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May 14, 2021

Friday, May 14, 2021, Kevin Christian and Bruce Haight

Theme: How to avoid a lot of 3-letter fill in a crossword puzzle? Use them in the entries!!!!"

Looks like we have an "all-star" collaboration today, as Kevin Christian and Bruce Haight - two renowned crossword constructors - joined forces to create a clever puzzle that features four commonly used crossword "exclamations", each of which is a 3-letter word. All four of the entries are "clechos", and if your printed puzzle did not provide the circles, it may have been more difficult to "get". And while there is no "symmetry" in the placement of the circled "reveal" in each phrase, I think that finding four phrases such as these is quite unique.

As the entries tell us:

16-Across. Exclamation clued by its circled letters: AINT GONNA HAPPEN, "NAH"!

27-Across. Exclamation clued by its circled letters: HOLD EVERY THING, "HEY"!

So, as an aside, I was losing "steam" when I finally solved the puzzle, and of course, thought of this when I saw the answers to 16-A and 27-A:

47-Across. Exclamation clued by its circled letters: LOOK WHAT I FOUND, "OHO"!

And if Kevin and Bruce left out one of the "O's" in LOOK, I could've inserted this:

57-Across. Exclamation clued by its circled letters: THAT HITS THE SPOT, "AHH"!

Could this image be better captioned as "AWW, THAT HITS THE SPOT?!"

Across:
1. Captain Kirk's home state: IOWA. I guess if you're a "Trekkie" you know this: Riverside, IOWA is where James Tiberius Kirk was born, on March 22, 2233. It was there he was raised by his parents, George and Winona Kirk

5. Court case determination: FACT. I'm guessing that Sgt Joe Friday was stating this, just in case it went to court

9. Rudiments: ABC'S. "Rudiments" = "basics", of which learning the "ABC's" are

13. Old-fashioned way to settle a dispute: DUEL. Most famous one, I guess, was Burr v Hamilton

14. Mila of "Bad Moms": KUNIS. Milena Markovna KUNIS is an American actress and producer, originally from the Ukraine. Married actor Ashton Kutcher in 2015; they have two children

15. Unhappy look: MOUE. Might you say that Moe has a MOUE?

19. __ the line: TOES. Obeys. Of course I used the past tense first, TOED

20. Tag sale reminder: AS IS. Is it "tag sale", "yard sale", or "garage sale"? Depends where you're from. I remember "tag sale" being the phrase when I lived in New England ...

21. Certain sib: SIS. "BRO" also fits

22. Monte Carlo attractions: CASINOS. Monte Carlo is officially an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco, specifically the ward of Monte Carlo/Spélugues, where the Monte Carlo CASINO is located. Wikipedia. There are 4 of them

25. Nutty confection: PRALINE. PRALINE is a form of confection containing at a minimum culinary nuts, usually almonds and hazelnuts, and sugar; cream is a common third ingredient. More Wikipedia

29. Game with Reverse cards: UNO. Plays a lot like "Crazy Eights"

30. Amos who covered Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit": TORI. Nirvana is the band that originally recorded "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in 1991. TORI Amos "covered" (meaning that she, too recorded this song - with permission, of course) a year later. Kurt Cobain is credited with the lyrics; Nirvana with the music. Here is TORI's version:

31. Singer whose "Breathe Me" was part of the "Six Feet Under" series finale: SIA. "Breathe Me" and its remixes have been featured in many TV shows and movie soundtracks, most notably "Everyone's Waiting", the series finale of the HBO drama series Six Feet Under. Wikipedia. SIA is: Sia Kate Isobelle Furler, born 18 December 1975, and is from Adelaide, South Australia

32. Litter peeps: MEWS. MEWS, MEOW, MEWL are used to describe sounds made by cats/kittens

34. Campy wrap: BOA.

36. Cougar maker, for short: MERC. I got this one straight away. MERC - short for MERCury (a division of Ford Motors) - was the maker of the Cougar; a luxury sports car

40. Chicken general: TSO. Moe-ku:

I ordered Chinese;
Forgot the name of the dish.
You know, TSO and TSO
43. Normandy beach: JUNO. Did you know this was JUNO and not ST LO??

46. Me. neighbor: QUE. Is this a nitpick on my part? I did get the answer (QUE, as in short for QUEbec) but somehow wanted the clue to be ME instead of Me.

51. Wayne Manor feature: BATPOLE. I had BAT CAVE at first. "To the BATPOLES"

52. Out together: ON A DATE. Another one that filled itself in quite quickly; the expression "out ON A DATE" usually means being together

53. QB stat: ATT. Abbr for ATTempt, as in a QuarterBacks passing statistic

54. Go out with a bang: SLAM.

56. Neutrogena shampoo brand: T-GEL. What's in T-GEL you ask? Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Polysorbate 20, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Bishydroxyethyl Dihydroxypropyl Stearammonium Chloride, Fragrance, Cocamide MEA, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, DMDM Hydantoin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Triethanolamine.

