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Apr 21, 2021

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 Matt Skoczen

 Theme: REQUESTS.

This will be easier if we start with the unifier.

56. Tot's sassy demand ... or a hint to the start of the answers to starred clues: GIMME.  Slangy way of saying "Give me." and perhaps more of a demand than a request. So the theme answers are all things that can be requested.

Today's more or less appropriate theme song.

          


17. *Lamb Chop, e.g.: HAND PUPPET. Lamb Chop was Sherri Lewis's sheepish companion. [read more here] GIMME a HAND is a request for help.

31. *Start a number: BREAK INTO SONG.  Spontaneously start singing, possibly with no provocation.  GIMME a BREAK is an expression of exasperation, protest, or disbelief.

48. *Sheriff Woody's sidekick: BUZZ LIGHTYEAR.  Iconic characters from Disney's Toy Story universe.


GIMME a BUZZ is a request for a phone call.


64. *Spoken language, in semiotics: SIGN SYSTEM.  Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols.  I suppose this refers to a system like ASL, which uses hand signals to emulate the spoken word.  Somebody help me if I got this wrong.   GIMME a SIGN can be a prayerful request for guidance, or a more mundane request to another person for clarification.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here.  Not really feeling greedy today, so I'll just give you a tour of today's adventure.

Across:
1. Formal ties: ASCOTS.  Neck decorations, not connections.

7. Corp. homes: HQS Head Quarters

10. Govt. farming monitor: USDAU. S. Department of Agriculture.

14. Symphony type pioneered by Beethoven: CHORAL.  The 4th movement of his 9th and final symphony has a chorus join the orchestra.

 
This takes a half hour - you have been warned!

 15. Agreement that sounds like fun?: OUI.  Wheee - yes!

16. Clogging is one of its two st. dances: N.CAR.  North Carolina.  So - what is the other one?

19. Laura with an Oscar: DERN.  Laura Elizabeth Dern (b 1967) is an American actress and filmmaker. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, and five Golden Globe Awards. Her parents are actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd.

20. Holiday aide: ELF.  Santa's helper

21. Back: AGO.  Some time in the past.

22. Decisiveness: SPINE.  Being resolute [or stubborn.]

24. Hunk: SLAB.  Chunk of something, not a buff guy in the buff.

26. DJIA listings: COS.  The 30 Companies listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  For anyone interested, I follow it on my blog every business day.  

29. Candy cup creator: REESE.   Chocolate and peanut butter - oh, my.

35. Forbes competitor: INC.  Business magazines.

36. Legal encumbrance: LIEN.  a right to keep possession of property belonging to another person until a debt owed by that person is discharged.

37. Holiday drink: NOG.

38. Lions and tigers and ... not bears: BIG CATS.  The term "big cat" is typically used to refer to any of the five living members of the genus Panthera, namely the lion, tiger, jaguar, leopard, and snow leopard, as well as the non-pantherine cheetah and cougar.

42. Swap with, as in a player-for-player deal: TRADE TO.  Pro sports team do this.

44. Busy-bee link: AS A.  

45. "TrËs __": BIEN.  It's all good.

47. GPS info: RTE.  Your global positioning satellite system will give you a route. 

52. "Silas Marner" child: EPPIE.  A girl whom Silas Marner eventually adopts. Eppie is the biological child of Godfrey Cass and Molly Farren, Godfrey’s secret wife. Eppie is pretty and spirited, and loves Silas unquestioningly.   [source]

53. Plaza de toros cry: OLE.  An encouraing interjection.

54. Lily pad squatter: FROG.  [ribbit]

57. Sap: PATSY.  A person who is easily taken advantage of, especially by being cheated or blamed for something.

59. Erode, with "away": EAT.

62. Team's lack, in a clichÈ: AN I.  There are no me in team.

63. Scot's swimming spot: LOCH.  The Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Scots word for a lake or for a sea inlet. 

68. Tennis great who wrote "Days of Grace": ASHE.  Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. [1943-1993] was an American professional tennis player who won three Grand Slam singles titles. He was the first black player selected to the United States Davis Cup team and the only black man ever to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open.

69. First lady not married to a president?: EVE.  Evidently, she was the apple of Adam's eye.

70. 1996 slasher film: SCREAM.


 

 
71. "To __ not ... ": BE OR.  Hamlet's dilemma.

