May 20, 2009

Wednesday May 20, 2009 Bonnie L. Gentry

Theme: BREAKING UP (54A: Disbanding, and a literal hint to the hidden theme in 17-, 23- and 46-Across) - UP is broken and spans the last two words of the theme entries.

17A: Pancake-wrapped Chinese dish: MOO SHU PORK

23A: Peppered entree: STEAK AU POIVRE

46A: Judge's query after charges are read: HOW DO YOU PLEAD

Too bad 46A is not food related. It would have been a tighter theme. Great "BREAKING UP" title. But Like Jack McIntuff's "Herd Mentality", this kind of word embedding/spanning does not really excite me.

The first time I had MOO SHU PORK was in San Francisco, my sister-in-law was shocked that I did not know what the dish is. Quite a few American Chinese dishes were foreign to me then. I've never had STEAK AU POIVRE, way too much poivre in this picture. Nice to see it as part of an answer rather than "Poivre partner" for SEL (French salt & pepper).

Since we have ALITO (14A: O'Connor's successor) in the grid, I wish SAM (33A: "Uncle" with a red bow tie) were clued as a tie in to ALITO. Whom do you pick to replace Justice Souter? I'll bet on Sonia Sotomayor, female and Hispanic.

Today's constructor Bonnie L. Gentry is a senior financial adviser at Merrill Lynch. She is based in Scottsdale, AZ. And her puzzle appears in LAT once a month, according to this article. I found it interesting that she does not like cluing either.


1A: Still in force: VALID

6A: Serve with summons: CITE. Alliteration again.

15A: Partly revitalized sea: ARAL. I don't understand the "partly revitalized" part. Does it refer to the revitalized economy in that region?

19A: Harper's Bazaar artist: ERTE. Big name in "Art deco".

20A: Transportation secretary under Clinton: PENA (Federico). Obtained his name from the Down clues. He co-chaired Obama's campaign.

21A: Nickelodeon dog: REN. Often clued as "Stimpy's pal". Stimpy is a cat.

22A: Father of Paris: PRIAM. The last king of Troy of course. He was played by Peter O'Toole in the movie "Troy". Orlando Bloom is Paris. The girl on his left is Helen, whose face launched a thousand ship. How many millihelen do you think Megan Fox radiates? This girl's picture is everywhere now.

27A: Goodyear offering: RADIAL

29A: Knotty and twisted: GNARLED. This one is totally out of shape. Pretty ugly.

30A: Sound from a nest: TWEET

31A: Fill with bubbles: AERATE

36A: "Little Red Book": MAO. My dad could recite every sentence in "Little Red Book".

41A: Court sport, for short: B-BALL. Basketball.

43A: Italian inkeeper: PADRONE. New to me. So close to patron.

49A: Cup with crumpets: TEA. Is it because crumpets/scones are always served with TEA?

53A: Climb, as a tree: SHIN . New verb meaning to me.

58A: Cougar maker, briefly: MERC. Crossing BMW (54D: 5 Series automaker).

59A: "Cheers" waitress: DIANE. Easy guess. The lady in red?

60A: Work measures: ERGS. Rooted in Greek ergon, meaning work.

62A: "No surprise to me": I KNEW


1D: Seductress: VAMP. The word VAMP always brings to mind Theda Bara.

3D: Pride's quarters: LION'S DEN

4D: Shout evoked by a dead heat: IT'S A TIE. I love all the long Down answers today. Vibrant.

5D: 2001 OED addition that cites "The Simpsons": D'OH

6D: "RUR" playwright: CAPEK. The guy who coined "robot".

7D: When forging started: IRON AGE. Around 12th century BC.

9D: Fraternal society member: ELK. Or "Lodge member".

10D: More than just clean: STERILE. I was expecting an ER ending adjective.

12D: Old explosive device: PETARD. New word to me. So close to retard.

13D: Teacher's note next to an F: SEE ME. Did you get F's in school? Were you a good student?

22D: Like laptops: PORTABLE

24D: Suffers humiliation: EATS CROW. Maybe she will. Maybe she won't. What a waste of time to go back and dredge up those waterboarding briefings. I am against closing Gitmo.

25D: Strip, as a ship: UNRIG. Why do I always want de-rig? Too much bug and de-bug in my previous work I suppose.

26D: Early late-night host: PAAR. What's your favorite Jack PAAR memory? I learned his name purely from doing Xword.

31D: Protein building block, for short: AMINO. AMINO acid.

34D: "Hey!" to a mate: AHOY. Wish TAR (8D: Road-surfacing goo) were clued differently to pair up with AHOY. It's a slang for sailor. I am very into tie-in fills lately.

36D: Title character who "returns" in a Neil Simon title: MAX DUGAN. Have never heard of this movie. Is it romantic? The title sounds like a soldier returns after the war and then finds his wife in love with another man.

40D: Spays: NEUTERS. I had no idea that Mine That Bird was gelded until Clear Ayes pointed it out.

42D: '50s - '60s counterculturist: BEATNIK. MAN, I DIG. That's all I know about BEATNIK.

43D: More swanky: POSHER. Wrote down TONIER first.

44D: Storefront shade: AWNING. Holy cow! I did not know there is a special term for this shade.

45D: Harsh criticism: FLAK. I always have problem spelling out criticism.

46D: Waste maker?: HASTE. HASTE makes waste.

51D: Do some piano maintenance: TUNE. Can you also clue it as "Do some guitar maintenance"?

52D: Emulate a geyser: SPEW

55D: Stephen of "Citizen X": REA. Have never seen "Citizen X". Liked his "The Crying Game". Very shocking ending.

Answer grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - yet another fun puzzle; not a snap, but doable without g-spotting. Very clever theme.

I was confused by 31A, 'Protein building block, for short'; why 'for short'? Because 'acid' is left off, or is 'amino' itself short for something? DrDad?

