Jul 13, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012, Mike Torch


All of the three theme answers are phrases which have "ACHE" added to the end, and thereby creating an entirely new phrase clued with humor and visual delight. They also transform the sound from AKE to AASH. This is our third LA Times puzzle from Mr. Torch, both priors were Sunday efforts, if you do not recall his name. He also has has 18 NY Times efforts since 2003. The puzzle has some very difficult clues, and some nice long fill like Pastrami and Branched, and an Errol who is not Flynn. Mr. Torch sound like his one of the Fantastic Four. Anyway, I know no more, except what is in the WORDS, so let us see.

17A. Brisket-making flair? : ROASTING PANACHE (15). A simple PAN becomes one of my favorite words, and as a cook who does brisket, I love the clue and fill. Also it is a grid spanner.

26A. Hidden dietary supplements? : VITAMIN CACHE(12). So do you believe Linus Pauling or not?

44A. Teen's response to "You need to shave"? : IT'S A MUSTACHE (12). Actually the question with my sons was, go wash your face, your lip is dirty. The reveal....

56A. Annoyance...and a hint to how 17-, 26- and 44-Across are formed? : PAIN IN THE BEHIND(15). This tells you a synonym for PAIN is tacked on the end of the fill.


1. Stinger : WASP. My first thought was the COCKTAIL, not of WHITE ANGLO SAXON PROTESTANTS or insects.

5. Banded marble : AGATE. The pretty ones,

10. Saudi Arabia neighbor : OMAN. O man, we get this country all of the time.

14. Earthen pot : OLLA. O lla we get this pot all of the time.

15. Gruesome : LURID. I think of lurid more like Lois, or a romance novel.

16. Got up : ROSE. And the clecho, 47D. Get up : ARISE.

20. Diver's concern : DEPTH. This is true for both kinds of divers.

21. Perps' patterns : MOS. Modus Operandi. In English, method of operation.

22. Blood of the gods : ICHOR. Made from nectar and ambrosia? LINK.

23. 1988 self-titled C&W album : REBA. Country singer (2:48) and actress.

25. Brilliance : ECLAT. Wow both panache and eclat, we are special.

31. Broke (in) : CHIMED. Well, we all chimed in to comment on Marti's write up.

32. Zap : LASE. To use a laser, I guess. Don't LASE ME bro?

33. Mil. authority : CMD. Take your PICK.

36. Pasta ___: food brand : RONI. Not to be confused with cousin RICE A.

37. Smallest : LEAST.

39. Verve : BRIO. From the Italian, for the modern version: vim and viagra.

40. Restful retreat : SPA.

41. Talking iPhone feature : SIRI. I know you want to know why according to the ex-CEO, Siri is, in fact, not just some random jargon. Instead, it means “beautiful woman who leads you to victory” in the Norwegian language.

42. ___ rod : AARON'S. Does he mean the BIBLICAL reference? The D.H. Lawrence semi-autobiographic novel? Or my son's curtain holder?

46. Medium card : TAROT.

48. The Eagles' "___ Eyes" : LYIN. MUSIC.

49. Film director Morris : ERROL.Mostly famous for documentaries.

50. PC key : ESCape..

52. John or Christine of Fleetwood Mac : McVIE. They are to reunite and tour in 2013, but without Christine. LINK.

59. Snippy retort : IS SO. IS NOT!

60. Harden : INURE. In your eye?

61. Avant-garde : EDGY.

62. YouTube co-founder Steve : CHEN. Impressive MAN. Hi Jeff.

63. Plant sometimes called heart's-ease : PANSY. Hi Marti.

64. Conks out : DIES. The car engine, not the blogger.


1. One of six in this clue : WORD. Self referential, cool.

2. Soothing balm : ALOE.

3. Insult : SLAP. No, I do not get this one, but the perps were there.

4. Deli choice : PASTRAMI. Anyone for a RACHEL? Or

5. Poetic pugilist : ALI. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee; not a WASP!

6. Perp, perhaps : GUNMAN. Oh, that perp....

7. Ship that survived the Clashing Rocks : ARGO. A nice shout out to me and the ship that made us famous. We are even on a stamp.