72. Lunch bread: RYE.  For sandwiches.

73. Pasta unit: NOODLE.  For soup, maybe.

Down:

1. Workout aftermath: ACHES.  Don'r over do it.

2. Word of intent: SHALL.  

3. Chitchat: CONFAB.  An informal private conversation or discussion.

4. O'Hare, on tix: ORD.   Read about the airport here.

5. Chorizo snack: TAPA.   A tapa is a hot or cold appetizer or snack in Spanish cuisine.  It need not include chorizo.

6. Belt: SLUG.  A powerful punch.

7. Word with hip or bunny: HOP.  Contemporary music or an old-style line dance

8. Hernando's "Huh?": QUE.  Literal, kinda.

9. Has a capacity of, as a diner: SITS.  Seating capacity.

10. Briefs: UNDIES.  Small clothes, in Westeros.

11. 33-Down start, usually: SCENE ONE.  Beginning of the Second Act.

12. Wouldn't dream of it: DARES NOT.

13. Valiant's son: ARN.  From the comic strip.

18. Indented blemish: POCK.  

23. Rotate so the palm faces down or backward: PRONATE.  As defined.

25. __-a-brac: BRIC.  Random non-valuable stuff.

27. Kind of lamp: OIL.  I'm not gas lighting you.

28. Tizzy: SNIT. Todo, when they're at it.

30. French Toaster Sticks brand: EGGO.  A Kellogg's brand of various kinds of frozen waffles, pancakes, french toast and more.

32. Provides with the means: ENABLES.  

33. Intermission follower, perhaps: ACT II. In a play of more than one act.

34. Towel material: TERRY.  A fabric woven with many protruding loops of thread which can absorb large amounts of water.

38. Ruth on a diamond: BABE.  George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. was an American professional baseball player whose career in Major League Baseball spanned 22 seasons, from 1914 through 1935.

39. "Sure, probably": I SUPPOSE.  Tepid agreement.

40. Andalusian vegetable soup served cold: GAZPACHO.   A cold soup made of raw, blended vegetables.

41. Bell-shaped lily: SEGO.  Calochortus nuttallii — known as sego lily — is a bulbous perennial which is endemic to the Western United States. It is the state flower of Utah. 

43. Ignoring, with "to": DEAF.   Nope.  Not listening.

46. Org. with Jets and Flyers: NHLNational Hockey League, not the USAF. 

49. Instrument laid flat during play: ZITHER.

50. Many a freshman: TEEN.  One between the ages of thirteen and nineteen.

51. Like 70-Across: R-RATED.  Restricted, Children Under 17 Require Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian. This rating means the film contains adult material such as adult activity, harsh language, intense graphic violence, drug abuse and nudity.

55. "Paper Moon" Oscar winner: ONEAL.  Was it Tatum or her dad?



58. River of Flanders: YSER.  The Yser  is a river that rises in French Flanders (the north of France), enters the Belgian province of West Flanders and flows through the Ganzepoot and into the North Sea at the town of Nieuwpoort.

60. YWCA part: Abbr.: ASSN.

61. 1997 Mattel acquisition: TYCO.  You can read about their complicated history here.

63. Chem class part: LAB.  Laboratory, where you can make things that smell bad or go BOOM!

65. Climbing greenery: IVY.  Plant on the walls of college buildings.

66. "Wow!": GEE.  Good Golly!

67. Sellout letters: SRO. Standing Room Only.

So ends another Wednesday.  Hope you enjoyed it.

JzB over and out.




54 comments:

OwenKL said...

FIRight, but that's beside the point. Now, I particularly dislike phrase matching gimmicks, where the first, last, or both words are used in parallel idioms. The reason I dislike them is that I can NEVER get them without the reveal! But today, in a d-o moment, I figured it out BEFORE I hit the reveal! And it even helped me get one I hadn't already filled in! The first word of each *ed clue ...

...goes with the word OFF!

Argh! NONE of them even used the theme words in the same sense!
GIMME A HAND ⇎ HAND OFF
GIMME A BREAK ⇎ BREAK OFF
GIMME A BUZZ ⇎ BUZZ OFF
GIMME A SIGN ⇎ SIGN OFF
-----------------------
I'm not one to usually complain about far-out clues. That's part of game. Usually. But today, well... ASCOTS are INformal ties. A diner SEATS, it doesn't SITS. Wouldn't dream of it has a positive connotation, DARES NOT a very negative one. A TIZZY is confusion, a SNIT is anger.
Not unfair, but unknown to me were PRONATE, semiotics:SIGN SYSTEM.
Perps steered me from NebR>NCAR, arc>OIL, vichyssoise(which I couldn't spell anyway)>GAZPACHO.
With ELF and NOG, was this intended as a December puzzle?
------------------------
LAMBCHOP said to Kermit the FROG
"Do you think talking animals odd?"
Said the frog, "Well at least
We are animate beasts.
Not plastic like BUZZ LIGHTYEAR's squad!"

