, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Saturday, February 12, 2022, Chase Dittrich and Jeff Chen


Feb 12, 2022

Saturday, February 12, 2022, Chase Dittrich and Jeff Chen

  Saturday Themeless by Chase Dittrich and Jeff Chen 

Chase with Tiny Tina and JB

My research shows that Chase has had three solo Tuesday puzzles in the LA Times but today he teams up with a familiar mentor, Jeff Chen, for this entertaining themeless entry. Hmmm...a guy who was a math major and likes kitties and crosswords? I can dig it!

Hi Gary! 

Since I’m the one writing this, and for once Jeff can’t comment, I’ll just assume what he would have said. 

Jeff: “Despite less time in the field, Chase is by far the better constructor. He’s superior in every way and is definitely better at tennis and trivia. I probably owe him several beers.”

Wow, thanks Jeff. That means a lot.  

As for this puzzle, the seed was THE QUEENS GAMBIT – it also happens to have my favorite clue. I loved the show and wanted to pay some homage to it, so I teamed up with Jeff since this was my first themeless attempt (we’ve made about a dozen or so puzzles together at this point)

It’s funny that we ended up with STOP AT NOTHING being the other long entry, because that’s the revealer to another puzzle Jeff and I made around the same time. I think we likely had the phrase on our minds when we built this.

Despite Jeff’s lavish praise above, the man is a humble pro and knows good fill. As a relative rookie, I tend to still want to justify some questionable fill here and there, but he won’t have it. In the end I was very happy with how this came out. I hope solvers enjoy it!

I've included a photo of me with my two cats and our Patriots blanket...and if you look hard enough you just might find JC.

Personal info:I grew up in Maine and majored in 

Amazon Hdqrs Seattle

math at Trinity College (please don't test my math skills), then joined the Marine Corps and got out as a Captain in 2013. Headed off to Columbia Business School and moved out to LA for a logistics job at a video game company. And I just started work as a Program Manager at Amazon in Seattle (coincidentally the same city Jeff lives in!). Been here two months.


1. Gets debriefed?: STRIPS - High school nightmare

7. One that may come from Yale: PADLOCK.

1870's Version

14. Exactly as planned: TO A TEE Origin

15. Hot sauce with a rooster logo: SRIRACHA A type of hot sauce or chili sauce made from a paste of chili peppersdistilled vinegargarlic, sugar, and salt. One report has it that the sauce was first produced by a Thai woman named Thanom Chakkapak in the town of Si Racha (or Sriracha, Thailand)

16. __ Ravenclaw, founder of a Hogwarts house: ROWENA Here ya go

17. Like one who can't even hit an easy pitch: TONE DEAF.

18. Matter makeup: ATOMS.

19. Galoot: LOUT.

20. Like some humor or meat: DARK. Here is some DARK humor from Sara Bernhardt using both words 48. Care: MIND

21. Causes: WHYS and 29. Behave: ACT. - We teachers can see how kids ACT but we have to determine the WHYS that generate that behavior.

22. Conciliatory gestures: SOPS - Usually too little, too late

23. "Enemy of the State" org.: NSA 

National Security Agency movie
that got a 78% on Rotten Tomatoes

24. Snacks on: HAS.

25. They circle worlds: EQUATORS - As you can see, Apollo 15 and 17 landed quite a ways north of the Moon's EQUATOR

30. Stopped working, as an engine: QUIT.

31. Celebratory bar buys: ROUNDS - After my hole-in-one, I bought a single ROUND

35. Miniseries given a 5-star rating (out of 6) by Magnus Carlsen: THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT - A fortuitous discovery by me on Netflix and a seed entry for Chase.

38. Croatia neighbor: SERBIA - Europe's reaction to an assassination by a young SERBIAN in 1914 was  WWI.

39. Autumn gemstone: OPAL.

40. Carrier to Osaka: ANA.

41. Wide receiver, historically: SPLIT END - Player X is a SPLIT END. He is on the line but is SPLIT out wide. Player Y is a tight END because he is right next to the rest of the line.

43. Scuba diver's item: FIN.

44. Name-linking trio: AKA - Zhouqin Also Known As C.C. 

47. "__ a Bad Mama Jama": 1981 Carl Carlton hit: SHE'S The beat is great but the lyrics 
8. Informal negative: AIN'T Gershwin

49. Norse prankster: LOKI - Learned this in cwd's

51. Stopped at a base, in a way: SLID or not.

52. 1980 Crichton lost-world novel: CONGO.

53. Exam involving a pupil: IRIS SCAN - No password needed

55. Lake on the California/Arizona border: HAVASU - The city paid $10M to have the London Bridge dismantled, shipped and reconstructed at Lake HAVASU. It is now the second most popular tourist attraction in Arizona after The Grand Canyon. 

