Dec 8, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017, Paul Coulter

Title: Strange bedfellows.

Paul Coulter is back with very inventive and entertaining Friday theme sure to irritate those who do not like themes. He pairs two completely unrelated characters (they may be fictional) and posits a common bond. Natasha Fatale and Apollo Creed both battled foes named Rocky. Mr. Spock- Dr. Spock, Homer the Greek - Homer Simpson and Blondie Bumstead - Debbie Harry and her band are the other pairs sharing a commonality that can be expressed in 15 letters (grid-spanners). I am so impressed by the thought process and the execution of this theme. Thank you, Paul. He also squeezes in DABS AT,  GETS AT,  IN A WAY,  SHANDY, BEDSIDE, PARSONS, HOTFOOTING and RAISE COSTS to complete the offering. Excellent. The themers:


17A. Two foes of Rocky: NATASHA AND CREED (15).  June Foray voiced both Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha. Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed both were products of Sylvester Stallone's mind.

27A. Two loves of Homer: POETRY AND MARGE (15). The Greek POET responsible for The Iliad and The Odessey, and Marge Simpson's LOVE. He is known for coining "D'Oh."

43A. Two specialties of Spock: LOGIC AND BABIES (15).  We have Mr. Spock for LOGIC and Dr. Spock for BABIES.

54A. Two priorities of Blondie: DAGWOOD AND MUSIC (15). Blondie Bumstead loved DAGWOOD and Blondie (Debbie Harry) made some beautiful music.


1. "Yeah": UH HUH. Nailed it, felt good.

6. Whack: STAB.

10. They're corny: COBS. He tricked me here for a bit.

14. Spaghetti Western director Sergio: LEONE. He made CLINT (2:41) famous.

15. Refine: HONE. Hone your craft, not just your knife.

16. Spread for dinner, say: OLEO. Not at my house.

20. Request to go out, maybe: ARF. Cute.

21. Cease: END.

22. Airs: SONGS. The perps are solid but the choice of the clue is beyond me. I may have to use a Homer 'D'Oh' when it is explained.

23. Mountain nymph: OREAD. More from Ancient GREECE.

26. Form of love in Paris? : AIME. Je t'aime, je t'adore.

32. Implies: GETS AT.

33. One may accompany a finger snap: IDEA. Got it.

34. Small battery: AAA.

35. Mine entrance: ADIT. From the Latin ADITUS, this is old-fashioned crossword fill.

36. Meddle: PRY. Third time in recent memory- hmm.

37. Artist's array: OILS. If he is a painter.

38. Large brewer: URN.

39. Blunted blade: EPEE.

41. Blots: DABS AT.

46. "Heartburn" novelist Ephron: NORA. Nora Ephron was also the author of Wallflower at the Orgy. She received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay for When Harry Met Sally..., Silkwood, and Sleepless in Seattle, which she also directed. Her other credits include the film Michael, I believe a John Travolta film and the play Imaginary Friends. She died in 2012

47. San Diego State athlete: AZTEC.

48. Advances: LOANS.

50. Chemical suffix: ENE.

51. Fertility clinic supply: OVA. Egg.

58. Between ports: ASEA.

59. Bridge site: NOSE. Very funny.

60. A lot: OFTEN.

61. Milk by-product: WHEY. I loved Moe's poem about helping Miss Muffit finding her whey.

62. Oracle: SEER.

63. Entourage: POSSE.


1. It parallels the radius: ULNA. In the arm, not a circle.

2. Get wind of: HEAR.

3. Hurrying, with "it": HOTFOOTING. A really fun word.

4. Acapulco article: UNA.

5. Cock and bull: HES. Male animals.

6. Sterne's Tristram: SHANDY.

7. Hopper on a pad: TOAD. Mr. Toad? I went with Frog at first.

8. Gothic novelist Radcliffe: ANN. Radcliffe is said to have influenced many later authors, including the Marquis de Sade (1740–1814), Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849), and Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832), and many lesser imitators of the "Radcliffe School", such as Harriet Lee and Catherine Cuthbertson. LINK.

9. Important place for good manners: BEDSIDE. Why is it bedside manner when it is no longer at home that you see the doctor?

10. Pupil's cover: CORNEA. My personal specialty, still working with two borrowed ones.

11. Cassini of fashion: OLEG. Father of Tini Cassini.

12. Honey bunch: BEES. Of oats?

13. Ground cover: SOD. Such language!

18. Soul mate? : HEART. I miss marti.

19. Feature of many a list: COMMA.

24. Common medical advice: REST.

25. In-flight info: ETA.

26. Name at the end of many a "60 Minutes" episode: ANDY. Rooney.

27. MLB Network analyst Martinez: PEDRO.

28. Put on: AIRED.

29. What supply shortages often do: RAISE COSTS. Supply and demand.

30. Big dos: GALAS. Not hairdos.

31. Bridge column word: EAST.

32. Caesarean section? : GAUL. "Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres"

36. Clinton transportation secretary Federico : PENALINK.

37. Tony relative: OBIE. Off-broadway awards.

39. Low-price prefix: ECONO.

40. Service aces? : PARSONS. Do parsons really run religious services?

41. Stunned: DAZED.

42. NYC dance troupe: ABT. Since 1940, American Ballet Theatre has performed in the greatest theatres around the world, creating a tradition of passion, innovation, and athleticism that transcends cultural boundaries and touches the soul of ballet lovers old and new.

