, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Thursday, March 23, 2023, Rebecca Goldstein & Rafael Musa


Mar 23, 2023

Thursday, March 23, 2023, Rebecca Goldstein & Rafael Musa

 Today's veteran constructors Rebecca Goldstein and Rafael Musa (19 & 4 LAT puzzles respectively including today's) present us with another scrambled word game.  Their theme appears at first to be a bit of a downer, so to clear that up right away, let's start with the reveal ...

 62A. "This doesn't feel right," and what can be said about some letters in the answers to the starred clues?: THE VIBES ARE OFF.   This phrase generally connotes that the speaker is sensing BAD VIBES, or an EDGY feeling of unease (e.g. see 69A).  Quite honestly when this reviewer realized this he panicked and started looking around for an antidote.  So to calm everyone down we'll start with some
... from master vibraphonist Gary Barton leading
a quintet by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla

Now that we've relaxed a bit we can see that reveal doesn't really have anything to do with emotional turmoil. On the contrary it simply describes the parsing of four rather innocuous theme clues, each of which has an embedded acronym of the word VIBE spanning two words:

16A. *Players who cover wide receivers: DEFENSIVE BACKS.  The timing of this clue is not so good as Super Bowl LV was a month and half ago.  The big news that day was that Rhianna was the first pregnant woman to headline a half-time show.  Oh and ICYI the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38 to 35. . 

28A. *Film fanatic: MOVIE BUFF.  The news here is not quite as stale, as the Oscars were awarded March 12.  See 14A for more details.

39A. *Black Friday slogan: SAVE BIG.   Mark your calendars, the next Black Friday is Fri, Nov 24, 2023.  It's never too early to start getting in shape for that midnight mad dash ...

50A. *Couple in the honeymoon phase: LOVE BIRDS.  One of our nieces married just this past fall.  She's still in the honeymoon phase.  Our nephew, her brother, married about a year ago.  He's now in the parenting phase.

Here's the grid ...

Here's the rest ...


1. Acrobat format: PDF.

4. Mumford & Sons instrument: BANJOMumford & Sons is a British folk rock band formed in London in 2007.  Here's their Hopeless Wanderer (lyrics)

9.  ____ school: PREP.

13. Non opposite: OUI.  Today's French lesson.
14. Burmese or Lao: ASIANEverything Everywhere All at Once is a 2022 American absurdist comedy-drama film that follows Evelyn Wang, a Chinese-American immigrant who, while being audited by the IRS, discovers that she must connect with parallel universe versions of herself to prevent a powerful being from destroying the multiverse. Michelle Yeoh was the first ASIAN actress to win an OSCAR.

15. Trading floor order: SELL.

16A [Theme clue].

19. Part of a winesap or a wineglass: STEM.  Fruity clue.  STEM is also an acronym for "Science Technology Engineering and Math".  I would add an E to the end as Geeks should learn proper English.

20. Major headache: HASSLE.

21. Actress Shawkat: ALIAAlia Martine Shawkat (/ˈæliə ˈʃɔːkæt/ AL-ee-ə SHAW-kat; Arabic: عليا مارتين شوكت; born April 18, 1989) is an American actress. The big news about Alia is that she's not dating Brad Pitt.  OTOH she has been an actress for over 20 years.
Alia Shawkat
24. Pals: AMIGOS.  Today's Spanish lesson.

28A [Theme clue]

33. Uttered: SPOKE.

34. "... because you don't want to cross me": OR ELSE.

35. Burj Khalifa's fed.: UAE.  Here are the 7 federated emirates of  the United Arab Emirates, the largest being Abu Dhabi:  
The United Arab Republic
The Burj Khalifas is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is known for being the world's tallest building with a total height  of 829.8 m (2,722 ft, or just over half a mile).
Burj Khalifas
37. Frog's kid-lit friend: TOADFrog and Toad is a series of easy-reader children's books, written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel.  Each book contains five simple, often humorous, sometimes poignant, short stories chronicling the exploits of an anthropomorphic frog and toad, named Frog and Toad respectively.
38. "You're it!": TAG.

[Theme clue]

42. Go green, say?: DYE.  As TOAD's companion might say "It's not easy bein' green ...".  Here's Van Morrison's cover of the KERMIT classic (lyrics) ...

