Jul 24, 2019

Wednesday, July 24 2019, Howard Barkin & Sam Buchbinder

Theme: BAG OF TRICKS. Circles seem to be dominating the Wednesday puzzles. In this one, the circled letters are unscrambled to reveal a different type of BAG.

17. Target of campaign finance laws: SUPER PAC. PAPER BAG. A Super PAC is a Political Action Committee that may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates. As for bags, there seems to be great debate over which is better for the environment, paper or plastic.

22. 19th-century education reformer: HORACE MANN. CAMERA BAG. According to Wikipedia, "A central theme of [Mann's] life was that 'it is the law of our nature to desire happiness.'"

34. Like a momentous event: EARTH SHATTERING. TRASH BAG. Pretty grid-spanner, right in the center.

43. Dawg and bae, e.g.: SLANG TERMS. GARMENT BAG.

54. Some of this, some of that ... and a hint to the circled squares: MIXED BAG.

Melissa here. Sam Buchbinder has appeared twice before at the corner, as a solo effort - this appears to be his first collaboration. Our dear Santa blogged this clever puzzle from Sam back in 2016. So scrabbly with *three* X's, a J, K, and Z, it's an F, Q, and V short of a pangram.


1. King canine: CUJO. Book about a 200-lb St. Bernard, diseased from a bat bite. Also a movie.

5. "The Good Wife" and "The Good Fight" network: CBS.

8. Isn't honest with: LIES TO.

14. "Moby-Dick" captain: AHAB. Not the same Ahab, but that name always makes me think of the Ray Stevens tune, "And, every evenin', about midnight, he'd jump on his camel named Clyde, and ride." The song reached number 5 on the Billboard top 40 during July 1962. Stevens has said that Clyde the camel was named after rhythm-and-blues singer Clyde McPhatter, formerly the lead singer of The Drifters. There have been a number of covers, as recent as 2007. As Stevens said, the song is more than 50 years old, but that does not mean it goes over well in today's society.

15. 14-Across' yes: AYE. An expression of compliance, especially used by seamen.

16. In a fog: ADDLED.

19. Fast-food toy giveaways, typically: TIE INS.

20. Himalayan of legend: THE YETI. Did not expect the "THE" lead-in - tricky.

21. Jazz dance: STOMP. Fun!

25. Bit of election season ugliness: SMEAR.

28. In order (to): SO AS.

29. Cry bitterly: SOB.

31. Travels like a shark: SWIMS.

32. Chocolate-and-toffee bar: SKOR.

33. __ vera: ALOE.

37. Short holiday?: XMAS. Cute.

38. Bad reviews: PANS.

39. Network connections: NODES.

40. Facial spasm: TIC.

41. Set to the same time, say: SYNC.

42. Hill helpers: AIDES. My first thought was ANTS.

46. "Gilmore Girls" matriarch: EMILY. Memorable character played by actress Kelly Bishop.

47. Spirals: HELIXES.

52. Hampton Inn rival: RAMADA.

55. Flares up: BLAZES.

56. Deux divided by two: UNE. French.

57. TV drama that begins with the crash of Oceanic Flight 815: LOST.

58. Philly team: SIXERS.

59. Deux, across the Pyrenees: DOS. Spanish. "The Pyrenees region encompasses areas from the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of France and the Principality of Andorra. It is also linguistically heterogeneous. In addition to the official state languages Spanish and French, Basque, Aragonese, Catalan and Occitan are spoken."

60. Callers' links to specific depts.: EXTS. Phone extensions.


1. Support after a bad break?: CAST.

2. "Nope": UHUH. Depends on how it's parsed, I suppose. U-HUH would be yes, UH-UH would be no.

3. Mocking remark: JAPE. Unusual word.

4. Follow the leader: OBEY.

5. Hostage taker: CAPTOR.

6. Via plane: BY AIR.

7. "Just a __!": SEC.

8. Barista's decoration: LATTE ART.

9. They're not meant literally: IDIOMS.

10. Plant swelling: EDEMA. I did not know that plants could get edema.

11. Wham-O summer lawn toy that needs water: SLIP N SLIDE.

12. Base __: TEN. The decimal system. Because "dec" means 10, it uses the 10 digits from 0 to 9.

13. Pigs out (on), for short: ODS. Overdoses.

18. Go over once more: REHASH.

21. Hurries: SCOOTS.

23. With skepticism: ASKANCE.

24. "It's __ fault": NO ONE'S.

