Oct 20, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 Bruce Venzke

Theme: "The Problem Was the Answer" - The theme the constructor came up with when he couldn't think of a theme.

20A: Suffering writer's block: COMING UP EMPTY

36A: Suffering writer's block: FRESH OUT OF IDEAS. Glaring crossing with SASS (29D: Get fresh with).

54A: Suffering writer's block: DRAWING A BLANK

Argyle again. Three theme puzzle again. Same difficulty level again.

TORSI rhymes with horsey: Who knew? I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the week brings.


1A: Modify to fit: ADAPT. I had alter first.

10A: Early late-night host Jack: PAAR.

14A: __-Bismol: PEPTO. It will put you in the PINK.

15A: It smells: NOSE. And sometimes, it runs.

16A: Golden Fleece ship: ARGO. Jason's ship.

17A: Devoured every bit of: ATE UP. Puts you in the "Clean Plate Club". And EATS DIRT (38D: Admits an embarrassing error ). Clunker of the day! EATS CROW is the proper term, isn't it? Plus, two derivatives of EAT should not be allowed in one grid.

24A: "Days of __ Lives": OUR. "Like sand through an hour glass."

25A: One of the Musketeers: ARAMIS. Athos, Porthos, and ARAMIS.

28A: Paintings by dadaist Max: ERNSTs. Max Ernst, 1891–1976) German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet. A prolific artist, Ernst is considered to be one of the primary pioneers of the Dada movement and Surrealism.

32A: Sport __: family vehicle: UTE.

33A: Is bratty: ACTS UP. How many "up" in this grid? I counted three.

42A: Modeling session activity: POSING. Very sexy POSING from Gisele, just to get Dennis' blood flowing.

43A: Frequently, to a poet: OFT.

44A: Docking spot: PIER.

46A: Black Sea resort: ODESSA. Just one of the PIERS at ODESSA.

50A: Offers from a genie: WISHES.

52A: Small bill: ONE. The genie may offer three WISHES but I'd settle for just ONE.

58A: Pinza of "South Pacific": EZIO. He was the plantation owner Emile.

60A: Space-saving abbr.: ET AL.. Gee, this won't save any space in my closet!

61A: Many sculptures: TORSI. I googled TORSI and I got this....

64A: Krupp Works city: ESSEN. Kazie mentioned sometime ago that it's literally German for "to eat". Five letter German city. The Krupp family, a prominent 400-year-old German dynasty from Essen, have become famous for their steel production and for their manufacture of ammunition and armaments. The manufacturer of coffee makers and espresso machines, Krups, has just one "P".

66A: Letters after pi: RHOs.

67A: Color-coded Monopoly cards: DEEDS.


1D: Geronimo's tribe: APACHE.

3D: Ancestors in Darwin's theory: APEMEN. echo 9D: Sailor: SEAMAN.

4D: Spitter's sound: PTUI.

5D: Exceptional: TOP NOTCH. Combining the two.

6D: Acquire, as liabilities: INCUR. What ARE the liabilities of seed spitting?

7D: Cartoon flapper Betty: BOOP.

8D: Maui, for one: ISLE. Did you all get this immediately?

10D: Carbo-loader's choice: PASTA. And ATKINS (49D: Diet guru who wouldn't have recommended 10-Down). The so-called "high protein" diet. Do you believe in any diet?

11D: Military mascot: ARMY MULE. The Navy's is a goat. This fill intersect two theme answers, so does TOP NOTCH, EATS DIRT and INDEBTED.

12D: It goes before beauty, so they say: AGE.

21D: Enthusiasm: GUSTO.

22D: Get too personal: PRY.

26D: "__ sin to tell ...": IT'S A.

30D: Henry Higgins, to Eliza: TUTOR. My Fair Lady.

31D: NYSE debuts: IPOs. New York Stock Exchange. Initial Public stock Offering (IPO)

34D: Apartment house manager, slangily: SUPE.

36D: Go with the __: FLOW.

39D: "Shrek" ogress: FIONA. and 45D: "Cross my heart": I SWEAR. You'd better believe her.

40D: Obligated to repay a loan: INDEBTED.

47D: Few and far between: SPARSE.

51D: Reform Party founder Perot: H.ROSS.

55D: Rash symptom: ITCH. But don't scratch, it will get infected.