I needed perp help for 'Erte', 'padrone' and the spelling of 'moo shu pork' (haven't eaten Asian food in 45 years). Interesting that both 'neuters' and 'beatnick' were subjects of recent conversations here. Can't wait to see what Lois does with 52D.

Apologies for not responding to posts directed to me yesterday; it was absolutely spectacular here, and I was outside playing all day 'til I got called in for dinner.

Today is Pick Strawberries Day and.....Be a Millionaire Day. Better get an early start.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "We're all of us a little greedy. We're all somewhat courageous, and we're all considerably cowardly. We're all imperfect, and life is simply a perpetual, unending struggle against those imperfections." -- Actor Sidney Poitier

Fun Facts for the day:

- Dogs and humans are the only animals with prostates.

- More than 11,000 people are injured (and go to a hospital) every year trying out new sexual positions. (I'll bet last year, there were a lot of cowboys in this group)

g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all: I haven't done the c/w yet, just thought I would pop in and say good morning. I thought I might be the first poster, because it said 0 comments but alas when I came back on Dennis beat me.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I don't know. I just took it for granted that AMINO is short or AMINO acid. Great quote today.

Gator Mom,
Good morning! Congratulations on your daughter's achievement.

This is for you. Happy Birthday!

I really liked the song "Got My Mind Set On You".

C.C. Burnikel said...

So what kind of TV programs do you watch now?

How are those 12 jurors decided? A prosecutor picks up 6, then you pick another 6?

The Whoo,
Very very intriguing questions last night. Welcome back!

Kazie et al,
Thanks for all the answers yesterday.

Dick said...

Good morning C.C. and all,..a very good puzzle today. Not a walk in the park, but doable with perp help. I did struggle with the NW corner and it was the last to fall.

I also struggled with the two foods and could not have gotten them without the perps.

I really do not have a favorite Jack Paar line, but Jonathan Winters was his co-host and he was nuts. He was committed to a hospital and treated for mental illness. On his first night back he looked at the audience and said "I don't know about you people, but I have a piece of paper proving I am sane." This brought down the house.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Is Bill a shy guy? Did you intimidate him?

I enjoy your comments with the puzzle's answers in. Don't stop. They are fun & entertaining. Just remember, not everyone has a completed puzzle grid at hand when they read our comments. If you want your opinions to be heard by others (including some constructors), do take time spelling out PADRONE rather than 43A.

Lemonade714 said...

It was nice to see some new words again, I was reminded of my childhood where I heard the phrase HOIST ON YOUR OWN PETARD was heard often. These hidden word themes are ridiculous, and I do not like having two food related and the third not; it seems deliberately misleading.

How do you comment when there are no others for the day?

CITE also was misleading, as the two processes are related but not synonymous.

MEGAN FOX is hot, but a well marketed young lady, like the new list number 1 OLIVIA WILDE . it is all hype and personal taste.

Was your father upset when you moved to the US, C.C.?

Martin said...

How many millihelens do you think Megan Fox radiates?All we know is that Helen of Troy was radiated 1000 millihelens of beauty but we don't know if that's to be considered an upper limit. I saw the movie Troy. If the woman playing Helen is a fair representation of what the real Helen was supposed to have looked like then Megan Fox radiates several thousand millihelens on a good day. The picture you showed us wasn't a good day for her: she's too skinny in that picture. :)


Lemonade714 said...

C.C., sorry for misleading you, but Florida is one of a few states that only require 6 person juries for all but capital cases. The prosecutors get to exercise their challenges first, but each side gets to examine each potential juror. Also judges have different rules for voie dire which is what the process is called.

Lemonade714 said...

Martin, you like this better as a look at MEGAN?

KittyB said...

Good morning, all.

I forgot ERTE, again, darnit! And it didn't help that PRIAM and ERTE crossed PETARD. I also recall the phrase Lemonade mentioned, being 'hoist on one's own petard.' I had always assumed, incorrectly, that a petard was some form of Medieval throwing machine.

'2001 OED Edition that cites the Simpsons' left me in the dark because OED means nothing to me.

CAPEK, REA, and BMW came from the fills. I don't particularly care for UNRIG.

The center part of the puzzle fell into place with ease, but I struggled with the NE corner. This was definitely a more difficult puzzle for me.

C.C., I think that every musical instrument needs to be tuned. Some are easier to tune than others. I've heard it said that once you dent the tube of a chime you can never get it back to perfect pitch again. I don't know if that is true or not, so we were always very careful with the chimes. The cost to replace one of the tubes was more than fit our budget.

That's a great quote, Dennis.

We're going to get our first taste of summer heat today. While many of you on the west coast have struggled with temps 100 degrees or more, the Chicago area has had a very cool, rainy spring. We'll be wilting, today.

Have a good Wednesday!

Bill said...

Good Morning all!!! No x-word Mon or Tue.Got home Mon and had to clean out the camper, do laundry and get it ready for delivery to the local awning fixer place. And Tues was swamped with work and returning phone calls.
But, today, I was excited to start the week. And just as addled as always. ARAL, ERTE, PETARD AND DOH! DOH might have fallen if I'd had a clue what OED was! The rest was easily filled in with help from the perps. Took a while but at least it's done.
CC, I'm not sure of Lois' opinion, but I'm not usually intimidated by much and definitely not shy! I usually get along with everyone I meet unless they give me reason not to. But it was great to meet Lois and we had great time. So great that we're going to do it again later this year.
Wonderful trip interrupted only by the stark realism of one of the family having to return to earn enough for the next trip!!! (NOT ME)
CY'All Later

Bill said...

OK, We're supposed to know that "OED" is the "Oxford English Dictionary"


Mainiac said...

Morning All,

I have to be quick to make a meeting.

Gentry has a bit different style. I had trouble with Amino and climbing a tree was Skinny no Skin. The NW was a complete flop which sent me on-line.

Thanks CC. Kids surprised me this morning by getting up at 4: and sang to me while I was gathering up my lunch. They promptly went back to bed.

Check back later.

Have a great day!

KQ said...

