Sep 7, 2018

Friday, September 7, 2018, David Alfred Bywaters

Title: An empty theme (MT)

Another of our frequent Friday flyers is back with an effort that is all tongue-in-cheek and pretty damn funny. DAB uses a familiar letter replacement theme but focuses on devising very witty clues for the fill that emerged when the letter "M" is replaced with the letter "T." The highlight being the self-deprecatory reveal - Lame justification for the letter substitution in four puzzle answers?: EMPTY EXCUSE. (MT excuse). With the focus on the humor and 55 spaces in the theme, we have only a couple of longer fill  COLLAPSED,  ONIONSKIN. There is still difficulty lurking so let us go look it over.

17A. Skin tone achieved via pure will?: SELFMADE TAN (11). It would be easy to make this into a political comment, but this is just a self-made man.

24A. Ballet performance on skis?: SLAT DANCE (9). This is the most tortured fill, and slam dance the least common initial phrase, but it works.

37A. TV show destined for early cancellation?: BROADCAST TEDIUM (15). There are a number of tedious tv shows, aired in that broadcast medium. 

51A. Horse chatter?: STALL TALK (9). By far my favorite fill. The mental picture of the horses gossiping in the stalls is priceless. Of course, since horses and not tiny, it could never be small talk. 

62A. Lame justification for the letter substitution in four puzzle answers?: EMPTY EXCUSE (11).
On to the rest...


1. "__ Told Me (Not to Come)": 1970 #1 hit: MAMA. Once again, 1 Across was not a gimme, but I am terrible at song titles.  I do recognize this Randy Newman song as sung by Three Dog Night.

5. Folly: IDIOCY.

11. "Caught you!": OHO. Is this one word or two?

14. River to the Caspian: URAL. Regarded as a divider between Europe and Asia.

15. Spacecraft section: MODULE. This seems very timely coming so soon after our recent visit to Kennedy Space Center.

16. Apprehend: NAB.

19. "__ had enough!": I'VE. Well not yet anyway.

20. Its contents need attention: IN TRAY. It actually took me a moment to understand this fill as my mind thinks of INBOX and OUTBOX, which was never a box or a tray.

21. Mont Blanc, e.g.: ALP. Also a damn fine and expensive pen.

22. Romances: WOOS. I am afraid the word and the techniques are all out of date.

23. Storied engineer Jones: CASEY. An American FOLK HERO.

26. Extinct bird: DODO. A CSO to our own dearly departed one.

28. Forest: WOODS. Can you tell the forest from the trees?

29. List-ending abbr.: ETC.

32. __ sort: OF A. Is this a partial C.C.?

34. Tea variety: PEKOE. So not true, it is a TEA GRADING term.

42. Protuberance: BULGE. A famous battle, and a battle we all face with age.

43. "Glee" cheerleading coach: SUE. I never saw the show but I know the CHARACTER was played by the great Jane Lynch.

44. Small point: NIT. A very common word here.

45. Purple shade: LILAC. We had them growing in our yard as I grew up.

48. Copious quantities: SEAS. This is one of those Friday clue/fill combinations that slow us all down.

54. Kitchen light: PILOT. Especially if have a gas stove.

58. UPS Store supply: TAPE. Another clue/fill that is tough.

59. Mined find: ORE. Or these days bitcoin.

60. Road construction sight: DETOUR.

61. Six-pack components: ABS. The irony of six-packs keeping you from having six-packs.

64. Beluga yield: ROE. Our friend caviar.

65. Serious attacks: SIEGES. So many possibilities.

66. Bone: Pref.: OSTE.

67. Nursery layer: SOD. Not the one laying, but the top layer.

68. Marine group that's well-armed?: OCTOPI. An original very witty clue.

69. Disorder: MESS. Another dis- word.


1. Clara Schumann works, e.g.: MUSIC. A celebrated pianist and prolific composer. LINK.

2. Large performance venue: ARENA. Most piano concerts are not at arenas.

3. Fountain creations: MALTS.  To a blender, add two large scoops of vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, malted milk powder, and milk. Blend until creamy. Serve in a tall glass, garnished with crushed malted milk balls and whipped cream.

4. "Great" ninth-century English monarch: ALFRED. The ultimate in self-referential Shout Out. I love it! Of course, the fact that this KING was such an outstanding figure must be a source of name pride for David.

