Oct 30, 2020

Friday, October 30, 2020, Sean Biggins

THEME: THE "SPRAWL" OF AMERICA, with a CSO to C.C. and Boomer who live nearby this mega mall

Hello, Cornerites! It's the Chairman today, blogging on what turned out to be a pretty easy yet quite entertaining puzzle from Sean Biggins. Sean made his LAT puzzle debut not quite one year ago, and as you'll notice he seems to be a fan of splitting up the unifiers for his reveal. Today's is different from last year's, as it uses only a few circles to get you started, and then sprawls out the rest of the letters in the cities identified. Let's look at the grid first and you'll see what I mean ... follow the circles and the red letters ...

59. Unrestricted city expansion ... and what begins in the circled letters (and ends in uncircled ones for you to find): URBAN SPRAWL. URBAN SPRAWL is loosely defined as the extended area outside of a major metropolitan area, created to contain more housing and retail development that are automobile-dependent. But watch this video to get more info from an expert

16-across "__-country:" and 17-across "Realize one's apprenticeship goal:"


ALT-Country is Country Music that has more of a rock-and-roll presence. An example might be:

LEARN A TRADE is great advice for recent HS and or college grads, as there will always be a market for good electricians, plumbers, etc

22-across "In the best way:" and 25-across: "I do" sites:"


IDEALLY, this blog would be a bit easier to create! Already 1-1/2 hours in, and not even past the tip of the iceburg!

ALTARS, in the plural form ... hmm ... might there have been a double-wedding ceremony? Note the high altar and low altar

38-across "Heaps:" and 40-across "Fight (for):" and 41-across "They're shifted:"


LOADS, as in I have three loads of dirty clothes, all heaped in piles

VIE - to fight for, as in two competing business vying for market share

GEARS - shifted, as in a manual gear box on very few cars these days. When I was 15-1/2 years old, and had my "learner's permit", my Dad taught me how to drive on a car fitted with a stick shift. My current car, a 2020 Subaru Crosstrek, has a 6-speed manual gear box. Don't even mind it, driving in the Phoenix Urban Sprawl

50-across "Connection:" and 52-across "Rested, maybe:"


HOOK-UP or HOOK UP. One can mean how you connect your DVD to your TV; the other, well, the Millenials must've thought the word "tryst" was too out-dated ...

SAT DOWN is what I did before blogging this puzzle!

What I found so clever in this puzzle is that the circled letters, are also the airport codes for these four cities! Click on these links ATL, DAL, LAS, and HOU to learn more about these airports. As some of you frequent flyers will note, DAL and HOU are not the primary airports for Dallas and Houston. Southwest Airlines is the major carrier at these two airports.


1. Second-southernmost Pac-12 sch.: ASU. Arizona State University Sun Devils, in Tempe, AZ. CSO to Lucina, shankers, and C Moe. Tempe might be considered part of the Phoenix Urban Sprawl.

4. Smile broadly: BEAM. I had GRIN at first before the perps corrected it. BEAM could also refer to a car's headlights, as in "low" or "high" beams. Looks like this car is smiling broadly, no?!

8. Fall, as real estate prices: SLUMP. I waited for perps to fill in this as well. According to Realtor dot com: "Despite relatively steady home price appreciation in May, the U.S. housing market is on the precipice of an extended price slump, according to a CoreLogic report released Tuesday. ... The company's May forecast predicts a month-over-month price decrease of 0.1% in June and a year-over-year decline of 6.6% by May 2021."

13. Guy: MAN.

14. Photo finish: SEPIA. Might as well get this "out of the way"!! Google found this lone image for me:

15. What drones may do: HOVER.

19. Subarctic forest: TAIGA. Complete WAG. New word for me. Here is what I found: TAIGA

32. WNBA position: CTR. Center, abbr. Lisa Leslie played her entire illustrious career with the Los Angeles Sparks. Leslie was a three-time WNBA MVP, two-time WNBA Finals MVP, two-time Defensive Player of the Year and two-time WNBA Champion. Leslie also has four Olympic gold medals. The left-handed Californian was also the first woman in the WNBA to dunk. Leslie is not only one of the most decorated and talented players to compete in the WNBA, she is one of best to ever play the game.

35. Coconut candy bar: MOUNDS. "Sometimes you feel like a nut; sometimes you don't. Almond Joys have nuts; MOUNDS don't." When you "don't" choose MOUNDS.

37. Four Corners st.: N. MEX. A CSO to Owen KL. When you're addressing a letter, use NM. My sister lives a half hour north of Taos. The Four Corners:

42. Galleria filler: ARTE. In the old days, the clue would've read: "Comedian Johnson"

43. Unflappable: SEDATE. Calm and undignified

45. From Seattle to Vancouver, B.C.: NNW. Directionals are always a good fill in xword puzzles

46. Jetta relative: PASSAT. Both are made by Volkswagen. Both the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta and the Volkswagen Passat offer a stylish body. However, the Volkswagen Jetta is more compact with its 185.1-inch-long body with a width of 70.8 inches. The Volkswagen Passat is a little larger with a 191.9-inch-long body with its width at 72.2 inches. According to Norm Reeves in Irvine

48. First name on the Supreme Court: ELENA. ELENA Kagan. Nominated in Obama's first term; a year after Sotomayor.

56. Fortified with fur, say: LINED. Hmm ... not fond of the clue, but YMMV ...

58. Shoshone Falls state: IDAHO. Another western state. Here's an earworm for your listening pleasure. At the 2:45 mark, you'll know what IDAHO:

64. Game noise: RAH. The Dad's joke cheer: "Rah rah ree... kick 'em in the knee! Rah rah rass... kick 'em in the other knee!"

