Jun 17, 2021

Thursday, June 17, 2021, August Miller


Good Morning, Cruciverbalists!  Malodorous Manatee, here, this time with a leonine friend, to wish each and every one of you a rip-roaring start to this fine Thursday.  Today's constructor is August Miller.  On 20 November 2020, Lemonade recapped August Miller's debut outing in the L.A. Times and, more recently, on 05 May 2021, Melissa Bee also recapped one of his puzzles.

This morning, Leo is crowing with pride because he is featured prominently in today's offering.  So, if you have not yet looked at the puzzle, it is time to stop lion in bed and either grab today's newspaper or go on lion and get to work on solving the puzzle.

"I'll Go There For Dorothy.  Wicked Witch or No Wicked Witch."  - Lion

Let's start with the reveal at 63 Across:

Courageous . . . like 17-, 24-, 40- and 50-Across?: LION HEARTED.  At four places within the grid, our puzzle setter has worked LEO into the two-word answers (that's the LION) and those lions jump across the gaps in between the words (that's the HEARTED-ness of the matter, I suppose).  So, it would seem that August (birth sign Leo?) was not lion to us and that those four big cats were not just lion around.

Here are the four theme-related answers . . .

17 Across.  Best Actress Oscar nominee for "The Dark Angel" (1935): MERLE OBERON.

24 Across: Unpretentious ancestry: HUMBLE ORIGINS.

40 Across:  Felony, e.g.: JAILABLE OFFENSE.

50 Across:  Former First Lady behind the "Let's Move!" initiative: MICHELLE OBAMA.

. . .  and how they appear in the grid:


1. Jokingly: IN FUN.  Said in jest, perhaps.  You know.  Lion.

6. Cashed, as a bad check: KITED.  The term Check Kiting originated in the 1920's.  It stemmed from a 19th Century practice of issuing IOUs and bonds with zero collateral.  That practice became known as "flaying a kite" because there was nothing to support the loan but thin air.

11. "The __": Uris novel: HAJ.  Decades ago, I binge-read at least a half-dozen book written by Leon Uris.  His name derives from Yerushalmi, meaning man of Jerusalem.

14. Far from cramped: ROOMY.

15. Bakery offering that's always free?: AROMA.  A scent frequently wafting through crossword puzzles.

16. Orangutan, e.g.: APE.  One day, the zookeeper noticed that the orangutan was reading two books.  One was The Bible and the other was On The Origin of Species.   When asked about what he was reading the APE replied, "I am just trying to find out whether I am my brother's keeper or I am my keeper's brother."

19. Rage: IRE.  An emotion often raised in crossword puzzles.

20. Wasatch Mountains ski resort: ALTA.  I was lucky enough to ski at ALTA quite often in the 1970's and 1980's.  A great hill.  My yellow lab, Rustler, was named after a ski run there called Alf's High Rustler which was, itself, named in honor of Alf Engen (1909 - 1997).

Hi, Rustler!

21. Recreation with skis or sneakers: RUNS.  The trails that one follows down a ski hill are called Ski RUNS.  Two skiing-related entries in a row.  That's cool, or perhaps, cold.

22. Swamp thing: GATOR.  If an alliGATOR lives in a river and thinks that she's a crocodile there's a good chance that she's in da-Nile.

27. Religious devotion: PIETY.  "Piety is not a goal but a means to attain through the purest peace of mind the highest culture." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

29. GPS approx.: ETA.  Estimated Time of Arrival.

30. 8 Series automaker: BMW.  Bayerische MotorenWerke

2021 BMW 8 Series Coupe

31. Drawing contest?: RAFFLE.  Not an art competition but a random selection for a door prize.

36. Contended: VIED.

43. "Auld Lang __": SYNE.  Meaning times long past.  Slainte!

44. Reduced-rate hotel offering: DAY USE.  Hmm, a few possibilities for riffing on this one.  

45. Big gp. of towers?: AAA.  Despite the "gp" abbreviation, did anyone first think of towers as in the World Trade Center or the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur?  Instead, it's the American Automobile Association and they provide tows to stranded motorists.

Petronas Towers - Photo by MM

46. Fort Collins sch.: CSU.  As with the clue just above, the "sch" tells us that the answer will be an abbreviation:  Colorado State University at Fort Collins, CO.

48. Tycoon: MOGUL.  This could have been a third skiing-related clue.  It also could have been clued as a type of locomotive or an Indian Muslim (Mughal).

57. "Modern Family" actress Winter: ARIEL.  Despite its Christopher Lloyd pedigree, I have never watched this show and did not know the actress.  Thank you, perps.

