Jul 29, 2010

Thursday July 29, 2010 Doug Peterson and John Doppler Schiff

Theme: Wacky Competitions - The first word of all the theme answers is given a different meaning re-associated with the group given in the clue. Question marks in the clues indicate that the meanings are not the usual ones.

17A. Competition for witches?: SPELLING BEE. Magic spells.

27A. Competition for entomologists?: CRICKET MATCH. Insect classifiers.

43A. Competition for pastors?: STEEPLE CHASE. A church tower. This race would be over quickly, they don't move very fast.

58A. Competition for painters?: ROLLER DERBY. A derby was first a horse race, started by the 12th Earl of Derby. The hats they wore to these social occasions were likely named after the race, as are other types of races that followed, such as roller, soap-box, and demolition.

Hi all, Al here.

This write-up may be short due to a late start, because of a problem with Cruciverb. Had to wait two hours for the Fredricksburg puzzle to change online. This one seemed easier than yesterday (but fun, nice one, Doug and John, but is there a story to this collaboration?), only took me about 13 minutes, even with having to use my nemesis puzzle app. But I lost all that saved time by having to go through hoops to extract the text of the puzzle from a .sol format instead of .puz. Well, enough complaining (no disrespect meant to the puzzle itself), on with the show.


6. Northwest Passage seeker: CABOT. Giovanni (John) Caboto. Not Buffy and Jody's butler on Family Affair.

11. Spy's eye, briefly: CAM. Camera.

14. Ancient Greek dialect: IONIC. The Iliad and the Odyssey were written in old Ionic.

15. Sheepish?: OVINE. Latin ovus = sheep.

16. Carry a balance: OWE.

19. "Move it!": NOW!

20. Churl: PEASANT. Freeman, man without rank. This form of the word also gives us the name Carl.

21. Prove pleasing: SIT WELL. Waiting for the puzzle didn't sit well with me.

23. Prêt-à-porter monogram: YSL. Yves Saint Laurent. Prêt-à-Porter means ready to wear.

24. Nest egg segments, briefly: IRAS. Egg & EGGS (52A) duplication.

26. Not big bites: NIPS.

31. Churchill __: DOWNS. Home of the Kentucky Derby. They don't wear roller skates.

34. Brand that may cause brain freeze: ICEE.

35. "What have we here?!": OHO.

36. Words while anteing: I'M IN. Poker.

37. Brother of Moses: AARON.

39. Awestruck: AGOG.

40. Bridge turn: BID.

41. "First Lady of Song": ELLA. Fitzgerald.

42. Inside information?: X-RAYS. Another question mark clue, very punny.

47. R&B singer India.__: ARIE.

48. __ Sutra: KAMA. So little time, so much to read...

49. Some H.S. students: SRS. Seniors.

52. Bodybuilder's breakfast, maybe: RAW EGGS. I can't do it. I don't mind soft-boiled or poached, but the texture of completely raw is too much for me. Besides, the raw whites bind biotin, preventing it from being absorbed, so even though the yolk provides some, it's a net loss.

55. Nod off, in slang: ZONK OUT.

57. She played Bea in "Kill Bill": UMA. The Thurmanator. 1A. Cry of feigned innocence: WHO ME? (Bet you thought I skipped this clue earlier, right?)

60. With 29-Down, cabbage variety: BOK. Along with 29D. See 60-Across: CHOY.

61. Typeface type: ARIAL. Very plain, sans-serif (no flourishes), proportional font (smaller size letters like "i" take less width than a "w" would).

62. Agree to participate: OPT IN.

63. __ out: barely manage: EKE.

64. Some are urban: MYTHS. If someone tells or emails you something unbelievable, it probably is. These are always from a friend of a second-cousin's neighbor, or a guy from work has a friend who heard that... Check them out on before forwarding them on. And then don't forward them on.

65. Vampire's concern: STAKE.


1. Thin, as smoke: WISPY.

2. Signs of optimism: HOPES.

3. Hollywood dad or his acting daughter: O'NEAL. Ryan, Tatum.

4. Thickness measures: MILS. 1/1000 of an inch. Also an abbreviation for millions. Also a unit of angular measurement equal to 16400 of 360 degrees and used especially in artillery.

5. Cream puffs: ECLAIRS. This makes me hungry. To me they aren't the same thing though. Eclairs are long, have custard filling and are iced with chocolate. Cream puffs have whipped cream filling, are roundish in shape and are dusted with powdered sugar. Both can be made from the same dough however, choux pastry.

6. Source of cold comfort?: CONTAC. Over The Counter, non-perscription "medicine" brand name.

7. Batter's fig.: AVG. Wanted RBI here.

8. They hang in seafood restaurants: BIBS. Good one.

9. Not a good shot: ONE IN TEN.

10. Links appointment: TEE TIME. Golf.

11. Pre-railroad transport: CONESTOGA. Deja vu with this answer.

12. Missing in the mil.: AWOL. Absent without leave.

13. Little cry: MEWL.

18. Cross letters: INRI. Iesus Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm, Latin for Jesus Christ, king of the Jews.

