Jul 13, 2019

Saturday, July 13, 2019, Greg Johnson

Themeless Saturday by Greg Johnson

Today celebrates the delight/bane of my existence - National French Fry Day. I've often said that if were no potatoes, I'd be many pounds lighter. (See fast food fries ratings just above the grid at the bottom of the blog)

As a matter of fact, there isn't much you can do to a potato to make it unpalatable to me. Well, If you put them under liver... 😖

I managed to sail right through Greg's pangrammatic puzzle with nary a potato necessary


1. It may be tuna-flavored: CAT FOOD 

8. Words spoken while pointing: THAT WAY - Assistance from a tuna lover

15. Places with tanks: AQUARIA.

16. Some Australians call it "chateau cardboard": BOX WINE - A fun new phrase for me

17. In a peculiar fashion: FUNNILY - Reminds me of last Sunday's LY puzzle

18. 1996 Olympics site: ATLANTA.

19. Most of pewter: TIN.

Periodic Table Composition of PEWTER
20. [Uh-oh!]: GULP.

22. Money: TENDER something tendered or offered, especially money, as in payment. 1535–45; earlier tendre, noun use of Anglo-French tendre to extend, offer. 

23. Golden __: ALES Here ya go

25. Original "Jeopardy!" announcer: PARDO - Even this poor video quality brings back fond memories of Don PARDO and Art Fleming (:39)

27. It's put on: GARB and 1. Garment commonly seen in Morocco: CAFTAN - Hasbro will sell you an Indiana Jones villain wearing GARB known as a CAFTAN

28. Rock bottom: NADIR NADIR in poetry

30. Sugar __: BEETS.

32. CV section: BIO Writing a BIO in your Curriculum Vitae 

33. Two-thirds of 900?: ZERO ZERO - The other third is a 9

35. Place to go in London: LOO - A public LOO where you can, uh, go on a London street

36. One hanging around near the church entrance: GREETER.

39. Matching 401(k) contribution, e.g.: JOB PERK.

41. "Everybody Hurts" band: REM A nice listen

42. Drink served in two states?: ICE WATER - Physics Phun! Here we see water in two of its states - solid and liquid

44. "__ recall ... ": AS I.

45. Title for Juan Carlos I: EL REY  - Juan Carlos I fue EL REY de España desde 1975 hasta 2014 (Juan Carlos I was the king of Spain from 1975 - 2014)

46. Pony Express employee: RIDER - The phrase "Orphans preferred" says something about this job

50. Sugar __: CONE 

52. Words on perishables: USE BY - Once that time strikes, my lovely bride pitches it no matter what 

54. The printed one doesn't include specials: MENU.

55. Massages: KNEADS - One kitty KNEADS another

57. Eccentric: KOOK.

59. Waiter at a stand: CAB 

60. Weak: LANGUID - A synonym was used in  the broadcast phrase "Wound my heart with monotonous LANGUOR" which signaled the French Underground that D-Day was imminent  

62. Fruit, so to speak: OUTCOME 
Deeds are FRUITS, words are only leaves.

64. Territory within another territory: ENCLAVE  Le Petit Senegal in HarlemManhattan

65. Walk all over: TREAD ON - South Carolinian Christopher Gadsen's Revolutionary War flag 

66. Heinz Field athlete: STEELER.

67. Elves, in some cases: HELPERS.


2. Constellation whose name is Latin for 51-Down: AQUILA and 51. Mexican flag bird: EAGLE.

3. Stored in a cask: TUNNED - I suppose if it's stored in a TUN... 

4. Agitate: FAN - Every group has someone who tries to FAN the flames of an argument 

5. Not a copy: Abbr.: ORIG.

6. Prepare to show some muscle: OIL UP 

7. Some farmhands: DAY LABORERS 

8. Not yet on the sched.: TBA.

9. More than eager: HOT TO TROT.

10. Semi bar: AXLE.

11. Bluegrass characteristic: TWANG.

12. Like some watches: WINDABLE - I've had them but can't remember the last time I wound a watch

13. Situated toward the front: ANTERIOR - The ACL is in front of the PCL below

14. High school memento: YEARBOOK.

21. Top suit: PREZ - Suit is vernacular for management 

24. What "L" may indicate: SIZE - I just love this joke!

26. Nightclub VIP's spot: DEE JAY BOOTH.

29. Fix, as laces: RETIE.

31. Not at all wasted?: SOBER - Ah the many synonyms for being drunk

34. Unlikely to be out and about: RECLUSIVE Time magazine's Top 10 most RECLUSIVE celebrities

36. Crowlike birds: GRACKLES - FINALLY they have mostly left our yard! They are big, noisy bullies that arrive around the first day of spring and leave around the first day of summer. Our little birds now have a chance at the feeders and our sunflower chip bill will go down

