Dec 3, 2017

Sunday Dec 3, 2017 Nora Pearlstone

Theme:  "Movers"- Parse it as Move-Rs. Letter R's are moved backwards.
23A. Screwballs in the hayloft? : BARN FLAKES. Bran flakes. Notice in each original phrase, letter R is the second letter? Very consistent.

25A. Where crooks learn their trade? : PERP SCHOOL. Prep school.

43A. Cookie cooks? : DISC BAKERS. Disc brakes. Oh, this reminds me of Anon-T and his Pizzelle.

83A. Dealt with unproductive mollusks? : FIRED CLAMS. Fried clams.
102A. Restaurant reservation for fish? : CARP'S TABLE. Craps table. Boomer's encounter with Dr. J happened at a craps table in the old Stardust in Vegas.

104A. Result of Uncle Sam frequenting Papa John's? : PIZZA BEARD. Funny image. Pizza bread.

36D. Like surfers? : BOARD-MINDED. Broad-minded.

39D. Group of body shop specialists? : BUMPER CORPS. Bumper crops. Tiny stray R in BUMPER.

Nora Pearlstone is the alias name of Rich Norris, anagram of "Not a Real Person". See here for a full list of the alias names Rich uses. 

Always a treat when Rich makes a puzzle. These days he's very busy editing the LA Times crosswords. Prior to 2010, Rich constructed tons of puzzles for the NYT, LAT, CrosSynergy and other venues. 

I don't think we've seen a themeless from Rich in the LAT, but he's an extremely accomplished themeless constructor. So he can really go low on Sunday word account, but he chose a 142 for clean fill today. Rich also allows 144 words for Sundays. Trust me, it makes a huge difference.

1. __ act : CLASS. Fill-in--the blank clues are no gimmes.

6. Graceful bird : SWAN

10. Manhattan sch. : CCNY
14. Baggage check requirement : ID TAG

19. Primer sequence : A E I O U

20. Trillionth: Pref. : PICO

21. Surprised greeting : OH HI

22. Actress Thomas : MARLO. Can you believe she's 80 years old?

27. Enjoying a wilderness vacation, maybe : ON SAFARI.

28. Two-mile-high city : LHASA. I linked this once. Both Shanghai and Lhasa are two-character names in Chinese. We use La Sa spelling.

30. Caged, with "up" : COOPED

31. Very long tooth : TUSK

32. Pouch occupants : JOEYs

33. Fronded tree : PALM

34. Picasso, for one : CUBIST. Same letter count as ARTIST.

37. Med. prefix : NEUR. Nerve.

38. Income statement write-offs : BAD DEBTS. And "income" clue echo with 42. Live-income filler : ON ONE

46. Cosmonaut Gagarin : YURI

47. Film-rating org. : MPAA

48. Elec. instrument : SYNTH

49. "Later" : TA TA

50. "The Simpsons" character Sideshow __ : MEL. Unknown to me. We see APU/STU more often.

51. Faller of 2001 : MIR

52. "Hmm ... don't think so" : UH NO

53. Northumbrian monk, briefly : ST BEDE. According to Wiki, he was "an English monk at the monastery of St. Peter and its companion monastery of St. Paul in the Kingdom of Northumbria of the Angles".

55. __ facto : IPSO

56. Slowish movement : ANDANTE

58. Leafstalks : PETIOLES. Learning moment for me.

60. Interfere (with) : MESS

61. Mickey and Jerry : MICE. What a great surprise! Thought the answer would be a plural surnames. 

62. Strict diet restriction : NO CARBS

63. Blacken : SEAR

65. "... dark, __ the blaze of noon": Milton : AMID

67. Prizes in a case : TROPHIES

69. Feline named for an island : MANX CAT. Isle of Man.

72. Sensible : SANE

73. Tardy with : LATE ON

74. Team across the state from the Marlins : RAYS. Tampa Bay Rays.And 16. 74-Across' stadium, casually, with "The" : TROP. Tropicana Field.

