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Feb 12, 2021

Friday, February 12, 2021, Jeffrey Wechsler

 Title: Fun in the bathroom

We have a very special guest blogger assisting in today's presentation- the constructor himself Jeffrey Wechsler. First, we have his introduction to his creation and how he happened to let me bully him to help me.

I am always impressed by the time and effort that LA Times crossword reviewers put into their efforts.  I am particularly fortunate to often have Lemonade as a reviewer of my puzzles, as he combines puzzle knowledge, general knowledge, and wit.  Lemonade has come up against a bit of a time crunch between the real world of work and the alternate universe of the crossword puzzle world, so he has asked me to add some commentary on this puzzle.  I can oblige with some backstage info on a few clues, which I will place in red.  I can also note that the theme of this puzzle is of a genre that I enjoy – the creation of puns based on words associated with a given profession.  I previously had puzzles of this sort in the LA Times based on a lumberjack and a pirate (if the latter can be considered a profession) and another example to come within a few months based on the profession of – well, I’m obviously not going to give that away.  The seed phrase for this puzzle’s theme was PIPING HOT COFFEE, which is an evocative phrase by itself, and creates a nice switch of meaning when applied to the plumber’s context.

 Here we will review the theme fill:

17A. Morning beverage for a plumber?: PIPING HOT COFFEE (15). He takes the pipe that is at the center of a plumber's life and by adding the ING created a pun.

26A. Plumber's response about connecting hardware?: FITTING ANSWER (13). This pun is the reverse look at plumbing, as it is the FITTING, not the FITT that creates the pun.

43A. Like a successful plumber's bank account?: FLUSH WITH CASH (13). My favorite exposing the joy of English where FLUSH can be very positive and also not a topic often discussed at the breakfast table. 

56A. Where a plumber learns new moves?: TAP DANCE CLASSES (15). My least favorite even though the water comes from a TAP. I was hoping for a SINKING or a BACKUP.

NB, Jeffrey uses a beginning and an ending grid spanning fill as well as fattening up the puzzle with EMIRATE, GUFFAWS,  I WAS DUE, LAST SET,  MICRONS, PROFFER, SCREAMS, SONNETS, and  THE UNIT. Golly, I feel like Norton from the Honeymooners.

Across:

1. Batting practice structures: CAGES. As I’ve noted in previous comments on clues for some of my past crosswords, editors can alter clues to make them harder or easier, or sometimes to exercise their own creativity.  I frequently skew clues toward the tricky or humorous, but the fate of such clues is very precarious.  My original clue for CAGES was [Many zoos are removing them], a reference to the trend of zoos to create more natural environments for the benefit of the animals, and often of the viewers, who see something that more closely resembles the animals’ setting in the wild. I initially whiffed here and required some perps to get started.

6. Golfer Jon __, 2020 BMW Championship winner: RAHMRich Norris, the fine editor of the LA Times Crossword, is an avid golfer, so this is very much his type of clue.  However, for many solvers, this name might be quite unknown.  My original clue referenced former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.  More commentary concerning the use of proper names in puzzles and clues may be found here and there in the comments below.

10. Target: GOAL. Simple.

14. Historic mission: ALAMO. As indicated by JW's pass this has become classic crosswordese.

15. One saying "Don't do it!": ANTI. I love the juxtaposition to make these fill so much more fun than just four-letter fill.

16. Say "Do it!": URGE.

20. Everlasting, to a poet: ETERNE. I guess it depends on the poet.

21. Tender: PROFFER. A legal term snuck in here.

22. Condor quarters: AERIE.

25. Greek celebratory cry: OPA. I do love a happy bunch of drunken Greeks.

31. High points: ACMES. More Wile E. 

32. Mists (up): FOGS.

33. Boring: SLOW
My original clue was [Street sign near schools].

35. Ala. neighbor: FLA.

36. 5G __: mobile standard: LTE. The G stands for generation.

37. Asian language: LAO. My cousin Joe is married to Laotian.

38. Corn __: BELT. I find that they get uncomfortable after wearing them all day.

40. Undecided: TORN
Although I understand why my clue was changed, I still like it: [Rip on a screen].  That refers to the movie actor Rip Torn (what a great name!) who had a long career but was infrequently a leading actor. Perhaps the editor felt that the actor was not sufficiently famous – or that the clue was a bit too cutesy. Ironically, Rip was one of the two original MIB, though he never appeared with Agent O. (A CSO to my wife?).

41. Crafty: SLICK.

46. Job ad abbr.: EOE. Equal Opportunity Employer - it's the law!

47. Falls hard: POURS. Huh?

48. "Finally, good news": I WAS DUE
This is a nice, terse clue that conveys the essence of the answer phrase.  I had submitted [“My luck eventually had to improve”].  Brevity is the soul of wit.

