Aug 31, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009 Norma Steinberg

Theme: Abracadabra

17A: Magician's deception: SMOKE AND MIRRORS

35A: Magician's deception: SLEIGHT OF HAND

52A: Magician's deception: OPTICAL ILLUSION

Also, a couple bonus words which are symmetrically placed in the grid. Perfect!

27D: "Pick a __, any ...": CARD.

35D: Magic act, for one: SHOW.

The cross-referenced fill END (28D: See 38-Down) and THE (38D: With 28-Down, novel conclusion) are also symmetrically gridded. Excellently done.

Argyle here.

A very nice start to the week. A lot of three letter entries that are words and not abbreviations. A minimum of foreign words. And so many songs I could link! (This is not for everybody. Hocus Pocus Dutch insanity.)


1A: Joplin piano piece: RAG. Scott Joplin, died 1917, was an African-American dubbed the "King of Ragtime." Ragtime is an original American musical genre whose main characteristic trait is its syncopated, or "ragged", rhythm. Maple Leaf Rag.

9A: Like a disreputable hotel: SEEDY.

14A: www address: URL. Uniform Resource Locator: a protocol for specifying addresses on the Internet.

15A: Pic: PHOTO.

16A: Knight's protection: ARMOR.

20A: Kept in reserve: SAVED.

21A: Dewy: MOIST.

23A: Really smart people: BRAINS.

29A: Old salt: TAR. Sailor

30A: Investigation: PROBE.

32A: Southern breakfast side: GRITS. Either you like 'em or you don't; nothing in between.

33A: Concurrence: ACCORD.

38A: Very brief briefs: THONGS. I don't know what to say. Images.

39A: Take in or let out: ALTER. No, not the cats.

40A: Improve, as skills: HONE.

42A: __ room: play area: REC. Should this have an indication that it's a shortened version of RECreation ?

45A: Lamb's mom: EWE.

46A: Like the person in a diet ad "after" picture: LEANER.

48A: Equipment: GEAR.

49A: "Grrr!" is one: SNARL.

51A: It's enough for Luigi: BASTA. Italian for Stop! Enough! ASSEZ in French.

57A: Finish second, in a race: PLACE. Usually in a horse race: First, WIN; second, PLACE; and third, SHOW.

58A: Inventor Howe: ELIAS. He patented the first American-made sewing machine.

59A: Payable: DUE.

60A: Natives of Ankara: TURKS. The capital of Turkey.

61A: Like oboe music: REEDY. Oh, okay.

62A: Little green men, briefly: ETS. ExtraTerrestrial being, originating outside the limits of the earth.


1D: Many an Idaho potato: RUSSET.

2D: Spanish fleet: ARMADA.

3D: Danny of "Lethal Weapon" films: GLOVER. Sergeant Roger Murtaugh.

4D: Floored it: SPED.

5D: "I have the answer!": AHA.

6D: Chaney of film: LON.

7D: Takeoff approx.: ETD. Estimated Time of Departure.

8D: Christina Crawford's "__ Dearest": MOMMIE. The story of growing up with Joan Crawford for a mother. Book and Film.

9D: Wrapped garments seen in Agra culture: SARIS. Agra District is one of the districts of Uttar Pradesh state of India, and home of the Taj Mahal. Aishwarya Rai (the World's Most Beautiful Woman) in red SARI, beautiful!

10D: Says "2x2= 5," say: ERRS.

11D: :-), e.g.: EMOTICON.

12D: Palme __: Cannes film prize: D'OR. "Golden Palm Leaf", awarded for the best film. Here are three pretty women at 2004 Cannes Film Festival: the most influentical Chinese actress Gong Li, again, Aishwarya Rai and French supermodel Laeticia Casta.

19D: Cyclotron bit: ION.

23D: Naval jails: BRIGS.

24D: __IRA: ROTH.

25D: Choose not to vote: ABSTAIN.

30D: Holier-than-thou type: PRIG. Synonyms: prude, puritan, bluenose.

32D: Wilder or Hackman: GENE.

33D: Subsequent to: AFTER.

34D: "Moonstruck" Oscar winner: CHER.

36D: Texas symbol: LONE STAR.

