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Aug 3, 2010

Tuesday August 3, 2010 Gary J. Whitehead

Theme: Track Bets - The start of the first word of each two-word familiar phrase is a bet on horse race finish, in win, place & show order.

20A. Cellarmaster's vessel : WINE DECANTER. Win. Finish first. Can you think of any other "win" containing phrase?

36A. Response to sugar pills, perhaps : PLACEBO EFFECT. Place. Finish second. My favorite theme entry.

53A. It might have a massage setting : SHOWER NOZZLE. Show. Finish third. Scrabbly entry. Letters JQ are missing in this grid.

64. With 65-Across, what the starts of 20-, 36- and 53-Across are : TRACK

65. See 64-Across : BETS

Tight theme. Each bet word is contained in the first word of its mother phrase. The unifier TRACK BETS is placed at the bottom edge. Clear enough for solvers to identify.

Ideally the split unifying words should be placed symmetrically, but TRACK and BETS do not have identical number of letters.

Lovely long Downs (a pair of 8s and 9s) to cross all the Across theme answers. Quite a few multi-word none-theme entries too.

Across:

1. Seize : GRAB

5. Wife of Jacob : LEAH. Rachel's sister, and the real name of our Chickie (in powder blue).

9. Center of Florida? : EPCOT. Epcot Center. I knew it's not Shaq. Thought it's playing on letter R in the very middle of Florida.

14. Move to a new city, briefly : RELO

15. Down-home music venue, familiarly : OPRY. The Grand Ole Opry.

16. Dutch cheese : GOUDA. Edam too.

17. "The Good Earth" heroine : OLAN. "The Good Earth" is the best book I've read about pre-1949 China.

18. Nasty habit : VICE

19. 20 Mule Team cleanser : BORAX

23. Small-screen heartthrob : TV IDOL

24. American or Continental : AIRLINE. Were you thinking of breakfast?

28. Cock and bull : HES. This kind of clue used to trick me.

29. Wedding symbol : RING. No wedding ring for me.

32. In the warehouse : STORED

33. Like many wallets : BIFOLD

35. Farm females : SOWS. I really liked the pigtail clue last time.

40. Wiener schnitzel meat : VEAL

41. __-faire: tact : SAVOIR. Literally "knows what to do".

42. Wan : PALLID

45. Inflection : TONE. Mandarin has four tones. Cantonese nine. Crazy.

46. Ukr. neighbor : RUS

49. Finished, as a deck : STAINED. Unexpected clue for me.

51. Imagined : DREAMT. The only English word that ends in mt, Linda said.

56. Expand, as a collection : ADD TO. Sure need some autographed baseball cards to add to my collection.

59. Author Wiesel : ELIE

60. Colorful horse : ROAN

61. Lose one's cool : PANIC

62. Those, in Tijuana : ESOS

63. Mired, after "in" : A RUT

66. Past fast fliers: Abbr. : SSTS

Down:

1. Investor's concern : GROWTH. Nice cluster of consonants.

2. Go through again : RELIVE

3. "Hand in My Pocket" singer Morissette : ALANIS. She dated Ryan Reynolds for a few years.

4. Like a fillet : BONED

5. Cosmo topic : LOVE LIFE. Cosmo magazine.

6. Grand in scope : EPIC

7. Medieval Spanish chest : ARCA. Is it Spanish for "ark"?

8. Shenzi or Banzai in "The Lion King" : HYENA.Easy guess.

9. __ Sousé, W.C. Fields's "The Bank Dick" role : EGBERT. No idea. Dictionary says the name is from old English, meaning "bright sword".

10. Bad sport : POOR LOSER. And GLOAT (31. Be a bad sport). Clue echo.

11. Mangy mutt : CUR. Alliteration.

12. Harem room : ODA. "Room" in Turkish.

13. Penultimate line on most bills : TAX. Phone/gas bill. The last item before the Total.

21. Greek architectural order : DORIC

22. "My country __ of thee ..." : 'TIS

25. __-Z: classic Camaro : IROC. Just remember it as I Rock

26. Ex-Speaker Gingrich : NEWT

27. Mag masthead names : EDS

30. Wealthy Londoners : NOBS. New meaning to me.

33. Irrational way to go : BALLISTIC. Go ballistic.

34. "Whip It" band : DEVO. Just learned that Devo comes from de-evolution (backward evolution).

36. Bog fuel : PEAT

37. Singer's syllables : LA LA

38. Affection : FONDNESS

39. '80s Pontiac : FIERO. It means "proud" in Italian and "wild", "fierce" or "ferocious" in Spanish, a la Wikipedia.

40. Biden and Bush: Abbr. : VPS

43. At the pawn shop : IN HOCK

44. "Gloria in Excelsis __" : DEO. Latin for "Glory to God in the highest".

46. Five o'clock shadow removers : RAZORS

47. German diacritical : UMLAUT. German men are hard to understand (and date).

48. Surgical blockage relievers : STENTS

50. Nerd : DWEEB

52. Poet Pound et al. : EZRAS

54. Apart from this : ELSE

55. Urban uprising : RIOT

56. Liable : APT

57. __ es Salaam : DAR. Largest city in Tanzania. Arabic for "house of Peace". I can never remember the name.

58. Genetic letters : DNA

Answer grid.

Here are the last pictures from Gunghy's bike trip. Thanks for the awesome pictures and wonderful captions, Punk! I bet you solved at least one crossword along the road, no?

C.C.

99 comments:

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - ok, this is the week I got alzheimer's. Perp help yesterday, ink blot today, probably won't finish tomorrow's at this rate. I'll be an eggplant by Friday.

