Jan 17, 2021

Sunday January 17, 2021 C.C. Burnikel

Theme:  "Hitting the Big Leagues" - Letter PRO goes backward inside each theme entry.

21A. *Discount ticket based on age: SENIOR PASS.

23A. *Raffle rewards, perhaps: DOOR PRIZES.

45A. *Avocado misnomer: ALLIGATOR PEAR.

69A. *Cause of some back pain: POOR POSTURE.

91A. *Pre-wedding bash: BACHELOR PARTY.

116A. *It's not 112-Across: MINOR POINT.

38D. *Building diagram: FLOOR PLAN.

53D. *Workforce: LABOR POOL.


119A. Leaving the amateur ranks, and a hint to the answers to starred clues: TURNING PRO.

I originally had eight entries. The total themage felt a bit slight to Rich, so I added one more.

I tried to intersect two theme sets. Alas, no luck. As usual, quite a few great clues are Rich's creation.


1. Splendid display: POMP.

5. Unable to decide: TORN.

9. Stare in wonder: GAWK.

13. Leaf through: SKIM.

17. Superlative prefix: UBER. Avoided the ride clue angle because I have another company closer by:  25. Sonata producer: HYUNDAI.

18. Quick attack: FORAY.

19. Causing the willies: EERIE.

20. Malek of "Mr. Robot": RAMI.  Won an Oscar in 2019 for playing Freddie Mercury.

26. Downed with an ax: HEWN.

28. Ration (out): METE.

29. Grain in granola: OAT.

30. Piece of cake: CINCH.

32. Acknowledge surreptitiously, maybe: NOD AT.

34. Pretender: PHONY.

36. Checking account lure: NO FEE. In Xi'an, even the street vendors accept mobile payment.

39. Mo. with dog days: AUG.

41. Winter's day outburst: BRR. Our road to the mailbox is so icy after the snow & rain mix last week.

42. Most capable: ABLEST.

44. One who gives a hoot: OWL.

48. Investigate again, as a cold case: REOPEN.

51. Itinerary abbr.: ARR.

52. "Gimme a minute": ONE SEC.

53. Part of a journey: LEG.

56. Gets by: DOES OK.

58. Downright or outright: DARNED. Rich's clue, of course!

60. Beer with a black eagle in its logo: TECATE.

62. Waze option: Abbr.: RTE.

63. Playground response: ARE SO.

65. Mexican buffet feature: SALSA BAR. The Palace Station buffet in Las Vegas is heavy on Mexican food. So fresh.

67. Trio for A-Rod and Trout: MVPS. Mike Trout. Angels.

72. Garden rodent: VOLE.

73. Lea Salonga, e.g.: FILIPINA.

75. Publisher Larry __, portrayal for which Woody Harrelson received an Oscar nomination: FLYNT. Rich's trivia as well.

76. IOC country code three before Qatar: POR. Portugal. And 36. Neighbor of Den.: NOR. Norway. Both Rich's clues.

77. Virtual alter ego: AVATAR.

78. Finds: DIGS UP.

81. Everest expert: SHERPA.

84. __ Diego Padres: SAN.

85. "The Irishman" Oscar nominee: PACINO. And 89. Many Oscar nominees: ACTORS. Pacino won one for "Scent of a Woman".

87. Encountered: MET.

94. Olive extract: OIL.

95. "See ya!": BYE BYE. Zai jian in Chinese.

97. Brouhaha: ADO.

98. Sweetie, in slang: BAE.

99. Twitch stream annoyance: DELAY.

101. Civil War general: MEADE.

102. Cried in the cornfield: CAWED.

104. Aficionado: MAVEN.

106. Squid's squirt: INK. Have any of you tried squid ink pasta?

107. Inquires: ASKS.

109. Exec's aide: ASST.

112. Having significant consequences: SERIOUS.

121. B-school subject: ECON.

122. Autobahn autos: AUDIS.

123. Layered veggie: ONION.

124. __ Millions: MEGA. The winning should be capped at $35K. Anything more is just trouble. I've mentioned to you before about how our old neighbor lost all his winnings plus his house. $35K can probably get you a decent SUV with a raisable passenger seat.

