, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Thursday August 20, 2009 Todd McClary


Aug 20, 2009

Thursday August 20, 2009 Todd McClary

Theme: MIDDLE EARTH (53A: "The Lord of the Rings" region, and a hint to the shared feature of 17-, 28- and 44-Across and 26-Down) - The word EARTH is embedded in each theme entry.

17A: Dispel hostile feelings: CLEAR THE AIR

29A: "Maude" actress: BEATRICE ARTHUR

44A: "Please tell me you're not serious": I DIDN'T HEAR THAT

26D: Scarcities: DEARTHS

Wouldn't it be nice if all the EARTH's were placed in the very middle of each theme answer?

The EARTH in DEARTHS is the only theme entry that is not split between two words. And it's placed in the very middle of the grid and crosses two theme answers.

Once again I jumped around. Got the tie-in answer MIDDLE EARTH first. Then I realized the gimmick immediately, as Pete Muller's INNER EAR grid left a very deep impression on me. Pete split all the EARS between two words. I then climbed upward and filled in all the EARTH immediately. (Updated later: We had a MIDDLE EARTH themed puzzle from Barry Silk on Nov 26, 2008, even the first entry CLEAR THE AIR is the same.)

I will use this strategy for tomorrow's puzzle also. I expect it's a wordplay grid by Dan Naddor and I expect the unifying answer to be placed at the lower right corner.

Granted, the puzzle is designed to be solved from upper left to lower right. Many constructors (like Merl Reagle) tend to place the most sparkliest theme answer or the tie-in theme answer at the end to provide solvers a precious"Aha" moment. But very seldom does the upper left corner crumble easily for me. I have to flit around. I guess I will just do whatever works for me.

There is also a drink sub-theme to make Lois/Argyle happy:

31A: Drink that can follow a shot: CHASER

61A: Item on a cocktail toothpick: OLIVE

24D: Scotch order: NEAT

51D: Malty mugfuls: ALES

All in all, not a difficult Thursday for me. I guessed a lot, and I was right on my guesses.


1A: Simian: APISH. Silly, I always thought simian is a noun.

11A: Queasy, perhaps: ILL

14A: Where the 4077th MASH served: KOREA. Where are the asterisks? I am used to "M*A*S*H.

15A: Mammy's boy: ABNER. From from comic strip Li'L ABNER. Mammy Yokum.

19A: Bay Area airport: SFO. I had SF? sitting there forever. Didn't know San Francisco International Airport's code.

21A: Sound quality?: SANITY. Got me. Nice clue.

26A: RFK Stadium soccer team: D.C. UNITED. Know this name only because of the Freddy Adu hype. Our local soccer team is called Minnesota Thunder.

30A: Ancient spell caster: MAGE. Short for magician. New word to me.

32A: Oldest of the Fab Four: STARR. Noticed the plural form on the intersecting 23D, so filled in STARR in no time.

34A: Creative pursuit: ART. Nice ART & ART crossing in the center.

35A: Streisand cross-dressing role: YENTL. Yenta is rooted in YENTL.

40A: "Born in __": Cheech Marin film: EAST LA. Another guess. Not familiar with the film. Last time it's clued as ""Chico and the Man" setting, briefly".

48A: Mentored ones: PROTEGES. My first reaction: MENTEES?

49A: Words of resignation: NO HOPE

50A: It may be wireless: ROUTER

59A: Nuevo __: Peru's currency: SOL. Obtained the answer from Across.

60A: Causing chill: EERIE

62A: Trough site: STY. Had a friend working for Kraft Foods for many years. He told me pork is the best meat nutrition-wise.

63A: Raid targets: DRUGS. Couldn't keep "bugs" out of my mind.

64A: Play in the tub: SLOSH


1D: "Best in Show" org.: AKC (American Kennel Club)

4D: Aquarium frolicker: SEA OTTER. . Just learned that a male otter is a dog, a female is a bitch and a baby is a whelp/pup.

5D: More puzzling: HARDER

6D: Portrayer of an Oz feline: LAHR. Bert LAHR, Cowardly Lion.

8D: Microscopic crime scene clue, briefly: DNA

9D: Retiree's abundance: LEISURE. Agree?

10D: Knightly news?: ERRANTRY. New word to me. Nice play on Nightly News.

11D: Where it originally was: IN SITU. Latin.

12D: Crane, at times: LIFTER. I was picturing an Origami crane.

13D: Bentsen who said to Quayle, "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy": LLOYD. Because Dan Quayle had constantly been comparing himself to Kennedy. I was aware of the quote. Did not know who said it though.

22D: Fed, research agency: NIH (National Institutes of Health). Can never remember this name.

23D: Selectric typewriters, e.g.: IBMS

27D: Chess move you can make once: CASTLE. Another guess.

29D: Pure: CHASTE. Crossing CHASER.

33D: Cashed in: REDEEMED

36D: Hold spellbound: ENTHRALL

37D: Big Apple neighborhood near the Bowery: NOHO. Short for North of Houston Street. SOHO is South of Houston Street.

41D: More likely to explode: ANGRIER

42D: "Dog the Bounty Hunter" airer: A AND E. It jumped into me immediately after I had ND filled. I am really good at guessing now.

44D: 1950 classic sci-fi short story book: I ROBOT. By Isaac Asimov.

45D: To twice the degree: DOUBLY. Had trouble understanding the grammar of the clue.

