Oct 15, 2020

Thursday, October 15, 2020, John Michael Currie

The Following Program Is Brought To You In Living Color On CCTV 

After being afforded a break last Thursday, thanks to the efforts of Chairman Moe, it is now back to work for this malingering manatee.  It has already been more than a month since I started working on my first blog post.  That bit of perspective is far easier to face than the fact that it is 2020 - and nearing the end of 2020 at that.  Do you remember that Tommy Chong line? "I'm not into time, man."  That seemed pretty funny fifty years ago.   Far less amusing now.  Regardless, let's now share a bit of our precious time looking at this week's Thursday puzzle.


First off, a hearty Crossword Corner hello to John Michael Currie.  This is his Los Angeles Times debut puzzle.  Welcome, John!

The reveal comes at 64. ACROSS:  Pass coverage tactic ... and a hint to the answers to starred clues: DOUBLE  TEAM.

In football (and basketball) jargon, DOUBLE TEAM means to block or guard an opponent with two players at the same time.  Our constructor,  John Michael Currie, has placed the names of two sports teams next to each other so that the result is an adjective modifying a noun.  The results are, themselves, things with which most people are, at least, somewhat familiar.

While most team names are pluralized, today the constructor has chosen to go with answers in the singular.

* 17. ACROSS  Striped marine predator: TIGER  SHARK   TIGER SHARKs are found in temperate and tropical waters.  They can grow to a length of between sixteen and seventeen feet

* 10. DOWN  Navy Stunt Pilot:  BLUE ANGEL  Originally formed in 1946, The BLUE ANGELS are the U.S. Navy's precision flying team.  They are thrilling to to watch perform.  They should be.  The annual operating budget for the team is approximately $40 million and each plane, as specially equipped for their use, runs between $50 and $60 million.

* 24.  DOWN  Boeing 737, for one:  TWIN  JET.  The most current version of the Boeing 737 airplane, the 737 MAX, has certainly had safety issues.   More than 10,500 Boeing 737's (all versions) have been built.

* 35.  DOWN  Pollux, for one:  GIANT  STAR.  Castor and Pollux were twin half-brothers in Greek and Roman mythology.  Their names were assigned to two stars in what we call the constellation Gemini (the twins) .  It turns out, however, that Castor is actually comprised of three binary stars.  Perhaps the stars should be renamed for the McCaugheye septuplets.


1. Whale newborn: CALF.  When they were little kids, my children enjoyed listening to "Baby Beluga".

5. Mallorcan seaport: PALMA.  PALMA is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of The Balearic Islands in Spain.  It is situated on the south coast of Mallorca on the Bay of Palma.

Palma De Mallorca

10. "Jazz Samba" guitarist Charlie: BYRD.  Jazz Samba is the name of a record album released in 1962.  Stan Getz and Charlie BYRD were the featured musicians.  Here is the track titled "Samba Dees Days" :

14. Stench: ODOR.  Alternative clue:  An aroma often emanating from crossword puzzles.

15. Neptune's realm: OCEAN.  Originally, Neptune was the god of fresh water but by 399 BCE he became identified with the Greek god Poseidon and thus became the deity of the OCEAN.  The female counterpart is Salacia.  Salacia is unrelated to the word "salacious" but is part of the derivation of "salient".


16. Show the way: LEAD.

19. Tucson school, for short: UOFA.  U OF A - The University of Arizona.

20. Adjoining, in hotel lingo: ENSUITE.  A master bedroom bedroom with a private bathroom = EN SUITE.

21. Portal: GATEWAY.  A rabbit hole was Alice's GATEWAY to Wonderland.

23. Words after boy or so: DOI.  "Boy DO I."  "So DO I."

24. "Rooted in real" chip brand: TERRA.  Not a computer chip but a snack chip.  TERRA boasts that their chips are made "from real root" vegetables.

25. Landlocked Afr. land: ETH.  ETH is the International Olympic Committee's abbreviation for Ethiopia.  Somalia and Eritrea block ETHiopia's access to the sea.

28. Put in the cargo hold: STOW.


30. Epic featuring the Trojan Horse: AENEID.  The AENEID is an epic poem written by Virgil sometime between 29 BCE and 19 BCE.    It tells the story of Aeneas who traveled to Italy and became the ancestor of the Romans.  The word is constructor's friend with four vowels out of six letters.

34. Bit of sediment: DREG.  DREGS is a nickname for what are called "lees" during wine making and "sediment" when in the bottle.  DREGs are composed of dead yeast cells and bits of seeds, grape skins and other solids.  Sometimes, winemakers choose to extend the time that wine stays in contact with the lees to impart added flavor.  

36. Hits the slopes: SKIS.

38. Wide open: AGAPE.

39. Like some bonds: IONIC.   A chemistry reference.  "The name is Bond, IONIC Bond.  Taken not shared."  We saw James Bond's iconic line "Shaken, not stirred" in a recent puzzle.

41. Platform-promoting org.: RNC.  This one was a head scratcher for a moment until it dawned on me that RNC stood for the Republican National Committee.

42. Grand __ National Park: TETON.  Grand TETONs is a clue/answer not to be taken too literally in a family-friendly puzzle.  Check this out with any French/English translation app.  "Hey, Jacques, take a look at those GRAND TETONs!"  "Pierre, you have been in zees mountains for far too long, n'est-ce pas?"  

