THURSDAY, January 11, 2010 — Nancy Salomon

Theme: "Love Is All Around" — Theme answers are phrases that begin with the letters LO and end with the letters VE.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: *"Get going!" ("LOOK ALIVE!").
  • 24A: *1986 Pulitzer-winning Western novel (LONESOME DOVE).
  • 53A: *Gunpowder, e.g. (LOW EXPLOSIVE).
  • 65A: *Duffer's thrill (LONG DRIVE).
  • 38A: 1968 Troggs Top 10 hit, and a hint to the hidden puzzle theme in the answers to starred clues (LOVE IS ALL AROUND).
I do not know this song. I thought it might be because it was a "hit" when I was only three years old, but I know plenty of other songs from that year. The top five songs of the year were "Hey Jude," "What a Wonderful World," "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," "Jumpin' Jack Flash," and "Lady Madonna." Yeah, I believe I've heard those. But this one that peaked at #7 in May 1968? Not so much. I'll be interested to find out if any of you know the song. I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad song or a bad theme revealer; I'm just saying I've never heard of it before today. For me, this "Love Is All Around" might actually have been gettable:

I liked seeing SWELTER (28A: Feel the heat) and PHENOM (8D: Rising star) in the grid. And it seemed like there were plenty of perfectly-Thursday-pitched clues, such as 4D: Stevenson physician (JEKYLL).

Let's get on with it:
  • 1A: Holy pilgrimage (HADJ). Even if you know the answer, you have to check the crosses, because sometimes it's spelled HAJJ.
  • 5A: Kids' getaway (CAMP). I wish there was some sort of camp I could send the kids to tomorrow. After five days of being snowed in, PuzzleHusband and I were actually fighting tonight about who gets to go to work tomorrow. Unfortunately, it kinda looks like we won't even be able to get out of the driveway, much less to either one of our offices.
  • 50A: Serious-and-funny show (DRAMEDY). I like this made-up word. I first heard it back when I was following the brilliant (and short-lived) Aaron Sorkin show, "Sports Night."
  • 71A: __ and all (WARTS). Entered still at first.
  • 1D: Bridge position (HELM). Wanted east really bad here. That would be a different kind of bridge though.
  • 27D: Islamic leader (EMIR). Tried imam here.
  • 28D: __ soda (SAL). I have no idea what this means.
  • 30D: Place for Christmas lights (EAVE). Tried tree.
  • 34D: Tee choices (XLS). Me: "There are different kinds of golf tees? That can be described with two letters?"
  • 51D: Fired up (AVID).
  • 60D: Foal's parent (SIRE). Could just as easily have been mare — had to check the crosses.
  • 66D: Feature of a two-ltr. monogram (NMI). No Middle Initial.
Crosswordese 101: TRIS Speaker is, indeed a 23A: Baseball Hall of Famer. And that's pretty much all you need to know about him for puzzles. In late-week puzzles the clue will be tricky by placing his first name at the beginning of the clue so we get psyched out by the capital letter — not understanding that it's actually a proper name and not simply the first word of the clue (which is always capitalized). The clue might look like "Speaker of baseball" of "Speaker of the diamond." Clues for TRIS Speaker might also refer to Cooperstown, the location of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Everything Else — 9A: "Gimme a break!" ("AW MAN!"); 14A: Nobelist Wiesel (ELIE); 15A: "This looks like trouble" ("UH-OH"); 16A: Leonard Marx, familiarly (CHICO); 19A: Peyotes, e.g. (CACTI); 20A: She played Donna in the film "Mamma Mia!" (MERYL); 21A: Sinus specialist, briefly (ENT); 31A: Food critic Sheraton (MIMI); 32A: "Bingo!" ("AHA!"); 33A: X-Games bike, briefly (BMX); 35A: Run at a red light? (IDLE); 44A: Jeans joint (SEAM); 45A: Yield to gravity (SAG); 46A: Sportage maker (KIA); 47A: Fresh response (SASS); 57A: They're not returned (ACES); 58A: Bosox great (YAZ); 59A: Comforting comment (IT'S OK); 63A: Parts partner (LABOR); 68A: Native Alaskan (ALEUT); 69A: Treater's words (ON ME); 70A: Persian Gulf land (IRAN); 72A: Prime minister before Rabin (MEIR); 73A: Ancient British Isles settler (CELT); 2D: Burn balm (ALOE); 3D: Fashionable Christian (DIOR); 5D: __-de-sac (CUL); 6D: Yellowfin tuna (AHI); 7D: Changes places (MOVES); 9D: N.C. State's conference (ACC); 10D: "Who, me?" ("WHAT'D I DO?"); 11D: Tiny (MICRO); 12D: When Brutus sees Caesar's ghost (ACT IV); 13D: Hullabaloo (NOISE); 18D: Big-time (A LOT); 22D: "I didn't need to know that," informally (TMI); 25D: Birds' bills (NEBS); 26D: Humorist Bombeck (ERMA); 29D: Grinch victims (WHOS); 36D: Gospel writer (LUKE); 37D: Camelot lady (ENID); 39D: Removes gently (EASES OUT); 40D: Eye-opening theater (IMAX); 41D: Fellows (LADS); 42D: Rural prefix (AGRI-); 43D: Beatles' "A __ in the Life" (DAY); 48D: Security threat (SPY); 49D: Course for weavers? (SLALOM); 52D: Like some weights (METRIC); 53D: Bochco series (L.A. LAW); 54D: City NW of Orlando (OCALA); 55D: Brand on a patio, maybe (WEBER); 56D: Hole site (OZONE); 61D: Rink, often (OVAL); 62D: Canterbury's county (KENT); 64D: Some NFL linemen (RTS); 67D: Neighbor of Aus. (GER.).