125. Puts in stitches: SEWS.

126. Part of a process: STEP.

127. Golf great Karrie: WEBB. Saw her in person once.

128. Asian laptop brand: ACER. Our monitor is Acer.


1. Promotional campaign: PUSH.

2. Follow: OBEY.

3. Channel guide, say: MENU. Our TV lost signal on January 6th. The DirecTV techs fixed it in the late afternoon. Then Boomer turned on the TV.

4. Hamlet, for one: PRINCE.

5. Like salves: TOPICAL.

6. "For You" co-singer Rita: ORA.

7. Impulsive: RASH.

8. Wall St.'s "Big Board": NYSE.

9. Nat __ Wild: cable channel: GEO.

10. Pizzeria allure: AROMA. Had my first pizza in Pizza Hut Guangzhou. Hawaiian pizza.

11. Bugs in cop shows: WIRETAPS.

12. Held on to: KEPT.

13. Hindu honorific: SRI.

14. Easy-to-play instruments: KAZOOS.

15. "To clarify ... ": I MEANT.

16. Not quite foggy: MISTY. Our Misty with her husband Rowland.

18. Hall of Fame quarterback Tarkenton: FRAN. With the Vikings.

19. Sitcom sewer worker: ED NORTON.  "The Honeymooners".

22. Garfield's frenemy: ODIE.

24. Supersedes: REPLACES.

27. Dallas Wings' org.: WNBA.

31. Grass-skirt dance: HULA.

33. Monotonous sound: DRONE.

35. Yachter's pronoun: HER.

37. Had to pay: OWED.

40. Building beam: GIRDER.

43. Ladybug or weevil: BEETLE.

45. "I'll take that as __": A NO.

46. Understanding: GRASP.

47. Feature of Japan's flag: RED SUN.

49. Watch dogs?: PET SIT. Rich's clue!

50. L.A.-to-Tucson dir.: ESE.

54. List-ending abbr.: ET AL.

55. "Chicago" star: GERE.

57. Unstable subatomic particle: KAON.

59. Spots for ski racks: ROOFS.

61. Romp: CAVORT.

64. Amp carrier: ROADIE.

66. Language __: ARTS.

67. Degs. for playwrights: MFAS.

68. Bounty rival: VIVA.

69. High seas concern: PIRACY.

70. Dry spell at the plate: SLUMP.

71. Blood bank category: TYPEA B.

74. Chicago NFL team's founder: PAPA BEAR. Nickname for George Halas. Rich's clue also.

76. Push-up target: PEC.

79. Marriage acquisition: IN LAW.

80. Alton Brown cooking show "Reloaded" in 2018: GOOD EATS.

82. Monetary trifle, in slang: HAY. Oh, OK, ain't hay.

83. La Scala highlight: ARIA.

86. Borrow from a library: CHECK OUT.

88. Disneyland shuttle: TRAM.

90. Sneaky: SLY.

91. Nap site: BED.

92. Engine parts: RODS.

93. One who scoffs at bagged pekoe, perhaps: TEA SNOB. I'm not one. I just prefer loose jasmine tea.

95. "No fighting!": BE NICE.

96. Informal "Get me?": YA KNOW.

99. Laura of "Big Little Lies": DERN.

100. Total mystery: ENIGMA.

101. Silent performers: MIMES.

103. Line to the audience: ASIDE.

105. Blood line: VEIN.

108. Retreats with peels: SPAS. Chemical peels.

110. Pack away: STOW.

111. Adjust for pitch: TUNE.

113. Crude cartel: OPEC.

114. Implore: URGE.

115. Go sky-high: SOAR.

117. Walk-__: small roles: ONS.

118. Quick drink: NIP.

120. Celery piece: RIB.

Here is the list of the frequently used abbreviations on our blog. Let me know the ones I should add to.  Just the ones specific to our blog, not common ones like YMMV, IMHO, OMG, etc.



desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Did it again. Missed the reveal the first time through, and had to go back searching for it. This was almost a Wite-Out-free Sunday, but it was necessary to change MOLE to VOLE -- would you find a vole in the garden? We watched Scent of a Woman two nights ago, so PACINO was a no-brainer. Noticed the HYUNDAI CSO to C.C. and Boomer -- I take it you're still peeved about that non-raisable passenger seat, C.C. Thanx for the outing.

