Feb 16, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 Nancy Kavanaugh

Theme: THEY'RE DRAWN (61A: What you can say about sketches, and about the answers to the starred clues) - Theme answers all can be drawn, but with a different nuance.

17A: *Relaxing soak: NICE HOT BATH. Even more luxurious if someone else draws the bath for you, eh?

26A: *Great concert turnout: LARGE CROWD. Attracted to an event.

39A: *Many an exec's remuneration: SIX FIGURE SALARY. Most of us struggle to draw five figures.

51A: *Unlucky selection: SHORT STRAW. This is to physically draw a straw from a group of equal length straws except for one. Used to decide by chance who has to do something nobody wants to do.

Rather unique to have DRAWN apply to the three full theme answers & a fuller defining entry placed at the bottom of the grid.

Barry Silk did a DRAW puzzle for NYT in 2008. The unifying DRAW is clued as "Something you can do to the starts of ....". BATH TOWEL/CURTAIN CALL/BLANK EXPRESSION are among his theme answers.

Argyle here.

I suppose the breakfast factor (nothing disgusting at the breakfast table, when most are doing the puzzle) precludes the mention of DRAWN AND QUARTERED. You all have finished your breakfast, I hope.

A tick harder than Monday's. Still some Crosswordese and famous people but, hey, no Roman numerals.


1A: Western Florida city: TAMPA

6A: Rice-__: A-RONI. A nice bicoastal start.

11A: Air gun ammo: BBs

14A: Catherine of "Beetlejuice": O'HARA. as Delia.

15A: Binary system digits: ZEROS. And 46A: Binary system digits: ONES.

16A: Exercise unit: REP. (Shortened repetitions)

19A: Brew in a yard: ALE. A yard (or yard glass) is a very tall glass used for drinking beer or ale.

20A: "Just __ suspected!": AS I

21A: "... have you __ wool?": ANY Windhover?

22A: Company whose calling is calling: AVON. Their ads often started with, "AVON Calling"

23A: Bio kin: CHEM. (Biology) (Chemistry) And 55A: Course with many problems: MATH. (Mathematics)

29A: Sympathetic connection: RAPPORT

31A: Cease: STOP

32A: Blood system letters: A B O

33A: Confirmation, e.g.: RITE. (Religious)

35A: Outperforms: BESTS

43A: Work with hair: STYLE

44A: Pre-coll. catchall: ELHI. (Elementary-High school) A bit of Crosswordese.

45A: Bit of Internet mirth: LOL

49A: Pulls an all-nighter: BONES UP

56A: Hip-swiveling dance: HULA

57A: Beachgoer's shirt: TEE

58A: Rioting group: MOB. Creating 67A: Free-for-all: MELEE

60A: Former California fort: ORD

66A: NFL's Cardinals, on scoreboards: ARI. Arizona.

68A: McDermott of "The Practice": DYLAN. Don't look if you don't like a hairy chest.

69A: Soap-making need: LYE

70A: "__ my case": I REST

71A: Figure out: SOLVE. Great ending entry!


1D: Heavy weight: TON

2D: Bigeye or yellowfin, at a sushi bar: AHI. More CWese.

3D: Cheese partner: MAC. (Macaroni)

4D: Radio signal booster: PRE-AMP

5D: Sighs of contentment: AAHs. When Cruciverb came back online.

6D: HIV-treating drug: AZT. AZidoThymidine is a nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor. (I have no idea what that means.)

7D: Masonry-reinforcing rod: REBAR

8D: Tree-dwelling apes: ORANGS. (Orangutans)

9D: "Almost ready--be patient": "NOT YET"

10D: Suffix with Brit: ISH

11D: "Top Chef" network: BRAVO

12D: Downstairs, at sea: BELOW. On board ship.

13D: Blow, as dough: SPEND

18D: Well driller: OILRIG

22D: Skin care maven Adrien: ARPEL

23D: Uncouth: CRASS

24D: Good thing to kick: HABIT

25D: Hobbyist's glue: EPOXY

27D: Westernmost Aleutian island: ATTU. From whence you can see Russia.

28D: Kurt of Nirvana: COBAIN

30D: Point in the right direction: ORIENT

34D: Preceding, in poetry: ERE

36D: Tex-Mex dip: SALSA

37D: "Rainbow" fish: TROUT

38D: Mythical air dweller: SYLPH. If anyone has a good knowledge of this term, please enlighten us.

40D: Regional plant life: FLORA

41D: Corsica neighbor: ELBA. Napoleon's exile.

42D: Skeptic's demand: "SHOW ME!"

47D: Her book is read during the Jewish holiday Purim: ESTHER

48D: "Remington __": STEELE. Television series, broadcasted on NBC, 1982 to 1987. It starred Stephanie Zimbalist as private detective Laura Holt and Pierce Brosnan as a roguish former white-collar thief and con man who assumed Remington Steele's fictitious identity. Ms Holt had named her agency "Remington STEELE" because she felt she would get more business if it was thought to be run by a man. It was a dated concept even back then.

50D: Pre-fetus stage: EMBRYO

51D: Shallow sea area: SHOAL

52D: Speed things up: HURRY

53D: Song from the past: OLDIE

54D: Three-time N.L. stolen base champ José: REYES. (New York Mets)

59D: Gambler's concerns: ODDS

61D: Pa. plant in the 1979 news: TMI. (Three Mile Island) Nuclear incident.

62D: Like Gen. Powell: RET.

63D: Every last one: ALL

64D: Sound file suffix: WAV

65D: L.A.-to-Helena dir.: NNE

Answer grid.



lois said...

