Aug 12, 2010

Thursday August 12, 2010 Bruce Venzke

Theme: Self-centerdness or INNER SELF (65A. A synonym for it is hidden in 17-, 24-, 40- and 52-Across) - The word EGO is found somewhere in the middle of all the theme answers and is consistently broken between the E and the G. A minor inconsistency is that one answer has three words instead of two, but since "THE" doesn't really count in book titles, we'll just overlook that, right?

17A. "Good job!": NICE GOING.

24A. Hughes Aircraft prototype: SPRUCE GOOSE.

40A. Sermonize: PREACH THE GOSPEL.

52A. Game with discs and baskets: FRISBEE GOLF. Also called FOLF.

Al here.

Definitely a Thursday step-up in difficulty for me, I had to keep going back and forth chipping away at words a letter at a time in places, but it finally fell with no help other than the perps.


1. Eponymous salad creator: COBB. Named for the owner of the restaurant it was created, Robert Howard Cobb, first cousin of baseball legend Ty Cobb.

5. "Man Plus" author Frederik: POHL. A Sci Fi novel about remotely inhabiting specially created bodies to exist on a planet which is not capable of sustaining human life. Sounds suspiciously like part of the plot of Avatar...

9. Moral fiber: SPINE. Grow a backbone!

14. Its juice is sometimes used to treat heartburn: ALOE. Interesting thing to know...

15. Award for "Rent": OBIE. Off Broadway theatre awards, the "ie" was probably added to make them sound like Emmy, Grammy, I'm guessing. Or perhaps just O. B. with the "b" spelled out differently than a crossword answer.

16. John of Middlesex: ELTON. Middlesex, England, origin from "middle Saxtons". Sir Elton Hercules John, (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight).

19. Colorful stable residents: ROANS.

20. Major malfunction: SNAFU. Situation Normal, All Fouled Up. JANFU is Joint Army-Navy Foul Up. FUBAR is Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition. The process of substituting foul for a different four-letter word is called bowdlerization or expurgation, named after Thomas Bowlder, who "cleaned up" Shakespeare to be more "fit" for women and children.

21. Certain analyst's input: DATA. A data analyst sorts, organizes, sifts through numbers looking for correlations or interesting anomalies on which to base business decisions. For example, did a coupon significantly increase sales?

23. Gymnast Mary __ Retton: LOU. First female gymnast outside of Eastern Europe to win the Olympic all-around title.

28. Moscow ballet theater: BOLSHOI.

32. Cheerleader's offering: YELL.

33. Psych finish: OTIC. Added suffix: psychotic. From Gk. psykhe "the soul, mind, spirit, breath, life, the invisible animating principle or entity which occupies and directs the physical body" (personified as Psykhe, the lover of Eros)

34. Kin of a 911 call: SOS. It later became a "bacronym" associated with "save our ship" or "save our souls". It initially (pun?) didn't actually have any meaning other than to simply be three easy recognizable letters in Morse Code, consisting of three dots, three dashes and then three dots.

36. Objects of look-ups?: IDOLS. Lots of google searches for famous people. And 44A. Judge of many 36-Across: PAULA. Abdul. Left the show last season, and this season it looks like Randy will be the only original judge returning. Did anyone see the shark jumping?

45. Bauxite, e.g.: ORE. For Aluminum (or Aluminium outside of the US).

46. BMW competitor: AUDI. Now owned by Volkswagon, the company name is based on the surname of the founder August Horch, meaning listen — which, when translated back into Latin, becomes Audi.

47. "At Wit's End" author Bombeck: ERMA.

50. Persistently chews on: GNAWS AT.

56. Roulette choice: RED. Roulette is French for "little wheel". Red is one type of bet.

57. Legal letter phrase: IN RE. In the matter of.

58. Travel guide: ATLAS.

63. Veggie bin staple: ONION. And 72A. Kin of 63-Across: LEEK.

68. Wrap: STOLE. From Latin stola "robe, vestment," such as might have been worn by the clergy.

69. Inland Asian sea: ARAL.

70. Response to a shock: GASP.

71. Abominations: HATES. I probably wouldn't title a list of my dislikes as "hates", but for puzzles later in the week, they do try to make the clues more obscure.

73. Walked heavily: TROD.


1. Preserves, in a way: CANS.

2. "Chocolat" actress: OLIN. Lena.

3. City near West Palm: BOCA. I'm guessing at West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, Florida..

4. Gripe: BEEF. Origin unclear, possibly US Soldiers complaints about quality or quantity of meat rations..

5. Nanki-__, son of the Mikado: POO. and 6D. "The Mikado" accessory: OBI. The Mikado is the Emperor of Japan. Nanki-Poo desires Yum Yum, who is engaged to Ko Ko, the Lord High Executioner (but created in a comic sense). Hilarity and song ensues.

7. Veda devotee: HINDU. The vedas are Hindu texts composed in Vedic Sanskrit.

8. Bequest: LEGACY.

9. Title setting for a Mozart abduction: SERAGLIO. The sequestered living quarters used by wives and concubines in a Turkish household. The Mozart Opera.

10. West Bank initials: PLO. Palestine Liberation Organization.

11. "Mr. Palomar" writer Calvino: ITALO. Total blank to me, Got it all from perps. Apparently the last novel he wrote.

12. Things to avoid: NO-NOS. Unless you're five. Then those are the things you head straight for.

13. Occur next: ENSUE. From L. insequi "to pursue". Related word: sequel.

18. Flow copiously: GUSH.

22. Place to start a round: TEE. Round of golf. The tee is the grassy area where the tee is placed.

25. Ritzy: POSH.

26. Very funny person: RIOT.

27. "Too many cooks ...," e.g.: OLD SAW. ...spoil the broth. But "Many hands make the work light."

