Jul 31, 2009

Friday July 31, 2009 Dan Naddor

Theme: Say It Again? (sk X)

17A: Paul Bunyan's admission in therapy?: I HATE TO AX (ask)

27A: Formal attire for Dumbo?: ELEPHANT TUX (tusk)

43A: Plant fiber used by moonshiners?: WHISKEY FLAX (flask)

56A: Diver's tank capacity?: OXYGEN MAX (mask)

11D: Catchall source of revenue?: MULTI-TAX (task)

36D: Keep a Northeastern fort under surveillance?: VIDEO DIX (disk)

WHISKEY FLAX is not an ideal theme entry, as there is still a SK there waiting to be swapped. DIX in the last one refers to Fort DIX, named for Civil War Major General John Adams DIX.

What other sk/X can you think of? Minsk/MINX came to my mind.

Another Mount Everest for me. My "Yes, I can" hope has now resigned to "Well, I tried". Very hard. I did not understand the theme until the very end.


1A: Queen described by Mercutio: MAB. Here is Mercutio's speech. From Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". I'm used to the "Fairy queen" clue.

4A: Cornrow: PLAIT. Bo Derek wore cornrows in movie "10".

9A: Like much "Laugh-In" humor: CAMPY. What exactly is CAMPY? Is "Friends" CAMPY?

14A: Put away: ATE

15A: Dreads wearer: RASTA. Bob Marley is probably the most famous RASTA. Love his "No Woman, No Cry".

16A: Fertilized item: OVULE. And GAMETE (49A: 16-Across cell). I had trouble obtaining both. Needed "egg" for hint.

19A: Tees off: RILES

20A: Fish in a tank: TETRA

21A: Italian omelet served open-faced: FRITTATA. I have yet to try zucchini FRITTATA. I expect it to be very soggy.

23A: Museum assortment: RELICS

25A: Balk at: RESIST

31A: Place to unwind: TUB

32A: "A Perfect Spy" author: LE CARRE. Here is the book cover. I've never heard of it. John LE CARRE also wrote "The Constant Gardener".

33A: __kiri: HARA. HARA is "belly", kiri is "cut". The Japanese samurai suicide.

34A: Selfless sort: GIVER. Donor too.

37A: Ex-Fed chairman Alan Greenspan's alma mater: NYU. A rare gimme for me. Greenspan is a disciple of Ayn Rand.

38A: Not so strict: LAXER

39A: Computer operating system: UNIX. Windows for our computer.

40A: Tabloid topic: SCANDAL. A-Rod is dating Kate Hudson now.

42A: It's illegal to drop it: LSD. I did not know the slang meaning of drop: to ingest an illicit drug orally; swallow, according to dictionary.

47A: River of the Carolinas: PEE DEE. Stumped again.

50A: The Great Barrier Reel borders it: CORAL SEA. See this map. My first Poison is a Christmas gift from Queensland.

54A: Expectant parent, e.g.: NAMER

58A: Part of "CSI": CRIME. SCENE is 5 letter too.

59A: Baseball commissioner Bud: SELIG. He used to own Milwaukee Brewers.

60A: Verb suffix?: OSE. Verbose. I did not fall into the IZE trap.

61A: Hockey lineup, e.g.: HEXAD. A group of six. I was stumped. Know nothing about hockey.

62A: Borneo swinger: ORANG. Borneo is the third largest island in the world, after Greenland and New Guinea.

63A: 1985 video game release, initially: NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). Japanese kanji for Nintendo is literally "Trust heavens".


1D: French teacher: MAITRE. I thought it's PROFESOR.

2D: Following closely: AT HEEL

3D: __ wig: '60s fad item: BEATLE. I wonder how much this original wig is worth now.

4D: Service provider? PREACHER. Great clue.

5D: Back muscle, for short: LAT. I simply forgot. See this diagram. Short for latissimus dorsi.

6D: Starting: AS OF

7D: __-Tass: news agency: ITAR. The Russian news agency. ITAR stands for Information Telegraph Agency of Russia.

8D: Sitcom set in a garage: TAXI. No idea.

9D: Organ layer: CORTEX. Latin for "bark of a tree". I thought CORTEX refers to the brain, you know, cerebral CORTEX.

10D: Some athletic footwear: AVIAS

12D: You can get it from a blast: PLEASURE. I was picturing a dynamite blast.

13D: Check-box word: YES. I like this clue.

18D: Apartment with two staircases, perhaps: TRIPLEX. So, duplex is "Apartment with one staircase"?

22D: Loyal: TRUE

24D: __ fly: run-scoring out: SAC. Sacrifice fly.

26D: Way up the slope: T-BAR

28D: Folk singer Griffith: NANCI. Stranger to me. Wikipedia says she is the original singer of "From a Distance". I like Bette Miller's version.

29D "__ I might ...": TRY AS

30D: Jack's place: TRUNK

33D: Not a whole person?: HALF MAN. "Two and a HALF MAN" helped me with this answer.

34D: [Uh-oh!]: GULP. The square brackets suggest non-verbal behavior/gesture.

35D: Like many Woody Allen characters: INSECURE. Thought of NEUROTIC.

38D: Bomb big-time: LAY AN EGG. Multipe words always give me trouble.

40D: Kid-lit poet Silverstein: SHEL. He also wrote the music and lyrics for "A Boy Named Sue".

41D: B.S., e.g.: DEG. And SCH (55D: 41-Down awarder)

44D: Best Actor winner for "Save the Tiger" (1973): LEMMON (Jack). No idea. Great clip. Al Pacino looks so young.

45D: Drill command: AT EASE

46D: Persian king who captured Athens: XERXES. Sigh. I actually watched and liked "300", in which Gerard Butler the Spartan King leads 300 Spartans fighting against XERXES, very kinky looking in the film.