75. Artist Yoko : ONO

76. Decked : KO'D

77. Zany Martha : RAYE

78. They're heavier than foils : EPEES

80. Villain named Julius : DR NO. He was born in Beijing.

81. Russian city : OREL. South of Moscow.

85. Easy putt : TAP IN

86. Faithfulness : FIDELITY

88. Showing skill : ABLY. Big Easy sent me this.

89. Order givers : BOSSES

90. Ending with ortho- : DOXY

91. Bar, at the bar : ESTOP. First Bar is verb. Second noun.

93. Algebra, e.g. : MATH

94. Rabbitlike rodent : AGOUTI

97. Arctic temperature word : BELOW

98. Inherited : CAME INTO

106. Link with : TIE TO

107. Banned for a rules infraction, informally : DQ'ED. Disqualified.

108. Marginally : A TAD

109. Kate's sitcom pal : ALLIE. Kate & Allie.

110. Above it all : ALOOF And 3. Above-it-all attitude : AIRS

111. Old pol. divisions : SSRs

112. Toon explorer : DORA

113. Window insert : GLASS
1. Mexican resort, familiarly : CABO. Cabo San Lucas.

2. Not fatty : LEAN

4. Clementi composition : SONATINA. Did not know Clementi. Rich himself plays piano.

5. Fill, as with light : SUFFUSE

6. Lively quality : SPARK. Yeah, Misty, we love to see you healthy and happy.

7. User-edited site : WIKI
8. Top performer : ACE

9. Pretty darn good : NO SLOUCH. Rich is also no slouch when it comes to golf. Scratch golfer.

10. Patient share : CO-PAY

11. Game with capturing : CHESS

12. Dragsters' org. : NHRA.National Hot Rod Association.

13. Shelter sound : YIP

14. "Brr!" : I'M COLD

15. Former name of Benin : DAHOMEY. Another learning moment for me.

17. Burn soother : ALOE

18. Top prize : GOLD

24. Bottom position : LAST

26. Many : SCADS

29. Rosemary, e.g. : HERB. I've been loving rosemary-roasted potatoes. Simple to make. Nothing as complicated as D-Otto's potato dumplings.

32. Fun : JEST

33. Celebratory procession : PARADE

34. Run-on sentence's lack, probably : COMMA
35. Remove, as a brooch : UNPIN

37. El __ : NINO

38. Stimulating leaves : BETELS. I was told that that betel leaves are used in Indian weddings.

40. Long lock : TRESS

41. Storage cylinders : SILOS

43. 10 micronewtons : DYNE
44. Wear : ATTIRE

45. Cookout fare on sticks : KABOBS. Xi'an style kabobs. Lots of red pepper flakes. Sichuan province is our neighbor, so our cooking is a bit similar. But we mainly use red hot pepper. They use both red hot pepper and the peppercorn. Their food is numbingly spicy. Our food is simply "hot".

48. "Fiddler on the Roof" village : SHTETL. Consonant-heavy.

52. The Tar Heels of the NCAA : UNC

53. Spray 'n Wash target : STAIN

54. Much of Lamb's legacy : ESSAYS
55. High-resolution film format : IMAX

57. Help on the Hill : AIDE

58. Character who uses "yam" as a verb : POPEYE. And 71. 58-Down et al. : TOONS

59. Repeated : ECHOED

62. __ public : NOTARY

64. USN rank : ENS

65. Require from : ASK OF

66. Like about 15% of New Zealanders : MAORI. Over 10% of their population are Asians.

68. It's unlikely : RARITY

69. Fannie __: securities : MAEs

70. Musical in which FDR is a character : ANNIE. Easy guess. 
74. __ Martin Cognac : REMY

78. Skateboarder's protection : ELBOW PAD. Lovely fill.

79. Crab's sensor : PALP

80. Hammett who created Nick and Nora : DASHIELL. Don't recall seeing his given name before. Nice. 

82. Was a factor in : LED UP TO

83. Handy "Mr." : FIX IT.  Look at TTP's work.

84. Roman statesman : CATO

85. Reward for a donation, maybe : TOTE BAG

87. Beaucoup : LOTS OF

89. Perennial NCAA football powerhouse : BAMA

91. Conger catcher : EELER. Thank God for Old Fisherman. So tasty!

92. Snow-covered hill sights : SLEDS
93. "Zoom-Zoom" sloganeer : MAZDA

94. Official records : ACTA

95. Windy-sounding woman's name : GAIL. Our Gail G.

96. Sandwich cookie : OREO

97. Some fam. meals : BBQs

98. Mogul : CZAR

99. Simba's mate : NALA

100. Speaker of Cooperstown : TRIS. I faintly recall TTP's mom worked in his ranch.

101. Poems of honor : ODEs

103. Spots on the tube : ADs

105. Midori on the ice : ITO



desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Well, ya got me, Rich. Tried EXPENSES for BAD DEBTS. Nope. I was sure it was Sideshow BOB. Turns out there are two of 'em, BOB and MEL. Fixed. But at the end of the day, it was KABAB crossing PETIALES that did me in. That darned O. Bzzzzzt!

