Jul 30, 2009

Thursday July 30, 2009 Fred Jackson III

Theme: Cover Letters

20A: Photographer of a letter? P(ea) SHOOTER

26A: Letter's rest period?: T(ea) BREAK

49A: Undercover operation to trap a letter?: B(ee) STING

56A: One who can't hold a letter?: I(eye) DROPPER

10D: Letter out for a stroll?: J(ay) WALKING

38D: Official in charge of a letter?: C(sea) CAPTAIN

Hmm, 6 theme entries, quite heavy. Fred must have sifted through a ton of theme candidates. I wonder if he considered any phrase with letter Q (cue) or Y (why).

B STING and J WALKING are so evocative. T BREAK is great too. Hot scone & strawberry jam & tea. Yum!

When I first saw the question mark after each "letter", I actually thought of landlord. You know, the one who lets. Someone asked on the blog last summer why RENT is clued as "Letter amount?".

Lovely puzzle. I still had to cheat, but I fared better than I did with last Thursday's Dan Naddor "Take Action" puzzle.


1A: [Snore]: HO-HUM. And BLAH (27D: Eliciting a "So what").

6A: Blow hard: HUFF. HUFF and puff.

10A: Singer Joan: JETT. Wrote down BAEZ first.

14A: Ex-TV host Stewart: ALANA. She co-hosted the "George & ALANA" show with her then husband George Hamilton. I only knew her as Rod Stewart's ex.

15A: River to the Mediterranean: EBRO. The Spanish river. ELBE, the Hamburg river, flows into the North Sea.

16A: Guitarist's effect: WAWA. No idea. Dictionary says it's some kind of muted guitar/trumpet effect.

17A: Hear again: RETRY. I don't get this one.

18A: Speed Wagons, e.g.: REOS

19A: Stress, it's said: AGER. Probably only in crossword world. Stress does age us faster.

22A: Flea market figure: SELLER. Wrote down DEALER first. They have 4 letters in common.

24A: Tops with cups: BRAS. Nailed it immediately. Quite a crossing with UNROBE (4D: Strip).

25A: Ready to collapse: RICKETY

29A: Old Mughal Empire capital: DELHI. It's the same place as New DELHI, correct?

30A: suffix with glob: ULE. A diminutive suffix.

31A: Blocks that lock: LEGOS

33A: At the ready: ON TAP

37A: Rash preventer: TALC. Thought of ALOE, which actually treats rather than prevents rash.

39A: Like some checking accounts: NO-FEE

41A: Nuts (over): GAGA

42A: Word before radio or wave: SHOCK. SHOCK radio = Howard Stern.

44A: "I dunno": GOT ME. NO IDEA won't fit.

46A: Mark, as a ballot: X IN. No abbreviation hint? For your information, XIN means "new" in Chinese. New Year is XIN Nian. Nian means "year".

47A: Shady retreat: ARBOR

51A: Crow relatives: MAGPIES

54A: Like Burbank City Hall, for short: DECO. Have never heard of Burbank City Hall before. It's in California.

55A: Respectful gesture: CURTSY

60A: "Bess, You is My Woman," e.g.: ARIA

61A: Muskogee's st.: OKLA. What is Muskogee famous for?

63A: Heavy herbivore: RHINO. Horny, horny. RHINO's horn is more valuable than gold.

64A: Suspense novelist Hoag: TAMI. Unknown figure to me. What does her neck scarf say?

66A: Country singer Tucker: TANYA. Jimbo, happy?

68A: Muchas horas: DIAS. Spanish for DAYS. "Muchas horas" is "Many hours". I pieced the answer together from Down fills.

69A: Rile (up): STEAM


1D: Dwell (on): HARP

2D: Cheers at some World Cup games: OLES

3D: "Hell __ no fury ...": HATH. "Hell HATH no fury like a woman scorned".

5D: Like some elections: MAYORAL. Wow, there is an adjective for mayor? I only know gubernatorial.

7D: Slangy prefix meaning "super": UBER

8D: One way to sway: FRO. To and FRO.

9D: Dig discovery: FOSSIL

11D: Apollo 11 module: EAGLE

12D: Twitter message: TWEET. Sarah Palin is a Twitterati (the Twitter elite).

13D: Linger: TARRY

21D: Unavailable: TAKEN. Directly above BEYOND (48D: Not within reach of).

23D: Return call?: ECHO. Good clue.

25D: Pedometer button: RESET

28D: Possible result of a job change, for short: RELO

29D: Attend of the needs of: DO FOR. The answer is often SEE TO.

32D: "We Got the Beat" band, with "The": GO-GO'S. Here is the clip. Both the band and the song are unfamiliar to me.

34D: Part of a pickup line?: TAXI. Great clue too.

35D: Opposin': AGIN. Against. Not "fer".

36D: Remorseful feeling: PANG

40D: Cookout remnant: EMBER

43D: Barbra's "A Star is Born" costar: KRIS (Kristofferson)

45D: Accompanists?: ESCORTS. Can you clue ABETTORS as "Accompanists?" also?

50D: Signature wear for Astair: TOP HAT. In his musical TOP HAT.

51D: Future docs' exams: MCATS (Medical College Admission Tests). I forgot.

52D: Surrounding glows: AURAE. The plural of aura can also be AURAS.

53D: Mr. Clean target: GRIME

54D: Times to attack: D-DAYS

56D: "Casablanca" role: ILSA. Hey, "Here's looking at you, kid", welcome back.