Started out easy but as I went downward it got pretty tough.
I saw VE in every theme word, but didn’t figure it out till I came to this blog, because I missed the LO. Duh! Didn’t like this puzzle at all… too many weird words, like: WHATDIDO, DRAMEDY, ENT, AWMAN, and NMI… Yech!!! And most of the clues were stressful too. PHENOM, TMI, “Big time”, WHOS, ENT… way far too CAMP for my tastes. But then I perked up when I read Puzzlegirl's fun blog.
BTW, the clue "tee choices" = XLS (extra larges) refers to tee-shirts and has nothing to do with golf.

UHOH, time to get going to my book club!

The Corgi of Mystery said...

Fun solve, but I'm just about done with Valentine's Day puzzles at this point, unless Liz Gorski has a 21x21 on Sunday that actually sings to you when it's complete.

Loved seeing DRAMEDY.

John said...

Knew the song right off.I even played it back in my head. Talk about your earworm! I was in High School when it was on the radio.

That made the last two theme entries easy-peasy. An OK thursday puzzle.

John said...

YEAH!!! I can comment again!!! I have no idea what happened, but ever since Cruciverb was hacked, Blogger would not take my comments until today! HOOORAYYY FOR ________!!( thats suposed to read Hollywood, but theyre covering up the sign.)

imsdave said...

LOWEXPLOSIVE? Other than that, a perfectly fine puzzle. Like PG, bridge position (4 letters) makes me enter --ST immediately (just like I would enter _O_TH if it were 5 letters).

We were supposed to get 8-16" of snow yesterday in central CT. Pretty much shut down the state. A minor miscue in forecasting, however, as we luckily only got about 3.

Parsan said...

Love is NOT all around here in the NY State capital! While doing the puzzle today I was thinking "This is not a Thursday puzzle!". And I guess it isn't because it is not the one you-all are writing about or that PG posted. Not to give anything away, so 1A is "Blended condiment". Anyone know this puzzle?

Parsan said...

