, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Thursday, September 17, 2020, Mike Peluso


Sep 17, 2020

Thursday, September 17, 2020, Mike Peluso

Good morning, cruciverbalists one and all. Joseph, aka Malodorous Manatee, here. When C.C. approached me about joining the blogging team I felt pleasantly surprised. When I learned that my first assignment would be on a Thursday I felt a bit intimidated. Steve blogged on Thursdays. I do not know how many of his 354 posts were on Thursdays but he did choose to bid adieu on that day of the week and that is surely significant.

I started solving crossword puzzles thirty years ago. Far more recently, while searching online for an answer (or two), I stumbled across the L.A. Times Crossword Corner. Some time later I returned, scrolled down below the write-up, read through the comments and realized that I had descended into a warren of crossword nerds. Fellow crossword nerds. I am very pleased to have made the discovery.

In short, thank you CC for creating this space and thank you all for allowing me to play in your sandbox.

It is an honor to have been asked to be part of this team. Now, on to the puzzle.

I am less familiar with the work of Mike Peluso than I am with that of some other constructors. However, I greatly enjoyed this puzzle and his by-line is now solidly on the radar. The theme was clever and well executed. The grid, itself, is interesting and a bit out of the ordinary in a refreshing way.

Theme: Parlez-you Franglais? Four, ou Quatre, Homophones

Four pairings of the French name for a city or region with an English word.  The words in each pairing sound alike and, when read together, form a plausible proper adjective/noun combination.

17 A.   Excursion in a Loire Valley town?: TOURS TOUR.  Tours is a city in France located approximately 200 km southwest of Paris.  It is considered to be a gateway to use for exploring the chateaux of the Loire Valley.  Of course, one can also take a tour of Tours.

25 A.   Horse of southeastern France?: RHONE ROAN   The Rhone Valley is a region of France very famous for its wines.  A Rhone appellation with which some of us may be familiar is Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  These days, there are very good wines being made from Rhone varietal grapes that are grown in California, particularly in the Paso Robles area.  Two producers, among many, that you might wish to check out are Saxum and Herman Story.  There are several stables near Paso Robles where you can rent a horse be it a Roan, a Pinto or a Palomino.  Of these, the Roan is the horse most commonly seen in crossword puzzles.

36 A.   Relative in a Cote d'Azur family?: NICE NIECE.   Nice is another French city.  Located less than an hour's drive from Cannes, it is a pleasant place to visit.  If your sister's friendly daughter lived there you could have a pleasant visit with your nice Nice niece.

51 A.   Swindle at a French festival?: CANNES CON.   Home to a major film festival since 1946, Cannes is quite famous.  In 1954, actress Simone Silva showed up topless at a festival photo shoot.  Bones were broken in the ensuing scruffle.  If dancing, in lieu of toplessness, was employed to create a diversion as part of the swindle at the festival would it then be a Cannes Can Can Con?  

62 A.   Hybrid linguistic term that hints at the answers to 17-, 25-, 36- and 51-Across: FRANGLAIS.  The reveal, of course.  I took four years of High School French and am able to sorta kinda fake my way in Franglais.  Although I took only a single year of Italian (in college), I prefer to converse in Itanglese.


1.  Big bash: FETE.  A conundrum right out of the starting gate.  Four letters.  Is it going to turn out to be Gala or Ball, or FETE.

5.  Lestrade's rank, in Sherlock Holmes stories: Abbr.: INSP.  Do you know who this guy is?  Of course you do.

Inspector Gadget

9.  Music rights org.: ASCAP.  The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

14.  Hose color: ECRU.  Four letters.  Two of them vowels.  A crossword staple.

15.  Ward of TV's "FBI": SELA.  I have a love/hate relationship with proper nouns when they're used in crossword puzzles.  If I know 'em then they are a big help.  If not, let's just say that crossing two of them in a puzzle should be, at the very least, a misdemeanor.

16.  Rattle: DAUNT.

19.  Others, to Pablo: OTRAS.  A slight pause to determine if it might be Otros.

20.  Former trucking watchdog agcy.: ICC.  The Interstate Commerce Commission.  Be careful 'cause they're a checkin' on down the line.

21.  Newscast attention-getter: TOP STORY.  Not to be confused with:

23.  National capital on the Cape Verde Peninsula: DAKAR.  With a population of roughly one million people, DAKAR is the capital of Senegal.  The metropolitan area has two or three times that many residents.  Coincidentally, this is the second time in three days that we have seen DAKAR in the daily puzzle. 

29.  Improve, as a highway: REPAVE.

31.  Composer Rorem: NED.  Hi Diddly Ho, Ned.  Oops, wrong Ned.

32.  Rome's __ Veneto: VIA.  When I was seventeen we took a family trip to Italy.  On the Via Veneto I looked for, but, alas, could not find, Sophia Loren.

33.  Going down: SETTING.  I first thought that SINKING might work out but SETTING it was.  Perhaps, at some point in time, a sinking ship video will be appropriate.

35.  Way off the highway: RAMP.  THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE could not be made to fit in the allotted space.   

40.  Minute Maid Park player, to fans: STRO.   My mother hailed from Brooklyn and I from Los Angeles.  It is probably best, therefore, that we not dive too deeply into this topic lest an animated discussion ensue.

43.  Rickety, say: UNSOUND.  Of mind, body or structural integrity?

46.  "Queen Sugar" creator DuVernay: AVA.  We have seen quite a lot of her in crossword puzzles in recent months.  A cluing update to Ava Gardner.

47.  Clear dishes from: BUS.  A word with several meanings.  A couple more  can be found at 48 Down, below.

50.  More work: UTOPIA.  Okay, Mike, you slowed me up with this one for a few moments because there is always More Work To Be Done To Be Done.

54.  "Because __ so!!": I SAID.  The concept came up here recently in a discussion here about dietary laws.

56.  Relieve: UNBURDEN.  This is what would have happened had The Animals decided to sever ties with their lead singer.  Sorry Ray, and yes, everyone else, too.