5. "Perhaps": I MAY. And I may not.

6. Pentagon org.: DODDepartment oDefense.

7. Perfect: IDEAL.

8. Criminal: OUTLAW.

9. Keep time with manually: CLAP TO. A thought out clue as manually means using your hands.

10. Urge: YEN.

11. Paper named for a vegetable: ONIONSKIN. We used to type certain documents on Onionskin which is a thin, light-weight, strong, often translucent paper. Though not made from onions, it superficially resembles their thin, papery skins. wiki.

12. Chaos: HAVOC. I had some trouble putting this together, but the perps brought it home.

13. More than rotund: OBESE.

18. BLT basic: MAYO. A common add-on.

22. Cooled one's heels?: WADED. This is quite clever as the common answer is: WAITED, which you know is wrong because of the next clue.

24. Waiting room piece: SOFA.

25. Figure (out): DOPE. An odd phrase which may come from 'dope' meaning the inside scoop.

27. Medico: DOC. And the related 36D. Health care worker, briefly: EMTEmergency Medical Technician.

29. Wane: EBB.

30. Commercial prefix suggestive of accuracy: TRU. We take off one letter to make a prefix, or avoid a lawsuit?

31. Broke down: COLLAPSED.

33. Balaam's mount: ASS. A prophet who appears in the Torah as well as the Christian Bible and the Qur'an. Pretty much impossible to discuss.

35. Paris agreement: OUI. Not one of the many treaties signed there, but the French word for yes.

38. Deft: AGILE.

39. Farmer's habitat?: DELL.
The farmer in the dell
The farmer in the dell
Hi-ho, the derry-o
The farmer in the dell

40. Elephant tooth: TUSK.

41. Souvenir from a concert: TEE. Tee-shirt sales were a big part of the income for touring bands back in the day.

46. __ power: ATOMIC.

47. One may be magic: CARPET. Not only in the stories of Thousand and One Nights, but stories recounted concerning King Solomon who built the temple in Jerusalem.

49. Peak: APEX. Or acme, you need to wait.

50. "2 Broke Girls," for one: SITCOM. So many to choose from, why this one, which often seems sleazy?

51. Garbo and Gable, e.g.: STARS. The old-fashioned Hollywood ones.

52. Like certain subjects in certain company: TABOO. Defined as a social or religious custom prohibiting or forbidding discussion of a particular practice or forbidding association with a particular person, place, or thing.

53. Free: LET GO.

55. Cad: LOUSE. You would hope that the girl

56. Boots: OUSTS. him from her life.

57. Sources of shade: TREES. Or these days, people. The expressions "throw shade, "throwing shade", or simply "shade", are slang terms used to describe insults. Merriam-Webster defines "shade" as "subtle, sneering expression of contempt for or disgust with someone—sometimes verbal, and sometimes not".

60. He played Ricky in early TV: DESI.

62. Spanish pronoun: ESO. My granddaughter is in a kindergarten that is taught in both English and Spanish.

63. "Sure 'nuff": YEP.

And, sure 'nuff another puzzle is dissected and discussed and now the stage belongs to each of you who read and chose to comment. Thank you, David, and until next time, Lemonade out.


OwenKL said...

A maker of MALTS from Malta
At the APEX felt he had a call ta
Install a FOUNTAIN
Atop a mountain --
That's a MONT BLANC pen, to all ya!

Cry HAVOC and LET GO the dogs!
Ignore the miasma that fogs!
'Twill be a relief
To feel bare feet
As one OUSTS his toes from his clogs!

Could fully-armed Marine OCTOPI
Combat ursine threats from the sky?
White ones from Nome
Parachuting from drones,
It's a MESS to arm bears! Oh, my!

Deep in the WOODS are some bees
Who built their hives in the TREES.
Alas for poor Pooh,
Who lerned it's TABOO
To disturb them to NAB all their "hunny"s!

{B+, A+, B, B.} said...


Thanks to David and Lemonade!

FIR. A few tough took a little more Time. They were: SLAT DANCE, IN TRAY, SUE, OCTOPI, ALFRED, DOD, TRU and ESO.

Upuzzles site not working today. Had to wait for puzzle at LA Times site.

