Apr 4, 2021

Sunday, April 4, 2021 Ed Sessa

Theme: "Key Characters" - Various keyboard characters are hidden inside theme entry.

23A. Was in the running for: HAD A SHOT AT.

42A. City planner's concern: URBAN GROWTH.

50A. Like much jewelry, in ads: FINE QUALITY.

68A. Ball of fire: HUMAN DYNAMO.

77A. Prom invitation: CARE TO DANCE?

100A. Colorful top: ALOHA SHIRT.

17D. Monets, Manets, etc.: IMPRESSIONIST ART.

36D. Marriage phrase from the Book of Common Prayer: TIL DEATH DO US PART

All these hidden words are characters above the numbers on my keyboard. Super consistent. I did not know that exclamation point is also called a BANG. 

Lots of sparkly fill in this puzzle. Ed is also a very accomplished themeless constructor, hence our treat today.


1. Happening now and then: OCCASIONAL. When do we see a 10-letter start in a 21x21 grid?  More often it's 3, 4 or 5.

11. Support for an injured limb: SLING.

16. Oz traveler: LION. The Cowardly Lion.

20. Hybrid citrus fruit: CLEMENTINE. Not as good as sumo oranges.

21. Edmonton NHLer: OILER.

22. Terse rejection: UM NO.

24. Like some prophets: FALSE.

25. Compressed video format: MPEG.

26. They show off pedicures: OPEN TOES. Pretty. Subtle.

27. Part of 32-Down: TRANS. And 32. Pride initialism: LGBTQ.

29. Oddball: WEIRDO.

31. Reps' rivals: DEMS.

32. Girl in Byron's "Don Juan": LEILA. Google shows that "Leila is a ten-year-old Turkish orphan whose parents have been killed during the assault on the Turkish fortress of Ismail."

33. Steak __: DIANE.

34. Small size: PETITE.

37. Have a meeting of the minds: AGREE.

38. Boxes for drawers?: PEN CASES. Draw-ers. Nice clue.

41. Drops from the sky: RAIN.

44. Muppet chimp __ Minella: SAL.

45. Gawk at: OGLE.

46. Move lightly: FLIT.

47. Snack often eaten inside-out: OREO.

48. City with a notable tower: PISA. Thought I had a Picard Pisa pic. Tends out it's the Eiffel Tower.

49. Bring together: WED.

54. Anchored floats: BUOYS.

55. Like some FBI security scans: RETINAL.

57. Country house: VILLA.

58. Miley's Montana: HANNAH. How things have changed.

59. Falcon's nest: AERIE.

60. "Congrats!": KUDOS.

61. Prefix with grade: CENTI.

62. Bowl-making tools: LATHES.

64. Pass on: RELAY.

65. Kind of offer that avoids financing: ALL-CASH. Our farmers market guys only accept cash. I love going there in the summer.

67. Old-time anesthetic: ETHER.

70. Longtime Cracker Jack prize: TOY.

72. Second: AIDE.

73. Critical juncture: CUSP.

74. Broadcasts: AIRS.

75. Bar codes?: LAWS.

76. Gaza Strip gp.: PLO. Palestine Liberation Organization.

81. Canal that roughly parallels I-90 in New York: ERIE.

82. Ones who have class: STUDENTS. Another nice clue.

84. "Merci," in Mainz: DANKE.

85. Palace prankster: JESTER.

87. Delta deposits: SILTS.

88. __ Ababa: ADDIS.

89. Spam holders: TINS. Canned pork. Not the junk. Spam was invented in Minnesota of course.

90. Incendiary fuel: NAPALM.

92. Fix, as a printer: UNJAM.

93. One of Nolan Ryan's seven: NO HITTER.

97. Rights activist Clooney: AMAL. Here with her husband George Clooney.

98. "__ you!": fashion compliment: IT'S SO.

102. Paltry: MERE.

103. "I Am the Walrus" was one: SIDE B.

