Feb 10, 2010

Wednesday February 10, 2010 Don Gagliardo

Theme: Nice Things - Common English nouns rooted in French. All playfully clued as if they were things from the French Riviera resort city Nice.

17A. Nice retinue?: ENTOURAGE. Like those bodyguards/nannies following the Jolie/Pitt clan.

21A. Nice nonpro?: AMATEUR. Bobby Jones is probably the most famous amateur athlete.

26A. Nice keepsake?: SOUVENIR. Lots of Twins 1987 World Series souvenirs in our house.

39A. Nice stand?: ETAGERE. The knickknack holder.

48A. Nice behind?: DERRIERE. And THONG (40D. It doesn't cover much of a 48-Across). Wish I had a "Nice behind".

55A. Nice rubdown?: MASSAGE

62A. Nice walk?: PROMENADE

24D. Nice squad?: BRIGADE. This word does not sound French, does it?

Bonus fill (The "l'amour" seeking skunk):

34D. With 53-Down, French toon who would be right at home in this puzzle?: PEPE

53D. See 34-Down: LE PEW

Nice puzzle, oui? Kazie should enjoy this one, given her passion for word origins and her mastery of French.

As Salinger did with silence, Don "Hard G" Gagliardo made an art of this often employed "Nice something" gimmick. Eight of the theme entries in perfect symmetry. Bravo Zulu! I think my favorite all time French wordplay is SEINE, clued as "Flower in Paris" or "Parisian Flower". Flow-er, thing that flows.

I also loved some of the long Down entries today, US TREASURY (28D. Govt. note issuer) in particular. I don't believe I've seen it in any grid before. Freshness (known known, not unknown unknown fresh words) is a big factor in my enjoyment of a puzzle.

As usual, Don has kindly provided us with a note of how he came up with the theme. I've attached it at the end of my write-up.


1. Struggle (through), as a tedious book: WADE. Or "... as a LAT Friday/Saturday puzzle".

5. Leatherworking tools: AWLS

9. Sheriff's star: BADGE

14. Incur additional cell phone charges, perhaps: ROAM

16. Gonzalez in 2000 headlines: ELIAN. I was still living in China. But the INS raid photo was everywhere.

19. Mel, "The Velvet Fog": TORME

20. Slob's opposite: NEATNIK. And TITANIC (45. Ill-fated vessel). Don't see K sound ending words in grid often.

23. Filmdom's Lupino: IDA

24. 'Hood bud: BRO

25. Prefix with mom, coined after historic 2009 births: OCTO. Prefix for "eight". The annoying Octomom.

30. Dying-out sound: PFFT. Gone!

32. Riddle: POSER. Puzzling stuff.

35. "Dropped" drug: LSD. The Timothy Leary drug.

38. Space bar neighbor on a PC: ALT. Had to look at my keyboard.

41. Wall St. news: IPO (Initial Public Offering). Or Hawaiian for "sweetheart". Hey, Ipo!

42. Spoil: MAR

43. "Thanks __!": A HEAP. Not an expression that I use.

44. Old beaker heaters: ETNAS. Named after the Sicily volcano.

46. Within: Pref.: ENTO. Opposite of EXO.

50. Actor Morales: ESAI

52. Phillies' div.: NLE (National League East). Shout-out to the big Phillies fans: Dennis & Barry Silk.

54. Tiny amount: BIT

57. Played some jazz numbers, say: DID A SET. Put ED at the end immediately. Dummy!

61. "__ be seeing things": I MUST

64. Ship-finding acronym: LORAN. Long-RAnge Navigation.

65. Overhang: EAVE. Not fond of singular form.

67. Refuse: SAY NO

68. "__ in Rome ...": WHEN. Do as the Romans do.

69. Site of a Lincoln profile: CENT


1. Small songbird: WREN. Look at how erect this wren's tail is. Has to be a "he", right, Lois?

2. Primo: A-ONE

3. Entered material: DATA

4. Eliciting feeling: EMOTIVE. Only know emotion.

5. Vikings running back Peterson who holds the NFL record for yards rushed in a single game: ADRIAN. Gimme for me/Jeannie/KQ. Lots of Adrian Peterson jersey wearers here in Minnesota.

6. Unsound, as an argument: WEAK

7. Relay race part: LEG

8. Asparagus unit: SPEAR. How do you like your asparagus prepared, Mainaic?

9. __ blocker: BETA

10. Umpteen: A LOT OF

11. Privileged connection: DIRECT LINE. The "Cold War connection" is HOT LINE.

12. Whole range: GAMUT. No A TO Z today.

13. It began on viernes in 2010: ENERO. Spanish for "January". Easy guess. I did not know viernes means "Friday".

18. Take in too little: UNDEREAT

22. One with a long face: MOPER

26. Cybertrash: SPAM. Irritating!

27. "Return of the Jedi" green-skinned dancer: OOLA. No idea. Why is she green-skinned? One O short of OOOLA, Alley Oop's girlfriend.

29. "Dies __": IRAE. Literally "wrath". "Dies Irae" = Day of Wrath. The Requiem Mass hymn.

31. Full scholarship, e.g.: FREE RIDE. Chinese government paid all my university education.

36. Have heated words: SPAR

37. Two tablets, say: DOSE

47. Maxima maker: NISSAN. Literally "Made in Japan". The Japanese Kanji character for SAN means "produce/make".

49. Cleanup hitters, briefly: RBI MEN. Like Justin Moreau, Twin's RBI man.

50. Actor Jannings and pianist Gilels: EMILS. Only know Emil Jannings, the first ever Oscar winner (1928).

51. South Pacific island nation: SAMOA. Capital is Apia.

56. Periodic table fig.: AT. NO. (Atomic Number)

57. Peace symbol: DOVE

59. "East of __": EDEN. The John Steinbeck novel. James Dean starred in the movie. Pretty good.

