Feb 20, 2021

Saturday, February 20, 2021, Craig Stowe

 Saturday Themeless by Craig Stowe

A challenging Saturday offering from our native Newfoundlander who is now a Torontonian. Here are Craig's comments: 

Hi Gary, 

Thanks for the email.  I hope the picture is ok.  It was taken in 2018 in Gatineau, Quebec - when we could still visit casinos. 

I really enjoy making themeless puzzles and I think they are the most satisfying to solve.  Sometimes constructors begin with a grid design and fill it accordingly but usually there’s a seed entry that the puzzle is built around.  In this case that entry is TOO BAD SO SAD, which had been on my radar for a while.  It vanished when another venue used it in a (themed) puzzle but reappeared when I wanted to design a themeless with a central stack.  This is my first attempt at such a stack.  I don’t care for the smaller corners from a design point-of-view but I like themeless grids to have a little stretch to the entries so it was a painful compromise.  I have to say I like to my clue for the seed entry “[playing the world’s smallest violin]” only because it reminds me of Fat Tony playing that tiny violin on “The Simpsons.”   

Breakdown of what was completely changed, somewhat changed and unchanged is roughly equal across all three categories.  I really like “Mozart’s mother” over my original clue “Horsford of ‘Amen’” – what can I say?  I loved “Amen!”  But I also really love classical music and can’t wait to get back to the symphony and opera.  Learning moment for this non-fan of Mozart.   

A quick guilty-of-crosswordese-list.  First, I don’t think crosswordese is necessarily a bad thing.  It potentially keeps words alive that might otherwise completely disappear – it happens all the time.  It can also give a seasoned solver an entry into a puzzle.  That being said I try to avoid it at all costs.  ETUI, HAP, ERSE, ESTER and the prefix IDEO- are not the finest entries in the world.  I think affixes are worse than crosswordese as they’re parts of words.  It’s not a cross-partial-words puzzle.  So guilty as charged but a low word count is going to bring about its share of constructor staples to get things done.   

I think I’ve rambled on long enough.  Hopefully it’s a pleasant solve for folks and not too painful. 



I got a good foothold in the SE, worked back to the NW and then finally wrestled the SW into submission after  the corner Monopoly square came to mind and I passed Go and collected my $200 SALARY.

...and we're off and running:


1. "Can't someone else?": DO I HAVE TO - A teenager's lament

10. Floor: AMAZE.

15. Mozart's mother: ANNA MARIA - This plaque marks where Wolfgang and his mother lived in Paris and where she died

16. Dressing extreme?: NINES Some guesses on the origin of "Dressed To The NINES"

17. Comebacks: RESPONSES - Lady Nancy Astor to Winston Churchill, "If I were married to you, I'd poison your tea." I'm betting you know his RESPONSE.

18. See 43-Across: ANGST 43. Genre full of 18-Across: EMO - A 1962 EMO song by one of the Gene's I had in my "Name That Gene Game" last week

19. Set to assemble: KIT - Set as a noun. Here's something else from 1962

20. Best Actress between Hilary and Helen: REESE - Both she and Joaquin Phoenix sang the songs in I Walk The Line as June and Johnny Cash

21. Franklin's bill: C NOTE - $100 There is a website that will sell you this "play money". You have to look pretty hard to see COPY | PLAY MONEY 

22. Inferior: WORSE.

24. Unwanted information, usually: SPOILER - "What? Rosebud is a sled?"

26. Small sewing case: ETUI - I'm sure this was in 1962 cwds too

27. Cantore in a storm: JIM - JIM and his crew meet some Huskers just before a big snow event in Lincoln

30. Member of the first class of World Golf Hall of Fame inductees, 1974: SNEAD - Sam Snead

31. Retreated: BACKPEDALED - Patrick Mahommes BACKPEDALED all day against the Buccaneers as they 
54. Rushed toward: RAN AT him and knocked him down a lot

34. "Voilà!": THERE YOU ARE.

37. Expression of mock sympathy: TOO BAD SO SAD - Letter home from college, "No mon, no fun your Son." Reply, "TOO BAD, SO SAD, your Dad."

40. Involuntary contraction: SPASM.

44. Part of un drame: ACTE - Le point culminant d'un drame arrive au troisième ACTE (The climax of a drama comes in the third act)

45. Forms a union?: MARRIES.

47. More than just talk: ORATE - Edward Everett ORATED before Lincoln at Gettysburg and afterwards wrote to Abe, 
"I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes."

