Jan 30, 2021

Saturday, January 30, 2021 Joe Deeney

 Saturday Themeless by Joe Deeney 

Joe and his 
lovely daughter born in April

Here we have another challenging Saturday pinwheel-style puzzle consisting of 10-letter troikas by Joe, our Supply Chain Project Manager in Massachusetts.

Here is what Joe had to say about this puzzle: 

Hi Gary,

Thanks for reaching out. All is well here, hope the same for you.

This is the same grid layout as my puzzle published in the LA Times July 25, 2020 (hg - both are posted just below). This puzzle originally started life as an offshoot of that puzzle. I submitted that original puzzle to the New York Times and got a polite rejection, noting they especially liked the NE corner. I decided used that corner to design what would become this puzzle and submitted it to them - they passed again. I submitted the original puzzle to 
Rich which he accepted. At that point I rebuilt the NW corner of today's puzzle, since it was the same as the original, and sent that on to Rich as well, and was very happy to get the thumbs up from him on it.

As I look at the puzzle today, LISLE and BEREA stick out as fill I wouldn't tolerate anymore, but I hope there is enough fun among the long answers to make up for those clunkers.


                    Today's grid and Joe's identical 7/20/20 grid
Let's Take Off!


1. Ones who usually know what to do with their hands: CARDSHARPS - This CARD SHARP (SHARK) isn't dealing hands off the top of the deck

11. She taught Butch and Sundance Spanish for their Bolivian robberies: ETTA.

15. Turn yellow: CHICKEN OUT.

16. Level: SHIM - Using a SHIM (noun) to SHIM (verb) up a doorframe to level

17. Italian menu word meaning "hunter": CACCIATORE - I not only got it, I spelled it correctly!

18. Rig: SEMI - "See ya on down the road, Jack!"

19. Spot about being green, for short: PSA - Public Service Announcement telling you to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle so we don't 30. Exhaust: USE UP our natural resources 

20. Earthquakes or Fire, briefly: MLS TEAM.

22. Kind of engine: JET.

23. Lhasa __: APSO - Lhasa is the capital of Tibet and APSO is the Tibetan word for hairy

24. Snack chip: DORITO.

26. Row houses?: FRATS - FRAT row in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

29. Agamemnon pair: NUS Αγαμέμνονα

32. In again: RETRO - 80's? I wore those Converse Chuck Taylor's twenty years before that.

33. Only: LONE.

34. Social science classic: DAS KAPITAL - A rare first edition Marx signed four days after its 1867 publication 

36. DEA employee: AGT - We see lots of AGENTS clued here

37. Research Triangle city: RALEIGH.

38. Green of "Casino Royale": EVA - She is wearing a V-NECK like we saw in Jeff Stillman's Thursday puzzle

39. French archipelago: GUADELOUPE - In the Lesser Antilles

41. Cello's lack: FRET.

42. City with a Cleveland Browns training facility: BEREA, Ohio on Lou Groza Boulevard (you have to be a real (old) NFL fan to know of Lou "The Toe" Groza

43. Network operated by the U.S. Space Force: GPS - A GPSIII satellite just before launch by the U.S. Space Force last year

44. Hosiery thread: LISLE - I knew from doing cwd's and Joe said he would not use again.

45. Theater company?: ESCORT.

47. Vet school subj.: ANAT.

49. DIRECTV parent: ATT 
50. Hotel convenience: MINIBAR  Check out the cost of a Snickers and a Coke 

53. Get rid of: AXE.

56. "Kills bugs dead" brand: RAID - My ants seemed to be taking a shower in RAID but this stuff wiped 'em all out in an hour

58. It doesn't affect a starting pitcher's win-loss record: NO DECISION - In this summary below, C. Morton pitched 7.0 innings but did not get the win because R. Osuna was the pitcher of record when the Astros scored the winning run.

60. Permanently mark: ETCH.

61. Hard to follow, facetiously: CLEAR AS MUD - Try to explain baseball's infield fly rule to someone. 

62. True: REAL.

63. Trials with blindfolds, perhaps: TASTE TESTS.


1. Soyuz initials: CCCP Союз Советских Социалистических Республик

2. Revelations: AHAS.

3. Like una heredera: RICA - Heredera means heiress and RICA means rich

4. XXV x XXVIII: DCC - Screenshot of an online Roman numberal calculator I used

5. Cuts corners: SKIMPS - This package SKIMPS on the shrimp

6. Recovers: HEALS.

7. Snack with an unappetizing name: ANTS ON A LOG - Celery, peanut butter and raisins. What's not to like?

8. Square __: ROOT - My online Roman Numeral calculator does not appear to do square ROOTS.

9. Unmitigated: PURE.

10. Place: STEAD - During the Civil War men could pay someone to go fight in their STEAD

11. Start at the beginning?: ESS Start

12. Nerves: THE JITTERS - Never had 'em from coffee

13. Cause of many fictional paradoxes: TIME TRAVEL - In Back To The Future Marty McFly meets his mom and dad when he was their age

14. "Did it start already?": AM I TOO LATE.