43. Gay __: ICON.  My two favorite gay ICONS are the English mathematician Alan Turing and the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.   Sadly both of these men took their own lives.  In Turing's case this was doubly sad as he was driven to suicide by people who, due to the Official Secrets Act, were completely unaware of the critical role he played in the breaking of the coding scheme of the Enigma machine used by the Nazis for secure communications during WWII.  In 2021 Great Britain at least partially atoned for this grave injustice by issuing this iconic currency:
On the obverse side of the note is Queen Elizabeth II.

is best known for his symphonies, ballets, and operas, but he also wrote songs.  One of his best known songs is based on a poem by the German polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe called None but the Lonely Heart (Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt, literally "Only he who knows longing") and expresses the poet's anguish at unrequited love.  As the song has been covered by many different singers, I'll spare you the German version:

  45. GQ or EW: MAGGentleman's Quarterly and Entertainment Weekly.  As GQ usually doesn't pass the breakfast test, here's what EW is covering as of press time on the Corner  (see also 28A).

46. Pampers product: DIAPER.  I'm sure my nephew has been changing a lot of these lately (see 50A).

48. Chimney ducts: FLUES.  [Usually] rectangular fire clay liners that protect the less heat resistant red brick of the chimney itself.  FLUES also have an additional function in fuel burning downdraft kilns.  They are usually equipped with dampers, which can be partially closed to temporarily reduce the amount of oxygen in the kiln, making possible the classic copper red(Sang de boeuf) and iron green celadon glazes developed by the Chinese over a 1000 years ago.
50. [Theme clue]

52. Plays matchmaker for: SETS UP.  If I recall correctly both sets of Love Birds in 50A above were SET UP.

54. Greek war god: ARES.  The antithesis of EROS, who was undoubtedly involved in the previous comment.

55. 18-Down units: TROOPS.  My grandsons' TROOP is No. 420.

58. Actor Neeson: LIAM. William John Neeson OBE (born 7 June 1952) is an actor from Northern Ireland. He has received several accolades, including nominations for an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, and two Tony Awards. In 2020, he was placed 7th on The Irish Times list of Ireland's 50 Greatest Film Actors. Neeson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2000.
Liam Neeson
62. [Reveal clue]

66. Intense anger: RAGE.

67. Birthplace of the violin: ITALYCremona, ITALY to be exact.  Antonio Stradivari's teacher, Andrea Amati is credited with inventing the modern violin and thus making this possible far in the future: Baltimorean Hilary Hahn performing the 1st movement cadenza to the Beethoven Violin Concerto:

68. Darjeeling, for one: TEA.

69. Neither calm nor collected: EDGY.  Someone whose VIBES ARE OFF.

70. Like some foggy nights: EERIE

71. Cribside chorus: AWS.  I think our new great nephew (see 50A above) has been getting a lot of these lately.


1. Vanilla units: PODSVanilla is a spice derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily obtained from pods of the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia).  We use vanilla extract in baking, but you can also scrape the seeds from the pods:
Vanilla Pods
2. Piece for two: DUET.  The "Flower Duet" for soprano and mezzo-soprano in the first act of Léo Delibes' opera Lakmé is sung by the characters Lakmé, daughter of a Brahmin priest, and her servant Mallika, as they go to gather flowers by a river.  You'll probably recognize it:

3. Marching band pipe: FIFEFifers were non-combatant foot soldiers who originally played the FIFE during combat. When played in its upper register, the fife is loud and piercing, yet also extremely small and portable. According to some reports, a band of fifes and drums can be heard up to 3 miles (4.8 km) away over artillery fire. Because of these qualities, European armies from the Renaissance on found it useful for signaling on the battlefield ... (click Watch on YouTube below to get this started [I thought Google owned both Blogger and YouTube!?]).
4. Block: BAN.

5. Donkey: ASS.

6. Hawaiian island whose population was 84 in the 2020 census: NIIHAUNiʻihau (you get extra points if you included the apostrophe), anglicized as Niihau (/ˈniː(i)haʊ/ NEE-(ee-)how), is the westernmost main and seventh largest inhabited island in Hawaii.
7. Cup of joe: JAVA.  Here's why some people call coffee a "cup of Joe";  here's why it's also called JAVA;  and here's why the programming language is called JAVA.
8. Snack machine inserts: ONES.

