Dec 24, 2020

Thursday December 24, 2020, Roland Huget

Today's outing by Roland Huget presents us with a perfectly piscatorial puzzle.  The unifier at 30D smells a bit fishy but if you nose around a bit you'll sniff it out:

30. Structure that creates a path for upstream migration, and a hint to hidden words in four long Down answers: FISH LADDER

Fish ladders are man made structures, necessitated by the construction of damns that prevent salmon from reaching their spawning grounds in the Spring, the exact spots where each was originally spawned.  How they remember the way to get there is still a great mystery. Without fish ladders there would be no salmon. And no Alaskan Brown bears either:

The fish names in the puzzle are inverted and hidden in the DOWN theme phrases, representing their scaling the FISH LADDER.  Other than the COHO Salmon I doubt that any of the other fish would make the effort (although it would be interesting to see what a surprise it would be to a Brown Bear if a full-sized tuna suddenly emerged from the waters!):

3. Incur debt beyond one's means: GO INTO HOCKCOHO Salmon.  I decided not to try and ham this one up.

21. Progress without faltering: NOT MISS A BEATBASS. People with AFIB sometimes do miss a beat (YT included).

18. Succinctly: IN A NUTSHELLTUNA.  A fellow named O'Reilly made a fortune publishing the In a Nutshell series of  "succinct" (NOT!) computer reference books.  TTP and Dash T know them.

9. Equine contest with weight penalties: HANDICAP RACE. CARPI guess that if Brown bears get hungry enough in the Spring they'll eat anything.

The rest of the clues:


1. Streaming delay: LAGWhy network lag is such a drag.

4. Blubber: SOB. Or someone you're not particularly fond of.

7. Goddess whom Arachne challenged to a weaving contest: ATHENA.  Early web developers.  ARACHNIDA is also a class of the phylum ARTHROPODA that includes SPIDERS, the original web spinners.

13. Lennon collaborator: ONO.  Yoko is now 87 years old and reportedly not in good health.

14. "Roth" investment: IRA.  Also George Gershwin's brother and lyricist.

15. Driveway application: SEALER.  Our driveway is going to need an application before we sell.

16. Mono- kin: UNI.  Or an Aussie institute of higher education.

17. Market area with a counter: DELI.

19. Dojo teacher: SENSEI. "She's not a girl who misses much!" (per 13A).  I think her name is Violet.  Watch for the bubble gum at the end!

20. __ rigate: pasta dish: PENNE.  ... and "Ruffles have ridges".

22. Number-crunching need: INPUT DATA.  The insatiable maw of the Cybersphere.  See 50D.

24. Get by a threat: EXTORT.  Or a former chocolate cake.  Also see 8D.

26. Tokyo brew: ASAHI.  I'm partial to Sapporo myself.

27. Siouan people: OTOE500 Years of OTOE & Missouria History

28. Dog or hound: NAG.

29. Corporate money mgrs.: CFOS.  Members of the "C" Team.

33. Big name in 2008 financial news: LEHMAN.  And it wasn't good news:

On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.  Hundreds of employees, mostly dressed in business suits, left the bank's offices one-by-one with boxes in their hands. It was a somber reminder that nothing is forever—even in the richness of the financial and investment world.

35. Mod or nod suffix: ULE.

36. "SNL" Emmy nominee Bryant: AIDY.

37. Steer clear of: AVOID.

38. Armored truck stop: ATM.

39. Cathedral areas: APSES.  These are niches on the sides of the cathedral that often have a saint's statue and a PRIE DIEU, a kneeler for pleading to the saint for intercessory prayers.

40. Some quirks: TICS.

41. Hotel room sets: TVS.

42. Busby or ushanka: FUR HAT.

43. Benevolent order: ELKS.  Note explicit pluralization.  None needed for this bugler ...

44. Support syllable: RAH.

45. Severely damaged sea: ARAL.  See 52D.

46. Became an issue: AROSE. "... by any other name would smell as sweet" Romeo and Juliet Act II Scene 1.

48. Take back: RECANT.  Pour back in the bottle?

51. Competition with rhyme and rhythm: RAP BATTLE.

55. WWII observance: VE DAY  May 8, 1945.  VJ DAY was September 2, 1945, but it wouldn't perp.  My parents were married in England on that day.  They were relieved that my Dad wouldn't be shipped out to the Pacific.

56. Acquaint with the existing situation: ORIENT.  Also an old name for ASIA, Γ  la Murder on the Orient Express.

57. Prom rental: LIMO.  A stretchable, gluey answer.

59. Ballroom dance move: DIP.  Used a lot with SALSA.

60. Facial expression: VISAGE.  French for FACE actually.

61. Versailles monarch: ROI.  Parle du diable.

62. December 24, e.g.: EVE.

63. Flying high: ELATED.

64. Cup handle: EAR.  Other terms for pottery parts borrowed from the body include "foot", "belly", and "lip".

65. __ tape: RED.