21. Transmute: MORPH - Sir Isaac Newton's notes for transmuting lead into gold with the "philosopher's stone"

23. Put away the dishes?: ATE.

25. Portuguese royal: REI - Across the Pyrenees in Spain it is REY

26. Olympics opening ceremony VIP: FLAG BEARER - Soviet weightlifter Yury Vaslov carried the 35-lb flag with one hand for a full five minutes

27. Threat to world peace: ROGUE STATE and people who 
37. Provide new pieces for?: REARM them

28. Ross Sea locale: ANTARCTICA - About 3,000 miles south of Melbourne

31. Flutters with excitement: SKIPS A BEAT - There was this JH dance once... 

34. Indian lentil stew: DAL All you want to know

35. Spend time in a cellar, perhaps: AGE - I'm seem to be doing that above ground 

40. __ juvante: with God's help: DEO - Latin

41. Honda subcompact: FIT - Their 5-door subcompact

44. Roundup tool: LARIAT - Unlike a lasso, a LARIAT is made of stiffer rope so that the noose stays open when it is thrown

46. Bit of color: TINCT.

48. Mother-of-pearl: NACRE - A familiar cwd substance

51. Pelican St. city: NOLA - New Orleans LA

52. Shakespearean warning word: IDES 
Beware the IDES of March: Soothsayer warning Julius Caesar of the Ides of March - the day on which he was assassinated. Illustration for Julius Caesar from an edition of William Shakespeare's works published 1858.

53. Designs: AIMS.

54. Cancel: X-OUT - Also a golf ball that has a slight cosmetic defect is sold for much less is called an X-OUT

55. The odds are with them: ENDS - Every house has a drawer full of odds and ENDS

57. UPS alternative: DHL and...

59. Seattle-to-Reno dir.: SSE.


OwenKL said...

⊞ Never heard of ANTS ON A LOG, BEREA, DEO juvante, NO DECISION, heredera RICA, REI, DAL, EVA Green, Honda FITA.
⊞ Thought GUADELOUPE was a single island, not an archipelago, nor that it was France's.
⊞ Didn't know the Space Force had anything to do with GPS (and still kind of doubtful - their official website makes no mention of the USSF, so I guess no one has told them yet).
⊞ No idea how to spell ChaChiTORi.
⊞ AgAMeMNoN has 3 ays, ems, & ens; and in Greek 3 alphas (which don't fit), mus, & NUS. No fair giving that clue without a more descriptive clue like "Agamemnon's final Greek duet".
⊞ Had CARD players < SHARPS, trIM < SHIM, MLbTEAM < MLS, SKIPS ABouT < A BEAT.

OwenKL said...

It may be an exotic story!
A hunter's feast
Of fowl meat,
But still tastes like chicken. Sorry. 🙁

A DORITO may be a RETRO treat.
In a TASTE TEST, they have Fritos BEAT.
But there's NO DECISION
But that the fusion
In a Frito Pie is really neat!

{A-, A-.}

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Big fat DNF. Fell into the TINge/TINCT trap, but wiggled out of it. But that ML_TEAM stumped me. I WAGged an H (Hockey). Lower down I managed to figure out that they were Greek letters, and proudly inked in MUS. That made the unappetizing snack an ANTHOMALOG. Wasn't familiar with ANTSONALOG (or how to parse it), so it got to stand. Bzzzzzzt! Thanx for playing. Enjoy your delightful parting gift. Thanx, Joe and Husker. (I'm off to my abasement.)

"Every house has a drawer full..." -- I've got a whole room full. I call it my office.

Big Easy said...

Good morning from suburban NOLA. It was almost a NO DECISION (aka DNF) today. I had no idea what 'heredera' meant and the correct spelling of CACCIATORE so it was either RICA or RITA. Since Italian words usually have a double consonant I guessed 'CACCI' instead of 'CATCI'. Didn't know meant hunter either. But I FIR.

The unknown ANTS ON A LOG gave me fits as I wanted either EMS or EMS. I had to USE UP the letters from A to N before I saw the light. I kept wanting a single word- "ANTSO_A" to modify LOG' It wasn't CLEAR AS MUD. BEREA and the deep cleaved EVA Green were other unknowns.

57.D UPS alternative- DHL. Not in the USA. DHL only delivers packages that originate from other countries.

