Aug 30, 2018

Thursday, August 29th 2018 Lewis Rothlein

Theme: Cloth Ears. My mother used to tell me I had "cloth ears" if I misheard something. Here we have four potential "oh, I thought you said ...."

17A. Fabricated "Murphy Brown" star?: CANVAS BERGEN. Actress Candice.

23A. Fabricated "Help!" star?: JOHN LINEN. Beatle Lennon.

Here are the Fab Four, with Lennon in a linen suit, narrowly avoiding death by a Number 39 bus (en route from Willesden to Waterloo) on their return journey across the Abbey Road zebra crossing. Paul might already have been dead, if you believe the stories. If you squint your eyes and look to the right of the bus you can see the road that I used to live on. I used to walk across Abbey Road to get to the pub where I had an evening job pulling pints of Guinness and serving up shots of Bushmill's whiskey.

50A. Fabricated "Girls" star?: LENA DENIM. Actress Durham.

56A. Fabricated "La La Land" star?: RAYON GOSLING. Actor Ryan.

and the unifier across the middle:

33A. Clergy ... and four answers in this puzzle?: PEOPLE OF THE CLOTH

Another odd-shaped puzzle Thursday, perhaps Rich has a new trend going? That's three in a row this month. The unifier here is 16 letters, so if you want to keep that as a grid-spanner, then something has to give, and that something is the traditional 15-wide constraint.

This looks to be Lewis's LAT debut, he's been in the NYT before, once with this moniker and twice with a middle "E" initial.

Full disclosure, I'm not a fan of "sounds like" themes; the kinda-sorta-homophone thing is way too subjective for me. There's a world of difference between LINEN/LENNON (close)  and DENIM/DURHAM (miles apart) but that's just me. I do like the "Fabricated ..." cluing though, that's very neat.

The fill is full (!) of nice stuff. Let's go look:


1. Sickly complexion: PALLOR

7. Eugene of "American Pie" movies: LEVY

11. Grand Canyon hrs.: MST. Mountain time. Funny that a canyon is on Mountain time, no?

14. Current unit: AMPERE. Amp for short and convenient.

15. Finnish telecom giant: NOKIA. Bumps in the road for these folk. Anyone have a Nokia phone?

16. Something to slip on?: ICE. The question mark is a little odd, it's not exactly misdirection. I get "slip on" in the "lingerie" sense, but I think it's a reach for a checho with 35D.

19. Omega-3 source: ROE

20. Ongoing: ACTIVE

21. It can get you down: SKI RUN

26. Scents: ODORS

27. Coalition creators: UNITERS. No, flat out no. Never been used in common parlance. Oh! You Uniters! You creators of coalitions! Nope.

28. Olympians using boards: DIVERS. Fun clue. Lugers, snowboarders, skeleton folks ... no, no and nope again. Oh! Summer Olympics!

30. Often-injured knee ligament, for short: MCL. I went with ACL first, didn't we all? Anterior, Median, and no doubt posterior ligaments. The ACL seems to get the worst of sports injuries. I love it when people say they ruptured their "crucial" ligament. Most of them are. The knee ligaments are "cruciate" ones. They cross over.

31. Illinois River city: PEORIA

41. Fragrant blooms: LILACS

42. MLB scoreboard letters: RHE, or more accurately, R    H    E. Not a word. Runs, Hits and Errors. Would you accept PINR in your crossword?

43. Metallic sounds: CLANKS.

45. Like some relations: SPATIAL

49. Language student's challenge: SLANG

52. Knocks their socks off: WOWS 'EM

54. Soccer star Messi: LIONEL Vote now: Messi, Maradona, Pele,  Best, Ronaldo, Puskas, Buffon, Cryuff. GOAT. Write-in votes welcome.

55. Whichever: ANY

61. Urban center?: BEE. The letter "B". It's in the middle of "urban".

62. "Your game": I LOSE

63. Paradise: UTOPIA

64. Old union member: Abbr.: SSR. A soviet socialist republic, no longer a member of the "U" in USSR.

65. Sicilian volcano: ETNA

66. Studio dweller: TENANT. Can't I own a studio? Weird clue.


1. __-Man: PAC

2. Q&A session on Reddit: AMA. Ask Me Anything, apparently. Good to know.

3. Clinic worker: Abbr.: LPN. Licensed Practical Nurse. Where do the theoretical ones go to get certified?

4. Eastern Mediterranean region: LEVANT. With "The", usually. Egypt to Turkey and eastwards to a loosely-defined area of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. It's that "loosely" that usually starts arguments.

5. Expert in futures?: ORACLE. The Oracle at Delphi. The jury is out on the accuracy of Pythia. She might have been taking the ....

6. Mix again: RE-STIR. Take verb. Add "RE". Done and done.

7. Frequent Mastroianni co-star: LOREN. Sophia. Marcello co-starred in many of her movies.

8. Ticker tape, briefly?: EKG. Nice.

9. Goes (for): VIES

10. Grammy-winning satirical artist Al: YANKOVIC

11. Magnet for a narcissist: MIRROR

12. Searches high and low: SCOURS

13. Winter temp range: TEENS. Terrible clue. It depends where you are. You don't write directional clues relative to where you are, you don't write time-based clues depending on what year you are in, you certainly don't write this clue.

