Aug 13, 2020

Thursday August 13th 2020 Jeffrey Wechsler

Before we start, a reminder that if you wish to comment on the puzzles, we have three requests on this blog - no politics, no religion and no personal attacks. Not too difficult, right? Right! Moving on ...

Theme: Vowel Virtuosity - the four theme entries have their vowel progressions exactly as described in the reveal:

34A. Children's song refrain featured in the four longest answers: E-I-E-I-O.

And so we find:

15A. Good ideas that don't always pan out: BEST INTENTIONS. An online dictionary uses "organizing a family reunion" as an example, which makes me a little sad.

26A. "Carpe diem!": THE TIME IS NOW! The more literal translation "Seize the day!" breaks all the vowel progression rules for the theme. And it doesn't fit.

40A. GPS suggestion to avoid a tie-up: NEW DIRECTION.  I was going to link a catchy little tune from the British band, then I discovered they were called One Direction, and then I discovered, after watching a boy band for a couple of minutes, that I didn't mean them at all, I was thinking of One Republic. So there endeth the search for a musical link.

53A. "Both options are practical": EITHER WILL WORK. Usually followed by "but ..."

Thank you Jeffrey. The key point with this theme is that the entries have only E-I-E-I-O in that order and no other vowels. Not an easy trick to pull off, but Jeffrey did a great job with it.

Now let's point out a strange coincidence in Crossworld. This exact same theme-reveal was the center of the NYT Tuesday puzzle earlier this week. Obviously, the rest of the puzzle was completely different, but Will Shortz probably scheduled his Tuesday at the very least nine months ago, and Rich Norris maybe scheduled this one four months ago. Sheer coincidence, but I thought I was having a bout of déjà vu when I got to the reveal today! My first thought was "Did I already do this puzzle and forget that I did?" Thankfully no.

Let's go roaming through the gloaming and see what jumps out:


1. Freebies: COMPS.

6. Charity sale goods: RUMMAGE. This took a while, it wasn't my first thought but the crosses filled it in slowly.

13. Undefeated Ali: LAILA. She went 24-0 in her pro boxing career, and is a knockout chef to boot. A great lady.

14. Cradle-rocking site of rhyme: TREE TOP.

17. Eduardo's east: ORIENTE. Not sure about this. "East" is "este" in Spanish. "The East" might be rendered as "El Oriente" I suppose, but "The Orient" is now archaic in English. All kinds of uncertainty, but makes for a slightly tricky crossword clue/entry.

18. Only: SOLE.

19. Gives the go-ahead: OK'S.

20. Championship ice dancer __ Virtue: TESSA. Who? Thank you, crosses.

23. Depressed areas: SLUMS.

28. Fountain output: SODAS.

31. Fuel for a fire: LOGS.

32. Vatican's higher authority: DIO. I'd have liked some hint in the clue that we were looking for the Italian translation for "God". The Italian for "Vatican" is "Vaticano", so I'm calling this a mistake in cluing/editing.

33. Puts on TV: AIRS.

36. Monsieur across the border: HERR. Pick your French border - Belgium, Lichtenstein, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Spain or Andorra. I think that's all of them, but I might have missed a couple. Or added one in that doesn't belong. Not bad for a country that's at least 50% coastline.

37. Land in la mer: ÎLE.

38. Give a heads-up: WARN.

39. Rams QB Goff: JARED. Local boy. Now.

44. Characteristic: TRAIT.

45. Looks: SEEMS.

46. Nor. neighbor: SWE.

49. '90s Polish president Walesa: LECH. Leader of "Solidarnosc", the shipyard labor union, who became president of the country. The union was instrumental in the ending of communist rule in Poland.

51. Group of groupies: RETINUE. I suppose so? I let the crosses fill this in for me.

56. Show contempt for: SNEER AT.

57. Objects of fondness: DEARS. As in "my dears".

58. Ones of interest, perhaps: PERSONS.

59. Thing of worth: ASSET.


1. Register user: CLERK.

2. Spring for a drink?: OASIS.

3. Somewhat, with "a": MITE.

4. Architectural column bases: PLINTHS.

5. South Carolina river to the Atlantic: SANTEE. Thank you, crosses. Very reliant on these today.

6. GPS datum: RTE. I learned my lesson with "STS" last week, so I'll leave all y'all to figure out what a RTE is.

7. Decorative container: URN.

8. Team whose mascot's head is a ball: METS. Not exactly the most inventive of mascots. His name is "Mr. Met" and he's basically a baseball with arms and legs. His co-mascot is .... wait for it ... Mrs. Met. I'd have a bit of a mascot re-think if I was part of the Mets marketing organization.

