, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Friday January 22, 2010 Fred Jackson III


Jan 22, 2010

Friday January 22, 2010 Fred Jackson III

Theme: L-adder - Letter L is added into a B-starting four-letter first word of a familiar phrase/name.

17A. Scrabble cheat?: B(L)ANK ROBBER. Bank Robber. The blank tile in Scrabble.

53A. Singer who loves flashy jewelry?: B(L)ING CROSBY. Bing Crosby. Flashy jewelry = Bling.

11D. Perform a sheepish hip-hop number?: B(L)EAT THE RAP. Beat the Rap.

25D. Boring boss?: B(L)AND LEADER. Band Leader. Alliteration in the clue.

Can you also change BOND GIRL into a BLOND GIRL or does the girl have to be BLONDE? Any other similar pattern convertible B???/BL??? phrase came to your mind?

Bonus fill: ELL (2D. Wright wing, maybe). Playing on "Right wing". Ell has a 90-degree right angle. Wright here refers to architect Frank Lloyd Wright, right? Tricky clues like ELL abound in this puzzle. I was severely challenged and humbled.

Also noticeable are the French references in the grid:

38A. Printemps follower: ETE. Printemps is French for "spring".

7D. French friar: ABBE. Alliteration again. "French cleric" does not have the same sound appeal.

22D. Agua, across the Pyrenees: EAU. Water in the north of Pyrenees (France) is EAU and "agua" in the south (Spain).

54D. Paris article: LES. French for "the". Like "Les Misérables".


1. Golf relative?: JETTA. Golf and Jetta are both Volkswagen models. Stumper for me. Don "Hard G" just clued GOLF ODYSSEY as "Duffer's trip through Scotland?" (Volkswagen/Honda) last Sunday.

6. Camp sight: CANOE

11. A favorite is a good one: BET. Wanted PET.

14. Liquid fat: OLEIN (OH-lee-in). New word to me. Is it present in olive oil?

16. Language of Southeast Asia: LAO

19. Cause of star wars?: EGO. Celebrity "star". Nice play on "Star Wars".

20. Isn't on the level: SLOPES

21. Put one's cards on the table: DEALT. Tricky past tense "Put".

23. Doctor's order: LAB TEST

26. Babbles: PRATES

27. White Rabbit's cry: I'M LATE. I've never read "Alice in Wonderland".

28. "Like, wow!": FAR OUT. Cool!

30. Antiquated alpine apparatus: T-BAR. Alliteration gone wild! Lovely!

31. Curl beneficiary, informally: BICEPS. Weightlifting "Curl".

32. Solution for a bad hair day: HAT

36. Moisturizer target: DRYNESS

39. Traffic reg.: ORD (Ordinance)

40. Miss Muffet, before the spider showed up: EATER. From the nursery rhyme "Little Miss Muffet". She was eating curds and whey before the spider showed up.

41. E-mail heading word: FROM

42. Stay a while: LINGER. Sojourn is one letter too long.

44. Viselike device: C-CLAMP. Due to its C shaped frame. Got me.

46. Future doctor's project: THESIS. Ph. D. "doctor".

48. Caribbean music genre: CALYPSO. I could only think of Reggae.

49. Oater prop: RIATA. Or REATA.

50. Low areas: SWALES. Marshy/swampy low tract of area. Learned from doing Xword. Can you find peat there?

52. Stop: END

58. Bartender's concern: AGE

59. Leave alone: LET BE

60. Piercing look: GLARE

61. "__ Rosenkavalier": Strauss opera: DER. German for "the". Not familiar with "Der Rosenkavalier" (The Knight of the Rose). Surprised to see both DER and LES in the same grid.

62. "The Federalist" component: ESSAY. How many essays?

