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Dec 17, 2020

Thursday, December 17, 2020, Jim Holland

 


Good morning, once again, cruciverbalists.  As you may recall from C.C.'s note on last Thursday's blog, Bill (waseeley) and yours truly will now be writing the recaps on alternating Thursdays.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bill, and Boomer, for shouldering much of the past and future work load.

Theme:  Equivalency - Perhaps, E Equals M C Squared ? - Not


He was, justifiably, a difficult man to impress but, be that as it may, today's theme is quite clever if you're into sort-of-weird-word-play.  For this crowd, that, however, is pretty much a given.  Remember, also, that this puzzle comes from the person who played around with vowel sounds and morphed The Grateful Dead into The Grateful Dud, referred to the Detroit baseball team's salary structure as Pay Per Tiger and introduced us to the vocal styling of the Three Tanners.

At three locations within the puzzle, Jim has placed quantitative answers which, when taken together with the key word(s) in the clue, combine to form an equivalent name for a well-known object or place.

17. Equivalent Stanley award?: EIGHT OUNCES.  MM's first reaction was "What the"?  However, the light slowly dawned.  There are EIGHT OUNCES in a full measuring cup.  Combine CUP with STANLEY, et voila, we get Stanley Cup which is the National Hockey League's trophy awarded to the playoff champions.  STANLEY EIGHT OUNCES = STANLEY CUP   

Lord Stanley's Cup


39. Equivalent Scotland locale?: THIRTY SIX INCHES.  A yard is a measurement defined as being three feet, or THIRTY-SIX INCHES, long.  Make the substitution and we get SCOTLAND YARD which is the headquarters locale of the London Metropolitan Police.  SCOTLAND THIRTY SIX INCHES = SCOTLAND YARD  



61. Equivalent type of horse?: FIVE NICKELS.  A nickel is worth five cents.  FIVE NICKELS are worth a quarter of a dollar.  Following along the previous path we come upon a QUARTER HORSE which is a breed of horse named for its dominance in quarter-mile races. FIVE NICKELS HORSE = QUARTER HORSE   


...and now on to the rest of today's puzzle

Across:

1. "Vice" (2018) Oscar nominee Amy: ADAMS.  Right off the bat, a reference with which this solver was totally unfamiliar and a proper noun at that.  Thanks, Jim (sarcasm) or perhaps the editor.  Thanks, perps (not sarcasm).

6. Pairing: UNION.  Two weeks ago we had SCAB.  Today we have UNION.


11. __ water: TAP.  A fill-in-the-blank with many possible answers (e.g. Evian, mineral, hot, potable, soda, seltzer, heavy, etc.).  Fortunately, the three-letter constraint put a cap on the number of possibilities. 

14. Jazz pianist Chick: COREA.  This one was a gimme and, for what seems like the ten thousandth time, reconfirmed my love/hate relationship with proper nouns in crossword puzzles.

15. Fit provider: HONDA.  Misdirection.  Neither a personal trainer nor a tailor but, rather, an automobile.  The Honda Motor Company describes their Fit model as "a small car ready for big adventures."

The Honda Fit

16. Gulf st.: ALA.  ALAbama  The abbreviation for "state" tells us that the answer is also an abbreviation.  Sometimes "st." might stand for "street" or "saint" but in that case it is usually capitalized.  Of course, by convention, the first word of every clue is capitalized and some sly constructors play on that.

19. Storage unit: BIN.  This one felt a bit "off" in that a bin is not really a unit of anything.  In this case, the BIN, itself, is the unit.  Still, "I Love You a BIN and a Peck" is not a song from Guys and Dolls.

20. __-Caps: candy: SNO.



21. Memo opener: IN RE.  IN RE means "in regard to" or "in the matter of".  

22. Went up: SCALED.  SCALE has several different meanings.  Music.  Reptile skin.  A device for weighing.  But in this instance it is a mountain climbing, or a workplace, reference.

24. Produce: CREATE.



26. Venue that may sell naming rights: ARENA.  I wonder how this has worked out for the sponsors who each paid handsomely (estimated at $20 million  - $25 million per year) to have the new NFL ARENAs in Los Angeles and Las Vegas named for them.

27. Forward, in a way: RE-MAIL.  Not "to the front" or an NBA player or overstepping the boundaries of good taste.  Instead, it is another almost-made-up word formed by sticking RE in front of a verb.  I am sure that you were able to RE-solve this one.

30. Take different paths: PART.  



32. Cake decorators: ICERS.



33. "The Ra Expeditions" author Heyerdahl: THOR.   Appropriate for a Thursday, n'est ce pas?  While Heyerdahl successfully demonstrated that it was possible for a primitive raft to sail across the Pacific Ocean, DNA evidence now shows that his theory about Polynesian origins was incorrect.

