Apr 1, 2017

Saturday, Apr 1st, 2017, Brad Wilber

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,Y)

Blocks: 32

  We have not seen a solo Saturday from Brad since 2015; he contributed on two Saturdays last year.  I struggled with this one from Mr. Wilber, mostly by filling in the wrong answers on my first pass, and unwilling to let  them go.  Lots of one-word clues which can run into ambivalence and vagueness very quickly One 13-letter and two 11-letter spanners, chunky 8x6 corners in the NW and SE, and almost triple 8s in the opposing down corners.  Separation of the corners from the rest of the puzzle made it difficult to move from one area to another, too.  Some of the longer fill;

35a. Chart-topping instrumental of '76: THEME FROM SWAT

32a. Headed for a stall, quite possibly: OVERHEATING

38a. Time's Best Comedy Sketch of the 20th Century: WHO'S ON FIRST

19d. Fish with a prehensile tail: SEAHORSE

23d. Essentially:  IN EFFECT

24d. 1992 Nestle acquisition: PERRIER


April FOOLs~!

And now for the real puzzle....

Saturday, April 1st, 2017, Bruce Haight

Theme: Gotcha~!!!

Words: 72 (missing J,Q,V,W,X,Z)

Blocks: 29

Sorry, I couldn't resist~!  Three out of four weeks with a Bruce for a constructor - isn't that the nick-name for any guy from Australia~?  Anyway, a slightly themed puzzle for today, with a clever visual in the grid depicting something akin to the last Across clue featuring escalator; S T A I R S.  As for the rest of the challenge, it was looking grim on the first pass, but again, I did better with my first Down pass, which gave me something to work with on my second go.  Finished within my personal time, and nary a cheat or Google.  Chunky 8x8 and 6x6 corners with an ascending trio of "escalators" in the center.  Some of the longer fill;

15a. Slender smoke : PANATELA - I am making my way through Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels, and his detective, Milo Sturgis, occasionally smokes a panatela

11d. Concert tix flashed at a singles bar, say : DATE BAIT - never heard the phrase; if they're offering Rangers tickets, I'm in - I hope she would be, too....

32d. It could involve a disappearance : MAGIC ACT

57. Like an escalator, and, aptly, like the six-letter word that begins where 40-Across ends : AT A SLANT



1. Shuttle facility : SPACE LAB

9. Auto shop purchase : RADIAL - I suppose "tire shop" would have been too easy for Saturday

16. Thorny shrub : ACACIA

17. Emotionally withdrawn : IN A SHELL

18. Buries : INTERS - I tried EMBEDS

19. Little laughter : TITTER

20. In a pinch : IF NEED BE

22. Autumn shade : OCHER - oops, not OCHRE

23. Many profs : PHDs

24. Oktoberfest supply : BIER

25. Transportation option : UBER

26. Whopper inventor : LIAR - ah, that kind of whopper....

27. Unites for a purpose : BANDS - usually with "together"

28. Jaunty topper : TAM


29. __ golf : MINI - oh, I would have gone with SKIRT; at least it could be answered MAXI, too

30. Ja, across the border : OUI - Yes, in German and Frawnche

31. Beezus' little sister, in Cleary books : RAMONA - learned from doing crosswords

33. Perfect : SPOT ON - I had SUPERB first, but then wondered if it was the verb perfect, and not the adjective perfect

36. Proper : APT

37. Delight at the comedy club : SLAY

38. Super __ : PAC - ugh, I had no clue

40. Hitches : SNAGS

43. Punxsutawney headliner : PHIL - the groundhog winter/spring weather forecaster for all of us, located in PA

44. Default result : REPO - default on payments

45. Doughnuts, geometrically : TORI - Latin plural of torus

46. "Growing Up in New Guinea" author : MEAD - just had to guess the "A"

47. Joint component : TENON - partnered with Mortise.  I am buying a biscuit joiner this weekend for two projects - fixing a split table, and building a new side station top