48. Single out: ELECT.

49. Appear by surprise: POP IN - The Seinfeld take on the POP IN

53. Ring site: LIP 

55. "Either or": I DON'T CARE 

57. Rough: CRUDE.

58. "... quaint and curious volume of __ lore": Poe: FORGOTTEN.

59. Really excited: HYPER.

60. Democracy concern: FREE PRESS.


1. Limited-access Internet area: DARK WEB Interested?

2. The least bit: ONE IOTA.

3. Show how: INSTRUCT - Been there, doing that.

4. "Our __ is loss, our hope but sad despair": "Henry VI, Part III": HAP - General HAP Arnold missed the cut

5. Subject of Dante's "La Vita Nuova": AMORE - La (The) Vita (Life) Nuova (New) is 1293 prose written about Dante's AMORE (Love) for Beatrice

6. Weather __: VANE.

7. Gaelic tongue: ERSE - A tongue we see often here

8. Plastic bag accessories: TIES - They have so many uses 

9. Hot spots' hot spots?: OASES.

10. Amazon threats: ANACONDAS - Google at your own peril

11. Mouse first voiced by Walt Disney: MINNIE 

12. Namibia neighbor: ANGOLA - Okay, where is it? Answer

13. Prepped, as peels: ZESTED - Last week, Adrian Johnson and Jeff Chen gave us 
31. Strip often twisted: LEMON RIND 

14. Perfume compound: ESTER A table of ESTERS

23. Follower of Nanak: SIKH The first SIKH Guru

25. Unreal: PSEUDO 

27. Fed chair Powell: JEROME - When he was nominated

28. Graphic intro?: IDEO.
29. "I'll get back to you": MAYBE.

32. Vacationer's need, maybe: PET SITTER

33. Good earth: LOAM.

35. One may be heard on safari: ROAR - In this "Safari" in Chile, roles are reversed and you can be up close and personal to hear the ROAR

36. Get out of hand in a hurry: ESCALATE - Did you ever talk politics at a family gathering?

38. Dresses: ATTIRES.

39. Becomes more complicated: DEEPENS.

40. Word on a Monopoly corner square: SALARY - Took me longer that it should have

41. Asset protection plan, briefly: PRENUP - George thought this would make Susan back out of the marriage 

42. Place to play: ARCADE 

45. Branded wares, informally: MERCH - MAKES went down in flames 

46. Spruce (up): SPIFF.

47. Triumphant: ON TOP.

50. Wrinkled-nose cause: ODOR.

51. Study intently, with "over": PORE over this picture from the original 1953 Picnic cast of the 52. "Picnic" Pulitzer Prize winner: INGE play and see if you can guess who made his Broadway debut in this play (*answer below)

56. NBA position: CTR - The debate rages as to who was the all time best (**Names are listed below) and here is one person's opinion

*The actor in question is, of course, Paul Newman. He was passed over for a role in the movie.

**Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon 


bhart said...

no grid

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Really liked this one, especially those multi-word answers stacked in the center. Lack of a theme is always a plus in my book. With FOR__ in place I went with FORBIDDEN and kept it way too long. INGE convinced me otherwise. Yes, Husker, d-o fell into the MAKES trap also. Thanx for the challenge, Craig, and for the expo, Husker. (I didn't notice that the grid was missing.)

OwenKL said...

If I'm rating lovelies, one to ten,
Judging their ATTIRE, and them,
A perfect ten
Is beyond human ken,
But I'll settle for NINE point nine-nine then!

A RESPONSE to a questioning prompt
May be DO I HAVE TO? I'm swamped!
I swear I was sleeping! I was zonked!

{A, A.}

Wilbur Charles said...

I got SE first but it was isolated so SW had to start from scratch. HF were ACTE and ERSE. I hadn't seen ETUI for awhile but we've had SPASM a few times lately. And INGE, too

My Monopoly set is from the 50s so SALARY was NOT a word in the Go corner.

Still at Sea re. JIM Cantore and "storm"

I guessed at SNEAD when I had the D. I was going to leave a hint last night re. Amazon menace as simple "C-Moe". I recall the Stooges repeating that word but couldn't find a clear link.

While solving the 76ers were playing and I noticed Emblid's LIP Ring.