57D: Cabinet wood: PINE

58D: "Orinoco Flow" singer: ENYA. Simply beautiful.

59D: Itinerate: ROAM. I only know the noun itinerary. In fact, I misread the clue as "Iterate".

62D: Colorful carp: KOI. Some of the KOI can cost thousands of dollars.

Answer grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - a bit late this morning, heavy thunderstorms evidently knocked out power here overnight.

As soon as I saw the constructor this morning, I knew we were in for an outstanding puzzle, and I wasn't disappointed. Initially, like C.C., when I saw all the 'letter?' clues, my first thought was that it had something to do with renting. I had struggles all over the place and really needed perp help to get through this one. Unknowns included Alana Stewart, Teri Hoag (who I should have remembered), and 'wawa' for 'guitarist's effect'. I thought 'tops with cups' was clever, but 'taxi' for 'part of a pickup line?' was as good as it gets. All in all, a great way to start the day; thanks, Fred, for an excellent effort.

Today is National Cheesecake Day & National Father-in-Law Day.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "During my long life, I have learned one lesson: that the most important thing is to realize why one is alive -- and I think it is not only to build bridges or tall buildings or make money, but to do something truly important, to do something for humanity. To bring joy, hope, to make life richer for the spirit because you have been alive, that is the most important thing." -- Musician Artur Rubenstein

Today's Fun Quotes:

- The perfect lover is one who turns into a pizza at 4 a.m. -- Charles Pierce

- A girl can wait for the right man to come along, but that doesn't mean she can't have a wonderful time with all the wrong ones. -- Cher

Martin said...

Wow. I thought of SHORT wave and MICRO wave and never thought of SHOCK wave but then I've never listened to SHOCK radio. I alos wanted BAEZ for JETT, ALOE or BAUM for TALC, MOOT for BLAH, ANTI fpr AGIN, ASHES for EMBER, ORALS for MCATS, ORIOLES for MAGPIES and GERMS for GRIME. I was able to get the theme fill J WALKING after I chnaged BAEZ to JETT but the other theme answers didn't come to me. I thought I did the best I could do with a tough puzzle: ISLA, ENYA and DIAS were gimmes and I soon got BEYOND and NOSY and thought I might be able to work my way up (and down) but no such luck.

17A: Hear again: RETRY. I don't get this one.

TRY as in TRYing a court case. You're the judge in this case.

31A: Blocks that lock: LEGOS

That should have been a gimme to me: I played with LEGOS as a kid.


Anonymous said...

Good morning,
CC: Think of a court case for 17A. When a case is retried, it is heard again.
Dennis: May I substitute GCC for the cheese cake?


eddyB said...

While I was messing around, Martin beat me to it. For some reason I can not access my Google Account.


danabw said...

Good morning all-The cats woke me up early today trying to hide under the bed because of the storms. Such scaredy cats...

What an excellent puzzle today, I was actually sad when I finished. Pshooter was my first theme fill and I knew I was in for a good ride. Wawa, gaga and gogos had me looking for a different theme at first. Enjoyed seeing rickety because that's how I'm feeling these days.

Dennis-Loved the WOW today.

Have a great Thursday everyone!

Hahtool said...

Good Morning, All. What a challenge today. I loved the theme, but I must admit, I needed lots of help today.

The first theme clue I got was CCAPTAIN. That initially lead me to believe that we were looking for double letters, until I said the clue aloud, then D'oh! Sea Captain. That made the other clues fall into place.

CC: I think (10D) is actually JWALKING, not walker.

I initially though of Joan Baez (wasn't she a clue earlier this week?), but soon realized that it had to be Joan Jett. Of course, because I Love Rock and Roll!

For (15A), I thought Arno. I had the "o" at the end, and figured that river flowed into the Med. Never even thought of Spain!

CC: Deco is short for Art Deco, a particular artistic style that was popular in the 1920s. The Burbank City Hall is built in the Art Deco style.

This date in History: For you musicians out there, today is the birthdate of Buddy Guy (b. 1936). He and Junior Wells were the original Blues Brothers. He was born in Lettsworth, Louisiana, where he honed not only his musical talent, but his cooking skills. He brought some of the great Louisiana treats to Chicago when he RELO'ed there in the 50s.

QOD: I made a lot of bad decisions in my life, but at least I made them! ~ Josephine Baker

Dick said...

Good morning C.C. and all. This puzzle came very close to totally kicking my butt. I slipped and slid all over the place before finally getting a toe hold in the SW corner. After 38D “Ccaptain” fell I was able to see the theme and got most of the other fills. In the end I needed some outside help with 32D “gogos” and 10A “Jett”. I just could not get Baez out of my mind.

I was asking for more difficult puzzles earlier in the week and it arrived today. Very good c/w puzzle today.

Hope you all have a great Thursday. I need to do some cleaning up from last night’s storm.

Moon said...

Loved the it after filling in PSHOOTER. JWALKING and TBREAK were easy fills after that. Got the I for IDROPPER from ILSA but C CAPTAIN was a struggle.
Ofcourse lots of unknowns (JOAN JETT, EBRO)and a lot of H at the top. Could complete with Red Letters and Perp help.
Fav clue: 34D Part of a Pickup line?

Visit Kaziranga National Park every time I go back home to see the rhinos...amazing.
If you ever visit the North East part of India, please do go here.