25. Hindu religious leaders: SWAMIS.

26. Medicine man in "The Princess Bride": MIRACLE MAX.

27. CPR providers: EMTS. Emergency Medical Technicians.

30. Asks for a treat, dog-style: BEGS.

31. Risquè message: SEXT.

32. Lean-to relative: SHANTY.

33. J.Lo's fiancè: AROD.

35. Sailor's telescope: SPYGLASS. Another maritime reference.

36. Strand, as in "57-Across": ENISLE.

41. Twisted Sister frontman Dee: SNIDER.

42. Some green cards?: AMEXES.

44. Elicit oohs and aahs: AMAZE.

45. Animal whose full name is from the Greek for "nose-horned": RHINO.

48. Not doing much: IDLE.

49. GameCube rival: XBOX.

50. Dawn direction: EAST.

51. LAPD ranks: SGTS.

52. TD scorers: RBS. Running backs.

53. Boxer Laila: ALI.

54. Sludge: MUD.


OwenKL said...

The designer used PAPER to make a fashion GARMENT.
CAMERAS flashed on the runway to capture the allurement.
After a fancy bash
They could throw it in the TRASH,
Recycle it to show there was no harm meant!

The seismologist had an announcement,
A truly EARTH SHATTERING pronouncement.
He warned that was no IDIOM
Continental plates that SWUM
Were switching to the bicycle event!

{C, C+.}

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

The southwest almost did me in this morning. I didn't know the Princess Bride guy, the Twisted Sister frontman, or the Philly team. It all finally perped together. Thought the plural of "helix" was "helices" -- I see it can also be "helixes." Didn't really look at the circles until I'd finished. Found all the bags, but took some time to unscramble ANGTERM. Thanx for the outing Howard and Sam, and for the tour, MB.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIR, but had to fix MIRACLE MAn and SNyDER, and CAne became CAST. Didn't look for the anagrams, and only work the Jumble when I can get the answer without unscrambling anything.

We are camping in Colonial Beach, on the Potomac River near where Booth crossed after shooting President Lincoln. Off tomorrow to a campground near Intercourse, PA for step granddaughter's wedding. (I think that's the term; she's our son's stepdaughter.)

Thanks to Howard and Sam for the fun puzzle (except for the gluey ENISLE, which we've had before). And thanks to mb for the entertainment.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Howard Barkin & Sam Buchbinder, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Melissa Bee, for a fine review.

This was a little tougher than most Wednesdays, IMHO. However, I lucked out and got through it.

Kind of bounced around and got the easier ones. My last to get was not easy, CUJO. I had never heard of that book. I really do not read Steven King. I had the CU O. So, I did an alphabet run and the J lit up the screen. I had to come here to see what it was. I was thinking of the tooth of some royal guy. Oh well.

Theme worked out. Took me a while to unmix the letters.

56 and 59 A gave me some trouble. Not good with that language. Perps helped. Liked AMEXES for Green Cards.

XBOX was tough. Not up on all that stuff.

I did remember EDEMA. Not sure why, but I had it.

Busy day today. See you tomorrow.


( )

Abejo said...


We supplied AE equipment foe the CO in Intercourse, PA. Enterprise Telephone Company, as I recall.


Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Thanks Howard and Sam for a dicey return. I have been on "vacation" and probably should have done Monday and Tuesday to warm up. DNF for me. ENSILE and LOST eluded me. An old TV show maybe. I didn't get the relationship.

Thanks, Melissa, for taking us around the horn.

Had a great visit with our grandson who came in from Texas. Quite a nice young man. A joy to have around.

Have a sunny day.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This wasn't especially difficult, but there were several perp-required unknowns: Slip n Slide, Snider, X Box, Miracle Max, and Emily. I liked the Une over Dos entries but Ensile, not so much. I finally remember Skor but Stomp as a Jazz dance is new to me. Like, DO, I found Garment the hardest to parse. Cute theme and some fun fill.

Thanks, Howard and Sam, for a mid-week treat and thanks, Melissa, for the detailed overview.


My curiosity was piqued by HG's clip of Agness, OR, so I Googled and discovered that the town was named after the first Postmaster's daughter, Agnes, but was misspelled. Abnes can relate! As can Assness.

Keith, I love hearing about Louie and all of the other Corner canines. I'd love to see a picture of all of them. Hint, hint, wink, wink, all you canine owners out there!

Where is Ferm, BTW? I hope she is doing okay.

Have a great day.

inanehiker said...

Fun run today - which is good as I have a ton of things to do today before I head off on vacation! Challenging to leave and then tons to do when you get home, but still worth it to get away!

