Oct 12, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017, J. Michael McHugh

Theme: Breakfast Surprise - scrambled OATS

17A. *What may put a fire in the belly? : HOT SAUCE. I've got quite a few varieties in my pantry. One of my favorites is a green habañero sauce I picked up at a market in Jalisco.

24A. *Commuter entertainment source : RADIO STATION

38A. *Slick trick : FAST ONE. Fast ones are always pulled. I might try and push a fast one and see how far I get.

52A. *Pre-release programs : BETA SOFTWARE. Full of bugs, typically.

64A. What young people may sow ... and what's literally hidden in the answers to starred clues : WILD OATS.

"Boys will be boys, young men must sow their wild oats, and women must not expect miracles." From Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

A pretty straightforward theme today, a word scramble. If the constructor lived in TAOS, NM that would be cool. It does appear to be an LAT debut for Mr. McHugh, so congratulations are in order for that. The stacked 6's at top and bottom are nice. There is a little "bitty" feel to the rest of the fill, but nothing to get too upset about. Maybe a slight surfeit of crossword-ese. More of a Monday feel to this one. Let's see what else we've got:


1. Part of BYOB and MYOB : OWN. Bring your own bottle/mind your own business. I first heard the term BYO in Australia, which described restaurants which did not have a license to serve alcohol, but you were welcome to bring your own wine.

4. Band name with a lightning bolt slash : AC/DC

8. Unlike a couch potato : ACTIVE

14. T'ai __ : CHI

15. Afrikaans speaker : BOER. Dutch origin. It's not the most mellifluous of languages.

16. 9Lives mascot : MORRIS. Thank you, crosses. No idea with this one.

19. Makes room on, as a schedule : CLEARS

20. Window part : SASH

21. Mother of Pollux : LEDA

23. She plays Crawford in FX's "Feud" : LANGE. Jessica Lange portraying Joan Crawford.

27. Regards with surprise : GAPES AT

30. Sped : TORE

31. Botch : MISDO. Hmmm. Really? "Don't misdo that!". "Darn, I misdid it!" Not convinced that would be the first phrase out of my mouth if I stripped a bolt.

32. Miracle-__ : GRO

33. One teaspoon, e.g. : DOSE

37. Sponsor's array : ADS

42. Pampering place : SPA

43. Lets hit them : NETS. Tennis. A let actually hit the net cord, not the net, but let's not get too picky.

45. Pi follower : RHO

46. Heroism : VALOR

48. In-land link? : LA-LA. You know no-one ever calls Los Angeles La-La land? Just as only tourists call San Francisco "Frisco" and only Guy Fieri calls the state "Cali".

50. Leopardlike cats : OCELOTS

56. Not right : AMISS

57. Commuter's expense : TOLL

58. Staff symbol : REST. Music.

62. Metaphorical state of agitation : LATHER

66. Like most Chaplin films : SILENT. This New Yorker article is an interesting read regarding Chaplin and his attitudes towards sound.

67. "Uh-huh" : I SEE

68. By way of : VIA

69. Gives a heads-up : ALERTS

70. Drag racing gp. : N.H.R.A. National Hot Rod Association.

71. Prompt a correction : ERR


1. "Draft Dodger Rag" folk singer : OCHS

2. Stop on the trail : WHOA!

3. Quibbles : NITS

4. "Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice" org. : ABA. American Bar Association. Second association of the day.

5. Might've : COULD'A. Would'a, could'a, should'a.

6. Con man's forte : DECEIT

7. Set of beliefs : CREDO. Had CREED first.

8. "The Walking Dead" channel : AMC

9. Nab : COLLAR

10. Pressure-__ : TREATED. Lumber that has chromated copper arsenate preservative forced into it under pressure.

11. Like two-time Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi : IRANI. More crosses to the rescue.

12. Late summer sign : VIRGO. That's me!

13. Steel city near Cologne : ESSEN. Food! It's also the verb "to eat" in German. All I know about Essen is what I learned from the friendly fictional family who populated the text book in high school German lessons. Herr Mueller was an executive at some kind of factory, and I recall the river was nice and the park was spacious.

18. Bit : SHRED

22. Orbit City pooch : ASTRO

25. Starting : AS OF

26. One in a cel block : TOON. Astro, for example.

27. FBI guy : G-MAN

28. Assistant : AIDE

29. "Wanna hear a secret?" : PSST!