A pliosaur who lived in LOCH Ness
Had a SPINE that was meant to impress!
She preened like a poodle,
Stretched her neck like a NOODLE,
For the benefit of the tabloid press!

{B, B+.}

OwenKL said...

After reading the expo:
⊞ CONFAB -- Clipping of confabulation, from Middle English confabulacion (“a casual chat or talk”) from Latin confābulātiōnem (“conversation”),
⊞ "There are no me in team." The answer is 42! The 4th letter of teaM plus the 2nd letter of tEam = ME!
⊞ I wonder if any crossword has ever used both ARN and GALEN? (I haven't read the strip in years -- does P.V. have any other kids?)

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Guess who missed seeing the reveal and forgot to look for the theme. Yup. But got 'er done, so life is good. Belt/SLUG could be a big gulp. Gimme a BUZZ also doesn't have to refer to a phone call. Thanx for the outing, Matt, and for the erudite expo, JzB.

SEGO: We have 14 Sago (no relation) palms in our yard. Every Sago in town froze during the big freeze, but many are showing new fronds. Still no sign of life in ours. We're pretty sure that Phil the Philodendron is gone for good.

Yellowrocks said...

I liked the theme. Hand, break, buzz and sign are all things you can give and are all part of gimme idioms.
BUZZ LIGHT YEAR. I can't tell you how many times I watched the various versions of Toy Story when Kenny was a toddler.
I was surprised that EPPIE didn't ring a bell. It was my only unknown fill.
In chem lab in HS I spilled a chemical on my hands, maybe silver nitrate. It dyed my finger nails black. My old fashioned dad forbade me to wear nail polish when I was a teen. The choice was either red or black nails. My mom convinced him to let me wear nail polish.
One of my sib called the malady chicken pops when he was little.
I have seen the usage, "This hall sits 100 people," so no nit. I prefer seats.

"An ascot tie, or ascot or hanker-tie, is a neckband with wide pointed wings, traditionally made of pale grey patterned silk. ... It is usually reserved for formal wear with morning dress for daytime weddings and worn with a cutaway morning coat and striped grey formal trousers."

SIGN SYSTEM is very broad. Among other things it includes spoken language, ASL, writing, body language, signs like traffic signs, animal communication and machine language

Hungry Mother said...

FIR, but had a moment getting POCK. Part of my problem was seeing SLUG. It all worked out in the end. I didn’t notice the theme.

ATLGranny said...

Oh happy day, another FIR after a few pauses to think again. Didn't know semiotics so a learning moment there. NCAR brought the facility in Boulder, CO to mind before I realized it was the state abbreviation for North Carolina. I had forgotten EPPIE but perps were helpful. I do know GAZPACHO! WOs were ebb/EAT and ONEiL/ONEAL (Need to learn that spelling as it appears often enough!)

Theme was easy enough with the reveal. Nice puzzle, Matt. Thanks. I had to use my NOODLE. And thanks for reviewing it, Jazz B. Always enjoy your appearances.

Looks like another nice Spring day here. Hope you all with continuing wintery weather catch up with us soon!

Big Easy said...

'Semiontics'- I can't help you; got SIGN SYSTEM by perps. But maybe you could had said: GIMME a HAND.

I never noticed the GIMME connection before filling 56D. But the puzzle was an easy fill.
N. CAR- the other state for clogging is a GEICO commercial
EPPIE- don't remember anything from the book we had to read back in the 60s. perps
SCREAM- filled by perps; didn't read the clue

YR- silver nitrate- I have some AgNO3 sticks that are very good (better than Abbreva) at stopping mouth ulcers. Horrible taste but they work.
H.M.- I'd never heard POCK with out 'mark', just 'pockmark'.

Wilbur Charles said...

First, those are full W's Owen. Peeking at late Tuesday comments I saw:" Gotta get started on Wed "

I got started early yesterday. I found clues tricky and xword slow going. FIR.

Forgot check back for the theme. BUZZ and the Z in GAZPACHO Finished it.

SITS is common as clued. I see we had a polite religious discussion and wisely remained silent on "the verdict "*(surprised me)

toad/FROG and forgetting EPPIE from a book I enjoyed 50 years ago held me up.

Enjoyed Matt's xword and jazzb's write-up

WC

*Isn't there a TV show by that name?

TTP said...


JzB leads off with Gimme Shelter, one of my favorite Stones songs of all time, instantly recognizable by Keith Richards' guitar riff. The song wouldn't be one of the all time rock and roll hits without Merry Clayton's powerful vocals.

Learning moment... The Shag is N.C.'s other state dance. A type of a swing dance.

