Apr 13, 2017

Thursday, April 13 2017 Matt Skoczen

Theme: Blue Clues! Here's my friend who sniffed out the theme:

64A. Hint in a specialty crossword, and, literally, what's found in 17-, 20-, 38- and 59-Across : CRYPTIC CLUE

17A. Infomercial promise : MIRACLE CURE

20A. Powerful 1970s Pittsburgh defensive line, familiarly : STEEL CURTAIN. Tough crowd. Very tough.

38A. "The Card Players" artist : PAUL CEZANNE. These guys.

59A. Sticker on store fruit : PRODUCE LABEL. The process by which Chiquita gets a label on each banana was a closely-guarded secret when it was introduced in 1963.

So, we've got four scrambles of the word CLUE in the theme entries, and the reveal describes this as cryptic. I've got a little problem with this - cryptic crosswords have many devices and traditions, and a scramble is one small and rarely-used convention. Anagrams, yes. Also, the adjacent extra "C" and "E" in MIRACLE CURE and STEEL CURTAIN respectively bothered me a tad. However, easy to be a critic, hard to be the originator.


1. Jackson with a 1972 Lifetime Achievement Grammy : MAHALIA. "The Queen of Gospel."

8. Rx watchdog : FDA. I just switched my Rx's from one pharmacy chain to another. You'd have thought it would have been a straightforward process. Not so much.

11. Wing : ELL. Wing of a house. Took me a while to see this.

14. Most sober : GRAVEST

15. Curved part : ARC

16. Md. neighbor : DELaware. Maryland neighbor.

19. Md. neighbor : WVA. I had the "W" and was struggling to see how Washington, DC could be abbreviated "in the language," then West Virginia popped into my head.

22. Didst whack : SMOTE. Best clue/answer of the day. Love this one.

25. Spot checker? : VET. My Dog, Spot. When I worked at Warner Bros. one of the theatrical executives was fired for joking in a keynote that the movie was re-titled "My Lunch, Spot" for release in the Philippines.

26. One-named Deco master : ERTE

27. Swiss river : AAR

28. Loot : ROB

31. Storm warning : THUNDER

33. Pair : DYAD. Our educators would describe students working together in pairs as "dyad pedagogy."

35. Algonquin Round Table member, e.g. : WIT

37. Role for Dustin : RATSO. Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy. What a great performance.

42. Amu __: Asian river : DARYA. Thank you, crosses. It's a big bugger at 1,491 miles. I'd have thought I'd have heard about it before now.

44. Verizon subsidiary : AOL

45. Undertaking : TASK

48. Anka song with the phrase "Kiss me mucho" : ESO BESO. Muchos gracias, cruces.

51. Soccer chant : OLÉ. Let's revisit the World Cup in 2014 in Rio.

53. Loving murmur : COO

54. A giraffe has a long one : MANE. Hand up for NECK first. Then TAIL. Finally got there.

55. Org. concerned with briefs : ABA. American Bar Association.

57. "Swing Shift" Oscar nominee : LAHTI. Tried LATTI. was wrong.

63. Fill in (for) : SUB

68. Actor Wallach : ELI

69. Jeans name : LEE

70. Like some lunch orders : ON TOAST. Lunch? I'd more associate this with breakfast. My favorite breakfast in the UK - black pudding (blood sausage) and scrambled eggs on toast.

71. "Amen!" : YES!

72. Inject : ADD

73. "Seems that way to me" : I'D SAY SO


1. "Mrs. Miniver" studio : MGM. Waited for crosses. Could have been RKO.

2. 2001 W.S. champs : ARIzona Diamondbacks.

3. Guffaw sound : HAR

4. Stop at sea : AVAST. Usually followed by "Me Hearties". Heave-to didn't fit.

5. Hopkins role : LECTER. The gourmand Hannibal. I never asked for any of his recipes.

6. Scotland's Arran, e.g. : ISLE

7. Perfectly, with "to" : A TEE

8. Leak source : FAUCET

9. Diminutive celeb sexologist : DR RUTH

10. Taiwanese PC maker : ACER

11. Pirate on the Queen Anne's Revenge : EDWARD TEACH. Fondly known as Blackbeard. Learning moment, but solid crosses did most of the work. I was almost Natick'ed at LAHTI though.