46D: Cousin from an "altogether ooky" family: ITT. From "The Addams Family"

47D: Events with some very short rides: RODEOS

48D: Publicity: PRESS

54D: "In My Bed" R&B group __ Hill: DRU. Have never heard of this band.

55D: Archeologist's subject: DIG

Answer grid.

Picture of the Day: Here is a happy photo from our fellow solver Lemonade. From left to right: his son, Lemonade, his other son & his nephew.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - I really enjoyed this one, a nice challenge with lots of misleading clues.

I had a problem immediately with 'simian', especially when 1D was obviously AKC, ruling out 'orang'. Never thought of anything but a noun, until the perps (including our favorite, 'ire') made it apparent. I didn't catch the theme until the third theme clue (dearths). I also had a problem figuring out 'Noho' - I really wanted Soho, but the Streisand role was pretty obvious. Had to google 'Noho' to find out that it means "North of Houston Street". Also googled 'errantry'; I thought it just meant moving about, but the definition goes further, saying "usually in search of adventure".

I thought 'sound quality' and 'Raid targets' were great clues. A good Thursday puzzle.

Today is National Radio Day, and....Chinese Valentine's Day -- C.C., Happy Valentine's Day!

Today's Words of Wisdom: "You're only as old as you feel is a refrain one hears enough that it must have some truth to it, thought your oncologist might disagree." -- Writer Edward Hoagland

- "Knowledge is power, if you know it about the right person." -- Ethel Watts Mumford

- "A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort." -- Herm Albright

Dennis said...

C.C., I thought it might be a Lois-themed puzzle too, right up until 29D, 'chaste'. Although the homophone works...

Lemonade, great-looking family!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Nice puzzle today, very enjoyable. I actually got APISH right off the bat, but struggled a bit elsewhere after putting in some wrong answers (SEA HORSE for SEA OTTER, LADEL for LADLE and YENTA for YENTL). I eventually saw the errors of my way, though, and everything worked out fine in the end.

I'd never heard of DC UNITED. I've heard of Manchester United, and resisted putting in DC UNITED since I assumed there wouldn't be two teams with UNITED in their name. I eventually succumbed to the obvious, however.

The only other semi-unknown name today was DRU Hill. I think I've heard of them before, but I needed all three crosses to accept that the answer was correct.

Oh -- and it was nice seeing Ms. ARTHUR's full name for a change instead of just "Bea."

Argyle said...

Good Morning (hic!),

You could add to that list(chaser, olive, neat, and ales), doubly and slosh. "Gimme another Scotch and make it a doubly."

"Knightly news' made me think of Ted Knight, from the MTM Show, except his character was Ted Baxter.

Argyle said...

Ted Baxter

Hahtoolah said...

Morning, All. This was a great Thursday. A tad intimidating in the first pass, but then after I got Beatrice Arthur, everything else fell into place.

I wanted Insole for INSTEP (30A) and thought of No More for words of resignation (49A), but the perps just wouldn't let that happen! I never heard of MAGE, but knew Selectrics were IBMs, so sage wouldn't work in (30A).

Favorite clues: Sound quality: SANITY (21A) and Crane: LIFTER (12D).


1833 ~ Benjamin Harrison (d. 1901): 9th President of the United States.

1910 ~ Eero Saarinen (d. 1961) famous architect and frequent crossword answer.

1946 ~ Connie Chung

1948 ~ Robert Plant,

1954 ~ Al Roker

QOD: You can close your eyes to reality, but not to memories. ~ Stanislaw J. Lec.

Bill said...

Hi All,
Been really busy remodeling the bathroom and various other things going on, so I haven't had much time to post. BUT, I reserve enough time to try the puzzle! Have donr pretty well Mon thru Thur. I leave Fri thru Sun to the rest of you.
Today was a little slower than the rest of the week but I conquered it. I was really sure someone had made a mistake with NOHO, 'cause I only knew SOHO. NOHO was the only possible answer so I left it and....VOILA, it was OK.
I wonder about the clue "CRANE, at times". Just simply CRANE would have worked because that is the primary (and only, as far as I know) use for a crane, to lift something! What else does a crane do, except collapse in NY CITY??
CY'All Later

Al said...

Not a lot for me to comment on in the puzzle, except simian got me for awhile, too and diidn't know DRU, so had DREGS instead of DRUGS for awhile.

On vac in Chi the rest of this week, city pass with the family, so not much time to blog, but had to stop in to comment on Lemonade's sons. Looks like he's got a lot to be proud of there.

Barry G. said...

What else does a crane do, except collapse in NY CITY?

I dunno, our local zoo has a crane ( a blacked-necked one, I think), and all he seems to do all day long is stand there doing nothing...

Bill said...

Probably on one leg, showing his extreme sense of balance!! Something those in NYC could use!!!

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Dennis et al,
Remember this Barry Silk MIDDLE EARTH puzzle? Even the first theme entry CLEAR THE AIR is the same. No wonder I had such an easy time today.

Great to see you back.


Dick said...

Good morning C.C. and all. It is nice to be back after our excursion to the left coast and a visit with Carol and her husband Joe. Since I have not read any posts in a week I will be brief as I will probably be repeating Carol. But, first today’s puzzle:

I seemed to struggle a bit today as there were a few unknowns for me, i.e. Dru, errantly and dcunited. Dru came from the perps , but the crossing of the other two came only as a guess. Also, I had apian for 1A, in lieu of apish, which really slowed me down in that corner.

