May 21, 2020

Thursday, May 21st 2020 Ross Trudeau

Theme: Mat-chmaking - the cross-refererenced theme entries have both a clue component and a back-reference component to the solution.

17A. What the unalert might 61-Across to take: COLD SHOWER. Great when you expect it, heart-attack-waiting-to-happen when you don't.

30A. What a gracious host might 61-Across to give: WARM WELCOME

37A. What a devout Muslim might 61-Across to perform: AFTERNOON PRAYER

45A. What a tight pair might 61-Across to do: COUPLES YOGA

and the unifier:

61A. Struggle vigorously ... and what four other long answers' ending words can do?: GO TO THE MAT

Nicely done by Ross - in order to properly solve the theme entries you need guidance from the reveal at 61A, then you can complete the theme phrases - shower mat, welcome mat, prayer mat and yoga mat.

This one firmly in the Thursday category for the "toughness" metrics, but once you got past the theme and the reveal, some of the fill seemed a little automatic.

No matter. Entertaining and let's go see what we can find to talk about:


1. Fifth pillar of Islam: HAJJ. There is talk that this year's Hajj may be cancelled due to Covid-19. It's quite the spectacle in a normal year:

5. Air Jordans, e.g.: NIKES

10. Peel: RIND

14. "Arrested Development" actress Shawkat: ALIA, Never seen the show. Thank you, crosses.

15. Between, poetically: 'TWIXT. If you're in the middle of some annoying early adolescents, are you "'Twixt Tweeners"?

16. Grenoble gal pal: AMIE

19. Skier Lindsey with a record 20 World Cup titles: VONN. Lindsey has a career record of 82 World Cup wins. She has 20 Crystal Globes which celebrate the overall champion in a particular discipline each season.

20. __ One vodka: KETEL

21. Title king in a Mozart opera: IDOMENEO. Totally unknown to me, although the solid crosses meant it didn't hold me up too long. I discover that Idomeneo was a King of Crete.

23. Granny: NANA

26. Patronize, as a restaurant: DINE AT. Not at the moment, for many.

27. Amigo: PAL. Friendly puzzle today, Amigo, amie, pal.

33. Climber's asset: GRIP

35. Yours, in Tours: À TOI, Tours is a beautiful city, but then most French cities and towns are, at least to my eye. If the Tour de France doesn't go ahead this year I'll miss the glorious aerial shots from the helicopters.

36. Pole worker: ELF. Nicely done. Elves at the North Pole.

42. Sports doc's pic: M.R.I.

43. "I'm __ hurry": IN NO

44. Sported: WORE

49. Women of Troy's sch.: U.S.C. A certain Woman of Troy cheerleader celebrates Vince Young's winning touchdown for Texas in the 2006 BCS Championship Game at the Rose Bowl. This picture never fails to amuse me.

50. Pick up, in a way: ANSWER

51. Employment: WORK

53. Say when?: SET A DATE. Nice clue/answer combo.

56. Potter's supply: GLAZE

60. Biblical brother: ABEL

64. Enjoy some rays: BASK

65. Broadcasting: ON AIR

66. Rascals: IMPS

67. Music and theater: ARTS

68. "Country Grammar" rapper: NELLY

69. Asking too many questions: NOSY


1. Talentless writer: HACK. Actually, being a hack is something of a talent. It's a perjorative, but writing rushed articles to a short deadline isn't easy. Quality obviously suffers, but when you've got ten minutes to write a hatchet-piece you can't get everything!

2. Natural healer: ALOE

3. Leave high and dry: JILT

4. Smith of "After Earth": JADEN. Will Smith's son. He's got some peculiar views.

5. Last in a series: NTH.

6. Iconic WWII island, briefly: IWO

7. Auckland native: KIWI

8. Struck (out): EX'ED. This is an example of fill that annoys me. You can find "X'ED" in crosswordland a hundred times a year, but you can't just add letters to suit yourself. I know it's a phonetic spelling, but it's like the ARGH/AARGH and the similar variants. EX'ED OUT is not an expression in the language. Try a Google search. The first thing that comes up is "Did you mean X'ED OUT?" I'd X that out of my fill right away.

9. Marched confidently: STRODE

10. Hogwarts house with a corvine name: RAVENCLAW. Potter, Harry.

11. "We all have the same values": I'M ONE OF YOU. Difficult to parse at first, but solid.

12. When 51-Across starts, for many: NINE A.M. I think "for some" might be more appropriate in these strange times.

13. Signify: DENOTE

18. Diner side: SLAW

22. Distance runner: MILER

24. Indian bread: NAAN

25. Stella __: beer: ARTOIS. This has been cropping up a few times recently. "The Star of Artois". Here is the brewery that used to make a special version for the Netherlands. Apparently the Nederlanders were not fans of Belgian brews. The current brewery in Belgium is no oil painting, so I'll skip that.