15. Campbell of "House of Cards": NEVE.

18. Storage spots: BINS

22. Noble objective: IDEAL

23. Checkers move: JUMP

24. Whenever: ONCE. "Whenever upon a time". "Whenever, I met the president". "It happened whenever that I ....". Really?

25. City whose state's postal code is half its name: HILO. Thumper.

28. "Shoulda thought of that!": DOH!

29. Slight reaction?: IRE

31. One-striper: Abbr.: PFC

32. "The X-Files" subjects: ETS

34. Thinks ahead: PLANS

35. Something to slip on: LINGERIE. See 16A grump.

36. Large deer: ELK

37. Allied gp. since 1948: OAS. Organisation of American States. Tip of my tongue.

38. "Are you out __?": OR IN. I'd say "IN" first before "OUT". There's a few fills here which stretch the "in the language" rule, this is one. You can't just swap stuff around. "Feast or famine" doesn't really work as "Famine or feast". 

39. Drunken noodles cuisine: THAI

40. Nautical wheel: HELM

43. Duplicates: CLONES

44. Billy McBride on "Goliath," e.g.: LAWYER

45. Smooch in a lift: SNOG. Lift = elevator in the UK; Smooch = snog. Fair. When I was a yoot, smooching was slow-dancing, snogging frowned upon.

46. Prove successful: PAN OUT

47. Carol beginning: ADESTE. Fidelis. Oh come, all ye faithful.

48. Rat out: TELL ON

49. Clinic supply: SWABS

50. Writer Mario Vargas __: LLOSA

51. A, to Merkel: EINE. Angela Merkel. She might have said that "A" was her vorname initial.

53. __ liquor: MALT

57. "Round __ virgin ... ": YON. A Christmas mini-theme in August! How nice.

58. Pub initials: IPA. India Pale Ale. We've been over this before.

59. Diarist Anaïs: NIN

60. Noir pistol: GAT. Quite what makes it "noir" - I'm open to suggestions. Is it always black? Always used in French movies? Is there a super-villain named "Noir" who uses a "gat"? I need to know, if only for next time.

And that .... is that. Well, it would be if I posted the grid, so here it is::



PK said...

Hi Y'all! Whew! This took me much longer than usual because of too many unknown names and fabrications of names for comfort. The section with LLOSA/LENA/LIONEL was a double natick for sure and with SPATIAL, etc., a must red-letter alphabet run (or five actually). However, I did like the theme and chuckled when I finally WAGd DENIM & RAYON. Did not know what the names were supposed to be, but was relieved to fill in the squares. And I finally caught onto what "fabricated" meant so went back and filled the other themes. BERGEN was the only proper name I knew for sure. Knew, but couldn't remember LOREN & YANKOVIC and couldn't have spelled the latter without perps.

Thank you, Lewis, for a challenging puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for accepting the challenge and making some sense of it. Your comments were spot-on. Liked the street crossing and other UK anecdotes.

Hand up for Olympians on a board being a mystery. I, too, thought snow since I had SKI above & couldn't come up with RUN for awhile. DOH was a smack-your-head funny cross with DIVERS when I finally pulled that out of the murk.

SNOG is a repugnant term for a delightful experience. Makes one think of bad-breath being involved. Yuk!

OwenKL said...

Did not do well at all. Center bottom I had WOWSES > WOWS 'EM, sofT > MALT, and IfOld >ILOSE. And that tangle of names at 50d,50,54,56a plus a German word at 51d was as large a natick as ever I have seen!

The theme I did get before 33a, but the reveal phrasing I found amusing!

Frozen atop the SKI RUN, hesitating for to go,
Her PALLOR was as white as the surrounding snow!
Her blood was turned to ICE.
Why should she risk her life?
In pity I showed mercy -- and pushed her to below!

They were getting tired of only cloning sheep,
Tried to clone a lawyer -- thought it would be neat!
But when it was decanted
They were not enchanted.
It came out with a billing for forty in camera weeks!

An L.P.N. named Gloria
Had a boyfriend in PEORIA,
So she took up jogging
In place of SNOGGING,
But still wrote, "I wanna see more a' ya!"

{A, B+, A-.}

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Steve and friends. I liked this puzzle with the PEOPLE OF THE CLOTH. I liked how the first two theme answers had the first name a type of cloth material and the middle two theme clues had the last names converted into cloth materials. Steve: LENA's last name is Dunham, not Durham, so Dunham does sound a bit like DENIM.

Murphy Brown is supposed to be returning to television again this fall.

I learned that Paradise is not Heaven, but UTOPIA and that a Studio Dweller is not an Artist, but a TENANT.

A CSO to Abejo with the ELK, and to Lemonade's wife with the THAI Drunken noodles.

My favorite clues were Ticker Tape = EKG and Slight Reaction = IRE.

QOD: The difference between successful people and very successful people is that the very successful people say “no” to almost everything. ~ Warren Buffett (b. Aug. 30, 1930)

Lemonade714 said...

Welcome Lewis and thank you, Steve.

There was some tricky fill along with the sound-alike theme.

This is a good article discussing the LEVANT.

The NYT likes Writer Mario Vargas __: LLOSA

Steve, GAT IN NOIR FICTION the successor to hard boiled detective stories, Noir, used gats instead of guns.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I enjoyed this fun theme and the clever reveal. My only w/o was ACL/MCL and the only unknowns were AMA and Lawyer, both as clued. My favorite misdirect was Urban center=Bee and I, personally liked the duplicate Something to slip on clues. I'm guessing Tin had no problem with that kind of Ice. I don't know why I continue to think Nokia is a Japanese company; maybe I'm confusing it with Nikon. Is Nikon Japanese? My favorite themer was Rayon Gosling. It was nice to see Lewis in the LA Times as I read his daily posts on that other blog. Lewis is often complimented by his fellow posters for his positive and generous critiques of almost every puzzle.

