Feb 28, 2020

Friday, February 28, 2020 Mark MacLachlan


18. Power of a Hummer?: UTE FORCE.  Brute force

23. Enormous card revealed at end of magician's routine?: ACE FOR IMPACT.  Brace for impact

38. Tattoo depicting the last woolly mammoth?: INK OF EXTINCTION.  Brink of extinction

47. Avian mascot on a refueling vessel?: OILER CHICKEN.  Broiler chicken

57. Hotel employee who only works one day a month?: IDES MAID.  Brides maid

68. Subject of a 2016 U.K. referendum, and a hint to five puzzle answers: BREXIT.  Parse it as BR Exit.

I liked this puzzle.  Drop the Br from the commonly known phrases and redefine the remnants.

Initially couldn't figure out any of the theme answers due to good cluing and a few crossing unknowns.   Then got IDES MAID but didn't think too much about it.   A few moments later, got BREXIT and then knew the game.   Add Br back in and fill in the rest of the common phrase.   Nice !

This is Mark's fifth puzzle.  One each year starting in 2016.   I looked back at each.

"C Battery" Sunday March 26, 2016

"Three Little Letters" Wednesday April 5, 2017

"Iron In" Friday September 28, 2018

"Code Crackers" Sunday July 14, 2019

Mark is a chemistry professor at the University of British Columbia.    Using my code cracking skills (not very refined), I see a pattern: 
  • Add C (the chemical element symbol for Carbon).    
  • Add Fe (the chemical element symbol for Iron).    
  • Drop Br (the chemical element symbol for Bromine).  
Every other one of his puzzles is going to have wordplay based on an element symbol !

I don't recall the Friday puzzle and had no comments that day, but of the other three it appears I only aced one.   It would have been one for four if not for perp saves on  SPIFF,  ON THE DL,  ETOILE and SEN-SEN. 

Hope you had fun solving it !


1. Big divides: CHASMs.    Ideological divides: Schisms.

7. Vat sediment: LEES.   Dregs.  Speaking of remnants...

11. Swindler: CON.

14. Aid, as a fallen teammate: HELP UP.    And, 23D: Give a hand: ASSIST.

15. Munch Museum city: OSLO.  Dedicated to the life and works of the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.  The new museum opens in the fall of this year.

16. Crazy Eights relative: UNO.

17. Connected: ONLINE.

20. Greek group: FRAT.

22. Discreetly, in slang: ON THE DL.   Down Low.

27. Form fig.: SSN.

28. Fictional anchor Nessman: LES.

29. Goes apace: HIEs

33. "Your point being?": SOO.    An informal,  and perhaps confrontational or condescending  "What is your point ?"     Elongate so.    Why drag it out ?

34. __ 51: AREA.

36. The slightest bit: A TASTE.

41. Avoids: SKIRTs.   Sidesteps.

42. Muslim leader: IMAM.

43. Carol contraction: TIS.    No,  Tinbeni,  the lyrics to "Deck The Halls" do not have the verse,  "Tis the season to drink Stoli" but it does have a nice ring to it.

44. Immobilize with a charge: TASE.

45. "Moby-Dick" setting: SEA.   Hardly a favorite here.

46. Bullring bravo: OLE.

Ole wore both of his winter jackets when he painted his house last July.   The directions on the can said "put on two coats".

Sven says to Ole "I found dis pen, is it yours?"
Ole replies, "Don't know, give it here" 
He then tries it and says, "Yes it is"
Sven asks "How do you know?"
Ole replies, "Dat's my handwriting!"

53. Three on a match, they say: BAD OMEN.   Bad luck is what I knew.

56. Ikea purchase: SOFA.  Some of their brands include  Kivik, Ektorp, Klippan, Friheten and  Balkarp.  These are the kinds of words I would need if I were creating a crossword.   

59. Acted greenly?: REUSED.

63. It usually needs breaking: TIE.   Last year's Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in an 8-way tie.   The final eight went 20 straight rounds of spelling without any errors.  The Bee simply ran out of predetermined words to sufficiently challenge these children.   Each co-champion took home the $50K first place prize.  The Bee is taking steps to reduce the number of entrants to the final, and searching for new lists of words that are even harder to spell.