48D: Miller creation: DRAMA. Arthur Miller. Anyone tried FLOUR?

52D: Phys. activity: EXER (exercise). Not a familiar abbreviation to me.

53D: "The Clan of the Cave Bear" heroine: AYLA. Boy, I can never remember this Jean Auel character.

57D: Beefeater, e.g.: GIN. No idea. I've never heard of Beefeater GIN. Dictionary defines beefeater as "yeoman of the English royal guard or a warder of the Tower of London". Hence the guard label I suppose.

Answer grid.

Thank you for the blog/private answers and comments, everyone. I appreciate and value every contribution.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - wow, a bear of a puzzle for me today. Struggles abounded, so I felt really good when I finally got through it. Very ingenious theme.

Got no traction whatsoever in the NW, finally got started in the north central, and once I misspelled 'frittata' as 'fritatta', I got stuck again. That was pretty much typical of my experience this morning. Unknowns included 'Mab' (I knew Queen Mab, but not that she was described by Mercutio), 'Nanci' Griffith (not a big fan of folk music) and 'Ayla'. 'PeeDee' was a gimme, as I cross it every time I run down to Atlanta for mini-reunions. 'Orang' was fresh from our discussion yesterday. Cleverest clues, for me, were 'service provider', 'You can get it from a blast' and 'Jack's place'. Overall, a difficult but fun experience; just as it should be for a Friday, and a Dan Naddor puzzle.

I think the clues in brackets (uh-oh today, snore yesterday) imply a kind of under your breath comment; maybe one of our constructor guests will provide some insight.

Today is Mutt's Day. Those of us who are so will celebrate accordingly.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are faces that peer over my shoulder." -- Writer William Golding

Couple Friday Fun Quotes:

- Can you imagine a world without men? No crime and lots of happy, fat, women. -- Marion Smith

- When I want to end a relationship, I just say, "You know, I love you. I want to marry you. I want to have your children." Sometimes they leave skid marks. -- Rita Rudner

Hahtool said...

Good morning, All. After reading Al's light night comment about today's puzzle being a real toughie, I was prepared for the worst. Maybe because I was expecting trouble, I found it easier than anticipated. Not to say it was a "piece of cake."

I loved all the X's in the puzzle, but must admit, I didn't get full effect of the theme until I saw CC's explanation. ELEPHANT TUX was my first long response. After that, the others fell in place.

I loved how TRUNK crossed ELEPHANT TUX. I'd have to say that my favorite clue was (30D): Jack's place.

After our long discussion on abbreviations and animals, I nailed ORANG!

I'm off to Houston, TX today to see the Chinese Terra Cotta Warriors that are on a traveling exhibit. Maybe one day, I get to see them in China. Until then, ...

This date in history:
~ Columbus supposedly landed in Trinidad (1498)
~ Milton Friedman was born (1912). He later won the Nobel Prize in Economics (1976), and was a policy advisor to Pres. Reagan.

QOD: Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people ~ W.C. Fields

Argyle said...

How y'all doin'?

I started right out with some gin(57D Beefeater)and went down hill from there. Eventually, I dragged all the answers out into the open. I had no problem with TAXI, great show, but Jack's place, TRUNK? Help me, Dennis, Hahtool.

Argyle said...

Nevermind. D'oh!

Anonymous said...

CC, a small correction:

48D: Miller creation: DRAMA. Henry Miller.

Not Henry, but Arthur Miller. Big playwright.

Yes, it's confusing!

Martin said...

9A: Like much "Laugh-In" humor: CAMPY. What exactly is CAMPY?

It's like the old Batman TV show compared to The Dark Knight. Or Batman and Robin compared to The Dark Knight. The old Batman TV show was considered CAMPY fun because it didn't take itself seriously. I don't think Friends was CAMPY because it was a bit dramatic at times with viewers wondering if Ross was going to end up with Rachel.

14A: Put away: ATE.

I wanted HID.

39A: Computer operating system: UNIX.

I would have prefered the clue "Alternative operating system" as most computers today run on Windows and not UNIX. Nevertheless, it was a gimme for me.

1D: French teacher: MAITRE. I thought it's PROFESOR.

I wrote MADAME as most French teachers (ie teachers of French) are women. The other word that came to me was ensiegnor as a profesor would be a university professor. I should have thought of MAITRE as the Spanish word for teacher is maestro and my wife is always refering to me as a "maestro" to her friends.


Martin said...


Dick said...

Good morning C.C. and all, a real tough one for me today. Some of the problems today were the level of difficulty of the puzzle and some of my own doing. For example, I quickly wrote scene for 58A, BYU for 37A (as I already had the Y and U) and kept trying to fit in beer for 48D “Miller Creation.”

At best I think I grade out as a “C”, maybe even lower.

Favorite clues were 4D “Preacher” and 30D “Trunk”. Missed the theme until I got here and then the DUH moment.

@ Hahtool, my wife works with, and is friends with, a lady that moved here from China. She has a collection of books on the Chinese Terra Cotta Warriors and they are so fascinating. Sure wish I could get to Houston for the show.

Hope you all have a great Friday.

PJB-Chicago said...

@Martin; I have breakfast cooking so this will be fast. In French,Maitre (with a ^ over the A) is for elem. to middle-school students, professeur is for students older than that. "Enseignant" is bureaucrat speak, similar to "instructor." Hope this helps! PJB

Anonymous said...

I got the theme right off with the first fill in of ELEPHANT TUX, but still really struggled with this one. Wanted CORNY rather than CAMPY, BRAID vs PLAIT (I actually do cornrows in my own hair) and then couldn't spell worth beans this morning to boot. That didn't help.

Remembered LEMMON right away, which surprised me. That and SELIG were my first fills. It always frustrates me when I have to go all the way to the bottom of the grid to get my first answer written in. I know it is going to be tough. Interesting to have ORANG and the brackets today after yesterday's discussions. Thought the LSD clue was clever. Thankfully, never dropped any of that in my day.