27. Org. whose fans follow the links: P.G.A. Golf. Is anyone interested in the Woods/Manning and Mickleson/Brady "event" this weekend? I have my views on that, which I'll keep to myself.

28. Lab report?: ARF. Dog bark.

29. Chemistry exam?: LITMUS TEST. Acid or Alkali. We used Universal Indicator Paper at school, which had degrees of acid/alkali color. What do they use nowadays? I'm pretty sure you should be able to point your cellphone at a beaker of something and get the complete chemical breakdown of composition and PH levels.

31. Dreamy: MOONY

32. Separate grain from chaff: WINNOW

34. Controversial pretrial police practices: PERP WALKS

38. Ticked off: RILED

39. Possum pal of Porky Pine: POGO. Never heard of him. The comic strip ceased publication in 1975, so that might have something to do with it. Here's a porcupine panel which is cute.

40. Trauma ctrs.: E.R.'S

41. __ room: REC

45. Winter melon: CASABA

46. Sign of bad service?: ONE BAR. Cellphone coverage, although there's more than one bar I can point you towards where you get terrible service. I do this research in the public interest, of course.

47. Christopher Paolini fantasy best-seller: ERAGON

48. "Gah!": ARGH! How funny - my "take your pick" of ARGH/AARGH crops up right here.

52. Designer Calvin: KLEIN

54. Mood: TONE

55. List-ending abbr.: ET AL.

57. Rifle filler: AMMO. What do you call an expert office assistant who can find the right place for a document quickly? A riffle filer. Ba-dum! I'll be here all week, thank you thank you.

58. Tases: ZAPS

59. DIY site: ETSY. I've never used Etsy but it comes up a lot when I'm searching for hobby stuff on Google.

62. Alaskan resource: OIL

63. Taste: TRY. I'm willing to taste pretty much anything as long as it doesn't look like an insect. Which is totally irrational, because lobster, shrimp, langoustine and crawfish are as insect-like as they come. Except they're not insects. Same concept, but they live underwater. Which makes it OK. I said it was irrational.

With that appetizing thought, here's the grid!

Stay safe, especially any of you are in the "we're open!" states.



desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Steve, all 50 states are in some phase of "We're Open" today. Connecticut joined the crowd yesterday. We're still hunkering at our house, but we're in the minority. Nextdoor neighbor hosted a pool party for the grands this past weekend.

Oh, the puzzle. I got the theme, but thought it was sorta laborious. IDOMENEO? Tried I DON'T CARE, but it was too long. HAJJ is tricky. I've also seen it HADJ, HAJI, and HADJI. Finished in good time, though it took an alphabet run and a lucky WAG to get that N in ERAGON/NELLY. Thanx, Ross and Steve. (I'm pretty sure Spock's tricorder could provide you with that chemical analysis and LITMUS TEST.)

ONE BAR: That's the norm where we live. I've thought of dumping the VOIP phone in favor of a smart one, but I think walking down the street to make a phone call would get old in a hurry. Plus, the VOIP lets dw call her Mom in Germany everyday. She can talk endlessly, and it's still a "local" call.

Saw an article yesterday that the company I used to work at accepted a chunk of stimulus money ... and used it for executive bonuses. Tsk! I hope they're shamed into giving it back.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thank you, Ross, for an unusual kind of puzzle challenge. Pretty tricky. Had to CLAW my way through the upper part but finally got a GRIP and filled it all. Several red-letter runs.

Didn't know JADEN from that movie clue, so wasn't sure which spelling of HAJJ was needed.

NE was the last to fill. Couldn't think of RIND, thought peel was a verb not a noun. DENOTE & I'M ONE OF YOU didn't come to mind. Took lots of perps which I couldn't find either. DNK: IDOMENEO. I'm sadly deficient in ancient literature/history.

STRiDE before STRODE. KLine before KLEIN. VAUN before VONN. Thresh before WINNOW (latter term not used on my farm).


Gah? Gah? Aargh!

Thanks, Steve, for a great commentary. I would think that Woman of Troy's cheer career ended shortly thereafter. Also, you are so right about writing to deadline -- or anything to deadline, for that manner. Plan ahead...

PK said...

Corona virus is still circulating here. The guy who cut my grass last week was replaced by his grandpa this week. The younger guy is quarantined in another city because his wife tested positive for COViD-19. Grandpa is upset because the kid has his work pickup which he feels is now contaminated and doesn't want back until sanitized. My daughter's husband is an RN in a rehab hospital which we thought was safe enough. Now they've opened a wing there to rehab virus patients whose lungs are compromised from ventilator use. Aargh! That's the daughter who brings me groceries. To eat or not to eat. That is the question.

