, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Sunday September 27, 2020 Paul Coulter


Sep 27, 2020

Sunday September 27, 2020 Paul Coulter

Theme: "Pet Flicks" - One word in each film is replaced by a cat/dog or sound of a cat/dog.

22. Film with a feline baseball ace?: PITCH PURR-FECT. Pitch Perfect.

32. Biopic about Frank from "Men in Black"?: A PUG'S LIFE. A Bug's Life.

48. Comedy about a lost mutt?: DUDE, WHERE'S MY CUR? Dude, Where's My Car?

67. Film about a composing pooch?: THE HOUND OF MUSIC. The Sound of Music.

87. Drama about organized disobedience at obedience school?: THE CANINE MUTINY. The Caine Mutiny.

102. Film romance starring Puss?: KISS ME CAT. Kiss Me Kate.

119. Film in which Fido wins a place at the Round Table?: THE BARK KNIGHT. The Dark Knight.
Sound change theme is my weakest link. Sometimes it involves significant sound change. Sometimes it's just consonant change. Sometimes it's homophone.

Paul elevated this type by limiting all his choices to movies. The narrower your theme entries are, the tighter the theme.

1. Like some stressed text: ITALIC.

7. Perfect pass: SPIRAL.

13. Imp: RASCAL.

19. Rattler commonly used in pairs: MARACA.
20. University staying power?: TENURE.

21. Mild, in Milan: GENTILE. Is this your clue, Paul?

24. Not on TV yet: UNAIRED.

25. Roy Rogers' birth name: SLYE. Gimme for me. I used it myself once.

26. Ninja Turtles' ally April __: O'NEIL. We had her before.
27. One end of the Chicago L's Blue Line: O'HARE.

29. Shattering grenade, to a GI: FRAG.

30. Shunned the paper clip: STAPLED.

34. Scraps: TUSSLES.

38. Cookout glowers: COALS.

40. Artist's asset: EYE.

41. Clicked ballot: E-VOTE.

42. __ Martin: Bond's car: ASTON. Thank for Santa Fe feedback, everyone.

44. AOL alternative: MSN.

45. Flier to Oslo: SAS.

53. Sports channel that shows college games: ESPNU.

55. High-five, e.g.: SLAP.

56. "Insecure" star Rae: ISSA.

57. Not supporting: ANTI.

59. Mets' slugger Alonso: PETE. According to Wik: "He made his MLB debut during the 2019 season and broke the Major League record for the most home runs by a rookie with 53. He was also the first Mets player to hit 50 or more home runs in a season, setting the Mets' single-season home run record in the process." Rich's assistant Patti Varol is an avid Mets fan.
60. Catalog: ASSORT.

62. Greek vacation isle: CORFU.

65. Essential: NEEDED.

71. Not alfresco: INDOOR.

74. Year, to Yves: ANNEE. And 89. Yours, to Yvette: A TOI. We also have a few Spanish & German. Equal opportunity.

75. Sampled: TESTED.

78. Deli order: HERO.

79. Org. monitoring possible alien signals: SETI.

81. Gillian's Emmy-winning role on "The X-Files": DANA. We had this in Guangzhou. But I was more fond of "La Femme Nikita" then.

83. Settled: ALIT.

85. Small egg: OVULE.

92. Frying pan spray: PAM.

93. Mix masters, briefly?: DJS. DJ mix.

95. Vols' school: U TENN.

96. Golf caddie, e.g.: TOTER.

97. Help-wanted ad abbr.: EOE.

98. "Me too": SO DO I.

100. Maria __, the last House of Habsburg ruler: THERESA. Learning moment for me.
106. Like volcanic rock: IGNEOUS.

109. "By yesterday!": ASAP.

110. Clock __: RADIO.

112. Long-legged wader: HERON.

113. Chops: HEWS.

117. Reeled off: RECITED.

122. Unpaid debt: ARREARS.

123. Pump part: INSOLE. Shoes.

124. Imitated: ECHOED.

125. Flirts with: TEASES.

126. Rose to great heights: SOARED. I think Dave once linked a picture of Mount Hua, about 70 miles east of Xi'an. So scary coming down. But I was young and fearless then.

127. Hen holders: ROOSTS.

1. Little devils: IMPS.

2. Detective, at times: TAIL.

3. Affectedly creative: ARTY.

4. Shoestring: LACE.

5. "__ bin ein Berliner": JFK: ICH. And 66. Autobahn hazard: EIS.

6. Holly Golightly's creator: CAPOTE. "Breakfast at Tiffany's".

7. __ throat: STREP. And 35. Throat dangler: UVULA.

