Apr 10, 2020

Friday, April 10, 2020 Dick Shlakman

"ER Added"

17. How to get buns of steel?: TAKE THE A TRAINER

25. Axes one of the market employees?: BOUNCES A CHECKER.

43. "All these steaks are too well done"?: NOT ONE RED CENTER.

57. Hilariously react to a butt-baring prankster?: HOWL AT THE MOONER.

Remove the ER from the nouns to get the base phrases of these funnily redefined theme entries.   The first one was the hardest for me to parse.   Just took a bit of staring to see it.   It was also the one that cracked me up the most.

This looks to be another debut for the LA Times crossword venue.  Lemonade sent me an email saying that today's constructor and Jeff Chen collaborated on a pair of NYT puzzles in 2014.  So six years later, it seems Dick has once again decided to dip his toe into crossword construction. 


1. Stat cousin: ASAP.

5. Acronym often seen with a plus sign: LGBTQ.    I forgot the Q part, and the intersecting "NBA Div." clue had me stumped.

10. 1886 debut at Jacobs' Pharmacy in Atlanta: COKE.    The first year's sales averaged nine glasses a day @ five cents each.   

14. Unflappable: COOL.   For a moment, I thought Molly Brown was unflappable.  Then remembered the correct adjective.

15. Stop on the Métro?: ARRET.    Métro tells you it is French.  The question mark alerts you that something is afoot.

Arrêt does mean stop.   But a station on the Métro is formally known as a station de métro.   Who woulda thunk it ?

Informally, the answer could mean stop...   In the right context,  arrêt would probably be understood to mean train station stop.   But be careful, because a bus stop is known as an "arret de bus" so... 

This convoluted explanation brought to you by me after reading an explanation on Trip Advisor.   I defer to Kazie and those who are well-versed in travelling the Métro.

16. Anderson of "WKRP in Cincinnati": LONI.  -   The St. Paul, Minnesota born bosomy blonde bombshell probably kept the sitcom afloat and probably set aflame the hearts of the teenage boy viewing audience.  

20. Rental at Aspen: SKI BOOTS.  Boot rentals make sense unless you are an avid skier or a ski bum.

21. All agog: IN AWE

22. Mme. counterpart: SRA.   The abbreviations for Madame and Senora, respectively.  Wlile we are at it, let's also review that Mademoiselle would be Mlle., and  Senorita would be Srta.

23. Samsung : Bixby :: Apple : __: SIRI.   Virtual assistants.  High tech.

33. Sleep disturbance: APNEA.    That's not what wakes me up at night.

34. Roxette and Eurythmics: DUOs.

35. "The Puzzle Palace" org.: NSA.   I read the preview.

36. D-Day invasion city: ST LO.

37. Draining target?: SWAMP.     Didn't they try that in the Everglades ?  

39. Pressure: HEAT.  

40. Adherent's suffix: ITE.

41. High-tech read: EMAG.   I guess high tech because they are online, or because you read them on a high tech device.  Technology ?  Yes.   High tech ?  

42. "The Power of Now" author Eckhart __: TOLLE.    A quick search tells me he is a spiritual teacher and best selling author.  His 1997 book cited in the clue,  " ... is intended to be a guide for day-to-day living and stresses the importance of living in the present moment and transcending thoughts of the past or future."

47. __ & Chandon Champagne: MOET.

48. Popular U.S. street name: ELM.   There was a nightmare there.

49. Cheese shape: WHEEL.    200 and 220 pound wheels ?   They are huge.   But not this Wisconsin Baby Swiss:

52. Transmission problem: SLIPPAGE.   I had this problem in my Grand Prix, way back when they were large cars.   To save money,  GM decided to put the small Turbo Hydramatic 200 transmission that was developed for the smaller Chevy Vega and Chevy Nova in all their larger cars.   One day it wouldn't move in reverse gear.   I called a transmission shop and they told me to contact the Better Business Bureau.  GM paid for the replacement of a rebuilt 350 transmission.

60. "Get it?" response: I SEE.

61. Mazda MX-5, familiarly: MIATA.    Anonymous PVX tells us:  he has one,  loves it,  and isn't ready to replace it anytime soon.

62. Fly in the ointment: SNAG.

63. Drink garnish: ZEST.   The store was out of Ivory, Dove and Dial bar soaps.  So I bought Zest.  The scent is too much for DW at night.  She had to shut the bathroom door.  Wait.  I take that back.  It was Irish Spring, not Zest.

64. Researcher's aid: INDEX.   The Differences Between Indexes and Scales

65. Besmirches: TARS.    Tars as slang for tarnishes.


1. Musical pair, commonly: ACTs

2. Drench: SOAK.

3. World Golf Hall of Famer Isao: AOKI.   His first and last names are very crossword friendly.

4. Working-class Roman: PLEB.

5. Capital of Pakistan's Punjab province: LAHORE.   Nailed it !

6. Activist Thunberg and actress Scacchi: GRETAs.   Only knew of the former but it was enough to fill in the blanks.

7. Support group?: BRAs.   My wife did not think using her brassières as face masks was too smart.   However, if you search YouTube, you'll find various videos of people using thongs and jock straps.