CC, a duplex would only have two levels, so one staircase between the two. The triplex would need another staircase to get to the third level.

Hubby on his way home and looking forward to the stress level easing up in our household. Need to plan a little outing to San Diego with the family now.

Argyle said...

This is somewhat confusing but the answer does fit the clue.(18D)

TRIPLEX: an apartment having three floors OR a building having three apartments.

DUPLEX: an apartment with rooms on two connected floors OR building divided into two living units or residences, usually having separate entrances.

And this could be considered a duplex duplex.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Haven't done a Friday LA Times puzzle in awhile and thought I'd give this one a whirl.

In a word: *ugh*

Not that this was a poorly constructed puzzle, mind you -- it was just beyond my ability. I actually managed to make it through most of the puzzle intact, but the NE corner did me in. Like Dennis, I misspelled the Italian omelet "FRITATTA" and that pretty much doomed me. I also had the C and the Y for 9A and confidently put in CORNY instead of CAMPY. That doomed me further. The final nail in the proverbial coffin was when I had RES__T for 25A and (once again confidently) put in RESENT instead of RESIST.

Needless to say, all these mistakes in the acrosses made the downs in that section impossible to get. For 12 down I was thinking something to do with a bomb, and the best I could come up with was EXPOSURE (as in, radiation exposure as a result of a nuclear bomb explosion). That didn't work, obviously, but I had too many wrong letters to even consider the possibility of PLEASURE. Oh -- and I didn't even realize that 11D was one of the theme answers (question mark? What question mark?) and therefore was wracking my brain trying to think of a real tax that could fit with all the wrong letters I had.

As I said, *ugh*

The rest of the puzzle was difficult, but doable.

Anonymous said...

Even after being told the theme, I must confess I don't understand it. I got ELEPHANTTUX early on, and noticed the abundance of Xs, but "Say it again"?

All in all, an unsatisfying puzzle for me, but with a few memorable clues.

danabw said...

Good rainy morning today-
Got to the end of all the Across fills with only 3 answers penned. Did a litle better with the Downs. After I g-spotted Xerxes, Oxygenmax was the first to fall, so I got the theme fairly early. Favorite clues were jack's place, service provider, bomb big time and illegal to drop it. Least fav was following closely: at heel.

C.C.-Ebay has several Beatle's wigs for less than $15. Thought it would be more for some reason.

If Maitre is French teacher, what is a Maitre d'? Teacher of wait staff? What is the d'?

Tarrajo: I actually woke up this morning thinking about LGJ coming home. I know you will be very excited to have the little fella back home. Here's an Italian Open-Faced Zucchini and Bacon Omelette recipe for you.

Jeanne said...

Morning all,
Ouch, I hate to admit it but I just gave up on today’s puzzle. Was taking up too much time, too many unknowns, and not enough fun. I think I may just forget about Friday and Saturday’s puzzles. Thursday and Friday puzzles both rated 3; I think not!

Looking forward to the weekend, friends coming, drinking, eating and swimming. Yes, it is finally warm enough to use the pool. Hope you all have a great weekend

Martin said...

If Maitre is French teacher, what is a Maitre d'? Teacher of wait staff? What is the d'

MAITRE literally means "master" so Maitre d' literally means "master of" as in emcee = MC = "master of ceremonies".


Martin said...

Oh, by the way, I forgot to say that for SO SO ("Average")) I had either MEAN or MODE. The MEAN is the arithmetic average which you get by adding up all the numbers and dividing. The MODE is obtained by rounding off each of the numbers and observing which number ends up being the most common. This is another example of the puzzle becoming harder the more you know.


Moon said...

Good Morning. Managed to complete the puzzle with red letter help.
But I didnt get the theme till I came here. ELEPHANT TUX was the first to fall. And even though I filled in I HATE TO A X, I did not get it.
Thank you CC for your explanations...ofcourse now it all makes sense :)
The only thing that I still dont get is TRUNK for Jack's place. Is it from Jack and the Beanstalk?
Like the others, fav clue was 'Service Provider'.

My prev manager (the one who laid me off) is on a vacation to Xian, China to see the Terracota warriors.

No interviews today: a good day to catch up on things that I've forgotten.

Have a great Friday.

Moon said...

KQ, When will your husband know the results of the bar exam?
I hope its all good news for you, from now on.

Anonymous said...

Anon @8:13am,
Theme: All the letters SK are swapped with letter X.

Dennis said...

Moon, it's the jack used to jack up a car.

Moon said...

Thank you Dennis.
My brain refused to think of Jack as a tool... I was so convinced it was a person :)

kazie said...

Martin and PJB,
Maître is the correct spelling for an elementary teacher--circumflex on the -i-. PJB explained the usages correctly.

Like many of you, I had no idea about many of these clues today. If you take a swath from NE to SW, that's where all my blanks were when I came here. I did get the profusion of Xs early, but am also not sure what you mean, c.c., by your theme title.

Too many guesses and complete unknowns to spend time on it.

C. C. said...

When someone tells me "I HATE TO AX" or OXYGEN MAX, I'd respond with "Say it again?", as I expect that he might have meant "I HATE TO ASK"/ OXYGEN MASK.

Sorry for the confusion.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, This was a pretty typical Friday puzzle for me. I got the NW, NE and SE pretty easily and then I came to a screeching halt.

Fortunately, I did understand the theme with I HATE TO AX and was able to fill in an X at the end of the rest of the "?" clue fills. It helped quite a bit knowing that X was a substitute for SK.

The SW had some problems. My first response to 35D was NEUROTIC and 47A's ending "EE" led me to think the river was SWANEE. I've never heard of PEEDEE, but it eventually sorted itself out. I did laugh at "Illegal to drop it", when I got LSD. (Dan Naddor's a pretty groovy guy.)

