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Jun 4, 2021

Friday, June 4, 2021, Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel

  Title: Where is the theme hiding?

For all the "new" people to the blog you are in for a real treat. Don "HARD G" Gagliardo was the magical mentor who opened Zhouqin's eyes to her skill as a wordsmith even though she is still not comfortable speaking English in public. But she creates wonderful, exquisite puzzles using many forms of knowledge from personal to arcane. Today's theme is...? After 11+ years I seldom hesitate in my recognition of a theme, but today I needed to use my "phone a friend" options to pinpoint and confirm what was going on. It was like having a thought on the tip of your tongue...


16A. Big house, hot water: BIG, HOUSE CATS,  AND HOT, WATER DOGS (11). I liked big, house cats, and hot dogs but water dogs rang hollow; but then.

32A. Abstract concept, space needle: ABSTRACT, CONCEPT ARTS,  AND SPACE, NEEDLE CRAFTS (13). This sounded better even if I do not know concept art.

37A. Wee one, parlor game: WEE, ONE BITS , AND PARLOR, GAME PIECES (13).  one bits seems bad and parlor pieces...

59A. Pepper jack, gold dust: PEPPER, JACK POTS.  AND  GOLD, DUST PANS (11). This group also seeemed inconsistent but I am ready to get to the rest. Thank you for all you help

I am now off tothe races

Across:

1. Boxing legend Pacquiao: MANNY. He has held 8 world boxing titles and is still fighting at 42.


6. RxList selection: DRUG. So Don "HARD G" and C.C. are easing us into the solve.

10. Dad __: BOD. I knew it was going to be all right when I plunked this in immediately.

13. Roman playwright who advised Nero: SENECA. I told you guys all those years of Latin helped.  When Nero became emperor in 54, Seneca became his advisor and, together with the praetorian prefect Sextus Afranius Burrus, provided competent government for the first five years of Nero's reign. Seneca's influence over Nero declined with time, and in 65 Seneca was forced to take his own life for alleged complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy to assassinate Nero, in which he was likely to have been innocent. Per wiki.

14. Traveler's need, perhaps: VISA. The passport kind not the credit card.

15. Dr. Cornelius, in a sci-fi film series: APE. One of my favorites.

18. "I like that!": YUM. Is it Onomotopoeia or from the Sanskrit YUM? The word has been in dictionaries since the late 1800s.

19. Recording session rarity: ONE TAKE. That depends on the budget and the Producer.

20. "__ 13": APOLLO. The ill fated flight and the MOVIE

22. Swimming aids: FINS. I never found them easy to use.

23. TV forensics letters: CSI. Crime Scene Investigations. There is a revival coming for the fall 2021 SEASON.

26. Wintry mix: SLEET. A popular fill. 

27. Mushy ground: FEN.  FENway Park, which was named by then Red Sox owner John I. Taylor who claimed the name Fenway Park came from its location in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, which was partially created late in the nineteenth century by filling in marshland or "fens."

28. Los Angeles birthplace of astronaut Sally Ride: ENCINO. No way I knew this trivia but perps to the rescue.

31. Scandinavian demonym: DANE. One from Denmark, as it is the name used for the people who live in a particular country, state, or other locality. For example, demonyms for the residents of Michigan are Michigander and Michiganian but not Michiggenuh.

35. Even one: ANY. Literal.

36. Game for an "it" girl?: TAG. Very cute, not relating to the showbiz it girls, just the kids game.

44. "This looks like trouble": UH OH. There is no known origin story.

45. Shire equivalent: COUNTY. Shire in England and Hobbitland.

46. Letters before an alias: AKA. Also known as.

49. Acidic, in Germany: SAUER. Kraut became a popular insult to Germans in WWI.

51. "Snowpiercer" channel: TNT. I knew nothing of the book, movie or SERIES but three letter channels are limited.

52. Just: EVEN. Meh, I think it needs even-handed.

53. Many a news team: TV CREW.

55. Clothing: RAIMENT. c. 1400, "clothes, an article of clothing, vesture" (archaic), shortening of arayment "clothing" (late 14c.), from Anglo-French araiement, from Old French areement, from areer "to array" (see array (v.)).

58. Grassy stretch: LEA. Popular in GB.

62. Augsburg article: EIN. Another German reference.

63. Lake fed by the Detroit River: ERIE. Oh goody, another was to clue the Lake.

64. London-based tea giant: TETLEY. A fascinating history of tea and the COMPANY.

65. City grid nos.: STS.

66. Mardi Gras follower: LENT. This year it began on February 17(Ash Wednesday) and ended on April 3, the day before Easter.

67. "Siegfried __": Wagner symphonic poem: IDYLL. A romantic STORY.

Down:

1. Nasty sort: MEANIE. Not George

2. Radio interface: ANTENNA. Interface? 

3. Cardinals' homes: NESTS. I thought they came from St. Louis.

4. Sports org. that evolved from one created under Teddy Roosevelt: NCAA. The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS), now known as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), was formally established on March 31, 1906 to reform the rules and regulations of college sports. Early football games often resulted in injury and even death, prompting some colleges and universities to close their football programs. The reforms were encouraged by President Roosevelt in 1905, after his son was injured while playing football for Harvard.

