Feb 18, 2020

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 Craig Stowe

It's just a Jump to your LEFT.

20-Across. *  Billy Crystal comedy featuring a cattle drive: CITY SLICKERS.  City Center.

City Slickers was a 1991 film.

The Central Business District in New Orleans

30-Across. *  Exact look-alike: DEAD RINGER.  Dead Center.

 Dead Ringer was also a 1964 movie starring Bette Davis.

Dead Center

38-Across. *  Daily filming schedule on the set: CALL SHEET.  Call Center.  In my experience, the people at the call center are in some far-off town and often speak with such an accent neither one of us understand each other.

50-Across. *  One in la-la land: SPACE CADET.  Space Center.

And the unifier:
59-Across. Somewhat liberal, or where you might find the first words in the answers to starred clues: LEFT OF CENTER.

1. Govt.-backed investment: T-NOTE.  As in a Treasury Note.

6. Travelocity recommendations: INNS.

10. Comprehends: GETS.

14. Commandment verb involving parents: HONOR.  Fact: Did you know that the 10 Commandments are found in both Exodus and Deuteronomy and that the order of the Commandments differ depending upon one's religious theology?

15. Niño's "nothing": NADA.  Today's Spanish lesson.

16. Difficult exam: ORAL.

17. Kagan of the Supreme Court: ELENA.  Elena Kagan (b. Apr. 28, 1960) is an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.  When she assumed the office in August 2010, she was only the 4th woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice.  Prior to joining the Supreme Court, she was the first female dean of the Harvard Law School.  She makes frequent guest appearances in the crossword puzzles.

18. Fruit grown in bogs: CRANBERRY.  Massachusetts is known for its CRANBERRY Bogs.

22. __, amas, amat ...: AMO.  Today's Latin lesson.

23. Gnaw (at): EAT.

24. Grocery walkway: AISLE.

28. Offshore oil drillers: RIGS.

Oil Rigs as seen from the beach at Grand Isle, Louisiana

34. Stiff-upper-lip type: STOIC.

36. Under, in French: SOUS.  Today's French lesson.  Think of the Sous-chef, who is the second in command in the kitchen, after the executive chef.

37. Graffiti signature: TAG.  Many buildings in Rome are covered in graffiti.

42. Musical gift: EAR.

45. Roman robe: TOGA.

46. Hustle genre: DISCO.

54. Croat or Serb: SLAV.

55. Mexican mister: SEÑOR.  More of today's Spanish lesson.

56. Correct: FIX.

58. "__ had it!": I'VE.  Enough, already!

64. Soap opera genre: MELODRAMA.  A melodrama is a performance with a lot of exaggerated emotion.

67. 1960s jacket style: NEHRU.  The history of the NEHRU Jacket.

68. Cooking spot: OVEN.

69. Large-scale: EPIC.  Cecil B' DeMille's movie The Ten Commandments was an EPIC movie.

70. Warning signs: OMENS.

71. Like fake fruit: WAXY.

72. See socially: DATE.

73. From Lillehammer, say: NORSE.  Lillehammer, Norway was the site of the 1994 Winter Olympics.

1. "My Best Friend's Girl" rock band: THE CARS.  Sadly, Ric Ocasek (né Richard Theodore Otcasek; Mar. 23, 1944 ~ Sept. 15, 2019), frontman for The Cars, died last fall at age 75.  Shortly before he died, he executed a new will, which specifically cut out  Paulina Porizkova (née Pavlína Pořízková; b. Apr. 9, 1965), his wife of 30 years.  They had been in the middle of a divorce, but still shared a house together.

2. Like poker games for high rollers: NO LIMIT.

3. Small takeout order: ONE TO GO.  Strange clue and answer.

4. Tiger mascot with a red scarf: TONY.  Of course, my first thought was LSU's Mike the Tiger, but he doesn't wear a read scarf.