Lemonade714 said...

Steve, once again you hit the proverbial nail on the head. I had watched ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT but had no idea who ALIA SHAWKAT is. Also, I did not know of the man, the opera nor the love story about IDEOMENEO .

I vote for eating PK, there are other delivery services out there.

Thank you Steve and Ross.

inanehiker said...

The puzzle went pretty quickly even though the theme clues were awkward and made me want to solve the reveal clue first and then go back!
Most of the fill was in my wheelhouse having preteen/teen sons in the 2000s: ERAGON and RAVENCLAW e.g.
I always liked the Pogo comic strip even though Walt Kelly's satire went over my head when I was younger. Similar to Veggie Tales - he usually had two layers of meaning - one the kids could get and another layer for the adults reading it. I always remember the classic line: "I have met the enemy and he is us."

Off to work - I am in one of the "open" states - so we'll see what happens- one of the benefits of being in a less populated county we have only 1 or 2 active cases right now.
(excepting the asymptomatics wandering around)
Thanks Steve and Ross!

Yellowrocks said...

Four proper nouns in the little NW corner. Boo hiss! Which spelling of HAJJ? I dredged up KETEL from somewhere. ALIA and JADEN were all perps and wags.
IM ONE OF YOU crossing IDOMENEO, all perps. When I understood I'm one of you, it does make sense.
I realized that all the theme answers were mats, but I didn't care for the awkward phrasing of the theme clues.
I enjoyed the rest of it, so not quite a thumper.
I must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.
I'll be back when I mellow out.

Wilbur Charles said...

The USC was solidly perped but the 's was misleading.
There's a HACK poet over at the J filling in for Owen rhyming about Bilbo.

I inadvertently inked an E on ALI_ and left it there. So another One Box Wilbur day. JADEN makes more sense than JeDEN. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!! That's how to spell it.

A fellow Bill W traveler presented me a handsomely bound Marine Corps book. Yes, IWO is mentioned, along with Gen. "Howl'in Mad" Smith.

Lindsey VONN did some COUPLES YOGA with Tiger but ohm make it, ohm don't(c HACK above)

Despite blowing it on ALIA found this relatively easy because as Steve said, long theme fills provided many boxes.


Ps, Is there a CATAWBA Melon? I too had to dream up ERAGON (shades of LOTR's Aragon) to fill NELLY

SansBeach said...

Good Morning All. Cruise control thru Wednesday but hit a bump on Thursday...FIW. Thanks Ross and Steve. Problems in most areas as listed above: Idomeneo?? Proper names in NW corner, twixt, and couldn't remember if it was Poco, Pogo Poxo??? remember the cartoon but. Had go to the mat but couldn't quite get the theme. Kept wanting to us the "go to" part. Nice to have perpwalked when lots of perps and wags were needed.

FLN YR, sorry to hear more about your sister. Just did a 2 year tour with my dad (passed on in Feb) and it ain't easy. Not prying but if you don't know, someone has to have a power of attorney before any action can be taken to force sis into a home. And that isn't all. Too much to take up blog time with but I would be happy to share via email. All depends on where sis is in her fight with dementia. Tried to keep dad in his home as long as possible but an injury ended that. It will happen to sis also. As they say, I feel your pain. Oh yeah, because of the dementia, your sister will require a secure ward of a rest home and that is pricey. I found that lawyers and car salesmen have competition from the old folks home operators.

Be safe and enjoy the weather if possible.

Big Easy said...

Ross gave us the LITMUS TEST today. The theme fills were surprisingly easy but unknowns crossing other unknowns took some thinking. RAVENCLAW & IDOMENEO- 100% perps- never heard of either. I've heard of JADEN Smith but not ALIA Shawkat. Those filled Steve's 'toughness' metrics. ERAGON, NELLY (or any rapper)- perps

PERP WALKS- was not perps today.

MOONY- the only 'Moonies' I remember were the ones who used to aggravate people in airports along the the Hara Krishnas.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

After first incorrectly filling 'Alms', I got today's HAJJ spelling OK but still Naticked out in the NW with the JADEN/KETEL cross. Got everything else, though, so all's right with the world. The theme fill was mostly easy, but I had a short hang fire with COUPLES (YOGA). Also had 'clays' before GLAZE.
TWIXT - L. German twischen, Ger. zwischen, and Dutch tussen.

Thanks Steve for another fine intro.

Husker Gary said...