58.  Day-__: GLO.

59.  "Dust-colored," in Hindustani: KHAKI.  I always have trouble with the spelling of KHAKI.  This morning was no exception but it got worked out.

64.  Aspect of a problem: FACET  See NUKED at 52 Down, below.

65.  Accommodates: FITS.

66.  "Desperate Housewives" character: BREE.  I almost went with BRIE within the context of this puzzle.

67.  Set of beliefs: CREDO.  Could have been ETHOS.  Thank you, perps, once again.

68.  Old-time dagger: SNEE.  I always have trouble remembering if SNEE is the knife and SMEE is the pirate, or vice versa.

69.  Lip: SASS.  Alternatively, and in what would have required a much lengthier clue, SASS is, and I quote, "...the most mature, stable, and powerful professional grade CSS extension language in the world."   I think they're talking about something to do with computers.  


1.  Reeking: FETID.  I can think of a possible synonym.  Ten letters.

2.  Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius: ECO CARS.

3.  River through Reno: TRUCKEE.

Truckin' On The Truckee

4.  Scand. locale: EUR.   I suspect that this was one of the clue/answer parings with which the constructor was least happy. 

5.  Ratio phrase: IS TO.  ISTO   INTO   UNTO   UNDO   UNDI  Voila, une word ladder.  UNDI is a village in the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh.  Okay, that's obscure but I couldn't conjure up a better last rung.

6.  Synthetic rubber used in waders: NEOPRENE.  There is a tradition at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, where I often ski, of stripping down and skiing in the buff on the last day of the ski season.  I once told my daughter that I might give that a try.  She looked at me and said, "Dad, you ski with so much Neoprene on that it won't matter."  (Knee braces, back brace, elbow sleeve, etc.)

7.  Winter weather aftermath: SLUSH.  What one often skis on on that last day of the ski season.

8.  "Islands in the Stream" duettist: PARTON.  Dolly is justifiably famous for a couple of reasons.

9.  Loved: ADORED.

10.  Man-goat of myth: SATYR.  Goat-man, ergo, goat-woman.  Are they satyr-ists?

11.  Tough mutt: CUR.

12.  Japanese carrier that sponsors a major LPGA event: ANA.   A timely entry.  The ANA Inspiration Tournament, one of the five major champiobnships of women's professional golf, was played just this past weekend.  Mirim Lee won the event in a three-way playoff.

13.  Box score abbr.: PTS.

18.  Low clouds: STRATI.  Would a selection of violins, violas, guitars, harps  and cellos from the master be Stradi varius?  Amati pleased with that pun.

22.  "__ of Us": Joan Osborne hit: ONE.   I was not familiar with this ONE.

24.  City addr. info: APT NO.  Apt.

26.  Eggs: OVA.  Alternative clue:  plural of a single cell often found in crossword puzzles.

27.  Point: AIM.

28.  Velvet feature: NAP.  Another one of those playful, pesky, and potentially perplexing homonyms.

30.  London's Old __: VIC.  An over-200-year-old, 1,000-seat theatre in London.  Was it called The Vic when it first opened?

34.  Serengeti bovine: GNU.
        Tourist:  "Can you tell me how to get to the museum?"
        Wildebeest:  "Sorry, I'm gnu in town."

35.  Enlists again: RE UPS.  One of those where, when you look at the completed puzzle the next day, you ask yourself something along the lines of "what the heck is a reups?"

37.  Flood: INUNDATE.

38.  Richmond winter hrs.: EST.  Did anyone here attend Erhard Seminar Training?  EST, as it was known, had a significant number of enthusiastic,  proselytizing adherents in the 1970's and 1980's.

39.  Sounding like a dove: COOING.

40.  Cul-de-__: SAC.  Cul-de-sac comes from the French, n'est ce pas, originally meaning bottom of the sack.

41.  FDR power program: TVA.  Many people were displaced when the TVA dams were built.  The flooding was central to the film O' Brother Where Art Thou?   The soundtrack album sparked renewed interest in traditional American music.  In 2010, I got to see Ralph Stanley perform at a music festival high up in the Rocky Mountains.  The Seldom Scene performed, too.  Quite a delightful afternoon.

42.  Was a candidate: RAN.   Often clued with a reference to the Akira Kurosawa motion picture.

44.  Falls for lovers?: NIAGARA.  It is somewhat surprising that this particular tourist attraction has not sold the naming rights.

45.  Newsstand buys: DAILIES.

47.  1800s Mexican leader Juárez: BENITO.   Perhaps, it is a good thing that the theme was not Itanglese.

48.  Flash drive port: USBUniversal Serial Bus.  A computer industry standard for cables and connectors.

49.  Shoeshine targets: SCUFFS.

52.  Microwaved: NUKED.  In my desk drawer is a copy of Life magazine published the week I was born.  The magazine was received as a gift decades later.  In the Letters to the Editor section of the magazine is a somewhat lengthy discussion about the correct F-Stops and Shutter Speeds to use when photographing nuclear tests in the desert near St. George, UT.  These were above-ground tests.  Can you say fallout?  Talk about placing one's focus on a less important FACET of an issue!

53.  Longtime Utah senator Hatch: ORRIN.

55.  They're just what the doctor ordered: DOSES.  Or, Faline's female sibling?

Doe's Sis?

57.  Massachusetts motto starter: ENSE.  Having scrupulously avoided taking Latin as a language in school, I need to look up these state motto clues if the perps do not suffice.

59.  Louisville-based fast-food company: KFC.  Although based in Tennessee, KFC is very, very big in China.  Yum China owns/franchises KFC as well as Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.  Thomas Friedman is correct, The World Is Flat.

60.  Laugh syllable: HAR.    Over the decades, The Simpsons has provided many chuckles.  This was a gag appreciated by budding and veteran mathematicians alike:

61.  Nolan Ryan, notably: ACE.  I was lucky enough to see The Ryan Express (a riff on the title of David Westheimer's novel Von Ryan's Express) pitch at the Big A.