1. Jeweler's glass: LOUPE.  Funny that a retired programmer couldn't figure out a way to riff on this.

2. Wing of no help in flying: ANNEX.

4. Detour part, maybe: SIDE ROAD.

5. Rock with potential: ORE.  Or maybe not.  It might be a VEIN effort to mine.

6. "__ Ha'i": BALI.  Lots of possible meanings, some of which are unsupportable on this blog.

7. Soften: ASSUAGE.

8. Effective means of enforcement: TEETH. Also pronounced TEEF, Γ  la Monty Python's Killer Rabbit, a highly effective means of enforcement:

10. "Frozen II" sister: ELSA.

11. Bikini wax alternative, formerly: NEET.  Or NAIR.  The latter two sound a lot less painful to me.

12. Opera highlight: ARIA.  The word OPERA is Latin for WORKS, the plural of OPUS.  Opera works are a series of ARIAS (embellished with ensembles, choruses, recitatives, and interludes all thrown in for good measure).

23. Sacred song: PSALM.  Hebrew for HYMN.  A collection of 150 Old Testament poems, which were sung by the Hebrews.  Many of them, including the famous Psalm 23, are attributed to David, a shepherd who later became the king of Israel.   The Psalms are unquestionably the most widely read section of the Bible.  They comprise parts of the 4 week PSALTER (a synonym for Psalms) recited daily by priests, religious, and laypeople around the world, as a part of the Liturgy of the Hours.

25. Number of Taylor Swift's Grammy: TEN. Shouldn't that be "Grammies"?  Most of us only have two. 

31. Classical theaters: ODEA.  These structures were built for the presentation of Greek tragedies and comedies. They were usually built into hillsides and could be quite elaborate.

32. Part of iOS: Abbr.: SYST

33. After curfew: LATE.

34. Good opponent: EVIL.

38. Salty "Halt!": AVAST.

39. Parting words: AU REVOIR.  But not goodbye!  This would have been more effective as the last clue.  Not enough room in the Southeast I guess?

41. Rounded the bases after a homer, say: TROTTED.  CSO to CanadianEH!  Any idea who this guy is?

42. Not within walking distance: FAR.

47. Safe place to drive: RANGE.

49. Unsophisticated: NAIVE.

50. Used a keyboard: TYPED.  See 22A.

51. Gad about: ROVE.

52. Seed coat: ARIL.  Not to be confused with 45A.
53. Galileo's hometown: PISA.  Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) is considered by many to be the founder of modern experimental science, parting with Aristotle who believed that truths about the world could be derived by reasoning from first principals and careful observation of nature.  Galileo's experiments included careful measurements of the rate of fall of objects dropped from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, discovering that the rate of fall was independent of an object's mass.  Quick, which falls faster: a pound of lead or a pound of feathers?  They fall at the same rate in a vacuum.

While Galileo didn't invent the telescope, he did refine it and was the first to point it to the heavens, whereas it had previously been used primarily for military purposes.  He was the first to observe moons orbiting around the planet Jupiter, a discovery that paved the way for the Heliocentric theory of the Solar System.

54. Word on Irish stamps: EIRE.

58. Extinct bird: MOA.  This includes several species of flightless birds, some that were as tall as 12' high.  They lived in New Zealand for 60 million years, but were driven to extinction within a few hundred years of the arrival of Polynesian settlers in about 1300 AD.  This painting shows two Moas being attacked by a Haast's eagle, their only predator prior to the arrive of men.  Apparently the Haast's eagles also became extinct shortly after the Moa's extinction. due to the loss of their chief food supply.

And here's the grid, with some clever embellishments by C.C.



Lemonade714 said...

I love the piscatorial pictorial presentation of the puzzle. Well done and best wishes for a happy healthy holiday for all.

I am enjoying seeing in person my youngest and his intended for the first time in a year. I did not know 36. "SNL" Emmy nominee Bryant: AIDY and some of the cluing was tricky e.g. 51. Competition with rhyme and rhythm: RAP BATTLE but it was all good.

Thank you, Bill, you were made for this world.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Didn't get the theme on the way, so after finishing I went hunting for a reveal. Aha, there was one. Then I could see the fish climbing the ladder. Enjoyed it Roland. Also learned a lot, Waseeley. Thanx to both of you.

So are all cornerites hunkerin' for the holidays? Speak up if you're venturing out into the world. If I forget to mention it tomorrow, Merry Christmas to all who celebrate.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning Waseely and friends. Bit of a challenge today, but once I got the FISH LADDER, I realized we were looking for fish. IN A NUTSHELL threw me off for a moment because I immediately saw the SHELL FISH. Then I realized we were going "up" the ladder.

Nice CSO to our friend Abejo with the ELKS.

QOD: We all hang by a thread, and there are many things we cannot choose about our lives. It’s how we react to the inevitable that counts. ~ Mary Higgins Clark (nΓ©e Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins; Dec. 24, 1927 ~ Jan. 31, 2020), American author

Big Easy said...


