Feb 11, 2020

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 Robin Stears

The Mating Game.  The word Mate can be placed after each word in the starred answers to give us a new concept.

17-Across. * Expensive flying option: FIRST CLASS.  First Mate and Classmate.

28-Across. * Space for home projects, e.g.: WORK ROOM.  Workmate and Roommate.

43-Across. * Collaborative activity: TEAM PLAY.  Teammate and Playmate.

56-Across. * Payment method being replaced by mobile banking: PAPER CHECK.  Paper Mate and Checkmate.

And the Unifier:
63-Across. Aussie pal, or what can follow each word in the answers to starred clues: MATE.

1. Catch sight of: ESPY.

5. Nudged with one's snout: NOSED.

10. Come clean, with "up": 'FESS.  Not to be confused with Fess Parker (né Fess Elisha Parker, Jr.; Aug. 16, 1924 ~ Mar. 18, 2010), who played Daniel Boone on television.

14. Escape: FLEE.

15. Greek marketplace: AGORA.  Today's Greek lesson.

16. Ski resort near Salt Lake City: ALTA.  This ski resort is not on my radar.

19. Greenish-blue: TEAL.  Also a duck.

20. Egg: Pref.: OVI-.

21. Warning word often preceded by a color: ALERT.

22. Scarlett of Tara: O'HARA.

23. Chemical reaction named for its two processes: REDOX.  A Redox reaction is one in which one species is reduced and another is oxidized.

25. Rhoda's sister: BRENDA.  A reference to the Mary Tyler Moore spin-off sit-com, Rhoda.  Apparently, Rhoda had a sister on the show whose name was Brenda.  Brenda was played by Julie Kavner (b. Sept. 7, 1950), who is best known for being the voice of Marge Simpson on The Simpsons.  Brenda is in the yellow sweater.

26. __ of Capricorn: TROPIC.  The Tropic of Capricorn is the circle of latitude that contains the subsolar point on the December Solstice.  In other words, it is the southernmost latitude where the sun can be directly overhead.  It's northern equivalent is the Tropic of Cancer.  Both the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer are books written by Henry Miller in the 1930s.  Both books were banned in the United States on grounds of obscenity.  In 1961, the United States Justice Department ruled that their contents were no obscene.

30. Old fast jets: SSTs.  As in SuperSonic Transport, a crossword staple.

31. Augusta National signature shrub: AZALEA.  They have such beautiful flowers.

33. __ Titanic: ill-fated ship: RMS.

34. Of the seventh planet: URANIAN.

35. Snake's sound: SSS.

38. Red wine choice: MERLOT.  The name Merlot is believed to derive from the French word merle, which is short for blackbird.  The color of the wine is very dark, like a blackbird.

39. Atomizer output: MIST.

45. 1920s-'30s "Blonde Bombshell" Jean: HARLOW.  Jean Harlow (née Harlean Harlow Carpenter; Mar. 3, 1911 ~ June 7, 1937), was an actress and sex symbol in the 1930s.  Sadly, she died very young.  She was only 26 years old when she died of some sort of respiratory failure.  During her short life, however, she managed to marry and divorce 3 times.

47. Let out, as fishing line: UNREEL.

48. Vodka brand, familiarly: STOLI.  It's more formal name is Stolichnaya.  It has an interesting history.

49. Group of musical notes: CHORD.

50. Lauder of makeup: ESTÉE.  Estée Lauder (née Josephine Esther Mentzer; July 1, 1906 ~ Apr. 24, 2004), was the founder of the cosmetics company that bears her name.

54. Auto title ID: VIN.  As in the Vehicle Identification Number.

55. Word after King or Hong: KONG.

58. Impulse: URGE.

59. Prepare, as Parmesan: GRATE.

60. Et __: and others: ALII.  Today's Latin lesson.  This is commonly abbreviated as Et al.

61. Bridge "no bid": PASS.

62. After, in French: APRÈS.  Today's French lesson.

1. Serious attempts: EFFORTS.

2. Thin fragments: SLIVERS.

3. August birthstone: PERIDOT.  It's generally a beautiful yellowish-green stone.

4. Cry of success: YES!

5. Table salt, to a chemist: NaCL.  Also known as Sodium Chloride.  The symbol for Sodium is Na, which comes from the Latin word Natrium.

