Jul 20, 2019

Saturday, July 20, 2019, Paolo Pasco, Erik Agard

Themeless Saturday Puzzle by Paolo Pasco and Erik Agard

Karma or not, this NASA educator is proud to be able to blog on this auspicious golden anniversary of Neil Armstrong's "small step/giant leap". Fifty years ago today I baled hay in  for my father-in-law and then watched one of the most historic events in world history that evening along with billions of other earthlings.

          Buzz Aldrin                                      My 7/21/69 Omaha World Herald
The irony of the picture above is that it is of Buzz Aldrin as are all other posed pictures of either of the two first two humans on the Moon. Neil Armstrong took the picture and you can see his reflection and the Eagle Lunar Module in Buzz's 24K gold face mask. 18. Lead-in for time or point: AT NO time did the geniuses at NASA think to tell Neil to give the camera to Buzz so they could get a picture of him. 

Speaking of geniuses (genii?), today's wonderful exercise was created by these two. 

Paolo Pasco                                                 Erik Agard
An article in the Harvard Magazine about Paolo.

A C.C. interview with Erik (before he was on Jeopardy)

I got through in good time as most of the long fills, except for 1 Across, were very gettable.

Now let's take one small step  for learning and one giant leap for entertainment with Paolo and Erik (and me in my NASA presentation outfit)


1. Title toon toy-fixer with a magic stethoscope: DOC MCSTUFFINS - No idea

14. Short-distance fliers: PAPER AIRPLANES.

15. Philosophical consoling words: WIN SOME LOSE SOME and some get rained out

16. __ hall: REC(reation)

17. Tony-winning 2017 play about international diplomacy: OSLO  A preview/trailer

19. Diamonds, in slang: ICE.

20. Texas art patron __ Hogg: IMA - She signed her first name as illegibly as possible but made big marks in the arts and in the area of mental health

21. C or P, on a diamond: POS - The Pitcher POSITION is 1 in a baseball scorebook and the Catcher is 2

23. Lab workers: TECHS.

25. It means nothing in Paris: RIEN 
Il ne coûte RIEN d'être civil ici (It costs nothing to be civil here)

27. Jolie 2010 title role: SALT - Meh...

39. "Little Miss Sunshine" Oscar winner: ARKIN - On the other hand... 

31. Pakistani prime minister __ Khan: IMRAN Here ya go

32. Lock expert?: WRESTLER - Usually a headlock

34. "Cool beans!": NEATO.

35. Prefix with grace: DIS.

36. Valletta's island: MALTA - About a hour-and-a-half flight from Rome

37. Journals: GAZETTES - Founded in 1845, this is said to be America's first pop-culture publication

40. Runner on runners: SLED.

41. Jewish youth org.: YMHA - Young Men's Hebrew Association 

43. Monopoly figures: RENTS.

44. __ hug: BRO.

45. Letters associated with a lion: MGM.

47. German grandpa: OPA - 
Ich bin ein OPA von fünf tollen Leuten ( I am a grandpa to five great people)

48. Lose focus, with "out": ZONE.

51. Rested: LAIN Take this online quiz on lie and lay (click on Take)

53. Female in WWII: WAC.

54. Track star?: RECORDING ARTIST - My 1962 Roy Orbison album had six tracks on the front and six tracks on the back 59. Audio feedback?: I LOVE THIS SONG - Track number 1, Crying, was my favorite where Roy unleashes his operatic voice

58. Action movie cry: BATTLE STATIONS.


1. Moves in for a short time?: DANCE CRAZE - Okay, Paolo and Erik, who came up with this fabulous clue? The Macarena "Moves" were "in for a short time"

2. Special __: OPS.

3. One on top of an org chart: CEO.

4. 1983 comedy about a stay-at-home dad: MR. MOM - 57% or not, I liked it

5. Salad choice: CAESAR.

6. Flower pot holder: SILL.

7. State enforcement group: TROOPERS - State TROOPERS seldom get passed on the interstate

8. Prosperous times: UPS - Every life has its UPS and Downs

9. Lab annoyances: FLEAS - This Lab is a dog not a room

10. Securely: FAST.

11. Advised of: IN ON.

12. Friend of Dory: NEMO - Dory's advice (:28) that meant 
29. "That's not worth getting riled up over": LET IT PASS.

13. Abbr. aptly found in "compasses": SSE - A heading of 157.5 degrees on a ship's compass

14. Done in fragments: PIECEMEAL as opposed to 22. Not in fragments: ONE - Marijuana laws

15. Penned works: WRITINGS.

20. "Wrong!": IS NOT - How white-haired Buzz Aldrin reacted when confronted by an idiot man who said the Moon landing was a hoax

24. Not at all popular: HATED.

26. "In a perfect world ... ": I WISH.

