Aug 26, 2018

Sunday August 26, 2018 Robin Stears

 Theme: AmazeBalls* - Ball can follow both part of each theme entry.

23. *Convenient carrier: HANDBASKET. Handball. Basketball.

25. *Small, flat legume: BUTTER BEAN. Butterball. Beanball.

44. *Octal system: BASE EIGHT. Baseball. Eight ball.

47. *Item found in a parlor: CUE STICK. Cue ball. Stickball.

64. *Pneumatic silo declogger: AIR CANNON. Air ball. Cannonball.

74. *Fund for fun: PIN MONEY. Pinball. Moneyball.

77. *Path for a promising young exec: FAST TRACK. Fastball. Trackball.

99. *It covers the Batmobile: BLACK PAINT. Black ball. Paintball

101. *Brie, e.g.: SOFT CHEESE. Softball. Cheeseball.

No reveal but theme entries are starred, puzzle title is starred also.

This type of both words can follow/precede type is quite hard to pull off. Tricky to find solid in-the- language phrases. 

Robin is very fond of this theme type, as we've seen in the past. The grid is also classic Robin. Very clean.


1. Takes the odds: BETS.

5. Flop's opposite: SMASH. Smash hit.

10. Anchored: MOORED.

16. Braying beast: ASS. Alliteration.

19. Audition piece: ARIA.

20. 1988 Summer Olympics site: KOREA.Widely watched in China. 

21. From C to C: OCTAVE.

22. __ Victor: RCA.

27. Braille bits: DOTS.

28. Poet Pablo Neruda, e.g.: CHILEAN. Boomer's 87-year-old golf buddy Jorge is Chilean.

30. "My treat": ON ME.

31. Distinctive Rolls Royce feature: GRILLE.

34. Many a text writer: SCHOLAR. We also have 96. Old copiers: SCRIBES.

36. Hikes from the center: SNAPS.

37. Wilson of "Pitch Perfect" movies: REBEL. Australian actress. 

38. Heinz Field player: STEELER.

39. Rapid __: TRANSIT.

41. Nickname for young Skywalker: ANI.

42. Ramshackle shelters: LEAN-TOS.

43. One way to get you: RUSE.

51. Like Fran Drescher's voice: NASAL. Never into "The Nanny".

52. Cheerleaders' handfuls: POMPOMS.

56. Your cousin's 81-Across, maybe: MOM. 81. See 56-Across: AUNT.

57. Plague critter: LOCUST.

60. Pudding starch: TAPIOCA. Used in Bubble tea, popular drink in Guangzhou.

61. Carne __: ASADA.

63. Subject of a Dean Martin classic: AMORE.

66. "Your table's ready" gizmo: PAGER.

67. Chekov on "Star Trek": PAVEL.

68. Directed: STEERED.

69. Last to arrive: LATEST.

70. French article: UNE.

71. Proclaims: ASSERTS. Google claims one of our May posts has a link/image/video that breaks their policy. Been a week of 1) Remove the link 2) Send in Request for Review 3) Nope, problem still exists. Repeat. Repeat. Why don't they just tell you which link is bad?!

72. Passionate: FIERY.

82. Fouls up, as plans: DERAILS.

85. "The Crow" actress Ling: BAI. Chinese. Very edgy.

86. "The Star-Spangled Banner" quartet: STANZAS.

89. "Les Misérables" girl: COSETTE. Fantine's daughter.

90. __ Ste. Marie: SAULT.

92. Prefix with centric: HELIO.

93. Barbaric: BRUTISH.

94. Worrisome engine sound: RATTLE.

95. Teatro __ Scala: ALLA.

98. Right on the map: EAST.

107. Ottoman bigwig: BEY.

108. Cooling-off period?: ICE AGE. Nice clue. Tiny clue/answer dupe with 5. Ice __: SKATE.

109. City of NE Italy: UDINE. Unfamiliar to me.

110. Garbage hauler: SCOW.

111. B-day numbers: YRS.

112. "Full House" surname: TANNER.

113. Award for "Mr. Mercedes": EDGAR. Unfamiliar with this Stephen King novel.

114. Lift one's spirits?: TOPE. Good old clue.


1. "Phooey!": BAH.