48. Hatchling from a green egg : EMU CHICK

50. Art incorporating architectural elements : MURALS - I considered this, and then it filled via perps

51. Judge's declaration : NO BAIL

52. Rule with many exceptions : I BEFORE E - seen this recently, too

54. Software giant : ORACLE

55. Yak, yak, yak : RATTLE ON

56. One way to break the news : GENTLY


1. Say scornfully : SPIT OUT

2. Emergency exit device : PANIC BAR

3. Something detested : ANATHEMA

4. Furniture mover : CASTER

5. Heavens : ETHER

6. Creepy look : LEER

7. Entirely : ALL

8. Its sung in the same act as "Some Enchanted Evening" : BALI HA'I

9. Comes down : RAINS - yesterday and today, in my neck of the woods

10. Unpopular spots : ACNE

12. Stuck at the ski lodge, maybe : ICED IN - run away Tin~!

13. Sack for company? : AIRBED

14. Surgical tools : LASERS

21. Wartime prez : FDR

23. Fruity cocktail word : PIÑA

26. Fuzz : LINT

27. Lift : BUOY - good WAG on my part from the "Y"

29. Challenging locks : MOPS

30. Colorful ring tone producer? : OPAL - I watched this cool NOVA episode on gems while I was in Delaware

33. Arrived home evasively : SLID

34. Clearing : OPEN AREA

35. Layered dessert : NAPOLEON

37. Colombian singer formerly a coach on "The Voice" : SHAKIRA

39. Agree : CONSENT

40. Hearing aid, briefly? : STENOGrapher - a bit meh, but the clue sort of salvages the "non-word" fill

41. "That's it for me" : NO MORE - "NO MORE  for me thanks, I'm drivin'"

Daffy Duck

42. Oranjestad native : ARUBAN

43. Pumping target, for short : PECtoral

44. Casino table do-over : RE-ROLL - I had REDEAL to start, slowed down the SE corner

46. Daughter of Billy Ray : MILEY

47. Medford school with a Boston campus : TUFTS - perps.  I work at UPS in Medford, LI - but it's not the same place....

49. Tobogganing spot : HILL

50. Prefix with carpal : META

53. Swing in a box : BAT - Baseball reference; I am sure C.C. is all keyed up for the new season



Argyle said...


OwenKL said...

FIR sorta, I think. When I was down to the SE being half white and half WAGs, I got frustrated and hit the check button. The response: No incorrect letters! So I don't know whether to count that as a red check or not!

{B+, B, B-.}

STAIRS must be democratic, you'll grant
They go both up and down, ESCALATORS can't!
But neutral NO MORE,
They'll take the floor,
And declare to the AIR their position AT A SLANT!

Superman has super PECS, but does he have a SUPER PAC?
If Batman ever hurt his spine, would he have a BAT back?
If Doctor Strange, the spell CASTER
And ORACLE, the forecaster,
Ever BAND together, could they have a MAGIC ACT?

Claude RAINS in the movie was the Invisible Man;
His nude photos wouldn't rate a Facebook ban!
If detective Dirk GENTLY,
Sent to REPO a Bentley,
Found it bullet-ridden, he'd say it's a "holistic" sedan!

Dudley said...

Rabbit Rabbit

Nice try, Splynter, but I was ready for ya!

Really had to work at this one's east side. Worth it in the end, though. The hidden staircase was clever, and you have to admire the grid design.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

You almost got me, Splynter, but I noticed the 4/1/17 printed beneath the puzzle in the Barnacle; I knew you were only foolin'.

The West came together pretty fast. I'M DONE morphed into NO MORE and MESS into MOPS. But then I arrived in the Southeast and things s-l-o-w-e-d down. Was sure that school was going to be U OF __. It took a liberal application of Wite-Out in that area to get things to fall into place. Nice workout. Thanks, Bruce.

RATTLE ON was new usage to me.

"Tone" in the clue for 30d refers to color, not sound, right? Still not sure I understand that one.

Brian said...

You got me! Haha! What a fun puzzle for today. Thanks for the link to Looney Tunes. It was great to watch Bugs on Saturday morning again.

Big Easy said...

I had a slow start that rapidly gained speed until the SE. I had META, SHAK_RA (I, E, OR Y- didn't know), and RATTL___ (E-ON or ING). But after reading the AT A SLANT clue and noticing STAIRS, a WAG of TUFTS lead to the finish.

