Jun 15, 2017

Thursday, June 15 2017 Brian Thomas

Theme: Un-hip Paragon- as the 1960's flower child might describe her squeaky-clean parent.

The reveal sits across the middle of the grid:

36A. With some unscrambling, the contents of each set of circles : PERFECT SQUARE

The four nine-letter scrambles are, clockwise from the North-West: SIXTY-FOUR, THIRTY-SIX, EIGHTY-ONE and FORTY-NINE, or 8x8, 6x6, 9x9 and 7x7.

Very inventive puzzle from Brian, and it also appears to be his LAT debut; if so congratulations! I did a little Googling and found a namesake of his who occasionally comments over on Amy Reynaldo's blog. Stop in at the Corner, Mr. Thomas and tell us something about yourself!

This was a fun puzzle to solve. It took me way longer than my regular Thursday time but fortitude paid off. My last fill was the A of ULTIMA/ABT which was, quite honestly, a toss-up between A and O, ballet not being my strong suit.

Regarding the theme, I filled in the "49" square first, and was thinking about NFL teams but that didn't last long.

I did find it a little "bitty" with a slew of 3's, 4's and 5's, but crafting around those four cubes isn't easy. Nothing really annoyed me though. Maybe ABT did, a tad.

Let's see what else we've got.


1. Port initials : USB. I started off on the wrong foot here by filling in FOB and feeling smug that I was hep to shipping terms.

4. Fallon's predecessor : LENO

8. Negative quality : MINUS partnering 8D's MERIT. Very nice.

13. Late July arrival : LEO

14. No longer hung up on : OVER

15. Composed : SERENE

16. Going rate? : TAXI FARE

18. Younger daughter of Hi and Lois, in comics : TRIXIE. No clue, thank you crosses.

19. Admission of defeat : I LOST! Which I would have done if I'd have given up early on this puzzle

20. Petal pusher? : FLORIST. Hand up for reading "pedal" and trying to work out why CYCLIST should be clued with a question mark. I left it alone and when I came back to it I read the clue properly.

22. Baseball's Wills and TV's Povich : MAURYS

24. __ zone: shallowest oceanic region that sunlight doesn't reach : BATHYAL. Pure learning moment. Or, as a southern Mom might say to her muddy tyke - BATH, Y'ALL

27. Co. once led by Baryshnikov : A.B.T. American Ballet Theatre. I tried MET first which fit nicely with BOX OUT but this area required some serious unpicking at the finish.

28. Sap sucker : APHID

31. Green prefix : ECO-

32. Suffix with Bieber : MANIA.Not from me.

34. Like aged cheddar : SHARP

40. Invoice word : REMIT

41. Blow one's fuse : ERUPT

42. Once-sacred snake : ASP

43. Straight sides of a pizza slice, e.g. : RADII. Food! I don't eat a lot of pizza, but there's a joint near me where the chef is credited with inventing the barbecue chicken pizza, one of CPK's best sellers.

45. Relaxation destination : SPA

48. Low-down prank? : HOT FOOT. I'd never heard of this.Setting someone's shoelaces on fire. Seems like a recipe for instant and unpleasant revenge.

51. __ torpedo: "Star Trek" weapon : PHOTON

54. Symbol of complementary principles : YIN-YANG

57. Watching intently : EYING

58. Bakery-café chain : PANERA. Food! They make pretty good sandwiches. Soup's nice too.

60. Man of steel? : CARNEGIE

62. "Wild" author Strayed : CHERYL. Very good book. She didn't hold anything back, she's a strong woman to reveal some of the things she'd done in her life.

63. Actor Baldwin : ALEC

64. Tillis of country : MEL. Crosses filled this in for me.

65. "Sonatine Bureaucratique" composer : SATIE. Erik. Born Éric Alfred Leslie Satie. Not sure if you've ever heard anything he composed? Yeah, you have.

66. Soothing succulent : ALOE

67. Pitches during breaks : ADS. Warm-ups from the bullpen? No, C.C. isn't here today.


1. Word's last syllable : ULTIMA. Torn. Ultima/Ultimo. Both seemed reasonable. As I said at the top of the blog, I WAG'd it.

