Apr 11, 2020

Saturday, April 11, 2020, Debbie Ellerin

Themeless Saturday by Debbie Ellerin

This fun puzzle is authored by our frequent Saturday constructor Debbie Ellerin. You may recall she is a retired computer programmer who lived in Boston for 30 years and now lives in Los Angeles. Her reply to me about this puzzle:

Hi Gary,

The weather has been nice here, but other than going for walks in my neighborhood, we are staying at home. 

My clue for APRIL was Month for pranksters. I wrote this puzzle in May of 2019, so it's been a while!  MINIMOON was one of my seed entries for the puzzle, inspired by my daughter and her husband who went on one after their wedding. Some entries I like are BOOTCAMP and ZIPLINES, as well as the area down south with TELENOVELA  and ENCHILADAS. I see that TANEHISI might be tough, but hope people will be up for the challenge.

I have heard interviews with Ta-Nehisi Coates, and I'm in a book group where his name and books have come up, but I haven't read any of his books. It is an unusual name though, and it must have stuck in my head.

ESTES - I don't know how Rich ended up cluing it. I had it clued as ___ Park, Colorado , which maybe Rich thought was too easy?  If the clue is about an opera singer - I have no idea! Never heard of him. 

STERIC,  I clued as Spatial, in chemistry. This is outside of my wheelhouse, for sure, and I tried to clue it in a straightforward way. As a solver, I would need most of the crosses to get it. 

Stay well,


Off we go: 


1. It's happening now: APRIL - Since only Rich knows when puzzles are going to be published, he did change Debbie's initial cluing as you read in her note

6. Controversial reading: PALM - Not OP-ED but the lines of your hand

10. Circumstance partner: POMP - Not going to be heard this spring

14. Brain center associated with speech: BROCA'S AREA - Frontal lobe usually on the left side

16. '60s pop singer Sands: EVIE - Johnny Cash loved her voice and marveled at how she played her guitar upside down with her left hand 

17. Borders of old, e.g.: BOOKSELLER - The flagship store in Ann Arbor, MI founded by brothers Tom and Louis Borders in 1971

18. First name in jazz: LENA - LENA Horn gets the job and Ella and Etta do not today

19. Abbr. on an invoice: AMT.

20. Tech boss: CIO - Tech in the clue hints at Chief Information Officer 

21. Relating to the arrangement of atoms in space: STERIC Space taken up by molecules 

23. Mealtime alert: SOUP'S ON Is it 43. Soup sometimes served with banh mi: PHO  (banh mi is Vietnamese for bread)

26. Magic competition?: NBA GAME - The Orlando Magic are one of four NBA teams with a singular name. The others play in Oklahoma City, Miami and Utah.

27. Give rise to: SPAWN - A pair of bettas SPAWNING by releasing sperm and eggs into the water

28. Rap's "Puffy" Combs: SEAN - Can't quote

29. Head of Parliament?: LOO - A naval toilet to clue a toilet in the British home of Government 

30. '40s-'50s paranoia: RED SCARE - This also gave HUAC the center stage

32. Bud's bud: LOU - Bud Abbott's pal LOU Costello

33. Judge in stripes: ZEBRA - Slang for a referee wearing stripes

36. Anago or unagi: EEL - Names we see here for this fish

37. "__ that been done?": HASN'T - What Rich has to ask before he okays a daily puzzle gimmick

39. 2019 Uber landmark, briefly: IPO - Uber and Lyft's stock price after Initial Public Offering. Two days ago Uber was selling for $27.99

40. Brought under control: REINED IN - The goal for COVID-19

44. Eastern brew: SAKE Wines such as Riesling, Grüner Veltliner and Sauvignon Blanc are suggested to drink with PHO. SAKE is not.

45. Bass-baritone Simon: ESTES - A very interesting man who was a grandson of a slave and born in Centerville, Iowa. Here he is being honored at Iowa State University. As you read, Debbie originally had ____ Park in Colorado

48. "Time to move on": LET IT GO - Live life through the windshield not the rearview mirror

50. Co-star of Cox and Kudrow: ANISTON.

52. "No worries": I'M COOL.

53. Behave: ACT.

54. Co-star of Ethan in "Gattaca": UMA Trailer

55. Without rocks: NEAT - A shoutout to our "iceless" Tinman

56. Mexican fare: ENCHILADAS.

60. "Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died" writer Bombeck: ERMA.

61. Latin American fare: TELENOVELA - A portmanteau of TELE (television) and NOVLEA (novel) produced primarily in Latin America

62. Enervates: SAPS.

63. Certain farm, or one of its residents: STUD - Brian Paquin's puzzle last Saturday talked of being PUT OUT TO PASTURE. Now Debbie, on the other hand... 