Good morning Argyle, CC, et al., Hope Dennis is feeling better today. Good job, Argyle. And esp thanks for the pic of Dylan McCutie...what a hottie! What a way to start a day! Yep, that's one I'm 'drawn' to.

I agree, this puzzle was a titch harder than yesterday but very doable. Laughed at 'Bones up' crossing 'show me'...and being adjacent to Math. I needed pictures drawn for those classes. Loved seeing 'oil rig' here. Reminded me of OK black gold and Texas tea. Being Fat Tues and Lent tomorrow, I think I'll give up a 'habit'...just gotta decide which one. 'Odds' are it'll have something to do w/13D Blow, as dough. Decisions, decisions. What are you giving up? or maybe taking on?

Enjoy your day.

Lemonade714 said...

This was a well constructed but straight forward puzzle, with a simple theme and only a few proper names in the entire grid. It does contain ELHI and ORANGS, two accepted words, which are not my favorites. For non-baseball fans, REYES would be difficult, but the perps were easy.

DYLAN, while perhaps cuter, is no Austin Powers whose Hairy Chest is an homage to Sean Connery and the Bond movies.

Ladies, do you have any comments on the judging of the pairs? I will always wonder about the concept of ‘objective’ rating of grace and style. BODE at least won a medal, and 9 one hundreths of a second behind is not bad, especially since he went early.

Dennis, get better, it is unnerving to start the day without you, and we are trying to get through the last cold spell here, so we will be ready for you.

HULA keeps our recent Hawaiin connection going, and I must be also.

Gracie said...

Good Morning! Today's puzzle was a little bit harder than yesterday's; I like the progression of difficulty through the week. And I really enjoy not having "start of a quip" ... etc.

I'm "drawn" to Pierce Brosnan as Remington Steele, James Bond, or just about anything else. My fave might be The Thomas Crown Affair. Another favorite scene is 007's walking into the Hong Kong hotel in prisoner-pajamas and asking for "my usual room". Talk about Hotties!

Today is Fat Tuesday, I guess the only thing I'll give up to acknowledge Lent is pazcki, which will be around in abundance today. They're tasty, but incredibly heavy.

I hope Dennis is A-OK today. Food poisoning is very debilitating, I've experienced it myself.


Carol said...

@Dennis, your comments bring joy to my mornings. I hope you are back on top in no time.

Rick said...

Because of their association with the ballet La Sylphide, where sylphs are identified with fairies and the medieval legends of fairyland, as well as a confusion with other "airy spirits" (e.g., in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream), a slender girl may be referred to as a "sylph".
"Sylph" has passed into general language as a term for minor spirits, elementals, or faeries of the air. Fantasy authors will sometimes employ sylphs in their fiction. Sylphs could create giant artistic clouds in the skies with their airy wings.

Carol said...

@CC, Argyle and all bloggers, I seldom comment here. I read whenever time permits. Thank you for letting me a fly on your wall.

Bob said...

Pretty straightforward puzzle. Just a few hestitations here and there to find the right fills. No errors or help. Once again, as usual, I didn't bother to figure out what the theme was, or care to. Mostly, the theme is irrelevant to me unless I need it to solve the puzzle. 17 minutes.

Argyle said...

Thank you, Rick. Now that you mention it, I have seen sylph used for a slender girl. It is always nice to hear from someone who knows what they're talking about.

Hi Carol!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

I had no RAPPORT with Nancy Kavanaugh. I thought this was an extraordinarily difficult Mardi puzzle.

Not many names, but these OHAHA, DYLAN and REYES are total unknowns. I mean, NL?!? C'mon. And I've already forgotten ARPEL.

RAPPORT, SYLPH and SHOAL are great fill, and this is a terrific theme. But for me, this puzzle ranks very low on the sparkle scale.

Bio kin: CHEM? Well, CHEM was my major, and I couldn't figure that one out. Kin because they're both sciences? OK - but MEH, not AHA!

For Western Fla city, I wanted something in the panhandle.

"Pulls an all-nighter" needed a "perhaps," since one can certainly BONE UP during normal hours.

Overall decent puzzle, but not a medalist.


Hahtoolah said...

JazzB: BioChem is a legitimate branch of science.

Susan said...

Thought this might help a bit.


Sylphs are viewed as mythological creatures in much of Western tradition. According to the Middle Age beliefs of the Rosicrucians and Cabalists, sylphs are the elemental spirits of air, so named from the Greek silphe, meaning a butterfly or moth. The name and concept was popularized by Paracelsus, a Swiss physician, astrologer and philosopher who lived from 1493-1541. He is also credited with numerous medical texts and books of occult literature.

They are considered to be one of the four types of nature spirits: gnomes (earth element), sylphs (air element), undines (water element) and fiery salamanders (fire element). In many legends, sylphs are thought to create artistic renderings in the sky by transforming clouds into recognizable shapes. Sylphs are also said to be responsible for wind and certain types of storms and weather patterns.

According to some folklore tradition, they have a very broad wingspan and live in the high mountains of the earth. They are purported to be regal in manner and bearing. Most traditions view sylphs as immortal, non-physical beings. In modern times, the term "sylph" has also come to mean a lithe, graceful woman.

Some sources associated the sylphs with angels, including a possible connection between young sylphs and small cherubs. Angel overlords or devas are said to be in charge of the activities of sylphs. Others believe that sylphs function as messengers for both angels and other elementals.

Sylphs, along with other nature spirits, are guardians of the earth. The hierarchs of the sylphs are Aries and Thor. Sylphs are particularly involved in clearing the air of pollution and other chemical hazards. Sylphs play an important role in the spiritual world and in the maintenance of balance and purity for the physical platform of the earth for mankind's evolution.

