Aug 25, 2010

Wednesday August 25, 2010 Michael J. Doran

Theme: VALLEY (49D. Geological depression, and what the first word of 20-, 37- and 56-Across is). Each theme answer begins with a four-letter synonym for VALLEY, that is also a proper name.

20A. Apple hater's purchase?: DELL COMPUTER

37A. 2004 Daytona 500 winner: DALE EARNHARDT JR. Nice grid-spanner right in the middle, 15 letters and only 5 vowels.

56A. "Wichita Lineman" singer: GLEN CAMPBELL.

melissa bee here.

Canyon & gorge are synonyms of VALLEY too. But they all contain more than 4-letters and it's impossible to find a phrase that start with those two words.

Quite a scrabbly puzzle, only one W away from a pangram. It also has 10 letter Us, more than our usual vowel allotment. Valley effect, maybe.


1. Urge : SPUR

5. It's not what it pretends to be : SHAM

9. Chef's topper : TOQUE

14. Vesuvius flow : LAVA. Holy hotwick lava bomb.

15. O'Hara home : TARA. Also this Tara.

16. Prevent : AVERT

17. Pins and needles holder : ETUI. Crosswordese.

18. Capital of Rhône department : LYON. French departments are administrative divisions. Rhône department is located in the central Eastern region of Rhône-Alpes, and named after the Rhône River.

19. Military lifesaver : MEDIC

23. Grind, as teeth : GNASH

24. Prefix with -naut : AERO. Seeing this prefix a lot lately.

25. Bygone French coin : ECU.

28. Aliens, for short : ET'S

29. Drive up the wall : IRK

31. Guerrero y Oaxaca : ESTADOS. Mexican states.

34. Run the show : EMCEE

36. City of NE Italy : UDINE. Pretty. Anyone been there?

42. Gaming pioneer : ATARI

43. Mends, as socks : DARNS

44. Divided differently, as city land : REZONED

47. 10 mi. on a clear day, e.g. : VIS

48. Eggs in labs : OVA

51. Principal tonality, as of a concerto : KEY

52. Ploy : RUSE

54. __ artery: forearm blood vessel : ULNAR

59. Bordeaux brother : FRERE. French for brother. Those French have a different word for everything! (Anyone remember who said that?)

62. Biblical physician : LUKE. And apostle.

63. Qualified : ABLE

64. Mystiques : AURAS

65. Life sentences? : OBIT. Great clue.

66. Nothing, in Normandy : RIEN. Again with the French.

67. Takes a look inside? : XRAYS

68. Homes, colloquially : PADS

69. Ocular malady : STYE


1. Heavy hammer : SLEDGE. Who doesn't remember this?

2. It may be pending : PATENT

3. Tonsil neighbors : UVULAS

4. Vagabonds might ride them : RAILS

5. Normandy town decimated in WWII : ST LO. Here.

6. Powerful punch : HAYMAKER. Hey/hay Windhover.

7. Soap-on-__ : A ROPE

8. Farm fertilizer : MANURE

9. Bring under control : TAME

10. No longer hung up on : OVER. So over it.

11. Logical abbr. : QED. From Wikipedia: An initialism of the Latin phrase quod erat demonstrandum, which means "that which was to be demonstrated".

12. Ocean State sch. : URI

13. Mail Boxes __ : ETC

21. Give one's two cents : CHIME IN

22. How-__: instruction books : TOS

25. Change text : EDIT

26. Because, e.g.: Abbr. : CONJ. Conjunction . ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ Hookin' up words, and phrases and clauses ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬.

27. One at a keyboard, often : USER

30. JVC competitor : RCA

32. Uncovers, as evidence : TURNS UP

33. Inserts : ADDS

34. Dulles Airport terminal designer Saarinen : EERO

35. Stop : END

37. Nyctophobe's fear : DARK

38. Suit to __ : A TEE

39. Like a couch potato : LAZY. Or a teenager.

40. Give birth : HAVE A KID. Ouch.

41. Shapiro of NPR : ARI. White House correspondent.

45. Before, before : ERE

46. Longtime tire brand : DUNLOP

48. At all : ONE BIT

50. "What's My Line?" panelist Francis : ARLENE. No peeking.

53. Explore reefs, in a way : SCUBA

55. Construction pieces : L BARS. Hm. Well there's this, and then there's this. Different strokes.

56. Confederate color : GRAY. Confederate officer's uniform.

57. Take away : LESS

58. Beneficiaries of Bill Buckner's famous World Series error : METS. Here is the story. And here is the clip.

59. Phoned document : FAX

60. 1921 sci-fi play : RUR. Rossom's Universal Robots. Usually clued as 'Capek play.' In yesterday's puzzle also.

61. Nostalgic period : ERA

Answer grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, Melissa Bee, C.C. and gang - got through this one unaided, but I had to skip around quite a bit to finish it. Nooo, not that kind of skipping.

The theme answers fell pretty quickly, and the theme itself was pretty obvious then, even without 49D. I'm still always surprised when I see a brand name in one of the puzzles. 'Medic' for 'Military lifesaver' is correct to a point; they're called 'corpsmen' in the Marines/Navy. Corpsmen/medics are some of the most heroic people on earth.

R.U.R. is a frequent visitor now, huh? 'L-bars' were a new one for me. And I looked at 'conj' for 26D for a long time before the light came on. Favorite clue was 'Life sentences?'.