56. Comics hero's weapon: BATARANG.

57. Folded Dish: OMELT

58. Briefly: IN A WORD and 28. (In) brief: SUM.

59. Razzie winners: WORSTS - *Correct question below


1. Boaters, e.g.: STRAW HATS - Boaters and the wonderful Buffalo Bills!

2. Canine woe: TOOTHACHE - Oh, the ones next to my incisors 

3. Shucked edible: RAW OYSTER - In land-locked Nebraska we shuck raw corn

4. Express lane sign word: ITEMS 

5. Source of some black and blue marks: PENS 

6. Java __: SEA - If you fly from Indonesia to Borneo, you will fly over the Java SEA

7. "Remembrance of Things Past" author: PROUST - A seven-volume work whose original title was In Search Of Lost Time (
Γ€ la Recherche Du Temps Perdubut became Remembrance Of Things Past when translated from the French. 

9. Dr. without a degree: DRE.

10. Actress Cheryl: LADD.

11. Indian __: OCEAN - A more familiar body of water than the JAVA Sea

12. Seals in the juices of: CHARS.

13. "All language is but a poor translation" author: KAFKA - Semantics was a college course that changed my life and annoyed my girl friend 

15. Do whatever it takes: STOP AT NOTHING 

19. Disney duck: LOUIE - I'll bet you know Donald Duck's other two nephews as well

22. Delighted sound: SQUEAL.

25. Furnish: EQUIP.

26. Hearts, e.g.: ORGANS - Last month modified pig heart was transplanted into this 57-yr-old man. Results are still unknown but twenty people per day die waiting for a heart transplant

27. "The BFG" author Dahl: ROALD - The story of a Big Friendly Giant and a ten-yr-old girl

32. Bulls dominated them in the '90s: NBA FINALS - Michael Jordan "retired" for the '94 - '95 seasons 

33. China can be found in one: DINING SET.

34. Humdingers: STANDOUTS 

36. Montana et al.: Abbr.: QBS - Signed Joe Montana helmets

37. Arrival time factor: SPEED - I just calculated that I can get to Lincoln one minute and fifteen seconds faster at 74 mph instead of the legal 70 mph

42. Kitchen prep spot: ISLAND.

44. It may check out: ALIBI - Did OJ's ALIBI check out? Google at will

45. Arabic holy book: KORAN.

46. Breed in "Hachi: A Dog's Tale": AKITA.

48. Dolly user: MOVER.

0. Part of Caesar's boast: I SAW - "Veni, vidi, Comedi" "I Came, I SAW, I Ate"

51. Toon lion voiced by Jeremy Irons: SCAR.

Life imitating art?

52. Grunt wear: CAMO.

54. Sellout letters: SRO - Standing Room Only tickets for Husker VB are not cheap! Every one of the 8,500 seats for every match are already sold. They are one of two college VB programs that actually make money

55. Method: HOW.

* From 59 Across: The correct question for  "Three-razzie winner" is "What was The Love Guru?".  BTW, it lost $20M and Mike Myers hasn't made a movie of his own since


OwenKL said...

FIRight! Tho lack of a ta-da warned me to check for errors after it was filled. I had no idea how to spell SRIRACHA, which slowed down that corner. No need to list t/os -- if you got it wrong the first time, I probably did too.
At "Like one who can't even hit an easy pitch" I so wanted to write my own name in. Hand up if you felt the same!
I did get two CSOs -- ROWENA (feminine form of OWEN) and LOKI (my nom-de-crucis back when I was constructing cryptic crosswords, and part of my Gmail eddress). Maybe three: I was TONE DEAF before I became mostly deaf.

When I carry a tote-bag, am I the totee?
Or is that the bag, and the toter is me!
English will offer
Such a teeter-totter --
The proper phrase seldom fits TO A TEE!

He said he'd STOP AT NOTHING! To wit,
He'd find out in the END, even if it was SPLIT!
He searched high and low,
Till he reached zero --
He said he'd stop a nothing, so he QUIT!

{A-, B+.}

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

D-o was "in the groove" this morning, finishing this one at least two minutes faster than yesterday. Seemed weird to see those marching Qs across Utah. ROWENA came bubbling up unbidden from some brain recess. Interesting pairing of Java SEA and Indian OCEAN. Really liked this one. (No reveal and no theme to miss. What's not to like?) Nicely done, Chase, Jeff, and Husker.

HAVASU -- Made a side trip to Havasu City and drove over the London Bridge, not realizing that was it. We were expecting towers. Can you spell disappointed?

"Java" -- Did you read that Indonesia is moving its capital? Jakarta is smog-ridden, crowded, and worst of all, sinking. The new capital will be on the island of Borneo.