12. Descendants of a son of Jacob and Leah : LEVITES. This area caused me the most trouble. Tried SEMITES first.

13. Venezuelan cowboy : LLANERO. Learning moment which contributed to my puzzlement in the north-east.

18. MDL ÷ X : CLV

21. Studio occupant : TENANT

22. Glum : SAD

23. Kentucky Derby time : MAY. Coming up soon, the self-proclaimed "most exciting two minutes in sports."

24. Latin "pray for us" : ORA PRO NOBIS. I dragged this one kicking and screaming out of the deep recesses of my brain - as a kid I was hauled by my ear to Mass in Latin every Sunday. Is this a fair entry though?

29. Barn __ : OWL

30. Light source : BIC. Hold up your lighter and rock on! Heineken claimed, tongue in cheek, they were responsible for the phenomenon. You can hold up an iPhone app now instead of a Bic.

32. Banquet dispenser : URN

34. Futon kin : DAY BED

36. Sweet __ : TEA

39. OPEC member : UAE. United Arab Emirates, member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

40. Madhouse : ZOO

41. The lot : ALL

42. Portrayer of "McDreamy" on "Grey's Anatomy" : DEMPSEY. No clue. Thank you, crosses.

43. Typically : AS A RULE

46. Boozer : SOT

47. Colorful carp : KOI

49. Revered : SACRED

50. Was loyal to : OBEYED

52. Picks : ELECTS

56. High point of a European trip? : ALP

58. Foil giant : ALCOA

60. Golden St. campus : UCLA

61. Yours, to Yves : A TOI. Very glad I learned French in High School and I've been to the country enough times to have a very basic but working knowledge.

62. Tie up : BIND

65. Not of the cloth : LAY. The non-clerical hoi-polloi. This one bothered the purist in me a little - "a man of the cloth" might be described as mild slang for the clergy, but a layperson is not at all a slang term.

66. __ Nimitz : USS. I thought this carrier was retired, but it is now the oldest-serving carrier in the US fleet, operating out of Kitsap naval base in Washington State.

67. DDE's command : ETO. Dwight D. Eisenhower in command of the European Theater of Operations in World War Two. Question - since the location was Europe, should it be "Theatre?" Answers on a postcard please.


Anonymous said...

Did ya know that the stickers you find on apples are edible. Just so on case you accidentally eat one. Even the glue is edible. Google it. Just don't Google "apple stickers". Try "produce stickers".

C.C. Burnikel said...


Argyle rescheduled the post and your Comments is lost. Sorry for the spoiler. Hope you have bad short memory :-)

OwenKL said...

DNF bad¡¡ All in the west, SⓜOTE, DⓨAⓓ (not dual), DARⓨA (not daura) across and ⓜAⓨ (not cst), ⓓAⓨBED (not tatami) down bested me, and it was only with my LW's help that I got ORA PRO and ESO BESO.

The theme I did get, seeing the jumbled CLUEs with just the first two theme answers filled in. CRYPTIC CLUE could be a CSO to me and Nice Cuppa, since we've wearied people with them in the past!

Instead of poems today, here are 4 CRYPTIC CLUES. Figuring out what they are, but who can decipher how they're arrived at?

Football linemen for pruned aster stains around cryptic. (7,4)

Potent elixir for cryptic in car reversing thru mire. (5,7)

Card player's artist is cryptic in candy brick before gables' girl. (4,7)

Fruit stamp is cryptic between urge to find Cain's brother. (7,5)

To give more people a chance, just explain one clue, and let someone else have a try at the other 3.

Dudley said...

Anon 4:15 - says "false!" Now quit eating labels and go to bed.

BobB said...

Don't always believe Snopes. Especially about politics.

TTP said...

Good morning all. Thank you Matt. Thank you Steve.

SW corner prevented the unaided TADA. Never heard of the Asian river. Never heard of McDreamy, and have never seen Grey's Anatomy. No idea on the Latin. But I did have -A-E for the long giraffe part, so I entered NAPE. Eventually changed the game to regular mode and finished.