Well it wasn't zips then T_ES I thought of tees which might very well be in a plastic bag, eh Gary? Fortunately I took one last look and thought of that thingy used to wrap my store baked sourdough.

Hmm, those FED Chairs aren't selected on their looks.

Re. 36D. They're still not talking. The ESCALATion reverted to childhood resentments.

Naturally, I pick Bill Russell and his 11/13 Rings.


ATLGranny said...

A Saturday save as I finally got the SW corner. FIR after I got SALARY (hi HG), ELECT and PRE NUP. ESCALATE was slower than it should have been since I first put ear instead of LIP. But in general, I AMAZEd myself coming up with words as I eased around the grid. Thanks, Craig for the challenge. Liked your comments but "small violin" seed entry clue? And Husker Gary, great review as usual!

OwenKL, I liked your second one, MAYBE since it has so many puzzle words! Good to hear from you, Leo III, last night. And nice you are back leading off the comments this morning, DO. Hope everyone has a good weekend!

desper-otto said...

Got an unfortunate message from our county M-o-W coordinator: "It is with sadness that I share with you that MOW lost all of our frozen meals and perishable food this week. A group of staff assessed the situation and started the clean up today." I'm sure there's a whole lot of no-longer-frozen food in SE Texas that's headed for the dumpsters. I'm heading out today to pick up and deliver shelf-stable meals to folks on three different area routes who were missed this past week due to the weather. Many of those people are shut-ins and rely heavily on M-o-W.

JJM said...

I thought this was a great Saturday Puzzle. Tough enough to make you pause a bit and go "Hmmmm, I wonder if it's this?" before you put in the fill. Painfully slow at the beginning for me... then Voilà (34A) I got thru it in no time. Couldn't believe that one or two fills would lead me to such a surprisingly quick finish. I thought for sure this was going to be a DNF.
Stay Warm
Stay Safe
Stay Healthy

Anonymous said...

Took 16:28 today, and I agree with the Constructor's self-assessment of his work.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

A super Saturday for me....the hold up was GEENA Davis refusing to give it up for REESE.....But she did, finally....for a FIR.

I tawt I taw a RESPONSES theme?
..DOIHAVETO, THEREYOUARE, TOOBADSOSAD, there isn't a theme?..guess what, IDONTCARE! ☺

I thought a good citizen of Toronto was a Torontan...whaddyah seh Canada eh?

Since I doubt anyone knew Wolfgang's mom's name without 'bout "island off Florida's gulf coast" or...(Craig's too young) "50's - 60's actress Alberghetti" (when I was a kid I thought she was gorjus 🥰)

J. Cæsar was actually asking Brutus for a safety pin to hold up his toga..."ETUI Bruté?".

JIM Cantore (singer in the rain)

Inkover: Jerold/JEROME. So proud I remembered FORGOTTEN. toe ring is OK but lip RING..OWIE!! 🤭

The importance of a FREE PRESS for C. MOE

As a Tsar's PSEUDO daughter: ________ lotta folks..ANACONDA.
Teutonic turn downs.....NINES
Noah's GoFundMe...ARCADE
German Chancellor Merkel...ANGOLA

Mr Stowe thanks for sharing your CW philosophy, I agree. Great write up Husker learned a lot.

jfromvt said...

A few too many fill in the blanks on obscure quotes, and some Naticks, but got it done in the end. The long answers were creative. It was a toughie I thought.

jfromvt said...

Echoing WC and not getting into too much of a sports discussion, but Russell knew how to win, Wilt did not. Especially true in Russell’s last two seasons, at the end of his career, he got two championships against Wilt, who had superior talent around him and was younger. And Russell was a player/coach to boot.

Hungry Mother said...

A long slog, but FIR. On safari, we took a ferry across the Zambezi River, which I bungee-jumped over from the Victoria Falls Bridge. Out guide pointed out that we were in the four corners of Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. He also said we could see ANGOLA in the distance. We heard a lot of ROARs in our tents at night.

waseeley said...

My thanx to Craig for this puzzle, which I really liked, most of all because I FIR on a Saturday. And to Gary for his review Bon Mots, fav being his unspoken Churchillian RESPONSE to Lady Astor, which of course was "... and if I were married to you madame, I'd drink it".

Almost all of Craig's clues were challenging, but there were enough easy ones, e.g. the Fed Chair's first name to make the rest perpable.