"Princess Bride" is a favorite movie - lots of quotable lines - but Billy Crystal as MIRACLE MAX who revives Westley is a classic character:

Miracle Max (seeing Westley lying on a table) : He probably owes you money huh? I'll ask him.

Inigo Montoya : He's dead. He can't talk.

Miracle Max : Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.

Inigo Montoya : What's that?

Miracle Max : Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

Have a good day - thanks Melissa and Howard & Sam!

Yellowrocks said...

There seemed to be extra crunch here for a Wed puzzle. Looking back, all the unknowns were perpable. I don't why it took more time. Emily, Snider and Miracle Max were the unknowns. I realized the neat theme, but didn't take the time to unscramble the anagrams.
C--O suggested CUJO.
IMO, LIES TO fits right in with the current zeitgeist. YMMV. Are we seeing the death of truth and facts? Truth seems to be whatever each person says it is. Subjectivity beats objectivity most of the time. Everyone may have his or her own "facts."
I played on Kenny's Slip 'n Slide with him 15 years ago. Not up to it today. This toy has been around since 1961.
OKL wrote, "The designer used PAPER to make a fashion GARMENT." Here are wedding dresses made of toilet paper.
paper dresses
I realize there are many sides to the bag questions. I keep cloth bags in my car and use them most of the time, especially for the weekly shopping trip. I decline any bag at all for many items bought singly, like a jug of Tide detergent, a six pack of soda or a bag of chips. I just take the receipt. ShopRite places a bottle of wine in a paper bag and then in a plastic bag. IMO unnecessary.
Thanks Melissa, Howard and Sam for a delightful early morning diversion.

Howard B said...

Glad you enjoyed it - this is why we make these things (apart from the global fame and fortune, of course); it was a lot of fun coming up with the theme answers.
Sam's great to work with - thanks to him again for making this happen!

P.S. Sorry about ENISLE ;).

CrossEyedDave said...

Did not know MiracleMax/Ramada,blazes/sixes etc...

(I look at MiracleMax & all I can see/remember is Billy Crystal...)

Mixed Bag?

my preferred mixed bag...

PSA: Trying to enjoy a SlipNslide (or scooter) after age 60 is asking for trouble...

melissa bee said...

yellowrocks, i've noticed lots of baggers will put a tall bottle (wine or otherwise) into a bag standing up, with little or nothing else in the bag. i always ask them to lay it on its side to make it easier to carry. when i hand over my bag of bags, very often the first thing the bagger or checker tries do is *empty* out the outer bag, leaving a bunch of loose bags for me to re-bag. if i catch them in time, i (gently) explain that it's more efficient to take out a bag at a time as needed.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Enjoyable puzzle, Howard & Sam! Enjoyable expo, Melissa!

Filled pretty easily for the most part. As usual, Mensa, no circles. Tried to figure out the theme without circles. Lost cause. Thanks, Melissa, for 'splainin'. I don't do well with anagrams even if I know which words they are supposed to be in.

I bought some very nice insulated nylon grocery BAGS a few years ago. Loved them. Now since my groceries are delivered, they use about a dozen flimsy plastic BAGS to carry them in. I shove them all into one BAG each time and currently have a whole bunch hanging in the back hall because I keep forgetting to send them back with the deliverer for recycling.

ENISLE: I was thinking of a strand of hair. Oh, strand on an ISLE. Wasn't parsing that word right. I tried ExILE. Didn't fit. Turned red.

DNK: AMEXES are Green Cards -- or any cards.

DNK: MIRACLE MAX. Too long since I saw that movie. Don't remember that character at all.

Yellowrocks said...

Melissa, I agree. I, too, like to lay my tall bottles horizontally. Carrying two or three standing up together is awkward. And, if you have only one with other items, it falls and crushes them. I don't hand over my cloth bags to the checker. I pack my own strategically and quite full so I will use fewer bags. I hate all those trips to unload the car. Checkers, especially younger ones, will put a bag of chips and a loaf of bread in the bottom of one bag. Then nothing else can be placed on top of them. If I have these light items I fill the bags 3/4 or so and lay these light items on top. Disclaimer: This is just my preference, not a rule for everyone. You? I do sympathize with the workers, though. I heard a lady complain her bag was too heavy when it had only a few light things in it. She used tons of bags with one or two items each. You can't guess what individuals want. There is less stress on the worker and me to fill my own.
Drat, I just went to get a haircut. Before I went in, I realized my wallet was on the dining room table. No money, no driver's documents, so I came home. Now for a second try.
CED, I assume you get the Star Ledger. Me, too. You commented the other day that sauté had a Z with a mark over instead of the é. Today it was fiancé written with a Z. It seems they can't type the French acute é. I now can substitute my own é for the Z inthe clues.