56D: Prefix with second: NANO. Meaning "billionth". Also an Apple iPod model.

58D: Earth-friendly prefix: ECO.

59D: Reheat, nowadays: ZAP. Better use here than when it was clued as skipping over ads.

Answer grid.


Notes from C.C.: Thank you for the well-wishes, everyone. I'm getting better and will be back blogging tomorrow morning. Welcome back, Clear Ayes, WM and Windhover (You need to download some free crossword puzzle application to solve LA Times on your iPhone.)


Dennis said...

Good morning, Argyle, C.C. and gang - well, this week certainly seems better than previous ones so far; today's puzzle was fun, as opposed to just a writing exercise. I suspect Lois will have something to say about a couple of the northern answers.

Argyle, I agree about 'eat dirt'; a new one for me. And thanks for the Gisele Bunchen photo - I needed something to wake me up after staying up watching the Phillies pull off yet another 9th inning come-from-behind win.

Today is Brandied Fruit Day.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "He that leaves nothing to chance will do few things ill, but he will do very few things." -- George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax

And a couple definitions:

-- Suburbia - where they cut down the trees and name the streets after them.

-- Sex appeal - fifty percent what you've got and fifty percent what people think you've got.

Martin said...

First of all, I want to say what a relief it is to hear that C.C. is feeling better! I wasn't worried until somebody mentioned H1N1 and then suddenly I wished I had said something.

I wanted HOOK for SMEE and HONEST! for I SWEAR! No googling required, however.


Dick said...

Good morning Argyle, C.C. and all, a nice puzzle today with a couple of clues that made me pause. However, all fills were obtainable with the perps and no outside help. “Eats dirt” is a common western PA expression which I have heard all my life.

C.C. happy too hear that you are recovering and will look forward to your daily comments.

Go Phillies!!!

Hope you all have a great Tuesday.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Sorry to hear you've been under the weather, C. C., but I'm glad you're on the mend!

Not a bad puzzle today, but I wasn't as enamored with it as Dennis. As with [most] everybody else, I really wanted EATS CROW instead of EATS DIRT. And I wasn't particularly fond of RHOS being clued as "Letters after pi." I suppose it's technically correct, but if the answer is going to be a plural letter (as opposed to a string of letters), it would be better in my opinion to clue it "Letters after pis." But maybe that's just me...

Oh -- and I really didn't like the clue for ERNSTS. His paintings are simply called ERNSTS? Again, I suppose it's accurate, but it just seems an odd way to clue it (as opposed to, say, "Dadist Max and others.")

Maybe I just wasn't expecting clues like that on a Tuesday. Or words like TORSI, for that matter.

And yes, ISLE came to me immediately.

Argyle said...

Dick, I've heard "eat dirt" before but more as someone being forced to do something, a physically threat, and not necessarily an admission of an error.

I've always looked at "eat crow" as voluntarily admitting you were wromg.

Hahtoolah said...

Morning, Argyle, CC and Friends: I liked the puzzle, but would have liked more theme clues. I wasn't FRESH OUT OF IDEAS in filling this puzzle and immediately thought of ISLE for Maui (8D). I wanted RETRO for Modify to Fit (1A), but quickly realized how wrong that was. No Dirt Eating (or worm eating) for me today.

Glad to hear you are doing better, CC.

QOD: Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow. ~ Mark Twain.

Lemonade714 said...


Glad you are feeling better.

Puzzle was fine for a Tuesday, with some old stuff and some new stuff.

Enjoy the day

Hahtoolah said...

I didn't much care for APEMEN as the response to Ancestors in Darwin's theory (3D). Here's the link to the 1920s Scopes Trial, in which a teacher got in trouble for teaching Darwin's theory.

Dick said...

@ Argyle, "eat crow" is certainly the more accepted term here for a voluntary admission, but in this local area we also used "eat dirt."

However, I am willing to accept your definition as the more acceptable one.

windhover said...

that was an excellent suggestion. However, I searched several hundred crossword-related apps and found on the LAT puzzle. There were apps for the NYT and USA Today. Can anyone help? If there is not a dedicated Iphone app, then I can try various websites. Which one is best. Keep in mind that with the keyboard deployed the iPhone screen is very tiny and I am a relative neanderthal who prefers a hard copy and a pen. I have no printing capability at all, since the iPhone is my only Internet access.

windhover said...