64. Pesto ingredient: BASIL.


1. Arafat's successor: ABBAS - Mahmoud, head of the PLO

2. Ads, e.g.: PROMOS - $500M worth of them did him no good

3. Pull from the ground, in Plymouth: ROOT UP - On this side of the Atlantic we might UPROOT 

4. Disgusted remark: ICK.

5. Much of "Deck the Halls": LAS - Paired with FAS

6. "The Python Years" diarist: PALIN - Michael tells of his time with Monty Python

7. Janis' comics mate: ARLO.

8. Casual brand: LEE.

9. Milky Way cousin: MARS BAR.

10. Crony of Captain Bildad, in "Moby-Dick": PELEG - The principal owners of the Pequod who hired Ishmael 

From the Moby Dick Card Game
11. Construction sight: OVERALLS.

12. Quick getaway for newlyweds: MINIMOON - A seed entry for Debbie as she explained in her note

13. Hipster's "Later": PEACE OUT.

15. Vote to support: SECOND.

22. "Between the World and Me" National Book Award winner Coates: TA-NEHISI Info on TAH-nuh-HAH-see

24. Henry VIII's sixth: PARR - Catherine kept her head and outlived him

25. Affirms: SWEARS TO.

26. Author Zora __ Hurston: NEALE - Another author unknown to me. Her writings of blacks in the 1700's of America

28. Director's unit: SCENE.

31. Quartz watch innovator: SEIKO.

33. Rainforest explorers' aids: ZIP LINES - I'd love to make this trip in Costa Rico

34. Transient things: EPHEMERA.

35. Military training site: BOOT CAMP - Sir! Yes, Sir!

38. Red stingers: ANTS.

41. Bald babies?: EAGLETS - Last week, cute Akitas. This week...

42. Most of a tooth: DENTIN.

46. Liszt's "Paganini __": ETUDES This is #6. You gotta have some real chops to play this exercise!

47. Mogadishu native: SOMALI.

49. Little bits: IOTAS.

50. Needed a massage: ACHED.

51. Like "m" or "n," phonetically: NASAL - A lowered velum (soft palate) gives a NASAL sound

53. Org. co-founded by Helen Keller: ACLU - I'll take Amazing Women for $1,000, Alex

57. Surfer's setting: NET - I know Debbie lives in LA and so I thought a surfer's setting might be PDT. Nope, it's the interNET

58. Alley-oop pass: LOB.

59. Actress Gardner: AVA - Also Mrs. Frank Sinatra, Mrs. Artie Shaw and Mrs. Mickey Rooney 


OwenKL said...

DNF in a big way! Most of the top half was still blank when I gave up, and even with red letters I still needed the reveal button several times. Total unknowns (or at least unremembered) TANEHISI, ESTES, EVIE, STERIC, PALIN, CIO, ABBAS. Also never heard of MINIMOON, but got that from perps.
Felt some clues were unfairly (IMHO) misleading, right from the first two for APRIL and PALM. Now-a-days I only do newspaper crosswords, but years ago I did them mostly from puzzle magazines, and there was an unconscious assumption that they were independent of when or where they were being worked. This sort of carries over to newspaper puzzles, though theme ones on major holidays may make exceptions; and as Canadian Eh! will AFFIRM, the US location is assumed, tho not L.A. or even California. But if and when this puzzle is compiled in a book, that 1A clue couldn't be included.

Abbott (Bud) and Costello (LOU)
Made famous the first-baseman (Who).
But the U.S. fame
To the cricket game
Ended up in the water-closet (loo).

A girl there was from SOMALIA
Whose STUD sext her his genitalia.
She replied, "If such POMP
Means you look for a romp,
Then all I can say is, how small o' ya!"

{B-, A-.}

BobB said...

NW last to fill. Had the PLO guy as Abass, he is a basket ball player.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This one was way out of my wheelhouse, or maybe it's because I was also listening to WWDTM during the solve. I figured the "Bud's bud" would be YOU, my EVIE was EDIE, and that disgusting sound was UGH. Also slowed down thinking it was BRAGA'S AREA -- I should've remembered The Broca Divide from the first season of SG-1. All of those "fox passes" were eventually fixed. What really did me in was looking at _ANEHI_I -- I WAGged the T, but had N where the S needed to be. Bzzzzzt! DNF. I enjoyed the challenge -- the result, not so much. Thanx, Debbie and Husker. Now, back to social distancing.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

DNF. Not even close. Had 25 across fills (22 correct) and 19 down fills (17 correct). As -T said last night, "Saturdays are still my Everest." I died on the ascent. As my buddy said when he picked up his ball after missing a putt for an 8 on a par 3, "I've had enough fun on this hole".

