Sep 21, 2009

Monday September 21, 2009 Mel Rosen

Theme: Superman Rides in a Balloon

21A: Capable of doing a job: UP TO THE TASK

37A: Next in line to advance at work: UP FOR A PROMOTION

48A: Jackie Gleason catchphrase: AND AWAY WE GO

Nice pangram, all 26 letters have been used at least once.

The constructor Mel Rosen succeeded Will Weng (former NY Times crossword editor) as puzzle editor of The Crosswords Club and is also author of the Random House Puzzlemaker's Handbook

Superman and the Fifth Dimension might well be singing, "UP, UP, AND AWAY" at next weekend's Adirondack Hot Air Balloon Festival .

Argyle here, and if this puzzle is an example, we may be in for an interesting week.


1A: Skills-sharpening piano piece: ETUDE. Here is Chopin's "Sunrise", for Mary, Lois and Barb B.

6A: El __, Texas: PASO. Spanish for "step". I hear they have a university there.

10A: SoCal cop force: LAPD.

14A: Bolshevik leader: LENIN.

15A: "Baseball Tonight" station: ESPN.

16A: Prefix meaning "same": EQUI. As in equilateral. ISO is "Prefix meaning "same"" too.

17A: Elementary: BASIC.

18A: Bit of sports info: STAT. Usually we see this as a plural, STATistics.

19A: To-do: FUSS. Let's get it on! 34A: Group fight: MELEE. 8D: Minor quarrel: SPAT.

24A: "To whom __ concern": IT MAY.

26A: Tarzan actor Ron: ELY.

27A: Improvises lines: AD-LIBS.

29A: Solidify: JELL. JELL is a verb only while gel can be a noun or a verb.

31A: La __, Bolivia: PAZ. 22D: Daddies: PAS. PAS in La PAZ are padres.

35A: Pervasive quality: AURA.

36A: Yard event: SALE. Clever clue. Yes, Linda?

40A: Astound: STUN.

41A: Corp. leaders: CEOS.

42A: Acted boldly: DARED.

43A: Subj. for some immigrants: ESL. English as a Second Language.

44A: Berlin "Mister": HERR. Berlin "Mrs." would be FRAU.

45A: Mother with a Nobel prize: TERESA. Mother TERESA (Albanian) was awarded Nobel Peace in 1979.

46A: More than damp: WET. As many of you will discover today.

47A: With __ breath: tensely anticipatory: BATED.

53A: Sorrow: WOE.

56A: Sweet-talk: COAX.

57A: Dabbling duck: TEAL. Falcated teal falcated: curved like a scythe or sickle. Long sickle-shaped tertials hanging off its back give this species its name. Tertials: The third row of flight feathers on the basal section of a bird's wing. That's it. I'm done with this bird! Oh, it's a greenish-blue color too, same as AQUA (11D: Greenish-blue).

58A: Puts behind bars: JAILS.

61A: Northern Nevada town: ELKO. Here. It hosts the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Lois.

62A: Pop music's Hall & __: OATES. Six #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: "Rich Girl", "Kiss on My List", "Private Eyes", "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)", "Maneater", and "Out of Touch".

63A: Lose, as skin: SHED.

64A: Eject, geyser-style: SPEW.

65A: Internet giant with an exclamation point in its name: YAHOO. Very descriptive clue.


1D: Napoleon's exile isle: ELBA. He was then back to France for 100 days before Waterloo.

2D: Oolong and pekoe: TEAS.

3D: Not practiced: UNSKILLFUL.And someone you don't want 31D: Assigned as the partner of, as in dance class: PAIRED WITH.

4D: 502, to Nero: DII.

5D: Burden: ENCUMBER.

6D: Annoying, like a kid brother: PESTY. My first choice was PESKY.

7D: Concerning: AS TO.

9D: Like an escapee: ON THE LAM. We finally get the whole phrase.

10D: Southpaw's nickname: LEFTY. Does anybody besides pitcher gets called LEFTY? OK, Phil Mickelson.

