Apr 8, 2017

Saturday, Apr 8th, 2017, Mike Buckley

Theme: Spiral Galaxies

Words 66 (missing F,J,Q,X,Z)

Blocks: 36

I did not recognize the name of the constructor, but I did see the unique grid, and my first thought was that it was one of those layouts that make it impossible to move from one corner to another because a lack of word connections - but then I got to 4a, 34a, etc, and realized we had ourselves a "theme". One I picked up on right away, because I am a nerd, and I love watching shows on astronomy, so I knew the "local group", and the reveal at 56a.  A nifty spiral shaped pattern to go along with the theme, with triple 9-letter corners and 8-letter tie-ins between them.

4a. Largest galaxy in the Local Group : ANDROMEDA

34a. With 35- and 36-Across, second-largest galaxy in the Local Group : THE

35a. See 34-Across : MILKY

36a. See 34-Across : WAY

56. By some calculations, projected fate of 4-Across and 34-/35-/36-Across in three to four billion years : COLLISION

 More Here

 O                       ~!
      N               D
          W  a   R
            w A r
         W   a    R
     N                D
O                         ~! 


 1. Mirthful sounds : HAs

13. Stop : AVERT - I tried CEASE

16. Strains at the balcony : SERENADES

17. "Birth of the Cool" trumpeter : DAVIS - a WAG, but today's difficulty level seemed lower, probably due to the cool theme

18. Protesters, in '60s slang : PEACENIKS

19. Talmud letters : ALEPHs

21. Cheerleaders may raise it : MORALE - and a few other things, too

22. Crashing and burning : TANKING

24. Urban legends website : SNOPES

25. Lobby, often : ANTEROOM

27. Saturn SUV : VUE

28. Trail for a hound : SCENT

29. Zaps : TASES - I had LASES first

31. Ne'ertheless : THO

37. Poetic twilight : E'EN

38. Japanese box lunch : BENTO - filled via perps; did not know this 

39. Elemental makeup : ATOMS

41. With 14-Down, "Iron Man" of sports : CAL - with
14. See 41-Across : RIPKEN - Junior, who played 2,632 consecutive MLB games for the Baltimore Orioles - the Wiki

42. Is demanding : ASKS A LOT

44. Friday revelation? : I'M A COP - "Just the facts, ma'am" - but never spoken in the show

47. Had some impact : HIT HOME

48. Treat with scorn : DERIDE

49. Something hit on a range : DRIVER - oops, not TARGET

50. News dispatch lead-ins : DATELINES

53. Deli qty. : ONE lb

54. Test : CHALLENGE

55. Intensifying exclamation ending : SIREE - yes----

57. SOP part: Abbr. : STD - Standard Operating Procedure


1. Sampled some : HAD A TASTE

2. Serious downfall : AVALANCHE

3. Whitney Houston appeared on its cover in 1981 : SEVENTEEN

4. Critter in Egyptian art : ASP

5. Born identity intro : NÉE

6. Wee nips : DRAMS

7. Carry on? : RECONVEY

8. Weighty : ONEROUS - oops, not OMINOUS

9. Marvel Comics hybrid supervillain : MAN-APE - never heard of  'him'

10. Roman magistrate : EDILE

11. Fakes on the ice : DEKES - oh we are there~!  The Stanley Cup playoffs begin~!

 Top Ten Shootout Dekes
#3 is unbelievable

12. Pack animal : ASS

15. Brando wore one in "Streetcar" : T-SHIRT

20. __-cone : SNO

23. Finally became a member : GOT IN

26. Valletta is its capital : MALTA

30. Trifling amount : SKOSH

31. 2008 Phoenix/Paltrow romantic drama : TWO LOVERS

32. Brunch order : HAM OMELET

33. Precious gem source : OYSTER BED - and featured in the lyrics of a Blue Oyster Cult song, aptly titled "Blue Oyster Cult" on their 1988 concept album Imaginos


35. Earworms, say : MELODIES - I read this as EARTHworms, even after I solved it and thought, is that a typo~?

38. Rod-shaped bacteria : BACILLI

39. Minute Maid Park team : ASTROs

40. Sesame seed paste : TAHINI - I was stuck on HUMMUS, which is chick peas

41. "The Office" star : CARELL - spelled it wrong; CARREL

43. Rib : KID

44. State with a 45-mile Canadian border : IDAHO - I took a train ride from Ronkonkoma LI through Chicago all the way to Seattle back in 2003, and sadly I fell asleep for that 45 mile part of the journey, so I "missed" Idaho; I did pass through Minnesota, C.C.

