Sep 13, 2018

Thursday September 13th 2018 Joe Deeney

Theme: TOGA, or another type of "butter" churn!

16A. Rolls off the alley: GUTTER BALLS. Bowling's not my thing, I just don't have the coordination for it.

23A. Swing era dance: JITTERBUG. Ditto me and dancing, that coordination problem again. This picture is captioned "Scandalous Teen Crazes". The scandal!

32A. Smoking hazard: CIGARETTE BURN. I was half-expecting "BUTT" instead of BURN, but of course that wouldn't work with the theme. Mr. Purist says that you shouldn't have any of the same letters of your scramble adjacent to the ones you have scrambled - in this case the "RE" in "CIGARE-" breaks the rule. However, I'm feeling charitable today, so no grumble.

44A. Anticipatory counterargument: PREBUTTAL. A relatively new portmanteau - "pre-emptive rebuttal" usually in politics where you 'fess up to your shortcomings before the opposition point them out. I use the same tactics in a competitive sales situation - I know the FUD that the competition are going to dish, so I get my counters in first (FUD = fear, uncertainty, doubt).

and the reveal:

52A. Dairy implement, and a hint to what's hidden in 16-, 23-, 32-, and 44-Across: BUTTER CHURN

A nice clean theme from Joe, and I counted the grid size twice to make sure we're back to a regulation 15x15 after the last four Thursdays produced an additional square across or down.

Let's see what we've got in the fill - two clunkers and a lot of pleasant stuff!


1. Minimally: A TAD

5. Oversight: LAPSE

10. "Man With a Plan" network: CBS. In the news this week for reasons they didn't wish for.

13. One and only: SOLE

14. Fads: MANIAS

15. No longer active: Abbr.: RET. As in a retired asset. Most retired people I know are more active than the rest of us who are nose-to-the-grindstone keeping-the-wheels-of-industry-turning. My retired sister probably puts up more air miles than me, and spends her time exploring Mayan ruins in Honduras, hitchhiking through Cuba, yomping up mountains in Montana and generally playing "Where's Waldo?".

18. "__ we there yet?": ARE

19. College Board exam, briefly: AP TEST. Strictly "advanced placement", but one of those "no longer an abbreviation" examples. So is "exam" in the clue. Coincidence?

20. French assent: OUI

21. It's calculated using ht. and wt.: B.M.I. Body Mass Index.

22. Make a face, say: REACT

26. Loan application section: DEBT

27. Badgers: NAGS

28. Staff helper: AIDE

29. "Be My __ Ono": Barenaked Ladies song: YOKO. A nice departure clue for a crossword staple. I didn't fill it in right away because it could have been a lot of different words if you don't know the song.

30. West Coast athletic footwear company: LA GEAR

36. Got close to empty: RAN LOW

37. Area to lay anchor: COVE

38. High style: UPDO

39. Cry related to "hey": AHOY! Often heard in a cove?

40. Opt out: PASS

47. Goldfinger's first name: AURIC

48. Three-time NBA Finals MVP Duncan: TIM. One of the most unassuming people ever to suit up for a professional sports team.

49. __ Butterworth: MRS. Her first name was revealed, to great fanfare in 2009. Joy! No, not the emotion, that's her name. Apparently. What is Aunt Jemima's last name? We should be told.

50. Post-workout lament: I'M SORE

51. Open event gold medalist in the 2016 Chess Olympiad: USA. Apparently there are two categories, "Open" and "Women's". Don't ask me why. Ask FIDE, the World Chess Federation. Also, don't ask me why one is a translation of the other either. Odd bods, those chess folk.

55. Do a 5K, e.g.: RUN. Followed by 50A, probably.

56. Meets up with the old gang: REUNES. Ach. Clang! I know we've seen this before, but it doesn't make it any more pleasant.

57. "Makes sense": I SEE

58. Conclusion: END

59. Increase: ADD TO

60. Typically round-neck shirts: TEES


1. Norse gods' home: ASGARD. I got stuck on "Valhalla" and couldn't let go for a time. Valhalla is in Asgard. I also got distracted by "Isengard" from The Lord of the Rings. I wonder about what goes on with my synapses sometimes.

2. Head cover: TOUPEE

3. Window-switching keyboard shortcut: ALT-TAB

4. Catch a scent of: DETECT

5. Yellow __: LAB

6. "Fifty Shades of Grey" heroine: ANA. Thank you, crosses, The whole "Grey" genre passed me by.

7. Trial episodes: PILOTS

8. French toast: SALUT!

9. Nail polish brand: ESSIE. I'll take Joe's word for it. Not on my regular shopping list.

10. More like Oscar the Grouch: CRABBIER

11. Hamilton local: BERMUDAN. I read "locale" and was trying to figure out how to cram BROADWAY into a place it patently did not belong.