Yeah, I want to put THAT on my head

62. Cut down: HEWN. The past participle of "HEW"

63. Some Sunnis: KURDS. SUNNI: the larger of the two main branches of Islam, which differs from Shia in its understanding of the Sunna, its conception of religious leadership, and its acceptance of the first three caliphs. KURDS are an ethnic group of Muslims native to Kurdistan, a mountainous region of Western Asia. About 98% of KURDS are Sunni, according to Wikipedia

64. Wedding dress option: SARI. I wonder if iPhone assistant Siri would wear one to her wedding?

65. Part of Q.E.D.: ERAT. Old school clue and answer. I smell ERAT ...

66. "House" actor: EPPS. As in Omar EPPS. He is most widely recognized for his work as Dr. Eric Foreman on the hit series, "House, M.D."

67. They have it when things pass: AYES. Cute clue. "The AYES have it!"

Down:
1. Civil rights pioneer __ B. Wells: IDA. Was born during the Civil War; was a founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). A whole lot more can be found here

2. All-vowel avowal: OUI. Very clever clue. I never even thought of the French word for "yes" but it certainly fits

3. Didn't rush things: WENT SLOW. For our resident grammarians: is this OK or should it be WENT SLOWLY?

4. Mint in a tin: ALTOID. I know they still sell these, but it's been since forever that a tin of these candy breath mints found its way into Moe's shopping cart

5. Party goal: FUN. Well, it was FUN up until her Daddy took the T-Bird away

6. Chlumsky of "Veep": ANNA. Anna Maria Chlumsky is an American actress. She co-starred on the HBO series "Veep", playing the role of Chief of Staff Amy Brookheimer

7. Govt. agent: CIA SPY. This answer seems like a "made up" phrase to me, but it fits

8. Gift shop stock: T-SHIRTS. I often wondered, what does a T-SHIRT really cost?

9. Jack (up): AMP. Seems to me that T-SHIRT prices are jacked up, but that's another definition. Here is our Thesaurussaurus's take:

OOPS! AMP didn't make the list . . .

10. Visits suddenly: BOPS IN. This brings back memories of my youth. We used the term "BOP IN" more informally than this clue suggests, but I'll be damned if I could find the origin of this expression via Google search. Best definition I found to suggest the clue is: BOP (verb) "move or travel energetically", as in "we've been bopping around the Mall all morning"

11. Prompting: CUEING. I put CLUING in at first; but CUEING is a term used in theater when an actor knows when to speak their lines

12. Gut feeling: SENSE. "Indigestion" wouldn't fit

14. Pristina's country: KOSOVO. Learning moment for those who are geographically challenged? Pristina is the capital of KOSOVO and the seat of the eponymous municipality and district. Here is a map, courtesy of Google:

17. "The Maids" playwright Jean: GENET. I had no clue; all perps. This puzzle was full of PPP

18. Japanese beer brand: ASAHI. I've drank it before; not bad

22. Pal: CHUM. The word CHUM has several different meanings

23. Top-notch: A-ONE. But is this a Top-Notch sauce?

24. 14-Down native: SERB. 14-Down = KOSOVO. Hmm. This is what I found on Google: "KOSOVO is a mainly ethnic Albanian territory that was formerly a province in SERBia. It declared independence in 2008. SERBia has refused to recognize Kosovo's statehood and still considers it part of SERBia, even though it has no formal control there. ... The dispute over Kosovo is centuries-old"

26. Actor Hemsworth: LIAM. Luke also fit, but not Chris

28. Spanish wine: RIOJA. How geeky would you like Moe to be today regarding wine? So, RIOJA is a name for a wine region of N Spain; not too far from Pamplona. The primary grape grown there is Tempranillo, although Grenache (Garnacha) and Carignan are also harvested, as well as a couple other red and white grape varietals, but to a lesser degree. There are many laws that govern the producers of wines in RIOJA, but I will save that for another time

33. "Enough!": STOP! That's an exclamation, too!

35. Start to focus?: AUTO. A feature of many cameras

37. Workplace concern: EQUAL PAY. EQUAL PAY deserves a one-word comment: "yes"

38. Littlest in the litter: RUNT. Isn't THIS the truth?!

39. Give away: CEDE. This is quickly becoming a staple word for crossword fill

41. Smidgen: SKOSH. OTOH, SKOSH is not

42. Solemn and wise, supposedly: OWL LIKE. This guy, perhaps?

44. Often critical innings: NINTHS. As in the NINTH inning in baseball; a classic

45. Adult: OF AGE. 18 or 21? Thoughts?

47. Agitated state: LATHER.

48. River to the St. Lawrence: OTTAWA. And the nation's capital city. A CSO to Canadian, Eh!

49. Intensify: HEAT UP. It is starting to itensify, temperture-wise here in TVOTS

50. Ukrainian city: ODESSA. A port city on the Black Sea

51. Immerse (in): BATHE. Literal: wash by immersing one's body in water

55. Car ad fig.: MSRP. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price

58. Demo letters: TNT. Tri Nitro Toluene; as in short for "demolition"

59. QB stats: TDS. Clecho. TouchDowns, via the pass. Peyton Manning holds the record for a single season with 55 TDS; 2013 with the Denver Broncos

60. Miner concern: ORE. Nice play-on-words. Not "minor" concern, but "miner", as in someone who works in a mine

61. "__ the season ... ": TIS. to be jolly, FA LA LA LA LA, LA LA LA LA

And with that, the grid:

Moe has left the building . . .