8. Saigon New Year: TET.

9. NBA div.: QTR.   I had  (blank) T R, and was stumped.  Knew it wasn't CTR, and had to recite the alphabet until I got all the way to Q.   Then it dawned.   An NBA basketball game is divided into four 12 minute quarters

10. Place with outpatients: CLINIC

11. The last Mrs. Chaplin: OONA.

12. Was forewarned: KNEW.

13. Cork's home: EIRE.

18. Puccini heroine: TOSCA.

19. Winds, in a South American city name: AIRES.   Buenos.

23. Film on water: SCUM.

24. Restaurant in the same corporate group as Applebee's: IHOP.    The corporate group is Dine Brands Global.   However,  they may not be together much longer.   On April 2nd, Reuters reported that activist investment firm JCP Partners filed a proposal urging shareholders to vote FOR having Dine Brands spin off IHOP.   JCP argues that Applebee's has been a drag on corporate earnings.  Shareholders will decide on May 12th.  It may have been fortuitous that this puzzle and clue was published before then.

25. Water holder: BASIN.

26. Decide one will: OPT TO.

27. Vacant, in a way: UNLET.

28. Opposite of paleo-: NEO.

29. Saw: ADAGE.

30. Prepared to talk to a tot, perhaps: KNELT.   

31. Virtual transaction: E-SALE.

32. Zagat, for one: RATER.  Over the years since 1979, the Zagat Guides have reported on and rated restaurants, hotels, nightlife, shopping, zoos, music, movies, theaters, golf courses, and airlines.  Probably not as trusted as it once was.   I used the Michelin Guides in Europe.

Now they are all being supplanted by crowd sourced reviews on apps such as Yelp.   The Yelp ratings are ok, as long as you have a healthy skepticism of reviews that are too glowing or too negative.  That's because crowd sourced restaurant and product reviews are frequent targets of astroturfing by sockpuppets.

37. Bob Hoskins' role in "Hook": SMEE.   He played Smee in 1991's Hook, and in 2011's Neverland.

38. Small flaw: WART.

39. Sweetie: HON.   Terms of endearment. 

41. Name on a historic B-29: ENOLA.  The "Enola Gay" was so named by pilot Colonel Paul Tibbets in honor of his mother. 

42. Beat: TEMPO.

44. Western, e.g.: OMELET.  Wait a minute.  Last week they said it was a Denver omelet.   IHOP has a Colorado Omelet. 

45. Rub out: DELETE.

46. Turning point: CLIMAX.   Years ago I thought the band Climax Blues Band was a later version of the band Climax.    "Precious and Few" was released in 1971 and sung by Sonny Geraci, who five years earlier in 1966 had a hit with the band, The Outsiders.  I'd link that song, but "Time Won't Let Me"

49. Phenom: WHIZ.

50. Cheat: HOSE.

51. Rams' fans?: EWES

52. Herring known for its roe: SHAD.

53. Military installation: POST.

54. "Frozen" princess: ANNA.   Voiced, in part, by Kristen Bell.

55. Reverse, say: GEAR.   Have I ever mentioned about my Pontiac Grand Prix that wouldn't move when I shifted gears to R ? 

56. Joule fractions: ERGS.

58. Texter's "I didn't need to know that": TMI.   Too Much Information

59. __ ear: TIN.


OwenKL said...

FIWrong. Misspelt LeHORE, so didn't get aRRET until I made the correction, and had BRoS instead of BRAS. I don't get "TAKE THE 'A' TRAINER", and hope the expo will explain it.

GRETA was girl from LAHORE
Who was accused of being a whore.
"But I'm not," said she,
"I don't charge a fee,
And my occupancy limit's a score!"

With suntan lotion she did festoon,
Bathed nude in the sun all afternoon.
She was nicely brown
When the orb went down,
And her HON HOWLED AT the dark of THE MOON!

{B+, B.}

Lemonade714 said...

Thank you, Tom and Dick. Where is Harry?

This was a challenging Friday with a few big unknowns and a few just plain difficult clue fill. If you do not speak French Arrêt is very hard to guess. "The Power of Now" author Eckhart __: TOLLE is a complete unknown. I have read a great number of spiritual leaders and motivational speakers and decided they make a lot of money saying platitudes. I did meet TONY ROBBINS who was the guru for a client for whom I was ghostwriting a book. I was very impressed with how tall he is.

For those who celebrate, Happy Easter.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

DNF, looking up GRETAS. But I got my WAG at the LAHORE x ARRET Natick, so I got that goin' for me. Erased mrs for SRA, oomo for OONA, and base for POST.

CSO again today to TIN.

At least two Cornerites know a lady named ENOLA Gay.

Today was supposed to be the second day of the Masters golf tournament. It is also called “cut day” with anyone not scoring within the top 70 players over the first two rounds combined are eliminated and will make no money at the tournament. With apologies to Hahtoolah I’ll offer another golf quote of the day, this one from Chi Chi Rodriguez. “When you retire, your wife gets twice as much husband and half as much money. I have to keep playing.” (Also happens when you are quarantined.)

Thanks to Dick for the fun puzzle that was just a little beyond my ability. My favorite was LONI, even though I was a Bailey guy. Least favorite was the clue for ANNA. Frozen clues have become so trite. And thanks to TTP for the review. Two new additions to my tech vocabulary.

Lemonade714 said...

Jinx, thank you for reminding me. I too appreciate the continuation of my tech education with astroturfing and sockpuppets .

