Nov 7, 2009

Saturday November 7, 2009 Bob Peoples

Theme: None

Total blocks: 30

Total words: 70

This grid does not look intimidating, does it? Only a bunch of triple-stacked 7's in each corner. Across & Down. But what a hard struggle for me!

Rich Norris certainly ratcheted up the cluing difficulty (ONO is a good example). Even if he did not, I doubt I would have solved this puzzle without cheating. Several of the adjacent entries are just plain unknown to me.


1. Treat for tired dogs?: FOOT RUB. Dogs here refer to feet. Wanted MASSAGE. Lots of foot massage parlors in Guangzhou.

8. Snake oil, so it's said: PANACEA. Not seen as such in China. Snake oil is just used to treat join pain.

15. Bridge bid, briefly: THREE NO. Someone please explain this term to me.

16. Fauna: ANIMALS. Flora would be PLANTS.

17. Old Meccan governors: SHARIFS. Literally "exalted" in Arabic. Maybe Omar Sharif knows. I've got no idea.

18. Swift specialties: SATIRES. Jonathan Swift.

20. "Real breakfast 24/7" restaurant chain: DENNY'S. Not familiar with the tagline at all.

22. Ventura County's __ Valley: SIMI. Home to the Regan Library. Another California reference is ANAS (9D. Santa __: West Coast winds). The hot winds.

23. Actress Swenson: INGA. Of "Benson" fame.

25. God of Spain: DIOS. The singular DIO is Italian/German for God. DIEU for the French.

27. Head lock: TRESS

31. City on the Rhine: BONN. Former capital of West Germany.

32. Shrub with clusters of blue flowers: HYSSOP. Of the mint family. New name to me.

34. Betrayals: SELLOUTS. So easy in retrospect.

36. Hotel amenity for business travelers: IN-ROOM FAX. You'd think it's IN-ROOM internet access/WiFi.

38. Delete: CROSS OFF. And REDLINE (39D. Deletion indicator).

41. Tiny white ovum: ANT EGG. Stumper. Those eggs look awfully big.

45. Musical set in Manhattan's East Village: RENT

46. Armstrong singing style: SCAT. Ella Fitzgerald singing style too.

48. Iberian river: DOURO (DOH-roo). No idea. See this map. It flows from N Spain through N Portugal to the Atlantic.

49. Stock suffix: ADE. Stockade.

50. Agcy. that conducts workplace inspections: OSHA. Belongs to the Dept. of Labor.

52. Noilly __: vermouth brand: PRAT. Completely unknown to me. Does anyone know the name origin? Why PRAT, Argyle?

57. Artist who funded Manhattan's Strawberry Fields memorial: ONO. Another unknown trivia.

58. Reminder file: TICKLER. Have never heard of tickler file.

60. Ale seller: BREWPUB. It's a bar serving beer brewed at a small microbrewery on the premises. Probably a gimme for Embien.

63. Ventilation source: AIR HOLE

64. Can't stand: DESPISE

65. Did over on a Selectric, say: RETYPED. Who the heck is still using Selectric?


1. Ark. city that began as a military post: FT SMITH. Uh-uh, nope. It's the second-largest city in Ark.

2. Candy bar with an exclamation point in its name: OH HENRY! I've yet to try this brand. Love Snickers.

3. Fruits used in making Grand Marnier: ORANGES. Another stumper. The Grand Marnier made from a blend of true cognacs and distilled essence of bitter orange.

4. Three times, in Rx's: TER

5. Senate Majority Leader Harry: REID. From Nevada.

6. Ravenous, probably: UNFED. Reminds me of "The Pianist".

7. Sarajevo's region: BOSNIA. Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia.

8. Lineup announcement medium, briefly: PA SYSTEM. Was thinking of police line-up.

10. Trivial point: NIT. Trivial point to pick.

11. "The Rachel Papers" novelist Martin: AMIS. Son of Kingsley Amis.