9. Cell division that produces gametes: MEIOSIS. Thank you, grade school biology.

10. Common Pacific groupings: ATOLLS.

11. Failed, as a business: GONE UNDER. I had "Went Under" first, but backed out of that pretty quickly when the crosses didn't work.

12. Four-song discs, briefly: EPS. Extended Play Records. They were fun, the same size as a regular '45 but two songs on each side.

15. Frightening word: BOO!

16. Trial: TEST.

21. Library ambience: SILENCE.

22. Madame's mine: A MOI.

24. Optically active pattern: MOIRE. You've seen the TV presenters or guests in plaid jackets or certain stripey ties which make moire swirls - you'd have thought by now the producers would step in before they went in front of the camera.

25. Excalibur, for one: SWORD. We've been slowly captivated by "Forged in Fire" on the History Channel. I can confidently tell you that Excalibur is a hardened steel blade of approximately 46 inches, with a fuller on each side of the blade, a quillion and a recasso, a grip over the tang and a pommel.

Now I just need to convince myself I can make one, build myself a forge and set fire to the house.

26. Prof's helpers: TA'S.

27. A star may have a big one: EGO.

28. Venerated figure: SAINT.

29. Gulf of Oman vessel: OILER.

30. Set boundaries: DREW A LINE.

34. Protuberant organ: EAR.

35. Elicits a "Grrr!" from: IRES. OK. "He ired me!" said no-one, ever. Maybe Dick Van Dyke in "Mary Poppins":

Sweep: 'e ired me, Mary Poppins!
Nanny: What, he gave you a job?
Sweep: Nah, 'e ticked me right orf!
Nanny: Why, did he comment on your terrible cockney accent?
Sweep: 'ah did yew know? I was ired, I was. Makes me want to dahnce wiv me broom. Oi fink oil get a bo'le o' beer and practice me glo'al stops.

36. Solo in space: HAN. The "Millenium Falcon" pilot in Star Wars. See, I've been catching up on my LucasFilms sci-fi.

38. First group seen in "Macbeth": WITCHES.

39. Fights (through), as a crowd: JOSTLES.

41. One with something to lose: DIETER. A German who needs to lose weight? Dieter the dieter. Confusing.

42. Polo usually not on horseback: TERI. An actress. Thank you, crosses.

43. Former Filipino first lady Marcos: IMELDA. She of shoe closet fame.

46. Sleep soundly?: SNORE.

47. Hot dog, to a Hamburger: WURST.

48. "That scared me!": EEK! Boo! and Eek! Scary puzzle today.

50. Often-shared sandwich: HERO.

52. "Methought __ enamour'd of an ass": Titania: I WAS. A Midsummer Night's Dream. 

53. Debatable ability: ESP. Apparently no longer worthy of periods. Do we pronounce it "esp" now?

54. Headed for the hills: RAN.

55. Lb. and oz.: WTS. Weights, but of course you all knew that.

And lo, we find ourselves at the end of our roam. Here's the grid!


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Spitzboov's lovely wife Betty! Here's a picture of Spitzboov, Betty and Argyle at the Washington County Fair on August 23, 2014. Argyle was eating blooming onions.


D4E4H said...

Good morning Cornerites.

Thank you Jeffrey Wechsler for your enjoyable Thursday CW.

Carol and I FIR in 21:04 min.

Thank you Steve for your excellent review.


kazie said...

Great review, Steve. Only one extra country unneeded in that list:Liechtenstein is further east...between Switzerland and Austria.

Lately I find these xwords are getting harder for me due to my failing memory for the names I do/should know, and an enduring ignorance of much modern culture.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Did he read the reveal? Yes, the first three words of it. Did he get the theme? Not a chance. And that's the way it is, as Walter Cronkite used to say. Those MOIRE patterns are much less of a problem on a Hi-Def TV. Despite my failings, I enjoyed the outing. Thanx to JW and Steve. (Biology in grade school? Back in the day, we took it as sophomores. Those of us who didn't get kicked out of class for the year, that is.)

Spitz, please pass on a Happy Birthday to Betty.

Today's an M-o-W day. Masked. Hand-sanitizer between clients. Social distancing as much as possible. And we sign for the clients to avoid passing virus around.

Wilbur Charles said...