2. Significant time: ERA.

3. Bronze component: TIN.

4. Tack room item: SADDLE.

6. Shade of green: MOSS. The name of Boomer's doctor at the Orthopedic Urgent Care is Kelli Greene. Alas, the Methylprednisolone she prescribed has not worked its magic yet. And the pain spot has moved from left hip to lower/middle back.

7. What Indiana sought: ARK.

8. "What did I tell you?": SEE.

9. Chopper: HATCHET.

10. Calder pieces: MOBILES.

11. Telescope eyepiece: OCULAR.

12. Weasel relative: OTTER.

13. Pro follower: RATA.

14. 102-Down opposite: EVEN. And 102. 14-Down opposite: ODD.

15. "__ Rosenkavalier": DER.

16. Spots for sports: ARENAS.

17. Trattoria entrée: SCAMPI.

18. Least extreme: SANEST. Lower back/hip pain can drive you insane. Boomer normally has very high pain threshold.

24. Weevil's target: BOLL.

26. Tied-under-the-chin topper: BONNET.

29. Prefix with gram: HOLO.

31. Take the wrong way?: GRAB.

32. Sofer of soaps: RENA.

33. Sacred Nile bird: IBIS.

34. Longtime "60 Minutes" reporter: STAHL. She always wears pretty earrings.

35. Small price to pay: CENT.

36. Backtalk: SASS.

38. Sonic the Hedgehog maker: SEGA.

39. "Mr. Citizen" autobiographer: TRUMAN. Another learning moment.

40. Regrets: RUES.

42. Santa has a famous one: LIST. How I miss our own Santa!

45. Acclimatize: ENURE.

46. Art supporter?: EASEL.

47. Fashion first name: COCO.

48. Pixel pattern: IMAGE.

49. Secret stuff: CODES.

50. Target rival: KMART. I love these Target bath towels. So soft and light. And only $3.99. You can get a new one after a couple months. Little luxury in life.

52. Worrywart, at times: PACER.

53. Eye-fooling genre: OP ART.

54. Extraction sites: MINES.

55. Golden or Walden: POND.

57. Drink from a bowl: LAP UP.

58. Spender of rials: OMANI

59. Group of 13, traditionally: COVEN. Here is our corner blog California Coven.
L to R: JD, Garlic Gal, Chickie & Jill, 2013.
60. Genealogy chart: TREE.

61. Spaced out: APART.

62. Lustful deity: SATYR.

64. Portfolio listings: ASSETS.

65. Wee: ITSY.

69. Rents: LETS.

71. "Frozen" princess: ANNA. We see ELSA often.

72. Conviction: FAITH.

73. "Cast Away" setting: ISLE.

75. Fanatic: MANIAC

76. Anise liqueur: OUZO.

77. Dieter's concern: FATS. Both fats and carbs raise our A1C, correct?
78. Lie next to: ABUT.

79. Birdsong: CALL.

80. Toy with a tail: KITE.

82. Skeptic: DOUBTER.

83. Italian noble family: ESTE.

84. Budget bin record: REISSUE.

86. Ramshackle: SHABBY.

87. One taking a lot of notes: TELLER. Oh, I like this clue.

88. Soothes: ALLAYS. I'm also rubbing this St John's Wort oil on Boomer. So many positive reviews on Amazon. Thanks again for delivering it quickly to us, D-Otto!

89. React to an awkward moment: CRINGE.

90. Military band: SASH.

91. Bear witness: ATTEST.

93. Queen lead guitarist __ May: BRIAN.

94. Track figure: RACER.

96. Animal lovers' org.: SPCA.

97. French city where William the Conqueror is buried: CAEN. Did not know this trivia.

98. Italian smoker: ETNA.

100. Many an IKEA buy: KIT. We've only been to IKEA once. It's close to Mall of America.

103. Newton fruit: FIG. Trader Joe's Organic Turkish Figs are the best.

104. Green prefix: ECO.

105. Sponge (up): SOP.

106. Woolly mama: EWE.

The super cool crossword constructor Brendan Emmett Quigley visited Minnesota last Tuesday. Our local constructor and solvers had another gathering. You can see more pictures here. Brendan publishes two free puzzles at his site every week, Monday and Thursday. And he has been doing that for many years. Just amazing!

