Feb 23, 2017

Thursday, February 23, 2017 Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Shh, I can hear you!  The reveal tells us what to look for in the circled squares ...

57A. Blog comment format usually interpreted as the word spelled by eight aptly circled puzzle letters : ALL CAPS

... and thus we find SHOUTING. I puzzled a little over the "aptly" in the clue, then realized that the eight circled letters each begin eight proper nouns, and thus are capitalized, even when we're not shouting.

The Dynamic Duo are back with a nice Thursday challenge, I struggled with the top-left and middle-left sections of the grid. The cluing was tricky and parsing out SANTA FE, AS EVER, MEANS IT and COUNTS ON was not easy. ARIOSOS was new to me too, but eventually the crosses brought it together for me, so it's all good.

Let's see what else we've got.


1. Oldest U.S. capital : SANTA FE, New Mexico. It took me ages to see this - my mind was firmly fixated on the East or the South. It didn't help I couldn't stop seeing SAVANNA when I know it's not spelled like that and it was a capital during colonial times, before U.S. independence.

8. Spade creator : HAMMETT. Dashiel Hammett, author of the Sam Spade mysteries, most famously The Maltese Falcon.

15. Melodic movements : ARIOSOS. Thank you, crosses. I discover an arioso is a solo vocal piece in an opera or oratorio.

16. Ancient region now part of France : ALSATIA. So named when part of the Roman empire, now known as Alsace. The region has been subject to a fair bit of tug-of-war over the years, mainly between the French and the Germans. The food, wines and some of the customs have a distinctly Germanic feel.

17. Is serious : MEANS IT

18. Impulse conductors : NEURONS

19. Much toothpaste : GEL

20. U.S. neighbor : MEX. My neighbors to the south.

21. "Picnic" dramatist : INGE. William Inge won a Pulitzer Prize for drama for this play; Paul Newman's Broadway debut in 1953.

22. Letter between November and Papa : OSCAR. From the NATO phonetic alphabet. I always need to remind myself that it's ALFA, not ALPHA.

25. Singer's warm-up syllables : DOS

26. Indy-winning family name : UNSER. Al, Bobby and Al. Jr. have all recorded wins at the Indy 500.

27. Swears by : COUNTS ON

29. 66, e.g.: Abbr. : RTE. Get your kicks with the Rolling Stones.

30. Metaphor for jobs : HATS

31. Lav, in London : LOO

32. Singer Kitt : EARTHA

36. "... __ quit!" : OR I

37. Kind of bath : TURKISH

39. "Just like that!" : BAM! A certain television chef has made this something of a trademark. He says "Bam!", the audience claps. That's about all there is to it.

40. Sign-off words : AS EVER. I got fixated on some variation of OVER and OUT. Signing off, as a letter writer, not a radio transmission.

42. Director Lupino : IDA

43. Corny state? : IOWA

44. MSN, for one : ISP  Internet Service Provider. This seems to generate some discussion whenever the clue crops up, but MSN Dial-Up is still provided as a service to customers who cannot access broadband service.

45. "I'm good" : NO THANKS

47. Jazzy Jones : NORAH

50. Miracle Mets manager Hodges : GIL

51. Frozen fruit-flavored drinks : ICEES

52. Slanted piece : OP ED. Opinion pieces traditionally placed on the page opposite the editorials, hence the name.

53. Sounds at spas : AHS

54. 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee : ELO. Just now, really? I'd have assumed they'd been in for years. Accompanied this year by Yes, Pearl Jam and Journey.

55. Enchant : BEGUILE

61. Norse explorer : ERICSON. Waited for the cross to decide between a C and a K.

62. Daughter of Agamemnon : ELECTRA

63. End of a baseball game, usually : LAST OUT. If the home team scores the go-ahead run in extra innings, the game is over at that point. A game can also be called because of rain.

64. Like siblings : RELATED


1. __ Adams : SAM. Totally blanked on this one. Patch, Grizzly, Tony (you wouldn't know him, from English soccer) - all kinds of Adams. Finally, the penny dropped. Cheers!

