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Feb 16, 2018

Friday, February 16, 2018, David Alfred Bywaters

Title: This is not an easy A class. Try THESE?

I remember certain teachers and professors who seemed to hate giving a student an A on any paper, having had my work DOWNGRADED for penmanship or failing to explain an answer even when the answer was correct. We have our 4th puzzle from David, all on Friday and like his June 2017 PUZZLE, this is a letter substitution. Each of the five themers hs the letter "A" downgraded to a "B." The reveal is simple, and the trick is to have the resulting fill be witty. I think they are good, but YMMV. MEDIA BIBS/MEDIA BIAS seems timely, BLT RIGHT/ALT-RIGHT as well.

We have quite a bit of sparkle, with EPITOME (I will always remember Peter Wiley trying to defend the epi - tome pronunciation in school, he also said Are Kansas), ORATION, SAW TO IT, SHOT PUT, STUN GUN, TARNISH along with two fill longer than some of themers HANDSHAKE and LED ASTRAY. Well, let's solve this.
\
17A. *Protection for a press feeding frenzy? : MEDIA BIBS (9). How could I speak of MEDIA BIAS without getting political?

26A. *Result of nodding off at an auction? : SLEEP BID (8). If you took a SLEEP AID before the auction, and it was really strong like Ambien...I can picture this happening.

27A. *Sandwich-centric extremists? : BLT RIGHT (8). The BLT is fun, the ALT-RIGHT, not os much but it too is politics.

50A. *Where to read all the latest computer port news? : USB TODAY (8). The cutes clue/fill and a CSO to USA Today.

52A. *Female employee of a tech giant? : IBM WOMAN (8). I AM WOMAN was a very big song and could be the anthem of the Me Too generation...oops more politics.

63A. Rating reduction responsible for the answers to starred clues: DOWNGRADE (9). With all the ex-teachers who come to the Corner, this should be very popular.

Okay, let us look at the rest.

Across:

1. Scratch __: woodworking tools: AWLS. A scratch awl is a woodworking layout and point-making tool. It is used to scribe a line to be followed by a hand saw or chisel when making woodworking joints and other operations.

5. Split wide open: GAPE.

9. Green "Sesame Street" character: OSCAR. Don't be grouchy.

14. Scallion relative: LEEK. Onions and garlic belong to the Allium genus. Allium, in fact, is derived from the Greek word for garlic. Shallots, leeks, scallions, and chives are also members of the allium family.

15. Sea predator: ORCA.

16. Asian city translates to "place of the gods": LHASA. Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, lies on the Lhasa River's north bank in a valley of the Himalayas. Rising atop Red Mountain at an altitude of 3,700m, the red-and-white Potala Palace once served as the winter home of the Dalai Lama. The first of the geography.

19. Tight headgear: DO RAG. Neon Deion helped make them famous.

20. Masseur's workplace: SPA.

21. Word with fly or about: GAD. How many of you remember Roscoe GADDIS?

22. Shining example: EPITOME.

24. What a burglar hopes not to be: SEEN. Cute clue.

30. Fort Collins sch. : CSUColorado State University.  U. of Colorado is in Boulder.

31. Merits: EARNS.

32. Italian capital: EURO. The old money distraction.

34. Dilute: THIN. It makes sense mixing paints etc.

38. Letters for John Smith? : AKAAlso Known As. Almost everyone has one, based on using or not using middle initials for examples. Banks now make you sign an AKA affidavit when you borrow money.

39. Besmirch: TARNISH. Besmirch is such a great old-fashioned word.

42. Dudley the Dinosaur's org.: ADA. American Dental Association.

43. Books with test answers: KEYS. The teachers' key.

45. Twitter's bird, e.g.: LOGO.

46. One with a title: OWNER. Property.

48. Cry of discovery: AHA.

56. Poems of praise: ODES.

57. Lincoln output: ORATION.

58. "No seats" sign: SROStanding Room Only.

59. Egg producer ... and product: HEN.

62. Tuesday dish? : TACOS. According to The Strange History Of Taco Tuesday, the phrase "Taco Tuesday" was coined in 1989 by a Mexican food chain Taco John's. (Quora).