Confidently wrote in 'Sore loser' for 10D. For 'Irrational way to go', I had 'balls.....', tried to fit 'to the wall' in, which of course didn't go. Put 'palish' for 'Wan' too. I think it's time for vacation again. At least the theme came easily.

I liked the echoing of 10D, 'Bad sport' and 31D, 'Be a bad sport'. As with C.C., 'American or Continental' had me thinking breakfast. Is 'Borax' still around? Wasn't that the sponsor of Wagon Train back in the day? Overall, I thought this was a well-done puzzle.

Wonderful pictures, Gunghy.

Today is National Watermelon Day.

Did You Know:

- The strength of early lasers was measured in Gillettes, the number of blue razor blades a given beam could puncture.

- The bark of a redwood tree is fireproof. Fires that occur in a redwood forest take place inside the trees.

- The octopus's testicles are located in its head. Kind of the reverse of what women normally say of men.

Lemonade714 said...

Hey C.C. and Dennie,

I did the downs and missed seelng many across clues, like yesterday this was a tad harder than we have been seeing. I did not get the theme at all.

Dennis, if you close your eyes, you will remember 20 Mule Team BORAX as the sponsor of DEATH VALLEY DAYS narrated first by the old Ranger, and then replaced by an actor named Ronald Reagen.

Dennis said...

Lemonade, yep, that's the one. Thanks - I'd completely forgotten that show.

Lemonade714 said...

Interestingly Dennis, I believe BORAX owned the show.

Frenchy, the link to the glass sculptures last night was very interesting-beautiful work.

Like others who like to feel good, but do not trust doctors, I take a number of natural supplements. I was reading how unsafe taking colloidal silver is, and how it can cause skin to turn blue. I realized then, it must be the water supply that caused this EPIDEMIC .

Hahtool said...

Good Morning, CC and all. I attribute my inability to concentrate on today's puzzle to the extreme heat. We are expected to reach triple digits again today.

At any rate, like Lemonade, I felt this was harder than the usual Tuesday puzzle. Also, I had difficulty with the theme clues. I didn't realize that the "Starts of ..." meant only a portion of the first word, so was trying to figure out how WINE and PLACEBO were connected.

I liked Center of Florida = EPCOT

I hadn't heard Alanis Morissette in a long time.

In initially had Cows in lieu of SOWS for Farm Females. Does that make me a POOR LOSER?

QOD: The NOBS were forever snubbing the snobs. ~ Conor Cruise O'Brien

Mainiac said...

Morning CC and All,

I pegged the theme early which made this an easier solve than yesterday. Rarely do I get the embedded words in theme answers. I kept trying to fit Fondling for 38D. Reverse "Octopusis" again!??

Dennis, A couple days back you asked about my new ride. It is nice. I splurged a bit because I had been borrowing a bike from a buddy for the past few years. I mostly road bike. Not much of a hill climber but the mass/velocity ratio is a tremendous help down hill. I hit 48 MPH the other day. All the bike and a tail wind!

thehondohurricane said...

After yesterday and today, this "retard" may take a short vacation for the rest of the week.

Had no idea who Shenzi and Banzi were, never heard of Devo, medieval Spanish chest was a newbie to me.

I do my puzzles in ball point leaving today's solution barely readable.

Hahtool said...

Melissa Bee: if you are out there. If I remember correctly, this is your birthday? Hope you have a good one.

HeartRx said...

Good Morning C.C. et al.

Lots of blanks on my first pass with the acrosses, and not much help with the downs. Lots of gg'ing today to find LEAH (Why can I never remember his wife's name??), ALAINIS, HYENA, (never saw "The Lion King"), EGBERT (Huh??) and ELIE.

Learned a couple new words: ARCA and ESOS, so I'll try to keep those in my pocket for future reference.

I wanted to put "LAISSEZ" for 41a, but that wouldn't fit so it had to be "SAVOIR".

Amazingly, I knew "UMLAUT" because I use it every day in my communications with Germany and Austria.

I had an IROC and a FIERO, so WOW - those were gimmies!!

Lemonade, loved the Smurf video clip. I always wondered what they were "on"?? LOL

C.C. would "WINTER PALACE" work for 20a? Clue might be "Ski lodge for the Tsars?"

Crossword Fan said...

HeartRx, WINTER PALACE is an excellent "WIN" phrase, but it isn't exactly a "ski lodge". Maybe "Official residence of the Tsars" would be a better clue.

kazie said...

HeartRx,
No, Winter Palace is no ski lodge--it's in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg on flat terrain.

Nice concise blog today, was it Argyle again?

A fairly easy run for me today, despite not getting the theme until the unifier fell. I was on the same line of thinking as Hahtool. Several down clues had gone unread, as I discovered going through the blog.

Amazing how the obvious ones sometimes escape me--VICE was the last to fall, and it should have been a gimme. I also misspelled OLEN, but ALENIS looked OK to me, so I didn't notice it.

Gunghy,
Really spectacular photos today of a wonderful subject (the canyon, I mean). Well, you looked good too. Thanks so much for sharing all of these. Makes me want to take a road trip when DH finally decides to retire.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning all ye puzzling people.

After the first pass, I was beginning to think it was going to be a Google fest today. There were a few gimmes in each corner, but I just didn't get much traction until I got down to the SE corner. Stents was obvious (I have four of them)and it just seemed to fall in place working back from there. The theme popped up and and that gave me the completion of the three theme entries. The NW was the last to be completed as I had a couple of bad guesses to get out of my head before I could see the obvious. RE-SORT instead of RELIVE sure messes up that corner.