KittyB said...

Good Morning, all.

Fred, thanks for a challenging puzzle! I thought it was going to seriously whup my butt. I was going to walk away from it, but JWALKING/JETT fell, and the rest of the puzzle began to fall into place.

There's some nice misdirection here.

Anonymous said...

As soon as I saw UNROBE and BRAS I knew Dennis would be having a good morning.

I printed out the puzzle today, and love doing it that way so much better. I don't often do that as I am usually on my laptop without a printer.

When I first started I thought it was going to be a bomb. My first fill was ENYA and I thought "Yea, I know one answer for sure." But after plugging away for about 20 minutes I was able to complete all but 3 letters. JWALKING was my first theme fill, and then things clicked. What a fun theme that was today, with lots of different words not often used like RICKETY, MAGPIES, CURTSY, WAWA and UBER. I like that word UBER. Challenging but still doable.

I wanted BAEZ for JETT, ASHES for EMBER, SEE TO for DO FOR and BALM for TALC. Eventually I turned it around. The clue for TAXI was great and I never did get it until I came here. Had no idea about itinerant but it filled in with the perps.

Great job Fred!!

My hubby texted this morning that he is putting on his rally cap for day 2 of his exam. Hope he does as well as the Twins did against the White Sox. A sweep in the Twin Cities, such fun.

Dennis, great WoW today. I am privileged to live in the city that is #1 in volunteerism, among many people who live by that mantra.

My quote of the day:

I write down everything I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down, I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on.
- Beryl Pfizer

Have a great day!

Argyle said...

Good Morning and Thank You, Hahtool,

After ENYA put me to sleep, I needed that Joan Jett to wake back up. Followed that with a little Guide to the wawa pedal and I'm good to go.

I'd like to go see some Art Deco. Interior view of Burbank City Hall

Unlike yesterday's puzzle, where knowing the theme wouldn't help you much to get the answers, getting the theme early was a great help.

To make Jimbo even happier: Okie from Muskoee (There's even something for Jazzbumpa in there.)

tfrank said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang,

Kudos to Fred for a great puzzle today! It took me over an hour with pencil and paper to get most of the clues but finally had to go online for red letter help to finish. RETRY and TAXI had me stymied; as did the BRAS clue, even tho it was in the NYT recently. Great theme; the first to fall for me was JWALKING, which made the rest easier to solve.

There is no feeling like solving a hard puzzle.

I envy those who had storms last night.

Have a great day!

lois said...

Good morning CC, et al., No time for the puzzle as yet and may not today at all, so just want to thank you all for the sweetest, most uplifting comments yesterday. I've taken each one to heart and will carry many hankies and cry proudly. May have to carry an extra bag just for the hankies though. I'd stuff my bra w/kleenex but there's no room unless I want my bust to get there 5 mins before the rest of me w/that huge amt of kleenex. Might make it difficult to know exactly when to introduce the mother of the bride. I'll just carry a trunk. Actually, I think those words were said by the mother elephant in a similar situation. I might as well carry a trunk. Each child has called and said "Mom would you bring ___ for me please. I forgot it." Some things just never change. Once a pack horse, always a pack horse.

Thanks again for all the sweet, encouraging words. You are all awesome friends.

Dennis: thank you esp for your comment yesterday. It means a lot coming from you. I do have one question tho': why the singular 'reinforcement'
for Windhover tomorrow. He would need a singular reinforcement if and only if he's bringing a marine-as in either you or Argyle. Otherwise I think he should have the National Guard on speed dial.

Love Cher's quote - just perfect!

Enjoy this gorgeous day.

Dennis said...

eddyB, GCC is a great substitute; go for it.

Hahtool, thanks for the Joan Jett clip; great song. Also, right next to it on YouTube was another favorite, AC/DC's Thunderstruck.

Dick, how bad was the storm there? We really got hammered with it last night.

Moon, continued good luck in finding that new opportunity.

KQ, yes, 'unrobe' and 'bra' is always a great way to start a morning. Also, your husband will certainly do well today - the rally caps always work.

Argyle, thanks for the inside shot of Burbank City Hall - I love Art Deco; in our last home, we used it extensively.

Lois, did you not notice the little up arrow above the word 'reinforcement', pointing at my name? Also, I'm not sure that post was really from you - there was a comment about an elephant trunk that didn't go DF.

JIMBO said...


Argyle perfect

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, G WHIZ! This was was a toughie. I fell for the BAEZ trap like so many others. WAWA was an unknown to me, so that made the NE corner the last to be filled.

I caught on to the theme with P SHOOTER, but that didn't help much with filling in the other entries. There were a lot of gaps in my picket fences for a while.

The cross of TAXI and X IN was a head slapper for me. The TAXI clue was terrific and so misleading!

DECO was a fill that had to come with the perps. It was either that or head to the G-spot. I perp-ed it and then it made sense. I've been to the Burbank City Hall. It was a long time ago when my daughter had to pay a traffic ticket. The Los Angeles area has some great examples of Art DECO architecture.

KQ, Loved the Beryl Pfizer quote. That describes me perfectly.

Shopping Thursday...I have to go find my lists now. See you all later.

Bill said...