Air Spirits: Silfides
The air element, featured by intelligence, represented by Spring and Dawn is inhabited by Sylphs in the form of butterflies. They control winds, help birds in their migrations and flowers in their pollination. Their light yellow- toned translucent appearance is present in the scent of wet herb threatening to rain.

Mark said...

This one was not so easy for me. It probably didn't help that I confidently put GOLDENPARACHUTE at 39A. It didn't feel like a Tuesday puzzle to me.

kazie said...

Good morning to all. Good job again, Argyle.

I hope you are feeling better today. The upside--if there is one--of food poisoning, is the weight loss, but what a way to go!

I thought this was a tad harder than Monday. I misinterprted 9D to mean something was missing where the dash was, so that slowed me until I got perps that helped me see what was needed.

I didn't know ARPEL, REYES, ODDS, WAV or the direction NNE, not being so familiar with geography on the left coast. I had to g'spot DYLAN because although I know who he is I couldn't remember the first name, and I couldn't connect the dots for DRAWN either. I had -RA-S there until I got DYLAN and realized the N should be there at the end.

I've always associated SYLPHS with woodland areas, but just now when I looked up "woods" in my Latin dictionary found it is spelled silva--no "y". Maybe there's still a relationship though, seems the woodland nymphs were sylph-like, or perhaps I'm just confusing the two words nymph/sylph. Rick seems to know more on the subject.

My younger son is working at an OIL RIG right now, but will change jobs to a gas rig in March, monitoring from a computer.

I still don't like ELHI, as Argyle said, definitely CW-ese. It's never used to my knowledge.

I should join others in expressing my thanks for this blog. I don't know how I would organize the start to my days without it. I'm going to miss it when I'm gone for a month in Oz this June.

3 of Four said...

Good morning CC's mobsters...

Judi Dench Portrayed the character Aereon in the movie The Chronicles of Riddick. I think her character would be considered a Slyph. She is able to glide through the air; but can not fly and is described as an Air Elemental.

I'll bet that there will be more than a few "all nighters" during Mardi Gras.

Eat up y'all - Fasting starts tomorrow.


MH said...

I thought the juxtaposition of ERE and ELBA was nice due to the famous "Able I was ere I saw Elba" palindrome. Overall the puzzle was just the right level of difficulty for a Tuesday. Nice theme.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Thanks for the heads up on Cruciverb last night Argyle. I got all my head scratching done before I went to sleep.

The only excuse I had for this one being rough was some of those shorter words again. I had it it my mind that "Confirmation" meant "agreement" and even though I eventually got RITE, the connection escaped me.

Had trouble with AZT, although I know we've have it before.

Abbreviated CHEMestry came up short when I filled 23D as GROSS.

Other stickers were EL-HI, REYES, TMI (all I could think of was Love Canal..about the right time...wrong disaster) and finally had VET instead of RET.

I hate giving in on a Tuesday, but I finally switched the solution option and had several "D'oh!" moments.

Feel better, Dennis. We miss you.

Clear Ayes said...

Oh yes, another excuse...I was watching the pairs final as I was working on the puzzle.

Lemonade, there was a big judging scandal at the 2002 Olympics, when a French judge admitted being pressured to give high grades to a Russian pair. The result was a total change in the scoring. IMO, the newer judging system is meant to be totally confusing to just about everyone outside the ISU. It does seem to keep favoritism to a minimum. It also credits technical trickiness and what to me are distracting and not always graceful combinations of jumps, spins, leg and arm positions. In order to score high and keep both athleticism and grace in a program is very tough. The Chinese pair definitely deserved to win.

Big congrats to Bode Miller and Apolo Ohno, although there are still lots of judged, rather than timed events in the Olympics. Whenever tricks are part of a sport, the judges will be there. Go Shaun White!

Warren said...

Hi Argyle, C.C. & gang, an easy puzzle, we just missed completing it before my wife left for work. She got the answer for 61A before then though...

For Argyle & et-al;

Here's a link to a Mac & Cheese recipe from Alton Brown one of the food network stars.

Dennis: I hope you're feeling better soon, a fever is not fun. I still remember having a hard to break fever when I was young and final 'cure?' was to drink warm 7-Up which made me up-chuck the bad stuff and I felt better quickly.

Elissa said...

Haven't checked in in a while, although I've been doing the puzzle. But today I couldn't resist, because ESTHER is my Hebrew name and Purim is my favorite holiday. Got to love a religious holiday when you are told to drink until you can't tell the difference between Mordecai (the hero) and Haman (the villain).

CHEM was my 'duh' moment.

windhover said...

Your description sounds as good or better than most views I have seen. Don't we all wish it were real?

Dr. Dad said...

Hello everyone. Thought I'd drop in after a long absence.

Not a bad puzzle, but then it is only Tuesday. I did think of drawn and quartered, e.g. William Wallace.

The fastest time for drinking a yard of ale according to Guinness is 5 seconds.

Notice Rice-a-roni and Mac-aroni.

Transcription is creating an equivalent RNA copy of DNA. Reverse transcription is the opposite, i.e., creating DNA copies from RNA. The enzyme is called reverse transcriptase (ase = the ending that is used for naming enzymes). HIV (and other retroviruses) need to do the reverse transcription to reproduce. A reverse transcriptase inhibitor slows down or stops this process.

Remington Steele was the reason Timothy Dalton was chosen as the next James Bond after Roger Moore. Pierce Brosnan could not get out of his contract to play Remington Steele. Once he did, he replaced Dalton as 007.