JzB, I chased value in early March and moved back to growth and DJIA index in early April. Earned myself a 90 suspension for round trip trading. Yesterday was "ouch". Should have trusted my gut and went U.S. REIT in February. Oh well.

PRONATE and supinate... The golf swing is simple. For a right-hander, the left arm should PRONATE on the takeaway and supinate on the downswing. If your grip is correct and your swing plane is fine, the reason you slice is because you aren't rotating your left arm and squaring the face at impact. Too much rotation causes the hook and dreaded snap hook (my bane when it's out-of-bounds to the left). If that's too much info, just grip it and rip it. Yeah, it's time to get back to the courses in a few weeks.

Too funny, OWENKL. You finally saw a theme before the reveal and then...

billocohoes said...

Yes Owen, Val and Aleta have other children, the twins Karen and Valeta and the much younger son Nathan

I'd guess POCK evolved from the difficulty of saying POXMARKS

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thanks, Matt for an interesting puzzle & JazzB. for the explainations.

Ditto what Owen said! Also Didn't get theme, thanks, JassB.

GIMME was a reveal? I'm a real PATSY -- fooled. Filled with perps. Never read the clue.

Hand up for not remembering EPPIE from my freshman year in HS. GEE, that was 64 years AGO.

Last to fill: SLUG/AGO/POCK & HQS/OUI/SITS.

Tried BobCATS before BIGCATS. Sap wasn't maple.

Sun came out yesterday & melted the 4.5 inches of snow by early afternoon. Got below freezing last night after my neighbors uncovered their newly planted flowers & peonies. Sunny this morning but still cold.

Husker Gary said...

Musings
-A “GIMME” is a putt so close to the hole it does not need to be putted
-The CHORAL part of Beethoven’s Ninth always gives me goosebumps!
-HB Reese was a Hershey employee who put peanut butter and chocolate together on his own time
-Lee Harvey went to his grave claiming he was a PATSY
-My neighbor visited Scotland and brought me a LOCH Ness souvenir from Inverness. It was probably made in Asia somewhere but it’s the thought that counts.
-EPPIE Ledderer used the nom de plume of Ann Landers
-I’ve seen POCK-marked cars after a hailstorm but have never heard the word used alone
-Name this dance with a PRONATE component
-“I SUPPOSE” – My mother’s alternative to “Yes”
-I liked Ron’s summary and Owen’s addenda!

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning.

Thanks, Matt, for today's challenge. I'm with Owen on my initial frustrations, but I persevered. I had two dyslexic letter reversals--the result of my hurried fill ins. Or age? I like SEMIOTICS, English teacher nerd that I am.

Thank you for a fine tour, JzB. I'm with YR on the frequency of watching Toy Story films. My grandkids loved them, and they were fun for me too.

Have a sunny day. I'm going out to lunch with my oldest (longest) and dearest friend. We are both a little nervous. We aren't sure if we've been in too long or we are just plain cautious.

PS: TTP, hope you are continuing to feel better. Keep out of the weeds when you do get on the course! ;-)

staili said...

OwenKL, that's very funny! I also have trouble figuring out the "missing link."

I don't know that much about semiotics, but I think any language is a SIGNSYSTEM, so I'm not sure why the clue refers specifically to spoken language.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Not hard for a Wednesday. Thought the theme was a bit 'weak' but was easy to deal with. No help needed. FIR.
BUZZ LIGHTYEAR came easily; our oldest grandson was into the character when little. (He's graduating from Syracuse Univ. next month.)
GAZPACHO - Famous line in MASH with some goofy general describing Hannibal's army crossing the Alps with their mess kits full of GAZPACHO..
YSER - JzB mentioned Ganzepoot. Means 'goose foot' in Flemish.

OKL: We had 'Galen' (clued differently) a couple weeks AGO.

inanehiker said...

This puzzle filled in at a good pace - some of the things I didn't know had nearly filled in with perps by the time I got there!

North Carolina's other state dance is the Carolina Shag. It is one of few states that has 2 state dances rather than just one.

POCK is singular and POX is plural at least in medical terms. Any small crater like scar that comes from a pustule originally can be called a POCK or POCK mark - used to be most commonly from chicken pox or small pox or even acne. As most of the under 25 crowd have gotten immunized for chicken pox, it may soon be a relic of the past like small pox.

Thanks JzB and Matt!

JJM said...

I thought this was an excellent WED puzzle. Great cluing, some fill not usually seen this early in the week, and more than a few "hmmmmm" moments to suss out the the fill and see if it was correct. Good job! Enjoyed it!

TTP said...