58. In the old days: ONCE.

59. "And so . . . ": ERGO.  A horse walks into a bar and orders a triple whiskey.  The bar tender asks him, "Are you an alcoholic?"  The horse replies, "I don't think I am" and promptly vanishes into thin air.

I Don't Think, Therefore I Am Not ?

62. Cab alternative: ZIN.  Cabernet or ZINfandel.  Not Uber of Lyft as we often see.  A wine reference.  There are many very good producers of ZINfandel wines which is made in various styles from light to quite robust.

66. Key that will get you out of a window: ESC.  The first of today's computer-related riffs.

67. One Time?: ISSUE.  The fact that Time (the eponymous magazine) is capitalized makes it easier to see where the constructor, or editor, was going with this bit of humor.

68. Shadowfax, to Gandalf: STEED.  Horse would also have fit in the allotted squares.  A Lord Of The Rings reference.

69. Library reminder: SHH.

70. "A League of __ Own": THEIR.  A 1992 motion picture loosely based on the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.  A straightforward fill-in-the-blank clue and an interesting placement as Tom Hanks (see 71 Across) was in this movie, also.

71. Tom who voices Woody in "Toy Story" films: HANKS.  Tom HANKS.  A couple of weeks ago we had a Tim Allen/Buzz Lightyear reference.  There has been much speculation about the use of both Buzz and Woody as names in these films.  Years earlier, the playful folks at Termite Terrace used to pull such shenanigans.


1. Destructive 2017 hurricane: IRMA.  The first Category 5 Hurricane of the 2017 season, Irma was responsible for approximately $50 Billion in damage on the mainland U.S.

2. Yuletide tune: NOEL.  From the Latin nasci meaning to be born.

3. Golf announcer's call before a potential victory putt: FOR THE WIN.  (Note:  A lion would not play golf.  But a Tiger Wood)

4. Mötley Crüe piece: UMLAUT.  While we have seen this type of misdirection before, it was still easy to get sidetracked thinking that the answer would be a song by the band.  Instead, it was a diacritical mark.

5. Lab-coated TV educator: NYE.  Bill NYE the Science Guy also visited us two weeks ago.  Rustler would have liked this clue.

6. Afghanistan's capital: KABUL.

7. Adler of Sherlock Holmes fame: IRENE.  IRENE Adler, Sherlock Homes' respected nemesis, visits us regularly despite having appeared in only one of (and being mentioned in tree other) Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories.

8. Artist's trunk?: TORSO.  The question mark tips us off that the answer will not be something in which an artist might store her supplies.

9. Paramore genre: EMO.  Paramore is, apparently, the name of a band.  I am not familiar with their music but am very familiar with EMO popping up in crossword puzzles.

10. "Rats!": DANG IT.  Both Darn It and Damn It were, briefly, under consideration.  This one reminded me of the old Roger Miller tune.

Roger Miller With Dick Clark - 1964 - Dang Me

11. Hispaniola nation: HAITI.  Two nations occupy the island of Hispaniola -  the Dominican Republic and HAITI.  In 1657, France and Spain split control of the island between themselves.

12. Kitchen wear: APRON.

13. Catcalls: JEERS.

18. Pluto, but not Goofy: ORB.  In this case, Pluto refers to the dwarf planet.  A slightly different take on the old question:  "If Pluto is a dog what is Goofy?"

23. Tequila plant: AGAVE.  AGAVE is used to make Mezcal of which Tequila is, basically, a subset.  Mezcal may be produced from up to fifty species of AGAVE whereas Tequila is made only from Tequilana Weber aka Weber Blue Agave.

25. British pianist Hess: MYRA.  Dame Julia MYRA Hess (1890 - 1965).

26. Coral phenomena: REEFS.  Phenomenon, singular.  Phenomena, plural.

27. Lunches with Jif: PBJS.  Jif, of course, is a brand of peanut butter.  PBJ is shorthand for Peanut Butter and Jelly.

Because They Like Hydrogenated Oil and Sugar

28. "Perhaps": I MAY. . .  and then, again . . .

32. "Rush Rush" singer: ABDUL.  Although I am aware of her, I am not a fan and did not know the referenced song.  Thanks, once again, perps.

33. Hardly an orange-free st.: FLA.  An amusing play on words.  The Orange Free State was an independent Boer sovereign republic during the second half of the 19th century.  That, however, has nothing to do with the answer.  Florida (U.S. Postal abbreviation FLA) is the top orange producing state.

34. "30 Rock" creator: FEY.  Tina FEY is a frequent visitor.