What word in the dictionary is always spelled incorrectly ?   

64. 1968 self-named folk album: ARLO.   Arlo Guthrie, known for singing songs of protest and about social injustice. - Wikipedia.

65. Stands in a studio: EASELs.   Bob Ross used them on his program... 

66. Wrap up: END.   "That's a cut !"

67. Changes to green, say: DYEs.   Sounds Eco.


1. Comic Margaret: CHO.    Not my cuppa.

2. Egg producer: HEN.

3. The lot: ALL.   Lock, stock and barrel.   Everything. 

4. Calvin's spaceman alter ego, in comics: SPIFF.   Spaceman Spiff  at Fandom.

5. Literature Nobelist Alice: MUNRO.   "Munro’s stories reveal her as a consummate artist who is without question among the most accomplished masters of the short story."  - Nobelprize.orjg

6. Weapon for Goliath: SPEAR.    Asparagus, broccoli or pickle ?

7. Teammate of Babe: LOU.    Ruth and Gehrig, respectively.  Numbers 3 and 4 on their jerseys and on your Yankees lineup card.

8. Legally prevents: ESTOPs.

9. Justice Kagan: ELENA.

10. Cymbal sound?: SOFT C.

11. "Friday I'm in Love" band, with "The": CURE.    A British band that scored a top 10 pop hit with that song.   No idea.  Perps.

12. Saved, in a way: ON CD.  

13. Holiday song: NOEL.

19. "Ah, I see what you meant": OH, THAT.

21. Household cleaning brand: TILEX.

24. Dolphins Hall of Famer Larry: CSONKA.   Talk about brute force.   The big bruising fullback was the featured running back in the ball-control ground-game offense of Don Shula's undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins.  Jim Kiick and fleet-footed Mercury Morris shared the halfback duties.

25. Japanese mushrooms: ENOKIs.

26. More substantial: MEATIER.

30. "Will this work for you?": IS IT OK ?

31. French star: ETOILE.   étoile definition is - a star or a pattern in the shape of a star. Merriam-Webster.

32. Longtime breath freshener: SEN-SEN.   Me too, Carrie, me too.

34. Back to a mate: AFT.   As in the stern (back) of a ship and a crewman (mate).

35. Dorm, briefly: RES.   Residential quarters.

36. Gasteyer of "SNL" (1996-2002): ANA.     What do Ana Gasteyer,  Jane Curtain,  Brad Hall,  Gary Kroeger,  Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Seth Meyers all have in common ?  They are all former members of SNL that attended Northwestern University.

37. Network for film buffs: TCM.  Turner Classic Movies.

39. Chocolatey Post cereal: OREOOS.

40. Apple models: IMACs.

45. Declining due to age: SENILE.

48. "Grr!": I'M MAD.

49. Comic Denis: LEARY.

50. Biblical mount: HOREB.

51. "The bad news is ... ": I FEAR.   Spellcheck can only do so much.  The user still needs to have a clue.   This one probably didn't make it out of the first round in the school's spelling bee.

52. It might have a champion: CAUSE.

53. Sound __: BITE.

54. Score after deuce: AD IN.

55. Monopoly card: DEED.
58. Mexican pair: DOSuno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez.

60. __ roles: SEX.   Gender roles.

61. Inventor Whitney: ELI.    The History of Interchangeable Parts in the Industrial Revolution

62. Summer hrs.: DST.

Here's the grid:
Note from C.C.:

Just another reminder for the Cru Dinner again, which will be held on Friday, March 20, 2020 (6:00pm to 8:00pm) and officially kick off the 43rd ACPT. The space is limited, so please contact with Mike Alpern as soon as possible. Mike's email address is:

Here is more detailed information.


Lemonade714 said...

I really enjoyed this effort from one of MM constructors. Tom's write-up was also spot on though like the puzzle, tricky at times. I especially loved the periodic table tie in which occur periodically in Mark's puzzles. I was impressed that he disguised the BROMINE connection.