37D: Ye __ Tea Shoppe: OLDE.

41D: Square dance leader: CALLER. Bugs Bunny, Square Dance Caller.

42D: Live (at): RESIDE.

43D: Take the family to a restaurant: EAT OUT.

44D: Building site giants: CRANES.

46D: Shoestrings: LACES.

47D: The Gay Nineties, e.g.: ERA.

48D: "Fill 'er up" filler: GAS.

50D: Just in the __ of time: NICK.

51D: Occupied: BUSY.

53D: Like "mice" and "men": Abbr.: PLU. Plural. Nice play on John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men".

54D: Land in the Seine: ILE. Islands in a French river.

56D: Young guy: LAD


Answer grid.

Picture of the Day: Here is great photo of our fellow LAT solver Jimbo and his family. He said: "Left to right, my son, his granddaughter, his son and "yours truly".


Dennis said...

Good morning, Argyle, C.C. and gang - sub-4 minute puzzle today, with only 'basta' as an unknown. The theme answers, which were good, were apparent after the first couple letters. And of course, loved seeing 'thongs'

Argyle, nice job as always. And you're right - there's no gray area regarding grits. I grew to like them when I lived in Atlanta.

Today is National Trail Mix Day. Bleh.
Today's Words of Wisdom: "Social pressure is the enemy! I've seen it happen. How in heaven's name are you going to find your own track if you are always doing what society tells you to do? I also spent a year teaching in a busy prep school, and that was a crowd that was trying to make up their minds, you know? I've seen them since, and those who followed their zeal, their bliss, have led decent, wonderful lives; those that did what Dad said they should do because it's safe found out it's not safe. It's disaster." -- Scholar Joseph Campbell

Couple good quotes:

- "Anyone who says he can see through women is missing a lot." -- Groucho Marx

- "The happiest liaisons are based on mutual misunderstanding." -- La Rochefoucauld

Dennis said...

Jimbo, a great looking family! Were you at Mardi Gras? Judging from the grins, that's my guess.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I wonder if BASTA rhymes with "pasta". I had GRIT once, quite bland. Hushpuppies are tasty.

What a great theme title! Norma Steinberg probably discarded LEGERDEMAIN because it's a one-word fill. CALLER definition is new to me.

Yeah, I read your explanation on Xi'An word by word, and was amazed by your grasp of Chinese language.

Hahtoolah said...

Morning, All. A good puzzle to ease into the work week. I immediately got the first two long theme clues, but the OPTICAL ILLUSION came a bit slower. I liked the SEEDY and REEDY responses. MOIST was my last fill-in, as I really wanted to fit MISTY.

I think REC room is okay as a non-abbreviation. The term has been used for so long, it's almost a generic term. Besides, as a kid, I always thought the term was actually WRECK room, since that is where the kids played!

Great photo of Jimbo and family. New Olreans style Mardi Gras! Was this taken at the Zulu parade?

August 31 Birthdays:

1949 ~ Richard Gere

1945 ~ Van Morrison, musician

1945 ~ Itzhak Perlman, Israeli violinist. Wonderful music! Serenade Melancolique. Just a tad different from Argyle's Hocus Pocus!

1935 ~ Eldridge Cleaver (d. 1998), Black Panther turned conservative republican

1935 ~ Frankie Robinson, baseball player, and first Black manager in the Major Leagues.

1918 ~ Alan Jay Lerner (d. 1986), Lyricist

1916 ~ Daniel Schorr, still going strong on public radio

1870 ~ Maria Montessori (d. 1952), founder of the Montessori schools.

QOD: Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn’t have to do it himself. ~ A.H. Weiler

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for those German names. I certainly would not understand the humor behind them. Is Imhoff pronounced like "I'm Off"?

I hope everything turns out fine for your ailing relative. Thanks for the laughter and insight you bring to us every day.

Yes, as in Yao Ming, Yao is his surname. I did not know Hungarians also put their surnames first. Thanks.

Hahtoolah said...

I can't even spell New Orleans! It's my bad typing! Is this from the Zulu parade, Jimbo? Great photo, beautiful family.

The new avatar is from Budapest's Hero's Square. Apropos of yesterday's discussion on Hungry.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I agree with you on REC. I liked the SEEDY/REEDY echo too.

