, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Saturday, September 19, 2020, Stella Zawistowski


Sep 19, 2020

Saturday, September 19, 2020, Stella Zawistowski

 Saturday Themeless by Stella Zawistowski 

Our self-proclaimed "brawny brain" is back with another Saturday entry. Stella is a Brooklyn-based copywriter at a pharmaceutical advertising agency and a power lifter. In her last puzzle she introduced us to a North African egg dish called SHAKSHUKA which I have yet to try. 

This is what she had to say about this puzzle and her cluing/fill philosophy:

Thank you kindly! Here's a note on the puzzle:

My seed for this puzzle was TROUSER ROLE, as I am a lover of classical music (although not especially an opera fan). Since the last time I had a themeless published in LAT, I've grown a lot in terms of considering entries for their potential for solvers to realize after the fact what the clue was hinting at, even if they didn't know the term beforehand. I am definitely in the camp of "learning something new from crosswords is good" and not "solving a puzzle should be about figuring out tricky clues for things I already know." But I've moved more to the side of "learn the thing while solving the puzzle," not "see the unfamiliar thing, have to Google it afterward, and THEN learn the thing."

PIANISSIMO was not a seed entry, but now that you know I'm a classical music fan, you can see why I chose that over other possibilities for 14-Across!


1. On the move: ASTIR.

6. At least four yrs. old, for cognac: VSOP - Very Superior Old Pale
10. TV series for 17 seasons: NCIS - Some cases are solved on the barest of threads that can strain credulity but it's all fun and the bad guys always get caught in an hour

14. Like much of the first movement of the "Moonlight" Sonata: PIANISSIMO - Visual and audio representation of this beautiful piece played PIANISSIMO (quietly)

16. Bit of ceramic cookware: OLLA - "Cooking pot" in Spanish (a familiar crossword utensil)

17. Cold complication: BRONCHITIS.

18. Goes to court?: WOOS - Gotta love this one Stella! Court is used as a verb ("to court" is an infinitive and not an prepositional phrase (checked that with Yellowrocks!)) makes this fun. Wait, you put SUES first? Uh, so did I. 

19. What Kim might call Khloé: SIS - Kardashian fam. Either you know them or don't care.

20. Weather report word: HIGHS.

21. Trick users, in a way: PHISH.

Don't share your personal info!

22. Texter's signoff: TTFN - Ta Ta For Now

23. Most roguish: SLIEST. sly

25. Brit's Bordeaux: CLARET What's this all about?

28. Menace, feline-style: HISS AT - Kitty's mad!

29. Duel purpose?: HONOR - Hamilton had been a "second" for 12 of these matters of HONOR before Burr killed him in this one. This plaque in Weehawken, N.J. marks the site

30. Rain gear preservers: BOOT TREES.

33. Latin lamb: AGNUS - AGNUS Dei mean Lamb of God

34. Per, baby name that's far more popular when "a" is added to it: ANN - How 'bout dat?

35. Airy spaces: ATRIA - Beijing lays claim to have the world's tallest ATRIUM at 620'

36. Having two equal-length legs: ISOSCELES - Good putters keep an ISOSCELES triangle shape all through their stroke

38. French darling: CHERI.

39. Like many renewals: YEARLY.

40. Expressed disapproval of: CHIDED.

41. Road hog?: HARLEY - Former students of mine run this hog shop in west Omaha

42. French wood: BOIS - Matisse's famous The Path in the BOIS de Boulogne 

43. Humor, e.g.: GENRE - Oscar 

44. Cantina breakfast component: HUEVO - Huevo Rancheros (Rancher's Eggs)

46. Old gum mach. inserts: CTS.

49. Not pizzicato: ARCO - A young girl plucking violin strings (pizzicato) with her bow at the ready to play ARCO 

50. Hot flower: MOLTEN LAVA - This flower is the noun from the verb flow. Fun!

52. Spa offering: PEEL.

53. Objection to hustling: DON'T RUSH ME.

54. Being of old Rome: ESSE - Another crossword stalwart 

55. "__ yes!": I SAY.