43. Bat mitzvah scroll: TORAH.  The TORAH is a hand written copy of the first five books of the Old Testament of the Bible.  It is written with a quill on parchment made from the skin of a Kosher animal.  At a Bat Mitzvah ceremony, a girl of at least twelve years and one day (regarded as the age of religious maturity) reads from the Torah in front of the assembled congregation.

44. Barely open: AJAR.
       When is a door not a door?
       When it's ajar.

46. Chaps: LADS.   A LAD is a boy or a young man.  The Four LADS, on the other hand, is a Canadian singing quartet.  In the 50's, 60's and 70's they recorded several hit songs.  The members of the group are no longer LADS.....

Istanbul Is Not Constantinople

47. Kind of column or cord: SPINAL.  (....and neither are these folks).

This Is Spinal Tap - Oy!

49. Flightless Aussies: EMUS.


51. Mao __-tung: TSE.  Mao TSE-tung, often called Chairman Mao, was the founding father of The People's Republic of China.  He led the Chinese Communist Part from 1949 until his death in 1976.

MM Daughter Doing Her Best Chairman Mao

52. Avocado __: TOAST.  I had never heard of Avocado TOAST until a few years ago and now it seems to be quite the ....

54. Fleeting trend: FAD.  Memorable FADs have included Davy Crockett hats, Pet Rocks, Streaking, Chia Pets, Live Strong Braclets, Pogs, Lava Lamps and the list goes on and on and on and on.  The etymology of the word FAD might be  from the English "fiddle-faddle" - morphing into Fidfad and then, simply, FAD.  Alternatively, it came from the French "fadaise" meaning trifle or nonsense.  Fadaise, in turn, comes from the Latin "fatuus" meaning stupid.  Hmmm.

56. Modern Library title, e.g.: CLASSIC.  Founded in 1917, The Modern Library is a publisher of books many of which are considered to be CLASSICs. 

59. Players with possession: OFFENSE.  In football, soccer, and basketball the OFFENSE has possession of the ball.  Baseball is the only sport where the Defense has possession of the ball.

63. Overthrow: OUST.  "Throw the Bum out!"

66. Song often sung in Italian: ARIA.  Alternative clue:  Song often sung in crossword puzzles.

67. Loosen, as laces: UNTIE.

68. Send forth: EMIT.  Volcanoes, for example, EMIT Carbon Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide along with ash, smoke and water vapor.

69. King with three daughters: LEAR.  Shakespeare's tragedy, King LEAR tells the tale of a king who bequeaths his power and land to two of his three daughters.  Things do not end well.

Regan, Goneril, King Lear and Cordelia

70. Bay Area-based coffee company: PEETS.

71. Towel holders: RODS.


1.  République de __ d'Ivoire:  COTE.  French is the official language of the country that we, in English, call the Ivory Coast Republic.  En francais, c'est  le Republique de COTE d' Ivoire.

2. Deuce follower: ADIN.   Is it going to be a card game reference?  A trey?  No, this time it's a tennis term for Advantage In.  AD IN means that if the person serving wins the next point then the server will win the game.

3. Enters in a record book: LOGS.

4. Anna who was an early pioneer of psychoanalytic child psychology: FREUD.  Anna FREUD was the sixth, and youngest, child of the better known Sigmund Freud.

5. Colorful reminders: POSTITS.  Post It Notes. POST ITS were invented accidentally by a scientist working at 3M  Company (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing).  He was trying to develop a very strong adhesive but instead invented a "low tack, pressure sensitive, reusable" adhesive.  The rest is, as they say, history - including the competing claims and law suits.

6. Feel yesterday's workout, say: ACHE.

7. Grassy ground: LEA.  Alternative clue:  Fields often seen in crossword puzzles.  This is getting redundant.

8. Simpson with a blue do: MARGE.

Marge Simpson

9. Turkish metropolis: ANKARA.  ANKARA, the capital city of Turkey, is also (at the risk of being redundant) neither Istanbul nor Constantinople nor Byzantium.  

Ankara At Night

11. "That smarts!": YEOW.   Synonyms for YEOW include "Ouch", "That smarts", and "Hell's bells!"


12. Tennis nickname: RAFA.  RAFAel Nadal is a Spanish professional  tennis player.  He wore a $725,000 Richard Mille watch during the French Open.  Tennis has been very, very good to him.

13. WWII turning point: DDAY.  June 6, 1944.  D-DAY is, repetitiously, Day-Day.  The day before was Day Minus One (D-1) .  The day after was called D Plus One (D +1), and the day after that was D+2.  D-Day was the Day.

18. Kia subcompacts: RIOS.  Kia is a Korean automotive company.  Their model line up includes the Sedona, the Telluride, the Sportage, the Optima and the RIO.  The RIO is a sub-compact model.

A Kia Rio

22. Pup's reward: TREAT.

The Eyes Have It

25. Prepares to publish: EDITS.

26. Scout group: TROOP.  The ultimate classic song about a Boy Scout TROOP has got to be Tom Lehrer's "Be Prepared".   Remember, as you listen, that this was 1953!


27. Artist Matisse: HENRI.  HENRI Matisse, the painter, provides a wonderful excuse to add a bit of culture to this endeavor.