I recall looking up to see which clever constructor did this gem. Yep, Jeff.

Lot less trouble than that NE yesterday.

I have no problems with ESP fe. It's 2020 and that's that.


Lemonade714 said...

Steve gets another crack at a JW creation with a hidden in the fill theme. Was MEIOSIS a tease fill? We get both a Will Shakespeare quotation and a reference.

Canadian TESSA VIRTUE and her partner gave some memorable Ice Dancing performances.

I did not recall Optically active pattern: MOIRE but it all filled. Thank you Steve for your consistent personal perspective and Jeffrey for all you do to entertain.

I leave you with a totally unrelated vintage video THE REAL ANNIE OAKLEY .

Bob Lee said...

I'm back after many days of no power, then no internet after the storm passed here in NY!

Nice puzzle, although since the Theme is only printed on my Sunday edition, I had no idea of the EIEIO progression in the long answers. I assumed there was no theme after I finished. BTW that was a great idea for a theme, too!

I only didn't know the SANTEE river, but I figured ORIENTE had to be the answer in the cross.

Hungry Mother said...

FIR, but ink blots all over the place. Lots of false starts on the longs. Seems like this theme appeared earlier in the week, maybe in another place.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Thanks C.C. and D-O for the good wishes for Betty. She hit the big 80 today.

Enjoyed Jeff's puzzle. Not so fond of this type of theme but the puzzle was rich in less-used fill: RUMMAGE, JOSTLES, MOIRE, PLINTHS, and the never seen before (by me) MEIOSIS.
DEERS - -Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (They issue my mil. retiree ID card.)

Kazie covered the Lichtenstein largesse on borders. Maybe Steve meant Luxembourg?

Have a great day.

Tinbeni said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BETTY ... the "First Sunset Toast" is to YOU !

The EIEIO theme was a good one.


Malodorous Manatee said...

A bit of head scratching in the NW with PLINTH and SANTEE which has been seen before and should have been remembered. Or, perhaps, I suck at geography. Unusual for me, the proper nouns, except for TESSA Virtue, were more of a help than a hindrance. EIEIO is always a help.

Have a great Thursday, everyone. Now, it's off to start a busy day.

jfromvt said...

As usual, some great clueing by Jeffrey, and a clever theme. But too many Naticks (Laila, Tessa, Jared, Santee, Teri) and foreign words for my liking. As Steve said - “thank you crosses”.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

FIR no inkovers. Always thought anyone reciting that lullaby poem to a toddler should be reported to Child Protective Services. Put a baby in a TREETOP cradle? falling

IRES....again..grrrr! It's a tanker not an OILER

If you wanted a hot dog in Italy in the 70s you asked for wurstel (VOOR - stel)

Almost put mitosis but that doesn't produce a gamete..(which only contains half the chromosomes) but an exact replica minus mutation errors. Held off on a Latin versus Italian God ..DIO or Deo

Liked "Spring for a drink" and "Sleep soundly" clues

______ sausage I ever tasted!....WURST.

It came apart at the ______ ...SEEMS

Need an old timey anesthetic?_______.... EITHERWILLWORK.

European Institute of Ecological Options.......EIEIO

Yogi's partner in pickanic capers.....BOOBOO

TGIF tomorrow...

Happy milestone Birthday to Spitz DW Betty...🎂

SwampCat said...

Yay! I finished a Jeffrey Wechsler puzzle right! That seldom happens, but P&P filled it all in.

And what a treasure it was, with so many clever clues. Sleep soundly for SNORE! Well yes that would be a sound. Spring for a drink? An OASIS is a spring I guess. Even Frightening word for BOO made me laugh. And so many more. Thanks Jeffrey, for all the pleasure.

Steve, thanks for walking us through.

Sherry said...

This is the closest I've come to completing a J.Wechsler crossword.
I too take issue with oriente and Dio. I was lost on the Eps, 12 down, but crosses filled it in nicely.

CanadianEh! said...

Terrific Thursday. Thanks for the fun, Jeffrey and Steve.
I got the theme , but FIWed in the S-ORIENTE.
I had EITHER WILL be oK (and was ready to rant about OK and OKS dupe!). I knew something was wrong with the crosses but could not correct without red letter help.

I got the Hamburger as German (like HERR) trick just now. Lightbulb moment and a smile.
Hand up for Deo before DIO.
This Canadian knew TESSA. But I obviously don’t know my American rivers, as I had Swanee before the unknown SANTEE.

