Feb 22, 2018

Thursday February 22 2018 Mark McClain

Theme: Timber Trickery - as neatly explained by the reveal, but can you see the wood for the trees?

63A. Primitive area, and what's literally found in this puzzle's circles : BACKWOODS

The circled letters, reading backwards, contain the timber:

17A. Longtime PBS news anchor : JIM LEHRER. Elm. Most of the elm trees in the UK were wiped out by an outbreak of Dutch Elm disease brought into the country by a shipment of logs from Canada. It literally changed the face of the country.

23A. Site for a railroad signal : GRADE CROSSING. Cedar. Moths hate cedar, hence the cedar planks in your sock drawer to stop the buggers from chewing holes in them. The term "grade crossing" was new to me when I moved to the US. I knew them as "level crossings".

39A. Statistic including farmers and their neighbors : RURAL POPULATION. Poplar. Here's a fine stand of them on a roadside in France:

51A. Kielbasa : POLISH SAUSAGE. Ash. Most baseball bats are made of ash, although MLB also sanctions maple, hickory and bamboo.

Nice theme and nice crunchy theme entries concealing the wood. This was quite a challenge for me for some reason, I had to stare down the north-west corner for some time before I started to unravel the mystery up there. Let's see what else we've got:


1. Word with rose or road : BED

4. AMA part: Abbr. : ASSOC. American Medical Association.

9. __ Bornes: card game : MILLE. I finally remembered this from a prior crossword. The NE corner gave me a lot of trouble today. It translates from the French as "Thousand Milestones" according to my French colleague, but the French name is used for the English version.

14. Caen comrade : AMI

15. Thick-skinned herbivore : RHINO. Is the "-ceros" redundant now?

16. Big Apple stage honors : OBIES. I simply could not remember this. Off-Broadway awards, hence the name. The Tony awards are for Broadway theater.

19. Open, in a way : UNZIP.

20. Delon of cinéma : ALAIN. Came easily, but I'm not sure I've seen any of his movies.

21. Exactas, e.g. : BETS. Pick the horses to win and place, in exact order (hence exacta). An "exacta box" bet allows the horses to come in any order, which rather blows the "exacta" definition.

30. Part of __ : A SET

31. Hawk or eagle : RAPTOR

32. Tic-toe link : TAC

35. "That was close!" : PHEW!

38. Buckwheat dish : KASHA. Food! Putting "PASTA" here didn't exactly help matters in this section of the puzzle. Kasha can refer to the grain itself, or the porridge-like dish made from it.

43. "25" album maker : ADELE. Very talented artist. She won the "Album of the Year" Grammy for this one.

44. Wedding invitation encl. : SASE.
45. Yellowknife is its cap. : NWT. Canada's Northwest Territories.

46. Mournful artwork : PIETAS. Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus in Christian art. The most famous is the Michelangelo sculpture in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

48. Abhor : HATE

55. Anorak part : HOOD.

56. Really cool place to live? : IGLOO. Nice clue.

59. Grouchy look : SCOWL

66. Ventricular outlet : AORTA

67. Thar Desert country : INDIA. Never heard of it, so thank you, crosses. It forms part of the natural border between India and Pakistan.

68. JFK Library architect : PEI. Nailed it! Thank you, crosswords past.

69. 180-degree river bend : OXBOW. When a meander breaks through from one side of the loop to the other, the remains is an oxbow lake.

70. __ Heights: Mideast region : GOLAN

71. Serpentine letter : ESS


1. Mexicali's locale : BAJA. Baja California. The town on the other side of the US/Mexico border is Calexico, fittingly.

2. Oscar winner Jannings : EMIL. More crosses to the rescue.

3. Joltin' Joe : DIMAG. I was all down the caffeine route with this one, and couldn't find anything to fit. It didn't help that I'd never heard the "DiMag" moniker before. Writing this up, I just went to do a Google search, and DiMaggio doesn't show up until half-way down the second page. I think that might be a little obscure for non-Yankees fans.

4. Bull-riding venues : ARENAS

5. Warning to a chatty theatergoer : SHH!

6. Chivalrous title : SIR

7. Year not designated as such until centuries later : ONE BC. ONE and wait for the crosses. It could quite easily be ONE AD.

8. Kitchen gizmo : CORER. I've got a lot of kitchen gizmos, but I don't own one of these things. I'm amused that the soundalike Iron Chef Cat Cora is sitting next to moussaka, one of her go-to dish styles. She has a Greek background.

9. Greek menu staple : MOUSSAKA. Food! Eggplant-layered ground lamb dish.

10. Hebrew : Ben :: Arabic : __ : IBN. I tried BIN first which again messed me up in the North-east.

11. Lemon on "30 Rock" : LIZ. Crosses all the way. I was at a meeting at 30 Rock last week - here's the rather gloomy view out of the window of the conference room.