8. Danger: PERIL.

9. Changes one's tone of voice: INFLECTS.

10. Québec street: RUE.

11. With a bow, to Anne-Sophie Mutter: ARCO. Anne-Sophie Mutter is German violinist.

12. Beyond harmful: LETHAL.

13. Goes back on one's word: RENEGES.

14. Gasteyer of "Mean Girls": ANA.

15. Put the kibosh on: STIFLE.

16. Wispy clouds: CIRRI. Plural of "cirrus".

17. Shaking like __: A LEAF.

18. Pigeon's perch: LEDGE.

21. Trusted adviser: GURU.

23. Some, in San Salvador: UNAS. And 120. Spanish "that": ESA.

28. Courses for coll. credit: APS.

30. Load: SLEW.

31. Assure the failure of: DOOM.

33. Since, in a seasonal song: SYNE.

34. "Bill & __ Excellent Adventure": TED'S.

36. Beverage aisle options: SODAS.

37. It helps you get up: STEP STOOL. This looks like ours.

39. "__ objections?": ANY.

42. Horace's "__ Poetica": ARS.

43. Last word of the most recent version of "America the Beautiful": SEA.

44. "The A-Team" actor: MR T.

45. Didn't dillydally: SPED.

46. One chip, maybe: ANTE.

47. Sought damages: SUED.

49. Personnel staff: HIRERS.

50. O.T. book after Neh.: ESTH.

51. Brit's informal eatery: CAFF.

52. One, on a one: UNUM. Also 69. Together, in Toulon: UNIE.

54. Fan at the game: SPECTATOR. 94. Angry 54-Downs: JEERERS.

58. Clothes line: INSEAM.

61. "Lookee here!": OHO.

62. "Anderson Cooper 360°" channel: CNN. With his cute son Wyatt.,h_601,c_limit/Anderson%20Cooper%20and%20Wyatt.jpg

63. Poetic tribute: ODE.

64. Landmark '70s case anonym: ROE.

68. Censor's target: OATH.

70. Eclectic magazine: UTNE.

71. Chain with links: IHOP.

72. St. Petersburg's river: NEVA. Wiki says "it is the fourth largest river in Europe in terms of average discharge (after the Volga, the Danube and the Rhine)". We also have 103. Rhone tributary: ISERE.

73. Originate, with "up": DRUM.

76. A-listers: ELITE.

77. Eats well: DINES. Here's Boomer enjoying his French fries and chocolate milk shake at the VA hospital last Tuesday. We went there for the bone scan. CAT scan is scheduled next Thursday. Then Dr. Downs on Oct 14th to see our next steps. In the meantime, Boomer is not going to let cancer get in his way. Golf tomorrow morning.
80. Theoretical visitors: ETS.

81. Cacophony: DIN.

82. Landers of letters: ANN.

84. Banks of "America's Got Talent": TYRA.

86. Ancient Dead Sea kingdom: EDOM.

88. Something to chew: CUD.

90. Kramer, to Jerry: NEIGHBOR.

91. Sun Devils' rival: UTES.

97. Catches sight of: ESPIES.

98. Down: SAD. I'm amazed how an increase of 10 or 15 points in blood pressure can make me feel.

99. Ear malady: OTITIS.

100. Captured: TOOK.

101. Take shelter, with "down": HUNKER.

102. Fort Knox unit: KARAT.

104. Pelvic bones: SACRA.

105. Bounders: CADS.

107. Author Zora __ Hurston: NEALE.

108. Went astray: ERRED
111. "Horrors!": OH NO.

113. Greeting from Kermit: HI HO.

114. Star features: EGOS.

115. Put an edge on: WHET.

116. Benchmarks: Abbr.: STDS.

118. __ kwon do: TAE.

121. Cpl., e.g.: NCO.


Paul Coulter said...

Thanks, C.C. "Thumbs up" back at ya, Boomer. This theme started after a Netflix marathon, of course. Some that didn’t make the cut: The Bank Lick – Film in which calico teller wets her paws before counting the cash? Independence Bay – ...a chained dog howls for freedom? Kitty Lights – ...Puss lands on her feet? War and Fleas – ...Fido battles bloodsuckers? Planet of the Yaps – ...A world’s inhabited by noisy pooches? Goodbye Mr. Yips – ...A small dog gets a sendoff?

No offense to cat lovers, but I found a lot more dog ones. I’m a dog lover, myself, particularly the large breeds. I’ve had them all my life. I did have cats when my kids were growing up. My daughter Neena loves animals of every kind. We had a whole menagerie – cats, dogs, guinea pigs, fish, birds, even a snake. She loves horses, too, so we also had a pinto mare. It started when I owned a pick your own blueberry farm in PA. It had a barn, and a neighbor asked if he could board his family’s horse in exchange for mowing with his tractor. As a toddler, Neena always had to kiss that horse goodnight before she’d go to bed. When she was old enough, I bought Neena her own horse. For the next ten years, Tinkerbell was a major part of our daily routine - taking care of her, going to horse shows, etc. Those are some very good memories. I'd love to hear your own pet "tails."