Melissa Bee, great blog job (wow, a mis-type away) - loved the links, especially the one of Tara Reid. And Steve Martin said the French line in a really funny bit on the French.

Today is Kiss and Make Up Day. Hardly seems enough for a make up, huh?

Did You Know?:

- Because of the weight of its face, a penny is slightly more likely to land "heads" than "tails".

- The Great Wall of China is long enough to stretch from New York City to Houston.

And in honor of today's BloggerBee:

- Bees have different dialects. A German bee cannot understand an Italian bee.

- A typical American consumes about a pound of honey per year.

Hahtool said...

Good Morning, CC, Melissa B and all. This was a pretty easy Wednesday puzzle. There were a few road blocks, but nothing insurmountable.

I have learned that a Chef's Topper is a TOQUE from recent puzzles, so 9A easily fell into place.

My initial thought for Tonsil Neighbors was Adenoids, but it was too many letters. UVULAS just sounds so ...

My favorite clues today were:

Apple Hater's Purchase = DELL COMPUTER. But, hey, what's not to like about an Apple?

Life Sentences? = OBIT. I think we've seen this clued this way before, but I still find it amuzing.

Good luck to you today, Lois. I know others who have had that procedure. You will feel much better afterwards.

My thoughts are with you, also Jeannie.

Sorry I will miss you, Mainaic. We have had packed days in the BH area, hiking, sailing, etc. Yesterday was such a beautiful day that we wanted to really take advantage of being outside every minute.

In honor of RUR, today's QOD is by its author: If dogs could talk, perhaps we would find it as hard to get along with them as we do with people. ~ Karel Capek

Anonymous said...

Good Morning all,

Great links, Melissa.

Today's Fav: 12D URI My alma mater! More often clued as a canton in Switzerland.

Anonymous said...

Or as that Geller guy!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Nice blog, Melissa.

Special best wishes to Lois for a successful procedure.

About average difficulty for a Wednesday, but no searches needed. WAGS included RIEN and ARI. First had 'sou for ECU. Good to see our old stalwart ETUI back again. Cities LYONS and UDINE a little more obscure than usual, but easily gotten from the perps. Thought PATENT and XRAYS had clever clues.

The puzzle had a bit of a French motif today. Words like ECU, ETUI,TOQUE, FRÈRE, RIEN, LYONS, and ST LÔ.

I'd like to 'roger' Dennis' corpsmen/medic comment. They are very special people.

Enjoy hump day.

Lemonade714 said...

Well you wonder who dropped Mr. Doran in France for today's puzzle, maybe he was submitting it to the International Herald Tribune . I really enjoyed your write up MB.

thehondohurricane said...

Never heard of Udine and w/o perps, never would have gotten it.

I thought "have a kid" was a little bit crude.

I'm not at all proficient in French, so perps and a wag or two were the order of the day.

Off to a small town in SE Connecticut to look at a '53 Stahl-Meyer Mantle that is available.

Barry G. said...

I think UDINE would make a great name for a self-service cafeteria...

Dennis said...

thehondohurricane, good luck with that card - it's very scarce and incredibly hard to find in decent condition.

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Melissa B et al.
Great write up Melissa! I cracked up over the Steve Martin clip. It reminded me of my friends in Germany trying to teach me how to pronounce "Wir gehen nach München" ("We're going to Munich") correctly. That umlaut "u" with the following "nch" was a killer for me!!

Favorite answers were "HAYMAKER", then "MANURE", (which is just HAY, recycled?). ETUI, ECU, TOQUE and RUR seem to be frequent visitors lately. Glad they didn't fall through the memory sieve.

Careful of those typos ;-D

Lemonade714 said...

Hey, the hh, where in SE Connecticut? Groton, New London, Beach Park? Tell us the story of that card, and how you located it, as it is very rare, and part of my childhood. My brother loved the Mick, and I did not.

kazie said...

Melissa Bee,
Great blogging today. I LOL'ed at Steve Martin, he's always so over the top.

My only real pause today was Earnardt JR. I wanted the CONJ, but not knowing his name, couldn't come up with the junior concept until right at the end. Theme answers all fell, but didn't make the connection until the unifier, which was an easy one. No lookups, a few WAGS and perps to the rescue.

When I was in St. Lô last, they still had the dummy paratrooper hanging up on the church steeple. Apparently one of the real ones did get tangled there during the landing, and they put the dummy up to show it for the tourists. I often wonder if they've kept that up until now.

I've never been in Udine. It's quite close to what was the Yugoslav border. I can never keep straight what's where in that area since it all broke up.

Right on! That would make a great restaurant name.

Heart RX,
Correctly, it should be "Wir fahren nach München", that is, unless you plan on going on foot. "Fahren" is the verb "to go" whenever any means of transport is involved, and very difficult for English speakers to get used to not using "gehen" for all forms of "go".

GarlicGal said...

Fun, quick puzzle! I always get sou and ecu confused so I have to be able to get the perps first. Same with I-beams and L-bars.

Never heard the term haymaker and the Earnhardt spelling (how many more letters can this name have?) had me addled until I remembered there was a Jr. and Sr. Oy...

Lois, good luck today! I'm sure it will go smoothly. I've had my esophagus dilated a couple of times over the years for medical issues and the best part is having a nice, thick milkshake afterwards!