35. MSN and AOL: ISPS.  Internet Service ProviderS

42. Japanese sandal: ZORI.  When I was just a kid, in the summer we wore those cheap synthetic sandals that bruised the space between your big toe and the adjacent toe.  We called them ZORIs but had no idea as to the origin of the word.

43. Not taxing: EASY.  This one was.

44. Cuban boy in 2000 headlines: ELIAN.  ELIAN Gonzalez was the subject of a much-publicized custody battle involving the governments of the United States and Cuba.  Public opinion was, as they say, highly polarized.

45. Thickener in Asian desserts: AGAR.  I always forget which one is the thickening agent (AGAR) and which one is the banned apple growth-regulator spray (Alar). 

47. They may be special or secret: AGENTS.

Secret Agent Man - Johnny Rivers - 1966 


48. Passionate dance: TANGO.  From the sort-of-sublime to the ridiculous (unless you're into this sort of thing) - Tom Lehrer's The Masochism Tango.  I am not sure when he wrote it but I first heard it on a album that was released in 1959.

The Masochism Tango 


51. Bouts: SPELLS.  Perhaps, as in fainting SPELLS.




54. Off-topic: AFIELD.  Originally, the expression "Far AFIELD" referred to physically coming from a long ways away.  Now the term is also applied in reference to scientific, intellectual, and other, pursuits.

56. Ohio border lake: ERIE.

Lake Erie


57. Anonymous party: DOE.   John DOE.  Jane DOE.  Sometimes ROE.

60. __ service: LIP.  Again, the three letters made it a bit easier.  Although it could have been TEA service it clearly was not going to be POSTAL service or FOREST service or ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET service.



64. Mound stat: ERA.  A baseball reference.  A pitcher's Earned Run Average is computed by multiplying the total number of earned runs that the pitcher has given up by nine and then dividing that product by the total number of innings pitched.

65. Long-stemmed mushrooms: ENOKI.   Know your mushrooms, campers, some are toxic...and some are psychoactive.

Enoki Mushrooms


66. Some South Pacific carvings: TIKIS.   TIKI bars/lounges were very popular in the 1930's - 1960's.  Some are still operating.



67. Court unit of at least six games: SET.  A tennis reference.

68. Search for water: DOWSE.  DOWSing is a type of divination employed in an attempt to find groundwater.   Despite some anecdotal reports of success, it has never been proven to work. 

69. "Mad Men" pool member: STENO.  According to Hollywood's take on the corporate culture of the 1950's, women started their careers in the STENO Pool or Secretarial Pool and men started in the mail room (no pun intended).


Down:

1. Blackjack cards: ACES.  If a player's first two cards are an ACE and a picture card or a ten, then the player has a "natural blackjack".

Blackjack


2. "Whatcha __?": DOIN.  The slanginess of the clue clues us into the fact that the answer will also be slangy.  Still, not the high point of this puzzle.

3. Cornstarch brand: ARGO.



4. Indifferent reaction: MEH.  MEH.

5. Stephen Colbert, for one: SATIRIST.  Not to be confused with a slightly dyslexic sitarist.

6. Enterprise officer: UHURA.  A Star Trek reference.  UHURA was the communications officer aboard the Starship Enterprise.

Lieutenant Nyota UHURA

7. Large chamber group: NONET.  The more or less standard instrumentation of a NONET is flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello and double bass.  If Jim had needed a leading M we would have seen Monet.

8. Fortune competitor: INC.  First, we have to figure out that FORTUNE is referring to a magazine and not a pile of money.  INC. is also the name of a business-focused magazine.



9. 2016 work by Pulitzer poet Sharon Olds: ODES.  I am not familiar with this poet.  Thanks, again, perps. 

10. Org. with a long track record?: NASCAR.  A clue meant to be taken quite literally.  The "ORG" tells us it will be an abbreviation and the "track record" bit steers us in the right direction.  National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing

11. Put on ice: TABLE.  We might think of cooling a beer or a soda but, nooooo.  Both the clue and answers are colloquialisms for delaying a decision.

12. Strange: ALIEN.



13. World Wildlife Fund logo animal: PANDA.


18. New law student: ONE L.  A first-year law school student is sometimes called a ONE L. 

23. Things, or written things: ARTICLES.  The thing is, this was a very well written clue.

24. Baby transport: CARRIAGE.  I always have trouble with that "extra" A.



25. Bond creator?: EPOXY.  More misdirection.  Re-misdirection?  Fortunately, neither Ian nor Fleming nor U.S. Treasury  was going to fit in the allotted space.

27. Big name in hotels and crackers: RITZ.  Should you elect to combine the two, it would be a good idea to tip the housekeeping staff generously if you leave crumbs all over the room.

Puttin' On The Ritz - Young Frankenstein


28. Lingering effect: ECHO.  One of the best-ever takes on ECHO is Stan Freberg's version of the Elvis classic Heartbreak Hotel.