Today is Shrove Tuesday (aka Fat Tuesday), Mardi Gras (as everyone knows), International Pancake Day (affiliated with Shrove Tuesday), Washington's Birthday, and Paczki Day (paczki = traditional Polish doughnut commonly consumed on Shrove Tuesday in America but in Poland they are eaten on Fat Thursday).

Have a great Tuesday.

Entropy said...

CRASS next to HABIT?
Smokers take a hint. LOL!
Liked the NOT YET over SHOW ME stack.
Fun Tuesday.
Now that the MOB is out of the way, this OLDIE has to HURRY, its time to go TEE it up.

Anonymous said...

With your alter-ego, Tinbeni, no doubt. LOL!!

MR ED said...

Good afternoon CC, Argyle and friends. Nice job Argyle as usual.

Good to see Elissa again. You were gone awful long. Back in the 70's there was an annual affair in our town known as the 'Purim Ball'... by invitation only. It was held at the synagogue gymnaseum which was huge.

I hope you recover quickly. Tell me, did you know the answer to
25D= epoxy? I thought it was found in a hardware store, not a hobby shop. Do you sell it in your shop?

Hahtoolah said...

We've missed you Elissa. Glad to see you back.

Wasn't the medieval torture a three-parter ~ That one was Hung, Drawn and Quartered?

Chuck of the West said...

A moderately fun puzzle for me today. I got hung up in the central west 'til I changed oilman to oilrig which helped everything fall into place.

I thought 3D- mac was wrong as cheese wasn't abbreviated.
8D- orang is, also, an abbreviation.
25D stumped me as I used plastic cement for all my model building.
44A- elhi, I really didn't like that one at all.
49A- boning up is not limited to an all-nighter.

carol said...

Hi Argyle, C.C. and all

No G-spot for me and only a few head scratchers...67A was filled in by the perps as was 4D. I don't know why I had trouble with that one:) Did not know 54D (REYES)- Not a baseball fan.

Lois - I believe you have a birthday right about now. Since Dennis is under the weather, let me wish you a very wonderful birthday and may you have as many bones as you want ;)

Elissa & DrDad, welcome back!! We have missed hearing from you both.

Oh, almost forgot...that YARD GLASS!! Wow, Yikes and Burp. Did the Guinness record breaker actually drink Guinness out of it? Is he/she still alive??
I cannot imagine drinking that amount of ANY liquid in 5 seconds. Whew.

JD said...

Good morning Argyle, CC and all,

I felt this was a fairly boring puzzle until I started reading all of your great comments. Interesting new information from Rick and Susan about sylphs.

..had forgotten the phrase "bone up" Bio kin had no meaning to me. Elba should have been familiar after teaching Etruscan history. So, this one was a tad harder, but the perps are always kind, although I think it is really team Kavanaugh/Norris to thank.

It is lonely here without Dennis. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

I'm looking forward to hula dancers in 2 wks.

A few moments in history:
1923- Howard Carter found Tutankhamen.Just thinking about that moment in time always gives me chills. How exciting that it must have been.

1959-Fidel Castro named himself Cuba's premier after overthrowing Batista.That sure changed history.

Have a lovely day.Planting a new crop of snapdragons is on my agenda.May get to 70 today.

Anonymous said...

Thursday level difficulty for me.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hatool -

Well sure, biochemistry is real. I had an ambition to be a biochemist, lo these many years past. But I get nothing from the clue, to suggest that biochemistry has anything to do with the answer.

I'm taking it to refer to the fact that BIO and CHEM are both subjects that are part of the science curriculum. And this makes them "kin." Rather thin gruel, IMHO.


Bill said...

Hey all,
Been doing x word I can do and recycling the rest. That usually means Thur thru Sun. Although I did get last Fri's but not Thur. I guess it makes a difference which way I hold the pen!!!
Today wasn't bad. I started with WORKSOT for the ALL-NIGHTER clue 'cause in another life (when I worked a day shift), quite often our OT was an ALL-NIGHTER. We sometimes did 24-30 hours at a time.
I still can't stand ELHI. Never heard of or saw it till x words.
I've done my share of chug-a-lug in my life but a YARD seems like an awful lot. AND, how about the "whole 9 yards". That could get someone hurt!!!!
Oh, well. Dennis, get well soon.
Hey to everyone else and I'll
CY'all Later

Lucina said...

Hola, fellow puzzlers, what a fun dialog so far; I liked today's puzzle, easy to solve and a cute theme once I got to 61.

I enjoyed seeing Avon and Arpel crossing.

Adrienne Arpel sold a line of cosmetics which was very popular way back, long ago, 60s-70s I believe.

Arizona, I knew that! And just guessed Tampa because I could see that 1D was "ton." Lucky guess.

Carlos Oeste (Chuck of the West):
Your neurons are firing just fine. Don't worry about it; you shall be outwitting most of us for years to come. My grandfathers, Dad and uncles were all cattle men in northern Arizona.I'm sure they would have enjoyed meeting you.

My 4th grade teacher used to give us a weekly xwd for the spelling words and I've been hooked ever since.

Thank you for the enlightenment; what a wonderful, complete discription. I'm sure I shall read it again.

From today's comics:
Sallie to Charlie Brown: i think I've discovered the secret to life . . .
You just hang around until you get used to it.
Have a great Tuesday, and yes, I plan to finish my chocolates from V Day; I'll have 40 days to fast.
Hasta luego!

windhover said...

As tempted as I am to pick up
on your 12:01 comment, I can't, discretion being the better part of valor. Thanks for a great laugh, though, and maybe Lois will comment.

Lemonade714 said...