12. Arctic deer: CARIBOU. Reindeer too.

13. Nitrogen or oxygen: ELEMENT

14. Transfers, as legal rights: ASSIGNS

21. "I wouldn't do that just yet": NOT SO FAST. Placed at the very center of the grid.

24. Fielder's stat: ASSIST. Basketball/hockey stat too.

28. Boys, to men: SONS. Would be an OK clue if not for MEN (19A. Gents)

30. Italian sports car, briefly: : ALFA. Alfa Romeo.

31. Old-fashioned proof of purchase: BOX TOP

33. Aces: PROS. Both mean experts.

35. Crow's nest sighting: LAND. Again, not familiar with the nautical term crow's nest.

37. "For sure!": OF COURSE

38. Skillfully made: CRAFTED

40. Plays without intermissions: ONE-ACTS. "Plays" is a noun. I fell into the verb thinking trap.

42. Ace of Base genre: EURO POP. Have never heard of Swedish band Ace of Base.

43. Bit of grit: GRANULE

44. Retire, but not permanently: GO TO BED. "Not permanently" threw me off.

47. Legal profession: THE BAR. Wrote down THE LAW first.

51. Raptor's home: AERIE

54. Cincinnati sitcom station: WKRP. "WKRP in Cincinnati".

55. Tiger's pocketful: TEES. Tiger Woods.

56. MirĂ³ Foundation architect: SERT. Got the answer from Across fill.

59. Gift for an island visitor: LEIS. Hawaiian islands.

Answer grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - a fun, fun puzzle today. I don't think we've seen Bob Peoples' work before, and I sure hope it's not the last time.

As always, I loved the longer triple stacks. Some very fresh cluing as well; I like having to search my mind for a candy bar with an exclamation point, for instance. Or the Denny's tag line. And it's funny what lurks in the inner recesses of one's CPU - when I read 'Noilly', my mind said 'Prat', yet I don't recall ever seeing that vermouth. However, I can't remember breakfast yesterday.

All in all, a very entertaining puzzle; good start to the weekend. Hope yours is an outstanding one.

Martin said...

This is why I don't usually do Saturday puzzles. Well, that and the fact that I don't have classes on Saturday and usually spend all morning in bed. Today I got up early and went out to take a Chinese test, up one level of difficulty from last time. Don't ask how I did: let's just say it wasn't pretty.

Anyway, I had to google a lot to finish this one. I also had a lot of false starts: I wanted PLACEBO for PANACEA, (Swift) HOT DOGS for SATIRES, NAG for BEG, WHOA boy or IT'S A boy for ATTA boy, CROSS OUT for CROSS OFF, DUERO for DOURO (after googling), BREWERY or BREW HUB for BREWPUB, AIR HOSE for AIR HOLE and THINK ON IT for NOT SO FAST. I even thought that a Selectric was a sewing machine and briefly had RESEWED (even though I knew the past tense of sew is sewn) instead of RETYPED. A Selectric is actually a typewriter. The bottom left hand corner was the only part that came easily: the rest was a real struggle.


Anonymous said...

45. Musical set in Manhattan's East Village: RENT

It is my favourite musical! I have seen it 20 times when it was in theatres and I have probably watched it 20 times on DVD!


RENT was written by Jonathan Larson, he wrote this musical for people who ordinarily don't watch musicals. Sadly he died in 1996 at age 35 of an aortic aneurysm, believed to have been caused by marfan syndrome.

Jon Larson

tfrank said...

Good morning, C.C. and all,

I echo Dennis's comments, and yours about the difficulty of today's offering. I was able to complete it with a lot of red letter help and some guessing, as in ono, which was my last fill. It was very intimidating at first, but as with life itself, could be handled a step at a time. As a reformed toper, my brain also automatically came up with Prat as soon as I read Noilly. Favorite clue was "retire but not permanently".

Looking forward to tomorrow's match up between the Cowboy's and Eagles, which could well decide who wins the NL East conference. I hope it won't be a repeat of last year's fiasco.

We are having a great string of late summer/early fall days. back to needing rain again. We are still about 16" short of normal.