Overall a very nice c/w puzzle today and one to stimulate the mind.

The visit to Oregon was great and I satisfied one of my dreams and that was to see the “Spruce Goose”. Not only did I get to see it, but was also able to get my picture taken sitting in the pilots seat. Carol and Joe visited the Evergreen Air Museum with my wife and me which made for a fun afternoon. Too bad we did not have more time to visit, but I will go to Portland again before too long. Now for the pay back I must go cut a weeks worth of grass and it will need to be done between rain storms.

Hope you all have a great Thursday.

windhover said...

Four for four, with no help. Got lost for a while at 4D with sea horse, must have been the influence of MelissaBee. Nice way to be lead astray. (Hi BarbB, I'm trying to be good). Also wanted SoHo instead of Noho and insole for instep. I still expect to get crushed tomorrow.

Lemonade :
those acorns didn't fall far from the tree; great looking guys, dad as well. We are so far a very good looking group. I expect to break that streak sometime soon.

Hoagland had a very long essay on the topic of male aging
in Harpers a few years ago. I've tried to read more of his work since then. He appears to be a very wise man, but generally tells us what we already know: it doesn't do us all that much good to learn from our mistakes, because mostly we'd just do it all again if we had the chance. I know I would.

I'm pretty sure Lois and I will agree on this point: we'd rather be chased than chaste.

Storms on the way here today. I'm off to dig some worms for tomorrow.

I'm pretty sure I went to high school with that LaFonda chick. She was a crowd favorite even then.

Linda said...

Good morning: After "middleearth" the themes fell.
Still had trouble with " retiree`s abundance" since it`s not true in many cases. I`ve said and heard it said that retirees are busier than ever. We do have more choice as to when we do what, though.
Wanted "apian" for "apish","magi" for "mage", "insole" for "instep" (more a part of the foot to me), wasn`t sure of spellings for "starr" and "Yentl" and "protegee". Got `er done, though.

Jimbo: Please check in more often.

LA714: Wonderful, smiling group!

WH: Point taken.

PJB-Chicago said...

Anyone have an adhesive bandage? Or a bandaid, perhaps? I've encountered junior high bullies kinder than this puzzle! We have entered Thursday territory, to be sure.
Kidding aside, we have a good puzzle on our hands. Good, fresh fill and wicked clues. Good for the brain.
Several fun traps. NOHO? Sorry, I don't use that expression in mixed company, being raised a semi-religious midwestern (Chicagoan) and all. "Insole"...that kind of ired me. Simian? Didn't we have APE as a verb quite recently? Simians live in the apiary, right?
CHASTE? That word was in a sixth grade spelling bee. Guess what, I guessed wrong... I haven't forgotten it since. "Beatrice MacArthur chaste me around the playground." She later went on to get a Harvard PhD in orthography.
Lemonade: I have two beautiful, successful yet single sisters. In case you were wondering.
Will check in later.
Be well, safe, and kind. Easy words to say, but hard to live up to. Am going to try.

Elissa said...

Found this an easier than usual Thursday puzzle, though by no means easy - more puzzling/HARDER for sure. I had a bad day yesterday, so decided to just do the puzzle in Regular mode from the start and was already down to the SW neighborhood before I saw my first red letter. Even then, I managed with very little help, although I did spend a fair amount of time staring at the screen and going back and forth between As and Ds. I got the most of theme answers before I got to MIDDLE EARTH.

ERRANTRY was my 'learn something new every day' answer today. I had heard of Knight Errant, but never bothered to find out what that meant. Thanks, Dennis.

Being retired I find I have lots to do and fill all my time. But I still consider it 'leisure time' because, to a much greater extent than when I was employed, I decide what I want to do, when I'm going to do it. I read the paper, putter around the house getting things done, even head to the gym, at a 'leisurely' pace.

I drink my Scotch neat. What about you?

L714: What a happy looking group. Very nice. DNA links are obvious.

lois said...

Good morning CC et al., Hard enough for a Thurs but never thought there was 'no hope'. Mage is a new word and didn't know sol but the perps came thru for each. Wanted ATTN for 51A and think ADDR is a stretch.

CC, LOL on the subtheme comment and you're right - loved it.

Dennis: LMAO on your homophone for chaste comment. Windhover is absolutely right, would rather be chased than chaste any day. Love how chaste crosses chaser.

'Cashed in' brought back LV memories again. If only I had 'redeemed' my chips earlier when I was on top. But where's the fun in that? Guess that explains why I lost so much. Being on top is a lot of fun. Staying there was the problem. But still it was the most fun I've had with my clothes on.

Loved the 'rodeos' ref. Miss my cowboys and the rides, but had to laugh at the 'very short rides' clue.

Who 'slosh'es in a tub? But I have a splash of wine regularly so I guess it's ok. 'Ales' reminded me of that outstanding visit w/Windhover in KY having KY Bourbon Ale. Dang that was some good stuff and the drink wasn't bad either.

Hahtool: thanks for the Robert Plant link. One of my all time favs. Nothing like a little Led Zepelin in the morning.

Lemonade: great pic of you and your boys. Handsome men! Fabulous smiles!

Bill: so good to see you again. I admire you guys who can remodel a house. Amazing.

