Jun 14, 2019

Friday, June 14, 2019, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: To B E or not to B E.

Our resident Shakespeare aficionado uses the letter B and E to wrap around the last word of an in the language phrase. He even provides us with a reveal that is a bit obscure, but it is a Friday. 38A. Also ... and, in three parts, a hint to the four longest Across answers:  BESIDES (7). The three parts are "B" "E" and "SIDES." This advises you that B and E are on the sides of words. Even with 56 theme spaces, the puzzle is chock full of long fill and new fill to add to his always tricky cluing. Example of the great fill are DIGITAL,  MADISON,  PALED AT,  TAVERNA,  UNTIMED, FIRST BASE, OBSERVANT,  CALAMITOUS and FRONT TEETH.
He has some foreign language stuff, some sports, some geography, some poetry, some music...well you can see for yourselves.

17A. Best Custard Enhancement award?: THE GOLDEN  BRULEE (15). We start with a grid spanning fill built off of the Golden Rule. My favorite of the themers.

28A. Eve's incentive not to eat the apple?: ADAM'S BRIBE (10). Adam's Rib is also a biblical reference unless you think only of

46A. Whom to interrupt to end a couple's tedious conversation?: EITHER BORE (10). I like this one a lot also. 

61A. Description of a consistent ogre?: THE SAME OLD BRUTE (15). JW does not get in a RUT unless cranking out fun puzzles that are challenging can be considered a rut. 


1. Chem lab array: ACIDS. My chemistry classes never trusted us to get near the acids.

6. Grainy side: PILAF. Rice, the one staple in my Oo dominated diet.

11. Pixar SFX: CGIComputer Generated Imagery has been around in some form since 1974. A LIST of favorite movies.

14. Certain Sri Lankan: TAMIL. Another PEOPLE whose history is filled with the results of Imperialism and ethnic incompatibility.

15. Defense concern: ALIBI. Alibis like eyewitnesses are not very reliable.

16. Orbital section: ARC. Both in the sky and near your eye.

20. Like moves in casual chess games: UNTIMED. Is the time lessened the better you are? I have never played with timers.

21. Overly orotund orator: GASBAG. Aren't you happy that OROTUND wasn't the fill?

22. Sacred symbol: TOTEM.

24. Pro __: TEM.

25. Romeo's partner?: ALFA. Another Shakespeare misdirection from our Will S. quote master.

33. "Free to Be... You and Me" co-creator Thomas: MARLO. She gathered the celebrities and put together the book which also became a PLAY.

35. Information: DATA.

36. See 13-Down: TEA. Paired with 13D. With 36-Across, summer drink: ICE. No Lemonade this week.

37. Sette minus sei: UNO. Italian for 7 - 6.

41. Minn. neighbor: ONT.

42. Jose's opening?: SAN. Can you see? Nope, California. Do you know the way?

43. Je ne __ quoi: SAIS. The French expression, used in America par example: There's just been a certain je ne sais quoi about the hue that many can't quite put their finger on.
— Donna Freydkin, Allure, "How Beyoncé and Rita Hazan Chose the Perfect Blonde Hair Color for Bey's On the Run II Tour," 29 Aug. 2018.

44. Keyboard offering: ETUDE. We had our discussion of this recently.

50. Part of NAACP: Abbr.: ASSN.

51. Roadwork supply: TAR.

52. Israeli desert: NEGEV. Half of the land in Israel. LINK.

54. Big improvement over a mop, for short: WET-VAC. Just what the name sounds like. A new clue/fill introduced by JW.
57. Was horrified by: PALED AT. This fill also is being introduced in the entire mainline puzzle world today!

63. "Take a load off": SIT.

64. Stealthy fighter: NINJA.

65. Result of a leadoff single: ONE ON. Baseball.

66. "Feh!": UGH.

