May 9, 2021

Sunday May 9, 2021, Gary Larson

Theme: "Forcing the Issue" - Common phrases with magazine names in are punnily clued.

22. Celebrity magazine employee?: PEOPLE PERSON.

26. Using a lifestyle magazine to cool off?: ELLE FANNING. Clue sounds stretched to me.

42. Found a child-rearing magazine?: BIRTH PARENTS. The "establish" found, not the past tense of "find".

66. Graphic for a personal well-being magazine?: PICTURE OF HEALTH.

91. Closing the doors of a financial magazine?: FOLDING MONEY.

108. Shoplifting a fitness magazine?: TAKING SHAPE.

117. Kiosk selling a news magazine?: STALL FOR TIME. 

Two in front, 5 in the back. No odd man out. We've seen a few magazine/newspaper puzzles, but not with the punny approach.

No FORTUNE/STAR as they dupe Money/People in terms of the content.


1. Perfume brand that sounds forbidden: TABU. I have a tiny vial of Rosa Rossa by Guerlain. So fresh.

5. Was humbled: ATE CROW.

12. Resulting (from): ARISING.

19. It's known for its bell ringers: AVON.

20. Only one of Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs" not written in English: LA BAMBA. Also the name of the Ritchie Valens biopic.

21. Like Hershey's Kisses: CONICAL.

24. Night vis-á-vis Nacht, e.g.: COGNATE.

25. Possessive in a Harry Potter title: SORCERERS.

29. Kind of DA: ASST.

30. 1983 Streisand title role: YENTL.

31. Uproar: TO-DO.

32. Large seal hunters: ORCAS.

36. "What a lousy play!": BOO.

39. Furry wrap: STOLE.

41. Catch in the act: NAB.

47. Head-turning hiss: PSST.

49. Levine of Maroon 5: ADAM. "The Voice" judge for many seasons.

50. Goes too far: OVERSTEPS.

53. "Over There" songwriter: COHAN. George M. Cohan, who also wrote "The Yankee Doodle Boy".

57. Jumble: MESS.

58. Spanish province or its capital: LEON.

59. Zodiac animal: RAM.

60. Group mental condition: MORALE.

61. Firewood option ... or destiny: ASH.

62. Former Russian space station: MIR.  Meaning "peace" in Russian.

63. Tired: TRITE.

65. Removed all evidence of: ERASED.

70. Esoteric: ARCANE.

73. Challenges: DARES.

74. They may be blocked: ADS.

75. Workmanship: ART.

78. Pressured, with "on": LEANED.

79. Legend on the ice: ORR (Bobby)

80. Indian wrap: SARI. Here's a wedding sari. 

82. Whoop-de-do: STIR.

83. Three-__ engine: LITER.

84. Writer with the most combined Oscar and Tony nominations: NEIL SIMON.

87. Showgirl in a Manilow song: LOLA.

88. Czuchry who played Cary Agos on "The Good Wife": MATT. Don't know him.

93. French toast need: EGG.

96. Turkish bread: LIRAS. Google says this portrait is Turkey's founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who served as its first president from 1923 to 1938.

99. Round-skipping edge: BYE.

100. Newspaper essays: OP-EDS. New York Times now call them "Guest Essays".

101. Gift tag word: FROM.

103. Film that's barely shown?: NUDIE.

105. Marlon's "Godfather" role: VITO. Corleone.

111. Not bright: PINHEADED.

116. Split: VAMOOSE.

119. Nook or Kindle: E READER.

120. Hollywood's Annette and Peter: O'TOOLES.

121. Valhalla VIP: ODIN.

122. Street, in Stuttgart: STRASSE.

123. Sneaky programs: MALWARE.

124. Street in New York's Chinatown: MOTT. Any of you been to Chinatown?


1. Bedtime melody: TAPS.

2. Fuel-efficient Chevy: AVEO.

3. Loudmouth: BOOR.

4. Not culturally sensitive, for short: UN-PC.

5. A's, Jays and Rays: ALERS. American Leaguers.

6. Records, in a way: TAPES.

7. "The Future of the Movies" co-author: EBERT.

8. Sonatas, say: CARS.

9. Real estate ad abbr.: RMS.

10. Symphonic wind: OBOE.

11. In a languid way: WANLY.

12. Highlight: ACCENT.

13. Reindeer landing area: ROOFTOP.

14. "Little House" series author Laura __ Wilder: INGALLS.

15. __ Féin: SINN.