Madame Defarge, grazie ! Sta migliorando, lentamente ma inesorabilmente. Grazie per i tuoi pensieri positivi. Spero che ti diverta con il tuo amico a pranzo. Questo commento è stato tradotto da Google. Ciao !

Lucina said...

Hola!

Thank you, Jazzbumpa, for elegantly guiding us with the theme which I did not understand. But the solve was quick and easy. Sadly, I failed to finish in one places and so had a blank cell: SITS/OUI was missing the i.

It was Tatum O'NEAL who won the Oscar in Paper Moon and was the youngest to receive it.

I'm still laughing at UNDIES in the puzzle. And I noted the plethora of three letter fill in this puzzle.

Tres BIEN would be marked on our papers at the college where Sisters of the Sacred Heart taught.

LOCH Ness is a large, placid body of water.

In the U.K. ASCOTS are considered formal wear.

Owen:
Your post gave me a hearty laugh.

Enjoy the day, everyone!

Anonymous said...

I'm with OwenKL on this puzzle. When a lot of the clueing seems to be trying so hard to be cutesy it gets exhausting.This is part of what made the puzzle harder than your typical Wednesday IMO. Side eye to cluing.....has a capacity of,as a diner..sits. As far as the theme goes meh.

Malodorous Manatee said...

The internet is once again accessible from my home. It turns out that they addressed the problem remotely but never bothered to tell me that the technician was not coming out. This after they told me in no uncertain terms not to cancel the appointment even if the system started working again. So, a "wasted" afternoon.

The puzzle was, for me, crunchier than most Wednesday offerings. Still, FIR with a bit of perseverance.

oc4beach said...


Got it done in reasonable Wednesday time, but didn't get the theme until I read JzB's great write-up.

Only one WO today. I wanted AFT vs AGO. However I did have to wait for a few perps to finish some answers like NCAR, TYCO and PRONATE.

I didn't know the state dance(s) of North Carolina or any other state other than Pennsylvania (of course it's the POLKA). Here is a Wiki listing of state dances. As a CSO to YellowRocks, it appears that the Square Dance is a state dance for 22 states.

Have a great day everyone.

CanadianEh! said...

Wonderful Wednesday. Thanks for the fun, Matt and JazzB.
I FIRed and saw the SIGN theme (LOL re OFF, OwenKL).
Almost a Natick at the cross of QUE and OUI, but an alphabet run created a lightbulb moment (and a smile). More smiles at 69A EVE, 62A AN I.

NCAR was all perps. Maybe there is a new clue for Shag in those st. dances.
Hand up for not knowing or remembering EPPIE.
This Canadian did not know DJIA, and COS was all perps. Interesting to have INC and OIL also. USDA also perped thankfully.

I noted a theatre theme for OMK with ACT II, SCENE ONE, SRO, and To BE OR not. Let's not include SCREAM or R RATED in that theme.

Apparently that Oscar created some ONEAL family tension because father, Ryan, was not nominated.
Tatum'sOscar

Well, the weatherpeople were correct, and we got snow (at least 7 inches here). My poor tulips are not happy but they will recover I think. Forsythia bush is weighted down, but no wind to break the branches.

Wishing you all a great day.

desper-otto said...

That list contains only 32 states, apparently 18 don't have a state dance.

Yellowrocks said...

LIU. POX is a disease SUCH as chicken pox. POCKS is the plural of POCK. Chicken pox and acne produce pocks on the skin.
POCKED is commonly used as an adjective to mean pitted or having hollow marks, as HG said of a car pocked by hail.
"The land is flat, pocked with craters from a thousand falling bombs."
We seldom see pock as a singular noun. I wonder if it is because there is seldom just one pock, whether a pustule or a hollow pit.

NaomiZ said...

Nice challenge, Matt, and good review, JzB! I saw the theme and FIR but struggled in the NW with SLUG, AGO, and POCK.

I like to make GAZPACHO in late summer, when tomatoes are abundant and flavorful.

FLN, I'm grateful for the discussion of CV19 vax cards. It seeped into my consciousness and sent me on a search for ours, which have now been photocopied, scanned, photographed, and saved in the safe.

OwenKL, I think your first poem deserves an A. That's using your NOODLE!

À bientôt.

Picard said...

Fun GIMME theme. It helped get the last one, SIGN.

Jazzbumpa Thanks for GIMME Shelter. My first thought, too!

oc4beach Thanks for the state dance list. Learning moment that our California State Dance is West Coast Swing. My dance teachers Jonathan and Sylvia revived East Coast Swing in the 1970s and I would guess more people do that now than West Coast. Looking forward to getting back to it!

