Thursday, June 23, 2022, Emma Oxford


Higgs Boson
Large Hadron Collider
Geneva Switzerland

Emma Oxford, our constructor today,  is  a graduate student in particle physics and I thought the above splash screen  might make a nice welcome mat.  And it's even tangentially related to one of the themers. This is her second outing with the LAT,   her first was on Thursday March 25, 2021, reviewed by my partner in crime Malodorous Manatee.  Emma has long been solving crosswords, but only began constructing them about a year ago.  During this brief time she has also had puzzles published by Universal, WSJ, and Inkubator, as well as mini and "meta" puzzles on the constructor site CrossHare, under the username damefox

Outside of crosswords and physics, Emma is a fan of baking, running, jigsaw puzzles, reading, keeping her cat away from the houseplants, and as we'll soon see, she has very eclectic tastes in music.  Check out The Inkubator site where I found Emma's bio - it has some other names I'm sure you'll recognize. 

For today's outing she presents us with a classic theme: taking a common phrase, dropping a letter from the last word, and cluing the rump with a punny riff.  So that I can discuss both shades of meaning together, I'll start with the reveal:

63A. Decisive defeat, and a two-word hint to the answers to the starred clues: ROUT (my italics). To make sense of the fill, you have to parse this R OUT

Here are the themers with the removed R restored:

16A. *Frying pans anyone can use?: PUBLIC WORKSThe Chinese WOK provides an ingenious way of controlling heat when heating vegetables, sea foods, and meats that cook at different rates.  This link will school you on its history and usage.

Some examples of PUBLIC WORKS projects are, but are not limited to: Parks and recreational facilities; Public education facilities (elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, universities and community colleges, etc.); Health care institutions (hospitals, community health care facilities, etc.). 

22A. *Group that attends Mass together every week?: SUNDAY BRUNCH.  My BIL and SIL attend Mass with a Sunday BUNCH, who follow the service with a pot luck Sunday BRUNCH in the under croft of the Church.

36A. *Discussion about what fruit to bake for dessert?: PIE CHART.  Make mine CHERRY (topped with home made whipped cream).

46A. *Fitting motto for Pisa's tower keeper?: LIVE AND LEARNGalileo Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642) whom many consider to be the first experimental scientist, lived in Pisa and legend has it that he used the Leaning Tower to conduct a series of revolutionary experiments  on gravity and acceleration.  Here's the picture worth a thousand words.

Galileo's Experiment

Galileo's findings at the LEANing Tower were the very beginning of experimental physics, and eventually led to the state of the art stuff that Emma is LEARNING.

55A. *Devil on one's shoulder?: CLOSE FRIEND.  We've all heard the first one whispering in our ear, "You can't do that, you're not good enough".  Add the R back and you'll hear the second one saying, "I know you can do it.  I'm pulling for you!"

Here's the grid:

And here's all the 'est:


1. "You Shook Me All Night Long" band: ACDC.  As I'm not a particular fan of Heavy Metal, I originally intended to use this clue to focus on the dispute between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison over the best way to transmit electricity over long distances.  I suppose, had Edison won this one, the band might have been called DCAC.  They've popped up on my watch twice now, and both times I've used the Muppets to cover for them.  This time I've decided to let the band sing for themselves.  As comedian Garrison Keillor used to say, "they're not bad", although I'm not sure he'd have said that  about ACDC.  But they are pretty naughty, so there will be no lyrics with this clip.   Not a problem unless you read lips:

5. Apiphobe's phobia: BEESFear of bees, technically known as melissophobia (from Ancient Greek: μέλισσα, melissa, "honey bee" + , Ancient Greek: φόβος, phobos, "fear") and also known as apiphobia (from Latin: apis for "honey bee" + Ancient Greek: φόβος, phobos, "fear"), is one of the common fears among people and is a kind of specific phobia. Not a CSO to our Melissa Bee.

9. "I __ confused": AM SO.  On the theme for this puzzle, not so much.  Unlike the last two.

13. Wintry mess: SLUSH.

14. Sole: ONLY.  Also a flat fish.

15. Mountain cat: PUMAPuma is a genus in the family Felidae whose only extant species is the cougar (also known as the puma, mountain lion, and panther).  The only large cat that purrs.  Not a sound you'd like to hear on a mountain path.
18. "Oh, please!": AS IF.

19. Revealing session on Reddit, for short: AMAAsk Me Anything.
AMA Subreddit Logo
20. Christmas song: NOEL.

21. Shrimp and __: GRITSHere's Bobby Flay's recipe.

25. Treeless plain: STEPPE.  Sounds pretty bleak, but if you look closely enough steppes abound with life.  Chemist and composer Alexander Borodin (12 November 1833 – 27 February 1887) painted  a beautiful sound portrait of that life in his Steppes of Central Asia, here conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy (7:07 min.)

