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Feb 13, 2021

Saturday, February, 13, Adrian Johnson and Jeff Chen

 Saturday Themeless by Adrian Johnson and Jeff Chen

 Adrian Johnson     Jeff Chen

Jeff gave Adrian free rein to comment: Hi everyone! I’m thrilled to be making my crossword publication debut at the LA Times alongside the wonderful Jeff Chen! My name is Adrian Johnson, I’m 21 and I’m an LGBT cruciverbalist from Laramie, WY (any solvers or constructors from WY?). I’m a senior studying International Studies at Macalester College, and during this pandemic I’ve spent a lot of time outside in the wilderness, playing with my very good dog Josie, and worrying about my future. I’m an avid runner and biker but also a big word and trivia nerd. My construction journey began in late 2019 after getting hooked on solving the daily NYT, making a new year’s resolution with a good friend in 2020 that she’d see me in a major publication. I’m thrilled to finally be making good on that promise.


 This puzzle dates to late 2019, right around when I started constructing. At the time, I had little experience filling and writing puzzles, but loved experimenting with the artistic design and aesthetic of grids. One day, I stumbled across this idea for a tic-tac-toe pattern, fixed six fresh, scrabbly entries into place and sent it to Jeff. Having no concept of what I was doing, I asked him “Can this be filled?” and within 2 days he got back to me with a well-filled center, NW and SE corner and we were off to the races. Cluing was a team effort, my favorites that survived the cut are 1-A and 45-A, while I greatly appreciate the additions at 5-D, and 7-D, among others. I was a bit disappointed to see my clue at 11-D “One working to prevent a depression?” go, though I loved “One who’s typically up” as a replacement.

 

Many thanks to go around- to Jeff for the collaboration, to Rich and Patti for the acceptance and the valuable edits and to everyone that’s supported me along the way. You can find more of my puzzles at my blog www.ajxwords.com!


To all constructors, new and experienced alike, my email is open! adrianjohnson435@gmail.com Feel free to reach out if you want some advice, test solving or to collaborate! I’d love to hear from you.


Across:
    
1. Where to find an OR: US MAP - There it is above CA and below WA


6. "The Magic School Bus" network: PBS.


9. Retro finish: SEPIA - My Mother-in-law 

14. Implement associated with its own age: STONE TOOL - A fun clue


16. Impulse conductors: AXONS -They've got a lot of nerve using this word

17. They may work on profiles: PORTRAIT ARTISTS - Add SELF in front of this fill 


19. Jerks that surprise you: SPASMS.

20. Lacto-__ vegetarian: OVO The terminology stems from the Latin lac meaning "milk" (as in 'lactation'), ovum meaning "egg", and the English term vegetarian, so as giving the definition of a vegetarian diet containing milk and eggs.

21. Fade: TIRE.

22. Prince __ Khan: ALY - Son of AGA Khan and husband to Rita Hayworth


23. Austin festival, briefly: SXSW - South by Southwest


24. Recent delivery: TOT.

25. Sushi bar order: AHI - Not EEL it turns out

26. Consort of Shiva: KALI - Most of the pix of KALI show her dancing on SHIVA


28. Diwali garment: SARI - In keeping with Hindu fills - Diwali is the Hindu Festival Of Light

31. Strip often twisted: LEMON RIND - A martini with a LEMON RIND (twist)

34. Stellar spectacles: NOVAS.

37. Cause of a faux pas, perhaps: LAPSE IN JUDGMENT.

39. Singer Adkins known by her first name: ADELE - Five-letter one named singer? I got this.

40. Draft portmanteau: KEGERATOR - Yeah, now I get it!

41. Parks of Alabama: ROSA - ROSA didn't refuse to give up her bus seat because she was tired, she was "just tired of giving in"

43. __ slicker: CITY - I would have scored it higher than these audiences


44. Possessive pronoun: HIS.

45. Body with arms, usually: SEA - Some arms of the Baltic SEA. Adrian was glad this clue/fill was kept


47. Riga resident: LETT (one arm of the Baltic Sea above is the Gulf of RIGA) and 
8. Some Eastern Europeans: SLAVS 

49. "Henry & June" diarist: NIN - Is there another three-letter diarist?