6. Look at rudely: OGLE.

7. Skyrocket: SOAR.

8. Once, once upon a time: ERST.

9. Some govt. lawyers: DAs.  As in Districe Attorneys.

10. Priest's title: FATHER.

11. __ Roosevelt, first lady for 12 years: ELEANOR.  Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (Oct. 11, 1884 ~ Sept. 7, 1962) was the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  She led an interesting life in her own right.

12. Celebrity status: STARDOM.

13. Respectful bows: SALAAMS.

18. Curbside cry: TAXI.

22. Like Mindy's alien husband: ORKAN.  A reference to Mork and Mindy, the sit-com that ran from 1978 to to 1982.  I wasn't a fan.

24. Covert missions: OPs.  As in Covert Operations.

25. Inhalation: BREATH.

27. "The Office" star Steve: CARELL.  Steve Carell (b. Aug. 16, 1962) was born on the same date and same hospital as my sister.

28. Without vigor: WANLY.

29. Miscellany: OLIO.

32. Swedish singer Larsson with the Top 20 hit "Never Forget You": ZARA.  I am not familiar with Zara Larsson (b. Dec. 16, 1997).

34. Called balls and strikes: UMPED.  Think baseball.

35. Snobby: STUCK UP.

36. Portuguese lady: SENHORA.  Today's Portuguese lesson.

37. South Seas wrapped garments: SARONGS.

39. "The A-Team" actor: MR. T.  The A-Team was a television show from the 1980s and Mr. T was one of the characters.  That's my entire knowledge of the show.

40. Randy Newman song played at Dodger Stadium: I LOVE LA.  Randy Newman (né Randall Stuart Newman; b. Nov. 28, 1943) lived in New Orleans as a child.  Some of his songs are about Louisiana.

41. Formally request: SOLICIT.

42. Hostess sponge cake: TWINKIE.  When I was in the grocery story yesterday, I saw that you can now buy Twinkie flavored coffee.

44. Joins the flow of traffic: MERGES.  I just hate it when the car in front of me stops at the top of the entrance ramp.

46. "Just gimme __!": A SEC.

50. Wild West Wyatt: EARP.  Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp (Mar. 19, 1848 ~ Jan. 13, 1929) is probably best known for his role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, although his role was minor compared to that of his brother, Virgil.

51. Practice boxing: SPAR.

52. A beret covers it: TÊTE.  More of today's French lesson.

53. "__ Tu": 1974 hit: ERES.  I am not familiar with this musical piece.  Apparently, it was Spain's entry into the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest where it received 2nd place.  The following year it peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 10 chart.  Still doesn't ring a bell.

56. Tiger Woods' org.: PGA.

57. Sandwich meat: HAM.

Here's the Grid:

QOD:  You can only hold your stomach in for so many years.  ~  Burt Reynolds (Feb. 11, 1936 ~ Sept. 6, 2018), American actor


D4E4H said...

I FIR in too many min.  Carol took the day off.

Good morning Cornerites.

Thank you Robin Stears for your enjoyable Tuesday CW. 

Thank you Hahtoolah for your excellent review.


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Yay, third time's the charm. I muddled to a DNF in my last two Robin Spears puzzles. I noticed the MATE matching the last word of the theme answers, but not the first. [Sigh] How do the puzzle creator's find such phrases? I've gotta learn to read the complete reveal clue. Nicely done, Robin. Thanx for the tour, Hahtoolah. (I think of Fess more as Davy Crockett than as Dan'l Boone, though he played both.)

Taxing day. Gotta run...

Lemonade714 said...