27. Long look: STARE - STARE at the black dot in the middle of this flag for 30 seconds without blinking and then look at the blank space at the right (blink to enhance the image)

28. Omniscient: ALL KNOWING.

30. Carry on, as business: TRANSACT.

33. Unction: SMARM - From 

a manner of expression arising or apparently arising from deep emotion, especially as intended to flatter.
"he spoke the last two words with exaggerated unction"

ingratiating behavior.
"it takes a combination of smarm and confidence to persuade them"

35. Reduce to bits: DEMOLISH.

38. Norse war god: TYR All you'd ever want to know

42. Granada gal pals: AMIGAS.

44. Uncle Miltie of early TV: BERLE - Vaudeville on the small screen

46. Annoyances in clouds: GNATS - Yikes!

48. Ardor: ZEAL.

49. Quadri- doubled: OCTO.

50. Grounding rule, perhaps: NO TV - or cell phone, computer, game boy, etc

52. Inclined to fight: ANTI.

54. Homer stat: RBI - Some now say, "She has 47 RBI" instead of "RBI's" because the R stands for Runs

55. Many a "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" character: Abbr.: DET - I wonder if fans of that show know of Holmes, Hammer, Marple or Poirot

56. River in Mexico: RIO.

57. Long or short unit: TON  - long TON is 20 hundredweight (cwt), each of which is 8 stone (1 stone = 14 pounds). Thus a long ton is 20 × 8 × 14 lb = 2,240 lb. A short TON is of course just 2,000 lb.

After you comment, please raise a glass to Neil, Buzz and Michael.


OwenKL said...

DNF for the second day in a row. The Central-East area had many cells both white and wrong. I wavered between I_WISH and IF-ISH. HAITI > MALTA. CHARM > SMARM. Unknown POS, RIEN, SALT, OPA. The rest, clues misdirected.

The alarm went thru the base, "BATTLE STATIONS!"
Creatures from Crab Nebula commenced infestation!
The Space Marines
FAST on the scene --
With melted butter for the crustaceans!

"AT NO TIME was he IN, ON things done in his name."
Scratch a politician, underneath they're all the same.
Always playing FAST and loose
With no regarding for the truth --
On the other party they always place the blame!

I thought I saw a new DANCE CRAZE,
The way they hopped I was amazed!
Inhibitions in the mass?
Jumping, they all LET IT PASS.
Then I realized their line was for the loo delays!

{B+, B-, B+.}

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

The gettable long across entries (with the exception of DOC MCSTUFFINS) made this one a quick, easy solve. Thanx, Paolo, Erik and Husker.

IMA -- Her house, Bayou Bend, is a museum now, and an important stop on the Azalea Trail every spring.

SMARM -- So does that mean that "extreme unction" is really, really SMARMY?

NASA -- DW (the original) and I were vacationing in Tokyo during the moonwalk. We watched it live that morning (time-change) in our hotel room with the sound turned off. We had a radio tuned to Armed Forces Radio Service for the audio. Probably couldn't afford Tokyo today, but in those days the dollar was really strong. You could take a taxi anywhere in Tokyo for less than a buck...provided you could figure out how to 'splain to the driver where you wanted to go.

Well I got my $1874 back after signing an affadavit, swearing that I did not know that company and did not authorize them to debit my account. I've also been assigned a new checking account number. But my money is still locked up in the old account, and the new account has a zero balance. I can see both accounts on-line. I tried to make an account-to-account transfer. Nope. No-Go. [Sigh] The saga continues...

CartBoy said...

All done with the exception of one square (41 across). My Nordic mythology is limited at best, so assumed it had to be O or U. Either way, Y was not an option. What came first, the YMCA or the YMHA? Who knew...