I also do not think I realized BOB HOSKINS played the same character in two movies made 20 years apart.

Hungry Mother said...

Nice challenge and fun theme. Only two write-overs: BRoS to BRAS and mARS to TARS. For me, a great puzzle reveals knowledge in the deep caverns of my brain; this one met the test.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

The Frozen answer is always ELSA. Now it's ANNA? MARS/TARS also slowed me down. Still not sure I understand TAKE THE A TRAINER. Is it because she'd be better than the B Trainer? Finished in good time, so life is good. Thanx Dick and TTP (Tom) (I'll volunteer to be Hairy since the hair-cutters have been deemed non-essential.)

CLIMAX: I vaguely remember from an Interpretive Reading course that the CLIMAX is followed by the dénouement (day-new-mawn), the falling action.

GRETA: I remember Greta Scacchi best from Presumed Innocent with Harrison Ford. You saw a lot of her in that film.

Yesterday's video medical appt got off to a rocky start. I was told to go to "MyChart" and simply click on the "Begin video session" icon. I arrived at 9:44 for my 9:45 appt. Oops, you need a special plugin for the browser. OK, install the plugin. Oops, it's not compatible with your browser, try a different browser. OK. Oops, you also need to download the viewer software. Downloaded the software. Started the session. Oops, something's not working correctly, you may need to restart your computer. Restarted the computer, went to "MyChart," clicked on "Begin video session" and...voila! Except, it was now 10:10 and the doctor had blown off the appt. I got a call from the medical assistant who was amazed that I'd been having difficulties -- "It should've been a slam-dunk. What kind of smart phone are you using?" "I don't have a smart phone. I'm using a desktop computer." "Oh, I didn't know you could do that." I finally got reconnected with the doctor and we started the session, just an hour late.

BobB said...

Take the A train is an old Duke Ellington classic.

TTP said...

After a few comments in the blog this morning, it's apparent I need to expound on TAKE THE A TRAINER.

In context, "A" is a more respectable (demure) way of referring to the ASS or an Asshole (A-Hole) without saying Ass. Usually, but not always, as a pejorative.

So the "A" word" is a decorous abbreviation, just as saying "F" word" is a decorous abbreviation.

So, "How to get buns of steel ?" Take the A trainer. When I got it, it really cracked me up.

So, mind your manners, and your p's and q's. If you use those full swear words in front of children, I'm going to wash your mouth out with soap, and I have plenty of Zest, er um, Irish Spring left.

BobB, true. TAKE THE A TRAIN the Duke Ellington classic, and if you click the blue link in the write up, you can listen to it.

Desper-otto, ok, you can be hairy. For now. If my hair gets much longer, I'm going online to find a Flowbee for sale and give myself a haircut.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

"...followed by the dénouement..."? In my earlier life it was followed by a cigarette. Now it's followed by a nap. Never had a dénouement.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Got it all except 2 ltrs; Q in QTR and T in RATER. So for a Friday, I'm satisfied. NOT ONE RED CENTer was the easiest theme fill and set the stage.
ARRÊTer is a regular French 1 verb, but I was in a bit of a hangfire with 'arête'. which we sometimes get for a mountain ridge. TET forced me to ARRÊT. Note that the caret ˆ (sometimes called a 'hat') shows the abandoning of 's' in the earlier French. Think of 'arrest' as in arresting gear on an aircraft carrier.
TIN - CSO to Tinbani.
Note the ram checking out the EWE at TTP's visual @ 51d. (Possibly in estrus?) Probably not TMI.

Yellowrocks said...

I loved this one. I soon understood that you take a common phrase and add ER.
TTP, great review. Thanks for the additional comment about the A in A TRAINER. It makes sense with the reference to buns. I thought it was just that the A TRAINER was the best. I didn't care for the A TRAINER at my gym. I couldn't stand his attitude and never went to him.
Driving a MIATA, IMO a very cool car, was my unrealistic dream. Affording just one car, I had to opt for practicality, all season, good on snow, back seat, room for cargo.
CSO to me, TIN EAR. I opted for chorus in HS. The music teacher gave me personal singing lessons because I was always off key. It was no remedy for my tin ear. I had to drop out.
I had trouble in the central north border because I wrote GREAAS. Nothing fit. At the very end I saw my typing error. ARRET was all perps, but I then remembered it met STOP in French.TA DA.
My only unheard of fill was in the cluster along the central eastern border, NSA and TOLLE. All perps. It took a great while to see e-a-e, esale. FIR

Yellowrocks said...

DO, sorry about your frustrating doctor appointment. Yesterday I had my e-appointment with my PC. His office called to make the appointment and walked me through setting up my android app. I left the phone on and returned to the app at the appointed time. One click and done. The setting up was fine. I didn't care for the interaction. I have had quite a few satisfying phone conversations with this doc in the past. This was so impersonal. I felt no connection with him.

This is my third Nissan Sentra. The first two survived to about 180,00 miles. This one had a slipping, then an utterly failed, transmission within the first year. It was replaced with a rebuilt one, that failed within a few months. It was again replaced and I harangued corporate until they gave me a warranty that extended to 100,000 miles, which I have reached this month. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

My sister has survived the aspirin overdose. She is still in the hospital. I hope they let her into long term care.

I am thrilled with the good news about Alan. I hoped you would rejoice with me.

jfromvt said...