Enjoy this gorgeous day.

lois said...

Argyle (hic): LOL Great take on the puzzle subtheme.

Moon said...

Good Morning!
Finished the puzzle, went to the gym and now back to read the blog and all its comments.
CC, like you, I did a lot of guessing and most were right. I had never heard of BEATRICE ARTHUR, ABE BURROWS or Mammy's boy. But I managed to fill in all of them.
This puzzle was easier than the other Thursdays. Ofcourse started out on the wrong foot with APIAN instead of APISH. Looked up APIAN..its related to bees and nothing to do with apes (new learning for the day). Like Elissa, the other learning is ERRANTRY (never heard of this).
Wanted ONE LEGGED (ofcourse it wouldnt fit) for Crane, at times (remembered a short story I read about it in school), PESTS for Raid targets.
Fav clue: Sound quality?
Hated myself for not getting ROUTER without perp help: I'm a networking engineer.

Dennis, loved the quote from Herm Albright.

Lemonade, such a handsome family. And beautiful smiles.

Elissa, I drink scotch like 2-3 times a year but always NEAT.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone!

Solved this one in the normal manner. The only rework was ENTHRALL for ENTRANCE. One of these days I may get smart enough to check out the unifying answer and use it for fill. By the time I got it, it only helped me to fill in I DIDNT HEAR THAT.

@lemonade Nice picture, but all of the stripes and lines and patterns cause problems for my eyes!

Need to carp about 8D. DNA is sub-microscopic, except on the latest and greatest electron microscopes. Even then it's really fuzzy stuff. The typing is done chemically.

Took me a while to remember who the heck "Mammy" was. We don't get L'il Abner in our comics.

Have a great Thursday.

Anonymous said...

A very doable puzzle for a Thursday. I got the theme right away when I typed in “middle earth” and Beatrice Arthur which helped. I find if I can figure out the theme I can generally finish the puzzle with just a little bit of red letter help. Perp help included SFO, sol, errantry (new terminology for me as well). My favorite clue was “sound quality” sanity. I took a WAG at Lloyd never hearing of Mr. Bentsen. I also wanted SOHO for NOHO.

Lemonade, you handsome devil…I know your oldest son just got married. Does your youngest like older women?

Kelev said...

I have to agree with you, Crockett, about DNA being "microscopic." I skipped that response on the first pass because I figured it couldn't be seen by a regular microscope. An electron microscope, okay, but that was not where the clue was leading.

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone.
Lemonade, it's a wonderful picture of you, your two sons, and your nephew. The son to your right (in the picture) looks so much like you! What fun.

Thank you to all who commented on my picture yesterday. Argyle and others: I am wearing a pantsuit. The pants are the same pattern. Yes, colorful. That's how I dress. And Linda; the wood behind me is an armoire that I keep in the lr with china, glass, and silver settings. Won't fit or be fitting in the kitchen.

My fav today was event with short ride. I did laugh out loud when I read it. (I hadn't groked it.)


Anonymous said...

Tarrajo, when I got around to (being a leisured retiree) reading the Student Supply List, I was agog. It's ridiculous. And I taught elementary for 15 years. I'm sending it to a d-i-l who is a teacher in a MN suburb. If I hear from her, I'll let you know.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Great Thursday puzzle. Thanks to Todd McClary for doable perps that made solving the difficult fills possible.

No time to comment now, but will be back later.

Great photo Lemonade.

JD said...

Good morning CC and all,

Had so much fun with today's puzzle. I thought it was one of the easiest Thurs.c/w's UNTIL I arrived at the south west corner.Earth sat alone for awhile, and do you realize how many little words are in ididnthearthat? hat,art,the,at, and of course earth(which I didn't realize was the theme-doh!)So, since I could not read it, I couldn't fill it until I got the n in angrier.

Like others, I made many correct guesses starting with apish.Bob gave me DC United.Did not understand insiyu until I got here.That dead language lives strong in our c/w's.

Some great words today: enthrall, chaste, dearths(not a word we hear too often).

Years ago for Halloween I dressed as cousin Itt, donning a grass skirt over my head.

Lois, you've never made waves in the tub? I think our mother was so pleased when we finally graduated to taking showers.

Lemonade, great smiles all, just like Dad.You probably don't want to hear that you are cute, but...

Welcome back Dick!

Dennis said...

Bill, good to see you back; having remodeled a bathroom once, I can empathize.

C.C., I honestly didn't remember the Silk puzzle until you mentioned it. But as I've said before about my memory,, dammit, lost it.

Dick, welcome back, and hopefully you'll have more pictures to post?

Windhover, I couldn't agree more - most of our mistakes were worth repeating.

Elissa, I don't drink scotch that often either, like Moon, and neat is the only way.

Yeah, ok, Lois, like you haven't sloshed in a tub. Or for that matter, been sloshed in a tub.

Crockett, I think "L'il Abner" is long-gone anyway.

Barb B said...

Much easier than yesterday’s impossible puzzle; for me anyhow.

I saw the ART in the center first, then EARTH. Clever theme.

Same problem Dennis had with NOHO. I never heard of it. Learm something new every day. I’m getting lazy, though. Before googling, I come here to see if someone else already has.

Argyle, My first thought for KNIGHTLY NEWS was also Ted Baxter. Thanks for the link.