Funny that we should have leak and FAUCET today. Thought I fixed the last of the leaks on my friend's RV yesterday morning, but water started pouring down the floor from the bedroom. The connection on the back of the shower faucet also cracked when the pipes froze. Found two more leaks later. Hope to be done with the repairs today, rain pending.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This was a tough Thursday for this non-Latin speaker. Thought ORA PRO NOBIS was an ORAL B sister product for the nose. Hand up for NECK; also tried ADORED for SACRED. Didn't recognize "W.S." -- still don't. The Algonquin Round Table always reminds me of Dorothy Parker, funny to the very end. Her tombstone epitaph (not the newspaper): Pardon my dust.

Wow, I was already out of the navy when USS Nimitz, the oldest active carrier, was launched. Makes a guy feel old.

Gotta run...

Big Easy said...

Finishing this CRYPTIC CLUE puzzle was a modern MIRACLE that didn't occur . I wasn't worried about finding CLUE scrambled. Just wanted to complete it.

ORA PRO NOBIS-100% crosses. Ditto for EDWARD TEACH. HITTITE or SEMITE I know but not the LEVITES- 100% crosses. ESO BESO- it's usually one or the other but not both and directly below the DARYA above the long MANEd (not neck) giraffe.

I had zero idea as to what Algonquin Round Table referred to and Sweat PEA sounded as good as Sweat TEA so I filled 35A as WIP instead of WIT as neither mad sense to me. Blew it on the cross of two three letter words. said...


Thanks to Matt and Steve.

Had another unexpected nap. Suspect it is the medication. So just got to puzzle a while ago. Knew ORA..., TEACH and a few other toughies. Hadn't heard of STEEL CURTAIN or DARYA. ARI was perped.

Have a great day!

Big Easy said...

And I left out the unheard or either 'McDreamy' or the correctly filled DEMPSEY. said...

PK: I only do the backstroke when I'm sick! It makes me feel better to swim. Pool is 88 degrees and pool house is 85 degrees these days.

Lucina said...

Strangely I filled this mostly going down with few going across but knew MAHALIA right away. Of course, ORA PRO NOBIS was a given and is, IMHO, as fair as German and French fill. Roman numerals are in 4th grade curriculum so that's not usually a problem. LLANERO and ESO BESO crawled out of my memory.

What was a problem, like Big Easy, I have never heard of the Algonquin Round Table and sweet PEA made it instead of TEA. BIC, yes, I knew that.

We've had much tougher Thursday puzzles than this one so thank you, Mat Skoczen, for a fine challenge. And thank you, Steve; it's always a pleasure to read your commentary.

Have a delightful day, everyone. Today is Maundy Thursday and a day of reflection.

inanehiker said...

CC - no problem - just surprised me last night! Only remembered the big Blue pic from Blue's Clues (my youngest's favorite show as a 3 year old) and the constructor!
Creative puzzle with the right amount of Thursday crunch!

Thanks Steve and Matt!

thehondohurricane said...

Flu wins today. After the first pass through I had STEEL CURTAIN, a few 3 letter fills and no idea about the rest. SO, back to the sack. At least I have a furry bed mate who keeps me company. Tomorrow will be a better day, or it Damn well better be.

Yellowrocks said...

WIT and BIC outwitted me. I was so hung up on the light source B-C which seemed impossible, that I missed WIT, even though I knew of the Algonquin Round Table. It's been years since anyone I know used a BIC for light. We all use the phone. Hardly anyone I know smokes.

Hand up for SWEET PEA. I absolutely detest SWEET TEA and would rather die of thirst. I take mine black and barefoot or with a slice of lemon.

I was delighted to find EDWARD TEACH.

I knew Amu Darya and wagged Dempsey. MANE was a V8 can surprise.

I hardly ever use untoasted bread for sandwiches, either toast or a roll.

LLANEROS was all perps, but since LLANOS is the PLAINS, it makes sense.

BunnyM said...

Good morning all!