Wait, don't tell me! .........Oh, krap!!!! You'd better tell me, 'cause I lost my list and have no idea what I was going to say!!!!
Oh, wrong day!!
About an hour and a half in two sittings. Had PUFF instead of HUFF and didn't know EBRO; TAXI and XIN eluded me till I got here. Other than that the struggle was worth the effort.
When I first started I resisted the urge to recycle the paper and now I'm glad.
CY'All Later

kazie said...

Good morning all,
I had many of the same reactions already described--at first thought I'd be stuck, then had BAEZ for JETT, who is unknown to me. Most of the same pauses as c.c. and Dennis. The only thing I looked up (in a XW dictionary) was EBRO. I realized there could be too many possibilites to g'spot it, and it was the only one in there that worked. Many unknowns but guesses and perps did the rest.

What is meant by Speed Wagons?

Obviously you aren't one who has to roll up your boobs to get them in your bra! Great elephant joke too! I had an aunt who once complained of a sore knee when her bra strap broke--same build as you, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone. I really missed most of today's. Never figured out the letter thing, even after reading the answers. It wasn't 'til I got to these comments that I understood.
Nor did I get the brackets around [snore]. What are brackets supposed to tell us?

Other than that, I am not happy with uber or rhino. Uber is really German and rhino is an abbreviation.
End rant.


Barb B said...

Fred, you outdid yourself on this one.

It is definitely a Thursday puzzle. I had to have a LOT of help, and when I thought I was finished, there were still some wrong letters – didn’t know UBER/REOS, and I had Lisa instead of ILSA, which made OKIA instead of OKLA. I wanted Okie, and just blanked. Oh well.

It was a GRE-EAT puzzle! I enjoyed trying to figure out the theme, and liked P SHOOTER best. Except, I think I liked T BREAK best. But then there’s I-DROPPER. No no, it was J WALKING…...ummmm, no, B STING !! (I wonder if Melissa Bee ever stings? Surely not. As you can see I like all of the theme words. They were a lot of fun, and quite challenging for me.

X IN was new to me, and AURAE - can that be right, or is it stretching things a bit? OK, OK, it’s in the dictionary. I had no idea that the Burbank City Hall is DECO.

I think my favorite clue was Tops with Cups – BRAS. Very clever and I almost missed it.

Excessive Heat warning is still in effect here, and now we can add afternoon and evening thunderstorms through the weekend. Life is interesting here.

Anonymous said...

C.C., how do you get the ones you don't just know? Is it all from google or dictionaries? This one was so hard, I can't imagine figuring it out so early.

Anonymous said...

This theme confused me until I penned in J walking.. Then C captain revealed itself and the rest just fell into place. I completed it with minimal G-spotting but with plenty of red letter and perp help such as wawa, Ebro, magpies, deco and dias. My favorite clue today was Speed Wagons – REO. I made the same mistake as others here typing in Baez for Jett too. I got Tami Hoag as I have read some of her fiction. I have never heard of using talc to prevent a rash, and I don’t “twitter” or “tweet”.

National cheesecake day? That might call for me to whip up my favorite mango cheesecake!

I am still waiting for the perfect man to come along, and a recent experience in searching for that man turned up one that was not a wonderful time.

One day and a wake up for my life to resume as normal…

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone! MCATS -- Don't think I've ever heard of this one.

@eddyb I think I detect a definite theme in your posts - GCC!! It must be easy to select a dessert for your birthday parties.

Have a great Thursday!

Elissa said...

I really liked this puzzle, although it was tough. It is the first time in ages that red letters and perps were not enough help to finish. I had to hit the g-spot for EBRO and TAMI (many other unknowns, but I got them from the perps). JWALKING was my break through fill. The theme was terrific and really helped with solving. Although not actually part of the theme I got XIN and DDAYS because the theme got me to think of letter/word combo.

My favorite clue lead to TAXI.

I just heard that Erricson is buying Nortel - a company I worked for in one of its earlier incarnations, that is in serious trouble. Previously Erricson bought another company in serious trouble that I once worked for - Redback Networks. I see a pattern here. Wonder if it means I should invest in Erricson or avoid it like the plague.

whereswebb said...

Am I the only one who thinks that 63A "Rhino" should have a "for short" or abbr. in the clue? I was definitely hung up on that clue for a while. Otherwise, the puzzle went about the same for me as everyone else. Lots of groaners for me when I realized the actual meaning of many clues.

Anonymous said...

17A: RETRY is the legal sense -- to retry a case is to rehear it.

windhover said...

gotta kiss a few frogs if you want to find a prince.
Maybe you just need a different pond. I
know there ain't nothing wrong with the bait, and the expiration date on it is way out there. Also
remember that free advice (like this) is usually worth about what you pay for it.
Larry aka Harmless

Elissa said...

Eddyb: When I couldn't get my Google account to open here, I went to the Google home page and logged in there. Then I opened this site again and I was logged in.

Kazie: REO Speed Wagon is a musical group, although not one I ever listened to.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hey, gang -

Great Puzzle. Love:
the theme
the Rubinstein quote
Buddy Guy

Pretty slow going. Hard time with NW and SE corners, but they eventually fell. Never got the OKLA - KOI cross. Had MCAP, and therefore PAMI. Who knew? My Navajo Humility Marks.

Here is Somewhere NOT WITHIN REACH OF The Sea. Darin Seems to be channeling Dean Martin.

I don't listen to much (OK, any) country. Not a fan of Merle. Have always disliked that song for it's divisive you-aint-a real-Amer'c'n undertones. Farther down that path I shall not tread. Always appreciate a good trombone moment, though.

