Mar 3, 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017, Alex Eaton-Salners

Title: Look up! It's a bird, a plane - Superman!?! No, sorry, not this time.

Alex E-S makes a quick return to Friday with an imaginative "no clue" puzzle.  Each theme fill is a type of flying machine. Thus, each one becomes an Unidentified Flying Object  as they are flying objects not identified in a clue. This approach requires the solver to get the down fill to get at least one of the theme filled. Because of the difficulty of seeing the theme, the puzzle doe have lots of doable, short fill. He did squeeze in OOMPAHS, CARLS JR.,  BUTT PACK and  HER HONOR. The flying machines are diverse, but otherwise I see no other common element.

18A. No Clue : HELICOPTER (10).

23A. No Clue : GOODYEAR BLIMP (13).

38A. No Clue : BIPLANE (7).

53A. No Clue : HOT AIR BALLOON (13).

61A. No Clue : HANG GLIDER (10).

70A. Area 51 phenomena ... or what five puzzle answers are? : UFOS (4). In the purest sense and not relating to aliens. So how did we get the grid filled.....


1. Outdo : BEST.

5. So far : TO DATE.

11. "Happy Valley" airer : BBC. I never saw or heard of this SHOW which generated such wonderful reviews.

14. Joie de vivre : ELAN. Interesting as this positive sounding approach to life, can lead to one becoming...

15. Ethically indifferent : AMORAL.

16. Spat ending : ULA. Don't flip over this bizarre clue/fill. Spatula.

17. Dart : FLIT.

20. Friction reducer : OIL.

21. Benin neighbor : TOGO. Not to be confused with 64A. When repeated, an "Animal House" chant : TOGA.

22. Most Rwandans : HUTUS. Some of the HISTORY.

27. Snowboard feature : STRAP. No idea; my Colorado son snowboards. I used to ski.

28. Brass band sounds : OOMPAHS. Tuba or not tuba, that is the question.
31. Money in Miyazaki : YEN.

33. Free org. for law students : ABA. They figure if you join in law school, you stay and pay once you are out in the world.

34. Rob Roy, for one : SCOT. I was fixated on the DRINK for a while, then the book and MOVIE until I left it and came back. The LINK.

35. "Whatevs" : MEH. A regular Corner comment.

41. Poet inspired by the Battle of Baltimore : KEY. Francis Scott, and the Star Spangled Banner. When I saw poet, three letter fill and Baltimore, my mind went to Mr. Poe. Or did it?.

42. Trapezoid measure : AREA.

44. Brooklyn pro : NET. The current worst team in Basketball.

45. Droop : SAG.  No chance I will say anything here.

47. Home of the "All-Natural Burger" : CARL'S JR. This West Coast Hamburger CHAIN is famous for its raunchy  COMMERCIALS

49. Bobby who lost to Billie Jean in the Battle of the Sexes : RIGGS. Bobby was an aged star who defeated Margaret Court in the first battle of the Tennis Sexes.

57. Riksbank currency : KRONA. The currency of Sweden's central bank.

59. Flower from the Greek for "rainbow" : IRIS.

60. "Lenore" poet : POE.  And guess who appeared! Not a poem I know well.

65. Latin trio word : AMO, amas amat.

66. Epoch when modern mammals emerged : EOCENELEARN.

67. Swindle : ROOK.

68. Its debut Apr. 1971 broadcast covered Senate hearings on the Vietnam War : NPR. Imagine, this started in our lifetime.

69. Periods of growth : SPURTS. I am still waiting for mine.


1. Muddles : BEFOGS.

2. Family name in Jane Austen's "Persuasion" : ELLIOT.  Her final NOVEL. You can read it online for free.

3. Hand : SAILOR.

4. Explosive stuff : TNT.

5. Lake straddling a Western border : TAHOE. One of the most beautiful places on earth.

6. Tag Heuer competitor : OMEGA. Watches.

7. Sorrow : DOLOR.  Latin.

8. "Entourage" agent Gold : ARI. I did not hear much about the MOVIE.

