Sep 22, 2018

Saturday, September 22, 2018, Brian E. Paquin

Themeless Saturday by Brian Paquin

At 8:54 CDT today, the Sun's rays will be shining straight down on the equator and the solar energy will be evenly distributed north and south of the equator and is called the autumnal equinox as we head toward fall. Our New Zealand friends are having their vernal equinox as they enter spring

So on this day let me be the first (only?) person to wish you a Happy Equinox. It's too late catch this very unusual tour. Maybe you can get to the spring equinox there. 

Our constructor today is Brian E. Paquin whose puzzle I blogged on June 30 of this year which gave us 19. 120 dozen?: TENS for a clue/fill and generated a lot of discussion at this outpost. Brian looks remarkably like my good friend and former colleague Ed. Maybe Ed, who married a lovely Vietnamese lady and now lives in Ho Chi Minh City, also constructs crosswords under the name Brian Paquin. 


1. Pickup artist?: NEAT FREAK - C'mon you thought of Felix and Oscar didn't you?

10. Holy, in Le Havre: SACRE  -SACRE Bleu (Sacred blue) is a familiar French expression of surprise. Bleu sounds like Dieu which means God but is forbidden to be said by the 10 Commandments. Gosh darn it?

15. Like one with greasy palms?: ON THE TAKE - Congratulations! That zoning change has been made!

16. Added on: HIRED - The school where I sub has HIRED a deputy sheriff as a security officer

17. Thrill seeker: DAREDEVIL - Evel makes our puzzle quite often

18. 2011 Atlantic hurricane: IRENE - Anyone get caught in this 2011 storm?

19. Tied accessories: OBIS - Watashi no OBI o musunde kudasai 私の帯を結んでください  (Please tie my OBI)

20. Speak further about: ENLARGE ON - "Please tell me more about your hernia operation" said no one ever!

22. Spoken with ease: FLUENT - Most of our Hispanic students are FLUENT in two languages 

25. Become unusable, as airplane wings: ICE UP - Deicing a plane wing

26. Like La Niña, e.g.: Abbr.: FEM - Mas/FEM - Niña/Niño, Amiga/Amigo, Tia/Tio

27. Motor-assisted two-wheelers: EBIKES - True EBIKES are pedal-assist units not electric bicycles

30. Poker pot items, maybe: IOUS - Also called markers

33. Luxury fashion giant: PRADA - $270 for a tie?

34. Backside: TUSH  - One of many euphemisms

35. Like a home-cooked meal: MADE FROM SCRATCH  would be a good reason that people 58. Had a home-cooked meal: ATE IN

41. Mouse target: ICON - Mouse targets on my desktop

42. Early number?: ETHER - A crossword gimmick where pre-anesthetic ETHER numbs, hence it is a number!

43. TV heroine with a weapon called a chakram: XENA - Her lethal "frisbees" 

44. Checked at the airport: WANDED.

46. Tavern need: Abbr.: LIC - A nude bar in Omaha doesn't need a liquor LICense because it doesn't sell liquor 

49. Sign up, in Sussex: ENROL - "How to ENROL" found on the website for Sussex Coast College, U.K.

51. Pax __: ROMANA - The ROMANS ran a pretty tight ship for centuries 

53. Getting burned, in a way: REDDENING.

57. Basics: ABCS.

59. Metaphorical self-help aid: BOOTSTRAP - The University of Nebraska at Omaha has a BOOTSTRAP program for mainly SAC personnel to get a degree whereby they can "lift yourself themselves by their BOOTSTRAPS".

62. Position to take: STAND and 63. Jumpy: ILL AT EASE  - If you take a STAND and look around the room to see you are the only one standing, you can feel ILL AT EASE. Been there, done that!

64. Unwieldy ships: HULKS - Former seagoing vessels frequently used as prison ships like this HULK on the River Thames

65. Plow, e.g.: SODBUSTER - Some Nebraska groups are trying to undo SOD BUSTING and return tracts of land to native prairie  grass


1. Catch a few z's: NOD OFF - Some teachers, preachers or other speakers either can't see this phenomenon or don't feel it is a problem

2. Facilitate: ENABLE - One way to look at it

3. Heart part: ATRIUM - Atrial fibrillation 

4. "__ Eyes": 1969 Guess Who hit: THESE.