66. Expect: AWAIT.

67. Northern terminus of I-79: ERIE. Another CSO to Abejo and others. Geography.

68. Lute family members: UKES.

69. ATM features: SLOTS. Why this clue?

70. Kind of lily: SEGO. As the Utah state flower.

71. Tendency: BENT.

Down:

1. Help for the poor: ALMS. From the word eleemosynary.

2. Sob: WEEP.

3. Acting on bad advice: LED ASTRAY.

4. __ jump: SKI. Timely; any watching the Winter Olympics.

5. Explode: GO BANG. We had a very sad go bang at a school here in Broward County.

6. Parched: ARID.

7. Chem. pollutant banned in 1979: PCBPolychlorinated biphenyl is an organic chlorine which was banned by the United States Congress in 1979 and by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2001.

8. Canvas support: EASEL. Paintings.

9. Elvis hits, e.g.: OLDIES. Interesting choice of artist.

10. Decathlon event: SHOTPUT.

11. Chocolate substitute: CAROB. A slightly healthier ALTERNATIVE.

12. "Me too": AS AM I.

13. Lost it: RAGED.

18. Elder hostile? : AGEIST.

23. River through New Mexico: PECOS. Texas and New Mexico. LINK.

25. Seaside eagle: ERN.

26. Immobilizing law-enforcement tool: STUNGUN.
27. Nose, slangily: BEAK.

28. Camp sight, perhaps: LAKE.

29. Forrest Gump, for one: HERO.

33. Some are tributaries: RIOS. Like the RIO Grande, see above. Geography.

35. Cordial greeting: HANDSHAKE.

36. Notion: IDEA.

37. Not: NARY.

40. Budget competitor: ALAMO.

41. Cylindrical sandwich: HOTDOG. I love this definition.

44. Took care of things: SAW TO IT.

47. Sorrow: WOE.

49. Construction site apparatuses: HOISTS.

51. World's third-largest island: BORNEO. Borneo is the third-largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. Geography.

52. Tiny bits: IOTAS.

53. Serious fight: BRAWL.

54. Former Portuguese territory in China: MACAO. This amazing PLACE.

55. Aconcagua's range: ANDES. More geography.

58. Way more than a sip: SWIG.

60. Paradise: EDEN. Garden - more geography.

61. Animal home: NEST.

64. Willamette Valley state: Abbr. : OREgon.  WINE anyone? Geography.

65. Obstacle: RUB. Since JW did not give us a Shakespeare last week, here.
"To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
the heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
that Flesh is heir to? 'Tis a consummation
devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; aye, there's the rub..."


I hope you enjoyed this workout. It was all over the place but the theme was doable and I did not see any really obscure cluing, so I had fun. Thank you, DAB. Hope you had a great Valentine's Day. Those of you who sent wishes for those affected by our local tragedy - thank you. David, it has been a pleasure. Lemonade out.

Here is my Valentine memory.


56 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your comment about 52 across is inane. To say domestic violence is political is unfortunate. Sexual harassment knows no slant.

OwenKL said...

In an ORATION by an ORCA named OSCAR
He claimed that the OWNER of a lost cur
To the dog wrote an ODE
That killer whales owed
For serving the mutt up on a saucer!

There was a young man of BORNEO
Who felt himself growing quite horny-O!
A WOMAN he sought,
But none could be bought
Nor seduced with either EURO or Oreo!

Moose and squirrel led Boris and Natasha
To search for lost EDEN in LHASA.
But the "PLACE OF THE GODS"
Sold only CAROBS,
And TACOS next door at the Casa!

If, among allergens, you roam
Keep an EpiPen next to your comb!
And for literacy
your EPITOME
Should be a epinephrine book, an EPI-TOME!

{B, B-, B, C+.}

OwenKL said...

Interestingly easy for me. The nearest Dairy Queen to Santa Fe is in Pecos, so the LW and I drive there for Blizzards when we want to get out of the city. There is a DQ in a shopping mall here, but no drive-up, so I can't use it.

I grew up in Portland, at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette rivers. The one is Oregon is pronounced wi-LAM-ette, the one in Illinois is WIL-mette

I also have more tenuous ties to the SEGO and CSU states.

At one point, I had MEDIA BI_S, and wondered what the heck the un-downgraded MEDIA AI_S could be!

Never heard of GADDIS, and I would have remembered, since I have a very similar name in my geneology.