Thanks guys.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIR, but erased BAD luck, I hEAR, and egg for TIE. Used an alphabet run to settle for SOO x ENOKIS.

Didn't know SENSEN, but when I saw it hyphenated by TTP I remembered it from my ute. Foul tasting, IIRC. Also DNK The CURE, ETOILE, OREOOS, or Alice MUNRO.

I thought this one was a lot easier than yesterday's offering. Still plenty of fun. My favorite was LES Nessman, just for the trip down memory lane. Thanks to Mark for the fun. And thanks to TTP for the interesting and clever tour as well.

FLN - CED, I'm not surprised by the $0.99 ransom to see the e-Pilot. I don't see it because I subscribe to the digital edition. Cookies, I guess.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I'm sensing a pattern here. I completed the puzzle correctly, totally missed the reveal, and couldn't figure out the theme. D'oh! Still, it was an enjoyable exercise. Thanx, Mark and TTP. (Was that word "incorrectly?")

ARLO: Here's one that isn't a protest or about social injustice. It's about a train.

IMACS: The less said, the better.

HOREB: Mt. Horeb is a small city southwest of Madison, WI.

SENSEN: I'll bet Husker thought of this song. "Sensen" appears at 2:54.

desper-otto said...

Who'd a thunk that a busted watermain could bring the city of Houston to it's knees? No school today, jury duty is cancelled, early voting is called off, and the residents are told to boil water. And today is "Go Texan" day, when all of the trail riders converge on the city in preparation for the big rodeo parade tomorrow.

One word of advice, if you haven't looked at your stock portfolio this week, don't.

With all the hoopla about the coronavirus, some folks are switching to Dos Equis.

See what happens when d-o gets up early? Y'all get punished.

inanehiker said...

Humorous puzzle today - figuring the theme early made the solve quicker than usual!
I filled out the puzzle - but hadn't parsed SEN SEN right - so came to the blog to figure out what that was!

I'm bringing the food to my bible study today so an early start for my day off! Then we're headed into STL to see "The Band's Visit" (it won the Tony for best musical a year or two back - interesting premise for a musical so looking forward to seeing it!)'s_Visit_(musical)

Thanks Tom and Mark!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Sorry to be negative two days in a row, but this just wasn't my cup of tea. IMO, there were far too many unknowns which made the solve a slog instead of a pleasant adventure: Cure, Lees, Soft C, Spiff, Les, Horeb, OREO Os, Etoile, and Ana all needed perps. My only hiccup was Bad Luck before Omen. I liked the duos of Les and Res and Les and Lees, and the related Tie ~ Dyes. It took an inordinate amount of time to see the theme which made the theme answers seem strange, indeed.

Thanks, Mark, for a challenging Friday and thanks, TTP, for enlightening and entertaining us so thoroughly.

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Took 11:10 today. Originally misspelled Csonka with a "z" instead of an "s".

I like themes such as this one better than the jumbled word ones that have become prevalent.

Yellowrocks said...

After the NW was solved I dove to the bottom, getting IDES MAID. Huh? Then I got BREXIT, OH THAT!, drop the BR. Clever. Tough, but dropping the BR from the original phrase helped. CURE, SPIFF, ANA were unknown, but perps and wags did the job. I like needing perps on weekends. I knew ETOILE,LEES and SOFT C, which I do not care for. OREOOS, held up the central west section for quite a while and I was spelling enoki with a C. Finally I remembered CSONKA. Fun puzzle.
FIR, but not fast. Then I LIU GREENLY. I was surprised that is is a real word, though I had guessed its meaning.

KenoRunner said...

Nice write-up, but it's "lock, stock, and barrel" no?

Jonart said...

The Brute from the 'Cuse' Czonked me out with this puzzle!

OwenKL said...

DNF, Double natick with CSoNKA and ENoKIS crossing the non-word Soo. Got the reveal before I guessed the theme, but it helped me guess all 5 of the theme phrases with only a few perps each.