Happy Hot Wednesday to all. Yesterday was a high of 106 here - I think that was our "summer".

Husker Gary said...

Bonjour les amis, with all the French, I thought this salutaion appropriate! BTW, I thought the Steve Martin connection would be his great line, "Boy, these French have a different word for everything!" BTW2, no one will ever be Inspector Clouseau except Peter Sellers! That's someone else trying to be Harold Hill other than Robert Preston!

Great write-up and links!

It took GLEN for me to see the theme and I am still not sure if I know the difference between the 3 except I know a Farmer lives in one of them and has a Moo, Moo here and a Moo, Moo there that makes MANURE.

Getting TOQUE was easy after having that odd word a few Sunday's ago (I can't remember the pun it was part of!)

STLO/CAEN turkey shoot again.

What in the world is this play RUR that I now have permanently branded in my cerebrum? I know, I know, look it up. It's just crosswordese.

I have never heard of an LBAR.

CONJ fell last and stubborn me refused to look up the Italian City or French Coin (although if it was not a SOO, I suspected ECU). I put CO_J on a spreadsheet and did a fill down with the alphabet and voila (there's that darn French again) there it was. Just like the fabulous Conjunction Junction, I limited myself to and, but and (hmm... a conjunction) or. Who says I'm compulsive and stubborn?

Question of the day - What TV sergeant served under a general portrayed by Paul Ford (yesterday's Mayor Shinn of Pom Pee Aye Aye fame?)

Splynter said...

Hi there ~!

Well, I did it to myself again - needed the red letter help to figure out the corner with CONJ, and that really bothers me, "because" I didn't know my French coins, or my Italian geography, but did grow up with "Conjunction Junction"

- thanks for the link Melissa.

I liked OBIT and ONE BIT, but too much French for me, and I was "eh" about HAVE A KID, too.

Rain (aaah)- no carpentry, so it's to the Brown trucks we go!


Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning Melissa and solvers all. This one went quite well except for the middle east. I just couldn't see CONJ even though I had the O and the J. UDINE is not among the many places in Italy that I have visited, can't say I've heard of it before, but took a WAG and filled the N. I stared at that missing letter at the top of 26d, went through the alphabet from A to Z and still did not see the C that I needed. DUH! Now it's obvious, but i finally settled on a D even though it made no sense. Oh, well...

I've used a lot of rebars, (steel bars embedded in concrete) but I've never heard of L bars. That clue might drive a guy to drink, but probably not in the Lbar that Melissa linked. (The second link. The first one wouldn't open for me.)

Time to start packing. Off to London and points beyond tomorrow.

Dennis said...

Husker Gary, had to be our recent friend Bilko.

Anonymous said...

A cowboy, who just moved to Wyoming from Texas, walks into a bar and orders three mugs of Bud. He sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more.

The bartender approaches and tells the cowboy, "You know, a mug goes flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time."

The cowboy replies, "Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in Arizona , the other is in Colorado . When we all left our home in Texas , we promised that we'd drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. So I'm drinking one beer for each of my brothers and one for myself."

The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and leaves it there.

The cowboy becomes a regular in the bar, and always drinks the same way. He orders three mugs and drinks them in turn.

One day, he comes in and only orders two mugs.

All the regulars take notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss."

The cowboy looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns in his eyes and he laughs.

"Oh, no, everybody's just fine," he explains, "It's just that my wife and I joined the _______ Church and I had to quit drinking."

"Hasn't affected my brothers though."

fermatprime said...

Hello All,

Nice work, MB.

Best wishes LOIS!

Can report 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep after 90 minute swim! Of course, 5 AM is a poor time to awaken. I have a somewhat isolated acre but I can hear every gol'darned trash truck in a 2 mile radius!

Liked the puzzle, M. DORAN! No cheating, however, had not heard of ODINE.

DENNIS--Really enjoy your quick facts!

Maybe after trash trucks I'll just catch up on more sleep!

Have a happy hump day!

Husker Gary said...

Yes! It was Sgt. Ernie Bilko! By the way we do have a Ph.D. blogger from Rhode Island (with whom I have corresponded pleasantly offline) and I wonder if even he put URI and not USC?

Argyle said...

Fun Fact question: If the face of the penny is heavier(you didn't say), wouldn't it land heads down more often?

Linda said...

CC: I can`t reach Jeannie any other I`ll risk your wrath to tell Jeannie, Phillipians 4:13, my friend.

Linda said...

CC: I can`t reach Jeannie any other I`ll risk your wrath to tell Jeannie, Phillipians 4:13, my friend.

kazie said...

anon @9:27,
Good joke!

Have a good trip!

I was just thinking, a good clue for "have a kid" would be "nannies do it"--as in nanny goats.

Husker Gary,
I agree completely about Peter Sellers as Clouseau. I've been a fan since he was in the Goon Show in the '60s.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

M B - great blogging. You da grll.

Can't say I enjoyed this pedestrian puzzle very much. Any time you see ETUI, there's a lot to make up for, and that never happened. One French word is one too many and we had beaucoup.

Other than that, there wasn't much wrong with the puzzle, but it lacked sparkle and wit. There was some nice down fill (like a pillow, I suppose) and I did like seeing Los ESTADOS Unitos de Mexico (The other United States.)