Cheryl LADD -- She played Kris Munroe, replacing Farrah Fawcett's Jill Munroe on TV's Charlie's Angels.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIR! Erased nope for AIN'T, jal for ANA, sears for CHARS, sts for QBS, and way for HOW. Didn't like BATARANG, but the perps seemed solid so I let it stand.

Gary, I would call the thing in your picture a (hand) truck, not a dolly. To me a dolly is a flat device with wheels on the bottom. But I guess if you are using either, you are a MOVER, whether a household or a file cabinet is being MOVEd.

DRA is part of tomorrow's halftime act. I'll miss it, as I do every SB halftime. Great time to walk the dog.

Hand up for not knowing how to spell SRIRACHA. But I'm never sure how to spell anything!

Thanks to Chase and Jeff for letting me play on Saturday. And thanks to Gary for another fine review.

Big Easy said...

Good morning to Chase, Jeff, an all. I crossed the EQUATOR(s) sailing the waters (Java SEA, Indian OCEAN, , Lake HAVASU) this morning. Twenty minutes today, IN A WORD fast for a Saturday puzzle.

THE QUEENS GAMBIT- know of it as a chess move but had no idea about the show
ROWENA & PROUST- unknowns by perps
SRIRACHA- thank you PROUST for the correct spelling
TONE DEAF- just try to listen to Karaoke or a church choir and you'll hear a lot of tone deaf singers
JAL before ANA
LOUIE, DEWEY, DAISY but not HUEY would fit.

Wilbur Charles said...

A pleasant surprise sailing through a Jeff Chen Saturday xword. Of course the multiple sports references were right up my alley even though I thought Montana was a state.

And I know my Disney Ducks; Scrooge McD comics were my favs with those Beatle Boys

Magnus is a chess immortal hence GAMBIT. And…
I think I mentioned my first job was lobSTER shucker.

ROWENA was Ivanhoe's first love until the flashing eyes of Rebecca lured him. Thackeray wrote a sequel "Rebecca and Rowena".

Along with Magnus , Phil informed me about the BATARANG


Anonymous said...

Finished in 11:11, with a similar experience to Big Easy.

Proust crossing lout, and Rowena crossing sea were the last to fill for me. Havasu was thankfully filled-in by perps. Never would've known that.

I enjoyed the fresh clues, but I didn't care for all the obscure proper names (Rowena, Havasu, etc).

If you enjoyed "The Queen's Gambit," then I strongly recommend "Godless." It's from the same creator (or producer), but a Western. Jeff Daniels is fantastic in it. It's also a limited series of about 7 or 8 episodes.

Wilbur Charles said...

I 'inked' tats/PENS slowing me down in NW.
Michael thought if he could dunk a basketball he could hot a curve. Not.


Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I finished this in well-below usual Saturday time but not as quickly as SS. The long fill certainly helped, especially Stop At Nothing and The Queen’s Gambit. I thoroughly enjoyed that series which I was reluctant to watch, thinking it might be boring. Was I ever wrong! I thought today’s cluing was exceptional. I had a few obstacles, to wit, Rowena, Navasu, and Batarang, the latter two being completely unknown. I also stumbled on Edit/Pens, Fewer/Items, and Had/Has. The constructing duo threw in plenty of fun duos with How/Whys, Dre/Tee, AKA/ANA, Sea/Ocean, Speed/Stop, Scan/Scar, Lock/Loki, and Proust/Kafkfa and in honor of Super Bowl weekend, a sports foursome, QBs/Split End/Tee/NBA Finals. CSOs to Ray O and Inanehiker (Rounds, Scan, Organs, Scar), Keith (Act, SRO), and BigEasy and Hahtoolah (Raw Oysters).

Thanks, Chase and Jeff, for a very enjoyable and satisfying solve and thanks, Chase, for dropping by and sharing your background info and your kitties and thanks, HG, for your lively and informative commentary, visuals, and links which, miracle of miracles, I was able to see immediately. Seeing Robert Preston is always a welcome treat and Hachi evoked memories of that poignant movie while Scar evoked memories of his evilness.

SS @ 7:23 ~ What streaming service is Godless on? I love Jeff Daniels and enjoyed seeing him recently on Sunday Morning. I remember my introduction to him was as Flap in Terms of Endearment.

Owen, A+ on both verses!

Have a great day.

inanehiker said...

This puzzle eventually dropped into place - but I usually solve from NW to SE. This one I solved in the middle and then went SW to SE working my way up to NE and finally tackled a sea of white in the NW.

Like IM and HG - I really enjoyed "THE QUEENS GAMBIT" - who would have thought playing chess would be so exciting!

D-O - agree on the underwhelming nature of London Bridge in HAVASU City - London kept it's Tower Bridge that is so iconic

Thanks HG and thanks Chase for stopping in and for the puzzle with Jeff

CrossEyedDave said...