28. 1995 comet spotter Thomas: BOPP. As Comet Hale-Bopp reached its brightest point, after Thomas photographed the comet, his brother and sister-in-law were killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. "This has been the best week of my life. And the worst," he said.

29. Other, in Madrid: OTRA.

30. Substitution word: LIEU. In lieu of. Old French for "place", so in place of.

31. Fish features: SCALES.

35. Movie station letters: SHO. Showtime.

37. "Mr. Holland's __": OPUS. Richard Dreyfus as a musician, winds up as a teacher for 30 years and wonders what he has actually accomplished. His Opus, of course, turns out to be all the pupils he has positively affected all those years, not the music he had been trying to finish.

38. Castor's mother: LEDA. Lots of variation in the mythology for this family, but this is the only consistent relationship. Sometimes Zeus is the father, sometimes Tyndareus. Pollux is sometimes Castor's twin, and sometimes his half-brother.

39. Letter opening?: SLIT.

41. Musket relatives: CARBINES. Shorter barrels...

42. "This being the case ...": ERGO. Latin "therefore," possibly from *ex rogo" from the direction," from ex "out of" + root of regere "to guide". Related words: regal and right.

43. DDE, for one: GENL. Eisenhower, general

48. Chess pieces: MEN.

49. Passé reception aid: AERIAL. A shortening of "aerial antenna".

51. Not at hand, to say the least: AFAR.

52. College newbie: FROSH. Freshman.

53. __-Wreck: RENT-A. Used cars re-purposed for economy rentals.

54. Fool: IDIOT. Baka in Japanese. Depending on inflection and suffix, baka can range in meaning anywhere from a mild and friendly "you big dummy" to bastard or a**hole or even worse. I'm told there are no actual curse-words in Japanese per se, it's all done in the emphasis or impolite manner that it is presented.

55. Category: GENRE. Old French for "sort" or "type". Related word: gender

59. USAF noncom: T-SGT. Technical Sergeant or E-6 rank in the Air Force. Falls between Staff and Master Sergeants.

60. A jet or a king: LEAR.

61. "Wait, there's more ...": ALSO.

62. Calif. group with a seven-point badge: SFPD. San Fransisco Police Department.

64. Flamenco cheer: OLE.

66. "In your dreams!" in Dundee: NAE. No in Scotland.

67. Big game animal: ELK. I was expecting something from Africa...

Answer Grid



Hahtool said...

Good Morning, everyone. I don't usually do well with Bruce Venzke puzzles, but this was an exception. I flew through this one without any outside help. I needed to complete INNER SELF, however, to find the hidden EGO in the other theme clues.

Mozart is one of my favorite composers. I had an opportunity to see Houston Opera perform the The Abduction at the Seraglio a couple of years ago.

I don't think of ELKs as being big game animals. I wanted Gnu. Ah, well.

We had STOLE earlier this week.

QOD: Don't try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night. ~ Philip K. Dick

Hahtool said...

Houston, we have a problem! My comments have disappeared! Too bad. This was one Bruce Venzke puzzle that I could solve without any outside help. I guess it's just my hidden ego that will prevent me from bragging on that fact.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Nice puzzle today. No major missteps for a change -- just a slow and steady slog from beginning to end.

Anonymous said...

Blogger problem again?

Lemonade714 said...

Good morning:

Al, you keep raising the bar on blogging; the puzzle was fine but your write up is a treasure.

C. C. said...

Try to repost your first comment. Must be blitch. Crockett lost his Monday comment, yet it was there when I read this morning.

Dick said...

Good morning all, a very, very slow slog this morning. I finally managed to get most of the puzzle except for the north central. I had a total wipe out there!

It is nice to get back after a fun week in Bandon, Oregon. While there we met Carol and Joe for the second time and also Judy and Bob for the first time. What very nice people they all are and we had a great time. We are looking forward to seeing them again.

It looks like there are a lot of newbie’s so hello to all of them. Come along and enjoy this site.

Hope you all have a great Thursday.

Barry G. said...

I couldn't see Hahtool's original comment when I posted my comment earlier, but I can see it now...

Dick said...

Barry G, I just read yesterday's blog and found you pics. Great family and the little guy looks like he is having so much fun. Glad you finally got your trip to London.

HeartRx said...

Good morning Al et al.

Al, I chipped away at this one too. 5a “POHL” and 5d “POO” left a gap for a while. And in the end I confess I had to resort to the g spot to get those two. Other than that, all fell with perps. So I am a happy camper for a Thursday Bruce Venzke puzzle. (I wonder if his name ever shows up in crosswords? Nice Scrabbl-y name, don’t ya think??)

I loved the reference to the SPRUCE GOOSE . It actually flew only 1 mile, at a whopping elevation of 75 feet! The real name was the “H-4 Hercules”. It had a wingspan of 320 feet (which is 20 feet longer than a football field). It had enough cargo space to carry two railroad boxcars, powered by eight massive engines with 17-foot propellers, weighed 300,000 pounds and was made of wood. They make toy gliders out of wood, not real aircraft. But because of wartime shortages, they had to make minimal use of strategic materials like metal. Henry Kaiser actually thought of the idea, but soon joined up with Hughes and they landed a government contract, despite opposition. Of course. Here’s a clip of this (in)famous flight.

Anonymous said...

What did the caveman say when he found a chipped flint ?

Hah ...(a) tool !

Atleast, it was not a kelev.

Mainiac said...

Good Morning Al, CC and All,

Lots of red letters needed for this one. I'm also fighting the pine needles which are falling in our campsite. We went to southern Maine for water parks and Funtown this year rather then heading north. Lots of people down here.

Biggest problem was in the top half. Seraglio and Pohl were unknowns and I groaned when Elton filled in. Duh! Brains on vaca too.

Struggling to keep up with the boys! Has anyone ever ridden a water ride called the "Taco"? What a rush! I'm still adjusting the wedgie it gave me. Gotta run.

