Mar 20, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: And it's a grand day to be sure!

17A. Change one's route to avoid heavy traffic, say: MAKE A DETOUR. Grand tour.

23A. Likely successor to the throne: HEIR APPARENT. Grandparent

37A. "You're confusing me": "I DON'T UNDERSTAND". Grandstand, verb or noun.

48A. Sprained ankle, often: SPORTS INJURY. Grand jury.

59A. Climactic show ending, and a literal hint to this puzzle's circled letters: GRAND FINALE. The word in the circles can follow GRAND and they are the final word in their entries.

Argyle here. We have a quick return of Bruce Haight, a grid spanner; we have circles, a tight theme, a very necessary reveal. I hope we all have great week on this first day of spring.


1. Negative attention from the press, briefly: BAD PR. (bad public relations)

6. Deep-voiced opera singer: BASSO

11. "I knew it!": "HAH!"

14. Blazing: AFIRE. AWORD.

15. Gossip spreader: YENTA

16. Abu Dhabi is its cap.: UAE. (United Arab Emirates) Visit Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, if you dare.

19. Org. for marksmen: NRA. (National Rifle Association)

20. "You __ here": ARE

21. Pipe-cleaning brand: DRANO. (Not recommended for tobacco pipes.)

22. Composer Stravinsky: IGOR. His wife's name was "Katya".

26. Magnificent: SUPERB

29. Epps of "House": OMAR. His IMDb page.

30. Have no doubt: KNOW

31. Fabulist mentioned by Aristotle: AESOP. (fabulist - a person who composes or relates fables.)

34. Soda: POP

41. Capitol Hill fig.: POL

42. Quarrel: ARGUE

43. Machu Picchu resident: INCA

44. "Me neither!": "NOR I!"

46. Sacred river of India: GANGES

53. "Peter Pan" beast: CROC. Tic-toc croc.

54. Safe place?: VAULT

55. Help in finding the hidden treasure: MAP

58. Kept under wraps: HID

62. Blanc who voiced Bugs: MEL

63. "__ bet?": WANNA

64. Kind of panel or system: SOLAR

65. Keats work: ODE

66. Annual celebrations, for short: B-DAYS

67. Plot surprise: TWIST


1. The Crimson Tide, familiarly: BAMA. (Alabama)

2. In the distance: AFAR

3. Storied water barrier: DIKE. Dutch boy story, perhaps.

4. Ante-: PRE-. Prefixes.

5. Page turner: READER

6. Way to play music if you can't read it: BY EAR

7. Insurance giant: AETNA

8. Busybody: SNOOP

9. Good name for a lover of hearty meals: STU

10. Paddle: OAR

11. Gut feeling at dinner time?: HUNGER PANG

12. Packers quarterback Rodgers: AARON. Green Bay Packers, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

13. EKG organ: HEART

18. Smidgen: DRIB. Often found as dribs and drabs.

22. Nest egg acronym: IRA. (Individual Retirement Account)

23. Previously cut, as timber: HEWN

24. Penniless: POOR

25. Gig equipment: AMPs

26. Decide not to go to: SKIP

27. Loosen, as a knot: UNDO

28. Cylindrical water toy: POOL NOODLE

31. Director Lee: ANG. Taiwanese-born Ang Lee, not "Spike" Lee.

32. School URL ending: .EDU

33. "Comprende?": "SEE?". Spanish to English.

35. Fairy tale starter: ONCE

36. High-tech appt. books: PDAs. (personal digital assistant)

38. Sharp-tasting: TART

39. "Exodus" author Leon: URIS

40. Minuscule: TINY

45. Tolkien beast: ORC

46. __ of Mexico: GULF

47. Whistler, but not his mother: ARTIST

48. Blockhead: SCHMO

49. Jimmied (open): PRIED

50. The first Mrs. Trump: IVANA

51. Mary Poppins, e.g.: NANNY

52. Biblical betrayer: JUDAS

55. Timbuktu's country: MALI

56. "__, poor Yorick!": Hamlet: ALAS

57. Cheeky: PERT

59. Pres. #43: GWB.(George Walker Bush)

60. "Cool!": "RAD!"

61. "Immediately!": "NOW!"


Notes from C.C.:

1) Happy Birthday to dear Spitzboov (Al), our always cheerful and knowledgeable imp (Spitzboov is Low German for "rascal/"imp".) Spitzboov served in the Navy Reserve for over 20 years & retired as Commander. He continues to support the Navy in any way he can. The Annin flag he sent to me after I got my US citizenship is from the Navy. Hopefully you and Betty can meet with Argyle again this year.