Thanks, Lewis, for a Thursday treat and thanks, Steve, for the grand tour. The Lena Denim answer is based on Lena Dunham, not Durham, so it's fine with me. I'll let the expert, Keith, explain the Noir ~ Gat reference.

I got a very good report from the retina specialist, which was a big relief. At some point, the floaters will either disappear, or I'll be oblivious to them.

PK, looks like your sleeping patterns are out of whack again! Mine too, but only this morning (5:00 am) I hope.

We broke a record yesterday at 96 degrees. We're going to have a short reprieve and then, by the weekend, back to the 90's and high humidity. Enough already!

Have a great day.

Krijo said...


no idea how that sounds like works, it does not sound akin to me at all. Well, I have to work on my English ear more.
I did not know Peoria or WOWSEM?? but I knew the actors and managed to fill the themed clues correctly.
CANDICE/CANVAS? Miles apart.
Funnily, Murphy Brown was one of the first American sitcoms to be aired on Slovak TV. No idea who picked that one up in the 90's.
Too many unknown abbr. for my taste and only one LIONEL. The best football player at the moment, he was too small and would not be able to play football. FC Barcelona had to pay for a special growth hormone teraphy when he was a teenager in order for him to grow to normal height.

Anonymous said...

It's funny that your question of baseball parlance comes at number 42.

Yes RHE is in the language. Just ask Johnny Bench.

Dont get upset PRNDL is accepted also

Anonymous said...

L1, 4wdL or 4wdH would not be accepted

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I guess I'm too old for this type of puzzle. Didn't know most of the names, and didn't really enjoy the slog. In the end, I labored to produce a DNF. I WAGged an initial G at the LENA/LLOSA cross. Thanx, Lewis and Steve.

D'OH -- Not an expression a cultured person would use.

RHE -- Thank you, Steve. I figured it was an abbreviation of a team or city name. BTW, hand up for In before Out and ACL before MCL. I guess that's two hands up.

YON -- The parochial school children were to draw a picture of the nativity for art class. One little boy's drawing included a circular blob in the corner. He explained that it was "round John Virgin."

Jinx in Norfolk said...

I liked this one as much as D-O, but did't do as well. Thumper, thumper. I got stalled out and was going to start looking up showbiz names, but realized I wasn't enjoying this one and just quit .But for those who enjoyed the challenge I'm glad you got an obscure one to stretch your abilities.

WC you were right last night - as the punch line goes, "break's over - back on your heads".

Yellowrocks said...

Not my cuppa tea. It did have clever misdirections. This was a slog. Too many names crossing each other. I like some "almost sounds like" puzzles, but this was too much of a stretch. I got all the kinds of cloth, but still no fun, even though I did not have any other nits.

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

60D: Gat is a term used for gun in film noir.

billocohoes said...

Krijo, WOWSEM is "wows them" (awes the crowd, makes them say "wow"), them is often contracted to 'em.

I've seen a lot of film noir, but don't remember GAT even thought that bit of 1940's SLANG is common in crosswords.

Came up with Lena Dunham even though I think I confuse her with Nora Dunn, only the L works with LIONEL, and LLOSA is a total unknown.

Clue for 42A says "letters" so RHE doesn't have to be a word, but they're on virtually every line score. PINR is not.

Anonymous said...

I knew within five minutes I was going nowhere with this one. I cheated a little thinking that would help.....Nope.

Lemonade714 said...

IM, my retinas are fin, but I have floaters all of the time and they really no longer bother me unless they are very big. That is troublesome as it probably means something going on in the back of your eye.

Wilbur Charles said...

CSO to Boomer

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Got PEOPLE OF THE CLOTH easily and CANVAS BERGEN; but really didn't know the individuals in the other theme fill. Needed red-letter help in the SW and with ORIN.
OR IN? - C'mon.
Bushmill's - Used to drink it often in my 20's.

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Way too many names and "?" clues for my taste. And the theme? What a stretch. To each his own.

Irish Miss said...

Lemony @8:58 ~ The retina specialist assured me that I'm fine and have nothing to worry about. I have an appointment with my regular retina specialist in three weeks and will discuss this with him. I'm very lucky, so far, as my MD remains dry and seems unchanged over the last three yearly exams. Fingers crossed for continued status quo.

Can someone translate the 6:47 post, please?

tiptoethru said...

I rarely come across a puzzle I don't like, but this was one. Way too many names, totally odd cluing and answers. I also rarely quit, but quit this one quickly and came here to see what everyone else thought. I'm not alone. Thanks for all the answers and explanations anyway. (Yep, I still lurk around this site!)

Husker Gary said...

-I thought Cosmo Kramer might be the fabricated Murphy Brown character before I got the gimmick
-Down = blue? No! Down = feathers? No! Down = descending? Ding, ding, ding!
-A self-proclaimed UNITER
-Political strategists sometimes wonder, “Will it play in PEORIA?”
-Those CLANKS outside his door told Ebenezer Scrooge something was afoot
-A quick test of SPATIAL relations
-AMA ranks up there with recent RPG in obscurity for this solver
-President Obama used ISIL (Islamic State In the LEVANT) rather than ISIS
-Always a fun write-up Steve, but I liked HILO and ICE/LINGERIE :)
-Sorry about your weather, IM, I had to get put on a sweatshirt to take Lily outside today. Also, my floaters did go away.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Lots of difficulty here, but slogged on through.

