Sep 15, 2018

Saturday, September 15, 2018, Michael Ashley

A Themeless Saturday Puzzle by Michael Ashley

Today we celebrate that fruit that the old saw says if ingested daily can keep the doctor away. It is significant to me because it falls so near my 9/11 birthday. It has become a tradition for my lovely bride and I to meet our kids and their kids in Nebraska City, NE at the Kimmel Orchards where we pick fruit from the trees and peruse their country wares in the store. Following that we go up to the Lied Lodge and Conference Center for a wonderful meal overlooking the lovely country bordering the Missouri River. I'll be so sad when we no longer do this.

Today's constructor is Michael Ansley. He writes of himself - I lived nearly 20 years in Manhattan, New York, and have now lived with my wife and two children in Scottsdale, Arizona, since 1993. Besides being a maniacal online chess buff, in my spare time I dabble at another sport which, on my better days, strongly resembles golf. 

Michael is a wonderful crossword constructor and is very prolific in the construction of Acrostics. Click here to read more about Michael and see more of his other publications on Amazon.

My solving involved searching for any port in a storm and then eventually there were no more cells to fill.  The SE corner was a treasure trove of known answers as soon as I remembered how to spell the rope-soled shoe.


1. Ones going downhill fast: SKI JUMPERS  - Many of us remember when ABC's Wide World Of Sports opening used this SKI JUMP accident to show The Agony of Defeat

11. Opulent: LUSH and 11. Opulent: LUXE - I am not likely to use one of these synonyms 

15. They always get underfoot: INNERSOLES - Get a "custom" one at these kiosks 

16. Biblical preposition: UNTO.

17. Pop music feature: TOP TEN LIST - TOP TEN LIST of songs for every year since 1950

18. Wolverine, for one: X-MAN - If you're interested, you already know about him

19. "Westworld" airer: HBO - A violent sci-fi (yes, I said sci-fi) western

20. '70s-'80s self-improvement course: EST - Erhard Seminar Training A very intense course that eventually was labelled a cult and died out

21. Notre Dame's river: SEINE  - Yup!

22. Legendary chanteuse: PIAF  - A very young girl doing an fabulous imitation of Edith PIAF's distinctive singing/warbling style 

26. Max.: ULT - Max(imum)/ULT(imate)

28. Equivalents of pairs of FGs: TDS

29. Somewhat out of place, as hair: MUSSED

31. __ dish: PETRI.

33. Type of medicine: HOLISTIC - Do what you like but I'll take my doctors

35. 1969 retail clothing debut: THE GAP - The founder Don Fisher couldn't find a pair of jeans that fit him so he opened his own store on Ocean Ave. in San Francisco.

38. Second film with Craig as Bond: QUANTUM OF SOLACE - Ah something new! A beautiful woman, suggestively attired, wearing illogical footwear and walking away from mayhem

40. "Counting Sheep" purchases: SERTAS - We have one and it is wonderful!

41. Monthly reading: GAS METER - Do meter readers still roam the landscape?

42. Pampers, with "on": DOTES.

44. More stingy: MEANER - Which was your favorite stingy Scrooge? Mine is Reginald Owen - circa. 1938

45. "Avatar" actress Saldana: ZOE - Her makeup probably took as long as John Travolta's for Hairspray

47. Attorney's letters: ESQ - Perry Mason, Esq.

48. Origin abbr.: ESTD - LA Times Crossword Corner - ESTablisheD 1/21/2008

49. Pointed: AIMED

51. Small city?: URB - The Oxford Dictionary says it is, "An urban area, a city" and so URB is a small word for a city

54. Base figs.: GI'S - A crazy bunch of GI'S in Stripes, shot on BASE at Fort Knox.

57. Scheme: PLAN.

58. Left in the dust: SAILED PAST - What Usain Bolt did in his Olympic races

62. Hang: PEND.

63. Shoe with a rope sole: ESPADRILLE - The spelling took some perp help

64. Contributes: ADDS.

65. Film with cues: THE HUSTLER  - A great movie that garnered Oscar nominations for Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason and George C. Scott


1. Jedi foes: SITH - Their starting lineup

2. Round handle: KNOB.

3. Hot: IN POPULAR DEMAND - The Beanie Babies were IN POPULAR DEMAND in the 90's but that craze wore off and some got stuck with lots of toys that did not appreciate in value

