Jul 4, 2010

Sunday July 4, 2010 John Lampkin

Theme: The First Thirteen - The circled pairs in each American Revolutionary War related theme answers are the abbreviations of the first 13 states that signed The Declaration of Independence. All 13 pairs are arranged in the roughly north-to-south order in which their representatives (except for John Hancock of MA ) signed the document.

25A. *"I only regret that I have but one life ..." speaker : NATHAN HALE. America's first spy. Hidden inside is NH.

28A. *Patriot Navy vessel : FRIGATE. I know it's a Navy warship. Don't know the "Patriot" connection. Embedded is RI.

38A. *1765 tax law : THE STAMP ACT. This is not listed in our citizenship exam preparation questions. Enclosed is CT.

71A. *Treaty of __: 1783 war ender : PARIS. Concealed is PA.

82A. *1780 battle site : CAMDEN. The Battle of Camden 1780. Definitely out of my knowledge zone. MD is cloaked in.

101A. *1777-'78 military camp site : VALLEY FORGE. This I know. VA is buried in the phrase.

112A. *"Shot heard 'round the world" site : CONCORD. First clash of American Revolutionary War. NC is disguised. Of course I thought of baseball. Bobby Thomson's home run.

116A. *Article I mandate : US CONGRESS. Article I of US Constitution. It describes the power of US Congress. Veiled inside is SC.

3D. *Beer named for a patriot : SAM ADAMS. Someone mentioned this beer on the blog a while ago. MA is sheltered in.

42D. *First Chief Justice : JOHN JAY. Gimme gimme. He's the author of "The Federal Papers". Listed prominently in our exam booklet. NJ is shielded inside.

62D. *Like the government outlined in the Constitution : FEDERAL. DE is covered.

91D. *Site of a decisive 1777 patriot victory : SARATOGA. Know nothing about Battle of Saratoga. GA is tucked inside.

Then, John's unifier:

55A. *Each circled pair is an abbreviation for one; all 13 are arranged in the roughly north-to-south order in which their representatives (except for John Hancock) signed the Declaration of Independence : COLONY. NY is contained.

Here are those signatures. John Hancock represented MA, which is gridded in the upper left corner. Maybe Argyle can validate John's order. I am very bad recognizing autographs. Those colonies have now become STATES (9D. This puzzle's circled pairs, nowadays).

And more patriotic entries:

21A. Birthplace of seven presidents : OHIO. Minnesota has none.

65A. "Burr" and "Lincoln" : NOVELS. Gore Vidal's "Burr" and "Lincoln". Got me.

95A. Code for Burr and Hamilton : DUELLO. New word to me. Code regarding dueling.

99A. Washington portraitist Rembrandt __ : PEALE. And PEAL (16D. Bell sound that sounds like a portraitist?) & OIL COLOR (30A. Rembrandt choice)

1D. "Yankee Doodle" word : MACARONI. The Feather. And DAMN (51A. "__ Yankees"). Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.

13D. Tribe allied with the patriots : MOHICANS. Not aware of this information.

101D. Washington's mount? : VERNON. Mount Vernon.

120D. Emulate Betsy Ross : SEW. Her flag has 13 stars, representing the 13 states. John's original theme title is "The First Thirteen *". With the asterisk, I thought it's very clever, esp since each of the 13 theme clues has * too.

Probably my favorite LAT Sunday puzzle in 2010. Below are my reasons:

1) I loved the theme. Tight & complex. Three layers (in John's words): All 13 theme clues & answers have to do with Revolutionary War history; 13 colonies hidden inside; All arranged in north-south order. Clever placement of those state abbreviations and yet all the theme answers still remain symmetric.

2) Lots of clue echos and thoughtful weaving. A sign that the constructor went to extra steps to entertain his solvers. For a 4th of July change, I highlighted them in red in my write-up today.

3) Pangram: Check. John used all the 26 letters at least once to spice up the scrabbliness of his puzzle. Cheater/Helper squares: Nope. It does not please his photographer's eye aesthetically.

I think this puzzle should be distributed as part of the US Citizenship & Immigration Services Civics Lessons for the Naturalization Test booklet.