5. Pull hard: YANK. Don't go there.

6. Data storage device: DVDDigital Video Discs are obsolete I am told.

7. Kia subcompact: RIO

8. Golf rules org.: USGA. More organizations.

9. Expresses shock: GASPS. I wasn't so I did not.

10. Herb from the laurel tree: BAYLEAF. Be careful which Laurel Tree. LINK.  We always had Mountain Laurels in our yard- no no! The use of the leaves as a spice goes back to Roman Days where it was treasured and part of an...

11. Lavish: OPULENT. Lifestyle.

12. Downgrades: DEMOTES. Start with your basic PROMOTE and add "DE" take away "PRO." 

13. Sneeze (at): SCOFF. mid-14c., "jest, make light of something;" mid-15c., "make fun of, mock," from the noun meaning "contemptuous ridicule" (c. 1300), from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse skaup, skop "mockery, ridicule."

17. U.S. record label since 1934: DECCA. Quite a history. LINK.

21. Gerontology focus: OLD AGE. Gerontology is multidisciplinary and is concerned with physical, mental, and social aspects and implications of aging. Geriatrics is a medical specialty focused on care and treatment of older persons.

24. Original __: SIN. Did anyone else watch this                      year's  LUCIFER episodes?

25. Unaffiliated: Abbr.: INDependent.

28. Mediterranean tourist site: ETNA. Why go to an active volcano?

29. "It's Gonna Be Me" band: NSYNC.

30. Mendelssohn's Opus 20, e.g.: OCTET.

33. Bacon portion: RASHER.

34. Suggestive: RACY

37. Is astir with activity: BUSTLES. "be active in a noisy and agitated way," 1570s (bustling "noisy or excited activity" is from early 15c.), of uncertain origin, or "padding in the upper back part of a skirt," 1788. 


38. "Aha!": I HAVE IT.

39. Large-billed birds: TOUCANS. They carry around Benjamins?

40. URL component: DOT. How cute, the little period.

41. Carlin's "Atheism is a non-prophet institution," e.g.: PUN.

42. Prefix with dermal: INTRA.

43. Backup command: SAVE ALL.

47. Vacation rental?: KENNEL. Board the pets while you go frolic.

48. Pumped: ANTSY. In the pantsy.

50. Ward off: REPEL. So if you want the guy across the bar to pay attention you would PEL him?

52. Recycled item: EMPTY. You are supposed to empty them, but do you wash them?

54. Sported: WORE. Kim Kardashian sported the 7 carat ring.

56. Pro fighter: ANTI. Not a boxer just and ideologic opponent.

57. Pointed at, say: ID ED. Yeah, he did it!

60. Mint container: TIN. Altoid anyone.

61. Math group: SET. Like my algebra teacher has a nice set?


Golly, all over already and I did get to say what I wanted. Great puzzle and fun wriing

See ya Lemon out

I wish I had OKL's chart when I was solving but I did have the help from my unnamed friends. Happy Friday

60 comments:

OwenKL said...

CATS AND DOGS big house, hot water
⊞ Big cat (lion or tiger)
⊞ House cat
⊞ Hot dog ๐ŸŒญ
⊞ Water dog (efts or retriever)
ARTS AND CRAFTS abstract concept, space needle
⊞ Abstract art
⊞ Concept art (storyboards)
⊞ Space craft
⊞ Needle craft
BITS AND PIECES wee one, parlor game
⊞ Wee bit
⊞ One bit (12½¢)
⊞ Parlor pieces (furniture)
⊞ Game pieces (e.g. chess pieces)
POTS AND PANS pepper jack, gold dust
⊞ Pepper pot (soup also Pepper Potts, Iron Man's secretary/love interest)
⊞ Jackpot
⊞ Gold pan (for prospecting)
⊞ Dust pan (for sweeping)

Man, that was a difficult theme to parse! I finally got it, but only by writing out the phrases followed by the clues!
Good thing I do this with pixels rather than pens. 13d SNEER < SNARF < SNIFF < SCOFF. MEDS < DRUG. VISA in, VISA out, VISA back in. AAH < YUM. ICE TAPE < ONE TAKE. ALLAY < REPEL. EAGER < ANTSY. PELICANS (too long) < TOUCANS, STRIP (too short) < RASHER.

OwenKL said...

SENECA, the philosopher, Stoic,
Wrote tragedies, mostly historic.
Of his work entire,
Only one satire,
Which caused the emperor to go, "Oh, ick!"

(Factoid, Seneca was ordered to commit suicide by 3 emperors -- Caligula, Claudius, and Nero. The third time got him exasperated enough that he did it.)

A DAD BOD has easy upkeep.
Some RASHERS of bacon each week.
Exercise? UH-OH!
Strictly a no-no!
It's a physique to make strong women weep!

{A-, A-.}

Clive the Private Club Guy said...

I did not like this puzzle one not.

Hungry Mother said...

FIR without much fuss. Didn’t get the theme, but figured out how to answer the themers with common pairings.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Whoosh! That was the sound of the theme going over my head. Got 'er done, but didn't understand why. Tried AVERT before REPEL elbowed in; that was the only Wite-Out moment. Thanx, Don G and C.C. for a too clever offering. Lemonade, glad you were able to explain what was going on.

DANE COUNTY: Home of Madison, WI.

BAY LEAF: This is a hokey-pokey ingredient. You put it in, cook the dish, and then take it out.

Yellowrocks said...