Your LA Times will alternate between Sylvia Bursztyn & Merl Reagle on Sundays.

Welcome to our corner.

Lemonade714 said...

There were many nice things about this simple Monday puzzle, along with SEEDY/REEDY, I thought BRIGS/PRIG was well done, and the highlight being Argyle's wonderful presentation, and eye opening pictures.

Have a great week all.

Argyle said...

Re: Basta pronunciation

basta   [bah-stah]
pasta   [pah-stuh]
Based on the Random House Dictionary, 2009

I listened to them at and there was a slight difference but I'm no expert.

Lemonade714 said...

In response to yesterday's comments; the midges here in Davie breed in the lake which is in back of my apartment. There are days when you cannot get into or out of your door without filling up with the little dears. Then they die in the light bulbs - icky. It is not as rural as the 33 acre farm in Tennessee where I dud my 4 wheeling. JIMBO you have strong genes and fine looking progeny.

Finally, Frank Robinson was not just a baseball player, he was a great one, who won the MVP award first in the National League with the Reds, then as a member of the Orioles, where he teamed with Brooks. He is the only player to win in both leagues.

Mainiac said...

Good Morning Argyle, CC and All,

Very quick run this morning. Only erasures were Skinny instead of Leaner and my brain had flatulence when I tried Loose instead of Lose for 57A.

Argyle, great video of Focus. I know the song but have never seen it performed. Definitely unique.

Here's a live Van the Man tune. Thanks for the reminder Hahtool.

Jimbo, Great pic, looks like a fun time was had by all.

I haven't had grits since I lived in Texas but did enjoy them.

Had to work Saturday night due to heavy rains. Flooded town in a couple of hours and then receded about the same speed. Phones ringing off the hook!! Yeehah!!

Have a great Day!!

Martin said...

My only unknowns were RAG and RUSSET. Of course they crossed. I also wanted MENSAS for BRAINS, SKINNY for LEANER, SOUND for SNARL and HASTA for BASTA (I was thinking of the famous Terminator 2 line "Hasta la vista").

19D: Cyclotron bit: ION.

This might need some explanation: a cyclotron is a particle accelerator and IONs are electrically charged particles; when electrically charged particles move through a magnetic field they are deflected and by adjusting the electric and magnetic fields you can make the particle go faster and faster in a circle.

C.C., I just happen to have a Chinese-English dictionary next to my computer. When I looked up XIAN and saw that there were 64 meanings I decided to break it down by tone.


Anonymous said...

Nice Monday puzzle. I too liked the addition of CARD and SHOW to go with the magicians theme.

I also wanted MENSAS for BRAINY (thinking of Dennis as always) and SKINNY vs. LEANER. But all was quickly corrected with the perps. I had a little trouble in the middle, but it came together quite fast.

Nice reference to the internet today as apparently it turns 40.

Jimbo, great looking bunch. Four generations in one photo. What a gift.

kazie said...

Good morning. Thanks Argyle--well done, as usual. I enjoyed the musical clips while reading your blog. I became more aware and fond of rag after seeing "The Sting".

No real pauses for me, other than wanting THINNER for LEANER until I found it wouldn't fit, and waiting for a perp or two to see which blanks got THE and END. END was above THE, but THE is at the left--traditional beginning, and END on the right, so normal end of line. It's nice to have a quickie on Monday, it gives me time to do the laundry earlier.

Excellent family pic. Looks like you were all enjoying Mardi Gras.

Elissa said...

This wasn't a speed solve for me, but a nice do-able Monday. Clever clues; nice, clean theme. I mostly got things right away, but had some momentary missteps easily resolved with the perps as I switched between As and Ds.

It seems my volunteer activities are starting to create a lot of 'work' for me, which will keep me busy over the next few weeks. I hope this is a temporary situation, especially since I sold 20 scarves at a show yesterday (a really high sales rate for me - best ever) and will need to replenish the inventory before the holiday show season.

Moon said...