1. Painted Desert sight : MESA. I am used to the "Flat tableland" clue.

5. Racetracks : OVALS

10. Minuteman, e.g., briefly : ICBM (InterContinental Ballistic Missile). And SILO (17D. Minuteman's home). I was only familiar with the colonial militia Minuteman meaning.

14. Slip : LAPSE

19. Audio/visual production awards : AVAS. Ava = Audio/visual Awards. New to me.

20. Aspect : FACET

22. __ the hole : ACE IN

23. Aide-de-__ : CAMP

24. Appetite stimulant : AROMA. Hunger too.

27. Therapists' org. : APA. OK, American Psychiatric Association.

31. Chagrin symptom : RED FACE. I just bite my lips. I do that a lot.

33. Alleviate : EASE

36. Queen of the Nile, familiarly : CLEO. And ASP (4D. Queen of the Nile biter)

37. Dental products brand : ORAL B

42. Pickle : JAM. In a jam/pickle.

45. A.L. Rookie of the Year after Derek : NOMAR (Garcia). Oh, 1994 then. I had Derek Jeter's rookie card. It's 1993.

46. Deviate from a course : YAW. Yaw, Pitch and Roll. Dennis is an expert on this term. Thrust too.

47. Land bordering los Pirineos : ESPANA. Was ignorant that Los Pirineos = The Pyrenees. We also have QUE PASA (69. "What's up?" in 47-Across).

48. Macbeth's burial isle : IONA. Nice to know this trivia.

49. Penned? : IN STIR. And PAROLES (71D. Unpens?). Pen = Lock up in the prison. Fantastic clues.

53. Clouseau's rank: Abbr. : INSP (Inspector).

54. Scorch : CHAR

57. Poet's "before" : ERE

58. 2010 Super Bowl champs : SAINTS. New Orleans Saints.

60. Boxer's outbursts : ARFS. Dogs.

64. Scope : KEN

68. Menial position : McJOB. Learned this slang from doing Xword.

72. Song syllables : TRA LA LA

74. Canceled : UNDID

75. Fowl less fancy than her mate : PEAHEN. Peacock is fancy indeed.

77. Nonpro sports org. : AAU (Amateur Athletic Union). Was vaguely aware of this org.

78. Looker : EYER

79. Brewpub fixture : ALE TAP

81. __-80: old computer : TRS. Can never remember this old computer model.

85. Meadow mom : MARE. Alliteration all the way.

86. Bounce back : ECHO. Plenty in this grid.

88. Lily used as food by Mormon pioneers : SEGO. I am not surprised. Dried lilies are widely used in Chinese cooking.

89. Abductor's demand : RANSOM

94. Minimally : A TAD

97. Indefinite amount : ANY. And SOME (120. Indefinite amount).

100. First word of Dante's "Inferno" : NEL. No idea. The starting line is "Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita" = "Halfway through the journey of my life".

103. Western buds : PARDS. I can see the groan in Melissa 's face. She does not like this word.

104. Gp. of battalions : REGT (Regiment)

105. Paving stone : SETT. Rectangular paving stone. I forgot.

106. Waffles : SEESAWS

108. Civilized : DECOROUS. Such a polite word.

115. Palindromic peewee : TOT. And SAS (34D. Palindromic airline).

119. Astrologer Sydney : OMARR

121. "... __'clock scholar" : A TEN' O. Partial.

122. "__ to 'Enry ...": Cockney toast : 'ERES. Here's to Henry. The H sound is dropped in Cockney accent.

123. "... __ man put asunder" : LET NO

124. First Alaskan governor : EGAN. Nailed it. Our old editor used this clue very frequently.

125. Encumbered : LADEN

126. Shoe spec : SIZE. Did you also want EEEE?

127. Laud : EXTOL

128. Desire : WANT


2. 1946-'52 first lady : EVA PERON. Ah, Argentina's first lady.

5. Joan __ : OF ARC

6. "Spice of life" : VARIETY. Variety is the Spice of Life.

7. Slip __: err : A COG

8. Tony of '60s golf : LEMA. Champagne Tony. Died when he's only 32 years old. Plane crash.

10. Cyclotron bit : ION. Cyclotron is a new word to me.

11. Taiwan tea : CHA. Literally "tea" in Chinese. John picked up Taiwan for alliteration purpose. It's called CHA in mainland China too.

12. __-Honey: almond candy : BIT-O. Have never had Bit-O-Honey.

