Jul 27, 2019

Saturday, July 27, 2019, Craig Stowe

Saturday Themeless Puzzle by Craig Stowe

Today celebrates the completion of the first permanent transatlantic cable on July 27, 1866. It connected Valentia Island, Ireland, to Heart's Content, Newfoundland and while it's not a trip to the moon like last week, at the time it was a transformational accomplishment. Communication with Europe was reduced from ten days each way to a matter of minutes.

As fate would have it, today's constructor is a resident of a small Newfoundland town - Craig Stowe. He is a kitchen porter in a rather large hotel and says he solves and constructs crosswords in his spare time. This construction with two sets of triple 10-letter horizontal stacks and two sets of triple 8-letter vertical stacks yields an impressive 99 open squares.

Now in this age of instant communications let's see what Craig has for us:


1. Ostentatious suburban pads: MCMANSIONS - Nouveau riche? 

11. Dry riverbed: WADI.

15. View from Muscat: ARABIAN SEA - This capital of Oman looks out to where the Gulf of Oman opens to the ARABIAN SEA

16. Benjamin's value: ONE C - $100 or a C-NOTE

17. Prickly plants: ROSE BUSHES - If you have ROSE BUSHES, you know about Japanese Beetles 

18. This, in Taxco: ESTA  - ESTA foto muestra muchos escarabajos (This picture shows a lot of beetles)

19. __-cone: SNO.

20. Schubert vocal compositions: LIEDER - a typically 19th-century German art song characterized by the setting of a poem Gee, I'd love to hear one!

22. Benign cyst: WEN - Google if you must

23. A detective may follow one: HUNCH - What family "knew that it was much more than a HUNCH"

26. Earth __: DAY.

27. Boom box button: EJECT 

29. Mitigate: ASSUAGE - Churchill nearly met with Hitler in 1932 (correction) to ASSUAGE Germany's grievances over the Treaty of Versalles 

31. What inspiration can come in: SPURTS.

32. Make oneself heard clearly: PROJECT - One way to help those that can't PROJECT their voice is shown below. Then she can ask 57. "Was __ loud?": I TOO.

35. Old portico: STOA - This old cwd friend won't score many Scrabble points

36. Advice from a cohort in crime: STICK TO THE STORY - Let's get our lies coordinated 

40. Charlie's fourth wife: OONA - When 18-yr-old OONA married 54-yr-old Charlie Chaplin, OONA's father, playwright Eugene O'Neill, disowned her

41. Basque, e.g.: IBERIAN - The Basque language is spoken on the IBERIAN peninsula and France 

42. Invite with a wave: BECKON - Ah, a universal language

44. They might be gross: INCOMES.

48. Old number?: ETHER - Oh Craig, that silent B didn't get me nor did I bite on 33. Nice (France) when it's hot?: ETE nor 34. Present day?: CHRISTMAS - The noun rather than the adjective 

49. Mil. academy: OCS - Fort Benning, GA produced 7,000 officers annually from its Officer Candidate School during the height of the Vietnam War

51. Hindu title: SWAMI - Put in a penny, ask a yes or no question and pull the red handle

52. Dispute: ROW - Rou not roh

53. Offer unwanted advice: KIBITZ - Anyone else get unwanted advice when parking a car?

56. Formerly: NEE.

59. Spreading throughout: PERMEATING.

62. Usual: NORM.

63. "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" poet: OSCAR WILDE - WILDE was in Gaol (jail) for "gross indecency' and so when he wrote the poem about his horrible time there, he did not use his name at first but rather used C.3.3. (cell block C, level 3, cell three)

64. Beauts: GEMS.

65. Ski resort offering: SEASON PASS.


1. "'Night, Mother" playwright Norman: MARSHA - The play begins with Jesse calmly telling her mother she is going to kill herself that night.