29. Golda of Israel: MEIR.  Born in Kiev, and raised in Milwaukee, Golda Meir served as Prime Minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974.

31. MSNBC analyst Melber: ARI.  Another unfamiliar proper noun for this solver - probably because of my lack of cable/satellite television.

33. Romanov royals: TSARS.  A hundred years have passed and yet humans are still fascinated by the former Russian royal family.

34. Casual hellos: HIS.  Didn't we have a similar clue with the exact same answer last Friday?

36. __ guard: SHIN.  Another fill-in-the-blank clue.  Praetorian was not going to fit.

37. Fuel from a bog: PEAT.  This Marine mammal loves the qualities of PEATed Scotch Whisky and, even with flippers in lieu of hands, could write volumes on stills, malting barley, barrel aging, distilleries, etc.  Those of you who share this passion should feel free to email the Manatee.



38. Taxpayer IDs: SSNS.  Social Security NumberS

40. Pro vote: YEA.   Yes, although we always have to also consider that AYE might be the answer.

41. Pays no attention to: NEGLECTS.



46. Hit the links: GOLFED.  Several regular contributors here likely got this one in an instant.  Links became synonymous with GOLF because a links golf course is the oldest style of GOLF course.  Types of Golf Courses  This clue plays on the past tense/present tense duality of the verb - in this instance, "hit".  Bet, cut, fit, put, set, wed and hurt are other verbs that allow constructors to attempt to mislead us.

47. Others, to Ovid: ALII.  Et Al is the abbreviation not only for Et ALII (masculine plural) but also for Et Alia (neuter plural) and Et Aliae (feminine plural).

48. Grimm accounts: TALES.  A bit of playfulness with the double-m in the first word of the clue.  Always up for an MM (or an M&M) moment.



49. Pumped up: AFIRE.  I suppose it could be as in "She was AFIRE with enthusiasm."   Went through AMPED up and even FIRED up before getting this one.

50. Go after, puppy-style: NIP AT.



52. Sneaks a look: PEEKS.



53. Orange half of a "Sesame Street" duo: ERNIE.  There is still some debate as to whether or not Bert & ERNIE are a gay couple or if they are just best friends.  According to the writer, Mark Saltzman, they are a couple . . . and  writers can mold their characters into anything that they wish them to be.

Ernie & Bert


55. Purple pet in old cartoons: DINO.  The Flintstones' dog-like pet was a small dinosaur named DINO (dee no).  Not to be confused with one of these guys.

Dino Desi & Billy


57. Fake in the rink: DEKE.  In ice hockey, a DEKE is a move that causes an opposition player to move out of position.  The derivation is from decoy.

58. Lena of "The Reader": OLIN.  At least this proper noun has been seen several previous times and the actress is fairly well known.

59. Exxon, formerly: ESSO.  ESSO is the phonetic version of S. O. or Standard Oil.

62. Sacred promise: VOW.



63. Assembly-required boxful: KIT.  Also a young fox.  This fox was photographed a couple of years ago by yours truly roughly one hundred feet from where I composed this write-up.



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__________________________________________

________________________________________


MM OUT 

46 comments:

Wilbur Charles said...

Tampa Bay Lightning are current holders of the Cup.

Isn't AGAR a thickener in desserts, period, whether Asian or other?

There are professional DOWSErs in northern NE whose success rate garners them employment. The key is the right dowsing rod.

I got "Mad Men" mixed up with the Meth show with Saul. I thought he wanted the name of the character.
There is a character somewhere named STENO (Beetle Bailey?)

I always get UHURA spelling mixed up. And I'm not a fan of Star Trek. Then again, this CSO will likely get a response from Picard.

If one plays GOLF one never says "I GOLFED yesterday. We play golf or went out golfing. Or...We're lousy at GOLF.

Yep, AMPED made a mess here. The easy perps(ERIE etc) plus grok'ing the theme saved me on this xword. Then again I only "grok'ed" it when nearly done. 36 inches + Scotland brought down the V8 can. That yielded Ounces = Cup and a little math got Quarter.

I need to solve with good light, 3.00 reading glasses and a gel pen. Ergo, sans le trois, chaos eg misreading the little numbers, then writing over said numbers. I marvel at Anon-T's clear xwords. This one got messy but as I type the hardcopy is out in the car. Fortunately, I have 48 hours left to get those remaining squares left on Saturday
The above was prompted by knowing DEKE but trying to fit it elsewhere.

Yes, after four perps I remembered Lena OLIN.

Speaking of LOTR, in JRR's Silmarillon a VOW causes most of the elvish trouble. I believe in the middle ages you had to get the Pope to rescind one.

Well after everything, I FIR'ed. Not easy YMMV

Thanks MaloMan for a great write-up.

WC

OwenKL said...

Some people thrive on ADAM'S ale,
While some say water is too pale.
The TAP they choose
For their booze
May pour Sam Adams in their grail!

