Dec 7, 2017

Thursday, December 7th 2017 Mark McClain

Theme: No, Why? The "Y" is dropped from the end of the theme entries and the resulting phrase is clued accordingly. As the hint says:

61A. Make smart remarks ... and a phonetic hint to the answers to starred clues : WISE OFF

And the themers:

19A. *Award-winning defense unit? : TOP FORT. Top Forty.

31A. *Manchester hospital hookup? : ENGLISH IV. English Ivy. Hedera Helix, aka common ivy, or simply ivy. This theme entry is interesting as the pre- and post- "Y" versions are homophones, and techinically "IV" is an abbreviation and not clued as such.

38A. *Either of a historic PGA pair? : ARNIE'S ARM. Arnie's Army. Golfer Arnold Palmer's legions of fans were known as "Arnie's Army". Notice that the pre- and post- versions of this entry actually refer to the same person.

49A. *Enforcer of greenhouse gas restrictions? : CARBON COP. Carbon Copy. I wonder if carbon paper actually exists any more?

Well, good day to you all. An interesting theme from Mark today. I got ENGLISH IV first, and as I mentioned above I thought that all the themers were going to be homophones, so that put me off track for a couple of minutes. I put myself firther off-track in the north-east corner when I jumped to an IAMS conclusion without waiting for any cross-confirmation, but that was easily fixed.

The Z was my final fill, and actually a WAG - Both ZESTA and AZERA were unknowns; the alphabet run turned up Z as feeling the most likely, and I guessed right. Phew!

Let's see what else we've got going on:


1. Not insignificant : BIG

4. LeBron's hometown : AKRON. Basketball star LeBron James, who famously decamped from Cleveland to Miami to win "not one, not two, not three ..." championships. He got his ego under control after a couple of years. He won two championships with Miami, then returned to Cleveland and won his third in one of the best Finals for years against the Golden State Warriors.

9. Pet food brand : ALPO

13. Discontinued iPod model : NANO. I've still got one of these somewhere, it's probably at the bottom of one of my laptop backpack pockets.

14. Saltine brand : ZESTA

15. Action word : VERB

16. Words after an estimate : ORSO

17. Divisions politiques : √ČTATS. I enjoyed seeing the close proximity of ROI in the grid; it reminded me of Louis XIV and his famous statement "L'etat c'est moi."

18. Those, to Pablo : ESOS

21. Sculler's blade : OAR

23. Capri suffix : OTE. A couple of entries filled themselves in for me today, this was one of them. A native of the island of Capri is a Capriote.

24. Trattoria menu suffix : INI. Two suffixes in a row. One would suffix - I mean suffice.

25. Chaucer offering : TALE. The Canterbury Tales. Bane of many a schoolboy's life when read in medieval English.

27. "Stagecoach," for one : OATER

29. Birdcage feature : PERCH. 

34. Multichannel : STEREO. I guess two is "multi." Quadrophonic was all the rage when I was growing up, but if you didn't sit dead center of the four speakers it was rather a waste of time. Great for lonely audiophiles though.

36. Saturn SUV : VUE

37. One of the Nereids : IONE. This was another of the entries that filled itself in for me. There are 50 of these sea-nymphs, daughters of Nereus and Doris. You've got a minute to name them all - GO!

41. Neatnik's opposite : SLOB

44. Pioneering ISP : AOL

45. Warm-weather wear : SHORTS. I wear shorts in most weathers, I've got so used to the California climate. I got some odd looks in England a couple of weeks ago, I guess an overcoat and a pair of shorts is an odd sartorial combination.

52. Three-time Wimbledon champ : EVERT. The great Chris. Her record is quite amazing - she reached the semi-finals or better in 52 of 56 of the Grand Slam tournaments she entered, and she one at least one Slam tournament for 13 consecutive years.

53. Directive : ORDER

54. One of the three bears : PAPA

56. Mai __ : TAI

57. Arctic coast explorer : RAE. Scotsman John Rae. He probably didn't wear shorts - he would have been wearing a kilt.

58. Consume : EAT

63. Mosque figure : IMAM

65. Big name in craft stores : JOANN. This had me foxed for a little while - I knew the store, but I didn't realize the name lacked a final "E"

67. Response to being slain, in texts? : ROFL. "Slain" in the "Wow, that's funny" sense. Rolling On the Floor, Laughing".

68. Khartoum's river : NILE

69. Match : AGREE

70. "Would __?" : I LIE. Usually the answer is "Yes, through your teeth."

71. Notable deed : GEST. Learning moment for me. I know the French "Geste", I didn't realize there was an English equivalent, but there it is in the dictionary.