63 comments:

OwenKL said...

DNF. The NE and SW sections did me in.
FAte < FACT, tI AttY < CIA SPY, plus a lot of white in the NE.
In the SW, LAsHEd < LATHER, Edgy (misread clue) < ERAT, and the perps were unknown nonsense. (I hope the expo will explain ATT & TNT.)
I did at least get all the theme answers -- eventually.

A C.I.A. SPY in KOSOVO
Determined her mission a no-go
When James Bond BOPS IN,
And tickles her chin,
And invites her to a gambling CASINO!

An OWL-LIKE inventor in OTTAWA
Built a transporter (which had a flaw).
The bumbling professa
Set the dial for ODESSA,
But ended up in a cornfield in IOWA!

{A-, A-.}

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Hand up for TOED and BAT CAVE. Also tried EQUALity. UTAH was my first beach. Had the circles, and saw the theme, even though it wasn't involved in the solve. Finished in good time, so no complaints. Thanx, Kevin, Bruce, and C-Moe.

ASAHI: On Guam I bought an ASAHI Pentax SLR, but I drank Kirin beer.

MERC: Wow, it's been gone for more than ten years. How time flies.

billocohoes said...

Knew St Lo isn't a beach, but needed perps to eliminate Gold or Utah before JUNO

I vote for SLOWly with this clue.

Waited for OTTAWA to fill in, because I knew Richelieu wouldn't fit

Anonymous said...

Tricky, solid puzzle today, but I was able to get it done in a little under 11 1/2 minutes.

I guess you could say I nearly drowned while bathing and lathering near the Ottawa River - or, the lower left corner.

inanehiker said...

This was one of those puzzles that was slow going at first but then just broke open for a fast finish! Very creative theme!
I'm used to PRALINEs having pecans in them- I googled PRALINE recipes and all the top recipes used pecans - at first I thought that might be a regional preference where I'm from - but no pretty much everywhere!

Thanks CM, Kevin & Bruce!

Lucina said...

Hola!

Clever construction by Kevin and Bruce but too much popular culture for me. That and sports are definitely my weakness yet I finished by guess and by golly. That and the obscure cluing almost beat me but I FIR.

KOSOVO was a learning moment because I thought it was a city not a country. My giant dictionary confirms it.

CSO to my brother who likes to drink ASAHI. It's the only reason I knew that. And in Spain I learned about RIOJA and brought some with me.

Yes, I had TOED before TOES. Thanks to KOSOVO that changed.

One of my friends says SKOSH and I thought she had coined it.

Canadian eh! will be pleased to see OTTAWA.

Owen:
I like your poems today. The second one made me laugh!

Have a fantastic Friday, everyone!




ATLGranny said...

OHO! A Friday puzzle finished first thing today! FIR! I found the long themers came easily and helped with the crossings. Some WOs: pOPS IN was my first thought, Solomon fit until perps indicated OWLLIKE, and arabS caused trouble until KURDS led the way. My adult was Older, not OF AGE. But it all went well and was fun. Thanks Kevin and Bruce for today's challenge. Thanks also to C Moe for a fun review today.

FLN, the discussion of mouse touchpad troubles on laptops led me to think of my slow tech evolution: from desktop to laptop to tablet to smart phone. I seldom find I can't do what I want to on my phone and I appreciate using one finger to type with suggested words handy.

Hope you all are getting ready for the weekend! Enjoy!

TTP said...


Thank you, Kevin and Bruce, and thank you, Chairman Moe.

Nope, not today. Two in a row that took over 30. For whatever reason, I kept misreading clues such as "Little peeps" and "Minor concerns" and also kept looking at the down cells when reading the across clues. It all came down to one wrong cell. Had pOPS IN and never looked at the perp after the first pass. Never heard of bops in. What's a bop ? (Thanks, Moe !)

I liked each of the theme answers. After the first, I was thinking psst might appear, but a quick glance showed that they were each going to be three letters.

Got SIA today after reading about her the last time she appeared in an LAT.

Much prefer Nirvana's version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Moe, "TSO and TSO" ? Groan.


Glad that some of you learned how to turn off your touch pad mouse. I can't stand the touch pad, and am much more comfortable with the track point (stick) ball in the keyboard, or an external mouse.

Here's another PC setting you might not be aware of. Settings, Devices, Typing, Hardware Keyboard. You can turn on text suggestions and autocorrect for misspelled words. These settings can be both handy and annoying.

Malodorous Manatee said...

Great, and early start to the day. A very good puzzle that took some figuring out but was eminently solvable. Thanks to the puzzle setters and to the Chairman for more than a few laughs. Now, it's just about time to hit the road.

Wilbur Charles said...

And next to Moe is ?. Curly?

I misread 6D and inked Noam Chomskyl His quotes are CC BANnable.

Once SERB inked is only needed the K(OSOVO)

"This puzzle was full of PPP" I warned you
Yes, solid W's today Owen. I wonder if a Felicia Leiter ever BOPS in on a Bond caper.

I found it to be a fast start then slogged along. Happy to FIR. Yes, I finally completed Saturday. So, Doable, groan. It was an all-nighter

Why I inked langor for agitated I don't know but the obscure P&Ps and the clueing of the themes? Aarrrgggghh!!! I see Lucina is on my wavelength

Atl, I've been CC ing on cell since I got here

WC


desper-otto said...