28. Districts: AREAS.

29. Like some dental floss: WAXY.

30. Shortcomings: VICES.  I guess that depends on how short.

32. "The Last O.G." network: TBSThe Last O.G. is an American comedy television series, starring Tracy Morgan.  It was created by Jordan Peele and John Carcieri and premiered on March 31, 2018. The series follows ex-convict Tray (the O.G. or "original gangster") who is released from prison after serving fifteen years, and returns to Brooklyn to find that his old neighborhood has changed and that his ex-girlfriend is raising their children with another man. The co-stars are Tiffany Haddish, Allen Maldonado, Ryan Gaul, Taylor Christian Mosby, Dante Hoagland, and Cedric the Entertainer.
Tracy Morgan 2009
 35. Bother: ADO.

38. In the style of: ALA.

39. Spoil: MAR.

40. Man of many words?: ROGET.  I tried all the online thesauri and none would cough up a synonym for ROGET.  But here's a link about Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869), British physician, natural theologian and lexicographer.

41. Wild beasts also called wildebeests: GNUS.  Also a recursive ("self-referential") pun on AT&T's old Unix operating system: GNU is NOT UNIXGNU is an extensive collection of free software (383 packages as of January 2022), which can be used as a stand alone operating system, or parts of it can be used in other operating systems.  The use of the completed GNU tools led to the family of operating systems popularly known as Linux.  Here's their logo:
42. Water filter brand: BRITA.

44. Some surprise hits: B SIDES.  The best place to look for B sides that made it big are Beatles songs.  There are so many to chose from, but here's one of my favorites, the B-Side for the 1969 single Get Back (lyrics):

49. Big name in applesauce: MOTTS.

50. Tirade: RANT.

51. Bath mother: MUM.  My Mum was a Stoke-on-Trent mother, but we just called her Mom.  I had the opportunity years back to do some consulting in Bath, a fascinating town that goes back to the Romans and was later the home of Jane Austen for several years.
Jane Austen Center
Bath, England.
54. Way off: AFAR.

58. "What __ say?": CAN I.

59. Catholic leader: POPEThe POPE (Latin: papa) is the bishop of Rome (or historically the patriarch of Rome.  He is believed by Catholics to be a successor to the Apostle Peter, the closest of Jesus Christ's disciples.  Interestingly enough, his diocesan church is not St. Peter's Basilica, but rather the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran.  Pope Francis is the current bishop of Rome.  He is the first Pope to take that name:
Pope Francis

60. Old Dodges: OMNISThe Dodge Omni (also marketed as the Plymouth Horizon) is a subcompact car that was produced by Chrysler Corporation from the 1978 to 1990 model years. The first Chrysler model line produced with front-wheel drive, the Omni and Horizon were also the first front-wheel drive economy cars assembled in the United States.
1990 Dodge Omni

61. URL starter: HTTPURL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, the symbolic Internet address for an object such as a file or webpage.  HTTP stands for HyperText Transport Protocol, the rules that govern the transfer of copies of Hypermedia (e.g. web pages) across the Internet.   Note that HTTP is not the only URL "starter".  See 3D for a clecho.

62. Spy-fi country: USSR.  All that "spy-fi stuff" came to an end on December 26, 1991, the day the Soviet Union fell.  And if you believe that, perhaps I can interest you in a bridge I own in New York.


1. Grad: ALUM.
2. Gloria Estefan's birthplace: CUBAGloria Estefan (Spanish: [ˈɡloɾja esˈtefan]; born Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo García; 1 September 1957) is a Cuban and American singer, actress, and businesswoman. She has been married to Emilio Estefan Gómez since 1978.  A contralto (hand up if you can name a pop music soprano?), Gloria started her career as the lead singer in the group Miami Latin Boys, which later became known as Miami Sound Machine.  Here's her breakout song "Conga" (lyrics):

3. ISP option: DSLPet peeve: as used in crossword puzzles, the term ISP (Internet Service Provider) is very ambiguous. Today it was filled with DSL, tomorrow it could be AOL.  The two are very different however. The latter is a service that the customer actually "sees", whereas the former provides its services "under the covers".  As it turns out, it takes 7 different types of hierarchically layered services to move information from point A to point B on the Internet. These services are commonly described by the OSI Model defined by the International Standards Organization.  Here's the big picture:

Roughly speaking DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)  is a service of OSI Layer 2 near the bottom and AOL (America OnLine) is a service of Layers 5-7 at the top.  If you're a real techno-masochist, watch this for more info (6 min).

4. "Things'll turn around, you'll see": CHIN UP.  Or as my Mom would say "Stiff upper lip!"

