Oct 28, 2020

Wednesday, October 28, 2020, Frank Virzi


3. School outing: CLASS TRIP

7. Griddle tenders: SHORT ORDER COOKS

9. One in danger of going off: LOOSE CANNON

24. Unofficial means of communication: BACK CHANNEL

33. Superior to ... and what can go with the starts of 3-, 7-, 9- and 24-Down: A CUT ABOVE.

Cut class. Cut short. Cut loose. Cut back. 

Melissa here. Fun seeing down theme answers, including the grid-spanner SHORT ORDER COOKS. Lots of foreign words today - Spanish and Italian.


1. Word with support or enemy: ARCH.

5. Dance wildly: MOSH. Haven't seen that as a verb before.

9. Miller's salesman: LOMAN. Willy Loman, in Arthur Miller's play, Death of a Salesman

14. Princess loved by Hercules: IOLE. Greek mythology.

15. "Have __ Right?": Honeycombs hit of 1964: I THE.

16. Maine town on the Penobscot: ORONO.

17. Graceful swimmer: SWAN.

18. Tommy Dorsey, e.g.: TROMBONIST.

20. Bonny one: LASS.

21. Paving supply: TAR.

22. How silverware is often sold: AS A SET. Tricky.

23. USN rank: ENS. Ensign is the entry-level commissioned officer's rank in the U.S. Navy, and is equivalent to the rank of Second Lieutenant in the other armed services. 

24. __ man: BEST

25. Agree to less: SETTLE.

26. Word with more or less: THAN.

28. Tabled, for now: ON ICE.

30. Bernie Taupin's forte: LYRICS. Elton John's songwriting partner of 50  years.

32. Flor del amor: ROSA. Flower of love, in Spanish. Rose.

33. Face on a fin: ABE. The $5 bill is sometimes nicknamed a "fin." The term has German/Yiddish roots and is remotely related to the English "five," but it is far less common today than it was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

36. Car with a tri-shield logo: BUICK.

37. IRA options: CDS.

38. Shell lining: NACRE. Mother of pearl. So pretty.

40. Like give and take: Abbr.: OPP. Nice clue - opposites.

41. Tony Hillerman detective Jim: CHEE. Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, Navajo tribal police officers in the southwest USA. Series has been taken over by author's daughter, Anne Hillerman, after his death.

43. Like year-end financials: ANNUAL.

44. Utter: SHEER.

45. Navy Midshipmen's mascot Bill, e.g.: GOAT. Bill the Goat.

46. Coffeehouse orders: MOCHAS.

49. Either "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" filmmaker: COEN. The Coen brothers.

51. Obamacare, briefly: ACA. Affordable Care Act.

54. Sci-fi invaders: ALIENS.

55. Hogwarts mail carrier: OWL. Harry Potter's owl is Hedwig.

56. "Riiiight!": I BET.

57. Flowerlike marine animal: SEA ANEMONE. Great fill.

59. Knucklehead: DODO.

60. Spot for a pot: STOVE.

61. Barely gets (by): EKES.

62. Bakery fixture: OVEN.

63. Stand in a studio: EASEL. Noun not verb.

64. Ukr. and Est., once: SSRS.

65. News article intro: LEDE. The opening sentence or paragraph of a news article, summarizing the most important aspects of the story.


1. Chapel divider: AISLE.

2. Martin's TV partner: ROWAN. Rowan & Martin's Laugh In.

4. Little chicken tenders?: HENS. Haha.

5. Snowsuit clip-ons: MITTENS.

6. Others, in Tabasco: OTRAS. Spanish.

8. Verbal hesitation: HEM.

10. Richly decorated: ORNATE.

11. Humid, say: MOIST.

12. First name in photography: ANSEL. Adams.

13. Dark time in Pisa: NOTTE. Italian for night.

19. Foundation for an argument: BASIS.

27. Juice box brand: HI-C.

29. Turndowns: NOS.

30. WSJ news item: LBO. Leveraged Buyout.

31. "Sho' 'nuf": YUP.