Enjoyable puzzle, though it took me a little longer than usual to finish, even with getting the theme early. I like play on word themes like this. Crosswords after supposed to be fun after all, and not a slog.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Easy for a Friday, the horizontal end to end clues served as anchoring perp walks for the rest of the puzzle. Plus lots of old friends...STLO...ENOLA...APNEA ...EMAG..etc.

Kept thinking Zagat was a candy a head slap but stopped short of touching my face.

Had "cone" for COKE. (How did they snort it ? Were there straws around in 1886?)...."Unos" for IHOP which kept me from draining the SWAMP for a bit.

The circonflexe in ARRÊT indicates the Ê was once followed by an "s". Arrest. (Forêt, hôpital). The tréma in MOËT the O and E are pronounced separately (Noël..
'Nowell' not 'Nole').....thus ends French 101 class.

ZEST is the grating of a citrus rind. Drinks are garnished by a slice on the rim of the glass. ... "Support group"
great clue. Etoh "group" AA. Bra support group DD........(Unhooking one in the dark was a college fraternity art form)

A "good" Friday story....

Took the train to Milan when University closed for Easter in '75. Wanted to see the magnificent gothic cathedral. Then asked where I could find da Vinci's "The Last Supper" ...Inquiring the whereabouts of what I was calling "L' Ultima Cena" to confused looks when a Milanese lady explained to me they call it simply "La Cena". (Like asking after "The Mona Lisa" known in Europe as "La Gioconda")

Woke up to a mini blizzard.. WASN'T dreaming of a Mohawk Valley "White Easter"

Sherry said...

Issues with: Aires for 19 down - Buenos Aires, adage for 29 down- old saw would have worked, and last but not least;hose for 50 down, that term for cheat is new to me.

Big Easy said...

Good morning from Coronaville central, aka Greater New Orleans. For once I caught the theme immediately with the ER addition to TRAINER. And the Q part also had me stumped, not for the LGBT but the NBA; wasn't thinking of the 4 QUARTERS in an NBA game.

COKE was an easy guess; John Pemberton was knowns but Jacob's pharmacy was not.

Eckhart TOLLE-total unknown. Never heard of Scacchi, Bob Hoskins, or the DUO Roxette either. But you learn about them (and try to remember) from Crosswords.

Bixby- I've tried to disable it on my phone. I use Hey Google, which knows a lot more than Bixby, Siri, and Alexi combined. Every time DW asks Siri on her I-phone it doesn't know half of what she wants. But she also has the Google app, which answers immediately.

TTP- when GM started putting 4-speed overdrive in Chevy vans, they were WORTHLESS. They might have been okay for an empty van but with any weight in them we had to replace them with 3-speed 350 transmissions after about 50,000 miles, just after the warranty ran out. Many of the FWD SUVs have CVTs. DW's old 2003 Murano has a CVT (which is a belt instead of gears) and it has lasted 185,000 miles with not a problem; leaking oil is a big problem. Her Mercedes has a 7-speed transmission.

IHOP & Applebee's- service at both is slow as molasses.

Husker Gary said...

-An “off the chart” fun gimmick with a little bum humor too!
-The top rows featured fill from Rome, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Pakistan, France, Japan, and Spain!
-One now-illegal ingredient in that nickel COKE was “the real thing”
-Cheese purveyors have windows full of WHEELS
-Golf partner just brought a brand new GMC pickup but it is in the shop for the fourth time for transmission SLIPPAGE
-ACT I – Conman arrives in River City. ACT II – Reformed conman leads River City’s marching band
-Someone who wears a BRA cup for a mask and doesn’t cover his nose is a boob
-River was too cute for water holder
-I don’t know any ENOLAS but my mom worked at the Martin plant in Omaha when it was built

NaomiZ said...

I had my downtrodden classes confused, putting "peon" where PLEB belonged. Didn't guess ACTS, didn't know AOKI, and needed a moment after reading the solution to grok TAKE THE A TRAINER. Another humbling Friday challenge. Hats off to the WHIZ kids.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I enjoyed this solve but I don't think it was a Friday level puzzle, particularly since the theme was so obvious. I wish the late week offerings were kicked up a notch or two in difficulty. My only w/o was Elsa/Anna and no unknowns, but it took a few minutes to remember Tolle. I wasn't keen on Unlet and the E Mag, E Sale type of fill is becoming annoying, IMO. Big CSO to Tin.

Thanks, Dick, and congrats on your LA Times debut and thanks, TTP, for a fun and fact-filled commentary.

YR, I hope your sister will get the proper care and attention that she requires.

Stay safe, all.

CrossEyedDave said...

Yes, I Natick'd at the "Q" too...
Re: adj, 1) maybe cause when I look in the mirror...

Lemon, Thank you for the Astroturfing explanations.
Being a visual kind of guy, I had to try and find some examples.
None of which were less than 20 minutes...
However, this one, if you skip the 1st minute, hits the nail on the head...

TTP@8:42, thank you for explaining TMI...
and your flowbee link (while very useful in these times)
combined with the above reminded me that TMI can
ruin a perfectly good song with an earworm that lasts about 20 years...
do not listen if you like Aquarius...

I love the look of the MX5 Miata,
however, the lack of a roof is the only way I could get into one.
Actually, this is what happens when I do...
Slipping clutch?
No, on the bright side, I won't need toilet paper..

