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May 15, 2021

Saturday, May 15, 2021, David P. Williams

 Themeless Saturday by David P. Williams 

I had a very nice time solving Dave's initial puzzle. It seems incredible that his first puzzle is a themeless Saturday effort. Linking EEPHUS PITCH and AS ALL GET OUT seemed a natural as you'll see. Here's a nice note from Dave:

Hi Gary, 
A brief note below, if you wish to use it.
Thanks,
Dave

Since this is my first-ever published puzzle, I’d be remiss if I didn’t pluck the low-hanging fruit and say: “Hello, (Cross)World!” 
I’m grateful to Rich for giving me a shot and also for greatly improving the puzzle with his editing. Any remaining deficiencies are solely on me. I hope the puzzle brightened your day, but if you wish to fulminate, lightning can be directed to semiwild.lava@gmail.com .

It's also National Chocolate Chip Day! So get out some milk and do some dunking along while celebrating Dave's first foray into crossword construction. 

Across:

1. Exchange with, in sports: TRADE TO - The Colts had to TRADE John Elway TO Denver because he refused to play for them when he graduated from Stanford


8. Changing environment: CABANA - The first of some really "out there" cluing that makes for real challenges. No ecology here, just somewhere to change into or out of your swim suit.

14. "Hang on!": WAIT A SEC.

15. Conceived: IMAGED and 
4. Bold type: DARER Rank up there with HUGER for clanking off my ear

16. Sent abroad: EXPORTED - This company in my hometown has EXPORTED tons of specialty meat to Japan in the last 23 years


17. Source of biblical medicine: GILEAD Here ya go

18. Inadvertently test an audience's tolerance levels: DRONE ON - Our pastor did DRONE ON for 20 minutes when the 100 kids were confirmed two weeks ago. 

19. Color in four-color printing: MAGENTA - Shaquille O'Neal is pitching bottles of ink to refill your printer cartridge. Can you see the MAGENTA bottle in his hand?


20. What suspects may be charged with: TASERS - More funky cluing!

21. Mysterious glow: AURA.

22. What blue may mean, briefly: DEM - From the 1960 election  

23. Giant Mel et al.: OTTS On the list of famous OTTS he is #1 and the only one I recognize

24. Stained glass setting: APSE.

25. Excoriates: TARS - Synonyms for excoriate and none of them are TAR but I see David's intention 

26. High-arcing toss first attributed to Rip Sewell: EEPHUS PITCH - Gotta love this! It's from the Hebrew word "efe" which means nothing. That batter will be as mad 32. "... like you wouldn't believe!": AS ALL GET OUT.


30. Water music?: SEA SHANTIES What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor comes to my mind. How about doing a chorus Spitz?

34. Shelter sound: BARK.

37. Liq. measures: GALS - 20miles/GAL is approximately 8.5kilometers/L

38. Foam footwear: CROC - Popular footwear at MIL's Alzheimer's facility 


40. Former Bolivian president Morales: EVO A turbulent presidency

41. Towel designation: HERS - HERS and OURS

42. Horn home: AFRICA - Another "it must be Saturday" clue 😊 It's easy to see how this name was 46. Figured out: GLEANED.


44. Ones moving to the right: NEOCONS.

47. Completely: IN TOTO - My first fill was ENTIREly wrong

48. Elaborate story, perhaps: TALL TALE - Nebraska cabbages


49. Esophagus: GULLET - You didn't put THROAT first like I did?

50. Bar barrier: AGE LIMIT.

51. Ride: NEEDLE - Kid, tease, nag, harass...

52. Cure-all: PANACEA - Good fer what ails ya! Prof. Pratt's meds probably contained alcohol, cocaine and/or opium



Down:

1. Amount often tied to income: TAX RATE.


2. Some wisecracks: RIPOSTES - I'll bet you know the insult that preceded this RIPOSTE. *Answer below


3. Enjoying prime time: AT ONE'S PEAK

5. These, in Cádiz: ESTOS - If Kramer said his line in Spanish, it would be "
ESTOS pretzels me están dando sed"

6. MTV's "__ Wolf": TEEN - A TV version of this Michael J. Fox movie

7. Monk's condition, on the TV show: OCD.


8. Smoke: CIGARETTE - It's great that I rarely see any of these today

9. Friendly-sounding old Commodore computer: AMIGA.
10. Christian in films: BALE An impressive IMDB

11. It may be hidden: AGENDA - "Gee, look at this lovely wooden horse the Greeks have brought us!"

12. More pinlike?: NEATER - More Saturday cluing as in "Neat as a pin"

13. Iconic New Yorker cartoonist Charles: ADDAMS - Of the TV show inspired by his ADDAMS Family cartoon series that started in 1938 he said, "I'm up and down about the show. They are only half as evil as my characters."