72. Saratoga action : RACES

73. PC panic button : ESC. Escape. It usually doesn't do very much.


1. British nobleman : BARONET

2. Motivate : INSPIRE

3. Mess (up) : GOOF

4. Korean sedan to be discontinued in the U.S. after 2017 : AZERA

5. Whistling vessel : KETTLE. It took me a loooong time to see this, and it was so obvious when I did.

6. Nation surrounding 10-Down: Abbr. : R.S.A. The Republic of South Africa.
7. Director Preminger : OTTO

8. "Hidden Figures" org. : NASA

9. "__ Maria" : AVE

10. Enclaved African land : LESOTHO.  The beautiful Maletsunyane Falls:

11. Tofu nutrient : PROTEIN

12. Watch : OBSERVE

13. Custom on some cruises : NO TIPS. I've never been on a cruise; at least not one where I wasn't sailing the boat myself.

20. Multiple-choice choice : OTHER. I like this one. I was thinking of different letters at first.

22. Louis XIV, par exemple : ROI

26. Wrap around : ENVELOP

28. "I, Robot" writer : ASIMOV

30. Champion swimmer/actor Buster : CRABBE. Clarence Linden Crabbe II. He made over a hundred movies and played Flash Gordon in the TV series. However, I'm sure his middle child didn't thank him for the name "Sande".

32. Director Van Sant : GUS

33. Where ewes can hang out : LEAS. Meadows, by another name.

35. __ even keel : ON AN

39. Biennial games org. : I.O.C. The transparently honest and wholly uncorruptable International Olympic Committee.

40. Flightless birds : RHEAS. I always forget these fellas, I get stuck on EMU and go no further.

41. Making a touchdown : SCORING. Except you don't actually have to touch the ball down. The equivalent in rugby is a try, and you do have to touch the ball down, under control, otherwise the try doesn't count.

42. Metro area SSE of Casper : LARAMIE. Wyoming. I've flown over it a ton of times, but never actually been there.

43. Major hassles : ORDEALS

46. Updates the plant : RE-TOOLS. Of course I was on the flora track for the longest time.

47. Rush hour report topic : TRAFFIC. 

48. Suppress : STIFLE

50. Vein contents : ORE

51. Plains tribe : PAWNEE

55. Source of hard and soft lumber : PINES

59. A bit cracked : AJAR. I was thinking "cracked" in the mildly insane sense. I was wrong.

60. Forum attire : TOGA

62. Lackawanna's lake : ERIE. Nailed it! Thank you, hundreds of crosswords.

64. Ran into : MET

66. __ welding : ARC

That's all from me!

Except that's not all from me - here's the grid!



D4E4H said...

Guten Morgen Cornerwriters,

Today's crunchy CW by Mr. Mark Mc Clain has an excellent review by Steve.  My thanks to each of you.  I will comment further later, but for now I bring your attention to 28D, the book "I, Robot by Isaac Asimov, released on 12-2-50.  I found that it was made into a movie starring Will Smith, released in 2004.  I knew nothing of either item until today.

This comment was written before I did today's CW, and it is so FLN:

Anon 1250P, and 636P
-Thank you for expressing your opinion re. me at 1250P, and acknowledging that my comments are worthy of response at 638P.  You did respond to me at that time.  This whiner merely wants to feel accepted.  My mentor, Dave 1, is going to guide me to this goal.
-"Just interest in the subject"  Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Bill Gates each predict that artificial intelligence (AI) will end the human race.  The Corner had a spirited discussion about toilet paper the other day.  People were interested, and had definite, strong opinions .  Are you attempting to tell me that you somehow know that 35 (corrected from 65) individual commenters yesterday each have no interest in learning, and discussing how a machine has become a citizen of a country, let alone about the possible fate of the human race.

BTW, the Bel Air wildfire threatens the home of Elon Musk.

Here is a video of -- Stephen Hawking

QOD: "Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete and would be superseded" Stephen Hawking:
Dave 2

D4E4H said...

Somehow the link to Stephen Hawking did not work. Here is the URL.

Dave 2

OwenKL said...

The dog will ORDER a BIG serving of ALPO,
But he's done when he's finished half OR SO.
The cat is more neat
About what she'll EAT.
She nibbles in bites described best as NANO!

There was a lax lady from LARAMIE
Who would say to herself, "Oh, golly me!
When my batteries cool,
Do I need to RETOOL?
That's a waste of good vibes, don't you AGREE?"

{C+, A-.}

OwenKL said...

When linking <a href=YourUrl>, if you forget to put http:// at the front of YourUrl, Blogspot very helpfully provides it's own: <>, which generally (roughly 100% of the time OR SO) leads to the abyss!

D4E4H said...

FLN Continued:

Picard 1252P
-I chose not to read your letter at this time.  I know where to find it when I am ready.
SC 628P
-Thank you for your guidance.  Please forgive me for this one.  I knew no better.  I do now.
Misty 653P
- I'm much relieved with you.  Stay well "Gell!"
O M K 714P
-Thank you for the eloquent example of the hive mind in a human group.
Anon T 1015P
-Thank you for commenting on AI.  Your example of computer limits was very clear.
-"Tell us a bit about you & add from your background."  I have, and will continue to do so.  I have told you folks one fact that I have never told anyone before.

Comments on 12-6 are complete.  Thanks,
Dave 2

D4E4H said...

Thank you OKL Here is --

Stephen Hawking -- again.
Dave 2

Lucina said...