8. Advice : TIPS.

9. Author LeShan : EDA.

10. Ancient source of counsel : ORACLE. With the ARGO, and ICHOR a little mythological sub theme.

11. Starbucks flavor : MOCHA. A latte with cocoa powder. Yum.

12. "Give it ___" : A SHOT. What I say ever week when my time to blog comes around.

13. Poetic negative : NE'ER. Never again will I be fooled by a constructor's hidden....

18. Motif : THEME.

19. Specific market type : NICHE. From the French to make a nest.

24. Set of potential suppliers : BID LIST. A term used in the CONSTRUCTION industry, used here by our constructor.

25. Bliss : ECSTASY. When you have PANACHE and ECLAT, you must achieve ECSTASY!

26. TV adjuncts : VCRS. Video Cassette Recorders.

27. Place to see stacks : IHOP. Not in a library, but the International House Of Pancakes.

28. Talking Heads bassist Weymouth : TINA. More MUSIC.(8:07) Obscure to me. Luckily I had the theme.

29. Say with assurance : CLAIM.

30. Small power sources : AAS. Batteries.

33. Marsh critter : CROC.

34. Ho Chi ___ City : MINH. The old Saigon.

35. Tablespoon, maybe : DOSE.

38. Significant period : ERA.

39. Diverged, with "off" : BRANCHED.

41. White Russian spec : STOLI. Stolichnaya, the once premier Russian Vodka, is now made in Latvia.I prefer Chopin, the Polish potato vodka.

43. "...___ to be born and..." : A TIME. There is a season, turn, turn, turn.

44. Like some T-shirt images : IRON ON. Not to be confused with Iron Man; has anyone else seen the newest Spider-Man movie? I like this kid.

45. Stomach issues : ULCERS. What I am getting trying to get this going.

46. Pan : TRASH. A bad review, not a cooking vessel.

49. Large-scale work : EPIC.

50. View from Catania : ETNA. The mountain.

51. Avoid : SHUN.

53. Part of Caesar's boast : VIDI. Forever trapped between VENI and VICI.

54. "Bus Stop" playwright : INGE. Know the PLAY or the SONG.

55. Company that created Rocky Road ice cream : EDYS. HISTORY or controversy.

57. Barely beat : NIP.

58. Ottoman official : BEY. We have had this title of a provincial governor in the Ottoman Empire before (per MW).

Answer grid.

Well, I guess I kept the wolves at BAY long enough to finish, did this puzzle light your fire? Thanks Mike, see you on the other side of next week.



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Nice theme today. Overall, the puzzle wasn't particularly difficult, but I still struggled in spots due to tricky cluing and my own brain fog.

In the NW, I confidently put in BARB instead of WASP, and when I finally made the swap I then stuck in SLUR instead of SLAP. Oops.

Elsewhere, I initially had STATE instead of CLAIM at 29D and ELAN instead of BRIO at 39A.

The SW almost proved my undoing. Had IRONIC instead of IRON ON and did not know CHEN. I also couldn't figure out what "pan" referred to, even with TRA__ staring me in the face. As a result, I stared at I_SI at 59A for the longest time without any idea what it could be. I finally went through the alphabet with TRA__ until I got TRASH and that allowed me to get the rest.

Elsewhere, minor hiccups at RONI (I've only heard of Rice-a-RONI), TINA Weymouth (who?) John & Christine MCVIE (who?) and AARON'S rod (I've heard of the Biblical "rod of AARON" but have no idea what this is).

Barry G. said...

OK -- I just checked out the Wikipedia link on "AARON'S rod." What can I say? I need to get out more often...

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Mike Torch, for a great puzzle. Thank you, Lemonade, for an equally great review.

EddyB: The best to you and good luck in your escape from the hospital.

Dennis: Great job with the turtles. Nice to see you again.

Not much to do here in Johnsonburg in the early AM. Might as well get the puzzle out of the way early.

Got started in the North, OK. Then I got to 17A and slowed down. Eventually ROASTING PANACHE appeared, after most of the puzzle was done.

Had ICHAR for a while, then perps changed that to ICHOR.

REBA was easy.

Was not su about RONI for 16A, but it worked.

44A IT'S A MUSTACHE gave me the theme. Then I went back in finished the other two.