I ended up with blanks in the middle. I didn't know NANCI or Greenspan's alma mater, NYU. "- - I might" just didn't ring a bell with me. I've only heard the phrase as "TRY AS I may". It took me forever to realize that that 30D "Jack" wasn't a person. That was the cleverest clue and TRUNK was my last fill.

Hahtool, The warriors are amazing. A visit to the excavation, in C.C.'s Xi'An, was a high point of our trip to China.

PJB, Not only are you a funny guy, you know a lot of "stuff" too. Looking forward to the recipe.

Barry G, So nice to see you again!

Anonymous said...

I had trouble all over the place today and had to hit the g-spot for La Carre, Lemmon, and PeeDee. Perp help included mab, unix, itar, and shel. I am with you C.C. and Jeanne and wonder if I will ever be able to complete a Thursday or Friday puzzle without cheating. I kept wanting some golf term for “tees off” and made total guesses at maitre and NYU. Interesting seeing orang today after the discussion of rhino yesterday. Favorite clues today were “service provider” - preacher and “jack’s place” - trunk.

Danabw, how sweet of you to think of me reuniting with my LGJ tomorrow. That zucchini bacon open faced omelet sounds yummy. It is similar to the zucchini frittata I made last weekend for Tashajo. C.C. ,it is not soggy at all.

Windhover, hope you survive your meeting with Lois today. Like Jeannie said, bring along the Irish and you should be fine.

C. C. said...

Maybe your X-Rated is a better theme title. As I told Sallie in an email earlier, those square brackets [ ] suggest a non-verbal behavior/gesture. Can you imagine a world without women? Probably some crimes, lots of sad, bony, men. No?

Anonymous @6:21am & Hahtool,
Thanks for pointing out my Henry Miller and J WALKER mistakes. Hahtool, I love your comments, always informative and educating.

Clear Ayes,
Excellent post on CHIMP, RHINO, CROC, HIPPO, ORANG & GATOR. You are so thorough.

Al said...

Yup, the NE corner was tough. I had to cheat and reveal two letters to get going there.

Taxi was a sitcom mostly about Danny DeVito being a jerk and the others getting even once in awhile, but Andy Kaufman also added his own oddness to the show. You either "got" Andy, or you didn't. He left a lot of people wondering why anyone thought he was funny. This clip had a punch line, at least. I liked the theme music by Bob James, and have several of his CDs.

Barb B said...

That was kinda like going to the dentist. Now that it’s over, I really appreciate it. All those x’s were really clever. I just had a hard time figuring out what was needed, and where. The non-theme x-words were shrewd misdirection. Excellent puzzle.

I kept humming ‘all my exes live in Texas.’ And I actually scored higher than I did on yesterdays puzzle, but not without lots of googling and one-across help. That’s why it was painful, like pulling teeth. I just don’t know enough.

For me, the biggest giggle came from I HATE TO AX. lol

C. C. said...

Barb B,
I love I HATE TO AX too. I also agree with you that Jerome is very special to us. But I also adore Barry Silk, though he seldom comments here.

When will your husband know the test result? Sounds so stressful.

"P-brained" PJB in Chicago,
You are unbelievably funny. You really should post earlier in the day so others can enjoy your humor.

Ha ha, Bu Ke Qi, not Bu Ke Qu. There is no u after Chinese letter q.

Al said...

Here's a much longer, jazzier (better if you like jazz piano/guitar) live version of Bob James' Taxi theme called Angela.

Anonymous said...

Thanks everyone for all your well wishes to my husband. He felt a little better about yesterday's exam than Tuesdays. They really focused on litigation areas, and he is a transactional lawyer. Bummer, but he is always really hard on himself, so I am hopeful. He put in so much dedicated time, that I can't imagine if he didn't pass. He was doing some margaritas last evening with some colleagues in San Diego, and is certainly more relaxed. We are looking forward to a low key weekend. Our one son goes to a friend's cabin, and the other heads to Mexico Sunday am on a mission trip. A nice day with just the two of us.

Unfortunately, he won't know the results until - exactly November 20 at 6pm PST. Long wait. Just have to forget for a while now.

PJB-Chicago said...

Howdy all. I confess that I am still too sleep-deprived to tackle this puzzle or anything else in the newspaper today; I glanced at the clues & the grid, picked up my pen and involuntarily started making the exact same noise a trash compactor makes. Will have a go at solving Naddor's work later. M a y b e (lol)

@Martin: I forgot to mention that "maitre d' in English comes from "maître d'hôtel" in French; my annoyingly grammar-obsessed grandmother used to tell us every five minutes that it means 'butler' or 'head-waiter' -- so wait four minutes and I'll tell you again!

@Kazie: good news, I just figured out how to create accents on this newish phone without coding anything. Now I can write nonsense such as "ßñæåçïùøêõ" with one hand. Hafta keep my eyes open, though, so not terribly impressive.....

@Dennis & C.C.: thanks for greeting us every morning (Argyle on Mondays, too) with puzzle insights, quotes quips, words of wisdom. It sure starts the day off right, so " Xie Xie" (rhymes with C.C.,?)

Back later after errands.

Clear Ayes said...

Al, TAXI was a terrific TV show and Andy Kaufman was very funny as Latka. In his other appearances as a "comic" he could be very difficult to "get". He loved to push the envelope of humor to the point of discomfort and beyond. Some people think he faked his own death as the ultimate joke. (I think he really died.) The clip you linked reminded me of Steve Martin's All I Need scene in "The Jerk". It never occurred to me before that this could be a little homage to Kaufman.

PJB, You're our comedy pro. What did you think of Andy Kaufman?

Speaking of funny, how about SHEL Silverstein? I should have posted this a few days ago when we discussed Cinderella, but I forgot (no list!).

