Jul 24, 2020

Friday, July 24, 2020, Jake Scheele

Title: Another bird mystery solved!

Welcome to the LAT Jake. I know you have had some prior CHE puzzles published and a 2019 Universal, but at the moment that is all I know about you. You might be surprised by how many people have that name. Please come by and tell us about yourself.

This Friday challenge has many layers, including the dreaded circles for those who use the Mensa site for their solving pleasure. They will miss the unifying reveal and the answer to the mystery. The theme itself has two parts, symmetric linked fill that ask a question and 5 shorter fill (5 to 7) letters.

Before the themers are revealed, we must look at the longer fill that was woven into this tapestry. CARNAGE, EMAILER, NO DRAMA, SILLY ME,  EMBARKED,  IRON MASK, KEEP IT UP, and  WILD OATS are all very uncommon and despite that they as long or longer than the 5 middle themers.

17A. With 59-Across, old English nursery rhyme being investigated by the detectives in this puzzle: WHO KILLED (9).
And, 59A. See 17-Across (and see circles for the solution to the mystery): COCKROBIN (9) describe the mystery. HISTORY. There is a spoiler if you do not know.

23A. Wealthy TV sleuth Matt: HOUSTON (7). No doubt the least famous of the fictional detectives, the short-lived SERIES starred Lee Horsley a tall handsome poor man's Tom Selleck. Horsley's first role was as Archie Goodwin to William Cannon's Nero Wolfe and even shorter series.

26A. Hard-boiled sleuth Mike: HAMMER (6). Micky Spillane made an art of the shoot first ask questions later hero, brought to television first by Darren McGavin and then twice by Stacy Keach.

39A. Falcon-finding sleuth Sam: SPADE (5). Created by the incomparable Dashiell Hammett. He also wrote about the Thin Man and the Continental Op.

51A. Twinkly-eyed sleuth Jane: MARPLE (6). Agatha Christie's female tec from St. Mary Mead (Cabot Cove anyone) who paid attention.

54A. Wisecracking sleuth Philip: MARLOWE (7). Raymond Chandler's contribution to the genre (can you hear Alex Trebeck in your head?).

The solution to the mystery, if you do not know the story is in the circles and I will not spoil it. If you use the Mensa site, sorry.

It breaks some rules, but let us look at the rest.


1. Need in many outdoor games: BALL. And indoor games as well; well not all indoor games.

5. Basic card game: WAR. It is among the many games which helped me to learn how to count long before I started school.

8. Saltpetre: NITRE. I do not know why we do not have Saltpeter/Niter. I attended a private high school where I lived on the campus and ate all my meals there. We were told by the cooks that they were forced to put saltpeter in our food to quell our sexual desire. At the girls' school up the hill, they only served the hot dogs sliced. Life can be gross.

13. Takeout option: THAI. Just marry a wonderful Thai chef and you do not need takeout, except every so often for a quick vacation (not during COVID).

14. Camaro __-Z: IROC. A muscle car.

16. They may be crumbled in ice cream: OREOS. They also may be sprinkled throughout so many crossword puzzles.

19. Coffee mate?: DONUT. Cute clue even with the modern spelling.

20. German finale: ÉNDE. Inferrable?

21. Chaotic situation, in slang: CARNAGE. Not for me; carnage could be the result of a chaotic situation but I do not see them as interchangeable.

27. Northern sky sight: AURORA. If North, it is BOREALIS if south it is AUSTRALIS.

28. __ ballerina: PRIMA. Number one!

30. Where Charlie "may ride forever," in a 1959 hit: MTA. Once again brought to mind by Boomer, this time on Wednesday.

31. Gaming biggie: ATARI. This PIONEER gaming company has had some problems.

33. Watchdog org.?: ASPCA. I really enjoy this pun.

37. Exploit: MILK. I could give examples but I do not want to milk the opportunity.

41. Medieval Asian leader: KHAN. Khan is a contracted form of Khagan, from the Turkish khan meaning "chief or ruler." It was originally a hereditary title born by early Mongol leaders, such as the legendary Genghis Khan, but is now widely used as a surname throughout the Muslim world.

42. Consents: YESES. No!

44. Twosomes in the news: ITEMS. Are they really dating?

46. Guadalajara gold: ORO. Spanish. Is Lucy our only Spanish speaking regular?

47. Gulf of Aqaba city: EILAT. In antiquity, Eilat bordered the states of Edom, Midian, and the tribal territory of the Rephidim, the indigenous inhabitants of the Sinai Peninsula. The Midianites are an important part of the Book of Exodus.

