Mar 24, 2009

Tuesday March 24, 2009 Dan Naddor

Theme: Texas Lolita's Favorite Things (Note: Lolita is a town in Texas, my theme title is just for fun)

17A: Centennial State rock?: COLORADO BOULDER

22A: Wolverine State fire?: MICHIGAN FLINT

35A: Peach State wide open spaces?: GEORGIA PLAINS

47A: Cotton State sculpture?: ALABAMA MOBILE

54A: Cornhusker State Town Car?: NEBRASKA LINCOLN

I like the theme and theme answers. Very clever. I wonder how the constructor would clue Embarrass, Minnesota.

I did not know the nickname for Colorado is "Centennial State". Found out later that it became a state in 1876, 100 years after the the Declaration of Independence, hence the name.

I also like the extra descriptive phrases and trivia that accompany the clues. Feel like I've learned a few new things and I enjoyed very much the new clues, so refreshing. For example:

26A: It will never fly: EMU. It's always "Flightless bird' in our old puzzle.

24D: Bell hit with a padded hammer: GONG. Again, always "Big bell" in TMS Daily.

41D: Dolly, the clone, was one: EWE. Always "Ram's mate".

As LADY (62A: Disney dog") is an answer in the grid, I am not fond of the clue for ROMEO (15: Ladies' man). Come to the Comments section if you have a better idea.

I'd like to make a suggestion today. When you comment, please let me know which clue is your favorite or least favorite and why. Due to my special background, some of humor or subtlety intended by the constructor or editor is lost on me. And I don't want to miss the fun.


21A: Frontier bases?: OUTPOSTS. I had the ending letters *STS in place, then I thought of OLD WEST. But you can't pluralize OLD WEST, can you?

29A: One in a "Flying" circus act": WALLENDA. Have never heard of "The Flying WALLENDAS". Wikipidia says their name in German, "Die fliegenden Wallenda", is an obvious rhyme on the title of the Wagner opera, "Der fliegende Holländer ("The Flying Dutchman"). Basebal HOFer Honus Wagner's nickname is also "The Flying Dutchman". His T206 is the most valuable baseball card. Record is $2.8 million. Graded, of course.

32A: __ generis: unique: SUI. New to me. Literally "of its own" in Latin. SUI is also a Cantonese surname (XIAO in Mandarin Chinese), as in fashion designer Anna SUI.

51A: Italian veal dish: OSSO BUCO. I've never developed a taste for Italian food or olive oil. Too strong.

53A: Pah preceder: OOM. Did not come to me immediately.

59A: Quaint "Holy moly": EGAD. Is "Glory be" quaint also?

60A: John of England: ELTON. John MAJOR popped into my mind first. It has 5 letters too.

64A: To be, in old Rome: ESSE. Yesterday it's "To be, in Tijuana" (ESTAR), the same lower right corner. Maybe tomorrow we will see "To be, in Tours" (ETRE).


1D: Juice drink with a hyphenated name: HI-C. Holy cow! Can you believe I've never heard of this brand name? I only drink tea & water. Sometimes I drink soup. Or should I say I "eat" soup?

3D: Minute particles: MOLECULES

4D: One of the deadly sins: SLOTH. Last time this year I was struggling with Williams' "Two-toed sloth (UNAU) and "three-toed sloths (AIS).

7D: O'Neill's "__ for the Misbegotten": A MOON. New play to me. "Misbegotten" sounds like a wrong word President Bush would say.

8D: Blunt rejection: REBUFF. Putin style, NYET, no matter how many times you look into his eyes and search for his soul.

9D: Play the piccolo: TOOTLE. I've never seen a piccolo in person. Wikipedia says piccolo is the highest instrument in the orchestra or band. Now only manufactured in C.

12D: "Rhyme Pays" rapper: ICE-T. Had he spelled his name correctly as ICED - T, he probably would not make so many appearances in crossword.

18D: Bitter complainer: RAILER. Only knew the verb RAIL. I don't like the ER repetition in clue/ANSWER, though I can't think of a better way to clue it.

19D: Words before smoke or flames: UP IN. Stumper. Are both UP IN smoke and UP IN flames slang?

22D: Copy cats?: MEW. Lovely clue. Cats MEW/MEOW.

33D: Like a 12-0 verdict: UNANIMOUS. Reminds me of "12 Angry Men".

34D: Basketball Hall of Famer Dan: ISSEL. No idea. ISSEL, strange name. OK, I will try to connect him with salt, since SEL is French for salt. IS SEL.

37D: Neeson of "Taken": LIAM. Have never seen the movie "Taken". But LIAM was probably a gimme for many. He's been in the news a lot lately due to his wife's tragic death. He also stars in "Rob Roy". And Rob Roy's refusal is NAE (58D). I liked his "Michael Collins" a lot.

42D: Derivatives of it are used in sunscreen: PABA (Para-AminoBenzoic Acid). This word got me again. I wanted ALOE. Dictionary says PABA is "a metabolic acid found in yeast and liver cells; used to make dyes and drugs and sun blockers".

43D: Privilege loser, often: ABUSER

44D: Equally yucky: AS BAD

49D: Watery trenches under drawbridges: MOATS. My hometown Xi'An has one of the best preserved city walls in the world.

50D: Italian lawn game: BOCCE. I forgot this game again.

51D: Like Ogden Nash's lama, in a poem: ONE L. It's always "Scott Turow title" in our old puzzle. I like this change.

52D: Big name in video games: SEGA. Only found this morning that SEGA stands for "SErvice GAmes of Japan".

Full Answer Grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. & gang - I probably enjoyed this puzzle as much as any I've done in the past couple months. A great theme, some unknowns obtainable through the perps, and just a whole bunch of fresh words. Haven't heard anyone use 'railer' in quite some time, as in "rail against the system". I felt bad seeing Liam Neeson's name, given the tragic death of his wife. And I thought 'copy cats' was extremely clever cluing.