Mike G said...

You must be new to the Corner. There's at least one lib-snark per week...but you'll learn to ignore them, as time goes by.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Quick solve today. It's kinda necessary to get the theme on this one. Fortunately, I did. Thanx, DAB and L714.

ADA: Never heard of Dudley (Hi there, Dudley!) the Dinosaur, but I certainly support the ADA -- at least once per quarter, if not more often. Twice already in 2018.

ERE: Hi there, Abejo.

TACO Tuesday: Not familiar with the term. There are no Taco Johns restaurants in Texas.

AWLS: Scratch awls are far superior (more accurate) than pencil lines. The awl leaves a tiny groove that the saw blade can nestle into to start the cut, precisely in the right spot.

desper-otto said...

Where'd my I go?

Oas said...

Great puzzle. Too much in a rush today . Busy morning ahead. FIW because i didn't take time to go over the theme . USA TODAY stayed and kicked myself when i saw I'd left the A . Thought of BORNEO before I caught on to the theme , but again haste makes waste . Enjoyed it anyhow. Lemonade 714 thanks . Anon lighten up already. Life is too short to look for the devil under every chair and behind every tree. DW doesen't laugh at everything I find funny , but life is good and on it goes. E.g. Watched a report of a new business emerging that caters to people who need cuddling. They make house calls to provide cuddling for clients . I suggested I could get her a gift certificate . Apparently not funny.

Oas said...

Owen You brightened up my morning again , thanks

Lemonade714 said...

Mike G., am I the author of the "lib-snark" or was that Anon 4:02? BTW what did you think of the theme, the cluing? The links?

Lemonade714 said...

OKL, I thought your Epi-poem was the epi-tome of witty.

billocohoes said...

In the Rules of Golf, if a moving ball is accidentally deflected or stopped by an outside agency, it’s a RUB of the green (Rule 19-1)

Oas said...

DO I. Agree with you about the scratching AWL . Having learned how to use hand tools early in life , the AWL scratch was helpful to make a sure cut when you put the SAWTOIT.

Anonymous said...

NARY means "not any," not simply "not."

Jinx in Norfolk said...

I was so excited to FIR, but when I got here I discovered that I had misspelled CARaB x EPITaME. Bad spellers of the world UNTIE!

Caught the theme at IBM, and chuckled the rest of the way through. Erased rome for EURO and SluG for SWIG.

Many joints around Norfolk have $1 Taco Tuesdays. The servers call it "CAT night", CAT meaning "Cheap Ass Tacos". Lots of work for low tips.

Thanks to David and Lemonade for the fun Thursday workout.

FLN: I have written my US Representative to ask for an accounting of how the gas taxes collected over the last 20 years have been spent. Crickets. I would be in favor of an extra gas tax if 1) the funds didn't go for skateboard parks, unneeded rail projects, hybrid buses and other waste, 2) if the bill includes a way to ensure that the moneys went to transportation projects and not to the general fund (or to some legislative scam like the social security "trust fund"), and 3) an accounting of where the money is spent is posted on a government web site available to anyone. I don't think this is political, and should certainly not be partisan. Just common sense.

Yellowrocks said...

Sussing the downgraded A to B early on helped a lot.
My experience as a teacher was more about pressure for an upgrade. We had well-to-do, powerful helicopter parents who usually got their way via the administration. If your principal backed you she was chastised and over ruled by the superintendent. We were forced to give retests replacing failed tests for kids who bragged they didn't study. Or we were asked to give a not too arduous project that could easily overcome a bad test grade. Parents often argued about the test questions or they asked for half credit on easy math problems, etc. etc.
DO, I, too, support the ADA, at least quarterly. Unfortunately, not to do so would leave me either toothless or in great unrelieved pain.
I learned "eleemosynary," concerning alms, from William F. Buckley. Love or hate his politics, Buckley was very erudite, a complete logophile. Lemon's blog was the only other place I have ever seen eleemosynary, except for the dictionary.
Anonymous @ 4:02, in this poisonous environment almost anything can become political. Surprisingly, I actually have heard some political arguments against Me Too.
I like Helen Reddy's version of I Am Woman.
NJ raised the gas tax and voted that it be a dedicated fund. I am sure the pols found a way around it.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Thanks, David, for a bit of a challenge today. I enjoyed it. I especially liked the clueing for NARY and HEN. I chuckled when the light dawned. I, too, figured this out at IBM WOMAN on the second pass so I was pretty far along. ERIE jogged my mental atlas.