Today was supposed to be the third day of the Masters golf tournament. It is also called “moving day”. Everyone now will get a paycheck, so the players at the top tend to play it safe and the trailing players take risks that they wouldn't have taken on Thursday or Friday. That usually results in players moving up or down the leaderboard dramatically. With apologies to Hahtoolah I’ll offer another golf quote of the day, this one from Lee Trevino. “You can make a lot of money in the game. Just ask both my ex-wives. Both of them are so rich that neither of their husbands work.”

I'm glad that Debbie created this challenge for the more capable solvers. And thanks to Gary for showing me what I was missing.

Lemonade714 said...

Yes, this was a very difficult Saturday.

BROCA'S AREA EVIE were a discouraging combination. ESTES as clued, STERIC wow. I never heard the term MINIMOON . For some reason I knew TA-NEHISI . Hey it is a Saturday and you only get better by doing what is not easy.

HG, you did not know ZORA NEALE HURSTON ? My sone read her books in high school, so I read them. She also has appeared very often in our puzzles including those by our fearless leader.

We had to days of record heat and I see that you will be in the teens in Minnesota. Egad!

Be careful, be safe.

ChitownShutin said...

Needed this blog today. I died up north, also.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Well, sometimes you get what you ask for and I certainly got a kicked up a notch or two difficulty from Debbie today. I loved this offering, even though the NW gave me fits. The fill was fresh and sparkling and, most importantly, the crossings were fair, which made me feel like I was solving a Barry Silk Saturday. If I had known the Monty Python person, and didn't take so long to dredge up Abbas' name, I wouldn't have struggled as much in that corner. The cluing and fill in that area was tricky, but with much P and P, I got my Tada in 33:14. Peace out, Evie, Estes, Steric, and Etudes, as clued, needed perps as did Mr. Coates first name. I know of him but not the spelling of that unusual name. I had Anne before Parr and Lois before Arlo. I got Hi and Lois mixed up with Janis and Arlo, probably because I don't read any comics. I liked the Spawn/Sean rhyme and Lou above Loo. I never heard the phrase Minimoon, but it's cute and aptly descriptive.

Thanks, Debbie, for a much appreciated challenge and thanks, HG, for an outstanding recap. You're in fine fettle this morning.

Stay safe, all.

inanehiker said...

I started a slow pan across the top without a fill until the NE with POMP.
But the next row down a big breakthrough was BROCA'S AREA - as I have always found neuro anatomy interesting - it is much like a puzzle - hearing of a person's deficits and honing in on where the problem might be in their brain or vice versa - knowing where the injury in the brain is from a scan and then figuring out where their deficits will likely be!

"Their Eyes Were Watching God" is Zora Neale Hurston's most well known novel -if you like reading it's a classic to put on your list. I had heard of Ta-Nehisi Coates - but definitely needed perps for the spelling - his name sounds like he was from Africa but he grew up in Baltimore and his dad Paul was a publisher and journalist and took his name from and ancient Egyptian language. He has mostly written about the African American experience and the persistent white supremacy that affects it.

I smiled at the two "fare"s - one food and one TV fare with the ENCHILADAs stacking on top of TELENOVELA (the Latinx version of soap operas)

Thanks HG for the fun blog as usual and Debbie for the puzzle and filling Gary in as to your process in constructing.

inanehiker said...

Oh and I was not a fan of the Borders of old, e.g. clue as Borders bookstores only closed in the 2010s - of old sounds like at least pre WWII or before.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Well, I guess the editor wanted a real tough one as Debbie implied, so he succeeded. Never heard of BROCA'S AREA or TA NEHISI. (I'll take Kiri Te Kanawa anytime.) Needed help with OVERALLS and PEACE OUT, too. Had 'bookstores' before BOOK SELLER.
Bright spot; I quickly got EPHEMERA, since it is a factor in hydrology.
I keep wanting to write 'Paar' for PARR.
SOUPS ON - Homophone of soupçon

Thanks Debbie for sharing your thoughts with Gary.

9mileSkid said...

A hard one today! Thanks, Gary for the rundown and Debbie for the interesting history behind the puzzle. I usually hate looking up clues, but in this case the 4 or 5 I had to research actually caused some learning to happen and resulted in my finishing the puzzle. Cheating, I know but learning from cheating isn't such a bad thing. Ta-Nahisi Coates for sure will get more of my eye later today, as will Simon Estes.