Oh yes, a silly themage link!
Phrase? I thought you said phase...

OMaxiN said...

A Good Friday for two reasons. The 2nd reason is because I finished a Friday puzzle right without red letter help. Needed wags at Arret & Lahore, & a few changes like Fort to Post. Perps took care of 3 or 4 other unknowns. Never knew that A is an abbreviation for butt.

We had a full size Olds with a 200 tranny. Scrapped it at 400,000 miles with head liner falling down & 3 rebuilt transmissions.

Jinx dénouement cigarette comment cracked me up.

Shankers said...

Greetings from balmy Snots..., er, Scottsdale from a first time contributor. I have enjoyed reading this blog for the last few years, especially the repartee' among the regulars from one end of the country to the other as well as Canada. I laughed out loud at Bob's post yesterday about how his wife managed to dredge up in detail everything he did wrong over the past 15 years, because my wife has done the same to me, except it's 53 years of dirt! Hola to Lucinda who was inquiring of Fr. Parks not too long ago. He is a young, dynamic, energetic priest who you, Lucinda, will love, love, love. Anywho, back to today's puzzle. Needed 20 min. to complete, a satisfying time for a Friday even though benign tremor causes somewhat of a slowdown. BTW, could someone explain what FIR and CSO means. Thank you all again for being a small part of my daily routine.������

oc4beach said...

Interesting Friday puzzle that I was able to finish and actually got the theme which I used to help fill in the puzzle. TTP's tour was well done and informative.

It took a while to finish the puzzle. There were just enough perps to get'r done. I didn't know TOLLE and I didn't know that Roxette and the Eurythmics were DUOS.

APNEA was a gimme. I use a CPAP machine every night. I don't enjoy being on a tether that keeps me on my side of the bed, but I sleep longer when I can keep breathing.

We don't go to Applbee's very often and DW refuses to go to IHOP (and TGI Fridays), but it was an easy fill-in.

I never heard of BIXBY, and I have SIRI disabled on my iPhone. I tried SIRI, but I found it to be useless for me.

Abejo: FYI St. Marys had 2.3 inches of snow overnight. We had a dusting and there are still some snow squalls coming through Centre county.

I hope everyone is staying safe.

AnonymousPVX said...

First off, thanks to TTP for the Miata shout out. Not for sale, not looking, only possible replacement is a new Miata...or a Boxster.

This Friday grid was tough. Happy to get the solve.



Some tough clueing, even for a Friday.

Off to get my REAL ID driver's license. See you tomorrow, stay safe.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Shankers...usually get to Scottsdale once each winter for a conference held at the Omni plus visit two brother cousins in Peoria and Glendale but last 2 years kinda went to a similar meeting on Captiva Island just before the plague struck. FIR..."finished it right" made errors but eventually corrected them. FIW "finished it wrong" completed but with mistakes.

kazie said...

You did a wonderful job of explaining the function of the French circonflexe and tréma, so I won't touch on that again.

However, since Lemon mentioned me, I thought I'd throw in my two cents on the use of arrêt in the context of le métro. I would have no qualms about asking someone if my destination were best reached au prochain arrêt, mainly because à la prochaine station sounds long-winded. But fearing I might be wrong, I called a friend who grew up in Paris and now lives in a village near here. She confirmed that either arrêt or station would be good in that context.

As to my own efforts this morning, a complete dnf, only 19 clues completed wth two of those incorrect. I was miffed at Mrs. not being equivalent to Mme, since there was no indicator for a Spanish answer. Other than that, my usual weaknesses of sport, names in general, and modern slang or techie jargon were my downfall.

Lucina said...


Thank you, Dick Shlakman, for your excellent crossword tricks. I really enjoyed this and caught the theme which I don't always do.

Though I don't know French, ARRET seemed close to arrest, so that worked out and rah! rah! rah! for me that I remembered AOKI. Yes, we have seen his name many times but I don't always recall sports related names. Today, yes.

EMAG and ESALE are annoying but they are here to stay so might as well be COOL about it. There's an ANNA in Frozen? Of course, I had ELSA. What a disadvantage that my grandchildren were already too grown up to watch it here. With earlier Disney and other cartoons they watched endlessly while I watched them watching TV.

My military POST started as base, then fort but SNAG and ERGS would not allow either of those.

SCUM crossing SWAMP made me HOWL

Our book club read another book by Eckhart TOLLE but I can't recall it at the moment.

AIRES is what we are having here today; it's a bit windy.

Thank you so much, TTP. You rocked the review!

Stay safe, everyone!

Lucina said...

Welcome to the Corner! I hope you return and join us in Blue.

Yes, other sources have told me about Fr. John Parks and I am so looking forward to meeting him. I just hope the scourge will abate and we can meet by July when he officially becomes our pastor.

It's always so great to see you here!

Misty said...

Well, Fridays are tough for me (sorry they're too easy for you, Irish Miss), but I still enjoyed this one. So, thank you, Dick, and you too, TTP, for your helpful explanations. And welcome to the blog, Shankers.

The middle-west and middle-south corners were the ones that first filled in for me. Got TIN right away, even though I don't have a TIN EAR (at least I don't think I do). Then SHAD and INDEX gave me CLIMAX and so on it went. I got GRETA Thunberg right away (remember her urgent speeches on television) but never heard of TOLLE. And am still totally stymied by CHEAT meaning HOSE (He HOSED on his test? You shouldn't HOSE in a relationship?). But then I learn lots of new things doing crossword puzzles.

