FRIDAY, Oct. 12, 2007 - Mike Nothnagel

Friday, October 12, 2007

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none

Well of course I loved this puzzle, but why wouldn't I? Mike always seems to give me what I like in his themeless puzzles. It's almost as if he reads this website and knows my taste in puzzles. So many compound answers. Such a great mix of highbrow and lowbrow culture. Oh, and throwing in my alma mater doesn't hurt - 49A: College in Claremont, Calif. (Pomona). This puzzle shows why Mike is one of my four favorite constructors working today - and I'm not just saying that because he's an avowed fan of my site. Not entirely, anyway.

Still, this puzzle was tough for me, and I felt remarkably ignorant at many times during my solving. For instance, why have I never seen the word "abscissa" before - 24D: Abscissa (x coordinate). I had the "X" from X-FILES (24A: TV series whose finale was titled "The Truth," with "The"), and was nearly pulling my hair out (what's left of it) in frustration at not having any clue about a long answer that starts with an "X"! In fact, all the long answers gave me fits - except ON THE DOCKET (37A: Scheduled), which was a snap. SCOUT'S HONOR (28A: Swear words?) is a great answer, but because I was missing that "C," I had something like S-OUT-----R for a while, and that meant nothing to me. Worst of all, though was CRIME SCENES (8D: Where many prints may be found) - I wrote in FRAME STORES at one point and it felt pretty good; you can see how many letters the right and wrong answers have in common. So there was much flailing, especially in and around the northeast. I got some lucky breaks, like when my fondness for ergonomically designed kitchen supplies gave me OXO (38D: Big name in ergonomic utensils), which gave the the high value "X," which made PIXIES a cinch (I know a little girl who writes a blog about pixies, so this one made me smile). This helped open up the bottom of the puzzle. Then my Van Halen knowledge gave me A NET (22A: Van Halen's "Live Without _____"), which gave me the "A" that allowed me to make the shockingly correct guess of NCAA and then ACC for 10D: Org. since 1910 and 9D: 10-Down div., respectively. Consecutive "C"s provided by those two answers gave me RC COLA (16A: "Great taste since 1905" sloganeer), which helped a lot with the NW.

Along with NCAA and ACC, there were a lot of linked answers in this puzzle, perhaps more than I have ever seen in a themeless puzzle. RC COLA ended up being linked with SODA POP (35D: 16-Across, e.g.). Then there was the crazily linked STORM (30A: One can be tracked) and CAR ALARM (14A: It might go off during a 30-Across). Lastly (I think), there was the pair of dog clues:

19A: _____ dog (coney)
52D: _____dog (sly)

Let's get to my ignorance, because that's always fun. There were a raft of answers I didn't know, or could not get easily from the clues. Let's start with the most embarrassing ones:

18A: He died soon after escaping from Crete (Icarus)
29D: "Odyssey" high point (Ossa)

Not only do I routinely teach Homer and other ancient Greek writings, I am, in fact, currently teaching "The Odyssey." Like, today. Tonight, actually. In prison. And yet I got so flustered by the "Odyssey" clue that I began thinking that the answer was going to have something to do with a Honda minivan, not the voyages of Odysseus. As for ICARUS, I feel less bad about that one, and still ... I should have known. Interesting coincidence: the second-to-last street I have to turn onto before I get to prison = Crete.

Other tough stuff:

  • 32A: Recurring character who dies in the novel "Curtain" (Poirot) - until this very second, I was wondering how an Agatha Christie character ended up in a Hitchcock movie ... but that was "Torn Curtain." Again, I really should read the clues. (Speaking of POIROT, check this out.)
  • 56A: Butterfly feature (eye spot) - not sure what this is? A wing marking? Got so confused I nearly decided that the clue was referring to swimming.
  • 36A: Unesco World Heritage Site on the Arabian Peninsula (Sana'a) - this place! I learn it, I forget it, I learn it, I forget it. If I hadn't seen it before, I'd have thought that it looks horribly wrong.
  • 30D: "Star Wars" order (Sith) - god this is great. Despite my antipathy for the "new" "Star Wars" movies, I love this clue. The use of "order" is brutally unclear.
  • 32D: Fruit found among needles (pine cone) - "Fruit," aargh. I imagine something sweet and juicy, and I get ... squirrel food. Or do squirrels even eat pine cone seeds?
  • 34D: Battle of Put-in-Bay setting (Lake Erie) - no clue. Had the "KEE" part and thought I was dealing with some place in Asia for some reason.
  • 36D: General who prevailed over Carthage (Scipio) - hard! I know this guy from a lesser-known Chaucer poem, but ... I went to grad school for that stuff. How did you guys know this?
  • 40D: Shade deeper than heliotrope (indigo) - guess [_____ Girls] is just too obvious by now. Never heard of the color "heliotrope."
  • 50D: "Tutte _____ cor vi sento" (Mozart aria) (nel) - I know that NEL is a word in Italian meaning "in the." It is the first word of Dante's "Divine Comedy." That is nearly all I know about Italian.