I have not read today's Blog, as I am still stuck on yesterday's.

MalMan @4:19 said
Topanga Canyon Road
Jinx@6:27 said Topanga Canyon Highway, and,
Bicycle ride, 2 points on license and a fine?


What if you don't have a license?
Are driving licenses just a means of punishment?

I just had to check this out!

A Google Earth satellite search blew me away!
From the water towers to the ocean would be one hell of a bike ride.
I am sorry to report that there is no sign of a trailer park at the apex.
It looks like all solid homes now, in a gated community.
(Google street view is not allowed in...)

I am looking for a motorcycle ride video,
But got sidetracked with this 4K drive and drone tour
That will take you right home.

But wouldn't you know I would do it backwards!
I should have done the ride northeast into the valley instead of SW to the ocean!

Oh well,
still looking,
But last night comments are why I never finish the puzzle before lunchtime.
(The breakfast crowd is safe , for now...)

YooperPhil said...

A typical Saturday xword for me, a slow start to a foothold as I can only confidently fill in a few words at first glance, and those aren’t always right either, and after ten minutes I’m staring at a SEA of white, or sometimes an OCEAN which makes me start thinking of the dreaded FIW. But after much thought and work it starts to come together, and today after getting THE QUEENS GAMBIT (very good miniseries) and STOP AT NOTHING, the majority of the puzzle was not too difficult to perp. FIR in 21:32, acceptable for me but probably an “F” for Speedy Solver! Thank you Chase and Jeff for the morning mind exercise, hope to see some more collaborations!

Irish Miss ☘️ ~~ always enjoy your puzzle parsings!

HG ~~ another outstanding illustrative recap!

On a side note - a Yooper (40 year old Nick Baumgartner) won a gold in mixed snowboard cross with 36 year old Lindsey Jacobellis, both pretty old in the snowboard world.

Subgenius said...

As usual for a Saturday, there were a number of words that required a WAG, including Rowena, Havasu, "batarang" (which I presume is Batman's boomerang) and ANA" to name a few. I also first thought of "tend" for "care" rather than "mind" but, after all, you can say "I don't mind" as well as "I don't care" so it makes sense. After I checked the answers, I could hardly believe I FIRed but somehow, through P & P and a lot of the aforementioned WAGing, I did, so I'm happy. I'm also happy because it's 65 degrees at 10:00 in the morning in sunny Richmond, Virginia today. The forecast is for a little snow tomorrow, but it's not supposed to be too bad.

ATLGranny said...

A satisfying Saturday FIR, but with lots of WOs. The most frustrating area was caused by poor handwriting. My N in ROUNDS looked like a U and adding to entering jal/ANA (Hi, Jinx) I struggled with "ubj" FINALS way too long. OK, Nippon, not Japan. That was my last fill.

Like Husker Gary, my first thought was corn for my husked edible and "ear of corn" did fit, until perps said otherwise. I had aviATORS/EQUATORS which led to seeing all the Qs in this puzzle! Well done, Chase and Jeff! And thanks to Husker Gary for the review and Chase's comments. A Saturday treat.

TTP said...

Good morning.

LOUT and SOPS were my last fills. I never knew of SOPS in the sense of conciliatory gestures. As "soaks up", yes. As an abbrv for standard operating procedures, yes. But in the sense of concessions or conciliatory gestures, no. Oh well, all's well that ends well.

I read the early morning comments and then went back to sleep. Just finished reading Gary's review. Well done.

Chase, you comment of what Jeff would have said cracked me up. You two must be good friends in order to be able to get away with that one.

Owen, "Like one who can't even hit an easy pitch" - My self deprecating humor is that as I have aged, either my singing has improved or my hearing has worsened.

D-O, I knew that about Jakarta. I don't think I read about it. Maybe, but I seem to recall learning that while watching a documentary on climate change. I am surprised that you drove across the London Bridge. I read or heard somewhere a long, long time ago, that it was falling down, falling down.

Gary, I had to take a driver's safety course in Germany about driving on the autobahns. One section stressed that although there are sections of the autobahn where you can drive as fast as you want, doing so isn't as safe, won't necessarily save you that much time, and may actually cost you more. The case study was that two identical cars with professional drivers drove the length of the country from south to north. The driver that was not speed restricted in the open sections got there first, but not by all that much. Also used more fuel and had significantly more brake wear. There's probably a webpage somewhere on the interweb has the numbers and conclusions.

CrossEyedDave said...

(Legally anyway...)

It could be because this puzzle was so dang hard,
but I am blaming it on being so late, watching too many videos,
and this gorgeous SW Florida weather...

(Woohoo! 78 degrees. I'm going to the beach!)


desper-otto said...

I-M, Godless is currently streaming on Netflix.

Wilbur Charles said...