As far as unknowns, Splynt, I've never heard of DATE BAIT either or heard of a PAINC BAR. I was thinking PULL CORD in the NW but PANIC BAR perped its way in. Didn't know the song "Some Enchanted Evening" but after HAI was filled I guess it was from South Pacific and I knew 'I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair' was too many letters so I went with BALI HAI.

STENOG- not a STENO today.
AIRBED- DW hates them so I pay for a hotel.

billocohoes said...

TUFTS' sports teams are known as the Jumbos. P. T. Barnum was an early trustee, and Jumbo's stuffed remains were displayed in Barnum Hall until a fire in the 1970s.

Lemonade714 said...

white rabbit, white rabbit

nice confusion to start my day Splynter. I thought I had solved the wrong puzzle. I also want to congratulate you hear for your puzzle debut; was it edited by Brad?

Margaret Mead was so well known and regularly featured when I was young. Liked the clue for Acne.

Thanks Bruce and Splynter

BunnyM said...

Good morning all

Tough but (eventually) doable offering from Bruce today. Thanks for the workout!
Splynter- ha! You got me :) I thought I'd gotten the wrong puzzle in the newspaper and was upset I'd spent almost an hour working on one that wasn't featured in the blog, lol. Well played my friend, well played ;)

Rough start and had to go across and down several times before much success. I did have a few known fills and WAGs which helped : RAMONA, SHAKIRA, ARUBAN, MILEY and EMUCHICK

I also spelled OCHER as OchRE - oops.

Unknowns gotten via perps: TORI, MEAD, MURALS, TENON, ORACLE and ETHER. TUFTS was a cheat.

I tried Cigarelo >PANATELA even though I knew it was an incorrect spelling of Cigarillo but stubbornly kept trying to work with it.
Had Backdoor>PANICBAR, Tiramisu>NAPOLEON, MAGIC hat>ACT and Abe and Ike>FDR

Favorite clever clues/fills : SPACELAB, LIAR, ACNE, AIRBED, OPAL, SLID and RAMONA brought back fond memories of reading the Beezus and Ramona books as a child.

BALIHAI brought back memories, too. The grade school I attended ( it was grade 1-8) had a musical every Spring put on by the 8th graders. My year it was Li'l Abner; DH's year it was South Pacific . We didn't know each other then and when we met in high school were surprised to find out we'd attended the same grade school, two years apart. It was such a small school, I thought I knew everyone. In fact, I did know his brother who was a grade between us. But DH was very shy and spent much of his time INASHELL :)

Happy Saturday- hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I think I broke the record for the longest solve ever; it took me 1:20 which is more than 3 times longer than usual. The SE was my Waterloo, but not because of Napoleon! I just couldn't break through the cluing. I'm embarrassed to say how long it took to get Repo because I was thinking Default in the clue was computer-related and wanted Typo. I, too, had Redeal before Reroll which added to the quagmire. And I stubbornly tried to fit some form of Ascending, Ascendant, Ascends into what finally filled as At a slant. I before E was the last to come to light. The tada was well-earned today, folks!

Thanks, Bruce, for a difficult challenge that tested my "moxie" and thanks, Splynter, for guiding us through so thoroughly and kudos for yesterday's puzzle with CC. You got me, also, on your April Fool's prank!

Have a great day.

Bruce Haight said...

Ha! You got me Splynter. Nice job! Rich accepted the puzzle but was going to ignore the S T A I R S. After some begging he relented tho, and he came up with a nice way to clue it. I really liked the crossing of Magic Act and Emu Chick - when that popped up so did my eyebrows. Happy Fools Day!

Yellowrocks said...

LOL, Splynter, ya got me with the fake puzzle.
Easy top half, surprisingly crunchy bottom, especially since there were no unfamiliar words. It took a long time to think of NAPOLEON and TUFTS.Napoleons are delicious. Like Owen, I checked half way through and found no red letters. Then I finished it on my own in master mode. I did not see the STAIRS.