50. Additional characters, in gamerspeak: ALTS All the gamespeak you could want

52. Chi preceder: TAI - Didn't you think of TAU first. Yeah, I know that would be PHI but with TA_


53. Would consider, after "is": OPEN TO.

56. Seatbelt campaign slogan: CLICK IT OR TICKET.

59. Variety show: REVUE.

60. Together: IN CONCERT.

61. Hostile force: ENEMY.

62. Org. concerned with secrets: NSA - The National Security Agency missed the 9/11 attacks but have prevented many others

63. Sculptor's subject: TORSO.


Down:

1. Org. with red, white and blue trucks: USPS - We know when the mail is here, our USPS truck has had a bad muffler for over a year


2. Pre-sign sign: STOP AHEAD - Clever! Here we truly see, uh, sign language


3. Acting incentive: MORAL IMPERATIVE - Your ENEMY probably has one the exact opposite of yours

4. Not sitting well?: ANTSY - Ever supervise a JH study hall?

5. Wave generator?: PERM - Hand, Palm? Nope hairdo!

6. Hawaiian fare: POI - We had TARO on Wednesday

7. What might cause you to forget your lines?: BOTOX INJECTIONS - I told Adrian and Jeff this was my favorite clue!


9. Couldn't stand, maybe: SAT - A kitty in her lap is my wife's barrier to standing 

10. Turnoff: EXIT - Huh?


11. One who's typically up: POSITIVE THINKER.

12. Opener: INTRO.

13. It can be fixed: ASSET - A very common category at my age 

15. Univ. helpers: TAS - RA'S really slowed me down

18. Tiffs: ROWS - Rhymes with COWS not HOSE

23. Move like a cat burglar: SLINK - Or leave out the word burglar


25. __ breve: ALLA - Music written in 2/2 time (from the Italian for "in the shortened fashion")
26. Jeans parts: KNEES - Flies, loops, cuffs...

27. Radio host Shapiro: ARI - ARI is on our CWD radio station quite often 

29. Sore: ANGRY.

30. Oblong tomato: ROMA - It is meatier than and is widely used in canning and making tomato paste



32. 1952 Winter Olympics host: OSLO - The Summer Games were held 612 miles east in Helsinki which is on one of the ARMS of the Baltic Sea


33. Really liked something, man: DUG IT.

35. Priests, at times: ANOINTERS.


36. They're usually toward the front of an orch.: STRS - My grandson and his French horn are in the back and the STRings are in the front

Lincoln Youth Symphony Orchestra
















38. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" title: Abbr.: DET.


42. Some choir members: ALTI - When ALTOS just won't do

45. Stravinsky's "Le __ du printemps": SACRE The Rite Of Spring


46. Talk show host who voices the adult Dory in "Finding Dory": ELLEN - DeGeneres 

48. Eschew the diner, maybe: EAT IN - Haven't we all been doing a lot of this?

49. Wafer giant: NECCO - The water tower at the New England Cofectionary COmpany


51. Foul film: SCUM.

53. Nebraska native: OTO - Twenty miles from me is the town of Yutan, NE which was named for an OTO chief named Yutan


54. Pub order: PINT.

55. Gustav Mahler's composer brother: OTTO - Gustav and his younger brother OTTO


57. Decoding need: KEY - These CODE "girls" were instrumental in decoding the Japanese code which led to a big victory at Midway Island for America shortly after Pearl Harbor. The story of a group of women not getting credit for far too long sounds similar to another book we had recently.

58. Red Seal record label company: RCA - Enrico Caruso was a breakthrough artist for the Victor Red Seal Records that were later bought by RCA


I told Adrian that our blogmisstress lives just across the Mississippi from him in Minneapolis and I asked him if he knew of C.C. He responded: I have heard of C.C., I'm a big fan of her work (she designed the 2020 puzzle on my birthday last year), and yes, I'm in school in St. Paul, such a vibrant place that I've been fortunate to explore the past few years. I should try to write something with her, it could be a lot of fun. This LAT is my first of three accepted puzzles to run :) (I also have one pending NYT and one Universal), with hopefully more to come in the future.





53 comments:

OwenKL said...

DNF. Three naticks: sACRE + sEə + IMPERəTIVE, and KEGERAToR + ANoINTERS.

Six spanners! Very impressive!
Words ending with I: AHI-KALI-SARI & POI -- Two Hawaiian, two Indian!

Mythologies are strange among the Hindi.
A reincarnation may wear a dhoti or a SARI.
And skin color hue
May be green or blue,
Shiva's consort once was LEMON KALI!

A KEGERATOR is what you need
To get your frat house up to speed!
Be OPEN TO
A tap for brew,
And pledges to you will stampede!

{C+, B.}

ODSG from Livonia, MI said...