9. Old Testament collection: PSALMS.  In the Christian Old Testament and Hebrew Bible the PSALMS are a collection of 150 sacred songs and poems meant to be sung or recited.  Tradition has it that many of them were written by King David, who was reputed to be a harpist and quite a dancer in his day.  They are used extensively in the liturgies of both Christians and Jews.  They are also the primary prayers in the 4 week Psalter of Catholic Divine Office, which is prayed by priests, religious, and laity around the world throughout each day.
King David Playing the Harp
by Gerard van Honthorst

10. Lengthy register printout from CVS: RECEIPT.

11. Mammals also known as wapiti: ELK.  The ELK (Cervus canadensis), or wapiti, is one of the largest species within the deer family, Cervidae, and one of the largest terrestrial mammals in its native range of North America and Central and East Asia.
Bull Elk
in Alberta, Canada
12. Letters from a polite texter: PLS.  And the polite response is THX.

17. Message in Outlook: EMAIL.  Hand up if you still use this?

18. Org. with sashes and badges: BSABoy Scouts of America.  If you (or more likely your Mom) sew enough badges on those sashes you become an Eagle Scout.  *Hand up if you are an Eagle Scout?  I never reached the rank, but two of my grandsons have.  This medal is actually pinned to the uniform, not the sash ...
22. On sale, say: LESS.

23. Pronoun-shaped girder: I BEAM.  Now even girders have pronouns.  What's next?

25. Favorable optics, for short: GOOD PR.  Or even poor optic if your PR person is a good enough spinner.

26. Approved: OKAYED.

27. Passover rituals: SEDERS.  Passover will be here soon.  What is it and how is it celebrated?

28. Recurring themes: MOTIFS.

29. Soothsayer: ORACLEPythia (/ˈpɪθiə/; Ancient Greek: Πυθία [pyːˈtʰíaː]) was the name of the high priestess of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.  She specifically served as its oracle and was known as the Oracle of Delphi.  Also a company owned by Larry Ellison who also owns Lanai, the seventh largest Hawaiian island (see also 6D):
30. Ride the couch: VEG OUT.

31. Fire, in Spanish: FUEGO.   A lot of us know this Spanish word from our high school geography, as the Southern tip of Argentina was called Tierra del Fuego (the "Land of Fire"), by the explorer Ferdinand Magellan, due to the bonfires kept lit on the shore by the indigenous people.  Since he was actually Portuguese, I wonder why he didn't call it  Terra de Fogo.

32. British Invasion adjective: FAB.  As in the FAB FOUR.

36. Arctic Circle duck: EIDEREiders are large sea ducks in the genus Somateria. The three extant species all breed in the cooler latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The down feathers of eider ducks, and some other ducks and geese, are used to fill pillows and quilts—they have given the name to the type of quilt known as an eiderdown.
Eider Duck
40. 2021 documentary about actor Kilmer: VALVal Edward Kilmer (born December 31, 1959) is an American actor. Originally a stage actor, Kilmer found fame after appearances in comedy films, starting with Top Secret! (1984) and Real Genius (1985), as well as the military action film Top Gun (1986),  The Doors (1991) and the fantasy film Batman Forever (1995). Here's a clip from his bio-pic ...

41. Taunt: GIBE.

44. Funds for a rainy day: NEST EGGIRA was too short.  The ducks in 36A produce NEST EGGS about once a year, regardless of the weather.

47. Market section: AISLE.

49. Introductory course: SURVEY.

51. Jane Fonda's alma mater: VASSARVassar College (/ˈvæsər/ VASS-ər) is a private liberal arts college in Poughkeepsie, New York, United States. Founded in 1861 by Matthew Vassar, it was the second degree-granting institution of higher education for women in the United States, closely following Elmira College. It became coeducational in 1969 and now has a gender ratio at the national average. The college is one of the historic Seven Sisters, the first elite women's colleges in the U.S., and has a historic relationship with Yale University, which suggested a merger before they both became coeducational.
53. Starchy luau dish: POI.

