Feb 29, 2008

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 Randall J. Hartman

Theme: I did not spot any theme. Did you? They are just long lines in the puzzle. Some are movie names, some are not.

17A: Where to join a queue: The end of the line

25A: Brigand's command: Stand and Deliver

44A: One for all and all for one trio: Three Musketeers

60A: Praetor: Roman Magistrate

4D: Pogo's sticks? Okefenokee Swamp

10D: Mid-game recaps: Halftime Reports

For some reason, day after day, I just could not survive the upper left corner unscathed. Today was no exception. I simply never heard of OSCO (1A) Drugstore. Walgreens and CVS have all the skin lotions/eye cream/vitamins that I need. And 1A: Correction: pref (ORTH) was way too hard for me to even make a guess. Added to the pain is the OKEFENOKEE SWAMP (4D). A total stranger to me.

I did not know MARMOT (Western woodchuck), never heard of PIET Mondrian. Had to check the dictionary for the definition of 60A: Praetor. Then filled in ROMAN MAGISTRATE.

Here are the Across entries:

1A: Drugstore chain: OSCO. They only had one store in MN (Moorhead).

5A: Ford Clinic: REHAB. Amy Winehouse won several Grammys for her REHAB album.

10A: Ship's tiller: HELM

15A: Goddess of peace: IRENE

17A: Where to join a queue: The end of the line. Exactly. Nobody annoys me more than those rude line cutters.

20A: Teamster boss of the past: HOFFA (Jimmy). His son James P. Hoffa is the current president of Teamsters. They've endorsed Obama. Why Teamster instead of Teamsters in the clue?

21A: Solid as rock: STEADFAST

22A: Inarticulate sounds: ERS

24A: Doberman doc: VET. Could become aggressive if mistreated.

25A: Brigand's command: STAND AND DELIVER. Here is what Dennis said at the Comment section: "A brigand was a highwayman, or robber; "Stand and Deliver" meant to hand over your purse, wallet, etc. I think it originated with stagecoach robbers."

34A: Italian river: ARNO

35A "Unfaithful" star Richard: GERE. Hot & Steamy movie. It's the only Diane Lane movie that I like. Don't watch Under the Tuscan Sun. Just read the book. It's far superior.

36A: "Auntie __": MAME. 1958 film starring Rosalind Russell.

37A: Twilight: DUSK

38A: Talia of "Rocky": SHIRE. She is Connie Corleone in the Godfather series (my favorite movies), directed by Francis Ford Coppola. In real life, she is Coppola's sister.

40A: Isle of exile: ELBA

41A: What to be suited to: A TEE

42A: Marsh plant: REED

44A: One for all and all for one trio: THREE MUSKETEERS

48A: Grp. for mom & pop stores: SBA (Small Business Administration).

49A: __ and tuck: NIP. Nip/Tuck is also a TV drama.

50A: Hair spray-protection: SHOWER CAP. I misread it as hairspray protection.

56A: Forget about it: NO WAY


62A: Car of mine?: TRAM. Why the question mark here? Tram is a mine field car, no?

63A: S-shaped moldings: OGEES. It looks like this.

64A: Jog: TROT

65A: Modern Maturity org.: AARP (American Association of Retired Persons.). AARP stopped printing Modern Maturity Magazine in 2003.

66A:Quizzes: TESTS

67A: Formal introduction: SEMI

Down entries:

1D: Correction: pref: ORTH (Orthodox). Shouldn't it be ORTHO?

2D: London district: SOHO

3D: Math fig.: COEF (Coefficient)

4D: Pogo's sticks: OKEFENOKEE SWAMP. You can find alligator, black bear, and lots of wading birds here.

5D: Purged: RID.

6D: Son of Aphrodite: EROS (Cupid in Roman God)

7D: Determine weight by lifting: HEFT

8D: Pay to play: ANTE

9D: Act properly: BEHAVE

10D: Mid-game recaps: HALFTIME REPORT.

11D: Charles Lamb: ELIA

12D: Camera part: LENS

18D: Fragrant ointment: NARD. Spikenard. Unknown to me.

19D: Biographer of Henry James: EDEL (Leon).