Super word in Word Solitaire today: QUINQUENIUM.

Have a great day!

D4E4H said...

Thank you Mr. David Alfred Bywaters for this interesting MT CW. I saw the letter exchange at 24 A, and it helped me at 17 A to be a SELFMADETAN.

Thank you Lemonade for your excellent review.


Big Easy said...

Well, ALFRED, congratulations for the CSO on your puzzle that slayed me today. I caught the MT switch, but sometimes my own IDIOCY (did not get that one) keeps me from finishing.

I knew the ballet had to be a DANCE but the use of DOPE for "Figure out" is one I'd never heard. Thought maybe WISED up instead of WADED might fit for 22D but it was not to be. Never solved the OUTLAW, CLAP TO, SLAP section. IN TRAY- the Y stumped me; I never head one on my desk.

PILOT lights- not in the new gas ovens.

"MAMA Told me no to come"- my DW's nephew got married last month in Colorado at a place west of VAIL. The venue? A horse stable. The band's keyboard player was the keyboard player from Three Dog Night. After they played "Jeramiah was a Bullfrog" and were on a small break I was talking to him and said I bet they don't play "MAMA Told Me Not to Come" at weddings. They don't.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Tried AHA, YUP and BIDED, but otherwise wriggled through scathe-free. SLAT DANCE was weak, but the other theme answers were great. B-E, that use of DOPE was common in my ute. Thanx, DAB and Lemonade.

IN TRAY: Sounds uppity to my ear.

LILAC: We have plants down here (don't know the name) that look like lilac, but aren't. I think the climate is too warm for the true lilac.

Lemonade714 said...

D-O is the PLANT you are referrig to?

Lilacs are delicate but beautiful and fragrant.

desper-otto said...

Lemonade, sure looks like it. When it comes to plants, I don't know my aster from a dandelion.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Lemonade and friends. Clever EMPTY puzzle today. BROADCAST TEDUIM was my first theme answer. I breezed through certain portions, more than my usual Friday experience. Laughed at the theme.

I first tried TREES for Forest, until that answer appeared later in the puzzle.

My favorite clue was Kitchen Light = PILOT. I kept thinking of the refrigerator light and wondered if there was another name for that light.

Lemon: That picture of the Texas LILAC looks like the Dwarf Butterfly Bush that I planted in my garden this spring. It is still in bloom.

QOD: Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department. ~ David Packard (Sept. 7, 1912 ~ Mar. 26, 1996)

TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you David Alfred Bywaters and thank you Lemonade.

After yesterday's blunder (cachet in lieu of sachet) and misreads (e.g. 'like many trees"), it was time to slow down and read each clue carefully. It worked. Still pretty quick for me for a Friday. The melodic TADA came in just over 21 minutes, but my perception was that the solve was going slow.

Liked the MT swap theme, and the reveal.

So true about your six packs comment Lemmonade. Beer bellies come to mind.

Looks like it will be a good day for the never ending project of staining the house. Gotta run.

Lemonade714 said...

Yes anyone can have a six-pack. IMAGE . I know I stole that somewhere, but it fits.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I'm deferring to Thumper this morning.

Lemony, you did a fine job explicating DAB's challenging offering.

Have a great day.

billocohoes said...

Yes, D-O and BE, to "DOPE" something "out" is a phrase that my father would've used.

One NIT, if the answer is ALP, shouldn't the clue be "Mount Blanc" (or even "White Mountain") and not Mont? We've often had the singular ALPe as a French answer.

IN TRAY harks back to the days of paper-filled offices, with the stacked trays on top of the desks

In Tray

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

I am functioning fully with my new computer. I should say my computer is fully functioning, since I'm never sure if I am.

Thanks, David, for lots of fun today. Once I cracked a couple of spots, I found my way. Like Dave, SELF MADE TAN was a good break. I chose osso for OSTE--so many possibilities. I used EMT for Medico; ah, I needed it later and replaced it with DOC. I was flummoxed by PILOT since I couldn't see the light. Haven't had a PILOT light in the kitchen for years.