The SE gave me a lot of trouble until I changed TINGE to TINCT. Looking at otto's comments I see the same problems as me.

Research Triangle- DUKE, NC STATE, & UNC.

X-OUT- Top Flites are already cheap. I guess the X-OUTs are even cheaper.

Lemonade714 said...

I am most impressed by the two grids that Joe created which ended bringing us today's puzzle.

I also must give kudos to Picard for explaining why my comment on yesterday's 40A. There are lots of them: NEW CARS. Without perps this is impossible, but it is a new fill by noting that car dealers present their product in LOTS . Was I the only one who missed that subtlety?

BEREA was all perps and very obscure to this East coaster but LISLE seemed fair.

Enjoy your weekend all and thank you Joe and Gary- love baby pics.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I found this difficult but with lots of P and P, finished without help in a reasonable Saturday time. I thought the fill was lively and fresh and the cluing devilishly devious, but fair and fun. The long fill was abundant which usually aids with the solve, once you get a toehold here and there. I knew Cacciatore because I used to make it a lot, but it took a couple of tries to spell it correctly. I, too, fell into the Tinge/Tinct trap, plus a Flats/Frats mix up. I’ve heard of Berea but not as clued and the MLS Team perped itself, as I know nil about Soccer. CSO to the NOLA contingent.

Thanks, Joe, for a delightful solve (Will Shortz’s rejection was our gain, IMO) and thanks, HG, for a stellar summary and excellent eye candy, especially that adorable Lhasa!

Have a great day. Stay warm, safe, and sane.

Hungry Mother said...

Very unpleasant due to all of the names. ANTSONALOG defeated me. Never heard of it and wouldn’t eat it. Waste of time.

jfromvt said...

Liked the grid with several long answers across and down. Well done puzzle!

First had FLATS instead of FRATS, so took a while to get ROGUEstate. Had LOTUE which made no sense (also ATT instead of AGT). Finally clicked in.

JJM said...

I think that this one of the hardest LA Times Saturday puzzles that I've seen in years. The cluing and fill, at least in my opinion, was very difficult and tricky. I had to look up 3 Clues in the dictionary as I didn't know what the word meant. Then suss out the fill. Very tough. I don't what IM's time was but mine was 29:13. At least I finished.

Waiting for snow to arrive later this afternoon. They're calling for 8-10 and all the kids are back at college, so no help shoveling there..... gonna be a long morning tomorrow. Stay well.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

A pinwheel style puzzle with 10 - letter troikas... wha?...huh? 🤔

I did the CW Roman numeral multiplication with a calculator and still came up with the answer: M for D 🙄

Sheesh.... FIW/DNF cuz I made Lhasa mistakes. Heredera is a poquito beyond basic CW Spanish. P/CCCP. So I ended up with PalmSHARPS (palm=hand right?, maybe a var. of palm MLb Team/MLSTEAM. Couldn't decide on a pair of Greek ems (mus) or ens NUS Ergo, never got to eat one ANTONALOG 🐜

Have a cousin I visit often in RALEIGH so the 🔺️ clue was a given.
Recently completed in 2017 an enormous cathedral there in the classic crossword style with nave, apse, dome etc..

Do we really have a space force? C'mon!. I see Husker has signed up!👨‍🚀🚀. (Great job btw)

How else does one kill bugs other than dead? Had the usual sole/LONE debacle. ..IDES is a date...beware would the "warning word". (Big E and IM) tinge perped wrong, but TINCT? I have heard of InTINCTure (or inTINCTion) as a eucharistic method of dipping the host in the wine.

Berea - Wikipedia

Berea may refer to: Contents. 1 Places. 1.1 Greece; 1.2 Lesotho; 1.3 Romania; 1.4 South Africa; 1.5 United States. 2 Other uses; 3 See also. Places[edit].

A MINIBAR is more of an expensive hotel temptation than a convenience. (A $10 Snickers bar enticing me from beyond the little fridge door)

Gen. Washington's goal.....CACCIATORE
I ____ therefore I was...TINCT
Those wildebeests are ___ to me. NUS.
Trying out police equipment...TASTETESTS

Have a great weekend, a frigid one advantage of a mask is it keeps my face warm.😷

desper-otto said...

Wasn't BEREA also a KGB head way back when? That'd be a Saturday-worthy clue.

Husker Gary said...