Make that "none " on the LAT.

Anonymous said...

Good morning all.

Being also from W.PA, I say "eat dirt". Wonder were the constructor grew up?

It was a fill in the grid exercise for me. There were too many old words like PTUI. I did it during the commercial breaks watching Castle.

Add Jill's name to the list of DKG
members. Area IV, Chi State.

Have a nice day. eddyB

kazie said...

Great news that you are on the way to recovery!

Nice job today.

Sallie and Jill (via eddyB),
Glad to know there are more of you out there. I'm in Lambda chapter, Sigma state.

My CW expeerience today was a fun fill with no complete unknowns except I SWEAR, which I read as IS WEAR which didn't make any sense. But I was at the end and everything around it did make sense so I said "oh well" and gave up worrying. There were a few aha moments when I got forgotten things through perps.

Jeanne said...

Morning all,
The puzzles the last two days have been a lot of fun. Even though they are very doable, some of the answers didn’t come automatically and required some down fills to get the answers. “Eats dirt” is also used on the east side of PA. Even though “ute” is not used in our area of PA, I remember it from previous puzzles.

I prefer “watching what I eat” rather than dieting as a form of losing weight. I could never consider the Atkins’ diet because I love pasta and bread too much and I am not a big beef eater. Love the Shrek movies; they are animation that all ages can enjoy making animation art rather than just a cartoon. Argyle, I thought of closet first for space saving abbr. Loved your comment.

CC, take care of yourself. My sil works for a large school district in our area and she said the flu has really hit hard. Not many confirmed cases of H1N1, but flu nonetheless. Over 200 students out per day all last week. That’s just the high school. This could be a long, long winter.

Stay well all and have a good day. Go Phillies--great game last night.

Anonymous said...

EATS DIRT is an expression between two soldiers who served in the same war but were unaware of each others service. My grandfather used to say that when he met a veteran from WW II that they ate the same dirt.

45 D Cross my Heart here's what I thought of first.

Cross My Heart

Come on New York you guys are 2 wins away from World Series win #27!

Anonymous said...


I was watching 60 minutes Sunday night and were talking about the swine flu and they said it can transmit from person to person in the space of 10 feet. Also people who were born before 1950 have a built in immunity to this strain of flu since some lived through the flu pandemic of the 1920's that killed a 1/2 million people world wide.

60 Minutes

kazie said...

I saw that too and can't figure out if I was born in the '40s how that gives me immunity to something that was around earlier, unless through my mother? But if I wasn't breastfed, is that protection going to be as strong? I think it's a stretch to generalize that much.

Does anyone else have any ideas on this?

Anonymous said...

Jeanne, According to the home town newspaper the number of reported cases in Allegheny Co. is just the tip of the iceburg. Guess most people are treating themselves with OTC products.
I just have a bad cold since there is no fever.


Spitzboov said...

Had a few ambiguities, but were easily cleared up with the perps. Had "alter" for ADAPT, but DETOUR cleared that up. Didn't know FIONA, but was helped by ODESSA, a gimme.

All in all a fun puzzle with some clever clues.

Jeanne said...

@Kazie, I don't know how the immunity affects the those born before 1950? Will have to watch the "60 Minutes" show to see how that works. @eddyb, how you are feeling better soon. Sometimes the common cold can make you feel worse than some flu symptoms. And last longer, too.

Does anyone remember getting a swine flu shot around 1976? I remember standing in a long line for the shot. Don't think the flu outbreak was as serious as they thought. Plus, if I remember correctly, the vaccine itself caused serious problems for some people. Don't think that immunization will help today's outbreak.

windhover said...

RSD and Kazie,
three posts already and I still haven't figured out how to access the puzzle, but I wanted to comment on the flu.