14. Linked by custom with: WED TO - Chas ADDAMS said he used the slinky woman he was WED TO as a model for Morticia 

19. Ruminations: MUSINGS - I post my ruminations everyday!

21. Floors: APPALLS.

24. Squared stones: ASHLARS - I've seen them, admired them and even laid them but never knew what they were called.


25. Divine type of rule: THEOCRATIC - Vatican City is too small to show up on the map. Clickable map of countries with THEOCRATIC rule

27. Enjoys: HAS.

28. Dictionary detail: USAGE NOTE.


29. Op. __: CIT - Op CIT or Ibid:

1. Michael Legge, Precious Little (New York: Pod Books, 2015), p. 198.s
2. Danielle Ward, Any Questions? (London: DTRT Publishing, 2017), p. 30.
3. Legge, op. cit., p. 102.

OR

1. Danielle Ward, Any Questions? (London: DTRT Publishing, 2017), p. 30.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid., p. 39-41.

31. Country whose official language is Dutch: SURINAME - Another artifact of colonialism


33. Song whose second line is "And I will pledge with mine": TO CELIA - First, I learn landscaping blocks are called ASHLARS and now I find out "Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes" is actually is a line from a 17th century poem by Ben Johnson called TO CELIA.

34. Favorable: BENIGN - I would love to be in a more BENIGN climate in the winter

35. One way to go: AVENUE.

36. Dig with a snout: ROOTLE - And the learning keeps on coming. 


39. Space __: CADET.









41. Flamingo, for one: HOTEL - Look carefully to see who was headlining there when this picture was taken


42. Three-time Emmy-winning choreographer Debbie: ALLEN - She also played a very forceful character on Grey's Anatomy


43. Guy: FELLA.

45. Not making any baskets, say: COLD - or not making any putts! Somedays the ball just will not go where you want it.

46. Lady of song: GAGA - Seen here as both a common and proper noun

48. When repeated, sound of impatience: TAP.





*Insult: Bessie Braddock M.P., "You sir are drunk". RIPOSTE: Winston Churchill "You, my dear, are ugly but I shall be sober in the morning!"

55 comments:

OwenKL said...

FIWrong. I was sure it was EEPHUS PITCH that was holding up the ta-da, tho ROOTLE also looked suspect. But no, it was one I didn't notice that caught me: TASER? + ESTO?. I don't even remember what I had there.

One Masonic word was in there -- ASHLARS. I've never seen it outside of a Freemason context, but it's very common there. Every lodge room has two of these building blocks -- a rough unhewn ashlar representing a man before becoming a Mason, and a finished one, smooth with squared corners on every side, representing what a man may become after a lifetime as a Mason.

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
...
Is there—is there balm in GILEAD?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Jeremiah 8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?

On the right are the NEO-CON-
servatives, wanting a time bygone.
While on the left are the DEM-
ocrats, ready the past to condemn.
Each declaiming their cause for votes,
To which the other side RIPOSTES.
Each APPALLS the other's stand,
And pledges paths to a promised land!
They promise every gal and FELLA
Their slate will be a PANACEA!
I have my preference, you have yours.
To DRONE ON further would be for bores!

Little Dorthy, via tornado,
Went to Oz, there to kowtow
To the Wizard.
There a lizard
Went down the GULLET of her dog: IN TOTO!

{A-, B.}

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

C'mon, EEPHUS PITCH crossing ASHLARS? D-o seldom calls foul, but listen up...FOUL! Plus, that whole SW corner was a killer. Tried ROOT UP, but that wasn't working with THROAT. And so it went. Think of BENIGN as non-cancerous rather than "favorable." Finally conquered that corner, but that central H eluded me -- obviously no mason here. Impressive debut, David. Nice expo, as usual, Husker. (If you don't care for the DRONEr, why do you bother going there?)

Wilbur Charles said...

In the 1946 Allstar game Ted Williams hit Sewell's EEPHUS PITCH for a homerun. 20 years later Bill Lee hung a similar pitch to Tony Perez in the 75 WS.