Also, the answers shown to the previos puzzle are not for yesterday. 1A answer is a famous Florida performer. WTH?

OHT said...

Big question mark in my head at 28D. This from Wikipedia: In domestic use, it is used as a water softener during laundry. It competes with the ions magnesium and calcium in hard water and prevents them from bonding with the detergent being used. Without using washing soda, additional detergent is needed to soak up the magnesium and calcium ions. Called Washing Soda, Soda crystals or Sal Soda[2] in the detergent section of stores, it effectively removes oil, grease, and alcohol stains.

Van55 said...

Kind of ho hum for me.

Sfingi said...

Got the theme and its items, but that didn't help because there were too many sports clues, and none easy. And too many initials. ACC BMS RTS.

SAL soda, soda ash, washing soda - used to be used to clean stuff before detergents. Now it's used for taxidermy on bones and antlers.

Orange said...

@Parsan, is there a byline or copyright line on the puzzle in your paper? It's possible your newspaper received so many complaints about how the LAT is "too hard" and switched to the Wayne R. Williams puzzle or the Universal puzzle. Is it unthemed and easy and generally uninteresting?

Burner10 said...

Thanks @Steve. The puzzle kind of grew on me. I liked the clues for ACES and NMI. And seeing YAZ - didn't know TRIS.

Anonymous said...

@Sfingi - TMI = Too Much Information, NMI = No Middle Initial. TMI is a common texting abbreviation, NMI is just stupid.

Parsan said...

2Orange--Thank you for responding. No, it is just the opposite. It is like a difficult LAT Saturday puzzle. It is The Daily Crossword by Mark Diehl, 2010Tribune Media Services, Inc. I think it is a harder week-end puzzle (We don't get The Daily Crossword puzzle in the Sunday paper).

Orange said...

See? This is why people don't take anonymous commenters seriously. NMI isn't "stupid." It exists as a dictionary-grade abbreviation (and not just in an unabridged dictionary—NMI is listed in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary). It's been used for decades. Now, if you've never heard it, you might think the constructor just made it up for the puzzle—but quality crosswords like the LA Times puzzle do not allow fake abbreviations. So when in doubt, check a dictionary and see where the "stupidity" lies.

OK, It's not stupid said...

The definitive NMI discussion

lit.doc said...

Thank you Puzzle Girl for lifting me out of WTF mode! Finished the puzzle OK, but could not parse WHAT DID O for the life of me. WHAT’D I D’OH!!

@Parson, I haven’t figured it out yet, but I had a similar experience yesterday. Did the Wednesday puzzle (it was labeled as such) in the wee hours of the morning. When I came here to comment, not only was the puzzle different from the one I had done (which is why I didn’t post yesterday) but the puzzle under discussion I distinctly remembered having done very recently. You were not hallucinating, and I was not that drunk. @PG, any idea what’s going on?

Today’s puzzle felt more like a Wednesday to me, and, for a change, I actually figured out the cutish VD theme (though it didn’t figure into solving the puzzle, which I expect from a first-rate theme)

Was glad for good crosses for HELM, as once HADJ ruled out EAST and WEST, my bridge knowledge was exhausted. Am embarrassed to report that, though a licensed Lit Geek, I misspelled JEKYLL *twice* (um, JEKEL, no, um, JEKLE, um, ooooh…). Glad I didn’t even see SAL. Saw the TREE/EAVE trap, and waited for a cross. Ditto MARE/SIRE and ALEUT/INUIT. Wish I’d done same for IMAM/EMIR and EASES OFF/OUT.

Actually burned daylight trying to come up with a DUI-related answer for “Course for weavers?”

@The Corgi of Constructors, LOL at your “…sings to you when it’s complete”.

PuzzleGirl said...

@Parsan: I could swear I did that puzzle but I don't do the TMS, so that's just weird. Is 1A ten letters long? I swear I know that puzzle! So strange!