60. Means of determining proficiency: TEST

63. Cheer syllable: RAH

Constructor's note:

"The inspiration for this puzzle comes from Rich himself. Rich is adept at making a clue sound like it is going to be one thing, and it takes a clever turn. For example, in his puzzle from the Crosswords Club in January, a clue was “Plan for a chair”. Our minds are so attuned to thinking of “plan” as a verb in that situation that we read the clue and go “Huh?” The answer is AGENDA.

One tactic that has been employed by the LA Times puzzles that got me so many times was to start a phrase with the word “nice”, and then go on to describe some object that turns out to be French. “Nice hat” is CHAPEAU. “Nice house” is MAISON. I don’t know if those words actually appeared, but one can understand the effect. So after falling for this gag umpteen times, I decided to take it a step further. What if the word in French was actually a word that we use in English? So that is simply the basis of this puzzle. It still hasn’t cured me of seeing “Nice” and thinking in English, because we really do think reactively and quickly. By the way, the French place “Nice” is not pronounced like our English “nice” (it sounds like niece).

Answer grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - what an outstanding theme! It was pretty obvious after the second theme answer, but still extremely enjoyable. As always, loved the long fills. And any puzzle with both derriere and thong in it has to be a winner.

What struck me about this puzzle was that there were several instances of 'crosswordese', but with fresh cluing, such as 1A, 14A etc. Don G. always provides fresh slants with his puzzles, and the write-up he sent C.C. just made it that much better. Nice way to start the day.

Woke up this morning to yet another snow dump, and it's supposed to snow throughout the day until 10 tonight, plus up to 50mph winds. Should be an interesting day; I'm getting a bit tired of this constant shoveling. Any of our group from the northern Illinois area, where they had a 4.3 overnight?

Today is National Umbrella Day.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence." -- Lin Yutang

Some thoughts on taxes:

- "The are of taxation consists of plucking the goose to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing." -- Jean-Baptiste Colbert

- "The hardest thing in the world is to understand income tax." -- Albert Einstein

- "There's nothing wrong with the younger generation that being taxpayers won't cure." -- Dan Bennett

Hahtoolah said...

Good morning, CC and Friends. I guess I remembered a lot more French than I thought, even though it has been 20 years since in lived in Aix. I knew it was going to be a French theme when I came across the first question mark after Nice.

This puzzle was made with Kazie in mind!

I didn't much care for UNDER EAT for Take In Too Little.

Still wound up after the Saints parade yesterday. Bigger than the Mardi Gras parades, and those are pretty big.

QOD: I am a kind of paranoid in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy. ~ JD Salinger

C.C. Burnikel said...

I've yet to encounter a Don G puzzle that's not original. With this heavy snow in your area, Barry Silk is worried about his roof. As for your Lin Yutang quote, sometimes the line between hope and illusion is rather blurry.

What a coincidence that both of us thought of Kazie and Salinger this morning!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Last time you asked if Don G
goes by "Gags", since "every Italian I know with a similar last name seems to get stuck with that moniker, whether they like it or not." Below is Don's answer (He reads our comment, ha ha)

"... yes, when I was growing up near Cleveland, they called me "Gags". We pronounced the second letter of my last name, and for some reason it was natural for people to make up this nickname. I did not know of any other names like that on the west side of Cleveland, but the east side had far more Italian names like this. I imagine it was quite common there, because I recall seeing my father referred to as "Gags" from his youth. Interesting what we do with names. There must be a puzzle theme in that somehow.

Dick said...

Good morning C.C. and All, just came in from my first visit of the day with my snow plow. We had about 6” last night and it is still snowing. Along with the snow are 25 to 35 MPH wind and 17 degree temps. It has made for a cold morning. These conditions are expected to last through tomorrow.

So far no paper today so I might need to do the puzzle on line later. I need to get back outside and do so more plowing so the wife can get out for work.

See you all later.

Hope your Wednesday is a great one.

Dennis said...

C.C., Barry has reason to be concerned; me too. I was outside a bit earlier and this is a very heavy snow; great for snowballs, but not good for the roof or trees, both of which have a tremendous weight on them already. Several major tree limbs scattered around the yard this morning. With gale-force winds today, I'm holding my breath.

Dick said...

Dennis, I was just heading out the door when I saw a weather forecast for your area. I sure don't have much to complain about with our conditions here. Watch the back with all of that shoveling, I have started hiring that type of work done. It seems the shovel doesn't like my back anymore.

Gracie said...

Good morning! Another fun puzzle, just what the doctor ordered for a snowy Wednesday morning.

I enjoyed the French words used in everyday conversation, I've not seen those kind of clues before. Very nice. I LOL'd at Dennis's mention of thong and derriere in his first paragraph, I knew that would be a theme of the comments this morning!

Burl Ives - he's one country singer who suffers from much too much play at Christmas .... very annoying to my ears (insert grinch icon here ;-)

I read a funny line this morning: the snow will continue until Al Gore cries uncle...

Enjoy the day!

MR ED said...

Tons of snow here. I have a snow blower but it won't start. Guess i'll have to rely on my son to assist.

I'm glad I have a puzzle to do today, if I can get the paper. Maybe I can find it on-line.

tfrank said...