4. Fly quickly: JET.

5. Midge __, co-organizer of the Live Aid benefit concert: URE - Midge was a phonetic reversal of his given name Jim

6. AOL alternative: MSN.

7. German's neighbor: POLE - In 1939 the Germans dropped in on their neighbors unexpectedly and violently 

8. "__ Comin'": Laura Nyro song: ELI'S - I remember Three Dog Night singing that song

9. Gather one's strength: REST UP 

10. Retired flier: SST - A crash in 2000, the 2001 Trade Center attack and rising maintenance costs grounded our crossword friend


13. Orchestra pit aid: STAND - Usually with lights

14. Brushes up on: HONES  

21. Westernmost of the Virgin Islands: ST. THOMAS and 55. 21-Down, e.g.: ISLE.

23. Digs: IS INTO.

24. Per prior mention: AS STATED  - AS STATED in paragraph 4, subsection c... 

25. Some ultrasound images: FETUSES - I would have liked to have known the gender of our children before they were born. You?

27. "Well, as I recall ... ": LET'S SEE, I think I told you I take a 30. Skeptical, as a view: DIM view of your talking while I am talking

29. Grimace: MOUE.

32. Cave: RELENT - She did neither 

33. Command ctrs.: HQS  - The Strategic Air Command's  (Now Stratcom) HQ is just south of Omaha

34. Small part: COG.

36. Maker of Swift laptops: ACER.

37. Each: PER.

39. Sibs, uncs, etc.: FAM - The FAM dynamics at the funeral for my niece this week weren't all that great

43. Suppress: SQUASH.

45. 1997 Grammy Lifetime Achievement awardee: ZAPPA - Okay

46. Quieted, in a way: OILED  - Get some on that squeaky wheel

50. Closes: ENDS.

52. Fit for harvesting: RIPE - This corn looks RIPE but is not fit for harvesting because the moisture content is too high at 29.2%

53. Boring: BLAH  - Is that the best ya got, Husker Gary?

56. End of a mob?: STER - Is Al Capone your first image?

58. Full collection: SET.

59. Loyola domain: EDU - Loyola University of Chicago's web site is

60. OR principals: DRS - Do you know the names of any of these TV DRS or the show that featured them?

61. Peril in a Poe title: PIT - I chose the less graphic depiction of this 1843 Poe classic tale

Treat yourself to some caramel dip with an apple as you comment for us today!




fermatprime said...


Thanks to Michael and Gary!

Only a few hangups: EST, SAILED PAST, URE, ELI’S, ST. THOMAS,  ACER, ZAPPA and PIT. But FIR!

Fierce headaches lately.

Have a great day!

OwenKL said...

The SKI JUMPER SAILED PAST, airborn as a bird!
Like a super-hero X-MAN, charged with guts and verve!
He'll bridge THE GAP
Twixt ramp and -- splat!
Maybe I won't learn to ski, just watch it from my URB!

The holy man walked town to town,
Nirvana was his goal.
ESPADRILLES were on his feet,
Enlightenment in his soul.
He drew disciples to him from around,
For a staff he had a POLE.
When asked how he kept on his beat,
He answered, "INNER SOLES!"

OwenKL said...

{A-, B+.}

Thought I had a DNF, 5 empty cells in the SW corner. Took a few hours sleep, came back, and they filled like it was Monday!

Rick & PK -- thanks for at least responding yesterday. I wasn't really looking for a replacement at _J, just someone else to occasionally play the game with, and maybe backup for writer's block days. It's only 4 words and a brief phrase, compared to 70-some words in a crossword. The Jumble puzzle itself takes me 2-10 minutes, and I don't consider myself particularly good at anagrams.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Boy, this one went fast with no need for Wite-Out. I must have been on Michael's wavelength today. It helped that IN POPULAR DEMAND and UNMITIGATED GALL popped into my mine immediately. Thanx, Michael and Husker.

GAS METER: No smart meters out here in the sticks. We still see the readers for gas, water and electricity every month.

Husker, in answer to your 60a question: Nope.

Big Easy said...

Good Morning Cornerites. It was hard to get toeholds this morning, with ST THOMAS as the only gimme today. It took lots of WAGs to finish with the unknown ESPADRILLE intersecting PIT. I had so many false starts.