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Yay, d-o got the theme and finished without error, but not without Wite-Out. My missteps were SIRI/GURU, INGOT/KARAT, AS DO I/SO DO I. Not sure I ever heard of Alonso PETE. HUNKER has special meaning in this Covid year. SLYE was a gimme -- we rewatched Episode 2 of Ken Burns' Country Music last night. Gene Autry and Roy Rogers were among the featured folk. I enjoyed the outing, Paul and C.C. (Best wishes to Boomer.)

desper-otto said...

RE Pets -- We've had so many cats that dw ran out of names. As a result, we've currently got a Kitten-A (Catania) and Kitten-D (Dee). We also have a noisy, black Gomer -- Gaius Gomerius.

TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you, Paul, and thank you, C.C. Hope you and Boomer start feeling better.

I wasn't able to focus very well this morning. Still managed to solve the puzzle w/o help, but it took quite a while. Got PITCH PURRFECT within a few moments. Then looked at the title. That helped speedup the rest of the theme answers. Funny with pets in the movie titles.

"Scraps" went from 'tosses' to TUSSLES.
"Deli order" went from 'to go' to 'gyro' to HERO.

Barry G would love the clue today for SETI.
IMPS as an answer and "Imp" as a clue. Doesn't bother me.

I like the word RENEGES. I believe I first heard it while learning to play euchre. I know it was some card game.

There's a restaurant in nearby St. Charles named CORFU that was probably around when Chairman Moe lived there. Guess where the owners are from.

I never had a fear of heights until I got vertigo. Fell in the yard once while stooped over pulling weeds, and had to crawl to the fence to pull myself up. Went to the doctor. He told me I needed some more salt in my diet. Now I wouldn't attempt Mount Hua.

Anonymous T said...

Sunday Lurk Say...

TTP - FLN, LOL 47a. I didn't fare so well otherwise on the puzzle.
//you have no idea how many times people say/ask "No, what's your real name?"

I also didn't fare well w/ eye dilation. I think I could have dropped acid and been less dizzy. That's my reason for absence. PK - what's yours?

Mom loved cats; Pop dogs. Yeah, divorced 45 years now :-)
My 1st dog was a mutt - Macduff. He got put down after biting my new Sister a second time.
Next pup was Sinbad - a Black Lab with integrity. He had to move (with the rest of us) from IL to LA. I wasn't supposed to feed him b/f the flight. I, a 14yro, had to go to ORD's men's room and clean out the poor puppy's (he was a 90lb dog!) cage of his vomit.

I had one pet as an adult. It was a fluffy white cat that wandered into my garage. And then, like an idiot, I fed it (looked hungry and I'm a softy). Cat hung out every night - sometimes sitting on my puzzle. I called him (her?) George.
Girls called him Snowball 'cuz it was fluffy white. Had to take it to the pound after Eldest started sneezing. I remember it in the box in the back seat making noises that sounded like a newborn.

Wait, no. Now I have another pet. Eldest rescued a red-eared turtle from the pool then went back to college. Franklin is now a permanent resident [and will out live me!]

Cheers, -T

TTP said...

Dash T, good to see you back. I figured you were busy thwarting the bad guys.

After posting my comments about CORFU earlier, I decided to Google and see if they were another eatery that closed due the virus. Nope, they went out of business in July 2018 after nearly 4 decades.

RE:PETS. My sister had a horse and then a foal. She also had cats. Coincidentally Paul, one of her cats was Tinkerbell, but we just called her Tinker. My dad did not like that cat. She had a little rubber ball from the game Jacks. The cat liked to carry the ball up to the top of the stairs in the middle of the night, and then push it down the stairs, bounding after it. Dad would get out of bed, but the cat would then hide with the ball.

Paul Coulter said...

TTP - We called our horse Tink. Funny story about the cat. When I was a kid, I had a black lab. I used to drive my Mom crazy standing at the bottom of the stairs, throwing a ball up them to rebound off the bathroom door at the top. Over and over,the dog would race up them, trying to get the ball before it made it back to me. Mom would tell me to go outside, then I'd do the same thing against our chimney. Mom said all she heard was thump, thump, thump inside the house.

C.C.- No, the GENTILE clue wasn't mine. I think I had it something like "Non-Mormon, to a Mormon."

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This theme gave me the warm fuzzies but, alas, I FIW because I put in A Bugs Life before I caught on to the theme and never looked back. Oh well, I had lots of fun, anyway. I loved the Imps/Little Devils/Rascal clecho describing our own CED to a tee! I also enjoyed the numerous Daily Duos: Oh no/O Ho, Soared/Alit, ARS/APs, Anti/Ante, Esa/Sea, Ana/Ann, Roe/Rue, Cud/Cad(s) and the trifectas of Indoor, Inseam, and Insole and Utne, Utes, and Unie. Frosting on the cake was ETs crossing SETI! There were only a few proper names that needed perps: O’Neil, Dana, and Neva. My favorite non-theme C/A was Chain with links=IHOP.