Darling Daughter has a break from her summer courses before starting her Master's courses at FSU and is on her way down for a few days.

Time to shovel the hovel..

HeartRx said...

Crossword Fan and Kazie,

Yes, I know the WInter Palace was their official residence. That's why I made the clue with a "question mark"...as it would, to the unknowing, imply something associated with "WINTER".

C. C. said...

HeartRx,
Awesome entry! A straightforward clue as Crossword Fan suggested would be perfect, as it matches the other straightforward clues the constructor used. I love your wordplay clue mindset though! Now how about some PLACE and SHOW containing 2-word phrases?

Kazie,
I blogged today's puzzle. Argyle will be back next Monday.

C. C. said...

Melissa,
Happy Birthday! Hope you are having today off and able to do whatever you want.

Haltool,
Thanks for the reminder.

Frenchie,
To answer your question a few days ago, I always print the answer sheet when I download LAT puzzle.

Tinbeni said...

I think I'll call this puzzle the "Manifest Destiny" grid as I solved this from the East coast to the West coast.

EPCOT s/h/b a gimmie for this Floridian but I had to perp it out with the TAX, ODA, CUR. in that order, geez.

EGBERT Souse brought a grin. I'm a hugh W.C.Fields fan.

The TRACK BETS theme was OK. I liked that the WIN, PLACE & SHOW were inside of other words.

By the time I got BALLISTIC ... I was ready to go there. But I didn't PANIC and finished correctly with no write-overs.

ARCA & ESOS learning moments, always a plus.

This was more like an end-of-the-week Thursday or Friday offering.

Just curious, is this constructor British?

All-in-all, a FUN solve.

kazie said...

C.C.,
Thanks for the clarification, but OK then, why no wedding ring? My d-i-l wears hers on a different hand from her engagement ring, and she says it's because they don't feel comfortable together. I think too it might have something to do with the fact that Germans wear wedding rings on the right hand, so she's covering all bases. I wondered what your reason was.

Melissa B,
Happy Birthday!

HeartRx said...

Hi C.C.,

OK, you got my brain kick-started. For "Place", that's easy:
PLACENTAL CORD (although, I know, the sticklers would say that the placenta is not a cord, it is the "umbilical cord". But I assure you that placental cord blood is collected and used in scientific research all the time, and is referred to as such).

For "SHOW", I could only think of words that are somehow derived from show as combinations words (SHOWTIME xxxx, SHOWOFFxxxxx, SHOWSTOPPERS, SHOWDOWNxxxx etc. So I changed it around and came up with a homonym, instead "CHAUVINISTIC". And that's about all I can do today, because it's starting to smell like smoke in here with my brain working overtime :-D

C. C. said...

Kazie,
I just don't feel comfortable with something on my finger. Not a jewelry person at all. An easy wife for Boomer.

HeartRx,
Great effort. You are a natural. I am not familiar with PLACENTAL CORD. But it fits the theme pattern. The SHOW* ones are iffy because your SHOW is an independent word (though in compound form) instead of contained in another word like SHOWER.

daffy dill said...

Lemonaide, I use collodial silver for minor burns and cuts. As soon as I get the injury, I run in and apply the silver. The pain and redness of burns go away immediately and they never blister. Small nicks and cuts heal in record time - put a little silver on the bandaid and place over the wound. I don't take it internally which is what makes you turn blue (or gray.)

Happy birthday, Melissa.

This puzzle was tougher than usual for a Tuesday, but I enjoyed it. I g'ed ALANIS and 0LAN. I knew Olan, but it just wouldn't come out of the shadows. SAVIOR, IROC and several others came from perps. The meaning of HES didn't dawn on me until I came here. I had "lie" at first - a cock and bull story. Many others were givens - LEAH, EPCOT, and BORAX, et al.

I always work from the NW corner down. Maybe I'll try starting somewhere elso to see if it is any easier.

We've been having high 90s and low 100s temps here. Thank God for a good air conditioner! We replaced the entire HVAC unit in the spring and it has been well worth it!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning C. C. and all.

Felt more like a Wednesday puzzle. But persevering with the perps, managed to finish without lookups. Thought the theme was clever. WAGS included LEAH and HYENA. Favorite word was BALLISTIC. It was nice to see GOUDA for a change instead of the usual 'Edam'. Smoked GOUDA is one of my favorites.

Happy Birthday, Melissa Bee!

lois said...

Good morning CC, et al., And this is only Tues? I'd give this one at least a Weds level personally. I like the theme, didn't get it, but enjoyed the puzzle anyway. It was challenging but doable. But wait! Gary Whitehead rocks!

Love the ref to W.C. Fields. And speaking of cock and bull, 'nobs' and 'shower nozzle' just 'add to' the 'riot'ous 'tone' that 'grab's my attention, my 'fondness' for, and 'devo'tion to an active 'love life'. Even if one doesn't live on the 'razors' edge, keeping the 'fiero' burning keeps one from falling into 'a rut' where the only 'lala' in life is that which is 'dreamt'. 'O-da'ts when 'tis' time to 'panic'. Change 'track's and put a 'rus'h on it or 'else' no 'growth' is possible, esp from the 'relive'ing of the past. 'Re-lo'cate your 'arca'ic attitude
and pick up a legal 'vice'. 'Do-ric''hes' make the man? No, of course not but it does have a nice 'ring' to it, right Santa baby? Get an 'airline' ticket, fly "united", fill that 'wine decanter' and as in 34D says, "Whip it!" for 'peat's sake. Don't b'e-so-s'o about 'new-t'hings. Try 'em and place your
'bets'. 'Savoir' will become
'epic'.

And as my old Italian uncle used to say, Eets all a-'gouda'.