45. Calcium, e.g. : METAL

46. Former Finnish coin : PENNI

50. XX x XXXV : DCC - Roman math, 20 x 35 = 700

51. Id controller : EGO

52. Sanders or Cruz: Abbr. : SENator



OwenKL said...

SKOSH? TAHINI? FIR, but had some help from my LW, which is rare. She's smart enough, but doesn't have the right twist of mind to see thru deceptive clues. I made it thru all but the SE before she showed up, tho.

Interesting theme, with the grid in a spiral galaxy shape! I thought the Milky Way was larger than Andromeda. I also thought those two plus the two Magellanic clouds were the local group, but looked it up and found there are ~54 galactic objects in the group, one of which (Virgo Stellar Stream) is currently in process of colliding with ours!

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

ANDROMEDA, ANDROMEDA, do you play harmonica?
Do you play harmonica in celebrating Hanukkah?
Would drinking up THE MILKY WAY
Help wet your whistle that you play?
These thought COLLISIONS in my mind are giving me insomnia!

For a sesame seed sauce you could use TAHINI
In a HAM OMELET, but not on linguini!
But beware marinades
If you like SERENADES;
If you TASTE it too much, you'll not fit a bikini!

TWO LOVERS met, then went ahead;
In preparation, clothes were shed.
For bouillabaisse,
So scubaed to an OYSTER BED!

To some, sweet earworms are MELODIES,
While others DERIDE them as maladies!
One must be alert
This scourge to AVERT,
They're BACILLI that have no remedies!

Yellowrocks said...

I filled this Wednesday-like puzzle without stopping, except for a short hang up to fill the last four cells. I did across and down together. The perps were great. VUE and CARELL were the only unfamiliar words.
I knew ANDROMEDA and THE MILKY WAY were the two largest galaxies. The number of letters showed me which of the two is larger. Having a theme on Saturday is unusual.
In Israel we ate falafel, fried chick pea balls in pita with raw veggies and spiced up with add-your-own hot sauce and tahini. Our guide showed us which street vendors were reliable and sanitary. Their falafel was better than what we had in restaurants.
In our church we have an Irish American lady who married a middle easterner. They adopted two Korean children. They have often brought tahini sauce with middle eastern dishes to potlucks.
It is fascinating to live in such a diverse area.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This seemed a SKOSH easy for a Saturday. Still, I managed to go wrong in one spot. I thought the second largest galaxy was in 34a and 36a, and inked in OUR OWN. D'oh! Easily fixed. Thanx, Mike. Splynter, I liked the collision of onwards.

Big Easy said...

I felt like I was working four separate puzzles, one in each corner. My knowledge of astronomy is kindergarten level but I finished in record Saturday time in spite of all the unknowns. ALEPHS, BENTO, SKOSH, TWO LOVERS, EDILE, TAHINI, SNOPES, PENNI, MAN APE, CARELL. THE MILK WAY was an easy WAG but I 'strained' to fill ANDROMEDA. The West filled rapidly and I had one write-over in the SE- OYSTER BAR to BED. I knew SOP was 'standard operating procedure' and after SIREE, I corrected it.

The NE only filled because I knew the Saturn VUE, ASS & ASP were easy fills, and I figured PEACENIKS would be correct. The rest took some time.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning,

The only collision here was a giant DNF. I am in a hurry to begin a busy day, and I won't be back to finish. I will, however, check in later tonight to read all your insights!

Thanks, Mike and Splynter.

Enjoy the weekend.

Yellowrocks said...

In Japan we rode on the Shinkansen which is a network of high speed train lines between major cities with maximum speeds of about 200mph. At the station we bought bento boxes for eating lunch on the train. Train stations in cities along this rail line sell special bento boxes for train passengers called ekiban. These amazingly tasty and appetizing grab'n'go lunches are packed in sturdy boxes and are beautifully arranged. They are works of art.
All through school and into high school my Japanese DIL made my grandson lovely home made bento boxes for school lunch. In Japan this a traditional task for mothers.

Lucina said...

Rare as a pearl in an OYSTER is an easy Saturday puzzle. Thank you, Mike Buckley. As soon as ANDROMEDA went in so did THE MILKY WAY and I was off to the finish. While not exactly a sashay, it wasn't a slog either, just a nice CHALLENGE.

Splynter, I had the same write overs as you, but all were easily corrected. For a long time I couldn't let go of SKIMP and as soon as it was erased and SKOSH filled, so did the SE corner though I didn't know the movie,TWO LOVERS but it emerged when the rest filled.

MANAPE was also unknown but also emerged. I well remember PEACENIKS and we saw OYSTER yesterday.

Thank you for the enthusiastic tour, Splynter!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

billocohoes said...