The SW was the disaster I hinted at yesterday. I inked GULLET but it didn't seem to work. I kept coming back and finally BENIGN popped. More favorable than malignant but not necessarily good(Hi D-O)

I had HERON resisting egret. I have a book Elvis in Las Vegas so this(HOTEL Flamingo)shouldn't have been so hard..

I wanted COLD but couldn't perp. But finally I turned around the swamp that was the SW. Wite-out would have really helped. I thought I'd have to wait for on-line version.

EEPHUS was "hanging fruit " but vv for most I imagine. I did FIR . Time? 36 hours?

WC


billocohoes said...

Hand up for Heron and the desert in the Southwest. EVO? please

Another nit, TAX RATE is not an amount. The tax is the amount, the rate is a factor (percent or decimal) in calculating it.

staili said...

David, congratulations on a well-constructed puzzle, but the difficulty level is way, way off from that usually seen for an LA Times puzzle. (not the constructor's fault) The intersection of EEPHUSPITCH and ASHLARS really should have been avoided. Neither of those terms is well known, and the intersecting letter is not inferable in any way. It could have been ACHLARS, ATHLARS, etc.

Having that kind of intersection where both terms are obscure and there's no way you can guess the answer is sometimes called a Natick, after a crossword puzzle where NCWYETH and NATICK crossed at the "n." (N.C. Wyeth is an artist. Natick is a town in Massachusetts.) This is the most severe Natick I've seen in a long time.

I also gave up on the SW. I agree with d-o and WC that "favorable" isn't a great clue for BENIGN. EVO is another non-guessable obscurity. ROOTLE is also obscure. Again, high difficulty doesn't mean the puzzle is bad, but the puzzle as a whole is way off the normal difficulty scale here.

Barry T. said...

Tough puzzle that I finished only with cheats. Lots and lots of them. So, can't really say that I "did" this xword... it did me! But, I did learn (at least!) three new words. Yippee!

Anonymous said...

I know the term is pronounced "sea shanty", but isn't it spelled SEA CHANTY?

Husker Gary said...

Musings
-EEPHUS PITCH (also EPHUS) was a gimme for us baseball fans. Payback for my not knowing some people from the arts? All’s fair in love and crosswords.
-D-O, I continue to go to the hear the DRONERS because it is something I can do to repay my lovely bride for all she does for me.
-My friend at the local garden center gave me a quizzical look when I stood by a large display of ASHLARS (labelled landscape bricks) and asked him if he had ever heard the word. I was a mason but never a Mason.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone

CSO to Gary with MUSINGS
Got a lot of David's tough clues but not all. Struckout at GILEAD, EEPHUS, and ROOTLE. Knew …ROOT, tho; it's what pigs do. Misspelling AMIGA didn't help, either. Still, a fun, challenging solve. Just "A Bridge Too Far" today.
I'll take a CSO at SEA CHANTIES. I favor German and Dutch. Here is The Old Polina from Newfoundland.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Thumper, Thumper, Thumper.

JB2 said...

Way out of my league. Total fun sponge. Finally just gave up.

Not a great start to the day.

Be safe and well all.

JB2

oc4beach said...


Wow! Definitely not in my wheelhouse. I didn't even come close to doing it right. HG's tour was informative though.

Not a big baseball fan, so EEPHUS PITCH was totally unknown.

Had a number of WO's. YIPS and MEWS before BARK. DEPORTED before EXPORTED. SAD before DEM. Plus a few more.

ROOTLE was brutal and I had a problem with DARER.

I immediately put in CADET but it could have been CRAFT. Having worked on NASA programs for most of my career, I've known a few Space Cadets, the smart kind, but I've also known a few of the more spacey types.

Oh well, today was a challenge. Tomorrow will probably be also, but more doable, and then Monday will start the week off with a much easier one.

Have a great day everyone.

Emile O'Touri said...

I've never had a worse experience trying to solve a puzzle. This was difficult but not in a clever,fun way. Grossly unfair, inaccurate cluing of achingly obscure answers. *eephuspitch* is only one of many ugly items in this puzzle. Imagine thinking eephuspitch crossing ashlars is a good thing to put in your puzzle. I don't know how something like that answer gets in here. Did the constructor just run out of actual words and give up or use a random letter generator?.

jfromvt said...

A rare DNF and not even close. Definitely not on the same wavelength as David. Will give him the benefit of the doubt, but others have made some valid criticisms of the puzzle. I knew EEPHUS but wasn’t sure of the spelling.

CrossEyedDave said...

