Apr 13, 2021

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 Brent Sverdloff

Stick Shift Choice.  The letters in the word Gears, shift around in each theme answer.  [NOTE:  See also 63-Down from yesterday's puzzle.]

17-Across. Orson Scott Card sci-fi novel: ENDERS GAME.  I am not familiar with this novel.

24-Across. Toon spouse with a blue beehive: MARGE SIMPSON.

39-Across. Park warning sign: KEEP OFF THE GRASS.

51-Across. Cheddar shredder: CHEESE GRATER.

And the Unifier:

63-Across. Go from neutral to reverse ... and a hint to each set of circles: SHIFT GEARS.  I learned how to drive on an automatic, but I later learned to drive a stick shift.  I really liked it, and a few of years ago, when I needed a new car, I specifically wanted a stick shift.  My current car, however, is an automatic.


1. King-sized: JUMBO.

6. Seat in un parc: BANC.  Today's French lesson.

10. Beer party staples: KEGS.

14. Scarlett of Tara: O'HARA.  //  And 55-Down. Scarlett's Butler: RHETT.  References to Gone with the Wind.

15. "Young Frankenstein" aide: IGOR.

16. Dark purple berry: AÇAÍ.  I learned of this berry from doing the crossword puzzles.  Then I found Açaí bowls at Trader Joe's.

19. Pinball no-no: TILT.

20. "Anger, fear, aggression: the dark side of the Force are they" speaker: YODA.

21. Adopted cat, say: PET.

22. Radiant pigment: DAY-GLO.

27. Hypotheticals: IFs.

30. Old Faithful's st.: WYO.  Old Faithful is in Yellowstone National Park, which is found in Wyoming.

31. "__ Baby": "Hair" song: ABIE.

32. Beat by a mile: CRUSH.
34. Couture initials: YSL.  Yves Saint Laurent (né Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent; Aug. 1, 1936 ~ June 1, 2008) makes frequent guest appearances in the crossword puzzles.

35. Ostrich cousin: RHEA.  Everything you wanted know about the differences between Ostriches and Rheas.

Rhea Pearlman (b. Mar. 31, 1948)

43. Hairy Himalayan: YETI.  Also the name brand of very expensive coolers.
44. Like King Cole: OLD.

45. Kind of node: LYMPH.

46. Filmmaker Ephron: NORA.  Nora Ephron (May 19, 1941 ~ June 26, 2012) was an American journalist, author and filmmaker.  She also makes frequent guest appearances in the crossword puzzles.

48. Sch. north of Denver: CSU.  Colorado State University is located in Fort Collins, Colorado.

50. Bean used in nondairy milk: SOY.

56. Elizabeth Arden parent company: REVLON.

57. Coleridge's "before": ERE.

58. Harleys, familiarly: HOGS.
62. Burn balm: ALOE.

66. Kinds: ILKS.

67. Island near Mull: IONA.  Time for a geography lesson.  The Isles of Mull and Iona are islands in the Inner Hebrides off the coast of Scotland.

68. Vermont patriot Allen: ETHAN.  Ethan Allen (Jan. 1737 ~ Feb. 12, 1789) is an American Revolutionary hero.  He is considered one of the founders of Vermont State.  During the Revolutionary War, he was instrumental in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga.  He did not, however, start the Ethan Allen Furniture Company.

69. Leaves: GOES.

70. Sweet-talk: COAX.

71. Small earrings: STUDS.

1. Baby in a pouch: JOEY.

2. "Sorry, can't do it": UH, NO!

3. Alcohol awareness-raising org.: MADD.  Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

4. Another name for bluegill: BREAM.  A Bluegill is a freshwater fish native to North America.

5. Dinghy mover: OAR.

6. Conceitedness: BIG EGO.

7. Playground marble: AGATE.

8. When tripled, "Yum!": NOM.  Nom, Nom, Nom!

9. Ringing true: CREDIBLE.

10. "I Kissed a Girl" singer: KATY PERRY.

11. Vaping smokes, briefly: E-CIGS.

12. Ernest or Julio of wine fame: GALLO.  The fascinating and dark origin story of Gallo Wines.

13. Squelch: SIT ON.

18. Agile: SPRY.

23. Parisian pal: AMI.  More of today's French lesson.

25. Dr. Seuss' "Horton Hears __": A WHO.

26. Merit badge spot: SASH.  I earned many badges back in the day when I was a Girl Scout.

27. "Gross!": ICKY.  Sorry, Chris!

