Jun 27, 2019

Thursday, June 27th 2019 Bruce Haight

Theme: Corporate Takeover - the theme entries are clued punningly as commercial operations:

16A. Place to get gifts?: PRESENT COMPANY. "Present company" seems tied to the word "excepted" in my mind. Anyone else?

24A. Place to get fireplace equipment?: POKER DEALER. Disney's "Toy Story 4" is in theaters shortly and apparently features the poker-playing dogs from the movie "Up".

35A. Place to get movie actors?: EXTRA FIRM. Food! As in extra firm tofu, I use it for my pad thai noodles.

49A. Place to get laundry detergent?: ALL BUSINESS. I rarely see ALL on the shelves on my shopping forays. Is it exclusive to Walmart?

57A. Place to get help with estate planning?: PASSING CONCERN. A problem that keeps soccer coaches awake at night. Did anyone else think the England v. Cameroon game in the World Cup was one the most bizarre sports events you've ever witnessed? Quite strange.

And to the summary!

Enjoyable puzzle from Bruce. It was a pretty much left-to-right and top-to-bottom solve for me, I was firmly on the Haight wavelength today. I caught myself entering "PASSING COMP .." and then realized it must be something else, it was too similar to 16A and didn't make sense in the context of the theme.

All the theme entries are fresh, but the fill less so - maybe that's why there wasn't a lot holding me back. The puzzle is only the "Z" short of a pangram - I wonder if Bruce tried to find a place to slot one "Z" in there somewhere?

Let's go and look at what catches the eye:


1. "Welcome to Kauai!": ALOHA!

6. Channel bobber: BUOY. Pronounced "BOY" in the UK. Makes as much sense as "BOO-EE" here in the US.

10. Persian for "crown": TAJ

13. "Service at the Speed of Sound" fast-food chain: SONIC. I've never been in one, they're relatively scarce here in California, and we already boast the king of all burger chains - In N Out. If you've got a couple of spare minutes, check out the late, great Anthony Bourdain describing the glorious food item that is the In N Out burger.

14. Tolstoy title name: ANNA

15. Moment or way lead-in: IN A

19. Web statistic: HITS

20. Cruet contents: OIL. A cruet set always seemed so posh to me when I was a kid, something that exotic people had on their dining table. We had salt, (white) pepper and a bottle of malt vinegar.

21. "Yay me!": I RULE!

23. French friend: AMI

27. Hedy of Hollywood: LAMARR. She wan't just a pretty face - she and co-researcher and composer George Anthiel were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for their wartime work developing radio guidance systems.

29. Stick with a boat?: OAR

30. Singer DiFranco: ANI

31. Roman fountain: TREVI

32. "Rebel Yell" singer Billy: IDOL

34. Grasp, in slang: GROK. Well known around these parts referring to when you finally see the theme in a puzzle.

38. Put up with: BEAR

41. Techniques: WAYS

42. Liver spreads: PATÉS. Food! You could leave the accent out and have a collection of bald heads.

46. Prefix with catastrophe: ECO-

47. Online help page: FAQ

48. "My turn": I'M NEXT

53. Shopkeeper who by his own admission sells "surprisingly expensive" penny candy at the Kwik-E-Mart: APU. 

Customer 1: I need one twenty-nine cent stamp.
Apu: That's a dollar eighty-five.
Customer 2: I want two dollars worth of gas, please.
Apu: Four-twenty.
Martin: How much is your penny candy?

Apu: Surprisingly expensive.

54. Silent performers: MIMES

55. Oz. or lb.: AMT. I tried QTY first, but it looked a little odd.

56. "Instinct" star Cumming: ALAN. A very talented stage, film and TV actor, as well as performing in cabaret.

61. Park it, so to speak: SIT

62. Slope overlooking a loch: BRAE. Alan Cumming would know this, he's Scottish. Did you know there are five inlets named as lochs around Pearl Harbor?

63. Speak formally: ORATE

64. Pair of allies?: ELS. Nice clue. Two "L"s.

65. "G'day" addressee: MATE, followed closely by "Throw another shrimp on the barbie while I shout us all stubbies".

66. Put on the back burner: DEFER


1. It can cover a lot: ASPHALT. Another nice clue. I'm always tempted to put an extra H in there ... ASHPHALT - then it looks wrong and out it comes.

2. "Dallas" production studio: LORIMAR. I couldn't believe I didn't hesitate on this one. "Dallas" was enormously popular in the UK. The BBC caused all kinds of rumpus among the traditionalists when they announced the shooting of J.R. on the prime BBC news broadcast after the episode was aired.