ASSIST > HELP UP, DOWN LOW > ON THE DL, AND > SOO, depiCTION > EXTINCTION, BAD luck > BAD OMEN, SINAI > HOREB, EGG > TIE. Knew OSLO because I recently did a series of art pieces based on Munch's "The Scream". (You'll have to work one of those jigsaws to read my short poem about it.)

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

I'm on a roll...two days in a row DNF. Misconstrued BREXIT clue to mean EXpect to find an EX or even an EXIT like in the EXTINICTION clue. Put "cmajorIMPACT crossed with "clap at" for 23D. Never heard of OREOOS (thank God). One wrong perp lead to another.


So today biblical MOUNT finally means MOUNTAIN...Henny Youngman: "first thing Moses said when he got to the top of Mt. Sinai..'this would make a great place for a hospital' "

AT least some BADluck corrected by perps. (3 on a match is an action that can provoke bad luck. An OMEN is a passive event)

A new exhibit of international snacks at the MUNCH museum. ...

Hope these past two day DNFs not a BADOMEN for tomorrow's puzzle.

Happy Frīġedæġ

TTP said...

Desper-otto: True. Incorrectly. No school today here as well. Teacher's day. Great Arlo video. Thanks.

KenoRunner: True. Corrected.

Lemonade714 said...

For inanahiker, and all who love musicals, there is the LINK TO THE BAND's VISIT which I have not heard about until today.

I would be excited to see it when the show comes to So.Fla but I m afraid it does not. THE TOUR DATES .

desper-otto said...

Ray-O, I guess that was after his visit to Mt. Horeb where he commented it was a horrible place to build a hospital.

Husker Gary said...

-Halfway through my Ag sub day and I’ve had 8 students so far! There’s an FFA convention and it’s “Senior Skip Day”
-Tweren’t easy McGee but was very rewarding at the end.
-(BR)INK… gave me the gimmick. IDES MAID was my fav!!
-99+% partisan impeachment/non-conviction vote shows the CHASM in Congress
-I’ve never heard anyone use the word HIE for hurry or UTE for a vehicle
-The Chicago River will soon get a lot of green DYE
-As they matured, LOU stood up to Babe and they grew apart
-Our new IMAC has no CD/DVD slot
-Csonka’s right hand in this picture got past the SI editors
-Yup, D-O, “Tryin' out Tailor Mades like cigarette fiends! And braggin' all about, How they're gonna cover up a tell-tale breath with SEN-SEN”
-Two students next period, so I’d better rest up!
-Great write-up, Tom!

Misty said...

Well, I got off to a great start in the northwest, getting HEN and ALL and MUNRO, and then figured it must be CHO going down as HELP UP and ONLINE fell into place. Thank you, Mark, for that easy start. Then, going east, I got two downs, ESTOP and ELENA, and then NOEL, but still took a bit of work to fill in the rest. But things got harder on the way down, and in the end it took quite a bit of cheating for me to finish. Never heard of CSONKA and kept thinking it couldn't be right, spelled that way. But it helped to know ARLO. And I still don't understand OREOOS? Is there really a cereal by that name? Still, fun Friday puzzle, thanks again, Mark. And always enjoy your commentary, TTP.

Have a good day, everybody.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

DO....Mt Horeb Animal Hospital ....found this when I googled.

Think it's where Noah checked out the animals before they loaded on the ark

Ron in LA said...

Know Denis Leary as an actor, didn't know he is also a comic.

Wendybird said...

Favorite theme answer was IDESMAID.
Not heard of ONTHEDL - we used to say “on the QT” (quiet)

Thanks, Mark for a fun, challenging puzzle. Thanks for the tour, TTP

Hungry Mother said...

A bit of a slog until I got the theme and then it went slowly but surely. Lots of good stuff in this one.

Spitzboov said...

Hello everyone.

Dr. visit this am. A OK.

Tough solve today but, heh, it's Friday. Got the schtick with IDES MAID and realizing the BR should be dropped on theme fill. Confirmed with OILER CHICKEN. Liked INK OF DISTINCTION.. Only trouble was in NE: 3 red letters: with UN in UNO and D in ON CD.