52. Studio do-over: RETAKE.

59. Something to think about: IDEA. Har har.

60. Caspian Sea land: IRAN. And so many more.



61. Doles (out): METES.

62. Alluring: SEXY. (Blushing)

63. Kate Atkinson's "One Good __": TURN. One Good Turn is a 2006 crime novel by Kate Atkinson set in Edinburgh during the Festival. “People queuing for a lunchtime show witness a brutal road rage incident - an incident that changes the lives of everyone involved

64. Medium for Michelangelo: STONE. He liked sculpting along with painting.

Down:


1. Loose garment: CAPE. Good to wear in a cage? 

2. Came to rest: ALIT. And its first cousin...

3. Hang open: GAPE.

4. Kuwait, for one: EMIRATE. We are back in the Middle East.

5. Browning's 44 "from the Portuguese": SONNETS
Regular solvers of the LA Times puzzles probably know that I try to include a reference to Shakespeare in at least one clue in my puzzles, usually a fill-in-the-blank, sometimes a different sort of reference.  My clue here was [Shakespeare’s 154]. Given that Browning’s sonnets, though quite worthy, are lesser known than those of Shakespeare, I wonder if the editor simply thought, “Well, not this time, Jeffrey!” and banished the Bard.  After all, the editor is the one person who constantly sees all my Shakespeare references, whether published or not.  Perhaps my little game occasionally just seems too much. 

6. Bit of a cheer?: RAH. Do they cheer for the golfer "Rah, Rah Rahm?"

7. "Is that __?": A NO
An entry like this is generally considered a bit substandard – it is either a word in a foreign language (ANO is Spanish for a year, and was my clue) or a partial, which the editor chose this time.  Constructors try to avoid both of these, but sometimes it just doesn’t seem possible.   

8. URL letters: HTTP. We just had a lesson about those letters...

9. Millionth-of-a-meter measures: MICRONS. A micro  NS? 

10. Hearty laughs: GUFFAWS.

11. "Carmina Burana" composer: ORFF.

12. "The African Queen" screenwriter: AGEE.

13. Creepy stare: LEER.

18. "Deadwood" actress Jewell: GERI

As many solvers have expressed, too many proper names of individuals sometimes make puzzles much harder; either you know the name or you don’t.  Although prefixes and suffixes are, like partials, not optimal fill, I opted for the prefix route in my clue: [Medical prefix meaning “old”] – as in “geriatric”.  I also have some concerns about lesser-known names.

19. "My bad": OOPS. Sadly a now common word for me.

23. Donations to a fund drive, say: INFLOW. Sounds like a plumbing term.

24. Me time?: EGO TRIP.

26. Bass staff symbol: FCLEF.

27. "__ ears!": I'M ALL
And speaking of substandard partials, how about this doozy!  Dear solvers: believe me, I try to avoid things like this.  In my defense, however, I must note that my original clue was, I think, more lively and more fun: [Elvis hit, “___ Shook Up]” I am perhaps a bit more negative to the “I’m all ears” phrase because of the presence of EAR as an answer at 57-Down.

28.
Emma Thompson role in "Men in Black 3": AGENT O.  Every once in a while, I notice phrases in crosswords that are rather odd, but on consideration, are actually quite clever and ultimately acceptable.  As a constructor,  I view them as a struggle that other constructors had with a particularly intractable arrangement, forcing the creativity juices to flow, and finally coming up with something that fits.  In my mind, I call such an event a “save”.  On seeing inventive phrases such as these, I say to myself “Nice save!” in the constructor’s honor.  In a way, AGENT O was sort of a save.  I was utterly frazzled trying to get something to fit that spot, but finally saw the first part as potentially spelling AGENT.  I had only seen the first “Men in Black” movie and there was no AGENT O.  With fingers crossed, I immediately Googled AGENT O and -- lo and behold; Yes, Virginia, there really is -- an AGENT O!  Now, that was a save! And equally coincidental with JW's Rip Torn comments (subliminal messaging) Oo and I just began watching MIB 3.


29. New York Harbor's __ Island: ELLIS.

30. Raid victim?: ROACH
This was my clue and I was very happy to see that it was maintained.

31. Andrews, e.g.: Abbr.: AFB. Air Force Base.

34. Asian pan: WOK. I really do not think pans have a nationality.

39. Election time: TUESDAY
My clue was [When many political decisions are made], making the election concept indirect yet still implicit.

40. 2000s TV series inspired by Army Delta Force operations: THE UNIT.

41. Hollers: SCREAMS.

42. Numbers before closing time: LAST SET.

44. Bubbly quaff: SODA.

45. Launch: HURL.

48. "No kidding": IT IS.

49. 13-time NBA All-Star Dwyane: WADE
My clue was [Enjoy the kiddie pool].  Again, the current clue references a name that some may not know.  In this puzzle, I felt that RAHM, ORFF, and AGEE (the latter being very common in crosswords) was enough.

50. High point: APEX. And ACME both

51. Neutral shade: ECRU.

53. Concerning: AS TO. More law talk...

54. Excited about, with "on": KEEN. very 1930s. 

55. In __: actual: ESSE.

57. Kernel holder: EAR.  From the CORN BELT? 

58. MSNBC rival: CNN. That's news to me...


Well, another different path from puzzle to paper to the audience; I hope you enjoyed our collaboration. Jeffrey was nice once the kicking and screaming stopped and I so exhausted. Be nice to someone on Valentine's Day even if it is only yourself.

