Mar 9, 2017

Thursday, March 9, 2017 Roland Huget

Theme: Beforehand. The three circled words are clued as "synonym" found in "a thing".

17A. Done in a comprehensive plan? : BLANKET COVERAGE. Done as in finished.

35A. Tied up in a government program? : CRIME PREVENTION. Tied up as in evened the score.

55A. Out in a classic sports car? : FORD THUNDERBIRD. Out as in knocked out by anesthetic.

Hi all! Fun theme from Roland, I like the way the circled words are clued. Three full grid-spanners for the theme entries and a very solid-looking grid.  I don't know if he was connecting the circled letters as being words that can follow "hand"; that's just my theme title.

Definitely some Thursday-level stuff going on today. Let's see what jumps out


1. Fish feature : GILL. I never thought of a gill in the singular before.

5. Sporty sunroof : T-TOP

9. Impressionist's métier : APERY.I know it's a word, but this and the related "aper" just don't work for me.

14. Mount between Pelion and Olympus : OSSA. Dug this out of the cranial recesses.

15. Bat mitzvah dance : HORA. Didn't dig this out, thank you crosses.

16. "__ Theme": "Doctor Zhivago" song : LARA'S. Let's hear it from The City of Prague Philharmonic.

20. Primed : SET, as a fuse.

21. Duffers' dreams : ACES. A duffer of a golfer can only dream of a hole-in-one. I've got one which I count as "unofficial" because it was on a par-three course, and it doesn't make me any less of a duffer, believe me. One of my friends got a legitimate one with a club I'd given him the week before, so I claimed the assist.

22. Gamer's game face : AVATAR. You choose an avatar to represent you when playing online video games. Apparently. Here's one of mine from Facebook:

23. Criticize harshly : SLAM

24. Emailed a dupe to : CC'ED

25. Darth, before he turned to the Dark Side : ANAKIN.

28. Postgrad challenge : ORAL EXAM

32. Quarrel : RUN-IN

33. Pit-__: heart sound : A-PAT

34. Target of annual shots : FLU

39. Useful Scrabble tile : ESS. Useful because you can add it to pretty much any existing word on the board.

40. Fairy tale heavy : OGRE

41. Suez Canal ship : OILER. Oil tankers are not the only commercial traffic to use the canal, but oil from the Arab countries is carried through the canal bound for nothern Europe and the U.S. East Coast. As the price of oil has fallen, since 2016 some carriers are choosing to take the longer way around the southern tip of Africa to avoid paying the toll charges for passage through the canal.

42. IBM's chess-playing computer : DEEP BLUE. It could beat me blindfold and with one microchip tied behind its back. I'm a lousy chess player.

45. To a greater degree : MORE SO

46. Singer India.__ : ARIE. Note the period after India - it's part of her name. This is a new name for me, but she's won four Grammys. Crosses filled her in for me. Striking-looking woman.

47. Word with candy or sugar : CANE

48. Book with tablets : EXODUS

51. Candle holder : CAKE

52. The White Stripes, e.g. : DUO. Here's "Seven Nation Army" - drums and guitar. Catchy riff on the base notes.

58. Veil material : TULLE

59. Bolivia neighbor : PERU

60. "It follows that ... " : ERGO. Cogito ergo sum - "I'm pink, therefore I'm Spam" - wait, what?

61. Lid woes : STYES

62. Intervene, with "in" : STEP

63. Some game : DEER


1. Scads : GOBS. Lots, slangily.

2. Part of a chain : ISLE

3. Atty.-to-be's hurdle : LSAT

4. System of connected PCs : LAN. Local Area Network. My home network has a load of things connected to it, most of which are not PC's. The oddest one is probably my sous-vide immersion cooker which talks to the controller app on my iPhone.

5. Lockup, in slang : THE CAN

6. Carved symbol : TOTEM

7. "Warcraft" killers : ORCS. Never played the game, but didn't take a lot of guessing once the "O" appeared.