2. Zeus' father: CRONUS The family tree

3. Layers of stone: MASONS - The artisans not the course

4. White House nickname: ABE 

5. Bill: NIB.

6. King anointed by Samuel: SAUL Print it out and color it if you like

7. Traitorous crime: INSIDE JOB - In Goodfellas, the Lufthansa heist was an INSIDE JOB

8. Irish actor Milo: O'SHEA - Milo and Henry Fonda's daughter in Barbarella 

9. Poor: NEEDY.

10. Ed.'s requirement: SASE - When you submit work to an Ed(itor), they want a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope included say they can send you their judgment 

11. Distress: WOE.

12. Work under: ANSWER TO.

13. Smoke __: DETECTOR - Why do smoke DETECTOR with bad batteries usually start beeping at 2 am? 14. "Who knows": I CAN'T SAY.

21. Street cred: REP - If you get dissed and don't retaliate your REP could take a hit

24. Honeybunch: CUPCAKE - Ahhh... 

25. "Listen!": HARK
"HARK, you Guildenstern — and you too (Rosencrantz); at each ear a hearer." In essence, Hamlet is saying, "Listen! Someone is coming!"

28. A moment ago: JUST NOW.

30. Arrived: GOT IN - Granddaughter's plane GOT IN at 11 pm from NYC last night and Papa was there to pick her up! It's a 36. Eliciting thoughtfulness: SOBERING thought that she is now 21

31. Often-ornamental vessel: STEIN  - A perfect one for last Saturday. I'm tempted to order one.

37. In direct confrontation: TOE TO TOE - When these two went TOE-TO-TOE in 45. Capital on Luzon: MANILA, some called it "sanctioned manslaughter" as neither fighter was the same afterwards 

38. Caterpillar also called a looper: INCH WORM - A lovely song from my yut

39. Most bunts, briefly: SACS - Hitters can be called on to bunt to get a runner from 1st to 2nd or 2nd to 3rd when they are put out

43. TV planet: ORK.

46. Fixes, as text: EMENDS - Here ya go on Amend/EMEND

To amend is (1) to change for the better, (2) to put right, or (3) to alter by adding. The word’s corresponding noun is amendment. 
Emend means to improve by editing (especially a text). Its corresponding noun is emendationEmend is rare because it’s mainly confined to contexts related to professional writing and editing.
47. Lengthy campaigns: SIEGES - After a long SIEGE, the rebels at Vicksburg, MS surrendered to the Grant on July 4, 1863. They did not celebrate Independence Day for many decades afterward

49. Corpulent: OBESE.

50. Uncertain dating word: CIRCA - The oldest remaining residence in our town was built CIRCA 1865

54. Uber and Lyft had them in 2019: IPO'S - Initial Public OfferingS

55. Cipher: ZERO - Nil, Nada, Zip, Naught

58. Mantra chants: OMS.

60. Barley bristle: AWN - Another cwd friend in for a visit

61. Tri-__: TIP - The aptly named cut of beef and from whence it cometh 

How we have progressed! Last year I was able to make a face-to-face call from my house to my granddaughter's house in Grenoble, France any time I wanted to. A long way from ships or a cable. Feel free to use your technology to comment on Craig's Saturday offering. 


OwenKL said...

There was an old Hindu, a SWAMI
Gave his students an evil-eye whammy
When he saw one kibitz
And moving his lips
And sneaking in bits of pastrami!

SCHUBERT it was, had a hand
In writing LIEDERS on command.
One he composed
For his friend, ROSE,
So she could be lieder of the band!

{C+, C.}

Lemonade714 said...

This was too hard for me, with MARSHA NORMAN and LIEDER outside my world. I also did not get 29. Mitigate: ASSUAGE - Churchill nearly met with Hitler in 29132 as the two are not synonymous for me and HG's code is also beyond me.

I also know nothing about LOOPER as an insect, just a MOVIE. I do know all about JAPANESE BEETLES as my father grew roses, but learned today that both insects (hi John Lampkin!) can be controlled with NEEM OIL .

Thanks Gary and Craig

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I was on Craig's wavelength this morning, and finished this one in normal Monday solving time sans Wite-Out. We've got a whole subdivision of MCMANSIONs just west of our little town -- huge monstrosities which occupy about 96% of their lot area. Nope. Not for d-o. Thanx for the softball, Craig, and for the transAtlantic excursion, Husker.

TTP said...

Got off to a good start with ARABIAN SEA as my first fill. ABE and O'SHEA locked it in. MARSHA and CRONUS came much, much later, just before the TADA. Almost 40 minutes, but I'm still stoked that I solved it unaided.