Nice explication, Lemonade. Thank you. I supposed most IN TRAYS are now digital. I still used them before I retired for students to turn in essays. I didn't have them file them digitally because I didn't like reading them on the computer. For all the essays I had to grade I wanted to be comfy. We also went over them at the writing table in the center of the room. Besides I liked writing on the drafts with my myriad fountain pens in a variety of ink colors. They rewrote, stapling the new draft atop the previous one. Process writing became s-o-o-o easy for students with the prevalence of computers in the '90's.

That malt sounds delicious. I haven't had one in years. A chocolate malt is my very favorite ice cream treat. Yum! Maybe, I should . . . .

Have a fine day. Since it's dreary, well then, we'll just have to make out own sunshine.🌞

Spitzboov said...

\Good morning everyone

D-O @ 0643 - Crepe myrtle maybe? Sometimes called the LILAC of the South.

FIR. Got the M → T shift right away which helped. Liked BROADCAST TEDIUM a lot. Very apt these days. I thought slam dance was a stretch, too; certainly not in the language here. But, it's Friday.
ATOMIC was OK, but we seem to use "nuclear" instead. I know: AEC preceded NEC.
WADED - Brought back images of our dairy herd waiting to be called for the afternoon milking on a 90º Summer's day. They would stand in a nearby stream with their udders mostly covered. (As a kid, I wondered about possible effects on milk preservation.)

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, David Alfred Bywaters, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Lemonade, for a fine review.

This puzzle seemed a little easier than most Fridays. Nevertheless, it still took me a while.

Liked the theme. Did not check it too closely until I was finished.

Got PEKOE easily. Enjoyed Lemonade's link to tea classification and what PEKOE really means. Interesting. I am, after all, a tea drinker. Earl Grey.

Tried Mauve before LILAC became obvious.

18D got my attention. My favorite sandwich is a BLT. However, I never use MAYO on them. So, MAYO is not basic for me, it is verboten! How's that Spitz?

Crossed 67 kids this morning in 1/2 hour. An ambulance approached with its lights flashing. I held the kids and let him go through.

See you tomorrow.


( )

desper-otto said...

Spitz, we do have Crape Myrtle in our area. That's one of the few trees I'm able to recognize due to its distinctive bark. I think Lemonade nailed it in his comment post. Do you suppose in mid-winter those cows could give ice cream? I know, udderly ridiculous.

Lemonade714 said...

Tom (D-O) so far that is the pun of the day, even better than the puzzle one. I have to say you milked that joke for all it was worth.

Bill G said...

We have crossing guards near out schools. Back before I retired, I was driving to school on a rainy morning. I got stuck in a big backup as I neared the school. I finally got close enough to school that I could see the root of the problem. The crossing guard was being very diligent with regard to the students. Every time a new student would come, he would stop the cars. I pulled over and went up to talk to him. I pointed out the block-long traffic jam and suggested that he didn't need to stop traffic for each student. I suggested he hold up the students for a few seconds so more cars could get through. He looked like this was a brainstorm and a novel idea. He took it to heart, the traffic started moving and the problem was solved. Woohoo!

CanadianEh! said...

Fabulous Friday. Thanks for the fun, David and Lemonade.
This CW required a little P&P but I saw the MT substitution early in the game, which helped the solve immensely.

I changed Aha to OHO, Aral to URAL (I always mix up those two), Acme to APEX (didn't wait long enough!), thought about Lunacy before IDIOCY (same definition!), tried to fit Chaos into the squares for MESS.
SEAS was a little meh for me - I wanted Reams but too many letters. I might say Oceans of something before I would say SEAS of something.
I think DOPE must be regional/generational slang; I filled it in but was not totally familiar with it.
My Canadian disadvantage was showing with DOD - perps filled it in.

I smiled at the pun on Waited when WADED appeared.
Clue for OCTOPI was my favourite. CARPET was runner-up.

Lemonade's comment about Solomon and Magic CARPET, piqued my interest and I LIUed. Here is a link to everything you wanted to know about Magic CARPETs.

Enjoy the day.

Lucina said...

Thank you, David ALFRED Baywaters, for this not EMPTY gesture!

It filled quickly with very few erasures. The theme made me chuckle.

I also thought of our departed, dear DODO.

OCTOPI amused me when I finally sussed it having toyed with ESA then ESO.

It's been a busy two weeks for me, not having much time to study and savor the puzzles. Now things are slowing down a bit so I can enjoy them.