14. Surgical knife : LANCET

15. Allergic reaction : ACHOO

18. Cabinet dept. with a lightning bolt on its seal : ENER (Energy). Did not know this fact. See its seal. And FABRIC (28. It's bought in bolts) & EATEN (29. Bolted down). I am in awe of John's "bolting" mind.

26. LIKE THIS : ALL CAPS. The clue letters are all capped.

32. Driving problem : FLAT. Flat tires.

35. Realms : EMPIRES

39. Was wearing : HAD ON

40. Obi-Wan portrayer : EWAN (McGregor).

41. Triptych third : PANEL

43. France of France : ANATOLE. Have never heard of Anatole France. French novelist who won Nobel Literature 1921.

44. Snickers cousin : MARS BAR. Does it have peanuts inside?

48. Eaves dropper? : ICICLE. Lovely clue.

50. Seoul soldiers : ROKS

52. Birds that ape : MYNAHS

56. Look follower? : LEAP. Look before you leap.

57. Make manifest : EVINCE. Another alliteration.

59. Health org. : AMA

60. Atlantis dweller of comics : AQUAMAN. Have heard of the dude. Don't know where he dwells though.

61. Fall behind : RUN LATE

63. Treated maliciously : SPITED

66. Lode load : ORE. Homophone & alliteration.

67. Boer burg : STAD. Dutch for "burg"?

70. Nabokov novel : ADA. Alliteration.

73. Penitent type : RUER

76. Lucy's landlady : ETHEL. "I Love Lucy".

77. Included in : AMONG

80. Didactic sort : PEDAGOG. Annoying person. But cool answer.

83. Seaweed gelatin : AGAR

84. Got forty winks : NAPPED

87. Bio lab subjects : CULTURES

88. Civil beginning? : SOFT C. The beginning of the word "Civil" is a Soft C.

90. Civil rights activist Ralph : NEAS. Unknown figure to me. Consecutive "Civil" echo.

92. Noted shoe dweller : OLD WOMAN. "There was an old woman who lived in a shoe...". Nursery rhyme.

93. Where soldiers put away food : MESS TENT

96. Soap chemical : LYE

98. "Decide now!" : YES OR NO

102. "The Ruling Class" star, 1972 : O'TOOLE (Peter). Have never heard of the movie.

104. ABC's Arledge : ROONE. Chairman of ABC.

107. Filmdom's Flynn : ERROL. Alliteration.

108. Two-part : DUAL

109. This, in Toledo : ESTA. Another alliteration.

110. Sent the same ltr. to : CCED. Easy for me.

111. LPGA star __ Pak : SE RI. First Korean to be on the LPGA tour. Her surname name is actually Park. Immigration or some other agency misspelled her name. She just let it go.

113. Taos's st. : N MEX

114. Suffragist Carrie : CATT. Recognize her face when I googled. She has a Curt Schilling look, don't you think?

117. "__ who?" : SEZ

118. Boston-to-Weymouth dir. : SSE. Have never heard of Weymouth, a city in MA. Is there any revolutionary tie to this clue?

Please feel free to post on Comments section any alliteration/rhyme/echo or any clever wordplay tricks I've missed. Thanks. And a Happy 4th of July!

Answer grid.


PS: LA Times website does not support circles. Please see my Answer grid to see where they are placed.


Anonymous said...

Good morning C.C. and everyone. Happy 4th of July!!

I remember Mr.Lampkin mentioning this puzzle when C.C. received her citizenship. And boy did he deliver! A most difficult Sunday offering for me and didn't help that I didn't have the circles. A very messy solve, jumping from one section to another, filling in the ones I confidently know and bit by bit I finished in 77 mins.Perps certainly helped a lot.

Have a good day everyone.


Anonymous said...

I had to come to the blog to see where the circles pairs are. Thorough enjoyed the solving though.
Thanks, John. Thanks to you too, CC. You made the puzzle to be AHHED AT.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

My eyes glazed over as I attempted to read the clue for 55A and, since I was solving on-line with no circles, I never did get the theme. Fortunately, I didn't need to know the theme to get the starred clues.

