Oct 8, 2009

Thursday October 8, 2009 Donna S. Levin

Theme: COVERT OPS (59A. Hush-hush activities, briefly, and a hint to the hidden theme in 18-, 23-, 38- and 49-Across) - OPS are embedded in all the theme answers.

18A. Jam on the brakes: STOP SHORT. Remember this Seinfeld episode? "You stop short with me? We don't do that in Korea".

23A. Soft court stroke: DROP SHOT. Who has the best drop shot in tennis?

38A. Small family businesses: MOM AND POP STORES. Hard for them to survive in this Wal-Mart world.

49A. Stir-fried dish: CHOP SUEY. Suey is literally "small pieces". American Chinese food: meat & bean sprout & mushroom & onion or other veggies, served over rice or chow mein.

Very clever tie-in answer, COVERT OPS. Did you also consider COVERT/SECRET AGENT, Donna?

All of the hidden OPS span two words, very consistent. Silly, but I interpreted COVERTOPS as COVER TOPS initially.

Covert Ops is short for Covert Operations. According to Wikipedia, they maybe include sabotage, assassination, support for coups d’état & subversion, all those clandestine stuff. Any of them is better than war, isn't it? Had we allowed CIA to assassinate Saddam, so much lives would have been saved.

Very smooth puzzle. All of the multiple words are common phrases and easily obtainable.


1. Athenian with harsh laws: DRACO (DREY-koh). That's how we get draconian (drey-KOH-nee-uhn), meaning "very severe/harsh". Draconian measure, Draconian budget cut, etc.

6. "Star Wars" princess: LEIA. Played by Carrie Fisher. And UHURA (51D. "Star Trek" communications officer). Played by Nichelle Nichols. The latter always give me trouble. All I know about "Star Trek" is Spock and Sulu.

10. Hip-hop mogul who married Beyoncé: JAY-Z. Powerful couple. Jay-Z is unbelievably astute in his investment. Part owner of New Jersey Nets.

14. Grapevine traveler: RUMOR

16. "Dies __": hymn: IRAE. Literally "wrath".

17. Get hitched quick: ELOPE

20. Stick-on design: DECAL. Tough to find a 1950's/60's bobblehead with the original decal on.

21. Go astray: SIN

22. Press conf. format: Q AND A. Man, I never learn. Had trouble parsing the answer again.

25. Wallowing place: MUD. Was picturing a sty.

26. Pasture: LEA

27. Colorfully patterned fabric: PAISLEY. Name after the Scottish city famous for such fabric.

31. Songstress Adams: EDIE. What's her most famous song?

34. RCA Victor pooch: NIPPER. The dog in "His Master's Voice".

41. Driver's lic. et al.: IDS

42. Lend a hand: ASSIST

43. Fast time: LENT. For Christians. Muslims have their Ramadan.

44. Gander: LOOK-SEE

46. Embarrassed: RED

48. World Series mo.: OCT. Topical clue/fill. Damned Yankees. Nothing went right for the Twins yesterday.

54. Legend automaker: ACURA. Honda luxury brand.

57. Cross shape: TAU. The Greek T. Cross-shaped.

58. Yellowish earth tone: OCHRE. Or ocher.

61. Magician Henning et al.: DOUGS. Easy guess. Not familiar with Doug Henning.

63. Shoshoneans: UTES

64. __ the side of caution: ERR ON

66. Like slasher movies: GORY. A slasher is a horror film featuring gory special effects.

67. 1954-1977 defense gp.: SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization). Formed in Manila.


1. "Judge __": Stallone film: DREDD. Obtained the film title from crossings.

2. School tool: RULER

3. Big name in gas: AMOCO. Merged with BP in 1998.

4. Admit one's guilt to serve less time: COP A PLEA

5. Threat-ending words: OR ELSE

6. Rodeo rope: LASSO

7. Weird Al Yankovic parody of a Michael Jackson hit: EAT IT. Here is the clip. Unknown to me.

8. It's pumped in gyms: IRON. Jazzbumpa's "I, RON".

9. PC program: APP (Application). Applet is a small application. App(lication) + let.

10. Holy wars: JIHADS. The Koran says those who die in Jihad will go to heaven immediately.

13. Epsilon follower: ZETA. This is Dennis's favorite "Epsilon follower".

19. Water gun stream: SQUIRT

24. Desk phone unit: HANDSET. Wrote down HEADSET first.

25. Orchestra leader: MAESTRO. Italian for "master".

27. Third afterthought, in a ltr.: PPPS. The most I've used is PPS.

28. Old Italian money: LIRE. Plural of Lira.

30. Eddie of the '40s-'50s Senators: YOST. Washington Senators (now Twins). I drew a blank. Only knew the former Brewers' manager Ned YOST. Might have this card in my collection though. Wikipedia says he's nicknamed the "Walking Man" and he's still alive.