5. Sustained: FED.

6. It may start with "I": RTE - I-80 changed traffic patterns in our state

7. Roof edge: EAVE.

8. Cut from the same cloth: AKIN.

9. Country singer Pickler: KELLIE  - Her heartwarming backstory, American Idol audition and emotional reaction (5 min)

10. __-reeve: early name for a sheriff: SHIRE

11. Stringless strings?: AIR GUITAR - Hugo Chavez at the U.N. getting in a few riffs

12. Make very afraid: CREEP OUT.

13. Vegas rival: RENO - Self-proclaimed as "The biggest little city in the world"

14. Churchill successor: EDEN An interesting recounting of their relationship

21. Some window units: ACS.

23. Foam-based brand: NERF.

24. Way up: T-BAR - Saddle up!

28. Enthusiastic response: I DO.

29. Segway PT inventor Dean: KAMEN.

31. George Lucas' alma mater: Abbr.: USC.

32. Library order: SHH.

33. Artist's drawing choice: PEN AND INK.

35. Stir: MIX.

36. It makes a rally irrelevant: ACE - A rally occurs when players hit the ball back and forth over the net. An ACE serve like this one by Andy Roddick negates that phase of a point

37. There's no going back on it: DONE DEAL.

38. Normal: Abbr.: STD.

39. "Moonstruck" star: CHER - She won an Oscar for her role

40. Second effort: REDO - Many kids who fail an exam immediately want a REDO after giving many 45. Excuses: ALIBIS.

44. Became the champ: WON.

46. Maze runner: LAB RAT - Where is that cheese?

47. As a backup: IN CASE.

48. Deceased toon?: CASPER  - Gotta love this clue

50. Tears: RENDS.

52. Some game winners: MATES - What piece does white move for a game-ending checkMATE?

53. Foolhardy: RASH.

54. Classic accusation: ET TU - "Oh man, Brutus, not you too"

55. Brief court plea: NOLO

56. Neil Young's "Heart of __": GOLD.

60. Longtime Coke product: TAB 

61. Beatles' bassist before Paul: STU - Stu Sutcliffe was their first bass player and died in 1960, well before Beatlemania. His picture is included on this famous album cover montage

Make the best of these fall days as winter can not be far behind for those of us north of the Mason Dixon Line. To start, let's see your comment:



OwenKL said...

FIWrong. Didn't parse T-BAR, so tried TeAR-[up]. E-BIKES was an erased WAG for a term I'm unfamiliar with. Thinking of tuchus, had TUcH instead of TUSH, and UCC (Univ.Cal.@Caramel?) instead of USC.

An added advantage to working online: 6d "It may start with..." capial I or lower-case L ? With Across Lite, I could change the font to one with more distinct differences.

He was a NEAT FREAK, she was a slob.
He'd look at their home, break into a sob!
They got along
With love as a bond --
And a maid who came once a week as her job!

Was Travis ON THE TAKE at the capital?
If he was, he probably wouldn't end well!
He must scrape like a chicken
To get backers to chip in,
His MADE FROM SCRATCH war chest will tell!

Brian Paquin said...

It's great to be back in the L.A. Times, and it's always nice to visit this amazing blog. The Times has quite a lag time between submission and publication, and they are still on my older material To see a more recent example of my stuff, go to the Puzzle Society blog and scroll down to Wednesday

Brian Paquin said...

I'm always surprised at the backlash I get from Americans on the use of EBIKE/S. They are everywhere to be seen in my world. Partly because here in Ontario, welfare recipients are entitled to a free e-bike.

WikWak said...

It took quite a while for the NW to fill in. Even with that, I think I must have been on Brian's wavelength today. Husker, thank you for explaining the "number" - ETHER clue and answer. Right away, I thought the answer was going to be ETHER, from the perps I already had, but that didn’t make sense to me and I resisted it for a long time. I finally had to accept that ETHER must be correct but I had to come here to figure out why!

Last month we were in Tahoe, where the E-BIKES and e-scooters were everywhere.

The term BOOTSTRAP is the basis for the phrase "booting up", as a computer.

I didn’t know Kellie Pickler. I did know Cher.

Boy, I haven’t seen Casper in ages! I didn’t think there would be a ghost of a chance he would still be around after all these years.

ENROL just looks wrong. Most differences between British and American English are just—different. Neither wrong nor right, but just different. This one just feels wrong somehow.