Thank you, Mark McClain for today's sashay. Somehow I started on the Atlantic side and just kept going until that strand was completed with nothing to STIFLE me. TRAFFIC picked up at the bottom and before I knew it, I was climbing upward.

In the NW I hit BIG wall since I couldn't make sense of TOPFOST not realizing my mistake at AZUSA (?). Thanks to Steve for providing me with AZERA/TOPFORT. ETAT escaped me since I failed to check that.

Otherwise, this was quick and fairly easy. At PAPA I had to wait for the downs to eliminate MAMA.

Dave 2: It takes time to ORDER ones thoughts and it looks like you are accomplishing that. Good job!

Thank you, Steve, for your guidance. I hope you are away from those ferocious fires.

Have a splendid day, everyone! Back to bed for me.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Well, I labored to produce a DNF. And succeeded. I WAG'd a C at the AZERA/ZESTA cross. Bzzzzt! My knowledge of Korean sedans and Keebler crackers is limited. I'll take the SO at 7d. Abejo got his ERIE included once again. Husker got JOANN. Thanx for the humbling morning, Mark. Steve, did Buster really name one of his kids Sande? Cruel. Was there also a Hermit?

ASIMOV: Probably best known for the three laws of robotics and his award-winning Foundation trilogy. He was one prolific writer -- hundreds of books running the gamut from science fiction, science, history, the Bible, etc.

Chaucer's TALEs: My 6th grade teacher could read medieval English. I could understand her when she read Chaucer aloud, but I couldn't make any sense of it when I read it myself.

STIFLE: Immediately evokes an image of Edith Bunker.

D4: You should also mention Yuval Noah Harari for that AI prediction. I'm currently reading his "future history" Homo Deus -- the follow-up to Sapiens. Both are thought-provoking.

Big Easy said...

A very clever puzzle that I found very easy for one of Mark's puzzle. IONE and the other 49 Nereids are unknowns. I was thinking some type of space rock, asteroid, oort cloud...etc. I never got the Y's off because WISE OFF was filled by perps. Once I finish a puzzle looking for the unifier is not in my mind.

Steve- remember the Who's album 'Quadrophenia"?

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Steve and friends. Interesting Thursday puzzle. I realized we were missing a "Y", when I filled in the CARBON COP. The ENGLISH IV seems a bit off, since the Y sound is present in the answer.

A belated birthday wish to you, Lucina.

QOD: Most people don’t care if you’re telling them the truth or if you’re telling them a lie, as long as they’re entertained by it. ~ Tom Waits (b. Dec. 7, 1949)

Anonymous said...

INI, OTE, ILIE, IONE, RAE, AZERA, RSA, etc. all made the pay-off not worth it. Good effort though.

I've enjoyed reading (and occasionally posting comments to) this Corner for several years, but I don't like it when one person starts to take-over the dialogue.

Anonymous said...

Would I lie to you that I'm surprised the Englishman didn't link The Euryhmmics?

inanehiker said...

STeady fill today - but I was also running the alphabet with the ZESTA / AZERA cross for the final Z! Got a chuckle out of several of the theme answers!

IV as an abbreviation didn't bother me with the cluing - because it has become the word that we use - much less common is for us to say intravenous.

Thanks Steve and Mark!

Coach J said...

-I enjoyed the puzzle and thought it fairly typical for a Thursday. Had LATCH at first for 29A and finally PERCH dawned on me. It was just challenging enough and I thought it a clever theme.

Old enemies the Sioux and PAWNEE
On land ownership they couldn’t AGREE
Their hatred so great
That when the white man laid stake
The PAWNEE scouted for their shared enemy

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thank you, Mark & Steve for stimulating the brain cells.

Finally got the theme with ARNIES ARM & CARBON COP but took some thought to reconcile it with WISE OFF.

Didn't know ROFL, so I'm not ROFL. I did good to learn LOL once upon a time. Also didn't know GEST, AZERA, LESOTHO, GUS.

IF AI becomes the downfall of the human race, it's probably because people got so fascinated by their electronics they failed to reproduce the next generation. There is just no APP for doing it.

I'm up early to put out the trash can to avoid night time scavengers. My neighbor who still is in the process of moving has put out on the curb so much good junk that the scavengers are rifling through it as soon as it is dark. They look in each grocery bag they take out of the 3 big cans then throw junk out on the ground to get to the next one. What a mess! But I'm glad the stuff is going to be used again -- lot of outgrown kids toys. My trash is nothing but trash. Stay out of it!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I had a few stumbling blocks but nothing that wasn't solved by the perps. I caught the theme early and that helped with the solve. Big CSO's to HG's Joann, DO, and Abejo. I, too, thought of the Bunkers at Stifle. I knew Zesta crackers but haven't seen or heard about them for years. Car model names throw me for a loop, at least the newer ones. My first car was a brand new 1964 Chevy Impala, white with an aqua interior. I believe it was $2600.00.

Thanks, Mark, for a Thursday treat and thanks, Steve, for the grand tour.

Misty, glad to hear your doctor's visit went well.