49. Took the sloop: BOATED. Ugh. 40D. Left on a sloop: EMBARKED.

55. Spammer, e.g.: EMAILER. They attack so many ways.

57. City on Utah Lake: OREM. The 57th appearance in the LAT, including one in a puzzle I did with C.C.

58. Cordial relations: AMITY. The ironic home of the horror.

64. It's a fact: DATUM. One lonely piece of data.

65. Pain in the neck, e.g.: ACHE.

66. Roman fiddler: NERO.

67. Rickman role in Harry Potter films: SNAPE. RIP Alan.

68. Smidge: TAD.

69. Feint on the ice: DEKE. From decoy, I would guess.


1. FYI cousin: BTW. By the way.

2. Sound from a spa: AHH.

3. Vientiane native: LAO. My cousin Joe is married to one.

4. "Just watch me": LIKE SO. Eh.

5. Metaphor for youthful indiscretion: WILD OATS. If you want read a very complicated but thought out ETYMOLOGY here is your chance.

6. Former senator Specter: ARLEN. They like his letter distribution.

7. Caviar: ROE. Fish eggs are fish eggs.

8. Having a calm temperament: NO DRAMA.

9. Identity-concealing attire, in a Dumas novel: IRON MASK.

10. Coffee hr.: TEN AM. Or six, seven, eight...

11. Compact item: ROUGE. Nice next to your...

12. Perfume compound: ESTER.

15. Epidemic-fighting agcy.: CDC. I cannot comment without getting into politics.

18. Mural opening: INTRA. The word, not the art.

22. Sashimi selection: AHI. Tuna.

23. Given to overacting: HAMMY.

24. Navel type: OUTIE.

25. Eurasian divide: URALS.

28. Star-Lord portrayer Chris: PRATT.

29. Theme park staple: RIDE.

32. Samoan port: APIA.

34. One of many on a phone these days: PHOTO.

35. Rod in Cooperstown: CAREW. An all-time GREAT.

36. Positive pole, perhaps: ANODE. Cathode?

38. "Hang in there": KEEP IT UP. really?

43. "D'oh!": SILLY ME. Hi Homer.

45. More ticked off: SORER.

48. Sheltered side: LEE.

50. __ Joy: ALMOND. You can combine with your wild oats. RECIPE.

51. Honey drinks: MEADS. As old as beer and wine.

52. Capital south of Beirut: AMMAN. More BIBLICAL history.

53. Indian yogurt dip: RAITA. Not to be confused with TATZIKI.

54. Coffee shop order: MOCHA. More complicated than you thought...Mocha is a high-quality type of coffee made from a specific coffee bean. It's easily confused with the flavored drink also called a mocha, which combines coffee and chocolate. Mocha coffee beans are from the plant species called Coffee arabica, and it was originally only grown in Mocha, Yemen

56. Color TV pioneer: RCA.

60. It ends rather spookily: Abbr.: OCTober. Halloween humor.

61. Busyness symbol: BEE.

62. Tick off: IRK.

63. San Francisco's __ Valley: NOE. Here is a great LINK. One of my childhood nicknames was NOEY, no relation.

I really enjoyed the puzzle and all the places I ended up following Jake's train of thought. I hope we find out more about him today. Thank you all for coming by and for those who comment, keep it up?

                                            THE SPARROW!


Hungry Mother said...

FIR with some wags.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Things were going great until I hit that bottom row. And then "things fell apart, the center could not hold," to paraphrase Yeats. I had SNIPE for that Rickman role and DEEK for that ice feint. Hey it could'a been! RIATI for the yogurt dip, IRE instead of IRK and NOK for that S.F. valley. Bzzzzzt. Thanx for playing. We have some lovely parting gifts. Thanx for the humiliation, Jake, and for showing me the errors of my ways, Lemonade.

MILK: I looked at MIL_ for a long time before that K occurred to me.

AMITY: Amity was the fictional beach town where Jaws terrorized the town.

EILAT: Couldn't think of any town on that gulf, other than Aqaba. It was a town of significance in Lawrence of Arabia.

Supposed to get wet later today. That's fine. We can use the rain. We're still slightly behind for the year.

Wilbur Charles said...

Nero Wolfe was a noticable omission but if Agatha and Erle didn't have their sleuths I can't complain. I notice there's a new Perry Mason on HBO.

