Apr 28, 2018

Saturday, April 28, 2018, Andrew J. Ries


Speaking of Superheroes, here are some of ours in a picture C.C. posted last June 7th. They include today's constructor and our own C.C. who is clearly the rose amid all the thorns! 😀

Left to right: George Barany, Jeffrey Wechsler,Victor Barocas, David Hanson, C.C., Andrew J. Ries, Chris Adams, Tom Pepper & David Liben-Nowell
Look, up in the paper, it's a grid, it's a game, it's Andrew the CROSSWORD GUY! Let's see what Kryptonite-free clues he has for us today.

I am going to start with the two clues that required all my powers to solve, twice. Not only did I finally get the fill but after a few minutes I FINALLY GOT WHAT THEY MEANT!

31. Athlete's best: A GAME - Turns out it's two words! Duh! That slap to my forehead might leave a mark!

61. Cuts in Hollywood?: TENTHS - You can bet that this Hollywood agency gets at least 10% (a TENTH) of their star's earnings

Now that I see the BAT SIGNAL (Okay it's just the glow of my laptop) let's journey on


1. Has a suggestion (of): SMACKS - Hiring of school personnel this time of year can SMACK of nepotism

7. Play period: RECESS- Much learning goes on at RECESS

13. Stop order: HOLD IT.

14. Echo follower?: FOXTROT - The blog today is by Hotel, Uniform, Sierra, Kite, Echo, Romeo 

15. Jar: RATTLE - JOSTLE rattled around there for a while

16. Construction equipment with a projecting arm: JIB CRANE- Here's a gaggle of them

17. Game with Skip cards: UNO.

18. Difficult to describe: NEBULOUS - Sometimes an explanation is intentionally NEBULOUS 

20. Reaction upon opening a jewelry gift, perhaps: GASP.

22. Goes back to zero: RESETS

23. Connection letters: DSL - Very rare computer connection to the web these days

26. Waits at a music festival?: TOM - I'll take tricky clues for $600 Alex

28. ORD tower gp.: ATC - Air Traffic Controllers at O'Hare (ORD) International. "It looks like I picked a lousy week to give up sniffing glue!"

29. Best of the best: ELITE

31. Site to get tight for a flight?: AIRPORT BAR - If you see your pilot in there...

35. Nervous system transmitter: AXON

36. Post-scoring routine: GOAL CELEBRATION.

38. "__ boy!": ATTA - I'd prefer the cash

39. Easy way to win: DECISIVELY - The National Champion Huskers did indeed rout favored Florida DECISIVELY in 1996

40. Dr. Isles on "Rizzoli & Isles": MAURA - Not a clue, no wait, not a chance

42. "Holy cow!": MAN! - This was the catch phrase of this man with the 43. It may be open at a club: MIC. If  you're a sports fan you absolutely know who this is. If you aren't you probably don't know/care

44. Two hairpin turns, say: ESS.

45. Haus wives: FRAUEN Hausfrauen sind das Rückgrat des Landes. (Housewives are the backbone of the country)

48. "If I may interject ... ": AHEM.

51. Tony winner for his LBJ role in "All the Way": CRANSTON - He explains his approach to the role

53. Pack filler: ICE and 54. Buffalo sighting: LAKE ERIE They seem to go together 

57. "You've Got Mail" genre: ROM COM - ROMantic COMedies aren't my favorite movies but have you looked at what's currently available at the local cinema?

59. Main: OPEN SEA - "Sailing, sailing over the bounding MAIN"

60. Cause to laugh: TICKLE - TICKLING can approach abuse

62. Rubs out: ERASES - I had to get one of these from the Home Ec. teacher last week to ERASE the coffee I decided to wear on my shirt 


1. [Meh]: SHRUG - The brackets indicate an action

2. 2016 Disney musical set in Polynesia: MOANA - A boatload of vowels!