63.  Dumbbell abbr.: LBS.  Doh!  This type of dumbbell.  Now I get it.

Well, that's it for the maiden voyage...with not a single reference to Tom Lehrer, Weird Al, or Mel Brooks to be found.  Have to keep some powder dry.  Big thanks to C.C., Tom, Chairman Moe and the others who are helping me learn how to navigate the blog.  Because of their generous assistance, things (hopefully) went better than they did for RMS Titanic.

MM Out

Notes from C.C.:
Abejo's wife Linda informed me that he's now at the ICU and on a ventilator. Please keep your thoughts and prayers on him!

Abejo with his tuba at a church Fat Tuesday event.


Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain 50 across to me. Clue: More work Answer: UTOPIA?
I don't get it.

Lemonade714 said...

There is nothing more pressing than a healing prayer for Abejo;
Mi shebeirach imoteinu
M’kor habrachah laavoteinu
El na, r’fa na lah.
El na, r’fa na lo.

Welcome MalMan and thank you for your extensive and witty debut. And welcome back MIKE PELUSO who now has more than 50 LAT puzzles published. This INTERVIEW is from 2009. One highlight is C.C.'s answer to Linda who asked why didn't C.C. start constructing puzzles. Another is Mike's debut puzzle was published one day after the first Crossword Corner.

I did not know BENITO JUAREZ .

Thank you all.

Lemonade714 said...

UTOPIA is a book written by Sir Thomas More in 1516.Hence it is a work by More.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Caught the theme with the first sound-alike and was off to the races. No Wite-Out required. Thanx for the diversion, Mike. MalMan, I enjoyed your fun-fact-filled foray into blogdom and look forward to your future efforts.

ICC: In the 60s Dave Dudley lived in nearby Stevens Point, and we would hear Six Days On The Road on radio station WSPT. The kids knew it as W-Spit.

REPAVE: The roads in our town were originally paved in the early 70s. The road I lve on got it's first repaving last fall. It really needed it. Now it's actually fun to bike on.

Best wishes, Abejo. We miss your Erie, Earl Grey, Tuba presence here at the corner.

desper-otto said...

Translation: lve on = "live on"

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lemonade. I had no idea Utopia was a book by Thomas More.

OwenKL said...

The bridge was looked most UNSOUND,
And it was DAUNTING to look straight down!
But cross we must,
So trust the truss --
The fall would kill us before we'd drown!

I used to mix Hook's sailor, Smee,
With the pirate's dagger, SNEE
Until I found
The latter noun
Was really short for "snickersnee"!

Hungry Mother said...

FIR, with one write-over: STRATI 4 STRATa. The theme brought back many pleasant memories of traveling in France on several trips with family members. I’ve only been to DAKAR once, on a transatlantic cruise beginning in Rio and ending in Athens. One of the benefits of being a snowbird is the absence of SLUSH in my life.

Big Easy said...

Best wishes Abejo.

Boy did I start it wrong guessing ROAD before ECRU replaced it in the NW only to have ROAN show up as the second half the the FRANGLIAS RHONE-ROAN. Since TOURS-TOUR was filled first the theme was an easy one to guess and the puzzle easy for a Thursday.

Only two changes: RHE to PTS and STRATA to STRATI. Had to wait for perps for LBS instead of KGS. Ditto for KFC vs. YUM (the corporate company that also has Taco Bell & Pizza Hut). DAKAR was a WAG and ANA & BREE were perps.

Great inaugural write up Joseph.

jfromvt said...

Nice write up MalMan, and a nice puzzle too. I’m hankered in for a full day of watching the US Open. I enjoy it more than the Masters, nice seeing the Pros struggle a bit!

Anonymous said...

I had 19A as OTROS for Pablo. Maybe OTRAS would have been for Paquita?

inanehiker said...

This was a quicker solve than earlier in the week! Thanks MM for the fun write-up! and for the link to Mike's interview- foreshadowing of CC's future in constructing "the lady doth protest too much"

When you mentioned EST training it reminded me when I was an RA in college - one of my dormlings was Werner Erhard's daughter - she was quite the personality! Between her and another one who was a big follower of Ba'Hai we had quite lively discussions!

Late for work - but praying for Abejo and family! said...

Fantastic puzzle! I want more! Thank you! Perfect Thurs. just hard enough to get brain cells moving.

Unknown said...

Cannes is pronounced "can." This is a common mistake. Doesn't work in this puzzle. Otherwise, lots of fun.

Montana said...

Prayers for Abejo and family.
Welcome, Malman.
I solve puzzles every night, but rarely blog anymore.
A long time ago when I first started visiting this Corner, I was lucky to solve a Tuesday puzzle. But after a year I was solving most Wednesday ones.
Now, for the last 6-8 weeks, I’ve managed to complete each Thursday puzzle without error or help.
Today was no exception. I surprised myself at how speedily I finished it, AND got the theme.

Have a great day and stay safe everyone!


Wilbur Charles said...

Welcome MaloMan. Re. "nerds" I tell people that since xword conversation is the most boring(after politics) we needs have a place to talk Elia,Esai and Erie

I get ASCAP mixed up with that duck call. And, fortunately SELA has appeared frequently lately.

Duh, Thomas More.

I thought this was difficult aided by the FRANGLAIS. I didn't know Mr Peluso. Apologies for the B-team remark.

FIR. FETE was slow coming as was the rest.


Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

While the clever theme was obvious early on, the revealer was quite a surprise as I don’t recall ever hearing the term, Franglais. Makes a lot of sense, though, and made the solve easy. I needed perps for Benito and Ense, but no w/os. Sela Ward is no longer in the cast of FBI, but Jake from State Farm is still sporting his Khakis! It took way, way, way too long for me to realize the More work=Utopia connection. My delightful duos were Snee/Bree, TVA/Ova, USB/Bus, Via/Vic, and Nap/Sac! CSOs to Anon T and DO (Stro) and Nina, Ray O and CanadianEh (Doses).

Thanks, Mike, for a pleasant Thursday solve and thanks, MalMan, for your dazzling debut into Blog World. Your commentary was educational and witty and your links and visuals were A+. IOW, you scored a perfect 10. Congratulations and I look forward to your future contributions.