-A clever gimmick where I stubbornly refused to solve the reveal until the last
-Anybody remember Pat Boone’s alliterative hit TWIXT Twelve and Twenty
-Mountain climbers need another word that completes G R I _
-“I’M IN NO HURRY” – Good thing yesterday because it took an hour-and-a-half and two stores three miles apart to return an Amazon purchase at a local clothing store
-Answered? Not if there is no Caller ID!
-IWO – I’ve heard historians say whereas German soldiers would surrender, Japanese soldiers chose to fight to the death
-I’ve never had a job that started as late as NINE A.M.
-PGA – Last week’s event with four millionaire golfers carrying their own bags and wearing shorts while social distancing was fun
-Our 4th grade teacher Mrs. Elvers gave us chocolate treats on the last day. She later told us they were chocolate-covered insects (exoskeletons). We, of course, cried YUK and then asked for seconds

OMaxiN said...

Must claim a FIW because I accidentally had red letters turned on when I entered shoES instead of NIKES.
Needed a stretch for NTH, TONE & MOONY.
ARGH meh.
Never heard of PERPWALKS.
Why a ? I thought a LITMUSTEST is chemistry.
Agree with DO about the multiple spellings of HAJJ.
Was there more than one cso to "itself"?

Abejo said...

Good more ing, folks. Thank you, Ross Trudeau, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Steve, fort a fine review.

As I started this puzzle I realized i may never finish it. Looked real tough. Lots of names.

Got through it the first pass as best I could. Actually got 61A GO TO THE MAT quite easily. That gave me hope.

Then got 37A quite easily. AFTERNOON PRAYER. So, there was hope.

Kept going through the puzzle and getting a word here and there. Still a lot of holes, however. Finally tried HACK for 1D. Had ALOE already. Then tried HAJJ for 1A. Already had 37A, so that made sense. That gave me JILT. That corner was almost done.

Had enough perps to try RAVENCLAW. IM ONE OF YOU became obvious with some perps. NINE AM and DENOTE worked out. So, I had the NE corner.

Kept going over and over the puzzle and pretty soon with a lot of wags, I had it. Unbelievable. So, Here I am.

Looks like a nice day. I will spend some time outside until I get too tired. That happens easily now. See you tomorrow.


( )

KenoRunner said...

Uh, isn't Etsy the opposite of a DIY site?

oc4beach said...

I didn't get the theme until Steve 'splained it, although I ultimately filled all the squares in correctly with some anchors, perps and wags. Thanks Steve.

Like others, I had to make a few changes along the way. HAJJ vs. HADJ, EATS AT vs DINE AT and I wanted XRAY vs MRI, but it was too long.

Didn't know ALIA, IDOMENEO, ERAGON or NELLY. Perps to the rescue.

IM FLN: I'm glad you got your Gibbles chips. My kids were suffering from Middleswarth potato chip withdrawal, so Dad to the rescue this week by sending plain and BBQ chips along with some other little goodies. The shipping costs were more than the cost of the chips, but they were happy.

Steve wrt TRY. I like all of the things that you mentioned that live underwater. However, there are a number of underwater things that I won't TRY, like mussels, raw oysters and any raw fish.

We are partially open here, but there is still a long way to go. We won't be "there" until we can get a haircut, eat in a restaurant, go to the movies or a game, etc. safely.

Our local hospital is permanently laying off a lot of admin and management staff and a few medical personnel because of the lost revenue from not being able to perform elective surgeries. People are scared to go to the hospital or ER because they think they may get infected with CoVid19.

Be safe and stay well everyone.

Picard said...

What Yellowrocks said.

PK that is scary. I hope you find a way to get fed now.

Here are a few of my photos of a unique form of COUPLES YOGA.

Unfortunately, this festival was cancelled this year along with all the rest.

OwenKL sorry to hear you are feeling down. I hope you are able to get out in nature somehow.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I join several others who found the cluing for the theme answers awkward, to say the least. On top of that irritation, some of the other cluing was off kilter but, to be fair, some was quite clever. My favorite C/As were: Lab report=Arf (simple word play but it brought a smile) and Chemistry Exam?=Litmus Test. Nana crossing Naan caught my eye. Every single unknown was a proper name and, IMO, there were far too many for a weekday grid: Alia, Idomeneo, Raven Claw, Eragon, and, as clued, Nelly and Jaden. Even though I knew Calvin Klein, I was fixated on spelling it like Kevin Kline does. As YR put it so succinctly, “I enjoyed the rest of it, so not quite a Thumper.” CSO at Imps to CED and Jinx. Where is Jinx, BTW?

Thanks, Ross, for a Thursday stumper and thanks, Steve, for the usual fun and facts and humor. You were more than kind with your restrained comment about Jaden Smith. His sister, Willow, shares some of his idiosyncrasies.