Nice tour, Lemonade. Thanks for the links. A nice start to another busy day. I thought I was retired and had nothing to do. Lots of appointments this week. Had my annual MRI yesterday on my hips. I'm getting better at them, but they're right up there with my acrophobia. Yesterday was my best ever attempt at remaining calm. Feeling proud of myself! That's sure one darn noisy piece of machinery!

Have a lovely day. Hope it's sunny wherever you are. Not a problem though; most of you around here always bring your own sunshine along.

Big Easy said...

Not to TARNISH his reputation, Mr. Bywaters (Bywater is the name of an area downriver from the French Quarter) may have LED ASTRAY a few neophytes, but I doubt that the Cornerites were fooled by the A to B switch. I caught it at SLEEP BID. BLT-RIGHT and BNTIFB would have been perfect compliments for the puzzle. No MEDIA BIBS allowed here.

OSCAR the Grouch I knew of but not Dudley- ADA was perped. So was 'Scratch AWLS'.
HOTDOG- why that's a 'tube steak'

Off topic. This morning, at to top of page 1D in the New Orleans Advocate the headline reads:

'HI HO Silver', there's Beethoven, basketball and blossoms

No HI YO there. It's about upcoming events. Concert, Harlem Globetrotters, and some Garden's open house.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Sorry to say that this requires a nod to my faithful friend Thumper.

Lemony, you did an excellent job explaining David's efforts, so thank you. I can't believe how much Charlotte and Harper have grown!

Misty, I hope you are back on track, sleep-wise.

Have a great day.

Mike G said...

Lemonade714...neither. The latest lib-snark was a comment by JzB on Wed. I thought today's puzzle was a refreshing change. I typically struggle on Friday but it fell into place quickly today. Have a nice weekend.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Lemonade - Good comments today.

Nailed ERIE. Woohoo. Remembered it was at the head of I 79. Mixed feelings about the theme but did like I AM WOMAN and MEDIA BIBS. Got LHASA, but toyed with Tokyo and Seoul at first. The H in SHOTPUT clinched it. Wonder when someone will clue EDEN as a town in WNY about 6 mi. E of L. Erie. EDEN was our 1st home.
No searches were needed.

Husker Gary said...

Musings
-A fair, but tough Friday for me. ATOMS/IOTAS really bollixed up the SW
-I never looked to DOWNGRADE any kids work. I tried to find a way to accept what they put but kept standards. In 42 years I was never asked to change a grade
-Motels would lose a lot of money if this John Smith guy quit registering
-The teacher left the KEY today but I don’t know if he wants me to correct the test
-We’re racing for pinks (titles, ownership papers)! (:03)
-With ATOMS wrongly in place, _ _ _ TION looked like TUITION for UNL in Lincoln
-Elvis as an OLDIE?
-You have to really read the cues before a HANDSHAKE today!
-My first cylindrical sandwich with H O _ _ _ _ was a HOAGIE
-Cranes are my construction IDEA, this is my HOIST image
-Pacific Coast Highway guide to us, “It’s Willamette, damn it!”

Picard said...

I struggled to figure out the theme until almost the end. The two Bs in MEDIA BIBS added to the confusion. Was I the only one who had that difficulty? In the end, the crosses were fair and it was all do-able. A fair and creative Friday challenge!

As one who loves CHOCOLATE, I have never gotten how CAROB counts as a CHOCOLATE SUBSTITUTE. When I first came to California I struggled with these allegedly healthier substitutes offered by my new friends!

Learning moment about the meaning of LHASA.

Lemonade: Thanks for dealing with the unavoidably "political" puzzle elements with grace and humor. Regarding MEDIA BIAS: When I was a child, Walter Cronkite was "the news". People may have disagreed in their opinions, but at least there was a consensus on what were the facts.

Here are my photos of an ORCA attack on a baby whale with its mother helplessly standing by.

I previously had posted photos from a news article of a similar attack. But these are my own photos. The final photos show our skilled Captain Fred Benko taking us into a nearby sea cave. Sadly, Fred Benko died a few years ago.