37. Sonorous: RESONANT - My RESONANT voice was a great asset for me in my teaching career 

38. High standing: EMINENCE.

40. Proper partner: PRIM.

43. Word with day or end: WEEK.

47. Solve, as a cipher: DECODE - Perhaps the most famous DECODER was Alan Turing in Hut 6 at Bletchley Park

48. Win over: ENAMOR.

49. 17th-century Flemish painter: RUBENS - Lovely Christina Hendricks of AMC's Madmen is said to have a RUBENESQUE figure

53. "'A' - __ Adorable": Perry Como hit: YOURE.

56. Serving two purposes: DUAL.

58. "Goofy Greats" record label: KTEL - This commercial brings back memories

61. Essen article: DER  Dies ist DER vorletzte Hinweis (This is the penultimate clue)

63. Hat for an Angel: CAP - Many think the Angel under this CAP is today's best MLB player. His name is at the bottom of this blog *

After digesting this LA Times ranking of fast food fries, you can move on to comment:

* That California Angel is Mike Trout 


D4E4H said...

Happy Ides of July fellow Cornies.

My nephew,Daniel piloted a small United States Air Force training plane with a student, from Wichita Falls Texas to Louisville last night. He went to the Kentucky Motor Speedway to be with his brother John who is involved with NASCAR racing.

Today he will come to visit me.

He likes CWs, and solves the USA Today one often. I was half way thru Friday's CW, and am holding it for him. Today's CW awaits, and there is a C.C. CW in USA Today, July 9, I think.

We will have a pleasant visit.


Lemonade714 said...

When I was growing up in Connecticut the GRACKLES were a most unpleasant bird. They did not like all the sweet little ROBINS or CARDINALS that would visit every spring.

I did not know AQUILA and agree TUNNED was not sparkly. Overall a fine themeless with the joy of being a pangram.

Dave2 your mention of a C.C. puzzle sent me off in search of the missed puzzle and I was off in the world of many more crosswords which I have never solved like the EUGENE SHEFFER puzzles. The C.C. was fun.

Thank you Greg and Gary

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Zipped right through this one...all the way to the DNF. I put AGES at 23a before filling most of 2d. Never went back to fix it. Bzzzzt! CSO to TIN, but not with ICE WATER. Thanx for the comeuppance, Greg, and for the tour, Husker.

PARDO -- One-time SNL announcer.

TENDER -- I may be wrong, but I believe the penny is not considered to be "legal TENDER."

DAY LABORER -- There are a few pickup places near here, but they don't have any official signage.

GRACKLES -- Seldom seen in these parts. The mischief-makers at our bird feeder are the blue jays.

Hope the Louisiana contingent is doing OK this morning...

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

The NW corner really did a number on me this morning. Not being an imbiber, I've never heard of Golden ALES, so I went with the standard crosswordese Golden AGER instead. Based on that, I confidently put AURIGA as the constellation called for at 2D (since I obviously didn't check the cross reference mentioned in the clue). Ad to that the fact that I had trouble accepting that TUNNED was actually a word and couldn't come up with FAN as a synonym of "agitate," and, well, you get the picture. To my credit, I did get CAFTAN off the initial C of CATFOOD, but that whole section was definitely the NADIR of my solving experience today.

FUNNILY enough, it wasn't until I actually did check the cross reference that I realized that it should be AQUILA instead of AURIGA. Note to self -- always check the cross references even if the answer seems obvious.

OwenKL said...

Button like watching fish in the AQUARIUM,
Dreaming of CAT FOOD, could she acquire 'em.

Some people think BOX WINE is fine,
Others would rather ICE WATER to dine.