P-SHOOTER is what we call a small bore tenor, like the one in the Merle video. In my picture, I'm playing my bass.


Argyle said...

Re: Speed Wagon

The REO Speed Wagon was a motor truck manufactured by REO Motor Car Company. It was an ancestor of the pickup truck. REO are the initials of the company’s founder, Ransom E. Olds, also the founder of the Oldsmobile (company later sold to General Motors and the brand retired in 2004). (wikipedia)

Funny, yesterday we had ALERO, one of the last Olds produced.

Sallie, I've never seen brackets used either??

Jazzbumpa, I don't believe I've seen a tenor or a bass in a country band before, that's why I mentioned it.

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang, definitely a 'red letter' puzzle for me today. Before my wife left for work we only had the top right and bottom left done. The very last (before the online tada) for me was taXi for part of a pickup line, probably the best clue for today?

I liked the clue for Muskogee's st. and I got it by remembering the song 'proud to be an okie from Muskogee' too.

@Elissa: RE: Nortel's downfall. I worked for that company for 25 years. I understand that the US Government will takes over Nortel's US pension plan.

Barb B said...

C.C. I haven’t seen ‘The Devil’s Own” and it isn’t in our library. I’ll rent it, though. Seeing Harrison and Brad Pitt together is appealing even without the theme.

JD, I haven’t said congratulations until now – I’m so happy for you and your new grandson Grady. He’s adorable, and you look so happy. I’m looking forward to more pictures.

Elissa, thanks for the information about Erricson and Nortel. I spent some time with Nortel and so did my DH. DH died from job related stress (dr.s diagnoses, as if I couldn’t tell). Two other people died that same year, as well as one suicide and one hospitalization in a psych ward.

I’ve been receiving notices about the bankruptcy proceedings, alerting me to the fact that pensions can disappear. As an old friend use to say to me, ‘intersener and intersener.’ Or, ‘The plot thickens.’

Warren –I just read your added comment. Geeez. The government? Woe is us.

JD said...

Reliving history:

Arnold Schwarzenegger is 62 today. That is all I will say about him, but I am worried that he will close our state parks.

1863- Pres. Lincoln issued an "eye for an eye" order to shoot a rebel prisoner for every black prisoner shot.

1908- The "Around the World Automobile Race" ended in Paris. It started in NY

1956-The US motto "In God we Trust was authorized

1965- LBJ signed the Medicare bill

1971- Apollo 15 landed on the Moon.

JimmyB said...

Got lucky with the JETT guess so JWALKER gave me a clue to the theme. Didn't make the rest any easier, though. Wanted EMPTY for EMBER so the SE corner was the toughest for me. Managed to slog through it without Googling anything (not that Google would have helped much) so I'm taking solace in that. Took close to an hour, a lot of that consisting of blank stares.

I was surrounded by pre-meds in college so MCATS was unfortunately part of my lexicon. But overall, a nice challenge after a few easy days.

Add me to the list of those wanting to know what the [brackets] are supposed to mean.

JD said...

Good morning CC and all,

very challenging today. The theme clues were too far "out of the box" and too clever for me to get a grip on this baby. So, I cheated, collected 4 of those answers and began again.Laughed over tarry... a word no one uses any more? thought taxi clue was clever. Didn't like "stress, it's said", or "like Burbank City Hall". Am still putting s's where I should be adding e (aurae); I should know better.

Argyle, I couldn't open CC's link, so enjoyed the inside view.

KQ, loved that quote. I make lists for almost everything, but not for movies. Forgot Isla.Anybody keep a list of Harry Potter characters? Most of them were mythological based

Tarrajo, think baby powder/talc. I bet you are excited for an uber reunion.

Here's another Enya song, Angeles. We played this at my m-i-l's funeral.

kazie said...

Elissa and Argyle,
Thanks for speed wagons/REO, I'd wondered if it had anything to do with vehicles, never would have associated it with music though.

I had supposed the brackets were simply to indicate it would be some sort of aside comment, expressing disgust over something repetitive or boring.

I forgot earlier to mention that I ended up liking the puzzle too, and that the theme really helped, once I got the first one, which for me was T-BREAK.

eddyB said...

Hello again,
I think my having trouble with Google is because of the conspiracy of MS and Yahoo joining forces to wipe Google off the face of the earth. MS had turned my computer on to add updates at 3A. Noticed it when I got up at 4A to go to the bath room. I added the comments before shutting down again.
My first love is open wheel auto racing then GCC.


Kelev said...

Did anyone think of yesterday's Tease when filling in today's T Service?

Kelev said...

I meant T Break

Jerome said...

Today's puzzle is a beautiful example of a simple idea becoming a superb and excellent puzzle.

Favorites- All the theme entries, plus HO HUM, JETT, CURTSY, MAGPIES, RICKETY, HUFF, TWEET and RHINO.
Really nice, Fred, really, really nice.

Sallie- Rhino is not an abbreviation.

Al said...

Jerome, not so much to quibble, (and yes, I know that Wiki isn't necessarily authorative), but:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Rhino is a colloquial abbreviation of Rhinoceros

WM said...