9. Sea follower? : TAC. The airport, Sea-tac. - Seattle Tacoma.

10. Hebrew G-d : ELOHIM. Transliteration is so hard.

11. Infantry equipment carrier : BUTT PACKLINK.

12. Color on le drapeau fran├žais : BLEU. The blue on the flag of France.

13. Animated film primarily set in Radiator Springs : CARS. WATCH.

19. Some heels : PUMPS. Love the clue/fill.

21. Laid-back : TYPE B.

24. V-J __ : DAY.

25. Taiwanese tea drink : BOBA. We are more used to it being called Bubble tea - Taiwanese tea-based drink invented in Taichung in the 1980s. Most bubble tea recipes contain a tea base mixed/shaken with fruit or milk, to which chewy tapioca balls and fruit jelly are often added. It has been embraced by most Asian restaurants.Various sources and personal experience.

26. Quicken product : LOANS. They started out with accounting software, but are major player in the mortgage field.

29. Plot device? : HOE. Getting it reading for planting, not a prostitute movie..

30. Bachelor pad, perhaps : STY.  Men tend to be messy when left alone.

32. Raphael or Leonardo, in fiction : NINJA. Of the hard shelled kind.

33. __-rock music : ALTernative.

35. Cheese go-with : MAC.

36. Dead-ball __: early baseball period : ERA. Before Babe Ruth.

37. Judge's address : HER HONOR.I am sure this caught all the sexists.

39. Prefix with scope : PERI.

40. Sandwich and Salisbury VIPs : EARLS. Or Grantham.

43. As company : ALONG.

46. Jazz pianist Evans : GIL. The letters were easy, but I never knew of this somewhat  TRAGIC man.

48. Play grounds? : STAGES. Very nice misdirection.

50. Disappear : GO POOF. Good thing he added the F.

51. Bit of baby talk : GOO GOO. Ga Ga?

52. Tiptoes, say : SNEAKS.

54. Backseat driver, e.g. : RIDER. meh.

55. Spiner of "Star Trek: T.N.G." : BRENT. He played the android - DATA - and also appears in both Independence Day movies. ODD.

56. Buenos __ : AIRES.

57. Mongol sovereign : KHAN.

58. Increase, with "up" : RAMP.

62. Hack : LOP.

63. "ER" setting : ICU. The TV show often had the doctors and patients in ICU.

64. Play about Capote : TRU. He died young, a month short of his 60th birthday.

Well golly, we are the end already. Too many short fill to be difficult but there are some challenging fill. It was very hard if you did not understand the gimmick. Alex is showing off his versatility and I expect to see him often this year. I also expect you all to let me know your thoughts. I am off to another new doctor. Will catch up with you after that.
Lemonade out.


OwenKL said...

FIRbTD! Misspelt KRONe and hadn't noticed the perp (down words are harder to notice than across). But with no ta-da, went looking and found it easily enough without needing any other help.

"No clue" would be a name for the lousy clecho on this one! "What is that", "Look, a saucer", or "Is that Superman?" would all have been better -- and I'll bet some of you come up with even better phrases! Beyond that (and the omission of SWAMP GAS), the reveal tied it up in an innovative way!

You may have noticed SCOT(t) KEY, but did you notice that HER HONOR followed right after the E.R.A.?

41a started as POE before KEY, then OOM-PA-PA at 28a turned 29d into POE, then 60a spoiled both of them by standing up as the real E.A.!

50+51d how many ways can you boggle POGO from that? I count 16, but may be low.

{A, B-, B+, A.}

An astrologer from BUENOS AIRES
Told ARI, since he was an Aries,
He was safe as a RIDER
And leaping off high mountain aeries!

With a HOT AIR BALLOON, the gas bag
Is BEST to stay round and not SAG!
Should silk panels of roof,
While inflating, GO POOF --
There's a market for TOGA and dust rag!

While U.F.O.S thru the atmosphere FLIT,
Some say they don't like SNEAKS a bit!
To keep aliens away,
They're PUMPED up to say
We need a wall that's higher than sh*t!

In the DAYS of the great Kublai Khan
Said "When babes go GOO GOO
In my town, Xanadu,
It's BEST to have tissues at hand!"

OwenKL said...

From Last Night (duplicate of final posting yesterday)

Anonymous@11:10 PM:

The Washington Post Crossword was also the CrosSynergy puzzle, which ceased publication (after 20 years!) February 28, 2017. An eulogy for it is at Crossword Fiend, split before and after the review of the final puzzle. It took me a while to find this, and I'm still looking to find an announcement of why, and whether the LAT replacement at the WaPo site will be permanent.

fermatprime said...