TTP, I've always had suggestions and auto-correct turned off for my keyboard -- too annoying. But, it could have kept me from misspelling ligustrum yesterday.

Atl & Wilbur, I'm a touch-typist and find it painful to write anything on my smartphone. The most important use for my phone is...wait for it...making phone calls. But I seldom remember to take it with me when I leave the house. Sorta defeats the purpose of a portable phone.

Yellowrocks said...

I loved this clever theme. FIR. I thought I might be out of my depth in the Great Lakes, but I didn't founder. KUNIS, KOSOVO, GENET, TORI all crossing. Wagging the first N in ANNA saved me.
IOWA, UTAH, or OHIO? Just one perp was enough to decide on IOWA.
Oops, TOED before TOES.
I have a Kindle, an android phone and a laptop. For any in-depth typing or googling I still prefer the laptop. Of course, the phone is the most portable and the most handy when out and about.
CIA SPY is a common term on the internet. "The salaries of Cia Spies in the US range from $21,447 to $577,997 , with a median salary of $103,816 . The middle 57% of Cia Spies makes between $103,820 and $261,392, with the top 86% making $577,997."
Langor, alternate of LANGUOR, listlessness, seems the opposite of agitated.

Yellowrocks said...

Grammar Girl
go slow

Husker Gary said...

Musings
-A wonderful puzzle for cluing and gimmick, but into each puzzle a little KUNIS, GENET, SIA and TORI must fall. No prob, Bob!
-You have the right to your own opinions but not your own FACTS
-ODESSA, Nebraska is not even a city, it is called a census-designated area with 81 people
-TOES the line robs us of Moe posting Johnny Cash singing WALK the line
-Four-letter Utah was not the Kirk birthplace or Normandy Beach
-I don’t put a nickel’s worth of A1 or anything else on a good steak
-EQUAL PAY is a hallmark of my former profession regardless of gender or skill.
-I wonder what car or ad genius came up with the ludicrous idea of MSRP
-I use Auto Text to enter complicated HTML codes
-D-O, have you ever seen a teenage girl type on a smartphone? Wow!

Husker Gary said...

Speaking of D-Day and Languor – This part of a broadcast to the French Resistance let them know the invasion would start within 48 hours:

Wound my heart
With a monotonous languor

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was certainly a fresh theme and, IMO, very well executed. The four themers are as in-the-language as you can get, as are the related exclamations and, unlike yesterday, the circles were necessary. My only nit would be the preponderance of proper names but I knew them all, so no harm, no foul, just a bit of annoyance. Like others, I went astray at Bat Cave/Pole and Equality/Equal Pay. I wanted Niagara before Ottawa but it wouldn’t fit. Some cute pairings were: As Is/Sis, Lather/Bathe, Att/TDs, and Sia/Sis. CSOs to CEh (Ottawa and Que), Lucina and Moe (Rioja) and Mr. Meow (Mews).

Thanks, Kevin and Bruce, for a fresh and fun Friday solve and thanks, Moe, for your delightfully entertaining and enlightening commentary, visuals, and links. I particularly enjoyed all of the canine cuties, especially the lovesick Lady and Tramp. The Dalmatians reminded me of the new Cruella Deville movie which I think is being released soon, maybe even today.)

Have a great day.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Enjoyed solving, but had to pass at the proper-name Natick at the center top. Only help needed was with the UN in KUNIS. The theme exclamations came easily once a few perps were entered.
BOPS IN - - I'd be more likely to say 'pops in'. Maybe a regional thing?
OTTAWA River - CSO to Can. Eh!. I've looked down on it while attending a reception at the Canadian Ministry of External Affairs (now Global Affairs?) in Ottawa. [None of the other tributaries I could think of had 6 letters ending in 'a'.]
Me. neighbor QUE - Another Canada connection. I've crossed the border at Armstrong-Jackman / Ste Theophile. Picturesque drive.
JUNO was one of the British (& Commonwealth) landing beaches. Also Gold and Sword. The US had Omaha and Utah.

CM - Thanks for the hot wash-up.

Hungry Mother said...

Totally overcome by trivia, but my downfall was wriT/wiN. I should find a puzzle with less crap.

AnonymousPVX said...


What a toughie, even for a Friday.

Plus I’m way down on energy today, as my diverticulosis turned into a bout of diverticulitis. Very sore, painful lower gut. Couldn’t sleep laying down, went back to the recliner and watched TV until I got drowsy and then went to bed for about 4 hours.

A lot less sore today, but logy as can be.

Which is why I wanted to quit the solve. Stuck with it as not much else to do..no one was more surprised when I looked over the grid and it was filled.

But not neatly…

Write-overs…POPSIN/BOPSIN (I like POPS), RIOSA/RIOJA, EXTRAS/TENTH/NINTH (and I’m a BB fan), EQUALITY/EQUALPAY.

Stay safe.

NaomiZ said...

DNK about six of the answers, but still FIR and enjoyed the theme, so I'd have to say THAT Kevin and Bruce's puzzle HITS THE SPOT.

Owen is in fine form today!