Due to a needed flat tire repair,
i was rushed for time this morning.
Luckily for me, I started cheating at 1 across,
and sailed right thru the sea of red...
All I can say is I found the cluing devilishly devious.

Speaking of puzzles,

Thank you OwenKL for your post late Thursday,
I had no idea that my links were directing people to thumbnail
sized pictures. Unfortunately i was busy the last few days
with a wake, and funeral. (close family friend of MIL)

On my Ipad, using Safari, my links go to full screen pics.
Just tried on my PC using Chrome, & it went to 1/2 screen pic with
related images. I guess on other media it may go even smaller...

I think the only way you can be sure your viewers are seeing a full page
link is if you copy and paste the links image address, and not
use the provided "share" option.

It is going to take some more sussing and puzzling to
figure that out on an Ipad, so I will just echo Irish Miss' comment:

Thumper, Thumper, Thumper...

CanadianEh! said...

Saturday Stumper. Thanks for the workout and congrats on your debut Dave. Thanks HuskerG for explaining.
This was just one step above my pay grade (TAX RATE?) but WC did warn us.
Huge Natick with EEPHUS PITCH and ASHLARS.
I had the entire East finished but still had huge seas of white in the west. I went away and returned with more success.

Plenty of Saturday misdirection too. I wanted Amazes before APPALS, Heron before HOTEL (but apparently Flamingos are Grebes!), Root up before ROOTLE ( even spellcheck doesn’t like it!), Wild before COLD, Entire before IN TOTO, some kind of font before DARER.
Bar barrier was AGE LIMIT not a counter (crossing TAP was cute).
But my furthest misdirection was trying to be Eating Steak (after rejecting Watching TV) and not parsing AT ONE’S PEAK. D’uh, and I thought I was clever with Prime.

Hand up for not knowing or parsing TO CELIA for Drink to me Only
DEMs and NEOCONS today. Let’s not get political LOL.
Ray-o will be happy that we had the masculine ESTOS today. But we did have HERS and GALS (to go with the FELLAs).
IM didn’t list the A Team today so I will- CABANA, AMIGA, AGENDA, AURA, AFRICA, GAGA, FELLA, CELIA, PANACEA.

Wishing you all a great day.

Lucina said...

Hola!

Foul! Taking that much license is really unfair and I'm a good solver. I'm looking at you EEPHUSPITCH. That is one of the hardest Naticks I've encountered. SHANTIES? I don't think so.

Otherwise I solved in fairly good time in spite of devious cluing like for AURA and AMIGA.

I filled the SW corner easily though ROOTLE almost threw me off. I've stayed in the HOTEL Flamingo in Las Vegas in only the second time I've been there.

However, words like RIPOSETES, THEOCRATIC, APPALLS, PANACEA, etc. redeemed this for me. I did not know Charles ADDAMS and his story about the ADDAMS family so that was a big learning moment. Cousin ITT, that is, the actor who played him died very recently as noted on Sunday Morning.

I'll take a CSO at OCD though mine is diminishing with age.

Saturday should be challenging and this definitely was!

Thank you, Gary. You made this effort worthwhile with your postings.

I hope everyone HAS a good day today! Book club for me.

CanadianEh! said...

Ah, I wondered why my nose wrinkled at APPALLS and I automatically entered Appals in my above post. The double L is American vs. British/ Canadian single L, per Cambridge dictionary (USAGE NOTE?). Another difference of which I was not aware😁

TTP said...

Good morning. Thank you David Williams and congrats on your debut ! Thank you, HG.

Started this toughie in the middle of the night, then finally went back to sleep. After starting again, I changed "jusT A SEC" to WAIT and solved the NW in due order.

But the SW corner finally did me in. Just couldn't fill in the blanks with letters that worked in both directions. Has to be the most time I spent on a crossword in a long, long time.

I knew ROOT in the sense of digging or hunting for something. As in "What are you rooting around for ?", but did not know of ROOTLE.

Knew EEPHUS PITCH and knew Rip Sewell, but couldn't remember the spelling and hung with euphus for too long until RIPOSTES corrected it. ASHLARS was not a problem only because it perped in.

Astro's pitcher Zack Grenke and Padre's pitcher Farid Yu Darvishsefat are two of the current MLB pitchers that you are likely to see throw the floater to mess up a batter's timing.


After today's FIW, am looking to redeem tomorrow.

CanadianEh! said...