My BOBSLEDDER? Oh it's plural and it morphed into SKI JUMPERS. INNER SOLES- never heard 'em called that, only INSOLES. Inner 'SOULS' maybe. James Bond films? Haven't seen one since Roger Moore was in them. QUANTUM OF SOLACE was all perps, along with ZOE Saidana, PIAF, whatever the hell EST is, Midge URE,LUSH. and of course ESPADRILLE.

AOL or MSN- nobody goes to those websites.
LUSH- I thought that was another word for a drunkard.
HOLISTIC medicine- voodoo, wives' tales, call it what you want. Usually purchased by people that regular medicine didn't help. Won't help and usually don't hurt, just like herbal supplements.

ZAPPA- "Watch out for the yellow snow and don't go where the huskies go"

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I breezed right through this due to the user-friendly Unmitigated gall and In Popular demand, plus a few other long fills. Unknowns were Ure, Eli's and Quantim of Solace. (I've never seen a James Bond movie.) I thought Midge was a female. My few w/os were Rel/Fam,Leaner/Meaner, and Recant/Relent. I liked the Lush/Luxe crossing but Urb, not so much. I know we've had it before but I still don't like it. My favorite C/A was Brass=Unmitigated gall. That is such a definitive, strong expression, similar to Egregious, from the other day.

Thanks, Michael, for an enjoyable and satisfying solve and thanks, HG, for the abundance of links and pics and, as usual, the spot-on summary.

Have a great day.

billocohoes said...

Tough start, didn't start rolling until I amazed myself by remembering that ESPADRILLE was a shoe.

Mike Tyson probably didn't know he was paraphrasing Helmuth von Moltke the Elder:

Kein Operationsplan reicht mit einiger Sicherheit ΓΌber das erste Zusammentreffen mit der feindlichen Hauptmacht hinaus.

(no plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.) I looked it up, had thought it was Eisenhower who said “All plans are great until the first shot’s fired”

I vote for Mr. Magoo as Scrooge, he brought down the house.

"Non, je ne regrette rien" should be sung by someone like the actress in the Dove commercial, who actually knows what "no regrets" is about.

Disciple of Nan'l said...

Just curious, how did the 2001 World Trade Center attack contribute to the demise of the SST?

Frank said...

Big Easy, it is funnier when the lyrics are accurate:

"Watch out where the Huskies go
And dont you eat that yellow snow"

Oas said...

Thank you Michael Ashley for the construct and Husker Gary for the review.
Enjoyable workout this morning but DNF
Ran out of time as McD’s started filling up .
Mused over SAILING PAST wondering how you can raise dust in a sailboat .
Only dry water I could think of comes in the form of dry ice.
Water gets so hard here in January you can walk on it .
I was accused of making a Dad joke the other day.
Dad joke is still a bit new to me but I think it might be a politer way of saying lame joke.

Thoughts and prayers are with you on the Eastern Seaboard as you deal with wind and water.
Stay safe

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thanks, Michael, for the mental challenge. Some great puns.

Thanks, Gary, for your enlightening contribution. My daughter likes to go fruit picking for fun. After years of spraying, pruning, picking, coring, peeling, pitting, canning or freezing or making jam, and hauling out the residue, I never consider this a recreational endeavor.

The puzzle: NW was the last to fill. I had SKI, KNOB, SST which I had revisited several times, but filled nothing else in the bloc until everything else was in place.

"Hot" was a toughy, but "brass" came easily after the top three perps were in place. Didn't know the Bond film -- had every perp but ANT when I WAGd that.

PETRA yesterday, PETRI today. Absolutely nothing alike those two.

Knew ST. THOMAS from my bro & SIL being invited to go with friends who owned a condo there. Why don't I have friends like that, I wonder.

Usually, I get stuck on the long answers and depend on the three-four letter entries to help the process. Today the short ones were mostly unknown from the clues. Grrrr! DNK: EST, TDS, ZOE, URB, SITH, URE, MSN, ELIS. Isn't Midge a nasty little biting fly?

OAS: Hand up for thinking SAILING PAST was a wet pursuit and wasn't compatible with leaving someone in the dust.