23D: Becomes slack: SAGS

25D: Mubarak's predecessor: SADAT (Anwar). Gimme for me.

26D: Veracity: TRUTH. Either Roger Clemens is lying, or his trainer is lying, or both of them are lying. Andy Pettitte has no reason to lie though.

27D: Goose classification: ANSER. New word to me.

28D: Former Indian leader: NEHRU. Gimme for me.

29D: Helps with the dishes: DRIES.

30D: Shortstop Jeter: DEREK. Gimme. Yankees shortstop. We have his rookie cards.

31D: Appraise: VALUE

32D: Fireplace fragment: EMBER

39D: Adam's apple location?: EDEN

45D: Scrooge, to friends: EBEN I don't remember anyone call him Eben in the movie.

46D: Western woodchuck: MARMOT. Cute looking, what is he eating?

47 Dye: TINT

50D: Mlle. from Madrid: SRTA (SeƱorita) . You should get this one if you read sallyjane's comment yesterday.

51D: Romanian round dance: HORA

52D: Bradley or Sharif: OMAR. Also, actor Omar Epps (Fox drama HOUSE)

53D: Bird enclosure: CAGE

55D: Artist Mondrian: PIET. Dutch painter. Never heard of him.

57D: Hard of soft ending?: WARE

58D: Particle: ATOM

59D: Himalayan Bigfoot: YETI (Abominable Snowman)

C. C.


Katherine said...

Hard one today. Never heard of OSCO either!

Anonymous said...

OSCO was definitely not one I would have thought of. A little too off, I think, to be a clue in a crossword that, clearly, is done by folks all over the country.

39A and 62A gave me a little chuckle, though.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I much prefer puzzles with a theme . . . feels more cohesive.

Yay - it's Friday!

Anonymous said...

I agree, today was very hard...I couldn't think of the drugstore either and just forget about Okefenokee Swamp! I actually was looking around for these when I came across this website! Now I'll have help when I need it! I don't start my day until this puzzle is done!
Happy Puzzling!

Razz said...

Be sure to add EMBER to your frequent list! Two days in a row!
12D yesterday
32D today

Dennis said...

A brigand was a highwayman, or robber; "Stand and Deliver" meant to hand over your purse, wallet, etc. I think it originated with stagecoach robbers.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Me too. I feel very lost without a theme.

Did you notice the amount of ee (8) in the puzzle?

THEEND of the Line

Lots of single e (35) too


That's a lot.

Mkat, I tried to find what makes you chuckle, but there is no 39A.

Razzberry, I will arrest EMBER later.

Dennis, you are my hero. You've saved me again and again. Thank you.

C. C.

MH said...

couldn't get OSCO, ORTH, or COEF. I don't like the lack of a theme, but I keep thinking that there is a theme that we are not detecting.

"Car of mine?" has a question mark because it could be interpreted as "My car". I think.

C.C. Burnikel said...


I have the same nagging feeling as you do. I suspect there is a hidden theme/code.

C. C.

Razz said...

Pogs's sticks is another reference to an old comic strip character. Pogo Possum lives in the Okefenokee Swamp. Here is a link if you want more info:

I've heard the phrase "They live out in the "sticks" used in my part of the country.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone have problems with (50D) "Mlle. from Madrid" being srta (senoritas) when just testerday the same clue was used for sras (senoras)??

Anonymous said...

You need an S -- HALFTIME REPORTS.

OSCO, ORTH, NARD, and COEF were hard.

Anonymous: yesterday it was "Mmes. of Madrid." Mmes is mesdames, mlle is mademoiselle. It's the difference between Mrs. and Miss in English.

Anonymous said...

I knew Piet Mondrian right off the bat. Turn of the century abstract artists. If you look up his work, you'll immediately recognize it even if you didn't know his name.

I was trying to figure out the theme, too. 17A, 25A & 44A are movies, so I thought it was a certain actor's films, but there's no "Roman Magistrate" out there.

Looks like our marmot buddy is eating a pear.

I've heard of Osco. Might be regional thing.

Anonymous said...

When you are talking of the group as a whole it's Teamsters when you are talking of the president it's referred to as Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa. Or as the articla states he and Bobby Holmes asceneded to the teamster hierarchy.