104. Emulated the wealthy: LIVED LARGE. Another great 10.

105. Abbr. on a cornerstone: ESTD.

106. Crofts' partner: SEALS.

107. Meager characteristic: SPARSENESS.


1. Seis y dos: OCHO. Ba in Chinese.

2. Small part of a big hand: CLAP.

3. Turn over: CEDE.

4. Trout __: nutty fish dish: AMANDINE. Sliced almonds.

5. Group of geese a-laying: SESTET. Liu in Chinese.

6. Like some medical care: IN HOME.

7. Great Plains natives: OTOES.

8. Small grievances: NITS.

9. Santa __ winds: ANA.

10. Prynne's scarlet stigma: LETTER A. And 18. Having only length, for short: ONE D & 39. Gut course: EASY A.

11. Parlor furniture support: SOFA LEG.

12. Climbing vine: LIANA. This entry has become a regular visitor.

13. Ailments: ILLS.

14. Mario Bros. console: NES.

15. Got big enough for, as oversized clothes: GREW INTO.

16. Former midsize Chevy: LUMINA.

19. Aborted, at NASA: NO GO.

28. It means nothing to the French: RIEN.

30. "To __ his own": EACH.

33. 1948 also-ran: DEWEY. "Dewey Defeats Truman".

34. Figurehead spot: PROW.

35. Champing at the bit: EAGER.

37. Animated film mermaid: ARIEL.

38. Potty opening?: PORTA. Porta potty.

40. Date component: SLASH. Hey, this is a character too.

42. Radii neighbors: ULNAE.

43. Churns up: ROILS.

46. End of the Tour de France: FINIS.

48. Uruguay's __ del Este: PUNTA.

50. One wielding an ax?: FIRER.

51. Soft palate extension: UVULA.

52. Quinn of "Elementary": AIDAN.

53. Architecture middle name: LLOYD.  Frank Lloyd Wright.

54. Baccarat call: BANCO.

56. Quiet laugh: TE HEE. Often TEE HEE.

58. Whalers' wheels: HELMS.

60. Rarely used antonym of disheveled: KEMPT. Right. We use UNKEMPT more often. Always reminds me of Bill G.

61. Limerick neighbor: CLARE.

62. Quantum events?: LEAPS. Quantum leap.

63. Not quite true?: ATILT.  Alignment "true".

64. Artful dodges: RUSES.

65. "Have __ day!": A NICE.

66. Mandel of "America's Got Talent": HOWIE.

68. Causes pain: HURTS.

69. Bosox rivals: YANKS. Rich's team.

71. 1914 Belgian battle river: YSER.

73. Surefire: CAN'T MISS. 78. Honey-do list components: ODD JOBS. Amazing fill.

75. Not as much as: LESS THAN.

77. Spreadsheet unit: CELL.

79. Word new fathers love to hear: DADA. It's BA BA in Chinese.

80. Ark passengers, mostly: ANIMALS.

83. Like most 20th-century phone calls: DIALED.

85. Sacred struggles: JIHADS.

86. Maroon, in a way: ENISLE.

88. Adams of photography: ANSEL.

89. "I've Grown Accustomed __ Face": "My Fair Lady" song: TO HER.

90. First blank on many forms: NAME. VA is now offering to vaccinate spouses. Hope I get called soon.

91. Iowa college town: AMES.

92. Fed. food overseer: USDA.

93. Bright star: NOVA.

94. One that's worn on road trips: TIRE.

95. Bits of work: ERGS.

96. Lines on Google Maps: Abbr.: RTES.

99. Secure, with "down": TIE.

101. Sass: LIP.



desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I usually like Dr. Ed's puzzles, and this was no exception. Figured it'd have an Easter theme, though. Nope. AMES made it's second appearance in two days. Saw all the special characters in the circles. This one came together quickly. Thanx, Dr. Ed and C.C. (Your photo of Clementines reminded me of my early college days. There were no Sunday night meals in the dorms. Our normal fare was a healthy combo of canned Mandarin oranges and popcorn.)