12D: Kitty or kisser: PUSS. Feline or face (or both).

13D: Floppy with data: DISK.

25D: Attach with rope: TIE ON.

28D: U.S. Cabinet divisions: DEPTS. Departments.

29D: Foreman in court, e.g.: JUROR. If the former boxer was on the jury, he could be the Foreman foreman.

30D: Bow-toting god: EROS. Think Cupid.

33D: "The Prisoner of __": 1937 Fairbanks film: ZENDA. Poster.

38D: Plastic overlays for artwork: ACETATES.

39D: Poem used in Beethoven's "Choral Symphony": ODE TO JOY. Official anthem for European Union.

46D: Applied Simoniz to: WAXED. Remember from Karate Kid, "Wax on, wax off"?

48D: Unreturnable serves: ACES. Tennis.

50D: Pianist Brubeck: DAVE.

55D: Exxon, once: ESSO. Derived from the initials of the pre-1911 Standard Oil (S O).

59D: Small battery: AAA.

Answer grid.

Picture of the Day: Today is the 60th wedding anniversary of our fellow solver T. Frank and his wife Jean. Congratulations! They celebrated the occasion over the August 28, 2009 weekend before the school started. Left to right: Jean, Frank, Carl, Lee and Paul (Frank's sons and daughter, who live in New York State and Florida).



Dennis said...

Good morning, Argyle, C.C. and gang - a typical Monday puzzle, just under 4 minutes. Nice pangram, and a fair amount of fresh clues.

I didn't care for 'unskillful', don't think I've ever heard the word used; only 'unskilled'. Also, shouldn't 'U.S. Cabinet divisions' have "abbrev.", or is the 'U.S.' part enough to imply that the answer could be an abbreviation?

Boy, I hope Lois is around today -- she'll have a freakin' field day with this puzzle.

Today is Miniature Golf Day and World Gratitude Day.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "The difference between men and women is that, if given the choice between saving the life of an infant or catching a fly ball, a woman will automatically choose to save the infant, without even considering if there's a man on base." -- Dave Barry

And a few Battle of the Sexes quotes:

- "A woman's mind is cleaner than a man's; she changes it more often." -- Oliver Herford

- "Woman begins by resisting a man's advances and ends by blocking his retreat." -- Oscar Wilde

TFrank, a great picture, and congratulations on your 60th Wedding Anniversary! That is one amazing accomplishment.

Hahtoolah said...

Morning, All! This was a bit more of a challenge for a Monday puzzle. The middle left section took me a while, as did the SoCal police force. Not being from California, all I could think of was San Diego. You mean there is a big city called LA? Thought that meant Louisiana. LOL! (Maybe just staying away for 2 days has atrophied my brain!).

I loved two of the music references: ODE TO JOY (39D) is a favorite of mine, as is DAVE BRUBECK (50D) and his Take Five.

The first time I ever heard the word LAM (9D) was when I was a little kid. The was movie called Eight on the Lam. I though it was Eight on the Lamb, which made no sense to me.

Favorite clue: Yard Event (36A): SALE

Beautiful photo, TFrank. You have a lovely family.

September 21 Birthdays:

1947 ~ Stephen King, Horror writer from Bangor, Maine.

1931 ~ Larry Hagman, Actor who played J.R. Ewing on Dallas (which is often a crossword clue.) He also played Major Anthony Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie.

1866 ~ H(erbert) G(eorge) Wells (d. 1946), one of the first Science Fiction writers. The Island of Dr. Moreau appeared in a recent crossword puzzle.

1756 ~ John MacAdam (d. 1836), Scottish engineer and road-builder. When I was a kid, I used to hear the term MacAdam road a lot, and I didn’t live in the country.

QOD: Human History becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophy. ~ H.G. Wells

Mainiac said...

Good Morning Argyle and All,

A steady run this morning with a bit of head scratching required for me. I was looking for something different than Unskillful but let everything fill in there. The NW corner was the last part for me to finish. I liked U.S. being the cue for the abbreviated answer. A bit different.