Argyle and Spitzboov
(August 23, 2014, Washington County Fair)

2) Happy Birthday to John28man as well! He pops in on the blog from time to time.


fermatprime said...


Thanks to Bruce and Santa!

Nice puzzle. Did not know AARON. Otherwise, pretty fast.

Wish I could rid of the cough!

Have a great day!

OwenKL said...

{B-, C+, C-.}

The Alien said he came from the Sun
And our days of freeloading were done!
From now on, SOLAR power
Would be charged by the hour --
But he'd take payment in high S.P.F. lotion!

OMAR was a Disco fish from the GANGES
He liked to dance to upbeat sea shanties!
But clothes would get scrubbed
Upstream of where he clubbed,
And in his TWIST he'd get drifting panties!

If an afro can be known as an up-do
And a do-rag is worn over hair gel goo,
So when a bald head
Is flaunted instead,
Would that hair non-styling be an UN-DO?

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I had the circles, but still didn't get the theme. I read "Climactic show ending..." and no further. Gotta learn that there's a reason for those long clues. Nice to have YENTA crossing SNOOP. POOL NOODLE was a learning moment; I thought those things were colorful pipe insulators. Here in the south we use foam insulators to keep the outside faucets from freezing. Thanks for a Monday challenge, Bruce. Enjoyed your DRANO comment, Argyle.

The jetsetter's mantra: Breakfast in New York, Dinner in Paris, luggage in Timbuktu.

Happy birthday, Spitz and John28man!

inanehiker said...

Monday speed run - but creative theme. Didn't get the connection until the reveal clue.
We always called them POOL NOODLES, but I didn't know that was an official name for them.

Thanks Argyle and Bruce!
Happy birthday to Spitzboov and John!
Happy first day of spring!

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

Easy Monday. Aced it.

Husker Gary said...

-A fun Monday where the GRAND FINALE did not stand alone but was used in a totally different context. Nice job, Bruce!
-Our GRAND TOUR today on this equinox will be the D.C. monuments at night
-BAD PR? Just spell my name right.
-The character Joan Wilder got this Treasure MAP from her sister in Romancing The Stone
-Advice for H.S. seniors who KNOW it all. WANNA BET?
-We leave for D.C. this morning and will have bkfst with the NE POLS on Wed.
-A principal of mine HID his true opinion of my project until I really needed his support
-I never see the TWIST coming at the end of an Agatha Christie mystery
-Ever been up the GANGES without an OAR?
-A famous event SKIP (1:30)
-A great cartoon about JUDAS Catholics will really “get”!
-NOW has replaced delayed gratification, uh, NOW
-HBD John. Spitz, here’s wishing you fair winds and calm seas on your birthday.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

My kind of puzzle, for sure. The reveal remained a mystery and even though I had the circles, I had no idea where those words were leading me. Clever indeed. I liked that each word was its own finale, not a stand alone word that could follow grand. Smooth sailing all the way.

Thanks, Bruce, for a fun solve and thanks, Argyle, for the "grand tour."

Happy Birthday, Spitz, hope it's a great one! πŸŽ‚πŸŽπŸŽˆπŸΎπŸŽ‰

Happy Birthday, John, as well. πŸŽ‚πŸŽπŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸΎ

Our towering snow banks are melting, slowly but surely, but the weekend forecast is calling for snow, sleet, and rain. That ought to create a fine kettle of fish, Ollie!

Have a great day.

BunnyM said...

Good morning all and happy first day of Spring!

Nice theme from Bruce. No issues other than rushing and had GRAND Finish for FINALE. Oops. But not knowing that Timbuktu is in MALI or the (easy to figure out) ALAS quote from Shakespeare, it sort of made sense until getting NOW and PERT.

A couple of WO's : had Sen/POL and Aha/HAH

AARON and DRIB were perps.

I have a POOLNOODLE in my trunk that's been there for almost two years... need a home for that thing. We used to go swimming quite often at my uncle's but he was in the midst of selling his house last summer and we never made it for a final pool party. Great times there- both my daughters learned to swim there and many great family get togethers and memories made.

A new Mary Poppins movie is being made (the Banks children are grown) with Emily Blunt as the beloved NANNY
Happy Birthday to Spitzbbov and John!

Feel better fermatprime- that nagging cough seems to be hard to shake for those I know who have been sick this Winter.

Have a great day everyone :)

BunnyM said...

Sorry, that should be Spitzboov. Thank you Al for your many years of service in the Navy!

MJ said...

Happy Birthday to Spitzboov and John28man, and good day to all!

