Jul 21, 2019

Sunday July 21, 2019 Alex Vratsanos

(Lost our internet since Wednesday afternoon. Some fiber cable cut in our neighborhood. CenturyLink guys have been digging up different parts of the road for days. Only theme summary today. If you have any question regarding fill, please go to Comments section. Thanks for the understanding.)

Theme: "Touchdown" - LAND is directly atop each moon in the seven theme set.

23A. Male reproductive system part: PROSTATE GLAND.


30A. Advice pseudonym for 56 years: ANN LANDERS.


51A. Christmas tree decorations: GARLANDS.


65A. Immiscible combo: OIL AN DWATER.


84A. Orally defames: SLANDERS.


103A. Architect's task: PLAN DESIGN.


111A. Arrive as astronauts did 7/20/69 ... and what's literally seen in seven pairs of puzzle answers: LAND ON THE MOON.


Notice all the six LANDs are parts of another words or spanning across two two/three words. None has direct LAND meaning. 111A is the only exception and it does double duty as it's over another MOON.

Alex is fond of the puzzle with rich themage. Very chaleling to design and fill a grid with overlapping theme entries.


1. One of the Magi: CASPAR.

7. Exotic pet: IGUANA.

13. Bushel quartet: PECKS.

18. Largest of the British Virgin Islands: TORTOLA.

19. Future looie, perhaps: NONCOM.

20. Hot wings did him in: ICARUS.

22. Pass receiver somewhat separated from the offensive line: WIDE OUT.

25. Antique clock molding: OGEE.

26. Brawls: MELEES.

28. Nautica competitor: IZOD.

32. Bouncing baby?: JOEY.

33. Cloth-dyeing craft: BATIK.

35. Venice vessel: GONDOLA.

37. Big name in Scotch: DEWAR.

40. Chuck who wrote "Black Belt Patriotism": NORRIS.

42. Farmwork: TILLAGE.

47. In opposition to: ATHWART.

50. Easily seen sign: NEON.

52. Plainsong singers: CHANTERS.

54. Bat used in practice: FUNGO.

57. Tailor's line: HEM.

58. Afro-Asian land: EGYPT.

60. Grieg's language: NORSK.

62. Bread holder: PAN.

63. Hitchcock's wife and collaborator: ALMA.

68. "Good golly!": MY MY.

71. "__ durn tootin'!": YER.

74. Clog cousin: SABOT.

76. 1972 host to Nixon: MAO.

77. Unsettled one?: DEBTOR.

80. Cosmonaut Vladimir: TITOV.

82. Hunter's quarry: GAME BIRD.

86. Greeting from Kermit: HI HO.

88. Neckwear in some Native American traditions: BOLO TIE.

90. Pain: HASSLE.

92. Devoted: LOYAL.

93. Hammer or stirrup: EAR BONE.

95. What Dorothy did, for most of the "Wizard of Oz" movie: DREAMT.

98. Insurance card amount: CO-PAY.

102. Uber __: food delivery service: EATS.

107. Grace conclusion: AMEN.

108. Started, as a co.: ESTD.

110. Devoted: TRUE.

114. Inundation: TORRENT.

117. Become absorbed: OSMOSE.

118. Longtime host of "The Newlywed Game" Bob: EUBANKS.

119. Lanai hi: ALOHA.

120. Winter Olympics competitor: SKATER.

121. Takes verbal potshots: SNIPES.


1. __ of vantage: favorable position: COIGN.

2. "I met a fool i' the forest" forest: ARDEN.

3. Post-apocalyptic 1987 Patrick Swayze film: STEEL DAWN.

4. Suffix with malti- and cocka-: POO.

5. Boosters, often: ALUMNI.

6. Like entertainment software with a "17+" restriction: RATED M.

7. Face-to-face: INPERSON.

8. '90s second family: GORES.

9. Juan's "some": UNOS.

10. Rm. coolers: ACS.

11. Whims: NOTIONS.

12. Blew away: AMAZED.

13. Like some horses: PIED.

14. Common ER test: ECG.

15. __ lily: CALLA.

16. Wurst topping: KRAUT.

17. Branch of Islam: SUNNI.

18. Old draft deferment: TWO A.

21. St. with the second-smallest capital: S DAK.

24. Nikkei index giant: TOYOTA.

27. Former secretary of defense Panetta: LEON.

31. Gas up?: AERATE.

32. Icon after "Not a member?": JOIN NOW.

33. Shape, as dough: BALL UP.

35. Source of electrical interference: GROUND NOISE.

36. Old Pisa dough: LIRE.

37. Russian retreat: DACHA.

38. "I Love Lucy" role: ETHEL.