Have a great weekend.

Barry G. said...


This one well and truly slayed me. So many unknowns! PRAT, DOURO, SHARIFS, HYSSOP, THREENO! Plus we get ANT EGG? It took me forever to figure out PASYSTEM -- I had PASY and thought, "that can't POSSIBLY be right..."

I did manage to claw my way through most of the grid, but the NW corner defeated me in the end. As I said, I've never heard of SHARIF before, and KHALIF seemed to be a good fit for 17A. That left me with FTKMIT_ for 1D and, since I've also never heard of FT. SMITH or HYSSOP, I just couldn't get the job done.

My favorite clues today were "Treat for tired dogs" for FOOT RUBS and "Head lock" for TRESS. Definitely some good quality stuff today. But the mass of total unknowns just wore me done in the end.

Barry G. said...

Errrr... Make that "wore me DOWN." What can I say? I'm worn down...

Anonymous said...

Hated this puzzle.

lois said...

Good morning CC, et al., I'm glad Dennis enjoyed this puzzle. This one raised 'the bar'. Too many unknowns to make even the perps work for me today, but there were some cute twists that I liked, i.e. 35D crow's nest sighting: Land, 27A Head lock: tress, 18A Swift specialties: satires. Loved seeing WKRP, but 28D boys, to men would be more like boys to dads to me to have 'sons'.And 'ant egg'?
'GG!' Has anybody ever seen an 'in room fax'? I haven't. I agree w/CC on that one. Past all that, one major 'flaw' was that 'tickler' was misclued but made me laugh, esp crossing 'lei' and 'one acts'. 'Of course' 'OSHA' would have a lot to say about that one for the 'pro's'.

Enjoy your day. I'm going to 'Dennys' . It's all good.

Mainiac said...

Good Morning All,

This was a struggle! Many of the same problems as CC and others. I started at 5:AM in pencil, went out to do some work and finished it with much red letter help at coffee time.

Its a gorgeous day here so I'm heading back out.

Have a good one!

kazie said...

Despite difficulties and ending up with some errors, I enjoyed the challenge this presented.

I had no idea about THREENO or TER and couldn't remember how to spell OHHENRY, thought the exclamation might be represented by an "I", so that gave TIRENO for 15A. I thought SANTA ANA was ANNA, so that screwed up SATIRES, having no clue who/what Swift was either--thought of a brand name, not Jonathon. So there was a problem at the end of DENNYS too, though I wanted to get that in there.

I have heard of NOILLY PRAT, but couldn't for the life of me think of the ending, because I had BOXTAB for 31D. So DOURO was wrong, and I never figured out anything for Ace of Base, a total unknown, so I left it as ELLOPOP, wondering about a cross between Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie.

I think I get an A for creative thinking at least.

The simple past form for SEW is SEWED, its past participle is SEWN.

Martin said...

The simple past form for SEW is SEWED, its past participle is SEWN

Oh yeah. If only that was the only mistake I had made today.


gobjob said...

I've been reading your comments for months and have enjoyed the blog. I finally had to comment. This puzzle was very difficult and I don't like spending this much time on Saturday morning trying to work it out. If it weren't for the red letter help and a few googles, I would have quit.

Argyle said...

Good Morning,

Joseph Noilly created the first recipe for dry vermouth in 1813. In 1855, his son, Louis, and son-in-law, Claudius Prat, formed NOILLY PRAT & CIE. (Cie.: French for company)

Bridge bid: Three no trump.

Argyle said...

"All That She Wants" by Ace Of Base ( I didn't remember this untill I saw it.)

Spitzboov said...

Good challenging puzzle today. Thought I was going to crash and burn in the SE corner but after a short break got GOTOBED and the rest fell. Only cheated with HYSSOP which my wife knew.

@C.C. THREENO is short for three no trump, a game bid just like 4 spades or 5 diamonds are game bids.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Joyce said...

Can someone please explain how TER is used in Rxs.
I am familiar with BID and TID, for twice daily and three times a day, but TER threw me.