Yesterday we had an outing to the Toledo Zoo with Nate and Em, then stopped in to see both great grandmas. Nice time, and the kids were terrific.

DUNLOP reminds me of DUNLOP's disease. That's when yer belly Dun LOPS over yer belt.

Lawn work beckons, alas.

JzB the not-quite-DUNLOP trombonist

Jerome said...

So, if I'm a HAYMAKER how do I make a pile of hay? AH, MY RAKE! That's the PUNCH line.

I'm too busy. I'll REFER you to the FRERE. He's FREER.

The queen of the computer ball wears an ATARI TIARA.

"I'll eat my hat." That's a TOQUE QUOTE.

C.C. told me about a Greek diner in Beijing that offers CHIMEIN.

Beijing. Hijinks. Three dotted letters in a row. That's about it in the whole world. Really.

Not along the same vein. Neil ARMstrong once had a LUNAR ULNAR artery.

Dennis said...

Argyle, the penny fact was a bit ambiguous when it referred to the weight of the face. In fact, a little more metal is removed from the face, making it more likely to land face-up.

Kazie, I had the same thought about 'having a kid'. Could've worked in a clever clue there.

creature said...

Good morning [barely]everyone,

Simply the best!-the puzzle and the write-up..
Melissa, you rock! a work of art!

Crawled around until perps gave me all but the NE corner; Couldn't,for the life of me, think of 'toque'. It simply would not come up[ I did think it had an 'o']
So, I did the G spot* and the corner fell.

'OK,not so bad',I say.
Then the crushing blow,as I'm reading the write-up and musical notes dance around.
I had resurrected Dale Earnhardt,Sr and 26d,'because,
eg.,abbr.',became 'cons',short for I didn't know what. GULP!

The clues were fresh and superb;the fill was lively. I learned that 'Luke' was a physician
and I'd been put in my place.
"Not so fast,Sister",said Michael
J. Doran.

*Does anyone else use Dogpile?

Argyle said...

A penny is copper-plated zinc and is struck; I fail to see how anything can be taken away. I did see an article, Popular Science, probably, on how to dissolve the zinc out of the penny and leave just a copper shell.

Dennis said...

I don't think the fact that they're struck has anything to do with it. If the original engraving left less on the face, all the struck coins would also be that way.
Anyway, I'm no expert, so who knows. Evidently, if you put 20 or 30 pennies on end on a table (not an easy feat)and tap your fist on the top of the table, significantly more pennies will land face-up than face-down. I certainly won't be the one to test that.

Dennis said...

Jerome, you haven't lost a step.

Tinbeni said...

Melissa Bee, Your write-up was far and away more interesting than this puzzle. Nice links.

In the strictest sense, 'decimated' is Latin meaning "removal of a tenth."
I'm happy to learn ST.LO in WWII was LESS by only 10%.

Themes were all gimmies.

I guess RUR is our new fave play.
RIEN, Fr. nothing
ESTADOS, Mexican states
Am I doing an English crossword?

UDINE is pretty obscure. I'm sure it's the #1 visitor destination in Italy.

OBIT, 'Life sentences?' was clever.

MANURE ... a puzzle with a self rating.

C. C. said...

I don't like the last line in your comment. Constructive criticism is always welcome, but the disparaging remark like that is not welcome in our blog.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Looks like others had the same trouble I had, at the east wall where CONJ meets UDINE, and where nobody cares which Earnhardt won which race.

Just a few weeks back I wrote about those tricky and perhaps old fashioned landscape words whose meanings are hard to keep straight - dale, dell, fell, fen, moor and so on. Confusing! I suppose there is strong regional usage, especially in England.

Good work, Melissa! I can't open your first L-BAR link, however.

C. C. said...

Grumpy and Dudley,
I re-linked the L BAR. Try again.

Bill said...

Well Hi all,
Not much to say except UDINE and CONJ are not words (or abbreviations) I've ever seen. I did like MANURE and kinda agree with Tinbeni. And RUR? Never saw it till this week and now it's the constructors fave answer.
Lois, hope all is well in your corner. I'm not even going to go where the procedure could take me. We'll be thinkin' about ya!
CY'All Later

Bill said...

OH, as to LBAR.......Isn't that just a piece of angle iron? Or did I miss something in my early childhood???

daffy dill said...

Thanks, M.B. Great write up.

Easier puzzle than usual for a Wednesday. TOQUE was a given since it appeared recently. DALE EARNHARDT was a given, too, but I played around with Sr. and JR. for some time trying to get the ta da! Other problems in east central were a misspelling of ESTADOS as estadas and ignorance of the French coin. It finally all worked out with a visit to Mr. G to verify UDINE.

I wonder how many PC users' feelings rise (sink?) to the level of "hate." My first was a PC, so that is what I've always had.

All my best to Lois. May your procedure be successful and your health improve.

A cool front moved in last night, so we should have low 80s today.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All. And here I thought that 3D should have been plural UVULAE. That didn't hold me up for too long because of the obvious (28A) ETS.

With perp help, I filled it in (26D) CONJ, but I had to come here to understand the meaning of the clue....."D'oh!"

(36A) ODINE was a new one for me. At least I nailed ST LO this time.

Dennis, in your travels, check out the "L-Bar" in South Amboy NJ and give us the scoop on the wild nightlife ....looks...uh..interesting.