Great foggy morning! I really like this puzzle and even though it took a bit to finish last night I seemed to get a lot of clues that others missed and missed the ones you got. Had HUFF, JETT, DECO. LEGOS, RHINO, TAMI, HATH and OLES...which gave PSHOOTERS and woo hoo, the theme, which today was exceedingly helpful as I then began the head scratching and mumbling to finish up. Would stall out for a bit, watch some CSI and then look back at the puzzle and ta da...another fill!

Like the fact that Fred worked in WAWA(knew that), GAGA(yep) and GOGOS(yep again)...Thanks to JD I got the Orinoco Flow. Also thanks to JD we used Enya's music as background at the show.

San Francisco also has a large number of beautiful Art Deco Buildings. Fortunately, most have either been restored or at least kept up well. The Chrysler building is a stunning example of Art Deco also.

Thanks for the RETRY explanation and I truly didn't get pick-up line, but had TAXI anyway. We once got off a train in Blois, in France, waited in line, got into the taxi, gave him the address of the hotel at which point he did one of those Gaelic shrugs, drove down to the end of the street, did a U-turn around a park area and dropped us at the hotel across the street(and park) from the station...I really felt stupid!

KQ...Great quote...that's me...LOL I make notes on where to find my notes and I am really good at putting things away in a "logical" place so I will remember where they are...apparently my logic is not consistent.

Never understood that whole Rhino horn thing(other than its resemblence to certain anatomical parts) it is made up of hair...the thought of grinding it up and eating it...EWWWW. It seems difficult to believe in this day and age of viagra that animals are still be slaughtered so some guy can...well, you, know! :oP

Fred...High five...kudos...great puzzle and I can't believe I finished a Thursday puzzle with no peeking. Just the right amount of difficulty and fun! :o)

Jerome...sorry to disagree but Rhino is definitey a form of abbr. But, I will take C.C.'s explanation when we discussed Orang...the animals are, respectively, Rhinoceros and Orangutan. The shortened version has come into common usage but it is still a shortening of the proper name.

windhover said...

Argyle & JazzB :
I'm not a big country fan either (5'10"), but for tenor and bass in a country band/group check out the Oak Ridge Boys or the Statler Brothers.
Oh , and two exceptions to the above:
Patsy Cline. As Jimmy Buffet says, I hang on every word.
The above mentioned Merle, TheHagg. I've always heard "Okie from Muskogee" as a tongue in cheek dig at the "Love it or Leave It" crowd. One clue: at the time Haggard was doing all the stuff the tune criticizes, including "make(ing) a party out of lovin' ". He and Buck Owens married each others' wives.
I think he burned a few weeds, too.
Anyway, it's a damn good drinkin' song, and god knows we need all those we can get.

Anonymous said...

So I got curious about the RHINO and its horn. Rhino is colloquial for Rhinoceros.

Per Wikipedia: The most obvious distinguishing characteristic of the rhinos is a large horn above the nose. Rhinoceros horns, unlike those of other horned mammals, consist of keratin only and lack a bony core, such as bovine horns. Rhinoceros horns are used in traditional Asian medicine, and for dagger handles in Yemen and Oman.

One repeated misconception is that rhinoceros horn in powdered form is used as an aphrodisiac in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is, in fact, prescribed for fevers and convulsions.

Interesting stuff. While on safari, our drivers were goading on a rhino and he looked like he was sharpening his horn to come after us. Much fun.

EddyB - I set up an igoogle account with my blog, and set it as my home page. When I open up my browser it automatically logs me on, and I stay logged on with this all day. When I go to post, it automatically recognizes me. It is much simpler.

WM said...

KQ...thanks for the clarification on the usage of Rhino horn...but it is still hair!

WH...good luck this weekend. Please check in on Monday so we know you survived. ;o)


Jerome said...

I would be sorely grieved and stupified if any crossword editor made a serious decision about a word's meaning based on a Wikipedia source. I'd love to see a definition in a respected dictionary that said, "Rhino abbr for rhinoceros"

Dennis said...

Jerome, Merriam-Webster supports you; it is legit. <~~~slang, but legitimate

Kelev said...

Rhino is also slang for cash, but that definition didn't fit the clue.

Jazzbumpa said...

Windhover -
I believe you are referring to tenor and bass voices. I meant tenor and bass trombones.

There is also an alto trombone, pitched a 4th higher in Eb. Also a rare soprano trombone, otherwise known as a slide trumpet.

Any HOHUMs or BLAHs out there, yet?

Didn't know any of the Merlish details. That stuff does make it kind of funny. But how many people on either side of the fence see it as a joke? I guessing very few, indeed.

Cheers, and I'll have whatever Merle is having!

kazie said...

My Concise OED says it's "(Short for) rhinoceros". It's possible that it has become so widely used in its own right that we accept it as a complete word though.

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog. I have to keep reminding myself that you don't share 71 years of "AMERICANESE" upbringing.
When a legal case comes before a court, it is "heard"..thus, "hear again" becomes retry because they have to re-try the case.
Muskogee is famous for Merle Haggard's "Okie from Muskogee".
Keep up the great blog. Some days it is the only way I can finish the puzzle.

JK, Ceres California (seeing the puzzles in The Modesto Bee)

WM said...

Okay...I'll waste a post on this...I know I have long posts, but really...I did get the rhino thing correct. C.C. had commented a while back on my questioning that ORANG needed an abbreviation or "short for" with it. She suggested that because of its common usuage that ORANG is acceptable and didn't need additional INFO. Same goes for RHINO. That's what I said.

Department of redundancy dept...