63. Ninnies: YO-YOS. Did not know "yo-yo" is a slang for "a stupid person".


1. Position: JOB. Had a hiccup on this one.

3. Break fluid?: TEA. Play on "Brake fluid". Tea during coffee/tea break.

4. Old West badge: TIN STAR. Like this? Tin material does not carry an authoritative cachet at all.

5. Low sock: ANKLET

6. Take for one's own use: CO-OPT

8. Catches: NABS

9. East Ender's flat: 'OME (Home). H sound is dropped in East Ender/Cockney dialect.

10. Pendant pair: EARDROPS. Drop earrings.

12. Boston College athlete: EAGLE. Unknown to me.

13. Whistle sounds: TOOTS

18. American Beauty, e.g.: ROSE. Great clue. I bet many were thinking of the film.

23. Collectible print, briefly: LITHO. The real collectibles are signed & limited edition.

24. Fossilized resin: AMBER

26. Wash. title: PRES (President). Would prefer "Washington title, briefly" clue.

28. More delicate: FINER
29. Andy Roddick, at times: ACER

31. Data measure: BYTE. Computer data.

33. Tiny quantities: ATOMS

34. A conductor might pick it up: TEMPO. Liked the "it" in this clue.

36. Subject to contradiction: DENIABLE. Excellent entry.

37. Tattered duds: RAGS

41. Achieve a piloting milestone: FLY SOLO. True.

43. Suffix with Mao: IST. Maoist. My Dad could recite every word of Chairman Mao's "Little Red Book".

44. Math class, briefly: CALC (Calculus)

45. Service providers?: CLERGY. Religious service.

46. Its gradual loss leads to baldness: TREAD. Oh, tire baldness.

47. Depend (on): HINGE. Nice change from RELY.

48. Shrewd: CAGEY

50. Convenes: SITS. Why? I don't get this one.

51. Org. with the Chicago Sky and Seattle Storm: WNBA. Knew neither of them. Our local team is Minnesota Lynx.

56. Pal: BRO. Mac/Bud too.

57. "May I help you?": YES?

Thanks for the sweet comments on the blog birthday yesterday, everyone, esp Linda. Thanks for remembering the date.

Answer grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - what a great puzzle for Friday! I had snags all over the place and probably circled the puzzle three times before I got everything filled in. Even some of the gimmes turned out to be wrong (I confidently put 'earrings' for 10D, 'dry skin' for 36A). The puzzle looked like a Rorschach test by the time I was done.

As C.C. said, great clues abound in this one, especially in the theme. I only had two problems: 't-bars' are still used at ski areas, and I've never heard a great tennis server called an 'acer', although technically he may be. And why is 'biceps' considered 'informal'? Informal would be 'guns', etc.

Favorite clues/answers were 'Wright wing'/'ell' and 'Break fluid'/'tea'; just outstanding. Nice way to start a Friday.

Today is National Blonde Brownie Day. Or maybe Brown Blondie Day. One of those.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "Happiness is good health and a bad memory." -- Ingrid Bergman

Here's a couple quotes from H. L. Mencken, one of the great writers and cynics of the 20th century:

- "Only presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial 'we'."

- "A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin."

Scooter said...

Good morning all, Fred did a great job on this puzzle-I did not get the theme until "Bling Crosby" was filled in. Nice one Fred.

Lemonade714 said...

Hey Fred:

Nice to see you back, and a very nice theme. It is one that I cannot imagine thinking up but now I have many words to add, like BACK, BEAK, well anyway, welcome BACK.

I do not get this one >Bartender's concern: AGE< the age of the whiskey? I do not see that as a concern.

When Congress “Convenes” it is in session, and each member SITS.

olein (ō′lē in)
1. a liquid glyceride, (CHCO)CH, present in olive oil and certain other oils and fats
2. the liquid part of any fat, as distinguished from the solid part
Etymology: Fr oléine < L oleum, oil

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, CC and Friends. I struggled with this puzzle, but soldiered on and got it completed with minimal assistance from the G-spot. Very proud of myself that I actually caught the theme before coming here to see CCs explanation!

ELL for Wright Wing came to me immediately. I knew EAGLE because an old boyfriend was a BC alum.

Dennis, Biceps is "informal" because its full name is Biceps brachii.

My favorite clues were:
A Conductor May Pick It Up: TEMPO
Service Providers: CLERGY (Which also fits nicely with ABBE).

QOD: If you want to look young and thin, hand around old fat people. ~ Jim Eason

Argyle said...

Clue: Bane of the Adirondacks: black biters. (back biters)

Are black flies found all across the country or are they just in the North East?

Good job, Fred! One of my most enjoyable puzzle I've done in a long time.

Hahtoolah said...

Lemonade: Bartender's concern = AGE because he/she cannot serve minors.

Dennis said...

Lemonade, I took it to mean the bartender would be concerned with the age of his customers.

Argyle said...

I do not get this one >Bartender's concern: AGE

AGE of the patron. VT is considering lowering the drinking AGE to eighteen even though it may result in loss of federal highway funds.

lois said...

Good morning CC, Dennis, et al., Adorable puzzle. Loved the same ones as Dennis plus 'service provider/clergy and baldness/
tread. Really well done. My only question is 46A, thesis for a dr. In my experience, thesis is at the Master's level and a dissertation is a dr's final project.

CC, I also want to congratulate you for the success of your baby here on its 2nd year and to thank you for all you do. You are utterly remarkable. We all vodka you very much.

That 'Scottish'Irish performance last night was outstanding w/over 25 bagpipers from the highlands and the British Regimental Band in full regalia. It was something! If you get a chance, go see it.