-I worked a NYT Saturday puzzle this morning and John Guzzetta had the clue “One who makes good use of his hands” as CARD SHARKS instead of CARD SHARPS like Joe did
-HM, Cheez Whiz in celery was a childhood treat and I like raisins, so…
-From US Space Force website: The GPS Master Control Station (MCS), operated by Delta 8 at Schriever AFB, is responsible for monitoring and controlling the GPS satellite constellation. The GPS-dedicated ground system consists of six U.S. Space Force dedicated monitor stations (MS) and four ground antennas (GA) located around the world.
-I’m off to monitor my experiment of offering our birds safflower seeds rather than expensive sunflower chips. It appears that if given a choice between “safflower or nothing”, they are opting for the former. I remember “Nothing” being an option as a child when I didn’t like what was on the dinner table.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

DO @ 10:10am

I thought so too but couldnt find him under BEREA. But we were close

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyome

2 letters were wrong at 7 down, but got everything else, so I was happy with this Saturday Deeney puzzle. Had nylon before LISLE and sole before LONE. Fretted about the FRET fill for cello, but perps were solid. Liked the odds and ENDS clue/fill.
ETTA - Noted that STEAD from clue: 'Place" is just to the left of ETTA.
BEREA - Saw it coming; think there's one in Kentucky, too.
archipelago - I've been taken by the recent Allstate ad showing the small amount of driving needed on that very nice looking scenic island. So last night I looked it up. Turns out to be the small island of Ona in the Alesund district of Norway. But they photoshopped the view; it actually is connected to a peninsular land mass on the back side of what you see in the TV ad (instead of the open water expanse). The lighthouse and the jetty in the foreground are real.

Anonymous said...

DNF, but still proud to complete it with help. I had a few red letters that were easily changed. The Texas section needed help. SKIPS ABOUT needed to be A BEAT. After I figured that out I completed Texas. The first C in CCCP always takes long for me to recall. NUS was not easy.
I liked seeing ants on a log. It is not my cuppa tea. I like celery stuffed with blue cheese spread or pimento cream cheese.
I liked cooking and eating CACCIATORI, but bone-in chicken covered with sauce is messy to eat.
HG, me too. The choice at our dinner table was eat what is served or nothing.
It used to be using something from the mini bar and replacing it with the exact same item bought elsewhere avoided a charge. These days electronic monitoring charges you when you removed anything.
Have a nice weekend.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Husker G. @ 10:25

Safflower instead of sunflower seeds 🐦Interesting, Ive been offering the latter for years plus suet cakes

If true apparently squirrels 🐿 won't eat them..


Scientific name: Carthamus tinctorius 😄

Irish Miss said...

JJM @ 9:29 ~ Your time was better than mine-31:13. I only notice the time because the App flashes it at you. I don’t solve for speed and on Saturday, I only pay attention because it’s a reliable gauge of the puzzle’s difficulty, at least for me. I remember (and greatly miss) the Silkie puzzles that would sometimes take 45-60 minutes, but oh what a feeling of satisfaction when they were completed.

Ray O @ 9:54 ~ Your Rayisms today are A+.

waseeley said...

Thank you Joe (CUTE BABY ALERT!) for a challenging puzzle, which I spent a lot of time staring at it before I established a toehold. As usual for a Saturday I DNF, but came very close, not knowing that 29A wanted Greek letters (NUS), not English (ENS). Also didn't know that the GPS was run by the Space Force. Guess I'm still waiting for it to take off!

And thank you Gary for an interesting, informative, and entertaining write-up as is your usual. A few thoughts on random clues:

38A I think EVA's neckline was a just a tad Ver than the one MalMan showed us on Thursday's puzzle.

39A GUADALOUPE is the island where the hit series "Death in Paradise" is filmed, aliased as "St. Marie" in the show.

41A Cellists don't seem to FRET about this though.

50A We always pack a picnic lunch when we stay in a hotel.

4D Gary, a lot of SQUARE ROOTS have DECIMALS, which ROMAN NUMERALS don't handle very well. And next you're gonna tell me your watch doesn't have HANDS. How's the YG ever gonna learn to do math with a pencil and how to tell time with a clock? :-)

Tastiest clues 34D with a 7D appetizer.

21D I betcha "Philosopher Stone" costs more than gold.

OKL @6:13AM I see you were in great poetic form this AM.

BE @7:08AM UPS partners with DHL to pick up packages bound for overseas. The only time I've ever used them though was in Vienna. I had waltzed out of our hotel in Venice with our room key in my jacket pocket while checking out and didn't realize it until it was too late and we had to catch a train to Austria. We located a DHL when we got there and hiked through some parts of Vienna that were definitely not very touristy. We confirmed with the Venice hotel the next day, that DHL had come through.

Lemony @7:30A Hand up for missing the pun in the NEWCAR clue yesterday. Still had to perp it though.


Jonart1 said...

Ants on a log kept RAISIN fits!

Lucina said...