5. Clear data from: ERASE.  //  And 52-Down. Wear away, as a coin surface: EFFACE.

6. Provoke: INCITE.

7. Dealer's foil, briefly: NARC.  Short for a narcotics agent.

8. Southern neighbor of Sask.: N. DAK.  North Dakota is south of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

9. Reasonable: SANE.

10. Enters: GOES IN.

11. "To say they __ I dare not be so bold": Shakespeare: ERR.

12. North Carolina __ Heels: TAR.  North Carolina had been was known as the Tar and Turpentine State due to its early industry of distilling pine sap.  The name later evolved into just TAR Heel.

13. Cunning: SLY.

19. Slow-cooked, as short ribs: BRAISED.  Braising is a cooking method that uses both wet and dry heats.  Food is first sautéed or lightly fried, then slowly stewed in a closed pot.  More complicated than my cooking methods.

21. Young chap: LAD.

25. Bilko's rank: Abbr.: SGT.  Sgt. Bilko was a character on The Phil Silvers Show, which ran in the late 1950s.  It was before my time.

26. Grazing area: LEA.

27. Joule fraction: ERG.  This has become a crossword staple.

29. [not my error]: SIC.  More of today's Latin lesson.  SIC is a Latin adverb that is inserted after a quoted word or phrase to indicate that the original quoted passage contained the error.

31. Family name in Mideast politics: ASSAD.  Bashar al-ASSAD (b. Sept. 11, 1965) is the current President of Syria.  The name al-Assad means Lion in Arabic.

32. Homer's "I'm an idiot!": DOH!

33. Feel remorse over: RUE.  Also the French word for Street.

35. Provided food for: CATERED.

39. Tone-__: "Wild Thing" rapper: LOC.
Tone-Loc (né Anthony Terrell Smith; b. Mar. 3, 1966).

40. NYC airport near Citi Field: LGA.  As in the LaGuardia Airport. I flew into LaGuardia the last time I was in New York last summer.  The airport is named in honor of Fiorello H. La Guardia (Dec. 11, 1882 ~ Sept. 20, 1947), the 99th Mayor of New York City.

41. "__ the season ... ": TIS.  Well, it will be the season in about 10 months!

42. Scout leader?: ESS.  Oh, as in the letter "S".  Not keen on this type of cluing.

43. Monkey relative: APE.

44. Sought a political seat: RAN.  Hot topic this year.

47. Move like a mamba: SLITHER.  The Mamba is a venomous snake native to Africa.

48. Carlsbad __ National Park: CAVERNS.  A visit to the Carlsbad Caverns is on my bucket list.

49. Do to death: OVERUSE.

51. Revolutionary territory: COLONY.

53. Nervous twitch: TIC.

57. Noble gas: XENON.  Xenon with the atomic number of 54 is a colorless and odorless gas.  It was first discovered in 1898.

60. Dancer Astaire: FRED.  Fred Astaire (né Frederick Austerlitz; May 10, 1899 ~ June 22, 1987) and his sister, Adele (née Adele Marie Austerlitz; Sept. 10, 1896 ~ Jan. 25, 1981), were both dancers.

61. Spanish appetizer: TAPA.  Yummers!

62. Leave out: OMIT.

63. Verne captain: NEMO.  Jules Verne (né Jules Gabriel Verne; Feb. 8, 1828 ~ Mar. 24, 1905) was a French novelist who is considered the "Father of Science Fiction".  Captain NEMO is the fictional character in 2 of Verne's novels: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and The Mysterious Island.  The former is the better known of the two novels.

64. Work on a lawn: MOW.

65. "Training Day" actress Mendes: EVA.
Eva de la Caridad Méndez (b. Mar. 5, 1974) is on the left.

66. "Superman" villain Luthor: LEX.