44. Kind of: IN A WAY.

45. Stadium sign: BANNER.

48. Eye piece: LASH. No.

49. Arch type: OGEE.

50. Convenience: EASE.

52. Competes: VIES.

53. Bad marks in high school? : ACNE. A semi-cruel remark about those marks.

54. Margery of nursery rhymes: DAW.

55. Female antelope: DOE.

56. Floor cleaner: MOP. Which is my clue to mop up my comments.

57. Tabloid topic: UFO. But not without an Unidentified Flying Object.

I really enjoyed the puzzle, the solve, and Paul is one of the constructors getting regular Friday slots, with this his 4th this year, along with 5 Sundays. Thanks, Paul and thank you all for being here.

Notes from C.C.:

1) Here is our Lemonade enjoying his hamburger last Sunday. Great to see him healthy and happy. He's getting younger too!

2) Happy birthday to our cool Jazzbumpa (Ron), who's taking December off from blogging. Ron often has a packed December. Lots of rehearsals and performances during Christmas season. Have anyone in Detroit area attended Ron's concerts in the past?



fermatprime said...


Thanks to Paul and Lemon!

Happy Birthday Ron!

Cute theme!

Did not know AZTEC, ANN, PEDRO and PENA, but the perps took care of them.

Still have cough, darn it!

Hope to see you all tomorrow!

Paul C. said...

Thanks for the write-up, Lemonade, and good morning to all from an early East Coast riser. The idea came to me at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament back in March. (Which goes to show what the lead time is on puzzles - though to be fair, I didn't send it to the LAT first.) For those who don't know, ACPT's puzzle #5 is traditionally a killer, with a diabolic theme and very hard clues. This year's involved a rebus theme of squeezing DNA into certain squares, while also switching pieces of the long answers, producing "recombinant DNA!" While struggling through it, I was convinced at one point that the mechanism involved something like what I did here, having two very different possible answers depending on the identity of X. That turned out not to be the case, and I stumbled on the right approach before time expired - good thing, since I'm a retired Biology prof! -- but the idea stayed in my mind, and this puzzle is the result.

OwenKL said...

I got the theme with amazing EASE! For 17a I immediately put in BORIS AND NATASHA, then NATASHA AND BORIS, then figured it was one of Balboa's foe, so waited for perps to fill it out! Once I had that, the rest just needed perps to locate which word was first. I did have PasTRY > POETRY.

The nymph was a jealous OREAD
Who wanted a peak like Rory had!
She was stuck on a butte
That she felt was minute
And didn't a bit to her glory add!

Said Mr. SPOCK to Dr. SPOCK, "Faults are in your LOGIC.
BABIES should be quiet, not allowed to frolic."
Said the doctor to the Vulcan
"What you say I find insultin',
I hope when you're a papa, all your children have the colic!"

{A, A-.}

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

It snowed! I know, you're saying, "So what?" But this is the Houston area. We actually got enough very wet snow to cover the grass and shrubs. The roads stayed clear, but the freeway flyover ramps are closed due to overnight freezing. Schools will be opening late. It's a big deal here in the southland.

Oh, the puzzle... I liked it, but hand up for NATASHA AND BORIS until I figured out what was going on. MARGE Simpson lit the lightbulb. I may be the only person in North America who's never seen one of the Rocky movies. Now the Sergio LEONE movies are a different matter -- saw 'em all. Was that list feature an Oxford COMMA? It was nice to see old friend ADIT once again. Thanx, Paul and Lemonade for the diversion.

Lemonade, if you were serious in your question, here's what Merriam Webster has to say:
[probably translation of Italian aria]
a : tune, melody a lilting air
b Elizabethan & Jacobean music : an accompanied song or melody in usually strophic form
c : the chief voice part or melody in choral music"

Happy birthday, JzB!

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Lemonade and friends. I enjoyed this puzzle. What fun to have two such different figures (real or fictional) in each theme clue and answer. I was a big fan of Blondie. I saw her in concert several times. Heart of Glass was played constantly when I was in graduate school.

Hand up for wanting a Frog instead of a TOAD on the (lily) pad.

SNOW!!! It has shut down the State. Since the office is closed, I will have time to write my holiday cards.

Happy Birthday, JazzB.

QOD: My first rule of consumerism is never to buy anything you can’t make y our children carry. ~ Bill Bryson (b. Dec. 8, 1950)

inanehiker said...

Such a fun theme - I'm with D-O and had NATASHA AND BORIS - but when all the crosses for BORIS didn't work - back to the drawing board!

Our son in San Antonio sent a pic of the snow there as well - even enough to accumulate on the grass! They are so unprepared there that even a 1/4 inch and everything shuts down.

Thanks Paul for a fun puzzle and stopping by - as well as for your write-up Lemonade!
Happy birthday JazzB and hope all your concerts go well - we had our last rehearsal for the community choir I'm in last night and added the instruments - it always gets everybody excited for the performance on Saturday- even though I know those playing are busy this time of year- we enjoy their contribution!

Anonymous said...

Excellent puzzle today. The theme is original, clever, and did not come at the expense of the fill. Shandy crossing Oread was my last entry. Wanted donuts and beer for Homer's loves, before catching on.

Lemonade714 said...

D-O you always reveal my mental lapses. I honestly was unaware of that meaning of air.

Snow in Texas and Louisiana, wow. Hahtoolah, I thought you retired.

Paul, thank you for stopping by. I wondered where these odd pairing came from.

C.C., thank you for the nice words. Actually, it was a chicken pesto sandwich.

billocohoes said...