The Tree of Knowledge fruit was ample
For wife,then man to have a sample.
Our modern curse
May CREATE worse;
Is a Macintosh like ADAM'S apple?

{B+, B+.}

Lemonade714 said...

One of the endearing things about being a collaborator here at the Corner is how lucky we are to have mastered the old football cliche, next man up! Each new blogger not only brings a different slant but all-new entertainment. Yes, I am looking at you MALMAN and WASEELEY. I will always cherish what was, but enjoy what will be.

I thought the theme was very clever and while there many proper nouns, they were all gettable.

My son made a Tiki Bar in his family room so I guess they still have traction.

Thank you, Joseph and Jim

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Got this theme early on. Who would'a guessed? Zipped right through and parked my carcass at the TIKI bar. Only Wite-Out moment was writing CARRIAGE with an AI. Oops. Completely misread the clue, and thought it was cute that poet Sharon's last name was ODES. D'oh. (Sorta like that San Diego undertaker named Goodbody.) CSO's to the Nebraska contingent with GOLFING (Husker) and DOWSE (Avg Joe). Uhura's first name was Nyota and not Lieutenant? Anybody else mishear that song as "Secret Asian Man?" Guess not. Enjoyed the outing, Jim, and the fun-fact-filled expo, MalMan.

inanehiker said...

Fairly smooth solve - unknowns solved by perps- like ZORI! We called them flipflops - the only "sandals" our mom would buy us because "our feet were growing". Same reasoning she gave as to why we couldn't get go-go boots. School shoes, church shoes, sneakers, flipflops was it and we survived :)

Maybe it's regional, WC, but around here GOLFED is used commonly.

Enjoyed the unique theme - the EIGHT OUNCES for the Stanley Cup - made the other theme answers come quickly. I always thought it counter-intuitive that Scotland Yard had nothing to do with Scotland. The original London PD just happened to be on a street with that name!

Thanks MM and Jim for a fun start to the morning!

Hungry Mother said...

Again, way too many names. FIR in spite of all of the trivia which has no place in my ideal crossword grid. I’m still looking for a decent crossword puzzle with no proper names, so I can quit the NYT and LAT. Anyone? Bueller?

Lucina said...

Hola!

Sigh. Wrong constructor again. This one was attributed to Bruce Venske and Gail Grabowski instead of Jim Holland. My best friend from high school was Ann Marie Holland (6' tall). She was originally from Chicago. I wonder if there is a connection. Anyway, thank you, Mr. Holland.

Only Scotland Yard made any sense to me; I didn't even think of Stanley Cup (sports) but did have EIGHT OUNCES and got the 25 but not quarter horse. This will not go in my list of all time favorite puzzles I'm sorry to say.

I learned ZORI from CWDS many years ago. Same with ENOKI.

My first introduction to Lena OLIN was in the movie, Chocolat.

ARI. Was there or has there ever been anyone more handsome than Paul Newman? In my opinion, anyway.

Another EASY one is on the TABLE today. Will Friday and Saturday be harder? Two of my grandchildren have expressed an interest in CWDS so I bought them really EASY books for Christmas. I hope they get hooked. I was about their age when I started solving.

Owen:
What a delightful poem. Thank you!

Have a beautiful day, everyone! If you are in that terrible snowstorm please stay safe.



OMaxiN said...

Finished it right, but the V-8 can for the theme did not engage.
Thanks for the write up MM.

desper-otto said...

I guess this puzzle was Mr. Holland's opus.

CanadianEh! said...

Terrific Thursday. Thanks for the fun, Jim and MalMan.
I nearly threw in the towel with this one because of all the unknown to me names (ADAMS, COREA, plus ZORI and ODES as clued). But with P&P and a few Aha moments, I got enough perps to FIR. But it was not EASY.
Plus I saw the theme (with FIVE NICKELS). I had seen the numbers EIGHT, THIRTYSIX and FIVE and had immediately thought of Cup for Stanley. The lightbulb moment when they all came together made up for my initial frustration with the names.
The two that it takes to TANGO were not included in the numbers today, but we did have a NONET (plus those numbers on your SSNS - a NONET also!).

Some of the misdirections I saw immediately; others required perps to clear. I was looking for an Olympic track race before NASCAR appeared.
Thankfully, I did not even see REMAIL or I might have said MEH. I think Canada Post requires you to put on another stamp and readdress if you want to forward a letter.

We had a Stanley Cup hockey reference with an ARENA to play in and DEKE as a bonus (and maybe even AGENTS to broker those big salaries). I would add ICERS but that would be too punny!

I'll take double CSOs with our old CW friends ESSO and ERIE (I'm on the other side of that lake and we have lighthouses too, but that map stops at the border. Not allowed across due to Covid probably LOL.)