I waited for two days for my yard men to show up this week. Wouldn't you know, they showed up in the same time slot as my grocery deliverer. The grocery van was in the driveway when the mowing man fired up the mower machine and headed on a straight course to blow dirt & grass clippings in the van's open side door onto the food. I went running out there yelling & waving my arms to stop him. (Well, not really running. More like waddling rapidly.) The yard boss came running from the other direction. The mowing guy was wearing ear plugs, but finally saw the commotion in time to shut down. We sent him to the back yard. The guy delivering the food was standing there open mouthed as I went SAILING PAST and still looked stunned when I turned back to him. All I could say was, "Well, I guess you've now heard my outdoor voice." He laughed. I'm betting not many people open the door and almost knock him down screaming at the hired men.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Any port in a storm worked for me, too. Finally got some solid building in the SE and then center. SAILED PAST didn't seem to equate with "dust' but it worked. Totally surprised myself by WAGging ESPADRILLE.
I was able to get most of it unaided, by relied on help for the ZOE / ZAPPA Natick cross, and for QUANTUM. All-in-all, a good Saturday.

GJ said...

Thanks for the challenging Saturday, Michael. Are you suggesting chess is a sport? I think of chess as a game like Scrabble or poker but not a sport.

Moon Unit Zappa said...

Don't Eat the Yellow Snow.

Lucina said...

Thank you, neighbor Michael Ashley for this good challenge!

Oddly when I mentally juggled two words meaning opulent and got LUSH/LUXE, the U immediately suggested UNMITIGATED GALL and was I surprised it all fit. That greatly helped to fill the NE corner as well as the entire eastern strand.

ZOE was familiar because I watch Entertainment Tonight to acquaint myself with current names of actors and actresses. ZAPPA is familiar to us of a certain age.

Before PIAF I thought of ELLA and LENA but FETUSES decided the issue.

In the NW corner I had SKI/SITH, KNOB/INNER but no idea about URE so had to LIU and that brought it all together. I recall hearing ELI'S Comin' but not Laura Nyro.

I hope we see more of Mr. Ashley's work. It is refreshing and doable.

Gary, thank you. I like all the graphics and your thorough commentary.

Have a splendid day, everyone!

Lucina said...

My daughter suffers daily painful migraine headaches and after seeing many doctors with no improvement or decline in headaches she decided to try a HOLISTIC one. The doctor immediately suggested a change in diet and after prolonged testing by elimination, the headaches slowly diminished and though not entirely gone, they are less now than in the past. I now have a list of foods she can eat and those she must avoid. Sometimes it's all about thinking outside the box.

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

11A/D: I’m not apt to use the clue word!

21A: Couldn’t get football �� out of my head and kept asking myself what river ran through South Bend. ��

35A: Once when shopping for blue jeans, I was looking for soft brushed denim slacks that are almost dressy. The salesman showed me jeans wit bleach stains and torn knees. I asked if these were new. He answered “Absolutely, latest fashion.” I told him that I throw out better looking jeans than that and walked out.

35A: I’m usually up on Bond films but this title just doesn’t ring a bell. Was it a flop?

29D: MOUE? MOUE? Where did that word come from?�� Another word I’m not apt to use. Other puzzle words I never use:
I’m sure there are more��

60D: Gosh! I went with “MDs”.

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

I do my commentary from my iPhone. I occasionally insert emoji’s. Sometimes they show; sometimes they are replaced by question marks. Can anyone explain why this happens and if there is a way to ensure that an emoji is presented properly?

Misty said...

I was actually delighted to get the whole SE corner before I had to start cheating this morning. Saturday puzzles are always tough for me, but this one was a lot of fun--many thanks, Michael. I couldn't believe that 11 across and down were the same Opulent clue--of course, I wanted to put RICH and its other version but that did't work and LUSH and LUXE just didn't occur to me. But I got SKI right away because I got KNOB--though the JUMPERS took a while. Got PIAF right away--she shows up a lot in puzzles these days. Great fun and a great write-up, Husker Gary--many thanks to you too.

So sorry to hear about your terrible headache, Fermatprime--I hope you get some relief. And sorry to hear about your daughter's headaches, too, Lucina, and so glad she got at least some help.

Loved your second poem, Owen.

Watching the news about the storms on the east coast has been really worrisome these last two days. We are so blessed to have lovely sunny days here in southern California.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Krijo said...

I for change had no idea why unmitigated gall is brass. On the other hand I filled Quantum of Solace, Zoe and Ure (frontman of Ultravox with a hit Vienna) without perps.
Irish Miss, how come you have not seen any of his movies? Just wondering.
Well, two mistakes...
I love the band LUSH and really enjoyed The Hustler and its unrecognized sequel Color of the money.
I visited today World championship in firefighting sports. Slovakia won two golds in fire attack men and women. I wonder if there such thing in USA?

