Jan 6, 2018

Saturday, January 6, 2018, Daniel Nierenberg


Daniel has offered a real challenge on this first Saturday in '18. I needed a fill to unlock each corner with the NE being the last to fill. This clue immediately below was not in the vocabulary for this science/space guy but... 

13. Plot devices for sci-fi travelers : TIME SLIPS - Spontaneous instances of time travel that Marty McFly discovered at 88 mph


1. Vaudeville show, e.g. : VARIETY ACT - Old vaudevillians who brought their VARIETY ACTS to TV are given credit for selling thousands of sets. 10 point penalty if you don't know these two!

11. Cuban pronoun : ESTA

15. Group formed in Cairo in 1945 : ARAB LEAGUE - The original group of 7 now numbers 22

16. Make muddy : ROIL - A frequent political trick if they do not want to answer the question 

17. Reactionary '60s genre : MINIMAL ART - This piece sold for over $100M

18. Unfeeling : NUMB - Have you seen the weather around the country this week?

19. Identifies : PEGS

20. Just : MERE

21. Great canines? : DANES - My favorite DANE is Victor Borge 

22. Tart fruits : SLOES -And their famous product

24. Is bothered : MINDS - People that mind don't COUNT and people who count don't mind!

25. More or less, informally : SORTA - just about, nearly, kinda... 

29. Brightly plumed songbird : ORIOLE - All of these have graced our yard and the ORIOLE certainly stands out

31. Banned chem. contaminant : PCB

34. Most lascivious : LEWDEST - This is a hard description to obtain these days

36. Mess with : KID

37. Super Bowl MVP after Peyton : ELI - One of Eli's Super Bowl wins was greatly aided by David Tyree's (#85) famous catch that he pinned to the top of his helmet 

38. Final hour? : EXAM DAY - Teachers today soon learn that they had better be teaching to the EXAM

39. Galoot : APE

40. Big automotive initials : REO - Isn't this REO Speedwagon a beauty?

41. Like some observant Jews : HASIDIC - They'd stand out in my 'hood

42. Designing initials : YSL - Yves St. Laurent 

43. Place for porcelain, possibly : MANTEL - Here's a beautiful porcelain MANTEL clock 

45. Stuffed fare : TACOS

47. Zero, to Nero : NIHIL - Latin for nothing and the root for NIHILISM

48. Opposite : POLAR - My loving wife and I are POLAR opposites on some issues but not anything really important to us

52. Come to pass : OCCUR

53. Cryotherapy offerers : SPAS - Exposure to -200F air for a couple minutes is supposed to be a great treatment for pain

57. Give significance to, in a way : NAME - CITI paid $400M over 20 years to NAME this stadium home of the NY Mets

58. Travel in no particular direction : ROAM

59. Trial records : STENO NOTES - I'll bet she did!

61. Niggle : CARP - Niggle seems like a fun little word

62. Collectible, maybe : OUT OF PRINT - A Gutenberg Bible might be a tough find 

63. Charity : ALMS

64. Double helix pair : DNA STRANDS - We share 96% of our DNA with chimps.


1. Improvises : VAMPS - Keep VAMPING, we're trying to get the show headliner sober!

2. King Triton's daughter : ARIEL

3. 2011 title cowboy chameleon : RANGO - RANGO and his "voicer" Johnny Depp

4. Sacred birds : IBISES

5. Stately street adornment : ELM 

6. __ spirit : TEAM 

7. School named for a Welsh merchant : YALE - Some of that merchandise he traded in was slaves but the movement to change the college name is going nowhere 

8. Ingredient in the Japanese jellied dessert yokan : AGAR - AGAR is the "gelatinizing" agent in this lovely dessert

9. Means of correction : CURE

10. Some action in "Full Metal Jacket" took place on it : TET - I  learned the abandoned Beckton Gasworks in East London was where the battle scenes were filmed.

11. 1844 Verdi opera : ERNANI - ERNANI was a bandit in this opera by Giuseppe Verdi (Joe Green according to Victor Borge)

12. Seem reasonable : SOUND OKAY - "Let's attack the center of the line on cemetery ridge at Gettysburg and split the Yankees!"