Great write up Al!

Dennis said...

Good morning, Al, C.C. and gang - unlike yesterday, I had a pretty smooth run with this one, in spite of not getting the theme until the unifier.

I enjoyed seeing our old friend, 'SNAFU' as well as one of my favorite destinations, 'Boca'. I also liked the crossing of 'obi' and 'obie'; nicely done. Needed perp help to get Frederik Pohl, but other than that, a fairly quick solve which was surprising, given the condition of my head.

Had my first (4) chili dogs last night when we finally got into Atlanta, and it made the whole drive worthwhile. It's, of course, as much about the memories as the food; the Varsity is pretty much where most dates ended up, or where the guys would hang out, wishing they had dates. (The chili is beanless, which was certainly a plus later in the evening.)

Al, superb write-up; I love learning word origins.

Today is Middle Child's Day. Hope it's a great day for everyone.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Nice write-up, Al.
Barry G - enjoyed seeing the photos. Thanks for sharing.

Good Thursday puzzle. About 3 passes and a little back-and-forth got 'er done. No searches needed. BOPP was a gimme; we've had it recently. WAGs included STOLE, BOCA, COBB, LEDA, and POHL which helped get POO. Liked the clue for ELTON. The 'ego' theme actually helped me get NICEGOING at 17a.

LEEK - Love leek soup, one of our winter staples.

Enjoy 'Thunderday'

Anonymous said...

Hey there, my name is Jim. I am an avid crossword solver from Philadelphia and have thoroughly enjoyed your blog for some time now. It has accelerated my crossword skills and has been an insightful daily ritual. I subscribe to the Philadelphia Inquirer which was carrying the LA Times crossword puzzles until recently. They have switched to a previous constructor named Wayne Robert Williams, supposedly due to complaints about the LA Times puzzles being too difficult.

While I enjoy Mr. Williams' puzzles, I prefer the olio of constructors the Times serves up day to day. The Inquirer uses Mr. Williams' puzzles everyday. I have not been able to find a blog for the Williams puzzles similar to yours. Do you know of any? His site at offers the daily solution but in the user-unfriendly PDF format and minus the humorous, informative comments of Crossword Corner. Alas, I may have to resort to printing out the Times puzzles which is better than total loss, but not as fun as diligently folding my daily paper while sipping my morning coffee.

Anyway, I wish to extend my gratitude to you for enriching my life and fostering a deep appreciation for an activity I hope to continue to progress in throughout my life, or at least until I can complete the Sunday New York Times puzzle!


Bob said...

Missed 1A and put BIBB instead of COBB. I knew I had a problem there but didn't sort it out. Everything else worked out OK. 18 minutes.

Argyle said...

Philadelphia Jim, Hi.

I did blog Williams for awhile...but I was wearing out my "S" key, not to mention: "-ER", "RE-", "-ED".

I gave up on it.

Dennis said...

Jim, welcome to the group.

I just found out from C.C. about the Inquirer switch - I'm from Medford Lakes, NJ but on vacation in Atlanta - and it really sucks. Wayne Williams puzzles can best be described as vapid, and you're right, the olio of constructors in the LAT provides much-needed diversity.

What part of Philly are you from?

Husker Gary said...

With apologies to Richard III, "A letter, a letter, my kingdom for a letter!" My only empty cell was the P in Pohl and Poo. That top middle fell grudgingly but finally. No idea on ITALO but perps got it.

At least the EN word in this puzzle was familiar.

ELTON John was a late comer too as I was not being very contempoary but got that "crosswordy" feeling when it succumbed.

I have never seen GENL for general and I think George Costanza played FROLF.

SPRUCE GOOSE was a welcome gimme to get a substantial toehold.

Could someone please tell me what a wag and a "g spot" are. I assume the latter is less erogenous that I might have thought and only part of the lexicon of this site!

Dennis said...

Husker Gary, a 'wag' is a wild-assed guess, and the g-spot is Google.

kazie said...

This was a wipeout for me. As usual with so many names, I refused to Google everything.

I wondered about SNAFU not being indicated as abbreviated, or are acronyms words now?

Didn't have COBB,(crab) which I have never seen/heard of, missed OLIN, BOCA, POHL, elTon (thought it must be a historical character I didn't know), HinDu, LegAcY, DATa (idea), YEll (call), PAUla, GolF (polo), aFAR (away/awol?), ATLaS (I never take my atlas on trips!), SFPd, aerIAl (Still can't quite picture an aerial at a reception. Would never have got TSGt, gave up on LEAr and INneRSElF.

Not a pretty sight!

Sorry to hear about your dog.

gGerry said...

Good Morning All,
Couldn't get much till I reached the SW corner, then was able to work my way up, only stalling in NCentral. 'Obi' flashed behind my brain, but --lacking confidence-- I failed to seize it.

Picking up yesterday's discussion of less common foods enjoyed... Grew up with lots of soups: oxtail is favorite, enjoy borscht now & again, once tried duck blood soup but I guess that's an acquired taste. Beef tongue ranks highly, sometimes with an orange sauce. Occasionally heart or kidney. Once enjoyed raw lamb (kibbee naim?) at a Lebanese restaurant. And Limberger cheese is a treat -- my mom told the story that her dad liked it, but because it stank so badly, grandma made him keep it in a back room (during the winter I hope!). From the deli counter, headcheese & bloodtongue are impossible to beat (though my friends say these are "impossible to eat"). I wish I had the opportunity to try grubs & other insects when I was overseas; now, I'm not so ambitious.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone!

Al, a masterful write-up.

Hahtool, I think the "big" refers to the size of the critter -- those babies are fairly impressive in stature.

BarryG, nice selection of photographs. Looks like a fine time was had by all.