First Row: Brendan Emmett Quigley, David Hanson (Rosebud), Tariq Samad and Victor Barocas.

Second Row: C.C., Ron Dahlquist, George Barany, Theresa Horan (Teedmn), Chris Adams, Stew Lelievr and David Liben-Nowell
Marcia Brott was there somewhere inside Barnes & Noble also.  

41 comments: said...


Thanks to Robin and C.C.!

BRIAN and CAEN. Do not understand the title "AmazeBalls".

Have a great day!

Krijo said...

nice easy solve, had couple of typos Colette, Bae etc otherwise no problem. I do not understand AmazeBalls either, is it some kind of brand? The theme hit me only retrospecitvely, as I have never heard of some of the the terms, eg beanball..
Pablo Neruda took his name from Czech poet Jan Neruda. I forget the name of Rebel Wilson. She plays mostly obnoxiously fat characters. But she is funny in her own way.

OwenKL said...

FIWrong. Incorrect WAG at RoNA + RoBEL did me in for one cell. When I didn't get my ta-da, I figured it was either there or my other WAG at BRIAn + TANnER, anything else in those squares and I would just be running the alphabet at random.

I also didn't get the theme. I stared at that list of nine entries, and just couldn't see it. After I finished, I remembered this was Sunday, so there was a title as reveal, and once I looked at that it became obvious. Hand up tho for not understanding the Amaze part of the title.

A yob, although being British
May often be very BRUTISH!
If he uses a RUSE,
He latterly RUES
The past that made him so boorish!

A SCHOLAR who studied BETS
Was heard expressing regrets.
"I lost both my shirt
And grant for research,
And now I am deeply in debts!"

He was dirty and smelly and SHABBY.
Had a RAMSHACKLE LEAN-TO in an alley.
Living off of the grid,
He cunningly hid
The fortune he hardly could tally!

{B+, A, B.}

PK said...

Hi Y'all! I had a BALL with this puzzle but did not get the theme. Once again the title was half covered over with the word BY. I thought it said AMAZEBALL or bath, but that didn't mean anything to me. Thank you, Robin, for a fun midnight pastime. Thank you, C.C. for making sense of the theme.


Pro followers were not BALL, pose, gram (oh, that's with HOLO), pell, perps to RATA? Well, rats!

The puzzle was fairly easy except for a few hiccups and I did not get frustrated as I do sometimes.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Alas, there is no joy in Mudville, desper-otto got a DNF (and didn't get the theme). Tried Éponine before COSETTE elbowed in. Misspelled BOLL as BOLE, so instead of RENA/REBEL it was RUNA/RUBEE. Bzzzzzt! Two bad cells. Enjoyed the outing, though. Thanx, Robin. C.C., glad I was able to help out.

STEERED: Was that a CSO to Robin?

TANNER: Never watched Full House, but my nextdoor neighbor is a Tanner. He got some big plastic containers so he could haul water to his south Texas deer lease. First he had to thoroughly rinse 'em out, dumping the waste water into the ditch out front. That was three weeks ago, and the ditch still smells like something died out there.

STAHL: She got her big break covering Watergate back in the '70s.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was a relatively easy solve but, I'm embarrassed to admit that, for way too long, I saw only one half of each theme answer being a type of ball. Either I need new glasses or a new brain. Anyway, I enjoyed the theme and the solve. I had too many w/os to list but my unknowns were: Udine, Tanner, Rena, Pavel, Bai, and Cosette. I liked the pairings of Racer and Pacer, Rues and Ruse, Odd and Even, and Op art and Apart. Also liked Assets crossing Money. Funny to see Coco after the recent mention of a Toto descendant by that name. We also had a mini-mini theme with Aria, La Scala and Octave. Throw in Smash for good measure! Nice CSO to Tin, sans _ _ _ , too!

Thanks, Robin, for a smooth and satisfying Sunday solve and thanks, CC, for the equally enjoyable summary. I'm sorry to hear of Boomer's pain and discomfort and hope he gets some relief soon. I know he's getting plenty of TLC.