14. Liturgical dress : ALBS

21. Surprise bad guy : DIRTY COP

23. One who gets it all : SOLE HEIR - She was his SOLE HEIR upon his death

24. Assembled artwork : MOSAIC - We saw fabulous MOSAICS in the Vatican

26. Longtime pharmacy chain : REXALL - The REXALL of my misspent yute kept Playboys and condoms under the counter out of sight

27. Christmas poem opener : TWAS - A great holiday tradition. Now where is my sleep cap?

28. Let in : ADMIT

30. Pulitzer-winning biographer Leon : EDEL - If I feel interested enough, I'll post a picture of him...

31. Wave generator? : PERM - Getting one in 1935 with the Gallia Machine

32. Controversial technology involving carbon capture and storage : CLEAN COAL - It purports to extract CO2 from burning coal exhaust gases and store it securely underground

33. Part of a fictional six-million-dollar repair : BIONIC ARM 

35. Ancient Icelandic text : EDDA

46. Chihuahua neighbor : SONORA - Just south of Tucson 

49. Ipso facto, e.g. : LATIN

50. Fix : AMEND

51. Breaks in scores : RESTS

52. Killer whale : ORCA - I'm sure  54. Org. promoting veganism : PETA is not in favor of having ORCAS do this but might have felt the animal got some measure of justice at the end of this sequence as he 53. Surprise big-time : STUNNED the trainer as he 44. Hits hard : THUMPS her

55. Years in Granada : ANOS - Me? Tengo 71 a├▒os de edad

56. __ light : SOFT

59. Land development aid : SOD

60. "On Point" syndicating org. : NPR

A tough but eminently fair test to me. You?



OwenKL said...

FIW¡ Had several WAGs in the N and NE that I was unsure of, but it was MINIMALism > MINIMALisT that killed me.

I just saw RANGO for the first time last week. I've told myself CGI would reach perfection when I saw a new John Wane movie. Rango may have hit it -- a cgi version of Clint Eastwood had a large cameo!

Consider the plight of the ibis.
When he's in a flock, they're IBISES.
Should the birds each take a missus
The little women would be the ibises's!
If asked by someone who misses the missive,
"Who's in that club?", answer, "the ibises's's!"


D4E4H said...

A CGI Greeting to You Mortal Cornerites !

What is a CGI you ask? Why it is a Computer Generated Image which can be seen throughout movies today, and is becoming completely realistic.

A bold Woohoo to Misty for her new found skill !

Now to the CW, "Thumper, Thumper, Thumper." Thank you Mr. Daniel Nierenberg for creating the easiest CW ever. What a pleasant romp as I ROAMed across and down.

As for you HG, not a link today to distract me from playing Anna in the background. Thank you for 'splaining the Big words like HASIDIC, MANTEL, SPAS, CARP, VAMPS, RANGO, ERNANI, MOSAIC, EDEL, and EDDA. Lets count them, that's 10, 10, 10 words in one, CW that is.

I could spend the rest of the day writing about the "BIG", but I will leave that to others.

Dave 2 Thumpers

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Sorry to be so negative, but for me this was definitely a "fun sponge" (in the words of the late lamented Splynter), Daniel. Nice expo, Gary.

First pass thru gave me only 5 words. Then I managed to fill the central block. Finally had to resort to red-letter runs to get even a toe-hold anywhere else. Eventually got it filled, but not happily.

D4: Thumper here usually means "If you can't say something nice don't say nothing at all." A quote from Thumper the rabbit in the old Classic "Bambi" movie. What were you trying to say? Not being judgmental just wondering.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Ya got it right, Husker -- tough, but fair. Tried MOBILE for MOSAIC and SPOT for SOFT. The toughest tangle, though, was MINIMALISM. When I thought of AGAR and realized that movie wasn't filmed "on" NAM, it fell into place. Finished in good Saturday time, so life is good. Thanx, Daniel and Gary.

I spent my high school years clerking in a REXALL drug store. Earned 85 cents/hour on weekdays and $1.25/hour on Sundays. That was enough to put gas in my '53 Pontiac (the green P) and to take my girlfriend to the movies.

That painting looks like a Rothko, Husker. In Houston we have the Rothko Chapel, displaying 14 mostly black "paintings." Some folks sit and look at them for hours. I finished my visit in under 5 minutes. Not my cup of meat.

TTP said...

Thank you Daniel Nierenberg and (a pre-read) thank you to Husker Gary.

Well nuts. I refused to concede. I thought I solved it after overcoming two particularly troublesome spots. Self-inflicted trouble spots...

In the north-central, I would have had to borrow D-O's wite-out, and perhaps a new pen.
Ave to ELM, Eton to YALE, TEen to TEAM, and CURb to CURE.