Ah, another glitchy day on the blogger site. So much fun!

Mainiac, sounds like you're having a marvelous time. Enjoy!

Dennis, so glad you got your dogs! Hurray for the middle kids! (Does two out of four or two out of six qualify?)

Jim, welcome to the comments. There are some of us who get the Williams puzzle in our papers, and we solve them daily, but there isn't a blog available to my knowledge. It's a serious time commitment, and we are so grateful to C.C. for what she's been able to construct for us here!

Happy Friday eve.

gGerry said...

Perhaps You caught this, though your comment seems to say otherwise-- It's not an aerial AT a reception, it's using an aerial to get good reception of the radio/TV signal (before the days of cable).

kazie said...

I would disagree--you are very ambitious! I am one who would agree with your friends--most of those things sound inedible to me!

I do have a cheese story though. The first year DH and I were living in Sydney, 1972, one of his friends here sent us a gift cheese package from Figi's. Apparently whoever packed it didn't realize how far it had to go. Anyway, when it arrived, we had already moved to a different apartment. One of our former neighbors decided to hold it for us until we came back to check if anything had come after our departure. (I can't remember the arrangement with the post office, or if we had bothered, in our youthful insouciance, to do anything). When we finally did go back, she said it had begun to emit a strange smell, but she thought she should hang onto it anyway. Well, you can imagine, it was totally molded and we had to throw it out.

Tinbeni said...

AL, Very informative write-up.

Searched out the theme reveal, INNER SELF (ego), which along with my Psych's OTIC feature made this a fun run.

OK, a 15 letter phrase "preach thE GOspel" seems like a lot of work to hide a tiny payoff.

Never heard of POHL or Mozart's SERAGLIO, all perps.
POO, and everything Mikado, I learned from crosswords.
The PAULA reference to being an IDOLS judge is "way outdated" since she left the show over a year ago. The clue is in the present tense. Small SNAFU.

Liked the OBI/OBIE cross.
A COBB salad for lunch sounds nice.
ALOE I only use on sunburns, for heartburns I'll stick with my old home remedy ... more Scotch.

All-in-all, this is shaping up as the best LAT week ever.

Jim & Dennis: My St.Pete.Times has both the LAT and WRW's. I almost never do the Williams since he is the constructor and editor. They became redundant very quickly.

kazie said...

Thanks for the explanation. I don't think my brain is firing on all cylinders today.

Anonymous said...

Middlesex is the name of an epic, Pulitzer prize winning, bestseller, tour-de-force, novel ( fiction ) by Jeffery Eugenides.(2002).

It is about Greek Americans - immigrant life and in particular, about a hermaphrodite ( mixed gender chromosomes ) feelings, reactions and behavior.

None of the main characters or the novelist is named ' John', so I had to start thinking about Sir Elton.

gGerry said...

Nice London/family pics. I presume that pic of your son (collaged above the phone booth, and below the "forest people") is one of giant dung beetles. Did your son know what the big ball that he's helping those beetles roll was supposed to be??

Jeannie said...

This was a toughie for me today. You might as well read Kazie’s post. I had to hit the g-spot for Seraglio and Pohl (not a science fiction fan) and got lots of perp and red letter help with Otra, Bopp, and T-sgt. Does the term “old saw” meaning a saying? I also had “plod” for “trod” and that didn’t help matters. I also have trouble with chess pieces being men. Isn’t the queen a chess piece? Al, thanks for the very informative write up. Being a frequent sufferer from heartburn, I had never heard of using aloe. I will look into that.

BarryG, great pictures of your trip to London.

Mainiac, it sounds like you are having a great time with your family as well. I LOL at the wedgie reference.

Dennis, with how hot the weather has been up here, south is the last place I would travel at this time of year but maybe it’s nicer there than here. Savannah is a beautiful city. Did you get a chance to eat at Paula Deen’s restaurant “The Lady & Sons”? I understand the food is phenomenal.

It’s another steamer here in MN today. It’s supposed to break this weekend, at least that’s what I keep telling myself. Everyone enjoy your day.

Jerome said...

NICE GOING, Al. As always.

But, there is no inconsistency in the theme word count. It's perfectly symmetrical and balanced.

2 words
2 "
3 "
2 "
2 "

Anonymous said...

Hahtool - Not to bug you, or wake-you-up, but you did not just make up the QOD, as a tongue-in-cheek, did you ? The alleged author's name seems to be too suspiciously appropriate, pertinent and connived.

Tinbeni said...

Researched the heartburn thingy.

At google: "The juice from the ALOE Vera plant is another natural home remedy that is used to soothe an irritated esophagus. Although there isn’t any scientific evidence that it might help. Aloe vera juice has a long history of use in Europe as a natural home remedy to relieve heartburn."

I'm sticking with "more Scotch."
(It cure's all my ills)

Forgot to mention earlier, for that Roulette Bet (RED) I really wanted Black, was thinking "Double Zero's" (00's) ... ERGO, I lost!

Warren said...

Hi Al, C.C. & gang, I think we only finished ~25% of today's puzzle before my wife left for work. I finished it online in about the same time as yesterday's.

FYI, I finally found out how the Obie awards chose the name.

"A poet-cum-space-salesman named Harvey Jacobs supplied the name we were looking for: Obies. Obie Awards.

One day the phone rang. “This is Sam Zolotow of "The New York Times." What the hell does this ‘Obie’ stand for?’ I tried to explain. “You know, Mr. Zolotow. O-B, Off-Broadway.” He didn’t get it. The Times didn’t print a word. A year later, just before Obies No. 2, the phone rang. Zolotow again. “What the hell does this ‘Obie’ stand for?” A year still later, the phone again. “This is Sam Zolotow of "The New York Times" . . . ” That year The Times gave us four inches, if I remember right, at the bottom of a page..."

creature said...