Husker Gary said...

-A fun Tuesday offering with ENISLE learning thrown in
-If SMEARS were not successful, all candidates would quit using them
-It is almost impossible to watch TV when voice and audio are not in SYNC
-I can’t imagine anyone who thinks SEXTING is a smart decision
-IDLE – Six state highway workers for everyone that is actually doing something
-On Uranus, the sun rises in the west and doesn’t set for 42 Earth years
-Thanks for the info, Agnes(s)!

Misty said...

Well, this was a Wednesday toughie for me, although I did get the northwest corner. I knew AHAB, of course, and took a guess on CUJO. Some of the other corners then began to fill in too. Never heard of SEXT, but then I'm a senior citizen, so that explains that. Melissa, I cracked up over your funny picture of LATTE ART. I couldn't imagine what that might be until I saw your coffee cup. Anyway, thank you, Howard, Sam, and Melissa.

Have a good day, everybody.

desper-otto said...

I guess that's why during the 42 years of night they refer to Uranus as the place where the sun never shines.

TTP said...

Quip of the year, D-O !

Lucina said...


Many thanks, Howard Barkin and Sam Buchbinder. For the most part I enjoyed this solve except for the many unknown names as clued: EMILY, SNIDER and CUJO. CUJO/JAPE could have been a Natick for me but I knew JAPE.

THE YETI was different; it's usually alone. I finally sussed SNIDER which finished EMILY for me, but I failed to get AMAZE and had FLAMES instead of BLAZES and certainly did not know SIXERS. I left three blank cells. Drat! Sports and modern culture are my bane.

I liked the theme though did not take time to unscramble the MIXED BAGs. Speaking of which I always have my own bags in the trunk and use them for shopping. Some baggers are well trained but many are not so I caution them not to overfill them.

I also wonder where Ferm is and hope she is all right.

Now that I signed up for Netflix I shall have to watch movies I missed like The Princess Bride.

Thank you, Melissa, for your fine commentary.

Have a splendid day, everyone!

AnonymousPVX said...

This Wednesday puzzle went quickly. It seemed like I was right on the beam, no issues.

No markovers today.

From yesterday.....toilet tabs....the Korky brand flappers have been treated to resist the effects of chlorine. Mine have lasted about 9 years before needing replacement.

But if the flapper starts to be affected, it warps, allowing water into the tank, but it goes right down the trap. Not on the floor.

The Shank Washer is different, if it goes the water will drip (or run) down the water pipe onto your floor, and the valve will allow more water into the tank and thus more to the floor.

I happened to notice the shank washer while replacing the looked like mold around the base, but it was the rubber just rotting away. You’d think Fluidmaster could make the washer out of the same material as the Korky flapper.

End of plumbing rant.

See you tomorrow.

Spitzboov said...

Hello everyone.

A sticky one today, but eventually got it all with perp help. WEES.

FLN - IM, thanks for the SO. Official Navy correspondence uses CDR, but CMDR is also seen.

Hope everyone is having a good day.

Jayce said...

We watched over 6 hours of the Robert Mueller testimony this morning. Fascinating. So didn't get to the puzzle until now. I liked the puzzle okay. Didn't unscramble the mixed bags and didn't try to. Crashed in the SW corner because I didn't know MIRACLE MAX, SNIDER, EMILY, and SIXERS. Just too tired maybe. Hand up for being surprised by THE preceding YETI; of course, given the number of letters, I put in BIGFOOT at first, which took a while to sort out. I didn't get the meaning of "King" in the "King canine" clue until reading it here. I thought it meant like "Top" as in top dog or king rat, so I entered WOLF (king of the canines, no?)

I didn't know plants could get edema, either.

I hope I never get enisled.

When LW or I gets tired and suggests going to bed, we say "Let's bag it."

Good one, desper-otto!

Warm wishes to you all.

Wilbur Charles said...

D-O'S been waiting 42 years to land that quip.

Lucina, they could have clued this Snider

The AMEXES/ENISLE cross baffled me but the perps were solid


Lucina said...

That SNIDER would have been just as obscure to me. LOL

I, too, have been watching Mueller off and on. Fascinating!

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Thanks Howard and Sam for the fine Wednesday puzzle. Thanks mb for the fun review (love that LATTE!)

WOs: MIRACLE MAn, there's something under ALI that I can't make out.
Fav: I really liked the c/a for CUJO.