39. Electric guitar vibrato producer: WHAMMY BAR.

41. Ringmaster?: REF.

43. Calif. NFLer: LARAM.

44. Witness protection plan?: ANONYMITY.

45. Econ. measure: GDP.

46. Pueblo pronoun: ESA.

48. __ Park: Queens area: REGO.

49. "Have a taste": TRY IT.

51. Attend by oneself: GO STAG.

53. Leaves: SPLITS.

55. Mardi __: GRAS.

59. Filmmaker Jacques: TATI.

61. Barbecue fare: KEBAB.

64. Big name in insurance: AETNA.

66. "Famous" Coney Island contest sponsor: NATHAN'S.

67. Ex-Cowboy quarterback Tony: ROMO.

69. Renata Tebaldi contemporary Callas: MARIA.

70. Swiss Roll-like snack: YODEL.

72. Comic Dangerfield: RODNEY.

75. "I'm listening": TELLME.

77. Mil. award: DSM.

78. Skull and Bones member: ELI.

79. Prynne's stigma: REDA.

81. Old tape initials: VHS.

83. Metaphorical self-help aid: BOOT STRAP.

85. Most endangered: RAREST.

87. Traditionalist: OLD LINER.

90. Workstation shared by employees on different shifts: HOT DESK.

91. Middle proof word: ERAT.

94. Sentimentalism: BATHOS.

96. Website with study guides: ENOTES.

97. "Meek," in "Blessed are the meek": ADNOUN.

98. Math subj.: CALC.

99. Missouri River city: OMAHA.

100. __ colony: PENAL.

101. Gyneco-'s opposite: ANDRO.

103. Verse alternative: PROSE.

104. Sherlock's adversary Adler: IRENE.

105. Greases (up), as hair: GUNKS.

106. Court pair: NETS.

108. Sicily's only landlocked province: ENNA.

109. Friendly honk: TOOT.

112. "Interesting!": OOH.

113. Combat sport, briefly: MMA.

115. Cody Bellinger stat: RBI.



OwenKL said...

Third day in a row, DNF. Central E was the problem area. Finally was fairly sure of everything else except that blank area, so pushed the check all letters button, and 3 letters went red, all in the CE area: LIRa and ohMY. With that info, I was able to fill the rest in without further HASSLE.

Belthasar and Melchior went into a bar
To wait for their third magus, CASPAR.
He brought in some myrrh,
They asked, "What's it fer?"
"It's the best smoking weed from EGYPT afar!"

Where ICARUS fell, an IGUANA did see,
He pulled out Icarus, on land to be.
The arrogant pup
Said that wasn't enough,
So the iguana threw him back into the sea!

{B+, B+.}
(And I get a bonus for spelling Melchior correctly from memory, and only left the h out of Belthasar!)

Lemonade714 said...

It has been a few years since Alex appeared here. He is one of the many wunderkinder who began constructing puzzles in middle school and published in high school. He continues to be an NYT regular.

I am sorry for all the trouble C.C. has with her internet, which explains we she did not mention the wonderful added layer of this puzzle as Alex presents the planets in their order from closest to furthest from the sun! Awesome.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all (and sorry to hear about your Internet, C.C.)!

I figured today was going to be a tribute puzzle referencing the moon landing, but it took me awhile to realize that it was going to be filled with moons of other planets. I never did get the "land" aspect while solving, but fortunately I was familiar with all the various moons.

That's not to say the puzzle went completely smoothly, of course...

I had NORSE instead of NORSK for way too long, which mucked things up. Ditto for TILLING instead of TILLAGE. PLAN DESIGN didn't seem like a thing, and it crossed OLD LINER, which also didn't seem like a thing, so that held me up for awhile until I finally just went with the only letter that made any sense at the crossing. It didn't help matters that I couldn't remember that ADNOUN was a thing either, despite having seen it before.

Oh -- and while I know what GROUND means and I know what NOISE means and figured that GROUNDNOISE is some sort of noise at or near the ground, I've never heard it used with reference to electrical interference and therefore needed every cross to complete.

