Apr 1, 2021

Thursday, April 1, 2021 Joseph A. Gangi


Today's performance is by Joseph Gangi, who last entertained us on November 23, 2020 with themes played by STRING TRIOs.  Today he asks US to do the work and INTROSPECT on our mixed-up I's spread among 5 themers:

19. *Like some pages in used books: DOG EARED.  Just for the record, I'm a bookmark person, but in the interest of fairness, here are some rants, er, testimonies, from dog earers.

33. *"Mean" Pro Football Hall of Fame lineman: JOE GREENE.  I immediately thought of his name when I saw this clue, but it turns out that this was not a very kind moniker for this likable, outstanding professional.  Per the Wikipedia: 'Although it stuck with him throughout his professional career due to his playing style, Greene himself was not fond of the nickname, insisting it did not reflect his true character. "I just want people to remember me as being a good player and not really mean," he said. "I want to be remembered for playing 13 years and contributing to four championship teams. I would like to be remembered for maybe setting a standard for others to achieve.'   This article reveals various theories as to how he got the nickname.

38. *Arcade staple: VIDEO GAME PONG, for two players, developed by Atari  was the very first commercially successful video game.  In fact it was the first (and only) video game I ever played, back in my ute at one of the College Park delis when I was at U. of Md.  I recall the version I played being a lot slower than this:

4. *Metaphor suggesting suspense: EDGE OF ONES SEAT.  DW and I are frequently on the edge of our seats in the evenings, as we watch a lot of British mysteries ...

15. *Is a fifty-fifty proposition: CAN GO EITHER WAY.  ... however in most British mysteries it's the cops who usually win and the perps who usually lose.

 And the REVEAL that UNMASKS us ...

53. Secondary persona, or what's hidden in the answers to starred clues: ALTER EGO.

 Here's the grid.  A particularly nice touch is the intersection of the themers 19A and 38A with 4D and 33A and the reveal at 53A with 15D:

This is then followed up with a COMPLEX of blogger bling-worthy clues ...


1. Anger: BILE. Before this perped into place I tried FURY and RAGE  Here's what Webster has to say.

5. List member: ITEM.  Or a famous couple name-dropped into the National Enquirer.

9. Reheat, in a way: ZAP.

12. "That's on me": I DID.  I couldn't get "My treat" to fit.

13. Service station sections: BAYS.

14. Crime site: SCENE.

16. One may symbolize friendship: RING.  However in the Lord of the RingsONE RING symbolizes the exact opposite.

17. Gets with difficulty, with "out": EKES.  Also a homophone of  the word often used when one is cornered by a mouse:

18. Ctrl+V, commonly: PASTE.  A text editing shortcut - think "moVe".  Others include Ctrl-C (Copy) and Ctrl+X (Delete), both precursors to Ctr+V.

21. It arrives just before Christmas, for many: WINTER.  Just before the arrival of the Winter Solstice on 12/21, we celebrate DIL's BD (12/16), next to youngest GS's BD (12/17), 2nd oldest GD's BD (1219), not to mention the little matter of Christmas .  There is a lot to celebrate in this season!

22. Substituted (for): STOOD IN.

23. Send an IM to: PING.  Not to be confused with 38A.  This was my last fill, as I was perhaps too close to it.  I'd don't do a lot of  IM'ing, but I used to spend a lot of time PINGing.  It was originally a submariner's term for an acoustic echo used to track enemy ships, reefs, and other hazards.  The term was picked up by early network engineers as a simple test for remote devices on a network and as a rough measure of connection speed.  As all things IT are comprised of acronyms, they gleefully nicknamed the command "Packet INternet Groper".  