Good Morning!!
Laptop crashed and I could not do the weekend puzzles on time. I did Saturday's yesterday and saw that the Sunday one is from Dan Naddor. I believe it'll require time and hence saving it for tonight.
This was a typical Monday puzzle for me..what I didnt know got filled by perps. Didnt know either RAG or RUSSET(thought I eat them a lot). But after filling in the others, the R was a easy fill. Got SMOK and could easily fill in the first theme answer. Had ND and that gave the second theme. Had L--SION and that took care of the thirs answer. Stared at PLU for a long time to realize that it was short of PLURAL (my D'oh moment).

Never eaten Grits..doesnt seem appetising to try.

Argyle, Excellent blogging (as always). And the pics of thongs and Aishwarya Rai..always pleasing.

Jimbo, Great pic..I loved the beads.

Have a great day everyone

Anonymous said...

Hi ya'll,

Puzzle was a breeze this morning. (Even for me).
"Basta" was the only unknown, but had a little trouble with "Mice" and "Men". Finally caught on to the clue as meaning "Plural".

Thanks for all the kind words referring to the photo. Yes, a good time was had by all, but not in New Orleans. This was a toned down version in Lafayette. Anyone want some beads? I have a box full of them.
Vaya con Dios
Lost my "Blue". Have to sign in again. Sigh

Dennis said...

Jimbo, I'm just wondering how you got all those beads; flashing the crowd?

kazie said...

You could offer them to your local French teacher. We used to have a modified Mardi Gras celebration at school when I taught French. It would add to the supplies s/he might be ordering in boxfuls for the kids.

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody.

I've been lurking here enjoying your comments about the puzzles and your interactions with each other. I am no puzzle pro but I do several a day online and have gotten up the nerve to do the Monday and Tuesday puzzles without any red-letter help.

I am a retired teacher living in Manhattan Beach (southern California).

I've got lots of questions about how to go about all of this stuff but I look forward to the learning process.

Do any of you know if Sylvia Bursztyn is back on a regular basis?

If I leave a comment later in the day, does that mean that all of you early risers won't see it?

Thanks for your patience.

Have a good week.

Argyle said...

Welcome Bill G.,

Don't worry about posting late in the day; that's when some of the most interesting stuff is posted and if we miss it that night, we will check it in the morning.

C.C., of course, gets a copy of evry post.

Dennis said...

BillG, welcome, and please, ask as many questions as you like; there's a wealth of knowledge here.

No, no matter what time you post, they'll be read by the vast majority of us. Several early posters read the previous day's entries before even going to the current day.

Again, welcome, and good of you to join us.

JimmyB said...

"Basta" is the word no self-respecting Italian mother seems to understand. When at the dinner table, you say "basta" and she just smiles at you and puts another pile of pasta on your plate.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Argyl - Great job, and thanx for the pic. Beautiful, sure. Most so in the world - well, opinions can vary.

Jimbo - Great pic. And 4 generations! You are my roll model.

Nice puzzle today. Easy, but that's OK, especially on a Monday.

I appreciate the fresh fills: MOIST LEANER THONGS, PROBE OLDE BRAINS, SEEDY REEDY SNARL, and for our friend tfrank - LONESTAR.

Here - Since you can never have enough Hungarian stuff - is another surname first example.

JzB the has-a-rehearsal-tonight trombonist

JD said...

Good morning Argyle,CC and all,

a not so very exciting puzzle today, but it is always fun for me to finish. Perps helped me with d'or, basta and roth ira ( I don't get that one).

ho ho ho Nellie- cute BB clip Argyle!

Jimbo, you look like a very kind and happy man.Great looking family.

PJB-I wish you and your family a quick solution; not knowing is sometimes worse than the problem.

Welcome Betty and Bill. The morning group drops in all day, and most of us read what has gone on the night before as some of us west coasters are night owls.

I am not really enthusiastic about magicians, although "America's got Talent" has 1 or 2 good ones.Here is a cool optical illusion.

WM will be happy...we have FOG :)

Linda said...

Good morning CC and friends:

Talk about your "rec' about "rec' HOUSE!
Grandkids came in after a trip to FL, with little notice.
We keep a small room of toys for all of them and we are still finding them in odd long as I have a yellow cake with chocolate, butter-cream frosting and a goodie bag on their beds, they are happy! Left late evening yesterday and I have to replace my ink bottles! Little Miss "owange cheese" printed a ream of Barbie and various princess posters. Oh the joys of being an unlimited supply grandparent!

