Jul 23, 2017

Sunday July 23, 2017 Mark McClain

Theme: "It's Just Not the Same" - The first words are all synonyms of "Different".

23A. Phrase of individuality : DIFFERENT STROKES.  Many people, including our own Jayce, can't stand Stinky Tofu. I love it.

38A. American flag component, e.g. : CONTRASTING COLORS

58A. Plot device in TV's "Fringe" : ALTERNATE UNIVERSE. Any "Fringe" fans on our blog?
87A. Brainstorming process : DIVERGENT THINKING. So all our constructors are divergent thinkers.

103A. Fallback plans : OTHER ARRANGEMENTS

123A. They often follow "also" in dictionaries : VARIANT SPELLINGS. Var. as a hint in crossword clues.

Sunday puzzles often have at least seven theme entries. This one has six. But all of them are long, three 16's and three 17's, totally 99 theme squares. Rich's minimum is 84.

Mark also chose a conservative grid design. I noticed that he seldom goes after low-word/black square count. Clean fill is always his top priority.

1. Fern seed : SPORE

6. Posh hotel amenity : ROBE.  We also have 115. Upscale : DELUXE

10. Cook, in a way : STEAM. Also 37. Cooks in a pan : SAUTES. Also 112. Cooks with fat : LARDS. Wonder what Steve cooks this weekend. His Facebook sushi pictures are always mouth-watering.

15. Sneaky stratagem : TRAP. Clue echo: 22. Sneaky stratagem : RUSE

19. Secret rival : ARRID. This "Secret" can't fool veteran solvers.

20. "Bingo!" : I WIN

21. Tom Sawyer's aunt : POLLY
26. "__ the Woods" : INTO

27. Skill : DEFTNESS

28. Hawaii County seat : HILO. Did not know Hawaii has a Hawaii County.

29. Holes a very short putt : TAPS IN

31. Math function : SINE

32. Sizable piece : CHUNK

34. Adored object : IDOL

35. Blog feed format letters : RSS. RSS feed.

44. Sorority letters : ETAs

46. 65-Across, in Japanese : HAI. Cantonese "Yes" also.  65. 46-Across in English : YES

47. Suffix meaning "country" : STAN

48. Notes from a loser, maybe : IOUs

49. Brownish grays : TAUPES. Did not know it's plurable.

52. "My Way" lyricist : ANKA

54. GPS displays : MAPS. Thought of RTES first.

57. Captain Hansen of "Deadliest Catch" : SIG. Unknown to me.

62. Tolkien tree creature : ENT

63. Promised : PLEDGED

64. Pound sound : YOWL
67. "Mi casa __ casa" : ES SU. My house is your house.

68. Creating compelling characters, for a writer : ASSET. Got via crosses.

72. Timberlake's old group : NSYNC

74. Small amt. of time : MSEC. Millisecond

78. Dental brand suffix : PIK

80. Title character inspired by Hearst : KANE. A few other names in the following few rows: Across: 92. "Respect for Acting" author Hagen : UTA.  94. Pasternak heroine : LARA. "Doctor Zhivago", 98. Gateway Arch designer Saarinen : EERO. 101. Kipling title orphan : KIM 102. Artist Magritte : RENE

82. "Heavens to Betsy!" : OH GOLLY

84. __-12 Conference : PAC
93. One way to start : ANEW
95. Brought up to speed : CUED IN

96. Comic strip about a high schooler : ZITS

110. Nonsense : ROT

111. Lyrical works : ODES
113. Is obligated to : OWES
117. Father or son actor : ALDA

118. "The Chronicles of Barsetshire" author : TROLLOPE (Anthony). Stranger to me.

122. Clapton on guitar : ERIC

127. Courteous : NICE. Dear Agnes lost her nephew to heart attack earlier this week. She's devastated. Agnes did not have kids and she was very close this nephew. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts.