Most of the puzzle was smooth sailing, but I bit it in the end where STAD crossed AAU. I had correctly guessed CAMDEN, simply because I know it's the name of a sports stadium somewhere (CAMDEN Yards), but I had to go through every letter on my keyboard for that crossing until I finally got the TADA! sound.

The other WTF moment of the day (which I did finally get on my own) was the crossing of DUELLO and SOFTC. The former was hard because I've never heard of it, and the latter was hard because, well, it was a tricky clue/answer. It didn't help that I initially had trouble remembering SETT at 105A.

Oh -- and I really wanted PEDANT for 80D. I knew it didn't fit, but I was getting frustrated as I got P...E...D...A from the crosses and was starting to wonder whether I was dealing with some sort of "variant" spelling here. And then, of course, the light finally dawned...

Happy Independence Day to those who celebrate, and happy Fourth of July to everybody else! I'm in charge of the BBQ today ^_^

Hahtoolah said...

Happy 4th of July everyone! I loved this puzzle for so many reasons, including all the ones that CC listed. I felt so good to see a patriotic puzzle on this date.

I figured out the theme after getting my first 2 circled clues - MA and NH (2 states in which I lived. Actually, of all the states in this puzzle, including OHIO, I have lived in 6).

Not sure I liked UNDID.

My favorite clue was Eaves Dropper = ICICLE.

Boston -to- Weymouth could be a bit tricky for someone not from New England. More than you ever wanted to know about the town.

For the Fourth, here is today's Patriotic QOD: After signing his name on the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock said, "There, I guess King George will be able to read that."

Splynter said...

Happy 4th to all !

Ah, what a puzzle - so many echoes and theme-related bits! My only cringe is to see ERE and 'ERES, but what can you do? At least it's not a reference to the 'same' word.

I liked ICICLES, I am a hockey player in the AAU, and the NY clues were a little easier for me - SARATOGA, MOHICAN...

I was born in NJ, lived in OH, and reside in NY (again) - only 3 'colonies' for me, but I did work in Colonie, up next to Albany, NY.

Didn't have the circles, but didn't mind, I pretty much knew what they were circling...

Did consider EEEE for SIZE, too!

We're setting up for a Badminton show-down today! Lots of fun, hope everyone has as much fun today

Keep all your fingers!

windhover said...

My oldest son, who now lives in London, was born at 12:10 PM on July 4, 1965.
Happy Birthday, Kelly.

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all, what a great puzzle we had today. It took me well over an hour to solve, but was able to slog my way through. I had to jump all over the grid to get started and then began to get the crosses to complete the ones I did not know. The NW corner was the last to fall.

I am in awe of John’s ability to construct this puzzle. I cannot imagine how much time and effort it took.

Today is very busy with lots of picnics so I must be off. May you all have a grand 4th and be safe.

Al said...

Mars and Snickers are both made by Mars, Incorporated (who also makes pet food). The Mars bar in the US was discontinued in 2002, and was replaced with the (different) Snickers Almond bar. However, the original Mars bar has been brought back in 2010 as a Wal*Mart exclusive product.

International confusion:

Outside the US, what they call a Mars bar is more like a US Milky Way. What they call a Milky Way, we would call a Three Musketeers.

Also in the UK, Snickers started off being called a Marathon bar, and there is a public campaign to name it back.

Trivia: Snickers was named after the Mars family's favorite horse.

Of course, if you want to hear the sound of arteries hardening, any of these bars can be served deep-fried, same as Twinkies, bananas, pickles, ice cream, peanuts, pizza, Oreos, cheese curds, cheeseburgers, and if you're thirsty, deep-fried Coca-Cola.

Anonymous said...

@C.C., did you correct the clue for 60-ACROSS? My paper has "Boxer's outburts"?

Lucina said...

Good day, everyone, and a happy
4th of July!

This was fun and very doable with great history lessons. My college American history professor was adamant that we learn the battles, dates, and sites of the War for Independence.

While I don't recall every one in detail, they are very real to me and easy to suss out.

The only one that gave me fits was 2D, first lady 1945-52 because I naturally assumed she would be a U.S. one and it took a loooong time to change it and of course the only sports Derek I know about is Jeter. However, the light eventually dawned on EVAPERON.

I really liked:
eaves dropper, ICICLE
boxer's outbursts, ARF(oh,the dog!)