12. "In the Heat of the Night" Oscar winner Rod: STEIGER. He won the Oscar for Best Actor. Co-star Rod Steiger won the Golden Globe and the BAFTA award for the same thing. I don't know any movie where that's ever happened before or since.

14. B.A. Baracus player: MR. T. The "A" Team.

17. Superlative suffix: EST
23. Copacetic: JAKE. I'd not seen this synomym before. From the "Roaring Twenties" according to that font of all knowledge, the Oracle at Delphi. I mean Wikipedia.

24. "Makes sense": I GOTCHA. See "I SEE" above.

25. Old World Style sauce: RAGU. This one:

27. Swed. neighbor: NORW. Not my favorite. SWE and NOR in my book. You don't see DENM or FINL.

29. Retired NBAer Ming: YAO. I think he stands six feet nineteen and can leap the Great Wall in a single bound, even in retirement.

30. Tax: LEVY

31. Japanese prime minister since 2012: ABE. Is he honest? We should be told.

32. Big name in juice pouches: CAPRI SUN

33. Hot: IN DEMAND

34. Amorphous mass: GLOB. Is a globule a little glob, or something else entirely? Discuss.

35. Home Depot purchase: TOOL

36. Burst: RUPTURE

39. Ready to sire: AT STUD

40. Test limits: PUSH IT

41. Excite: AROUSE

42. Yes or no follower: SIRREE!

43. Drama segments: SCENES

45. Sunspot center: UMBRA. Suntan? Burnt Umbra :)

46. Leveled, with "up": TRUED

47. Theater chain initials: AMC. Pioneers of the multiplex and megaplex theaters, both in the USA and around the world.

50. Form W-9 org.: IRS.

53. Explosive stuff: TNT. Boom!

54. Fair-hiring letters: EEO. I always want it to be "Equal Opportunity Employer" which puts me off my stroke somewhat.

I love the window seat on the plane, I can't understand why anyone would want to pull the shade down, it's a beautiful world out there. I'm heading south back to LA from Seattle, and this is the sunset outside. Not the best picture, but I thought it was one to share.

Thanks to all for the birthday wishes yesterday. I was treated to a quite amazing dinner at José Andrés' restaurant here in LA last night. We ate at the kitchen bar with just eight other people and were presented with a twenty (!) course tasting menu served by the chefs who prepared the dishes. Most times I think I could take a stab at reproducing something I've eaten in a restaurant, but this one? Not a chance.

Grid? Gridded!



fermatprime said...


Thanks to Joe and Steve!

Happy belated birthday, Steve!

FIR, but needed perp help with CBS,  LA GEAR,  TIM,  ALT-TAB, ANA, ESSIE, BERMUDAN, ABE, UMBRA and AMC.

Have a great day!

fermatprime said...

I posted yesterday before C.C. entered the info about Steve's bday, evidently!

No offense, Steve!

OwenKL said...

DNF. Had cAB instead of LAB, which kept me from seeing LAPSE and the unknown ESSIE. Also needed the reveal to get the theme. Pah.

There was a Valkyrie from ASGARD
Had a LAPSE while cavorting with Hagard.
The babe that was born
Had a NORWEGIAN form
From his toes to the tip of his beard!

A documentary on BERMUDA was to report
But a hurricane forced the project to abort.
The film that they shot
Was a COVE and a shop --
All they had was their Bermuda shorts!

To use an old BUTTER CHURN
Caused a lot of calories to burn.
The JITTERING motion
Made a buttermilk potion
That the churner had no reason to spurn.

{C+, B, B-.}

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Steve and friends. Not a good sign when I can't get 1-Across and 1-Down on the first pass. I'm with Steve with thinking of Valhalla for the answer to 1-D. Once I got the BUTTER CHURN, however, the other theme answers quickly fell into place.

I would say there was a Shout Out to Boomer with the bowling clue, but I am sure that he would never get GUTTER BALLS!

I learned that Fads are not Trends, but MANIAS.

I liked the crossing of the French Toast with the French Assent = SALUT with OUI.

PREBUTTAL hurts my ears.

It appears that Florence has been downgraded to a Cat 2, but it is still dangerous. I hope all in its path are safe.

QOD: If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. ~ Roald Dahl (Sept. 13, 1916 ~ Nov. 25, 1990)

Krijo said...

Hit 100% today after 23 minutes. 50 shades pfff.
I had also cab first, but then figured lapse and it all clicked.
I have prepared an English crossword for our accounting days properly thened. I used a lot of words from American crosswords and even achieved symmetry 15x15.
Let‘s see if anyone will be able to solve it. My English colleague is struggling:)

Lemonade714 said...

So glad you had a special birthday Steve, especially responding to your 'foodie' self.

I enjoyed this one, and thought BUTTERCHURN was an inventive way to show we scrambling the word, but...why in the world was MRS clued with BUTTERWORTH? ___ROBINSON, or ___DOUBTFIRE or even the Netlix ___MEISELS.