16. Defeatist's statement: I CAN'T.

17. Chad, but not Jeremy: NATION. Unfamiliar with Chad & Jeremy.

18. Two-time Oscar winner Jackson: GLENDA.

23. Chow line?: LEASH.

27. "Survivorman" creator Stroud: LES.

28. Whipped cream serving: GOB.

32. "Becoming" memoirist Michelle: OBAMA.

33. Teases: RIDES.

34. Stay over: CRASH.

35. Mall features: ATMS.

36. Swiss capital: BERN.

37. Switch positions: ONS.

38. Baseball's "Little Giant": OTT. Big Easy took this picture a while ago. Sorry for the ordeal, George.

40. Social companions: ESCORTS.

43. Neatened, as barracks: POLICED.

44. Ward off: AVERT.

45. Vintage auto: REO.

46. Features of many fonts: SERIFS.

48. Synagogue scroll: TORAH.

51. Way to go: PATH.

52. Jolly Roger bosun: SMEE.

54. Consumes: HAS.

55. Newcastle Brown __: ALE.

56. "Game of Thrones" patriarch Stark: NED. Played by Sean Bean.

60. Gin rummy action: MELDING.

62. Twenty Questions category: MINERAL.

63. "Super!": TERRIF.

64. Sushi garnish: ROE. And 67. Hokkaido noodle: UDON. Love seafood udon.

66. Land in "The Hunger Games": PANEM. Forgot. We had this before.

68. Unusual: RARE.

69. Yankee manager Boone: AARON. Brother of Bret Boone.

70. "... and justice for __": ALL.

71. Outdoor gear giant: REI.

72. Tom or tabby: CAT.

75. Do penance: ATONE.

76. Very upset: RILED.

77. They may be slid into ovens: TRAYS. Missing the fresh egg tarts in Guangzhou.

80. Fries, e.g.: SIDE.

81. Friend in France: AMI.

82. Sty feed: SLOP.

85. Soft toss: LOB.

86. Subtle: SLY.

89. Authority abusers: TIN GODS.

90. Bridge supports: TRUSSES.

92. Cow, at times: MOOER.

93. Pond dweller: EFT.

94. "I, Claudius" author Robert: GRAVES.

95. Small racing vehicle: GO KART.

97. Stick (to): ADHERE.

98. "Chandelier" singer: SIA. And 110. Jazzy Jones: ETTA. 113. "No Angel" singer: DIDO.

102. Charades player: MIMER.

104. __ salts: EPSOM.

105. Fancy home: VILLA.

106. Surmise: INFER.

107. "__ Were the Days": THOSE.

109. Hurricane-tracking agcy.: NOAA.

111. Team's burden: PLOW.

112. Either H in H2O: ATOM.

114. Release: EMIT.

115. Job for a body shop: DENT.

118. 2015 Verizon acquisition: AOL.



desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Started strong, finished weak. In fact, finished with a DNF (if that's possible). Along the way I strayed with inDIE/NUDIE, TERifF/TERRIF, and I ATE dirt. But at the end, was left with what was a Natick for me: DID_/M_TT. Knew it couldn't be an A, we'd already had MATT. WAGged an I for DIDi/MiTT. Nope. Bzzzzzt. Thanks for playing. Still, d-o enjoyed the challenge. Thanx for 'splainin', C.C.

EREADER: I just purchased a replacement PaperWhite. Mine was only three years old, but was hard to turn on and off, and finally just refused to come on. I'd been using dw's Amazon Fire tablet as a reader, but it was too heavy and had to be charged too often. Yeah, I'm picky.

Crossword explanation compiler said...

17. Down .... Although Chad and Jeremy were a british group .... I think, the clue mainly refers to Chad, which is also the name of a land locked nation in Western Africa. ( there is no Jeremy nation.... )

In 61. Across - Firewood option ..... or destiny. ASH
I presume this refers to the wood of the Ash tree, for the first part.
For the second part - destiny - does this mean, that everything turns to ash ( ashes ) in the end ?
As, in, Ashes to ashes, dust to dust ?

Please inform me if my thinking is wrong.

desper-otto said...

Crossword Compiler, the 2nd part of 61a is straight-forward. Firewood's destiny is to be burned and turned to ash.

TTP said...

Thank you, Gary Larson, and thank you, C.C.

I ATE CROW on this one.

Ditto D-O at DIDi.
Also PANE_, _A_T, _IN GODS and _IA.
The rest was fine, and I enjoyed the puns.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there.