We've always called that emergency exit device a panic bar, a very apt name. The door opens with just a touch in an emergency or panic. I don't know another name for it.
DATE BAIT was common when I was young. I don't know whether it still is in use.
A person who RATTLES ON and on with too many boring details is annoying. I could just picture such a person. Got it with just the -AT---.
RAMONA and BEEZUS were popular storybook characters when I taught school.
I thought of MURALS with the M, but hesitated. I suppose the architectural element is the wall they are drawn on.
I love all the songs in South Pacific, especially "Some Enchanted Evening."

Chairman Moe said...

"puzzling thoughts":

Almost made it 6 for 6 this week, in doing puzzles with no write-overs. And I really didn't need to (have one, that is) because I had lightly inked in BED in the last three squares of 13d, but when I saw the "B" next to the "D" (in ICED IN) I figured there must be a problem. Everything else was SPOT ON, so no worries.

Great puzzle (superb effort to get the word STAIRS climbing, AT A SLANT, and each letter sitting on a block), and equally great recap though I did see through Splynter's deception!!

Took a little longer than usual; I got the entire "south" with little effort but was confused by 40d (STENOG) until Splynter explained.

My only look up was to confirm RAMONA in 31a. The "northeast" was the last section to fall; as others said, DATE BAIT was a bit of a stretch. I have company coming next week and they will have to endure an AIR BED for a couple of nights - still, cheaper than staying in a hotel 😜

Two efforts today at humour. First a limerick and then a haiku:

The magician just got out of school,
And decided he'd do something cool:
For his new MAGIC ACT
Hired cute girl to distract;
And of course her name is: April Fool

Gymnophobes beware!
I enjoy wearing nothing
But my birthday suit

Love these 85 degree days in S Florida! Might work on my overall tan today ...

Chairman Moe said...


I read both Yellowrocks and Irish Miss posts after I published mine; odd that they both cruised through the northern half of the grid while struggling in the south, and I was the complete opposite! I guess if we'd have collaborated today we'd have finished in record time!

Weird coincidence though; and I don't think this was "gender-related"!

BTW, my favorite clue/solve was 52a; "rule with many exceptions"; I BEFORE E

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

Some ridiculous clues today. Anybody agree? Show if hands?

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

Show OF hands?😫

TTP said...

Good morning all. Thank you Bruce and thank you Splynter.

Bruce, I don't know how long it took you to create this puzzle, but I know how long it took me to solve it. Good thing I don't have time limits, but I know my average solve times are going down with more and more experience. Not today. Irish Miss, you bested my time rather handily.

Excellent puzzle. Loved STAIRS climbing !

Like Desper-otto, I'm done before NO MORE in the SW, but that was also the area that I filled first, thanks to the gimmes MILEY and ARUBAN. Had TIThER in the NW and stared at CAShER before the penny dropped.

In the NE, typed in ACACIA and took it out. Put it back in with RAINS, ACNE and ICED IN. LASERS made me change IF NEEDed to IF NEED BE. "Concert tix flashed at a bar, say" was my favorite clue as the answer became obvious.

The SE took the longest, having entered, like Bunny M, tiramisu. Compounded that by entering UMASS for the school. "Rule often broken" finally broken open that corner, and it was solved.

Off to Best Buy to look at MP3 players.

WikWak said...

@Chairman Moe: maybe if you had collaborated you'd have finished in twice the time... it's all in how you look at it. ;)

@Yellowrocks: in our schools we always called them CRASH BARS. Anyone use yet another name for them?

Boy--I was cruising through this one in record time... and then I got to the south east corner. I didn't check the exact times, but I think I spent about double the time there compared to the entire rest of the puzzle.

Excellent puzzle, Mr. H! And hands up for wondering if I had downloaded the wrong one when I read your first part, Splynter. Enjoy your biscuit joiner; I use mine frequently.

Husker Gary said...

