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Jun 11, 2010

Friday June 11, 2010 Donna S. Levin

Theme: Say Cheese! - Cheese puns on familiar two-word phrases.

20A. Cheese records?: ROQUEFORT FILES. The base phrase is (The) Rockford Files. Roquefort cheese is made of sheep's milk. Named after the French town Roquefort.

28A. Cheese from the deep?: SEA MUENSTER. Sea Monster. Muenster is white, semis-soft & mild. Named after its French origin town also.

44A. Cheese no one is eating?: IDLE CHEDDAR. Idle Chatter. Cheddar Cheese is named after the British village where it's first made.

51A. Cheese and beef concoction for humorist Mort?: SAHL'S BRIE STEAK. Salisbury Steak. The only theme entry that puns on more than the cheese word. Brie is named after the French province where it originated.

ROQUEFORT FILES and its symmetrical partner 51A are punning on the first word of a common phrase. The middle two theme entries on second words.

What's your favorite cheese? Dairy is not part of my diet.

Very smooth 74-worder from Donna. Fun clues for theme answers. I also liked the two paralleled 10s and 9s in Down fill. Favorite answer today is BLUE STATES (11D. Left-leaning ones).

Across:

1. Two percent alternative: SKIM

5. Trans Am option: T- TOP. Trans Am is a racing car?

9. Chain with a cowboy hat logo: ARBY'S

14. Stale Italian bread?: LIRA. "Bread" always refer to "currency" on Fridays. Have seen this "stale" clue before. Still like it.

15. Stray: ROVE

16. Whoopi's role in "The Color Purple": CELIE. I've never seen the movie. I liked Whoopi's role Oda Mae Brown in "Ghost".

17. Red, in Mongolian: ULAN. Ulan Bator ("red hero"), capital of Mongolia. I mentioned this "Red" meaning on the blog a few times.

18. Headlight?: IDEA. Man, I did not see mine.

19. Hosiery shade: TAUPE. Brownish gray.

23. Bud: PAL

24. Oft-rescued comics heroine: LOIS. Lois Lane. "Superman". Maybe our Lois needs rescue too. Sounds like she has a horrible boss.

25. Three-in-one vaccine, familiarly: DPT

34. __-toity: HOITY

36. Tool or fool: DUPE. Was unaware of this slang meaning of "tool". Good rhyme.

37. Perfume by Dana: TABU

38. "The West Wing" actor: ALDA

39. Actress Beckinsale et al.: KATES. Kate Beckinsale has the best hairstyle.

40. Canoodling couple, maybe: ITEM. Sweet clue.

41. Octopus feature: BEAK. I wanted ARMS. I only associate beak with birds.

42. Sign: OMEN

43. Having a bite: ACERB. Not enough space for EATING.

47. RR depot: STA. Or STN.

48. Canaanite god: BAAL. The false god.

49. Social: TEA. Noun "social".

58. Pasta sauce herb: BASIL. Pesto.

59. "The Phantom Tollbooth" protagonist: MILO. No idea. Have never heard of the book.

60. How busy people often work: LATE. Great clue.

61. Much the same: ALIKE

62. Rights org. ACLU

63. Annoying spots: ACNE. Annoying indeed.

64. He voiced the curmudgeonly homeowner in "Up": ASNER. The answer emerged itself.

65. Joke around: JEST

66. Store: SHOP

Down:

1. Defame: SLUR

2. Narc's seizure: KILO

3. Where Al Sharqiya is broadcast: IRAQ. Wikipedia says Al Sharqiya ("The Eastern One") is Iraq's first privately owned satellite channel owned by a London-based Iraqi exile. Foreign to me.

4. Show some backbone, slangily: MAN UP. Fresh answer.

5. Toy (with): TRIFLE

6. List heading: TO-DO. To-do list. Tricky clue.

7. No longer hooked on: OVER. "Hooked on" what?

8. Garden supply: PEAT. Any good idea on how to get rid of the pesky gophers?

9. Bruce Willis genre: ACTION

10. True-to-life: REALISTIC

12. Golfer's nervousness during putting, with "the": YIPS. Gimme. I don't have yips.

13. Holy follower?: SEE. Did you want COW?

21. "Calm down!": EASY

25. Abu __: DHABI. Is is still the richest city in the world?

26. Moved, as a gondola: POLED

27. Potomac River feature: TIDAL BASIN. The latter BASIN leapt to me rather quickly.

29. "There Is Nothing Like __" : A DAME. From "South Pacific". The sailors are longing for skirts.