It's Friday & things will be
'finah' as I'm goin' to Carolinah in the morning, but first will enjoy at least one brown blondie tonight.

Enjoy your day.

Lemonade714 said...

Wow, a major league D'oh moment! Thanks guys, sometimes I just blind myself to common sense. Well, it is Friday and I did not sleep well, etc.

tfrank said...

Good morning, C.C. and all,

I agree with others as to the difficulty of Fred's effort. I finally got some traction with blankrobber and sussed out the theme with blingcrosby. My time was 43 online, about double for me.

Favorite clues were baldness/tread and Wright wing. For the latter, I was thinking the Wright brothers, to no avail.

This was a good way to start the day. Thanks, Fred, and C.C.


Wow! What a great puzzle! I had the same errors as you, Dennis, earrings and dry skin... so confident that I knew a couple! Ha!

Once 'bland leader' filled in, the others were easy but had more difficulty in the NE corner again because I didn't know the Boston College athlete. Plus, not a gambler so 'a favorite is a good one' just didn't click until I looked up Eagle, my only search. A D'oh moment for me!

Argyle, I have mixed feelings about the drinking age. I can support it on one hand because at 18 you can marry, join the army, vote, etc.; you're considered an adult. It would also keep our 18 to 20 year olds from driving up to Canada to drink. Maybe the need for passports or enhanced licenses is minimizing this now. On the other hand, we can't afford any more state taxes, being among the highest taxed today.

Anonymous said...

There is no L-adder in our paper.

AmieeAya said...

Wow, Fred Jackson III is my new nemesis. I went through the whole thing and it was like I was on the FM mode when I should've been on AM... you know, when nothing really works out right? Pretty much read CC's answers like an expository piece of writing, with arg moments all the way through. Arg. Back at it tomorrow...

Lemonade714 said...

In my never ending lack of awareness these days, along with the passing of author Robert B. Parker this week, I just learned that ERICH SEGAL author of Love Story has also died. As many of you are in my age group, I am sure you have memories of the effect of that book, movie and song had at the time. It also is interesting to note the speculation that the characters were inspired by Segal's Harvard classmates, especially the odd couple of Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore. Vaya Con Dios, Mr. Segal, you certainly made Kimberly Clark lots of money

Argyle said...

For C.C. on the belated occasion of your anniversary, some nice eardrops.

I also found that eardrops can refer to bejeweled ear phones, like for an Ipod.

kazie said...

Hi all!
I also started with several missteps like EARRINGS, SHALES, GEL for HAT. I was thinking Wright Brothers with wing at first. But perps swung me over to Frank Lloyd Wright, who was a native of the town where I live, Richland Center, WI, so it became a gimme at that point.

I had many d'uh moments and thoroughly enjoyed this one. No outside help on a Friday! Break fluid was my favorite of many great clues (like TREAD). The theme fell after I got the first one--BLING CROSBY.

On Dennis' quotes, I've never heard "we" referred to as editorial--only royal, as with Queen Victoria: "We are not amused!".

I'm with you on drinking age. I have seen how it works in Europe, where it is of no concern. They drink pretty much at any age within the safety of the family, but can't drive until 18. By then they have learned what drink does to them before they get behind the wheel. Making it illegal here until 21 certainly doesn't stop it.

Bob said...

This one took some thinking and was fun to complete. Best one this week. First one I got was 27A and then made progress from there. No errors or help. 27 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Fred had me thoroughly stumped for a long time on this one. Could not complete the entire puzzle today, but with lots of work got most of it. My first theme fill was BLAND LEADER, then figured out the BLANK portion of another clue and wanted all the theme answers to start with BLAN. That really caused a mess. One of those times when figuring out the theme caused angst rather than helping out. Things did fall eventually though, and had to g-spot to finish out. Really fun though.

I too had DRY SKIN, and also liked the Wright wing, break fluid and It's gradual loss leads to baldness clues. What a great Friday puzzle. Only wish I could have finished it.

Stay safe all you in CA and AZ with your odd weather.

Anonymous said...

Hurrah! Bob goes blue.

kazie said...

Bob, and Dot last night too! Two new "blueys"--not to be taken as in Strine (Oz lingo) where that word would mean a fight. Congrats to you both!

We finally got the freezing rain here last night. It had been predicted for the previous night. I hope everyone who has to be on the road today is safe.

Jeannie said...

Wow, this was a toughie for me today. I got the theme with Bling Crosby but mostly finished it with a LOT of red letter assistance. Having never taken a lick of French, there were too many answers having to do with the language. My favorite clue today was “cause of star wars” – ego.

Kazie, sounds like you are getting the weather we had here yesterday afternoon. The “skate” home was challenging. They managed to salt/sand the roads over night so the drive in this morning wasn’t as bad. If you can avoid leaving the house today, I would do so.