Jinx: OlManKeith had brought up the point about the need to pay taxes to invest in solutions before they become crises. Good that you are open to this idea, at least in principle.

Here is a brief fact sheet "America's Autos on Welfare" showing about a trillion dollars per year in subsidies for private motor vehicle use.

In order to solve the problem it is necessary first to know the facts of how big the problem really is. And it has little to do with money for skateboard parks. As a motorist, I am happy to pay for hybrid buses to reduce traffic. It is a lot cheaper than buying right of way for more traffic lanes.

I assume most of us are at the Crossword Corner because we want to expand our areas of knowledge. I thank OlManKeith for bringing this up.

Picard said...

From yesterday:
Misty: I did not mean overly to alarm you about taking an occasional Advil PM. If it works for you once in awhile, go for it. (But you will have to refrain from driving at least into the next morning.)

The only time I resort to a "sleep aid" is if I am doing a very long flight across the ocean. I made a most helpful discovery years ago: If I take 5-10mg of Valium it relaxes me and I naturally fall asleep. It is easy to develop a dependence or even an addiction to Valium. But for very occasional use like this it works very well!

Oas said...

Mike G Maybe not new but too young to know the song ?

CanadianEh! said...

Fabulous Friday- the EPITOME of a good CW. Thanks for the fun, David & Lemonade. (Great links and photo of the granddaughters!)

I enjoyed this CW even if I needed to come here for an explanation of the theme. I was looking for a slope DOWNGRADE and totally missed the B to A theme.

I completed on Mensa but didn't get a Tada; reviewed and could not see any problems; turned on red letters - AHA! I had FIW at intersection of PECOS and CSU. I thought Fort Collins was in Texas and I had TSU. Blame it on my Canadian disadvantage.

I also had to do an alphabet run to find the G in AGEIST and GAD but I was successful there.
Lincoln again today. How many clues can there be for ERIE?
I changed Cacao to CARAB, and wanted DDT before PCB (but I had the C from ORCA to steer me in the right direction). Rome changed to Lira and finally to EURO.

I'm glad to see that others had not heard of TACO Tuesdays and Dudley associated with ADA.
The Helen Reddy song was an OLDIE. I noted Me Too in the clue for 12D "As I am".

I'm waiting for summer for a great BLT RIGHT!

Some CSOs today. Along with ERIE for Abejo, ODES for our poets, and Dudley at ADA clue, we hope Misty doesn't need a SLEEP BID; Tin will love his upGRADE from a Sip to a SWIG.

Enjoy the day.

Lucina said...

Thankfully, I was never forced to change a grade until this puzzle! Very clever, Mr. Bywaters! My sister, who taught in a highly affluent area, often had that problem. The solution usually depended on the principal and whose side he/she was on, the teacher's or the parent's and student's.

I caught the switch at IBMWOMAN then went back to study the other theme fill. Though I had not heard the term before, LHASA occurred to me because of its elevation.

LAKE was clued obscurely and therefore slow in coming. Scratch AWLS is a new term for me; thank you all for explaining its use.

Many restaurants here now have TACO Tuesday.

I like that SWIG sounds like its meaning.

Thank you, Lemonade, for your always illuminating commentary. I wasn't aware that you lived in Broward County; what a tragic loss on so many levels. Beautiful photo of your granddaughters! How they have grown.

Have a pleasant day, everyone! We've had rain!

Misty said...

Well, I had to start cheating pretty early on this toughie--but, hey, it's Friday and they're supposed to be a bit challenging on this day. Also took me a while to get the B theme, but found it fun once I checked it out. So, thanks, David, and you too, Lemonade, for a great write-up. Oh, and loved the Shakespeare!

Had a second good night's sleep, this one without any meds--Yay! Thank you for asking, Irish Miss and Picard, and I will be very careful about any SLEEP AIDS (not SLEEP BIDS) in the future. Picard, how nice of you to remind us about Walter Cronkite. I haven't thought about him in a long time, but he was such an important presence for so many years back then.

Have a great day, everybody!

CrossEyedDave said...

Thanks for the Macao link, but no thanks re: The Tower Skywalk!
After the beginning annoying music, around a minute and a half in,
I had to link where the videographer states "This is the stupidest thing I have ever seen!"