UNITERS, RESTIR - not in the language.

I understand PEOPLE OF THE CLOTH, with clergy less gender specific than previously, but that phrase is also not in the language.

PRNDL is a common term in the auto industry, and I think it's gotten into the language.

I like the "Something to slip on clue" in both uses.

I linked Weird Al yesterday, and he's in the puzzle today. Hmmm . . .

Speaking of weird --


Cool regards!

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

In my stop to smell the roses kick right now, I have stopped solving the puzzles on the computer. I move too fast for my brain. On paper, I have to take it down a notch, and I am enjoying the solves more. Thanks, Lewis, I found fun in the basic fabric of the puzzle. ;)

Thanks, Steve, for the run through. I wanted unifiers for UNITERS, copies for CLONES and acl for MCL. I still don't get the clue for HILO. By the end of the day someone here will know, and you'll hear me say, DOH. Although, I'm more likely to say Duh!

I like your mother's use of CLOTH ears! Does that include repeating a question to stall for an answer? Mom: "Where were you last night?" Teenager: "Where was I last night?" Teacher: "Where's your homework?" Student: Where's my homework?" Usually followed by the very clever 21st Century reply: "My printer ate it." GH, I'll bet you've heard that one!

FLN: IM, I agree with your sentiment about being around to fill out the paperwork. I don't see my floater. However, when it initially materialized, I always thought there was a giant fly in the room!

Today will be fun. My new laptop is due to be delivered. My "five"-year old one is actually almost nine. Ha! Time flies when you're having fun! Tomorrow DH gets a new battery in his on-board computer--pacemaker-defibrillator. That's fun too as it keeps his Ticker Tape in order. Lots of fresh technology here at the comedy club.

Have a great day. It's a beautiful one here. No air-conditioning. Yay!

desper-otto said...

Mme Defarge, nobody here says "Yay!" about no air-conditioning. They're sweating too much to say much of anything. BTW, HI is the postal code for Hawaii and it's half of HILO. Yeah, it's lame.

SwampCat said...

I seem to have liked this one more than most of you. No, I didn’t get it all right, but I thought it was fun. Like Steve, I thought Mountain time for a Canyon was funny. I liked ICE over SKIRUN. Learning moment: didn’t know ROE has Omega 3, but it makes sense. Thanks, Lewis.

Steve, you were in fine fettle! Thanks for the chuckles.

Owen, they were all wonderful!

Irish Miss, I wondered about the post at 6:47 also. Hmmmm??

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Lewis Rothlein, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for a fine review.

Yes, Hahtoolah, ELK County, Pennsylvania, is the only County in the Commonwealth that has ELK roaming free. They are hunted each year, but you need a special license. They do not issue very many. Closely monitored.

This puzzle was tough. Thank goodness cruciverb is finally working again. That allowed me to start last night. Finished this morning.

Not too much trouble with the North, but the South ate me up. especially the SW.

I had COPIES forever for 43D. Then USW for 64A. the only crosses I had right were BEE and CLANGS. Finally got LINGERIE. Of course I spelled it wrong initially. SWABS helped a lot. Gave me SSR. Then WOWSEM, then LAWYER, etc.

After getting four perps for %$A, I wagged LIONEL. SPATIAL, PANOUT, and SNOG took a while. LLOSA was a wag, but it worked. LENA DUNHAM was unknown. As was RYAN GOSLING. That made everything pretty tough down there.

But, persistence prevailed and I got the puzzle done. That is the nice feature of cruciverb, when you get it all correct, cruciverb tells you.

Looks like nice weather today in NE Illinois. Cool and sunny.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Rick Papazian said...

Whoa! DNF. The Fabrication theme was neato but the names weren't SEAMLESS for me. I had to read Steve's unique recap to discover what I missed. I liked that slight return bit, IRE and the ticker tape (parade), EKG.
Not that I could do better, but, Lewis Rothlein should have chosen others for this puzzle. Okay, I know, it's hard to find a famous name that sounds like a fabric but, Raymond Gosling? And Lena Dunham? Sorry, never heard of them. And the other people: (too numerous to list).
Rant over,
Thanks for the challenge.

SwampCat said...

Madame de F, I have always done the puzzles in ink on dead trees because I don’t want to go fast. I want the fun to last as long as possible.

I even do Monday puzzles both across and down at the same time so the perps don’t fill in the downs before I get to them. Yeah, weird, I suppose, but more to enjoy. Glad you’re smelling the roses!

Krijo said...

I had to laugh at Raymond Gosling. It is Ryan and he is one of the biggest actors in current generation. He has already two Oscar nominations and will play Neil Armstrong this year. Lena Dunham, well she has her own HBO series. I know there is a generation gap, but well it is the same for someone on Rawhide or something from the silent era. And that is even a bigger extreme.
I mean even for someone my age, it would be hard to name Bergen.
All in all, I recommend to watch out for Gosling, he has several good movies.

PK said...

Madame, to add to D-O's explanation, HILO is the largest city on the island of Hawaii, the county seat of Hawaii County, State of HAWAII (HI postal code), USA.