It is really nice to know you guys are keeping up, Elissa and Dr. Dad.

Yes this is one of the Purim's in February which confuses everyone who does not understand our 19 year calendar cycle, but Purim remain all fun.


You are changing avatars like some change shoes, I did not even get to comment on the previous one, and now we have the full mardi gras colorful one. Please enlighten us as to the history of each.


You hit on the head when you mention acrobatics and grace being very different, yet both a part of the whole. The question is the intent of the event....

Anyway, the always going for the gold South Florida denizen signing off; Dennnnnnnnnnnisssssssssss?

lots of clear liquids

Lemonade714 said...

hahtool and Windhover:
I think it was Hung, Drawn and made into a statue on display at Florence's Galleria dell'Accademia.

Frenchie, I know less can be more, but can you explain a little more about why we would download something, which is always a frightening prospect with viri abounding....

Anonymous said...

I too thought this was a titch harder than a regular Tuesday, but got her done after all.

I have drank out of a yard glass, back in my college days there was a local place in town that sold them. The trick is to drink without having it pour down your face. That little bubble in the bottom makes it quite difficult to chug gracefully.

Nice theme to the puzzle and it helped me fill in a few entries. I had HOT BATH early on, but kept wondering what should come before it? SYLPH was the only unknown to me in the end, although some other answers weren't coming forward any too fast.

That whole drawn and quartered thing sounds a little too cruel to me.

Dennis, hope you come up for air soon.

If Carol is correct, Happy Birthday Lois!!!!

Warren, thanks for the mac and cheese recipe. I am hosting a pasta feed for the swimmers on a Friday during lent and it is a Catholic school. I think I am doing mac and cheese as one of the dishes this year.

CA - no excuses allowed. Sorry. LOL I agree that the correct team won last night. Beautiful program they did. I was surprised by the mistakes by every team, and often on what seems like an easier element. Having never skated before, it just surprises me that they cannot do a jump from the ice, but the guy can throw the woman out there and they can land solid almost every time It all astounds me though. I don't think there is anyway to make figure skating completely objective. I am glad that they revised the scoring, but you will never take out the personal bias of the judge in that sport.

Some great moments already, and we are only down 2 days. Lots of good action to watch going forward.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Holy Hotwick Happy Birthday! No wonder Dr. Dad, Bill & Elissa all appeared on this special day. Remember how innocent you were when you first appeared on the blog? Dennis corrupted you in no time.

Dot & Lucina,
Thanks again for the further explanations on English pronunciations. I don't have problems with long vowels, it's the short vowels (esp a & e, as in bad & bad) that confuse me.

Carlos del Oeste,
Why can't go blue again? Did you forget your password or what? If it's former, Blogger allows you to recover the code.

Mainiac said...

Good Afternoon Argyle, CC and All,

Struggled a bit in the middle of this one. Its been a bit of a rough re-entry back into the work world which is my excuse for being a dunderhead, and I'm sticking to it! I thought it was a little kicked up difficulty for a Tuesday but I'm not placing blame anywhere but on my shoulders.

Dennis, Hope you are back on your feet soon! Food poisoning............YICK!

Argyle, great write up as usual.

Susan, Thanks for the explanation of Sylphs. New one for me.

Elissa and Dr. Dad, Nice to hear from you two again. Missed your comments!

School vacation week again! It seems like we just finished one up. Off to play Dadio Taxio.

Lucina said...

For the short "a", pretend you are trying to smile; practice with words like bad, mad, lad, sad, tad, etc. S
For short "e",try puckering your lips, as Dot described before, hold them close and say bed, wet, said (has the 'e' sound)met, etc. Say them all in quick succession and have someone listen and tell you how you sound.

Happy birthday, Lois!

Mainiac said...

CC, There is little doubt in my mind that it only took a small nudge to edge Lois down that path.......She does it so well!

Happy Birthday Lois and many, many more!! Cheers!

Robin said...

Happy Birthday Lois!

JD said...

Lois, a big Yippee kai yay for your birthday..hope the day is as special as you are.I think I am giving up ice cream.. not sure I can do it.

JzB-ah ha! bio/chem=kin. merci

Epoxy is great stuff. Last week I watched my s-i-l whip out a new vanity top out of piece of corian (?) for the bathroom. Looked so easy for him.My thumbs would have been stuck together for a week.

We are hours behind you, but our USA hockey team looks strong.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hmmmm . . .

Flied is to flew as hung is to hanged.

Or maybe I have the whole thing upside down.

Dennis - Speedy recovery. You are missed.

I met a sylph once. She was a blow-hard.

#3, wildly off-topic.

Bones Up!
JzB the be careful if you Google those words trombonist

Annette said...

Lois, I wish you a very Happy Birthday! So that's why you were online so early this morning... I'd just like to say Thank You for all the enjoyment you give us with your clever and hilarious DF posts! You're a wonderful role model to all of us tyros. Best wishes, and hope you're out having fun!

Annette said...

Frenchie: If you'd like to meet up when you're in the Fort Lauderdale area, email me (address is on my Profile) and I'll send you my phone number.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I've been smiling & then puckering to practice "bad" and "bed", now I think I messed up "bad" with "bide". How is "bide" different from the other two?

On the other hand, maybe Lois corrupted Dennis. He was a serious moral guy before Lois appeared. Then he morphed into a morel guy. What awaited your wife at her office last Friday? Red roses?

Re: Your question to Jerome about Sunday's anagram puzzle. I don't think his local paper carries LAT Sunday. Don't remember he ever comments on a Sunday puzzle.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for the yard glass picture. I was confused about the clue. Maybe Windhover would answer if the "wool" in 21A is "wood"? Very informative write-up today. Xie Xie. What's your plan for 3 & a wake-up?