Yellowrocks, I was very happy to hear that Alan is having a good time and doing well these days. That's wonderful news.

Have a good weekend coming up, everybody.

SwampCat said...

Welcome, Dick, and thanks for this Friday fun. I finally FIR bout was not as easy for me as for you WHIZ. Kids.

I thought of Duke Ellington at the A TRAINER. I’d love to claim a clean mind but that’s just one of my favorites.

HG, I’d heard that COKE had the real thing at first. My mom wouldn’t let me drink it.

Thanks TTP for walking us through. At SWAMP you asked about the Everglades. Don’t know anything about that but a large section of our lake front is reclaimed land formed when they Drained the Swamp after WWII. I suppose it was part of a WPA project.

Owen, I wondered what you’d do with LAHORE. Thanks for the fun!!

SwampCat said...

I wonder if E- words will replace the dreaded A- words in crosswordland?

Someone asked why so many of us dislike A words. To me it’s because they just stick an A in front of any other word to make it fit.

Now we are getting E words like Etail and Esale and Emag. Hmmmmm???

Yellowrocks said...

I have often seen and heard HOSE to mean to trick or take advantage of. "You sure got hosed on that deal." No direct object here. I haven't seen, "He hosed me!" Maybe. I don't know whether it can a take a direct object or not. And,"He hosed on the test"?? Never used.

The A words were not invented by crossword puzzle constructors to fit the grid. They have long been in the language and are found in all kinds of writing, literature and newspapers. I knew of them before I became a crossword addict.

Current examples:
"Investigators determined the fire was intentionally set and an accelerant was applied to the home in an attempt to set it ablaze" Washington Times, Apr 9, 2020.
"As protesters set buses, metro stations and government buildings ablaze, authorities deployed soldiers in the streets of the capital for the first time since the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet ended in 1990." Washington Post, Apr 3, 2020
Actually substituing blazing would be awkward here.

Wendybird said...

I am amazed I came through this puzzle at all, let alone FIR, because initially I was positive it was too difficult for my ability. Then little by little it came together. It’s always interesting that some folks think a puzzle is too easy while others declare a DNF.

The birthplace of coke was a Jeopardy question the other night.

Thanks for a really interesting outing, Dick. Thanks for the tour TTP - I learned what sock puppets and AstroTurf means in a whole new context.

Duke Ellinginton’ s Take the A Train is one of my favorites- I’ll never listen to it in the same way again!

Wilbur Charles said...

"CLIMAX: I vaguely remember from an Interpretive Reading course that the CLIMAX is followed by the dénouement (day-new-mawn), the falling action." -- D-O, was this said with a sly grin,dirty look or tongue in cheek or some other ADAGE . So Jinx, you didn't have a "falling" action after a CLIMAX?

YR, the good news being the girl friend? If it's joyous I rejoice. I was going to give it some time. Alan, seems like a great guy, I hope she makes him happy.

IM, Naomi says "too tough" @1057 and you post "kick it up" at 1058. But I agree, the themes made it a tad easy for a Friday. Famous last words, eh ?

My fav was HOWL… followed by the first lines of CED's(Aquarius) link


desper-otto said...

Wilbur, I'll never tell.

Anonymous T said...


The south was done long before the NW & upper-midwest gave way; final bit of ink was the A in ARRET -- a Hail Mary WAG.
//OKL - any consolation, I was on the fence A v. E

Thanks Dick for a Friday puzzle that pushed me. Lots o' fun cluing. I had just enough perps to see HOWL and filled AT THE MOON??, aha! That's when NOT ONE RED CENTER filled w/ only ----NE-E---NT-R ink'd. The journey north began...

COOL expo TTP - plenty of interesting side notes that really extended puzzle-learning.
For instance - INDEX; I was thinking the back of reference to help me, the researcher, find stuff in their volume. I had no idea re: surveys.
Ibid ARRET //thanks everyone for the French lesson I'll forget by supper :-)

QTR - I kept thinking "what's the basketball equivalent of NLEast?" as I kept trying to visualize the paper's box-scores.
//In the Before Times, I'd read 'em daily to see how the Rockets were doing.

WO: Wedge b/f WHEEL
ESPs: AOKi, LAHORE, ARET, TOSCA [WAG'd T after OSCA filled :-)], TOLLE
Fav: SLIPPAGE - sound's like a word made up by Click and Clack
Other Sparkle: UNLET, HEAT (as clue'd)

Hand-up Jinx: I'm a Bailey Bro. IIRC, so's BillG

{B, B+}

YR - good news on your sister and more-so re: Alan -- a girlfriend, eh?

Welcome Shankers! Ray-O covered FIR/W. CSO is "Coincidental" Shout-Out: e.g. Dick wasn't really thinking of our fellows Cornerite TINbeni (@59d) or SWAMPCat (@37a) when giving them a name-check.
On the main page, look under OLIO for Blog Abbrs.

D-O: LOL! I have ELSA out in the margin waiting (still waiting) for perp. ANNA it is.

TTP - our hacker-club discussed the Flowbee last night. They are available on eBay but it looks like there's a quarantine-premium on 'em.