IM: Yep, my sleep is all messed up again. I couldn't stay awake so went to bed at 4:30 p.m. yesterday for a "nap" expecting to sleep a couple of hours and get up for late supper and watch one of my favorites "World of Dance" on TV at 8 p.m. My nap lasted until almost 1 a.m. I rarely sleep 8 hours at one time. I've already had two little meals and an hour-long nap since then. No idea what will happen next.

We've had two hard rain showers this morning. One big thunder rumble grumble storm hung on for about an hour with big claps occasionally. Unusual. I bet my scairdy granddog was beside himself. Daughter has to hold him during a storm.

PK said...

Hahtoolah: liked your quote of the day. I could name a guy who is reputed to be successful and is certainly a no-ing kind of guy. He "nos" everything his predecessor did. LOL!

Anonymous said...

When CANVAS showed up I quit. This was definitely a fun sponge crossword.

Lucina said...

Congratulations to all you who muddled through the Natick of LLOSA/EINE/LIONEL. Hi, Spitz. I'm sure EINE was a sure thing for you.

LLOSA, LIU then I finally recalled LENA Dunham and already had DENIM.

I have to admit the PEOPLE OF THE CLOTH theme was clever if convoluted.

Ryan GOSLING is today's darling and a fine actor. I've only seen him in The Notebook and La La Land.

HILO, HI; at the moment it is experiencing floods from the recent hurricane Lane. I found HILO a little bleak compared to other cities on the islands, still charming, though.

Yes, the Grand Canyon and all of Arizona are on mountain standard time because we are at the foot of and are aligned with the Rocky Mountains.

Steve, little by little we learn more about you. You are full of surprises. Thanks for all the insights.

Have a splendid day, everyone!

Irish Miss said...

HG @ 9:48 ~ Sweatshirt weather for me is a long way off, I fear. However, I just placed an order with LL Bean for flannel sheets and some cozy corduroy pants, so at least I can dream about the coming cooler weather!

Madame Defarge @ 9:57 ~ I enjoyed your humorous post. Comedy Club, indeed! 🤗

PK @ 11:47 ~ I wish I had some answers for you. Except for an occasional middle-of-the-night insomnia, I sleep very soundly all of the time.

Picard said...

Steve Way cool that you lived and worked near that famed Abbey Road spot! Hand up "sounds like" puzzles can be very subjective. But I did like the HILO clue!

Hand up I had no idea about the real names of LENA DENIM and RAYON GOSLING which made that area very difficult. Especially with the utterly unknown LIONEL. I did know LLOSA. And our music group has performed ADESTE. We have seen SNOG before (I got the "lift hint" and when I dredged that up I got enough to Finish It. Right. Whew!

Here I was at a Weird Al YANKOVIC concert with my Burning Man buddy "Kaptain Konstruct"

His concerts are so much fun! Way cool to have him come up more than once recently!

Here I was with my LIONEL train set as a kid. Along with a classic LIONEL sign I saw recently.

Here I was at Red Rock pools along the Santa Ynez River with DIVERS and JUMPers. No BOARDS!

I mostly snorkeled and spotted a few fish.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

I think that "L1, 4wdL or 4wdH" means Low 1 (as in Low 2 and then Drive), and 4wdL / 4wdH is four-wheel drive Low (creeper mode for rugged offroading) and four-wheel drive High (higher speed mode for "good" dirt, sand and mud roads).

My dad had an old car with Reverse all the way at the bottom: PNDLR. Nice when they standardized the pattern.

Picard said...

Hahtoolah I observed your QOD with my mentor who was my graduate advisor and employer. People would call up and ask if we could make some new modification of our scientific instruments just for them. His first answer was always "NO!"

If they persisted, he might eventually relent. He would demand a lot of money and a lot of time to do it. In most cases we would finish it sooner than the padded estimate and for a lot less than the padded cost. The customer was always thrilled!

I had another employer who did just the opposite. He would always say yes and give a low time and money estimate. Yes, the customer was always unhappy. Buffett was correct in that QOD!

PK Sorry you are having sleep schedule problems. But good that you can make good use of the time to solve the puzzle! I have an unusual sleep schedule, too, as a result of a head injury in 2002. I solve the puzzle in the middle of the night. But I wait until the morning to blog.

From yesterday:
AnonT That indeed was amusing timing about my Piranha FISH post and your comment!

Mike Sherline Thank you for the kind words about my OBAMA photos and others. That was one of my most memorable photo shoots. If anyone took the time to read my notes regarding his health care comments I was not a fan. He offered a problem, but not a solution. An observation about his speech, not a political assessment.

I agree with AnonT that you should feel free to post the next day. It took me awhile to realize this is OK. Your next day posts will be read and I hope no one will mind that they are a day late.

AnonymousPVX said...

From yesterday...Jinx, yours was the intended meaning...I actually was quite surprised when C-EH interpreted it as some kind of threat. I was intending the opposite as I am sure no one on this blog is looking for any trouble. Especially over circles..or themes.

This was I thought a near-Saturday level puzzle, complete with tough clueing. I started in the NW, saw I was going absolutely nowhere, so I started at the bottom and worked my way up. Funny, that sounds like a lot of careers....anyway, worked my way back up to the NW which still took work. So happy to get a solve on one like this.

And that concludes today’s threat free entry.

Yuman said...