31. German artist Nolde: EMIL. I guessed. EMIL sounds German.

32. Dimwit: DODO. The extinct bird too.

33. "__ Excited": Pointer Sisters hit: I'M SO. Here is the clip.

35. __ dixit: assertion without proof: IPSE. Literally "he himself". IPSO is "itself", as in "ipso facto" (by the fact itself). Don't confuse it with Lhasa Apso the dog.

36. Luau fare: POI

39. Sprint Cup org.: NASCAR

40. It may take years to settle one: OLD SCORE. I like this fill a lot.

45. Seoul man: KOREAN. Seoul food is very hot. Koreans use lots of hot red pepper.

47. Lyric poems: EPODES. New word to me. Dictionary defines it as "a kind of lyric poem, invented by Archilochus, in which a long verse is followed by a short one".

49. Playful prank: CAPER

50. Brazen minx: HUSSY. Just learned this word a few months ago. Bad form of "housewife".

52. Grain disease: ERGOT. Wait for our in-house farmer/philosopher Windhover for expert explanation.

53. Like some simple questions: YES-NO

54. West Point, e.g.: Abbr.: ACAD (Academy)

56. Eye part containing the iris: UVEA. Latin for "grape".

57. He bit Miss Gulch in a 1939 film: TOTO. From "The Wizard of Oz". I bet this is Donna's original clue, given her fondness for the movie.

60. Pull hard: TUG. Tried LUG first.

Answer grid.

Picture of the Day: Here is a beautiful photo of our fellow solver Carol2 (in black) and her daughter-in-law, who is from Romania. They were in a local restaurant celebrating the 90th birthday of Carol's mother.



Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, CC. This was the first fun and challenging puzzle of the week There were some clever clues. I loved Grapevine follower (14A): RUMOR and Fast Time (43A): LENT.

Ipse Dixit one of the few Latin phrases I actually know. We learned it in law school and always found it funny for some reason. Unfortunately, I have never been able to use the phrase in my practice.

It took a while to get the "Q" in Q AND A (22A). I kept looking at "anda" and all I could think of was Panda, which of course wasn't a responsive answer to the clue. Finally it hit me!

QOD: Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Did COVERT OPS come to you readily?

I like all seafood, esp salmon, tuna, shrimp, scallop, octopus. Also like walleye.

Dennis just told me it's your birthday today. Here is the raspberry cake again. Happy Birthday!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Jerome & Kazie,
Kowtow is actually Cantonese. Kow means "knock", tow means "head", It's ketou in Mandarin Chinese. You can still see people kowtowing in funerals/weddings in rural China.

Sorry, can you try again? I did not get your photo.

Hahtoolah said...

CC: No, the COVERT OPS theme did not easily come to me. I quickly realized I needed the PS combination, but didn't get the final "O." The fresh clues made up for not being able to get that "hush-hush" theme.

Nice photo, Carol2. You are fortunate to be able to celebrate your mother's 90th birthday.

Happy Birthday, Kitty B.

I think PJB-Chicago had a birthday recently as well.

hypatia1 said...

Dear Pleasant and Interesting People
CC Your wonderful blog popped of hyperspace not long ago. I really enjoy it. As I am handicapped, I have no problem working easier puzzles (i.e., I do not complain about them, and need a lot of time to key in words anyway). However, it is fulfilling to complete the TUESDAY Jonesin’ Puzzle, which is available from I can find no blog devoted to this puzzle! Does anyone know of one? I also enjoy the Saturday Stumper and cannot recall encountering a full write up of one of these (with comments and all). Many years ago, without computers, I attempted the NYT puzzle in the Daily News (6 weeks late). I had amassed an enormous collection of reference books and bought electronic puzzle gizmos. The puzzles were very time consuming and sometimes impossible to finish! M thru’ W were very doable. How things change!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I've been out of action for awhile due to a nasty bout of cellulitis (a bacterial infection) in my leg. Spent a week in the hospital and have been mostly off my feet for a week or so afterward. I've still got some pain and redness, but I'm hoping the meds will eventually get rid of it completely. If not, well, it's back to the hospital for more quality time with my friend the I.V.