ESSIE was buried in the recesses from a puzzle I blogged years ago, and JAKE as clued was only fillable because I read so much noir fiction and I agree completely about the two clinkers.

Have a good year, Steve; be safe all in the path of FLORENCE and good to see you again Joe.

OwenKL said...

Rick Papazian and PK -- your special talents at embedding words are needed over at the _J blog. (Is Rick still around? I haven't seen him recently.)

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

And that's why god created Wite-Out. Shot out of the gate and right into my foot: SANTÉ/SALUT, AFRO/UPDO, SEA/CAB/LAB, ONTARIAN (Hi, CanadianEh!)/BERMUDAN and AVA/ANA. Was looking for a noun for "Test limits." I managed to fix all of those errors, so everything is JAKE. Thanx, Joe and jetsetter Steve.

REUNES: I'm guessing there was supposed to be one this year. Last time I attended was 1978. Haven't received an invite in decades. Driving 1300 miles for a one-evening event doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Not even any relatives around there to visit (and mooch off).

GUTTER BALLS: You'd think it'd be a snap to roll that 16-lb ball for 60 feet without it falling of the edge of the 42-inch lane. Nope.

AURIC: Clever first name for Goldfinger. The symbol for gold is AU (from Latin aurum).

Big Easy said...

Getting close to a wild weekend for Mr. Deeney? "Man with a Plan", "50 Shades", "Ready to sire" and AROUSE all in the same puzzle. Maybe Rich had a LAPSE in "oversight" on this one.

I noticed the "TTER"s but without filling BUTTER CHURN I would have never finished the NW. ANA, ESSIE, MR. T were unknowns and I didn't know that AP TESTs were "College Board exams". When I attended college back in the Stone Age, if you passed an AP TEST you couldn't graduate earlier; you had to take another course anyway to get the credit hours required.

ALT-TAB- early Windows tool. Once you are keyboard efficient, the function keys are always faster than using a mouse or touchpad.

PREBUTTAL- never heard of but it makes sense
"Copacetic"-JAKE. Really? all perps.

billocohoes said...

Also cAB, had to ask across the table for ESSIE, yes pleasE before SIRREE

Seem to remember Redford saying "Everything's JAKE" in The Sting

What does the PBA call GUTTERBALLS, since they prefer "channel" to the unpleasant allusion of "gutter"?

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Thanks, Joe, for quite a challenge. For me anyway. I entered GUTTER BALLS, but then slowed to a near halt. Must have been a serious mental LAPSE. I liked the theme once Steve explained it.

Thank you, Steve, for another quality tour. Your birthday dinner sounds magnifique! Glad you enjoyed your day.

Have a very good day.

Oas said...

Thank you Joe and Steve.
Puzzle looked impossible at first but surprise surprise it came together though rather slowly without any look ups and a few write overs.
Had BUTTER CHURN befor any other theme fills.
Changed Blob to GLOB and CIGARETTE BURN worked to get the BALLS rolling.
Never heard of JAKE that way.
AURIC was also unknown .
McD’s coffee got cold , got to move on
Have a good day.

jfromvt said...

Toughie I thought for Thursday, but got through it. And this was a prime candidate for my pet peeve, circles in the grid, but thankfully they opted not to! Yeah!

TTP said...

Good morning all. Thank you Joe and thank you Steve.

Steve, that sounds like a great way for a foodie to celebrate. Must have been amazing.

Long drawn out solve this morning, but no quit in me today. Had the time to stick with it, and I'm glad I did. Took a couple of breaks along the way, and the last one gave me the thought to change cAB to LAB, and that was all it took to finish.

Both Ontarian and Canadian had the right number of characters to fit where BERMUDAN belonged.

Had AURIC on the tip of my tongue but couldn't get it out without the perp help.

A tough solve is a good way to start the day.

Husker Gary said...

-What a glorious struggle. I had LAPSES on too many words to list but “yomped” up the hill to prevail
-After the first two theme fills with TT, I saw …URN and put in BUTTER CHURN way too early
-From one of my favorite movies - Everything’s JAKE now (:02)
-My nephew is a wonderful math teacher who did not do well on a math advanced placement test in 4th grade
-Loan – where you have to prove you don’t need it to get one
-What a wonderful “RAN LOW” invention
-NBC exec Rick Ludwin convinced the network to produce more episodes of Seinfeld even after the PILOT was iffy
-Steiger and not Poitier?
-I first thought B.A. Baracus was a MET I didn’t know with M _ T
-Every class can have someone who will PUSH IT until they (usually he) is dealt with
-Have you ever put something under a café table leg to “TRUE it up”?
-I am embarrassed to say that my birthday dinner was from Hardees, Steve

Rick Papazian said...