Huh? There's another spelling for DONUT? I'm reading along and remembering the tricky clueing and we're not even to the SW yet.

21A dis say "slang" and there CARNAGE is correct for chaos.

Ah, the sounds of the Washington St El in the morning. Incoming rockets sounded the same.

I just got the pun- Watch dog. ASPCA.

Here's the letter from Guyuk Khan

Ah, there's NERO. And now we're in the SW where Ecaller began the complete mess complicated by KEEP at it. To think I had SNAPE from the gitgo. AMMAN finally came to me. Jordan is so easy to forget even with that xword Queen from Cali

And there it was all along that it was TTP in the write-up. I can usually tell. Thanks Lemonade.


Ps, despite the Rorschach in the SW I did manage the FIR. DATUM I was familiar with.

Wilbur Charles said...

My MTA "stops" were Forest Jill's and Green St

Wilbur Charles said...


inanehiker said...

This was a fun challenge - especially with the theme all about detectives! The "WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN?" reminded me of how many children's rhymes from old England eg "Ring around the Rosie" or Grimm's fairy tales were about serious or violent themes!

EILAT definitely took all perps, I had SAILED before BOATED. I'm more used to ALEE then LEE by itself. Knowing all the detectives made this smoother to fill than I would have expected!

Thanks Lemonade and congrats/thanks to Jake!
Off to meet friends at the Middle Eastern coffee shop owned by a Jordanian American friend (originally from AMMAN) - where you can get Tzatziki but not RAITA !

Tabby said...

Really enjoyed the theme and the answer to the mystery.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Despite needing perps for Nitre, IROC, Houston, Eilat, and Raita, I finished in record time, for a Friday. Houston was the only tec I didn’t know, never saw the show. I absolutely loved the theme, execution, and the Easter Egg, The Sparrow! My only w/os were Uno/War and Truth/Datum. Prima made its second appearance as a Ballerina, not a Donna. I liked the Roe/Noe duo and the Oro/Oreo/Orem trio, and also the whimsy of Hammy and Outie. Hammy just sounds so funny to me! Oh, an a nice CSO to Misty at RCA; that has turned up often in the last several months.


Thanks for all the compliments on CC’s and my puzzle. We enjoyed creating it and are glad you enjoyed solving it! ๐Ÿค—

I’m slowly learning the ins and outs of my new smart phone. (My nieces think it’s amazing that dear, old Auntie Ag Is texting!) One of the many benefits of having the phone is texting a wellness report to a niece every morning. Since that horrific fall, it was suggested that I do this so everyone’s mind is at ease. Also, I call my sister, Eileen, every night, so that’s another check, plus I have the medical alert device around my neck 24-7.

Have a great day.

Irish Miss said...

Mea Culpa! I forgot to thank Jake for a very enjoyable solve and Lemony for a fun and fact-filled summary. Many thanks to you both! ๐Ÿค—

Anonymous said...

Got 8D via perps. Googled "nodrama" thinking: "wtf kind of word is that?" D'oh!

Anonymous said...

Really fun puzzle to do! Breezy puzzle with a lot of theme answers but didn't feel too forced.

Gotta thank Boomer for the MTA mention on Wednesday, or I would never have known who "Charlie" was! A weird coincidence!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Late yesterday I did IM and C. C.'s puzzle. Easy and enjoyable. Thanks.

One wrong letter, but got everything else w/o aid or erasing. CARNAGE was the last to fall; agree with Lemon on usage. Aware of the sleuth motif, but didn't dwell on it.
EILAT - Part of Israel's littoral on the Gulf of Aqaba. I think there are only 4 miles or so of coastline between the Egypt and Jordan borders.

Have a great day.

Big Easy said...

It was a DNF today. I'd never heard of COCK ROBIN, RAITA, NOE Valley, both Star-Lord & Chris PRATT,or EILAT (guessed PRATH & EILAH). The 'Busyness' symbol-BEE was new to me; kept thinking Greek letter. I correctly filled Matt HOUSTON but had never heard of him.

But with the circles in my grid filled I could see the killer was THE SPARROW. I can usually finish most puzzles with a few unknowns by perps & WAGS but not today. BTW was a WAG for FYI.

Very nice puzzle but it got me today.

Agnes- I knew NITRE but HOUSTON, EILAT, & RAITA- not a clue.
Lemonade- I'd never heard of TATZIKI either.

desper-otto said...