Anywho, I thought this puzzle was relatively straightforward and easy. The only total unknown was EMIL Nolde, but that was easy enough to get via the perps. I totally failed to get the theme, however. I mean, I saw there was a rhyming scheme involved (STOP, DROP, POP and CHOP), but when I looked at 59A all I could think was, "what the heck is a COVER TOP???"


Barry G. said...

Oh, and hypatia1...

First, welcome aboard!

Second, "Orange" (a.k.a. Amy Reynaldo) covers the Tuesday Jonesin’ puzzle on her Diary of a Crossword Puzzle blog.

hypatia1 said...

Dear Barry,
Thanks for welcome and link. Life is just not THAT easy, though. The puzzle you reference bears no resemblance to the one I get from It has the title "chance collisions." Is there any way I can send it to you?

Mainiac said...

Good Morning CC,

This was a bit more typical Thursday grid for me. I got hung up in the SE corner with Chop Suey of all things. Epodes, Ochre and Dougs weren't coming into my brain at all and sent me online to see red. Other than that very enjoyable. Had to do some erasing too because I originally wrote Stop Quick, Sty and Headset. This was fun.

Happy Birthday KittyB!!

Welcome hypatia1, I'm finding the more I do the LAT the better I get.

BarryG, sorry to hear about your ailment but glad to see you back and on the mend.

Have a great day everyone.

hypatia1 said...

I googled up the title. It was blogged by Orange LAST week, but only partially. (No comments also.)

PJB-Chicago said...

Aloha! [chilly here & wishing I lived somewhere warm.]
Enjoyed this challenge today. Actually figured out the clever theme before the last square was inked in. That is so rare for me. Usually, when the 1A fill goes sour, it doesn't bode well for me and the rest of the grid, but gosh darn, that truism wasn' t true today. Bounced back and forth between acrosses and downs.

Best drop shot? Borg, perhaps. Don't see that so much with Federer or Roddick. Not sure about Nadal. Neither Williams sister shines there, IMO.

I tripped over 16A with IRAE. Looks Latin. Never ever heard of Emil Nolde . Thought I knew the Greek alphabet until ZETA showed up.

C.C. I'll resend my picture. I warn you that I look pregnant... :-§ You had a very nice line today. "Man, I never learn." Ranks up there with one of your previous lines "Rona Barrett. She's still alive."

Hahtool: yeppers, I'm now 47. You're ready to be in Covert Ops and cryptography! Was born weighing a bit less than 5lbs, a screaming preemie, exactly 100 years after the birth of writer O.Henry and the very same day as "famous" actress Kristy McNichol of TV drama "Family." I only look 45, or so I'm told!

Jeanne said...

Morning all,
Enjoyed today’s puzzle--easier than former Thursday’s but fun. Really enjoyed “It may take years to settle one: old score”. Love reading books about covert ops especially ones written by Vince Flynn. Just finished reading “The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown. Not as good as “The DaVinci Code” but a good mystery read. For those that complain about Brown not being a literary genius, read the classics. For those that want a good mystery, read Brown.

@Carol2, great picture and hope you can go “blue” today. Wasn’t Cliff Lee terrific? @BarryG, good to see you again and wish you a complete and speedy recovery. @KittyB, Happy B-Day and enjoy the day. Also, was it you that had a recipe for minestrone soup? Would love the recipe since it is quickly changing to soup weather. @hypatia1-welcome and stay around for awhile. I have learned so much from this blog. Have a great day all.

kazie said...

Happy Birthday KittyB!

Welcome hypatia1,
Good to have you with us.

That sounds painful and very unpleasant. I hope it improves quickly.

I didn't get the theme until COVERT OPS fell in. At first I thought it would be STOP, DROP AND ROLL, because I saw the first three words before the fourth was there. However, I never say "stop short" for "jam on the brakes". My favorite expression for that is "hit the anchors".

I thought it was ironic when AMOCO was bought by BP and their advertizing was for "Beyond Petroleum", obviously trying to hide the loss of a quintessential American name to "British Petroleum".

I didn't know the words EPODES or ERGOT, but the perps got those for me. Never even saw NIPPER or read its clue until here--perps again. But what did me in on the East coast was LENT--so obvious now, but I had LANE, tho I wondered about it being a "time", so of course I had LIRA and YOSE, because I rather like not using the g-spot to look things up, but guessing sometimes leads me astray.

