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Dec 9, 2020

Wednesday, December 9, 2020, Catherine Cetta

Theme: NIGHTY NIGHT

17. *Core exercise starting from a lateral lying position: SIDE PLANK.

28. *Remote file-storage option: CLOUD BACKUP.

35. *"Balderdash!": HORSE FEATHERS.

43. *Hotel late-night meal source: ROOM SERVICE.

55. At night ... and where the starts of the answers to starred clues can go: AFTER DARK.

So clever ... AFTER DARK. DARK SIDE, DARK CLOUD, DARK HORSE, and DARK ROOM.

Across:

1. Single-handed rebuke: SLAP. Too many letters for wag.

5. Shopping spot: MART. Not mall.

9. "Oh, dear": AH ME.

13. Won by __: A HAIR. Not a nose.

14. Lotion additive: ALOE.

15. Wheel's partner?: DEAL.

16. Tan cousin: BEIGE

19. Gave the nod: OKD.

20. Aver: STATE.

22. Rowing tool: OAR.

23. Hung jury result, often: RETRIAL. New Netflix 8-part documentary series, Trial Four.

25. With "The," '80s British rockers who gave their group "the most ordinary name": SMITHS.

31. Chit: IOU.

32. Sargasso Sea spawner: EEL. The Sargasso Sea is a vast area of the northern Atlantic Ocean which is home to sargassum, a kind of seaweed. Also the name (Wide Sargasso Sea) of a prequel to Jane Eyre, about Mr. Rochester's wife, Antoinette, renamed by her husband as Bertha - mad and confined to the attic in Brontรซ's novel. 

33. "Baby back" morsel: RIB.

34. Consider: DEEM.

39. Balloon demise sounds: POPS. Speaking of balloons - I recently heard a great episode of the podcast Radiolab called A Very Lucky Wind, the first few minutes of which involves a very unlikely true story about a girl and a balloon. 

40. La-la preceder: TRA.

41. Rapper __ Nas X: LIL.

42. Java: JOE.

48. Actress Meryl: STREEP.

50. "Finally, it makes sense": I SEE NOW.

51. Director DuVernay: AVA. Director of another Netflix series, When They See Us, about the Central Park Five.

52. Page-bottom abbr.: CONTD.

54. "Yabba dabba __!": DOO. Fred Flintstone.



58. Like eta and zeta: GREEK.

60. Unwelcome look: LEER.

61. Fairy tale opener: ONCE.

62. Car service choices: UBERS.

63. Whirling current: EDDY.

64. Sign of sadness, maybe: TEAR.

65. Little drinks: NIPS. Not sips. In New England, the word “nip” is the regional slang for a tiny bottle of booze, usually 50 ml in size. It's thought that these bottles originated as tasters in the mid-1800s. The term nip likely comes from the Low German word nipperkin and was used as early as 1796.

Down:

1. Israeli coin: SHEKEL. Not to be confused with a schmeckle.

2. Stopped the ship by facing the wind: LAID TO. Nautical term, to lay to is "to bring a ship vessel into the wind and hold her stationary. A vessel doing this is said to be laying to." 

3. Bailed-out insurance co.: AIGAmerican International Group Inc. Falling Giant: A Case Study of AIG.

4. Chairs a meeting: PRESIDES.

5. Indian spice mix: MASALAWhat Is Garam Masala?

6. Landed: ALIT.

7. Went by bike or horse: RODE.

8. Start of a golf hole: TEE.

9. '50s candidate Stevenson: ADLAI.

10. More robust: HEARTIER"Hearty" refers to good health and ability, while "hardy" implies a boldness or capability to withstand tough conditions. Grammarist.

11. Outdated collective noun: MANDid you know the collective noun for butlers is a ‘sneer of butlers’? Harsh. 10 Most Offensive Collective Nouns.

12. Antlered bugler: ELK. Bull elk bugle (verb) as a sign of dominance, however, they also will bugle as a means to locate other elk. A bugle is also a way for a bull to call cows in to him. A chuckle is the series of grunts following a bugle.