22. New Deal prog.: WPA. Works Progress Administration.

25. Aspen rooftop sight: SKI RACK.

27. 1980 Turner launch: CNN.

28. Natural prefix: ECO. Ecological.

30. Big bikes: HOGS. Harley Davidson cycles.

31. "Mine!": DIBS.

32. Leave out: OMIT.

33. Not nodding: WIDE AWAKE.

37. "The Tortoise and the Hare," for one: ALLEGORY. Figurative language, description of one thing under the image of another. A form of linguistic analogy. Others: exemplification, comparisons, metaphors, similes, and parables

38. Sam Adams, maybe: ALE. That will go well to wash down my eclair. (kidding).

39. "We __ the Champions": ARE. I'll spare you the Freddy Mercury (Queen) video.

41. Bon mot: EPIGRAM. A brief, clever memorable statement: To be safe on the Fourth, Don't buy a fifth on the third.— James H Muehlbauer.

42. Playbook symbols: X'S AND O'S. Sports diagram starting positions.

44. Poetic preposition: ERE.

45. Shrubs with edible nuts: HAZELS.

46. Latin love: AMOR.

49. To some extent, colloquially: SORTA.

50. Hexahedral puzzle inventor: RUBIK. The cube.

51. "Gypsy" composer: STYNE. Jule. Also composed music for Funny Girl.

52. Yahoo: RUBE. Shortened form of Rueben, a typical country man's name. Well, back in the 1800's, maybe.

53. Bad way to run: AMOK. Run amok.

54. Thin opening: SLIT.

56. Didn't surrender: KEPT.

59. "Well, __-di-dah": LAH. Six fill-in-the-blanks in this puzzle.

Answer grid.

Here is part III of Gunghy's series. Click here to see all his photos.



Dennis said...

Good morning, Al, C.C. and gang - this was a nice, simple Thursday offering, and as is typical with today's constructors, very clever. 'Spelling bee' gave away the theme, which helped fill the remaining ones quickly.

Al, I agree with you about eclairs; I know they can be cream-filled, but the classic eclair is custard-filled. Great blog job - as always, very informative.

More later; have to run out for a bit.

Today is National Lasagna Day. Jeannie, got a good recipe? (Meat, not veg.)

Did You Know:

- Walt Disney named Mickey Mouse after Mickey Rooney, whose mother he dated for some time. Also, Mickey's ears are always turned to the front, no matter which direction his head is pointing.

- Elvis Presley failed his music class in school.

- Andy Garcia was a Siamese, or cojoined, twin.

Argyle said...

Good Morning, Al and Doug(if he makes an appearance),

I want to know if Doug's co-constructor's name is real or is it a pun for Doppler shift? He is obviously talented, if you read his profile here.

Vidwan said...


Many, many thanks for that linkup to the youtube video, last night, Wee Doch an Doris. I watched it 9 times ... I liked it so much. I had never heard of Sir Harry Lauder, before.

I also looked up 'Argyle', and now I ken sae yar Scottish heritage.

Prince Charles was once asked... 'Is there anything worn under the kilt ? '... and he answered, ... 'No, its all in very good shape...'.

Anonymous said...

18 down: INRI. We grew up in Massachusetts, not too far from the Rhode Island border. Kneeling in church one Sunday morning, my older brother (I was 8 or so at the time)told me that INRI stood for "IN RI" (in Rhode Island). He explained to me that that was how they treated people in RI, and that I should pray and worry that Mom and Dad don't ever decide to move there! I remember having a lot of trouble falling asleep at night for a very long time...

Vidwan said...

To blogmaster/mistress: please delete one of the duplicate posts. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Not again.

Dr. Dad said...

Good morning, C.C., Dennis, Jeannie, Lois, Carol,

Been awhile since I've been here. Glad to see some of you are still here along with lots of new people.

Puzzle wasn't bad today. A little trouble in the southeast but otherwise a quick solve.

For those who don't like lasagna, try chili dogs because it is also National Chili Dog Day.

Hahtool said...

Good Morning. I started off with a bang on this one, quickly getting SPELLING BEE, so quickly keyed into the theme. Then, the bottom portion slowed me down a bit.

There were some wonderful clues today. I especially liked:

Carry a Balance = OWE

Some are Urban = MYTHS

They Hang in Seafood Restaurants = BIBS

Inside Information = X-RAYS was very clever. It took me quite a while to tease that one out of my brain.

I really despise getting documents in the ARIEL font. We saw CONESTOGA earlier this week.

Pret-A-Porter is also a Robert Altman film, which is a parody of the fashion industry. I saw it when it first came out and found it amusing.

In honor of Robert Altman, here is today's QOD: If you don't have a leg to stand on, you can't put your foot down. ~ Robert Altman quote

Mainiac said...

Good Morning All,

What a great puzzle. I think it definitely was an easier Thursday since I finished in pencil. Roller Derby was the first theme I filled so I ended up working from the bottom up. Biggest problem was I wouldn't let go of RBI.