Jeannie said...

Well, I finished the puzzle but not without a lot of perp help with draco, irae, tau, and Edie. I never got the theme until coming here. Those split letter words themes I never get. I also didn’t know that the RCA pooch had a name – nipper. I am not so sure I would want a dog named Nipper. Thanks for the well wishes and I suggest if you haven’t done so get your flu vaccinations. Barry I hope you are on the mend.

C.C. for you….Marinated Salmon

½ cup of orange juice
Fresh grated ginger
1 Tblspn soy sauce
1 clove of garlic minced
1 ½ Tblspn of honey

Combine all the ingredients and pour into a zip lock bag, add the salmon filets and let marinade at least two hours. The longer you marinate it the better the flavor. You can bake, broil or grill the salmon. I grill mine on a cedar plank, but have had success baking it as well.

Donna L. said...

Hi, all ... and thanks, C.C., for the write-up.

In answer to your question, I never considered SECRET AGENT as a possibility because the puzzle was built in the opposite direction: i.e., I started with the phrase COVERT OPS, and then looked for other phrases that had an OPS embedded in them. Once I finished the puzzle and saw the way COVERT OPS looked in the grid, I did have second thoughts about the whole concept because the phrase looked like COVER TOPS ... which certainly wasn't what I intended.

I'm with those of you who didn't know EMIL Nolde before today. I was going to clue EMIL with "Emil and the Detectives" (a movie I saw back in the early 1960's, from a book of the same name), but I thought that that might be too esoteric, so went instead with the actor EMIL Jannings. After seeing Rich's clue and checking out Mr. Nolde's bio this morning, though, I'll definitely remember him; he had quite an impressive body of work.

Martin said...

everything without googlinbg, with the eception of the cross between OCHRE and EPODES.


Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I do love perps! It would have been PANDA for me too, if it hadn't been for SQUIRT. Both EMIL and YOST would also have gone nowhere if the perps hadn't taken care of them.

The theme answers were terrific, except for the fact that I had to come here to find out why COVER TOPS was a clue to each of them. D'oh!

EDIE Adams was a musical comedy actress and was more famous for her suggestive Muriel Cigar commercials than for any song. She was married to comedian Ernie Kovacs who was killed in an automobile accident. Edie was a determined lady, who worked for years to pay off Ernie's back taxes.

Barry, glad to hear that you are recovering.

Welcome to the party, hypatia1.

That's a nice photo, Carol2. Both you and your D-I-L are lovely.

A special thanks to Donna Levin for stopping by with her comments.

A very happy birthday to KittyB and a belated one to PJB. BTW, PJB, "There is no answer, and I have it." is absolutely spot on!

windhover said...

For a while I thought the theme of this puzzle was "Stop, Drop, And Roll" , as in, what to do when you're on fire. Haven't been on fire for a while. Maybe this weekend.
Otherwise, a nice puzzle. I'm old enough to know Eddie Yost, but don't know how I remembered it, since I was a Cincinnati Redlegs fan and the Senators were in the AL. Going back to my post last night about the narrow-mindedness of 1950's America, there was a move around Cincy in the '50's to change the team name because Redlegs and Reds were evocative of the dreaded Commies. Buckeye and Crockett may remember this.

CC: re: ergot
without looking it up, ergot is a fungal disease of small grains, particularly wheat. Also called "smut"
(not to be confused with the smut produced mostly in the San Bernadino section of LA) it is an ugly black growth on the seedhead and renders the grain inedible. It some past times its outbreak has resulted in local famines.

nice pickup on Ginsberg last night. There were some great poets and writers among the Beats; you mentioned several. There were also some who were quite mediocre, but were willing to indulge In the occasional hot tub romp.
The poem you mentioned was indeed written for Ginsberg's Mother.

Welcome! You haven't been in any movies, have you?

Argyle said...

hypatia1, (and anybody else interested) I found Matt Jones's Jonesin' crossword, "Chance Collisions" (themeless) by going here and scrolling down to Tuesday, 9/29/09, then clicking on Jonesin' 4:15. It comes up as a Across Lite version(you have to have the download to use that but it is free.)

For her analysis, don't click but scroll down a little farther.

Warren said...

Hi C.C. and gang, welcome to hypatia1. I think that my wife and I finished ~50% of today's puzzle before she had to leave for work.
I also had headset for handset and didn't figure it out until 'nipper'

I had Covert--- until the very end until I had the ah ha moment with Covert Ops.