Had AMEND but INCOMAS made me change it to EMEND and INCOMES.

I was going with distress as a verb and had AGE, but recalling WADI from previous puzzles cinched distress as a noun to give me WOE, and helped unlock ONE C for Benjamin's value. Neat.

Same with "Layers of stone" until the ASO made MASONS obvious.

"Number" was an anesthetic rather than a math value. Nice misdirection.

After solving JUST NOW for "A moment ago", I read the clue "Present day?" and was looking for a similar type of response. Oh, wait, "a day for presents". Easy peasy.

Lemonade, I think that should have been 1932 when Churchill almost met Hitler. I'll leave it to Husker Gary to EMEND his text in case it was supposed to be something else.

Husker and Spitzboov, I'm going to have to drive to the nearby town to see Big Boy on Display in West Chicago. He'll be here for a few days before heading west to Iowa.

Thank you Craig and Husker Gary. A great way to start the day.

Big Easy said...

Hello. I know I'm not getting any smarter but this was the easiest and fastest Saturday puzzle I've done in a long time. Like D-O, it was Monday level. McMANSIONS, WADI, ARABIAN SEA, ONE C - all four gimmes. Just a couple on unknowns- MARSHA & KIBITZ filled by perps. Tri-TIP was in place before I read the clue but it is a new term for me.

I'm glad that the perps were mostly in place or ETHER would have been a hard fill for 'old number'.

McMANSIONS VS. MANSIONS? Give me the NEW McMansion any day. Who in their right mind wants old plumbing, wiring, leaky roofs, drafty rooms, single pane windows, and termite eaten wood? Not me.

"Traitorous crime"- Congress wasting time and money instead of trying to actually do something other that spend more money that revenue coming in.

Carl Spackler said...

Husker, the ANSWER TO your query re 23a HUNCH, can be hinted to by repeating 1d three times. MARSHA, MARSHA, MARSHA!

I'm sorry but LOOPER only reminds me of one of my favorite clips from Caddyshack, which I know I've linked here more than once. I'll spare you all this time. So you got that going for you, which is nice.

Yellowrocks said...

I, too found this one easier than most Saturdays, not Monday-like, but Thursday-like. I worked it in SPURTS, as I kept being interrupted.
I started off well with McMANSIONS. To my mind they are huge houses on a tiny lot and not well designed. My personal preference, neither a mansion nor a McMansion.
TTP, ARABIAN was your first and my last fill. I know NEB as the beak of a bird and it took long to realize that NIB is an alternate. And MARSHA was unknown to me. When I had the I and the A, ARABIAN was a V-8 can moment. Duh.
My favorite fill was present day=Christmas. CSO to FERM and me. Our birthday is Christmas. I hope Ferm is okay. We haven't heard from her in quite a while.
Gary, that Schubert piece was lovely. It is an example of lieder and has poetic lyrics. I was surprised that this performance was all instrumental. Lieder are usually sung. IIRR.
I really injured my side last night when I tripped and fell. The only comfortable position is sitting. It looks like a day of computer, reading and TV. I had so much planned.

Unknown said...

I solved the puzzle, but still did not understand ETHER or SACS. I was a bit disappointed that you did not really explain those clues, as I am still scratching my head over them.

desper-otto said...

Unknown, ETHER was used long ago (when I was a kid) as an anesthetic. Thus the "Old number" -- that which makes you numb. Those bunts were SACrifice plays, ergo SACS "briefly."

TTP said...

Yellowrock, yes, that funny how that works sometimes. Sorry to hear of your fall. Perhaps an ibuprofen would help ease the aches. I just took one.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

While I didn't find this Monday-easy, it was an easier than normal Saturday challenge. (I prefer more difficulty on Saturday, but I still enjoyed the solve.) I threw in Mc Mansions with no hesitation, plus several other long fills, all of which made for a quick solve. I needed perps for Leider and Cronus and, although I knew the author of 'Night Mother was female, I was seeing Norman as a male first name. The perps finally gave me Marsha. IIRC, there was a TV adaption of that play and I think Sissy Spacek played the suicidal daughter. I'll have to do some research to see if my memory is correct.

