Dec 12, 2020

Saturday, December 12, 2020 Jeffrey Wechsler

 Saturday Themeless by Jeffrey Wechsler 

I am just finishing my third year of being the Saturday blogger here and there is no better way to do that than with a Jeffrey Wechsler puzzle. 

This elegant picture of Jeffrey shows him in his element as an art curator, a job from which he retired six years ago. Here are his comments on this puzzle:

In response to Gary’s request for commentary on this puzzle, I will offer a few observances on the clues.  It has been mentioned in many commentaries by myself and others that a crossword editor may alter as many as half of all the original clues.  It’s often interesting to note whether the clues have been made easier or harder, especially because both approaches may be seen within a given puzzle.  

Two instances of the editor adding difficulty in this crossword are the following.  My original clue for TRENCH was simply [Long pit], which could be rather obvious.  Rich’s [ ___ coat] is much harder, and I recall considering that clue but thinking “No, too hard”.  For CRAYOLA, I used [“Colorful” company that produces Silly Putty].  Rich made that harder by removing “colorful”.  It seems odd when a changed clue doesn’t really alter the difficulty at all, as in my clue for WINK as [Acknowledge coyly] to the editor’s [In-on-the-joke indicator], or my clue for AS IN changing from [A-apple core?] to [B-bravo link].  I often think such changes are just expressions of the editor’s desire to insert some personal creativity.


Of course, it’s always nice to see a deceptive, humorous clue appreciated and maintained, especially at 1-Across where my [Victorian constraint on women?] was accepted.  And I am always glad when the Shakespeare reference that I place into each of my crosswords is maintained, exemplified here by the King Lear quotation at 49-Across.


1. Victorian constraint on women?: CORSET - Here Mammy is constraining Scarlet in a CORSET at Tara. 

7. Certain lookout's concern: SQUAD CAR - Ah, don't worry, it's just Toody and Muldoon

15. Gamer's guise: AVATAR - Modern day Walter Mittys?

16. Home terrarium area, perhaps: SUN PORCH.

17. Create: DEVISE.

18. Crunchy low-calorie snack: RICE CAKE - Their ingredients contain everything except flavor 😉

19. Like yesterday's news, relatively: RECENT.

21. XXXII, quintupled: CLX - You can use this online calculator to do what I did below

22. "__ Can Cook": PBS show: YAN - CRAYON finally dawned on me and took care of this potential natick with YAN

23. In-on-the-joke indicator: WINK.

24. Get emotional, with "up": CHOKE 

26. Centers of attention: FOCI - If you put something flammable at the FOCI of any parabolic mirror in sunlight...

27. Spots at the prom?: ACNE.

28. Traces: HINTS.

29. Plural used for people but not animals: ELKS - I thought this was really clever. Some friends of mine are ELKS and I have seen herds of ELK

30. Wine list clarification: YEAR - Sotheby's got £168,000 for a 12-bottle case of this Château Cheval-Blanc 1947
31. Ancient portico: STOA - Most veteran cwd solvers have metaphorically walked under a STOA in the AGORA

32. Break-even situation: WASH - WASH: I won $100 at blackjack and then lost $100. It's a WASH. 

33. First name in Canadian whisky: HIRAM - Unlike the high price wine above, you can get this 700 ml bottle of Canadian Club Whiskey produced by the HIRAM Walker Distillery for about $30.

34. Lose energy: FLAG and 39. Recedes: EBBS.

38. B-bravo link: AS IN - My name is Golf, Alpha, Romeo, Yankee. I'm sure our military contingent here would say the "AS IN" is assumed

43. Word in some European country names: LAND - Eng, Ice, Green, Po, Switz are some

44. English subject: USAGE 

46. Russian veto: NYET.

47. "No time to lose!": ASAP - We recently had Stat as a clue for PDQ

48. David's "Frasier" role: NILES 

49. "The younger rises when the old doth __": "King Lear": FALL 

50. Poor start?: MAL - MALpractice leaps to mind

51. Cash source: ATM - This seems to be a "stand alone" word now

52. Longtime beverage sponsor for the New York Mets: RC COLA - The most famous Met of them all, Tom Seaver, pitching RC Cola and not baseballs

54. Solo travels?: EGO TRIPS - Clever!

57. "Darn it!": OH RATS - This Peanuts cartoon sounds like a crossword utensil discussion we have

59. Awkward: UNGAINLY.

60. Hurtle: ROCKET - This 8-second video shows the Osiris-Rex spacecraft (that was launched by an Atlas V ROCKET) landing on an asteroid that is HURTLING through space at 65,000 mph, stirring up the surface, taking in samples and taking off again after six seconds of contact to return to Earth 

61. Corridors, e.g.: PASSAGES.

62. Academically stylish: TWEEDY - Indiana wore a suit like that


1. Hardly a nice guy: CAD.

2. Not neat: OVER ICE - Avert your eyes Tin!

3. Northern Italian city near the Adriatic: RAVENNA - In our phone call, I told Jeffrey I had confidently entered TRIESTE first