Hello Al and everyone,

It was a letter at a time,{2}Diet Coke puzzle;perps-no look-ups;
needed 'inner self' for theme.

Favorite clue:23a-my name.

Next favorite clue: SPINE.

Al, a very pleasent write-up with lots of fun info.Thank you.
Favorite new info:Cobb salad info.
I'll definitely cite your write-up

Hatool-QOD-Easier said than done

Barry G.It was fun for me to see pictures of you asnd family highlighting london.

Dennis-I just delivered a 'Happy Middle Child's Day' wish.

HeartRx-You are filling up my favorites;your write up and link left me speechless.Thanks

This was an attention getting puzzle; enough to not feel let down after yesterday's magic;and it didn't invite comparison.

I'm off to get my Cobb salad.

carol said...

Hi all - can't believe I did a Thursday puzzle (well, almost). I had to have help with a lot of names, but managed to have fun. I usually don't do well with Bruce Venzke's puzzles.

Kazie, I'm with you, I have NEVER taken an atlas with me when traveling. Maps, yes. Now we have a GPS which drives me crazy but my hubby just loves it.

37D "Mr Holland's Opus" was filmed in Portland,Oregon at the high school I attended. Since we live close by, I saw the film trucks and crowds. Never got close enough to see the Richard Dryfuss or the others in it.

54D IDIOT reminded me of the computer 'catch phrase' ID 10 T
this is something the 'techies' say when they have a user with problems..usually someone who shouldn't have a computer. "The problem is an 'ID 10 T'
Dick - I told your LW about the above and she just hooted, she loved it and couldn't wait to get back to tell the 'geeks' she was onto their language. :)

Grumpy 1 said...

Good day, CC et al. This was definitely a Thursday level for me. I looked at the first several clues, decided I would be better off trying to back in so headed right down to my SE corner. Hey, I live in the SE corner of the US, so I feel comfortable there. I got lots of traction there, got the theme, and climbed back up toward the north.

Things went well until I got to the middle north. POHL was an unknown and OBIE just wasn't showing up. I had LEGACY, so I just started mentally putting in letter pairs in 7D until HINDU popped up. A similar exercise teased out the OBI/OBIE cross. That left me with a choice of P or K to get my final entry. My only reasoning was that Nanki-poo sounded familiar from somewhere but Nanki-koo rang no bells at all. I guess I would call it an educated wag (ewag?). I wasn't absolutely sure I was correct until I came here.

All-in-all, I was glad to get through this one without resorting to Google.

Fav clue was John of Middlesex. I was trying to find a link to a middle ages John in Merry Olde England until the perps pushed me back on track.

I thought the clue for PAULA was legitimate. The phrase "Judge of many", with "judge" as a noun, has no verb or tense so can refer to the present or the past.

Husker Gary said...

To celebrate Middle Child Day I fired off an email to a former colleague. She was a middle child on a team with 8 first-borns! She needed a verbal shoehorn to get into conversations as we all bloviated the time away. It was a running joke and she mostly just laughed at us!

John Lampkin said...

Hello Al and all, and congrats to Bruce for yet another notch in his cruciverbalist belt!

Regarding anonymous @ 8:28, Nancy Shack posted this on the Cruciverb constructor's thread. I'm sure she won't mind my passing it on:

This is an article from about Wayne Robert Williams once
again providing puzzles (Mon-Sat) for The Inquirer. (Merl still has
Sunday locked up.)


Best to all.

Hahtool said...

Dick - I like your new avatar.

Barry G - thanks for sharing your London pictures. It looks like you had a good time.

Sallie - if you check in today, kudos to your grandson for his Peace Corps assignment.

Anon @ 10:20 - Philip Kindred Dick was a sci fi writer. He died in 1982 at age 52.

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

As usual, a great write up, Al. Thanks.

Never heard of frisbee golf, so that last four letters were left empty. And didn't grok the reception aid until it was explained here. So, of course, didn't get the synonym for the theme, even though I did get all of those, except frisbee golf.

Finally linked your London pix, Garry G. and enjoyed them greatly. Thank you for posting them.


Anonymous said...

Hahtool- profuse apologies, mea culpa.

Anonymous said...

Hahtool, I don't have a grandson in the peace corps. So your congratulations should go to someone else. Nice thought, though.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Traction trouble, today. I was lucky that SPRUCE GOOSE gave me one solid toehold, because there wasn't much beyond that. "Disks & Baskets" led to TIDDLYWINKS. Yes, it has the right letter count. It didn't last long...I eventually got to FRISBEE HOOP, an error from which the EGO theme later saved me.

Kazie, I'm with you - I refuse to Goog proper nouns because it feels like cheating. Consequently there were piles of unknowns, such as POHL, OLIN, ITALO, and LEDA. Really struggled with the "lookups" clue for IDOLS.

All in all, a Friday-ish effort for me.

Have a nice day!

xtulmkr said...

My only setback was 15A, which I filled with TONY. This was both my first and last fill when I changed it to OBIE.

Knew ALOE is used to treat minor burns and skin abrasions but never heard of it being ingested for heartburn.

Anonymous said...

@John Lampkin - Thanks for the intriguing link about Mr. Williams.

ARBAON said...

FYI: Puzzle incomplete...the long fills are giving me the greatest problems but wanted to say that aloe juice in your (starchy ,dry or otherwise) beans (as they are cooked) stops the problem to which Dennis alluded.

Tinbenni: St. Pete Times carries three daily puzzles...but one is probably "beneath mention."

Barry G: Wonderful pix. Little guy is precious.

Tinbeni said...

Grumpy 1
I probably didn't write my comment clearly.

Since PAULA has left the show, over a year ago, she is no longer a "Judge of many 36-A (idols)."

She did, in fact, judge many of the earlier "IDOLS" so the clue/answer was a gimmie off the 'P' from our new buddy BOPP.