I have now opinion on eclairs. I rarely eat sweets. Lasagna and Chili Dogs, now you're talkin!

Good to see you Dr Dad.

Thanks for the write-up Al!

Have a good one.

Lemonade714 said...

Good Morning Al et al.

A delightful, but not punishing Thursday; the theme sparkled with wit, the cluing was fresh with much nice fill, ALLEGORY and EPIGRAM; then some cuteness like BIBB and XRAYS; deceptive phrases like ONE IN TEN and XS AND OS, and the immediate reoccurrence of CONESTOGA. Do you think Rich gathers the submissions and puts them in piles to make us say, wow twice in one week? I also enjoyed RUBE and RUBIK in the same puzzle.

H. “despise” docs in ARIAL ? Seems a bit strong, I like the clean look of VERDANA, but the courts prefer TIMES NEW ROMAN which I find muddy. I personally was not aware of all the talk that went on concerning typeface choices. GO GEORGIA!?!

Well, I am late, La Di Dah
My AARON will be back from Italy in 10 days...

Dick said...

Good morning all, today’s puzzle offered me some very easy moments and some difficult ones as some of the cluing was sort of off beat, but great. I especially liked bibs, myths and X rays. And. Al, a great pic of Uma.

I got spelling bee very quickly and that helped with the other theme fills.

At anon @ 6:38 your church story was a hoot.

Welcome back Dr. Dad always good to hear from you.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I actually found this one a bit on the challenging side, but I suspect that is mostly due to exhaustion on my part. My wife is seriously stressing out about our impending trip to London (thinking about all the things that could go wrong, worried about her elderly father's health, etc.) and when she is stressed she doesn't let me get any sleep, either...

gGerry said...

Good Morning All,
A nice puzzle today, though it gave some trouble. For too long stayed stuck on: RBI, 1a 'NOT me', 11d 'Canal TUGs', 'zonE out', 'sPIke' instead of 'stake', 'bok choI', and had my xs & os interchanged.

Ended up with one error that -given the weather- I'll still prefer over what's correct: for 6d, I put 'Cent.AC'/central air for "source of cold comfort". This forced 'evine', but with the "?" in the clue I felt maybe it was a twist on 'ewe' with a linguistic 'w' to 'v' shift!

Faves of the day, once I got them, were "Inside information?" & "They hang in seafood restaurants" (I kept thinking 'lobster crates'??). I'd say that 'hopes' ARE optimism, rather than just signs of optimism. In any case, we can all use more, eh?

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Nice write-up, Al.

A fun puzzle, but not too difficult for a Thursday. No searches needed. Thought the theme was quite clever. WAGS included CABOT and ONE IN TEN. Thought clues for AMOK, INRI MYTHS and XRAYS were clever. Liked seeing words like 'hexahedral' in the clues.

Enjoy Thor's day.

Vidwan said...

Al: Your blog was exhilarating ... and the linkups very informative ... Thank you very much.

... though I still don't understand why female actresses have to be photo'ed so skimpily dressed ... do they have no other assets ?

My question here is ... the Arial font you showed ... did not show the letter W ... in the small or the caps ... are we still supposed to hate Dubya that much ... or did I miss some subliminal point ? I am only a novice/tyro at xwords ... so please give me a hint.

kazie said...

I was definitely on the right wavelength today. Few proper nouns and no musical knowledge to speak of which meant it was mainly word based which I love. Got the theme early, which made it fun and easy.

I didn't know CABOT or ARIE, and took a while to realize AMOR should be that noun form, since we have the verb endings so often. I wouldn't have got CONESTOGA if we hadn't had it with the TOGA helper last time. But on the whole, no real obstacles.

My understanding of a steeple chase was that it's horse a race with hurdles, but I guess now it refers to a race for people too involving diverse obstacles.

Grumpy 1 said...

I really liked this puzzle! There were several clues that led me off in wrong directions... I wanted NETS instead of BIBS, RBI instead of AVG, NOT ME instead of WHO ME, etc. I wound up with a large serving of eraser crumbs to go with my Heart Smart cereal. Bleech!

I wound up bouncing from corner to corner, as it seemed that I would always find a nice piece of low hanging fruit and then realise that the rest were higher in the tree than I could immediately reach.

STEEPLE CHASE was the first theme to fall and the others came along fairly easily after that. That opened things up until I got back to the NW corner. I had put in ONEIL and I also had not shifted my thinking to a physical cross with letters. I finally realized the spelling error and then the meaning of Churl wandered up from the depths of my memory. Even with the "cross letters" solved with perps, it took a few minutes of staring at it before the "Aha!" moment arrived.

The puzzles have seemed fairly easy this week... why do I suspect we're going to get a real stinker tomorrow or Saturday?

Doug P. said...

Hey, CC & friends. I don't remember which entry was the seed for this one, but it was a theme I'd been thinking about for a couple of months. John helped me come up with a couple more theme entries to flesh it out, and we were in business.

John has a couple of solo puzzles coming up soon, and I'm sure you'll enjoy those too!

Anonymous said...

Cute photo of your blog mistress:

Tinbeni said...