20A Should have been a gimme, but I sloppily filled 7D as ERST, though I knew it was ERSE. After struggling in the NW for a bit I did a double retake and corrected 20A to REESE.

15A I knew LEOPOLD was Wolfie's dad and NANNERL was his sister, but had to wait for perps for his mother ANNA MARIA. And thanx Gary for the plaque at the site of her death in Paris. I thought that Mozart was much younger when his mother died, but the plaque tells us that he was already middle-aged (22).

11D Knew it wasn't MICKEY and wanted WILLIE but then nothing worked in the NE. Didn't get a ZEST for the puzzle until I put in AMAZE for 10A and was still stuck with the M and then decided Walt's vocal debut must have been MINNIE.

55A Could have been clued "That's your problem", a mainstay of modern managers that passes for delegation.

A final tad of music criticism. For someone to say that he is a fan of "classical music" and a "non-fan" of Mozart is IMHO an oxymoron. It is only a bit of hyperbole to say that Mozart is practically half of classical music, the other half being Joseph Haydn. People tend to think of Beethoven as a Classical composer, but he spanned that era and the next, and his best known works are what created Romanticism. Mozart is also considered the equal of the great opera composers Verdi, Puccini, and Wagner. All of his works, instrumental and vocal, are pure delight.


Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Woohoo. FIR. Except for the SE, much of the rest was slow to get going. Went with ERSE early, and considered VANE. That invited 'MARI_ in Mozart's mother's name. Mozart being German; I thought maybe ANNAMARIA would work. I threw the Hail Maria pass and it worked, triggering all the downs in that sector. In the NE, a few perps sealed ANACONDAS. The SW was more of a mosh pit, but ELECTing MARRIES helped with the 6 ltr. downs. HYPER was the last fill.
A well constructed puzzle, Craig. Thanks.
ESTER - Is not crosswordese IMO. The word, though specialized, is in common use. Anyone who has taken organic chemistry would know it.
Liked LOAM. We had both 'sandy LOAM' and 'clay LOAM' on our farm. The latter from a post-glacial lake-bed; the former from post glacial aeolian deposits. Alfalfa grew particularly well on the sandy LOAM.

Another fine intro from HG.

Shankers said...

Haven't played Monopoly in ages, but certainly don't recall salary as being one of the corner square words. Never heard of Merch either. All that led to a SW disaster and a rare DNF. Other than that it was an enjoyable test. DW and I have our first shots scheduled for next Thursday. Yippie. Can't wait.

Wilbur Charles said...

Ray O, ETUI Brute was a classic. JfromVt, Russell used to have Wilt over for dinner before the big games to soften him up.

Not only MoW meals but I fear vaccines may have expired unless they had a top notch backup plan.

I hear one place was taking all the walk-ins they could find

I too like Owen's #2


oc4beach said...

Definitely Saturday level difficulty from Craig. HG's tour 'splained a lot today. Both were enjoyable.

I had a lot of white space after the first pass through the puzzle. KIT, CNOTE, ETUI, JIM, SNEAD, SPASM (seems to be Rich's favorite word to beat to death lately) and ACTE were the only words I had right on the first pass through.

I had a few clinkers also. I tried COMMUNISM and wanted FREE SPEECH before FREE PRESS became obvious. I had POP UP before POP IN, CLOTHES before ATTIRES, WORST before WORSE, and RASPY before CRUDE. Perps were very important today in correcting the missteps and unknowns.

The Plastic bag accessories had to be TIES, because those little plastic tabs on bread bags, OCCLUPANIDs, wouldn't fit. I think we've had a discussion a while back about them.

My days of dressing to the NINES are over, now it's more like dressing to the ONES, because comfort is more important. Do you all agree?

I still have to wait almost another two weeks to get my scheduled second Moderna shot. However, it's been reported that a number of providers have here used the supposed second shots as first shots for more people, so there may not be vaccines for the second shots. I don't know if my provider is one of those who did that because the state is not identifying those that did it.

I hope everyone who has been impacted by the weather comes out of the mess OK.

Stay safe and warm and please wear your masks.

Anonymous said...

I see this all the time here in the comment section and don't know what it means. Could someone tell me ?


Picard said...