-Splynter’s summative paragraph works for me, especially the isolated corners
-Advice to me about the top of Splynter’s write-up!
-My favorite consumer of slender smokes
-Love the STAIRS. Ok, Splynter had to explain it to me but still…
-An astronaut told me a great story about the SPACE LAB and monkey droppings in weightlessness. “Those are NOT M&M’s!”
-They’ve adapted to eating around the thorns (1:18)
-I’d gladly join any UBER fan club!
-JA people have had a habit of invading OUI people
-Break It To Me Gently (2:38) by “Little Miss Dynamite!
-We called them CRASH BARS
-My dentist just told me that LASERS will replace drills in the near future
-Oh, ORENJESTAD and ARUBA are Dutch!
-OMK, how often have you spoken, “The good is oft INTERRED with their bones”

Anonymous said...

All sorts of April fool's on the Web this morning. Here, Google maps, porn hub, and espn. Espn had a story that the UConn women lost! Haha, you almost got me espn!

Yellowrocks said...

I really liked this puzzle. IMO, not ridiculous and easier than the average Saturday.
DATE BAIT was a poorly reviewed 1960 movie.
Date Bait is in the Urban Dictionary and is also a scam to collect money from the hot to trot.
Date Bait
We can't jump to the conclusion that those entries that are new to us are necessarily a stretch. Maybe you had to be a teen in the late 50's or early 60's to get this one.
Busy day today, with social engagements all afternoon and evening, a nice change from all the medical appointments.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Always look forward to Splynter's intros.

Got most of it without help. After ruminating about STENOG, I decided the clue was quite APT. OUI's clue was cute.
UBER - Without the umlaut and pronounced without the umlaut sound as English speakers are wont to do really grates against a German 'ear' IMO. But that's all a part of the 'borrowing' process, I guess.
TUFTS - Part of our 'lore'. My sister graduated from its Medical School, and DIL from its Engineering program.

Have a great day.

Chairman Moe said...

Yellowrocks @ 10:17 ---> I was alive in the late '50's but not yet a teenager. That didn't happen for me until the mid '60's.

But my comment about its being a stretch (DATE BAIT) is merely an opinion that may or may not be shared w others who worked on the puzzle, irrespective of their age, or their movie habits, or their use of the Urban Dictionary as a resource. I know that Bruce had to fill that spot with something! Just thought that it was a bit clunky.

I also wasn't too fond of buying my RADIAL at an auto shop. Tire store would be more likely, and aren't all tires RADIAL these days? But hey, I admit to struggling in the NE, and you said you had trouble in the south. And yet, this blog brings us together! 😀

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Whew, Bruce! Tough all the way. Filled about 3/4 of this one. Patience wore out in the middle eastern area and resorted to red-letter runs to get some toe holds. Just when I think I'm getting good at this, I get Bruce Goosed.

Good one, Splynter!

Knew her, but SHAKIRA took a while to shake loose in my brain. Hips don't lie!

Card read in Cracker Barrell while waiting to be seated: "My shrink told me to finish everything I start to achieve serenity." inside: "Last night I finished two sacks of potato chips and a bag of cookies."

TTP said...

Thought I was ready to go. Still waiting on DW...

OwenKL (FLN) good points about using parens or nothing and letting the intentional misspelling be implied.

I almost always skip over Urban Dictionary when looking anything up. Don't think I've ever cited it as a source. Too many vulgar entries. So many are clearly flat out wrong. Too easy for anyone to enter their own definitions there. There are so many better resources.

Now she's ready !

Lucina said...

Grrr. This is really frustrating!! My newspaper has the wrong puzzle. After agonizing over one by Bruce Haight, I came here to discover that Brad Wilber is today's constructor. My guess is that Bruce's will be next Saturday or some other future Saturday. If this is somebody's idea of an April fool's joke, I'm not pleased.

I'll print today's from Mensa and do it later. I have to clean my carpet now.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Nailed it! I loved S.W.A.T. in my ute so 35a was a gimme...

:-). Yeah, not so much. I had to crib from Splynter's grid to fix 75% of my first 4 entries (9a ≠ car oil; 13d is ≠ 12d's fill, and BIER actually follows the 52a rule). So, hand up Magilla... IM - I took all of Car Talk and Wait, Wait, b/f I threw in the towel.

Thanks Bruce for the offering. It was fun to ponder WTF SNAGS had to do w/ AT A SLANT... Duh. Really awesome you got the STAIRS going up.