Thanks, Craig, for a pleasant and enjoyable solve and thanks, HG, for your wit, wisdom, and wonderful links and visuals. The clip of "Hans Christian Anderson" brought back sweet memories of seeing that movie and being allowed to go to the matinee by myself. That wouldn't happen today, sadly.

YR, sorry to hear of your fall and hope you heal quickly.

Has anyone heard from Ferm?

Have a great day.

Irish Miss said...

Wiki tells me that 'Night, Mother was a feature film starring Sissy Spacek as the daughter and Anne Bancroft as the mother. I guess I must have seen the movie on TV rather than in a theater.

CrossEyedDave said...

Todays puzzle was way too hard for me to comment on,
luckily it is easy for me to look elsewhere...

Why does a smoke alarm battery crap out at 2AM?
See ambient room temperature...

Been looking for an alternative to surf sounds for Alexa to
play while trying to sleep. That Schubert Serenade will be perfect!

FLN & today,
Yellowrocks, sorry to hear about your fall, but your were lucky!
DW's Mother (89) fell last week on the sidewalk during that heatwave.
SHe smashed her forehead in to ground and the whiplash broke two
vertebrae in her neck. (C1,C2)

Otherwise known as the Hangmans Fracture.

The Doctors are amazed that she is not paralyzed from the neck down...

Docs not sure what to do, surgery was considered, & abandoned.
(It may heal on its own)
So I am driving DW to Brooklyn daily so she can visit
her in Rehab.

AnonDon said...

Seems some of the regulars think that this Saturday offering was Monday easy. I am just happy to have finished it right in a reasonable amount of time. Bet I have lots of company. Thanks Mr. Stowe for a fun puzzle.

Yellowrocks said...

Thanks for caring, TTP, IM and CED. With ibuprofen I am in less pain than early this morning, but standing and walking are not so comfortable. Progress! I'll take it.
CED, how horrible for your MIL. I am glad she is not paralyzed. I hope she will be okay. I have an acquaintance who broke vertebrae in her neck during a car accident. The recovery was difficult, but successful. I wish her all the best.

Misty said...

I too loved this Saturday puzzle--many thanks, Craig. I started out with lots of small words--SNO, ORK, OONA, I TOO--but then got DETECTOR, which helped fill in the northeast. I also loved getting all the tricky clues, like ETHER for 'old numb-ers'. I hoped Charlie would be Chaplin and, yea, OONA turned out to be right. I did goof with the White House nickname by putting IKE instead of ABE at first. Anyway, lots of fun, thanks again, Craig, and always appreciate your helpful write-up, Husker Gary (well, except for making us google WEN).

Wonderful seeing MILO O'SHEA in the puzzle. I saw him play Leopold Bloom in the Joseph Strick film of James Joyce's 'Ulysses' when I was still an undergraduate. Loved his performance so much that I went on to read the book, and eventually wrote my dissertation on James Joyce, and became a Joyce scholar--even serving as President of the International James Joyce Foundation for four years. So, he's kind of my hero, and I owe him my career.

Yellowrocks, so sorry to hear about your fall. Take good care of yourself.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Craig Stowe, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Husker Gary, for a fine review.

Easy, but tough in spots, puzzle.

Once I got a few letters here and there, the long answers filled in fairly easily.

Liked CIRCA for 50D. That baffled me for a while until I studied the clue.

Liked ETHER for 48A. That was misdirection. As in Numbing something.

Easily got OONA. She has been in crosswords forever.

Got TIP once I had 59A, 63A, and 65A. With three two letter perps how could I miss in TIP.

Have to run. Off to Dixon, IL, today. Reagan's boyhood home. Going there for a different reason.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Tinbeni said...

Husker: Great, wonderful write-up & links.

For whatever reason, today's solve felt like a Wednesday level puzzle.

Faves were 24-d, CUPCAKE and 31-d, STEIN ... two items I enjoy.

A "Toast-to-ALL" at sunset.


Spitzboov said...

Hello everyone.

Nice puzzle with much fresh fill: BECKON, ASSUAGE, KIBITZ, ETC. Perps helped move things along, and so I could FIR.
LIED, LIEDER - Simply means "song or songs"
INCH WORM - Where they've gone metric such as Nice, it is known as le ver de 2,54 centim├Ętres.