Susan, you wore me out with all the pics and links. My favorite was your choice of Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman as Scarlett and Rhett.

RANDY NEWMAN is an amazing performer with a long history at the OSCARS. I will aleays be grateful for his original ANTHEM

ERES has been a semi-regular fill here

LA Times - Dec. 9, 2019
LA Times - Nov. 17, 2019
LA Times - July 17, 2019
LA Times - June 19, 2019
LA Times - Jan. 28, 2018
LA Times - April 2, 2017

Thank you Robin and Susan

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIW, missing my WAG at PERAnOR x REnOX. No V8 cans today; never heard of either. Erased hms for RMS, and had to fix ALaI and AZeLEA (UNTIE!). Had to wait for perps to tiebreak private jet / FIRST CLASS and oleo / OLIO.

My favorite Newman song is Short People. Funny if you don't take it or yourself too seriously.

OPS aren't usually covert. Black OPS are.

Thanks for the puzzle, Robin. Not my favorite because of the obscurity of some of the clues, but fun nonetheless. And thanks to Hahtoolah for the fun review. I especially liked the punny clip art examples. Laptop goes back into the shop this morning. The battery finally arrived. IF all goes well I'll check in tomorrow after golf.

Hungry Mother said...

I was a chem major at Villanova for 1.5 years before switching to math. If I’d stayed longer I might have known REDOX. I ran the alphabet and came up with REcOX. Doh!

inanehiker said...

One of themes I think must be quite a challenge - when both the first and second halves link to another word- kudos to the constructor!
Hatoolah - thanks for the link to "Eres Tu" by Mocedades - brings me right back to junior high dances in the 70s- it's one of only 5 songs/artists from Spain to have a top ten hit in the US!

Off to work!
Thanks Susan and Robin!

Yellowrocks said...

This took me longer than a Tuesday puzzle should, but FIR. No clue as to the theme until the reveal.
I knew that peridot was one of the birthstones, so a few perps suggested it.
This childhood mnemonic told me the 7th planet was Uranus: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. In my school days Uranus was pronounced with a long A. None of us students snickered or thought of an off color word. Then a new pronunciation was being used, an equally offense word. Now I find both pronunciations weird. Ignorance was bliss.
Merlot was a CSO to me and many others here.
I didn't know REDOX, CARELL, and ZARA. Perps to the rescue.
Eleanor Roosevelt is one of my heroines. I was very young at the time and recall knowing some of her history then. Later, as an adult I learned much to admire about her life.
Thanks for all the pics, info and humor, Susan. Wonderful!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Despite the unknown Redox and Zara, this was a smooth, fast solve. Two minor glitches, though, with Ova/Ovi and the resulting Peradot/Peridot. But, like DO, I only saw the second word as part of the theme, so, apparently I, too, didn't read the entire clue. I'm going to blame that lapse on my continuing battle (5 weeks) with my shingles-induced eye problems. I'm back on the antiviral med, plus a steroid eye drop, four times a day, neither of which seems to be helping. On top of this, I have the beginnings of a doozy of a head cold and a rib-rattling cough that kept me awake most of the night. Whenever I see Olio, CC comes to mind.

Thanks, Robin, for a fun Tuesday and thanks, Hatoolah, for the spectacular array of visuals and links. Randy Newman and his cousin were both up for Academy Awards for Best Song, separately, but I have no idea what movies were involved.

Have a great day.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

FIR with no errors. An complete inked crossword with no corrections "smiling" back at me from the newspaper with no coffee stains ...a work of art.

One of the funniest scenes on TV: Carol Burnett in a curtain-made gown with the rod still in place.

If you mate an ORKAN with URANIAN do you get a Kardashian?

Remember the "TWINKIE" defense for murder?

Latin question: quod et alia, quod et ALII?

From one of my favorites, the 1981 grammy award winning song:

"Her hair is HARLOW gold
Her lips sweet surprise
Her hands are never cold
She's got Bette Davis eyes."