Carol2 said...

Good Morning CC and Gang!

Very tough puzzle for me also. Same problems as others mentioned.

CC - a tickler file was used years ago to follow-up on items that needed to be done during the month. It was an accordian style envelope with each space numbered from 1-31. For instance if you needed to pay a bill on the 13 of the month, the bill was slotted under that number. Years and years ago when I was a secretary, I used a tickler file in the office.

I'd like to send Dan my best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Dennis said...

Joyce, you're used to seeing TID, which is the abbreviation for 'ter in die', which is Latin for three times a day.

Anonymous said...

threeno is a bridge term for three no trump

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, This was definitely a tough one. There was plenty of answers that stumped me for quite a while. THREE NO, SHARIFS, TER, HYSSOP, DOURO and SERT were total unknowns. There were also lots of false starts and empty spaces. It took a while (OK...a lot of while), but it sorted itself out with only a couple of blank spaces left to check out here.

For future reference (I certainly hope we don't need this list!!)
"Some of the common latin prescription abbreviations include:

ac (ante cibum) means "before meals"
bid (bis in die) means "twice a day"
gt (gutta) means "drop"
hs (hora somni) means "at bedtime"
od (oculus dexter) means "right eye"
os (oculus sinister) means "left eye"
po (per os) means "by mouth"
pc (post cibum) means "after meals"
prn (pro re nata) means "as needed"
q 3 h (quaque 3 hora) means "every 3 hours"
qd (quaque die) means "every day"
qid (quater in die) means "4 times a day"
sig (signa) means "write"
tid (ter in die) means "3 times a day"

Bill G. said...

Well, I finished it. Definitely a challenge but not much fun for me. I would much prefer a Saturday puzzle with a theme.

carol said...

Hi C.C. and all -

Heck of a puzzle today, had as much or more trouble as the rest of you. I did enjoy it once I cheated and looked at a few of the answers so I could get a foothold SOMEWHERE. Lots of unknowns and even as I whine about it, I am glad to have a more difficult puzzle than the ones a few weeks ago.

I had to laugh at 52A (I didn't know the answer) but I immediately thought of 'PRAT' because I had the 'p' and the 'a'. I figured it couldn't possibly be correct though. I guess if you drink too much of it you would be on your prat!

55A - Now that is just wrong. 'TUTEES'?????

I have never seen a fax machine in a hotel room either. Mint on the pillow is as fancy as I have been so far.

Carol 2, thanks for the reminder of the tickler file. I used one of those too, but we didn't call in that... it was a 'numerical file'.

PanGraham said...

Hurrah! Got my wish for a little gray cell workout today. Agree with Dennis et al about the fresh cluing. Nice.

Amazingly I was able to slog thru all but the SE corner without outside (or online) help. I just couldn't get the last two letters in 42 down at its intersection with the Iberian river and the Vermouth brand. I penned in eCHopop, knowing full well that couldn't be right. Ended up having to gspot the river Do?ro, yielding the final U that allowed me to guess Europop as the real answer. I guess that makes it a one cheat puzzle for me.

P.A. System fell slowly, not being able to parse it in my head for a bit, as did brew pub (wanted brewery). Ant egg came quickly enough, but I was half expecting it to turn out wrong as I began to fill out that SE corner.

I still find the LA Saturday xword less challenging in its tendency to use short word groupings over the longer single words that the old Sat. Tribune xwords favored (at least to my recollection). But all in all, it was still an enjoyable puzzle. Larned me some new things in the process too.

Enjoy the weekend, fellow puzzlers. It's another gorgeous day out here where I am on the left coast. Hope some of that is making its way back to those of you further east.

DCannon said...

Carol & Carol2, I used those files, but we called them "follow file" short-speak for "follow-up file." I had heard it called a "tickler" but it took a while for me to get it.

Hard puzzle today. Had to google three or four, which helped the rest fall to perps. Wanted "soaking" for 1A, but saw the error of that when I came to 1D because I knew Ft. Smith. Tried lawyer first instead of The Bar. Lots of other false moves today. Glad I'm not the only one. I like the harder puzzles, though.