56. Award related to a Tony: OBIE. A made up homophone for the letters OB, short for Off Broadway musicals. Here are the winners for the 66th Annual OBIE Awards held on February 13, 2023.  Years back we saw The Fantasticks, which holds the record for the longest running Off Broadway show.  You'll probably remember this song ...
57. Slugger Alonso nicknamed "Polar Bear": PETE.  Plays 1st Base for the NY Mets.  A right handed batter he made his MLB debut during the 2019 season and broke the major league record for the most home runs by a rookie with 53.  He's age 28, 6'3" and weighs 245 pounds.  Here are his stats.
Pete Alonso

59. Whit: IOTA.
60. Not many: A FEW.

61. Degs. for ballerinas: MFASMaster of Fine ArtsYou can get one here.  Many operas have ballet scenes (they're required in French operas).  We've seen only one full-length ballet and decided that they're too expensive and too addictive.

62. Uno e uno e uno: TRE.  Today's Italian lesson: THREE.  Sorry, no OPERA today.

63. "I've been __!": HAD.

64. "Moonlight" Oscar winner Mahershala: ALIMoonlight is a 2016 American coming-of-age drama film written and directed by Barry Jenkins, based on Tarell Alvin McCraney's unpublished semi-autobiographical play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. The film stars Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harris, and Mahershala Ali.  Here's the trailer:

65. Manhattan liquor: RYE.

*"Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout!"


As always, thanks to Teri for proof reading, for her constructive criticism.



OwenKL said...

A girl named ALIA from NI'IHAU
Grew rare native trees, Olulu.
The natives don't spoil it,
No one has a toilet.
And no tourists are allowed, oh boo-hoo.

BANJO Paterson* is my poetic fav.
His "Waltzing Matilda" is still a rave.
He was Australia's pride,
Wrote poems how to ride.
And ballads of how to misbehave!

*1864 - 1941

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Wow, you were up for a musical tour de force this morning, Waseeley. Bravo. Hand up if you've ever heard of Ni'ihau. "No how, he replied." I remember Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in the "I'm your huckleberry" scene from Tombstone. (One of my nephews just finished a painful series of treatments for his throat cancer. Too soon to know if they were successful.) Once again, d-o didn't notice the theme (or the reveal, for that matter) until it was 'splained in today's write-up. Still enjoyable, though. Thanx, Rebecca, Rafael, and Waseeley.

Subgenius said...

No, D-O, I was unfamiliar with “Ni’ihau” but the perps were, for the most part, kind (except when it came to “Alia”, whose last letter required a bit of a WAG). And the theme was opaque, until the reveal, when I finally understood what was going on. Anyway, I eventually managed to FIR, so I’m happy, if a little “worn out.”

unclefred said...

Despite not knowing any of the proper names, I did manage to FIR, though with a bit of a struggle. Did not notice the theme, but didn’t take the time to look for it, either. I suspect I would have figured it out had I tried. Oh well. Anyway, thanx RG&RM for the entertaining CW. And Bill, you’ve done it again: a spectacular write-up. Thanx for all the effort you put into it.

TTP said...

Thank you, Rebecca Goldstein and Rafael Musa, and thank you Waseeley. Fun puzzle and review.

Nope, not today. I did not remember the first name of the actress from prior crossword fill. Et ALIA would have been known, but so would have et alii. I also did not know the name of the island, so a one letter error at their intersection. I wagged an E instead of an A. Alie is a first name. Oh well. Mox nix. I should be able to remember the name of the island in the future because it is similar to Ni Hao. Hello.

Bill, true that Google owns Blogger and YouTube, but the entity that uploaded the video is the content owner, subject to copyright claims. In the background, a unique Content ID is assigned, and is primarily used to prevent piracy. The content creator can use YouTube Content Manager to allow a video to allow a video 1) to be embedded anywhere, 2) to selectively allow or block a video on specified domains, or 3) block on all other domains. That selection, used in conjunction with the Content ID is how YouTube prevents the video from being displayed where not authorized. In short, some owners only want their videos to be plabyable on YouTube.

D-O, that Val Kilmer scene and line will be forever etched in my memory. Best wishes for your nephew.

PK, Happy Birthday ! Hope it was all good. You are just a bit older than my sister, and I often sense big sister similarities. The neighbor lady that I often mention and sort of look after called me yesterday to help her. Her birthday was Sunday. I told her Happy 78th ! She said she turned 80, but it would be okay if I said she was 78. :>)

Back later.

TTP said...