This morning as I was listening to the service for John McCain and doing the puzzle, Grant Woods was sharing a memory of Sen. John McCain and his fellow prisoners in Vietnam singing Christmas carols and exactly as I was filling in clue 57 down he said “Round Yon Virgin. Have any of you had an experience while searching your brain for a word you hear someone say the exact word on tv or radio?
For many years I thought it was “round young virgin” not “yon virgin”.
Along with my fellow Arizonans, I will miss Sen. John McCain

Wilbur Charles said...

FLN. -T, yep, you hit paydirt, every once in a while we WOWS'EM. BTW, I hired my boss and then when he took an Early Out got him hired for a great job. The key: creativity with the Truth. What's that fancy word DISINGENUOUS (Ness).
Back to the Present:. Didn't NOKIA have great cameras (12) pixel?
Here's that Scoreboard with an unusual number
What no Beckham?
Thankfully we have a big Wierd Al fan in here. I BLANCHED* at the plethora of proper names but I only had to WAG 3.

Owen, ya hit it big today: all W's here
"Other blog"=@Rex?
Krigo: Who knew? Re. Messi . Your observations are so interesting .

I liked the xword and of course Steve's write-up.


* Somehow I recall that word in here

Spitzboov said...

Yuman @ 1314. Interesting. Makes you wonder………

gmony said...

18 question or abreviation clues. Not fun.

Becky said...

I LOVED this puzzle when it finally clicked in. I knew all of the celebrities so things started to get fun. When I first started it, though, I thought,"This is a Thursday? Seems like a Saturday."

PK said...

Picard: Didn't know a whack on the head would cause sleep pattern problems. Wonder if a whack on the head would alter mine to normal? LOL! Liked your hike pictures. I couldn't get into some other links.

Yuman: I've had that word thing happen. Also see a word I hadn't seen before, then see it several times in one day.

OwenKL said...

Jinx: My first few cars had PNDLR, so now that I have one with PRNDL, I can't trust muscle memory any more. Whenever I start out, I have to let the car move an inch to be sure It's going the way I want it to before I step on the gas. And it often isn't! I'll bet a lot of older driver accidents are caused by that.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Ta- DA!
This opus from Mr. Rothlein looked to be a monster at the start. Turned out to be one of those that don't require trivia knowledge so much as an ability for imaginative leaps.

The theme worked for me in reverse. I got a couple of the specific fills (RAYON GOSLING & LENA DENIM), and they led me to leap to the grid-spanning PEOPLE OF THE CLOTH.

So, cool.


Diagonal Report:
Again, none.

PS. Irish Miss ~ I'm not sure what the mystery is regarding GAT. It happens to be one of the terms (like "heater," "piece," "roscoe") used in film noir for a gun. Film noir is a term that applies not only to the dark underworld-oriented melodrama movies of the '40s, but to the radio shows and (later) TV programs that followed in their wake.
Film noir popularized the anti-hero, the flawed but still well-intentioned PI (cf. Sam Spade) who usually had some love interest with a compromised femme fatale.

Jayce said...

Usually I start off by saying "I liked this puzzle." Today I am of "two minds" and honestly don't know if I liked it or not. I think it boils down to I liked some of it and not other parts of it. I agree completely with Steve's reaction to it. He certainly expressed himself much better than I could have done.

The above statement is neither a threat to anybody nor a personal attack on the constructor.

Good wishes to you all.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

OKL, too funny. Motorcycles can be worse. Most bikes use the left hand for clutch, left foot for gears, right hand for front brake and right foot for rear brake. My friend had a bike that had left and right reversed. IIRC he told me that was the European standard. I only rode his bike a few times and at low speeds, but when I wanted to stop I would just squeeze both handles and press down on both foot levers.

CanadianEh! said...

Well this was a Thursday workout. Thanks for the fun, Lewis and Steve (Love that you call that crosswalk a zebra crossing!)
I agree with those who had trouble with all the names. I resorted to Google for a couple of them, and with P&P managed to finish and find all the different types of CLOTH. But I did know YANKOVIC after our recent blog discussions.

Hand up for ACL before MCL.
My relations were Cordial before SPATIAL.
My metallic sounds were Plunks before CLANKS.
I was asking "Are you out OF IT?" before "OR IN".

Our old CW friend ETNA had some fresh eruptions last week. HILO is not too far from the Kilauea volcano which I have not heard in the news lately. (Kilauea has lots of vowels; do I need to remember how to spell it for a future CW?)

My initial reaction to SKI RUN and IRE cluing was Meh but then on reflection, I changed my mind. I liked the EKG clue immediately! "Fabricated" in all the theme clues was clever.

Some Canadian content today. Both Eugene LEVY and Ryan GOSLING are Canadian actors. Levy still performs on the CBC. I have linked here previously about the sensation caused (a few years ago now) by Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes attending Gosling's mother's graduation at Brock University in St. Catharines.

AnonymousPVX- FLN, it appears that I created a mountain out of a molehill. My apologies for misinterpreting your post. (No need to worry Jayce!)

Wishing you all a great day.

Irish Miss said...

Wilbur @ 1:24 ~ Yes, the other blog is Rex P.

Keith @ 2:46 ~ I didn't mean to imply that there is any great mystery of Gat and Noir, but Steve seemed to be unaware of the connection. If anyone could explain the usage clearly and concise, I felt it would be you. You didn't disappoint me, either. 🤗

Ol' Man Keith said...

Irish M ~
Aw shucks, Ma'am ...

Picard said...