FIR, I liked this very much as a Friday level themeless, except for the theme fill clues. I thought of common expressions with two plurals separated by AND.
Thanks, OKL, for your clever way of explaining the theme which I now understand and still do not care for, way too convoluted.
We wash our recycled empties here. Although the bins are emptied twice a day, we are asked to wash the empties to eliminate odors. Many here do not understand the recycling rules and so so not sort the recycled items properly.
I am off to do my grocery shopping now. My MIL used to call it storing, instead of shopping. That does make sense.

ATLGranny said...

FIR, I am proud to say and even got the theme. It wasn't easy and WOs were needed, but got 'er done. POTS AND PANS gave me a glimmer of the theme trick finally. OwenKL laid it all out well and explained water dogs, etc. Thanks. Thanks, C.C. and Don for this Friday challenge.

I jerked before YANKing, had Stalag before APOLLO, and fair before EVEN, but perps saved the day. Had trouble spelling RAIMENT, thinking there was another N in it. That's the way I was saying it: rainment. And a final lookover before reading Lemonade's excellent review (thanks!) caught two blank squares just in time. Whew! Filled them in correctly and done! A satisfying puzzle.

Hope you all have a satisfying day. I am still smiling at DO doing the hokey pokey with the BAY LEAF.

Wilbur Charles said...

I couldn't grok the themes. I thought of abstract ART…

I confidently inked SLUSH. That made things harder than they needed to be. As did nee/AKA

1952 HR king was Hank SAUER of the CUBs.

My bio of TR only took me to 1900 and assassination of McKinley.

SIN and SYN have gotten a lot of work in here

Duh, I didn't get the PUN part re. Prophet/profit

There was a connection between St Paul and Seneca. When the universal church took over after 325 much history was lost. Celtic , independent, Monks salvaged some..

WC


billocohoes said...

Never got the theme, but wasn't necessary to solve the themers.

SLush first, because SLEET is not a mix. It's rain that freezes before it on the way down, may be mixed with rain, or snow (forms in the clouds), or freezing rain (freezes when it hits the ground) but can also fall by itself. Don't expect to see any for at least five months.

Husker Gary said...

Musings
-PEPPER POT AND JACK POT were my theme rosetta stones on this brilliant puzzle.
-Carey Guffey played the abducted boy in Close Encounters and became known as “ONE TAKE Carey”
-Triskaidekaphobia? APOLLO 13 took off at 13:13 Houston time. NASA renumbered Shuttle flights as STS-13 was renamed STS-41C. The crew of that mission adopted this patch anyway
-The Boston Tea Party predated The TETLEY Tea Company by 64 years so none of their tea was thrown into Boston Harbor
-The NCAA tries to maintain the charade of “amateurism” of big time college athletics
-No KENNEL for Lily next week when we go to Branson. Granddaughter will get $100/day to stay with her.

Lucina said...

Hola!

MANNY was my last fill and a pure guess. Since the death of my DH who was an avid boxing fan, I no longer watch it.

Starting at the bottom and sliding upwards worked for me. POTS AND PANS, BITS AND PIECES set the theme though I didn't connect them with the clues. Way too esoteric!

DVDs may be obsolete but I have a large collection and a player so I still watch movies on them.

News to me that TR began the NCAA.

RAIMENT seems more like a biblical word which is where I've usually seen it.

CSO to Spitz at SAUER. I only know it along with kraut.

CSI returning to TV? That is exciting news.

When friends from the UK came to visit they brought their own TETLEY tea with them.

Thank you, C.C. and Don G as well as Lemonade! This was not one of my favorite puzzles but I won't SCOFF at it.

Have a fabulous Friday, everyone! Loved your poems, Owen.

Spitzboov said...

Good morningeveryone.

Knew we were in for a treat when byline showed Hard'G' and C.C. Tough but fair. Had to start with the lower half and finish in the top corners. Fortunately got the 'hang' of the theme and was able to prefill some AND's and the S's. Got it all without aid. FIR.
SAUER - Sour in English. Oxygen is SAUERstoff probably because many acids contain oxygen.
OLD AGE - You know you're getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It's like, 'See if you can blow this out.'
Jerry Seinfeld

Malodorous Manatee said...

The Shortyz app is, once again, publishing current LAT puzzles so I was able to tackle this one yesterday. FIR but had to wait for Lemonade to explain the theme which, as with others here, wooshed over my head. It did trigger this thought, however, as it sailed on by:


Bits And Pieces

Vidwan827 said...


Thank you Don G and C.C. for a challenging puzzle. After POTS AND PANS, I figured out the combination, irrespective of the clues.
We have plenty of water dogs in our 'hood, ... Labs, NewFoundland's. and the Portugese water dogs, the Obama dog type and the exotic Labra-doodles.

Thank you Lemonade, for your introspective review. Always a delight !

Re: our ubiquitous Lake Erie, I am happy to report has totally melted, and is at your service, .... at the fishing piers, both Anglers and Anglees have been duly vaxxed, twice over, so we are good to go. So, the fish consumers and consumees, are hard at work, er, play, doing their thing. Now, if only the rain would stop.

Michiganders ?, I have always felt that this is somewhat sexist, why can't we call them Michigooses, or Michi-gooseys.? Hi JazzB.