3. Cloud at heights of about one to five miles: ALTO STRATUS - Pretty easy to suss out

4. K.C. summer setting: CDT - Here in Huskerland as well

5. Ceramics oven: KILN

6. Herd member: STEER - S _ E E _ was not SHEEP as it turns out. Oh yeah, that's a flock, Gary! 😜

7. Subject of an Asimov collection: ROBOT

8. Permit to leave: EXCUSE - I've said before that giving an 18-yr-old, 6'5", 250 lb. student permission to go the bathroom seems odd to me as a sub

9. Large med. facilities: CTRS - The Univ. Of Neb. Med. CTR.

10. Diamond fig.: ERA - Earned Run Average

11. One in a family photo: SON

12. Notre-Dame honoree: Abbr.: STE - Today, April 28, is a feast day for STE. Valerie

14. Record holder: FILE CABINET - My SIL and one of his FILE CABINETS that hold his over half-million sports cards

16. "No reason": JUST BECAUSE - A great reason to bring flowers

19. Worship of John, Paul, etc.?: BEATLE MANIA - Yeah, yeah, yeah...

21. Aspen relative: POPLAR

23. "Wide Open Spaces" country trio: DIXIE CHICKS - They apologized for a foray they took into political commentary in 2003

24. Informant, informally: STOOL - A less elegant clue lept to mind

25. Bruce posthumously pardoned by New York state in 2003: LENNY - Some of what was called obscenity in the 60's seems quaint today but...

27. Comfy footwear: MOCasin 

30. Belarus neighbor: LATVIA - Their common border is only about 107 miles

32. Teensy amounts: IOTAS

33. __-faced: RED

34. Monopoly foursome: Abbr.: RRS - So that's how they got SHORT Lines

37. Biathlon asset: AIM.

41. Over: AFRESH - Wouldn't it be great if North and South Korea could start AFRESH?

46. Collector's prized pursuits: RARES - Seems like an awkward use here. YR?

47. Up from Mexico?: NORTE - If  you go NORTE from Mexico, you wind up in Estados Unidos

49. Paris' __ des Beaux-Arts: ECOLE - Paris' SCHOOL of fine arts

50. Fast-spreading online phenomena: MEMES - Cats seem to be a big part of this internet phenomenon 

51. Till coin: CENT - This messy till makes OCD me squirm just posting it

52. Raymond Chandler specialty: NOIR - His novel, The Big Sleep, is a prime example of the genre 

54. Slew: LOT.

55. Clumsy sort: APE - I like this use as a noun better than as a verb

56. Physician-turned-actor Jeong: KEN - His list of credits is very impressive!   

58. Longtime Elton John label: MCA.

Before you venture into commenting and telling us your favorite super hero, please enjoy a sample of 1950's "high tech" special effects featuring my favorite Super Hero - George Reeves as "The Man Of Steel"



Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Charged right through this one, nary a speed bump in sight, until that SW corner. The trouble started with dime and oaf, continued with a failure to suss afresh, and a resistance to rares even when the perps were headed that way. Lake Erie fixed all that.

Morning, Husker, hand up for hearing about prefab houses back in the’s designs are better looking, I figure.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I soared into the ALTO CUMULUS, er, STRATUS this morning. BEATLEMANIA came to me immediately, and that help. Finished in good time. Thanx, Andrew and Husker.

Husker, when I was in the crane biz we called those things in your photo tower cranes. A "jib" was a small boom attached to the end of the main boom, and usually at an angle. Jib

Nope, no idea who that man in the MIC photo was, Husker. I guess "Kilo" turned into "Kite" when I wasn't lookin'/listenin'.

Big Easy said...

D-O, I was thinking ALTO-CUMULUS until I GASPed at the price of the jewelry and my rain clouds became STRATUS. BEATLE MANIA appeared only after I changed the FAA to ATC. Getting 'tight' at an AIRPORT BAR?; I thought you got 'loose' after a few drinks. I guess after your flight lands, one can have a CELEBRATION.

The East fell fast, even though I didn't know DIXIE CHICKS. But the ELITE brought their A-GAME to the west side and had a GOAL CELEBRATION. CRANSTON was an unknown but after my DIME's agent got his 'cut', he got a CENT and somehow I managed to get TENTHS ( great clue) and finish. MAURA and JIB CRANE were filled by perps.