We suffered our second loss in football this weekend. The kids bounce back pretty quick but I hate losing.

Looking at another gorgeous week of weather here on the Downeast Coast.

Have a great day!

Mainiac said...

TFrank, What a good looking bunch and congratulations on your 60th!

Al said...

Dave Brubeck liked to compose with "uncommon" time signatures. Here is his Unsquare Dance in 7/4. Try to keep counting 1-2 1-2 1-2-3 through the whole thing and you will see how much fun it must have been to write and compose.

Lemonade714 said...

Good morning:

Lovely photo with obviously strong genetics, congratulations TFrank and Jean.

Argyle, nice write up, though if any of you caught on to the theme and had it help you, I am impressed. Last day of summer already...and the unpredictability of the NFL is pushing baseball from front page. Enjoy the week all.

Martin said...

Easy puzzle. I just had MAESTRO instead of MAESTRO and TUTIE FRUTIE instead of TUTTI FRUTTI to start.

Wait. Sorry, that was last Monday's. It's been sitting on my desk for a week. Wow, I've been so busy lately.

Anyway, today's was a bit tougher as I had BRAWL instead of MELEE. I also thought JELL was part of a brand name (JELL-O) and not an alternative spelling for gel.

Ten years ago today, Taiwan was rebuilding after the 9/21 earthquake. It was centered in the small city of Jiji, which is about 40 km directly south of here so this area was hit pretty hard, so I've been told.

On the lighter side of things, my Chinese has improved a lot: I was just about ready to give up, what with some words with different meanings only differing by tone, but it turns out that I am actually getting better at communicating with people who don't speak any English, which is the whole point of trying to learn a language in the first place.


Hahtoolah said...

I agree with you Lemonade. The theme of this puzzle totally evaded me. I got all the long theme clues/responses, but couldn't put them together to get Up, Up, and Away.

Dick said...

Good morning Argyle, C.C. and all, another easy Monday puzzle. Not much to comment on, but I do agree with Dennis on the word unskillful, I don’t think I have ever heard the word used before.

There were no unknowns that would not be filled from the perps.

TFrank , great photo and congratulations on 60 years of marriage that is quite an accomplishment

Andrea said...

Good Morning, All -

This was a bit harder for me, but ultimately doable. I did have to peek for help from Argyle, but once I saw Etude, everything else fell.

I also debated between Pesty and Pesky. Are they both words? Are they different? I always get them mixed up...

Congratulations TFrank - a very impressive milestone worthy of great celebration! Looks like you had a nice one!

We have a golf outing today - figures we're getting our first rain in about a month... I think it's supposed to hold out this afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed.


kazie said...

G'day all...
Congrats to TFrank and his family--a great photo to celebrate a wonderful achievement!

I congratulate you too. As a linguist, I can appreciate the good feeling one gets from beginning to feel at ease in any language other than one's own, but Chinese would be a real battle for me. Hats off to you!

I agree on unskillful, and also had a pause with JELL, as did Martin. I had RUN for LAM at first too. I found this one a little harder than normal Mondays, but got everything, almost without even perp help. Don't think I could ever be a speed solver--can't even see my pencil markings sometimes without squinting at them, and that adds time.

After finishing, I looked back at the theme clues for a few seconds before getting the UP, UP AND AWAY, but "Superman Rides in a Balloon"? Where does that come from? Why would he need a balloon?

Enjoyed the Brubeck link, and I also like the Beethoven "Ode to Joy". Right after the Berlin wall fell, I saw a long video called "Ode to Joy and Freedom" which chronicled the building, breaching and first tearing down of the wall. Haven't seen more than exerpts since, but it was very moving with the music playing through much of it.

Col_Gopinath said...