4. Kind of a shock?: STICKER.

5. Minimal effort: EASE.

6. __ coat: TRENCH 

7. Pre-1991 atlas initials: SSR 

8. Irascible: QUICK TO ANGER.

9. Symbol since the War of 1812: UNCLE SAM An interesting history

10. Top: APEX.

11. Bespectacled "Snow White" figure: DOC - Can you name them left to right? Answer 

12. Company that trademarked Silly Putty: CRAYOLA - Who knew?

13. Nickname for antiaircraft guns: ACK ACKS - Cuba Gooding Jr. plays the role of U.S. Navy cook Dorie Miller in the movie Pearl Harbor.  Dories took over an ACK ACK (anti aircraft) gun aboard the USS West Virginia and became a hero

14. Like the area along a German river: RHENISH - This land along the Rhine proclaimed itself an autonomous country for two years after WWI. Today this word simply refers to land along the Rhine 

20. "Child's play!": THIS IS SIMPLE.

23. Method: WAY.

25. Facing charges: ON TRIAL - Guess who's ON TRIAL here

26. Select group?: FEW.

33. Hard to forget, as a melody: HAUNTING - Pentatonix's version of just such a melody

34. Catch fire dramatically: FLAME UP.

35. Layered entrée: LASAGNA.

36. Closely related things: ANALOGS - A variant spelling of ANALOGUES

37. Econ. indicator: GDP.

39. Assure compliance with: ENFORCE - Will police be asked to ENFORCE mandatory mask ordinances nationwide?

40. Where some picnicking takes place: BY A LAKE Picnic By The Lake (
Пикник у озера) by Vladimir Pervuninsky 

41. After the event: BELATED.

42. Letters on a Cardinal's cap: ST L - Nebraska's best athlete wore this cap

Bob Gibson

45. Go along with: ESCORT.

51. Verdi creation: ARIA - Our more literate bloggers will know what opera produced this ARIA which some claim is opera's most famous.

53. Eats: CHOW - Noun not the verb. CHOW for a U.S. soldier:

55. Prof's helpers: TAS - Professor Lambeau and his TA (played by John Mighton who helped write the complex math in the movie) examine Will's anonymous work in Good Will Hunting

56. Part of CBS: Abbr.: SYS.

58. Farm enclosure: STY.


Lemonade714 said...

12-12-2020 what a perfect date for the latest themeless from Jeffrey. I found much to like from the grid 6-8 on top to 8-6 on the bottom to the wonderful set THIS IS SIMPLE and QUICK TO ANGER . We run the gamut of topics from baseball to opera to history and more. The intersection of RICE CAKES and RHENISH and example of creativity inside a challenge. I also liked STL directly over STY and of course the Shakespeare quotation which was not an easy one.

The write and links were awesome and timely as this week Harrison Ford announced they are working on a new INDIANA JONES movie and we a new giraffe born in Florida. I did not know RAVENNA nor RHENISH but is the way of Saturday puzzles and patience lets us finish.

Thank you, Gary and Jeffrey.

Big Easy said...

Good morning all. Jeffery will always DEVISE a clever puzzle with very few proper names. The west coast filled fairly easily with one change- FLARE UP to FLAME UP- but I'D never heard of RAVENNA. But there is a non-existent town in SW Arkansas with the name RAVANNA. It's about 100 yards east of TX and one mile north of LA. My mother was born there.

In the NE I filled ELKS but didn't understand until Gary's write up. Duh! RHENISH- wasn't a German word I was familiar word but was an easy fill.

CRAYOLA & RC COLA were unknowns as clued. I vaguely remember YAN can Cook but thought it was 'WAN' and changing it to Y gave me CRAYOLA.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Got 'er done, and enjoyed the struggle. I know very few Shakey quotes, but the Lear quote was easy to suss. Fell into that FLArE/FLAME trap (Hi B-E). Still, d-o finished in good Saturday time, so life is good. Thanx, J-W and Husker.

CBS: The owner of the local CBS affiliate and DirecTV have been warring since Dec 1. Can't remember a local channel being absent from the listings for so long. I can get the local station over-the-air and also via CBS All-Access, so it doesn't really affect me.

TWEEDY: Another Indiana Jones movie? Really? Number four bombed so badly, I figured that franchise was finished.

BobB said...

My wife just make a batch of homemade Chex Mix, sans the Wheat Chex and the regular pretzels (I am Celiac). So when I had the first part of 18A (rice), I filled with chex. DOH! Why do gluten free products cost twice as much as the regular stuff?☹️

I loved 30A elk vs Elks, I am Moose, so that dog don't hunt.

Anonymous said...

The whole grid seemed 20-D for a Saturday but very enjoyable. Maybe it would be better if the editor kept more of the constructor's original cluing, especially when they are exceptionally gifted like Mr. Wechsler.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Thanks, Jeffrey, for a doable Saturday challenge. Enough grit for me without being obtuse. I had several Ah Ha moments, which is nice with all I have to do. I made headway in the SW with LASAGNA, which I will be making today.

Gary, thank you for a delightful tour. I really enjoyed the links and photos. The photo of the giraffe hurt my knees!!! I especially like interviews with the constructors. Nice work.