3 of Four,
I miss Razzberry.

Jeannie said...

I thought this puzzle was a walk in the park. I sped right through this one in about fifteen minutes. It was fun to see “bit of internet mirth”-LOL seeing how we comment on the puzzle via the internet. I got some perp help with Arpel, azt, and sylph. Interesting reading on sylph. I tentatively put in Ali for Heavy weight as I did the downs first.

Gracie, I have my Polish grandmother’s recipe for paczki’s. I haven’t made them in a long, long time. Thanks for the memory.

Lois, happy birthday! I hope you at least get to go out tonight and shoot some shooters and pool.

Dennis, are you sure it isn’t the flu? Several people have been out of the office with “stomach” problems and fever, chills and achy joints.

Jazz, I was a little afraid of opening up “bones up” at work. And then Clearayes comes out of the blue with love canal. LOL (bit of internet mirth)

Dennis said...

Hey gang - back among the living. I shouldn't need sleep again until sometime in March. Thanks to those who expressed 'get well' thoughts. Whatever it was, wasn't a fun ride. Jeannie, good point, I don't know if it really was food poisoning because I had a 102 fever.

An enjoyable puzzle for a Tuesday. Not a fast-as-you-can-write one, and a good theme that didn't reveal itself until the unifying answer, 61A. As with MJ, I liked the juxtaposition of 'ere' and 'elba'. I didn't like 'bones up' for 'pulls an all-nighter' until I realized the fun that Lois would have with it. Unknowns included Catherine O'Hara, and 47D, Esther. I did both yesterday's and today's back to back and found this one easier.

From Sunday, KQ, I had to get up at 5:30 'cause I had an early-morning workout w/my buddies, and had to leave by 9 to get to the casino in time for the IMAX Avatar showing. By the way, it's a tremendous movie.

Carol said: @Dennis, your comments bring joy to my mornings.

So you're the one. Thanks.

Robin said: Dennis, do you need a good nurse? I know a few......
Have a helicopter and the first 15 min of CPR are free.

No problem, I wouldn't charge you anything after the first 15....and yes, a good head nurse is great to know.
And C.C., while I seriously doubt that Lois needed any assistance reaching her noteworthy DFette status, if I did have anything to do with it, I wear that as a badge of honor. And Lois' birthday is Thursday, not today, but I'm sure she's started blowing out candles already.

windhover said...

CC & Argyle (belatedly),
Yes, I have wool, and believe it or not, coincidentally, three bags full.

As for CC's "wood"? Yes, mostly AM. Might be good to take to Lois' birthday party. Thursday? Never too early to start a b'day celebration.

And I have the other wood as well. After I (you?) get tired of the rainbow avatar, I'll put up a picture of my WoodMizer.

Anonymous said...

CC, then somebody should tell Jerome to go online and do that puzzle. It is so up his alley. I bet he would fly right through it.

Dennis welcome to the land of the living. My neighbor's kids are down with a stomach ailment. Such a bummer. I am quite certain you are responsible for all of our corruption, not just Lois. If she wasn't partying early, I am sure she is now!

Lucina said...

C. C.:
Here is the difference between short "a" and long "i":
When you smile to say the word, fad, for example, open your mouth about 30 degrees; when saying words like "bide", close it to about 10 degrees. In other words, for "a" open wide, for "i" close slightly
I hope this helps. I wish I lived close enough to go help you. I love to to do that. It's what I like about my job teaching ESL.

Clear Ayes said...

KQ, I'll take any old excuse I can get, when I flub pretty badly on a Tuesday puzzle.

ChuckOTW@12:11, There was a discussion a while back, when it was agreed words like HIPPO, ORANG and CHIMP are so basic to English that they are no longer considered abbreviations. I still call it Macaroni and Cheese, so I tend to agree with you about MAC being an abbreviation.

Jeannie...LOL! After I hit Publish and reread my post, I wondered if anybody would notice the Love Canal comment. I knew someone would ZERO in on it on eventually.

Hi Elissa and Dr.Dad, Drop by more often.

Happy Pre-Birthday to Lois!! Thanks for the notification (I'm not about to say heads-up), Dennis. Glad to see you back.

Carlos del Oeste said...

C.C.: I just want to say, what a great community you've built here. I guess that "if you build it, they will come" thing applies BIG TIME here. I expect we'll have to start having annual conventions. Santa Fe is a nice place for that, and I wouldn't have to travel so far.

RE: Why not Blue- When I try to log on, I'm told my password is not recognized. I keep track of all my user names & passwords, but when I go to, I get the mother of all internet run-arounds. I end up screaming words that I hope you haven't learned. I'm sure you have the equivalent Chinese versions. I'll keep at it, though.

RE: Learning the language. You have an amazing intellectual grasp of the language, maybe better than some of us who have not faced the same communication challenges that you have. It's the mechanical aspect of the language that is a real challenge. We've lived amongst our own tribe, and have come to understand the grunts and moans that pass as language. I'm always amazed that we American English speaking folk have such a hard time learning a foreign language when we daily converse in one of the most difficult languages. Maybe French or Chinese is more difficult, but not by much.