TOO BAD SO SAD is not part of my language. I was utterly mystified by CANTORE IN A STORM. It looked like our word "Cantor" who sings at Jewish services. It looked like Italian for "singer". But JIM is not Italian. I reluctantly filled it. Now I understand it is a proper name. REESE is one of the few Hollywood names I know so I got that WAG. Pleased to FIR.

ANGOLA was a part of the dark time in US history of CIA interventions. John Stockwell was station chief of ANGOLA. I brought him to speak in Santa Barbara. The turnout was so huge we had to set up a sound system outside the theater for the overflow crowd.

Spitzboov said...

@ 1104 - - FIR: Finished it Right

NaomiZ said...

Very little of today's puzzle was obvious to me on the first pass, so it was a delight to Finish It Right! Thank you, Craig, Rich, and Husker Gary!

DH and I received text messages last night from Kaiser Permanente letting us know that CV19 vaccine is finally available for folks age 65+. We jumped online and made appointments for the first available date, March 1. I DON'T CARE about having to wait a little longer, but it's nice to know we are not FORGOTTEN.

BTW, when I put in long hours processing paperwork for our clients, DH says, "Thanks for moving the MERCH!"

waseeley said...

Anon @11:04AM It means "Finished It Right". FIW mean "Finished It Wrong". DNF means "Did Not Finish". CC has these and other abrevs. somewhere on the web version of the daily puzzle. Scroll to the bottom of this screen to open it.


waseeley said...

Make me Bill

inanehiker said...

This one was a little slower than usual for me, but FIR (anon 11:04- finished it right and FIW - finished it wrong) with the SW corner being a challenge like it was for me like everyone else with the SALARY and MERCH the big hold ups! With the long fills - it was a sea of white until it quickly wasn't!

Bill - I think Craig was referring to "classical music" has the overarching genre as opposed to Pop, Country, Rap, Soul - rather than the subsection of Classical vs Baroque vs Romanticism but you probably already knew that.

It's sunny and above freezing- first time in 2 weeks both of those have happened!

Thanks HG and Craig!

Malodorous Manatee said...

After staring at the empty grid for a short while (and an unusual-looking grid it is) Valerie and I FIR while watching Cat TV with the Burmese. The SW was the last to fall for us, also, with MARKS going down in flames. Valerie first tried ITCH and MULL at 50/51 down but INGE at 52 nudged everything in the "write" direction. I spent some time exploring the DARK WEB a few years back but found it mostly boring despite the titillating reporting one sees in the media. Quaint and Curious in the clue at 58 across evoked an old Tom Lehrer song:

It Makes A Fellow Proud To Be A Soldier

Misty said...

Well, Saturday puzzles are the toughest in the week, and this one felt like one of the toughest ever. But that's your job, Craig--good work. And helpful commentary, Gary.

Nice to see REESE and INGE, one of my favorite playwrights.

Loved your first funny poem, Owen.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Irish Miss said...

Good Afternoon:

Craig hit the nail on the head with his comment about the solving pleasure of a themeless puzzle, especially a themeless as finely constructed as today’s is. I was definitely on Craig’s wave length right from filling in Dark Web and One Iota without a single perp. So much of the long fill was quickly discernible and fun, to boot. Even though there were several unknowns, I.e., Anna Maria, Salary, Angola, Hap, Amore, but the perps were more than fair. I had two w/os with the Mickey/Minnie Mouse trap and Jeremy/Jerome. The SW corner was tough, but eventually fell into place. I finished 5 minutes slower than Anon @ 9:31, but I don’t speed solve. Kudos to Craig for using only six 3 letter words!

Many thanks, Craig, for a super-satisfying solve and thanks, HG, for the superlative commentary, links, and visuals.

DO @ 9:11 ~ So sorry about the M o W’s woes. I hope things will return to normal soon.


Leo, glad you’re okay and back to the Corner.

Michael, you had me wondering for a few seconds, but then I remembered that you live on the West Coast. (I hope the anesthesia was for something minor.)

Have a great day.

Lucina said...


Thank you, Craig and Gary! This was a two parter for me. As per my routine lately, I arose very early, finished the NE corner, then returned to bed for another few hours.

SNEAD was my first fill as I thought he had to be the first inductee for golf. Though I don't follow it, he was all over the news in his hey day.