B-E, surely you've heard the expression "busy as a bee."

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning,

Thanks, Jake for a very doable Friday. At least for me--for a change. I was apparently on your wavelength. I also had sailed before BOATED. I quickly went with KEEP at it before perps proved me wrong. The detectives came easily, and WHO KILLED in the NW had me on my way with the theme answer.

Thank you, Lemonade, for the very informative guidance. Nicely done.

Have a sunny day today and a great weekend. Stay well, and wear that mask. ;-)

Malodorous Manatee said...

I enjoyed the fictional detectives theme and most of the associated ITEMS filled in quickly. For a Friday, the CARNAGE was minimal. The COCK ROBIN / SPARROW bit was okay but it neither added much to my enjoyment nor proved to be of any assistance to me in completing the puzzle. Placing Sam SPADE right in the middle of everything was helpful. It was good to see Rod CAREW in a puzzle even if one is not an Angels or a Twins fan. Before there was MS Word there was WordPerfect which was, IIRC, based in OREM, Utah. IRON MASK reminded me of the line in The Shawshank Redemption about a certain book having been written by Alexander Dumb Ass. The Took The / Left On A Sloop cluing was clever although for a split second I started to write port. Oh, wait. Port is left not write.

FLN, thanks for posting the link to that great version My Back Pages. I’ve re-posted it, below, in case folks missed it yesterday (it was late, particularly for those on the east coast).

My Back Pages - 30th Anniversary Concert

Well, I now must prepare to be Busy As A Bee. I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend. Let’s be careful out there.

Bob Lee said...

For once I knew all of the names!!

I had DINK instead of DEKE at first - oh, wait. DINK is a drop shot in tennis.

I never heard of EILAT nor its cross with APIA so a pure guess on the A.

Was puzzled at the 'it ends spookily' when I got OCT. Thinking...Oh, D'oh--October!

And my favorite KHAN is, of course, from Star Trek: Khan Noonien Singh. KHAAAAANNNN!

Yellowrocks said...

I agree , WC, It does say chaotic situation in slang.
Carnage-chaotic drinking mayhem. A night out which consists of sheer madness with friends, usually results in having "The Fear" in the morning due to crazy drinking antics!
carnage parties

oc4beach said...

A Friday puzzle in 20 minutes is pretty good for me. Nice puzzle Jake.

Lemony: No circles because I use the Merriam-Webster site. The Mensa site no longer carries the LATimes CW.

The lack of circles didn't help get the theme, but I did get all of the detectives.

There were just enough filled-in clues to let perps do their job to fill in the unknowns. There were a few erasures necessary in the process. I had NITER before NITRE, and ELLAT before EILAT which were just spelling errors. SNAPE and ENDE were all perps. I've seen a few Harry Potter movies, but they didn't thrill me like they thrilled my kids and grandson, so SNAPE didn't stick in my brain.

A colleague and friend of mine at SCORE, Marlene Jensen, has a blog called where she posts many things that are relevant to the times and the age of many of us. You might enjoy reading some of her posts. I do.

A little bit of rain and a lot of thunder and lightning last night. Needed the rain and the grass is already looking a little greener today.

Be safe, enjoy the day and please wear your masks.

Husker Gary said...

-What a marvelous theme and attendant gimmicks! The Hardy Boys of my yute hooked me on mysteries
-Mon Dieu, oรน est Poirot?
-That Maltese Falcon (What dreams are made of) Spade/Bogart sought sold for over $4M in 2013.
-Bogie also took a turn as Phillip MARLOWE
-Very interesting sex content in school lunchrooms, Lemon!
-Hitler’s ENDE kam im April 1945
-Sequels like GREASE II tried to MILK a franchise and lost big money
-Not the same spelling but this is what’s left of ORUM, NE
-RAIT_/SN_PE was a logical guess for this Potter “know nothing”
-A one-day ticket to Disneyland in 1955 cost $1 for adults and 50 cents for children. In addition to the price of entry, each of the park's 35 RIDES had a fee. Many of the attractions cost around 25 to 35 cents for adults and 10 to 25 cents for children
-My 82-yr-old widow neighbor can text and show photos with the best of ‘em!

NaomiZ said...

A challenging puzzle today. DNF because of an embarrassing failure to recall where it's AT in EILat. APIA and PRATT were unknown, so no help there. Two blank squares, three unfinished words. WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN brought back happy memories of my mother playing guitar and singing, and although my voice was never as beautiful as hers, I had a great memory for lyrics and loved to sing along. "I, said the sparrow, with my little bow and arrow, it was I, oh it was I."