Frowny faces go out to very few answers. Not a big fan of the plural EASTERS (13D: Occasions for baskets). That may have been the only answer that rubbed me the wrong way. There was some tepid stuff, but not much of it. On the other hand, smiley faces go out to I BEFORE E (17A: Rule broken in leisure?), TREE FORT (7D: Kids' hideaway), and SKUAS (44D: Flying predators of cold seas) - the SKUA is the official backup mascot of this website. He steps in whenever the ERNE is unable to fulfill his duties.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

57 comments:

Alex 9:19 AM  

First puzzle in a long time I haven't been able to finish, no matter how much help I went in search of.

Got through everything (I think) but was completely unable to dent the NW corner. I have TREE FORT and MEDIUM and the RM gave me ---ALARM but not another word in the NW has come to me.

Linda G 9:35 AM  

The NW was definitely a killer for me. I don't remember what finally broke, but then I saw the beautiful I BEFORE E, and it all came together.

I also tried to get in a swimming answer for butterfly feature, but I went the right way for prints to get CRIME SCENES...that is, to forensics rather than an art gallery.

Orange 9:40 AM  

Somehow I learned about heliotrope when I was a kid. Possibly from the 1950s crayons at my grandma's apartment? From a 50-color set of markers? I don't recall.

Throw SCIPIO in with the SITH, and I start thinking there's a connection to See-Threepio.

I was especially fond of [2000 Olympics host] for Bob COSTAS—possibly the single most misleading (and yet completely factual) clue.

Whitey's mom 9:40 AM  

Really liked this puzzle once I finally got into it. I don't generally Google but did try one item which led me to a blog where someone else had already completed the puzzle. That felt like cheating so I did the rest on my own.

Spencer 9:41 AM  

I had PINON NUT (put a ~ over the first N for proper pronounciation), but the crosses didn't work. Eventually got PINE CONE. In the NW, I had ALARM for a long time, trying to think of a 3-letter alarm that would go off in a STORM. Once CAR came, the rest of the NW fell fairly quickly.

I thought the puzzle was nicely balanced. No part was significantly easier than any other. I think the SE fell first, but for the rest of it, I just went round and round, filling in a few more letters each time.

I did have to resort to Google a couple of times (once for your gimme POMONA, and again to get the last letter in NEL). On the other hand LAKE ERIE was a gimme for me, living in SE Michigan and driving through northern Ohio regularly (Put-in-Bay is an island in western Lake Erie and a tourist destination.) Most of the puzzle was remarkably Google-proof.

rick 9:50 AM  

This is two fridays in a row that I've had my butt kicked.

I got to 30A before I had my first word (thaks to all you TV Storm Trackers) which gave me the ALARM part of 14A.

When I finally got the CAR part of the word I slapped my forehead because random CARALARMSsare a pet peeve. I live in an apartment, so any strong gust of wind will set off 50 CARALARMs, three of which will actually be heard by their owners.

I had three local (Detroit) clues that took me far to long.

42A I didn't read well and automatically put in STL (NL team).

19A CONEY dog is the only food Detriot is known for.

34D Put-In-Bay is a famous party spot in LAKEERIE. People boat in from all the Great Lakes for it. I knew it was in LAKEERIE but I kept trying to think of some close by city.

Had ONTHEAGENDA for 37A which threw me for a long time.

All in all I thought this was a great puzzle, very well clued. I laughed out loud when I came to 17A IBEFOREE,

Anonymous 10:14 AM  

Rexy,

This puzzle was sick-nasty ridic. It has about 24 multiword phrases and seems to have been designed especially for me. Mike and I are both math teachers - so XCOORDINATE, PIS, and POMONA (just wrote a college rec to this school yesterday) were all gimmes. Even crazier is that I have used IBEFOREE and IRSAUDIT in puzzles before - at virtually identical spots to where he put them. Talk about deja vu! RCCOLA and SODAPOP are another two entries that I love dropping in a grid. Pure insanity.