Good morning all,

Had trouble with the NE corner as most of you did, never hearing of PETARD before, forgot ERTE and PRIAM isn't familiar enough for me to remember. Otherwise did really well on this one. I was surprised how many clues just came to me. I liked the SEE ME - having dealt with both my boys having those F's pop up now and again. Never did for me though. I was an ace student in school. Hated bad grades so it is hard for me to understand their lack of aversion to them.

HOT HOT HOT here. I had no idea we were in the 90's yesterday until I watched the news. So unusual for Minnesota this time of year.

Good day to all. Must try to get to the chiropractor this am before my busy day begins.

lois said...

Good morning CC et al., A fun puzzle but got stuck a little up north. Perps helped, but I still don't get the theme w/Moo Shu Pork except as a broken cow and pig relationship, which should make the sheep a little nervous.

CC: no, Bill is not shy - He met me w/a big hug and was warm, friendly and extremely hospitable. He's also super talented (plays the bass fiddle like crazy)& has a keen sense of humor. His Nancy is just phenomenal - a remarkable lady. We really had a great time. Bill said they'd be back Mon, so I expect him to post anytime now.

Had to laugh at the name 'Pena'. I can just see the family's name plate dangling from the mailbox,
'The Penas'. Funny how 'neuters' is here yet again and joining
'aching', giving a different spin to 'sterile'. Gotta wonder if the 'vamp' would work some math magic and 'add-ends' together, esp. 'flexed''old' ones and create a 'spew' that would make the 'padrone' question one of the 'pena's and 'cite' her for serving more than 'tea'. The judge would ask her 'how do you plead'? Her answer? Usually on my 'shin's, your honor.

Happy Birthday, Mainiac! I hope you have many, many more.

Enjoy your day.

Linda said...

Maniac: Happy, Happy Birthday!

I was goog. Paris` father (because I certainly don`t keep up with her!) before I had a "d`oh" moment.
Learned another word Italiano, favorite clue: when forging started.

No time for NYT today...had to make those griddle cakes again...I`ve created a monster!

CC: If they are going to close Gitmo, I say, "House them at the White House!, not in my state (or anyone else`s for that matter!)
"Bugging and de-bugging"...hmmmm how very intriguing!

To the rejected juror: (correct me if I`m wrong, attys.) But lawyers are looking for the best "fit" so they have a better chance of winning for their side.
Unfortunately, they`ve learned how certain opinions (life conditions, race, gender, even views on moral issues) expressed by prospective jurors could help or hurt said case and that is the biggest determiner in accepting/rejecting a potential juror.
Both sides have veto/accept power on each prospective juror. (I read John Grisham :)

Linda said...

CC: About the grades in school..."A mind is a terrible thing to waste" and waste I did, in HS.

College was another matter..."got me one of them" honor`s cowls and "invites" to several Honor`s organizations. I finally realized that stupidity is genetic, but ignorance is voluntary.

That`s my only grand son (avatar) doing some "man work."

Argyle said...

Good Morning All,

Today's theme music:Make It Easy on Yourself ('cause breaking up is so very hard to do.)

The hard part of constructing today's puzzle, I think, would be finding suitable words ending in 'U' and having a word starting with 'P' to follow it.

Perhaps: French "Farewell, father" - adieu, Papa

C.C., have you heard the George Harrison version of "Got My Mind Set On You"?

kazie said...

Unknowns for me today: PENA, CAPEK, ERTE, REN, REA. All fell in ok with guesses, except the E in Capek/Ren, where I had RIN (Tin Tin), I never watch Nickelodeon.

Mainiac--Happy Birthday!Dennis, I really liked the quote, but after all, what is there about Poitier not to like?

I think that picture of Megan is ugly--she's snearing.

I recognized PETARD as a French word, but wasn't entirely sure of the exact description, so looked it up. Apparently it's a small explosive used to break down doors, or also a firecracker. But a secondary meaning is an explosive fart, (from p├ęter to break wind) and I think that's how I had first heard of it in France. My, what can be learned or remembered doing XWs!

These are crumpets, and here are some scones. They're really quite different. But yes, they are often served with tea. Crumpets are stiff and shiny, butter soaks right through all the holes to the solid bottom, then squelches out when you bit into them. They're also good with Vegemite--so can be savory or sweet (with jam or honey). Scones are similar to what Americans call biscuits, more cakey than crumpets.

Dennis said...

Mainiac, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, and many, many more. I've added you to the birthday list.

Kazie, you're right - Poitier's a class act, and a superb actor.

Who had the recipe for wheat pancakes, and what day was it? I wanna try them this weekend.

Lois, no comment on the 2nd FF?

kazie said...

It was me, but I don't remember when, so here it is again:

Sift together:

2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tsp (=1 Tbsp.) baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp. brown sugar (or see below for honey)

Beat together (I use an electric hand-held mixer):

2 cups milk
½ cup oil
3 eggs
(1 Tbsp. honey if using instead of sugar)

Add flour mixture to liquids, mix together until just blended and let sit a few minutes to fully meld. Cook on a hot skillet/griddle. I use a large electric skillet set at 350 degrees.

Barb B said...

About right for me on a Wednesday; I suppose I won’t be saying that in a month of so. Some of the clues seemed obscure at the time, but when I look over the puzzle, it’s all pretty up-front. I liked the clue for LIONS DEN (prides quarters.)

The theme is clever, but I don’t see how it could have helped in solving; I had to look hard to find it even after the puzzle was completed.

That looks like flour tortillas in the Moo Shu Pork picture. I suppose they’re really egg roll wrappers.

I loved the movie Max Dugan Returns; It’s very funny. Max Dugan was a long lost father/grandfather, played by Jason Robards. Mathew Broderick plays his grandson and Marsha Mason his daughter. It’s Broderick’s first movie and you can see his obvious talent right from the beginning. He was also very appealing in Ladyhawke as a character named Mouse.

Southern Belle said...

Morning all - had to come here this morning to find the theme....sure couldn't figure out the answer by myself, even tho the puzzle was a snap...well, in most places. I guess because I wanted to find a 'food' connection.