Thanks, Paul, for a charming canine and fabulous feline offering and for stopping by and sharing your family anecdotes and thanks, CC, for the usual pro’s insights and commentary. My stomach is still churning from that mountainside picture.


My browser has an ad blocker feature which eliminates my seeing any pop-up ads.

Have a great day.

Husker Gary said...

-After filling in HIRERS and JEERERS and seeing NEIGH _ _ _ I was hopeful Paul wouldn’t add NEIGHERS but we did get TOTERS
-BOLDED and IN CAPS gave way to ITALICS right out of the box
-Granddaughter’s wedding last night was very alfresco and everyone got along. The 400 mile round trip in a day was a chore!
-Maria THERESA requires the silent H. Mother TERESA? Not so much.
-I’ve had my clock RADIO for over 30 years and have used it to get up about five times
-Here’s constructor John-Clark Levin RECITING all the elements
-STEP STOOLS are really needed when kitchen cabinets go all the way to the ceiling
-Thanks for the note, Paul!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Liked the theme. It was PURRFECT. Got almost all w/o help; perps were supportive. Had UNiE for together. More used to 'ensemble'. Think we've had SLYE before; some time ago. IMPS. Isn't it a no-no to have it as fill @1d, and a clue @ 13a? BTW, I'll take a CSO 'cause Spitzboov means IMP in L. German.
EIS : Ice - - L. German Ies, Dutch ijs. Icelandic spells their country's name as Island. Guess the Vikings made all the rounds.
SAS - Flew SAS to Oslo's Fornebu Airport in the '90's. Only 5 miles from downtown. That's closed now and they now use Gardermoen, 22 mi. NE of Oslo. Progress, I guess.
O'HARE - I last flew there in the mid '90's, and the Blue line ended there then. 25 yr's later; still the same.

Pets - In my teens, we had a friendly tabby barn Tom cat whom my sister and I called Fagan. In good weather we would sometimes find him in a hayfield ½ mile from the barn, and getting all the meadow voles he could handle.
Years later we had a calico house cat named 'Sneaky". We called her a 'watch cat'. She once chased the NEIGHBOR'S huge St. Bernard out of our yard. She was on her hind legs and hissing up a storm. The neighbor lady saw it and her eyes darn near popped out of her head. The stupid dog never did his business in our yard again. Sneaky lived to the ripe old age of 20.

That's the way it was.

Yellowrocks said...

I FIR in good time yesterday. Today I had quite a few red letters. I ERRED with DUDE WHERE'S MY CUR, where most of my red letters were. Still, a very enjoyable puzzle.
I knew several Italians with the surname, Gentile. It has three syllables, jen-till-ee, not the same as jen-tile. We have enough Italians here that it is seldom mispronounced.
I visited Marie THERESA's summer residence, Schönbrunn Palace, in Vienna. The palace was sumptuous and the tour was very interesting. A man in our group insisted that Wien, pronounced VEEN, was the wrong name for the city. He was in WW II and was absolutely sure that it should be Vienna.
Dash T, Glad you're back. Too bad you felt so ill.
Inanehiker, somehow I missed that you are moving. Where are you going. Are you downsizing, as well?
IM, that explains it, my ad blocker is working.
Fun pet tales. Our cat uses to run down the upstairs hall batting the ball from left paw to right paw, dribbling like a hockey player, until she came to the stairs where she let it bounce down them. Then she would start all over again. She also would hide around a corner and then pounce and grab my ankle as I walked by.

OMaxiN said...

Thought Frank was an alien bug, so I kept BUG even though I knew I was part of the actual title. Didn't know ISSA. I can only associate CAPOTE with the gruesome In Cold Blood. It's engrained.
You go Boomer!
Thanks to Paul & C.C.

Shankers said...

A big Woohoo today and CSO to Misty. Pitchpurrfect came right away and the rest fell into place quite nicely for a faster than usual Sunday time. All very clever clues. The last to fall was the NE. Never heard of frag which came by perps. Favorite was Thehoundofmusic. As a young lad, my first pet was a black and white beagle named Inky which was short for the musical group the Ink Spots. Many, many dogs followed including Golden Retriever, Basset Hounds, Cocapoos (sp.?), a Cocker Spaniel, and several litters too. Whew! Now it's the life of Riley. No pets, no kids, just DW and CWs.

Picard said...

CC thank you for the update on Boomer. Someone posted that he was not well and it is good to know he is still enjoying life!

I am not a dog person, but I enjoyed the puns today.

I have never seen BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE but it had an impact on my life. Apparently, part of the film takes place at Raging Waters Water Park in San Dimas, CA. My co-worker friends had just seen the movie and decided we had to go check it out. My friend Alison drove us.

There were long lines on most of the adventures, but one had no line. It was a slide that was something like six ten stories tall. I decided to go for that. Big mistake. It was terrifying. Even though I was not seriously hurt, it was an experience that gave me bad memories.