28. Liberate: FREE.

29. Christmas pudding fat: SUET.

33. Cowardly: SPINELESS.

34. Since Jan. 1: YTD.  Year-To-Date

36. Unlikely Oscar nominees: HAMS.

37. Hockey legend Phil, to fans: ESPO.  Phil Esposito (b. Feb. 20, 1942) had a long career as a professional hockey player.

38. Cinder-covered: ASHY.

40. Like much court evidence: FORENSIC.

41. "Flying" national symbol: FLAG.

42. Modeling adhesive: GLUE.

47. Bolivian bruin: OSO.  Today's Spanish lesson.  A bruin is a BEAR.

48. Website providing vehicle history reports: CARFAX.

49. "Don't delete" mark: STET.

51. Bond portrayer Daniel: CRAIG.  Daniel Wroughton Craig (b. Mar. 2, 1968) began his James Bond career in the 2006 film, Casino Royal.

52. Greeting word: HELLO.

53. Elicit: EVOKE.

54. Spanish queen: REINA.  More of today Spanish lesson.

59. Island with a U.S. state capital: OAHU.

60. One visiting an old prof, perhaps: GRAD.

61. Taxpayer IDs: SSNs.  As in the Social Security Number.

64. Boo-__: HOO.

65. Some appliances: GEs.  As in General Electric appliances.

Here's the Grid:



OwenKL said...

If I had an elephant, I could name him JUMBO!
To be sure he could be seen, I'd paint him DAY-GLO!
Elsewise some dim Amazon
Might by accident SIT ON,
Or trip over my elephant; or use as a dildo!

There once was a girl from WYO.,
Whose hair would not submit to co.!
It would brutally CRUSH,
Any effort to brush,
And on its own would often go ro.!

{B+, B+.}

Lemonade714 said...

This is Brent Sverdloff's debut here at the LAT. In his own words when his one and only NYT was published in 2017, " In the ten years I've been submitting to the NYT, the rejections always included constructive criticism. Comments like "the theme isn't robust enough" gave way to "we accepted a very similar puzzle weeks ago!" I felt like Thomas Edison experimenting with the light bulb. Acceptance did arrive in 2014, but this puzzle is seeing the light of day only now." He had collaborated with MICHAEL BLAKE but the NYT published a similar theme collabaration of Bernice Gordon and David Steinberg in the interim, so that puzzle was put on the shelf. It is obvious Brent does not not give up and I hope he stops by and tells us more.

I did not know 67. Island near Mull: IONA as Martin is the only Mull I know and Hamish Macbeth never mentioned it.

Tremendous work Susan and welcome Brent.

TTP said...

Nice debut for Brendt Sverdloff at the LA Times and Crossword Corner. Fun review by Hahtoolah, as well.

Yesterday we had GEAR, and a bit of discussion about driving and shifting with a manual transmission, and today we have SHIFT GEARS as the reveal. Neat. (I think Rich has a knack for staging puzzles).

MARGE SIMPSON was a gimme, but ENDER'S GAME was not. The title is catchy so it rings a bell, but I've never read it.

Didn't know that bluegill were also known as BREAM. Pittsburgh Pirates fans still rue the 1992 NLCS Game 7 "Sid Bream Slide" while Atlanta Braves fans would still consider it one of the greatest plays in team history. Hard to believe that was 30 years ago.

CRUSH synonym ? Shellac, from Sunday's grid with the clue trounce. It does seem dated.

CREDIBLE - A 2019 Stanford study concluded that nearly all (96%) of high school students did not consider the validity of a source, and over half could not correctly rate the strength of evidence. It's not just children. A 2019 Pew Research study found that only a minority of adults could differentiate between fact and opinion. See: News Literacy Project

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Crossword friends. The theme of the week must be related to Gears. Persistence paid off for Mr. Sverdloff, as this was a fun puzzle.