Actual title of “Danny Boy” is “Londonderry Air” (which could be clued “British bum” and spelled London derriere.)

Thought Homer’s love was bAcon until perps.

Lemonade714 said...

Oops- very happy birthday wishes to JzB and many more. Enjoy your Corner vacation.

Hahtoolah said...

Lemon: I retire at the beginning of the year ~ 14 more working days.

The photo shows the snow from my backyard.

thehondohurricane said...

Sergio Leone's "Once Upon A Time In The West" my all time favorite Western movie. Great cast, decent plot, and some of my favorite background music ever, especially when Jill leaves the RR station for her betroths ranch.

D..O.., In answer to your question a while ago, wearing a tie to dinner on the cruise was UGH. Took me a while to remember how to tie a decent looking lot. Hell, it was over twenty years without ties!

Hope to begin posting regularly soon. Will figure out a way to get the trip pictures posted too.

Lemonade714 said...

H. oops, my mental focus is still vague.

H.H., welcome back; look forward to more details of your cruise. I went on my first cruise in years this year. Oo and my walker's first cruise.

Paul C. said...

Lemonade, I forgot to say the reason this idea came to me was that at first I thought ACPT #5's rebus squares had AND, not DNA. By the way, my working title for this was Tag Teams, but I like your Strange Bedfellows better. No snow here in the Philly area, thank goodness.
Owen, that's cute what you did with Dr. Spock and Mr. Spock.
In case anybody's wondering, the other real/imaginary pairs I found known by a shared name were: Two interests of Copperfield - MAGICANDAGNES; Two settings for Davy Jones - MONKEESANDOCEAN; Two housemates of Snow White - ROSEREDANDDOPEY. The choices are quite limited for both to be well known. It couldn't just be two loves of Ann, after all. Can anyone think of another pair?

Northwest Runner said...

Did Rocky come from the mind of Stallone? Maybe not. Chuck Wepner's life looks awfully similar.

D4E4H said...

I was going to write my CW experience for today when I noticed new fires north of San Diego.  There are now 6 active fires around LA with 1 in it.  My CW review has shrunk to WEES.

I pray for the safety of each evacuee, and that our Cornerites are each spared and safe.

Dave 2

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was a fresh and clever theme which had just the right amount of crunch for a Friday. I knew half of each pairing but am "Star Trek", "The Simpsons", Blondie, and Rocky illiterate, so those halves needed perps or guesses. Overall, though, a smooth and enjoyable solve.

Thanks, Paul, for the Friday fun and for stopping by and thanks, Lemony, for the breezy expo.

Happy Birthday, Ron, hope it's a special one! πŸŽ‚πŸŽπŸΎπŸŽ‰

Have a great day!

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

What fun! Thanks, Paul. Finding the theme clues at NATA___ whilst I was looking for Apollo was my moment. I caught on! I never do. I especially liked the clues for LASH, LOANS, and ACNE. I tried ears before COBS. Thanks for stopping by also.

Thank you, Lemonade, for the tour. I like NORA Ephron"s work, but I especially appreciate her essays. Her collections,I Feel Bad About My Neck and I Remember Nothing, are especially funny--at least for those of us who are "d'une certaine age"--as the French say.

JazzB: Very dapper indeed. Enjoy your day! Thanks for making music.

Anon -T: FLN. I forgot about the term "Easter Eggs." Ha!

Even without our birthday boy nearby, I hope you find some music today.

Husker Gary said...

-I could still be staring at OREA_/SHAN_Y but I put in a T. Oops!
-A fabulous theme and devious cluing (e.g. PARSONS)
-NATASHA AND BORIS failed and then so did trying to come up with another name when I got MARGE
-How ‘bout counting the number of UH HUHs in this ear worm disco song (3:17)
-I came so close to meddling in former SIL’s lateness of funding granddaughter’s trip. I’m glad I didn’t
-Have you ever seen a sign that says ADIT like the one for EXIT?
-And now, the great SEER, soothsayer, and sage” (from Norfolk, NE)
-Didn’t we all “learn” Chopsticks and Heart And Soul on the piano?
-Is the ETA when the plane hits the runway, pulls up to the gate or when the first person has (gotta love this word) deplaned?
-Our cwd friends AROD and SOSA saw banners like these
-The Neil Armstrong biography I am reading spent five pages debunking UFO sightings by astronauts
-A sophomore girl this week told me that NEIL A (Armstrong) anagrams to ALIEN
-HBD, Jazz! Nice write-up and picture, Lemon. Welcome back, HH!

oc4beach said...

Great puzzle and write-up from Paul and Lemon.

Like others I didn't get the theme at first. I wanted BORIS but when the perps proved me wrong, I saw where Paul was going and the other theme clues filled right in. MARGE needed perps also because I'm not a big fan of the Simpsons although I did watch it some when it was part of the Tracey Ullman show but not since.

I had KILL before STAB, PUNS before COBS and I needed perps for the Mountain nymph.

Unlike Texas and other parts of the south, no snow here in Central PA today, but there were a few bands of snow yesterday that made some roads treacherous. Not a lot of snow, but enough. I'm sure we will get our share before too long, though. Time to get the snowblower ready.

Stay safe and dry everyone.

MJ said...

Happy Birthday, Jazzbumpa, and good day to all!

Fun theme today, though it took me awhile to catch on. Thanks for the puzzle and for stopping by and sharing aspects of your inspiration/construction process, Paul.