Didn't think of Joe Friday, so when I put in MaLaDIES for earworms I DNF'd, BaNTO being no help and the PENNI not dropping.

inanehiker said...

It was a faster than usual Saturday. But I hit a snag with DRAMS, MORALE, EDILE - because I had put DRAGS in and didn't know EDILE - so I came here with GO RATE - which I knew was likely wrong but technically correct!
Suprised by having a theme - but it was a beautiful puzzle!

Have a beautiful Saturday!
Thanks Splynter and Mike!

BunnyM said...

Good morning all!

I must have been on Mike's wavelength because this was the easiest Saturday solve for me in a long time. I knew ANDROMEDA and THE MILKY WAY and had a lot of other early known fills and good WAGs . My reveal answer was a W/O - I had the 'ion' and tried Explosion> COLLISION before seeing DCC.

Thanks for a great tour, Splynter. I also liked your Onward! collision :)

I tried Abort>AVERT and Get>GOTIN. The NE corner took the longest due to looking for an object for "Cheerleaders may raise it". MANAPE and EDILE were perps. Thankfully I had those early WAGs w/4A, SERENADES, PEACENIKS and SNOPES.

BENTO, SKOSH and TAHINI were my only other unknowns gotten via perps.

Favorite clever clue: "Friday revelation" >IMACOP.

Funny to see earworms after talking about them yesterday. CanadianEh!- yes, AnonT correctly linked our favorite trio, Rush. I'd forgotten about that clip from Funny or Die- love it!

The sun is shining and we are expected to have beautiful weather here at least for the next few days. What a nice change of pace!
Hope everyone has a wonderful day and a great weekend :)

Husker Gary said...

-I agree with Splynter that the one way in/one way out design can be daunting. RECONVEY, EDILE and MANAPE were temporary speed bumps even with ANDROMEDA, SERENADES and PEACENIKS showing themselves right away
-Four billion years? I guess I can still buy green bananas
-Where TANKING is rewarded
-SCENT made me sigh and erase GEHRIG, the original Iron Man
-Gotta love how SEN’s DERIDE each other with “My good friend from across the aisle is an idiot”
-Need a Joe Friday hit?
-So, you GOT IN?
-I remember the earworm when Mary MacGregor sang Torn Between TWO LOVERS
-Ca and CaCO3 stains

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

For me, this was another Jekyll and Hyde puzzle. I started off like gangbusters and thought I was home free but, then an abrupt screech and I hit a brick wall. The Vue was an unknown, as was the movie, Two Lovers and Reconvey just looked wrong. (Still does.) The less said about my phobia with Roman numerals, the better. Surprisingly, though, I managed to finish in normal Saturday time, w/o help.

Thanks, Mike, for a change of pace offering and thanks, Splynter, for the fun tour.

Old Mr. Sun has yet to appear but the forecast for the coming week sounds promising.

Have a great day.

Science Geek said...

Loved Mr. Buckley's puzzle. Thanks!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Finished it in due course. Major white-out was I had Lou Gehrig before CAL RIPKEN. Not exactly a themeless today. Even the black squares were arranged in a spiral, but resulted in 8 cheater squares to continue the motif. Nice change of pace, Mike.
I see SKOSH is from the Japanese, brought here by US servicemen. It's part of my vocabulary; I don't know where I first heard it, THO.
PENNI - 100 of them in one Markka. Penni and Markka have the same roots as the German Pfennig and Mark. Euro replaced the Markka in 2003.

oc4beach said...

Not a Saturday puzzle on Saturday because I was able to finish it, but very challenging. Thanks Mike. Splynter's tour of the universe was well put together also. When I saw the spiral layout I thought there would be some astronomy references.

At one time, a long time ago, I worked at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center operating astronomy satellites, so, I knew the astronomy answers. I learned a lot from from the astronomers on the program from Princeton, University of Wisconsin, Smithsonian, and the University College of London. They were all night-owls.

The rest of the fill slowly went in with perps and a few WAGs once the anchors were filled in.

Time to go to the post office before they close.

Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

"7. Carry on? : RECONVEY"


Let me reconvey: Crap.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! This puzzle made me see stars in a few places, Mike, bruised but not quite bloody despite all the red-letters that kept popping up with first tries. Valiant as ever, Splynter.

Calcium is a METAL? Surprise, surprise!

Had heard of BENTO in an episode of "Amazing Race" (I think), but the lunches were packed in nifty woven baskets with lids. The participants had to pack them properly with goodies if I remember right.

Never heard of SNOPES, EDILE, TAHINI. Couldn't remember VUE.