VARIETY ACT and ARAB LEAGUE made me AMEND the first two. Embarrassed to ADMIT that I was staring at MINIMeL-RT for more than a minute and just not seeing it. DOH ! TEam not TEen and CURE no CURb.

In the south-central, liThoPRINT derailed me for awhile. But I was confident with that T and PETA, and almost certain I should have ANOS, but couldn't escape my original thoughts for "Surprise, big-time", "Land development aid" and "____ light."

Finally realized I was reading cryotherapy and not cryogenically. Shouldn't have glossed over it and shouldn't have watched a bit of that Austin Powers movie yesterday.

So, using the KISS method, SPAS led to correctly completing the southern issue. Those were my last letters, but no TADA.

Refusing to concede, I reviewed almost the entire puzzle looking for typos. The only one that I kept going back to was EsNANI. Should have thought about muddying the waters, and then I wouldn't have had sOIL.

In other areas, DDT to PCB with the six million dollar clue. Pins to PEGS with ARIEL and IBISES.

One wrong letter, but I loved the challenge.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Oh mein achin' ut puffer! Looked up ARAB LEAGUE, ARIEL, AGAR and EDEL, and STILL had two mistakes.

Erased DDT for PCB, oaf for APE, sET for TET and SpoT for SOFT light. I originally had QB Tom instead of ELI. If the Cowboys aren't playing I don't pay a lot of attention to the Super Bowl. (I've had a LOT of time off!) I didn't pay attention to my corrections and didn't notice that PalM should be PERM, thus my two errant cells.

Daniel, thanks for putting me in my place and for giving the more competent Cornerites a real challenge. And thanks to Gary for being up to the Saturday challenge. You are doing great!

Big Easy said...

Good morning to all, especially those who need 'Cryotherapy'- in most of the USA- JUST STEP OUTSIDE and freeze your ass off. No need to pay SPAS. The NW gave me fits for the longest with no toeholds for me. I guessed 5D would be either OAK or ELM, 8d would be EGGS or AGAR, and 10D would be NAM or TET, but that was only after I had finished the rest of the puzzle. MINIMALISM for the NAM possibility but it was no CURE.

TIME SLIPS- never heard the term before but it SOUNDs OKAY. ERANI, RANGO, NAHIL- thank you perps.
SOLE HEIR- not in my family. Not an only child and there was nothing to inherit except bills for funerals to split three ways.

REXALL- was not a chain. Independent pharmacies could use their names to sell REXALL brand vitamins and other things. Condoms, aka rubbers, out of sight? Not these days. I was walking down the main aisle at Wal-Mart and noticed on the bottom row right next to the condoms and KY lubricants a........vibrator. LEWDEST- that would be hard to top these days.

TTP said...

A post-read thank you to Husker Gary.

I agree, tough but fair. It was my own lack of knowledge Verdi opera ERNANI. Not that I have ever had any interest in opera, or that I'm likely to ever develop one. But I still should have got ROIL after that added time and certitude that area was the reason I didn't get the TADA.

I counted 12 compound word answers. I didn't mind.

Dresden style porcelain body, unmarked, hand decorated clock with four figures representing the seasons, bell chime, porcelain dial. Movement marked with bronze metal stamp. With pendulum. Pre-auction estimate $400-$800. Sold for $218.50

H.J. Heinz will pay the Steelers a total of $57M through 2021. They're getting their money's worth.

FLN - I added them to yesterday's blog comments as there were so many.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

No complaints about the toughness as Saturdays should be challenging, but I found some of the cluing a tad "off". For example; Improvises=Vamps and Identifies=Pegs. Granted, they are both legitimate but, IMO, just not the most common usage. (To me, Vamps conjures an image of Theda Bari (sp?) batting her eyelashes and looking sultry.) I thought for sure that I would have to cry uncle because of the NW corner, but once I finally got Arab League, the rest filled in easily and, Tada, fini! Unknowns were (Leon) Edel and Rango. W/os were DDT/PCB, Oaf/Ape, GMC/REO, Eton/Yale, and Court Notes/Steno Notes. Time Slips is a new description, also.

Thanks, Daniel, for a true Saturday stumper and thanks, HG, for the wonderful write-up and bright and pleasing visuals. How young and happy Elvis is in that photo!

Have a great day.

Yellowrocks said...