Got it done with a minimum of wite-out. A few ARCANE clues but not too bad. Liked seeing ORR and OTT in the same puzzle.
LITER - My car is a 3.7 LITER.
MOO - German cows say muh!
43d - POLICED. 'titivate' wouldn't fit. After a gun shoot, the gunners had to 'POLICE' the brass.(from shell casings)
122a - STRASSE - - German spelling is Straße; Swiss is Strasse. ß can't fit in an American puzzle. Dutch straat; L. Ger. Straat or Stroot.

Have a great day.

Husker Gary said...

-A fun Sunday drive before I got to this Natickville intersection - 88. Czuchry who played Cary Agos on "The Good Wife" crossing 66. Land in "The Hunger Games".
-For DIDO/MOTT I simply took a detour because I had MOTT in my mental trunk somewhere
-My college letters from “girl back home” were drenched in TABU
-Possessive in Disney cartoon classic title would have fit me better
-I have “removed all evidence” of a big hole in the wall I made in my exercise room last week. 15-yr-old paint matched exactly
-Chad but not Jeremy? Loved it!
-Casino ATM’s are the only machines there where you’re guaranteed to leave with more cash in hand than when you started
-POLICED – If it moved, I saluted it, if it didn’t, I picked it up or painted it
-SIDES were a wrong PATH in yesterday’s Debbie Ellerin puzzle EXCLUSIVE puzzle
-MOOER and MIMER are “gluey” entries that are not headed for the cwd hall of fame
-You have to listen carefully to hear all of these rapid fire INFERENCES!
-Having left Natickville we are bound to Normal Town to celebrate Mother’s Day in Lincoln in an actual sit-down restaurant

Hungry Mother said...

Steaming pile of trivia today. The theme was OK, but all the names were nauseating. I guessed wAlT for the unknown actor from a show that I watched every episode of.

Lucina said...



Yowza! Gary Larson really knows how to dish it out! His grid was not difficult, but what a slog, redeemed by the amusing puns!

I almost ATE CROW but finished except for DIDO/MOTT. Yes, I have been to China Town but don't recall MOTT Street. I barely recall being there it was so long ago. What is fascinating is seeing all the knock-off goods being sold. Anything can be found, from fake Rolex watches to fake brand name purses, etc.

MOTT could have been clued as apple sauce or juice. DIDO is unknown to me.

The top center and SW corner both gave me fits. LA BAMBA would have been easy if clued differently. I am not a Rolling Stones fan and had no idea they recorded it. It would have been a fitting tribute to his memory if Richie Valens' name had been mentioned.

Thank you, C.C., for showing his photo and name. He died so young and so tragically.

VAMOOSE is not only a COGNATE but a loose variant of VAMOS, or actually, vamonos, Spanish for "let's go."

My mother loved TABU perfume.

Again, I have to say I loved the puns!

I hope all mothers are celebrated and feted today. Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!

waseeley said...

Thank you Gary and thank you C.C. I think Rich might be upping his Sunday game, but I FIR with a little extra effort.

The theme on this one helped as I began to see magazines in the first couple of clues.

Lots of clever cluing:

1D TAPS was cleverly clued, as I was thinking LULLABY.

20A I got this on perps. I should have known that the Stones didn't write a round number of songs, much less 500 of them!

61A ASH will be making an appearance in this coming Thursday puzzle, but in a completely different context.

93A EGG gave away the game at 93D. "Pond dweller" was the end of the NEWT/EFT clue/answer flip flop!


58D PANEM & 58A MATT was a near NATICK, but SWAGGED "M" at the cross.

16D Clever clue. CHAD and JEREMY was part of the British Invasion force of the 60's/70's. Maybe best known for their first hit "A Summer Song"

43D We used to POLICE our barracks in scout summer camp. "KP" duty is handled by KITCHEN POLICE.

62D Had to wait for perps on the end if MINERal, which is odd because I've been interested in this "category" since age 8.

112D ATOM - well "DOH", obvious but I was PINHEADED before I got it. This held me up from getting ODIN - I always associate VALHALLA with Wagner's "Ring Cycle" and its ZinnGott (TIN GOD) WOTAN.

Liked OTT/ORR.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers on the Corner! We're headed to my son's to fete Dw and D.I.L. with the grand kids. CU all later.


Bob Lee said...

NE and SE were my last fills, but I got everything eventually.

Night vis-a-vis Nacht-> ENGLISH! Oops, that was wrong. Eventually got COGNATE from dim memory.