Good morning, C.C. and pals,

This was an excellent puzzle this morning! I did not realize how many common English words come from French. Like most of us, I have become alert to "nice" clues, and a whole puzzle full of them was a lot of fun.

One quibble: I think Loran would be more properly clued as "ship positioning acronym" as it was a navigation aid, made obsolete by by GPS. I think of a ship finder or locater as radar.

Gracie, I liked your Al Gore quip. Someone said yesterday that when blizzards like these come along, Gore goes into hiding!

Get over the hump today as best you can.

Lemonade714 said...

Mr. Ed:

C.C. provides a link to the LA Times on the front page, just click the link.

This was a very fun puzzle, but I thought the most fun was it did not take expertise in French, as all of the words are in common usage. It is designed to show all of you who do not speak the language how much you already know. Right ,Frenchie? The themeage was very heavy for a Wednesday, and who does not love Pepe Le Pew , or who does not like a good Derriere or someone thinging a THONG watch closely boys.

EMOTIVE was tricky but logical and I did not remember OOLA; I wonder if my STAR WARS loving kids do?

Be careful out there all of you in the path…

Andrea said...

Good morning all!

Such a fun puzzle this morning. I admit I fell for the Nice thing at first, and didn't make the french connection immediately. Scanned quickly through the Acrosses, and when I got to and knew the Pepe Lepew Downs, I realized immediately what the theme was.

Filled in Dies irae correctly, but didn't have a clue what it was until reading CC's writeup. Liked how LSD crossed dose, even though I don't have a clue if you drop a dose of LSD; just seemed appropriate.

We only had about 6 inches of snow here in Madison yesterday, very dry fluffy stuff, so no danger on the trees like our blizzard in December that took down many mature trees. I think areas in Milwaukee on the lake got closer to a foot. I may have a biz trip to Philly in the next couple weeks - hopefully the weather is getting it all out of its system before then. Travelling in this stuff is no fun - unless the travel is to get out of it for warmer climes! Dennis, your countdown must be very top of mind for you lately!!

Off to get ready for a field trip to Costco. We get to go in the bakery for samples - the kids are very excited.

Enjoy the day.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just loved this puzzle. Whenever I see Nice and a question mark, I know it is going to be something French, but when I saw a whole bunch of them, I thought it was going to be a disaster. But I was so pleasantly surprised. And so many other great answers - OCTO, WADE and ROAM being clued in such a fresh manner, NEATNIK. I could just go on. It was a really extra fun fill in this morning. Yet still not too difficult to get done.

I loved Dan's responses, especially to JimmyB regarding his name. Must be strange walking around always thinking of how you might convert something to a puzzle. Similar to how I now take pictures as a scrapbooker. I will often envision how I might set up a page as I take the photographs. It has changed the way I shoot pictures.

Dennis, I could relate to your Bennett quote. My daughter called last night telling me how she just signed up for her health insurance at her job, how much it is going to cost, etc. Then she asked if we were going to claim her on our taxes (apparently she was doing her taxes last night). Kind of coincidental. It is the real world for her now.

Take care all of you east coasters. Hope the snow abates before too much damage is done.

MJ said...

Good morning, C.C. and all,
A very enjoyable puzzle today. "Nice" to have Don G's input about how he came up with the theme. Very imaginative! Interestingly, 25A was erroneously clued as "...historic 2010 births" in the newspaper, but I'm guessing just about everyone recognized the mistake and knew the correct answer.

To those in snow country, best wishes, and stay safe. Here in the southern part of the left coast, most of us will be celebrating National Umbrella Day by toting one along if we go out.

Enjoy the day!


Great puzzle today! Like others I groaned when I saw Nice all over the place but was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed Don's comments too about how this puzzle came about. Interesting how some surnames lend themselves to being shortened. My maiden name is DelNevo and as a teen ballplayer in Queens, my dad became 'Del' and it stuck his entire life.

The ski resorts up here in VT are drooling at the amount of snow those south of us are getting! Stay safe and warm and watch those shovels; too much is bad for backs and hearts.

kazie said...

As predicted, I loved this one. I expected some of you to be complaining about the French, but as noted above, they were all commonly used in English.

There are many things we have two words for in English, and usually, the more formal of the two is of French origin. So if you researched, you'd find you actually know a lot more French than you think.

I did have one hiccup in BIT, because I didn't know RBIMEN--sports again. I guessed WIT, knowing it should be spelled WHIT, but just giving up on it. I also didn't know LORAN and ADRIAN, but guesses and perps did them for me.

Thanks for the shoutout today.

My son called a little while ago and asked if we'd felt an earthquake this morning. Apparently a 4+ on Richter, a little NW of Chicago. I had no idea of it though. Anyone else know anything about it?

kazie said...

Forgot to add, 5 inches of white stuff here overnight, heavy like Dennis said too.

I think the re-spelling of some Italian names is strange. Gaglardo in Italian would take care of the "y" sound in the middle--that being the effect of the silent "g". So adding the "i" makes sure non-Italians know to pronounce that, but then they add the "g" sound when the "g" is still left in.

At least I'm assuming it may have started out with no "i". Where's Maria when we need her knowledge of Italian?

Clear Ayes said...

Bonjour, mes amis, Who would have thought that we all speak french? It serves to remind us that english is a hodgepodge (I wonder what the origin of that word is?) of other languages. That makes it more difficult for the non-native speakers (hang in there, C.C.), but a wonderful pick and choose for those of us who were born to it.

Oh yes, the puzzle was Wednesday perfect. Eight theme answers and PEPE LE PEW for a bonus.