"Bang" -- Needed C.C. to 'splain that one. Wasn't familiar with the term. Had a similar experience trying to explain typing an MSDOS file name to an expat Brit in Singapore. When I said "period," he said "What?" We went back and forth. Finally, in exasperation I said, "What you put at the end of the bloody sentence." He said, "Oh, you mean the Stop." We are definitely separated by our common language.

ETHER -- They were still using it when I had my tonsils removed at age 4.

"Quantum LEAP" -- This was an '80s/'90s NBC TV show starring a much younger Scott Bakula.

LIANA -- Sometimes is "Liana," and sometimes it's "Liane." That second A was my final fill. LEILA looked better than LEILE.

Vidwan827 said...

Thank you Mr Sessa for a challenging puzzle, and CC for your comprehensive review.

Just a note, .... although a Quantum Leap is very dramatic phenomena, and a big change, as an idiom ... actually, a quanta is the Smallest bit of energy ever recorded ... for which we have to thank, among others, Max Planck.

... a photon's worth of a ping ... and you would think that a quantum leap would be not-a-noticeable difference.

English and language idioms can be so erratic ....

Husker Gary said...

-Everything but BANG made sense and then I learned along with C.C.
-My OCCASIONAL sub jobs will begin again now that we’ve had two shots
-The second smartest woman (C.C. = #1) I know has a genuine disgust for seeing OPEN TOES
-One hustler on M*A*S*H was selling Hitler’s PENCIL BOX
-RE _ _ _ _ _ FBI scan? RECTALS? Never mind.
-ALL CASH – I’ve been in places where they don’t take CASH
-No ETHER bunny jokes today?
-ERIE – How do I clue thee? Let me count the ways.
-Figuring out the spelling of AMANDINE was hard on my eraser
-Non, je ne regrette RIEN (No I Regret Nothing) is an Edith Piaf song featured in a Geico Ad
-Gotta Run!

Husker Gary said...

-To all who celebrate - Happy Easter! To all who don't - Happy first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.

Bob Lee said...

Happy Easter gang!

I love it when the upper left fills in easily. It encourages me by having a quick start.

A few tricky ones in the grid, but eventually filled everything in.

Haha...the only reason I know BANCO is from watching James Bond movies!
(I haven't LIVED LARGE.)

Lucina said...


Happy Easter to all who celebrate!

Thank you, Ed Sessa! I also expected an Easter theme but the keyboard? Why not? And thank you, C.C., for expertly guiding us through it. I'm also surprised at BANG.

Amazingly, no obscure names except, LEILA, but that was easily worked out. LUMINA, too.

UNJAM reminds me of so many frustrating moments when it happened and always when I was in a hurry to finish a JOB.

My family is coming for dinner and I was expecting a large crowd but it has slowly shrunk. First, one is gone to attend a funeral and another has a cold.

May you all have a glorious day today!

Unknown said...

Didn’t care for this one. Boring theme, especially on Easter Sunday. BANG? I was a legal secretary for many years...Never heard of this.
The AND is an ampersand. Plus, TEHEE? Should be TEEHEE...Anyway, Happy Easter and/or lovely Sunday all.

Hungry Mother said...

FIR after a longish slog. My family attended a couple of Tour de France FINIS in Paris. We had a balcony overlooking the loop that the riders use multiple times. Lots of fun. I hope we’ll be back someday. ENISLE made me laugh. It was my last entry. My wife, the ex-teacher of English went, “Huh?” I said, “It’s just crosswordese.”

Hungry Mother said...

As a C programmer and unix user, BANG was a natural.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Happy Easter..bright, sunny day, 60s...

Easter Parade...Roscoe Conkling School, April 1957, Utica. Miss Ellen Carroll's 2nd grade class. I'm the sad kid, first in front on the left. (Air raid instructions on the wall on the rignt.)

Hope you find all the hidden Easter eggs today (including the one you never found from last year 🐣)

desper-otto said...

I was a self-taught C programmer, but don't remember the "bang" at all. I do remember one of the early sentences in the C book I studied: "C is a very robust language. It may not do what you planned it to do, but it will do something." Bring on those uninitialized pointers! [Bang!]

