Having Nothing On

Byron Walden gets racy.

Comments: 64

  1. Having solved the puzzle,
    I will now play the harpoon.

  2. ...while Bobby sings the blues, yeah..

  3. Windshield wipers,

    [did he write that before or after his Rhodes Scholar days?]

  4. .... with flying festoons overhead?

  5. .
    Not a big fan of 54 Down (clue) so close to 71 Down (entry).

    Don't know what kind of women's clubs are in the discussion but I don't think it was male viewers alone who gave those great ratings to "The Apprentice" for 14 seasons. The outcome seems to have been very favorable for the TEA Party, which effectively controls the GOP.

  6. The women's EVENT was a TEA; it does NOT say 'party,' especially not Tea Party.

    I can't comment on 'The Apprentice' (never viewed) but PTA events--for instance-- seldom featured male attendees; nor did fund-raisers, bake-sales, class parties, and in-class volunteer work.

  7. When Merrilee was PTA president, I stayed home to watch the kids. I did the PTA newsletter layout and editing (in both English and Spanish) for six years. Merri and I both have Golden Apple awards.

    So a few of us men contributed.

  8. I'm sure of it Mac....the few, the proud!

  9. Oh, I enjoyed this one! The -OON phrases were funny and entertaining, and were mostly not too hard to guess or get. I wondered if David C can play the SMALL MOUTH BASSOON.

    I finished with an error, which I then had to hunt for--turned out to be the crossing of ACTA and VACUA--I had put down ACTS.

    Fun to see CRONE next to A GOOD WOMAN.

  10. No, Liz, but I did know this small-mouthed bassoonist once...

    hee hee

  11. Isn't the bassoon a large tube with a small mouthpiece? It seems suitable for those with small mouths and large lungs.

  12. Had that exact same error, Liz. Also had ACTs.

  13. Delightful and challenging to boot.

  14. That was a fun, merry, relaxing puzzle. Nothing very difficult, especially since the OON endings were givens, but it had a lovely silliness that I really enjoyed.

    Reading the themers with their OONs on evoked some very funny mental pictures, especially SAUSAGE FESTOON. In the NYT!!?? My, my, my.

    But my favorite themer was WAILING WALLOON. Not only funny mental picture, but funny mental sounds!

    The little far SW corner was a bit of a bear. I didn't remember who played the aunts in "Arsenic" (assume it was the flick, not the show). Don't know anything about "Modern Family." I got stuck thinking of James Baldwin. MADAM President made me sigh.

    I think I've seen promos for "THIS IS US," but they were pretty forgettable, or at least didn't pique my interest enough to seek out the show. Maybe I'll run into it sometime.

    The only [Variety of hold 'em] that I've ever heard of is Texas.

    Some of the oddest things came to me instantly: THE LORAX, BEREA, CRONUTS. And some would never have come without all the crossing letters: LARUSSA, KENDO, LA LOIRE.

    I didn't know about SELMA and the butterflies, and had forgotten about how much blame for "Don't ask, don't tell" belongs with Sam NUNN.

    I'll have to check whether SPLEENY is a Real Word or was made up for the puzzle. Whichever, I do like it.

    Thanks to all for a pleasant Saturday evening.

  15. Hello, DL - funny you should mention it - good friends of mine have recommended "This is us," but those trailer ads have made me very much averse to checking it out. Some of us who "went through 'it'" have our own way of thinking about things and those trailers did not do it for me. Principally, they make it look all sanitized and organized and unified. Which it weren't.

    I hope you are knitting nicely.

  16. Alas, David, I don't remember the trailers well enough to know what "it" is. Google and Wiki didn't help. I just remember something like extreme close-ups and some slow mumbling. Of course, promos are not necessarily any indicator of what a show is really like.

    They tell me it's going to take me a few weeks to heal. Between the pain and the inability to do the most ordinary things, I'm going to lose my mind. But it is getting a bit better.

  17. For the aunts in "Arsenic", the same actresses played them in both the flick and the show. Sadly, Boris Karloff did not reprise his role.

  18. Great puzzle, the tone-deaf "tea" clue notwithstanding.

  19. Particularly tone-deaf when the puzzle mentions PRECUT quilt blocks (which would mean turning over one's fabric/color/design choices to some faceless, soulless commercial outfit. Heresy!

    I must make a cup of strong TEA to help me through this trying moment.....

  20. I thought the "precut quilt pieces" was more like mise-en-place, where the quilter has cut the pieces for a given quilt and prepared them all for assembly. Is it possible that it would be done that way? Let us know, Queen of Quilters.