Plabyable ?

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Thanks for a tricky challenge, Rebecca & Rafael. Great expo, Bill & Teri!

This wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be when I couldn't come up with PDF/PODS/OUI/FIFE or NIIHAU/ALIA (never heard of either) just out of the starting gate. All of those were last to fill with some red-letter help. The rest of the puzzle WAGd & perped fairly well.

Did not get the VIBES theme until Bill explained.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIW, missing my WAG @ ALIn x NIIHnU. Also had a wry smile when I erased gin for RYE.

Hand up for using Outlook (not Outlook 360). I like to keep my emails on a local drive for archival purposes. Comes in handy once in a blue moon. Also hand up for seeing The Fantasitcks. Many times, in fact. In the round. In proscenium. Professional casts. Local productions. My personal jones.

Hanoi U also fit for VASSAR, but "they beam" wouldn't fit, leaving I BEAM.

FLN - PK, HBDTY. Glad you are doing well.

FLN - WC, In my little high school, the annual always had a "most likely to" statement for each senior. For my friend's older sister, they printed "Start a flying circus." Her parents caught it, and had a delicate conversation with her.

Thanks to Bill 'n' Teri for another fine day at the narrative mine.

inanehiker said...

Thanks to Rebecca and Rafael for an amusing theme- which I never got until the reveal

I remember all the major Hawaiian islands ever since my aunt & uncle moved there in the 1960s and I did a project on them in grade school. The old memories stick the best!

I struggled with where the violin was invented as I was trying to fill in a city...Milan-no Venice-no Naples-no ....finally the perps gave me the easier and generic ITALY

I always enjoyed Mr. TOAD's Wild Ride at Disneyland, the one at Disney World became a Winnie the Pooh ride. The Frog and Toad in the book series are reminiscent of the characters in the "Wind in the Willows" but not the same characters.

Thanks Bill & Teri for the fun blog - lots of good music today!

KS said...

FIR, but no thanks to the crossing of proper names, Niihau and Alia, for which I took a WAG and guessed right. I've never heard of either. As far as the theme goes, meh!

Anonymous said...

Took 5:13 for me to get the good vibrations going today.

Thought this was a fairly easy puzzle (and themeless at that).

I didn't know today's actress (Alia), the island populated by 84 people, the Italian number, or the French word.

I didn't care for the clue of "Gay ___" for icon. Not homophobic, just find it to be a bad clue/answer pairing.

Thanks for the nice review.

waseeley said...

Anon @8:06 AM Well the theme would have been a lot easier to spot with circles. 🙄

Big Easy said...

Did I get extra points for the apostrophe to correctly spell an island I'd never heard of? Not if you can't spell it crossing someone you'd never heard of. A DNF at the cross of ALIA & NI'IHAU. Didn't attempt a WAG. I never noticed the scrambled VIBE in the theme fills.

No other HASSLE to fill the rest of the grid with only PETE as a total unknown filled by perps.

ICON- Gay ____ was the worst clue I've ever seen in a crossword puzzle.

When I get an Rx from CVS I refer to their receipt as TOILET PAPER. Only about three feet long.

Jinx- I've given up on using Office 365, Outlook, Word, Excel, Linked In. Those Microsoft products are wonderful but all dovetail into their commercial products. I don't need them. I find Google Drive and Gmail easier for my needs.

Thanks to the LOVE BIRDS Bill and Teri for the write up.

ATLGranny said...

A lucky FIR today and after the reveal I was able to find the VIBES. Thanks, Rebecca and Rafael, for a successful puzzle today.

Hand up for having a WAG at the intersection of NI'IHAU and ALIA. I didn't know either and considered an E but decided on A, as more likely for a Hawaiian island. Otherwise perps were helpful and the fill made sense to me.

Thanks, waseeley and Teri, for elaborating in your review and for the music. The Flower Duet is one of my favorites. It was nice to hear it again.

Jinx, you made me smile with your wry smile today!
PK, I am glad you had a special birthday yesterday.
RosE, I hope your cataract procedure goes well today.

And I hope you all have a terrific Thursday!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was on the easy side for a Thursday with only two unknowns Alia and Ni’ihau. I should remember Alia Shawkat as she had a prominent role in the series The Old Man, a spy thriller with Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow. The island, however, was a true unknown. The theme was well-hidden (circles would have ruined it) until the reveal which, IMO, was on the meh side, as was the themer, Save Big.