"BigEasy @ 9:33 ~ Who is ACB?" She replaced RBG on SCOTUS. She went to the same school and my grandkids.

inanehiker said...

Fun puzzle today! I have seen the FISH LADDERs on the Columbia in the PNW - quite an operation!
I was slowed down in the SW because I had NOT MISS A STEP before changing it to BEAT which opened up that whole area. And I had RECALL before RECANT at 48A.
I think AIDY Bryant is a gifted actress/comedian - I don't stay up to watch SNL anymore - but sometimes catch some of the highlighted skits on You Tube the next week.

None of our kids will be home - but we will be busy with socially distanced/masked services at 4 and 6 pm at our church. I will just go to one - but hubby will be at both as pastor ;)
Tomorrow afternoon we will drive to KC to my mom's - who has already had the virus.
I got the first of my two COVID vaccines this week as a health care provider- great early Christmas present!

Thanks waseeley and Roland!
Belated HBD to Misty!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

FIR but much crunchier than yesterday. Holy Mackerel 🐟 Ain't no way I woulda found those backward fish. Don't you need feet to use a FISHLADDER?...(evolutionary adaptation?'s theme is appropriate for those of us who celebrate Christmas Eve dinner with seafood only.

Unknown clues for it's not the weight of the horses but weighted odds for a HANDICAP RACE another unknown. A driving RANGE is safe?

Any cruciverbists keeping count of Taylor Swift's Grammies? Anyone? (Unless you meant her parents' mothers.., that would be two πŸ‘΅πŸ‘΅..but wrong answer). Was thinking Enron but a letter shorter than LEHMAN and a couple years earlier.

Nair/NEET, taunted/TROTTED (can do both)

30 down may now hold the record for longest clue.. "Parting words" "Red Sea! Divide" again, too long.

So angry, he became an Irish citizen (so ired, he EIREd πŸ™„)

PENNE rigate, "striped feathers" ..not so appetizing now? Eh? (put enough vodka in the sauce and you won't care.)

Donkey earnings....ASSUAGE
No longer a crime...EXTORT (Waseeley's was first and funnier)
Where to find a maniac's satanic abode...IN A NUT'S HELL

Leave a note for Santa to wear a mask and put hand sanitizer (my autocorrect put Sangria!!) next to the cookie dish.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

An extinction "Who's on first?"

"The MOA no longer exists."

"So it is no MOA"

"Yes it is a MOA"

"But you said it is no MOA!"

"It is a MOA but it is no MOA"


Shankers said...

Smooth sailing today. No real speed bumps. Missed the theme which is par for the course for moi. Unknowns Aidy a d furhat were easily gotten by perps. Only change was fat to sob at 4A. Going out with DW for Italian tonight then 11 a.m. Mass tomorrow morning. Have a super terrific Christmas everyone.

Oas said...

Wishing all on the corner a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a peaceful happy and prosperous New Year . Cheers

ATLGranny said...

FIR but didn't find it easy. Had a lot of wrong turns but perps saved the day. I did see the theme and found the fish climbing the ladders. Interesting fill, Roland. Thanks! And very entertaining and informative review, waseeley, as we expect from you now. Thanks for a perfect performance with nothing "pfishy" about it

At first I tried GOINg brOCK thinking the theme trick was changing spelling from broke to brock, but that eventually cleared up. And I had faREwell way too long. AU REVOIR, it turned out to be and so I say to you all now. Until tomorrow. Happy Holidays!

Lucina said...

Hola! And happy Christmas Eve!

RAH! The correct constructor was cited so all is well in the CWD world. I started this at 6 this morning and nearly finished but got tired and returned to bed. I could not recall ELSA or NEET, which I used for many years long, long ago. Now no hair grows on my legs or on any other part of my body anymnore. I know, TMI, sorry.

I had no idea what busby or ushanka is, had FURHOT/ODEO. It was just too dang early.

And no way was I going fishing at that hour so didn't even look. However, I remembered AU REVOIR, one of the few French phrases I know.

CSO to Spitz at AVAST. Is that a term you have used?

No DIP at our house today, but plenty of turkey, potatoes, green beans, salad and pie!

This is all for me IN A NUTSHELL. I need coffee.

Have a really good day, everyone, whatever you choose to do. I shall go to Mass at 10 P.M. tonight. We no longer have midnight Mass and frankly, I like it better.

AU REVOIR for now!

Oas said...

Fun puzzle today started on the bottom rung with EAR and RED, and climbed gingerly up the ladder , got FISHLADDER easily and found it helped with the solve. The hanks for the fun. Cheers

Lucina said...

Thank you, waseeley, for the informative review.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I really like the change of pace from the usual horizontal themers to vertical placements because you’re less likely to catch the theme right off the bat. Having reversed letters adds to the challenge. There were several nice entries but, for me, the standouts were: Go Into Hock, In a nutshell, and Not miss a beat. My trouble spots included Andy>Aldy>Aidy and those strange names for a Fur hat. I liked Far crossing Fur and the timely Eve.