I had IRONED for a while for 44D. Nothing worked down there so I changed itbto IRON ON.

Got 56A last. Had SKIP for 51D and AGA for 58D. That really slowed up the deep South. Finally fixed those to SHUN and BEY.

Rolled in last night at 11:15 PM. Turned the water on and a faucet was running full tilt. Had to find a faucet washer and fix that.

See you tomorrow.


Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Lemonade and friends. This puzzle literally had me laughing. I did not find this puzzle to be a PAIN IN THE BEHIND, but found it to be a lot of fun! The ROASTING PANACHE gave me the opening to the theme, but the unifier was really funny.

Hand up for starting with Barb instead of WASP. My favorite clue, however, was One Of Six in This Clue = WORD.

We were big Talking Heads fans, so TINA Weymouth came easily.

Lemon: an Insult might be said to be a SLAP in the face.

AGATE is a word I learned from working crossword puzzles.

My Internet/cable problem is due to squirrels. They apparently ate thought the cable leading to my house. Still without service, but hopefully it will be repaired today. It's tough being without Internet for a week!

Happy Friday the 13th. Hope only good luck befalls you today.

Anonymous said...

Isn't WASP the insect that stings?

HeartRx said...

Nice write-up, Lemonade, filled with musical interludes and lots of BRIO, but not too many LURID details... (You calling me a PANSY??) And thanks for the link to the Eagles - an oldie, but goodie!

I liked the clecho crossing of 21A "Perps Patterns" with 6D "Perp, perhaps". Once I figured out the theme at 26A, I immediately filled in ACHE at 44A, and then waited to see how the reveal would be phrased. Does anyone really say "BEHIND" when using that phrase, BTW??

Hahtoolah, glad to hear that they have identified the problem. Why do squirrels eat wires? Are they confusing it with spaghetti???

TGIF the triskaidekaphobia, here!!

HeartRx said...

Bill G., from last night: loose/messy would be UNTIED/UNTIDY ??

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why March critter is Croc.

Lemonade714 said...

Well 7:41 Anon, you were the first to notice the typo; as your newspaper or online provider should have had the clue MARSH CRITTER. Sorry, these eyes are not my strong suit. Though it does give me a mental picture of some marching crocodiles like the ballerina hippos.

desper-otto said...

Lemon, you were in fine form this morning, or last night, or whenever... I'm still chuckling.

Fun puzzle; quick solve. I loved the theme. I honestly thought the reveal was going to turn out to be PAIN IN THE ACHE (pronounced like the other ACHE's in the puzzle).

44A reminds me of my one-time BIL. He was about twenty and in the hospital for some sort of sinus surgery. He'd been trying to grow a mustache. It was still rather sparse, but he was afraid that they'd shave it off. After the surgery the mustache was still there, and then he was afraid they hadn't noticed it.

Happy Friday the 13th, all.

Avg Joe said...

A very enjoyable puzzle. Got the theme with panache, so that simplified it a great deal. I had "....behind" before the front end of the unifier, so I expected it to be "Ache" in the behind rather than pain, but that didn't detract in the least.

Christine McVie??? Warm Ways. You really do need to get out more Barry.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

WBS. Including the part about AARON'S rod. Wouldn't have gotten that without perps.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:41am. It's marsh critter, not march.

desper-otto said...

I'm surprised that none of you ladies have had any DF comments about AARON's ROD. Looked like a gimme.

Eddy B, Hope you're feeling better. CHF is nothing to mess around with.

Darn, I missed Bill G's quiz from yesterday. Went back to read yesterday's blog, and was able to get all of 'em except the one that HeartRx just mentioned.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Tough puzzle. I solved it the same way I type -- hunt and peck. Went from despair to completion. So it goes, sometimes.

Lots of guesswork and perp help. Sussing the ACHE in the behind was useful, too.

Now that I have a DVR, VCR seems so passe.

Nate's team's opponent had to forfeit today, so the Bulldogs got a win, and we got a day back into our life. Much to do. IMBO.

Cool regards!

Mari said...

Hiya gang. I finished today's puzzle with a few write overs. I had ELBA for 50D (ETNA), and TASE instead of LASE. (LASE? Really?)