30. Toned down: MUTED

31. Invert: UPEND

32. "Your Movie Sucks" author: EBERT (Roger). Film critic.

33. Latin dance: RUMBA

35. "Get lost!" : TAKE A HIKE. Great answer. We also have FLEES (22. Skedaddles).

39. Department store chain that began in Wisconsin: KOHL'S. Named after Senator Kohl, right?

43. Mars counterpart: ARES. Greek god of war. Mars is the Roman counterpart.

45. Talk radio regular: CALLER

46. Dined at the bistro, say: ATE OUT

50. MapQuest predecessor?: ATLAS. The clue is fine without question mark.

51. "Do the Right Thing" pizzeria: SAL'S. Have never heard of the movie.

52. Key using all five black keys in its scale: Abbr.: B MAJ. Help, Jazzbumpa!

53. Jambalaya ingredient: RICE

54. Misfortunes: ILLS

55. Per: EACH

56. 1 for H, e.g.: AT NO (Atomic Number). H = Hydrogen.

57. Retain: KEEP

58. Sheep trill: BAA. Playing off of "Cheap thrill".

JD (left, with husband Bob) is writing a crossword story (in alphabetically order) with all the new words she's learned in the past two years from the blog. Here is her updated version.

Answer grid.

C.C.

56 comments:

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - well, Donna did a number on me today. A very clever puzzle that had me struggling at almost every point in the puzzle.

Where to start.......forgot 'ulan' was red in Mongolian, had 'dope' instead of 'dupe' for 'tool or fool', didn't know the perfume by Dana, got me with 'Having a bite'/'acerb', didn't know "The Phantom Tollbooth" protagonist, didn't know 'Key using all five black keys in its scale', didn't know 'Whoopi's role in "The Color Purple"'. Other than that, no problem.

Oh wait. Took a while to get 'Left-leaning ones', and it pained me terribly to even write 'ACLU'. Had to g-spot to see what the DPT vaccine was comprised of. 'Ebert' for "Your Movie Sucks" author was an educated guess.

I loved 'annoying spots'. Matter of fact, I loved the challenge of the whole puzzle. Great job, Donna.
C.C., I seriously doubt our Lois needs rescuing - more likely the other way around. Matter of fact, I'll bet she's got her own form of CPR. I have a feeling she's gonna have a field day with today's puzzle; I'm pre-ashamed for the thoughts I had on a couple of the clues. And as to getting rid of gophers/moles, until they come up with a tiny thermo-nuclear device, I don't have a clue.

Today is Hug Holiday. (You're supposed to find someone who needs a hug and give them one. Hey, it's a start.)

Hahtool said...

Good Morning, CC and all. Wow, Donna Levin following a Dan Naddor! Doesn't get much better than this! Great puzzle today, not exactly a piece of cake, but lots of fun clues. Your commentary gave me lots of good information about cheese origins, CC. I am big on cheese.

I wanted Milk instead of SKIM for the 2% alternative. I also thought that K-Mart was the store originating in Wisconsin. BAAL the Canaanite god, not BAA the Sheep, set me in the KOHL'S direction.

I liked the misleading clues for some of our common answers. I especially liked: Stale Italian Bread = LIRA (I know, I should have immediately seen the Bread / Money connection.)

I also liked: Having a Bite = ACERB (was initially going in the food direction.)

I also really wanted Arms for the Octopus feature. It took awhile for the Headlight to flash on the BEAK.

Headlight = IDEA was a great clue.

I saw Do the Right Thing when I was living in France. It didn't translate well and left the French audience wondering what it was all about.

The National Guard is now trying an elaborate Vacuum cleaner. Hope it works.

QOD: Man will do many things to get himself loved; he will do all things to get himself envied. ~ Mark Twain

Dick said...

Good morning CC and All, a real slog today. The first time through I did not get many if any to fill in the top so I slid to the bottom and started there. I managed to fill the bottom, but had far too many false starts on the top to be able to complete the puzzle.