The world wide outbreak that killed a lot if people was in 1918. I don't think that is likely to give anyone immunity who is alive today. And there is considerable controversy about whether this flu bears any genetic resemblance to that flu. The CDC has said that exposure to the 1976 "swine flu" does not bestow immunity to the current H1N1. I took the swine flu shot in 1976, and was as sick as I have ever been within about 36 hours. Several people I know had the same experience. As a consequence, I have never since taken and will never take another flu shot. As they say on TV, your mileage may vary.
The fact of the matter is that many thousands die annually, in the US and worldwide, from various flu strains. This one may be worse, or it may just be hyped, but your best chance for avoiding flu death is to be otherwise healthy, with no underlying health conditions.
A great deal of the notoriety around the H1N1 is just misinformation. The problem for the public is that they have no way of knowing which "expert" to believe, and the conflicting reports from CDC and NIH do nothing to clear up the many misconceptions that are rampant in the media.
Here's a novel theory: working crossword puzzles helps ward off the flu. It's as good as much of the advice that's out there. Of course, it doesn't apply to PJB, because he often does the puzzle on a crowded train. While eating pizza.

kazie said...

I think I like your theory as well as any. At least staying home at the computer means you don't mingle with other people's germs. Using hand sanitizers would help too, especially if you stick your fingers in your mouth a lot.

Warren said...

Hi Argyle & gang, C.C. I'm glad to hear you're feeling better.
I thought that today's puzzle was about the same level as Monday's? We finished it without any need for help before my wife left for work.

I went out looking for eat dirt
and found out that they're forced to eat dirt in Haiti? "The cookies — made of dirt, butter and salt — hold little nutritional value, but manage to keep Haitis poor alive."

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang,

C.C. Glad your better. Remember your vitamin C and chicken soup.

Pretty good puzzle today, but with a couple of gaffs (which I probably mispelt again.) Slightly harder than yesterday.

Putting PTUI next to APEMEN is clever; and putting it next to TOPNOTCH displays superior irony. Putting PEPTO over ATE UP is pure (pronounced PYOOR) genius.

I mostly agree with Barry, but as Hatool pointed out, the proper expression is EATS WORMS.

Argyle - now I know which syllable of BUNchen to emphasize. The suffix "chen" is a diminutive in German, as in "Liebchen." Draw your own conclusions.

Usually, when there are only three theme entries, they are 13+, and at least one is the full 15.

ESSEN symmetrically misses ATE UP by one slot, but hits PEPTO.


I showed my age in more ways than one with 25A: misread the clue as Mousketeers, and really wanted ANNETTE. Of course, back in the day, we all wanted ANNETTE.

Sure Betty BOOP was a flapper, but did anyone know that Minie Mouse
started as ONE, too?

That's all Folks!

JzB the Mousketeer GUSTO trombonist

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Nice puzzle, but there didn't seem to be a jump in difficulty from Monday's crossword.

I thought ERNSTS was OK. After all, a collection of Pablo's creations are called Picassos.

I don't know why NUDITY was the first thing I thought of as "Modeling session activity".

Did Darwin really say that APEMEN were our ancestors? Back in the dark ages of Anthropology 1A, I learned Darwin concluded that apes and humans were descended from a common ancestor, not that one descended from the other. I suppose you could generally say that the common ancestors were APEMEN. That idea is bound to raise hackles in some quarters that are less than enthusiastic about the science of evolution.

I think you have to have at least three WISHES from a genie. If you only have one wish and wish for wealth, you'll get a horrible incurable illness. If you wish for health, you'll be penniless. If you wish for happiness, you'll be poor and sick and too dumb to realize it. Obviously, I am very suspicious of genies.

I'm glad to hear that C.C. is recovering.

According to a segment on the last 60 Minutes people born prior to 1950 are less likely to get H1N1 because they may have immunity gained from earlier flu strains. Yippee, there is something good about being older than 60! I've never had a flu shot, but I recently had a five year pneumonia shot. Pneumonia is much more like to get older people. An acquaintance of ours died last week after two weeks in intensive care. He went to see his doctor because of flu symptoms and wound up dead from pneumonia.

Al said...

Re: Diets, I do recommend at least reading the book called "The Rosedale Diet". The best part of that book is that it contains three fairly comprehensive lists about different foods. One for avoidance, one for sparingly using, and one to eat the most of, including some things other fad diets mistakenly tell you to avoid. It also explains about several nutritional supplements, which aren't mandated, but are recommended. Some of those are expensive however, and the quality of what is in them is important.

