Jan 19, 2019

Saturday, January 19, 2019, Ryan McCarty

Themeless Puzzle by Ryan McCarty

 Going to the movies can be a great to mediocre event but the one constant of going is the beguiling smell of popcorn. Today we celebrate this simple delight on National Popcorn Day. A Univ. of Cal. at Irvine prof figured it cost $.10/oz to make and is sold for way more per oz. than a filet but how can you resist?

Popcorn comes in infinite varieties but for me, I'll take plain old yellow popcorn in real oil, salted and lightly buttered! Keep your chocolate, cinnamon, cheese and jalapeño flavors!

Our constructor today is Princeton grad Ryan McCarty ’14. Ryan info from the last write-up I did of one of his puzzles.

Ryan's puzzle drove me crazy as some of the clueing was two steps beyond fiendish but turned out to be really fun in the end, like getting that caraway seed out from between your teeth! I'll complain comment in my write-up of this puzzle where I quickly filled in the NE and then had a wonderful slog to the finish line at the DNIESTER River.

BTW, I think the grid design was incredible and very elegant! Ryan used only 22 blocks and only 62 words! Wow, those are some very impressive numbers!

All right, let's see what else popped into Ryan's head (ya had to see that comin'!) 


1. Barber's "Adagio for Strings" is in it: B FLAT MINOR - Oh, not a bigger musical work but the key in which it was written. Ryan!

11. Hits with a charge: ZAPS - "Don't tase me bro!"

15. Kerry Washington's "Scandal" role: OLIVIA POPE I had to look up her and the show and same goes for 40. "Clown Prince of Hip-hop" Biz __: MARKIE. Biz MARKIE

16. Jukebox opening: SLOT - One of the first

17. Sang: NAMED NAMES - Film maker Elia Kazan joined the Communist Party in 1934 for a year-and-a-half.  Sixteen years later he NAMED NAMES of others who had joined the party to the HUAC committee so he could keep working. Most other Hollywood types kept quiet and Elia's party invitations diminished.

18. Villa-studded Italian lake: COMO Ho una villa sul Lago di Como (I have a villa on Lake Como)

19. Salon boards: EMERIES - Emery boards

20. One taking things literally?: REPO MAN - 22. Angry: HEATED Matt Burch from short-lived Operation REPO TV show has a discussion with a car owner with delinquent payments.

23. Part of a football game-ending tradition: GATORADE - Coach Saban does not seem to be pleased with his GATORADE bath

24. Rear attachment: ENDER - Texting while drive can cause a REAR-ENDER car accident

25. Worked together: PARTNERED - When these two PARTNERED together, they became the #1 passing/receiving duo in NFL history 

26. Nailed, test-wise: ACED.

27. "Rabbit ears" antennae, e.g.: DIPOLES - We had a TV with the aforementioned devices that looked like this
28. Pixie and flip: DOS - HairDOS

29. Wheat whackers: SICKLES - Undoubtedly, someone with a scythe or SICKLE cut this wheat but these wheat whacking women in Punjab, India are not using either to thresh the grain 

30. Poor: BAD.

33. Washington team: HUSKIES - Oh, Washington University (UDUB) in Seattle   3,000 miles away from D.C.

34. Goat-man of myth: FAUN - Is this the right shot for 
35. Rocks below bridges?: NOSE STUDS - This one below her nose's bridge are magnetic 

38. Cabinet member under Dubya: CONDI - The owner of the Cleveland Browns talked about hiring lifelong fan CONDI Rice as their new head coach. 

39. See 43-Across: OLD CHAPS - Our cheerleaders back in the stone age had a cheer: 43. With 39-Across, "Listen up, lads": "I SAY (clap, clap), OLD CHAP(S) (clap, clap) Take the ball (clap, clap), fight back (clap, clap)". No really!

41. Boards around the house: DECKING - We switched out real wood for synthetic DECKING

42. Rocky Mountain rodents: MARMOTS.

44. Ones sniffing out trouble: CANINE UNIT - A valued member of the UNL CANINE UNIT

46. Reactor meltdown site: CORE - Not a geographic location but where the fission takes place

47. Old cooking show with a Creole theme: EMERIL LIVE  - BAM!

48. Outcomes: ENDS - That arm is merely a means to an END to this kitty

49. "Gotta split!": SEE YA LATER - I'm not saying alligator, you can't make me!


1. Unthinking, as a mistake: BONE HEAD - #78 Leon Lett celebrated too early and hustling #82 Don Beebe made him fumble before he got a touchdown which 4. Staved off: AVERTED the Cowboy's scoring a touchdown

2. Spanish steps?: FLAMENCO - Why do I remember the name José Greco after all these years?

3. Fruity refreshments: LIMEADES.

5. Larger, as a sum: TIDIER - A sorta variation on "a TIDY sum" 

6. Like gnus: MANED I'm not saying "I already GNU that", you can't make me!

7. Draft choices: IPA'S - Englishman George Hodgson made a lighter colored Pale Ale by using coke-fired malt and he exported it to India where it became very popular. Hence...

8. __ de guerre: NOM - An assumed name under which one writes, paints or fights such as

9. Macbeth and Otello: OPERA ROLES - Both these OPERA ROLES created by Giuseppe Verdi (Joe Green in English) call for baritones

10. Puts down new roots: RESETTLES - The second generation of Hispanics whose families have RESETTLED in our town are really adapting 

11. Standard deviation measures: Z-SCORES - A Z-SCORE of +1 means one standard deviation above the mean (average) and a -1 means... Of course, it is figured by z = x – μ / σ,

12. Baseball family name: ALOMAR - Sandy, Sandy Jr. and Roberto

13. Salon stuff: POMADE - Johnny Cash's choice

14. Hopped-up: STONED.

21. Johnnycakes: PONES Johnnycake. Johnnycake (also called journey cake, Shawnee cake, corn PONE or johnny bread) is a cornmeal flatbread. Johnny is thought to be a corruption of Shawnee Cake. Wiki

23. Retailer specializing in youth fashion: GAP KIDS - Had to erase GAP BABY

25. Impromptu competition: PICK UP GAME - Getting picked last is a trauma that lasts a long time
27. Golfer's yardage book data: DISTANCES - I don't write down the distances, I use this

29. Bar food: SUSHI - What? No bar nuts?

30. "There's no doubt about this": BANK ON IT - I can hit that green shown here on the Golf Buddy over the water from 123 yards out! I said I can, not that I will.

31. Hearing-related: AUDITIVE - Ryan!

32. River to the Black Sea: DNIESTER - Essentially from Kiev to Odessa

33. "Why, sure!": HECK YES - Do we get a lot of European Rivers in crossword puzzles?

34. Conventional writing method: FORMULA - TV sitcoms come to mind if you aren't talking about chemistry formulae - Lame sarcastic lines filled in with laugh tracks 

35. "Uh-uh": NO DICE.

36. "Little House" antagonist Nellie __: OLESON - Alison Arngrim, then and now

37. Digital camera insert, briefly: SDCARD - Scan Disk CARD

38. Steve of "Foxcatcher": CARELL - He recently lamented that his famous show, The Office, could never be made in today's PC climate. No matter what is written, someone will take offense. 

40. Craze: MANIA.

42. Like wetlands: MIRY - Ryan! 😏

45. Alumni newsletter word: NEE - I am totally okay with a woman retaining her birth surname. 

All this talk just gave me an idea. I'll be pop back to read your comments after a visit with Orville Redenbacher and the microwave!