3. Former: ONE-TIME

4. Sound neither an actor nor a hiker wants to hear: HISS.

5. Top fighter pilot: ACE

6. Dyeing art: BATIK

7. "I give up!": UNCLE!

8. Peace activist Yoko: ONO. Beatle fans on one or other side of the Yoko divide should enjoy this picture published today of John and Paul during the recording of "Abbey Road", taken by Paul's wife Linda. He says "... it reminds me that the idea we weren’t friends is rubbish. We were lifelong friends, our relationship was super-special." which might put paid to the notion that Yoko was instrumental in the breakup of the band.

9. Thanksgiving veggie: YAM

10. Royal topper: TIARA. Wasn't sure about the "royal" part here. Anyone can wear a tiara.

11. Ring-shaped: ANNULAR

12. Host of a "garage" show since 2014: JAY LENO

17. Jordan's Queen __: NOOR

18. Berth place: PIER

22. Composer Satie: ERIK. Here's "Gymnopédie No.1" beloved of unimaginative ad agencies all over the world.

24. __ fixe: PRIX

25. They may be pitched: ROOFS

26. Spanish surrealist: DALI

28. Say with conviction: AVER

32. Mosul native: IRAQI. I'm never quite sure about the middle east cities, I know I should be ashamed. IRANI/IRAQI  to me means "wait for the crosses".

33. Calendar square: DAY

34. FBI agent: G-MAN

36. Christmas poem contraction: 'TWAS

37. Tach nos.: RPMS. I wanted REVS, but the crosses I had already completed wouldn't let me.

38. Ray: BEAM

39. Total or partial event: ECLIPSE

40. Outlook alternative: AOL MAIL. Is this still a thing? I suppose it is. My first email address was with Compuserve, later acquired by AOL. In the early days, you couldn't choose your own email address, it was your 10-digit Compuserve account number. Mine was something like Hardly memorable.

43. One steeping in a cup: TEA LEAF

44. One-sided, in legal proceedings: EX PARTE

45. Huge surprise: STUNNER

47. Complain: FUSS

48. Analogy words: IS TO. There's a whole existential debate about analogies that I began to read and fell down the rabbit hole that is the Internet. I emerged an hour later with my head spinning with examples from linguistics, mathematics, artificial intelligence, anatomy and other areas I can't wrap my head around. I'll stick to "like" as evidenced in a Washington Post competition entry: "Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever." Wonderful.

50. Conquers: BESTS

51. Pester: NAG AT

52. One sporting a mic: EMCEE

56. "Back forty" unit: ACRE

58. Tech giant that sold its PC division to Lenovo: IBM. Lenovo have done a pretty good job with the tech acquisition. My last three work laptops have all been Lenovos. My personal laptop is a Chromebook, to the chagrin of my techie chums. I love it (I'm writing this blog on it as we speak).  I've not found anything I can't do on this that I did on the PC.

59. New Deal agcy.: N.R.A. The National Recovery Administration.

60. Drift (off): NOD

Well, the puzzle didn't make me nod off, so huzzah! for that. Here's the grid, "one Z short of the pangram." Do you have any expressions for someone not "quite there"? The British have "One sandwich short of a picnic", the Australians "two bricks short of a full load" (or "he's got kangaroos loose in the top paddock" which has to be my all-time favorite, but not quite fitting this theme).

OK, as you were, back to business. Here's the grid.



OwenKL said...

FIWrong. I figured I had a natick 12d+30a, JAY tE?O + A?I but also had I-RatE > I-RULE and mAn > OAR. Didn't notice the crosses didn't make sense.

Liked the corporate theme.

Bart's SONIC BEAM lashed out,
The monster fell with just a shout.
To Nell he rushed,
Untied, then bussed --
Only STUNNED, the giant
Grabbed the pair defiant,
And tossed them in his snout!

At ONE TIME, the fountain TREVI
Was hosting quite a bevy
Of nubile nymphs
Who gave a glimpse
Of dancing at the levee!

A Tasmanian Devil took a hajj
To tour the ancient land of Raj
He went to see him
The mausoleum
And take a selfie of Taz at TAJ!

{C+, A, B-.}

Mary Samsonite said...

Here is an all-time funny movie clip for your comment to 65 across.

And as a nod to the "stubbies", I like to say, "he is a few cans short of six pack." To which I have also heard, "well, he's got all six cans of beer but he lacks the little plastic thingy that holds them all together."

And 13a brings to mind, "He's a few fries short of a happy meal."

But enough about me...

Lemonade714 said...