32. '60s-'70s Pontiac : GTO

34. City that hosts an annual Norwegian Wood music festival : OSLO. Quick - name another Norwegian city of four letters. 3-2-1 Go!

35. Blind __ : SPOT

36. Elephant flappers : EARS

39. Singer Guthrie : ARLO

40. Golf club part : SHAFT. The shaft used to be made of good old hickory, then steel and now all kinds of fancy-schmancy carbon fiber, titanium and assorted rocket parts developed by NASA. Or something.

41. Even once : EVER

44. Cutting-edge horror film? : SLASHER

47. Olds compact : ALERO

49. Approval : ASSENT

50. Wide-eyed and wise-looking : OWLISH

51. Telemarketer : CALLER. Bleedin' nuisance, more like.

52. Light wood : BALSA. We used to make model aeroplanes out of balsa wood when we were kids.

53. It's often distributed in cc's : E-MAIL

54. Sir or sri : TITLE

55. Haul to the shop : TOW IN

59. Nesting site : EAVE

Oh - here we are at the end, I stumbled off the edge of the roof. Here's the grid!



fermatprime said...

Hi everyone!

Thanks to Michael and Steve!

Some things were unknown: AC/DC, LANGE, N.H.R.A, AMC and IRANI.

Was third being first at Word Solitaire.

Going to holistic heart specialist tomorrow (well, today).

Have a great day!

OwenKL said...

FIR, but got the theme wrong¡ Caught the jumbled letters, but unscrambled them to my near-by town of TAOS, a ski area where lots of people get scrambled down the slopes!

My prescience was wild again. A poem yesterday mentioned IAMS, but 9Lives was in a clue today¡

My motto in my youth:
Make hay while the sun shines!
Save your nights for sowing WILD OATS!

About a beta fantasy game I'd like to share!
RADIO STATIONS soon will have ADS on the air!
Have you VALOR to own
The TSAR-like throne?
The object of the game is to BE TÄS OF TWARÉ!

Something was AMISS, town fathers were morose!
Of a new epidemic, their town had a DOSE!
Teen girls by the dozens
Had bellies that were bulging,
And the plague root was suspected to be WIL DOAT'S

OwenKL said...

{A-, B+.}

fermatprime said...

Spitz: hope that you are recovering nicely!

Big Easy said...

Did I ever start this one wrong. Filled ARLO for 1D, couldn't make the NW work and went to finish the rest and voila, ARLO showed up at 39D. OCHS-unknown singer and song- finally made it to the grid. In that general vicinity I had to change SHARD to SHRED and CREED to CREDO to complete the puzzle. WILD OATS- I never noticed.

The NE gave a little trouble. I'm not into astrology, never heard of IRANI, don't know anything about "The Walking Dead" or 'Feud", but the ESSEN toehold let me fill it. In the SW is was wanting some type of medicine for the 'cc' distribution and HONOR for TITLE before the correct fills made it on the page.

HOT SAUCE- actually puts fire on your tongue, belly not so much.
Pressure TREATED wood never lasts as long as CREOSOTE

My old golf group- "COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA", in other words we always picked the wrong club and tried to hit the wrong shot.

KS said...

FIR, but I didn't care for the cluing. It was too contrived for my liking.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Stumbled through to victory...barely. Thought that high-sounding motto probably belonged to a comic book hero, like Superman's truth, justice, and the American way. Couldn't parse "Lets hit them" -- thanx, Steve. Got MORRIS, but thought he'd been retired. This one turned into a toughy pour moi. Congrats on the debut, J.M.M.

WILD OATS reminds me of Merle Haggard's Fugitive: "Mama used to pray my crops would fail." Merle was talking about raising Cain rather than oats, but my twisted mind made the connection.

CanadianEh! said...

Congrats on your debut Michael and thanks to Steve also. This CW moved along surprisingly well for a Thursday until I got to the SE corner.
My Natick was NHRA and DEA (which seems to be missing in the answers, Steve?). But I did get the theme.

Hand up for not understanding NETS and changing Creeds to CREDO.

Hope your visit to the specialist goes well fermatprime.

Enjoy the day!

inanehiker said...

Creative puzzle and a bit of crunchiness along the way to help me remember it's Thursday.
I think the BOTCH for clue and MISDO for answer were referring to the noun rather than a verb. I agree Ive never heard of MISDO for a verb!