13. Multiple choice choices: A B OR C. Tricky.

18. Elgar's "__ and Circumstance Marches": POMP.

21. Place for card games: TABLE TOP.

24. Ones with regrets: RUERS.

25. Hardest to spot: SUBTLEST.

26. Garden tools: HOES.

27. Bottom line: SUM.

29. Whipped __: CREAM.

30. Sportage automaker: KIA.

34. Probe (into): DELVE.

35. Real riot: HOOT. Oh, that kind of riot.

36. Performed surgery: OPERATED.

37. To and __: FRO.

38. Mercenary: HIRED GUN.

39. Nighties: PJS. Worn AFTER DARK.

43. Caboose's place: REAR.

44. Pitch that curves downward: SINKER.

45. Dangerously involved: IN DEEP.

46. Pigeons, e.g.: COOERS. Like the coo-coo Pigeon sisters ...


47. Furry "Star Wars" creatures:
EWOKS.

49. __ so often: occasionally: EVERY.

52. Candy shape: CANE.

53. Killer whale: ORCA.

55. Part of IPA: ALE.

56. Central banking syst., with "the": FED.

57. URL bit: DOT.

59. Hitter's stat: RBI.


Notes from C.C.:

Happy birthday to dear Hahtoolah (Susan), whose humor and talent shine through in each of her posts and links. A bat called Guanita who does not sleep properly? Only she can find that. Hahtoolah loves traveling and has been everywhere, including my hometown Xi'an. Hope you can be on the plane again next summer, Susan!
 

58 comments:

Lemonade714 said...

Catherine Cetta, another C.C. constructor is back. After two Tuesdays in September, she branches out into a Wednesday effort thus keeping the all-female tradition with mb's delightful write-up today. The theme was a challenge to spot and without the reveal, it might have beyond my ability. The rest were very gettable except I read 59D. Hitter's stat: RBI as Hitler's stat and was prepared to be very offended. Speaking of which, did any of you visit the Fiend and see their vituperative diatribes against Rich, Matt McKinley, and Woody Allen as the subject of a crossword puzzle? PATTI VAROL ALSO OBJECTED .

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Melissa wrote, "Too many letters for wag." I could respond, "Too few letters for finger." Fell into the nose/HAIR, sIPS/NIPS traps. Managed to finish the puzzle without finding the theme. Again. But d-o FIR, so life is good. Thanx, Catherine and Melissa Bee.

MASALA: That S was mi final fill. I had MASALA confused with MASAdA -- that cliff fortress in Israel.

POMP: In my H.S. yearbook, Pomp and Circumstance is listed as my favorite song.

Happy birthday, Hahtoolah. Let's hope the next year is better...and hurricane-free.

Hungry Mother said...

FIR with a couple of write-overs: LAIDTO 4 LAIDby and SINKER 4 SId__ (going for “sidearm”). Just a few names that could have been lost as far as I’m concerned.

Wilbur Charles said...

FLN, re. Huh and names. I remember a PGA leader board of Huh,Na,Brown Kaufman*. (John, Kevin,Scott,Smylie)

Whirling EDDY brought to mind Eddie Arcaro who ride Whirlaway to a Triple Crown.

re. Butler. I see Bertie's butler, Jeeves is a sometimes xword clue. I saw an episode of Wodehouse it may have been YouTube.

Yes, I looked up "The Fiend" to see comments about Chris and CC's WSJ xword. I can just imagine one about Jerry Lee Lewis** with a clue re. "Great Balls of Fire".

As usual the CC Corner was restrained and civil and talked about the movies of which Midnight (not to speak of American) in Paris is one I'd like to see.

This started out easier than Monday but had some crunch MASALA was fortunately previously clued, and -T linked SMITH the other day. HORSEFEATHERS was a Marx movie. FB directed me to a bio of Groucho: MGM brought him cash but he lost control.