Happy Birthday Betty.
Wishing you all a great day.

SwampCat said...

Ray-O, I agree RockaBye Baby should summon Child Protective Services, but it’s history is so convoluted it’s hard to know what it means.

I always thought it referred to the overthrow of the House of Stuart, with King James as the baby who will Fall when the Protestant Winds blow away the Catholic regime. But it can also refer to the crows nest on a sailing ship, the Tree Top, which will rock when the winds blow.

When I sang it in my nursery school classes I changed the words so that the Baby fell into my arms.

CanadianEh! said...

I had to Google Oeste the other day (for west) and in the process saw both Este and ORIENTE listed for east.. When I saw the number of spaces to fill today, I immediately entered ORIENTE. Sometimes my Google searches are useful another day, provided I remember😊

Malodorous Manatee said...

You are spot on with the OILER / Tanker comment, Ray O. An oiler carries fuel for other ships. A tanker carries crude oil. The only reason I immediately filled in the correct answer today is that this situation has come up so many times in crossword puzzles.

OMaxiN said...

My one year each of H.S. Spanish and college architecture classes failed me today. FIW with one bad cell. Other unknowns filled by perps.
Fun puzzle. Thx JW and Steve.

Old Okie said...

Thanks C.C. for this blog, my newspaper put the wrong grid in for this puzzle, so I had to download it from a link I found here.
Not a bad puzzle, the skater was unknown to me, but the rest was fairly simple.
I feel sorry for you people up north who lost your power, down here in Oklahoma we are used to it, I have a Generac standby generator now, and I have an above ground concrete storm shelter. My storm shelter in town where my business was had steps too steep for me to climb,Hence an above ground shelter,

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I shared Steve’s sense of Deja Vu as soon as I filled in E I E I O. Talk about coincidence, right down to the revealer clue! The four themers in each puzzle were quite different though, and the non-Jeffrey effort had 4 grid spinners. As Steve pointed out, the absence of any other vowels was an impressive feat and one that wasn’t achieved in the other puzzle thanks to a pesky Y. My only major hold up was the totally unknown Meiosis. I liked the ESP/EPS and Boo ~ Eek duos. Jeffrey’s cluing is always clever and tricky and today’s favs were Hot dog to a Hamburger=Wurst and Spring for a drink?=Oasis.

Thanks, Jeffrey W, for a very enjoyable and satisfying solve and thanks, Steve, for your always fun and illuminating summaries. I loved the ”Ired” exchange and could hear Dick Van Dyke’s voice in every word.

Happy 80th Birthday, Betty. I hope Spitz has a special celebration planned. 🎂 🎊 🎉 🎁 🎈

Have a great day.

Shankers said...

Always look forward to a JW puzzle. They typically end up with a FIR, but take longer. Today was no exception. Oh wait. I left one square open which I guess is officially a DNF. Dang!! Rummage was a long time coming as I wanted Nets instead of Mets, and the "e" in eps fell last. All in all, a good Thursday test, a tad easier than yesterday I thought. Anyone out there please tell me what WEES stands for. Thx.

Shankers said...

Sorry. I failed to see that a few responded to my inquiry about WEES late last night. Thank you for that.

TTP said...

Spitzboov, Happy Birthday to Betty !

Funny NEW DIRECTION comments, Steve. I can relate. I was trying to think of New Colony Six (the American / Chicago version of Paul Revere and the Raiders) the other day and it took a while to get there.

New Colony Six - Things I'd Like To Say

I knew TESSA Virtue. Coincidentally, her skating partner was Scot MOIR (no e).

Fountain output ? I first filled songs after latching on to Pete. That quickly morphed into cODAS and then SODAS.

RETINUE ? - The current street slang is posse, especially among rappers.

WMMS said about OILERS. It's one of those answers that's not usually clued correctly, but we see it all the time in crosswords so we just go with it.

Old Okie, after exchanging notes with D-O some time ago, I was contemplating having a whole house generator installed but held off. Early Monday evening I had to go purchase a portable. Briggs and Stratton 7500 Watt. It has battery powered push button start but the battery won't take a charge. Can't seem to find anyone that wants to fix it because Briggs and Stratton has filed for bankruptcy. It did start easily with the pull cord recoil action, and got the job done.

D4E4H - Good time for you and Carol today !

Anonymous said...

JW and Steve are a great combo!

This one took a while but was quite satifying to finish.

HBD to Betty!