Thanks to Alex and Lemonade!

Liked the theme!

Unknowns were BBC, BOBA and BUTTPACK. Managed to fill 'er in.

Have a great day!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I still have "No clue" as to the how the theme answers match the clue. Just call me dense. Before BLIMP appeared, I figured 11d would be some sort of ...TRACK. So I was left wondering if the first letter of 11d was A(BC) or N(BC). Went with the N; B never occurred to me. D'oh! DNF.

Sailors are "hands," but not all hands are sailors.

Can't believe we were expected to watch a commercial in order to see a CARL'S JR commercial. I blew if off.

BRENT Spiner does some hilarious impressions of Patrick Stewart who played Captain Picard in that series.

I use Quicken software to track my investments. After three years, Quicken "sunsets" the software's ability to download transactions. That forces you to upgrade to a newer, but usually no better, version of the software. Oracle uses similar tactics.

TTP said...

Good morning all. Thank you Alex and thank you lemonade.

I thought the clue was No Clue. I thought we had a dash when there wasn't a clue. Anyway, after getting HOT AIR BALLOON, the others with No Clue filled in quickly with the partials that were in place.

A few "never heard ofs" in this puzzle. BOBA, ELOHIM, Happy Valley.

Spat ending - Why, spatter of course, especially after yesterday's patter. :>)

Backed into MAC after ham, thanks to CARLS JR.

Had ZULUS before HUTUS.

Extraterrestial Alien said...

Otto: Each of the theme answers is an "unidentified flying object" because there was no "clue" to help you with the answer. Each theme answer is something that flies, and since there was "no clue" given to help give the answer, it is therefore "unidentified." Not the easiest theme to parse out.

Lemonade714 said...

Owen, SWAMP GAS is not a flying object. The theme did not relate to misguided alien sightings.

SPATter does work but not with the perps.

With another puzzle folding (BUZZ FEED did not last) you wonder if the audience really is shrinking

desper-otto said...

EA, I hear what you're saying, but I still find it to be obtuse obfuscation. You have to go too far "round the bend" to latch onto it.

Anonymous said...

A "judge's address" is YOUR HONOR, not HER (or HIS) HONOR. "Judicial reference" would have been a better clue.

TTP said...

Lemonade, I knew spatter did not work with the perps. It was a joke. In case it wasn't clear or funny, there was a little smiley face after it.

Big Easy said...

I really had 'no clue' as to what this puzzle was about, as the 'no clue' clues didn't give any hints. The downs took care of filling about half of the theme answers and after I glanced at 70A's clue, UFOS (and tin foil hats) immediately came to mind. 53A's answer- HOT AIR BALLOON- just looked correct and the V8 moment hit me. The answers were 'up in the air'. I just guessed the rest because there were many blank spaces. Didn't know ELLIOT, DOLOR, BOBA, BUTT PACK, ELOHIM, or BRENT and would never have filled them if I hadn't guessed the flying machines. The last fill was a WAG. I've never heard of 'Happy Valley' and figured that it was either ABC, BBC, CBC, or NBC and only BUTT made sense.

Riksbank currency- I knew it would be either KRONA or KRONE.

NPR- The few times I ever listen I laugh when someone is reporting on some issue and the phony background noises are in the background. Since 'Car Talk' is all reruns, I find no reason to ever tune in.

HER HONOR- I am not a lawyer but I think that would refer to a female MAYOR, as in HIZZONER for the male mayor.

Anonymous said...

I took "no clue" to mean one was "up in the air" mentally and quickly figured out things that were up in the air

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Although I finished in normal Friday time, I found this a tad crunchier than usual. Some of the cluing and fill was odd, e.g. Ula and, at first I confidently wrote in Ter, until perps came to the rescue. As others have mentioned, there were a lot of unknowns. After finishing, it took several minutes for me to understand the theme. This was more of a Meh moment than an Aha one. Hand up for Poe.

Thanks, AES, for the mental workout and thanks, Lemony, for spelling it out so clearly.

From yesterday, thanks TTP and Anonymous T for your flattering opinions on my going to the ACPT. I'm afraid I'm nowhere near that level of solving. Maybe, just maybe, if I had unlimited time to solve a puzzle, I'd do okay at some level, but speed is of the essence in these tournaments. I'm more of a Tessie the Tortoise rather than a Rosie the Road Runner!