Here in L.A., a friend pOPS IN. Not sure what I'd make of someone who BOPS IN! AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN! But we don't recite ApCS, so we are saved by the perps again.

Shabbat shalom!

Misty said...

Fun Friday puzzle, Kevin and Bruce--many thanks. And great pictures, Chairman Moe. I too liked all those cute puppies.

Didn't think of a SARI as a wedding dress option, but I suppose it is. CHUM and A ONE gave me CASINOS which helped with that corner. Didn't know there was a Normandy beach called JUNO. Funny to see BATHE and LATHER next to each other.

Have a great weekend coming up, everybody.

Bruce Haight said...

Thanks Chairman Moe! At one point we had DO YOU THINK, with the letters DOH circled. Rich sent it back but then we noticed it worked OK with DUH circled! However, we ended up not using that entry....

desper-otto said...

BOP IN: Does anybody remember the teeny-boppers of the '60s? Then, of course, there was J.P. Richardson, "the Big Bopper," who died in the same plane crash with Buddy Holly and Richie Valens.

unclefred said...

Wow, what a brain-buster. I barely managed to finish yesterday’s CW, which seemed Saturday level. This one seemed even more difficult. FIR but in 42 minutes. New words to me: MOUE snd SARI. My fill RAMPUP at 49D really, really slowed down the SW. BATCAVE didn’t want to fit with RAMPUP, I knew something was wrong but it took forever to suss out HEATUP and BATPOLE. Eight names also slowed me way down, as most had to be filled with perps. Only one I knew was TORI at 30A. 60D could more likely have been AIR or GAS since the clue was “concern”. Really, really tough CW, KC and BH. Not sure if I should say thanx or curses. I don’t like taking that much time for a CW. Very good write-up, ChM, thanx!!

Chairman Moe said...

Bruce Haight @ 11:34 —> thanks for BOPping in! Curious, was this your and Kevin’s first collaboration?

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

No paper puzzle available so used an online site on my cell phone. Did the puzzle sunning poolside with a pre-noon G & T, THAT-HIT-THE-SPOT.😊

Super difficult (or was it the Gin 😜). Impossible to know the long horizontal answers without perps. Haight to say it but ganged up on by Kevin Christian and Bruce.

FIW..had pOPSIN (so left scratching over APC?) Never recall so many "type-overs": hold/TOES (not tows I've finally learnt). Odensk/(how could I forget, it's always ODESSA), ramp/step/HEAT, stlo/JUNO (expected a word in frahnsay), BATport/POLE, fine/find/FACT, aces/AYES.

"Garage Sale" in Central NYS, unless you are just selling tags. (Yeah I know, unless you're selling just your garage 🙄)

Sorry, but unless a bride is SE Asian not sure choosing a SARI would be an issue. Also forgot the Spanish wine and most of the Japanese beer. (Spanish whine..."Come ooon, kill the bull already!")...OWLLIKE? wow, seriously?
(I have some pals I'd like to turn into CHUM.)

If the official postal abbrev Me. is used so should the answer if it's a US state. So it had to be one of Canada eh's provinces.🍁..and it had to be a Canadian river...from Wikipedia: "Lake Champlain and the Ottawa, Richelieu, Saint-Maurice, Saint-François, Chaudière and Saguenay rivers drain into the Saint Lawrence."

Frowning cow sound....MOUE
Follows building P annex....CUEING
A Source of phone blessing....PRALINE

Great job Moe. (Now where's my bottle of Bombay Sapphire?)

Lemonade714 said...

Moe I think your Moue looks more like a frown.I would prefer this picture of A POUYTY FACE

I learned most of the unknowns from prior puzzles but forgot until the answers perped in

Thanks Kevin Bruce and Chris



Big Easy said...

AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN is an apt description of my chances of completing this puzzle. I somehow correctly stumbled my way down to LOOK WHAT I FOUND, but OWL LIKE, BAT POLE, EQUAL PAY, & SARI got me. I tried EQUALITY and SLIT for the wedding dress but that negated ORE & TIS which I had filled. At least I got all the unknown proper names by perps- ANNA, TORI, LIAM, KUNIS, IOWA, SIA, GENET, & RIOJA- and correctly WAGged OTTAWA. I knew ODESSA & KOSOVO (the moslem, muslim, islamic part of Serbia) .

SKOSH- total unknown-perps. The only way I'd ever heard the term used was somebody using it like to 'kill an idea'. Probably mispronouncing squash.
FACTs- they rarely come out in courtrooms; only the evidence that the judge allows.
MERC-Mercury OR Mercedes- I've got one of each.

Yellowrocks said...

Would you like more coffee? Yes, I will take just a skosh. My ex said this frequently.
"The word skosh comes from the Japanese word sukoshi, which is pronounced "skoh shee" and means "a tiny bit" or "a small amount." The Japanese word was shortened by U.S. servicemen stationed in Japan after World War II." Merriam Webster.
I had WRIT and WIN, but CIA SPY led mw to FACT and FUN.
POP IN before BOP IN. POP IN seems very British. BOP IN seems even more informal. I don't say either.
The culture of the bride was not identified, so IMO SARI was fine.
sari wedding dress

Wilbur Charles said...

Interesting on time vs solving. In some mysterious way my brain keeps on working on these xwords even though I'm completely stumped. Then the light bulb goes on.