I have heard of Seneca, the Amer-Inds, Iroquois, who discovered the largest Finger Lake, NYS, in Ray-o-Sunshine's neck-of-the-woods, and the Seneca village that was downgraded to become, Central Park, NYC, but now i find two of them were also playwrights.... hmm

Scandinavian Demonym ? I didn't know the Norse had demons, with names, yet ..... I pencilled in Loki .... or that the innocent looking blue eyed Danes had evil in thier hearts, all along. CWs can be soo useful... ;-)


Finally, a Culinary Tip : If you feel you need a Bay Leaf in cooking, consider using the indian Bay Leaf, Cinnamomum tamala, or Malabathrum. which is cheaper, stronger flavor, and much more pleasant smelling. . About $ 2.99 for a 5 oz. bag, good for 5 years. The world's oldest export commodity.

Have a nice day, all.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

What a pleasant surprise to see this friendly duo once again. I did this puzzle last night, went to bed clueless about the theme, revisited it this morning and remained clueless until I read Lemony’s expo. I don’t think I’ve ever done a puzzle with this gimmick, but after having it explained, I can appreciate the difficulty and skill required to construct it. Some of the themers worked better than others, IMO, but they were all strong, in the language phrases.

The SW corner was the toughest because Bustles, Toucans, and Sauer were slow in coming, although Sauer should have been easy to suss.
Other than that area, the solve was smooth. I liked Manny crossing Meanie, Fins over Fen, and the Tin/Fin(s) duo. CSO to Tin, again, and a partial CSO to Hahtoolah at yum(mers). We also had a mini critter theme with Ape, Cats, Dogs, Fins, Nests, Toucans, Kennel, and Ant(sy). Learning moment, for me, was Tetley being a London based company. I’m not a tea drinker.

HG @ 8:45 ~ You are a very generous Granddad. Of course, Darling Lily is worth it! Have a great time in Branson.

Lucina @ 8:48 ~ I think the obsolete DVD comment referred to using them for data storage. I, too, have a DVD player which I use for my Netflix current movies. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is on my den’s end table as I write this.

Have a great day.

Bob Lee said...

Wow, I found that incredibly difficult.

As a boxing fan, Manny Pacquiao was one of my favorites and an easy start. (It's Triple-G now)
So I had CATSAND so figured had to be DOGS. I kept thinking I must be missing something as the clue made no sense to me. Would it be DAWG maybe? Nope.

So I had the top filled in and then I was mostly stumped except for a bunch of tentative fills and a few definites. So anywhere I had an 'N' in the middle of the long answer I guessed plural-and-plural. Pure wild-ass guesses filled them in correctly and so I managed the whole grid.

Loved: Dad: BOD and 'it' girl: TAG (although I flirted with BOW as in Clara Bow the original 'it' girl)

TOUCAN made me think of Froot Loops cereal!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this refreshing, "tough enough for Friday" puzzle mainly because very few complete unknowns unlike say Sunday with an unknown every time you turned around, figuratively speaking. For me, only Kia compact and the Wagner "whatever" were news to me. Very fun.

TokenCreek said...

Quite a puzzle. Thanx C C and Hard G for a grumbling-all-the-way slog. "Theme" answers meant zero, zip, nada to me and are still a bit hazy. Satisfying FIR but man oh man took a lot out of TC's brain. Could not believe it actually finished it.

waseeley said...

Thank you Don G and C.C. Really enjoyed this puzzle and FIR. I picked up on the theme PATTERN ("X's AND Y'S") which turned out to be helpful, but was CLUELESS on the meanings of the CLUES until Lemony highlighted the adjectives, and even then I'm not completely clear on the concept.

Nevertheless I found lots of really interesting FILL to play with. The last to fall was DAD BOD, perhaps because I haven't looked in a mirror lately at the cumulative effects of my pandemic diet.

Took me a while to untangled North Central, with DVD in then out, DOSE in, replaced by DRUG, DVD back in, but still didn't know what to do with the V. The VISA I ended up with was the CC in my mind, even though I see that C.C. was thinking of her initial ticket to the US. A VISA for which we're all thankful!

16A While I LIKE CATS, I LOVE DOGS and still have fond memories of NEPTUNE and JUPITER, the two spacey LABS who lavished their affections on us for 15 years.

32A I liked ARTS and CRAFTS, the former as an ardent admirer and the latter as a practitioner of CERAMICS since 1972.

37A Made a career of shuffling BITS around CPU address spaces for 37 years, sometimes driving my mind to PIECES.

59A Made quite a few POTS, but no PANS, as stoneware is not flame resistant.

67A The Siegfried Idyll is probably WAGNER's most accessible piece of music. This short chamber work, melodic and crystalline, was a birthday present for his wife COSIMA to celebrate the birth of their son Siegfried, the namesake of the hero in Wagner's great operatic tetralogy "Das Nibelungenlied". Imagine being awakened on Christmas morning to a chamber orchestra at the foot of your grand staircase playing this beautiful piece of music

10D BAY LEAF. Mountain Laurel is currently abloom in Maryland with its beautiful clusters of tiny white flowers. A grove of it grows in the SHIRE, an IDYLLIC area near the reservoir adjacent to my son's home. Their family calls it that after the COUNTY of the HOBBITS in the LOTH. I wonder if HOBBITS ever tried using dried Bay Leaf as PIPEWEED?

30D Felix was 15 when he wrote this piece. It was a new art form, a double string quartet (4 violins, 2 violas, and 2 cellos). When it was published the world awoke to a young new voice in music.