I thought the clues on this were outrageously good - so fresh and spot on. Not sure how many are original Nothnagels and how many are gems from the Shortz clue-writing quartet, but seriously, this might be the best-clued puzzle I've ever seen.

The puzzle had two other really positive aspects. The first is that there were many never-before-used entries and clues. Second, all crossings were gettable - so despite not knowing who SCIPIO and POIROT were, I was still able to complete the puzzle. Good constructors actually think about this when filling the grid; bad constructors pray to get around a corner using whatever obscurity it takes.

Great start to the weekend. Give me more MN!!!

DQ

Rex Parker 10:17 AM  

Strangely, I considered my sister's alma mater (PITZER) before I considered my own (POMONA). Both are Claremont Colleges.

rp

Pinky 10:18 AM  

If they'd've cued "NEL blu, dipinto di blu" (volare) instead of Mozart, I might not have had to google my way out of that section.

When I refused to give up UNDER dog for CONEY dog, I had to come running to Rex.

Fun one..

Jerome 10:25 AM  

Another toughie from MN. Took me forever with a lot of open spaces, U turns and Googling. Very hard but very enjoyable. Agree with Orange about COSTAS, very misleading cluing and the last answer I filled in.

rick 10:33 AM  

DQ,

I studied math also. Is "Abscissa" used beyond 8th grade algebra? I had a hard time remembering if it was X or Y (I did not have XFILES).

virgochick 10:39 AM  

i dont really understand the nabob answer...

Rex Parker 10:43 AM  

"Wheel" often gets used in xwords to mean a "big shot" or "influential person" (def. 7 here).

A "nabob" is "a person of wealth and prominence."

rp

Anonymous 10:58 AM  

Loved the puzzle. Could someone tell me what ESS is to squadron leader?

rick 11:05 AM  

It's the "S" at the beginning of the word (the leader)

Richard 11:05 AM  

Anonymous 10:58,
ESS (S) is the first letter in squadron. ? with "head", "leader", etc. often indicates first letter of other word.

RonB 11:17 AM  

Anybody remember Spiro Agnew's "nattering nabobs of negativism" speech? I knew the word and it seemed to fit and then the rest of the NW fell into place. The whole puzzle was fun to work and left me feeling very satisfied when I finished it.

jae 11:20 AM  

Great puzzle!! I stared at this for a couple of minutes looking for an in and then saw 17a. It made me smile and I was off and plodding. (As a mediocre speller I memorized this rule when I was 8.) Unlike Rex, XCOOR... was a gimmie (statistics/graphs were part of my job) which opened up the middle and SE. SODAPOP gave me RCCOLA which gave me NCAA and ACC and so on. Fun to see the whole LAKE clued instead of the crosswordese ERIE. Loved the COSTAS deception. I groaned a bit at EASTERS but that was the only marginal SPOT (EYESPOTS are wing features on some types of butterflies). The only obscurities crossing "guess" I had to make was the S in the SANAA/SCIPIO, but what else could it be? BTW OSSA has been in a couple of puzzles recently. DQ is spot on on constructing doable puzzles. You may not know stuff but you should be able to get it/infer it from the crossings. This was an excellent example. (For the record I did know POIROT.)

Anyone else try HOAGIE for Grinder? Sometimes a grinder is just a grinder.

Learned Grouse 12:00 PM  

If the Pomona clue were 47 across, then this would have been the perfect puzzle.

Anonymous 12:35 PM  

I think the "wheels" clue is weak, no matter how often it's used in xwords. Have you ever, in your life, heard someone refer to a prominent person as a "wheel," without the word "big" attached? No. It's a nonsensical clue.

Jim in NYC 12:45 PM  

Is "7-5" (53A) a possible TENNIS set?

"Unpleasant thing to incur" (26A) seems weak. If there's a phrase "to incur one's ire" it's not familiar to me. I've heard "incur his wrath" though.

Why is "sifter" (35A) a "dusting aid"? Is there a special kind of dusting involved here?