I had cow for see, Iran for Iraq, lost for rove and dope for dupe just to mention a few. In addition there were several unknowns such as Whoopi’s role and the list goes on. With that many miscues it made for a very long and difficult solve.

Favorite clue/answer was having a bite/acerb.

Congrats to Donna for a good old a** whooping on me today.

Hope you all have a great Friday.

Anonymous said...

Definitely read the Phantom Tollbooth; it's wonderful

Lemonade714 said...

Friday already? Wow! Hi all, I just adore Donna Levin’s puzzles, because I immediately see all of her puns. I had ROQUEFORT FILES as soon as the R and O were in.

ULAN , we have seen this word often, enough to tell you children you know a little Mongolian. I always thought it was spelled RHUMBA but either way, I could learn with the right teacher. Not Louis!

We have a great partial anagram cross, with TRIFLE and RoquefoRT FILEs. I liked the somewhat obscure, but tasty cross of SAL’S pizzeria with SAHL’S BRIE STEAK, bringing back a childhood favorite, the left wing comedian, Mort. And to catch up on our celebrity spotting, I do believe the hottest Vampire title would have to go to KATE BECKINSALE in the Underworld movies.

The 1 for H, ATomic No. was tricky, as was the concept of OCTOPUS BEAK which is almost as scary as OCTO MOM .

Jeanne said...

Morning all,
Really enjoyed today’s puzzle and did better than yesterday’s puzzle. Got the theme early on but still had some difficulty with some of the entries. Had Celia instead of Celie for Whoopie’s role, forgot Ulan was red, defiantly wanted Holy Cow not see. Everything corrected itself with the perps. Donna is my favorite constructor as of now. She is very creative.

Taupe is one of my favorite colors, especially for clothes; although my bedroom has taupe drapes and duvet with blue walls. Just planted basil and looking forward to juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. Manchego (sp) cheese is one of my favorites with a glass of wine. Asiago cheese is great melted over chicken dishes. As for gophers, we actually have used a shotgun--we live in the country--and actually are partially blaming one for a leak in our pool. We have to decide whether to fill the pool in with dirt or spend at least $3500 on new liner and water. After 29 years of a pool, guess which way I’m leaning.

Have a great day and weekend.

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

A fine Friday puzzle -- tough, but not frustratingly so. I loved the cheesy theme answers.

Biggest problem area today was mostly along the eastern seaboard. I had REALWORLD instead of REALISTIC for 10D and just didn't want to give it up. I also had CELIA instead of CELIE for 16A. I also toyed with BLUEBLOODS for 11D, despite the fact that I couldn't quite see what the connection to the clue was. But it seemed to fit so well...

Anyway, it was finally SEAMUENSTER that unlocked that whole area for me. Well, almost the whole area. Even after getting REALISTIC and BLUESTATES, I still had CELIA and couldn't make sense of SAE for 13D. Was it an abbreviation? A foreign word? I really wanted it to be COW, but that just wouldn't fit. Eventually, though, I did SEE the light... ^_^

ARBAON said...

I found the theme fills very clever today. I love puns. They are lots of pun!

Bill G. Thanks for the explanation last evening. I`d like to claim tiredness as to why I didn`t "catch" it but...

Jeannie: I have someone very close to me who handles stress and frustration with flippancy and anger...just as you did yesterday...I, for one, cut you some slack because I realized that. This person often hurts without really meaning to, also. You are an excellent friend to your friend...keep doing what you`re doing then go run/walk/shout/hit something, what ever you need to do to get rid of the pent-up frustration because it`s a killer, too!

BTW: Rockford Files re-runs are a must-see for me...I love "Rocky" almost as much as the younger James Garner! Heck! I even like the more-than-a-little-bit country theme song!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Nice to be treated to a Donna puzzle. First theme clue to fall was IDLE CHEDDAR. Then got the hang of it. Wanted holy 'cow', too but red letter said not; then after ARBYS fell, saw that SEE was so. Couldn't remember Mongolian red but when ula_ loomed, knew that ULAN Bator was the capital. Knew that 1 is the AT NO for hydrogen but didn't understand 1H before coming here. V8 can? Favorite clue was for BLUESTATES. Got YIPS from the perps. No searches needed.