I first wrote in “Nilla” for wafer giant. Cuz Nilla Wafers and Nabisco are giants indeed.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Twas not to be. Only had the SW corner remaining, but missed the SE in SEA and the AL in ALTS. d-o couldn't SEAL the deal. Rats. Expected that as soon as Husker 'splained those entries, I'd have a V-8 moment. Nope. Could've looked at those four partial words all day and still wouldn't have snapped to the answers. Loved the rest of the puz, especially the six grid-spanners. Thanx, Adrian, Jeff, and Husker. d-o is once again heading down to the abasement.

Wilbur Charles said...

I have a.Doc file for each day and reread before posting anew. Last week I referred to Messenger being hacked. Yesterday I got another imposter pretending to be a HS Classmate. As soon as the conversation turned to money I knew. Phillip has taught me well.

As I said yesterday there was H(anging) F(ruit):ROSA, CITY. OK, Two. Then came the mess. Oh yeah, NECCO(There was a big sign as you entered Charlestown)

I almost posted something in re. to Editors giving leeway on spelling. Lo and behold I looked up JUDGMENT and no E is preferred. And of course, beware of Greeks baring gifts. Not TAU but TAI CHI. I just saw that Greek alphabet someone posted and quickly forgot. We used to have a post CYO called CHI RHO.

I see a native of Riga, Latvia is not a Latt but a LETT, who are SLAVS. I guessed PBS too. Given four perps I actually grok'ed ELLEN (DeGeneres)

Now we have the six fifteens. When I had fourteen perps I grok'ed the X in BOTOX. PORTRAIT ARTIST was probably the quickest. SLINK came very, very slowly.

Now Draft Portmanteau? Oh yeh, Humpty Dumpty. I immediately thought LAGER? I finally perped ATOR but laGER wasn't cutting it.

Austin hoodoo? No clue all perps. And finally, four letters: Tiffs??? I finally grok'ed ROWS. KALI was another unknown. Out of 75 clues 70 WAGs.

I was going to ask "Gamer" Phil about Additional characters and cut him in for 50% but perps covered it.

As I close I'm assuming this is FIR #6 of the week but I can't bear to check answers until I read Gary's Write-up.

WC

And who gnu? I made the deadly CW error of inking NOVAe and never checked back leaving the incomprehensible eTRS for the orchestra. Aaarrrggghhh!!!

WC

Wilbur Charles said...

Yes, after finally grok'ing it "Lines" for BOTOX was my fav too

Big Easy said...

Good morning all on this balmy Saturday with temperature's in Adrian's Laramie & St.Paul of -3 & -7 ; Omaha is in between at -4. NOLA at my house is 44.

This insomniac worked the puzzle at 3:00am. I found the spanners easy to get after a few perps but I had to change TAU to TAI to 'iron out the wrinkles'. The WAG of A for the cross of SACRE & ALTS completed my puzzle. The 'sugar' of Spring didn't look right. ALTS or ULTS- could have been either. I didn't know Gustav's brother's name but OTTO looked like a good fit but I bet neither were from the OTO tribe.

KALI-100% perps for this unknown.
KEGERATOR- seen one before but didn't know it had its own name. Live & learn.
ALLA breve- cut time for Stars and Stripes Forever.

Brooklyn 9-9 was an unknown but after DET was in place by perps I guess it was a cop show. That's what the fickle public really needs.

WC- I left the final letter off NOVA and waited for the perp; I'm never sure if it will be novas or novae.

Hungry Mother said...

FIR with a slow but steady pace. The midsection was the last to fill-in. A major write-over with SACRE 4 SuCRE. I’m feeling pretty good this morning with Genius in the SB, successful NYT mini and xword, and getting this one done.

ATLGranny said...

After several sloppy days this week, I managed to get this one. FIR but it was close. It wasn't until a break to fix my second cup of coffee that problem areas began to clear up. SEA and ALTS were hard for me too, DO and OwenKL, along with the middle section. I had three tries for "Priests, at times": ministers, advisers, before ANOINTERS. Doing an alphabet run gave me the K in KNEES since I wasn't getting any help from the perp. CLICK IT OR TICKET was my first long fill. Others took more time. What an accomplishment for a debut! Well done, Adrian and Jeff. Good choice of words so Husker Gary didn't have to explain the fill this time for me.

A rainy day today and so far only a sore arm and slight headache when I got up as a result of yesterday's shot. Many more people were being processed than three weeks ago, but they had made adjustments and it didn't take much longer than before. Now to look forward to Valentine's Day tomorrow. Will the puzzle refer to it?

inanehiker said...