We have some SNO this morning to put us in the Christmas mood. But not a huge storm thankfully - a couple of inches and not THIRTYSIX!
Wishing you all a great day.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

What a wonderful puzzle today. The theme escaped me while I was solving, but as I was finishing, the light went on with 5 nickels pointing to (quarter)horse. Looking back i saw 36" : Scotland (yard), and 8 oz: a Stanley (cup). How cool is that?
Few unknowns like ZORI and COREA were perped. FIR.
ERIE - I see from MM's visual all the navigation lights on the Lake. Strange there are none on the Ontario side. :-)
THOR - We saw the Kon-TIKI in Oslo. Must have cost a bundle to ship it back from the Marquesas Islands.
TABLE - American usage usually means to save for later or some such. Canadians have the same context but also (by context) use it to mean 'activate for discussion'. (Took me a while to get sensitive to that.)
PEAT - - German Torf, L. German Tรถrf. Seems to be a cognate of our word 'turf'.

We got ~ 10+ inches of powdery snow. Fell with almost no wind so made neat piles on flat surfaces. Angle of repose appears to be about 80ยบ, which seems unusually high.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Yes it's Thursday.... with the end of the week approaching so gray matter needs to go into overdrive

36 inches? I C, a yard, like Scotland Yard. A "quarter" horse the only numbered variety I could think of. Held onto the perp Alia, this time it's ALII ergo 5 nickels. (Which.equals a quarter). But I needed the Mal man to 'splain 8 ounces/Stanley Cup...(great write up and visuals BTW)

JEKE, wha? (I had jOE before DOE)....so FIW ๐Ÿ™„

Should have waited for ENOKI.(a , ECHO, from yesterday). Wouldn't have inkedover peers/PEAKS. DOuSE didn't look right and means something else, changed to DOWSE after perpchecking.

Gulf st(reet)? st(ream)? oho, aha, aah, st(ate)! Wait, its not fLA? Animal logo: koala? Nope PANDA. (Population numbers down, due a PANDemic?)

Impending Christmas had me thinking a santa for "secret or special" before AGENT. Hey, who knows what St. Nick does in your house at night besides leave presents and eat cookies. There are rumors the Elf on the Shelf works for the CIA and conceals a tiny camera.

Add more "fuel from a bog," Re ____ PEAT
Gather "fuel from a bog" Reap _____ PEAT
Lenin quote.."It's not in our ____ but in ourselves that we are underlings" _____ TSARS.

D. O. My favorite misheard lyric is C.C.R.'s "There's a bathroom on the right"

Jamie said...

I worked out the theme in the end, but it certainly wasn't a particular help to me the way some themes are! Clever, though.

Despite being a Trekkie, I hesitated on UHURA until I got a couple of perps to prompt me. In my defense, there are multiple Enterprise officers with five-letter names: Dr. MCCOY and the engineer Mr. SCOTT could have filled up the space, or even Commander RIKER from "The Next Generation." But I should've known better: MCCOY would probably be clued with "The Real," and Scotty is always Scotty!

Wishing everyone a good day! We got several inches of snow up here in New Jersey--having grown up in Texas, it's still a delightful novelty to me.

Tinbeni said...

Another CSO at 31 down, my real initials, ARI.

Cheers!

Shankers said...

The theme emerged pretty quick although I normally don't pay any attention to it. Fast and easy for a Thursday for sure. I had to come here to understand the fivenickles answer though. Sometimes, more often than not, someone has to draw me a picture.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for explaining the theme MM, I was confused by it, imagine that.

Yellowrocks said...

Normal Thursday level for me. Like many others, the penny dropped with five nickels and I went back to complete the other theme answers. Very clever, Jim. Great write up, MM.
I believe we have had Corea, Lena Olin, and deke before.
I can't stand Zoris or flip flops. That thong is irritating.
I see Ari almost every day.
I thought of Uhura right away but waited for perps.
There is a panda WWF magnet on my fridge.
At meetings when we table a motion or topic we set it aside to take up later. I am surprised to see the opposite meaning.
OKL, enjoyed the poems.

Husker Gary said...

Musings
-Duh! ALI(A) and O(R)IN hid NICKELS. However, I did learn the meaning of NACKERS, so…
-This blizzard of names pales in comparison to the one on the east coast but still…
-SCOTLAND YARD/THIRTY-SIX INCHES gave me the excellent gimmick
-Hilary wrote that Norgay saw him as the Sahib and let the New Zealander be the first to have SCALED Everest
-We are in a current SPELL of frigid weather but it’ll be 50F next week
-A Mad Man came up with “Everything’s better when it sits on a RITZ”
-In WWI, Queen Victoria’s grandchildren King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm and TSAR Nicholas II were first cousins and the leaders of the three biggest combatants. Water was thicker than blood
-Even non-sports fans can appreciate this wonderful DEKE

ATLGranny said...