Happy Birthday, Mainiac

To all the gals that hate the gyn exam: when you reach your 70s, you're home free! However, I did spend from 11:30 till 2:30 in the waiting room. Next step is the tests. That's the easy part, learning the results is not always pleasant.

Waited until today to read yesterday's comments, so missed telling you that I spent much of my army career teaching GIs how to type. In the Signal Corps, all caps are used (which is easier) however, five letter code groups were hell.

Brr. It is cold and windy in FL today. It is warmer in Chi.
Something seems to be very different with the weather this year. Anyone else think the same?

Elissa said...

This seemed easier than I expect for Wednesday. I got through most of it with lots of switching between As and Ds. My only problem was the ARAL/CAPEK cross, as both were unknown. I original had URAL for 15A, but when I got to 18D URAL I figured 15A would be different and the first 'A' in ARAL was my final fill.

I have never used SHIN for climbing, but I did 'shinny' up many a tree as a youth, so it was a reasonable guess.

I didn't know PETARD was a bomb. I have often talked about someone being 'hoisted on one's own petard', which means being harmed by one's own actions. Now I see it means to blow yourself up. So a suicide bombers are hoisted on their own petard.

I liked seeing POSHER. Did you know that POSH is derived from sailing on a ship from England to America and back? The best staterooms were Port In Starboard Out or POSH, but I have no idea why.

Just saw Megan Fox's name on a list of the most beautiful women. Never heard of her (or most of the 'girls' on the list).

Good WOW. Heard this morning that Sidney Poitier didn't see his reflection in a mirror until he was ten, when his family moved from Cat Island to Nassau Bahamas.

I never got an 'F'. But I once missed a quiz when I was out sick for a week and had to take it on my first day back. I would have passed if I got the answer to the date for the Battle of Hastings, when William the Conqueror conquered England - 1066. It is 44 years later and I still remember.

Elissa said...

BarbB: I loved the movie 'Ladyhawke' - so romantic and Rutger Hauer was so handsome back then. I haven't seen him in a movie in ages and was very surprised to see on IMDb that he has 6 movies currently filming or in pre- or post-production.

Linda said...

Dennis: As Kaz said on the first posting: "This makes enough for an army"...I one-third-ed it and it still made six or seven...depending on the

Treefrog said...

Pretty easy for a Wed. Once I got valid I knew DOH. My youngest spent many hours with The Simpsons!!Hmm, he's 30 next month and I think his family still watches! Also knew Ren for the same reason. Bombed on Petard and Priam.
Going to be in the mid 70's in SO OR. Should go weed the yard. NOT!!
Everyone have a great day.

kazie said...

I've often wondered too about the terms port and starboard. I imagine that leaving England, port would be on the side closest to ports of call as they went south around the European western shore, Starboard would be that side coming back (or with only the stars to see on the way out?). So if the better cabins were where there might be more to see, they would be portside on the way out, starboard coming back. Does that make any sense?

Barb B,
I've put those two movies on my Netflix list.

I forgot to add the note in the recipe about dividing by three for only two people.

Anonymous said...

Kind of a fun puzzle today even though I never did put the theme together. I thought of xchefwalt or is it chefwalt again? As I saw steak au poivre and moo shu pork come out. I am with you Lemonade and C.C., I would of liked to see the three theme answers as food. xchefwalt, I seem to remember you specialized in French cuisine. What is steak au poivre? I only had to hit the g-spot once today for the Transportation secretary under Clinton – Pena. When I saw Cougar maker, it reminded me of a term I hear regarding women as they age. What defines a woman as a cougar? Am I a “cougar” in the making? My favorite clue today was “waste maker” – haste.

I was a pretty good student, as we would get in trouble for just getting a “C”.

Mainiac, happy birthday to you! Enjoy your day.

Supposed to be 95 degrees here in MN today. You would never know that 5 months ago it was 20 degrees BELOW zero.

@Dennis, I have never been hospitalized, but not for the lack of trying.

SandbridgeKaren said...

Let me add my b-day congrats to Mainiac - mine's next week fellow Gemini!

Not sure if I like today's puzzle or not. Couldn't get traction in the NW corner so worked differently. I can never remember Pena and it's used a lot. I too liked the Lionsden clue and it was interesting to see neuter after spay yesterday - lots of desexing happening lately. Anyway finished with a tad bit of g-spotting and guessing but not in good time.

Dennis - the little local burg near me has its annual Strawberry Festival this weekend - tens of thousands of people flock to this tiny corner of VA Beach for what is really a fun filled old fashioned parade and eating fest, all centered around strawberries. It's amazing the myriad ways they fix them. So there will be lots of strawberry picking in VA Beach today!!!

Kazie - thanx for the pancake recipe. I make the world's worst pancakes and want to try yours.

SouthernBelle - congrats on surviving the annual pokem parts check. Having given mine up some time ago, I miss that not one bit.

Crossword-wise those of us in VA Beach won the lottery today. Our paper ran a poll to see if readers wanted to continue using the LAT's or make a change. To my complete amazement, they've made a Solomonic decision - they will continue with the LAT's BUT will add a second easier xword so we get TWO a day! Imagine how much time I can spend on crosswords now!

SandbridgeKaren said...

tarrajo - I hear the term 'cougar' applied to older woman pursuing MUCH younger men. Up to you if you are working on being one or not - might be worth practicing, though (I don't find a lot of downside).

carol said...

Good morning C.C. and all:

I dislike puzzles with themes. I usually don't understand them and today was no exception. There were several I had no idea about but 59A is a real puzzle. Could someone please explain the phrase "Hoist on your own petard". Why would the word 'hoist' be used here? What am I missing? I have read the comments about it but it still does not make sense. I could 'hoist' a flag, but if this 'petard' is like a grenade, and the phrase means blowing yourself up, 'hoist' does not make sense to me. Kazie, the fart part made me laugh! Sometimes that would be a weapon in itself!