65. "Sicko Mode" rapper Travis __: SCOTT. Perps. Travis Scott? Really? Complete unknown. I'm not big into rap ... you?

66. "Curb Your Enthusiasm" actress Essman: SUSIE. More names. Nothing in her bio stands out, although CYE was a pretty popular series on HBO. Larry David - co-creator of Seinfeld. Here's an interesting fact: SUSIE used to be a pescatarian

67. Ivy League nickname: ELI. Moe-ku #1:
Harvard grads never
Play Three Dog Night. Who wants to
Know, ELI's Coming?

68. Bone: Pref.: OSTEO. From the Greek "osteon", meaning bone

69. Little terrors: IMPS. I wonder how Halloween will be celebrated tomorrow with the COVID-19 situation?

70. Red Wings, on scoreboards: DET. CSO to JazzBumpa, our resident Day-twah-ter. The DETroit Red Wings are one of the “Original Six” teams that made up the NHL from 1942 until the league's expansion in 1967, and are not only one of hockey's oldest franchises but also one of its most successful teams, having won 11 Stanley Cups. The city of Detroit is nicknamed, "Hockeytown"

1. Prized violin: AMATI. AMATI has seemed to have taken over "STRAD" as the favored, prized violin these days in xword-ese

2. Course with greens: SALAD. Cute clue. But I would rather play THIS course with greens:

3. Remove, as a knot: UNTIE. Interesting how this word can be used as a verb, in the present or past tense, to refer to removing a knot, and as an adverb in the past tense to refer to a team which has not played a game in which a "tie score" was the final outcome. E.g., the Pittsburgh Steelers remain unbeaten and UNTIED through their first 6 games ...

4. Event in the 2002 film "Spellbound": BEE. A CSO to my fellow blogger, melissa bee. Regarding the movie, here is the trailer ... I wonder how well a crossword puzzle would be received using some of these words?

5. Org. established by Nixon: EPA. Environmental Protection Agency. We had this on Tuesday this week ...

6. Affectations: AIRS. In a snobbish, or grandiose manner ... Moe-ku #2:
When hanging her clothes,
Jane brags of their cost. She puts
On AIRS when she AIRS.

7. Frenzy: MANIA. How about a little "Sonic MANIA"??

8. Yiddish word meaning "little town": SHTETL. Pronounced "SSHTEh-tle". Some definitions refer more specifically to it as a small Jewish town in Eastern Europe. "Oh SHTETL of Bethelem, how still we see thee lie?"

9. "A Raisin in the Sun" writer Hansberry: LORRAINE. Wikipedia Sidney Poitier starred in it on Broadway

10. 2019 NCAA men's basketball champions: UVA. University of VirginiA. The Cavaliers from Charlottesville. Ralph Sampson was their first superstar basketball player, back in the early 1980's. UVA suffered somewhat of an embarrassment, being the first ever #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament to fall to a #16 seed in the first round (2018). But they more than made up for it by running the table in the 2019 tournament. One of the stars of that team, Ty Jerome, was drafted by the Phoenix Suns

11. __ school: MED. One of those abbreviated words that does not require an abbr. clue; and along with 12-down PRE, a reference to courses taken, or ones "major" field as an undergrad ... PRE-MED

14. Sinuous ski races: SLALOMS. Sinuous --> maybe a word for a spelling BEE? Means: having many curves and turns. As in a SLALOM race. One of the top SLALOM racers in the world is featured in this short video clip ...

18. Turnpike toll factor: AXLES. The most expensive toll rate, I would think, is for "18-wheelers" - five AXLES - typically 3 AXLES on the "cab" and two on the "trailor"

20. "Justice League" actress Gadot: GAL. GAL Gadot was crowned "Miss Israel" in 2004 and competed in the Miss Universe Pageant. Part of a star-studded cast, the "Justice League of America" is team of fictitional heroes (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman - GAL's role - et al) created by DC Comics. The 2017 film starred GAL as well as Ben Afflick. Also, a CSO to our Cornerite Garlic GAL

23. Wall St. deal: LBO. Leveraged BuyOut. Where a company's management uses outside capital to buy back enough shares to have controlling interest. Notable LBO's include: Hilton Hotels and PetSmart, Inc. Had this same entry on Wed's. puzzle by Frank Virzi, with a similar Wall Street clue ... could this be the LEDE story today?

24. "__ Got a Friend": YOU'VE. "When you're down and troubled, and need some lovin' care ... "

26. __ numeral: ROMAN. I = 1; V = 5; X = 10; L = 50; C = 100; D = 500; M = 1,000.

Moe-Ku #III:

Bad things occur in
Threes. Traced to a ROMAN guy
Who cried: "I, I, I,"

And, no, yesterday's 48-down answer did not inspire this!!

27. Harsh: STERN. This STERN can be pretty "harsh" ... :-)

29. Snarky: SNIDE. I've been known to use a few SNIDE remarks from time to time ... LOL!!

31. Austin music festival, initially: SXSW. All you need to know about SXSW. Stands for South by Southwest, I think ... Texan Cornerites? Comments?