35. Singer Reed: LOU.  LOU Reed was the singer, guitarist and principal songwriter for the Band the Velvet Underground perhaps best known for the song (take a) Walk On The Wild Side.

37. TV's "Barefoot Contessa": INA GARTEN.  Born in Brooklyn and raised in Stamford Connecticut, INA GARTEN, nee Rosenberg, hosts popular cooking shows and has authored many books.

38. Genesis twin: ESAU.  According to the bible, ESAU was the elder twin brother of Jacob.

My Brother Esau - Oakland Colosseum 1987 - The Grateful Dead

39. "So here's the __": DEAL.  Another fill-in-the blank clue and a phrase used often by a current national leader.

41. Monterrey milk: LECHE.  Today's Spanish lesson.  Monterrey is a city in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

42. 1-Down relief org.: FEMA.

47.  Be convincing: SELL IT.

49. Code of silence: OMERTA.  I knew this one thanks to Mario Puzo.  Originally, OMERTA was a way of opposing Spanish rule in Sicily in the 16th Century and it meant not cooperating with state authorities to settle personal grievances.

50. Confounding layouts: MAZES.

51. Like some coffee and ales: IRISH.  Whiskey, too.

52. Snap: CINCH.  Not a closure for a garment (e.g. a zipper, button or snap) but the idiom as in "That exam was very easy.  Passing it was a cinch."  Not a piece of Western horse tack.

53. Baggy: LOOSE.

54. World-weariness: ENNUI.

55. Yellowish brown: OCHER.  A color often seen in our puzzles.

56. 6th of December?: BEE.  This one was a bit puzzling.  Eventually, it dawned on me that B was the sixth letter in the word December.  Cute.  Really cute . . . and why, oh why, does this type of clue continue to fool me so consistently (at least initially)?

60. Participant in a Mac-vs-PC argument, maybe: GEEK.  . . . and the debates continue.  Our second computer GEEK reference of the day.

61. Payout determinant: ODDS.  Once, on a business trip to Las Vegas I took ill and sought out the hotel's physician.  I located her office on the door of which was posted a sign that read "Dr. Murphy 9 to 5".  I turned on my heel and walked away.  I wanted better ODDs than that.

64. Kinda-sorta: ISH.  Punt.

65. BBQ residue: ASH.
        Knock, knock.
        Who's there?
        Ash who?

, , , and on that note . . .



Lemonade714 said...

What fine fettle to start the day, MM. Since we are in the Gemini phase of June, the reveal was a bit surprising. It was consistent and mostly very doable. I really liked Key that will get you out of a window: ESC and did not know British pianist Hess: MYRA

DOG came to mind before ORB .

Too early for an Irish whiskey, so I will toast Joseph and August with nice hot cup of Sumatra.

WinthorpeIII said...

Maybe I'm just heartless, but I don't get the theme arrangement.

I've only seen OCHER as OCHRE. Maybe in the NYT crossword?

OwenKL said...

Dan was an imp, a consarned git,
A trouble maker, gol DANG IT!
LOOSE in the cook-house,
Spread P.B. and J. about!
Arms akimbo, Cookie sternly said, "Dan, git!"

There once was a RAFFLE in HAITI
For DAY USE of a catamaran named Katie.
One speculator
Was et by a GATOR.
The winner was an oil MOGUL Kuwaiti!

{B, B-.}

Hungry Mother said...

FIR, but didn’t understand that INAGARTEN was a name.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Misspelled KABUL as CABAL (maybe the Taliban will change it to that when they take over); that was the only Wite-Out moment. I'm sure Canadian Eh! will have something to say about the OCHER spelling. Oh, I see WinthorpeIII has already commented on it. Thanx, August and Mal-Man.

"Petronas Towers" -- They played an important role in Entrapment with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

PIETY -- Never been accused of that particular crime.

FLA -- Wouldn't the official U.S. postal abbreviation be FL?

Lizza said...

Good morning. Got the Leo theme early. So very many names. I am a fan of Ina Garten.Didn’t know Myra or Irene. Know of Paula Abdul but not that song. Got tricked by towers wasn’t thinking of tow trucks. Good fun puzzle. Excellent write-up MM thank you very enjoyable. Another perfect weather day here today. Best wishes to all.

KS said...

FIR, but for the puzzle, meh!

Jinx in Norfolk said...

MM's tour was better than the puzzle, and the puzzle was terrific. Plenty of unknowns, but fair perps to overcome them. I have to admit that I did an alphabet run to get I_ISH, and that freed up the remaining fill. Hey, I'm of Welsh, not IRISH, descent.

Some call a GPS's ETA the "time to beat."