Prayers go to our dear Abejo and his family.

Have a great day.

Lemonade714 said...

Anon at 8:23, the proper pronunciation of Cannes (/kæn, kɑːn/) works as a Homonym for CON. It is a multilingual one, but the word is French, so the French way is the correct way.

Elizabeth and Nolan in Korea- where are you? My nephew spent two years in Korea in Army Intelligence. Welcome to the Corner.

Montana, glad to hear of your progress. Be well

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

I pray for Abejo's recovery and that he will be with us again soon.

Malodorous is certainly not FETID. A great maiden trip among the tulips. BZ

Liked this puzzle a lot. Great theme. No problems with the solve. Lemonade, I assumed as much about More work; perps were solid.
NIAGARA - - Today is Sept. 17th. Each year starting on Sept 16 and until Oct. 31, the Falls flow is reduced from 100000cfs to 50000cfs daily at 8pm instead of at 10pm between April 1 and Sept. 15. The relevant section of the 1950 NIAGARA TREATY:
"……no diversions of the water specified in Article III of this Treaty shall be made for power purposes which will reduce the flow over Niagara Falls to less than one hundred thousand cubic feet per second each day between the hours of eight a.m., E.S.T., and ten p.m., E.S.T., during the period of each year beginning April 1 and ending September 15, both dates inclusive, or to less than one hundred thousand cubic feet per second each day between the hours of eight am, E.S.T., and eight pm, E.S.T., during the period of each year beginning September 16 and ending October 31, both dates inclusive, or to less than fifty thousand cubic feet per second at any other time;…… (The parties have agreed that EDT applies when it is in effect.)

Unknown said...

Successful maiden voyage MM! Was that Rockygrass where you saw Ralph & Seldom Scene? Lucky you! Great music😊

ATLGranny said...

Happy to report a FIR today. Thanks to Mike for a clever puzzle and to MalMan for a delightful debut that did not disappoint!

I started off on the wrong foot by putting in hybrids instead of ECO CARS, which led to abbeyTOUR. I learned what the theme was when I put RHONE ROAN so I corrected that corner. My other ill advised entry was exit for RAMP, not thinking how much harder it would be to fit in an x. OVx wasn't going to work. FRANGLAIS was fine, reminding me of Spanglish and Denglish (English German mixup).

We're wet but better weather is on the way. Definitely not too hot these days. Hope you all have a great day. Get Well Soon wishes to Abejo!

Husker Gary said...

-Merci Very Much! Mike for the puzzle and MalMan for the great review.
-NICE NIECE gave me the fun theme and FRANGLAIS filled itself
-My binge-watching of Poirot on YouTube features Chief INSP Japp
-Success in putting is greatly aided by remaining UNDAUNTED
-Trucking songs ain’t Beethoven but they’re a fun listen
-TOP STORY tonight – Nuclear blast wipes out New York. More after this message.
-That SETTING sun is getting earlier and earlier
-“Because I SAID SO” is the final (not always the first) card parents must play
-The New England Patriots had to change their offense to FIT Cam Newton
-Redux for me - We Piddle, Twiddle and Resolve in foul, FETID, fuming, foggy Philadelphia
-Removing that SLUSH is a winter business boon to car washes
-Mourning doves are happy to eat the sunflower chips spilled by the smaller birds on our feeders

kazie said...

I join all of you in wishing Abejo the very best.

I enjoyed all the franglais homonyms of course, but I had trouble with CANNES CON because of my non-American pronunciation of the O in CON. I finally realized my problem and put it in, but I agree with Lemony about the phonetics of the French, and would imagine that phonetically the word CON should look different in British English from the American.

I also commend your début as a blogger. An intimidating undertaking to be sure, but you more than did it justice.

Malodorous Manatee said...

...except for misplacing Louisville. I proofread that post thirty times and did not catch that stupid mistake. Doh! Apologies to all, especially those in that neck 'o the woods.

Yellowrocks said...

MalMan, wonderful debut. Fun, informative and lots of illustrations.
I got the homophone idea very quickly. I soon realized that each theme answer had a French city, which helped the solve.
OKL great poems today.
I decided that if MORE works= UTOPIA, More had to be an author. Oh yeah! Thomas More.
I was reading shoestring targets (49D), until I finally saw it was SHINE.
I wanted CANNES CAN, but CON made more sense. I listened to the French pronunciation of CANNES. To my ear the A is not like the American CAN or CON, but somewhere in between.
I had trouble with EUR, FETE and FETID, because I had ECRU early on and then erased it. When I finally put it back I got EUR and finished easily.
We were asked not to hang bird feeders due the bears. When I used to hang mine, I had many mourning doves eating the spilled seed on the ground.

MissScarlet said...

I agree!

Shankers said...

Great job MalMan. Could have fooled me that this was your debut. Prayers going out to Ab. Franglais was all perps otherwise FIR in Thursday-like time. Like others, Utopia had me scratching my head til coming here. A most clever clue.

Anonymous said...

Crossed fingers and prayers for Abejo.

Fun puzzle and great blog debut MM. A daunting task to fill in for Steve but ably done!

I had UTOP and looked again at the clue convinced the paper had a misprint. Then the case of V8 hit me.

Cool day here in Chicago. Fall is on the way.

Stay safe and well everyone.


NaomiZ said...

French does not have the "a" sound in "can." Cannes is pronounced "con." Common mistake, indeed!

NaomiZ said...

My comment above was entered on my mobile phone as a Reply to Unknown at 8:23 AM. I see it does not display that way on my PC view of the comments. Apologies for the positioning error! Perhaps a feature of the new blog software?

TTP said...

I had to reboot my machine and lost my comments.

I am saddened to hear about Abejo. I hope and pray that he is able to pull through this and recovers quickly.

Thank you, Mike Peluso, and thank you Malodorous Manatee. Excellent debut !

To answer your question, Steve blogged the Thursday crossword 253 time out of his total of 355. He blogged the Wednesday 91 times and some other days to make 355. For comparison, my entire total was 90.