32. Part of a hand: CLAP. "If you're happy and you know it CLAP your hands"

33. Synagogue reading: TORAH. Maybe done at a synagogue in a SHTETL?

34. Role for Dustin: RATSO. Role for Jon: Joe - Joe Buck - pretty provacative film for 1969. Listen to the movie's "theme song"

36. Gives a hand: DEALS. So, if a DEALer in Texas Hold 'Em gives you just one card, could this be called (32-down) a CLAP??

39. Bleak: DESOLATE. Ok, follow the instructions and offer your answers below in the comments section ...

41. Synagogue guest, perhaps: GENTILE. I was actually thinking of THIS Gentile. Wouldn't it be ironic if he were Jewish??!

43. Surprises big-time: STUNS. Like this?

44. Spill the __: gossip: TEA. A more modern metaphor meaning the same as, "Spill your GUTS" or "Spill the BEANS"

47. Rather like: AKIN TO. Moe-Ku #4:
Brokaw's AKIN TO
Jennings, but I wouldn't say
That he's Rather-like ...

49. Mix in: ADD. If we are talking about drinks, I rarely ADD anything, other than maybe a garnish.

51. Mtn Dew sister brand: PEPSI. Yesterday's puzzle had PEPSIS. Today's had the "singular". Is Friday the melting pot for like answers?? I am not sure why "Mountain" (Mtn) Dew is abbreviated in this clue . . . "no Coke, PEPSI"

53. Had a row?: OARED. Funny. Row, as in fight? Ow! Nope, row as in "row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream ..."

54. Large mammal: WHALE. A slight bit larger than our resident sea mammal - the Malodorous Manatee - but also one that breathes via lungs. Thar she blows!

55. Like a perfect game: NO-HIT. Now that the World Series is over, perhaps best to recall and remember the man who pitched no only perfect world-series game. At least HE was able to pitch the entire game, and beat the Dodgers ... The Tampa Bay Rays manager will be remembered for eternity for pulling Snell too early. Sorry, tinbeni and WC. I was hoping the Rays would take it to game 7

57. Band instrument: DRUM. My son-in-law is a percussionist and plays the DRUMs; but he excels at the marimba, too. My daughter ain't half bad on the bassoon ...

59. GI show gp.: USO. Remember when Bob Hope emceed all of the United Service Organization shows for our troops in Vietnam?

60. Pepsi alternatives: RCS. I didn't know you could use a one clue's answer for another clue, in the same puzzle? Interesting ... RC's, as in Royal Crown.

61. Droid: BOT. Short for Ro-BOT. R2D2, et al

62. Cairo cobra: ASP. Like the alliteration; Cleo's Cairo Cobra also works

63. Sheboygan's st.: WIS. Hate to end the blog on a sour note, but Wisconsin can be abbreviated WI or Wisc, IMHO. What sayest the cheese-heads??

OK, Knuckleheads, give me your best shot below!


Hungry Mother said...

FIR, ignored the theme. Easy Friday.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Saw the circles, decided they were probably abbreviations for sports teams, and totally missed the rest of the sprawl. D'oh! In retrospect, it's impressive that Sean was able to come up with two words side-by-side where alternate letters would spell the name of a major city. Excellent review, C-Moe.

HOUSTON & URBAN SPRAWL: Houston has an "extraterritorial jurisdiction" (ETJ) that basically extends 5 miles beyond the city limits. The city can annex any unincorporated areas within the ETJ at will. After the annexation, the ETJ is extended five miles further out. That's why our little town incorporated as a city, so we're no longer "unincorporated" and no longer subject to annexation. Houston is among the sprawliest of the urban sprawls -- almost 640 square miles spread across three counties.

ASU: The folks spent the last 20-odd years of their lives in a retirement community in Tempe. For several years they'd been living south of Tucson. One Christmas when I came to visit, they told me they were glad I was there so I could orchestrate their move to the Phoenix area. Not quite the vacation I'd envisioned.

WIS: C-Moe, that's the abbreviation I grew up with, until it was supplanted by the 2-character postal code. You'd see WISC occasionally, but it never really caught on.

SXSW: It's a big deal in Austin, the music capital of Texas. Covid-cancelled this year, but it'll be back in '21.

Big Easy said...

My fallen tree and $3,200 have been removed from my driveway and my wallet. And my generator is still humming. Most of the NOLA area is still without electricity. Oh, the puzzle.

I couldn't figure out what the circled letters were representing and after FIR didn't bother to try. I found it strange that the answer to 51D-PEPSI was the clue for 60D-RCs.

I wanted USC for 1A until I realized that the Phoenix area is south of LA. The NE gave me the most trouble to complete. LORRAINE and SHTETL were unknowns and I don't know any NCAA Champs for basketball since the UCLA teams of the 1960s. PRE school or MED school- that was the toss up.

I've never heard the term "Spill the TEA", only beans.
CLAP for "part of a hand" was my finishing fill. Great clue.

BEE for the Spellbound was a WAG. Had to change RHINO to WHALE for the large mammal after filling IDAHO.

Anonymous said...

10:20 to finish, which is relatively fast for me for a Friday. Slowed down considerably in the top-right. I'm not a fan of foreign words, and Shtetl doesn't even look like a word. Lorraine was unknown, but showed enough of itself through the perps.

I was also confused with Pepsi being a clue and an answer, and the unnecessary abbr. for Mountain Dew.

I didn't see theme, but I'm sure it required a lot of work to construct.

Wilbur Charles said...