A fun Monday puzzle, but without circles at the Mensa site, so definitely needed the reveal. AARON Rodgers was the only unknown. Thanks, Bruce, for today's entertainment. And thanks, Argyle, for the expo. Loved the Victor Borge clip. His musical comedy was brilliant.

Enjoy the day!

Wilbur Charles said...

Happy birthday to Spitz and John and thanks Argyle for the smooth write-up.

Again Owen, I have to give you Bs and #3 was a good one.

The Scots say "If there's Nae wind, there's Nae golf". Noticing that in the long acrosses, SIN was under RAP I got thinking
If there's Nae SIN, there's Nae RAP

Of course for my golfing days:
If there's Nae gambling it's Nae Golf

I sent the Judas link to my pastor


Madame Defarge said...

Happy Spring!

I also did this on the Mensa site this morning, but sadly circles would not have helped me, Bruce. Most fell pretty easily without theme assistance. Thanks for an enjoyable Monday. Yesterday I wanted TART; today I tried yesterday's TANG. Ha! TART it is.

Thanks for the tour, Argyle.

Happy Birthday, John. Spitzboov, enjoy your celebration day. A rascal, indeed.

Have a fine day, everyone.

Chairman Moe said...

"puzzling thoughts":

Happy Birthday to Spitz and John!

Great puzzle and a SUPERB recap from Argyle - loved the Victor Borge clip!

Just two write-overs: AHA > HAH and HUNGER PAIN > PANG. As usually happens, the reveal filled itself in as I was doing perps in the bottom quarter of the grid. Easy to see afterwards! 😜

Owen, #3 was my favorite today. Here's one I hope you'll chuckle at:

When the princess found out she was pregnant,
The Queen mother became incoherent.
"I'm confused," she just said.
"Does this mean when I'm dead,
That you'll still be an HEIR, or a parent?"

Tinbeni said...

Happy Birthday Spitzboov and John28man

Nice, informative write-up Argyle.

Thanks for the FUN Monday puzzle Bruce.

Fave today was the GULF of Mexico ... it's only about a mile from Villa Incognito.

SPRING has sprung! ... time for a walk on the beach ...


Lemonade714 said...

Bruce shows his versatility with this Monday creation. I wonder if I could sell a newsletter for crossword solvers who did not watch sports which listed famous athletes and their sports.

Anyway, the theme was well hidden and the clues a bit of a challenge, but not unfair. I enjoyed the longer solve.

HBDTY HBDTY to Al and John who have been here for many birthdays. Al is a fellow Floridian and John I think is in Colorado. where my youngest lives.

Lucina said...

Happy birthday, Spitzboov and John! I wish you both smooth sailing.

And many thanks to Bruce for a SUPERB puzzle. I even saw the theme! However, I don't recall a CROC in Peter Pan. guess I'll have to reread it. AARON of course was an unknown. Perped it.

My late DH played music BYEAR. He only had to hear a piece once and he could play it. My oldest granddaughter inherited his musical ability though she doesn't have that one, just perfect pitch.

Lemonade: I'm afraid the internet has preempted you otherwise that would be a helpful newsletter.

Thank you, Argyle. I laughed at your DRANO joke.

Have a GRAND Monday, everyone!

CrossEyedDave said...

4d Ante-Pre is a headscratcher...

I always enjoy Victor Borge.
A little trivia, the page turner was his son...
At one point, he makes an aside to the audience
shouting Negi! Negi!
You will find a Google search to be fruitless,
but you may find a vegetable...

Happy Birthday Spitzboov!

HBD John28Man!

Hmm, grande Finale. This could end one of two ways,


or perhaps with a little style...

CanadianEh! said...

Fun Monday solve. Thanks Bruce and Argyle.

I finished the puzzle on the Mensa site without circles and then went to the LA Times site to see the circles and figure out the theme. HAH!
But unfortunately, I could not get a Tada and had to turn on red letters to see the error of my ways - Take a Detour instead of MAKE A DETOUR. I had questioned BATA for Crimson Tide. Looks like I could use that sports newsletter, Lemonade!

Hand up for Sen before POL. TART forced me to change Not I to NOR I.
I noted the cross of gossip spreader and busybody also, plus the Peter Pan beast crossing the Tolkien beast.
Favourite today was the STU clue.

I use POP for soda. We may have had this link before for survey of regional differences. I could reply but Canadian data is not shown on the map. I suspect we are strongly in the POP camp.

Happy BDAY to Spitzboov and John28man.

Happy Spring to all. (Did you all get the same cute little bunny on Google?)
We still have snow here!

CanadianEh! said...

CED - ante is referring to before or preceding here not the poker term

Argyle said...

Yes, that is why the dash was there, to indicate it was a prefix. Ante-

desper-otto said...