Re NMI. I suppose it might seem stupid if you, ya know, have a middle initial. If you don't, however, there are certainly instances where you have to make that clear. For much of my life I went by a first initial and middle name, so I understand the difficulties that crop up when your name doesn't conform to the standard. (When I got married, my dad suggested that I keep the first initial/middle name thing going and hyphenate my last name just to make my life completely miserable.)

lit.doc said...

@imsdave, I forgot to say "No kidding!" in agreement with your comment about LOW EXPLOSIVE. I'm not a constructor, so I can't more than wonder aloud if that was an act of desperation or what.

*David* said...

I liked the top of the puzzle themes, the bottom and the song not so much. NMI may be legit but it doesn't mean it ain't ugly, I had no idea what it meant either until I got here.

My sticky area was East Central where I finally broke through with DRAMEDY and LUKE. Another ugly one was BMX crossing XLS.

OHT said...

To continue the NMI discussion...since I have no middle name, all of my official paperwork when I was in the military had either NMI or NMN (no middle name) in the appropriate block. When I saw the clue in this puzzle, NMI was an automatic response for me.

Orange said...

I learned about NMI at an editorial board lunch meeting with a bunch of doctors back in the '90s. The doc with no middle initial had a good story about joining the Army and being given the middle name of NMI, which confused him no end.

So if you didn't know that this abbreviation existed before and now you do, you've learned something.

I reserve "stupid" for abbreviations that aren't standard ones that are listed in dictionaries or other references. Let's say a crossword included MDM and clued it as an abbreviation for "medium." The standard abbreviations you might expect to see are M and MED. MDM is a stupid abbreviation because someone just made it up. NMI is in the frickin' dictionary and has a documented purpose, so it's not stupid.

Parsan said...

@PG--Yes, 1A answer is 10 letters and so are the two across answers directly below it (and of course in the corresponding SE). Thanks for thinking about my problem. I"ve never seen this one before so I think it is coming up.

Also go by my middle name (I only used my first one professionally at one time) but was required by Social Security to use both, which is confusing.

Sfingi said...

Thanx for the infor on NMI. Nice discussion (I guess).
Maybe that's why Harry Truman gave himself a middle initial. Better than 3 middle initials.

The ones I like are the presidents of colleges who turn their first names into an initial and use their middle names. For instance, my son, Dante, could call himself
D. Trowbridge Watzisface when he becomes the Prez of Harvard!

chefbea said...

Found this a bit harder than NYT

Thanks so much for the Mary Tyler More theme song. Loved that program!!!

PuzzleGirl said...

@Parsan: Okay, we've solved the mystery. The puzzle you solved today is scheduled to run on Saturday. Why your newspaper ran it today is a question I don't have an answer for. You might call them to find out? (Newspapers love hearing complaints about the crossword puzzle!)

CrazyCat said...

LOVE IS ALL AROUND was one of my favorites when I was in Jr. High. I had the 45 (remember those) and I'm trying to remember if it was the flip side of "Wild Thing." It's also in the movie "Love Actually."
I liked the theme today, but frankly this puzzle made me a bit cranky. I was put off by GER and RTS. I still have no idea what RTS means?? Also had the problem with WHAT DID O. LOW EXPLOSIVE and SAL Soda both were WTFs for me(thanks for the definition @Steve). Nothing much else to say except I liked the write up more than the puzzle. PG hope you get dug out soon.

Parsan said...

@PG--In reference to the puzzle yestersday "Merci, mon ami!".

Rick said...

33A: I thought it was x-word taboo to have part of the answer in the clue? Even though the "X" means differnt things?

Thanks for the write-up!

Tinbeni said...

RTS = Right TackleS = term (like TES=Tight EndS) that only shows up here in CW's.
Also, the only Troggs hit I could remember was Wild Thing, probably should have flipped my 45 over.

Most has already been covered so I won't repeat.
This puzzle is a Love/Hate, WARTS and all fest.