Puzzle presented no difficulties...I have an Italian friend who shouts "basta" at her grandkids regularly!

Kazie: Are there rules for knowing when to write "er-or-ar" (as in amor) as endings? Also, is there a rule about which to use concerning "ible-able?"

Jimbo: Great family photo...I admire your passion for volunteering. As long as I have my Mother and am gone so much...I can`t do a lot...I like to be faithful to commitments and I can`t be, right now. I`ve seen first hand how the "Adopt a child/grandchild" helps school children without
familial support. When I`m able to, that`s where I`ll volunteer.

Lmnade714: Mom has "noseeums" About all you can do for them is grin and "wear" them, so they say. She lives on the west coast of FL.

BTW; Here is how to enjoy grits from an expert:
Cook them low and slow so they will be creamy. Mix them with pan-fried sausage patties, over easy eggs and lots of black pepper. "Nectar for the gods!"

Argyle; Great job and great links...some thing for everyone!

Jazzbumpa said...

Upon further reflection, Jimbo is my ROLE model.

Here is my ROLL model.

JzB the flaky, buttery trombonist

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, There was nothing there that we haven't heard before, but some of the fills were unusual. RUSSET, EMOTICON, ABSTAIN, ACCORD and BASTA are some that come to mind.

Add to that the 15 and 13 letter theme fills and the two bonus theme words, and this was my idea of a excellent Monday puzzle.

I love polenta, which is kind of a cousin to GRITS and I've had battered and fried grit cakes with syrup and liked that too. Plain grits seem pretty bland to me.

Jimbo, I think the best gift you can give a child is a happy memory. Your great granddaughter will remember the Lafayette Mardi Gras for many years. BTW, Dennis brought up an interesting question. How did you wind up with more beads than anyone else?

Welcome, Bill G. My husband was born in Hermosa Beach and my daughter was born while I was living in Redondo Beach, so we are kind of long lost neighbors. That area has changed a lot over the years, but much of it still has that quirky, beachy atmosphere.

Hi to Betty from last night. I'm a "go back and read" person too.

kazie said...

Just got this "Ukraine's got Talent" clip--amazing! She creates a whole story by just moving sand around on a table.

Welcome to the newbies, Betty and Bill G!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Bill G,
No, no one knows. LA Times only said that they will alternate Sylvia Bursztyn & Merl Reagle on Sundays. Welcome!

Just ask Bob. ROTH IRA is a type of retirement account. The earnings & withdrawals are tax-free.

Wow, talk about talents. Thanks for the link.

Jerome said...

It's not often we get to see a magical puzzle. No tricks here, though, just clean and smooth and nicely done. A little bit of an open grid. Those six letter corners are a sweet touch.

While solving the puzzle you'll COME INTO EMOTICON.

Unlikely in real life- THONGS and a PRIG crossing.

Dennis- There's a MENSA chapter in my town. The woman members have a motto... BRAINS IN BRAS.

There's something POLITICAL in the start of an OPTICALILLUSION.

Time for the disappearing act.

Dennis said...

Jerome, years ago I went to a local chapter meeting, and found that they too have a motto: WE'RE PRETENTIOUS DORKS.

First and last time.

MJ said...

Hej, folks. I have nothing to add that hasn't already been opined. A very enjoyable Monday puzzle.

JD--Thanks for the link to the interesting optical illusion.

Kazie--The sand artistry is amazing! Many of the audience members were obviously very touched by the tapestry the artist wove.

Dennis--I was confused by your comment last night about Merl Reagle. Did you have his puzzle in your newspaper yesterday? We had Sylvia Bursztyn. Thanks for all you do to help C.C. monitor this blog. :)

Welcome Betty and Bill G.!

Dennis said...

MJ, yes, the Philadelphia Inquirer always has Merle Reagle's puzzle on Sunday, fortunately.

kazie said...

Are there rules for knowing when to write "er-or-ar" (as in amor) as endings? Also, is there a rule about which to use concerning "ible-able?"

