Mar 2, 2019

Saturday, March 2, 2019, Andrew J. Ries

Themeless Saturday by Andrew J. Ries

If you follow my blogging at all you know I have a very soft spot in my heart for cats and today we celebrate International Cat Rescue Day.

We got our Siamese Lily at the Capital Humane Society in Lincoln, NE over four years ago (picture to follow). She has become an essential part of our household and has added much joy to Joann's and my life.

There are many more pets out there ready for adoption and it might be something to consider.

Today's constructor is Andrew Ries whose web site address you see here. It cleverly incorporates his first initial and surname.  Very cool!

 Here is a link to the last Andrew Ries puzzle I blogged where you can find a bio of Andrew along with a picture of him and C.C.

I won't say Andrew's puzzle was "purrfect" and you can't make me! I started in the NE and made steady clockwise progress until I crossed the finish line at SEX QUIZ.

Let's examine the other entries Andrew has adopted today (just a J and a K short of a pangram); none of which I judged to be catty!


1. Throws: SLINGS - Here "Slingin'" Sammy Baugh throws one for the Washington Redskins. Check out his signature.

7. Some confrontations: SCENES - "Don't make a SCENE"

13. Good-for-nothin': NO COUNT or NO ACCOUNT

15. Decide: CHOOSE.

16. Abroad: OVERSEAS

18. "Ben-Hur" Oscar winner: HESTON - I'm not sure I was ready for the violence when my friend's mom took us to see Ben-Hur in 1959

19. "Webspace" was added to it in Jun. 2017: OED - Oxford English Dictionary

20. Hot BuzzFeed feature?: SEX QUIZ If Your Sex Life Was A Disney Character, What Would It Be?

22. "When we know, you'll know": Abbr.: TBA - You can announce the answer to the quiz above when you're ready

23. Substitute: PROXY - My lovely bride is her 96-yr-old mother's PROXY for everything in her life

25. "Tequila mockingbird" and "absinthe of malice," for two: PUNS - Fun!

26. Maverick on TV: BRET - If you believe gamblers in the old west looked and dressed like James Garner

27. Big __: SUR - The Pacific Coast Highway, that runs through this lovely place, suffered what The California Road Department called the "biggest mudslide in California history" in 2017

28. Development home: TRACT HOUSE - Pete Seeger satirized them

30. "The History of the Standard Oil Company" author: TARBELL - Ida was a muckraker of the early 20th century

32. Dunked discs: OREOS - How shall I clue thee? Let me count the ways.

33. Respectful assent: YES PLEASE 

35. Hardened, maybe: STALE - The rolls we had in Germany were not STALE but, oh my, were they ever hard. However, I loved to 53. Down: EAT them

38. Creamy sauce: ALFREDO.

40. Written argument: LEGAL BRIEF - Boomer might say, "Perry Mason's underwear" but I won't. 😙

42. NOW center: Abbr.: ORG - Betty Friedan is said to have come up with the acronym on a napkin during a meeting in her hotel room with her group of burgeoning feminists

44. Many a Baghdad dad: ARAB.

45. It helps you focus: LENS - I want this LENS for my iPhone

46. Part of some salesmen's deliveries: SMARM - I'm more accustomed to the adjectival form - SMARMY. How 'bout dat? I used adjective in its adjectival form!
48. Dietitian's calc.: BMI Calculate your Body Mass Indicator

49. '70s Robert Blake cop show: BARETTA - Another TV trope - A maverick cop

51. Pillow talk murmur: COO - As in "Bill and COO". Name for two birds @ 46 Across?

52. Musical ineptitude: TIN EAR

54. Reference to a note: SEE BELOW - As promised, a picture of our Lily on Cat Rescue day

Our Rescued Lily!
56. Going for less: ON SALE - SETTLE didn't cut it

57. Come out of the bullpen: RELIEVE - The ultimate trip out of the bullpen  (two "f-bombs")

58. Like a date without a heart?: PITTED - Clever Andrew!

59. Picked up: SENSED.


1. Private eye: SNOOP 

2. They may put their initials on trunks: LOVERS - For me and my lovely bride

3. Wearing expensive jewelry, in modern slang: ICED OUT - Ice is slang for diamonds

4. 1994 Olympics host: Abbr.: NOR - The lingering image of those olympics in NORWAY is below. Tonya claimed 10. "Lies!": NOT TRUE but later admitted she knew "something was up"