5. Showed respect, in a way: BOWED.

6. Sherlock's sister, per a 2020 Netflix film: ENOLAEnola Holmes is a 2020 mystery film based on the first book in the young adult fiction series of the same name, The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer.  I've not seen the film, as we're still waiting for the flick's revenues to fall and for Netflix to DROP it on Prime.  Here's the trailer:

7. Caribou kin: ELK.  If it has an S on the end then it's a bunch of old guys sitting around drinking beer in a lodge.

8. Pt. of GPS: SYSGlobal Positioning System.  Hand up if you travel without one of these?

9. "Just Putting It Out There" comedian Nancherla: APARNA Aparna Nancherla (born August 22, 1982) is an American comedian and actress of Indian descent. She has appeared on Inside Amy Schumer and has written for Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.  Here is "(Some of) The Best of Aparna Nancherla" (8:34 min):

10. Score keeper?: MUSIC STAND.  Cute.

11. Patti known as the "Godmother of Punk": SMITH.   Patricia Lee Smith (born December 30, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, and poet who became an influential member of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses.  One of her best known songs, Because the Night, was co-written with Bruce Springsteen, and released on her album Easter: (lyrics):

12. Clods: OAFS.

13. Place for pampering: SPA.

17. Ice cream holder: CONE.

21. Word in many Wi-Fi network names: GUEST.  E.g. if you're staying in a hotel.  Wi-Fi provides internet services at OSI Layers 1-2 (see 3D)

22. Intel collector: SPY.

23. Luxury vessel: YACHT

24. La __ Tar Pits: BREA.  More Spanish.  La Brea Tar Pits and Museum is an active paleontological research site in urban Los Angeles. Hancock Park was formed around a group of tar pits where natural asphalt (also called asphaltum, bitumen, pitch, or tar; brea in Spanish) has seeped up from the ground for tens of thousands of years. Over many centuries, the tar preserved the bones of trapped animals. The George C. Page Museum is dedicated to researching the tar pits and displaying specimens from the animals that died there. La Brea Tar Pits is a registered National Natural Landmark.  Below a Saber-tooth cat is attacking a Dire Wolf trapped in the mire.  The tiger will probably be caught in the pit too before it's all over.
Saber-tooth tiger
Dire Wolf

25. Did the breaststroke, e.g.: SWAM.  Diner, "What's this fly doing in my soup?".  Waiter, "Looks like the breaststroke sir."

26. "Voilà!": TADA.

27. Outrageous, as a price: EXORBITANT.  For example, the price of a gallon of gasoline these days.

30. Like the Beyond Burger: VEGAN.  Well McDonald's is selling them and Kim Kardashian is their Chief Taste Consultant, so they must be good!

31. Curling surface: ICEEverything you want to know about this slippery sport.  It sounds confusing.

33. Sad: BLUE.

34. Back talk: SASS.  You can do this in the Comments: section below.

36. Noses around: PRIES.  Looking for intel no doubt.

37. Wee bit: IOTA.

41. Negroni need: GINA Negroni is an Italian cocktail, made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso and one part Campari, garnished with orange peel. It is considered an aperitivo. A traditionally made Negroni is stirred, not shaken; it is built over ice in an old-fashioned or rocks glass and garnished with a slice of orange.

43. Family vacay, perhaps: RV TRIP.

44. "Molto __!": BENE.  Very good!  Today's Italian lesson.

45. Had done, as a portrait: SAT FOR.

46. Diet-friendly: LO FAT.

47. Comes out, as an album: DROPS.  We use this to describe the arrival of a new streaming series or episode.  DNK this usage originated with albums.

48. __ tag: LASER.

49. Namesake of a speed ratio: MACHErnst Mach (/mɑːx/ MAHKH; 18 February 1838 – 19 February 1916) was a Moravian-born Austrian physicist and philosopher, who contributed to the physics of shock waves. The ratio of one's speed to that of sound is named the Mach number in his honour.
Ernst Mach

51. List that may be accessed by scanning a QR code: MENU.  The usage of these has increased as a result of the pandemic.  If you live in the vicinity of Rockaway, NY and have a yen for Irish food, try the QR code in this link (above the  SCAN ME  bar).  Just scan it with Google Lens or iPhone Live Text and see what you get.

52. One of a kind: UNIT

53. Rx writers: MDS.  Let's C?  CSO's to inanehiker and Ray - O.  Anyone else?

55. PC core: CPU. Central Processing Unit, the component of a computer that actually processes the machine instructions in a program or app.

56. Grammy winners __ Lonely Boys: LOSLos Lonely Boys are an American musical group from San Angelo, Texas, who had their first hit nearly twenty years ago.  They play a style of music they call "Texican Rock n' Roll," combining elements of rock and roll, Texas blues, brown-eyed soul, country, and Tejano.  Here's their song Heaven (lyrics)

Guitarist Henry Garza wrote the lyrics and in his own words he states,“Losing a son, when I was 18 years old. That’s where the music comes from, deep inside. What God has entrusted us with is to make the music".

57. "As I see it" shorthand: IMO or sometimes IMHO.  As I see it, I've certainly got a lot to be humble about.


And thanks as always to Teri for proof reading and constructive suggestions.


Emma, you are invited to post anything you'd like to share about this puzzle, its evolution, the theme, or whatever in the Comments section.  We'd love to hear from you.  Perhaps you could even share a bit about the Higgs Boson.