D4E4H said...

A knight has a trusty steed and a lance.
I have rusty pee in my pants.

The following was posted on 7-18 at 8:58 PM. There were no "Screams," so here it is again earlier in the day.

F L N (ok so it was 7-16):

First the good news: Lucina at 12:51 AM, 7-17 Congratulations on your great-grandson. I will pray for your granddaughter.

Then a correction of info: oc4beach at 11:01 AM wrote "It's National Ice Cream day, so everyone should enjoy some."

First I'm surprised that there were no screams for ice cream. Then I LIU to find that In July of 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared the third week of July to be National Ice Cream Month by signing proclamation 5219.

Huh? Honest, I copied this looking for the day.

National Ice Cream day is celebrated on the third Sunday which is July 21, 2019 meaning that each of you have time to input your favorite flavor into the GPS where it should have been already.

ON TO 7-17:

54 A -- Ruffles snack company: FRITOLAY. I was enjoying a snack of a 1 oz bags each of Fritos and Cheetoes as I properly answered the clue. I eat one chip from column "F" then one from column "C," oh so good.


Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This grid was daunting, at first, but slowly, but surely, it morphed into a completion, but not without many obstacles: Doc Mc Stuffins, Ima, Imran, Tyr, and Nemo. Salt was a gimme as some of its scenes were filmed in Albany. Mr. Mom was even more of a gimme because of our resident Mr. Mom, CED. I, too, had Piper before Paper and I also had Zest before Zeal. Malta was timely as I just read an article about Pete Buttigieg and learned that his father was from there. Are people from Malta called Maltese? Did the dog breed, Maltese, originate there? I'll have to see what Mr. G has to say. I liked the two pest entries, Fleas and Gnats, and my favorite C/A was Lab annoyances=Fleas. I really enjoyed the misdirection and cleverness of much of the cluing.

Thank you, Paolo and Erik, for a Saturday challenge and thank you, HG, for the outstanding review and visuals. I particularly liked the flag illusion. I also enjoy your non-native language skills.

DO, I find it odd that you can't transfer your funds to the new account but I guess we're at the mercy of corporate whims. I hope you get it resolved soon.

PK, is your banking issue resolved.


Anonymous T ~ Abnes cashed the check and Assness took the money and ran.

Have a cool, safe day.

D4E4H said...

Lloyd, Thanks for the setup for my joke.

I'm this many:


Irish Miss said...

Mr. Google says yes to both of my Maltese questions.

Owen, I forgot to say all A(s).

Big Easy said...

Thanks Gary for the DANCE CRAZE explanation. I filled it by perps but could not see how or why it fit.The north was the last to fill. DOC McSTUFFINS & NEMO were unheard of unknowns. I originally had PIPER instead of PAPER AIRPLANES, waffled between LASH & FAST and ESE & SSE.

WIN SOME, LOSE SOME- I won today's puzzle.
A&E unknowns filled by perps today-SALT, ARKIN, DET
Never heard of unknowns-IMRAN, OPA and cartoon characters
Unction & SMARM- two words that nobody ever uses but fit nicely in an X-word puzzle

Since the YMCAs and YWCAs (remember them) and now just called 'The Y' for boys, girls, men, & women, I think the YMHA has morphed into the JCC.

"Summer of '69"- A Brian Adams song and THE moon landing. I was in college, working that night in a hospital cleaning floors and working in the ER. I got home in time to watch the 'small step'.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

A doozy today but I expected as much from Mr. Agard. The whole NW was a disaster area and kept DEMOLISHing itself. Did get NOTV but wanted to parse it as NOT V but finally saw, oh, NO TV. Sigh. Valletta, capital of MALTA, was cake. Got most of the long acrosses, but needed help with DOC MCSTUFFINS.
BATTLE STATIONS - Movie cry is right. On our ship the call was for General Quarters. Aboard U.S. Navy Vessels, the following announcement would be made using the vessel’s public address system (known as the 1MC):

"General Quarters, General Quarters. All hands man your battle stations. The route of travel is forward and up to starboard, down and aft to port. Set material condition 'Zebra' throughout the ship. Reason for General Quarters: (Inbound hostile aircraft/Hostile surface contact/etc.)"

