Apr 3, 2018

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 Evan Mahnken

Enclosed ORBs !

Fooled me with the first two starred clues.  Thought the theme would be Sci-fi related.

18A. *Sci-fi energy ray that grabs ships : TRACTOR BEAM

3D. *Sci-fi classic featuring Robby the Robot : FORBIDDEN PLANET

8D. *Vessels pulling water-skiers : MOTOR BOATS

11D. *Sign outside a new store : OPEN FOR BUSINESS

28D. *Unable to tell red from green, say : COLOR BLIND

Tying the starred clues together, we get a great hint...      

59A. Small, influential group ... and a hint to the word hidden in each answer to a starred clue : INNER CIRCLE

We welcome Evan Mahken on his Los Angeles Times Crossword debut !   Read more about Evan in this article.    Well done young man !

1. Sound from Rover : ARF

4. Quite anxious : ALARMED

11. Canada's most populous prov. : ONTario.  Help me out here Canadian Eh.  According to what I've read on the internet, Ontario has a 2018 population estimate of over 14 million, and half of them are on the 401 at any point in time. 

14. Corporate VIP : CEO. Chief Executive Officer.

15. Pudding choice : TAPIOCA.  "Thanks, but none for me. Thank you for asking."

16. Canada's least populous prov. : PEIPrince Edward Island.  Approx. 150,000 people in an area of about 2900 sq. miles, which is slightly larger in land area than Delaware.  Nearby Naperville, IL has a similar population in about 39 sq. miles.  Anonymous T's brother lives in Naperville. Chances are that there are more Crossword Corner followers in Naperville than in P.E.I.

17. Mess up : ERR. ''To err is human, to moo is bovine.''  I'm no Bluehen.   I accidentally doused the chicken breasts with balsamic vinegar last week while playing sous chef and prepping for fajitas.  The bottle is similar is shape, size, and label colors to our extra virgin olive oil.  Blotted the breasts off a bit, put on some olive oil, added the chipotle seasoning and then grilled.  That balsamic vinegar definitely added another layer of flavor.

20. Set of guidelines, as for grading papers : RUBRIC.   I'll humbly defer, and ask the distinguished educators on this blog to submit an explanation of rubric in the comments section. 

22. Big stretch of time : EON

23. Pay to play : ANTE

24. Tattle : SNITCH.  "I'm going to tell on you !" 

25. Cheer on : ROOT FOR.  As Yellowrocks would remind us, our language and usage is fluid. "Who do you root for ?" rolls off the tongue.   It is not nearly as formal and stiff sounding as "For whom do you root ?"

27. __ Moines : DES.  Iowa's largest city.  Went there on business.  Nice clean downtown and the people were all friendly.  I left with a positive impression. 

28. Hailed car : CAB

30. Sign before Virgo : LEO.  The Lion.  July 22nd to August 22nd.  That makes DW a Leo, and I just read that Leo's are compatible with Gemini's (me).  Aha ! The pieces of the puzzle are finally coming together. We fit.

31. "Then what happened?" : AND

33. Sang 29-Down : SOLOED

35. Tattle : RAT.  Clecho with 24A. 

38. "Joltin'" DiMaggio : JOE. According to author Richard Ben Cramer, "The most propitious of Joe Dimaggio's nicknames was "Joltin Joe."  Another was "DiMag",  as Mark McClain taught some of us in February. 

39. Puts in new film : RELOADS

40. "Dawg!" : BRO.  Randy Jackson explains why he always says "Dawg" as he talks with Oprah Winfrey on an episode of the OWN network's "Where Are They Now ?"

41. Columnist Landers : ANN

42. Sees right through : IS ON TO

43. Salt Lake City athlete : UTE

44. Family cat, e.g. : PET

46. In medias __ : RES. "From the Latin "into the middle of affairs," in medias res refers to a literary technique in which a story begins after the action has already begun and the explanation of plot, character roles, the importance of setting, and so on are left to be revealed via flashback, a character's thoughts or dialogue, or a "reverse chronology" in which the story is told backwards."

47. "Big Brother" channel : CBS

49. Soda can feature : PULL TAB.  After the "church key", and before the "Stay-Tab."  The Wikipedia article says that they were invented ca. 1950 in Thunder Bay, ONT,  but the discussion page calls that claim dubious as Thunder Bay did not exist until 1970. 

52. Yacht spot : MARINA

55. Word of lament for "poor Yorick" : ALAS

56. __-pitch softball : SLO

58. The "U" in "MVEMJSUN" : URANUS.  My very educated mother just served us nachos. A mnemonic for the acronym to remember the planets.  Alas, poor Pluto.  Like Yorick, he was a jester, and had us all fooled into thinking he was a planet.

62. Suffix with ranch : ERO.  As vaquero is to cowboy, ranchero is to ranch hand.  Also the name of the Ford utility vehicle, but then ranch would have been capitalized in the clue. 

63. "Norma __": Sally Field film : RAE.  Sally Field won her first Academy Award, for Best Actress in a Leading Role.   

64. Witty remarks : BON MOTs.  Usually one-liners.  Often humorous. So many witty people here.  Desper-otto makes them all the time.  PK commented that she hadn't previously heard the term off-piste and looked it up.  D-O replied,  "off piste" -- I've usually heard it in reverse -- piste off."