FLN, Wilbur, no, not Oyl as in Olive but Oil as in Jiffy Lube! I said ."Don't ask" which is code for "What was I thinking, Doh?" 😇

I watched "Darkest Hour" yesterday and was truly impressed by Gary Oldman's Oscar-winning portrayal of Winston Churchill.

I believe a few Cornerites shared ny love of the book "The Art of Racing in The Rain", so I want you to know there is a movie being made based on it, starring Milo Ventigimila (sp?) and Amanda Seyfried. Milo plays the father, Jack, on "This is Us", which, I believe, premieres this week, along with several of my favorite shows.

Our H and H is back with temps in the 90's tomorrow. However, I think mid-week will bring cooler temps, as we slowly edge into September.

RIP, John Mc Cain.

Have a great day.

billocohoes said...

Krijo, BEANball is a baseball term, for a pitch purposely thrown at a hitter's head (bean). Obviously dangerous, and likely to start a brawl.

I have to do Sunday's puzzle online, so never noticed the stars, solved without needing the theme.

Luckily just read about COSETTE last night, as after the Broadway discussion I'd thought Les Miz was another A L Webber production, but it wasn't.

While I'm also a fan of Rodgers & Hammerstein, there are a lot of other good shows in surprising places. Last week, while cleaning out my mother's house, I came across a videotape of Annie! (with my then-12-year-old daughter in the lead), and while transferring to DVD thought "there are a LOT of good songs in this play, not just 'Tomorrow'." And if you haven't yet, see Something Rotten! if you have a chance. The songs aren't especially memorable, but with references to forty shows, to a musicals fan, it's hilarious.

TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you Robin Stearns and thank you C.C.

Not much to say this morning. Never saw Les Mis. But knew it was going to be COSETTE after a few letters filled in. Neighbor daughter's, now a young adult. Yep, Les Mis was how she got her name.

A little excitement on the home front this morning. After 29 years of faithful service, our GE gas oven may need to be replaced. The oven thermostat never shut off. We have a thermometer that hangs from the oven rack. It was pegged past the top reading of 600 degrees. Probably easier for me to replace the thermostat than the oven. Should be able to get the thermostat at the nearby appliance parts store.

desper-otto said...

TTP, sounds like you just made your oven self-cleaning!

Husker Gary said...

-Pat, I’d like to buy a vowel for R_NA/R_BEL. An “O”? No, but thanks for playing! One bad cell
-SW corner had too many options for a while
-How can hundreds of pros work on a movie for months and not see it is a FLOP
-The Star Spangled Banner range is an OCTAVE and a half – C to High G e.g.
-I CRINGE when singers can’t hit that top note without going falsetto
-All astronomy classes discuss conflicting geocentric and HELIOCENTRIC theories
-UDINE made confidently putting in PADUA look bad and I don’t want to talk about RECEIPT for a record
-ODD/EVEN is a less than 50/50 BET on this betting surface
-Pols have come to D.C. dirt poor and left multimillionaires to live in mansions. TRUMAN left as he came and returned to his old house in Independence, MO.
-Lessons from On Golden Pond become more and more salient as I age
-Birdsong is on the right in this picture

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Robin Stears, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for a fine review.

TTP: How's your electric bill?

Puzzle was fine. Took me about an hour and a half. Caught the theme after I was finished. Good theme.

Lots of perps and wags helped me out.


Supposed to be 90 degrees today. I am in a parade in Addison. Oh well.

See you tomorrow.


( )

maripro said...

Thanks, C.C. and Robin. I had a lucky guess with an n for Rena. I had PETA instead of SPCA which held me up for a while, and there were several areas where the perps helped out. All in all, a very satisfying solve.
C.C., if you haven't read it yet, you might enjoy "The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane" by Lisa See. It's background is the tea mountains of Xishuangbanna prefecture.
I, too, add my wishes for Boomer's quick recovery.

Wilbur Charles said...

Wikwak, it seems you're right. There's some kind of Wolfe club akin to the Baker Street Irregulars. I wonder if this has come up.
-T, Wizard revealer, that's the one.
Besides 34a and 96a another type is the bank teller in 87d
CC, if you ever find this offensive link please let us know. God help us.
I should have known COSETTE but perps saved me
Re. 77d, if you poll a COVEN of experts you'll get at least a dozen different opinions
CC check out CBD Oil
Nice write-up CC. I'll check the posts next. Nice xword, started easy but lots of tricky clues. Nice to FIR the weekend


Picard said...