The only rule I know is that it depends on the word's origin. e.g. "amor" is Latin (amour in French)--a lot of the -or/-our differences are for that same reason.
Most words for things/people that "do" something and are derived from Germanic origins will end in -er. But there is no clear cut rule there either --think "tailor", which is not from the German (Schneider). If you don't know the origin, it's no help. I think -ar might be Scottish. I know the spelling of the name Millar is Scottish, versus the Germanic Miller/Müller/Mueller.

The -ible/able question I'm vague about too. I like to think the -able implies something able to be whatever precedes that syllable: do-able, teach-able. But I don't have any cute ideas about -ible. It might also be related to Latin. I remember the Latin word horribilis meaning horrible. How to remember which is which? Try using an exaggerated pronunciation of the ending when saying it to yourself.

A problem I also have is with -ent/-ant and -ence/-ance. Many French words use the opposite from English, and it's confusing:(Fr.) correspondance; (Eng.) correspondence.

Chickie said...

Hello All--A good ego-building Monday morning puzzle. Nothing too much to add as most has already been said. I do like a puzzle I can finish without any red-letter or Google help!

I stumbled on REC Room. I couldn't think of a non abbreviated word to fit. The perps filled it in though.

Thank you Argyle for another good take on the puzzle. The links were fun.

Kazie, very clear explanations for word endings. But as you pointed out, English almost always has exceptions! Thank goodness for spell check.

Jimbo, great picture and how special to see four generations in one picture. Your GGrandaughter is beautiful.

Welcome Betty and Bill G. I'm a west coaster and always read the late evening posts before going to bed.

So nice to see the fog this morning. WM will be pleased and I am, too.

embien said...

5:42 today. A wonderful puzzle for a Monday (which can sometimes be full of lifeless fill). Two 15's and a 13 as theme entries? Very sweet!

@clear ayes: I'm amazed at the number of people who say they love polenta but find grits "boring". I always say if grits had a fancy-schmancy Italian name, more people would love them. In fact, Alton Brown on Good Eats, his Food Network show, did an episode on exactly that theme. Lessee here...tap, tap, tap, ah yes: Good Eats True Grits.

As for me, I was born and raised in Oregon, so didn't have any contact with that Southern dish until much later in life. You can hardly find grits in these parts, but I do order them whenever I'm visiting back east.

WM said...

Hi all...quick, latish post today. I have more paintings to be delivered to a Foundation office for rental and will be gone most of the day. All of sudden things are getting busy. They also want work for their other offices in November...WOO HOO! Nice steady income every 3 mos...I CAN become the rental queen!

Fun puzzle, fresh, bright cluing and nifty theme. Just started at the top and worked steadily down. Loved Grrr is one, the clue for emoticon...very cute! And liked the addition Pick a card and show. Mice and men had a brief pause and a quick AHA and a number of fills I missed until I came here because they were already perp filled.

A very clever puzzle for a Monday, and though easy, fun. :o)

Yes, we were blessed with lovely lovely fog that hung around until after 10:30 in the south bay...Wonderful! I am only saddened by the fact that even though cool and lovely it can't be a painting day...but getting paintings out in the public eye is equally important...*sigh*

BTW...on Fuchs(fewks)the other day, there is a very famous American Illustrator named Bernie Fuchs...I used to collect his western/indian signed prints ages ago.

A terrific day to you all and a big welcome to the new posters...and I am also a late night reader.

Oh...and Argyle another most excellent job and thank you for the equality of your thong link! ;o)

JD said...

Kazie, the sand animation was fascinating from beg. to end.. a brillant artist. Thanks for adding that.

Not much in Reliving History..some days there isn't much except race riots and home runs.

1422- Henry VI became king of England at the tender age of 9.

1887 or 1897 (time lines differ)
Edison patented his kinetoscope, which produced moving pictures

1955- a sun-powered automobile was demonstrated in Chicago.It seemed to fizzle.I guess gas was cheap back then because GE dumped all of theirs...sigh

1971- Dave Scott drove a car on the Moon. ( I would not have recognized his name)

Crockett1947 said...

@kazie at 8:27 As a measure of how much the DF degree has mellowed, no one jumped on that beautiful line you put out there....

Linda said...

Crockett: I think you just did...

@kazie at 8:27 As a measure of how much the DF degree has mellowed, no one jumped on that beautiful line you put out there....