Off to make dinner for us for Christmas Eve. I will be splitting and freezing the end result so we can share with my sister-in-law. Vaccine or no, we will have a Christmas similar to Thanksgiving. I hope we are about to close in on this virus.

Have a sunny day. The Christmas tree lights will be on all day as it appears the sun is out of town here in Evanston, IL. Best wishes to all of you. Be well.

Mark said...

Re: Gary's 25D pic.
It appears that the first set of cuffs were too tight, the second set too loose. The smile on her face tells me that the third set were just right.

Disciple of Nan'l said...

R-I-C-E twice is nice!
Another puzzle, another case of mistaken identity ... this time the Hartford Courant has Joe Deeney as the constructor.

inanehiker said...

This was a quicker solve than most Saturdays for me. A good variety which I have come to expect from JW. One change on the Shakespeare was from FAIL to FALL - as Splynter used to say - it was 75% right!
Surprised it took me a minute to switch from thinking of Cardinal as a Catholic priest to STL baseball as I'm a Cardinals and Royals fan. With losing both Bob Gibson and Lou Brock this year - tough on the Cardinal faithful!
I'm glad Rich left in the ELKS clue - that was a classic Jeff!

Thanks HG for the creative blog - and enjoy Pentatonix!

Hungry Mother said...

FIR in a slog. The YAN/RHENISH cross was the hardest for me, but the N seemed so sound OK in both directions. Some really cool workplay kept my interest. TWEEDY played very old and invokes elbow patches.

Wilbur Charles said...

In bookie parlance, a WASH is a PUSH. Having got ACK ACKs I was sure that this was solid. But I thought still "Perhaps too non standard"

FAiL/FALL also held me up. And having FLArE still more but RAL made no sense even for Mr S.

Yes, I immediately thought of my neighbor Tin(ok 40 miles) with Neat. He'd be appalled at adding ICE and soda to that Scotch.

RAVENNA which was more defensible became the later Capital of the Western Roman Emp.

I asked Phil about CRAYOLA? Why not?

Ha, add the UE on ANALOGS

My final fill was YAN. Men and you didn't fit. Who's YAN?


ATLGranny said...

Super Saturday with a FIR in spite of a slow start. I thought THIS IS not SIMPLE!!! But little by little it came along. Some areas had multiple WOs: SUNPORCH went in, came out, went back in when I tried plAYdoh before CRAYOLA occurred to me. But all in all lots of Jeffrey fun. Thanks! And Husker Gary for the excellent write up, complete with interview, many thanks. You are appreciated.

We have your sun, Madame Defarge. Sorry to be hogging it. Happy weekend to you all.

billocohoes said...

I used to listen to the Mets in the beginning, wondered why Rheingold (beer) wouldn't fit 52A.

Always knew the local story of the Troy meatpacker, until I read that Samuel Wilson's obituary didn't even mention a connection to Uncle Same.

Tinbeni said...

Husker Gary: Congrats on 3 years of Saturday write-up's.

Happy Birthday to my sister Susie ... alas, she died 2 years ago. ... tears ...

Hope everyone is "Safe-N-Sound" ... the Covid 19 has not struck any of my friends & family.


Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Another bright shiny puzzle from Jeffrey. Started out daunting but slowly filled in from the middle out. Always seemed to be just enough tendrils of letters 'hanging' to make the next small leap. NW was last to finish. MAL made more sense than rAL so I sidestepped the FLAME… trap. I guess CORSET's clue was my favorite.
Thought maybe RAVENNA, but held off until two crossing letters agreed. (There is a Ravenna south of Albany, NY.). Treated LASAGNA the same way.
RHENISH is English for a German region. German for RHENISH is 'rheinisch'.
PASSAGES - On a ship, 'hallways' or 'corridors' are called PASSAGEways, without exception. Walls are bulkheads, ceilings are overheads and floors are decks.
ACK-ACK - - HG mentioned Dorie Miller. The Navy is naming a future Gerald Ford Class aircraft carrier the USS Doris Miller (CVN-81)

Ray-O; Hope your DW continues to improve.

Thanks Husker for sharing the JW note, and another fine 'unpacking' of the puzzle.

Anonymous said...

DNF.This is good puzzle. This was actually fun. Typical J.W.puzzle. The tricky bits are able to be guessed or inferred. Once again it came down to a single letter personal Natick involving the first name of a not so-well-known television show crossing a vague clue about *some* area around *some* German river. Either you were familiar with this show or you were SOL. Anyway thanks for a challenging puzzle.

Malodorous Manatee said...

Thanks, Jeffrey and Gary. The puzzle proved to be a moderately-paced steady solve. Not much came immediately to mind and not much proved intractable for very long.

It was very nice to see Toody/Muldoon, Nikita Khrushchev, Charlie Brown, Bob Gibson and Yan make appearances. They are all old acquaintances. As for the Seven Dwarfs, I used to (and still can) recite their names as a test of my memory. These days I more frequently recite the eight Islay distilleries (with Ardnahoe,soon to be nine).

TTP said...