Good evening from India,
Nothing much to talk about in todays CW, a real walk in the park.
Frank & Jean 60 years wow! great photo on a great occasion, congratulations all the way from India.
Here is some info for you all. Among some commumities in South India especially in Tamilnadu, the 60th birthday of a married man is a big function, celebrated with a repeat wedding ceremony, similar to what would have been done at his wedding. Marriage vows are repeated with a priest in attendance, followed by a feast for all the guests.

Argyle said...

kazie, I put Superman in the balloon so he could sing along with the Fifth Dimension without getting bugs in his teeth.

Argyle said...

In case you didn't know, "Up, Up, And Away" is what Superman use to say but now it isn't 'cool' enough.

Jeannie said...

Dennis I am very impressed that you got this done in just under four minutes. I managed to finish it but not without having to hit the g-spot for the Fairbanks film Zenda. I also got some perp help with etude and have never seen jell; only gel. I too wanted pesky for pesty. ESL (English as a second language) in my opinion should be a prerequisite for anyone who chooses to live in the United States.

Moon said...

Good Morning!
A little more difficult than the usual Monday..the NE with LEFTY and LAPD and the SW with WAXED (dont know Simoniz), DAVE.
SoCal made me think of Berkeley and I was trying to think about their police force. Then the aha moment and LAPD fell into place.
Took around 10 mins to complete. But did not get the theme till I came here. Thank you Argyle.

Congratulation Frank! Wonderful pic.

Have a great day, everyone.

kazie said...

Thanks Argyle,
I guess I had forgotten the superman quote.

I agree. Political correctness is the culprit, I suppose, for the fact that ESL is now also changing to ELL (English Language Learning) because it is also used for those for whom English is a third or fourth language. However, most of those immigrants who need it have never learned any language other than their own.

Right now the government is bending over backwards to provide all sorts of information in Spanish, while making it harder and much more expensive for those wanting to move towards citizenship. If the ones heading for citizenship have to learn English, why spend our tax dollars slowing everything down with dual language options. What do they do for Hmong or Chinese, or any other language speakers? I can hardly read instructions on things I buy now because the print has to be so small to allow space for the Spanish equivalents!

Warren said...

Hi Argyle & gang, it was a speed runner puzzle today, we easily finished it in under 10 minutes while my wife was getting ready.

BTW, we had a great pottery and jam sale last weekend. Everyone like the honey cake that we made from the blog recipe. I printed out the Sunday LAT puzzle and did it with some assistance from other bored potters (Sunday afternoons are the slowest).

Bill G. said...

T. Frank and Jean, nice picture!

I enjoyed the interview. Also the writeup. Thanks Argyle. I figured out the theme after finishing the puzzle but before coming here. Though I understand the word PESTY, I've never heard it said by anybody and never seen it in print until today.

Sherlock Holmes asked Watson for a yellow door for Christmas. When asked why, Holmes replied "Lemon entry, my dear Watson".

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I filled in SCALE for 1A. Silly me, it took a couple of looks at the perps to realize my mistake.

After that there wasn't much trouble although I had UNSKILL--- for quite a while and had to come back to it to finish it off.

I understand that many people spell "BATED breath" as "Baited breath". Maybe they were eating worms?

ENCUMBER and ACETATES were terrific fills for a Monday puzzle.

LOL Argyle, is there really a university in El PASO?

World Gratitude Day? I'm pretty grateful for just about everything. Here's a shoutout to the world, Thank You For Being A Friend.

Dennis, I hope Lois has a great deal of time today. There are almost TOO many words for her to make use of in just one post.

Tfrank and Jean, Congratulations on your Diamond Anniversary. Your photo is lovely.

carol said...

Good morning everyone - I did the same thing with 1A that CA did. It wasn't a good way to start. It all went UP from there. I did not remember the Superman phrase either until Argyle explained it later (thanks Argyle!)

I thought since 21A and 37A both started with UP, 48A would too...that had me stumped for a while. I wanted to put something in there about Alice going to the moon.

57A (TEAL) - the link showed a beautiful duck, but his head feathers are an emerald green not blue green.

T.Frank - many congratulations on 60 years of marriage!! Wonderful picture.