The NW gave me FITs! It looks like a snowstorm in Flagstaff with multilayers of wite-out. DCC was in for a long time and I did it the old fashioned way, on paper and transliterated 700. I could not recall the triple Russian Cs and finally looked up CACCIATORE. That was my mother's favorite comfort dish when company came to visit. I'm sure she never knew the meaning. And I really thought the top would be CARD SHARkS, not SHARPS, a term I've never heard before. Even RICA eluded me for a while.

LISLE is well known and as fair for me as sports clues are for you fans. Please don't dismiss a word just because you don't recognize it. We have seen it before in puzzles.

Besides the NW the rest of the puzzle filled easily and none gave me THE JITTERS. DAL is now becoming familiar. ANTS ON A LOG are a good snack. I would make them with celery filled with peanut butter and raisins on top then cut into pieces, like logs.

Since one of my sisters lives in North Carolina I know of RALEIGH as part of that triangle.

Thank you, Gary and Joe!

Enjoy a pleasant day, everyone! We had more rain last night!

JB2 said...

Whew, or is it Phew! Got it but it took a lot of P&P&P. (third P being perps). Good puzzle. As always a great write up.

More snow on the way here in Chicago. I knew Mother Nature would catch up.

Be safe and well.


Shankers said...

I'm trying to think of anything nice to say about this puzzle, but come up blank. Running a marathon in army boots. Tough to get a reasonable toehold anywhere. Up, down, back and forth all over the place for too long. And, too many changes to mention. Knew ants on a log from the grandkids and Das Kapital and Guadeloupe filled in gradually. Cacciatore looked okay once the fill around it was complete, but I have a problem with cardsharps instead of with the "k". Oh well. I did claim a FIR in the end, but must say once more--no fun.

Yuman said...

Really struggled with this one, when I finally turned on red letters I had many errors.
Misty, is there any Merle Reagle crossword books you would suggest?
With much perseverance I was able to get the Moderna vaccine for my husband and myself. The next day we just experienced sore arms.
The allotted vaccines for Yuma County does not take into account the 80,000 snowbirds, and migrant workers for the winter harvest, so the
2500 vaccines we received this week was a drop in a very, very big bucket.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Joe congratulations on your darling daughter. Thanks for brightening the gloom on a cold rainy day, Gary.

I almost CHICKENed OUT when I had only two words/phrases on the top part. I got 'er done. No fun. Too many clues were CLEAR AS MUD.

My kids made ANTS ON A LOG in 4-H cooking class. Did I remember that? Nope. Not for a long time. But it's been 40 years...

inanehiker said...

This was a slow steady solve - felt good to get a long answer put in early to confidently fill in the perps. I needed to look at the # of letters to know whether it would be FLAG BEARER vs torchbearer and also ANTARCTICA vs Australia . I definitely knew the Ross Sea was in the Southern Hemisphere - but wasn't sure of the exact location.

I fell into MUS before NUS - because I didn't have the top of the fill for ANTS ON A LOG. I made many a batch of those for my kids growing up- it was a great way to have a healthy snack!

I also had XENIA before BEREA for the Cleveland Browns town - I only knew of BEREA, Kentucky where the college of the same name is, and the BEREA in the NT where one of the early churches was in Greece.

Thanks HG and Joe!

Malodorous Manatee said...

Yuman, Misty (and others here) may have a different answer for you but my answer is "throw a dart" - they're all a lot of fun. There are some volumes that combine two earlier books. Some people may prefer the more recent puzzles feeling the the cultural references are "fresher" but that holds true for any collection. Either of "The Best Of" Book 1 or Book 2 collections would be a great intro. You probably do not need the link below but here it is anyhow. There are other sources, too.

Merl Reagle Books

Ruberap said...

Much fun and challenging fill today,along with some great clues.

Gotta love: theater company-escort, place-stead (couldn't get with 4 letters!-need to think outside the box), put away the dishes?-ate, spend time in a cellar, perhaps-age, the odds are with them-ends.

I,too, was able to spell cacciatore correctly.

Having grown up between Pittsburgh and Cleveland and following the Browns some, I got Berea from the first 2 letters.

The Pyrenees separate Spain from France, Gary. (Thanks for a great write-up.)

One of the joys of crosswords is struggling along, getting one letter, and then being able to finish an entire area because of that one letter.

Wonderful puzzle, Joe.

Vidwan827 said...

Thank you Mr. Deeney for a challenging puzzle, and Husker Gary for a very nice review. Thank you especially for the GPS info ... learnt something valuable.

Being from the neighborhood, BEREA was a gimme, ... a lower middle class city, 8 miles SSW of Cleveland, a small residential hood, nothing special. Nothing particularly noticeable, other than very low city income tax rates, for the benefit of the Browns.