34. Maidenform product: BRA.

35. Slithery swimmer: EEL.

37. Head of Cuba?: CEE. The letter.

39. Prefix with -gram: ANA.

42. "Steppenwolf" author Hermann: HESSE.

43. Forever young, it seems: AGELESS.

44. Bundle on the farm: SHEAVE.

46. Tricky pool shot: MASSE.

47. "Get Here" singer Adams: OLETA.

48. Torino farewells: CIAOS. Italian.

50. One with a deed: OWNER.

52. Gave up formally: CEDED.

53. Observe Yom Kippur: ATONE.

56. Object of adoration: IDOL.

58. Abril, por ejemplo: MES. Spanish, month.


desper-otto said...

Good morning!

All of the theme answers are "in the language" phrases which flowed trippingly off my pen, and made the rest of the puzzle a cinch. Didn't notice the theme during the solve, but managed to find it before coming here. Interesting to see LEDE back for an encore, and it got buried at the bottom of the puzzle. Thanx for the diversion, Frank, and for the expo, Melissa Bee.

CDS: With long-term bond rates in the cellar, CDS are back as a viable IRA investment option.

SHEAVE: In my ute, mom hung the laundry outside to dry. As we did our chores, brother Paul and I would sing "Bringin' In The Sheets" followed by a rousing chorus of "Deep in the gravy lay, beef roast my dinner."

TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you Frank Virzi and Melissa.

The screen lit up each of the theme answers and the reveal when I selected 3 down. Decided to work those out first, and then fill in the rest of the field. It was a slower than usual solve because I jumped around the grid, but a fast time isn't as important to me as is getting a successful solve, the theme, and working out the answers to intentionally misleading clues.

LEDE again. Rich seems to like to string puzzles with uncommon words, given the opportunity.

Never heard of The Honeycombs or that song. Played it while reading the Wikipedia article about them but had to stop the song after about the first minute or so.

Didn't know the author Hillerman or the detective Jim (CHEE).

Never heard of "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" either.

Those answers all perped in.

I was watching Barnaby Jones early this morning. The episode was "Prime Target" featuring guest actress Rebecca Balding. Hi, Becky !

Melissa, I liked your title.

Desper-otto, are those alternate lyrics to a well known song or just something you and your brother made up ? I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

7:32, but erred with "natte" instead of "notte". I'm not a fan of foreign words in the crossword puzzles.

I'd allow Enero (a "mes") to be grandfathered in, and well, I guess Abuelo too.

desper-otto said...

TTP, those are alternate lyrics to the hymns Bringing In The Sheaves and Low In The Grave He Lay. Mom never appreciated our "inventiveness."

TTP said...

D-O, OK, thanks. Now I get it. I bet she didn't !

Hungry Mother said...

Like me, this played old. I was a short-order cook at a lunch counter in a drugstore in my youth. It was one of those jobs: lawn mower, Fuller Brush Man, cab driver, factory worker, that led me to seek a professorship. My father always bought BUICKs, but I wrote prius at first.

Mark said...

SW was tricky today but got through it. Didn't know the MASSE pool shot and SEA ANEMONE was all fills.

Loved the Coen brothers Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

I'm sure many said "They buried the lede!" when filling 65A.

Malodorous Manatee said...

We used to see NACRE quite often in puzzles back in the day. Didn't like it then. Today it seems more like an old friend. Thanks for the puzzle and the nice recap.

Lucina said...


Thank you, Frank Virzi and Melissa for today's entertainment! The Spanish gave me an edge today.

My first fill was WILLY (Loman) but no, it was LOMAN from Death of a Salesman. It didn't take long to see the error.

From then it was all a downward slide all the way. As desper-o said, since the phrases are in the language it took only a few letters to complete each one. I like more of a challenge.

Another error I had to correct was FIELD TRIP to CLASS TRIP. And today we have Maidenform BRA instead of Bali.