TTP - You lucky devil; hope your visit with Big Boy was all it could be.

WikWak said...

A tip of the WikWak hat to Craig and Husker. Well done! Managed to FIR in a bit under 20 minims. I see I wasn’t the only one who found this easier than the usual Saturday.


Around here you’ll find TRI TIP on the menu at many restaurants.

Favorite clue/answer: “Old number” = ETHER. How many other folks here remember the sickening smell and horrible whirling feeling while being etherized?

TTP: You may see me there. I still remember being let out of school early so we could all go watch as the last steam locomotive went through our town and rolled into history. That was on the Wabash Line, circa 1953 or 54.

Michael said...

d-o @ 9:38 --

Thanks for clarifying "ETHER" ... if there is ever a clue like "old dumber", the answer is "moi."

AnonymousPVX said...

This Saturday puzzle had me hopscotching around.

Lots of blanks after the first pass, just had to find answers where I could. markovers today.

YR....please take your time healing up, glad you weren’t seriously injured. CED, best of luck to your MIL.

See you Monday.

Yellowrocks said...

Lied can mean merely song in German, but it is also can mean a particular kind of song, "a typically 19th-century German art song characterized by the setting of a poetic text in either strophic or through-composed style and the treatment of the piano and voice in equal artistic partnership." We studied lieder and their poetic texts at Susquehanna as part of our German minor. The poetic text was as important as the music. At Susquehanna I attended most of the music college's recitals with my music major fiance and heard many lieder performed, always with piano and voice. See Wikipedia "Lieder".

Roy said...

Went back a generation too far: uRaNUS. Therefore, I couldn't get MCMANSIONS, MARSHA, and ROSE BUSHES. DNF.

I wanted two Bs in KIBbITZ.

Wilbur Charles said...

Some FLN's:
-T, I asked Phil about 8-Eyed Soy a ND he said " SP(y)DERS have 8 eyes. Perhaps that's we by the name of the band
IM, "fighting" would've ruined the meter. Catholics are loose with "DAMN" as in "Those Damned Jesuits".

This was no walk in the park. I get Chaplin's wife mixed up with the Salinger work*. Didn't know MCmansions nor of course ETHER with silent B on the clue.

Gotta go


Husker Gary said...

-We veterans of the cwd wars have seen the number, summer (adding person), flower (river flowing) et al gimmicks many times and I thought I my explanation of “silent B” would suffice
-Baseball peeps are familiar with a SAC bunt or SAC fly and it’s hard to explain that concept to anyone not knowledgeable of the game. In both cases a batter makes an out (sacrificing himself) to help his team.
-These cricket terms and accompanying diagram shows how little I would know about cricket but we do puzzles on this side of the “pond”
-So sorry to hear about YR’s and CED’s MIL’s medical issues. Happy healing to all.
-Our golf course is very near and parallels the Platte River on the south and The Lincoln Hwy (#30) and the UP Main Line on the north and so when the “Big Boy” roared past us it was an amazing sight and sound!
-If you enter Nebraska from Council Bluffs, Iowa, Another Big Boy is perched up on the Missouri River bluff

Jayce said...

I enjoyed this puzzle and everyone's comments.

Anonymous said...

Also needed help with Old Number. Thanks, D-O.

Lucina said...


First, let me assure you that Fermat is doing somewhat well as she described herself in her e-mail response to mine. She plays on-line poker and it keeps her rapt.

On the puzzle I was well into Craig's wave length almost from the beginning. OSCAR WILDE was my first fill and it bloomed outward from there. CHRISTMAS was amusingly clued!

KIBITZ is foreign to me but it perped as did SAC (?). Thank you for explaining further, Gary.

Finally at the SW corner I did not know which Charlie was being referred to although SOBERING emerged but I still didn't get it and then looked up caterpillar. Looper is not familiar to me so INCHWORM never surfaced.

Most of this was easy. Thank you, Gary, for your very explicit descriptions (except SAC at first). Your Spanish, BTW, is nicely improving.

I'm so sorry to hear about your fall and realize how frustrating it is for you to be unable to do all you plan.

I'm sorry about your mother-in-law as well.

I hope you are all enjoying a beautiful day!