Drink enough ALES and what will they do?
Cause you to spend much time in the LOO!

They called him a KOOK because he spoke FUNNILY,
But he made lots of TENDER, speaking moneyly!

AQUILA, the EAGLE, had an aquiline nose;
Was skilled at catching fish with his toes!

One brother was RECLUSIVE, a partier not.
The other was a GREETER, and HOT-TO-TROT!

If YOU'RE facile with your language,
Writing couplets can be quite LANGUID.

{Collectively, A-.}

OwenKL said...

Hmm, 2 about fish as food, 2 about adult beverages, 2 about language, and an odd 1 about version, intro v. extro. I could have rearranged them into a nice chiasmus!

Jerome said...

Husker - I'm with you on potatoes. At my request, my wife, Roxie, recently made a whole pot of mashed potatoes. For two days that is all I had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And of course loaded with butter and gravy ... and more of the same... and even more. Damn, sometimes the simple things in life make life so damn good. Even potatoes.

Barry G. said...

Oh, I forgot to mention. My deepest apologies to anybody living in Louisiana. I never meant to threaten anybody, I promise!

Anonymous said...

Jerome, just an FYI. It is very easy to make mashed potatoes on your own. Just peel the potatoes, add them to water and boil. Drain water and mash them. Simple, and you don't have to ask your mother to do it for you

Oh, and you can add cream/milk and butter. Salt and pepper to taste.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I finished this in normal Saturday time with a few stumbles, here and there: Gilt/Garb, ELO/REM, Cane/Cone, and Phillie/Steeler. I needed perps for K-Tel and Eagle, as clued. However, there was no Tada due to the Ales/Aquila crossing. Not knowing my Astrals or Ales led me to Ages and Aquiga, both of which looked fine, but weren't. Despite my miscue, I enjoyed the solve.

Thanks, Greg, for a challenge and a little trickery and thanks, HG, for an excellent overview. I really enjoyed that article about the famous recluses, most of whom I at least had a passing knowledge, except for the cartoonist and the musician. However, although I know who Dave Chapelle is, I didn't know any of that back story. Enjoyed the kitties, too.


TTP, keep up that positive attitude and you'll do just fine! 😉

Misty, what a treat-a nice family visit!

Have a great day. Hope everyone is safe and sound after Barry's havoc. (Not our Barry, of course!)

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Another great intro from Gary. Thanks.

A bit daunting at first but then got it going. Finished it without searches. Liked the long downs DAY LABORERS and DEEJAY BOOTH.
GRACKLES - Although crow-like, they are not in the crow family. Their family includes orioles, blackbirds and cowbirds.
My unpalatable potatoes are under parsley.
Liked the ZERO ZERO. My aha moment.
Our church doesn't have GREETERS. No schmoozing going on there - - all business. Sigh.

Jayce said...

I enjoyed this puzzle. Sometimes I filled an answer correctly, as in CATFOOD and LOO, and sometimes incorrectly, such as AGES, AQUIGA, THATSIT, and TBD, Some I simply didn't know, namely PARDO and DEEJAY BOOTH. Took red letter help to find that the "G" in AGES was wrong; an alphabet run got me the "L" which in hindsight I think I should have been able to figure out without red letters. Altogether a fun puzzle.

CanadianEh! from last night, yes I saw the Jeopardy category where vowels were swapped and the inability of any of the contestants to come up with NENE. Heck, I never heard of it until it was an answer in this crossword puzzle.

Man oh man I love French fries. I see from the ranking graphic Gary posted that McDonalds ranks very high in both flavor and texture. Guess where I'm going to try to convince LW to go after she gets back from her outing with her friend today.

Good wishes to you all.

CanadianEh! said...

Super Saturday. Thanks for the fun, Greg and Husker Gary.
I thought this CW was easier than yesterday's, but it still required some P&P. But I FIWed by having Golden Ager rather than Golden ALES (which made Aquiga and Rize wrong). Hello BarryG and IM. LOL at L indicating size (I was thinking of Low gear, Left, Litre, 50 in Roman numerals). D'uh!
Some different fill with LANGUID, RESONANT, HOT TO TROT, ENCLAVE.