In Search of Cinderella

From dusk to dawn,
From town to town,
Without a single clue,
I seek the tender, slender foot
To fit this crystal shoe.
From dusk to dawn,
I try it on
Each damsel that I meet.
And I still love her so, but oh,
I've started hating feet.

- Shel Silverstein

Martin said...

" Xie Xie" (rhymes with C.C.?)

It's actually pronounced like "Shay shay".


WM said...

Quick hi...tough puzzle, but did it! Knew strange things and loved the theme.

Will check back in later. Going up to SFMOMA to see the Georgia O'Keefe/Ansel Adams show and have some lunch.

JD said...

Good morning CC and all,

I had such a good time with this c/w today.Anytime I have to use an atlas, it is good. Started on line and didn't get much on the top. The bottom went smoothly, and I was so proud that I didn't have to eat a worm for orang. The X in hexad never came to me. Have not heard it referred to the line up, but it is correct as there are 6. Don't you just love the sound of Xerxes? -almost as good as Themistocles! The boys in my class always loved those Persian War stories- me, not so much.

Back to the top.The west filled slowly. I've never seen a Beatle wig..????! I knew I should have gotten frittata after all the discussion on those open faced sandwiches, and it finally dawned on me AFTER I had fri..! Didn't quite finish the NE corner.Should have known campy.

Oh, I forgot, I was just about done and I completly wiped out my puzzle. I panicked as my memory isn't the best, but then it filled on paper very quickly with other answers unveiling themselves.

Moon, thanx for explaining jack. LOL..DOH!

Barry, have missed your posts.

Grady is 1 week old today and I must say he is very handsome.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone.

Wow, what a struggle on this one! It took a while, but I finally beat it into submission. I actually caught onto the X substitution and it helped me in a few areas. Couldn't get any traction on the top, and solved this one from the south to the north.

Triplex? Three stories? I always believed the -plex indicated how many units were in one building, so this would be a three unit domicile to me. According to my Webster's the difference is in the noun that is being modified. A triplex house is what I had in mind, and a triplex apartment is what Dan had in mind.

C.C., that's exactly what a Beefeater looks like at the Tower of London.

@barryg Nice to see you!

The Shel Silverstein bio "A boy named Shel : the life & times of Shel Silverstein" by Lisa Rogak is an interesting read. He was quite the tortured soul.

@wm Envious of your art trip. A couple of my favorites!

Have a great Friday. We're back to the 90s today - 'twas only 96 yesterday after our triple digit days. Hard to believe that "only 96" sounds good.

MJ said...

Good day, all.

A fun puzzle, all in all! I had a hard time getting started, jumped all around the grid until I got IHATETOAX, already had TUX, so had that "AHA!" moment. Knowing that X=SK made the rest fill in fairly quickly with a lot of guessing, fortunately correctly. It sure helps to know puzzles have themes.

Dennis--Thanks for the daily WOW, quotes, etc. Always brings a smile to the day!

CC--Thanks for your explanations and links. You do an amazing job!

Happy weekend, folks!

windhover said...

Windhover here,
Lois is due to arrive at any moment. I just flashed on tomorrow's headline:
the late Windhover was last seen with a woman he met on the Internet. There were no known witnesses.
I'm goin' in.

joe said...

I had nothing but trouble with this x-word. heh heh. I did for real though.
Never heard the term 'rasta' before. I tried to think of a name but no luck.

During WWII we referred to japanese suicide as 'harie carie'. Guess it't was a derivative or mis-pronunciation.

If 'maitre' is french for teacher, what is 'maitre de'?

I lifted weights and used a lat machine at the gym. We called the lat muscles 'wings'.

I don't get 'triplex' for 'two' of anything.

Although i'm not a drinker, I knew 'beefeater'. Isn't a beefeater predominant in the 'Nutcracker'?

All in all, it is a tough one.
My hat is off to anyone who was able to solve it.

Xmas Card said...

Hi everyone. I love this site when I'm looking for more information on one of the clues, and so far every time I check the question is answered in the original post or in the previous comments. But not today: Can someone explain "pleasure" as the answer to 12D?

Dennis said...

Xmas Card, when you go out to a party and have a blast, you probably experienced a lot of pleasure.

Clear Ayes said...

Xmascard, Welcome!

12D: You can get it from a blast: PLEASURE

If you are having a good time, you are having a blast. So you can get pleasure from your good time/blast

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi Gang -

In a world without women, there would be nothing BUT crime.

MJ @yesterday - Thanx for the encouraging words.

Tough puzzle today, Did about 2/3 then was off the have lunch with a couple former work colleagues. Two pints of Guinness and a bowl of Buffalo meat balls later, I returned to the puzzle. Had to cheat on MAITRE, then the NW corner fell. Thought I was done, but forgot to finish LEMMON and NES in the SE. Probably wouldn't have gotten them anyway. Should spend the rest of the afternoon carpet weaving.

Really wanted 17A to end with OX, for Paul Bunyan's constant companion, Babe. Oh, well. If you have to ask, there is a town in the thumb called BAD AX.

Excellent puzzle at the 90% level. Brilliant theme. Very scrabbly. Alas, though - Big mark down for MAITRE. Boo, hiss on foreign words.

At a Distance is a nice song, and Nanci Griffith is cute, but her voice is thin, and her sense of pitch just barely avoided making me wince.

In case anyone still has (or ever did have) an interest in the alto trombone, here is one with a small bore tenor. The Pea SHOOTER is the big boy in this Pic. And this is just too cute to not share.


Jeannie said...

Dennis, I was thinking something else re: blast and pleasure. I am sure you were too...

Jerome said...

Dan always loves to get a lot of theme entries into a puzzle. Like Fred's puzzle yesterday, today there are six theme entries. This is never easy to pull off. The problem? The more of the grid you take up with theme the less room there is for longer, fresh, snappy words and phrases. Dan and Fred both have the remarkable talent for lots of theme and great fill.