The Cat With Red Fish - Henri Matisse - 1914

29. Fried side: OKRA. A nice rhyming clue. OKRA is a staple of Southern cooking that is often seen in crossword puzzles.

31. Bother greatly: EATAT.  The overuse of EAT AT in crossword puzzles is beginning to eat at me.

32. Devices with earbuds: IPODS.  IPODS have been almost completely replaced by the music playing capabilities of those electronic devices that we, somewhat quaintly, persist in referring to as phones.

33. Thick: DENSE.  The element Osmium is twice as DENSE as lead.  Under "normal" conditions it packs 22 grams into each cubic centimeter.  A teaspoon of it would weight roughly 3.5 ounces.

37. Con: SCAM.  In the immortal words of Carmine Sabatini, "This is an ugly word, this, scam.

Carmine Sabatini On the Equities Markets

40. Disorderly state: CHAOS.

45. Ridged chips: RUFFLES.  In this case, RUFFLES is a reference to the brand of potato chips and their advertising slogan.

48. Under the weather: LAIDUP.  Both the answer, LAID UP, and the clue, Under the Weather, are colloquialisms for being ill or injured.

50. Call at home: SAFE.  A baseball reference with a bit of misdirection.   The constructor might have wanted us to think about calling, or calling on, someone at home.  Below, the runner never touches the plate but is called SAFE because the catcher is blocking the plate but he does not have the baseball.  See Rule 7.13.

The Umpire Signals Safe At Home

53. Quick bread that may have raisins: SCONE.  We've all eaten them but what, exactly, makes a SCONE a SCONE?  It's an "unsweetened or lightly sweetened biscuit-like cake made from flour, fat and milk sometimes having added fruit."

55. Try to stop: DETER.

56. Steamboat fuel: COAL.
       Did you hear the joke about the guy who hated coal?
       Never mined.
57. It may be at the end of the line: LURE.  The expression "end of the line" refers to a conclusion or a final outcome.  But here, that path is a dead end.  This time it turns out to be a fishing reference.  Cleverly clued.

58. The Bosporus borders it: ASIA.  One of the least-cliched clues for ASIA that we have seen in a while.  The Bosporus is a narrow, internationally important strait.

59. Parting words?: OBIT.  No, the answer is not Good Bye, Au Revoir or Zai Jian.  It is OBIT, short for OBITuary.

60. Missing fish in a Pixar film: NEMO.  The motion picture Finding Nemo grossed about One Billion USD at the box office.  The sequel, Finding Dory, grossed another billion.  This marine creature shelled out no clams to see either of them.

Dory and Nemo

61.  Voiced:  SAID

62. Ambulance pros: EMTS.   Emergency Medical Technicians.  For the final time, alternative clue:  Personnel often found in crossword puzzles.

65. Sporty truck, briefly: UTE.  On the first pass, we often do not know if the answer is going to turn out to be UTE (a nickname for Utility Vehicle)  or SUV (an abbreviation for Sports Utility Vehicle).  Of course, the classic use of the word was in the motion picture My Cousin Vinny.


That wraps up another Thursday exposition.  Lots of animal friends stopped by to visit this week.  Well, I guess that is to be expected.  Two other good friends showed up, also.  I would bet that many of you were you able to identify them.






desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This was a nice outing. Missed the reveal, and never would have figured out that they were team names. Several were new to me. Nice debut, John, and you outdid yourself with the illustrations, MM. Thanx to both of you.

TETON: In '66 a college buddy and I made a road trip to Colorado/Wyoming. Had a great time. Stayed at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs at the foot of Pikes Peak, and at the Jackson Lake Lodge with its spectacular view of the TETONs. Mucho dinero, but a great trip.

TREAT: I always carry a few dog treats in my pocket during my M-o-W routes. The dogs remember. They show up immediately when they hear my car.

Lemonade714 said...

D-O, Pavlov thanks you for reasserting the validity of his work.

Welcome back to work MALMAN; you outdid your self with this write-up. The puzzle seemed easy for a Thursday, but it reminded me of my first post back more than a decade ago. In order for today's theme to work, the "S" in the team nickname had to be left out. In the way back when right up, the topic of sports team that did not have an "S" in their nickname. I chimed in with Crimson Tide the Green Wave ; anyway, that was my debut.

RAFA NADAL just won his 13th French Open, and 20th major championship. This ties Federer for the most in the Open area.

Keep creating John Michael Currie- I love your initials

Yellowrocks said...

Wednesday-easy puzzle, but enjoyable. I missed finding the theme. An actual DNF. I thought I was finished and read MM's wonderful blog. Then I saw the answers to my missing section. Drat! Coulda, woulda, shoulda.
BTW, the John Jakes novel I am reading now has several characters who GOGGLE at strange things.

Anonymous said...

I agree that this seemed easy for a Thursday. I finished in 8:09. I didn't see the theme, and probably would've struggled to see it without the "s" at the end of the team names.

Lemonade, a more difficult question is to name sports teams that have neither an "s" at the end, nor do they have a color in its name. Thus, your Crimson Tide and Green Wave wouldn't count.

Lemonade714 said...

My son and his fiancee just road-tripped to Pike's Peak. Awesome views.

ATLGranny said...