Thank you, Bruce and Steve. I think both /ˈbo͞oē, boi/ are used in the US, especially when it comes to someone's spirits. I always forget that TAJ means crown, but it was nice to see along with TIARA. Also DALLAS and back forty in the same puzzle! Slang is fun and I like the kangaroos better than BATS IN THE BELFRY .

Anonymous said...

Fun puzzle from Bruce Haight! Really had to put the thinking cap on the 'ol noggin to GROK the connection from "place to get" with COMPANY, DEALER, FIRM and BUSINESS* but it ALL seemed so simple after it filled in. The sign of a great mind, I say. Really impressed with the imagination that came up with this one.

Learning moment for me, thanks to Steve's summary, was that there is such a thing as Extra Firm Tofu. I was thinking Extra Firm Mattress but I see Google auto fills "tofu" second after "mattress" after typing in "extra firm", so there's that.

*I left out CONCERN because, well, it concerns me as being "a place to get".

Ok, my bad, I looked it up. I see CONCERN is a business, way down the list of meanings under its noun definitions. Around here we dont walk down to the corner concern to pick up a bag of chips but I bet this wasn't Bruce's seed entry.

Thanks for all the fun Bruce and Steve.

D4E4H said...

FIR in way too long

Good morning Cornies

Thank you Bruce Haight for this enjoyable Thursday CW.

Thank you Steve for your excellent review.

Thank each of you who expressed condolence at the death of my Uncle John.


Big Easy said...

NW to SE easy solve today with only LORIMAR, ANNULAR, and EX PARATE as unknowns filled by perps.

ANI DiFranco- there was an article in the local paper that she lives in New Orleans. News to me.

"Customer 2: I want two dollars worth of gas, please." I paid $1.99.9/gallon at Sam's yesterday. Never thought I would see that price again. BTW, why do gas stations still add the 9/10 of a penny to the price?

My CPA friend was asked to write a financial statement about he company he had worked for and he started it as "Assuming that we are a GOING CONCERN...." which meant that it was bankrupt.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

BEATS to BESTS was my only misstep this morning in the dash to the bottom. Got the theme early on, and it helped with the solve...a little. Thanx, Bruce and Steve. (Not all Americans say Boo-eee. I learned it as bwoy, with just a hint of the w.)

GROK: Invented, I believe, back in '61 by Robert A. Heinlein in his book Stranger In A Strange Land.

ERIK: Here's my favorite Satie piece, Gnossienne #4. This album gets lots of play on my music server.

DEFER: For the past ten years it's been the watchword of our city fathers. But beginning last year, we're getting the drainage ditches and roads fixed. I look forward to the road out front getting repaved later this summer. My shock absorbers will be grateful. (Otto-correct doesn't like "absorbers.")

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIW. Got sloppy at TRiVI x ONE TIMi. No erasures, but I felt like a stranger in a strange land when I filled in GROK. And again when I filled in another snake sound.

I had an ASPHALT that was surgically repaired just before I retired. Couldn't sit without pain for almost a year.

Who could forget Harvey Korman as Hedley Lamarr in Blazing Saddles? Best play on words since Bullwinkle's hat, the Kirwood Derby.

Anon, you have probably heard of the term "going CONCERN" for a business. It means that the firm doesn't have a planned end. If you put together a business to create "Stompin' 2020" that will produce an alt-country equivalent of Woodstock and then cease operations, it isn't a going concern and the rules change.

Another great puzzle, Bruce. And thanks to Steve for being our guiding light.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the theme entries, did not enjoy "pair of allies" as a clue for "els."
Then again, I probably wouldn't enjoy any clue for "els."
I didn't know Lamarr Hedy/Hedy Lamarr - but I looked it up, and it/she is/was Hedy Lamarr.

Ten and one-half minutes to finish.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I don't think I've ever been disappointed by a BH offering and today's really entertained me. I just loved the theme and the word play. I had Ship before Pier and needed perps for Annular, but the rest was smooth sailing. Liked the Ami ~ Ani duo and the nice CSO to Alan. I always enjoyed Alan Cumming in "The Good Wife."

Thanks, Bruce, for a fun and pleasant solve and thanks, Steve, for the overview. Seeing Anthony Bourdain so animated and in "foodie" mode was bittersweet.


Misty, I hope you're feeling better. Curling up with Dusty by your side might be therapeutic.

CanadianEh, Happy 38th Anniversary. Hope you celebrate in style!

Dave4, sorry for your loss of your Uncle John.

Have a great day.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Thanks for all the Anniversary wishes yesterdy. Much appreciated.

Best wishes to CanadianEh! on your Anniversary today.