Thank you Matt for a crunchy workout today. I enjoyed the theme and the reveal CRYPTICCLUE helped me see it in the theme fills.
Steve- your write up is always a delight and full of learning moments. I didn't know that Blackbeard's real name was EDWARDTEACH. Thanks for a great tour :)

I had several w/o's : Hand up for neck>MANE and Sweet Tea>PEA . Since I didn't know WIT, this seemed right.
I had Smite>SMOTE which also looked ok as I didn't know ORAPROBONIS.
TENANT- tried Renter and Lessee until THUNDER and RATSO cleared them up.
"Seems that way to me" - I had Its A Yes> IDSAYSO. Withh no clue about ETO, my ETs looked ok. But that made BIND> Bint and USS> USe . This mess didn't phase me until reading the blog. That's what I get for trying to talk on the phone and solve the puzzle at the same time.

Other unknowns/perps were ASI, LEVITES (had ITES but had to wait for other fills) DARYA, LLANERO and ERTE ( should probably know this from CW's but couldn't dredge it up)

All in all not bad for a Thursday and would have been better without my mistake of trying to multitask.

Hondo- feel better soon!

Have a wonderful day everyone :)

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning,

I had some similar responses here as some of you have already stated: LLANERO, ORA PRO NOBIS, but the real killers for me today were the short and sweet answers wiht great clues: Spot Checker, Light Source, Loot, and High Point. I really had to work for those. Thanks, Matt, for some Thursday fun. Yes, V-8!

Thanks, Steve, for another fine tour. I didn't share your nits on the CRYPTIC CLUEs with double letters nearby. I didn't see a thing! ;-)

Have a good day.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Got most of it unaided, but having nape vs. MANE I got DEMPSEY wrong, too. Sigh. Good puzzle, tho, but agree with Steve on the theme. Matt usually has challenging but mostly doable puzzles.

Amu DARYA - Nailed it. The Oxus of antiquity. ATG crossed it circa 328 B.C.
AAR - Rhine tributary.

Wilbur Charles said...

I got my DIDSTs and DODSTs mixed up but got the other 10/11th. There's a Latin hymn that's a QOD to (Tommy) Nobis of Atlanta NFL fame.

The way I had it Bella Premunt was having her way until NOBIS stepoed in. And..
Couldn't we have had "Long count victim" as a clue for DEMPSEY.
Okay, KOY/KOI Meh.
So, four FIWs in all.

I pulled Paul and BIC out of the recesses. We've seen BIC clued a bunch of different ways.

I'll be back. ARNOLD?

No Wilbur

Husker Gary said...

-Yeah, I’m the only one who put in MICHAEL for M _ _ _ _ _ _ --I’ll look at your MIRACLE CURE once the FDA approves it
-We toured the East Wing of the White House, the West one seems harder to enter
-My giraffe had a long NAPE at first
-SUB? What’s that?
-It’s a perfect morning and so I will be brief and go match a ball to A TEE

KenoRunner said...

Crosses or not, One-Down could not have been RKO, as MGM was the actual studio.

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

Hmm. Would it be appropriate to say that I had "no CLUE"? Thank God for perps and wags; but still, despite no googles, I still FIW. As others said, the WIT/TEA Natick got me (hands up for "PEA"), and I did not know PAUL CEZANNE & forgot EDWARD TEACH, so that, too was another Natick. Only other write overs were NECK > MANE and LACE > BIND. Decent and challenging for sure. Still not understanding WIT as the answer for Algonquin Round Table member

Bunny FLN: I will also admit to being a "Survivor" adherent. I don't follow it to the extent that I know each and every participant intimately, but I have not missed a single season. Given inflation, you'd think that the prize would be worth more than $1M dollars. It's been that since its inception over 15 yrs ago

Ok - two "licks" for Wilbur. First one is just plain dumb and punny - second is a replay from a few years ago. It carries into his recent Scottish/Golf posts (NAE). I misplaced the original so today's might be a bit "CRYPTIC":

To show that it has no religion,
The bird left a turd; just a smidgen
Of poop on church steeple.
You know all the people
Are now calling it a "stool" pigeon.

When the Scotsman was on the golf course,
Had an urge; had to pee like a horse!
You can NAE make your putts
When you must drain your putz.
Nearest "relief" was behind some thick gorse

billocohoes said...