And I'm never in the same mound as XW sports clues. Such a simple clue for SINKER. Name of one of LEN Deighton's trilogy (#2) books*

HBD to one of our favs, Hahtoolah.

WC

*I'm trying to track my theory that LD embedded the secrets of the JFK assassination. A character, Dodo, seems to be "Didi" De Morenshildt.
(-T, I'll match your mother conspiracy for conspiracy)
** Who married his 13 year old cousin

Anonymous said...

Didn't see the theme during the 7:04 needed to finish this one. Shekel and "laid to" were new to me. Not a fan of cooers and ruers.

Earlier this week I enjoyed some tikka masala for dinner (it was not room service).

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Thank you Catherine. I had some good first responses here, with a few slips that D-O has already mentioned. Nicely done.

Thank you, Melissa, for your excellent tour. I, too, thought of the Pigeon sisters at COOERS, so I laughed out loud when I saw your photo choice.

Happy Birthday, Hahtoolah! I echo Lemonade's wish for a better coming year. And thank you again for all the effort you put into our puzzling enjoyment.

Belated birthday wishes and well wishes to everyone. I have been lax about posting. I have found making cookies and dropping them off to friends and neighbors has been a real treat--random distanced greetings have been most enjoyable.

Be well and enjoy some sunshine today.

inanehiker said...

Fast and fun puzzle - definitely need the reveal answer to link the rest together.
I had Slider before SINKER and A NOSE before A HAIR. I thought 13D might be ABCDE before it was changed to A B or C. I also had SUBTLETY before perps changed it to SUBTLEST.

From yesterday - I'm glad someone out there questioned the theme...

Thanks Melissa and Catherine!

HBD to Susan

Wilbur Charles said...

*I meant add earlier: Pronounced COWfman

Yellowrocks said...

I worked from bottom up and so sussed the theme early on, which sped me on my way.
I have seen it in print and heard "horse feathers" on the screen, particularly said by Col. Potter in Mash. I doubt I have ever heard it said in conversations.
I, too, questioned the appropriateness of the theme yesterday, hence my little pun. I believe it flew right over everyone's head.
Susan, happy birthday. Lovely pic. I look forward to your blog as the highlight of my day.
I wish the editor would learn that a morsel is a delectable MOUTHFUL or bite. A rib is much too big. Every time I see this clue I cringe.
I am moving tomorrow, no WI FI or printer for the time being. Catch you all in a week or two when I am out of quarantine and can use the house WI FI. Eventually my apt. will be connected.

Husker Gary said...

Musings
-There is no permanent DARK SIDE of the Moon but there is a permanent far side
-Won by A HAIR – Iowa second district: Miller-Meeks 196,964 Hart 196,958
-TEE – Played 18 yesterday and will play another 18 today in 60F weather
-PRESIDER? ChairMAN? Nope – Chairperson.
-RUERS and COOERS are gluers today
-My keyboard insists on FRO instead of FOR and TOADY instead of TODAY when I type too quickly
-HIRED GUN - A great TV theme song
-Caboose’s place? Museum these days
-Sunday - Disney movies. Monday - Woody’s. Not OKD by Patti
-Happy Birthday, Susan!

ATLGranny said...

FIR today, continuing the trend since Sunday's miss. Also saw how the theme worked only after the reveal. Clever. AH ME, I did put MAll/MART for my only WO, but I managed to avoid the other pitfalls. HORSE FEATHERS and balderdash continue the recent string on Sunday: fiddle faddle, fiddlesticks and nonsense. I SEE NOW that the dictionary has many more synonyms we may see next. Thanks Catherine for the puzzle today. I enjoyed it. And Melissa B, thanks for the review and helpful extras like ELKs bugling.

Happy Birthday, Hahtoolah! Hope you can plan some trips soon.

Have some NIPs (nipperkins) if frost is NIPping at your toes this cold weather, y'all. Stay warm and healthy.

Wilbur Charles said...