What a lovely them from John Lampkin; it sets the mood for today's celebrations and aren't we fortunate that we can celebrate what those Founding Fathers created?

I hope you all have a lovely day.

Hahtoolah said...

Happy Birthday to Windhover's son, Kelly.

Other notable American Birthdays on July 4th:

President Calvin Coolidge (1872)
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804)
Hiram Walker (1816)
Stephen Foster (1826)
Twins, Dear Abby and Ann Landers (1918)

Notable Americans who died on July 4th include:

President John Adams (1826)
President Thomas Jefferson (1826)
President James Monroe (1831)
Vice President Hannibal Hamlin (1891) (he was from Maine)
U.S, Supreme Court Justice Melville Fuller (1910)

Annon@10:44 The newspapers had a typo, and the correct clue should have been Boxer's Outbursts (Boxer's referring to the dog breed).

Annette said...

Beautifully layered puzzle, John - a masterpiece! Only ONE musical reference that I could see. I haven't been able to identify a self-reference yet though...

C.C., I was entertained by your using a new term to indicate each hidden/covered/buried/veiled/etc. state abbreviation! I'd also like to add my best wishes for your enjoyment of your first official Independence Day as a U.S. Citizen! I can't imagine what that must feel like for you.

This isn't exactly an echo, but I thought this rhyme was fun: NOMAR (45A) and OMARR (119A).

I was looking for the militia minutemen too.

3D I couldn't remember the name. Good thing I did the puzzle last night instead of this morning. I had to go pop a beer to get this answer.

25A had me for a while because I was trying to finish the quote, until I realized it was looking for the "speaker" of the quote!

The top half filled in pretty smoothly, but the bottom half was a more painstaking reveal. Last to fall was the West Central section.

Lots of fun memories too: ICICLES, AQUAMAN, ETHEL.

Have a fun, safe Fourth, everybody!

Anonymous said...

It was like sitting thru a HS Civics class. Boring.

Dennis said...

HAPPY FOURTH to everyone - hope it's a great one where you are.

Back from the casino outing, and even brought back some of their money for a change; enough for a ridiculously expensive pocketbook my wife's been wanting, a new bike for me, and some left over for dinner and a movie tomorrow. Has anyone seen Knight & Day?

I did yesterday's puzzle first; took about 15 minutes.

Oh wait - that's how long I said "WTF?!?!?". Let's just say the puzzle's finished. If you saw the finished product, you'd swear I had a stroke. No, several strokes. Outside of some of Peter Gordon's, and the Mensa puzzles, it was probably the toughest I've attempted.

Similarly, today's puzzle was probably the most clever puzzle I've ever done, due to the ingenious theme. I simply can't imagine the work that went into constructing this one. John, if you're around today, how many man hours went into this? Thanks for a great solving experience, and my compliments. My constructing ability maxes out at tic-tac-toe grids.

Great echoing, and I didn't even see the pangram 'till C.C. pointed it out. Had 'mess hall' instead of 'mess tent', got faked out on the 'first lady' clue, and put 'macaws' for 'birds that ape'. Overall, lots of fun, and definitely one of the best.

Enjoy the holiday, and please remember all our troops in harm's way; their 'fireworks' are a bit more onerous than ours.

JD said...

Happy 4th to you all, and C.C., that was amazing blogging today. You outdid yourself with your 13 verb synonyms for hidden. Impressive!

Lots new(duello, sett, roks...)
lots review
lots of fun (Thank you Mr. Lampkin)

Did anyone else find themselves singing I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy? and then on toYankee Doodle. That's when I knew I loved this xwd.

DH had to explain silo/didn't know the connection.

lapse(d)- that's what non-practicing Catholics are called.

clever clue for Nel-probably took John time to find that fact.

I felt really patriotic while researching for the battle sites,etc., when the perps didn't clue me in. John's vocabulary was laden with words that we usually don't see. I give it a 10.

Hope you all have a wonderful day.

JD said...

Dennis, we saw Knight and Day last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's light, entertaining, and just fun. I continue to be impressed by the stunt work that Tom Cruise does.He remarked in an interview that Cameron really can drive a car; she did those 360's.

Jerome said...

You're an amazing guy, Mr. Lampkin.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, a happy 4th to all and especially our newly minted citizen, C.C. This puzzle was probably much easier for you, because of your recent studies, than it was for us.