I ran into some trouble with ADRIAN, OOLA and LORAN, but good perps took care of those.

Speaking of good perps, I didn't even see the NE clues for BETA, GAMUT and ENERO, because they were a done deal with their Acrosses.

D'oh, 31D "Full scholarship,e.g.", I had F---RI-E and put in FULBRITE. Ooops, it took a couple of perp solves to realize I had spelled it incorrectly and it was just plain wrong anyway.

Another cribbage day today. I'll see you all later.

Snow people, stay safe.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Do you suppose Al Gore saw his shadow? Look. there is a difference between climate and weather. And one of the symptoms of climate change is more sever weather. We've had a bit of that over the last decade or so, wouldn't you say?

February snow in the northern U.S. shouldn't surprise anyone. It's the quantity that makes it remarkable. Stay safe, and be careful shoveling and traveling.

We got the forcasted 6 to 10, variable over the area. Maybe 6 or 7 in my yard. Wind will be picking up all day, with lots of blowing and drifting.

Cute puzzle with lots of DF potential. Thematically rich, and well executed. Didn't care for PFFT. RBI MEN is nicely descriptive, but is it in the language? Has anybody ever heard or seen it?

Great long fill, and PEPE LEPEW was worth an extra CENT or two.

JzB the DID A SET trombonist

Dick said...

Finally back from the snow plowing chores and had time to look at the puzzle. I must say it was a very “nice” puzzle. It was doable with some clever cluing. Like others this morning I never recognized how many French words are in our language.

Lois should have a field day with today's c/w if she can dig out from under all the snow.

Tfrank I agree with your comment on Loran, but after Jerome’s comments on the constructors attention to correct word usage, I guess it must be correct in some form. Maybe thinking of it as finding yourself it would be OK. However, it is not the way I would use it.

@Gracie, I liked your Al Gore comment. LOL!

Mr.Ed do you live in PA?

Kazie, Dennis mentioned the earthquake on his 5:30 am post.

Anonymous said...

40 down thong


Top Ten Indy Colts excuses

Dave Letterman

Gracie said...

Kazie, re the spelling of Gagliardo or Gaglardo - I am of Italian descent and I'm studying the language. Not that far along in studies, but attempts are being made weekly.

The "gli" sound in Italian words sounds close to the "lli" in million. [Like Galliardo]. If I understood your post, you thought perhaps Gagliardo may have originally been Gaglardo in Italian. I don't think that's the case.


Lucina said...

Good Wednesday morning to all! You clever eastcoasters are always early and have the insights at your fingertips. I agree, very nice way to start the day; very few erasures today.
Thanks, Red State Democrat, that is exactly the way I see thongs!
About French in English, we should recall that in 1066 when King William of Orange invaded England, French became the official language although the conquered hated it and used their vernacular, hence the mixture of both languages.
I love the Spanish and Latin words inserted, I'm fluent in one and studied the other.
C. C. I am really impressed with your grasp and knowledge of English. It is difficult at best.
Stay warm, please.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, everyone.

This was fun today. I did make a few dumb mistakes, as usual. But did get the theme immediately, which is unusual.

My DH, who played baseball for U. of Ill. did not get RBImen, although he understood it. He said that the fourth up was the cleanup hitter. The first three should be good enough to get on base, and the fourth should hit well enough to get them all in.

Thank you C.C. for this most intriguing blog. I am addicted.


Anonymous said...

P.S. About the French in English: I remember teaching in 6th grade, about the time of 1066 and all that, that the words we use for meat reflect the French invasion. Pig, pork; cow, beef; calf, veal. That's all I remember. Maybe you can come up with others.


Carol said...

I did not notice all the Nice answers are nouns. Merci beaucoup, CC.

windhover said...

I second your statement about climate vs. weather. Anyone who cares enough to look beyond the propaganda (from
both sides) would quickly learn that climate change (aka global warming) actually would (will?) be characterized by much colder temps in some places, in particular Western Europe, which, while much of it lies at the latitude of Montreal, historically has enjoyed a temperate climate. Other results may be the failure of rainfall and more extremes of temperature in the Eastern US.
Gore has been the butt of many jokes, some of which he deserves, but his primary sin as a politician and public figure is that he gives a damn and isn't afraid to say so.

The above should in no way be construed as political commentary. It is science and opinion.
YMHADO, and you're welcome to it. But
if you're wrong, our grandchildren and their children will
curse you.

Dennis said...

And I'll be eternally grateful to Mr. Gore; without him we wouldn't all be talking here.

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

another good puzzle, with a fun theme. foreign words are not my strong suit, so it was satisfying to actually know all these. i prefer heavy themage so this was great.

sometimes i forget how much more enjoyable the puzzles have become since the switch. i'm sure there are those who disagree, but i think rich has settled us into a perfect flow of monday to sunday difficulty. not an easy task.

i liked seeing LORAN and TITANIC together. i still remember watching a documentary about dr. robert ballard's discovery of the titanic, long before the movie came out. absolutely fascinating.

jazz is correct of course about weather vs. climate. while related, their relationship is indirect. snowfall is often predicted to increase in many regions in response to climate change. in a nutshell, the warmer the lake waters, the more snow that will be produced. the temperature patterns we are currently experiencing are exactly what increasing greenhouse gas emissions predict: climate destabilization.

Lemonade714 said...

Well as I perceive my mission in life to serve the women of the world:


1426 (hogpoch), alteration of hotchpotch (late 14c.), from a legal term in Anglo-Fr. (attested from 1292) for collecting of property in a common pot before dividing it, from O.Fr. hochepot "stew, soup," first element from hocher "to shake," from a Gmc. source (cf. M.H.G. hotzen "shake").