Krijo said...

to Magilla
Quantum of solace was a second Craig‘s Bond and after a phenomenal success of Casino Royale it was bit of a disappointment. However I liked, as I like most pf the work from Marc Forster (stranger than fiction, stay, finding neverland, kite runner)..

Magilla Go-Rilla said...


Thanks. I saw the two surrounding films but somehow I totally missed the existence of “Quantum”. How does that happen when tv bombards us with trailers? Must have been a “Suoer-Senior-Moment”.

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

Typo. Super-Senior-Moment.

Krijo said...

I also think the buzz about the second movie was rather low. Maybe they saved on the marketing budget after the success of the first movie.
I ws hoping Danny Boyle would do the next one. Rumor has it Idris Elba will be the new Bond! I still do not understand how a Englishman can pull off an East coast gangsta as he did in Wire.

billocohoes said...

Magilla, that's the definition of "Crosswordese" - words that are use in xwords much more often than in life. Usually short words with a high percentage of vowels.

Krijo, "gall" in this case is impudence, chutzpah, acting in a way you shouldn't dare to. Sometimes loud, assertive people (especially women) may be described as brassy (like a gong or other musical instrument.)

Sensitivity alert!!

Or, a man may be said to have needed, or not had the, brass balls (aka stones, testicles) to do something. thus praising or denigrating his boldness or manhood.

SwampCat said...

Magilla, I also use my iPhone and have no idea why emojis are questionable marks sometimes. I haven’t gotten any suggestions. If you find out why, please let me know! ������

Irish Miss said...

Krijo @ 12:19 ~ I think, from your comments, that you are a serious, savvy film fan. If I'm correct, you probably have a more eclectic interest in many more different genres than I do. Spy thrillers, Sci-Fi, Westerns, Action, Horror . . . have no appeal to me. I enjoy a good drama, a believable love story (with a happy ending, please) and a good comedy (though I think they have gone the way of the dinosaurs!) Last night, I watched "Lady Bird" which I don't think fits into any of these genres, but I enjoyed it, just the same. Ditto on "I, Tonia", except for the gratuitous, incessant foul language. Even though our tastes are different, I enjoy reading your opinions and critiques.

Picard said...

fermatprime Sorry to hear of your nasty headaches. Hope you find relief soon!

I am surprised some found this puzzle easy. I found it extremely difficult. Not too many unknowns. Just clues I could not figure out. Pop music feature? I don't get that clue. Can someone explain this?

Some clues were very clever. "Film with cues" had me stuck with MYSTERY. Anyone else? I never heard of THE HUSTLER.

Husker Gary Thanks for your illustrations and explanations. Learning moment about MIDGE URE. Never heard of him. Assumed MIDGE was a her.

Was I really the only one stuck with DANE before getting POLE?

Did I say there were not too many unknowns? Maybe. But wow. There were some tough unknowns. ESPADRILLE? Did not know what a WOLVERINE is. LUXE gave me a toehold for a WAG of XMAN.

Hand up with Big Easy I don't know any Bond movies after Roger Moore. Those actors are unknown to me. Another list to memorize! Just seven Bond actors?

But the puzzle did give me a wonderful photo sharing opportunity with COG!

Here I ascended the Mount Washington COG Railway in New Hampshire

When you see the bitter cold and fog at the top you have to remember this was in June! The weather station at the top proudly proclaims "The Worst Weather in the World". I believe this spot has the highest wind speed ever recorded.

Notice the hikers who made this challenging climb. When I told my brother about this, he said he did it with friends in college. They had no money for the COG railway so they hiked it!

Irish Miss said...

Magilla and Swamp Cat ~ I have had the ?? instead of emojis when I previewed and then published. I no longer preview, just try to proof read carefully.

Picard said...

From yesterday:
Spitzboov Thanks for the additional Naval ranks.

CanadianEh I agree about remembering US and Canadian presidents. I always knew the names of the US presidents from my parents' era and my own. Canadian presidents? Not so much!

Abejo, CrossEyedDave and PK Thank you for taking the time to look at my PETRA photos. And thank you for the kind words. It was one of the most beautiful and memorable places I have visited. Even without the extraordinary rock construction, the natural beauty of is spectacular.

Thanks for the Longyou learning moment, CrossEyedDave!