I have heard the word 'PESKY' but never 'PESTY'. It does make sense though, because little siblings can be PESTS but what the heck is a PESK?

Lois - where are you???? Your audience is waiting!

Linda said...

Good morning CC and Argyle and gang:
Excellent interview, CC...excellent blog, Argyle...I know why I seldom have those "sales"...too much work for a grandmother!
Puzzle went chaos this morning...thankfully. Wanted teal for aqua...spelled disk with a c at first, put a g in jell, wanted the "fish breath", also, can never remember how many "e`s" melee has, wanted lobs for aces...wish i had timed it this AM...I think I beat Dennis :) (that`ll be the day!)

Luxor: If I could have an E address, I`d like a shot at answering your "suffering" questions...

Windhover: I`m with you...we need more of the "sweet by and by" in the "nasty, here and now." But we can only save one star fish at the time...but just because we can`t save all of the beached animals doesn`t mean we can`t save one or a dozen...

Tfrank and Jean: You`re an inspiration to us all! Wonderful picture. My Mom always said, (about marriage) "Linda, if you can`t make it with this man, you won`t make it with any man..."

About ESL people, legal and otherwise: In order to become a legal citizen, they must learn our constitution/legal system and prove they can become productive citizens. Over 50% of our natural born citizens can`t/won`t/don`t do that!

Clearayes: Love the song...Sophia is my favorite character...with Rose being the second.

BillG: Very "Puny/scrabbel-y"

Lois: Waiting on your post with "baited breath" (CA, I like fish sticks, what can I say!)

Anonymous said...

Argyle, thanks so much for tying that theme together. Looked at all the theme fills, but it didn't JELL for me today. Not too difficult a puzzle, but a little harder than last week Monday. I wrote in PESKY first too (apparently it is interchangeable with PESTY, although I have never used the latter). I have always referred to a pesky fly. Interesting how PESTY comes up as a misspelled word as I type.

I did not get PAZ/ZENDA. Wouldn't have known either. Reminds me of mascot from the San Diego Padre's game. Or possibly, his counterpart Mr. Franken Friar. That was by far the most upscale baseball game I had ever been too.

Hall and Oates bring back memories of my brother at a concert of theirs at Summerfest in Milwaukee. We weren't even such fans, but they were the headliner that day. My brother was quite drunk singing Maneater at the top of his lungs. Not a pretty sight, but good for a laugh. One of my best friends who still resides in Milwaukee, and who I attended that festival with annually for years, just informed me she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She will be in my prayers daily.

Looks like rains a coming here, thank goodness. Done counting money at church. I was not on today as we didn't tally up correctly. Going downhill fast.

TFrank, such a lovely photo. Congrats on 60 years. Such an accomplishment.

embien said...

6:38 today. Pretty tough for a Monday puzzle, at least for me. The theme went completely over my head--you could say it flew right by. It was a nice grid with a couple of 10's and four 8's running vertically.

Wonderful picture TFrank and family. Jean must have been a child bride!

Google is my home page, and they have a tribute picture to H.G. Wells on there. A quite interesting discussion of this is at Google mystery solved

Lemonade714 said...

BAITED BREATH is the old joke about the cat who would eat a big piece of cheese, go to the mouse hole and open his moth and wait with....

Argyle, I enjoyed the the Fifth Dimension reference, and appreciate the thought process that ties the song to old Superman reels. I would not have seen the theme however, as the words filled and there was not pointer.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone!

Nice Monday puzzle. Stumbled on PESTY (pesky), EQUI, and JELL (gel, oops).

@tfrank Lovely picture. Congratulations on making 60 years!

Have a great day!

Chickie said...

Hello All--I had my comment all ready to go and my computer refused to budge, so after rebooting (twice) and saying some bad words, I'll try again.

I had a couple of errors which caused me to stumble on the NW corner as well as the middle. I had also put in Scale for Etude and On the run for On the lam, but after correcting those the rest came easily.

I even got the theme on my own, for once.