Nope, not today. Enjoyed the struggle, but didn't get 'er done. I had too many first hunches that were wrong, and a few that I just couldn't let go of until perps eventually told me I had to. RHENISH did me in. Lived along the Rhine for the better part of three years and never heard that, but ok. It makes sense. And, in the puzzle, it makes much better sense to have RICE CAKE rather than RICE CAKi.

I also paused at 7D, "Pre 1991 atlas initials" as I thought GDR first. Looked it up later. GDR ended in 1990.

D-O, local WGN has had ads on different channels here since about the same time, encouraging viewers to call Direct TV and demand their channel back. Not sure if the contract dispute affected WGN America or only WGN. Probably both.

Madame, same here. Outside 'tis damp and dreary, but I'll still be bright and cheery.

BobB, "...homemade Chex Mix, sans the Wheat Chex." Yesterday I made broccoli cheese soup, sans the cheese.

Dash T, I enjoyed that NASA treatise on abbreviations. There were a few missing pages, but I still enjoyed the read.
Oh, and about the Bee Gees:
Ah ah ah ah...
(u didn't read it, u sang it, amiright ?)

Ray-O, hope she is improving quickly. Big scare, I'm sure.

Thank you, Jeffrey, and thank you, HG. Congrats on your 3rd year.

desper-otto said...

Spitz, for a few months after boot camp I was assigned to the personnel office to process incoming recruits for Confidential clearances. One recruit asked to use the restroom, so I directed him to go upstairs and it'd be the first room on the right. Once he'd left, his company commander came over and read me the riot act, "In this man's Navy the head is up that ladder to the first compartment on the starboard side!" I eventually did learn the lingo, but it took years.

jfromvt said...

Had trouble with the ends of 13 and 14 down. Had YOU instead of YAN for 22A, which screwed me up. But other than that, FIR for this fun Saturday puzzle. Just right - challenging but fair.

Alice said...

I liked this puzzle, but made too many quick guesses and FIW. Loci for FOCI and Aida for ARIA, etc.

Gary, your write-up was very good. Thanks for the Pentatonic tune. Loved all the visuals.

Today’s our anniversary and we’re looking for patio dining if it can be found anywhere in California! Have a good day everyone.

Husker Gary said...

-Our great neighbors both tested positive for Covid and so after we did their grocery shopping yesterday I just now finished snowblowing their drive and walks of the slushy 2” of snow we got.
-BTW, we buy plain white RICE but the rice our gourmet neighbor ordered was Jasmine, Thai, Fragrant, Long Grain Rice. We usually don’t buy anything that has four adjectives.
-The above activities are in the, “If there’s anything we can do for you” category if you really mean it.
-While doing a write-up it occurred to me that the constructors might be amiable to sharing info with us. That’s when I started contacting them (finding them can be an adventure) and if I can find them, they are very good at responding and have really added to my knowledge and appreciation of the process.
-I am amazed they respond so willingly and don’t just blow me off.
-Since finding out that Rich and company alter so many clues to what they prefer, I now know why doing puzzles in different venues can seem like a whole new world.

CanadianEh! said...

Super Saturday. Thanks for the fun, Jeffrey and HuskerG.
This CW required P&P and I almost triumphed, but I had to throw in the towel in that NE corner. I Googled to find CRAYOLA, but that still did not lead me to RHENISH, YAN (hand up for You) and ELKS. But it is Saturday, and I will acknowledge that it was a good CW. "Select group?=FEW" brought a smile when I got here.

SE corner had several inkblots also. Pen changed to STY, Gowned changed to TWEEDY. I rejected RATS as too short. OH it needs OH! I was delayed in getting ROCKET misreading hurdle before hurtle.

Like BobB, I wanted the snack to be RICEChex.
Who else thought of EarWormy (meh!) before HAUNTING for that "hard to forget melody"?!
ANALOGS filled without a notice; you all know I would prefer the variant spelling.

Another hand up for FLArE UP before FLAME. I did not understand MAL as "poor start?" (anyone join me in wanting Pee?); I still think the clue was a little meh! (and yes, I do see that MAL can mean poor when used as a prefix). OK, it is Saturday and "___ de mer" clue would have been too easy.
I do think the "B-bravo link" clue is better than "A-apple core".

Happy Anniversary Alice.
Wishing you all a great day.

Shankers said...

JW has to be one of my favorite constructors. Just the right amount of difficulty and always fun and fair. The NE came quickly despite not knowing backpacks it all filled in nicely. I held on to flareup too long, but ral made no sense at 50A which gave in to mal. Last to finish was the SE for a pleasing FIR. It wasn't quite a 20D though.

Shankers said...

Aaargh!! Ackacks, not backpacks. Cursed spellcheck!

Jamie said...

CanadianEh - I also tried EARWORMY! Would've been a bit of a stretch, but it was the first thing that occurred to me.

There are a lot of misconceptions about corsets (historical clothing is an interest of mine). They could be worn in a constricting manner, which was called "tight lacing" and was a controversial trend even in the 19th century. But they were universally worn, and the vast majority of women weren't wealthy fashion victims but had to work, either in their own houses or in others'. So corsets were more along the lines of "support garments." They didn't hold you in, they held you up! They also distributed the weight of the heavy petticoats and skirts that were worn. Unfortunately most actresses who have to wear corsets in period TV shows and movies don't receive properly fitted corsets or learn how to move in them effectively, which supports the misconception that they were instruments of torture. They could be, but they weren't normally!