Thanx for reminding me, C.C. It's almost dumpling time...a day of peeling, grinding and boiling, culminating in a carb coma.

Maybe I'm getting cynical, but lately when I hear "Trust me" or "Believe me," I automatically expect a whopper. What could've caused that?

Big Easy said...

Really Rich. You JEST. OH HI. Only because I still have sheet music to Clementi's SONATINA Opus 36, No.1 would I know the Spiritoso, ANDANTE, & Vivace movements. ( My mother taught piano). AGOUTI, DOHOMEY, & SHTETL- did I know them? Yes but not how to spell them correctly? Hell no. PETIOLES- never heard of but thank you perps.

I caught the R vowel switch early and it helped. My toughest fill was at the end changin El PASO to NINO and JOKE to JEST so that the partial words NEUR(otic) & SYNTH(isizer) allowed the DISC BRAKES to become BAKERS. It took a correct WAG as to whether it would be KEBAB or KEBOB or KABAB or KABOB (all four are correct spellings) crossing the unknowns ST BEDE & PETIOLES to finish it.

Abbrs. MPAA, SYNTH, KOD, DQED, UNC, CCNY, TROP, NHRA, BAMA, TOONS along with prefix & suffix NEUR, SYNTH,PICO, & DOXY- We have SCADS of partial words today. TROP, MEL, BETELS- filled by perps. From what I understand, IMAX films are a larger resolution with the film moving sideways through the projector instead of vertically.

But in filling crosswords, I'm NO SLOUCH. But neither are most of you.


Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I liked the theme and theme answers, although, for some reason Disc Bakers took awhile to parse as I kept focusing on Disc instead of Bakers. I also read the clue for Perp School as cooks instead of crooks and fill in Prep School. This was before I got the letter reversal gimmick.) There were numerous unknowns: Dahomey (Benin I know, as several of my million dollar benefactors are there), Petioles, Agouti, Palp, Pico, and Julius, the villain. Dr. No, yes, but not Julius. I had too many w/o's to list but I did finish w/o help in normal Sunday time.

Thanks, Rich, for a pleasant Sunday solve; for being "not a real person", you sure make some "real"ly good puzzles. Thanks, CC, for the thorough and sparkling review.

Have a great day.

D4E4H said...

C.C. asked if I could believe that Marlo Thomas is 80?  Nope.  No more than I can believe that I am 73, or that my caregiver Lynn is 71.  Did you see how I segued into a story about Lynn.  She is an only child, and wished she were part of a large family.  Enter Curtis a year ago.  He is now 91.  They work together volunteering in a group that makes candy.  The proceeds from said delicious candy is for charity.

Enter Charlotte.  At the surprise birthday party for Curtis' 90th, she delivered a surprise of her own telling everyone that Lynn was the girlfriend of Curtis.  This was news to Lynn so she confronted Curtis, and they formalized  the friendship. With Curtis came 6 children, 22 grandchildren, and 22 great grandchildren, just what Lynn had wanted, a large family.

There is just one rub, Trilba, eldest daughter, and mother figure since the death of her mother, wife of Curtis 14 years ago.  She is convinced that Lynn is a gold digger, and can not see the purity of love between C. and L..  As Trilba goes so do her siblings.  Lynn now has the large family she wanted, but they do not want her.

The moral of the story is how it parallels the Cornerites.  Technically I am one, but I have a long way to go to be considered one.  I know that it is nothing personal, just the standard dynamics of a group.

Agouti have one of those Agoutis.  It is cute.  Thank you whomever you are for a meaningful puzzle.  I surprised myself buying only one letter.  Yee Hah, or was that Gee Haw?  Thank you C.C. for your meaningful review.  Gotta find me some eel.

Husker Gary said...