Thanks for the thorough expo, Lemonade. It was especially interesting to learn about June Foray. She certainly was a versatile voice artist.

Enjoy the day!

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Paul Coulter, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Lemonaid, for a fine review.

Did it on the train last night via cruciverb. Took me a few hours. Took a while to catch the theme. NATASHA and CREED did it.

Some unknowns: LEONE, AIME, DAW, AZTEC, and SHANDY. Perps to the rescue.

Liked 10A COBS.

Hahtoolah: I like Bill Bryson's books. A Walk in the Woods was special.

Happy Birthday, Jazzbumpa, and many more.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy Birthday to JzB. May you have a great, special day.

A very ROCKY, knotty, mogully solve today. Diabolical theme, but once sussed, a joy to embrace. The four 'ANDs' mitigated the difficulty a bit. A Masterpiece, Paul. Thank you.
No searches needed. Just lots of dog (ARF!) work.
ADIT - Don't know if Lemon meant to say the word itself is old fashioned. I'm guessing it is in the every-day lexicon of mining engineers and tunnel experts.

C6D6 Peg said...

Thank you, Paul, for a different type of theme today, which was figured out in pretty short order. Nice job!

Thanks, Lemonade, for the clips.... no time to listen, need to get busy with Christmas baking!

Sonia said...

Yes, we had snow in Houston, but it will be 60 degrees around one o'clock today! That's Houston for you..........

Loved the puzzle.........had to think quite a bit!

Lemonade714 said...

Spitz what I meant was ADIT was big when I was introduced to puzzles by my parents.

Date Grid Clue Author Editor

Tuesday, December 19, 1961 20D Mining term. Unknown Farrar
Monday, September 18, 1961 59D Mine entrance. Unknown Farrar
Saturday, July 15, 1961 2D Mine entrance. Unknown Farrar
Sunday, March 12, 1961 11D Stulm. Eugene T. Maleska Farrar
Wednesday, December 14, 1960 7D Mine entrance. Unknown Farrar
Sunday, September 11, 1960 67A Mine entrance. W. E. Jones Farrar
Friday, June 3, 1960 57A Mine passage. Unknown Farrar
Sunday, January 24, 1960 109D Stulm. Eugene T. Maleska Farrar
Monday, December 21, 1959 24A Mine passage. Unknown Farrar
Thursday, September 17, 1959 30D Mine entrance. Unknown Farrar
Saturday, May 2, 1959 7D Stulm. Herbert Ettenson Farrar
Monday, February 9, 1959 28D Tunnel to a mine.Thomas Meekin Farrar
Monday, November 24, 1958 10D Mine passage. Bernice Gordon Farrar
Wednesday, November 19, 1958 28D Colliery en.Eugene T. Maleska Farrar
Sunday, November 2, 1958 104A Stulm. Eugene T. Maleska Farrar
Friday, August 1, 1958 39A Mine aperture. Unknown Farrar
Sunday, June 8, 1958 14D Mine tunnel Jules Arensberg Farrar
Tuesday, March 18, 1958 2D Mine passage. Jack Luzzatto Farrar
Friday, January 17, 1958 65A Mine entrance. Harold T. Bers Farrar
Wednesday, October 23, 1957 10D Entrance. Unknown Farrar
Wednesday, July 3, 1957 35D Mine passage. Sidney Lambert Farrar
Thursday, May 30, 1957 40D Mine en. Eugene T. Maleska Farrar
Wednesday, May 15, 1957 50D Mine entrance. Herbert Ettenson Farrar
Sunday, January 13, 1957 69A Passage.Paula Bauersmith Farrar
Tuesday, November 6, 1956 56A Mine entrance. Madeline Corse Farrar
Monday, July 30, 1956 7D Tunnel. Thomas Meekin Farrar
Friday, May 18, 1956 25D colliers en Eugene T. Maleska Farrar
Friday, February 10, 1956 12D Mine entrance. Mel Taub Farrar
Wednesday, December 7, 1955 49D Tunnel in a mine. Unknown Farrar
Sunday, August 7, 1955 118A Entrance. Harold T. Bers Farrar
Saturday, July 2, 1955 55D Entrance. Mel Taub Farrar
Thursday, January 20, 1955 41A Access. Ruth Oliver Farrar
Sunday, November 28, 1954 9D Approach. Thomas Meekin Farrar
Wednesday, November 17, 1954 9D Access. Bernice Gordon Farrar
Friday, October 22, 1954 43A Mine en Eugene T. Maleska Farrar
Wednesday, August 25, 1954 30D Mine entrance. Thomas Meekin Farrar
Sunday, August 8, 1954 62D Mine entrance. Diana Sessions Farrar
Sunday, July 11, 1954 89A Access. H. L. Risteen Farrar
Sunday, June 6, 1954

Lemonade714 said...

Thank you Paul; I think I found my niche- not constructing, but titling puzzles.

Spitzboov said...

Lemon @ 1053. I thought that's what you meant. When I started cwd'g actively~ 25 years ago, it was still big; out of proportion to other words used in the daily language. Thanks for your reply.

Misty said...

Well, I got the entire half and more of this delightful Friday puzzle before I had to start cheating (e.g. looking up AZTEC since I don't know my athletes even if they're just down the road). But loved the moment when I realized the difference between the two answers (what NATASHA did Rocky Balboa ever know?). But my favorite answer may have been ACNE because I was so sure that the high school kid got either CEES or DEES for his bad marks (hey, I was a teacher). Anyway, fun puzzle, and then the extra gift of having Paul C come on the blog and explain how it all comes into shape for a constructor--always fascinating to learn that--many thanks, Paul! And great write-up, Lemonade.