TokenCreek said...

Always smile when I see an Ed Sessa puzzle. Always clever and and fair IMHO. OREO: How do I clue thee ? Husker. Had Urban sprawl before GROWTH. Faster than a usual Sunday.

CrossEyedDave said...

Daughter #1 stole my puzzle from me!

oh well,,,

NaomiZ said...

A long and steady fill today, with no need to quiz DH about politics, sports or TV. FIR! Nice CSO to my daughter LEILA at 32 across, and to her husband, a graduate of the University of PISA, at 48 across. Thanks, Ed, Rich, and C.C.! ALOHA!

desper-otto said...

Woe is I. I DVR'd the Gonzaga/UCLA game last night to watch this afternoon...and somehow I accidentally deleted the recording. Whew, found a 13-minute highlights "reel" at NCAA.COM. Wow, what a buzzer-beater. As they were saying, "That Suggs!" Maybe I'll have better luck recording the Stanford/Arizona game this evening.

Alice said...

I rarely watch sports, but did see Suggs’ amazing final basket. It had to be an all-time classic save!

This was a fun, sort of easy puzzle. HUMAN DYNAMO gave me my longest pause but eventually FIR. Thanks to CC and Ed Sessa for the fun.

Picard said...

CC Thank you for thinking of me today! I actually do have a set of PISA photos.

Here is the photo of me in front of the TOWER of PISA

My background is physics, but most of my career was hardware engineering for scientific instruments. I know just enough C programming to write code to test my hardware. BANG is very well known among C programmers. Much easier to say "BANG" than "Exclamation Point"!

Enjoyed the rest of the KEY CHARACTERS theme as well.

DW and I always bring CLEMENTINEs on our hikes.

CCGlad you also enjoy the ALL CASH Farmer's Market. We are headed over there now!

Hector and Gina are ALL CASH and give us the best carrots anywhere.

I eat a lot of carrots and it is hard for them to supply enough for me!

Yellowrocks said...

I liked this one. Fun misdirections. My error was JPEG, so I missed LAMINA which I don't remember seeing.
This puzzle reminded me of Victor Borge's Punctuation monologue.

I recently have heard of BANG as !

We find enisle in literature and poems:
"Yes! in the sea of life enisled,
With echoing straits between us thrown,
Dotting the shoreless watery wild,
We mortal millions live alone.
The islands feel the enclasping flow,
And then their endless bounds they know."
"To Marguerite.. continued" by Matthew Arnold

Free Dictionary: "A dramatic advance, especially in knowledge or method, as in Establishing a central bank represents a quantum leap in this small country's development. This term originated as quantum jump in the mid-1900s in physics, where it denotes a sudden change from one energy state to another within an atom."
So the emphasis is on sudden change rather than large amount, but in the idiom,the sudden change is always a large amount.

Happy Easter. David came yesterday afternoon and Alan is here from Saturday AM to Monday AM. How sweet it is to have family nearby!

Yellowrocks said...

Where is spellcheck when I need it?

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

Ditto on the Happy Easter greetings

Several write-overs but everything is filled in

Thanks Dr Ed and C.C.

WED crossing TIL DEATH DO US PART was kinda interesting...only thing is, my ex and I are both still alive...

CARE TO DANCE seems a bit crunchy for its clue; seems a bit dated, but there’s a certain politeness about it, I guess. After placing the phrase into the grid I thought about how “the Fonz” used to invite girls to dance at Arnold’s ... 🤡

Agree that last night’s semi-final between UCLA & Gonzaga was a classic. We sports fans will see the final seven seconds of overtime replayed for decades to come

ATLGranny said...