Jim Gentile's languishing in the Minor leagues is indicative of the slavish hold MLB exercised. Marvin Miller threatened to invoke the indenture decision re. Olivia de Havilland after SCOTUS refused to overturn the 1920 decision(Baseball is a Sport). Yes, MLB raised ticket prices-because they now had high prices stars.

C-Moe: Analytics=Stupidity. Speaking of analysis, Picard introduced me to the Monte Hall conundrum. Three boxes, one contains keys to a Lincoln. He uncovers C, no key; you have originally picked A. Is it to your advantage to switch to B. "Ask Marilyn" said yes. Various PhDs said "She's nuts". Simulations agree with AM.
I remember when a BOT informed me I was a winner in the FB/Lottery.

Omg, there goes my FIR. I spelled SPRAWL with two L's. Aaarrrggghhh!!

When I picked the paper up I recalled the circles and spotted the city abbrevs but not the spraWled out names.

Nice write-up C-Moe.


Wilbur Charles said...

It looks like "Prall" in German would translate to SPRAWL

Malodorous Manatee said...

Thanks, Sean, for the puzzle. FIR, but never did fully grasp the mechanics of the theme. Ch Moe, well done on the recap in all respects - explanation, visuals, humor, sea mammals and, with an eye on the bottom line, consistency.

Mark said...

When we learned how to construct and mail a letter in 4th(?) grade I sent mine to my Aunt in northern WIS. Didn't change to WI 'till early 70's.

Originally had MRPIB due to Mtn Dew clue. But had UTAH before noticing state abbreviation.

Been to 4 Corners. Found it ironic that a US geographic designation sits in the middle of Native American land.

TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you, Sean Biggins, and thank you, Chairman Moe.

Wow ! The puzzle was, as Chairman Moe wrote, fairly easy to solve. I saw the circles and got the abbreviations for the cities, but never saw the cities fully spelled out until reading the review. Kudos, Chairman Moe, for catching that !

I suppose that I'd grown accustomed to seeing circles and knowing "that would be that". I wonder if the decision to not have circles in part of the answers was the editor's decision or the author's decision ?

A few names needed perps, but all was fair. Had olD school before MED school.

My sister bought "Tapestry" and played it over and over again. I grew to like every song on the album and become a fan of Carole King.

I too was surprised to see the PEPSI answer and Pepsi in the clue.

WIS - Disappointed that the Wisconsin Nebraska game this Saturday was cancelled.

Ohio State will be at Penn State tomorrow late afternoon. No "White Out" this year. So far, the largest margin of victory in the rivalry is 49 points. Penn State beat the Buckeyes 63-14 in 1994. Ohio State returned the favor, beating the Nittany Lions by the same score in 2013.

Big test for the Steelers this Sunday as they travel to play the favored Ravens in Bal'more. Lots of hype on the NFL Network this Sunday morning, Chairman. I'll be tuned in.

Yep, D-O, I was reading about Houston the other day when we had KEY and it made me think of Key Maps (the company). It may grow larger than the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. It's over half way there now.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Well, this was a fun theme and solve. In addition to the sprawling cities, Sean tossed in N. Mex., Idaho, Det., Wis., and UVA. Some rough spots were Taiga, Sixer (I knew Dr. J, but not his team), Scott, and Susie. My w/os included Grin/Beam, Utah/N. Mex., and Card/Clap. I liked the Stern (Isaac)/Amati, Gal/Man and Pepsi/RCs duos, and the rhyming trio, Bee, Tea, and Pre, but Oared not so much. As far as the Pepsi fill/clue repeat, I have noticed this practice more and more lately, so I think Rich may be relaxing the formerly no-no rule. Personally, it doesn’t bother me a bit. CSO to CED at Imp(s).

Thanks, Sean, for a Fab Friday and thanks, C. Moe, for your witty and fact-filled expo.

There is a slight dusting of the white stuff on the ground and a barely visible sprinkling of more falling. Nothing too bothersome but a harbinger of a wet winter?

Have a great day.

jfromvt said...

Pretty easy, but entertaining puzzle. Good use of circles, and finding the other letters to complete the city was fun.

Having a word (PEPSI) as a clue and an answer is another little pet peeve of mine. Poor editing IMO.

Tinbeni said...

Chairman Moe: Outstanding, informative write-up & links. Good job!

Off to donate blood today ... I'm at around 320 pints.

A "Toast-to-ALL" at Sunset.


Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Thanks Chairman Moe for a fine intro. Looks like you put a lot of work into it.

After I was done, it seemed like it was on the easy side for a Friday. Easier answers were on NW-SE diagonal, so the solve bloomed out from there. Liked TAIGA. Didn't see how the circles applied, so paid no attention. Eventually got it all with ……A TRADE and LORRAINE were the last fill. Perps. FIR.
GENTILE - My wife's oncologist's last name. Fairly common surname in our area.
SHTETL - Appears AKIN TO German word for city: Stadt. The 'L ending comes from the S. German, Austrian practice of forming certain diminutives. I can see how Yiddish speakers glommed on to that. Standard German word (dimunitive) for little town would be Städtchen.

BZ to Sean for cobbling together a complicated theme, and shepherding it through the editorial process.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

X marked the spot that DESOLATEd me. NMEX and SX so I FIW (WAGged SeSW and NMEe instead). (Oh state not street) . The theme way too clever for my cerebrum.

For me as a tyke 1950s cars had huge faces, bug-eyed headlights and big chrome smiling or glaring teeth.