Your thongs are not happy>

JimmyB said...

Boy, I fell for this one hook, line, and "stinker". I saw all the Nice clues and assumed this would be really tough. I know very little French, let alone knowing French cartoon characters. And some of these crossed each other! But like Lemonade714 and Kazie alluded to, it's amazing how many French words we already know and are embedded in English. My fear turned into fun. "Nice" job, Mr. Gagliardo!

C.C. - I am honored that you would follow up on my wondering about the "Gags" nickname. How kind he was to respond. And to see how the seeds of themes get planted.

From yesterday: KQ - my teenage (and older) sons had the same response to "Enchanted" and Amy Adams. Since they grew up on Disney films they got a kick out of spotting all the hidden (and not-so-hidden) references to Disney classics. Coincidentally we happened to be in NYC and Times Square when they were filming the scene when she comes out of the manhole in the princess dress. Since we were kept at a distance we could not figure out what the hell was going on! Then we saw the movie and it all made sense.

Mainiac said...

Good Afternoon All,

Did the puzzle in pencil at lunch. I got the theme even though my French is non existent. Took some erasing but did it in 24 minutes. I agree that Gag's fresh cluing perks up the puzzle. It definitely helped me focus.

Hope all of you dealing with the storm stay safe.

Back at it. Have a good one!

Buckeye said...

Guday all. Fun puzzle.

Was trying to figure a way to equalize the Al Gore bashing but after reading all the posts to date, I can only say "ditto" Windhover 11:24 A. and MelissaB 11:36A.

Also, Lucina 11:06A is right on the money. French was spoken in the government, etc. (1066) (a Romance language) and English everywhere else (A Germanic language). Hence, for example, words like ascend and descend (Romance derivatives) and go up and go down (Germanic derivatives).

Throw in Greek, Hebrew, Yiddish and the gods only know how many other bastardized idioms and it's a wonder we Americans can communicate at all.

I must be off!

Hahtoolah said...

As a point of information, while we are on the subject of language, the original Civil Code enacted in Louisiana after the state joined the Union was written in French and in English. When there was a conflict between the two versions, the French version was authoritative.

tfrank said...

WH and others,

I don't think anyone with any knowledge of geological history can believe that climate change does not exist. That is the easy part. I think most agree that the earth goes through both warming and cooling periods.

The burning question today is whether global warming is man-made. If one believes that it is, then one must also believe the corollary, that global cooling is man-made. Nonsense, some will say. How can man cool the earth?

My belief is that this globe we call home was created by a transcendent power who gave it the ability to withstand anything that puny man can try to do to it. If it could clean up the cataclysmic eruption of Krakatoa, it can handle anything we throw at it.

Disclaimer: the foregoing is not intended to be political or religious in nature.

Buckeye said...

tfrank: "Although not intended to be political or religious in nature" it was both. When delivered the way you did, I find it more enlightening about YOU, than an attempt to force-feed your beliefs on others. Thank you for your opinion.


Jerome said...

If someone asked me to make a 15x crossword with eight theme entries and cross two of them in the middle, I would tell them I have other plans for the rest of my life. This puzzle is a very sweet feat of puzzle making. Superb job, Don.

Anonymous said...

from Vern:

All the comments about A.G. remind me of that famous "lock box." If we could find it, we may be able to solve our national debt problem. (Note: This is not a polical, sexist or racist comment.)

tfrank said...


Force feed?

Bob said...

Fairly easy puzzle today. Didn't have to think very hard. No help or errors. 16 minutes.

Robin said...

good morning CC, Dennis and people just trying to stay warm..... Here is hoping that you have a warmer morning, I believe that this was one of the first places concerned about global warming and how to make a difference. A very nice socially conscious group. I am making you a large, virtual, chicken and dumpling crock of soup, served with a buttered baguette..........I do hope all you of you, yours and friends are safe today.
My second concern is the airbrushing of our already dangerously thin models. I am sure Lemons' derrier was not exactly what he was looking for. Are we airbrushing the Haitian people, so that they don't look so desperate? Lord I hope not. I did hear from Dot. It is her son that helps run a school and now a medical clinic. Please ask Dot to tell their story, I cannot do it justice. What an ordeal.....

ARBAON said...

Not only did the puzzle remind me of how many French words Frenglish has but helped remind me how to spell them. How great is that! Educational fun!

Speaking of news, has anyone heard about another survivor being found in the Haitian rubble? He was supposedly cooking rice when his bldg. crumbled and has been living off that and water.

Dennis: Clever line about thanking Al Gore for the net!

tfrank: Ever hear the theory that the globe originated with a vertical axis and that the weight of the waters, when they were released from the underground springs at the time of the epic flood, was the cause of the tilt; thus producing the seasons?

windhover said...

I won't argue about the transcendent power. That's a place we have agreed not go. And I have no
doubt that the Earth itself, and it's various ecosystems, have the ability to withstand anyhing we do and eventually heal itself. But previous cataclysms have wiped out civilizations and made extinct large classes of life. If it is beyond argument that intentionally poisoning with various manmade chemicals, the air, water, and soil of our planetary home (and if it isn't, then I will withdraw from the conversation), then the genesis of climate change (manmade or natural cycle) is irrelevant. If there is action we can take that will improve our chances for survival, and we don't take it because it is "bad for business", then we collectively are fools on a scale than exceeds all our historical foolishness.
Even when I subscribed to the transcendent, creative power idea, I found nothing in the instruction manual (the book you rightfully revere) that said "Do as you damn well please, and I or someone will clean up the mess". On the contrary, there were always consequences for bad behavior.
On a slightly different note, the fact that this has become a partisan issue, where if you're "conservative" you believe climate change is a hoax, and if you're "liberal", you think it's gospel, shows the post modern idiocy into which
we've descended. I don't know what the truth is (at least beyond any doubt), but I'm pretty sure our descendents will
wonder, "What the hell were they thinking?"

tfrank said...