W.S - World Series

Fill in (for) - SUBstitute

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I found this a tad chewy but, thanks to perps, ultimately doable. Never heard of that Asian River, Roman Numerals give me hives, and for some inexplicable reason (hallucinations, perhaps) I envisioned the Card Players painting as The Dogs Playing Poker painting and couldn't believe that Paul Cezanne was the correct answer. Unsurprisingly, had no idea of the theme until the reveal. Oh, I almost forgot, Michael before Mahalia which was silly, considering how old Michael would have been in 1972.

Thanks, Matt, for a cerebral challenge and thanks, Steve, for guiding us along so nicely.

We have beautiful sunshine but it is windy and cold. Where are you, Spring weather?

Caught the last few minutes of "Show Boat" this morning. Wasn't Kathryn Grayson stunning? Loved the music and seeing Joe E. Brown and Agnes Morehead together!

Have to run-have a very busy day today.

Have a great day.

Spitzboov said...

Isle of ARRAN is in the Firth of Clyde about 10 NM from Ailsa Craig, a major source of granite for curling stones.

CanadianEh! said...

I was not quite up to the challenge today although I did get the theme. Thanks for the fun Matt and Steve. (LOL re theatre/theater Steve. Of course you know which one I think is correct!) I smiled at Blues Clues after watching it with granddaughters the other day.

Hand up for Neck before MANE and Adored before SACRED. Like others, I had problems with the short fill like WIT and BIC. Blackbeard was too short and I did not know EDWARD TEACH.
Since I required both Google and red letter help, I consider today a learning experience. Since I don't do CRYPTIC Puzzles, I will wait for the answers to OwenKL's @4:51 (although I see the ANNE in the 3rd one and ABEL in the 4th)

This Canadian ordered tea in a Georgia restaurant and was asked if I wanted Sweet TEA. I was a little confused but said yes because I do like a little sugar in my tea. Minutes later I had a lightbulb moment and said to DH, "I am going to get Ice TEA". Sure enough. Lesson learned. If you want Hot TEA in USA (especially the south), you must say so (and even ask for the water to be boiling or you get teabag dragged through hot tap water!).

Have a great day.

CrossEyedDave said...

Loved the puzzle today,
kept trying to put a beard somewhere in 11d,
smiled when Edward Teach appeared...

22. Didst whack, excellent!

Lots of witty clues, too many to mention.

However, I must protest!
1a, ok,ok, so it wasn't Micheal.
Or Janet (wardrobe malfunction)
But I get really upset when I try to cheat,
& I still can't find the answer on google!
Mahalia aint listed!
Sheesh! I can't even cheat on this puzzle!

Can some one pls avenge what this puzzle did to me...

Actually, wait a sec, or a half hour, & I can try to do this puzzle again...

Anon @ 4:15am
Thanks a lot!
Don't you know I am OCD!
I am always washing under the dang label in case it's covering up
some ones fingerprint, & now I gotta wash the %$#@ label too?

Northwest Runner said...

Christine Lahti and Eso Beso are somewhat common in LA Times puzzles. New clues for each here. My nit with smote is that didst is specifically second person singular (and archaic) while smote is a general (and irregular) past tense of a rarely used, but not archaic, word.

Anonymous said...

Wow Dudley, that was a little harsh and unnecessary. It's no wonder why some of us are intimidated about turning blue and joining your discussion.

Trubrit said...

I wanted to put Michael but I already had M at the start and an A at the end and just couldn't remember Lecter or Dempsey.
I thought 'neck' was too obvious and if they had a mane, that would be long, but didn't know for sure they had one.

Irish Miss, I love those old movies too, especially the musicals.

Have a great day.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi, Gang -

After 12 years of Catholic school, ORA PRO NOBIS was a big gimmie.

Had to g-spot a couple things in the NE corner, then made it through.

I like a BLT ON TOAST.

I did enter MICHAEL for 1A. Then i realized 1972 would have been awfully early. I sort of remember MAHALIA, from my yute.

But the theme sailed so far over my head, I didn't even feel the breeze.