Keep taking good care of yourself, Fermatprime.

Owen, your second limerick cracked me up.

Dave, scary to hear about the San Diego fires. I live in Laguna Beach and feel caught between two giant fires. And this morning I smelled the first bit of smoke outside--very scary. I had to evacuate because of a fire in 1993 and thought we had lost our house. Hope that doesn't happen this year.

Have a good day, everybody.

Bill G said...

Hi everybody

Thanks Paul and Lemon. I really enjoyed the challenge.

Six (or more?) fires raging all around southern California; from Santa Barbara to Magic Mountain area to San Diego. They are fueled by the brush grown with help from last winter's rains and pushed by the dry, Santa Ana winds. But how did they start? Could it be from a demented arsonist.

D-O, could you send a little of your wet snow over this way?

CrossEyedDave said...

Happy Birthday Jzb, I couldn't find a cake with your name on it...

Strange Bedfellows?

D4E4H, Perfect timing on the "ASAP."

desper-otto said...

California Fires -- saw this in today's Time Magazine daily newsbrief: "... warm air blows in from the dessert leading to blustery days in the region. At their most powerful, the winds can wreck destruction throughout the region..."

They've since digested their dessert, but the destruction continues to be wrecked.

Lucina said...

Really late to the party today because I overslept. Hooray! Some nights it's the opposite and I'm grateful for a complete night's rest.

Happy birthday, Ron! May MUSIC follow wherever you go!

Thank you, Paul Coulter, for this clever puzzle and for explaining what inspired you. Interesting.

I got a good start in the west and filled non-stop downward. It took a while to get the theme because I've never seen Rocky and though POETRY filled quickly MARGE came through much later. It finally dawned on me with LOGICANDBABIES. Yes, I'm slow.

OREAD bobbed up immediately as did ADIT. Both were crossword staples for many years and have fallen out of use lately. Thanks for reviving them, Paul.

How could I ever forget Sergio LEONE? Never, I hope. He directed some of the best westerns and with the very young and handsome Clint Eastwood.

Caesarean section was clever as was they're corny. GAUL and COB. Tee hee. Also honey bunch, BEES. So much to like in this puzzle.

Again, thank you, Paul. And many thanks to you, Lemonade, who bring so much depth with your expos.

Have a happy Friday, everyone!

Misty said...

Forgot to wish you a happy birthday, JazzB. Hope it's a lot of fun.

Tinbeni said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAZZ ... The "First Sunset Toast" is to YOU !!!

D-N-F ... not even close ... Thanks Lemon for explaining my "white-spaces."

Fave today, of course, was 41-d, Stunned, DAZED ... I've been that way a few times.

Liked the CSO to me at 26-d, ANDY ... my real "First Name."


Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIR by sheer luck. WAGed Shan_y x OREA_. First thought was "m" until I remembered that Orem, UT has only four letters then selected "D" from an alphabet run. But I still thought it was easier than Wednesday and Thursday, which I couldn't finish.

I hated "uhhuh" like all the other guttural utterances we sometimes see here, but I loved ARF for "request to go out", IDEA accompanying a finger snap, and ACNE for "bad marks...".

My favorite Blondie song is "Rapture".

I was going to ask Lemony "where's the beef", but he clarified before I got here. I had to pick up my motorhome at Caterpillar this morning after some final tweaks needed before we leave for Florida. Rainy and cold today, then rainier and colder tomorrow. DW won't leave before Christmas; otherwise I would already be in the Sunshine State. Five more teaching days next week, then I'm off until April.

Thanks Paul C for a fun puzzle and for checking in. And thanks Lemonade for anther fine explanation. HBD to JazzB. Hope you toot your own horn today.

Picard said...

Confused by the COMMA clue as I figure most (not just "many") lists have COMMAs. Crossing with the unknown CREED made me think I FIW, but I was wrong.

FIR and very much enjoyed the creative and original theme! Every time I see HOMER I wonder which one is intended. In this case, both!

Desper-Otto count me as another person in North America who has never seen a Rocky movie and never plans to see one.

Hahtoolah, I am also a huge BLONDIE fan but have only gotten to see her perform once.

Hand up for FROG before TOAD. Never have seen a TOAD on a lily pad. They generally only go in water to breed. Hand up for EARS before COBS.

We waited at this ADIT to enter Shasta Caverns recently

Learning moment that ADIT applies to such places. Only know the word from these puzzles.

Here are more photos in and around Shasta Caverns that are more interesting!

Thanks for the amusing spellings in the fire report, Desper-Otto. A bit of levity in a situation that otherwise is quite dismal.

This NASA image shows the smoke from space. That really thick awful plume? We are in that one. At least no fire right here!

Thanks for the comments yesterday on my Amazon CRUISE by PK and others.

Hahtoolah: I would be very interested to know more about your Amazon CRUISE from Peru? I have to say I was not that impressed by what I saw in our two weeks on the Amazon from Brazil. There was not much wildlife and what remained was very skittish. I saw more wildlife out and about in Panama City after that trip!

SwampCat said...

Thanks, Paul, for an unusual and enjoyable puzzle. Very clever theme. I confess I only got a couple....the Spocks and the Blondies. But the lesser clues were fun, too....ACNE, and NOSE for bridge site, and HEART. Yes, I miss Marti also!! Thanks for stopping by.