Nice picture, Lemonade. You seem to be in your element with sons and nephew. All handsome and bright looking.

WH, lol. MelissaBee, sorry to be a wet blanket. Kind of.

Jeannie said...

Wow! I finished a Thursday puzzle without hitting the g-spot. It was a reach too as I know nothing about the Lord of the Rings so middle earth was a pure guess. When I typed in Bea Arthur the light bulb finally came on in my head. I too caught the alcohol based sub theme so add me to the list of sots out there.

We had our Gourmet Foodshow yesterday about 15 miles outside Minneapolis. The show started at 2pm and by 2:30pm we were all forced into the basement as a tornado touched down in Minneapolis. It was interesting to try to herd all the chefs, customers, and vendors down the stairs. Alls well that ends well and the show was beautiful and a great success. My big foodshow is coming up in October. Matter of fact, two months from yesterday.

I hope that none of our Minnesotans on this blog were impacted in the storm.

Lemonade, you handsome counselor, the acorns didn’t fall too far from the tree. Lo-li-ta.

Luxor said...

Great pic of Lemonade and boys. Very robust looking guys. Thanks C.C. for posting pics of our group. We all like it.
How do you get the pics?

carol said...

Hi C.C. and all -

I didn't struggle as hard as I thought I would for a Thurs puzzle. Laughed out loud at 47D RODEOS and thought of Lois, but somehow could not imagine her on a 'short ride'...not talking height here either :)

Thanks C.C. for the explanation of NOHO and SOHO. I never did know what they meant.

I had trouble with 1A SIMIAN/APISH, 42D 'DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER'/A AND E..never heard of it.


Lemonade: loved your picture! Very handsome bunch of guys!

Dick - so glad you arrived home safely. We enjoyed the visit so much!!

Bill - good to see you back with us, you were missed.

g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all:

Doable puzzle today and I actually figured out the theme without having to come here first! Yea! I did have apian, insole and magi at first but figured it out finally. I knew Yentl had to be correct, so I did have Noho, but didn't remember what it stood for.

Favorite clues: Sound quality? and Events with some very short rides

Lemonade: Great looking family. Your sons look just like you, great smiles!

Off to the gym!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hey, Gang -

I'm pretty disappointed by this puzzle - almost nothing to whine about.

C.C already made most of the comments that I was going to.

I'm with Argyle on the the drinking sub-theme, and wanted DOUBLE for 45 D. That made the SW corner tough. It's a PRESS to stay IN STEP with a HARDER TOPIC.

Other thoughts:

Assuming that retirement has an abundance of LEISURE is a naive notion, only believed by the unretired.

What happens when a CHASER crosses the CHASTE?

Is it OK for NOHO to cross a NOHO Professional Engineer?

Only a Toledo Native would be amused by the 60A - 63A stack. The corner pharmacy near my M-I-L's house is ERIE DRUGS.

Now that's ART!

Did anyone else parse 44A as, "I didn't love (the) chapeau?"

Or 28A as, "Exist for a moment, Art?"

Five kids are all playing in the basement. They won't all fit when the rest of the cousins (not ITT) arrive. Alas, it's raining this PM. Much fun ahead! Might need a DOUBLY of Lagavulin.

JzB that APISH trombonist

Jazzbumpa said...


That alleged picture of Lemonade, et al.

Are you sure it's not the Jonas Brothers?

JzB the questionable-SANITY trombonist

Mainiac said...

Good Afternoon All,

I've been buried at work so I gave up puzzling. Football season has also started so I've had to really prioritize my time at work. Hopefully the curve will flatten out soon.

My neighbors music has driven me to give up work. A marine contractor is blasting country western out back and the house next door is employee housing for a local hotelier. Jamaicans are the occupants this year and I'm not quite sure what they've got going?! I can barely write!!

So I tried today's grid.....worked down through not getting much until Middle Earth. Filled in a bunch there and got hung up in the NE and couldn't get a foot hold around DCunited. Went on line and finished in red. Nice puzzle and a nice break.

Its been really hot and humid here. I know 90 is a break for some but its been hell on me. It looks like Bill will nick us later this weekend so we'll get some rain. I've actually had to water my lawn for a couple of weeks.

I looked back and really enjoyed the pictures of everyone. Definitely a great looking group.

Welp, nose to the grindstone!

Hope all are well.

Jeannie said...

Minneapolis tornado This was about 15 miles from the hotel we were having the show.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who enjoy comics as much as I do, and miss the good ones from the old days, you can see old reruns of Li'l Abner daily on They are currently running a series of strips from late 1934, which was 4 years before I was born. Creator Al Capp retired in 1977 and expired in 1979, thus ending Li'l Abner comic strip.It was once considered one of the best, if not the best.
Old Sage in Virginia Beach

lois said...

JD: of course I've made waves in a tub...and everywhere else I go apparently... but to play in a tub is to splash. Walking w/a drink and having it swirl outside the glass w/the momentum of movement or the tipping of the glass is to slosh. That I do on a regular basis but I don't slosh in a tub. However...

Dennis: LOL of course I've been sloshed in a tub. I soak and relax in a tub, with wine, candles, wine, bath oils and salts, wine, various scents and lotions, wine, and get sloshed in the process. Is that sloshing in a tub? If Mr. McClary had said, to spill a drink while walking...slosh would've been a no brainer. But it's all good. Sloshing is fun no matter how it is done. When is national sloshing day?