I thought I had a good chance at this, especially after I sussed STENO NOTES and OUT OF PRINT.
Most of the rest was not difficult, but I stumbled in the NW. One bad cell because I couldn't get by MINIMALIST.
I had MERE and AG_R. Only AGAR fit, but I know it is not a Japanese word. I even had TET, but could not think of CURE or ART until the red letter lit. Then I guessed the R. A little more P&P might have worked. AGAR kinda shut my mind down. I am totally turned off by Japanese desserts and sweets and so pay little attention to them.
We don't need to pay SPAS for CRYOTHERAPY these days. We can just take a quick trip outdoors. LOL
I was thinking how cute it would be for wave generator to be PERM, and then it actually was, my favorite clue.
My ex took all his classical music with him, but these days I can access it on YouTube. I still remember ERNANI.
Do they have REXALL drugstores these days? The condoms and pregnancy test kits are on the bottom shelf at our drugstore. Yesterday a toddler was sitting on the floor playing with the boxes.
I didn't hear TWAS the Night Before Christmas this year.
Great job, Daniel and Gary. Thanks.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Technical DNF today. I had Soil in place of Roil. Otherwise, breezed right through. Thanks for ‘splaining, Husker!

From last night: superb videos!

One more day of extreme cold + strong wind. Sunday is forecast to be calmer. We need it, cabin fever is taking hold.

TTP said...

Dudley, cabin fever taking hold ?

I found myself taking the dirty dishes out of the dishwasher so I could wash them in the sink for something to do.

jfromvt said...

A tough one for me today. Could not come up with any of the long across answers in NW and SW corners. Had a few of the down answers but couldn't connect the dots. Not a good start to my weekend when I don't finish the Saturday crossword­čśí!

Yellowrocks said...

With VAMP I thought of jazz. Dictionary. com. "VAMP - In jazz, an accompaniment, usually improvised, consisting of a succession of simple chords." I don't know much about jazz, but this was my thinking, too, in solving the puzzle.
We hate to be kept indoors. The roads are not bad. We went out for breakfast this AM and to the bank and the gas station. Yesterday we went to the Shop Rite. We continue to make our twice daily trips to the corner store. Running between the car and our destination is fine. Tomorrow we will likely go to the Y.
Today I am dismantling my Christmas decorations bit by bit, sitting down to rest in between sections. I am actually considering going out, just to escape this task which is keeping me in.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

TTP - You could always paint something and watch it dry.

WEES. No look-ups needed. I thought some of the cluing was SORTA on the edge, like for VAMPS, but perps were reasonable. I thought the 10 letter stacks were fresh and meaty, no veganism here. Liked the clue for PERM. YALE was a WAG.
Joe Green must have been quite young when ERNANI was hatched.

Enjoy the weekend.

Picard said...

Hand up this was quite a challenge! Some weird answers certainly slowed this down:
ERNANI, TIME SLIPS, VAMPS. EDEL just seemed wrong, but I was wrong. Anyone else try TIME WARPS before the unknown TIME SLIPS? Amazed to FIR.

Thanks, Husker Gary, for the amazing links. I especially enjoyed the PERM machine. I am barely old enough to know the VARIETY ACT pair in the photo. And the ORCA clip was amusing as long as no one got hurt.

In 2006 I witnessed this ORCA attack on a gray whale calf with its mother.

The crew explained that these attacks go on for hours. The ORCA cannot kill even a whale calf in one blow or even a series of bites. The strategy is to weaken the calf with hundreds of blows, then drown the calf by forcing it underwater so it can't breathe. A slow, horrible death. I can never see an ORCA the same way again after this experience.

I love the SONORA desert and have plenty of photos. Another time. We will be there again in April.

Picard said...

PS: How are you doing with recovering from influenza, CC? Hope you are starting to feel better.

C6D6 Peg said...

Thanks, Daniel, for a challenging, but "got-it-done" puzzle. Great fill and cluing.... loved "DIRTYCOP" and "OUTOFPRINT".

Thanks, HG, for another great write-up with the pics and links!

Misty said...

Well, this was a toughie, but then it is a Saturday, after all. I got the northeast and southwest and other parts here and there before I started cheating, but in the end I only looked up five items, and then got everything else on my own. So, fun morning, many thanks, Daniel. And great write-up and pics, Husker Gary.

Many thanks for the congratulations, Dave. Let's hope your great advice helps again this morning, Ol'Man Keith.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

TX Ms said...

Thanks, Daniel (I think), and Gary for the great recap. Wow, those women in the 30's went to great lengths to get curls! Looked like something from a torture chamber.