Hand up: Can someone explain the "Amaze" in AmazeBalls?
Fermatprime: Glad you also want to know!

I was impressed with the challenge of creating such a puzzle where both words had to fit the theme. Got all of that just fine. But it was ruined for me at the end with these Natick crosses: RoBEL/RoNA and COlETTE/ElTE which seemed just as good to me. I did like the TELLER clue!

Husker Gary: Glad you agree that RoBEL/RoNA seemed to make more sense than REBEL/RENA.

Krijo: Thanks for the learning moment about NERUDA!

Here are my photos of MOM being featured at Burning Man

Note how our unicycle group had fun with her!

Here my friend Richard plays a SATYR with my friend Phebe at Halloween. Both seem quite LUSTFUL!

This Moreton Bay FIG tree is a famous sight here in Santa Barbara.

Somewhere I have photos of WALDEN POND. And of quite a few Calder MOBILES. Perhaps another time.

Picard said...

From yesterday:
Wilbur Charles: wrote
LAND Slide and Home LAND but I think that's "illegal".

No, it is perfectly legal. The clue was "word with" which specifically means the order does not matter. In fact, I took it as an invitation to try before and after. Which makes it much harder!

In any case, I did get it correct in the end! Not sure if it was a mistake by the constructor that two answers were possible. Or if it was just part of the challenge!

TTP said...

DO, yes, although it already had a self cleaning feature.

Found the lower over thermostat part number online. Most places want ~ $300 - $350 for the replacement part. New 30 inch gas ranges run $400 to $3100 from what I saw on Consumer Reports. Might have difficulty finding one that has the same backsplash height to fit perfectly in. Plus, it will be hard matching the color combo to the refrigerator and dishwasher. :>)

Have a possible out though. A friend is a retired appliance repairman. Will call him later. He'll know where to get the part, and he may already have one

Abejo, it is a gas range. Of course, the AC had to run for awhile to cool the house back off.

Misty said...

A delightful Sunday puzzle, Robin--many thanks! I got the northwest, northeast, and southwest corners before I started cheating a bit, but slowly everything filled in. Lots of nice art and music references, which are always a treat. I saw a wonderful Calder exhibit once, but for some reason didn't remember the MOBILES. I like Leslie STAHL, and REBEL and COSETTE came to me out of nowhere and it was a relief that they turned out to be correct. However, I had OSCAR before EDGAR, so that took a bit of fixing, even though I knew it should be ODD. Anyway, a lot of fun and very enjoyable. And thank you, as always, for your Sunday write-up, C.C. So sorry to hear about Boomer's problem and so glad you're taking such good care of him. And I loved seeing your picture of the crossword crew.

Have a great Sunday, everybody!

Wilbur Charles said...

IM, I was thinking of toons re. Alley Oop.
So I threw in a bad pun.
Re. BEANball. I recounted the Tony C saga. Yankees-redsox had some old fashioned, if not beanballs, then close pitches. The practice was common but died down as players were unionized.


Bill G said...

Picard, I love that fig tree. My kids and I enjoyed climbing over the roots and up into the lower branches. I don't think that photo does it justice however. It's massive!

I thought most of you would enjoy this; an ode to a local dive I pass often on my bike ride along the Pacific. Shellback Tavern

Irish Miss said...

Wilbur @ 12:29 ~ Au contraire, mon ami! Your pun was funnier than my Alley g(oop) + Gasoline Alley = Oil conflation! I, too, was thinking of comic strips.

HG, I got a 403 message on your betting surface link.

Anonymous T said...

Sunday Lurk say...


Did you know Queen's Brian May is an Astrophysicist? . Here's a 10 min Q & A.

Have an enjoyable Sunday (and good luck on that range TTP)!
Cheers, -T

WikWak said...

"Boy, this is gonna be a cakewalk," sez I after the entire top 5 rows filled as fast as I could write (well—type). Uh huh. When will I learn to keep my big mouth shut?! Ended up taking over half an hour, nearly 15 minutes longer than usual.