And left over from Valentines day:

"Hey cutie! Do you want to be downgraded?

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi Gang -

I took the downgrade to be related to bond rating, not school assignments.

Top section was easy, but things got harder as I moved south. Lots of sticking points, so a nice crunchy Friday effort.

USB TODAY is my fav theme entry.

ERN is old crosswordese, but crossing it with EARNS was a nice touch.

Mike G - The only thing in my Wed write-up that could possibly have inspired your remark was what I said about Cecil Rhodes. If you think that's not accurate, I respectfully suggest you do a little reading on the history of Rhodesia, British imperialism, and imperialism in general.

BTW - I can do snark with one hand tied behind my back. That honest assessment wasn't even close to being snark. Nor lib, for that matter. Imperialism is what it is..

But if you find my posts to be offensive, feel free to ignore them. I won't mind in the least.

OTOH, If you want to continue the discussion, my email is jazzbumpa@gmail.com.

Happy week-end everyone.

Cool regards,
JzB

inanehiker said...

Very fun theme - smiled at each of them. It took to the second theme answer to fully figure it out - as I saw MEDIA BIBS and only one of the two Bs was a downgrade from an A.

Will-AM-Ette in Oregon just have to learn which of the syllables to emphasize, but the Wilmette in IL is spelled differently and has no A so it is pronounced as written Wil- MET.

The Taco Tuesday is a big thing with the Milennials - a night to go out for cheap eats and many restaurants have specials - they probably make their money on the accompanying margaritas and mojitos.

Have a good weekend and Happy Chinese New Year to those who celebrate- today on the trivia website Sporcle you can earn your "Gung Hay Badge Choy" badge after playing 3 quizzes related to the holiday. It's the Year of the Dog starting.
Thanks Lemonade and David!
I always wonder if the constructor grew up in KC and went to my high school - I had a friend with the same last name and her older brother was David and was very smart!

Wilbur Charles said...

Ask Argyle. Or. Has the blogger had an upgrade recently? Editor is different.

WC

David Alfred Bywaters said...

Is there anyone here who has not yet visited the website on which I publish a new crossword weekly, absolutely free of charge?

Here's the easily remembered address:

davidalfredbywaters.com

Wilbur Charles said...

I was having a lot of trouble but it all eventually came around. I never grokked the theme. I can't think like that. And I agree it's part of the Solve .

Re. PC .* A friend recently passed away. I was at a group breakfast and had a private conversation that his wife overheard. A big PC stink ensued.

I ended up spending less time with that group ( a church group except the wife).

In my opinion the PC movement is the worst thing since its kissing cousin Communism.

And of course without intending to I apparently went political. It's that easy.

WC

* The space before the period is part of the editor upgrade. Perhaps it's Android Chrome

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

DOWN GRADE - A to B - sounds like what Owen does to his limericks/poems/ODES. He's a much harsher GRADER than the rest of this community.

Lots of great clues and solves; several WO's on my puzzle page, but I FIR with no cheats or googles or lookups

I too like the ERN/EARN cross. Had URN been in the puzzle we'd have had a homophonic trio

My RUB/BENT started out as a RUT/TENT.

USB TODAY = clever; not a big fan of the paper anymore. It was good when first issued but lacks objectivity now, IMO

The solve for 52a has an interesting anagram, without scrambling the letters. I wonder how many in the sultanate drive this? I BMW OMAN (where, of course, the "I" = 1

Believe it or not, there's a blog for puns, haikus, and limericks. I was introduced to it by Owen. And while he rarely offers his poetry, I usually do. This morning, a fellow limercist posted a poem under the heading, "A clean limerick". Of course, I had to contribute! First listed is his, followed by mine. We use "real names" instead of monikers ...

To make soap that is much above par,
The new company went very far
To improve what they made.
They're the best in the trade
And are constantly raising the bar.

Kirk Miller

So this limerick's clean; that I gather.
But dear Kirk, you must know I would rather
Write some prose that's risqué,
It is just Chris's way;
So I don't work you up in a lather.

Chris G (aka Moe)

AnonymousPVX said...

Got the solve, without liking the puzzle much.

On a general note, if I wanted to read about people’s idiotic politics, I’d watch FOX News, or just listen to the President.

You don’t like that sentiment? Good, then leave out your political comments and so will I.