I would not let go of MINIMALIST which really screwed up CURE - FIW. It was my last fill, so I guess I was experiencing brain pain. My only nit was SOD for land development AID? Maybe additive, but I was thinking "aid" would be more along the lines of plat or map. Oh, well.

D-O, thanks for the Rothko Chapel link, although its website home page about put me to sleep.

Try to stay warm up there in the North. Floods, in addition to blizzard conditions? (newscast from a couple of days ago)

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Thanks Daniel for a challenge above my pay-grade. Thanks HG for finishing my grid and the fun illustrations.

I turned shooting ones self in the foot into an ART. @1d I settled on VArys [sic], 3d - RAscO, 6d TEen Spirit [Nirvana].

16a ≠ sOIL, 36a ≠ Koy, and TIME looPS seemed OKAY.
@23d, I had SOLo HieR [sic] which was close unlike oXAM_TY @38a. I still can't think of what the 'artwork' is NAME'd where someone welds junk together but that's what I was going for based on the c.

The other 75-80% of the puzzle was filled perfectly w/o WOs. So a Sat "win" in my book; at least I'm improving [remember when you couldn't fill more than 5 ans. on a Sat? In two hours? I do.]

I'd never heard of Cryotherapy until last week. Pop's DW was discussing the Spa her friend's daughter had opened. We all, of course, giggled & scoffed at the idea seeing it was -1F outside (like BigE & YR said; step out Fool! [say it like Mr. T].


TTP - 1) Really? By hand. Get a Raspberry Pi to play with. :-)
//Nerd alert
2) FLN - I heard about Spectre & Meltdown (as NAMED) last week on the radio while still ill. I finally looked into it Thursday night and realized it's what was hinted at 3 months ago on fulldisclosure or some such... What made me giggle was the realization that I had this suspicion 20+ years ago as CISC architecture* was bypassing RISC in performance b/c of prefetch/execution trickery. What made me LOL - cloud providers are f***'d and this is what we in Sec warned about years ago and was told "no, that's all figured out now." HA!
So, in response to the hallway queries... I said, "Our systems in our data centers will be fine; I'm just glad we didn't AWS nor fully go O365/Azure yet" and walked on letting them noodle that.
//Nerd alert off

D-O: I read about the Rothko Chapel and thought "Different colors of black? That is not something a dude can differentiate."

Cheers, -T
*full disclosure: I have $ in Intel

AnonymousPVX said...

The “fun sponge” quote was the only thing I liked about this effort. Thanks for that. I thought 43A a particularly bad clue.

MichaelRosenSF said...

The correct answer to the clue "just" is "merely," which is a direct substitute. "Mere" is not a direct substitute.

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

The past few days puzzles were quite easy. Today's was MEREly a bear. Way too many cheats for my liking. And when I couldn't get VARIETY ACT/VAMPS for 1a/1d, the puzzle got even harder. I was able to connect the NE to the SW, but the NW and SE were where I needed Google

Had a minor accident at work yesterday when a wine glass literally crushed in my hand. Weak glass I suppose; they do weaken I guess after several washing cycles. Needed 3 stitches on my thumb pad. Came up with a poem to "honor" it:

After reaching down low for a glass,
The wine steward slipped right on his ass.
And as he looked around,
Saw his blood on the ground,
As the diners all threw up, en masse

Guess I will watch a lot of TV the next few days as I allow myself to heal

Misty said...

Sorry to hear about the injury to your hand, Chairman Moe. Hope it heals without any problems.

Lucina said...

Thank you, Daniel Nierenberg, for this Saturday challenge! And thank you, Gary, for enlightening us with great graphics. I've never understood why Rothko's ART would be admired. My former dentist had them all over the halls and rooms.

My first foray into this grid was in the center which filled easily then I branched out, first the SW corner. PERM is something I recall from my youth and can still remember the smell. Ammonia, maybe?

The NE called next and very slowly bloomed. TIMESLIPS is unknown, but TIME slipped in and the rest worked itself out.

Like others, it took a long while to discard MINIMALIST for MINIMAL ART and erase NAM.

It was just a few minutes. It was a MERE few minutes.

For me it was the SE that proved problematic. Finally I checked on STENO NOTES and it all fell in place.

Today is our 12th Day party so I'm going to make creamed corn casserole, a favorite with my family and I have my White Elephant gift ready.

Have a sensational day, everyone, even in the bitter cold. Here, in the SONORA desert, the weather is agreeable.

