May 18, 2019

Saturday, May 18, 2019, Ed Sessa

Themeless Saturday by Ed Sessa

I am very happy to mention any day that celebrates members of the Armed Services. The third Saturday in May is now designated Armed Forces Day and I salute all who have served.

Today's constructor is Ed Sessa M.D., our retired N.Y. pediatrician who is now a resident of Sanibel Island, Florida 

This puzzle was just what the doctor ordered (Hey, you had to see that coming!). I came up dry in the NW but the NE yielded quickly and pretty soon the entire east coast was fully populated and it was Westward Ho! 

Triple horizontal and vertical stacks always impress me 

Now let's see the results of Dr. Sessa's making a house call to our little part of the world:


1. Noble: ARISTOCRAT and 4. Address for a 1-Across, perhaps: SIR.

11. Tic __: mints: TACS - In a rare moment of comity last week, President Trump offered Speaker Pelosi a TIC TAC and she accepted it

15. Play with unseen players: RADIO DRAMA - Perhaps the most famous RADIO DRAMA performance of all time. Orson Wells doing H.G. Wells 

16. Buck heroine: OLAN - O-LAN is a strong but mostly silent Chinese woman in Pearl Buck's The Good Earth 

17. Certain clinic contributor: SPERM DONOR - Uh, BLOOD DONOR was close but...

18. Hall of Fame quarterback Graham: OTTO - We NFL fans from the 50's remember

19. Significant span: ERA

20. Satirized: SENT UP - A great purveyor of the art:

21. Kind of list: TO DO.

22. Homework shirker's comeuppance: NO TV

24. It may hold broken pottery: RUIN- I'm sure Pompeii's RUINS had lots of broken pottery

25. Hilarious: A HOOT 

26. Frozen beverages: ICEES.

28. Source of blowups: TNT.

29. They're off-limits: NO NOS.

30. Olympic figure skating gold medalist after Kristi: OKSANA - OKSANA Baiul and her doubles partner Victor Petrenko having some fun

32. Makes a lot of progress: GETS FAR.

34. Many an Irish song: LILT.

36. Try for a better hand: DRAW - Even if you DRAW cards, it's going to be tough to make this a good hand

37. Smirks: SIMPERS - Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered has the lyric "I'm a whimpering, SIMPERING child again" and I always thought whimpering and simpering were synonyms

40. Stir to action: AROUSE  and 52. Barbarian horde: HUNS - A WWI call to action

44. Mystical views: AURAE - AURAS didn't cut it

45. Saddle-making tool: AWL - Many holes are required

47. Muesli brand: ALPEN - Swiss style muesli made in Northhampshire, England

48. Constellation points: STARS - These STARS makeup the constellation ORION

49. Musician Lennon: SEAN - son of John and Yoko 

51. Banjo bar: FRET.

53. It includes AAPL and MSFT: THE DOW Jones Average - YTD for Microsoft and Apple

59. Steal, perhaps: DEAL - At Apple's IPO, the stock price was $22/share. Four splits and nearly forty years later it would be worth $11,144/share. What a steal/DEAL!

55. Devoured, with "up": ATE.

56. Thrill from Sills: ARIA - Beverly Sills at La Scala

57. Start: ACTIVATION.

60. Dropped in on: PAID A VISIT.

61. Mrs. Krabappel (Kruh bap' ull) of "The Simpsons": EDNA - The Our Gang Comedies had Mrs. Crabapple as a teacher who spelled her name slightly differently 

62. Giovanni Ribisi title con man: SNEAKY PETE Here 'ya go


1. Former late-night talk star, familiarly: ARSENIO - Hall

2. Limp Bizkit genre: RAP ROCK If you're curious

3. Has a thought: IDEATES - Example from Merriam Webster - "A psychotic would repeatedly IDEATE the act of committing murder" Awkward perhaps, but look at all those compliant letters

5. Farm males: TOMS.

6. More kooky: ODDER.

7. Pastry portmanteau: CRONUT - When a croissant meets a doughnut

8. Sounding off: RANTING.

9. Came (to): AMOUNTED - My birthday meal "came to" $102 and was fabulous

10. One may be rolled out in the park: TARP - Roll it out (cylinder is in left field) and then spread it out

11. "Macbeth" brew ingredient before "Witches' mummy": TOOTH OF WOLF - Do want fries with that?