Another fine day here. Husband's seventieth birthday was yesterday. We went to our favorite steakhouse for dinner. Good time. He didn't want to invite anybody else, so it was just us.

Al said...

I don't think I want to know what it means that Dennis and Clear Ayes know so much about prescription abbreviations, but thanks, (I think)...

Why is it that drug companies are legally liable for problems caused by taking a pill orally, but not for vaccines injected directly into your bloodstream? Did you know they are working on "vaccines" for smoking addiction and obesity? Like those are really caused by a microorganism, honestly...

Yeah this was a toughie, lots of words you don't usually see in puzzles. I didn't have to google to get the answers (thank you perps), but I did have to look a few answers up afterward to see what the !? But I like that, don't get me wrong, at least if I can get most of the rest of it unassisted, that is.

It's a Beautiful Life

Clear Ayes said...

There was some discussion about The Onion yesterday and today SATIRES pops up.

Jonathan Swift wrote an essay called A Modest Proposal which suggested that poor Irish parents should be encouraged to sell their children as food for the rich. Offensive? You bet, but all good satire should offend a good many people and hopefully get them thinking.

I've mentioned him before, but one of my favorite satirists (and Windhover's) is Ambrose Bierce, who wrote The Devil's Dictionary.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a terrific example of a great movie satire. It was made by Stanley Kubrick, who also made yesterday's referenced II(Eyes) Wide Shut.

I saw PJB's Tom Cruise comment last night. I think Eyes Wide Shut would have been a much better movie with different casting. I liked the dreamland weirdness of the plot, but Cruise and Kidman had just about zero on-screen sexual chemistry. I think any of our DF's and DF-ettes and their love interests would have been hotter.

Happy birthday to DCannon's husband.

Al, Happily, I didn't know much about prescription abbreviations. I had to "G" to find out what TER meant. But once it appears in a crossword, others may show up too.

Dennis said...

And Al, like ClearAyes, I had to google it too in order to answer Joyce. I've got too much dumb garbage in my brain already to try and add all those prescription abbreviations.

Anonymous said...


In the game of bridge, the contract is bid from levels of one through seven, and trump is named in any of the four suits in the deck of playing cards , or in "no trump"

Three no trump is a game level contract

THREE NO for short

Al said...

Dennis and Clear Ayes, I'm glad to hear that you didn't know those terms due to repetition and experience.

And I own a well-thumbed, trade paperback copy of the Devil's Dictionary myself. Do you mean to tell me that it isn't actually an authoritative reference resource? Sure, it isn't quite as thick as the OED perhaps, but I have always found it to be extremely accurate.

MJ said...

Good day, all,

Although I'll have to admit that there were many totally unknowns for me in today's puzzle, I thoroughly enjoyed completing it. Very few oft used fill words, and lots of fun words like CARIBOU and HYSSOP. I also liked the way REDLINE and CROSSOFF intersected. Favorite clue was 44D "Retire, but not permanently". All in all, a fun yet challenging adventure.

C.C.--I had to laugh at your comment about the selectric. We have an old IBM electric typewriter in the garage which landed there when we got our first computer. We tried to give it to my mother, but she didn't want it. To this day she prefers, and still regularly uses, her manual Remington. The only problem she's had with it of late is in finding replacement ribbons.

Enjoy the weekend, folks!

Chickie said...

Hello All--Whew! was all I could think of when I finally finished the puzzle. I had to Google several unknowns: Noilly Prat, Ace of Base, and Miro Foundation architect.

I had put in Koln for Bonn, brewery for Brewpub and Ojai for Simi, so had lots of cross offs before I finished. However, when I finish a challenging puzzle I do get a real feeling of accomplishment. I spent way too much time on the CW today and should have come back to it later. Sometimes giving myself a rest fills in several answers when I come back.

There is always something in a puzzle like today's to put away in those small recesses of the mind to pull out at a later time when needed. Learning is a never ending process!