And before anyone asks, it's OTRAS for others but it could just as well be masculine because there is no noun to modify. It's feminine only because of TAR.

I knew CHEE from reading one of Hillerman's books. It wasn't intriguing enough for me.

CSO to Hahtoolah at ORONO. She told us of her attendance there.

I enjoyed filling ROSA, MES and OTRAS. I had no idea who Bernie Taupin is so thank you, MB, for filling in that gap.

Have un dia perfecto, everone!

Wilbur Charles said...

Not exactly a walk in the park for a Wednesday. I inked in ANT(onym) and YeP.

TTP, that's longer than I lasted with Van Halen

I recall the ubiquity of FIN. LBO or IPO? Perps. Not a latte, not creme but a MOCHA. I'll have my decaf black. Americano is good though. Then adding milk sweetens it. Needs to be that hit to break down sugar. I miss perked coffee.


OMaxiN said...

Filled ipO before LBO which made BUICK a slow entry. Band leader fit, but corrected to TROMBONIST. Then I blew right past CEE head of Cuba to FIW.
Thank you Frank and M.B.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This had a bit of crunch with Iole, Coen, Sea Anemone, Notte, and Oleta, but perps were fair, so no complaints. I liked the Stove and Oven and Hi C and Cee, and Chee! Fun to see Lede again and the mini critter theme with Swan, Goat, Owl, Sea Anemone, Hens, and Eel. Nice CSO to Hatoolah and Lemony at Orono. I also liked the down themers for a change of pace.

Thanks, Frank, for a mid-week treat and thanks, Melissa, for a nice recap.


CED, that video was interesting but I don’t think the end result warranted the time and effort expended to achieve it. Then again, I’m not a chili fan nor a fan of roughing it in the woods! 🙃

Have a great day.

Husker Gary said...

-I hate it when a Natick like C_EE/_ESSE just sits there while I have to go on and finish the puzzle. My alphabet run yielded a few candidates and I chose the right one
-After 100 CLASS TRIPS out to our local power plant, OSHA said “no more”.
-I couldn’t CUT SHORT one CLASS TRIP for my aunt’s funeral because I was in Florida with 111 kids
-For every Zazie Beetz (From Madeline Kaplan last Saturday) we get a Tommy Dorsey
-Kern County, CA kept Charlie Manson’s body ON ICE for months because of four people who claimed it
-House Hunters International often find there is no OVEN in the house/apartment
-When you saw NOTTE, didn’t you think of two dogs kissing while eating spaghetti
-My daughters had a stereotype of the driver when they saw a BUICK LeSabre or Park Avenue
-50F, blue sky and no wind today. FORE!

Malodorous Manatee said...

There is a USA Today puzzle by C.C. to be published tomorrow, I think. I was able to access and solve it today. It is called World Series - appropriate. Ole, C.C. !!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.


Thanks Melissa for explaining the theme. I got everything without error. Funny, we had LEDE again.
I entered SHEAVE but didn't like it. Singular is 'sheaf', plural is SHEAVEs. Some final 'f' words like 'leaf' change to 'ves' in the plural like 'leaves'. If I'm missing something on SHEAVE, please tell me.

Anonymous said...

another weird clue...head of Cuba being the capital letter C. "Head" is never used when referring to a capitalized first letter of a word. If there had been some play on "Castro" it would have made more sense...

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

FIR finally but as usual ...forget the theme.... . Isn't it a bonnie Lass?... Otras (should have specified females. Why isn't the BEST man at a wedding the groom? Parsing the long verticle answer early was a big help.

Inkovers: basichannel/BACKCHANNEL, lattes/MOCHAS, state/SHEER, Xena/IOLA. ipo/LBO (Omax)

STOVE and OVEN on opposite sides. Little chicken tenders ...great clue. Head of Cuba: cabeza wouldn't fit.

If a guy pal is a Bro is a gal pal a BRA? ..Learned about a pool shot en "MASSE"


"You get the newspaper. ___ pick up the mail" ...OWL
Sees a mouse....EKES
Edith's support, Meatball's frenemy.....ARCH

CIAO, tutti

Edward Duarte said...