A very Happy Birthday to you Mainiac!!
Hope you do get to do something fun today.

Back to the puzzle, I had to laugh at the picture of poor Theda Bara, talk about scary!! Why on earth would anyone think she was attractive?? Maybe that is where the Goth-look got started.

I did not know RUR playwright (why is it spelled that way?) Seems it should be 'write' wonder people who are not native to our language have problems.
3D Pride's quarters baffled me for the longest time..I kept thinking about vanity or ego. Good clue.

Time to get ready for a bike ride, so I'll check in later.

Dennis,great WOW today..Poitier has always been a favorite of mine!

KittyB said...

Maniac, Happy Birthday, and many, many more!

Kazie, thanks for reposting the pancake recipe. I was just about to start searching for it when you posted. I'll make a note to divide it by three when cooking for just the two of us.

Elissa, I've been thinking about your analogy, and I'm not sure that a suicide bomber fits the intent of this phrase.
Perhaps someone else who is more familiar with the use of "hoist on their own petard' will weigh in on this, but I thought it was usually used when something backfired, or the result was unintended.

Bill, if you play somewhere closer to Chicago, please let us know. I'd love to hear you play, and get to meet you and Nancy. I think it's great that Lois got to visit with you.

JD said...

Good morning CC and all, and a very happy birthday to Maniac,

My 1st go-around on the cw was skimpy, but then it all started to make sense. I DO need to use perps to help me on Wed. ..., but only G'd once for Capek.Came here to complete the word, iron; didn't understand the clue for Aral. And, I guessed Rex for Ren

Did you see the lovely Google icon today?"Ida" sounds fascinating. Oh how I would have loved to have been an archaelogist!

CC, you are probably right about the next supreme court justice, but the govs from Michigan and AZ have an outside chance.Janet Napolitano is already in the cabinet and i think she proposed that when illegals are released from jail, they get sent home! I like her thinking!

Linda, there is a town in Montana that would love those prisoners as they have an empty jail, and it would give many people jobs.
And, I agree with you on the choice of jurors. The attorneys do ask many questions that let them know where prospective jurors stand.Our big one was DNA. We all had about 5 things to answer at the beginning.Living in the neighborhood of the crime (rape and burglary) and being an older woman (she was 80) was enough for them.I wasn't asked any further questions as many others were.

Linda said...

Kaz: the way I remember port/starboard is left/right...short word to short word---longer to longer.

tarrajo: When your practicing your cougarness...just remember that the younger ones are often looking for a "purse" (and the older ones are looking for a "nurse.")

Dr.G said...

I like Chinese food, but I don't think I have had Moo Shu Pork. Is it tasty? And is it spelled Moo Shu or Moo Shoo?

JIMBO said...

Hi C.C. and all,

Finally worked through this one with a little help. Had to "G" 14a Alito and 19a Erte. Also had Rin for Ren (21a). Missed DOH (doh), because I did'nt know if MOO SHU PORK was a correct name. (Chinese is GREEK to me).
Got the theme after solving the puzzle, so it was of no help.

Really like the Wednesday offerings even if it does take all morning to finish.
Sometimes this old mind has to ponder a single clue 15 or 20 minutes before the light comes on.

My school grades?
About an equal amount of A's, B's and C's. No F's. Don't know how I managed that. Must have been "Teacher's Pet". Yeah right.

Happy Birthday Maniac. Go do something special today. I'll join you in a toast for many more.

Vaya con Dios

lois said...

Dennis: you make me gut level laugh. And you're absolutely right. Last year we gave a whole new meaning to the OU/Tx school yell, "Hook 'em Horns"! This year might prove to be even more exciting as I was looking forward to riding some bucking broncos from Central OK. Might even get my pick of one of those young buckers to keep. Something to be said about raising them the way you want 'em. I'm all about saving the horses... and riding the cowboys.

In honor of the "Today Is" I'll tell you that I'm working on my second million dollars. Had to give up on the first ones. It's all good.

Jazzbumpa said...

Ugh. Both the lovely wife and I woke up with headaches today. Massively unfair, since we did NO drinking. Today's puzzle seems much tougher than yesterday's. Maybe due to my impared condition. Didn't get the theme even after all the answers were in.

The 6D - 22A cross threw me. Oh. "Ren!" Of course. Don't know Cupek.

Can never keep Ural and Aral straight. "Gnarled" is a favorite word. Sounds so 8th century Anglo-Saxon.

I liked most of today's cluing. 7D is a great clue! OTOH, 31D is very poorly clued. This can happen when the puzzle constructor has no knowledge of a topic. Amino acid is a specific kind of organic compound. The prefix "amino-" indicates the presence of a constituent amine group (ammonia derived.) "Amino" is not a 1A clue for amino acid. Sorry, Bonnie.

1D is also a musical term for a repeated motive - usually as background until the singer gets ready to start singing. Here is a famous example.


Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I was pretty groggy this morning, so finishing the puzzle was a little slow. I had to zigzag around with the perps to get ALITO, PENA, UNRIG and PADRONE. On the bright side, I did get the theme before coming here, so it all evened out. I didn't like SHIN. It was always SHINNY when I was a kid.

Water volume has dropped in the ARAL Sea, beginning in the 1960's, Compare 1989 to 2008. According to Wikipedia, "The plight of the Aral Sea is frequently described as an environmental catastrophe. There is now an ongoing effort in Kazakhstan to save and replenish what remains of the northern part of the Aral Sea (the Small Aral). A dam project completed in 2005 has raised the water level of this lake by two metres. Salinity has dropped, and fish are again found in sufficient numbers for some fishing to be viable."

I think my self-imagined age after a 15 hour day at our precinct was about 80. It's a good thing that my two co-workers are both very good friends, so we had a good time chatting and joking between voters. There was a lot of time because there was a very low voter turnout.

Dennis, I really liked today's WOW. It was nice to see that Sidney Poitier has such a sensible and realistic view of human nature.

Jazzbumpa said...