Here's the Grid:

QOD:  You think you can do anything, and then you slowly learn how wrong you are.  ~  Miloš Forman (né Jan Tomáš Forman; Feb. 18, 1932 ~ Apr. 13, 2018), Czech-born film director


Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIR sans easure. DNK SOUS (thanks, Hahtoolah - I know it now), LOC, or EFFACE.

No CRANapple today.

Just acting out, in the grocery I pronounce it IS-ell to my DW. I've done it so long that I sometimes accidentally say it that way when I ask an employee for help. Evokes some unusual looks.

Most of my Cornerite friends would accurately be described as LEFT OF CENTER. Mighty good folks anyway.

The servers at the restaurants we frequent already know I drink diet soda, and that I always want ONE TO GO after I pay the freight. Akin to Bette Midler's iconic performance on Johnny Carson's last show.

Thanks to Craig for the fun romp, and to Hahtoolah for the visual treats. Off to golf after breakfast.

Hungry Mother said...

Only ink smear was at 1A: Tbill, TbOnd, TNOTE. Quick and easy.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Hungry Mother, you must've been lookin' over my shoulder. Slowed me down for a bit in that northwest corner. I wanted DEF to be the rest of that TONE- rapper's name. Thanx for the diversion, Craig, and for the outing, Hahtoolah. (" on the left" -- haha.)

RIGS: One nit about your RIG photo, Hahtoolah. The rigs drill the well and then move on to drill elsewhere. If it's a good well, a production platform will be erected above it. Those are production platforms you can see off Grand Isle in your photo.)

CARLSBAD: Visited there many years ago. In addition to the cavern formations, the departure of thousands of bats at sunset provides quite a spectacle.

John E said...

Jinx, regarding your fondness for folks of opposite political persuasions: wouldn't it be nice if we all could do that! A good thought for this upcoming political season. Let me see if I can do it.

inanehiker said...

A quick one today - with a fun blog by Susan - good start to the day- which will include some tough conversations later in the morning- so starting out positive!

Thanks Hatoolah & Craig!

TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you Craig, and thank you Hahtoolal.

I sure didn't see the LEFT OF CENTER reveal coming until I got to that clue. For a change, I actually solved the puzzle from top left down to bottom right.

Hahtoolah, I watched that "Do the Hustle" video and it was neat seeing the dance steps annotated. I like that song.

Funny quip Desper-otto. A rap singer with no "musical gift" (EAR) named TONE-DEF.

From Last Night:
Becky, glad you and your husband enjoyed that senior golf humor.

Boomer, nice series. Another big number with that 254. That's putting them in the pocket. I can only imagine there were some pesky 10 pins in those last two games.
Our league starts at 3 PM. By that time of day there's a few times during the season where some of the greens are either covered with maple seeds, leaves, or acorn shells and twigs from the squirrels cutting them out of the big oaks. And goose poop on one hole. The game is hard enough, right ? I cut a couple feet off a broom and use as needed. One of the guys sometimes brings his small battery operated leaf blower. Like I said, we don't exactly follow the USGA Rules of Golf.

Dash T, we're still one short of 24 players. Can you make it to the course every Wednesday by 3 ? I'll just tell the guys you usually shoot around 72, conveniently omitting that it's your 9 hole score.

Yellowrocks said...

Nice puzzle.
I haven't heard space cadet in years. Is it still used?
I agree about call centers. Using employees who can't communicate in the common language is such a waste of money and time. Sometimes I have to ask them to repeat every comment three or more times. When they can't understand what you need they read you something totally irrelevant in a heavy accent.
In my youth many families had waxy fruit on the dining room table. I keep a bowl of real fruit on my kitchen table.
Graffiti artists say they have a right to express themselves. I say the owner of the wall has a right to express himself by having a graffiti-less wall.
To this former waitress ONE TO GO for a small take out order is in the language.
Susan, sous chef, excellent example.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

This puzzle was not only TONY would say it was GRRREAT!!! ..FIR.

How do you SLITHER doing the Mambo?. I thought you just "got the pain...ugh.." ahhh ..MambA!..A snake.... DOH!!