OPA - Similarly to Gary; Ik heet ook OPA to mien fief Grootkinner. (I'm called OPA by my 5 grandkids.)
Mien Fru heet 'Nana', nich Oma.

Misty said...

Well, Saturdays are always toughies for me, and this one was no exception. But very clever, Paolo and Erik, thank you. My easiest item was getting OPA for the German grandpa--that's what I called my sweet grandpa when I was a little girl. My favorite clue was 'lock expert' for the WRESTLER. Thanks too for the commentary, Husker Gary.

Dave, glad to see you back. I tried to phone you yesterday to get help with my shoulder problem but the number just didn't work. If you could just give me some brief tips on the blog, I'd be very grateful.

Have a good weekend, everybody.

Jerome said...

Tyr. Tuesday

Odin, or Woden. Wednesday

Thor. Thursday

Frigga (Odin's wife). Friday

Yellowrocks said...

I did most of the puzzle this morning while my car was being serviced to the tune if $480. Ouch!
Working from the bottom up I filled the puzzle fairly solidly until I came to the three long fills in the top tier. I wagged and perped DOC MC--UFFINS who is new to me and had to get the ST from red letters. The ST gave me SILL and TROOPERS with enough perps to complete the puzzle.
Some days at school recess the gnats were so terrible, if I were in charge, I would have declared it an indoor day.
Rien always reminds me of Edith Piaf's famous song, "Non, je ne regrette rien." No I regret nothing.
I enjoyed Mr. Mom.
Gary, you look great in that space suit.
I liked diamonds for ICE.
We used to watch Uncle Miltie every Tuesday at my friend's house.
Time to take Alan for a haircut.

Picard said...

Thanks to all who stepped up yesterday to answer my inquiry about SIDE HUSTLE.

Today we had COOL BEANS. It seems there are expressions circulating that stay in some circles and not in others!

Favorite clue today was for DANCE CRAZE. We were out last night swing dancing which was a DANCE CRAZE in my grandparents' era. Moves in for a short time... then revived.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thanks Paolo & Erik for a doable Saturday. WIN SOME LOSE SOME, I guess, for me. Yesterday I lost big time.

Great expo, Gary, such continuing enthusiasm for the space program is commendable. Had never heard the story about the helmet reflection. My son who became an Air Force pilot was such a space program nut. He and his older three boys all went to space camp two years each. My husband wanted to go. Salute, Astronauts!

Unction: way off base here. I thought of extreme unction which I thought was a Catholic priest performing a rite for the dying. Lucina?


Haven't read the comments yet. Need a nap first. Spent over two hours in my bank this morning, changing over my account to another number. My son was good enough to volunteer to drive up and go sit thru all that with me. He was so kind and patient. I could have done it on my own, but was glad to have him there. The first lady I talked to the first day acted like the bank couldn't be wrong & that I might be suffering dementia. (Not yet!) My son looks like someone they shouldn't mess with. Took longer than it should because the lady in charge was training a guy to do the actual forms. Now I just have to notify SSA and other automatic depositors. Groan...

desper-otto said...

PK, I can sympathize. I spent almost four hours this morning changing all my auto-deposits and auto-payments to the new account number. Grrrrrrr. I think I've got 'em all changed. Now I just need some money in that account...

AnonymousPVX said...

First off....

MISTY and DAVE...If you click the name on the entry you can each send an email to the other. Beats talking about it here or publishing phone numbers.

Ok, this Saturday puzzle was tough, but well clued. How well clued?....when you get answers thanks to crosses that you had zero idea of, that’s good clueing. Like 1A.

Markovers...VASE/SILL, NIEN/RIEN (and I took French a zillion years ago), LAID/LAIN, LOVE/ZEAL.

There would have been more but now I leave stuff blank instead of filling in a “good” guess.

I watch Brooklyn 99 and I know of most if not all of the famous literary detectives. Do you ask this question of Blue Bloods fans? (I watch that too). B99 is very funny.

I have had the same Credit Union account for 46 years with zero issues. Of course, I’ve never thought I was the winner or beneficiary of a Sweepstakes or the heir of a Nigerian Prince, haha.