Hey Joe(Deeney), where you goin' with that bowling ball in your hand? I was Jake with this puzzle, although a lapse of reading all the clues led me to insert COPSE for 5 across. Then I couldn't understand what kind of head covering a TOU?EE could be. A tricky puzzle and easy in parts, but Mr. Deeney pushed it when PREBUTTAL presented itself. As Hahtoolah said... Hurt my ears also.
Owen! Thanks for remembering my short stories. Alas, I am too preoccupied with work to commit to even a once a week story. I am relieved that the Real Hurricane coming into the East Coast shouldn't knock their socks off, leaving them in their Shorts, but I think high-water boots will be IN DEMAND.
I'm going to insist that birthday boy Steve take along a zoom 50mm camera next trip.

Irish Miss said...

Good Afternoon:

This had some bite but nothing too difficult. My w/os were: Was low/Ran low, I 'm beat/I'm sore, Blob/Glob, and Trends/Manias. Unknowns, as clued, were: Mr. T, Tim, Ana, and Essie. Nose wrinklers were: Prebuttal, Norw, and Reunes. Overall, a smooth and satisfying solve.

Thanks, Joe, for a Thursday treat and thanks, Steve, for your comical commentary. Glad you had such a memorable birthday celebration. I can only imagine what that tasting menu was like, considering Chef Andrés' credentials.

Tony, I hope you're 100 %, healthwise, soon.

Have a great day.

Picard said...

Did not figure out the theme until I had most of the theme answers finished. Clever and amusing! Some of that fill was really tough for me. I had no idea about TIM and I was afraid the Chess Olympiad clue wanted another obscure name. Go USA.

Can someone please explain why UMBRA is a "sunspot center"?

Last to fall was NW. How many here know about ALT-TAB besides Big Easy? I have so many windows open at once it probably would not help me.

ASGARD a hazy memory from these puzzles. Hand up for CAB before LAB. Before that tried SEA. ESSIE utterly unknown. AMC unknown in our small town. We have our own local chain. Cross with AURIC made for a somewhat unfair WAG. But when I did WAG it correctly I realized AURIC means "of gold" so it made sense! FIR!

Star Trek's original PILOT "The Cage"was considered "too good" by the NBC network powers that be. They rejected it, saying there is no way the program could maintain such a high standard. Little did they know it could. They also hated that the ship's commander was a woman. They were forced to make a more traditional sci-fi second PILOT with a new captain and commander to pass the TEST.

Here we were at the total eclipse in Oregon last year.

In the fourth image you can see my SUNSPOT photo. At times we were in the UMBRA of the eclipse. But I don't understand the connection?

Picard said...

Yes, please take care, all of you who are in the path of the hurricane. My North Carolina friends Dan and Christina have evacuated with their daughter and dog. They are safe, but their home and stuff, probably not.

From yesterday:
Spitzboov and Lucina Thanks for the suggestion about remembering ISERE and Simpson's characters from previous puzzles.

Since starting these puzzles I have committed some things to memory:
The Greek Alphabet
The Periodic Table
The Phonetic Alphabet (alpha, bravo, Charlie, delta...)

Not sure I can memorize all the rivers in the world. But Simpson's characters I can do. I do love the show, though I have actually only seen it a few times.

Picard said...

Oh, I have also memorized the US Presidents in order since starting the puzzles.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Finished puzzle earlier today, but had doctor's visit. BP 120/70. His eyes spun in circles when he focussed on weight loss. 28# since May.
Voting in primaries later.

Agree with IM's take on the difficulty. Liked the theme. CAPRI SUN / USA was a Natick for me. Also had 'was LOW' before RAN LOW. Good to see USA was named after a great country.
I see we have RUN and RAN in the same SW sector.
BERMUDA - On our last cruise a few years ago, at our moor in in Hamilton, our stateroom window faced the main drag there. Our Task group had liberty there in 1959; but we were anchored across the bay, then. That was when I was a fresh-caught Ensign.

Lucina said...

Thank you, Joe Deeney, for this challenge! I had to think outside the box in several places.

Apparently ESSIE is not IN DEMAND, at least not at the salon I frequent; they use OPI brand nail polish.

ANA was a pure guess because like Steve, that series bypassed me. And I question JITTERBUG as a swing era dance. It may have been popular then but I recall it's popularity during the 50s. One of my sisters-in-law and her late brother-in-law were champions at it.

Hand up for disliking REUNES and NORW.

I liked seeing ABC and CBS and have seen AURIC in other puzzles.

Thank you, Steve, and how lovely that you had a great birthday celebration suitable to your taste!

Have a joyous day, everyone!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thank you, Joe, for BUTTERing us up today. Fun puzzle! Not easy tho.

Thank you, Steve, for taking time from birthday celebrations to do the blog. The sunset picture was stunning. I love a window seat too and always spent time gazing out at the passing spectacle. First glimpse of the Grand Canyon & Painted Desert was from a flight. Another flight showed me a copper strip mine from above. Then there were the Tetons & Big Bend on another flight. When I exclaimed about these wonders, my seat mates looked at me like I was the most unsophisticated person alive. Didn't care. I was thrilled. Now I have the memories since I can't travel.