PK: I am not aware of any recent terrorist destruction at PETRA. But the very first generation of Muslims after Muhammad were determined to destroy any "infidel" art there. They did a lot of damage to the sculptures. What survived their vandalism has survived the rest of history quite well.

Some have claimed the Taliban's destruction of Buddhist and other religious art is a recent corruption of "true" Islam. But in fact, such destruction goes back almost to the beginning. I will note that other religions have done the same with the religious art of their predecessors. So there is no need to single out Islam as a source of such crimes against art, religion and history.

As I understand it, little is known of the creators of PETRA. Whatever religion they had was not being practiced after their demise as far as I know.

Krijo said...

to Irish Miss
Thanks for the explanation. I did not mean my question negatively. I suspected you do not like the genre. Anyway, I have to definately see Lady bird and I, Tonya. Still remember the story from the 90‘s, I guess the foul language would be appropriate for me in this case.
Apropo foul language in movies. The F bombs are so ridiculously translated into Slovak. We have much more swear words than you do, but it sounds unnatural.
PG 13 rating can have one f word. I am always waiting patiently for that particular one in the movie. And it is mostly out of place. What a strange rule.

Ol' Man Keith said...

HG ~
I thought we weren't to do politics on the Corner. So what's with the illustration for MUSSED, huh?
Are the gloves coming off?

Seriously, I enjoyed today's tough pzl from Mr. Ashley, the kind of challenge that lets us realize how much stray trivia we've retained. I don't keep up with Star Wars and am not into pop music or James Bond, but I surprised myself with how much I've absorbed w/o realizing it.
This was almost a perfect Ta-DA! for me, but I admit to a couple of confirmation Googles just to keep frustration at bay.

SKI JUMPERS was the last to fall. (I was actually trying to get by with SKI SLOPERS!)

Picard ~
Surprised to see you've not heard of THE HUSTLER. You're younger than I, but still - isn't it a semi-classic? I mean, gambling pix aren't my favorite genre, but this is unusually fine. It has Gleason's best serious role and a standout part for Newman. George C. Scott, Piper Laurie and a backup cast of feature players make it must-see. It was nominated for several acting awards and for Best Picture - and won a couple of other Oscars.
Do yourself a favor & catch it next time it's on TCM!

Krijo ~
You wonder how an English actor can pull off American accents so well? I've had a theory since my first speech classes (way back in undergrad days) that for Brits, living on a small island and sharing the same language, makes them highly sensitive to differences of accent. They're crammed elbow to elbow and hear varied accents every day. They don't have to be professors - like Shaw's Henry Higgins - to catch the fine nuances of origin, class, and education. Lots of British kids play at "doing voices," either for fun, or to mock the "plummy" speech patterns of the uppah-uppahs or to "pass" for Cockneys or Scots.
For sure we have our own regional speech, but we grow up with great distances between ourselves and those who speak differently - plus we all tend toward our standard General American speech on TV and in movies (which came along earlier, relatively speaking, in our national history).
I'm pretty sure this gives Brit actors an edge when it comes to doing us.


Diagonal Report:
None today. There were so few diagonals this past week, part of a downward spiral of late. I may abandon the "Report" on a daily basis - and just wait until something of interest comes along.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Almost, but not quite, very-much unlike tea. Problems in the north and south so I TITT; wish I'da stuck with it a bit longer or came back to the puzzle later - some things are so obvious now.

Thanks Michael for the diversion and thanks HG for the fun expo (Arrrrmy Training Sir!)

WOs: dSL b/f well, never. poSH b/f LUSH, @24d: AS I SAID- (crap!).
ESPs: Zoe (CSO to Youngest!) and many more
Fav: Brass == UNMITIGATED GALL (== cajones :-))

{B+, A}

Go-Rilla & Swamp: It's up to each company whether they implement an emoji and how. .

GJ - English Chess Federation says it is.

PK - LOL the lawn and the grocer.

Play later, gotta run. Cheers, -T

Husker Gary said...

-Several sites, uh, cited the fall of the Twin Towers as contributing to the ending of the SST flights
-No politics at all, OMK, mussed hair is just mussed hair and I thought that picture illustrated the concept well. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar
-FWIW, I despise politics here
-Eldest daughter went to Nebraska City a day early as she misread the email. Oh well, she says she make the drive again tomorrow - the correct day.

Wendybird said...

I’d love to know what WAGs are. Thanks

Ol' Man Keith said...