No, but it sounds interesting. Email me offline as to where I might find more info on it.


Anonymous said...

CC: While the movie "East of Eden" was okay, it was only the end of the book. The book is a page turner--the best of Steinbeck.

Sallie: How about sheep vs. mutton. The animal terms naming the critters in the field are Germanic in origin. The terms we use when eating the animal comes from the French. That makes sense since the French were the aristocracy at the time and saw the animal when it was served on a plate, and those tending the fields were of Anglo-Saxon origin.

Loved the puzzle today.


carol said...

Hi C.C. and all -

Great puzzle, fun theme! I only had 1/2 a year of French in school but I really loved the language and was quite good at it and oddly, I remember so much of it.

I did not have any idea about 27D since I have never watched that movie. What is she? What are those awful things hanging from the back of her head. Geez, I'm glad I didn't see the movie..would have choked on the very expensive popcorn.

Nothing like DERRIERE, PFFT, a RIPPER, DID A SET, A HEAP and even a SOUVENIER - somehow I am wondering if a laxitive was somehow involved with the construction process.

Jazz (9:39), WH (11:24)and Melissa B (11:37) Glad you mentioned weather vs climate. Some people swallow the hype so easily. I would rather educate myself with the science behind the changes we see and will see.

Lucina said...

Thank you, Buckeye, for your kind acknowledgement. Language is a fascinating subject for me. the fact is, that not only did French and German merge to form English, but here in our country, immigrants from every country in the world have contributed to English, then throw in the literature from the many diverse countries where English is spoken and we now have the richest language in the history of the world. That is one reason I love cwds, they enable me to focus on that richness and the clever themes, like today's wrap it all like a gift.

I have been to some parts of France, but never to Nice; I think I would like to visit there, walk on the promenade, perhaps have a massage and buy some souvenirs for my etagere.

Annette said...

Thanks, Don - I really enjoyed your puzzle today! And thanks for sharing the inside story behind it with us. When I saw all the “Nice…?” clues, I groaned, but was pleasantly surprised at how well-known they all were. And there were so many fun clues - already mentioned by others, I’m sure.

C.C.: I like that etagere! Good choice.

Dick: What does your wife do that would require her to go out in that weather? I’d think many businesses would’ve been closed this morning. I just saw you have a blizzard warning in effect.

Tfrank: Thank you for that comment about Loran! I don’t feel so bad about waffling between RADAR and SONAR, neither really working, until I finally had to go with LORAN due to very definite perps! I’d never heard of Loran…

PJB-Chicago said...

Am "en route" [a French word" so will comment on puzzle later.
"Gagliardo" means "hearty" or "robust" in Italian. It's pronounced roughly "gah lyahr doh" and although some regional accents skip the L sound.
[Pure coincidence or irony: I taught French phonetics today and tutor Italian Friday. No one ever asks for the Swedish! (g)]

Annette said...

PJB: When they want Swedish, they call Jeannie. I bet she serves an amazing smorgasboard! :-)

Dennis said...

I actually opened the hobby store at 11 just to see what would happen. I was the only one in my strip who opened, and it paid off, but it's still snowing a bunch and I don't want to push my luck. This has been an amazing weather week, and I just heard they're talking about another major storm by Monday. This is getting seriously ridiculous.

For those of you who thought that the mild comments about our erstwhile Vice President somehow constituted "Al Gore bashing", rest assured there will be equal 'representation' tomorrow.

skeptic said...

What will humankind do after the climate change trending warmer stops and begins trending cooler? Maybe we can sit around a huge bonfire emitting gas ala "blazing saddles" btw, shouls the fire be started utilizing fossil fuels??

kazie said...

What a wonderful linguistic discussion I missed today. I was out until about two hours ago, then had to finish the shovelling DH had no time for before he left this morning, and now have just finished reading here.

Sorry I missed your mention of the quake this morning in my haste.

Thanks for your help with the Italian. I checked my old "Teach Yourself" book, and I realized I was confusing the "gl" with the "gn" phenomenon.

Sallie and Doreen,
Great clarification on the historical influences on English. I had remembered hearing before that our cooked food words are French related and the animal words Germanic, but had never made the connection between that and the people who dealt with them in those different forms.

Some Germanic examples: cow--Kuh, steer--Stier, ox--Ochse, sheep--Schaf, lamb--Lamm, chicken--Huhn, Hähnchen, hen--Henne, pig, swine--Schwein.

Germans simply add the word for meat to most of these when referring to food: Lammfleisch, Schweinefleisch, etc. Beef is the exception: Rindfleisch (Rinder=cattle).

French: cow--vache, bull--taureau, beef--bœuf, pig--cochon, pork--porc, chicken--poule (alive), poulet(on a plate), rooster--coq, sheep/mutton--mouton.

Dick said...

RSD boo, hiss on you thong picture!! LOL

Did anyone else think of melissa b when they saw 55A, Massage?

Annette, my wife is a very dedicated person in everything she does. If the office was going to be open today she felt it was her responsibility to be there. I know of no way to stop her if she wants to go short of having a knock down drag out fight and it isn’t worth that.