Thanks, Roland, for a Thursday treat and thanks, Waseeley, for the detailed and interesting summary. I second Lemony’s opinion on your blogging talents.

BigEasy @ 6:54 ~ Thank you. I haven’t heard those initials lately so I didn’t make the connection.


Anon T, your cookie display looks as impressive as a fancy bakery’s would! I’ll bet you have as many culinary gadgets/equipment as you have techie toys.

Ray O, you’re too funny!

I’m staying put for Christmas, by choice. I’ve tried very hard to avoid people because several extended family members have had the virus, and that has made me extra cautious. Enjoy your Christmas Eve celebration, especially those who have all that delicious seafood!

Have a great day.

Husker Gary said...

-Our retired Canadian nuclear engineer nearly nuked me in the NE and SW corners
-Spare me the details, give it to me IN A NUTSHELL
-This formerly villainous Karate Kid SENSEI has now softened
-Fun Jeffrey Wechsler cluing on 12/12/20 29. Plural used for people but not animals: ELKS
-The queen escorted by busby-bedecked men
-My DW spends hours on hold dealing with gov’t RED TAPE for her mother
-In what musical does Bloody Mary sing the alluring Bali H’ai?
- Too many TEETH?
-A SIDE ROAD abutting a golf driving RANGE may not be safe
-Astronaut David Scott showed a falling hammer and feather hit the Moon at the same time
-Lincoln tomorrow with one daughter inside and another daughter for a brief garage encounter. We go with the flow.

desper-otto said...

Husker, I had to read that three times before I realized that your daughter wasn't having a brief encounter with a Lincoln in the garage.

SansBeach said...

Good morning, all. I still enjoy the banter on the blog. 😎 Haven't commented for awhile due to a house project. First, thanks for the challenging xword Roland and thx for 'splainin', waseeley. Also, belated happy birthday to woohoo Misty. Makes me smile πŸ™‚ when I see woohoo because sometimes I feel the same way. Today, FIW. Didn't correct goestohock. Just didn't look wrong enough. Lastly, just wanted to wish everyone who makes the blog go a Merry Christmas πŸŽ„πŸŽ„☃️ and Happy New Years 🎈🎈🎈. Sorry I am not politically correct.😎😎😎

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Seemed daunting at first but then the dam broke and it came together quickly. FIR. After the reveal, the 'fish' going up showed up quickly. I don't know about tuna, carp, or bass, but I think COHO are the only ones who would negotiate a fish ladder. I leave it to the ichthyologists.
TEETH - Germans have trouble with the th sound in English. My Dad sometimes would say 'teese' but usually TΓ€hn. (tane as in octane) [L. Ger.]
AVAST - No, Lucina, I never used it but I heard it. Our captain used it in a howling gale as we were being pushed to pierside in Norfolk. He wanted the small assist tug to stop pushing and so used AVAST. The word doesn't lend itself well to loudness or a noisy background, so the assist vessel didn't hear him. (After the moor, the ship needed some paint.)

VJ Day is also Aug 14, the day Japan's surrender was announced. The surrender documents were signed on the Missouri on Sept. 2.

waseeley said...

HG @10:03 AM I think Bloody Mary was in South Pacific, but I'll have to check with Dw, who sang "I want to wash that man right out of my hair" in the 7th grade. She still hasn't succeeded though after nearly 52 years.

Spitzboov @10:30 AM - Thanks for the correction on VJ Day. I think that's actually that date of my parents anniversary. I'll have to check with Die Schwestern.

Anon said...

Cannot remember ever hearing a ball player who rounded the bases described as “trotted”.

Anonymous said...

Waseeley, you are a natural at this. Great job. Watch you don't stumble up the damn dam just above the brown bear fishing picture. LOL
I didn't see the fish, but FIR quickly for a Friday. Fun theme, Roland.
I knew busby was a fur hat, but the other hat was unfamiliar.
I like watchin AIDY, too.
Spitz, my grandma said TEES for teeth.
I went to see Alan this morning and gave him his gift. Very enjoyable. This huge virus surge is scary, especially because of asymptomatic carriers. I am thinking of making this my last visit to Alan until this latest surge abates somewhat. He and his housemates are quite fragile. Also, I asked David and his family not to visit this week. We will Zoom tomorrow.
We are having an extremely limited in-person church service today, but I didn't even try to sign up. I am sticking to Zoom.
With covid 19 restrictions, there is not much interaction here, but more than I am used to. We usually eat alone in our apartments. Before I moved I did not see anybody most days, except for sometimes stopping in the small local deli for less than 5 minutes, and grocery shopping twice a month very early in the morning.
A merry Christmas to all.
Yellowrocks from Kathy

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Bloody Mary sang that haunting melody in one of my favorite musicals from the Golden Age of Musical productions "South Pacific" set during WWII

It dealt with a timely issue. The heroine Nellie Forbush has to confront her prejudices about fallng for a man with mixed race children. The hero, Lt. Joseph Cable copes with his own racist upbringing when he falls in love with Mary's Tonkinese daughter.