Enjoy your day. You know I'm going to. I love watermelon.

C. C. said...

HeartRx,
Forgot to say earlier that "CHAUVINISTIC" won't work because the word "SHOW" is needed to complete the WIN, PLACE & SHOW series. You are in a Friday sound change mood :-)

lois said...

Happy, Happy Birthday, MelissaBee. I hope your day is one humongous, ginormous, fantabulous day!

Dennis said...

Mainiac, 48 on a bike has to feel great - I've never come close to that speed.

HeartRx, 'laissez' is always my first thought as well when I see 'faire'.

daffy dill, I've never heard of colliodal silver; is it available OTC?

Melissa Bee, a very, very HAPPY BIRTHDAY - I hope you're going to do something special today - maybe have someone massage you for a change? (by the way, if you're looking for volunteers....)

Husker said...

A 1 Star? I got all but the common A in ALANIS and OLAN. Speaks to my past and present cultural shortcomings! Reading Good Earth has now become a goal for my first post retirement (after 42 years of teaching middle school science) reading! Perhaps a lack of SAVOIR FAIRE?

The theme revelation was really fun although I wasted 30 seconds trying to figure out how WINE was a bet!

HES also escaped me for quite a while and I will also try to put ODA and ARCA in my memory bank.

Husker said...

p.s. I have been taking middle school kids to central Florida for 22 years for a five day "Ultimate Field Trip" and so when EPCOT escaped me (after 30 visits there), I was stunned! Are these revelations of "I shoulda known that's" the best or worst feeling for you fellow travelers who do these daily exercises?

Standup Guy said...

Savoir Faire - The ability to act appropriately and adroitly in any situation.

3 Frenchmen are discussing the meaning of savoir faire.

The first one says -'If you come home, one afternoon, and find your wife in the arms of another man, making mad, passionate, love to him, and then you go the kitchen and pour yourself a drink ... you have savoir faire.'

The second one says - ' Nooo, if you see whats happening, and say "Please carry on ... "... and then have that drink, ... you have savoir faire.'

The third one says - 'No, No, No, ... if you see whats happening, and then you say "Please carry on... " ... and he carries on ... then HE has savoir faire'.

Anonymous said...

@Heart & CC, SHOWER CURTAIN?

Crossword Fan said...

How about "Impact on air temperature" for WINDCHILL FACTOR?

A Friday kind of clue: "Technique for removal of alluvial deposits" for PLACER MINING.

Words starting with SHOW are very difficult. As HeartRx said most of them are derivative. SHOWER is about the only one that isn't. Here's a list.

Tinbeni said...

Husker
Don't feel bad about that EPCOT thingy.

My first thought was 3a, Center of Florida? would be OCALA. (Since we do see this a lot.)

But, like I said above, the TAX, ODA and CUR gave me --COT, ergo, Epcot.

This from a damn near life-long Florida resident, who once lived for a couple of years in Orlando.

That was when I went searching for the V-8 can. Knew I was in for a slog and a few head bonks.

Al said...

Isn't it ironic that the word UMLAUT doesn't have one?

Husker said...

pps 9A Center of Florida also raised the possibility of LORID too! The composer wouldn't be that diabolical, would he?

Anonymous said...

Good morning all,

I am stuck on "house arrest" as my doctor calls it. Not confined to the bed, but can't do anything I don't absolutely HAVE to do. Luckily, my Mom and mil have been able to trade off during the week to come and help me with my daughter and with keeping my house going.

I have done the crosswords the last 3 days and really enjoyed the theme on Sunday. I haven't been on here, though, because I can only sit at the computer for short stretches (usually only long enough to check email and pay bills). I did see all the well wishes, though, and I truly appreciate all the positive thoughts. I return for another sonogram on Aug 16 and it seems like time is just dragging on.

I will try to stop in and say hello to you all when I can. It's too bad I don't have a laptop, or I could be on the computer all day.

I hope that you are all doing well and look forward to being a part of all the fun again soon.

daffy dill said...

Dennis, you have to buy the colloidal silver at the health food store. DH makes ours, but it is a process and takes a long time. You have to have special equipment.

Anonymous said...

Will Short had a brief cameo on Letterman last night.
The new tv show, Rubicon, started with the analyst discovering clues
to a conspiracy in 7 major newspapers crossword puzzles on the same day.
Yahoo had a story on the dangers of taking suppliments.

Jerome said...

SHOwERnozzle hides a horse

pLAcebOeFfect hides a horse

winedeCANTER hides a horses gait

kazie said...

Crossword fan,
Looks like a very useful website you linked.

Al,
Umlaut does get one in the plural: Umläute. "Laut" means "sound", "um" indicates a change, so the word just means a change of sound.

Dennis et al.,
Laissez and savoir faire are interesting also grammatically, since laissez is the "you" form of the infinitive "laisser", but "savoir" is the infinitive itself of what would be "savez" in the "you" form. I don't know why they aren't parallel structures.

kazie said...

On second thought, maybe I made up the Umlaut plural--the word Laut only adds 'e': Laute. I was thinking of läuten = to ring out.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Wow - this one was hard. I feel TAXed, BONED and PALLID - by managed to not PANIC.

I bounced around all over the place, and actually had TRACK BETS filled in before two of the theme entries, so that helped a lot. Rather odd to parse the theme words this way, isn't it - especially for a Tuedsay?

Put in VILE for VICE - I know, wrong part of speech. DOH! But ARLA looks just as good as ARCA en Espanol.

Withot doing a thorough survey, today's best symmetry is RING TONE! Also, like Lois, I have a FONDNESS for LOVELIFE.