    I normally cook in mise-en-place style, but was in a hurry making a birthday cake a while ago. A nice sour cream and orange pound cake. Just before I put the cake in the oven to bake, I tasted the batter on the spatula and learned that I had missed out all 2 cups of sugar. Turns out, cake with sugar is very much better than cake without it. That cake was saved, but I am resolved to stick to mise-en-place now!

  21. I suspected those PRECUT quilt blocks would curl MOL's hair. Even mine frizzed up a bit...

  22. Comparative linguistics festoon!

    "Acht" and "ocho" make a nice pairing, and part of a good study of language evolution. The original okto- for 8 changed through different mechanisms over time in different geographical areas.

    The -kt- stayed true in Greek (okto) and Latin (octem/octo).
    The -k- geminated with the following -t in Italian (otto), and in the Scandinavian languages (Swedish åtta, Danish/Norwegian otte).
    The k softened to a guttural fricative in German and Dutch (acht), with a vowel change that extended into English (o - a - ay).
    English lost the fricative sound but kept its spelling (the "gh" in eight). [This is only one of thousands of instances where English spelling is complicated by conservatism centuries out of date. Ahem.]
    Spanish lost the -k- but fronted the resulting -ht- sound as "ch" in ocho.
    Portuguese weakened it to the -it- in oito.
    French lost all that and then fronted everything that remained in huit, where the final -t disappears in many but not all contexts (it reappears under elision).
    Slavic languages turned the -kt- into a palatized -s- (Polish osiem, Czech osm).
    Romanian, one of the most conservative languages descended from Latin roots, turned the -kt into -pt, with "opt" for 8. [Likewise, nocte, night, turns into Rom. noapte.]

    The Finnish kahdeksan, Hungarian nyolc, Basque zortzi, and Turkish sekiz are all efficient evidences that these languages spoken in Europe are not descended from the Indo-European rootstock.

  23. One strand of Indo-European I left out, the Celtic, shows how important it is to pay attention to the sounds, and not just the letters, to understand these linguistic relationships:
    Welsh for "eight" is "wyth" - pronounced "oo-ith"
    French "huit" - pronounced "oo-eet" (with rounded lips on the "oo")
    Portugues "oito" - pronounced "oo-ee-too"

    Visually, wyth, huit, oito seem much farther apart than their practical sounds.

  24. Started off with Frances BAVIER, who of course I remembered (who wouldn't?) and worked up and back from there.

  25. I always thought the little old ladies were played by Spring Byington.
    (No, I never saw the TV show, but I do know about OPIE, and wonder how t

  26. Cough....how they could cross OPIE with BAVIER and not connect the two. Tsk tsk. Is nothing sacred?

  27. Think of the Rex meltdown if they had done so, MOL...

    I didn't know the name of the Aunt Bee player, but thanks to this puzzle I now have read her wiki bio. Interesting twist that she was a born New Yorker who didn't seem to like playing Aunt Bee so very much, yet she retired to Siler City (the next town over from my onetime N.C. dwelling) and is buried there.

  28. Such a worthy successor to this week's Friday and Saturday puzzles. My brain needs to cool down. I'm ready for a few Mondayish puzzles right about now.

  29. That was tricky and fun. I especially liked the creative "hairy hunter of Genesis" clue.

  30. This was as much fun as I've had with a puzzle in a wile.
    It took a very long time for me to figure out that the title is not racy, but a symbol clue ("having nothing on" = (having: 0 on) This clues us in that the thematics end with "oon."

  31. Precisely why I avoid reading the blurb, which is misdirecting as often as it is informing, before getting to work. Part of the fun is decoding the theme as well as the clues. I will check any info during the week since it usually indicates something unusual about the puzzle format that would be apparent in the printed version.


  33. Oh, what's the big deal?
    It's not okay?
    Get over it.
    Oh, bother.
    Oh, my.
    Oh oh oh. Uh oh.
    See? Coulda been worse!

  34. Not a big deal, just an interesting puzzle-derived list, sounding to me like "Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!"

  35. Hate to burst your BALLOON, but it's a monstrous error to confuse Frankenstein with his creation.

  36. I would venture to say that both the constructor and the editor know that Dr. F. is the creator, not the creation, and would suggest that the former would not begrudge the latter a balloon at the former's birthday party.

  37. I can certainly read the clue to mean that it was Dr. Frankenstein's birthday party and the monster blew up the balloons.

  38. Last three days were tougher than usual!

  39. I'm glad someone else thinks so. Thought I might be losing my touch.

  40. Oh, that Byron Walden! I had the beginnings of a lot of the themers before the nickel dropped.
    I do object to 47A's Setting for Cardinals' home games, because we ALL know that Daylight Savings Time (grr) started before The Season opened. Gotcha that time, Will and Joel and Byron!!!