Today is National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day -- does it make you think of movie theaters?

Today's Words of Wisdom, short and sweet: "Life itself is the proper binge." -- Chef Julia Child

And yet another installment of Fun Facts:

- Quebec City, Canada, has about as much street crime as Disney World.

- Al Capone's older brother Vince was a policeman in Nebraska.

- A judge in the United States was dismissed after using a penis pump while trying cases in court. (obviously, trying himself as well)

Martin said...

I wanted REBUKE for REBUFF and had go use google maps to get FLINT. I should have remembered FEN. I also wanted RANTER for RAILER but I eventually remembered Bud Abbott and LOU Costello. I liked the clue "Bell hit with a padded hammer" for GONG because it created a visual IMAGE. I didn't like the clue for SIC ("[error left as is]") because I thought that the constructor had made a mistake and the edtor decided to let it go. Of course, that would be a bad thing for the editor to do on day two so I figured it was a clue and not merely an apology.


C.C. Burnikel said...

Agree. Very enjoyable theme. Barry Silk used "Copy cats" in his last puzzle, remember? Julia Child was never for binge. She always recommended moderation and "small serving". I know you don't have rectangular pupils, I was asking about EWE. Do yew know? Dow's near 500 points soar yesterday is the Rich Norris effect.

Re: GONG. Exactly. I really like clues that evoke a vivid IMAGE.

I've never seen any of the films noir you mentioned yesterday. I like light & romantic movies. Why did you question the name Pancho Harrison? He is a real person.

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all, a nice refreshing puzzle today. I recognized the theme immediately which took care or many of the fills.

I liked the clue for emu, mew and outposts. I had triple a in for 31D and that screwed me up for awhile as I had auitcase for 40A before the DUH moment.

Another clue for Romeo could be star of Shakespeare's tragedy.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday.

Chris in LA said...

Good morning CC etal,

Enjoyed this one - nice change of pace on cluing (already pointed out by CC) with several refreshing new words. I liked UNANIMOUS best as it, too, reminded me of "12 Angry Men"

Got MEW on the perps, but don't understand it. I always want to spell BOCCE with an "I", so that corner threw me for a minute. Otherwise no real struggles, especially once the theme became apparent (had to get clear down to GEORGIAPLAINS before I figured it out).

CC: alternative ROMEO clues: "loved a Capulet", or "Montague lover".

Newsday puzzle was as simple today as yesterday - I'll give it a week or so and then follow the advice of others re: contacting the newspaper editor.

Hope all have a great Tuesday!

C.C. Burnikel said...

So far so good, the change. Rich Norris has an interesting mind.

Every time I see "12 Angry Men", I think of you. Cats MEW/MEOW. I don't understand your first clue for ROMEO: "loved a Capulet".

So how many faces were initially planned to be craved at Mt Rushmore?

Boyd & Karen & TJ,
We need more solvers to protest against Star Tribune's one-man decision.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Very impressive list. And New York Sun. Hope you conquer NY Times soon. I look forward to more comments from you as a crossword constructor.

This crossword world is very complicated. I have no idea why LA Times itself has a different puzzle on Sundays. But you can always go to LA Times website and print out the Rich Norris Sunday version if you want to join us for the discussion.

Welcome! Thanks for answering Anon's Chicago Tribune Sunday Omnibus question. I've got several private emails from solvers who just adored Williams' Sunday puzzles.

You expressed exactly what I felt about the Monday cluing: "very clear, straight-forward and logical".

C.C. Burnikel said...

LA Times is part of Tribune Media Services, that's why you saw no change in the puzzle source yesterday in your paper.

Very interesting take on Coin of the Realm. Thanks for "ser o no ser". How many languages do you speak?

Nice list. But who are of "Salt of the earth" stock?

Re: "YENTA is for female, YENTL is for male." Is YENTL itself a real word?

Chris in LA said...


Romeo's surname was Montague, Juliet's surname was Capulet - the two family's were feuding (Hatfields vs. McCoys in West-by-God Virginia or Jets vs. Sharks in West Side Story) which was why their love was "forbidden" and therefore tragic.

Dick said...

And, a belated Happy Birthday to Crockett and Doreen.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Oh, I see. Your clue is incomplete though. Maybe "He loved a Capulet".

Clear Ayes,
Great poem. Your warm comments always make others feel welcome and at home here. Thanks for the efforts.

Yep! You got my EARS. Nice to see you back.


Kazie et al,
Thanks for the nice posts today. I will post more once the blog is run more smoothly and I have more free time.

Lemonade714 said...

Good morning:

Well that was fun, and the theme was creative. I do not recall ever hearing the term TOOTLE, but the piccolo is one of the many instruments I cannot play.

C.C., I like light movies as well, but the ones I mentioned have many layers, along with their dark messages, come hope and love. If you ever have a quiet week end, you might try a few of those movies; like spicy food, if you do not try it, you will not know if you like it. Also, it reflects that people are more complicated and perhaps have to learn to overcome evil.

Pancho Harrison is just a too perfect LA name, combining Mexican and European heritage. Whenever I did work in LA, I had trouble believing much was what it was projected to be.

Mainiac said...

Morning All,

If it weren't for the theme answers I never would have gotten this one. Once I got rolling I did appreciate the cluing with the exception of MEW. I've never heard of OSSOBUCO or PABA. I had guessed PALA and new no better until I got here. I had a good time with this one.

Dennis, Was the judge was practicing "penal law"?

Work calls....Have a great day!

Frey said...