8. Kung __ chicken : PAO

9. British school test : A-LEVEL. Funny, I was just talking about these to a friend yesterday. Short for "Advanced Level". I've got a couple in Economics and Computer Science.

10. Annual Macy's tradition : PARADE

11. Q.E.D. word : ERAT. Not "Quod" so you need one cross to be sure. It's not "demonstrandum" either, 'cause that doesn't fit.

12. Indian music style : RAGA. Plenty of opportunity for musical links today. Here's the fantastic closing credits/dance scene from "Slumdog Millionaire".

13. North Sea feeder : YSER. Crossword staple. Here it is flowing past the village of Roesbrugge in Belgium.

18. Tigers Hall of Famer Al : KALINE. No clue. Solid crosses to the rescue again.

19. Move out : VACATE

23. 1% alternative : SKIM. I saw "fat-free half-and-half" in the market last week. Doesn't that completely defeat the purpose?

24. Have a jones for : CRAVE

25. Like football passes : ARCED. I tried AIRED first as in the QB "airing out" the ball, but it turned out I was 40% wrong.

26. "Scrubs" extra : NURSE

27. Herbal flavor similar to licorice : ANISE

28. __ citato: in the work cited : OPERE. Usually abbreviates to Op. Cit.

29. Case for Scully : X-FILE. Clever singular form.

30. Leafy healers : ALOES

31. Canadian Alice with a Nobel Prize : MUNRO. Fiction writer. Her Nobel Prize in Literature is as a "master of the contemporary short story".

33. Tell it to the judge : ARGUE. I'm not sure I'd want to be arguing with the judge. I assume you're arguing your case.

36. Refinement : POLISH

37. Lunchtime tryst : NOONER

38. Run out of gas : TIRE. When you run out of tire, you're on your rims.

43. Get the canoe going : PADDLE. I saw a bumper sticker on a truck in northern Georgia near where "Deliverance" was filmed. It read "Paddle faster, I hear banjos".

44. Savages : BRUTES

45. Bury the hatchet : MAKE UP

47. Tight-knit group : CADRE

48. Young newts : EFTS

49. Cross off : X-OUT

50. Alternative to de Gaulle : ORLY. Parisian airports. ORY used to be the main airport until CDG was opened.

51. Tech news site : CNET. The name doesn't seem to be an acronym for anything.

52. Desperate : DIRE

53. Sugar craving, say : URGE

54. Wrinkled-nose cause : ODOR

56. Co. with brown trucks : UPS. My brother drives for UPS in England. Our own Splynter takes the wheel here in the US.

57. Place to plant : BED. Flower bed. Here's a pretty one in the English countryside.

And with that, I think my work here is done. Salut!



fermatprime said...

Hi everyone!

Thanks to Roland and Steve! (Gee, no food for Steve!)

Not too hard. Had no percent sign and no circles though.

Nice weather here. No more plans yet for bowels of hospital.

Have a great day!

OwenKL said...

FIR despite! Did it first on the Mensa site, and figured out the OVER/EVEN/UNDER links without any bubble help! Yea me! Then tried to go back thru and figure out the reveal (there HAD to be one for a theme this obscure!), and accidentally erased the entire puzzle! Sob, me¡ So called it up on Cruciverb to redo it, and lo and behold-- ⓒⓘⓡⓒⓛⓔⓢ! Even so, I still think it needs a reveal.

Someone needs to tell either LAT or Mensa, whoever sets it up, that a percent sign must be entered as % -- not as % ! The Mensa interface requires HTML Unicode format for special symbols!
23 down had
Mensa clue: 1alternative
Across Lite clue: 1% alternative

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

Beware, if with the Dark Side you have a RUN IN!
You may be doomed, unless a Jedi STEP IN!
Sith power is DIRE
An URGE to Empire,
Hard to resist, if you're named ANAKIN!

