May 25, 2017

Thursday May 25th 2017 Victor Barocas

Theme: Occupational Apt-itude Three materials are paired with one of three artisans:

18A. Virginia politician for whom a university is named : GEORGE MASON. Their men's basketball team made it to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament in 2006 having never won a game in March Madness before. Quite the story.

24A. Magical literary orphan : HARRY POTTER. I've vaguely heard of him; he's a wizard or something.

33A. "Close to You" singer : KAREN CARPENTER. Lovely voice. Passed away sadly young.

42A. "Westworld" actress (who complements 33-Across?) : EVAN RACHEL WOOD. I always hesitate with her first name.

47A. 1960 Olympic boxing gold medalist (who complements 24-Across?) : CASSIUS CLAY. He fought as a light-heavyweight in 1960.

60A. "Basic Instinct" star (who complements 18-Across?) : SHARON STONE. I won't mention the infamous (or famous) leg-crossing scene. Ooops - I just did.

Clever puzzle from Victor. I thought I'd spotted the theme after the first two entries and when I filled in the third I wondered why no-one had done this theme before. Then came the fourth and the clever symmetry. Slick stuff. A whopping 72 letters of theme-age doesn't leave a lot of room for much in the way of long fill, but there's some nice 7's and 5's to keep thing ticking along. Let's take a look.


1. Reggae relative : SKA. It's Madness, I tell you.

4. Amount before deductions : GROSS. Nicely matched with 62D.

9. Unpleasant : HARSH

14. "U R funny!" : LOL!

15. Vital supply line : AORTA. Vital? I'd say.

16. Throat dangler : UVULA. Lovely word this, but - what on earth is it for?

17. Bran source : OAT

20. Ride on runners : SLED

22. __ Testamento : NUEVO. That's a new one on me.

23. Custard base : EGG. Food! The French call it "Crème anglaise". My mom used to make it from powder out of a tin. I don't think the French would have been impressed.

27. Meeting vote : YEA

28. Falls phenomena : MISTS. Here's one from Iceland at Skogafoss. Pretty.

39. Old World Style sauce : RAGU. Food! The stuff in the bottle is labelled "Old World Style". The made-from-scratch recipes such as ragù alla bolognese don't bear a whole lot of resemblance. There are many claims for the "original" recipe Bolognese, but the official version resides in the Bologna Chamber of Commerce placed there by the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, so that one seems pretty legit.

40. Formal orders : DICTA

41. Pet peeve? : FLEA

45. Analyze, in a way : PARSE

46. __ Lingus : AER

55. Like the name "Will," for an estate lawyer : APT. Or "Bill" for any kind of lawyer.

58. Get behind : TRAIL

59. If-then-__: programmer's flow : ELSE.


64. Letters between names : AKA

65. Where "Ratatouille" was cooked up : PIXAR. The studio. Food! I really wanted PARIS for this as that's where the movie was set but was dissuaded by the R which I had in place.

66. Refuge : HAVEN

67. Came together : MET

68. Not at all trustworthy : SLIMY

69. Glacial ridge : ARÊTE. Here's the North-East arête back in 1921.  A lot less traffic on the mountain back then.

70. Agency creations : ADS


1. Walk through puddles : SLOSH. Wellington boots are handy for a good puddle-sloshing.

2. It isn't really a bear : KOALA. Still cute.

3. Make different : ALTER

4. __ order : GAG

5. Sushi topper : ROE

6. Home of Stephen King's alma mater : ORONO. I only learned this from crosswords.

7. Structural support : STRUT. Should really be a strutural [sic] support in my book.

8. "Full House" star Bob : SAGET

9. "Think of it as an indulgence" : HUMOR ME

10. Oscar-nominated director DuVernay : AVA. Thank you, crosses.She won Best Director at Sundance in 2012, the first African-American woman to win the award. She comes from down the road in Long Beach and graduated UCLA.

11. Subterfuge : RUSE. Great word, subterfuge. Latin subterfugere ‘escape secretly,’ from subter- ‘beneath’ + fugere ‘flee.’