Gee, it’s nearly bedtime… better shut this down. Thanks, Brian, for a worthy Saturday treat and thanks, Husker, for 'splainin everything.

Have a great day, all!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Started right off with CATNAP at 1d. I sure did like the way CATNAP and PAC (Pacific) were working, but that stopped all further action in that corner. The rest of this one came together pretty quickly. The Wite-Out came out when I circled back to the NW corner. DAREDEVIL finally broke that section open. Thanx for the challenge, Brian. (You must be an early riser.) Nice tour, as usual, Husker.

BOOTSTRAP: That's the source of the expression "booting" your computer, as opposed to blackstrap, which is the source of your molasses.

OwenKL said...

Pickup artist -- my first answer was DETAILER.

A trivia article in my mail today about the Romanian royal couple.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

ETHER; got with perps but didn't 'get'. Thanks Husker for the help. Got everything else, though. More white-out than usual for a Saturday, but got it done without help. Considered Attlee before EDEN, but 4 letters narrowed the choice. Had 'high' before T-BAR for 'way up'. Hope there's not too much caterwauling today.
Equinox - Ours comes today at 1954 EDT. Hard to see Summer go.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was a quick (21:13) and mostly easy solve for a Saturday. The long fill was helpful in getting toeholds early on, especially Made From Scratch. That reminded me of the quote the other day about cooking becoming a spectator sport. Never heard of EBikes or Kamen but guessed correctly on the E. My w/os were Domini/Romana and Ado/Mix. Early number=Ether had me bewildered until HG's expo. I know we've had that trickery before, but, today, my brain must have been number than usual.

Thanks, Brian, for a smooth and satisfying solve and for dropping by and thanks, HG, for a snazzy, jazzy write-up. Love all your bright, sparkling visuals.

Sweater weather is finally here. Hooray!

Have a great day.

Oas said...

Nice workout this morning . Thanks Brian and Husker .
FIR but it took a while to finnish the center.
TBAR and E BIKES slowed me down and WANDED was the last fill .
My benumbed thinker didn’t get the gimmick on Early Number and I stared at ETHER for a while before going to the review to get enlightened.
Went to a nice Cafecito last night where all the menu dishes are MADEFROMSCRATCH .
Family run Latin American featuring El Salvadorian style dishes. Excelencia musica e comida muy sabrosa.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Much better, Madame. The short fill led me to the longer answers, and TADA! FIR for a change.

Thanks, Roland, for some fun on a busy Saturday.

Nicely done encore, Gary.

Off to pack and run a couple more errands. Happy Fall! It's beautiful here today.

Madame Defarge said...

OOPs!! I said thanks to Roland, and I meant Brian. Mea Culpa. Also, thanks for stopping by. I enjoy hearing from our constructors.

TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you Brian and than you Husker Gary.

Great cluing and review today. I'm stoked, despite...

One bad cell. My answer for "some game winners" was dATES. Many years ago there was a TV program called "The Dating Game." Should have taken a few more seconds on that answer.

The Chicago White Sox hosted the Chicago Cubs in the Windy City Crosstown Classic yesterday. The game was shown on two local TV stations, with the White Sox announcers calling the game on WGN, and the Cubs announcers calling the game on NBC Sports Chicago. It was fun switching back and forth each half-inning.

Jinx, you might be interested in this. The City of Chicago autumn boat runs start today at 9:00 AM. Every Saturday morning at 9 AM and every Wednesday morning at 9:30 AM until Nov 14th. It's a sight to see the bridges raised sequentially along the Chicago River. There are 27 bridges bridges that are raised to their upright position to allow sailboats make their once a year return trip from Lake Michigan to their winter storage homes. Here's a short clip from the spring run earlier this year as they headed out to the lake.

jfromvt said...

Like WikWak, the NW corner took a while, but once I got NODOFF instead of CATNAP, was able to finish. Love the Saturday puzzles, they always start out slow, but I’m usually able to grind through them. No golf today, so got it done early!

Anthony Gael Moral said...

The idiom CREEP OUT means "to give the willies." I don't believe it is ever used to frighten greatly as suggested by the clue.

WikWak said...

Oh, yeah… that was the other one I was trying to remember! To me also, CREEP OUT has never meant "make afraid." Make disgusted maybe, or make revolted perhaps, but not make afraid.

Nearly time for my first mid morning nap.

Bye again.

Lucina said...

What a super Saturday solve! Thank you, Brian and Gary!