UAAlum72 said...

Couldn't find any definition of RARES as a noun, though one of the American Pickers likes to collect "smalls" (little toys and knickknacks), so maybe "rares" is used the same way. But I've never heard it.

ATC drew a blank until I came here, but I knew the guy with the MIC flew out of ORD. He was inducted, along with Yaz and Johnny Bench, at the only Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony I ever attended.

Sasha Alexander, formerly of NCIS, played Maura Isles

TTP said...

Good morning.

Gary, I think you and I stalled in the same areas, at TENTHS and ATEAM. I also entered sheep and took it back out. Longest solve of the week for me.

As far as RARES, it's a collector's term, in the style of commons and uncommons. You might think of them as contractions eg, rare ones. Pokemon (and others) collector cards are released along those lines. The avid collector is always looking to complete their collections by collecting the rares.

SwampCat said...

FLN- Keith, I’m so sorry to hear about Russ. Please accept my condolences and prayers.

Argyle, prayers continue from here.

Tinbeni said...

Excellent write-up!
Though I seldom solve a Saturday puzzle, I always enjoy your write-up.


jfromvt said...

I was able to get a lot of the long answers quickly, which was a big help. Once I got FOXTROT, the NE corner filled in. A fun puzzle with some creative clues!

Yellowrocks said...

FIR, fast for a Saturday. Very interesting. Always wonderful expo, Gary.
I was thinking about some kind of email before I thought of ROM COM. BOTTLE before RATTLE. The long fills, JUST BECAUSE and BEATLE MANIA, provided great hooks. EXCUSE and FOXTROT opened up the NE. The SW was the last to fill with AFRESH, TENTHS and OPEN SEA .
Our schools had very little nepotism. But, the principals often knew whom they would hire, such as returning teachers who had been excellent before and other well known teachers. I could understand going with a sure bet. The principals were required to advertise and interview for every job, regardless. I was sorry for the other candidates who had no chance.
I have never seen rares as a noun and couldn't find a reference to it. I accepted it anyway, surmising what TTP pointed out. Thanks for confirming it, TTP.
Well, my RECESS time is over, back to work.

D4E4H in BLACK said...

 - - Say, it's Saturday you Cornies.  You know what that means, an impossible puzzle once again.  I thank Mr. Andrew J. Ries for today's "Messterpiece."  I was unable to make any headway in any cell until I BAILed (Bought An Individual Letter.) or is it ). YR or other English expert?
I did this so often that I didn't even attempt to keep count.

 - - I reviewed the clue/answers to see if any were particularly difficult.  Once filled, they each make sense, and are understandable, so why did I have so much problem?  Oh well it is complete, and I had fun.

  - - -Speaking of fun, I want some of what Husker Gary has used today to make him even more wild and wooley than on most days.  I could comment on almost every item he reviewed, but will limit myself to 16A JIB CRANE.  That looked like a "Jaggle of Jibs to me.


WikWak said...

I started out thinking I’d never finish in under half an hour. The SW, especially, really slowed me down. Then all over sudden (thanks, Pogo) things just sort of fell into place. FIR in about 20 minutes. Lots of great fill today; thanks, Andrew! Husker, as usual your explanations and illustrations (“The thermometer goes where?) were excellent. (But “kite” for “kilo”?)

Off to a family party. Have a great day, all!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I started out with lots of snowy white areas but thanks to some easy to suss long fill (Just because and Beatlemania, e.g.) I gradually chipped away here and there for the tada. Hand up for Dime and Oaf and a few other miscues: Two faced before Red, Virus before Memes, Smells/Smacks, and Russia/Latvia. Unknowns were Jib crane, Altostratus, Frauen, and Dixie Chicks, as clued. TTP's explanation negates my Rares criticism.

Thanks, Andrew, for making us think outside the box and thanks, HG, for tickling (sans abuse! our fancies, as usual, with your wit, wisdom, and wealth of information. (I never knew there was a St. Valerie!)

Have a great day.

Picard said...