128. Strongly longing : EAGER

129. Beech family trees : OAKS

130. Looks after : TENDS

131. Durbeyfield daughter : TESS. How I wish the story ended differently.

132. __ Island Red: chicken : RHODE

133. Duma denial : NYET

134. University town near Bangor : ORONO
1. Anti-DWI org. : SADD

2. __-dieu : PRIE

3. German composer Carl : ORFF. Also 6. German candy brand : RIESEN

4. Starts of feuds : RIFTS

5. Pristine : EDENIC
7. Possesses : OWNS

8. Drill insert : BIT

9. Funny couple? : ENS

10. Some Olympic trials : SPRINTS

11. Set for repairs : TOOL KIT. Boomer lost his neat set of tools to the TSA in March. He did not want to go back to put it in the checked luggage.

12. Northeast Nevada city : ELKO. Also 24. Western Nevada city : RENO

13. Red or brown brew : ALE

14. Connecticut coastal tourist town : MYSTIC. Also 55. Know-it-all? : PSYCHIC. Consonants-rich.
15. "Marines' Hymn" city : TRIPOLI

16. Has no restraints : RUNS LOOSE. Great fill. The only 9-letter fill is 86. Mass group : CATHOLICS

17. Piedmont wine area : ASTI

18. Lowly laborer : PEON
25. In said fashion : THUS

30. Flap : ADO

32. Long-necked bird : CRANE

33. Specifically designed poem : HAIKU. So in awe of Owen's talents. Genius!

35. Seal after peeking, say : RE-TAPE

36. Barn units : STALLS

39. "__ won't work" : THAT

40. To wit : NAMELY

41. Growl : GNAR. Strange word.

42. Render useless : RUIN

43. U.S. Army E-6 : SSGT. I read somewhere that all vets can shop tax-free at the Army Exchange later this year.  

45. Floored it, say : SPED UP

50. Fraction of a joule : ERG

51. Enter stealthily : SNEAK IN

53. Word often used before "old" : ANY. Not DAY.

56. Observe : SEE

59. Sunday paper pile : ADs

60. Former Saturn model : ION

61. Bugs that roll : VWS. Got me.

66. Backyard chef's equipment : SMOKER.  Followed by 69. Backyard chef's stick : SKEWER. You can find these lamb skewers in the night markets in my hometown. Lots of cumin and hot red pepper. 

70. Sensory organ : EAR

71. Series with Capt. Picard, to fans : TNG. The Next Generation.

73. Kabuki kin : NOH. Literally "ability". Rooted in Chinese "Neng". 

75. Curveball relative : SLIDER

76. Climate-disrupting current : EL NINO

77. Baby swan : CYGNET

79. Director Lupino : IDA
81. Slender swimmer : EEL. Man, I could eat this every day.

83. African bovine : GNU

84. "The Godfather" novelist : PUZO. My favorite movie. I also read "The Sicilian".

85. Working on the task : AT IT
88. Change course suddenly : VEER

89. Like a jaybird? : NAKED Also 97. Leads astray : SEDUCES

90. Cuts a little : TRIMS

91. Get under control : TAME
99. Assembled for a cause : RALLIED

100. How some stunts are done : ON A DARE

104. Wonder Dog of comics : REX

105. Letter closing : AS EVER

106. Gramps' mate : GRAN

107. Gripe from the weary : NO REST

108. "The __ llama, / He's a beast": Nash : TWO- L

109. Have as a client : SELL TO

114. Less trustworthy : SLIER

115. Small body-shop job : DENT. Our Melissa just had a car accident in California last week. She's safe thankfully. She'll be blogging next Tuesday.

116. __ Lackawanna Railway : ERIE

117. 2012 Best Picture : ARGO. Wow, been 5 years.

118. Rd. often named for a state : TPKE

119. __ account: never : ON NO

120. PC scrolling key : PGDN

121. Petrol station sign : ESSO

124. Hot tub reaction : AAH

125. 20 hundredweight : TON

126. Articulate : SAY



fermatprime said...


Thanks to Mark and C. C.!

Brain has been acting strangely. Nice to have it back for this puzzle, at least partly! No cheats. Not much time.

Couldn't quite decipher the title. Theme filled in nicely anyway.

Agnes: so sorry for your loss.

I loved Fringe! John Noble is terrific, also!

Things that gave me pause: HILO, SIG and EDENIC. (Never had an EEL btw.)

Aso had RTE first before MAP.