A zippy morn

ATLGranny said...

FIR today with a pretty clean grid. WOs included leWis/ROWAN, field TRIP/CLASS TRIP (Hi! Lucina), and COhN/COEN, all easily corrected with perps. The theme was found after the reveal. Like Spitzboov, I looked askance at SHEAVE, but see it has several meanings. Learning experience. A clever puzzle, Frank, definitely A CUT ABOVE, today. Thanks! And thanks to you, Melissa Bee, for your review. I wonder, will we see LEDE again tomorrow?

We await the next tropical storm's leftover rain. Hope you all are faring well.

CanadianEh! said...

Wonderful Wednesday. Thanks for the fun, Frank and melissa bee.
Just a little crunch today (Spanish and Italian are not well-known by this Canadian); but Perps were friendly and I FIRed in just over 21 minutes (I solved online today and will share my time so others can be encouraged or discouraged as is appropriate!).

Anon@9:56 - Yes, "Head of Cuba" had me flummoxed also. I knew it couldn't be a Loo; baño, lavebo wouldn't fit. We do sometimes have the French version with tête ; but cabeza won't fit either (hello Ray'o). CEE was actually a letdown (meh!).

I smiled at the tenders clues, and seeing LEDE again (Rich is making sure we remember it!).
I had to wait for melissa to parse Hi-C for my lightbulb moment.
I had forgotten CDS; I LIUed to refresh my memory about Certificates of Deposit. Our Canadian equivalents are called GICs (Guarantee Investment Certificates).

Lunch awaits.
Wishing you all a great day.

Yellowrocks said...

Fast and fun today. Perps easily solved the unknown. I didn't find the cuts above.
The extra N in HERMANN tipped me off to HESSE.
Favorite clue was little chicken tenders.
Rowan and Martin- I used to be a Laugh In fan.
I, too doubt that SHEAVE is a singular noun, but it is the present tense of a verb, bind into bundles on a farm. I thought of sheave with SH, but held off for a while for that reason. It also could be a grooved wheel to hold a belt or a rope on a pulley.
I will buy the groceries this afternoon. real progress. Also, almost no food in the house.
I figured out what was meant by Head of Cuba. No prob.
My kids used to sing "On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese" instead of On top of old Smokey.
Buick says, "It's not your father's Buick." We are modern and hip.

Spitzboov said...

YR - - I think you're right. When the clue is read as a verb, SHEAVE is OK. Guess I wasn't fully awake when I did the cw.

Anonymous said...

Tough Wednesday, FIW. Couldn't get off of IPO instead of LBO. Southwest corner was a disaster, due to having seen or read SEA ANEMONE maybe one time prior in my life. Haven't heard of OLETA Adams. Just a bad day for me, wasn't expecting this until maybe Friday lol.


Misty said...

Fun Wednesday puzzle, Frank--many thanks. And I also enjoy your write-ups and pictures, Melissa, especially your "best man" cartoon.

Happy to see familiar characters in the puzzle--HESSE, ANSEL, LOMAN, and the TROMBONIST.
I too had to chuckle at the STOVE and OVEN turning up on the same line. And once again ABE turned up, as he does frequently.

I suffered a domestic tragedy last night, when, eating supper, we heard a YIP and a bark and ran outside, knowing it had to be Dusty. He was nowhere to be seen, and a neighbor down from us called up to say she thought she saw a coyote with a dog. We looked everywhere but he was nowhere to be found, and she must sadly have been right. In 2015, three months before I lost my sweet husband Rowland, our other dachshund Misty was taken by a coyote (I was so sad I took her name for puzzles). Now my sweet, sweet 17 year old Dusty, who was in perfect health and still ran up and down the hall chasing his kibble every night, is gone. As you can imagine, I'm devastated. Irish Miss, you've always sent Dusty greetings over so many years--thank you for that and for caring for him too. So I thought it would be okay to express my sadness on the blog.