Had such a clean looking grid today but a niggling worry about one section. MalMan cleared up my problem and showed me the error of my ways. FIW. I understood the theme of sports teams, even though I wasn't familiar with all. My niggle was with a theme answer where I put kIArTSTAR and the perps didn't alert me to the problem. DREk isn't spelled that way? SPIrAL cords and columns aren't made by twisting? But I couldn't come up with a Kia car model that fit my letters. Sigh. Tomorrow is another day. Thanks to both MalMan and John Michael Currie. Nice debut.

Have a good Friday, all.

Lemonade714 said...

Fighting Illini, Marshall Thundering Herd, Massachusetts Minutemen, Navy Midshipmen, Nevada Wolfpack, North Carolina State Wolfpack.

Miami Heat, Tampa Bay Lightning, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Utah Jazz, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild

Hungry Mother said...

FIR, with two write-overs: STOW 4 lade and TERRA 4 kERRs. At the tail end of our four months in Spain in 2003, my wife and I spent a few days in Mallorca. A beautiful place, helped by fabulous weather while we were there.

Big Easy said...

The puzzle was a quick fill for a Thursday with just a couple of unknown brand names filled by perps- TERRA & PEETS. Never saw the theme but it was a speed run.

DRED- got it but have only known it as DREGS as in the 'dregs of society', aka politicians.
MM-add BE to the list of those who had never heard of Avocado TOAST- perps
UTE or SUV-why?- They can't call it a JEEP.

D-otto- you had 'Mucho dinero' in college. BE had NADA peso.

I didn't know PALMA but I did know RAFA is from Mallorca, Spain. About his 3/4 million dollar watch- I wonder when people will finally give up on mechanical watches. Digital watches have been around for over 40 years and I see many people with Apple, Samsung, FitBit, Garmin,...etc. watches. They should join the dustbin with rotary phones and mechanical adding machines. IPODS (mp3 players) have largely replaced record players, cassette tapes and CDs.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

I agree; a bit on the easy side for a Thursday. The theme fill was not hard even if one didn't know all the team names.
COAL seemed a bit gluey at first but, on reflection, there was a long period of time when COAL powered many vessels. As a kid witnessing river traffic on the Champlain section (Hudson River) of our Barge Canal system, I have vivid memories from the mid '40's of the NYS canal maintenance flotilla's annual trek northward to their assigned work areas towed by a steam tug burning coal. (WWII years). Quite a show in an otherwise quiet, bucolic countryside.

Wilbur Charles said...

The Kia RIO showed up on a Saturday and I had Roo.

I actually grok'ed the theme guessing the S was dropped.

No color, eh? That lets out my Redsox.

Enjoy your write-ups MaloMan. Enjoyed this relatively easy Thursday? Apres ca le deluge.

FIR but slow going in parts. Speaking of potato chips… I tried Utz. Uhuh. I'll stick with my Cape Cod Kettle cooked. But only when on BOGO.


Tinbeni said...

Manatee: Outstanding, informative write-up. The 52 "links" may be a record!

Well I'm suffering another beautiful sunny day at 85 degrees.

Life is tough here in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

A "Toast-to-ALL" at Sunset.


OMaxiN said...

Agreed. Easier than normal Thursday.
Never watched The Simpsons. Don't know PEETS. TERRA..nope
So am I ~ DO I.
French clue? Guessed COTE
Avacado TOAST-known to me less than 1 year
RAFA is also a pro golfer, but I don't think it's a nickname.
Sorta got the esless theme.
Really enjoyed the write-up MALMAN.

desper-otto said...

BE, my buddy and I both worked our way through college, but decided we'd splurge on a vacation our junior year. Of course, back in those days tuition was an affordable $500/semester for in-state students.

Malodorous Manatee said...

Good morning and thanks for the kind words.

Because no one has yet commented on the "two other good friends who showed up" and, because by the time you are reading through the comment section you have already seen the graphics in the write up, it can be noted that at 25 Down the animated characters are, on the left - Merl Reagle and on the right - Will Shortz.

Lucina said...


Thank you and congratulations, John Michael Currie, on your debut. MalMan, thank you for the plethora of graphics! Nicely done. No OFFENSE to you, but where is Steve? I must have missed something about him when I was gone away.

Luckily I solve across/down and that was exceedingly helpful today otherwise it might have been in CHAOS.

The sports names meant nothing to me but FREUD, NEMO, TETON, ANKARA, U OF A, LEAR and AENEID were all familiar and provided some comfort to this unfamiliar territory. I'm glad for those of you who like baseball.

It's always a TREAT for me to see literary references. The Y in BYRD was my last fill. I was undecided between I and Y. Luckily, Y won out.

Have a fine day, everyone! We will finally be below 100 today.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

The reveal was a surprise but never having heard of a couple of the teams, I needed MM’s review to fully appreciate it. The solve was fairly easy with only one unknown, Terra. Some fun entries were EMT/Emit, Obit/Emit, Lear and Jet, Toast and Scone, and Offense above Team.

Thanks, John Michael, on a successful debut (I have a brother John Michael) and thanks, MalMan, for a nicely detailed analysis and numerous links and visuals. I’ll have to check back later as half of the visuals weren’t shown. This happens often on my iPad. BTW, I wouldn’t know a Scone from Stone! 😉

Have a great day.

Yellowrocks said...

Yes, I do "suffer" at 85 degreees. I prefer 65.
That picture of the untied laces reminds me of the boys coming in from recess. It's a wonder more of them did not trip. Occasionally someone would tread of the flapping laces causing a pileup.