Thank you, Lemonade, for a sterling review as always.

Have a happy day, everyone!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thanks for a fun and challenging puzzle, David ALFRED B. Thanks for a great expo, Lemonade.

Not easy, but I seemed to be on D.A.B.'s wave-length. I got the the theme at SLAT DANCE after puzzling over SELF____TAN altho I wasn't sure what a SLAm DANCE is, I'd heard the term. Went back to SELF and had it MADE.

Last to fill was the N central. Had only IDEAL & YEN & ALP on the first pass, then TAN & SLAT DANCE & WOODS. After everything else was filled I went back and caught onto OUTLAW & I MAY. Last came IDIOCY & MODULE.

Much TV is BROADCAST TEDIUM because of ADS.

We had WOODS & WOOS, DOD & DODO. 1a tried "they" before MAMA. Never heard that song. Total WAG.

I plugged in King ALFRED like I knew it. Maybe because of David's middle name. I had an "A" and Athelred, which I had heard of, didn't fit.

Gloomy rain & drizzle here for three days. Very unusual. At least, it isn't up to our chins like other places.

Misty said...

Woohoo! Woohoo! Not only did I get a Thursday puzzle this week, I solved a Friday one perfectly too! Wohoo! I don't remember ever having such a great end to my week--many thanks, David Alfred! (Rich, did you arrange this to give me a little pick-up on a tough week? If so, thanks!). I just couldn't believe how this all slowly filled in, and I even got the T=M theme before the reveal down below. I had a bit of trouble on the bottom, but when I finally got CARPET and OCTOPI, I had to laugh out loud. CanadianEh, these two are my favorites too! I thought SEAS was pretty clever for copious quantities, also. And the only funny odd fill for me was 11 down. I put in ONION right away, assuming it referred to a newspaper (isn't there a publication called the ONION?). But I had no idea what would follow it, and SKIN sounded weird to me. Guess I never heard of ONION SKIN paper--learn something new from the puzzles everyday. Well, anyway, a great Friday morning treat, David, thanks again. And your write-up, Lemonade, was a delight.

Liked your second poem, Owen. And I thought the blog comments this morning were funny and witty too, just adding to the morning's pleasure--thanks, everybody.

Have a great weekend, coming up.

AnonymousPVX said...

From yesterday.... on Earth did Sam Elliot not make your moustache list?

This seemed easier than a typical Friday but still took work.

Mark-overs....AHA b4 OHO (aside...I should just put in the H and wait, I’m always wrong it seems), NIB b4 NIT, TAPPED b4 CLAPTO, BIDED b4 WADED.

And on to Saturday.

Krijo said...


Had Mama straight away, as I know this fabulous cover by Tom Jones and Stereophonics - both Welsh.
great album for him

Had just one error in EMT/NIT, I never know what is the abbreviation.

I watched The chase with Brando yesterday and found out it had been dubbed in Czech in 1971. Wow, in the middle of the greatest censorship era, this movie was picked by the communist regime. I think the description of low morals and racism in American south was the selling point back then.
I sent my Slovak crossword in American style (15x15, theme, at least 3 characters in the word) to several places. Let’s see if there will be any response....

Wilbur Charles said...

My namesake's talk with Ed* were the epitome of tedium.
I had to wait for the U vs A in URAL. One's a sea, the other is a mountain and but which is a river.
I sat in a mtg for my boss once and told him I'd taken COPIOUS Notes.
In Lancaster NH, as late as 1995, they had a soda fountain.
Balaam's ASS was my favorite story. Wiki has it all wrong, btw. Impossible ?Only because it's so simple. Harken to the words spoken by the ASSes in your life

I never saw SITCOM nor the clue.
I've never heard that Shade def. I'm so uncool.
Nice write-up and clever xword


Now for the posts. But... I see Krijo's post . Love when you drop in.

Lemonade714 said...

Thank you CEh, one of the challenges of blogging is deciding what to link and to avoid linking too much or too little. When a topic I found interesting is linked by a reader, it makes me very happy.

Spitzboov said...

I looked it up:

ONIONSKIN - The price for one ream:

"The Paper Mill Store • FIDELITY Onion Skin
White Paper
4.5 stars
Size 8 1/2 x 11
Weigh 10 lb Bond
Finish Uncoated Smooth
$26.97 / Ream of 500"

Compare: one ream of 20 lb copy paper ~ $4. at big boxes.