2. Aquanaut's base : SEALAB. Cartoon Network had a big hit with their late-night animation of the same name.

3. Block during rebounding, in basketball : BOX OUT. The NBA finals just finished. Lots of fun. Contrast and compare "finals" with "final" at 37D.

4. Up in the air : LOFTY. Anyone taller than 6' tall when I was growing up in England was guaranteed to be nicknamed "Lofty", I made it to 6' even, so never was awarded the moniker. It annoyed my elder brother to heck though, he only made 5'11" and only accepted that I was taller than him during a family visit a couple of years ago. He's still grumpy about it.

5. Actress Longoria : EVA

6. Soft toy brand : NERF

7. Russian city where Turgenev was born : OREL. Mr. Hershiser gets a rest from clue duty today.

8. Positive quality : MERIT. Great pairing with 8A today.

9. "Fighting" Indiana team : IRISH. Gimme. This is me at the Aloha Bowl in Honolulu in 2008. I didn't have anything better to do that year, so why not Christmas on Oahu watching the Irish?

10. When some fans have to wait till : NEXT YEAR. Most fans. Most years. My UK soccer team, Chelsea, won the Premier League this year, so no waiting in 2017 for me. My Champions T-Shirt is en route.

11. Solitary prefix : UNI-. Tard. Cycle. Vision? I'm sure there's plenty more, but I've run out of ideas.

12. "Told you!" : SEE?

15. Fine fiddle : STRADivarius.

17. Med. nation : ISR.ael.

21. Sapporo sash : OBI

23. Reasonable : SANE. Took a while to see this, but if you make a sane argument, you're being pretty reasonable.

25. Zoning unit : ACRE

26. Cut : LOP

29. Shot : PIC

30. Word repeated twice in a Roger Ebert title about bad movies : HATED. I tried to look this up, but I drew a blank - even IMDb doesn't list a title which has Roger Ebert credited? What did I miss?

32. Injured pro's test, perhaps : MRI

33. Toward the stern : AFT. Get back there, you salty swab.

34. "What's doin'?" : 'SUP?. Obligatory man-nod required. Upwards chin-tilt, not the downwards one. Try it. "'Sup?" (Upwards chin-tilt) See? You'll be hanging with your new homeys in no time.

35. Haberdasher's item : HAT

36. Latin American capital : PESO. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Capital as in currency.

37. Like some late-game hockey goals : EMPTY NET. The last goal of this NHL season was an empty-netter scored by Pittsburgh against Nashville in the sixth game of the Stanley Cup Final. Now, look back to 3D and try and explain Finals vs Final.

38. Hindu title : SRI

39. Wisecrack : QUIP

40. Fan sound : RAH! 

43. __ blue : ROYAL

44. Words with clip or crossroads : AT A

45. Mark of shame : STIGMA

46. Paid (up) : PONIED

47. Cloud dwellers? : ANGELS

49. Guy in the kitchen : FIERI. He's a horrible cook, a terrible food critic but a great host and personality. Dear Food Network, please stop him critiquing other people's food and get him to stick to being a natural on TV. You notice he doesn't have his own cooking show any more?

50. Deli order : ON RYE. Food! Pastrami, please. At Katz's Deli on Houston in the lower East Side in Manhattan. Pickle spear. Fries if you must. Don't lose the ticket they give you on the way in, I believe you get thrown in the East River if you can't produce it on your way out to show what you ate and cash out.

52. For this reason : HENCE. Hence don't lose your ticket at Katz's

53. "Listen up," to Luis : OYE!

55. Indiana-based sports org. : NCAA. Two Indiana shout-outs today. South Bend for Notre Dame, and these wonderfully organized, rational and non-profit-making people in Indianapolis.

56. Chutzpah : GALL

58. Best Buy buys : PCS. I bought the Lenovo I'm composing this compostable blog at Best Buy a couple of months ago.

59. "That's it!" : AHA!

61. Flying Cloud, for one : REO. I really only know the Speedwagon, and that's because of the band. What a lovely car - this one is from 1931.

What's left? I'm sure I'm forgetting something ... oh wait - the grid!

Steve (Rory McIlroy to win the US Open, you heard it here first)


fermatprime said...


Thanks to Brian and Steve!