Yellowrocks Thank you for the SIGN SYSTEM explanation. Our powerful brains allow us to communicate so easily that we usually have no idea how amazing this is. No Artificial Intelligence comes close. Yet.

Here are some of my photos of my pet tree FROGs.

For a variety of reasons I don't do furry carnivorous pets.

Yellowrocks said...

Clogging
Flash mob clogging in Newcastle. Clogging starts at 2:00.

Thanks for the list, oc4beach.
Twenty-two states, including NJ, have passed legislation to declare the square dance as the state folk dance and more than thirty bills have been introduced at the federal level proposing the square dance as the national (folk) dance of the United States.

Some troupes have combined the clogging foot moves with the square dance calls. Very energetic and aerobic.

unclefred said...

30 minute FIR. As struggle from start to finish. Completely missed the theme. I agree with Owen’s criticisms. Nice write-up, JzB, as always.

NaomiZ said...

Picard, your tree frogs are adorable, and it appears that you have provided them with a very nice environment.

My daughter brought home a tree frog when she was in middle school, and I kept it alive until she graduated college. To sustain it, I had sort of a cricket farm going in the garage. Not vegetarians, those frogs!

Memforest said...

This discussion on the NCAR state dance being the (Carolina) Shag reminds me of a book I read recently - - and highly recommend. Check out "Beach Music" by Pat Conroy if you're into dysfunctional families and the human condition. It was written in the 90's but still holds up. It's set near the Outer Banks and a lovely little neighborhood in Rome.

Lucina said...

Interesting pictures of the tree frogs, Picard. They are certainly chummy creatures!

I see that Arizona does not have a state dance.

Misty said...

Pleasant Wednesday puzzle, many thanks, Matt. And always enjoy your commentary, JazzB, thanks for that too.

Fun to see ACT 2/SCENE ONE in this puzzle. The two ZZs gave us neat items too with GAZPACHO and ZITHER. Liked how the southwest corner had EAT/ RYE/ NOODLE. And UNDIES made me laugh.

Have a good day, everybody.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

FIW at the crossing of ARn and DERn, I put in an I.

Thanks Matt for the puzzle; quite the crunchy Wednesday grid.

Thanks JzB for the fine expo - I always appreciate some Stones.

WOs: 71a TO BE b/f BE OR, DEAF->DEAD->DEAF, NO I b/f AN I in Team.
ESPs: [see: FIW], EPPIE, ONEAL
Fav: CONFAB is a fun word.

Anyone else think of the old GTE commercials at GEE?
//Ha! They wanted us to work from home in the '80s :-)

{A++, A}

D-O: Our SEGO palms are coming back as is one of our philodendrons. Our other PHILL is dead but DW wanted it cut out anyway.

HG - The Macarena
I'm not at all disappointed that Texas' is the Two Step but how is it that one of these isn't the State Dance of IL? Or even Shake a Tail Feather. [Blues Brothers].

Back at it.

Cheers, -T

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Is it me or does this puzzle come off as harder than usual, more Saturday-worthy. A first pass with many empty squares, notable exception "to infinity and beyond" BUZZLIGHTYEAD. FIR with lotsa WAGs, and perpwalking..

I think I got the theme..."A CHORAL of HANDPUPPETS BREAKINTOSONG when seeing BUZZLIGHTYEAR's SIGNSYSTEM?"

WRONG! But a theme complicated enough for Saturday if Saturday puzzles had themes...(add: gimme a light). Thanks for 'splainin' JzB...(think you meant très not trës) ë, en français implies the letter e is pronounced as a separate syllable from the preceeding vowel, Raphaël (rah-fah-el not rah-fel), Noël (no-el).

Assumed the unmarried first lady referred to batchelor president Buchanan's niece, figured her name must be EVE, but (just LIU) it was Jane

My wife's older sister is often haranguing her husband. Last year we pitched in and for Christmas bought him a SPINE. 🤭

Being one of the few who reads "Prince Valiant, in the Days of King Arthur" fairly faithfully since boyhood, ARN was a given. Unfortunately the graphics are much degraded and storylines sometimes poor since Hal Foster's days.

Lions and tigers were NOT teams this go-round. Clogging sounds bad for the arteries. Tizzy the dinosaur, was one of Howdy Doody's puppet friends. Briefs "or boxers" wouldn't fit. Isn't it "the diner seats" (X number)? SIGNSYSTEM, would seem to be a general term for ASL. "You put GAZPACHO in the microwave cause it's cold? QUÉ!!" 😳

Lucina.. Are Hernando and Fernando variations of the same name? (LIU but still confused) then there are the surnames Hernández and Fernández.