12. City with a Penn State campus: ALTOONA - Last week we had Penn State Schuykill 

13. Persian passageway: CAT DOOR - This is not a Persian cat but it is a CAT DOOR that only opens when the cat with the right microchip uses it

14. Pompous sorts: SNOOTS.

23. Trattoria entrÈe: VEAL MARSALA.

25. Cochise player of early TV: ANSARA - Syrian born Michael who played Native American Cochise

27. Wading birds with camouflage plumage: SNIPES 

31. Tavern offering: ALE.

33. Refrain opener: TRA.

35. Domicile in front of 123 Sesame Street: TRASH CAN - You'd be grouchy too if you lived there

37. Medically closed up: SUTURED.

38. Khamenei or Khatami: IRANIAN.

39. What often comes before pie: SWEETIE.

41. Hoist: UPRAISE.

42. Take care of business: SEE TO IT.

43. Agreement between states: ENTENTE - One is shown in green below that fought during WWI

44. Barely: A SHADE - Just A SHADE short

46. Uppity: LA DI DA.

50. B.J. of "The Office": NOVAK - He played Ryan Howard on the show and also was a writer and executive producer

53. Light touches: TAPS.

54. Rippled, like chips: WAVY.

58. Point or pointer: TIP - I'll give you a TIP on how to use the TIP of that pointer 

I hope today puts today will remind you to say, "Thank you for your service" to any member of the armed forces you see today.


OwenKL said...

FIRight with a wag at ANSARA + ALPEN. AnTioch > ALTOONA, raMS > TOMS, maDER > ODDER, SNOOTY > LADIDA (before I was sure of it at 14d), ayatola > IRANIAN.

If for a NO-NO you have NO T.V.
A RADIO DRAMA you can still see.
On your mind's slate
You can IDEATE
What scenes look like, even 3-D!

A wanderer goes TRA-la-la
A SNOOTY one goes LA-DI-DA
To matriculate
Into Penn State
One may go to ALTOONA!

TTP said...

Dagnabbit ! Nuts !

TOOTH OF WOrt did me in. Yes, I guess WOLF makes more sense. Wasn't wort in the cauldron ? And a newt of something ? Never read it, but I vaguely remember something about three crones around the pot adding odd ingredients to the witches brew.

Anyway, that forced me into tree for banjo part, even thought I wanted FRET. I recalled that something on a guitar is called a tree so I thought it might be the same on a banjo.

I was left clueless with ArPE- across and E-eENTE down.

So, with one cell unfilled, and already at 35 minutes, I caved and changed the game to regular.

ENTENTE escaped me. Should have stuck with it, and perhaps I would have seen WOLF, got FRET, and then might have seen ENTENTE.

Oh well. Great puzzle, Ed. Three bad cells on my part. Thank you too, Husker Gary for covering the bases.

Big Easy said...

After 5 minutes the top half had TACS and OTTO, so I went South and it was white until NASDAQ was filled-wrong. I didn't realize APPLE was in THE DOW. But that and FRET were my toeholds today. Mr. Sessa had words I 'knew of' but didn't really know-- SNEAKY PETE, OKSANA, ALPEN, TOOTH OF WOLF, TRASH CAN. Finished faster than the normal Saturday time.

EDNA, ANSARA, NOVAK, SIMPERS, & RAP ROCK were unknowns filled by perps.

LA DI DA & TRA- missing LA LA today but they describe SNOOTS.
After remembering ARSENIO Hall, the North opened up and knew BLOOD DONOR couldn't work. SPERM DONOR- did they have an assistant who PAID A VISIT or did they AROUSE themselves? We'll never know.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This one stayed Wite-Out-free...until it didn't. Yes, I fell into the BLOOD DONOR trap...briefly. SWEETIE was my first thought...but NASDAQ spoiled that. Then THE DOW spoiled NASDAQ and SWEETIE went back in...sweet. VEAL MARSALA was another early WAG that worked out. Thanx for jump starting my brain cells, Dr. Ed (and for the dual CSOs at 5d and 18a). Nice recap, Husker.