NaomiZ said...

Thank you, Mr Wechsler and H-G! H-G, how do you know whom to contact? The LA Times attributed today's puzzle to Joe Deeney.

I found today's puzzle to be challenging, but FIR. "Not neat" for OVER ICE was a cute misdirection.

At the risk of being rude, in Mr Wechsler's notes about changed clues, I think our editor Mr Norris has improved them! Especially the "clue for AS IN changing from [A-apple core?] to [B-bravo link]." "A as in apple core" is not a thing. "A as in apple," sure. Did you mean that AS IN is the core of A-apple? I'm just as glad not to have wrestled with that!

Lucina said...


So this was a Jeffrey Wechsler creation and not Joe Deeney as the AZ Republic noted. I wonder when they will get their act together and publish correctly. Sigh.

At first I found this easy to fill until meeting RHENISH and ANALOGS neither of which I could complete so thank you, Gary, for supplying those for me. I've not seen YAN Can Cook as I no longer watch cooking shows.

In the end I had to cry UNCLE.

My hand is up for RAL which didn't make sense but I left it.

And yes, I had PEE first since the first letter is often clued.

My great-aunt Chona always wore a CORSET and dressed elegantly.

And I agree, THIS WAS not SIMPLE.

Prayers for you and your family that you all are soon healed.

Has anyone heard from Bill Graham? I've missed his presence here.

Have a great day, everyone! I am not sure about the protocol for Hannakkuh but for those who observe, best wishes for a successful ritual.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Appreciate everyone's concern. Marcia will be home later tonight on oral blood thinners and antibiotics. The 2 hospitals and staff here are overwhelmed and we can take care of her at home. Spoke with a retired colleague, an old timer my age who is going back to work as a hospitalist to help out.

Today's puzzle was a good distraction...

What would constuctors do without Roman numerals for fill. A CW should be reading and writing but not 'rithmetic. (Is it cheating to use a calculator or just count on fingers?)

LASAGNA is a single piece of pasta. lasagne is plural and correctly refers to the multi-layered entrée. A lasagne deliziose more comon in Italy is lasagne verde (Not the ARIA composer) made with spinach based green pasta which seems to horrify many Americans. RAVENNA city of beautiful early Christian mosaics. The ending -enna or -ena frequently indicates an original Etruscan city (Ravenna, Siena..etc), a short train trip away.

When older D was a kid she put her anole (a lizard) terrarium on the SUNPORCH and the poor guy got fried

The bottom of the NE corner sunk me. When I finally realized centers of attention did not end in S I erroneously put loci instead of FOCI. So one letter off. Plus thought the people plural was ilks, clever clue: multiple elk are still elk, multilple elks club members are ELKS. Is Slow to anger ..rascible ?

English subject: was looking for a UK citizen (but that would be British subject). RICECAKE - cardboard: same taste. But gave me the E of RHENISH ( not Rhinish). Alas our July Rhine River tour was COVID canceled.

Sylvester's foil....TWEEDY
Approached evening...BELATED (remember LATEN?)

Everyone take care of yourselves. Follow guidelines. Get tested if any symptoms.

Misty said...

Wonderful to get your long write-up, Jeffrey Wechsler, but sorry to tell you that JOE DEENEY got credit for constructing your puzzle in today's Los Angeles Times and, I believe, the Arizona Times as well. This has been happening all week and I wish someone could figure out how to complain and get the newspapers to finally straighten this out. Thanks for your commentary, Husker Gary.

I actually got the northwest corner of this puzzle, and figured out instantly that it had to be a TRENCH coat. The clues for both WINK and especially ACNE ('spots at the prom') made me laugh. But except for getting ENFORCE, BY A LAKE, and EBBS and NYET in the southeast corner, I didn't get much else. Still, really enjoyed the puzzle.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

TTP said...

Lucina, I've also wondered about WikWak, Bill G, OAS and oc4beach not posting for quite some time.

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

Late to the dance due to the usual getting sidetracked syndrome. This started out looking daunting, but with the fairly easy to discern long fill, such as This Is Simple and Quick To Anger, I had little difficulty and finished in below average Saturday time. I was not familiar with Rhenish but I know of Martin Yan, so no holdup there. There was just enough bite to be challenging, but the perps were fair and the cluing was JW tricky, but also fair. The New York State Ravena has only one N. Uncle Sam is one of Troy’s claim to fame.

Thank you, Jeffrey W, for always pleasing and never disappointing; I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the Constructor/Editor cluing opinions and decisions. Thanks, HG, for another truly outstanding and enjoyable write-up, links and visuals. The photo of the giraffe was serendipitous as I just ordered a 9” high set of nesting ceramic measuring cups depicting a giraffe overlooking the Serengeti, as a surprise, no-occasion gift for a giraffe-loving niece. I saw it in the PBS Store catalogue and couldn’t resist ordering it. 🦒

Happy Anniversary, Alice, I hope you’re able to have a celebratory dinner.