Lemonade out.





68 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting write-up. I despise puzzles that are overrun with names of unimportant actors and singers nobody has ever heard of, and it's nice to hear that the constructor actively tried to avoid that stuff. But it's very disappointing to hear that, despite the constructor's efforts, the editor replaces perfectly good cluing with no-name uninteresting old entertainer names.

I've often been fed up with constructors for the incessant use of irrelevant and uncommon names, but I now realize that it's not necessarily their fault!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

No Wite-Out today. Amazing. Not sure I've ever seen PROFFER before in a cw, but it inked right in. Had to wait on the perps for _ CLEF and AGENT _. Lemonade, I think that if it rains in sheets, it "Falls hard" -- POURs. JW, thanx for the insights into your weird, warped mind, and Lemonade, thanx for driving the bus once again.

Big Easy said...

Well hello Jeffrey and Lemonade. Those spanners were easy fills after a few perps were in place. I found this puzzle to be easier than your usual Friday ones. I guess managing to fit the unknown (to you and me) AGENT-O was a SLICK FITTING ANSWER for 28D. As for your I'M ALL clue, maybe there's a shopping center called the I-MALL.

OPA, One Good TURN, GERI, AGENT O- unknowns filled by perps

RAH & RAHM, ACME & APEX- almost as good as ERLE & EARL yesterday.
Election Time in Louisiana is always Saturday except for Congressional and presidential.

ANON @6:20- I agree with you on the proper names.
D-otto- growing up with a music teacher mother, I only knew treble and bass clef. Only found out from crossword puzzles that they had note names.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the extra insight today. Thank you to Mr. Wechsler, and score an assist to Lemonade. Took me just under 12 minutes today.

As predicted/expected, I didn't care for Orff, Rahm, Geri, & Agee. I was unfamiliar with "The Unit" and "One Good Turn". I had remake before retake, and the "o" in Agent O/pours was the last piece of real estate for me to seize.

YooperPhil said...

I always look forward to Friday’s puzzle, and seeing a Jeffrey Wechsler byline I always know it will be a fun challenge which today I completed in 18:15. AgentO was my last fill as I kept thinking it would be a proper name. I knew Rahm but not Orff without the perps. Also always interesting to see how the constructor and the editor work to clue the puzzle. Also, I very much enjoy this blog, thanks to all who make it happen!

Lemonade714 said...

Welcome Yooper Phil, there must be an interesting story that led to that name.

Mark said...

Great Friday puzzle and write up. Thanks!

Pip_nghotcoffee came to me straight away but thought maybe the theme meant to leave it pipEnghot. Emirate cleared that up.

I don't mind the names as much most others here.

YooperPhil, are from upnort part of MI?

YooperPhil said...

Thank you lemonade! Not a real interesting story, just a geographical reference to where I live. A “Yooper” is a resident of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. (You can look it up as it is now an official word in some dictionaries LOL). Not the most attractive monicker, but neither is today’s weather, currently 0 with a -15 wind chill. Take care!

YooperPhil said...

Yeah Mark, near Marquette

Wilbur Charles said...

FLN, I think in the Battle of the Five Armies ORCs were in one of them.

RAHM is a Spaniard who attended ASU. Very simple swing. Obscure as some of tomorrow's (Jeff Chen-aaarrgghhh!!) Clues (for the non sprotster*). c GERI

I must say Rich seems to change clues just for the joy of editing (c SLOW, TORN)

Gary, when it rains it POURS. D-O beat me again.

We had to deep six our washer so I started this and the dryer cycle at the laundromat at the same time. 15 minutes as the dryer was making its last turn.

I never spotted Jeff as author but re. Editor-remarks Rich can throw in all the Sports clues he wants. Dwayne was contemporary with LeBron and better when young. Like Bias was better than Jordan. Red's luck finally ran out.

Only because Thursday was so difficult was this easy for me. That and the long theme fills.

WC

Anonymous said...

Jeff thanks for your input and this delightful puzzle. Lemonade you did well on your own.
Easier than the usual Friday puzzle, but still challenging. I sussed the theme with piping, which made the solve faster.
I knew AGENT- required a letter, but the O was last to fall. When it rains hard it pours. I got the gist but all I could think of was sleet and hail.
GERI filled itself before I got to it.
Most of the proper nouns were known or easily wagged and perped. UNIT seemed likely.
WC said, "I must say Rich seems to change clues just for the joy of editing (c SLOW, TORN)" Sometimes I wonder about that, too. Sometimes Rich improves the puzzle, sometimes his corrections macht nichts and sometimes the original is better. When I edited students' papers I tried to keep the "flavor" of the original as much as possible.

Vidwan827 said...


Thank you Jeffrey and Leamonade, a) for the charming, challenging puzzle, and b) for the 'joint' ( plumber pun ?) review, which was thought provoking, in itself.