12. Floral neckwear : LEI

13. Clairvoyant's gift : ESP. Extra-sensory perception.

18. Turkish dough : LIRA. I can never remember LIRA or LIRE. I wait for the cross.

22. Only Canadian MLB team : TOR. The Toronto Blue Jays.

24. "Murder on the Orient Express" (2017) actor : DEPP. I didn't see the movie, so solid crosses necessary.

25. Value system : ETHOS

26. Irritated words : SPAT

27. "__ the bag" : IT'S IN

28. "Not gonna happen" : NO HOW. Tried NO WAY, was wrong.

29. Researcher's request : GRANT

32. "The Sound of Music" name : TRAPP. Strictly, the name is actually Von Trapp, but it's pretty obvious what is being asked for here.

33. Sound : AUDIO

34. Fish basket : CREEL. One of these things:

36. #TestforRadon org. : E.P.A. Not heard the hashtag before, but it didn't take a lot of figuring out.

37. Chinese martial arts : WUSHU. Learning moment for me. Looks pretty dangerous!

40. Meter opening? : ALTI-

41. Rule governing intentional walks? : LEASH LAW. Nice one. I enjoyed the punning here.

42. Open fields : LEAS

47. "Ray Donovan" network, briefly : SHO. I had the "O" and was tempted by HBO, but I refrained from jumping in with both feet.

49. Ang Lee's birthplace : TAIWAN

50. Its main product was originally given the portmanteau name "Froffles" : EGGO. French toast and waffles. Who knew?

52. Ferber novel : SO BIG

53. Hersey's "A Bell for __" : ADANO. A crossword staple. Has anyone actually read this book?

54. Skip church? : ELOPE. Nice one. Skip the church wedding.

57. Pindaric verses : ODES. Pindaric: "Relating to or characteristic of the Greek lyric poet Pindar or his works".

"I will not steep my speech 
in lies; the test of any man lies in action."

58. Malady suffix : -OSIS

59. __ Paulo : SÃO

60. Regatta chief : COX. The smallest and lightest person you can find to steer the boat, and, optionally, depending on experience, call the stroke rate.

61. Marble, e.g. : ORB

62. Geneva-based commerce gp. : W.T.O. World Trade Organization.

64. XLV x X : CDL. Simple Roman math. For some reason it always takes me a minute to dig the letter for "500" out of my head.

65. Sedona, for one : KIA. Took me a while to cotton on to this one. Nice misdirection.

That about wraps it up for this week. I've been on terra firma this week which makes a nice change. Back in the air next week though!

And  ... here's the grid ....!



D4E4H said...

Good Morning Corneritarians,

The Overnight News:

Ol' Man Keith FLN 826p
Wrote an eloquent post about feet. Splynter is a leg man, but OMK has a feet fetish. Iamb in your debt.

On to the CW:

Thank you Mr. Mark McClain for this challenging CW. Once again P & P succeeded. I did have two alphabet runs to complete sections so I will say only that I FI. That was too much rote work. I don't mind doing a vowel run, but will not run the 26 again.

I have decided that in the future when there is one square left in a cell I will BAV which stands for "buy a vowel," but I will use BAV for any of 26 English letters. This will allow me to proceed to a complete CW.

Thank you Steve for your excellent review.

Remember the Thumper!

51A POLISH SAUSAGE. Ash. "Most baseball bats are made of ash." Yes, at the factory in downtown Louisville that was sold by Hillerich and Bradsby to Wilson Sporting Goods in 2015. There you can see the World's Largest Baseball Bat, The Louisville Slugger. The bat has a logo that includes "125." This is the grade of Ash wood needed to make these fine bats for the pros. Ash trees are being killed by a borer. I wonder what problems this will cause for this Co.



OwenKL said...

FIW. Actually surprised I finished it at all, considering how many unknowns I saw! My only bad cell in the end was MOUSSAsA + kASHA. Names I recognized only after ESP: JIM LEHRER, GRADE, Kielbasa, Mexicali, WTO, DEPP, SO BIG, ADANO (even tho it shows up weekly!). Names I didn't recognize even then: ALAIN, Thar Desert, COX, Ray Donovan, LIZ, WU SHU, DIMAG (DiMaggio I knew right off, this abomination* not).

*Oops, that's supposed to be abbreviation!

Once there was a RAPTOR who was hungry.
He thought a RHINO souffle would be lovely!
Thought that that would be a bore,
And with a SCOWL tossed the HAWK BACK in its TREE!