T-Frank, such a lovely family photo. Congratulations on 60 years of marriage. We're reaching for that figure.

Argyle, a great blog today, and C.C. another insightful interview.

Al, the Unsquare Dance link was so much fun to see and listen to. I ended up clapping right along with it.

A busy day today and it will be hot, so I want to complete some outside chores before the thermometer tells me to stay indoors.

DCannon said...

Not much of a challenge today. Didn't have too much trouble, but I paused at "unskillful," too. Wanted "unskilled" because the expression "unskilled labor" is so common.

I also wanted pesky instead of pesty. A check of my online dictionary shows the former but not the latter.

Superman and the Fifth Dimension is one of those pop culture references that completely escapes me. Up, up, and away is obvious and I thought that was the theme.

Congrats to T. Frank and Jean. Way to go!

The full name of El Paso is El Paso del Norte - the pass to the north. Univ. of Texas at El Paso is there and two military installations, I think. It has been many, many years since I was there and it has changed a lot. Used to go across to Juarez quite safely then - too dangerous now.

WM said...

Morning all...Great puzzle with just an eensy bit more difficulty than normal. Started slowly but picked up speed...started with ETUDE as I believe it is French for study. The theme fills were pretty easy to get with out much perp help and LAPD, PAZ and ZENDA proved not to be a problem. I am not entirely sure why I thought this was going to be tough initially. Really like the Mother TERESA clue, clever.

Dave Brubeck has been in the area performing at the Monterey Jazz Festival and my mom and her Jazz loving companion went to see him yesterday afternoon up at the Fox Theater in Redwood City, then he headed back to Monterey for an evening performance there...80 and still going strong...really enjoy his music.

More painting delivery this afternoon...I think this will pretty much clear out the studio of all the really large paintings, so as soon as cooler weather comes back I amy be able to actually get out there and clean up and get painting...Jeannie, cooler weather is expected by the weekend, it is expected to be near 100 for the next few days, so hopefully you will see some daisies by then. It seems that the days I have to be gone are cooler than the days I finally have at home...really looking forward to a permanent cool-down for Fall...this hot stuff is a pain and hugely frustrating.

TFrank and Jean...what a lovely photo and huge congratulations on your 60th...most impressive!

Dennis...loved the Dave Barry and Oscar Wilde quotes especially.

Argyle...another awesome job and I didn't even pay attention to the theme until I got here...remember the Superman up, up and away...

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Congratulations T.Frank and Jean. Great picture with your family.

Good job, Argyle.

And thanks for the excellent interview, C.C..

As for the puzzle, it was great fun to be able to do it. Only problem was whether it was g or q for aqua and equi. I am a terrible speller.


Crockett1947 said...

@wm Wow! I'd never had thought that Dave Brubeck was still performing. Good for him, and good for his fans!!

@argyle Don't think I said "good job" earlier, so here it is -- Good Job, Santa!

Bill said...

Thank you for the birthday wishes. Had a busy day, but not to busy to have a little celebration with the family.
I even got Sat's puzzle! Had a little help from Nancy D. but did six in a row. How hot am I now?????
I am sad to know that I am not, in fact, getting smarter, but that Rich Norris is making them easier for me.
But that's OK too, 'cause I can get a sense of accomplishment EVERY day now, instead of three days a week.
Todays was a little tougher Monday but very doable with help from the crosses. And, I actually got the theme before the whole grid was full.
I did look at PESTY for a while but left it. And, I left 1a blank for a while 'cause I knew that SCALE had to be to easy. Glad I did 'cause when ELBA and TEAS filled ETUDE was right there.

T Frank
SIXTY years!!!! WOW, that's almost as long as I've been alive, And, to me, that seems like a really, really long time! Congratulations to you and your wonderful family,

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi Gang -

Argyle - you always do a great jog. Today, it was outstanding. Bravo! And very clever linking Superman to the 5th D.

tfrank -
Congrats on 60 - and going strong. Many more, my friend.