Lucina said...


Yowza! My first glance at the constructors names and the snowy white grid made me doubt I could do it, but under one hour, it was done! Thank you, Paolo Pasco and Erik Agard.

The down clues were generous and after filling a few I could connect the entire phrase, like the missing posts in a picket fence, as Clear Ayes used to say. WRITINGS was my first fill and how nice that it was crossed by GAZETTES. It took a while to finish that one.

Much of the fill was really clever, especially DANCE CRAZE, RECORDING ARTIST and FLEAS.

SMARM really surprised me when I realized what it was. Of course, I thought of Extreme Unction, which is what the Last Rites for the dying or anointing of the sick are now called. Unction also means oil or in that case, anointing.

Since I no longer have tiny tots watching TV I had no idea about DOC MCSTUFFINS and inadvertently put a G at the end. DNF!

In the end I was stuck at the Natick of YMHA/TYR which I had to LIU. Thank you, Jerome, for the names of the weekday origins. I once knew them but have long since forgotten them.

D-O and PK:
How awful and terribly inconvenient that you are still dealing with banking problems. I hope they are soon resolved.

We have June/July birthday celebration today.

Have a lovely day, everyone!

Lucina said...

I'll rephrase that. Extreme Unction was the old name for what is now called the Last Rites for the dying or anointing of the sick.

Jayce said...

I had a hard time getting started on this puzzle today. As Lucina said, the down clues were generous. I don't think I could have solved this terrific puzzle without them. Amazing grid, excellent cluing, fresh fill. I can't (and won't) ask for anything more. Thanks to Paolo and Erik.

That "S" at the end of DOC MCSTUFFINS took me a while to guess. Once the SSE emerged I wondered why "compasses" in the clue had quote marks around it. It made me think there must be much more to it than just the compass point SSE.

I remember from my childhood that my dad taught me his way to tune a ukulele was to sing "My dog has FLEAS."

I can easily imagine why IMA Hogg would sign her first name as illegibly as possible.

Here's wishing you all a good day.

desper-otto said...

Jayce, did you notice that you can find SSE in the word "compasses?"

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Paolo Pasco & Erik Agard, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Husker Gary, for a fine review.

Picard: Nice to see you. it's been a while.

Husker Gary: I like Roy Orbison's "Only the Lonely"

To the puzzle. This puzzle went fine. Took me a while but it went along faster than most Saturday's. It was much easier than Friday's puzzle.

Most of the long answers were very gettable with a perp or two to start them.

I also tried PIPER AIRPLANES before PAPER became obvious with DSNCE.

YMHA came fairly easily once I compared it to YMCA and YWCA.

Liked FLEAS for Lab annoyances. Good clue/word.

SMARM was very easy once I had five perps. Piece of cake.

Tried PIECE WORK before PIECE MEAL worked better.

Well off to my day. Going to friends tonight way up north. Huntley, IL.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Took 3 Googles [ARKIN, TYR, IMRAN] to continue play to the end but it was worth the fun. Thanks Paolo and Erik - great to see a couple of Young Fresh Fellows [nothing apropos - 2:30] constructing.

HG - Wonderful expo and Tribute to 7/20/69. Thanks for what you do for The Corner and teaching kids about NASA.

WOs: Put CEO in 2d's blocks, I LIkE THIS SONG before I was Grounded. EMT b/f DET - Never seen the show but kinda remember ad-spots for it.
Fav: BATTLE STATIONS - I'm prep'n' for Red Team / Blue Team [hacking attackers / counter-actors] exercises in a few weeks. 'All your base are belong to us." (Erik might get that :-))

DOC MC STUFFINS - vaguely recall that from when the Girls were much younger. Took about 10 perps for the fill.

{B+, A+, A}

I knew D-O would cite our local IMA Hogg. You know, ... her sister's name is Ura? Ok, That IS NOT true [see paragraph 3 under NAME heading].

Seems there's some Monopoly "Bank Error in your..." TRANSACTions here at The Corner: IM - " your favor"; D-O & PK: One step forward.

AMIGAS - I got the fill but I'm still thinking of the Computer. Anyone remember The AMIGA. If you had a friend that had one, you certainly do BECAUSE they would never shut up about it :-).