Anonymous said...

yes i liked this one--some creative phrases thrown in today...the only day of the week I was forced to uncover 3 letters, harhar. No rain or cloud and santa anas are still, so off to climb mtns.

PJB-Chicago said...

Good afternoon!
a quick few comments before I go put and seize the day, or at least some groceries.

Tough puzzle. A few unknowns and too many "semi-knowns" for me; the latter seem more dangerous because they lead down paths that end in alphabet mishmash. Hyssop is a word I half know, for instance, but spelled wrong; THREENO sounds familiar but I had no idea why or how. Noilly Prat came to mind even though I would prefer not to be in the same room as vermouth. I knew DOURO because of something to do with wine. Or maybe a book.

Europop is a word not heard in the US but sounds legit in about 15 European languages and the contests go on and on for months, resulting in recording contracts, concert tours, and compilation albums that you can buy years later for less than a Euro.

TER etc: Imagine the alternative to the abbreviations; If your doctor wrote out "BIS IN DIE" on your prescription, you might find that a very bad omen. Many physicians don't like to even write out the words Die or Death, in fact.

Satirical weekly paper the Onion is spot on most the time. After the horrific events of 9/11, they were the very first to write something that was at least risible, without going over too many fault lines. To sum it up, it was an Editorial by (G)(o)d in which (H)e conveyed the message: "No matter what anyone tells you, do not Kill ANYONE in my name." Whether one found it funny or not, well-timed or not, it was a small first step in many people's healing process. Comedy, and I am here as proof, can help us cope and help us think even in the toughest times.

Their readership is largely college age into mid-20s and that group has more tolerance for irony than my generation does, on average.
Plus those youngsters are willing to spring for $300 jeans when they are making just double minimum wage. My generation waits for sales at the Gap or Banana Republic!
Talk about irony.

Nice puzzle, Mr Peoples: please keep'em coming.
See y'all later.

Chickie said...

MJ, we also have an old electric typewriter in our garage. At our last garage sale we tried to GIVE it away and didn't have any takers. I hate to send things like this to a land fill. But no one wants this old stuff. If we keep it long enough maybe we can give it to a museum!

Carol and Carol2, we must have done office work at about the same time. We still use something similar--I find that hard copy (file) reminders are better for me for remembering when to take care of a pending piece of paperwork or a bill.

Welcome Gobjob! Stay with us.

DC Cannon, Many Happy Returns to your hubby.

embien said...

13:39 today. Pretty easy for a themeless Saturday (not my favorite kind of puzzle). I was quite surprised to see that many people here seemed to have problems with this one as, for me, there was not a single unknown word.

A bottle of Noilly Prat vermouth sits in my cabinet. I never really drank martinis and the vermouth was only used for cooking (makes a very flavorful sauce with a character distinct from one you'd get with wine alone).

Pet peeve: 9d: Santa ____ West Coast winds (ANAS). Hello! Santa Anas are California winds (more specifically, Southern California winds. The similar phenomenon (adiabatic winds, warm dry winds accelerating as they flow downhill) are called Chinook winds here in the Northwest (Foehns in Europe). Adiabatic winds

Robin said...

Woof, woof, I mean good afternoon everyone!

Mr. G lied to me, today was not easier. I had to come here for many, make that MANY answers.

I have been in medicine for over 10 years and have not seen or used TER. TID yes.

No ' IN ROOM FAX' for me, I tried,' IN ROOM FUN', but that wouldn't work at all.

Carol2 thank you for the Tickler file explaination, I just love that term!

Hope your weekend is just like you wish it to be.

Clear Ayes said...

Under the heading What Are We...Chopped Liver? Answer: Oregon and Washington when West Coast shows up in print. Sad but true, the first place that comes to mind for most people is California.

I had no problem with ANAS for the clue "Santa ____ West Coast winds" The clue is accurate, if not geographically specific. CHINOOKS might appear in a future puzzle and be clued as "West Coast winds". That would be accurate too.