QOD: The moment of near despair is quite often the moment that preceded courage. ~ Christopher Hitchens (né Christopher Eric Hitchens; Apr. 13, 1949 ~ Dec. 15, 2011), British-born journalist and columnist

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Inked in LARGE right out of the gate...and then changed it to JUMBO. Have I ever mentioned that I hate it when I mess up 1a? Thank you, Wite-Out. Had the circles, and got the military theme early -- mixed up SARGE. HOGS reminded me of Howard Wolowitz and his Vespa -- "the second largest one they make." Nice debut, Brent. Enjoyed the expo, Hahtoolah. (Chuckled at the old lady in the shoe.)

Boomer said...

Good Morning all ! I did not get to the blog until later last night so I waited until this morning to thank everyone for their comments yesterday. I am also here to give the weather report from Minnesota. The white stuff is falling on the way to one or two inches and Christmas is only eight months away. No golf today but I did show up at the lanes yesterday. Three games for a total of 532. It's been a slow comeback but I'll take it - (for now). And thank you for your question Spitzboov - We do not need reservations to attend Mass. I think my church holds about 1200 people when full, and last Saturday there were about 60. There are pews and chairs there and the pews a roped off. The instruction we receive is to have three chairs between yourself and any other non family members and ALL must be wearing a mask. I feel safe there but I did not attend until I received my second Pfizer shot. That's about the same time that I returned to bowling.

Anonymous said...

Took me 5:02 to shift into park today.

Old Faithful is in Yellowstone National Park, and Yellowstone is mostly in WY, but the park is also located in ID and MT.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Thanks, Brent and welcome to the Corner. The circles most certainly helped me work my way through the puzzle. I did not know ENDERS GAME, but when it finally fell, the gears and having heard of the Novel/film, I finished up in the north. I don't know, read, like science fiction. I seldom found it CREDIBLE when I was young. I may be too much the realist

Thank you, Hahtoolah. You have provided another amazing explication. I liked all the cartoons, especially the empty nester. Indeed, today's puzzle is a propos of yesterday's discussions.

FLN (and yesterday) Angel hair pasta is tricky because it doesn't take long at all to turn to mush. It's also better with light sauces, olive oil and so on, often made with some of the cooking water.

The gravy/sauce debate is purely regional/local, both based on the region in Italy and the point of settlement in the states. Technically, any gravy is meat-based. Sauces are generally not. As far as Italians go the names, recipes, customs and so on are as varied as anything else in the USA, often the result of many cultures coming together. I loved how adamant New Yorkers (city) are about MOOOOOOZA-rellE, which isn't even an Italian pronunciation. Food is the best part of "clashing cultures."

It is a beautiful day here, which I think demands a walk along the lakefront. Have a sunny day wherever you are. Stay cautious, the long winter of our discontent is not over yet.

inanehiker said...

Fun theme - the circles made the later half of the solve even quicker!

I have read ENDER'S GAME - my son like it and recommended it to me when he was in high school. I tried to read the books if he gave them the thumbs up, as it gave us a topic for discussion. Not always easy to find with one word replies of teenage boys! I thought it was a fast, involving read. The movie with Harrison Ford did a pretty good job with the material, but as one of my life mottos goes "The book is better!"

Thanks Susan for the amusing write-up/cartoons and congrats to Brent!

Sherry said...

Never heard of Nom meaning yum.

ATLGranny said...

Hahtoolah brought me many smiles with her review as well as a FIR for today. No boo HOO here! Thanks for a good Tuesday start, Brent. Hope we see more of your entertaining puzzles. I saw the repeating letters in the circles but needed the clever reveal to find out what word was mixed up. IONA was my WO. Had kONA first, not knowing it was in Scotland, instead of Hawaii. (Geography lesson for the day.) DAYGLO helped me spell KATY PERRY's first name. All in all a satisfying puzzle.

Hope you find out what's going on with your ribs, YR. And hope everyone has a great day!

Husker Gary said...

-I saw GEARS and thought the reveal might be GRINIDING GEARS
-Unknowns ENDORS GAME and BROAM seemed fine to me but gimmick corrected that
-Mature grandson has a white Subaru sedan with a stick shift for which he paid half
-Other grandson is on a drum scholarship at Colorado State University
-I don’t think I am ready to add the SUET I feed our birds to any dish I would eat
-All later Bonds compete for second place behind Sean Connery in my judgement
-Subbing today and the Honors Freshman English class is starting to file in

Hungry Mother said...