Laverenty BERIA, ex-KGB, is spelt differently, ... as has been already noted, as above.
He lasted only 3 months at the KGB.( 9/29/1938 ~ 12/17/1938 ) Must not have been ruthless enough for the organization ... and for his own good .... when or whether, you are an apex predator, or a Mafia head, you have to be perpetually and permanently paranoid .... its a part of the job.

From yeserday, the clue for NEW CARS, I got the explanation .... 'lots of them', right away.
I first thought, the clue should have read, ' Lots For them', but that would have been too easy, I guess.
I felt originally that the 'lots' should have had a capital 'l', as a somewhat proper noun, .... but now I feel, the small 'l' is acceptable, as a common noun.
I guess we have to trust the Editor's expertise, to make such decisions.

Ray-O-Sunshine, your homonyms are very good, as usual, today ! Cacciatore indeed... snag a Winston Churchill.

Picard said...

Lemonade Thank you for the kind words about my reveal of the deeper meaning of LOTS OF NEW CARS yesterday. I am also curious if others got it. Very clever!

Today's puzzle was a worthy Saturday challenge. Hand up EMS/ENS/MUS/NUS. Hand up NYLON/LISLE and I also wanted TORCH before FLAG. We got to see the OLYMPIC TORCH come through our little town.

I figured out that EARTHQUAKES and FIRE must be some sort of sports TEAM. But I struggled to figure out the three letters in front of TEAM. Soccer, apparently.

Learning moment that CACCIATORE means HUNTER. Struggled to spell it correctly. I don't think I would like ANTS ON A LOG even though I might like the ingredients separately. We have had this before, but it was last to fill this time to FIR.

We have a little town called GUADALUPE that is a Spanish-speaking farm town. I had a Mexican lady friend in the 80s who took me to her family gathering there.

Here are my photos of the GUADALUPE Dunes that are adjacent to the little town.

Perhaps another time I can share photos of the Mexican family gathering which was an opening into a whole new world for me.

ATLGranny said...

I crashed in the SE and burned. DNF for the first time in a while. Problem was I had TINge and kept it, making pretty much everything below MINI BAR a mess. I also didn't know the soccer teams or GPS (had the PS part) so didn't see ANTS ON A LOG (in spite of eating them recently). I had come around to Greek letters for 29A, but waffled between NUS and MUS. What I did puzzle out correctly gave me a feeling of Saturday satisfaction. Thanks, Joe. Nice to get your comments and picture. Thanks, Husker Gary, for clearing up my questions! I look forward to your Saturday reviews.

Tomorrow is another day, and another chance to puzzle. Enjoy the weekend!

Becky said...

Well, I generally love Saturday puzzles and, eventually can solve them. Boy! Not this one! I still really loved it, my downfall was the SE corner. Picard, loved the pictures of the Guadeloupe Reserve, it's so interesting that the dunes went from vegetated to entire sand. One of your plants looked like a strawberry plant with the triple leaves and the white blossoms. Is that possible? To grow in sand?

We've had days of rain here which are competely welcome, except for the burn areas. Not too much damage, though. It's sunny out and I miss the rain.

I'm scheduled for my second Pfizer shot on Valentine's Day. Much better than chocolates or roses


AnonymousPVX said... the solve but at the expense of inky scratch outs.

Tough tough tough going today.

Stay safe.

NaomiZ said...

I've been playing along all week and had to check in today to learn the name of the mysterious snack with an unappetizing name. FIW by a single square, the final G, because I also didn't know there was a connection between GPS and the Space Force, and guessed that letter must be an S (Space Patrol System???). If I can get that close to finishing, there's nothing to complain about! Thanks, Joe, for an interesting challenge, and HG for revealing all so gracefully.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Everybody seems to get "Theater company" = ESCORT but me.
Would somebody deign to clue me in?
I mean, if all it means is that somebody accompanies somebody else while attending the theater, it feels terribly general. Why not Dance company or Baseball company?
Or, better, Brothel company?

How can "Agamemnon" contain any NUS at all when not rendered here in Greek? (And thank you, Husker G, for giving us the original.)

Nice to read Joe Deeney's friendly message!
I wish I had better luck with his pzl. I had just too many lookups to count it as one of my better days.
No diagonals today. Too bad, as I was looking forward to a hidden missive.

The Curmudgeon said...

FIR. To me, it was easy for Saturday. Ah, chacun à son goût!.

I knew Berea, Ohio, but not that the Browns trained there.

According to Wikipedia, "ANTS ON A LOG" goes back to at least the 1950s.