Hand up for most of WEES. OAF and DIME had me stuck. RARES seemed an unlikely word. I only know our former Senator CRANSTON; the actor is unknown. That area was last to fall. But the NW was also hard. Anyone else think HO HUM before SHRUG?

I do remember the DIXIE CHICKS in the news but never knew their music. Not sure why they felt a need to apologize. Their comment was a valid expression of how they felt.

Other unknowns: MOANA, MAURA, TOM WAITS. Big thanks for explaining TENTHS, Husker Gary. I had no idea what it meant! And thanks for the group photo and for the other amusing bits! No, I do not know who is at the MIC. Anyone?

JJM said...

Three things:
1. Keith... I've kept your brother in my daily prayers since you first posted. My deepest condolences. Be well

2. Okay here's how my SW corner looked
DNF for me. I don't think the clues were all that good for these 2 fills.

3. PROM NIGHT for my last one at home, then off to college in a few most.
I hope he has the greatest, SAFE, time tonight.

Have a great weekend all.

Yellowrocks said...

I'm not a Catholic, but because Notre Dame means Our Lady and the cathedral is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, who is sometimes called Saint Mary, I though she was the STE. in the puzzle.
JIB CRANE, TOM WAITS and MAURA were the only fill new to me. They were sussed from perps and wags. Other fill which were in my wheel house needed a few perps to jog my memory.
PICARD, I, too, thought the Dixie Chicks had a right to their opinions.
Another recess is over. I seem to need so many rest-my-back periods these days. Back to vacuuming. I am debating my need for maid service.

Misty said...

Well, this was a Saturday toughie for me, as most of them are. I did get a few items to start me off, like RECESS, SON, RESETS, FRAUEN, and AHEM. The southeast corner was the easiest for me, but I then had to start cheating, especially with the long fills. Like others, had DIME before CENT and OAF before APE. But still lots of fun--thanks, Andrew. And you posted great pictures this morning, Husker Gary.

Never heard of a JIB CRANE. I know I must be missing something obvious here, but how is ECHO followed by FOXTROT?

Wonderful picture, C.C.!

Ol'Man Keith, I'm still stunned by your sad news and thinking of you.

Argyle, you too are in my thoughts and prayers every day.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Bill G said...

Not a big deal but I believe 'Moccasin' is misspelled at 27D. It's a hard word for me to spell too while trying to decide which letters are doubled.

I believe the gentleman holding the mic is Harry Caray, long time announcer for the Chicago Cubs baseball team. He would sing along with "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the bottom of the seventh inning while holding the mike out the window to the crowd for the final rousing chorus.

AnonymousPVX said...

ECHO FOXTROT is part of the NATO alphabet. GOLF HOTEL INDIA, etc.

I’m sorry, RARES may be a collectors term, but no dictionary lists that usage.

Otherwise, a rather easy Saturday puzzle.

AnonymousPVX said...

OMK....I just read of your loss in yesterday’s comments. My sympathies to you and yours.

Misty said...

Thanks, AnonPVX. I've never heard of the NATO alphabet and just looked it up. Interesting.

Rainman said...

I only recently began hearing of a NATO alphabet. I still call it the ICAO (eye-kayo) alphabet. The International Civil Aviation Organization developed it. Since then, it has gone through lots of review but few if any changes. Developed in the late 40s. Not sure what aviators and controller used before. Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

Picard, the Dixie Chicks apologized because they wanted their (probably fairly conservative) country western audiences to keep buying their records and coming to their concerts. I think they had to cancel a couple because attendance was down. I forgot what they said but I assume it was political.

I thought, Hmmm, this puzzle is pretty easy for a Saturday, but did, in fact, FIR.


SwampCat said...

Rainman, there has been an “international “ alphabet using words for letters for a long time, surely since WWI . As you said it is reviewed and changed when thought necessary. The letters that come to my mind from WWII are Able, Baker,Charlie, Dog , Easy, Fox, George.

Anonymous T said...

Holy Cow, Batman! HG - Batman is my fav 'cuz he's a normal guy (no mutations, etc.) with LOTs of fantastic toys. Frank Miller's presentation of Bruce Wayne is NOIR.