Did not know TRIXIE, BATHYAL, PANERA, CHERYL, OREL, EMPTY NET and FIERI. Cheated today and looked up CHERYL.

Have a great day!

fermatprime said...

Thanks for the Satie!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

I can't get into Cruciverb today, anybody else having trouble?

Mark McClain said...

OK, just curious to know if I am the only one who can't eyeball an anagram of 9 letters in length. Otherwise, this puzzle was delightful.

Cruciverb has been down since yesterday. No idea why.

Dudley said...

Mark - Me neither!

And thanx.

TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you Brian and thank you Steve. Finished in 6 minutes and 41 seconds longer than allowed in the Minnesota Crossword Tournament. Unaided TADA ! I'll take it.

Me too Steve. Hand up. Pedal pusher, so FLOORER at first, but certainty about IRISH made me reread the clue. Oh yeah, Petal pusher. DW's field.

I looked to see who the IRISH played. Small correction Steve. You went to the Hawaii Bowl at Aloha Stadium that year. That game had the largest attendance in that bowl's history, according to Wikipedia.

I only needed "... and Povich" for the S. MAURY played for the 1968 Pittsburgh Pirates. Along with Roberto, Willie, Donn Clendenon...

Man of steel - CARNEGIE. Loved it. Have you see the tv program, "The Men Who Made America" ? I believe that's the title.

"SATIE. Erik. Born Éric Alfred Leslie Satie. Not sure if you've ever heard anything he composed?" Well, after listening to the link, I have now.

Guy FIERI is a wonderful food critic - if you are the restaurateur. He gives everybody positive reviews. And they all subsequently seem to post "As featured on Drive-Ins, Diners and Dives" in their advertising and websites. Just don't ask him to eat eggs. We do like the show. Americana...

Liked your HENCE seque.
Here's mine: See all y'all later n'at !

Big Easy said...

Before I have to HOT FOOT it out of here, I'll say that I was BOXed OUT of figuring out the PERFECT SQUAREs after (almost) completing the puzzle. Misspelled the PANERA and FIERI crossing with "A". I was also hung up on the ULTIMA, but the first letter, thinking wine instead of 58D- PCS.

BATHYAL is a word I might have run across in my Geology and Meteorology classes but I don't remember it.

Mark McClain- You are not alone.

Steve---Why dump on FIERI. Most pop singers are bad singers, especially Rap singers. news reporters are dumber than a stump. Billions of narcissists are on Facebook. They are all trying to convey" IT'S ALL ABOUT ME, ME, ME. Content and facts don't matter, just ME.

Angela Christie said...

Roger Ebert's book:

Lemonade714 said...

Mark and everyone, I hope this helps-----if you take the nine letters that enclosed in each of the four sets of circles- from left to right - XIF, OST, URY = sixty-four - rix, ist, thy = thirty-six - hot, eyi, neg = eighty-one and tfo, yin, ner = forty-nine.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I accepted that the circles were layed out in four symmetrical squares...perfect. I didn't worry about which letters were in the squares. It is quirky that those four perfect squares are all nine letters long -- another perfect square.

I've got a very nice CD of SATIE's Gynopedies and Gnossiennes by the Jacques Loussier Trio.
They're European and specialize in jazzy interpretations of classic composers, especially Bach.

Steve, here's that book you couldn't find: I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie. Loved the "Bath Y'all," Steve. BTW, Katz's Deli in (rather than on) Houston is on Westheimer.

billocohoes said...

Actually went with ULTIMe/eBT as ABT didn't click, Albany has a dance group called Electronic Body Arts (eba) so ebt sounded plausible, and ULTIME_ could have any random vowel.

Really, Steve, never heard of a HOTFOOT? Once was a staple of immature, locker-room type "humor", though I don't think I've ever seen it myself.

CHERYL was all perps, and BATHYAL??? Different clue for REO had thinking of clipper ships. And I really want it to be EYeING, even if both spellings are acceptable.

Marty Homer said...

I still don't get Word's lat syllable.

desper-otto said...

Marty Homer, that happens to be the definition of ULTIMA. Here's where you say, "D'oh!"

Hungry Mother said...