To me this was a lively puzzle with the theme clues.... fairly easy though. I got the COPYCATS clue from the perps... I don't actually get it... guess I am not clever :-). I am still getting used to two word answers and some slang such as: UP IN, AT NOON,AS BAD, ONE L. I would prefer one word answers... so far I feel we are "dumbing down" a little with the LA TIMES puzzle. Of course, by Friday I will probably change my mind :-) Change can be a pain.

Anonymous said...

The Washington Post has stopped printing the second puzzle as of today as "Tribune Media Services has ceased syndication of its daily crossword". Bummer!

Thomas said...

Still up from the night before, and agree that we.... all the solver's from the W. Wiseman era, should rise up and protest the crap that the the Newsweek puzzle is printing.

Solved the LAT puzzle on- line today, but the the TA-DA! keeps me from scanning the puzzle and commenting on the puzzle after I've completed it. That sucks! I hate doing puzzles via computer! Another reason why I hate solving on-line! Who else wants it in print?!? Let's rally around MN'sotan's and get a decent puzzle to replace the TMS! Who's with me??!

Complaints to the Asst. Features Editor @

Don't p*** me off in Osseo

lois said...

Good morning CC et al., What a refreshing puzzle! Loved the theme. SW corner gave me a little trouble but got it and g-spot went untouched, which will probably not be so tomorrow.

Looking for choc covered raisins which make me think not of theaters but of choc covered nuts. It's another personality flaw. It's all good.

Enjoy your day.

Anonymous said...

Lexington paper cutting staf
LEXINGTON (AP) — The Lexington
Herald-Leader announced Monday it is laying off 49 full-time employees and cutting
the salaries of remaining workers
with the news coming on the same day its top editor said she is leaving for a university
Linda Austin, who has been editor for two years, said her move was unrelated to the job cuts that were announced Monday
on the Herald-Leader’s Web site. Details about her new job were not immediately
The newspaper began on Monday notifying individual employees affected by the reductions, which account for about 15
percent of the company’s total full-time equivalent employee base.
Publisher Timothy M. Kelly said the
staff reductions will occur throughout the paper’s operation.
“The decisions we have had to make
have been wrenching because they mean saying goodbye to so many friends and colleagues,”
Kelly said. “But we must make
these additional cuts to adjust to the new competitive and economic realities and to ensure our continued viability.”
The plan includes a 5 percent wage
reduction for employees who make more than $25,000 annually. Newspaper executive pay will be cut by 10 percent and 2009
bonus plans will be eliminated.


Dennis said...

Thomas, don't you get an option after the 'ta-da' to 'look over this puzzle'? And I'm with you, the puzzle should be in print.

Frey, 'mew' and 'meow' are pretty much synonymous, so if you were to copy a cat, you'd mew, or meow.

Lois, of course you did, lol. No comment on the judge?

Chris in LA said...

@ Thomas:

Lower right-hand corner of "Ta-Da" has a button for "continue playing" which will allow you to get to a screen with a button that says "look over this puzzle" - click it and you can review your work. Drove me nuts, too.

T. Frank said...

C.C. & Gang-

Liked today's puzzle very much. Many clever clues. I liked "firm way to stand". How about "lost lover" for Romeo? (Wherefore art thou?)

I had trouble with sui and Issel, not knowing Latin or basketball players. 51d was new to me; clever.

I am encouraged and looking forward to tomorrow.

Argyle said...

Good Morning, One and All,

Ok, copys cats is taken care of, the Ta-Da has been answered.(I usually keep three screens up; the finished puzzle, the original blog, and this comment section, so I can go back to check references.)

Did not like the cross of sui and Issen but reaize many people probably thought either one or both were gimmes. Did like 26A "It'll never fly" because of the misdirection. "Copy cats?" was the cutest.

59A: Quaint "Holy moly": EGAD. Is "Glory be" quaint also? "Land's sake" yes.

Sometimes I drink soup. Or should I say I "eat" soup?

If I could swallow the soup without chewing, I might say I was drinking soup but if chewing was involved then "eating" would be better, IMHO.

Somebody help me: what is the meaning of "Texas Lolita's Favorite Things"

lois said...

Dennis: got busy. As to the judge? I think I knew that guy- called him the hanging judge. Had a reputation for being real hard. I'm sure he was just getting all pumped up for the next hard case and preparing to assign a stiff sentence to the perp -some hard time in the penal system.

Dr. Dad said...

Good morning to all. A few moments before getting started in Kentucky.

The Providence Journal in RI has the LA Times Xword.

My favorite (because I am from there and got it quickly) was Nebraska Lincoln.

Osso Buco was nice to say because xchefwalt gave me his recipe some time ago on this blog site.

A tragic accident for Karl Wallenda, the founder of the "Flying Wallendas." One year later, Rick Wallenda, Karl's grandson, went back to the same place and successfully completed the walk.

I bet millions of kids back in the days grew up on Hi-C. Maybe they still do.

Up in smoke and up in flames are not slang to me. They are common phrases. Brings to mind the Cheech and Chong Movie.

Liam Neeson also played Quai Gon Jin of Star Wars fame. He was Obi Wan Kenobi's mentor and took in the young Anakin Skywalker before he became Darth Vader and before Quai Gon was slain by Darth Maul.

Two chemistry references to whet my appetite - molecules and PABA.

Dennis - I didn't know that about Al Capone's brother.

To the best of my knowledge, Gutzon Borglum only chose Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. These presidents were selected by Borglum because of their role in preserving the Republic and expanding its territory. I think the idea that there were supposed to be more is a rumor.

Finally, gong brings to mind this travesty that occurred on TV awhile ago (and thank God it got canceled): The Gong Show

Dennis said...

Now that's the Lois we all know and love!

Argyle, Lolita is a town in Texas, tying into the theme. I thought it was pretty clever of C.C. to find that. How's everything working now, computer-wise?

Thomas said...