Have a great day!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Noticed that the first word of all the theme answers made a difference, but figured there had to be more to the theme than that. Guess not. Tried to SAUTE when I should be STEAMing, but SAUTE showed up later. I also thought Mario's last name was PUTO (where was my brain going with that one?), but figured no comic strip would be named TITS. Overall, this was a nice outing. Thanx, MM and CC.

Texas Litter Control is offering male cat neutering for $25 today only, so we're off to drop off a few cats. They hold this often in the other side of the county, but seldom over here in redneck country.

Gotta share this travesty. Our local Improvement District held a weekend long celebrity event last month: Rock the Ranch. It was very poorly advertised, and as a result, very poorly attended. Plus tickets, starting at $75, were way too expensive for most folks. The final report from the District: total cost = $1.3M total revenue = $92K for a net loss of $1.2M. They called it a "learning experience." I have other terms for it.

IM, sorry to hear about your nephew.

Big Easy said...

Catching the theme early made the solve a lot easier. The ALTERNATIVE had to be changed to ALTERNATE before the perps took care of UNIVERSE, as I was clueless on the TV show.

TROLLOPE- I thought that a 'trollop' was a hooker or slut who SEDUCES you to become NAKED after she takes your money. Never heard of the author. I've learned about most of the television shows on this blog. SIG, from Deadliest Catch, Star Trek TNG, Fringe ( never heard of); I have no interest in watching any of them. RSS, ORFF, PGDN, RIESEN- those were perped. My keyboards (Logitech) have 'Page Up' and 'Page Down'. I finished the puzzle on PGDN crossing TROLLOPE with only two changes: ANTE to ANEW and RTES to MAPS.

HILO, Hawaii- Hawaii County is 'The Big Island', and each island is a county- Wailuku on Maui, Honolulu on Oahu, .. etc.
Body shop job- they just replace parts because beating a DENT out of plastic is nearly impossible.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thanks for a meaty challenge, Mark! Thanks, C.C. for the great expo and news about Agnes & Melissa although it wasn't what we'd prefer to hear about them.

Agnes, so sorry for your loss of your nephew. A nephew can be so special.

Melissa, I hope you are okay and not too traumatized by your accident.

Lots of NAMES today. I knew all the ones C.C. listed together for once. Didn't know TROLLOPE. My take on that was like Big Easy's. ALDA was all perps. DUH! Who doesn't know ALDA? ORFF & RIESEN were also all perps. Names come and go in my mind. One week I spent 3 days trying to think of the name of a friend with whom I worked for years. I woke up this morning and said Trudeau aloud after not remembering it yesterday. I went to bed before ANON T posted. Tony honey, I hope you don't get that ol' timer's malady some day.

Didn't get the secret rival = ARRID connection until C.C. mentioned it. Oh, deoderant! We've had that before. SNEAKY clue!

New to me: Growl = GNAR!

The backyard chef equipment gave me trouble. We didn't cook in the backyard much. Last fill was "M" in the SMOKER/M SEC cross. I only knew "n SEC" and that turned a blazing red. Perps filled SKEWER. Never used any of this equipment.

Tried mAUvE before TAUPE. Knew better too.

ZITS is one of my favorite comic strips. Maybe because I raised two boys. However, mine kept their rooms neat without being told and were industrious workers. Still are. Both were in little bands and drove old vehicles.

PK said...

Yesterday's discussion about the Chief Tweeter: why would anyone be surprised that his attitude toward Russia would be different than most Americans, especially those who lived through the cold war? After all the guy married two women who were born in Communist bloc nations. Ivana was born in Czechoslavakia before Communism went underground. Melania was born in Slovenia, formerly Yugoslavia. Her father was a card carrying Communist under dictator Marshall Tito. Her parents now are reportedly living in the USA White House to help with their young grandson Baron. American voters can be so naive.

Anonymous said...

Pk. CC was born in a communist country. What's your point? Boomer is a sympathizer?

Face it. You dislike Trump. You'll look for any conjured reason to sully him.

This blog is rolling downhill faster than the scores at Royal Birkdale.

PK said...

Please note that I stress the reason for the "difference in attitude" in the Chief Tweeter post. I am not making a political statement or even a right and wrong statement. Just an observation.

WikWak said...

I like "GN" words and had two of them today. I have also seen GNARR and GNUR for growling sounds.