Whatever misgivings I had, about the proper names in the CW, ( and I believe I'm already under a handicap, more than the average Joe - ), once I read the constructor's viewpoint, I was already sympathetic to his interests.

I see from the Google Doodle that a favorite CW time, .... 'Tet', is actually upon us today, Feb 12. I should have figured that out when I saw all the red and golden masks, and money envelopes on sale at the local chinese store... That, and the coming Valentine's Day, should bring joy into our hearts, with the frigid cold weather outside.

What is a Laotian ? I always thought it was a native from that neck of the woods, who doesn't speak either Thai or Vietnamese... lol.

Coincidentally, I am up to my neck in household leaks and plumbing problems, but I think I'm a gonna wait until they add to an even half dozen before I start phoning up and calling those high priced professionals ...

Have a nice day all, and as Ms. Mariam 'Midge' Maisel would say, Tets Up.

Lucina said...

Hola!

Terrific puzzle! Thank you, JW, for your participation and elucidation! What a treat to have the constructor commenting.

Well, in a definite demonstration of what is knowable for some but not others, I knew instantly who ORFF is but neither RAHM nor WADE. And I'm familiar with Browning's SONNETS. AGEE also came immediately to mind.

I have not seen any of the MIB movies so AGENT O took a long time and O was my last fill.
REmAKE gave way to RETAKE.

Seeing ACMES and APEX helped in the elimination process of one over the other. Only peak was missing. LEER and GAPE stand as twin gatekeepers at opposite ends of the grid. IT IS, which means ESSE, guard the lower end in the same way.

Lemonade, what a great idea to invite JW to 'splain things! Your contribution excels, too!

Have a beautiful day, evereyone!




Lucina said...

Happy Chinese New Year, all!

Malodorous Manatee said...

A real treat this morning having the constructor participate in the review and share the some of the "backstory". Thanks, Jeffrey and Lemonade for getting past the kicking and screaming.

I spent a good part of the past two days working on my (home's) main sewer line with, first, the plumber and, next, the Hydrojet operator so plumbing was front and center on my mind.

YooperPhil, my daughter and son-in-law are alums so I have to say it: Go Blue!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Thanks Lemonade for your special intro, today. Jeff is one of my favorite constructors.

Got small footings in several areas and then, gradually, the filled areas started to bloom together. Liked the plumbing theme. No wite-out - - FIR.
POURS - What D-O said…… POURing rain.
OOPS - I almost inserted 'LAP' vs. TAP
EAR - CSO tp HG
CNN - I don't watch it or MSNBC.
AFB - It is now known as Joint Base Andrews. I was billeted there in the late 60's while taking a training course in the D. C. area.
OPA is German for Grandpa. That is what my 5 grandchildren call me. It is on one of my cups that I drink PIPING HOT COFFEE out of.

waseeley said...

Thank you Jeffrey and Lemony. You have raised the bar on the CORNER to a new ACME, literally cruciverbalist TNT! I would call this a "meta" blog, themed - "CONSTRUCTOR'S LAST WORD" or "WHAT I REALLY MEANT TO SAY WAS ...". However despite this being easier than the average Friday, I had thought I'd finished but forgot two blanks in the SW and thus DNF. I guess I WASN'T DUE.

Loved the theme. I spent 4 college summers as a billing clerk in a PLUMBING SUPPLY WAREHOUSE and can remember every type of FITTING they sold. The place was pretty GREASY, but it definitely wasn't SLICK.

Got a bit CLOGGED in the middle with AGENT O, but SNAKED my way out with POURS and TORN, my two favorite answers. Not only because they were a SAVE to me, but because RIP TORN was an echo of Nobelist KIP THORNE the famous physicist, and a consultant and producer of the film INTERSTELLAR starring Matthew McConaughey.

Oh and 57D CORN BELT? Today's team not only hit it out of the CAGE, but OUT OF THE PARK!

And finally a CSO to CC: "Happy New Year!"

Cheers,
Bill

ATLGranny said...

A Jeffrey Wechsler Friday puzzle, what a treat! Saw the theme easily which aided the fill. Struggled with HURL and RETAKE near the end but saw what was needed when POURS filled. Perps helped with the spelling of EMIRATE, but I confess I put in AERIE, took it out, put it in so many times that at the end I suspect I had eERIE in place. At this point it's hard to read what's there. Bad spellers of the world untie? Anyway, I will take a FIW. Lemonade, I appreciate your conversation with Jeffrey and the added insight to puzzling construction concerns.

Today's our 55th wedding anniversary and second COVID vaccine shot, so much to celebrate. You all have a good Friday too!

Hungry Mother said...

A bit on the sloggish side with all of the trivia. Thankfully, there was plenty of challenging wordplay to make it less of a drag.

waseeley said...

Granny @9:19 AM Happy Anniversary! Dw just celebrated our 52nd on the 8th.

Bill

Shankers said...

I should have known this was a JW puzzle, but didn't see it til finishing. Tough enough and fun, but not aggravating. To ATLGranny a very Happy Anniversary. DW and I are one year behind you. As for the solve, everything was steady as she goes. Orff filled itselfas did the unknowns AgentO and LTE which were the last to fall. Oh, I did have lap dance at 56A for a brief moment. Where was my mind? Hmmm.