67. Wyoming county: TETON. Think Grand! Some DF HISTORY.

68. Aggressive stingers: WASPS.


1. Westernmost Aleutian island: ATTU. Attu Island is so far west, it’s actually in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is the westernmost of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, even farther west than the Hawaiian Islands.

2. "All the Way" lyricist: CAHN. I wish I had remembered the C a few puzzles ago. A classic Sinatra tune.
3. "__ a traveller from an antique land": "Ozymandias": I MET.
"Ozymandias" is regarded as one of Percy Bysshe Shelley's most famous works. In antiquity, Ozymandias was an alternative name for the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II. Shelley wrote the poem in friendly competition with his friend and fellow poet Horace Smith (1779–1849) who also wrote a sonnet on the same topic with the same name.

4. Like most selfies: DIGITAL.

5. Cinematographer's option: SLOMO. A portmanteau of SLOMOtion.

6. Fraudulently increased: PADDED. The bill, the expense account, the bra, the damages and many more.

7. Martinique, par exempleILE. A French island, clued in French.
JW has used this a few times; it was first used in the NYT by Martin Schneider on a Sunday, Mar 14, 1999

8. CNN host Lisa: LING.

9. Their logo has a mirrored letter: ABBA. I do like their movies.

10. Diamond corner: FIRST BASE. This is only the second time this fill has graced an LA Times puzzle; it was introduced by our own Steve Marron in his solo debut PUZZLE in 2014.

11. Disastrous: CALAMITOUS. Very nice sparkly long word which JW introduces to the LAT. It has appeared only once in an NYT in 2010.

12. Novelist Iles: GREG. A very popular multi-genre AUTHOR. I have read only The Bone Tree so far. I may try more.

18. "__ Smile Be Your Umbrella": LET A. Jeffrey was feeling musically nostalgic this week.
19. Designated driver alternative: UBER.

23. "The Federalist Papers" co-author: MADISON. President 1.
It is a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the pseudonym "Publius" to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution.

25. What jesters do: AMUSE.

26. Mostly private Hawaiian island: LANAI. Many here know Hawaii better than I do.

27. Incisors: FRONT TEETH. Another fill introduced to both LAT and NYT today.

29. Like Lear, ultimately: MAD. More Shakespeare.

30. Notre-Dame honoree: Abbr.: STE. Saint in French.

31. Switchback features: BENDS. This was the hardest for me to parse since I never heard the term switchback before. The definition is - a zigzag road, trail, or section of railroad tracks for climbing a steep hill.

32. Moth-__: EATEN.

34. Paying attention: OBSERVANT. I hope you have been paying attention today because this grid is just loaded with the good stuff.

39. Stirrup location: EAR. Did you bone up on your anatomy?

40. Bro, say: SIB.

45. Spot to sip ouzo: TAVERNA. It is all Greek to me.

47. Kentucky Derby showpieces: HATS. There are some nice horses there as well.

48. Change the itinerary: REPLAN.

49. "Great Scott!": EGAD. Perry White?

53. Nudge: ELBOW. Rude!

54. Fillmore was the last president who was one: WHIG. He is buried in Buffalo with both of his wives. President 2.

55. Lisette's BFF: AMIE. French.

56. You can see Lincoln on one: CENT. President mini-theme. Number 3.

58. Club payments: DUES.

59. On: ATOP.

60. Second-ranked pinochle cards: TENS. A fun GAME that I played when I was young.

61. Nashville sch.: TSUTennessee State University.

62. Eye in most of Iberia: OJO. Spanish.

Well, we done did it again. Fabulous fill JW. I leave you with this LINK as we observe Flag Day 242 years after the flag was chosen. Thank you all -  now go and get ready for Father's Day. For which I give you this Dad Joke. (A Dad joke is an embarrassingly bad joke, often read through the eyes of a dad's lack of comedy).

My friend was a very indecisive rower. He could not pick either oar.


OwenKL said...

Did you hear of the WASP who became a NINJA?
He dressed in black to stealthily sting ya!
"I'm not the guy,
I was visiting a TAMIL in India!"