Thanks Dennis, & Chris in "Nawleans" for the help with the "computerese". I'm such an illiterate.. but still hate on-line solving!!

Have almost decided to actively recruit MN'sotan's to protest the Newsweek puzzle. Or am I jumping the gun?? Should I give it the week I said I would?!? Opinions??

Frustrated TJ in Osseo

Anonymous said...

12D: "Rhyme Pays" rapper: ICE-T. Had he spelled his name correctly as ICED - T, he probably would not make so many appearances in crossword.

Did you know that he is also an actor he can be seen on NBC Tuesday @ 10 PM as SVU Det. Odafin Tutuola on LAW & ORDER SVU

Being part Italian I was aware of Bocce (or Bocci, or Boccie) ball my grandfather and his friends would play often. My grandmother would make the best Ossobucco. My mom used the same recipe.


Drinking soup is correct since that is how you consume chicken or beef broth. Campbell's has a line of soups that you drink called soup at hand.

Argyle said...

Thanks, Dennis, I thought it was something like that, it's just when I see the name "Lolita"....

Headed to Best Buy right now to get a Brother that is on sale and had received good reviews.

Anonymous said...

IMHO, C.C., you have soup or you had soup. Yes, drink it if it is a clear broth. But I've never heard of anyone eating soup.
I thought the reference to the Ogden Nash poem about a lama was wonderful. It brought to mind a two l animal, which I enjoyed seeing in Peru.
And I disagree with the comment about [sic] because putting it in brackets made it obvious. Otherwise I would have been lost.
Also, Romeo is often referred to as being a ladies' man, so I see nothing objectionable about the clue. It's not always referring to the play.
Very much enjoyed this puzzle. A few head scratchers for me, but I got it all. Great fun.

Anonymous said...

equating a fictional gang from a Broadway play to the Hatfield and the McCoy feud is ludicrous!

"Most people believe that the Hatfield-McCoy feud began with the death of Asa Harman McCoy (Randall McCoy's brother) on January 7, 1863." The uncle of Devil Anse, Jim Vance, and his "Logan Wildcats" despised Asa Harmon McCoy because he had joined the Union army during the American Civil War. Harman had been discharged from the army early because of a broken leg; several nights after he returned home, he was murdered in a nearby cave.

The second recorded instance of violence in the feud occurred after an 1878 dispute about the ownership of a hog: Floyd Hatfield had it and Randolph McCoy said it was his. The pig was only in the fight because some of the Hatfields believed that since the pig was on their land, that meant it was theirs.


kazie said...

Hi all,
I thoroughly enjoyed today's XW, so not too much not to like. I did especially enjoy the theme, since all those clues easily gettable. My last fill was PABA, having all squares except the P, because I wasn't sure if PAT ws an acceptable word. I've always thought it was slang too. Several other fills were achieved due to perps however.

The foreign "to be" could also be German tomorrow--SEIN.

Bocce is the same/similar to the French boules, isn't it?

redsmitty said...

Hey what was wrong with the Gong Show? I liked it! I thought it was funny!

I also liked the movie Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) it had Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney and Matt Damon.

It gave the impression that the Gong show host was an assassin for the CIA.

papajim said...

I had rogue at first for romeo, and aaa also for batteries. I got wallenda only after first thinking of the "Red Baron", Manfred, Richthofen.
Fairly easy puzzle, liked the theme.
About the judge, ya gotta hand it to him, he could really mete out a sentence.

SandbridgeKaren said...

Clever, witty puzzle today - just the way I like xwords and men. I enjoyed the clues - not a lot of foreign words, abbreviations, use of e.g. or words that just sound made up. Nice to have a creative puzzle constructor for a change - even if we get a hammer on Friday these puzzles are still WAY better than the puzzles of the past few weeks.

Linda said...

CC: After the theme became clear...the rest was a piece of tiramisu (to top off our ossobuco).
Love clues that make me think from different viewpoints...(one reason I chose to do puzzles...gotta keep those new synapses forming!) For that reason, I liked 6d, 53a and 48d. 9d and 43d were pretty clever, too.

"Salt of the earth", good, productive citizens. Anyway, that`s my definition and I`m sticking to it :)

How about "North Star State chagrin?"

Jimbo: Don`t shoot me too high...I`m only human. (but thanks for the kind words)

Dennis; You do know how to let Lois "shine."

Linda said...

Tobbylee: First on my list of things to do when I retired was getting my photos in will be 5 years in May! Pretty "mossy" if you ask me! "A journey of a 1,000 miles begins with one step." I have that tattoed on my tongue!!!

Southern Belle said...

A late Good Morning - What a refreshing puzzle after working the TMS for such a long time!

Enjoyed seeing clue for 4D "sloth" instead of "two-toed" or "three toed" snd 'copy cats' was very clever.

@Thomas and others: If you don't like working SAT online, just print out a blank puzzle! It takes less than a minute! I always print out the puzzle, put it on a clup board, then crawl back in bed with a cup of coffee,piece of chocolate, and the puzzle. Great way to start the day and you don't have to wait for the delivery of the paper!

@Frey: 'dumbed down' ha....just you wait till Friday, Saturday and Sunday! I've been working the SAT for the past week!!! They are really not that hard, but they really make you think twice before using the pen!

Razz said...

Things that make you go hmmm!?!?

-If quitters never win, and winners never quit, what fool came up with, "Quit while you're ahead"?
-If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

Truism to Live By...

-If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

CC – loved… It’ll never fly; hated…When many go to lunch

Fun xw good clueing for the most part. Enjoyed the theme. No leanin’ today no g spottin’ either!

Dennis – Maybe it was a difficult trial and he just had his hands full trying to judge this skit on the gong show!

Popsicle Twins

Elissa said...