41D Cruciverbalists are all CARLINS at heart, although we keep our PUNS clean, or at most RACY. See Lemony's 61D.

Cheers,
Bill

p.s. to OwenKL: thanks for completely cluing me in on the themers.

{A, A+}

waseeley said...

D-O @6:43 AM You have to remember to "shake it all about" or it doesn't work.

NaomiZ said...

It was hard to get a toe hold this morning, and then went quickly. I enjoyed the challenge and FIR, but unfortunately could not grasp the theme until OwenKL broke it down. Not sure whether to suggest the theme clues give better hints, or just be glad I finished! Without all of you fine folks, it would certainly have been less satisfying. Thanks, Don G., C.C., AND Lemonade!

waseeley said...

Wilbur Charles @8:20 AM I think the connection between St. Paul and Seneca is explored in Paul: A Novel by Walter Wangerin. Each chapter describes St. Paul as seen through the eyes of a different contemporary. Pretty sure that SENECA was one of them.

Mark S said...

52A...how is just....even?

Mark S

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I solved the entire puzzle without getting the theme.

Big Easy said...

I'm glad somebody knew what this puzzle was about because I certainly didn't. It was a easy fill for a Friday. After CATS, ARTS, BITS, & POTS were in place the rest of the fills were easy guesses but they were just that- guesses.

I got DANE for the Scandinavian 'demonym' but I had no idea what a demonym was.
I wanted GARMENT for 'clothing' but the perps wouldn't allow it. RAIMENT is a new word for me. Wagner's IDYLL just worked itself onto the grid- unknown.

Hard G, ZB (CC), & Lemon- this is Soft G signing out.

Acesaroundagain said...

Finished the puzzle with no problems. But the theme? Ugh. Too convoluted. Glad I could get an explanation. I'd have to phone someone too. heh

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thanks for a Friday challenge, Don & C.C. Bless you, Lemony, for the hard work you did in 'splainin'.

This puzzle took me 10 minutes longer to solve than the one yesterday. I could see no connection between the clues and the entries. Saw the ANDs and filled that in ahead of the rest. Finally perped & WAGd and got 'er done.

Got a rocky start when I DNK MANNY.

There are three big city trucks in front of my house finally fixing the curb-to-curb trench pothole that has been a hazard for at least five years. Originally it occurred when the water main crossing there had to be dug up and fixed. Hopefully this fix will last longer than earlier ones. We've had one guy running a little Bobcat doing the filling and three people (2 males & a female) sitting in the pickup running the AC. Occasionally they get out and perform a duty.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Even without the whole answer the word "and" was easy to insert. Puzzle was relatively EZ but spent forever head scratching the clues on either side of AND. (pepper jack and gold dust sound like street drugs). On "pins and needles" over the theme but "Holy Cats and Dogs Batman!" No way my atrophying cerebrum would have ever figured that out.๐Ÿ˜ณ

Oft used ERIE is a Great Lake, Vidwan: Seneca is the largest Finger Lake. Pro fighter: "Ali" too short.

Bacon portion? "haunch"?, "slab"?, Roger?, Kevin?....nope, RASHER, (sounds itchy)
Is there an "Ocean's 13" movie ?
"Acidic braten" doesn't sound too appetizing ๐Ÿ˜

Backup command, "SAVEALL?"
Scandinavian demonym figured "JohnSEN" (My elder daughter has a Great DANE named Penny; when she's angry with me my younger daughter calls me "MEANO"). That Salada tea in the London Tetley plant!

no Inkovers (nice for a Friday)

Many Victorian skirts.....BUSTLED
The original telephone....TOUCANS
Where castles keep crocodiles...DEMOTES

I worked with a well known local thoracic surgeon named Pat Ciaglia (great guy, RIP) pronounced "CHAL' yah" he would gag with a hard G when someone pronounced his name "Sy AG' lee ah"!

Finally a sunny warm (high 80's) weekend with no rain forecast and on vacation for a week.๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž

AnonymousPVX said...


Well, the good news for me is that I got the solve.

And no write-overs.

The bad news is….and I mean zero disrespect….but this was a theme that wasn’t a theme…very poor clueing IMHO, especially considering the Master Level authors.

What on earth made them think these themes made any sense whatsoever? You know it’s a tenuous reach when just about no one gets the themes…AFTER getting the solve. Wow.

FLN….OC4BEACH….glad that worked out, a weak capacitor will leave you high and dry. AND HOT!!!

UNCLEFRED….look into the SENTRICON system for termites. A bit pricey up front, but a solid termite bond for POM.

OL’ MAN KEITH….hahaha, nothing like beating the rush and getting the early start.

And actually, not feeling bad at all, plus slept like the proverbial log. Just a bit of hip soreness. Of course I lowered the weights from a year ago,I’m not an idiot or an egomaniac.

Anonymous said...

As to the theme, I was taking each word in the clue and applying each separately to the fill, for example, abstract art and concept art, then space craft and needle craft. Seemed a little more literate that way though don't know what the constructors intended.

Misty said...

Well, Fridays are toughies for me, but thanks all the same, Don and C.C. And helpful commentary, Lemonade.

My German helped with the SAUER-kraut. And my Catholic background helped with LENT.
Nice to see ERIE in a puzzle again--turns up a lot these days. And, Irish Miss, thanks for pointing out all the mini-critters in the puzzle.

Have a good weekend coming up, everybody.

unclefred said...