LONG DRIVE, 'duffer's thrill' is pretty lame.
A "Hole in One" is a thrill. A long drive is a good shot, nothing more.

Pilgrimage to Mecca is spelled HAJJ unless we are in CW Land, then the less common HADJ is used.

NMI a learning moment. Since I have a middle name this was new. The discussion above enlightening.

HELM, OZONE, SLALOM & METRIC had great clues.
AW MAN crossing WHAT'D I DO got a laugh.

@PG Excellent insight & clips.
Also, Thank you again for yesterdays explanation.

xyz said...

@PG very nice write-up (I have not yet read all previous comments if I seem dense or ignorant below)

Got this puzzle with no errors nor looks-up, but it took 40 mins and some experimentation. Thought difficult for a Thursday.

SAL soda - no idea as AHA was dicey, seemed best
TEES - tried golfideas, natch
NCI - really needed crosses!
50A - (pensive look) hahahaha
EAVES - proud to say was first thought

"Love is all around" was I believe the song re-done in of all things "LOVE Actually" with Hugh Grant and a cast of dozens, one of my favorite touchy-feely movies

Had to say I really enjoyed myself today with this one. Congrats Ms. Saloman

Anonymous said...

So, it was the MTM theme song I learnt. Oh well, Love actually was still a pretty good movie

Van55 said...

On more reflection, I feel I need to amend my "ho-hum" comment. The Valentine's Day them was uninspired to me. However the rest of the puzzle was quite good. I remember thinking as I was working on it this morning, "Holy cow, this is a Thursday LAT puzzle that I'm not going to be able to finish.

But finish, I did. And a puzzle that makes me struggle quite a bit more than ususal but which I ultimately conquer is quite worthwhile.

Tinbeni said...

The discussion above (fairly lively I might add before going on) regarding how to describe the answer: NMI - No Middle Initial, was interesting.

@ 8:43 AM you said: "I reserve "stupid" for abbreviations that aren't standard ones that are listed in dictionaries or other references."

But in todays puzzle we did have at 64-D, Some NFL Linemen = RTS (Right TackleS) as the answer.
In prior puzzles we have also had: TES for Tight Ends pop up.

As an avid football fanatic I have never heard either of these positions described this way.
"Oh, Bob did you see the RTS block?"

Google search gave me these abbr.
RTS = Real-time strategy
RTS = Refional Transit Service
RTS = Reformed Theological Seminary
RTS = Russian Trading System
RTS = Rubinstein-Taybi Sybdrome
RTS = Resistance Training Specialist
RTS = Relational Technology Solutions
Nowhere did it yield Right TackleS

The only place I have ever encountered them (RTS & TES) is in Crossword puzzles.
That to me means these answers are "Lame" or more strongly put "Stupid!"

Or are these clues/answers OK because they have been used before, ergo approved by Editors to lazy to 'dele' a cheap clue?

JIMMIE said...

I think that a better clue for 28D would be "salt," which is what SAL is, as in saline. There used to be a otc medicine called Sal Hepatica, or something like that. I think it was for indigestion, and was a liqiified salt of some king.

I got lucky with this puzzle's theme answers and found it easier for me than other Thursday's puzzles. This was one that had many answers that could not be looked up, which I like.

Nice video clips, PG.

ddbmc said...

Didn't know TRIS SPEAKER. Probably will forget him, so constuctors, go ahead and use him in a puzzle a few months down the road, as I'll be stumped again.

Wanted WEST for HELM. @Lit.doc-not much bridge knowledge either, other than when sailing the Inter Coastal, the HELMSMAN toots his horn three times to have the pilot raise the bridge!

LOVE STORY writer Eric Segal recently passed. Like @CCL, "LOVE IS ALL AROUND" was from Junior High days. Definitely earworm material! Liked "Wild Thing" much more!