56. Tsukiji Market fish offerings: TUNAS - The final TUNA auction at this Tokyo facility before it moved to more modern quarters


1. Some PD calls: APBS 
2. "Hey" assistant: SIRI - "Hey Siri, don't police say BOLO (Be On the LookOUT) instead of APB today?"

3. Sangre de Cristo Mountains resort: TAOS - Not a bad backdrop

4. Comfort, e.g.: INN - or Holiday INN

5. Shaky measurement standard?: RICHTER SCALE - The 1964 Alaska Earthquake was 9.2 on the RICHTER SCALE

6. Churchill trademark: V-SIGN.

7. Jedi nemesis: SITH - A Star Wars cadre 

8. They may be intentional: OMISSIONS - Pete Rose is still not in the MLB Hall Of Fame

9. Bldgs. with boxes: POS - Crossword constructor Evan Kalish has a website with pictures of over 10,000 Post Offices. Here he is in Crosby, PA.

10. "Listen up!": NOW HEAR THIS 

11. Sheltered from the outside world: CLOISTERED - Fewer and fewer people are choosing the CLOISTERED life

12. Response to a beating: I LOST.

13. Dress uniform part: SASH - George Washington's SASH was lost to history until it was rediscovered at Harvard's Peabody Museum in 2011

15. Loose-fitting dress: SHIFT - A straight, unwaisted dress
21. Green ice cream tidbit: PISTACHIO NUT - On the tree

22. Male opera character played by a female performer: TROUSER ROLE - A new phrase for me. This is when a male character is played by a female performer to make use of the higher voice. The most famous role is Cherubino (left in picture) in The Marriage of Figaro

24. Amphibious WWII craft: LST.

25. Masala-flavored drink: CHAI - In India, Masala means spice and CHAI means tea. Masala-flavored CHAI is spiced tea

26. Mill input: LOGS - LOGS in, lumber out

27. Travel delays, say: ANNOYANCES - We had one in Minneapolis and almost called C.C.

28. Certain cell contents: HONEY.

30. Hypes: BALLYHOOS - Famous Johnny Mercer song
Hooray for Hollywood
That screwy BALLYHOOEY Hollywood
Where any office boy or young mechanic can be a panic
With just a good looking pan
And any barmaid can be a star maid
If she dances with or without a fan
31. Word on an Irish euro: EIRE - Seen here and in crosswords

32. Spoken: SAID.

37. "Maid of Athens, __ we part ... ": Byron: ERE - Lord Byron saying goodbye upon leaving Greece

40. Charge to get in: COVER.

41. Toast portion: HERE'S - The toastee in the scene appears often in cwd's

42. January's "Mad Men" character: BETTY - She should have dumped Don much earlier

43. Hang open: GAPE.

45. It's usually longer than a radius: ULNA.

46. Four-time Oscar-winning lyricist: CAHN - I'll be very impressed if you  know what goes in the two empty cells. Hint: Frank sat this one out. (* Answer below)

47. Rating for a show with lots of oaths: TV MA - That bar keeps changing as more and more "mature" words play across the airwaves

48. MS enclosures: SAE'S - When we filed by mail the IRS included a Self Addressed Envelope but we had to provide a stamp. So it wasn't a SASE.

50. When Michelangelo began "David": MDI - He finished in MDIII (II years later)

51. Sch. on Shaq's résumé: LSU - Shaquille O'Neal's son Shareef and daughter Amirah also became LSU Tigers 

*Call Me Irresponsible/Papa's Delicate Condition/ Jackie Gleason

Now that Stella has done all the heavy lifting, click below to leave a comment.


TTP said...

Thank you, Stella, and thank you, HG.

That was one tough nut to crack. 59 minutes and 12 seconds. That's the most time I've spent on a puzzle since heaven knows when.

2 open squares starting 49A were keeping me at bay, but I was pretty sure that I might have a couple of other mistakes because 22D was reading TROUSER SALE. That made no sense for "Male opera character played by a female performer."