BONN is clued as "City on the Rhine", which is accurate, but since the Rhine runs through several other countries, should it be "City on Germany's Rhine"?

Then, there is ADE to finish off "Stock". Any comments, Jazzbumpa?

kazie said...

I think the reason we resist those modern prices more than the impoverished young, is that we remember what things used to cost. For them it's just what they cost, and why argue with reality?

Jazzbumpa said...

C.A. -

I guess my comment is "bitch about it one day, see it the next." Absolutely hideous clue - answer combo.

IN ROOM FAX is absurd. But, I will defend TUTEE. A rare word, but legitimate and proper. TICKLER file is also OK.

I like the cross of RED LINE and CROSS OFF.

"THREE NO" is often spoken in casual bridge games, but the actual bid is THREE NO TRUMP. "Briefly" in the clue gives it some cover, but the proper abbreviation is THREE NT. SHARIF would back me up on this.

ANT EGG, GRANULE, AIR HOLE,and GO TO BED threw me. But, I am lacking in wit and energy today.

The Noilly PRAT name is owned by Martini and Rossi. I think I will have a martini before dinner.

Tomorrow will be better.

JzB the UNFED trombonist

Argyle said...

From Tuesday: 58D: Major German river, to a Frenchman: RHIN. Also, RHIEN. The Rhine (German: Rhein; Dutch: Rijn; French: Rhin; Romansh: Rain; Italian: Reno; Latin: Rhenus.

I'm not exactly clear who calls it the Rhine. The map shows Bonn on the Rhein section.

Argyle said...

In 1992 Bacardi acquired Martini & Rossi.

Robin said...

JzB do you put Vermouth in your martinis?

Clear Ayes said...

I'm pretty sure Rhine is the English word for the river. Just as Sverige is home to a Swede, it is Sweden to us.

We are always told, sometimes trickily, that an answer is in another language, "Major German river, to a Frenchman: RHIN", "Pierre's girlfriend: AMIE", and so on.

Enough of what passes for thinking around here, almost time for some refreshment. We recently received a gift of a couple of bottles of Argyle Winery 2007 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Two Californians will be celebrating the bounty of Oregon this afternoon.

DCannon said...

Hubby says thanks for the BD wishes!

PJB-Chicago said...

I can't vouch for vermouth, or tell a chinook from a Santa Ana, but I will stand up for the lowly "in-room fax." When fax machines became ubiquitous---remember when peoples' out-going voicemail message would remind you to "hit the pound sign if you're sending a fax" ?---hotels raced to upgrade their status as business-friendly establishments, so they put them in the hotel rooms and advertised them proudly.
I never used one or needed one on my business travels back in the day, but I wonder if anyone ever tried to use one and if they worked any better than the crappy dialup connections they set up for $0.49 a minute. The lesser hotels would just set up a partition in the lobby, install a desktop copy slash fax machine, and wireup a PC, slap a sign on the wall that said "Business Center" and leave the rooms alone as places where you didn't have to pretend you wanted to work. Those were the days of the traveling business warrior.

The only moment of sanctuary for the business traveler was the time spent in air. No need to check voicemail or email for the duration of the flight. Now that even air travel is getting to be "time when you can communicate with me electronically" I'm afraid the only refuge is an far-flung Alp or a remote Himalayan crest.
Until they install satellite towers, that is!

Time to scour the neighborhood for coffee-flavored ice cream. The real stuff.

Kazie, my Wranglers or Levis may not be trendy but they will be equally untrendy 5 years from now, whereas our intern's $240 designer slacks will be "unwearable" as early as next Fall, since by then the decoration or "wash" will be out of favor. I realize it's harder for young women than young men, but I am glad that guys of my generation can buy just about anything classic and well-made, and wear it without shame until it--or we--are too threadbare to make an appearance!