Jamie @ 11:19 ~ I enjoyed your “Instruments of Torture” history lesson. 🤗

Ray O, I hope your DW is feeling better.

I forgot to read last night’s late, late comments but will do so now.

Have a great day.

Yuman said...

Had to look them up, Doc,Dopey, Sneezy, Happy, Grumpy, Sleepy, and my favorite Bashful.
Woke up to a cold and very foggy morning, very unusual for the desert.

Gary colick said...

The Hiram Walker answer is wrong. It's a 750ml not 700ml

waseeley said...

Thank you Jeffrey for a challenging Saturday puzzle, which I FIW, in this case by A HAIR. And thanks to Gary for explaining to me why and teaching me a lot along the way.

And good afternoon to all of you Cornerites, both fellow pencil-pals and to the more hard-core solvers (you always remind me of Endeavor Morse, whose solution to inkblots was simply to not make mistakes. But his answers ran anyway because of all of the condensation from his ALE glasses).

I ran aground in the East, APING some of Ray-O's mistakes @12:11PM, mainly ILKS for ELKS, thus completely missing the select FEW, and not achieving a break-even WASH. Nevertheless the Eastern block bounded by 26A and 32A was the cleverest fill in the puzzle for me.

As I believe Gary mentioned 14D RHENISH is a general term for the area along the Rhine. It is also the nickname for Robert Schumann's 3rd Symphony.

Ray-O, given COVID-19's impact on the healthcare system, Marcia couldn't get any better care than from a Dp (Devoted physician) right in her own home. She remains in our prayers.

50A - like CandianEh @10:56AM Hands up on trying "PEE" first, as "initially" is usually a signal for a prefix for a clue word. Perps eventually led me to MAL and the realization that this was a "meta" prefix to be added to other words.

I was blocked in the NW at first, but the time I got around to 3D I'd already filled CORSET at the TOP and YEAR at the bottom and RAVENNA was the only city choice to fill it. Jamie @11:19 Your discourse on CORSETs gives supplemental meaning to the Xwd argot "FILL"!

And 20D was not "SO SIMPLE" to me, initially filling it with "THIS IS SO EASY", blocking ATM at 51A. After giving in to the inevitability of this crossword staple I had to find fill with an "M" four letters from the bottom and the perps eventually filled it in for me.


Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

So, it's not PLAYDOH that owns Silly Putty...

Thanks JeffWex for the puzzle and 'interview' with HG. Thanks HG for more cribbin' from your grid and the expo.

ESPs: N/A -- DNF the East Side
Fav: WINK for what HG did with it :-)
Runner-up (WC - this is Yan) YAN Can Cook [6:38]. I watched him on PBS every week. I've always wanted (but too afraid) to get a cleaver.

Happy Anniversary Alice.

Ray-O: Keep us posted; you & Marcia are in our thoughts.
BTW, I love Roman Numeral math on a Sat - a gimme for me considering XI years of Catholic School / Stations of the Cross and Van Halen's MCMLXXXIV (upper corners).

IM - any news on your niece?

C, Eh! & Jamie - Yep, I was going for Ear Worm or some such. I was actually surprised when I 'saw' HAUNTING and filled the missing letters.

MdF - you're building LASAGNA (also my leap of faith to get me started in the SW) today? When's supper? :-)

TTP -LOL! Yes, I sang it... aloud :-)

Y'all have a wonderful afternoon.

Cheers, -T

TTP said...

I had to wear a special corset for a period of time after lumbar surgery. Still have it.

Gary colick, the answer in crossword was HIRAM, and it is the correct answer for the clue.

If you are objecting to the explanation in the review, the bottle of Hiram Walker's Canadian Club that HG inserted clearly says it is a 70 cl bottle. 70 cl = 700 ml.

NaomiZ said...

Re: 35 down, I appreciate Ray-O's explanation that "LASAGNA is a single piece of pasta. Lasagne is plural and correctly refers to the multi-layered entrée." My personal nit to pick is that "entrée" is French for "entry," and on every menu in France refers to a first course -- by no means the main dish of the meal. It is misused on virtually every menu in this country, and has become American English for "main course," so the clue was fair, but the usage is irksome.

CrossEyedDave said...

late to the party,
but I think Misty summed it up as I would have.

I found this surprisingly easier than most Jeffweches,
(sounds like sandwiches)
as I could get my teeth around it...

Blank coat had to be Trench,
Acne was (wasn't) easy,
Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge,
& 31A Stoa, was my 3,986 crosswordese
(stoa, you will never cross me up again!)

& then I totally could not finish the Bugger!

(Crayola was a surprise...)
& for some reason, I could not get Lasagna?
(I hate puzzles that make me hungry...)
oh, & for some stupid reason I put Nigel instead of Niles,
(but I fixed that)

I love Yan Can Cook!
In fact, that video link has given me the confidence
to take my old chainsaw out of the shed...

& lastly,

I do apologize,
but antiaircraft guns= AckAck
reminds me of a most "ludicrous" movie ever...
As it is the language of the Martians
in Mars Attacks!
Plus, Earwormy reminds me of this clip...