His song "You've Got to be Carefully Taught" perfectly reflects the dilemma

80 years later we are still dealing with the same issues.

JB2 said...

Fun puzzle and wonderful write-up!

Yesterday's high in Chicago was 58. It was 13 when I got up this morning. But we still haven't had any snow other than a trace.

I want to extend a warm season's greeting to all of our wonderful bloggers and cornerites who provide a gift to me every day. I appreciate all the humor, warmth, genuine caring and learning opportunities.


Wilbur Charles said...

I completely overlooked the theme. I just mentioned IRA re. lyrics(Sleigh Ride*-still worming in my brain)

Re. SNL. I just can't find that show funny.

FLN. In the search for that Honda key did I make a fervent plea to St Anthony? Perhaps I should have employed the PRIE DIEU in an APSE

Ashton might have considered a Bikini wax alternative

Re. (Driving)RANGE. Some of those bricklayer types can really launch. Is that where Bryson got the idea?

Actually the TROT** can be seen as a taunt and apres ca le deluge. And…
The HANDICAP RACE has weights and different odds

Gary, JeffW tomorrow. A Christmas treat.

Enjoyed the Waseely write-up. Mentioned before but it won't hurt to put author's name at the beginning.

*No not IRA but he(Mitchell Parish) also wrote lyrics to Deep Purple
**The home run TROT is basic baseball lingo

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Y R...As hard as it seems you are right to be cautious. My daughter Catherine's only contacts were at Day-hab at the local ARC facility. As cautious as they tried to be there...cases popped up and they closed too late for her.

Anonymous said...

FIR Never saw the theme. Seemed a tad easier than yesterday's puzzle. Never heard of "rap battle" but I guess it's the rap version of battle of the bands which I hated playing in back in the day. A nice start to a Thursday.

TTP said...

Not easy for me today either, ATLGranny. Couldn't concentrate at all, and never got on a roll. Answers here and there, but not one completed section. Finally just did some other things, went back to it, and solved the rest within a few minutes. The reveal gave away what I should have looked for, but I forgot to look after finally finishing the puzzle. D'OH !

Fat before SOB was the only initial answer that turned out to be wrong.

ASSUAGE in one corner, and VISAGE in the opposing corner. Nice job, Roland.

You too, Bill. Excellent. Caught me by surprise at "... scaling the FISH LADDER", followed by deciding to "... not ham this one up". Ham hocks, indeed.

That article on network lag was a good read, even though I've understood it for years. I bookmarked it so I can send it to a great nephew that is into gaming. I think he'll be interested in the part about gamers installing a lag switch to gain an upper hand on their opponents. That was new knowledge to me, but I've never been a gamer. Maybe he already knows about them...

Great job, Bill. A very interesting blog that led me to go off reading on multiple subjects and tangents of those. Actually finished the puzzle about 3.5 hours ago, and have been reading ever since. (Note to self, don't read Bill's blog on days when I have to get things done. Save until the evening.)

Oas, good to hear from you. You too, SansBeach.

Misty said...

Delightful Thursday puzzle, Roland. Sadly, the Los Angeles Times goofed again and listed Mark McCain as the constructor, but Lucina doesn't have that problem anymore, which is great, and I hope mine gets resolved soon too.

Anyway, thanks again, Roland--I appreciated the three letter items in the middle, which helped me get a good start. And I also enjoyed your commentary, Waseely. I got ATHENA right away, and a bit later, when I saw that the bottom of that long 9 down word was going to be RACE, I put in HORSE. Nope, didn't work, and it took a while before I changed it to HANDICAP. But very enjoyable Christmas eve puzzle.

Have a lovely holiday tomorrow, everybody.

AnonymousPVX said...

No one ever heard of a “home run trot”?

“Home Alone” my lot this Christmas. Hard not to react, first one ever without my kids. Looks like it’s just gonna be another day.

Spitzboov said...

Christmas of 1960. - - We had been at sea for 2 weeks performing as the Anti-submarine defense ready group and were due to return to home port just before Christmas. Our squadron received a message that a commercial vessel had broken up into 2 sections from a fierce winter storm (the same one we were in) and one section had been found with 8 or so survivors. We were tasked to aid in the search for any other missing merchant sailors. So we spent the next few days looking for additional survivors. Unfortunately, no more were found. We returned to port on the 27th, and so those of the crew with families in the Norfolk area missed Christmas at home. (I was still single then, so it didn't affect me as much.)

Husker Gary said...