ANSARA: You've got to be a "certain age" to remember that one. John Lupton played the territory agent opposite Ansara's Cochise in Broken Arrow in the late 50s. Wasn't a total loss...I learned the work "wickiup" from that show.

"Giovanni Ribisi": Anybody else assume that this guy wrote operas? No, just me.

Bluehen said...

I had no problem remembering Michael Ansara, but I remember his wife even more fondly.

What a wicked workout Dr. Sessa laid on us today. I made a quick pass through the across and down clues looking for low hanging fruit and, boy, were the pickin's slim. Most of the few toeholds were in the south-central, so I started there and slowly worked my way up. Whatta slog. There weren't that many complete unknowns, but otherwise straightforward answers were obfuscated by devilishly devious cluing. Strangely enough, SPERMDONOR was my first thought. I'm not sure I like what that says about me. Finally got her all done at the 28+ minute mark. They say the sweetest reward is the hardest one won, so thanks for the treat, Dr. Sessa. HG, your reveals are always a pleasure. Thank you.

Off to spend the day on yardwork, followed by a cookout tonight (warming up for Memorial Day). Cya!

Jerome said...

Ansara was Syrian/Lebanese. Lived to be 91. Married to Barbara Eden ( I Dream of Jeannie) for 16 years.

inanehiker said...

This was fairly steady until the SE was slower for me. I thought the cluing for SPERM DONOR was great because it was very specific. SPERM donations are used in infertility/gyn clinics, whereas blood is donated at centers and given in hospitals- whether inpatient or outpatient sections. Bloodbanking is so intensive a lab work that hospitals are usually the only places that are equipped for that both by equipment and staff! Hats off to everyone who donates and works in the field!

Just got back from a visit to Augusta, GA to visit our Air Force son and wife--with Ft. Gordon designated as the National Cyber Command a few years ago- there was military everywhere!

Thanks HG and Ed!

Lemonade714 said...

Anyone out there who can explain why my keyboard keeps conking out forcing me to reboot? It is connected by USB.

Anyway, as I was saying...great to see Dr. Ed paired with HG again for Saturday challenge and exposition. It was interesting to see KRABAPPLE in the puzzle as I was just commenting to a friend about the beautiful flowering crabapple trees we had in our yard as I was growing up. Also, I was reminded that COCHISE was one of the very first TV shows I saw after my father got our first TV in 1957. As has already been mentioned by Bluehen and BE, it was easy to remember MICHAEL ANSARA after he married Barbara Eden my uncle Harold's dream girl.

I do not watch SNEAKY PETE but I have enjoyed GIOVANNI RIBISI since his time om FRIENDS as Phoebe's brother. He has been in so many things, including the now expanding AVATAR franchise.

I loved your skating GIF, Gary. It inspired me to post the entire clip of this rare performance by the 1992 Men's Olympic Gold Medal Winner and the 1994 Women's Gold Medal Winner at a post-Olympics GALA. I always give a shout out to our dearly departed Clear Ayes who was one of the early cornerstones here. 1994 was also the TONYA HARDING NANCY KERRIGAN showdown.

Thanks, guys

Lemonade714 said...

Oops, I meant JEROME who today is not GUNDERSON. DID?

oc4beach said...

Dr. Sessa gave us a thorough workout today. HG filled in the reasons behind some of the clues to give us AH-HA moments.

A few missteps along the way today. I had KASHI vs ALPEN, ARIOT before AHOOT, DERIDE before SENTUP (never heard the term before) and AURAS before AURAE.

Ed did supply enough slow pitches to give us some toe-holds today. Tough but doable.

I remember Michael Ansara from 50's and 60's TV and movies, but had no idea what his national heritage was. Also, didn't know he was married to Barbara Eden, one of my favorite actresses of the era.

Among other things, today is Armed Forces Day and is a day to pay tribute those who serve.

Enjoy your spring day.

Rollin' said...

Jayce made a request last night @755p and I made a poor attempt to acquiesce @817p. It was a fresh new clue/answer I came up with for ALLAH TI DAH. It was a pretentious, or UPPITY, nickname for Gore. Not exact, but I claim some sort of crossword synchronicity. Fun! Well, for me at least.