65. ID on a W-9 form : SSNSocial Security Number for our readers in other countries.  The IRS Form W-9 is a "Request for Taxpayer Identification and Certification."  The most common form of taxpayer identification is the SSN.

66. Concorde, e.g., briefly : SST.  The Concorde Supersonic Transport.  Faster than the speed of sound. Why We Don’t Have an SST

67. Martyred bishop of Paris : ST. DENIS.

68. "Ha! Told ya!" : SEE.  "See, I told ya I was going to tattle on you !"


1. Taiwanese laptops : ACERs

2. Syndicated sitcom, say : RERUN. Friends, MASH, Everybody Loves Raymond, et alii.

4. Top stories : ATTICS. Hot off the press, there's nothing but insulation in my attic.

5. Durable wood : LARCH.  A coniferous tree with deciduous tree habits.  It sheds its needles in the autumn. "...valued for its tough, waterproof and durable qualities. Top quality knot-free timber is in great demand for building yachts and other small boats..."  paraphrased from Wikipedia and Encyclopaedia Britannica.

6. Mental health org. : APA.  American Psychiatric Association.  My wife's cousin's husband is a psychiatrist.  Asks me a lot of leading questions.  Makes me uneasy at times.

7. Beans go-with : RICE. Houston's Treebeards restaurant's red beans and rice recipe.

9. Budget, in product names : ECONO.  EconoLodge motels, with over 830 locations in the U.S. and Canada, was founded in 1969 in Norfolk, VA.  It is the second largest brand for Choice Hotels International, Inc. a hospitality holding corporation based in Rockville, Maryland.

10. Patriotic women's org. : DARDaughters of the American Revolution

12. "That's awesome!" : NEATO

13. Sometimes egg-shaped kitchen gadget : TIMER.  I wonder ?

19. Diminish : BATE.  As many solvers might question, "Wha ?  What happened to the A ?   Shouldn't that be ABATE ?"    Merriam-Webster tells us,  "3 - archaic : to lower especially in amount or estimation."

21. Numbered rd. : RTE.  Road and route abbreviations.

26. Auto pioneer : OLDS. Ransom E. Olds.  Born at Geneva-on-the-Lake, Oh in Ashtabula_County,   just across the state line from Abejo's Erie.  Ashtabula means "always enough (fish) to go around, to be given away."  

29. Without company : ALONE

31. "How to Get Away With Murder" actress __ Naomi King : AJA.  I've never seen the program.

32. "Smoking or __?" : NON

33. French "his" : SES

34. Tokyo, once : EDO

36. Word after op or pop : ART.  Op(tical) art and Pop art.  A brief history of Pop Art  from MoMA

37. Foot part : TOE

39. "Hud" director Martin : RITT.  Melvyn Douglass and Patricia Neal won an Academy Award for their performances in Hud.  Paul Newman and Martin Ritt were nominated.  Ritt also directed Norma Rae.  "...his surest touch was for movies about little people who went up against the system.  "Norma Rae" was probably his most representative film..."  Encyclopaedia Britannica, Roger Ebert, IMDb

45. Ultimatum word : ELSE

47. Tender touch : CARESS

48. Sports __ : BRA.  Note to self:  Do not call it a training bra.

49. Socks from the dryer, hopefully : PAIRS

50. Radii neighbors : ULNAs. Please hover over the figure to get a brief info about the body parts.

51. Fancy neckwear : ASCOT

52. Vitamin prefix : MULTI

53. Rehab center staffer : NURSE.  Argyle, we hope you have attentive nurses to help you progress.  We all miss you !

54. Synchronously : AS ONE

57. "It's her __": relationship ultimatum : OR ME

60. NFL playmakers : RBs. Running Backs.  Penn State's Saquon Barkley is projected to be the first running back picked in the upcoming 2018 NFL draft.  Penn State has had a few first-round RB  busts, but this guy looks like the real deal.  Time will tell.   

61. Cheat : CON.   Tried to cheat on 20A, and con one of the teachers into explaining rubric.  They've seen it all, and assuredly saw through my ruse, but hopefully one or more will offer their thoughts in the comments section.

See all y'all later n'at !


OwenKL said...

Does the RUBRIC need a rubric to explain its use?
Or are ten-dollar words like that never used by youse?
Be ALARMED, no answer neat
Is found upon the answer sheet,
And a lexicographer IS ON TO its abuse!

I'm not a stool pigeon, I assure you BRO!
When he asked me questions, I said I didn't know!
I'm not a RAT, I didn't SNITCH
I played it straight and didn't twitch,
AND so our surprise party will still be NEAT-O!

In FORBIDDEN PLANET was the monster from the id.
Killed a share of spacemen, that is what it did!
But the hero and the girl
Escaped the clutches of that churl --
Then she ran off with Robby, and I hear they had a kid!

{C, C+, A-.}

fermatprime said...


Thanks to Evan and TTP!

Harder than usual Tuesday, I thought. Didn't know AJA, RUBRIC, CBS, LARCH and RITT. But everything filled in nicely.

Good work, Owen!

Hope to see you all tomorrow!

D4E4H said...

¡Wonderful Wednesday you writers of posts!

Let's save that one for tomorrow. G'Day Mates.

Thank you Mr. Evan Mahnken for this Easy Peasy CW that I FIR in 21:30.

Thank you TTP for your excellent review.

20A - - RUBRIC - -¿ Didn't he invent the cube or was it the triangle?