APVX @12:11 Thanx, I will look into it. Right now I’m still struggling with getting Hulett to finish the job so I can start the rebuild.

Wendybird said...

Waseeley - thanks for always treating us to lovely music. You are educating me!

Like others, I finally finished the puzzle after much whining, but I had no idea what the theme answers meant. Even after Lemonade’s explanation I had a Teri Garr perplexed frown on my face. Still, thanks C.C. And Don for a real workout.

unclefred said...

FIR in 30 with, as many others said, not a hint as to the theme. It made no sense to me. I had to not just read but study and deconstruct Lemonade’s explanation. I agree with many others that the theme was too complicated. Even now, looking at the completed CW, I can read the theme clues and the fills and really struggle to put them together, even knowing the “solve”. Also did not know what “demonym” was. Thought it must have something to do with a demon. All perps. When there were three names called for in the first 6 across clues, I thought. “Oh no!! Not AGAIN! A CW full of names!!” but there weren’t really all that many, just the three all clumped at the beginning. (Whew!) Dopey me put in NCCA instead of NCAA (DOH!!) which buggered-up CATScNDDOGS until I had the forehead-slap. With MarkS @11:11 I don’t get “EVEN” for “Just”. Lemonade’s “even handed” seems like a far reach. Thanx for the excellent write-up, Lemonade!

Husker Gary said...

Musings
-Irish, We are not really that generous. Emma is a 24-yr-old professional but can work from her home or ours. We had a big hand in raising her and she remembers that plus Joann would leave Lily with someone she doesn’t know.
-PK, I’ll bet you that road repair crew does not work for a “for profit” organization.

JB2 said...

FIR but no fun. I have to ask is it really a theme if no one gets it? Surprised this got published as is.

Ol' Man Keith said...

The easiest Friday PZL in memory.

SENECA was an easy fill, a gimme for any student of Drama. He was known more for his stoic philosophy than for his plays. He did write several Latinized versions of the Greek tragedies. None of them are considered playable today, and it is highly questionable whether they were ever actually staged.

The leading theory (mine, anyway) is that he wrote plays with long monologs in order to get his pupil Nero, an amateur actor, to learn his lessons. There are long solo speeches on such themes as geography, astrology, etc. --quite dull, but perfectly concise data blocks for Nero to absorb.
~ OMK

CanadianEh! said...

Flummoxing Friday. Thanks for the fun, Don and C.C., and Lemonade.
Hand up for not seeing the theme- thanks OwenKL.
But I FIRed with a few inkblots. North- central was the last to fall. I was looking for something more exotic than DRUG (but I’ll take a CSO), thinking there was some American health insurance term needed.
Compounding the problem (there is a PUN here๐Ÿ˜), was my entry of USB (thinking of a storage drive). DH gave me RIO which opened up the area for the solve.

I had Elders before OLD AGE. Gerontology includes DRUGs, since many may be inappropriate in the elderly or require dosage adjustment. I spent much of my latter career checking Creatine Clearance (kidney function measure), and adapting orders under protocol for elderly chronic care patients.

I smiled at the “vacation rental” KENNEL for those CATS AND DOGS.
TAG for the “it” girl brought a smile also.
Hand up for not knowing the meaning of demonym.

Those Cardinals are in NESTS, not St. Louis๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜Š. FLN AnonT- yes Houston is playing the Blue Jays today, but not in Toronto. We are still in lockdown and the border is not open. The game is in Buffalo๐Ÿ˜ฎ and can only watch on TV๐Ÿ˜’

Wishing you all a great day.

Emile O'Touri said...

I do not understand why anyone would want to solve a puzzle that needs an explainer at the end so you can appreciate just how great it is and just how much you really should have enjoyed solving it.I think this is one of those days where the puzzle is probably actually good, but just not for me.This one is so caught up in its own imagined cleverness that it never really becomes an enjoyable puzzle.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

I didn't understand the theme at all; not sure I do now...
(I see I'm in good company at The Corner)
But, the --- AND --- phrases were easy to parse so...
A bit of arcane knowledge helped; I knew ENCINO & DECCA
Still, it took four "step aways & come backs" to complete.

Thanks Don "Hard G" and C.C. for the puzzle. Thanks Lem for trying to explain the theme :-)

WOs: Tugs -> YANK, IDYLs
ESPs: RAIMENT & RASHER(?) for two...
Fav: Liked seeing Dr. Cornelius, I did. Carlin's quote was phun too.

Nit: SAVE ALL? On what OS or which program? (I Googled - Minecraft(?))
//dd, tar, xcopy, and 'SAVE As' were too short - and ufsdump is just not friendly to non-techs.

{A, B+}

MarkS. Just == EVEN under the law(?)

LOL TwoCans, Ray-O

WC - I love that STS-13/41c patch! However, I don't recall seeing it on the wall at JSC's cafeteria (they had all the patches boarding the wall).

Vidwan - I will seek out the Indian Bay leaf; there's a market next door to the best Indian food in Sugar Land (or, IMHO, Houston).

C, Eh! - Really? Buffalo... Our first priority for extra vaccines (that our citizens are refusing?!?) should go to Canada so we can play ball properly.

A traveler to the EU needs a VISA 'cuz American Express is not oft accepted. Ask me how I know :-)

Cheers, -T

Malodorous Manatee said...

Two cans. . . and a Visa. This place is always good for a laugh, or two, or more.๐Ÿ˜„

Anonymous T said...