Husker Gary said...

-I am not LAID UP but I do have an ACHE this morning after getting hit in the shoulder by a golf ball yesterday.
-Did anyone else first see SHARK and JET and think West Side Story?
-The twins Castor and Pollux seem to be near each other in the Gemini constellation but are only coincidentally in our line of sight. They are actually billions of miles apart
-I thought U OF A might be called ZONA for short at first
-A golf partner yesterday started on politics and I thought, “I ain’t goin’ down that rabbit hole!”
-Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) delivered the fatal blow to The League Of Nations
-As a teacher I had a front row seat to every FAD. The FAD ended when we adults finally got one.
-Pavlov here too - When we give our kitty a TREAT we ring a bell. Now if we have to find her…
-IM, Many visuals did not show up here either

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
DREGS always reminds me of this lovely Sinatra song that becomes more relevant as the years pass:

But now the days are short
I'm in the autumn of the year
And now I think of my life as vintage wine
From fine old kegs
From the brim to the DREGS
It poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year

Mailman1959 said...

You missed the San Francisco Giants and the Dallas Stars.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

More like a Monday or Tuesday. FIR... When is a door not AJAR? When it's AGAPE.. almost put PAC instead of RNC (hey Jeff, no politics..that goes for you Wasn't sure how to spell AEN..D so I perpwaited.

Boy DOI not like that clue. Not familiar with BYRD and RAFA was a lucky WAG so NE was last to fill. My name is Raphael (RAY' feel) and luckily no one calls me that.

YEOW needs to join owie in the CW circular file.
BOND: Financial? Atomic? Or Jamesian...also perwalked. When is a TROOP a troupe? In Paree?. I ASSume everyone knows what TETON means in français..🤭🤭

Excellent 2018 King Lear film with Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson. Done in contemporary dress.

Fearful Anna was a ____ of her own shadow....FREUD

A Cheer for singer Paul...Ankara.

A Boyscout should always tell the ____ ...TROOP

A barrier against bumpkins......OFFENSE

Malman you employed more effort and illustration in the review and commentary than I did in the puzzle...Very entertaining!!

Husker Gary said...

Musings 3
-I have been seeing some new names at our little word counter lately and thought today would be a good day to post that if you want your name added to

Our LA Times crossword map

contact me at

Spitzboov said...

I had several MM visuals that didn't render. I opened them in a new tab and saw that each was a video or some kind and had constant movement. I'm guessing the settings on my Safari browser are somewhat restrictive to permit me the option of opening such content. Or is it a setting in the blogger program? Not a complaint; just a litany of how this morning's review went.

Wendybird said...

Wow, MM, what a great, interesting tour! I especially liked the clip from My Cousin Vinny - we watch it once a year and use phrases from it frequently - “Ba—s on accurate - it’s an industry term” . Jack has the Charlie Byrd/Stan Getz album both in vinyl and on CD. It’s a favorite.
. After that excellent effort, take the rest of the day off!

Thank you John, for the interesting, gettable puzzle. I know for you veterans, it was a bit easy, but for this Goldilocks, it was Just Right.

Unbelievably, it’s supposed to be 89 today in Dana Point - in mid-October. And we don’t have A/C because “we don’t need it this close to the water” - hmmm .

Wendybird said...

Spitzboov, I had several blank frames too. I use Safari, so I’ll try another browser to see if I can get them. Thanks for the tip.

Yellowrocks said...

I am just about to put all my beautiful square dance clothing in a drop box. I saved one outfit. I think this has been the hardest thing to let go. More and more dancers are going casual, jeans and slacks. We will not be dancing again for another year or two. My outfits take up tons of closet space which I will no longer have. This is end of an era.

JB2 said...

As others have said, easy for a Thursday. Really enjoy MM's write-ups!

I think the visuals that aren't appearing are GIF's - small snippets of video that repeat.

Almost 80 in Chicago yesterday - the end of warmth here until probably June.

Stay safe and well everyone.


NaomiZ said...

Many thanks to John Michael for a romp through the crossword puzzle today! I didn't understand the reveal, but the clues were fair and I had no trouble ... until I came at last to the northeast corner. I did not know RAFA, and guessed wrongly that the Tucson school was the University of Southern Arizona (UOSA), so I had RASA at 12D and FIW. No matter! It was lots of fun, as was Mal Man's review.

Yellowrocks, I'm sorry about the square dance outfits. I do sometimes think that moving into one room with a small closet would be a great way to focus on favorite items, and to eschew the nonessential, but this clothing represents so much for you! It sounds like you are making good choices, and I hope that you will feel lighter and freer on the other side of all this effort.

Misty said...

Welcome to the blog, John Michael--clearly everyone really enjoyed your puzzle. I unfortunately don't know much about sports, but I appreciated that you complemented that by including some lovely references to the arts, with AENEID, LEAR, CLASSIC, ARIA. I also liked seeing Anna FREUD and MARGE Simpson turn up. So, still a lot of fun, even for a non-sporty. And, MalMan, your commentaries are a delight.

Ray, what do you call those puns you work into your italic comments?

And, Yellowrocks, what sad, sad news that your square dance days may be over. I used to love hearing about them on the blog. But keep exercising, and stay strong.

Have a good day, everybody.

Lucina said...

