at the scene." Los Angeles TimesJun 29, 2016
I have found no quotes on "serrate knife." or even a picture. If you search "serrate knife," the Internet shows you serrated ones. I have found "the leaf's edges are serrate," and "serrate leaf." I think serrated knife as we have been calling it all along is the most common. We were not wrong.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi Gang -

And a big HBD to Splynter! I must have been 46 once . . .

Clever theme. I'll admit to being a PRO-CRASTINATOR, having long ago lost my amateur status.

Had LAO TSE for 3D, which set me back a bit. Not knowing how to spell COEUR was another hold up that sent me G-spotting.

Finally made it through, after a slow and dodgy start.

Just read the summary of SILAS MARNER at wikipedia, and realized that nothing about the story was in the least familiar.

Must have put off reading it . . .

Cool regards!

Ol' Man Keith said...

Thanks for the "Teddy Bear" clue, Steve. I squinted & was immediately rewarded!

As for the SERRATE controversy, I think we're just used to adding the "d" when speaking. We're not wrong; we just need to make room for another (slightly more "correct"?) way. So many descriptive words are formed as the result of a process ("forged," "nailed," "painted," &c.) that we suppose the "d" ending is always the case. Not so. A quick check with on-line dictionaries shows SERRATE as a stand-alone adjective, with SERRATEd listed as a second or third usage.

Nice pzl, Alan DeLoriea. My Ta-DA! was deflated a tad when I discovered that MOP was correct and POP was not. This changed your martial artist to a PGA golfer and my "Princess" to an unrecognizable understudy named GIA. My bad. Boo on me.

I got a kick out of GOOSED. Oh, wait - "kick" isn't the right word, I don't think ...

Happy B'Day, Splynter! Many Happy &c.! Your Feb natal day reminds me that mine is approaching, and faster with each passing day. Are you at an age now where you'd rather each new one would add a credit rather than feel like a debit? I guess it's a good thing that we can't see both sides of the ledger.

Misty said...

I can't believe I've had to start cheating on Thursday puzzles, but the top part of this one gave me quite a bit of trouble, sadly. But I got the bottom, and couldn't believe the word PROCRASTINATION running all the way across. After that, I really enjoyed the theme, in spite of the need to cheat a bit. So, many thanks, Alan, and welcome to the blog. And great expo, Steve--I appreciated your drawing our attention to the symmetrical grid.

"Apocalypse Now" is one of my most memorable movies--haven't seen it in a long time, though.

Bunny M, cute MIA story.

Chairman Moe, clever limerick.

Happy birthday, Splynter, and have a great day, everybody!

Misty said...

I just remembered why I liked "Apocalypse Now" so much--it's based on Joseph Conrad's novella, "The Heart of Darkness" which I used to teach in my undergraduate literature class. However, I'm embarrassed to admit it took me a while to remember that the "Hamlet" speaker was Laertes. The older years don't help our memory much, do they?

Anonymous said...

Wow i thought this was easy for a thurs. Easier than fridays...oops i mean yesterday.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Apocalypse Now is a favorite of mine, along with Deer Hunter. They were produced within a year of each other, and they marked for me a coming-of-age after our time in Vietnam. I think they served to end their decade with the same purpose that Conrad's Heart of Darkness did in its time (1899), a way back then of marking the end of Victorian idealism (along with the throes of Britain in the Boer War), and for us a means to look harder than usual at how war draws fantasists and idealists to similar ends.
Both films offered exciting, grotesque visions of men at war, from the spectacle of choppers destroying a village (accompanied by the Ride of the Valkyries) to the intimacy of De Niro's turning Russian roulette back on the VC officer.
Each ended with a powerful catharsis. I remember coming to tears at the end of Deer Hunter when they sang God Bless America--and I realized for the first time that it is a prayer.

Bluehen said...

Fun puzzle and fun expo. Thanks.

I just wanted to add my best wishes fro a very Happy Birthday to Splynter, and many more to come.

Re: serrate/serrated, how about this. If it occurs naturally, as a leaf, it is serrate. If it is made to resemble that shape, like a bread knife, it is serrated. Thoughts?


Yellowrocks said...