Run out of gas, and that means that you TIRE?
Then change OUT a flat, that means you retire?
And lay down your head
To retire to BED,
As you breathe out to snore, then do you expire?

She took the A-LEVEL with a passing fair grade!
Then on the L.SAT., a good showing made!
ORAL EXAM places,
Covered with ACES!
After all that, she deserves a CAKE and PARADE!

An old epidemic once crossed the DEEP BLUE.
It spread from Mount OSSA, clear to PERU!
It came in a FORD
With gas pedal floored:

An ORC and an OGRE met one gray day.
Speaking in grunts, what the BRUTES had to say:
"That monkey face looks becomingly APERY
And do I detect an ODOR of bayberry?"
"How nice to notice! And you also look fey!"

Lucina said...

This was easy enough to solve but the theme completely eluded me, no surprise there. GILL as singular was also a surprise and APERY is new to me. MUNRO is now familiar as we've seen it a few times and I've mentioned her bookstore in Victoria Island which my sisters and I visited. India. ARIE has also made a few appearances in CWs.

No problems with AVATAR and ANAKIN but ORCS filled itself. And ALOES got a fresh, new clue.

Thank you, Roland Huget and Steve. I'm glad to see ALEVEL explained as I had no idea that it meant advanced level but then I hadn't given it much thought.

Have yourselves a gorgeous day, everyone!

Big Easy said...

Thanks Steve. I completed the puzzle and the circled OVER, EVEN, and UNDER had me thinking of a person betting on a football game, not as a 'synonym' found in 'a thing'. As mentioned by Lucina, the theme also eluded me.

The puzzle was a speed run, EVEN though I didn't know who India or Scully were and am still waiting for that 'date' at 12:00- ARIE, X-FILE, and NOONER being solved by perps. OPERE- well everybody knows 'Op Cit' but OPERE, not many, including me. GOBS of double consonant fills: T-TOP, X-OUT, X-FILE, CNET.

AL KALINE or 'alkaline'- baseball player OR pH greater than 7.0.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Wrote TTOP where OSSA belonged. And so it went. Finished in good time with no uncorrected errors, so life is good. Thanks, Roland.

Steve, interesting coincidence. Husker posted that "Paddle faster" yesterday as a t-shirt.

Al KALINE (never noticed the alkaline connection before) must be a real old-timer. I actually recognized his name. He must be of the same era as Eddie Matthews, Sherm Lollar and Nellie Fox.

Gotta run...

Oas said...

Thanks for the mental workout this morning. Got hung up a little on the north east corner. Worked my way down and when ford t bird showed up the circled clue put the light on the others. Cheers to all , sunny high pressure day today much easier on the achy shoulder than the last few days giant low pressure system

inanehiker said...

Clever cluing for the theme- reminded me of Sunday's puzzle. I thought the three circled words were going to have a reveal somewhere else with PAR as it made me think of watching a golf tournament and the PGA is just getting started.

I've always thought of A LEVELs being so restrictive as the person can only apply for higher education in the area they pass those in. So many young people change their majors after the first semester or so here in the US because they don't know what the college level classes will be like.

Thanks Steve and Roland!

Anonymous said...

Didn't have circles (common for the site I use), but wasn't aware there were circles (uncommon occurrence).

I don't like the clue "Darth, before he turned to the Dark Side". "Darth" is more of a title than a name as there are multiple Darths in the Star Wars movies, so that clue is inaccurate.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Well, this presented a challenge but nothing insurmountable. India. has appeared before but I'm never sure whether it's Irae or Arae. Had cabal before cadre and covet before crave. Anakin needed perps but Munro was a gimme. After finishing, I must have stared at the themers for a good five minutes before the penny dropped and then it was an Aha moment.

Nicely done, Roland, and thanks to Steve for a detailed summary.

Have a great day.