Al the write-up was Excellent!!!

After I got my newspaper, Mug of Joe, and turned on CNN, I perused the clues and my first entry was: Well, LAH-di-dah.

A few NIPS of java later, I was WIDE AWAKE and found my NYT buds RUBE & HAZEL(S).

Looked at the themes but nothing clicked at first.
I thought WTF!
Then, bit-by bit they just SORTA fell into place. Lemonade said it best "the theme sparkled with wit, the cluing was fresh with much nice fill."

Saw that I'M IN and CONESTOGA returned from yesterday and Monday.

Faves were the X'S AND O'S, the ONE-IN-TEN.

All-in-all (other than that OHO) this was probably the most FUN puzzle I can remember.

Anonymous said...

Origin of Steeplechase

HeartRx said...

Hi Al et al.
Great puzzle today - didn't have any lookups or red letter help, which makes me feel like I am actually getting the hang of it. But then, there's always tomorrow and like Grumpy 1, I have a feeling it may give me a bit of a come-uppance.

@anon at 6:38, LOL with your church story !! My sisters always used to tell me things like that, and it's a wonder I'm not completely paranoid (well, maybe a little)...(what are YOU looking at ?? )

Favorite clue was 42a. "XRAYS" came through perps, but I thought it was very clever. Also 8d. "BIBS". I wanted "NETS", but had "OVINE" already and knew that wouldn't fit. Then I got "SPELLING BEE" and had a real AHA moment with it!

JimmyB said...

I was doing great everywhere except the NE where I insisted on ONE OF TEN instead of ONE IN TEN. Plus I can never remember the New Deal acronyms. So that area was a mess until I came here. But seeing UMA made me forget all that and feel much better. Thank you, Al.

Jeannie said...

Dennis, Lasagna is my signature dish. The key to my lasagna is 5 cheeses. Ricotta, Romano, Parmesan, Provolone and Mozzarella. I also use both sweet and hot Italian sausage instead of ground beef.

I mix about 1 tsp of garlic powder and 1 tsp of dried basil in the ricotta. I grate ½ cup of romano and ½ cup of parmesan and mix them together. I grate one cup of mozzarella and 1 cup of provolone and mix those together. I have posted my marinara sauce recipe in the past so I won’t today, as you should be able to find it in the archives. I brown 1 lb of sweet and 1 lb of hot Italian sausage, drain and combine with the marinara. I do all this while the noodles are cooking.

Layering process:
Start with a layer of the sausage/marinara mixture, top with the romano/parm mixture, top that with the mozz/provolone mixture, noodles, then ricotta. Repeat. At the very end top with the meat/marinara and smother with mozz/provolone.

Bake at 350 degrees covered ½ hour covered and ½ hour uncovered. Let sit at least 15 minutes before cutting. I usually don’t brag too much about myself, but I have never tasted a lasagna better than mine.

Hahtool said...

Lemonade: you would rather focus on my dislike of Ariel (and judicial preference toward Times Roman) than the risqué foreign poster for Pret-a-Porter?

Al said...

@Vidwan, I notice now that the "J" is missing, too. And the "L" apparently acquires a dot like an "i" when it switches to lower case. Not a very good sample picture I guess.

And now for something completely different, I wonder if there's a braille version of the Kama Sutra?

Vidwan said...

Al: Touche' .

Anonymous said...

Blog mistress looks very, very pretty and all-together.

windhover said...

Those do look
ready - to - wear (me out)

Was it Gunghy who said he could do anything he could at 20? Don't know about could, but sure would.

kazie said...

Did anyone else have the prêt à porter misspelled in their newspaper? Mine had prit à porter.

I forgot to comment on the photos today too. Very interesting, and still good photographically, despite what you said yesterday. Thanks again for sharing.

carol said...

Hi all - finished this puppy with some help. I actually got 1D right away and that made me feel confident (for a while)...then I forgot how to spell ECLAIR, thought it was ECLARE for a minute.

25D Aspen rooftop sight: I kept thinking HOUSE rooftop and since I had the 'S' in place, I wanted something like snowpack.

I have never heard of a shrub called 'Hazel'...we have Hazelnuts here in Oregon, but they are trees, also known as Filberts. Of course, I also had CONKS OUT for 55A so that didn't help much.

Dr Dad, so good to 'see' you again. Wish you had more time to spend with us....ah, the good old days!

Gunghy, loved your pictures and especially the captions. That cactus flower has some wicked thorns on it.

JD said...

Good morning Al,C.C.,et al,

Hi Dr. Dad!

Al, you always explain things so well and today was no exception. Good advice about e-mail myths.

I also got spelling bee quickly, and I groked the theme, but it took much too long to fill in the rest.Loved x-rays and bibs( I was picturing a huge fish and wouldn't let go of that idea.)

I really thought ski RACK was odd.Anyone else have zone out for zonk out? Overall, this was fun. Well, any c/w that I can finish (without spending my life in Goggle) is fun... I did look up Arie to keep going.Wide awake, epigram and allegory did not come easily.

anon @6:38, loved your story!