IMO, whether these "singers" are actually IDOLS is another story and up for debate.

John L
"What's an 8-letter clue for 'reinsated'?
ans. Williams.

Loser's: the Philly area LAT fans.

Can't remember how many times you, or some other constructor, said how much Rich Norris, as your editor, has made your puzzles better.
Plus, variety is the spice of life.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lampkin -

I read the link you so kindly provided, for the interview with Mr. Williams. Then I went ahead and looked at the rest of the page and clicked on 'Philly Nude bike ride' pics, 93 in all.

I don't want to say which was more fascinating.

Spitzboov said...

Tinbeni said: My St.Pete.Times has both the LAT and WRW's..

Hands up here. When we stayed in SW Florida last February we got the St. Pete Times daily. I did both the LAT and WRW puzzles each day. There is no question that there is a sameness to the latter while the former was usually bright, refreshing, and challenging in a way that one could not anticipate. I encourage Phila. Jim to go on line to get his daily LAT fix.

Husker Gary said...

I don't know if I am violating any protocol but participation in this blog made me want to start my own for my 2011 Florida trip. I can't get my site to look like this where the "Leave your comment" box appears next to the inputs. I want to solicit input from my kids, moderate the messages and then post them. Here is what I have now:

I would love to discuss this offline or on.

Lucina said...

Good day, ladies and gentlemen puzzlers.

Al, wonderful, informative blog.

Yowza! Bruce Venzke usually brings the tremors on me, but today I was completely on his wave length, in spite of all the proper names; COBB, BOPP, POHL, ITALO, PAULA, Mary LOU and ERMA whom we know, of course

They all fell in place with the help of the crosses. It has been an EGO trip!

One of my friends boils the pads of the aloe vera plant to make a tea and drinks it for many ailments. She swears by it.

Hand up for recalling Middlesex, the novel which my book club read last year, but ELTON John soon emerged throught he crosses.

Great job, Bruce!

Your post is visible.

My comments are frequently hijacked by Yahoo and it is very irritating. If anyone knows how to solve that problem, please, please tell me.

Have a beautiful Thursday!

Lucina said...

Welcome, Jim and all other newbies if I haven't yet mentioned you. It's a great ride.

Our newspaper, The Arizona Republic publishes two xwds a day, one themeless, no constructor given, easy and fun and of course, the LAT. On Sunday we also have the NYTimes which I love to do as well.

bestbird said...

I also took a WAG between K and P at pohl and poo, but I was wrong. Didn't catch the ego theme until I came here. Only had to erase one of my husband's answers. He had Tony instead of Obie.

@ Carol

Another techie code word is PEBKAC. Pronounced as it's written. Stands for Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair. Happens often here.

xtulmkr said...


The industrial giant that employed me had a facility consisting of six manufacturing buildings and was one mile (the length of the first flight of the Sprucegoose) from one end to the other. If one needed to visit another department there was a limousine to facilitate transportation from one building to another. The vehicle was painted a baby blue and was affectionately called the "Bluegoose". Sometime in the early seventies' it was deemed cost prohibitive and the Bluegoose along with the chauffeur was retired.

Barry G. said...

Nice London/family pics. I presume that pic of your son (collaged above the phone booth, and below the "forest people") is one of giant dung beetles. Did your son know what the big ball that he's helping those beetles roll was supposed to be?

Most definitely! He loves watching nature shows and has a large insect collection, so I just told him to pretend to be a dung beetle for the picture...

carol said...

Dick - forgot to mention that I like the new avatar...which kitty is this one?

Bestbird (1:24) Loved the PEBKAC - I will pass that along to my hubby who is the one who has to deal with all these users (abusers -LOL).

Marge said...

Hi all,
Found this puzzle hard but used my dictionary and got most of it.

First I would like to comment on a puzzle from last week. The circus museum in Sarasota is not the only well known Ringling connected museum. Here in Baraboo, Wi, we have the Circus World Museium. This is where the Ringling brothers grew up and also where they founded their circus. Circus World has circus acts all summer long, has many displays, has refurbished circus wagons, of which 15 were trucked out to Califorina a couple weeks ago to be in a movie. We are only about 10 miles from Wisconsin Dells which is a large tourist area.

Baraboo has several Ringlng homes still standing,one is now the Elks club.

Now to the puzzle. I was surprised about aloes for heartburn.I met a cobb salad a year or so ago and had to ask what it was, so now I know!

About the cheese- 53 years ago when I was driving with some friends from New Mexico, to get to Baraboo to get married, her car kept having terrible odors. I thought it was a new plastic duffle I had bought. When the owner of the car got back to N M she sent a letter saying it wasn't the duffle- someone had put Limburger cheese on her car engine. So it goes!

Have a good evening all.

Crockett1947 said...

So, my friend who is a disc golf player took offense at the use of the term "Frisbee golf" in the puzzle. Said it's like saying all cola is "Coke." There is a Professional Disc Golf Association. Will wonders never cease?

dodo said...

Greetings puzzler friends.

This was a surprise for a Wednesday . No lookups but plenty of help from perps and lots of gimmies for me. A little snag in the SE corner; didn't think of "atlas" for 'travel guide'. I kept looking at 'inners_ _ _ " and wanted to put in 'soul'. Finally 'gasp' put it together for me.

I am struck by the number of people who aren't familiar with "The Mikado" and/or Gilbert and Sullivan. Maybe you have to look at the sheet music to appreciate the comedy/irony in the lyrics. My siblings and I were lucky to grow up with a book of G&S songs owned by my grandfather, who was a true Victorian. He loved all of the operas (operettas? Jazzbumpa?) In high school my brother sang the role of the policeman who sang "'When a foeman bears his steel, tarantara, tarantara, etc."in a play that was a melange of excerpts from many G&S works.I had a 'cameo' as one of the "Three Little Maids". I guess the strange copywright arrangement with D'Oyly Carte was still in effect then.