It looks like we will have a lot of blowing snow tonight so it should be lots of fun, in the morning, with drifts and wind chills.

Wonder how our friend further east are doing today.

Warren said...

Hi C.C. and gang, my wife and I finished today's puzzle in under 15 minutes without help, but I'll admit that she got theme very quickly and knew much more French / English words than I could remember...

With all of the snow back east it reminds me of my childhood 30 miles north of Minneapolis. When the snow plow went by we had to uncover the mail box and clear the driveway (again). When the snow became real bad I went up on our single story roof and shoveled it off.

Now I'm spoiled by CA weather and wouldn't go back to MN unless forced into it.

Good luck to all of the bloggers in the snow belt and be careful to not over do it if you're over 50.

windhover said...

There are very few days I don't think of Mustang Mel, crossword or no.

Annette said...

Dick: My sister used to love the challenge of driving in snow – if only those OTHER people would stay off the roads! I get your wife’s thinking though. I remember showing up to high school (in a dress, no less!) on one snow day where they couldn’t decide whether to cancel school or not, so about ¼ of the students showed up since nobody told us not to! It was one of the most fun days I ever had in school though. I just hope your wife’s home safe and sound by now.

Warren: I don’t think I could go back to it either.

Chickie said...

Hello All--A "Nice" puzzle today. I finished all but the very central section as I had put in Under ate instead of under eat and for the life of me could not think of a Nice Stand beginning with A! I had to eat worms today on the crossing of Loran and AT No. I should know better by now.

I'm with you t-Frank, I had put in Radar, then Sonar and neither would work. The perps did help clear this up.

Never having had French--Spanish all the way in school--it was amazing to me how many of the French words we do use in our English Language. Aptly put, Buckeye, in that we are lucky we can communicate at all.

As to the Global Warming discussion. For every action, there is a reaction. For our actions in emitting Green House Gases, the reaction is Global Warming. I know that this is a very simplistic way of putting things, but we need to heed the scientific facts that are being presented to us.

Chickie said...

I forgot. To all of the Bloggers who are experiencing this snow storm. Stay safe and stay warm.
Never having lived in a snow area I can't even imagine the work necessary to clear the driveway, walks, and decks of the snow.

Jazzbumpa said...

Windhover hit on an interesting point.

Questions of science are settled in peoples' minds by their political orientation. The human mind is indeed a strange and wondrous thing.

Enuff of thott.

The animal vs food difference shows up in Spanish, too.

Fish swiming: Pez.
Fish on the plate: Pezcado.

Chicken pecking: gallina. (Would that be gaglina in Italiano?)
Chicken on the plate: pollo.

FWIW, meat in Hungarian is hús.


Robin said...

oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful......and since there's no place to go.....let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Nothing sexier than the porcelain buttocks of a woman's derriere............

lois said...

Good evening CC, et al., What a cute puzzle! Really enjoyed it. Had to laugh at pfft and octo mom. Enjoyed the 'French connection' and the note by Mr. Gagliardo. That was 'nice'.

CC: you made me LOL with your 'wren' comment. Very funny! Yeah, being so erect was a dead give away to the gender, as if the colorful plumage wasn't enough. He was just bragging!

This puzzle made my 'leg's go
'weak' with the thought of my 'derriere in a 'thong'. Now that's 'a lot of' 'derriere'! I'd look like a 'roam'in' 'US Treasury' 'souvenir' shop. I'd probably have a 'brigade' of 'badge' wearin' 'RBI (Round Bottom Inspector)men' from the IRS 'test'ing my site for a 'direct line' or 'samoa' of anything to get a red 'cent' out of me. Hell, if they want to tax my 'titanic' backside, they're going to have to pay me to measure it. It's called a 'massage', boys. There's no 'free ride' here. I'm too old a dog to get 'bit' by puppies like them. Bunch of 'amateur's!

Enjoy your night. Tax time. Can you tell?

Bill G. said...

There was a very enjoyable article on MSNBC yesterday about snow etiquette. When someone spends an hour or two shoveling out their parked car parked on the street, is it OK for someone else to park in that spot? Apparently not until most of the snow melts or is cleared away. Apparently, the police often ignore it when people use a lawn chair or trash can to 'reserve' the space they have cleared out.

When I lived in Falls Church, I parked in our driveway. At Cornell, I didn't have a car. In Manhattan Beach, no snow concerns so I never faced those etiquette situations.

MR ED said...

Well, it's official. There is 23 inches of new fallen snow on my grounds.

Yes, I live in Penna.

Question, how did you get the Chinese gov't. to pay for your education?

Je vous aime beaucoup!'s that for French you guys?

Anonymous said...

Windhover: You said it well and truthfully. Gore did not invent climate warming any more than he did the internet. People just misquote him and misjudge him. Thank you.

Dick said...

Mr ed what part of PA? I live in the western part.

HUTCH said...

Mac! Fun puzzle. My only comment--"I went to a garage sale, and I only saw an untagged extension cord to buy. I asked the teenager in charge--"How much". Since she didn"t know. I asked "two bits".She said OK. I gave her a Quarter and she asked "Wheres the other one?" After I lectured her for minutes about pieces of eight,etc. she went to lunch.

Anonymous said...

"Gore never claimed that he "invented" the Internet, which implies that he engineered the technology. The invention occurred in the seventies and allowed scientists in the Defense Department to communicate with each other. In a March 1999 interview with Wolf Blitzer, Gore said, "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

Taken in context, the sentence, despite some initial ambiguity, means that as a congressman Gore promoted the system we enjoy today, not that he could patent the science, though that's how the quotation has been manipulated. Hence the disingenuous substitution of "inventing" for the actual language."

skeptic said...

well, i'm glad that's solved

Lemonade714 said...