-LAG – Depending on where Earth and Mars are in their orbits, there will be a five to twenty-minute LAG between when a message is sent and when it is received. Allowing a minimum of 5 minutes to type a response, it could take nearly a half-hour to say “How are things going?” and hear back
-Voyagers 1 and 2 are now fourteen billion miles away from Earth, out of our solar system and into interstellar space. Info takes ~21 hours each way
-Funny, Otto! I will encounter my daughter’s electric Nissan Leaf in her garage.
-Homerun TROT is a familiar phrase to me
-Yes, in a handicap race, the better horses carry more weight. Once again, competence is punished. :-)

Yuman said...

Fun puzzle. One of my favorite movies, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
Happy 80th birthday to Dr. Fauci.

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

Great puzzle Roland and excellent recap Mr Seeley!

Appropriate to have EVE appear in the puzzle on this day

Unlike others, I had a relatively easy time solving, though I couldn’t see the FISH hidden in the clues. Odd, too, as CC and I had a similar puzzle when we did “SOUPS UP”. Thanks Bill for showing us the inverted swimmers, and C.C. for the cute emoji’s in the finished puzzle grid

No write-overs today! No LIU’s today! Guess I’ll take a “home run TROT! Truth be told, though, I did lightly ink in a few answers in the SW

Ray-O —> in fine form today.

As for the HANDICAP RACE format, it’s not as much a part of the sport as it was many decades ago, although there is still a weight allowance used when horses of different ages run against each other (usually when a 3-yr old races against horses 4-yrs old and older), and when fillies and/or mares run against colts/stallions. “Back in the day” (and a SO to Irish Miss and Spitz), the Chairman spent some of his summer weekends in Saratoga Springs NY, trying to make a $ betting the ponies. I fashioned myself as a bit of a handicapper, but never made much of a profit.

Hoping tonight that there’ll “AROSE such a clatter, that I have to get up to see what is the matter” (with apologies to C C Moore)

Merry Christmas πŸŽ„πŸŽ

Pat said...

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! Thank you to all the constructors, bloggers and Cornerites for the hours of entertainment you provide. You have helped get through Covid's change in lifestyle.

I thought today's puzzle was a Saturday level. Lots of peeks at the grid, but thank you Roland H and Waseeley.

We're getting some light snow which may cause some slick spots on the roads but we're only going about 4 miles to daughter's home. Dinner will be appetizers, an easy, no-stress menu.

Have a lovely evening.

Lucina said...

Salmon fishing in the Yemen is one of my favorite movies! Tomorrow after I come home from breakfast at my daughter's home, I plan to treat myself to a movie marathon and I'll include that one which I happen to have on DVD.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Technical DNF - needed help to spell ASSAgue, er, ASSUAGE which helped break-up the NE.

Thanks Roland for the puzzle. Much crunch in the NE (good thing calculator was 1 letter too long). I missed the fish in 3d 'cuz I've never heard of COHO.

Wonderful expo waseeley! Funny AND I still have links to visit later (TTP - I've followed that rule for links (esp. CED's fascinating ones!) for a long time now; if I didn't, I'd have been fired years ago :-) Looking forward to the LAG article.)

WOs: LOoPE until Uno->UNI showed up. I thought her name was AMY Bryant... That took some doing. AHOY [oops] ->AVAST and ROam ->ROVE.
ESPs: AIDY, ARIL, spelling of AU REVOIR (that's two words? Uh.), ++TDF [above]
Fav: ATHENA [The Who - 3:43]

Welcome back SansBeach! Whatcha building?
Nice to see you too Pat.

IM - Re: Cookies. Thank you. And, that was before the Oatmeal Raisin and the Italian Christmas (snow-balls) cookies were done. :-)
Gadgets? I have some but Youngest takes the cake; she got into decorating two years ago and now has enough cake pans, cooling racks, and icing tools & tips to impress a professional.

D-O: In-laws will come over for cookies and (BYO) coffee on the front lawn at 3p tomorrow. Otherwise, just the four of us and a prime-rib roast.

@11:15 Anon - Slowest HR TROTS

Epic RAP BATTLEs of History [MA - Key & Peele 4m].

Cheers, -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

Ta ~DA!
But I confess I didn't find the fish names--because I didn't think to go UP the ladder instead of down.

I wonder if Mr. Huget has ever met Mr. McClain, the man who is taking credit for his pzl in today's LA Times. Maybe they can laugh it off together.

Christmas Eve, everybody!
"Yo ho, my Boys! No more work this night! Tis, Christmas Eve, Ebenezer! Christmas Eve, Dick! Now, let's [have a party] before a man can say Jack Robinson! "
Just one diagonal, on the far side, NE to SW.
OK, we can do a long anagram today, a full 15-letter JACKPOT--if you'll bear with me.
Maybe CanadianEh! can help by lending some northern imagination.
If we just anthropomorphize the Vancouver Island Regional Libraries, who do excellent outreach work in their communities, we won't find it too much of a stretch to refer to them as those...

NaomiZ said...