Lucina, I could not understand your distain for SHANTIES which was an automatic fill for me. I LIUed to find that Shanty is British and Chanty or chantey is American usage. But Merriam-Webster says the word origin is from the French “chanter” meaning “to sing”. Vive la différence!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

ome oldies but goodies, unfortunately some krusty klue kombos.....conceived: "imagined" not IMAGED. TV prime time..AT ONES PEAK, EEPHUSPITCH, ASHLARS ROOTLE?? .... Flamingo I've stayed at the Vegas resort and had the "H" and "L" and still had no idea. FELLA, a var of FELLOW. OK, OK I know. it is a Saturday.🙄

However Mr. Williams a nice start ....you have sold your puzzled soul to and are now under the THEOCRATIC rule of the mysterious RICH ("He Who Must be Obeyed") 🙈🙉🙊

DNF...the SW was nearly denuded of fill except for BARK and GULLET..(yes Canada eh..œsophagus)

Type-overs: tagteam/, TRADETO, guessed/GLEANED.

Floors?, "astounds,?" too long, "amazes"? too short, APPALLS, just right, (a "Goldilocks" per Irish M.). Water music brought to mind Ben Franklin's Glass Harmonica. Horne home can't be Lena no "e"..band? orchestra?, cow skull?..is expatted a word?... needed perps..

Esai was not the president of Bolivia too? I guess it was a woman...Extra Virgin Olive Oyl. Hesitated on SURINAME, thought the name of the country had been changed, (British Honduras to Belize)..plus assumed spelt without the final "e".

Consolation prize, a home version of the game plus...

Coffin conveyance.....HERS
Wharf huts..SEASHANTIES
Sends a GI back..RIPOSTES
Writing NT epistles was right _____ alley...APPALLS

Time for a G&T down the GULLETT.

Today officially on the wrong side of 70!!

🙂

TokenCreek said...

What Irish Miss said. All three of them.

Lemonade714 said...

Ray, which is the 'wrong' side of 70? I am 72 and still county and thank ful for it, as are many of us

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Today is my seventy-FIRST birthday. Now when asked my age for the next few years I'll respond "I'm on the wrong side of 70"

😉

unclefred said...

DNF. FAR to tough for unclefred. When I came here and read the write-up and saw the filled grid I could see there was NO WAY I was gonna be able to do this. EEPUSPITCH???? Come on. Just one of multiple clues that I remained clueless about. I spent forty minutes and threw in the towel. David your first CW is just WAY over my ability. That’s not your fault, it’s mine, but still....

Misty said...

Fun, but of course tough, Saturday puzzle, David--many thanks. And great pictures, Husker Gary, thanks for those too.

Hey, I got a few to start me off: AURA, OTTS, Op. CIT, BARK, and HERS. And then the cheating started, but still fun. Nice to see Lady GAGA turn up, and Charles ADDAMS. But would never have gotten EEPHUSPITCH in a million years.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Picard said...

Has anyone ever heard of EEPHUS PITCH? I suppose it was a learning moment for this term along with unknowns ASHLARS and SEA SHANTIES. But having them all cross each other? I was sure it had to be something followed by UP PITCH so that P made me FIW.

Husker Gary Yes, THROAT before GULLET finally dawned on me.

The AMIGA was indeed advanced for its era. When we first worked on our atomic force microscope I tried to use the AMIGA as a controller. But it was not very much of an AMIGA when it came to letting us know how to connect to it. We ended up using the inferior PC because it had an "open architecture".

I had a student at UCSB Physics from SURINAME. One day he disappeared and I was never able to track him down to return his things. Very mysterious and sad. I was much more familiar with SURINAME because of the amazingly unique SURINAME Toad that comes from there.

Here is a one minute video that shows why the SURINAME Toad is so unique and amazing.

My grandparents had a book "ADDAMS and Evil" full of his wonderful cartoons. I am so sorry I didn't think to get it when they passed. As a child I did not know of Adam and Eve so I did not get the pun until I was older!

Picard said...

From Yesterday:
Wilbur Charles Thank you for the explanation about Zacchaeus climbing the tree to see Jesus. We were in Jericho and our guide explained about the tree and showed us the alleged spot where it had been. I had completely forgotten about it because I had never heard the story before.

Since I posted late yesterday, not sure if anyone saw my inquiry:

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

Has anyone ever heard the word SKOSH used except in this ad?

Spitzboov said...

Picard - I use 'skosh' all the time. Don't know where I first heard it. Probably in a military setting.