@Sfingi-interesting info on sal soda. @O et al: new one on me for NMI. Nice to learn (NTL?) Didn't we just have "F.Murray Abraham" the other day? F stand for Fahrid. Who knew?

Loved the CAMP picture, from "MEATBALLS," right?

Glad the POSER of the @Parsan Mystery Puzzle was solved!
@Redadman, new movie, "Valentine's Day," opening tomorrow from the "Love, Actually" makers, me thinks!

From Wiki (I agree, this is one of those WTF phrases for most of us)
"An explosive material, also called an explosive, is a substance that contains a great amount of stored energy that can produce an explosion, a sudden expansion of the material after initiation, usually accompanied by the production of light, heat, and pressure. An explosive charge is a measured quantity of explosive material.

The energy stored in an explosive material may be chemical energy, such as nitroglycerine or grain dust pressurized compressed gas, such as a gas cylinder or aerosol can
nuclear, such as fissile isotopes of uranium-235 and plutonium-239" Surprised @JNH or @Shrubb5 didn't "splain this to us non-science people! :) TTFN!

CrazyCat said...

@Tinbeni - Thanks for your explanation of RTS. I was pretty sure it was Right Tackles. I too googled RTS and got the same results that you did.

Whitney said...

This one kinda kicked my behind. I had to look up MIMI Sheraton, TRIS Speaker (again) and who Leonard Marx is...Apparently his original nickname was "CHICKO" as in "chicken chaser" as in the ladies. Not real chicken. NMI is totally new to me, but good to know.

@Orange re: Wayne R Williams puzzle "Is it unthemed and easy and generally uninteresting?" LOL. My BF and I were just saying how dumb that puzzle is. Yet I do it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

@Puzzle Girl re: "Newspapers love hearing complaints about the crossword puzzle!" I recently emailed the Oregonian because they put the answers for the Sunday NYT and the Frank Longo puzzles RIGHT NEXT TO THE PUZZLE. I had to let them have it. So dorky.

And finally @Corgi of Mystery LOL at a puzzle that sings to you when you finish.

Tinbeni said...

I guess we all have certain answers that are pet peeves we dislike seeing.
The pluralization of an abbr. is one of mine.
Right Tackle = RT, no 's'
Tight End = TE, no 's'

I do know when I see them again (and we will see them again, unfortunately) I will think they are, again ... lame (small 'l').

OK, off the soapbox.

AHA is one of those trite but never objectionable 3 letter moments.
I always think it is the constructor's way of giving a "wink" to the solvers.

mac said...

This puzzle bit me in several places! I liked some of the clues and answers very much, others not so and then there were a few that were completely unknown to me. NMI? Never came up, I have two middle initials as well (hence M.A.C.), and poor Sandy and I both have to deal with the whimsical wiles of the authorities....

P.S. Hope the Sunday puzzle doesn't have sound effects; I keep startling my husband with the clips on these blogs.....

Whatdido??,sal soda (thought it was related to seltzer), and the XLS were my learning experience today, as well as the very cute "dramedy".

PG is our amie!

Rube said...

I don't want to overdo this NMI issue, but my father had a middle initial but no middle name. Apparently his father had the middle name Reddick and wanted his son to also, but he was so used to just using the inital R. that that is what he put on the birth certificate. The Sargeant who reviewed his induction form was flummoxed - NMI or NMN didn't work and MIO was not going to fly.

BTW, I don't remember if it was here or RP's NYT blog, but some time ago we had CLAMS CASINO as an answer and I said I was going to try to make Bass Casino. I used chopped-up pieces of small mouth bass instead of clams in the mixture and put it into ramikens. The first 2 we ate were too dry so I added wine to the other 2 and those were too soggy. I'll spare you the details of my Bass Cordon Bleu from last night and my ever popular Bass Curry, but they are both quite good, along with the Bass Cacciatore and Pilaf. The Bass Paprikash was a disaster while the Bass Ceviche is a gimme.

chefbea said...