12. Uphill climb : SLOG

13. Pal around (with) : HANG

19. Big night : EVE

21. Dress rehearsals : DRY RUNS

25. "__-haw!" : YEE

26. It is really a bear : PANDA. Also cute.

29. Effective, as a rule : IN FORCE

30. D-Day city : ST LÔ. The city was practically destroyed in prolonged fighting during the 1944 liberation of France.

31. Set up for a drive : TEED

32. Mrs., in Madrid : SRA

33. Polynesian intoxicant : KAVA. This almost foxed me due to the EVAN name uncertainty.

34. Seaweed product : AGAR

35. Pres. title : C.I.C.
36. Günther's gripe : ACH!

37. Hwy., e.g. : RTE.

38. Micronesian republic : PALAU

39. Weightlifter's unit : REP

43. Parish house : RECTORY. Home to a rector. A parson lives in a parsonage, a vicar in a vicarage, a dean lives in a deanery and a priest lives in a priestary - wait no, in a presbytery, just to spoil things.

44. Director Anderson : WES

48. Prince Valiant's son : ARN. Thank you, crosses. Never saw the TV series.

49. Beyoncé's "I Am... __ Fierce" : SASHA

50. Lute kin : SITAR

51. "How do __ thee?" : I LOVE. From Elizabeth Barrett Browning's 43rd sonnet:

Let me count the ways. 
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, 
when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace. 
I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. 

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

52. Camel relative : LLAMA

53. Sought answers : ASKED

54. "I Am of Ireland" poet : YEATS

55. Nile hazards : ASPS

56. Knight who co-founded Nike : PHIL. He's worth a couple of bucks now. I bought a pair of Nike running shoes back in 1982. The sole of one came unglued within a week and the store refused to exchange them. I never shopped there again and I've never bought a pair of Nikes since.

57. One in an airport line : TAXI

61. Bash : RAM

62. Amount after deductions : NET

63. Chemical suffix : -ENE

Here's the grid, and that's it from me!


41 comments: said...


Thanks to Victor and Steve!

Fun puzzle!

Didn't know PHIL, AVA, KAVA and SASHA. But somehow managed to muddle through!

Have a great day!

OwenKL said...


The AORTA and the UVULA were talking one fine day
About the fluids which SLOSH thru them on their way.
"I see a lot of SLIMY red!"
One of the two organs said.
Said the other, "She will learn that RAGU is not gourmet!"

OwenKL said...


PANDA flew Qantas to KOALA's for tea.
Said Koala, "We're bears, you and me!"
Said Panda, "That's wrong
Alternate facts don't belong!
But Qanta' tea's poorer than Koala tea!"

Hungry Mother said...

Some unknowns, but got through it. SLIMY was the last to fall.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Steve and friends. This was an easy puzzle for a Thursday. I, too, caught the theme after getting the first two theme clues.

Hand up for wanting Paris for the Ratatouille clue.

ORONO is also the home of my alma mater, but I attended several years after Stephen King.

My favorite clue was Pet Peeve = FLEA.

QOD: My theory is that all of Scottish cuisine is based on a dare. ~ Mike Myers (b. May 23, 1963)

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Victor gave us a nice romp this morning. Tried POLAR, but PANDA quickly showed up. Otherwise, this was a smooth trip down the grid. ARETE used to show up adit. "Wasn't DICTA a football coach?", he asked dyslexically. I liked the way the theme pairings were in complemental locations. Neat.

I remember Prince Valiant and ARN from the comic strip. There was a TV show?

TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you Victor and than you Steve.

I was thinking this is too easy for a Thursday. But then I almost turfed it when I got to 42A.

Steve said, "42A. "Westworld" actress (who complements 33-Across?) : EVAN RACHEL WOOD. I always hesitate with her first name."

Me too Steve. The V was my last fill. More or less a guess that sounded right. Had no idea on the KAVA intoxicant.

As D-O said, "Neat." I liked the theme and complement clues. I have to compliment Victor.

Was drawing a blank on SHARON STONE, and didn't have enough perps, but looked to MASON and the light bulb went on.

Yellowrocks said...