A challenging puzzle, Roland! I didn't see the fish climbing up, but FIR anyway. Thanks, Waseeley, for the review. Re: 39 Across, I think the APSE is the domed area at the front of the church, and not the side niches. Re: 11 Down, whether you apply hot wax and let it cool so you can rip out your hair, or a chemical compound like NEET or Nair to melt the hair, it's a painful process! Amazed that anyone repeats it after the first time! Happy holidays, everyone. DH and I are just as happy staying in.

CanadianEh! said...

Terrific Thursday . . and it's Christmas EVE! Thanks for the fun, Roland and waseeley.
This Canadian knows about FISH LADDERs - and I saw all the fish.
Several inkblots but perps eventually straightened out - Anna to ELSA; NOT MISS A step to BEAT.

Thanks for the shout-out waseeley; that was Josh Donaldson. But I think the most famous Blue Jay homer was Joe Clark's to win the 1993 World Series!!!!

Busy doing last minute chores and sending virtual greetings; just the two of us for Christmas due to Covid lockdown. But a turkey will be cooked anyway (and leftovers frozen and shared later).

Wishing you all a wonderful (if very different) Christmas.

SansBeach said...

Anonymous T. I live in an elevated home because of its proximity to the Gulf. 1st level is ground/garage. Exterior finish was stucco which had problems. Removed stucco to find a lot of damage to the wooden support. R&R a section at a time with exterior siding and repaint. Lots of hours so didn't get around to the xwords until evening. Little more painting to do but manageable.

Jamie said...

Fun puzzle!

Merry Christmas Eve to all!

Jayce said...

Happy Christmas eve, everyone. Thank you, Roland, for a fun puzzle and thank you, waseeley, for expounding upon it so eloquently.

Malodorous Manatee said...

Very nice recap, Bill. Well done. I wish that I had more time to appreciate it - and the puzzle.

Unfortunately, it has been a day of techno and logistic problems here. After a full week of slow-motion progress, today FedEx delayed the delivery of a parcel for an additional week. At which time I will be gone back to SoCal and only the shipper can change the delivery address...and they're closed until Monday. But the real problems were that I woke up to a cell phone which would not allow me access. The punch line is that, after almost thirty years of having a land land, I had arranged for that service to terminate today...and it did. Ultimately, I had to completely "wipe" the phone and, while many apps and much data were restore-able, some data was lost and some apps had to be reinstalled and/or re-logged-into. Still working on that but, at least, communications have been restored.

Wilbur Charles said...

C-eh, that was Joe Carter who hit the winning Homer in game Six.

Anonymous T said...

Vancouver Library? That's a stretch OMK but cute -- and a 15 win! :-)

Speaking of The Great White North...Lovely to see you C, Eh. You are a Jays fan. Nice.

SansBeach - I hate maintenance. All that work and nothing's different (except things won't fall apart). Good on you for getting it done.

[Nerd Alert]
LAG article was interesting ... Oh, I've dealt with it and introduced it. Want a few stories?

Working for DOD post-Desert Storm, we were designing comms for [classified]. To simulate LAG, I introduced two 300bps modems with a 40' cable running down the hall between "desert" and [redacted] over a Sat-feed.
I loved those days - just time to play and figure s*** out.
We built a LAN-in-a-CAN SYST and could drop-ship full internet-capable networks to the middle of nowhere.

Another LAG story? (oh, you didn't ask? I'll tell it anyway) In '05 I was working for a subsidiary of Shell Oil. They had a ship that ran from the Philippines to Alaska every year; they even had to change the Sat-band en route. Anyway, they wanted central control of said ship AND that the rig had access to central data in near real-time (really? they're on a frickin' boat...) DATA.

Anyway, my consultancy fee was $$$ so I made it work by introducing network accelerators (basically block-based differential copies) between land and sea. Cute fun!

OK, story time is over. It's nap time before cookies & nog & tree trimming.

Cheers, -T

LEO III said...

Thanks Roland and waseeley!

Got beaten up pretty badly today. I thought I had gotten three of the long fills right away, along with the reveal, but alas, no such luck. I couldn’t make GOBANKRUPT fit anything, and GOINTOHOCK never occurred to me. (I was only in the wholesale credit industry some 38 years, don't cha know!) I never did suss NOTMISSABEAT, nor did I see the fish going up the ladder. Basically, much of the first four rows was either blank or incorrect.

I also had a couple of holes up there in the NE. Didn’t know the weaving connection, but I had A_H_E_A. This dummy should have been able to figure out THAT one. It wouldn’t have led to a FIR, but I would have been closer. I think I was too frustrated to think hard by then.

Did I tell you that my initial fill for 63A was UNITED? Made sense to me! Hey, you can take the boy out of aviation, but you cannot take the aviation out of the boy.

Oh, well. Stay warm and cozy and safe! See you tomorrow.

SwampCat said...

Interesting puzzle and expo. Thanks all. I got the FISH LADDER entry but never saw the fish.

I was something of a student of copper River salmon fighting the cold to spawn so the basic theme was fun for me.

I’ll also be alone for Christmas by choice. Seems the responsible thing to do.