Winter is back, with very cold temps. Single digits either tonight or tomorrow. Lots of sunshine today but too "brr" for me.

Have a great day.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Crapped out in the center, but there was enough gettable fill that the puzzle was interesting and enjoyable.
Favorite clue/fill: hand - SAILOR. As in "All hands on deck!"
We don't have CARLSJR here but do have a Hardee's.

Have a great day.

Lemonade714 said...

I had only a one second flash before the Carl's commercials started. Sorry. I really try to not have any forced extra watching.

TTP, as you can see from Irish Miss, TER was a legitimate fill, just not with this puzzle.

TTP said...

Lemonade, I didn't need to see it from Irish Miss to know it was legitimate fill, and also that it did not fit in this puzzle.

MJ said...

Good day to all!

I had fun with today's puzzle, but too many unknowns for me to be able to finish without help. Favorite clue/answer was "Plot devise?"/HOE. Thanks for the fine expo, Lemonade.

Enjoy the day!

unclefred said...

I have a hard enough time with Friday CWs, let alone one with several of the clues missing. I got it done, but it took far too much of my time; therefore, I didn't like this CW. Nice write-up, though Lemonade!

oc4beach said...

I didn't get the puzzle done without help today. Not as satisfying as a Monday puzzle, but the Ah-Hah moment arrived when I filled in the last "No Clue" with perps.

I had some of the same "never heard ofs" as others.

I had TELE before PERI, TUTSI before HUTUS and HARDEES before CARLSJR. We don't have CARLSJR in the east but apparently HARDEES is part of the same company.

Lemon: I did like your link to the burger ads. Very educational.

In central PA it was near 70 degrees a few days ago, now in the 20's with lake effect snow showers today. Screwy weather this year.

Enjoy your weather. Whatever it may be.

kazie said...

I'm with Uncle Fred on this one. Too much totally unknown trivia for me to advance beyond scratching the surface before moving on to the sudoku. But Lemonade made it intelligible.

JJM said...

I'm with desper-otto. Read the write up, read EA, and still don't get it. Finished the puzzle. Stupid

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

46D: Although Gil Evan might have begun his career as a jazz pianist, he is best remembered as a jazz orchestra arranger; most notably for 3 Miles Davis albums along with those of his own. When one mentions "jazz pianist Evans" the name that comes to mind is the notable and great pianist Bill Evans.

(Sorry. The wrong link was previously entered so I deleted my comment and am re-posting.)

Here is his famous composition
Waltz For Debby

Magilla Go-Rilla said...

Sorry for the multiple postings with the bad links.

Anonymous said...

After way too much time, I did finally suss out the theme answers given the reveal, but in my years of doing cw's I've not run into a "no clue" puzzle before. And it didn't help that neither Carl's Junior nor Hardees operates in my area. So this one was a fun sponge but at least educational in that I'll know what a "no clue" puzzle is like should I run into one again. a

Lucina said...

Thank you, Alex, for the amusing challenge today. It took only a short time to realize that the "no clue" referred to flying machines so like others I completed each theme fill with only a few letters for guidance. Happy Valley is totally unfamiliar to me so I left one blank cell. BLEU immediately came to mind and hand up for POE before KEY and POE again at 60A.

The Battle of Baltimore was indirectly referenced on Jeopardy last night with Ft. McHenry and the answer, James McHenry.

STAGES as play grounds was clever. I've glimpsed Tag Heuer watches in stores so OMEGA seemed natural. BUTTPACK and BOBA are unknown to me but I have read Persuasion twice and seen the movie numerous times so I knew ELLIOT and I'm sure Misty will too.

Nice CSO to Abejo at OOMPAH since he plays the tuba.

Coincidentally we ate take out from CARLSJR last night; it is located about a mile away.

I hate that the word HOE has been abased with a shady reference.

Thank you, Lemonade, for soldiering on despite your pain and keeping us enlightened.

Have a spectacular day, everyone! We're expecting 80s today.

Wilbur Charles said...

Where do I start? How about NPR background sounds. Last night they had a combat pilot on Terri's show who had her 3 month old baby with her.