Finally realized GAPE for "Hang open" which made me ditch SENSE for "Humor,e.g.", and then D'OH ! and AHA came in quick succession when the gum machine inserts dropped. "Toast" as in honor and not as in browned bread, so HERE'S.

And then it was done. Tada !

Excellent puzzle and review !

BobB said...

6D Churchill trademark. Stayed with cigar far too long.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

You know what's the best part of Saturday cw's? There's no theme to miss, though this one did have a mini-musical theme. I bit on every red herring on my way through the grid: Sues/WOOS, Syne/EIRE, Oral/SAID, Cigar/VSIGN. Hooray for Wite-Out. Learning moment: TROUSER ROLE -- unknown to those of us with long histories of opera rejection. This wasn't a speed run, but I still finished in about 1/4 of TTP's time. Thanx, Stella and Husker.

OLLA: It just dawned on me that his thingey is probably pronounced like "oh yeah."

PEEL: The local TV news had a segment about a new spa treatment -- allowing snails to crawl around on the client's face. Supposedly the slime is "benefacial."

Now to test out those new bike pedals...

Hungry Mother said...

I missed that 48D was plural and that my SAse should be SAES which made my 53A gibberish and my 50D wrong. Must pay attention.

Wilbur Charles said...

I foundered on what in retrospect was a fairly easy SE corner. I stayed with SASE meaning US vs ME. I had TV but never heard of MAture. And was left with TUNAe. Of course TVua was obviously wrong but Mr S insisted.

I like BOO/HISS. I was trying to think of some opera character with OUS in the name. Perfect for OMK.

I solved on Tuesday but misplaced the newspaper insert so I didn't take one last crack at it. Also, I was struggling with Evan Birnholz Wa-Post*.

Outside of the unpleasantness occasioned by Mr Booth I thought the play was just dandy.


* Palindromic muscle. _ _ _ _ _ _ _?

Anonymous said...

Tough but great puzzle Stella, thank you for the challenge!! Wasn’t familiar with “pianissimo” or “trouser role”, but with persistence and a few breaks to clear my muddled mind I was able to solve in a little over 52 minutes. Churchill’s trademark had me stumped till I went through the alphabet and hit the second letter “s”. :)

ATLGranny said...

Slowly slowly it filled with many writeovers for detours (sueS/WOOS like D Otto) and uncertainties (VSOP has to be right but cigar kept niggling in my mind). One square was my nemesis (AGNeS) so I FIW. I felt the E was wrong (thinking of you Irish Miss too long) but couldn't see TROUSER for the ROLE. Wanted to put cROsSER ROLE which didn't work with the perps. But it was an interesting puzzle and I thank you Stella. I am starstruck. Thank you HG for colorfully and informatively showing me the way.

On to the rest of the day. Happy weekend to all!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Thanks Gary for introducing today's constructor.

Started out utterly daunting; only got one or two words on the first pass. Stopped and made my Saturday HUEVO frito, coffee and muffin toast. Then resumed and somehow the letters slowly flowed out like the blackstrap molasses I have with oatmeal the rest of the week. No searches were done but I ended up with 4 wrong letters in the SE. I guess MS means monthly statement, but the abbreviation is not one I have ever used, so I missed SAE. But, compared to the start I was quite happy with the result. TROUSER ROLE was a learning. Took TTFN on faith; I'm used to TTYL.
SAE - I pay almost all bills on line, so the SAE goes straight to the dumper.

OwenKL said...

FIWrong. Had TVPG instead of TVMA, and couldn't figure out the perps because I was less sure of some of the other words.

Haven't written any poems on today's puzzle yet (been reading about RBG's passing and the inevitable conflict brewing), but here's one I wrote a couple days ago, but neglected to post.

Thomas More wrote a novel, grand.
About UTOPIA, Latin for Neverland.
By either description,
Fantasy or Science Fiction,
The More you know, the better you'll understand!


Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Stella’s last puzzle that HG referred to left an indelible impression on me and, believe me, it wasn’t at all favorable. When I saw Stella’s byline today, I’m not sure whether I groaned or flinched, but I was mentally prepared for a battle. Much to my surprise and delight, the puzzle was one of the most satisfying and enjoyable solves of all my solving years. The cluing was outstanding and the fill was as lively and sparkly as could be. There were so many different languages, e.g., Cherie and Bois, Huevo and Olla, Pianissimo, Arco, Agnus, Esse, MDI, and Atria, even computerese with Phish and TTFN. Adding to this melting pot were several impressive entries, Pistachio Nut and Richter Scale, to name two. Then we had the added bonus of such strong phrases like Don’t Rush Me and Now Hear This.

My completion time was right between TTP’s and DO, which is about average for a Saturday that has some crunch, but is not Silkie-difficult. I think Trouser Role was the only truly unknown but was easily perped. But coming up with Betty (CSO to Spitz’s DW) took longer than it should have, especially since I binge-watched Mad Men not too long ago. I went astray at Sues/Woos, Sense/Genre, and Lofts/Atria. I liked the Woos/Hoos and Sis/Phish duos and I particularly like the Agnus (Hi, ATLGranny!) Ann line as I am Agnes Anne. (I’m used to Agnes getting butchered into Agnus and, occasionally, Angus, but I’d rather be a lamb than a cow.) My favorite C/A was Certain Cell Contents=Honey. I love alliteration and subtle misdirection.

Thanks, Stella. What more can I say other than come back soon! HG, you continue to provide knowledge and entertainment with your
commentary, links, and visuals and for this, I am very grateful. 🥰

Have a great day.

Big Easy said...

NOW HEAR THIS!!! I almost FIR, misspelling "ISOCLALES", even though I knew it. Duh. She may have liked TROUSER ROLE but that was my last fill. Never heard of it. Since I don't use abbr. when texting the TTFN was long in coming after guessing AGNUS instead of AGNES (unknown). Why abbreviate when you can dictate into the phone for a text message.

Since my mother was a piano teacher and she attempted to get her better students to play Moonlight Sonata, I knew it was pp-PIANISSIMO.

The long fills were the easiest to guess. RICHTER SCALE, PISTACHIO NUT, NOW HEAR THIS, MOLTEN LAVA, & DON'T PUSH ME were a lot easier than some on the short fills. Wanted CIGAR for the V-SIGN but the pp wouldn't allow it. BOIS, BETTY, TVMA, & AGNUS were unknowns. I agree with Agnes (IM) about the different languages.

SIS- never seen, 'Keeping Up', or cared to see their show ('Keeping Up') or NCIS or Mad Men but it has made them super rich.

Stella won and I LOST today. But LSU won it all at the BCS. Go Tigers.

LST- The Higgins Boats were built in New Orleans back in the 40's very close to the current location of LSU-NO (now UNO). When I was in school, LSU-BR had these two people on the campus at the same time: Pistol Pete Maravich and David Duke, who walked around in a Nazi uniform.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the puzzle. For “old gum Mach. Inserts” being CTS, is it that CTS=cents=pennies that you put into an old gum machine? That makes sense, but the clue seems a bit of a convoluted way to clue pennies.

desper-otto said...

Spitz, I think that MS stands for Manuscript.

Spitzboov said...

D -O - - Thanks. Either way:: bubkes. I don't think it would have helped me today.

IM - Nice post. Conveyed a lot of my feelings, but you expressed them much more clearly and completely.


A Roman walks into a bar, sticks two fingers up to the barman and says, "Five beers please."

JJM said...

Wow, that was hard! Three red letter cells needed plus my dictionary. But yes Stella, I learned something.... which is always a good thing. PIANISSIMO not a word Ive ever heard, but then again I'm not a classical musical guy. HISSATtook m e a while as well. All in all you made me think hard. About 35 min. Now off to ride. Sunny, but cool and windy here in Chicago. Enjoy your Saturday.

Spitzboov said...