A portion of Saturday had a combination of misdirection and stumpers. I did it in three shifts. I couldn't have started on Saturday morning and finished by Sunday. Having the weeks xwords available is a big advantage .

WC

Ps, Anybody notice I used the word SKOSH in my Thursday comments

Emile O'Touri said...

A little name heavy?? Way too many proper names. I show up to do crosswords, not to fawn over celebrities. The theme was fine - clever in fact.Problem here was the fill.Just crammed full of obscure PPP crap.

billocohoes said...

I also find I can do 90% of what I need to do on my smart phone, except for jigsaw puzzles and the Sunday Crossword, and any real document typing (I didn't learn ten-finger typeing to give it up now)

BTW Sgt. Joe Friday (Jack Webb) never said "Just the facts, ma'am." He said "all we want are the facts, ma'am" and it got worn down in common memory.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

You know,...
When you start off with a gimme at 1a and 1d, you think "GONNA nail this!"

Wasn't GONNA HAPPEN.
DNF in the north-central and the 27a themer.
This puzzle would have been more enjoyable (finishable) w/o the names (GENET [didn't help I had the wrong TOw (Ha! Ray-O!)], KUNIS xing ANNA next to a Govt. acronym [could be anything!]).

I did like the gimmick - pretty slick. Thanks Kevin & Bruce for the puzzle. Thanks Bruce for stopping by //I like the DOH c/a.

Loved the Carnac clip, C. Moe. Thanks for the expo to lift my spirits after the #Fail.

WOs: Wrong DUaL giving me WaiTS, wrong TOw, SKOcH, and I was going for --H wRap at the gift shop and never got a lousy T-SHIRTs.
ESP: RIOJA
Fav: LATHER next to BATHE was cute (Hi Misty & IM)
Runner-up: PRALINE. MIL's are to die for even though she's from N. Louisiana.

D'Oh - AS IS... I kept thinking of Red Dots on tags indicating a sale item.

BOPS IN? Who does that? One POPS IN. That's my NE (hold-up) fill and I'm sticking to it. :-) //Hi PVX!

{A, A}

WC - I musta read Chomsky at least 3 times. FInd (that's what I was going for re: "Court case") blocked Noam. And Rudiments made me think of those little bits of food left on the plate but I couldn't recall ort. Re: SKOSH in Thursday's comments: wish I paid attention to the spelling - not SKOcH

unclefred - I knew sari (I have many friends from India (I'm in IT)) but MOUE is new to me too.

YR - Is that the top 8% or the top 6%. Even the median is way more than the FBI was going to pay when I was leaving DOD. That's why I went into consulting.

D-O: Yes! I also touch type and anything needing more than 6 words, I goto my laptop rather than type on the phone (or I just call :-))

HG - It's not just teenage girls. DW composes multi-paragraph emails on her phone with thumbs ablaze.

Cheers, -T

Jayce said...

My nit pick: the postal abbreviation of Quebec is PQ, just as the abbreviation for Maine is ME. Not QUE or Que.

Jayce said...

So, it wasn't hold the line or walk the line. And the court case determination wasn't fine.

I agree CIA SPY seems like a made up term.

I, too, would say POPS IN, even though my wife and the neighbor woman often go bopping around together.

Loved the clue for AYES.

waseeley said...

You know it's gonna' tough sledding when Rich sics two crack constructors to conspire against us. But nevertheless I thank Kevin and Bruce for a Friday ISU ("I Say Uncle!"). And thank you MOE for your entertaining review and for erasing the MOUE from my face after explaining all the blank fill across the SOUTH when I finally retracted my pencil.

It started off easy enough (heh, heh):

1A As 2D told me this couldn't be UTAH or OHIO, I knew it had to be IOWA (have I missed any other 4 letter states?).

1D I knew IDA, so 13A was probably DUEL, so a vowel-run quickly avowed 2d as OUI and we're off and running!

5A Then things ground quickly to a 33D. WRIT? The NATICKS at 6D and 14A didn't help. Could court cases be based on FACTS? Have Kevin & Bruce seen any courtroom dramas lately? Do they read the news?

16A Which brings us to the first of four catch 22's. You need the FILL to get the circles and you need the circles to get the FILL. I guess we'll see if we can chip away at it ...

9A ABCS made SENSE, but MOUE? 9D AMP made it begin with M, and POPS IN would have been good for 10D, but then there goes ABCS. BOPS IN? I don't want to lead anyone astray, but BOP can also be a slangy obscene vowel. But BOPS IN it is.

Eventually I got themers 16A, 27A and 47A, but then things started to go south in the SOUTH. Couldn't find the sweet SPOT for 57A and much of the remainder of the puzzle hung upon it. Pressed for time I TITT ("threw in the towel").

Liked the much abused KURDS at 63A and their co-religionists in/at 14D and 24D.

And you HEARD HIM EXCLAIM as he scrolled out of sight! ...

Cheers,
Bill

p.s. I hope that the very last of the communiques from the GREAT CARNAC didn't violate the Corner's prohibition on politics. After all this time we're still trying.

Ol' Man Keith said...

A double threat PZL from the team of Christian/Haight!

Nicely wrought, Gentlemen! Well written up, Chrmn Moe!