Just talked briefly with Tom, over in Afghanistan. He's dong OK. He sent some pix a few days ago - wow, is that place desolate!

IMBO. Cheers!
JzB

Lucina said...

Good day, C.C. and fellow puzzlers.

Oh, how I hate Yahoo! It again stole my post!!

C.C., I, too, loved The Good Earth, one of my all time favorite books.

Another is The Red Tent which brought LEAH to mind.

Overall, this was a good Tuesday puzzle, not too many stumbles; only when I filled SOURGRAPE instead of POORLOSER which was quickly changed by EPCOT, GOUDA, and BORAX.

Hand up for thinking the middle of Florida might be a play on the letters.

Yes, ARCA is Spanish for Ark. I shall look it up, but I'm quite sure it takes a male article, el arca. Many "a" ending words do; there is no neuter in Spanish.

And I see my mother's spirit is strong with the cluers, Lala lives on.

As so many of you, my fellow bloggers do, I read voraciously and many of the French phrases such as SAVOIR faire are familiar from books,

Gunghy:
Great photos of your trip and a very nice one of you, too.

Happy birthday, Melissa Bee!

You all have a wonderful Tuesday!

Lucina said...

Instead of the colloidal silver some of you have mentioned, why not use aloe vera? it is easy to grow and works instantly on topical burns, scratches, etc.? you simply cut off a small bit of leaf and rub it on the affected area.

Gunghy said...

Several rated this as a Weds. I had to check to verify that today isn't Friday. 24A Cuisine fits and -ine were my first fills. SOREloser took that out.
ALYSSA/ALANNA/ALANIS. Yes, Hondo, in ink. GRIPE/Gloat, PORK/veal (gave me 37D TRAS), OPEN/epic. My god, what a wonderful struggle. Much better that a 2-pass 10-minute run.

Does WINDS OF CHANGE resonate? WINDY ROAD? A Lot of Flower names start with SHOWY. Still derivative, though.

WC Fields had a clause in his contract that he had to approve the writer and the script. He would reject the writer, get paid to write it himself, reject the script, get paid for a rewrite, then ad-lib almost everything. The names were always made up to sound silly. In this one, the Egbert is just silly sounding, the Souse is a play on his intoxicated persona. Which wasn't all act; I believe I've mentioned that he would open bank accounts under these weird names while he was too drunk to remember where.

Grumpy, D.D. goes to Fresno State?

Gotta drop my sister off at FAT so she can fly home.

Frenchie said...

Good Morning C.C., Argyle and folk,

Enjoyable puzzle today!

2 things:

4d. like a filet/boned GATOR BONES Click for the best 29 seconds of your life!

9a. Center of Florida? The University of Florida, ask any 'gator! UFL


I'm out

Bill G. said...

I recorded The Pillars of the Earth and have started watching it. It's slow going for me so far. Since several of you mentioned it, I'm wondering if you've watched it and what you thought of it. Is it worth my while to keep going?

Part 1 of my crow story: When I first moved to Manhattan Beach, there were songbirds, seagulls and some crows. Lately, for whatever reason, there are many more crows than I remember and fewer songbirds. A few years back, before we had our wood shake roof replaced, crows would often light on the roof in the early morning and peck at the wood shakes. It was an unpleasant way to wake up in the morning. They would also amuse themselves by pecking at the skylights. What to do?

Our middle school used to have a problem with scavenging seagulls. The kids weren't careful about cleaning up after themselves at lunch and many seagulls would descend on the scene pooping as they flew. Quite a mess. The school contracted with a company who had solved a similar problem at Sea World. They strung up an array of parallel wires overhead, spaced about eight feet apart. Apparently, the seagulls were insecure about flying down through the array with their large wingspan. Problem solved. (I always thought some smarter-than-average seagull would figure out they could just walk in through the open entrances as the kids did, but it never happened.) So I figured these bird experts could maybe help me with my crow problem.

Marge said...

Hi all,
The Mon.and Tues. puzzles were harder this week. I needed my dictionary several times. glad to see DNA for once instead of DNR.

I had a weird experience yesterday. My High School class is celebrating our 60th reunion this fall (does that make me feel old.)I received a phone call from the one heading it up this year, he said "you can talk!" I said yes, why?. He said "we had you
down as dead."

What a strange feeling. Now I know why I didn't receive the letters about the reunion. I also know how Mark Twain felt when he said 'The report of my death has been grossly exagerated.'

When I told my son about this he said the same thing happened to Bill Cosby. Weird!

The Lion King was great- we saw it on stage in New York the only tine we went there. We wondered how they could show all those animals. It was truly beautiful.

Have a great day

Marge

Bill G. said...

Crow story Part 2:

So I figured these bird experts could maybe help me with my crow problem. I called them. They offered to sell me a cassette tape of crow distress calls. (Apparently, they hassled some poor crow in a laboratory and recorded his distress calls.) I bought the tape for $20 and tried it out loudly on a boom box. Forty or fifty crows would take off from as far as two blocks away, flying around my general area in an agitated manner, cawing wildly, looking for the perpetrator who was hassling one of their buddies. Hah!

I was pleased for two reasons. First, I enjoyed hassling the crows who had been bothering me. Secondly, I thought that if the crows thought that the area near my house was unsafe, they might stay away. Turns out that has been partially true. No more early-morning roof pecking. I think some of them have set out for safer areas.

Hahtool said...

Marge: I am glad you can talk!! That must have a surreal experience. This was a tougher-than-usual Tuesday puzzle, but many of us soldiered on to finish.

Lucina: Glad to hear you and Dodo had a good visit.

Lucina said...