Here's an iconic scene with the first type of ping in "The Hunt for Red October" with the great Scottish actor Sean Connery, who we lost this past year.  The "One Ping Only" is about 28 seconds in (you might need to turn up the volume, as submariners tend to talk very quietly):

24. Public health org.: FDA.    As in the Food and Drug Administration, much in the news these days.

25. Card game cry: GIN.  As in GIN RUMMY.  Also slang for an enGINe,  à la Eli Whitney's cotton gin - "a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds, enabling much greater productivity than manual cotton separation. The fibers are then processed into various cotton goods, while any undamaged cotton is used largely for textiles like clothing. The separated seeds may be used to grow more cotton or to produce cottonseed oil":

26. Like some exams: ORAL.  These come in two varieties: PhD and DENTAL.

30. MLB's Angels, in sportscasts: HALOS.  The result of a Westward ho expansion, the Angels were founded in 1961.  Apparently they derived their name from their original location, Los Angeles, but latter moved to Anaheim, resulting in much controversy and much confusion (to me at least!).  A CSO to any sports fans who can 'splain it to us.

35. Before, in Brest: AVANT.  Both in time and space. Often used in artistic and fashion statements, as in AVANT-GARDE (i.e. at the FOREFRONT):

36. List-ending abbr.: ETC.

37. Helpers: AIDES.

40. Puts away: STOWS.  E.g. freight, food, 36A.

41. Pre-event periods: EVES

42. Chemical suffix: ANE. Organic compounds, consisting of saturated hydrocarbons, i.e. chains of one or more CARBON atoms (valence 4) with connections to the maximum possible number of HYDROGEN atoms (valence 1).  Here is a PROPANE molecule:

43. Fire remains: ASH.  Also makes appearances in Xwds clued as the wood used for baseball bats.

44. Calls in poker: SEES.  These are synonyms, although CALL seems to be preferred.

46. Criminal: ILLEGAL.

50. Tell when one shouldn't: SQUEAL.  Except for a WHISTLE BLOWER reporting criminal activity, who really SHOULD.  "If you see something, say something!"

54. Distinctive characters: AURAS.  E.g. sported by the Angels.

55. Verdi solo: ARIA.  Italian for "air".  Also an OPUS (Latin for a single WORK) in a dramatic or comic musical sequence known as an OPERA (Latin plural for WORKS).  Often clued with VERDI, but PUCCINI, ROSSINI, BIZET, et. al. wrote a lot of ARIAS too.

56. Paintball souvenir?: WELT.  Ouch!

57. With 7-Down, teary: MISTY.  A CSO to our Misty.  Hope you're not teary today though!

58. Tolerate: BEAR.  A clecho to 52D.

59. Not worth __: A SOU.  An expression for "worthless".  The word has its origin in the SOLIDUS, a Roman coin dating back to the Emperor Constantine.  If you had one of these I don't think it would be worthless:

60. LAX info: ETA.  When I use to travel a lot for work, the E definitely stood for ESTIMATED!

61. Rogues: CADS.

62. Trees used to make bows: YEWSA very strong, yet flexible wood.


1. Fowl: BIRDS.  Also British slang for WOMEN.

2. Facetious target of a series of guides: IDIOT.  As I resemble that remark, I refuse to buy one of these.

3. Talk of the town?: LINGO.  I tend to think of this as a synonym for specialized ARGOT or JARGON.  The talk of the Corner perhaps?

5. Spain and Portugal, mostly: IBERIA.
The Iberian Peninsula

IBERIA is also a suite for piano by Isaac ALBÉNIZAs this article describes it, "
It is considered one of the most challenging works for the piano: "There is really nothing in Isaac Albeniz's Iberia that a good three-handed pianist could not master, given unlimited years of practice and permission to play at half tempo. But there are few pianists thus endowed."  Here is pianist
Luis Fernando Pérez, who is definitely up to the task:

6. Unavailable: TAKEN.

7. See 57-Across: EYED.  As in Black EYED Susans, the yearly prize for winning the PREAKNESS.  Something only a Baltimoron will admit: as Black Eyed Susans, the Maryland State Flower, aren't in season when the Preakness Stakes is run, they use Oxeye daisies with the centers painted BLACK.  Here is Secretariat in 1973 in the winner's circle after winning the second leg of the Triple Crown (this year's races run Fri, May 14, 2021 – Sun, May 16, 2021, limited bleachers seating):

