Feb 16, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017 C.C.Burnikel

Theme: Stock Showdown - who would you back in a race between a Harley, a Ferrari and an Avis rental car?

The reveal sets up what we're looking for in the theme:

66A. Market representative? : TICKER SYMBOL

and indeed we find that the very apt ticker symbol and the company it represents intersect each other in the three theme pairs:

8D. Auto with a prancing horse logo, whose company 66-Across ends 18-Across : FERRARI and
18A. Fitness challenge : OBSTACLE RACE

Here's the 2016 Formula 1 model. Sex on a stick.

49A. Bike whose company 66-Across ends 26-Down : HARLEY and
26D. Unreserved way to go : WHOLE HOG

"Hog" was originally the nickname for a Harley dating back to the 20's, and adopted later as an acronym by the Harley Owners' Group.

50A. Name on a shuttle, whose company 66-Across ends 24-Down : AVIS and
24D. Alternative energy vehicle : SOLAR CAR

This car, developed by the University of Sydney, is set to be the first street-legal solar vehicle when it is registered in Australia in 2017.

Before we get into the meat of the theme and the puzzle, let's just get one thing clear regarding 39D. This puzzle was created last year and was accepted for publication in August 2016, so don't try to read anything more into it.

Clever theme from C.C. She told me that it went through quite a lot of back-and-forth with Rich at the concept stage before it was ready to go. Out of the many thousands of companies traded on NASDAQ and the NYSE there are precious few with a punny symbol, and even fewer where it can intersect the name.

Note the consistency in that the ticker symbol is the final word of a two-word phrase - good stuff. Add in some nice crunchy fill and a polished layout (and C.C's "trademark" baseball references) and you can't get much better. Let's see what else jumps out:


1. Truly wretched : ABJECT. Great start.

7. E equivalent, on scores : F FLAT. Both notes are en-harmonic equivalents, but not regarded as the same note.

12. Bygone space station : MIR

15. Reaction to a comeback : TOUCHÉ! 

16. Contact : REACH

17. Long-necked bird : EMU

20. Metz moniker : NOM. I'm finally getting it that Metz is in France, not Germany. Mon nom est Étienne, en français.

21. Colo. setting : M.S.T. Mountain time for the Colorado folks.

22. See-through : SHEER. Like these curtains, which were the first examples of sheer fabric that sprung to my mind. Honestly, Officer ...

23. Even-odds situation : TOSS-UP

25. Scand. land : SWEden. Cold and dark over there at the moment.

27. Not much : A DAB. I tripped up on this one - I had A TAD first, corrected the T with FREEDOM and then forgot to go back and fix the B.

29. Nosebag fill : OATS. Also used in porridge,as C.C. noted on Sunday. Use rolled oats, not instant.

30. Male pal, in slang : BRAH. This is a Hawai'ian islands expression. The hipster surfer dudes in Southern California have picked up on it, and frankly, it sounds quite wrong coming from an Orange County high schooler.

32. Cold sore relief product : ORAJEL. You can get Zovirax OTC in the UK which blasts a cold sore into extinction within 24 hours if you use it the second you feel that first tingle.

35. Cellist with multiple Grammys : YO YO MA

38. Baseball collectibles : MINI BATS. You can't get much more mini than this:

41. Pure : SINLESS. Pure as the driven snow, like me, hence my admiration for sheer curtains.

43. Stated as fact : AVERRED

45. Sits in a cell : DOES TIME

48. Set up in a glade, say : ENCAMP

51. Lamb sandwich : GYRO. Food! I've waxed lyrical about these before. The Mad Greek, Baker, CA off the I-15.

54. Pamplona kudos : OLÉS

56. Outrage : IRE

57. Mountain predator : COUGAR

60. Trojan War epic : ILIAD

62. Church based in SLC, Utah : L.D.S. Latter Day Saints, the Mormon church in Salt Lake City.

65. Center : HUB

69. Foofaraw : ADO

70. "American Buffalo" playwright : MAMET

71. Erie Canal city : ALBANY

72. Passel : TON. A bunch, a pack, an indeterminate number. I like the word.

73. More than amuses : SLAYS

74. Greenery : PLANTS


1. Splitting target : ATOM

2. Short cuts : BOBS. Oh - haircuts!

3. Reagan-era slogan : JUST SAY NO

4. Outer: Pref. : ECT-

5. Run after : CHASE

6. __ support : TECH. Shot myself in the foot with ARCH first. This whole top-left corner was nothing but trouble for me, with the exception of the Nancy Reagan slogan.

7. Liberty : FREEDOM

9. Mike Trout's team, on scoreboards : LAA. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, clumsily. I've been to Angel Stadium - it's one of the few sporting venues where they don't completely fleece you for parking, beer and a dog.

10. Check no. : ACCT.

11. "Sons of Anarchy" actor Rossi : THEO. Thank you, crosses.

12. Brainy bunch : MENSA

13. Passing remark? : I'M OUT. See ya! No, wait, I've got some more puzzle to blog.

14. Beef cuts : RUMPS

19. Field : LEA

28. "Hulk" star Eric : BANA. Thank you, crosses. My blecho for today.

30. Fly-__: air passes : BYS. A USAAF formation usually comes over the top of my house on January 1st on the way to and from the Rose Bowl fly-by. One year there was a stealth bomber too, that was an eerie sight.

31. Juicer's juice? : ROID. Steroids. Nice clue.

33. Nonsense : JIVE

34. "__ Holden": Irving Bacheller novel : EBEN. What? Who? Crosses all the way. I discover it was published in 1900 and was a best-seller in 1901 and 1902.Now I don't feel so bad.

36. Cactus League spring training city : MESA, Arizona. I went to a spring training game between the Reds and Giants a few years ago in nearby Scottsdale. Really good fun. The Giants won the World Series that year.

37. Neil deGrasse Tyson subj. : ASTRonomy.

39. Blizzard restriction, perhaps : TRAVEL BAN

40. Final Four matchup : SEMI. Semi-final in a single elimination competition. Four to be winnowed down to two for the final.

42. Rural storehouse : SILO

44. Plays usually involving the SS : DPS. Double plays. Shortstops.

46. "I'm a fan!" : ME LIKEY!

47. Shoelace holders : EYELETS. You thread your aglets through your eyelets when you're putting laces in your shoes.

51. IM option : G-CHAT. Google Chat instant messaging.

52. "Seriously?" : YOU DO?

53. Apply, as sunscreen : RUB ON. I spray mine on, then rub.

55. Respectful word : SIR

56. Pastoral piece : IDYLL

How sweet is the Shepherd's sweet lot
From the morn to the evening he strays;
He shall follow his sheep all the day,
And his tongue shall be filled with praise.

For he hears the lamb's innocent call,
And he hears the ewe's tender reply;
He is watchful while they are in peace,
For they know when their Shepherd is nigh.

"The Shepherd" by William Blake

58. Stop-offs before big dates, maybe : ATM'S

59. Muscat money : RIAL. They don't come out of  ATM's in Oman, they come out of these things: آلة الصراف الآلي

61. Rush job letters : ASAP

63. "Knock it off!" : DON'T!

64. Stallone and Stone : SLYS

67. Nashville awards gp. : C.M.A. Country Music Association.

68. Mgmt. degree : M.B.A. A Master's degree in Business Administration.

I think that should do it from me. Happy Thursday, everyone!