There was an old girl from TAIWAN
Thought her life was too blah to go on!
So she went out on the town
And drank until dawn,
And generally in Taiwan tied one on!

OwenKL said...

{B+, B+.}

61Rampy said...

Isn't "Froffles" a blend of FROzen waFFLES? That's how I figured it out.

fermatprime said...


Thanks to Mark and Steve!

Some things took awhile to appear: KASHA, INDIA, OXBOW. LIZ, TOR, WUSHU and W.T.O..

I'm hanging in!

Hope all of you are too!

Hope to see you all tomorrow!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

McClain again! And he got me. Had the circles and saw the trees. But I had KILLE Bornes and MASHA which gave me KOUSSAMA for the Greek dish -- is there a word for my swapping of the correct letters? Yes, there is: Dyslexia. Hand up for NO WAY, Steve. Thanx, Mark, I guess. DNF.

KS said...

I am a longtime Yankees fan and I have never heard Joe DiMaggio being referred to as Dimag.

Oas said...

DNF Thanks for the workout Mark and the review Steve. Trouble spots were in the NE . Never heard of MILLE Bornes, KASHA, or MOUSSAKA . Caught the theme early and it helped some. Poplar got me going and changed garlic to POLISH. Favorite misdirection was intentional walks . Couldn't get my mind off baseball what with DIMAG and TOR . Have also seen assn. as abbr. for AMA. BAJA was easy , have not visited mejicali but spent time in San Diego county In 2009 after wild fires destroyed so many homes . Visited Tecati where mexican beer is brewed :-) In San Diego toured the Aircraft carrier museum, visited the Memmorial and Zoo and Mission Beach at sunset . Loved it all. Especially the clear blue sky.

Big Easy said...

Mark's puzzle was a little above my pay grade this morning. The BACKWOODS were easy to spot after the ELM and CEDAR were in circles but the NE was not doable for me, with the unheard of card game MILLE Bornes crossing the unknown Greek food MOUSSAKA that didn't allow the unknown Buckwheat pasta "_ASHA' to start with a K.

OAS (Olympic Athletes from Siberia?)- I see we didn't know the same three.

WUSHU & LIZ LEMON were unknowns filled by perps.

There are many OXBOW lakes along the LA-MISS state line. There are some places west of the river that are in Mississippi and east of the river that are in Louisiana because of the river changing course over the centuries.

TAIPEI before TAIWAN, which the bureaucrats in Peking-Beijing are forcing airline to list as China on their scheduling.

D4E4H- I toured the 'slugger' factory a few years back. The individual bats they have for each major leaguer is unbelievable.

inanehiker said...

Little crunchy but no more than expected for a Thursday. I needed the reveal answer to figure out the other circles as I was expecting a scramble instead of straight backwards.

I've only heard of OX BOW from the classic movie "The Ox-Bow Incident" with an all star cast including Henry Fonda. It's been so long since I saw it - I don't remember if the murder took place at an OXBOW in a river.

Thanks Steve and Mark!
Enjoyed watching the women's cross country skiers bring home the gold in the team event - what an amazing amount of strength they must have to get through that!

Yellowrocks said...

"Whose woods these are I think I know."
Interesting puzzle and write-up.
I had KISHA instead of KASHA, finally SPAT change that. I was looking for a two word fill. V-8 can, please, I know it's kasha.
Only clunker was Part of A SET. Meh.
WUSHU was new to me.
Hi Canadian Eh! TOR and NWT made me think of you.
Rhino (nose) Ceros (horn). The informal rhino is used more and more for rhinoceros, just as the informal possum is used for opposum.
Joltin' Joe had to be Di Maggio, the shortened form took a while to suss. I believe it is not that common.
I wondered about the S in pietas, but then I realized there are many depictions of Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Jesus Christ on her lap or in her arms. Michelangelo's is the most famous.
I read most of Ferber's novels as a teen and have reread a few of them as an adult.
I liked to watch Jim Lehrer on PBS. Fittingly, lehrer means teacher in German.
Someone I knew had the game Mille Bornes. I never played it.
Lemon at the Corner, not at 30 Rock. Hi.

Doc said...

Me either

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Thumper, thumper. I admire a lot of puzzles that are above my ability, but not this one.

Husker Gary said...