Alex 12:50 PM  

Well, even with CAR ALARM and IBEFOREE I wouldn't have finished the NW corner.

I'd never use ICICLE the way it is clued. I've never heard "wheel" used as that definition suggests and it turns out I am wrong about what NABOB means so even if I knew that definition of WHEEL I'd never connect it to NABOB. OARS don't make waves, they make ripples. I have no idea what a CONEY dog is. Same for LBAR.

I've been in many arenas in my time but never one with a ring so while I probably would have eventually figured it out I may very well not have.

To me saying ARENAS = things with rings is like saying MORMONS = people with hats. Yes, some of them do in fact wear hats.

Unless it is talking about something other than boxing rings and the like. In which case I'm just clueless.

So, if I didn't know better I'd have to assume Mr. Nothnagel is out to get me.

Alex 12:51 PM  

You use a sifter (or, rather, I do) to "dust" powdered sugar onto things.

That's the meaning I took for it.

Anonymous 12:51 PM  

7-6 (a tennis set that ends in a tiebreaker) is more common than 7-5, which is still very possible (after the set is tied at 5-5, someone wins the next two games)

marcie 12:52 PM  

jim in nyc: A baker will 'dust' powdered sugar over confections via a sifter (to de-lump), for example. Also used with flour, for the same reason. Great (misdirecting) clue!

starting with Sydney for the Olympics and filling in "salty" after getting "sly" dog... made this one grueling for me... and ultimately very satisfying once I let those go and got with the program !

Anonymous 12:55 PM  

Sometimes, as in serving fresh, hot donuts, you want to DUST them with powdered sugar. But how do you get a light even coating? Why you put the sugar into a flour SIFTER, shake the sifter gently over the donuts and voila!!

dk 1:01 PM  

Went to Claremont Grad School so Pomona came right away and my New York heritage helped with Lake Erie. I wanted coney dog to be a snoop dog (NY upbringing failed there). I wanted the abscissa to be apart of a graph. In short fun puzzle that took a long time.

Off to my tree fort with some RC Cola.

Love the commentary.

mike 1:09 PM  

SCIPIO was a gimmie for me. He was renamed Scipio Africanus after he defeated Hannibal at the very famous battle of Zama which ended the second punic war. I think this was Hannibal's only loss in a major Battle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Zama

I wanted xaxis when I read the clue, but couldn't figure out XCOORDINTATE until the very end.

mike

profphil 1:10 PM  

Rex

Rc Cola's slogan is "Great taste since 1905." You have 1906.

This puzzle killed me. Only finished half and then gave up and went to your blog. Thanks for the blog, otherwise I'd be perseverating about the puzzle for the rest of the day .

Orange 1:29 PM  

ronb, I just so happen to be a peppery pasha of positivity.

Jim in NYC 1:36 PM  

Alex said: "OARS don't make waves, they make ripples. ... To me saying ARENAS = things with rings is like saying MORMONS = people with hats. Yes, some of them do in fact wear hats."

I'll second Alex on those.

Hobbyist 1:40 PM  

Another genius crossword setter at work.
Finished without help but misread clue 35 down. Thought it would be a storm, not soda pop. Big struggle ensued not unlike Scipio's. I loved his sobriquet of Africanus as if that would make all things right and just.

Rikki 3:00 PM  

What can I say that hasn't been said. Started to do this puzzle standing up at my kitchen island at bedtime (I'm in CA, so often do the puzzle the night before). After the first pass with only about six fills, two of which turned out to be wrong (so help me god on top of Sydney), I knew it was going to be a treat. Back in the day, I would have made a pot of coffee and smoked a pack of cigarettes and savored every fill. Now I don't smoke and the coffee would have kept me up all night, so I fluffed my pillows up and crawled into bed with peanut butter crackers and milk and savored every fill. More Mike!

And what better capper to a perfect puzzle day than some coney dogs and a Beckett/Sabathia faceoff. No, it's not the Yankees, but could there be a more exciting pitching duel in this playoff? GO SOX!!!

liebestraum 3:16 PM  

This was a strange puzzle for me. I finished the NE and SW corners this morning - after about 30 minutes of stewing. But then it was off to work.

Got home early (TGIF!!) and looked at "Rule broken in leisure" and immediately came up with "I BEFORE E". Now why that didn't occur to me in the morning, I have no idea. It was just enough for me to fill in the NW.