40A - - "Dawg" = BRO, but 44A Family cat, e.g. : is just a PET.

49A - - Then there was the "push-tab". Used primarily on Coors Beer cans in the mid-1970s.


Anonymous said...

Simply, a rubric is an assessment tool given by the teacher to the students before they do an assignment. It lists the things that the teacher will be looking for when the grading is done
and seeks to eliminate any questions a student might have about what constitutes a good assignment.

KS said...

A Tuesday puzzle with a Saturday clue: rubric. Hmmmmmm.

Oas said...

Nice workout but left my thinking cap at home.
RUBRIC filled in but couldn’t get the center of BONMOTS , a new one for me. Never saw ORME, was looking for a latin or greek word like modus operendi or something . Otherwise a steady fill .Thanks for the fun. More sunshine forecast :)

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Seven-letter pudding ending in A...gotta be VANILLA, right? Wrong. Fortunately, that was the only place I went astray this morning. Nice debut, Evan. Enjoyed the outing, TTP (and thanx for 'splainin' RBS. But I've already forgotten what you said that was.)

LARCH -- Do we have larches on this side of the pond? I've always thought of them as European trees.

Interesting to see CIRCLE near URANUS. Reminds me of an old Star Trek joke involving TP (not TTP).

BobB said...

Never saw or needed the theme to finish. 60A I would argue the QB is the playmaker not a running back.

From Wikipedia:

In education terminology, rubric means "a scoring guide used to evaluate the quality of students' constructed responses". Rubrics usually contain evaluative criteria, quality definitions for those criteria at particular levels of achievement, and a scoring strategy.

Unknown said...

Found this one pretty tough for a Tuesday, but maybe our Easter festivities are just catching up to me. Thanks, Evan, for a great debut, and to TTP for a very thorough exposé. RUBRIC was one of those words that I'd heard before and knew how to spell, but wasn't clear on its meaning. Thanks to all the "clarifiers" here at the Corner. A great day, all....

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIR with only one WAG and one erasure. E-WAGged LARCH x RUBRIC and erased BON MOTt for MOTS. I don't know jokes from applesauce. All my boats have been made of fiberglass and trimmed with teak; never heard of LARCH.

"...stepped on a pop top, cut my heel had to limp on back home." Most of JB's fans are probably too young to remember when pull tabs actually came off the can top. I used to drop my pop top back into the can, a practice I was told was dangerous. Like D2 I remember the push-in opening Coors cans. I still have a red plastic push tool that hung from a key ring and was just for opening those cans.

I wanted pork 'n beans before RICE, but I love red beans and RICE as a side order.

I've spent a lot of time in Naperville at the Bell Labs training center. There was a dive (FLN) called Juke Box Saturday Night that was a major hangout for locals and visitor alike.

D-O: Yuk and yuck. VEEERY punny.

Never hear of the actress, but AJA by Steely Dan is one of my all time favorite albums.

I love Big Brother and record and scan through Big Brother After Dark. Almost time for the 2018 season.

The real NCAA men's championship game was Saturday's game between Duke and 'Nova. Same thing last year - the real championship game was the elite 8 victory of NC over UK. The other games were just finishing off the brackets. Congrats to Villinava fans for a great performance by a superb team.

jfromvt said...

RUBRIC, LARCH and TRACTOR BEAM are all new to me, but got them from the other fill-ins.

Yellowrocks said...

Super Nova! We won!
This was like a Tuesday puzzle for me, except for tractor beam which I never heard of. AJA was new to me, but bon mot was not. All the rest of the fill was familiar. 4A-top stories was cute. Great job, Evan and TTP.
Sally Field advanced from Gidget and the Flying Nun to Norma Rae and Places in the Heart, which roles I much preferred to her silly ones. Sally was very believable in these meatier roles.
There was an Internet hoax this week that Sally had died. Not true.
The use of the word RUBRIC was just coming into educational practice when I retired in 1991. At that time I was teaching the second grade. We didn't use rubrics at that level.
I have been familiar with rubric since childhood as a direction in a liturgical book as to how a church service should be conducted. The rubrics are printed in red. (ruby/rubric)
Alan loves the reruns of very old sitcoms, Andy Griffith, Reba The Honeymooners. etc.
I always pronounced the planet and the god, yo͝oˈrānəs, and thought nothing of it. Then someone said that sounded crude and the thought spoiled it for me. ˈyo͝orənəs sounds just as crude.
I never knew that thingy on the can was a stay tab.
Have a great day.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Thanks, Evan, for a fine debut. Vanilla before TAPIOCA. I loved tapioca until my brother informed it was made with mouse eyes. I was a full-fledged adult before I ever tasted it again! Also as a kid I thought ALAS simply meant, so or thus. NON-smoking is so nice! No more foggy restaurants or being seated near the smoking section at the back of an airplane.

TTP, thank you for another fabulous tour. Thanks for subbing. Rehab NURSE: Hang in their Argyle; the hard work now will make it easier when you return home!

Naperville--Used to be a rurban outgrowth of farming before it became the Midwest Silicon Valley. We went to my grand daughter's soccer tourney last year, and the former teacher in my said, "Good Grief! Houses upon houses filled with all those teenagers with nothing to do"

Bob Niles @7:02 True about the QBs, but RB's make for better highlight films. It's not as much fun watching a QB dance in the pocket and successfully complete a great pass even though he's the top dog.