How I admire your ability to let go! I find it very hard and my items are not even as precious as your dancing garments. You will be my inspiration, "If YR can do it . . .

Java Mama said...

Good afternoon, everyone! Congratulations, John Michael Currie, on your LAT debut. And thanks, Mal-Man, for the entertaining review with links galore! I especially enjoyed the Samba Dees Days interlude. Your SPINAL Tap image brings to mind all of those wonderful, whacky Christopher Guest mockumentaries; Best in Show never fails to leave me in stitches.

I was off to a rocky start in the NE with Zebra Shark, Trey, and Am I causing a real mess that needed red-letter help to untangle. That’s a FIW for me. Theme answers filled in nicely, but didn’t make the connection until the reveal. Was into the avocado TOAST FAD for a while, but tired of it after a bit. I really appreciate the privacy of our EN SUITE bathroom when we have houseguests.

Overnight frost is in the forecast – Fall is here!

Take care, all!

AnonymousPVX said...

From yesterday...Chairman Mo....I’m thinking that anyone who sold food “openly” has shut that down due to least they posted the recipe.

oc4beach said...

Welcome to the LA Times Crossword Corner John Michael with your debut puzzle. It was a fun fill, even though I didn't get the theme until I read MM's explanation.

Great write-up MM. I liked your visuals today.

I agree with others about DREGs.

While on a tour of National Parks in the west, we started with the Grand Teton's and really enjoyed it. DW has decided that if we ever hit the Lottery, she wants a house in Jackson Hole so she can look at the Tetons.

I debated between COAL and WOOD for the steamboat fuel. COAL won out, but I think that a lot of wood was burned in the early days.

And I spelled BiRD wrong until perps corrected it to BYRD.

Have a great day everyone. Please be safe and wear your masks.

another MM said...

Glad the MM is back after his brief hiatus last week. He is
my favorite blogger!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Misty @ 12:04

Most cornerites would refer to them as nonsense from an addled mind. 🥴

Actually a combo of homophones and homonyms.

Yuman said...

Java Mom, live your “Catpurrcino”
I was missing visuals 67 across and 8,11,25, 50, down.
Another record breaking 100+ day. Each year I give away more and more of my “winter” clothes.

CanadianEh! said...

Terrific Thursday. Thanks for the fun, John (congrats on your debut) and MM.
I finished in good time, but did not get the theme; probably because I don't hear all those American team names often enough (I did know the Winnipeg Jets).
I was trying to make compound words out of the themers, and DOUBLE and TEAM. D'uh!
Now I note TWIN as an Easter egg to DOUBLE.

But I arrived here to discover that I FIWed. I did not know guitarist Charlie BYRD but had perped B-RD and had the cross _EOW. I did a vowel run but forgot Y, chose E for the fail.

MM - thanks for the Baby Beluga. Do Americans know Raffi? Daughter loved his music.

I wanted Lade before STOW. I learned about Muni bonds doing CWs but it was IONIC today.
Hand up for wanting Trey, but I already had CALF; AD IN eventually perped.
I started to enter AJAR for 38A but realized that AGAPE was "wide open"; I smiled when I entered AJAR at 44A for "barely open".
We had TERRA chips and RUFFLES (but no Gibbys).
DO I was a Meh! for me (Rant #1)

Canadian equivalent of the BLUE ANGELS would be the Snow Birds. They have had some sad accidents in the past year.

PEEPS was an American company that I did not know.
Ditto for RNC. Really, is RNC not political, especially with this publication date before an election? No equal time for DNC? (Rant #2) (Not a political statement from this Canadian, but an effort to create a level playing field at a divisive time.) Oh no, I see on refreshing that Anon@1:30 has made it political!

Avocado TOAST is not on the menu for any Canadian friends that I am aware of; OKRA in any form would be rare to non-existent on menus here also.
Let me continue with my Canadian comments: I know you all felt my pain with ODOR, but I also had to enter OFFENSE instead of Offence.(Rant #3) (Michael FLN says I am allowed unlimited rants! LOL)
DOUBLE TEAMing would be done by the Defence.

I'll post and come back to read all of you later.
Wishing you all a great day.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

It's only Thursday?!? That was crunch---y.
Wait, y'all thought easy? Maybe it was just me getting only 4 hours of sleep.

Thanks John Michael for the puzzle. Theme is cool. Congrats on the LAT debut.

MManatee - that was a heck of an expo. Liked what you did with SPINAL Tap.
//Anyone watch the virtual Spinal Tap Reunion fundraiser last night? I meant to but work got in the way.
//and I knew who showed up at 25d - saw that episode, I did.

That poor puppy! (LOL MalMan)

WOs: geT AT @31d, OFFENcE, TROuP
ESPs (and copious WAGs): COTE, ADIN (Doh!) PALMA, AENEID, TERRA, BYRD (glad to be introduced to Byrd - nice music)
Fav: When POST-ITS finally dawned on me... //I have 'em everywhere - it's my extended memory. I also use a corners of 'em to cover cameras on my computers.

The Four LADS were covered by They Might Be GIANTS. [2:35]

I'll take PEETS over over-roasted STARbucks. //But Tom Thumb's JOE in Canada beats both!

YR - I'm sad that you have to part with your gowns. No family to "lend" them to?

Lucina - Steve decided, shortly after TTP did, that enough is enough (for now).