I had come across the STERIC effect in chemistry courses, along with the popular t-shirts that show the hexagonal relationships of atoms/molecules in things as varied as caffeine, alcohol, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and mescaline. Remembering the actual term, however, took a huge feat for me to pull PELEG from memory. ENCHILADAS and TELENOVELA came easily but their counterparts in the NW posed problems; BROCA'S AREA and the clue for BOOKSELLER - Borders of old - had me searching my head for words used in history for borders. When Bookseller finally filled, (with an eye-roll, how many hours did I spend in Borders Books?), I was finally able to trickle down and fill the SW clues.

Tough puzzle but having most of the collected knowledge of mankind on the same screen as the puzzle got me through it :-)

Be safe and well.

jfromvt said...

I got most of it, but NE corner did me in. Had ELLA instead of LENA, and never fully got all the down answers in that section. A few too many Naticks and obscure long answers made this a challenge.

Lucina said...


Ooh-la-la! What a great challenge today. Thank you, Debbie Ellerin! I share IM's desire for more demanding puzzles. This one fit the bill.

POMP was my first fill though sad that my grand-nephew and all his classmates won't march to it.

Then like a flash ENCHILADAS and TELENOVELAS started me in the basement and it wasn't long before the SW corner was filled. I have actually made my own pesto so knew BASIL right away. I also grow it.

Over in the west, ERMA gave me a toehold and the clue for NEAT made me chuckle. ZEBRA finally emerged and I was able to string together the rest of that strand.

CSO to all you who experienced BOOTCAMP.

I loved "head of Parliament?" LOO. Thought at first it might be PEE but no, that's what happens in the LOO.

Ella misdirected me but then I remembered PELEG which led to NBAGAME.

The NW took a bit longer until BOOKSELLER broke through and though I did not know BROCASAREA, it worked itself out.

Thanks again, Debbie; luckily I was able to jump on your wave length.

And many thanks to you, Gary, for always providing skill and a bit of humor to your review.

Have a safe and healthy day, everyone!

Anonymous said...

I was getting nowhere for a long time. Finally took out Ella for Lena and the NE fell. And then "borders" clicked. As Irish Miss said, very Silk like. Hence the satisfaction of FIR. Have a safe and wonderful Saturday all.


TTP said...

I like harder puzzles.

It's happening now, APRIL. What a great way to start.
Wanted something with bell for mealtime alert.
Edie before EVIE.
Nailed Sean. 2 neighbors have that first name.
Not Aaron Judge. Nailed Aniston.
LET IT GO. The song sung by Elsa in Frozen. Really sung by crossword favorite Idina Menzel.
MARS BAR clue was cute.
No idea on Liszt's Paganini _____ but after a couple of letters it looked like ETUDES was a reasonable guess.
BROCAS was all perps.
Yep, that S in unknowns TANEHISI and ESTES (as clued) was the last fill.

WGN Morning News has released 4 or 5 episodes of TELENOVELA
"Noticias de mi Corazon" over the last 5 years, starring members of the news team. Palpable tension in each scene. Melodrama with romance, intrigue and mystery, centered around great acting. Search YouTube on the title is you want to see the others.

Thanks, Debbie ! Thanks, Husker !

Big Easy said...

Well hello Debbie, please remove your BOOT from my rear end; you really kicked my ass today. 1A- It's happening now; SOCIAL DISTANCING wouldn't fit. My north had ABBAS, SPAWN, PALM, POMP, EVIE, and a sea of white. No way in hell I would have ever known BROCAS AREA, STERIC, PALIN, ROOT UP, or TANEHISI- never heard of him and almost got it execpt the T; thinking on SPACAL ( not a real word) instead of the unknown STERIC. No hipster here and I have never heard the term PEACE OUT. With no toeholds it was hard to make guesses.

Tried UGH and correctly guessed ARLO & AREA, but have no idea what the name of the comic strip that had Janis & ARLO. I was thinking OVERALLS but with only OV & S in place and no crosses it was a no go for the clothing.

As for the south, it fell in normal time for a Sat. with ESTES & UMA solved as unknowns by perps.

UNCLE, OUCH, ...DNF. As ChitownShutin said @8:07- I died up north.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Had an unfair advantage with BROCA (controls expressed speech, Wernicke's area, understanding speech). Never was a friend of "Friends" but Jennifer has had the most name recognition. Had seen "Gattaca" years ago . Ethan Hawke, Jude Law and UMA. Great movie.

Thought SAPS was the opposite of "enervates" (denervates?) But LIU and Debra (like English ZEBRA) was correct.

Based on past CWs ... 3 letter Japanese food is always EEL. Held off a bit thinking TELENOVELA was spelled with 2 Ls. Letter N is NASAL in French for sure, but m and n in Engish?

Didn't know Sarah PALIN wrote about Monte Python. So she DID read a book!

Clever "Borders" clue. Tooth "enamel" wouldn't fit. Nor would DENTINe. (Wait, that's the chewing gum!)