Re. Speed on Interstates. The biggest danger now are "weavers" high speed(90+) drivers flying up on the right, undetectable. So the ultimate irony? The safest way to travel is to set cruise control at 85 and stay rooted in left, outside lane. Ignore mirror although the "gaters" will actually try to get your attention in the side mirror.


Malodorous Manatee said...


Very funny D.O. I was going to go with ear worm but that, too, would have led to some commentary.

Jinx, I know the mobile home park of which you spoke but did not, yesterday, notice if it was still there.

TTP - Upload speed is way up. Download speed is way ... up. Latency, is way down. So far it seems like the right move.

waseeley said...

Thank you Chase, and I guess you too Jeff. Chase, I am humbled by your humility. It sounds like you've just become one of our service providers, as probably half of our purchases are made via Amazon.

A typical Saturday struggle for me. Started early, filling about 1/3 of it, and then got interrupted. When I got back all the white spaces seemed to fill themselves and I FIR.

Thank you Husker for your usual informative and well illustrated review. I'm going to see if there is an IRIS SCAN app for my Android.

A few favs:

1A STRIPS. I took "Gets debriefed" to be a solo act, but it sounds like you may have had different experiences.

7A PADLOCK. There weren't nearly enough letters in ELI to fill it.

25A SRIRACHA. You use the same brand I do! I use it in my homemade hummus and for seasoning our homemade salsa verde. The last batch we canned has so much Sriracha in it that I can use it to season other stuff. And thanks for the etymology.

23 NSA. It's just down the road from me, but you realize of course that there's really No Such Agency?

25A EQUATORS. Trickiest clue - "worlds"? You mean there's more than one? Had AVIATORS and it seemed to work until it didn't. Correcting it created three Q words and opened up all kinds of possibilities, e.g. ...

35A THE QUEENS GAMBIT. I'm looking forward to the end of the NETFLIX run, so we can see this on PRIME.

57A I think that OMELT got folded wrong somehow.

3D RAW OYSTERS. Yesterday we had "beautiful swimmers" from the Chesapeake Bay. Today we have raw oysters, or as I like to call them Chesapeake Bay SUSHI.


waseeley said...

Word of the Day: radical

Pronunciation: rΓ¦-dΓͺ-kΓͺl

Part of Speech: Adjective, noun

Meaning: 1. Forming the fundamental nature or root of something. 2. Extreme, reflecting an extreme change or difference in the fundamental nature or root of something. 3. (Linguistics) Pertaining to the root of a word. 4. (Botany) Springing directly from the root(s) of a plant.

Notes: Here is a word that is much in the news lately as the two US parties use it to describe each other. Three nouns are used to refer to extremist positions or just the quality of being radical: radicality, radicalism, and radicalness. The verb is radicalize "to make radical". This adjective is often used as a noun referring to a person with extreme views.

In Play: The sense in which this word is used most often is "fundamental, basic": "Everyone noticed the radical change in Myrtle's attitude since she won the lottery." The nominal use of this word means "extremist": "Democrats and Republicans waste their time accusing each other of being social and political radicals."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Late Latin radicalis "having roots", from radix (radic-s) "root".

See Alpha Dictionary for more info.

Lucina said...


Very late today because I was on the telephone for about an hour but actually for a Saturday this was a speed run. Thank you, Chase and Gary! Chase, you must be very good friends with Jeff Chen to write that memo. I admire your self confidence.

I have not seen any of the TV shows mentioned but have heard enough comments about them to know ROWENA and THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT.

Thank you, Owen, for the information that ROWENA is the feminine form of Owen. Interesting!

Jeremy Irons is another actor with whom I am madly in love. Unrequited, of course. Sigh.

I've made one trip to Lake HAVASU with my daughter and her friend but it was too long ago to recall any details.

I love ROALD Dahl's books and have seen the movie about the peach many, many times. It's one of my granddaughter's favorites and so imaginative.

CSO to myself at TOOTHACHE. When it happens, it's torture! Luckily, it's all gone now. The pain that is.

If any of you have been watching the tennis tournament here you have seen our glorious winter weather. It's 71 and sunny right now.

Have a spectacular Saturday, everyone!

Lucina said...