Thanks, Rebecca and Rafael, and thanks, Bill, for the expansive and educational review. The musical interludes were wide-ranging and evocative and the visuals and videos piqued my interest on several subjects. Thanks to you and Teri for the weekly labor of love you both give to the write-up.


Belated Happy Birthday, PK, glad you enjoyed many well wishes, not to mention that fried chicken. As Hahtoolah would say, Yummers!

RosE, hope all went well with your procedure.

I have an appointment today with my ophthalmologist and, as always, am hoping for a good report.

Yellowrocks said...

FIR taking too long for a Thursday. P&P paid off. I had to skip around so I solved the reveal halfway through which was a big help.
I had OBIE early on, so there was the I that made ITALY a gimme.
ALI was all perps. NIIHAU and ALIA were was all perps with that A being a desperate wag. There is no E in Hawaiian.
I thought of GAY Nineties, but it was too long.
Almost 11:00 already and have gotten almost nothing done.

Lucina said...


Slow solve today but I finally managed to fill the grid. I like to think that I am a MOVIE BUFF but lately there have not been good choices in MOVIES. Not for me, anyway.

Visiting the ORACLE of Delphi was a BIG disappointment but of course it has been thousands of years since it was actually used and maintained.

When visiting Hawaii we learn about HIIHAU and Lanai, the only two I have not visited.

I've always liked LIAM Neeson and felt so bad for him when his wife, Natasha Richardson, died.

Yes, I still use E-MAIL.

Thank you, Bill and Teri and Rebecca and Rafael. Today was a nice challenge.

Have a lovely day, everyone!

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Hand up not being sure about ALIA | NI'IHAU. I had other unsure entries but perps were kind. Thanks Rebecca and Rafael for the puzzle.

I was also unsure of VIBES in the reveal, I found the (un-circled) VIBES and went for SURVEY (I guess a survey class? I was thinking 101 :-)) Anyway, I finished this before my 8am meeting was over so, good time.

Thanks for the detailed expo, waseeley. I do love learning.

WOs: N/A
Fav: I giggled at CVS RECEIPT's length being cited. //I've noticed they've cut the length recently.

{B, A [more learning!]}

Jinx - you're going to have to explain the non-Monty Python meaning of 'start a flying circus.'
Speaking of circus flying, Eldest's new hobbies are trapeze and aerial silks. She claims those are a good way to destress from PhD studies(?!?)

Inanehiker - I didn't know (remember?) Wind in the Willows wasn't Toad & Frog. Thanks.

Not using O365 - y'all are lucky to be retired. The entire M$ suite is imposed on us.

Lucina - Then go to ORACLE's campus in Silicon Valley. It's cute 'cuz all the buildings look like how we represent a database in functional diagrams.

Speaking of functional - back to work.
Cheers, -T

Husker Gary said...

-A penalty on a DEFENSIVE BACK played a big part in deciding this year’s Super Bowl
-When I think of EDGY, I think of Barney FIFE
-Comments on getting rid of canker sores are very welcome.

Anonymous T said...

HG - inside the mouth? I've found a baking soda paste between the gum and lip works well. Burns like heck for a minute but leave it there for a bit (or sleep with it in) and gone.
The internet says:
Dissolve 1 tsp. of baking soda in 1/2 cup of water.
Swirl this solution in your mouth for 15 to 30 seconds, then spit it out.
Repeat every few hours as needed.

Good luck! -T

Charlie Echo said...

FIR, but the VIBES (and clues) were definitely OFF. Today was a perp, WAG, and Witeout fest for me. My personal NATICK Was WEES on the island/actress combo. Agree with Big Easy on ICON. Really? C'mon! Jinx- a big ROGER THAT on Hanoi U.

Yellowrocks said...

We had introductory classes at Susquehanna U. called survey classes.

HG, I use Orajel. Works like a charm.

CrossEyedDave said...

Van Morrison covered Kermit?
Thanks Waseeley, I saved the video in order to research the whole Album.

Did I miss a birthday?

Re: puzzle

I have a nit...