BOPS IN is seriously questionable. In my time, (Happy Days) and region (San Francisco), BOP was a dance. You did not "BOP IN" on anybody.
~ OMK
____________
DR:
A 3-way on the near end.
The center diagonal offers an anagram (14 of 15 letters) celebrating the mirth that can arise from a good (or even halfway decent) bottle of RIOJA. I am speaking of things that are...
"VINE UPROARIOUS"!

Anonymous T said...

Waseleey - I hope this doesn't cross the NP (No Politics) line...

I just read on Krebs on Security that DarkSide has been taken down. The funniest comment under the article:

"Sounds like DarkSide learned what dictators and cybercriminals alike have known for decades:

Want to shut down international logistics and shipping? Ok. Kill people by shutting down hospitals? The FBI will get around to investigating it. Commit some war crimes here and there? Maybe a condemnation and some sanctions.

F[***] with America’s oil? Get ready to learn about American liberty. And by liberty, I mean you’re going to liberated from everything you hold dear."


Well, DarkSide is over (for now). Think I can go to sleep for a bit? :-)

Perfect DR for the day's puzzle, OMK.

Cheers, -T

Ol' Man Keith said...

Thank you, Anonymous T!
It just fell into my lap...
~ OMK

Ol' Man Keith said...

BTW, Chairman Moe ~
CUEING IN is not a term used in the theater for "when an actor knows when to speak their lines."
CUEING IN is used under two similar but not exactly the same, circumstances, i.e. ...
(1) when an assistant is helping an actor to learn lines, the assistant will hold the script and speak the cue lines (maybe just the last 5 or 6 words) to test whether the actor knows his/her lines, or
(2) when an actors know his lines but hesitates because he/she is uncertain of the cues, then either the scene partner or a prompter from offstage will repeat the cue to make the actor realize it is time to damn well speak the *#@! words!
~ OMK

Spitzboov said...

46a The clue is Me. neighbor. I did not take it as a zip code format which would be ME - - but rather as an abbreviation for Maine; not that it needed one; being of only one syllable and only 5 letters. Therefore the abbreviation QUE seemed apt.

ISS is supposed to pass overhead tonight at 2126 EDT- WSW to ENE with 6 min. duration.

One of our local major fuel sellers, Buell, sent 5 loaded fuel-tanker trucks down to help out the Georgians, and will stay for at least 5 days to distribute fuel products.

Alice said...

“Eminently solvable”, MM? I thought it very hard and only completed half before I came here for help. 😩 Maybe tomorrow’s puzzle will be more eminently solvable.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Chairman Moe said...

OMK @ 5:26 --> thanks for the correction on the CUEING. I don't ALWAYS source Wikipedia or the Dictionary when I write my "snippets"!

Dash T and waseeley re: Carnac clip ... there were far funnier and more politically-laced clips I could've chosen when I wrote the recap. I used this one because it was Carson's last Carnac bit before retiring from The Tonight Show.

One of the reasons I liked Carson, (he is the last late night show host I truly enjoyed watching) is because he was pretty unbiased towards the politics and social events of the day. Everyone was "fair game", so to speak. He took equal shots at both party's leaders and representatives, and kept his own personal politics to himself.

Nowadays it seems that many, if not all late night hosts have a more liberal bent to their political beliefs, and these regularly are exposed in their monologues and skits. And that is certainly their right to do so. But I miss Carson. Yes, there were some of his bits that might have crossed the line, but for the most part his entire show was entertaining and funny.

waseeley said...

I see frequent use of PPP and P&P's. I tried looking them up in an acronym dictionary and none of the THIRTY-FOUR entries had anything to do with Cwds. I think we're descending into the abyss of collective idiolalia!

Spitzboov said...

PPP - - Pop Culture, Product Names and other Proper Nouns.

waseeley said...

CMOE @5:56PM Actually Carson's very last words were more about marital strife than politics. I agree with you about contemporary Late Night pontificators. Actually I don't really stay up and see them, as it's past my bedtime. But some SKOSHES of their monologues do end up in news.google.

waseeley said...

T @ 4:45PM Thanks for the link. I've added to my reading list.

Jayce said...

Good to learn that about cuing, Ol'Man Keith.

Jayce said...

Sorry, but as I understand it, the Province of Quebec is never abbreviated as Que, always always PQ. Abbreviating the state of Maine as Me (lower case e) does not excuse or permit abbreviating the Province of Quebec as Que. Of course, I may be wrong about that. Best to ask a Quebecois.

Spitzboov said...

Statistics Canada abbreviates it as follows:

Quebec Que./Qc

Anonymous T said...

C. Moe:

I was watching a Seth Meyers clip the other night and he was lamenting that the Crazy of the last few years won't go away like other... um...
"'Cuz right now, I could be hosting "Major Crimes" [cut to picture of Biden's dog] in a trench coat in a deep [Robert] Stack voice. But noooo. I have to talk about this."

I do stay up late but don't watch TV. I just hit YouTube around 11p and watch the monologues while I start wrapping up the day.
BTW, Carson lambasted Reagan back in the day [Ok, I was only a teen but I remember those jokes]. If he ever mentioned Tip O'Neill, it was probably in comparison to Ed McMahon :-)

If things on the right weren't so, um.... then late-night hosts would be joking about about Joe knows Venmo?* tonight. Those jokes almost write themselves.

