Jul 22, 2017

Saturday, Jul 22nd, 2017, Erik Agard

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,X,Z)

Blocks: 30

Mr. Agard is on a roll with another Saturday puzzle, three months running now.  I was able to move through this one pretty smoothly, with just a couple of hang-ups, and yes, I decided to cheat and red-letter once to see if I was off-base - and I was.  Oh well.  A friendly-looking grid, though I did not see the two 15-letter climbers in the DOWN, and yet they filled in via perpendiculars, despite the fact that I had never heard of either answer.  We also had a stagger-step of triple 13-letter answers in the center:

3d. Nonprofit that won a 2007 UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy : REACH OUT AND READ - their website awards page
31a. False pretenses : MOUNTEBANKERY - from the Italian, meaning "mounted on a bench", where charlatans would hock phony medicines - according to the M-W site

35a. They win audiences over bit by bit : STAND-UP COMICS - bits, that's punny....

37a. Denzel Washington's directorial debut : ANTWONE FISHER - The Wiki

11d. First black U.S. Congresswoman : SHIRLEY CHISHOLM - her Wiki - and a Congresswoman from New York, no less

9-irON WARD~!


1. Veal __ : PARM - argh~! I was not thinking of an abbr.  Got us a rhyming start;

5. Seal : SHUT

9. Actress Thompson of "Creed" : TESSA - I only know of actresses Leah and Emma

14. "Gotcha" : "I SEE." - At first I thought we had a "!" in the clue, so I was looking for something like "A-ha" at first

15. Posh "Peace!" : "TA-TA~!" - My buddy Mike always signs off with "Peace"

16. One remaining : OTHER

17. Israeli foreign minister during the Six-Day War : EBAN

18. It began in 2010 with the Tunisian Revolution : ARAB SPRING - good WAG with half the letters filled in via perps

20. Legendary Shawnee leader : TECUMSEH - also filled in after half perps

22. __ Rico : PUERTO - my first Across fill

23. Suffix suggesting wiggle room : -ISH - I am good for saying things like "I made a birdie(ish)" - because I might have taken two extra swings from the tee....yesterday I hit three pins - twice with my pitching wedge, once with the putter from the fringe. No -ish.

24. Uncertain utterances : UHS....

25. School squad goal? : PEP

26. English __ : LIT - another acceptable abbr.

27. Greek walkways : STOAS - remembered it once I had the two "S"s

29. Spy-fi employer : CIA

30. Boggy biomes : FENS

39. Gigging group : BAND

41. Shakespearean interjections : AYS - there's the rub~!

42. Company with "It's what you do" ads : GEICO

The camels, Europe and medieval bosses are my favorites

43. Briefs brand : BVD

44. Woolf's "__ Dalloway" : MRS. and a semi-clecho with; 47a. 44-Across, in Andalusia : SRA

45. Pit stuff : TAR

48. __ beef : CORNED

50. Separated seed from : THRESHED

52. Epic salvo of social media missives : TWEET STORM - I do not Facebook, Tweet, or Instagram - but I am addicted to Pinterest

54. What you might pass, but can't fail, in school : NOTE - cute

55. Hair extension : WEAVE

56. Instrument often made of African blackwood : OBOE - really good WAG, and a great change of cluing for a crossword staple

57. Spread on the table : OLEO

58. More bizarre : ODDER

59. Watched carefully : EYED

60. Iraq War concerns, for short : WMDS - dah~!! Weapons of Mass Destruction~?  I tried I.E.D.s


1. Old doctrinal Lutheran movement : PIETISM

2. Mineral involved in much litigation : ASBESTOS - always a concern as a home inspector - and any time you see 9"x9" floor tiles, assume they have asbestos in them

4. List with sides : MENU

5. Illicit collection, perhaps : STASH

6. Some bounders : HARES - because ROOS would not fit

7. Where I-15 and I-80 meet : UTAH - great guess on my part - but then again, a western four-letter state~? (figuring it was not a city)

8. Where charges are entered at the bar : TAB

9. Refill : TOP UP

10. Tours to be? : ÊTRE - Tours, the Frawnche city

12. Submitted : SENT IN

13. Specialized idioms : ARGOTS

19. Discuss : SPEAK OF

21. Forbidding contraction : MUSTN'T

25. __-nez glasses : PINCE

28. Vishy __, World Chess Champion before Carlsen : ANAND - only had to guess the "N"

29. Crunch and others? : CAP'Ns

30. Bichon __ : FRISE - cute dog breed; knew it, but not sure how to spell it

32. "Breakfast at Tiffany's" director : EDWARDS - again, perps

33. Lifts up : BUOYS

34. Expatriate : ÉMIGRÉ

36. Hidden away : SECRETED - I have 35 boards on Pinterest, and some of them are "secret"

38. Bus meets, e.g. : ROADEOS - new word for me, but it makes sense

39. "The Great British Bake Off" airer, initially : BBC TWO - the B, B, and C filled in early, and then it was a matter one "ONE" or "TWO"

40. Declared : AVOWED

44. One fed on the street : METER - clever

45. Sharp pang : THROE

46. Fortified : ARMED - I'm trying to come up with a clever name for my board game, and Fortified was one of the words I was pondering - any suggestions....?

49. Campbell of the "Scream" franchise : NEVE

50. Belch in "Twelfth Night" : TOBY - perps

51. Word with bank or board : SNOW - until I changed my IEDs, this was not coming to me

53. It may be jammed : TOE -there's two ways to interpret this....