Galleria filler: first thought: a mall with a shop. The answer should actually be...vehicle...Galleria in Italian means tunnel not museo d'ARTE. BTW GENTILE (jen TEE leh) means nice. Figured Dr J must be a SIXER not a SeXER. Anatevka was a SHTETL I guess.

Enough perps to parse LORRAINE. Also the name of my first serious college GF. She could chew gum, smoke, and make out at the same time (in descending order of importance)

Who says "spill the TEA"? Inkovers: strad/AMATI, matte/satin/SEPIA, miles/AXLES. Today's photo finish is the glass on your smart phone.

Master to Galley slaves "Gentlemen what's say we have a row"

Tootsie wouldn't fit for Dustin. (RATSO was an unfortunate stereotype) ..

Equally unfortunate...

Suicide on the Nile?... All you have to do is ____ ...ASP

Pick you up at 5....It's ____ SEDATE.

_____ can tie a sailing knot....ALTARS

Who ___ page out of this holy book?....TORAH.

SATURN'S day awaits

Chairman Moe said...

Ray O @ 9:54 —> I too was fascinated by the iconic looks of the 1950’s vintage autos. Compared to today’s vehicles, which sadly all look alike, the ones from the ‘50’s had more “personality”. As a ‘50’s tyke, I could easily identify the cars by their grill. Thanks for the link

Husker Gary said...

-What a fabulous gimmick! I thought we were headed for NFL teams on scoreboards
-“Papa, what’s a Natick?” “TAI_A/_AL”. “Oh.” My one bad cell. LORRAINE filled in itself
-LEARN A TRADE – I’d love to see exposed to more of this in high schools.
-My grandson has a white, Subaru sedan with a stick shift and got a 34 on his ACT. Yeah, he’s like that
-We saw Phoenix’s URBAN SPRAWL during 2017 spring training when one city melted into another
-Seeing a drone HOVER over head is creepy
-Constructor Pawel Fludzinski is a N. Mex resident as well
-Are you putting on AIRS when you say you have a Galleria containing ARTE?
-SUSIE Essman played an extremely foul-mouthed character
-I’ll be on those different greens next week as we have a week of 70F temps coming
-On the Florida turnpike, the toll depends on where you exit, so guess what I put for _ X _ _ S
-He wrote a book about Desolation
-WIS pulled out of a game with the Huskers today because of COVID
-Gotta go vacuum

staili said...

Really liked that some of the theme letters were circled, but not all of them. Made it fun to figure out the rest on my own. Didn't see that they were airport abbreviations until Chairman Moe pointed it out here. Very clever!

Husker Gary said...

-We just paid $500 to HOOK UP a new sound system in our house. For some reason my wife’s twin decided at the same time to text asking how much money her sister had spent on their mom in the past year so she could pay half. Turns out we’ll be getting a check that will just cover the HOOK UP. NCIS’s Gibbs’ Rule #39 – There’s no such thing as coincidences so it must be karma.

JB2 said...

Not a big fan of themes but this one was very skillfully done. Kudos also to CM for his great write-up.

Sunshine today which has been scarce of late. And 60's tomorrow!

Stay safe and well everyone.


Misty said...

Complicated Friday puzzle, but with some clever stuff--many thanks, Sean. And your explanations were a big help, Chairman Moe.

I got RATSO right away--remembered Dustin Hoffman in "Midnight Cowboy."
Also got ALTARS for the "I do" sites right away--a big help with that corner.
And, of course, I know my T.S. ELIOT. So who are all those other ELIOTS?
Yes, I too wanted to make it "spill the beans" and not the TEA.

Sorry to hear about the electrical outage, Big Easy.

Hope your weather won't be too bad, Irish Miss. Stay warm.

Have a good weekend coming up, everybody.

Mailman1959 said...

What's the difference between a NO-HIT game and a PERFECT game. You can throw a NO-HITTER and still lose the game.

My school had a cheer that went "Kickem in the right knee, kickem in the left knee, kickem in the weee need more points.

waseeley said...

The rule of thumb on 5 letter violins might be that it's "Amati", unless abbr. is indicated, then it's "Strad".

Edward Duarte said...

Top to bottom didn’t get me much, but like a glass of water, it filled nicely from the bottom

Edward Duarte said...

By the way, the WORLD Series is RIGGED: a team from the USA always winns.

Alice said...

FIR, except had to check the spelling for SHTETL... where to put that single vowel!

TTP said...


From Baseball Reference .com

"A no-hitter is a game in which a pitcher, or pitchers, gives up no hits. The term is most often used to describe a game in which a single pitcher throws a complete game of at least 9 innings (27 outs) without giving up a hit.

A no-hitter does not imply that the opposing team has not reached base, however, since it is possible to reach base without a hit, either by a base-on-balls, a hit-by-pitch or an error. It also does not imply a shutout or even a win, although it is extremely uncommon for a pitcher, or pitchers, to throw a no-hitter and lose the game. Any no-hitter that goes nine innings but is forced to extra innings can only remain a no-hitter if no hits are given up in the extra frames.

A perfect game is a no-hitter in which no runner is allowed to reach base, whether by hit, base-on-balls, hit-by-pitch or error."

Also, "In 1959, Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitched twelve perfect innings before losing the no-hitter and the game to the Milwaukee Braves in the 13th."

Lucina said...


Yea! ASU! I'll take that CSO along with my fellow Arizonans. It wasn't my first fill and I was surprised to learn it was the southernmost PAC-12 school. What about the U of A in Tucson?

Once that NW corner was filled I just slid down diagonally all the way to DET. Los LOBOS first came on the scene in the movie, La Bamba about Richie Valens.