I never much liked rubrics. I had my goals for an essay and presented them to students as questions to consider. I was a process writing teacher, so they never received grades without conferencing and rewriting and rewriting. I was a sort of talking rubric. Since most of my colleagues were not teaching process writing, they relied heavily on rubrics someone else created--especially for the horrifyingly dull Five Paragraph Essay. I was always looking for student voice.


HG, we were also a PBJ (on toast) breakfast family when I was a kid.

CED, Loved that Book Ends album--especially the title song since I've turned 70.

SPITZ, Thanks for the full coverage of Dyngus Day. You really are a fount of knowledge!

Looks like winter is back today and tonight. I know pansies are hardy, but I'm putting to bed in the garage tonight.

Husker Gary said...

-Incumbents “point with pride”. Challengers “view with ALARM”.
-To ERR is human, to really foul up you need a computer
-Do people still hail CABS and RELOAD film?
-...AND then (2:33)
-My favorite ANNism is, “Is anything better because I say/do this?”
-After two bad injuries, my SIL has checked his birth certificate and quit SLO pitch SB
-Champion Villanova is on U.S. RTE 30 just like me!
-I’ve got two NURSES waiting for me in Omaha. Later!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

No truck with ORB today. ORB implies 3 dimensional like URANUS, whereas CIRCLE is 2 dimensional. The only connection is an archaic one where circular is in the sense of orbital; which still implies a sphere. (I don't know of any objects whose orbits are circular, elliptical is a better descriptor.). Got bolluxed up at 33d by misreading his as this. Perps finally got it right, and just saw my ERRor while posting.
ONT and PEI were good guesses.
Overall, the puzzle had a bit of Friday feel to it, but I liked it.
Congrats to Evan on his initial LAT launch.

Big Easy said...

Tougher than usual for a Tuesday, with perps finishing the unknown and unheard of BATE, AJA, RUBRIC, RITT, and unknown CBS. This Big Easy IS ONTO the real "Big Brothers", aka Google and Facebook, who follow your every move unless you change your settings. I'm ALARMED that most people just let these behemoths just follow their every move. Not this boy; I delete it all.

"Big Easy's Red Beans Recipe"

2lb dried Red Beans- some people soak them overnight but I don't.
1lb Pickle meat-aka pickled pork- Richard's or Manda's
at least 1lb sliced smoked sausage-I like Manda's and DW likes Hillshire
One sliced&diced bell pepper
One sliced&diced large onion
A couple of stalks of chopped celery
Season with Garlic salt, onion salt, garlic powder, and red pepper to taste
AND if you have an available ham bone, throw it in

Most recipes call for too much water. They also say to saute the meat & veggies separately. I've done it in the past but it's a waste of time. I just throw everything in one large pot.

I NEVER put THYME or OREGANO and you won't either after you do it once.

Tinbeni said...

arrg ... D-N-F ... on a Tuesday.

Never got RUBRIC ... didn't know ACERS were Taiwanese laptops.

Oh well, I enjoyed the theme and the rest of this FUN puzzle.

No booze answers ... so, again, no fave today.


SwampCat said...

Loved this crunchy debut! Thanks, Evan.

Big E, I agree with your red beans recipe. Don’t soak them. No oregano. Going to Houston for red beans?? Horrors!!

SwampCat said...

Bob Niles, I also think QBs are the playmakers.

Yellowrocks said...

I erred. I did not retire in 1991. I moved to this house in 1991. I retired in 2000. But our school system was just getting into rubrics in the upper elementary when I retired.

The phrase "bated breath" meaning holding or restricting one's breath, was used in Shakespeare, in the Merchant of Venice, in 1596, but was also used in other ways at that time. The word bate meaning to reduce or lessen is now archaic and its use is now only in this phrase and in its derivative form "to abate" meaning to reduce or lessen.

From yesterday:
I find the ancient Olmec civilization interesting. The Colossal Head figure in the following article is familiar.
Olmec Civilization

Misty said...

Wow! Wow! This is the first puzzle I've ever encountered where I got two vertical grid spanners right at the very beginning. I couldn't believe it. But the OPEN FOR BUSINESS popped into my head right away, and when I saw that a number of the across items supported it, I knew it was right. And I got FORbiDDen PLANET because I had FOR and those two DDs came quickly. And after I put in CAB I also had COLOR BLIND pop into my head. An amazing, amazing construction, Evan--and I can't believe this is your debut. Woohoo! Woohoo! Ironically, I had trouble with the upper middle and have to confess I had to cheat to complete that area. But I still loved this Tuesday puzzle.

Delightful write-up, TTP--many thanks.

Liked your second limerick, Owen.

Have a great Tuesday, everybody!

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

Congrats to Evan on his LATXWP debut, and to TTP for pinch-hitting with a witty recap. As an aside to TTP, when I relocated to the Chicago suburbs in 1990, Naperville was already too large, so we chose St Charles, instead. I hear it's become nearly as large as N-ville ...