Bluehen said...

FIR in 13+ mins. That is a little slower than a usual Tuesday, but not bad for one of Robin's puzzlers. I quite agree with inanehiker's assessment of the difficulty level and the requisite skill of the constructor. Thank you, Robin.

A wonderfully detailed and illustrated expo, Hahtoolah. Chasing down your sidebars took considerably longer than the puzzle did. I greatly appreciate that. Thanks to you and to all of the solvers who guide us through the briar patch daily. Your efforts are not in vain or thankless. One nit, Susan. That is certainly not the illustration I was hoping to see for "PLAYMATE".

Oops, gotta go. The electrician is here to change out my smoke/CO2 detectors. Cya!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Another easy solve today. No searches were needed. Liked the theme. It was really 3 smaller puzzles combined by the very 'thin' connections: @ NW - TROPIC/CARELL, and @ SE - BREATH/HARLOW. But they were easy so, no harm done.
RMS - Royal Mail Ship. QEII was one. It has largely fallen into disuse. British Navy ships are HMS.
AZALEA - Very pretty. Related to the Rhododendron. AZALEA Gardens near the Norfolk Airport was well worth the visit.

Have a great day.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

The puzzle was pretty smooth this morning. Thanks, Robin, for some Tuesday fun. No look-ups, which I try to avoid always, but do not consider cheating as I always learn something.
REDOX was one of those. I didn't look elsewhere because the perps worked. This is an example of something I had never heard or read. Like much here, now I know.

Nicely done today, Hahtoolah. Thank your for your insightful and interesting explications.

Enjoy this day, everyone.

Lucina said...


Hand way up for seeing only the last part of the theme to MATE with the theme answers. So clever! Thank you, Robin Stears.

My grid has only two wite-out spots where I misspelled CARELL as CARREL; otherwise it's a cleanly filled one. Inked in for an easy Tuesday.

Does anyone really yell "TAXI" anymore? Or have Uber and Lyft apps overtaken that?

ELEANOR Roosevelt is one of my heroines, too. She was not only a remarkable person but her EFFORTS were extraordinary as well.

REDOX was unknown but perps prevailed and I vaguely recalled PERIDOT as the August birthstone. ZARA is another but perps were solid. NACL is one of the few lessons I recall from chemistry class and was my FIRST fill.

I have to agree that Carol Burnett in those drapes is among the funniest of her skits.

Thank you, Hahtoolah, for an entertaining review.

Have a fabulous day, everyone!

Hahtoolah said...

Jinx: I am just a tad under 5 feet. Thanks to Randy Newman, I now know that I have no reason to live.

Anonymous said...

No one is short if their feet reach the ground.

There was no shootout at the O.K. Corral. It was a few doors down in an empty lot behind a photography shop.


TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you, Robin and Hahtoolah.

Easy and fun Tuesday puzzle. Hand up for not noticing "each" in the reveal.

Today we had atomizer in the clue. We had nebulizer last Saturday in Ed Sessa's puzzle.

SENHORA was a learning moment. CHORD saved it. Same with REDOX. PERIDOT saved that one. As for ZARA ? Never saw the clue.

CSO to Spitzpoov at Bridge Pass.

C.C.'s CSO is at OLIO.

Hahtoolah, ERES TU is not a song that I think I've ever heard before today. Of course, we've had it as an answer enough times that it's an "easy a" type of answer.

jfromvt said...

Got through this typical Tuesday pretty much unscathed. Like some others, didn’t get the cross of RExOX and PERIxOT.

Funny how we’ve become so prudish and have changed the way we pronounce Uranus.

NaomiZ said...

REDOX and SENHORA were new to me, but the crosses solved it. Fun puzzle! I am struggling to decode all of your expert solvers' abbreviations -- FIR et alii -- but appreciate all the conversation.

Ron in LA said...

What does CSO mean ?

Misty said...