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

2 days in a row! But I will be absent again until Monday...busy, busy busy

Ok I cheated - just twice. Still had several write OVERs. Had BARGE > OILER and LIKED > CRAVE

Tons of perps and EVEN a few wags. I was UNDER the gun to finish quickly, and this was not an easy solve. Kudos to Roland and Steve for a great challenge and equally great recap.

Man, how many times do you hear that White Stripes tune chanted these days at sporting events? If only they could get royalties...

Haiku then limericks:

Mattress Salesman asked
For the best insurance plan:

My lover did often insist
That we should engage in a tryst.
Suggested a NOONER,
But he "came" much sooner,
It happens, if you get my gist ...

And one whose punchline I stole from Santa:

Here is a riddle that may surprise you:
(It just appeared to me, outta the blue)
We all know that a STYE
Is a sore on the eye.
But wouldn't a sty be an eye-sore, too?

MJ said...

Good day to all!

Thank you for explaining the clever theme of today's puzzle, Steve. Nice write-up and links. Al KALINE, DEEP BLUE, and A-LEVEL were all unknowns. Thank you, perps. Smiled at "Book with tablets" for EXODUS. Glad to have our computer up and running again. Two days of solving the puzzle on my phone was two days too many.

Enjoy the day!

BunnyM said...

Good morning all!

Nice crunchy CW from Roland. I didn't get the theme until reading Steve's great write up, though. Thanks to both for a fun Thursday :)

A few stumbles: I thought 9A was referring to impressionist painters and didn't know RAGA so APERY took a while to suss out.
I had The Pen for THECAN and had no idea who KALINE is so that took a bit to figure out until SLAM then it all came together.

I can never remember the correct spelling for India.ARIE- I always want it to be Irie. Other perps were OSSA and DEEPBLUE.

Favorite clever clues were for AVATAR, EXODUS and XFILE

@trubrit per yesterday- my apologies for calling you a proud Papa instead of Mama! Not sure why I assumed that and should have said "proud parent" ;)

Good luck to Spitzboov's Betty and wishing her a speedy recovery. And also to Lemonade- I hope epidural #3 does the trick! I know for me, it usually does after several days. I found a great doc who really knows his stuff and had good results from my last series done by him for my back. He will be the one I use when I need it done again and for my neck. Best wishes for some pain free days ahead or at least less pain :)

Sunny day again which I will enjoy immensely because we're supposed to be back to very cold temps and rain and/or snow in the next few days. Mother Nature has been very confused lately and seems to enjoy teasing and tormenting us, lol

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Yellowrocks said...

I liked the puzzle. I thought the theme clues were puzzling. I didn't know how they referred to OVER, EVEN, and UNDER until Steve explained. I usually don't pause too long to suss the theme. I get it STAT or I don't.

I think of gills as a pair, one gill on either side of the body. On the outer body we see two gill covers which open and close. Similar construction to one lung and a pair of lungs in mammals.

Tied up in government programs could easily refer to red tape. LOL.
Sleeping with a bed hog results in no blanket coverage.
I have 4 oral exams a year due do periodontal issues.

I like APERY. Guessing the British exam level letter was difficult.

Owen KL, four A's, especially the fourth one. The last was a thumper.
Moe, 3 A's.
Thanks guys for your daily dose of wit and poetry.

ANON @ 8:12, would DARTH VADER have satisfied your nit?

Since Alan was doing so well for more than 2 months, we were trying to cut down on his meds to eliminate some of the side effects. Alas, it has caused a relapse. He is missing work for 2 days in a row.

TTP said...

Good morning all. Thank you Roland and thank you Steve.

Easy enough for a Thursday. Saw Owen's heads up that there were circles, so also opened the puzzle in the LA Times website to see them. Thought it was only about gambler's odds until reading Steve's expo. Didn't notice the agreement in the clue.