5. Dress (up): GUSSY - A school marm might gussy herself up and sashay into town

6. Bygone blade: SNEE and 9. Dawn goddess: EOS - Two regulars on the cwd bench

7. Crystalline rock: SCHIST - From the Greek word for split (Schism from last Tuesday also comes to mind)

8. "In the home of," literally: CHEZ - You might eat at CHEZ Henri or more commonly say "S'il te plaît, viens CHEZ moi" (Please come to my house)

11. 1962 hit with the line "the samba's the quickest way to make amor": ESO BESO - ESO sometimes appears alone clued as "Spanish article" but here, of course ESO BESO means "That Kiss" a hit song for Paul Anka

12. Legal bodies: SENATES.

14. Return specialist: TAX PREPARER - I do my own with Turbo Tax

17. Fronts of cold fronts: SQUALL LINES it might be time to pick up your 50. Drivers' elevators: TEES and head for the clubhouse

21. Addams who can generate electricity: UNCLE FESTER.

Jackie Coogan playing UNCLE FESTER
in The Addams Family
24. Where doctors may catch a break?: X-RAY LAB - Gotta love this clue, after you hated it!

26. Yawning cause: BOREDOM - Director John Hughes told Ben Stein, who had a degree in economics, to just ad lib a horrendous lecture

28. "Angie Tribeca" airer: TBS - Here 'ya go

29. Gardening aid: HOSE and 31. 29-Down storage device: REEL - We've got three of these on our house

34. Sound from a purse, possibly: ARF - A clever clue but seems like a cruel practice

35. Thick table surface: SLAB TOP 

36. Ends: TERMINI - Literally the ends of the line. Plural for terminus

37. Playing on the field: AGAINST - Cornhuskers AGAINST the Sooners used to be a big FB deal

39. Wall Street whizzes, say: ORACLES.

41. Played loudly: BLARED - Because Kennedy Space Center is on Merritt Island, which is an animal sanctuary, NASA couldn't harm the woodpeckers tearing up insulated fuel tanks. Therefore they BLARED Metallica at them and the birds left.
43. It's good to be in one: GROOVE - We had this last Saturday where I mentioned Boomer having been in many of these while bowling

46. Pricey fur: SABLE - The habitat of this furry little carnivore

47. Did yard work: MOWED.

49. Block on a farm: BALE - Today they are much more likely to be this shape which is much less labor intensive

55. A, in German class: EIN - The indefinite article not the letter.  Dies ist EIN Kreuzworträtsel (This is a crossword puzzle)

After you comment, you might want to call/visit your local shelter to rescue a pet!


OwenKL said...

A submarine went OVERSEAS,
Except that they went underseas.
The footnotes show
That PUNS upon these seas seize!

Once there was a girl named Roxie
Always went on dates as PROXY.
When girls were shocked
By second thoughts
They'd hire her as RELIEF doxie!

"Behold the ponderous O.E.D.s!
(Holding one may break your knees!)
Words unsightly
It don't take lightly!
Do you really want to know?" "YES, PLEASE!"

*e.g., see the blog of C.C.'s!
{B+, A-, A-.}

Lemonade714 said...

This is one of my favorite Saturday puzzles of all time. Thank you, A Ries! As always, a fun tour from HG. Lili looks a little spoiled Gary, but she is beautiful.

Like a date without a heart?:PITTED; "Tequila mockingbird" and "absinthe of malice," for two:PUNS and Where doctors may catch a break?:X-RAY LAB are all wonderful.

I did not know SCHIST but it was inferrable with perp help. I did not know and do not care for ICED OUT; never thought of using SMARM as a noun, but it was worth seeing the picthesauras that Gary chose to use in his write-up and finally, I did not recall IDA TARBELL.