Wishing the best for Lois today.

Anonymous said...

Some years ago, when the Library of Congress decided to discontinue the subscription of the Playboy magazine, in braille ... complainants sued the govt. under the ADA Act ... and prevailed.

Lemonade714 said...


Since we both work in the legal profession and ARIAL and TIMES NEW ROMAN have become the dominant typset (along with COURIER) it is a subject which interests me, and something I deal with daily as I see things prepared in various fonts, with some lawyers believing a different font will make their work more distinguished. So knowing you likely receive many documents in ARIAL, I was surprised by your vehement comment about ARIAL. (Which incidentally apears to be a blend of one of my favorite tv characters ARI GOLD and our own thursday specialist AL). The naked stuff from the movies, eh...I like three dimensional better, and for photographs, I like pretty faces. But thanks for asking. Doug, how is it you came to discuss the puzzle with John? I find watching people collaborate a fascinating process, having seen many songs written by two people, and of course the works of Ellery Queen.

Spitzboov said...

Kazie said: Did anyone else have the prêt à porter misspelled in their newspaper? Mine had prit à porter.
The Utica OD had 'prit-à-porter' instead of 'prêt-à-porter'

DOWNS - Has several meanings. The one I like is roadstead in English Channel along E coast of Kent protected by the Goodwin Sands. It appears many times in the book about ADM Nelson's life, "The Pursuit of Victory" went he is preparing to depart or arrive at the Thames estuary.

JohnDopp said...

Thanks for the kind reviews!

The great theme idea was Doug's, and if I recall, SPELLING BEE was the first entry. We hammered out the rest of the theme entries together, Doug whipped up a grid, I slapped together some clues, and it all fell into place with a minimum of bloodshed.

I've been fortunate to have Doug as my cruciverbal mentor: he's schooled me on the essentials of construction (like the importance of including the CONESTOGA in a grid). Thanks, Doug!

Argyle, the "Doppler" in my name is indeed a pun. In 6th grade, my science class project focused on the Doppler Shift. As my last name is Schiff, the nickname stuck, and I've been using it online ever since.

That link you've posted is a bit outdated, but I regularly post the intimate details of my life on Facebook, and I'm currently accepting applications for stalkers if anyone's interested.

Nice to meet you all!

A former soldier said...

For those who are interested in military history, in contrast to ADM Nelson's life, "The Pursuit of Victory", try "From The Jaws Of Victory", by Charles Fair.

"From The Jaws Of Victory" is described as "a history of the character, causes and consequences of military stupidity, from Crassus to Johnson and Westmoreland". It is a both witty and sometime disturbing series of portraits elucidating the principles of military defeat. Anyone who has ever been in the military should be able to relate.

Dennis said...

Hey DrDad, great to see you. Stop in more often.

Mainiac, I meant to comment on your bike. That's a serious piece of hardware; do you do a lot of roadwork?

Gunghy, the pictures are consistently excellent. Nice photography.

BarryG, have a great time - I know you've been looking forward to this trip for quite a while; enjoy every minute of it.

DougP, JohnDopp, thanks for stopping by; always much appreciated.

Jeannie, thanks. Had me drooling just reading it. Or maybe it's age...

Between the pictures of Gunghy's trip and the talk of chili dogs, I've gotten the itch to run down to Atlanta for (IMO) the very best chili dogs extant. Just gotta work out some quick logistics and I'm off.
By the way, the place is The Varsity, the world's largest (multi-level)drive-in restaurant, and one of my haunts during my school years in Atlanta.

daffy dill said...

Medium hard puzzle today. I confidently entered several on the first pass that subsequently proved wrong: "rbi" instead of AVG, nets instead of BIBS, etc. Every seafood restaurant I've ever been to has nets hanging from the walls or ceilings.

My spelling tripped me up in a few places, too. I had "Rubic" instead of RUBIK and "conkout" for ZONKOUT.

CONESTOGA was in Tuesday's puzzle in practically the same position - 10D instead of 11D. Hmmm - I wonder if the constructors are channeling one another!

If I asked for an ECLAIR at a bakery, I would be expecting the long one with custard filling and chocolate icing, not a cream puff. I'd opt for a napoleon, though.

Jeannie, your lasagna recipe looks wonderful.

More great pictures, Gunghy!

Doug P. said...

@Lemonade -

John & I chat online about puzzles quite often, so the collaboration came about very naturally. I'm sure we'll work together on another one of these days.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Al - great job, as always. No chemistry comment on IONIC? RAW EGGS don't SIT WELL because of the salmonella risk.

Unlike most of you, I found today's puzzle quite challenging. In fact, I knew it was going to be rough when DOWNS was an across fill. Wanted WHISPY to have an haitch in it. Loved inside info for X-RAYS!

Fun theme, and lots of great fill. Nice ARIAL - ARIE echo. KAMA - UMA? That's just wishful thinking. UMA is not a classic beauty, but could fall down a mountain side through a bramble bush into a cesspool, and come out looking hot.

vidwan -
though I still don't understand why female actresses have to be photo'ed so skimpily dressed ... do they have no other assets ?