Chuck Lindgren said...

fun sponge indeed. Is there an acronym for "not even close". "Time slips" ????time travel yes...time dilation...yes but time slip???.have read at least 100 SciFI books and never heard the term. POLAR meaning opposites ??? So then you are opposite opposite with your wife??

NEC...NO TADA 5 for 6

Anonymous T said...

Moe - ouch! Heal well & quickly friend.

Lucina - you need to elaborate on this 1/6 Elephant gifting (oh, and the casserole).

TTP - As resident Blog etymologist, did you catch ChuckL's NEC?. I suggest he add the B (NEC,B!) as to not overload National Electrical Code's acronym :-)

FYI - C.C.'s Wed(?) WSJ [I'm still working it - almost got it!] had POLAR clue'd as 'Completely opposite' and 'Somewhat, casually' KINDA the same too.

C, -T

Anonymous said...

Two days now with no comments on your posts, Picard.

Looks like no one cares about your ORCA experience or anything else you have to say. Good.

Irish Miss said...

Question for the Techie Troops ~ Is there anything we "mere" mortals should or should not be doing on our devices in light of the Spectre ~ Meltdown issue?

Ouch, Moe, heal quickly!

Yellowrocks said...

Moe, freak accident. Ouch! I hope you heal quickly.
Polar opposites is a common expression which I encounter frequently, meaning as different as can be. Urban Dictionary: "The complete opposite to one another. - such as the polar points (North and South) are directly opposite each other on the earth's surface and do not meet or overlap at all."
Time slips. I got this from perps and wags, but I have learned it is a real thing. LIU Wikipedia: "Time slip. A time slip is a plot device used in fantasy and science fiction in which a person, or group of people, seem to travel through time by unknown means for a period of time."
I had to stop packing away Christmas things early. I hurt all over. It's after 4:00 here so Ibuprofen and Merlot are easing it if I stay still. My latest thing is literally a pain in the butt. My artificial knees will not allow me to squat all the way down. The injured nerve in my thigh doesn't allow me to bend down at certain angles, so in compensating for that I have strained my glutes. I usually convince myself I don't hurt all that much, mind over matter, but when I really overdo it, I can't deny it. Cheers!

Wino said...

Moe: what like of work do you do that allows you to drink wine?

Anonymous T said...

Burning though posts like a cold apple slicer through a warm pear says...
//I need to work on my analogies...

YR - Take it easy. Is Alan not about to help with things at a certain angle-bend?

IM - no need to worry re: Meltdown nor Spectre as a home user. At some point you will be prompted (not when visiting a website!) to update. Do it.

In the meantime practice best-practices [sorry TTP; I know we promised to truce BS*]:
*Don't install browser plug-ins
*Be careful with your bank / financial passwords (use two-factor authentication if your institution offers it)
*Don't click links in emails from weirdos
*Don't surf the LEWDEST stuff (read: get your porn in PRINT; it was good enough for grandpa!)
*Don't let Nigerians from Louisiana "fix" your computer.

Until someone weaponizes either 'sploit via a worm there's little to concern a home user.

Cheers, -T
*Business Speak(?) :-)

PS - I read Picard's article and enjoyed it.

Lucina said...

What exactly would you like me to explain? The White Elephant game? It's a party and everyone attending brings an obscure, funny, or interesting wrapped gift. Nothing ordinary. At the start of the game, numbers are given out at random. Two of our nieces do a fine job as emcees and they prepare papers with numbers. Starting with #1,each person takes a turn selecting a gift from the assortment. After opening the gift, one may decide to keep it or exchange it for another one. Only one exchange allowed. As the next person in succession takes a turn, he/she may steal one that's already held by a previous person. The one whose gift is stolen may then choose another. Only two steals are allowed and then the gift is "locked" for the last person. If the gift is particularly intriguing, competition may ensue. That's where the fun lies.

Do you also want the recipe for the creamed corn casserole? That will have to wait because it's time for me to get ready to go.

You all have fun and play nice. I like Picard's photos; many remind me of places I've been and he's a particularly good photographer.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Damn, this was a toughie. If chewy is our measure, this was a true jawbreaker.
But ...
Ta- DA!
A clean kill in the end. P+P came through. Thank you, Daniel Nierenberg for the challenge! And Husker G for leading our response.

AND - we had a nice diagonal - and a mirror - to start us off!

