Feb 12, 2016

Friday, February 12th, 2016 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: Eye-YO of the Tiger?

17A . Generic City Hall dog? : MAYORS ROVER. Mars Rover. Does anyone actually call their dog Rover? Or Rex, or Fido? We should be told.

29A. Why some seek a certain cactus? : FOR PEYOTE'S SAKE. For Pete's sake. I remember reading a couple of Carlos Castaneda's books back in the day in which he wrote of some wonderful out-of-body experiences after taking peyote. In hindsight, he was just stoned out of his gourd.

35A. Essay on meditation? : YOGI TRACT. GI Tract. If you want an amazing journey through the human gastrointestinal tract, read Mary Roach's book "Gulp". Tell her Steve sent you.

45A. Eschew medical attention? : STAY OFF DOCTORS. Staff Doctors. Also known as Attending Physicians.

58A. Fighter whose stock greeting affects 17-, 29-, 35- and 45-Across : ROCKY BALBOA. Hero of the "Rocky" movie series of which I have seen - none of them.

Yo Corner!  Nice enough theme - before I got down to the reveal I'd already started to uncover the theme answers and was trying to find a common punning pronunciation-change when I saw the actual connection. The purist in me isn't terribly fond of YOGI TRACT - the YO at the beginning is the odd man out of the four and I'm not sure that "GI Tract" is particularly "in the language". I didn't have a problem filling it in, so as they say, no harm, no foul.

The puzzle is quite heavy on the themeage which sometimes makes for scrappy fill, but this one was pretty smooth. Let's see what pops out:


1. Item in a '60s drug bust : LSD TAB. Doesn't anyone get busted for LSD any more, or is that so last century?

7. Marshal Tito, for one : SLAV. His middle name was "Broz", which is rather nice considering the next entry ....

11. Friendly address : BRO

14. Make effervescent : AERATE. Nice word.

15. Queen's place : HIVE

16. Move on water : OAR

19. Caustic chemical : LYE

20. __ Toy Barn: "Toy Story 2" setting : AL'S. I cried in Toy Story 2. There, I admitted it.

21. Japanese volcano Mount __ : ASO. Japan's tallest active volcano erupted last year.

22. Guzzle : SWILL. I wanted SWIG until I had a square left over.

24. Half a prison? : SING. Sing. Maximum security correctional facility in New York State.

26. Suffix for professionals : -IST. I'd have said "some professionals". Attornist? Accountist? Not really.

28. Toon who often wore a Metallica T-shirt : BEAVIS. Definitely not to everyone's sense of humor. Most printable: "Did you know when you eat rump roast you’re eating a cow’s butt?"

32. Bacchanal vessel : EWER

33. Rested : SAT

34. Choler : IRE. I always try to convince myself that "choler" is a type of bread.

39. Arboreal critter : APE

41. "__ believer!" : I'M A. Here's Neil Diamond's song played by the very young-looking Monkees.

42. Icon with a curved arrow : UNDO

49. Certify : ATTEST

50. LAX stat : ARR

51. "Let her not say __ that keep you here": "Antony and Cleopatra" : 'TIS I. Guessed. Guessed right! Yay!

53. Language from which "julep" is derived : FARSI. Persian gul-āb, rose-water. I'm not sure Kentucky Derby-goers would recognize it.

54. Centrifuge site : LAB

56. Rosamund's "Gone Girl" co-star : BEN

57. Green beginning? : ECO-, as in eco-friendly.

63. However, to texters : THO. I never abbreviate when I text, it's just anathema to me. I tease my friend's mom (who is in her 70's) that she sounds like a teenager when she texts - it's all "OMG, Ur so LOL 2 funny". It's almost pathetic :)

64. __ dixit : IPSE. Came close to a personal natick'ed with the "S". I didn't know the abbreviation for the Confederate army, and my Latin deserted me for a while. After a quick alphabet run I decided IPSE was more likely than any of the others, although IPRE was tempting for a while.

65. Shape, as dough for cloverleaf rolls : BALL UP. Food!

66. Strong desire : YEN

67. Lacking a date : STAG

68. Adam, of the "Bonanza" brothers : ELDEST


1. Holy men who turn prayer wheels : LAMAS

2. Cousteau's concern : SEA LIFE. I tried to make SEALING (as in seal-hunting) work for a while.

3. Oxymoronic skiing condition : DRY SNOW. I've called it dry powder, or powder snow. Today, for the first time, I'm calling it dry snow.

4. All-encompassing concept : TAO

5. Gillette brand : ATRA

6. "Empress of the Blues" Smith : BESSIE

7. "The Tudors" sta. : SHO

8. Actress Tyler : LIV. Talented actress. She's a lot better looking than her dad, that's for sure.

9. GPS datum : AVE

10. Frost output : VERSES

11. Eponymous South American leader : BOLIVAR

12. Beamish? : RAY-LIKE. Wonderful to see a Lewis Carroll nonsense word in a truly ingenious setting. Best clue/answer of the week for me.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

13. Warning words : OR ELSE

18. Upbeat : ROSY

23. "Obviously, right?" : WAS IT NOT?

25. Their colour is affected by melanin : GREY EYES. Note the "colour" to clue "grey". "Color" would clue "gray". Awesomeness! I didn't know that melanin affected the eye color, but there's plenty of fascinating reading out there on the Interwebs.

27. Fare on a flat tortilla : TOSTADA. Food! Tostada= Toasted. Here's a Mexico City breakfast. Yum!

28. __ test : BETA. Usually for software before it ships commercially. Be prepared for loads of "undocumented features" (a.k.a. bugs).

30. Master : PRO

31. Roofing sealer : TAR

36. One of a biblical trio : GIFT. Another nice clue/answer. KING didn't work with what I already had filled in, so I was looking along the MAGI lines for some translation of king/wise man, then - aha! There were three gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh.

37. Global financial org. : I.M.F.

38. Tournament elimination point : CUT

39. Diplomatic case : ATTACHÉ

40. Dutch landowner in colonial America : PATROON. Solid crosses got this one for me.

43. Court action : DRIBBLE. Like a no-look pass - great misdirection here!

44. Bony : OSSEOUS

45. __ pin : SAFETY

46. Pluto's Egyptian counterpart : OSIRIS. This came in dribs and drabs via the crosses. I'll file this one away for future reference.

47. Alternative to de Gaulle : ORLY. I was at CDG a couple of weeks ago. ORY used to be the main Paris airport until CDG opened and now handles mainly domestic traffic.

48. Buster who portrayed Flash Gordon : CRABBE

52. Uncalled for : INAPT

55. Canaanite deity : BAAL

59. Decide : OPT

60. Lee side: Abbr. : CSA. The Confederate States of America. I didn't know that until today.

61. Cooper's creation : KEG

62. Honorary legal deg. : LL.D. The "LL" is an interesting hangover from the degree awarded by the University of Cambridge in the UK - it denoted the holder was qualified to practice both branches of law - Canon (church) Law and Civil Law, so "Doctor of Laws".

That's it from me - the grid's below:


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to our sweet LaLaLinda! Linda used to post daily and shared with us many fun facts of her life, her cats and her Red Sox. She still reads our blog, but her health issue & the flareups have prevented her from participating actively. If anyone has tips on how to lessen the arthritic pain, please share with us on the blog. I've heard great stories about the apple cider vinegar and honey combo. Our local Target actually carries the Bragg brand.