I was surprised I knew all of the musician names. I like both Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks in Fleetwood Mac.

I'll take the stacks any way I can get them - either in the library or at IHOP.

Any interesting plans for the weekend?

Irish Miss said...

Good morning:

Thanks, Mike, for a challenging Friday offering. Had some trouble but perps and wags came to the rescue. Like Barry, had state before claim, and I also had tase before lase. Cute theme with clever cluing. Thanks, Lemon, for a fun expo.

Best wishes to Eddy B for a speedy but safe " escape" and improved health.

Happy Friday the 13th.

kazie said...

Most of the names were unknowns, but the only one I googled was INGE, the perps got the rest. Even when I know them lately, I can't get them off my back burner. My last fill was the BEHIND part of the unifier, probably because I couldn't guess from what was there before looking up Inge. Generally enjoyed this though. Fridays aren't my strong point, but it was easier than yesterday for me.

Your squirrel problem reminds me of my son's experience with martens in Germany--they eat the cables in car engines. So people install a piece of sheet metal under everything to block it off so they can't climb up into the engine. What a nuisance if you have a nice German car!

Have a great weekend!

CrossEyedDave said...

I test out the waters by dipping my
pen in the NW corner, like a little mini puzzle. With 20A Divers concern = bends, & no perps, i knew it was going to be a red letter day.

Mike Torch, this award is for you!

(just kidding, it was a fun, and hard puzzle. Well done.)

Squirrels ate my:
Christmas lights
Garbage can lids
Gas hose to my BBQ
Ignition wires in my daughters car as it sat in the driveway

(i have pictures if you would like to see chewed up wires...)

Which reminds me, i should let the cat out...

Anonymous said...

Sorry gang I'm confused. My paper didn't publish the same puzzle y'all got

Grammy B said...

You folks are sharp! I did solve the puzzle, but without 'getting' the theme....that's my M.O. "Do it the hard way!". LOL

Lemonade714 said...

Grammy B., for many of the difficult puzzles, like most Fridays are supposed to be, the constructor often puts in a unifier, an overall clue to the theme. In this case it was 56A. When a clue says 'behind' 'after' it suggests something is added to the end of the fill. 'Ahead' 'front' would suggest something is added before.
All this means, if you had looked at 56A, you would have immediately learned what clues were part of the theme, and could then guess the gimmick. It often is very helpful in solving, though today was not so dificult as to demand knowing the theme. I never worried about the themes until I started writing about puzles here, but now it is part of the fun in guessing and of course in naming the puzzles.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning Lemonade and everyone.

Started out feeling this was quite hard; in fact, took several breaks, each one yielding more fill. I'm glad I was patient and stuck with it rather than invoking red letters. This was a cool puzzle and had several fun, clever clues such as for: WORD, VITAMIN CACHE, and especially IHOP. What a hoot. Educated guesses helped, too. Guessed ARGO, and AARON'S. and went along with the flow on the ACHE endings and it paid off. Luckily I had a boss years ago who used INURE a lot. Thanks Mike for a great Friday workout.

Have a great day and weekend.

Misty said...

A huge relief when I can manage a Friday puzzle, and a fun one at that. Many thanks, Mike Torch. And thanks to you, Lemonade, for mentioning D.H. Lawrence, another favorite of mine.

Not our best Friday, in some ways. Me, conjunctivitis. Our boy doxie is hiding under blankets which means his back is out. But at least I still have internet access or I wouldn't be able to grouch about everything. And I did get through this whole puzzle without cheating!

Hope you all have a good one!

Tinbeni said...

Seems to me that the Teen's response: "IT'S A MUSTACHE" really doesn't add "ACHE" to the answer.

IMHO that's a THEME fail.

A toast to all at Sunset.
I'm sure there will be a NIP or two.

Lucina said...

Good day, puzzlers. Lemonade, you always impress me with your BRIO and PANACHE.

Yowza, this was fun especially thinking about the Biblical use of AARON'S rod! It's enough to send me into ECSTASY. I'm surprised BEGAT wasn't in there somewhere! Very EDGY puzzle.

My newspaper had marsh critter for 33D.

Hand up for TASE before LASE and AGA then BEY. I don't recall ever seeing ICHOR and had doubts about it, but the fill was solid.