Hand up for not understanding the AMAZE part of the puzzle's title.

I'm more familiar with Calder's stabiles than with his MOBILES. There’s one called "Flamingo" in downtown Chicago which caused quite a stir when it was erected in 1974. "Our tax money paid HOW much for that?!" (Answer: $300,000)

W.C.: I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that there was such a group, but I'm not aware of it. I have read every one of the Wolfe books, most of them more than twice. I’ve read all the Fu-Manchus too, but only twice each I think.

TTP: Maybe you should take up pottery making, now that you have your own kiln…. :P

C.C.: Our favorite place to go for breakfast has always advertised that they have Bubble Tea. Never heard of it before. We finally tried it. I guess it must be an acquired taste; we didn’t care for it all that much. Not terrible, just not our cup of tea (so to speak).

Good puzzle, good writeup. Thanks, Robin and C.C.!

Have a great day, all!

Bill G said...

The local coffee shop I frequent has something called boba tea. I'm guessing it's the same stuff. The 'bubbles' are like large tapiocas, about the size of small peas.

SwenglishMom said...

adjective informal
used to say that something is extremely good, impressive, enjoyable, etc

”occasionally, a new word comes along and sparks a high-profile ripple of dislike amongst language users, whether professional writers or day-to-day bloggers.Though English is a language rich in synonymy and has a whole raft of adjectives designed to show enthusiastic approval of something – think amazing, fabulous, fantastic, gorgeous, lovely, wonderful, breathtaking, sensational, phenomenal … and that's only just the tip of the iceberg – it seems there's a perpetual desire to come up with something catchy and new, and one of the most recent kids on the block is this rather bizarre adaptation of the adjective amazing into amazeballs.

”Though initially mainly used by bloggers and social media aficionados under a certain age, its journey into more widespread recognition was assisted considerably by the concept of crowdsourcing by dictionary publishers. Macmillan's very own Open Dictionary is a great example of this data collection technique, in which members of the public are invited to become 'word-spotters' and suggest new and emerging words for potential inclusion. Amazeballs, it seems, has cropped up sufficiently for some publishers to consider it worth recording.

”It transpires however that this expression is a great example of how, just occasionally, a new word comes along and sparks a high-profile ripple of dislike amongst language users, whether professional writers or day-to-day bloggers. Generally defined as 'an enthusiastic expression of approval', amazeballs has fuelled such a wave of derisive comment that it's also been given the tongue-in-cheek alternative definition 'an exclamation inviting someone to hit you'.

”I'll leave you to decide. All I can say is that, if people are still using it in ten years' time, then that would be, to my mind, totally amazeballs …

”Background – amazeballs
Promotion of the expression amazeballs is mainly attributed to US TV personality and gossip-columnist Perez Hilton, who used the term on his well-known blog back in 2009. Though Hilton's use of the word met with some hostility, it later began to trend on Twitter, prompting him to post a series of 'victory' tweets regarding his successful expansion of the lexicon. According to some sources however, amazeballs did not originate with Hilton and was in fact coined by fashion blogger Elizabeth Spiridakis who, along with a couple of workmates, had some years earlier cooked up the practice of adding the suffix -balls to various adjectives as an in-joke.”

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

SwenglishMom said...

Product placement

WikWak said...

Ugh. Thanks, SwenglishMom, for enlightening us, but I beg anyone who hears me utter it to beat me with a stick until I stop. ;)

Anonymous T said...

First, SwenglishMom - very nice to see you post again.

WikWak - you have my promise to beat you with my .clue-bat if I hear you utter your ballsamaze. Please return the favor :-)

//clue-bat sadness story - I got a plastic battle-axe from some vendor @BlackHat. It was going to be my new clue-bat for when I discover password==pa$$word or the server-team did similar idiocy. I was invited to a club-party at the Cosmo and they (the Cosmo) made me throw it away because it "looked like a weapon."
The bouncer was way too ginormous to even crack a joke with - so I capitulated; no cool battle-axe with blinky-lights for -T

Husker Gary said...