-Second time in a week that freezing rain forced me to work puzzle online
-The gimmick preceded the theme reveal
-SNARL not SCOWL and not checking downs cost me a “got ‘er done”
-Today the Emerald Ash Boer is doing to ash what Elm Bark Beetles did to ELMS. Treating our ASH might buy 20 more years.
-A RAPTOR handler always told our kids, “A RAPTOR can never be your pet or friend!”
-Years of painstaking work undid this man’s damage to this most famous PIETA work
-An OXBOW from the old Missouri River makes Carter Lake the only Iowa City west of the river. You “drive through Iowa” to get to downtown Omaha from Eppley Airfield
-We are going to an ARENA next month to see our friends’ son do this at a Pro Rodeo Cowboy ASSOC. event
-SHH… Obviously you know all the songs in Jersey Boys but…

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Solved it without incident. A few fills needed strong perp help like Steve said, but they were there. I think OXBOW is used more like as in OXBOW Lake, which is formed after the meander cut-off has occurred, but I think the clue was OK.
LEHRER - Is German for teacher or instructor. Lehrerin would be a female. I never thought of Jim L. as a teacher, though.
DIMAG - Got it right away. Heard it quite a bit on the radio during my tween-teen years.

YR - FLN. Good luck with your planning and implementation of the next steps of Alan's care. You've had a lot on your plate all these years, and your dedication is admirable. A caregiver needs to look out for their own health needs, too.

Picard said...

I enjoyed the theme, but I did not like the unfair Natick crossings.

The plural PIETAS confused me. Never heard of RAY DONOVAN or ANORAK so SHO was a serious WAG. I know Joltin' Joe from the song "Mrs Robinson". But chopping his name to DIMAG seemed unfair. Anyone else think so?

I know Herb CAEN so I was stuck thinking he had a fellow writer. AMI was fair once I figured out it was just meaning it was French.

FIR but not entirely happy about it all.

Here are a few of my photos at the JFK LIBRARY designed by IM PEI.

We were recently discussing Walter Cronkite and there he is! And what a coincidence: There is a PIETA in the corridor!

Here are a few of my photos in BAJA.

From yesterday:
D4E4H: Thanks for the interesting Wheelhouse imagery
AnonT/Fermat: I now have a color laser printer. I love it.

billocohoes said...

61Rampy, that’s what the “portmanteau” of the clue means.

“DIMAG” i think was mostly used in newspaper headlines

I appreciate Arabic numbers every time I try to multiply Roman numerals

Yellowrocks said...

Billocohoes, after I perped and wagged DI MAG, it did not seem all that strange. You are probably correct that it appeared in headlines, although I cannot find it. In both my elementary school and high school years the Yankees were the overwhelming favorite of us kids.
I think 61 Rampy was pointing out that Froffles meant frozen waffles, as opposed to French toast and waffles. LIU @Eggo Wikipedia. It agrees with Rampy. IMO Eggo is a way catchier name. Froffles is weird.
Spitz, thanks for your kind thoughts. I have been worried about what would happen to Alan if I suddenly was unable to care for him. A happy thought- I can now return some items that I previously nixed to my bucket list. A sad thought thought- I will miss him, but there will be phone calls and visits.
I liked the way Lehrer explained things and, knowing the meaning of his name, he struck me as teacher-like. I learned a lot from him.

Rick said...

Thanks to Mark McClain for bringing back memories of The Ox-Bow Incident and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. Steve’s write up brought me into my own backwoods, where an elm tree grows. It leafs out, but then the disease kills it. It is only about ten feet tall and it has lived and died-out like this for the last thirty-three years I’ve lived here in Johnston, Rhode Island.
Cool clue for Igloo. Leash law was cooler. However, I associate ETHOS with cultural traditions and ETHIC with a value system. That gummed up the works when I tried to seal that envelope with a “C” in place of “S”, for SASE. I imagined a case of wine was enclosed with the invitation.
It’s late. I have been busy with customers and trucks at our furniture store. No story today!

Lemonade714 said...

Mark McClain set out a challenge with unknowns as WUSHU, MILLE BORNES, and the puzzling DIMAG.
While it is was easy to suss the fill with the clue, if only from the song-
Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio,
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you
Wu wu wu
What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson
Jolting Joe has left and gone away
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey

And it was a name he was called as seen in this amusing INTERVIEW . As I mentioned before, Joe became an important fixture in South Florida and I did get to meet with him a few times.
Picture 1986

Very cool write up Steve. Thank you and Mark.

C6D6 Peg said...

Thanks, Mark, for a fun and challenging puzzle. Favorite clue was "Rule governing intentional walks"! Genius!

Thanks, Steve, for the write-up. As always, you and the gang do a great job of explaining the puzzles in an informative and amusing way!

Misty said...

Well, I got most of this Thursday toughie, and was very happy to get the theme and all the theme answers correctly. Was also relieved that I put the K in MOUSSAKA and not the C. But could not figure out DI MAG and so put TRADE CROSSING instead of GRADE. And I had problems with the southwest corner even though I had SCOWL and AORTA. But didn't get OXBOW, so that messed it up. Still, a fun puzzle to work on--many thanks, Mark. And always enjoy your write-ups, Steve.