I happened to stumble upon the last half of “Sully” last night and was, once again, reminded of Tom Hank’s immense talent. He is one of the most versatile actors I’ve ever seen. What a treasure!

New York State began Phase 1 opening yesterday but it doesn’t affect me in any way. It applies to construction, agriculture, retail curbside pickup, etc. If all goes well, Phase 2 will begin in two weeks and that will mean I can go to the beauty salon . I think restaurants are in Phase 3, with limited capacity and other restrictions. Phase 4 covers concerts and sporting events and any large gatherings. Hoping for the best!

Stay safe, all.

NaomiZ said...

FIR in spite of a couple of unknowns (ALIA Shawkat and rapper NELLY). Thought the theme was clever. Knew Mozart's IDOMENEO; our LA Opera season was cut short by the pandemic, and we donated the value of our cancelled tickets back to the organization.

PK, we've had all of our groceries delivered since March. We don't know the health status of the gig workers who deliver, so we have them leave the bags outside, and we wipe everything down as we bring it in: grocery bags, item packaging, produce, everything. Incredibly tedious, but no problems so far. The CDC is telling us to worry less about surfaces and more about being close to other people.

Misty said...

Well, after getting a perfect Wednesday yesterday, this was a bit of a toughie. But hey, it's Thursday, so it should be, and happily, I actually got much of the bottom half before tackling the tougher ones (like HAJJ) on top. So, many thanks, Ross, for a puzzle with a clever theme and interesting ANSWERS.

Put in ABEL for the Biblical brother and, for some reason I still don't understand, that gave me CASABA. I'm sure I've never had a melon by that name. But then BASK and of course ARTS fell into place and the southwest corner was on the way.

On the other side, got AMMO and ZAPS, and that gave me IMPS and NOSY. And so it went.

Yes, I did need help with the long theme answers but found them clever and fun. So, thanks again, Ross, and you too, Steve, for your write-up.

Have a good day, everybody!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

FIW!!... fatal errors... ketal/KETEL (and I drink the stuff!) Crossed with Alie/ALIA (no idea) and Jedan/JADEN (again, no idea).

Also inkovers: Ravencraw/CLAW. (Corvine, from the recent "bovine" list..Latin "corvus" to Italian "corvo"). Tans/BASK.

Wrong Troy... our Irish M not one of those women.

Liked "Pole Worker" but took awhile to to get the "O" of VONN and the was initially insecure with "N" in the Mozart king's name. So I WASn't ONE OF least for awhile

Parsed the clue but thought the term was prayer RUG not mat......BTW had hope/HAJJ......gah, argh, etc. usual nonsense filler. WEES .

I perpwalked PERPWALK!

"With a skull fracture from his hill fall Jack still SET A DATE but was JILLT at the altar."

Speaking of "Porky"....with deference to the CC poet laureate Owen.

"The Agony of De Feet"

The Milwaukee Piggy went to Marquette
The COVID Piggy stayed home
The Chicago Piggie had roast beef
The New Delhi Piggie had NAAN
The Paris Piggie cried Oui, Oui , Oui, all the way home.

Couldnt wait any longer...DW's hairdresser/stylist came to the house today. Cut her hair, my daughter's and left a healthy pile of my shorn gray locks on the kitchen floor.....but you didnt hear that from me!!! She can open shop soon.

D4E4H said...

Good morning Cornerites.

Thank you Ross Trudeau for your enjoyable Thursday CW. 

Thank you Steve for your excellent review.  

Carol and I FIW in 57:49 min.  We revealed the J at 4 A to solve the Natick of HAJJ and JADEN. 


Unknown said...

Steve, you have a lot of fun in store for you. Don’t miss meeting “Pogo” from back in the day...Wonderful comic strip...”We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Bluehen said...

FIW in 20+ mins. I didn't find it to be the Thumper that some of you did. Helped to know Jaden and Idomeneo. Some of the other proper names eluded me, but perps were solid. BTW, were y'all aware that pare and zest both have same number of letters as rind? Just sayin'.
Also how am I supposed to squeeze "stripper" in as the three-letter answer for pole worker?

Went out today and stocked up for the weekend long cookout , and I'm bushed. Pizza tonight. I ain't acookin'.

I got bored yesterday afternoon and decided to prove that I could melt an ice cube with just the power of my mind, by staring at it. I did prove it, but it took a lot longer than I thought it would.

When I consider the many ramifications of this pandemic, my heart aches for this country. You realize it won't be that long before the next generation of our politicians will have been home-schooled by day-drinkers!

I'll go quietly.


Shankers said...