YR, I think you solved your thank you quandry beautifully and in a way that was, I'm sure, very much appreciated by the recipients.

Have a great day.

Northwest Runner said...

70 Across, alternate clue available for a tie-in. "Ilie" is a two time Wimbledon champ.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Dec 7th - Remember Pearl Harbor, 76 years ago today.

Only white-out was I had teapot before KETTLE. Guessed at the Z in AZERA the same as Steve. BARONET came to me after awhile. When I was nearly done, I sat back and wallowed in the cleverness of the theme. Well done, Mark.
Waited for a few crosses before inserting RHEAS. Could have been kiwis. Rheas are one of your ratites.
Saratoga - sort of a CSO to Argyle, IM, and myself, and centrally located to us. (I was raised about 12 miles from the RACE venue.)
ERIE - Lackawanna is the city just south of Buffalo. BH grew up about 3 blocks from the Lackawanna city line.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning, all.

Thanks, Mark, for a fine Thursday. Reading is a skill--I stalled at 1A trying to come up with a three letter word for Not "significant." Not a good start. Wonderful clues for the theme: I saw it at ARNIE'S ARMy. Ta Dah! for me since I usually miss them. I stalled at EVERT: I could see her and Jimmy Connors, but her name escaped me until I had more fill. ROFL: I chuckled. Initially, I could only think of Othello. English teacher brain in full gear today.

Thanks for the expo, Steve. When I took Chaucer, I felt as though I was in my third language--double major in English and French. By the way, isn't ENGLISH IV actually senior English? Ha!

D-O: Reading Shakespeare aloud is also very helpful for novices.

FY/LN: Big Easy: I remember when Archie Who went to the Saints. Yeah, time flies. Madame will be 70 in January so Archie's still a youngun.

TTP: My sympathy. Another tortured Bear fan!

Abeyo: Love your birthday exchanges with your buddy. Wonderful!

CED: Hilarious text inserts! My daughter did that with a teacher who determined she was an excellent writer and gave her A's with no comments. In the middle of an essay, she wrote,"Are you actually reading this?" No response!

Swamp Cat: I agree with Mike S. I love Lagniappe conceptually. I try to put it into practice whenever possible.

Have a lovely day, everyone.

Husker Gary said...

-TOP FO_T/AZE_A was questionable until the very clever gimmick asserted itself. Fun!
-Kids in shop class use CARBON paper to transfer patterns for wood burning
-My old iPod function (and others) has been folded into my iPhone
-Forcing a noun to be a VERB is common practice here (e.g. OAR – not today however)
-I second Steve’s comment on medieval English
-My lovely bride JOANN is slowly de-SLOBBING me
-Evert’s methodical game was sometimes boring to watch unlike the Williams’s sisters
-The Bathroom Scene (2:07) from Hidden Figures is hard to watch
-My siblings and I played the home version of this MATCH/agree game

-Multiple Choice Nightmare
d. a and c but not b
f. b and c but not a

-A population of 30,000 in Wyoming must make LARAMIE a metropolis :-)
-A horrible cause for a TRAFFIC jam

Yellowrocks said...

Fun puzzle, Mark. I did this in big gulps or sections. The bottom was easy so I had the theme early which helped tremendously. My last fill was the Z in ZESTA. I was fairly sure of ZESTA, but hesitated because AZERA seemed strange. As I peruse the supermarket cracker aisle I often see the ZESTA boxes.
DO, hand up for thinking of Edith Bunker.
I see OATER mostly in x-words. I have seen it elsewhere, but have never heard it spoken.
Interesting write-up, Steve. I never stopped to think that touchdown is a misnomer. As you said, the player does not actually touch the ball down. Thanks for the suggestion that TOUCHDOWN was borrowed from rugby. I find it very interesting that sometimes loan words are changed in meaning and/or pronunciation in a new language or dialect.
John Rae’s reputation has been rehabilitated. He was long scorned for suggesting the crew turned to cannibalism to survive. New research bears him out.
Yesterday some noted that assessments of former US Presidents have become more negative. Someday the reputation of some of them will be rehabilitated, too.
Note that Rae is usually photographed in a suit. The picture of the expedition shows arctic gear.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed puzzle again............this is becoming a habit!

waseeley said...

I use carbon paper for transferring paper designs to pre-fired ceramic surfaces. You can still get it on ebay:

C6D6 Peg said...

Thanks, Mark, for a great Thursday.... had to work a bit, but got it done.

Nice write-up, as always, Steve. Loved your shorts and overcoat story!

AnonymousPVX said...

Got the solve without a bit of fun. What a nasty theme, and I don’t care for them to begin with.

No objection to the crunchiness it is Thursday. But gosh what a horrible theme. Top Fort, is that a joke?

Misty said...

Well, this was a toughie for me. I did enjoy getting a bit more than 3/4 before I had to start cheating. Never heard of AZERA or JOANN, for example. Couldn't think of the three bears, for some reason, though I finally got PAPA--but still not sure who the third bear was. But I got BUSTER CRABBE right away because I had a crush on him when I was a little girl. Oddly enough, I think I first saw him in a Western TV series (an OATER?) before he became famous for his other roles. Had to laugh at allusions to poor Edith Bunker with STIFLE. And, of course, I never even remotely got the Y theme. But still, a lot of fun, so thanks, Mark. And enjoyed your write-up, as always, Steve.