RHONE ROAN was the first theme answer I saw, and led me back to enter TOURS to precede TOUR.

It also led me to correct 14A "Hose color": from roan to ECRU. I'd read horse. D'OH !

Running behind.

See all y'll later 'n at !

kazie said...

Cannes has a short vowel, more akin to the sound in CUNNing than CON, which to my ear sounds longer in American English, and in British/Aussie English, con sounds nothing like Cannes.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Great inaugural job Mal Man with "hairy" (peluso: It. for hirsute) Mike's challenge (more Cornerites at your inauguration than any prior!) But not so great for me. Done in by ONE measly (anti-vaxer?) NE square: ASC_P/ A_A. Hadn't the foggiest for either. I remember my Best Man, a radio DJ, belonged to AFTRA (wouldn't fit).

But the NW was the nuttiest. Put ECRU first then immediately thought it was wrong: a "scand. locale" has to be one of three; NOR, SWE, or DEN right? (I chose NOR for the R in TOUR . But FETID gave me E and and then ECOCARS a C)..hmmm what color hose is EC_O? Ah!!! EUR. My hose is green, kinks and leaks, ohhh THAT kin of hose so full circle back to ECRU!! Only truckers org. I know is the Teamsters.(perpwalked)

So for one square DNF which trumps my heel spurs: I suffered the agony of de FÊTE.

Picked up quickly on the theme with RHONEROAN (the only French river with RH I knew was the Rhône...the Rhine doesn't get to France).. I actually wrote in CANNESSCAN. (Could be clued as an MRI or CT in southern France.) Using the anglais pronunciation which is incorrect if you follow the homophone progression in this setting. I've heard a lot of Franglais in Kay-beck

DAILIES (rushes): The initial prints of a film scene reviewed daily. ...Liked More work. How is doing more work a UTOPIA (ohhhh...). The only item that goes down by SETTING is the sun but it REUPS the next day.

NIAGARA: As a tyke was looking through my parents 1949 Honeymoon album. ("Maid 'o the Mist", Mom soaked in a raincoat under the falls) Then ....Barrels in a museum. Mom explained that people got inside and went over the falls. Me: "huh? wha? Nah!!!."

Speaking of over a barrell...

Will a goldfish die if you ____ too much?....FETID

"______ you dare!!"......DAUNT.


"Do what your mother ______"... SASS.

Cornerite prayers for Abejo. You who keep in touch with the family keep us informed.

TTP said...

NaomiZ, no not an issue with New Blogger.

If you do a Reply, the only readers that will know what or who you are replying to are other readers on phones. Anyone on tablets, laptops and desktops will be left in the dark unless you specifically state it in your comments. It has always been this way with Blogger.

NaomiZ said...

I really enjoyed Mike Peluso's puzzle, and the quick TOUR of the French countryside. Joe the MalMan made a brilliant debut blogging, and even gave us a pertinent manatee cartoon. Loved it! I did not know 12D ANA, so had 19A OTROS and FIW. None of us knows everything, and there is nothing more charming than an admission of imperfection. I also enjoy a good lecture from someone who knows their stuff. But I bristle at arrogance from the ignorant; hence my previous comments today. There are certainly a few sources online than encourage one to pronounce Cannes as "can," but most of the recordings sound like "cahn," and much closer to "con" than "can." I have only dabbled in a few foreign languages, but I don't recall hearing the English "a" as in "can" in any of them. Certainly not French. Amirite?

Wendybird said...

First, sending positive thoughts ro Abejo for a swift recovery.
Great puzzle from Mike, and amazing tour by MM. The interview was the cherry on top!

I was loving the theme and the clever misdirection of “More work”. Then I got into an impossible mess in the SE and couldn’t fix it. I put WTS (weights) instead of LBS and Daily US (U.S.?) instead of DAILIES. Never saw Desperate Housewives, so TRUE for BREE looked OK. So I couldn’t see FRANGLISH and got a resounding BZZZT. FIW for sure. Otherwise, fun and clever puzzle.

Misty said...

Well, Thursdays begin to be toughies for me, so had to work hard on this one, but still enjoyed it--many thanks, Mike.

The bottom was easier for me and that's where I got started, getting KHAKI and FACET and CREDO. Got NIAGARA instantly, but like others, I got UTOPIA but had no idea what it had to do with MORE. Many thanks for the explanation, Lemonade. Knew ORRIN Hatch, and amazingly got BENITO even though I didn't know anything about his leadership. Must have appeared in crosswords before.

Anyway, lots of fun--thanks again, Mike. And MalMan, you did a great job. Look forward to hearing from you again next Thursday.

My prayers too go out to Abejo and his family.

Have a good Thursday, everybody.

oc4beach said...

Great puzzle Mike and a great debut by MM. Enjoyed the puzzle and the tour.

I got the theme early on, so, it helped further down the grid.

UTOPIA was a stumper today. Not one of the books I have read.

FETE, DAUNT, BREE and CREDO were totally filled in with perps. I also wanted EXIT before RAMP was evident with perps.

A funny coincidence today was waking up with an earworm going through my head. "Islands in the Stream" by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Couldn't miss that clue.

I hope all goes well for Abejo.

Be safe everyone, and please wear your masks.

Yuman said...

Congrats to MM, great review. Almost gave up at UTOPIA, but hung in there and got it done.
Special prayers for Abejo and his family.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 8:02 am touches upon a pet peeve of mine. A feminine person or place should be included in the clue if the answer is going to be otrAs; a masculine person or place should be included if the answer is going to be otrOs. The author jumps the fence here, but that has been happening in a lot of puzzles lately. This unwritten rule should apply here, just as when an answer is going to be an abbreviation, an abbreviation must be included in the clue.


CrossEyedDave said...

FBC Actually,,, (finished by cheating)
Could not get the NT in Daunt, or the N in Japanese Airline,
or the T in P-S...
There were many more, but that's the one that stuck in my Craw.
(yes, It was a Daunting puzzle...)