Still, it was fun to be out with my co-worker friends and most of the water park adventures were enjoyable. Except for the lines.

I don't seem to have any photos of my own, but here is what Google finds for BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE venue photos.

Has anyone else been there?

Picard said...

That was supposed to be "six or ten stories tall".

From Yesterday:
Wendybird you made my day! I am so grateful my comment about SAVAGE BREAST vs SAVAGE BEAST was a learning moment. Although I only was officially a teacher for a few years, I am a teacher at heart and I so appreciate when I make a connection like that.

LfromAlberta you also made my day with your kind and supportive comments about my photos with my mother at PICCADILLY CIRCUS with EROS. And about my other photos.

Way cool that you are from Alberta. One of my good friends is an artist from Alberta named Diane Stevenett.

Here my Alberta friend Diane was helping to make my costume for her elaborate Solstice ensemble.

Her ensemble was based on Dr Seuss. It was sad that it all had to be destroyed afterwards because she was afraid of copyright issues. At least I have photos!

Lucina said...


What a load of fun solving this puzzle! Thank you so much, Paul. I love puns and once I realized how the theme worked I jumped around to solve each one. Ha! Ha! Ha! I loved them all. Some areas were a bit difficult but after the long fill was done they all fell easily. Alas, I too had A BUG'S LIFE and failed to recall the animal theme there. All the rest sparkled.

I can't choose a favorite because I liked them all. Maybe THE CANINE MUTINY and THE BARK KNIGHT. Priceless! I can't imagine how you came up with so many clever ones.

E-VOTE? No way!!

About pets: my daughter also loves animals so at one time we had two dogs, a cat and a snake. One dog, Keesha, the chow mix (huge) was hers as well as Peaches the cat and the snake whose name I can't recall. But the small dog, Menina, was mine and lived to age 17. She was a lovely, affectionate papillion.

French and sports clues are for me quite challenging but I usually manage to work them out and learn in the process. Today it was PETE Alonso and ANNEE as well as RUE which I've seen before but we had German and Italian as well. None were insurmountable.

C.C., do you mean to say that you actually took that steep walk? If so, I even more admire you! whew! I can't even think about it without getting vertigo. Thank you for your insightful explanations and the photo of Boomer.

Enjoy your day, everyone!

Edward Duarte said...

Grew up in a desert.
My dad trapped what I swore was a coyote to keep as a guard dog.
Growing up we could never go into the back yard to play.

Malodorous Manatee said...

Valerie and I FIR after struggles in the NE and SW. I was going to pick a few nits Re: HIHO, OHNO,and the NEVA / ISERE stack (didn't we exile European Rivers?) but how can one pick nits when the CW delivers THE HOUND OF MUSIC and The CANINE MUTINY? Wasn't the latter written by Herman Woof?

Labradors over the decades for me (although none, presently). Valerie's two Burmese cats helped with the puzzle this morning.

Thanks for the update on Boomer.

NaomiZ said...

Today's puzzle was slow but steady for me, and I enjoyed the cat and dog shows. IRL, I have always kept animal companions. Dogs are the best. At the moment, we have two terriers that we rescued from the pound about 13 years ago. When I was young, I used to keep birds in cages, but I realized that was no life for a bird. My current obsession is making my small backyard into a haven for local and migratory birds. They come for the water and native plants, and although we are in the middle of L.A., in a desert of swimming pools, lawns, and citrus trees, my little yard hosts about 30 species of birds every week, and I get to "keep" them by taking photos from the back door.

Big Easy said...

Paul, thanks for the comments but why was there so many FOREIGN fills? ITALIAN, GERMAN, FRENCH, SPANISH, LATIN, and even "British ENGLISH"? ICH & EIS, GENTILE, ATOI, UNIE & ANNEE , UNAS & ESA, UNIE & UNUM, CAFF. I won't count ARS or ARCO. Or the foreign places and names- NEVA, CORFU, EDOM, ISERE, Experienced Xword solvers can get them but for the average, I don't know.

Now that I've said that, the theme fills were very easy to fill after just a few perps. Knew of all the movies except "Pitch Perfect" but PITCH PURRFECT was the first theme fill. Only a couple on unknowns solved by perps- April NEALE, DANA, PETE Alonso, UNIE, and the PUG.

Only change was FOOT to STEP STOOL. Gary I have 10' ceilings; we have step ladders in the house. Never can remember if it's ASTIN or ASTON Martin.

TTP- I feel for you with the vertigo. I've had it happen three times and you don't realize what's happening until it's too late. I carry meclizine in my bike pouch in case it happens when I'm riding.

NaomiZ said...

Picard, I like your costumed unicycle photo, and I am also a survivor of the big slide at Raging Waters in San Dimas! Many years ago, when the children were teenagers ... that was a fun day.

Dennis said...

Hey guys - just wanted to check in and say thanks for all the birthday wishes yesterday. I'm truly humbled and surprised by the number of people who even remember my presence.