Splynter - as always, thanks for the Sat Stumper expo (and Jaunty TAM)

ANATHEMA - ORACLE as clue'd. Ellison is #7 on Forbes' rich list. I'll Thumper re: their software.

Cute: c/as for LIAR, OPAL, REPO, MAGIC ACT, and I BEFORE E.*
Fav: TORI just 'cuz a) math b) 1st fill in SW.

{B+, A, A++ just for Douglas Adams Ref} {Nice!, cute}

Um, Lucina, prepare not to be amused... :-)

An APT QOD for the puzzle.

Cheers, -T
*'cept after C, unless the word is sleigh, neighbor, or, weigh. Or otherwise weird.

Lucina said...

Well, after ranting I am embarrassed and somewhat amused. After thinking about it for a while I decided this had to be a joke so looked at Splynter's expo and saw that it agreed with my solve. I can laugh now but was irate earlier.

This was fun to solve, thank you, Bruce, and thought the STAIRS very clever bit didn't immediately get the escalator reference since the SE took me way too long. I've never had a NAPOLEON so that was pure perping but faintly recalled TUFTS uni and that solidified the AREA for me. SHAKIRA is memorable so remembered her.

RAMONA by Beverly Cleary has been mentioned before and like YR, my students all read her books.

Again, thank you, Bruce and Splynter. For me April Fool's Day recalls when my students turned their desks around at lunch time and had their backs to me when we returned to class. They were cute.

I really do have to go clean my carpet now.

danabw said...

Funny that Urban Dictionary is mentioned today. I worked Friday's puzzle this morning and googled "clecho" from Jazzbumpa's 10:13am post.

The link I chose lead me to Urban Dictionary - "A portmanteau of clue echo in crosswords. Coined by Dennis of the LA Times Crossword Corner blog." Also learned "Blitch - A portmanteau of blog and glitch. Coined by Dennis of LA Times Crossword Corner blog."

Where is Dennis? I miss his posts.

Anonymous said...

What is FLN? I've googled and can't come up with anything re textspeak. Thanks

Anonymous T said...

Anon@12:46 - FLN == From Last Night. Some regulars (see: Fermat) are early birds (EBs) and some (see: Wilber) are night owls (NOs). Most regular EBs read FLN to catch up with us NOs. :-). Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

Anon-T, thanks mystery solved! No more head-scratching and googling. I even went to the blog's abbreviation link.

Anonymous T said...

I found it! Mitch's Escalator/STAIR quote [@6:26]. If you've never seen him and his timing, FF (or just watch the whole 12m of brilliance) ... It's worth it IMHO. Cheers, -T

Michael said...

Magilla Go-Rilla @ 9:58, I second your motion. Heavens ≠ ether, IMHO.

Chairman Moe said...

-T @ 1:14

That Mitch compilation was tremendous. The bit about making Sprite nearly made me (blank) myself !!

Also, just to clarify, you thought my limerick was cute and my haiku nice, yes? Hope so, 'cause there ain't nothing "cute" about MY birthday suit!! 😜

AnonymousPVX said...

Well I thought yesterday tough, and it was, but this was brutal. Both the SE and the SW look like my pen threw up. Finally got the solve, was like crossing the desert and running out of water. When I finished I was DONE…in.
Also made all the mistakes Splynter made, not sure what that implies.

UCONN lost and they deserved to. I watched them all year, last night they missed free throws like I have never seen and looked like the stress and pressure got to them. Ah well, everything ends.

Misty said...

Lucina, I initially had the same reaction you did and was totally confused until I scrolled further down and saw the right answers appearing. Still took me a minute to realize it was an April Fool's joke.

Well, on first run-through the only thing I got was PHD--pretty lousy for a . . .

On second try the northeast corner filled in and slowly a few other places, so I had to start cheating before too long. Irish Miss, you are my absolute crossword puzzle hero, and sorry this morning's was a bit tough for you. But I'm sure you'll have a perfect week next week.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Jayce said...

Splynter, you rascal. You fooled me. Good write-up, though. Thank you.