Here's a random fun fact:

Mexicans consumed more Coca-Cola products than Americans, on average, in 2005. The average Mexican consumed 533 beverages during 2005, while the average American consumed 431.

Moon said...

Good Morning!
An easier thursday puzzle though I didnt get COVERT OPS. Like some of you, thought it was COVER TOPS. Infact I did look at all the theme answers and realized TOPS is not in all. But didnt think of looking for OPS. Does this make me DODO?

Loved the OLD SCORE clue.
Started with SPU for SQUIRT and realized PANDA is incorrect and changed it to a Q.
Ofcourse there were some unknowns: EMIL, EDIE, UHURA, UVEA (why cant I remember this?)but the perps were there to ASSIST.

Beautiful pic, Carol2

Many happy returns of the day, KittyB

Belated 47th birthday, PJB-Chicago

Good to know you have recovered, Barry G. Take care

Have a great day.

Clear Ayes said...

Windhover, I have to protest. Yes, perhaps San Bernardino is known for producing smut of the pornographic kind...not that I have any personal knowledge of the industry, mind you. BUT The Inland Empire, as it is known, is not part of Los Angeles, although it borders LA.

It is the largest county in the continental United States, larger than the nine smallest states. The first McDonald's was in San Berdoo (loved those 19 cent burgers), Gene Hackman was born there, and best of all, I graduated from high school there.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

DRACO STOPped me SHORT. Had no idea a guy with such a Latin sounding name would be Greek.

If you saw a CAPER on your plate would you EAT IT?

I RON and A RON show up again today. Never can have too many RONs.

Never would have caught the theme without COVERT OPS. BTW, g-spotted COVER TOPS. Quite a variety of Pix. this one is the most interesting.

I remember Eddie (not EDIE) YOST from his time with Tigers.
Undaunted by the end of their season, I wore a Tigers T-shirt to rehearsal last night. One of the Bass players mentioned a poem from Mad Magazine many years ago. In fact, I think of it every time Blake's TIGER is mentioned. Searched it out on line after I got home. Lots of people have fragments posted, often - for shame - with no attribution. Mostly, they seem to think it's from ca. 1967, but I'm sure its from the late 50's. The 50's Tigers were dismal. In the 60's they steadily improved, and finished the 67 season only one game out of first place. This, found here, might or might not be whole and entire.

Tigers, Tigers, burning bright,
in the ballparks of the night,
your pitching's good, your field adroit,
so why no pennants for Detroit?

You blaze around the big league parks
with bats that fairly give off sparks.
But when they total up the score,
you've lost again to Baltimore.

You start out brave with each new year,
with stalwart hearts, you know no fear.
Then from on high, while sitting pretty,
you blow four games at Kansas City.

The Cleveland Indians go to work,
they beat you good, so does New York.
When Boston adds a mortal blow,
all you can cry's "look out below!".

Before the season's finally done,
you've been outplayed by Washington.
Amid the heated pennant race,
you fight to cling to seventh place.

Tigers, Tigers, burning bright,
in the ballparks of the night,
some day the fans will get their fill,
and ship the team to Louisville.

Only AL team of that era not mentioned is the White Sox. Washington Senators moved north, and became the twins in 1961. The K.C. line is especially painful, both now, and back in '06. Same as it ever was . . .

JzB the baseball history trombonist

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone.

I was stuck in the SE corner. I didn't put in chopsuey because I didn't think that was a stir-fried dish. The only one I got in that corner was err on. I did get covert ops, but couldn't see how that connected to the others.

Happy birthday, KittyB. And belated happy birthday, PJB.

BarryG, I hope you continue to heal and that you don't have to go back to your IV friend.

Carol2, lovely picture of you and your d-i-l. How nice to be able to celebrate with your mother on the 90th birthday.


Bill G. said...

Hi everyone. Cooler weather lately in Manhattan Beach. Highs in the upper sixties. Good sleeping weather. Very pleasant.

I think I found the puzzle a bit more of a challenge than most of you. I had DOLT for DODO until the crosses straightened me out. I had STY for Wallowing place at first. MUD doesn't seem like a place to me.

I got a flu shot at my doctor's suggestion and got a prescription for a shingles shot.

I've lurked around my wife's Facebook page enough to see it's got a lot of good things going for it but it's not for me. Almost everybody including my kids and many others seem to post in one short sentence. My son posted some great photos from his trip to Hawaii but hardly any comment about them. His friends write back something like "Cool!" Here, on the this blog, people take a bit more time to elaborate and I like that.