FIR, even with all the names. Perps to the rescue. Had a few WOs due to false assumptions: weIrd/ALIEN, Ido/ VOW, and not taking advantage of the clue and crossword likelihood NASdAq/ NASCAR. Track should have tipped me off before I filled it in! ENOKI is back. Will we see it tomorrow too?

EIGHT OUNCES gave me cup right away (I usually do a lot of cooking) so the theme was helpful after that. Thanks Jim for the Thursday puzzle fun and once again, excellent review MalMan. Thanks!

FLN Thanks AnonT for the Ode to Joy flash mob link. I've watched it several times already today and shared it with DH. Still brings tears to my eyes. Hope you all have a Joyous day and aren't snowed in too long. No snow here.

Bob Lee said...

I had the beginning numbers for the three long answers, but the ends of those stumped me for a while. Scotland - 36 islands (too long) or isles (too short). Then got inches. Huh?? Then it dawned on me. The ends of the other long answers came quickly thereafter.

Very inventive!! Thanks.

NaomiZ said...

Finishing today's puzzle right gave me a thrill! I asked DH one question: is there a Stanley award? He answered: Stanley cup? Oh, cup, of course! And the equivalent is EIGHT OUNCES. That helped me complete THIRTY SIX INCHES for Scotland Yard. (Thank you, inanehiker, for explaining the origin of that name!) Coming up with a type of horse with a unit of measure in the name took a moment longer, but when I thought of quarter horse, I had my FIVE NICKELS.

Great puzzle, Jim, and sorry the LA Times didn't credit you. Great review, MalMan. OwenKL, thanks for the rhymes!

Yellowrocks, you wrote: "At meetings when we table a motion or topic we set it aside to take up later. I am surprised to see the opposite meaning." I would say that TABLE has the same meaning here. "Put on ice" is a way to save something for later. Just my two cents.

Thanks for letting me play along!

Lucina said...

MalMan:
I failed to thank you for the enlightenment today! I'm grateful you explained the theme and gave us such detailed information on the rest.

Picard said...

Wilbur Charles thank you for the shout out. I totally had the hots for UHURA. Bright and beautiful. There were many levels of appreciation of Star Trek for me.

This was one of the most clever and convoluted themes I can remember. Utterly stumped. And the SE was going to be a rare DNF. But then the light went on and I figured out QUARTER HORSE and FIR! Very satisfying!

I have several dancer friends who do the TANGO and quite a few videos and photos of them doing it.

But this TANGO was being done as an "aerial" performance which makes it special.

This was performed at the Santa Barbara Center for Art, Science and Technology (SBCAST). SBCAST is an entire incubator facility for creativity. Generously donated by my friend Alan Macy. He and I are part of the same research lab at UC Santa Barbara.

Yellowrocks congratulations on your move to a new home. It seems your path was almost as scary and bumpy as our path to a new home.

A recent puzzle had the Spanish word MIRA. Where I live it is probably the most common word we hear from young children in certain neighborhoods as they excitedly make new discoveries. I am OK with foreign words and proper nouns if they have real importance and are worth remembering.

Misty said...

Like Lucina, we're still getting the wrong constructors in the LA Times--Bruce and Gail this morning rather than Jim Holland. Sigh. Will this never end? Still, fun puzzle, thanks, Jim, and great commentary, MM. The NIP AT picture made me laugh.

I liked getting all those names beginning with Amy ADAMS. I almost always get that northwest corner, even as the puzzles get more difficult later in the week. Are constructors maybe asked to do that, to get everybody off to a good start before things get tougher? If so, it works for me. Also liked getting Golda MEIR and Lena OLIN and even ERNIE.

Have a good day, everybody.

Picard said...

I almost forgot:

Malodorous Manatee thank you for the Tom Lehrer video of his version of the TANGO. I remember this from the "That Was the Week That Was" album that my father bought.

Irish Miss said...

Good Afternoon:

It took a moment or two for the penny to drop but when it did, I was tickled pink by the creativity. I don’t think I’ve ever solved a puzzle like this, but I am really impressed with the freshness and uniqueness of it. My only unknown was Zori and I don’t recall any w/os. Fun to have Enoki two days in a row and, of course, the ubiquitous Erie, which evokes memories of Abejo. I liked a lot of the cluing for its wordplay and fair misdirections.

Thank you, Jim, for a truly enjoyable solve and thank you, MalMan, for the detailed and informative review. I like your style and humor.

Lucina @ 8:40 ~ Yes, there was a more handsome man than Paul Newman and his name was Cary Grant. ๐Ÿ˜Ž IMVHO, of course! ๐Ÿ˜‰

DO @ 8:59 ~ ๐Ÿค—

We got almost two feet of snow. Binghamton got 41 inches. I don’t envy the people who have to be out and about in it. I’m enjoying the beauty of a winter wonderland from the window in my warm and cozy den. Lucky me!

Have a great day and stay safe!