Malodorous Manatee said...

I had a bit of the same trouble at EILAT, NaomiZ. In this case I fortunately remembered pretty quickly that English transliterations of words such as ืื™ืœืช can be many and varied. In the English versions the vowels, especially, can be almost anything.

Shankers said...

Despite getting a FIR I can't say that I cared for this puzzle much at all. I thought hammy and milk were stretches and the "a" in the crossing of Snape and raita was a total WAG. Nevertheless, I suppose I should be grateful for a personal victory. Yay me!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Was happily chugging along when I came to a screeching halt in the SW corner. SILLYME. Kept coming back over and over but still FIW with snipe instead of SNAPE (DO,WC)..No help with perp Indian dip I never heard of.

Other inkovers: party/PHOTO ("many on a phone"..showing my age..was thinking party lines.) Stoopidly had Jack instead of COCKROBIN for a while. But at least parsed all the fictional detectives.

After reading the narrative realize I didn't figure out the theme behind the theme. No surprise.

Chris Pratt one of my favorite actors. A leading man not afraid to be silly. Great in "PASSENGERS" with Jennifer Lawrence.

"Jesu"JOY..wait!..too short..ALMOND! ...Simi Valley, Napa? That's a NOE.

I never remember APIA (always on the tip of my pen) needed perps.

Agree that Chaos is extreme confusion. CARNAGE is extreme destruction. Equivalent?

Speaking of chaos:

They voted down the bill to ____ AMANN
She was made a Dame cuz QE2 couldn't ____ NITRE
German auto....OUTIE.
No puppies for her. She was_____ SPADE.
The Pan-Asian soccer match ended in a____ THAI..

Hope for a nice weekend.....remember....

Wear a face covering when out but an ______ is overkill...IRONMASK

On to Saturn's Day.

Misty said...

Well, after my terrific solving yesterday, this was a Friday toughie for me. Got much of the eastern half, but lots of problems in the west. The main problem was that I guess I don't know my sleuths. But still, lots of funny and enjoyable moments: ASPCA as a cracked me up. So, many thanks, Jake. And your comments are always a big help and pleasure, Lemonade.

Thank you for remembering that my Dad worked for RCA in Lancaster, PA, for so many years, Irish Miss. And I'm so glad that you've put a series of systems in place to help people track how you are doing--very important at this time. Take good care of yourself.

Have a good weekend coming up, everybody.

Pat said...

Well, I tried. Started off fairly well until I got to the southwest. I knew SNAPE and that was it. Needed peeks at the grid to make progress. Thanks for the challenge, Jake. Thanks for the expo, Lemonade, to help me understand some of the answers.

Didn't know most of what has already been mentioned. Perps helped.

Fav: Watchdog org/ASPCA

27a Northern sky sight/AURORA Comet Neowise and Aurora Borealis

Another hot and humid day. Stay cool, stay healthy.

OMaxiN said...

I must have been deprived of literary content in my youth. Or maybe too lazy or too involved with sports. Saw W K C R, but didn't know it was the sparrow.
Enjoyed one Harry Potter movie.

DNF. What Ray O Sunshine said-the SW was mostly blank.
Thanks Jake and Lemonade.

WikWak said...

Wow... I really liked this one! I guess I was right on Jake’s wavelength. Didn’t even need Lemonade’s help. (But I still read and enjoyed the whole thing.) Thanks to both of you.

Speaking of wavelength (and I just was), life’s full of coincidences just like this: earlier this week I made contact with another amateur radio operator—in APIA, Samoa. Filled that one in right quick, you bet.

In my (misspent) yute I lusted after the IROC-Z. The IROC got its name from the International Race Of Champions. Today’s trivia.

I had no idea about EILAT. Thank goodness for perps.

SNAPE came easily; I am a great Harry Potter fan.

Fun to see OUTIE. Didn’t we just have “innie” recently?

Detective/mystery stories are just about my favorite genre. (Well... science fiction is too.) So that made this puzzle especially fun for me to solve. My absolute all-time favorite character is Nero Wolfe. Archie’s dialogs with him are classic.

“Archie, shut up.”
“Yes, sir. Now as I was saying...”

I agree with others that the intersection of EILAT and APIA would have been a first-class nattick if both were unknowns.