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Y'all thought it easy? OK, maybe it was just my poor-fill "blocking" me...

Thanks Craig for a fun Saturday puzzle that required 4 peeks at HG's grid to "poor man's red-letter" a way out of my mess.

Fails: not Norman MAILER [got 45min?], nor Cypher CODE, nor STET, nor Tri POD, nor, HUSH and Listen!

WADI? WOE [sic], what is that?

Wonderful expo HG. //your link to Zeus' tree seems to go to you playing with model rockets(?).
It took your "silent B" comment for the Old Number to take effect. I was still thinking music(?)

Fav: STICK TO THE STORY. Anyone ever study the prisoners' dilemma?

{A, B+}

CED - how Scary! God Speed to your MIL (and your family).
YR God's speed to you too - take it easy for a few days and heal. Pop says those kind of things are "shots over the bow." Slow down a bit; we don't want to lose you nor your language prowess.

TTP - I hope you share a pic or vid of Big Boy.

Y'all have a great afternoon!

Cheers, -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

Thanks, Craig Stowe, for the kind of pzl that makes us all feel smart.
Tough, chewy, but doable. After three careful unravelings, this brought Yrs Truly a happy Ta~DA!
Thanks too to Husker G for such a detailed response. I enjoyed the links, especially to the sample of a Schubert Lied, "Serenade."
I lived for many years on his namesake street, but never listened seriously to his beautiful music.

OONA O'Neill Chaplin was the living nexus between two great threads of theatrical history.
I wonder if anyone bothered to tell Daddy Eugene that Lady Chaplin wasn't "his" to "disown"?

Wilbur C ~
I am not sure what you mean by mixing up Chaplin's wife with the "Salinger work." It's true that OONA dated JD Salinger (and Orson Welles!) before she married Charlie, so maybe that's the source of your mix-up? (Personally, I find it strange that JD eventually married Colleen O'Neill.)

Ahh, OSCAR WILDE--what a brilliant playwright, novelist, and social critic. I think most people recall at least a part of his Ballad of Reading Gaol, particularly his most rueful observation...
Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!


Spitzboov said...

Kiebitz means lapwing or plover in German. In colloquial German it means onlooker. We got it via the Yiddish.
Kibitz in German applies to those watching a card game.

Yellowrocks said...

My mom used to say, "No kibitzing," when an onlooker butted into a card game. Now I sometimes hear it about any unwanted advice, but more often for card games.
Thank you all for the kind words. Resting and idling seem to be the cure. A friend called me this afternoon to invite me to a free bell ringing concert. Reluctantly I passed.

Bill G said...

Hi everybody. Saturdays are almost always hard for me; so, WEES.

Spitz said, "Kibitz in German applies to those watching a card game." I spent a lot of free time at Cornell playing bridge, not very well but avidly. That was where I most often heard the word. It usually implied not just watching but commenting and/or criticizing.

I ran my typical errand today doing the shopping at the local supermarket. I usually use their typical shopping carts, both for lugging the goods around the store and also for leaning on to take the strain off of my sore back. Today, instead of the shopping cart, I used one of the electric scooters they so helpfully provide. It works really well except for having to got out to reach stuff on the top shelves. I was amazed and warmly delighted at the number of people who volunteered to be helpful, asking if they could reach something for me. I was not expecting that level of thoughtfulness. It added a little unexpected warm glow to the errand.

Lucina said...

Bill G:
That's beautiful! I, too, find that people are more often kind and helpful than otherwise. In my opinion, more kindness than evil exists in the world.

Wilbur Charles said...

WENs and AWNs for the xword aficionado. We have two LOWEs on the Rats. One "owe" the other "ow".

** I was getting OONA mixed up with Esme by Salinger and OMOO by Melville.

Ok, if OCS is an "academy" name the Heisman trophy winners and academies they played for. I'll help you:
Joe Bellino 1960
Roger Staubach. 1963
Air Force. None
And one more ????

Hint. This is a little like my "Philadelphia player who one a batting championship despite taking 37 "days off". "

Oops, this never got posted

I'll leave it at Saturday for anyone interested in stuff like this


Wilbur Charles said...

That's RAYS as in Tampa Bay Rays