-I hope Staples is having a sale on erasers. Nora/Rich’s great puzzle severely taxed that end of my pencil
-Those BOARD MINDED Beach Boys sang of Surfin’ SAFARI’s
-We prairie dwellers are girding our loins for a few months of being COOPED UP
-Would anyone here have known 31. Raymond of House Of Cards for TUSK?
-We finally quit subsidizing (enabling?) my brother and SIL’s BAD DEBTS
-My fav steak? SEARED on the top and bottom and pink in the middle. You?
-A dedicated colleague started an FBLA chapter and the school had to build her a TROPHY case
-I admire coaches who go against ORTHOdoxy with fake punts and such
-ALOOF and putting on AIRS?
-I am reading this book. He was an ACE in air/space but not so much with his family
-Didn’t you musical people first think of Anatevka?
-D4E4H – It took me a long time to find my voice that used my paltry skills but was congruent to the site in quality and quantity

Coach J said...

ST BEDE crossing BETELS crossed me up. At least ONO wasn’t involved in the breakup this time. Fun, challenging puzzle. Cheers. PS: MISTY I’m glad you are feeling better.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, C.C. and friends. I found this puzzle to be a challenge, but figured out the theme with the PERP SCHOOL.

Sideshow MEL? No, I confidently wrote down Sideshow Bob. I haven't watched The Simpson's in years.

Char before SEAR.

Oh, so the Fiddler on the Roof was a generic village, no Anatevka. (Too many letters anyway.)

We've seen the AGOUTI before and I am sure I will forget it when it appears again.

Thanks, to all good wishes on my upcoming retirement. PK, that is my biggest fear, that I will die before I get to enjoy my "free" time. How horrifying for all the remaining employees of your daughter's company. Swampcat: I will be sure to look you up for lunch after January!

QOD: Facing it, always facing it, that’s the way to get through. Face it. ~ Joseph Conrad (Dec. 3, 1857 ~ Aug. 3, 1924)

TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you CC and thank you "Nora"

Failed miserably today. Stayed up way past normal watching the Big 10 Conference Championship. Didn't wake up until after 8 AM. Feel physically and mentally sluggish. And it showed trying to solve the puzzle.

Got most of the theme answers and studied the title, but never got it. So simple after reading your expo. D'OH ! But it was all of the unknowns that prevented the TADA. Guess I should have saved it for possible completion later, but I have too many irons in the fire, so I threw in the towel.

Thanks for the CSO CC. It was my grandmother that worked for Tris Speaker at his ranch outside Hubbard, Texas. It's where my mother was born. My mother and father, my grandfather, so many of my mom's relatives are interred at Fairview Cemetery in Hubbard. That's also where Tris Speaker is buried.

Gotta get cracking. Have to finish reframing a door opening. Replacing a sold door with a 15 lite glass door.

desper-otto said...

Learning moment: Tris Speaker is dead. I thought he was still working as a sports commentator. I only know of him from cws.

Relearning moment: Sunday cws have titles. I should've looked at it today.

D4E4H said...

-How did you get the first post, and in mid afternoon, Corner time?  Your "Trust me" or "Believe me" somehow needs an exclamation point!  This punctuation mark works like all others so why is it that one is no longer sufficient to exclaim that you are excited.  The bare minimum now is 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-Steak needs only 3 degrees of doneness, raw, medium, and charcoal.
-Neil A. Armstrong was "First Man?"  Boy, Adam is going to have a fit.  BTW Adam and Eve are at a nudest nudist convention.  No name tags, no place to pin them. Everyone greets them by name.  How did the attendees know? The answer below if I can remember that long.
-Thanks for your SO to me. Message received.  I must really be special.  I got more than one line.
-I almost missed "Sideshow Bob," so for those who are not currently highlighting their links let me tell you how easy it is.  If you have somehow missed the "Bold and the Beautiful" class, your bold entry looks like link
You now treat this hieroglyphic as the text in the "Link" sandwich.  Looking forward to those bright blue links.

Adam and Eve are navel-less.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Too tough for me today. I had two bad cells, and one of them (PETIaLES) I looked up! I should have gotten the other - I had OHHa. I didn't know that there were all those ways to spell the "dish on a stick" - Thanks, BE. Too many erasures to list here. Plenty of learning opportunities, but will I avail myself of them? Doubtful.

MARLO Thomas is 80? I had a crush on "That Girl" in my ute.

One of the founders of the NHRA actively raced a sistership to one of my boats, a Catalina 38. I used to take another of my sailboats, a Hobie 33, to St. Petersburg every February for the NOOD (pronounced "nude") regatta, and all the boat trailers were parked at the Trop.