Fun Tuesday puzzle, Robin, many thanks. Started out with FESS and FATHER and, of course, O'HARA. But couldn't remember BRENDA although it filled in. Thank you for all your pictures, always, Susan, they are such a treat--and once I saw the RHODA picture I did remember BRENDA. MERLOT filled in instantly--I have a regular two glasses every evening--glad you like it too, Yellowrocks. Like others, I had a bit of a problem with the crossing of the unknown PERIDOT and REDOX. Also, never heard of ZARA, new to me too. But lots of fun all around, and Susan, I loved your FLEEING FLEA picture.

Irish Miss, so sorry to hear about your continuing eye problems and your bad cold. Thank you for checking in with us even when you're not feeling well--your commentaries are so helpful and important to us every day. Hope things get better for you soon.

Have a good day, everybody!

Wilbur Charles said...

Re. PLAY MATE. These are the times that I miss Splynter

-T, surely recalls ALTA Vista.

Titanic was HP Morgan's attempt to keep up with the Cunards. Happenstance kept him off the maiden voyage.

Oops, another bad box. I had PERaDOT

Re. FESS. There's an "Alamo" film in the works I believe

Irish Miss, I hope those medical issues get solved. Bon sante (in keeping with the French theme)


CrossEyedDave said...

Ron in LA, CSO=Crossword Shout Out
there are many different interpretations,
but mine is,
something in the Crossword that refers to some one we know...

I.E: Wiskey neat = Tinbeni (a Blog regular...)

FIW, due to ova/ovi (peradot/peridot)
How the hell am I supposed to know???
(& care...)
(I am ignorant & apathetic...)
(I don't know, & I don't care...)
(actually, I do care, I spelled wiskey wrong...)

Oh Bartender!

Brian said...

To those struggling with the Abbreviations that the regular bloggers use:
You can check the "Abbrs" under the "OLIO" section on the main blog page. But CSO means "A Shout Out is a reference to someone you know but here it is usually a Coincident." FIR means "Finished It Right."

AnonymousPVX said...

This Tuesday puzzle solved quickly, it not without....

Write-overs....OVA/OVI, ALIA/ALII. Felt like a sucker on both.

It’s almost 80° here, normal is 62°....had to put the shorts back on, haha.

See you tomorrow.

Tinbeni said...

Hahtoolah: Outstanding, informative write-up & links. Good job!

Needed E.S.P. (Every-Single-Perp) to get the ski resort ALTA.

As a Floridian I "SKI" on water NOT snow.
Barefoot is the BEST WAY to ski on Lake Tarpon.


Ron in LA said...

Thanks for explaining CSO.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Tinbeni...hope you're skiing fast enough to keep ahead of the

Wilbur Charles said...

On my Android phone, "view web version" takes me to the OLIO*

"PERADOT"??? Was I thinking of that exercise machine? Pela???. I was water walking but first , cold weather and now colona virus has kept me out.

But I did take a walk last night


That may have been the Wa-Post, Birnholz Sunday xword that had that old xword chestnut. Btw, I have no clue re. Evan's theme

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle and had much of the same experiences solving it as many of you did.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Wasnt sure about PERIDOT and REDOX, but took a chance anyway. It looks like my uncertainty was in good company.
A 3-way on the mirror end.
The main diagonal has too few vowels (2 "E"s) to make a decent anagram--
and the flanking diags are overloaded with vowels... (EIEI-O!)

Husker Gary said...

-Late start due to getting car out for an oil change. They called to say they were done and said I need to spend $1,300 for new tires. What??
-Subbing today and had to keep the lid on because her lesson was so boring.
-The lesson was simply reading answers and one of the answers was AGORA
-Fun puzzle with some learning and a reminder I do not know how to spell AZALEA
-Gotta finish with sophomores…

Yellowrocks said...