Well, I better HOP outta here and get something productive done.

Cheers, -T

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Swampcat Im A-fraid you're right and it's unE-maginable but inE-vitable.

SwampCat said...

YR, there are plenty of legitimate, in the language A- words. But contructors, even the very good ones, sometimes use an A before a word to make it fit. It’s not a big deal but it sounds strange.

SwampCat said...

Roy o Sunshine, so much of our life is E-lectronic these days!

Jinx in Norfolk said...

WC, DO: I'll save comments on "fallout" for the civil defense themed puzzle.

YR, great to hear your good news. Also, I find it interesting that prefixing an "a" can mean the presence of something (ablaze) or the absence (amoral).

Also I think that HOSE is a euphemism for something more vulgar. I took a business law class in my MBA program, and wrote my final paper from a conservative viewpoint. I knew that the teacher was a major liberal from the examples she used in class, but she represented that the grading would be on the logic of the paper, not the side taken. I believed her and got HOSEd, "earning" a B in the class to ruin my string of all As. Turns out that it didn't make a tinker's damn what grade I had, people who counted (career-wise) only wanted to know that I got the MBA, not my GPA.

Ol' Man Keith said...

All due respect to Mr. Shlakman, this wasn't my favorite pzl. It struck me as the kind with enough proper names and vague clues to make it not-as-much-fun-as-sweat.
I struggled early on, but sensed it was one I could finish if I applied P+P--and therefore felt stuck to playing it through.
In the end it was Ta ~ DA! but not especially satisfying.

Ah, well, that's just me. It was my choice to hang in. Misty and others who enjoyed it, I defer to you.
Like Anonymous T, I coulda done "something productive" but maybe before I hopped into here.
Same-old, same-O. A 3-way on the distaff side.
The main anagram is the question asked by major athletic teams that must share the same space.
It is not only asked by EWES of Rams but by fans (?) of Chargers.

Dick shlakman said...

To all took the time to comment, thank you very much. Being published in the LAT is an incredibly proud moment in my long but infrequently published cruciverbalist efforts.
“Take the A Train”, the signature song of the Duke Ellington Jazz Band, and recorded by Ella Fitzgerald and virtually every other jazz singer in the 1940s, was selected to the NPR “NPR 100” as one of the 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century. In my theme entry in the LAT, the A does not stand for ass but rather is part of the title of the song, which is the base phrase. For what it's worth, Emag and Esale were changes in the grid made by Rich. There were two areas of the puzzle where he changed several of my entries to a different word necessitating changes in the surrounding area and that is where Emag and Esale appear. Another of those changes in the surrounding area was the insertion of the word "duos" where I had "Laos." There is no possibility I would have gotten that word from the clue he supplied. I never heard of either of those people as pop artists. Except for the changes in grid entries to the clues to the words he supplied, Rich made very few substantive changes to my proposed clues. One change he did make was to my clue for the word "hose."My clue was "defeat soundly." I think Rich's change is fair for a Friday, but I would've had difficulty with it also. I'm 81 years old and my knowledge of cultural names and events beyond the mid-1980s is slim and none depending upon the category. None outweighs slim. Editors want puzzles that have entries and clues appealing to all generations. That is a great challenge for me because I simply know so little about pop culture in the last 35 years. I envy people of all generations who can finish a puzzle with many noun references to people, literature, movies, music (especially music) etc.Dick Shlakman

Lemonade714 said...

Dick, so pleased that you stopped by and introduced yourself to the corner. Kudos for having you LAT debut in your 82nd year on this plane.

SHANKERS what a nice name for you to adopt for this puzzle. Are you one of the golfing Shankers, or from a different branch of the family. Welcome.

Kazie, it is always nice to hear from you. I wish more past regulars would stop by and say hello. How are you gorgeous grands?

SwampCat said...

Dick, congratulations again and please send up more. As you read in our comments some of loved this one. I suspect we who loved are your age!

And we all know constructors... and editors... have to resort to E- words and weird A-words to make everything work. That’s fine. Thanks again for entertaining us!

Unknown said...

To all those who have welcomed me to this site, a profound thank you. Kinda makes an old man a tad misty. To Lemonade, I am not related to the golfing family. My handle is a slight variation of my last name. Just drop the "er" at the end. I'm an admitted sportsaholic and was fairly athletic in my yute, but golf somehow escaped my modest skill level so after having given it up I look back and reflect on the thousands of dollars I've saved not to mention the thousands of hours of frustration as well.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Dicl Shlakman, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, TTP, for a fine review.

0c4beach: Thank you for the St. Marys weather report. I wonder if Johnsonburg got any. Of course it may have melted. Johnsonburg's movie theater burned down last night. Was no longer used as a theater, but was a big building.

Puzzle was tough, but I loved the theme. Really good. I did not quite finish the puzzle, but had fun getting as far as I did.

Missed a couple in the SW corner area. Oh well.

Liked SLIPPAGE for the transmission clue. Very good.

Anyhow, stuff to do. See you tomorrow.


( )

TTP said...

Dick, thank you for stopping by, and I hope you are still reading.

What was your clue for TAKE THE A TRAIN ? and what would you think the clue "How to get buns of steel ?" means ?

I defend my position. While I have no doubt that the answer was your base phrase, I seriously doubt that it was your clue. That's why we love it when constructors comment.