All of that was minor stuff, though. What really did me in at the end was the crossing of COIGN and TORTOLA in the NW corner. I finally managed to recall CASPAR from somewhere and was left with C_IGN and T_RTOLA with literally no idea of what either one was. I tried an "A", then an "E", then an "O", which finally got me the *TADA*. Good thing everything else was correctly filled in at that point or else I never would have known that this was the correct letter.

TTP said...

Well !

Spent a fair amount of time in the dictionary after this one. That was after resorting to red letters for the first time in ages, at about 95 % complete. AGAINST lit up as did the second R in RATED R. Never noticed the LAND above the moons.

200, I hope you get your internet connection back soon !

Lemonade714 said...

There was so much fill that required perps and some guesswork. Things I did not know or had forgotten:
HI HO Kermit?
ENNA , COIGN no idea....
Native Americans and the BOLO TIE - I had to go read this HISTORY
I enjoyed the PISA DOUGH pun

Thanks AV

desper-otto said...

Good morning, maybe.

This one was so far outside my wheelhouse that I couldn't see anything for the fog. I accept my DNF without complaint. I just couldn't do it. I noticed the CSO's DEWAR (IM) and OMAHA (HG). HASSLE could've been a CSO to moi. COIGN still looks wrong. If I ever knew what an ADNOUN was, I've long forgotten. Thanx, Alex for the embarrassment. C.C., sorry to hear that you're still offline. You should be due a refund from your ISP.

I'm leaving now to get that WHAMMYBAR surgically removed from the side of my head.

Big Easy said...

My fill was DOA from the gitgo (get go?). Didn't know 1A or 1D. After seeing LUNA I figured it would be about the MOON. But too many unknowns to get to the finish line. DEIMOS and MIRANDA were moons I'd never heard. As far as seeing the LAND above the moons, I was out to sea.


Above my pay scale today.

Husker Gary said...

-Really? C_OIGN/T_RTOLA to start?
-After 50 years of 11 am church, we now have to go at 10 am because priests are spread thinner and thinner so I’ll blog later
-Heat wave is broken here and so we are off in the cool rain

maripro said...

Sorry to hear about your internet problems, C.C. We have all become so dependent on instant communication that we we're lost when it deserts us.
I, too, had the same problems already mentioned. I had never heard of "coign" or "adnoun" either.
I thought that "athwart" was wonderful after I finally figured it out; it opened up that section of the puzzle for me. I also loved the clue for "joey."
I didn't see that "land" was above the moons until C.C. pointed it out. Outstanding puzzle, Alex. Thanks.

Yellowrocks said...

Much more difficult than the Saturday puzzle this week. I googled quite a few answers. COIGN was totally new to me. COIGN crossing, TWO A, TORTOLA and WIDE OUT was my downfall. I guessed CASPAR and NORSK. I believe I have never heard of an adnoun. Big Easy, some of those were my problems, too. Regardless, I still greatly enjoyed the puzzle. And now seeing LAND on top of each moon, I realize how wonderful the theme is. PATHOS before BATHOS.
My husband was classifies TEN A because I was pregnant with David in 1961.
We never called table prayers, "grace," so when my MIL asked Alan as a toddler to say grace, he literally said, "Grace."

Wilbur Charles said...

CC, you think you've got problems? CH 8 and DirecTV are squabbling ERGO no (British)* Open. Aarrggghhh!

I got slammed like D-O,BigE etal. Part of the problem was mislaying my reading glasses. I insisted on GAIA for EARTH ignoring the fact that I was looking for moons(Latin ones). Aarrggghhh!!!!!! Mr S. had a field day.

Congrats to Alex. I had ONE ON ONE / IN PERSON messing things up. P/BATHOS leaving EAR PINS. EGAD!!

Final excuse. I've given up all coffee even Decaf. And finally I blame CC!!!

Because ma chere hostesse, you've provided this most excellent forum and like so many, I just had to put Alex down and come seeya

My fondest regards

** All of a sudden after 100+ years we have to drop the British. Aarrggghhh!!
I'll bet Boomer, Gary etal are /were watching

Oh, don't forget the CSO to Tin with DEWAR(s). Not his brand, methinks

Husker Gary said...

-Rich would probably have run a space puzzle yesterday but it was “Themeless Saturday”
-Seeing someone from Ireland win the British Open on a course very near his home was fabulous.
-I got one of the last 2-S deferments
-Tillage is very minimal around here and so corn stalks made huge piles during this spring’s flood TORRENTS
-GAME BIRD – My very good friend missed my daughter’s wedding because it was opening day of pheasant season
-The real Henry Hill of Good Fellas got his witness protection in OMAHA
-ROMO was a great QB, is a good NFL TV analyst and a scratch golfer
-For decades many military BOOTSTRAPPERS attended University of Nebraska at OMAHA from SAC Air Base
-Sun just came out but it is 22F cooler than yesterday

Misty said...