@Rube glad to have another foodie among us

CrazyCat said...

@Rube - Sounds like you could really use a Bassomatic. There was quite a hullabaloo about CLAMS CASINO on this blog a while back.

lit.doc said...

@crazycatlady, LOL! Thanks for reminding me of that Bassomatic commercial on SNL.

split infinitive said...

Tough, fair, fun puzzle. LOW EXPLOSIVE and LOVE IS ALL AROUND got the better of me! My foreign-born Mom, also a solver, knew both of those and now considers me 'ill-informed'! My only saving grace was knowing TRIS and recalling that peyote comes from CACTI.
SAL soda and MIMI were just very lucky guesses for me.

So far, a great week of puzzles for the LAT. Nice M-Th progression. Now I'm going to tackle the Onion and the Chgo Reader puzzles. Wish me luck.

PG: thanks for the splendid, smart, witty write up. I hope you, Amy and RP decide to publish your Crosswordese 101 in book form someday. I promise to buy a copy for me, one for Mom, and to lobby the local library to get one too. And to 'front' the books at bookstores around Chicago. (Face out as opposed to spine out).

Maybe it is stupid said...

@Orange - I hereby recant my prior retraction - NMI is stupid. If you're in the army and they're fastidious about your tracking your middle initial or lack thereof, John NMI Doe adds no information to John Doe. If they know it's not there, leaving it blank is the same as putting in NMI, with the exception of using up ink.
Assume there's an appropriate smiley emoticon here.

Rube said...

@ccl: What a great idea! I googled Bassomatic and saw the Dan Akroyd demo. Do you know if they use water or wine in the Bassomatic and where I can get one? @Chefbea, @Chefwen, help me here. Googling only got me such things as a British Rock Band and something about a symmetric key cipher used in cryptology. I'm desperate for Bass recipes.

Oh, the puzz. Got LONESOMEDOVE from about 3 crossings. Great book & TV series. Going to check... yes, the prequel, sequel, TV series, etc., the're all on Netflix.

Enjoyable Thurs Puzz.

Rube said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Ummm, was i gone the day that Rex recinded his 3 comment limit rule?

Orange said...

It's not Rex's 3-and-out rule here—it's also mine and PuzzleGirl's. It remains in force.

I am used to the plural abbreviations of sports positions, even though I rarely know what the football ones are going to be. My husband says he sees those on the TV screen, but that the announcers always say "right tackle," not "RT."

A constructor named T Campbell has made a 50x50 poster-sized crossword he'll be selling soon. (I edited it.) T is no fan of the sports abbreviations, so even though those make it easier to fill a grid, he makes a point of not using them. Yay! (The overall vibe in the puzzle is like that of the Onion crosswords—snarky, running about Thursday difficulty with clever clues.)

Rube said...

Let me try this again, Bassomatic.

mac said...

@Rube: how come you have so much bass?

We're wearing them out. My wv's have gotten really odd.

chefbea said...

@Rube.. Don't think I need that machine!!! Unless puzzle husband catches lots of bass when we move to NC

LA Crossword Police said...

Anonymousy 4:13 PM
Noticed you had nothing to say about the puzzle. Hmmmm ...

Are you blaming Parsan for the inquiry trying to understand why the puzzle in the paper wasn't the one being discussed and went to the extreme of 4 comment about that situation? Then another about yesterdays puzzle?
Now Rube broke the rule trying to correct an inept embed.(Psst.Rube delete the one that didn't work, it is the 4:06 PM).

Orange we must lock them up.
Not Parsan or Rube, the anonymouse with nothing.

Mac explain yourself. What are wv's?

PuzzleGirl said...

@chefbea: Is there something you want to tell me about you and my husband? You keep mentioning his name ....

mac said...

@LAPD: word verifications. I can't remember the spelling of these chapskes or something.