Good stuff today- LAY AN EGG, XERXES, CAMPY, FRITTATA, PREACHER, BEATLE, LE Carre, and HALF MAN. And if you take a big GULP you might PLUG up your throat.

Hilarious- I HATE TO AX

embien said...

19:54 today. What a fun, fun puzzle! Sure, I struggled, not finding the theme until nearly the bitter end and putting in a couple of "gimmes" that turned out to be totally wrong, but when I finally figured out the theme (after getting WHISKEY FLAX), it was soooo much fun that it made the missteps well worthwhile.

I had VIDEO DIX in place and didn't recognize the theme. I was annoyed by the non-theme "theme" entries (notably TRIPLEX and CORTEX, which look like they should be theme entries, but don't fit the theme). Does anyone else object to those non-theme word-ending "X"s in the grid?

My worst misstep was immediately filling in TENHUT where AT EASE was meant to go. Needless to say, this made a total mess of the southeast sector. I also had SEX instead of YES for the check-box option for a while.

embien said...

Jazzbumpa: Bad Axe, MI is widely thought to be the base for the fictional town of Pickaxe in Lillian Jackson Braun's "Cat Who" feline detective mystery series.

For those who like light-hearted mystery stories, I highly recommend the "Cat Who" series (there are like 30 of them).

While I'm talking about feline detectives, I should mention that my wife and I are currently "reading" (books on CD) the delightful "Mrs. Murphy" mysteries by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown. There are like 17 of them.

My wife and I go out for dinner every night, and, as we live waaaay out in the country, we have lots of time for listening to books on CD in the car.

Clear Ayes said...

Dennis, I should have known you'd be right on it with an answer for Xmas Card. You are an expert at having a blast.

Funny F.Q.s today. Women might be fatter and happier without men, but then we'd never find out what Lois is doing to Windhover, even as I write this. Too much fun to miss.

Jazzbumpa, Very cute photo of the "tromboning" girls.

Embien, Just curious, how far away are you from your closest restaurant?

About brackets for [snore] and [uh-oh]; sorry, C.C., I don't think they are non-verbal, or gestures. I think they are onomatopoetic words that mimic human sounds, although [yawn] would have been better for HO HUM, if that was what Fred was going for. I don't think all constructors use brackets for words like that. How about GASP, HICCUP, SNIFF and BURP? I'd like to hear a constructor's view on bracketed clues. Jerome? Fred? Save us from ourselves!

Crockett1947 said...

@joe That was a nutcracker, not a beefeater.

@embien The early Cat Who.... books are definitely good reads. I've been a fan for a long time. That said, the last couple have been real stinkers. There's no plot and the beloved characters are not interacting as normal. It's like a committee of ghost writers wrote them. There's serious debate about Ms. Braun still being amongst us, let alone writing -- she'd be in her mid 90s by now. Sneaky Pie Brown is a good read as well.

Anonymous said...

Embien, you crack me up. Check box word: Sex? Would a check in this box mean that is what you are looking for? And your series of books: (there are like 30 of them). We tease our sons about using the word "like" persistently, but I love how you used it here.

I listen to books on tape all the time. Thanks for the recommendations. Trouble is, sometimes I don't want them to stop when the driving is done. Once in a while my kids will ask why I was sitting in car in the garage so long. I wanted to hear the end of a chapter.

embien said...

@jazzbumpa: From a Distance is far from Nanci Griffith's best effort--it's not a good register for her voice. She is well-known for supporting causes, and as that is an anti-war song in the midst of the first Iraq War, I imagine that's why she sang it.

Far more representative of her style and voice is this nice little ditty I Wish It Would Rain. She has a large body of work stretching back to the 1980's and is highly regarded in the folk/country music community

@ClearAyes: the closest restaurant is about six miles from me, but the closest "real" restaurant is about 20 miles. The issue is exacerbated somewhat as my wife is a vegetarian, so the range of nearby restaurants is very restricted. We usually allow at least two hours for dinner: one hour to drive and one hour to eat.

@crockett: I couldn't agree more about the last few "Cat Who" books. It's like they were written by someone else and contain little of the whimsey and characters that permeate the earlier stories. As Ms. Braun was born in 1913, she is likely past her prime (if not "passed" totally). Stay away from the last five or so books is my advice.

Linda said...

Hi to all and welcome home, covered in laundry, bills ($400.00 just for elec.!), out of milk and bread,( and have a very sore derriere!,from the trip) but I got the LAT puzzle down there along with two others...sadly, no LAT in MY paper yet.
Read a few of the posts to catch up...

Tarrajo, I have a numbered e mail with Hush Mail just for the might try it.

CA: LOVE Shel Siiverstien! My favorite is "Someone ate the baby."

Lois: Hope the marriage is as wonderful as the parties for it have sounded.

Kazie: Always` good` to` hear` from` you` :)

Buckeye: My favorite "Comments from ones having a colonoscopy" ":
"Doc, would you tell my wife my head is not up there"
"If we lived in Kentucky, we`d be married!"

Dennis: When you wax philosophical, you`re right on! I suspect there is quite the thinker under all that glibness with more than a few hurts...Close?

Windhover: Where will the little wife be during all this hay-making with our Lois?

CC: There was a comment about you sleeping later...why not? Your blog!

Chickie said...

Hello All--Ouch, ouch. I have a headache. This was a bear of a puzzle for me. I never did get the NE corner filled in. I didn't get the theme even though I had the X's filled in. Oxygen Max fell first, then I could figure out what needed to go into the other answers--at least the x's. LOL. I put in headache for the answer to "You can get it from a blast", therefore, my headache today. I couldn't get a bomb blast out of my mind.