Malodorous Manatee said...

Lap dance classes. Interesting. Open enrollment?

desper-otto said...

Congrats on the perseverance, Granny.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I can’t think of any better way to start the day than to have a JW Friday challenge, and, to have the man himself slice and dice said challenge, well, it doesn’t get any better. Spitz and I (and others, I’m sure) are huge fans of Jeffrey’s work and today’s offering is a perfect example of why. A clever, fresh theme, lively fill, wizardly word play, and devilishly devious, but fair, cluing, Geri, Rahm, The Unit, and Agent O were all unknown, but we’ve had Orff many times before, just not often enough for me to remember. The LTE ~ In Flow ~ Agent O area was a problem for me for awhile, but eventually resolved itself and I FIR in 19: 01. Any negative thoughts about In Flow were banished by the wonderfully wacky Guffaws! Cute duos with Rah/Rahm, Acmes/Apex, and the Eterne/Sonnets crossing. My fav themer was Flush With Cash.

Thank you, Jeffrey W, for a challenging but satisfying solve and for sharing your constructing challenges and thought process. FWIW, I preferred most of your original clues to Rich’s changes. Thanks, Lemony, for your contribution to the explication but, most of all, thanks for making the effort to bring Jeffrey, in person, to the Corner. You are our Bright and Shining Sherpa, and I, for one, am very grateful.

ATLGranny, congratulations on the marriage milestone and 3 Cheers for the vaccine recipients! You have much to celebrate today! 🎊 🥂

Have a great day.

Lucina said...

AtlGranny:
Congratulations on your anniversary! The vaccine, too.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Sonnets from the Portuguese" is timely for the Valentine's Day weekend.

Number 43
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and Ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise;
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith;
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Her husband urged her to publish them. Because she thought they were too personal, she published them as translations from the Portuguese.

Husker Gary said...

Musings
-PIPING HOT COFFEE, Jeffrey and Lemon make for a nice start to this frigid day
-Jeffrey’s clue narrative was wonderful but the bull’s eye of the puzzle still took some real doing!
-I sent this out to my plumber. If I had him come over he would have charged me $90! :-)
-Yes, D-O and Wilbur POURS became the last word in Morton Salt’s ad slogan
-I cleared my neighbor’s snow when they had Covid. Last week they thought ONE GOOD TURN deserved another
-Michelangelo worked in STONE and Irving STONE wrote his bio - The Agony And The Ecstasy
-A trainload of Swedes from ELLIS wound up in Oakland, NE which now claims to be the Swede capital of the state (lots of names end in son) and a large group of Czechs wound up in Wilber, NE the Czech capital of NE(want a great kolache?)
-Congrats AtlGranny and Waseely!

CrossEyedDave said...

Piping hot coffee?
how Starbucks maintains all those locations...

fitting answers?

flush with cash?


However, tap dance lessons for plumbers are not that strange...

it's all the rage...

AnonDon said...


I don't care what CBS News says, C.C. is OUR "Crossword Queen".

Wilbur Charles said...

Her husband was Robert, I believe. A poet in his own right

CrossEyedDave said...

Lemonade said: 34. Asian pan: WOK. I really do not think pans have a nationality.

Hmm,
This deserves a closer look,
I mean, it does have its own word?


I wonder...

OwenKL said...

I'm not a poet to use ETERNE,
More likely used by a poet's intern!
He may be on it
In some SONNET
About some long-lost love's RETURN.

As the FALLS o'er Niagara may POUR,
Or one over a book may pore,
It's HARD to tell
Which one to spell.
Which would be more E.A. Poe-er?

{A-, A-.}

BTW, spellcheck doesn't like eterne any more than I do!

Misty said...

Woohoo! Woohoo! No, I didn't do great on a Friday puzzle, but was very excited to see it was a Jeffrey Wechsler puzzle and then to see his commentaries. Jeffrey, you won't remember this but back in 2017 you sent a message to C.C. one day where you mentioned "my favorite comments are perhaps from Misty. How can I resist smiling on seeing Wednesday's 'Woohoo! Woohoo! I got a Jeffrey Wechsler puzzle without a single error or cheating." Well, not today, when I had to struggle, but I loved seeing your commentary throughout the puzzle, and think it was wonderful that Lemonade encouraged that. And yes, I had a silly EGO TRIP for a moment when I thought your clue "Mist's up" might have referred to me. Nope, FOG, and that just about describes my Friday solving skill today and every Friday. Anyway, apology for this note, but I just wanted you to know I still love your puzzles, and will do better the next time one appears on a Monday or a Tuesday.

OwenKL said...

Since no one else has asked:
"LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the project name given to development of a high performance air interface for cellular mobile communication systems. It is the last step toward the 4th generation (4G) of radio technologies designed to increase the capacity and speed of mobile telephone networks."

AnonymousPVX said...


This Friday JW did not disappoint. A JW seldom does.