A Sunday FIR, thanks to better proofreading. And a fun theme using punctuation marks! Thanks, Ed, for interesting phrases and misdirections to figure out. I knew BANG from the punctuation Poetry in Code on the CW Corner years ago. (Waka waka bang splat....) Put Paris before FINIS and FIRER was slow to come, so that was my last area to fill. While proofreading, I luckily changed to MPEG, thinking LUMINA sounded better than LUjINA. All in all a satisfying Sunday puzzle to work on. Thanks, C.C. for explaining and for
adding to our knowledge. Hope you do get your vaccine soon.

We're having a sunny holiday, which highlights the dogwood and azalea blooms, so special right now. Hope you all are doing well.

Jayce said...

Wow! I loved this puzzle! So chock full of crunch, fresh fill, and clever cluing. It was a joy to work it.

"Bang" as a synonym for exclamation mark made me think of Anonymous T, who regularly calls it that.

Desper-otto said, "ETHER -- They were still using it when I had my tonsils removed at age 4." Me too. My gosh that stuff smelled bad! Had a splitting headache from it, the pain of which was almost as bad as the pain in my throat. Horrible stuff.

Good wishes to you all.

Vidwan827 said...

Further to the Exclamation point - Bang ( ! )

In linguistics, the sign ! is used to denote a 'click' ing sound ... hence pronounceable though unwritable. ( is that a word ?) Much like the common crosswordese , Tsk, Tsk.

I came across this in Guns, Germs and Steel, the Pulitzer prize winning book by Jared Diamond.
He was describing the first language ever spoken by the earliest hominid Homo Erectus or the Homo habilis. The first language followed the chimpanzee vocalizations, which is a series of clicks. So the first language was made of structured clicks, called !Kung ( pronounced, 'click'-Kung), now extinct, but spoken by the southern Bantu.

Wendybird said...

FLN . I am wondering if I was cancelled by the Corner Monitor. I submitted a comment yesterday, but it. seems to have disappeared. Perhaps I said something deemed inappropriate?

Today’s puzzle was a nice challenge. Thank you, Ed, and thanks C.C. for an interesting tour.

Lucina said...

Wow! What a glorious liturgy we had today though I suppose it seemed more joyous in contrast to the somber liturgies of Lent. Our church was not packed with people as is normal on this holiday. Every other pew is blocked and the overflow crowd went to the chapel so as to limit the number of people. I love the music of Easter and our pastor always offers a rousing sermon so that caps it off for me. My sister who knows him well told me that he took drama lessons at ASU and he demonstrates that skill in his talks. It's refreshing to have a young pastor. Someone told me he is 38.

That is a lot of carrots! Can you tell us why in particular you eat so many of them?

sasses said...

Italians in Pisa loved Americans in 1961. Gave huge discounts to us as opposed to the Germans in Heidelberg who wanted to beat us up. Seriously!

Misty said...

Late to the blog--had a friend come over for a pleasant, simple Easter lunch--a nice way to celebrate. But very much enjoyed this delightful puzzle, Ed, and C.C., always appreciate and enjoy your commentary--thank you both for this gift.

Hope you all had a lovely day.

Michael said...

YR @ 1:18:

"Where is spellcheck when I need it?"

I think it checked out.

TTP said...

Wendybird, hi. No record of you submitting a comment yesterday, unless Husker Gary or C.C. deleted it. But I can't imagine you submitting anything that was would get deleted, so it probably never got posted in the first place.

Wilbur Charles said...

Just lost a post. Suffice to say I FIR but it was a long slog. Clever clueing although ENISLE was a stretch.


Wilbur Charles said...

My comment on NCAA semi was FLN. The play by Johnny Juzang was great, Suggs was a lucky heave

Spitzboov said...

Hello everyone.

Did the puzzle late. Had company today and ate Easter dinner out with #2 son and DIL.
Ed makes good puzzles, so, a fun solve.
Liked seeing DANKE. Dutch for 'thank you' is 'dank U wel'.
BANG - Remember programmers using it in 80's, perhaps in Unix context with certain control commands.
KEMPT - seems like it's related to German kämmen (to comb). I guess we comb to be neat.

Yellowrocks said...

Vidwan,I found Guns, Germs, and Steel enlightening. I will have to read it again.