Clear Ayes said...

Crockett and Kazie, Ah yes, I can certainly understand how we all like to get our laundry done early.

Argyle, I think polenta corn meal is ground somewhat differently than grits. I like corn too, but I definitely don't like hominy. I've only had grits once and it seemed bland and gritty (surprise!). I guess I'll have to give them another try. I'll check out Alton's recipes.

Clear Ayes said...

Oops, sorry again....I was thinking Embien and wrote Argyle.

Hahtool said...

I have to agree with Clear Ayes, grits and polenta are nothing alike. I like polenta, but have never acquired the taste for grits.

Word of the California fires is finally reaching our newspapers. I hope everyone out there is doing okay and safe from the harm.

Mary said...

Good afternoon all,
I'm another lurker, been enjoying your explanations, comments and interviews for a while.

I like Mondays, puzzles that I can do with no Google help. Today's ragtime start got me moving, smoke and mirrors just jumped out and the rest of the theme fell right into place.

Chiming in on the grits discussion - we have eggs and grits (mostly grits) weekly for my son. His other favorite food is oatmeal, so, yes, they are bland. I learned to love them with lots of butter when I lived in Mobile, another town with a terrific Mardi Gras.

I say basta pasta, though my younger son could live on pasta 7 days a week.

Glen said...

About Grits.. I once was in a barbershop quartet named "The Hominy Four with Grit".

carol said...

Hello Argyle, CC and all - really late posting for me....soooo busy today, but it was in a good way.

Not much of anything to add to what has already been said about the puzzle...just happy to have actually finished one!

Jimbo - great picture of your family, looks like you all were really having fun!

Kazie: (8:27) LOL Nothing like a quickie on a Monday to get the week off to a great start! :) Keeps a smile on your face for a while.

Bill G and Betty: welcome to our wild and wacky world...we sure hope you stay.

Bill G. said...

Thanks for the warm welcome.

Today's puzzle seemed like one of the easiest ones in a while. I don't rush through it and time myself though. That seems too stressful. I thought Sunday's puzzle had a clever theme. Many of you seemed to have missed the theme at first. Normally the LA Times puzzles don't print the theme at the top though the Sunday one does. Is that your experience too?

Clear Ayes, yes we're almost neighbors. Manhattan Beach is a great place to live with mostly cool sea breezes and good schools. But there sure are a lot more big, expensive houses than when we moved here in 1963.

Crockett1947 said: "As a measure of how much the DF degree has mellowed, no one jumped on that beautiful line you put out there...." You kind of lost me there.

I sometimes buy whole white hominy in a can, heat it up and serve it with lots of butter. Tastes great.

What do the HTML tags do? How do I include a photo?

The fire is about 20 miles north of here but the news videos on TV are just dreadful. It's so sad for the people who live in that area.

JD said...

CC, forgot to say thank you for the roth IRA explanation. Bob knew but he was still sleeping. He's now whistling"Davy Crockett"while doing dinner dishes. What a guy!!

Argyle, a Monday thanks to you too. :)

JIMBO said...

Hey Guys,

Those "Babes" in the parade just looked down and saw this handsome dude oozing with sex appeal and decided to load him down with beads. What can I say?
"Oh Lord its hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way".
Which way did that Bull go? I think he left his calling card.
Vaya con Dios

Dennis said...

Bill G., DF = DysFunctional, usually refers to sexual innuendo, which has toned down quite a bit in the past few months. Kazie made a comment about a 'quickie' this morning, and that's what Crockett was referring to.

My best friend lives in Manhattan Beach; he's with the LA Kings. We're supposed to go visit him in the near future, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the area.

lois said...

Good evening Argyle,CC, et al., What a breeze! And as Crockett noted,I have to agree w/Kazie and Carol, it is nice to have a 'quickie' on Monday. Kind of sets the mood for the rest of the week!

Grits? Tried 'em many times here in VA, but only liked them once when they were covered in butter and sugar. Could feel my arteries clogging up and the calories adding up with every bite, but they were good... only once!

Argyle: great job! Love the thong pix! Another stimulating aspect of today's puzzle & this wonderful blog! Also loved the Bugs bunny clip. Good stuff!