YR, I just PORED over your five posts and couldn't find it. You certainly did hide it well. Ok, I skimmed.

And...They now have RIBlets which do have morsels of rib meat sans bone.
And.. We'll miss you Yellowrocks. I use a cellphone for all my reading, posting and linking. YMMV

196958/196961=0.99998476855. I think that's .001%. Should be a runoff.

Wow, Gary, your weather is warmer than Ocala weather

WC

D4E4H said...

Good morning Cornerites.

Thank you Catherine Cetta for your enjoyable Wednesday CW.

I FIR in 26:22 min.

Thank you melissa bee for your excellent review.

Happy birthday Hahtoolah.

รave 

Lucina said...

Hola!

The AZ Republic erred again! I was prepared to thank Kurt Mengel and Jan-Michele Gianette which is what the newspaper printed. AH ME. I don't understand why they keep doing that. So thank you, Catherine Cetta and Melissa.

Happy birthday, Susan! I hope you can celebrate even if it's low key.

This puzzle was very quickly filled with no w/o or errors. And I did see the theme. Oh, wait. I did have sips before NIPS.

Interesting that AIG and FED were at opposite sides.

I have no idea about MASALA. I am not familiar with Indian cuisine. Also I don't recall the SMITHS.

Enjoy a pleasant day, everyone!

Malodorous Manatee said...

Happy Birthday, Susan.

Thanks for the puzzle, Catherine, and for the recap, Melissa Bee.

This has got to be the first time I have seen schmeckel in print. On a related note, The history of the Restricted Sector For Stateless Refugees is fascinating.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy Birthday to Hahtoolah. Hope you have a great birthday by the bayous.

Another easy solve. No white-out was needed today. Got the theme after it was mostly done. Kinda neat. FIR.
NIPS - Melissa mentioned its likely derivation from the L. Ger. 'nipperkin'. I don't remember my parents using a word like that so I LIU'd.
German has the word Nippen; Northern L. German has Nipp or Nippen. The East Frisian area L. German (NE Netherlands and NW Germany) gives the words Niep or Nippken. Thanks Melissa for tweeking my interest.

TTP said...



Good morning. Thank you, Catherine Cetta, and thank you, Melissa.

Happy Birthday, Hahtoolah !

Running late. No problems with the puzzle today.

So I got to Lemonade's post and took his link.

I read enough of the comments over there to get a sense, but no further digging on my own. Don't need to know any more.

I must have been living under a rock or another planet. Or somehow completely forgot it all if I ever knew about it. But now I understand some of our own comments here on Monday that I glossed over. For instance, about actors not wanting to work on his movies.

Gotta run. Groceries are about ready for pickup.





D4E4H said...

Opus Number COVID-19
 
Music: " H.O.L.Y. " (an acronym for "High on Loving You")  Written by busbee, Nate Cyphert, and William Wiik Larsen
Sung by Florida Georgia Line

My song is sung to the chorus of - HOLY

Lyrics: D4E4H

Damn you COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID
I'll die if I get you, die if I get you.

You're deadly, deadly, deadly, deadly,
I'll die if I get you, die if I get you.

รavid has left the building

Tinbeni said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAHTOOLAH> My "first-sunset toast" tonight is to YOU !

Well this was a FUN Wednesday puzzle. Though I missed the theme until the write-up.

Cheers!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

FIR with just 2 inkovers: Mall/MART, alas/AHME. but the theme? No way HOES -ay

OKD kind of crunchy..(OKed?, Okayed?). When is ABORC not ABORC? when it's A, B, or, C! Add RUERS to the ired and elhi junk-fill heap, sheesh, yeesh even. What ever happened to the B in SUBTLEST? I've combed the OED and can't find it

I did research in the Sargasso Sea in college. ('69 or '70).The floating islands harbor uniquely evolved Sargassum species. Sargassum fish, crabs, etc. that evolved to resemble the floating weed for camouflage. No EELs as they spawn there only at certain times of the year. We left from Cape Hattaras on a research vessel, the RV Eastward and hit stormy seas. Almost turned back. Gave a new meaning to sea sick.