Man, I loved to JITTERBUG! Except for one time when my partner bounced me off one hip then the other and threw me between his legs and dropped me so that my head bounced off the cement floor. Lay there stunned. Scared him.

Last to fill today was the top middle. Hand up for wanting cAB, nope, tAB, fAB (PUSHING IT), oh LAB. Duh! Couldn't think of MR. T. despite a mental picture of him. MANIAS/PILOTS/ESSIE? Haven't used nail polish since I quit doing the JITTERBUG.

RAN LOW: Reminds me I need to invest in my twice-annual tank of gas soon.

Owen: thanks for the invite to your Jumble site, but I've never Jumbled.

I'm waiting for my yard man to arrive and mow the overgrown lawn. Rained him out the last two weeks. He promised to come yesterday. Didn't show up. Last night he called and said he bought a brand new mower, had to go in DEBT to the bank to get it. Fired it up on a job and smoke poured out so it went straight to the shop. He thought the mower was fixed and he'd be here first thing this morning if I planned to be here & out of bed. Got up. Had breakfast. Now four hours later he isn't here at noon. I'm wondering what new calamity has overtaken him.

desper-otto said...

Here ya go, Picard: Simpsons characters. I think learning the rivers of the world might be easier.

I must have seen a different version of The Cage. Jeffrey Hunter played Captain Pike and the eventually-to-be Spock role was played by Gene Roddenberry's wife, Majel Barrett, as Number One.

Sandyanon said...

Yes, per Desper-otto at 12:15, Jeffrey Hunter was the captain, Majel Barrett was a rather forbidding Number One, and Leonard Nimoy, as another officer, was a much more human Mr. Spock. He and Majel Barrett almost seem to have switched personalities in the final version.
I've always wondered how Star Trek would have fared if Jeffrey Hunter has been kept as the captain. It certainly would have been quite a different show.

Sandyanon said...

"had" been kept. A typo always seems to slip through!

Rainman said...

Steve, nice photo of the waxing crescent moon with Venus (which is also a crescent... it just doesn't show up and I do not know the explanation other than it just doesn't... Mercury is the same, always a crescent but not to the naked eye). Too small an object and too far away, I suppose. Happy belated natal anniversary.

Picard, I also was in Oregon last August for the great eclipse. Guessing, I'd say you were in the Southern part of the path of totality. I was in the Oregon Garden in Silverton, just E of Salem. My photos are inferior to yours although one of mine caught Venus during totality.

When you drive to the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, NM (there was a post office when I went), you pass through Penumbra before coming to Umbra. Who says solar astronomers don't have senses of humors? And, does anyone know why it closed down recently due to a "security issue" and was evacuated?

Best to all.

AnonymousPVX said...

This was rather crunchy. Not a lot of mark overs as most spaces were empty. Bit by bit and it got filled in.

Still waiting for Florence.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Sounds like a truly splendid birthday dinner, Steve. And well deserved!

Too many Naticks today, requiring an unpleasant resort to three Googles to finish. Despite surprising myself with what I could fetch from memory, there were just too many *#@! unknowns at crossing points. Better luck tomorrow.
Diag Report:
One today, NW to SE. Forming the not-uninteresting anagram ...

Jinx in Norfolk said...

One thing that is great about satellite TV is that you can get local channels quite a distance from home. We watched the forecast from our favorite Norfolk station while we were camped a little west of Winston Salem Tuesday evening. The forecast called for 30 - 40 inches of rain and hurricane-force winds. When we woke up Wednesday morning they had revised the forecast to 4 - 8 inches of rain and peak wind gusts of 45 mph. We quickly revised our evacuation plan and started home. We will still get a big blow, but not nearly as dangerous as the original forecast. Our 104-year old home has seen much worse than this. Haven't looked at yesterday's crosswords or Sudokus yet.

But I FIRed today's LAT CW, even though the northwest corner looked like a washout until the end. Hand up for erasing bLOB and cAB, for thinking of Honest ABE, and having to wait for EEO / Eoe. Also erased skip for PASS and raise for ADD TO.

The only Barenaked Ladies song I know is the clever "If I had A Million Dollars".

I had a friend who was a pretty good bowler (good enough that he hoped to join the senior professional circuit when he retired) who told me that he had picked up a 7 - 10 split by just missing the ten pin and the ball bouncing back up from the gutter and somehow knocking down the seven. He said it wouldn't have counted in "real" play, but that he was just practicing and it was a real thrill. He had never picked one up in play, but he did have a few 300 rings. Probably like getting a hole-in-one with a Mulligan. Doesn't count, but still nice.

Thanks to Joe for the fun puzzle. Just right for me on a Thursday - barely doable without help. My favorite clue was "head cover" for toupee. I won't get one. God only made so many perfect heads, and the rest he covered with hair. And thanks to Steve for the solid tour. Glad your BD was a happy one.