Much to my delight, after a miserable start this ended up as a surprising FIR in more of a Friday or Saturday time. The NW remained all white til the end, then filled in quickly. Wanted Stoli before Ketel and DNK Alia or Jaden but sussed them as well as twist. Idomeneo a complete unknown too as was Ravenclaw but both gotten by perps. After getting 61A the theme hit me in the middle of the forehead. Crossing the finish line today leaves me wondering how much more Friday will pose a challenge.

Shankers said...

Twist above should be twixt. Darn autocorrect. Third day in a row for that.

Lucina said...


Thank you, Ross Trudeau! I used the scattershot method to solve this puzzle. That is, I scattered around and filled the low lying fruit until I could connect some long phrases. Slowly it eventually made sense and once I had GO TO THE MAT, it fell into place.

I'm so proud that I can remember ATOI!

Like Gary, I've never had a job that started at NINE A.M. In fact, I was usually at WORK well before 8.

Though my granddaughter has watched Harry Potter endless times, I never pay attention so RAVENCLAW was all perps. So was IDOMENEO which I was sure would be wrong. Surprise! It is right.

If anyone here doesn't know, JADEN Smith is the son of Jada and Will Smith.

I'll take a CSO at NANA. I've decided my great-grandson should be bilingual so I speak to him only in Spanish just as my grandparents did to me and my siblings.

CASABA melons are juicy and delicious! It's worth trying one.

Now that I see ERAGON I vaguely recall hearing about it. Maybe in a puzzle.

Our state is now open but we are encouraged to wear masks; I will venture out only to the grocery store.

Have you seen the movie, The Post? I would like to hear your opinion of it. I watched it again last night and of course was riveted by Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. They both gave outstanding performances.

Every time I come to the corner I am so glad that I AM ONE OF YOU. You all inform me, amuse me and educate me.

Thank you, Steve. I learn a lot from you, too.

I wish you all good health!

Bill G said...

Hi everybody. An enjoyable puzzle. Pretty hard too sez I. I didn't know ERAGON OR MOONY or IDOMENEO or KELLY or ALIA Shawkat. Red letters were a big help.

Thanks Ross and Steve.

I like a ripe Casaba melon better than the other melon choices.

I used to enjoy Pogo in The Cornell Daily Sun. More intellectual and political rather than just funny. Still, I like Calvin and Hobbes the best.

Take care of yourself, and each other.

~ Mind how you go...

AnonymousPVX said...

So this is a Thursday puzzle? Is this a Celebrity version?

Some strained clueing for sure.

Also, some stuff never seen/used before...IDOMENEO and MOONY. Could be more, I didn’t check further.

Hard to get a toehold, so had to skip around.

Write-overs...SHED/RIND, ATNINE/NINEAM, ARAGON/ERAGON. Thought there’d be more, but couldn’t even guess at some, which worked out.

So a bit of a slog. Happy to get the solve.

Tina Fey did a funny bit a couple weeks ago about home schooling her kids....

She came onto SNL, said “listen”...and then spouted some nonsense words.

“What did you say?”, she was asked.

“It’s Latin”, she said.

“No it isn’t” she was told.

“It must be” she said “because I’m a Latin teacher now”.

And on to Friday. Stay safe.

Shankers said...

Twist above should be twixt. Darn autocorrect. Third day in a row for that.

PK said...

NaomiZ: I had my groceries delivered for two years until this crisis. Now the demand is so high, I can't get the online ordering system to check me out. I tried it several times daily for weeks. No other store does delivery here. I switched to another store which does curb pickup only. My one daughter is laid off so she does the pickup. I don't drive anymore. I've been storing the stuff out in my car trunk. I scrub everything down as I bring it in and need to use it. I don't really think I'll starve soon. Two neighbors have volunteered to bring me food. One works as a CNA at the VA & the other one is out every night doing I don't know what. Not sure either one is less safe than my daughter. Oh well... Wish they'd offer a choice: corona virus with ventilator OR dandy little cyanide pill.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi, Gang -

The nature of the theme made the awkward cluing necessary. I wasn't too trouble by it. the only theme fill I thought was forced is COUPLES YOGA. I'm with YR on the NW corner. A word with uncertain spalling, 3 proper names, all a bit on the obscure side.

I know Lindsay's name, but needed perps to spell it. IDOMENEO - never heard of him.

Has a few false stats and write overs, but got through eventually.

My KIWI friend had to go home to deal with a family emergency. At least he's safe from the virus there.

MI opened up a bit today. I'm content to go at it very slowly. Will not play any park concerts this summer. Might not perform at all this year.

We made a Costco run this morning. Everyone is masked there.

Stay safe everyone.

Cool regards,

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Steve - I'm thinking Rich is saving all the Stella ARTOIS puzzles for you. Thanks for kicking off the after-party after playing with Ross Trudeau [Jane & Garry's kid, no? -- LIU PVX... :-) If I'm right, celebs indeed].