BTW - Today is National Armed Forces Day.

Lucina said...

I've mentioned before that I have a friend who often says, "Just a SKOSH, please." I should ask her if she knows the origin. We'll car pool to the book club so I hope I remember.

My salad is made with a special dressing on the side. It's 1/4 cup water, 3 tbsps red wine vinegar, 2 tbsps honey, 4 tsps Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Shake well and pour over salad. Yummy.

Yes, Canadian eh, I am used to chanty or chantey. My dictionary does not acknowledge shanty but looking up shanty it refers me back to chantey.

Big Easy said...

I'll say that I got 'most' of the four corners and that's about it. RISPOSTES is a word I've seen but never knew the meaning. But I crossed EEPHUSPITCH which crossed ALSHLARS- never heard of either ( or Rip Sewell). And what does "Water Music" have to do with SEA SHANTIES? And it crossed TO CELIA- no idea on that one; I had _OCELIA (Paul Simon's Cecelia wouldn't work).

Three days in a row with a DNF.

ADDAMS, ALLEN, & ROOTLE- unknown but perped
MAGENTA- my first printer 28 years ago was the LAST one that had color cartridges' B&W laser printers after that. Cheaper in the long run.

On the Marquis- 1/2 'lost 50 LB on Nutrisystem'.

Alice said...

I am so happy to read all the comments because I began to seriously doubt if I should even be doing the end-of-week puzzles. Actually both yesterday and today were very challenging puzzles.
For today’s effort, I remembered MAGENTA from a fairly recent similarly cued puzzle entry. I suspected TASERS early on and WAIT A SEC was easily sussed out. Lady Gaga shows up frequently. PANACEA, with all those vowels, made sense. The rest.... oh well!

desper-otto said...

My H.S. science teacher used "skosh" often. That'd be 1960-ish. His favorite "cuss phrase" was sacre bleu.

We use an inkjet printer for scanning documents and photos, but use a laser printer for all of our printing needs. I agree with B-E, laser toner cartridges are cheaper and last a whole lot longer.

AnonymousPVX said...


Well. This was quite the puzzling puzzle. Some “out there” clueing for sure.

Happy to get the solve today. The SW and NE were snow, so I put it down and came back an hour later…

And they filled in…amazing what your mind can do while it runs in subconscious mode.

Write-overs…REPARTEE/RIPOSTES, CRIMES/TASERS, ATONESHOME/ATONESPEAK, ESO/EVO, THROAT/GULLET, ROOTUP/ROOTLE, HERON/HOTEL, TSK/TAP, ELLA/GAGA.

I did get EEPHUSPITCH right off, the EE start gave it to me. Plus I watch a lot of baseball.

Phew, a workout for sure.

Stay safe.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Mercy! Mercy! My fervent wish is for David P. Williams to use his very creative word skills in his day job and not tempt Rich to punish us again like all get out.

Bless you, Gary, for making sense of his sins. After 50:23 minutes of struggle, I thought he was making up all those words. I read all the clues for the top 2/3 of the puzzle and only put in BALES like he was skiing downhill on a snowy mountain. (See, it made me a little nuts.)

I filled all the squares only because I was red-lettering and WAG-ing and had nothing better to do at 1 a.m. during a steady downpour.

CrossEyedDave said...

Picard,
In thanks for your toad video,
This creepy water lily pod is for you...

happy birthday ray!

It's driving me crazy that I cannot find a cake shaped like this...

Owen, I tried direct copy instead of share. Are you still getting thumbnails?

Kelly Clark said...

Hey, David, many congratulations on your debut -- an amazing puzzle! I didn't know EEPHUS PITCH but I'm glad I do now...I got it from the perps. Some devilish cluing but I thought it was all fair. Again, congrats!

TTP said...


David, we haven't had this much complaining at the Crossword Corner since the debut of Stella Zawistowski on Saturday, December 7th, 2019.

You can find it in the archives on the right side of the main page of this blog. But only if you want to see the comments where another tough puzzle was excoriated as much as, if not more, than yours today.

Having said that, I hope you come back with more tough puzzles !

OwenKL said...

CED: yep, today's pictures came up just fine, thank you!

BTW, you should have had a trypophobia trigger warning on that water lily pod. Oh wait, I just looked back and see you did warn it was "creepy". Picard's clip had probably already triggered any trypophobes anyway.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I guess this was a PZL meant to go unsolved by the great unwashed. Seems most everybody had a complaint about it. I struggled to fill about 50% before throwing in the proverbial towel (HIS in my case, clearly not up to the standard of HERS!).