Higgins boats were LCVP's. The USS Greer County (LST-799) on which I served several days of my midshipman cruise in 1958, in the Catalina Island vicinity, was built by Jeffersonville Boat & Machine Company, Jeffersonville, Indiana. (It closed in 2018.)
Husker's image shows examples of each.

Shankers said...

STELLA!! That's what I usually say to a waiter when ordering a beer. Today is more on the line of "Stella are you trying to make me go nuts?" Too many corrections to mention and too many clues sussed to mention, but I am pleased to say it eventually all came together in slightly less than a hour which is way more than the average Saturday. Last to dall for me was the "s" in trouser which led to a pat on the back and a hearty "Way to go Shankers". Now it's time for a reward. A Stella what else?

Shankers said...

Fall, not dall.

Crockett1947 said...

Enjoyed the visual of the Moonlight Sonata -- that looked like a player piano roll. Thanks, HG.

SwampCat said...

Thanks Spitz, for clarifying this! Higgins made shallow draft Landing Craft based on his design for fishing boats that plied the shallow bayous of S Louisiana. Thanks!

SwampCat said...

The puzzle defeated me but I enjoyed the battle. Thanks Stella, and HG for the tour.

Owen, A++

CrossEyedDave said...

Have not done the puzzle yet,
(was not meaning to,)
(but skimmed thru to see yest. late nite comments)
& could not help seeing Churchills famous "V" sign!

If you have seen the movie "Churchill."
You will know to be very careful which way you point
your V sign...

However, I think besides victory,
presenting up your Bum to the Nazis was very appropriate...

NaomiZ said...

We were rattled by an earthquake Friday night in L.A. on our way to bed, 4.5 on the RICHTER SCALE. How nice for Stella to remind me about it this morning! Today's puzzle was a pretty fast FIR for me; enjoyed it with my CHAI and toast. Thanks for the fun, everyone.

Bill G said...

Hi everybody.

This puzzle was just a bit too hard for me. Thank goodness for red letters. I never heard of TROUSER ROLE. Still, I'm not complaining. It all seemed fair, just not in my wheelhouse; which is to be anticipated for a Saturday.

Naomi, we live about eight miles southwest of the earthquake's epicenter. We shook and rolled pretty good. It seemed interesting, almost fun while I was hoping it wouldn't get any worse.

~ Keep calm and carry on...

Bill G

Yellowrocks said...

FIR, after more than an hour. Good timing for me. I was never a speed demon at this. I was held up in the NW for quite a while. Stella, great puzzle. Gary, wonderful as always.
Yes, IM I was thinking of you. Clever comment.
Agnes - our own dear IM
Agnus - lamb
Angus - breed of beef cattle, Scottish given name and sometimes surname, meaning one or choice.
When I think of agnus I cannot help but recall the radio announcer who listed the services at Agnes Die Church, instead of ANGUS DEI (Lamb of God).
The builder listed my sunroom as an atrium. One of the long two story walls is entirely glass (windows and patio doors.) The other long wall has a very wide arch into the living room and a large kitchen window on the first floor and a large bedroom window on the second floor. There are two skylights. My guests love it.
I can't avoid the Kardashians. Not my cuppa, but they appear everywhere.
TROUSER ROLE was a V-8 can moment. I needed so many perps for it. It was in there somewhere, but buried very deeply.
DO, that snail treatment is ghastly! UGH!
I never watch Mad Men, never heard of BETTY.
I knew VSOP, but didn't know of its age requirement.
When I was a 19 year old waitress, a diner very condescendingly told me he wanted brandy, NOT COGNAC, which he emphasized over and over. I ordered it correctly, but the bartender gave me a lesser brandy. The diner was irate and I was so embarrassed. I never forgot it after more than 60 years.
Very chilly spell here, but the sunshine is bright. Enjoy your weekend.

crowella said...

Re: Sammy Kahn's Oscars. "Call Me Irresponsible" was in "Papa's Delicate Condition" starring Jackie Gleason

Tinbeni said...

AARRGGH ! It's "Talk-like-a-pirate DAY".

Here, in the Tampa Bay Area it is a big deal.