I was with Lucina on 2D, BESS TRUM--?..nope, MAMIE EIS--..nope, way too many letters and wrong years. "Aha!"....EVA PERON.

NOMAR, AAU, TRS and DUELLO were new ones for me. There were lots of other little glitches, but they all worked out with the perps. Even with my failings, it was pure fun from start to finish.

I can't compliment my lunch buddy John Lampkin enough. JAM packed with historical tidbits, today's puzzle was a "Gee-whizzer!".

Hahtool, thanks for the reminder about the deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson on July 4th, 1826, an interesting historical fact. They had a long personal correspondence right up until their deaths. I hadn't known that until we saw the HBO series about Adams a couple of years ago.

Dennis, congratulations on coming home with your shirt and then some. Yes to "Knight & Day". A totally silly, but enjoyable "summer" movie. Tom Cruise didn't take his character too seriously and was funnier than he's been in a long time.

Happy birthday to WH's Kelly. My Kelly's birthday occasionally falls on another holiday, Labor Day.

Most of our celebrating took place yesterday, family BBQ and the fireworks show on the lake. Today is take it easy until this evening. We'll go with friends to our local grill 'n pub for tri-tip sandwiches. "There's dancing on the deck and horseshoes out back."..should be fun.

Lemonade714 said...

Happy 4th to all; this puzzle is an exquisite example of the creativity of puzzle constructors. My hat is off to you Mr. Lampkin, your patience and dedication to detail awe me.

Hahtool was kind enough to list some significant births and deaths on this date, and perhaps some of you noted the 2nd and 3rd presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on this day in 1926, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

HBO is replaying its wonderful miniseries about Adams, whose last words were JEFFERSON SURVIVES and ironically, Jefferson was already dead when Adams uttered those words.

It is raining hard now, nut this is Florida, so we have time for the skies to clear-

Lemonade714 said...

Has anyone commented on Boston's own Nomar GARCIAPARRA . Nomahh, was quite the hero for a while.

Anonymous said...

C.C.'s avatar made All-Star.

John Lampkin said...

Happy Fourth to all! Thank you all for your kind words of praise, and thank you C.C. for giving this puppy such a clear, thorough, and upbeat write up.

I tossed and turned all night wondering what Dennis would say today is. Dennis, I'm devastated since you were inexplicably silent in that regard, but I can fill in for you!

Today is Macaroni Day.

Dennis, I started this puzzle on October 1. It took at least 80 hours. Hey, I have a MCJOB! Part of the time was spent trying to make other ideas work, like creating a rebus grid with circles in the shape of Betsy Ross's flag. Bad idea! Jerome, and other fellow constructors, and you kids at home, do not try this! Like trying to figure out women or Medicare plans, it is hazardous to your health!

Credit goes to Rich for suggesting the geographical order. My first reaction was WTF, does Rich want me to sacrifice my first born as well?!? It turned out to be a happy idea though since neither of us was aware at the time that that is also the order of signing.

Making it all a cheater-free pangram (using all 26 letters) without compromising the fill took some extra time and effort too.

All in all, it is a puzzle I am very proud of. I'm not a flag-waver by any means, just a loyal and grateful American, happy to pay a fitting tribute to our glorious land in the best way I know how.

For the future:
Knowing that the circles would be an issue for some, C.C., Rich and I worked hard to make sure that you all would have easy access to a grid with circles intact. For future puzzles, if you know that there should be circles in your grid and there aren't, come here first. A workaround should be available.

Bill G. said...

I agree with most everybody, a very enjoyable Sunday puzzle.

Lemonade mentioned Nomar Garciaparra. I didn't know much about him except his name for a while and then he was traded to the Dodgers a few years back. I liked him. However, I've never seen anybody so fidgety when he stepped into the batter's box. He would adjust each batting glove twice, tap the end of his bat, tap his helmet and tap the toes of his baseball cleats into the dirt on every pitch! Luckily, he did all this really fast (having lots of practice) or it would have been interminable.

I also saw his wife (Mia Hamm) a couple of times jogging while pushing her baby carriage along the Strand. I always enjoyed watching her play soccer.

Dennis said...

Dammmit, John, I know you're kidding, but I'm truly sorry I forgot the 'Today is' - I'm sure I would've said, "Today is Macaroni Day - you're kidding me, right?".