I liked this puzzle but had to work at it, which is good. Well constructed, cool clues, nice fill. The only nose wrinkler for me was STENOG.

Best wishes to you all, and that's no foolin'.

Anonymous said...

"Hearing aid, briefly? : STENOGrapher - a bit meh"

A lot meh

Irish Miss said...

Chairman Moe @ 9:48 ~ You give me way too much credit as there was no cruising through any part of this puzzle for me. It was more stop and go, stop and go and, in the SE, a dead halt for a very long time! 😜

Misty @ 2:00 ~ Thank you for the commiseration. I may have been bruised and battered but it was worth it to finally get the Tada!

Lemonade714 said...

So today I am reading Jonathan Kellerman's HEARTBREAK HOTEL and sure enough Milo pulled out a PANATELA while brain storming with Dr. Delaware. I think I have read them all, and find him to be a great story teller with vivid imagery. I have read most of his wife, Faye Kellerman's books as well. Books help pass the pain time away.

Hungry Mother said...

Very funny getting me to yell to my wife, "They're doing the wrong puzzle!" Very easy for a Saturday, but no complaints here.

Anonymous said...

WBES: STENOG not STENO today; but get with it, Yellowrockhead: Courts use videocams these days, not STENOGraphers.

inanehiker said...

I was cruising through until the SE was a stop and rethink area, since something was obviously off. I had MOBILE before MURALS since ART could be singular or plural. Also had IF NEEDED before if IF NEED BE, but fixed by perps. And I had PEACHICK (offspring of a peahen??) before EMU CHICK also fixed by perps.
Couldn't figure out the six letter word STAIRS until coming to the blog- Thanks Splynter!!
And thanks Bruce!

Lucina said...

Initially, seeing Brad Wilber's name and being frustrated, I didn't scroll any further because I thought we would encounter this puzzle at a future date which has actually happened before.

I enjoyed this puzzle and found it fun and worthy of Saturday.

Lucina said...

FLN: from last night

Ol' Man Keith said...

Not funny, Splynter!

Like Lucina and Misty I fell for it & was hardly in a mood to appreciate it after working my way through Bruce Haight's Mother-of-a-Sat-Pzl! Well, nobody said the butt of an April Fool prank must find it funny...
I confess to one look-up today, a minor one, but necessary to get the SE sector rolling. Otherwise, this was just a very hard nut to crack followed by tough meat to chew. I dug the witty cluing, from 4D to 26A and especially 40D - plus the multi word answers at 20A and 52A &c, &c.
Oh, I should give credit to Mrs. OMK, for occasional helps; today's was a family operation chez Keith!

Yellowrocks said...

Anon @ 4:42, those with weak arguments resort to name calling. If you Google court stenographer you will find courses devoted to this profession. One of many examples is:
court stenographer courses
How do you suppose paper transcripts get made from video cam records? A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

I have found there are crossword answers and clues that are idioms or non standard phrases, some of which are not found in weightier books. Crossword puzzles are not authoritative, they merely reflect usage. In the Urban Dictionary many common and harmless expressions from crosswords are used. If you wish to avoid smut, look up only the words in puzzles.

I found the ether/heaven connection in seconds without a quibble. In one sense they are very similar.
Ether: The regions of space beyond the earth's atmosphere; the heavens.
Heaven, often heavens: The sky or universe as seen from the earth; the firmament.

TX Ms said...

I've been a legal secretary for 44 years in Texas. Court stenographers were a pre-70's thing. "Stenographer," or any derivative, is an outdated word, I think. They are now called Court Reporters, typing on machines, with keys using a precursor application to text speak. Of course, I may be wrong since I've not worked the last two years in the legal field (a lifetime in the digital age), but I welcome any corrections. That said:

I enjoyed today's puzzle, but never could get the upward s-t-a-i-r-s theme. Thanks, Splynter! I loved your and CC's puzzle yesterday! Pone not roti, [loose] ends instead of lips, pel(?) but finally remembered pelf. Fav clue: Honalee, of course! Loved Puff the Magic Dragon song while growing up. And the theme - wood finish, helped me complete it. Brilliant, Splynter, considering your love of woodworking! Thank you both for the lagniappe.