Lemonade, the tour was great. You add so much tot he puzzles. I had frog before TOAD. But I did remember Londonderry Air, probably because we all mispronounced it, or maybe just mis-parsed it! Anyway, I got SONG.

Happy birthday, JzB. And many more

Our weather south of the Lake is freezing, but no real snow as there is in other parts of the sunny south. We've had flurries and mixed snow, sleet, rain and misery, in equal parts. Wish we could send it to California where it would do some good.

Stay warm everyone!

SwampCat said...

One, two masterpieces!!!

SwampCat said...

....sigh.... That was supposed to be "Owen ". Dumb autocorrect

Ol' Man Keith said...

HBD, JazzB!

I enjoyed many of Mr. Coulter's clues, especially 53D - "Bad marks in high school?" - which was actually the last answer I filled today. It had me going 'til the very end.

I can't claim a Ta- DA because I bailed on the left side by confirming ADIT. After I did that, I just lost all sense of self-discipline. I broke down and turned to the Nexus checker for two or three more answers. Bwah-hah-hah-ha-HA!
I had been doing some good work, hacking away, counting on Patience and Persistence to win the day.
But after ADIT, I kinda lost interest... It happens some days. You know.

Tinbeni, I noticed your "D-N-F" and feel for you.
A suggestion: Whenever I've been confronted by that looming possibility, I will persist in filling all the blanks to the best of my waning abilities. Then no matter how many wrong, bad, or even sinful answers I get, I can at least avoid the ignominy of the dreaded DNF.

Our SoCal fires are terrible. Like Misty I am beginning to feel surrounded by these frightful blazes. I live in the faculty enclave south of the UC Irvine campus. Ours is a tree-filled neighborhood, and I have begun to eye our beautiful elm and cyprus and birch-lined streets with new suspicion.
In honesty, the current fires are quite some distance from my home, and I've always taken heart in the fact that we're some distance away from a real forested area. But lately the TV News is showing devastation on cul-de-sacs that look very much like ours.

My heart goes out to all who have been driven from their homes. What a terrible ordeal that must be.

PS. No, this grid pattern did not allow for diagonal solving.

Jayce said...

I loved this puzzle, primarily because of the theme. I already had filled OLEG and SOD, so for a long time I wondered NATASHA AND who? Finally, after figuring out LOGIC AND BABIES I got the IDEA. Very nifty! It took perps to get OREAD but at least I finally remembered SHANDY. Agree that pretty much only a FROG sits on a lily pad, not a TOAD, and agree that the LASH is not actually a part of the eye, per se. But I suppose when someone says you have pretty eyes he or she is referring to the lids and lashes as well. I loved the clue for NOSE, and I thought of Tinbeni at ANDY. A tiny dupe at AIRED and "Airs."

Yep, Lemonade, you sure do look a lot happier than you used to. So wonderful and life-affirming to have a woman who loves you as much as you love her. (I know, I know, a lot of assumptions in that statement.)

Happy birthday wishes to You, Ron!

Man oh man, snow and freezing weather in so many places, and blast-furnace winds and fires in southern California. Yikes!

Good wishes to you all.

Ol' Man Keith said...

A Correction to the "PS" in my last posting:

While Mr. Coulter's grid did not allow for the usual NW to SE diagonal solve, it did permit a perfect "mirror" solve. I didn't catch it in time, but one could have begun today's pzl-cracking by filling from square 15 diagonally (NE to SW) to square 211 - in other words, from 13D to 61A, the "S" of COBS through the "W" of WHEY.

desper-otto said...

Oh, I get it. You didn't buy that cruise on D'oh!

Dan said...

A very crunchy Friday. I got the theme early...kinda. At first, I thought it was 2 of Rocky's opponents; I got CREED but couldn't think of a 7 letter foe. Then it dawned on me...NATASHA! (OK, thanks wife). After that, it was the right two words. For Homer, I tried PAINTING (Winslow) but knew it was a 6 letter word. Oh, the POETRY Homer. I thought it would be DONUT but couldn't make the perps work. Then MARGE hit me. Got LOGIC AND BABIES very quick (and in the right order!), knew it would be DAGWOOD (Heart of ____)? Oh, MUSIC. Right.

But the fill was difficult, but fair. Waiting for the snow in Hampton Roads!

AnonymousPVX said...

Well, not to shake the Earth or anything, but I found this theme....clever. And totally acceptable. Plus, it want really needed to solve as the rest was well clued, if deceptive, also ok especially for a Friday.

BEDSIDE, not for house calls but they still have beds in hospitals, yes?

AnonymousPVX said...

Want=wasn’t, geez

Pat said...

I did better on this puzzle than I usually do on Fridays, but still a DNF. One day, maybe... Thanks, Paul. I finally caught on to the theme. Thank you for your much needed help, Lemonade.

37D: Tony relative. How the heck am I supposed to know Anon-T's family? Oh, the award. Gotcha!

I've never seen the Simpsons, never watched a Rocky movie, never watched Star Trek so those answers needed perps.

Happy Birthday, JazzBumpa!

Happy Friday to all!

Anonymous said...

Pat: Rocky is mindless. But The Simpsons and Star Trek are quite profound.

By making a show that is a cartoon or about space aliens it is possible to have very deep ideas and social commentary that get past the censors!

Mark S said...