Jeannie said...

Blonde Brownies
1 stick butter or margarine at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1/2 to 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup (about 8 ounces) white chocolate chips

Cream together the butter and brown sugar; beat in egg. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Spread batter in a greased and floured 7- X 11-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. These brown very quickly, so be sure to start checking at the 20 minute mark

Spitzboov said...

Wow, a real challenge today. Most of my thoughts have already been commented on so will try not to repeat. Had to wander all the way down to the SE to get traction. Seeing the L-adder theme helped as did a B preceding the L. NW was last to fall. Thought dElTA might work in 1A as they are both in the Phonetic alphabet, but no joy. Finally g'l'd to get JETTA. Also had Tse for IST at 43D, until the perps kicked in. Lots of clever clues and new fill.

PRATES - Interesting. Praten is the Dutch verb for 'to talk or speak' (not as pejorative)

Thought EATER was a little lame, however.

BZ to Fred and Rich on a good JOB.

windhover said...

Never taken a lick of French, huh?
Darlin', you are a natural. You have a gift. I guess it just comes naturally to the good ones. Like SD's "FM", "No static at all".

Does Gilbert Gnarley still live at the PZGRBRH?
Does he still have that Kentucky Jelly on his breakfast toast?

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone!

A real challenge today! Waffled back and forth on identifying the theme, and only solidified it with BLING CROSBY. Had the puzzle filled in totally, but not correct, so EGO was my last fill when I went back through to find my error.

C.C., I KNEW you'd come up with a clever way to express the theme -- you're THE BEST!!

Welcome to all who have recently achieved Blue status. Nice additions to the group.

We've had a good week of puzzles. Rich has an excellent group of constructors out there, and we've had some of the best this week. What fun!

Have an outrageous Friday, all.

eddyB said...

Morning all.

@Hahtool. Is that the Jim Eason from Asheville? There used to be
a Jim Eason show on SF radio that I really miss.

The rain is supposed to end today
and start again on Monday.


Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

I would have called this theme, "What the L?" But that's just the way I think on Fridays.

This was really tough. Had to G spot Eagle. Tried G-spotting Roddick, but that didn't help. Made the same mistakes as Denis and others. Wright wing had me stuck on Orville and Wilbur. Had CABIN for "camp sight." (Nice play on camp site.)

Also had BATON for TEMPO. I've seen conductors pick up both of them many, many times.

Missed the AGE - HINGE cross. Shame on me.

C.C. - You're right about TIN STAR not carrying much cachet of authority. I think it was used as a term of contempt. ("We don't need no steenking badges . . .")

Don't care much for the French, EATER or ACER. But, you also have to be realistic. This puzzle is overall brilliant, with sparkling clues (service providers), clever theme, and lots of fresh fill.

Thesis and dissertation are used interchangeably. Back 40+ years ago I was interviewing grad schools, and saw a PhD candidate at Wayne State wearing a button that said "Feces on Theses." Geeze - the things you remember.

Well, I've PRATED enough.


Anonymous said...

Without a doub, the most asinine puzzle there ever was, and some people actually think it ia fun, clever etc.. A complete waste of time.

carol said...

Hi C.C. and all -

Wicked puzzle Mr. Fred (!)
I pretty much circled the airport for an hour, ran out of gas, crashed and burned right there on my breakfast room table.
The wreckage is still smoldering.

Oh well, tomorrow will probably be worse.

Enough complaining -

Dennis, loved the Mencken quotes!

Kazie - I agree with the European outlook on drinking. Their outlook is more is the old 'forbidden fruit' maxim. Also, we tend to glamorize drinking and that makes it more alluring. Look what we did with cigarette advertising. When I was a teen-ager, we couldn't wait to paint our nails red, slather on some red lipstick, and try a cigarette. We sure thought it would make us look like the movie stars.

Hope our Californians are all ok.

MR ED said...

Jazzbumpa, are you quoting a phrase from 'Hombre'?

ipo said...

" In some countries/universities, the word thesis or a cognate is used as part of a bachelor's or master's course, while dissertation is normally applied to a doctorate." I did a dissertation not a thesis for my doctorate, I was compelled to point this out.

Jerome said...

Mornin' Crucigangsters-

Rich recently gave the dreaded thumbs down to one of my puzzles because the theme was similar to one he was editing. Turns out that Fred's puzzle has the same theme idea- Make a whacky phrase out of a common one by adding an L. Ah, timing is everything! The truth be told, Fred's puzzle is much more interesting and fun than mine. Great fill too. FAROUT, CCLAMP, CALYPSO, FLYSOLO, and YOYOS (Which is not a reference to 52% of the voters in Massachusetts)

Dennis- ACER has been in crosswords forever. It used to be clued as "Maple genus", which is correct. Thank goodness it's now clued in a more exciting way. Well... maybe. Sorta. Actually, not.