Great theme. I liked the pairing of the workers with the materials they use. The theme gave me WOOD, but EVAN RACHEL was all perps. I never heard of her. Fortunately the other names were familiar. I like theme puzzles. The cleverness adds to the enjoyment for me.
Steve, LOL the WILL/BILL comment.
Ratatouille/PIXAR was my favorite. Have you ever made ratatouille?. Eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, bell pepper, tomato, Parmesan cheese. Yummy.
I knew KAVA.
More rain and gloom today. They are repaving our development. The project has been held up by rain, drizzle, showers five days a week. Home owners are angry. Somehow they don't understand that paving in the rain on soggy ground is not good. I was a virtual assistant to a construction outfit. Very interesting job..

inanehiker said...

Creative puzzle and I enjoyed all the clechos.

Thanks Victor and Steve for a fun start to the morning!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Enjoyed this puzzle, Victor! Always enjoy your expos, Steve!

The SW corner was empty for a while. Didn't think of ASPS in the river but croc turned red. Didn't know Phil although I've worn a lot of Nikes with good results. Couldn't hail that TAXI. SLIMY didn't ooze out of my mental MIST. Finally remembered PIXAR did that "ratty" little movie and voila!

Was reading the new Dana Stabenow book last night which had the word ARETE in it to refresh my memory on that term. (It was about time that author put out a new book. Her last one, the finale left me hanging on that ARETE disgruntled for too long.)

"Think of it as an indulgence" didn't suggest HUMOR ME to ME. I think of an indulgence as "ice cream" or "cookies" and neither fit.

Hand up for not knowing AVA, WES, EVAN etc.

Husker Gary said...

-Fastest Thursday solve ever and the E_AN/KA_A Natick succumbed as well as it did for TTP
-Wonderful blog by Steve, who has no AKA here
-My 1968 starting salary of $5,800 was indeed GROSS
-How ‘bout a game of ”Find the AORTA”
-Every politician PARSES words but I was in awe of this effort!
-It took some real pushing and shoving where the sides MET
-“Bad rehearsal = A good play?” said no director ever
-When I was 11, our pompous minister told me on the phone to come to the RECTORY. After two minutes, he finally said “Come to my house” I can’t see that word without thinking of that
-Me too, Otto, I didn’t know there was a TV show, I remember ARN from this beautiful Sunday tableau
-TAXI’s glare at every UBER that pulls in front of them to pick up a fare

Anonymous said...

Fascinating book about Phil Knight and Nike by Phil Knight, "Shoe Dog"

Kerry_in_Carefree (AZ)

MJ said...

Good day to all!

Very clever, well executed theme today from Victor Barocas. Favorite clue/answer was "Pet peeve?" for FLEA. EVAN RACHEL WOOD is a complete unknown and arrived via perps. Thanks for the thorough expo, Steve.

Enjoy the day!

CrossEyedDave said...

Couple of cross eyed views that were inspired by today's puzzle.

Mason and Stone.

Potter and Clay


CrossEyedDave said...

Carpenter and Wood?


Some woodwork I really appreciate...

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Super clever theme + fresh fill + perfect execution = 😊😊😊😊😊 I really enjoyed this a lot and having panda, koala, and a llama, to boot, just added more whimsy, topped off by my favorite: Pet peeve = Flea, which I entered without a second thought. I think my only w/o was Shady>Seamy>Slimy.

Kudos, Victor, for brightening a rainy, dreary morning and thanks, Steve, for adding another layer of brightness with your review.

I received a good report from my eye doctor yesterday so I'm happy about that.

Have a great day.

oc4beach said...

I liked Victor's puzzle and the nice tie between the clues. And as usual, Steve, tied it all together.

Perps provided the necessary fill for the clues that I had no clue about, like EVANRACHELWOOD, GEORGEMASON and KARENCARPENTER. However, I should have known the latter two.

IM: I'm glad your eye doctor saw fit to give you a good report. On Monday, my doctor said it's time to have cataract surgery, so he is setting up an appointment with their eye specialist. Actually, I am looking forward to getting it done and being able to see better. (All puns are intended)

Have a great day everyone.

Anonymous said...

A fun puzzle, if somewhat easy for a Thursday. And a great write-up as always by Steve - loved the Pooh reference. Fav clue 65a - Pixar. Hahtoolah, loved your QOD. JB2

Yellowrocks said...