On Nathan's side: ....PRONATE
If Bigfeet exist has anyone ever really ____ SCENEONE
What secret agent training includes......SPINE
How many Chihuahuans do laundry....CONFAB
Tartans are part of _____ heritage....ASCOTS
Megastar.... _____ Célèbre...COS 😉

It's snowing in the Mohawk Valley ...hard 🌨 No alfresco dinners for a while

TTP Un piccolo sbaglio: "spero che ti diverti" 😊

Anon said...

No such thing as a gimme in real golf.

Lemonade714 said...

Anon 2:06, if you watch competition match playtournaments, there are many conceded putts. There just aren't any in stroke play.

Really fun puzzle; it has been too long since Matt S. was pumping out puzzles for the LAT regularly. Welcome back

Ol' Man Keith said...

I see POCK gained a lot of attention among Cornerites. Deservedly so. The closest I ever came to the word was when I had the Chicken Pox. Never used it during my teen bout with acne.

Funny story. The Pox (not POCK) occurred again when I was revisiting Vienna (Wien) with a friend. She came down with some strange disease, so I took her to a local doctor (taking advantage of Europe's sensible free health services!).
Although I speak reasonable tourist German, we sought out a doctor who spoke (reasonable) English.

He checked her over, then called us together into his office for his verdict.
"It is not so awful," he said. "But she must stay in isolation for a time. What she has is the Smallpox."
Naturally, we gasped.
Keeping my head (barely), I asked him, "Bitte - wie heißt es auf Deutsch? What is it in German?"
"Windpocken," he answered, meaning "Wind Pox," which I learned was the German for "Chicken Pox."
I explained the mistake--so he would never alarm another English-speaking patient again.

For the record, the German for Smallpox is just Pocken, or the Pox.
~ OMK

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle somewhat. Several answers were already filled in and I never read the clues. Owen, I very much like what you wrote today. I noticed LIEN and BIEN. Keith, very interesting story. Take care, all.

AnonymousPVX said...

This Wednesday grid started tough in the NW, the entire N actually.

So I worked it from the bottom up with much more success.

Fixed the NW and finally finished in the NE.

But only one write-over....NETH/NCAR. Thought for sure clogging would be Netherlands. Figured “state” as “country”, that’ll teach me (again).

My timing is impeccably....bad...I have an 11 year old premium dishwasher whose rinse-aid dispenser now dispenses at will. More than likely a $200 repair, so a new one is in order.

So....try and find a Bosch dishwasher. I called Bosch themselves. They are sold out and back ordered everywhere.

But mine still works, so I can wait. But I have a 10% off BD deal that expires 4/30. Think they’d extend it? No. Can I order the dishwasher even though it’s out of stock? No. Does it seem they want my business? No. Think I’ll ever buy from them again? Fill In The Blank.

Stay safe.

AnonymousPVX said...

That was for Best Buy, incidentally, not Bosch.

Lucina said...

Ray-O:
They could be. I can't find a definitive answer. My Larousse only cites Fernando which is an extension of Fernan which is or used to be a common name, but Hernan is not a common name. It could be a regional difference. The -ando suffix implies "son of" and "-andez" means "from that area" or "from that family."

The "-ez" suffix is often employed as in Lopez, Martinez, Jimenez, as well as those you cited, etc.

LEO III said...

FIR early this morning, in my usual plod-along time. After checking 54A, I boldly filled in GIMME – not that it was really that bold a move --- so I was able to see the theme. Surprisingly, I really didn’t have too much trouble. I have six answers marked that required perps, but none of them required WAGs.

Thanks Matt and JazzB!

State dance??? I’ve exorcised the comments I had originally written. Suffice it to say that since most of them seem to have been adopted in the 1990s, it looks like a real case of copycat-itis to me.

Here is another Wiki list that is a little longer than oc4’s Wiki list. Strange (the differences in the lists from sorta the same source), but I suppose it's understandable.

A Longer List from Wiki

Spitzboov said...

anonPVS @ 1643 - - I had a new Bosch dishwasher installed April 5th. Took a couple weeks after order - from Lowes. If you are a vet. ypu get 10% off.

Spitzboov said...

Lucina - The German 'Herman' comes from the Latin Armenius, I believe.

LEO III said...

Picard --- Neat photos! How long do they live?

Lizza said...

Hello! Podiatrist @ 8:45 AM today, followed by 2nd Moderna shot at 10:30 ish. All went well! Have been warned that tomorrow may not be a good day. We’ll see what happens. Best wishes to all.

Lizza said...

Sorry about the repeats. I’m still trying to get the hang of it all.

Picard said...

NaomiZ, Lucina and LEO III Thank you for the kind words about my FROGs!