I could distinctly hear GOOGOO GOOGOO

Its not an overwhelming love of NPR but as son #1,2,3.. said. 'there's nothing else'

Speaking of... I no sooner told him UFOS than he instantly explained NO CLUE.

IM: Perhaps a father-son xword tourney or mother,daughter.

SPATial fit too. Unfortunately, I've never heard of Carl's or any other JR. Only the R fit using HARDEES but got me branded a sexist.

I had CAB for Hack. And, Lemonade, RIDER I believe refers to the EOCENE in the backseat"RIDing" (nagging) the driver.

I'm glad it wasn't my imagination that Quicken was in software because I had LOTUS.

WC in prime time

CrossEyedDave said...

(Well, not really)
More of a CMAS...
(Cheated My A** Off)

I got the theme, eventually,
it was the rest of the puzzle I had no clue about...

Soldiers wear buttpacks?
Never heard of Carl's Jr.

(Aside to Desper-otto, I enjoyed the 1st Lemon/Carls link so much I bookmarked
it to watch again later...Definitely worth whaatever they are charging...)

P.S. to Desper-otto,
Dang it! you beat me to the Brent Spiner link!
Now I have to go with the 2nd rate TBBT clip!
P.P.S. for non TBBT fans, the episode where Will Wheaton screws Sheldon
is an all time classic must see for SciFi fans!

Hmm, do you think they will ever have a CW where the theme repeats itself?

Maybe they are not as advanced as we thought they were...

Be careful HG!

Oh well, another CW failure on my part...

(to quote Splynter, "Onward."

CrossEyedDave said...

Hmm, I wonder, who programmed the Spamfilter? Aliens?

Waiting for a Hoedown said...

TER fit for the SPAT ending, but it wasn't legitimately allowing me to enter it. I don't understand...

Jayce said...

It took me far too long to figure out the gimmick, and only after thinking about it did it strike me, in retrospect, as clever. Hand up for POE until POE appeared later, TELE before PERI, and HAM as the cheese go-with. I smiled a teeny bit at seeing TOGA and TOGO. My last fill was the ALT/NET cross, for which I needed to do an alphabet run with red letters. I did put HIS HONOR in because YOUR HONOR didn't fit, and no, that does not make me a sexist. Only after I sorted out that MEH,AREA,MAC area did I see it should be HER HONOR, and I was happy to "make it so."

I like Brent Spiner and his send-ups of Patrick Stewart. Sometimes, though, I can't tell if he's being humorous or bitter.

I think Boba is an abomination.

Best wishes to you all.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Less than delighted with this puzzle.

Really do not like the theme gimmick. "No clue" for me is a non-starter.

Also, too much gratuitous obscurity -- TAC, BOBA, BRENT, TOGO, ARI -- MEH!

So - a DNF.

Other than that, it's solid, but the theme really ruined it for me.

Happy weekend everyone - we're going to see granddaughter Amanda dance tonight.

Cool regards!


Chuck Lindgren said...

I focused on software for Quicken and Quicken "Books" fit with was all downhill from there. It wasn't until today that I related the Quicken software with Quicken loans even though my niece works for them in Detroit ! I often wonder how they can profit offering loans so cheap ? Who buys the bundle of 30 year loans for 3%???

and of course I never get the theme...I thought "No Clue" meant no understanding even after verts gave me hotairballoon. Is "No Clue" a crossword standard. As a relative beginner I wonder ???
Tag Who???? and rider for backseat driver MEH MEH MEH !

Chuck Lindgren said...

Dear Lucina...a Ho' is not a hoe but a Ho' that has a garden may hoe and own a hoe but generally a playa owns a HO' but I've never seen a playa that hoes ! If he needed to hoe he's probably make his Ho' hoe for him.
No shady reference to "hoe".
I hope that clears things up !

AnonymousPVX said...

A puzzle created to be hated, horribly clued and a gimmick puzzle on top of that. Obviously constructed so as to prevent a solve, thus gratifying the constructor and no one else.

A horrible effort by the constructor who I hope finds a different hobby.

Bluehen said...

My solving experience was much like Jayce's. I was pretty frustrated at first with the clueless fills, but once I solved the reveal and perps gave me a glimpse into the unknown fills, the light came on and I smiled a the wicked cleverness of it. Well done, AES. As always, an illuminating expo, Lemony. The way you soldier through your pain to accommodate this blog is heartwarming. Get well soon. Oh, BTW, could the snowboard straps be the foot straps used to keep the board and the boarder from going their separate ways? Just asking, There is certainly no snowboarding to speak of in DE.

