Dec 24, 2016

Saturday, Dec 24th, 2016, Matt Skoczen

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing J,Q,Z)

Blocks: 29

Phew~!!!  I thought I was going snowblind on the first two passes through this grueling grid.  Mr. Skoczen is back for the fourth time in three months, with lots of vague clues, a few proper names that I knew but not through the reference in the clues, and one or two "meh" answers.  Yet I prevailed, with only one (and a half) cheats; had to look up one word in the dictionary that has never appeared in any reading I have done, and then I did a red-letter check to see if I gaffed something - and I did.  Oh well.  Still, came in under my personal allotted time, and I would say I "broke even".  Four 7-letter corners and 9-letter fills crossing paired 10's and 11's;

4d. Opera originally titled "Violetta" : La TRAVIATA - by "Joe Green" (Victor Borge humor)

the aria from "Rigor Mortis"

24. Phone accessory banned at Disney parks : SELFIE STICK


1. It's commonly read by waiters : TABLOID - Wait-ers, on the supermarket line

8. Place to meet : HALF WAY

15. 1992 Mamet play : OLEANNA - perps

16. Cork holder : IRELAND - #$%^&*~!  My first thought was the city/county of the country, but I was expecting a "?" in the clue

17. Enterprise enterprise : RENTING - dah~!  I put in rentALS, and that screwed me up

18. They're usually kept : GIGOLOS - I went with MEMOIRS; bzzzt.  I did not get this reference until I looked up gigolo on Wiki - but I do know the David Lee Roth remake

19. 1976 Sports Illustrated Sportswoman of the Year awardee : EVERT

20. E major scale note : G SHARP - I knew enough to put "-SHARP" in, and then waited

22. Hawthorne cover image : RED A - The Scarlet Letter

23. Quiet : SETTLE - ah, the verb, not the noun

24. Ben, to Jerry : SON - the comedians, not the Ice Cream guys

27. Truce emblem source : OLIVE TREE - the "branch" comes from the tree

29. John Paul's successor : ELENA - dah~!  I tried PIUS I, figured we were talking Popes; nope - the US Supreme Court; it's OK, my knowledge of both groups is "A-Paul-ing"....

31. Movie : CINÉ - the dictionary says cin-ee is "extracted" from cinema

32. Pollutant banned by Cong. in 1979 : PCB

34. Sights from la mer : ILES - Le Frawnche

35. Subjects of family disputes : ESTATES

38. Erupted : HAD A FIT

40. Call to a line : "NEXT~!"

41. __-Man : PAC

43. Singer Lovato : DEMI - hah~! I knew this one

44. Renée Fleming et al. : DIVAs

46. Great extent : LARGENESS - OK, use this in a sentence which doesn't sound contrived....

50. Fed. assistance program : SSI - Supplemental Security Income - never heard of it

51. Conniving, with "in" : LEAGUE - reminds me of a line from a Robert Plant song

my love is....

53. Durango demonstrative : ESTA

54. __ camera : HIDDEN - not CANDID

55. Shares, with "out" : METES - not DOLES

56. Where to hear a lot of talk : AM RADIO

59. Rayed flowers : DAISIES

61. Bond choice : MARTINI - D'oh~!  JAMES Bond

62. Charlie McCarthy feature : MONOCLE - I know this "character", but not the answer until perps

63. Significant supply : ARSENAL - I tried "---FUL" at the end, and it was not working

64. Sounded like a flute duet? : CLINKED - clever.  Flutes, the glasses


1. One facing charges? : TORERO - thought this was the answer, but I had some bad crossings to start

2. Two-part British academic exam : A LEVEL

3. Noted 2013 resignee : BENEDICT XVI - oh NOW we get the Pope clue....

5. "Doing that right now!" : ON IT - dah~!  I read this as "DO that right now", so I had ASAP, then STAT

6. Where there may be no room : INN - timely

7. Typographical symbol : DAGGER - did not know that this symbol, tho I have seen it, is called a 'dagger'

8. Modern, in a way : HIGH TECH

9. Font choice : ARIAL - had it in, took it out, because of  MEMOIRS

10. 1852 literary villain : LEGREE - I did not know him; filled via perps, and then I looked him up - Wiki

11. Turn preceder, in Texas Hold 'em : FLOP - followed by the River; last weekend I went in with a full house, 10s over 9s, lost to 10s over Queens - those are the hands that really hurt

12. Popular store opening? : WAL-mart, har-har.

13. Periodo de tiempo : ANO

14. NFL stats : YDs

21. Small distance : STEP

23. Higher than you might have hoped : STEEP

25. "That's __ haven't heard" : ONE I

26. Cartoon award eponym : NAST - mostly perps, N-ST, and then it hit me

28. Sinusitis-treating MD : ENT

30. 1993 "Ethan Frome" star : LIAM NEESON

33. It can get you in : BADGE

35. Extreme pair : ENDS - oops, not ACES; too much poker playing these days, I guess

36. Paquete de __: cerveza purchase : SEIS - a six-pack of beer down Mexico way

37. Iceberg topper : SALAD OIL - my first thought, but it was dressing, not OIL

39. One of Donald's pair : DEE - DonalD

42. Pen : CAGE - ah, the animal confines, not the writing implement

45. Tried to make it home : SLID IN - meh.  Don't like the 'two word' association to baseball

47. Hip-hop group at Live Aid's 1985 Philadelphia concert : RUN-DMC

48. Holt's detective partner in '80s TV : STEELE - the 'other' James Bond - Pierce Brosnan, that is - in his TV role

49. Mouthed off at : SASSED

52. Minneapolis suburb : EDINA - I'm sure C.C. knew this one

54. Execrate : HATE - OK, the word I looked up.  From the Latin "sacrare", as in consecrate

55. Revealing garb : MINI - yep.

56. Chicago-based professional org. : AMA - Saturday cluing

57. Warp, e.g. : MAR - ugh.  I was thinking "speed" as in Star Trek, and "defect", as in wood boards

58. Board game spots with nine sqs. between them : RRs - Monopoly board

60. Moviefone owner : AOL