JoJo said...

This CW surely the fits the bill as being harder than the rest of the week, helping to make it that much more enjoyable. I am absolutely hooked on these CWs, as a mastery of the english language is something I pride myself on. A couple of the clues did stump me with no help from the perps. So I had to red letter a couple. Thaks to all, for the mind benders. As I am unemployed electrician due to a layoff I have too much time on my hands, and I do value a long CW to occupy my time. I am going back to college to finish my A.S. degree in Paralegal/legal ion 8/24/09, to expnd my horizons, as the construction idundtry collapssed., completed or retwe

embien said...

14:49 today. Man, I loved this puzzle. Took me a good long while to get the theme (came when I finally filled in T BREAK). Still, the theme was a lot of fun and I LOLed at a couple of them.

I didn't fall into the BAEZ trap because I solve "downs first" and had the T from the gimme TWEET already in place, so no second thoughts filling in JETT. I'd be remiss if I didn't put up a link to one of my favorite Joan Jett songs Do You Wanna Touch Me. Not many women rock as much has her.

Interestingly, even though I had the initial "J", I still came slowly to J WALKING. (One of my wife's favorite segments on Jay Leno was his occasional "Jay Walking" bits.) I never found it that funny, personally.

kazie said...

I'm with you on the Jay walking--funny only if you think it's amusing that people could be so dumb. Personally, I'm depressed by that.

joe said...

Dennis, do you know what the D stands for in D-Day.

(no, it's not Dennis). lol!

W M,
I see you made the puzzle. Remember, Casablanca.

lois said...

Dennis: I didn't see that arrow but amazingly we were on the same page LOL...nice of you to volunteer. You rock! There's nothing DF about MY trunk
'cause "I got no junk in my trunk, baby."

Well, I'm off...just pinch me! no, slap me! no, no spank me!!!!
Look out Kentucky! The earth is going to shake!

Enjoy your wkend.

Clear Ayes said...

Dennis, when is National Cupcake Day? WM's avatar painting has me drooling.

JK in Ceres. Hi neighbor. Slightly cooler today, but not much!

I signed up for Twitter. I thought maybe my grandkids would think it was cool and who doesn't want to know what Oprah is having for lunch? I gave up after three days. I couldn't remember to log in...not on any of my lists.

I was thinking of which animal names get common usage shortening (I won't say abbreviations). It seems like three or more syllables is the key, although elephant is always elephant. Chimp is accepted for chimpanzee, as well as 'croc' for crocodile, 'hippo' for hippopotamus and 'gator' for alligator. Would any of these require an abbreviation or slang clue note? I know I would use all these terms as easily as I would rhino or orang.

Dennis said...

Dennis, do you know what the D stands for in D-Day?

Joe, honestly, I don't. I always thought the 'D' just stood for the word Day; same with 'H' for 'H-Hour'.

Kelev said...

I could never figure out the attraction of Leno's jaywalking. I figured people just acted stupid just to get on TV.

WM said...

Joe...because of you I got ILSA today with no problem. LOL, Thx

Lois...have the very best time in the whole world, and please try to leave at least a large enough piece of WH so that he can still post. ;o)

CA...that's it exactly! They are shortenened and accepted. Ta Da! You always do a better job than I at 'splaining. Thx also. I am not allowed to sign up for Twitter according to our youngest...she said she would have to block me from her page...LOL. I did sign on for FB though and have fun with that. Have re-connected with some old friends and made some new and the "girls" both post so I can follow their days w/o having to check in. I do try to be careful to never post anything personal or embarrasing. The downside is that one of the daughters got me playing Mafia Wars and goofing around in YoVille...pretty funny stuff...and hard not get pi$$ed when someone "attacks" out of nowhere on MW and takes your $$$!!!Just a stoopid game. I am
"ebbing" towards childhood...never got caught up in video games, but these are interactive. Was totally bizarre when I reallized that I was actually playing tic-tac-toe with a real person out in the ether! I am so easily entertained.(sheepish grin).

Didn't make it through the jurying I had 3 paintings in for...Bummer! :o( But that's how it goes.

That's #4

Jeannie said...

Joe, here is what I found D-day

MJ said...

Hi all--Fun puzzle today! Missed yesterday until today. And boy am I feeling dense. I didn't know every puzzle had a theme (except Saturday)! I knew Sundays have a theme, and some like today's pop out at me, but I never thought to look for one daily. Doy! Favorite clue, and last to fill was TAXI.

Lois--Hope all goes well for you and your daughter and family. Congratulations!

Argyle--Thanks for REO Speed Wagon link. I've seen REO on CWs many times, but never knew the history.

Moon--Beautiful wedding photo!

Jeannie--Glad to hear you're home and resting well!

Jazz--Enjoyed your photo. Also trolled around your blog site and came across "Karen in the Chair." Very clever! Thanks for always giving me a chuckle, or at least a smile!

Dennis said...

Jeannie, thanks for the info on D-Day; as always, good information.

Chickie said...

Hello All--I glanced at the puzzle, saw snore in brackets and all the letter clues and decided this was going to be one hard puzzle.

Even after going through the across and down clues one time I only had about a third of the puzzle finished. I was really feeling down and out when I got P shooter and everything started to fall into place. Ended up really liking this puzzle after such a terrible start.

My favorite clues were Part of a pickup line? and Return call. However, I put in J walker instead of walking and I wanted short wave and couldn't get either of those out of my mind to finish up within a decent time.