Re: H1N1, if you all can stand to see any more on the subject...I'm not going to make an actual recommendation whether to get a flu shot or not, but there is a lot of evidence that flu shots can do more harm than the flu itself. Personally, I'm not getting one, and I'm not letting my kids get one either, but everyone needs to make their own informed opinion on which course of action scares them the most, and believe me, the media is good at scaring people, but not so hot on presenting other options such as strengthening your immune system with taking extra vitamins such as C and D(3), trace minerals like selenium, and probiotics, or at least eating yogurt or kefir.

Martin said...

Whereas 1/2 million people died worldwide back in 1920, the last H1N1 epidemic was back in the late fifties which is just long enough ago that most people over fifty have been previously exposed.


Martin said...

I forgot to mention earlier: if you misread "Ancestors in Darwin's theory" as "Ancestor in Darwin's theory" then APEMEN becomes APEMAN and HUE ("color gradation") becomes HUA. My first thought was that HUA refered to the Chinese word meaning "flower" which also means "multicoloured" but then I noticed that the clue for APEMEN was plural.


Clear Ayes said...

The last couple of days have been "morning foggy". I love this time of least if I don't have to be driving in it. I really like this poem. But then any poem with the word "amethyst" in it gets my attention. I love the way the word sounds; "dripping wreaths of amethyst"....such a lovely phrase.

White Fog

Heaven-invading hills are drowned
In wide moving waves of mist,
Phlox before my door are wound
In dripping wreaths of amethyst.

Ten feet away the solid earth
Changes into melting cloud,
There is a hush of pain and mirth,
No bird has heart to speak aloud.

Here in a world without a sky,
Without the ground, without the sea,
The one unchanging thing is I,
Myself remains to comfort me.

- Sarah Teasdale

carol said...

Hi C.C., Argyle and everyone -
I enjoyed this puzzle..didn't take too long and I didn't have to look anything up which always makes me feel smart.

Lots of fodder for Lois in this one.

Jazz, I also misread 25A and thought it was Mouseketeers and as the answer started with an 'A', I tried to put Annette in there, but alas.

Interesting discussion on flu and flu shots. Why would anyone get sick from a flu shot? I don't think it is possible as the virus in the shot is dead. It IS possible that those who did get sick were already exposed to the flu BEFORE the shot.
I also think CA correctly cited the reason for people over 50 not getting it as readily as the younger ones...we have just been around longer, with more exposure to colds and do build up an immunity through your life.

embien said...

6:19 today. A typical Monday/Tuesday time, I guess. The theme was kinda cute--sort of a "non-theme" theme.

Did anyone else think that SUPE was a little bogus? I've only ever heard SUPER as the term for an apartment manager (or maintenance guy). SUPE is a bit of a stretch.

Beware of sites like which are only offering anecdotal evidence about flu shots (and trying to sell you something). The science is that the flu vaccine uses only dead virus cells. You cannot possibly get the flu from a flu shot.

And, as the old saw goes, if you get the flu you'll be miserable for a while but you'll get over the illness in about a week. If you go to the doctor and spend money on prescriptions and all you'll be free of symptoms in about seven days.

Chickie said...

Hello All--Another very doable puzzle, but with some thought provoking entries. Alter was my first choice (I'm a sewer) for modify to fit. But the perps soon straightened me out.

IMHO Rhos is a Greek Alphabet name, not just a string of letters coming after Pi. Also, Pi was not a plural, but the clue given was letterS which was plural. I am getting picky in my old age.

In 1960, the movie "Inherit the Wind" with Spencer Tracy, Fredric March and Gene Kelly was based on the Scopes trial. The movie didn't exactly follow the trial but was well worth watching none the less.

Brandied Fruit Day: There is nothing better than brandied fruit over vanilla ice cream. For a long time I kept my Brandied fruit mixture going and we induldged more that we probably should have.

Carol2 said...

Hi CC, Argyle and Gang,

CC, glad you are on the mend, hope to see you in print tomorrow.

Very doable puzzle but I did struggle in the SW corner. Wanted eats crow, as many others. Also had Enzo for Mr. Pinza. Then, my biggest DUH came when I put Perot instead of HRoss. Well, you can see why I was messed up! I also thought supe was weak - thought it was super.

I got the regular flu shot but probably won't get the H1N1. I think it will be a moot point anyhow because they are already reporting shortages. I believe it will not be available to many, many people. It will be given to those most at risk.

Great Phillies game last night. Another nail biter. Let's bring it home on Wednesday!!