The hill of (15A) TARA in County Meath, Ireland was thought to be the seat of the kings of Ireland until the 6th century. There are many interesting monuments there. This one is the Lia Fáil, or Stone of Destiny where Irish kings were said to be crowned. All I can say is "Hmmm."

For some reason I am reminded of Lois. :o) I definitely hope all will go easy with her today.

From last night, Jeannie, please don't hold back because of your are concerned about my feelings. It is every bit as difficult (in different ways) for the friends and family of those who have cancer, as for the patients themselves. When you are feeling down, go ahead and post. As Gracey (almost) said, there are always people who've "got your back".

Great blogging as usual Melissa. C.C. may have started it all, but you, Argyle, Lemonade, Al and Jazzbumpa have really added a lot to the mix. It is always appreciated.

Vidwan827 said...

Dennis. Argyle ... This was supposed to be one of my 'postless' days ... I have put myself on a 'posting' diet... but I feel aching to contribute ... my 2 bits ...

Arg, you are right, the penny ( as all other coins ) is 'struck'- so no material is added or taken away ... Dennis is also right - the penny punch dies design could cause the material in the coin to shift non-symmetrically.

It really has to do with the 'center of gravity' of the punched coin... an unstruck blank coin 'planchet' would have a COG at its exact geographical center. Now, if the dies - 'obverse' and 'reverse'- were to somehow push more 'metal' towards the 'reverse' or back side...then the COG would also shift 'back' accordingly ... and the back side would become more (relatively ) 'top heavy'... thus lending a 'bias'. Sooo, a penny, at 'rest', on its rim, may have tendency to mariginally fall 'backwards', more often, thus 'displaying' its head or obverse side - 'more often'.

An extreme example , would be , if you take a regular penny, and put it 'heads up', on a wooden plank, and then hit it, at the center, with a ball peen hammer, thus making a dent on the front side ( head). The reverse side would be like a cone, ... and if you can still manage to balance it on its rim, ... then it would always fall backwards, because of the weight distribution, and always show 'heads' on the top.

I think, most 'coin tosses' are made by flipping the coin in the air, so the relatively nonsymmetrical weight distribution, ( if any .... ) becomes even less effective.

JD said...

Bonjour mes amis,

Not so much fun today, but there are always new words/facts to learn.The best ones are from Melissa and all of you.Too many of my 1st choices were wrong, so the magic rub got a work out,but nailed all but ecu/conj in the end.

Melissa, your clips were more fun, especially "I would like to buy a hamburger." Nothing like a good laugh in the morning.
Bob was a little upset with the Red Sox clip..."Oh no, don't show that." It pains him still/a forever fan!

JzB, we call that a BOB, belly over belt.I like dun lop better.

Woke up to a warm 75 at 6 am, so I don't see a cooling trend. It's a few degrees hotter in Garlic Gal country, just 30 mi south.We have had a very mild summer.The good news is we're off, exploring reefs, in Kauai on Friday.We'll celebrate Truman's 3rd b'day there.The family has kept me busy the last 2 days, so it was good that Mon./Tues xwds were quickies.

Dennis, I'm enjoying Did you know? Yesterday, Truman and I watched a spider devour a bee that he had caught in his web. Another day, we watched a spider unweb his web..all back into his mouth (?)

Lucina said...

Aloha Melissa Bee and all cyber friends.

I don't have time to read comments as it's time for the gym and yoga which I desperately need after having been away LAZING in the beautiful isle of Kauai. Sigh.

Great and easy puzzle today. I felt like I was in French class some of the time. My French vocabulary is steadily gaining.

Haven't seen ETUI in a while and it used to be a xwd staple.

I"ll be back. I hope your Wednesday is progressing fantastically!

John Lampkin said...

Waiter! Whatever Jerome is having, I'll have the same.

Gunghy said...

Daffy summed up my experience today very nicely. I also spelled 46D DUNLAP, so I came to find out what an ABIT was.

Husker, R.U.R. gave us the term robot. I've never read the play, but it is an important part of Sci-fi history.

So who's eating my share of the honey?

I don't remember where it was, but a 'famous' statistical analysis was performed where a professor had each of the students in his class flip a penny 1000 times. The resultant large sample size was the first indication that there is a bias towards heads. I heard this years back in a stat class I had to take.

Would these be a better example of l-bars? To complete this lesson on crosswordese, I googled "angle iron"

Off to mail a care-package to my Medic (actually, hospitalman, the navy's rank) son. See avatar.

Bill G. said...

I agree about the intersection of UDINE and CONJ. Not know either slowed me down.

A story about Harry Truman and manure. Truman's preference for "earthy" language was of course legendary. He once offended a friend of his wife's at a Washington horticulture show by referring repeatedly to the "good manure" that must have been used to nurture the blossoms. "Bess, couldn't you get the President to say 'fertilizer'?" the woman complained. Replied the First Lady: "Heavens, no. It took me 25 years to get him to say 'manure.'"

Jayce said...

Hi everybody. Lots of French in the puzzle today!

Melissa Bee, thanks for the writeup and links to fun stuff. That clip of Steve Martin playing Inspector Clouseau is excellent in how it shows Martin's skill as an American actor playing a French guy trying to speak English without a French accent. Hilarious on those grounds, albeit perhaps it went on a bit too long.