I really enjoyed the theme - which I didn't pick up till I got to Nebraska. Then it was clear. Things I didn't get on the first go through came clear with the perps. I spent the most time in the SW corner. My favorite clue was "Copy cats?" I misread "Privilege loser, often" as "Privileged", so when I looked back over the puzzle, it was a DUH moment.

WM said...

Quick check-in as I have to be gone again today. This is definitely going to be fun...another elegant and do-able good. I easily got theme and thought it very clever...funny that Dennis did the states and capitals yesterday...brought the answers to mind just that much more quickly.

Great day to you all!

Fred said...

I really liked Disney dog LADY as a clue/answer. I seldom see lady clued that way. And Disney dog is usually the clue for Nana, the family dog in "Peter Pan".

Everyone is looking forward to (or dreading) Friday's puzzle for its difficulty. But I find the Thursday puzzle to be a very hard puzzle, too. The ramp betwen Wednesday and Thursday is steep in terms of difficulty. It took me a long time before I was able to solve a Thursday puzzle.

I always print out the on-line puzzles because I hate solving on-line.


Better get used to two word answers and slang because they are very common in the LA Times. Rich Norris likes creative clueing so you won't find many stale repetitive clues in his puzzles. I find that a two word answer is more difficult to solve because you are not expecting it. (That's why I always try to add a few to my puzzles.)

Anonymous said...

Chris, the Times Picayune is spiraling downward in every area. The news stories are poorly written and with sketchy facts--now even the crossword puzzle is included with the "dumbing down".


Razz said...

Oh and by the way here in Texas we might have clued the theme:

Lone Star sweet thang's favorite places. (or not!) ;~p

Anonymous said...

Hi C.C.

The San Jose Mercury News never announced the change in puzzle here either,
it just happened automatically.

I could see that today's puzzle was slightly more difficult than Monday's
but still easy to finish without very much help.

Before my wife left for work we were down to only the 32A: SU_ and 34D:
_SSEL. She knew it must be a vowel and thought it might be an 'E'.

So I typed into Google: Dan Essen and had one of the "do you mean" moments that Google is famous for and found a good video of Dan Issen's career:




Elissa said...

You could also clue ROMEO as "He 'Must Die'" referencing the 2000 Jet Li movie.

Chris in LA said...

@ ANON 8:49

Hatfield/McCoy was used as an example of a feud (I can read Wiki, too!). West Side Story is a direct modern-day-ish take-off of Romeo & Juliet. Take a deep breath, I was just trying to explain alternatives/examples to CC...

@ Sandra - Kinda' agree re: Times-Picayune, but it's all we've got re: print media - watch TV & listen to WWL as well so you can mix-'n-match and form your own opinions (IMHO).

Goodness (EGAD?) many seem "testy" today.

Hope your days improve!

kazie said...

Chris in LA,
Maybe just trying to live up to Linda's description of us--hating to be (thought of as) wrong? Don't worry, most of us knew what you meant.

How about Alfa --- for Romeo?

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

so far so good with the LAT puzzles, have really enjoyed the change of pace. looking forward to the increased difficulty as the week goes on.

lois and drdad, good to see you both here today. now where's carol?

carol said...

Well as the old saying goes: "Here comes the judge!"

Great puzzle today, loved the theme even though it did make the puzzle somewhat too easy. Favorite clue was 27A Bud's buddy...I really had to think on that one for awhile, and if you are not of a certain age, it would not be easy.

maria said...

Good morning, c.c, and all
Again very nice puzzle today , like PapaJIm i put rogue for Romeo so I finished that last .

I never heard of Pou for 27A.

Kazie you beat beat me to it, I was going to say a clue for Romeo could be " surname for an italian car "

Really liked the puzzle.

See you tomorrow.

carol said...

Maria, 27A is LOU. Lou Costello was Bud Abbots 'buddy', Abbot and Costello were a comic team in the '40's and '50's.

Dr.G said...

One L llama is a priest
Two L llama is a beast
And I'll bet a silk pajama
There is no three L llama
Never met an Ogden Nash poem I didn't like

Anonymous said...

Hi gang! New poster here. CC-great job each day. I am more amazed everyday at the ability of a non-native speaker to solve crossword puzzles.

I love the transition to the LA Times daily puzzle. One question: Are we now occasionally going to be treated to a Rebus puzzle? This would make the transition to Mr Norris editing perfect in my opinion.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, No testiness here! I liked the puzzle, liked the clues and I'm not an "on newsprint with pen" traditionalist, so solving online is fine with me. Borrowing from Lois, "It's all good."

I did have to stop and think (EGAD, not that!) a few times, but the only "almost stopper" was 34D Dan ISSEL. Fortunately I remember SUI from previous puzzles and the perps took care of the rest.

C.C. When G.A.H. were in Xi'An, we rented bicycles and had a wonderful ride on the top of the wall. I think the circumference is about 12 kilometers...that's some wall!

Bud Abbott and LOU Costello were wonderful. If you haven't heard their famous Who's On First, here it is...clever, inventive and always funny.

Linda said...

Kazie: How do you say the capital of Louisianna? "New Orleeens" or "Nawlins?"

Chris in LA said...

@ Linda

Capitol of Louisiana is Baton Rouge (French for "Red Stick") - don't know the history as I'm not a native, but natives pronounce New Orleans as "Naw-lins".


Auntie Naomi said...

Good Afternoon C.C. and Co.,

C.C.: I know a little bit of six different Western languages. The only one I am close to being fluent in (other than English, of course) is Spanish. I have absolutely know comprehension of any Oriental languages, although I do think I could probably learn to read Thai script.

I think this clue would have been good for the theme: Treasure State's invoices?

I have a tough time thinking of a GONG as a bell. I guess it is, though. While In Saigon, some people thought I was trying to cause trouble when I loudly rang this gong, which was placed at the entrance to a hotel. In my own defense, I did ask permission.