Dennis - whatever happened with Oktoberfest on Sat? Too bad it was such a miserable day.

Enjoy the day!

Dennis said...

embien, here in the NE at least, 'supe' is used a lot. It always amazes me when someone further abbreviates an abbreviation.

The JVN said...

Wishes from a Genie --

Minimum of three: health, wealth, and three more wishes!

I've been away from the puzzles (busy time of year), but today's was ideal for me: not trivially easy, but not difficult enough to turn it into hard work, which takes away the fun.

I don't like to work hard to have fun. On Sunday, I read the comics and skip the crosswords.

Clear Ayes said...

For those who pay attention to these things, I have to correct "a collection of Pablo's creations are" to "a collection of Pablo's creations is"

Thanks for the H1N1 and other flu information. As I said, I've never had a flu shot, but my mother had a similar experience to Windhover's. She was very sick after she had a flu shot about 15 years ago. It may not have been officially "flu" since dead virus can't transmit the illness. But, she was very sick, congested, feverish and miserable for about 10 days. I've always been more than a little wary of any inoculation. OTOH, my paternal grandmother died during the 1918 epidemic, but neither Grandpa nor any of their five children were affected. Did Gramps pass on a genetic immunity? Hmmm.

RSD's figure of 1/2 million was United States deaths for the 1918 (1920?) pandemic. World-wide, about 500 million people were infected and the death toll was estimated to be 50 million.

Chickie's Brandied Fruit reminds me of Swedish Glögg, a spiced wine, which technically only has raisins as the fruit. My Swedish relatives always add lot of other dried fruits and as Chickie said, they "keep it going", adding more fruit and brandy or wine (whatever is at hand) over the winter season. Skål!

Dennis said...

carol2, Oktoberfest was a all-out disaster. Heavy rain, high winds meant minimal attendance. It's a shame, because a lot of us put a ton of effort and a whole bunch of money towards it.

The only bright spot was the reaction the cold weather had on the Eagles cheerleaders and the St. Pauli girl...

Carol2 said...


I'm so sorry! What a shame.

But evidently it was not a total loss. Did those women "perk up" as a result of the weather?

Chris in LA said...

Re: Flu

It's my understanding that 1918 flu was Spanish Flu - not sure if it's related to H1N1 (swine/bird/whatever) flu. I watched the 60 minuted piece and still don't know why anyone would be immune relative to their date of birth.

The flu is a respiratory disease - many people think that vomiting is a symptom, but I'm pretty sure it's not.

With the thousands of people who hit this site, I'd hope there was a "doctor in the house" who might be able to provide good information to those of us who are confused by all the media hype and internet anecdote. I'm a 45+ male smoker - should I get the vaccine or not?

PS - I heard on the radio today that H1N1 has been found in a flock of turkeys in Canada - how's that for putting a crimp on your Thanksgiving plans?

Al said...

The H1N1 and other flu vaccines are not "inactivated" (killed), they are "attenuated" (weakened) ones. I too had the same experience in the 70's of getting a shot and becoming sicker than I had ever been before or after in my entire life. To top that off, it was just before my final exams of one of the quarters, so I took a big hit in my GPA.

But, getting the disease from the shot, which is arguably possible when it is only attenuated (how are they so sure that they got it all with the sheer volume they produce anyway?), is the least of your worries with any vaccine. The list of poisons and foreign matter, which can cause allergies or even nerve damage and Guillain-Barré Syndrome, that directly enters your bloodstream is what is worse for you than the disease itself. They can claim all they want that the quantities are small, but there is no safe dose level of formaldehyde or mercury. A child getting over 20 vaccinations by the age of 2 is especially susceptible. And lest you believe that the thimerusol has been removed from all vaccines given to children, read the FDA's own website about the H1N1 vaccine.

Note that none of those links have any commercial marketing content, the CDC, FDA, NIH, and John's Hopkins University. Just because Mercola sells stuff, doesn't necessarily mean he's wrong, and, you don't have to buy anything from him. There is a ton of content there that isn't pushing anything other than following a healthy lifestyle along with proper diet and exercise.

Spitzboov said...

@ Argyle

re: ESSEN, always liked the phrase "vergessen das ESSEN" from a German sea chanty

windhover said...