Well. I got started on this fun puzzle, but am going to a play this afternoon and won't get back to it until tonight. Giving you an early thanks, Alex. I got a start with KRAUT, GONDOLA, ALOHA, LIRE, MARIA, and a few others. Thanks for giving us the names of all three Magi, Owen. And, so sorry to hear about your internet problem, C.C. You deserve wonderful Sundays--not difficult ones.

Have a great day, everybody.

BobB said...

Old liner for traditionalist, really. Only a liberal would than so.

Jayce said...

Far far too hard for me to solve without lots of red letter help and alphabet runs and it still took me 66 minutes. I've heard of Tortuga but was unacquainted with TORTOLA. It sounds like something you'd make a taco with at a Catholic university.

It is, as maripro said, an outstanding puzzle, Alex. Thanks.

Man oh man, LW and I hate it when our connection to the internet goes out. Feelin' your pain, C.C.

Good wishes to you all.

OwenKL said...

"An ADNOUN is a kind of lexical category. In English, it is a word that is usually an adjective, but is being used as a noun."
Never heard of it before.

"COIGN /koin/ noun
a projecting corner or angle of a wall or building.
coign of vantage — a favorable position for observation or action."
I have a vague recollection of seeing it in print, but not of knowing what it is. Its root word/homophone is coin, which might be how I saw it.


Got the moons, and noticed the order, tho that was to be expected. Didn't notice the LANDs, so I only get partial credit for catching the theme. Should have paid closer attention to the reveal specifying "pairs" of entries.

Since it's a common source of discussions here, and because it contains several new (to me) vocabulary words, here, apropos nothing except that it was in my news feed today, is Everything You Need To Know About Sauces!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! By the time I filled this with red-letter help, WAGs & perps, I was so spaced out I didn't care if there was a theme. Felt like Alex MOONed us and made us kiss it. No idea that most of those unknown names were MOONs. Certainly didn't LAND there. I had very few entries that stayed black with the first try. Ah well, thanks Alex for taking my mind off my bank hack for a short while. I'm sorry I called you bad words in the night.

C.C.: thank you for your patience and dedication to the corner. As much as I enjoy the internet, some days I'd like to disconnect all electronics and stash my cash in my mattress.

Good one, Jace, about TORTOLA! LOL!

Unknowns: WEES

D-O: you've been on my mind with sympathy as we both go thru the same bank misery. I'm thinking our accounting backgrounds account for us finding the hacks. If I didn't reconcile my bank statement, as I have done every month for 60 years, I might never have caught the fraudulent draft. I find that many people don't reconcile their statement or even scan over them. That's probably what the scammers count on. D-O, I understood that I can write checks on my new account number right away. My theft was only a couple hundred dollars. No African princes involved.

Wilbur Charles said...

I thought of Weeb EwBANKS, Joe Namath's Super Bowl III Coach.

I had GASCAR/CASPAR. In "The Man With the Twisted Lip" Sherlock encounters a "vile" GASCAR Apparently not intended as a Persian sage.

I see it was a Lascar If anyone wants to read the story


Yellowrocks said...

DO and PK, my sympathy for your bank account problems.It is stressful and scary. Watch for the perp trying to get credit in your name.
Owen, thanks for the saucy article.
Yesterday we had IMRAN Kahn of Pakistan. Tomorrow he will be a guest at the White House.

CanadianEh! said...

Stellar Sunday (sure we can celebrate the moon and stars!). Thanks for the fun, Alex and C.C. (sorry for your internet woes).
This CW was a challenge, but I saw the LAND on the MOON theme and locations (even if I did not know DEIMOS). Thanks Lemonade for pointing out their order from the sun.

I will admit to a couple of alphabet red letter runs, the final one being the cross of COIGN and TORTOLA. (So many have already mentioned it that we might call it a Natick?)
I didn't know Bob EUBANKS either.

I learned the draft term OneA here; TWO A made sense when it perped. We only had draft-dodgers in Canada.
Like maripro, I like the sound of ATHWART! (Better than some of our hated A words.)

Greek bases of gyn(o), gynec(o) meaning woman, female (think of gynecology) and andr(o) meaning man, male; plus PROSTATE GLAND today.