Hi All! - I tossed-the towel today after an hour+ trying to finish everything west of 19d. Dime and Oaf would never go away until I cribbed from HG's grid. Thanks Andrew for a fun puzzle and thanks HG for the sparkly Expo.

Y'all have no idea how many times I read 'flight' as 'fight' and had -I SPORT BAR. Answer: so many times, in fact, that it took HG to fix me -- guess I wasn't on my A-GAME today. ELITE solver I'm not.

WOs: FAA b/f ATC; I had Jon b/f TOM [brain-fart, I knew we were looking for the musician]; started EMI b/f MCA. Bottle b/f RATTLE.
Fav: FOXTROT - nicely clue'd but didn't fool me (for more than 2 minutes :-))

JIB CRANE: I know these 'cuz my Uncle is in construction. He told me a story about a) how much the operators make and b) they go up there with Gatorade and come down w/ bottles of urine - they don't come down all day because it's a 30min one-way climb.

YR - get a maid but stay away from Service Master companies. My experience: a hounding of phone calls for up-sells (no, I don't need lawn care!).

Picard - yep, thought of Ho-HUM too with UNO sitting there alone as one.

Cheers, -T

Lucina said...

Late today due to many interruptions, though good ones. My S-I-L, daughter and friend are repairing my patio ceiling. Yea! Rah! The top was sealed a few weeks ago but the damage underneath was not so they are busy on that while I fetch things they need.

Some of today's solve was a walk in the park for me, RECESS, SMACKS, MAURA, NEBULOUS and ALTOSTRATUS. Clouds are in the 4th grade science curriculum. However, misspelling BEATLEMANIA (BEATTLE) kept me hostage for a long time then the V-8 can hit. Hard. I also knew DIXIE once CHICKS was in place. Not a fan but I recall the brouhaha.

Only because of Crosswords am I familiar with the NATO alphabet so knew FOXTROT followed ECHO.

The SE was last to fall and even then had to look up CRANSTON and TENTHS. Only then did LAKE ERIE and OPEN SEA emerge.

Thank you, Andrew J. Ries and Gary! You provided some fun today.

I hope you are all enjoying this glorious spring Saturday!

Yellowrocks said...

It is so amazing what passed for scandalous ten years ago! Public discourse, and especially tweets and Facebook memes, have coarsened in the last ten years. The Dixie Chicks gave a very short, and by today's standards, mild, opinion against George W. Bush and the Iraq war. The only harsh word was "ashamed." I am surprised that others, even in those days, gave scathing opinions against Bush and that war and were not as badly censured as these gals. And the rabid abuse continues today against Obama and Trump. These diatribes are not just differences of opinion, but outright abuse. Can't we refute, or even condemn, the ideas, without damning and condemning the speaker?

SwampCat said...

YR, the problem with trying to condemn the abuse you mention is that it is just abuse for its own sake with no content to argue about. As you said, it is not different opinions. That we could discuss. What passes as opinion today is often just nastiness.

Jayce said...

A well-constructed puzzle.

Ol' Man Keith said...

My thanks again to all who took time to express sympathy on the death of my brother, Russell Fowler, the one I called my "Lil' Bro" even into his seventies. SwampCat and JJM, I appreciate your sentiments today - and yours too, Misty, AnonPVX and any others I may have inadvertently overlooked.
It is a hard time for us, as it is for every family that loses a dear member. But we take some consolation in that my brother has been released from a long period of ill health and failed procedures.
He was a musician who could no longer play. He had been a truly vibrant personality, and that's the way we will always remember him.

As for myself, I think it very strange to have lost a younger sister and now my Lil' Bro - both of my younger siblings. Happily, they both left children who are thriving and founders of their own families.

And I find solace in a wife who understands my heart. She knows the depth of my feeling, and there is nothing quite so soothing as a companion in sorrow.