The SE filled next and SPIFF surprised me when it worked out. Moving on to the SW corner, that filled very quickly starting with MARRIES. In the NW my RESPONSES came too slowly but with KIT in place all the rest emerged. I didn't know Mozart's mother, but ANNAMARIA made sense.

The middle was last to fall. I have no idea about JIM but with -EROME in place, it had to be J.

This was a really good mental workout with only a minimum of wite-out at SOIL/LOAM and BOAR/ROAR.

I liked your poems.

Craig Stowe, thank you for your remarks.

That is tragic about the spoiled food! But I'm glad a solution was found and blessings on you for your efforts to ensure people are fed.
Stay safe and warm, everyone!

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

As waseeley said, I, too wanted WILLIE for 11d, but 21a soon corrected that

I BACKPEDALED often today as I tried to guess where Craig Stowe was going with the puzzle. The NW fell first; then the NE. Not sure what helped me figure out the SE, as there is a notable ink blot in 53-Across (EAR/TOE/LIP); but I definitely had to look up a Monopoly Board image on-line to see the word "SALARY". I recall passing go and collecting $200, but don't recall the word SALARY. Maybe on newer editions that what I had growing up ... once SALARY was in place, the SW fell, and THERE YOU ARE!

Thanks Gary for the recap; I really enjoy that you reach out to the constructor's and have them participate in the blog. Especially on Saturday, as these are normally "theme-less". I liked that TOO BAD SO SAD was the seed idea. Oh, and thanks for all of the Seinfeld videos; one of my favorite sit-coms

Other write-over: SOIL/LOAM

Anyone else notice that PRENUP crosses MARRIES?

Happy weekend all . . .

AnonymousPVX said...

This themeless Saturday grid almost filled itself.

Every once in a while a tough one comes easy, always appreciated.

Stay safe.

waseeley said...

inanehiker @11:36AM Just another one of my ham-fisted evangelization efforts. :-)

Big Easy said...

I was filling the puzzle fairly rapidly for a Saturday until it came to a screeching halt in the SW. The three side-by-side downs got me. I've played Monopoly for at least 60 years. Last game was this past Tuesday and I'd never noticed the word SALARY when I collected $200 for passing go. MERCH is a word I would never get. No PRENUP at my house. You don't need it if you don't have any money.

The cross of two unknowns- ANNA MARIA & HAP- was a WAG for AEIOU. In the SW I only had SPASM & RAN AT filled.

BTW, Tuesday night I wiped 'em out because I had three Railroads (B&O, Reading, & Shortline) and BOARDWALK & PARK PLACE with three houses on each and you know what happens when you land on those a couple of times- you go bust.

desper-otto said...

Inanehiker, that'd be like my musical categorizations. Anything pre-1900 is "classical," unless it's a Gregorian chant. In that case, it's a Gregorian chant.

unclefred said...

Struggle, struggle, boil and, wait. Wrong track. Definitely a struggle though. First word was FORGOTTEN and had to build from there. No clue about CANTORE IN A STORM even when perps gave me Jim. SNEED:SNEAD. Finally FIR in ~30. Many interruptions, hard to get the time right. Thanx for the brain-buster, Craig! And the write-up, HG, well done!

waseeley said...

All the images surfed up by a google search of "Monopoly board" have the word "Salary" on the GO corner you have to pass to run the next gauntlet of all the monopolists who are trying to separate it from you.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

I thought Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore was better known. But then again many sports personality clues fly right over my head...touché

Kelly Clark said...

Beautiful puzzle and wonderful commentaries -- thank you!

desper-otto said...

I would've bet that "Salary" was missing from my old Parker Brothers edition of Monopoly. I just pulled it down from the closet shelf; I would've lost.

Husker Gary said...

-We played Monopoly with our neighbors ONCE! He was so aggressive it sucked the fun out of the game.
-Around here we are very cognizant of weather and The Weather Channel®. It is a standing joke that if you look up and see Jim Cantore, you’ve got a real meteorological issue on your hands.
-Disney – Mickey started out as Steamboat Willie and then Mortimer Mouse but Walt’s wife Lillian convinced him to change it to Mickey
-Vaccination day +3 and we're good! The superintendent really wants me to come back and sub. Let's see, I have a pulse and two shots so...

Ol' Man Keith said...

A marvelous PZL from Mr. Stowe!