Embarrassed to admit this, but even though I got LEASH LAW, I still don't understand the "intentional walks" clue.

Hope your plans turn out really well, Yellowrocks.

Have a great day, everybody!

Lemonade714 said...

Baseball has a situation where the team decides not to let a batter bat but chooses to throw him 4 balls and let him go to first base. They then pitch to the next batter. It is called an "intentional walk." When you are walking your dog, it is also literally an "intentional walk." It is wonderfully devious misdirection.

Yellowrocks said...

I usually do not picture an ox bow as a lake, but as a meandering stream that loops back on itself.
Ox bow
Misty when you intentionally walk your dog, you should obey the leash law.

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

I caught the theme after seeing Ash and Cedar in the circles (backwards, of course) but thought the revealer would have Trees in it rather than Woods, so that was an Aha moment. The only unknown was Wushu and the only w/o's were Whew/Phew and Tonys/Obies. I knew Mille Bornes from many years ago but couldn't tell you one thing about it.

Thanks, Mark, for an enjoyable solve and thanks, Steve, for the pleasant tour.

Yesterday, it was 72 and right now it's in the 20's and snowing. [sigh!]

YR, I admire and commend your courage and compassion. Good luck in finding a place where Alan will be happy and well taken care of and that will provide you with the peace of mind you so richly deserve.

Have a great day.

Bill G said...

Hi everybody. I found this puzzle difficult and tricky but fair and enjoyable. Thanks Mark and Steve.

I remember hearing DiMag several times in my youth. I never liked it but I remember it.

No circles on Mensa but I'm proud to say I figured out the theme anyway. Woohoo!

I recall reading "A Bell for Adano," probably in freshman English, but I can't remember anything except the title. Oh well...

TTP said...

I don't recall DiMaggio ever being referred to as DIMAG either. I remember him being referred to as Joe D, the Yankee Clipper and Joltin' Joe, but with a little research...

There are over 40 quotes and attributions by other ballplayers to the nickname "Dimag" in this book: Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life, By Richard Ben Cramer:
"...the Yankee Clipper ...; that was just one of a dozen nicknames with which Joe had been festooned...There was Dead Pan, the Wallopin' Wop, the Roamin' Roman, the Little Bambino, Dago, DiMag, Joe D., Big Giuseppe, and the most propitious, Joltin' Joe..."

1961 Nu-Card Scoops #467 - Joe DiMaggio Dimag Comes Thru with a news article on the obverse about a 1949 series against the Red Sox

It seems that in 1941 after he hit safely in 40 games, radio broadcasts were interrupted for "Dimag bulletins".

DiMaggio hit safely in a record 56 straight games in 1941, and Ted Williams ended the season with a 406 batting average. DiMaggio won the AL MVP that year (sorry Wilbur). No ballplayer has since topped DiMaggio's streak, and no ballplayer has hit over 400 since William's 1941 season. The Unforgettable Season

Irish Miss said...

CC has a puzzle in today's New York Times and, miracle of miracles, Rex actually liked it a lot. High praise, indeed. Congratulations, CC!

AnonymousPVX said...

Went right through this for some reason today, no issues. Nice puzzle.

AnonymousPVX said...

Didn’t DiMaggio have another smaller streak right after the 56 game streak?

Mark S said...

Very fair and just enough crunch to make it challenging. Enjoyed the workout. Thanks MM and Steve.

Very cold (for me) and windy here in the desert. I’ve been doing these puzzles for six months and I’ve learned something new each day. I don’t believe I have ever gotten this satisfaction from Jumbo, Kenken or Sudoko.



JD said...

Perped my way through this one, but unfortunately I had a few unknowns both ways...not even good enough for a WAG. I continue to struggle with abbreviations like W.T.O., EPA, IBN,TOR, SASE,so you know DiMag was not in my wheelhouse. I printed out the CW so had no circles, but then I rarely see the theme until the end.
Mille Borne was a favorite card game when my girls were growing up. It’s probably played electronically today. We continue to play Sorry, Connect 4, UNO, Racko and Dominoes when my grandsons are over.

Thanks Steve and Mark.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Ta- DA!
A fine Thursday challenge from Mark McLain. Plenty to chew on, with an occasional crunch. I was almost - almost - thrown by the plural PIETAS, like friends Yellowrocks and Picard. I tried doubling the "T," but that left me with something called LETSH LAW for 41D. I finally rationalized the "S" by reading "artwork" as either singular or plural. But it was an awkward moment.