Thanks for the kind words, Dave and Irish Miss,

Have a great day, everybody!

CrossEyedDave said...


I got the theme, but not all the place names...
(never heard of Zesta/Azera...)

Also on my list of interesting goofs, 13d Custom on some cruises=no tips.
(I had no tops, and I was almost booking a cruise before I read the Blog...)

Dave2, you can keep your old moniker, most people just refer to me as CED.
(or Mr. Meow...)
Mentor? Me? Oh Nuts! More responsibility, just what I was trying to get away from...
he best tip I can give you is keep it ASAP (As Short As Possible).
Nothing will glaze over the eyes quicker than something you have no interest in.

As far as finding silly links, it is pure serendipity.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't,
& if it doesn't work, Don't Post!

Todays sort of "meh" links for wise off:


Hmm, maybe Meh#2

And speaking of wising off...

Note: I only post three links per post,
because somebody in their infinite wisdom
programmed the Blog to put any post with more than 3 links in the Spam folder...

ROFL said...

CED @ 12:02

Check with Husker Gary. Today's post included 4 links.

Unknown said...

!@#$%^& ! NO TADA from exactly what I have problems with. Crossing proper nouns. I complete the puzzle easily without sussing the theme leaving only: A_ERA for 4d and _ESTA for 14 across. I have minimal knowledge of car models and although I just bought a box of saltines but it was the store brand...I contemplated "Z" or "V" and chose wrong.

Buying the store brand has been a constant element of friction with my beautiful spouse of 38 years. I am sure ZESTA was on the shelf and for 50 cents more I could have had a TADA today. Oh Well.

Today marks 4 straight days of severe Santa Ana's here in SoCal. Forty MPH gusts are common. First time I can remember that we have had more than couple days of devil winds in a row. So far my area has been spared this time although we burned up a few homes last month. Golf is out of the question but I might try the driving range this afternoon. The problem here is brush clearance and dead tree removal. The drought has killed so many trees that they are just pure kindling. There are a lot of multi-million dollar homes that are at risk.

D4E4H said...

My first pass A made it look like I was in for big white areas today, but words came to me when needed till I had all but the NE with a gridlock.  Noted events:  4A AKRON, I knew the name LeBron James, but not his hometown.  I was raised west of Cleveland so I saw Akron when I needed to.  17A ETATS, That college French helped. I read just now that the Etats Uni may not participate in this year's Winter Olympics. 39D, Biennial bothered me till I remembered that W & S games /2 years.

27A OATER, CW-ese.  Have you ever heard a person use this word?  33D LEAS, Our ewes hung out in a barn.  When the le-s word loomed, I still had 1 E or 2.  55D, Hard wood, pine?  Oak is hard wood.  14A ZESTA, Knew it, could taste it, but could not name it till perps helped. 36A VUE, WAG.

38A ARNIES ARM,  The theme, add a "Y!"  9A ALPO, Deh!  I was left with NE. First BAV (stands  for buy a vowel, can also be a consonant.  Really means "I cheated.") was at the natick of 15A and 10D an E, then 37A / 10D, O, then 37A / 28D, I.

PSA: - 49A CARBON COP, "CC:" has come to mean "Courtesy Copy."

Gotta go.  Don't want to exceed the lined post, or the speeded post limit.
Dave 2

Michael said...

Pretty smooth sailing, except for that AZERA/ZESTA cross, which put the DNF into play. Just couldn't figure out why a Korean car company would name a car after a Moslem Turkish people, the Azeris, in Azerbaiijan....

Picard said...

A fun and satisfying challenge. Yes, Why Not?

Thanks for the beautiful LESOTHO photo, Steve. I had no idea!

Steve, I also used to think a CRUISE was just for lazy people.

But I don't think lazy people would have enjoyed this Amazon CRUISE I did in 2008.

No, that fish I caught in the Amazon is not a PERCH. The white grub in hand was one of most delicious things I have ever eaten. It was feasting inside a nut inside a huge fruit. And I feasted on it.

Learning moment about AZERA, CAPRIOTE, GEST and JOANN. Never heard of either, but it turns out there are JOANN stores within 50 miles or so of me. Not as close as the fire is, though.

Hand up: I have never heard the word OATER except in crosswords.

Other unknowns: CRABBE, PAWNEE, GUS.

I was actually born in a MANCHESTER HOSPITAL.

Misty said...

Did Mr. Romeo help you get ALPO, Dave?

Tinbeni said...

D-N-F ... done in by the NW corner ...

Not a fan of the "WISE OFF" ("Y" is off) theme.

Don't ever remember being on a "NO TIPS" cruise ... they always accepted my tips!

Fave today was that Whistling KETTLE vessel.


Yellowrocks said...