We had a friendly TOOT today after Big Easy's HONK discussion a few days ago.

Busy day. Off to a concert.
Wishing you all a great evening.

desper-otto said...

PK, Yes I can write checks on my new account...but my checking account balance is still stuck in the old, frozen account. I transferred a couple $hundred from savings into that new account so I could pay some bills. Transferring from the old checking account to the new one is still a no-go. No African princes involved here, either. Just some outfit named Adirondack, which I assume is in NY state. YR, my credit reports are frozen with four different agencies, so I hope there's no chance of anybody opening a new account in my name.

inanehiker said...

I was in KC for the weekend - my mom's paper only carries LA crossword on Sunday so I was able to do it there - but WEES - I got the moons from different planets but didn't get the LAND which was over each of them.
My husband had to leave last night to go to work this morning - so I am taking the train back to Jeff City as I type ,on a much cooler day after yesterday's rain.

Thanks CC - did you have to go to the local library for the internet?
and to Alex for an amusing and apropos puzzle!

D4E4H said...

Hi Cornies without cones, bowls or Sundaes.

Even though none of you "screamed," LINK 1 and LINK 2, we at Wesley Manor more than made up for you.

On Thursday I wrote a note to our manager over the dietary section pointing out the important day today. I knew I had to make waffle cones while the sun shined. Our desserts were to be apple pie for lunch, and sliced peaches for supper. She said she would instruct her staff to have ice cream with the peaches.

We actually had vanilla ice cream with each meal. The pie was still hot.

I asked the President if he could make a sign to place on the steam table alluding to the day. He did better than that. He opened our ice cream shop (normally Mon, Wed., and Friday @ 50 cents / bowl) and gave it to us for free.

Yes I had a bowl each time offered and they were gooood!

We stock Hershey ice cream from the Hershey Creamery Company which was founded in 1894 by Jacob Hershey and his four brothers: Isaac, Paris, Ephraim and Eli Hershey (no relation to Milton S. Hershey of the Hershey Company).

Gotta waddle. I want a cone.


CrossEyedDave said...

I dunno,

I just thought this was funny...

The First Take...

Bill G said...

Life is full of little successes. My old remote for the cable box was losing its functionality with old age. I ordered a new one. It has to be 'programmed' to be able to turn the TV off and on and control the volume (in addition to working the cable box). I struggled through some weird and complicated directions but couldn't quite get it to work. I kept at it and finally had success. It was a small but satisfying victory in my quest to overcome the technology onslaught. Yea!

Buzz Aldrin said...

CED, you saying you want a piece of me?

Anonymous T said...

Sunday Lurk say...

CED - that was funny!

BillG. I got a new TV and still have yet to sync the cable-mote to the TV-mote.

C.C. Arggg! I have two ISPs ++tethering on my iPhone. Life with out internet is, um, let's make pizza! Alex 36d's c/a is cute. //inspired me to make pizza with Eldest tomorrow b/f she goes back to OU Thursday.

{A, B+}

Buzz - Damn you! I got sucked into the Rabbit Hole [Seinfeld back-story to many scenes @10min is particularly interesting re: wordplay].

That is all. Play tomorrow!

Cheers, -T

jfromvt said...

I was more concerned with getting the moon names that I never saw LAND above them obvious.

Other than that, it still was a toughie!

Abejo said...

Good Monday morning, folks. Thank you, Alex Vratsanos, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for a fine review.

Well, this puzzle was the toughest Sunday puzzle I have ever attempted. I could not get it all done.

The theme appeared after a while. I never picked up on the LAND part of it.

Just too many obscure and very hard clue/answers.

Thought the theme was excellent, coinciding with the 50 years since the moon landing. It was a great job in constructing. Just too hard for little old me to solve. My two cents.

See you Tuesday


( )

Anonymous said...


Picard said...

Did anyone complete this puzzle without help from Mr Google or other assistance? The NW corner was a total Natick mess for me. Never heard of CASPAR, COIGN, ARDEN, TORTOLA or TWO A. Never heard of WIDE OUT, either, but I could WAG that.

The rest of it was a very, very slow slog with some absurdly obscure unknowns. But it was at least possible. I had no idea why there would be two NETS on a court until I realized basketball rather than tennis.

Too bad about the awful Natick area. The theme was very clever and appropriate for the occasion. Thanks, CC for showing us the LAND bit of the theme. It seems that no one else saw this bit, either?