PK You could try a whack on the head to restore things, but I don't recommend it. I know in the movies and on TV people lose their memory from a head whack then get it back with another one. Not likely in real life.

Here I was in the newspaper from my hospital bed. I was in the hospital for a month.

The newspaper was forced to base their story on the Highway Patrol report. A helpful lawyer brought the report to me in my hospital bed. I called the Highway Patrol to see if they wanted to talk to me now that I was conscious (I was unconscious for several days).

"No. This town is too sympathetic to bicyclists." That was the answer from the Highway Patrol Officer.

In fact, I saw the car clearly from a block away. The motorist was looking at a traffic signal at the next block. When it turned green he accelerated, oblivious to the fact I was already in the intersection. Some estimates had his speed at 40-45MPH at the point of impact. At least he did stop to help.

My brother asked for the car to be inspected. That was not possible. "It was sent to salvage."

In plain English: My body totalled the car. I suppose I won.

That "whack to the head" led to me being a noted subject in some psychology journals.

Picard said...

PK Which links did not work for you? Any idea what was the problem? Does anyone else have any problems with my links?

Yellowrocks said...

Upon further reflection, I do like the theme. I see now that it was not that much of a stretch. And there were quite a few clever misdirections. I think names crossing names put me off. Not too kosher for a Thursday
PVX, I thought your post was not out of line. If it were, saying Thumper (I have nothing good to say about this) would be more insulting.
Keith, fine poems today. Steve, I enjoyed your blog. I have read many novels lately by Britishers, so snog was a gimme.
It's happy hour here and I am happy. My ex used to call it attitude adjustment hour. LOL.

Michael said...

I think I'm with most everyone here -- a slog with no 'snog' at the end.

2D started it, as I haven't a clue what Reddit is, or how it works, or how 'AMA' arises therefrom. Steve's clear review of today's puzzle helped, but, still, really?

Yellowrocks said...

Picard, what a terrible accident. Lucky you survived.

billocohoes said...

One of the complaints in Ralph Nader's Unsafe at Any Speed was gearshifts with Reverse next to a forward gear.

The French Peugeots of the time had the shifters reversed from Americans - LDNRP. But then they also had doorlock buttons that were up for locked and down for unlocked.

Mike Sherline said...

Thanks, -T & Picard. I don't feel constrained against posting the next day, it's just that by that time it's all been said. Today I might have taken a stab at explaining the notorious "6:47 post", but Jinx took care of it @ 1233. And others have commented on the obscurity (to some of us) of 2D, 50A, 54A, and 50D.

I did misunderstand the clue for 25D - thought it meant the state postal abbr. is 1/2 the state's name, not the city's. So I was trying to think of a city in Ohio that started with Hi. No luck. Also I'm still surprised when a cw uses a word as slangy (or just not really ever said, by anybody) as "wowsem".

And Picard, were those Red Rocks Pools in Sedona, AZ? I spent a wonderful weekend there in '84, skinnydipping in Oak Creek, just below the big sliding rock. Took me a month to get rid of all the red dust after I got home.

I always do the puzzle on line on Mensa as it's up at 1900 the previous night (ditto the J on uclick); it'll be an hour later when you all go to Standard Time. I do it again in the paper (in pencil) the next morning. I always do across and down together, never ignore or miss any clue in either direction. The thing I enjoy most about cws is the interplay - interlocking - of the words. Sure there's satisfaction in figuring out a tricky clue, but to me the real joy is how they all fit together.
See, it's only 1300 here, and this will show a posted time of....

Yellowrocks said...

Again she wows 'em with her signature song! They were rock and rolling in the aisles.
Seems normal to me.

Sandyanon said...

Mike, I was so happy to see the way you describe your solving practices and the reason for them. That's exactly how I do it, and I was quite surprised at first to see that so many posters here do all across or down as much as possible, and to hear comments about not even noticing a particular clue or clues. But à chacun son gout!

Wilbur Charles said...

Well, things like JOHN LINEN may not be for every solver. I listen to Sirius Beatles a lot so JL was 1, a gimme and 2, gave me the gimmick. I guess I'm in the minority regarding my liking this xword for a Thursday.

Robert, I'm glad you survived. I drove a shuttle and could have killed two bicyclists on the same weekend. But they ran red lights.

As a living minority of one I often AVER that Tampa's(Bay) problem relates to the"Stand Your Ground" mentality. ie If I have the "Right" of way, I need not stop.

Being from Boston two riders are alive to not bi-jaywalk again.


PS. The cops response is so typical.

Mike Sherline said...

Sandyanon - thanks, it's good to know I have at least one cw "soulmate". I too wonder about using ink when you just end up with a big, illegible mess, or speeding through just to see how fast you can go; but, as you say...

Picard - what a terrible wreck! So sorry to hear you had to go through that, and got so little help from those sworn to enforce the law. Shameful.

Sandyanon said...

Yes, I never think of it as a speed contest, and often leave to do something else and come back to it. Though I do it in ball point pen, it is possible to write very lightly until I'm sure, so normally the end result isn't a big mess.
I prefer to finish on my own, but don't consider an occasional resort to Google to be cheating. You?

SwampCat said...

Mike and Sandy, I also work across and down at the same time so as not to miss any clues. I said so some time ago but maybe you weren’t awake! I can’t keep up with all our time zones! LOL

WikWak said...