I smiled at ZEROZERO for two-thirds of 900 and the clue for LOO.
GREETER made me think of Walmart.
I did remember to omit the U from DAY LABORERS, but I had laborors until ICE WATER forced the correction.
My first thought at "Hat for an Angel" was Halo, and I had "A Is For Adorable" before "A YOU'RE Adorable" perped. I must be too young for that Perry Como hit.

We did not have as many GRACKLES this spring. Usually they clean out the bird feeder before the other birds get anything. And yes, they are bullies . . . and noisy.

Jayce, FLN, yes I would not know NENE either. But there are often correlations between CW clues and Jeopardy questions/answers. I also did not know PARDO. I must be too young again (LOL), as I only remember Trebek (who has been announcing since 1984).

Where is everybody today? Safe I hope.
Wishing you all a good day.

Lucina said...


Thanks to Greg Johnson and Gary! This went fast for a Saturday though I hesitated and was doubtful about some fill, namely, TUNNED, FUNNILY and ICEWATER. Thank you for turning on the light on that, Gary.

Those two years of high school Latin helped AQUILA to surface plus it's close to the Spanish, Aguila, EAGLE.

My odyssey started in the SW with GRACKLES which are a nuisance around here. The corner filled quickly with RESONANT and EMINENCE followed by the rest.

PARDO was my last fill since I had no idea he had been the original Jeopardy announcer. I remember his other gigs and his voice was deeper.

We don't have GREETERs at our church, either. All the greeting takes place after the service when our three priests are available to talk.

Ah, potatoes. I love them but can't have them. I sneak them once in a while.

Dave 2:
How nice for you that your nephew will visit. Enjoy!

Have a bright and beautiful day, everyone!

Lemonade714 said...

Five Guys which uses fresh potatoes, not frozen, provides the best french fried IMO. I was surprised that WENDY's and BURGER KING ranked well.

Tinbeni said...

Husker: Wonderful write-up & links.

WOW National French Fry Day ... that gives me an idea ... LOL.

Liked the CSO at 19-a TIN ... Though "Mostly Scotch" would have been a better clue.


Jayce said...

Lemonade, hard to see it clearly on Gary's chart but it looks like Five Guys does rank highest in flavor.

desper-otto said...

CanadianEh! -- Don Pardo was the announcer (job currently held by Johnny Gilbert), not the host of Jeopardy!.

Spitzboov said...

For those who didn't get enough of a puzzle fix with Greg's puzzle today, Victor Barocas has the weekend puzzle in the WSJ.

AnonymousPVX said...

This Saturday effort ended filled but with a bad cell.

The NW was a beast, but what to expect with TUNNED and FUNNILY....that word doesn’t look right even when it’s right.

Like others, I had no idea of 2D and I filled 23A as AGES. Not being a drinker I had no idea of golden ales, I figured the missing A_ES as either an L or a G and guessed wrong. That was the bad cell.

At least no Jumble mixed in today.

Can’t win them all.

Have a great weekend, see you Monday.

Wilbur Charles said...

D-O's post informed me that I had the same FIW, AGES. After IPA yesterday.

59A was clever

Typical Saturday for me. Find a toehold (s):ATLANTA, TIN. I navigated to the SE and filled randomly after that.

I tried for EGRET especially when I saw the AQU… I never knew Mexico and USA had same bird.

Dave-2, I wrote down the letters OIRSPEGNA and the clue, FLN at breakfast. One woman finally got it. The USA is usually a good beginner xword.


Btw, Don Pardon did something else,eh?

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Greg Johnson for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Husker Gary, for a fine review.

Husker Gary and Jerome: I am with you guys. There is not a potato dish in this world that I do not love! My favorite food. I always look forward to potato pancakes at a polish restaurant, with sauerkraut cream. I am drooling just thinking about that.

Puzzle was a tough one. Some easy, some hard.

Got CAT FOOD and CAFTAN fairly easily. The rest in that corner were not easy.

Tried GASP before GULP.

Could not remember PARDO. Five perps and I had him.

Liked ZERO ZERO. Clever. I did have to ponder on that a while.

GRACKLES came easily once I got BLACK out of my head.

DECODE also reminds me of William and Elizebeth Friedman. Both top notch code breakers. WW-I, 20's and 30's, and WW-II, and then after WW-II. The forerunners of the NSA.