This definitely had its challenges but once a long fill opened up it was easier to make big strides. I also had Nilla before NECCO. The SXSW gave the X for BOTOX so that long fill opened the middle early- with two sons who have lived in Waco and San Antonio at different times- they have both gone to the Austin festival. Of course it was cancelled last year and likely will be again this year.
I didn't like the 1A clue- only for having the word "an" in there- I guess it was a Saturday misdirection to make it harder - but there aren't any other ORs - so it could have been dropped.
Having a puzzle with both horizontal and vertical grid spanners was quite impressive.

Thanks HG and congrats to Adrian! (and thanks to Jeff for co-constructing with Adrian)

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Easy Saturday...chugged right along, all AXONS firing. Welcome Adrian. Your six spanner banner answers forming a radial symmetrical grid was ingenious and fun to fill. You were working out crosswords at 19, I was hanging around the fraternity KEGGERATOR (but I bet you don't know cursive! 😄)....Thank to Jeff Chen for your contribution as well.

Thought KALI was spelled CALI like her city Calcutta (Kolkata?). more inkovers: our/HIS, Latt/LET, achey/ANGRY, Ute/OTO...Is OTTO an OTO name?

So OR is Oregon on a map OR a map of a hospital with directions to the OR ⚕. ANGRY? What happened to my least favorite ired.. My son is a pain management physician in Syracuse and has successfully treated migraine headaches with BOTOXINJECTIONS in selected patients.

ROSA was obvious, ADELE easy to guess, good ole reliable SEPIA. ALTS unknown but not ALTI.. like Husker said Phi procedes Chi in the Greek Alphabet . How do you pronounce SXSW?

My sIster's daughter Jean's my _____...KNEES
A hungry James Bond expelled from ______ EATIN
Shoe style exposing piggies.....OPENTO
"Lecco my ____....NECCO"

Happy St. Valentine's Eve ❤

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I was definitely on the constructors’ wave length this morning as I finished in 19:55, just solving at my normal pace. The six grid spanners
helped because they were easy to suss out and provided lots of toeholds. Kegerator is new to me but perps solved that nicely. I liked the visual of the row with Ahi Kali Sari and the additional I-ending words: Poi, Tai, Ari, and Alti and the several cute duos of Oto/Otto, Aly/Alla, Ari/Sari, Aly/Kali, and Alts/Alti. CSO to Misty (RCA) and DO (Otto). I thought the cluing was outstanding..

Thanks, Adrian, for an impressive debut and best wishes for your future endeavors and thanks, Jeff, for collaborating on this very enjoyable Saturday solve.

Have a great day.

oc4beach said...


Welcome to the list of LA Times Constructors Adrian. You're in good company with Jeff Chen. Interesting puzzle that I was unable to finish without the help of Red Letters.

Gary, as usual, provided the insight needed for me to understand some of the clues.

I especially liked the first fill of USMAP. Apparently HOSPITAL didn't fit.

I only had OVO, SXSW, ROSA and CITY with my first pass through the Across clues. Pretty discouraging. After trying the Down clues I had to turn Red Letters on, so, an official DNF today.

Like others, it was a toss-up between NILLA and NECCO wafers. I liked both as a kid. NECCO wafers have been around since 1847, but the New England Candy Company no longer exits. A number of their products have been spun off to other companies, so that they still exist in the marketplace. In addition to NECCO Wafers, what would we do without Sweethearts (the original Conversation Hearts) and Canada Mints. (Hi CanadianEh)

I was supposed to get my first Moderna vaccine shot today, but over a week ago I was able to get it early by going to the vaccination center and rescheduling it. I'm glad I did, because they are predicting snow this afternoon and the vaccination center is over 40 miles away and I wouldn't want to have to travel on snowy roads.

I hope everyone has a great day and please wear your masks.

Anonymous said...

Very nice puzzle. "Confectionery" is misspelled in the answers.

kerek said...

moral imperative?

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Quite a slog this morning. Six grid spanners. Kept probing all over to find the soft spots. 1st spanner filled was POSITIVE THINKER. That helped get the east and SE going. Much of the rest was a letter by letter fill; clawing my way to the finish. Had Serbs before SLAVS. Pretty sure about SEA arm. Good example, Gary.. My favorite clue/fill was for STONE TOOL. Ultimately, got it all.
Nebraska native Gary would not fit. Had to wing it with OTO.
OSLO - We saw the 1952 olympic ski jump at Holmenkollen.
When our CITY slicker relatives would visit us at the farm, we would tell them that the brown cows gave chocolate milk. The more gullible ones were shown how the cow's tail was 'pumped' to get the milk out of the teats.
I don't think the original LETTS are considered SKAVic. There is a significant Russian minority as a result of the USSR days.
RIGA wasa member of the Hanseatic League during the Middle Ages.