I see that no one else uses oater in everyday speech. Spellcheck eschews it, also. I wondered where to find it outside of crosswordese. Here ya go:
Recent Examples of oater from the Web according to Merriam Webster
"The innate superiority of the Hemsworth family gene pool is demonstrated by Timothy Woodward Jr.’s low-budget oater in which Luke, older brother to Chris and Liam, plays Wild Bill Hickok."—Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Hickok': Film Review," 7 July 2017
"Lee’s career, though, has faded with the popularity of the cinematic oater." -Robert W. Butler,, "In ‘The Hero,’ Sam Elliott delivers a heroic performance," 29 June 2017.
I have seen oater in film reviews, but not heard it in live conversation. It seems to be used only by film journalists.

I have been shopping at JOANN for more than 25 years.
It had to be either Buster Keaton or Buster Crabbe.
I find the ways of naming people odd, so I remember Capriote and Cypriot. Why does one end in E and the other one not?
Just my two cents, I liked WISE OFF and found it helpful in solving.
OKL, so you have seen a dog that does not scarf down every single morsel in 10 seconds flat the way my Gypsy did? God rest her lovely Dalmatian soul. My cats took dainty bites and left some to return to. I lost Gypsy and three cats. I can't stand the heart break and so am now pet-free.

PK said...

JOANN was just a fabric store, I think, last time I shopped there. Didn't know it went "crafts" to survive. We bought the crimson velvet, satin & brocade material for dresses for my daughter's 9 female attendants. After we left the store, I realized the teenaged girl who had rung up our purchases had shorted the store more than $500. I didn't want her to get in trouble and as an old accountant, I refuse to cheat a merchant. So we went back and explained to her what she'd done. She didn't know how to correct the transaction so she refused to take the money. I had to get the manager to correct it. The manager was astonished that I came back. The girl deserved to be fired.

OKL: are you sure that was a dog. Sounds like an imposter.

PK said...

Picard: a friend wanted me to go on an Amazon Cruise in 2001. I wasn't adventuresome enough. Your pictures made me glad I took a bus trip to Texas instead. Grub appetizers & machetes just aren't ME.

Hahtoolah said...

Steve: did people think you were a flasher when you went out in shorts and trench coat?

PK: we took a cruise on the Peruvian Amazon a couple of years ago. It was a memorable trip. We went during the “wet” season when the river was high. Now we want to go back during the dry season.

Jayce said...

As I usually do, I enjoyed this puzzle. Took me a while to figure out the theme because the first 2 I solved were ENGLISHIV and ARNIESARM, so I thought, "IV ... ARM ... Hmmm." It so happens that I know AZERA; on one of his business trips to San Francisco he rented an Azera and when he visited us we all went out to dinner in it. Frankly, neither he nor I was impressed; it was a pretty blah car. Didn't know ZESTA, though, but it got filled by the perps. Good ole perps. I love perps. Perps have always been good to me. Well, almost always; there have been a few Naticks in my solving experience.

Our very good friends, a married couple, got their PhD degrees in mathematics from the University of Wyoming in LARAMIE. I took math courses from one of them. She later became the CEO of a company I worked for; I suspect that's how I was invited to come work there. She died from cancer about 4 years ago, bless her soul. Her widower, also a math teacher, went back to live where he grew up in Illinois.

Good wishes to you all.

Jayce said...

I should have written, "on one of his business trips to San Francisco our son rented an Azera"

Mark McClain said...

Thanks, all for the nice write-up and comments. Apologies for that Natick at AZERA and ZESTA. And, for the record, OATER appears in the Random House Unabridged Dictionary (xword constructor's "bible"), which contains a lot of other words that people don't use in everyday speech, and its usage dates to 1945 (heyday of the oater)! Got one email from a solver who complained that PINES really produces only softwood lumber, which I believe is correct (Rich added that thing about hard or soft lumber, based on the usage of "hard pines" for certain species). But what the heck, the answer is PINES, so it can't be very tough, right? Ciao for now!

Lucina said...

I'm surprised ZESTA is unfamiliar to many. In meatloaf I often use cracker crumbs instead of bread crumbs and ZESTA is my cracker of choice as I find them tastier.

AZERA on the other hand, is totally unfamiliar to me. Thanks for the details, Jayce.

CSO to d-otto. I forgot earlier.

I just returned from a shopping trip. People are out en masse! Even the computers were overloaded and too slow to respond.

Happy birthday to my youngest granddaughter who is 8 today. Also to Windhover.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Well, at least I didn't settle for a DNF.
My response to this devilish piece of work from the good Mr. McClain was off by only one answer. I admit he had me thinking seriously about when to start cheating, but I hung in there, and except for taking END FLAP in place of ENVELOP, I would have reached my full Ta-DA today.
But I failed. For which I plead ignorance, Your Honor.
Ignorance - because once again I missed the theme, sped right by it. I was not searching for starred answers that might have added a "Y" to their last word.
Ergo, I accepted CARBON CAP as a better answer than CARBON COP - thus contributing the "A" to FLAP.