Caesar left his TOGA here from yesterday. Go to the Forum Shops, Julius, and get yourself a new one or at least patch up all the holes!

MELODRAMA...laid back crises?

The only advantage to a winter don't have to MOW the lawn or as the French say "coup de grâce"

Boomer said...

Hello TTP, I agree about the USGA rules. I sometimes watch the pros on TV and I would not have the time to play a hole every 30 minutes. That Riviera Club last weekend must have had greens like glass. I never saw so many pros miss putts less than six feet. On the bright side, we have a PGA Superstore up here in MN, and they offer an 8 week golf lesson sessions at no charge for veterans. I can only attend seven of them because a doctor session interferes with their schedule. Maybe I might learn a thing or two and break 110 this year. Bogeys, Here I come. By the way, C.C. will probably kick me for mentioning this but about ten years ago we used to play regularly at a local course. One season she made 19 Birdies.!! I witnessed them all. Those were the good times.

KenoRunner said...

No limit poker does not imply high roller. In hold 'em it's the size of the blinds.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Fun easy puzzle today. Liked the LEFT OF CENTER theme. Unknowns THE CARS and EVA came from ample perps. Knowing RUE and SOUS helped. FIR.
ORAL -Some may be difficult, but I would submit many are not so hard if the candidate is solid with the material and the questions are pertinent. YMMV.

Great intro, Hahtoolah. You offer great links and insight to the clues.

CanadianEh! said...

Terrific Tuesday. Thanks for the fun, Craig and Hahtoolah.
Once I got going past the NW (hand up for thinking of TbOnd), this CW filled quickly; I FIRed and saw the LEFT OF CENTER theme. (But you all know that I held my Canadian nose as I entered that spelling, not Centre, and HONOR not Honour!)

Several unknowns like THE CARS, LOC, filled with perps. I waited for perps to decide 10A Sees or GETS. Changed Duh to DOH when SOUS appeared. I was thinking of Erode (too short) or Abrade before EFFACE. (Smiled at ERASE and EFFACE.)

For everything CRANBERRY, visit the Bala, Ontario CRANBERRY Festival.

I agree with Hahtoolah about the clue for ESS. (But maybe "the winding road shape" is OVERUSEd.)
d'o- I didn't GET Hahtoolah's caption about Eva on the LEFT as relating to the theme until I saw your post! LOL also re TONE Def.
inanehiker - hope your "tough conversations" go well.

CSO to AnonT with TONY.
Wishing you all a great day.

Sherry said...

Thanks Hatoolah and Craig. Being from Louisiana I knew the tiger wasn't LSU's Mike but thinking Clemson. Eventually Tony came through the mist. Seen many rigs in my home state.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone want to visit Carl's bad cavern?


Husker Gary said...

-Lib/Con – I’ve dropped Facebook peeps who think the function of the site is to expound on their political positions
-It took a lot of time before we understood the young man in the CALL CENTER in India was trying to say “Rinse Agent” to fix dishwasher issue
-We loved the CRANBERRY Sweets store in Bandon, OR near their bogs
-In the 70’s my friend had boys and girls dance the HUSTLE in P.E. class
-The action of one Serbian young man cascaded into WWI
-No hice NADA SENOR (I did nothing mister)
-Phil Silvers was one of several vaudevillians who last stop was TV
-Poe’s 1841 Murder In The RUE Morgue is said to be the first modern detective novel
-OVERUSE – Using the word “awesome” for want of a real vocabulary
-With MIL’s house being sold, I am down to MOWING only my yard
-Nicely done, Susan.

NaomiZ said...

What an enjoyable romp from one clue to the next! My better half and I took my mom to Carlsbad Caverns in 2019, and found it even more spectacular than when my parents took me as a child. The bats still emerge by the thousands at twilight, and spend the night flying without cease, gobbling up scads of insects for many miles around. It's a long trek to get there, but well worth it.