I have always thought SHANTIES was spelled with a "C."
Of course it is.

Happy Birthday, Ray - O - Sunshine!
Now you should find XWDs harder to do.
~ OMK
____________
DR:
A single diagonal graces the far side here. It gives us a lot more vowels than comfortable to work with, but we can manage an anagram (12 of 15 letters) that reminds us not to practice discrimination against our elders, for that would surely be...
"AGE UNETHICAL"!

Yellowrocks said...

Very difficult today. I looked up EEPHUS PITCH. It crossed the also unknown ASHLAR, every single perp. Sheeesh! If you never hear of EEPHUS you don't stand a chance.
I also looked up CELIA. I have heard that song which I have loved for 75 years and never knew of CELIA.
I got NEOCONS. Are they moving or did many of them move decades ago or more.

Dictionary: sea shanty, chantey, or chanty. I have them on a great CD. Many lovely ones found on YOUTUBE.
Benign can mean kind, pleasant , beneficial
She smiles at me, the smile of an angel, benign but remote.
And the racism was not benign; it was virulent.
And beneath his benign reply, I sense a warning.

From the hymn:
There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul

I had ROOT UP. The LE in ROOTLE was perped.
Changing environment/cabana was my favorite.

I commented on SKOSH yesterday.
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 think maybe you mean scotch an idea or plan, not skosh. It means to prevent or stop something from happening. To scotch is, most often, to prevent plans, efforts, or desires — as opposed to things — from coming about.

inanehiker said...

glad to know everyone else had the same challenges I did with the puzzle today!

Talked with my nephew who played college baseball about the unknown EEPHUS PITCH -
he shared a You Tube video of a compilation of Zach Greinke's eephus pitches.
Nice for him to have when his opponents are expecting fastballs- but I'm sure a little
jarring/unnerving for the batters facing him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9KtFJ0Vgn8

I heard that SEA SHANTIES have had a resurgence in popularity during the pandemic and there have been many mash-ups with different individuals on Tik-tok and the Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert late night shows
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnD5iahzve4

Thanks Gary for the fun blog and congrats to David on your debut!

ATLGranny said...

Like many of you, I was stymied by the SW. The only word I got correctly there was EVO. The rest of the corner was problematic or blank. Since I got much of the puzzle right after all, I count it as a learning experience. So thank you David for your first appearance here. I will remember ROOTLE, but can't promise EEPHUS PITCH and ASHLARS! Thanks, Husker Gary for straightening out my muddled FIW!

See you all tomorrow for more puzzling comments. And Happy Birthday to Ray O! I enjoy your witty comments.

NaomiZ said...

Like Anonymous PVX, I had to take a break for an hour before returning to complete the SW corner. FIR with a couple of WAGs in there! Thank you, David -- I expect Saturday's puzzle to be challenging, and it was.

Like many others, I never heard of EEPHUS PITCH or ASHLARS. That sort of thing is par for the course. Big Easy asks what "water music" has to do with SEA SHANTIES. They're the songs you sing when you're out on the water, of course! And as inanehiker says, they're a pandemic pastime. Yo ho ho!

OwenKL, <3 <3.

OwenKL said...

I never do birthdays, but today is so tempting:

The note between do and mi is ...
As Irish as Barry __'Bama ,,,
Good grades make a father's ___ _______ ...

Unknown said...

AGREE! WAY TOO ESOTERIC 4 ME!! As an amateur baseball historian, EEPHUS PITCH was easy to find.... How some ever ...CABANA is a tent-like shelter for all events and usages ....checked out GILEAD in my family Bible (published in 1885) and Gilead is a PLACE. SHANTIES/CHANTIES ...depends where you hale from.This puzzle (drudge) was certainly as hard 32A and the editor was certainly not 3D!! Finally, constructors should the old warning about mixed metaphors.
****A pleasant admonishment to Mr. Williams: DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB!!!

Jayce said...

Whew! Took a lot of looking stuff up to finish this toughie. WEES; my experiences with this puzzle are the same as most of yours.

My aunt used to say she had the "eephus" when she had a cold or the flu or just general aches and pains. I never knew what it meant (or how it was spelled) other than as the name of an unspecified ailment.

TXMs said...