Very hot and humid here today. There are people who enjoy hot weather. We can’t explain that but it’s true.

Nap time. Stay well.

AnonymousPVX said...

This Friday grid presented a challenge.


The Maltese Falcon was on last weekend, what a treat...I always like when Peter Lorre’s character Joel Cairo (what a great name) has his emotional meltdown, and of course the scene at the end where the elevator cage closes and casts the shadows on Ruth’s prison bars.

Bogart is a big favorite of mine.

See you tomorrow, Stay Safe, Mask Up.

Lucina said...


Thank you, Jake Scheele and Lemonade! Nicely done, both.

I'll take a CSO at AURORA, my middle name and my paternal grandmother's name.

Also I enjoyed looking for and finding the various sleuths although I'm not familiar with Matt HOUSTON. My first introduction to Sam SPADE was on the radio. In the evening we all sat around it and listened. There were many interesting programs aired in the 50s so every night we had something to anticipate.

NOE Valley is new to me and though I've never been to Utah, OREM is known from CWDs.

That is an interesting evolution of the name KHAN.

I don't get the joke with ASPCA.

Sometimes, just as an exercise, I translate names into Spanish when possible. E.g., Mike HAMMER, Miguel Martillo, Sam SPAKE, Samuel Pala. The others are not translatable.

Thank you, Sr. Limonada (Mr.Lemonade).

Hasta la vista, amigas y amigos. Enjoy your day, everyone!

Lucina said...

AMMAN, Jordan, is a very unimpressive city. Of course, it's in the middle of the desert so nothing stands out except that all the buildings are white. I was surprised at how much litter was visible throughout the city. That was a stark contrast to the very neat and tidy neighbor, Jerusalem.

Wendybird said...

This was a really interesting puzzle. Thanks Jake for the workout and Lemonade for the tour. Loved the Snape clip. I read all the Harry Potter books and saw all the movies.

Unfortunately, I FIW due to a few dumb errors - Cluster/CARNAGE ( cluster is actually part of a rather rude phrase, which I use frequently) sailed/BOATED , misspelled KHAN as Kahn. Also, geography is not my long suit, and I flubbed most of the clues. Oh well, still fun.

So annoying that Orange County can’t seem to get the virus under control and had to close again. Mask wearing and social distancing isn’t that tough! Stay safe everyone.

LEO III said...

I found this one to be a fairly easy and interesting Friday puzzle. Started it early, early this morning, went to bed, and then I finished it a little while ago. Thanks, Jake and Lemon.

I was NOT going to take credit for an FIR, but rather for a FWWAGS. I like to differentiate between educated guesses, and just filling in a letter just because I have no clue and am tired of staring at it. Anyway, it really didn’t matter today, because right off the bat I saw that I had NITRO instead of NITRE. Then, I found out my last two WAGS were incorrect anyway (EILAT/PPIA and SNAPE/RAITA --- not really into HP) so it’s a great big FIW.

I’m not complaining, though. I did well enough for a Friday.

I got all of the theme answers, and I saw who killed poor old COCKROBIN.

I think it’s funny how DEKE is primarily a hockey term, but it is not used often (if at all) in either football or basketball. (I also find it interesting that the online dictionary doesn't recognize DEKE as a word and has underlined it in red. Obviously NOT hockey fans....)

Ol' Man Keith said...

A fine pzl!
A class act, Mr. Scheele!
Neat how the circled letters are a direct response to the long theme fills.

I did not know of your father's connection to RCA, Misty.
The ability of crosswords--and of this Corner--to bring out the details of our world never ceases to impress me.

Off to the dentist's! Aaargh...
. Two diagonals, one to a side.
The front end diagonal yields a tribute to the oft-maligned members of our Navy's Shore Patrol, the...

jfromvt said...

Like others, SW corner was last to finish, but finally got MARPLE and figured things out. Overall, a few too many proper nouns and Naticks for my liking, which turns solving into a bit of a trivia game.

CrossEyedDave said...

Malodorous Manatee,
Tx for the Dylan link!
I am going back to watch the whole thing after this post,
but I am Agog at seeing Tom Petty+Neil Young singing/playing together!

Not only do you have an Aurora & a Comet,
you also have a meteor crossing Comet Neowise' tail!
(Yellowrocks, punctuation check pls, ('s) ???

Why do Comets have TWO tails?