NO FEE: We have only no-fee checking, no-fee credit cards, and low-fee investments. Fees matter.

KAON: Had to look it up. It's one strange quark.

BRR: Expression usually followed by, "I hate winter" around here.

"Then Boomer turned on the TV." I sense there's a story there. Time to dish, C.C.

OwenKL said...

With Pan and fauns he would CAVORT,
The SERIOUS stuff was not his sort.
But he'd still GAWK
at POMPOUS walks,
And swore he'd never thus comport!

A lovelorn FILIPINA miss
Practiced for her maiden kiss.
What she could do
With her KAZOO --
How could any man resist?

{B+, A-.}

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Nice romp, er…CAVORT today. Few unknowns. Thought KAON crossing FILIPINA might become a Natick, but guessed right. FIR.
KAZOO - While residing in Erie Co. NY, we lived about a mile from the KAZOO factory.
MISTY - A co-alum from SUNY @ Buffalo grad school.
NO FEE - We never use checking services with fees.

Lemonade714 said...

My oldest son and d-i-l both received their Masters' degrees from Suny Buffalo. Yay Bills.

I liked the theme once I saw the reveal but OPR had me puzzled.

I do not like 76. IOC country code three before Qatar: POR. Portugal ; there is no way people have the International Olympic Committee LIST of country codes memorized, especially the variations like PRK for North Korea.

I believe we have KAON introduced to the LAT today, but I have seen the word before and looked it up and have no idea what it means. MESONS ?

Tom, I agree C.C. is teasing us. She also has the Sunday sized Universal Today and a USA today today. Wow.

I do love to listen to C.C. talk about her own creations.

Shankers said...

Is everyone sleeping in, or what? When I saw the title "Hitting the Big Leagues," I thought today's puzzle might cause fits for our non-sports Cornerites. After finishing it seemed clear not to be the case at all. I skipped the NW to begin then everything fell into place quickly and smoothly with only a few minor changes. Last to fall was to get the correct spelling of Hyundai, then tada and woohoo for an average Sunday FIR. I liked Papabear at 74D and knew it immediately having been born and raised in suburban Chicago. The blood bank category happens to be mine--typeAB. I'm AB+ and my twin sister is AB-. Or maybe vice-versa. Can never remember.

Lucina said...


Thank you, C.C.! The minute I saw the title I felt dismayed thinking this would defeat me but soundly. In fact I finished in less time than usual for a Sunday and was pleasantly surprised that I knew many of the sports clues. Yet it was a DNF because of KAON. No K.

FRAN Tarkenton was a big star in the days when my late DH watched so his name was familiar. WEBB, however, was not.


Here in the southwest a VOLE is more likely to be called a MOLE though I'm not sure if they are the same.

I just saw an announcement on PBS with Lea Salonga but had not heard of her before then.

This was a nice romp and I did see the turned PRO in each theme phrase.

Time to get ready for Mass and again I managed to register which is required at our church these days in order to limit the number. Covid! Ugh! Yet I am sorry for all those who have it and especially all those who have perished from it.

Have a beautiful day, everyone!

Lucina said...