Thanks for the info on the "attenuated" vaccine. I was pretty sure that was the case. Other than my experience in '76, I have never had any flu before or since. I don't know whether that is because I have any naturally acquired immunity or just blind luck, but I rarely get sick, even when everyone else at work or in the house (I have three grown children) is sick with various colds and other ailments. CDC , NIH, and all the other avenues may well be public minded, but they are also governed to some extent by political and social realities. If it is necessary to lie to protect some political agenda or to prevent an anticipated panic, they will lie.
Anyway, thanks for the info and for sharing your experience, which sounds exactly like mine and a number of people I know.

On a different subject, I asked this morning for advice on iPhone apps or websites for this puzzle, but got no
response. I'm getting that Sally Field kinda feeling. Give it up, someone.

Hahtoolah said...

I wish I could help you, WH, with your crossword apps issue, but unfortunately, I know nothing about such things. If you find out something, please share your knowledge.

Clear Ayes said...

I seldom pass jokes on, but this was too coincidental (and it was kind of cute too). Just when I had posted my suspicion of genies, a friend sent me the following joke. NEVER trust a genie! Or apparently, the government for that matter.

A man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich behind him. The waitress asks them for their orders.

The man says, "A hamburger, fries and a coke," and turns to the ostrich, "What's yours?"

"I'll have the same," says the ostrich.

A short time later the waitress returns with the order "That will be $15.40 please," and the man reaches into his pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment.

The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, "A hamburger, fries and a coke."

The ostrich says, "I'll have the same."

Again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change.

This becomes routine until the two enter again. "The usual?" asks the waitress.

"No, this is Friday night, so I will have a steak, baked potato and a salad," says the man.

"Same," says the ostrich.

Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, "That will be $42.62."

Once again the man pulls the exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table.

The waitress cannot hold back her curiosity any longer. "Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change in your pocket every time?"

"Well," says the man, "several years ago I was cleaning the attic and found an old lamp. When I rubbed it, a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there.."

"That's brilliant!" says the waitress. "Most people would ask for ten million dollars or something, but you'll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!"

"That's right. Whether it's a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there," says the man.

The waitress asks, "What's with the ostrich?"

The man sighs, pauses and answers, "My second wish was for a tall chick with a big butt, long legs and who agrees with everything I say...."

Jeanne said...

@WH, there is an email address for the LAT crossword at the bottom on their puzzle for any questions about their games. I emailed them for you and asked for info on any app. for their puzzle for the Iphone. Let you know if I get a response. The email address was

PJB-Chicago said...

Windhover: the resident iphone owner downloaded and is happy with the "across lite" application for solving puzzles. You can enter "across lite" and "iphone" into Google and be directed to where to get it. Have tried it a couple times, also, and it takes a little getting used to but I hope it enables you to do the puzzle along with the rest of us. You would be sorely missed here.

In haste.

Martin said...

From here.

Why is 1957 a key year? Every flu season after it first appeared, the deadly 1918 pandemic H1N1 flu bug circled the globe. Each year, the virus acquired changes that made it different from the original virus. But in 1957 there was a new pandemic, this time with an H2N2 virus. The new virus took the place of the old H1N1 bug.

"And so when we talk about the pre-1957 exposures, we are referring to those exposed to the past H1N1 virus that went away in 1957," Jernigan said. "The farther back you go in time, the more likely you are to have been exposed to an H1N1 virus before 1957 -- and exposure to that virus many years ago may allow you to have some reaction to the new H1N1."


Bill G. said...

Re: flu shots. You can get sick from a flu shot if you're allergic to eggs I think, since eggs are used in the production of the serum.

I agree that SUPE was a bit bogus and I'd never heard of EAT DIRT.

Good ostrich joke.

carol said...

Chris in LA - You cannot get Swine flu from eating pork or Bird flu from eating any kind of poultry...are you serious in asking this???

CA - LOL- loved the ostrich joke!!!

Jazzbumpa said...


You can't go wrong with an ostrich joke!

Shame that waitress never got a tip . . .

JzB the tipping trombonist

windhover said...