And zero difficulty on this one, it just filled.

This doesn’t happen often at all, and even less so on a JW.

I thought it very nice of JW to pitch in on the commentary as well.

I understand a challenging Jeff Chen awaits for tomorrow, so I’m going to enjoy the afterglow of this successful solve while I can, LOL.

Stay safe.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Appreciate Mr. Wechsler's description of his original clues most of which were more clever/appropriate than the edited replacements. Would enjoy this type of commentary more often.

Super busy, not enough time to read all the dazzling comments so sorry If I repeat.

Easy Friday with many FITTINGANSWERS. Hands up (where we can see 'em!!) for almost filling LAPDANCECLASSES. 🤭 Tuesday is now the end of election time.

It's too soon for OOPS again. Is that a go?..NO!..
GAPE, the mega store version of the GAP

Hollering and screaming are different. (Stop by our home sometime you'll see). ACMEs and APEX in the same puzzle! (Is that even allowed?)..I pored over POURS with an Alphabet run. ORFF was a perpwalk. Looks like s Jumble clue

ITIS, IWASDUE, IMALL kinda clunky

A cause of forest fires : _____ cigarette.. ALIT
Accumulate....ECRU
The super rich have gold toilets and _____ FLUSHWITHCASH.
Shopping ctr limited to optic stores...IMALL.

Minus 7 this AM..enuff is enuff....🥶

With DW & DD flush with antibodies and my second shot a month ago we're heading to FLA for a snow free week in a couple weeks. Wife has particular large antibody titers (hey that's just one T !!)

Yellowrocks said...

Eterne is obsolete and poetic. It is found in Spenser's Fairie Queen and in Shakespeare. Elizabeth Barrett Browning uses eterne in a few poems. I found it guessable from eternal. Many times if you have the root you can infer the endingsl.

Kelly Clark said...

Thank you, Jeffrey and Lemonade! And thank you OwenKL for explaining LTE, which I didn't know, and along with not knowing AGENT O...well...anyway, a delightful puzzle and review!

Anonymous T said...

Arggg! JW you got me again - by 2 cells. But, but, but... I WAS DUE!

Hi All!

Thanks JW for the puzzle (fun theme!) and the inside-baseball; the latter is most appreciated.

Lem? How much of this expo was yours? :-) Thanks for getting JW to back-story the clues.

WOs: had ALL @7d; started STATon Isle, put an S in block 24 thinking "It's plural, right?
ESPs: RAHM, ESSE(?), OPA, GERI, WADE, TURN, AGENT_ (wait for it... right, D-O?)
#Fail: GaFFAWS is how I thought it was spelt (Untie! ATLGranny) and never noticed that I didn't fill the square at O-FF (11d).

Fav: JW's lost clue (Rip) TORN. I remember him from Larry Sanders Show, Columbo [killed his kin for a lottery ticket IIRC], and MIB.

{A, LOL!}

D-O: Thanks for 'splainin' POUR. Now I get it.

After living near (and took classes at LaTech-)Barksdale for 8 years and working at Tinker for another 5 w/ the DOD, AFB immediately came to mind at Andrews.

@11:46a - last line is priceless! Reminds me of...
"My mistress's eyes are nothing like the sun/Coral for more red that her lips'..." #FridayShakespeare

ATLGranny - Happy Anniversary! Wow! 55th? (you too Waseeley @52nd).
DW & I will celebrate our 32nd (church*) anniversary on the 19th

So glad to hear each of the Cornerites are slowly getting their vaccines.

@6:54a, YooperPhil (welcome to The Corner!), & Lucina -- yep, it was the O AGENT that was my last square too. Wish I'd have looked back NE to see I needed a bit more ink.

Waseeley - LOL Corn BELT / puns. HG may quibble, but central IL is the part of the Corn BELT I grew up in.

ATLGranny - Happy Anniversary! Wow! 55th? (you too Waseeley @52nd).
DW & I will celebrate our 32nd (church*) anniversary on the 19th.

Time to click CED's links...

Cheers, -T
*JotP anniversary was back in September; Mom really wanted it churched-up / Blessed by God so we did a RE TAKE :-)

Vidwan827 said...


For people interested in Other Crossword Constructors, as news...

The youngest Female crossword constructor, in the NY Times crossword,.... so far.

The youngest Female constructor, N Y Times crossword .... from South Jersey

We are, of course, familiar with the Fab David Steinberg, orig publ at age 14, in the NY Times.
Here Interview with CC, of David Steinberg, at this very blog, August 10, 2012

Seems like a loong time ago, and Lemonade had a comment underneath, to boot.

inanehiker said...

Amusing theme answers - I am with Shankers with LAP DANCE CLASSES before TAP DANCE - and couldn't figure out the plumber connection until - Doh!

Thanks JW for a fun puzzle and for co-blogging with Lemonade!

Happy Anniversary to AtlGranny and to all who are celebrating such long lived marriages!

Vidwan827 said...


Sorry, the link is C.C.s interview of David Steinberg, this blog, August 10, 2012

Yuman said...