James and the Giant Peach. It just came to me.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Gonna hafta take a DNF, was 90٪ finished when the online puzzle was suddenly replaced with an "aw snap something went wrong, reload" message and when I reloaded the puzzle was blank again. (We held the paper delivery while away.) Didn't want to start over so unfortunately I decided to STOP AT NOTHING. πŸ˜’

If you haven't seen "THE QUEENS'S GAMBIT" pick it up on NETFLIX. ♟♟♟

Inkovers: Jal/ANA, way/HOW,

Almost put toasts for ROUNDS. "Bulls dominated them in the 90's" who? matadors? πŸ‚
Liked the TONE DEAF misdirection. CΓ¦sar's boast apparently not Veni, Vidi, aut Vici but ISAW (in Anglicus) "Shucked edible" kept thinking vegetable not animal.πŸ¦ͺ. Oh NOW I understand STRIPS for "debriefed" 😊...clever, but SOPS as a "conciliatory gesture"?πŸ€”

Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor, looking good at 70. I don't remember a BATARANG 🦸‍♂️

Hubert Duck, Deuteronomy Duck, and Louis Duck (Huey, Dewey, and Louie) must have been a triple yolker egg. Mortimer (Morty) and Ferdinand (Ferdie) are Mickey's nephews BTW
W. C. @ 7 AM, think you mean the Beagle Boys

German sausages...WORSTS
Online witticism....EQUIP
Laurel or Getz uncertainty....STANDOUTS
Brae Boy...LADD

Have a nice weekend. Getting used to white stuff as snow not sand. πŸ– 🌨

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Not bad (for me) on a SAT. Started off strong (PAD LOCK didn't fool this hobbyist-lockpicker) but I really shot myself in the foot with some bad fill: a snap o' my grid b/f peeking at HG's grid. //What's an ATWATER? I donno, a jet-stream in the ocean? :-)
After two hours, I was done #WhiteFlag

Thanks Chase & Jeff for the grid. Thanks also, Chase, for the behind the scenes. Congrats on Jeff's assessment of your gridding & tennis (LOL!) and your position at Amazon; I'll call you next time a package doesn't show* :-)

Wonderful expo, HG. Thanks for correcting my grid for some extra-play. Argg! I wanted FIN but, um, there's no NBA team with an F in it... :-(

Fav: SRIRACHA (love it!) - I nearly peeked in the 'fridge for the spelling, OMK ;-)
Waseeley - SRIRACHA is also a must atop peanut sauce for spring-rolls.

{A, B+}

BigE - Stan's downtown on Texas? I think I went there the couple of times I could beg my buddy with a truck to indulge me. Never had enough money in HS (that's what happens when a nerd gets a girlfriend :-)) to buy anything.

TXMs - "Then I was all like..." is even worse than I go/ s/he went ;-)

TTP / D-O / TX homeowners - It's all the red clay in the soil.
TTP - If I can blame anything on WHY the house shifted so much (broken drain pipes?), I would. State Farm is all like, "we know you have riders for foundation & underground plumbing but the fine-print yadda-yadda-yadda." Neighbor's BIL is lawyer specializing in home-owners insurance so... (there goes more $$$?)

I think I'll try again to get DW to watch QUEENS GAMBIT with me. We've been watching Agatha Raisin with the girls. Think Cabot Cove; no there one died until she showed up :-)

CED - I think when Jinx (FLN) said bike, he was talking motorcycles. Jinx?

HG: Only going 4mph above the SPEED limit doesn't do you alotta good. In DW's Alfa, however, if the road is open, I can cut >30m off the 3hr drive on I-10 to San Antonio (with out weaving, WC - I'm not a maniac!)
//do the math. Speed limit is 70 and it's 194mi to get there :-)

Nothing puzzle-a-propos: Something I saw on Twitter last night...
Your moment of Zen: 4yro dinosaur snowboarding.

Cheers, -T
*Waseeley - since Covid began it's been like Christmas every(other)day. A package shows up!!! //oh, again :-( just more stuff for Eldest's pet red-ear'd turtle *sigh*

Ray - O - Sunshine said...


TTP @ 9:26 PM

Most monitored deletions occur as a result of breaking the cardinal blog rules.

"But you can keep being paranoid that you are being censored if that fits your mien."

Not sure what that implies. 😳

I'm not paranoid , just because I have an unrelenting distrust and suspicion of others.πŸ™„

Lemony @ 10 PM...Most of my comments are pretty horrendous. 🀣

Jinx in Norfolk said...

-T, no, Dane's fine was for speeding on his bicycle. BTW, in Virginia (and probably other states) you can lose your drivers License for BWI (boating while intoxicated). Also, although it is legal to pee over the transom into the water, it is a crime to pee in a bucket and dump it overboard.

Anonymous T said...

Ray-O: Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you :-)
Be careful - Paranoia is self Destroyer" :-) [Kinks] //love me some Sabbath - Thx.

Jinx - For real? TX's MS150 would be canceled if they arrested beer swilling riders. //my beer club has a cycling problem :-)

I think S. Louisiana has the same B[oating]WI law (BigE?). Find one cop that will enforce it. [ibid public intoxication law in the French Quarter].
I mean, unless you go Florida-Man stupid, the Men in Blue [NOLA cops are so chill] just tell you "have a nice night" as you stumble back to your hotel.

Cheers, -T

unclefred said...