So MAN is an outdated unisex collective? Like Brethren and Cistern? PLANKS, haven't done them for a few years. Had enough difficulty maintaining the standard (not the lateral) position. There was a slim/trim 82 years young lady in the class who had no trouble at all.

More proper names like LEER and EDDY (wait, those are just nouns). Ackshully wrote in road instead of RODE! and my spelling is usually purfict

Pegasus plumes.....HORSEFEATHERS
First woman doings...EVERY
Beer brand...COOERS
French friend ...AHME
Prisoner gridiron 6 pointer...CONTD.

Happy Birthday Hahtoolah! Always great commentaries

Yellowrocks said...

WC, Woody Allen is aptly named. That led to his loss of reputation.

desper-otto said...

Lucina, same error in the Barnacle. Those darned elves continue to get into the Christmas spirits.

desper-otto said...

YR, congrats that your move is finally "on." We'll all be looking forward to your return.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Today is also our special daughter Catherine's 39th birthday. She has recovered from Covid but 2 more days of quarantine keep us from a family celebration. Pizza and cake tonight

Our House of Representatives district is the last unresolved congressional election..the candidate's are separated right now by twelve votes out of a total of over 318,000 cast.

Happy Hump day

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was an easy, breezy solve but I needed the reveal to see the theme. Like others, I went astray at Alas/Ah Me and A Nose/A Hair. The only duo I saw was Rib/RBI.

Thanks, Catherine, for a mid-week treat and thanks, Melissa, for the informative expo and links.

Happy Birthday, Susan, I hope it’s a special day. ๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽˆ

YR, best wishes for an uneventful move and a smooth transition into your new surroundings. Hurry back! ๐Ÿ˜‰

FLN

Anon T, I enjoyed your daughter’s aria, despite not understanding a word of it. She has a beautiful voice as do CED’s daughters; I wish all of them well.

unclefred, I agree 100% with everything you said about The Morning Show. I can’t wait for the second season! Have you seen Greyhound yet?

CanadianEh! said...

Wonderful Wednesday. Thanks for the fun, Catherine and melissa bee.
This CW had just a "morsel" of crunch, but I finished in good time and saw the theme at the reveal. But I arrived here to discover that I FIWed; I did not change Sips to NIPS and wondered what a HIRED GUs was. D'uh!

Several inkblots- hand up for Mall before MART, Alas before AH ME.
My "Baby back" morsel was a Bit (thinking of Bacon), and I really thought that Bottom line=Hem was cute; oh, it is SUM!

COOERS and RUERS are not as nose-wrinkling for me as CONTD and OKD, but they are valid is somewhat "gluey" fill.
We had Aver as a clue today, not an answer.
For all of us who had Heart as the theme yesterday, we were given HEARTIER today. LOL.

YR-Glad that your move is finally going ahead.
HBD to Ray'o's daughter Catherine.
HBD to Hahtoolah.

Wishing you all a great day.

Anonymous said...


FLN = From Last Night (i.e. Yesterday)

Wilbur Charles said...

Ah yes, I remember that now. A friend of my wife called me Woody. Tempted but I won't go there. To sum up, there was where I wasn't going despite the invite. Stayed friends.

WC

AnonymousPVX said...


YR, if you can post with WiFi you should be able to post with your phone over 4G/LTE. Try turning off WiFi in your phone settings to default to 4G/LTE, as a test.

Wasn’t MASALA Judah Ben-Hur’s childhood friend/adult enemy?

Rather crunchy Wednesday puzzle but no issues.

waseeley said...

Yes Ron, it's a way of getting in the last word. I've got it now, but it won't last.

waseeley said...

See, I just had the rug pulled out from under me.

CrossEyedDave said...

Happy Birthday Hahtoolah!

My reaction to the puzzle?