KQ: The Beryl Pfizer quote gave me a chuckle today. Sounds like my life for sure.

WM: I love your cupcake avatar. It looks good enough to eat. My grandson and his wife had a cupcake "wedding cake". It was the first time I'd seen a bride and groom split a cupcake to feed to each other. The several tiers of cupcakes were really beautiful though.

joe said...

Dennis, looks like you were right-on with D-Day, according to the link from Jeannie.
Thank you for that Jeannie.

WM, glad to be of service to you. Cupcakes!??? I miss the previous picture of you.

eddyB said...

Hi, Last one today.
Crockett1947: you betcha. The way to my heart is via GCC.
Elissa & KQ: Thanks. Google started to work again when I sent Dick an e-mail.
CA: I'm waiting for GCC Day. Just to make it offical
BTW: GCC also means Grove City College where I earned my BS(EE).


Fred said...

Thanks everybody for the kind words. This puzzle was very satisfying to construct. I was happy with the way it turned out.

I did have "Q stick" as a possible answer at one time, but it didn't make the final cut, don't remember why.

XIN is not an abbreviation, you "put an x in the box". So it doesn't need to be indicated as an abbreviation.

Crockett1947 said...

@fred Of course, not many ballots have the "X in" options any more -- it's "bubble in" here in Oregon.

Nice puzzle!

treefrog said...

Hi All,
Didn't do very well today. Tried to finish several times. Finally gave up.

Have grandkids overnight, will try to check in tomorrow.

Take care all.

Anonymous said...

WM glad to read about your taxi experience. we had a similar experience in Ireland except our driver drove several blocks before coming back to the B & B which was almost within sight of the corner where we got the taxi. A real stupid feeling.

Jimbo, I've been wondering where you are. Nos you appear with just a couple of words. When do we get another reminisce story?

also, where is Linda?


Katy said...

Still puzzling over the word UBER.

If you are too, check out the following on this super prefix from Urban Dictionary which explains its transition from the German "over" to the American slang for "really" or "very."

Don't think I've ever heard it used.

JIMBO said...


Since you asked, this is an excerpt from a book by Leona Bruce called santa anna's peak concerning "old Fannie" and Jim (My dad).

"In one of the deals Jim made with Cauble it was dicided to let old Fannie go with another handler. Jim missed her keenly, and the children felt that they were giving up a family member, but their trucks left in one direction and old Fannie's trailer in another. Here enters a throe of heartbreak for Jim and his family. Old Fannie could not understand this change. Where was Jim, who had had her every day for fourteen years, had played with her, talked to her?
Why didn't he come for her?
She refused her food and sat swaying from side to side, watching for him, waiting for her playmate, her only friend. After about fourteen days she could hardly get up at all, and the new handler tried to locate Jim through Cauble, but the constant traveling and delay in mails kept the summons from reaching him. On the twenty first day Old Fannie died of grief at losing the only companion she had ever had". Thus ending a long relationship with Old Fannie, the black bear.

kazie said...

What a sad story. Animals feel more than we realize.

JD said...

WM, I forgot to mention how we both laughed over your taxi story. I"m still laughing when I think about it.

Chickie said...

WM, We had the same experience in Germany. In Munich we took a taxi to our hotel from the train station. When we gave the name of our hotel to the taxi driver he looked at us with a funny expression. He drove around the islands separating the train station from the next street over and what do you know we are at our hotel. Needless to say, we walked to the train station when we were leaving Munich for our next destination. We felt so foolish. Bet the taxi driver had a good laugh at our expense. I'll wager this happens a lot.

Fred, this was a fun puzzle today. It is always nice to hear from the people who keep us entertained every morning with our crosswords.

Al said...

If anyone's still reading, Fred's puzzle today was a cakewalk compared to Dan Naddor's puzzle for tomorrow...

PJB-Chicago said...

Knock, knock, I'm here, late, but just figured i'd set a spell after a very long two weeks of pulling double-shifts.

@Fred: thanks for bringing out your "a game." Nicely conceived & executed.

It's fun "knowing" celebrities (you, Jerome et al)

I got myself in & out of trouble more times (in this puzzle) than I ever did my entire adolescence. I also cheated on the puzzle a few more times than I care to admit. Per usual i got through most of the tough fills without excessive bruises, but a few of the easier ones stumped me.

All worth it, since it was a great puzzle, plus I caught on to the theme for once. IDROPPER was my fave answer, followed by BSTING. GAGA (41A) GOGOS (32D) & WAWA (16A) made me grin because I love repeating syllables (like BOBO in Jerome's puzzle.)

Most of the two-part answers were hard for me to parse, (e.g.,ON TAP, NO FEE, etc.) but that's just because I have a "p-brain" and "bad i's"

@JD, will try to get the icecream cake recipe posted late tomorrow. My new "smartphone" doesn't have copy & paste enabled, not sure why, so I need to retype & edit it a little bit.

@everyone; keep your news channels on! Hurricane Lois may make headlines (lol)

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy all of you! My sister-in-law just started doing the daily puzzle. I tell her the difficulty of the puzzle by coffee mugs. A one or two mugs is Monday through Wednesday...a pot is Thursday and 2 pots is Friday and Saturday!

Thank you very much for everyone's input into this crazy thing we do every day.

Today is a two potter...arrghh

Kathy in WI