First Elsa..then "Ahnah" the song "LET IT GO"

I prefer to stay on terra firma with "3 Musketeers" bar.

But alas DNF!!, NE corner my downfall....Zora who? Puffy? I just read the Cliffs noted in HS, Capt Bildad? Have seen interviews with "Coates" never could remember his complex last name. Stuck with Etta instead of LENA. MINIMOON?...wha?

For my penance....

"Dont drink all my Japanese booze for Pete's"......SAKE

"Feel sick, I ______ dozen marshmallow Peeps....ETTA

"Cobbler's hunting lodge"......BOOTCAMP.

"Period following Radio's AM monopoly"...EPHEMERA

There was hail this morning in Utica and I don't mean Hail Mary at the end of Holy Week....

Happy Easter, social distance your hidden colored eggs.

C U Monday.

Yellowrocks said...

DNF I am happy to see I am in good company. Congrats to the few who FIR. I liked this challenging puzzle.
The bottom half was relatively easy.
With 3 perps I got APRIL and BROCAS... My downfall was the NE quarter needing a few red letters. I thought there were too many names crossing each other.
MARS BAR and PALM? Too clever for me. Red letters. Duh! Getting the joke could have helped the solve.
I never heard of mini moon vacations. I see they are being advertised. Here is my first thought for mini moon.
mini moon

That's Michael Palin, an associate of the Monty Python group.

TA NEHISI and STERIC crossing each other was cruel.
My students thought using behave and behavior in reference to how animals ACT was funny. Their meaning of the word behave is be good, obey. And to them behavior means deportment.

My sister is still in the hospital. If they keep her there until Monday, she could qualify for transfer to a nursing home. Cross your fingers.

A. Carrick Bend said...

Challenging way to start my Saturday! Took a wrong turn at the intersection of PELEG and STERIC. Opted for an O instead of an E. Oh well, there's always next Saturday.

Misty said...

Well, Saturdays are of course always toughies for me, but nice of Debbie to check in with us. Since I've been to a lot of graduations, I got POMP instantly. Then NEAT and ERMA on the across items, and NEALE and AVA on the downs. Enjoyed Zora NEALE Hurston's novels. I loved "Friends" and so should have gotten ANISTON. And since I taught at University of Michigan and lived in Ann Arbor for many years, I should also have remembered Borders' BOOKSELLER store. But, hey, that was decades and decades ago. Anyway, fun puzzle, and Husker Gary, I loved your RED SCARE poster and that sweet picture of those little red fish.

Have a good weekend, everybody.

Picard said...

E?TES/TANEHI?I cross seemed unfair. Did WAG correctly to FIR. I am OK with unknowns if they are worth knowing. Apparently these are.

BROCAS AREA a gimme for this brain person. Probably unknown to most, but worth knowing.

DW put me on the longest ZIPLINE in Asia at 1.3km in length. Getting to the start involved a bone-shaking ride in a Jeep.

Not at all scary and very delightful. Which led me later in my travels to do something that was probably completely insane.

Here I am with DW at the longest ZIPLINE in Asia. And something much more memorable.

That last ZIPLINE photo looks fake. But it is real. Have you ever noticed that you are willing to do things while travelling in an exotic place that you would never consider doing at home?

Shankers said...

I always look forward to the customary Saturday challenge, but this was more than I asked for. It first first gear until the bottom which filled in nicely. Then from the basement on up the space slowed again. Everything filled except the north central because I, like others, never heard of brocasarea. I wanted lobe instead. Also dad store instead of sellers. Should have remembered Palin, but didn't. And, got fooled by the clues for 6A and 9D, not to mention not knowing steric. All in all, close but a DNF.

CrossEyedDave said...

Too hard for me...

I think maybe I was doing the wrong puzzle...

Lucina said...

Though I have not read any of TE-Na-Hisi Coates' books, they are usually on the NYT best SELLER list for many weeks.
I have read Zora NEALE Thurston's, Their Eyes Were Watching God, but struggled with it because it is written completely in dialect. We have seen her name in other puzzles.

Ray - O:
I thing you were joshing us about PALIN. You knew it was Michael.

CrossEyedDave said...

I dunno...

Putting Lou Costello in a puzzle like this,

just doesn't add up...

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thank you for the challenge and for checking in, Debbie! Great expo, Gary!

I was sorely out of wave-length on this. I don't know what area of the brain was supposed to cough up these answers but it was obviously asleep. Most of the top 2/3 was snowy after the first pass. Got some toe-holds at the bottom and shoveled the white stuff back to the top.

DNK: what Owen said plus everybody else and some other words. BROCASAREA finally perped in but I had to come here to learn it is not all one word. Perseverance & red-letters filled this.