Don't look up the meaning of Limp Bizkit. Trust me. DO NOT. It's much more breakfast unfriendly than SPERMDONOR. Very nsfl(not safe for life). It was chosen solely to offend potential fans.

Great job as always Husker. I always look forward to your Saturday summaries.

Cut lion said...

Hey Husker, TTP and other golfers. Did you happen to see the putting tip a pro golf teacher gave on the broadcast of the PGA Championship this morning?

Using a metronome app on his smartphone he set the metronome for 76 beats and set it on the green near his practice golf balls. He then attempted to keep that beat/pace for every putt, every length to keep his putting style consistent. We all know consistency is the key for many sports, including bowling and billiards.

I found it interesting. Decided to share even though it's not puzzle related. Hey, its Saturday, we need more posts.

CanadianEh! said...

Saturday Stumper today. Thanks for the fun Ed and HuskerG.
A sea of white remained after my first pass. Many educational Google visits eventually led to my finishing, but I can't say that I enjoyed it. Above my pay grade, but it is Saturday!

Rams changed to TOMS (hello OwenKL); Ego changed to TNT; Incite changed to AROUSE.
Did anyone else enter John before SEAN.
For some reason, I love the word SIMPERS,

Favourite today was the clue and misdirection for CAT DOOR. (Great idea to have it only open to a specific microchip to avoid other visitors.)

Wishing you all a great day.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Just couldn't get ANSARA today. Was unfamiliar with the SENT UP expression. Had trouble in the NW and in the SE, too. Even after perps gave NOTV I scratched my head and said "What is NOT V?; Oh, NO TV." And so it went. Favorite clue was for CAT DOOR.
Krabappel - Is Dutch for crab apple.

Good job Ed and Gary.

Have a great day.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Surprised to see Dr. Ed on a Saturday but he's always welcome at Chez Irish Miss. I never heard of Alpen, so perps were a must for that entry, as well as for The Dow, Sneaky Pete, Snipes, and Rap Rock. I had Johnnie before Arsenio and Newt instead of Wolf for that disgusting-sounding Witche's Brew. DO gets two CSOs at Otto and Toms, and also TTP at Toms. I finished w/o help in normal Saturday time.

Thanks, Dr. Ed, for an enjoyable challenge and thanks, HG, for the delightful tour.


Anonymous T, the best looking tomato of the whole harvest is the big green one. That would be perfect for fried green tomatoes! Yum!

We finally have some sunshine but, based on our recent track record, I think it'll be short lived.

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Lots of unknowns in this puzzle worked out by perps. Googled Ansara but got everything else. Great Saturday puzzle.

Lucina said...


Thank you, Ed Sessa; this was challenging but totally doable and thank you, Gary, for the illustrated commentary. Interesting about the CATDOOR with a microchip.

My toehold started in the SW with SUTURED/EDNA and blossomed from there into the SE. I'm not familiar with SNEAKYPETE but it emerged along with all the rest. PAID A VISIT reminded me of Sundays when I was young. After Mass we always went to visit a relative, either my grandmother or cousins.

In the NW with ARSENIO (I tried JOHNNIE, too) in place ARISTOCRAT suggested itself and the S gave me SPERMDONOR.

Hardest was the NE. Though TACS and OLAN came easily, I wanted TOE instead of TOOTH and I've read that numerous times! Nice double CSO to OTTO and both TOMS.

Finally it all came together in less than one hour which is remarkable for a Saturday. I have to say it was A HOOT even with many unknowns such as CRONUT, NOVAK, ANSARA of whom I have no recollection and didn't know he was married to Barbara Eden. SENTUP was pure guessing.

My daughter, her husband and two of their children are on my roof cleaning it and applying a white protective coating. It's hard work and will take the entire day so I'm grateful they are doing it.

Have a sunny day, if not where you are, I'm sending it to you!

Wilbur Charles said...

Anyone else have”Eye of newt”?
Surprisingly quick FIR today. Although a vast SEA of white had to be traversed. Like Gary, NE was first to fall.

I'd just finished and TV happpened to be about Outback hunters. And they're talking about SNIPE. I thought. I look up and there's this long slimy reptile. SNIKE!