I think many people, especially young people, don't like to spend much time communicating in writing. Thus the popularity of Twitter and texting. It shows up in Facebook too I think. Much more thoughtful interaction here.

kazie said...

I apologize for not mentioning earlier that your photo is very nice. You look like an elegant pair of ladies.

I did grok the Q and A right away--don't know why.

Donna L.,
Just want to say that I would have got EMIL from "Emil und die Detektive" or its English translation. It used to be a standard reader for elementary German classes I taught. I didn't know the clued one or EDIE but perps got all but the E which I then guessed.

KittyB said...

Good Morning, C.C. and all!

C.C., thanks for the birthday wishes. I'll take red raspberry cake any time, but it's a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday. Thanks, Dennis, for passing the word to C.C.

Thank you, to all who sent me birthday wishes. As PJB commented, it's chilly here in the Chicago area, but that won't keep me from enjoying the day.

PJB - belated birthday wishes to you! I hope you had a fun day.

Barry G, I'm so sorry to hear that you've been ill, and I hope you won't have to return to the hospital.

Jeanne, I'll post the minestrone recipe in a few minutes. It certainly is soup weather!

Jeannie, I regularly marinate salmon, but I'm going to try your merinade. Sounds yummy. I second the use of cedar planks when grilling salmon. Thanks for the flu shot reminder, too.

I was glad that today's puzzle had a little bit more of a challenge to it. The first three this week seemed much too easy, and I think it's time to send a letter requesting more difficult puzzles.

Oddly, I got COVERT right away and had to think about OPS for a bit. As usual, I needed C.C. to tell me the theme. CA, I have to join you in praising perps! lol

I had to guess at DRACO. (Thanks for "draconian," C.C.) YOST and JAY-Z only came through the perps. My Doh! moment was TOTO. Once I had TO, it was obvious what the rest of it had to be. CHOPSUEY and CAPER took a while to fall into place, so the bottom right of the puzzle was most difficult for me.

hypatia1, welcome to the group. I'm sure you'll enjoy the camaraderie.

windhover said...

There is no one from whom I would more willingly submit to correction, including, if necessary, detention and punishment, than yourself.

And while I was an erstwhile "expert" on the subject, I
have totally lost interest in the genre in the past year or so.

If I recall from my (much) younger days, San Berdoo was also a center of the street rod culture back in the day. I have not lost interest in that. I still have (somewhere) boxes of Hot Rod and Car Craft magazines from the late fifties/early sixties, and I still have my '38 Chevy Coupe with big block Chevy engine. It's for sale, if anyone's interested. New sub-topic: Crossword Corner Classifieds.

Thanks for the memory. Wish I could have been there.

hypatia1 said...

Dear All,
Thank you so much for your welcoming words! Such a friendly group!
Thanks also to Argyle! Yet another hang up, though. The Across-Lite software works on very old Macs only. I have many of these, but they aren't really handy and most have been upgraded. I will pursue the matter later, when I am not bedridden! Soon, I hope. It is 9:25 AM here in California and must try again to catch some zs.
Thanks again to all!

KittyB said...


1 can white beans (or kidney beans) drained and rinsed
10 cups beef broth
1 large onion, sliced in half horizontally, and then slivered vertically
1 tsp. minced garlic, or to taste
1 cup julienne carrots crosscut into 1” lengths
1-2 stalks celery, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 roasted, skinned, red pepper, diced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pkg. fresh pasta (I use Butoni 3-cheese ravioletti)
(or 1 cup cooked small pasta such as ditalini or shells)
1 tsp. salt
several twists of fresh ground black pepper
1 can diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning
1 tsp. dried basil, crumbled
Fresh grated Parmesan

Put the rinsed beans, broth and diced tomatoes in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan, and sauté the veggies until they have wilted, but not browned. Add the veggies, salt, pepper and basil to the broth, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer the soup for 30 minutes. Add the ravioletti,return the soup to a boil, and then simmer for another 15 minutes. If you prefer a thinner soup, add more broth. Serve with Parmesan sprinkled over the top.

Some considerations: If you are a purist, you can soak dried beans overnight. Be sure to drain and rinse them well before adding them to the soup. You can also follow the directions on the bag of beans to soften them by boiling them for 3-5 minutes and letting them stand for an hour before you start your soup. Be sure to rinse and drain them. I prefer Great Northern beans, but you could use any type of bean you prefer, or you could omit the beans.