I say "marvelous" of course because I finished it in good time. Ta ~ DA!
Without undue help.
The best XWDs we all know are the tough ones that scare us a bit at the start but then slowly begin to yield, then more rapidly cave, and finally... collapse in our laps.

Misty ~ Do you know Bill INGE taught in our department? For some years before I arrived at UCI in 1980.
A tortured soul, by all accounts.

My 2nd COVID shot (Moderna) yesterday gave me a sore arm last night. It's still a little achy, but not bad.
I feel good, having completed the series.
I will continue to mask up. But the next time my sons are in SoCal, I look forward to having them visit. Last year, one was in the neighborhood, but I wouldn't let him come by--and felt awful about that.
A single diagonal today, on the flip side.
It offers an interesting anagram, 11 letters out of 15, that hints at what happens when Popeye wants to assume a mortgage on his own home (or maybe the sailor-man wants a boat?) but hasn't the credit-worthiness on his own.
To whom does he turn?
Ah, you guessed it. He calls on...

Malodorous Manatee said...

Ch Moe @ 21:17 - "Anyone else notice that PRENUP crosses MARRIES?" Having spent close to fifteen years working out my divorce (it could have been settled in a few days, but NOOOOOOOOOOOO!) the crossing was certainly noticed and smiled upon.

Jayce said...

I loved this well-constructed puzzle. Of course it looked daunting at first but I was able to get a few toeholds with ERSE, ETUI, JEROME, ESTER, SIKH, ODOR, and INGE. From there it was, like rock climbing, toehold after toehold and handhold after handhold until I solved it without having to check with Mr. G. at all. So much fun!

Right up there among my list of favorite clues was the clue for NINES.

I learned there is a guy named JIM Cantore. I learned the name of Mozart's mother. I learned it was the voice of MINNIE Mouse, not Mickey, that was first voiced by Walt Disney.

I like the word SPIFFy.

Thank you, Craig, for telling us a bit about your thinking and approach. Thank you, Husker Gary, for once again providing a terrific write-up.

oc4beach, I agree with dressing to the ONES now that I am retired. Even while working we all mostly dressed to the FIVES.

OwenKL, I liked your verses today.

Stay well, all.

CanadianEh! said...

Super Saturday. Thanks for the fun, Craig (thanks for commenting on your CW construction process) and HuskerG (thanks for contacting the constructors).
I had a sea of white as I looked at the Across clues. I switched to the Downs and fared better. With P&P I FIRed.

Yes, Ray-o, Torontonian is correct (but spellcheck doesn’t like it!?). Clues for CNOTE, JEROME and JIM must have been Rich’s; fellow-Canadian Craig would never have used those American names (although I see some of you didn’t know Cantore either).
Hand up with Picard for thinking Cantore was another languages’s word for music (similar to the ACTE clue) and wondering if I should know the Italian for Thunder😁

Another hand up with oc4beach for POP up before IN, and FREE Speech before PRESS.
I got INGE on the first try today.
I was thinking of the Jail corner of Monopoly but neither Just or Visiting would fit.
My “wrinkled nose cause” is a gluey CW fill and there were none today. Well maybe ODOR spelled that way. Tsk, tsk, Craig😊

Wishing you all a great day.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting and confusing that classical music can refer to a very broad category and a specific limited period.
Wiki:Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820 (the Classical period), this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods.
I love most music from the broad classical category.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Thank you Craig for the fine puzzle. It took me a while but nothing was so obscure a few letter-WAGs couldn't finish a fill. I think this is my second FIR Sat for '21. Whoot!

My fill started at KIT. Wanting WORSE, I re-read 1d and DARK WEB filled leading to ETUI, BACK, RE---, then there was that stack of vowels in 2d... ONE IOTA! Thought of Vane allowed 1a to fill and fix my false-start at 17a.
CNOTE & MINNIE started NE, FORGOTTEN began the SW, and SPASM over MARRIES sate for a long time until PET SITTER appeared.
Last square to fill was I in JIM. I worked the grid on-and off -- SW was last corner to fall before heading back to realize I was BACK 'peddling' wrong.

HG - thanks for the general expo, explaining CANTORE, and getting the puzzle's BACK-story from Craig. Enjoyed the links.

WOs: RETOR (oh, wait...) -> RESPONSES, wrong VEIN, BACK tracked b/f JaROME* [sic] put me on the right path. My ring was on the TOE b/f LIP. I also tested the 'K' & 'Y' for MICKEY b/f going w/ MINNIE.
Fav: Clue for I DON’T CARE; that took a few seconds for the penny to drop (at the ARCADE).