Then I went back to the SE and thing with a pressure point was clearly (?) OIL GAUGE. Again, this phrase did not come to me in the morning. Amazing.

My total solving time on this puzzle was probably 45 to 50 minutes. It was just so weird (breaking that rule again!) that the blank spaces in the morning got filled up so quickly in the afteroon.

lieb

Rex Parker 3:33 PM  

Oooh, that "1906" typo in the RC COLA clue was a killer - you have no idea how many Google searches I missed out on because of that. As soon as I set it right, bam, Googlers aplenty. Today is going to be a record-setting day for site traffic anyway, but still: I hate the idea of losing potential readers because of own stupid typo.

rp

aqc 3:34 PM  

I'm with you on the obscurity of "Ossa!" It showed up as "Greek Peak" a couple of weeks ago in the Sunday puzzle and I almost had to rescind my classicist credentials. At least now I know it's in the Odyssey....

Fergus 3:41 PM  

Thought this could be a rebus based on 53A, wondering whether (TEN)NIS SET was the answer. Hunted around for where other spelled-out numbers could fit in. Realized that CAN'T BE the case; had a SODA POP, causing stomach ACID, and heavy-handedly used a PESTLE with my SIFTER to coat the stale donut, and thereby Dusting off the SW.

The NE came swiftly after that, especially having studied a bit of Bruegel recently. Was IN A SPOT briefly before accepting the nicely ?ed spelling alert. Had a CONET dog and a Tricky PLOT until figuring that Kobayashi would most likely first associate a dog with Coney Island. Someone above said that Coney in this case has some Detroit fame, though?

Then to polish off the SE. Presumably Roman general SCIP__ left me trying to guess all sorts of Latinate endings, which made the SE a real trouble spot despite having an EYESPOT to finish the Sonnet. I almost threw in ERNES (along with the towel), no WISEr or SAGEr, or whatever. Messed around with Heliotrope shade, sure that that was cluing a location or perhaps time of day when the sun took a diminished role. After many SKIDS, finally got PAID UP, the OIL GAUGE showing nothing left.

Thought of quibbling about X-COORDINATE since linguistically the Abscissa seems encompass all the X's while the X seems to refer to a single variable, but oh, nevermind.

A BLUE ROAN? Is this a lark?

Nothnagel 3:51 PM  

Hey folks.

I've been teaching class most of the day, so I'm finally caught up on reading the comments. As usual, I'm thrilled that this puzzle was well-received, on the whole.

I haven't gone back to see how many of the killer clues came from my brain, but I do know that I didn't write the published clues for I BEFORE E or SCOUT'S HONOR, which are soooo much better than the dreck I came up with. I seem to remember cluing COSTAS in an Olympic-related manner, but I could be wrong.

And DQ, I did sorta "steal" I BEFORE E from you, although you used it much more elegantly than I did.

One more class to teach. Until next time, everyone...

MN

Anonymous 3:55 PM  

I have to jump in here to say, not only do squirrels eat pinecone "seeds," we fight them for them. Collecting them this weekend, in fact. However, we call them pine nuts.

Anonymous 4:23 PM  

For 17 accross, rule broken in leisure, I instantly came up with "to not lie" which seemed like a good answer but held me up in the NW.

I enjoy reading your column.

jlsnyc 4:39 PM  

"36D: General who prevailed over Carthage (Scipio) - hard! I know this guy from a lesser-known Chaucer poem, but ... I went to grad school for that stuff. How did you guys know this?"

livy... 5 years of high school latin... but ya'd scarcely know it......

;-)

janie

Wade 4:47 PM  

This was the hardest puzzle in the history of the universe. I think I filled in one letter. It turned out to be wrong.

liebestraum 5:11 PM  

Wade -

Thanks for laugh.

lieb

mike 5:18 PM  

Fergus

I had the same quibble with XCOORDINATE. Check out this definition from http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Abscissa.html

"The - (horizontal) coordinate of a point in a two dimensional coordinate system. Physicists and astronomers sometimes use the term to refer to the axis itself instead of the distance along it."

mike

kratsman 5:34 PM  

Rex said: "I hate the idea of losing potential readers because of own stupid typo."

I hate the idea of using LOL, but I must. Good one.