I'm so proud of myself for immediately filling SIXER for Dr. J! AXLES helped. It's lovely to see T.S. ELIOT in the puzzle. Like Misty I am wondering about other ELIOTS.

Two really big errors: NNE because SXSW was a Natick for me. Then SLIDE instead of SLUMP which botched UVA, MED, PRE.

But knew TAIGA immediately.

ARTE is also Spanish and could have been clued as such.

I admired the URBAN SPRAWL though didn't see it until CMoe explained. Thank you for that and the other detailed comments.

My favorite clue was Had a row? OARED

Enjoy a delightful day, everyone!

Bob Lee said...

I got the circled theme right away when I got Urban Sprawl. My only nit pick was that Atlanta did not go all the way to that last letter on the right like the other city answers. The upper right was the last to fill for me partly because of that, and I thought initially the answer to Serve Opening? was ESS.

And I agree--who says Spill the Tea? It's Spill the Beans!

And here in the NE, the tolls are many times based on --LES--> MILES!

AnonymousPVX said...

From yesterday ...

JAYCE...the EXACT same thing happened to me 20 years ago...I got a letter from the RC about an “IND” result for an antigen, a retest showed negative. A year later, same thing, but this time, despite the NEG retest, they told me no more donating. My MD spent 4 hours on the phone with them, they could not explain the results. My doc said it was like talking to idiots.
And 20 years later...nada, no illness, nothing. ever get those brakes checked?

Misty said...

Lucina, I also liked OARED for 'had a row'.

Michael said...

FLN, for CED --

Lion Whisperer

CanadianEh! said...

Fabulous Friday. Thanks for the fun, Sean and C Moe.
This was a workout for me; I required a couple of Google helps and still FIWed.
But I did remember at the end to go back and find those URBAN SPRAWLS. Clever - and I did note the every-other-letter spacing.

Between names and places unknown to this Canadian, I had to rely on perps and WAGs.
The cross of TAIGA/GAL and LOBOS/LBO was almost a Natick, but I dredged the letters up from my crossword memory bank.
But the NE was my downfall. My real estate prices were in a Pivot before a SLUMP. I had to Google for the NCAA champs and I entered VGA for Virginia, not UVA. My school was Old before PRE. LORRAINE was unknown (as was SUSIE at 66A). An inky mess in that corner.

My French, Spanish and Italian have improved from doing CWs, but now I must learn Yiddish!?! I have never heard SHTETL in my sheltered life. But I note that it is the opposite of URBAN SPRAWL. (We also had GENTILE and TORAH.)

I had Matte before SEPIA, Grin before BEAM, Helps before DEALS.
We had several meanings for "Hand" today; I had Palm before CLAP.
I waited for perps to decide between Scads, lots & a lot (too short) - it's LOADS today.

Yes IM, this Canadian noted all those states. I will claim Canadian disadvantage today. I had Sheboygan in WAS (for Washington) not WIS. Fortunately, IDAHO and NMEX perped. SXSW was all perps also. But I have learned ELENA by now!

Yes IM, I think the rule about not using the same word in a clue/answer has been thrown out. I volunteered long ago to help Rich edit those sorts of nonos, but he has not taken me up on my offer. There have been a plethora of them lately.

AKIN TO means "rather like", can we have AKITH TO meaning "unrelated"? (Or is it a lisper's BESO?) I'll show myself out now.

Wishing you all a great day.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Has everybody voted?
This is an apolitical, bipartisan pitch, to be sure everybody gets their vote in. Bring your mail-in ballot to a drop box, or show up in person by Tuesday. Get 'er done.
Let's hope our national nightmare is over next week.

I'd like to see a source for Spill the TEA. I think that's a made-up clue. Yes, I also wanted Spill the BEANS, but then I'm not sure I understand why either is an apt metaphor.
We have two diagonals today, one to each side.
The BIG REWARD shows up on the mirror side, where the anagram uses ALL 15 letters of the diagonal line.
This is a rarity, folks!
While it is not the full jackpot (using all the letters in a single word), it comes darn near.
This one refers to a circle of two or more friendly marijuana smokers, probably some who actually inhale.
Once the joint has been passed from hand to hand and the first friendly puffs have been taken, the very next usage may be said to be a...

Wilbur Charles said...

RayO, I was looking for a'54 Buick with the side vents. I remember the vents but thought it was a Merc

"Shop"? Or a KIOSK(c yesterday's jumble). Btw was LORRAINE Sweet?


unclefred said...

Incredibly ingenious CW!! I’m always very impressed by such an undertaking. I did manage to finish it in 33 minutes, but, as usual, could NOT for the life of me figure out the theme. Thanx for the enlightenment and excellent write-up, Chairman Moe! And congratulations on a stunningly clever and entertaining CW, Sean!! Everyone stay safe, the viral dragon is roaring with renewed vigor!

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

What a mess I made in the W.Central. I wanted a CARD as a hand part - nothing worked out until I recalled RATSO(!) (Rain Man was not gonna fit).
DNF'd it anyway - TAI-A | -AL in the NW. //her name is GAL?

Thanks Sean for the puzzle and the shout-out to H-Town. Totally missed the second half of your theme until C.Moe pointed it out -- and holy wow! Circles == Airport Codes! Neat-O.
//I kept looking for an anagrams / synonyms for SPRAWL in each circled 'area' but symmetry was lacking... Stymied me.