After all, Gasparilla Day is our "Big Holiday"

Though I think Hosting the Super Bowl a week later is a "Bigger Deal."

So it is time to get my Grog Of Rum.


Edward Duarte said...

Earthquakes at midnight in Los Angeles are always fun!
Thanks for all the calls, we are fine no damage anywhere.

Speaking of earthquakes, the key to solving today was getting “Richter scale” and “pistachio nut”

The first run thru gave me NADA.
But with the hint from Mother Nature, the rest “came down” easily!

The Curmudgeon said...

Mostly white in the southwest. Finished the paper and my other puzzles and came back; WAGged to FIR.

Is Pepé lePew gay? "Mon chéri" (as in the illustration) is masculine. The feminine is "ma chérie."


Jayce said...

I loved this puzzle although I stumbled badly in the SE because I had MCI as the year and CON (against, objection to) as the first three letters of 53 across. What's more, not knowing whether it was BETSY or BETTY and not knowing TVMA made it impossible to suss. Other than that, I loved this puzzle for all the reasons Irish Miss so eloquently expressed.

Loved the clue for WOOS! Yes, hand up for putting in SUES at first. Learned that per ANNA is even more popular than ANN. And I didn't get fooled by "Road hog."

The residents of Downton Abbey often drank CLARET. And sherry.

Hastings, Poirot's sidekick, was fond of exclaiming, "I SAY!" So was Foghorn Leghorn.

LW and I are still shaken by and mourning Justice Ginsberg's death.

Good wishes to you all.

Malodorous Manatee said...

Another hand up for feeling the earthquake here in SoCal.

IIRC, International Talk Like a Pirate day is also celebrated by Pastafarians.

Pastafarian Preacher

Jayce said...

Dang, I hate misspelling someone's name. Apologies.

Picard said...

CC is there any more news about Abejo? Definitely wishing him the best.

Stella Zawistowski thank you for a challenging and educational puzzle. I like your philosophy that puzzles should be learning opportunities, but done in a way that is fair to solve.

Learning moment: TROUSER ROLE

Husker Gary thank you for the ATRIUM in China. I can't compete with that.

But here is the ATRIUM at the Wellesley Science Center outside of Boston.

My friend Randy and I took the free bus over there from MIT and the ATRIUM seemed very exotic to us at the time.

From Yesterday:
Irish Miss and others thank you for the Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) good wishes.

XENON brought back many memories. As a teen I came across a book of extraordinary "stop time" photos. They were made by MIT engineer "Doc" Harold Edgerton who invented the XENON strobe (electronic flash). With very little money, I set out to build my own XENON strobe and make photos like he did. I was so thrilled to go on and meet him at MIT.

Here XENON strobe inventor Edgerton kindly posed for a photo for me. There is also a research vessel named for him in Boston Harbor.

If you have ever seen any photos or videos of atomic bomb tests during WWII or soon after, those were all made by Edgerton. He also made a XENON strobe that was so powerful it could take a photo of all of Paris at once during WWII!

Vidwan827 said...

Thank you Stella for an interesting puzzle, and thank you HG, for a very comprehensive review. I dont do Saturday puzzles, so I tried .... cheating all the way, and throughly enjoyed it. No Nits.

Trouser Role was a learning moment. In ages past, its was far more common for a female role to be played by a man (or men ),... like in Shakespeare's plays ... but the reverse is very rare. Except when you need a high pitch of voice, as in an opera, I suppose.

Masala properly translates in Hindi, as a 'mixture', of spices or anything else, but more as in a 'gravy' for vegetables. Or as in "accoutrements". In Chai, of course it would mean, with spice. The most common spices for chai would be ground ginger and / or cardamom.... both to hide the bitter taste... and flavor, of the tea leaves.

Most commercial urban chai, in India, tends to be made with over 80 percent homogenized milk, and lots of sugar or molasses, hence a strong tea decoction, creamy rich, syrupy and sweet. It is served in very small cups, because three gulps is often enough to serve the purpose. It would be, I suppose, a sweet milky rich, strong shot of caffiene or amphetamine.(I would guess).