I bank at the credit union which never charges FEES and at the beginning of the year tucks in a bonus into my savings account.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I did this puzzle last night but it struck me this morning that I never even checked the title, which is unusual for me. It may or may not have tipped me off to the theme, but after entering Turning Pro, I had no trouble seeing the embedded Pro in each themer. Nicely done, CC. I can relate to several entries on a personal level: I was a big fan of Fran Tarkenton; several key scenes of Scent of A Woman were filmed in Troy at Emma Willard school; many years ago, I was on a bowling team with Art Carney’s (Ed Norton) brother; he looked a lot like Art, but was very quiet and sort of aloof.

I needed perps for Tecate, Filipina, and Kaon and I stumbled a bit at Gape/Gawk, Flint/Flynt, and Buoy/Menu. I liked the duos of Met/Mete, Por/Poor, Pec/OPEC, and Arr/Brr. Nice CSO to Misty (lovely picture, Misty) and to Lucina and Moi at Acer. There was also a sub-theme with Actors, Rami, Pacino, Gere, Dern, and Ed Norton, all A-Listers, IMO.

Thanks, CC, for a double dose of constructing and commenting. I really enjoyed the theme and the solve and I laughed out loud at your “raisable SUV passenger seat” comment. That was drollness at its finest!


CED, Murder By Death is available on DVD at Walmart, Target, and EBay. Amazon has it but has an alert that it won’t play on US DVD players, don’t ask me why. Good luck.

Have a great day.

Spitzboov said...

POR - Since Qatar would probably be the 1st IOC entry for "Q", Desired answer probably starts with a 'P'. Note that POR is an anagram of backwards PRO. so I guess it turned inside itself.

VOLE - Mole would be a more likely garden pest IMO, but it is not a rodent; per the clue. They do like living in mulch or leaf piles. Voles eat grasses, roots, tubers and other plant material,. I held off entering VOLE until the 'V' in CAVORT dropped.
I once came home with 14 VOLES tucked away in the tractor tool box, and set up a 'VOLE' BAR for the barn cats. I was their friend for a while.

Hungry Mother said...

FIR in a slow crawl. Very nice challenge, fair and tough. I saw the theme but didn’t use it to solve.

Anonymous said...

Great puzzle, CC. I needed the reveal at 119A to see the theme. I spend a long time on this, lots of P&P. I did OK until the very last letter, K, for DOESO- and -AON. An ABC run would have found it, but I thought I must have something wrong.

Acesaroundagain said...

Another great CC Sunday puzzle. You're definitely a "pro".

Malodorous Manatee said...

Very nice way to start the day. We could not get a toehold in the NW but soon found one in the NE and pretty much solved clockwise from there with the usual amount of doubling back and cross checking (not as in hockey). Did not know KAON. Might write a KOAN on the topic someday. The TEA reference reminded me of my first visit to a Friendship Store in Beijing twenty-plus years ago. The basement was filled with what seemed like hundreds of jars, bins and other containers of loose tea and tea flowers.

NaomiZ said...

I loved this puzzle! The fill and the clues felt very fresh to me, although I couldn't make sense of the reveal. I hurried here to say how much I enjoyed it, and only then realized that our own C.C. was the creator! Many thanks for that, and for the review! Thanks to Rich, also, who massages the clues until I can get them.

Hand up for mole before VOLE. Also pirate before PIRACY and sip before NIP. No worries! This solver DOES OK even if she doesn't know a KAON from a hole in the ground.

OwenKL, I LOL'd at limerick #2.

ATLGranny said...

Thanks for the Sunday puzzle, C.C. It's always a treat when you both construct and explain it for us. I found the turned PROs after the reveal, not noticing what was happening before. I feared more sports knowledge would be needed when I saw the title, but no problem. I avoided many traps and finally finished the NW corner with the Y in HYUNDAI and OBEY as my last fill. Reading the review I found one bad square I missed: PETSaT and FILaPINA. Not noticing the tense indicated by the clue, added to bad spelling of the perp got me. But that is the way I pronounce it! That's my excuse....

We have had VOLE problems in the past with them chomping on prized hosta and even severing a baby dogwood tree. As Spitzboov said they don't make tunnels but stay hidden under mulch and leaf litter. Hard to get rid of.