I FIR with just one ERR ---> chose BIRCH > LARCH in 5d, although in hindsight, birch trees are not very durable, especially in a storm

It took me until the end of the solve to see the INNER CIRCLE / ORB theme

Dittos to Jinx in that AJA's clue should've been related to Steely Dan; minor nit

I don't watch Big Brother, but most of my favorite TV shows are on CBS. TBBT, Young Sheldon, Life in Pieces, Scorpion - all one the network with the "eye"

Whenever I see the word PULL TABS I usually think of the big jar located in the bar area of many fraternal organizations (K of C, Elks, et al)

TBT (throw - back - Tuesday) Moe-ku:

The proctologist
Turned astronomer's first task:

A new Moe-ku:

Do you know why most
Fishermen remain silent?
It's their BAiTEd breath

And, finally, a limerick:

Ten convicts escaped, and all was just fine,
Until one was caught; was found in a mine.
But the CON didn't RAT
Out his mates; how 'bout that!
Seems to me, that no SNITCH in time, saved nine.

Ha! Cute! Groan!

Grammar Guy said...

"It's her WHAT! DEAL? SHOW? LIFE? Oh! It's she or I! #SubjectPronoun #ObjectPronoun

Grammar Guy said...

BATE? Rchaic

Bill G said...

Hi everybody.

I didn't know of, Aja Naomi King. I did try watching her show, "How to Get Away With Murder" a few times and I disliked it very much. Too dark and violent. I also came to dislike the lead actress, Viola Davis. She came across as arrogant. I'm not sure if it was because of her real-life personality or her character in the show. Some of both I'm thinking.

AnonymousPVX said...

I’m with Jinx, AJA is a great album.

Ok, I’m not the smartest guy I guess, but what does “My very educated mother just served us nachos“ have to do with URANUS or the mnemonic?

Nice debut puzzle. I even got “RUBRIC” right off.....had PORK b4 RICE, and that was about it.

AnonymousPVX said...

Never mind, I just saw/got it....and that’s why I never post up until the 2nd cup of coffee. Lesson learned....again.

CrossEyedDave said...

Just popping in to say "I'll be back."
(Much Forbidden Planet to discuss L8r...)
Right now I have a mission to fly in a Hawker Hurricane Bomber
over Bolougne France.
Our CO wants us to test his coding of a fuel depot that needs bombing,
(Last time I tried it said I hit civilians just as i got shot down by Flak!)
(Sheesh! what I do to fix bugs...)

But! 16a PEI reminded me of my visit to Naples Fla!
I visited a hole in the wall no name bar next to a fancy restaurant on 5th avenue,
because I loved their Mussels!
(This time I drank less so I could remember...)
The Bartender was amazing, (he set a drink on fire right in front of me!)
Something about Lemon Zest burning was required for the recipe...
Anywho, I digress, My fascination with their Mussels was because I tried to make
Drunken Mussels at home, and used too much Lemon Zest, making it bitter...
Usually Drunken Mussel require White Wine.
(Daughter #2 is still pissed off at me for using her entire bottle of good wine...)

AnyWho Who, this bowl of Mussels came to me with a huge slab of crusty garlic bread,
and I had to wade thru sprigs of Thyme and Rosemary to get to the prize,
which was floating in what looked like milk?

The milk turned out to be beer, turned white by melted (not completely)
Gorganzola Blue Cheese!

Here is a similar recipe, but I would omit the carrots and celery for rosemary and thyme...

Rubric? (You sure it wasn't Rube Goldberg?)
(I swear some Teachers make it more complicated than it needs to be...)

The Larch was not a gimme,
even though I learned it as a wee lad...

Bon Mot was a gimme! I learned it from Data's Poetry, an Ode to Spot...
(wait a sec! he doesn't say Bon Mot, what Freakin' French is he saying?)

Oh well, to cut this rambling sweetly short, For Madame Defarge...

P.S. I agree with Spitz, a 2 dimensional clue does not fit a 3 dimensional answer...

WikWak said...

I have spent many a faculty meeting, department meeting, and institute day working to develop rubrics for nearly everything under the sun. At the time I questioned whether all that time might not have been better spent; I still question it, though I must admit that sending home a copy of the rubric which would be used to grade the students' work at the same time the assignment was made cut down immensely on the number of complaints about grades.

D-O: Yes, we do have Larches here. In the western suburbs (Chicago) there are quite a few towns with LARCH Streets.

When I first came to the Chicago area to teach (50 years ago this year!) Naperville's population was little more than 30,000 or so. My son and his wife live there now—the population is just over 150,000 and the population density there is over 3,700 people per square mile.

Bill G said...

Isn't there a Monty Python song about the LARCH?

Did I share that my car got hit by a woman last weekend? She was very apologetic. I am suspicious that distraction due to her cell phone may have been involved. Texting? But I'm not sure. The car's at a local shop recommended by AAA and I have a rental car. The rental is a Ford Fusion hybrid. That sounded interesting to me but I'm having a few problems getting going initially. So I struggle trying everything for a few minutes until something clicks. If the repair is going to take more than another day or two, I may request a different car.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! This was easier for me than Monday's cw -- eight minutes less time spent. Thanks, Evan! Great one, TTP!

N Central was the last to fill. From the clues I couldn't get ALARMED/ATTIC/LARCH or RICE/TRACTOR/ECONO for some reason. The only time I ever saw a LARCH was on the grounds of a big hospital where I took my dad for cancer treatment. My son was taking biology and had to do a leaf collection so I plucked some LARCH for him. The teacher questioned his LARCH designation at first and told him there weren't any LARCH in the state. She finally relented. Haven't seen one since.

Took me awhile, but I finally saw the ORBs with my two ORBs. I didn't think the circle clue was accurate either.

YR: The fact that Villanova won by a double-diget number in all six games helped ease the pain of KU losing. They were simply the best team this year, no mistake.