Did you have any friends who were at Paris in LV last wkend? There were some wild and crazy fun men from NJ at roulette

Dennis said...

No, no friends in LV this past weekend. We usually spend weekends in church, anyway.

kazie said...

Late start for me today. I was at the local retired teachers' meeting and gave a powerpoint presentation. I had the puzzle almost done before leaving and just finished it after returning.

I g'ed UNITED, perhaps in too much haste, but everything else fell in reasonable fast, though I didn't really know NOHO, but it had to be YENTL across the top of it. On the whole, I found it definitely easier than last Thursday, and the theme jumped out as soon as I realized I needed BEATRICE and not just BEA ARTHUR.

Sorry I haven't had time to read other posts thoroughly yet.

Great pic. You and your boys are all good looking people.

Elissa said...

Dennis: If you say so . . .

kazie said...

Oops--still too hasty--wanted "reasonablY fast".

I also hesitated over Simian--had API for a long time, knowing it couldn't end in -AN. And guessed the O in LLOYD, otherwise wouldn't have got SFO either.

Gave the dog a bath yesterday--she loves it, but the only way I can reach all of her is to get in the tub with her, since we have sliding doors on the tub. She didn't slosh at all--just lay there enjoying it peacefully. Good motivation to clean the foor after she shakes herself all over it.

embien said...

12:14 today. Still semi-out of town with visitors so no time to read the blog.

Very easy Thursday puzzle--I was expecting something much more difficult. The theme became obvious after filling in CLEAR THE AIR and seeing the clue for 53A (MIDDLE EARTH). Boom! The puzzle practically filled itself in from there.

Linda said...

Jeannie: Glad you are safe (and all the other Minnisotans!) Good to hear from you!

Linda said...

One correction on the "Savory, Hot Crackers"...the oil should be (and I realize I`ll loose half the "tryers' here) 1 and 1/3 cups canola. They are so good with soups and stews, also. (You can half everything and then it would be 2/3 cups)

Linda said...

I thought i had found someone to commensurate with over husbands who won`t stand for "painting high-dollar panelling." When we bought this fixer-upper, that was my plan. So...obedient wife that I am (down, Kazie!), I "only" painted two louvered doors, 7 windows and frames, two closet doors and frames, all baseboards and the frames for the two doors leading to other rooms! With mirrors, light window treatments and light colored decorations all over the walls, I accomplished my purpose! And the panelling is still "au natural!"

Jeanne said...

Hi all,
Very good puzzle today. Only got part of it finished before I had to head out and then finished up this p.m. easily. Actually knew NOHO because we were in NY for a wedding several years ago in that area. Learned at the same time that Houston St. is not pronounced like the city in Texas. "Howston" is the correct pronunciation. Never knew that. Guess Sam Houston never traveled to NY.

Lemonade-great picture-very handsome men. Husband is making dinner tonight-his homemade pizza dough makes it extra special. It's his one meal he makes entirely on his own. He does help with other meals, however. Have a great evening everyone.

I keep losing my identity and have to sign in all over again. Does that have to do with my cookie setting? Anyone?

Chickie said...

Hello All--For a Thursday puzzle this was doable for me. I had to Google DCUnited, and filled in Noho but Googled it to make sure I was right. I wanted Soho, but knew that wouldn't fit because of the Yentl cross.

I guessed at I Robot and I couldn't remember the currancy of Peru, so the SW corner was the last to fall. I had the Middle Earth theme, but didn't understand it until I came to the Blog site. I need to use the strategy that C.C. recommends with the split words, e.g. clEARTHeair.

Errantry and Mage were my new words for the day. Both totally new to me.

Being retired keeps me busier than ever, but I agree with Elissa, you do your thing in a more leisurly manner. I have time now to do more volunteer work which I couldn't do when I was working and to do my grocery shopping during the day instead of on the way home from work!

Lemonade, what a good looking crew!

Elissa said...

Grocery shopping in the middle of the day in the middle of the week is one of the true benefits of being retired.

Just finished making a batch of gazpacho with our home grown tomatoes. For several years I have planted tomatoes seemingly for the benefit of the squirrels. I wouldn't have minded if they were willing to share or if they ate the whole fruit. But instead, shortly after the fruit just turned orange, the rats with fluffy tails would take every one, eat about half then leave it in the yard for the ants. For a couple of years I tried planting tomatoes upside down, which foiled the squirrels but couldn't get enough water to make the tomatoes flourish, so the yield was a paltry few minature specimens. This year I finally got wise and surrounded the plants with netting, which crowds the plants, but defeats the squirrels (who have had to be satisfied with gnawing on the few fruits that are up against the netting down near the ground). The yield has been just perfect. When the fruit gets ahead of us I make gazpacho. Yum!

Lemonade714 said...

Hello everyone; first thank you all for the kind words. Yes, I am extremely proud of my boys, and I am in fact in sunny Buffalo at SUNY Buffalo where Aaron (the oldest with the tie, begin his work on his PhD next week. Devin is next to me on my left, with my nephew James on the end. TJ, Devin is currently unattached, so you are on your own; I will pass on your interest. It really is nice to see all of CC's ever growing family of solvers. I enjoyed the puzzle, especially since we are traveling and I only had a few moments, it was nice that it all went quickly. You are a very supportive group; will be back to 'normal' next week. One quick story; my son Aaron his bride, Elizabeth, are born and raised in South Florida, with Tallahassee their Northern Exposure, until he decided to to go to Buffalo. They rented half of a cute house, and moved here early to get acclimated before school started. It was really cool the first few weeks, even though it was July. Anyway, the week of summer hit and they went to the thermostat, flipped on the cool switch and set it for 75. Nothing happened, so they called the landlord, to tell him his A/C was broken. Well, naturally the house doesn't have central a/c, so he laughed for a while. Enjoy the day as much as I enjoyed your comments....