Malodorous Manatee said...

Welcome to the LAT and the Crossword Corner, Adrian. Valerie and I really enjoyed the puzzle. The six border-to-border answers were intimidating at first glance but, starting with CLICK IT OR TICKET, proved to be much more of help than of hindrance. One spot that did elicit some head scratching was the OR clue where we spent some time heading down the hospital path.

Gary, wonderful write up. I especially love the Norman Rockwell picture. When I was a kid my parents had a book of Saturday Evening Post magazine covers. I often leafed through that book and, to this day, I remember the one that you used. I did not recognize it at the time for what it was but I was experiencing something "Meta".

YooperPhil said...

Always enjoy the Saturday themeless, so thanks to the constructors and editor! Had to work this one clockwise from NE till I got back to center to fill in the last word “slink”. Finished in 27:35 with no help, which for a Saturday anything under 30:00 is good for me

Shankers said...

I bow down to anyone completing this slog in less than 20 min. I guess that would be our incomparable IM. For me the top third and the bottom third filled slowly but surely. The middle was more of a bear with the crossing of 37A and 7D. It didn't help that I had tau before tai and SBSW before SXSW. Most of the misdirections were identified quickly. Just very satisfied to grab a FIR today. Thanks for the grind boys!

Shankers said...

BTW, Non Sequitur has a hilarious take-off today on the Norman Rockwell portrait.

Malodorous Manatee said...

Thanks for that Shankers! Here is a link:

A Portrait of the Artist As A...

waseeley said...

Thank you Adrian and Jeff for a delightfully, disastrous minefield of a puzzle. Here I was patting myself on the back for a rapid-fill Saturday and couldn't wait to get to the Corner to brag about it, only to have Gary show me that I'd been sleepwalking the whole time. Adrian you are a master of misdirection and the last person I'll ever ask to help me find my way home.

I'll spare the crowd an enumeration of the errors. And D-O, I'M on my way to the subabasement to see if I can find some crawl space.

Just sayin'. Hope tomorrow will be a brighter day (even though Charm City is slated for sleet and freezing rain). And in the immortal words of Aldous Huxley, "Attention, Attention!"

Cheers,
Bill

waseeley said...

Kerek @10:11 AM From a time long, long ago in a far distant place.

Shankers said...

MalMan, thanks for posting the comic. I have another one almost identical to that from the Herman comic strip years ago, but being a card-carrying techniphobe I wouldn't know how to post it.

Vidwan827 said...


Thank you Adrian Johnson, and Jeff Chen, for a very challenging and punny puzzle. At first I had serious doubts that I would ever finish it all. Even the short words were a herculean task. Fortunately, the long answers really helped, and covered a lot of ground. In the end, very very satisfying. Thank you.

I've passed through WY, and we even saw a rodeo at Laramie, and some real indians ( ;-o) ) , many moons ago... on our way to Yellowstone.

Thank you Husker Gary for a very nice and intersting review.

I had a tough time at KALI, the 4 letter word for Shiva's consort. ( To my relief, my wife didn't know either ..)
Parvati, Durga, Laxmi or Uma would not fit. Rama and Sita were inappropriate. I am not quite familiar with Kali, when it (she) appeared. Having a pantheon of gods, allows most hindus, to pick and choose their favorites - much like saints. We chose ours. pretty much like we choose our Hollywood movies or TV shows ..... no violence, no porn, vulgarity or sleaze, no horror flicks and no blood thirsty genres....
As Ray-O-Sun pointed out, the eastern indian city, Kolkata ( British anglicization Calcutta ) is named after the goddess, or her temple therein.

What is the difference between a wife and a consort ? For one, ordinary men have wives, only important personalities have consorts. Queen Elizabeth II definitely has a consort....
And, if they ever get along well together ... why, then, he becomes a Pro-sort.
Growing up, I always thought a consort, was, as Ray-O-Sunshine puts it ... a Pal-ette.

Have a nice rest of the weekend.

OwenKL said...

I was looking for Rockwell's self portrait, then got the newspaper to find today's Non Sequitur.
Addenda: I see Shank and MalMan beat me to it. Can you tell the difference between MM's link and mine?
I was looking for Rockwell's self portrait, then got the newspaper to find today's Non Sequitur.
Addenda: I see Shank and MalMan beat me to it. Can you tell the difference between MM's link and mine?