@ Carol -
"Hoist on your own petard" literally means "blown up with your own bomb." It's applied to a plan or scheme that backfires. I'm guessing that "hoist" refers to the "up" part of "blown UP."

@ CC, et al -
Re: Prisons. Every state has high security prisons that already house crinimals every bit as dangerous as Gitmo detainees, most of whom have never been charged with anything. The issue just reeks of right-wing scare tactics. It's all so early Bush era.

kazie said...

My concise OED has a separate entry for the past participle ofHoist: "hoist with his own petard". It means "blown up with his own bomb, ruined by his own devices against others. The first time I looked it up in Websters, but this makes the expression clearer. I now see Jazzbumpa has weighed in on this too.

I agree about the Gitmo thing too.

I hope everyone else likes the pancakes as much as Linda!

I use those analogies to remember port and starboard too. I was merely suggesting a possible explanation for the "posh" description.

However, I just found another one in my "Family Word Finder" from Readers' Digest: It was the shady side of the ships on their way between England and India. (portside out, starboard home). So it was comfort related, not the view! However they still say it's just one possible explanation.

Dennis said...

Kazie, thanks for repeating the recipe for me. As far as lowering the quantities, I have a moral objection to decreasing food volumes.

BarbB, meant to tell you before, just a beautiful picture.

Southern Belle, how long were you in the Army and when?

Tarrajo, my understanding has always been that a cougar was a middle-aged woman on the prowl for a young stud. When I was in my 20s, we had a different name for them which would be beyond inappropriate here. Oh, and congratulations on your flexibility, both mental and physical.

SandbridgeKaren, when's your b-day? I don't have it on the list. Tarrajo, same with you.

Carol, Theda Bara was terrifying! She'd have been a necrophiliac's dream.

Linda, well said re: 'purse'/'nurse'.

Jimbo, you've really come a long way in a short period of time; I'm happy for you.

Lois, should you decide to 'give up' your next million, you have my email address.

Al said...

The Port out starbord home explanation for posh is one of those word-origin folk-tales, (related to urban legends, with about as much truth) where someone tries to back-fit a meaning onto a commonly used term. So much of this sort of thing happens now, especially with the ease of spreading mis-information via the internet, that Michael Quinlan, the World Wide Words expert, used it as the title of a book he has written, which skewers many such folk etymological myths.

g8rmomx2 said...

c.c. and all: Well, just did the c/w and pretty proud although it is only a Wednesday. I got one word wrong, I had Capok, hence Ron instead of Ren. Stupid mistake because I know it is Ren and Stimpy. Oh well...

Dennis: Thanks again. Party time on Saturday.

Barb B said...

Elissa - Rutger Hauer, yumm. You are so right about how romantic he was in that movie. I don’t know that I’ve seen him in any other, so, thanks for the tips. I’ll check them out.

I’m missing the Masterpiece Theater series starring Kenneth Branagh, because of my refusal to have tv reception, but hopefully my sister is taping it for me.

Kazie, thanks for reposting the pancake recipe. I missed it the first time around and I do really love pancakes.

Speaking of cw clues, todays wash/laundry triggered a thought progression for me. It was right beside I KNEW. What I thought was I WiSH I KNEW that washing machines today have transmissions. Because mine is ruined, and needs replacing. If it wasn't still under warranty, replacing it would be more expensive than a new washer. Who knew? It's a far cry from the way my grandmother did laundry, in big tubs in the back yard and a line to hang the clothes on. They smelled so good.

Buckeye said...

Guday, all. Wanted to spend today lurking, but have to chime in a bit. Same as most with today's x/w. The NW corner! Finally got Prium (22a) when I thought "Troy" rather than "Hilton", then remembered Erte (19a). Didn't like 25a answer "unrig". Youse sailors out there can tell me if it's unrig or derig.

Back to the forest.

I must be off!

My reason for coming out of the trees today is POSH. To gently correct Elissa, POSH is "Port side out, starboard side home". According to my good friend Lord Nigel Strothworth Britishbottom Fishenchippens, POSH originated regarding the trips between England and their ill begotten territory of India. After the Sue-Eazy Canal was opened in November of 1869, nautical travel between the two nations (nation/territory) was easier and since both were in the Northern Hemisphere, and traveling east/ west and west/east, the sun was always on the southern side of the ship. If you traveled from England to India, you wanted to be on the north side of the ship, hence left side, hence port side. Port Out!! Returning, you still wanted the north side of the ship, so heading west that would be the right side, hence starboard side. Starboard Home!! Thusly POSH!!

In order to make sure I was giving you the true "poop" on this deck issue, I asked Vice Admiral of HMRN (His/Her Majesty's Royal Navy)
Sir Reginald Horneblower and his "bat man" and head of fishing expeditions for HMRN Boson Mate 1st Class 'arry Masterbaiter, and both confirmed this lineage of POSH. So I stand "on solid ground".

Buckeye said...

BTW. Wasn't it Kipling who said, "Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noon-day sun."? Apparently, those travelers to and from India took his advice.

BBTW. For those of you who have the same puzzle as I do in my rag, today's was a toughie. Don't read on if you haven't solved it yet and don't want the answer. To these still "asea", look at the second tree from the left, behind the birdhouse and you'll "find Waldo". Whew!! Tough!!


xchefwalt said...

Good afternoon all! Just a quick respite from pounding the pavement (as of now it’s still ‘x’chef, as well as ‘x’ everything else). Things are slow, but I have some good possibilities going; I’ll keep everyone informed.
STEAK AU POIVRE (with pepper) is just fresh ground peppercorn coated steak (usually NY Strip, Ribeye or Tenderloin) then pan seared. Then one can add mushrooms, deglaze the pan with brandy, add demi glace, a touch of cream and simmer until done. Here in Florida (where the average diner is about 85) it’s not a terribly popular item, although I’ve gotten around the heat issue by either using multi-colored peppercorns (greens and pinks) or cutting the pepper mixture with breadcrumbs.