I prefer Colavita olive oil, and I used to use small shells as my choice of pasta, but I like the Butoni mini ravioli much better. They hold their shape and add a bit more flavor to the soup. You might find them in the deli, or possibly in the frozen food aisle. If you choose to use dried pasta, be sure to cook it before adding it to the soup, or it will absorb all the broth and dry out your soup.

Use fresh ground pepper, and grate your Parmesan fresh.

This recipe could technically be called a pasta e fagioli, since it has both beans and pasta, but we still think of it as a minestrone. You could leave out the pasta and the beans, and it would still be an inviting soup. I believe this will give you 6-8 hearty servings. The soup holds over well for several days.

Bill G. said...

Hypatia1 said: "The Across-Lite software works on very old Macs only."

That's what I thought at first too but I downloaded version 2.0 that works find on my Mac running OSX 1.5.8. You can Google Across Lite 2.0 for yourself but I think this is where I downloaded it.

treefrog said...

Hi Gang,
Didn't have too much trouble today. I got COVERT OPS right away. Spaced Q AND A. A slap in the head for missing ZETA. Misspelled UHURA so messed me up for SEATO. That's ok, I got the theme.

Great pix Carol2.
Get well fast BarryG.

I've spent part of the morning under the kitchen sink. Noticed a bead of water running along th floor this morning. What I kept thinking was the garbage can was actually the stick on floor tiles I used under the cabinet, and the cheap particle board bottom of the cabinet. The dishwasher valve is leaking along with the hot water valve. Think the DW is leaking too. When my plumber gets home from work tonight I'll let him look at it. Hmm, before or after dinner? Crapoli!!!

Jerome said...

Donna's a pro's pro. I enjoy her puzzles immensely and thought today's theme clever.
COP A PLEA, JIHADS, Q AND A, HUSSY, MUD, DODO, and JAY-Z are fun fill. The wide open NW and SE corners are a nice touch.

Hypatia- She was a Greek scholar and brilliant astronomer, mathematician and philosopher. She was murdered by a christian mob for her pagan beliefs. Glad to see you're resurrected, Hypatia.

And putting my own life in danger-


Han says, "LEIA that's A LIE!"
"No", she says, "That's A LEI!"

Joyce Carol says her husband,

Having a LOOK SEE in England tourists shout "EEK, LOOS!

My grandson thinks he knows all about presidents. So yesterday I asked "What's TRU'S IQ, SQUIRT?"
To make up for being a little hard on him I cooked him some great
CHOP SUEY. "YECH, SOUP!" was all he would say.


Anonymous said...


Didn't down load the LAT today.
Down-loaded the Matt Jones puzzle at " "and the solution
at "the". Go to the Rec Room.
Am not following the baseball play offs. Don't care. It WAS funny watching Cabrera trying to break his bat over his knee ala Bo Jackson on line.
This is the last IRL of the season.
The championship is TBD and the NHL
season has started.


Carol2 said...

Hi CC and Gang!

Thanks for posting my picture and for all the nice comments. Thank God mom is still hanging in!!

Jeanne - Lee was awesome yesterday - what a game! Hope you are reclining in front of your TV for #2. I'm a little nervous about Hamils. Would love to go blue, but not sure how to do it. Any help would be appreciated.

HBD, KittyB and to the rest of you with Oct birthdays.

Best wishes to you BarryG!

The puzzle was more challenging for me today. Had the same problems as many of you. Don't understand the answer for brazen minx? Did not know ergot and can never remember Star Trek character names.

Welcome aboard hypatia1!!

Also, loving all the receipes everyone is sharing. I always leaving this site feeling hungry!!

Be well all and enjoy the day!

Argyle said...

Hussies and minxes are malaperts.

embien said...

10:28 today. I loved this puzzle! Did you all realize there was another "covert" OP in COP A PLEA? Pretty cute.

COVERT OPS and Q AND A came immediately (but I had several crosses already since I solve "downs first".)

My last fill was DOUGS, as I couldn't remember Doug Henning's first name and EPODES was a mystery to me. I could only think of Sally Hemmings, Thomas Jefferson's slave mistress (just finished reading Murder at Monticello).

And who says this blog isn't educational? Who knew that San Bernardino was a center of the porn industry? (I always thought it was North Hollywood or the San Fernando Valley.)

Warren said...

For Argyle: Hussies and minxes are malaperts?