CE Dave, Funny, funny pictures. And LOL about "I was prepared for a battle of wits, but you appear unarmed." This is apropos of my comment yesterday about those who use inane slurs in place of intelligent arguments.

Irish Miss, glad to hear of your good eye report after all you have been through.

Our starting salaries were low by today's standards, but, then, my first house cost $17,000 in 1966 in NJ, a high housing market state. Prices in 1968: Gas, 34 cents a gal. Steak, $1.99 a lb. Kellogg's Corn Flakes 18 oz. for 39 cents. Ice cream cone 6 cents for one scoop.

Indulgence can mean leniency, permissiveness tolerance. I beg your indulgence.
Humor me means indulge me, allow me some slack, make me happy in this instance.

PK said...

OC4beach: Good luck on your upcoming cataract surgery. I've heard nothing but good from such procedures.

IM: glad your eye report was okay.

Lucina said...

Thank you, Victor Barocas! I really liked this puzzle with a clever theme. Like others, seeing MASON brought SHARON STONE to mind. It's been too many years since Basic Instinct.

And I'm more familiar with KAREN CARPENTER's songs than Beyoncé's so had to wait on perps for SASHA. President's daughter I would have known.

Pet peeve, FLEA, was my favorite, too.

Steve, thank you, as well for the amusing commentary. Interesting Nike story. I don't buy them just because of the exorbitant price. Other, cheaper ones, are just as good.

Have a beautiful day everyone! I wish I could send you our bright sunshine.

Lucina said...

Good luck on your cataract surgery. It should be quick and easy.

Anonymous said...


AnonymousPVX said...

Crunchy today, a bit tough but got it done.

Misty said...

Well, I found this a Thursday toughie and at first feared I would need to start cheating to get it done. But on my second effort, it all filled in except for one single blank--I didn't know KAVA, and although I figured it was probably EVAN I feared it might also be ELAN (short for ELAINE?) and so didn't fill it in. But I really enjoyed the theme pairings and figured all those out--so, many thanks Victor. And Steve, many thanks for posting part of the Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem. I was also pleased to see one of my favorite poets, YEATS, in the puzzle.

Have a great day, everybody!

thehondohurricane said...

Got thru this, but not as easily as most of you. Did enjoy it though and thought the cluing was clever, but fair.

Karen Carpenter left us much too early. Still enjoy listening the music given us by Karen & her brother. Richard.

Cassius Clay, in his prime, was a terrific pugilist. Best I ever saw.

As usual, no clue what the theme was, but didn't need it either.

Spent the past few days visiting my grandson in DC. First time there and likely the last. Too congested for me. Saw most of the sights...glad I had the opportunity to go to Arlington and give my thanks . An emotional visit.

Ol' Man Keith said...

A bright idea for a pzl, well executed! Thank you, Mr. B!
You too, Steve! Brisk & to the point!

Jayce said...

What a clever theme. Victor always shows plenty of imagination. Hand up for loving the FLEA clue.

PK said...

Does anyone know how Evan Rachel Wood pronounces her first name. I googled but didn't seen any help. Is it EE-Vaughn' like the spelling Yvonne or Eh'vun like guys' names or EVE-Ann?

PK said...

See any help. And I can't blame spell check -- just clumsy old fingers.

Unknown said...

I take issue with 38 down. Palau is an independent republic and is not part of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Yellowrocks said...

Can you change a read only doc back to edit?

Argyle said...

38-Down: It wasn't claimed to be part of the Federated States of Micronesia, just the area known as Micronesia.
The Micronesia region encompasses five sovereign, independent nations—the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, and Nauru—as well as three U.S. territories in the northern part: Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Wake Island. - Wiki.

Wilbur Charles said...

Minnie Bottoms was in today's bridge column and my brain today. I was seeing PADUA where PALAU belonged. We had Marine
Corps history at Quantico.

A long time ago.

Owen, I had to reread. It's the UVULA talking to AORTA, not vv. As in, that cheap spaghetti sauce is going to cause heartburn. "I'll see to that".