Thanks to Rich for a puzzle that was a stretch objective for me. And thanks to CC for the nice tour, and for the inside scoop about Rich.

SwampCat said...

You win, "Nora". Way too many names and unknowns for me. But I enjoyed the effort and appreciate the many learning moments.

Like HG and Hahtoolah, I Knew the village was Anatevka! Only it wasn't.

CC, you bring it all together so well. I may even remember some of the unknowns.

Happy Sunday!

Picard said...

This was definitely a challenge! Hand up for ARTIST before CUBIST.

Here we took our SLEDS to Mt Pinos north of Los Angeles. Some SLEDS work better than others in that kind of snow as you can see!

My family lived on a SHTETL 100 years ago just as in Fiddler on the Roof. It is the name of a kind of village, not the name of a specific village.

Thanks for the EEL photo, CC! I appreciate what the EELERS bring in, too!

Got all the hard stuff but FIW with REME/ABLE instead of REMY/ABLY. One too many unknown proper names for me.

Speaking of which, thanks for the replies to my thoughts yesterday on regional brand names. I am OK with arbitrarily obscure names. As long as the crosses work. I enjoy learning new words in unknown areas. But a good crossword is about solving creatively, not about looking stuff up.

Another follow up from yesterday: Mike Sherline, sorry I was unclear about the Las Vegas airport being named for McCarran. His law went into effect after WWII. It barred many Jewish refugees from the US after the war, but it allowed many ex-Nazis to enter. Sorry my link did not work. I will try again:

This article from 1952 explains this injustice.

Yes, almost everyone has their good and bad points. Mussolini did get the trains to run on time, a great feat in Italy. But I think we would be offended if a major airport were still named for him. There are limits.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thanks, Rich! Always interesting challenge. Always great, C.C.! I've never tasted eel maybe I'll look for some at the grocery store since you recommend it.

Got the theme except for the DISC BAKERS/BRAKES one. Duh!

Fang before TUSK. KOD, what's KOD? Oh, C.C., KO'D. Duh!

Hand up for trying to cram Anatevka into the SHTETL row. When "L" appeared I knew what was wanted. Favorite musical ever. New-to-me: OREL for Russian City. Is it near the SHTETL?

TTP's shed looks fine. The beautiful German shepherd reminds me of one I rescued. He was forever grateful and definitely "My" dog. Only fault was wanting to be my lap dog. Oof!

Hahtoolah: Hope you live a long and enjoyable life in the retirement you deserve. My first thought when I heard about my daughter's boss was, "thank goodness she got her letter of recommendation from him earlier". Then I hoped he'd signed the final bonus check he promised her. So many things are left undone by a sudden death. Am I cold-hearted? Or just too practical? He and his wife & daughter were very good to my daughter, so I am also very sad.

Jayce said...

I struggled with this puzzle, but did finally solve it. Many of my first answers were wrong and had to be changed. As for the theme, I thought it was a matter of swapping the 2nd and 3rd letters of the first word, but DSICBAKERS didn't make sense. Only after reading the explanation by C.C. did I get the connection to the letter R, which also helped me understand the BOARD-BROAD and BEARD-BREAD switches. Still, that "move R" pattern was not consistent, which threw me. This puzzle was full of subtleties that proved too subtle for my Sunday morning mentality today. At least I did know MARLO and LHASA and YURI and RAYE and POPEYE, but got lost at PETIOLES and DAHOMEY. I had fun, though.

Gary, I agree with you about steak.

Good wishes to you all.

Spitzboov said...

Hello everyone.

Needed a little red-letter help but finished it OK. Did it on-line because my paper doesn't have the Sunday LAT cw.
Had to try it since it was one of Nora's.
I guess the brightest part was sussing the theme, which helped get some of the longer fill in the south. DYNE was a WAG. MAORI was a good guess; vowel rich.
St. BEDE is also the Venerable BEDE who is the source of much early English history.
ENS - One of three three-letter official Navy officer rank abbreviations (also CDR and ADM). A new Ensign on board a ship is sometimes referred to as a 'fresh-caught Ensign'.
MICE - Mouse, MICE. One of the juicy Germanic nouns where a vowel shift makes the plural. German Maus, Mäuse; L. German Muus, Müüs;

maripro said...