I liked the puzzle; good job, Mark.

My new 2 yr old IMAC has no CD/DVD slot, either.

Yellowrocks said...

"The verb hie is extremely old fashioned, so you're much more likely to read it in a book than to hear someone say it. Still, it's good to know when you read, "Hie thee to the castle!" that it means "Hey, get a move on! Go to the castle!" It comes from the Old English word higian, "strive or hasten," from a Proto-Germanic root."
UTES are much more common in Austraia.

Ute or pickup?

UTE images

CanadianEh! said...

Fabulous Friday. Thanks for the fun, Mark and TTP.
I struggled with this CW and almost had the same opinion as Irish Miss. I had BREXIT but not any of the themers, and could not see the removed BRs.
But then I Googled LES and broke open the centre, giving me ACE FOR IMPACT, and I was off to the races. IDESMAID was my favourite.
But I arrived here to discover I FIWed. I had Inline instead of ONLINE (still connected IMO) and did not know CHO.

Other unknowns filled by perps were SPIFF, OREOOS, CSONKA, LEARY, CURE.
But this Canadian knew Nobel prize winner, Alice MUNRO, and I know enough French to see ETOILE.

I wanted And before SOO; sword before SPEAR (David used Goliath's sword to cut off his head!). Hand up, Ray, for thinking of Ass for that Biblical mount.
And of course, SOFT C was a nose-wrinkler (I wanted Clang).
I smiled to see TIE crossing AD IN, SEA and AFT, and the "green clues" for DYES and REUSED.
If you only have A TASTE, do you need a SENSEN?

ON THE DL and "Three on a match" (I was trying to figure out BAD -MEN until it parsed with OREOOS) were not familiar expressions for me. I LIUed after I got here.

On a lesser day than Friday, HIES would have been clued to show that it was archaic ie. "Goes apace in Shakespeare"

Wishing you all a great day.

AnonymousPVX said...

This Friday toughie didn’t go down without a fight.

Not many write-overs because of limited guesswork.


And on to Saturday.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Mr. MacLachlan's pzl is a harbinger of spring!
He is removing the BRrr factor.
And happily, here in SoCal, the chill is gone. Indeed, this week has set records for sunshine & warmth.
I feel bad (no schadenfreude here!) when I see the horrific blizzard conditions in the rest of the country.
Our storied Mediterranean climate is out-Mediterraneaning the Mediterranean these days.

(HIE thee hither, if thou wouldst bask in our sunny clime!)

Misty (and others who wonder) ~ I didn't know either, but now I do. OREOOS is not OREOOS but, correctly, OREO O's--apparently little round circlets (Os) of the famous Oreo flavors.

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle a lot, and especially liked the remove-BR gimmick. Laughed out loud at IDES MAID. Second fave was OILER CHICKEN; just something funny about the image it engenders in my mind. As Steve might say, "Chicken confit?" I struggled with OREOOS and wrinkled my nose at SOFTC. Putting in JOE as Babe's teammate led me badly astray for a while in that area because I couldn't think of any word, acronym, nickname, or abbreviation beginning with JEE that made sense. And I really really really did not want that SOO in there.

I immediately thought of Bill G at Spaceman SPIFF.

Thank you for the jokes, folks! My wife liked them too.

That SPEAR looks like a pickle to me. And yeah, if David cut off Goliath's head with Goliath's sword... ? I guess Goliath carried two weapons. I'm too uninterested at the moment to look it up.

I read that Corona beer is actually running ads that say, in effect, "Hey folks it's not us! Drinking our beer won't make you sick."

Best wishes to you all.

Misty said...

Thanks for letting me know, Ol'Man Keith--this OREOO thing had really puzzled me.

Wilbur Charles said...

"As they matured, LOU stood up to Babe and they grew apart". On the trip to Japan Lou thought the Babe was a bit too friendly with his wife. They didn't speak until LG "Greatest" day when the Babe hugged him.