PK said...

Oops: digit.

Does anyone else think the OLMEC heads look more negroid than later Indians? I'm wondering if they were African sailors who wandered onto Mexican beaches.

CanadianEh! said...

Tremendous Tuesday. Thanks for the fun Evan (congrats on your LA Times debut) and TTP.
I moved through this CW with no problems and FIW for the Tada (but ALAS I forgot to go back and look for the theme. RATs!). Those ORBs were not that NEATO anyway.

I LOLed when I saw little PEI under ONT. Yes TTP, the 401 can be a giant parking lot especially in the Toronto area (and not just during rush hour!). The 401 is our RTE across ONT from Windsor to the ONT/Que border just below Northern Boy in Ottawa. You can choose to take the 407 around Toronto but it is a toll highway.
Surely we have one CW solver in PEI who might comment here?! (PEI is known for Anne not ANN).

I knew RUBRIC because we are given one for marking at Science Fair. It helps immensely to keep are the judges on the same playing field.

I thought Ulnae would match Radii better but ULNAS filled the spot.
AJA and RITT filled with perps thankfully.
I waited for LARCH to appear. I haven't seen any of them around here lately.

Enjoy the day. We are still waiting for spring.

Yellowrocks said...

Some types of tamarack or larch trees are native to NJ.
I agree that an orb is not a circle. A circle is a two dimensional plane figure. An orb is a solid figure.
Talk about useless work. One year in the next September my school district would be changing the requirements for a course of study. A group of teachers had to write a detailed voluminous plan for the whole year to present to the state. But, much worse, because we did not have such a plan to show the state for the course we were phasing out, over Easter vacation my group had to write a plan for a course that would be taught for only two and half more months. What a waste of a vacation!

PK, Wikipedia says, "The flat-faced, thick-lipped heads have caused some debate due to their resemblance to some African facial characteristics. Based on this comparison, some writers have said that the Olmecs were Africans who had emigrated to the New World.[40] But, the vast majority of archaeologists and other Mesoamerican scholars reject claims of pre-Columbian contacts with Africa.[41] Explanations for the facial features of the colossal heads include the possibility that the heads were carved in this manner due to the shallow space allowed on the basalt boulders. Others note that in addition to the broad noses and thick lips, the eyes of the heads often show the epicanthic fold, and that all these characteristics can still be found in modern Mesoamerican Indians. For instance, in the 1940s, the artist/art historian Miguel Covarrubias published a series of photos of Olmec artworks and of the faces of modern Mexican Indians with very similar facial characteristics." IMO, the heads look sort of Asian.

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

Very late to the dance due to grocery shopping, haircut, and lunch with Sis and then reading all of the comments. This definitely had some crunch but perps were solid so, no harm, no foul. I, too had Birch before Larch; I wouldn't know a larch tree if one fell on me but there is a Larchmont in Westchester County, NY. Tractor Beam, Forbidden Planet, and Aja were all unknown, as clued. I never knew the puzzle's definition of rubric but had a vague idea that it related to a function of something. I couldn't think of anything to go with beans except franks; rice and beans is a Southern dish, yes? I liked the Rat/Snitch duo and the big CSO to DO at Color Blind. Acer was a gimme as I have one on my desk.

Thanks, Evan, for a fun solve and congrats on your LA Times debut and thanks, TTP, for being such an outstanding DB (Designated Blogger).

I sent a card to Argyle the same day CC told us he was in the hospital. It came back to me today stating it was undeliverable as addressed. The address is correct but lacking the room number. I can't believe that omission would negate delivery but I can't come up with any other reason. Anyway, bummer that Argyle didn't get my card or message. Will send another card that I purchased today after spending 15 minutes trying to find a get well card. Do these stores even care about customer satisfaction any more?

Today feels more like November than April: cold, gloomy, and misty rain. (No offense, Misty!) If the weather doesn't get me down, the perennial potholes certainly will. Our streets are a disgrace and to add insult to injury, I just received an invoice from the City for $160.00 for 2018 refuse pickup. We already pay for recycling pickup but trash collection was always included in our property taxes. What's next?

Enjoy the rest of the day.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Thanks to Mr. Mahken or Mahnken, whichever it is.

Ta- DA!
This was one of those pzls that looks deep and unswimmable before jumping in. Some of the clues seemed unhelpfully broad. But once I filled a few letters, it turned out to be a walk in the park - one fill leading naturally to the next and so on.

Grid spanners add to a formidable appearance, but they are often in the front rank of easy-peasy fills - especially when they use common titles or phrases such as today's FORBIDDEN PLANET and OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

My only question was for TRACTOR BEAM, as it seems a strange name for a ship-lifter. Still, the perps would have it no other way, and it turned out to be correct (if ill-named).

I like TAPIOCA, but I rarely think to get it anymore. As a kid, I loved it, relishing it so much I was known within our family as the "Tapioca Kid."
I'm glad I never had a brother like yours, Mme Defarge, to tell me it's made of mouse eyes. I would have believed him too!
I mean, who knows what those slippery little ORBs are?!

Argyle, keep on improving!

Diagonal Report: Nothing to report. Nada.


C.C. Burnikel said...


Sorry for the trouble. I never knew the hospital room number myself.

I find that hospital unhelpful and cold. I can imagine how frustrated Argyle and Jennifer were. Now we can't locate a package D-Otto sent.