Thanks C.C. - I've seen agouti in crosswords before, but never knew what they looked like. I also appreciate the list of Rich's aliases. What a creative guy! Just out of curiosity, what is Joyce Nichols Lewis's role?

Misty said...

I loved this morning puzzle (didn't know it was Rich until C.C. told us) and was so happy that section after section slowly filled in. No, I didn't get it all before I had to start cheating, but I got most of it--very satisfying. And I sort of sussed the theme when I got FIRED CLAMS and knew it suggested FRIED CLAMS, but it just didn't help me get several other first words of the theme answers. And there were unknowns, like AGOUTI and DAHOMEY. If I had persisted a little longer I would have gotten almost everything. Anyway, a delightful puzzle--thank you, Rich. And my goodness, C.C.--not only a wonderful write-up, but a sweet little shout out to me. You've made my day!

Thank you, too, Coach J, and everyone for their kind support in the last two days.

I was moved by your interesting, but sad Lynn story, Dave. Glad to have you in our corner.

Got Christmas wreaths up this morning. One of the gardeners will do the lights during the week. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Have a great day, everybody!

Wilbur Charles said...

I found this by far the most difficult of the weekend puzzles. I really got hung up on disc/jest. Rich threw a curve ball by doing the reverse on BRAKES vs DISC. Plus, I found both JEST for fun and DISC for cookie both a reach.

Then when I think I had a FIR Picard comes along to tell me it was ABLY! The tense doesn't seem to match.

Yes, seeing"The Venerable BEDE" in the xword was interesting. And same for TRIS Speaker, the Grey Ghost whose glove was where "Triples died".

Hammet (DASHIELL) was famous for The Maltese Falcon and Bogie for making MF famous.

Stout had a Nero Wolfe mystery called Death of a DOXY.

I of course was familiar with REMY Martin. &#@$



Unknown said...

never heard of the rodent nor St Bede nor acta. Which is red lined in spellcheck. I have a disdain for carp from my Dad so I missed the fish getting restaurant reservations. I was so proud of my TADA yesterday so I needed the humbling of today.

By the way Tris Speaker was of the Ty Cobb generation so he's be well over 100 if still alive today. I did have a baseball coach who taught me to play Tris Speaker centerfield that worked through Bae Ruth League but playing very shallow only works until the kids are old enough to hit it 250 ft or you are VERY fast. I don't know if I caught many triples but playing barely on the outfield grass I broke little kids hearts by either robbing them of their first hit of the year or throwing the fat kid out at first !

D4E4H said...

I just ate half of a PBJ avec fromage Americain.  Ooh La La!  Dibs on the other half.  I have read for a second time today's early posts.  Commenters are inspired today with word choices that approach poetry.  Bravo, brava, and bravissimo!
D-O 711A
-"It's almost dumpling time."  I don't know if the font is to blame, but I do not see the "L" in the third word.  What I mistakenly read makes perfect sense after our recent "Buy a vowel day" and given the time of day.
-The recipe makes 16 baseball sized objects.  I have never seen them so big.  In chicken and the d word they are just bigger than a fork, and good eats.  For what annual occasion are you making these?
My post 1125A
-When I wrote "Your bold entry looks like ______ ," I wrote the symbols needed for the  word "Link" to appear in bold type.   Windows 7 did what it thought I wanted, but the symbols are gone.  I will repeat the lesson in words.  Start with "Less than" on the key with the comma, then lower case b, then "Greater than."  Info following this will be in bold until you close it.  The close command is "/b" nestled in the symbols above.
You now treat this hieroglyphic as the text in the "Link" sandwich.  Looking forward to those bright blue links.  

WikWak said...

Wow! This was far and away my hardest Sunday puzzle in ages and ages. It took me 45 minutes, which is about 15 minutes longer than my Sunday average. PETIOLE took forever to make it up out of the swamps and bogs of my brain (hey, c'mon now -- HS Biology class was over 50 years ago!). For some reason, as soon as DA appeared DAHOMEY followed almost instantly.

TRIS was a complete unknown to me; I have never paid much attention to pro sports. I also remember Rex Stout's Death of a DOXY.

I knew Nora Pearlstone right away; I remember another time when his aliases (alii?) were the topic of discussion.

Thanks, Rich, for a real challenge today, and thanks as usual to C. C. I always look forward to the little tidbits of Chinese culture which you so often include.

G'day, all..

SwampCat said...