Here's the great reply I got from Chef Wendy on Kauai:

"Still OK, but expecting a bunch of rain later today and tomorrow. Down graded to a tropical storm, this we can handle. We can deal with the rain here on the east shore, the north shore, not so much, they’re still recovering from the April mudslides. It’s a mess up there"

Bill G said...

Thanks for the info about 'amazeballs,' a totally useless words that is cute and trendy but adds nothing worthwhile to our vocabulary, much like another word of the same ilk just used for fun by AnonT.

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle. Didn't understand the balls gimmick but didn't need it and enjoyed working the puzzle just fine without it. Looking back, knowing the gimmick does not increase my pleasure, so I'm still fine without it.

I had a big-assed Natick at the crossing of ESTE and COSETTE; I wanted COLETTE too much and had forgotten that Italian noble family name (which I remember now, but too late.) My second somewhat smaller-assed Natick was the crossing of REBEL and RENA, both of whose names I did not know. (Crossing of two proper names was part of Rex Parker's original definition of Natick.)

I learned the subject of the Dean Martin classic was not PIZZA. I learned the opposite of flops is not FLIPS and therefore LIME was not the shade of green desired. I also learned that the desired type of gram was not KILOgram. I forgot that fictional Chekov's first name was PAVEL, not ANTON. (I also forgot his last name has no H after the K.)

So, RUES crosses RUSE, eh? So, ASSERTS and ATTEST, eh? Eenteresting.

D4E4H, thank you for posting that link last night to the songs sung by a young Jussi Björling.

Good luck to all of you with aches and pains and broken stuff, and best wishes to you all.

Anonymous said...

Little League World Series...

Wow! Just wow!


Watching the human drama unfold on the field has me emotionally drained. You cant write a better story. I'm sure Hawaii was watching also. A little respite for those suffering back home.

The pitcher #14 couldn't keep the smile from his face as he struck out the final batter. Infielder #15 counting down the final outs was,for him, better than Christmas morning. The tears of joy from the parents in the stands to the tears of disappointment from the young men from South Korea showed the full range of human emotions. Then to see the bow of respect from the South Koreans to the fans of the opposing team was special. During the post game handshakes the winning team offered hugs and words of support to the defeated. The coach from Hawaii reminding his players to enjoy and celebrate yet remain humble shows us that decency is still alive and well in an otherwise contentious world.

Wilbur Charles said...

Wikwak, I remembered AC Doyle and the Speckled Band which has a deadly snake. Stout unabashedly credited his hero Sherlock.
That snake may very well have been a KRAIT.

I thought that Parlor item would be a Guest book. I was stuck, then grok'ed COCO. Lots of clever clues like TOPE for "lifting spirits".


Anonymous said...

Also, to add to this weekend's "feel good" sports stories, did ya'll see Mollie Tibbets' younger brother go out with his teammates and have the game of his life mere hours after finding out the fate of his sister? Pointing to the sky after throwing a touchdown pass and receiving all the support and compassion from his friends and family in the stands. It shows us how we can all come together through a common love of sport.

And, speaking of coming together, how about the very unusual ovation the great fans of Western New York gave to the opposing quarterback in Buffalo. For those not in the know, last year Bengals' QB Andy Dalton led his team to a last second victory that enabled the Buffalo Bills to advance to the postseason playoffs. The Buffalo fans responded in kind by raising a significant amount of money for Dalton's charity. This weekend Dalton and his wife donated the money back to a Buffalo hospital's cancer facility. Smiles and appreciation all around was shown before and during the game's broadcast.

TTP said...

WikWak, glad you got to see that Perseid shower. Funny about the kiln. I was actually thinking about that myself, as in, "What to do with an oven that gets that hot ?" One of the problems with replacing the range, besides matching the color combo to the fridge and dishwasher, is that we have custom tile work above the range, filling the void to the range hood. That custom tile work is the work of my DW, who hand painted and fired the tiles in a kiln. It's a beautiful 30 x 20 beautifully colored image of a wicker basket, filled with fruits, vegetables, bread and a bottle of wine. The bottle has our name as the winery, and is dated the year she fired it, 1989. I guess I can relocate it, if I have to, but it is so perfect there.

Swenglish Mom, good to hear from you again. Thanks for the add'l info about AMAZEBALLS. Not going to appear in my vocab anytime soon, but now I won't be caught off guard when I hear it.