OwenKL said...

I was looking for Rockwell's self portrait, then got the newspaper to find today's Non Sequitur.
Addenda: I see Shank and MalMan beat me to it. Can you tell the difference between his link and mine?

Misty said...

Well, Saturday puzzles are toughies for me, but that doesn't mean they're not fun. I much enjoyed this one--many thanks Adrian and Jeff. And, Husker, your pictures were a delight--thanks for that, too.

Not too many names, but I was happy to get ROSA and ELLEN, which helped with the southwest corner. I wish I could have also gotten ADELE, but never heard of her last name. Of course, I thought 'acting imperative' would have something to do with theater and kept going for some kind of IMPERSONATION--nope, MORAL IMPERATIVE didn't come to mind. A better clue would have been nice. But I agree that the 'forget your lines' clue was funny.

Finally, thank you once again, Irish Miss, for remembering that my Dad worked for RCA for many years.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

NaomiZ said...

What an elegant puzzle! Everything came together eventually. US MAP and SLINK were hard for me, but FIR. Ray-O asked how to pronounce SXSW. Those hip enough to attend (like my daughter) say South By South West. Thanks to Adrian, Jeff, Rich and Husker Gary for helping to keep my pencil and mental faculties sharp. Enjoy the weekend, Cornerites!

Lucina said...

Hola!

Congratulations, Adrian, and welcome to the LAT Corner! Thanks to Jeff Chen, too. What a remarkable grid with all those spanners!

My first long fill was POSITIVE THINKER and since I am one I knew I could finish this. Like Spitz, I look for the soft spots then connect whatever letters I see. it all worked out though it took me considerably more time than most of you.

PORTRAIT ARTIST was the next one to fall then CLICK IT OR TICKET.

Progress was slow until I had to LIU KALI since it wasn't in my CWD dictionary. It's been a long time since I added an entry there so now I have it. That and SLINK were my last fill.

What might cause you to forget your lines had me searching for a drama scene so BOTOX INJECTIONS really made me chuckle.

I'll take a CSO at LAPSE IN JUDGMENT since I have many these days.

Thank you, Gary; it was nice to have the constructor comment and add to your jolly notes.

Have a great day, everyone!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Thanks you Naomi

Thought it was "sixwa.." 😉

Irish Miss said...

It took 5 hours but it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t thank HG for his very colorful and creative commentary, links, and visuals. 🙀 Mea Culpa, Gary, and an extra-large THANK YOU! 😺

Tinbeni said...

Well, like almost always, I did not solve today's puzzle.

But I enjoyed the informative, interesting write-up by Husker Gary.

We had a "Monster Rain Storm" this morning ... which is kinda rare for February
here in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

A "Toast-to-ALL" at Sunset. Looks like it might be a "Good-One."

Cheers!

AnonymousPVX said...


This puzzle rewards effort. It took more than a couple of passes to get the solve.

Stay safe.

Kelly Clark said...

Whee, fun time, some devilish clues and congratulations Adrian -- and thank you! And you, too, Jeff and Gary! (Love the pic of the Baptism)

unclefred said...

1A stumped me. Then several fills just flew into place. So pleased with myself getting BOTOXINJECTION as an immediate WAG. LAPSEOFJ.... to LAPSEINJ.... SNEAK:SLINK, SERBS:SLAVS. Very last to fall was USMAP and I didn’t get it. All PERPS and left me clueless as to why an Operating Room would be on a USMAP. Husker Gary had to ‘splain it to me. Very nice CW, although it took me 35 minutes to fill. Thanx, Adrian and Jeff!! Very nice write-up, too, thanx HG!! 9 days until my second jab. Stay safe everyone.

Adrian Johnson said...

Thanks everyone for your kind words, and I'm glad you enjoyed the puzzle! And thanks to Jeff for the collaboration and comment space. I don't know what it's like working with hundreds of people on puzzles on the regular (this is my first publication after all), but I hope he never loses sight of the fact that the time, effort and resource he invests in new constructors are invaluable and impact not just the individual, but the community around them. It's not just me celebrating today– my family, friends, partner and college are too.