31 across was BICEP, not BICEPS. Biceps is both plural and singular. Though not considered by purists to be a 'real' word, bicep is so widely used that it's considered informal rather than a non-word.

What's in a name- A regular commentator on this site was once asked by his father "Son, why do you spend all your time in smokey nightclubs?"
" Because I'm a jazz bum, pa!"

Aren't you glad I'm back.

kazie said...

Yes, Jerome,
A breath of fresh thinking and a giggle or two are always welcome.

Anon@ 11:59,
Your comment only proves what we've all realized over and over: you can't please everyone all the time. I had a rough time with the puzzle today too, but managed to guess my way through the difficulties and finally got it all. That doesn't always happen for me, especially on Fridays or weekends.

But I like the linguistic twists, and hate the trivia and sports related clues. For others it's the opposite. we just have to be content with venting a bit, or making fun of ourselves like Carol did @ 12:00.

Chuck of the West said...

"We don need no steenking badges" is a slightly modified quote from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, a 1948 Humphrey Bogart film.

This puzzle beat me up pretty bad(ly). I quickly got some of the fills that seemed to give many folks trouble, but others just stopped me dead in my tracks. It started out fun for me, but then became a drag, even though I did enjoy some of the clues after I got the answers here.

The term "riata" is a rarely used term referring to lasso or lariat, and seems to enjoy life mostly in crossword puzzles and up in buckaroo country.

Jazzbumpa said...

Jerome -

Man, I am so glad you're back. I'm going to call you cookie, 'cuz you were a wafer so long.

Mr. Ed. -
I'm quoting Blazing Saddles, but that line is lifted from Treasure of the Sierra Madre, one of the classic Westerns and transplanted there, with paraphrasing. Here is the original.

JzB the what the L trombonist

Anonymous said...

J'ai changé.

IRISH JIM said...

Afternoon CC and all

This was one I really enjoyed beacause nothing was clicking. Finally got a start in the N W corner and stuck with it.

Was thinking of another name for Andy Roddick, that begins with A, after his performance in Melbourne.

Some great and refreshing clues. DEAL/BET/CLERGY.

Good Fri to all and those in Calif
and Icy areas stay safe.

Fred said...

CC: Congrats on two years of this great blog!

Thanks everyone for the kind words about my puzzle.
"Bling Crosby" was the seed idea for the puzzle. It popped into my head while I was working on another puzzle idea. I liked it a lot but didn't know what I was going to do with it at the time. So I jotted it down in my idea notebook and there it sat for a couple of months. One day I was looking for a new theme idea and ran across the phrase as I thumbed thru my notebook. I immediately sat down and brainstormed the rest of the theme answers. And that's how the puzzle came about.

Jerome: I've had puzzles turned down too because the editor had just bought or just published a similiarly themed puzzle.

Dennis said...

Fred, good of you to check in. Your puzzles always turn my forehead red (from smacking it repeatedly). And Jerome, you're right, that 'maple genus' clue used to pop up all the time under the old regime (along with 'peri', et al).

Bob, congrats on turning blue.

Hahtool, Jerome, thanks for the clarification on 'bicep'.

Mr. Ed, yes, my current avatar is a significant upgrade from the previous one.

anon said, Without a doub, the most asinine puzzle there ever was
And an equally asinine comment.

Jeannie said...

In honor of blonde brownie day I decided to change my avatar.

Chickie said...

Hello All--I haven't had time to do the puzzle yet, but wanted to congratulate C.C. on her two year anniversary of this blog. A wonderful accomplishment for a very dedicated lady.

I read yesterday's comments way too early this morning, and it was too late/early? to comment.

Dot and Bob, I'm glad to see you're both blue.

I'll check in again later today.

Dennis said...

By the way, I just got a postcard in the mail for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in NYC next month. I'm probably gonna run up; anybody else going?

Dot said...

We're going to a birthday dinner tonight so may not get to do the puzzle or read the comments until late but I did want to add my congratulations to C.C. on her second year anniversary. I do enjoy the blog and have learned a lot from it.


Mainiac said...

Good Afternoon CC and All,

I got the bottom 2/3rds of this one and had to go see red to finish. Ome, Eardrops, Bleattherap and Olein drew blanks for me. Thanks to CC the theme was explained. Very fun puzzle even though I couldn't complete it in pencil.

Jerome and Fred, Great of you guys to check in again.

Well, I've got to go meet a boat. A buddy has been diving for scallops and my order is filled. We'll probably pop a couple of PBRs and have some right out of the shell!!

The day is definitely on the upswing!