I first saw the Michelangelo Pietà at the New York World's Fair in the 1960s. They arranged it so that we viewers were run past it on a moving sidewalk. If I remember correctly, we could step off the treadmill onto a shallow stationary platform, but we got the hint. If you stayed on the moving section you would get about two minutes for your Pietà experience.
In 2005 I got to St. Peter's where I could spend all the time I wanted in front of the statue. Much, much better that way.

A small, mean part of me reacted with jealousy on my first viewing. I was 23 then, about the same age as the young Michelangelo when he completed the Pietà, and I was astonished by his youthful skill.
And envious. How could I be so deficient? My inner Narcissus felt wretched. I had so much catching-up to do!
Of course now that I'm about to enter my 80th year & still can't even manipulate model clay, I don't feel so bad.
One of the graces of old age is the vast increase in realism one has somehow acquired w/o effort.

I thank you, D4E4H, for your compliment regarding my "eloquent" expression of my "fetish." (Anyone curious about this will have to go back to yesterday's late posting...)

Diagonal Report: A 3-way swath, NW to SE. No hidden message.

SwampCat said...

Hooray! I'm finally in a place where my iPad works so I can least for now.

I really enjoyed this Devious puzzle although I did not finish and finally gave up. Thanks, Mark. I Iiked Intentional Walk. Thanks, Steve, for trying to educate me.

Owen, I've been reading your limericks and I thank you for the daily chuckles . Your original comment on DIMAG was better than your intention. It was an Abomination. I don't care how many times it was used in headlines...I didn't like it! But there was so I have else I liked about the puzzle one nit is surely forgivable.

YR, good luck on finding a happy place for Alan. What an anchor you have always been in his life, keeping him safe. I so admire your courage.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Steve, I am no longer a baseball fan, but I grew up with the San Francisco Seals. So I had no problem with DI MAG.
We "understood" his defection to the Yankees. But I look back on that as the first slip in an erosion of faith, a diminishment in team loyalty that led inevitably & finally to the Giants replacing my Seals.

CrossEyedDave said...

DNF without cheating,
(It's not Tom Lehrer?)
Northwest territories?

And what the heck is meant by 26a Irritated words = Spat???

Oh well, at least I made a nice tidy pile of the theme...

Here's the proof!

Learning moment, Oxbows and Billabongs are the same thing!

reading the preview, the V8 can struck!
Spat, as in small fight = irritated words. very clever...
(I thought it was something gross...)

D4E4H said...

44A Wedding invitation encl. : SASE. That's nice. What is a SASE? I think it is a Self-Addressed, Stamped Envelope.

61Rampy 515a
So nice of you to comment. You are a genius. Yes EGGOs were originally called "Froffles."
Please fill out your profile so we can know basic facts like gender, and part of the world in which you live.


Roy said...

FIR and pretty quick too, today.

Got the theme after RADEC and HSA in the circles.

HIPPO>RHINO; KASHI (brand name)>KASHA (grain); TONYS>OBIES. Don't recall what I had before OXBOW. Knew Yellowknife was in western Canada, but not in what province.
Amer. Med. Assoc.: chose 5-letter abbreviation.
Don't like any of the Murder on the Orient Express movies, so didn't know DEPP. Never watched 30 Rock, nor heard of LIZ Lemon. Don't get SHOwtime, so didn't know Ray Donovan. Did not know Thar Desert, nor WUSHU.
A lot had to wait for perps but eventually got them.

Lemonade, you stole my S&G quote for Joltin' Joe.

Oas said...

BIG EASY. Nyet nein und no no senior

Lucina said...

Busy day today so I was gone all morning though did the puzzle while waiting for an appointment.

Thank you, Steve, for filling in my errors today. I've never heard of MILLE Bornes so MABLE looked fine to me and haven't watched 30 Rock and didn't know LIZ. I did know MOUSSAKA and have heard of KASHA. That was my mess in the NE corner.

The SW corner was almost as bad. I couldn't come up with COX or ORB or OXBOW never made it either. Drat!

But thank you, Mark McClain, for a good Thursday challenge.

Interesting information about Joe DIMAG and Froffles/EGGO. I still don't get "intentional walks" as particularly clever.

I hope your day has been wonderful!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Mark, thank you for a challenging puzzle! Steve, thanks for the international flavor you bring to the blog.

No circles, couldn't see the woods for the forest. BACKWarDs! Groan! Shoulda seen it.

I immediately associated Joltin' Joe with DIMAG but tried "a" and "e" which turned red so I went on for awhile until "I" dawned on me. I think I remember a headline when I was a kid saying something like "Da Magic of DIMAG". I wasn't a baseball fan but I read newspapers from a very young age. We had a big grassy lot next to our house where the neighborhood gathered to play ball. I liked to play softball, but never liked watching baseball even when I had a boyfriend that played town team.