"is a lunar crater that lies near the southern limb of the Moon. From the Earth this formation is viewed from the side, limiting the amount of detail that can be seen. The crater is also illuminated at very low angles, so that parts of the interior remain in almost constant darkness. The nearest craters of note are Cabeus to the west, and Shoemaker to the south-southeast and nearer to the south pole of the Moon."

Clear Ayes said...

Carol2, Going blue, Under the "Leave your comment" square, there is an Identity section. Where "No Google Account? Sign up here." is printed, click on Sign up here and follow the instructions. You should be blue in no time.

Carol2 said...

My crossword dictionary says malapert means bold, saucy, impudent. Guess that pretty well describes a hussy!

Argyle said...

The Malapert crater and Malapert mountain were named for Charles Malapert (1581-1630), a Belgian astronomer, mathematician, and philosopher. Malapert was known as a staunch opponent of the Copernicans, and used his own astronomical observations to attack them.

Anonymous said...

It took awhile but we managed to get the whole problem with just one look up. Had to go to the dictionary for epode.

pjb-Chi. a belated happy birthday. I'm sorry the weatherman didn't treat you nicer. we're having the same kind of weather im Madison, which should not happen in October. Happy birthday Kitty B.
Nice picture Carol B. Barry, I hope your leg is healing rapidly. My daughter has had cellulitis twicwe and i know it is very painful.

We picked all the peppers left in the garden because we're supposed to get a freeze. 30 sweet peppers and 15 jalepenos. A truck farmer friend gave us the plants so we thought we had to plant them. Next year, we will only have a couple of plants!


Lemonade714 said...

Happy Birthday, KB, great picture C2, and well constructed puzzle, Miss Donna. I realize that by doing so many puzzles and having so much feedback, that I never leave a clue stone untruned, I may have been foolishly complaining. Ths skill involved in constructing these puzzles, even the ones we grumble are too easy, is so beyond my patience.

The COVER TOPS was distracting, but, but somehow COP A PLEA made me see the OPS. Jerome, you are wearing my brain out; I may have to retire just to contemplate all of your anagrams.

Jeannie good to see you back feeding our masses. Welcome Hypatia, and all of us, send pics, it is so nice to have a face to attach to the comments

Jeannie said...

Lemonade, I am not feeding the masses just nudging the masses to use fresh ingredients and herbs. You have missed your opportunity e to enjoy a meal up here in MN as snow is in the forecast this weekend. Not kidding...and I am pretty sure that you are nice and toasty out there in southern FL.

Feeling better, sass is back...Lo-li-ta.

Luxor said...


Very nice picture of you. You are a good looking lady.
My 1st love's name was Carol. She went away to school and broke my heart.
Thanks C.C. for sharing the photo.


Jazzbumpa said...

At certain critical moments, I ask myself, "What would Jerome do?"

Very likely, he would not do this:



JzB the stir bon mot trombonist

Al said...

Ahh, tomorrow. All I can say is: Thank you, Dan.

Annette said...

YAY, I finally figured out the theme before finishing the puzzle or coming here. Alas, I had already filled all the OPS answers.

On the other hand, the perps filled in QANDA, but I couldn't parse it out to Q AND A...

I liked the fresh fill of ERRON "err on" instead of "ERROR".

Barry: Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Hypatia1: Welcome! Watch out, this blog is addictive... ;-)

Jerome said...

Jazz- What jerome do is never use u for you. Ever!
Malapert for Male Trap ain't bad.

Lemonade714 said...


Yes, my little herb, you are so good to all the peanut gallery, and it is always toasty at my place.

Luxor, I was talking about my broken heart when I was 21 with a cousin, it never goes away. Now it is your turn to send in your pciture and fully give in to the mysterious pull of this blog.

Lemonade714 said...

Gee, that was poorly written; I was telling a cousin of mine who now lives in Florida, the story of the girl who got away 40 years ago. We were commenting on how certain moments shape or lives.

Hussies and minxes

Annexed His Missus

Hahtoolah said...

Thanks for clarifying your statement, Lemonade. I was scared for a minute there. In some states, however, such a close kinship relationship is legal. If a couple gets divorced in [name your state], are they still brother and sister?

Jeannie said...

To put this in Lois' terms...Holy Hotwick! I guess there's a reason we reside up here in the upper midwest giving guy's an unsolicited peek, keep. Sorry Jerome I couldn't resist. Okay that was for you too, Lemonade.