I have not TOOTLEd my piccolo in quite some time.

I was thinking along the same lines a T.Frank for 15D: "___, wherefore art thou?" I like Elissa's option, though. Tricky.

My favorite clue was probably 54A because I have a friend who owns a Lincoln Town car. He thinks it is sporty. The best I can manage in the way of politeness is to not laugh right in his face when he says that.

I do not share your view of olive oil. I definitely have an olive oil passion. I enjoy many varieties of olives on my salads, as well.

Yes, I think "Glory be" qualifies as quaint. I think both the clue and the answer for 47D qualify, as well.

I, too, had never heard of O'Neill's play. Nor had I heard of Dan ISSEL.

I understood what Lemonade meant in questioning the name Pancho Harrison. I felt the same way the first time I visited a local Mexican restaurant and saw this poster on the wall. I thought, "Only in Hollywood!"

All of the 'judge' cracks today have been hilarious!

The NYT Sunday puzzle uses a lot of two-word answers, too. If the LA Times Sunday puzzle turns out to be as challenging as the Sunday NYT, perhaps I will switch.

Frey said...

@ FRED: I agree two word answers are harder. I will get used to it. I just need to get used to the LA TIMES style, just like I did with the Robert Wayne William's style for the Tribune. I am looking forward to the coming days with the puzzles getting more difficult as we go through the week.

Dennis said...

Forever27, good of you to make yourself known and heard; what part of the country/world are you from?

Melissa Bee, Carol, you two have been missed - I've gotten emails wondering what happened to you two. Oh wait -- I wrote those.

Went over to the Philly Museum of Art today, to see the 'Cezanne and Beyond' exhibit; if it comes to your town, don't miss it - absolutely stunning works in person.

Maria, Kazie, 'Alfa' would indeed be perfect for 'Romeo'; I never even thought of that, and I'm a car nut.

Razzberry, keep 'em coming. And thanks for the 'popsicle twins'.

Linda said...

Chris in LA: You spoiled my joke!!!


kazie said...

Linda and Chris in LA,
I have to say I was ready to jump right in and give Linda what she wanted--the way I pronounce New Orleans, without even thinking about her calling it the capital. But I also must tell you, I have often wondered about the style of the State Capitol in Baton Rouge--such a tall tower compared to most of the domed capitol buildings elsewhere. I remember thinking it was odd when I first saw it.

BTW, I prefer to call it La Nouvelle Orléans.

tobylee said...

Well, a lot of good posts today already. And welcome to the new people. Glad to have your input.
Thomas, I was also upset at not being able to print it out after doing it on line. Now when I get to the last 2 letters to fill I hit the "print" "with my entries" and that saves me time.

I just did not get the 'copy cat' clue until I got here. I guess if you put "to copy cat?" it does make more sense to me.
I loved the theme clues, very clever, they were my favorites today. I didn't G spot the Nash poem so thanks for that Dr. G. After I saw it in the poem I got it. I think I need a lot more coffee. The brain is reacting sloowwly this morning. Whoops it is PM. There's proof.
Linda, you give me hope that maybe I will get my pictures organized. What a wonderful gift to your family. Trust me I have the collections of my Mom and my Mom-in-law. One put names on the back and the other did not.
I hope that you all have a good day. Spring break here in Oregon and of course, it is windy and rainy. It can make for a lot of cabin fever by the end of the week! This is when being an 'empty nester' is very good.

Clear Ayes said...

After watching The Popsicle Twins (LOL, where else but The Gong Show could that be shown on network TV?), I stuck around and watched some of the other linked acts. I'd forgotten how bizarre and often times how funny it could be. Chuck Barris' infectious sense of humor always got me laughing and into the mood for the nonsense. I know, I didn't say I was proud of it!

Redsmitty, I really liked Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind. It starred Sam Rockwell as Chuck Barris.

Sam Rockwell is one of those actors who seems to look for weird and often unlikeable roles. He was the pedophile/murderer AND animal abuser in The Green Mile and an weaselly Charley Ford in The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford. I'm sure he, as well as Doesitinink, would like to forget his role in The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. He did have a more likeable role in 2008's Frost/Nixon.

Mainiac said...

I had made a wicked good vegetable soup which prompted the same eat or drink discussion with my kids. My 10 year old preferred eating, because of all the chewing. (It was a well endowed concoction) My 13 year old preferred drinking, at which the 10 year old replied "because your mouth is so big!" Dinner conversation went to hell after that to say the least and I got Fed Up.

Razz, those are great!

Lois, You have a gift!!

Have a great evening!

Auntie Naomi said...

Ooops! I meant to say that, "I have 'no' comprehension ...". Spell check was no help on that one. :(

DoesItinInk said...

I agree with all who found this to be an enjoyable theme. 29A made me think first of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”, but a few crosses pointed me to the WALLENDAs. The juxtaposition of “it’ll never fly” and “one in a ‘Flying’ circus act” brings to mind this classic sketch .

My least favorite clue/answer was PABA, preferring clues/answers that are in the common lexicon. I mean “para-aminobenzoic acid”???? And I would have preferred 41D EWE to be clued with something more indirect, “Dolly was one”, for example. My favorite clue/answer perhaps was “Rob Roy’s refusal” NAE which I found to be a bit clever. I also liked the answere OSSO BUCO, but I think that is because I need to eat lunch!

@cc…Now that I check, “Yiddish yente, back-formation from the woman's name Yente, alteration of Yentl, from Old Italian Gentile, from gentile, amiable, highborn, from Latin gent lis, of the same clan”, so my comment was not correct.

Buckeye said...

Hello, gang. Loved this puzzle. Amazing these state and city names came up today after yesterday's States/Capitals discussion. More on that later.

How did Lois miss the "pod" and "Romeo" crosses?