WendyB ~
Wild Ass Guesses


Wendybird said...

Can you please tell me what a WAG is?? Thanks.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Same answer ...

Wendybird said...

I am trying to get familiar with the “lingo” of this blog, which I enjoy. What is LIU as an aid to solving??

Anonymous T said...

Wendybird - Have a look.

IM - I'm curious now about what you said re: not previewing and emojis working. Go-Rilla & Swamp - try your emoji but DONT preview and see if it works. It could be the parsing in preview that MUSSEs up the works.

Cheers, -T

chefwen said...

Last week three, this week five. Gary, you’re going in the wrong direction.

Wendybird said...


TX Ms said...

Thank you, Mr. Ashley - very doable Saturday puzzle, with interesting speed fill. Will have to LIU Midge Ure, despite HG's explanation.

And thanks, HG, for a great commentary. My brother/family live in NE IA, so this is about the time they host their apple pressing tradition to make cider for friends and neighbors - everyone joins in - been happening yearly for over 30 years. Re 60D, I recognize at least three actors that have appeared/are appearing in Cigna Insurance commercials, but I've not a clue as to the TV show since I don't watch legal or medical shows. The actor on the end appears in a chance meeting with his father in the hospital; the actress next to him now appears as a femme fatale. I've been meaning to LIU.

Thoughts/hopes for safety go out to all in the East. Harvey, though a rainmaker, was not a major wind threat when it finally reached my area (or maybe I slept through the worst).

Wendybird said...

I think I answered my own question . LIU means Look It Up - right ?πŸ™„

SwampCat said...

Anon T, I have tried previewing and not. Sometimes I get an emoji, sometimes a question mark. No cause detected.

I’ll try again. This is not a matter of life and death!

Preview :

PK said...

Picard: "The Hustler" is a movie about the game of pool which is played by hitting balls with sticks called CUEs. Pop music is rated on "charts" a/k/a TOP TEN LISTS by critiquing organizations like Rolling Stone Magazine.

Wendybird: Hi! You got it. LIU does mean Look It Up. Google is waiting...

SwampCat said...


SwampCat said...

Okaay... got one out of seven that time with a preview.


SwampCat said...

IM is right... at least for now. That was NO PREVIEW. Got all of them.

Now, can anyone else see them?

Anonymous T said...

Swamp - I see them. Did you read my 1st post and see the Chezburgers? [seriously, Steve - explain connection to GrumpyCat]. Now Sundar Pichai can focus folks on blogspot-preview frogging iThings emojis on Monday. -T

Anonymous said...

In this context "Wild-Ass Guess"?

WikWak said...

Whew! This one nearly cleaned my clock but good. I did finally FIR but had to turn on the red letters to do it. Too many naticks of too many names. Still mostly liked it, though, and I'm ready for a rematch any time, Mr. Ashley. Husker, you were in top form, as usual. FWIW, I didn’t see the illustration you chose for MUSSED as political in any way.

Picard: pop music is usually ranked according to its current popularity. The TOP TEN LIST is the place to look if you want to know which pop music is the most popular today.

Well, I guess it’s about time to get up and go do something. Have a great day, all—what’s left of it!

WikWak said...

Oops… forgot. OwenKL, loved your second poem!

SwampCat said...

-T, I did read your first message about different companies controlling their emojis. I suspect that is also true!!

This is SUCH an important problem!! 😜

AnonymousPVX said...

In late today for no particular reason, other than an excellent biography of the Doobie Brothers on AXS-TV.

Once I got going this went well, I was right on the constructor’s beam it seemed. Had LUSH for 11D before it became apparent it was 11A, had DIS before GIS for 54A. And that was it.

I’m thinking we were very lucky re Florence, just some rain and a bit of gusty wind, at least so far as this this is STILL around. Although now the forecast shows not much in store....I’m quite grateful for that. Just 2 hours up the road and it a big big mess and worse.

Edward Duarte said...

Long fills were easy.
The little ones up and down the middle then filled in nicely.

Jayce said...

This was not one of my favorite puzzles.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Jayce ~
Shall we file that as an "understatement"?

Wendybird @ 3:28 & 3:34 ~
Now that you know what WAGs are, you may be surprised how often they lead to successful fills. Our guesses are often directed by data stored in the deep recesses of our minds or hovering in the realm of semi-consciousness.