Thank you, Gary and Andy.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Suitably crunchy for a Saturday breakfast. I made a mess in the NW (Wite-Out can do wonders). OWNERS/LOVERS, SIT IN/PROXY and PREEN/GUSSY were the culprits. The rest came together quickly. Thanx, Andrew (Those stacked 11s in the center were amazing...and a lifesaver). Husker, you were in fine form this morning.

BMI: According to your chart, I'm slightly overweight. The doc agrees.

BALE: A neighbor gets a round bale and puts a jack-o-lantern face on it for Halloween. Then he turns it around and makes a comical turkey for Thanksgiving. Then he tears the bale apart and uses the straw for the floor and roof of his creche at Christmas. That is one multi-tasking bale.

International Cat Rescue Day: There's a new kitten CHEZ d-o -- an 11 oz. little terror. Runty is the runt of a litter of six. The other five went to the no-kill shelter in The Woodlands. That shelter ships the over-supply to other parts of the country where pets are in demand. Dw decided that Runty was just too little to go. I'm pretty sure that means it's found a permanent home already.

TAX PREPARER: I'll take that as a CSO. Seventy-three so far this tax season -- 74 if you count our own. I've had one "reject." A hispanic woman failed to mention that she had an anti-ID-theft PIN from the government. The IRS wouldn't accept the return without it.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! This was a tough & chewy Saturday for me. Thanks for the challenge, Andrew. Great expo, Gary!

I had a lot of white areas as I labored thru this without many perps to get going. Slowly kept adding letters & "aha-ing". I did have to do some red-letter runs to find a toe hold in places that were all snowed in. Just not in Andrew's interesting wave-length.

Knew FESTER & BARETTA, but they took awhile to float to the TOP of my consciousness. Been a long time since we watched those two fellers every week.

BMI: I don't want to talk about it.

New term: ICED OUT.

LOVERS also took awhile to dawn on me.

Never heard of Angie Tribeca.

"Block on a farm" wasn't acre. BALE? Gees, I needed ESP, says the farm owner. Duh!

Sorry, Gary, I'm allergic to pets in the house. The one I had outdoors created enough problems.

CartBoy said...

Got through it fine (or so I thought). Guess it’s TRACT not CRACK...because all the developing leaders of this country will need to smoke crack...pot is passé...

PK said...

YR: FLN re: Alan being "tween". I remember thinking that teenagers were designed to be obnoxious so that parents would be glad to let them leave. It's such a relief to have no contention in the house.

Lorraine: hope the rehab helps you heal quickly. Glad to know you are being well cared for.

jfromvt said...

Got most of it, but trouble in the NW corner. Had MOVERS for 2D, and never figured out SLINGS or ICEDOUT, or NOCOUNT. Should have been more patient I guess.

Oas said...

Fun puzzle thanx to Andrew Ries.
The only real problem came with the unknown SCHIST, chissyat.
Was not sure of TRACK or TRACT HOUSE because I didn’t know SCHIST.

billocohoes said...

HESTON, UNCLE FESTER, BARETTA were footholds that got me started.

epEE before SNEE (did we discuss snicker-snee in the last couple of weeks?)

Wasn't sure about the spelling of SCHIST, think I was conflating it with gneISs, a similar metamorphic rock.

Never really heard of SLABTOP, and the clue for AGAINST seems off - you yourself could be playing, or not in any competition.

inanehiker said...

This was a tough but ultimately satisfying puzzle - I ended up solving from SE to the NW which is the opposite of my usual solving pattern- but eventually got 'er done!

Only nit - I perped XRAY LAB - having the LAB part first - but in all the 40+ years I have worked in medical settings I have NEVER heard of it being called that!

IDA TARBELL was in my memory banks, as one of my favorite classes in high school was Honors American History taught by Mr Wolfe (did we ever know their first names?). Instead of the usual start at Revolutionary War - we started after the Civil War to the present and one of the most interesting units was on the "Muckrakers" (of which she was one and included Upton Sinclair) who exposed corruption in areas like business, urbanization, and government in the Progressive Era (1890s-1920s)

Thanks HG and Andrew for a fun morning outing!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Tough one but got it done with a little help. Got the NE easily, but then only a smattering of fill elsewhere, at first. Xword dictionary helped with PROXY and BARETTA. Got all the rest of it on my own. Last entries were TERMINI and SLAB TOP.
Had 'flings' before SLINGS.
EIN is the nominative form to modify masculine and neuter nouns. L. German is een, Dutch is een.
ARAB - From the other day, I think we get words like algebra, alcohol, zenith, and tariff from Arabic. Not to mention our number system 1234567890.