VEAL MARENGO was invented when Napoleon was in a hurry to fight said battle

Cut Lion: That post was perfect for yesterday's golf themed xword

OTTO Graham's Alma mater was the Great Lakes Naval Station. Better LIU:Arghh, wiki is useless as usual. Northwestern before the War


Misty said...

Saturday toughie, but still lots of fun. I got all sorts of odd items for my start--OLAN, SIR, SEAN, IDEATES, PAID A VISIT, ATE, and even SUTURED--before I needed help. But loved the way things filled in slowly, even with unknowns like ALPEN. And like CanadianEh, my favorite surprise was that CAT DOOR after I had spent so much time thinking about geography. Many thanks, Ed, and great pictures, Husker Gary.

I knew that Cochise player of early TV, but took a while before I remembered his name was Michael ANSARA. When I was a little girl in Austria my favorite reading became the German novels of Karl May, who wrote about the American West, with Apache figures like WINNETOU and a cowboy named OLD SHATTERHAND. Then I came to the US in 1955 and saw TV for the first time in my life and my favorite shows became Westerns like "The Lone Ranger," and others. And that's where I must have encountered Michael ANSARA playing Cochise. Fun memories. So how did I end up as a James Joyce scholar working on Irish literature? Go figure.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Jayce said...

I just couldn't get started on this puzzle, which defeated me. Well, I did start off with TACS, OLAN, and ALTOONA, which enabled me to solve part, only part, of the NE corner. Then I simply had to start looking things up, including the witches' brew dialog and the Limp Bizkit genre. (Yes, I did look up Limp Bizkit and saw nothing startling.) Once I finally got all of the NE corner I was struck by how many double-O words there are: TOOTH, ALTOONA, SNOOTS, and A HOOT. Then there are TODO, NONOS, and OTTO. Lotsa O's.

After finally getting ARSENIO I was reminded of our ARS POETICA and ARS TECHNICA discussion of the other day,

The single K gave me OKSANA. She and Victor Petrenko were great together. He was pretty darn good alone, too. I loved his unique style and humor.

I put in the N and waited to see if it would be JOHN or SEAN Lennon. Hand up for entering RAMS and then having to change it to TOMS, and for entering NASDAQ before THE DOW.

Love love love the clue/answer SWEETIE Pie!

All told, I had fun working this puzzle out. It beat me (in the sense I had to look so much stuff up) but the solve was satisfying. Looking back on it I highly admire and appreciate Ed's workmanship.

Rollin, I did see, understand, and chuckle at your AL LAH TI DAH posting last night. Thanks for that.

When our son was little we watch Sesame Street regularly. His favorite character was Oscar the Grouch, who lived in the TRASH CAN. He liked him so much he started calling himself Oscar, even though his real name is John. To this day we still sometimes call him John-Oscar or John-O.

The engineer in me really likes the idea of a CAT DOOR that opens only when a specific microchip is in proximity.

Good wishes to you all.

Jayce said...

Misty, it must have been that Irish LILT that drew you to that field of study.

Jayce said...

So, is the Mandarin Chinese word for "car" (汽车 qìchē) alliterative?

Wilbur Charles said...

My son says there's a famous internet character calling himself Tweety Pie(sic) who has millions of followers (and makes a bundle$)


AnonymousPVX said...

Ok, the REAL way the band got its name....”The most acceptable explanation yet is, that Limp Bizkit was coined ‘accidentally’ by Durst when asked for a good name for the band. Fred (allegedly a bit high at that moment) is supposed to have said: 'I don't know. Right now my brain feels like a limp biscuit.'”. Just before that is the discredited tale of the other meaning, which gagged me and I don’t believe...what Rap Rock band would name themselves after THAT?

The Saturday Sessa Special.....I’ll take mine with markovers, please...


Always a victory to finish a Sessa no matter the markovers. At least that’s what I tell myself.

Have a great weekend.

WikWak said...

Finished in 33 minutes, but had many of the same issues others have reported. I had to go to Google Maps to find ALTOONA. I knew the name because a college friend’s father grew up there, but I couldn’t bring it up from the depths. A quick scan of western PA and the second I saw the name on the map I remembered.

RAMS giving way to TOMS? Yup, me too.

SNOOTS crossing A HOOT? Loved it.