Nice day in Chicago. Stay safe and well everyone.


Pat said...

Whoo-hoo! This is my best JW puzzle finish! Easier than yesterday. Thank you, Jeff, for the fun challenge. Thank you, Steve, for the expo.

I had 3 write-overs; GOes UNDER/GONE UNDER, op art/MOIRE, idol/DEARS. Perps to the rescue!

Happy birthday, Betty!

YR, hope you are feeling less pain every day.

Java Mama and I were able to spend about 15 minutes talking before our shift was over and we had to leave. It's too hot/humid to hang out outside for very long. I wonder how many more Cincinnati area solvers there are.

From Monday--Anon T, I thought the idea of making your own cheese would appeal to you. Let me know how it turns out.

Have a great day!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Very clever & fun, Jeffrey! Liked the theme, but didn't see the EIEIO reveal clue until Steve pointed it out.

Very informational & fun, Steve, but for a sec I didn't think it was you saying, "all y'all". The south does sneak into one's mouth with exposure.

MEIOSIS was almost a theme echo. Don't remember this from sophomore biology either, D-O.

Knew LAILA from Dancing With The Stars, but thought she spelled it with a "Y".

DNK: JARED (four perps, WAGd "J"), SANTEE (hand up for SwanEE), TERI Polo.

Happy Birthday, Betty. Spitz speaks well of you! We think of you as part of our RETINUE.

CrossEyedDave said...

In other news...

Excaliber was mentioned in the Comic Strip "Over The Hedge"
last week. Here is the penultimate
8/7 comic

(use the forward/back arrow to see the whole weekly thread)
(or just come to the rehearsals...)

Happy B-Day Betty,
Hmm, sailors wife eh,
if Spitzboov bakes you a cake,
it might look like this...

And TTP!
I hope you will make exceptions for me on the no politics clause!

Misty said...

I love Jeffrey Wechsler puzzles, even when they're a little tougher later in the week. And this one was a delight. I got everything but the top, and it didn't take long before I got the EIEIO theme, which helped fill in the long answers. So, many thanks, Jeffrey, and nice pictures, Steve.

I was so happy to get a number of names in this one--IMELDA, LECH, HAN--though it would sure have helped if I'd gotten LAILA too. SODAS cracked me up for the "Fountain output." I was also happy that I remembered the WITCHES starting Macbeth. And my other favorite clue was the 'Hot dog for a Hamburger"--oh, of course, a German guy living in Hamburg who would call it a WURST. Lots of fun, thanks again, Jeffrey.

Happy Birthday, Betty.

And have a great day, everybody.

Malodorous Manatee said...

Very funny linked cartoons, CED. Or should that be CEIEIOD? Thanks for the chuckles.

Happy Birthday, Betty.

Bill G said...

Hi everybody.

Thanks for your alway intelligent participation Spitz. Happy birthday to Betty!

~ "If you rip a hole in a net, there are actually fewer holes in it than there were before."

I'm watching Endeavor and I'm worried. Did Fred Thursday really accept a large amount of ill-gotten cash? Is Winnifred really leaving him? Tell me it's just a bad dream...

~ Mind how you go.

oc4beach said...

Almost got it right, but didn't. Still a good puzzle from JW. And, as always, I enjoyed Steve's dissertation on the grid.

I didn't know TESSA and MEIOSIS, and I had GOes UNDER before GONE UNDER was evident. However, I did know MOIRE. On the early MacIntosh computers there was a MOIRE screensaver that could drive you nuts if you watched it for very long.

ORIENTE is an eastern province in Cuba, so, that is what I plopped in for east because I already had the ORI from perps.

Be safe everyone and please wear your masks.

desper-otto said...

TTP, after Ike I purchased a 7KW gasoline generator from a scalper. But down here the power is often out for days (or weeks) at a time. And if the outage is widespread, the nearby gas stations have no power and can't pump gas. I learned early on that the gasoline generator wasn't an ideal solution. That's why I opted for a 20KW natural-gas-powered Generac. It can run the whole house, and the gas keeps flowing during a power outage. Expen$ive solution, but worth it. It's nice to be able to cook food, do laundry, and enjoy the air conditioning when the power's out long-term.

Anonymous said...

FIR, only write-over was METS over REDS, as the Reds have (or have had) a mascot with a baseball head as well. Otherwise, a tough, satisfying slog fest with challenging fill. I've seen Retinue as a clue from time to time, with the answer being "posse" or something similar, but never as an answer itself. Very nice.