Just proud to get ‘er done on a Saturday. I like to time myself but today there were so many interruptions I gave up. 1A STRIPS popped right into my head….so I didn’t write it in until I got some perps; seemed too easy for a Saturday. SRIRACHA is my next-to favorite sauce after Worcestershire, so that was a big help in the NE. W/O NODS:SOPS. I’m not familiar with that use of SOPS, all perps. BATARANG also took a number of perps to suss. OMELET I always think has two “M”s or two “L”s, one or the other. I’m just happy to FIR a Saturday, as too often they are beyond my meager ability. Thanx for the fun challenge, CD & JC. And thanx too for the terrific write-up, HG. Please know that all the time and effort u put into it is appreciated.

TTP said...

MM, that's great. I thought you would see the improvement over DSL. I can't believe the speeds I get with cable. The problem here is that there's no real competition among the cable companies. Where I live, it's Comcast. If I want cable, it has to be them. And I can't get DSL here anyway. Too far away from the nearest telephone exchange.

Dash T, oh ok. I get it. You had said the other day you thought might have had a broken pipe near your kitchen when you had the deep freeze. Then you commented about your foundation and piles of dirt. Sad to hear you have to go through that. Didn't your wife want to sell and move closer to her work ? {ducks}

Absolutely the cutest snowboarder I've ever heard and seen. They played that clip on WGN Daytime Chicago Thursday or Friday morning. Thanks for sharing it; I forgot to show DW.

Jinx, what was that setting for the Android that you mentioned the other day ? Was it night mode ? I can't find it. Nor you comment.

In the very early hours the other morning, the phone beeped and woke me up. So I checked, and there was a message about "Put unused apps to sleep" settings. Thanks a lot. There was another one about the weather, so maybe that was it. Not sure, but I did find out how to mute sounds completely. I thought you mentioned a specific mode or setting to limit sounds overnight.

Irish Miss said...

CED @ 11:15 ~ It seems as though you’re spending longer periods of time in Florida than you did in the past. Is that so?

DO @ 11:23 ~ Thanks for the info. Netflix has so many choices I can’t keep up with what’s available.

Bill @ 12:31 ~ Sounds like you and I had the same seafood appetites. I received a package this morning containing fresh Maine lobster meat (all tails), Steamer Clams, Littleneck Clams, Sea Scallops, and New England Clam Chowder. Somewhere along the line, there was a mix-up as I have always received orders from this vendor via FedEx, but today’s order came via UPS and according to the delivery confirmation email from UPS, the shipment was from Lumberman’s Wholesalers. Add this mystery to Thursday’s 5 emails with differing delivery dates for the same package and I’d say UPS has some gremlins in their communications system.

I grocery shopped earlier this morning and there wasn’t a chicken wing in sight. I guess everyone stocked up already for tomorrow.

Jayce said...

A nice challenge for this morning. Chugged away at it, filling it little by little. Unable to finish the NW corner without looking up Ravenclaw, which broke that corner open. (I know almost nothing about Harry Potter stuff.) I smiled when I finally got the "debriefed" clue; funny. To me, SPLIT END will always be a hair issue. I've been a Batman fan for many years and do not recall ever hearing or reading the term BATARANG. I see PROUST, KAFKA, and ROALD Dahl have paid us a visit today.

Nifty verses, Owen.

One of my nephews owns a house at Lake HAVASU. I don't think he's ever lived in it. He used to use it as a vacation getaway but now he lives in Hsin Chu, Taiwan, so I doubt he has used it at all for over a year.

Good wishes to you all.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I did about 40% on my own. This toughie from the Dittrich/Chen team reminded me to pay closer attention to clues. My skimming eyes too often went for the simplest reading ("Yale"/"express lane"/"easy pitch" &c.) without considering other interps.
Gotta watch that.

Thanks for the mention, Anon T @ 1:01...
But I can't say I quite understand why you connect me with SRIRACHA (or with what's in the 'fridge.)

I was complaining yesterday that the Winter Olympics aren't showing plain old-fashioned ski jumping. And so of course they showed it last night. I guess the universe is paying attention after all.
Those two striking black diagonals in the grid prevent any anagrammatic diagonals from happening.

Malodorous Manatee said...

Agnes, that sounds delicious, gremlins or not. When's dinner?

CrossEyedDave said...

Yes, SW Florida has become my winter home.
But CED's return to New Jersey just like flamingos in the spring,
or Capistrano, or something...

Turns out that topanga road/canyon is the the same Canyon
from Joni Mitchell"s "Lady's of the Canyon" album!
The narrator lists all the music stars who lived there
in the video. (But he forgot Micky Dolenz of the Monkees)

I had no TV or internet all last night
because Xfinity sucks, and goes out every other day.
I can usually tell when I am going to have to reboot my modem
Because the TV picture and sound get out of sync.
Call them to report an outage, and they will ask you to unplug,
then replug (a new word!) your modem. Then give you a service appointment for next week.
Of course the service comes back eventually by itself. But then they add insult to injury
by making you manually cancel the service appointment or pay a service charge.