I knew this puzzle had to take a lot of effort, but eighty hours?? I might've gone with the first-born option. Again, a remarkable effort, and one that's very much appreciated here.

Thanks, JD and CA, for the recommendation on Knight and Day; 'mindless entertainment' is right in my wheelhouse, and I had read that Cruise and Diaz did a lot of their own stunts, driving ones in particular.

In honor of the day, a few 'Did you know?'s about average Americans:

- the average American spends two years of his or her life waiting for meals to be served.

- the average American, according to the real estate industry, looks as eight houses before buying one.

- average Americans stand about 14 inches apart when they converse. Russians stand about 10 inches apart.

dodo said...

Happy July 4th, everybody! C.C.I loved your blog today! Well done!

Oh, this one was lots of fun as well as a great brush-up in American history. When I had it in high school I found it really boring, but age seems to make one more interested in history. I now plan to do some reading about our country's past. I've really slighted the subject for a long time. Never took any more history classes than were required!

John Lampkin, this one is really a marvelous offering! I think it should be cast in bronze or donated to a museum for posterity. I doubt that I'll ever find one I liked so much and that was as rewarding. It shows that it took so many hours to create; it must have required an awful lot of research. I will never understand how you constructors manage to put any crossword puzzle together, much less one such as this. Thank you, thank you!

Just finished a wonderful holiday buffet. I'm afraid the rest of my day is going to be spent napping and reading. A neighbor close by spent a lot of time enjoying fireworks last night. I seldom have trouble sleeping but last night was an exception. I'm not sure it was the fireworks, so I'm going easy on the coffee today, too.

Hahtool, thanks for the stats about our presidents. This whole morning has got me feeling very patriotic.

Jayce said...

Wow, I loved this puzzle! Loved it for all the reasons C.C. listed, and also because it was so elegant and felt so right! It is truly a special treat, and maybe even deserves a place in the Library of Congress. It is a national treasure.

One of many favorites was ICICLE. Too many favorites to mention :)

I didn't manage to finish SOFTC, SETT, and SEGO because I forgot sett and sego.

Thank you Mr. Lampkin, thank you C.C., and best wishes to you all this fine Independence Day.

MR ED said...

It would seem as though C.C. needs to refresh her avatar.

MJ said...

Happy 4th to all! A quick check-in here between celebratory events of the day.

C.C.-Absolutely fabulous blog today! Thank you.

John Lampkin-Outstanding puzzle! Thank you for all the time and effort you put in to the finished product. I am absolutely amazed by your talent and genius.

Wishing a safe and sane night to all!

Bill G. said...

Somebody mentioned Ma and Pa Kettle (after they appeared in a c/w) would be on TCM, so I took a chance and recorded it. I remember their movies from when I was a kid. Now they seem hokey and dated. Different eras for sure.

Argyle said...

Is Wikipedia down? I can't get any links to work.

Tinbeni said...

Happy July 4th to everyone.
Probably my favorite holiday because it celebrates the best experiment the world has ever known.

And no matter what your religion or politics we can all celebrate the United Stated of America together.

John: Excellent concept, grid and History lesson reminders.

My fave clue today was a "shout out" to our leader, 110D, CCED. John that was classy having one of newest citizens as an answer.

Hahtool: When John Adams died on that 50th July 4th his final words were "at least Jefferson survives" ... later they figured he had expired an hour earlier. (It's hard to say, time was measured locally back then. Ergo, Noon in Boston wasn't necessarily noon in New York, Virginia, etc.)
Amazing, two of the founding fathers both expire 50 years, to the day, after signing our Declaration of Independence.

Lemonade: You had your salute to Nomar.
Today, I give a toast to the New York Yankee owner, George Steinbrenner who is celebrating his 80th birthday.
(Hate my Yankees all you want, but an 80 year old guy gets a toast from me!)

Here it has been rain, followed by rain, followed by rain, followed by me working on the ark.

Argyle said...

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE SIGNERS (John Hancock signed in the middle. The rest started signing on the right edge column and signed in columns, working back to the left.

New Hampshire--Josiah Bartlett; William Whipple, Matthew Thornton. (His signature is out of place; it is below Oliver Wolcott.)
Massachusetts--John Hancock, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Robert Treat Paine.
Rhode Island--Elbridge Gerry, Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery.
Connecticut--Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott.