I think this is five for me. Been saving it to respond to those offering help.
Al, Jeanne, and PJB,
I'll wait to hear from Jeanne's request , but so far nothing works. The Across Lite (free app) and the 2across app ($5.99) are both good according to their ratings, but both were recently updated ( according to user comments) by removing the LAT and the USA Today puzzles from
the list. There are user requests to restore them. I'll keep watching. Thanks for all your help and advice.
In my earlier post, the auto-correction function changed "agencies" to avenues. It makes a little more sense in the original.
I'm out of here. See you tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Good evening everyone who reads this late.

Embien, I again agree completely with your statement about getting flu shots. There has been a lot of misinformation floating around, including on this blog. It is very important that the ones first on the list get their shots. Since I am 79 I doubt that I will be eligible. But if one is offered, I'll take it.

Good night all. Sleep well and don't let the flu bugs bite.

lois said...

Good evening Argyle, CC 'et al', What a hoot of a puzzle! 'It's a' winner by a 'nose'. LOL with the thought of a 'top notch' 'seaman'
'coming up empty' or just 'coming up empty' with 'top notch'
'seaman'. Not with this 'tutor' anyway. Too much 'gusto' and living on the 'edge' usually makes even 'drawing a blank' impossible.
Except I 'sensed' 'one' recent problem. I won't go into detail, but 'I swear' there must be a 'tiny' 'pea' under my mattress. Either that or 'else' my 'pet' got off his 'leas'h and is 'posing' as the 'Army mule'. Right! That'll happen when pigs fly...oops! We do have swine flu. Well now, there's no time to 'lose'. IMBO

Enjoy your night.

Anonymous said...

Took me a while but I DID IT! No mistakes. I did not enjoy doing it like other Tuesdays. Can't wait till tomorrow!!!

Jeannie said...

WM, I have missed you.

C.C. sounds suspiciously what I encountered. If you had a fever and it breaks and you encounter another fever it is probably H1N Nothing you or your doctor can do for it as I was told. We lost two key workers at the foodshow today. Yep, we had a party last night and neither of these gals are "partiers" so I don't think that was an issue. I actually applaud these gals for bowing out of a food show. Can you imagine the ramifications?

Wolfmom, you have been missed. I understand that you have had some family issues to deal with. I have worked phenomenonally hard the last few months. I KNOW YOU HAVE NOTHING ON YOUR PLATE...but DAISIES might make you feel better, I know they do me.

One good thing about a foodshow is you get to talk with some really good chefs and trade recipes. I will be back in that swing of thing come Monday after I catch up on Burger King.

PJB-Chicago said...

Solid blogging today, Argyle. I'm late to the game, to be sure, but enjoyed the puzzle on the run. I don't know my muskateers well enough, and will forever confound EZIO and ENZO while solving. That said, it was a welcome challenge to get the squares filled in correctly.
WM, we miss you. You have so much on your plate these days and I wish you respite and calm, soon; in which to paint. Almost daily someone asks me about my screensaver and I do tell them about you. When I win the lottery, [ok, IF] I will be calling so I can be lucky enough to purchase one of your wonderful tableaux.
Mme Kazie, your prose shines, no matter who you write for. Newsletters are a bear to write, and few readers appreciate the work involved. Been there, done that, and still have the scars to prove it. There's a reason why I often treat the person at work (who edits my text) to lunch before it sees print. She works miracles, too.
ClearAyes, spot on with the Teasdale poem and the ostrich joke. Both are classics, worth revisiting.

Tough day. Theoretically, I was "on call" today, which means I check voicemail
hourly. Usually I'm called only if there's a "jumper," which is to say someone poised literally--or figuratively--on the verge of jumping off a roof. This isn't a skill which I would have asked for, but yes, I'm pretty good at it. I would rather that the proverbial genie had granted me the ability to bake bread--more specifically, focaccia--but I'm stuck with what I got. An intern was crying quite openly over a bad breakup with some guy (she's whipsmart, talented and all of 27 years old) and I was asked to intervene.

Fine. I've been there, too. It took an hour or so but she's on the mend. The good news is that one DOES get over this, the bad news is that one may never stumble into love like that again. It gets better, but less fervid and innocent over
time. I don't think I'm alone in stealing my "first's" teeshirts so you could just smell them after s/he left.

WH: sorry. The Swede (by parentage, not by homeland) got the app download over a year ago and neither of us has accessed the site since then. Don't know what else to suggest.

kazie said...

Thanks for your confidence in my prose.

I loved the ostrich joke.