Anonymous said...

What a weird coincidence about the EIEIO duplication from the NY Times puzzle two days ago! I immediately put EIEIO in the center this time, which never would have happened without having done the other puzzle. As it turns out, I didn't need the hint to solve the rest of the puzzle, but that is one weird coincidence.

ATLGranny said...

Did the CW early this morning but left to walk up Stone Mountain while it was still cool outside. So, after lunch (no WURST) I finally got to read Steve's answers and found I FIR!!! A JW challenging puzzle! Thanks, both Steve and Jeffrey.

Saw the reveal EIEIO easily and it helped fill in the long answers. TREETOP was my first fill of the puzzle, so you see I remember my children's songs still. Had the most trouble with SLUMS and SODAS, nearly filling the squares solid with ink but understood at last. FIR!

Happy "Round" Birthday to Betty on her 80th. Enjoy!

And hope you all are having a good day.

TTP said...


Yes, I kept mulling it over. Weighing price versus outages. Was leaning towards getting a portable, as we just don't have frequent outages and extended outages are rare. I had started reading some articles at Consumer Reports Online* back in late June or early July. That got nowhere real fast as it became too distracting to read the articles.

I'm happy (so far) with the portable, but not happy that the battery won't take a charge and that I didn't know that Briggs and Stratton had filed for Chapter 11. I wouldn't have bought that brand if I had known that I was effectively getting no warranty.

* It had been awhile since I had used CR Online. They have an online support function provided by Zendesk. Every time you change a screen, select a new topic or heading to try to read about something, you get this annoying popup "Ask CR". There is no way for the user to turn off the popup that steals focus, and Zendesk doesn't seem to care that it is irksome. They reply that you can minimize the popup, but it keeps coming back.

So I sent an email to Consumer Reports Member Services. Now wondering whether CR will get it or if it will be handled by Zendesk...

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

A JW puzzle with no write-overs or errors! I can count on one hand the times I’ve done this. But I won’t let my EGO get too large today, because of it! Very clever. I don’t subscribe to the NYT, so I was unaware of the similar puzzle. But as a crossword mentor mentioned to me, being unique is difficult ...

Yes, a few perps filled in some head-scratchers: did not know PLINTHS, TESSA, MEIOSIS, or MOIRE. I did know SANTEE, RETINUE, and ORIENTE. EIEIO filled in prior to my completing the theme entries.

So, in the absence of OKL, guess it’s my turn for a poem?


The man hates sausage.
He tried one, grudgingly, and
Saved the WURST, for last ...


Yuman said...

After seeing EIEIO clued again, I thought our extreme, unending AZ desert heat had melted my brain.
Early this morning I had to revive a hummingbird that flew into our glass slider and was on the ground. After a few minutes he flew out of my hand, then circled around and came back and landed on my shoulder. What a special moment, made my day and have pictures to show grandsons.

Wilbur Charles said...

RTE, of course, stands for route as in the "Route" to be taken. In Boston all hwys were RTEs whether Rte 95, rte 1 or rte 109. In FLA, I see it's US 75, SR 41, CR484. I try to do as the Romans due, par dieu.

Nice picture of birthday girl betwixt Spitz and our late Santa

I needed the comments to grok Hamburger as a WURST consumer
Said city took a beating during WWII. Allies could've ended it a lot earlier if they'd hit armaments instead. This blog got me rereading Speer.

C-eh, you're not the only one who thought Swanee. The folks at home did too.

I learned something today: that many CC'ers solve NYT daily. Btw, I solved Saturday this morning*. Very NYT-ish.


*No hints to be given. Right CC, TTP, Lemony? I can't tell if they're difficult. I'm always in the contra crowd

Java Mama said...

Good afternoon, everyone! This was a real Thursday treat! Jeff takes us on a trip to Old MacDonald’s farm, and Steve entertains with his witty write-up. Dieter the Dieter made me giggle.

Favorite c/a was Spring for a drink? / OASIS. I first thought of my hometown Cincinnati Reds for the team with a baseball head mascot, until the perps insisted on the NY METS (hi Anon @2:03!) Not knowing MOIRE caused me to lose the DEO v. DIO coin toss; maybe I’ll remember it next time. Some nights DH sleeps so “soundly” (SNOREs) that I take refuge in the spare room.

A belated welcome to ATLGranny. Youngest lives in Atlanta near Stone Mountain, so it’s been fun reading your comments about the area. We’re hoping to visit in the Fall, COVID-19 conditions permitting.