I had a bit of a struggle with the puzzle today, but eventually was UP TO THE TASK. Do not like PESTY at all. I've never seen JELL outside of JELL-O. Other than that, an excellent puzzle. I think UNSKILLFUL is OK.

Here is the scoop on BAITED BREATH.

JzB the having-a-sluggish-day trombonist

eddyB said...

Afternoon all,

Argyle, You were teasing Kazie - Right?

The thingy that cartoon characters say are enclosed in what are called balloons.

The SUN BOWL is played at UTEP.


Linda said...

Here s some up-to-minute medical news about the differences in flu strains: For bird flu, you need tweetment. For swine flu, you need oinkment.

Hahtoolah said...

Today's theme has certainly generated a lot of discussion. I never knew about the Superman and Up, Up, and Away connection.

Embien: Thanks for the Google Mystery Solved link. Someone had earlier pointed out the crop circles that appeared on the google page. I never tried clicking on the little pictures, so see all I learn by doing crosswords!

Linda: You must be a doctor ~ all that good flu medical advice! LOL. Glad you liked the honey cake. Nothing wrong with putting butter on it. Never tried it that way, but bet it is good when the cake comes out of the oven.

kazie said...

Yes, I got that I was being teased, and that the bubble was from the comic strip superman. At least I assumed that, since I never read the comic--only saw the Christopher Reeve movies.

Buckeye said...

Guday, all. Good jobs c.c. and Argyle. Keep it up.

TFrank, ya ol' devil. Good looking group.

Have most of Brubeck's albums and saw his son, Chris, live here in Middletown, Oh. Chris and Dave's other son (Dan, I think) are accomplished composers and Dan plays drums, Chris-trombone and bass.

The final Dave Brubeck quarter was Dave, Joe Morello (drums), Eugene Wright (bass) and Paul Desmond (sax). As Al said, he had great fun with time signatures.

No problems with today's x/w. I had a construction foreman, who was from Sweden tell me that I sawed boards "bery unsuccessful".
I told him that the word is "unsuccessfully".

I asked him, "What do you think I'm doing wrong?"

He said, "I don't think, I KNOW!"

I replied, "I don't think I know, either, so obviously you can't help me". He fired me!

I must be off!

Anonymous said...

T. Frank, Congratulations to you and your wife for sixty years. Congratulations, too, on having a family who obviously love and appreciate you!

Hahtool, I learned something new today. I always supposed macadam was just the name of the material of those roads; never realized it was a person name first.

Kazie, I'll join you on the soap box about ESL. I've taught it to a number of eager learners. I've also dealt with immigrants who thought I should learn to speak Spanish so I could converse with them. I wish I were fluent in Spanish but not so someone living here wouldn't have to learn the language. In conversation with one Hispanic, my husband asked him what would be expected of us if we went to Mexico. He replied that most everyone there spoke some English so we wouldn't have any trouble if we moved there. My husband then asked, "Why do most of them there speak English but when they come here, they can't understand English & we're supposed to have Spanish translations for everything from groceries to Driver License instructions to welfare requirements?"


Glen C said...

Nice job today, Argyle. I'm still laughing about your El Paso comment! I've never been to Texas (unless you count walking between gates at Dallas/Fort Worth), but UTEP is part of my crossword vocabulary.
I've been doing crosswords longer than most of you have been around... but I've never even thought about how they come into being and who are the people who make them happen, until I found this blog. My highlight for today was reading the Rich Norris interview... Glen

Argyle said...

The 5th Dimension sing "Up, up and away,
In my beautiful, my beautiful balloon"

Superman says "Up, up and away" also.

I just was visualizing them doing it together. I have no idea if the constuctor meant one or the other...or both.

MJ said...

Hej folks,

Thank you Argyle for a great write-up today, and C.C. for another insightful interview!

Welcome DCannon!

@Mary-Thanks for the explanation of Chopin's Polonaise Fantaisie from yesterday. I'm very impressed at your ability to explain it so succinctly.