Jimbo: Great picture and what a happy time. Dennis asked what I was already wonderin'...girls gone wild 'barely' get that many beads. What was your trick?

Welcome to BillG and Betty. I hope you stick around and join in more often.

Enjoy your night.

Bill G. said...

Lois, are you from Virginia? I grew up in Falls Church. I loved it in the Spring, Fall and even Winter with some lovely snows. The humidity in the summer was stifling but growing up, I didn't know any better.

Linda said...

Jimbo: ROFLOL!
(Rolling on floor, laughing out loud!)

BillG: Welcome

Kazie: Thanks for the info (and for giving us a possibly, inadvertent chuckle!)

Are any of our group close to the fires? Please stay safe. Saw on the news where all the houses in one neighborhood were leveled but one! Houses burned on all sides but that one left standing! A miracle!

MJ said...

Bill G.--Are you doing the puzzles on-line or in the newspaper? It makes a difference for Sunday.

Bill G. said...

MJ said...

"Bill G.--Are you doing the puzzles on-line or in the newspaper? It makes a difference for Sunday."

I do them online. I am weaning myself away from red letter help on the easier ones. I certainly need the help on Fridays. I should quit trying the Saturday puzzles. They're very hard and with no theme, not much fun for me. Then I'll also do Sylvia's puzzle or the one by Merle R. usually saved for later in the week.

Dennis said...

Bill G., I think what people are finding is that the more you do these, the easier they become. We had several people who couldn't get past Wednesday, that are now able to complete the week. Stick with it and you'll hopefully have the same experience.

kazie said...

Well, I guess the DF-ness is never too far below the surface, is it? I'd love to lay claim to having double-thought my remark this morning, but it was simply a hurried way of expressing the ease with which the puzzle got me off to an early start on my day after my first posting here. It's good to know some among us are worth their grit, and quick to see beyond the smoke and mirrors, intended or otherwise.

Those CA fires are getting worse--I add my sincere hope that nobody here is hurt or suffers losses this time round.

PJB-Chicago said...

First, let me say I genuinely appreciate the kind words. They help. No notable updates, today. She has scads of friends and local family members keeping a close eye on her. Someone snuck her out to the movies, so she feels less housebound. True to form, she thought "Inglourious Basterds" was awful, Brad Pitt miscast, and historically inaccurate. At least we know her critical faculties are intact! She smuggled food in, too. That's a good sign.

Today's puzzle was a welcome respite. I think it's the best constructed Monday grid I've done so far--clever clues and much-appreciated lack of crosswordese. Fave clue was "Agra culture." The words "prig," "emoticon" and "thongs" should be in more puzzles. I hope Ms. Steinberg knows how wonderful her puzzle was. Are there awards for puzzles?

BTW, yes "pasta" and "pasta" are pronounced alike; they rhyme. The Italian "a" varies across the map of "the boot." Regional variations occur. Weird thing is that Americans pronounce it similar to Italians, whereas the British pronounce the first syllable the way we say "past."

One of the Chicago's unsung heros is our WGN Channel 9 weathercaster, Tom Skilling. he makes one actually care about "isobars" and fronts, & often apologizes when one of his forecasts is waaay off. Truly a local treasure.

Those of you near fires and hurricanes, please be safe.

Lola said...

Argyle: I looked at your mosh pit clip from yesterday's post, and I was struck by the war-like posturing by the men only participants. I don't think that they (mosh pits) are currently popular, but what does this say about how young men in our society feel about themselves? Is this a punch back at the feminist era they grew up in? It kinda makes you nostalgic for the poodle skirt romanticism of yore. Just a thought.

Bill G. said...

jjjjjj jj

Crockett1947 said...

Good afternoon, everyone. Finally back on line and operating again after a "Blue screen of death" episode last night. Sure takes time to check disc, run a complete virus check, defrag, clean up the disc, run spybot and adaware. Haven't gone back to see what I might have lost in the crash. Need to do things in order here.

Puzzle went very smoothly. Didn't have a single mis-step at all. It's been a while since I've been able to do that.

Nice picture of Warren and Ruth. Looks like you were having a good time.

@argyle Well done on the Tomlin clip!!

Have a great Tuesday!