Is there no place where people cannot resist inserting their political commentary? It’s a crossword puzzle blog, geez.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, David Alfred Bywaters, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Lemonade, for a fine review.

Well, I just got out of bed. Off to work tonight. Did the puzzle last night and this morning.

Puzzle was easier than most Fridays.

The high point was that my home town made it again. ERIE, PA. When I grew up there I-79 was not built yet. That came many years later. I have used it, however, many times.

Liked the theme. especially USB TODAY.

Hate to cut this short, but I have to head out. See you tomorrow.

Abejo

( )



Anonymous T said...

Happy Friday Y'all!

Thanks David for a doable-Friday. I struggled mightily until I got USB TODAY and glommed on - things went much faster knowing A->B substitution. The NE & SW were last to fall. Thanks Lem for the sparkly expo - I agree on all the fun words David gave us. Lovely pic of the kids; wow, they got big.

WOs: icon b/f Twitter's LOGO which gave me flic for Gump and Lira in Italy. The RIOs finally fixed that now inky-mess.
ESPs: Nothing I didn't know as a word but the clues... Boy, were perps needed to get to the AHA.

Fav: Besmirch as the clue for Tarnish [45m] - part of Les' soliloquy out on the ledge in WKRP S1E3.

{C-, C-, B, D+}* {Brilliant!}

HG - LOL correct the KEY!
C, Eh! Great turn-of-phrasa @ BLT, RIGHT?!
C, Moe - I don't consider the USA Today more than infotainment and headlines. The only time I actually paid for one was the The Back To The Future special issue. I got 5, one for me & one ea. for my sibs.

On up-GRADING: Dr. DW has gone to war 2x with one English teacher on Eldest's behalf; the teacher was using a computer to grade her papers.

Jinx - one man's common sense is another's sense of "but what about the farthing-chicken?** To do this project, we must replace the NESTing areas" or some such. That's why it'd be nice if the beltway-bums would talk to each other instead of through each other. Ah, EDEN; a guy can dream, no?

Cheers, -T
*all DOWN GRADED, of course :-)
**if anyone wants to hear a story about the lesser-prairie chicken, I have one :-)

Ol' Man Keith said...

Ta- DA!
Almost a perfect pzl!
But Picard and inanehiker are right. I see I'm not the only one disturbed by the inconsistency in 17A, MEDIA BIBS. Why is only one "B" to be viewed as a DOWNGRADE? The fill ought to be MEDIA AIAS.
Yes, I know that makes no sense - which is precisely why I object to it.
Otherwise, this would have been an excellent pzl from Mr. Bywaters.

Speaking of Walter Cronkite (thanks again, Picard), I was reflecting just last night on how none of today's newscasters carries the moral authority of "Uncle" Walter. Or is it that they don't dare to try?
It was Cronkite who marked a turning point in the nation's response during the Vietnam war, when his opinion that the conflict was "unwinnable" made its own headlines.

Without going into the politics of it (Pax, AnonymousPVX), I just want to suggest that our ongoing national emergency of mass shootings could be addressed much more forthrightly by the regular evening news anchors. They rely now on "guest" commentators, but I'd like to hear them speak in their own voices.

Network editors would object that they must keep the news separate from opinion. But there is nothing in journalistic ethics that prevents the same reporter from delivering the news and then announcing clearly that she or he has a personal view.

It's what Uncle Walt did.



____________
Diagonal Report: Only one diagonal, a mirror center line from NE to SW. No hidden message.

Tinbeni said...

Irish Miss: This was a Thumper puzzle for me too.

A SWIG-at Sunset to all.

Cheers!

Lemonade714 said...

DAB, thank you for stopping by and continuing your website with your puzzle creations free for the solving public. If you read this, can you discuss how you and Rich overcame the inconsistency in MEDIA BIAS? For all of you reading, do you have an alternate 9 letter fill that would be consistent?

Jayce said...

Well, I sure didn't get the theme today. Solved the whole puzzle okay but those theme entries didn't make sense to me. I saw USB TODAY was a play on USA TODAY but *whoosh* right over my head.

I often say "Man oh man" to mean "Gosh, that's really something."