CHEN is completely unfamiliar to me so sadly had to look it up and since I had IRONED that didn't help.

Luckily I do know INGE or MCVIE would never have emerged and ERROL was a pure guess.

Thank you, Mike Torch, for today's entertainment.

Since there is A TIME for everything, my time to go is now.

Have a super Friday the 13th, everyone!

Ron Worden said...

Good afternoon and happy Fri the 13th to all. Thanks Lemon for your write-up and Mike T. for a good puzzle. Eddy B. hope you get well soon. I was diagnosed with CHF about a year ago. I do the aspirin lo-dose daily and take a blood pressure med. I try to exercise a little every day also. Have a great weekend to all. RJW

Lemonade714 said...

Tinman, if you add ACHE at the end of IT'S A MUST, you get your upper lip growth.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. I really liked this puzzle. Knew John and Christine McVie because I've been a Fleetwood Mac fan for years. Didn't know ICHOR, though. Had trouble in the SW corner because I filled in OPUS for 49D, giving me SHEN for the guy's name, which looked okay to me. "Uh, so?" seemed like a nice snippy retort, but that messed up TRAhH, and I didn't think twice about ORREL.

So, FIW.

Eddy B, I wish you well. My mom died from CHF. Please get well.

San Jose Mercury-News reporter: SIRI, will you marry me?

SIRI: I'm afraid I'm not the right personal assistant for you.

Off to have lunch with sister and BIL who are in town, passing through. Best wishes to you all.

Not-quite-quotidian Dad said...

what are the 2 kinds of divers?? underwater, and.......muff?

Husker Gary said...

ISSO not SASS, PANSY not PEONY, MUSTACHE not MOSTACHE, AGATE not AGGIE, SLAP not SLAM and I was done with this just right for a Friday adventure. Thanks Mike.

Took Grandson golfing and a great time! He found a ball in the now lowered level creek after a few holes and then became obsessed with getting more. He brought home, cleaned and sorted 88 balls. Oh to be 9 and to find such joy at a moment’s notice!

-It took panACHE and cACHE to get theme but it was very useful and clever!
-A lot of ill advised tats are being LASEred off in Omaha.
-Old friends BRIO, BEY and ECLAT came to play today
-Raj became infatuated with SIRI on TBBT
-mcvIe/Inge looked a little better than mcvEe/Enge
-There is so much rudeness in the world that you must INURE yourself to it or go nuts. Besides everyone has an attitude and a gun.
-I was surprised in a puzzle last year to discover where MOCHA is located
-“A time to be born…” my favorite Bible verse. I’ve heard it read at a lot of weddings where I sung. My favorite part starts, “When I was a child…”
-A squirrel shorted out a transformer at school in the dead of winter once and we were out the rest of the day. There wasn’t enough squirrel left for an hors d’oeuvre.

Bill G. said...

Happy Friday the 13th. I started off badly with BARB and BENDS, and then, WEES. But I got it done.

Good job Marti on 'loose/messy' = untied/untidy.

We were going out to lunch also. A nice local restaurant is having a 'Buy one, get one free' promotion. Since we like the restaurant anyway, it sounds like a good deal. However, to my surprise, Jordan just showed up. I'm not sure it will work well with him since he's a fussy eater. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

my paper was also correct with marsh not march. perhaps lemony just made a typo but it too arrogant to admit it? once again his eyes are to blame.

Avg Joe said...

Gary, I actually witnessed a squirrel-transformer encounter 20 some years ago. I was on our back porch and noticed the squirrel running down the overhead line towards the pole....then BOOM. A puff of smoke and a squirrel tail floating to the ground like a maple seed whirley bird. Took out power to the entire block. At least I was able to call LES and tell them exactly where the problem was.

Tinbeni said...

Lemon: Your "explanation" to me was NOT needed.

I understood the MUSTACHE thingy the whole time.

geez ...

Anonymous said...

n-q-q dad

Mari said...

Not-quite-quotidian Dad: I see your also an investment banker. Where are you located?

Not-quite-quotidian Dad said...

@Mari - Toronto area. Used to work with mutual funds, now with pensions...

Lemonade714 said...