Thanks also to husker Gary for the lovely write-up and for referencing the Baltic Sea in his recap of the clue. I spent my spring 2020 studying abroad in Tartu, Estonia. Tartu itself isn't on the Baltic Sea, but most of Estonia is, and the water is absolutely beautiful. To boot, I stayed in Estonia during the first 7 weeks of COVID lockdowns before returning to the US... such an eye-opening experience to live through a pandemic on both sides of the world. Wishing everyone a happy Saturday!
Cheers, Adrian

Lucina said...

I will give a CSO to my friend Sister Katie LETT who is a bundle of energy even in her 80s or maybe 90s by now!

A batch of sugar cookies is firming up for later punching into Valentine shapes and baking. Not for me, of course.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thanks, Adrian & Jeff for a midnight challenge. At my age, I am never going to be on the wave-length of a college boy despite having three grandsons that age. KEGERATOR, indeed! Don't drink beer either. But I did like the puzzle.

I felt so much better finding out Vidwan didn't know KALI either.

When I lived in Texas in my late teens, we spent some fun times in Austin. Never heard of SXSW then.

With single digit temperatures, I called my bro to see if they had gone to St.Thomas island in the Carribean. They had gone in January when temperatures at home were in the 40's. Now they are home. Should have stayed. They said the island was almost deserted. Usually have a lot of cruise ships stopping there and large crowds.

PK said...

Gary, thank you for your personal contributions and for bringing Adrian's comments to our stage.

CrossEyedDave said...

Just lurking today,
Serious saturday puzzles don't lend themselves much to silly links...
(I still try to do them though.)

OwenKL@12:11
Yes, I do see the differences in your non sequitur vs M. Manatees links.
M. Manatee linked to the main webpage, https://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur
Which unfortunately will bring up the comic from the day you click on it.
This means that some one reading this write up/blog tomorrow clicking on his link
Will bring up tomorrow's comic, which will be unrelated and make no sense.
(Gocomics.com/non sequitur is updated daily to show that days comic)

You however managed to isolate the comic from today only.

Anonymous T said...

Yo! Adrian!* I have to like you 'cuz -- well, I just do...
But you AND JeffC? 'comon man...
This is all I got after an hour++!
Congrats on the debut. Looking forward to your grids.

Hi All!

Thanks HG for the expo (and some extra play after a cheat or three) and reaching out to Adrian. Thanks Adrian & Jeff for the diversion from *F it's cold!*
//been feeding the exterior painters PIPING HOT COFFEE all day.

After reading everyone's solve... maybe I should have stuck with it a bit longer. Oh well.

WOs: see for yourself [above] Serb->SLAVS
ESPs: yeah, right.
Fav: SXSW - Austin B-Side hacker buddies had to cancel '20.

1a: OR == US MAP?!? That's just evil; I was hangin' at the hospital...

{B, A}

IM - Under 20min?!? Now you're on my ANGRY-list :-)

MManatee - count me in as a fan of Rockwell's meta-selfie.

Youngest is at dance competition today so (after the painters leave) DW & I have the house to ourselves until 11p... I've got sushi (including AHI & EEL) on order for our (early) Valentine's night.

Enjoy'd reading everyone today; so thank y'all for that.

Cheers, -T
*I bet you get that a lot. :-)

CrossEyedDave said...

Apparently by going to a different source http://picayune.uclick.com/comics/nq/2021/nq210213.gif

Go comics will not let you isolate,
Apparently picayune will let you choose the specific day.

Owen, note that I had to split this post in two.
That is because I left the comment typing box to get your link address
And could not return to the specific point as it was beyond the scope of the initial
Box, and it will not let you scroll down to continue where you left off.

iPad only apparently...

Do you know of a fix for this quirk?

Jayce said...

I agree with what NaomiZ said. "What an elegant puzzle!" Yep, I fell into every trap and followed every misdirection but was able to get myself straightened out eventually. Loved it.

I learned a lot. I learned that Gustav had a brother and what his name was. I learned that there is such a thing as a KEGERATOR. I relearned about that SXSW event and what the letters stand for. I learned of a Hindu deity that I had never heard of before. I learned that there had been a winter Olympics in OSLO (I knew of and watched the games in Lillehammer.)

In the many British TV shows my wife and I watch they say "ROW" a lot. They also use it as a verb, as in, "I heard them rowing."

I found this puzzle to be very rewarding and I derived much pleasure solving it.

Good wishes to you all.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Ta ~ DA!
This was the kind of tough PZL I can really enjoy, one that opens up gradually, at a pace that keeps my interest alive long enough between each hurdle.
Whenever I stalled today, I could always find a "back door" that just opened somewhere.
Didn't need any cheats, just plain P+P.