Well, I was in a rush,
so I turned on the red letters thinking,
It's only Wednesday, I wont need them,
& it will help with my spelling...

TYped in Ma"LL"
& thought:

Well, H E Double Hockey Sticks!

Hahtoolah said...

Good Afternoon, Melissa and Friends. Thanks for all the birthday wishes. Yes, this year will be very low-key. We have been home pretty much since March and wear our masks whenever we have to go out. Takeout sushi is on the menu for the birthday dinner with hubby. This year, our most exciting travel has been to the library for the curb-side pick up of books! Hopefully, next year we will be able to venture a bit further away.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Happy Birthday Hahtoolah! One day I'd love to know what your handle means.

Quite the messy solve today - I shot myself in the foot aplenty [see: WOs].

Thanks Catherine (oh, boy, here we go again - Kurt & Jan are credited in the Chron) for a fun Wednesday puzzle. Thanks mb for linking Radio Lab and NOT linking the SMITHS* :-)

WOs: PRESIDEd, started playing cards in the PARLOR--, fRA -> TRA, HEM was my bottom line (Hi C, Eh!), Caboose at the ends -> REAR. Slider b/f SINKER, sIPS->NIPS
ESPs: MASALA, AVA
Fav: I've always liked the word SHEKEL

Good luck with the move YR. Hopefully, you can access someone's WiFi even while quarantined otherwise that's going to be a long two weeks.
//Some phones can act as a WiFi hot-spot. But be careful 'cuz that's your data plan.

IM - Thanks re: Daughter. I think CED's are pretty good too - they should do something fun (CED, your daughters like rock & roll?)

Just two more days Ray-O! //and then you'll have to get your own food :-)

C, Eh! Do you have Chili's in Canada? Here's the jingle I think the clue was referencing.

Back to work (taking the afternoons off is not working out as well as I hoped**).

Cheers, -Tony
*WC - If I linked The SMITHS I must have been melancholy - they're EMO-y.
**I'm technically off the clock so... a beer's ok for my last meeting, right? :-)

Misty said...

C.C., is there any way you could check with the LA Times about why this morning's Wednesday puzzle was listed as "by Kurt Mengel and Jan-Michelle Gianette" rather than by Catherine Cetta? This is the second day in a row we've been given incorrect constructor names, and I worry it will continue all week. Frustrating.

But Catherine, your puzzle was a pleasure, and your commentary too, Melissa.

Some answers were easy, like TABLE TOP for 'Place for card games.' Others much tougher, like HORSE FEATHERS for 'Balderdash'--although that one cracked me up when I got it.

Happy Birthday, Susan.

Have a good move, Yellowrocks. We'll be thinking about you and looking forward to having you back to join us here--you are indispensable.

Have a good Wednesday, everybody.

waseeley said...

Thank you Catherine, even though the theme was a bit on the back side of noir :-). And thank you Melissa for your write up, especially the linked article on collective nouns.

Happy Birthday Susan and Happy Hanukkah as well. Your puzzle explications are always informative and entertaining and show a lot of hard work and dedication to the Cornerites.

FIR. The last clue to fall was 11D, as I don't tend to view MAN as a "collective noun", at least not in the sense of the examples in Melissa's article, i.e. "a SOMETHING of SOMETHINGs". As a collective that encompasses all intended members of the set of sentient beings on this planet, MAN is certainly inadequate. But so are HUMAN, HUPERSON, and HUPERCHILD (this last one might be offensive to ADULTS, especially those who behave like children). And whatever we come up with might be offensive to CETACEANS (I can hear them woefully singing in the deep, "We don't go around harpooning you!").

But if it must be our species then give me German with its good old "Die, Das, und Der"!

Spitzboov said...

11d - MAN - - I think in German it would be rendered as "Der Mensch".

waseeley said...