Thanks Chairman for the expo //love me some Allman Brothers & the Olympia Restaurant :-)
Don't know why your URBAN SPRAWL video never mentioned Houston. We have folk, like D-O (Hey!), who live ~20 miles from city-center and he's considered "close" by those who live in Tomball (~35m out)
TxMs probably thinks we're (I'm 28 miles out) all nuts (she's inside the loop and is only 9 miles from city-center).
//Had an office mate that never left the loop until going to LSU - to her we're all (Hey LEOIII!) out in the sticks.

WOs: Card -> Clap, omin[i]ous, SUSeE when I read it as the rapper clue.
ESPs: felt like 'em all... LORRAINE is certainly one.
Fav: James Taylor.

LOL the Diagonal OMK.

I wouldn't even qualify for a spelling BEE. If not for spell check, I couldn't post w/o y'all thinkin' "This guy does crosswords?"

SxSW (South by SouthWest) is more than just a music festival. There's a lot of tech that goes on too. I think B-Sides Austin has a meet-up during SxSW too.

BigE - $3k to get rid of a fallen tree?!? Did you at least get firewood out of that? //Uncle in IL would do it for free (but will take the logs).

I think Rich is kicking himself (or Patti? No! :-) ) that he missed PEPSI x2.

Had to get a '15 Civic last year to get 6 on the floor and a real hand break (as opposed to the freakin' button). 'Course my '86 Alfa Spider is all that (and a bag of chips) :-)

WC - it's easy (what PhDs? - not maths. Maybe English (oooh - DW (PhD English) Slam!))
Start with 1/3rd chance; told which one it ain't. Take another shot and it's 50/50. Here's a good breakdown.

HG - I'm going to have to read Desolation...

Eldest & I went to vote (no line!) this morning on the final day of 'Early' in TX. I took a snap of us with our stickers and sent the pic to my physical trainer (who's been saying for 3 sessions: 'yeah I'll do it tomorrow' (I say that to him about my stretches :-)) ) with the caption: "Pics or it didn't happen."

He just sent me a pick of his disposable stylus. :-)


Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

Curiosity got me...
C.Moe linked a different version of YOU'VE Got a Friend that I haven't heard.


I'm going to plead dumbass - I didn't know Carole King actually wrote it.

Now I do. Thx.

Cheers, -T

Spitzboov said...

Lucina - The clue asked for the 2nd southernmost PAC 12 school. I'm guessing Tucson is the southernmost.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I like Nat King Cole, Wilbur.
But I suspect you posted that "Sweet Lorraine" because you knew you'd draw me out, causing me to post my favorite psychedelic song of a similar title, this one by Country Joe & the Fish.
Here you go, my friend. This is the one known as "Not so Sweet Lorraine"!

Pat said...

Thank you, Sean B., for the fairly easy Friday puzzle. Thank you, C. Moe, for the write-up and links.

Hand up for grin/BEAM/, palm/clap, otherwise I had only a couple look-ups. Not bad on Friday.

I'll take a CSO at 65a SCOTT, my maiden name and at 70a for DETroit, (Ann Arbor is close by.)

SHEBOYGAN is in Wisconsin and Cheboygan is in Michigan.

Misty, I am so sorry to learn of Dusty's tragic end of demise. My heartfelt sympathy goes to you.

After 2 1/2" of rain yesterday, it should be a nice weekend. Enjoy yours!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

WC @ 1:59

Never heard that song. She woulda been sweeter if she put out the cigarette and got rid of the gum.

So all you can pitch a no hitter by hitting the batter...⚾️...

Malodorous Manatee said...

WC, for a moment I thought it might have been a County Joe And The Fish reference!

Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine

Jayce said...

Such an ingenious construction! Unfortunately I should have been standing up rather than sitting down; perhaps then the gimmick wouldn't have gone over my head.

Lots of names I didn't know, and of course sports stuff and rap stuff stumps me every time. Nevertheless I was able to solve all but the NE corner of this admirable puzzle. Looking up LORRAINE (Hi there, fermatprime!) opened it up.

Terrific write-up, Chairman.

Nice job on de-anagramming that diagonal, Ol'Man Keith.

I think it is Big Easy who was fond of chanting, "Bad spellers of the world, UNTIE!"

I always thought it was Randy Newman who wrote "You've Got a Friend in Me." I like his rendition of it.

Yeah, who are the other ELIOTS?

By the way, Anonymous T, LW and I watched an old film noir last night and it had an actor named Anthony Caruso in it.

Good wishes to you all.

desper-otto said...

Anon-T, actually we live about 35 miles (not 20) from city center. But Houston keeps creeping closer and closer.

Anonymous T said...


Unlike Becky, I can't claim that fame. (and I'd already be dead? :-))
There's David from the NYPD thing and Enrico from (everyone knows that Tenor).

I've no (near) relation to either.
//If I have to correct another "Robinson?" asker again... (that's Crusoe!)
//it's actually kinda funny 'cuz you can tell their age which they ask re: Robinson v. Enrico.

Here's the deal - Eldest is a vocal major.
You think her last name will open doors? //Mums the word :-)

C.Moe - Your daughter & SIL are pretty dern good musicians too!

Cheers, -T

billocohoes said...

Unlike some here, I don't like OARED, I've never heard OAR used as a verb.

Anatevka was the SHTETL in "Fiddler on the Roof". SHTETL and TORAH - "Sean Biggins" doesn't sound like a MOT*

One of the great adlibs in the movies was Dustin Hoffman's RATSO Rizzo ' "I'm walkin' here, I'M WALKIN' HERE" (a cab nearly ran him down during filming)

*Member Of the Tribe (of Israel)

CrossEyedDave said...