And a partial crosspost from _J:

Some might gripe
At dawn's early light,
And gathering round the pole.
The ritual raising
With patriots gazing
At the flag, our nation's soul.

Stars and Stripes
Are stirring sights
Rising in the morning breeze.
A flag aflutter
Like no other,
Sign of a nation that frees!

Today is Flag Day, so in a few hours I'll be doing our patriotic fund-raiser with my Lions Club of setting out flags for the commemoration.

Lemonade714 said...

I really like the first poem Owen and as a visually impaired person my entire life I appreciate all the Lions Club has done for those with sight issues. Thank you and Happy Flag Day!

D4E4H said...

FIR finally in 87:30 min.

TGIF friends!

Thank you Jeffrey Wechsler for this extremely difficult CW. I had particular Problems with the NW cell.
I grocked the theme at 46 A - B E.

Thank you Lemonade for your excellent review.


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Got the theme early. No, it's true. liStenING/OBSERVING was my only Wite-Out moment. Not CALAMITOUS at all. LANAI is Larry Ellison's private playground; he bought the whole damned island -- well, 98% of it anyway. I really liked this puzzle. Thanx, Jeffrey and Lemonade.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIW, not catching CALAMaTOUS with ADAMS RIB in the theme. BAD SPELARS OF THE WORLD, UNTIE! Only one erasure - enter for ETUDE.

Owen, A+ for all.

Thought of Chicago's "Just You 'n' Me" instead of That Girl for 33 across. Wanted Vanderbilt instead of TSU for the Nashville school. If there is an SEC school in a city, why would they build another one?

Back in the day when such things were done with pen and paper, I thought it was ironic that blank expense reports were ordered by the PAD. (Another business irony is that the root word of "inventory" is "invent".)

Thanks for the great puzzle, JeffWech. Almost got it. And thanks to Lemony for the terrific review.

Husker Gary said...

-Seeing “Novelist Iles” as “Novelist lies” at the start of this wonderful puzzle was a speed bump
-Even with his ALIBI getting shot down he was still found not guilty (NOT innocent)
-Don’t bother me with DATA, I’ve got my mind made up
-I first thought Jose’ would open with OLA
-The only American soil the Japanese occupied in WWII were ATTU and Kiska six months after Pearl Harbor
-I saw Way, thought Sinatra but put ANKA for My Way first
-Ozymandias was a H.S. poem that really struck my teen brain
-In 1960, it took a week to see your selfie was stupid
-My pharmacist is MADISON from Wisconsin. Our garage door tech yesterday was named Lincoln and of course we live in…
-Recent floods forced me to REPLAN my routes to lots of places
-Nice tour, Lemon!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this puzzle, as I do most of the offerings from Mr. Wechsler. I took me 14:09 to solve. It wasn't easy, but the crossings were friendly.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

A Friday JW puzzle is the frosting on the cake, IMO. I caught the theme after filling in the second themer, Adams (B)rib(e) and that helped with the remaining ones. The reveal was simple, yet perfect. W/os were Loeb/Ling and Observing/Observant. I liked San and Ste, Totem and Tem, and Adam/Mad/Madison entries. Favorite C/As were: Grainy side=Pilaf and Romeo's partner=Alfa, also as a cute CSO to Anon T.

Thanks, Jeffrey W, for a challenging solve and thanks, Lemony, for your informative summary.

Owen, I hope your skies are brighter today.


Jayce, I got a chuckle reading your comment about Jake, that oh-so-innocent canine pilferer! Most commercials are either ridiculously inane, or insultingly sophomoric but that one is smile-inducing, as are the Suburu ads with the Labs driving the car. The one showing the "parents" dropping off the pup at Obedience school is precious. Now, if only Flo and Jamie would run off and get married, never to return, ....... I can dream, can't I?

Have a great day.

Big Easy said...