I've read and liked several works by Zora, but tried GaylE before NEALE. Duh! Zora is never trite. Some real memorable scenes in her books.

YR: so sad for you about your sister.

I appreciated the kind words from some of you earlier this week. You are a great comfort to me.

Anonymous said...

Love the shout out to five important African Americans - Ta-Nahisi Coates is a remarkable writer and his book, “Between the World and Me” is a must read, as is Zora Neale Hurston. Perhaps highlighting them in this puzzle will inspire more (white) people to read their important works. Yay to Simon Estes, Sean Puffy Combs and Lena Horne.

Roy said...

BROCA'S BRAIN didn't fit. Perps gave me AREA.

Couldn't get the Natick of TANEHISI and ESTES. WAGed the S, so FIR!

I was trying to think of a galaxy beginning with M; perps gave BAR, which led me to candy.

I got enough perps to lead me to the root for "solid"-STER.

Wilbur Charles said...

TTP, I had AARON(Judge) as solid ink. When it didn't fit I finally perped ZEBRA but I needed Gary to explain. Duh.

Somehow I thought Enervate meant the opposite of SAP but I needed the S.

Very tough for this medium difficulty solver . I'd guess 4 hours of hard (as I can summon today) mental effort. I wasn't going to give up even if it took me the rest of the month. And… yes, it's all your fault IM.

I agree with Owen(re APRIL)? I guess Rich changed the clue at the last minute. I tried USUAL. I liked SOUPS ON but had a hard time making it fit. DENTIN seemed odd but ENCHILADAS was an early WAG. For the last fill "fare" made me think Debbie wanted more food.

Yes, I remembered Marine bootcamp. OCS with Sgt Vendetta. He had same for me. I won my Gold Bar at pugel sticks thanks to Sgt V's instructions. So as they used to say at the laundry: "What goes around, comes around".

I started in ink, finished online. A whole bottle of wite-out wouldn't have sufficed. fe I thought PALIN was Sara. Really, Lucina until Gary straightened me out.

CED, your xword link was hilarious.


AnonymousPVX said...

Okay, I got the solve.

The clueing for this puzzle was not helpful.

No one calling a Natick on STERIC and the lovely TANEHISI? How about TANEHISI and ESTES? A Triple Natick! Congratulations.

Look, I enjoy a tough puzzle. But there’s tough and there’s “what the heck”.

“It’s happening now“....let’s see...PANIC, COVID, that’s what’s happening now. That’s the best clue for...APRIL? ICK.

And I got the solve. Geez.


Not more because I couldn’t even guess at some. It’s an odd feeling to be angry when they fill in and you see the answer.

Stay safe, see you Monday.

oc4beach said...

Finished the puzzle with Red Letters and a couple of look-ups. Ergo, an official DNF.

HG 'splained things nicely, so I could understand it.

ANON @ 7:11am: It's a Saturday puzzle, it's supposed to be tough.

There will be POMP this year but it will be all electronic via ZOOM and other platforms because of the CIRCUMSTANCES.

Let's hope we all get through it OK.

Be safe everyone.

SwampCat said...

I’m running out of ways to say DNF! I enjoyed the challenge Debbie, but didn’t come close to winning.

I missed APRIL, of course. Had OpEd for that controversial read, and misread the clue for POMP as circumference. What?? So much for the first line.

I did know BROCAS AREA from SG1 like D-O. PELEG was a gimme because I love Moby Dick.

But that was about it. Some bad guesses here and there.

HG, thanks for trying to educate me. I hope some of it sticks!

I didn’t get ZIP LINE, but I had a young relative die on one so that’s not a happy memory for me.

Owen, Hehehehe

Wendybird said...

Wow! This tough of a puzzle tells me I have a long way to go !!! Still, learned new, interesting things, such as BROCASAREA.
Michael Palin is a favorite, along with all the Pythons.
Borders flagship store was in my hometown, Ann Arbor. Clerks had to take a literature test before they were hired. Shopping there was a wonderful adventure.
Thank you, Debbie for the challenge and Gary for ‘splaining it all.

Hungry Mother said...

A few wrong squares. I was happy to write down BROCASAREA after a few perps since I’ve heard of Brocas Brain. DENTIN a mystery giving two wrong letters. STERIC new and the name going down was never going to be gotten. Nice to sweat without running once in a while.

Wilbur Charles said...

I just noticed on write-up: I thought of "Magic" Johnson. Perhaps Debbie will inform.
I wanted Ashton but that's a first name. I enjoyed 70s Show.

Fortunately, PELEG showed up recently-was it La-xword?

I thought a first name was asked for with Henry VIII eg MARY.

I liked both l'icks today, Owen.