Edward Duarte said...

Strainer hat at the ready!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

FIR, nice for a tricky Saturday with lot of fun misdirection. Stella, (Mom's name) I agree with the commentary about learning something new. And TROUSER MALE did it. (Based on your picture are you old enuff to be constructing crosswords? 😁)

Lots of inkovers: NYPD/NCIS, mahis/TUNAS, pedi/PEEL, foggy/HIGHS, hones/HONEY also relied heavily on perpwalking. Knew BETTY Draper from "MadMen". Was looking for mint chip ice cream. (USDA ruling: if ice cream is green, and neither mint chip nor pistachio..don't eat it.)

How do you spell.. "ISOSa?...ISOSi?...I Sauce a lees?" ...forget it and wait for the perps. Some français thrown in..helped me... BOIS..(chère then changed to CHÈRI.) CLARET for Bordeaux popped out of the dusty cobwebs of my tête. CLAIR'-it to the Brits not Clair- RAY'

Charge to get rid of...static electricity? Sheltered from the world? bubble boy? sequestered? Thoughts only, no actual pen fill. )

The ulna and radius should terminate at the same level at the wrist. Too long or short a distal ulna is called
positive or negative ulnar variance.

Irish M you almost got named. Agnes Dei (oh "Agnes of God", like the movie and I get it, from AGNUS dei)

A large Upright....PIANISSIMO.
I _____ knew him....HARLEY
Assignment with a common blood type... OMISSION.
Possible college entrance requirement ...ESSE.

AnonymousPVX said...

Super tough puzzle today. Took a while, but FIR.

Terry said...


Terry said...

Mighty fine beer, that Stella.

Ol' Man Keith said...

R.I.P., R.B.G.!

Some clues today are quite clever; others seem rather arbitrary.
I would have preferred "Legato" as the opposite of "pizzicato," but then that wouldn't fit, and I am not a musician.
I never heard of TTFN. TTYL is as far as I've kept up with the texting lingo.

TROUSER ROLE is good, Wilbur. We tend to refer to all cross-dressing now as "Drag," but opera is more traditional than the legit (speaking) stage.
A 3-way on the far side.
The central diagonal offers a single large (12-letter) anagram word, which in its plural manifestation cannot be beat for sheer tonnage.
I refer of course to…
But if we take another look, we see it may also name a popular scam, a trick in which someone claiming to be a lawyer acting as the go-between for a billionaire ‘s estate, contacts you because the ol' coot has died without naming an heir, and--guess what?!-- YOU might be the distant relative who can cash in.
This is known colloquially as the…
(If you can get the go-between to name the scam out loud, you’ll hear just how bald a racket this is.)

Anonymous said...

Could someone please explain the 50-Across, Hot flower = molten lava? I don't understand. Thanks!

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

Stella and HG: great entertainment today. 👍🏻👍🏻 to you both

TROUSER ROLE was a head scratcher

From my Sommelier training we learned to say VSOP means “Very SPECIAL Old Pale”, but I think Superior is allowed, too. And of course I knew CLARET as the way the Brits refer to French Bordeaux Red Wines. And they pronounce it Clair’ ette, not Clair ay’


Even though MDI (1501) is not a year/date people would readily recall, the perps “saved it”. I knew it was a Roman numeral, but would’ve been a wag

My punny haiku:

You will never say
The “head” Stooge will ever be

ATLGranny said...

Anonymous at 2:36 PM, see Husker Gary's explanation. Molten lava is hot and flows or slowly moves. Can be seen as a flow-er or something that flows.

Yellowrocks said...

Still embarrassed. I got my story backwards @1:09 and so it made no sense. He wanted COGNAC, not brandy. When I reread it just now I cringed. I'm going downhill fast, my eyesight, my hearing, my mind.

Husker Gary said...