Well, I have discovered that ARCA is a feminine noun, so it's la arca.

I would love to see The Pillars of the Earth, but do not subscribe to Starz. I'll order it from Netflix when it's available on DVD. Have done that with other series.

Betty said...

Hi, I'm new here. I have a question about one of the answers in today's puzzle, NOBS for "Wealthy Londoner". The only reference I could locate was to a 1990's LA Times crossword puzzle with the same clue / answer. Any ideas of the origin? Thanks!

ARBAON said...

Catching up after long trip.
Favorite part of EPCOT, with all it`s wonderful technology, is the water that shoots randomly and at random times, across the walks. It`s the kid in me.
Biden and Bush together threw me until I got the right Bush and the right office.
On the "Death Valley Days" show...I only remember the cartoons saying "So long" and waving at the end.
I inherited some lovely, cut glass wine decanters with glass stoppers...
100 degree weather is no country for old men! (or women!)
Hadn`t thought of Ezra Pound since college!

HBDTY Melissa B.

CC: A woman who doesn`t like jewelry? Hard to fathom. I scored a Jimmy Choo red and silver purse on my travels. You do like purses and, of course, shoes don`t you?

Wanted to make some "silly putty" for children and the recipe called for borax. $20.00 a pound when you can find it! I`ll make play dough instead!

Dennis said...

Betty, the Free Online Dictionary shows it as "chiefly British slang" defined as "A person of wealth or social standing."

Anonymous said...

Betty: I don't know about the origin, but there is a Nob Hill in San Francisco, and when I was growing up I was told that was where all the rich, snobby people lived.

Doreen

Argyle said...

Shōwa – noun: The designation of the period of the reign of Emperor Hirohito, begun in 1926.

Not a Tuesday entry, eh?

Spitzboov said...

Kazie re: Umlaut; As a kid while trying to learn a little 'Mundart' at my mother's knee, she would call an Umlaut 'de twee Striche' (the two strokes). I didn't learn the word 'Umlaut' until I was much older.

Argyle said...

I wonder if Nobs isn't just a shortened version of Nobles.

Tinbeni said...

Argyle
I'm confused?
Where does "Shōwa" show up in the clues or answers?
NOBS & Nobles seems about right.

Husker
Your LORID response had me LOL.
We do see those "start of" or "end of" clues from time to time.
So why shouldn't the "Center of" get some play.

Frenchie
As a USF and UM grad those were the worse 10 seconds of my life ...

Grumpy 1 said...

Gunghy said...

Grumpy, D.D. goes to Fresno State?

DD goes to THE FSU, Florida State University at Tallahassee. Fresno? Where Dat? LOL

Argyle said...

"Shōwa"
We are looking for words that start with SHOW, as in WIN, PLACE SHOW.

Gunghy said...

ARBAON, 20 Mule Team Borax is available in the grocery store laundry aisle. It costs a whole lot less than $20 a pound. If you can't find it in your store, you can get anything on ebay. The first one up was $2.99 plus shipping.

Kazie, I missed your comment the first time through. Thanks for the compliments. This was the first time I'd managed to get there in almost 60 years.

C.C., I did not work one puzzle during the trip. My riding days tended to start before 7 and especially on the way back, ran really late. One ended at Midnight after 600 miles and several hours of sight-seeing. I didn't miss the puzzles as much as I missed the comments here.

Andrea said...

This seemed tough to me for a Tuesday puzzle... finally got through it all. Maybe I'm getting a bit rusty.

Happy Birthday Melissa! Hope it's a great one.

Gunghy said...

Grumpy, Fresno is a "center of" answer. 8 miles north, in the center divider of Highway 99, there are a palm and a conifer planted. They represent the geographical divide between Northern and southern California.

The athletic department uses FSU. Everything else is labeled CSUF or CSU, Fresno. I think the athletic dept. truly believed they could co-opt the brand.

On the other hand, give my condolences to your daughter.

Argyle said...

I sure hope somebody looks at this after the trouble I had securing the link from the Dictionary of the Scots Language. (NOB)

Jeannie said...

Andrea, I am with you. It seems that this past Monday and Tuesday have been harder than most. I didn’t catch the theme at all which would have helped, even after getting track and bets. I have heard the terms win, place or show but just didn’t catch the words in the theme answers. This is the second day in a row to visit Mr. G,and that was for Egbert. Arca, Oda, Doric and umlaut were all cheated out by the perps and red letter help. I thought “center of Florida” – Epcot was clever, and for once it was DNA instead of RNA. All in all a slog for me. I am hoping for a Donna Levin puzzle tomorrow. I seem to be on her same wavelength. Everyone enjoy your night, especially you Melissabee!!

C. C. said...

Rose,
Yes, I do have a weakness for purses & clothes. Good to see you back!

Gunghy,
Man, you forgot what our "crossword" really is.

Gunghy said...

C.C., Do you really want to hear about the little teen-aged waitress that sat down next to me and said, "Man, I ain't ever been out of Clovis." I don't know if they still enforce the Mann Act, but I'm just recently free of teen-aged mood swings and the thought of a 'crossword' that difficult makes me PALLID.
Other than that, delusional parents and a daughter stressing over a visit by future in-laws left 5-10 messages a day insisting I had to get home.
Next time it'll be April or October and the same trip will be at least 20 days without the conference in the middle. Then, I'll have time to work on a crossword or two. Who knows, maybe I can take one with me and on rest breaks I'll be able to tease out an answer or two.

Anonymous said...

Like 30d haven't heard the word nob meaning wealthy Londoners. Many have heard hobnobbing meaning to mingle or socialize.

Jayce said...