Back in my drinking days I quit ordering carafes of ZIN in restaurants. As often as not, the server would bring me a chilled jar of that sweet pink stuff. I liked a good bottle of ZIN or chianti classico riserva when I made a nice pasta dinner at home.

My family owned a small motel/restaurant/convenience mart/gas station in rural Kentucky. My dad called DAY USE "the hot pillow trade."

DW and I are off to the dermatologist today for our annual skin cancer screening. Didn't go last year due to the you-know-what, so I suspect she'll look us over a little closer this year.

ATLGranny said...

Confession time. Another failure to think while proofreading so I left MaRA and PIETa. FIW on what was a smoothly filling puzzle otherwise. In fact a joy to puzzle out, so thanks, August! And many thanks to MalMan for confirming my other answers.

My first WO was Adele/IRENE, easily fixed when filling KITED. The other was SsH. But got the theme just fine, locating the LEOs in the middles. The bonus was understanding the trick clues for UMLAUT, AAA, ISSUE and ESC. Fun!

Looking forward to more puzzles from August and to a pleasant Thursday. Hope you all are too.

Yellowrocks said...

FIR, but I didn't see how some of the theme fill could be courageous or lion hearted. MM thanks for pointing out LEO.
Fittingly, a fun, joke filled blog for a puzzle starting with jokingly.
Fun misdirections.
I am surprised that some students don't just disappear. "I don't think, therefore I am not."
Three of yesterday's reds appear on MM's chart: Malbec, Shiraz, and Merlot.
Towers didn't fool me.
Long ago I went through a URIS phase, too.
Irish coffee is made with Irish whiskey. Yummy.
Ochre before ocher.
Libraries these day do not ask for total silence in the main part, just low voices. Many libraries have a silent study room. I like that policy, but some people are always shushing the low voiced talkers.

inanehiker said...

Creative theme with LEO nestled in the HEART of the long answers!

I'm a fan of INA GARTEN and Leon Uris - so that helped to get a start in different quadrants.

Gotta go -
Thanks MM and August!

Lucina said...


A nice Thursday puzzle from August Miller. Of the many names, I did not know ARIEL or MYRA. Not an ISSUE, though.

December 6, my birthday did not fit! Thanks for explaining that one, MalMan.

On a read trip from Guadalajara, Mex., to AZ, I recall passing an enormous field of AGAVE plants.

Thank you, again, MalMan. Your commentary helped to understand much of this puzzle. Popular culture is my other weakness (besides sports).

Warm wishes from the sizzling Valley of the Sun!

Lucina said...

AnonT, thank you. Yes, I did look up Bogle after I signed out.

Also, I had heard about the sinkhole in Mexico on the news.

I forgot to say I had JAIL TIME before JAILABLE. FLA corrected me.

Bob Lee said...

Never figured out the LEO so yeah, Meh on the theme.

Do people actually say ZIN for Zinfandel? Or Cab? Really? I don't care for clues like that.

Haha on AAA for the towers. UMLAUT and BEE were tricky but fun answers too.

I didn't care for DAY USE.

And tried TECH at first for the PC vs. Mac guys but quickly changed that.

desper-otto said...

INA GARTEN: Isn't that a hymn?

"URIS phase": They have medications for that.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Early on, I notice the repeated letters but I was seeing a B as part of the sequence, so the reveal was an Aha surprise. Looking back, the Leos were quite obvious. No problems with the solve but I needed perps for Abdul. I liked the Ish/Ash duo and the word Ennui. Also noticed Dang It/Sell It; it appears some of the rules are being relaxed. CSOs to Moe (Zin), The Florida folks (Fla), and Moi (Irish☘️). We have another A Team with Aroma, Alta, ETA, AAA, Obama, Irma, Myra, Fla, FEMA, and Omertà. We also have a wee critter theme with Ape, Gator, Steed, Lion, and Bee.

Thanks, August, for a fun Thursday and thanks, MalMan, for the chuckles and commentary. I, too, was a big Leon Uris fan and, also, Herman Wouk. Thanks for sharing the photo of the very handsome and regal Rustler.

Have a great day.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Easy Thursday level. A few more 'names' than I would have liked, but they were all getable. Some very clever cluing made it fun. Got the LEO schtick half-way through. Thought JAILABLE was a bit malodorous. No help needed; FIR.
IRISH - and a fine CSO to our Troy denizen.
UMLAUT - To me, an umlaut signals a change in vowel quality. If it's on a word like Citroën, it is called a dieresis and that vowel is sounded as a separate syllable. On Mötley, it is a decoration. YMMV.