8. Ed.'s stack: MSS.  Manuscripts.

9. Word with lemon or orange: ZEST Every thing you need to know about zesting lemons.  And much much more!

10. Pot starter: ANTE.  My Auntie Ev wouldn't go near a deck of cards!

11. Jury member: PEER.  Selected by a process called VOIR DIRE.  It looks like French to me: "To see.  To say", but the dictionaries say it's Latin.  A CSO to Lemonade on this for an official ruling.  I've shown up for jury duty many times, but the lawyers take one look at me and the defense signals a thumbs down.  I think they don't like my hat.

14. English: SPIN.  Pool talk.  A CSO to any pool sharks on the Corner - this looks like a good place to buy "bespoke" (i.e. expensive) pool cues.  Also a word coined by Erwin Schrödinger to describe an indescribable property of quantum objects.  Still curious?  You were warned!  A CSO to Dash T to 'splain this one in simple  14D.

20. Extends, as a building: ADDS TOSee 21D.

21. Building extension: WING See 20D.  Is there an ECHO in here?

23. Jigsaw bit: PIECE.  In the Corner case a WORD.

25. "No clue": GOT ME.   Well if it's not a CLUE, then what is it? 

27. Start over: REDO. See 28D.

28. Over: ANEWSee 27D.

29. No __: surprisingly: LESS.

30. Possess: HAVE.  Quick - what's something of value that you can give away, but still keep (see answer at the end *)

31. Tel __: AVIV.  Formerly the capital of Israel.

32. Fill with freight: LADE, i.e. to LOAD.  Also a regional synonym (Scottish) for a MILL RACE that channels river water to a water powered wheel.  Here's DW beside the old Oakland Mill on the Liberty Reservoir near Eldersburg, MD.  The mill race is beyond the stone wall behind her:

33. Casual pants: JEANS.

34. React to fightin' words, maybe: RASSLE.

39. Hebrides native: GAEL.  The Hebrides is an archipelago off the West coast of Scotland, perhaps best known for FINGAL'S CAVE, a mammoth opening in a basalt-columned cliff on the Isle of Staffa:

On a tour of Scotland in 1829 composer Felix Mendelssohn, seasick below deck on an excursion over to this site, was coaxed above by a companion when they arrived.  His seasickness disappeared, he grabbed a pen and paper and immediately begin composing his famous HEBRIDES (a.k.a. FINGAL'S CAVE) OVERTURE:

43. Wedding destinations, often: ALTARS.  As in ...

45. Like 55-Down: EASY.

46. Inspiration for the 2004 film "Troy": ILIAD.   The latter is a cornerstone of Western literature, which I mentioned to get through in UNI.  Roger Ebert gave the film two stars, so I didn't bother.  Although the Trojan War lasted 10 years, the actual events of the epic take place in a matter of  a few weeks, just before the fall of the city (which actually occurs in the ODYSSEY).  The story is concerned with the "wrath of Achilles" and his vengeance for the death of his beloved friend Patroclus.  The backstory of how it all started is recounted in tales remembered during the battles

47. Parts of some V's: GEESEWhy DO geese fly in a V?   Actually the Canada Geese (second photo in link) in Maryland live here year round.  But every Fall they take to the skies and fly around the country side in V formations just to stay in practice.

48. Lit up: AGLOW.

49. Kind of position used for meditation: LOTUS.  The basic pose is fairly easy, but this one takes a lot of practice:

50. "Ditto": SAME.  See for example 27D and 28D.

51. Pack it in: QUIT.

52. __ Major: URSA.  Latin for GREAT BEAR,  a.k.a. the BIG DIPPER.  The two left-most stars in the "ladle" are called the "pointer stars" as they point to Polaris, the NORTHERN STAR.

53. Triangle calculation: AREA

55. See 45-Down: ABC.  

That's a wrap!

* Information