WikWak said...

Quite a mix today! I had sort of a love-hate relationship with it. Loved JITTERBUG, CRABBIER, IGOTCHA. Not so much REUNES & PREBUTTAL.

Spitzboov: "fresh-caught Ensign" — LOL. My dad was a fresh-caught Ensign in 1943. Spent the next two-plus years in the south Pacific, going thru Lt (jg) to Lt on a destroyer escort carrier, CVE-77. (USS Marcus Island)

I believe Fall may actually be on the way in the great midwest; two days in a row of bright sun but temps in the upper 70s.

Steve, that picture is beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

Picard, I’m with you—don’t get the connection between UMBRA and sunspot center.

Have a great day, all!

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. thank you, Joe Deeney, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for a fine review.

This puzzle was not easy. Jumped around and got the easier ones. Then attacked the tough ones.

BUTTER CHURN came quickly. I had a couple letters so it was obvious. That did help with the other themers.

ASGARD was simple. Six perps and it was mine.

My toughest were: LAPSE, ANA, LAB (I had CAB), PILOTS, SALUT, and ESSIE. MANIAS cracked the ice.

Picard: I am impressed with you memorization of many crossword items. Good job!

Must run. See you tomorrow.


( )

Ol' Man Keith said...

Irish Miss, Lucina, et al ~
I disliked the same "nose wrinklers" today, but espec. NORW. The others either had humor or precedent in their defense - but not NORW.

PS. Who's ever heard of the United States of AMERI. ?

billocohoes said...

I know UMBRA is the part of an eclipse's shadow that's total, the darkest part, while penUMBRA is where an eclipse is partial. A sunspot is a cooler, darker area on the sun's surface so presumably it too has a darker area in the middle.

Charles P Pierce of Esquire links a story about the events at Sunspot (which he points out is only 134 miles from Roswell)
from the Alamagordo Daily News

I wasn't much of a bowler but I picked up a 7-10 by driving the 7-pin into the left side wall and it caromed all around the back and right wall to kick out the 10-pin.

Bill G said...

Rainman (and all other interested parties), Venus goes through phases, as you said, just like the moon and for the same reason. Sometimes it's being lit by the sun from the back side and you can only see the bright part of it. Like the moon, sometimes it looks liks a thin crescent and sometimes it is mostly full (gibbous phase). It's so small (because it's so far away) that you can't see the phases with your unaided eye. When Venus is the brightest, it's also the closest to Earth and appears the biggest. If you have a good quality telescope, you can see the crescent easily. Mercury does the same thing but it's even farther away and even smaller.

I don't know if that's clear or not. It's much easier to explain in person when you can draw diagrams.

Irish Miss said...

Would the person who expressed an interest in an SLR camera please send me an email?

Krijo said...

ad Picard
I thought Simpsons are all household names in USA. I have seen probably all off then until seasons 20 up.
Without ALT TAB you are not able to do any office job nowadays. I hated it when some of my colleagues were browsing through the lower panel. In accounting it is necessity to browse through all the spreadsheets. I had to learn many shortcuts in my audit job.
I know Asgard from the Thor movies.
For me on the other hand all the older stuff is an unknown. Jitterbug.
Barenaked ladies made the title theme of Big bang theory.
I know my mom watched Star Trek in the 70‘s illegally from the German TV. Strangely enough the scifi literature scene behind the iron curtain was striving. Stalker or Solaris to name few..

Michael said...

From the Wiki: "Sunspots have two parts: the central umbra, which is the darkest part, where the magnetic field is approximately vertical (normal to the Sun's surface) and the surrounding penumbra, which is lighter, where the magnetic field is more inclined."

If chess can have a FIDE to run things as someone noted above, why can't we form the FIMC, "Fédération Internationale des Mots Croisés"? An especially tempting idea today, with such clunkers as PREBUTTAL, NORW, and REUNES, which I would dearly like to see called out-of-order as abominable answers.

Ol' Man Keith said...

My DNA says I'm 12% Scandinavian, so I should have remembered ASGARD - more quickly than I did. I also enjoy Wagnerian opera, so on that basis alone it should have been a no-brainer.
But the site we all remember (as Steve & Hahtoolah will agree) is Valhalla, the resting place for Norse heroes - featured majorly in Die Walküre - so when that didn't fit I panicked, so much so that the NW corner turned out to be this ol' Viking's nemesis.


Jayce said...

Nope nope nope. Unable to complete. Too many 3-letter actor and sports figure names I did not know and could not guess, to wit: 5down: --A, 14down: -RT, 4down: --B, 45 across: T-M, 51across: U-A. And not knowing that answer to "Fads" as well as the big name in juice pouches rendered it impossible for me to guess the names of these sports figures and actors. Finally, after spending 45 minutes, my onset of no longer giving a sh-t made it all moot anyway.