Jinx - Good luck with your dermo visit. Very important. During the great pandemic, my dermo crapped out, so I went to one who assiduously held the course and continued to accommodate patients. (I get checked 4x /yr.)

Husker Gary said...

-LEO stood out immediately. Like Irish, the extraneous “B” each one had made me think a little longer
-I had a very stupid one cell error caused by ignorance of a proper name and lack of checking
-Zookeepers say the ORANG’s strength and intelligence make them very dangerous
-Kennedy Space Center has a GATOR Alley on the way to the launch pads
-They also have orange trees which had a lot of puckered fruit after a hard freeze when we were there
-No idea on Shadowfax or Gandolf but, c’mon, with S T _ _ _...
-Are libraries dying? Not in our town where a multimillion dollar expansion is underway
-Another APRON
-Turns out, Coral R _ _ _ ¬_S are not rings
-Can’t grouse about INA GARTEN as it had solid horizontal help all the way down
-MM, ENNUI and MAZE cartoons were great!

Big Easy said...

The LION HEARTED LEO didn't catch my attention as I FIR in spite of the proper names.
17A- The movie was way before my time. The fill was perps but the 'Actress" in the clue had me stumped; I always thought MERLE was a man.

44A- DAY USE? By who and for what purpose. With the easy downs of ABDUL, FEY, FLA, LOU REEFS, & FEMA I never read the clue. Thanks MM.

ARIEL, STEED, INA GARTEN, BEE- others filled by perps. I was thinking Pearl Harbor EVE for Dec 6. BEE for B- an iffy fill.

D-otto- the Taliban, ISIS, mullahs of Iran,...etc are just another form of the Mafia. Shake down the locals for money and kill them if they step out of line. As soon as the US pulls out they will terrorize the entire country and take over.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

A grand Thursday puzzle by an "August" constructor! 😊

Started to write in "Marlene Dietrich" mindlessly ignoring filled in perps that would strongly disagree. (thinking "The Blue Angel") ....Is LEO the ❤ of the clued answers of the theme LIONHEARTED? (btw: "Corleone")

Can't forget my favorite LEO!

ERMA immediately ruined my FUN. Inkovers: yucca/AGAVE (yucca..what was I thinking?). BBQ residue: bones? Not sure PIETY is limited to religion. JAILtimeOFFENSE was wrong..One Time? ISSUE? (the magazine I read each Saturday?)

Why ever would a reduced-rate hotel offer DAYUSE 🙈🙉🙊🤭

Even though "putt" was in the clue I wrote in Forth Down which is not only mispelt but the wrong sport...Then 1 down relief org? now definitely football! Wrong! (not first down)
OMERTÀ with an accent on the final A should be pronounced that way (Oh-mare-TAH') and I always perp OCHre/ER.

Some like coffee but ____ HAITI
Imitate Serling....APRON
Nylon curses...RUNS
Throw together....KABUL

Mal man...your "punts" were great! Loved the "shoestring" cartoon, the ape comment, but the horse story I didn't get.🤔

The Library poster was appropriate but silence in the libraries isn't enforced like it used to be. Even the librarians chatter with each other ad alta voce

Yellowrocks said...

There are no movies before our time these days, thanks to reruns and YouTube. As an adult I have seen movies filmed before I was born and others filmed when I was in grammar school.

Even though I missed the theme today, I feel that it was easy enough to guess. Boo hiss on me, not the theme. Leo, the lion, was found in the heart of the answer. Clever.

Malodorous Manatee said...

It never ceases to surprise/amuse/humble me as to what I "see" and what I fail to "see". For example, I never "saw" the B abutting each of the four theme answers until it was pointed out, here, as having had to have been considered in deciphering the theme.

Heart of the lions - Corleone. Missed that opportunity, also.

But the total "whiff" was that I did not, until a few minutes ago while reading the comments, think that INA GARTEN would be morph-able into IN A GARTEN which leads, inevitably,to:

In The Garden of Eden, Baby

It's going to be another hot day here in SoCal. Have a great Thursday, everyone.

Acesaroundagain said...

6th of December, fooled again!

Alice said...

I enjoyed the puzzle, and FIR. The theme was easy. I didn’t know if MERLE OBERON was a woman or a man, but recalled hearing the name. The other three themed answers were easy to figure out, and, of course, we all recall MICHELLE O.

The write-up by MalMan was particularly good. Where did you find the ENNUI cartoon? It’s great! And I think everyone can relate to 50-down cartoon on MAZES. Very clever both.

Misty said...

Thursday toughie for me, but still enjoyed it--many thanks, August. And fun commentary, MalMan, thanks for that too.