Today's pzl was a case in point. Most of what turned out (for me) to be valid fills were the fruit of WAGs.


SwampCat said...

OMK, you are so right about WAGs. In yesterday’s puzzle one answer was SHINTO. If you had asked me what I know about Japanese religions I couldn’t have answered anything. But faced with white squares and needed a fill, I found my hand writing our SHINTO.

I guess I learned it at some long ago time but the knowledge was buried under years of disuse. That’s what WAGs do for us!

SwampCat said...

OMGoodness!!! LSU just beat Auburn in a last second field goal!! 22 to 21. Baton Rouge is going crazy.

Geaux Coach Oeaux!!

Okay. I’ll go back under my rock..,

SwampCat said...

Dianne from last night I think you misunderstood “preys on ones mind.”

I don’t think anyone can prey on someone else’s mind. I think it means I keep thinking of something and it “preys on my mind”. It seems to be used as a regret or a guilt. “I’m sorry I said an unkind thing. It preys on my mind.”

Or “the thought that I didn’t do my best on the exam preys on my mind.”

In the example you used of exaggerated news reporting,the reporter can’t do anything to you. If you are afraid because of the exaggerated reported perhaps your fear “ preys on your mind”.... you can’t stop thinking of it. I’m sure the dictionaries have lots of other examples. JMHO !

Picard said...

PK and WikWak Sorry if I was not clear. I totally understood the CUES clue with THE HUSTLER. I just meant that I was stuck awhile on MYSTERY and wondered if anyone else was?

And I understand that there is a TOP TEN LIST of POP MUSIC.

Here is what I do not understand: Why is the TOP TEN LIST a FEATURE of POP MUSIC?

OlManKeith I do remember watching the Jackie Gleason Show as a child on TV with my family. Would have been way too young to have seen a movie involving a HUSTLER. But I will take your recommendation and try to watch it sometime. We have no cable, Netflix, etc. I miss the days of the neighborhood video store!

Has anyone else ridden a COG Railway like the one I shared photos of in New Hampshire?
I think I have been on at least one other.

Wilbur Charles said...

OMG, Magilla. Until your post I thought the Fighting Irish had the same river as the French .
I blew it on ZAPPA. I had the _ A _ PA So I went with CAPRA. Both Frank's. Date should have clued me.
I knew Edith Piaf from HS French, Ms J adored her. Yet, it took awhile for it to come. Chanseur de l'age.
I agree with Lucina on holistic remedies, especially diet as she explained.
I'm glad someone found this difficult. I had a lot of empty space then none. And...
I almost always check out your photos Picard, just don't take the time to comment. I too am on a smart phone.
Btw, I spent 10 years in Jefferson NH, just North of the COG railway. But I never took it (nor for that matter a duckboat or "Walk" despite being a Bostonian.

Solid W's Owen. Typically excellent write-up Gary. You missed the word "seriously" which followed OMK's "MUSSED" joke. Perhaps emojis would have helped. They don't post from my Android/Chrome either.


SwampCat said...

Owen, I liked the first one best, but both were wonderful!!!

PK said...

Swampcat: I couldn't see any of your emojis except the heart. But then my browser won't let me open about half the posted links on the blog. Anything that came from YouTube is just a black soundless square. Sometimes I can take the https to my other browser and open them there.

PK said...

AnonPVX: glad to hear you have so far escaped the wrath of the storm. Hope your luck continues. We didn't get a weather report from Jinx today...

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Late to it...this one really made me work for it. Last to fall was the NW corner, partly because I had Dane before Pole. Logjammed it for quite a while.

Picard - hand up, see above.

Lucina said...

As always your photos are so interesting. I've not been on a cog railway but to access Mount Montserrat in Spain I rode a funicular railway, which is also interesting.

Yesterday I admired your pictures of PETRA which made me recall my trip there four years ago. What a fascinating place! It's remarkable to see those tomb facades and wonder how they were constructed. Most are hundreds of feet high.

Anonymous T said...

WC - This is close but a day late: Anna Kendrick is on NPR now (WWDTM XM repeat). They even mentioned Pitch Perfect!

Anyone still up? [I know Fermat is - how's the headaches?] The Ig Nobles are out [1:33:25].

Cheers, -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

Lucina ~
I've been on a few funiculars - and it drives me nuts when whether I'm going up or down I can't seem to beat the other side from an even start, no matter how heavy the other car is loaded!