I didn't know La Bamba was a Rolling Stones song! I only know the Los Lobos version.

Never heard of SIA or DIDO but got them with crosses.

Yeah, ELLE FANNING was not my favorite.

Big Easy said...

This UN PC guy ATE CROW when trying to FIW today. Too many unknowns that I couldn't get through perps- PANEM, MATT, MOTT, DIDO- and the NE. Don't know the meaning of COGNATE, wasn't thinking of CHAD the country, and by my whipped cream serving was a DAB, not a GOB. I got NED and GRAVES through perps. SHAPE and PARENTS magazines are ones I'd never heard before.

If the Stones sang LA BAMBA, I'd never heard it.
AOL & Yahoo- Verizon just got rid of them last week.

FLN- It seems most of us were unfamiliar with GOAT RODEO.

Malodorous Manatee said...

I tried to start in the NW as usual but, as seems to happen to me too often to be a coincidence, made little headway there. Moved to the NE and then solved clockwise from there with a bit of crunch at the Czuchry/Hunger games (for me) Natick. Swagged that. LA BAMBA and ATE CROW opened up the entire NW and then this ding dong finally got the "bell ringers" reference.

Becky said...

You guys, Rolling Stone is a rock magazine. I don't know if it is published any more.


Malodorous Manatee said...

Cover Of The Rolling Stone - Dr. Hook

Misty said...

Bit of a Sunday toughie for me, but still fun--thanks, Gary. C.C., your pictures are always a delight.

Got off to a good start in the top northwest corner with ROOFTOP next to Laura INGALLS. Remember her role well.

I liked seeing lots of other neat women in the puzzle, like Barbra Streisand in YENTL, and Michelle OBAMA, and GLENDA and, of course, ELLA, who's become a crossword regular these days. Fun to get both ORR and OTT.

Have a wonderful Mother's Day, everybody!

TokenCreek said...

Finished with 3 bad squares. But that's ok by me. Many erasures and WAGs but got all the theme clues right. I have to print Sundays LAT as our paper has the 2-week-old NYT. Only use M-301 Zebra mechanical pencil. This one would have been a big mess otherwise. Heard many a TAPS played back then. Also many POLICE calls. -T FLN : Another abbr. on my (short) list is SOSDD. :^)

Sewsweet said...

I think Rolling Stones may refer to the magazine, not the rock group.

Anon said...

Enjoyable puzzle. My least favorite cluing are inane question clues but I thought today’s question clues were mostly pretty clever.

desper-otto said...

Toke, I was going to send you an email, but you haven't included an address in your profile. Why don't you email me your address.

Emile O'Touri said...

I gave up.This was a beating consisting of obscure proper names and oh-too-cute cluing.I just don’t have anything good to say about this mess.TV Guide material.
Too bad Gary needed to rely on some cheap stuff to increase the difficulty of his gimmick.

A. Aajma said...

Fresh out of high school in 1976, with money earned from driving a school bus (Teenagers drove North Carolina school buses then and had a better safety record than adult drivers now.), I ate at a Chinese restaurant on Mott Street in New York's Chinatown several times, because lunches were cheap and hot tea was free. It had roast duck in the window and several steps down from the sidewalk to enter. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History let you in for a dollar contribution if that was all you could afford.

TokenCreek said...


ATLGranny said...

Thanks, Gary, for the challenging puzzle. I didn't catch the tense on "consumes" and put HAd, thinking ERAdED was OK (a combination of eroded and abraded?) So FIW for me today.

You nearly got me in a few other places as well but I guessed right. Like other solvers I didn't know DIDO and MOTT but based on Mott being a last name used in the brand for applesauce I gave it a try. Also had forgotten PANEM and didn't know the actor Czuchry but MATT seemed most likely.

In general found the theme was helpful to advance the fill and realized Rolling Stone referred to the magazine, not the band, just in time to get LA BAMBA. Not an "issue" for me. Thanks, C.C. for explaining the interesting fill. I'll start fresh tomorrow with better proofreading and paying attention to inklings that something isn't quite right! Hope you all are doing well today.

CanadianEh! said...

Sunday Stumper. Thanks for the fun, Gary and C.C.
Like d’o, I started strong and finished weak.
But I did see the magazine themers. I wanted STALL Fortune but realized it was a money magazine, and finally parsed FOR TIME.
I had the same Naticks as others with DIDO and MOTT, PANEM and MATT.