First, thanks Gary for making sense of some of the clueing, i.e., EEPHUS(?!) pitch, ASHLARS(?); perps filled those in, but I thought surely they had to be wrong. I think the clue for CABANA should've had a question mark which would have made that a lot easier. But, on the other hand, the devilish clues made for an interesting 45 minutes. SW took the longest, and I finally threw in the towel and googled the Bolivian prez to finish quickly.

A question for the techies please. Today I briefly scanned yesterday's comments and didn't see others who had my problem, so I'm wondering if it's my computer. Yesterday afternoon I clicked on one of the links in the recap, and instantly my screen turned bright red; even the web address bar had DANGER in red letters. There was an icon on the screen to "click to return to safety," but I dared not click anything. Closed and re-opened - same thing, whereupon I just closed it down for good. Thanks in advance.

Will read comments later - yard work beckons.

Yellowrocks said...

Cabana is a small collapsible shelter at a beach or pool side used for changing to swimming attire. Very common here. Are there no beach bums here?
TXM, I hope you can solve your scary computer problem.
A very happy birthday, Ray O.

CrossEyedDave said...

TXMs,
Well, yes, it is your computer,
And that's a good thing!

Your anti-whatever you have did not like that link.

More importantly,

Pls let us know what link set your computer off,
If is is a bad link, we need to know.
Also, we can examine it and determine for you
How offensive it might be.

On a lighter note,
Sea shanties today reminded me of
Barnacle Bill the sailor,
I went to look it up,
But my computer went all red from embarrassment..

TXMs said...

CED, thank you - what a relief! I was so freaked out when it happened (first time ever!) that I couldn't remember for the life of me what link I had clicked on. Just now I went back to review Chairman Moe's recap to see if I could remember - it had to be the YouTube video, "To the Batpoles", because I'm certain that I didn't read any more of the recap after that. Also relieved that my free anti-malware software worked since I firmly believe "if it's free, it's too good to be true." But then, no one else had the problem?

Wilbur Charles said...

OK, I'm human. Yes, I'm feeling a certain smugness over my FIR in the face of mass FIW . BTW, a % is a RATE. Adding 'on TV ' to Monk was a softball, 'At the beach ' wasn't added for CABANA.

CC is a great group because of the diversity eg baseball knowledge is in the minority, TV shows awareness a majority. So the BB folk had their innings today.
Speaking of….
The EEPHUS PITCH was a classic change-up and David employed it on a number of clues. COLD as a basketball metaphor for 'Can't make any baskets ' and GULLET for Esophagus shouldn't have been hard. But we expected HARD and got an eephus. Same really for NEEDLE.

As I confessed, if I'd started at 8am I'd be just finishing plus solving on Wed and Thurs kept the pressure off (My big FIW was a few weeks ago when I misplaced my insert and had to solve online on Saturday. As time was running out I just had to come here with several unlikely WAGS. And ….

Psychology. If the option to Google, redletter or even go to Winn Dixie and check out the medicine aisle, ostensibly to price mid-nite*, is on the table it'll effect my solving. Exception: Asking Phil a gaming question or Betsy a yoga or astrology question. Then of course I have to share the credit. 50%. For one square!

There's a dimes worth, I found two on the ground yesterday and bent. Nine more and you're good for the $Store.

WC

*Chanomile,Lemongrass and 1,5g of melatonin. I take a half at night and bite off a Tylenol PM. It should be kicking in to the CC's relief

Wilbur Charles said...

Ce(ce)lia A little S&G for Anon-T.

Lucina said...

Ray-O
I know it's really late, but I hope you had a happy birthday with all the appropriate celebrations.

Oh, how I love Simon and Garfunkle! Thank you for posting, WC.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

So many chores to do today that I hardly had time to play and only had a few fills (right) before stopping by the Corner. Good thing I didn't spend too much time on it... Wow David! //congrats on the debut.

I wouldn't even bother posting except to say:

HBD Ray-O!

{A, B}
Nice salvaging for the DR, OMK.

Thanks for Cecilia, WC.

Pop is coming next week for Youngest's HS graduation so DW is sprucing up MY work-space. First, I had to finish decking out the attic followed by putting all the kid's old IKEA play-room furniture on my new plywood. Then I had to build the grown-up furniture she ordered last year. 15 sweaty hours of work (I musta drank 1.5 GALS of water today).

Tomorrow is the back-yard. She got 6 palms among other plants to replace those affected by The Big Freeze. First, we have to cut out the dead...
Going to be another long day of labor.

Cheers, -T