ANA-I- looked like ANACIN to me, and for all I know about Star Wars, it could have been. Thank you perps. In fact, I should thank perps for providing solutions all over this grid. Never would have known ALEVEL, but APERY was a given, given the clue and the last 4 already filled. :>)

Chuckled at NOONER. Had to change from move on to MAKE UP.

AL KALINE was a gimme. So was DEEP BLUE. Seemed recent, but it was almost 20 years ago to the day that DEEP BLUE beat Kasparov. Had to look it up. Then of course, Watson beat Jeopardy superstars Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings.

Gotta run.

Anonymous said...

Yes, "Darth Vader" or "Vader" would render the clue accurate. There are apparently more than 15 different characters with the title "Darth" (and around 100 in another list) -- according to "Wookieepedia" (which I can only assume is the foremost authority on Star Wars).

Argyle said...

Chairman Moe, beauty is in the sty of the beholder.

Chairman Moe said...

Santa @ 9:30 ---> LOL! Again, thanks for the "punchline" for my limerick.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Roland Huget, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for a fine review.

Puzzle went quite well. Theme was interesting. One way to look at it is OVER is in the top part of the puzzle. EVEN is in the center. UNDER is in the lower part. My two cents.

A few unknowns: ANAKIN, DEEP BLUE, ARIE, TULLE, A LEVEL, MUNRO, OPERE. Thank you, perps and wags.

Our old friend EFTS again. Puzzles are where I learned of EFTs and NEWTs.

Had a good meeting last night and a good dinner. Speaker was an old friend and very good.

Off to Joliet tonight. See you tomorrow.


( )

CrossEyedDave said...

Thank you Steve,
I would never have fathomed Rolands theme in a million years.
(maybe with infinite monkeys+typewriters+time)
(sorry, I could not get ALT+236 to work more than once)
(Sheesh, an infinity symbol that only works once? what an Oxymoron...)

Beasts b/4 brutes & a lot of white b/4 a DNF/FIW

Tough going, but fun, & doable, right up til that NE corner...
(If only I remembered my crosswordese, Yser!)
I had only one blank square left, (9a/13d) Aper-blank
tried everything& eventually penned apING? above the grid
even though I doubted Indian music could be Naga...
(A river called Gser?)

Anon @ 8:12, I too gave your nit some thought.
& the more I thought, the more I realized that clueing
is a nit minefield! Darth Vader? maybe...
but the answer was a first name...
if clued just Vader, then the answer should be Skywalker...
(yeah, it's a tough one...)

Learning moment: Nooner

Also, 21a Duffers Dreams=Aces
Ah, good one! To quote: "All good stories deserve embellishment."

Abejo said...

Chairman Moe: I read your response from yesterday. Interesting that we were in York at the same time. I remember Codorus Creek that day when Agnes came through. It was a river. I was working at the York Hospital at the time installing a PBX for York Tel and Tel. The telephone exchanges in York stayed dry, but the one in Spring Grove was totally submerged. I went through Harrisburg, heading to Erie, after it was all over and you could see the high water marks on the bridges spanning the Susquehanna. And, those bridges were high.

( )

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Tough but doable puzzle today. No searches or white-out needed. Steve gave a good explanation of the theme, but before reading his, I felt the theme was flat, but I did like the freshness and breath of the overall content. The 15 ltr spanners were fun to suss out, too. Chuckled at NOONER. Got ANAKIN from perps. Bien fait, M. Huget.
OILER - My own usage or patois would call the clued item an 'oil tanker'. In our Naval usage an OILER is a ship from which another ship refuels. OILERS are not directly Navy ships anymore; They are owned by the Navy but are not commissioned ships. They are part of the MSC or Military Sealift Command and are civilian crewed. Their funnels sport yellow, blue and black horizontal stripe livery and their names are preceded by USNS instead of USS. The MSC ships are akin to the Brit RFA'S or Royal Fleet Auxiliaries.

CrossEyedDave said...

Did you visualize this whilst reading the book?
(I must go read it again...)

Over (got even) & out...