Anonymous said...

Caribbean music genre: CALYPSO

I thought of ska, reggae, island.

For now on when I see this clue I will think of Jacques Cousteau's boat The CALYPSO


I will be going to Applebees later today I will celebrate blondie day buy eating a blondie.

wasn't olein the oil used to deep fry the WOW potato chips that Frito Lay made they were on the shelf until people reported that it caused them to have violent and painful diarrhea.


Unknown said...

I was thrown by 7 down, because strictly speaking a French "Friar" is "Frere" [not all monks are priests or "abbes": some are lay-"brothers"].

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Mencken.

I was watching a few years ago and they have a catergory literary before and after.

A hemorrhoid treatment for an old Baltimore Sun essayist.

What is preparation H L Mencken?

Peter Pan

Anonymous said...


I think the drinking age should be 18 and you can't drive until 18. It's weird that you can be shipped off to fight at 18 and can vote but you aren't old enough to drink. either that or raise the voting age and the age the military can ship you off to 21.

Left Brain Logic said...

@Anon 2:37

What an ORIGINAL argument.

Todays Military is volunteer, not drafted (pun intended) like those who (mostly) fought in 'Nam.
(so that point is mute).
When they lowered the age in the early '70's DWI's & related deaths spiked, so they went back to 21.

You can 'register to vote at 18' but the 18 to 21's have a lousy record in actually going to the polls.

How either of the above, in an apples and oranges debate, relates to the age of consumption of alcohol is a stretch at best.

Each is a separate issue and topic.

JD said...

Good afternoon CC and all,

Great puzzle...clever theme, Fred. Thanks for sharing. It kicked my a**, but I kept at it for a time. Loved so many of the clues:break fluid and cause of star wars.I had bed rest for lab test and stare for glare.Kept shaking my head while reading the answers and saying, I should have known that.

Good to hear from you, Jerome.

Andrea said...

Greetings all -

Loved today's puzzle - thanks for a great kickoff to the weekend, Fred! Such clever, brain twisters. I confess I didn't get any of the theme answers - had to come here for them. But once they were filled in, I was able to figure out the rest unassisted, albeit with plenty of crossouts. Dry skin being one...

Jazzbumpa, you crack me up. I read yesterday's kidding/serious line this morning over breakfast, and almost spit out my break fluid.

I have a pole position story from when I lived in Paris. The exit from the peripherique to my apt was at Porte Maillot. One of the narrow side streets I took to get home was right off the high traffic round-about at that exit, with a light-controlled stopping point in the middle of the intersection. So there was invariably a traffic free-for-all with about five or six "lanes" of cars waiting at the light to gun it across the intersection into the single lane of the side street. The game was always to see who could make it first. I called it Pole Position at Porte Maillot, and always thought that would be great title for a book. I contemplated writing a guidebook for ex-pats living in Paris, and using that as the title. Woulda, coulda, shoulda...

Just got back from seeing Avatar. WOW! Incredible movie - loved everything about it. Saw it on IMAX, which made it all the more intense. A must see, in my book.

Have a great weekend all.

Anonymous said...

Jerome and Fred, so good to have you stop by again.

RedState, I too thought of Jacques Cousteau but mostly because of the John Denver song Calypso about the boat. It is a beautiful song and quite the tribute. I miss his pure voice.

Frenchie said...

*lifted from a post below the utube clip Jazzbumpa referenced as the original

what women should tell their gynecologists:

we don't need no stinking vadges!

Frenchie said...

Anonymous said...
J'ai changé.

January 22, 2010 12:59 PM

Anonyme, changez-vous vos façons pour être plus polies ou sont vous changeant pour souscrire à un site de blog différent ?

Lemonade714 said...


That is one of the worst puns ever; clearly you understand the collective mind. It is always nice to see new voices.

Frenchie said...

It's just one of those days! I had a lot of trouble with the puzzle...a lot. It's been raining for 2 weeks. I went down that slippery slope to vulgarity-ville!
Sorry if I offend...

Robin said...

Wow Fred, I must confess, I used your name in vain today. I did enjoy the puzzle but needed lots of help!

J-Rom, it is so good to see you! Bob and Dot, the color BLUE suits you!

Jeannie, very cute brownie uniform. Mine was really ugly by comparison!

@Frenchie, lmao!

I love everyone changing their avatars to suit the mood, topic or to p*ss off the anons. Have a groovy evening.

windhover said...

I will most definitely be offended, if I do not get a literal translation. It's been raining here, too, and I'm so damned sick of mud, I could bite the head off a nail. Some vulgarity would definitely help.

Chickie said...

Hello All--Finally finished the puzzle. It was "Like, wow!" I enjoyed the theme and got it right away with Blank Robber. What fun. Thanks Fred for a super Friday puzzle.