Oh, I sure you're right Spitzboov. The 11D clue was "Outdated collective noun" and I was exploring whether MAN is really a "collective noun", and if it is, and if it is outdated in a pluralist society, what do we replace it with? I seized on German because it has a neutral pronoun, but alas a pronoun is not a noun. Most collective nouns don't have gender and "MAN" certainly does. That said I'm at a loss as to how to "update" it in a way that is universal and doesn't fracture our language.

Wilbur Charles said...

-T, if I am listening to something on my phone I just assume it was your link. I happened to see the word SMITH and wondered what they were.

Jayce said...

Happy birthday, Hahtoolah!

Anonymous T said...

Just got off a conference call say...

The meeting organizer, someone in the IT PR group (she's turning our slop into pretty for Enterprise Security Training), turns out to be a huge xword fan. Does the NYT most every day (and commiserates with her dad re: tough fill). It's funny, because, in that (PR) group, there are 3! xword nerds and none of them do the LAT. I think I may have turned her on to it -- we'll see if she shows up at The Corner.

Now, about a nap...

Cheers, -T

Spitzboov said...

Waseeley - I thought that that's where you were headed. It's just that the (by gender) definite articles were left hanging out there alone, and I was attempting to give the gender part more context.

Wilbur Charles said...

Hi came up with Insidious Sadistic Man hating disease for ISM. Then I had the dilemma vis a vis MAN as a collective in the new PC world. So I thought perhaps "mankind".

CanadianEh! said...

AnonT- no Chili’s here. I think I saw “ back” and thought of Canadian bacon LOL!

Ol' Man Keith said...

HBD, Hahtoolah! Neat photo!

Nice pzl. It kept me guessing before my last fill--CLOUD BACKUP. (Still not used to the CLOUD.)

I love HORSEFEATHERS
~ OMK
___________
DR:
Three diagonals on the far side. You'd think with this many options, I would have a real choice of decent anagrams.
But No.
The central diagonal is overloaded on vowels. The top line is the only one to yield a half-way passable anagram.

TRIGGER WARNING!
My apologies to anyone who may be offended, but I only report what the anagram will give me. In tis case, it is a descriptor of someone in medieval times, or in a later period of Tsarist Russia, that is to say, someone who uses intimate tactics to win the hearts of the peasantry.
Yes, I mean a...
"SERF FELLATOR"!

(Do NOT say you were not warned.)

Brian said...

Anon -T,
You said that in the PR group that there are 3! (3 factorial = 6) crossword nerds? ;) Are there 6?

Anonymous said...

Does this post?
Yellowrocks

Anonymous said...

I can read the blog and comment by phone, but I do not have the patience to solve by phone.
Yellowrocks

Vidwan827 said...

Thank you Catherine Cetta for a very nice and enjoyable puzzle, and Thank You Melissa Bee for an enjoyable and interesting review.

Happy Birthday, Hahtoolah, and thanks for your humorous cartoon links, and your QOD's.

I remember one of the QODs ; Dont bear a grudge against a person, because if you do, it's like having that person reside rent free in your mind and your brain, for the rest of your life....

Anon-T. FYI , ... "Hahtoolah" means a Cat (female) in Hebrew. Also from Google.
Maybe Susan is a cat lover.


On 'Masala' .... My knowledge on Hindi and Urdu, is merely passable, but I consider myself a very good cook in indian cooking ...
Masala, is a word like Olio ..." a mixture of things ". Over time, and by convention, especially with regard to cooking, it now means a mixture of spices, as a powder or paste.

Generally, reputable masalas do not contain salt, or even ( hot) chilly powder, since traditionally, salt is added based on one's taste, and so is chilly powder. But, commercial masalas do contain salt ( because it is cheap, and adds bulk and weight -) and chilly powder, as a convenience.

The Hindi word for 'pungent', ala the alkaloid Capsacin, is Teekha, tikka or theekha. Like Chicken tikka masala. It also means hot, as by taste. I avoid using the word 'spicy' because it is confusing and misunderstood.

Garam, of the Garam masala, can mean Hot, but is more ususally meant as 'Warm'. This is because it warms up the body, long after you have consumed it.