Let's see; what can I offer? 62A - OUT OF PRINT - was the last to fall. Until it came through I was wrestling with how to make sense of AUTO_PRINT, figuring it to be a rare form of silk screen or lithograph. (I am impressed that Yellowrocks sussed the answer right away on this one!)
Another hangup was staying with MINIMALIST for too long. Finally, I couldn't bear staring at the perps it gave me - AGIR instead of AGAR, and CUST instead of CURE.
CUST? Yep, for a time I wondered if this was a real thing. (The "T" came from the fill I had for "Just" at 20A, MEET, a response which BTW I still prefer to MERE.)
ERNANI was my only gimme today. It is an opera I have never heard, but I know it as Verdi's musical version of Victor Hugo's famous drama, Hernani. An early example of Romanticism, Hernani was the occasion for riots during early performances. Classical protestors bought blocks of seats for the premiere at the com├ędie fran├žaise so they could break up the opening.
(Haven't we come a long way?! It's not that we don't care, but such public outrages are irrelevant in our age of streaming niche videos.)

PS. Misty, happy to see my name in your BF!

Jayce said...

I was stumped in many places in this puzzle today. Very hard. And sorta weird. If POLAR means opposite, why do we say "polar opposites"? If MERE and just are the same, why did Lucina need to change the word order when she said, "It was just a few minutes. It was a MERE few minutes."? ("just a" to "a mere" rather than comparing "just a" to "mere a" in which case you'd need to say "merely a" as pointed out by MichaelRosenSF.) Enough nitpicking. I did like the clue for PERM.

Best wishes to you all.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Just to pick a nit, "Just" can serve as either an adjective or adverb.
"It is a just verdict that he be fined a mere pittance."

TTP said...

Spitzboov, I was bored to tears. Funny you should mention that. I do have about 3 lineal feet of baseboard trim that needs to be painted. But that's on the pend list for now, waiting for an upcoming project that will need that same paint. Guess I could have knocked it out.

I decided to go to the big box home improvement store and ROAMed around the aisles for awhile. Too bad they don't have a lunch counter.

Anon-T, yeah, I was bored. That led to the FLN research. But blog etymologist ? And Raspberry Pi ? I'm trying to get away from more technology. I had enough of both CISC systems and RISC systems through the years. Don't be surprised if you see us on an episode of Homestead Rescue (being rescued).

Chairman Moe, ouch indeed ! Maybe you ought to have the doctors check that BIONIC ARM and grip of yours.

"Aloofer ? Is that a word ? We can make it one. We have the technology."

Yellowrocks said...

I understand the nit about just and mere, but it doesn't bother me. Much crossword answers are not exact synonyms. I do agree that the word order must be changed to make mere and just fit precisely. Merely would fit more closely.
However POLAR as in polar opposites is an intensifier, and is not redundant. One of my friends and I are opposite in very many ways, but we are not polar opposites, or otherwise we would have nothing in common.
When I was a MERE child I saw those perm machines. By the time I had my first perm we were using cold wave kits, either at the "beauty parlor" or, very popularly, at home, the home perm.
Anonymous T, Alan is willing to help and is strong. He can fetch and carry. He can lift. He will help me take the tree out of the stand and bring it to the curb. When it comes to logistics he has no intuition at all and must be told every tiny move and take time to process it. Impossible. I will do a little every day and sit when necessary. I have had the "pain in the butt" for two weeks and thought it would go away, but I guess this time of year there is not enough rest time.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Ah, but my dear Yellowrocks, MRSF, Jayce, et al, the "just/mere" word order stays the same in my example (above).
There are exceptions, of course, but there is an adverbial version of both words (merely, justly), and in Mr. Nierenberg's's defense, we should keep to examples that serve his usage.

Anonymous said...

Two hours of struggle without success. Made my case of the flu even worse! Daniel: minimalISM is the "genre" - mininamal art is a portion of that movement. Please use the term "genre" correctly! And, I give this warning: never tell a mosaic artist that their work of art is "assembled" and not CREATED - if you value your life! And, finally, how did you come to coin the phrase "time slips" ? Can't find it in any compilation of recent Sci fi literature! Again using your "constructor 's license" to coin words to fit your creation. Please remember puzzles are meant to be solvable. They are not supposed to be collections of verbiage that show your superiority over the general public.

Chairman Moe said...

I work at a restaurant as a Somm

Yellowrocks said...

Please look up time slip in Wikipedia, Anon @ 6:10

Yellowrocks said...