Thank you MalMan for the entertaining write up!

& Thank you Lemon, for the Utopia explanation. (I had no idea!)

Frawnch, in English Xwords has always been a thorn in my side.
(I took Spanish in H.S., I learned No Se Nada...)
However, perhaps I should give Franglais a chance.
It could be useful. I looked up an image of a French Army Knife,
& it had nothing but corkscrews... (could be useful...)
But, unfortunately my experiences with Foreign languages
has been like a CocaCola bottle cap game...

Wheels42 said...

Great write-up, MM. Prayers for Abejo and his family.

I disliked this puzzle. I think I tend to fixate on the fill more than most other solvers. So many abbreviations! INSP, ASCAP, ICC, ANA (clued to mean an abbreviation for the airline), PTS, APTNO, TVA, KFC, EST, USB, LBS, EUR! Then, you also have the height of crosswordese with ECRU, SNEE, ENSE, ECOCAR (does anyone use this term?), etc. For me, this fill made the puzzle a slog and ruined any fun the theme created.

Of course, abbreviations are a necessary component of making a grid. Some abbreviations can be fun and even sparkly. But so many of them, especially the groaners like ICC (a federal agency dissolved in the 90s), are unsatisfying. Having all of these in the same puzzle is too much - this grid could've used a rewrite.

Thanks as always for tolerating my criticisms. :-) I'd be interested to hear if I'm the only one who feels this way.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Agree with ANON. Same with Eso/esa..
Esto/estas...not very famiiar with Spanish but in French (ce/cette) and Italian (questo/questa) if there is no specific gender that these words are modifying they revert to the masculine. But frequently the feminine is used in CWs for no apparent reason

AnonymousPVX said...

Had to come here for an explanation of 50A, as this was not provided by MM...the explanation given “ More Work To Be Done To Be Done” simply makes no sense at all. If it’s a joke I don’t get it.

Thanks to Lemony for an actual explanation, had no idea it was a book, never mind the author. Now it makes sense.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Naomi Z...I.Cannes't agree more.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Wait I concur with you. It's "The CON Film Festival". Not CANZ (hey thats quinze which is 15 in français)

TTP said...

Anon PVX said, "Had to come here for an explanation of 50A..."

You should always come here whether you need an explanation or not. This is where all the cool crossword enthusiasts hang out. :>)

CrossEyedDave said...

great work on the write up!
You made AnonymousPVX read the Comments!
(Hey! You gotta leave something for us Peons...)

Deeply concerned about Abejo,
last I heard was Pneumonia, which is not good.
My SIL's teenage son had Pneumonia in February,
tested negative for COVID several times.
(no one else in the house got sick)
but recently was tested positive for COVID antibodies?

Even closer to home,
Daughter#3 started her 1st Teaching job, but had to take COVID tests
as a prerequisite. She has tested positive for Covid antibodies,
but is not contagious? She is not sick, & so far, we are all fairly healthy.
I can only think that she may have had contact with a COVID patient in NYU
back in February, but did not get sick? or it is a false positive?
I don't know, but maybe it is a good sign that not everyone is susceptible.

On the other hand,
like Anonymous-T pointed out,
if I put my tin foil hat on,
I am thinking they are telling all Teachers they a positive
to get them to work?
(it's a conspiracy, I tell you!)
(Don't forget MK-Ultra!)

Vidwan827 said...

Thank you Mr. Peluso for a wonderful Thursday puzzle. I got the theme , Yippee !
Thank you MalMan for a wonderful debut review and interesting links. I did not know the ten letter synonym to Fetid, so I had to Google it !?@! Then I realized it was a part of your moniker.

Thank you for the cartoon from The Simpsons, I know of a joke in the same equation, which I may list in my next post on Calculus, if I can find the time.

Prayers and heartfelt good wishes for Abejo.
Hi Frazie, I remember you from long ago. Best wishes.

There is a spice, a resin, originally fron Iran ( where Abejo got his namesake) which is considered by some to be Fetid, called Asafoetida, which is used in over 50 percent of indian cooking. It has a sulphurous smell, much like garlic and onions, more savory, and is considered indispensable for some dishes. Although its been called Devil's dung, in the West, it is worth its weight in ... it is more expensive than black pepper. See Wiki if you are interested.

Thank you Lemonade, for the Sir Thomas More explanation to the clue for Utopia. That clue completely befuddled me. I read up on more on More's biography in Wiki, and I am now in a pensive mood of mind. As a lawyer, as you are, he was a brilliant man, well read and God fearing, and scrupulous to a fault, a supposed humanist ... but in the end he used the law to justify numerous injustices, and the religious zealotry ( on both sides ! ) could make me turn to atheism ! The Law and Religion can be misused to become a scourge for mankind and cause enormous depredations.

I sincerely apologize for introducing religion in this blog. No more.

NaomiZ said...

Further reflecting upon my bad temper today, I realize that English speakers pronounce "can" in various ways. Here in Los Angeles, it has a sharp tang. We use the same unpleasant sound in "rant." But a British person just "cahn't." Perhaps some of you folks east of the Mississippi or south of the Mason Dixon line also use that soft ah. In that case, go ahead and pronounce Cannes just like a cahn of soda. That's how I pronounce con!

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

First off, prayers and healing thoughts to Abejo

Second, as Wheels42 indicated, the puzzle today didn’t “do it” for me, but as someone who’s getting started with constructing crossword puzzles (first collaborated will publish later this fall) I realize just how tough it is to not only be creative, but to come up with clues and solves that work. I’m guessing for many constructors, it’s the only saying: “you can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time. But you can’t please all of the people, all of the time ...”

Third, MalMan (BTW, I kinda like that handle!), great job in your blogging debut. I really LOL at the Cannes Can Can Con!! Also, as we discovered off line, you and I may be the resident “wine geeks” here. Wines from the Rhône are probably at the top of my list of all time favorites. Three prominent wine areas in today’s puzzle ... all ones that I enjoy. I wish I could speak French as well as I drink French!!����

HU for not knowing Sir Thomas More and his book, UTOPIA. I also had OTROS/ANO, so officially this was a FIW with a Natick. How’s THAT for crossword geek-speak???!