Tough one to finish today. Many WAG answers to get going with very few gimmes. I only noticed the BE-SIDES after BESIDES was filled (by perps),which allowed the unknown GREG Iles and ICE to be filled. After my first 15 minutes, this puzzle was CALAMITOUS. UNTIMED- pen & ink and I don't worry about the time.

Changed ESSES to BENDS, ICE to TEA, and my "Great Scott" was originally DRED before EGAD.
LING, MARLO were unknowns filled by perps

ETUDE- my mother subscribed to ETUDE Magazine. She was a piano & organ teacher.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

As Browning said: "………All's right with the world!" What can top a Wechsler puzzle and a Lemonade intro in the same morning?

FIR. Bounced around early in the solve probing and looking for soft spots. The SE took hold with NEGEV, WASPS, TENS, and ELBOW, and then expanded back upwards from there. Got BESIDES and the finally saw how the theme was supposed to work. Liked the 10 and 9 letter long downs; they helped tie the puzzle fill together. A fun solve.

ONT - is a neighbor to Minn, MI, OH, PA, and NY in the States. It has very large and robust electrical interties to NY and MI. (I don't believe there is anything significant with MINN; but there is a modest connection with Manitoba.}

Wyoming County in NYS is in Western NY, east of Erie Co. and just south of Batavia,

ATTU - Lies just East of the farthest West point if the Int. Date Line. It and Kiska were invaded by the Japanese in 1942.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Jeffrey Wechsler, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Lemonade, for a fine review.

Got home from the hospital last night. minus one prostate. I am a little sore in the abdomen. I am sure it will improve.

Worked today's crossword this morning. Got through it faster than I thought I would. About an hour and a quarter. Really liked it.

The theme became obvious late in the puzzle. As I got the long answers I caught the B E. Very clever theme.

Some unknowns, but perps and wags helped. CGI SAIS, LING, GREG, TAVERNA. Others were difficult, but with a perp or two and some deep thinking it all worked out.

EAR through me off for a while. I was looking for a Stirrup on a horse.

Tried FIVE for 56D. Nothing around it worked so CENT was put in and that was good.

I used to play lots of pinochle years ago. Fun card game. I liked single deck.

I did work the puzzles while in the hospital on the iPad. Wifi was there. I just had no easy way to get here. Plus I was mighty uncomfortable.

Anyhow, see you tomorrow.


( )

Lucina said...


What a treat and a fine challenge from JW and well elucidated by Lemonade. Who could ask for anything more on a Friday? I even got the theme.

The technique of across/down solving bore fruit today. It also took some deep thinking, as Abejo said, as well as some lucky guesses.

TAMIL started me off and spread from there. Many light bulbs went off after I perceived the misdirection. The G's in GASBAG were my last fill. I forgot that Lisa LING had a show on CNN and I was looking for a person's name.

ATTU was the subject of a CBS episode recently; I believe it was on Sunday Morning.

Have a peaceful day, everyone!

Irish Miss said...

Abejo @ 10:19 ~ Glad to hear that your home and beginning a speedy (hopefully) recovery. Best wishes.

Happy Flag Day.🇺🇸

Misty said...

Always nice to see a Jeffrey Wechsler puzzle, and even nicer with a Lemonade commentary. Thank you both for getting our Friday off to a great start. Fridays are never easy for me but I got good chunks in the middle and the bottom, with only the top giving me trouble. Got ALFA instantly, since it wasn't going to be Juliet, and then AMUSE and MARLO popped right up, which in turn helped me get FRONT TEETH. So off to a great start in that part. WET VAC puzzled me a little, but Lemonade's picture confirmed that there is such a thing. Can't believe I got NINJA, and that helped with that section. Only ADAM'S BRIBE gave me a bit of trouble because I didn't get the B E theme, and ADAM'S BRIDE didn't quite work or make sense. Anyway, lots of fun, and thanks again.

Lovely Flag Day poem, Owen.

Have a good recovery from your surgery, Abejo.