Jerome said...

Very well done puzzle. I'll bet the actress ZASU PITTS would enjoy it as much as anyone.

It was a tough theme to do. You're not going to find a lot of things or phrases where a word ends in U and the next word begins with P.


C.C.- Many constructors loathe cluing. It usually involves a lot of research, and that can become quite boring. And as you're doing this research you're also aware that more than likely the editor will change half the clues anyway. It's tons of fun to discover and create theme ideas. It's an interesting and challenging endeavor to fill the remainder of the grid with as many snappy words and phrases as you can. Then you've got to clue them all and the excitement level drops to just about zero.

For those in the gang that appreciate exceptional cluing check out some of Bob Klahns puzzles.

Mainiac said...

Thanks all for the B-Day wishes!

Apologies on the typo in my earlier post. We also shinny trees up here.

Because of our schedules we've decided to celebrate this weekend.

So its the regular routine tonight which is Karate and that is special. Only one of the boys will be joining me because the other has batting practice. I probably will throw down a couple of shots after the work out.

It's all good!!


windhover said...

Southern Belle:
As a weather obsessed farmer, I have finally decided that there is " something different" about the weather every year.

Lemonade714 said...

Happy b-day Mainiac, be careful aroung those empty handers.

Dennis, what did I miss? I do not recall a flexibility profile on Ms. Tarrajo, either mental or physcial. Hmmm.

And you little missy, bucking to be both a Cougar and a MILF?

Come on Walt, Florida is no longer just heaven's waiting room, it is filled with young people, just go to south beach for a day.

SandbridgeKaren said...

Dennis - May 29 (shared with the late Bob Hope and John F. Kennedy and others, I'm sure)

Anonymous said...

@Dennis, thank you for noting my flexibilities. Being flexible is a very important trait. 6/8.

@Lemonade, do you care to explain what a MILF is? I am not so sure I know.

Dennis said...

Oh boy, somebody besides me for a change. Best of luck, Lemonade.

embien said...

8:10 today. Never really saw the theme. "Breaking" a two-letter word is kind of a "meh" theme for me.

STEAK AU POIVRE is probably my favorite dish. I have it at a favorite restaurant two or three times a week (I eat out every meal these days as I've lost the passion for cooking).

@c.c.: So what kind of TV programs do you watch now?Mainly poker, food network and country music. I also watch a lot of PBS like This Old House, etc. I don't watch any network TV programs except news, Heroes and Hell's Kitchen (season now over on the last two).

Jazzbumpa said...


Oh, my. How does one handle this among casual friends? I tried the google and immediately found a bunch of sites I wouldn't link to. (Though I will end that sentence with a preposition.)

It was made notorious by use in the film AMERICAN PIE.

I'll just say that anyone curious might refer to the urban dictionary.


xchefwalt said...

@lemonade- South Beach rocks, but I would venture to say that a vast majority of them are tourists, not locals. Besides, here in Naples- Ft. Myers, we’re about 20 years behind you development-wise.
@tarrajo- You’ve never seen ‘American Pie’? MILF is an acronym for Mom I’d Like to F@*%^ (I got your back, Dennis)

Anonymous said...

@Xchefwalt thanks for the steak au poivre explanation. That sounds right up my alley. No, I have never seen American Pie so thanks for the MILF explanation. I guess you do learn a thing or two on this site.

@Lemonade, being that I am a single mother the answer to your question would have to be…..

Anonymous said...

I still have and use my IBM Selectric.


Lemonade714 said...

Modern culture is clearly very much influenced by acronyms, text message short hand, and other changes to our language, such as the Oxford English Dictionary adding D'OH to its lexicon. Thank you Walt for helping Tarrajo expand her knowledge. I was merely pointing out the difference in terminology depending on perspective; one term considers an older woman, be she 35 or 55 a predator when interested in a younger man, while younger men sometimes find the prospect of an experienced partner desirable. My friend who is 37 and liivng with a 26 year old man, wrote a paper on this subject last year in her sociology class. Perhaps there is some hypocrisy somewhere here, but to me the terms are basically interchageable. with Cougar, oddly the more insulting one, though not if meant simply as "on the prowl" or as a jest. I certainly meant nothing but appreciation for all of our single ladies.

Perhaps my view of South Florida is skewed by raising my sons and spending much of my life around many young people, born and raised here. Now that we have two universities walking distance to my house, a law school, dental school, medical school, graduate school of business etc., my neighborhood is changing. We actually have families coming to the pool at the condo.

I have used up my 5, so you all have a fine evening.

Clear Ayes said...

Buckeye, you are messing with us aren't you? As you know, and I know that you know that I know that you know,Mad Dogs and Englishmen is a song written by Noel Coward sometime around 1930.

Happy b-day, Mainiac.

Northern California is cooling down. I'm sure JD, Elissa, WM and Melissa bee are all as happy as I am about the return of the cool breezes. It will be hot enough, soon enough.

Anonymous said...

Mou Shu Pork (as it's spelled in my Chinese cookbooks) is yummy. A mixture of stir-fried pork & veggies is spooned onto thin steamed Mandarin pancakes which are then are rolled or folded. Hoisin sauce is served alongside. The pancakes are a kneaded flour/water dough rolled out, cooked quickly in a skillet, and then steamed right before serving. I've never seen them available in stores, only at restaurants, or home-made. PF Chang's features them, if you have one in your area.

Southern Belle said...

Tarrajo I'm glad you are the one that asked for that definition instead of me! I did want to know, but was afraid to ask for fear of being called an old woman. Even tho I am an old woman!

Dennis, I was a WAC (otherwise known as the Women's Army Corps) back then. I was in for three years during the Korean War, spent a lot of time in Germany, but the typing classes were in Camp (now Fort) Gordon Georgia. Can you imagine a New Yorker (for a number of years) being awaken before the crack of dawn by "I'm Walking the Floor Over You"???