This having to use the LA Times' site to do the puzzles is getting very old! No .puz files on Cruciverb for the last two weeks, and no explanation from the owner. Bummer.

Always happy to see some Ogden Nash in the puzzle.

This seemed easier to me than most Sundays are. There were a number of vertical clues/answers that I didn't see until I came here, as the horizontals had taken care of them first.

Most neighborhoods around here are still cleaning up after Friday night's storms, and the flooding on the Fox, DesPlaines, and DuPage rivers continues to make life miserable for so many people. Yesterday the Fox, near the Illinois-Wisconsin border, was still about 6 feet over flood stage.

That's it for now. Bye all.

maripro said...

Trollope wrote about trollops. There's a "nym" word for this, but I don't remember what it is. Help!
Thanks C.C. Your comments about crossword construction are interesting and instructive.
And thanks to Mark for a great start to the week.

PK said...

To further clarify my thought, anyone who has been around people of other ethnic groups, races, religions, or ethics has a different understanding than those people who have no contact with others. This was not referring to C.C. or Boomer or anyone else in a negative way. Please re-read what I said. The experiences of the man are different than most of us, right or wrong.

Husker Gary said...

-For AB fans - I’d give this a 75. It had a nice tune and was easy to dance to
-Starting with a biology term, a French word and a German composer yoked with MADD, DADD or SADD…
-Yes, C.C., DIVERGENT THINKING is a big part of puzzles and this blog
-Football fans will see who is being TRAPPED in this play
-BINGO! This is what I yell when my number is called at the DMV.
-Ernie Els TAP IN nightmare (:30)
-ODE? All I know is one on a Grecian urn and one to Billy Joe
-Father, son and grandson ALDA on a M*A*S*H episode
-Oh! That’s where the MYSTIC comes in
-SNEAK IN – Are there any drive-in theaters in your area?
-TPKE’s leading to a famous historical site
-Times up. Gotta go join the other 86 Downs

Bowie said...

Oh what fun the young Americans are having over there near the Irish Sea. #makinggolffunagain!

OwenKL said...

Slept in really late today, so was going to skip any poems. But after seeing C.C.'s comment, I feel obligated, even if it is late in the day!

MYSTIC claims spirits
supernatural reveal.
PSYCHIC claims science.

Youth: skin SEDUCES.
Age: NAKED body? Ho hum.
Phases of the moon.

Tourist insulted --
Llama has spit in his face!
Consigns it TWO 'L!

Crossword Corner blog
amazing friendly venue
never a cross word!

Mark McClain said...

Thanks, all for the comments, and C.C. for fine expo. I'll take your (accurate) comment about the blanks and word count as a compliment, as I do indeed strive for clean fill above all. Acknowledging the comments that the theme wasn't all that exciting (it wasn't), but you gotta agree it was different ;) . . . Corner fans are the greatest, though I could do without the political bickering (get enough of that elsewhere). Cheers to all!

inanehiker said...

Nice smooth puzzle - fun to slowly piece together.
Thanks Mark and CC!

Condolences to Agnes

SwampCat said...

Oh my! I got almost all of this one! Quite an accomplishment for me on a Sunday. Thanks, Mark, for the fun and the ego-lift. I even got the theme and didn't think it was un-exciting (is that a word.). Just different! Hehehe

C.C. Your tour was wonderful as always. So sorry to hear about Agnes.

Owen, I'm still laughing. Phases of the moon indeed!

Jinx in Norfolk said...

PK, I know you aren't a troll, so I'll refrain from a reply.

IM, I'm sure that every Cornerite (here in CornerSTAN) have felt the depths of spirit that comes with losing a loved one. My heart is with you while you bear the unbearable.

Hand up for nSEC before MSEC, rteS before MAPS, and had "in NO account" before "ON NO account". I wanted XML before RSS became apparent. I guessed the Natick of TR_LLOPE x TW_L to be an "i", the first of my three bad cells. The other two were "by GOLLY" instead of "OH GOLLY" (too much ham radio in my ute). I just got lazy and missed the idea that PSYCyIC probably wasn't a good choice. Twelve vocabulary builders today, so I won't list them.

Thanks to Mark and CC for a fun Sunday. It was just right for me - just a little over my head.