GROKKED the solve easily enough for a Thursday. A pfun theme brilliantly done. Had to hold fire on ANNULAR for a bit until to get the spelling right, until the crosses were in place. Got ELS fine, but I don't care for this type of clue.

Thanks Steve for another fine intro.

Husker Gary said...

-¬Me too, on Steve’s summary
-PASSING CONCERN filled before I read the clue and I thought it might be a QB issue
-SONIC gave me soggy O-rings and a stale bun for my hot dog. Buh-bye!
-Name that show, “IN A moment, the results of that trial”
-Bon AMI is a good friend in France and here a cleaning agent
-I’M NEXT was the guy who had his money on the Pac Man console
-The other 1863 ORATOR
-ANNULAR and ECLIPSE in the same puzzle
-An EX PARTE order might be issued to protect a battered spouse in an emergency
-Vanderbilt BESTED Michigan to win the College World Series in Omaha last night
-He only has one OAR in the water!

desper-otto said...

Husker, Dragnet?

Bruce Haight said...

Thanks Steve - great write up! I felt like ALL BUSINESS was the weakest of the theme entries but apparently good enough!

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Steve and friends. This was a fun puzzle.

I especially liked how the Persian Crown (TAJ) crossed the Royal Topper (TIARA).

It can Cover a Lot = ASPHALT was my favorite clue, followed closely by They May be Pitched = ROOFS.

I learned the work GROK from C.C., as she used it frequently in her commentaries.

QOD: Success isn’t about the end result, it’s about what you learn along the way. ~ Vera Wang (b. June 27, 1949), American fashion designer

Jerome said...

Bruce- ALL BUSINESS was one of the best themers. Zany and fun.

Not so zany and fun... Did you get your fill words from the filling station?

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Thanks, Bruce, for a delightful challenge with what felt to me like fresh fill--or at least the clues. Nicely done. First long fill was EXTRA FIRM. Hence I thought we were on mattresses. I, too, liked the crossing of TAJ and TIARA and I RULE. Steve pointed out one need not be royalty to wear a TIARA. However, I cannot find mine. Hmmm.

Steve, that was another exceptional walk through. Thank you so much for putting that Chromebook to good use on our behalf.

Enjoy this day. Hope it's sunny for you.

Justin said...

Loved Jinx's ass fault comment.

That reminds me, my newest favorite "not quite there" expression is:

He couldn't pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel.

Alice said...

We all got it, Justin. We didn't need it spelled out.

Justin said...

Sorry Alice. Does yours involve a stick?

Yuman said...

Steve, thanks for the Bourdain In-N-Out clip, they are hands down the best. I am surprised he didn’t mention the fries. You can watch them put them in a press where they are sliced and drop right into the hot grease. Interesting fact all the restaurants have huge crossed double palm trees in front. The palms are a reference to, “Mad, Mad,Mad, Mad World,” a favorite film of the founder. Remember? The “treasure” was buried under four crossed palm trees. The reason they are only near West Coast and Southwest there are only two distribution centers,and all locations need to be within 1 day travel time, as all ingredients are fresh, nothing frozen. They really have a “cult” following.
Guess what I am having for lunch?

Wendybird said...

As a newish visitor to the Blog, I’d never heard of GROK. My favorite theme entry was PASSING CONCERN.
How about “the elevator doesn’t go to the top floor”.

CrossEyedDave said...

This puzzle didn't "work" for me...
I am not sure if I FIW'd or DNF'd
because I put the "K" for Grok outside the puzzle frame
next to the empty cell because 30a Ann did not want to become Ani,
and I could not ink in "22d Ernk..."

Did CC's NYT yest. Very devious clueing!

ANywho, My thoughts on the puzzle...

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle and agree that the theme shows a lot of imagination. Silly me; I put in CROWN for Royal topper even though the clue for TAJ was Persian for "crown". Then again, maybe it wasn't so silly...

Steve, I know what you mean when you said "Present company" seems tied to the word "excepted" in my mind. I have heard, however, expressions such as "not to be spoken in present company."

I finished the puzzle but didn't get the tada so turned on red letters to see where I had gone wrong. Ah, so it's ERIK not ERIC and GROK not GROC. I should have known the latter but couldn't spot the error.

Jinx, good one!

I learned the term EX PARTE when I was embroiled in a lawsuit 40 years ago.

Hedy Lamarr (born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna) was a pretty amazing person.

Good wishes to you all.

Jayce said...

Can one do the current NYT crossword puzzle without a subscription to the newspaper? I'd love to see C.C.'s puzzle but don't know how without paying for it. I think it'll be available for free next week.

Misty said...