    Favorite was the WAILING WALLOON, though I do wonder if the WALLOONS are common enough knowledge. Did you know there is a sizable settlement of Walloons in South America? Ha, ha, now you have that factoid stuck in your head, too!!!

  41. Yes, Daylight Savings Time *did* start before the season opened, so how does that make CDT (Central Daylight Time) a gotcha?

  42. My brain read CST. I just went back and asked, and Brain assures me that was what was on the page.... Whom shall I believe?
    (this is not the first somersault Brain has performed.)

    I mixed up the Waldensans and the Walloons, too! I seem to have hit a brick WAL, and there's no help for it--can't even edit or erase that Comment. If I can't be a shining example, I'll have to settle for horrible warning.

  43. You are the consummate gardener, MOL, so I thought perhaps there was a rhubarb variation called FEUS.

  44. OK, so how many of you had nothing on while solving? nOONe, right?!

    This was so much fun! I usually find myself totally intimidated by Byron's excellent ego-crushing Saturday puzzles. This was a delightful departure from all that angst and more than that an introduction to the word SPLEENY. SPLEENY, SPLEENY, SPLEENY! I love it (Hi, Deb!)

    Thank you, Bryon, for taking a walk on the whimsical side!

  45. Byron!

  46. "OK, so how many of you …?"

    No comment.

  47. A missed oppprtunity to stick in a full moon ....

    Tough puzzle for me, I am not au courant with stage, screen (LCD or otherwise), or sports. In fact a triple natick: 3D, 5D and 45A. Also twovmore lookups.


    Quibble: re 46D, it's for air mail envelopes, not correspondence. Nowadays you don't see "air mail" as it used to be displayed.

  48. I took the clue to refer to correspondence that was sent overseas by air mail in the days before that became the default mode of transport for all overseas mail.

  49. Brings back a memory of another life in Northern CA. I used to listen to a country-western station near Sacramento that frequently played a song with the line " ... she had nothing but the radio on."

  50. Garry Allan. "Nothing On But the Radio"

    I sure do hope this is a long night,
    Cause I've never felt one so right
    Each look into your eyes I fall in,
    A little more and more,
    Looks like we started us a fire,
    Wrapped up in flames of desire,
    With every touch their burning higher,
    Two shadows dancing on the wall,

    With nothing on but the radio,
    Feel the music playing soft and slow,
    You and me and the lights down low,
    With nothing on but the radio....

  51. Smooth and amusing! One writeover: dirGE/ELEGY. So there is a shock jock named OPIE? Sorry to hear that.

  52. sstumped again??? try the Crossword365.com site!!! whenever you get to edge...also good fro other major papers' puzzles... ahhh headache begone.

  53. Wailing Walloon was a favorite. Good, tricky puzzle.

  54. Decided to sit out in the backyard with the puzzle this Sunday afternoon. Despite an air temp in the 60s, a stiff breeze off the water gave me reason to finish as soon as possible.

    Got the OON theme long before figuring out what the title meant, which helped in filling in the ends to all the clues with question marks. Favorite was WAILINGWALLOON for me too. Like the crossing of OPIE and BAVIER. OTOH, the less said about ASTR and RWY, the better. And then there's SPLEENY.

    "Everything Is TURNing TO GOLD" by the Rolling Stones was the non-LP B-side of "Shattered" on 45. Funky little throwaway.


  55. "Spleeny" is also an old New England word meaning "overly sensitive to cold." E.B. White's example was (paraphrased from memory), "We haven't fixed the heater in the car because we don't want to get spleeny."
    "ACTA" for parliamentary proceedings is a bit dubious.

  56. I think the cross of VACUS AND ACTS is fine too.

  57. I knew you wouldn't print my previous comment. But I still think SAUSAGEFEST is gross. Context, context.

  58. the first themed one i got was SAUSAGE FESTOON. i totally LOLed. i for one am happy the NYT is not above including such an answer in the crossword. that and WAILING WALLOON were my faves. thank you!

  59. Liked MOVIE BUFFOON and WAILING WALLOON! Enjoyable puzzle.

  60. I, too, had one square "wrong" -- the same as a couple others: I had an S instead of A for ACTS and VACUS.

    This was a fairly corny puzzle -- and not as clever as many we've had recently.

  61. Ditto. That square got me, too. I don't get acta?

  62. This website shows 49 scholarly journals all going by the name Acta...

    The "Acts of the Apostles" in the Bible / New Testament is a well-known early example of the usage (in Latin / Catholicism, Acta Apostolorum). Acta is an everyday thing for the academic community, which doesn't make or spend as much dough as the sports community, but which exists nonetheless.

    On the other hand, vacua, the plural of vacuum (noun), is really obscure and complaints about its fairness are legit.