But enough of my pitiable self-serving justifications. What are yours?!
On other fronts: Fans of the diagonal solve will note that today's grid makes it impossible. Neither the regular diagonal (NW to SE) is available, nor the "mirror" solve (NE to SW).
But rest easy, me hearties! Our time will come again...

Happy to see in today's LA TIMES that a posthumous medal, the Bronze Star, is being awarded to a brave gent who saved six fellow sailors during the Pearl Harbor attack. But strangely, this was the only mention I saw of Pearl Harbor Day today. It wasn't long ago that December 7 was commemorated in a big way, Now it's just another shopping day 'til Christmas...

Yellowrocks, I would normally agree with you - about all dogs "scarfing everything down." But we have among our mutts a rescue chihuahua mix - "Nacho" - who is perfectly healthy but who always checks whatever morsel you hand him. Even ALPO. The nose twitches suspiciously, as if you're foisting something noxious onto him. He doesn't always decide to take it, but when he does, he'll either chomp away or drop it to the floor for further & finer inspection.
I suspect his prior master was an experimental chemist or a serial poisoner.

Misty, I too enjoyed Buster CRABBE enormously. When the Flash Gordon series was popular in the '50s, I was a teenager, "too old" for such childish doings. But my 6 years younger sister was the perfect age, and so - y'know, I tolerated her watching while I, ahem, supervised her.

Picard and Steve, I partly agree about cruising. I went on a cruise to Jamaica & Haiti many years ago, and I found it a very "Ugly American" experience. It made me most uncomfortable when my shipmates spent an afternoon throwing nickles and dimes into the harbor water for the "natives" to dive for and retrieve.
Some of the kids were barely old enough & hardly able to dog paddle, but they were expected to perform for the Yankee coins. I couldn't tell if any divers were truly in danger or putting on a show, staying under water for increasingly long periods. At one point a very small kid had to be rescued by adult divers & hauled to shore.
Years passed, and more recently I returned to cruising - in Alaskan waters, the Galapagos, and throughout the Baltic - because of the convenience for my ageing body.
Cruising is really for old folk.
I don't mean this in a disparaging way at all. I admit to the great convenience of having your personal cabin- your temporary home, with shower and bed - follow you throughout the world.
We joke about how comfortable it is to go to sleep at night & have them "change the country" on you by morning.

Yes, it's lazy. So?

Ol' Man Keith said...

In Scandinavia, especially, I remember sailing smoothly up a long fjord while I lay still in my bed watching the lovely green shoreline float by.
It was an ethereal experience, as if we were gliding on wings deeper and deeper into a new land.

MJ said...

Fun, fun theme, but I had to turn on red letters to get the Z at the crossing of AZERA and ZESTA. I also did not know VUE, but the perps were friendly. Thanks for the puzzle, Mark, and thanks for stopping by and providing some insight from the constructor's point of view. And thanks for the expo, Steve. It's no wonder you turned heads in England, pairing an overcoat with shorts.

As for CARBON paper, my 96-year old mother still uses it with her manual typewriter. Finding carbon paper is not a problem for her. The problem is finding the typewriter ribbons.

Have a Lovely evening, everyone!

TX Ms said...

Thanks, Mark McClain, thought this was a fun, punny crossword; Arnies Arm was my first fill of the four. Steve, I always look forward to your recaps and know I'll find a chuckle or two. The visual of an overcoat over shorts was hilarious - hope you weren't wearing sandals to complement your ensemble.

All were common answers, I thought, unlike HIVEMIND from yesterday. Never could grasp the meaning even with several posts explaining the term, which I've never heard used before. I've seen ads for the Zesta crackers, but never heard of Azera autos.

HG (BTW, nice CSO to your LW - Joann w/o the e), thanks for the link to Hidden Figures. I was looking forward to seeing it on cable after reading all the great reviews, but that clip was so painful to watch that I don't know if I will. I thought I saw Jim Parsons in the background (from TBBT) so I googled. I hadn't read about him being in it, but then again, the cast was so outstanding it explains the non-mention. The Today Show link showed another painful clip with him being front and center challenging his boss as to security clearances for the women. Such sad ordeals. Sorry, nuf said.

Pat said...

Thank you, Mark M. and Steve. Crunchy for me. Theme? Not that I remembered to look for. I was reminded that, when you put your answers in the correct places, the puzzle is easier and funner to work.

My daughter has owned a Kia Forte and a Sorento so those are the only models I'm familiar with.

When I used to buy crackers I got the store brand so ZESTA went over my head.

This morning I tried my link from last night. Didn't work. I'll try a different link so if you're interested in dogs/puppies, you may enjoy these videos. shelter dogs

The low tonight is supposed to be 19*! Possible snow on Saturday! It's beginning to be like winter! Have a good evening.

Wilbur Charles said...

Like Misty and others I completely missed the theme. Thanks Steve. I also got held up in the NW. LATCH, PORCH duh.. PERCH. And BIG. I would not have wanted to quit on this one.

Store bought, unsalted saltines are a great buy vis a vis the uber expensive stuff. Their function is to hold the cheese anyway.