It's one thing to have gay (blank)
(I was trying to squeeze Enola in there...)
But to have Non Opposite=OUI?
Ok, I get it, very clever... but to not have ANY Inkling that there is a foreign language involved in the clue is just puzzling below the belt. Nope, it runs me the wrong way, like a third grade violin recital...

E,E,E, E,E,E, E,E,O,UH, Eeeee...

I even went looking for a video of this horrible noise vibrations,
(but not even "I" could do that to you...

I will leave you with these good vibrations...

Wilbur Charles said...

A,E,I,O or U. I voted for ALIe Shawkrat. That Hawaiian island was also UNK. Patti was in need of vowels, I guess, but guessing is not my strong point. I notice no one used the obvious term, Natick. If that's not one…

Here are some good VIBrations

So, Cup of Joe is short for JAVA. No? Eh?

I'm in the middle of a financial transaction and the bank folks insist on EMAIL. So much junk there.


Yuman said...

Enjoyed today’s puzzle, just a few unknowns. I like Mahershala Ali in the “Green Book”
HG I just got over a nasty canker sore, I hadn’t had one in years. They are miserable! I used a salt water rinse and my dentist recommended Lysine 4000 mg daily, cuts healing time in half. Hope it helps you.
I have to sign in with my password every time I post, very frustrating.

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

FIR; I had heard of NI'IHAU but not that ALIA

I just today (after reading waseeley/Teri's amazing and instructive blog) that LIAM is a nickname for William. Doh! I never saw the connection of these letters to that name before ... perhaps it's because of how it's pronounced

I agree with what many of you said about the theme and entries; and yes, circles would have spoiled the puzzle

Speaking of circles ... be prepared (motto of the Boy SCOUTS) for them in tomorrow's puzzle ... that's the only [spoiler alert] I'll offer

If you'd like to solve another puzzle today, click on this link to do one titled "Calling Bill Haley". I happen to know the constructor personally ... enjoy!

Misty said...

Delightful Thursday puzzle, many thanks, Rebecca and Rafael. And thank you too, Bill and Teri.

Puzzle began with a series of foreign references to ASIAN culture and ITALY and AMIGOS who agree with each other with OUI--and lets hope they don't encounter a FUEGO.

There was also some lovely music, beginning with that BANJO playing, accompanied by a FIFE, but presumably not playing PSALMS. No, a DUET would be more suitable for those LOVE BIRDS who have good VIBES and are MOVIE BUFFS. But they are also trying to be responsible and SAVE BIG so they can have a NEST EGG down the road when they plan to walk down the AISLE. And before long they may be buying DIAPERS and enjoying a cup of TEA as a family.

Have a great day, everybody.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

-T, In Ian Fleming's Goldfinger, one of the main characters was Pussy Galore, who owned an all-woman aerobatic aviator troupe called her "Flying Circus."

-T, Why do you guys use Outlook 360 instead of Outlook w/ Exchange server? I only used the Office products because the training center where I worked used and taught them, and because I got the products and training free because I had to do courseware development to teach them. Now that the training center has closed, I'll move on to something else when Office 2019 support ends, probably Open. I'm pretty sure my training days are over. After all, I'm not 70 anymore!

CED - Wait until they try horseback riding!

Anonymous T said...

Jinx - I did not know that about Mrs. Galore.

Microsoft will end Exchange support in 2025 and every company is moving away from DataCenters to "Cloud." We've migrated 98% of mailboxes to O365.
//This is reminiscent of mainframe->mini->PCs->local servers->reconsolidation... As the IT World Turns, I guess.

O365 is OK and Teams is nice 'cuz we can (kinda) all edit the same document / spreadsheet at the same time [does NOT work with Visio!]. OneNote is really nice 'cuz you can open multiple instances simultaneously and everyone just adds stuff (works great [for me, anyway - boss-man has issues with it] when everyone is gathering incident data-points).

Anyway - as with all software, it's all planned obsolescence and, more-and-more, 'pay the rent.' //my personal box is Linux so, Up Theirs & Down with the Fascists! :-)

Cheers, -T

waseeley said...

-T @10:39 AM They may destress Eldest, but I don't think they'll have the same effect on DP!
CED @11:31 AM LMAO! That boy's got talent and a future in show business. I hope he shoots for the big time.
MOE @12:47 PM I think it's Brit slang. Next Thursday yer gonna hear a lick bout "Railroad Liam". 🙄

Ol' Man Keith said...