Add me to the list of those who never heard of CRONUTs. Thank goodness for perps!

Have a great day all.

Lemonade @ 10:03: Have you checked your computer for mice? :P Actually, I would look at the USB; is it the plug or the wire? Give them a good shaking to see if you can make it happen that way. If you can, it may mean a trip to Fry’s for a cheap new keyboard. OR—unplug the cable from your computer and put it into a different USB port; now can you make the problem occur? The USB port itself may be dying. In that case the only real solution (other than having that port replaced) is just to stop using that port.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Groan! I did RAISE UP to the challenge & filler 'er. Thanks, Ed! Yay, red letters. Thank you very much, Gary.


Remember fondly seeing OKSANA & Victor skate live.

Remember seeing COCHISE movie as a child. No idea of his name.

In honor of Armed Forces Day: just learned this week that my yardman's 20-yr-old daughter is graduating after finishing Army boot camp. She shocked everyone by joining after two years of college majoring in computer science. Even more shocking, the 90# woman did the required long hike carrying a 70# pack. Tough cookie.

Misty said...

Hmm, I bet you're right, Jayce--I bet it was that Irish LILT.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Quirk of Time
The only ENTENTE I remember from high school is the "Triple ENTENTE."
I don't recall anyone asking the meaning of ENTENTE. It could have been the "Triple Gooseberries" for all we cared. I mean, it was history, something that had happened forty year earlier!

Now when I think of forty years earlier, it's only 1980, and it feels like yesterday.

A great Saturday puzz, from Doc Sessa. I needed help in the SE sector, but otherwise the ol' walnut was up to the task.
Surprised that ANSARA popped out of a memory fold. Likewise SNEAKY PETE.
(The latter, although recent, is tougher because short term memory is the first casualty of age.
I can recite whole passages--scenes even!--of collegiate Shakespeare, but can't tell you the plot of last week's Whiskey Cavalier.)

Misty ~
Ut-oh Dept.
No LA Times this morning. I hope you got yours and that we're not back to the hit-or-miss days of not-so-long-ago.
I reported it. In doing so, I realized I should have also reported when my paper arrives wet from the rain. I shall from now on.

Now to check in at Jumbleland...

Michael said...

oc4beach @ 10:15:

"Among other things, today is Armed Forces Day and is a day to pay tribute those who serve."

You're welcome.

It still sounds weird to me to be 'thanked for [my] service'. In the late 1950s and early '60s, almost everybody served -- enlisted or drafted -- and it was just a part of life; no thanks given or needed. Now, of course, it is much different.

Missing Cat said...

Ok. More golf.

I challenge any constructors out there to use the young newcomer from Thailand, who is introducing himself to American golf fans this weekend, into a puzzle. His last name is a perfect 15 letter grid spanner. Maybe a Saturday stumper? I can hear the moaning now as his name is Janewattananond.

He uses his father's favorite music genre as his first name/nickname. Jazz.
He was born in 1995 and if 1980 seems like yesterday then 1995 must feel like this morning.

He is currently in 3rd place and has the best round of the day so far.

Smooth, Jazz.

Wilbur Charles said...

He had a good day today.

Bobbi said...

Sorry, but have to sound off. "Uppity:Ladida" - an adjective used for a .. um .. interjection??? Silly at best. AND my poor deceased Irish Granny must be turning over in her grave hearing that Irish tunes are now considered (by this constructor) as LILTS. The leprechauns will be getting ya!!

Misty said...

So sorry you didn't get your LA Times this morning, Ol'Man Keith. I still remember what a nightmare it was a while back when we had this crisis and no paper day after day. So I'll just pray that you get your Sunday LA Times tomorrow and that all will be well next week.

Wilbur Charles said...

LILTS are common in Irish music especially Step dancing.

LA DI DA is a response to pretentiousness. Xword-ese.


Abejo said...

Good Sunday afternoon, folks. Thank you, Ed Sessa, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Husker Gary, for a fine review.

Finished this puzzle last night, Saturday. Did not take the time to log in here.

Puzzle was pretty tough, but I got it with perseverance.

The one long answer I knew easily was IRANIAN for 38D.

Since I am a day late, I will sign off. Lots to do today.

See you Monday.

( )