Anonymous said...

Learn about Dru Hill.

Buckeye said...

Guday all.

S.W corner hung me up a bit, but got thru this one fairly easily.

Lemonade; Good looking group.

Windhover; LaFonda was/is VERY popular.

Finally: Never, never, never drink GOOD scotch NEAT. Always, always always add a small "splash" of water. The water releases the aroma and flavor of the peat and malt. It doesn't take much - no more than a teaspoon per shot, or slightly less. With GOOD or GREAT scotch, never, never, never use ice. With "bar or well" scotch, all bets are off. Do as you wish.

Golf earlier today and a gang of "catch-up" stuff to do, so....

I must be off!

Anonymous said...

I sort of got the theme. I was thinking all the clues had ART in them vs. EARTH. Well, I guess I was half right. I didn't get MIDDLE EARTH until late as I am not a Lord of the Rings fan.

I got most of the grid, only missing a few letters. I also was guessing right today on many of the answers. Some right off the bat with no perp help at all. Hmmm. Been busy, so don't get at the puzzle or have to finish later in the day.

I had no idea I ROBOT was a 50's book. The school our kids attend has the Knight Errant as it's school paper, with the Red Knights being their mascot, so that popped into my head. Liked Raid Targets, Events with some very short rides and Sound Quality also. We had NOHO recently, so I remembered that, even though I wanted SOHO at first.

Barry, you are chiming in much more often of late. Are you doing the puzzle online now or is your paper carrying it?

CC, do you think if we start to complain again to the Star Tribune they will consider changing? I still cannot figure out why they don't carry this puzzle.

Jeannie, good that you are okay. Where were you? I was asking about you and Tarrajo yesterday. My husband works downtown, so the tornado hit only a few blocks from his building. The one last week was only a mile from our home, so we have been a little too close as of late. No harm done though.

I love Lemonade's infectious smile. There is no doubt those boys are all related.

Clear Ayes said...

Back from shopping and not quite ready for chorus practice, so I have a little time to comment. Unfortunately, everything I was going to say has been said..and much better too.

Except for DC UNITED, the top half went very quickly and the only unknowns in the bottom section was SOL and DRU.

Sorry I missed Buckeye yesterday. I remember "Yip Yip Yaphank" very well. "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning" was a showstopper. Don't tell anybody Bro, but I actually know the words to "Mandy".

BTW, Sonora Rep's production of Damn Yankees was fantastic. For a small town theater, they have an amazing group of talent working for them. I didn't think of Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston's version once.

Elissa, Not a scotch drinker. I had one of those unfortunate experiences of overindulgence many years ago and my stomach told me it was an mistake I didn't want to repeat.

About drinking subtheme, if "tope" is another word for alcoholic, can a person be TOPIC(18D)

windhover said...

I'm sure you
know that your advice about scotch is true of our better Kentucky Bourbons as well. As for the others, there's really no excuse for drinking them, anyway. Pouring any good liquor into a Coke should be a punishable offense. I'm a beer and ale drinker myself. Tonight: Great Lakes Brewery's Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. Maybe a Belgian Dubbel later. Say hi to LaFonda.

Anonymous said...

Was just reading yesterday's late night posts and ran into PJB's where someone asked if they could use his post regarding school supplies. Today's business section had yet another article about anything posted on Twitter, Facebook or blogs being out in cyberspace forever, and how careful we must be to only print things that won't kick us in the behind someday. Could be many things we post, taken the wrong way possibly. PJB's incident really brings that home doesn't it? It's is good to see that some things get used for good fun too though.

My husband has a Facebook page, however, he will never write on walls or put responses on the page as he worries about how things might be taken out of context or used against him.

Luxor said...


I never received your answer to my 7/25/09 email. Could you please resend it.
Thank you.

Lemonade714 said...

Speaking of Great Lakes Brewery, my son Aaron and his wife have become very interested in craft beers and ales, and have actually brewed some of their own. Tonight we ate at Cole's with a beer list of 200 choices. Great Lakes brews are popular here as well.

Anonymous said...

Linda: Sorry I am not one to commiserate with. But I bought that armoire for $25, stripped it down, found that it was cherry and walnut, used that finish that you just rub on (can't remember its name), and it's gorgeous. The shelves are solid walnut and can hold any amount of heavy piles of dishes, platters, etc. There are three drawers beneath what you see which hold linens. All that refinishing was 32 years ago.

Elissa said...

In 2000 I worked for a company that had gone public the prior summer and people had made serious money. From time to time the Friday 'beer bash' someone would bring out a $300+ bottle of scotch. Sigh. I miss those days. We're reduced to drinking Glenlivet or Glenmorangie or Macallan. For special occasions we'll have Johnnie Walker Blue Label. I guess we'll live. I'll try it with a bit of water as suggested.

Jeannie said...