OMK how is that meaning of just a synonym of mere? I don't get it.

PK said...

Gary's picture of the old-fashioned perm machine brought back a vague crisis recollection from when I was about 7 or 8 yrs. old. I was staying at Grandmothers for a week. My hair was long, mid-way down my back. I hated to sit still for daily braiding or worse for rag curlers. Grandmom's beauty parlor lady named Lucina had one of those electric perm machines. She hooked me up to it while I cowered in fear. This was followed by Lucina making a funny sound as she unwound the "curls". The fried coils fell off on the floor. This was followed by my mild mannered Grandmother talking very loud to Lucina. I then got my first real haircut to even things up. I was crying. Lucina was crying. Grandmom was MEREly mad. I thought she was mad at me. Luckily, Lucina hadn't wound it up to the scalp so there was about 4-6 inches of hair left so I didn't look bad. I had forgotten that incident until today.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Not an exact synonym, guys. Nor does it need to be. It is close enough when you understand that "just" means "not to exceed," and so does "mere."

Wilbur Charles said...

Fortunately I had some time to finish today. I was doing hcap work and was waiting on an arrival. I had so much blank space and nothing was filling.

But block by block I finally got it. I had NPR early but it wasn't helping those long fills. This baby separated the veteran solvers from newbies like me.

I was thinking SONOMA;. I knew it couldn't be NAM because of usage but I had to grok ART. Everything noted occurred to me. Including MEET.

But got the TaDa.

C-Moe, welcome to Wilbur's stitches club. Boy, glass can sure cut deep.

Owen, I like your branching out. Today was delightful. Btw, I meant to ask, what did PHLOX mean the other day. Misty got it; it went over my head like most of the themes like yesterday.

P&P. Yep. An all day affair. Splynter, oops Gary, nice write-up.


Big Easy said...

Anon-T- what! No Amazon Web Service or Microsoft Cloud? Before I retired my boss was so paranoid about computer viruses that the ONLY one allowed to communicate online with us was IBM, and only because they required it. I loved your "get your porn in PRINT" solution.

I.M.- there is absolutely nothing that ""we"" mere mortals can do. Software patches are our only salvation because hardware is just that; HARD. You can't fix a chip.

After reading prior comments, it seems that TIME SLIPS was unknown to just( mere? )about everybody, including me.

Lucina said...

I just returned from our party and as always, it was a hoot! The girls passed out 63 numbered papers. Much "stealing" and laughter ensued.

The reason we have it on 1/6, though only when it falls on a weekend, is that it is the 12thday of Christmas and today is the feast of the Epiphany when the Magi arrived at the nativity. For us, it is a family & some friends, reunion at the end of the holiday stretch. Liturgically, it is the end of the Christmas cycle.

I hope I've answered all your questions.

Argyle said...

"I hope I've answered all your questions."

Not quite. What 'White Elephant' did you end up with?

Anonymous T said...

Lucina - you have(ish). I know today is Epiphany (I'm not a completely aweful Catholic :-)) but I was mere (no, still not right) wondering what constituted a White Elephant. E.g. One year my Mom, Lord bless Her, gave DW and me matching brown velveteen sweater vests - that was 'White Elephant' epitomized in my book. I was just wondering if the gifts were well-intended but un-needed/wanted or intended joke-gifts. Regardless, you spent time with those you care about and had a hoot! And that's all that matters.

BigE - Yeah, I think TIME SLIPS slip'd past most of our "in the vernacular" meter. Cheers, -T

Picard said...

Thank you very much AnonymousT and Lucina for the kind words!

Abejo said...

Good Monday morning, folks. Thank you, Daniel Nierenberg, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Husker Gary, for a fine review.

I worked most of this on an airplane and at an airport while traveling to Johnsonburg. Could not fly to Johnsonburg as there is no place to land. Flew to DuBois, PA. I was the only passenger on the plane. Single engine Cessna. Had two pilots, though.

Puzzle was not easy, being a Saturday. Started south and worked my way north.

My first answer was EDDA. Remember tat from crosswords. Got DNA STRANDS next.

Most of the rest weren't too hard, it was the clues that were obscure.

My big hangup was having EGGS for 8D. And then VARIETY ERA did not help. I believe CURE is what straightened me out, once I tried it.

Remember REXALL drug stores. I believe they are still around. In Chicagoland it is mostly CVS and WALGREEN'S.

Anyhow, I have lots to do while in Johnsonburg.

See you Tuesday.


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