Clever clue for me was "It's often distributed in cc's"- as it was the first fill in that corner and I was stuck in the realm of cc's in a syringe instead of EMAIL.

Thanks Steve and Michael!

Jinx in Norfolk said...

I thought this was very Thursday-like in difficulty. I almost sought outside help for New England, having completed everything else. But I finally erased pices for VIRGO, and the final fill tumbled in. Zodiac BS always seemed dumb to me, except I once had a beautiful stranger approach me in a college bar and ask "what's your sign". I guess I gave the right answer, because WILD OATS were subsequently sewn.

Like Steve and Big Easy I had to erase CREed for CREDO. Also erased Miricle GlO for GRO, and teS for RTS.

Favorite today was "stop on the trail" for WHOA. Least favorite was "uh-huh". I won't repeat my rant against these guttural clues, but ice:Tin uh-huh:Jinx.

I love that BALSA is a hardwood, technically. I hate that "irritating bastard" wouldn't fit for "telemarketer".

Thanks to JMM for a real challenge, and welcome aboard. And thanks to Steve. Another fine tour.

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

My run of perfect puzzle solving ended yesterday when I had TEE/MENSE; but today I had all the correct answers, once I wrote-over ABC with AMC, and SELLER with CALLER. Nice homophonic pair with vertical COLLAR and CALLER.

In a bit of a hurry today so no created puzzle lim; however, I have this one I penned last weekend in (dis)honor of the athletes taking a knee before the game. Sorry for the politics ...

My two cents on the topic of NFL players before the game:

When football players caused a distraction
By not standing, I thought an infraction
Should be dealt to the teams,
After hearing fan's screams.
Was this maybe my "kneel-jerk" reaction?

Husker Gary said...

-Finding the gimmick? Crash and burn. Figuring out “Lets hit them” even after I had NETS. FINALLY! It took a while to see there was no apostrophe
-What a week! I couldn’t CLEAR anything off my schedule so I could sub until tomorrow. I turned down six jobs
-The NFL flag ado is now also about viewership and revenue for ADS
-America’s most expensive TOLL road, but at least it’s beautiful
-Argyle had to “Prompt a correction” for me in yesterday’s write-up. He’s the best!
-1A four-letter folk singer was not ARLO. Not to fear he arrived later
-We college football fans miss announcer Keith Jackson yelling, “WHOA Nelly!”
-ESSEN paid the price for its Krupp plants
-My outside mirror has a Blind SPOT warning light so I am ALTERTED
-Usually a con-man can’t practice DECEIT without your ASSENT or vote

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

I am fussy because I have a cold, and we're flying to Boston on Saturday on the way to Maine. My lethargy is throwing my intended prep schedule to the wind. I need to get to Walgreens today. Say, didn't the big red W beat the Cubs yesterday? Hey, I didn't know the pharmacy had a team!

Thanks JMMc for a challenge. I made lots of little false starts: shard for SHRED, anew for AS OF, didn't realize ALERO was a compact. Had L(O)T's before RT's as they are more valuable since most QB's are right-handed. Read Band name as Brand name, but I suppose ACDC could be both. Speaking of football: Do you know why Des Moines doesn't have a professional football team? Well, if they had one, Chicago would want one, too. ;-)

Thanks for the tour Steve. You are always an excellent guide.

Have a fine day, everyone.

Northwest Runner said...

I left California ten years ago, and I continue to cringe when anyone calls it Cali. But it's not just Guy. Even life long residents have succumbed to this habit. Sportscasters covering the Giants and 49ers are equally culpable when they say "San Fran."

Jinx in Norfolk said...

NWR, My peeve was when even locals called it "San Louie Obispo". Its SPANISH, not French! Of course I come from a corner of the world where the town Versailles is pronounced just like it looks. Paris, too.

MD - LOVED your take on an old sports joke. IRL, I had a friend who lived in Tampa in the early days of the Bucs. He and his wife were invited to a game by a vendor, but the vendor backed out at the last minute and just gave him all four tickets. When he couldn't quickly find someone who wanted to attend, he left two of the tickets under his windshield wiper after they parked. The extra seats remained empty, and after the game they returned to their car to find six tickets under their wiper.

Rick Papazian said...