This is for you BarbB, for saying I was gorgeous, intelligent, and etc...also you WM and I do expect daisies in a painting. White ones.

The BEST FRIED CHICKEN (in my opinion): Buy the best organic or free range chicken out there. If you don't know how to cut one up the butcher or farmer will do it for you. I usually go for 6 pieces as the wings should be attached to the breast in my opinion. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Season the chicken liberally with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. (I grow basil, thyme, oregano, and rosemary and dry them and mull them) but you can buy a good Italian seasoning anywhere already dried. Liberally season both sides with all the seasonings and put in an air tight container/and or ziplock bag for at least 3 hours. Use the same seasoning mix in your flour. Take the chicken and generously coat the chicken on each sides.

Oil: use only good vegetable oil in this one, and a good cast iron pan. I usually put a little water in the oil to know when it's ready and when the sizzle stops...drop your chicken. It takes about 5 min on one side and 5 min on the other and another 3 min on one side and 3 min on the other until it's golden brown and crispy. Let rest about 10 min. You don't need another side except some good cole slaw or fresh sweet corn which is in abundance here right now.

Anonymous said...

Wow Jeannie, you gave the recipe up! Now I have a plan this weekend of finding some rusty cast iron pan at a garage sale somewhere and try to bring it to life, as I don't own one. I might have to pawn LGJ on Sierra (not hard to do) as he hates garage sales and any shopping whatsoever. In his words, "I would rather go to the dentist."

Your recipe sounds good though and I just happen to have the right herbs drying in my pantry.

WM, I can't wait to see your daisy painting.

Jeannie said...

I can vouch for Dennis regarding the weekend church thing as he and his buddies sit right in front of me and Lois.


PJB-Chicago said...

Good evening! I had the day off and ran errands. Took a nice walk along the lakefront with MILE (mom-in-law equivalent, long story) who came to town, ahem, unnanouced, but she is a delight. We went out for some sushi. Chicago isn't really a great town for sushi but the better chefs will make the best of what they have. I have good luck just asking the chef to just make whatever is freshest, with the one caveat that I won't eat anything that looks just how it looked when it was alive. Those sea-urchin things scare me. Tentacles are another unwelcome visual on the plate. Bleh! Me so picky.

Jeannie: looks like a great recipe. But, c'mon, lady, you gotta have cornbread or biscuits with it! Lol.

KQ: point well taken re: posting online. Many hiring managers do google job appicants and aren't amused by semi-naked shots of kids doing bong hits or worse, or graphic displays of stupid pranks! On our little home-spun comedy blog, we made the tough decision to make it members only and password protected, plus have people use a stage name. Posts are moderated to cut down on spam, stalkers and vitriol. Google doesn't cache it. All that takes out some of the spontaneity (sp?) but with over 200 registered users and about 200 posts a day, it had to be done. Some people cross the line with racially inappropriate stuff, etc., but for the most part it's a good forum. No one likes to play censor, but....

"Middle earth" was tough for me today. Am still not very good at themes, but appreciate it when they're clever. Never read any of the Tolkien books, I admit. CS Lewis I enjoyed, and was surprised to find that the two Harry Potter books I read were so riveting.
Am a big fan of anything that gets kids reading!
Trivia: The French pronounce the lead character's name like "ah-REE poe-TAIR." I would have expected the last name to come out as "poh-TAY" but nope!
Good night, all.

Jeannie said...

PJB, I forgot that part. Granny always used the same pan to make cornbread in and took it out and put it on the warming board, rinsed out the pan and THEN used the pan for chicken. Good catch. You listen.

I really didn't want to go into how she procured the chicken though...okay, it did involve raising them, catching them and then wringing their necks...

PJB-Chicago said...

Jeannie: That is the best cornbread ever!i don't yet have a great skillet, but also love the cornbread done with bacon grease.Cholesterol be damned...
My mom denies it, but her mother used to be a competitive chicken plucker. They used to have contests, apparently. I absolutely agree with your instructions on getting good chicken. So much of the stuff in the stores has no taste, so city people often never get to know how good fresh chicken tastes. Pricey but worth it. Duck is so hard to do right, but also a favorite.
See y'all for Friday's puzzlepaloozah. Pjb

Jeannie said...

PJB, at our Gourmet Foodshow yesterday afternoon one of my favorite booths to (do a quality check) was the domestic duck booth. WOW. My hands down favorite thing he made was duck potstickers with a ginger/hoison dipping sauce. They were fabulous. I had to try know quality control and all that...

PJB-Chicago said...

Jeannie. That sounds tasty! I would have been stopping by the Duck Duck Booth in various disguises all day long. A local Chinese restaurant called Opera (terrible name) does an amazing take on Peking duck and you have to order it a day in advance. I have tried bribing everyone there for the recipes for the sauces, but no luck. Being so darn charming is no help, sometimes!
Time to pack lunch. Dang, now I'm hungry!

Barb B said...

THANKS, Jeannie, for the fried chicken recipe. It looks well worth the suck-up. (Which wasn’t hard, really. I suspect it’s all true.) I can’t wait to try it out.

I agree with using only free range chicken. It’s the only kind I buy; I also refuse to eat beef grown in feed lots.

I wish I hadn’t given up my iron skillet; I remember that cornbread. I can never get it to brown like that any other way. But then, there’s good cornbread and better cornbread, but no bad cornbread.