Irish Miss,
you have only begun to discover what a smart phone can do!
Download the free Starwalk2 app, & you can hold your phone
up to the night sky anywhere and see what stars/constellations/comets
you are looking at in real time!
(or you could use the calculator)
( dibs on the bet you use the magnifying glass feature the most!)
(did I mention the flashlight)
(Oh, & the camera/video...)
One caveat, you should get a 2nd smart phone,
just so you can call the other one to hear it ring
when you lose it...

Almost forgot the puzzle!
I struggled thru it, successfully.
The hardest part for me was 1A outdoor games need was not "lawn"
crossing 1d texting bullcrap is not L8r???

Which reminds me that camaro (blank)-Z...
I was sure it was 280-Z
How the heck do I alphabetize 280 into 4 spaces?

Simple card game is not Uno?

They put SaltPeter Where???

But the biggest stumbling block for me had to be Snape.
I know Snape, I know everything about every HP movie!
(I just could not remember his name!)
So I looked it up...

Hey! It's not cheating, I knew his name!
(Sheesh, if I had to rely on my aging memory
I would never get any X-Words done...)

Pat said...

CED, 3:32, I went to Ken's Facebook page to get his explanation of the lights. Along with the comet, the bright light to the right of center is the South Manitou Island Lighthouse. The flare crossing the comet is an Iridium Flare from the Skysat C2 satellite that was launched in 2016 by the US. What is an Iridium Flare, you ask?

Irish Miss said...

CED @ 3:32 ~ Night sky App? Calculator? Magnifying glass? Flashlight? Camera? Video? All of these may be on my phone, but I’m only interested in using it for necessary texting communication with delivery services and my daily wellness text to my niece, and perhaps an occasional text in an emergency. My iPad is my go-to device. And my land line is my go-to phone. (Semi-Luddite, I guess! ๐Ÿ™€)

Boomer said...

Hi Lemonade, I enjoy reading your comments on the blog - sometimes they remind me of me. Thank you for remembering "Poor old Charlie". I was able to sing that ballad solo in the Benilde High School Glee Club back in the day. Recently there was a report on the news regarding the Metropolitan Transit Authority in the Northeast U.S. They are hurting for money and hope to be bailed out by our government. I guess they never thought about increasing the fares. "When he got there the conductor shouted one more nickel Charlie couldn't get off of that train." "Fight the fare increase, vote for George O'Brian, get poor Charlie off the MTA.

Lemonade714 said...

Crazy busy, but it is nice to see the vast majority enjoyed this puzzle and write-up. When I blog my opinion gets lost in the shuffle. WHAT!?! Where did that come from...

1530s, put together hastily," probably from Middle English shovelen "to move with dragging feet," itself probably a frequentative form of shoven (see shove (v.)). Or perhaps from Low German schuffeln "to walk clumsily, deal dishonestly."

Of playing cards, first recorded 1560s. Meaning "walk slowly without lifting the feet" is from 1570s. Meaning "push along gradually" is from 1560s. Meaning "move from one place to another" is from 1690s. Meaning "do a shuffle dance" is from 1818. Related: Shuffled; shuffling. Shuffle off "get rid of, dispose of" is from Shakespeare (1601).

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Nope. Just Nope. Might as well have been a Saturday ('learning days," I call 'em). Didn't help that I put in "disguise" for Identity-concealing attire (wait, there was more to the clue? SILLY ME).
FWIW, at least I got (most [sans MARPLE]) the SW which apparently troubled others.

Thanks Jake for the puzzle. Completely out of my wheelhouse; Only detective I knew from the clue was SPADE and I've never heard of COCK ROBIN nor that s/he was dead (Hi BigE!).
Cool theme concept though.

Thanks for the expo Lem. And for letting me crib from your grid [poor-man's red-letters? :-)] for some extra-play.

Just Wrong(s): disguise (IRON MASK), sailed (BOATED), axel (DEEK) | iRe (IRK), latte (MOCHA).
//now you can see why I needed Lem's "red-letters" :-)

I was going for Cluster (as in 'a total cluster ****' Oh, Hi Windybird!) instead of CARNAGE, but AHI wouldn't let me.

Fav: I'll go with MTA - if it wasn't for Boomer mentioning it oft... Thanks Boomer!

LOL 'Knight Her' Ray-O.
Naval landlubbers OMK? :-)

Get wet? D-O, it's TS Hanna . But, yeah, it could be worse for HOUSTON than just a few inches of rain.