May I ask a favor? Those of you who solve early, could you please refrain from commenting on the puzzles until they are published? It spoils the fun for me and others.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday.

CanadianEh! said...

LOL WC, I think I was auto- corrected😁. Joe Clark was a former PM not a Blue Jay.

AnonT- DH and sons are sports fans; ergo I am a sports fan. Plus my father and brother were Maple Leaf fans; I grew up with Hockey Night in Canada!

OMK- I’m on the other side of the country but your VIRL is priceless.

Night all. Santa’s coming!

CrossEyedDave said...

Merry Christmas Eve All,
Sorry I am late to the party,
but it has been a very fun day,
starting with the puzzle.

Since all 3 daughters came to visit
(one with cats...)
it has been a busy day.

I was halfway thru todays challenge,
when Daughter #1 asked to help.
After a very enjoyable duet ala Xword,
I said, "we have to figure out the theme!"
"it might have helped with the long ones..."

This is where it stopped being fun because
she was like, "I don't know any fish names!"
Which reminded me of me, trying to do French in
English Xwords...

(Man, it is ugly to see yourself in retrospect...)

I wasn't going to link today, as I want to go to bed.
But Anon-T said something that requires a response,
(I don't remember what, so here is a semi-unrelated link...

But typing all this did make me remember something I saw on Facebook today,
that makes me wonder, is this puzzle theme superfluous?

CrossEyedDave said...

before this puzzle theme,
I had never heard of a rock climbing fish...

It was a side link to my own link above
that I found interesting enough to include here
if you are curious about such things... (7:21)

waseeley said...

OMK @3:33 PM You raise an interesting question - how do the fish down?  Jump over the dam and not hit a rock?  Run the bear gauntlet in reverse? 

NaomiZ @3:45 PM Thanks for that.  Apparently APSE is not a well-defined term.  Your definition is certainly valid, although I usually refer to that space as the Sanctuary.  I've often heard the "niches" along the side of a large church referred to as APSES.  The Cathedral in Baltimore where I just attended the Christmas Evening Mass has at least a dozen of them.  The fault may be in the puzzle definition "Cathedral areas", which is about as ambiguous as you can get. Re NEET, etc. I must confess that I have no experience with depilatories, other than a safety razor.

CanadianEh!  @4:14 PM I knew I could count on you!

Aw shucks MalMan @5:55 PM!  As my tag-teamer don't you think it's time we let everyone in on our little secret.  We get these puzzles a week before they're published and they're PRE-SOLVED.  All we have to do is come up with a bunch of bun motts, sprinkle them with internet bling, figure out the theme (ok so the climbing fish wasn't so easy), and try not to get too carried away. And thanks to 'yall for all the kind words.  And Merry Christmas to all!

Dash T @ :20 PM  Yes, it's a drag, especially when you've caused it and you gotta fixit.  Maintenance IS a drag, especially IT maintenance. Unfortunately, it probably constitutes 90% of the life cycle.  Except of course the 90% spent in testing. And be careful with that [...].  We might have to shoot you.  And in the end "things DO fall apart", at least according to W.B. Yeats, and Rudolph Clausius and Lord Kelvin.  And BTW, you're amazing.

SwampCat @8:39 PM  And a special Merry Christmas to you.  The world needs more people like you.


Yellowrocks said...

Apses are typically at the eastern end of a cathedral where the main altar is, but there can be side apses, too. I have seen many of them.

TTP said...

Bill, I know you are being modest, but I would disagree with, "We get these puzzles a week before they're published and they're PRE-SOLVED."

True, the Across Lite files are sent in advance, but they aren't pre-solved.

So in fact, the daily blogger can have the fun of solving the puzzle before ever looking at the answer sheet.

It is comparatively only recently that C.C. now also attaches a text file that does have the answers when she sends out the weekly Across Lite files, but it hasn't always been that way.

The history, as I know it...

In the beginning days of this blog, the daily bloggers solved the puzzle and then typed every clue and every answer into Blogger. I can't imagine typing every single clue and answer into the blog like that. Talk about tedious !

Later, C.C. got access to a utility program that analyzes Across Lite crossword files. Among other things, it produces a list of clues and answers. The daily blogger would copy that list and paste it into Blogger, and then start the process to BOLD each answer and insert line breaks between the clues. Still very tediously repetitive to go through each and every answer and bold them like that, all before even beginning to add the flair, images and videos.

In late March 2018, Dash T began work on a tool that would automate all the bolding of answers and inserting all the line breaks. In very short order, that became the puz2blog utility that C.C. and a few other bloggers used to create the "import-ready" text files. A significant time saver !

Because Mac bloggers can't run the tool, C.C. initially added the text files for them, and then as a matter of convenience, she recently started adding the text files for pretty much every day.

I just want to dispel any misconceptions that may have been caused by unintentionally suggesting that pre-solved (pre-filled-in) puzzles are provided to the bloggers.