Spitz, here’s wishing Betty a very happy 80th birthday. I loved seeing the photo of the two of you with dear Argyle!

Take care, all, and have a wonderful day!

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle; enjoyed solving it. RUMMAGE is kind of a fun word. I learned the fuel for that fire was not WOOD and that South Carolina river is not the SWANEE.

Does JARED go to Jared's?

Speaking of "you'd have thought by now the producers would step in before they went in front of the camera," I cannot help but think of news anchors who routinely mispronounce people and place names, even the names of their own colleagues!

SwampCat, I'm sorry you felt impelled to invoke Thumper yesterday.

Bill G, I won't tell ya.

Happy birthday, Betty!

Good wishes to you all, and please continue to stay a goodly distance away from all unmasked PERSONS.

Bill G said...

Hi everybody. Due to a steadily diminishing number of requests, here is today's lunch report.

We had open-face fish tacos made with salmon and some very tasty sauce. Also, some Cuban pulled pork with black beans, rice and plantains. I have enough left over for a nice dinner. My tummy is fullish.

I noticed on a Seinfeld rerun last night...Kramer got banned from his favorite fruit market. When they showed handmade signs in the storefront window with prices, they were selling 'plumbs' for $1.29 a pound.

100 years ago everyone owned a horse and only the rich had cars. Today everyone has cars and only the rich own horses.

~ Mind how you go...

Lucina said...


BooHoo! So late today. After finishing the solve I went to pick up my auto and it looks spiffy! They did a good job including overall paint. Then I came home, had a bite to eat and lay down for a nap.

As a teacher I loved the EIEIO theme! My great-grandson watches a video with that song.

ORIENTE is no problem and is often paired with occidente, east/west. Hand up for DEO before DIO. MEIOSIS and mitosis were long ago zoology subjects. The WITCHES of Eastwick would have fit in here somewhere. Las brujas del ORIENTE.

I believe I may have crossed the SANTEE possibly on the way to Charleston, SC.

LOGS are something I never have to worry about though a few people with fireplaces do burn them during our usual two weeks of coldish weather.

Bill G:
Just keep watching.

Please pass on my birthday congratulations to Betty as well.

I hope your day has been delightful, everyone!

Husker Gary said...

-Just back from a hard round of gold on a tough course and then...
-The Omaha World Herald printed the wrong grid and I just wasted a lot of time trying to get words to fit. Knowing it was a Jeffrey Wechsler puzzle made me look for a gimmick but NO, everything was shifted.
-COMPS went in fine but then I had to split RUMM AGE and there was no column to the left COMPS and so I never saw BOO, etc. etc. etc.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Fun to do today. Thanks, JW!

HBD, Betty! Welcome to the Octo-set. We are the Créme de la Créme; no ageism among cruciverbalists!!

WURST was fun, so sagt mein HERR...

Aber, es gibt keine Diagonalen

Pat said...

Bill G, and others who report meals and menus, I enjoy reading your reports. Someday I may be inspired to make something more involved than I usually make. This morning corned beef/carrots/cabbage/potatoes went into the crock-pot. Dinner was delicious and there's enough left for another meal. Next week when the weather cools off a bit I think I'll make either turkey or chicken vegetable soup. DH does most of the cooking.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Just realized my's "European Institute of Ecological Innovative Options...EIEIO 😄

Wendybird said...

I really liked this puzzle. Several interesting words , and the theme answers were creative. Thank you, Jeffrey. Thank you too, Steve for a fun tour.

Pickard, how are your moving preparations going? Sorry your landlords are being so inflexible. At least you will still be in beautiful Santa Barbara.

Bill G said...

Pat, We often order out for lunch. I picked up today's lunch at a local upscale take out restaurant. Some days, you can even find me in a drive-thru lane at a fast food emporium. When I make lunch at home, it's seldom more complicated than a grilled cheese sandwich with a slice of tomato inside. BTW, we both love corned beef.

Gary, just how hard was that round of GOLD? :>)

~ Mind how you go...

Wendybird said...

Yuman, I just read your post.
Your hummingbird experience is truly magical. It’s great that you have pictures.

Husker Gary said...