CrossEyedDave said...

Friday is my busy day,
no time to find silly links ...

Here, just fill this out...

CrossEyedDave said...


Maybe one...

Self made tan?

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Like C, Eh! said, P&P. You had to WADE into each area w/ just a toe-hold and think. Like BigE & PK noted, that IDIOCY in the North took a while to crack - I couldn't get anything to perp nuthin, so, I jumped in with hope that it was my former employer, DOD, and not USArmy or some other random TLA.*

Thanks David for a Friday puzzle that even this EMPTY-headed DOPE could suss [bzzt]. Neat that you got your middle name in there.

Fun expo Lem. It wasn't 'till you said 'Randy Newman' and I hummed a few bars that I could totally see that he wrote MAMA Told Me (BTW, I knew 1a and thought this was gonna be Wednesday-easy.) @10:04: D-O and you need to add 3 minutes to the "Dad Joke" act. #CowPun

WOs: aHa (Hi D-O), wanted my horses in a STAbL TALKing [drop an 'E' day?], MisTs came from my Fountain b/f MALT since soda didn't work with MAMA
ESPs: PILOT (V8 moment) and DOPE as clued.
Fav: c/a for OCTOPI
Runner-up: Magic CARPET (Ride) [Steppenwolf: 5:19]

{B, A+, B, A}

OK, now that C, Eh! has DOPE-slapped me with the double-pun @22d, that is my Fav.

Krijo - First, I wish you well with your crossword submission; did you have test solvers? [I'll play!, wait did you say it was not in English(?)]
Second, your take on things (like the move release) is interesting; you really know how to read between the lines haven been given lines of BS. I wish everyone could be that critical in their thinking. Here, as you likely know, many write-it-off as paranoid, but you lived through real state-propaganda.

Lucina - DODO came to mind too. I went blue as she was posting less and less so I didn't get to know her well but I do remember her.

Hahtoolah - Loved QOD: Spoken like the TRUe Engineer he was.

BigE - LOL TDNight wouldn't play 1a at weddings. No telling what MAMA thought about the union.

CED - if that second one is not Photoshop'd, we may soon have one less soldier in the Marines, OCTOPI division :-)

Cheers, -T
*TLA == Three Letter Acronym
Here's another: "But does this technology come with LRF standard?"
LRF == Little Rubber Feet. Look under your laptop :-)

CrossEyedDave said...

I don't know about slat dancing,
but Ballet on skis is a real thing!

This one topic required two posts
Just because...

Wilbur Charles said...

Big Easy: Did they have a Conga line?
You can never go wrong with Aretha
It was rampaging over-zealous monks who burned the library. 5th or 6th century AD.
During the Norse wars(late 9th cen.)Alfred had to 'goto ground'. The story is that a peasant MAMA slapped him for poor kitchen manners.
This indeed has been a Woohoo week for xwords. I managed a quick FIR too.
Clueing was right on my wavelength


Ol' Man Keith said...

Such memories. My university required me to submit six copies of my doctoral thesis--well before the days of universal access to Xerox.
My rented IBM Selectric had to hammer out nearly 900 pages onto one good top page and five ONIONSKIN copies. (One automatically developed secretarial skills on the way to a doctorate.)
It was bad enough having to layer the several carbon sheets and ONIONSKINs to feed into the machine, but whenever I had a typo, I would have to use whiteout six times and try to re-type so the result would not be noticeable. If it looked even slightly MESSy, all six pages would have to be tossed.

Flash forward four decades. I received a fresh request from a scholar to borrow my thesis from the university library. (I rec'd requests over the years & routinely agreed.) This time, when I told the university it was okay, they confessed to having lost the only copy they'd kept. I ended up spending an entire new summer making a digital copy from my fuzzy sixth sheet, the sole remaining one. I can only hope they don't find a way to lose a digitalized version!

Oh, today's pzl! Ta- DA!
I nearly forgot. This was a lot of fun, thanks to Mr. ALFRED (the Great) Bywaters!
And thank you, Lemonade!