Yellowrocks said...

Oh, Misty how very sad. My heart goes out o you.

Malodorous Manatee said...

Misty, very sorry to hear about Dusty. I hope the neighbor did not see what she, and you, fear that she saw.

Lucina said...

Oh, Misty, how sad for you. I am so sorry. Poor Dusty. We have that problem here, too, and are warned about leaving small pets outside.

Wendybird said...

Misty, I’m so sad for your loss.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...


In the minority among my fellow cornerites who recommended the intriguing miniseries Flesh & Blood. I found the ending spot on. Told a friend to catch it, we both especially like the actor Russell Tovey (the philandering son) famous for his large ears.

My friend recommended an old series Being Human featuring the same actor. Spent 3 days watching four 1 hour so-so episodes with no Russell Tovey when I realized I was watching the American version not the original much better British version.

desper-otto said...

Misty, I'm very sorry to hear about Dusty. Over the years we've lost several cats under mysterious circumstances. Most recently it was short-tailed "Stumpy." We live in coyote country, too.

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

First, thanks Frank Virzi and Melissa Bee for the fun romp today. Although the “theme/reveal” didn’t hit me until reading MB’s recap, my ink filled grid (newspaper) looks pristine. Nary a blotch or write over anywhere! Guess I was the BEST today!! 🤡

I had heard the song “Have I THE Right” before but the band name “Honeycombs” was one I’d forgotten.

Perps to the rescue today as many of the squares filled in without my having read the clue. ROSA was only noticed when I read the recap

LEDE again today? Well, here’s a “spoiler alert”, there is another one from today’s that’ll appear again on Friday ...

CSO to Irish Miss who enjoys her Dewar’s Whisky ON ICE

Sorry Misty to hear about your dog

Two limericks (Moe-l’ick) today:

The TROMBONISTS were locked in a duel,
When one thought that the other was cruel,
For just calling him out
For wrong note. There's no doubt,
He had broken the sacred slide rule.

Jazz TROMBONIST whose first name is Clyde,
Got no love from the music he plied.
He would seldom hear cheers,
Mostly catcalls and jeers;
And to those? Why, he'd just let 'em slide.

ATLGranny said...

So sad to hear your news, Misty. Even here pets are at risk. One day we saw a coyote stroll across our urban front lawn in broad daylight. They are everywhere now, not just out west.

Irish Miss said...

Dear, dear Misty, we all share your sorrow.

CanadianEh! said...

Dear Misty - of course it is okay to share your sadness on the blog. (We enjoyed hearing about Dusty.) The loss of a beloved pet is felt deeply . . . and the method of loss you and the neighbour surmise is doubly tragic. Sending you virtual hugs.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Misty....Whie trying unsuccessfully to get my blog to work I missed your comment.

Sorry about your dog.

Wildlife being more often seen domestically as habitats disappear.

Becky said...

TTP, thanks for saying Hi! to me. I guess that episode means I'll be getting a $0.25 residual check. That was more than 40 years ago.

FLN I watched both 15 minute videos. Funny, they were both about hotness, i.e. spiciness. Gordon Ramsey is actually a sweet natured person, although he certainly does swear a lot! The mean chef is just a persona he created for the show.

As for the chili con carne, the chilis do come first I see. A lot of chilis for a little bit of meat!


CrossEyedDave said...

Dear Misty,
that is definitely heartbreaking news.
I know from experience how hard it is to fill that
empty place in your soul, & I wish you the best recovery possible.
If it were not for this terrible pandemic, I would recommend
volunteering at your nearest shelter, & helping new life flourish.

If I knew (& I am not asking)
your address, I would send you via next day delivery,
as many kittens and puppies it would take to keep you busy.

Life is what happens while you are making other plans...(John Lennon...)

Regarding the puzzle theme,
I am afraid I got distracted watching idiots with chainsaws...
A cut above, is a serious theme, & requires (ugh, should I say it...)
less sillyness.

A quote from CED:
"It does not take learning to do stupid things!"