Of course they do. Why do you ask?

Why the focus on ECLAIRS when there is perfectly good BOK CHOY available?

Back in '01, the LW and I took a New England vacation trip, pretty much on a whim, and had a great time IN R.I. We were hanging out in seafood restaurants.

Final park concert of the season tonight. Last two were rained out. This week, the rain came on Wed. Beautiful today - sunny, and not too hot.

Nice to hear from Doug and John. Along with Mao, Tao, and Rao, another one of my former colleagues was named Doug Peterson.

Small world. IMBO.


Anonymous said...

Good afternoon, all.

Yes, the Naples News also had prit-a-porter, Kazie.

Missed the theme, as usual, so I didn't do very well. Thank heavens for this blog, Al, and Gunghy's pix.


Chickie said...

Hello All--A somewhat challenging puzzle for me today, but it was my own fault. I put in Not Me/for Who me, RBI and Nets so the NW passage was a no go for quite some time. I just knew that those answers were correct!

Our local seafood restaurant has nets and big fish hanging about.

Al, nice blogging. I enjoyed the links today.

I did get the theme with Cricket Catch being the first to fall. My favorites today were Inside information/Xrays, and Sheepish/Ovine (Once I finally got it!)

Carol, I'm with you as I have never called our Filbert shrub a hazel. I had to look this up on Google after I finished the puzzle to make sure I was correct. It is commonly called a Hazel. Who knew?

Thanks for stopping by Doug and John. I'm looking forward to more of your CW's.

dodo said...

Hello, all.

Pretty easy for a Thursday! I was all set for a struggle, so was pleasantly surprised!

I got 'SpellingBee' early on, and knew it would have to be a theme entry. When 'competition for entomolists' became 'cricket match' I was sure the theme would be about insects! What a surprise to see 'steeplechase' appear! Just can't count on anything!

But it all fell into place pretty easily. I first put in RBI, because I don't know any other stats, but the other entries took care of that fast. Don't know why, but I kept thinking 'rebus' instead of 'rubik' , but knew it had to be wrong. Again, the other fills took care of that section.
Lots of fun!

Kazie, my paper has 'pret a port', surprisingly. Isn't the blog printed in Arial? Looks like it to me. I use it a lot, but I don't do briefs or any other serious entries. If I'm doing a poster or card for fun, I like to experiment with some of the fancier fonts. Have to be careful, tho, if you want it readable.

Dennis, I'm checking Snopes re: the Andy Garcia news. Not that I doubt you; it's just strange!

As for eclairs, where I eat, eclairs are always filled with whipped cream, (Or possibly a substitute) so I never order them. I much prefer custard and I think originally that was the standard for both goodies. Otherwise why 'cream puff poisoning'?

And Jeannie, again I copied your recipe, though if I cook at all, it's just for one, so I may just hand it over to my s-i-l who is now the chef in the family!

I'm anxious to hear about our fragile members: Lois, Vettedoe,
and your friend Jen, Jeannie. good wishes for all of them; seems as tho there was someone else?

Great writeup, Al, as usual and Gunghy, nice pix. Thank you both.

A bientot.

dodo said...

WELL! There was a message saying, 'sorry, we were not able to print your comment'! And it was loooong. Must have been boring.

Al said...

Re: Hazelnuts/Filberts, has no one ever heard of Nutella or Ferraro Rocher?

dodo said...

Well, that was an adventure! Google almost had me a nonentity!

I think all is well, now! Dennis, it wasn't you, upset with me for doubting you, I hope?

Anyway, Speaking of adventures, I should mention to you all that Lucina and her friends will be coming to lunch with me tomorrow! ! I gave her my number and she phoned yesterday. I'm really excited about meeting her!

We owe it all to you, C.C. Thanks!

Dennis said...

Dodo, lol, no, wasn't I. And the Andy Garcia story is true; what I left out in the interest of good taste was that the cojoined twin was no bigger than a softball,and was surgically removed.

Jazzbumpa said...

Speaking of the Northwest Passage . . .

Real life - not always easy.


A Dog lover said...


Is the dog/puppy in your avatar, a Golden Retriever, a yellow Lab or a Pug ?

Chickie said...

Dog Lover @3:16, The puppy is a yellow lab. My daughter has a kennel and breeds a couple of litters a year. She has a number of champions in the line and this particular pup was with us at Christmas. the daughter holding this pup had just lost their 13 year old lab, but her sister wasn't about to gift this one to her! Thanks for asking.

Dodo, What a great lunch everyone will have. It is exciting to meet others on the blog. JD, Wolfmom, CA, Carol and I can all attest to that. We got the nickname of the Calif. Coven. But we didn't have a spelling bee, we had a gab fest superb! Or do Coven's cackle?

camille said...

Heloo all,

here's 10 answers for the "NOT A GOOD SHOT"

Duck hook " golf shot "
Misfired. " gun shot "
All but air " basketball shot "
Bad photo. "pic shot "
Badly hit. " any shot "
Foul play. " error shot "
Foggy pic " pic shot "
Misaimed " gun shot "
Miss wide. " football shot "
Half dram. " scotch shot " not a good shot for sure !!