Big Easy said...

MM. 1. "Vice" (2018) Oscar nominee Amy: ADAMS. Right off the bat, a reference with which this solver was totally unfamiliar- That makes TWO of us. Amy ADAMS & Vice- both unknowns.

I didn't get the equivalence switch until Scotland Yard's. I missed it at EIGHT OUNCES- mind was on weight instead of volume-duh.

ZORI, UHURA, ENOKI, ARI- only know of them due to working Xword puzzles. They are ALIEN words in my every day world.

Johnny Rivers- a NYC boy who grew up in Baton Rouge.

INC.-Fortune mag.- another money-losing magazine that WAS owned by Time-Life Sold off a few years ago to an Asian company. Fortune's sole claim to fame is the trademarked "Fortune 500" moniker. Like its former stable mate Time magazine; Their "person of the year" is their only claim to fame.

Yellowrocks said...

Naomi, I agree with the TABLE clue, but Spitz mentioned an opposite meaning.
We had 7 inches of snow. My car has been brushed off my the maintenance crew and temporarily moved to clear beneath and around it. The roads and parking lot are bare now with rising temps.
Picard I am glad your move is finally over.
I enjoy a hidden theme that most of us get, as well as some I missed but "shoulda" sussed.
MM, LOL at the string of old fashioned Christmas lights. If one does not work they all on strike.

another MM said...

Love today's blog, he is more fun than ever!!!

(another mm)

unclefred said...

Managed to get ‘er done, but as usual didn’t get the theme. Thanx MM for the enlightenment. Very clever, now that I see it. A real head-scratcher before. Now that I get it, I suspect if I had taken the time to think about it, I woulda figured it out. Fun CW! Mine says Bruce and Gail were the constructors. Why is it always different?? Anyway, thanx, to the constructor(s) and thanx to MM also for a marvelous write-up.

Wilbur Charles said...

D-O, OPUS was yesterday. The Wilbur rule is caps for two days.

C-eh, I didn't think it was easy. If I grok'ed the theme earlier, perhaps.

Ok, for the record. For constructors we have
--------Friday: Robin Stearns;
--------Saturday: Brian E. Paquin

WC

Misty said...

Owen, I forgot to thank you for you delightful verses. They deserve a much better grade than B+!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

I'm a cinefile but was didnt expect so many unfamiliar with the talented Amy Adams. Currently in the NETFLIX movie "Hillbilly Elegy" with Glenn Close. Stellar performances but sunstellar reviews

Now for something completely different. I remembered the front of the ARGO Cornstarch box featuring a bizarre picture of a Native American girl with the body of an ear of corn. LIU, I can understand why they changed it out.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Forgot to include the picture

Anonymous said...

Not fun. Finished but did not like names. Had sauce at first for 47a. Dont like themes where you have to research them after. I remember learning about Ra expeditions when i was young. Enoki is a cool mushroom.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

DNF - I had to lookup ADAMS to break the NW and OLIN to unlock the SE. #Names!!!

Thanks for the puzzle Jim; thanks for the excellent post-game MManatee.

WOs: I thought 17a was going to end in Cup.
ESPs: COREA, ALII, ZORI
Fav: Clue for SATIRIST. I watch Colbert's monologue every night on YouTube.

Funny ICERS C, Eh! (as was rest of Canada's lifestyle references) //hockey is a lifestyle up there, right? :-)

ICERS - Youngest and her "bubble" friend put together 78 ofthese little KITs for their dance team to decorate their own cookies. Took them two days of baking and packing.

{A, B+}

Nice to see you Picard. All moved in now?

D-O: DW confessed that she (at 35!) thought it was Secret Asian Man. I did too when I was younger (all the Kung Fu movies in the early '70s - kinda made sense :-))

Lem - I thought your son was married(?). And his DW let him build a bar in the living room?

MManatee - you're UNION Christmas tree cracked me up AND hit home. Our outdoor lights keep tripping the GFI. I thought it was because it was damp out the last few days but, now that it's drier, they still trip. I've spent 1/4 of the afternoon trying to figure out which string is the culprit. (Unplug this one... Wait 10 minutes... and *thunk*) OR if it's just we've Griswold'd [ff to 3:50] it a bit too much for the circuit.
For whatever reason, the garage and the front outlet are connected - every time it pops my garage goes dark. I've reset the satellite radio to NPR 6 times now...

Cheers, -T

Lemonade714 said...

Jim Holland had his first LAT published in 2002. LINK.

Yes, Tony my married son, and his wife get along well but is in like an alcove.

Meanwhile, when I thanked Joe and Bill I did not mean to leave out all those who have stepped like Boomer, HG, Susan, even if they did not stay like Steve, or TTP, or Richard. It has been a great bunch of bananas

Ol' Man Keith said...