Y'all have a wonderful Saturday!

Cheers, -T

Yellowrocks said...

IMO it is legitimate to use unction in the sense of excessive but superficial compliments given with affected charm; smug self-serving earnestness.
This sense of unction and smarm are exact synonyms.
I have found quite a few examples in print, but don’t often come upon unction used this way in my regular reading, maybe because the word also has positive connotations. The adjective, unctuous, is more common and is always pejorative.
Prime examples of unctuous characters are Eddie Haskell in Leave It to Beaver and Uriah Heep in Dickens’ novel, David Copperfield.

Wilbur Charles said...

Are you kidding Owen? All A's.

"Extrame Unction" is the 7th sacrament, to be given when near death- as s I see Lucina pointed out

Malta is where one of the Crusader Knights settled. I'm guessing Hospitalers

I too had ESE, then I no put a G there thinking GPS. Mr S again

21A fooled me. I was thinking of the four things you look at on a diamond. C's? That and TON perped in with no clue

I had a lot of white and then none.


I liked Roy's "A Legend in my Time"

Thanks Gary and Eric and Paolo


Good examples YR. Seinfeld had a comedian "friend" like that? Who's got it?

Misty said...

Dave, I sent you an e-mail--let me know if you received it.

Anonymous said...

I'm making a chicken dish for tonight. In the recipe is this instruction:

Simmer uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes, until the reduced sauce is thick and UNCTUOUS.

Wiki suggests it means greasy or oily.

Lucina said...

Gary, I think I failed to thank you for your timely and always elucidating review! And you look sharp in that NASA outfit!

Jayce said...

Ah, desper-otto, the answer to your question is no, I did not notice that. Thank you for pointing it out.

Wilbur Charles said...

Yes, Extreme Unction literally is anointing with oil


Ol' Man Keith said...

A semi-sugared pzl today from the team of Pasco & Agard, a truly bitter-sweet experience. Half of it was generous, and half was mean, a perfect Saturday combo!

Misty ~
Hope you & Dave connect with each other soon, for your shoulder's sake!

Not much else of note today--except for the footnote. See below*.
We have only one diagonal today, a mirror stroke (NE to SW), but it is a doozy. It is what I call an anagram "Jango," using all but one letter of the 15 allowed.
The back story? This one seems to be the response of a rebellious congressperson to a period of overabundance of bills getting killed, chief exec vetoes, court injunctions, and general negativity in government circles.
When quizzed by a CNN reporter, this fearless politico responded:...

Wilbur Charles said...

Michael Banya as in "How do like the new suit, Jerry? Huh, huh"

CanadianEh! said...

Super Saturday. Thanks for the fun, Paolo and Erik, and Husker G.
NEATO. Today was a WIN SOME day after yesterday's LOSE SOME. (Hello PK)

But I had several inkblots.
Hand up for having no clue about TYR, and BRO Hug was a WAG.
I also had no clue how POS was C or P, on a diamond, even after it perped. Thanks for explaining HuskerG.
My grounding rule started as a NO GO (my mind was in space mode for today), and I smiled when NO TV appeared.

How many menus have you seen offering a Ceasar salad??
My granddaughters love DOC MCSTUFFINS. It filled in quickly.

I can't believe Mr. and Mrs. Hogg would name their child IMA. Just think of the teasing in the playground. And she never married! (Wikipedia has lots of info on her name - see AnonT's link)

My first thought with "Moves in for a short time?" was about mooching relatives/children who usually overstay their welcome. Oh, Moves is a noun! DANCE CRAZE brought a smile.

Favourite today was the clue for GNATS. FLEAS was a close second.

Signing off.

D4E4H said...

Misty, You have mail.

AnonymousPVX, You have my thanks.

Ol' Man Keith, Thanks for your support.


Anonymous T said...

WC & Lucina - re: Extreme Unction...

As a Young Catholic learning of the Sacraments, I thought they were a "Collect All Seven!" sort-a thing.
I had Baptism, First Communion, Confession, Confirmation [check, check, check, and check], planned on Marriage [check]...

But then there's the FROCK (Holy Orders) which conflicted with Marriage and finally (literally) #7. I'm not so keen on acquiring the last of that set. :-)