It's a sunny afternoon here. Time for a walk! Enjoy your long weekend, everyone.

Misty said...

Woohoo! Woohoo! A Sunday C.C. puzzle and commentary! Sundays don't get any better than this. I loved the puzzle and was delighted that sports were not a problem for me. Then was delighted to see MISTY--but, my goodness, how sweet of you to post that picture of me and my sweet Rowland, C.C. I don't remember that picture and don't know if I have it anywhere, so I copied it--thank you so much for posting it. And thank you for noticing, Lucina and Irish Miss. And Spitzboov, I didn't realize we were both Buffalo alums--many thanks for pointing that out.

Fun to see BACHELOR PARTY crossing IN LAW. Fun food references to avocado, SALSA BAR, ONION, and MENU--though, of course, a different sort of menu. Looks like those kids saying ARE SO should be listening to the one telling them to BE NICE.

Loved your verses, Owen, many thanks for those.

Have a great week coming up, everybody.

Big Easy said...

Straight forward fill today on C.C.'s ORP puzzle with only three real unknowns- KAON. DELAY, & FILIPINA- and few others guessable after a couple of perps- RAMI, POR, PACINO (DeNiro didn't work), GERE. & DERN. Never noticed the ORP was TURNING PRO around.

Had to change FLINT to FLYNT, MOLE to VOLE, & SIP to NIP.
KAON-unless you are a nuclear physicist working at CERN or the Jet Propulsion Lab I don't think learning about the sub-subatomic particles are of any interest. There's over 35 of them.

NO FEE checking will be around as long as you maintain a certain balance. They lend your interest-free money to someone else and make a nice spread. Notice how CDs & savings pay you close to nothing? Lending out in the guise of credit cards and making 10-18% off a few people makes the banks a lot of money.

Kelly Clark said...

Wonderful puzzle and write-up, C.C. -- thank you so much!

Lucina said...

The credit union requires a minimum balance of $25 to maintain the free-FEE status.

I wondered about the clue "aficionado" for MAVEN. Isn't MAVEN an authority rather than a fan? My dictionary defines it as " an expert."

desper-otto said...

Lucina, Merriam-Webster lists:

Synonyms: addict, buff, bug, devotee, enthusiast, fan, fanatic, fancier, fiend, fool, freak, habitué (also habitue), head, hound, junkie (also junky), lover, maniac, maven (also mavin), nut, sucker

CanadianEh! said...

Super Sunday. Thanks for the double fun, C.C.
I FIRed and saw the TURNING PRO theme. (Great find of the “turned inside out POR”, Spitzboov!)

Like IM, “I needed perps for Tecate, Filipina, and Kaon and I stumbled a bit at Gape/Gawk, Flint/Flynt, and Buoy/Menu”
Hand up for sip to NIP, Mole before VOLE.
We usually have sleek, black- furred VOLEs in the bottom of our composter in the garden every summer. They scurry out the back when I lift the lid; I don’t mind them if they run away from me and they are quite beautiful.

We have a NO FEE chequing account - on a SENIOR PASS😁
I am not a TEA SNOB as long as my “bagged pekoe” is Red Rose.
We have ordered a Mexican specialty pizza for supper tonight. Hopefully the AROMA and SALSA (BAR) will be delicious.

Yes, Misty, I remember seeing that wonderful photo of you and Rowland here before. You never know what C.C. has in her files!😀
Lemonade - we are even cheering for the Bills on this side of the border.

Wishing you all a good evening.

inanehiker said...

This went pretty smoothly - but I didn't see the theme until the reveal! Always fun to see theme answers both vertical and horizontal - a CC specialty!

It took me longer than it should have to get PAPA BEAR - a case of knowing the answer slowed the solve. I couldn't fit George Halas and the clue didn't reference it being a nickname so even though I knew PAPA BEAR I temporarily ruled it out. I had the PA - so thought of Paul Brown - but knew he was connected to the eponymous Cleveland Browns.

Thanks CC for puzzle AND blog!