It reminds me of a similar "I'll teach you how to speak English the way we do" situation in the movie Mickey Blue Eyes as American James Caan tries to get Brit Hugh Grant to say "here" the way they do in New York/New Jersey: "heeeeuh". It's a funny scene, and whether you like Hugh Grant or not I thought he did a great job at trying and failing to pronounce it.

I too got stuck on the East side of the puzzle. First, I wasn't sure whether it should be ESTADOS or ESTADAS, and whether it was Dale Earnhardt JR or SR. Second, I didn't know ECU at all. Third, I had to look up UDINE, but that still didn't help in getting 26D, which could have been _ANS, _ONS, _ANJ, or _ONJ. I had to come here to find out, and, like Husker Gary, even after CONJ was revealed, it took me several minutes (okay, 15 seconds) to get it.

Agreed on RUR and ETUI. Sheesh.

I remember TOQUE from a previous puzzle, so I felt good about that.

There were some clever clues, which you all have already pointed out. I especially liked "It may be pending" = PATENT, and "Life sentences?" = OBIT. The latter had me wanting to put in a plural noun.

I think the coolest fills are HAYMAKER and GNASH. Neat-o words.

Anybody ever heard of an aeronaut?

Is RCA still in existence?

If I add "vula" onto the end of words, will I have to start saying to my wife "I love youvula"?

If I may add a "did you know" fact, I met Nolan Bushnell once way back when, and he told me he came up with the name ATARI from an African word the means "danger" or "watch out." The name of the movie Hatari comes from the same word, BTW.

Garlic Gal and all you fellow Bay Area (does Gilroy count itself as part of the Bay Area?), I hope you made it through the hot day yesterday okay. I like it warm but not THAT warm!

Best wishes to you all.

Dudley said...

C.C. - Thanks for fixing the L-BAR link. It's a new phrase for me, probably one to file away for crosswords...

Jayce said...

Oh, so thaaaaat's what an L Bar is!

Mainiac said...

Afternoon Melissa, CC and All,

Not much for French so the only thing that got me through this one was getting the theme. Jr and Glen Campbell were the first to fall. I had Boque instead of Toque for awhile which made 9D Bone?.

Great links and Blog Mel! My wife and I want to go to Italy for our honeymoon. Udine looks nice.

Maybe next time around Hahtool.

We're supposed to get some rain today. I hope so to get the fire danger down.

Happy Hump Day!

erieruth said...

Great puzzle, great write-up by Melissa Bee. I got sooo stuck because I was SURE that 65a Life sentences? was "Idos" ... but scuba made me realize it was obit!

I work the puzzle almost everday at Starbucks. Today I was asked if I ever time myself ... I said, 'no, I don't want any pressure' - I just work the Xword for fun - it's relaxing ... if I learn something new it's great - but I usually can't remember what I learned the next day (except for etui ... I always remember that). So - the reason for all of this is: WHY DO YOU WORK THE CROSSWORD PUZZLE EACH DAY???

Anonymous said...

UDINE is not pronounced You-dine. It is OOH DIN AY. I was stationed in nearby Trieste at the end of WWII, so learned a bit of the local geography.


carol said...

Hi everyone: Melissa bee, wonderful job, I enjoyed all the clips and info. Thanks too for 'conjunction', it had me confused (not that hard to do though) :)

I did have a good time with the NW corner and thought at first that

this was an easier Wednesday puzzle than usual, then I moved on to the NE corner and was stopped completely. I never can remember the name of the chef's hat, so that was the first difficulty...then came 'Military lifesaver', Ocean State sch, and Mail Boxes.... Arghhh!

I have a question on 65A (Life sentences) - why is there no 'abbr' designation? The answer is OBIT but isn't that an abbr of obituary?

I had never heard of an L-Bar either.

Don't think I'll be forgetting RUR anytime soon.

Lois, hope you're doing ok...let all of us know.

Jayce said...

erieruth, I do it for fun and relaxation. I never time myself, but I'm aware I can spend over an hour on a hard one. I don't mind going slow, as it also passes the time.

Ever since I discovered this blog, another reason has been added to why I do the crossword every day: coming here to read everybody's comments and see what your thoughts and experiences were in working the puzzle, and the tangents the conversations can go off on.

Finally, I specifically do the LAT puzzle (1) because of this blog, and (2) because it is usually the best, most satisfying puzzle of the bunch. I don't enjoy the NYT puzzle at all. Sometimes it's fun to do the USA Today puzzle on line though.

Rich Norris, thank you for doing what you do, and may you keep on doing it for a long time.

Jayce said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention, once I had DELL and DALE, I kept expecting additonal fills to start with 4-letter combinations such as DILL, DOLE, and DULL. Ah, the ways our minds work!

Haha, I just noticed in my previous post that I actually ended a sentence with two prepositions.

Gunghy said...

I do these because I love the challenge. I'm highly competitive, but mostly against myself. X-words allow me the ability to work against myself. I don't own a dictionary and hate going to Google. Monday and Tuesday usually bore me. To tide myself over, I buy compendiums of NY Times and Chicago Tribune Sunday puzzles. I really dislike working online, so this is the only daily I do.

Jeannie said...