I too had 31d "aaa" making "auitcase". Got that when I saw the plural of 31d.

Looking forward to the ensuing puzzles.

Promisemethis - Montana Billings.

We were sitting around talking about the State/Capitol same letter thing here at the Golden Buckeye Retirement Village, (me, Trip and Jack Hammer, Chester Drawers and Chuck Roast) and Chester said, "Them folks you talk at on that computer thang is not all that bright. They's New York and New York City, Pencilvanee and Philadelphee, Minnysotee and Minnynoplace, Arazonee and Albee-chur-que, and Nevada and Nevada City. Them folks know nuthin' 'bout they gee'-o-graffy." Just then Bob Beeque walked by and said, "Yeah! What about Texas and Texas A&M". Bob ain't the sharpest "tool in the shed" so we just let that one ride.

Emerson Bigguns chimed in with state nicknames. "They's purdy gud, too," he said. "Vermont's 'The best downhill skiing place in the East outside Lake Placid',. A little long," he said, "but ackerate. And they's New Hampshire's, 'Eat s**t and die; it's on they's license plate!!!" Emerson added, "I like my hometown's motto. I'm from Johnson, Georgia and our motto is 'If you think that's a peach, you should see my Johnson."

Great guys!!

I must be off

Lemonade714 said...


Loved your Montana clue, very witty and 15 letters!

I now find myself reading posts while at work, in between projects. You all have been particularly entertaining today, with gold stars for Lois and Chris in LA.

Linda, as the self-appointed, and skillful chronicler of this rag tag group, it seems to me that sports are a very minor part of the entertainment of our people. Hence, DAN ISSEL, a great University of Kentucky and Denver Nugget B-baller is a difficult fill. Sports figures, teams, TV stars, movies and movie stars will always be major fodder for the constructors, but in the old days, the puzzle was in the back of the sports section with the comics. Just wool gathering...back to drafting some Power's of Attorney for a sweet 98 year old client.

Argyle said...

Here's a goodie:
"What if I were ___ in black jeans." by Michael Penn

embien said...

9:10 today (LA Times) Wonderful theme and a fun solve, all-around, though I didn't know PABA before.

Dan ISSEL is one of the most well-known basketball players (and coaches) of all-time. I'm pretty sure he must be in the basketball hall of fame (no, I'm not looking it up). The cross with SUI might be a bit rough for some, I'll admit.

Count me firmly in the camp of The Gong Show fans. My wife hated it, though, and I had to put on the headphones whenever I watched it.

For those who are getting the Newsday puzzle, edited by Stanley Newman, I can definitely recommend reading Cruciverbalism, written by Newman. It's a wonderful book with much behind-the-scenes information, written by one of the few people actually making a living off crosswords.

kazie said...

I hate to contradict your expert friends, but you should tell Chester that Minneapolis is not Minnesota's capital--it's the other Twin City, St. Paul.

Still, it must be entertaining spending time with folks like that. It certainly provides interesting fodder for us to read about.

Dennis said...

Kazie, actually they're all incorrect; our esteemed friend is a master of misdirection. Buckeye, I have to always remember to not drink anything when I'm reading your posts.

Argyle said...

Green Moutain state dirt roads in spring?

Buckeye said...

Dennis. Thankee!


Buckeye said...

As an addendum to the previously submitted epistle, and not counting as a third post, thereby rendering to thus submitter a remaining three posts, I shall query Argyle, unfettered.

I did not know there was a place name "Got My Sorry Ass Stuck, Vermont".


KQ said...

Good day everyone,

I really liked this puzzle, but do not enjoy doing them online very much. I feel like I don't get to see the answers to many of the clues. If I fill in something down, I may never see the answer to the across clue. It frustrates me.

I will say that I knew almost all the state nicknames, so I could go down and fill in all the state names right away, then later figured out the cities that came after. It was very fun for me.

CC - my favorite was sloth - being in the thick of lent right now and trying to avoid all those sins. I always thought of that as a unique name for a sin.

I am incredibly technologically challenged these days. Two computers down, one needed parts, they both ended up reformatted, and now the printer isn't working after reinstallation. Had comcast over for two hours working on phones and something wrong with the tires on a car. I have the black cloud hanging over my head. Needed a good puzzle to work on to forget it all for a little bit.

I haven't tried the Newsday one as yet, but it sounds like I won't like it much. A note to the editor will be in line soon I believe.

Clear Ayes said...

The comments about Pancho Harrison and Alvarez Kelly reminded me of the Carlos'n Charlie's restaurants in Mexico. A fellow named Carlos Anderson was the "Carlos" of the restaurants.

I remember in going there for dinner in Puerto Vallarta. My husband at one time spoke passable Spanish, but hadn't used it for years and you know how that goes....use it or lose it. (Come to think of it, that saying goes for more than language use....I digress.) Anyway, on this occasion, he was showing off a bit and tried ordering in Spanish. The waiter patiently waited and after what were several obvious mispronunciations and grammar errors, he smiled sweetly, patted the old geezer on the shoulder, and said, "Speak English, amigo."

Now, whenever G.A.H. starts on a detailed description of a topic I know nothing about (there are plenty of them), I just say, "Speak English, amigo." and he slows right down to a pace where I can figure out what he's talking about.

Buckeye said...

Embien. Saw Issel play at St. John's arena (OSU) in the NCAA regional finals years ago. What great games we saw. Issel led Kentucky, Adrian Dantly was there with Notre Dame, Dennis Johnson (Celtic great) was there with, I think, Iowa and Univ. of Jacksonville with Artis Gilmore and Pembrook Burrows III. That year, Jacksonville took it to the NCAA finals. I had a friend at U of J and he sent me twenty tickets to scalp and four more for me and three friends. (I actually HAD three friends back then). With Ky. and N.D. there, we made a FORTUNE.