My Moe-ku du jour (editing a previous pun):

The pigeon and dove
Met on a church steeple, and
Started high COOING

Chairman Moe said...


Apparently my iPhone can’t insert certain emojis. The two that got encrypted were a glass of wine 🍷 and a bottle of Champagne 🍾

Also, auto correct changed “it’s the OLD saying” to it's the only saying ...

Preview, Moe, Preview ...

Yellowrocks said...

Wheels 42, I agree with you only in some cases. In other cases the shortened form is way more common than the long form. I have ridden on ANA in Japan. It seems to me it is always called ANA and not All Nippon Airways. I got ANA right off, but would not have gotten the long form. The same goes for USB. The long form is not used as much as USB. I can remember the UNIVERSAL------BUS part, but forget that S stands for Serial. MalMan's cute picture of the cereal bus should help LOL. NASA is also so common I consider it in the language.
Otras or otros. Pablo is not one of the others. We don't know whether Pablo is talking about masculine or feminine others. I just wait for the perp.
No nit about ECRU which is used quite a bit in everyday language. Shall we ban white, green,purple, etc?
Too many abbreviates are not good, but I didn't find any of them esoteric today.
I did find the theme clever.
Aren't you sorry you asked for feedback, Wheels 42?
As Naomi Z pointed out, the vowel A does have many pronunciations across the country. When I asked for the French pronunciation of Cannes, I heard ah.
Abejo, prayers and healing thoughts for a good recovery.

LEO III said...

Well, two DNFs in a row! Had to work yesterday, but not too hard, but I still haven’t straightened out a couple of messes with THAT puzzle. It will go down as an INC on my report card.

Today, I had problems in the NW corner. I actually got all of the FRANGLAIS (including the reveal), except for TOURSTOUR. Nice theme, even for the guy who doesn't much care for the French stuff. However, the NW corner simply didn’t come together for me. Didn’t know Reno had a river (only drove past it once on I-80 back in 1967); forgot where the Cape Verde Peninsula is; also wanted a country in Scandinavia; and guessed wrong on a couple of other fills.

The ICC was shut down at the end of 1995? That shows you how long it’s been since I was anywhere near a fuel terminal or bulk plant. Used to hear our truck drivers talking about the regs all the time.

And then, for all of the things I didn’t know, somehow the lightbulb clicked for UTOPIA. Go figure.

As I’ve said before, I agree about too many names: However, to paraphrase the Maverick/Iceman exchange, Dolly! You can be in my crossword puzzle anytime!

Islands in the Stream

Congratulations on your excellent debut, MalMan! Thank you for the link to “Six Days on the Road!” I think it IS my favorite truck-drivin’ song! I’ve only played it half a dozen times already today!

Prayers for Abejo!

John E said...

Sending out positive thoughts to Abejo and family.

Lemonade714 said...

oc4beach speaking of coincidences, as my stroll through all 8 seasons of MONK draws to a close, I was watching an episode which had MEAT LOAF as the guest star. He portrayed a seller of potions and voodoo materials who went to Monk's apartment to free Natalie from the spell from a doll when 3 prior recipients died after receiving one. He started speaking of Asafoetida, called Devil's dung which obviously upset the sensitive broken detective. Then my brother from another mother posts about the spice being used in over 50 percent of Indian cooking. It has a sulfurous smell, much like garlic and onions, more savory, and is considered indispensable for some dishes. Devil's dung indeed.

Vidwan827 said...

Further, from MalMan's cartoon linkup from The Simpsons, on the derivative of one-third x cubed, this is a mathematical joke, that I really like.
Note: You may have to remember the rules on integration, from the Calculus you learnt, long ago.

An Optimist and a Pessimist, go to a diner, for breakfast. The pessimist is talking and complaining about the dumbing down of math education in the schools nowadays. He keeps saying that at the level of math being taught in schools today, that ordinary people don't know anything about Algebra, leave alone Calculus. The optimist does not agree with him...
They order breakfast, and the pessimist goes away for a bathroom break.
The optimist beckons the waitress over...

He gives her a $10 bill and asks her to remember one little phrase..."one third x cubed".
He makes her repeat the term, three or four times, and tells her its very important that she remembers it well.
He tells her to reply to the next question, he will ask, ... with that phrase, as the answer.

So the waitress goes away repeating,... one-third x cubed, one-third x cubed, and so on ....

When the pessimist returns, the optimist tells him that he believes, that the waitress knows calculus, and can answer questions on the subject.
He calls the waitress over and asks,'What is the integral of x square dx ?'

The waitress replies .... 'One third x cubed'.
As the optimist smiles triumphantly at the pessimist, the waitress returns and adds,
' ... technically, you also have to add the constant of integration.'


Vidwan827 said...

Lemonade, thanks for your note .... it is always gratifying to know that somebody, somewhere, is actually reading your useless comments. ;-)
Who said, 'One man's meat is another man's poison.' ?

On Asafoetida, Wiki says it is a descendant of an exotic ( erotic?) and addictive herb called Silphium, a North African plant now believed to be extinct. This herb, which was so eagerly sought after by the ancient Romans, when they conquered North Africa and Carthage, was used extensively by the rich and was even used as currency. Even its image was imprinted on the obverse and reverse faces on some old roman coins. It was so valuable that it was harvested out of existence, and is now thought to be extinct. Asafoetida is considered to be its poor man's cousin.

Man, being an innovative animal, will even find a use from the most esoteric of flavors. Just like the South East Asian Durian. A cousin of the Jackfruit, the Durian smell, which you undoubtedly must have witnessed, in person, ... is the smell of raw sewage. Pure and simple.

In Singapore, carrying an unfrozen, fresh Durian fruit on a public transport, ... is a felony, punishable with a 500 Singapore Dollar fine. And, yet, in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia etc., the Durian is one of the most expensive fruits, and its ubiquitous flavor is found everywhere in numerous milkshakes and ice creams ! In the chinese stores, near me, it sells at $6.99 per lb.(frozen...)