My favorite cheeses are Brie and smoked Gouda. What are yours?

JD said...

Good morning all! The World Cup has just begun. Here is their National Anthem so you can view the beauty of South Africa.

Time to do the puzzle and play with grandsons.

Tinbeni said...

The first three themes got a smile, with a nod. The final one, SAHLSBRIE STEAK got a groan, then the smile.

I like Donna Levin's PUNS and her clever cluing.

Thought 'cow' put in SEE since I went to ARBY'S yesterday.
KOHLS I got off the 'K' in KATES.
ASNER off the 'A' in BAA.
EBERT off the 'B' in TABU.
Educated wags or good deductive reasoning.

IDEA for Headlight clicked on as I was pondering the Oft-rescued comic heroine, LOIS.

MUTED isn't "Toned down" it is totally turning off the sound.

I get that the fool is a DUPE, but I can't see how that applies to the tool.

All-in-all a FUN FRIDAY.

Bob said...

Got everything OK until I hit the South. I knew 51A had to be a play on SALISBURYSTEAK but couldn't work it out. After 51 minutes I cried uncle and looked up the protagonist of The Phantom Tollbooth. Once I got MILO, I finished the rest in about a minute. Somehow I totally forgot the cheese theme and so missed the clever SAHLSBRIESSTEAK. I had the SAHL and the STEAK, so it should have been obvious, I guess. Sometimes the brain just locks up and you can't see the obvious. A pretty neat puzzle.

Lrc said...

Good morning, C.C. - Trans Am refers to a high performance model of the Pontiac Firebird of the
70's & 80's and the name does come from the Trans Am racing series.

Tinbeni. MUTED works for "Toned down" if you think color instead of sound.

Andrea said...

Morning all -

Fun puzzle today. Only had to get help on a couple of the theme clues, and then finished the rest on my own (with lots of guessing, but they all panned out).

Loved the movie Up. The montage scene in the beginning was so moving - I found myself in tears, and then felt a bit silly for crying at the beginning of an animated movie...

JD - love your story, even if I don't quite understand all of it! Fun to take a trip back in time and see all of those words. I don't have any idea what many of them mean anymore! Looking forward to reading more installments.

Rainy here AGAIN - ARGH! I am so ready for some sunshine so we can get in our pool.

Have a great weekend.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Wow - tough one today. Finally made it through, though.

i like all kinds of cheese. Had feta in my garden omelette today. Comte with fresh spinach and nutmeg makes a terrific pasta dish.

Brilliant puzzle, great word play, virtually dross-free.

The B MAJ scale is B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, (the infamous) A# and B to complete the octave. Each of those 5 sharps is a black key.

If you play only the black keys, you'll have music in a pentatonic scale. If you start on A#, the highest one of the 3 black key grouping, you can pick out the "Going Home" theme from Dvorak's NEW WORLD Symphony.

Of course, those black keys are also Db, Eb, Gb, and Bb. So you can do this.

As the Duke said - if it sounds good, it is good.

After discovering UPEND A DAME, my symmetries will be MUTED today. But not TABU.
Many BLUE STATES have TIDAL BASINS.
Is jambalaya served OVER RICE?
Sneed was OK on the green. I don't recall ever hearing much about SAM'S YIPS.
I don't think ROVE and the ACLU are symmetric partners.

Much to do today - no JEST. To be REALISTIC, I must TAKE A HIKE.

Cheers!
JzB

Elissa said...

JD, Nice picture.

Tinbeni said...

Lrc, thanks!

I believe it also works for sound if I think about it in a non remote-control sort of way.

Dennis, the very idea of the ACLU, defending the "Bill of Rights" is pretty radical.

Anonymous said...

CC's avatar is boring.

Jazzbumpa said...

Anon's inane prattle is boring.

JzB

eddyB said...

Hello.

Somehow forgot to do this puzzle.
Either old age or I'm still in shock from the cost of the retaining wall.

Still to be in the 90s this weekend.

The latest box set of Charlie Chan
DVDs should be here tomorrow.

eddyB

JD said...

Good morning CC and all,

Thanks CC for "publishing" my inane alphabet tales. Let me say, I am NOT a writer..just having fun with those words. Some letters have very few words so they will be a challenge.