FIR, with some help from the theme. My granddaughter taught me how to pronounce ACAI, which I’ve written many times and eaten in bowls occasionally. The proper names were pretty benign for a change, a good thing.

Lemonade714 said...

NOMNOM means "Yum Yum" (i.e., pleasurable eating noises). The term NOMNOM refers to the sound you make when you're eating something incredibly tasty. It derives from the noise made by the Cookie Monster on the TV show Sesame Street . The term is in the Oxford Dictionary since 2011. SHERRY the wordld and the words change

Lemonade714 said...

Dictating does not lead to perfect posts.

Hungry Mother said...

I wondered if 3d would be sADD. My younger daughter was a member when in high school. Her buddies decided to have a dry after prom party and asked if they could have it at our house. We agreed and said that we would go to bed early in her upstairs bedroom and not bother them. In the middle of the night, our daughter came up, woke us, and told us that the police were outside. We went down and found that a very drunk guy had driven by the house and saw the group of youngsters on the front porch. He veered and parked up on the curb and asked if he could join the party. Our daughter called the police. The next day, the sobered-up guy knocked on the door and pleaded with us to ask our daughter to drop the charges. We told him that we were sorry, but those were her principles and we would not intervene. The guy picked the wrong party to crash.

TokenCreek said...

Thanks Brent and Hahtoolah. Enjoyable puzzle and writeup. Needed a bunch of perps upstairs in the middle to get ENDERSGAME. FLN : -T, MOS was 71J 20 payroll clerk. Back in '64, Ft. Sam was 4th Army HQ. I was payroll clerk for the 25th Transportation Company. Most of the guys just played gofer for the Brass and drove them around. Cushy duty compared to Nam. I even got driven to and from the finance office every day.

Hungry Mother said...

Last comment: I learned to drive on a ‘52 Plymouth with a stick shift. I prided myself with my ability to shift silently without the clutch. It was all about synching.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Another gear shift puzzle. Helped me get the 'e' in BREAM. No wite-out needed today. Easy enough for a Tuesday. FIR.
LYMPH - Winced when I saw LYMPH. Had one sentinel node removed when melanoma was removed 5 yrs ago. No probs since. BH has to (frequently) wear a special elastic sleeve as result of a lymphadenectomy 23 years ago.
IONA - The Inner and Outer Hebrides are separated by a straits configuration called The Minches. I learnt that form Prince Valiant some 70 odd years ago. (The Vikings held sway there; 11th - 13th centuries.). Seems like it would be good grist for a future crossword.

Boomer, Thanks. Our church is allowed 360 people inside, but typical attendance is ~75. Every other pew is taped off, and masks are required.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Not at all a terrible twosday.

Inkover: uhuh/UHNO (Isn't that a card game?), Ione/IONA. Otherwise easy wall to wall clue plus whether you watch the show or not Marge's blue updo is iconic. And we all know to KEEPOFFTHEGRASS (avoid smoking weed).

Started to fill switch for SHIFTGEARS (apropos of interesting comments yesterday)

ETHAN Allen's quote "Give me liberty or make me a nice dining room table." was later altered by Patrick Henry.

....Allen also invaded Québec..sorry Can eh, (btw, glad to hear the vaccine becoming more available. Was gonna drive up to the boarder and catapult some over the St. Lawrence River. Wonder if there are BREAM swimming there?)

AMI is ok but BANC is beyond Fr 101. Coulda clued NOM as French for "name" while yer were at it.

Phil ESPO: total perp. "Esposito", common italian surname. Interesting derivation: exposed one, labeling an orphan (left "exposed" on church steps).

Almost forgot... the theme... 4 jumbled gears...but I liked my first thought...the movie "No time for Sergeants"...(4 jumbled SARGE circles).

____ 2016 Suburu Outback...IONA
Like a timid invertebrate.....SPINELESS
Cheddar quality controller...CHEESEGRATER
Do you prefer Pepsi products or _____? COAX

Onto Humpday, left over from yesterday's (Uriah) Heap, (Anita) Hill, (Robert) Stack, and (Gomer) Pile.

FLN..YR: Best to discuss results and concerns with the provider who ordered the CT.

Welcome Brent. Thanks H2LH (like Hebrew, no vowels)

Tinbeni said...

Hahtoolah: Outstanding write-up & links.

Fave today, of course, was 10-a, KEGS.


Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was a fun solve with lots of fun fill, as well. I saw Gears early on and thought Change Gears might be the reveal, but Shift Gears is spot-on perfect. The theme answers are very much in the language, an added plus, IMO. I liked Who/Hoo/Oahu, Jumbo/Big, and Rhett/Tara. in addition to the mini-menagerie of Joey, Bream, Hogs, Pet, and Oso, we have another O fest with Jumbo, Glo, No, Ego, Gallo, Espo, Hoo, Wyo, Hello, Oso, and Who.

Thanks, Brent, for a Tuesday treat and congrats on your LA Times debut and thanks, Hahtoolah, for another nifty write-up and visuals. The last cartoon takes top honors. Moved into a Flat, indeed! 🤣🤣🤣

I’m going to a first anniversary Mass at 12:10 today for my sister, Mary. Because she passed away in the very early stages of the pandemic, there was no funeral Mass allowed and the other traditional services were curtailed as well. This evening, all of the siblings are gathering at my sister Peggy’s house for a remembrance dinner.

Have a great day.

Vidwan827 said...

Thank you Mr. Brent Sverdloff, for a very nice puzzle. Congratulations !
Try and try again, thats the only viable philosophy of Life...

Thank You Hahtoolah for your engaging humor, as always, and numerous cartoons.
Loved the Mother Goose cartoon, 'move down' to a Flat, in later life.
Surprisingly, the nursery rhyme never mentions her husband(s) or Significant Others. Maybe she was polyandrous. Geese are normally seasonally monogamous. In modern times, she could have been part of a throuple...

I just read. that although it is not legal to marry your cat in the USA, ... Bali has more 'progessive' laws, in such matters, and such a ceremony ( at least ) can be arranged ... ;->)

A small typo: 68 Across .... Allen : ETHAN .... born Jan, 1839 .. should be 1739 (?)
Born after he died, and missed the Revolutionary War altogether.
Quote of the Hour ....
"Going back in time, to try to, is not an option" ...Yoda (?).

have a nice day, all.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Shifting gears

My parents aquired two items in 👶..and a much more beautiful dark green Dodge Meadowbrook with what Dad called dishwater drive. You shifted once into first gear then it was automatic.

In 1960 traded in the Dodge for a totally automatic Ford Fairlane. Mom was driving the new car. Me and brother were fighting in the back seat. At a stoplight Mom was distracted yelling at us to stop fighting. Light turned green. Forgetting she was not in the Dodge grabbed the shift thinking she was putting the car in first gear but actually reverse and rammed the car behind us.

We stopped fighting.


Lucina said...

Hola and HELLO!

Before committing to JUMBO I considered the downward fill and JOEY fit so it went in.

Of all the names in this puzzle I know some from hearsay, puzzles or the news: KATY PERRY, MARGE SIMPSON, Daniel CRAIG. Of course, ETHAN Allen is historically famous and RHEA Perlman I know from Cheers. RHETT Butler is the one and only Clark Gable and at the top we have Scarlett O'HARA.

One of my sisters is MARGE but she does not have blue hair.

Susan, I really enjoy your cartoon illustrations but the old lady in the flat surpasses them all! That really cracked me up.

On the way to my daughter's house in Chandler I pass a restaurant named ESPOSITO'S.

I liked Brent's puzzle and finished it fast, before my coffee had perked!

Have a GRATE day, everyone!

Yellowrocks said...

I saw the changing gears early on. ENDERS GAME seemed the only possibility with the perps. The theme reassured me that it was correct.
Susan, interesting history of E&J GALLO. I, too laughed at the old lady in the flat.
I am shocked at the news illiteracy rampant today, even among the highly educated. Some people never read or hear anything outside their own bubble. I very often chose gray over black or white, So many issues are not that clear cut. Both sides have pluses and minuses.
IM, glad you can finally get the whole family together to celebrate Mary's memory.
RAY-O my PC, for whom I have lot of respect, ordered the CT. In addition to the non union rib fractures I have a hard lump of tissue in the center of my chest halfway between my breast and my waist, which I had mentioned to my PC. The CT did not show it because intravenous contrast was not ordered. My PC is a good listener and fine diagnostician. I believe he is letting things ride because I don't have serious pain or disfunction, just discomfort. Maybe the only cure is too drastic. Is a second opinion in order? I know it took almost two years for my very serious foot reconstruction to feel normal. I did not expect this healing to take such a longtime.