Lucina: Can I consider us pards? I'd love to meet you and any of your cattle family who are still punchin'. You can get a bit of the flavor of what I do by checking out my website. (

JD: RE: epoxy. Several years ago, when I was cowboying at the Cross Ranch Cattle Co. in Pescadero, CA, my wife and I had decided to look for greener pastures. We were headed up to Boise, ID where we were certain there would be a better life. We were in that typical frenzy that always antagonized our get-a-ways, but I decided that we could not head out with that strip of rubber hanging off of the side of our truck. I was going to super glue the offending flapper back onto the body of the truck. True story. I ended up gluing my fingers together on the side of the @#^#ed truck. I managed to peal them off the truck, but my endlessly forgiving, and amazingly flexible wife spent the next hour carefully separating my fingers with a razor blade. I can be such an idiot!

Dennis: Sounds like you're, almost, back in the saddle. I was going to say, it don't sound like food poisoning to me. Now, it doesn't matter.

General Comments: It also amazes me how some puzzles are impossible for some (me), but easy for others. This excludes Bob (?) who never spends more than 9 minutes on a puzzle. So, Bob, what do you do with the rest of your time?

I enjoy the community. Hopefully, I'll figure out how to go blue again soon.

Mazel tov, y'all!

Bill G. said...

Curling is sure a funny-looking sport but I enjoy it. The women curlers all look so young and fresh. The closest thing to it I've ever tried is lawn bowling.

Chickie said...

Hello All--I agree with some that this was a titch harder than yesterday, but very doable. I had to Google two names. The unknowns were Reyes, (not too tuned in to baseball) and Dylan. I've never watched "The Practice".

I had some of the same beginning errors, which corrected themselves with the across or perp answers as they came along. Oilman, and Vet being two. I also had Studied for Bones up, but that soon righted itself.

I had a big question mark by Pre-coll. catchall. Even when I had ElHi in it didn't make sense. Thanks Argyle for the enlightenment.
I should eat worms as this has been in several puzzles of late, just clued differently.

JD, I've missed your History moments.Thanks for those today.

Elissa and Dr. Dad, good to "see" you. I've missed your comments, too.

MJ said...

Welcome back to improved health! I always enjoy your morning posts, and missed them the last couple of days. Incidently, I can't take credit for "the juxtaposition of ERE and ELBA." That was MH.

Elissa, good to hear from you!

Enjoy the evening!

Chickie said...

Dennis, Welcome back! Hope you are feeling much better.

Windhover, that is one beautiful rainbow. Did you go looking for the pot of gold?

Bill G. Did you notice the Curling Stones on the Google page today? Fun.

Carlos del Oeste, We are just a hop, skip and a jump over the mountain from Pescadero.

Bob said...

Carlos: In fact, I rarely complete a crossword puzzle in as few as 9 minutes. Today's took 17, and I'll bet a number of others beat me to the finish line. I never push myself to go so fast that I lose accuracy. I think a post yesterday may have been referring to me in saying that I had completed the last two Monday puzzles in 9 minutes. I knew that wasn't true, so I went back into the archives to check. February 8 was 11 minutes. February 1 was 13 minutes. My times lengthen steadily as the week progresses, sometimes to 45 or 60 minutes, and I don't always get everything right. I've been doing crosswords for about 45 years, and like in anything, practice builds skills. About 35 years in the classroom hasn't hurt either. I generally do the crossword, jumble, cryptoquote, and sudoku in the newspaper every day, Monday through Saturday. I give it a rest on Sunday since I don't get the LA Times crossword in my newspaper. I find it a good way to get my brain working first thing in the morning before heading off to work.

carol said...

Dennis, glad you are back with us! I was guessing on Lois' birthday, as I remember talking with her last year and we were discussing our birthdays..I just couldn't remember the exact date. Guess it is better to be early than miss the whole thing :).

Dot said...

I liked the level of difficulty of this puzzle - a little challenging, but I did not need to google anything, even the unknown names. Everything just seemed to fall into place.

Susan, I will try to remember the four types of spirits. The others will no doubt appear in some future CW.

C.C. A lot of practice and face making will improve the sounds. I, too, enjoy teaching ESL.

Glad Dennis has recovered.


windhover said...

Chuck of the West,
Keep trying. I had a similar issue about a year ago. I think Google's password recovery system is designed to make you give up. I finally got a screen that allowed me to reset(change) my password. After I got back in, I changed it back to the original, and haven't had (much) trouble since. Good luck. I enjoy your posts. I have a younger cousin who spent most of the '80's cowboying in Wyoming. I was milking 60 cows at the time (the main difference between a cowman and a cowboy is that the latter gets a damn day off once in a while), and when I wondered how a guy could live on $50 a week, he said the only thing to spend it on was beer. If it hadn't been for the kids, Id have joined him. Also, I spent a month in Boise once. It seemed like a year.

I took the rainbow picture last April with the iPhone while I was trying to chase 80 goats out of my alfalfa before the storm behind the rainbow hit. The pot of gold was in the house, watching out the window.



Good evening, All!

Nice write up, Argyle! Thank you!

Welcome back, Dennis! I've missed your early morning words of wisdom.

@Lois - Happy early Birthday and many more! Lots more xwords to do!

@Warren - that's a good mac & cheese recipe. One I've used frequently. My only addition to it is a couple of dashes of Tabasco or other hot sauce. Oh, and leftover ham after Easter.

Work keeps getting in the way of my crosswording so I'll have to look into cruciverb. Enjoyed the puzzle today even though I had to tackle it in dribs and drabs.

lois said...

Thank you all kindly for the sweet words and happy wishes. I will cherish them and review them daily as we celebrate the birthday week. I've been practicing a lot lately. The real blowing contest is Thurs 2/18 as Dennis said, but the fun never stops. Watch me blow it!

Dennis: 4:17 so glad you are 'up' and with us again. It's just not the same without you. Truer words were never spoken: 'a good head nurse is great to know.' LMAO!