Slow to start, seemingly tough.
But P+P wins the day.
No diagonals today.
A natural corollary to the 8x8 rule ("If the 8th square in the 8th row is black, there can be no diagonals") is the 7x7 rule.
8X8 is easy to spot, but a keen eye will see the other rules, of course-- the 6x6, 5x5, 4x4, etc. etc.

Emile O' Touri said...

This was actually fun. What's less fun is being "Naticked" once again. It came down to a single letter personal Natick involving the name of a not so-well-known person crossing a never-before-heard name. This time a Hawaiian island .

Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle okay, and had the same difficulties that many of you had. I agree 100% that "Gay ____" is a terrible clue for ICON. Some parts of this puzzle can only be appreciated/understood in reverse, that is, only after somehow filling the answer, looking back at the clue, and then going, "Ohhh, now I see." An example is OUI as the answer for "Non opposite".

At least there was one useful thing I learned, that LIAM derives from William.

I learned much from waseeley's write-up. Wait a minute, it's from his write-up that I learned about LIAM, not from the puzzle. Excellent music, too.

I have a unique memory image that is evoked every time I listen to Beethoven's Violin Concerto, and it is of the book "The Count of Monte Cristo." Why, you may ask? Because, for some reason, I always seemed to put that record on the record player every time I picked up that book to continue reading it. Now the two are inextricably intertwined in my mind.

Today is, I think, the day that RosE starts using the pirate-like eye shield and Tante Nique can set hers aside.

I haven't used Outlook, or Microsoft Office, since retiring years ago. It was at Lucina's suggestion that I now use LibreOffice for all my word-processing and spreadsheeting tasks. As for email, the built in Mail app in iOS and Windows works fine for me.

Good wishes to you all.

PK said...

Thank you for the birthday wishes AnonT, Sumdaze, Lucina, TTP, Jinx, ATLGranny, IM, & CED for the lovely cake. I appreciate being remembered. Yes, TTP, I was the big sister, oldest of 5 and the "little mother" of the others, the last born when I was 13. I heard from the last two brothers with whom I am very close.

Michael said...

Just for background, the island of Ni'ihau was acquired by a haole guy (sorry, I've forgotten the details), to serve as the last refuge of pure Hawai'ian life. It's visible from Kauai. No tourists allowed, and only pre-European contact technology, etc.

Similar cultures are the Basque and the Lapps, where a dominant culture pushed indigenous groups into the corners.

CanadianEh! said...

I’m late to the Thursday party. Thanks for the fun, Rebecca and Rafael, and waseeley and Teri.
Did anyone not have to Wag that Natick cross (yes, I’ll call it that!).
But I did get the VIBES theme (plus we had GIBE).

Yes, Gay ______ could have been anything (and yes, I thought of reversing to ENOLA Gay.
I noted ALI and ALIA, EIDER and SEDER.

I had to think about AWS as a crib side chorus. Cute . . . and great link to the DIAPER, waseeley.

That video copyright does not extend to Canada. I am used to not being able to access some linked videos here. Canadian disadvantage.

Belated Happy Birthday, PK. Glad you had a good day.
RosE- wishing you a good result with cataract removal.
Hope Ray-o’s DH’s TAVR and pacemaker insertion went well. The newer TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement) procedure is much less invasive and recovery is quicker.

Good evening all.

Lucina said...

I can appreciate your status as the oldest of your siblings. I am the oldest of seven and have always been seen by them as "the Elder" although as we have aged the status has diminished. Eash of us, of course, has our own family and a position in that niche. My grandparents always gave me special deference because my birth was heralded and awaited as the firstborn grandchild of their respective families. Yes, I was fawned over though I didn't realize it until I as an adult. I was the only one whose birthday was acknowledged with a gift.

TTP said...

PK, I had that sense that you were the big sister in the family. My sister is the oldest of six and will be 82 in the first week of Dec, born just days before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Canadian Eh, as to videos that can't be seen there, it's usually either because a) the content owner has chosen to restrict the domain to certain countries or regions (Canada is a domain in the internet scheme of things), perhaps because of licensing rights (for ex. product ads, music copyrights etc), or b) because YouTube is complying with local government laws (like not displaying videos that China disallows).