Jayce - Give it up (re: QUE) puzzles over :-)

Cheers, -T
*and that's why I don't use apps to move money.

Wilbur Charles said...

Heh,heh

Spitzboov said...

Just saw the ISS whiz by - right on schedule.

Back to the WSJ CW.

Picard said...

Late to the party after we took a long hike with friends and shopped after our travels. Hand up WAY too many CROSSED proper names. I never knew that JUNO was a Normandy Beach. I consider that a learning moment. Crossing it with unknown RIOJA seemed unfair. But I did WAG correctly to FIR.

Hand up POPS IN is OK, but I have never, ever heard someone say BOPS IN. Never heard of a TAG SALE. Tried FIAT before FACT. I agree with Big Easy that our legal system is poorly set up to establish FACTs. Science is about as good as it gets for that.

Yellowrocks Thank you for the explanation of the origin of the word SKOSH.

Does anyone else remember this Levi's ad campaign that their jeans give a SKOSH more room?

That is the ONLY time I have ever heard this word used.

Picard said...

Amusing to see MEWS again. We had the British word MEWS recently that I was very familiar with, but it was a learning moment that it has to do with horse stables.

From Yesterday:
AnonPVX, PK, NaomiZ, Lucina, AnonT and Agnes Thank you for the kind, helpful and thoughtful words about dealing with my "challenging" mother.

Lucina I did get an electronic picture frame years ago for my father so he could see many of his photos that I scanned before. He seemed to like it. But my mother kept turning it off and then she managed to lose its power supply. I should have taken that as a hint, I suppose.

I will always be grateful for all of the photos my father took and how well he documented everything. And I have sent the scanned images to my niece and nephew and they are grateful to have them.

AnonT, Lucina and Wilbur Charles Thank you for the kind words about my FIG tree photos. What is the story about the nut who climbed one?

Not sure if you will ever be in Santa Barbara again, Lucina but we would love to show you around.

waseeley said...

Spitzboov @6:25pm Thank Spitz!

CanadianEh! said...

I am so late to the party, but can we still have FUN. Thanks Kevin and Bruce, and CMoe (love your music choices to match the theme).
Well WC was correct that this CW was a workout, but HOLD EVERYTHING, it is GONNA HAPPEN!
I count 5 inkblots that most of you have mentioned but I persevered and got the theme.

I might have only lurked tonight, but I must acknowledge my CSOs. Two Canadian references today; I can’t claim any Canadian disadvantage.
The OTTAWA River forms the border for Ont. and Que. for a good portion of its length. Maine borders the smaller area of Quebec that is south of the St. Lawrence River. It also is a neighbour (should that clue have had a U?😮😁) of New Brunswick and New Hampshire.
And apparently it is the only state to border only one other state! (Use that clue sometime Rich)

(And at the risk of flogging a dead horse, Jayce PQ hasn’t been used for years (unless a Quebecois wants to contradict me). Canada Post changed from PQ to QC in the 90s. Otherwise, it is abbreviated as Que.)

Good night all.

LEO III said...

FIW, but I have to get some sleep. Been on the go since 0600, and Saturday will be the same.

Thanks, Kevin and Bruce and Chairman Moe. I did come close to getting it right, but not close enough!

Tomorrow....

Wilbur Charles said...

Interesting on time vs solving. In some mysterious way my brain keeps on working on these xwords even though I'm completely stumped. Then the light bulb goes on.

A portion of Saturday had a combination of misdirection and stumpers. I did it in three shifts. I couldn't have started on Saturday morning and finished by Sunday. Having the weeks xwords available is a big advantage . And…

PVX, Saturday's xword will test your BB acumen. I can never judge difficulty.

WC

And… Picard, re. Nut on the fig tree. It was Zacchaeus from Luke 19. A guy wrote a book in the 20s claiming Jesus as the greatest salesman ever. Amway borrowed the idea. The branching of the fig tree reminded me of it.

Jayce said...

Thanks CanadianEh! I hereby let go of PQ.

OwenKL said...

I remember this from Sunday School when I was little:

Zacchaeus was a wee little man
And a wee little man was he
He climbed up in a sycamore tree
For the Lord he wanted to see

And when the Savior passed that way
He looked up in the tree
And said, 'Zacchaeus, you come down!
For I'm going to your house today!
For I'm going to your house today!'

Zacchaeus was a wee little man
But a happy man was he
For he had seen the Lord that day
And a happy man was he;
And a very happy man was he

Kevin Christian said...

Hi, this is Kevin Christian, one of the constructors. I’m commenting one Fay late. Yesterday I traveled to see my dad who I haven’t seen in 17 months so I was distracted.

Thanks everyone for solving and thanks Bruce for collaborating.

At one point we also considered AAH, DOH, and DUH, but we ended up making the puzzle without any of those.

Bruce and I both built complete grids independently and we sent both to Rich and let him pick which one he liked better. He picked Bruce’s. Grrr. Just kidding, I didn’t mind. They were both nice grids.

Have a great rest of your day.

Kevin Christian said...

That’s a typo, I meant one day late. I don’t know what one Fay late means.