I am glad it was you who introduced muff diving and not I, as I get chastised even when I acknowledge a typo. Ah well, the two divers I had in mind (well maybe I had three) were under-water and off of a diving board, a cliff, etc.,especially with the Olympics nigh upon us. I do not believe depth is as significant to the third divers, as to the others.

Avg Joe said...

Ah yes, but don't forget that patience is a fur chew.

CrossEyedDave said...

Scratch one squirrel

Lemonade714 said...

AJ, the comment of the day. To think I avoided all the land mines of Aaron's ROD and Divers and LURID and here there was a wonderful pun waiting to come out and play.

Did everyone know the history of Rocky Road Ice Cream? I know we have some odd people reading who do not like the ambrosia they now call Ice Cream (sounds like ICHOR sort of?) but do we not have any Rocky Road fans? Certainly life is often....

Anonymous said...

Try to convince the muff that.

Keith Fowler said...

A fine balance between challenge/ difficulty and pleasure/solving. Once started I made steady progress, with very few rewrites-- BENDS before DEPTH, ROTI for RONI, & SLUR for SLAP.
Congratulations to all the finishers and to Mike, the creator.

Mari said...

NQQD: I'm at BAML:

We do pension fund investing through our fund-of-funds.

I've been here for 18 years, but I'm just on the bottom of the totempole.

Lemonade714 said...

88 balls for a nine year old; that's a lot of balls; a keyboard full. Do the people who play there not search for their bad shots?

Blue Iris said...

Didn't pick up on the theme. Didn't know ICHOR, ERROL, MCVIE, CHEN, INGE, BEY, and TINA. Somehow perped and wagged my way to the finish. I think I will remember ICHOR if it ever comes up again.

Saigon--Ho Chi MINH city reminded me of watching "Top Gear" drive through Vietnam. It has such beautiful topography, although just the name bring back painful memories of personal loss.

So if you make a Reuben with PASTRAMI it's called a Rachel? I've made pastrami reubens for years. I'll try telling the family we are having rachels for dinner next time!

Six more months till hubby retires!!! We are counting down.

Husker Gary said...

Lemon, the people who play at my club are very frugal but with the wet spring and early summer the water was so high and turbid, most searches were futile. Now with all this hot, hot weather the unclaimed spheroids are revealing themselves as surely as Atlantis will some day.

As nine year olds are wont to do, Huddie got all hopped up about these “free” golf balls and with my retriever in hand, was on a mission. My daughter calls him Alex P. Keaton after Michael J. Fox’s character in Family Ties.

Here is how the pros do it.. I saw it run once at our club.

Blue Iris said...

HG, My grandfather, in Oklahoma, made a hobby out of finding old golf balls. I can remember his bathtub being full of them.

fermatprime said...


Finally got some sleep.

Able to slog through Saturday-like puzzle with no cheats, but lots of time. Interesting offering, Mike. Excellent expo, Lemon!

Found a counterexample to Bill G. theorem. (a, b) = (4, 6); ab =24;
ab - a - b = 14 = 2x4 + 6. No?

Squirrels (or rats) chewed out my satellite cables when I had all of UVerse. They charged me the Mint to re-run lines. (You have to be an idiot to run long lines unprotected in Northridge.) I dumped UVerse DVR.

EddyB: Feel better soon! So sorry to hear about your fall. (I am a expert at such, you know.) Get out of that hospital, quick!

I do not know what to think about Perception. I'll give it another try, I suppose.


Manac said...

Wow, just read the posts and had to respond. This went from spicy to snarky.
CED loved that video, Beats the hell out of my pellet gun but that must be quite a bear to reload for the next squirrel.

Bill G. said...

Fermatprime, you are right. I didn't go into complete detail because I didn't think most people would be interested. My little 'theorem' works when the two numbers are relatively prime. If the pair of numbers have a common factor, then there is no largest impossible total.

Strange weather here today. It's hotter than usual and the humidity is much higher too. It sprinkled enough last night to make my car break out in spots. Car wash today.

Lemonade714 said...


Really cute about Huddie, and the golf ball gambit. The retriever machine looks very impressive. I have lived on two or three golf courses and finding balls in the yard was always pretty easy. Some people do not know how to look.

Thank you Anon.