Dennis, "My yesterdays walk with me" is so true. I recall my parents axioms, lessons, and truisms to this day and I'm afraid that I've passed them all on to my children. Not really a bad thing come to think of it.

Welcome Xmas Card.

My favorite clues today were service provider and Jack's place. Both were so misleading.

Terrajo: I have been thinking about LGJ coming home tomorrow. I know that you have really, really missed him. He'll have a lot of fun stories to tell you.

Hatool, enjoy your trip to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. This is one relic that I would love to see for myself.

Xmas Card said...

Hey guys, thanks for the replies. I wasn't a big fan of today's puzzle, and I was hoping I was missing something re:12D, but I guess I wasn't. The syntax of the clue and the answer just don't fit for me. It's saying "I'm getting pleasure from a blast," which seems nonsensical. Aside from the naughty connotations. Then again, if you have a grid with slangy references to acid, might as well have a nod to orgasms. Cheers.

Elissa said...

I started to post all my problems with this puzzle, but no one wants to hear another litany of complaints and since I can't think of anything clever or amusing to say, I'll just say - have a great weekend. I'll 'see' you all on Monday.

joe said...

Looks like we have Jeannie and Jeanne. I think I got them mixed up. Sorry if I did.

joe said...

And now we have a Christmas card. I love Christmas.... and cards.

windhover said...

welcome back. The "little wife" was, of course, at home,
barefoot, and (maybe) pregnant. We do live in Kentucky, you know.

To all Crossword Corner bloggers:
whatever your image of "our Lois " may have been, it's true. Brilliant conversationalist, hot as hell, leave 'em wanting more. That's Lois. We had a (relatively) innocent bystander take a picture, which I
understand may be posted on the blog next week, assuming Lois actually survives the weekend.

Bottom line, no joking, no bulls--t, this is, as Dennis said a couple of days ago, a remarkable and quite wonderful woman. It was a great pleasure meeting her.

treefrog said...

Stinker of a puzzle. Nuff said.

Damn weather is never going to cool down. It' 100 out there, cloudy and very humid. Thunderstorms? We're also starting to get some smoke in the valley from fires.

Supposed to go to a church picnic tomorrow at 10. I'm already trying to figure out how to get sick before then:}


Clear Ayes said...

Windhover, I knew I'd love The Irish, a grown-up with no room for petty jealousy.
WH "I'm going to meet a female internet pal for a drink."
Irish "Sure, go head. I'll just stick around here and sweep the dirt floor with a twig broom. See ya later."

I'm so glad that you had a wonderful visit with Lois and am looking forward to that photo.

Linda, Where did you go on your trip and why the sore backside?

BTW, Dennis is a Mensa member so he's definitely a thinker. Maybe "glib-" wasn't the right word.

That's 5 for me today. Have a good evening everyone.

Linda said...

CA: `glib: (according to Webster) marked by ease and fluency in speaking (haven`t actually heard him) and writing, often to the point of being superficial( in a good way) or tricky.

Often, clowns and persons glib are "masking" deep thoughts and/or hurts...anyway, he`s always a good read (aren`t you, Dennis!)

Went to Florida...a long, multi-day car trip. Always take a lot of stuff and bring even more stuff back...hence, we don`t fly. We do stop every two to three hours and walk briskly...we do not want blood clots! It was unmercifully hot and muggy until the last day or so...beaches so crowded we drove as much as 45 minutes waiting for a spot to park...went originally because Mom had been scheduled for eye surgery but HMO moved all her records to another Dr. with no notice or warning. A possible preview of Nationalized Medicine?

Jimbo: How about another true story?

JIMBO said...


Did you read my 10:19 post yesterday?
Glad you're back, I missed you.

PJB-Chicago said...

Ciao a tutti. No more French from me today. I had a frittata for breakfast today, which is Italian for "the omelette fell apart."

Today's puzzle was, um, extra taxing on my cortex, but redeemed itself by a new river, at least for me, the mighty "Peedee." If someone hasn't yet composed an ode to it, one of our poets-in-residence should take a crack at it! Also, SOSO was a great--you know I love me some words with double syllables.

@Clearayez, et al.: Andy Kaufman (1949-1984) was a "love'em or hate'em" kind of performer: he induced lots of nervouis twitters in audiences, not a lot of laughs. The number of people today who claimed to have seen him live is exceeded only by the number of people who say they were at Woodstock. He always said "I'm not a comic. I have never told a joke." That's true, but he sure knew how to stay in character as "Foreign Man" and as Latka on Taxi.: it was never clear just how much he cared whether folks found him funny, or if he really was more than slightly autistic. He was much loved on the East Coast, ignored here in the Midwest, and sort of a freakshow novelty in the West. His spot-on Elvis impersonation was loved even by Presley, and he famously got into a feud with Michael Richards (he of Seinfeld fame and the ferociously racist rant.) How much of Andy's act was comedic and how much was just bad improv isn't easy to say. A nonsmoking healthy eater, he still died of lung cancer at 35, so all we can do is guess how or if he would have veered off in another direction, or if he had other talents.

To close on a positive note, I'd say that he consistently kept people guessing, approached his work with bravery, and he once took a large audience out for milk and cookies after a show. That is one thing I should emulate. Maybe the icecream shakes featured on this blog would be better?

Rita Rudner, whose quote started the day for us thanks to Dennis, is comedy's equivalent of Nancy Saloman (spelling?) in lending a hand to up & comers. She's gone a little mainstream in her Vegas show, but hasn't lost her edge.

Ice-cream pie/cake recipe to follow later....

"Count your blessings, so you'll know if someone steals them." (anon)

windhover said...