Lucina, I believe it was a Croc that bit off Captain Hook's hand. Might have been a passing reference in the book, but Disney made the croc a major bit player...if there is such a thing.

Bill G. said...

That was a pleasant Monday puzzle; an enjoyable nine-inning outing.

Spitz and John, I hope you both have good days and good years to come.

I just finished cooking Barbara and me a favorite for breakfast; Cream of Wheat with a little brown sugar and some half-and-half. Very excellent!

Bruce Haight said...

Thanks for the fine write-up Argyle ! I wanted to clue MALI as "Home of the bushbuck, and Timbuk-tu", but Rich thought the pun was too much for a Monday. If bushbucks were just a little less obscure...

desper-otto said...

Bruce, I think I remember that joke. It started out, "Tim and I a-camping went...."

Abdul the Camel Driver said...

Desper-otto @ 12:00 noon:

There were two poems:


Across the vast Sahara sand
Rode a desert caravan.
Air was hot; sky was blue
Destination? Timbuktu.


Tim and I a camping went
Met a trio of ladies, in a tent.
They being three, and we but two,
I bucked one and Timbuktu.

OwenKL said...

The CROC had eaten an alarm clock, so whenever Captain Hook heard a clock ticking, he would panic.

Misty said...

Delightful Monday puzzle, Bruce--many thanks, and thanks for checking in with us. And, of course, your expo is always fun, Santa. Great photo of you and Spitzboov, by the way.

My only real problem this morning was POOL NOODLE--never heard of it and couldn't believe it could be right. But in the end I had to go with it, and thank goodness, all was well. And I enjoyed the little shout-out to me with EDU, my URL.

Happy birthday, Spitzboov and John. I always enjoy your German explanations, Spitz. In Austria I think you might be Spitzbube rather than Spitzboov, but I might be remembering that wrong.

Fun limerick, Moe.

Sorry that the cough continues, Fermatprime. Take good care of yourself.

Exciting that there may be a new "Mary Poppins" movie in the works, although it can't possibly be better than that wonderful Dick Van Dyke gem. I can probably still hum or sing most of the songs.

Have a great week, everybody!

Wilbur Charles said...

Yep, the CROC was Disney's animated contribution. Besides Cap'n Hook's hand it had also swallowed a loud, ticking clock.
Re. Lemon's sports guide:

Bobby ORR is Boston's pride
BAMA is the Crimson TIDE

If vowels they need then golf we'll see

CC loves Twins old and new
Especially OLIVA and Rod CAREW

Three square fill as well as not
Will find the old Giant: MELvin OTT

I'll let C-Moe or Owen add basketball


CanadianEh! said...

Misty's comment about Mary Poppins reminded me about the new Anne of Green Gables series (called Anne) that started on the CBC last night. I thought that the previous version could not be topped, but they have done an excellent job, acting is superb, and the PEI scenery is beautiful. Plus they use a song by The Trajically Hip in the opener.
Apparently it is scheduled to air on Netflix in May.

Ol' Man Keith said...

HBD, Spitzboov!

Thanks to Mr. Haight for the chewiest Monday pzl I can remember. Nicely resistant all the way through, although doable w/o helps, as a Monday pzl should be.

Spitzboov said...

Hello everyone.

Happy Birthday to John28

Thanks C.C. for the heartfelt birthday statement.
Thanks to everyone for their good wishes. It's my 79th so I cherish them strongly since there are probably not too many left.
Misty - Spitzbube is standard German, but is, perhaps, a bit more nefarious in connotation.

@ 66a what are the odds that today's puzzle would include B'DAYS?
Easy solve but the theme was murky for me until I read what Argyle had to say. Otherwise, no searches were needed.

Took BH to 99's for lunch after getting her staples out. Monday night Bridge at chez moi, tonight.

The real Chairman Moe said...

WC @ 12:58

Ok, a stab at Basketball

If a constructor thinks that he or she are the best,
Then they'll use "Basketball Great Jerry" to get the word WEST

C Moe (not logged in)

john28man said...

any thanks for the nice birthday messages. It is a nice day in the Valley of the Sun, our winter home.

Spitsboov, besides sharing the same bday, I see that we are both engineers.

john28man said...

Should be many thanks.

CrossEyedDave said...

Thanks for the antidote to Ante-
(another learning moment...)

All this talk of Capt'n Hook & the Croc
had me surfing the net. I thought the final scene
would be a good link for "Grand Finale," but it
is too ridiculous to subject you to it...

The Robin Williams remake of Peter Pan,
while severely panned when it 1st came out,
is actually becoming a cult classic. If you
go into to it tongue and cheek, it can be quite amusing.