Pick " one in ten " of the above and that would make more sense , sorry!

Anonymous said...

My L.A. Times had prit-a-porter also.


kazie said...

I changed my avatar to show London's Tower Bridge opening to welcome Barry G.

What a treat to hear from both Doug and John. We are honored that so many constructors visit us.

Your lasagna recipe does sound delicious. What did you decide about your basil?

Hahtool said...

JD: Thanks for letting me know about "Pillars". We do not have Starz, but am sure it will be available to rent soon. I'll keep my eye open. Is the miniseries true to the book?

Gungh: I have been meaning to tell you that I am enjoying your photos.

DoDo: Enjoy your lunch with Lucina. I am sending you both big hugs and wish I could join you.

Annette said...

I’d just bought some éclairs yesterday… Um, you may have been kidding Al, but I did just finish a PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon beer) before eating the éclair. What can I say, it was a rough afternoon, and I needed comfort food! BTW, the éclair contained custard.

Dennis, interesting “Do you knows…” today.

Don and John, a very nice, enjoyable puzzle today! Thanks for stopping by too.

Now I'm trying to decide whether to stop for lasagna on the way home, or not...

Anonymous said...

From all the discussion and what I read on Wiki,

1. All Filberts are Hazelnuts.
2. All Hazelnuts are NOT Filberts.
3. All Hazelnuts are edible.

So I, who have been consuming 'mixed nuts', by the nut-case, over the past umpteen years, have been noshing on hazelnuts which may not have been filberts. ( what I was led to believe ) I want my money back.

Warren said...

Hi Gang, great write up Al,

It was my wife's birthday today so we did the puzzle together (me online and she in pencil). I think we finished it in 15 minutes or so... We just got back from visiting the San Jose Happy Hollow Zoo.

Jeannie: thanks for the Lasagna recipe, I printed it out and I'll let you know how it goes when we get time to make it.


dodo said...

Al! Ferraro Rocher ...yummmmmm. Even better than eclairs! I dare not keep them in the house!

Dennis, What a strange birth! But better that than fully grown twins that can't be separated or having to lose one and decided which! What an experience for a mother! This is what makes us count our blessings!

Hahtool, I'll remember to tell Lucina, and Chickie, I'd heard about the coven and hope you'll do it again! Should Lucy and I call ourselves Coven II?

carol said...

Chickie, who knew that the Filbert tree is also a shrub...that surprises me. We have lots of Filbert orchards in this area. The trees are about the same size as apple trees.

Anon: 5:44 - Good one, LOL

Al, I've heard of Nutella (the peanut butter-like stuff) - never tried it. Also heard of the Ferraro Rocher candy, never tried that either. Reason, I do not like Filberts (Hazelnuts). My thing was I had not heard of either one growing on BUSHES...just on trees.

Jerome said...

Wonderful theme, but this puzzle's fill is dynamite! Some of the best I've seen!

Congrats guys. And for a constructor, a debut is a hell of a high. Keep up this kind of work John and the editors will be bangin' on your door.

Tinbeni said...

If I poured a Half dram. "scotch shot" not a good shot for sure !!
It would probably look the same as my regular dram.

Your "technical" explanation of a dram yesterday was correct.
I remember watching the bartender at my favorite Zagreb Watering Hole carefully measure out 30cc each time I ordered a Scotch.
But like Argyle said it is "A pour. The amount is determined only by the generosity of the pourer."
There is something about a "three seconds" rule at Villa Incognito.
And I pronounce:
"One Mississippi, Two Mississippi ..." real slow.

Vidwan said...


After Argyle's link, yesterday, to 'Doch an Doris' ... Sir Henry Lauder ... I realize I have a long awa to gae to learn about scotch measures...

As a former chemical engineer, I always compare drinks, by Dollars per pure Ethanol ounce. And, based on those numbers, Scotch is quite expensive, compared to the vodkas, gins and what have you. At home, I have always stocked up on scotch, honestly, for bragging rights, amongst my guests and peers.

I have been informed, that a subsidiary of Sumitomo chemicals, whose chemists have synthesized the mega-molecule(s) to perfectly copy (and smell like) , ... Sandalwood Oil, have now set their sights on the chemicals that comprise the aging of scotch... and in another 5 years, we may see synthesized scotch ... 20 yr old scotch, produced in 4 months. My question is... what then can we offer our guests to suitably awe them ?

Bill G. said...

Doppler Schiff! That was the first thing I noticed about this puzzle. I enjoyed it!

Synthesized single malt. Who could have imagined? How about an inexpensive synthesized Jack Daniels? We toured their distillery. It turns out that after prohibition, they turned out a cheaper version of Jack Daniels. It had only been aged a year or two in order to get it to market quickly. They still make it but aren't very proud of it. You can only buy it in a small area in Tennessee.