Proud moment: I recalled INGE from the other day!

{B+, A}
Very fun DR, OMK. I like it.

Shankers - MERCH is short for merchandise (with a label).

Oc4 - if we discussed, I don't recall... Thanks for the WotD: OCCLUPANID

Picard: I was trying to BACK-etymologize Cantore as 'of or related to cantilever'. A boat's JIB came to mind for a moment but I'm not sure what I'd do with one in a storm :-)

C, Eh! - LOL chastising Craig for ODOuR.

C. Moe: there a particular reason you noticed PRE-NUP xing MARRIES? :-)
Nice catch!
//oh, sorry MManatee

Ray-O: LOL at ETUI and ARK-aid.

For Bill G & CED - Spaceman SPIFF [1:40 homage].

Good to see you safe and sound LeoIII! How was the museum today?

C.Moe: It's in the River Oaks Shopping Center in the froo-froo part of town. We shopped there when we lived in Houston-proper.
//It looks like one of the Starbucks is now an Origin Bank branch (Google map). No worries though, there's a Starbucks behind you in the Barnes & Noble :-)

Tonight DW & I are getting takeout from Texas Roadhouse for our 32nd (which was yesterday but she wasn't up to it). I can't wait until we can go there (or Perry's!) in person. Kinda hard to have a romantic dinner w/ your 18yro wanting food too :-)

Have a wonderful eve!
Cheers, -T
*I listen to Market Place every day, Kai's interview of (with?) POWELL.

Big Easy said...

"That being said I try to avoid it at all costs. ETUI, HAP, ERSE, ESTER and the prefix IDEO- are not the finest"

Craig-Don't leave out ANIL, ARIL, ARETE, JAI ALAI, ITER, ATTAR, HELOT, and some other oldie fills.

D-otto- after not finishing,
I got my monopoly game out and noticed the word 'salary'. All I was interested in was collecting my $200. But my game does not have a $ sign; it has a M with a slash across it.

Gary- ALL five of those centers dominated in different ways. Russell had the best team. NOBODY could stop Wilt when he decided to go to the bucket. Kareem- he was so good that the NCAA changed the rules about dunking. Shaq- (LSU grad here)- never watched him in the pros but in college he was the best defensive player ever. He was blocking 5-7 shots per game. Hakeem carried his whole college team just like Dave Robinson did at Navy. But I got to see PETE MARAVICH play countless times. Unbelievable ball handler and scorer.

Wilbur- If your set is that old the luxury tax between Park Place and Boardwalk is $75; It's $100 now.

CanadianEh! said...

MMan - good catch re MARRIES crossing PRENUP.

AnonT and DW- belated Happy Anniversary. Enjoy your evening😀

waseeley said...

Anon (YR) @4:09PM Right, it is both. "Musical eras" overlap and don't obey the neat start/stop times assigned to them by musicologists.

My ardency for Mozart did come out a little vinegary and there was no vinegar in the man. But there could be profound sadness. Better would be some honey and sadness, and here is a piece with both. This is an approx. 30 min. YouTube video of one of my very favorite pieces: his Sinfonia Concertante in E Flat Major for Violin and Viola. If you don't think that Mozart could sing the blues, try at least the 2nd movement.


Ol' Man Keith said...

deeper-otto, inane hiker & others...
I like how Leonard Bernstein defined the most general category of what we loosely call "classical music."
He called it "exact music."
Taking into account all the sub-categories, including baroque, romantic, liturgical, classical, etc., he noted that the one thing that united them was that the composer set everything down--he (or she) was exacting--from the number and kind of instruments and voices to the arrangements, i.e., the separate melodic and rhythmic lines for each, note for note, often including comments as to how it should be played.


Anonymous T said...

OMK (and y'all):
I'll get Eldest (music major) to chime in on what is what be re: Classification but, like art, I knows what I like.

There's a lot of Classical music that Rocks [got ~2hrs?] and a lot of Rock that is classic :-)

Cheers, -T

Terry said...

Thanks for the Mickey mouse history, interesting.

Anonymous said...

MERCH was the toughest. I don't mind a slangy term like that, but MERCH doesn't need to be branded, so clue was misleading, & not in a good way.