New York--William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris.
New Jersey--Richard Hockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark.

Pennsylvania--Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross.
Delaware--Caesar Rodney, George Reed, Thomas McKean.

Maryland--Samuel Chase, Thomas Stone, William Paca, Charles Carroll, of Carrollton.
Virginia--George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton.

North Carolina--William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn.
South Carolina--Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton.
Georgia--Button Gwinntet, Lyman Hall, George Walton.

Bill G. said...

I thought it was amazing for John to be able to get the circled clues more-or-less in their correct geographical placement.

Barbara bought some prime rib-eye steaks at Costco. We were expecting our son and daughter to drop by but they found BETTER things to do. So I barbecued the steaks to a dark pink inside and we will have enough for some tomorrow too.

Lucina, you live in Arizona, right? Do you follow the Diamondbacks? They couldn't do anything right last night and got killed by the lucky Dodgers. I haven't finished watching tonight's game yet.

Tinbeni said...

That is a great embed.
The one I always found interesting was in the Maryland delegation.
Charles Carroll, of Carrollton.
Apparently, he had a very common name in that day. The others noted that to him so he added his town.

These men all knew that if what they were signing didn't work out the document would have been like signing their own death warrants.

BTW, nobody picked up on it yesterday.
My Comment to you was based on two things:
1) You said earlier, "somewill call it a breeze, its a time honored tradition.
2) Argentina DID NOT tear thru Germany. They lost 4-0, the Sat. puzzle was a blitch from start to finish. DNF for me.

Argyle said...

Yes, Tinbeni, I wondered about your comment...until I saw the sports page this morning. CTM(chuckle to myself)

Annette said...

Bill G.: I'd watched a Ma and Pa Kettle movie within the past month or two and really enjoyed it.

Last night, I tried to watch that one too, and lasted about 5 minutes! Then I tried two more black and whites from that era, and wound up deleting all three within 30 minutes.

One sounded a lot like that cackling hen party that was discussed here recently.

Of course, I'd had a headache all day and should have just saved them to retry on another day, but - oh, well!

Dennis said...

I hope everyone got to see some of the Fourth celebrations on TV tonight - they were extremely well done and the fireworks were outstanding as always. And Toby Keith singing 'Proud to be an American' is a great way to end the evening. Hope it was a fun day for everybody.

Lucina said...

Bill G:
Yes, I live in Arizona, but I am not a sports fan of any kind. I do know however that the Diamondbacks have been unable to do anything right for most of the season. I hear about it only on the newscasts.

I totally agree, John Lampkin gave us a superb treat today. And I failed to comment on C.C.'s blog, it was definitely creative.

If you want to continue reading about the beginnings of our country, may I recommend the following;

John Adams by David McCouulagh, Thomas Jefferson, by Willard Sterne Randall,
Alexander Hamilton by Rpm Chernow
Benjamin Franklin (I shall have to look for the author)

These are outstandingly written with much research. The John Adams book was the one used for the HBO miniseries.

I hope your 4th was safe and joyful.

Clear Ayes said...

Another excellent book by David McCullough is "1776".

Just home from an excellent tri-tip sandwich dinner with a couple of wineritas on the rocks. Now, we're settling in to watch "A Capitol 4th" with Gladys Knight and fireworks. I'm looking forward to seeing Lang Lang, the Chinese pianist. I've heard of him, but tonight will be my first look/hear of him. C.C., are you familiar with him?

BTW, a happy birthday to 12 year old Malia Obama. She's not a President, but she lives with one in the White House.

Bill G. said...

C.C., are you familiar with Hong Chih Kuo from Tainan City in China? He's a great relief pitcher/set-up man/closer with the Dodgers. He's pitched to 30 lefties, struck out about 20 and none of them have gotten hits. 30 strike outs to only eight walks with an ERA of 1.11. He's fantastic! Why he's not in the All Star game is beyond me.

Lucina said...

I'm sorry for the typo.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
The author of Benjamin Franklin is Walter Isaacson and I agree with CA, 1776 by McCullough should be on the list as well.

These are fascinating in their scope and detail.

A Capitol Fourth was just great on PBS.