Diagonal Report
: One clean anchor line, NW to SE.
Mr. Bywaters may be hinting at an extra theme, a rather personal one. In addition to his inclusion of ALFRED the Great, he adds a diagonal anagram of ...

Wilbur Charles said...

Last post??

Two CASEYs in a row. Stengel got the nickname from his hometown. Did anyone scroll down far enough for the Runyon poem. Oh well here it is with no scrolling
Great pic, btw


Husker Gary said...

-My sister’s daughter died last night and I am just back home from helping to keep sister focused on arrangements for four hrs.
-Very clever puzzle but now I have to get some other things done.
-Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans

Anonymous T said...

HG - I don't even know what to say - that's not how things are supposed to work. My thoughts and sympathy for you and yours; Love and strength your way. -T

Irish Miss said...

Gary, I send sincere condolences to your entire family.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIR Friday!!! Hand up for erasing acme and yup. My nursery layer was hen before SOD (My favorite today). I also had "arbor" before WOODS and "odd sort" before "OF A sort". The guy with the tan lines in CED's link was an odd sort.

RVs still have PILOT lights in their LP ovens, even though most have electronic ignition on the stove tops. Ours doesn't have a conventional oven, just a combo convection / microwave range hood. There is a storage area where the optional oven would go, but we haven't missed it yet.

A six-pack is not in my future, in either context.

Thanks to DAB for the fun puzzle, and to Lemonade for the interesting review.

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle and the letter-replacement theme.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Dear Husker G ~
What sad news!
You have our commiseration and sympathy - and all best wishes to you and your family in this time of mourning.

Wilbur Charles said...

I echo Anon-T and Irish Miss. My sincere condolences for this unfortunate death . I pray your sister, Gary .


CrossEyedDave said...

HG, my sincerest condolences.

Broadcast Tedium?

HG's news is very sombering,
They say life is too short to waste on silly things,
I guess that puts me out of a job...

Oh, what the hell! Stall Talk?

Lucina said...

Gary, please accept my sincere condolences on the untimely death of your niece. How sad!

Krijo, good luck with your submission! Do keep us in the loop about it.

Picard said...

Husker Gary You have my deepest sympathy on your loss. Can you share how such a young person was lost?

I was slow to get the theme, but then it all made sense and was fun! I knew that MAMA song, but never knew the title! Learning moment!

Can someone please explain SLAT DANCE? What is a SLAT in this case?

AnonPVX Hand up for NIB which I am guessing was deliberate misdirection? EMB made no sense. Then I got it! NIT/EMT! Never heard of 2 BROKE GIRLS.

WELL ARMED an amusing clue, but OCTOPI is incorrect. It should be OCTOPUSES or OCTOPODES.

I spotted this beautiful CARPET deep in the bowels of a Moroccan market.

Paid about $1,000 cash to buy it and have it shipped. I was young and naive. Should have known it was a scam. Except that it wasn't. It covers our living room floor and is beautiful. No magic, though!

Misty I was also thinking of the ONION newspaper! Anyone else?

Clever misdirection for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Here I was with some of the STARS on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Did anyone else think of this Grateful Dead song about CASEY JONES?

Did anyone else think PEOPLE power before ATOMIC power?

Bill G said...

I feel a little out of it since I don't know where others seem to know Krijo from. Nothing in the bio link to help me out.

Gary, best wishes for you, your sister and her family.

Misty said...

Husker Gary, I just read about your sister's loss--how very sad. My sympathies to your family.

PK said...

Gary, so sorry for your family's loss. A brother who will come immediately in time of tragedy is such a blessing.

PK said...

CED: Looks like that one skier has chapped "cheeks".

I typed a booklet of my poems on onion skin paper when my kids were small. 40 years later they are so faded as to be almost unreadable. If I get ambitious, I should retype them and inkjet out a few copies.

Picard: SLAT DANCE = Ski Dance. How'd you miss that? Like your rug. I had a lovely red Persian type rug I left on the farm and have missed terribly. So cheering.

Avg Joe said...

Gary, I'm deeply saddened by the news of your familiy's loss. Please accept my condolences.

Picard said...

PK Sorry for being dense, but how is a SLAT related to skiing?

Glad you also like our CARPET. So much work goes into them. Months of weaving by young women.

Husker Gary said...