I just came across some reruns of Boston Legal. What a great series that was. Interesting, well-acted, humorous, warm and always intelligent. One of my favorite shows ever. David E. Kelley also did Picket Fences, another favorite from years back.

GarlicGal said...

Happy Thursday All! My two cents on the lasagna recipe. Try using fresh won ton skins in place of the usual dried pasta. Won tons are FRESH pasta, only square! Layer the same as any cooked noodle. You will be surprised how much lighter your lasagna will be. I also make a bechamel (sp?)sauce to go between the layers, along with the meat sauce and mozzarella.
Oh yeah, the puzzle was a challenge today...but now I'm thinking about lasagna!

camille said...

Tinbeni,,I'd love to be served your kind of dram of scotch at my local bar,, 3 of those ,, and am done

Vidwan,, how bout a one year old synthesized Chivas ??!!!

MJ said...

Good evening folks.

When I see Doug Peterson's name on a puzzle, I shudder a bit, as he creates wonderful Saturday Stumpers for Newsday (Stan Newman), and most of them do stump me. But I was able to do this puzzle without help, which was a good feeling. Yeah!

Favorite clue/fill: Inside information?/XRAYS.

Al-At first I was confused by 42D: Playbook symbols? Thank you for the explanation. And thank you for the latin translation of INRI. I always nail that one when doing a crossword, but had no idea what it meant. Great blogging today!

Warren-I appreciate very much that you and Ruth solve together. Happy birthday to her!

Night all!

Vidwan said...

Camille and Tinbeni: Since this is probably one of the last posts for the day, for this blog, ... and I'm off to some serious work tomorrow....I am going to risk and explain the synthesis of scotch...

Scotch is malt alcohol, and the aging is done by storing it in used ( yes, USED, ... imported from the Bourbon distilleries in USA !)oak, suitably smoked, barrels. This is supposed to take 10, 15 or 20 years. During this time, the scotch absorbs, adsorbs, diffuses and through osmosis ... 'picks up', its flavor and fragrance, of flavinoids and alkaloids and esters of the oak wood.

To hurry up the process, the same liquid is riled, roiled, mixed, eddied and churned through a set of columns filled with shavings of the same smoked oak barrels ... so it 'picks up' the flavor and fragrance in a much shorter time... so to say, use engineering and technology to push the natural process along. Thus ( to give a VERY simplified ) example ... we get 20 year scotch or Chevas Regals, or what have you, in 4 months.... or 40 year scotch in 8 months... ( Some kinks in the process have yet to be worked out ...)

Annette said...

Warren, please pass a very Happy Birthday along to your wife! I love hearing how you solve the puzzle together every day. Romance and intimacy come in many packages, and this seems like an incredible example to me...

Bill G. said...

Aren't there a couple of other things important in the flavor of single-malt? It seems to be, one would be the water in the area where the single-malt is made. Another would be the peat that is used in the cooking process. And somehow, the aging that takes years mellows the flavor. I don't see how all of that classic process could be easily synthesized to more quickly produce whiskey of the same quality.

Jazzbumpa said...

For Scotch from the Isle of Islay (pronounced eye-la) the water that is used flows through peat fields. So it's basically peat-flavored tea, before anything else happens. (He said, with a snifter of Lagavulin at his elbow.)

I am quite convinced that there will never be an acceptable synthetic substitute for good scotch - some ersatz for cheap bar scotch, maybe - but even that would surprise me. A lot!

Chemical analysis of all whiskey is very similar. It is a complex product with hundreds of different compounds in varying ratios.

I strongly suspect that the synthesis, were it even possible, would be far more expensive than current commercial processes.

I'm skeptical of engineered acceleration, as well. When you change one thing by design, you change others that you aren't counting on. Roiling and churning will certainly cause aeration, which will cause oxidation, which will muck up everything.

Distilleries are in no danger from that direction.

JzB the Scotch appreciating trombonist

Gunghy said...

Just got home. Real struggle, take every error mentioned and add a few and I made them. Did no one else come up with CROSS for 65A?
Windhover, I said I STILL THINK I can do what I did at 20, not that I can. Yes, Based on the picture, I'd like to try, too.
Thanks again all for the kind comments.

JD said...

Dodo, you would become part of our coven. Someday it will happen :-)

Garlic gal, won ton skins...great idea!How was the festival?

Gunghy, another wonderful travel log. Thanks for sharing.

Hahtool, I have not watched the 1st taped episode yet.

John and Doug, so nice of you both to drop by.

Crockett1947 said...

Jeannie, how much ricotta?

Chickie said...

Dodo, Coven II is good. Maybe we can join the two someday.

Glenmorangie Single Malt was made in the town where my Scottish friend's husband was born and raised. My friend was raised on Islay. They were a blend of two scotch families in more ways than one!

We visited in 1976 and one of the first things we did was drink a toast with Glenmorangie.

windhover said...

Synthesizing aged whiskey? That is just wrong. Wrong, I say. We are truly living in the end times.

Bill G. said...

I'm an OBAN fan myself. I tried Laphroaig when I was in England. It was like drinking whiskey strained through an old burnt sock. Still OK though...