I'm with Wendy re. QT. Had to ink that out. But… FIW. TIdEX(thinking of laundry) and didn't know Mr Nessman.

Lots of white until I grok'ed BR-.EXIT (How's that going, Steve?)

I had inked RmS/RES. I ended up working east to west after realizing TANKER wasn't the OILER in question.

Thank you Mark for shaping me up for Sat. And TTP for the write-up. You have my permission to add a TTP there at the top. Although I do pride myself on distinguishing you and L. It's just remembering the day is tough.


Ps, I finished that WaPost XW* and SENILE was in there. Or was if it the other Sunday insert?

*I actually recognized the song homynyms after completing. My third shot and everything was clear this morning.

And . . Delightful visit with VA C&P. I think she was a nurse-practitioner and really was knowledgeable. What a great listener (Her:"I couldn't get rid of that guy…")

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

What IM & Ray-O said... Too many unknown names and I kept shooting myself in the foot with wrong entries. Copious cheats were needed - Official DNF.

Thanks Mark for the puzzle. The theme is cute [now that I see an early fill, BREXIT] was theme related - figured out BR after cheats].

Great expo TTP. We had the same clue for The CURE 1/12/20. At one point in time, I'm sure Steve or I linked it. Here it is [5:01 and a bit EMO].

Shots in the foot: AND b/f cheat for SOO (really?), thatOK? b/f cheat to fix [OH, THAT's where THAT goes], TREY b/f... you get the picture.
Lookups: CSONKA, ANA
WO: Sling b/f SPEAR.
Favs: Spaceman SPIFF, LES Nessman

Folks, the mains D-O mentioned is 8'-diameter and waters nearly 1/2 of Houston. This hit me personally - no coffee at the office!
//and in the mid of "wash you hands - COVID19" we have a boil order. There's not a stove in the restroom ;-) Fortunately, I'm home in Sugar Land and no such water issues.

News link.

D-O - I'll second TTP; great ARLO song.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

What a slog. Two days in a row. It wasn't just the themers it was everything. Too many unknown names and natickness led to a DNF again.

Big Easy said...

Running late tonight. Had to take DW to MD to confirm that she has the FLU- regular kind. Spitzboov was lucky. Finished the puzzle early we no problems, thanks to solid perps to solve the unknown comics- Margaret CHO, Denis LEARY, & SPIFF. And also the never heard of HOREB & SENSEN. I've heard of ON THE 'DOWN LOW' but not DL. I've read that it has a completely different meaning in a certain community. SOO- unknown by me.

I caught the left off BR at OILER CHICKEN and that allowed ACE FOR IMPACT to be filled before BREXIT was filled. I'm sure you can still get The CURE music ON CD.

TILEX- we quit using it in the shower-made the floor slippery. We squeegee the walls and floor to keep mold from growing.

'Three on a match' was a BAD OMEN because if three soldiers were lighting cigarettes from the same match the enemy would see the flame because it burned too long.

CSONKA, Morris, & Kiick were a great backfield for the Dolphins. So were Calvin Hill, Walt Garrison, & Duane Thomas for the Cowboys. It's very rare that one team would have three great running backs at the same time. And the Cowboys had Roger Staubach at QB.

TX Ms said...

Big Easy - Thanks for a better explanation of "three on a match" - now it makes more sense. Googled it, but it just gave the bit of three soldiers lighting their cigs using one match. Never, ever heard of that superstition before - the things I learn here at The Corner. UTEFORCE and INKOFEXTINCTION were my first fills, hinted by easy-fill BREXIT. My downfall - the last O in - oreo o's. Never heard of that either - chocolate cereal - yech! Perps helped - (The) CURE?? Yeah, Anon-T...

Thanks, Tony, for the Ch 11 clip - I watched Ch 2 tonight - Ch 11 was a lot more informative. I decided to use the hot water tap for my Mr. Coffee this a.m. - the rust (and whatever) deposits percolating in my hot water heater sounded safer than bacteria, considering it takes at least two minutes of boiling water to purify it.

Terry said...


Terry said...

I shared your pain.