GREETER took me a while. Should have been easy.

See you tomorrow. Hot here in NE Illinois today.


( )

TTP said...

Good afternoon. Thank you Greg, and thank you Husker Gary. I also enjoyed the links and images.

It seemed like this puzzle used every letter of the alphabet ! LOL ! Quite the change from yesterday.

Similar to what D-O said, but times two. Hand up for having AgES rather than ALES, but also for having CaNE rather than CONE. And, like Barry G said, 'Note to self..."

My favorite answer was STEELER because I'm a lifelong fan.

Here's the article that goes with Husker Gary's chart of fast food french fries:
The official fast food French fry power rankings ?
I guess you shouldn't eat the top ranked Five Guys fries if you are alergic to peanuts.

Jerome, I could probably do the same with Tater Tots. The other day I made a third of a bag of for lunch. Nothing else, except a little salt. I often make them, or their near cousin Crispy Crowns, for my breakfast side dish. They pair oh so well with many main courses at the evening meal too.

There is a hot dog joint in Abejo's town called The Dogfather that sells among other things, a pretty good Chicago style hotdog, Cheezy Beef, and gyros. Their fries stand out. A small order ($1.45) is about the size of a brown paper lunch bag 1/2 to 3/4 full. A large fries is too much for a single person to eat.

D4E4H, that's very nice of your nephew to come and visit.

Wendybird said...

I loved both yesterday’s and today’s puzzles and got a wonderful bonus by learning two new words from Owen! I guess I have pareidolia since I always see poodles in clouds. And when I looked up chiasmus, the example was “never let a fool kiss you or a kiss fool you” - not bad advice.

We also were surprised too that none of the Jeopardy contestants got “nene” for the vowel flop category.

I AM old enough to remember Art Fleming and Don Pardo.

Wilbur Charles said...

In Diner country, the rating system is indeed based on the home fries. I personally will eat at breakfast places 80% for home fries, 15% for bacon and 5% miscellaneous. eg Service, are the eggs over easy?

The bane of modern breakfast dining is ignorance of the above, especially from post Boomer's . Mayo, catsup, rare meat, FRENCH Fries, over salting and even, wait for it, sugar in a spaghetti sauce(actually served locally)*

I abstain from red meat today so that subject I'll leave for others.

Nowadays, bacon grease for the fries has become frowned on. I'd say cook the bacon, drain the grease, add the potatoes (already cooked of course) then add the butter,salt and pepper. Cook at high heat then add to the mound.

Mondo's had a two foot high stack overseen by Ms Mondo of the 18 inch, tattooed arms. Now that's what I call a Diner

* Hispanic owner. Trying to please. Also...

Onions in the home fries is another subject.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thanks, for the challenge, Greg! Great expo, Gary!

French Fry Day: I did mental games years ago to convince myself French fries were poison to my system. Haven't eaten them since except for a few steals off my son's plate -- just so he wouldn't eat so many. I'm sad to say they cause him to weigh over 350 pounds at 6'3". I eat a few mashed potatoes in my frozen dinners.

PARDO: hand up for no idea.

I struggled with a few letters here and there all through the puzzle. WEES. One big laugh when HOT TO TROT showed up. Never expected that in a puzzle, but he had everything but the kitchen sink in this difficult work.

"Raven" didn't fit before GRACKLES landed. Gary, I'm curious. Why do you keep putting out sunflower seeds if the GRACKLES are eating them all? Would they quit showing up if you didn't feed them?

Lemonade714 said...

I just received an email from a health company. It said, lemonade warning: safe or dangerous?? Okay who sent it?

Ol' Man Keith said...

Oh, this was a good one.
Had to work it, then work it again--and work it some more.
(Da kinda pzl wat makes ya have a bettah 'pinion uvya self.)

Thanks, Mr. Johnson, and...
Ta~ DA!

I don't need to recall all the write-overs, but my biggest break-thru was going from STRIP to OIL UP. It broke the logjam in the NW corner.

Misty ~ I hope your family visit was terrific yesterday. I had a great time with my students--er, ex students. But I envy your time with your son & grandson!

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Thanks Greg for the puzzle to suss whilst we had family Dentist Day.* The East-coast fell easily but the SW was a bugger IF I recall [D'Oh!] correctly. Ultimately a DNF - I'm still not Saturday worthy.