Garam masala has spices which have their reaction and pungency not only on the tongue, but more in the esophagus and in the stomach. Typically, the garam masala acts, say, 25% on the tongue and mouth, and 75% in the stomach. Therefore one should be very careful, because the effect is felt with a lag time, or a delay, from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. Typically, it should be added sparingly, at the very end of the cooking process .... specifically for the flavor, and hopefully little of the lasting effects.

The Garam masala spices are ... Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom ( both the green cultivar and the black cultivar - two totally different plants ) , Indian Bay Leaf ( Not mere BAY LEAF !!!) or Cinnamomum tamala or Malabathrum or Indian Cassia or Malabar leaf.

The spices also include the seeds of Fennel, Anise and Dill, Schezwan peppers and Cubeb peppers, possibly black ( or white) pepppers and Nutmeg, Mace and Stone flower ( a lichen ) called Parmotrema perlatum. This list is by no means exhaustive, but fairly complete.

LEO III said...

Hello, everyone!

Thank you Catherine Cetta and Melissa Bee! Nice puzzle and expo!

HBD Hahtoolah!

Well, two stupid mistakes cost me today, so I ended up with a FIW! Wasn’t paying attention to the tense on 19A/2D (Sorry, Spitz), and I SIPped instead of NIPped, and I was OK with HIREDGUS. Duh!

Everything else went smoothly. Got the longs and the reveal quickly, and I even remembered to look back for the theme.

Actually, most curveballs also sink. Some have claimed that the curve is just an optical illusion. Dizzy Dean is credited with saying something along the lines, "Stand behind a tree 60 feet away, and I'll whomp you with an optical illusion."

waseeley said...

Groan!

waseeley said...

You have to be all thumbs. And skinny ones at that.

waseeley said...

Serf sycophants?

Anonymous T said...

Brian - LOL. I guess I should have put the ! inside parens (). No, there's only 3 - but they're the whole team. Makes you wonder about hiring criteria in that group :-)

OMK - *groan* :-)

Vidwan - thanks for the Hahtoolah definition and for the detail on masales. There's a large Indian population in Sugar Land (we had the 1st cricket field in the south) and we have more than a couple of restaurants that are really good - even if I have no idea what I'm eating (just bring on the naan & yogurt sauce to cut the heat!)

YR - Yes, it posts.

C, Eh! Ah, yes Back-Bacon [Bob & Doug].

Cheers, -T

waseeley said...

OMK @5:42PM - I usually don't refer to it as the CLOUD, but rather the FOG. It's a good example of IT's tendency to try to fix problems with complex systems by making them more complex, what I like to refer to as the "Cybernetic Imperative".

Anonymous T said...

Waseeley - Don't get me started...
I was on a "CyberSec Leadership" panel this morning re: Cloud best practices. I'm not sure my disdain for the tech was held in check.
Software defined networks (implemented by the server team?!?)... Oy! A security disaster waiting to happen.
And that's not to mention AWS S3 buckets that someone left the API key to on github... Mother Frog!

Cloud ≠ KISS [Keep It Simple Stupid]

Cheers, -T

Wilbur Charles said...

I want my baby back, baby back...

The alleged "optical illusion" was not the curve which obviously sinks and curves, but the seeming observation of the fastball "rising".

Your physicists and engineers claim it is impossible. But with the old time raised mound and a near 100mph fastball I will swear I saw the ball "hop"(eg rise).

My friend(Jeff) who had that fastball made the mistake of fooling around with the curveball. I wisely desisted from the curve until almost 20. Then I had the curve but no team. Except a town league team. But I did come in to relieve Jeff one night and closed the door.

WC

waseeley said...

Dash T @12:16 AM Amen brother! As Mr. Clemens once said "Anyone who likes sausage and respects the law should never see either one of them being made". As someone, as you have, who has spent considerable time in the dark underbelly of the net, I can attest that sometimes it reeks down there!