2. "Who __ you kidding?" : ARE

3. Actress Vardalos : NIA. I've GOT to remember this one. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" was wonderful.

4. Polynesian archipelago natives : TONGANS. Fixated on SAMOANS. 

5. State as fact : ASSERT

6. Impede, as a plot : FOIL

7. Guinness suffix : EST. Established 1759. Arthur Guinness was so confident of his business venture that he leased the land for his brewery on a 9,000 year term at 45 Irish Pounds per annum.

8. __ Her Way : HANES

9. "A Clockwork Orange" narrator : ALEX. Played by Malcolm McDowell in the movie version. Not everyone's cup of tea.

10. 2015 Big Ten champs: Abbr. : M.S.U. Michigan State football.

11. Siren's victim : MARINER

12. Waist-length jackets : ETONS. I stayed a night in Eton last year, home of the historic college. The students no longer wear the Eton jacket, they all wear tailcoats. The garment was dubbed a "bumfreezer" in school vernacular.

13. Faint trace : TINGE

14. Trademarked weapon : TASER

20. One-piece beachwear : MONOKINIS. Sneaky plural.

22. Former #1 golfer Lorena who hosts an annual Guadalajara LPGA event : OCHOA. She won the Women's British Open at the "home of golf", St. Andrews in Scotland. She retired to start an educational foundation in her home city of Guadalajara. 

23. Heads up : SOARS

24. Adorable one : CUTIE

25. Screen __ : DOOR

26. Four Corners state : UTAH

28. Openly enjoy, as soup : SLURP. Good manners in some Asian countries. I used to work with a Singaporean and I swear you could hear him eat soup two miles away.

29. Convened again : RESAT

33. Rib eye alternative : T-BONE. Food! My favorite steak is a bone-in prime rib with lashings of freshly grated horseradish.

34. Ethan of "Boyhood" : HAWKE. Never saw the movie, but didn't bat an eyelid here.

35. Gather up : AMASS

37. John who composed the "NBA on NBC" theme song : TESH

38. Much-followed star : IDOL

41. Gorge crosser : VIADUCT. This is the beautiful Ribbleshead railway viaduct on the Settle-to-Carlisle line in northern England.

43. Former Chrysler head : IACOCCA. I never know where to start spelling this one. Crosses help.

46. Early Jewish scholar : HILLEL

47. 116-year-old prize : NOBEL. We learned last week that the Pulitzer prize medal sports a profile of Ben Franklin (and according the the Pulitzer web site on the obverse, the reverse has "a husky, bare-chested printer at work, which sounds rather racy for such an august body). This eponymous medal has Alfred. And no "husky" printers to be seen.

48. Philip Glass' "Einstein on the Beach," e.g. : OPERA

49. Kelly's ex-partner : REGIS. Philbin and Ripa.

50. Belgian treaty city : GHENT

53. Jesus of baseball : ALOU. Nailed it! C.C. will be proud of me.

54. She, in Cherbourg : ELLE

56. Bar opening? : ISO- These weather-map contour lines. Had some lively weather in Los Angeles over the last couple of weeks.

57. __ Lingus : AER. Irish carrier. I'm flying United as usual this week. Quick out-and-back to Miami. It was a tad bumpy on the way into Denver and crossing Texas, those pesky isobars.

58. DIRECTV parent : AT&T. Grrr. AT&T and I have a difference of opinion over them switching me from uVerse to DirecTV.

59. Ante- kin : PRE-. Pre-boarding, ante-bellum, pre-screening, ante up - which to choose?

60. Bummed out : SAD

And bummed as I am, I think that just about does it for me. Here's the grid!


Note from C.C.:

Happy 78th Birthday to Keith Fowler (Ol' Man Keith), who has his own Wiki page. Keith has been with our blog since 2009,  I'll never forgot your Blue Tits story, Keith!