I’m still trying to get back into puzzle mode, and Cruciverb not being updated on Mon or Tues or Wed didn’t help. Finally they are back up and look what it got me! I did FIR but didn’t have much fun doing so. The NW and NE fell quickly but that’s where it ended. I don’t remember ever having so many naticks in one puzzle. Pretty much sucks all the fun right out. I did like the ticker tape:EKG and a few others but on the whole I did not enjoy it. Oh, well… tomorrow is another day.

Have a great rest of the evening, all!

Anonymous T said...

No sir, I didn't like it.*

Hi All!

Thanks Lewis for the puzzle. I like the concept and "fabric-ated" clues are cute but, being one for not knowing who is in what (if I've ever even heard of them), pun-ifying the names makes it impossible. I didn't get a single themer other than the reveal. The SE is still slushy-dirty snow w/ all those names xing.
'Course I should have known John Lennon but I assumed "Help" was a movie 'cuz clues implied everyone else was actors.

Thanks Steve for the salve. Great expo and back (street) story re: Abby Road.
I agree re: TEENS; if it gets that cold in Houston, we're moving further south :-). Actually, I took the clue as "where temps work during the winter": N.Pole(?).
RHE was fine by my (started the central-east) and, if I knew what a HILO was, I'd have found that cute.

WO: CopiES. I didn't get far enough for more (MCL, rENter)
Fav: How often do you get YANKOVIC in a grid?
Ticker Tape == EKG was brilliant.

{A+, ?, A}

Hi tiptoethru! Good to see you're still out there.

HG: Thanks for the info on ISIL; never knew why it kept going back and forth w/ ISIS in the paper.

MikeS, Swamp, & SandyA - ditto. I (almost) always 2x the perps to reduce write-overs and enjoy the word play. Sometimes I do miss clues but that’s rare (as are zero-WOs :-))

Yuman - YES! I usually have NPR on when solving and they blurt out the answer! Sometimes, just before I even read the clue :-)
PK's Corollary - like buying a car and then notice all the other folks that drive that make/model!

Picard - your mentor used the "Scotty Principle." That's why Scotty was the Miracle Worker.

Cheers, -T
*BTW - the horse is from the REN and Stimpy cartoon

Spitzboov said...

I solve in ball pen because it is much easier to read on newsprint stock. But I keep a bottle of white-out handy.

Lucina - You're right about EINE. In the nominative, it is ein or eine depending on gender. I don't recall having seen the other endings in an American puzzle. One as a cardinal number is eins.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Yellow R ~
Huh? Wha'?
What poems?

Research into "pistol" synonyms (not exhaustive):
GAT, gatt, heat, heater, piece, roscoe, thang, metal, steel, strap ("Are you strapped?"), deuce, deuce-deuce, 357, Tre, Tre-five, Tre-five-seven, 5, point-5, 45, 6-shooter, 8, 9, milli, m&m, mac, mag, magnum, Emmet Smith, Smith, tone, toner, pea shooter, bean shooter, flame thrower, pocket rocket, nose, biscuit, equalizer, llama, cuete, tool, ratchet, joint, grip, sidearm, firearm, jammy, jimmy, pound, chrome, iron, scorcher, burner, banger ...

- and even Thumper.
(I guess if you can't say something nice about a body ...
- you just ice his a$$.)


Sandyanon said...

Anonymous T: Yes, 'Help!' was a movie. 1965, starring the Beatles. Interesting Wikipedia article.
Thanks for the info on how you solve. And Swampcat too.

Jayce said...

Not to worry, CanadianEh! All is good. I apologize for overdoing it.

Anonymous T said...


I totally forgot 'Help!' was a movie. Thanks SandyA.

Lewis, I humbly retract that nit.

OMK - love the list of pieces, heat, iron. I was looking for a Prairie Home Companion's Guy Noir, Private Eye where he pulls a pea-shooter but they (episodes) all turn a bit too-political to color in C.C.'s lines.

Cheers, -T

Mike Sherline said...

Sandyanon & all - I don't use google (duck duck go - no saving/selling of my information), and haven't figured out how to search for answers. I use red letters almost always Thurs-Sat, and just turn them on as needed on the other days, sometimes not at all. For doing in the paper I just found a .7mm pencil that makes a dark line with a big eraser.
Was going to say Help was a Beatles movie, but you took care of that.

Mike Sherline said...

I also have files I've saved in my computer, which I'll occasionally refer to if I just can't get something from guessing or crosses - Greek alphabet, Hebrew months, periodic table, astrology, birthstones, etc.

Anonymous T said...

MikeS - I do it in ink (Pilot G2-.05mm) and eschew any outside reference [OK, sometimes it's hard NOT to glance at my keyboard for "next to F1 key" clues because I always (unless I'm in the can) have a computer in front of me]. Fridays & Sat I may Google (and fess-up) if I think it really will break open an area.

DuckDuck is a good tool for privacy/stick-it-to-the-Gman [Google|.gov pun wasn't intended but I'm now giggling at both Big Brothers]

So, I'm on the fence if Yuman's TV or Terry Gross just blurted the answer -- is that really a "cheat?" I mean, we didn't ask for it :-)

As an early solver, I'd reach for my CRC for the Greek ABC clues or flip over the puzzle-page to see astrological orders but I've (mostly) memorized those by now.

Have a wonderful eve on the Island. Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

Pradeep strikes the Houston Chron again...

When Semicolon broke grammar laws, it was given two consecutive sentences.

Thought y'all might enjoy that. -T