NaomiZ said...

Congratulations to Brent, who created an engaging puzzle! Like D-O, I saw SARGE before GEARS, but it helped with the solve anyway. Hahtoolah, the review and visuals were wonderful.

Yellowrocks, if you were here in L.A., I would send you to my massage therapist. A friend of mine had swelling and pain in his ribcage area for a long time after water skiing and falling on the water. He had X rays taken by his physician, and then no treatment or diagnosis except the news that the ribs were slightly fractured. My therapist looked at the X rays and said the ribs were displaced along the fractures, and he moved the ribs. That caused my friend some momentary discomfort, but he felt immediate relief afterward, and the pain and swelling went away. The ribs healed. This therapist has cured me of disabilities that my physicians said I'd have to live with until they were terrible enough to merit surgery. I have the use of my left arm, and no more pain in my right leg, thanks to him. I don't know how you find a person like that in a new place. I got lucky. My daughter worked as this guy's receptionist when she was in high school, and convinced me to let him try to help when my shoulder was frozen many years later. Good luck!

CrossEyedDave said...

How was your puzzle experience?

Was it like this? watch to end...

Or, was it like this...

Of course, only the Anons will say it was like this...

Memforest said...

I propose that every puzzle starts with an easy-looking but misleading clue at 1A. I'm certain it will make desper-otto extremely happy. Does anyone know how to get in touch with Rich? =P

Wilbur Charles said...

FLN, -T your child bride was a trouper. Crutch on the clutch in the crunch.

Today slowed me down in a good way. I'm still not sure about that fish. Anybody remember that comic inventor Gyro GEARloose?

We have a resentment marble and the newyawkas loved to hear me say the word. So I started calling them AGATEs*

Stick vs automatic? Simple, Stick was $300 less. End of argument.

Here's Nora on NPR

Ethan's "Green Mountain Boys"

Another FIW. I thought if it was sci-fi it wouldbe GAtE. NOt was suggested by Mr S. Grrr. I originally thought Endor which is SciFi-ish. Chess players know about END GAMEs.

Substitute Syd(Bream) for Casey(Stengel) and this is how he "Ran home"**

"This is the way:

His mouth wide open—

His warped-out legs bending beneath him at every stride—

His arms flying back and forth, like those of a man swimming with a crawl stroke—

And None Laughed

His flanks heaving, his breath whistling, his head far back."

ESPO was instrumental in the creation of the TB Lightning

Speaking of FLN…
Today is National Grilled Cheese Day


*I thought "cat's-paw" was a term but Ms G disagrees

** Here's the full Damon Runyon article

CanadianEh! said...

Terrific Tuesday. Thanks for the fun, Brendt (congrats on debut) and Hahtoolah.
I FIRed and saw the SHIFTed GEARS (hand up for wanting Change first).
I LOLed after our GEAR discussion yesterday. . . and we had ALOE today, clued as a balm😁

ENDERS GAME was unknown to me, but perped.
ABIE was forgotten. Aggie changed to AGATE.

SUET for my Christmas Plum Pudding has been harder to find for the past few years since Maple Leaf stopped selling it. Enterprising butchers have stepped up to fill the gap.

Ray’o- yes, ETHAN did attempt to capture Montreal, but was captured by the British, and later exchanged and returned to Vermont.
(Thanks for your vaccine thoughts, but Moderna and Pfizer can’t be catapulted😁😁😁. Maybe the Astra Zeneca!

IM- glad that you can have some closure and special time with your sisters.

Wishing you all a GRATE (groan, Lucina) day.

oc4beach said...

Good debut puzzle from Brent. Hope to see more. Hahtoolah's tour and graphics were informative and enjoyable.

LARGE changed to JUMBO because of JOEY. No real stumbling blocks today even though there were a few unknowns. Perps were very helpful today in filling in the puzzle.

As I said yesterday it was National Grilled Cheese Sandwich day. However, today is National Peach Cobbler day and National Scrabble Day, so, everyone should play while enjoying some dessert.

How many of you have downshifted into first gear instead of third from fourth while trying to slow down? I think I bent the needle on the tach when it hit the peg before I could get the clutch pushed back in. I think I had to scrape myself off of the windshield.