TTP, pure coincidence - whenever I look in, I always enjoy your perspective on any given puzzle.
Cross Eyed Dave, thank you for the cake -- your ability to find a perfect cake never ceases to amaze me.
Vidwan827, can't thank you enough for the kind words. Undeserved, but thank you anyway. They mean a lot.

I saw several comments about my health. Fact is, ever since the surgery, I've felt like I'm 40. I have boundless energy and can't sit still. My aortic valve slowly deteriorated over 9 years and because I never had symptoms (other than the murmur my doctor could detect), I didn't realize the fact that I was slowly losing blood flow and oxygen to my system. Within 3 days after open-heart surgery, I was feeling like I wanted to run around the post-op floor. So bottom line, I haven't felt this good in a whole lot of years, and I thought I was feeling great before this. I can't begin to thank you all enough for the good thoughts and prayers. I've always felt positive thoughts were a strong healing tool.

Jeez, I don't think I've ever gone this long on the blog without saying something snarky. I'll try to do better...

Yellowrocks said...

No focus at all today. Most of my life when I was extremely focused I could be an overachiever. Normal focus gave only normal results. These days normal focus gives me so-so results. Only extreme focus gives me normal results. First the eyes, then the ears, then the brain.

Wendybird said...

I was enjoying this puzzle and smiling at the clever theme answers as I moved along fairly rapidly - then I hit the SW and my puzzle turned into a hot mess. I sealed my own fate by inking Ingot for KARAT, and ischia for SACRA (no idea where I got that). It went downhill from there, and I finally threw in the towel and consulted C.C.’s write-up. Head slap! I do the LA Times print version in ink, so you can imagine
How it looked, with writeover upon writeover.

Thanks for the interesting challenge, Paul and for the always entertaining tour, C.C.

I have always been a cat person, and I had 3 when I met Jack 38 years ago. He was very allergic to cat dander, so I had to choose...

TTP said...

Big Easy, I learned about the dangers of taking meclizine in high school drug education. I heard some Native Americans use it in religious ceremonies and doctors study its potential in medical research. I did not know it treats vertigo.

Dennis, good to hear from you and that you're in fine health. And thanks for assuring me that it was only coincidence that you quit posting regularly shortly after I joined.

Yuman said...

Made the usual mistakes due to not paying attention to the clues.
Over the years my family has had many animals. Two of my favorites were Amigo, a desert tortoise, and Louis, a lop rabbit. They lived in the “wine cellar”they dug under our foundation. They were very quiet and low maintenance. We have had many cats and dogs, all rescues. One of our labs got myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease. One day while we were at work she managed to turn on the burner and set the kitchen on fire. Thankfully, her and our other 2 dogs were okay, and the damaged was limited. We currently have a cat that managed to turn on the gas on our stove, so I have had to remove all the knobs. A home with animals is never dull. Currently, we have Sugar a 12 year old lab (pictured) that is a retired Pet Partners therapy dog, and four rescued cats. We keep trying to “downsize” our pet population, but I have a hard time saying no wet noses and sad eyes.

Wendybird said...

NaomiZ, I applaud your creation of a bird-friendly garden. We have very little garden area in our Dana Point townhome, but I try to plant honey bee and butterfly friendly shrubs. You inspire me to make our outdoor space bird-friendly too.

Sandyanon said...

I'd like to chime in today. Always had cats when growing up, one after another because my mother wouldn't let them be house cats and something always happened to them. But my favorite memory is of Missy. She started out as my big brother's dog when I was tiny, but when he left home she became the family dog. A collie-chow mix, she was so pretty, with collie coloring but a kind of foreshortened build. And one of the finest, gentlest ladies you can imagine. Her attitude toward my parade of cats was admirable; stranger cats beware, but Sandy's cat could crawl all over her. She was the best!

LfromAlberta said...

Picard, I googled your friend Diane and discovered that she was born in our city! I wonder if she ever gets back our way.
It was nice to hear from Dennis and that he is well. Yes...... we have been lurking that long.
Who doesn't love a pet theme. Dogs, I definitely love dogs.
Have a happy Sunday everyone, and, be well.

ATLGranny said...

FIW today. Darn it! My patience and vow to proofread better failed me today after I struggled quite a while in the SE. One wrong square, and it wasn't even in that area.

The theme was lots of fun, Paul. PITCH PURRFECT enlightened me at the start. Thanks! And thank you, CC, for explaining. Also for the update on Boomer. Hope all goes well for him.

I've had three cats through the years. My only family dog experience was as a toddler when our cocker spaniel got excited and ran circles around me wrapping me up with his leash, leaving me with a bad impression of dogs. For years now we've had no pets to make travel easier (when we could still travel).

inanehiker said...

This was a fun adventure. I thought with some of the theme entries that they were going to have a U replacement when PURRFECT, PUGS, CUR - but it was broader than that!