Enjoyed Donna's puzzle, but peetered out at the end.Clever theme. Could not fill in BRIE, although it is my favorite cheese.Didn't know B maj.or rice, for heaven's sake!!

Thought yips and acerb were strange.Luckily beak was filled with perps as well.

Peat was not my 1st guess. Since I had the T, I thought of dirt or pest.

Favorite was holy follower/ see. Things aren't going well for him these days.And sadly I remember oh so well, those annoying spots.Ebert was a guess, a perfect name for a puzzle.

JimmyB said...

My kind of Friday puzzle: initially I think I'm going to have to look a lot of things up, but persistence pays off and the V8 moments arrive without having to Google. Donna Levin is rapidly becoming one of my favorites.

JD - Brilliant essays! The only problem is they remind me of all the obscure words I didn't get the first time, and would probably miss again.

C.C. - I'm not really a cheese guy, but my favorite would have to be Cambozola, a triple cream. Someone once said triple creams are to cheese what gelatos are to ice cream. Works for me!

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang, a tough Friday puzzle, my wife had today off from work so we used our Saturday method.

I remember that my sister had a 78' Fire-bird that she named Mariah, remember the song 'they call the wind Mariah'?


Here's a link to all of the classic Fire-birds of yore.

MikeL said...

Good afternoon, everyone!

Air you can wear here in Dayton O today. Planning to take my boy out and play in the creek at Aullwood. Great way to stay cool on a hot day.

What glorious puns! Got "idle cheddar" first and groaned. With "sahlsbriesteak," got every letter but the "b." Still couldn't figure out the answer! Went through every letter on the keyboard, twice, there's only 7 of them, until the "b" finally clicked. Laughed good and long. Felt great!

Otherwise, a fun puzzle. Only looked at the answers once, for skim. I was certain it was milk. After that, things just fell into place. "Roquefortfiles" was good, too, but I'll remember "sahlsbriesteak" for a long time.

Take care, everyone. Have a nice day.

Peace.

Andrea said...

I'm guessing I will have a V8 moment after asking this question - I don't get Holy See??

Jerome said...

Again, constructors don't make up words or definitions.

Mute: To muffle, reduce, or eliminate the sound of. To tone down, as a color.

Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Edition

Warren said...

For Andrea: Holy See"
(Latin: Sancta Sedes) is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope..."

;-) from Google.

dodo said...

Jeannie, dear, I'm posting this before even reading today's blog, because I am among those that Otis mentions must have checked in and out before your post regarding Jen appeared! I was not aware that she was to have surgery but I have thought about her and your extraordinary kindness to her many times since you wrote about her. I think it's wonderful that you're offering support to someone who must be very much alone in the world and very frightened. You show all of us what a kind, compassionate, and yes, even brave, person you are! We are blessed to call ourselves your friends.

lois said...

Good afternoon CC, et al., Donna Levin outdid herself on this one. Cute theme and I got it for once. Loved that both my name and my darling #3 Kate's names are in the same puzzle. Maybe it's an 'omen'..
Of course it is! A 'sign' for us to
'B maj'orly 'shop'ping at 'Kohl's. Yeah, that's the ticket! Great
'idea'. We can 'celie'brate her promotion 'at-las't. 8 months of waiting was not 'easy' but she
'see's the value of patience. She's a 'keep'er, that girl. But I have pool tonight, where I intend to 'dupe' some dopes who 'trifle' with me & prove that'a dame's
'sta' in life is not being 'up end'ed. They'll have to just get 'over' it but not the way they want. I'll be sweeter than southern style ice 'Tea' when say "'I-raq', you break" and smile. They 'man up' and shoot. 'Realistic'ally, some might get the 'idea'of
'see'ing my 'action''late'r
but they get 'over' that in a few minutes when 'al-da' balls are gone and they've had one shot. Gives being 'poled' a new slant...
ye'a like' having your 'as-ner've gassed while being 'up end'ed.
'Ascerb'ic language w/'tabu' words sometimes follows that 'action'
but usually it's in 'jest'and I get a 'rum-ba'sed drink out of it. Then we re'peat' the fun. But when there's a 'baa'd attitude, I 'take a hike' and say, "Late'r, Pal. Thanks for being so 'easy'".