Natick at ULTIMA/ABT crossing. I put in an 'o' based on his hometown's first letter. Didn't get the theme.

Yellowrocks said...

Clever puzzle, Brian. Clever title, Steve. PERFECT SQUARE appeared early from perps and wags. After I filled in the first set of circles, I wrote the letters in a horizontal string to unscramble. Aha, mathematical perfect squares. Only 36, 49, 64 and 81 filled the bill with nine letters, making the other squares easy and providing plenty of perps.

Orel has become crosswordese.
We love aged, extra sharp cheddar cheese. We say our family’s middle name is cheese.
PANERA is very popular here.
With ---HYAL in place it had to be BATHYAL. Like bathysphere.
Though of naval port at first.
Hi, Irish Miss. CSO to you.

Peace was very short lived. Alan is home from work today with another anxiety attack.
I listen to Satie’s works on NPR.
Thanks Angela and DO for finding the HATED HATED book. I was sure it was a book Ebert wrote, not a movie he reviewed. The second HATED seemed natural for him.
I liked petal pusher/florist and man of steel/Carnegie.
I think of hot foot as a Laurel and Hardy or Three Stooges prank. Looking it up I see it was a baseball prank.

hot foot

Northwest Runner said...

The final round of the NBA and NHL playoff consist of a seven-game series. The games collectively are referred as the finals.

thehondohurricane said...

No other way to say it..............a big fat DNF. Too many unknowns....CHERYL, PANERA, etc. Never thought of Fighting IRISH. Was trying to come up with a pro team. Read Sapporo sash as cash and confidently entered yen. Know of SATIE, but not his works. Some incrrect wags too like acted for HATED. Well it worked and apand looked like a word, doesn't it?

Oh well, lovely weather day predicted, so time to get outside. Fun, fun, fun!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Square of six, seven, nine, eight,
Who do we appreciate?

Great puzzle today. Finally got the reveal, and began to parse which perfect squares were involved. They all had a TY and a couple had X's so that narrowed things down. The H's in BATHYAL and PHOTON were actually gotten from this analysis. Had flowers before FLORIST. To get fill that would accommodate the 'squares', I feel, was an extreme accomplishment.
Aged cheddar - My favorite is Canadian Black Diamond.
S'UP - I always felt the 'S came from an elision of 'what's'. If so, is this not a bending of the rule that the answer of a clue should not have the same or very similar words? (Not a criticism but maybe someone could set me straight.)

bthomas8 said...

Thanks Steve and everyone in the comments for the kind words. I've been excited since last night and could barely get to sleep! This was a bear to construct with all the triply-checked letters but I'm quite proud of how it turned out. There are a couple crunchy spots - caused both by the circled letters and my newbie-ness - and looking back it'd be nice to open up the middle a bit more by removing a couple of black boxes. SE corner is my personal favorite, with EMPTY NET, YINYANG, HOTFOOT, PANERA (one of the few big chains that I enjoy eating at) all floating around. Happy to see that most are enjoying the puzzle!

Also have to thank Rich and Patti at the LA Times for drastically improving the cluing - I particularly liked the MERIT/MINUS combo that was 100% them.

desper-otto said...

I agree with you Spitz, but can you come up with an alternate clue that doesn't have "what's" of "what is" in it? I can't.

CanadianEh! said...

Hard slog today but I persevered. Thanks for the fun Brian (congrats & thanks for stopping by) and Steve.

There were too many unknown names for me today (I counted ten!) and I had to resort to red letters but I did finish.
Cruciverb was down and newspaper was not here so I was on Mensa. Oh no, there are circles!
I had the PERFECT SQUARE reveal and went to the LA Times site to see the circles (in squares!) but it did not help as I could not unravel them. Very clever though.

I had USS before USB as I was thinking of the navy in the port.
I was also misdirected initially by capital and wanted Lima not PESO. And my fan was trying to make a Whir sound fit but it was RAH.
My ANGELS were originally dwelling in the iCloud. Is there a term for this??
We had STRAD today not Amati.
BATHYAL is new to me. I smiled at your southern mother, Steve.

Bieber was not in Stratford (his home town) when we were there on the weekend. No MANIA either.