Wild Oats. Wild SPOTted OCELOTS, wild OWLISH owls. The CC's distribution clue at 53D was a wild misdirection. Raiders' org.? was another, and I COULDA completed the damn thing if it wasn't for the DEA. 18Down's clue in my newspaper was printed badly and it looked like "Hit ___" so I thought it might be a hit song and I put in SHARI thinking it COULDA been SHERRY by Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons. Two blank squares.

Tinbeni said...

What a FUN Thursday puzzle. Thanks J. Michael.

Nice write-up Steve.

Fave today, NHRA ... I do enjoy watching "Drag Racing."

The New York Yankees WON!!! ... and Yup! I'm wearing my NYY Watch, Flip-Flops, Shirt ...

Yeah, I enjoyed the game last night.

Go CUBS !!! (My National League favorite team.)


C6D6 Peg said...

Thanks, J. Michael, for a fun, easy puzzle. Two fav clues were: "Lets hit them" and "It's often distributed in CCs". Congrats on the debut.

Thanks, Steve, for another great write-up.

Go 'Stros!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was relatively easy for a Thursday but perps were needed in a few spots. I had flew/tore, cleft/rest and Leah/Leda. Thought of cheetahs before ocelots but that wouldn't fit. (Are they similar animals?) Took the reveal to catch the theme but that's fine with me.

Thanks, J. Michael McHugh, (my brother is J(ohn) Michael McGrath) for a pleasant solve and congrats on your debut, and thanks, Steve, for being such a good shepherd! I saw "Feud" with Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon but the Clue/Answer went right over my head until reading the write-up. Wool gathering, anyone?

Ferm, good luck with your doctor's visit.

YR, sorry to hear of Alan's relapse.

MadameDefarge, I envy your upcoming trip to Maine. Try not to OD on the lobster, clams, chowder, etc!

Let's hope the Astro and Yankee fans remain civil. (Go Yanks!)

Have a great day.

Irish Miss said...

That should be clef not cleft. Sorry.

Yellowrocks said...

Not on J.M.’s wavelength, so this seemed Friday-like, however FIR w/o help. The only unheard of fill was NHRA, filled automatically. In retrospect it was fun and “shoulda” not been difficult. Lets hit them=nets was devilishly good, also stop on the trail=whoa.
-Plently of BYOB spots here. Liquor licenses are very expensive and limited in the number given to an area. Anyway, it is so much less expensive to bring your own wine.
-My fifth graders used to cause hurt feelings by their comments. I would say MYOB and they would laugh and desist. Soon they were saying it, pronouncing it like the beginning of MY OBjection. It worked wonders.
-FUED, I have watched most of Bette Davis’s and Joan Crawford’s films multiple times. Love ‘em.

Yellowrocks said...

The only MISDO quotes I have found are old-fashioned. “What mighty men misdo, they can amend” from A Study of Shakespeare.
MISDOING is common as an action and as a word.
“In recent days, moreover, United Nations investigators and Human Rights Watch, based in New York, have also accused the rebels of misdoing.” New York Times, Sept. 19, 2012
The puzzle’s use of LA LA Land means detached from reality. LA LA Land as a nickname for Los Angeles, maybe because Hollywood is a place of fantasy and make believe. Often it is used as a pejorative, so no wonder Angelinos do not like it.
Tin, I am with you. Go, Yankees! I’ve been a fan since elementary school days.
Spitz, I hope you are doing well after your cataract surgery.
Madame D. how inconvenient you have a cold just before your trip. I hope you recover by Saturday.

tawnya said...

Hi all!

Nice job, J. Michael! Congrats on the debut! No big NITs, what I didn't know I got with perps. I got WILD OATS on my first pass so I went looking for the OATS gone wild.

Jinx, I hadn't lived in San Luis more than a day before I learned that San Looie is a sure-fire way to show you are not a local. Never heard a resident say it. Even now I confuse people when I talk about San Luis - most people think I'm talking about St. Louis - so I just say "home." All my Up North friends referred to "San Fran" as The City and left it at that.

I blame LL Cool J for the widespread use of Cali.

I needed to look up this Draft Dodger Rag song because I'd never heard of it...

ARLO Guthrie has a namesake at my house. He would sing you songs about tennis balls if he could.

Congrats, 'Stros fans! Played a great series. I'll be rooting for you through this series, but that's where it ends. Go Dodgers :)

Happy Thursday!