Ol'Man Keith, I would have emailed this personally, but I don't have your address.
I am mystified as to why all of you think serrate knife is more correct. Yes, serrate is in the dictionary, thus acceptable, but it is not at all common in reference to knives. As evidence, try to buy a serrate knife on line and you will be redirected to serrated. And try to find a serrate knife quote in writing . I cannot. Why is serrated not so correct? What evidence? I am willing to learn.
Look at the 13 pieces this expensive Williams Sonoma knife set includes. One is called serrated.^11472831015-device^c-plaid^1100309429572-sku^9563479@ADL10BMC-adType^PLA
Then look at all the knives on Amazon, many serrated, none serrate.
See also:

Serrate is more commonly used in botany.

Argyle said...

serrate 1590-1600, serrated 1695-1705

Ol' Man Keith said...

I think you misunderstand me, or I simply wasn't clear. My point is only that SERRATE is correct too -- too, as in also. I only hinted at a slight edge based on on-line dictionaries that list it first, and specifically as an adjective. That's all.

TTP said...

I'll opine.

Serrate describes the blade edge. The clue was "Like bread knives", so serrate or serrated would both be correct answers.

The knife itself is a serrated knife. The other knives in Steve's picture are straight edged knives, with the exception of the one on the far right, which has a Granton edge.

So Steve, you have been correct all along in calling it a serrated knife. And you would be correct in saying that it has a serrate edge or is serrated.

Ol' Man Keith said...

~ Kf

Terry said...

Great Limerick, thanks.

Jayce said...

Nifty puzzle. I liked the theme but had to scratch my ear a little at NEXT MAGIC MOMENT. I also thought the Scooby Doo gang's VEEhicle was a VW bus. Natick for me was the M crossing MMA and MIA. In hindsight I recognized and should have known MMA.

Steve, enjoyable write-up, as usual. Thanks.

Happy birthday, Splynter!

Our neighbors, who are from Hawaii, introduced us to musubi. I thought they had made it up and that it was a family tradition of theirs. Then I learned it is a real thing in Hawaii. It has resurrected my appreciation of SPAM.

Speaking of "Auntie," that is what our nieces and nephews call my wife. I am always taken by surprise to hear myself addressed as Uncle John. ("Oh yeah, I am your uncle!")

Best wishes to you all.

AnonymousPVX said...

Got to it late, finished with no real issues. Although I hate "spose" as an answer.

TTP said...

Looks like Splynter got some snow for his birthday present. Probably not the gift he was hoping to get.

How's it going up there Dudley ? National news was just showing some scenes from Mass. They said western Mass and Maine could get the worst of it.

We didn't get a trace of snow here, but it is a little cold today. Temperatures here are expected to be in the mid to upper 40s for the next 5 days. The local news just had a story about a nearby ski hill having to make snow for the skiers. My Ariens snowblower has been sitting idle nigh on two months. Will have to fire it up tomorrow or Saturday just to run some gas through the carb.

CrossEyedDave said...


Since Anonymous T is late to the party,
(possibly snowbound?)
I guess it is up to me to post Monty Pythons' "Spam"...


Since I always take silliness to the extreme,

Here is the entire episode where it came from... (30:22)

(For those not snowbound, the actual Spam bit is at around 27 minutes.)

Misty said...

Thank you, Ol' Man Keith. I'd forgotten 'The Ride of the Valkyres' and the end of 'The Deer Hunter,' another wonderful movie of the era. Was Meryl Streep in that film? If so, I suspect it was the first time I saw her on the screen.

Just Nam it said...

Don't forget the movie Platoon. Or the TV series Tour of Duty. They all had a similar message, and all were very good.

CrossEyedDave said...

And for those interested in word origins...

Chairman Moe said...

Misty @ 1:22 ---> Thanks! I probably should've said to accentuate the "wall" syllable in the pun! ;^)

Chairman Moe said...

CED @ 6:57 ---> that sketch by Monty Python was epic. I wonder if Hormel ever dreamed that their trademark/brand "Spam" would come to mean something completely different than what they imagined when they created that vile concoction. Nevertheless, Spam has been a staple meat item for decades. I'll still take Scrapple, thank you!

Spitzboov said...

CSO to Argyle's SPAM filter.

Anonymous T said...

Well, I put off posting long enough...

Hi All!

Thank you Alan for a fun DNF. I love the creativity of the Now & LATER, Today/TOMORROW, This (time)/Next (time).