That's the trouble with being late to the party,
a lot to catch up on...

Thank you Michael for the Lion Whisperer,
definitely brought a smile...

Did not see the multiple Pepsi(s)
until it was pointed out, I thought it was just an echo from yesterday.
& then I rewatched (hmm, rewatched is not a word?)
MM's clip of Cheeseburgers/chips.
I can't believe that guy stole the lines from SNL...

My only nit, Urban Sprawl doesn't make much sense to me,
the real problem is SUBurban sprawl...
(hmm, sub-urban? sounds kinda racist to me...)
since when did all those people get demoted?

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
was a hilarious play! If you get the chance,
be sure to see Chip Tolentino's stand up performance!

Did you know Carole King was on Gilmore Girls!
Here is a clip that starts with "Pleasant Valley Sunday"
by The Monkees, that she wrote with Gerry Goffin...

As an outro,
here is an oldie, but a goodie.
Bob Hope & Raquel Welch doing the Old Soft Shoe...
I would have loved to see the rehearsals to get that timing!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Anon T...

Here we'd call you Ant-knee.

Lots of Carusos in's one family than runs one of our best pasty shops.

Caffè Caruso

Ol' Man Keith said...

Well, Misty et al, least one other ELIOT must be the kid whose name is so creakily pronounced by the title character of E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).
Remember? "Ell-ee-uht"?

CrossEyedDave said...

Please excuse the following silly interlude:
(before it is deleted...)

It is difficult enough to make silly links just using the
the puzzle theme, but when you add
No politics, no religion and no personal attacks,
It gets dang difficult to come up with new ideas.

So, I propose, based on the Urban Sprawl theme, that
we are going to need to feed all those Urban Sprawlers...
Ergo: The Potato Cannon that makes chips...

Now, the following link contains
possible Personal attacks,
but unfortunately, no religion.

I will attempt to rectify that by starting a new movement
to deify this miraculous food delivery method,
as soon as I can procure a source of never ending starter fluid.

The link, for your amusement purposes only...

Jayce said...

I just remembered George Eliot, the author of Silas Marner, but that is not her real name, which is Mary Ann Evans.

Michael said...

Hmm, I thought it was obvious ... at least two more Eliots are, of course, Mr. and Mrs. (T.S.'s parents).

sasses said...

Yes I did. The alignment was the problem. Thank you very much!

ATLGranny said...

Really late to the party tonight after being MIA yesterday. Did both cw puzzles this morning since we had no electricity Thursday. From 4:40 AM to 8:30 PM, thanks to the storm passing through. As I read the reviews and comments, found I had FIW. Both puzzles. Got the themes and all but 2 squares yesterday and 1 square today correct. But what a joy to do the puzzles today and be back to my usual routine!

Trees down in our neighborhood, but not in our yard this time (sorry to hear about yours, Big Easy). Thanks to constructors, Michael Macdonald and Sean Riggins, as well as Boomer and C Moe for all their work on the cw puzzles. Looking forward to tomorrow.

CanadianEh! said...

ATLGranny- glad that you are safe and back with us

GarlicGal said...

HAHAHA! thanks for the CSO. I have nothing in common with that Gal. Not even close. Nope. Nada.
Well you all said everything I had to say. That's the problem with CA (or Cal or Calif.) and PST. Really late to the party.
Off topic though, Anonymous T mentioning the Allman Bros. Have you seen the documentary "Jimmy Carter Rock and Roll President". It's pretty wonderful. I was definitely around then but I had no idea of the rock and roll groups that rallied around him! It's a fun watch.

I'm getting ready to tune in to War of the Worlds. A local theater company is streaming it in its radio program format.
Happy Halloween Eve.

Chairman Moe said...

Dash T and others ... appreciate your comments; this truly is a labor of love, and glad that there were a few other clips to augment. Country Joe and the Fish! Wow, MM, that brings back memories ... Woodstock ... I was beginning my senior yr in HS

Tony, I had to chuckle when I saw that you looked up "You've Got a Friend" and saw that Carole King was not only the first to record it, but also wrote it. ANd James Taylor played guitar on her recording. Tapestry - the album of hers - has lots of great hits. WOrth a listen on YouTube.

Sorry i was late getting back to y'all ... today was spent voting, shopping, etc, and then we watched two movies. THE POST was our favorite of the two

Anonymous T said...

I'm just glad you learned me C.Moe. That it brought a smile... icing.

CED - Loved the potato gun. Uncle (same that would have dealt w/ BigE's tree) made one. Hairspray is his ignition vapor.

ATLGranny - Glad to hear you're back online safe and sound.

Ray-O: When I researched my name years ago, I found there's over 300,000 Carusos in the US. None of us seem to know each other...
In SPI, where I grew up, there was another family of Carusos (the Fire Figher's) that we had no relation to. I think Gramps got around and didn't tell us :-)

GarlicGal - I've never even seen a Trailer for Carter/Rock n Roll but it's now on my list. (Willie & Bono?!?)

Every time I think of T.S. Eliot, I think of Afternoons & Coffeespoons from the Crash Test Dummies.

Cheers, -T

GarlicGal said...

Anon T, you bet'cha ya!

Lucina said...

I'm glad you got to see The Post. It's such an excellent movie. I have it on my DVR and watch it again now and then.