Big Easy said...

Well, it was a Saturday toughie but I managed to finish it. Thanks to Geology courses I knew SCHIST and like so many Boomers, I grew up in a TRACT HOUSE. Those two opened up the right side. BRET & HESTON were practically gimmes. With the spelling of Addams, UNCLE FESTER filled because the other characters' names wouldn't fill it. But it was the left side that was slow to finish.

SEX QUIZ, TARBELL, TBS were filled by perps.
Misstarts were RDA for BMI, SAD & LOW before EAT, STOLE before SABLE, and I was thinking that Tequila Mockingbird and the absinthe were songs (DUOS) before the V8 moment and changed it to PUNS. SMARM- only heard SMARM-Y before but the perps were solid.

billocohoes said...

inanehiker, sometimes we had to make up first names. My high school had two physics teachers, Peter Reilley and Peter Riley (Big Mr Reilley and Little Mr Riley.) Both of their wives were teachers (Mrs. Big Reilley and Mrs. Little Riley.) One of my classmates was Pete (Big Mr. Reilley Jr.)

In The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle there was a restaurant named CHEZ Menu (no, shame on me.)

VirginiaSycamore said...

I haven't done today's puzzle, but I read Yellowrocks comment last night about non-responding youngsters.

I think the solution was in the book, "How to make friends and influence people" by Dale Carnegie.

Two men are conversing on this issue. One makes a bet that he could get the nephew to write him. He sent this letter:
Dear nephew, hope you are doing well in college, etc.
Enclosed is a $50 bill for you to spend.

Then mail it without the money in the envelope.

I really enjoy this blog although I can't always get the time to write.


Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I'm definitely in the minority this morning. Although I finished w/o help, I also finished w/o any joy or satisfaction. I'll defer to Thumper.

On the bright side, I thoroughly enjoyed your write-up, HG. Lily is a beauty and, IMO, all pets deserve to be spoiled. (I would love to have a dog but the cons greatly outweigh the pros.) The "Wild Thing" nickname for Charlie Sheen was a tad prescient, sadly.

Wind of Change @ 5:07 ~ You may or may not be aware that, in addition to "Gorky Park", Martin Cruz Smith wrote several spy thrillers involving Russia, with a protagonist policeman named Arkady (I forget his last name). I enjoyed all of them.


Best wishes, Lorraine, for a rapid recovery.

oc4beach, thanks for the tip on Middleswarth chips; I'll give them a try after I nibble my way through the Gibbles! How would you compare the two?

Anonymous T, no Vig involved, just lots of calories!

Have a great day.

desper-otto said...

DW spent several hundred dollars last year getting stray cats fixed. She traps 'em where they hang out behind grocery and dollar stores in the area and takes 'em to TLC, Texas Litter Control, for spay/neuter. This particular litter of kittens was dumped at the Family Dollar in town. They're too young to be fixed, but dw wasn't about to kill 'em. Most of the shelters in the area collect a neutering fee at adoption time. They figure that since they've prepaid, the new owners will bring the animal in to be fixed when it's old enough. I have to admit, I don't know what the policy is with the animals that they ship out of state.

Unknown said...

Good puzzle except as a Radiologist I need to say that there is no such thing as a X-ray “lab”.

Spitzboov said...

Unknown @ 1149:

You can come to Rome, NY and check it out at:

Chestnut Commons Outpatient X-ray, Lab
107 E Chestnut St #102
(315) 339-3820

Misty said...

Well, I got the northeast before I had to start cheating, so that felt good. It helped that I remembered HESTON in "Ben Hur." OREOs sure show up a lot in puzzles, don't they? Getting them as the answer has become almost automatic. The PITTED answer to the date without a heart clue cracked me up. Thanks, Andrew and thanks, Husker Gary, for the helpful commentary.