Oh m'goodness! Somebody talk to me!! The Saints just beat Carolina to take undisputed lead in the south!!

Oh, I know. You're only as good as your last game...and we don't get no respect down here in the swamp. But I'll celebrate as long as I can!

Misty said...

Well, I don't think I'm going to let Dusty read "Death of a Doxy." Too upsetting for a 14 year old dachshund.

fermatprime said...


Thanks to Rich (knew that alias) and CC!

Cute theme!

No problems!

Harv still sick. No din din tonight.

Had wonderful children of my daughter over last night for super (ketogenic) dinner!

Hope to see you all tomorrow!

D4E4H said...

My Puzzle Solved:
-My first theme answer at 83A, FIRED CLAMS showed me the "R" everse move.  After my first pass A and D the NW was white, and SE was filling. I got 25A, BARNFLAKES, and 27A,  PERPSCHOOL together, double groan.  My only letter purchase was at the natick of 31A,  TUSK, and 24D, LAST.  These are normal words, but I had only the last letter of each word, and they were "Landlocked."  This single letter allowed me to complete the NW.  The rest filled one square at a time.  A hard yet fun puzzle.
HG 1029A
-You wrote "Didn’t you musical people first think of Anatevka?"  I thought "He can't spell Anna Netrebko,"  but realized my error as other people responded to your question.

Wilbur Charles said...

CoachJ, I had the same experience. My coach was a former MLBer. I had a book called The Connie Mack Baseball Book. Mack highly esteemed Speaker.

As a shallow CFer I mastered the shoestring catch. The other trick was not looking at the ball but going to where it was headed.

I consider diving for the ball to be superfluous.

Also re. Speaker. He was a Freemason and Ruth was a Catholic and during their Redsox days there were frictions between the camps

Along with the "curs-ed" Ruth trade there was the Tris Speaker trade to Cleveland.

I have several hundred more words about the 1900-1920 period. I'll put on the BRAKES. 1912 was particularly exciting.

Btw, speaking of sports.. The NCAA powers that be soiled their collective underwear by ignoring the conference championships.


PK said...

It took until now, but I finally googled Benin = DAHOMEY and realized it isn't a person's name but an African country. My learning experience for the day. I need to pin a map of Africa on my fridge and see if I can learn that geography. South America was up there for a year and I did sorta learn it.

Lucina said...

Hello. I almost didn't post because it's so late and it took me almost all day to finish this puzzle. That's something unheard of for me, but I am exhausted from last night's festivities and found it hard to concentrate.

Yes, I knew Nora Pearlstone is Rich so thank you for this challenge to which I did not rise today. But it was interesting and had I been feeling normal would have enjoyed it more. I caught the change trick and chuckled. But thinking was just too much of a struggle!

Last night over 50 of my relatives and a few friends came to help me celebrate my birthday (which will be Wednesday) and it was fabulous. It was overwhelming to me that my sister, brother, nieces, nephews, grand and great-grand nieces and nephews as well as cousins gave up their Saturday evening to spend it with me. The family love astounds and consumes me. So the puzzle today was secondary on my agenda as I pondered my wealth in the form of family and friends.

Thank you, C.C., as always, you provide so many insights not only into the puzzle but your culture as well.

I hope you all had a great and wonderful Sunday!

Anonymous T said...

Sunday Lurk say...

At least Becky and I had the day off of puzzl'n...

Rich - Seems everyone had issues getting a 100% on your test... A DR NO Sunday-solve bit of evil. C.C.'s expo learnt me things I'll forget by Tuesday :-)

Thanks all for your commentary and distraction from the day's chores. C.C., no pizzelles today (I built chili during the tornado warning) but next weekend it's on like Donkey Kong.

TTP - nice looking shed and pup too. I'd not visited your blog in a while as posts are sparse. Thanks for sharing. FLN - yes, Range was a typo and I knew you were Josh'n' on Dinty Moore ;-)

ChuckL. & WC - I played short deeply. Robbing the best team in central IL from a three run drive (3 on, no outs) and making an unassisted triple play was the highlight of my little league career. Dreams of going pro never pan'd out... I was a too-small Italian kid by HS. ["Hey, I have heart" wasn't a thing then - Biggio proved 'em wrong]

TxMs. Thanks for the article on Cento's San Marzanos. I've been bamboozled! [they're in my chili today anyway].