We don't have a dog right now, our 15 year old chihuahua (who thought she was a yellow lab)
named Jalapeno - but we usually just called her Jale' (Holly). She died a few years ago and we were traveling a lot after that. We are planning on getting a new pet when we move into our neighborhood.
YR - we will still be in the same city - but moving from the house we had the past 20+ years and raised our kids in since they were 3,6,8 - and we are building a house in a low income area where we have been doing ministry. It's been very slow process - as we first were rehabbing a 100 yr old home - that the tornado knocked down- and now building a new house on the same site! Our house sold without us putting it on the market - so our new house isn't done yet- so we are moving into an in-between house that our friends are graciously letting us stay in. (His mom's house - she is now in a NH and they aren't sure whether they will move into her house or sell it)

Thanks CC and Paul!

Yellowrocks said...

Inanehiker, what a set of uncertainties. I wish you well and patience in all this. It makes my situation miniscule, and you are weathering this while currently employed. Best of luck.

It seems most of us are pet lovers. I adored my all time favorite cat and cannot possibly replace him.

Irish Miss said...

As an animal lover, dogs in particular, I’ve enjoyed reading all of the Cornerite’s pet experiences and escapades, past and present. ATLGranny’s comment, particularly, struck a nerve. When I was two, my older sister took me on a visit to her girlfriend’s house. As soon as her friend opened the door, her dog leapt on me and bit my chin which still bears the scar. (This incident happened within a couple of months after my brother lopped off the tip of my finger. My twos were certainly terrible!) When I was about 13 or 14, I was riding my bike when a dog chased after me and bite my leg. Apparently, neither encounter affected me in a negative way because I was never afraid of dogs and love them dearly. Ditto for my brother, the youthful meat-grinder menace.

Misty said...

Delightful Sunday puzzle, Paul--and thank you for checking in with us and encouraging all to tell pet stories. My 17 year old dachshund Dusty and I are charmed and thank you for that. I loved the pet theme, and did surprisingly well overall in this puzzle, even though many clues were crunchy--as they're supposed to be on a Sunday. Still lots of fun, thanks again, Paul. And loved your pictures, C.C.--especially the one of Boomer enjoying his fries and shake and not having to wear a mask. Hope all stays well.

And thank you, too, Shanker.

Have a good week coming up, everybody.

CanadianEh! said...

Super Sunday. Thanks for the fun, Paul (& for dropping by) and C.C.
I enjoyed the cat/dog theme of this CW. As a music and cat lover, my favourite was PITCH PURRFECT. I LOLed at CANINE MUTINY.

The CW filled in steadily, and was perp friendly when I did not know the answer immediately.
Irish Miss always beats me to the duos and other notables (but she finds even more than I do!)

Hand up for Astin before ASTON.
I had IMP and then saw it in the clue for 13A and gasped. Clecho or mistake? No the rules have changed I think.
I had Stow for Load, and it took a lightbulb moment when SLEW perped. My pigeons perched on a ROOST before it was RENEGEd for those hens. (It's the chickens that come home to ROOST, silly me!)

I have had cats, but not dogs. Several of the cats have lived long lives (16 & 18.5 years) and were dear family pets. DH had to learn to like housecats after we married (he had been used to barn cats which are a dime a dozen and aren't spoiled). Wendybird - I guess you chose Jack! Currently no pets to encumber us.

Wishing you all a great day.

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle and the "Pet Flicks" theme. It took me a long time to get THE CANINE MUTINY because I had FAT as the thing to be chewed and wouldn't let go of it. That, in turn, led to THE FELINE MUTINY which I quickly realized wouldn't work but that doggone FAT blinded me. Actually, CUD is a cool answer. I also ERRED in sticking with INSIDE for too long; when it became clear it NEEDED to be INDOOR I wanted it to be INDOORS until I realized that as an adjective it could refer to INDOOR dining.

CLOCK _____ ? Jeez.

Hen holders was not HOUSES. The wader was not EGRET.

Totally serendipitous that Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure was the Saturday Night Movie on PBS last night.

Favorite clue was Clothes line: INSEAM. I also liked Something to chew: CUD.

Nose wrinklers were TOTER, HIRERS, and JEERERS. I think Gary's nose was wrinkled by them too.

Good wishes to you all.

CrossEyedDave said...

Film with a feline baseball ace?

Biopic about Frank from "Men in Black"?

Comedy about a lost mutt?

Film about a composing pooch?

Drama about organized disobedience at obedience school?

Film romance starring Puss?

There are lots of great dogs in Batman masks out there,
but since this is the last clue/visual...
The Bark Knight

CC: Pic? I do remember a Youtube video...

Hungry Mother said...

FIR and enjoyed the theme and the overall puzzle.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Paul C. and C.C., for the fun puzzle and write-up. I got the theme but the answers were a bit difficult since I don't watch movies.

I'm enjoying the pet stories.