And have a good end of the week, everybody.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Another GOLDEN goodie from Jeffrey. Thanks, Lemonade for helping make it more palatable.

Most of the upper tier was the last to fill. Like Spitz, I bounced around filling what I could and then going back to see what I could figure out. THE GOLDEN BRULEE was the last theme piece to be filled and only because I got the theme with ADAM'S BRIBE & verified it with all the others.

1a array was not "vials" but ACIDS.

Grainy side? Last fill. Oh, PILAF side dish. Duh! CGI = ESP.

DNK: Orotund or Ozymandis. I'm pretty sure we didn't have the latter in our HS.

GREG Iles: I've read all his books. Usually unhappy endings.

"LET A Smile Be Your Umbrella" was a song my mother lived by. There were times when a frown would have been more appropriate and would have done more good.

Abejo: glad you are home. May you have quick healing and a good aftermath.

AnonymousPVX said...

A Friday JW just means tough tough tough puzzling. And it was.

Got zero traction in the NW, so moved south and did a catch as catch can.

Markovers, not many as I couldn’t even guess....CAHN/ANKA/CAHN....I hate when that happens....FRONTAL/DIGITAL, KING/’s been forever since I played, but I ignored the S in the clue.

So on to Saturday.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

JW got me again. The right-side filled but I needed to lookup MARLO to finish the SW (amazing how one word can provide the "key" -- I didn't have the 1st part of BRUTE until lookup) and CAHN to finally get a foot-hold in the NW (THE GOLD wasn't enough of a toe-hold*). Thanks JW for a fun puzzle.

Thanks Lem for the expo and more links to play with later.

I suss'd the theme at ADAMS BRIBE and then fully filled THE GOLDEN. BESIDES was filled sans perp and I thought of B-Sides conferences before 45s' flip-sides.

Fav: ALFA didn't fool me for a second...


Abejo - glad to hear all went well. Stay in one place for a day or three (no barn-raising, etc) and get well.

Cheers, -T
*my pre-cheat grid.
//before I cheat, I like to take a snap so I don't fool myself with "Oh, I knew that" later. The mind is a plastic thing - see Lem's 15a comment.

Jayce said...

As many of you have already pointed out, a Jeffrey Wechsler puzzle makes a terrific start to Friday. I enjoyed it very much. For some reason I filled Moth EATEN immediately and it gave me a chuckle; I love that phrase. I was also a little bit surprised it was the right answer because it almost seemed "too easy." I also love the term GASBAG.

CATASTROPHIC wouldn't fit, and OBSERVING made it hard to come up with a county in Wyoming that begins with G. Makes me think that maybe it wouldn't trip off the tongue as well if Martha Jane Cannary had been nicknamed CATASTROPHE Jane.

Like Irish Miss, I loved Grainy side=PILAF and Romeo's partner=ALFA, and of course I thought of Anonymous T.

Owen, I enjoy your verses. Some of them move me, some of them AMUSE me, and some of them teach me.

Abejo, being "minus one prostate" is not, as I'm sure you know, the same as being minus one kidney. You don't have another prostate. Anyway, I'm glad the operation was a success and I wish you a speedy recovery.

Sometimes my wife hates being presented with DATA because, as Gary said, her mind has already been made up. She hates it when I am "too logical."

"Great Scott!" makes me think of Argyle. It also makes me think of "Great Caesar's ghost!" which makes me think of Perry White.

Good wishes to you all.

Anonymous T said...

Jayce - I've given up on logical persuasion in general... While it seems, um, logical to follow DATA, most people (that I've encountered) conclude based on emotions/gut-feeling. I don't quite understand it but it's what I've OBSERVed. Oh, and I suck at persuasion ;-)

Great Scott! makes me think of Doc. Brown.

Cheers, -T

Tinbeni said...

Lemon: Nice write-up. I also enjoyed the FLAG DAY link.

Caught on to the theme early ... made solving easier.

Enjoying the US OPEN ... I like the fact that it always ends on Father's Day.