Becky said...

For the Mamba clue -- did no one want to put runs fast, jumps high, dunks hard and scores 81 points in one game?

Misty said...

Delightful Tuesday puzzle, Craig--many thanks. I worked through this slowly but surely, and got it all except the Tone rapper, the daily filming schedule (I had the SHEET) and the NY airport. Took a deep breath and put in CALL SHEET. Yay! I got it right, and so got the whole thing. Woohoo! Nice to see HONOR and ELENA show up in the northwest corner. DEAD RINGER was fun, when it emerged. And I liked getting MELODRAMA down below. Fun puzzle experience, thanks again, Craig. And Susan, your pictures are always a pleasure, thank you for that too.

Have a great day, everybody.

Wilbur Charles said...

This started Friday slowly. I thought of BILL and BOND forgetting NOTE. And. I thought they wanted the commandment number, eg THIRD or FIFTH.

But ELENA gave me the needed perps. After that it went quickly.

Great job on the write-up, Hahtoolah.
As usual I didn't know the rapper
but I am familiar with THE CARS. I had to work the alphabet for that X on FIX/XENON


AnonymousPVX said...

Ummm.....Jinx....IS-ell....are you saying “aisle”? Why not say it correctly? I don’t get it...if there’s something to get.

Anyway, a nice Tuesday puzzle that presented no issues.

And no write-overs today, finally.

See you on hump day.

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle, Hahtoolah's write-up, and all your comments.

Tinbeni said...

Hahtoolah Outstanding write-up & links. Good job!

Craig: Thank you for a FUN Tuesday puzzle, I enjoyed your theme.

For whatever reason I solved from the "Bottom-Up" today.
Still, it was a Tuesday "speed-run."


Ruberap said...

What does FIR mean?

Picard said...

Fun theme today! I don't consider the puzzle solved until I get the theme and understand all of the theme answers.

Here I was at the Houston SPACE CENTER with my family in 1970

Thank you Hahtoolah for all of the many illustrations and comments.

Considering that we recently had a long discussion of the New Jersey Pine BARRENS I will point out that is where many of the CRANBERRY bogs are located.

XENON is very dear to me as I built stop-action photo electronics with XENON flash tubes when I was a teen.

I have a number of SLITHER photos and videos.

Here is a 16 second video of a SLITHERing snake in a pool along the San Ysidro Trail in Montecito while hiking with a friend.

The Montecito fire and mud flow unfortunately destroyed all of these pools two years ago.

Picard said...

From last Friday:
I never heard of Sammy CAHN, but I am very grateful for the learning moment.

Here is Sammy CAHN's "Thoroughly Modern Millie" which was one of my favorite songs as a child.

It is discoveries like this that make the puzzles so rewarding!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

"Finished it right"...all answers filled in rather than FIW "finished it wrong": all answers filled it but some incorrect.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I'm with Becky @12:01 ~
It was only the lower-case "m" that led me away from thinking of Kobe's shrewd moves for my fill.

But all in all, a very pleasurable Xwd experience...
But the one diagonal (on the mirror side) is not so pleasant, in that it only yields some very awkward anagrams.
The least offensive may be the one that identifies the towels or washcloths used to clean up any transport vehicle used to move female ungulates from one sty to another. I refer, of course, to...

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

OMK:Or cleaning textiles for transports that sow (seeds)

Ol' Man Keith said...

Ray - O - Sunshine ~
Yours may make up in plausibility what it lacks in humor.

SwampCat said...

What a romp! Over the fills....and even got the letters for the reveal, it couldn’t figure out what ...TO FCENTER was. So easy once Hahtoolah explained. Thanks, and thanks for the map of N’Awlins. That’s as close as I’ll get to the French Quarter anytime soon!

I loved TOGAS and ..TOGO close by, TAR heel state I love. UNC (the Tarheels) not so much. I went to Duke. It’s required of me.