I started slowly, very slowly, but soon gained momentum and finished the SW then the SE and slid upward. I filled ETHER but like my fellow solvers, didn't know why it was right. Thank you again, Gary.

I had no idea about EBIKES but the perps persuaded me and since I didn't know KAMEN either, it worked. FLUENT led me to NERF and TBAR.

I mostly cook FROM SCRATCH and have never liked to use processed food. I really liked the clue for SHH.

Today is book club day and this morning all my inside doors are being painted.

Have an excellent day everyone! Autumn is shy to start here and we are still in the 100s.

Big Easy said...

NEAT FREAKs. That's what our grandkids called us when we forced them to pick up after themselves when they were at our house. PEN AND INK (ink's really already in the pen) is how I do crossword puzzles.

Good morning. The north was very white on the first pass with only ATRIUM and KELLIE Pickler in place. SHIRE-reeve- new for me- all perps. I had no idea what a 'chakram' was but XENA shows up enough to let me fill her name in. For a Saturday, this one filled rapidly with no other unknowns.

ON THE TAKE and DONE DEAL- they go together when you see any project approved by government officials (elected AND UN-elected)

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Whew! is about all I have to say about Brian's learning experience. Many red-letter runs ensued to get some toe-holds. Thanks, Brian, for stopping by.

Thanks, Gary, for your enlightening us. Very colorful computer screen! I'm shivering this morning of the equinox with a 70 degree temperature on my thermostat. Layered on the clothing stubbornly resisting turning on the furnace.

Only men would think CREEP OUT does not mean frightening. A smart girl knows a man who CREEPs her OUT is to be avoided at all costs because he is scary.

REDO & ALIBI reminded me of a story we read in college lit with a phrase that made a big impression on me. Can't remember who wrote it. "No matter how you build it, the ship must sail. You can't explain it to the ocean."

Owen: thank you for the King Michael article. Did you see the added post about my King Michael story last night?

Romania yesterday. ROMANA today. What are the odds of that?

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

Worse than a DNF. practicality a DNS!

Do I need to define the S? I think not. ��

SwampCat said...

Lucina, I agree CREEPY people are scary.

But I struggled with other clues. 46a, tavern need became LIC with crosses but made no sense to me. And I don’t think of Unwieldy ships as HULKS. I guess a hulk would be unwieldy but that was a stretch for me.

On the other hand some clues were laugh out loud funny. 6d, It May start with I, for Interstate RTE was a clever Gotcha for me. I loved CASPER as the deceased toon. Well, yes, I guess he must have been deceased.

Thanks, Brian, for the workout and the fun.

HG, thanks for ‘splaining the hard parts.

TTP, the pictures of the Chicago boat run was fascinating to me. I wondered how cold weather sailors handled winter storage. Down here, winter is our best sailing time because the winds are good.

Of course, on this Equinox our temperature is still 100 degrees.

SwampCat said...

Owen, I was happy to see Travis again. All A’s today. Yesterday was A+, A+ !

Tinbeni said...

Husker: Very informative write-up. GO BIG RED !!!

Brian: Thank you for a FUN (but tough and doable) Saturday puzzle.

1-a, NEAT FREAK ... I did think of Felix ... but NOT Oscar (he was a slob). LOL

Need ESP (Every-Single-Perp) to get 29-d, Segway inventor, KAMEN ...
Never heard of him ... a Learning Moment I have already forgotten.

Hope everyone's team wins today.

A "Toast-to-ALL" at Sunset.

Misty said...

I actually loved this Saturday puzzle (generally not my favorites)--so, many thanks, Brian and thanks for stopping by. That northwest block of long answers daunted me right away, but I immediately got SACRE, RENO, and EDEN and so the northeast filled in. Down below, I got ATE IN, and ET TU, and that helped the southwest corner. And then slowly, slowly almost everything began to fill in and I had to cheat only on a couple items in the northwest and southeast. A great Saturday experience for me. Plus there were lots of fun clues. I got the ETHER for 'Early number' right away because I figured it was numb-er. And somehow I put I DO in right away for the enthusiastic response. PRADA and XENA also popped into my head early on. Lots of fun--thanks again, Brian. And very helpful write-up, Husker Gary--thank you, too.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Picard said...

Favorite clue was EARLY NUMBER for ETHER!

Husker Gary Thanks for all of the illustrations and explanations! Your ICONs are hard to see with that dazzling desktop! I need a shirt like that one!