CA: enjoy the wine! take notes! lol

JazzB: The Trib no longer publishes Sharif's bridge column. It's written by a woman. I don't read it because it's written in secret code but I did notice that. They also stopped publishing the river/stream/lake fishing report in the Sports section. Not a fisherman here, but I loved to see all the words that I never see anywhere else. It was like reading a 17th century travelog of strange "beastes seen in the Orient."

Dennis said...

Celebrated the bounty of the local steakhouse tonight. A big ol' ribeye and a big ol' loaded baked potato and a big ol' bottle of red is indeed a nice way to close out a Saturday. Simple pleasures are indeed the best.

Clear Ayes said...

A last evening check-in for me. There is still some wine to be enjoyed. For PJB - "The 2007 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley is medium ruby-colored with an enticing bouquet of toast, cinnamon, rose petal, cherry, and cranberry. Sweet and seamless on the palate, this elegant effort has a bit of structure, excellent concentration, and a lengthy, fruit-filled finish." That wasn't me, it was the Wine Advocate's review. My review is "mighty tasty".

I have to apologize if anyone misunderstood my 5:24 comment,
"Enough of what passes for thinking around here". I didn't mean "around here" as in the blog, I meant "around here" as in me.

Have a good evening all.

Jazzbumpa said...


In deference to your well-reasoned argument, I will take back whatever nasty thing I said about IN ROOM FAX.

Robin -
Three parts gin, one part vermouth, swirled with ice until the mixer is uncomfortable to hold. Strain into a martini glass, and garnish with the largest pimiento olives you can find.

I think a martini without vermouth is called "gin on the rocks." Brutal.

JzB the olive chomping trombonist

Bobbi said...

Three No refers to a bid where no suit is trump. It is an abbreviated bid for three no trump 3NT in the card game of bridge.

PJB-Chicago said...

Welcome to Insomnia Corner....!

JazzB, re: the fax thing: I was just riffing on a particular moment in hotel history, and remembering some of the defining events of that harrowing portion of my life!

I do wish so many hotels wouldn't keep the coffee machine in the bathroom; all I can think of is how much hairspray and hair gel and deodorant must be caked into the bowels of the coffeemaker!
(Every time I mention this puzzling fact, people go EWWWWW.)

if you found a coffee maker in your bathroom at home you'd have the same response, but in some hotels the bathroom location is the norm.
I believe that is another trend that has been shoved aside, but I hear reports from the road that yes, some holiday hideaways still allow you to brew your java right next to where you shave. MMMMM good!

CA: Great report on the wine. I always wonder if Wine Spectator has a "random generator" of descriptive words to use with wine, so you can type in "dry" for instance and it spits out two hundred twelve options or it just picks one and plops it in the review. I do love reading their write-ups though.

The beer journals are becoming equally eloquent, although they have a weird obsession with "mouth feel" which is something I associate more with chocolate than beer. The vocabulary is rich and just as vaguely precise. Example: "the crackling bite of the hops doesn't hit you until your third sip, and by the fifth, you're discovering that the bite may lack bark, but it doesn't fade as you would expect. This is a one-note beer."
I made that up, OK, but it's not far off what you would find.

The best tasters can differentiate (in a Honey Blond(e) whether the honey is early harvest versus late harvest, or so they say. Beer tasters almost aways swallow versus spit, even if it's just a tiny amount. The Carbonation can become an "issue" in a crowded tasting room--I'll say no more on that subject!

I promise I'll be better behaved for the rest of Sunday!

Sandra Wilkes said...

Oh my goodness! I stumbled upon this site by accident! I didn't know it existed. This was the first time I ever 'Google cheated' but I was going nuts with Sunday's puzzle. Then I find this page with almost ALL the answers! OMG! I'm just checking a few. I will be back. Thank you for this.

MR ED said...

Re 7d coca , is this where chocolate comes from?
I think I read somewhere that only part of an iceberg is above water. Most of it is submerged under water.

Anonymous said...

Noilly Prat pronounced "nwaaee praa" I believe that it was an ingredient used in cocktails in the 1930's called Gin and French as opposed to the gin and vermouth cocktails using Italian vermouth which were known as Gin and It.