Ironically, my best start this morning came on the very bottom, and I got the reveal--LION HEARTED--very quickly. Then fun to see Tom HANKS. And I also got the IRISH, even though I don't drink either the coffee or the ale. Eventually, with some cheating, it was fun to see the LEOs turn up in all the theme answers.

Have a good day, everybody.

AnonymousPVX said...

This was a bit of a tricky Thursday grid.

Write-overs…ALAI/ALTA. (fixed immediately but still a WO), SWISS/IRISH, SSH/SHH.

All the USPS state abbreviations are 2 letters as of late 1963. So it’s been a while.

See you tomorrow.

Lemonade714 said...

MERLE OBERON had a very interesting LIFE STORY that was not told until after her death. She was always a woman.

unclefred said...

Perhaps I miscounted. 12 proper names in this CW? Some easy, but many obscure, at least to me, like 17A, an actress from a 1935 movie. An old saying, “Enough is enough, and too much is plenty!” 12 is “plenty” by this old saw, and far too many for this old man. So although I filled every cell with a correct letter, doing so involved “plenty” of Google searches, so have to take a DNF, after spending 32 minutes on it. I hereby resolve: from here on I shall look at the CW before I start. If there are more than five proper names called for, I’ll just pass on that CW. (Grump, grumble!) As for the rest of the CW, I didn’t get “towers”, and when perps gave me AAA, I STILL didn’t get it. (Doh!). Cab alternative was a nice clue and is what CWs should have more of. When Uber or Lyft didn’t fit, I figured out the trick to the clue and ZIN came to mind. Very nice write-up, MM, thanx for ‘splainin’ LEO, I didn’t see it. I’ve always thought it curious the Disney created two separate classes of dogs, represented by Goofy, the anthropomorphised dog, and Pluto, who remains a dog. Time for my usual mid-day siesta. TTEL.

waseeley said...

Thank you August FIR some real FUN IN the GRID. Word on the Savannah is that you've gotta be a LEO. And MalMan you really dun' it this TIME, ISSUING a non-stop PUNstream into an absolutely outstanding review. You 'da MANatee!

I don't know where to start ...

6A I thought KITING was just adding a zero onto a check amount, but it turns out to be much more than that.

16A Joe was OUR keeper on this outing.

20A Rustler reminds me of my old yellar LAB, JUPITER, but all he ever rustled was the GARBAGE.

27A The goal of PIETY is to someday meet the OBJECT of that piety.

45A Hands up on TOWERS, but perps ruled and so I went with TOWERS instead.

57A I've never seen "Modern Times" either, but ARIEL is definitely goOGLE-worthy.

59A An affliction not limited to horses. Unfortunately when HUMANS do it they don't disappear. Hey, didn't we have ERGO on Wednesday?

4D I wanted ALBUM, but there was no way to make FUN of it. And I love the word UMLAUT. It's so EGGY.

7D Make that IRENE RATED R. You were warned.

And from the profane to the sacred ...

25D Here's MYRA HESS playing Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring (listed on the cover of MM's pic.

56A Great clue. Had me completely fooled.

60A Which raises a different argument: what's the difference between a GEEK and a NERD?


waseeley said...

D-O @ 9:24 AM Actually it's the lead-in to a long song by Iron Butterfly.

CrossEyedDave said...

it could have been worse...

If this were Saturday,
Ina Garten could have been clued former staff member of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

waseeley said...

MalMan @11:17 AM That was the icing on the cake MM. I had the same thought. The Simpsons even had the length down right. But no drummer, so here it is.

Yellowrocks said...

Big gp. of towers. AAA, American Automobile Association, a gp. (group) which tows disabled cars.

CanadianEh! said...

Terrific Thursday. Thanks for the fun, August and MalMan.
I FIRed in good time and got the “LEO in the heart of the answers” theme.
Two whiteouts where Darn IT changed to DANG, and SSH to SHH.

Yes, d’o, this Canadian entered OCHER with a sigh (and not even waiting for perps). But you all may not realize that we spell OFFENSE as Offence.

I smiled at ZIN today, after our wines yesterday.
Hand up for groaning when I realized that towers was Tow- ers. We have CAA here, not the batteries😁
6th of December was another groaner (maybe even a meh!)

AnonT- I saw Rush singer and thought of Geddy Lee. Oh, double Rush😁🤔

Wishing you all a great day.

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

FIR with a few W/O’s: RTE/ETA; FAY/FEY

I did not see LEO lurking in the “heart” of the long entries

Thanks MM and AM

FOR THE WIN? Either MM’s or waseeley’s links to Iron Butterfly’s iconic song. Thanks for the memories. BTW, you think Doug Ingle (keyboards) or Ron Bushy (drums) were on drugs?!