Thanks HG for the wonderful expo and the extra-play after a peek at your grid. Count me as +1 on potato anything -- no one's mentioned Potato Soup yet, mmm.
TTP, if I don't get Onion Rings, it's Tots for me too.

WOs: THAT one, put OLDIES in for Golden_ @22a and @28a -- my dentist's waiting area needs better lighting :-)
Fav: Learning "chateau cardboard." Though, c/a is deliciously misdirected.
More learning - It's not a Crackle but a GRACKLE.

{collectively, Solid A}

D4 - tell us how your visit went. More importantly, what'd he smuggle in for ya?

WC - I'm hoping you're not against Onions in home fries - especially at breakfast (onion, garlic, cubed potatoes, salt, pepper all fried in bacon fat or olive oil [health nut!], hot-sauce optional)

How I know of Don PARDO - Weird Al's I Lost on Jeopardy.
"Oh, I've given up
now tell me what I didn't win
yeah, yeah.".
As D-O pointed out he was also announcer at NBC and much more. [4:32]
WC, now you know :-)

Cheers, -T
*We all go to DW's friend. She's Vietnamese-American, a great dentist, and her in-laws have a wonderful restaurant next door that serves to-die-for Spring Rolls w/ shrimp & lemongrass. I go back for seconds in a few weeks.

Anonymous T said...

Opps - in Fav - c/a at ICE WATER is deliciously misdirected. -T

SwampCat said...

Tony, this Barry mess seems to be going west. We are safe here. Are you?? It’s been a strange storm.

Big Easy said...

Nice hurricane (that veered west of us) day to go stir crazy. Tired of watching the all the time weather on all the local channels. So we found a restaurant-bar on the river that was open and sat there with friends from 11:30-5:00, when it closed. Left a big tip, ate plenty and then found a coffee shop open. As of 8:00 pm it has rained very little. As for the puzzle, I almost got it all. Blew it on the cross of AQUILA & Golden ALES-never heard of either, but I went through 5 Yuengling drafts. AQUIGA & Golden AGES didn't cut it. My knowledge of astronomy is Orion's Belt, Polaris, & The Big Dipper.

Sugar-CUBE, CANE, BEETS, & CONE. I wanted CANE but I knew 'resAnant' wasn't right so CONE it was. Didn't know REM or the song and had ST PETER before GRACKLES & GREETER corrected that thought.

Anonymous T said...

Swamp - The temp did (eerily - like before a storm) drop earlier but nothing here yet. How's your NOLA fortress holding up? In that vein, how's all of our Louisiana contingent holding up? -T

Husker Gary said...

PK, et al, We were told grackles don't like safflower seed and so we loaded up one feeder with that and NONE of the birds liked them. The safflower seeds would sit for two weeks and even when the other feeders were empty or nearly so. All we got for our efforts was the knowledge that the safflower seeds will germinate and cause another problem. We rarely see any grackles this far into summer and the finches and other small birds have come back in abundance and out sunflower chip supply is lasting much longer!

Ol' Man Keith said...

I forgot to mention that, despite the goodly praise from fellow Corner-ites, I wasn't all that taken with "Cardboard chateau."
This just seemed unclever vintage humor. I guess I expect more from our bright Aussie mates.

Anonymous T said...

OMK - the way I take "Cardboard Chateau" is how my sisters, when complemented on their fancy-pants, say "Oh, It's from Tar-Jay" [phonetically with a Fraunch thing going on there - likely spelt Targette :-)].

Yeah, they picked it of the rack at Target; Their little way of being cute to a complement on their attire.

Cheers, -T

Lucina said...

Earlier I went through several clips featuring Don PARDO on You Tube. What an unforgettable voice!

My daughter and some of her family (the step-kids are visiting their other grandmother in Ill.)are coming early to swim tomorrow as well as my niece and her granddaughter. It's going to be an almost full house. I'm cooking ribs.

Stay safe and out of Barry's way.

Misty said...

Thank you, Irish Miss and Ol'Man Keith. The visit with son and grandson has been lovely, and we still have tomorrow morning before they need to return to San Francisco. But it's been a total delight to having them visit "Grammy."