@PuzzleGirl: I think most of us have taken the liberty to call our relatives puzzle somethings. Mine is non-puzzle at all.

shrub5 said...

@mac: I'm still laughing....yeah, @Rube, why do you have so much bass? Inquiring minds want to know.

@ddbmc: Thanks for giving me some science cred, however I know next to nothing about explosives!!

re the NMI/NMN issue: if NMI is omitted, one could wonder if the person's middle name was unknown or left off. If NMI is entered, it removes all doubt. So IMHO it is OK in life and OK in the puzzle.

chefbea said...

@Puzzle girl I'm with Mac...I have a non-puzzle husband also. But if you are ever in NC give us a call and all husbands (puzzle or non) can go bass fishing together

chefwen said...

@Rube - I think you should use Bass Ale in your Bass-O-Matic for optimum Bass-O-Flavor.

Liked the puzzle, ran into a few sticky wickets, but nothing that I was unable to fix.

PuzzleGirl said...

But but but ... The reason my husband is called PuzzleHusband is because my (user)name is PuzzleGirl. It's totally based on that. That's why it's funny. You all should call your spouses names that are based on your usernames. I used to be called "zapatos" a hundred years ago in another online setting and at that time my husband was called "Mr. zapatos." Same husband! Different username! See how that works?

CrazyCat said...

um, I'm over my comment limit, so I can't tell you what I call my husband.

Oh cool - my wv is clowns....

mac said...

@PuzzleGirl: no problem. My husband will be Mr. Mac from now on. He will never know.

Tinbeni said...

Thank you for the response, a fair measure.
As I said at 1:17, it is the plural abbr. that bugs me the most.
I look forward to the 50x50 offering. Esp.since you edited, and I now know RTS will not be in it.

PuzzleHusband over Mr.Zapatos? You were a cobbler in the other online setting and he was Mr.Shoes? LOL.

Near here is Lake Tarpon (there are NO Tarpons in this lake) but it has beautiful fresh water bass.
Would never think of using the Bassomatic.
Did you ever think, when you tried to make the Bass Casino and the first two were to dry, to add Scotch instead of wine?
Scotch is very good when cooking.
I add some to ME and every dish is perfect.

imsdave said...

@mac - I'll tell - the truth must come out!

mac said...

imsdave: you do not mess with a good marriage!!;-).

Rube said...

Since I deleted one of those screwups, I'm just at 4, and @PG you must understand that inquiring minds, @Mac, @Shrub5, etc. want to know about my bass. Weeell, here's a link to a movie from my favorite bass fishing hole.


Hint, this not in NC, nor is it at Lake Powell where I have been known to catch a few smb, lmb, stripers, & walleye on our twice yearly houseboating trips. (The trick to catching bass is to talk to them with a southern accent.)

Re. explosives in the puzz, I would say that LOWEXPLOSIVEs are that combination of fertilizer and diesel that is so popular with terrorists. A high explosive is something like PETN, (Penta Erithrite Tetra Nitrite), or the plastic explosives that are often mentioned in thriller/commando movies. Dynamite is somewhere in between. Personally, I used to use a 2 part explosive for seismic work. This was legal to carry across bridges as long as the parts are in different vehicles.

That's 4 and on to Friday's puzzles.

p.s. - That's captchas
p.p.s. - @Tinbeni, the trouble with using scotch in cooking is that you are supposed to burn off the alcohol after adding the booze.

badspelller said...

Helm for bridge position messed me up. Once I got the theme clue the theme answers came pretty easily. Put down Tampa for Fla city which set me back. Had to do some spell checking. Figured out NMI immediately but thought that's stupid. Just read a short book by McMurtry on his book collecting adventures--a quick fun read.

chefbea said...

If any is still reading this...I will now call my husband
Mr. Bea....Wasnt that a song???

Jan said...

Got the song right away because "Love Actually" is one of my all-time favorite films.

Did anyone else confidently fill in "holeinone" for "Duffer's thrill"?