Nice puzzle and nice write up Melissabee. One complaint is there were too many French words. You all know how proficient I am in French. Didn’t we have RUR yesterday? I believe googling “etui” is how I found this site. I actually own a toque. A friend gave it to me for Christmas one year as a joke. Like a few others, my favorite clue today was “life sentences”- obits.

Thanks to all of you for your well wishes, and it was good to hear from you especially Linda. It is a struggle but hey, life isn’t easy.

Lois, I hope your procedure goes well today and you can return to swallowing :)

Clear Ayes said...

We haven't had a Shel Silverstein poem for quite a while. I know we have fans here. Speaking of fans (or even better A/C), this one is for JD, Chickie, Jayce GarlicGal, Melissa, Dodo, Gunghy, Warren and anybody else who is suffering in the 100 plus heat in Northern California today. I just peeked at the thermometer on the patio. It reads 105 and it isn't even in direct sunlight....PHEW! I understand it will be coming down in the next day or two. We'll all have our fingers crossed.

It’s Hot!

It’s hot!
I can’t get cool,
I’ve drunk a quart of lemonade,
I think I’ll take my shoes off
And sit around in the shade.

It’s hot!
My back is sticky,
The sweat rolls down my chin.
I think I’ll take my clothes off
And sit around in my skin.

It’s hot!
I’ve tried with ‘lectric fans,
And pools and ice cream cones.
I think I’ll take my skin off
And sit around in my bones.

It’s still hot!

- Shel Silverstein

Spitzboov said...

Carol said: why is there no 'abbr' designation? The answer is OBIT but isn't that an abbr of obituary?

Merriam-Webster does not define obit as an abbreviation, but defines it as a synonym of obituary. (I was wondering the same thing myself.)

Jayce said...

Clear Ayes, thanks so much for the very apropos poem. Shel Silverstein was a genius! (haha, you can see where my poetic tastes lie. Shel Silverstein, Ogden Nash, and "a gal named Lou.")

Well, this is my 5th post today, so I guess I have to shut up now :)

Best wishes.

Jerome said...

John- I know you are a man of taste and refinement, and are used to establishments that only a gentleman would haunt. I, however, have never been allowed entry to a place that actually had a waiter.

carol said...

Spitzboov (2:11) thanks for the info on obit...see, we learn something most everyday here. :)

CA: love that poem! It's not as hot here, nearly 85 going to 91, but that's way too much for me. I'll just stay inside where the A/C has it at a nice 72.

windhover said...

Melissa Bee:
A couple just for you.
A "honey" of question? - CANYONBEEFLY
Eat more honey than the average American? - GORGEONIT

AmieeAya said...

whoa... windhover, good ones!

hi all. happy wednesday. i'm telling you, it's hard to finish the crossword when you spell rope like SOAP, gnash with a K, and Dunlop is Dunlap... yikes, there is no helping me! Hope all is well. Nice pic Dennis :)

dodo said...

Hi, commenters and CC,

Melissa Bee, an exceptional writeup! Thanks and for the links, too!

I liked this one because it was so easy for a Wednesday. I messed up a couple: rezones for rezoned which resulted in Sunlop, which I didn't get corrected because of not proofing....AGAIN! Never did figure out why I had Dale Earnhardt_r until I got here and saw jr.

Do you think we'll ever have Q-bar or W-beam as fills? Where does the ironwork end?

Lois, hope all is well. Hadn't heard about the milkshake reward but livitup when offered!

Clearayes, loved the Shel Silverstien! And thanks for the empathy. DaffyDill, I wish you would tell us where you live so we could get a fix on whether your weather will affect ours! I'd love to be able to look forward to a cooling trend. That said, I guess we really are supposed to have one by the week-end. But you cant tell if they're lying to us!

Jeannie, you are the poster girl for 'Best Friend'. How good you are to those you care about! Even strangers! What a warm heart!

MJ, I'm going to investigate further into I didn't know about their other options. Thanks. I sent them another 2000+ grains yesterday after posting here. (It's nice to be retired!) I think that came to about six bowls.

Lucina, I was just wondering when you would be posting again and voila! (Showing off my French!)

au revoir for now, dodo :o)

P.S. Jeannie, I think baseball is a drag, too, and I don't see why we should have to give a reason!
But one is that it's slow and boooring!

ARBAON said...

Problems of my own making with this one!The first to fall was "Dale Earnhardt" but, not knowing any more than the name and knowing there had to be an "r" because of "user", "jr" took a while. And I had just finished "Night of Thunder" about the Bristol race! Only beef about it was that the in-bred Grumleys were from a state where I have many relatives. And the state gets a bum rap continually!
Remembered "frere" from "Frere Jaques" during which we love to sing the last line as "Sit on my aunt Tina."
Still have an old Atari...might be worth something!
My mother buys a product called "Black Cow" for her plants. She was horrified to know it contained "cow doo doo!(her term for manure.)

Lucina: Es verdad? La bandera de los Estades Unidos es rojo, y blanco y azul."

Listening to weather forecasts in which they give the "vis." made that fall easily.
Does anyone actually darn socks anymore?
And one question: Why is "uvulas" plural when most people have only one? :) I know, I know, it had to fit the grid!
Best song by Glen Campbell was "Galveston." Still very current what with all the middle eastern "unpleasantness." Have relatives going to Bosnia in December. It will probably be the next place our young soldiers will need the "medic." More`s the pity!

daffy dill said...