-Picard – Dr. Edgerton was born here in Fremont, NE and he has a Science Center dedicated to his work in Aurora, NE where he also lived.
-I was going to explain flower (rhymes with mower) as the noun from the verb flow but didn’t as we have seen that little trick before here
-I started on the Netflix series called Away about the first trip to Mars but as the episodes progressed it became less and less about any science and all about the very flawed crew and their personal problems. Thanks anyway, Lemon!
-It’s a cool, breezy day on the prairie today.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...


87...Colon and pancreatic cancer, broken ribs..left lung lobectomy hardly missing a day at the bench. Serving with honor, integrity and respect. By certain current American standards now considered the loser, sucker category

HerStory made History

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

I like learning Saturdays and that's all I can take away after reading HG's Excellent Expo. Thanks Stella for putting me in my place; thanks HG for filling my (many) empty blocks.

Gris is NOT 'Mill input'? I suppose that's really output and why I shouldn't have kept it. But, but, but... Pedi is a Spa offering. Just not today :-(

FWIW: Proud of myself for getting PIRNISSIMO.

WO: Hand up for 'sues'. HItS AT is what kitty did.
ESPs: DNFs don't have 'em.
Fav: PHISH. Y'all check your inbox - all you need to do is send me your SSN & DOB. :-)

{A} //had a conversation w/ Youngest re: UTOPIAN 'rules' v. reality this afternoon.
DR == my PHISHing. My kids just aren't into hacking :-(
LOL Ku, Moe.

Tin! You scalawag - good to 'ear from you aft' the storm.
Fun link MManatee! //I still need to make my colander official

Jayce - Son, I say son

CED - I spent way too long trying to find an "up yours fascist" V-SIGN from The Young Ones. [Fascist Pig Bank will have to do.]

The Notorious RBG [political-ish - TVMA]. R.I.P.


TxMs said...

Thanks, Stella, and HG - love and always appreciate your links! Never heard of Trouser Role. I mostly listen to classical music, but opera? - nope! I still try to refine my "tastes", but opera's on par with Brussels sprouts.

RIP, Notorious RBG. She liked the moniker and even gave the T-shirts as gifts. She was certainly not uncomfortable that it was a spin on rapper Notorious B.I.G. "Why should I, first and foremost, we're both from Brooklyn."

Thanks, Tony, I needed that over-the-top fun video. I always wonder where the heck you find the links you post :)

Yellowrocks said...

Anon T, isn't that GRIST for your mill.
Idiom: GRIST FOR THE MILL- Something that can be used to advantage, as in These seemingly useless data will be grist for the mill when he lodges a complaint. This expression alludes to grist, the amount of grain that can be ground at one time

LEO III said...

FIAW (Finished It ALL Wrong)!

Quite a few fills in the SW were simply incorrect. My first mistake was misspelling ANGUS (how could I forget my Latin? Wait! I probably ALWAYS said AGNES!), and I didn’t know TROUSER ROLL. (Guess if one doesn’t know the seed word, one doesn’t get very far.) Like Big Easy, I almost never use texting shorthand, but then I have this nagging little habit of usually writing in complete sentences anyway.

Except for the TROUSER-thingy, I did get the other long fills fairly quickly. They were the only reasons I got as far as I did.

PIANISSIMO: Huh??? Just another word to those of us sitting in the BRASS section!

Yes, it was a learning experience, but it was fun.

Thanks, Stella and Gary!

Wilbur Charles said...

* Palindromic muscle. _ _ _ _ _ _ _?

ROT A TOR(as in Cuff). Doom for pitchers.

Jayce said...

I forgot to say I totally agree with what Stella Zawistowski said: "I am definitely in the camp of "learning something new from crosswords is good" and not "solving a puzzle should be about figuring out tricky clues for things I already know." But I've moved more to the side of "learn the thing while solving the puzzle," not "see the unfamiliar thing, have to Google it afterward, and THEN learn the thing."

Malodorous Manatee said...

It is nice to see a few acolytes of the FSM here.

For those who seem to have had a bit of trouble with Hot Flower think of it as Flow-er as in a flowing stream and not as in a blossoming plant.

Anonymous T said...

YR - You're right! Some days I can't tell my grains from my grapes :-) Thanks. -T