We had the carpets cleaned and were putting the house back together this morning. Moving furniture is not a lot of fun.

Cool regards!

Yellowrocks said...

I, too, have no nit with the reveal. I believe reveals sometimes use the key word in two different senses. Cryptic can refer to a type of puzzle in one sense and, in another sense, to puzzling or obscure like the clues.
I learned AMU DARYA from doing crosswords. LAHTI and ESO BESO are also found in crosswords.
I believe KOI is always spelled with an I instead of a Y.
CanadianEH! In the southern USA you get extremely sweet tea if you ask for iced tea. When I visited there they seldom had unsweetened iced tea. Down the Jersey shore you must ask for unsweet tea, or it will arrive already sweetened. Yuck!

Argyle said...

mane: a growth of long hair on the neck of a horse, lion, or other animal. NOT a long growth of short hair on the neck of a giraffe. meh.

BunnyM said...

Anonymous @11:28 - I would venture to say that Dudley wasn't trying to be harsh and most likely joking. There are many things that are edible but I wouldn't recommend eating them IMO - going "blue" is more likely to give one the opportunity to have a better and more fulfilling discussion. No need to feel intimidated as this is a fun blog where differing opinions are welcome (personal attacks aside, of course. And as I said before, I'm guessing Dudley was not on the attack)
Fellow Survivor fans- the baby duck fetus in my link reminded me of some of the gross things contestants used to eat in challenges. Those were the good old days of the show, lol. Chairman Moe- I agree that million dollar prize should be increased.

Off to take a nap as my cold/allergy meds have kicked in. The pollen is already out of control here. There's a pretty heavy coating of it on my car and patio furniture.

CrossEyedDave said...

8 things you never knew about produce stickers.

Note:conventionally grown means not necessarily organically grown...

Hmm, Scotch tape? Who knew?

I thought Dudley's post was meant to be funny,
but a little research reveals he was correct...

Ok, I am going back to bed now...

Misty said...

Fun puzzle, Matt, but sadly the Northeast corner did me in since I never heard of EDWARD TEACH, and ELL never occurred to me for WING. But everything else fell smoothly into place, even though I too thought of MICHAEL before MAHALIA-- but perps didn't let that happen. The Catholic ORA PRO NOBIS was certainly a blessing in the Southwest. I also got the reveal early and that helped with the theme ECULing. And it was nice to see PAUL CEZANNE in the middle of the puzzle. So, many thanks, Matt, and you too, Steve.

I too thought Dudley was just kidding around.

Take good care of yourself, Hondo.

Have a great Thursday, everybody.

AnonymousPVX said...

Kind of a crunch today but not unexpected on a Thursday.

This was a well thought out puzzle, as the more crunchy answers -LANEROS, DARYA, among others I hadn't seen before were solved through crosses.

Didn't even realize there was a theme/gimmick until I got here, so that's my favorite type.

Unknown said...

TADA ! Right in my wheelhouse with Latin, Pirates, mid east (US and International) geography and sports. McDreamy was the last to fall. I watched the show for a season or two when "Grey" was an intern but couldn't quite come up with the actors name. They killed off the character when the actor took up auto racing. Seems like all long running TV shows turn into soap operas now. Still don't know what an esobeso is but I did dance to Paul Anka at a long ago prom !

Did take a few extra passes in the NW until I remembered 2001 WS was right after the 9/11 attacks and changed RKO to MGM.

Always a good puzzle when I TADA...4 for 4 this week.

Hungry Mother said...

Missed an easy one with "pea" instead of TEA. I guess he clue would've been "Swee _____". Tough slog to a DNF.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thanks, Matt, thought this was a tad easier than some Thursdays. Great expo, Steve.

I don't care what anybody says, I'm not eating PRODUCE LABELS!

Hand up for thinking Michael before MAHALIA, then the date registered with me.

Caballeros before LLANEROS. New one on me as were DARYA & DEMPSEY.