Typo boy say...

WC & HG - apologies to both yous; I MEANT HG re: the STS-13's CREW's Black CAT patch.

C, -T

jfromvt said...

I filled in the answers to the long clues, but only kinda, sorta figured out the theme. Not obvious. But overall a perfectly fine puzzle.

JJM said...

If I hadn't gotten 13A-- SENECA immediately my AP Latin teacher from HS would have jumped out of his grave and and given me the paddle (Jesuits...what can I say). We spent an entire semester studying one Roman playwright.... you guessed it SENECA

Webersky said...

I’m a daily solver of the LATimes yet completely unaware of whatever this site is.
After solving today’s puzzle without understanding the theme. I saw the “and”s which was enough to look for familiar phrases but otherwise flummoxed. I wrote out the four clues and solutions before catching on.
So for the first time in many years of solving (not always successfully) I wanted to thank and praise the creators.
I love great themes and today’s was a corker. So much fun.
Anyway, I’ll be back - so many great comments.

Lemonade714 said...

Webersky, welcome to our world. We are group of crossword lovers from all walks of life and all skill levels, but try to concentrate on having fun and learning. The discussion can be a bit intense at times. I started solving puzzles sitting the bed when my parents would do the Sunday NYTimes. That was 65 or so years ago. We look forward to your additions

TTP said...



Webersky, welcome.

I too thought it was an excellent crossword today. Took a little over 19 minutes to correctly solve it, and then took about 10 minutes to figure out why the theme answers worked with the clues. I think my AHA moment at figuring out the theme was more satisfying than the solve itself. Not saying there wasn't any challenge in the solve, because there was. But the enigma of the theme was what made this crossword puzzle so much better.

If you aren't familiar with this blog, and are using a phone (60% of this blog's audience use a phone to access it) then scroll down to the bottom of the comments and press the "View web version" button. You'll get a real good idea of what this blog is all about including a short overview, the list of Contributors (daily bloggers), links to interviews with many crossword constructors, links to other crossword sites, and more, such as 13 years of reviews and comments in the Archives. Have fun exploring !

Lemonade714 said...

P.S. the constructor C.C. Burnikel is the founder of this site and an incredible inspiration to all. You can read about her online.

Malodorous Manatee said...

Welcome to the asylum, WEBERSKY. You will find the inmates to be friendly and playful while also being, of course, opinionated.

OwenKL said...

Demonyms -- It's sort of an antonym to eponym. instead of a place named for a person, it's what the people of a place are named. Related terms demographics, democracy. It's often included in Wikipedia articles on geographic locations. For example:
Demonym(s)
Michigander, Michiganian, Yooper (for residents of the Upper Peninsula)

Tony -- SAVE ALL is a menu choice on my word-processor, Notepad++. BTW, much thanks for the info on IKO,IKO a couple days ago. Exemplary searching technique to find those!

Jayce said...

I didn't get the theme either, but it didn't matter; the process of solving this puzzle was pleasurable enough. Hand up for LOKI before DANE, which shows I had forgotten the meaning of demonym (I had once known it). Also, hand up for STALAG before APOLLO until (1) the perps didn't like it and (2) I remembered it was Stalag 17, not 13. If I had three hands I'd raise it, too, for putting in SLUSH before SLEET, which it had to be because of that BAY LEAF. Technical DNF because I had to look up Dr. Cornelius, whom I remember, now. One heck of a good puzzle.

There is a small microcomputer called the Beagle Bone Black on an oddly rounded-corner shaped circuit board designed that way specifically to fit inside an Altoid TIN. Why did they want it to fit in an Altoid can? I sure as heck don't know. The downside is that, as remarkably powerful that little computer is, the weird shape makes it harder to design peripherals for than if it were simply rectangular shaped. Anon T, did you ever get much chance to play with one? I remember you like the Raspberry Pi.

LW and I, in our younger days, used to pick leaves (just a few) from a bay laurel tree that grew in a local park, take them home and dry them, and use them in cooking. You know what? Regardless of the origin of the leaf I could never tell the difference if a dish was seasoned with it or not.

Isn't there a pistol called a Sig SAUER?

Speaking of researching FACTS (briefly discussed yesterday), our son just bought a Sony Bravia OLED TV and he told us the screen itself serves as the sound-producing speaker(s). Wanting to learn more about this FACT (and admittedly a tad skeptical he had gotten it right) I LIU, i.e. researched it, and sure enough he was right! I have yet to research how the heck they do it without causing the picture to blur or distort from the vibration.

Keep on taking care, all.

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

Hand up for FIR and not having a clue about the theme. Jason, so glad that this was your week and not mine! I would've had to phone-a-friend, too. Thanks for the recap and thanks to OKL for the thorough graph. Don and CC gave us a formidable Friday

As I look at my penned in grid, the entire left 2/3 of the puzzle is pristine. Some WAG's and perps, but no W/O's

The right third, though, has: STALAG/ATOMIC/APOLLO; SLUSH/SLEET (agree with billocohoes that SLUSH fits the clue better; OPERA/OCTET; and PAPER/EMPTY

KENNEL was cleverly clued

TOUCANS --> original phone --> RAY-O, brilliant

I haven't heard RASHER in quite a long time, but it came to mind immediately. BAY LEAF from the laurel tree was a learning moment that, as our sometimes poster TIN would say, is one that I will forget quite quickly (to paraphrase)

About the only entry I disliked is ID'ED. I got it with no problems, but it's not a word I like seeing in puzzles. OK'ED is another

Enjoy your weekend

PK said...