A case in point: Grand Finale?

Yellowrocks said...

GRAND puzzle. Monday easy.
Argyle, thanks for the funny Borge clip.
We have pool noodles at the Y.
WB, I like your sports poems.
Happy birthday to Spitz and John.
My PA Dutch grandmothers cooked boova schenkel, literally boy's thighs because they were off white and shaped that way. They were similar to pierogis with potato and onion wrapped in dough. I see that most traditional recipes include beef. My family recipes did not. One grandmother used cubed boiled potatoes and one used mashed potatoes.I prefer mashed.

Lucina said...

I love HOOK! Robin Williams is so good as Peter Pan and Dustin Hoffman does Hook perfectly. It's a wonderful movie! And Maggie Smith as Wendy could not be better. My copy is a VCR tape so at some point I'll have to replace it with DVD though I have a dual player for VCR/DVD.

Thank you for that info. I'm not sure if I ever realized how Hook lost his arm.

I hope you're enjoying the warm sunshine here.

Jayce said...

Nice puzzle, I liked it. Happy birthday, Al and John.

AnonymousPVX said...

Easy Monday puzzle, straightforward construction and clueing. A nice way to start the week.

BunnyM said...

CanadianEh!- enjoyed the PopVsSoda link. It's "pop" for the most part here in Cincinnati. Although my MIL and SIL say "soda" even though they were born and raised here. They now live in Naples, FL and Chicago, respectively so it looks like their preferred usage is more widely accepted there. Years ago, vacationing with them in N. Michigan, SIL ordered a "soda" . The waitress brought her a soda water. SIL said "I wanted a Coke!" Waitress said "Then you should have ordered a pop!" Lol
My Google had a cute little mouse sleeping underground who goes above, grabs a tulip(?), takes it back to her "house" to decorate then snuggles back under the covers. Cute but I would have rather had the bunny 🐰 πŸ˜ƒ

Misty- looks like Dick Van Dyke will be in the new Mary Poppins! He's playing 'Mr. Dawes Jr.' In the original as well as playing the wonderful Bert, he played Mr. Dawes Sr.- the elderly bank owner that told Michael he should invest his tuppence, not spend it feeding the birds. (He was billed as 'Navckid Keyd'- his name spelled backwards πŸ˜ƒ) I loved him in the original, so excited he's in this one!

CED - I always live your cake links! Just perfect πŸ˜ƒ

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Can't ARGUE with what OMK said... Nice & chewy Monday. I expect no less from Bruce. Thanks Bruce for a fun puzzle that wasn't a speed run. And those long 11d and 28d fill were just GRAND STANDing :-)

Thanks Argyle for the expo and Borge clip.

WO: I put 6d's answer in at 6a.

Fav: SCHMO! The word is just too fun.
I also liked the c/a for VAULT (not Wall today!), STU, and 64a's SOLAR.

{B,B-,B} {nice :-)} {not bad at all WC!}

C, Eh! I grew up [SPI, IL] hearing soda-POP, soda, or, egads!, sodie-pop. I use soda, pop, or Coke interchangeably now.

I VANA link funny... Oh, I KNOW, WANNA SEE MEL make JUDAS TWIST & squirm? [@37s from the VAULT].

Happy B-DAYS to John28 and Spitz!

Cheers, -T

Wilbur Charles said...

I think I've seen LEBRON James and Larry BIRD. Pickings are slim though


Misty said...

What great news, BunnyM! The new "Mary Poppins" sounds wonderful and it would be so great to see Dick Van Dyke again! Any chance Julie Andrews might have a role in it?

And CanadianEh, I hope I will be able to find "Anne of Green Gables" on CBS! Lots of things to look forward to!

Anonymous T said...

The Center Fill

Harden, The Beard, is
Houston's Rocket's new king
But only three letters,
You want Yao Ming

Four letters? It's a fact
The constructor is looking for Shaq.

That's about all I know about Basketball Wilbur :-)

Cheers, -T

Argyle said...

Hey, hey,
don't forget
Dr. J.

Anonymous T said...

I know the Center
Of whom you speak
I didn't watch him at his peak
Dr. J,
So you say...
3 Letter Fill for Julius Erving
Kept the game moving.

M. Jordan, a Bull in the fall
Had cartoon-movies
and baseball

And, I've run out of Centers
I knew I would.

{F- for meter and piss-poor rhyme}

Cheers, -T

Lucina said...

It's amazing that Dick Van Dyke will be in a movie at age 90! I doubt Julie Andrews will, though, as she sadly lost her singing voice during throat surgery a few years ago. Dubbing would be a dreadful solution for someone with that once beautiful voice.