Dash T, I know your hacker club discussed the Flowbee last night. I hacked in. That's why I mentioned it today. :>)

CanadianEh! said...

Friday fun. Thanks Dick (and thanks for dropping by) and TTP.
As I posted yesterday, I actually completed this CW yesterday (and found it easier than the real Thursday CW!). I FIRed with only two inkblots (changing Mars to TARS, ist to ITE).

I noted 1D Musical pair=ACTS and 34A DUOS, the afore-mentioned ESALE & EMAG, and extra stars for SLIPPAGE crossing that reverse GEAR.
I gasped at the answer to 37A. Political?
Zagat was unknown, but RATER filled with perps.

Kazie, I agree about MME= SRA and Mrs. both being acceptable.

FLN, thoughts and prayers for PK in all these losses.
YR, continued prayers for your sister; glad that Alan has a new friend.

A Canadian welcome to Shankers. Keep posting.

Wishing you all a good evening.

Lucina said...

Dick Shlackman:
Thank you for stopping at the Corner! I loved your puzzle and await more of them in the future. How very interesting to have you analyze your own puzzle and giving us insights into your creative process. And as Swamp Cat noted, we octogenarians especially loved the challenge.

Dick shlakman said...

TPP, the clue for Take The A Trainer was mine There is a set of exercise routines on video and available I'm sure in other formats ,that are named "buns of steel" and "abs of steel." They were initially published in 1987 by a famous personal trainer and exercise guru, they have been copied by many others over the years and have sold millions of DVDs of both the original and the copies. Using the original Duke Ellington theme song as the base phrase and coming up with the word trainer led me naturally to clue something about an A-list type trainer. Thank you for your gracious comments on the puzzle. Dick Shlakman

Jayce said...


Lemonade714 said...

Dick, this is a home away from home for all constructors. With our fearless leader, Zhouqin "C.C." Burnikel who seamlessly went from starting this blog to becoming one of the most published and revered puzzle makers, we love sharing. I remember the abs of steel and the buns of steel, though I am a little behind on that exercise.

TTP said...

OK, Dick, thank you. If you are saying, for example, that Jane Fonda is an A-list trainer, I can go with that. Jane Fonda was an "A - lister" at the time.

"Buns" logically translated to ass for me. One of my sisters was one that would say "A" rather than ass.

I totally blew it then.

And since I obviously need someone to explain that zest is the grating of a citrus rind, it's probably time for me to hang up my crossword puzzle reviewing spikes.

I shall step aside... :>)

See all y'all later n 'at !

Spitzboov said...

I would like to add my thanks to Dick for stopping by. Interesting to get the constructor's insight to the puzzle.

Dick, would you by any chance be the Richard P. who lives in the Dallas area?

TTP said...

Oh nuts !

Dick, I was being facetious.

The :>) is a smiley face. I was jesting. No harm, no foul. And as any of the daily bloggers would tell you, just as soon as you skip over an explanation of what you might think was a given (cheat...hose), someone will not understand it.

And, as a crossword blogger, just as soon as you make light of an answer or clue, someone will get all technically correct and definitive on you...

It's the bane of being a crossword blogger. Unlike being a crossword constructor, where every one of your clues and answers is revered, it's really tough.

OTOH, I will be more cautious in the future. I once had a student feedback remark of "I'm not always certain when he is kidding"

SwampCat said...

Re: zest. It took me longer than it should have to realize there are two (at least) kinds of zest. Yes , you can scrape a lemon or other across a rasp and get a fine sprinkling of the rind. But you can also slice off a bit of the rind of the lemon and use it as a garnish in a scotch mist.

Sorry Tin!

SwampCat said...

TTP, please don’t be cautious!!

Dick shlakman said...

Spitzboov, yes I am Richard P. who lives in Dallas area. Dick S.

Ruberap said...

Fun puzzle. Took me about 2 hours, but had 2 letters wrong. Had NBA instead of NSA. Did not know how "The Puzzle Palace" fit the NBA, but . . . Also, didn't know author Tolle. Had Tolte and thus ebate instead of esale. Cracks me up when some in this blog mention getting puzzles like this done in 20 minutes or less! My CPU works slower than some I guess and I am on the newer side to crosswords. Great job on the analysis and expansion. Enjoyable reading.

Lucina said...

Not everyone solves on the computer. Many of us use paper and pen or pencil. It's much faster that way.

Anonymous T said...

Late day musings...

Dick - thanks for stopping by The Corner w/ some inside baseball. I'm quite impressed you're starting a new career at 81. :-)
I'm on the "younger-side" (49yro) of the solvers but can still appreciate old-school references (gotta learn yer history!). It's also nice to know you're a fellow Texan (even if it is Dallas :-))

Ruberap - I do it in ink and take my time. That said, folks that finish in <10 min (even on a Monday) ... How do they even read all the clues that fast?
Also, if you're only two squares bad on a Friday - you're doing swell. Took me a few years to get from Wednesday wins to Friday "one bad square is good." Saturdays are still my Everest.

C, Eh! Thank you... I forgot to mention the grin I got w/ GEAR xing SLIPPAGE.

TTP - Next time you want to sit in on nerd-fest, save the hacking and just ask me for the Zoom password :-)
Keep those cleats sharp - I'll see you bloggin' in 2 weeks.

'Till 'morrow, Cheers! -T