>> Roy

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:


ANTS ON A LOG was one of my undoings

RICA/PSA was a Natick

I had PSA’s once upon a TIME

I finally got off of SHARKS for SHARPS

I didn’t have THE JITTERS but I won’t soon be a FLAG BEARER for JD’s puzzles!

HG, liked the images

Malodorous Manatee said...

NaomiZ @ 2:11, IIRC the GPS systems with which we are all now so familiar were originally developed by the Department of Defense for, you guessed it, targeting weapons. Again, IIRC, when GPS first became available for civilian use there was a built error factor in order to prevent the bad guys from being able to precisely target their weapons.

unclefred said...

A really pathetic DNF by me. I was even wrong on the few things I thought I knew; for instance I always thought they were cardsharKs. You open the olympics with the TORCHBEARER but that didn’t fit and perps got me thinking it must be FLAME?????. Even that was wrong. How anyone could possibly suss NUS from Agamemnon pair is beyond me. I didn’t understand it even after reading the answer. Never heard of TINCT I had TINGE. For some more capable people I’m sure this was a fun CW, but for me ...... not. WAY beyond my ability. I was left so grumpy even HG’s nice write up didn’t turn my frown around. On top of that my on-line newspaper didn’t print the little “fill-in” boxes below the Jumble puzzle so couldn’t do that either. :-( At least I can still look forward to getting my first jab Monday, they haven’t called and cancelled....yet. The way this day is going.....

waseeley said...

MM @12:12 Thanks for the link. Need to stock up for Winter in case we get ICED IN. I think we're finally gonna get it out here in the East. Snowblower has been testfired and we're ready to roll.

waseeley said...

Picard @12:59 pm. Nice pics Pic!

Crownvic89 said...

Got it with great difficulty.

What does it say about this puzzle declined it twice?

Wilbur Charles said...

One wo was the K in KAPITAL. DAS, no problem(dah)

Groza played tackle when he wasn't using his toe.

Charlie Morton moved from Astros to Rays and has re-signed with a new team. He gave yeoman service with the Rays.

How could I have inked USSR? Fixed quickly.

For 25*28 one can divide 28/4 and adjust 0s. But either way HF

Yep the Y to I in REI was another wo but I guessed right on DEO/i. TINge/TINCT another. And, hark/IDES(great clue). ENDS too.

ROGUE States are a matter of perspective.

Gary, were those golf balls you bought the other day XOUTs?

Lemony, I had no idea on lots until Picard spotted it.

That ANTS ON A LOG idea is interesting except I suggest raspberries(red ants)

RayO, hot as a pistol today

Wilbur Charles said...

FIR which was one of the few this week. BEREA is the new Natick except perpable. Yes, hard, but all the Saturdays are hard.

Lemonade714 said...

HG used a different link when he highlighted ANTS ON A LOG when it was introduced to us in 2019. It was used twice as fill in the NYT (2014 and 2018) as part of themeless Saturdays but with straightforward cluing about celery raisins and peanut butter.

Anonymous said...

This one gave me a headache and a DNF.Simply awful. A waste of a Saturday morning. Full of achingly marginal words and definitions. Virtually everything about this puzzle was decidedly unfun painful.Overloaded with names and just ... stuff that should never, ever be in a grid.How do you not see that when you're making this?? 

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Did better than I normally do on a Sat but had to lean on HG's grid for some extra play in the N&S West. Thanks Joe for something to noodle on while I got in and out from under my car. Also thanks for sharing some inside-baseball with us (nice pic!)

Great Expo HG. Didn't know there was such thing as a Roman Numeral calculator but, why not? I do 'em in my head -- thanks Catholic up-bringing! :-)
DCC was my 1st fill.

Fav: ESCORT was cute. //NOLA would be (love the city!) but SwampCat hates the acronym :-)

{A+, A}

In Italy, the day before our flight, we used DHL to ship all DW's shopping home.

ANTS ON A LOG was a treat of my & my kids' ute. Sometimes I still make it for a snack.

GUADALOUPE - isn't that a river in Texas?

If you've not seen Netflix's Space Force [Trailer], it's pretty funny.

Picard - I too got Lots of NEW CARS and thought c/a particularly cute.

MManatee - Selective Availability is the introduced error-factor. It was turned off during Desert Storm b/c we didn't have enough military GPS systems so guys used their own from Best Buy or whereever. Anyway, SA was completely removed in the late '90s / early 2000's. Let me see if I can fine a link [scroll to Selective Availability] (Wow! I was pretty close.)

MINI BAR story:
I was just into Vancouver for a hacker conference and it was late. I had two bottles of the little airplane sized scotch in the room. Next morning, I hung the Do Not Disturb sign on my door, found a liquor shop that sold teensy bottles, and returned them to the basket. Sure the caps were different but no one noticed.