The trees are budding and my hay fever has gone through the roof. Yesterday I asked my Dr.'s PA if there is some sort of industrial-strength medicine she could prescribe. I was told no, that all of such meds they used to subscribe are now available OTC, and nothing stronger has been developed since. Bummer. I was in her office because I had been told that I had Premature Supraventricular Contractions. Any one familiar with that? Just sounds like an irregular heartbeat to me. Oh, well.


Wilbur Charles said...

I neglected to praise Owen for some truly A rated 'licks. Yesterday too.

Lemonade, we always get a great write-up on Friday. Can't wait for Splynter to show up and translate L. E. B. T. F.

I was getting BRETT Stiner mixed up with the ex-Trekkie who used to show up on The BBT. Sheldon's nemesis. ?? Help.

Babe Ruth starred in both the dead-ball and live-ball ERAs. The first as a pitcher, the latter he was mainly responsible for.

Let me add something. Ty Cobb said that Ruth could experiment because he was a pitcher. Tim Tebow a former Heisman winner, may get the at-bats because of earlier fame to succeed.

Sorry mods.


Misty said...

Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one who found this Friday puzzle a toughie. And I sure didn't get the theme until Lemonade's careful explanation. Maybe make the next one a tiny bit more doable, Alex--though I enjoyed the theme once it was explained. And, Lemonade, you are heroic for giving us a delightful and often funny write-up when you have your own medical problems to deal with. Many thanks for that!

Wish I could say I got ELLIOT, Lucina--it's been a few decades since I read Jane Austen's "Persuasion." But at least I got POE.

I'm going to start taking a few minutes every day to walk around the patio and front yard and start enjoying the flowers that are coming up. After all the time I spend on puzzles and things, I want a little return to nature this spring.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Please don't tell anyone, but I agree with an anon comment (@7:55). One addresses the judge as "Your Honor, not "His Honor" or "Her Honor". I had "YeR HONOR". I guess I read too many Pogo comics as a kid. Didn't know MEy from MEH - The little bit of Yiddish I know I learned from TV or from crosswords. That was my only bad cell. No aids used today.

I had very good luck, correctly guessing all three of my Naticks (33ax25d, 22ax10d and 21ax7d). Plenty of other unknowns as well - to many to list.

Erased mET for NET, Rolex for OMEGA, puMP for RAMP and As ONe for ALONG (I know, "as" was part of the clue).

I got the gimmick fairly early with GOODYEAR BLIMP. It was the rest of the fill I found difficult.

Thanks Lemonade for helping make sense of this thing. And thanks to Alex - He or She really started lots of conversation today.

Northwest Runner said...

Great puzzle. Perfect for a Friday. Except for the fact that the web site would flip the selection to down when I went to unclued entries (a pattern that was harder to discover than the theme itself) it was a great way to wrap up the week.

Husker Gary said...

-Finally I get a period off after subbing for 5 of the last 7 days. How did I do it for 42 years?
-As soon as I saw clues missing I knew I was in for a battle and I was. A good time was had out here on the Great Plains as soon as I got the gimmick.
-UFO’s in a classroom get my attention ASAP!
-It was a trial to teach kids that HOT AIR BALLOONS rise because of what comes out not what goes in
-AMORAL or Immoral?
-Lots of OOMPAHS can be heard in the “Bohemian Alps” southwest of here
-90M peeps tuned in to see Billy Jean beat Bobby 44 yrs ago
-My infantry used CAISSONS and a HALF TRACK first
-I’m a huge fan of HER HONOR Judge Judge
-What dapper TV cowboy had a ROOK on his holster?
-I’m anxious to read other comments but right now I’m being deluged by HS Juniors!

trubrit said...

I had 'no clue' what 'no clue' meant, too much for me. I did get 'ula' for Spat, guess you have enjoy cooking for that to pop in your mind right away, also had 'oompapa' before 'oomphs'.
Couldn't think of 3 letters in front of 'honor' when 'your' wouldn't fit.

Happy weekend!

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. I have nothing to add to the mixed reception of this puzzle. I got it done with some red letter help. Otherwise, it would have been frustrating.