Picard, awesome pics from your pre-technicolor shirt days.

The SWEARS TO/ SECONDS just wouldn't come to me nor AMT. A great example of how an impossible xword can finally succumb to the FIR.


Anonymous said...

Just noting it's the great Lena Horne with an e not Horn, even if that conjures up a jazzy image. Her Stormy weather is one of my faves. Great singer!

Picard said...

SwampCat I am very sorry that you lost a young relative on a ZIPLINE. Can you please say something more about the circumstances?

And Wilbur Charles thank you for the comment. I was about to go back into hibernation. I was wondering if anyone looked at the last photo in my ZIPLINE set. I have never seen or heard of anything else like it in the world. It was probably insanely unsafe and I am just grateful I survived.

As for my shirts, I have been wearing colorful shirts for decades. I credit a female friend named Cara who turned me on to the idea. I actually just saw her again a few days ago. She told me things she had never told me before; I have known her about 35 years.

The reason I did not have one in that photo set was because I sometimes wear cheap, light shirts when travelling. I saw the film The Accidental Tourist and learned that it is a bad idea to travel with anything you would hate to lose. My shirts are often irreplaceable.

Java Mama said...

Good afternoon, everyone! Well, Debbie, it took some red letters and a couple of Google look-ups to hold on to my lunch money and finally fill it all in. A true Saturday-worthy challenge. Thanks for helping make sense of it all, Gary.

Hand up for ELLA before LENA; also, for having a Natick moment at the STERIC / TANEHISI intersection (thanks, Google). No trouble with PALIN at 6A, since I received a copy of that book a few Christmases ago. Michael’s cohort John Cleese later played the irascible BASIL Fawlty. RED SCARE brought back memories of “duck and cover” drills in grade school. Like seeing the stacked LOO and LOU (hi, IM!)

Back to making a batch of No-Sew Face Masks (sorry about the ads). Stay well, all!

SwampCat said...

Picard, I am impressed with your Zip adventures. My family of young cousins were on a much shorter, “safer”, line in a recreational area. It was supposed to be safe. And most of them completed it with no trouble.

The last guy somehow missed the platform where was to get off, and hit the platform head first. Freak accident no one could explain.

NaomiZ said...

I'm in the same boat as OwenKL and the rest of the DNFers for whom what was "happening now" was a lot of white space in the north. Irish Miss and Lucina prove that the fault is ours!

CrossEyedDave said...

Java Mama, thank you!
I was just about to dig out an old Bandanna
(to rob a train, but that's another story.)
That face mask how to is up there with origami!

AnonymousPVX @ 1:42 said:
No one calling a Natick on STERIC and the lovely TANEHISI? How about TANEHISI and ESTES? A Triple Natick! Congratulations.
I would call Naticks all over this puzzle...
But what you are saying (to me) is intriguing...
Are you saying that a Double Natick is an Oxymoron?

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Debbie Ellerin, for a fine (but tough) puzzle. Thank you, Husker gary, for a fine review.

Enjoyed your comments, Debbie.

Well, DNF, for me. Just too difficult. I worked on it for hours. The north was my weakest area. The South had some holes in it, as well.

I got MINIMOON. Never heard of it, but I had some of MOON and some of MINI. So, I wagged it.

Did not get MARS BAR. Was thinking of outer space.

Did not get SECOND. Tried SAY AYE. That did not work.

BROCAS AREA. HA HA Ha Ha. Never in a million years.

Got 7 out of 8 letters for TA NEHISI. Still no idea who he is.

Missed EAGLETS. I should have gotten that one.


Many more I did not get, but I will Stifle myself for now.

Can't wait for tomorrow's Sunday puzzle. See you tomorrow.


( )

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

First, the perfunctory thanks to Constructor Debbie for the diabolical Saturday (and for Inside Baseball w/ HG) and to HG for illuminating the NW in addition to other xings that were never going to fill. I had fun as I put off chores ('cuz why get started w/ it's supposed to storm [it still hasn't stormed and, if DW wasn't napping....])

Rich, you bastard.*
You changed perfectly gettable clues into WTF?s.
Looking at APRIL (not ON AIR????) and ESTES (ETUDES never fully formed) as just plain evil edits.

And getting back to 1a: "It's happening now" == APRIL??? Really? I don't know about y'all but it seems APRIL has been canceled. Whatever it is, it ain't groovy, hip, nor happenin' in April 2020.

Speaking of what's happenin' - Janis & ARLO is a comic? Clue'd Woodstock-y, I'd-a gotten it.

Fav: It's silly, but LOU under LOO made me giggle. Of course, I'm always up for Python's PALIN. If you've never seen his Around the World in 80 Days documentary, well,... what else are you doing during isolation with nothin' happening?