This Canadian can never remember REI, and I did not know NOAA. I held my nose and entered LITER. Canadian cars know they have engines and gas measured in Litres😁
I have never heard POLICED meaning neatened😮

Happy Mother’s Day.
Only virtual visits here as we are still in lockdown😢. Third Skype/FaceTime visit coming up.

Lucina said...

Oh, happy day! Our church was filled to almost near capacity today and that gladdened my heart! It has been so long since we had a crowd. My "pew friends" were there and I was happy to see them. Hugs were encouraged, too.

Later today my daughter and her family will be here.

I hope all of you are able to enjoy your family today.

NaomiZ said...

Gary, I thought it was great, and C.C., I enjoyed revisiting the puzzle with you! Actors, singers, and authors often elude me, but I was able to FIR thanks to perps, so no complaints about Naticks from me. A few items were a stretch -- care for a GOB of whipped cream with that? -- but all is fair in the crossword puzzle at the end of the week.

Happy Mother's Day! We are unmasked because we're vaxxed. Peace out!

CrossEyedDave said...

Forced Issues?

Jayce said...

Much of the difficulty I had solving this puzzle was self-inflicted. I made several typos that I didn't want to take the time and effort to search out. So I did a "Check Grid" to find the erroneous letters. That also revealed where I got the M wrong in the PANEM/MATT Czuchry crossing, which was not a typo, just an incorrect WAG. So DNF.

Many years ago when we were visiting my wife's sister and her family in New York City they took us to Chinatown and we had some superbly delicious food. I never learned the names of any of the streets.

Good Mother's Day wishes!

Wilbur Charles said...

Fln, L, Rex used the obscurity(to him) of the town (Natick) to name the genre. Ironically, Doug Flutie came from the there.

Two xword greats, ORR and OTT

I had the unknown Czuchry with _ ATT. And I had to get fancy with PANEb/BATT. One box Wilbur FIW again

Girders didn't cut it. Big blotch there. Lots of them. Was it me or Gary?

Both are grandsons of Ray(Ike) Boone*. Does Boomer have Ray's card?

SIA and DIDO were WAGS

Thanks CC2, I couldn't grok ASH, especially singular

And DIDO clued as Phonaecian god(or Carthage)

Thanks MaloMan, Ding dong, AVON calling.

Misty it was the other Ella, ETTA

C-eh, that's standard military terminology eg POLICING the barracks

Even with ORCAS and OBAMA that section was a MESS.. ATMs cleaned it. And…
I just couldn't think of VITO(Corleone)


*There's a 4th generation Boone in the minor leagues

Unknown said...

Tossed this slug after four hours of angst and only 1/4 filled. What a bunch of garbage. Too many archane names and words. I'm going to be late for my Mother's Day dinner because of this silliness.Typical Larson entry!

waseeley said...

MM @12:16pm. Love it! When you think about it it's highly unlikely that the Stones would have an even number of songs and that they could crank out 500 of them

waseeley said...

WC @4:50pm The Queen of Carthage who lost her heart to Aeneas.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. 44% PPP.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thanks, Gary, for a fun theme altho I was groaning over several areas of the fill before I red-lettered them in. No thanks for that.

Thank you C.C. for another explanatory masterpiece.

ELLE FANNING: apparently no one is aware that this is actually the name of a young actress. She was born April 9, 1998 and has appeared in several films. She is the younger sister of actress Dakota Fanning. I knew of her which helped me with the magazine pun. Surprised me by being right.

Quiet mother's day. I was so sick Saturday I had to tell my elder son & family not to come to see me. Didn't even feel well enough to sit upright or work on the computer or do the puzzle. My daughter showed up this afternoon with a lovely plant & visited me awhile. I felt a bit better this evening so did the puzzle then took a nap. Had two nights of loud growling thunder for hours and hard rain last night. Contributed to my ill health, I'm sure.

When he phoned today, I thanked my younger son for turning out so well. He was surprised and thanked me for "helping him along the way". Mother's can do just so much -- then the kid has to decide if he'll utilize the mother's teachings and become a productive citizen. I'm thrilled mine did.

Lucina said...

I'm sorry to hear that you were unwell but how lovely that your children thought of you with a gift and a call. You did well with them obviously.

My family, daughter, sil, one granddaughter came and also brought me a plant which I had requested to replace one that had died. It was a very nice afternoon.

PK said...

Lucina, glad you had a nice Mom's day. Our offspring can be such a blessing in old age.