Have a great day everyone.

Lemonade714 said...

Back again, thanks for the great old sports writing of my youth WC.

I am not sure what you meant but CAT'S PAW is a person who is used by another to carry out an unpleasant or dangerous task. "he was merely a cat's paw of older and cleverer men"

unclefred said...

FIR, but in 21, which is long for a Tuesday. I got the circles as either SARGE or GEARS, which helped as I worked through the CW. I’m with Sherry @8:29: 3 “noms” = “Yum!” Is too much of a stretch. Other than that, a fine CW, thanx, Brent. 3 WOs, UHUH:UHNO, OHARE:OHARA, BOOBOO:BOOHOO. Nice write-up, Hahtoolah, thanx for all the effort! Boomer, I’d be very pleased if I could bowl a 177 average, good for you!

NaomiZ said...

This nom nom nom song is a classic on YouTube:

AnonymousPVX said...

This Tuesday grid filled quickly.

I have no issue with it, but the clue for 8D seems rather weak to me.

But no write-overs today. far as I know there is not much to do with rib fractures. Plus at our “advanced” ages, healing comes ever slower.

Stay safe.

Jayce said...

I enjoyed the puzzle and the write-up. Thanks Brent and Hahtoolah. Like Lucina, I saw that 1-down was JOEY so avoided putting LARGE in at 1-across, entering the correct JUMBO instead.

There is a British actress named Cush Jumbo.

Good wishes to you all.

Misty said...

Fun Tuesday puzzle, Brent, many thanks. And delightful commentary, Susan. Like others, I also loved the old woman who lived in a shoe.

My favorite moment, though, was getting Scarlett O'HARA right at the top left, and then, eons later, getting RHETT Butler down at the bottom right. Now that's what I call brilliant constructing.

Have a lovely Mass and remembrance dinner for your sweet sister, Irish Miss.

And have a good day, everybody.

Hahtoolah said...

Clever trick, eh, Vidwan. I made the correction.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Excellent PZL from Mr. Sverdloff, and beautifully answered by Hahtoolah!

I believe I was one of the last generation who learned to drive with a stick shift. We had no other choice. Auto-shifting came later.
Grr-ind, grind, grind. We just ground gears--until we got it right! And we liked it that way!
Although our dads groaned & ground their teeth.
Three diagonals, all on the far side today.
The main diagonal offers a lesson from Philosophy 101.
Its anagram (13 of 15 letters) offers a tribute to Rene Descartes' famous exercise in basic logic: "Cogito, ergo sum"--
Or "I think, therefore I am."
This is sometimes referred to as the First Conclusion. But it may also be described (obviously?) as the...

Wilbur Charles said...

Yes, "Cats paw" has nothing to do with marbles. I meant Cat's Eye (Marbles)*

Good catch lemony. And very appropriate Tuesday xword and the usual excellent Write-up by Hahtoolah.

YR, Along with licensed massage therapy there's acupuncture. A woman told me her pain went away completely after several months of treatment.


* Impossibly boring lecture but intro mentions the mah-bulls

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

Yes, Susan, the CSO to yours truly @ 27-Down was not the answer I was hoping for!

I enjoyed both your recap as well as the puzzle. I too had SARGE in mind for the reveal so GEARS was quite the AHA moment

I drove an Audi A5 Manual Gear Box for 12 years before trading it in for a 2020 Subaru Crosstrek with a 6-speed manual shifter. The Audi was way more fun to drive, but the Subaru is more practical here in the desert as I go off-road occasionally to find hiking trails. As many others said, I learned to drive on a stick-shift. I never imagined after driving automatics for as many years as I did (1974 - 2008) that I'd prefer shifting gears manually. But I do. Immensely. And while manual trannies were de rigueur for the longest time, it's really difficult to find them on new cars now.

There are no errors today as the puzzle perps kept me from guessing incorrectly

**Spoiler Alert** - I just finished solving and blogging Friday's puzzle. It's a doozy. All I can say is, "have fun"! T-I-C. My blog is filled with Moe-kus so I've run out of puns.

Anonymous said...

Proper names get boring and spoil the fun. An almost good puzzle.

Spitzboov said...