Well this is probably meaningless to most of you, but you're missing some good comic musical works. They bear investigation.

xtulmkr said...

Dodo: "This was a surprise for a Wednesday."

Um, it's Thursday. Surprise!

Tinbeni said...

If there is one Organization I do not want to put me on their "enemies list" it is the PDGA.

How did I miss the 2010 Championships?
And don't tell me it wasn't covered by ESPN, the World-Wide leader in Sports.

Yes there are three puzzles in the St.Pete.Times but the 11x11 on the Sudoku/Jumbles page is way too easy to mention.

Anon 12:41
re: The 93 pic, Philly Naked Bike Ride.
If wearing shorts, bikini tops, t-shirts and body-paint is considered "naked" then they deserve the 'constructed and self-edited' Williams puzzle over the LAT variety pack.

Dick said...

@ Carol, that is LeMew and not to be confused with our great Pittsburgh Penguin's Mario.

Hahtool said...

Ritzy = POSH.

Erma Bombeck at her Wit's End.

Dodo: I loved the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. The Mikado was a high school standard when I was growing up.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Thanks for a fabulous writeup, Al.

Well, this must be some sort of "everything backwards" week for me, because while yesterday's puzzle kicked my butt I zipped through today's with only 2 or 3 hiccups. Interesting what ya know and what ya don't know.

For example, the two Mikado entries were gimmes. Like you, dodo, we consumed the G&S operettas in highschool. I had the pleasure of singing in the chorus (didn't have a starring role) in The Mikado as well as serving as the sound guy. 'Twas fun!

Also easy for me were SNAFU, HINDU (two words ending in U), LOU, BOCA, BOLSHOI, SOS, ERMA, LEAR,SERAGLIO, and BOPP, to name a few. Some that I didn't know at first but got them easily from the perps include COBB, OTIC, and PAULA.

All the entries and clues were fun, refreshing, and pleasurable. Overall, IMO, a wonderful puzzle.

Hahtool, I love Philip Dick's work.

Dick, Bandon OR is a cute lil town, near which my wife and I enjoyed seeing Myrtlewood trees.

Mainiac, never rode or heard of a water slide called a Taco, but it sure is an interesting name.

Kazie, you may say "youthful insouciance" as often as you want. What a lovely phrase :)

Like xtulmkr, I didn't know aloe could be ingested, only rubbed on. That was an obstacle, for a while, to filling in the NW corner.

Jeannie, yeah, chess pieces have, in my experience, also been called chess men, in spite of the fact that the queen is obviously not a man. (I guess all the other pieces are, though). Ain't it interesting that the queen has such extraordinary power?

I loved the "John of Middlesex" clue!

Marge, is Baraboo anywhere near Tomah (where I once lived out a year of my childhood)? I could look on a map, but I prefer to just ask you :)

Hookay, I'd better stop now. Best wishes to you all.

thehondohurricane said...

Thought it was an easy solve until I discovered 5A was Pohl and 5D was Poo. I had Kohl and Koo. Never heard of either of them and figured I'd go with a standard German name. Oh well, almost had a successful solve.

Marge said...

Tomah is about 45 miles west of Wisconsin Dells via the interstate and Baraboo is 10 miles south of the Dells. It's all beautiful scenery.


Jayce said...

Marge, thanks. I remember the name of Wisconsin Dells. I was a silly naive 8th grader at the time, so don't remember much other than that the winter was very severe and the summer was hot. My mom used to drive all the way to Eau Claire to shop. We had friends who lived in a suburb of Madison called (if I remember correctly) Cottage Grove, and it was a multi-hour drive to go visit them, which I always dreaded.

Jayce said...

More reminiscences of youth:

When I sang in the chorus in our highschool production of The Mikado, I remember at one point we were supposed to sing something like "Bow, bow, to the daughter-in-law elect ..." and, boisterous boys that we were then, my pals and I sang, at the top of our lungs, "Bow, WOW, to the daughter-in-law elect ..."

Mainiac said...

Hey All,

After spending the day in a Water/Fun Park I'm getting a break watching the dogs. The wife has taken the kids out to eat so they don't have to eat Camp Food again.

We went on this ride called the "Dragons Descent". This thing took you up a 250 feet and dropped you!!
I nearly died. After the first drop you bounced up and down a few times just to relive your stomach being in your throat. After walking a couple hundred yards after my two brain children decided we ought to do it again. What could I say? At least this time we had 3 seats together so I could listen to my oldest laughing while my youngest and I screamed. Unbelievable!! I'm done with this stuff. Next year we head back up north to fish!!

Finished the day off swimming in a river. Of course we jumped off an abandoned abutment of a bridge. Only a 30' drop to the water. Dogs ran down a path to join us.

We've had a blast!

It seems like every day I miss the blog new folks arrive. Welcome and turn blue if you haven't already. Lots of fun here also.

Great pics Barry!

Chickie said...

Hello All--At first glance the puzzle looked almost impossible to me. However, with a fill here and another there I started to get a hand up. My lookups were all the proper names--which always get me.

I did not get the theme until I came to the blog. Nice writeup, Al.

I haven't heard of Frisbee Golf, so that was another lookup for me.

We have eaten at the Eagle's Nest Restaurant in Lakeview, Oregon. They serve a Cobb salad which they claim is the original Cobb salad. Essie Cobb worked at the restaurant for many years and there is a big writeup about the Cobb salad on their menu. Who
is right?

Hahtool, I'm the one with a grandson in the Peace Corp. He arrived in Senegal early Wednesday morning.

HeartRx said...

I'm with you. Oh puuuleeeeze don't put me on the PDGA enemies list !!!