NaomiZ That was good of you to take care of your daughter's tree FROG for all those years! Yes, they indeed need to eat live food which can be a bit of work. But they are very low on the food chain and use little in the way of resources!

Lucina Yes, most of my FROGs indeed have been chummy, enjoying huddling together or sitting on top of each other! The two I have now are the first ones that usually stay apart. Except at night when they go for a swim together.

LEO III Thanks for asking about how long they live. These are White's Tree FROGs and are native to Australia. Australia protects them now, so mine were raised here in the US from Australian ancestors. Mine have usually lived about 10 years, but I think one in those photos lived 13 years.

Here are some photos of us hiking up a local stream. The last set in that collection has several photos of our local Chorus FROGs.

When I was a child I had a Chorus FROG as a pet for about four years. Small FROGs like that don't live as long as the hefty ones I have now.

TTP said...


Lizza, why did the podiatrist warn you that tomorrow may not be a good day ? :>)
Actually, congrats on getting your second shot, and hope you have no discomfort. I'm two days past my second, and no issues.
Also, don't worry if you accidentally create duplicate posts.


PVX, what kind of rinse-aid do you use ? I've never had much luck with the common brands, but we are on a private well. High mineral content and all of that... And despite the water softner, we get spots unless we hand wash and dry.


Does anyone know why Shankars quit posting ?


Dash T, I don't remember that GTE commercial. But it brought to mind my old Phone Mate Answering machines. The second one, purchased circa '85 was costly, in wood and black, with two cassettes. I believe it had remote message retrieval as well, but I may be misremembering ? :>) Screening calls in the old days...


Ray-O, You're hoping I'll enjoy my small mistake ? Oh wait. Never mind. I get it. :>)

Anonymous T said...

Picard: NeatO frogs. I have a red-eared turtle that Eldest "rescued" in an aquarium in the kitchen (Frankie (Eldest named him for this PBS cartoon is on the little desk area built into '90s kitchens).

PvX - I was just listening to NPR's MarketPlace (no link available yet) when they mentioned the microchip shortage screwing with our supply chain - including appliances.
//I'm sure Bosch will make you whole - in time.

TTP - did you ever try to guess the remote codes of others' answering machines?
That was always fun.

Cheers, -T

waseeley said...

Thanks Matt for a slightly crunchy, but FIRable Wednesday puzzle and special thanks to Ron for GIVING us a truly remarkable review, about which more below, but I'll start by saying I loved the SOUNDTRACK.

56D Ron's number for the theme was not only "more or less appropriate", but really hit the mark. I've always been a big Stones fan, but as they preceded the era of music videos, I've never quite understood all the lyrics, which were clear in the "subtitles" for this . I didn't realize that GIMME SHELTER is really a protest song, something made clear by Mary Clayton's powerful vocals (a CSO to TTP for recalling her name to me).

14A In this piece Beethoven had found that he had reached the limits of the orchestral symphony and was forced to BREAK INTO SONG. I took Ron's challenge and listened to the entire 4th movement, a really awe-inspiring performance led by Maestro Daniel Barenboim. The orchestra, the soloists, and especially the BBC Youth Chorus were remarkable. Even though I've heard this countless times, and seen it live several times, I was delighted that BBC included subtitles. I know most of the Schiller's poem in German, but seeing it translated into my own language as it was being sung added a whole dimension to the music that was truly inspirational. Let's just say that by the end there was not a DRY EYE in this house.

48A Even the PETULA CLARK video rang my phone. I'm always on the lookout for music that I can share with my grandchildren, and I think her songs would resonate with my granddaughters, who love to sing.

17A I was in grade school when Sherri Lewis hit the big time and she was one of my first introductions to comedy. A truly great performer and comedienne.

38A A timely clue for today, as it was announced in the Times today that "The Big Cat Public Safety Act has been introduced before, but a bipartisan group of lawmakers hopes the public outcry from the Netflix documentary series will finally help it become law." Not see the series, but I believe it deals with the abuse of large animals in "roadside zoos".

Cheers,
Bill

Lizza said...

Podiatrist warned of flu like symptoms. Strongly recommended drinking LOTS of water. Simple advice.

Wilbur Charles said...

Picard, I think I spotted Kermit. BTW, I hastily inked TOAD

I recall someone who had 1 POCK Mark. Ol' whatsisname

We had a golf league playoff and my opponent took a couple careless swipes at an 18 incher and another swipe before putting it in. Not only did all 3 swipes count but there was the penalty for hitting a moving ball.

I let him off the hook. Careless weekend golf habit.

WC- I see this never got posted and we're on to Thursday. Whatever, I'm posting now

New phone is giving me trouble