Lucina - the measure of a person's value is the love they're shown... You are obviously valued in spades - sounds like a great gathering. Premature HBTY!

Swamp - Texans aren't going anywhere, so, Geaux Saints!

Cheers, -T

Bill G said...

Hi everybody. LIke Jayce, I had difficulty with this puzzle but I still enjoyed it. I noticed the letter swaps in the theme answers but I couldn't figure out the consistent rule for how the swaps occurred. I liked it in spite of my difficulties.

Wasn't 60 Minutes good tonight! I remembered a lot of the segments.

TX Ms said...

Bill G, yeah, I miss those guys who are no longer here - their reporting made that show. Still some good reporters now but, maybe it's my age, those guys were the best.

Michael said...

Dear friends:

My personal experience is that crosswords are harder when I'm tired, and I was, but today's puzzle was a slog for 'most everyone from what I can see. The SE did me in, somewhere between Waxahachie and Mobile -- just nothing would click.

Ah, well, getting humbled is good for us, they say, and today's opus was from a master humbler.

Mike Sherline said...

After getting 23 & 25A I, too thought it was reverse the 2nd & 3rd letters. 43A disabused me of that, but then it worked again in 83A. Got bakers but couldn’t figure out the beginning until Dyne, Nino, jest showed up; guess a cookie is a sort of disc.

I know next to nothing about sports; I’ve heard of Marlins & Rays, but the names of their stadiums? Lots more I never heard of. I do A & D together, and don’t consider relying on “perps” any kind of negative. Isn’t that why they’re CROSSwords? I’m awed by the interactions of the words.

Thanks for an interesting and satisfying challenge, Nora, and CC for all your explanations. At first I wished you’d explained what kind of political divisions SSRS are, but finally got it-was thinking along the lines of wards, precincts, etc.

Mike Sherline said...

One more. Sorry to be so late - it's only 2115 here in GMT-10.
Picard - thanks for the clarification and the link. I agree with you. I was 8 in '52, and don't remember hearing of that law. Another horror. Reading about it, it almost seems it could have been written yesterday.

Lemon - hope you saw my late post last night. If not, thanks again for your response re: National Airport (I knew about it since I lived there at the time).

Dow Jones said...


C.C. is the constructor of the Monday edition of the Wall Street Journal (12/4/17) crossword puzzle ("Isn't It Bromantic?"). The puzzle can be solved online or downloaded to print at

Wilbur Charles said...

A late correction. Tris Speaker was the Grey Eagle not 👻. LIU you say? Ok, it was the Confederate Colonel Mosby. Ironically, for this PC climate, there was a TV series about Mosby in the 50s.

And, Tris Speaker was allegedly a member of the Klu Klux Klan.


TTP said...

Earlier, it should have been grandmother and grandfather, mother and father etc. I NEEDED A NAP.

Yes, WC, the Grey Eagle. Still has the record for most doubles all time.

Thanks PK. Our GSD was a rescue as well. We had to keep the couch covered with a sheet. DW got 1/4th of the couch, and he'd stretch out on the remainder with his head on her lap. I was relegated to the love seat.

Shed should have been completed by now, but I haven't been able to finish it for a few reasons.

Dash - T, thanks. My blog is really a non-blog. I only created it to do pd/psi on some blogger glitches that were affecting the corner, like the captcha authentication issue and the text size reduction.

Decided to use my blog for the pics because it's easier to add captions or comments than when using Google Photos.

Abejo said...

Good Monday evening, folks. Thank you, Nora Pearlstone, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for a fine review.

From what I am reading, Nora is Rich. I think I remember that from days gone by. Either way, a great puzzle.

Started this on Sunday, could not get it done. Finished on Monday. Finally got it. Phew!

Liked th heme. Helped with some of the answers.

Many tough words that took more ages than perps. Finally got them all. Last was BBQS.

Since I am a day late, I will not go on forever.

In Pennsylvania now. Heading back to Illinois tonight, via Amtrak. Then coming back for my best friend's funeral. Damn that cancer!


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Picard said...

Thanks for the late comment Sunday, Mike Sherline. I posted a reply Monday, but you may have missed it.

Yes, as you say, the McCarran Act after WWII indeed was unpleasantly similar to the "Muslim Ban" attempts today. We end up banning the victims of atrocities while letting the perpetrators of the atrocities come in.

Thanks, Mike!