The rest of the shift, they would sit around idle and unpaid, waiting to be called but unable to leave the premises. The men also endured a foreman from hell, "the kind of guy," Hoffa later said who causes unions. Called the "Little Bastard" by all the workers, he abused his powers, threatening and firing workers for no reason. Hoffa and his coworkers, including Bobby Holmes, who would also rise in the Teamster hierarchy with Hoffa, bided their time. The harsh reality that one third of American workers remained jobless made them cautious in their organizing efforts.


Anonymous said...

62A: Car of mine?: TRAM. Why the question mark here?

Mine is referring to a coal mine. Not mine as is in belonging to you.

maybe you can explain Semi meaning formal introduction? (67 A)

Anonymous said...

It wasn't too bad once you get 17, 25, 44 & 60 Across and 4 & 10 down the puuzzle fell into place. I had somdone on my own b4 consulting your blog.

Anonymous said...

Thought it was a little harder today! I try to do 2 puzzles a day if time permits-does anyone no of a blog for the "L.A. Times Daily Crossword Puzzle"? Sure beats waiting until the next day. Thanks

Anonymous said...

An explanation of semi for formal introduction as asked by anonymous: semiformal dance as opposed to formal (a black tie affair). semiformal means dressy- not casual wear. Osco Drug is an Idaho name and opened along side the Albertson's Grocery stores. First named "Bosco" after J A Albertson's son and daughter: Bobbie and Scott. I don't remember when and why it was changed to Osco. If I recall correctly, it was later bought out by Skaggs, which no longer exists either.

C.C. Burnikel said...


You always give spot-on information, thank you for the link.

Huge Brown,

I've corrected my mistake.

Anonymous at 11:37am,

I googled some of Pet Mondrian's work, lots of grid-line paintings. That's way too abstract for me.

It's so rare to have a themeless Friday. I don't know, maybe someone will come up with a theme later tonight.

Anonymous at 1:24pm,

Thanks for the explanation. Now I am perfectly clear about the single/plural form.

Anonymous at 1:33pm,

Think of dressing code, you have formal, semi-formal, informal.

Anonymous at 1:56pm,

Orange blogs LA Times. You can find her blog at my side bar.

Anonymous at 3:25pm,

I really like your information on Osco name origin. Very interesting.

Thanks for coming here today everyone.

C. C.

Anonymous said...

Osco drug stores have been attached to Jewel food stores in the Chicago area for many years, they also have had stand alone stores in the lower Midwest too.

Little Lj said...

WOW! Today's was a real toughie for me at least! I got hardly any gimmes - boo!

I was gonna post the difference between senoras and senoritas today, but i see someone already caught that one!

I had heard of mondrien, but couldn't for the life of me tell you his first name..

And I agree about the (lack of) theme.. I much prefer when there is a theme, it makes the puzzle more fun and is an extra aid to solving sometimes.

Also I'm sorry C.C and MKat about the other day, i did read the reply to my comment, but I didn't realize there was a question directed at me in it! You are right about me being busy with study though.. this week has been stress-central!
Oh, and just to clarify.. I am a 'she'... the lj stands for Laura-Jane!

Happy Friday everyone!! x

Diane Sorensen said...

Really glad to stumble on your blog -- while searching for "correction: pref" . I do the puzzle (in the Seattle Times) religiously. Our paper now carries the NYTimes puzzle too. Some days it is actually easier!
Appreciate all the comments.
And YES, prefer the themes!

Anonymous said...

Auntie Mame actually originates from a rather amusing book that the film was based on.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for leaving a feedback here everyone.

Little lj, are you going to the tournament today/tomorrow?

C. C.

Anonymous said...

Friday Feb 29 clue for 67A "Formal introduction" I interpreted introduction to mean that the clue was a prefix for formal: semi-formal Another one would be annual introduction - semi-annual or automatic introduction - semi-automatic

Anonymous said...

I think Orth for correction is more like orthodontia and orthotics than orthodox. Look forward to your comments every day(except Sunday, the Oregonian doesn't run the puzzle that day)

Anonymous said...

Greetings. Interesting blog. I think Mr. Marmot is eating an Asian pear. Cheers!