Excellent write-up, Steve. Glad you had such a repastitastic dinner.

Best wishes to you all.

billocohoes said...

Krijo, I think the word you want is "thriving" not "striving" - or was that autocorrect's fault?

Ol' Man Keith said...

Jayce ~
Looks like your experience with today's Xwd paralleled my own. Far too many Naticks for it to be fun.
I think I'm fair game if I have to Google once or maybe twice. But this was a 3-Googler, and that - along with NORW! - is just going, as Sean O'Casey used to say, "beyond the beyonds."

Anybody seen Misty today? She was over on the Jumble site but nowhere on the Corner...


Rainman said...

Bill G,
Thanks, but what I was so poorly trying to question was how close do we earthlings need to be to Venus (or Mercury) before we no longer need optical aid to identify that that little round dot is actually a gibbous or crescent shape. Maybe 10 million miles or so? We have no problem with the moon so maybe an object a tenth of the average diameter of the moon would be no problem. I suppose comets occasionally present this same issue: they look like a little round dot but it depends on where they are in relation to the sun.

Rainman said...

Clarification: I know, I know, comets are not distinct dots. They are more often diffuse in appearance, with tails (if it's a formal occasion).

Lucina said...

The Simpson's names may all be regular American household names, but they have to be attributed to their characters and there's the rub. However, Moe and Apu are not regular names I have heard here.

Wilbur Charles said...

How quickly we forget the late Chairman Moe or C-Moe as we called him .

Now Apu? I just never could get into The Simpsons.

Indeed this xword was slow going for me . I did fir


Misty said...

Sorry to check in so late, but after doing so well last Thursday and Friday, this morning's puzzle was a real struggle for me and took lots of cheating. The theme answers were clever and cute--thanks for that, Joe. And I always enjoy your write-ups, Steve. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I'll do a little better tomorrow.

billocohoes said...

Moe is, of course, the head Stooge.

CrossEyedDave said...

Just got back from a day hike,
unfortunately everything is soaking wet
from weeks of rain. So the newspaper (Xword and all)
had to be sacrificed to get dinner going. (Burgers & beans...)

My fitbit says we climbed 500 feet...

So, I know 50a, I'm sore, intimately...

Making dinner in the woods after a long days hike is one of the perks
of these day trips.

But, I had to use the Mensa site to do the X-word,
Kinda felt like this...

Umbr/PenUmbra? perhaps a visual is in order...

34d should have been Blob,
Steve said:
34. Amorphous mass: GLOB. Is a globule a little glob, or something else entirely? Discuss.
I say Globs can be big F'n things!

(uh, Globular Cluster, for those non nerds...)

PK, re: Filling your gas tank twice a year?
Used to be, the gas would just lose octane value over time,
but since we went to Ethanol blends, 90 to 100 days is max useful gas life!
(unless you add stabilizer!)
Ethanol blends will separate after 3 months or so,
and the heavier gunk can seriously damage you engine!

Talk to some one who knows, don't leave todays gas in your car too long!

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

A Misty WooHoo! from me. After weeks of FIW / "-T's a cheater!" Thursdays, this felt good. Thanks Joe for the doable Thursday. I, for one, will defend REUNES - fun word to use to seem smart [assuming I'm pronouncing it properly :-)]

MANIAS was last to fall as I had 50% open perps and had to play "letter combinations" [is it going to end in IES? - plural of something?] to "see" it. The SE was also hard to crack; I had a mental block wanting BUTTER-knife [justified as: BUTTER was cut-up; pats if you will]. Once SCENES went, in CHURN was easily guessed and the rest filled.

Great expo [sunburnt UMBRA, teehee] and Pic from above Steve. I expected you somewhere; should have known in the air. Glad you got back to your B-Day Tasting Party on-time. Oh, and you gotta explain the GrumpyCat connection.

WOs: Oscar was grumpier b/f CRABBIER; bLOB b/f GLOB [Hi IM!], wanted a TilL[er] @HomeDepot.
ESPs: AURIC, ESSIE, ANA, STEIGER; MR. T & SALUT were V8 moments during the expo [what game is B.A. Baracus? Is it played on British Air?; Oh, not toasted baguettes]
Fav: I'll go w/ CAPRI SUN - we don't get that in puzzles much and it's the kids' drink / incentive to go get us another beer :-)

PREBUTTAL: DW accuses me of thinking of responses b/f she's done w/ her side of the argument. Like if I didn't think ahead I'd stand a chance... //still don't win but it makes it more fair if I take notes... ;-)
It's all JAKE - we like eachother. //speaking of arguing - Barenaked Ladies' One Week.

{C+, B, B}

Jinx - I hope they're right re: storm-path/weakening for your sake. Take care mate.

ALT-TAB - know it but seldom use it. Like Picard, too many windows open. I prefer Xmouse over - screens in the background don't jump forward but are active if the mouse is over it - great for typing something in the "back" while focus is what you're reading. Think Unix X-Windows if you know that.