Almost impossible to be totally non-political. Wilbur Charles just showed how easy it is to say something that somebody will perceive as being political. Such as a discussion of MEDIA BIAS I posted not too long ago, for which Wilbur himself called me "disingenuous" (could that be clued as "liar"?) and harshly chastised me for being political.

Good wishes to you all.

Anonymous said...

Thought Oscar the grouch was blue.

Yellowrocks said...

The up-grading problem in our school reared its head only a few times a year when I taught the fifth grade and not at all when I taught the primary grades. Most of the parents were wonderful, but those few bad apples, who were fawned upon, downgraded teachers. The attitude was that everyone knows more than a teacher. That's one of the reasons I preferred tutoring.

Anonymous said...

Oops, I was thinking of Grover, never mind.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Yellowrocks, you bring up an interesting paradox, that those who receive the benefits that flow from teachers are often the ones quickest to denigrate a teacher's contributions.
You mention you prefer tutoring. At the college and graduate level I had an eye-opening experience when, as a first-year grad student, I went to study in England.
What really surprised me over there was that I was assigned a tutor. Now, he wasn't functioning in quite the same capacity as you're referencing, but there is a real similarity in that his job was to be the teacher, guide, and personal advocate of my studies, but not to do the grading, not to be my judge.

When I felt ready, and with his advice, I would "sit for exams" and be graded by a totally independent agency.

In our school system, a student can hire a tutor to learn privately and at an individual pace. The tutor/tutee relationship can be friendly and confidential. Most students, however, get by with just their assigned teachers, and these people, who have the responsibility of imparting knowledge, are the same people who will be evaluating and grading them.
The practice prevails through all our grades, up through grad schools.

Of course there will be conflicts.

Students - and parents - will get angry when the teacher gives a poor grade. Teachers will be motivated to look better by changing grades upwards. I imagine there are even teachers who give poor grades simply because they don't like a student.

If only we could universally separate teaching from grading...

Wilbur Charles said...

Jayce, not only do I not recall ever dissing you in any way, nor anyone else, if somehow I did I'm mortified. Also, disengenuous is not a word I'd usually use .

WC

Jayce said...

Thanks, Wilbur. All is good.

Anonymous T said...

Ever lend a favorite book to a guy 'cuz he'd never read it?
I have.

Ever had him move to Wyoming without giving it back (but insists he did)?
I have.

Ever lament aloud about the value of not sharing books, while looking to quote your tome, the proper day of the week a guy was nailed to a tree for emploring everyone to be nice to each other?
I have.

Ever have a child that notices you bemoaning?
While you try to remember if it was indeed a Thursday?
Or laugh because you think a Digital Watch is a neat idea?
I have.

Ever have a child set up alerts on rare/used book sites
For the exact leather-bound edition you had?
And it shows up in the mail?
I have.

No need to Panic!

#EldestRocks. -T

Picard said...

Misty and OlManKeith: Glad that Walter Cronkite brings back positive memories for you as he did for me. Yes, when he took a position on the US War in Vietnam, it was one of the most important turning points in the history of that war. He was considered "The Most Trusted Man in America".

He did his last show in 1981. After that, news people stopped trying to find out what was true. As you note, OlManKeith, they would let one side speak, then the other. The very idea of establishing truth had vanished ever after. I wonder how many other people even noticed.

Lucina said...

If you are a Jeopardy! watcher, have you noticed that the current champion is from EDINA, MN? Until this week I had only seen it as a CW answer and had not heard it pronounced. He says ee-dai-nah.

CanadianEh! said...

AnonT- Ah! That is a special daughter you have ❤️

Anonymous T said...

C, Eh! She is; we just got off the phone call with me gushing thanks. The Book for those not familiar with Volgon poetry. -T

Anonymous T said...

Er, Vogon - DO lost an I and I found an l. :-)

-T

Misty said...

Picard--thank you for the information on Walter Cronkite. 1981--my goodness, that's 37 years ago since he went off the air--is that possible? Hard to believe. Well, I still miss him, and always will.

Lucina said...

AnonT:
Yes, she is a very special daughter. You are both fortunate to have each other. Good father begets good daughter!

Michael said...

Dear Lucina:

"Yes, she is a very special daughter. You are both fortunate to have each other. Good father begets good daughter!"

Speaking on behalf of my wife and all wives: it takes two to tango.

I might have had a hand in this, but she is my wife's daughter first.