God bless the socals. And thank Him for so far for sparing the cornerites.

CoachJ I liked your l'ick today as well as all the doggie devs. Mark, I agree on soft wood as a clue for PINE.

We used to use ROtFL. I've also spilled coffee on my smartphone; I think it was an Owen l'ick.


Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Mark McClain, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for a fine review.

Worked this puzzle after I got back from my best friend's funeral service.

The funeral was really nice. Many, many, people were in attendance. He deserved that. He was a great guy. I was one of the speakers and, amazingly, got through it. We were best buddies for over 60 years. Damn that cancer!

The puzzle was a good Thursday level, IMHO. Took me a while, but I got it. I did not catch the theme until I came here. I knew it was going to be a little different when I got CARBON COP.

AZERA was unknown. Perps.

Tried BOTTLE before KETTLE. You can really whistle in a bottle. AKRON and ZESTA fixed that.

I see my home lake, ERIE, got in today's puzzle. One of our bloggers caught that. Thanks, D-O.

Heading back to Illinois tonight. See you tomorrow.


( )

TX Ms said...

D-O, I second Lucina's thoughts: "CSO to d-otto." Sorry, my excuse is I could have SWORN it was in yesterday's puzzle. I work the cws in the mornings but post, when I do, in the evenings. What happens to my brain in between is anyone's guess.

PK said...

Southern Hard Yellow Pine is HARD. I reclaimed the window, door, and baseboard trim from an old house that had gorgeous veining like zebra stripes or leopard markings. The expert I consulted said it was hard yellow curly pine from Arkansas and said it was so popular in the late 1800's - early 1900's, trees big enough for lumber were pretty well extinct. The wood was so hard we had to drill holes in it before putting in the nails. We couldn't drive nails directly into it. Lot of extra work in my remodeling project but well worth it.

Hahtoolah: I really didn't have the money for the Amazon trip that year and it wouldn't have been a first choice anyway with that traveling companion.

Lucina said...

Though painful and uncomfortable to watch, Hidden Figures is worth it. The social mores of the time are certainly unacceptable to us today but watching them attain the goals they did is absolutely exhilarating and almost cancels out the pain. It is especially important to them, INO, to honor them by seeing their talents on display and give them credit for their accomplishments.

I hope you decide to watch it.

Lucina said...

Should be IMO.

Anonymous T said...

HI All!

Mark, you took my lunch money and gave me a wedgie today. BIG fat DNF. Not only did I misunderstand the theme but the North sans NWest was an unknown mess.

Thanks Steve for putting my lunch on your dining card. BTW, I too had trouble seeing KETTLE esp. w/ teapot there (hi Spitz!). Nice pic of LESOTHO, though I will still fail on that if given again...

OBSERVE, Clues that left me clueless: 4d (not Sephia), 7d (Google'd OTTO, wanted OREL - don't know who he is either tho) 14a, 17a, 18a, 10d, 37a, 32d (Google'd GUS), 23a is not iTE. All the unknowns xing unknowns kinda turned the puzzle into a fun-sponge.

ESPs: CReBBE [sic], RAE, LARAMIE. I had no idea re: Casper (CA?) so thought LA basin and RAM-IE filled; I just went with it. Thanks again Steve for parsing...

On the positive, I did know ASIMOV, JOANN (Hi HG!), VUE, RSA.

Re: Theme - I was on OMK's wavelength. CARBON Ca->OP made me think a vowel-shift. WISE OFF(?) as reveal? like as a bad joke? So, TOP FaRT? Um, OK WISE-ass :-)

HBD Windohover!

PK (@8:35a) - LOL no App for that.

MDE Defarge - that reminded me, I used to put Easter Eggs in my deliverables to make sure the client read it before they signed-off on the doc.

D-O, TxMs: I don't know about y'all but it just started w/ flurries in Sugar Land. I had to do a quick sprinkler / hose-disconnect run in this nasty cold.

For 745a Anon - Would I LIE to you?

I did :-) - that was David Foster Wallace's take on Cruises - A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. To DW's disappointment, I read that b/f we ever had money for a cruise and now I refuse.

The Eurythmics //think s/he'll fall for it twice? :->

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

D'Oh! I forgot: {C+, A} [cute]

Fav: BIG over NANO. -T

Misty said...

Glad to hear you were a Buster Crabbe fan too, Ol'Man Keith.

TX Ms said...

Lucina @ 11:05, thank you. The math geniuses' indomitable spirit is what I hoped to see; only read a couple of snippets in all the reviews of what they really had to endure, and didn't anticipate seeing the raw footage. But what these great ladies accomplished (without modern day technological advances) surely will, as you said, somewhat, I hope, mitigate their pain in their greatest achievement of that era.

Anon-T, no, my abode is safely ENVELOPed and protected via the inner North Loop (read sizzling/kinda warm concrete depending upon the season) from needed rain during summer droughts, spring flooding (so far so good - knock on wood), and luckily, I hope tonight, freezing. D-O? probably not so much - he's living like you in Houston's BFE exurbs. But I know from his posts, he's always Boy-Scout prepared.