IM - thanks for asking. Nope. Apparently this is going around - 4 other folks at the office have it. It's like a weak-flu. I made it into the office though and got my stuff done [then left an hour early and slept until 8].

PK - did you drop that beau like he dropped you? :-)

Cheers, -T

CanadianEh! said...

Late to the party today after a busy day. Thanks for the fun, Joe and Steve. (Loved your photo and birthday dinner description)
I was actually a DNF as I had a sea of white on the west coast. I did get the theme but then was BURNed by the duplicate RE in the churned BUTTER in 32A.

ASGARD was unknown as was JAKE.
Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

Thanks for thinking of Hamilton, Ontario, d'otto and TTP. I actually thought of Bermuda (after I thought of the musical); DH and I honeymooned on Bermuda! Beautiful island. Early this week, NORW. cruise ship that was supposed to be going to Bermuda was rerouted to Halifax due to Hurricane Florence. Passengers disembarked and hit the stores to buy warmer clothing!
Picard - I thought it was just my Canadian disadvantage that made me think that I needed to memorize the American presidents to help my CW solving.

Picard said...

desper-otto Wow, I see what you mean about the number of Simpsons characters! It seems puzzle fill sticks to a few common ones, though.

Rainman Thanks for your Oregon Eclipse comments. We were in Madras, Oregon. That was predicted to be in the center of the path. It is a bit north of Bend.

WikWak Thank you for also wanting an answer to the sunspot/UMBRA connection!

Abejo Thanks for the support on my memorizations in the service of puzzle solving! I picked those things because they seem to come up at times in the puzzles. And they seem to be handy things to know in general!

I don't think I am going to start memorizing who won every sport in every major competition going back 100 years.

Krizo I am intrigued how ALT-TAB is essential to every office job. Can you give an example? And I am curious how many Simpsons names you know?

AnonT Glad you agree about ALT-TAB. Also, thanks for trying to edify me about Girl Scout Cookies the other day. By the time I saw your post I already had done the research. I seem to remember the cookies back in the 60s and 70s as being more to my taste. Apparently a lot of them have been retired over the years!

CanadianEh Memorizing our presidents seems like a lot to ask of you. Most Americans can't name a single current leader of another country. I saw a scary informal survey showing most Americans can't even point to a single country on a world map!

I did learn the names of the presidents in school. But my recent memorization had me learn the names in order of their service.

One more thing I have memorized: The US state names in alphabetical order.

A recent puzzle talked of people counting SHEEP to fall asleep. I go over these memorizations as I fall asleep! Seems like a win-win!

Picard said...

Regarding the Star Trek PILOT "The Cage" we are talking about the same episode.

Majel Barrett played Number One who was approximately the same as the role played by Spock in the final version. But her rank was "Commander" if I understood correctly. Captain Pike was the Captain.

Perhaps someone who understands Naval ranks can explain this better.

It is interesting that the NBC brass was OK with a male alien in a commanding role. But they did not even want any females on the bridge crew at all. Gene Roddenberry was way ahead of his time. He fought and won a lot.

Picard said...

Michael and CrossEyedDave Thank you very much for explaining the Sunspot/UMBRA connection! Learning moment!

Anonymous T said...

I probably didn't explain Xmouse-over very well so I made a quick video. See how I'm reading the blog (foreground window) while I "mouse-over" the command-shell in the background to do something quickly. The command-shell got the focus while I typed but that window didn't jump to the front and obscure the blog. I could monitor the results of my command while looking at the stars.

Speaking of mouse - EEEK! I thought I saw one the other night scurry across the kitchen but it could have been my eyes. Nope. I just saw him/her when I went in to prepare tomorrow's coffee. Crowdsource - mousetraps? (and have DW wake me to clean up a dead mouse?), peppermint? [read that online (and lavender) as a "they'll just leave"], or call an exterminator?

C, Eh! - Remember, Cornerites are a self-selected group of smarty-pants. Americans, in general, know our history slightly better than world geography [read: we're dirt-dumb :-)].

Exhibit A: Here I go... Washington, Adams, Jefferson, um...another Adams. //skip a bit// Polk, um... Lincoln, .., Teddy Roosevelt, um... [Where's Taft & Harding go?] ...another Roosevelt(?)... DDE, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, ?.
[I know I'm missing Jackson, Cleveland, and Grant, among others, but don't know where they go].

I think more Americans can name Simpsons character's names faster than President's :-)

Trudeau is your PM; that one's easy.

Cheers, -T

Michael said...

M. Picard: "Michael and CrossEyedDave Thank you very much for explaining the Sunspot/UMBRA connection!"

You're welcome, but CED did it better with a graphic.

Mike Sherline said...

Picard - Naval ranks, bottom up:
Lt. JG (Junior Grade)
Lt. Commander
Various Admirals