The last to fall? SXSW.
I had TXSW for the longest time, until finally I knew I had to go with the SLINK perp.

My thanks to the Johnson/Chen team. And of course to Husker G.
~ OMK

Spitzboov said...

-T @ 1629 - - Looks like you had Serbs before SLAVS, too.

Lucina said...

Anon-T:
Me too. That is about what mine looked like after an hour. It took me a long time to get traction.

Wilbur Charles said...


"For one who has lived but a single lifetime, you are a wise man, Von …."
Know that quote BigE? Or anyone?

"South By South West" Thanks Naomi Z. As someone said, with the variety in here the things many know which others have no clue about. Btw, no Sports today, I believe

Tin, the "Monster rain storm" in Sun City/Riverview was earlier than today. Thursday? No Sunday.

As PVX said, the P&P that yields the finish is a great feeling. Minus that dratted E in NOVAS (Sat xw I expected NOVAe). Jayce also expressed it perfectly. As did OMK.

Anon-T, that's fascinating. You got SXSW and ROWS (which were my last fills) right off the bat

WC

And kudos (NOW, it's easy to say that now) to Jeff and Adrian*.

*Our J words included Monkey Business which yielded a little ditty that I may post.

Wilbur Charles said...

I couldn't resist especially in the ether

Adrian is surely the boss from hell as Natalie Teeger was told
Sherona, his former nurse, remarried her ex and returned to Freehold.
That's Jersey, my friend.
It goes unsaid that his habits were more than a bit uncouth.
"He's a bit compulsive", she said. Of that there was a kernel of truth.
But he always got his man in the end

The pluses outweighed the minuses in caring for him nonetheless
Taking care of business was the key to Mister Monk's success.

Bobbi Bruesch said...

Busy all morning slogging through my taxes. Finally sat down to work LAT Saturday puzzle at 3 p.m. (PST) At 6p.m. - with gaps outnumbering fills I tossed it. Yes, I realize I'm not a pro solver like most of you, but some I've the clueing used -to me -were inane. A "lemon rind" qualifies as a "strip"? Who invented KEGERATOR" as a word ...can't find it in any reference books on my shelf! These sorts of puzzles really bother me since they attempt to be way too cutesy with their defs. Please don't suggest looking for "simpler puzzles". I've been working LAT puzzles for over 50 years. My ability and approach to puzzles haven't changed, but the puzzles certainly have!

OwenKL said...

CED -- actually the difference I was referring to was that one was a square panel and one was stretched out to to comic *strip* format. Non-Seq is one of a small group that produce their content in two versions, one in each form, every day.

Many years ago, when my HTML skills were in their prime, I cracked the code that UClick/GoComics used to label their comics, and created pages for all of my favorites (and I like a LOT of comics)! I now read them in 50-day batches, so that story arcs are all together. And that also means I can pick any date and see what that date's comic was for any strip I want! I also have pages for a lot of independent web comics. But the other syndicate that distributes comics, King Features, I wasn't able to crack. So I've got about 200 comics I can pirate, and maybe 100 more I can't.

CanadianEh! said...

Super Saturday. Thanks for the fun, Adrian and Jeff, and HuskerG.
Congrats on your debut, Adrian; it is great to have a constructor’s viewpoint.

WEES by now. I required some P&P, a couple of Google visits, and a break to give fresh perspective, but I finished, and enjoyed the solve.
I have committed Nilla wafers to my CW memory and now I have to add NECCO . . . neither of which I am familiar with here in Canada.

I fought mightily LAPSE IN JUDGMENT with that spelling of judgement. Another British/Canadian spelling difference to remember. WC, it might depend on the nationality of your dictionary whether “no e is preferred”. 😁

Did anyone think of Jerk chicken that might surprise you with its heat?
Does anyone else wonder why of those Jean parts, (KNEES) are cut open and considered fashionable? Hope you are not wearing them when the Polar Vortex hits!

Good night all.

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

Better late than never!

FIR after more write overs than I care to list

Adrian and Jeff and Gary: kudos!

MORAL IMPERATIVE was the last of the six spanners to fall

An early, Happy Valentines Day ❤️!

Lucina said...

I don't recall the exact year and perhaps I can research it, but some time in the last part of the 20th century, an organization called something like The National English Committee or some such, passed JUDGMENT on the spelling of certain words and JUDGMENT was one of them. They decreed the preferred spelling would be without the E. I only recall that it was published in a publication our school received. One of our teachers was involved in tutoring students for the National Spelling Bee so it was important for that reason.