Here is Argyle's new address. He'll be staying here for a long time.

D. Scott Nichols

Room #219

Wesley Health Care Center

131 Lawrence St.

Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

C.C. Burnikel said...

Oh, also, Argyle has a phone and a tablet now. Hopefully he'll be on line soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi. The different perspectives people bring to this blog are fascinating.

As I have been a nearly life-long Star Trek fan, in all its forms, the term "tractor beam" is like second nature for me. But clearly that's not true of most people here, lol.

Slee (Sandy, not Stan)

Ol' Man Keith said...

True, Anonymous @4:24,
so can you tell the rest of us how the TRACTOR BEAM got its name? Is it based on its capacity as a workhorse, or on something to do with its structure?
The usual meaning of TRACTOR is as a large wheeled hauling vehicle - on a farm, say, or as a cab pulling a large truck.
Just curious. Is there any explanation for combining it with BEAM?

Jayce said...

Late to the party today. Spent many hours working through our taxes with Turbo Tax. It seems to me that program often asks questions in an awkward order, forcing me to flip forward and backward through my records. Nevertheless, LW and I have been successfully, if not totally without some struggle and frustration, using it for over 6 years.

As for the puzzle, I liked it, but have the same nits as many of you. Thanks for the NEATO write-up, TTP.

Bill G, I not surprisingly agree with you about How to Get Away with Murder. We watched it once or twice and disliked it mainly because of what we perceived as horrible over-acting by Viola Davis. The fact that we found the plots to be almost incomprehensible also contributed to our never watching it again.

Thanks for the info about Argyle, C.C. Best wishes to you all.

AZ Tchr said...

Beans and Rice: from the ditty: "Ilove you once, I love you twice, I love you more than beans and rice."

Anonymous said...

Dear OMK,

I really don't know where the Star Trek writers got the term. I just know that the Enterprise and other starships on the series are equipped with a "tractor beam" with which they can hold and pull other ships. Screenwriters are inventive, yes?

Does (Sandy)

Anonymous said...

I hate Spell check and anything like it.

That "Does" was written as Slee.

D4E4H said...

Young Man Keith at 5:47 PM
- - Sandy's explanation of a "tractor beam" is proper. Here is a scene on Earth to help the concept. The crane in an auto crushing facility moves it's electromagnet over the next car, and sits it on the car. It can be raised sans car, but once the switch is flipped, and the strong magnetic force starts, the car is coming up with the magnet. The magnetic force is the "tractor beam."

Sandy, and Montana FLN, please move one block up to "Name/URL" when you post, so we can know it's you. Anon FLN at 520A, and any other Anon, please enter a name also when you post. Thanks.


Slee said...

Here, I hope, is a link that illustrates the Star Trek tractor beam and has some interesting info about NASA.


D4E4H said...

Sandy Slee at 6:01 PM
= = Wrote "I hate Spell check and anything like it ." I think you meant "Auto correct" which you accuse of changing "Slee" to "Does." I do not have it, but there must be a way for you to turn it off on your device.


Roy said...


MVEMJSUN/" My very educated mother just served us nachos." Never heard of either mnemonic. Nachos were generally unheard of in the Northeast when I learned the names of the nine planets.

MVEMJSUN" : URANUS. My very educated mother just served us nachos.

"Bated breath": Nobody loves me.|Everybody hates me.|Guess I'll just go eat worms.

RTE: Often also HWY

When I saw "word hidden" in the theme clue, I looked for the word and found ORB; still didn't see the theme until TTP's reveal.

Robby from FORBIDDEN PLANET was reused in Lost in Space. Saw a promo for the LiS reboot with their new robot; they should have brought back Robby. ¡Danger, Will Robinson!

tractor (plural tractors): 3. Any piece of machinery, any thing that pulls something. (Wiktionary). Therefore an energy beam which pulls objects is a TRACTOR BEAM.

In pen and paper the D in COLOR BLIND looked like a P; 67a didn't look like a saint's name.

Roy said...


MVEMJSUN/" My very educated mother just served us nachos." Never heard of either mnemonic. Nachos were generally unheard of in the Northeast when I learned the names of the nine planets.

"Bated breath": Nobody loves me.|Everybody hates me.|Guess I'll just go eat worms.

RTE: Often also HWY

When I saw "word hidden" in the theme clue, I looked for the word and found ORB; still didn't see the theme until TTP's reveal.

Robby from FORBIDDEN PLANET was reused in Lost in Space. Saw a promo for the LiS reboot with their new robot; they should have brought back Robby. ¡Danger, Will Robinson!

tractor (plural tractors): 3. Any piece of machinery, any thing that pulls something. (Wiktionary). Therefore an energy beam which pulls objects is a TRACTOR BEAM.

In pen and paper the D in COLOR BLIND looked like a P; 67a didn't look like a saint's name.

Anonymous T said...

Ya know, when some whipper-snapper 1/2 your age can construct a puzzle like this - just makes ya wonder how you misspent your youth :-)

Hi All!

Very nice puzzle Evan. I mean, sure an ORB is 3D, but INNER SPHERE just doesn't have the same ring to it. The only c/a where I was NOT on your wave-length was 3d - I kept thinking Lost in Space ( Wiki says The Robot was designed by the same guy, Robert Kinoshita, who made Robby ). The B in RUBRIC gave me the correct SciFi show.