PK said...

Groan! I didn't get the "hearing aide" for STENOG was court hearing until just now. Talk about dull-witted. But then I've been running a slight fever.

PK said...

Lemon, I love the Kellermans' books. Have read them all. Don't like their son's writings though.

Sgt Hulka said...

Omk: lighten up Francis

Wilbur Charles said...

YR, don't think for one moment that all your posts are anything but highly esteemed. Ditto for IM, Misty, Bunny etal who bring this corner up to such a high level. Oops, I missed Lucina. Btw, I missed the joke too.

I was at church when STENOG/Hearing v8-canned me. I thought the clue outstanding

What was also outstanding was all the messy write-overs. NE had me Mistyfied, I BATted zero in the SE until I BEFORE E which we had before.

As a Shuttle Van driver I'm not a fan of UBER. I'm glad it worked out so well for H-Gary in DC though.

I failed on EMUCHICK and ARUBAN. I wanted some version of Azerbaijan. TORI I still am not familiar with. ????

That must be the New Math - after my time.

I'm surprised DATE BAIT is not new. Don't all young men consider themselves DBs. Did anybody catch NPR's A1 with the psych-ologists and their theory of uber-narcissistic syndrome.

But we have to stop right there.

Congrats to all the Bruce's, Splynter for making our DAY. And our Poets. Haikus are tough as I found out.

I'm late because I was busy all day trying to get another square done here and there. I wish I spent another hour after getting STENOG. But I never would have gotten TORI.

WC in his usual spot

Ps. I asked Betsy if she'd read 'Green Eggs and Ham'. Is that right. Seuss? But that wasn't what Bruce was referring to,no?

I was brought up on Uncle Wiggly and that Skeezix character.

Anonymous T said...

C. Moe... No, I think I got that in the right order ;-)

Danabw - The blog has (d)evolved. Some may think it's been taken over by us you'g'uns. I too miss the likes of Heart Rx, Garlic Gal, Ave Joe, and Dennis. C.C. keeps Blogspot up and Rich keeps his day job. Life moves up (or sometimes down) like escalators.

@Michael - It isthe heavens. The Ether is where Bob Metcalfe got the idea for the word Ethernet [see para2 under career] -- drawn from the Ether that IS because - GOD. Today we just call the Heavens/Ether Dark Energy (or Darknet? :-)) 'cuz we still haven't figured out the ultimate answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything beyond the number 42..... Wait, what was the question?

@Sgt H... If you're going to make the ref it only takes an extra step to make the link. Great movie but pls don't pick on my buddy OMK - Or I'll kill 'ya.

Wilber - Not new math, just topology that's fun to program. LOL Dr. Seuss - me too! :-)

Can y'alls tell DW is outa town again and I, finished w/ gardening,* am bored?

C, -T
*harvested second banana pepper!

Lucina said...

My pepper plant is going crazy! It's going to be a rich harvest of habaneros and I can't wait. The carpets all look clean and wonderful, all ready for Easter.

Misty said...

Wilbur, you are so kind! Many thanks!

Michael said...

Dear Yellowrocks and Anon T:

We'll call it a draw on "ether." See, the ambiguities in cwd cluing just drive us all far off base.

First, "ether" is ethyl alcohol, refluxed over sulfuric acid to draw off a molecule of water, ending up as diethyl ether, or just ether for short.

Second, a century ago the "ether" was the hypothecated medium in which light traveled ... until Einstein realized that it wasn't a required hypothesis, and in any event it was not 'heaven,' but something that filled all space as "the upper air."

So we're both right, sort of.

Wilbur Charles said...

Well Misty when I see a derogatory post like that one I can take the ESCALATOR up or down.


Picard said...

It is no longer April Fool's so I was extra-fooled!

Learning moment that EMU CHICK eggs are green.

STENOG was last to fall. I was sure that could not be right. Got the theme just fine. Fun!

Hand up for IF NEEDED before IF NEED BE.

Never heard of it called MINI golf. Always heard it as miniature golf.

Beezus and RAMONA was a thing we all read when I was a child and we have seen this recently.