My parents told me that I had a cat named Happy Birthday when I was little but I don't remember it. We moved to the country when I was 7 and had cats outside who probably lived under the porches and a stray dog who adopted us. He hated to be inside so he had a good dog house. DH, daughter and I have had 2 Scottish Terriers, and now we have a Terrier mix. She was found running loose, went to the traditional shelter and was transferred to the no-kill shelter where I volunteer. She's been with us for 8 1/2 years and may be a bit spoiled.

Tomorrow Fall really arrives with cooler temps and rain. I'm over the 90's and humid weather.

Have a good evening.

Sandyanon said...

CED, I love your choices, especially the kissing-aversive cats!

Malodorous Manatee said...

Ditto. Great links CED.

Picard said...

NaomiZ thank you for the kind words about my Solstice outfit on the unicycle with Diane! Way cool that you shared the extreme water slide experience at the San Dimas Raging Waters water park! Were you inspired by BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE? Some day I need to watch that movie.

CC please tell us more about your Mount Hua adventure. Obviously, way more of an adventure than the San Dimas water slide!

CrossEyedDave thank you for that Mount Hua adventure! Wow! I probably would be OK with that. I am OK as long as I know I am secure. What freaks me out is if there is a real chance of falling, even if it is not such a big drop.

LfromAlberta way cool that you are from the same city as my wonderful artist friend Diane Stevenett! Perhaps you could email me at earthmanrobert (at) and I could put you in touch? Where are you now?

Since you and NaomiZ both took such an interest in Diane...

... I took the time to collect more of my photos from that particular Solstice with her and post them here.

I have more photos of Diane from other years.

But this is one of my favorite photos of her.

I took her to the wild and wonderful Kinetic Sculpture Race in Ventura, CA. She is posing with one of the Kinetic Sculptures. Diane is one of the most photogenic people I know. She is an actress and a singer as well as a brilliantly creative artist which also means being quite a good engineer. She reminds me of Barbara Eden and she definitely cultivates that look!

Big Easy said...

TTP- Meclizine has been used for at least 50 years to treat Vertigo. Pfizer had an Rx drug named Antivert, which was meclizine 25mg. Since it was already off patent in 1970 there were many other companies that had one. It's been OTC for years. Bonine is just meclizine. Also used for sea sickness.

Jayce- my first thought was FAT before CUD. With 3-letter fills before or after a word with a blank_____ beside it I always wait for a perp. Sometimes they are already filled before I even read the clue.

SwampCat said...

Oh f’ goodness sake. It’s Sunday. It’s hard. Get over it.
Great puzzle Craig. Great expo CC.

Big Easy, I’ve used Bonine for years for seasickness. Didn’t know about vertigo, which I also suffer from. Thanks.

SwampCat said...

Oops... thanks PAUL!!

Yellowrocks said...

I muffed it, but it was a great puzzle. Come on, it's not the puzzle, it's the solver.

SwampCat said...

YR, amen!

Anonymous T said...

Sunday Lurk say (again?!?)

Dennis FLN - Holy cow! So good to hear you're doing so well. Surgery is a scary thing but it sounds like it did wonders for you. Hope Abejo does as well.

CED - I've always wondered... who was the 1st guy/gal that went up there and put the safety stuff in place.
In Boy Scouts we spelunked caves in southern IL. But... what?, there were make-shift ladders and stuff in place already(?). Who was the nut-job that did that first?!?

Enjoyed reading everyone('s pet stories!) today.
Cheers, -T

Wilbur Charles said...

Yes, anon, this xword was not easy. Paul gave us a bunch but with 120+? Clues it takes some xword skill. It helps that French and Sports are gimme's(hated seeing HERrO who killed the Celtics including the coup de grace tonight(oops technically last night). I'll be rooting for Miami and JEERING the Lakers in the final.

FIW, YR there's two of us. Mr S let "PUn" stand for PUG*. And insisted on HIREeS leaving the ridiculous INDOOe(So Al Fresco means outdoor dining?). After FIR on Friday, Saturday. I inked over the Y in ISERE and the c in KARAT. After banishing Mr S I grok'ed INSOLE and ECHOED.

And perped/WAG'ed RATIO for that Watch clue???? Speaking of Sports I took a long time grok'ing JEERERS even though I thought of BOOERS.

Pets, we've had a million. I drove from Nashua to Burlington,VT (almost to Canada to buy a special white Himalayan cat. In a snowstorm. It's birds now, four eggs produced two hatchlings.

I'm slow for various reasons one of which was no newspaper available in Sun City. Now for the Jumble.


** I've had PUN in the brain since Cherry Garcia

Bobbi said...

Had a two and a half hours Zoom meeting today that didn't go very well so I sat down to a pet themed puzzle - my fav genre! OH BOY! With my Cocker pal on my lap I dug in... Only to find muck! Gave up and tossed it after two hours, I have a list of over twenty disagreements with Paul ... But why waste my time. I'll just let him know that his entry was a perfect capper for a terrifically DOWN DAY for me!