I’m writing this before reading the expo and comments as I just completed this tough and challenging puzzle. Got a lot of satisfaction finishing this one. 20a I thought of arf that led to hot footing and hear. Rembrred old friend ulna, pry, epee, seer, posse and ova. Bridge site, I thought of post or mast for ships bridge. Then it dawned on me since I had banner, it had to be nose.. I was staring for a long time at Natasha, Dagwood poetry and logic until my dog kept requesting to go out. Then I saw the second half of the answers to the big reveal and I was able to finish. Shandy and oread were unknowns. Got adit and Pedro thru perps.

Cheers to Paul Coulter for a Friday morning bit of fun.....


Mark S said...

And thanks to Lemonade for a great expo.


Mark S said...

On page A13 of today’s LA Times there’s a very interesting column on Lesotho, a complete unknown to me until doing the xword earlier this week.



PK said...

Hi Y'all! Nice to meet you, Paul. Great puzzle! Thanks again, Lemony, for making sense of it all.

I didn't get the theme of two subjects with the same name until DAGWOOD AND MUSIC crosses filled enough to show the way. Until then I just had the first names AND ____. Hand up for never seeing Rocky, Simpsons, or Star Trek. CREED filled in but confused me -- it's a name? Also didn't know LEONE, SHANDY, PEDRO, PENA. Oh well, I knew OLEG.

RAISE price before COSTS. ACee before ACNE.

Happy Birthday, JzB! May you have many melodious toots. Please don't try the antics of the trombonist on Gary's link of KC & the Sunshine Band. Lot of wasted energy there and looks injurious. UH HUH!

BillG: I've long thought at least some of the many California fires are the work of terrorists taking advantage of the wind and conditions. Very demented terrorists? I cannot believe Allah would be pleased.

Picard: the rock work around that ADIT is very interesting. Wonder how'd they cut a square door frame through that. Where are Shasta Caverns?

No snow here for now. Yay!

D4E4H said...

So much to say. So little mind!  
-The word of the day on 12-7 was ZESTA.  If you have yet to taste them, do it ASAP.  They have a buttery flavor.  The word of the day today is Jazzbumpa.  HBD Jzb.
CED 1140A
-You couldn't find a cake with Jzb on it, but you are excused.
-Pi R squared, no, cake are square.  Pie are round, except when  they are in a square box.  Hands up for the perfect pizza, pepperoni, Italian sausage, and green olives.  I also add the little fishes, aunt Chovis, and Halle Pee Nose.  UUmm GGooOOdd!
-The kitten in the E collar is bracing its hind feet against a muzzle.  I know how that lampshade got there. 
I bet I can make you put that lamp shade on your head 4:44 of alcohol, catch the guitar licks at the video's end.  Brad Paisley outshines any picker I have ever heard, even the great --

Chet Atkins
-The warm air verifies that the desert dessert is fresh out of the death valley.
Dave 2

Anonymous T said...

UHHUH, UHHUH, Oh, Yeah.... I got a FRIDAY 100%! (Fine print: 2 Googles required).

Hi All!

Which Rocky? Blondie? Oh, both! I didn't catch on until I had DAGWOOD AND M-SI- and thinking what's (comic) Blondie's catering partner's name? A V-8 came out of the blue and I got ACNE (ha!) and then only MUSIC made sense... BOTH!!!

Quickly, I ink'd over Boris w/ CREED, finished off POETRY AND --RGE; LOGIC and [so wanted reason] BABIES. Still had to finish the NE but now I was determined!

Thank you so much Paul. This was a beaut with extra sparkle ta-boot. Very well done and you even won over PVX. ARF was esp. cute [nailed it!].

Thanks Lem for the expo (and cartoons). I too was lost how SONGS == AIRS; thanks D-O.

Look-ups: OREA[?] for the D. Then I wanted an 'H' at S-ANDY' but couldn't commit w/o double-checking (go ahead, slap my hand, I'm Catholic, I'm used to it :-)). But, that gave me STAB, HONE and BEDSIDE to follow [I'm inconsistent with the Oxford COMMAs, I just noticed]

{B, A [very good & LOL, but didn't need the 'the' b/f colic IMHO - everybody's a critic, eh?]}

HG - Neil doth protest too much! Ergo, UFOs are real! :-)

Sonia - didn't realize w/ had another H-Town'r @The Corner. Yep, 1" of heavy-wet snow. I had to broom-off my car and then did neighbor's. Youngest was giddy w/ the flurries last night - this AM w/ the lawn and palms coated, she was off the rails.
TXMs - Your loop blanket wasn't quite warm enough - we had snow on the top of the parking garage @Post Oak.

Jinx - Rapture for you.

Pat - LOL inre: Uncle OBIE.

And Happy Birthday Jazz! Thanks for what you do @The Corner and for being a music man. I can't play a note but I so love live MUSIC.

Y'all in CA, God Speed and, please, Stay Safe.

Cheers, -T

CrossEyedDave said...

I had a bunch of WAGS that made no sense to me,
but panned out due to perpage.

(Hmm, spellchecker does not like "perpage.")
(I dunno, makes perfect sense to me...)


but to be honest, I did have to google "Shandy" because of that dang toad.
7d hopper on a pad, comeon! Toads are too darn fat to float on lily pads!

Oh, so that's how they do it, they have built in water wings!

It's amazing how amphibians attract a mate,
in looking at this pictures aftereffects,,,
Those ripples, i dunno, is that sound vibrations, or did he just fart?
Everybody out of the pool!

CrossEyedDave said...

Thanks D4E4h, never heard of Brad Paisley till today.
Chet Atkins! Yes! Must study that video! How did he do it!