Just a quick in and out to wish melissa bee a very happy birthday and send her a gift-wrapped watermelon.

Also good wishes to you all.

HeartRx said...

Argyle,
I read the entire link (sorta)...thanks for the efforts on "NOB" !! At the very end of the article, it makes a reference to "Nabob" (a governor of India)...so maybe "NOB" is just a shortened version? Especially since their involvement in India would have brought many new terms to the language, I guess. I'll have to ask some of my Brit' friends and get back to you...

And Gunghy,
I have really enjoyed your pictures. I love that area of the country and used to travel around there a lot when I lived in LA. Especially the Grand Canyon shots - beautiful !! But pictures, as you now realize, can never capture the absolutely awe-inspiring views from the rim, right?

lois said...

Argyle: thank you for that link. What a trip to read that dialect. What I learned was that I am very happy to 'hobnob' (good catch Anon 4:30) with the half-nabs or half-nabbery. Also love the term cock-lairds...I seek them out to hobnob w/them as well.

If anybody ever asks me if I'd like to go hobnobbing, my answer of course is "showa, y'all"...in the South, but at the ranch in Ok, "Oh, hail yeah!" Such a difference geography makes.

dodo said...

Hey, gang,
Will I sound smug if I say I WAGGED Epcot and it turned out to be right? Sorry, couldn't resist but it happened!

Gunghy, you clean up pretty good! I'd never suspect that you got off your bike after X-hundred miles looking like that pic! You're right about the price of borax. I was wondering if the price had sky-rocketed for some reason! Maybe Rose is looking for some other product.

Chickie said...

Hello All--For some reason I was on the same wavelength as this constructor today and I absolutely whizzed through the puzzle. I had one lookup for Alanis. For me to get a puzzle that many of you struggled with sure boosted my ego today.

But any puzzle with my name in it is sure to be mine-right? Thank you for the shout out C.C.

I especially liked the clues for Irrational way to go/Ballistic, and Center of Florida/Epcot. I learned Oda from doing crossword puzzles, but I haven't seen this clued for quite some time.

Dennis, thank you for the heads up on Rubicon. We loved the first two episodes. We now have it on record so we don't miss an episode along the way.

I have used Boraxo along with my detergent for many years. We have hard water and the Boraxo softens the wash water so the detergent works better. While in college, I visited the old Borax mines in Death Valley. Very interesting.

Happy Birthday, Melissa B. and many more.

Gunghy, great shots of the Grand Canyon. (You too). We do live in a beautiful country, don't we?

ARBAON said...

CC: My stock answer when some one says, "Glad to see you back' is "Are you glad to see my front, too?." Shoes and purses are bordering an obsession with me. Thanks for the good wishes.

On the slight discussion of colloidal silver today, I just saw a man on the news who was a dark blue (skin hue) and he says it`s from taking it...

Gunghy: Thanks for the borax info and vroom vroom!

Chickie said...

I'm wondering if the word Nob is a shortening of the word Nabob. A Nabob is a wealthy governor in India, but also is listed as someone, especially a European, who returned from India a very rich person. The last entry on the web site I found then said Nabob simply means a very wealthy or prominent person.

I thought it was interesting that we had Ionic last week and Doric today, both referring to Greek architecture. I also have these two words imprinted because of crosswords.

The Lion King was probably one of the most spectacular musicals that I have ever seen. We saw it in San Francisco a number of years ago. The costuming and animal representations were awesome.

Annette said...

Dennis, Borax is still around. It’s great for killing fleas in your carpet that were brought in by household pets.

C.C., speech-wise, I love to hear men speaking German. I find their speech very melodic. Although it certainly doesn’t sound that way when I try to speak it…

My favorites today were 5D Cosmo topic (wow, did a lot of DF topics go through my mind before I came up with LOVE LIFE.) and 38D Irrational way to go: BALLISTIC.

I had the same thought for the theme as Hahtool mentioned (WIN, PLACEBO, SHOWER?), but once I got the unifier, I saw the partials.

Husker, yep, when I saw that ARRRR wouldn't work, I tried LORID for 9A Center of Florida… I needed a couple perps before I saw EPCOT – and I live within driving distance of it!

Happy birthday, Melissa Bee!

windhover said...

Jayce @ 5:09,
As a child asking indelicate questions, I was told that one could lead to the other (or at least the appearance of it).

Vidwan said...

re: Nobob - is an anglisized word from 'Nawab', which is the muslim equivalent of a hindu 'Raja' - a (minor )king. Under the British,and the Mughals, it could also have meant a governor of a province, or a nobleman of some sort.

Nob could have been a further corruption of the word nobob. I am not familiar with the word.

RE: BORAX ...Sodium Per-Borate, if you can get it, is a very strong oxidizer , and has been used for bleaching straw, paper, and yarns and clothes. A tenth of a teaspoon can make your white clothes, absolutely white.

It should be used very sparingly,... and only occasionally, ... since, on continuous use, ... it will also destroy the fibre itself. It is just like Borax, ( Sodium Borate )but, with an extra oxygen atom.

Its bleaching action, is similar, but stronger than, ...' Bleach' ...Sodium Hypochlorite.

Jayce said...

windhover, good point! :)

Lemonade714 said...

Probably one of the reasons we do puzzles is that we find words interesting; take for example our little 3 letter friend NOB. My first exposure to this word was when I was 4 or 5 and my father would go and play cribbage with the pharmacist and the jack was turned; I know many of us do play cribbage.

Next came reading British mysteries and comedies like those of Agatha Christie and P. G. Wodehouse imagining the titled and the rich in their manor houses.

Do not read my link if you are easily offended.