Fergus 5:54 PM  

Mike,

It's a pretty fine gradation, and dictionaries allow for synonymous interpretation, but I think we concur that they're not one and the same. To me, an Abscissa is analogous to an indefinite article describing the X component of any point, while the X-COORDINATE is like the definite article focusing on the unique point. In a sense, the difference is akin to the distinction between variables and numbers, with the former being more generalized, of course. Nothing to really complain about in an overall puzzle sense, but nonetheless it's enough a gradation to disquiet some sensitive souls who tend to approach comparative definitions with a vainglorious illusion of mathematical precision. Even when the subject is math ... .

dann walsh 6:17 PM  

yikes! what's left to say?!

(just trying to assist in the record setting.)

as i've stated before, rex, i usually agree with your assessment of difficulty, but i have to say that for me this was a lot harder than it needed to be. but no tears... it was my own stubbornness that got in my way...

dann

Jasmine 7:22 PM  

* 2000 Olympics Host made me want to poke myself in the eye with a sharpened stick -- I was convinced that it was Sydney.

* I wanted to put in "Petra" for 36-Across. What is it about geography items that just put me out.

* I had Seetet for 41 down because I had Slide for 48 across. D'oh! Is seetet even a word in any language?

Anonymous 9:58 PM  

OOF! What a great puzzle. I beat Wade by two words, one of which was LAP dog. Oy. Definitely not Googleable, but boy I learned a lot about Crete.
cf

rock rabbit 10:05 PM  

I'm with Wade (hardest puzz in the history of The Universe), but I was drowning, actually (sorry, bad pun) -- googled insanely, and still caved at the end. I am amazed at you folks who finished it. Someday.... As usual, I was thinking of food, and was therefore steadfastly sure of my brilliant answer "on a spit" for STUCK, and "soy" as a breed of DOG. Haha! Hey, I'm not an entomologist, but I've always thought MOTHS were the ones with EYESPOTS (like the amazing Io Moth), and not so much butterflies?

Michael 10:07 PM  

I liked this puzzle and didn't find it particularly difficult though I missed a letter. I know about sana, but sana'a was news to me and it crossed with a clue ("odyssey" high )that I didn't understand. I got skuas from the cross, but had never heard of the word.

It is always interesting when puzzles I find straightforward are difficult for others and when puzzles I find difficult are not-so-hard for others.

mac 10:13 PM  

This one was hard, took a lot of time, therefore wonderful. Costas was the best, Easters the worst clue. Congratulations, Mr. Nothnagel!

Bluestater 11:02 PM  

I'm with Alex and Wade -- nasty puzzle, but the Sox won, so who cares?

Badir 11:58 PM  

I took a really long time with this puzzle, since I had a bunch of incorrect answers that stayed for a while. Like Rex, I had FRAME STORE for 8D. Also had ANTENNA for 56A and CORPSES for 1D, which I especially didn't want to give up, since it went with PUPPY for 19A. But I eventually deciced that CAR ALARM just had to be right, so I ignored PUPPY, which allowed me to get SAFER for 3D and finally finish off the NW.

billnutt 12:22 AM  

This was a killer. I actually filled in Sydney as my first answer of the whole puzzle for Olympics host, and compounded the error with "museum shops" for the prints clue. No, it couldn't have anything to do with fingerprints, thought I to myself. HAH! The "Poirot" answer should have been the tip-off.

"Heliotrope Bouquet" is a particularly lovely rag from Scott Joplin. Now that I think of it, it may have been one of his collaborations.

This puzzle completely busted my chops. It's brilliant, but it broke my (admittedly short) string of Friday completions. Heaven and Shortz only know what horrors are in store tomorrow!

LGinFC 2:26 PM  

Don't know if anyone will see this - I'm just catching up on last week's puzzles. A "sifter" is similar to a strainer, and can be used to "dust" a food (a cake, etc.) with powdered sugar, cocoa, and so on.
I thought I was very clever when, early on, for "swear words?" I filled in "so help me god." Caused no end of problems!

Anonymous 3:55 PM  

Deadly puzzle, got a little help from friends in the office for the last three that gave me trouble.

so many multiple interpretations that fit. Had PEDANT for "Grinder" (bit of a stretch maybe, but no worse than some of the other clues) since HOAGIE didn't seem to fit, then finally found PESTLE,
Like Rex, was also thinking FRAME STORES for CRIME SCENES.

Thought milk of magnesia would target a stomace ACHE, but of course the ache is actually caused by ACID

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