Have a good weekend, everybody.

Irish Miss said...

I'm sure you all will be interested in the Crossword Fiend's 2018 ORCA results. You'll find CC mentioned in the Constructor of the Year section, which is the very last entry. I think you'll agree wholeheartedly with Amy's assessment.

Wind of Change, I think his name was Arkady Renko.

AnonymousPVX said...

Well this was a typical...tough, that is....Saturday puzzle.

No traction in the NE so I sunk to the bottom, but not a lot going on there....had to just catch as catch can.

So this rewarded patience and perseverance, at least for me.

Also had to wait for BART or BRET to appear, but the B__T went in right off.

BMI is not a valid measurement, as I’ve said before. How can a person with 10% body fat be obese? According to BMI, just about every pro athlete must be. BMI makes no determination between fat and muscle. Zero credence to BMI.

Okay, Markover time.....RDA/BMI, SAD/EAT. I also initially entered BARRETA but immediately changed it to BARETTA as it just didn’t look right.

And I just loved the ADDAMS FAMILY as a kid, that show cracked me up. “You Rang?”

Ol' Man Keith said...

I couldn't get REEL! Damn it!
I know there are such things. HuskerG sez he's got three.
We have two large HOSEs, but they just lounge on the ground in spirals, one under a garden table and the other just sitting naked in its own patch of dirt.
I guess that's why I just couldn't think of the fill.
It illustrates--once again!--how our different life styles render certain Xwd clues easier for some than for others.

I mean, except for Big Easy, whose life style includes SCHIST?!

I had fun knocking off about half of Mr. Ries' opus on my own. The left side was too much for me. Or maybe I was just worn down.
SO I took about four or five peeks to finish 'er off.

Misty ~
Yes, OREOS show up often, maybe even more frequently than ELI, TSAR, ALIT, and ASEA. Wouldn't it be fun if somebody were to create a grid with only 3-, 4-, and 5-letter fills, allowing only the most popular answers?
It would be entirely dependent on clever cluing to stick the right fills in their proper places.
♬ Yes, we have no diagonals.♪
We have no diagonals to-daaay. ♪♬

Irish Miss said...

Wind of Change @ 1:29 ~ Did you see my post at 11:03 re Martin Cruz Smith's other Renko novels?

Corrections to my 1:05 post: Sam Donaldson wrote the commentary, not Amy and the CC reference is in the second to last category, not the last. Mea Culpa.

Lucina said...

Whew! So late to this party and I enjoyed this sometimes frustrating puzzle a lot! Thank you, Andrew Ries! And thank you, Gary, for another fine finish

I started early this morning and while drinking my coffee finished about half of it. Thanks to HESTON, BRET, BARETTA and TARBELL those started me on the right track. However, EOS is sometimes IOS and that held me back until the end when CHEZ emerged along with SCENES.

I loved the clue for PITTED! SCHIST? Don't know it but it perped itself. In the SE, EDGED gave way to MOWED as demanded by SMARM and ORACLES appeared.

ALFREDO also led me along the primrose path and I filled the center with TAXPREPARER. UNCLE FESTER was very slow to appear. I liked LENS, too! PUNS, yes, I love them.

After coffee I had to start on my housecleaning as I am expecting guests tomorrow. Mark came to blow out the debris from the patio and so now I just have to go and have my nails done.

I have to say that ESOBESO as "that kiss" really riles me every time I see it. The translation is "that (which) I kiss", presumably lips.

It's so good to see you! I hope your recovery is going well.

I hope all are enjoying a wonderful day!

Lucina said...

I've also read and enjoyed Martin Cruz Smith's novels.

Haiku Harry said...

Here is a bad PUN:

Hobbit-themed diner
Features this entrée:
Fettuccine al Frodo

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle. Totally loved the clue for PITTED.

Michael said...

Since we are on a recovery from today's exercise, you could add to your knowledge that many Russian names are based on other words in the language.

'Gorky' comes from the adjective for 'bitter' ('gor'kiy). "Eagle' ('oriol') is the name of a town, as well as the family name Orloff; 'sokol', 'falcon', becomes Sokoloff. And so on.