Finally, my children introduced a different meaning for NOB with which I was not familiar, but apparently this version was also imported from Jolly Old…

Not to be impertinent, but I do wonder if this usage has spread to Oz.

Anonymous said...

Gunghy nice pics. Last time we visited it snowed so we didn't see much.

Al, Alanis could have written about how "Ironic" it is that there is no umlaut in umlaut.

I use tea tree oil on burns. Works great also. Is a natural antiseptic.

Happy Bday MBee.

Again thought it was harder than usual Tuesday. All the fills eventually came around, but didn't get the theme today. Nice puzzle though.

I am so swamped as of late. Wish I could visit more and see what is going on with everyone. Well wishes to those that need it. Where is CA these days?

Vidwan said...

RE: Collodion Silver ...

I tried all my medical ref texts, that I have at home ... and could not find anything useful. I have finally realized that the term should be ...'collodion, which was previously used for silver ( salt) photography development '...

Collodion, by itself ( with no silver... ) is a thick, colorless solution of pyroxylin (an antiseptic ...) , ether ( for quick drying, volatility ) and alchohol ( ethyl, as a perfect solvent ...).

Sometimes, it may contain camphor ( for a nice 'mediciny smell' and some antisepsis properties ), ...

and Castor Oil ( for thickness - viscosity and elasticity of the dressing )...

and Salicylic Acid ( used also for 'dissolving' bunions, warts etc. and a mild painkiller...Aspirin is its sodium salt ...)


I have used a product,called ' New Skin'... which is the same thing ... and widely sold in drug stores. It is cheaper and more convenient than Band-Aids, and ... this is a topical skin and wound dressing ... and I unreservedly, recommend it.

I have never turned blue, so far, and neither have my kids, ... although, I doubt the 'blue' would show thru our tans anyway.

daffy dill said...

Borax - "They" say you can put a line of it where ants are coming into your house so they have to cross it. I've never had an ant problem, so I haven't tried it.

Lucina, I've tried the aloe, purchased gel and fresh from the plant. It works pretty well, but not as well as the silver. DH rubs the silver on his bald head after he spends time in the sun and it gets rid of the redness.

Arbaon, was that the guy who turned blue a state senator or representative somewhere? Some people say you can drink it, but sometimes you have to use good judgment. BTW, the blue color is permanent.

melissa bee said...

good evening c.c. and all,

i agree today's puzzle seemed tougher than a typical tuesday - the wine decanter, love life, and 'massage setting' spoke to me.

lois, great to see you, you good?

chickie, bay area does seem to have seriously hard water. calgon in the washing machine and dishwasher is a miracle.

thank you for all the sweet birthday wishes .. off to continue the celebration.

Otis said...

Hello, all.

This probably isn't the person daffy dill is thinking of because he isn't a Rep. or Sen. (however, he IS a perennial candidate), but Stan Jones is well known for his blue tinge. The photo in the article does not do the blue justice. I saw him at a candidates' debate years ago, and he had a VERY strong blue-grey tint. A 'holey cow' evoking kind of color. I don't think it would go away with a tan, although it might lessen the "stand-out" factor. Maybe that is why he doesn't look as blue in the photo as he did when I saw him (winter in Montana).

Otis

windhover said...

Hello, Otis.

Papa Smurf said...

Don't trust doctors. Keep self-medicating. Then maybe we can thin the herd.

Listen to this idiot claim that this happened so gradually that he did not notice it!

I think aloe vera would be better for sunburn than this option.

kazie said...

Lemonade,
I haven't heard nob used that way in Oz or anywhere, but then, it probably depends on the company you keep. I am familiar with the "one for his nob" expression in cribbage, and the usage for the upper crust types, but that's all.

Anonymous said...

I came home tonight to my new issue of "Consumer Reports". The headline is "The 12 Most Dangerous Supplements". Colloidal Silver is among them.

HUTCH said...

Lord Haw Haw was a German sympathizer and broadcaster during WW11 who pleaded American Citenship as a defense but the Brits executed him anyway[ And quickly}. Ezra Pound was an American citizen living in Italy who supported the axis during WW11 and when arrested by the Americans,was placed in an insane asylum for two years and released. VIVA LES AMERICAINES!!

dodo said...

Dear MelissaBee, HBTY HBTY, HBTY, dear MB,HBTY! AND MANY MORE!

Lucina said...

Daffy dill:
It really surprises me that aloe vera has no effect on you DH's sun tan. Usually burns, sunburns (minor ones), scratches, etc. disappear and are healed within 24 hours. The sap and interior flesh have to be applied vigorously.

I have a friend who even boils it and drinks it as a tea for certain maladies.

Good night everyone!

Bill G. said...

Kazie, I remember a little about cribbage. When you cut the deck, if a Jack turns up, it is called "his nibs." I don't remember "nob" but maybe that's my CRS.

Lucina said...

Hahtool:
Thank you. Yes, I had a wonderful time meeting Dodo and spending a few hours with her.

Lemonade714 said...

Great to see the continuing work of all of our newbies; Otis, how is Milo?

Frenchie said...

MELISSABEE, HOPE YOUR BIRTHDAY WAS THE BEST YET!
VETTEDOE, DO TAKE CARE!
SINCERELY,
FRENCHIE

Anonymous said...

on wednesday 8/4 puzzle:
what about 24 accross and what about 63 across???

Heather said...

"Daniel in Denial" threw me and makes me wonder if the author ever read the story of Daniel himself, since Daniel believed the writing on the wall. I refused to do the rest of the puzzle.

C. C. said...

I've copied and pasted the last two comments to Wednesday's blog. Please follow up there.

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