I did have some errors and a few blank spaces in the NE area. I too, put in earrings, and had bed for bet. I thought about hair for Curl Beneficiary and Its loss leads to baldness. Those fixed themselves with the words around them. To me Riata is the Spanish term for Lasso, so I was looking for something else to fill in those squares.

How about Dark place= B(l)ack room?

It was so good to "see" you Jerome. I've been worried about you.

I thought Wright wing and Break fluid were the best and brightest today.

We actually had a few hours of sunshine today, but it is raining again. It's supposed to begin tapering off this weekend. We are at about 110% of normal for rainfall this year--yeah!

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang, wow is all I can say about today puzzle. I think that we only finished 1/3 or so before my wife left for work. I went online and finished it that way in red and it wasn't quite as hard as I thought but the red letters helped...

I'm surprised no one posted I'm Late ?

Robin said...

1-877-994-2484 Hope for Haiti. I actually got to talk to Meg Ryan. Please help.......

kazie said...

In slightly better French:

Anonyme, changez-vous vos façons pour être plus poli ou est-ce que vous vous changez pour souscrire à un site de blog différent?

Anonymous, are you changing your habits to be more polite, or are you changing just to subscribe to a different blog site?

Bill G. said...

A couple of thoughts. I'm sure the French is very clever but it makes someone like me, who took Spanish, feel a little left out. So thanks for the included translation.

I was wondering about the age and gender of the Anons. Don't know why but I'm thinking they tend to be young adult males. What do you think?

Looks like the rain here is mostly over for a while. I enjoyed it.

Lemonade714 said...

Wow, a few clues about French and the next thing you know the blog is all in French! Which I guess is appropriate with the pledge for Haitian relief going on, it is so amazing to watch both from the horror of the events and the efforts to help. Robin thank you for remind us, Kazie, thank you for saving me from having to translate (she did warn us with her name, after all).

I spent an hour looking for my pictures of Ajax, my Chinese fighting fish, to add as my avatar, but I cannot find the pics. He was red (hence the name, for those who liked greek history). Well it is 75 and a bit humid here at 9:00 PM, but I am going to walk anyway.

Dennis, I wonder what inspired that outburst; I am want to be the smart a** on this blog!

a moot question.

a. Law Without legal significance, through having been previously decided or settled.
b. Of no practical importance; irrelevant.

Dennis said...

Ipo, I also didn't know the difference between a thesis and a dissertation; thanks for the explanation.

Dot, I couldn't agree more -- I think we've all learned a great deal from this blog. There's truly a wealth of information on a daily basis.

RSD, how was your Applebees 'blondie'?

Lemonade, no idea. I took it as a compliment.

Bill G. said...

Dennis, I'm sure it was your response to the Anon's. asinine remark early on. I don't like puzzles that are way too hard for me but that doesn't mean I think they're asinine.

Annette said...

Good evening, all!

I tried doing the puzzle on paper during breaks at work, but was ready to give up with only half of it filled in, and many of those were guesses! I was ready to give up... I came home, typed in my answers and everything suddenly clicked for me! The red letters helped some, but I didn't need nearly as many as I thought I would. Maybe it's location chg...

Most of the mistakes and favorite clues I had have already been mentioned. For a loooong time, I had WIDOW for 1A Golf relative?

Even though I had such a miserable start, the saving grace that makes the puzzle fun was the great, twisted clueing. Even if you lose the war (the entire puzzle), you still feel great having won enough of the battles (tricky clues) that you WERE able to get right off the bat! I totally enjoyed it - Thanks, Fred!

Carol: I think our cats are twins! :-)

Jerome: We're very happy to see you back! You were missed.

Maniac: So jealous - I just recently became enamored of scallops!

Robin said...

Thank you Lemonade714 for mentioning my crusade for Haiti. It seems to have fallen on deaf ears here.

The bodies are broken, the screaming is deafening.....

Please my friends, criticize me as you may as this is not the appropriate forum. Please consider helping this country, Haiti. They need our help. enough said....

windhover said...

I'm very curious. How do you keep your kitty so white?

Dennis said...

Bill G., yeah, you're probably right.

Annette, it really is amazing how many times walking away and coming back will give you more answers. It's almost like your mind resets itself.

Bill G. said...

Hey Robin, I agree. Before you said anything, Barbara and I had already contributed to the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Mercy Corp and maybe one other charity. I'm hoping just because it isn't being talked about much on this blog doesn't mean folks aren't opening up their hearts and checkbooks. What a tragedy! CPH - Crossword Puzzlers for Haiti!

Robin said...

Very COOL BillG .....CPH (great theme) CPH EVERYONE!

Dennis said...