Off to a strawberry social. Wonderful time of year when our fruit season begins.
Anon T, I was envying you that fresh-picked tomato yesterday. My tomatoes are just started to set flowers and will not give me tomatoes for BLTs for at least a month.

Enjoy the day.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This had more than the usual Thursday crunchiness, but perps were fair and the theme reveal certainly helped with the solve. I had to write the letters on paper to figure out the answers which wasn't too difficult. Bathyal is a learning experience and, even though Satie appears often enough, I needed perps for that fill. ABT was a gimme as was Panera, hotfoot, Cheryl, and many others, especially those Fightin' Irish! ☘

Thanks, Brian, for a fine debut and for stopping by. I love your avatar! Thanks, Steve, for the fun tour.

I love good pizza 🍕 but barbecued chicken would not ever be a topping for me. My usual choices are sausage and mushrooms. Peppers and onions would be acceptable but never anchovies or, God forbid, pineapple!

YR, sorry you're back on the "roller coaster." Hope it's short-lived.

Have a great day.

Husker Gary said...

-This math teacher kept looking for famous squares in cities! Duh! Much clever cluing!
-Missing vowels in proper name crossings is my Achilles heel. FIER_/SAT_E was one today.
-TAXIs are going the way of gas station attendants – It’s OVER
-Knowing the name of this vehicle was helpful today
-Beatle MANIA was a much bigger epidemic
-That steel man’s philanthropy even built one of these in North Bend, NE (pop. 1,300)
-These “elevators” at The Living Seas at EPCOT vibrated a little and panels went “up” in the windows to make you think you were descending to SEA BASE Alpha when all you were doing was passing through on the same level
-OR_ _ was ORSK first
-Steve, you had me at Christmas on Oahu and I’ll bet someone has already linked Ebert’s book, “I HATED, HATED, HATED This Movie”
-A big item on the NCAA agenda is whether athletes who generate tens of millions of dollars for a school can be given a stipend

Lemonade714 said...

Brian, thank you for stopping by and saying hello. It is interesting and refreshing to see a new constructor compliment Rich for the cluing changes. I still think of the new constructor who came here to excoriate the changes made to his puzzle and the temerity of Rich to change any clue. I agree that the EMPTY NET, YINYANG, HOTFOOT, PANERA was the best combination and that were too many black squares.

BATHYAL was new to me but BATHYSPHERE led me to fill.

Steve each write up is nice guided tour, thank you.

Bill Graham said...

Hi everybody. I enjoyed the puzzle. Tricky but fair. Thanks Brian and Steve.

~ Squares in circles. Who'd 've thought?

~ Count me in the minority re. Panera. I've been there once. The soup was unseasoned and bland as dishwater. The sandwich was dry. Probably healthy but not much fun to eat.

~ Irish Miss, I agree with you re. pizza (but then I almost always agree with you). Sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, pepperoni, maybe anchovies but never pineapple, BBQ chicken, etc.

Spitzboov said...

D-O @ 0946

A totally different clue would work. SUP: the portion of a serving of a beverage that is swallowed at one time. ie. "The old mariner took a SUP of grog and began his tale."

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Some things happen for a reason. I got stalled and had to put down my clipboard to run an errand for my DW. I drove by a newly-resuscitated tourist area by our cruise ship terminal and saw a new restaurant "Guy FIERI's"! Returned home, filled that in, and was able to get through the rest without further assistance.

Erased APHID then had to put it back in when PIC got solidified. Asset became MERIT, fob became USB, and tvs became PCS. My favorite was "petal pusher" too.

I know Chicago's "Variations on a Theme by Eric Satie", but none of his original music. I also watched the series about the early industrial American titans. Those guys played for keeps! Interesting that Tesla had electricity right and Edison had it wrong, but few people know who Tesla was.

Welcome Brian. I'm a fan of anyone who has a dog as their profile picture. And thanks to Steve for the write-up and prognostication. Since Phil isn't playing I'm OK if you are right.

MJ said...

Good day to all!

No circles at the Mensa site, so I did not see the beauty of the four PERFECT SQUAREs until coming here. BATHYAL, BOX OUT, and HOT FOOT were all unknowns. Thank you, perps. Favorite clue/answer was "Man of steel?" for CARNEGIE. Thanks for the tour, Steve. And thanks for stopping by, Brian, and sharing a bit about your construction experience.