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. Thanks to Roland and Steve.

I agree that this theme seemed to have a gambling connection. I think gambling establishments in Las Vegas post the expected total score of a game, a football game say. Maybe their posted total is 39 points. You bet the OVERS (that the teams will score a total of more than 39 points or the UNDERS.

I hope Roland stops by to explain his intention.

I think I'll make some Cream of Wheat for breakfast...

C6D6 Peg said...

Thanks, Roland, for a fine workout this morning. Theme completely eluded me.

It's great that this blog is here to explain these intricate themes..... thanks to Steve for another great write-up.

Lucina said...

There may be a plethora of Darths, but ANAKIN immediately came to mind. Maybe ignorance is bliss since I don't know of any of the others.

Husker Gary said...

-Subbing for four different teachers today! Have computer, Will Travel!
-Aery/ALevel were never going to happen and so I’ll take that one bad cell and move on.

Chuck Lindgren said...

No TaDa as the Northeast and Southwest were baffling "apery" ??? NorthSea geography??? and even having seen it before...a veil is made of lace ! How I missed "exodus" and xout I don't know. Oh well..I got to fill in my boyhood hero's name and that made it a great puzzle. I think I was 12 before I realized he was not only a great baseball player but an inventor of a new battery ! ( think about it ).

I'll have to Google Alevel...I somehow got the clue but I have no idea what it exactly means. What an eclectic duo CS and economics !

CrossEyedDave said...

Interesting Email Argyle/CC (re: blue Spitzboov)
You made me realize I have not checked my Gmail account in the past year.

I had no idea how to sign on again either.

My home screen is Google Chrome, so sign on info is always in the upper right.

I guess it depends what browser you are using.
The only other one I have ever used is Safari.
In that case, simply go to
again, sign in info is in the upper right.
directly to the left of sign in as a square made up of 9 squares.
Click on that and the 1st app is "my account."

Also, Found in an email from Popular Science.

AnonymousPVX said...

Nice straightforward Thursday puzzle. Was on same wavelength as author so it went fairly quickly.

Ray o sunshine said...

Done in by one letter..."A". in the 9 square
in "A"pery and "A"level. Apery? Don't get it. The letter preceding British school level could have been any vowel.

Hungry Mother said...

Surprisingly, I found this easy today. Maybe because I'm old enough to remember KALINE.

Ol' Man Keith said...

A voluntary DNF for me. I left the top right cell unfilled. I thought it might be a "Y," filling in for the YSER river, but mightn't it be ISER or even USER? Anyway, I just wasn't sure enough of the corresponding perp. Is APERY the correct "Impressionist's metier"? It seems too much like a synonym for "beekeeping." Or "mimicry." Ah, well ...
Thanks to all involved.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Oh, I see: That Impressionist...

Yellowrocks said...

Apery, "the act of imitating the behavior or manner of someone, especially in an absurd or unthinking way."
Example: "This spirit of imitation, sir, this spirit of mimicry and apery will be the ruin of our country."
Aping example, "The new architecture can respect the old without aping its style"

I think we have had aping before in x-words. Apery is just a different form.

Bobbi said...

Oh me, oh my!! How does one of the hoi palloi without an encyclopedic memory solve some of these clues?? Could not find OSSA in any atlas and APERY, in my dictionaries, is listed as "archaic" , which might translate to "only used in crossword puzzles" . Well, back to the real world and the chores I've been avoiding.

Misty said...

Well, I had to cheat a tiny bit this morning, by looking up KALINE. I always assume all sports ALs are UNSERS, but that wasn't going to work this morning. But the rest fell into place slowly but consistently, although I too had tricky moments like trying to figure out that GILL/GOBS cross. And I still don't understand how we were supposed to connect the theme answers to HAND. I figured they just referred to their position on the puzzle, on top, in the middle, and below. But none of this detracted from the fun of solving this puzzle, so, many thanks, Roland! (Oops, for a moment I put a w in, remembering my sweet husband Rowland). And thank you too, Steve, for great pics and a great expo.