Nice Thursday puzzle, Bruce--many thanks. And helpful commentary, Steve, thanks for that too. I appreciated seeing names I knew--LAMARR, JAY LENO, ERIK Satie, and ANNA and APU. I got ANNULAR, but the word is new to me. Nice to start with ALOHA. Thanks again, Bruce.

Saw a doctor yesterday afternoon and now have lots of meds to take. Not feeling much better yet, but hoping they'll work. Thank you for your suggestion, Irish Miss--Dusty is good company at a time like this although he's a little miffed that he's not getting his usual exercise. But hopefully that too will return before too long.

Have a good day, everybody.

Mark S said...

You could immediately sign up for a crossword subscription to the NYT. The first month is free and you can cancel two days before the 30 days are up and not get charged.

Mark S

Mark S said...


it won’t be available for free for 5 weeks.

AnonymousPVX said...

This Thursday grid required some effort which was rewarded...

No Markovers.

And how about “a few cards short of a full deck”?

I watched Chris Isaak on AXS TV late last night, an hour long. What a performer....I’ve not met anyone who doesn’t like him. I used to watch his comedy show, it was a riot. He seems to be the type of talented person who doesn’t think that makes him special.

On to Friday.

Jayce said...

Mark S, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Justin @10:50. Good one, just what I was thinking.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Bruce Haight, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for a fine review.

Puzzle went through fairly easily. Easier thank most Thursday, IMHO.

Theme became apparent. My last to get was POKER DEALER because I did not know BATIK. Oh well.

Tried WGT before AMT became the answer.

TEA LEAF was great. I do that a lot. Earl Grey, of course.

I like PATES on crackers. So does my dog. She always hangs around when I snack on that.

ANNULAR is a new word. Got it with perps and then I looked it up. Dictionary had it.

We had brunch this morning at the Brunch Cafe. Very good place to eat. our daughter was there with us. It was her Birthday Brunch. We were all happy.

Hot today. 90 degrees.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Ol' Man Keith said...

I believe desper-otto is right about the origin of GROK. That's where I first came across it.
I don't think it is considered slang any longer. I have come across the word in many formal contexts in recent years.

Jayce ~
Sometimes the cliches get confused, and "Pleasant Company" is substituted for PRESENT COMPANY.
Misty ~
Good luck with the meds!
Just one diagonal today, NW to SE. It yields an anagram that refers to a web page for those seeking to fulfill their hopes and dreams, the...

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Great fun puzzle & expo, Bruce & Steve.

Steve, ALL is NOT exclusive to Walmart. I use it all the time and have bought it in several grocery chain stores.

Lot of SONICs here. I used to eat there a lot. I happened to like their burgers. NO In-N-Outs here.

GOING CONCERN: This is what I call my brother & SIL because they are always on the go.


Never have eaten TOFU so didn't know it was firm or any other consistency. Probably should try it since part of my income comes from soybeans. Got good news this week. It dried up long enough to plant my farms. YAY ME! Now if the sun will keep shining long enough to get my wheat harvested, life will be bearable.

My mother used to say about the dumb or possibly demented: "Nobody home up there."

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Thanks Bruce for the fun Thursday puzzle and for popping into The Corner. Excellent recap Steve. //BTW, Gynopedie link is broken.

When given a choice, I like a good hotdog, so I associate hotdogs, tots, and -ADES with SONIC more so than burgers.

Bruce, I liked ALL BUSINESS. Steve, they sell All at our local H.E.B. (grocery) - This is the All we use because DW's skin is sensitive to perfume in stuff.

WOs: BouY, DElaY b/f DEFER, GlOm b/f GROK
Fav: c/a for ASPHALT.
I liked MIME's clue too.

{B+, A, B}
Nice! Re: DR.

Happy Anniversary C, Eh!

Wendybird - I was going to use the elevator metaphor...
From the movie Touch of Pink: "Not enough air pushing through the windmills of her mind"

Cheers, -T

Wilbur Charles said...

I had to do a mental alphabet run to find K on POKER/BATIK. The latter an occasional xword staple.

I was leery of all those proper names Bruce threw at us but I made a good guess at Jay Leno having automobiles. Boston guy I think.

Misty, the zinc, vitamin C OTC remedies have worked for me in the past. This looks like a good one. Walmart has it.


Misty said...

Thank you, O'Man Keith. And Wilbur, I'll certainly try your Vitamin C suggestion of I don't get better in the next day or two,

Husker Gary said...

DO, of course it was Dragnet that had that line. The bad guys always got it in the end

Wendybird said...

Me too.

Wendybird said...

I like the windmills - never heard it.