DrDad: So good to see you here. We need you. Thank you so much for that explanation of transcription...ahhhh, I get it now, but the only test I'd pass on it is a blood test.

Bill and Elissa: Great to see you both here too. It's so fun when you join in. Hope you stay.

Rick and Susan: thank you for the explanations of Sylphs. I had no idea but the perps worked it out. I was hoping somebody would explain that. I'd Google, but this week I'm busy practicing.

Lemonade 1PM: LMAO well done! I would never have quartered him! He'd be at least dollar billed!

Windhover: Darlin' you just come on over and bring your AM wood too. You and the candles will have a great time...I promise! I'll save 'ewe' for last.

CA 5:18: LOL funny stuff! and Thank you too.

Carol: Thank you. You rock! Love ya!

CC & Maniac: LMAO! I swear I'm innocent! It's all Dennis' fault! He corrupted me first & has taught me so much in the process! Thank God for Dennis! It's all cognitive structuring. It's because of him that I always know from which direction the wind is blowing. I just think of him and which way he'd be facing buck naked out in his front yard. Thurs. night, uh huh, with him in mind, I'm going to be that wind. All those candles don't have a chance! They'll go off in a heart beat.

Enjoy your night. Thanks to all.

Crockett1947 said...

Oops. I got it! Sorry, Lolita, not today!!

Anonymous said...

For those of you who have your eyes glued to the figure skating, don't you just love Scott Hamilton's enthusiasm. He gets so excited by every accomplishment, and I love that he is always focusing on what is good about the program.

Contrasting him is Dick Button, who I am quite glad is just a guest this year. I think he can be overly critical. However, I never knew that he was the only 2 time reigning Olympic gold medalist. It was before my time, but quite a feat none the less. Here is a little snippet of his First and his Second Olympic gold performances. The skating world has come quite a way.

Crockett1947 said... I believe George Washington's birthday is the 22nd day of February.

tfrank said...

(Misplaced on Monday puzzle)

Hi, C.C. and gang,

Just a quick note to report that I have been down with a Trojan PC virus since last Wednesday. My guru has cured my problem, so I am back in business.

I liked today's puzzle, but don't have time to comment further. My daughter and grandson are visiting from New York State, and they are keeping me busy.

So long for now.

Jeannie said...

Windhover, it has come to my attention to never "back in" to anything.

Dennis, good to hear from you.

I managed to "lay out" the show today and spent an abundant amount of time sequestered in my bosse's office doing so. That guy is one smart SOB. He doesn't miss a beat. I will miss him when he retires (he's 62) and he is so laid back. He also doesn't mind a couple of curse words thrown his way when he wanted to change a "thingy or two". It all has to be done tomorrow early morn.

I had a couple cocktails tonight and the alarm is set early. Wish me luck to get his attention so early in the AM. The end is nearing.

Crockette, Lo-li-ta is my alter ego....

Jeannie said...

BillG, ever tried Bocci ball? It's fun. I have actually bet on those balls rolling to the "said" target. It's fun.

Bill G. said...

I have tried Bocci ball very informally in my friend's back yard. Locally, there is a lawn bowling green. My friend, Ralph, and I tried it several times and it's very close to curling on a very flat grass court. The balls are weighted off-center so they will curve as they slow down. It was challenging but we didn't stick with it.

Jeannie said...

Carol, I know you have tried the mac n cheese recipe I posted awhile ago. KQ, it is different as you boil your noodles in chicken broth. It adds a whole new dimention. Warren, I believe you tried it as well.

BillG, Bocci ball is different as it is having to read the lay of the land so to speak. Curling is more precise as you have to keep "brooming" the surface as the stone goes down and is thrown.

I also don't think a "yard glass" comes into play on curling...maybe in bocci ball though in my experience.

Hey, what do I know, we all play golf on the ice. Gotta love our MN spirit. I can't wait to boast how my garden is doing this summer.

JD said...

Good luck Jeannie... I know you will do well

Anonymous said...

48D: "Remington __": STEELE After NBC canceled Remington, Pierce Brosnan was slated to be James Bond and had actually been tabbed to play Bond in The Living Daylights a role that went to Timothy Dalton.

But NBC had him under contract and they decided to try to rework the series. So he was not available.

He admitted this on Craig Ferguson.

Craig Ferguson

Carlos del Oeste said...

Don't know how many people check back on day before comments. I do, so maybe everybody else does, as well.

Chickie: The ranch was named The Cross Ranch Livestock Co. when I worked there. It was/is owned by the widow of he fellow who co-invented the silicon chip (can't remember the name). She got tired of the bulls pooping on her road, and sold all the cattle off, thereby ending my cowboy career. She changed the name of the ranch to Pomponio Creek Ranch, I think. If you ever find yourself on Stage Rd. north of Pescadero, hang a right onto Pomponio Creek Rd. Drive to the gate. My wife and I lived in that little white house there by the gate. She commuted over the hill to Redwood Shores where she was the art director of Oracle Magazine.

Bob: I was just razzin' you a little. With your background and experience, it's no wonder you are such a whizz at xwds.

Windhover: When I was working on the ranch, I got every other Sunday off. I wold usually go into the little town of Half Moon Bay which felt like a big city since I had been out on the ranch for two weeks. There was a young (21 y/o) fellow working with me. I once said to him that if I had been doing this work since I was his age (I was 50), I'd be better at it. His response was if I had been doing it since I was his age, I wouldn't be alive! And aren't the terms farmer & philosopher interchangeable?

I will wade back into the Google mess soon.



Anonymous said...

Isn't Attu in the eastern hemisphere, and is one of the eastern most islands?