I love cheeses of all sorts, types and sizes...usually the big cheese is the one I aim for.
CC, you're right. In the words of 'Ebert' "This adminis-
tration sucks".

Follow this site to get your name and picture on the last shuttle to be launched. This is so awesome. I'm on already. Let me know if you get to ride w/me.
http://faceinspace.nasa.gov/index.aspx

Anonymous said...

Again, Jerome is being condensending.

I don't make up this stuff either.

Dennis said...

But you did make up that word, didn't you?

Dennis said...

Lois, I just signed up to ride along with you on the Shuttle. We should do some scientific experiments.

How 'bout it, fellow bloggerists, y'all coming?

Tinbeni said...

Dennis
Man it is going to be a tight fit on that Shuttle, over 55,500 have already signed up.

I figure the Avatar needs to go on a trip.

Earlier this week, in the NYT, mode of propulsion for gondolas was OARS.
Today it is POLED.
I guess I'll never know which is actually correct.

Splynter said...

Good Afternoon all -

Did not get to the puzzle til after 3pm. I liked the final SAHLS BRIE STEAK the best; SEA MUENSTER filled first, immediately followed by IDLE CHEDDAR. Always wanted a "Flaming Chicken"...with T-tops; Lemonade714 - Kate is definitely one hot vampire - liked her in 'Van Helsing', too. Jazzbumpa - I'm a guitar player, and I like the key of Bmajor - those keys will give you the "All in the Family" theme, too. Well worded, Lois, and I am an avid pool player, too - so uh, yeah, they get "poled", but it's always better if they rack...I am on the shuttle mission, too!

Frenchie said...

Good Morning C.C., Argyle and folk,

This puzzle was a quite enjoyable exercise for me today. (Actually, last night)

IMHO, 'Stale Italian bread/Lira clue and answer aren't aligned. Very lateral, though!

The theme clues are clever and give pause for a smile.

Peter photo's of him! and I used to watch reruns of Rockford files every night while dinner was cooking. (20 years ago!) And, my brother, at that time, lived in Redondo Beach where, interestingly enough, the old trailer Rockford lived in for his character was located just down the beach.

I always feel cheated with the t-top answer. I never appreciated that car feature; I think it was awkward. Further to auto awkwardesque features, my daughter Annie recently purchased a Mini Cooper and it has 2 rectangular sunroofs...a sunroof and a moon roof?? The front one has a screen on it as you may find on a house window. hmmm...

You've gotta beware of those Octopus beaks! I didn't know
'having a bite was acerb hmmm..." ...and the actual definition would be what?

Interesting Fill.

I've fallen away a bit lately as I have been contracting a pretty good size yard makeover. It's really beginning to look great! I'm so excited about it!

I'm out...for now.

MJ said...

Good afternoon, C.C. and all.

I loved today's puzzle. Extremely clever theme, and all the unknowns were perp friendly. Enjoyed some of the fanciful words Donna used in her clues such as 'canoodling', 'curmudgeonly', and 'skedaddles'. Favorite theme fill is ROQUEFORT FILES.

Hand up for "cow" until TAUPE axed that and SEE popped in. Did anyone else put in MMR instead of DPT for 25A?

C.C.-According to wiki, Sen Herb Kohl and his brother inherited the Kohl's department store chain from their father Max Kohl, the founder.

JD-Darling photo of Truman and Grady. And thank you for the South African link. Stunningly beautiful photos.

Jeanne-My best wishes are with your new friend Jen as she continues on her current odyssey. She is, indeed, fortunate to have you walking along side her during the journey.

Hard to pick out a favorite cheese, as I can think of only one cheese that I DON'T care for (gjetost, a Scandinavian type of cheese made from goat's milk--rather sharp, with a sweet caramel like flavor, and sort of grainy in texture). But one I like to eat with crackers, or simply plain, is Basil Havarti.

Enjoy the day!

MJ said...

Oops! Sorry Jeannie! And I even edited.

Jayce said...

Hi all.