Brian Paquin Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for an enjoyable, challenging and fair puzzle! Interesting story about EBIKES being given to welfare recipients in Ontario. Transportation is a huge problem for poor people. Makes it hard to get to work, school and other daily needs without it. An inexpensive and effective solution, I would think.

This was a typical Saturday for me: Slow and steady filling in the seemingly impossible expanses of white. No Naticks. Some total unknowns, though. Notably KELLIE Pickler. Was not sure about ACS since there was no abbreviation cluing. FIR!

This "Red Rock" is our regional DAREDEVIL spot.

Kids goad each other on to jump from ever higher spots on that reddish-orange rock sticking up. The deep part of the pool at the bottom is very tiny and hard to hit.

I don't have any DAREDEVIL photos there, but I do have a story. I was there back in 1987 with my then lady friend who was a medical doctor. When the behavior was getting ever more DAREDEVIL she insisted we leave before something awful happened.

A week or two later we were at a party in the college town near where I live now. Someone remembered us from Red Rock. There were hundreds of people there that day, but I guess we stood out as being older than the crazy teens.

I asked what happened to the guy we saw climbing to the top as we hurried to leave.

"Oh. They had to call an ambulance to take him out."

This was my one visit to USC. To their stadium to see Bernie Sanders in August 2015.

This enormous event was totally ignored in the corporate media. But I see it is noted in the Wikipedia entry as an historic event at the USC stadium.

Picard said...

From Yesterday:
OlManKeith Thanks for the other examples like CLEAVE of "contronyms". Learning moment and it seems to have started others to contribute!

AnonymousPVX said...

From yesterday...Bill G, I have no idea why you picked me out, but when I don’t like a puzzle I say so. I’ll keep doing that AND the puzzles regardless of your thin skin or what you think. <==== that dot there is a “period”.

Other than that sucker punch, this was a tough but fair Saturday. I too had issues in the NW, left it almost all blank and came back to it. Only mark overs were 6D EGO before RTE (told ya), 35D ADO before FIX, then MIX. Liked the ”read carefully” clue for 42A, good one.

Jayce said...

I liked parts of this puzzle. Many answers totally escaped me. Lots of clues with question marks and hedge words such as "like," "maybe," "in a way," "e.g." and "may" made it a slog for me. I did like learning the term shire reeve. I also have a few nits about some of the clues, for example cluing MIX as "stir," CREEP OUT as "make very afraid," and ET TU as an accusation. I liked the clue for CASPER, though. And at least I knew Dean KAMEN. So, for me, it was a mixed (stirred?) bag.

Gary, excellent write-up. I admire how you can maintain such a positive attitude, or at least put a nice positive spin on things. That's classy.

Good wishes to you all.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

The Bleu in "Sacré" refers to the traditional blue veil of the Virgin Mary.
Loved the early number. Didnt figure it out but still loved it!

Anonymous said...

Did anyone answer the chess question?
Instead of CREEP OUT, I was sure FREAK OUT was right.
(sound "wrong" buzzer!

Bill G said...

My chess skills are rusty and I'm not sure of the present-day notation for the squares, but I think the white queen moves diagonally to R-5, right in front of the black king. The king can't take the queen because it's protected by the white knight.

AnonymousPVX, I apologize for last night's ill-considered response.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Did I hear someone say "The Bishop to row 8"?

Ta- DA! ~ but with a couple of gentle cheats in the NW sector. I enjoyed Mr. Paquin's pzl. Thanks for some of the smartest cluing in a while. Thanks to you, Husker G for your fresh roll of pleasing comments.

The Pax ROMANA must STAND as one of the most successfully sustained empires in recorded history. If we include the period before the official "empire," it may be said to be the longest-lasting/widest-spread hegemony.
I think it is good to remember that the basic borders of Rome's extensive rule were established under the old Republic. Once the Caesars took control, Rome's vaunted legions kept basically to holding actions. Britannia was the main addition under the empire, a rule which lasted until the fifth century CE.
As Gibbon points out, Rome was successful in sustaining its enormous cultural influence because (unlike Athens & Sparta) it offered citizenship to the most accomplished of its foreign born peoples.

One, NW to SE

Ol' Man Keith said...

Bill G ~
Why wouldn't the black pawn just take the white queen?


desper-otto said...