Sorry to hear about Alan's setback, Yellowrocks.

Have a great day, everybody.

Steve said...

@D-Otto - that's funny, I didn't get to read the blog yesterday.

@Ray o' sunshine - for future reference there are three "levels" Special, Advanced and Ordinary, so you can pick between S, A and O. As I said in the blog, I don't like APERY; I'd have probably tried to refill that section of the grid to avoid it.

SwampCat said...

I struggled with this one but finally won. And I enjoyed the challenge. I got the circle letters early from crosses but had trouble filling in the rest of the theme words. Seemed backward!

ANAKIN and X-FILE fell into place easily. I'm a Star Wars freak and an X-phile.

Thanks Steve and Roland.

Owen, I think they were all A's.

CanadianEh! said...

I struggled today too. Can I blame it on the Mensa site with no circles (and no mention of circles in the clues) and 1alternative instead of 1% clue? Red letter help was required and Steve's explanations (thank you). Thanks for the workout Roland.
(Yes Misty, I thought of Rowland when I saw the name, and I saw the UPS CSO to Spynter)

My chain part was a Link before an ISLE. I had O LEVEL exams which had me thinking about OPERA for an impressionist's métier and then we had OPERE cit. Unknowns were White Stripes, the expression "have a jones for", and NOONER (meh to me!) Somehow I don't think of aloes a being "leafy". EXODUS was an Aha moment as I was thinking of E-books with tablet clue.

I did know fellow-Canadian Alice MUNRO.
Jeopardy contestants should do crosswords - HORA was the answer the other night.

Have a great day.
Glad to hear Betty's surgery went well, Spitzboov.
Sorry to hear about Alan's setback, YR.
Hope the epidurals bring some relief, Lemon.

Lucina said...

I echo the wishes of CanadianEh! for the well being of our Cornerites and their loved ones who are ailing: Spitzboov's Betty, Yr's Alan and our own Lemonade.

Thank you for expanding on A Levels. It's helpful to know the other options as I know only of A.

Argyle said...

What with the popularity Harry Potter and Hogwarts in our crosswords, I thought I should post their grading system.

The NEWTs (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests) are final exams taken by 7th year students at Hogwarts.
Ordinary Wizarding Level (O.W.L.) Grading System:

O = Outstanding (Pass, always continue to N.E.W.T.)
E = Exceeds Expectations (Pass, almost always continues to N.E.W.T)
A = Acceptable (Pass, rarely continue to N.E.W.T)
P = Poor (Fail, may repeat subject)
D = Dreadful (Fail, may not receive O.W.L. credit)
T = Troll (Fail, with distinction. More than one T may mean refusal into other N.E.W.T.s)

Troll: Not just fail, but fail, with distinction. They become snarky Anons and come here.

TTP said...

Steve, thanks for explaining the levels.

Thought we've had APERY here a number of times, but perhaps not. It must have been at other venues.

Some LA Times puzzles and clues with the answer APERY

tuesday-may-15-2012-jerome-gunderson.....Mimic's skill
thursday-july-4-2013-david-steinberg.....Mimic's shtick
friday-july-3-2009-jeff-chen.....Impressionist's skill
saturday-april-10-2010-mel-rosen.....Copycat's activity
sunday-february-14-2010-natalie-dyvens.....Mimic's talent
thursday-march-9-2017-roland-huget.....Impressionist's métier

OwenKL said...

CanadianEh: I agree about ALOE being leafy, since they're a sort of cactus, so looked it up, and the spikes are indeed called leaves.

Yellowrocks: I don't usually defend my poems -- some I know are bad, and none will appeal to everyone -- but that last one today was a favorite except for mangling any meter. Try reading it again in a low, grumbly voice for the first two lines, and a high, effeminate one for the final three to get the humor.

Jayce said...