My husband used the word SKOSH. I thought he picked it up in the USAF despite never leaving the states. The rest of his family never said it.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Felt like such a 12 down! Had most of "Andromeda" but the NE corner was my Waterloo, so came close but DNF what was otherwise an easy Saturday. Sun is out but chilly, few small mounds of the white stuff persist here in central upstate NY

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling thought":

Today, just a punny limerick - I DNF the puzzle; too many cheats on my end to solve, as proper names and movie titles are not my forté.

If you think that I use common sense,
When it comes to my pinpointing SCENTs;
What my wife surely knows
Is that I have no nose.
My retort, when you ask my "two cents".

Misty said...

Well, this was a Saturday toughie for me because the theme was just foreign to me--I guess I don't know my stars. So this took a fair amount of cheating, although I did enjoy it when I got the hang of it, finally. So, thank you, Mike, and sorry I wasn't more on your wavelength.

My favorite clue was the Friday revelation "I'M A COP." I guess I used to watch "Dragnet" as a kid (was that the name of the show?) and I can still picture that taciturn policeman speaking with his grim face.

I can also still picture Marlon Brando in his T-SHIRT yelling "Stella!"

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Anonymous T said...

Far out, in the uncharted backwaters of the western spiral arm of THE MILKY WAY, lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting it at roughly 98 million miles is a small blue-green planet whose APE descendent life-forms are so amazingly primitive, they (almost) solve a Saturday Puzzle...*

Mike - I loved this puzzle. Thank you! It stroked my solving EGO until YR said it was Wed-level :-( [I kid!] and Eldest gave me BENTO (I was lacking the B). I thought those little boxes were just a SKOSH of sushi.

Splynter - Great expo! Q. What is the blue thing that's seems to appear on the goal after a goal? I don't know hockey - I like it OK but don't go outta my way for it... Very much unlike ASTROS!

Lookups: 10d - that took forever to find. VUE (not as hard to find)
WO: nukes [think microwave oven] b/f TASES; my lack of spelling acumen.
ESPs: I didn't keep track. IM A COP was mostly one 'cuz I was still ASEA w/ Crusoe's Friday.

Fav: Com'on who can't love a theme (on a Sat!) and the grid layout.

{A, B-, B+, HA(s)!} {very Nice!}

I was up early w/ OKL, so I need a nap... play later unless we get more 502s.

Misty - Yes, Dragnet... "This is the City..."

Cheers, -T
*from memory and apologies to Douglas A.
**sorry Agyle - said I need a nap..

Unknown said...

In what world does anyone Galaxies, baseball, and bacteria ? I have always regretted a whole in my education as through a MS in Physics I was never required to take astronomy or cosmology. I've picked some up but I cant locate planets nor any constellation but the big dipper. Oh well time to read some Wikipedia to appear to be more educated than I am.

One nit today. Assuming the clue "crashing and burning" referred to sports. TANKING is not the same as crashing and burning. "tanking" is losing on purpose. Crash and burn is more apt as a team or individual with high expectations fails miserably but not because he or she "tanked:

OwenKL said...

Did no one else note that the ASTROS fit the astronomical theme?

If you're unfamiliar with BENTO boxes on the Internet, well, look them up! Don't just look at the pictures, but notice that sub-subject strip at the top, which is a little longer that handful of choices I normally see!

AnonymousPVX said...


Anonymous said...

In the 80's Levis advertised jeans with "a Skosh more room" for us 'Older' guys

OwenKL said...

"a little bit," Korean War armed forces slang, from Japanese sukoshi "few, little, some."

Yellowrocks said...

Yesterday it took me a long time to overcome that field of white. I was just happy that today I was on the right wave length.
Chuck L, I agree that tanking in sports is losing on purpose. However, if your stock portfolio is tanking, it likely will crash and burn.
We have discussed skosh here before. I first heard it from my husband. He wanted a skosh more coffee.
PK, those basket containers seem authentic. There are many types of so called bento box containers. Yes, there are many rules and customs about this and almost everything else. I likely would have trouble living permanently in a such a conformist society.
Reconvey does seem awkward. What you convey to me I can convey to someone else. Relay or forward would be better. But I accept reconvey as just barely okay.
Between the many rainy days we have been having delightfully dry and pleasant April weather. Nothing but gray skies is dispiriting.
The cherry blossoms are out in full 45 minutes from here, but we do not even have buds. The forsythia is just starting to bloom, quite late this year.
Happy spring.

CrossEyedDave said...

Just posting so I can keep my place as to how far I read the Blog.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Dragnet was must-see TV at my home. Jack Webb's flat, uninflected line deliveries may seem hopelessly mannered now, but in the day they offered an air of no-nonsense realism. Among the very few records I held in my personal collection was my cherished recording of the ”Dragnet” theme as performed by Ray Anthony's orchestra.