But EDWARD TEACH & ORA PRO NOBIS went in with little thought. One year in high school choir, I had an unaccompanied solo to begin a piece with "ORA PRO NOBIS, Sancta Maria" which was to be sung with melodramatic pleading. Then the choir came in full strength on the rest of the song. I went around singing that part trying to get the angst the director wanted until I was asked not very politely to shut up more than once. Don't remember much of the rest of the words in Latin or the title.

WIT: ESP, then sat trying to think how that described a bunch of Indians a-round a table. Then I vaguely remembered it was the nickname for a group of literary talents and WITs who used to meet for lunch daily at the Algonquin Hotel long ago.

Card players: I was thinking of those card-playing dog pictures until a few perps set me straight.

Fermat, at those temperatures, you'd think the swimming would steam you out good. Just don't drown!

Ol' Man Keith said...

Proud of myself for this one. Thought it would be too chewy to swallow, but then surprised myself for sticking to it and knocking it over the fence.

A couple of long fills helped immensely. After my initial shock, I found I knew ORA PRO OBIS and EDWARD TEACH right outta the gate. LAHTI brought back a memory of auditioning Christine LAHTI for the lead in Wycherley's The Country Wife. This was around '75 or '76, and I foolishly did not hire her. Ships that pass...

MICHAEL was way too obvious to be a starter in a Thursday pzl, Mr. Skoczen. Nice try, though. As for MAHALIA Jackson, I remember how often she made the news in the '50s and '60s, not just as a renowned Gospel singer (the first to sing in Carnegie Hall) but as an icon of the Civil Rights movement.

I liked SMOTE too, Steve, but my favorite clue was 25A "Spot checker?" for VET.

My Boy Scout troop had the honor of meeting Admiral Nimitz when he welcomed us for a tour aboard the USS Kearsarge, an aircraft carrier docked in San Francisco at the time. I remember mainly his soft voice and white hair.

CrossEyedDave said...

Note: b/4 opening the following link,
be aware that the actual answers will not be posted till
next week. (but there are a lot of guesses on line...)

Do you have a clue?

My 2 cents?

#1 seems obvious, which makes me wonder...

#2 Well, it isn't going forward unless his string is a rubber band...
I think it will go backward, unless the wheel slips, then it stays in place.
What will actually happen?

#3 ( I defer to Bill G...)

#4 (well, I am sure this one is obvious...)

OwenKL said...

Hand up for MICHAEL (didn't even notice the year), NECK (but only after tongue and spine wouldn't work). Surprised at how many didn't know the Algonquin Round Table!

If no one has revealed my cryptics by now, guess I need to do so myself. in all, the "cryptic" was the scrambled letters of CLUE.

Football linemen for pruned aster stains around cryptic. (7,4)
STEEL CURTAIN: end letters pruned off of aSTEr [ELCU] sTAINs (and I see I left out an R. Mea culpa.)

Potent elixir for cryptic in car reversing thru mire. (5,7)
MIRACLE CURE: CAR backwards [LECU] embedded in MIRE

Card player's artist is cryptic in candy brick before gables' girl. (4,7)
PAUL CEZANNE: [AULC] in PEZ + ANNE (and again, I messed up a letter. I really needed a proof-reader!)

Fruit stamp is cryptic between urge to find Cain's brother. (7,5)

Bill G said...

Hello everybody.

Add me to the list of people who didn't get the theme even with the benefit of the reveal. Once I read Steve's explanation, I was still underwhelmed. I really enjoyed SMOTE and Spot Checker though. Tricky and fun.

I came across some old reruns of Huell Howser's California's Gold. I always enjoy them though I've seen most of them before. Today I re-watched one episode on Lombard Street in San Francisco and another on climbing the back of Half Dome in Yosemite. I strongly recommend them.

Yellowrocks said...

Dudley, a very pleasant guy, was trying to present in a humorous way the info that fruit labels are not edible. No aggression intended.
Going blue separates you from all the other ANONs, especially the snarky ones. We get to know you and respect you by reading your posts. We "Blue Ones" can differ in our opinions without hiding behind anonymity. Going blue shows we have the courage of our convictions and also gives us the opportunity to retract our statements when we learn from someone with a more convincing point of view. Please join us.

IM and PK, I, too, thought of the Dogs Playing Poker before I realized what was intended. I love that painting.