Lucina said...

SILENT over ALERTS is priceless in this quickly solved puzzle. Thank you, JMMcHugh. One of my favorite English teachers in college was McHugh so that brings warm memories. Boy, did she know Shakespeare!

And I'll take a CSO to my late mother, LALA.

HOTSAUCE? Bring it on. I'd love to taste some of your samples, Steve. I'm glad you explained NETS because I had no idea. Oh, tennis.

SLASHER as cutting edge horror film is grisly irony.

This morning a CALLER informed me that because I had defrauded the IRS a warrant was issued for my arrest. Should I be afraid? Will they really COLLAR me? Irish Miss, perhaps your Nigerian prince would bail me out.

Interesting information about pressure-TREATED and creosote today.

Have a superb day, everyone!

Lucina said...

I envy you your trip to Maine. Yesterday I saw a photo of the area and the colors are brilliant! I hope you feel well enough to enjoy it.

Wilbur Charles said...

I was going nowhere to start, searching for one set of boxes to fill and WAG'ed VIRGO and ESSEN and was off and running.

Lots of tricky cluing. The LET in tennis is indeed called a NET cord but the server re-serves if the ball gets over regardless of where on the net it hit.

Lucina, hilarious post. YR, sorry about Alan's relapse. I bolloxed up the North Central with SYNC which led to YOUDDA,DIDO. Finally, I put _ E_ _IT and DECEIT gave me the FIR.

MME D, I forgot to refill BP and had a rough Evac from Irma.

Redsox fired Farrell, I missed the "Vote of Confidence that usually precedes the firing.

J M. McH, well clued, and Steve well discussed. W's to Owen.


PS. North NE's busiest time is around the old Columbus day holiday.

Picard said...

So glad to see Phil OCHS and his classic "Draft Dodger Rag" remembered! Unfortunately, it stays all too relevant for each generation.

If you haven't heard that one, perhaps you have heard this one by Country Joe McDonald? Same era, same theme. Warning: It starts with the F word, but it is also a classic:

Definitely these were the theme songs of a generation that sowed its WILD OATS more than any other. Fun theme!

Never heard of Farhadi, but I easily could guess he was IRANI because I once had an IRANI room mate named Farzad. He disappeared soon after and I fear the worst of what happened to him.

Anonymous said...

Please esteemed Constructors, consign the Alero to the scrap yard.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! This was a real dog of a puzzle -- took a lot of WAGs to fill it. (Stop groaning.) Actually thought it was different and fun, JMMc.

Thanks again Steve. Hand up for being shocked there was no apostrophe in "lets" and needing your explanation.

Never heard of OCHS.

I already had an "O" so had no problem with CREDO.

When EMAIL appeared, I sat and stared at it and read the clue over several times before I comprehended the full meaning. Duh!

NE was the last to fill. I got only STATION on the first pass. Couldn't think of that darn cat's name. Have seen the trailers for "Feud" but had no interest in seeing it so didn't pay attention to the actresses' names.

Cute theme. However, these days since the introduction of birth control, girls seem to be sowing almost as many wild oats as men.

Madam D, the view of fall leaves from the air should be spectacular. I have a memory of flying from Pennsylvania once when they were at peak season.

Chuck Lindgren said...

Easy TADA but not sure how Shred and Bit are related. Even as a tennis player I didn't get Lets hit them. Almost lost a tournament when an opponent Yelled "Let" when a ball rolled on the court several seconds after match point was over. Let isn't just when a serve hits the net and still lands in the service box. Actually it is anything that happens during a point that causes a replay like a ball rolling on the court, someone walking on the court, the local air raid siren going off etc. all of these happened to me when I was playing tournament tennis. Does anyone remember the early 60's when every Saturday they would test the air raid siren? Anyway "Lets hit them" was a clever clue.

Mark S said...

Just finished. Here are my observations before reading the explanation and other comments:
Got off to a good start with own, chi, AC/DC, wild oats, sash, Lange.
Interesting and challenging. Had to google ocelots-I had cougars-didn’t fit. Had to also google NHRA, no fan. And Leda. Never thought of eave for nesting site, tree doesn’t work but I thought cave did with all the other fills on SE. After filling eave, nhra and ocelots, I had bottom half. Lather perped in nicely. I had a brain lock on credo, I thought codes at first, but that wouldn’t work with Leda. NE filled in nicely. Had a little trouble with gapes at. Once I figured that out then shred filled in to complete puzzle. Don’t understand staff symbol being rest.