Been werkin' and werkin', not playin' and playin'. Only got to the last three days worth of puzzles today, tried to do all three at once. Whew! Bad idea. Plum' wore me out. Agree that they were all excellent puzzles, well constructed, with plenty of humor, cleverness, and "doh" moments. Really LOVE the cheese theme! As much as I love good brie and medium cheddar. Okay okay, I admit it, I like smokey Gouda a lot, too.

Speaking of liking things a lot, I like this blog a lot and you cool folks who post in it. So many interesting and entertaining comments and observations!

Dodo, I smile at your nickname here. Reminds me of an old Datsun I used to have, which we affectionately called Dot-dot. I s'pose that could be your nickname too! After I gave the car to my son, he promptly had it lowered (and painted another color) and renamed it Squat-dot. LOL

Gotta go drain the hot water heater now. I think it has "sand" in it, as it burbles and snaps when the flame is on. (The good ole San Jose water is really loaded with grainy stuff like sand. It plugs up the faucet aerators all the time.)

Best wishes to you all.

carol said...

Hi everyone -
Gotta love Donna Levin's puzzles! I can always find her wave length somehow...I really enjoyed this and because it's Friday, I was so pleased to finish it with fewer helps than a normal Friday - wait, I rarely DO a Friday puzzle!
Somehow the NW corner was so easy and I got the Roquefort files right away so I was happy as a clam at high tide.
Had trouble with DUPE and still don't know how that is a 'Tool'.

56D is still a mystery but got it with perp help...same with 52D (I know nothing about music)

I would have thought that 41A (Octopus feature) would have been tentacles instead of 'beak'.

All in all a very enjoyable puzzle, thanks Donna!

Lois, great job with your special take on the puzzle, LMAO!

We are going to need a bigger shuttle!!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Didn't have time to puzzle today 'cause it's our anniversary. We chose to take an airplane trip out to Block Island, RI where the sun was shining, to revisit the place where we got hitched in the first place. Block is a pretty place to visit if you're out this way!

Al said...

Re the slang TOOL as DUPE... Being a tool is relatively recent slang for someone who gets used, much like a wrench or screwdriver. They just follow along without doing any thinking for themselves, as in "You're just a tool of the establishment". Plus, it rhymes with FOOL. Dumber than a box of hammers comes to mind.

Chickie said...

Hello All--A Donna Levin puzzle with Cheesey puns is just right for this Friday. I'm with many of you today as cheese is one of my favorite foods. Gorgonzola, anyone?

I caught on to the theme early on with Roquefort Files, but the Sahlsbriesteak fill was not easy as I didn't know B major and the answer for "do the Right Thing" Pizzeria. Duh, Mort should have given me the clue to that answer.

My favorite clue today was Old Italian bread/Lira. A good Italian bread with all the cheese today would have been my choice.

JD Thank you for the beautiful S. African link. Georgous land and inspiring music.

Jeannie, Thank you for being with your friend yesterday. I know from experience that seeing a familiar face after surgery is really good for the soul.

Congratulations Dudley. What a lovely way to spend your annivesary.

It is a beautiful day today and I've just picked almost two cups of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. I have our dessert tonight all figured out and pancakes for breakfast tomorrow. There is nothing better than blueberry pancakes.

Bill G. said...

Chickie, hands up for Gorgonzola. The local market used to have two varieties, one crumbly and one creamy. I preferred the crumbly one. I like Brie too. Sharp cheddar too. It's all good.

The Lakers got worked over last nights. Rats! Oh well. The Dodgers are playing the Angels later.

lois said...

Happy anniversary, Dudley. What number?

Splynter: so glad to have another pool lover around and on the shuttle too! We'll have to figure out another way of racking balls up there.

Dennis: So glad you signed up for the shuttle. We'll give a couple of new views of the moon in orbit. As for experiments? What do you have in mind? I have one little suggestion like the anti-gravitational pull in a deep space?? in conjunction with the psychological effects of the disappearance of hard biological objects in cavity structures during weightlessness or while entering the zone of compensated gravity. What a ride!

Jeannie: I also wish your friend Jen a speedy and healthy recovery. You're a good friend.

Hahtool said...

Happy Anniversary, Dudley. Hope you don't encounter an Octopus with a BEAK. It looks dangerous.

JD said...

Lois, great write-ups today! Sign me up for anything except cavity inspection!

Dudley,Happy anniversary!! Very classy celebration!