Oh, another MINI BAR story?
Year earlier, I was in NYC with the family to get the Girls baptized at the same church DW was christened. I took out all the sodas from the fridge to put in bottles of breast-milk. Each row of cans in the fridge had a trigger that tallied your take.
At check-out, I had a long conversation w/ the desk-clerk and finally got all the $10 sodas removed from my bill.

Well, I know what to fix on my car. And, I think I know how. But, I can't get a good grip on anything with just jack-stands' 2" clearance. Looks like I'm headed to my guy who's got a real lift.

Cheers, -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

So far, no takers in answer to my question about ESCORT. (See above @ 2:12.)
If the answer I suggested is all, it seems pretty lame.

waseeley said...

CrownVic89 @3:22pm. Maybe Shortz didn't think it was hard enough. I sure did!

Malodorous Manatee said...

Anon-T, that is quite the discussion on SA. I was not expecting the discussion of the Theory of General and Special Relativity which followed. About thirty years ago I decided that it was time for me to understand those theories. I read a dozen or so books on the topic and actually think that I might have grasped the concepts....for fifteen minutes or so. I could not explain any of it to anyone today if I had to.

Anonymous T said...

OMK - I will AIM to clue you in...

Theater company (no question mark) would elicit TROUPE or some such (OMK's mates?).
With a question mark, who's company takes you to the theater? (or ballgame, etc). AHA - It's rent-a-date!
It's cute.

Ballet company? would also elicit such brain gymnastics/dances(?).

Hope that helps or at least is just twisted enough that... :-)

Cheers, -T

waseeley said...

OMK @4:22PM Puns are supposed to be lame. The lamer the better!

Avg Joe said...

To add to that, "A pun has not reached maturity until it is full groan."

Anonymous T said...

Nice to see you Ave Joe! Cute quote.

MManatee - E=mc^2.
Doppler effect deals w/ the speed of sound; Relativistic theory deals w/ the speed of light.

Think of a gravity well - it's easy, we live in one.

As gravity, or mass, increases it slows time as is experienced by those outside of a gravity well.
When you go real fast, your mass increases and 'time' slows down for observers in the lesser m-well [someone call Lassie - Timmy's in trouble!] and you become 'heavy' [does your Tux still fit? :-)]. Ergo, the amount of E must increase.
Humans may cross the Light barrier (if we don't blow each other up 1st) just like we did with Sound. #WarpFactor2MrSulu

And, if you BEAT c, you're a TIME TRAVELer!

Cheers, -T
Anyone feel free to correct me -- remember, I'm just a regular moron like you :-)
//from his work, oc4 must know better.

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-Wilbur, No, I play orange Callaways and I get them from
-We just got notified yesterday that we are on the “to be vaccinated list”
-Becky, One of the hottest days of my life was when my dad got me this swell job picking strawberries growing in sand
-Picard, nice pix. Is it pronounce Gwad uh LOO pay or Gwad uh LOOP?
-MM, I took a shot at General Relativity and thought I had it once
-My birds continue to select from the Safflower column of the menu and not the Nothing column. I also tend my neighbor’s little feeder and she only uses sunflower seeds. It is emptied in a big hurry.

Misty said...

Yuman, to answer your question about Merl Reagle crossword books: I gather there are almost 20 or so books available. But I would recommend "Merl Reagle's 100th Anniversary Crossword Book" published by something called The Puzzle Works. Good luck, and I hope you enjoy his puzzles!

Wilbur Charles said...

OMK, I agree with -T, nothing complicated just a date to ESCORT one to the theater.

Misty, how hard are Merv Reagle's xwords? I have a Will Shorz nytimes book. I was solving the medium level ones.

Then again, when I solve Saturday, I have a point where FIR is hopeless. La-Times Saturday usually have what I call "Hanging Fruit" like the Roman Numeral clue.

I often can't get started on WS xwords.


Ol' Man Keith said...

Thanks, Anon T, Wilbur, et al.
That's what I posted. I thought it might be that, but it seemed too lame to be just that. Oh well.

Misty said...

Wilbur, Merl Reagle's books are never marked by difficulty. When I first worked my way through them many years ago, I think I got most of them with very little problem. Now, in my seniority, I work my way through about half before I start needing a bit of help. So I would rate them medium-to-difficult at this point in my life. Hope this helps.

Unknown said...

Already Sunday and just finished (2a.m.) ..well, not really "finished" but lots of look ups. Toughy, but not as tough as getting a Covid 19 vax. Twelve days, nine/ten days on phone, computer luck yet. Something's haywire, somewhere!