I know it seems that we are always at odds about something or other, but I would like to point out that your Mom's problems occurred under the PRESENT health care system. As columnist Paul Krugman pointed out yesterday, the only reason our health care system functions at all is because the government programs, Medicare, Medicaid, and SChip provide a substantial portion of care for the people most in need, i.e. , people over 65 and uninsured children
please do not swallow the lies being put forth by the insurance industry shills. I know people well in several other countries that have universal coverage, and they to a person love it. It is my opinion that the thing faux conservatives and Republicans like my Senator McConnell fear most about national health care is that people will like it, as they do Social Security and Medicare, so much that they will never get rid of it. Why, in a Christian society, should life or death be based on one's ability to pay?

Jazzbumpa said...

Not quite an ode, but here goes:

I went down to fish on the Peedee,*
In place that's slow flowing and weedy,
Then they opened the dam. I don't know where I am.
Send the Coast Guard, and be speedy.**

* From Wikipedia:
It is an important source of electric power and public water supplies, as well as recreational use. While the Pee Dee is free-flowing in South Carolina, upstream in North Carolina several dams have been constructed on it. The opening and closing of these dams causes dramatic swings in the depth of the river in South Carolina.

If depth swings, then surely flow does as well.

** Sent from my Blackberry


PJB-Chicago said...

@Jazzbumpa; Wow, that was GOOD! I laughed so hard I am now wearing lemonade. That could be set to music!

Can I please ask how you sms to the blog here? I'm trying to post a recipe but can't copy/paste the text into the box (AT&T carrier restriction, not Blogger's fault). I do have messaging on this kind-of-smart phone, but can't figure out where to send the text/sms. I'd appreciate the advice... PLUS i will tell you about meeting Joan Jett in Toledo, circa 2000.

Thanks! (not urgent, I know it's Friday!) pj

Jazzbumpa said...


Thanx. The hazards of drinking and posting.

** Sent from my Blackberry was part of the joke for that little "ODE."

Someone else here can help with SMS (whatever that means,) I'm sure.

But, now, I really want to hear about meaning J.J. in my home town.

Tigers trailing Indians, 3-2 in the 6th.


PJB-Chicago said...

Jazzbumpa; lol, no problem.
True story of my brush with fame:
I lived in Toledo for 18 months 1998 to 1999 or therebouts, for work, and was lucky enough to meet some great folks right away. Much easier there than Chicago, might I add. Anyway, I was on some committee and someone volunteered us to take tickets & check ids for the riverfront outdoor concert series, and headliner was no less than Joan Jett. First reaction by everyone: Is she still alive?' Second reaction upon seeing her was "Holy hey, that woman has been hitting the gym hard !" She had abs of steel, biceps of a boxer, and maybe 5% body fat.
The band and Miss Jett performed, I'll pass judgement on the music, but have to say that everyone there had a good time. They put on a good show, the town was a'rockin, believe you me.
One of our volunteers was dating a member of theToledo Police and she made some promise to him (hmmm) in exchange for letting the 5 of us go 'backstage', really just a roped off area behind the stage. She looked a little tired but she did smile & shake hands. That kind of thing just doesn't happen in Chicago unless you're very rich or powerful. To this day, I can't name a single JJ tune, but it was a good & lucky thing to happen.

Dang, i should have googled first to see if it really was her.....okay, yep that was her or a surgically altered version thereof.
This is#5 or close, so the recipe will have to wait, Sorry, all.

Jeannie said...

Linda, I have missed you darlin'. I have thought about you every day you haven't posted. I always appreciate your prayers and as my little procedure went, I am healing quite nicely. Thank you for understanding my sense of humor and candor.

Anonymous said...

Chickie, you have no idea how excited I am to have Brady Joe back home. I just re-washed his sheets and bedding (not that anyone slept in the but him), stocked up on his favorite foods, and am going to try really hard not to spoil him. I am sure I am going to have to do some de-spoiling when he gets home as I am sure my Mom and Dad did some. I also found out he lost a tooth there and he claimed he got $5.00 from the Tooth Fairy. Not sure how I am going to explain the $1.00 I have left him in the past.

Linda, I am so glad to see you back. You always were an uplifting person and a bright spot to me on the blog.

Windhover, how fun it must have been to spend anytime in Lois' presence.

I am trying to hook up with Jeannie as she seems like she would be fun too, and it turns out we don't live that far apart.

JD said...

In Carolina
there flows the ol' Pee Dee
The water they say is quite reedy
Whiskey flax grows
and where ever she flows
Moonshiners collect seeds, indeedy

WH- well said about health care
CA, fav Silverstein poem is Sick

kazie said...

I second JD in thanking you for the health care rant. Also, glad you could spend time with Lois.

Anonymous said...

Tarrajo, steer really clear of Jeannie as she is an immoral person. Not sure ir you saw her post at 2:19pm but not even Dennis will comment on her swill. You have your own problems bringing up a bastard child, you don't need to get together with her.

Jeannie said...

Anon @11:10pm...Bite me again...Tarrajo is an upstanding Mom. 'Nuff said. Can't wait to meet her.

JoJo said...

Who is this anon a-hole at 11:10PM. Got a lot of nerve passing judgement on people, especially from a cowardly anonymous position. Maybe they should expose themselves, or are they afraid to back up their idiotic comments. Usually it is the ones who are so insecure with themselves that they feel a need to snipe at others from a place of hiding, lest they be seen for what they really are.

Argyle said...

Anon, I assume you are not Chistian.

Anonymous said...

for Saturday's Puzzle. It is CZaarina instead of TSarina. Has to work with AlleyCat and Zia.

IRISH JIM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

well- I'm new to this blog, but happened upon it today...I had the unfinished puzzle from Friday in my beach bag as I unpacked from vacation, and got online to get some help- the 'hexad' and the 'campy' were still not there, and causing problems in those cprners- what a chuckle to come across this site- read some answers, and also all the great comments. My fave in this puzzle was the 'trunk' and 'I hate to ax'- thanks!

C. C. said...

Anonymous @12:44pm,
Welcome! Hope to hear from you again.

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