(Musical note - "For The Good Times" - more musical notes).

Also saw him a few times when he played for the Nuggets. One of the great outside shooting "big men" in NBA history; as was my hometown boy Jerry Lucas.


Anonymous said...

Lost Lover for Romeo wouldn't work for me. Wherefore doesn't mean where. In Shakespeares day it meant why as in why do you have to be an enemy of my family.


Elissa said...

Argyl/Buckeye: I like "Got My Sorry Ass Stuck, Vermont" is better than Vermont Rutland.

Dennis: Youse guys in New Jersey should know better than to call Philadelphia 'Philly'. Philly is only for cream cheese or a neighborhood (West or South) or a baseball reference (like the Phanatic). But it is the Philadelphia Museum of Art, if you please. (I hope you know it is a 'hoagie' and not a 'hero'.) When I lived in Philadelphia we used to visit the Art Museum on Sunday mornings when the admission was free, then go for brunch afterwards.

Dennis said...

Elissa, you're absolutely right; mea culpa. I tend to put Philly for any Philadelphia reference both for expedience and because I'm lazy. And yes, it is 'hoagie' and ONLY hoagie. Ask for anything else, say, a grinder, and they'll send you to the local strip club.

Do you miss Tastykakes?

maria said...

Gee, Carol, thanks for Lou !
didn't even realize i had an incorrect for 18D guess i wanted Griper and ended up with raiper.
Did not connect Bud & Lou with Abbott/Costello.

ClearAyes, you reminded me of a little scene my mother and i went thru, years ago, two italian ladies in a mexican restaurant in Laredo (did not speak spanish) then , we wanted Burro (italian for butter) the waiter (mexican) you mean Mantequilla ?! And we. no, no , Burro !
We went back and forth , the waiter was laughing one minute, and getting insulted the next, until he finally wised up and brought the Butter and pointing to it he repeated , mantequilla, mantequilla !

Come to find out later that "Burro" in spanish means "Ass".
That was my first spanish lesson !

carol said...

Buckeye, you are an absolute hoot!! I have to agree with Dennis, I am always glad I have not taken a drink of anything when reading your posts!

Lois, that goes for you too! LOL - as Mainiac said, you ARE gifted in the DF dept. and in many others.

Razzberry at 10:10, Loved it! Don't be a stranger.

It is good to see Buckeye, Razzberry, Melissa bee and DrDad back again (and all in the same day :))

Chris in LA said...

Sorry so late - out doing yardwork this afternoon...

@ Razzberry - back in the day I used to work for FedEx and we (internally) referred to UPS as "oops".

@ Kazie & Linda - re LA capital building: it's the tallest capital building in the country and is clearly designed after Huey Long's impression of himself (as well as his last name?) - you go Lois!

Linda said...

CA: Until my second year of Spanish...I didn`t know what "me professora" muttered each time I recited for her. It was "Un burro sabe mas que tu!"

Kazie: You`re a good sport. Now, let`s go get a bloomin` onion!

Buckeye: Will we ever see your true face?

More trivia for ya:
There are no words in English to rhyme with orange, silver or purple.
Palindromes: racecar, kayak, level

"Stewardesses" the longest word you can type with the left hand.
"Lollipop" ditto with the right hand.

"Dremt" the only English word ending in "mt."

"Abstemias" and "Facetious" are the only two English words with all the vowels and in order.

"Typewriter" is the longest word in English which you type on the same row of letters.

February 1865 is the only month not having a full moon. (No, Dennis, I wasn`t there so I can`t prove it!)

Winston Churchill was born in the ladies` room at a dance. (Wasn`t there, either!)

TJ in Osseo: None of the profile areas apply to you? Not even #`s 5,8,12 and 15?

Elissa said...

Dennis - MMMMMMMM Peanut Butter Tandy Takes (now called Kandy Kakes). About 20 years ago - before you could order them off the internet - a bunch of Philadelphia refugees I worked with contacted the Tasty Baking Company and got them to ship a case of PBTT to us. They were incredibly good. From time to time I have seen Tastykakes at Long's Drugstore out here. It is always a treat.

lois said...

Dennis 8:24, thank you. That was sweet.

Thank you all for the compliments. As long as SPOCK(W) doesn't want my address, we're good to go.

Razz 10:10, hysterical! I can't believe Phyllis D gave the Popsicle Twins a '0''d been perfect if she had just said it with her mouth emphasizing the OOO.. ZerOOOOOOOOO.

Buckeye: you are hilarious! LMAOROTF

Melissa bee, Drdad, Carol, good to see you all too.

Dennis said...

Elissa, you're right - one of life's simple pleasures -- a three-pack of Peanut Butter KandyKakes & an ice-cold glass of milk.

Thomas said...

Well, maybe a couple do apply..

TJ in Osseo

kazie said...

I don't know about a bloomin' onion, but one of my ex-students is an editor/writer for the Onion Newspaper. One of the funniest kids I ever had in school, super intelligent but never achieved much in school. You just can't tell where they'll end up, can you?

Clear Ayes said...

Linda, Living in California does have its advantages. We are so exposed to Spanish on a day-to-day basis that even though the only Spanish phrases I have needed to memorize are, "Pina colada, por favor.", "Cafe con leche, por favor" and "La quinta, por favor.", (I am nothing, if not polite :o), I could still translate your professora's mutterings. Obviously, you've improved.

Kazie, I love the Onion! It is so funny and sly...Mad Magazine for the 21st century. I have it bookmarked, but it is so addicting I have to keep myself from going there everyday. I could spend hours.

Anonymous said...

@ Razzberry- If Pia Zadora married Rich Little she be Pia Little, If Tottie Fields married Truman Capote she'd be Tottie Capote!

@Clear Ayes- have you seen the Onion movie?