TFrank--What a beautiful family! Congratulations!

lois said...

Good evening Argyle, CC, et al., Holy Hotwick! What a hilarious puzzle and what a 'teas'!

Had to laugh at how 'up to the task' crossed 'puss'...almost like begging for a 'dared' 'stun't
from some young, still 'wet' behind the ears, 'unskillful' cowboy sowing his wild 'oates'. I can imagine him taking his first chaw of Skoal and staying a'wake' all night 'spat'in' and
'spew'in'. Or if he's really 'up for a promotion', getting 'paired with' some young thang out behind the 'shed' and playin' 'yahoo'
'tag' with her until he discovered she's 'below' the legal age. Then stockin' footed it's 'away we go'.
He's 'on the lam' now giving a whole new dimension to 'puss n' boots' and learnin' somethin' very 'basic' in the process -
'pas' are 'encumber'ed and
'jails' are full of 'woe' and those who didn't 'ask' first. Check 'herr' ID.

Argyle: great job! And thank you for the Chopin Nocturne - one of my favorites. Also never heard of Elko, NV's Cowboy Poetry Gathering. What fun! Would love to go there someday.

Al: Like Chickie, I LOVED the 'Unsquare Dance'. Had a hard time sitting still. thank you.

TFrank: lovely picture of yet another happy family. Congratulations on 60 yrs. What an outstanding accomplishment.

Linda: the strain of bird flu around here is a canarial disease, blamed on a maverick woodpecker, but is tweetable, thankfully.

Enjoy your night.

Dennis said...

Lois, you never disappoint. Just brilliant.

PJB-Chicago said...

Good evening, all.
Enjoyable puzzle today. Other than "Zenda" which was new to me, everything fell into place with a little thought and some good guesses. Nice blogging, Argyle. I would not have figured out the theme on my own. I bungee-jumped from a hot air balloon on two separate occasions, in Colorado, and it cured me of my fear of heights, but sure wouldn't want to temp fate a third time. Down, down and away and do NOT reach for the cord no matter what instinct tells you to do!

Checked out "pesty" versus "pesky" online and the latter seems to be an offshoot of the former. I'd forgotten the delightful, related verb "to pester" which is related, too. ~ In French, "la peste" means "the plague" which was the title of an Albert Camus novel we had to read in 10th grade French. Very, um, existential!

TFrank/Jean--congratulations. What a milestone and a fine looking family.

My Mom calls yard sales "tag sales" which I think is a Connecticut thing. Dad was a pseudo-Bostonian so when we had our own sale the sign read "Yahd Sale"!

Men vs Women: great quotes above! Lol.
Two related medical studies, both true:
1) The average adult woman speaks approximately twice as many words in a 24 hour period than an average male.
2) Adult males create about twice the volume of ear wax as do their female counterparts.
I think not!

carol said...

Lois, once again, a stellar performance!!
Dennis is right, you never disappoint, excellent job!! We will all give you a hand or a clap but somehow that doesn't sound like an affirming reaction, more like something you would either enjoy or need an anti-biotic for. ;)

PJB-Chicago said...

p.s. The medical word for earwax is
"cerumen" but you won't find it in a puzzle because it doesn't pass the "breakfast test" wherein unpleasant topics or bodily functions are avoided since many people solve during their morning meal. In other words, eggs and eczema don't mix!

Lois; you have outdone yourself yet again! Very well done.....thanks for the giggles.

Annette said...

@Argyle: Either way it was intended, both interpretations for the theme brought back enjoyable memories! The Superman conversation bubble was especially obscure and insightful.

Unless a clue clearly tells me it's the theme, I always seem to forget about looking for one.

In reference to "World Gratitude Day", I'd like to say THANK YOU to the Constructors, C.C., Argyle, their guest commentators, and all the bloggers for giving so much pleasure to the rest of us and each other!

@tfrank: Happy anniversary! That was a great family photo.

kazie said...

Another winning post! Thanks for the chuckles.

Beautifully said.