And a comment on the POO clue: why can't they just call it what it is, instead of conjuring up some obscure name out of Mikado?? (Not that I have anything against the Mikado - we also did it in HS, and I was one of the "Three little maids", just like Dodo!!). Maybe it wouldn't get by the editors? OK Rich, how about giving us a list of "forbidden xword words", like George Carlin did for TV? Huh?

Bill G. said...

Chickie, Wiki says the Cobb salad was invented in the 1930s at the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood and named after the restaurant's owner, a cousin of Ty Cobb.

Hahtool said...

My comments keep disappearing. Is anyone else having this problem or is someone removing mine?

Chickie: I got confused. Your grandson is doing a wonderful thing with his service in the Peace Corps. My sister was in the Peace Corps in the 1980s. She was in Tunsia.

Ritzy = POSH. Really?

Dodo: I am familiar with Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado." It was a standard high school operetta back in the day.

Anonymous said...

@Hahtool: Your 4:29pm post appears in my computer.

Tinbeni said...

Well that comment I made at 3:56 about being on a PDGA (Prof.Disc Golf Assn.) enemy list was suppose to be a joke.

Damn, the reach this blog.

I have received the PDCA's email detailing something about "a lifetime ban!"

OK, I laughed that off ...

Until similar emails were received from:
1) Mirror Lake Shuffleboard Club.
The "World's Largest Shuffleboard Club" located in downtown St.Pete, FL. ... 32 lighted courts, 65 total.
2) The New York Croquet Club (in Central park).
and the ...
3) The Croguet Academy, Sussex County, near Brighton (UK).

Obviously a pre-emptive strike on their part.

Apparently I'm persona-non-grata with these Organizations, also.

(As you can see, I've gone "undercover" ... these people scare me!)

JD said...

Good evening Al, C.C. and all,

Al, a great write up. I always learn so much from you.Had no idea about aloe, even though I have a beauty in my garden. Like you, I chipped away for almost 1/2 of the puzzle, only filling in a dozen or so at 1st go. You'd think, because I had SELF, and all those EGOS, inner would have come out. Sloooow as molasssses.

Unlike anon and Lucina, I contined trying to recall the name of the hermaphrodite in Middlesex. It spanned 3 generations, so there was no hope.Everything,with perp help, fell into place except for that elTon T. sigh

Does anyone else mix up ural (the mountain and river) with aral(the sea)?

and finally folks, I do not "get" old saw. WT-? I am familiar with that OLD adage.

Dodo, we did housework on Saturdays listening to the HMS Pinafore on those old 78's.

gGerry said...

Re "old saw", here's a guess. When using a hand saw, one plays it back & forth over & over. So maybe that element of repetition is what spawned the usage of "old saw" as some supposedly wise phrase repeated throughout the years???

Re aloe taken internally, one can find aloe vera capsules among those many herbal supplements sold these days.

JD said...

Barry, I so enjoyed your pictures. What a darling wife and son you have.

BestBird, like Carol's ID 10 T, I thought your PEBKAC was funny, and yet..not so funny.... :-(
I just tried to link a picture of an elk ,taken on our coastal excursion, but it seems that there is PEBKAC! Can someone e-mail me to tell me how to do that?

Anonymous said...

Or you can just google "Old Saw" in "prentices" to get a more defined definition.

gGerry said...

Meteor Shower tonight! --the Perseids, starting around midnight. This connects with today's puzzle via the Hale-Bopp comet, since meteors are often debris from comets

Al said...

@Jeannie and J.D.

Saw: "proverb," from Old English sagu meaning "saying, discourse, speech" from the root of secgan to "say".

Adage is from Latin adagium "adage, proverb," apparently from adagio, from ad- "to" + *agi-, root of aio "I say," from PIE *ag- "to speak."

HeartRx said...

Well da*m -- this blog is more popular than I would’ve ever guessed…I jes been banned from the FCFF

Can you imagine????

kazie said...

I also mix up Ural and Aral. I think I'l try and remember it this way: 'U' points up (to the mountains, where rivers of ice form U-shaped valleys). 'A' always starts the phrase "at sea" (common CW answer).

I did hear of "old saw" somewhere in my past, so it must exist. I don't know if it implies the sound of a saw when people drone on about things you've heard already many times before.

Bob said...

During my recent London trip, I ran across a bronze historical marker for William Gilbert and close by a statue of Arthur Sullivan on the periphery of Hyde Park. The original Savoy Theater where many of their operettas premiered, and in fact the heart of the London theater district today, was in the vicinity, with many streets still bearing the Savoy name. I was continually running across interesting historical markers, like the house where Captain William Bligh had lived (of H.M.S. Bounty fame) just off Lambeth Road near the Imperial War Museum. My wife particularly liked the Memorial to Animals killed in war throughout history, located very near the Gilbert and Sullivan markers.

Lucina said...

All your comments show on my site, even those where you say they disappeared.

Good night everyone! We puzzle again tomorrow.

JD said...

Thanks Al, had never seen/heard of that phrase before. Like I said, the perps really helped with filling the spaces, but all of you help me understand what in tarnation the word said.
Is that an ID 10 T , Carol? BTW, I love your beautiful flower. The sun must be shining in Portland.

HeartRx said...


My late husband was also a"computer geek" to the nth degree...ATT used to call him when their best techs couldn't solve one of their problems. But my favorite phrase he used was " Biological Interface Error"... go figure.

dodo said...

Barry, I forget to ell you how much I liked your London pix. Isn't London wonderful? So much history, just everywhere!

Heartrx. Sorry, senior moment.

Speaking of age, Maniac, how old are you? I love your 'youthful insouciance'. Thanks, Kazie. Or maybe I mean 'enthusiasm!' It's great.

dodo said...

HeartRx. Please accept my apologies, it was Xtlmkr who straightened me out about the day.

Kit said...

Loved his blog!