It is 5:30 EST, so I raise a Merlot toast to sweet Misty, my fellow Merlot loving virtual friend.
Dear Agnes,I hope you are soon well enough to go to the eye doctor. That eye deserves very serious attention. Here's to a more restful night. Please be wary of slipping into pneumonia. I think of you often. Here's a salute to your health.
To the rest of you, please consider Shingrix soon to ward off shingles. I have had mine.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

HG, what did they say is wrong with your tires? If they are older than 7 years or don't pass the "penny test", you probably need to replace them. If they are cupped or worn oddly you will need a good alignment shop to diagnose the problem before you shop for rubber (or a new ride). I've been getting Michelin tires for my cars at Costco. Should be less than a grand, unless you are driving something exotic or offroad. I run Toyo on my motorhome and like them as well as the Continentals they replaced, and were about $100 bucks a tire cheaper.

Robin Stears said...

First of all, that picture of Carol Burnett slayed me!! That moment is still one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

Would I be giving away my age if I said I learned "Eres Tu" in high school Spanish class? We also learned "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" in Spanish. My teacher was very progressive.

Now, to answer a question: "How do the puzzle creators find such phrases?"

It's a painstaking process where I find all the words ending with -MATE (or whatever), put them in alphabetically order, and then -- one by one -- I search to find pairs. If anyone can think of an easier way to do this, please let me know. This process can sometimes take several hours. It's very cool when it works out, though. In this case, I ended up not using my inspiration phrase: WORK HOUSE. I decided it was too Dickensian.

Congratulations to everyone who finished!! Well done, all!


SwampCat said...

Strange. I FIR but don’t know how. Perps were very friendly!!

Peridot is interesting to me because I don’t think that’s the ORIGINAL August birthstone. My December birthstone was always Turquoise. But at some point it was banned. Over mining?? So knows. But it was hard to find and of poor quality if you found a stone. Now my “birthstone “ is some blue semiprecious bit of glass. Birthstones are weird!

I laughed at Formal Bow for SALAAM. Down here in the a Swamp it’s Mardi Gras and our bows are Curtsies!!

I filled in with perps I LOVE LA but had no idea what it meant till Hahtoolah ‘splained it! Thanks !

IM, take care!!! You’ve had a bad winter!

Robin, did I forget to thank you for the fun? I liked the challenge!!! Thanks 😊

SwampCat said...

Robin, Eres Tu is still one of my favorite songs !

Husker Gary said...

Jinx, The tires were original equipment on an SRX Cadillac and are over 50,000 miles and under 3/32" in tread.

CanadianEh! said...

Terrific Tuesday. Thanks for the fun, Robin (thanks for dropping in to explain the process) and Hahtoolah.
I almost completed the CW this morning but had to run off for a busy day. Finally got back to it tonight for the final touches. Hand up for not reading the theme clue carefully and only seeing the final MATEs. (But this Canadian would have had a CHEque MATE!)

The Augusta National AZALEA reminded me of my misdirection on the Saturday CW with Master's award=DEGREE. I was thinking of Masters golf tournament and entered JACKET. (hello Wendybird! don't be embarrassed!).

We had SALTS yesterday and NACL today. I reached back in my memory to chemistry classes and found REDOX.
I smiled at ORKAN and URANIAN.
Spitzboov, thanks for explaining RMS and saving me from looking it up.

Feel better soon, Irish Miss.
Good evening all.

Lucina said...

You and I must be about the same height. I also am just a tad under five feet.

Robin Stears:
Thank you so much for joining us here and explaining your process. I am in awe of all constructors; I know it must require hours of intensely hard work.

ERES TU is one of my favorites, too.

I'm sending prayers for your recovery and comfort.

Bill G said...

Thanks Robin and Hahtoolah. I enjoyed the ride.

Good wishes heading your way, Irish Miss.

Gary, sometimes tires need to be replaced because of old age. The rubber isn't totally worn down but is old and cracked. If you drive long distances or on the freeway, old tires would be problematic. I just drive short distances around town and old tires don't worry me so much.

~ Mind how you go...

NaomiZ said...