Robin, I agree with Bill G. that silence doesn't mean apathy. We've made two contributions so far, and I'll bet lots of others on here have made donations as well.

By the way, Doctors Without Borders is a great organization; I've supported them for years.

As for the Red Cross, based on things I saw in Vietnam, I will never give them a penny.

windhover said...

I think a more likely explanation than "deaf ears" is modesty. I don't think most of the people on this blog are the type to blow their own horn. ( Well, there are probably a couple of anons who do, which would explain why they don't leave the house much.)
I don't this blog or any other forum is an inappropriate place to make a humanitarian appeal, and I don't believe anyone will criticise you for it. I would bet that a significant majority of our bloggers has made some kind of contribution. They just aren't saying much about it.

Having said all that, allow me to say this:
Haiti was a desperately poor country even before the earthquakes. There are also a great many people in every one of our communities who are desperately in need. It shouldn't take an internationally televised disaster to interest people in offering their sympathy and charity. My wife and I often give directly to people in need in our immediate community, anonymously (there's that word again) if at all possible.
To all of you, my blogging, xword friends, I say this:
once you have made a suitable gesture of assistance to the victims of this disaster, and once it has faded from the front pages and been replaced in the 24 hour news cycle by a juicy celebrity sex scandal, look around you. There are people near you who need help. Notice them.


Annette said...

Okay Windhover, now I don't know if you're asking a serious question, or probing for a DF response... I'll play it straight for now and go with serious. And you sure know how to draw conversation out of someone - ask about their kids or pets, and you may get more than you bargained for!

I certainly don't bathe him! As someone said here very recently, you learn early on that they'll literally fight you tooth and nail!

However, he's an indoor cat that's almost 22 years old, so pretty much all he does is sleep, eat, use his litter box, and cuddle with me when it suits him!

Hopefully, what the photos don't show is the black "sleep" he gets by his eyes from the tear ducts. And the fur on his rear flanks gets matted in winter because he won't let me brush him at all anymore.

The charts I've seen online for converting years into cat ages all stop at aound 19 or 20, and equated to the high 90's or low 100's.

I hope you're getting some sleep between births!

windhover said...

Well, while that does explain a lot about the cat........

I do believe that's five, and time for the old goatherd to turn in, Right next to the kitty. No "fighting tooth and nail", though. As my old Dad always said, "Son (he said), you can't whip anything that lays on its back and fights."

I am out of here, and just in time, I bet.

Jeannie said...

I am sorry, I am not following this thread at all. In my opinion we should be helping our own.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, Jeannie, I'll have to agree with you.

PJB-Chicago said...

Whack-a-Mole was what I thought of while winding my way through the grid: smacking down one wrong answer (e.g,, "earrings" instead of EARDROPS, "dry skin" for DRYNESS, plus "bed rest" for LAB TEST,) all caused me to embed all kinds of un-groovy, YOYO-esque answers into the real estate. My EGO was bruised and my AGE revealed. [FAR OUT, eh?]

Yep, I'm not yet an ACER, but am very glad that even more experienced solvers took a tumble on the same "slope."

We've had a very good week of puzzles so far, and I thank Fred for visiting us and Jerome for stopping by.

Saturday awaits!

Annette said...

I guess I'm feeling more comfortable on the blog and will speak up on this issue after all...and hopefully I won't make things worse.

In my opinion, donations are private matters, and everyone has their own beliefs, stemming from both religious and political backgrounds (which are taboo topics), among others. Whether to donate at all, how much, to whom, and when are all personal decisions.

I was fine with the initial posts expressing sadness over the tragedy in Haiti, but I feel questioning other people's silence this evening crossed the line into solicitation and harrassment. Just barely, mind you, but I'm choosing to speak up in the hope that it won't go further. If they do continue, I can easily let comments that make me uncomfortable go in one ear and out the other, but felt the need to voice my thoughts.

C.C. - I apologize if I spoke out of turn on your blog. I realize this is only my opinion, and you're the final authority, if you choose to step in.

Annette said...

And on a lighter note...

CC: Here are a few more terms that I think would have fit today's theme:


Sorry, it's too late for me to come up with clues for them too. Ya'll just have to use your imaginations!

Good night, everyone!

Unknown said...

How about: B(L)ACK STABBER
Clue: OJ

I guess this is not politically correct enough for a newspaper.

PJB-Chicago said...

One more add-an-L pairing (which I'm almost embarassed to link with my screen-name):

Clue: Sun, tequila, vacation,and no cash.

Now, the entire globe knows why I don't construct or clue puzzles.

Anonymous said...

This anon is 70 and female. Retired English and French teacher.
Masters Degree from the College of St. Thomas.

But then, I'm not really anon because I always add my name.