My skills have gotten rusty, too. In fact, I was never much of a chess player. But I think the correct answer is to slide the pointy-hatted guy to the back row.

Ol' Man Keith said...

desper-o & Bill G ~
Not to boast guys, but pls check my first post (above). The very first line.

I'm not up on my board skills either, but...


TTP said...

You're not up on your previewing skills either :>)

Bill G said...

OK, how about knight to F5 (or to KB5, just to the right of the black knight)?

Spitzboov said...

Chess. White moves his knight up 2 and 1 to the left.

OMK - FLN - Contronyms. I submit "table". Had many meetings with Canadians where it frequently arose.. "To propose (in British English), or to set aside". Took some getting used to, but ended up liking it. Context has to be clear.

Bobbi said...

After yesterday's slog, this was a challenging yet fun puzzle. Thanks, Brian, for helping me through a bout of food posoning. Finished between frequent naps.

Lemonade714 said...

That is why I will never be a great chess player, it took me three minutes to eliminate the other possibilities and land on bishop to row 8.
Interesting to see T-BAR I did not know either of the mechanicals EBIKES or the inventor of the SEGWAY Mr.
Finally,SHIREreeve became sheriff? Makes sense but I did not know.
Lots of nice fill. I had fun

Ol' Man Keith said...

C'mon, SpitzB ~
That's the 1st move anyone would think to try! (Or at least the 1st I thought.)
But look again at the board. The black pawn would wipe out your Knight in a heartbeat. The same pawn that would take out Bill's queen if he made the first move he suggested.

Bill, You may not have had time to read Spitz before posting, but you see the problem now. That black pawn defends the king from frontal attacks.

Guys, go back to the bishop's move in my post at 3:32pm. I have yet to hear from anybody what's wrong with it.


Ol' Man Keith said...

Spitzboov ~
Maybe Table works - if you're right on the Brit English version. I'm only familiar with the "postpone" form when it's used as a verb.

Brian Paquin said...

I really appreciated everyone's comments today, as before. Reading them is part of the process of constantly improving. I'm now expanding my horizons into themed puzzles, since most puzzles are themed. I never like solving them, and I'm having trouble dreaming up themes, but what can you do.

Bill G said...

I had so many careless ideas...

Yes, I think the bishop move solves the puzzle.

Lemonade714 said...

Brian, how nice of you to stop by. I look forward to more puzzles. If you need theme ideas, give me an email.

CrossEyedDave said...

Really enjoyed the Chicago boat run clip, Thanks!

Here is site that lets you complete a Chess game
in one, two, or three moves...

Wilbur Charles said...

I'm finally getting to Saturday . But...

FLN. Kazie had a good point. This was "cheat" proof. It wasn't obscure references that slowed things down.
Btw: I FIR'ed when I sussed the theme. (CO)PIOUS NOTES. I think I mentioned that. Anyway, I started and didn't think I'd be able to finish. Found the newspaper and square by square figured it out. Things like SOAP and APT would have ruined the weekend if I'd not P&Ped.
Not to speak of spelling ARGU(E)MENT.


Ps Gary, I immediately thought of AARON. Al quit in his prime because MLB was screwing the players and he was smart. He came back as a GM.
I thought the first one was related to Pearl Jam. If Jerry wanted four more Rock Groups...Shudder
Now to solve today


Spitzboov said...

OMK - Agree w/ bishop's move to row 8. My eyes are playing games with me today.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Thanks, SpitzB ~
... and thank you, Bill ~

It's v. kind of you to post agreement at this late hour.



billocohoes said...

Late because I entered the Albany Times-Union Crossword Championship this morning, my first contest. Did pretty well, nine players made the finals, I finished tenth of about 95, but a full minute and a half slower than needed to make the cut. Veterans were saying they'd never seen a xword contest start registration at 8:00 am

Contest followed almost immediately by tailgating for football.

Was I the only one who tried mopEdS for EBIKES? Had to look up KELLIE and even THESE, and had to overwrite CATNAP before getting a hold in the NE.

Husker Gary said...

-WC - My golf pro's best man at his wedding was Al Rubin who his friends called the Jewish Hammer. When the pro found out I am a crossword solver he told me saw a clue of Hebrew Hammer with the fill A L R _ _ _ _ and he about fell out of his chair thinking of his friend. I then looked up AL ROSEN Friday and told him and we had a really big laugh.
-Yes, the Bishop to the last rank is the MATE move.
-I agree that hearing from the constructors is always a bonus
-See you tomorrow!