@1:30 - I thought the same @41a; I think they just bushed the dust off the old platform.

C, Eh! Oh, for the love of PETE...
Yes, we know Raffi....
It was the only CD in the minivan for 5 years.
//Finally!, TMBG came out with a kid's album :-)

Cheers, -T

CanadianEh! said...

YR - I feel your pain with the purging. I hope that you have some photos of yourself in those beautiful square dance outfits. If not, maybe some photos taken now of them just on a hanger (if you can't get a selfie) would be lovely to have for future reminiscing.

Ray'o - I don't always comment about them, but your "nonsense from an addled mind" brings a chuckle every day. Thanks.

I am often remiss in thanking others here for their links (CED et al), diagonals (OMK), pictures (Picard); I am sure that I am missing more even now. Please don't stop just because we may not take the time to go back and comment. We are enjoying! (I often wish that I had Facebook Like/Love/Laugh buttons here!)

CanadianEh! said...

Anon T - Tom Thumb's Joe in Canada? - did you mean Tim Hortons??

Yes, we had those Raffi cassette tapes (eldest had a Fisher Price tape player that went everywhere!). In fact, those tapes might be in a box somewhere; I need to purge!
Second child was more into Fred Penner. (Did Americans know him?)

Anonymous T said...

C, Eh! - Yes. Tim Hortons... I really needs some sleep.

//so, we've been working an issue for 4 days now.
User's chat will randomly cuss at others while she's away from the computer.
We have tools to detect near everything going on with the computer (we just deployed a keystroke logger for finer-grain'd detail) but can't figure it out (teenager in the house has been ruled out(?))
Fortunately, the cursing is just nuisance at this time but BOY is it a stumper.


Yellowrocks said...

HG, I too thought of Sinatra. That is the sense that is alluded to in the puzzle.
From the brim to the dregs
It poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year.
When I was very little my mom used to mention the dregs in the coffee cup. I was much older when I learned about the dregs of society.
The RNC clue did not name the year. For many years the RNC promoted their platform, just as the DNC promoted theirs.
Thanks to Naomi, Lucina, Misty and Anonymous T for your support. Canadian Eh, maybe I can share a photo in the dress I saved. The clothing is actually like a costume, not worn by any others than square dancers. See my avatar. Just as dressing up for dinner has become passé, todays' dancers prefer casual. I guess part of the sadness is that the whole activity will be banned for a long time. Will it survive?
Its not willpower, but necessity that dictates downsizing. Here I have a walk-in closet with two 8 foot rods for hangers. There it is just your average size middling bedroom closet. But I will have a large bedroom, a good sized living room, a small but well equipped kitchen and a den/study, plus access to a whole complex of comfortable common areas, pool, gym and dining rooms. There will be many opportunities for interaction with others without going out.
Yes, there was a time when Raffi was always playing on my car radio. Kenny and I knew all the songs by heart.

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

First, great debut John Michael Currie, and an equally entertaining recap from our malODORous sea cow! WOS, my Safari browser on my iPhone must not care for the Giphy’s, as all of them were blank rectangles between the text. I touched one, and sure enough, the image appeared. Gotta be a glitch between the devices, but I’m no IT geek, so ...

Second, to AnonymousPVX —> regarding the “ingredients” of the Swedish Meatballs @ IKEA ... that was my attempt at humor, realizing that IKEA is a DIY (do it yourself) kind of store, I joked that when I visited ... oh, never mind!! 😀

Third, thanks MM for the wine reference on DREGS. I prefer calling it sediment (not to be snobby, but it just sound less “gross”). But your description of LEES was spot on. Certain wineries bottle “unfiltered” and “unfined”, which will lead to more sediment in the wine.

Fourth, (from my Sommelier training) CÔTE is also translated as “slope”. One of my favorite wines comes from the Northern Rhône region of France, and it’s called CÔTE-Rotie” - which translates to “Roasted Slope”. The steep hillsides on which the grape vines are planted face south, southwest, and get intensive sunlight. The two varietals planted there are Syrah and Viognier. There is an adjacent region to the Côte-Rotie that plants just Viognier, and it’s called: Condrieu. If you ever want to taste some exquisite wines, try to source a bottle of either of these

Fifth, this puzzle was less difficult than yesterday’s but equally Thursday worthy. I didn’t realize the theme until Double M defined it. Only write over was in the far, SW corner, as I mistakenly put OBIT in 56down before realizing it was supposed to go in 59down.

Somewhat a CSO to yours truly, as I was employed by 3M for 25 years, and recall quite well the introduction of POST-ITS in 1980. There are many stories about how they became an actual product; Art Frey was the team leader/research/developer who received the credit. I believe his name is on the original patent ..

Malodorous Manatee said...

Lucinda, as no one has previously mentioned it, last month C.C. announced Steve's retirement from blogging. Being relatively new here I, unfortunately, missed most of what I am told were hundreds of his expositions.

Ol' Man Keith said...

My thanks to Mr. Currie for a lovely pzl, enjoyable throughout.

I know a lovely anecdote about Anna FREUD. It's too long, unfortunately, for me to narrate it here.
Suffice it to say, the last line (spoken with a thick Austrian accent) is: "Zese are not MY ski pants!"

Not being a tennis fan, I wasn't sure of AD IN or RAFA, but the perps closed my options.