Of course, PALIN was hard to see w/ GUT PANG(?) hangin' OUT in 23a's squares.

Pride of Saturday - I got everything below SEAN & LOO save ESTES |ETUDES. NE was almost except for OVERALLS x STERIC & NBA GAME (I was thinking MAGIC Johnson [hey ya! WC!] and trying to get Larry Bird to fit). I did get MARS BARS, BOOK SELLERS (had stores - Hi Spitz!), ICK, LAS, and PALIN b/f towel-tossing.

{A, B+}

9mile - a cheat that teaches is a self-solid. I'm for them.

Picard - gotta ask. Landing from the ZIP LINE on the bike; do you quickly un-hook and ride off or is it just a photo-op?
Swamp - Sorry that memory had to come up...

Lucina - I have almost enough BASIL for a pesto. One more week? *fingers crossed*
JavaMama - nice, dropping BASIL Faulty in...

Synchronicity(?) - Last night Youngest asked about the RED SCARE for a paper she's working on. I had to explain it had nothing to do w/ the Covid map.

Cheers & PEACE OUT, -T
*I am fully joking. Say it w/ Python-esque indignation and you might get the humour.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Like my friend, Wilbur Charles, I thought of "Magic"Johnson before any team names.
It may be because I live in Laker-Land.

A good, tough pzl from Ms. Ellerin, beautifully illumined by Husker G. I got about 50% on my own.
Happy to count myself among the TA NEHISI Coates' fans.
Sadly, I was lacking in the BROCAS AREA.
A 3-way on the far side.
The central diagonal has way too many vowels, but yields one reference to the food that feeds the most lah-di-dah among us, the...
while the topmost diag tells us who always gets the lion's share. Whenever we invited the Rev. C'Monna Myhouse, he always glommed the...

Yellowrocks said...

CED, the guys doing the puzzles were hilarious. LOL. You made my day.

Picard, a bike on a zip line OMG! Thanks for sharing.

Jayce said...

DNF again. Way too hard for me.

Lucina said...

Because I have been on so many Boards and committees as secretary, SECOND as an affirmation took me, well, a SECOND.

One of the biggest lessons I've learned from solving puzzles is to trust my instincts and of course, check the downs before proceeding with a fill, especially when using ink!

CanadianEh! said...

Late to the party after spending hours on this Monster. Thanks for the fun, Debbie ( and for explaining the "behind the scenes"), and HuskerG. With a sea of white at the top, I solved the bottom and moved up. But several Google helps were required to finish.

Yes, Owen, I have learned to expect an American slant. This Canadian remembers looking up Brothers bookstore in a previous CW, but of course I didn't remember it today.
Hand up for staying with Ella for too long.
And I did smile at LOO over LOU. (We Canadians have a Parliament too but it has no LOO. It did meet today and passed legislation to help businesses survive this shutdown. Only MPs within driving distance of Ottawa were present and they sat well spaced.)

Picard, I am not brave enough to go on a ZIPLINE so I will live vicariously through your post.

Good evening all.

Picard said...

SwampCat thank you very much for explaining what happened to your young cousin on the ZIPLINE. I am so sorry. That indeed sounds like a freak accident. Very odd that it was never explained. You have my deepest sympathy.

AnonT It is hard to show the full experience of the Bike ZIPLINE, but trust me it is no quick photo op. I rode all the way across that huge canyon. And back. There is no one even at the turnaround point. I was doing pretty well until I was about halfway back. Then reality started to set in of how many things could go wrong. And how impossible it would be to get rescued up there.

But your interest and the supportive comments have caused me to dig back through my photos. I discovered that I indeed had several photos that I managed to take while biking across. The most valuable photos are the sequence showing the young couple bicycling from the other direction. It gives a good sense of what I experienced.

And I also discovered I had three different ZIPLINE videos. Including the one from the longest ZIPLINE in Asia. And one from the Bicycle ZIPLINE. There is another one that is a very short ZIPLINE. I had never done any and I have never done any since then!

Here is a more complete set of Bicycle ZIPLINE photos as well as three ZIPLINE videos that I made.

Yellowrocks and CanadianEh I am happy that I could provide a vicarious experience for each of you! I am very curious if anyone else had this experience of doing something while travelling that you would never do at home?

Not sure if anyone will see this at this late hour, so I may repost tomorrow if that does not offend anyone.

Lucina said...

That is truly impressive! And something I could never do! Those kinds of heights make me queasy. How adventurous of you to zip and on a bicycle. It makes me wonder if that inspired Steven Speilberg to create the ending scene of ET. Seeing the bicycle in the air reminds me of that scene.

Yellowrocks said...

Picard, amazing.