Took a while to fill the NW & NE. Didn't know MILLE, LIZ, or Caen. Dug EMIL, MOUSSAKA, IBN, & JIM out of the mind depths finally. Thar is a desert named THAR? THAR she blows during a sandstorm. (Stop groaning.) Didn't know WUSHU. So many names for martial arts.

Recently read a book with locations of Mexicali & Calexico in it so immediately knew where it was. Don't ask me the author. I've been been to BAJA twice including to Tecate and drove by the brewery.

One of the memorable sights from an airplane was the Medicine Bow River of Wyoming (OXBOWS, ya' know).

Keith, I'm sure your theater work & teaching brought pleasure to countless people. I know the feeling of deficiency in not achieving the expected greatness in oneself. Growing up I wanted to travel the world and write the Great American Novels. Felt better about it when my friend pointed out that at least one of my newspaper pictures and articles were saved in the scrapbooks of probably every family in my home county and my water activist articles were read into the state legislature committee minutes and helped bring about a common sense water law.

Tinbeni said...

Been helping Gal-Pal move.

She has up-graded from a Rental 1 BR Condo 1 BR to a Rental 2 BR House, with a fenced in yard ...

It is a 1 mile move from one place to the other.

As such, I didn't have time to solve the puzzle today (or yesterday).

But I still enjoy the write-up and y'all's comments.

A "Toast-to-ALL" at Sunset.


61 Rampy said...

D4E4H, actually I am an occasional poster, long time lurker, and no, I am not a genius. Wifey has Internet permanently on her sign-in, and its just easier to use my blogger account under her name. Gonna try under my sign in now. There should be an avatar of a 61 Corvair Rampside Pick-up.

Jayce said...

I gotta say there were several entries in this puzzle I didn't like, such as DIMAG, ASSOC, ASET, and COX, which detracted from the pleasure. (Don't slam me; I'm not saying they are in any way wrong, only that I disliked them.) Other than that, I liked the puzzle and the theme.

Argyle said...

I loved laying down a "COUP FOURRÉ" when playing Mille Bornes.

Anonymous T said...

WHEW [bzzt] that was a toughie for me Mark. DNF.

Hi All!

Thanks Mark but today all BETS were off; this was above my pay-grade. Thanks Steve for putting the puzzle back together. Lots I didn't know but, on the plus-side, I knew LIZ; nice view/pic from 30 Rock.

I didn't know @2d & 20a so never got the L; same issue @9a/9d & 38a - M & K were guessed wildly incorrectly. Didn't know 60d (ok, I do now) and while I thought ORE was a stretch for Marble (it's kinda mined) it stayed. O-eOW(?).

Biggest error: IANAL* but, if you intentionally "walk" from your apartment and don't pay, surely LEASE LAW applies :-).
That left EO-- for Anorak part (Oooh, I've seen that word... What is it? Nope, not a sled)

ESPs: about 1/2 of what I got right :-)
Fav: c/a for GRANT 'cuz "fill this survey" is too long.

{B+, B}

Jayce - yeah, I feel it too.
YR - Funny, Lemon's not @30 Rock. See you tomorrow Lem.

Yep, S&G's Mrs Robinson came to mind @3d. There's your musical interlude.

Cheers, -T
*I am not a Lawyer

Picard said...

Lemonade and AnonT: Thanks for affirming my JOLTIN JOE memory from Mrs Robinson. Thanks for the link with that jarring DIMAG in print. Your other link was broken, though, Lemonade.

PK: Glad that you also have been to BAJA, including Tecate. I have photos there, too. My post was from a few selected print scans. My favorite was of the children on the bicycle in San Felipe.

Here is my article with my video and photos of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch this morning.

It was right at sunrise, making for an especially beautiful view. It looks like a giant jellyfish in the sky!

Wilbur Charles said...

I'm back finally . I finally went to the doctor . Diagnosis: Bronchitis. I had it a lot as a kid, I feel better now.

The DIMAG saga was recounted many times including his coming off the DL to put the Yankees back in the 49 race. Btw, during the"streak" Williams outhit DiMaggio.

Rule#? Use the black ink. I did the xword while waiting for Betsy outside the Ostopedic office . Then before logging in I checked it, fixed POPULATION but overlooked the North West territory .

I see I'm going to have to do Tuesday and Wednesday. YR if your resolution works out I'm glad for you .

I thought the xword was Friday level for awhile . POPLAR saved me. As someone said I had NO Way and forgot to change it.

And Steve had a great write-up . And I finally learned what the oxbow was in "The Incident" . That was Harte Crane, n'est-ce pas? I'll LIU it.

I also haven't finished Sunday. I heard about the Naticks on Mondays blog.