I knew WC would pickup on Mr. Wolfe. Why didn't he get clued as a detective? Jake didn't need more circles, I guess.

Pat & CED: 1) Great Neowise (and Iridium flare) links! 2) I took the binoculars & the Girls out the other night to see it -- way cool.

IM - Pop went kicking & screaming into the smart-phone era (loved his flip-trac-phone) but, now that he has it, "this little thing is an amazing tool. I can take a picture at the hardware store, send it to my client, and it saves me three 'that's not the right color' [or whatever] trips!"
Glad you're finding new uses for yours. //Flashlight app will come in handy esp. when we return to eating out and you're in a dimly-lit restaurant and can't see what the lobster ravioli costs :-)

For Bob Lee: KHAAAAAN!

Cheers, -T

Big Easy said...

Not really

Malodorous Manatee said...

Continuing on what was mentioned above, a flashlight is great and an even better app for when you're in a dimly lit restaurant and can't see what the lobster ravioli costs is one called Flashlight & Magnifying glass. Self explanatory.

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle and loved the theme. Hand up for cracking up over the great clue for ASPCA.

So, Lemonade "cannot comment without getting into politics" re the CDC? Okay, I'll comment, without getting into politics. First of all, CDC stands for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Back in my younger days, if I recall correctly, it was called the Centers for Disease Control. It is a national public health institute, and its main goal is to protect public health and safety through the control and prevention of disease, injury, and disability. And it explicitly tries to be NON political.

And yet, and yet, while professing to be prohibited from saying a single word about the CDC, not even saying what the letters stand for, in his commentary on EILAT Lemonade writes two full sentences about ancient tribes important in the (*gasp*! religious!) Book of Exodus. And, just above, re KHAN, he explicitly mentions "the Muslim world." But wait, there's more! Later on he links us to "More BIBLICAL history" about AMMAN.

I just don't understand the over-fastidiousness in one area and the over-permissiveness in the other.

Big Easy said...

Tony, we went to the public school system. Obviously we're missed out on a few things. But know things that others find strange.

Lemonade714 said...

It is called my sense of humor Jayce. To me, words are just words. If anyone really did not know about the CDC, I appreciate your added commentary. It may even be that I was amazed that the CDC disappeared from COVID updates...

Jayce said...

Thanks, Lemonade. I shall make a greater effort to try to understand your sense of humor.

Anonymous T said...

BigE - re: COCKROBIN. To be fair to the Nuns and lay-teachers, I did spend half my time (depending on which parent I lived with or state [IL|LA] I was in) in Catholic ELHI [oh, there's that word again] school.

But I know what you mean about public schools. I can roll a joint even though I don't partake. :-)

Cheers, -T

SwampCat said...

Amazing construction! Thanks ! I am a mystery fan so I loved the theme and techs. Lemon, I loved your expo.... and your sense of humor! Carry on!!

SwampCat said...

Dumb autocorrect!! I defeated it twice to say TECS... but I see in the end , the machine won. Sigh....

SwampCat said...

Detective stories!!!!!

CrossEyedDave said...

Pat, Thanks for the Iridium Flare link!
I always thought the flashes were just from the satellite spinning...

Went to look for the Comet tonite,
but while I could see the Big Dipper,
the 1st qtr Moon was a dark orange from
all the haze in the air. Anything below the Big Dipper was invisible.

I live in a very light polluted area...

Lemonade714 said...

Jayce, don't try to understand. I also live in a light-polluted area unless I can bum a ride on a boat and go out into the ocean. Enjoy the rest of July

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Jake Scheele, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Lemonade, for a fine review.

Well, I started this puzzle this morning on the way to my treatments. When I got there I gave the puzzle to my wife and said you can finish it. I did not think she could, but she did. So, I really cannot report. My wife completed it.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Bill G said...

Hi everybody,

I got my trusty binoculars and went comet hunting from the end of my driveway, but alas...

Anonymous T said...

Bill G. Light pollution is no fun for stargazing. Fortunately, we live in a exurb so far out that' within 10 minutes, I can see cows (it's nice on stressful days to take the Alfa out and look at cows). So the Girls & I took the (reliable) car out to George Ranch and had a great time looking at the comet.

Funny thing - I think I scared the hell out of a young Asian woman. She was out there (with a "I'm so jelly!*" camera) taking photos. After she figured out "Dad with kids," she lightened up but kept her social-distance. I hope she posts the photos online.

Cheers, -T
*that's the new slang for jealous