More Iron Butterfly

oc4beach said...

Got it done, but didn't see LEO. MalMan did a really great explanation. Loved the graphics.

I think most hotels/motels offer daily use. But in this case I think the constructor wanted DAY USE to mean a No-Tell Motel that specializes in the Hot Sheet Trade.

Wine again. But I'm not gonna whine about it.

Tequila can make you want to cry on the morning after the night before. Makes for a nasty hangover. One margarita is my limit.

Beautiful day in the neighborhood. Have a great day everyone.

Lucina said...

Here, in the land of the all-day-sun many hotels offer special day time prices to offset the lack of tourists who are here mostly during winter. It's a good time for families to take advantage of them especially if they don't have a pool. Speaking of which, our pool is finally open. It has been a long saga which started in January but we just passed inspection. It's all about hiring someone who knows what he is doing! We didn't.

Emile O'Touri said...

I agree. I complain about the names on an almost daily basis. Those for whom the PPP lies in their wheelhouse will find this puzzle very easy. Good for them, but not good for me. Does Anyone else think the proper-name has gone too far? Brand names, rappers, never-really-famous TV actors: enough!

Ol' Man Keith said...

A reasonably tough Thursday PZL from Mr. Miller, well explained by MM!

Ta ~ DAH!. I enjoyed this.
Especially liked being reminded of a favorite pianist from my youthful listening via 78-records--Dame MYRA Hess!

I guess we all like proper names--except when we don't already know them.
Just one diagonal--far side.
Its anagram (12 of 15 letters) seems to be a geographic pointer, referring to one of the ocean-surrounded land masses in East Asia, perhaps Hokkaido or Honshu, or another ...

Wilbur Charles said...

DEC had a search engine called ALTA Vista before Google gummed up the works.

I have a BMW X-Pensive 5

Aaarrrgggghhhh!!! The word was TOW-ERS not the fAA Towers at Logan Airport. FIW

IRMA chased me all the way to Beaufort. Waffle King was open, how bad could it be.

If you're looking for Golf calls this one was
Better than most

IRENE said "Good night. Mr Sherlock Holmes " after tracking him to Baker St. I see RayO 's 'profane' link puts another spin on that

Orange trees have disappeared unless one goes inland.

And of course the Contessa is INA GARTEN. Dawn breaks on Marblehead

One DAY USE would be as a desk for office work.

I'm not a Simpsons guy but GofE got me chuckling

MERLE link took me to Starstruck which took me to YouTube and 45 minutes. But not my cuppa. But Sherlock is intriguing

"Grump, grumble", that's Saturday which xword I finally solved after two days. Don't give up and use your imagination

One disadvantage, I solve so far ahead that I forget the xword . Just that one square baffled me. I revisited Friday and worked it out.


Wilbur Charles said...

DEC reminds me that if management had a chicken and fed it red or green corn and made major decisions according to the chicken they'd have done better than their record of their last 15 years.

Tony etal do you agree?

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle okay.

100 degrees here today.

Good wishes to you all.

Jayce said...

Tony, last night you asked if I had any more information about that sinkhole. So far, no; I have been unable to find more information about it. There are many possible causes of sinkholes, even ones that large. I'll try to keep you posted.

Vidwan827 said...

Am rather late for a posting. but I would like to thank August Miller ( so, thus LEO ?) for a nice challenging puzzle.
Also Thank you MalMan, for a very interesting and fun filled review, and some very nice thought provoking jokes.

I would like to make a small point, not even a nit, about your side comment on 48 Across: MOGUL. You added, ....' could have been clued as an Indian Muslim (Mughal).'

I merely want to dispel any mis-notion on that point. All indian muslims, or even most of them, are not from the mughal stock - DNA, haplotype etc. They are just of the indian stock, and a significant number are converts to that religion.

Thats like saying 'All muslims are Arabs' which is absurd, especially since a majority of muslims in the world, are in Malaysia and Indonesia and parts east on the globe.

In fact, BTW, the country with the largest muslim population, in the world, is .... Indonesia.

Per Wiki, The Mughals were The Turko-Mongol peoples who invaded India, and then governed it till 1857 .... till the British took over. But the subjects, muslims, were not of that community. As the wiki article suggests, less tham 5% of the muslims in India, are actually mughal descendents.

Maybe a little more in Pakistan (7%), and significantly more, among the numerous clans in Afghanistan, in Afghanistan, and the numerous previous-SSR countries, both north and west. of it ... also to the west, like Turkey.

sorry for the TMI. Have a nice day, all.

Vidwan827 said...

