Sep 29, 2016

Thursday, September 29th, 2016 Bruce Venzke and Gail Grabowski

Theme: Kitchen Crises - there are legumes cascading all over the grid.

Six types of spilling beans picked out by the circles - PINTO, BUTTER, GREEN, WHITE, SOYA and BLACK are all present and correct and hinted at by grid-spanning reveal across the center.

Tricky little puzzle, this one from Bruce and Gail. The four corners took some unpicking - the southwest caused me the most problems. I liked how the beans were all "spilling" down the puzzle. The fill was tight and clean, just a couple of entries made me wince a little, but that's probably reasonable for a 78 word puzzle. Let's see what jumps out:


1. "La Vie en Rose" singer : PIAF. Splendid excuse for some gravelly soundtrack from the chanteuse.

5. Ashtray array : BUTTS

10. Interest greatly : GRAB

14. "There __ joy in Mudville ... " : IS NO. From the splendid Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer.

15. Livid : IRATE

16. Cambodian currency : RIEL. A couple of repeats from yesterday - this and ARIA at 64A

17. Lump : CLOT

18. Hasbro soldier : GI JOE

19. Raison d'__ : ÊTRE

20. Lake Michigan port : KENOSHA

22. Dietary need : PROTEIN

24. TriBeCa neighbor : SOHO. The "Triangle Below Canal Street" and "South of Houston" neighborhoods in Manhattan.

26. Backspaced over : ERASED

27. 1974 hit with a Spanish title meaning "You are" : ERES TU

31. Jedi Council VIP : YODA. For the Star Wars fans:

33. VCR successor : TIVO

34. Brief meeting? : SESS. Not my favorite fill today. It's legal, just not very elegant.

36. Army rank above maj. : LT.COL

41. Told ... and a hint to this puzzle's six sets of circles : SPILLED THE BEANS

44. Ivy League sch. : YALE U.

45. "Rebel Without a Cause" star James : DEAN

46. Where a retriever may be retrieved: Abbr. : SPCA. Adopting a mutt from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

47. Blacken : CHAR

49. Prepare : GET SET

51. Kansas motto word : ASPERA. Ad Astra Per Aspera. "Though hardships to the stars". Kurt Vonnegut used it as the motto of the Martian Imperial Commandos in The Sirens of Titan.

55. Omit : SKIP

57. "Moby-Dick" crew : WHALERS. This got me started in this corner. I didn't see the blindingly-obvious ARIA for quite some time.

59. Made possible : ENABLED

64. Italian air : ARIA

65. Cumberland Gap explorer : BOONE

67. Hall of Fame linebacker Junior : SEAU

68. Copper that's mostly zinc : CENT

69. Corned beef __ : ON RYE. Food! I started another batch of corned beef yesterday. Only 17 more days to go!

70. Not fem. : MASC

71. __-Ball : SKEE. I didn't know this thing actually had a name, I just thought it was "that game at Chuck-E-Cheese".

72. Construction rod : REBAR

73. Long haul : TREK


1. Draft item often traded : PICK

2. Vacation destination : ISLE

3. Erelong : ANON

4. Snap, commercially : FOTO

5. Michigan Stadium nickname, with "The" : BIG HOUSE. The largest stadium in the country with a capacity of just under 110,000

6. Heep of trouble? : URIAH

7. __ Mahal : TAJ. Big marble mausoleum in Agra, India, but more importantly a pretty great Indian restaurant on Ventura Boulevard up the road from me in Encino. Here's their famous Chicken Tikka Masala:

8. Camaro roof option : T-TOP

9. What 15-Across people do : SEE RED

10. Former Fox News anchor Van Susteren : GRETA

11. Ceremonies : RITES

12. Where eagles hatch : AERIE

13. Some of this and some of that : BLEND

21. JFK-to-Heathrow flier, once : SST. Because "Concorde" doesn't fit. By far the noisiest plane that came over my house in London on the way to landing at Heathrow.

23. Dental care name : ORAL B

25. Seafood found in beds : OYSTERS

27. Website for handmade art : ETSY

28. Electrolux spokeswoman Kelly : RIPA

29. Pernicious : EVIL

30. Something underfoot : SOLE

32. DOL division : OSHA

35. Scandinavian literary work : EDDA. Here's the first verse of Sæmund's Edda. Seems to be sensible advice:

1. At every door-way,
ere one enters,
one should spy round,
one should pry round
for uncertain is the witting
that there be no foeman sitting,
within, before one on the floor.

37. Try out : TEST

38. Toy gun ammo : CAPS

39. Almost never : ONCE

40. Six-part undergrad exam : LSAT

42. Money : LUCRE. Is lucre always filthy? I've never seen a quanity of lucre described as "sparkling".

43. Tech graduate : ENGINEER

48. Abet, in a way : HARBOR

50. Grime-fighting org. : E.P.A. Nice clue - Environmental Protection Agency

51. Spy plane acronym : AWACS Airborne Warning And Control System. I'm not really sure this is a spy plane, just a method of extending your radar detection capability.

52. Toondom ogre : SHREK

53. "Common Sense" writer : PAINE. Crosses. Thomas Paine's 1775 pamphlet advocating independence from Great Britain. Smart cookie, that guy.

54. Give a big lift : ELATE

56. Uganda neighbor : KENYA

58. 40-decibel unit : SONE. Strictly speaking, it's equal to 40 phons, not decibels, but the distinction is minor so I won't stir up trouble.

60. Realty ad abbr. : BSMT. My "uggh" fill of the day. Personally, I'd have tried to fill this section differently to avoid it.

61. "I am a very foolish fond old man" speaker : LEAR. King Lear, Act 4 Sc vii. Crosses filled this in for me, then I was thinking it might refer to Edward, master of the nonsense verse.

They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon. 

From The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear

62. Comfort : EASE

63. "Fore!" : DUCK! One of my golfing buddies once hit a screamer of a drive that didn't get two inches off the ground - it hit one of the ladies' tee markers and came back at us so fast that no-one had a chance to do anything except dive for cover.

66. Sun or moon : ORB

That's about it from me. As Yoda would say: "A wrap, it is". Heeere's the grid.