Thanks too to Steve. I love that clock - perfect for Horstman's corollary to Parkinson's Law :-)
//do you really need bash help? I'm rusty in bash but could sling some perl in a few hours

Boy did I make a mess of MArIC MOffn(t?)... I had rOuSTED and inked REF in for both 38 & 39d in my haste trying to finish the pzl over my breakfast taco while waiting on my computer to finish the last command...
Other Idiot! MOMENT was inking PeoM to fit w/ "Cool, once" == Hot (it was hot, er cool, to say HEP)

DNF 'cuz I had to lookup CoEu_ (55a). That changed 46d to GOOSED and I finally got the MAGIC! But, O'MAN, it took a Google. Oh, and 37a - ESP.

Fav: Not withstanding the theme, this USA TOMORROW article :-)*. 45d was cute too.

{B+, A-, A, B-, A [I'll check out Peart story l8r - thx!]} {Very good :-)}

Big E - 3 H-Storms?!? Some people have all the luck. Yours bad... Zoinks!

I second Tx Ms - LOL @ 6:52a-non
Dudley @noon:03 - 11 on a 12" ruler... LOL

Spitz - What a nice shot of DEERE Cornerites.

What Bunny said re: ARLO & tAZED (I went w/ fazed 1st). Oddly, I did get PROCRASTINATION early on.

CED - I snooze I lose... Thanks for the SPAM! clip** The non-meat SPAM has been noodled about since 1975 (b/f email even was called SMTP!)

I think w/ SERRATEd that c/a - no comment...

I put it off long enough - Happy Birthday Splynter! You're the only reason I continue to try Sat. solves. Hope you toasted w/ a nice latte!

Cheers, -T
*I actually bought 5 of those - one for each sib & me.
**Nailed it! When Bro was stationed in HI, he always complained about Poi & SPAM at parties.

Bill G. said...

Chairman Moe, count me in as a big fan of scrapple. Scrapple and eggs! Yum!

Chairman Moe said...


CrossEyedDave said...


No matter how much I ctrl+
on the USAToday link,
I can't focus it enough to read what
the article says:

3 injured when Mom rehydrates Pizza???

Oh Crap! I Gotta know if this affects me!

(effects me...)

Oh crap! another word puzzle!

Wilbur Charles said...

I got stuck in the south(much like my Lejeune days). VEHICLE finally removed the cobwebs long enough to finish but not to suss out MIA/MMA. I hate that genre of "Sport").
What was that link that put me to sleep six hours ago? That and golf.
To paraphrase all that Seinfeld we've had lately: YR, why don't you just tell us what book you're reading.
I've got Sholen Asch. "The Apostle"
C-Moe. PwD. Owen, agree with marks.

My birthday present to Splynter is a ?
PROCRASTINATING is What in five syllables from what author?

This was a very nice XW, Alan D. And same for write-up by Steve.
I too had CHAOTIC. I think my brain had slowed down.
I've never watched Apocalypse Now in full and didn't like Platoon. But the Heart of Darkness theme was right on.
Something about the tropics plays with the mind. It didn't take much with this mind.
Thanks everybody for all the links.


Ps. I noticed some folks read my late stuff last night. Thx.

Wilbur Charles said...

Oh yeah. I sometimes go to restaurant in Sand Key because they serve a Spam and eggs breakfast. I have to tell them "Medium Well".


Yellowrocks said...

Sick as a dog last night after 4:30 pm. Needed to keep the trash basket near the bed. Worst cramps I have had in ages. Better now.
I agree, TTP 4:19. I think I misinterpreted Steve's remarks. I thought he was saying serrate knife was correct. So no nit. I created a tempest in a teapot. Bad karma rewarded me.

Picard said...

Agree with Jayce and others about MMA/MIA crossing. Totally unfair Natick.

The name could have been _IA where _ could be pretty much any consonant. And that is a pretty obscure sport where I have never even heard of the entire sport.

Other than that I enjoyed the PROCRASTINATORS theme. Even though I am not one myself.

Hand up for the SERRATE learning moment.

I was at COEUR d'Alene a few years back. A beautiful place on a huge lake. Stayed there one day on a long road trip and had no idea about it before that.

VEHICLE clued as traveler's aid seemed a bit of a stretch! Thanks for explaining PDX/ARR. Had no idea what PDX was. MARNER needed ESP. Only know ARLO Guthrie who I have seen several times in real life.