Alice said...

I enjoyed this puzzle very much. Thank you, CC. That said, I’ve never heard of a KAON; didn’t know OIC, so had no idea what to do with that clue; had mole before VOLE. Perps helped in each case.

Hardest clue: “Retreats with peels”, but so clever,

Alice said...

Spitzboob , excellent explanation of one way to approach 76 across.

Unknown said...

Wonderful puzzle, C.C., and a great write up. It was a DNF for me, but I enjoy the journey.
If this says anonymous again, I’m JD, just trying to find my way back.

Unknown said...

Again, Google sees me as an unknown, but someday I will fix it.
Meanwhile, thank you all so much for your nice birthday wishes. Canadian Eh, that mountain was Gornergrat. It was a very windy day so we couldn’t go up to the Matterhorn. Switzerland was lovely. The other picture was the same year,2017, but we were on a Caribbean cruise.
The unknown JD

Husker Gary said...

-Such a busy day. Let’s just say “a good deed never goes unpunished”
-And then I had to watch the Chiefs and that game had a spectacular finish.
-Loved the puzzle and I will read everything here after we get home from eating out at Leroy’s!

CrossEyedDave said...

Pls tell me you are eating outdoors,
Or at least made a slit no larger than is necessary
For a straw 8n your mask...

Late to the party as I could not find anything funny for "turning pro."

3rd attempt (just googling "pro") yielded some results

for instance....

this could be useful...

hmm, not only did he get paid, he collected unemployment...

and my absolute favorite pro tip...

Husker Gary said...

Dave, we ate inside at a nice table at least 6' from all the other diners. The waitstaff is all very nice, polite and hard working high school kids who are in constant motion. The food is great and we had a lovely night out for about $24. We tipped our young waitress $10.

SansBeach said...

Good evening all. Thanks CC for the xwrd and 'splainin'. DNF a result of filipina and kaon. Hadost letters but couldn't wag it. Koan is a word also. Discovered when I googled kaon by mistake 😃. Got your USA to do. Have a good one 🕜

Wilbur Charles said...

I had SALSA dip. That took some fix'n
A guy said once: "When I got to college they told me I was woefully under qualified. 'The only major you'd have a chance of passing is ECON'"

I was an ECON Major with minors in theology and philosophy. And Russian lit and French.

I couldn't think of the golfer. When WEBB perped the V8 can smacked hard

Hawaiian is my fav on pizza. Thin crust, cross cut.

Ah Misty. What a lovely smile. Your students must love you.

FRAN must have been a fav of Boomer.

PET SIT was five perps and an S. KAON was four.

I was trying to fit HALAS in. Let me guess CC: your clue was "He liked his soup very hot"

I had gambol / CAVORT. "Saunter thru the Casino?"

Yes, ar least an A- for#2, Owen.

I had to open a Chase acct to use Zelle. But they waive fees for Veterans. Then I did a rare ATM withdrawal and saw a $3.00 fee. Horrors. But the previous guy had left his receipt. I couldn't be mad. I was just leaving in frustration when he walked up and used his card to open the door. Then he held it open for me.

IM, did his brother say "Hello ball!"?

Hmm, no baseball clue for MET as with yesterday's NAT. Probably less Sports clues than usual Sunday. Karrie was over shadowed by Anika.

I tried POl first. The "gemness"(sic) of this and all CC xwords is doability and lack of Naticks. Perfect Sunday level.
Like Shankers I had to eschew the NW and work back to it.

At first I thought Lea was from the Philippines. LIU Says correctamundo. The Karrie(WEBB) of acting .

Hope you Monday folk check this late post. Travel day to Dunellon and after finishing I fell asleep. HG, thanks for not "spoiling" NFL action. I can view it on YouTube.


fnosm said...

Great puzzle.

I loved how SLUMP came out of POOR POSTURE.

Confused at how one gets to DARNED from Downright or Outright.
As slang for Damned or to mend a sock I am blanking on the connection to the clue.