I have never used the word "Meh", neither in speaking nor writing. It wasn't part of my vocabulary until I came across it in crosswords a few years back. It reminds me too much of some of my more unpleasant students who would sometimes respond "Whatever" when they didn't understand or agree with something and didn't want to make the necessary effort. It seemed rude to me.

Thanks Alex and Lemon.

Michael said...

I'm with CED on that CMAS thing ... but that USAF aircraft ID chart is perfect.

Spitzboov said...

Jayce @ 1314 re: BOBA. Knowing of your connection to the Orient thru your distaff side, I saw the clue as a CSO to you. LMAO after reading your comment.

Jynx and others; I can see the bailiff instructing those present to "All Rise" when His/Her Honor enters the courtroom. An address is used in reference to someone in addition to addressing them directly. I wonder how Sir Sean Connery is doing.

Steve said...

Cracking puzzle, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. As much as I might dislike a puzzle, I'd never spew the kind of vitriol seen at 1:45. Pathetic.

TTP said...

Back from grocery shopping. Gotta start eating before I go there...

I was certain that we had seen a dash character in previous puzzles where there was no clue, so I searched the archives.

It appears that Rich has now decided to use "No Clue" when there is an entry for which there will be no clue.

Seven years ago (before my time here) we had a puzzle where there was no clue for theme entries. In the papers, it was just a blank clue. In the online version, there was a dash character. CC explained that the Across Lite software required something in the field, and that a dash character was used because there must be something in the field.

Then two years ago, we had the "Turn a Phrase" theme puzzle. CC explained "Across Lite does not allow empty clues, so Rich normally uses a dash to indicate that there's no clue for that word."

Again there were problems. Some people complained that the blank clues weren't numbered in their newsprint, so they thought the puzzle was missing clues. For some others, the remaining clues that were numbered didn't match the grid.

It seems to me that perhaps Rich has now decided to just enter "No Clue" with both words capitalized to tell us there is literally no clue for the entry. That's a solution that would resolve the problem in both print and online media.

Wilbur, did you see the Frank Virzi - Fly the W ! puzzle I linked yesterday ?

Lemonade714 said...

Just back from yet another Doctor appointment, and it feels great to read all positive remark from the Corner. Keeping busy and keeping positive are both important when facing health issues IMHO.

It does amaze that some solvers take puzzles they do not get, or do not like as personal affronts. Fridays are supposed to be a challenge and there are so many ways to build one. I do not always get them and have had to ask for help from other of our regular bloggers. I would rather this than a Universal Crossword any day. I try to show in my write up some fun things, some new things and on we go to Saturday.

Tinbeni said...

Lemon: Excellent write-up. Good Job! Got ALL the UFO's easily.

Fave today, of course, was the ROB ROY ... I've had a few of this drink many times.

Cold front went through ... only got up to 75 degrees today. ... tears ...

Hope y'all have a great weekend ... and the Sun IS over the yardarm.

SwampCat said...

Steve at 2:51, I completely agree! That's what Thumper is for.....and reminds us to do.

Anonymous T said...

Hi all!

Once again Alex E-S BEST'd me. It looked like my normal Sat grid b/f I started cheating.

No only did I have No Clue to the themers but all the French, names (sans BRENT!), and nonsense [see: EOCENE(?!?)] a big-fat TITT. Kazie, Uncle Fred add me to your GOOD company.

Now that I see what Alex did, I can appreciate it. But, I was a haPLess [see 38a] solver just like his Friday offering 3 weeks ago.

Thanks Lem for identifying the flying objects. I think Bluehen is correct re: STRAP referring to boots (not soccer).

CEO of Hardee's/JR didn't make Labor Secretary... Learnt that on NPR.
[OK, really? NPR/PBS is probably the best news save BBC and/or CBC. OK, yes, they have programs that make you want to OFF yourself (On Being comes to mind; Don't get me started on the PATTER of pledge week).

{A, A++, A-,A}. LOL Swamp Gas!

Lucina - Chuck L beat me to the Ho' hoe'n' :-)

Chuck L - Your Ho' story was funnier that what I had. Too, I've done Clueless puzzles and usually they're clued...
23 -

Play later. Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

Start a post, take a FaceTime from your brother, and miss things... Thanks TTP for researching the No Clue clue. I took it literally, hence, hapless for 38a. I'll look out for it next time.