CrossEyedDave said...


this was unintended, but,

for those who have never seen Mars Attacks,
(or for saner people everywhere...)

Here is a synopsis of the movie...

Bill G said...

Hi everybody.

Thanks for your concern. Barbara's cancer has returned with a vengeance. She has hospice care here at home and just hanging in at the moment. I am devastated and morose and having a hard time wanting to post anything when I'm feeling so sad. i read your comments almost every day. I'll try to do better in the future.

~ Regards, Bill G.

Java Mama said...

Bill, so very sorry to hear Barbara's cancer has returned. Loving prayers for your both.

Lucina said...

Bill G:
I am so very sorry to hear that news! I shall double up on my prayers for Barbara, you and the rest of your family to have the strength to cope with such a challenge. Stay strong!

Vidwan827 said...

Bill G. ... you may not remember me, but I remember your posts very well. Especially on subjects of puzzles, and science and mathematics.
I am so sorry for your problems, and hope you have the strength and courage and inner spirit and help to bear those miseries. Any other consolation words would be fruitless.
my best wishes, and sympathies.

Anonymous T said...

Bill G. This is not going to be easy on you...
I watched Maternal Grandmother pass and Gramp couldn't carry on >1yr (even after he smitten'd the girl behind the Burger King counter where he ate 3 squares a day after...)

I watched Paternal Grandfather pass and Grandma was still smokin' her Camel Studs for four years between hits off her O2 tank.

Barbara is your best friend but you will Carry On for Jordan.

Lean on us Pal...
A little Joplin just for you, my Corner friend.

CED- so you're saying I'm with a FEW, a Proud, Warp'd individuals 'cuz Mars Attacks is F'n-Funny?

C, -T

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Bill G. Sorry to read about Barbara. Hang in there. This blog is a good place to unload. Invisible but sympathetic friends. One of the reasons I enjoy the daily to and fro. Keep us posted.

TTP said...

Bill G, sorry to hear that and I feel for both of you. Don't worry about us. Worry about your dear love. We'll be here when feel like coming back.

Malodorous Manatee said...

So sorry to hear the news, B.G.

Dash T and CED, I saw Mars Attacks in a "first run" theater when it came out and it seemed pretty main-stream to me. Oh, wait, I may have just helped make your point.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Naomi Z @ 4:36 pm... You correctly point out that bemoaning the incorrect use of one clue answer I perpetuated the dubious use of another (entrée)

it seems that as the dominant English speaking culture when Americans screw up or incorrectly use a word whether in English or a foreign language derivative instead of being corrected the expectation is that our dictionaries will eventually accomodate and accept our "error" as a new word.

When will enough be enuff!!...😨

Yellowrocks said...

Bill G. So sorry to hear of Barbara's serious health problems. My thoughts are with both of you and the family at this difficult time.
Ray, thinking of you and your wife. How is she coming along?
I believe entree is one of many loan words that changes in meaning, pronounciation, and/or spelling in their new language. The German Arbeit,work, becomes arubaito in Japanese and is merely a part time job.
I love my new apartment and am settling in. My quarantine may be over by Thursday when I will be able to use the house computer for the LAT puzzle.

Yellowrocks said...

It's Yellowrocks. I added an extra S. Words that change.

ATLGranny said...

Oh dear, Bill G. That's not what we expected to hear. So sorry. We'll be thinking about you.

waseeley said...

Dash T @4:23PM Definitely get yourself a cleaver. I have two, an old iron blade with a wooden handle and a newer heavy plastic handled stainless steel one. They're actually quite safe - I've been using one for over 55 years and have had only one or two minor cuts.

The trick is that you flex the hand holding the veggies at the second knuckle above the fingertips. Your flexed fingers act as a blade fence as you feed the veggies to the cleaver. Given the heft of the blade you never have to lift the blade above your knuckles, and thus no cuts.

Keep the blade sharp and they are ideal for quickly slicing veggies. You perform dicing and mincing by repeatedly rocking the blade with both hands thru the coarsely sliced veggies.

You can use the flat of the blade to whack garlic bulbs and cloves to quickly separate them from the husk before mincing.

And the real payoff is that they provide a built-in spatula for transferring the veggies to the pan.

I do all of my cutting with a cleaver and a thin, long-bladed paring knife. Find yourself a YouTube video and get yourself a cleaver. It'll change your life! (and no, I don't shill for OXO on the side - my newer blade is from J A Henkels Int.).


CrossEyedDave said...

You are correct in that
This blog is a good place to unload. Invisible but sympathetic friends.
I have unloaded quite a bit of baggage here myself...

Dear Bill G. has a special place in my heart,
as many years ago, when I didn't even know the guy,
He phoned me out of the blue in the aftermath of
hurricane Sandy when we were cut off for seven days,
just to make sure an invisible friend was ok...
How he tracked me down I will never know...
(I thought I was untraceable...)

So Bill G, Bless you and your family.
I wish you the best.
& if it helps at all,
I will endeavor to be extra silly
in future posts, if it will cheer you up...

CrossEyedDave said...