(Sorry, end of rant. )

P.S. where is Vidwan?

TTP said...

Ray O @ 1:03 said, "Most monitored deletions occur as a result of breaking the cardinal blog rules."

Not sure where you are getting that info, but it's definitely not what happens on this blog.

For the one year period from Dec 1st 2020 to November 30, 2021, I personally deleted over 750 spam comments on this blogspot. Add to that all the ones that C.C. or the daily bloggers have deleted on their days.

In fact, there's been an increase in the rate of spam comments lately, and I've probably deleted at least 20 in the last 3 days alone. All I would say is that I would advise readers to be cautious and suspicious when seeing links in comments that are not from regulars.

In the same period of 12/1/20 to 11/30/21, I may have MODERATED and deleted maybe five to ten comments that were not spam. They weren't censored comments. But they were clearly out of bounds, in my judgement. So they were moderated. Oh, and as you have now learned, each of the daily bloggers can delete comments on the days they blog.

Comments here are moderated, in the spirit of the blog guidelines, not censored. Not sure why you and another would periodically but consistently imply, suggest or state that comments here are being censored, but if that's what you want to project, that's fine.

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

TTP...Appreciate your surveillance. 🧐

CED...Where are you in SW Florida? πŸ€”

Vid...WOS...Where are you? 😯

Misty said...

Well, Saturdays are usually impossible toughies for me, but this one tempted me, and with a fair amount of cheating I had fun working on it.

I loved some of the crazy clues, beginning with that first one: STRIPS for de-briefed just cracked me up.

It was a while before the long downs filled in, and I did get ACHE for the end of that "Canine woe." Oh, wait, not a dog but--a TOOTH ACHE

Another one that made me laugh was that "Exam involving a pupil." As a retired professor I went through all the possibilities until it hit me that these were different pupils: Oh, IRIS SCAN.

Lots of fun--many thanks, Chase and Jeff. And, Gary, I loved all those great pictures--a special thanks for those.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

waseeley said...

-T @1:01 PM We're Agatha Raisin fans too. If you like that series, you'd probably also like The Queens of Mystery, about a young woman detective and her three meddling crime writer aunts. We just finished Series 2 and loved it.

Irish Miss said...

MalMan @ 4.06 ~ Well, as is my wont when I order seafood, I go overboard, so I have to really plan my meals based on shelf life. The scallops are portioned out and in the freezer, as is the clam chowder which was already frozen. I had two lobster tails for dinner and the remaining tails will be used for lobster rolls. The steamer clams will be lunch tomorrow and the little necks will be linguine and clams, probably Monday night. If you can teleport yourself from coast to coast, I’d be more than happy to share the bounty! 🦞

CED @ 4:13 ~ Congratulations on your extended Winter residency in Florida. We spent 4 years year round and 13 years of 6 months in Florida and 6 months up North. We came back to Troy permanently in 2002.

Michael said...

C-Ed @ 9:09--

Thanks for the drive in Topanga Canyon. A really nice video ... but just hope that no fire starts there; all that 'greenery' is pretty dry.

LEO III said...

Well, I’m happy to report that I had another one-square FIW. I’m happy, though, because I actually finished a Saturday puzzle! I’m really not sure if I’ve ever finished one in the past. My only downfall was BATARANG/SCAR. I also don’t remember Batman’s having a boomerang, and I didn’t know SCAR at all.

Thanks, Chase and Jeff and Gary. It was slow going for me, but it usually is anyway this late in the week.

It took me a while to come up with HAVASU. I mean, I knew it wasn't Lake Mead, and I’ve BEEN to London Bridge! When my sister lived in Vegas, we attended a trade show there. My sister and her roomie liked to get out of Dodge and go down to Laughlin, so when the trade show was over, we drove down for the weekend. On Saturday morning, we left them gambling in Laughlin, and we drove on down to Lake Havasu City. Hey! It’s only around 70 miles; in Texas, that’s just around the corner! I’ve driven farther here in Houston for a party. My motto is as long as I’m in the ‘hood, DO IT! “We may never pass this way again….” (Jim Seals and Dash Crofts) Yes, I have many regrets along those lines for NOT taking the time! No mΓ‘s!

One of my first partial fills was 60D, waiting to see which had done. Didn’t know he spoke English, so after removing V__I, that corner finally fell.

Like others, I wasn’t sure how to spell SRIRACHA. I might have used it once or twice, but I prefer the salsas made by a local company under the label ARRIBA!

I also had a few unknowns, which perps solved.