I would have signed on to the Corner earlier today if I hadn't been distracted by Splynter's link to the facts behind the prediction of our galaxy's COLLISION. I guess the only positive angle to facts such as these is that they narrow down our contemplation of philosophies and encourage us to embrace Absurdism.
I realize this dire prediction gives us three to four billion years to find a way to save humanity. But I'm surely not the only one who worries that 4,000,000,000 years just isn't enough time. (And the visual provided by NASA of the "view from earth" only raises my skepticism that there will be any earth left to have a view from!)

Anyway, here I am. I finally shook off my jitters and made it to the blog in good enough spirits to thank Mr. Buckley and Splynter for their fine service. We just need to keep ourselves focused on immediate projects.
Let's keep calm - and take it a day at a time.

Jayce said...

A very well-made puzzle. Mr. Buckley must have put a lot of thought into it. I loved the "Friday" clue and answer.
We have a little "hole in the wall" restaurant near here called "Better Bento," which is a great place to go for lunch (well, just before or after the noon crowd). Their food is really pretty good and is prepared on the spot. I learned about bento boxes when I was in Taiwan in the early 60's. A mere 20 years before that time Taiwan had been under Japanese control and there was still a lot of Japanese culture there. I learned "skosh" from my sister, who is married to an Air Force officer and was stationed in Japan for a couple of years.
Best wishes to you all.

Jayce said...

Yesterday I learned a new food from our Hawaiian neighbors, called poke ("po-keh"), with which I have fallen instantly in love. Based on chunks of raw seafood (I had tuna) with various vegetables and seasonings, on a bed of rice, usually served in a bowl or even a paper cup, it is absolutely delicious. Steve, you'd love it.

Anonymous said...

Chuck, why would anyone with an MS in Physics want to take astrology and cosmetology ?

Yellowrocks said...

Chuck said cosmology,not cosmetology. Cosmology is the science of the origin and development of the universe. I am no science nerd, but Andromeda and the Milky Way were commonplace items in our elementary school curriculum.

Anonymous T said...

CED - Priceless! -T

PK said...

The way nutso humans are colliding with sane humans, I think we have a more pressing issue to freak over than worrying about colliding star systems. Sometimes it's hard to figure out which are the sane ones. finding sane ones with common sense is even harder.

Anonymous T said...

Careful PK - the last person that said "can't we all be nice and get along" was nailed to a tree some 2000 years ago. -T

*more apologies to D.A.

CanadianEh! said...

Here I am on a Saturday. I started this CW this morning and was sailing along nicely through the galaxies when unexpected company arrived. No time to get back until this evening. I was so happy with myself that I actually finished a Saturday puzzle (with just a little red letter help in the NE) and then I arrive here to discover that it was a "lower difficulty level"! So much for my EGO.

Thanks for the fun, Mike and Splynter.

Unknowns today included EDILE, CARELL, PENNI, SOP, SKOSH and BENTO (lovely idea for lunch!
I was mislead and thinking of Friday in Robinson Crusoe, not Dragnet.
Yesterday SCENT was for Chanel and today, a bloodhound.
DH gave me VUE.
That Canadian border with IDAHO is far from here.

I agree with IM and YR about RECONVEY (but not as strongly as Anon@11:03 because we Canadians are known for our politeness).

Enjoy the evening.

Anonymous T said...

No one did but someone has to... Gervais from BBC's The Office which CARELL fit (and Gervais didn't). -T

OwenKL said...

YR -- getting too serious here. The cosmetology&astrology remark was a pretty obvious joke.

Picard said...

Can someone please explain "Something hit on a range : DRIVER" ? I am thinking this is a reference to using a driver in golf? But how is the driver something that is hit?

Loved the astronomy theme and grid! It looked much harder than it was!

Chuck, it is never too late to learn astronomy. I have a physics degree, too. But I have learned astronomy by joining our local astronomy club. The other members are eager to share their telescopes and their knowledge. And they even do planetarium shows at our local museum. I invite everyone to take advantage of such opportunities!

BENTO was a gimme for me. I get a BENTO box at least a few times a month. All of our local Japanese restaurants have them and the price is good! Surprised this is not more widely known.

Anyone else try SPIRIT before MORALE? CARELL, EDILE, MAN APE, TWO LOVERS total unknowns.

SNOPES is one of the most valuable sites on the Internet. If someone sends you a "news" story that sounds too odd to be true, please, please check with SNOPES! The world would be a much better place if people checked facts before forwarding such messages!