{B, B+}

Thanks for stopping by The Corner Howard.

Nice to see you back MdF.

D-O: that was good!

PK - Amex is American Express - Don’t leave home without it."

Off to dinner with family - it's Eldest's last night b/f heading back to OU tomorrow. Sushi!

Cheers, -T

Alice said...

How can one live so long and never ever read, let alone hear, of ENISLE?

Ol' Man Keith said...

I had no idea the deleted posts created clutter for anyone to clean up. I just thought they'd vanish into the ether.
I'll take greater care in future. I'm sure we'll all be more careful now that we know there is a price to be paid--by someone.

Irish Miss ~
I have plenty of photos I'd love to share! It just takes time to post them to a transferable site. I must get around to it.
Four in all. One on the near side, and a 3-way with the loyal opposition.
The front diagonal offers a lippy anagram. It refers to the attitude adopted by some colleagues who, after being unable to answer a question, find their intelligence or integrity impugned. Their next retort is likely to be offered on a...

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Jayce, your DW must be a lot younger than mine. We no longer have to "bag it" when we go to bed.

I felt very sorry for Mueller today. Although I missed a little this morning and didn't watch the afternoon session at all, it was apparent to me that this brave American hero is fading. I offer my sincere thanks to Mr. Mueller for his devotion to his country.

Bill G said...

Jayce, since you don't know of Miracle Max, I'm guessing you've never seen the movie "The Princess Bride" eh? You have missed something really good. I heartily recommend it. Let me know what you think.

Jinx, yes, I agree. Mueller tried to do a very good job on a nearly impossible and mostly thankless task.

CanadianEh! said...

Wonderful Wednesday. Thanks for the fun, Howard and Sam, and melissa.
I got the theme and found the MIXED BAGs, but arrived here to find that I FIWed.
I had MIRACLE MAn instead of MAX (Hello d'o). I knew that Siners was not right, tried Niners but was sure that RB plural required an S; I never got back to correct it. (I don't know the numbers on the American teams!) (I LIUed and the SIXERS are a basketball team and the Niners are a football team . . . but will I remember? Niners would have been more appropriate crossing RBS.)
I know that some solvers do not like the circles and the word jumble. I thought it was clever construction.

Somehow my brain was thinking of Nemo as the Moby Dick Captain, but Nemo is a Jules Verne character while AHAB is a Herman Melville character. I clung to Nemo for too long, resulting in Copy for 4D before OBEY. Since I also had YETI but did not see THE preceding it, that NW corner was slow to fill.

AMEX cards are not that plentiful in Canada and I did not know the green colour. Perps were required.

I smiled at 56A and 59A UNE and DOS. DOS divided by DOS would be UNO (another CW favourite).
I also smiled at ASKANCE even though it is an A word, but ENISLE is a meh! (Hi Jinx,IM) (Wow, even Howard agreed!)

I bring my reusable material bags for grocery shopping. In this warm weather, I have also been bringing a cooler bag with an ice pack if I have ice cream or any frozen or highly perishable things on my list.

Wishing you all a good evening.

Bill G said...

I LIKE THE CIRCLES JUST FINE. I wish that the Mensa crossword interface supported them. I have to go to another online site to see where the circles are supposed to be. Rats!

I like the JUMBLE too!

Jayce said...

Bill G, you are correct that I have not seen the movie “The Princess Bride”. The only character I am familiar with is that Inigo guy, whose name I thought was “In ya go”.

Roy said...

Tried HIPPO, but that's river-horse, not horn-nose. (Don't ask me why, 'cause I don't know.

Perps led me to SNYDER, but that gave me EMYLY. So Y became I. Besides, I don't know the names of individual members of my favorite geoups, let alone those I didn't listen to.

42a. Also thought of ANTS. PAGES became AIDES.

FIR, but didn't go back for the scrambled words.

I'll have to watch The Princess Bride sometime.

Wilbur Charles said...

C-eh, The team that the Toronto Raptors beat on Kwaii Leonard's miracle shot, enabling said Raptors to go on and win the Championship was, wait for it….

The Philadelphia Seventy- SIXERS(76ers).

But there is so much I don't know. I just learned of an exciting British writer named Ewan McEwan. Not to speak of EMILY and MIRACLE MAX. Not to speak of said SNIDER.

Lucina, you'd mentioned that Sports was not your baliwick. Twisted Sister certainly is not mine.

Speaking of…

-T, did you ever hear of the band 8-Eyed Spy? I can tell you where the name came from.