Bluehen said...

I don't always do the Sunday puzzles because they take so much precious time, but I arose early enough today to tackle this one from a contributor whose work I have enjoyed before. I'll have to say today's puzzle was a crunchier challenge than the usual Sunday, with too many learning moments to enumerate. Well done, Mark, and thanks for stopping by. CC, thanks for your usual sterling job on the expo. The amount of work and insight you bring to this corner is uplifting. By the way, I have to ask. What the heck is Stinky Tofu? That's a new one to me. Is it fermented? Is it delicious stinky like limburger cheese? Inquiring minds want to know.

BTW, a rerun of Alton Brown's "Good Eats" program convinced me to invest in some Grains of Paradise (and trust me, invest is the correct word). They are an alternative to black pepper related to the ginger plant and from west Africa, and after loading my pepper mill with them I swear that I may never go back to pepper. GoP are much more complex and flavorful, with many new and more nuances of flavor. I highly recommend that you all try if the opportunity presents itself.

Jayce said...

What a terrific puzzle. I always like your work, Mark. When I solved TRAP and RUSE I thought those were a couple instances of the "not the same" theme. Then came HAI and YES, STEAM and SAUTES, HAIKU and ODES, and the two four-letter Nevada cities. Unfortunately those distracted my THINKING from cottoning to the real theme entries.

I loved the clues for NAKED, ANEW, ANY, and PSYCHIC.

I like the character CHUNK on the TV show Bull.

ON NO account will I ever again be persuaded to eat stinky Tofu.

Carl threw me for a while because I thought the Germans always spelled it Karl, so it took me a tad longer than it should have for me to get ORFF.

Well done, Mark!

This puzzle took me much longer than usual because, for some reason, the "direction" that my typing went was the opposite of what I thought I had it set to. To say that more clearly, often when I was entering an across word such as LARDS I would fail to notice that my cursor was proceeding downwards, wiping out ALDA, EAGER, and RHODE. Then I would later wonder how the heck I made all those typos. Gotta be reeeeal careful using that LA Times Arkadium-based web page!

Agnes, my condolences for the loss of your nephew, and hopeful wishes that you traverse your grief speedily.

Melissa, glad you weren't hurt.

PK, I admire your ability and willingness to better understand other people and their points of view by putting yourself in their shoes, or at least understanding where their shoes came from.

Best wishes to you all.

Anonymous said...

Fern seed?! Splutter, grumble, moan.


Any of a group of some twenty thousand species of vascular plants classified in the division Pteridophyta that lack seeds and reproduce by shedding spores to initiate an alternation of generations.

Mark McClain said...

SPORE - (Random House Unabridged Dictionary 2nd edition) "2. A germ, germ cell, seed, or the like"

PK said...

Mark, I did like this puzzle and found it fun to fill the theme entries. I don't know why you would be concerned that the puzzle isn't exciting. We solve crossword puzzles. If we needed more excitement, we'd drive race cars. LOL!

Jayce, thank you. I've always had this deep curiosity and the desire to know what makes people tick. Gots me in lotsa trouble.

CanadianEh! said...

Very late tonight after visiting with all 6 grandchildren today. I finished this puzzle last night and wanted to thank Mark and C.C. For the fun.
I saw the theme and eventually got all the OTHER words.
Loved the new clue for ERIE. I wanted MADD for 1D but was sure of SPORE, and then I remembered the Students who joined the Mothers.

Do they have ESSO in Britain? It is usually clued in relation to Canada but we do not call gas "petrol" here.

I think I learned NOH and GNAR doing previous CWs.
I smiled at "PLEDGED" three rows below the sorority letters.

Thanks for the verses Owen. I noted your CSO.

Thanks AnonT for the NAFTA info. The talks are at the top of the radar screen here and I wasn't sure if the same importance was being given to them in the US. Another example of what Trudeau the Elder meant when he referred to the elephant twitching.

Sympathy to Agnes on the sudden death of her nephew.

Glad to hear Melissa was not hurt in accident. Hope there are no lingering after-effects.

Off to recharge my batteries.

Anonymous T said...

Sunday Lurk Say:

Thanks Mark for dropping in. I didn't play but I can admire the art. I think quality of fill beats out fancy grids (unless the grid's-void is the theme) or touching on A-Z.