Unrelated question: clue: X answer: chi ..... How does that work? If x means super bowl, chi won the 20th super bowl. They weren’t even in the 10th. This was from the NYT.

I will now read the puzzle recap and comments. Chaio

Ol' Man Keith said...

Mighty slow going, for sure, but in the end we got 'er done.
Ta- DA!
And a hearty welcome to the LA Times for Mr. McHugh! (Thanks, for noting his debut, Steve.)

Although chewy throughout, this pzl yielded a few easy rolls along the way. The SE filled up quickly, followed by the NW. NHRA was only possible through perps, as drag racing is alien to my world. (But I'm glad to see Tinbeni is a fan. The corner is high on diversity!)

What slowed me down were a couple of silly commitments early on. But once I gave up on FBI at 4D and RETRO at 22D and made my peace with the awkwardism of MIS-DO, I continued unfettered to a glorious finish.
(No, no! Hold the applause, please.)

Misty said...

Well, I almost, almost got a Thursday puzzle--goofed up only on MORRIS and AMC (had BORRIS and ABC, clearly don't know my cats or my TV channels). But a really fun puzzle and great debut from Michael--many thanks! And thanks to you too, Steve.

Messy hour and a half with the Cox technician since getting the new phone apparently also required messing with the internet and computers and what not. But hopefully it's all going to work and that I'll be able to learn my new phone number before too long.

Have a great day, everybody. I'm exhausted and ready for a nap.

desper-otto said...

Mark S, let me be the last one to welcome you to the blog. That "staff" is a musical staff and the "rest" is a symbol on it. X is the way the Greek letter CHI is written.

Yellowrocks said...

My older son had swallows nesting in the eaves.
There is not a shred (bit) of evidence.
Misty, good luck with your phone.

CrossEyedDave said...

1st, here is Picards classic link that starts with F...U...*...*...

Tough one to find silly links for today,
starting with hot sauce and wild oats?

Radio station was easy, we used these all the time to get the right size copper coils for the crystal radio sets...

CrossEyedDave said...

Hmm, I really wish they would leave my intestines out of the Beta test?...

Pulling a fast one with wild oats is getting a pic of a cat in the link!

in the end, maybe this wild oats puzzle was silly link friendly after all...

Spitzboov said...

Hello Everyone.

Just a short note to let you know the surgery went well.
Protective eye patch until tomorrow AM.
I see Doc mid-day,tomorrow.

Thanks for everyone' good wishes, yesterday and today. Your support means a lot.

BTW - did the puzzle before leaving this am. Just missed 2 letters in the mid-South. C'est la guerre.

Hungry Mother said...

DNF. I had VIReO as my sign of spring and got LANeE as my actress.

Mark S said...

Thanks Desper-otto. One of my fav Eagles songs. So much to learn....

Misty said...

Thank you, Yellowrocks. I got a phone call from my son and daughter-in-law after I e-mailed them my new phone number, so that was great and makes me hope the new number will work. Many thanks for caring and I wish you a good day too.

Wilbur Charles said...

Spitz, I suppose you're completely informed about sun glasses. I had transition lens and in retrospect I think I should have gone with progressive sunglasses.

I didn't know about LET being for any REDO.

Misty, I had a very late(well early) post commiserating about your phone issue.

I hope all works out.


Ol' Man Keith said...

PS. Special thanks, Steve, for linking SILENT to The New Yorker piece on Chaplin. An excellent read!

Jayce said...

Stuff to do, so didn't get to the puzzle until late. I enjoyed it, and enjoyed the clever clues such as "Lets hit them" and "Stop on the trail". Excellent write-up, Steve, and interesting comments from all of you. I, too, had ABC and BORRIS and had to turn on red letters and do an alphabet run to get it right. Then after MORRIS showed up the V8 soon followed.

Michael, from last night, you are right about the Oakland Raiders and Oakland A's. I was conflating the two. Thank you.

Best wishes to you all.

Roy said...

Anonymous @12:53 - My daughter had an Olds Alero. In my opinion, it was scrap off the assembly line. Or was it a deliberate ploy to retire a once-honorable marque?