So, I thought, maybe, a bad day in the life of a professional
might be in order. the 1st one is my favorite...

Ol' Man Keith said...

Dear Misty ~ As you can see from the outpouring of love & sympathy above, this community shares in your grief over the loss of Dusty. The death of a beloved pet is among the most emotionally devastating experiences we ever experience. The only possible consolation is the memory of the many happy times & the relatively long life your Dusty enjoyed by your side and in your arms. We join together in sending our care and most loving thoughts.
A 3-way on the far side.
The main diagonal is overloaded with vowels, so an unlikely source for anagrams.
Its topside partner seemed equally infertile at first glance, curiously loaded down with "H"s.
But then, turning an apparent handicap to my advantage, I saw how it offers the title of the political playbooks for Hubert Horatio Humphrey's 1968 path to the White House*.
These are the infamous...

* He lost to R.M.N.

Spitzboov said...

Misty - I was saddened to hear of your dear Dusty's loss. I wish you strength in coping.


Bummer; I started doing today's WSJ puzzle. After a few entries, it seemed very familiar. Yesterday's was the same one - by Levy.

SwampCat said...

Misty, I’m so sorry to hear your sad news.

Yuman said...

Misty, so sorry to hear about the loss of your “fur baby” I know you gave Dusty a wonderful life.
Not even a six foot high block wall can keep out coyotes, and we also have to worry about hawks that swoop down after cats and small dogs.
As a alum of UNM, I enjoyed reading Tony Hillerman’s Jim Chee novels and am now am reading the Longmire series by Craig Johnson.

Jayce said...

Misty, so sorry you lost Dusty.

SwampCat said...

The eye wall of the hurricane is over New Orleans right now. Interesting experience as long as I’m inside! Will be awful before it’s over.

SwampCat said...

Our power just went out. Not fun anymore!

Husker Gary said...

Misty, We have lost two cats who lived to 17 yrs old due to natural causes and it was hard. Now we have our third kitty who is only 8 and her presence is helping us get through these very hard days. She is a full-fledged, valuable member of our household. My sincere sympathy to you.

Wilbur Charles said...

I had a BUICK Park Avenue. Lovely car.

I think Jimmy Dorsey played clarinet. IMVR
SHEER for Utter(as in despair) was cute.

Misty, I can only guess what you're feeling. RiP Dusty. Another predator is the OWL*

My friend just returned to Lake Charles a week ago. He came to Sun City when he had no utilities. Delayed his return because of Delta. Now this.


*We just had it with Hogwarts. Owls can abduct the most canny cat.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Thanks Frank for the fine puzzle. Thank you mb for the sparkly review.

WOs: Silas (Marner) -> LOMAN (D'Oh!) which led to bella SARrA [sic], In sets -> AS A SET, IPO, YeP, Cohn
Fav: Chicken tenders == HEN was cute.

Fun Ku's Moe (liked #1 best). Also fun FLN.
Cute DR OMK.

FLN - How nice to read both GarlicGal & Chickie.

Misty - Oh no, I'm so sorry to read that about Dusty. You must be devastated. I second C, Eh's 1:09 post entirely.

Swamp - You and the rest of the S. Louisiana Cornerites were on my mind all day. Hope your power is soon restored.

Found out today that Eldest will be leaving OU a day early (ice storm canceled some classes) so we will get to Early Vote together Friday.
I'm looking forward to seeing her.

Cheers, -T

SwampCat said...

Thanks -T. I’ll let you know tomorrow!!

Misty said...

My goodness, I am genuinely overwhelmed by so many caring and loving and sympathetic comments from all of you. It warms my heart to have such a kind and generous community on this blog, and it really helps to make me feel better after such a difficult night and day. I can't thank you all enough for your deep caring and sympathy--you have comforted me enormously and I only hope I can repay everyone with equal caring when difficulties arise in your lives.

SwampCat said...

We all love you Misty! Your pain is our pain.

Lucina said...

Amen to that, SwampCat!