Windhover, I grew up on a farm in Missouri, so maybe that is why I'm constantly checking Last year, in one day we went from winter to summer; this year, I've had to unpack sweaters twice this month.

xhef, Steak au poivre sounds so good, that it will be on my dinner table tonight. Nope, haven't reached 85 yet.

carol said...

Just thought I'd chime in on 'older' folks. I don't know about Florida, but Portland, Or. sure has it's share of coots and I refuse to be one of them...I am referring mostly to their driving! I got behind so many of them while driving today that I thought there was a geriatric convention somewhere close by. Why in hell keep on driving if you can only manage 20/30mph on roads posted for 45? Find the *$##@ gas pedal or park the car!!! Get a friend of relative to drive you - arghhhh!!! This usually happens to me when I am on roads other than a 'freeway' or for you Easterners, a toll road. At least on those you have some chance of passing.
Forgive me - I am an AAA type. I do feel better for having vented.

maria said...

Good afternoon, c.c. and all - easy breezy today, though i got the Moo & pork, but didn't have the Shu, also did not know REN or Erte .
Was not happy with Posher , I thought it bad english, or just made up for convenience, Posh is a superlative like beautyful, one would not say, beautifuler !

Kazie, i too, copied you recipe for h/w pancakes and like Dennis, i can never cook just for two.

Maniac, have a Happy B'day, sounds like you will.

Talk about petards, reminded me of one New Years eve, back in Trieste, we threw a few petards from the window on the 3rd floor , down to an unsuspecting Police officer who was directing traffic ( we didn't have traffic lites in those days ) anyway the poor man couldn't see where it was coming from as he had a street light shining right on of top of him. we had fun watching him jump a bit , then we quickly closed the window so we wouldn't get caught. What fun that was !
Of course, in retrospect, it was not a nice thing to do.
I was always in a boarding school, they let me out only on X' Mas and Easter holidays. I don't know how i passed every year, 'cause i never studied, my head always in the clouds, i guess you could say, i was " spaced out " always day-dreaming.

Clear Ayes, good for you, i think Buckeye knows that we know . . .lol

maria said...

going back to pre-retirement days working at the airport, we used to handle a lot of " Unaccompanied Minors " and there were always two missing at the gate, we always ended up having to page Master Bates and C. Howard Fields !


Elissa said...

Kitty: I agree that 'hoist on one's own petard' is something unintentional. I was trying for irony.

Buckeye: I stand humbled by Adm Hornblower on the subject of POSH, unless Al's source is right and it has no meaning at all.

The other day I heard Nina Totenberg giving a list of some other folks also under consideration for the Supreme Court and she mentioned a friend I went to high school with who is now the dean of Temple Law School (Joanne Epps). It would be very cool to personally know a Supreme!

Dick said...

Happy birthday Mainiac

Vern said...

Hi All:

I may be one of the few people who watched Jack Paar and even those who preceded him. Jack frequently came close to weeping and got censored for using the term "water closet" on his show. Now, anything goes. Does anyone else find it disgusting that Jay Leno regularly uses the word "ass" and not to describe a donkey? It does seem that there soon will be no words that are considered inappropriate language on TV.

Vern said...

Hi All:

I may be one of the few people who watched Jack Paar and even those who preceded him. Jack frequently came close to weeping and got censored for using the term "water closet" on his show. Now, anything goes. Does anyone else find it disgusting that Jay Leno regularly uses the word "ass" and not to describe a donkey? It does seem that there soon will be no words that are considered inappropriate language on TV.

g8rmomx2 said...

c.c.: Thank you for the congrats!

Maniac: Happy Birthday!!!

The JVN said...

For me, not an easy puzzle. I quit with the south half about half-filled. The north was a vast wasteland.

POSH -- I like to sit on the shady (usually north) side of the airplane, and I live west of my destination. So (applying nautical terms to an aircraft), I travel POSH, even though I'm sitting in the cattle car.

3D Pride's quarters -- clever clue, once I read the answer here.

I also like the clue for 46D Waste maker. I read it, asked myself "What makes waste?", and there was the answer!

22A Father of Paris -- I didn't know if that referred to the founder of a great city, or the father of a grate silly.

kazie said...

Dennis and Maria,
A word of warning--if you have batter left over, it doesn't rise as well the second day. But I have made it all the first day and neuked them the next time round, though that's not as good as fresh either.

Maria, funny airport story!

Steak three times a week! I fear for your health, so take care of your heart!

What were George Carlin's seven words you couldn't say on TV? Maybe now they're all possible.

Anonymous said...


Whew! Glad I don't drive in front of you.


Jazzbumpa said...

I think the 7 words are still off limits.

Enter at your own risk.

maria said...

OK, Kazie, thanks for the tip.

Dennis, on your advise a while back, i went to the William Sonoma Store to get their pancake mix, they had so many flavors, it was hard to decide, finally i picked the Blueberry and my nephew made them, they were really good.
What flavor did you pick ? I think next time i' ll try the Original one.

Dennis said...

Maria, I got the Original Waffle mix the first couple times, then tried the Cinnamon Graham. Both are outstanding.

Kazie, I try to make sure there's no leftovers...

Vern, 'ass' "disgusting"?? That seems a little strong for such an innocuous word, no?

Southern Belle, very impressive.

Lemonade, I agree - the parts of south Florida where we hung out were extremely vibrant with anything but an older crowd.

Anonymous said...

I watched Paar ; before him, Steve Allen, before him, Jerry Lester. That's all I remember.

Anonymous said...

@Dennis, I have been really educated today on this blog...just getting back from the hospital...seems I might need a hip replacement. And at my age? Let this be a lesson to you, Lois. Take heed, limber up.

Dennis said...

Tarrajo, seriously? What is it, arthritis?

Anonymous said...

@Dennis, Geez...they had to take my "friend" in to. They told me I had a case of Osteoarthritis / Osteoarthrosis (OA, also known as degenerative arthritis, degenerative joint disease, arthrosis or in more colloquial terms "wear and tear"). I am thinking the wear and tear could have summed it up.