Mike McHugh said...

Hi Folks-

Yes, this was indeed my debut for the LAT, the first of hopefully many more. Hadn't got through all the comments yet, but from what I gather it was well received. Thanks for all the good words.

More than a few of my original clues didn't survive. If anything, the new clues were even more challenging. At least they would have been for me. For instance, I'd never seen "Feud" so I had no idea Jessica Lange was in it. I think if I had tried to solve this myself, I'd have trouble even though it's my puzzle!

Kudos, though to the editors because I think in a lot of cases their clues were snappier. I don't get bent out of shape over my clues being changed, especially if it's for the better. In any event, they did keep my most favorites, e.g., {Lets hit them] for NETS survived the cut.

Glad you all enjoyed it and hope to have some more for your solving pleasure in the future!

Best regards,

Mike McHugh

Wilbur Charles said...

Let me be the first to congratulate you, Mike McH, on your LAT debut. Some of us know some Astrology, some of us pop culture, others sports and even perhaps our Greek gods.


Misty said...

Thank you, Wilbur. Thank goodness it seems to be working okay so far.

SwampCat said...

Thanks Mike for all the fun this morning. Hope you give us many more. Steve, it was a treat!!
Swamp Cat

For all of you bemoaning Cali and Louie, I understand. After Katrina New Orleans was blessed by many outsiders coming to help.... and we will be eternally grateful. But they left behind the "name?" NOLA. What?? I have never heard my city called that!! I cringe whenever I hear it!

Mike McHugh said...

After reading the comments some more, a couple of things stuck out.

16A- Looks like MORRIS, the 9Lives cat, kind of dates me. It was a '70's thing. Young solvers wouldn't have a clue (no pun intended). I need to get out more so I can craft more current entries. Still, a rap music entry would be a stretch for me.

70A- Two of my uncles were big, big into drag racing, so NHRA is a household word, at least in MY house. I can see why it might not be in others. But if you haven't been to the drag races, try it sometime. Bring earplugs if you're sensitive.


SwampCat said...

No no Mike! Don't ever get "updated". Most of us here are rather ancient and relate to the 70s more than the 2017s! I knew Morris, and those who didn't just weren't into cat food!

Never change.. just give us more puzzles!

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Thanks Mike for a fun Thursday puzzle and for stopping by. Congrats on the LAT debut - quite good to open on a Thursday.

I found each area needed one SHRED of fill before I could get it. For me, the answers more or less filled from the center out. I got the theme reveal b/f 17a and 24a - it confirmed my HOT SAUCE thought and got me off of "in-dash TV," "podcast/newspaper on the train" or some such idea.

Thanks Steve for the expo - loved your rumination on the SHAFT.

WOs: I had 'e' before 'i' (literally) in VIRGO. I was going for something else @9d w/ COr--R; don't know what now.

Fav: Loved the c/a for NETS; nailed it w/ the T from PSST.
Other sparkle: FAST ONE, c/a for EMAIL and WHOA.

Re: MORRIS the cat. As a kid of the late '70s & '80s it only took the M to remember the meme (b/f there were "memes"). What Swamp said - don't change.

{B+, A} {cute (and reads apolitical)}
Misty - good news!

M. Defarge - I too read 'brand' more than once. As soon as I "saw" band, the N. Center fill began. Also, LOL da Bears.
Jinx - your story re: Bucs was priceless. I can just see someone passing by and thinking "So this is what we do w/ 'em" or ala ARLO Guthrie - "rather than bring that trash up, I'll throw mine down" :-)

Tawnya - thanks for linking OCHS - Never heard it either & LOL; I loved it!

Tin - for the next few games I'm going to wish you ICE! Go 'Stros! and Cubs

Treatise on most RADIO STATIONS - what they were and what gaga they'd become.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

I almost forgot - I also circled the clue for 26d - I chuckled at 'One in a cell block' after yesterday's PRISON break. -T

TX Ms said...

Thank you, J.M. McHugh, for your LAT debut - well done! And always, Steve, for your humorous worldly outlook and opinions - especially for CALLER. (snicker- you Brits, how y'all can devolve a perfectly acceptable word into an expletive!)

Fav clues: "One in a cel block" and "Sir or sri." Haven't read the posts today, but I wanted to chime in before it gets too late.

Argyle said...

It's never too late.