Enjoy the day!

Anonymous said...

Nice Thursday crunch although I got through it pretty quickly. Another great write-up by Steve. Bathyal was all perps. Is Strad acceptable as not an abbreviation? And not a fan of clues like "sup." Like others, not a Panera patron. Too many good/great non-chain places in Chicago to spend time/money there. Have a great Thursday all! JB2

OwenKL said...

FIW¡ The NW was the last and hardest, but when I gave up and turned the red on, it was 5 cells in 5 words in the SW that lit up: cyNoRA, deERYL, FIoRI, cdS, yeA¡ I had never heard of PANERA, CHERYL Strayed, or Guy FIERI, and PCS and AHA were too loosely clued to guess without any SANE perps¡

Worked the Mensa site, so no circles. Based on the reveal, I looked for FOUR, NINE, SIXTEEN, etc. Found NINE, SIXTEEN, FORTY-NINE, SIXTY-FOUR, EIGHTY-ONE. Three were in nice square boxes, but 9 and 16 in the NE weren't, so kept looking until I found THIRTY-SIX! I figure rounding up those numbers balanced out my not being equal to solving this puzzle (all puns on purpose).

[Wrote this last night, but slept late, so just posting it now sans l'icks. Sorry.]

Lucina said...

Whew! DST casts a wide margin between me and the east coast and it's only 9:48 here.

I quickly entered into Brian Thomas's wave length and as I solve across/down simultaneously this was almost a speed run until the SW corner. Then it became a slog. And though I saw "Wild" could not recall CHERYL's name until PCS appeared instead of CDS. The C and Y in ONRYE helped me recall CHERYL.

Count me in as not a fan of PANERA. I also wavered between Lima and PESO but that was soon resolved. BATHYAL was new to me, too, but knowing bathysphere helped to make that connection.

I didn't even try to unscramble the circles because of the time, so thank you, Steve, for providing that. Nice photo of you, BTW.

Thank you, Brian Thomas for this interesting challenge and for stopping by the Corner.

Have a splendid day, everyone! Heat wave here!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Very impressive debut puzzle, Brian. Liked your excitement about being published. Thanks for sharing that here. Thanks, Steve, enjoyed seeing your picture.

No circles so missed the most impressive part, but my appetite was whetted to discover what was in those circles for once. After a thursday puzzle I'm usually pretty well mentally spent. Probably wouldn't have been able to decipher what was in the circles anyway.

BillG: good one about the square (pegs) in circle (round holes).

I kept trying to think of a prefix for "Solitary" instead of the solitary prefix of UNI. All perps.

I recently saw that book title of Ebert's somewhere, but couldn't remember it exactly -- knew he disliked it.

ULTIMA filled last. That is one of those names for something that really doesn't need a name IMHO.

Left _____blue until late in the game. Had --YAL and still couldn't come up with it. And I live (sorta) next door to the KC Royals whose team color is that. I HATED, HATED, HATED to be that dumb today.

Yellowrocks said...

Irish Miss and Bill G., I agree about pizza toppings. Pizzarrias even use macaroni as a topping here. Unappetizing. I have never eaten at Panera, but they are so ubiquitous, they make their presence known.
My immediate reaction to picking tomatoes in June was you lucky dog. We have about six weeks to wait. I did not plant any this year. My personal planting bed is very close to the house and will be destrored by the renovation project. I must find a farmer who plants old fashioned tasty tomatoes. Last year my nearest farmer switched to not so tasty, long shelf life varities.

Tinbeni said...

D-N-F ... not even close ...

Didn't care for the theme.

I guess you could say:
I HATED, HATED, HATED this puzzle!"


Misty said...

Well, this sure was a toughie, and felt more like a Saturday than a Thursday puzzle to me. Can only imagine what the next two days will be like. But to be fair, I did get over 4/5 of it before I had to start cheating, and I never did really understand the circle squares until Steve explained them in his write-up. I was going to gripe and gripe about this, and then Brian checked in with his very sweet message--so, thank you, Brian, for a really fun and great Saturday puzzle--and it's my problem that I was too dense to get more of it this morning. And there were lots of answers I loved seeing--LENO, ALEC, CARNEGIE, SATIE, and Bieber MANIA, which I got, even though being over 70 I'm clearly not a fan. All in all, an interesting and enjoyable morning, and loved reading everyone's comments.