I'd missed LLAMA until IM pointed it out.
Prince Valiant is one of my favorites as is Joseph Prince my wife's.

The CASSIUS CLAY vs Sonny Liston fight in Miami was the biggest sports event of its time. Albeit the SLIMY go-ins-on behind the scenes.

Having POTTER, MASON and CLAY filled a lot of squares. I didn't need a Thursday SLOG*.

I considered YEATS a CSO to Misty, glad she concurred. I hope today is going more smoothly.

I finished this at 8am and I'm finally posting.


* I know, SLOG was yesterday. A CSO to the corner.

Yellowrocks said...

I see that as a girl's name Evan is most often pronounced the same as the boy's name, EV an. Being a teacher, I found that almost any name can have almost any spelling or pronunciation according to parental whim.

TTP said...

oc4Beach, best wishes for a successful surgery. you should see what you are missing.

Yellowrocks, what type of doc ? What is the file extension ?

Generally no, unless you are the owner. There are workarounds. Perhaps EDIT, SELECT ALL, COPY, and then PASTE, with subsequent edit. Be cognizant of copyright.

Wilbur Charles said...

I think I had it wrong. The island was Pelileu which apparently is part of Palau.

I get a feeling in the pit of my stomach thinking of the Marine casualties.

I too assumed it was EVan which made RACHEL a sticking point.


Ps. I see one of the grocery line tabloids has a feature on the Golden Girls. Bea was a beech

Lucina said...

On Entertainment Tonight I've heard it pronounced E'vin like the boy's name. The only reason I watch that is to know the names of modern celebrities in case a puzzle requires them.

TTP said...

Jayce, inre your question about the KIA Sedona. It's on our shortlist. My neighbor's girlfriend has one. I was contemplating asking her for a ride. I know she likes it.

DW has had a Camry for 28 years. Well, two of them. The current one since 2001, and it's still purring with nary a hitch. She's ready for a change, and feels an SUV is what she wants.

We've been doing our due diligence. Read Consumer Reports. Talked to current owners. Not surprisingly, each of our friends with SUVs are convinced they have made the right decision. And perhaps they have, given their needs and perspectives.

Her brother has been pushing her towards the Toyota Highlander. My friend had a Subaru Forrester, and it's well, "the best thing since sliced bread", and rates very high in the CR ratings. Sister-in-law has a Chevy Equinox. Trailer-towing camping friend swears by his Suburban. Next door neighbor has an Escalade and a Navigator. The last three are all "too big" for her.

Whole hog, I'd go for the Audi Q7, but she doesn't like the fact that it requires premium fuel, and despite it's reliability, is expensive for routine maintenance.

I want her to test drive the GMC Acadia Denali. It has the options she wants as standard features. It's considered mid-sized luxury, but the Sedona has the same features at a lower price as additional options.

Not sure what she'll end up buying... It's her decision. Whatever she feels most comfortable with, but the KIA Sedona is definitely on the short list.

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Victor Barocas, for a fine puzzle. thank you, Steve, for a fine review.

Started this this morning and ran out of time. I was at a church meeting later, then a Commandery meeting this afternoon, then a Scottish Rite annual meeting and dinner tonight. Got home and watched Perry Mason and finished the puzzle.

Theme was excellent. Really liked the linkage between answers.

LLAMA again?

I have never bought a pair of Nike's. I buy New Balance.

Ah, my old friend ST LO.

Liked the bear and non-bear clues and words. KOALA and PANDA

ORONO was a gimme.

It is now bumping on midnight, so I am cashing in my chips. See you tomorrow.


( )

Picard said...

One more hand up for EVAN holding me back. I was trying in vain to PARSE her name as EVA something. Finally gave in to perps so I FIR. Learning moment.

Any idea how she came to have that name? Any other woman with that name?

I was very privileged to hold a KOALA back in 2014. I was in Brisbane for a work conference and the conference made the arrangements.

It turns out eating eucalyptus causes brain damage to the KOALAs. Way interesting evolutionary niche. No other animal competes for that food so they don't need much brain power to survive. Experimenters have fed them other foods and they become a very different animal.

Thanks for the leg reference to SHARON STONE, Steve. Another learning moment.