PS. They changed the international walk rule to allow the batter to automatically take first base. Saves all of a minute.

PPS .My cousins in LI were Mets, Yankees and Redsox fans.

Anonymous T said...

Picard - Nice article. Nice that the limit of news-print doesn't limit the sharing of shots on-line.

OK, I know we're not supposed to wade into politics but this really gets my goad....

The new intentional-walk rule is an abomination!
Just wave the batter into a runner without firing a shot?
Where's the fun in that?!?
I've seen a wild-pitch on a pitch out - now that's worth the minute.
Plus, if the other team intentially-walks your .333 hitter, you get to boo-hiss the opposing pitcher 4 times!

Sorry for the rant. I hope I'm not bar'd from the blog now :-)

Does anyone know - does the pitch-count include the "phantom four" for the walk under the new rule? That would make it more stupid. //there I go again...

Cheers, -T

TTP said...

Even as a longtime baseball fan, I wasn't previously aware that DiMaggio had a nickname of Dimag, but I don't find the answer jarring, and I wouldn't whine that it was unfair because I didn't know it offhand. It easily perped in.

This puzzle once again proves that Rich and Patty do a thorough job of vetting the clues and answers.

Not liking a clue or an answer is one thing, but whining that a clue or answer is unfair because you have no knowledge base in a subject matter seems rather petty. If you want to see plenty of examples of unfair and poorly edited clues and answers, try a variety of the moderate and hard puzzles over at Best Crosswords.

Wilbur yes, in reading today, it was fairly clear that Ted Williams had better all around offensive stats than DiMaggio during the 1941 season, so it's easy to understand that naming DiMaggio the AL MVP was a controversial award. The 56 game hitting streak surely swayed a number of votes in DiMaggio's favor, and he probably got additional credit for his defensive prowess as well.

Anonymous said...

Not sure who you are whining about TTP.

Something is unfair if there is a crossing of too many answers that are all obscure.

Lemonade714 said...

Is my picture link not opening for others, as Picard suggests? I like the picture, please let me know. It opens for me.

Anonymous T said...

Lem - It works for you because it's in your Google-bucket and you're logged in as you. Can you share it to via albums? -T

Wilbur Charles said...

Walter Van Tilburg Clark. I was way off.

I did read it . A long, long time ago .

Oops. I thought I read it

Ol' Man Keith said...

PK @ 3:41,
your kind thoughts are much appreciated. Every now and then I get a visit from a former student and (less frequently but often enough) a message from someone I've never met. They remind me that my work lives on in its impact on their lives.
You are very right that we needn't have achieved all of our personal goals in order to have had a positive effect in our corner of the world.

Thank you for pointing it out - and for sharing your own strong example.

TTP said...

I love the challenge of a tough puzzle. Today's offering by Mark McClain took almost 25 minutes, thanks in large part to clever clues and some total unknowns. I personally didn't find any areas today where multiple answers were uncertain or couldn't be sussed.

For me, that happens with made up words and phrases such as the add or subtract letters or sounds. Saturday puzzles here used to be really hard, but learning a lot of crosswordese and recurring common crossword names has helped make those much more solvable than in the past.

Whether a given clue or answer is deemed obscure would be relative to one's knowledge base. I know little of Downton Abbey, but I wouldn't deem those clues and answers unfair. I just don't have an interest in that.

But if it helps, less "obscure" puzzle can be found over at USA Today puzzles. Their late week puzzles are much easier than here. Fred Piscop has really improved the quality of the puzzles at USA Today since he became the editor.

CanadianEh! said...

Very late to the party but wanted to thank Mark and Steve for the fun.
And thanks for the Canadian content today with NWT and TOR - crossing the member of the only Canadian MBA team, RAPTOR! (Was I the only one who saw that?)

WYRS (what YR said) re KASHA and PIETAS.
WEES re No way before NO HOW.

YR, I echo IM about choosing a place for Alan. Brave and wise.

I'll sign off before they post Friday's CW, the

CanadianEh! said...

See what happens when you post at this hour; autocorrect throws in random "the"s instead of apostrophes.
Is that an intentional walk?

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for Olympic hockey results. Anyone?

Anonymous T said...

C, Eh! You walked out in the middle of a sentence :-)

CED - I just "discovered' your video that I opened but didn't watch. Cool beans +Fractals! A side-link lead me to IGLOOs. //warning cool puns. -T

Wilbur Charles said...

This is very late, I had to knock off Wednesday's xword. But, the DIMAG links led to Dominic, his brother.

The one item left out is Dom's being an original owner of the NE Patriots. Bill
Sullivan who bought the franchise had no money and found a team of investors.

Dom was a shrewd business man.