Argyle, I thought like you about giraffe manes, so I researched it this AM. All the definitions I found, except one, say that a mane has long hair, but all agree that the mane is on the neck. Every giraffe description I found calls the neck hair a mane.
"Along the animal's neck is a mane made of short, erect hairs." Wikipedia
"...there is also a short black mane." Encyclopedia Britannica
"Their mane is short and it stands upright and they have a dark tassel of hair at the tip of their tail." The Animal Files

Lucina said...

I'm with you on produce labels. They come off immediately and will never be purposely consumed. Once in a while I miss one.

I agree that Dudley meant to be funny and I found it so.

Northwest Runner said...

Chuck, just in case you weren't kidding...Not esobeso but Eso Beso, that kiss.

Anonymous T said...

Hi all!

Dang, yesterday a FIW, today a DNF. OMG! There was no way I was going to finish the NE w/o a peek at Steve's grid... I was so sure about Wing==ARM [think basketball player's "wing-span"?]. After that WO, I finished the corner, tried again in the SW and, with nothing ADDed there, TITT.

Matt, it was humbling but quite worth the solve due to c/a for SMOTE - Python's Holy Grail came to mind's-eye as inked & LOL'd. Thanks for the offering. "And shall there be an'next timeth, please leav'et out th' Latin, in Thy Mercy" :-o. [I may not know Algonquin's knights, but I know my WIT].

Thanks Steve for the Expo; never woulda got 11a w/o you! Oh, and a recipe from LECTOR -- LOL; pass the FAVA beans, no just the beans :-)

WOs: Arm b/f Steve's pzl, BoND b/f BIND. Hand up Neck -- 100% wrong :-)
ESPs: MAhALIA [h was a WAG]
DNFs: 27a xing 24d; 42d, 43d, 68a; 48a says ---BESO

Fav: (that's not SMOTE). Dr. RUTH xing VET; she'll fix your sex-life
Other Sparkle: ROB, ALP, USS juxtaposed with ETO.

I too thought Michael @1a before seeing the date; a down-check on the M and I inked MGM @1d w/o thinking. A wrong does make a right :-)

OKL - thanks for WIT link. Moe: {groan, cute} :-)

Fermat - good to hear you got your swim in and you feel a (bit) better

@11:28a - I too read Dudley with a wink-in-his-eye as he typed. I Ditto what YR said re: Goin' Blue.

CED - You're why I'm so late! Thanks.

OK, everyone else had a PRODUCE STICKERS story... I remove with a quick peel w/ my Chef's knife. Sometime I forget on bell peppers, so you might get a bit in your salad. [never said it was a good story]

ORA PRO NOBIS - so that's what tha' Turkey was sayin' at Gramp's church. I went to St. Joe's, a modern church that performed Mass in the modern vernacular. It was still GRAVE and SACRED...

Cheers, -T

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Matt Skoczen, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for a fine review.

This puzzle was pretty tough for me. That is why I am logging in at almost 10:30 PM. Took me all day to get it done.

Liked the theme once I figured it out. It did help me with some theme answers.

The West was my toughest area. Took me along time to get the Latin ORA PRO NOBIS. DARYA was a wag.

For 54A I tried NECK first, then NOSE, and then MANE. Big inkblot!

One of the easiest was CRYPTIC CLUE. Got that in a snap.

LAHTI, unknown. PAUL CEZANNE, unknown. DARYA, unknown. LECTER, unknown. Got them all with perps and wags.

Liked LEVITES. Any ancient Jewish history is fun for me.

Almost time for Perry Mason. See you tomorrow.


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Picard said...

Too many obscure names spoiled the fun for me.

Never heard of MAHALIA, LAHTI, ELI, DARYA, LLANERO, ERTE, LEVITES or the Algonquin Round Table.

Hand up for Sweet PEA. Considered TEA, but WIT hardly made more sense than WIP since I had no idea about the Algonquin Round Table.

I actually play ORA PRO NOBIS regularly on my flute. But I only remembered the NOBIS part for sure. Had to WAG AAR/ORA crossing. At least PAUL CEZANNE was a gimme.