Speaking of Comics [see: Garry above]... I believe POGO was in reference to Walt Kelly's creation not Inanehiker's on the same page, I see.

I did find the puzzle hard to start (and finish). Needed lots of noodling TWIXT the ears to 'get' the fills as they slowly perp'd out [what Abejo said]. I ended w/ FIW at 1a & 4d [last corner to fall] w/ hADEN. I mean, HAJh looks wrong but how many times have we found there Yet Another way to spell Arabic words in English?. [D-O gets me]
//It kinda comforts me that other bright Cornerites had the same issue there.

WOs: couldn't spell Calvin KLine until perps for the save (Hi PK!). Smugly started Esau b/f checking my surroundings; And, this one made me chuckle,... The Craw b/f CLAW.

ESPs: Nouns that I've heard but needed 100% PERPage b/f V8 whack'd: NELLY, VONN, CASABA, ALIA, ERAGON, IDOMINEO [wait, no, never 'eard of 'em last three]

Fav: I really do like the word TWIXT.

NaomiZ - yes! It's more people-to-people from everything I've read/heard lately. Unfortunately, Youngest is on her way to the dentist as I type. [Dentist is a family friend too, so we're more trusting there]

Nice to see you D4! How's everything holding up in the group?

Picard - you shared that album before and that was my image when I committed to 45a as a 'real thing'(TM).

Bluehen - come to Houston and your psychokinesis powers will shine and show that ice-cube who's boss. //And beer came out my nose at your last line... back to AP Chem* :-)

Play later! -T
*Actually, Youngest took AP Chem test yesterday - I'm sure I, er she, nail'd it.

Hungry Mother said...

FIW, with a Natick at the corner of ALIA and JADEN, a WTF square if I ever saw one. I guessed an ‘E’, but knew it was a WAG. This was a slog without that nasty, but the bad taste comes from that one place. I’m no fan of the situation and feel a bit RILED. Maybe a clue of “Et ____” , but ETAL was already used. I hardly ever complain about the LAT puzzle, but this is an exception.

Picard said...

AnonT thank you for looking at my COUPLES YOGA photos. I don't think I ever shared that particular album before.

I think this was the only YOGA album I shared before?

This Acro YOGA is quite popular at festivals. I have quite a few photos over a span of many years. It is not a thing for DW and me for now. I cannot lift more than 20 pounds for the next month under surgeon's orders.

Learning moment two days ago with the INXS song "Need You Tonight". I listened to it and realized I knew it as the song that seems to copy a key riff from "Another One Bites the Dust".

Here someone did a mashup of the INXS song and the Queen song.

Does anyone else notice the similarity?

Picard said...

Hungry Mother I totally agree and I did FIR.

Jayce said...

Pretty much WEES about the puzzle. You all have said everything I could say about it.

I think a hajji is the person who is going on a HAJJ, which is the journey.

My dad used to sometimes say, "Betwixt and between." My mom would often say, "Just between you and me and the fencepost."

A technical note: I just upgraded to the new Microsoft Edge browser and I like it so much better. You all, except CED and maybe Jinx, probably don't remember me discussing how the LA Times website resulted in Edge using ever more and more memory until the whole computer bogged down; well now that is no longer a problem. I was mistaken back then when I said the Edge browser uses the same "engine" as Chrome; it didn't. This new one does. Faster and no longer a memory hog. I'm glad I upgraded.

Please continue to do your best to stay well, all.

Wilbur Charles said...

RayO, I agree with-T, "oui,oui,oui" is nose SNORTing* funny


* A j -word today. c Bilbo and the Goblin cloud

D4E4H said...

Anonymous T at 1:50 PM wrote "Nice to see you D4! How's everything holding up in the group?"

Thank you for asking.  The residents of Wesley Manor continue to be virus free.  Our temperatures are checked daily.  Anyone in the common area wears a mask.   Outsiders stay out.  Material is passed at the main door by the receptionist.  Anything coming in is sprayed with a disinfectant.

We are fed in our rooms.  Carol and I eat most of our meals in  her room which has a refrigerator, and micro wave.  In the evening we retire to my room for Jeopardy and crosswords.  We work each CW shortly after midnight when it is freshest.  I intend to post, but our lethargy hits, and I stare into space or fall asleep in my chair.  We are blessed that, unlike the 4 married couples,  when we are tired, we can each retire to our "corner of the ring until the next round."

Carol had visitors yesterday.  they came to her bedroom window to announce that her granddaughter had received a full scholarship to college.  Same G-d came to the front door, in her beautiful dress, on the night that would have been her prom.

We are making it day by day.  I pray that each of you do also.