Hang in there, Yellowrocks, and have a great day, everybody!

Bill Graham said...

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."

Mark Twain

Anonymous said...

Lemon @701a


Do you even understand sarcasm bro?

Limerick Larry said...

In New York there's a weird TAXI FARE
For the tourists, who aren't quite aware:
Take 49th to 36th,
From 9th Ave, then around to 6th.
Cabbies say you've now seen "PERFECT SQUARE".

(Note to those unfamiliar with NYC: if you go south on 9th Ave from W 49th St., then east on W 36th St. to 6th Ave, north on 6th Ave to 49th St and then west to 9th Ave, you've made a "perfect square"!)

Steve said...

@Mark McClain - When it's a long anagram or scramble, I write the letters out in a circle. It's surprising how quickly the word can jump out at you when you're not constrained by the familiar read-from-left-to-right "habit".

Lucina said...

I thought the MINUS/MERIT connection was clever. I have, on occasion, been called the "SERENE one" among my friends.

SATIE is often used in CWDs so with the S in place his name immediately came to mind. I liked the clue for FLORIST, petal pusher.

Steve, my computer is also a Lenovo purchased from Best Buy only a short time ago.

Time to go to the nail salon but no pedi today.

Ol' Man Keith said...

It took me the longest time to unscramble the four "square" numbers, while the main puzzle yielded fairly easily for Thursday. I wouldn't even have known to try to decode the anagrams if Steve hadn't given us the results. (Thanks for that, Steve!)
Is it a half Ta-DA! or full Ta-DA! if one fails to complete the theme portion on his own?
I appreciate the lessons of today's pzl, Mr. Thomas. I too have added BATHYAL to my vocabulary. Also the phrases BOX OUT & EMPTY NET. Not being a big sports fan, I appreciate the chance to acquire insider terms w/o having to sit through entire games. Football (American style) is the only game I can enjoy sitting through - and only then when I feel a tie to one of the teams.
I gave up on baseball years ago (decades!) when the NY Giants moved to San Francisco and replaced my childhood team, the grand old SF Seals of the Pacific Coast League.
The only sport I ever played - and was any good at - was fencing. Touché! But I'd be bored to tears watching it.

inanehiker said...

I finished this puzzle at a steady pace - but needed to come here to figure out what was in the squares where the circles were- thanks Steve for the clarification! Pretty awesome construction with all that to contend with, congrat to Brian!

WEES about BATHYAL - I used the same segue from BATHYSPHERE that Lemonade did - something pulled out from one of those Jacques Cousteau TV specials!

Home from work early as we're headed to Chicago area for a wedding this weekend!

Bill Graham said...

It's a big day for Barbara and me. It's our 52-year anniversary. We just got back from our favorite local upscale Italian restaurant where we shared an Italian feast. I'm stuffed. Now it's nap time. Talk to you later.

Lucina said...

Bill and Barbara Graham:
Hearty congratulations on your 52nd anniversary! That's wonderful for you both.

Jayce said...

I guess after all the errands LW and I ran today I was too tired to put much thought or effort into the puzzle today. In retrospect I appreciate the squares, but sure didn't get it at all while solving. I'm terrible at un-jumbling jumbles anyway.

I'm not in a bad mood, but I must say I have never liked Satie's music. I hadn't heard the piece you linked to, Steve, but in TTP's words, "after listening to the link, I have now." I have already forgotten the name of it, though.

Gonna go take a nap. Serene thoughts to you all.

Irish Miss said...

Bill and Barbara ~ Congratulations on your 52 years together. Best wishes to you both!

CanadianEh! said...

Congratulations Bill G and Barbara!

I have planted Early Girl, Brandwine, and Lemon Boy tomatoes along with my usual Jet Stars and Romas. Too bad you will be too far away when they ripen; I share with my neighbours.

Nice PERFECT SQUARE, Limerick Larry.

Lemonade714 said...

Happy anniversary Bill and Barbara

WikWak said...