OwenKL said...

TETON: I'd only heard the French trapper story, and had no idea there was any other claim to source for the name.

Horace Smith is a new name to me, and his version of Ozymandias likewise unknown! It quite the equal of Shelley's version. I can still remember the musical version I learned many years ago from a folk group called "The 3 D's", but I've been searching and can't find it online.

WikWak said...

WEES about Jeff & Lemon.

NW was hard for me for some reason (brain fog, probably). Just couldn’t get much there and it was the last part of the puzzle to fall. I did enjoy the theme and the sparkley clues / answers. Took 24 minutes to complete.

With all the problems we’ve had with flooding over the years I think we are now on our third WET VAC. Indispensable for cleaning up the aftermaths.

This puzzle wasn’t as CALAMITOUS for me as last Friday’s. EGAD, but that one was hard for me.

My favorite themer was EITHER BORE.

Abejo, I am so glad your procedure went well. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Jayce said...

I like Horace Smith's version of Ozymandias also. The second stanza is especially interesting. Thanks for posting about it; otherwise I would continue to not know about it. My life is now a teeny bit richer.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Supremely clever cluing today from J.W.! And quite a thematic feat, splitting "B" and "E."
The beauty part is that it was all entirely doable. With just some steady P+P the lovely beast collapsed into my arms.
One mirror-side diagonal yields many anagram possibilities today. But it is hard to choose which might rise to a reasonable level of amusement. I have narrowed them down to two. The first describes the speed at which a newly apprehended perp speaks his ALIBI to the arresting officer. This is the…
The second refers to the creatures who fly by night, and specifically to the one who seems most engaged in erotic pursuits. I mean the…
(In truth, this 2nd choice offers a sub-category, the wingless version of the above, a…
neither of which I should wish to encounter lurking in my neighborhood.)

Ol' Man Keith said...

Congrats today to CanadianEh! Where is he?!
Probably still out celebrating his championship Toronto Raptors for their hard-fought win in Oakland last night!

Lemonade714 said...

Happy Father's Day all and I am glad you all are celebrating Flag Day.

CanadianEh! said...

Fabulous Friday. Thanks for the fun Jeffrey and Lemonade.
My tired brain (FLN NBA win) had quite a workout with this CW and I needed one Google help (ATTU) to finish the NW corner. But I saw the B E SIDES and filled the rest (although there were a lot of inkblots!).
Since I had more success filling from the bottom up, I was seeing a reverse vowel progression (BRUTE, BORE, BRIBE, but BRULEE broke the RULE) before I saw the true theme.

Hand up for Anka before CAHN, thinking of grainy photos before PILAF.
I had Esses before BENDS in my Switchback, and paid my Fees before my DUES.
I debated between FIRST and Third Base; perps decided it.

I'll take a CSO at ONT (yes Spitzboov, we share a border with many states), and give one to AnonT with ALFA, and Tinbeni with ICE TEA.

I know from our recent discussion (mentioned by Lemonade), that ETUDE can be a performance offering, not just a "Keyboard offering".

Yes, OMK, Canadians are still celebrating the Raptors' win. Amazing how the whole country got behind the team. #wethenorth is now #wethechamps

FLN, PK, here is an article about the Raptors Superfan. This is not the most recent article, but it gives a lot of background on him. If you Google Raptors Superfan, more recent links will come up. He even has a Tim Hortons' commercial.

Abejo - hoping you heal well from your surgery without too much discomfort.
Happy Flag Day to all my American friends. (Thanks for the LINK, Lemonade. We don't have a Canadian equivalent.)

Anonymous T said...

C, Eh! - Marty Short was on Real Time this eve (should be on the YouTubes tomorrow) and described the riots in Toronto following the Raptors win. Apparently a woman's scarf was burnt a bit... :-)

Thanks for the link on Nav Bhatia - I'd never heard of him until PK mentioned him FLN; what a beautiful human being.

Cheers, -T