Pretty much WEES about this puzzle.

Yellowrocks said...

Hey Owen. I mostly rate your offerings higher than you do. IMO meter matters. Do you really want to hear about our personal taste? Sorry.

Misty said...

Thank you, CanadianEh!

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

DNF! I just couldn't crack the NE. APERY, YSER, LARA'S, RAGA wouldn't come to mind ('cuz, like, I just donno 'em).... Need. More. Perps.). Thanks Roland for the interesting puzzle. Now that Steve 'splained it, I like it. Like EES who said it, I was thinking gambling and waiting for reveal to be ODDS or some such. Thanks to both of you for the fun.

Re: 9a - Me too BunnyM... Now, what's French for Water Lilies? :-)

WOs: EnTS (what are those again?), THE peN (Hi again BunnyM).
ESPs: ARIE, MUNRO, ORLY, OSSA, OPERE, KALINE, TULLE (1st L was lucky WAG, I was thinking T b/f ABC run; something clicked @L)
Sparkle: c/a for DEER

Fav: 29d. Loved the X-FILES until the movie - then it was just all OVER.
Runner up: DEEP BLUE. I studied chess' heuristics in AI and was impressed by IBM's approach (that was really 20 years ago TTP? S***, I must be getting old*).

{A, A-, B, B, A} {cute, LOL, :-)}

YR - I assume the doc was adjusting the meds. Sorry to hear about Alan's relapse.

CED - LOL @ ∞ == once.

Am I the only one [again] that thought of Brooks with EXODUS' Tablets? :-)

Cheers, -T
*I went to the eye-guy today to check my STYES (I'm healed!) but then he said I need +1 readers. //sigh.

Anonymous T said...

CED - well, it's tiny but it worked: ∞ for ∞ -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

OSSA is to be found in Hamlet, act V, scene 1, when Hamlet dares Laertes to be buried deep under the earth with Ophelia:

"... If thou prate of mountains let them throw
Millions of acres on us, till our ground,
Singeing his pate against the burning zone,
Make Ossa like a wart!"

Argyle said...

Live and learn. For years I thought OSSA motorcycles were Greek and now I find they are Spanish. Orpheo Sincronic Sociedad Anónima (O.S.S.A.) The original company got its start in 1924 making movie projectors for its home market in Spain.

Misty said...

Wow! Ol'Man Keith. I did not remember that OSSA reference in "Hamlet." Wow!

Anonymous T said...

Argg... Amongst their three weapons are...
Steve's expo,
Argyle's Hogwarts LEVELS,
and OMK's Hamlet passage,
And YR's elucidation*

My brain is full! Y'all SLAM'd me to the GILLs with info... Too much Input!

ERGO, I thank yous. Everyday is a learning day at the Corner.

BTW, I found this send-up [MA-L / Rap] while looking for the movie clip. Like most Rap, it's redundant after the first 30 seconds; but the first 30s are cute if you liked Short Circuit.

Cheers, -T
*...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope. I'll come in again...

OwenKL said...

YR: Twiddling my thumbs, so will try to rewrite closer to your preference.

An ORC and an OGRE met one gray day.
Speaking in grunts, what the BRUTES had to say:
"You look APEY, how divine!"
"You have ODOR, gopher-gut grime!"
"See you at book-club?" "For Fabio's Way!"

Picard said...

Thank you very much Steve for saving my sanity! I tried for days to figure out the deeper meaning of the theme circles!

Most of the puzzle was a breeze. But FIW in the NE. I was fixated on an impressionist being a painter. One of my best friends is an impressionist painter in Italy. Of course, APERY is not a word any normal person would use. But I might have gotten it if I thought outside the painting box.

Usually sports names are total unknowns for me. But I actually knew KALINE because his name was on my baseball mitt when I was a kid. I never even knew who he was. I think it was a discount mitt! The cool mitts probably had Mickey Mantle's name on them at that time.