CanadianEh! said...

Late to the party again . .but at least I made it tonight! Thanks for the fun, Brian and HuskerG.
I thought I moved fairly quickly through this CW, but I FIW. I debated between E and O for ETHER and chose O (didn't know how to spell KAMEN).
Thanks for dropping in Brian, to add a little Canadian support. I was not aware that Ontario welfare recipients could get free ebikes. What region would this be? Your Canadian background was NOT showing with 6D. It took me a long time to realize that the I stood for Interstate and answer was RTE. We call them Highways (ie. Trans Canada).

One very small nit with clue for 24 D. "Way up" was very obscure for TBAR as it did not mention a hill or skiing. But it is Saturday and perps filled it.

Off to read last night's blog.

Brian Paquin said...

My cluing wasn't really tough enough for a Saturday, and a lot of them were changed. I had "Hwy" for 6D and "Skier lifter" for 24D. And it took me a minute to figure out what "Early number?" was all about.

PK said...

Brian, if you are still up: If you don't like theme puzzles, why not just stick to what you like to solve yourself. My comments earlier, were not so much a judgment on your puzzle as a failure to get on your wave-lenghth (or Rich's). Then I realized that I might be having trouble with the puzzle because I've got a touch of the flu or something as the day progressed and other symptoms besides crankiness materialized.

We call them highways here too altho we also call them Interstates if they are in that network. They show an "I" before the RTE number (not NUMB er).

Wilbur Charles said...

Finally. 2 1/2 hours later. A struggle. Now to see if I got the FIR. And if the rest of you labored on the likes of ON THE BAKE. Oops. Make that TAKE and RTE. Phew, I almost blew it. That's the way they number highways in FLA but not Mass. I was thinking of a baker with greasy palms kneading dough. Hah, both need dough. The ? fooled me.

I had lots of trouble in NW and tried to fit SKY DIVER. And CATNAP. I'm hoping U-BIKES is right. Earlier, ELABORATE threw me off. Not a good PEN AND INK day.

Aaarrgghhhh!!! There it is NERF. After my time, I was thinking of Smurfs. Let's see if there's more muffs.
Yep. ETHER not OTHER. As in 1,2,3 or OTHER. We had that use of NUMB recently.
The knight. Oops. OMK etal are right about the Bishop. I stopped playing in college when I realized chess doesn't go with beer. Bridge, yes.
Gary, I can't underestimate how good Rosen was outstanding for a short period of time. Also, he sat behind Ken Keltner of Joe DiMaggio 56 game stoppage reknown. And, the war years.
Also, there was enough anti-Jewish sentiment to lead Hank Greenberg to commiserate with Jackie Robinson.

Lots of solving including the Friday J of which I still can't get the riddle.


Ol' Man Keith said...

I'm truly sorry, Brian P, that you weren't responsible for "Early number," the hands-down favorite of tody's clues.
But then, it raises our spirits to know you had to work at that one too!


RetFizz said...

Happy Autumnal Equinox, everybody!

I wanted to be the first to express this wish, but thought I needed to use Sunday's comments section, for some reason.

Anyway, Husker Gary, it looks like your "(only?)" suggestion about being the only commenter on this topic was well unfounded, like mine. It appears that lots of our Cornerites know at least a little about astronomy.

Now eventually I hope to catch up; I'm almost a week behind - just finished last Saturday's puzzle. Oddly enough, my first gimme was Quantum of Solace, and I'm not even sure I saw it!

Cheers -

Abejo said...

Good Monday morning, folks. Thank you, Brian E. Paquin, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Husker Gary, for a fine review.

Well, I was busy Saturday at a funeral for a very good friend of mine that died unexpectedly. No time for the puzzle.

Sunday I went to Galesburg, IL, for a reception for the Grand Master of a Masonic Group. I worked the puzzle a little while going there and quite a bit coming back, as we listened to the Bears game on the radio. Finally finished last night after getting home. It was a tough one.

Of course I had MOPEDS for 27A. Took me quite a while to change that. I never heard of EBIKES. With six perps I could not miss.

OBIS was easy.

ETHER was easy once I reread the clue about 20 times and thought about it.

ET TU was easy.

Liked CASPER for 48D.

I will not go on and on since I am two days late.

See you Tuesday.


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