Thanks for the kind words about my niece, 34 yr-old Lauren. She had a cancer pressing on her heart but she left it there so she could have her baby but it metastasized and came back. I have never seen anyone approach certain death with such courage and dignity.

Spitzboov said...

HG - Very sad news about your loss. Heartfelt condolences to Lauren's family.

OwenKL said...

I don't ski so I have no idea if it is a normal term, but skis are narrow, flat SLATS of wood.

SLAM DANCING (I just looked this up) "a form of dancing to rock music in which the dancers deliberately collide with one another."

PK said...

Gary, so sad! How old is her baby? Is it okay?

Wilbur Charles said...

More baseball but I have a serious grievance about televised baseball.
Since forever, any and all telecasts always switch the camera to show any runner scoring eg touching home. IRREGARDLESS of where the actual action is.

It drives me CRAZY!!! It's the single stupidest thing in all of sports. MLB does it, ESPN and every single local telecast picked up does it.

Shirley Jackson wrote a short story, "The Lottery" on this theme.



Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Commenting late from a NY State Adirondack Park lake...cooled down quickly here. Fireplace going and finally got to the puzzle. Unusually easy Friday. Still don't understand 20 across...intray.

Anonymous T said...

Ray O' Sun - In Box == In Tray; the work on your desk that is in-bound in paper-office worlds.

Bill G. Krijo introduced himself a few weeks back. Grew up in the Eastern Bloc, lived in the US for 10 yrs, and now lives back on the other side of the world. I'm sure I'm screwing up details, but there you are. -T

Husker Gary said...

Baby is now 7 months old and thriving!

CanadianEh! said...

Husker Gary- so sorry to hear of the death of your niece, especially at such an early age. What selfless love for that precious baby!
Sincere sympathy to all the family.

Spitzboov said...

ROS @ 2105 - IN TRAY. - - The in tray on your office desk as opposed to the out tray or the hold tray forever until you decide what to do with a piece of paper that you have no idea what to do with. Just keep the round file handy.

Spitzboov said...

ROS. Sorry - Didn't realize Anon -T had answered the IN TRAY question.

Alice said...

Loved today's puzzle, and I also lov your blog. But, OCTOPI is NOT the plural of octopus. It just isn't.

Lucina said...

Gary, thank you for sharing that information. It makes the news of her death even more poignant.

I also love that rug. I have an amusing story about a friend buying a rug but I'll tell it another time.

I just finished listening to a panel testifying their views about why or why not to vote for Judge Kavanaugh. It's heart rending what some people have to suffer in their lives especially children with distressing, incurable diseases.

Anonymous T said...

Spitz - LOL Round File. I haven't heard that in a while.

First, let me welcome you to the Corner. On OCTOPI : It falls within the symbolic construct of English and conveys meaning. 'Tis a word as much as YEP. Further, I'll defend the entry by saying, there was a '?" in the clue. :-)

HG - Perhaps this will get your mind off things for a moment: Youngest was to dance in the front* of the girls at this away game - so we went. The game was in Clear Lake / Webster which is near JSC [hour away]. The Challenger*Columbia Stadium [zoom in and you can see it above the people] and the Apollo Field house. I thought of you while sitting there.

C,Eh!, Lucina, and all cactus fans: The final bloom.

Cheers, -T
*note to self - halftime-show always faces the home-side of the stadium.
//All that driving and I only got pictures of the back of her shoulder from across the field. #DadFail

Anonymous T said...

Clarification: JSC (Johnson Space Center), Clear Lake, and Webster are an hour away from me; not each other. -T

Anonymous T said...

Overpost says - Picard! You win on Casey Jones. I inked it thinking "Why is that name familiar?" Duh, The Dead. Thanks. -T

Lucina said...

That bloom is glorious! Is that another bud I see behind it? And do you know the diameter?

Anonymous T said...

Lucina - About 6". The other bud bloomed two nights ago and is getting ready to fall off.

That's what's so cool about these - you get one night to enjoy the bloom and it's gone -- kinda like what CED said @4:20p.

Ok, I've really pushed C.C.'s rules. Nite! -T

Lemonade714 said...

HG I am so sorry, life is so full of joy and sadness. My thoughts and prayers to your sister and your family and the baby.

Spitzboov said...

OCTOPI is a correct plural according to Merriam-Webster.