IM, I'm so sorry for the loss of your nephew especially one so close to you.

Maripro - the word you're looking for is Aptronym. I love it when I bump against one.

{B, A+, B+, A}

D-O: $1.3M? @$75/ticket that means 17,333.3 folks need to show just to break-even. Even if they had tiered pricing - how many folk did they expect to show? Esp. In your neck of the woods. I think the "learning" your council members need is 1) rudimentary math and 2) they don't get your vote :-)
It's like the Smart Center we just opened up in Sugar Land. $83M to build and so far this year, $500,000 in extra tax revenue. OK, so the ROI is 81 years? Assuming no repairs needed in that time frame? It is cool, Yes is coming. [Bunny M - Yes w/ Geddy!]

PK - Ditto. I'm also curious and see confluence of things and want to ask; sometimes I find I step in it. I was trying to answer C, Eh!'s Q re: NAFTA the way I see it (I guess someone could take what I said as biased). Sorry if you got dragged down w/ me!

Today the girls & I did the grocery shopping and then made spiral-pasta salad, tomato-based Italian sausage & peppers (for grinders), and rigatoni for dinner. I think, with side salads, we're set for the week.

Cheers, -T

Unknown said...

Oh Oh politics...but I came close too with my pen and ink but MADD was my first fill and Washington State was toast. How many different groups are there against driving impaired ? Of course in the US we have about 500 cancer charities and most are out and out scams,

Politically speaking can I just thank my dear departed Dad for having the good sense to be born in Bathurst New Brunswick. I have to go down to the consulate to pick up my shining new Canadian eh passport !

And for everyone else...elections have consequences.

Thanks again pops !

Wilbur Charles said...

It had to be GNU
It had to be GNU
That African moo
Twas all that I knew..

So I peeked. And I checked NSYNC and that swan wasn't a trumpet but a CYGNET.

What a mess but if I'd gone back and realized that SCENIC crossed ARRID I think I could have sussed EDENIC.

PK, one can't use five letter words in here (like OBAMA I found out once) regardless of context). We get your excellent point though.

Owen, I agree with CC and you responded in TRUMPs.

Boy did I have a muddy middle. Muddled and solving made it very muddy. This pale imitation of Owen and C-Moe (CSO?) illustrates:

At McD's, solving
Children play, brain decaying.
Need? Inspiration.

Or more accurately DIVERGENT THINKING


PS. "Fringe" sounds interesting.

PPS. No more British Open spoilers. I won't finish watching my tape until Wednesday. Btw. I had SPIETH, remember?


Oh, almost forgot. Agnes, I'm so sorry about your nephew. Glad you're safe Melissa.

Molly said...

Does anyone else think 95 across "brought up to speed" would be better for "Clued in" than "cued in"?

Picard said...

I am very sorry for your loss, Agnes. We also have no children, just nieces and nephews. You have my deepest sympathy.

Last to fall was TWO-L which took awhile to parse! But when I did, knowing Ogden Nash humor, I figured out the ONE-L lama is a priest, to rhyme with beast. I was right!

Hand up for RTES before MAPS because GPS seemed to demand an abbreviation? I am still relatively new to crosswords, so is this wrong?

Never heard of RIESEN. It does not show up on Wikipedia's list of chocolate brands:

When I saw RI---- I was thinking RITTER which is a fairly common German chocolate brand here. Anyone else?

GNAR is really a word?

Hand up, never heard of "Fringe" which slowed down that bit.


Fun theme and a satisfying solve!

Abejo said...

Good Wednesday afternoon, folks. Just finished the puzzle. Thank you, Mark McClain, for fine puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for a fine review.

This puzzle took me a while, but I kept at it. Finally finished.

Liked the theme, even though I had a problem with a couple of them. Had ALTERNATING COLORS for 38A. CONTRASTING COLORS appeared after some perps.

VARIANT SPELLINGS was my last to get. Had SEES TO for 109D. SELLS TO appeared after some study.

Never heard of the author TROLLOPE.

Had PIKE instead of TPKE for a while.

Anyhow, I will cut this short. Since it is several days late, I am sure no one will read it.

See you later today for today's puzzle, I hope.


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