Congrats to AltGranny.
Misty, I looked forward to your “woohoo” always brings a smile to me.
Several of us seem to be having plumbing problems. We are no longer “flush” with money as we just put in a new water heater and pressure valve, last week we had our flat roof resealed, and next week we are putting in a new AC.
Be well, keeping masking, two for the grocery shopping.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Wow, Jeffrey, double duty--thanks. Very interesting and FITTING comments.

Liked the plumbing theme. My ancestors had no running water in their rural houses. In single-digit cold weather like we're having now, I think of them and their trips to the outhouses. I am so grateful for indoor plumbing! I tell my plumbers they are more important than governors & presidents because they keep things flowing.

Knew RAHM & Dwyane WADE (a personal NBA fav whose mother couldn't spell). DKN: ORFF, AGEE (created those) GERI, FCLEF, AGENTO.

Vidwan827 said...


Happy Wedding Anniversary, ATL Granny @ 55th, and Bill Waseeley @ 52nd.!!

And all others, lucky enough to be still married.

May there be many. many more.

CrossEyedDave said...

(The following is plumbing related, & therefore should be avoided at all costs....)

However, if you want to read of my misfortunes,

I have fixed (gerryrigged actually) many a toilet on my day,
But was recently totally surprised by Koehler "Canister Flush System."

Here is a pic of the canister that holds a round 3" gasket on the bottom
Along with the fluid master 400 flush valve.


If used regularly, and frequently, the system works quite well.
However, if used rarely, the 3" gasket will stick and get pulled out of its mount
When you flush causing a constant running toilet.
This has become such a problem that I want to superglue the darn thing in place.
If anyone has a better idea, let me know.
(Silicone lubricants failed also)

But that is not my rant today...

The fluidmaster 400 recently started "singing."
(See YouTube under sing8ng toilets)
Or causing fill noises supposedly due to sediment clogs.

The prescribed "fix" is to replace the entire unit at a cost
Of $20- (Home Depot) plus your own labor.
(Or $250- for a plumber)

What they do not tell you is that you can buy a new rubber seal for $1.99
That is very easy for anyone to replace, and/or you can easily flush out the
Offending sediment with a Dixie cup. (See YouTube)

Well, I did all that, and the damn thing kept singing like Ethel Merman...

Three weeks I listened, gerryrigged, and repeatedly flushed and changed seals
And even tried harmonising a duet...

The damn singing cont8nued, and I resigned myself to having to pay $20- for a new one!

Then I got an idea from one of many plumbing videos I watched, that maybe it was not the valve at all
But the the water feed valve 8n the wall!!! You know
The th8ngy you use to turn off the water while you curse at the thing!

And, wouldn't you know,
It was the wall valve!
I turn it a fraction reducing flow and the singing stopped!

But in doing so accidentally knocked the toilet lid
That was balanced on the toilet seat
Which fell onto the tile floor,
And shattered in a million pieces...

Cost of repair =
$20- for a new toilet lid.


CrossEyedDave said...

Aw nuts!
I forgot the wedding anniversary cakes links!

but I was kinda busy...

Ol' Man Keith said...

A typical toughie of a Friday PZL from Mr. Wechsler.
I did about 60% on my own.
I threw in the towel around 36A, a tiny fill, but I don't keep track of the 5G lingo and the perps weren't working for me.
I started cheating once,
twice,
then let the floodgates fall.

I was delighted to read of Misty's delight in recalling a happy memory with our esteemed constructor.

I appreciated Owen's poems, but even more his explanation of LTE--the fill that did me in!
~ OMK
____________
DR:
Four diagonals today! One on the near side, and a 3-way in opposition.
The near end diagonal gives us an anagram for that unscrupulous fellow who, when you need to have a healthy COVID test for whatever reason, will guarantee his saliva is good and will hire himself to you as your secret surrogate in the quick-test line.
This is the guy earning fast bucks as a...
"SPIT FREELANCER"!

Anonymous T said...

CED
1) your links were funny; you always find the FITTING humour.
2) plumbing problem: Pop calls that the "begat system." That is, Damned if one thing doesn't lead to another to another to...

Axiom: when you try to get-off cheap, it will always cost you more.

Corollary: Poor people have poor ways. Here's the tamper Pop built before telling me to go 'pound-sand' before putting in STONES for the patio.

Cheers, -T

desper-otto said...

That's hilarious, CED. I'm surprised you were able to get a replacement toilet lid for just $20 -- especially a Kohler.

Wilbur Charles said...


Re. Sprotster*(FLN): We had a blog 30 years ago which mirrored barroom Sports banter. In fact we just resurrected it

Solid W's, Owen. "Nobody does it better". And the answers were: Uriah the Hittite, Bathsheba and David. 3000 years, what's changed.

CED, your our link master and RayO our puntster supreme. Who said "Punt" recently.

I didn't know NE named a town for me(or was it Mr Ed's owner?). My moniker came from a comic book character

PVX, it'll all depend on your imagination re. six 15 letter intersecting A/D's. There is HF to help fill a few squares. My long lost friend TTP will shoot me if I say furthur with Lemonade furnishing ammunition.