Today's pzl from Mr. Ries was wonderfully tough, yet manageable! I found myself stymied in the NE corner - mainly because I did not want to give up TIGER PAW as my answer to 16A. Sometimes we can see a far better answer to the constructor's clue than he ever realized. Tell me, anybody, why TIGER PAW is not a better response than JIB CRANE!
But, No, I defer to the master and submit to his banal fill. That at least opened up his brilliant word and my favorite fill of the day - FOXTROT.
The military/NATO alphabet dawned on me like a small sunrise.

Diagonal Report: Six, count 'em, six. That is, if we allow sub-diagonals without a main diagonal to anchor them.
You know my feelings on this. But for any in the opposite camp, I submit a real anomaly. While there is no main slash - and no mirror diagonals - we spot six sub-diagonals running NW to SE. WooHoo!

Anonymous said...

Harry Cary in the Wrigley Field broadcast booth. He previously wass in St. Louis's Sportsman's Park where I went to see Cardinal games in my youth. His colleagues were Jack Buck and Joe Garagiola Both surpassed Cary and went national.

Misty said...

Ol'Man Keith, you give us all inspiration on how bravely and tenderly to grieve over a painful family loss. Thank you for your moving words.

D4E4H said...

Sheldor is back online

- - I just left a voice message for sanfranman59 who posted in Dec. and Jan. I spoke to him on Jan. 30, and he felt that his statistics, and he were not welcome on the Corner so he stopped posting. I invited him to post again, and hope that he does.

- -I have found a particularly soothing musical video. - LINK -


PK said...

Hi Y'all! SHRUG was my reaction to many of the clues on first pass. There were a plethora of three-letter initials which always make my mind go tilt. Many clever clues were admired when all was done. Thanks, Andrew.

Gary, you definitely did TICKLE my funny bone with your expo today (no abuse at all). As to favorite Super Heros: mine are my nephew and his wife who are fostering five black children along with their own three white children. The oldest are 8 yrs. old, youngest is an infant, three in diapers. That's heroic in my book.

In common farm use, I never heard of a herd of STEERs. A pen of STEERs being fed for slaughter never hung around long enough to be called a herd. We had a cow-calf herd with a resident bull. I suppose in the olden cattle drive years, the herd was mostly STEERs being herded up the trail to the railhead. STEERs are castrated males, BTW.

RARES usage refers to stamps or coins. I think I ran into this when we were trying to appraise items in my MIL's estate. I remember going to a specialty shop for help with those items. Nothing too valuable was found.

Wilbur Charles said...

I went to Mass at 4pm and said my prayers for Russell, Scott and of course OMK .

Within a short time I had only the SW . I decided I needed a foothold so I looked up KIM!! Jeong. And completely missed that it was KEN .

So I was stymied . I finally gave up and there was the V8 can- TENTHS . I quickly filled the rest of the corner .

So, I hope I can knock off Sunday.


Wilbur Charles said...

I should add my thanks to Husker Gary for the great write-up. And Andrew for bolloxing me with The Hollywood "Cuts".

I was looking for some kind of wierd DO .

I've never sailed through 8/9th of a Saturday so smoothly .

Did anybody catch the demolition of Jordan Speith and his partner Ryan Palmer? Water, water ... And embedded ball in a trap . -8 on the 17th tee and they missed the cut shooting -3*.

So now it's Perez and Dufner.


* On a 20 foot final putt from Speith said...


Thanks to Andrew and Gary!

My sympathies, Keith.

Not a very difficult Saturday, but, can you believe that I spelled BEeTLE wrong!

Hope to see you tomorrow!

Lucina said...

You just reminded me that I failed to post my admiration for one of my nieces and her husband who adopted five siblings from their drug-addicted mother (a niece) to keep them all in the family. They are true heroes as well as my sister (their great-grandmother) who lives with them and helps with their rearing.

Since they were all born drug-addicted they have had some challenging health problems but are flourishing under the love of their adopted family. Except for the oldest one, none know of their true origin.

PK said...

Lucina: my admiration for your niece & her husband.True saints. I think the parents of my nephew's kids have some substance abuse in their history, money problems, can't hold jobs. The first kid was born in their early teens. They are supposed to be getting training to get the kids back. Youngest needs surgery. Sounds like a lot of heartbreak.