CEE:

Beside a cairin stands a circular cote inhabited, not by chickens, but a cracker-jack Cossack who is in cahoots with his cowardly cousins, the town cadgers. His 'ome encircled with beaucoup catalpas, cajaputs and calabash trees enables him to concoct cochineal from carmine critters. He dyes caddes which he peddles to the Caliph. His comrades creed a cabal to culle the country's controller and tried to coax Chukka to comply with their coup, which was to slit his carotid with a couteau. He wouldn't and they didn't. He was no cully! As it happened a carcajou consumed those chums.

Marge said...

Hi!
I have to say, (being a Wisconsinite) that my daughter loves to tell people that she shopped at the very first Kohls store in Menomonee Falls, Wi when she was a little girl. She lives in Georgia now.
Kohls also had a grocery store in those days.
Have a good evening.
Marge

Jazzbumpa said...

Jerome is exactly right.

Muted definitely means toned down with regard tosound, as well as color.

As a subtly nuance, a mute in a horn can push the pitch on the flat side, making one's tone go down.

Cheers!
JzB the occasionally in-tune trombonist

Chickie said...

JD--Another convival conversation with the letter C.

Chickie said...

OOps! Convivial conversation. the garbage can had disappeared when I tried to go back and correct this misspelling.

Anyway, great job, JD.

dodo said...

Jayce, I was 'Dot'(orworse, 'Dotty) all my life until I left home at age 20. I hated it. 'Squat Dot' might apply to me now, since I've shrunk about 3 inches over the years! I picked 'dodo' for an ID because both my first and surnames begin with 'do'. I kinda like it although nobody really calls me that. Mostly they still say, "hey, you".

BTW, I'm still incognito here. Guess I'd better sign up again.

Annette said...

Wow, this was almost a record time on a Friday puzzle for me. I breezed through this with red letters on, well placed perps, and lots of lucky intuition! What's odd is that I had major difficulties with her last 'earlier in the week' puzzle, which most others thought was eay.

After doing the puzzle, I had to go get some wine and put together a cheese platter to munch on while reading the blog. The power of suggestion...! I've just started experimenting with quality cheeses. So far, my favorite is the English Cheddar. The gouda is nice too.

Warren, thanks for explaining Holy See, and to Andrea for beating me to the question.

C.C., concerning 7D No longer hooked on: OVER. With regards to relationships, when you're no longer "hooked on" (interested in, ga-ga, crazy about, in "love" with, etc.), then the relationship is as good as OVER.

39D The owner of Kohl's also has a home in Fort Lauderdale. Strangely, we've only very recently acquired the store chain down here.

Frenchie, that center photo of Peter with the grapes brought back great memories! We had a beautiful grape arbor in our back yard growing up, and so did my grandfather. He even made his own wine in the cellar.

Happy anniversary, Dudley.

Hahtool, any special meaning behind your new avatar? Or was it just a pretty picture?

carol said...

JD, another brilliant story, I love what you did with the "C's" - who knew the alphabet could be such fun :)

Jeannie said...

Arboan, Dodo, MJ, Lois and all that have Jen and I in your thoughts (yes you too, Linda), I couldn't sleep and hopefully the token anon can. Just a quick note on Jen. When I met her she had already had her right breast removed and was finishing with her chemotherapy. It seems on her last scan the cancer had spread to her left breast and they determined that it had to come off too. The good news is that they haven't found any cancer cells in her lymphnodes so that is a good sign. Hopefully, once she recovers from this, there shouldn't be any more chemotherapy or radiation that she has to endure. She is up in the air about reconstruction. I visited her after work and she was in good spirits. She even had the shoes on that I bought her, and we took a little walk.

I too, signed up for the shuttle launch. It looks like we will be a little bit crowded. I will take a lap if anyone is so inclined.

Anonymous said...

Here in southern New England, the use of "tool" for "dope" is pretty common among teenagers. Examples that I've heard are: "Don't be such a tool!" and "He's such a tool!"

Nathan said...

This puzzle also had me struggling at every corner of the puzzle. One thing that bothered me though - a gondola is not poled, it is rowed, with a unique stroke, using a very long handled oar. You cannot reach the bottom of the Grand Canal with a pole that you could lift.