"Tuesday is now the end of election time". It was just the beginning last year.

Anon-T Betsy and I did the same: Thanksgiving '85 and August '86. Pastor wanted to delay per Catholic R&Regs. We found a willing priest in Cape Cod.

I liked the interview of Mr Steinberg from the birth of CC. CC has gone from black to blue.

WC

CanadianEh! said...

Fabulous Friday. Thanks for the fun Jeffrey (and for joining us here) and Lemonade.
I too thought this CW had less crunch than yesterday, although I was stuck in the heartland (would that be the CORN BELT?). I went to do chores, came back and saw FOGS (hi Misty) and finished up.

I had. Cob before EAR ( and agree with JW about the clueing for 27D). Ditto for WADW which perped for me.
Some clever misdirections: tender is not soft but PROFFER; falls hard is not trying to break a hip but POURS.
Favourite was FLUSH WITH CASH!🤣

Ray-o- DW is going to kill you re those antibody tigers. Now there would be no confusion if you would spell it as titres!
Congrats ATLGranny and waseeley on your Anniversaries.

Wishing you all a good evening.

CanadianEh! said...

Happy Chinese New Year!

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

Thanks JW and JC for the entertaining puzzle and recap. Very FITTING that Lemonade was able to get Jeffrey on a Friday. Should I ever happen to have a JW fall on the Friday I blog, I can only hope to be as KEEN! Ps, I know I will be ...

The sports clues across the “Canadian border” did not show me down one iota. Perps filled in GERI; had IN RE/AS TO; TOTO/ESSE. ORFF was a saver, too I’m betting. There is always one spot in most themed puzzles that is a nightmare to fill. And then god forbid the editor decided that he/she doesn’t care for one or two words ... 45 blocks (black squares) is a lot but the flow (pun intended) of the theme allowed it.

Have a great weekend all

CMoe

Malodorous Manatee said...

I used to always start out a repair/replacement project by removing the one or two items from my toolbox that I knew that I would need. Somehow, consistently, always, almost every tool in the box ended up being required to complete the task. Now, I just bring the whole box of tools with me at the start.

Anonymous T said...

MManatee - with apologies to Tim Allen... I've got tools to fix tools... I've got tools.

And yet, I still have to run out to the garage to get another for said project. :-)

Cheers, -T

SwampCat said...

Triple treat today!! A marvelous JW puzzle, Lemonade s insight, and my favorite word wizard himself to explain it all!! Jeffrey thanks for the behind the scenes info. I liked all of your clues best. But I got it done surprisingly. Loved the sports clues!!



SwampCat said...

Owen, thanks!!!

Lemonade714 said...

What a lively and fun bunch today and barely any complaining...thank you all

Spitzboov said...

Congrats to ATLGranny on your anniversary.
Same good wishes to Waseeley


Welcome aboard YooperPhil. Glad to see you join this Merrie Bande.

DCWms said...

Note to all that Andrews is no longer an AFB - Air Force Base. It’s now Joint Base Andrews.

unclefred said...

Jeffrey, I must admit that I cringe when I see your name as constructor. I almost always struggle mightily with your CWs. Today was no exception. Although I completed the fill, the cheats were so numerous that I don’t feel like I did the CW....Google did it!! Didn’t know RAHM. ORFF, and kept reading ANO instead of A NO, and couldn’t figure how that could be right, your CWs are always witty, as was today’s, and well constructed. Not your fault I cringe when I see your name, it’s mine: I’m really not that great a solver, and your CWs are usually above my ability. Even with multiple cheats, it took 44 minutes of struggle. When I look at your theme answers I see a very good, witty, well constructed CW. We seem to be on different wavelengths though that I struggle so much with your CWs. Keep ‘em coming, maybe I’ll find the right wavelength one of these days.

SwampCat said...

When it’s Lemon and Jeffrey who can complain!!!

waseeley said...

Mercy buckets CEh! and Spitz!

Lemonade714 said...

SCat, thank you.

ATLGranny said...

It's been a memorable day and I thank you all for sending good wishes!

OwenKL said...

Toilet anecdote: Back when I worked a hotel night shift, we had a singing toilet -- air in the plumbing made loud noises. We were about 3 rooms from filling up, and I knew need them all. So the next couple that came in, I offered a slight discount if they would take a haunted room. They were so enthused I think they would have paid extra for it!

Anonymous T said...

OKL - LOL INN septic-specter :-)

Enjoy'd reading everyone today. Y'all have a warm eve; it's gettin' hella-cold here in Houston and Sunday/Monday gonna be worse (did I read right? - 10F ? in Houston come Monday? Gonna have to run the PIPEs all night.)

Cheers, -T
Oh - I have a problem; I need intervention.
See, I've finished all the Columbos, Rockford Files, and now I'm binging on The Fall Guy. Someone interrupt my Internet connection -- please. These are so stupid! but I can't help myself. Here's one with the Shuttle but the 'chip' they steal is a simple resistor.
Now back to the programme.