Anon @ 5:03, thanks for sharing those stories. Didn't hear about either one; we were watching the LLWS and the boys from Hawaii win it all. You're right, sports can heal and bring us together. Many sports stars, like Andy Dalton, have done so much for charitable causes, and we would be remiss if we didn't acknowledge the good that he, his wife, and his foundation, like so many other sports stars, have done. Kudos to the fans in Buffalo, and those everywhere, that offer their time, services, and financial support to worthy causes.

And thank you Anon @ 4:44, you captured the moments and sentiment so well.

billocohoes said...

RIP Neil Simon, playwright of The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park and many others.

PK said...

Anon at 4:44: thank you for your righteous use of AMAZEBALLS. Thank you Swenglish Mom for finally explaining what we were too unhip/unhep (whatever) to understand. Makes a little sense now. Robin is apparently way cooler than most of us. I'll probably park that word in the outfield and never use it, unless my grandson pitches a perfect game. Seeing it at first gave me a mental DF definition, I gotta say.

Robin Stears said...

Hi, solvers! Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. I read them and I take them to heart. I'm not that cool -- but I do spend a lot of time reading the Urban Dictionary. ;-)

Here's how AMAZEBALLS got started. Someone recommended a show to me while I was recuperating from a broken toe, and my family and I really got into it. It's called "Letterkenny," and these two hockey players on the show have the most amazing repartee style.

It's very hard to describe, but they tend to riff on a word for a long time with hilarious results. The first two seasons are on Hulu, but some of their older stuff ("Letterkenny Problems") is on YouTube.

So, one day, my brother carried in about a dozen grocery bags at one time, and I said, "That took a lot of balls."

And somehow, the whole family turned into the "Letterkenny" hockey players and all these __balls words came spurting out from every direction.

BIG BALLS, FAST BALLS, TRACK BALLS, CHEESE BALLS, BEAN BALLS ... you get the idea. We're all a bunch of weirdos who love word games. It ended with HAND BALLS, BASKET BALLS, HAND BASKET BALLS, this is going to Hell in a hand basket, y'alls.

And my youngest kid said, "Dude. That was amaze-balls."

Ba-da-boom. AMAZEBALLS was born.

Here's a link to a short video -- CAUTION! Bad language. LOTS of bad language.

Thanks again, and I'm glad you enjoyed this puzzle. Don't click that link if you don't like bad language, I'm not kidding.

-- Robin

Yellowrocks said...

Busy day. Interesting blog, CC. Loved all the comments. Swenglish Mom,good to hear from you, especially your amazeball comments. Right up my alley.
TTP, glad you did not burn the house down. Phew! I hope you can save your lovely tiles. I believe built-ins like ranges should keep the same footprint and demensions so they can be replaced easily.

the co m


Big Easy said...

Very late DNF today. I noticed the BALL theme early and was cruising easily until I reached the Rio Grand Valley and got DERAILed by unknowns COSETTE (or Fantine either), UDINE, TANNER, & BRIAN May. Unknowns that I did get-WAG & perp- were REBEL, MOBILES (Calder?), CAEN, RENA, PAVEL, ANNA, TRUMAN, BAI.

Calling K-MART (or Sears) a rival of Target (or any other store) is a stretch. It's just a question of when they close them all.

No groaning and don't CRINGE but I did have a BALL trying to work the puzzle. Time wouldn't allow to finish but I doubt I would have ever solved that bottom section. Too many unknowns in a small area.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

A bit late reviewing the day’s comments...

Hand up for not recalling the name from Les Mis, and guessing wrong the first time. Other hand up for not recognizing amazeballs and therefore not making sense of the title. Thanks to Swenglishmom and Robin both for shedding light on the topic.

Robin, if you do happen to see this post, I’d be interested to know whether it’s common for the constructor to invent his/her own title for Sunday puzzles. Evidently this was all yours, and it passed the Rich test!

Howdy C.C., do you have any comment about it?

G’Night, Cornerites.

Lemonade714 said...

Good morning,

We were out of town, but this was a fun puzzle. Here is Robin's LINK which is full of much profanity and is weird.

Time to solve the Monday