Flavor, like beauty is the eyes of the beholder.

Jayce said...

I liked the theme and much else in this puzzle, but did get a tad irked at so many 3-letter answers. FIW because I had ANO and OTROS.

Malodorous Manatee, two thumbs up on your write-up. Excellent.

I have heard of, and have drunk plenty of, and very much enjoy Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but learned of two wines, Saxum and Herman Story, that I now want to try out.

Ook! I just looked up Saxum wine, and at approximately $150 a bottle I don't think I'll be buying any after all. On the other hand, in the $55 range, a bottle of Herman Story might be doable. (It's my wife that lays down the law on how much "we" are willing to pay for a product.)

Best wishes and hopes that Abejo gets better.

Wilbur Charles said...

For things like livery (taxis,shuttles and I'd guess Uber) the ICC functions are under the DOT umbrella. In my shuttle days we were warned about spot checks by DOT

Lemonade, first Wolfe and now Monk. Talk about brothers from a different mom. Btw, Do you like "Mom"? Frasier?

Vidwan, great joke for TBBT


OwenKL said...

TTP: Good to know! I just looked this column up on my phone, and see that Miss Scarlet's comment was also a reply to Unknown. Reading it on my computer, it was just hanging out there with no reference, just "I agree!", which is the type of generic comment that spammers often use! If I had had the power, I'd have 86'd it!

Lots of good comments today, but Vidwan's calculus joke really had me laughing out loud!

Malodorous Manatee said...

THoughts and prayers for Abejo. A lesson in perspective although I suspect that few here need addtional lessons in that regard.

Thank you all for your kind comments. I am pleased that people picked up on a few of the wrier quips.

I would explain how I went from Utopia to Gershwin but those who got it certainly got it and those who didn't really did not miss much.

Bill G said...

Hi everybody.

Thanks Mike P. and MM. But most of all, my very best wishes go to Abejo and his family.

~ Keep calm and carry on...

kerek said...

UTOPIA was a lame one.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Pulling for Abejo!

Great pzl. Thanks Mike Peluso!
Ta ~DA! ~ But retiring P+P...

Strange that nobody seems to have noticed that BENITO Juarez is an important fill today, Sept. 16, Mexican Independence Day!
I think most of us gringos think May 5 is the holiday, but that's just wrong.

I will always remember September 16th because I once stood in the main plaza in Merida, in the Yucatan, on this major date, while all the citizenry gathered to watch incredible fireworks right over our heads.
Not at a distance but Right. Over. Our. Heads.
Remnants of the burning rockets fell into the crowd, causing small fires on clothing here & there.
It was dangerous fun.
The biggest pyrotechnic display was a whirling fire wheel in front of the church, within which was a portrait (also in flames) of Señor Juarez himself.

I finally figured out why UTOPIA can be clued as "More work." It wasn't the most puzzling in today's pzl, but it came close.
I had always thought that UTOPIA would mean an absence of work, that all necessary labor would already have been performed to allow us to arrive at such an ideal place.
But then I realized that a workaholic like Sir Thomas More would be finding make-work projects--even in Paradise.

The nastiest word for me, the last that I filled, was DAUNT. The notion of DAUNT as a verb, or a verbal-noun, eluded me for the longest time.
I found it quite DAUNTing. A punishment worthy of DAUNTé! Gol-DAUN-it!

Anonymous said...

More as in Thomas More who wrote a work called Utopia

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-Back from a great golf day on a perfect weather day
-In Germany they have Cologne, in Nebraska we have Colon but I have never figured out German exchange students pronounce Koln/ Köln (Cologne in Deutschland).
-Calculus joke was wonderful!

Edward Duarte said...

Edward from Los Angeles here, how do I join up? B

Edward Duarte said...

Modus operandi:
First thing in the morning,
Read thru all the clues to get a feel for the challenge.
Start working thru it as much as possible for one run-through.
Get called away for the rest of the day and come back to it the meantime my subconscious is grinding away at it.
I come back to the puzzle and get it done in just a few minutes!

Today’s was fun, been studying French during all this downtime.

Michael said...

"UTOPIA is a book written by Sir Thomas More in 1516.Hence it is a work by More."

And to read it is even more work....

A thought on 19A: just clue "others" as "other leading ladies" or "other NBA forwards" or "other [gender specific] persons" -- the possibilities for misdirection are large.

Edward Duarte said...

A quick way to come up with the tip is to double the tax amount!, no constant required!

Yellowrocks said...

Here doubling the tax amount would be 14% instead of the usual 20%.

Lemonade714 said...

ED, you have a sensible approach to solving a puzzle; welcome to the blog. Your name reminds of a 15th century King of Portugal; what was your inspiration?

See you bright and early tomorrow...

Lemonade714 said...

WC, and from Connecticut...Frasier -yes. Mom- sometimes, great cast.

CanadianEh! said...

Terrific Thursday. Thanks for the fun, Mike and MalMan (congrats on your debut).
I saw the homophones and got the theme, but arrived here to find that I FIWed.. Hand up for O instead of A in the OTRAS/ANA cross. But I see that I also had Ada instead of AVA (and thus TDA instead of TVA).
I was going to invoke my Canadian disadvantage with all the American clues/answers - ICC, TVA, ORRIN (we've had him before!), ENSE (ditto), KFC (here in Canada too), but Mike threw me a bone with NIAGARA (honeymoon capital of the world - the Canadian side of course).
Ray'o- your parents must have honeymooned on the Canadian side. There is still a Daredevil Museum with those barrels. Of course, stunts are banned now, but every now and then somebody decides to defy death.
I'll also take a CSO with DOSES (thanks IM).

Another hand up for perping UTOPIA but having no clue (HAR, HAR) how it fit the clue. Thanks Lemonade (and we will forgive MalMan for not explaining it on his first day on the job!)

AnonT gave me the scoop on Minute Maid Park a while ago - STRO was easy.

Thoughts and prayers for Abejo and his family.
Good evening to you all.