Adit, hmm, if it is not a mine, but a natural cave,
is the entrance still an Adit?
(Picard is my new Photography Mentor)
Imitation, the sincerest form of flattery...

It was a long way down inside...

But worth all those stairs...

Michael said...


No, it's not terrorists starting fires in California. When there is a high-pressure area in or around Nevada, all that air pushes over the mountains into California, strenuously. Add to that, the tremendous amount of fuel (dried brush and trees) from last winter here, and all it takes is one spark to start a fire, and off it goes. [Personal aside: when growing up in Pasadena, I remember a number of times when we had 35- to 50-mph winds, humidity close to 0, in the winter. One of these was on New Year's Day.]

The question then becomes, where does said spark come from? Sometimes, from utility wires shorting; sometimes from lightning strikes; sometimes from people ... cigarettes, fireplaces, accidents, carelessness. Yes, it could be an arsonist, but the pattern today looks like wind-induced starts.

Big Easy said...

Snowing in New Orleans today. None stuck at my house but other areas across the lake had 3-4"

Half of the pairs were gimmes - NATASHA, MARGE, BABIES, DAGWOOR- and the other half took a little thinking. I wanted BORIS for Apollo CREED until I glanced at the clues for OLEG & BEES. Having AND in all the answers helped a lot, as I would have never filled SHANDY and I wasn't HOT FOOTING it when I filled OREAD (unknown). The hardest to fill was MUSIC from the 'Call Me' singing band Blondie.

Sergio LEONE, ANN Radcliffe, PEDRO Martinez, ABT were all filled from perps. A couple of misstarts slowed a little: LENS became LASH and VAT became URN.

'Bad marks in school'- ACNE- great clue. Ditto for 'Service aces'- PARSONS, which was filled by perps before the V8 moment hit. Margery DAW- only seen it in LA Times Xword puzzles.

Picard said...

PK: I think the rock work was decorative and added around the door. The inner rock in the cave is very different. Shasta Caverns is on Shasta Lake in Northern California near the Oregon border. We stayed there to rest up after the Oregon Total Eclipse and traffic nightmare. Very relaxing!

CrossEyedDave: Thanks for the flattery! Way cool! It seems your Crystal Cave is in Pennsylvania. We were in a different Crystal Cave last year at Sequoia National Park.

Lemonade714 said...

"Yep, Lemonade, you sure do look a lot happier than you used to. So wonderful and life-affirming to have a woman who loves you as much as you love her. (I know, I know, a lot of assumptions in that statement.)" Jayce all of your assumptions, if they are good ones, are correct. We went through hell and back last year and are closer than ever.

CED thank you for being you.

AVX, thank you for recognizing this puzzle.

PK said...

Michael: I'd like to believe you are right, but please keep an open mind. The terrorists count on no one believing in monsters in America. I'd hate to tell you how many times I've been right about things I didn't want to be right about. Of course, I've been wrong about a lot of things too.

D4E4H said...

CED 337P & 417P
-C.C. said you may have only one perpage per page.
-If you think "It's amazing how amphibians attract a mate." consder the turtle.
The turtle lives 'twixt plated decks
Which practically conceal its sex.
I think it clever of the turtle
In such a fix to be so fertile.

Ogden Nash
US humorist & poet (1902 - 1971)

-"Because of the great reduction in ongoing costs that a drainage adit can provide, they have sometimes been driven for great distances just for this purpose, one such being the Milwr tunnel in North Wales, which is about ten miles (16 km) long."

-For a cave, "The opening is called the cave entrance or cave mouth. It is usually an "exit" formed by flowing water."

-The entrance to Crystal Cave, Kutztown, PA is a "Subtractit."  That will be $19.99 each.  Oh great one with eyes that cross, is that you I see at yon exit?
-Mammoth Cave in Ky has over 400 miles of mapped passage ways so you can look at the map and tell your friends "We are lost HERE."  Our tour guide turned off the lights for a moment.  It was DARK!  He said not to worry about a cave in.  "You'll never be buried deeper cheaper."
Dave 2

SwampCat said...

PK, unfortunately you are right most of the time on these things. I have no idea what's going on with these particular fires, but reasons do get buried. It's a shame. Easier to believe in natural causes.

I have relatives in Northern California . Their fires there have been put out by the snows. But the causes remain a mystery .

Coach J said...

-WC, thanks for the shoutout yesterday...limerick was historically accurate as well. The Sioux and Pawnee were bitter enemies.
-I found the puzzle challenging and especially liked clueing for 18D “Soul mate” and 19D “Feature of many a list”.
-My last fill was COMMA/AIME intersection.
-Also, Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon was very entertaining, especially back in the day when there were 3 channels! Not to mention Fractured Fairy Tales and Mr. Peabody and Jonny Quest
Hope all have a great start to the weekend

Lucina said...

I've been writing Christmas cards all day and decided to come and see what my fellow commenters are up to and am so glad I did! Anonymous PVX had a red letter day!

You all amuse me and thank you for that.

Michael said...

PK and SwampCat:

" I'd like to believe you are right, but please keep an open mind."

Oh, I do keep an open mind ("Open mind; insert foot" can also work, though). It's just that as a Southern California native, I have seen these Santa Ana fires all my life -- very rarely is there a clear-cut explanation ever found. So, yes, this could be an act of terrorists (eco-, green, Islamic, IRA, or whatever the 'fear of the month' is), but most likely it isn't.

And a happy, low-snow, Saturday to all! Please, ship some moisture out west, as the long-range forecast has no California rain until next year.