Husker, you are so right about that road repair crew. They were in vehicles marked with the city logo. What is even sadder is that the two-foot wide pothole is not as deep but the rough patch slowing down the traffic is now at least 12 feet wide on a Friday evening with red-yellow cones and "construction ahead" signs on either side. Do they plan to finish on Saturday or...?

The good/bad news is all the trucks left before 3 p.m. when my yard men showed up and needed to park in front of my house. So the big percentage of sprouting maple seeds in my flower beds have been weed-eater whacked.

Don Gagliardo said...

Thank you, Lemonade, for reviewing this puzzle. When I approached C.C. with the idea for this puzzle, I thought it would be fun to create nonsense phrases from the two couplets, so you would end up with something like CATS AND CRAFTS, which might be clued humorously. But C.C. thought we could take it a step further by coming up with common phrases as the answers. She was right, it was really the best way to do it. It did take a lot of searching, but it was worth it. I can't blame someone if they did not like the puzzle theme. It looks strange to see two phrases that look unrelated and make sense out of them. It is more like a logic puzzle and doesn't have the humor that you might see in many Friday puzzles. I am glad to read that some solvers enjoyed the experience. Many thanks to Rich who was bold enough to publish this unusual puzzle. And a big thank you to solvers who write in to comment and keep the dialog going about what they do or do not like about solving crossword puzzles. We need to learn from everyone.-Don Gagliardo

Vidwan827 said...


Jayce - you mentioned that you used to pick up leaves of Bay leaf from some trees in the park ? That may turn out to be very risky, and toxic, and NOT a very good idea ..... because some Bay leaf varieties, are actually poisonous.

See See the Wiki Bay Leaf, and look under the Safety chapter.

Thank you Anon-T for the very nice advt and menu for the indian restaurant in your city, NirmanZ. It appears that the owner has been enjoying a lot of his own food, .... himself ... Lol.
I haven't eaten at an indian rest. for the last 5 years ... I just prefer chinese food. Maybe I'll try one someday, soon.

Anonymous T said...

OKL - Ah, yes, Notepad++. Been a while since I've used that -- when I found a good Windows version of vim, I switched. Thanks for pointing that out.

Jayce - I once quit smoking by substituting Altoids for Camels. I had so many TINs I tried to recycle the EMPTYs. Yes, I tried to put a Pi in one but was too worried about shorting out my board on the metal to finish it up.

Welcome Webersky. I look forward to future comments.

Thanks for stopping in with some inside-baseball Don "Hard-G." C.C. makes everything better, doesn't she? :-)

Speaking of baseball - Looks like the 'Stros put a beating on Jay's pitching (the Girls wanted to start a movie during the 4th inning :-( ). Lets hope (for Houston anyway) this starts another mini-streak keeping H-Town within ~1/2 a game of Oakland.

Vidwan - as luck would have it, the girls wanted Indian take-out tonight. So, I slipped into the shop next door and got these BAY LEAves. Is that what you were talking about? They're much larger than the ones I normally use.
Oh, and yes, it appears the chef likes to eat :-)
And apparently we do too; the girl behind the counter looked up and said, "Order for Zoe, right?" They know us -- that, or we're the only white-folks that frequent them :-)

Cheers, -T

CanadianEh! said...

AnonT- what a dismal showing for the Blue Jays. Glad I didn’t try to sneak across the border๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

oc4beach said...


Back in the 80's I worked on the STS 41C mission which was the first in-orbit repair of a disabled satellite, the SMM (Solar Maximum Mission). Our Grumman Aerospace team was the mission operations team that controlled the SMM. Many of the procedures and tools that were later used on the Hubble Space Telescope repair missions were developed on the STS 41C mission. There were a number of connections to the Apollo 13 mission which included Fred Haise who was a VP at Grumman Aerospace and our boss.

AnonPVX FLN: As it turned out the A/C stopped working again today and I had to call the HVAC repair company back tonight. After working on it for a while they determined that the problem was the condensate overflow sensor that was not working properly. It was sending a false signal to the control unit which shut the A/C off. It is currently disconnected and the A/C is cooling again.

Michael said...

Webersky @ 4:36 opined that this puzzle was a "corker" ... he or she is absolutely correct, if we understand corking as "excellence in impenetrability" or "stifled output."

I'm with Emile O'Touri @ 2:52 ... just not fun.

Anonymous T said...

oc4 - I humbly thank you for your contribution to space. AND IT'S SO COOL!

I grew up a huge space-nerd. I remember watching STS-1 launch and then delivering the paper the next morning after Young & Crippen went up; huge font above the fold "What a View." I was only 11yro.

My buddy got me hooked on RUSH - he knew I was a geek and had me listen to Countdown (a commemoration of the launch) to lure me in.

FF to later in life - a nerd's dream come true. I got to consult at JSC! It was just hardening their network/computers on the ground but it was so cool to walk the halls of building 30 (Mission Control) and watch the Big Board.
I also got a behind the scenes tour (we were bidding on a new contract) and saw the vault with all the launch tapes (including the APOLLO missions) in it.
What stuck with me: STS-25 (AKA STS-51-L) only had one reel on the shelf :-(

-T