Robin said:

"I am sure Lemons' derrier[e] was not exactly what he was looking for."

Hmm…did she mean that MY derriere was not what I wanted it to be? On what could she base this observation, as I have no recollection of said posterior being posted. Or, was she suggesting the link I chose was lacking in the essence of derriereness which I had hoped to convey by providing a link? Perhaps she was merely suggesting it is not PC to post random pics of scantily clad (or not) airbrushed females who represent a disturbing trend to thin equating to feminine? Moi? I am not sure if she was here for my promoting the virtues of Bardot, Loren and other voluptuous women; I also have promoted some skinny ones…let’s face it, I love women in part because of their diversity; that and the interesting way their brain is tuned with a different pitch than a man.

Then when I almost ready to respond, I get hit with, “Nothing sexier than the porcelain buttocks of a woman's derriere............” How do I compete with an alabaster ass?

To answer the non-question, men in my family have great legs and no ass; the picture had no significance other than its completeness, and I am half-french, but it take a while for people to learn which half.


Do you like the Tom puns, like “What’s your favorite song?”
“I got you babe,” Tom shared sunnily.


“I had to come back to the marina,” Tom reported.

“So, only one person arrived at the party before I did,” Tom second guessed.

Anonymous said...

Who cares??

ipo said...

C.C. Thank you for the plug; I am just really swamped at work, though I continue to plug away at these puzzles, and I am getting better, just not enuogh time in the day.
I hope all you in the storm weathered it well

Bill G. said...

I have an idea. Why don't Dennis (who usually posts first) and C.C. get together and come up with a leading paragraph each day that lets the anons know that their posts will be ignored or given less credence because they choose not to sign their name? Some anons need to be encouraged to go blue and other need to be discouraged from posting altogether. It's just a thought to let the anons know how they are perceived by the rest of us ahead of time. Any thoughts?

Robin said...

The alabaster is yours

Lemonade714 said...

Ah fishy, would that were true....I do like the word very much, and I always adore alliteration, but I am still puzzled, which I suppose is approriate here even if it is my bedtime.

Nous allons prier pour tous les bébés ici et à l'étranger.

MR ED said...

Hey Robin, I like your picture. Is it really you? And what's with this porcelain derriere?

I live about 90 miles north of Phila. in the coal region.

windhover said...

An admirable idea, but flawed. There is no fix for stupid, and ignorance is often a badge worn proudly. There have been and are intelligent and responsible Anons (Dot and Doreen come immediately to mind, I'm sure there are others), and then there are cowardly and offensive anons, and occasionally just an annoying one (see above). In general, the latter two types are somewhat like an STD, a really nasty and unwanted consequence of what is usually a good experience.
They are our collective cross to bear, and would best be dealt with as Sallie and just recently CC has advised us to do. I try, but I often give in to temptation. Be strong!

Bill G. said...

WH said: "and then there are cowardly and offensive anons, and occasionally just an annoying one (see above). In general, the latter two types are somewhat like an STD, a really nasty and unwanted consequence of what is usually a good experience.
They are our collective cross to bear, and would best be dealt with as Sallie and just recently CC has advised us to do. I try, but I often give in to temptation. Be strong!"

Right. I agree. But what's wrong with our telling them up front each day how we feel about them? It might discourage some and might encourage others to go blue. If not, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Clear Ayes said...

Good cribbage today, but no ISP when I got home. I finally got back online about 1/2 an hour ago. It took me that long to read today's interesting comments. Costco day tomorrow, so I may miss out on more good stuff ...doggone it!

Lemonade, thanks for the explanation of "hodgepodge". Looks like it is a hodgepodge word itself.

I hope the snow people have dug themselves out and are resting comfortably.

windhover said...

Mr. Ed @ 10:39,

Neigh ! Neeiigh !
Have you seen a vet lately?
Have Wilbur make you an appointment.



Bill G. said...

CA said: "Costco day tomorrow"

Think prime rib-eye steaks. Fantastic deal from Costco. Their choice ones are good too, just not quite as good.

Carrie said...

Had to comment on the puzzle before I get to bed.
It was such fun - especially throwing in Pepe Lepew.
All of you snowbound people - be careful,and don'tget hurt shoveling. I remember what it was like when I lived on Long Island, NY before I moved to Florida.My kids live up north and are dealing with it right now.
Have a good night all.

Entropy said...

Bill G.
Sometimes new people want to comment and don't realize how to go blue or just click on name and add an identity.
This blog has one that chimes in on a regular basis with salacious lies and derrogator quips.

Probably doesn't do the puzzle. If the Anon even saw today's and tried they might become a solver instead of being a derriere.

Today was a fun grid. OOLA LA

Lemonade714 said...

Then again, the average male brain is so easily short circuited....and we wonder why women snicker so much.

Good night and heep those avatars coming and going

Anonymous said...

what does YMHADO mean?

Crockett1947 said...

You Might Have A Different Opinion

Robin said...

Merci Lemonade they deserve it.@2238.

Jerome said...

I had a good time with Nancy's puzzle. WHAT'D I DO? was terrific. She always comes up with great fill and wonderful clues.

From yesterday. Lemonade, I think you're talking about puzzles that are called "Tom Swifties". Yours need to be a little tighter and more accurate, but I see where you're going. Here's a good example of a 'Swifty'-
"It's a bomb," he said explosively.