CanadianEh!. I didn't know the Raffi song, but I recall it was in Canada some years ago, in a water park, that I came close up to Beluga whales.
What beauties!
A total of four diags today, 3 on the near end, and a 4th in the mirror.
On the far side, the diagonal reminds me that in my neighborhood several homes have covered their rooftops with those black panels meant to harness the sun’s rays and lower their electric bills.
A few of these roofs look distinctly odder than others.
Could they be “pirating” from the sun, using…

On the near side, the main diagonal offers an anagram that describes my ecstatic mood when listening to the stately, slow movements of certain classical pieces.
This is when I may be fairly said to go…

Doc said...

Another fun one is the duplicate nicknames in major pro sports. There are at least five. 1. Giants. NY and SF

Wilbur Charles said...

"after getting hit in the shoulder by a golf ball yesterday".. Gary there's a story in there methinks. I hit a guy who insisted on going ahead instead of waiting. Ouch. And….

Was that "September Song?". My uncle left a record I enjoyed:,"George Feyer at the Cafe Carlisle".

Ok, am I a Greek classic flunky who naively thought the Trojan Horse was part of the Iliad? I got the vowel friendly Aeneid easily enough.

-T, having completed Fri, Sat; take the weekend off :-)


CrossEyedDave said...

I had the same blank pics,
I was going to list them, but there were just too many.
If I had my PC, I could find a work around.
But I only have this IPad.
SpitZboov, how do you open another tab on an iPad?

I find astronomy fascinating, so learning Caster is a triple binary
Led me astray

Canadian Eh,
Thanks, but if anyone else enjoys my posts, it is more the merrier.
If I didn't crack myself up, I wouldn't post it.
(Yesterday's McEyebrows were def8nitely a stretch..)
Case in point, what to do with today's theme?

One day, I am like in one sort of mood...
And then another day, I am sort of laid back..
and some days I can be just Catty...

Lucina said...

AnonT and MM:
Thank you for the information about Steve's "retirement" and I'm not surprised. It is impressive that all you Bloggers do so and post in the wee morning hours. I'm sure it's a lot of work and I appreciate your dedication.

Most of the time all the graphics appear on my computer and I'm surprised because some of you have more sophisticated software than do I.

Brian said...

Now, the Washington Football Team is a team without an "S" at the end.

LEO III said...

Thanks JMC and MM!

Yes, this puzzle was quite easy for a Thursday, and yes, I managed to mess it up. I ran down the same rabbit hole NaomiZ did. I know U of A is in Tucson, but I would have expected UOA. "What's with the extra blank square?" I haven’t watched any tennis since Chris Evert retired, so I wasn’t specifically looking for RAFE, and UOSA looked OK to me.

Doesn’t every state have a “South” or “Southern” university somewhere, he asked facetiously?

Do all the women tennis players still GRUNT LOUDLY on every shot, he asked seriously? Moo!

Don’t do avocado toast, but my usual breakfast is a lazy man’s guacamole (just a mashed up avocado, with a little Konriko Creole Seasoning and some cracked black pepper) spread on a toasted bagel. Every now and then, I'll add some chopped up tomato and jalapeño, but like I said, I’m lazy.

Still have two lava lamps, but they are under 20 years old. Bought them at Spencer’s Gifts. Light them up every now and then, just for grins.

Never heard of PEETS or TERRA. No loss.

It also took the perps for me to get AENEID spelled correctly. I swear, the older I get, the worse my spelling gets!

TSE was easy for me! I’m sorry, but I cannot quite get the modern way of anglicizing Chinese names and places. Concentrating on East Asian history back in my not so young ute at Turtle U, I HAD to learn the proper pronunciation the way they used to be spelled. I knew to pronounce Mao Tse-tung as Mao Zedong and Peking as Beijing. Nowadays, I’m scratching my head and asking myself who or where??? Oh, that guy, or that place! Old dog….

Nothing compares to Byrd and Getz!

Very busy weekend ahead at the museum, starting early tomorrow morning. Hope I have time to squeeze in the puzzles and the Corner.

Chairman Moe said...

Peet’s Coffee

Major Dickason’s and Café Domingo are my favorites. I could buy it in Florida and Arizona so I’m guessing it’s distributed nationally. Quite tasty

Spitzboov said...

CED - - I use an IMac. Right-click on the unopened feature and select "open link in new tab'. Generally, though, press Command T to get a new tab. The former links the unopened visual directly; Safari knows what you want in the new tab. New window would work, too.
I don't know what the IPad equivalent is.


Hannafords has PEETS coffee, but I stick with Starbuck French Roast.

Pollux : GIANT STAR - - Pollux and Castor are in Gemini, The Twins constellation. Thought it might have some connection to the reveal, DOUBLE TEAM, but after I finished, I don't think that's what the constructor intended.

The Curmudgeon said...

DNF. Couldn't come up with BYRD and didn't know the university was anything other than UA. (E.g.: Our university system is not SUofNY.)


Yellowrocks said...

I can open all the great graphics on my Kindle.

Anonymous T said...

CED - IIRC, press on the link and hold for a second; you should get a pop-up menu asking with open in new tab / window as an option.

It bloomed!

Cheers, -T

Michael said...

Leo III, to add to the collection, there is always the University of Southern North Dakota, at Hoople (per P.D.Q. Bach).