I finally gave up on Cruciverb and went to the LA Times' site to do today's puzzle. Has anyone heard anything about why the Cruciverb site has been down for two days now? I miss it!

I found this puzzle to be harder than the usual Thursday edition. Got it done but needed red-letter help to do it.

Hot foots (hot feet?) were a staple of Saturday morning cartoons in the 50's/60's. Usually it was a bunch of matches stuck in tail first between the sole and the upper, then lighted all at once. Outstandingly hilarious to a preteen boy.

I also can't see what's so great about Panera; they seem way overpriced and overrated, but lots of my friends just love the place. Here in Chicago's west suburbs it seems there's one in every strip mall, downtown area, and side street.

@Husker Gary: you wouldn't be thinking of taxis as a dying breed if you'd been with me last night at O'Hare. After we finally got the call from our friends who were flying in from SFO that they had their luggage and were ready for us to pick them up (major storms here caused massive delays), we left the cell phone lot to head for the arrival terminals and passed a line of easily 150 to 200 taxis all lined up and vying for position with us. Downtown Chicago is also always full of cabs, especially during rush hours.

Yellowrocks said...

Wik Wak, yes I was picturing those hot foot cartoons. Also I can relate to seeing all those taxis in our area, as well.
Canadian, thanks for the thought.
Happy anniversary Barbara and Bill.

Steve said...

@desper-otto - you misunderstood me. I refer to the original Katz's deli, still going strong ON Houston in Manhattan. I've been there a ton of times so I'm pretty sure about the street. Check out 205 E Houston St, NY 10002. Not sure what is IN Houston, but I've never been to a spin-off deli there.

PK said...

Bill & Barbara, after the year you've been thru, you deserve to cherish each other and really celebrate your 52 years.

Vidwan827 said...

I just want to wish Bill and Barbara Graham, a very happy 52nd anniversary. Bill, I remember you when you used to pose all sorts of fun math puzzles - most of which I wrote down .... somewhere. I still remember your puzzle about the watermelon, which dried up so the nonwater content went up from one percent to two percent !?!
For what it is worth, my marriage anniv. is a few single digit years behind your anniv number - and, all in all, its been a good life.
Hello and deep respects to my blog mentor, Lemonade. Trust this finds you in good health and spirits. My eyesight continues to fail gradually, and presents, yet another matter, in which I think of you, with empathy.

Wilbur Charles said...

Bill G and Barbara, congrats on your happy day.
Brian T, ditto for your most entertaining and creative xword. Talk about a whole new meaning for "The Rule of Nines"*

I was trying to decipher the circled squares when I caught the ght and the ei.
Yep, 81 is a square. I really needed the perps supplied by the squares.

I was going to go with 'lo bro for S'UP

I love a pineapple and ham (Hawaiian) pizza except I can throw my own pineapples and ham on without over cooking. So who exactly is inviting cornerites over for fresh tomatoes that taste like tomatoes

My great uncles had a farm where I got the first taste of "Fresh".

I see Ricky Fowler had a good day at Erin Hills, the blimp pilot not so. Fortunately, the pilot ejected and I pray will recover.


* The Rule of Nines says when one has added a column down and then up and the totals don't agree, if the difference is divisible by nine then you've transposed a figure: eg. 47-74, diff is 27

I tell folks who visit St Pete to observe the rule of nines. eg. Don't wander more than nine avenues or streets higher than nine.

PS. I like to hang at Panera, rarely eat there. The bread, BTW, is pretty good.

Bill Graham said...

Vidwan, thanks for that nice comment about some of my math puzzles. Did I give you one about a dart board with only two scoring circles? If not, let me know.

Picard said...

Agree that nine letters makes for an unwieldy anagram. But I am proud I figured it out. Having a degree in math probably helped.

But the SATIE/FIERI anagram is unfair. Thanks, Steve, for the refresher on SATIE. At least he is worth remembering. Sounds as if FIERI, not so much.

Other unknowns: CHERYL, OREL, EMPTY NET, BOX OUT, ABT, ULTIMA and BATHYAL. That is a lot!

Hand up that BATHYSPHERE helped WAG BATHYAL.

Despite the sometimes unfair challenges I did enjoy the theme and the puzzle.