GEARS - I've usually driven automatic shift, but grew up with manual. I had a 1974 Peugeot Diesel manual shift. 4 ahead gears were syncro-mesh; reverse was not. Extremely smooth, but precise to shift. Normal H pattern, but squeezed closer to an X in actual movement. Loved to drive that car; had it for 8 years.

Lucina said...

You all are so entertaining! I love reading your comments.

I have finally had to yell "uncle" and realize that I can no longer do tasks which were once so easy. Today my windows are being washed by a two person crew from Home Advisor. Only the outside, though. Next I will have to contract for maid service which I had in the past when I worked and had no time. Now I don't work but have limited ability. It's humbling.

waseeley said...

Congrats Brent on your LA Premier! A very interesting puzzle, which started as a smooth Tuesday TRANSMISSION to the weekly downhill slide, until I ran into a little crunch in the deep south. Even though I got the reveal I CHOKED on MULL (despite researching the HEBRIDES for this space a couple of weeks back) and couldn't think of any sweet talk that ended in (CARFA)X. And despite being addicted to mystery shows, I couldn't follow the CLUES to where FORENS was leading. But eventually IC CLICKED and I was COAXed to an FIR.

Susan, I'm blaming your excellent review on my lateness to the party. I eventually had to stop reading about GALLOS humor as I had chores today (like mowing the GRASS). A must for anyone who likes in DARK REDS.

I've not read ENDERS GAME either but one of my besties is a SCI-FI geek and used to talk about it a lot, so I'd heard of it, but not read it. The Wiki has a great synopsis and it's all about GAMES, one of favorites, e.g. this one. But EG is about "Mind Games", something which I find GRATING (I'd suggest "Games People Play" for why) I would suggest the Wiki article, as the book sounds very interesting, but not something I'll ever get around to reading.

68A Why am I not surprised about ETHAN ALLEN furniture. Well at least SAM ADAMS was a real brewer.


Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Whew! Guessed right at PERRY (not sure if A or E).

Thanks Brent for the puzzle and congrats on the LAT debut.

Hahtoolah - LOL lady living in the flat. Thanks for the fabulous expo and lagniappe QOD.

WOs: N/A
Fav: I thought GALLO xing KEGs was fun

We have a number of ETHAN Allen pieces; not cheap but beautiful and well-built; we've had them >20yrs.

{B, B+}
Loved the DR OMK!

IM - I hope you are still enjoying your sisters' company even at this late hour.

YR - I hope you find some comfort for your ribs.

TokenCreek - Didn't know that about Ft. Sam. Thanks.

C, Eh! I have to go to the butcher too - down here they don't seem to know what SUET is. I use it to start my chili (when DW's not looking :-)).

KEEP OF THE GRASS - Drill Sgt. style:
It takes six feet to grow grass and two feet to kill it.
Those two feet are yours.
Drop; Give me 20.
No! Not on the grass! 20 more."

Cheers, -T

Vidwan827 said...

Lucina, the limitations of our abilities in old age, is something, like a cross, we will all have to bear.

Think of the positives - you are alive, in relatively good health, and your mental faculties are holding well, so far. Its the physical parts that are deteriorating, and we all have to adjust our lives accordingly. We see less, hear less, remember less, and our old bodies refuse to bend, to haul, to push or pull, and our joints creak as if without lubrication, and the ole stamina and will power is often put to test, and found wanting.

We have to adjust, by demanding less of ourselves, and lowering our standards and by subcontracting, jobs to others. And, if not possible, to do without.
I cannot imagine how Queen Elizabeth II manages, what she does, at age 95 .....
I hope your faith will be a constant strength at such times, as necessary.

LEO III said...

Since I always start off by highlighting the reveal and its clues in both the grid and the body, I saw that we were dealing with gears again. By the time I had filled in three of the four long fills, I had already gotten the reveal, which helped me on the fourth one.

Alas, BANC/NOM got me, so I had another FIW.

Welcome, Brent! Thanks, Hahtoolah!

FLN --- -T --- Your DW certainly has guts! Great story!

Lucina said...

Thank you for that and of course, you are so right. I consider myself fortunate to be ambulatory as many in my age group are not and my mental faculties have not deserted me.

I can still enjoy my independence surrounded by things I love, especially my books.

Susan, I still laugh heartily when I open the site and scroll down to be met with the old lady and the flat!