Thank you Lemonade, my old friend, for those Google Images on Merle Oberon. I have read copiously about her, ... especially, as a part-indian....the first one ..... who did well in Hollywood,...long, long, ago.

Merle Oberon's biography is listed in Wiki and that extensive article speaks for itself.....

So, she was definitely, an Anglo-Indian ... which was at that time, both a quiet euphemism and a horrible defaming pejorative, depending on one's point of view.

Her paternal roots were British european, but she was matrilineally indian, from her mother and grandmother. Basically, what she did, all her life, and very desperately and ardently so, .... was try, very hard, to "pass off" as 100% white.

Knowing the mores in those days, and the politics and economics of race, I don't blame her at all. She was one of many indians, in such a position, doing that, ..... and it was also popular in the US, among the american minorities, as well.

One does, what one has to, to get ahead, in life.

Her marriage in the UK, to Alex Korda, the Hungarian Jewish film producer, really shot her to stardom. She was, at one time, described as one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood.

The Wiki artcle has more details, in case anybody is interested.

Vidwan827 said...

Sorry for the poor link, as above.

The third times. the charm.

Merle Oberon Biography, the Wikipedia

OwenKL said...

Ray-O -- you didn't get the horse story because MM put the picture after it. It's only funny when you put Descartes before the horse!

Yellowrocks said...

The horse says "I don't think I am." Descates says "I think therefore I am," which seems to say the opposite of what the horse says. If you do not think, you do not exist. If that were true, how many unthinking people would cease to exist?
These days, thinking, logic and facts seem to seem to be more and more devalued.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Late to the party 'cuz I was at another one; happy-hour with co-workers.

Fun puzzle August. I caught the theme reading 63a's clue (thought LION and then saw the LEOs in the middle).

Fun expo MManatee - love me some Grateful Dead (and I. Ron Butterfly). Funny ENNUI cartoon. ODDS joke too (I did have to see the Dr. in Vegas - broke my ribs (long story)).

WOs: DArn IT (Hi C, Eh!).
FIW: Make room, ATLGranny - I too had PIETa | MaRA
Fav: AAA's clue; didn't read TOWers until two As filled.

Lucina - I was thinking, "Mom's B-Day?" at 6th of December :-)

{B, B+}
Nice DR, OMK.

C, Eh! I too thought Geddy at RUSH - thought they finally hit the big-time :-)

WC - DEC was purchased by Compaq in the late '90s. Compaq killed off the DEC Alpha by putting Intel inside. One more RISC chip to bite the dust.

OKL@9:47 - Now, That. Is. Funny.

Cheers, -T

Lucina said...

Thank you so much for your comments on Indians, Mughal, et al. That is a part of history of which I know so very little and I appreciate your contribution to my store of knowledge. I've picked up bits and pieces from movies and some reading but it still remains a void in my education.

There is a beautiful and tragic story I love for its poignancy and I don't know how much of it is true and how much fiction. It is the movie WATER directed by Deepa Mehta. You may be familiar with it. It is the story of some Indian widows relegated to spend their lives in isolation because their husbands have died. They must find ways to support themselves and to live peaceably with each other. Both lead to some conflicts and even tragedy. It is among my favorite DVD movies.

Lucina said...

Is it your mom's birthday on Dec. 6th? It is mine. 84 this year.

Anonymous T said...

Lucina - Yes, the two of you share the big day.

//I thought I mentioned that a few (last?) years ago when C.C. wished you a HBD.
That's why I drop'd the smiley-face :-)

Mom will be 71 this year. Mom & Pop both turned 20 after I was born.
(and went their separate-ISH* ways 5 years later)

Cheers, -T
*having kids ties two people forever - even if they end up not happy together.
DW, after 10 years of marriage, thought it was time to have kids and I told her exactly that; 'even if you end up hating me - we still have to see each other if we bring a kid in the world.'
Pop has kids from 2/3's of his marriages - my sibs' milestones (weddings, births, deaths) can get awkward :-)

Lucina said...

I understand. My family is that way, too. Blended families. The circle is wide. My daughter has been married three times and has a child from each of the first two marriages. It does bring people together at least for a few hours. She seems happiest in this last bonding especially since they share such a love for Star Wars. It was also the most simple of her weddings and cost the least. Nothing from me.

Her first one was a full, blown out church wedding with a big reception and hundreds of guests. It lasted five years, one child. The second was a "destination wedding" in Santa Barbara on the beach. Another child. Many of our family attended. He is an alcoholic whom she thought she could change. The third was a simple, at home, backyard wedding and has lasted the longest. I see her really happy. He is a prince whom I really like.