The theme actually helped this time. Usually I answer the fills w/o finding a benefit in the theme. But this time, when I saw that numbers were involved at 17A, it was easier to complete the numbers elsewhere.

But did I understand the meaning of these spelled out digits? Not a bit of it. Had to read Malodorous M's exposition to understand what I had. (And that my answer of "NACKELS" was a mistake.)
~ OMK
____________
DR:
What a weird couple of days. I had to combine two diags yesterday to get enough vowels to make a decent anagram. Now, today, vowels abound!!
There is just one diagonal--on the mirror side. Of its fifteen letters, fully nine are vowels. There aren't many anagrams I can make with so few consonants.
But I will choose the following. Since "Quarter Horse" is part of today's theme, I will point to the anagram that stands for an unsaddled specimen of a related breed. This is the beautiful equine that may have a single quarter horse between its parents.
Standing tall and proud (and naked, sans saddle or blanket) is a...
"BARE APPALOOSA"!

Ol' Man Keith said...

Here you go:
An Appaloosa--to go with today's "DR" (Diagonal Report).
~ OMK

CrossEyedDave said...

I thought I was going to DNF today,
but a 30 minute nap solved all(*) my problems...
(*still did not see the theme though)
I think two or three naps would be needed to solve this theme...

Anon-T,
I had the same problem with blowing the fuses/Xmas lights!
I mean they worked before, but maybe I did add a little every year.
Turned out in the end, it was just too much load on one circuit.
I had to run separate power lines for every 5 - 100 light string sets.
Note: the light string fuses were blowing on mine, not the GFI.

Does dousing work?
(only if your mind knows where the water is...)
Here is James Randi Speaks: Dowsing, the Ideomotor Effect

Yellowrocks, I always enjoy your 2 cents worth,
but today I really enjoyed your 26 cents worth...
(the penny dropped with the 5 nickels, LOL!)
(unfortunately, I am only a two bit solver...)

Over the past few days,
I have been reading, with some amusement,
the complaints about Constructors names being misidentified.
Last year, I went of a rant about this very subject with my Star Ledger Paper.
I tried every avenue, wrote letters to the paper,
& even begged the Blog for help.
(nobody cared...)
The final reply from my Paper brought an end to my Crusade.
They replied,
"We can't do anything about it, because this is the way we get the
Xwords from "The Syndicate..."

I tried to investigate via the Internet
about the mysterious "Syndicate"
but even Google has hushed up this secret society
of non caring Mob style underworld of crossword society...
I again, implore for your assistance into this murky world
of secrecy, but if I do not hear from you again,
I will know what happened...

Hmm, maybe I should write to the James Randi Society...

Lucina said...

Picard!
It's so good to see you. I have missed your interesting photos and really liked the one you posted today. Thank you.

Anonymous T said...

Saga of the Griswold wannabe continues...

CED - no this is the GFCI outlet in the guest-bath(less) room that keeps popping. I've reduced the load by 4 strands and things seem to be holding (for now).

I called Pop -- a "professional" handy-man (no, really, folks pay him and he writes-off all his toys, er, tools, on his taxes) and he said,

"Yes, a GFI outlet will go bad. Run an extension cord (the 25' 16-gauge yellow one hanging from the left side of your workbench) to your kitchen GFI"

(dang, he's studied my house!)

"and see if that trips your Kitchen's GFI. If it doesn't, replace the GFI outlet in the guest bath. You've replaced outlets before, right?"

"Yeah, before we moved in I replaced all the cracked [..]"

"Just pay attention to line v. load on the back of that thing or you might die."

"Gee, thanks Pop :-)"


So,... that's tomorrow's project.

Cheers, -T

Lucina said...

Comments stopped at 5:32? Everyone must have gone Christmas shopping!

Vidwan827 said...

Hi Lucina, it seems that we are the only two people on this blog.

I thought the blog had closed down...

What say you that we Hi-Jack the blog, pack it up, and escape abroad to countries unknown ?
Then we'll split the royalties, fifty-fifty. ?????



Meanwhile, I wanted to thank CED for the link to the Youtube Amazing Randi video on Dowsing and the ideomotor effect. It is Randi at his classic best.

You must have heard the news that the amazing James Randi died on October 20, 2020 ... just a few months ago.
The Date 10 - 20 - 2020 will not recur for another thousand years .... in 3030 !!
He was 92 yrs old, and he died of 'old age'.... not Covid.

I actually met James Randi in a paid program for skeptics, 15 years ago, in New Jersey. He was brilliant, and I think the US Govt. should have hired him, and funded him. His investigations into psychic deceptions, saved so many innocent people from getting robbed. I have three of his books, and I think he was a true hero and a dedicated scientist.

Anonymous T said...

Vidwan - I want a cut of the spoils if we rob this joint. :-)

Penn & Teller & James Randi.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

If anyone is still awake...

I just found this early Great Randi. Kinda campy but...

The Interwebs are fun!

C, -T