Husker Gary said...

Musing 2
-Picard, your YOGA pix really stirred up my, curiosity!!

Picard said...

Husker Gary that is the kindest thing anyone can ever say to me. Can you say more about the curiosity my YOGA photos aroused?

Anonymous T said...

D4 - Good news from you (and Carol). It sounds like they're doing good by you two AND that y'all are in the perfect routine.
And, yeah, the kids are missing out on a lot this year. Youngest is currently having her dance group's banquet via Zoom.

Picard - in fairness, pictures 4&5 are the same as 1&2 :-)

WC & Ray-O: I guessed I missed something really funny.

FLN: C. Moe! I had it written down to say "Hey!" but didn't consult my notes until now. Nice to get a Moe-ku.

Cheers, -T

Picard said...

AnonT I totally grant you that and appreciate the time you took to look so carefully at my photos. The set I posted last time was taken from a few different events. One of those events involved some "love bondage" and was not suitable for sharing publicly. Hence, the selective collection!

I very much appreciate you sharing the clip of the CRAW. That was a long-running joke in our household when I was growing up. I watched the original Get Smart with my father starting when I was about six or seven years old. I think you are a few years younger than me, so I am very pleased that you know about this!

Misty said...

Dear D4 Dave,

What a wonderful message from you. So nice to hear how you and Carol are coping with your daily lives in your facility and that you are healthy and in good shape and doing well. Please continue to keep us posted from time to time--we care about you both.

Hugs, Misty

CanadianEh! said...

I'm late to the Thursday party after working in the garden most of the day. Thanks for the fun, Ross and Steve.
Hand up for a FIW because of my personal Natick at the cross of ERAGON and NELLY. I chose a T instead of an N. Glad to hear I wasn't the only one.
Another hand up for struggling with the NW corner; ALIA could have been clued similarly to 55D ET AL to make a clecho. I spelled HAJJ as Hadj as first which held up JILT. And KETEL was all perps.

I did like the clue for LITMUS TEST; I was misled with the nearby Lab report? into thinking of my experiences in Chem lab and not dogs.
ONE BAR filled with perps but I had no idea how that was bad service until I got here. Oh phone service not a bad pour of Stella ARTOIS!

I'll take time to finish reading you all in the morning. All the fresh air today has tired me out. More flowers and veggies to plant tomorrow too.
Good evening all.

Husker Gary said...

Picard, This is a PG site! Let's just say it beat the heck out of Goat Yoga we had a few months ago!

Wilbur Charles said...

Picard, perhaps HG's 'curiousity' was wetted to the extent that yoga bondage should naturally follow.

The athleticism of some of the yoga folk is remarkable. Plus, if you're going to go East it's natural to think Kama Sutra

Re the yuks re. RayO: it was the last one with the "Oui,oui,oui" that tickled the funny bone. Ymmv.


Anonymous T said...

C, Eh! Whoot! You're starting your garden! I'm getting my 1st egg-plant.
But, texting has totally corrupted Youngest and every time I tried to bring up my little eggplant... just giggles. Some people's children. [wait.?]
Sorry HG - trying to keep it PG...

I do remember that the last time we had KETEL Vodka, I associated it w/ K-tel records. Help'd today [after KET-L perp'd out :-)]

I see there are a few that also know of Walt's POGO.
Considering Ross' [I think the apostrophe does go after the last s Mr. FLN Texas' own D-O] Pop is [I'm fairly sure This comic], I'm going to take that into account via Sociological Criticism [that's right, right Misty?].

And, as I recall learning from David Letterman's interview w/ Jane Pauley (where Dave referred to Garry as "Cartoon Boy"), she's the mom of Ross (and his twin sister?).
//I do wish I can find a link to confirm my memory.

Picard - Re-AIRs of Get Smart was on a TV station out of St. Louis every day at noon (along w/ F-Troop for the other 1/2 hour). It was must see TV for me when I was a 9yro that summer.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

CED - How in the heck did I miss that your #3 graduated from NYU. Good on her.

And the videos...? Y'all be morbid or not, get back and watch the META-META-Ballet of Death CED link'd. Too Funny. //seen it before but Funny or Die is That.


NaomiZ said...

PK, I'm sorry that grocery delivery is unavailable. We had problems like that for a while, but the stores really ramped up the service. Seems like you have got it figured out with volunteers, and their health status is probably no worse than my Instacart shoppers. You're doing everything right, and I hope you never have to make the terrible choice you suggested!

PK said...

NaomiZ: me too, on the terrible choice! Stay safe, yourself!

Lucina said...

No! Don't even think that! Believe me when I tell you I wish I lived near enough to you to help you. I would make sure you were well stocked with groceries.