CED - You came through the filter / with the links Mate. F-Funny (esp Weather Balloons). I want to Believe :-)

Steve - +1. Yeah, some puzzles feel like a fun-sponge [Hi Splynter!] but diff'nt strokes. I half-know how hard it is to construct and any effort to entertain the puzzle-crowd is appreciated.

Lem - to your "are we dwindling?" I think not. With quality edited pzls from NYT, LAT, and WSJ, who'd waste/have time with Buzz Feed? [Disclaimer, never did a BF so don't know if they were good or not; they don't sell that paper at the corner store :-)]

C, -T

Lucina said...

AnonT and Chuck L:
Thank you for the lesson and amusing explanation, Chuck; I do know it's usually "ho" however, I've heard others use "hoe" for that reference I guess because of the sound. Consider, for example, Lemonade's comment on that answer. No criticism meant since I believe Lem wanted to be amusing and it was. My bemoaning was simply about the degradation of language in general. I should have been more clear.

Wilbur Charles said...

I'll take a look tonight when I get a few secs. Let me guess. Some sports in it

Ol' Man Keith said...

Like Lemonade & many others I thought of POE before KEY at 41A, but it was easy enough to straighten out.
I see there was some disagreement as to the merits of today's pzl. I thought it well-clued and with a very clever theme--making us all scratch our heads to find the clue in "No clue." It slowed the game at the start, but then it took just one long fill to see what was going on.
Thanks, Mr. Eaton-Salners! A fun time.

WikWak said...

Whew! "A little crunchy" doesn't come even *close* to describing how difficult this puzzle was for me! It took nearly 50 minutes and I had to ask Mr G for help more than once. The UFOs I got quickly; it was the other, shorter fill that did me in. Looking forward to a little easier day Saturday.

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Alex, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Lemonade, for a fine review.

I filled in OOMPAH quickly, knowing it had to be right. Thank you, Lucina, for remembering.

I really enjoyed this puzzle. Spent about half the day today on trains in and out of Chicago and Glenview and where I live. That gave me the time to work the puzzle. Liked the theme, after I figured it out.

Was very happy to get BLEU right off the bat. I do love bleu cheese.

A few unknowns, but perps to the rescue. ELOHIM, HUTUS, EOCENE, ELLIOT, DOLOR, BOBA, BRENT.

Had a great fish dinner tonight at Medinah Temple with good friends of ours. Life is good.

See you tomorrow, or Sunday.


( )

David Baird said...

The clues in my app were assigned incorrect numbers. 43d was switched with 46d. 22a switched with 24d. Several more, as well. Impossible to work with like that. Did anyone else have this problem? I've never seen that happen before. I deleted the puzzle and downloaded it again but got the same mess.

Argyle said...

Try the Mensa site.

Lemonade714 said...

it is unfortunate that some sites that carry the puzzle are not able to adjust for "no clue" or other variations such as rebus puzzles. Sorry David.

Picard said...

FIW with NBC/NUTT PACK. I figured NUTT was some guy who invented some kind of military back pack. Never heard of "Happy Valley" so no clue.

ELOHIM is plural in Hebrew. Just like KIBBUTZIM is the plural of KIBBUTZ. It seems that at least in the early Bible the central deity was seen as one of a collection of deities. This also shows up in the commandment "Thou shalt have no other gods before me". This clearly means that there was an acceptance that there ARE other gods. Just that you need to put our tribal god first.

Never heard of Rob Roy in any context so that area was a struggle. No idea about GIL either. Nor ALT-rock. Too ambiguous a clue.

The story of the tragic battle of the HUTUS vs the Tutsis was huge news in the 1990s. I am surprised that people would not remember this.

Thanks for everyone who explained the theme. I got it to mean that the un-named clues were things that might be mistaken for alien spaceships. I did not get the brilliant concept that they were un-identified objects that fly!

Frederick Glasser said...

The clue Hebrew God calls for a singular noun. Yahweh and Adonai are both 6 letters. Elohim is plural. Play grounds: I wrote in "scenes" which fits the first, fifth, and sixth letters.

Lemonade714 said...

While your nit is valid as far as plural vs. singular but as I said, ultimately it is the confusion that comes from transliteration.

Captain, it is the difference between G and g