Yuman said...

Our rescue cats are named, Kailua, Bailey, and Brûlée. See the theme? We “inherited” a black and white female tuxedo kitten from my daughter, and we are in need of a name. Any suggestions?
Winters over here in the Arizona desert so we are back to our usual warm sunny days. I feel sorry for you folks that are getting another blast of cold and snow. I grew up in Chicago so I sympathize with all of you. Bundle up!
Welcome back to Dave and Lorraine.

Gato said...

Well there's too many black and white cats in this world named Oreo. So I'd go with something a little more off the beaten path.....say like Squad Car.

Sandyanon said...

Maybe crémmeuse?

Sandyanon said...

Sorry, crémeuse.

Irish Miss said...

Wind of Change @ 3:16 ~ Happy Reading!

Gato @ 4:38 ~ Your Squad Car suggestion totally cracked me up. (I think, sometimes, that my sense of humor is somewhat warped!)

Irish Miss said...

Yuman @ 4:32 ~ I love your cats' names. How about Puff for the new kitty?

Yuman said...

Kahlua not Kailua

Yellowrocks said...

My all time favorite cat was named Kahlua, dark brown and silky. He was my constant companion, sleeping with me,sitting on my lap, involving himself in everythng I did. He was playful, loving and full of fun. He would sit on the papers I was correcting, scrambling them. Ten years after his passing I still miss him. I never heard of another cat named Kahlua.

Ray o sunshine said...

Got back from Niagara Falls on business, late start on today's puzzle. Have never seen either Falls in winter. Incredible site.

Rather easy Saturday. Or perhaps the Falls icy mist super stimulated my brain. Plus driving home on the Thruway in a snowstorm on high alert!!!

Gato said...

Don't ever lose that IM. Warped is not only a synonym for bent or twisted it also equates to wry. I prefer the latter.

oc4beach said...

IM @ 11:03 am: They are somewhat different. Middleswarth is a somewhat lighter chip that's been fried in a mixture of vegetable oils with some tallow added instead of lard. Sort of like what McDonald's fries used to be like. I like both.

Wilbur Charles said...

There was BART Maverick too
Blaring Metallica is far more cruel than pocket Toys.
I read Gorky Park but it was a long time ago. eg SSR days.
The most amazing thing about Ida's book was that Rockefeller consented to be interviewed.
RDA used to be the"calc" of choice

This was by no means easy for me. I came up for air and saw the East filled and the West white.
I then got up and walked to the kitchen and when I got back filled fast.
AGAINST made no sense then and now. Second letter G ends with NST?
Looking back some of the fill shouldn't have been so hard. ARABS was clued funny. Getting rid of RDA was the key.


Wilbur Charles said...

When the Beatles made their famous American debut on the Ed Sullivan Show I was watching Maverick. And earlier instead of Elvis it was Jackie Gleason.


CrossEyedDave said...

Too busy to do the puzzle today,
which would normally preclude me from posting.
However one word in the puzzle reminds me of another puzzle.

Schist is a very fragile crystalline rock.

This disc made of Schist was found in a Egyptian Tomb
shattered into pieces. When restored and glued back together
it made a very curious design...

Some say it was a floor lamp, on a pole, with sheafs of reeds under each
lobe with the ends resting in oil to make wicks.

Others say it was a rope wrench, used to make braided rope...

How it was carved out of such delicate material no one can say.

Further reading...

Not to mention vases carved out of Granite that would be difficult to reproduce today. (see @1:30)

And yet, in India, there is a temple that has chains hanging from a roof
that were carved from a single piece of stone!

Just a little late nite curiosity...

Bill G said...

Where do you get these addictive chips? I don't think our local supermarket (Ralphs) carries them.

Michael said...

CED @ 2330 ... Plus, the schist disk has a HUB in the center. so it was intended to rotate on an axle of some sort.

(But if you want to get weird, check out the many stone walls around the world, where the stones are carved (somehow) to fit with the neighboring stone, even though the stones are several tons in weight, and it would have been easier just to carve the stones as rectangles.)