-You know, Bill, it might as well have been gold as golf. The greens were big and lush but the fairways were hard with not much grass. When I hit the ball down the middle it still had a chance to bounce wildly right or left where it could wind up in the even harder rough or in the horrible deep rough. Compound that with hot weather and incredible rolling hills in Western Iowa….
-Therefore I struggled for way too long with the wrong grid because I didn’t want to come here and have to admit I couldn’t get even 40% of the puzzle. I thought the phrases might wrap around to the next line or simply jump blocks.

The Curmudgeon said...

Wendybird: I'm sure everyone would love to see your hummingbird picture.

We've vacationed in the SANTEE area, so that was easy. (Although I put in SANdEE first.)

>> Roy

Bill G said...

Yes! Hummingbird photos!

On two different occasions, we found a baby bird that had fallen from its nest (John Jay and later Chico). We got a cage and began to raise it as best we could. We fed it small bits of meat, meal worms, liquid from an eyedropper, etc. It would gape its mouth for me just like baby birds do with their parents. It would enjoy riding around our house while sitting on my shoulder. Very rewarding.

Intentionally losing a game of rock, paper, scissors is just as hard as trying to win.

~ Mind how you go...

Wendybird said...

Curmudgeon, I was responding to Yuman’s comment. Maybe she will post a picture for all of us.

My hummingbirds just dive bomb past my ear if their feeder is empty. Can’t imagine having one perch on my shoulder!

LEO III said...

Well, I had a FIW today. Got the theme right away, though.

My FIRST fill was 1A, and my almost LAST fill was 1A too. Somewhere early along the way, I had talked myself out of COMPS. I think I just didn’t trust myself with that answer, but it finally found its way back where it belonged. That NW corner WAS the last to fall.

It wasn’t so much a slog today as it was an “I’ll never work my way through this one” puzzle. That’s how I felt at first glance, but I kept on keeping on, and eventually all of the squares had a letter in them. A couple of them were incorrect, DEO/DIO (which led to some unkind fuming about the church having dumped the Latin), and I had TESSA/AMOI wrong.

Anyway, due to the fact that I did so well on a JW puzzle which definitely had some interesting cluing and answers, I’m not at all upset.

inanehiker said...

Well this day started with an early morning meeting, long day of work, and then it was my monthly book club - so a very late solve to this puzzle!
Very creative theme - I would love to hear how JW came up with the theme answers - does he have some computer program that generates options or some other method....

I have had several rounds of learning about cell division - but MEIOSIS is the just as important but lesser known stepbrother of MITOSIS- just needed a few perps to fill.

WEES about DIO vs Deo - deciding whether they were referring to the Italian vernacular of the residents or the Latin of the services and songs. Steve- I thought it had a clear reference to God - if the pope is looking to a "higher authority" similar to a higher power - it's going to be the God because everyone else is below the pope in the hierarchy!

Thanks Steve and Jeff - a nice way to wind down after a very looooooong day!

Malodorous Manatee said...

Apparently we have a number of corned beef fans here. For the past week, I have been turning a packer's cut brisket into corned beef. When that phase ends on Monday the process of turning the corned beef into pastrami will begin. For those who have never tried this, I can tell you that it is not difficult, although it does take some planning and some time, and that it produces something quite tasty.

oc4beach said...

A river that I tried at first was the PEE DEE river in SC, but the SANTEE was what I needed. We used to stay overnight in Santee, SC because it was about halfway to our home in Melbourne, FL.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

DNF - TESSA xing PLINTHS & SANTEE and not este @17a just wasn't going to fill.

Thanks JW for the puzzle. Got the theme reveal early but forgot about 1/2-way through the solve.
Thanks Steve for finishing it off for me w/ you trademark wit.

ESPs: Too late for all that
Fav: PERSONs of Interest [Trailer] //first 2 seasons were awesome (for the times)

Thanks for stepping up C.Moe :-)

Spitz - send Betty Birthday wishes from me too!

Welcome back to the grid (and The Corner) Bob Lee.

Nice to see you D4. You too Old Okie.

Bill G - I too enjoy your lunch reports. Here's mine.
First, I got shoo'd out of the room 'cuz DW was on a conference-call...
"But do you want a sandwich? I'm making one. "
Made corned beef & sauerkraut w/ melted Swiss cheese on rye (w/ stone-ground mustard). Kettle chips, mustard-potato salad, and dill spear filled out the sides.

Cheers, -T

Lucina said...

For some reason I have never learned to like sauerkraut. It's too, well..., sour and I prefer sweet or spicy. I'm glad you all enjoy that. I love sausages, though.

I really should use my crockpot more especially since I have at least four of them in different sizes.