Oh, & Waseeley,

Cooking shows like Yan can cook,
not to mention many others,
have trained me in the correct knife usage methods.
(still working on sharpening...)

& yet somehow,
I still manage to direct stab myself in the hand
with the dang thingie!

Husker Gary said...

So sad to hear that Bill!

CrossEyedDave said...


I just reread your post,
& maybe you are right about the cleaver!

It would be definitely harder to stab yourself
as it has less of a point.

I am going to go out and get one tomorrow.
(but I may be changing my avatar name to Stumpy...)

(hmm, I wonder if I should play with the chainsaw first...)

Lemonade714 said...

Our prayers and thoughts to you and Barbara Bill. Grief is real but also a sign of love

TTP said...

CED, "Stubs" would be a better nickname than "Stumpy".

That's what we called our high school football coach after he cut his fingers off with a radial arm saw. Funny story about that... Wait, never mind, there's nothing really funny about it. Just a sad chain of events.

Pat said...

BillG; I am so sorry to hear of Barbara's turn of life. There are no words help relieve your pain. If/when you feel able to post, we are here. Until then, we are still here, quietly supporting you.

TXMs said...

Bill G, after reading your second sentence, I sat stunned, with no words, only extreme sadness. Take care of yourself while leaning on family and friends (close by and on The Corner, alike).

Ol' Man Keith said...

Screwed up--after a terrific start!
Got 'em all but mistook 32A as CASH instead of WASH.
I have no argument, just didn't see the better fill.

Thanks, Joe Deeney/Jeffrey Wechsler, a creative constructor of many names!
I really cannot understand how a major newspaper like the L.A. Times can keep giving wrong credits day after day. Surely by now they should be expected to have fixed the problem! It's like last year when they kept failing to deliver our papers, even after (my and others') many complaints.
I must take part of the blame. I did not bother to complain about the Xwd errors, assuming they would be self-policing.
A wrong guess on my part.

Wilbur Charles said...

Bill G, so sorry to hear the bad news. I'll pray for you and yours.

"Just a sad chain of events.* TTP, did you think you'd slip that one by?


CanadianEh! said...

BillG- I am so sorry to hear about Barbara. Thoughts and prayers for you all. We are here to listen, but please don’t feel that you have to do better. Your grief is real!

Vidwan827 said...

Entre' / Entree', Lasagna and other loan words in the English etc.

As Ray-O-Sunshine and YellowRocks and others have pointed out, words from other languages and cultures are often incorporated into the American English language , (for example,) ... and undergo a change in usage, and then, become a word to mean something quite different, by sheer laziness, pure invention or misinterpretation.

And, pretty soon, the dictionaries start to catalog these alternate meanings, and they become 'legitimized'. ... and start appearing in crossword puzzles, accordingly. ;-o)

One of the words in todays puzzle was AVATAR. This is a sanskrit word, that occurs as a concept in hindu mythology.

The original meaning, reinforcing the concept of reincarnation, is-
" a manifestation of a deity or a released soul in bodily form on earth. An incarnate divine teacher." per Google.

So, per Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, .... only Gods, demi-gods and "released souls", like a Buddha ( who BTW, is NOT, by any means, a god ...) who have attained true Realization, or moksha, or whatever... can 'come down', back to earth, as an Avatar.

But today, any alias or pseudonym, or icon, on the internet (like mine - ) or even a gamer's hidden posturing, identity is also an Avatar.

C'est la vie.

waseeley said...

CED, I use a knife sharpener with V shaped carbide blades and a plastic guard between your hand and the knife blade (available in the kitchen gadget section of most supermarkets). You hold the knife with blade upright over the edge of a counter and draw the sharpener toward you.

Not sure how you could stab yourself with a cleaver. The cardinal rule of knife usage is to "NEVER POINT THE BLADE AT YOURSELF".

waseeley said...

Groan. And I really, really mean it.

waseeley said...

Vidwan, have you ever read "The Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda? He discusses several avatars who he knew or had met. One of the formative books in my life. I would be curious as to any opinions you might have about it.


Lucina said...

After procrastinating since the first of December I finally bit the bullet, dragged out the Christmas tree and ornament boxes from the shed and set it all up. Luckily I have my friend, Mark, to help me. As well, my granddaughter came by and helped with the Christmas cards and even drove me to the post office. I find myself moving so slowly these days and I suppose that is the trial of aging. Even last year I moved faster and accomplished more. But now it's done and I can start planning for the great event of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And tomorrow I have another birthday celebration, first with friends and then with my daughter and her family. I'm happy to be alive and partake of all these wonderful events!

I am so happy for you that you are settled in your new place.

WinthorpeIII said...

"Long pit" would have been more difficult than "____ coat" for me. ;-) Thanks for everything, all.

Michael said...

Dear Bill:

One of The-Fifty-Things-They-Never-Taught-Us-In-High-School, is that we wear out, and it's a big assault to live through this process, and to care for and be around when someone else is involved.

Guard your energy! Sleep and nap ferociously! Exercise too, to work off some of the tension that comes with hospice care. And struggle to build and maintain your interior stillness, in the face of the coming ups and downs.