Jerome, would you prefer CARL’S good CAVERNS?

Ol' Man Keith said...

SwampCat ~
I dunno what Jerome prefers, but I have been to some of CARL'S BAD [T]AVERNS, and the service is crap, positively DIS[T]Opian.

Wilbur Charles said...

Picard, I googled Sammy CAHN. I don't see TMM among his credits but I do see a lot of great sings like "All the Way".


Wilbur Charles said...

Btw, I finally gave up and read Gary's excellent write-up of the seemingly impossible Saturday xword. Rather than post here I added it to the Saturday posts.


Abejo said...

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

Got through this fairly easily. Theme appeared. Worked out.

Liked CRANBERRY, and I do like them.

SOUS was unknown.

Got DISCO with perps.

Never owned a NEHRU jacket.

Tried MONT before NDAK worked much better.

Anyhow, have to run. Band Practice tonight.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

OMK must redeem myself. Plausibility over humor..unacceptable! 2 additional observations:

1. it's not Carl's bad caverns
But Carl's BAAAAD caverns.

2. For those who have not yet found NEMO. He's hiding out in a well-behaved submarine: the "Naughty-less"

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Immediately, while perp-checking 1a, 1d told me I was going to like this puzzle. Craig didn't let me down. Heck, he even name-check'd me at 4d :-) //Hi C, Eh!

Thanks for the expansive expo, Hahtoolah; I enjoyed your illustrative selections.

D-O: you beat me to the distinction of RIG v. platform. I was schooled the first month that I started my job at an up-stream producer.

WO: started Eroded b/f perp-check said EFFACED

DR - Ray-O & OMK: LOL

Picard - Your JSC pics are before Saturn V's were retired - you were next to a model. The last Saturn V, what would have been Apollo 18, was left out in the elements for years until they built it a home. I went to Rocket Park a few times during my lunch hour when I consulted down there.

TTP, LOL 72 on the front 9.

Cheers, -T

TTP said...

Boomer, good luck on the upcoming golf season ! And yes, I am a firm believer that the golf pros know what they are talking about. Didn't know about the PGA offering that benefit to the vets, but I like it. Year after year I see guys spending beau coup dollars on a new club or set of clubs when they would have been better served by spending fewer dollars on a few lessons from a pro at the local golf course.

Kinda like a guy buying the latest reactive ball and having it drilled without having the basic mechanics and consistency of approach and delivery on the lanes.

Wow ! That C.C. is not only an accomplished constructor, but a golfer too ! My golf program keeps track of player statistics. 19 birdies is nothing to be snickered at by anyone. I play with guys that are scratch players, but outside of that, only a handful of guys in my league got more birdies than that last year in our 22 week season.

OMK, I don't know how you do it, but I look forward each day to the lead-in to your diagonal anagram construction.

Ray-O, thanks for responding to the FIR question from Ruberap.

To all, thanks for showing the restraint today, whether left of center or right of center.

Boomer said...

Thank you TTP for your comments. I especially liked the one about bowling balls. Yes I have four or five reactive resin balls in the garage. The reason they are in the garage is because I have lost strength - a combination of old age and the meds which allow me to barely reach 10 MPH ball speed down the lane. Needless to say, a reactive will not hold a line on most of the conditions where I bowl. Therefore I went back to a Columbia 300 plastic or this week a Blue Hammer. That ball scored my first 300 game in 1993. Yesterday I shocked the entire 16 team league with a 254. Enough about me. When C.C. first came over from China I sort of taught her the game of golf. We bought a couples season pass at one of our local courses and played 6 or 7 times a week. So we played a lot of holes and she birdied 19 of them one year. More than I did, but she got to play from the red tees. C.C. has retired from golf.

TTP said...

Boomer, I think I've mentioned it before, but just in case... My wife can out drive me off the tee. Or at least she used to (and probably still can).