Excellent expo TTP. Point of fact - Naperville has 4 less people, Bro & fam moved to Denver in December.

RUBRIC I knew - DW is an English Prof and I'm constantly graded against one.
Ditto TRACTOR BEAM (er, not the DW bit). Knew it. Think of tractor as pulling - a tractor beam pulls a ship - a tow-chain in space if you will.

ESP - AJA as clue'd (Jinx nailed it - Steely Dan)

Speaking of SciFi - 2001: A Space Odyssey is 50 yro this week.

PULL TABS - One summer I made an 7' Peace Sign out of the ones from my Grandparents' beer cans. Hung it in my room I did. It was groovy.

CED - you beat me to "THE LARCH; THE LARCH". //Bill G. Go back and click on CED's link - that's the Python you're looking for.

Well, now I don't have anything to link... I'll just leave this for you, DO:

"Spock to Kirk, Spock to Kirk"
"Come.... in.... Spock."
"There are Klingons around URANUS!"

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...


{A, B+, A-} {ha, cute, groan :-)}


Yellowrocks said...

In my youth my very educated mother just served us nine pizzas.
I agree Steely Dan was a more Tuesday type reference for Aja.
Roy, bated breath, baited breath ha ha.

Roy said...

URANUS has two unfortunate pronunciations in American English: \your-anus\ and \urine-iss\.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Make Virginia eat more jumbo suckers under Nancy's porch. Maybe an Eastern Kentucky adaptation?

Resistor color code: Bad boys rape our young girls but Violet gives willingly. Obnoxiously sexist, but it WAS more than 50 years ago when I learned it.

Chairman Moe said...

@7:49 pm:

{ha, cute, groan :-)}


See, I knew you would grade 'em that way!! ;^)

About the only mnemonic I recall is ROYGBIV

Ol' Man Keith said...

D4 and Anon:

Your examples lead me to suppose that it is the "pull" that connects the conventional use of "Tractor" and the SciFi version.
In both cases we have one unit pulling another, with a "tractor-trailer" sort of action.

Lemonade714 said...

Glad to hear continued progress for Scott.

Enjoyed the puzzle and found it impressive (and difficult). We had a football coach in high school named Hank Mahnken. He coached the single wing at Princeton in the 40s, I was told.

1/2 my age - damn, closer to 1/4...

Thanks, guys, and girls.

Bill G said...

Speaking of tractor beams reminded me of this question. Which would be more likely to break a rope? Two indentical tractors pulling on the ends of the rope in opposite directions or one tractor pulling against the same rope tied to a strong tree?

I've never liked the Indigo in ROYGBIV. All of the other colors seem distinct to me except indigo. It seems like a mixture of dark blue and violet rather than a different color.

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Evan Mahnken, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, TTP, for a fine review. And, I am really happy to see you as the Designated Blogger. Great job!

I have been absent from the Blog for a week or so. I have done the puzzles, but have not been near a computer long enough to log in here. Just my life recently.

Puzzle seemed a little sticky at first for a Tuesday, but it soon fell together. The two long Downs evolved fairly easily. That really helped.

The theme was clever and many Downs for a change.

Took me a while to get the solar system mnemonic, but I did.

Jinx: I do remember the one you posted on the color codes. I learned that in the mid-sixties when I hired on with AE.

I see WikWak also lives in NE Illinois. Great! We are getting ng lots of bloggers here.

TTP: I never knew Ransom Olds was from Ashtabula area. That is certainly close to my old stomping grounds. I was in Erie last week for a day. I picked up my rifle that I won at a gun raffle in January in Franklin Center, PA. I could not attend the Raffle this year, but bought tickets anyhow. A Thompson Center .308 bolt action.

Weather was cold and rainy today, real blustery. Might snow tomorrow. Oh well.

See you tomorrow.


( )

PK said...

BillG: tractors pulling against each other would more likely break the rope. A tractor pulling a rope tied to a tree would likely pull the tree over on the tractor. Trees aren't rooted as deep as one would think. I had a couple of kids working for me my last summer on the farm, cleaning up the place for sale. They decided to pull out a young tree tied by a nylon rope to my pickup bumper. I saw this occurring out the window and went running out to try to stop the action. That nylon rope was stretched and elastic. I got out just in time to see the tree come out of the hole and snap back over the head of the sister of the kid driving the pickup. It missed taking off the top of her head by inches. She and I both had to lie down on the ground, it scared us so bad. She could have been killed. When he saw us lying on the ground, it scared the boy too. He thought he'd killed us. Luckily we all survived that summer and learned a lot. True story.

YR: I should have looked up the Olmecs. Still think those heads look like Africans.

D4E4H said...

Bill G at 9:55 PM
- - Logic says the two tractors would place twice the stress on the rope so, I pick one tractor 'cause everyone knows how hard those trees pull.


Michael said...

FWIW, by way of explanation, science fiction authors were -- and are -- known for using a new element, known as "handwavium." Whenever a plot hits a sticking point, the authors would 'wave their hands' to mystically smooth out the bump in the story.

This was, as I recall, the origin of the "tractor beam" concept (long before Star Trek), used to account for how the fleeing good guys, fleeing faster than the aliens could go, nevertheless got caught up and drawn to their [temporary, naturally] doom.

PK said...

D4: Depends on the size and kind of trees and their root structure, the soil type & moisture content of the ground, the rope material, the size of tractor, etc.