Dec 3, 2016

Saturday, Dec 3rd, 2016, John Lieb

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing F,Q)

Blocks: 29

Unlike last week's successful struggle, this week's puzzle was just a Google-fest for me; too many proper names that I simply had no clue about - and even some that I should have known, but were cleverly clued with misdirection.  In my humble opinion, there were a few too many "meh" clues in this one, but only because I had never heard the term, or didn't agree with the clue/answer connection.  Oh well - can't claim a win every week.... It was Mister Lieb who introduced us to "Fun Sponge".  A pinwheel grid, with no fill longer than 8 letters, all in the corners;

7a. Free speech inhibitor? : SWEAR JAR - meh.  The clue was trying to be just a little too cute; IMHO, the SWEAR JAR is for the aftermath of "free" speech; it never inhibited me.  I had "B" and "C" in there - a swear BAR makes sense, and so does CAR when you think of cell-phone free train cars - and crossing this cell with a proper name was just Natick

41d. Quality control process with an alphanumeric symbol : SIX SIGMA - new to me.  I looked it up, and the first paragraph made sense, but the rest lost me.

60. Different exercises performed consecutively : SUPER-SET - like most exercise equipment these days, too - e.g. the combo elliptical and stepper; I don't bother with exercise - I just lift everyone else's treadmills for shipping at UPS

2d. "Star Trek: Voyager" actress : JERI RYAN - Googled.  All I could think of was "JANEWAY".  Never got in to this version of Star Trek, even with a character such as Seven of Nine; I just read that she was once Borg....does that make me a Trekkie anyway~?

ONWA-[resistance is futile]


 1. Major clothing chain : TJ MAXX - I thought I'd have a chance at this one, once I got a crossing letter, and it was the last "X"

15. Morsel : WEE BIT - ugh.  TID bit was in there originally, and I refused to let go

16. Tufted tweeter : TITMOUSE

17. Unspecific threat : OR ELSE

18. "Right you are!" : "YESSIREE~!"

19. "Women and Love" author Shere : HITE - Google #4 as I solved; kept getting Women IN Love, from D.H. Lawrence

20. Tach readings : RPMs

22. Norwegian king during the Cold War : OLAV V - filled in the "OLA--" and waited, but I felt the second "V" was a pretty good WAG; either I,V, or X

23. Serial sequence : ARC

24. Attributes : TRAITS

26. Door opener? : DEE - the "D" at the front of the word DOOR

27. Where Martin Scorsese taught Oliver Stone: Abbr. : NYU - I knew it was a film school, but tried USC first.  Oh well

28. Rhein tributary : AARE - filled via perps

29. 16th-century rulers : TUDORS

32. Archaeologist, at times : DATER - as in carbon dating, etc.

34. Capital of Kazakhstan : ASTANA - filled via perps

36. Disdained, with "at" : SNEEZED - oops, I had sneeRed at to begin with

38. Mickey Rooney septet : EX-WIVES

42. Blue on screen : RATED X - "BLOODS" fit, too, a show on CBS, so I was pondering

44. Last Supper query : IS IT I~? - several awkward answers in terms of parsing....

45. Completely overhauled : REDONE - for example, this could also be RED ONE

48. Revival figs. : EMTs

50. Texter's appreciation : THX - when I start typing in my texts, the app fills in the whole word THANKS for me

51. I, perhaps : ONE - the Roman numeral "I"

52. Harsh : SEVERE

54. U.N. ambassador appointed by JFK : AES - filled via perps; Adlai E. Stevenson II

55. 2008 Best New Artist Grammy winner : ADELE

58. Sweet sign-off : X O X O - lots and lots of "X"s.  Seven of "X" (see 2d.)

59. King Ahab's father : OMRI - no clue, but filled via perps, yet again; the Wiki

62. Boxer Rebellion setting : PEKING

64. Cherish : TREASURE

65. Shady Records co-founder : EMINEM - DAH!~!!!  I like Eminem, and I know that he's "Marshall Mathers" and "Slim Shady", too.  Just didn't see the connection.  Googled.

66. Snakes : SERPENTS

67. Event associated with warm climates and big midday meals : SIESTA


1. Driving instructor's reminder : TWO HANDS - CAR driving instructor; with TID bit in the grid, I had T-T---, thought maybe this was a GOLF driving instructor; although a "two hand" reminder on the driving range is also a good tip....

3. Initial encounter in a romcom : MEET CUTE - so completely unaware of this phrase, I still couldn't believe it even after I looked it up - here.  I have to admit, I went to pay my rent for the second time at my landlord's bank (not MY bank) because he is in Florida  - the first time I made this trip was Halloween when the tellers were dressed as "Snap, Crackle, and Pop".  However, the cutie I stepped up to yesterday was none of those characters, and when I asked, she said she was on the drive-thru as a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Baker....I like cinnamon.  Does this count as a meet-cute~?

4. Fit : ABLE

5. Frat letters : XIs

6. Former Nissan SUV : XTERRA

7. Hinders : STYMIES

8. "Bullets Over Broadway" Oscar winner : WIEST

9. Sci-fi staples : ETs

10. Recess rejoinder : "AM SO~!"

11. Stir up : ROIL

12. Katy of "High Noon" : JURADO - M, B, C, J~? Take your pick

13. Sincere sign-off : AS EVER - or is it A SEVER~?

14. Player of Kent : REEVES - ah, yes.  I knew it was not Christopher REEVE; but then I recalled the character was played by George REEVES in the 50's

21. Flaunt : PARADE

24. Fiction's Lord Greystoke : TARZAN - yeah, this one eluded me for too long

25. Pringles alternative : STAX - I did get it partially right - I laid in LAYS first 

30. Ill-conceived : UNWISE

31. Stand for 45-Down : DAIS - a circumreferential clue that I figured out; 45. They involve insult comedy : ROASTS - I just watched the roast of Rob Lowe

33. First name in architecture : EERO - first name this week, last name last week (Saarinen); I did not know he died at age 51 - I am only 5 years younger than that

35. Hybrid cuisine : TEX-MEX

37. "Nos __": 2000s French-Canadian drama set in a summer home : ÉTÉS - utterly unsolvable from my point of view; and not just because it's Frawnche; filled via perps, but with 'summer' in the clue, ÉTÉ would have been a good WAG

39. Total assets? : VITAMINS - ARGH~! The cereal Total.  Got me good.

100% of 12 vitamins and minerals~!

40. One way to connect nowadays : ETHERNET

43. Allots : DEVOTES

46. Stomach : ENDURE

47. Superior, vis-à-vis Michigan : DEEPER - Great Lakes

49. Metaphors, e.g. : TROPES - OK, this word sounded familiar, but I still looked it up to be sure.  Googled.

53. Wield : EXERT

56. Vault : LEAP

57. Language that gave us "plaid" : ERSE - yeah, CELT was not right

59. Tom Joad, e.g. : OKIE - I did actually know this one

61. Flare producer : SUN - Nice 'double flare' with the flared skirt, too

63. "Big four" record company : EMI