Dodo, I live at the occasional xwd fill "Odessa" TX, usually clued as an "oil town" or some such. If you find the 90 degree corner where NM abuts TX and run your finger in a straight line southest, you'll find me. I'll on the sidewalk waving.

Re: baseball. If you don't have a dog in the fight, you will probably find it tiresome. I used to think it was too slow, too. When I started following the fortunes (and misfortunes) of the Texas Rangers, I began to enjoy it.

Gunghy said...

Thanks for Shel. I will print that one out. My patio thermometer is not accurate, but is reading a mere 105. (It's 2 pm.) My car was telling me 108. The fun one is the one attached to my weather station: It's in the sun and is reading 141.4.

Our paper is saying 103 tomorrow, 97 on Fri., and 85, 83,85 for the next 3. It's going to seem downright frigid on Sunday.

My son called me when I was in San Antonio, last month. When I complained about the heat on the ride, he said, "Don't go there, dad. It was 130 here." So, what's so important in Afghanistan? He's been told that before he leaves in November he will see below zero temps.

Chickie said...

Hello All--A fairly easy puzzle and all the trouble I had was of my own making.

I had Sauce for Chef's topper and refused to give it up for a very long time. So---the NE corner was the last to fall. Sou for Ecu and Stet for Edit looked ok, too, until I looked up Udine. Doh, Toque should have been a gimme as we've seen it several times lately.

Etui, and Ova are crosswordese that have been useful for a long time. (RUR being my new best word for now). It went into my dictionary yesterday!

Thanks Melissa B. for a great write up and links. Con-J didn't make any sense until I read your explanation.

CA, thanks for the "Hot" poem. Shel Silverstein's book of poems was on my desk at school and I picked it up often. The children (and I) loved his work.

Chickie said...

Aimee Aya it was good to "see" you today. Visit more often if you can.

Bess Truman had a wonderful sense of humor. She may have been a very quiet first lady, but her wry sense of humor popped out every once in a while. I just finished the biography "Harry S. Truman" written by daughter, Margaret. It is worth reading, especially by those of us who lived through that era.

Margaret Truman's murder mysteries are also fun reads. She was really quite a good writer.

Jerome, another amazing analysis!

And Barry--U-Dine--Good one!

Lucina said...

Aloha, again!

Clear Ayes:
It's so great to see you on the blog again! I shall have to go back to catch up on the news.

I don't know your story, but I hope you are doing well.

See my comment to Jeannie.

Yes! I returned Monday at midnight and was too spent to blog yesterday but I plan to read last week's comments.

Thanks for the poem, CA; you can all bask in your under 100 degrees. Here it is 107-112.

Most of you have commented on the good clues and I agree, life sentences and it may be pending were great.

Si. Nuestra bandera es roja, azul y blanca. Somos los estados unidos.

It's just great to "see" you all.

Jerome and John:
Love your hijinks!

GarlicGal said...

Hello again!

@Jayce- We are considered the tail end of Silicon Valley...the end of the line for Santa Clara County. Any further and one would end up in (oh dear!) San Benito County! I think of us as being a part of the Bay Area.

@ARBAON Believe it or not, my 25 y.o. daughter darns her socks! She came across my MIL's old wooden darning egg years ago and became quite fascinated with the whole process. Go figure.

It's a balmy 92 here. Time for a tall, cool, gin and tonic, I do believe!

Clear Ayes said...

Holding steady at 105 at almost 4 PM. I hope Gunghy is right and our weather will cool considerably by the weekend...PHEW!

eirieruth, I started doing puzzles in our local paper about two and a half years ago. I found this blog when I was stumped on a fill.

Since then, I've switched to cruciverb's LAT on-line version, because it shows up here around 7 PM the previous night. It is my "zone-out" relax time.

Just as much as I enjoy the puzzles, I enjoy reading the opinions of the people on this blog. Funny, informative and friendly, the people here are terrific.

Anonymous said...

According to a daily, well-used crossword dictionary. a bygone French coin was called a sou. A word for a French coin is called a ecu.

Chickie said...

Garlic Gal and Arbaon, My father made me a beautiful bird's eye maple darning egg. He loved doing woodworking and had an old fashioned turning lathe. Besides being a beautiful piece of sculpture that graces my sewing room I do darn socks and other items such as linens that have a worn place or small hole.

It is a soothing passtime and rewarding when the work is done. Rather like knitting or crocheting.

My High School sewing teacher had one day a week where we didn't sew on our garments, but did darning, button holes, hemstitching, and other hand work tasks. Learning those tasks has been very useful over the years.

Spitzboov said...

2 notes on 'darning'

My mother had a darning egg made of a natural stone. Very smooth.

Traditionally sailor were given part of Wednesdays off when conditions permitted to attend to personal matters, particularly sewing and repair of clothing. It was called 'rope yarn Sunday'. Herewith:

On the day the tailor boarded a sailing ship in port, the crew knocked off early, broke out rope yarn and mended clothes and hammocks. One afternoon per week at sea, usually a Wednesday, was reserved for mending. Since it was an afternoon for rest from the usual chores, much like Sunday, it was dubbed "rope yarn Sunday."

The Navy adhered to the custom up to the years immediately after World War II; men used Wednesday afternoon for personal errands like picking up their laundry and getting haircuts. Of course they paid back the time by working a half-day on Saturdays.

Today, uniforms require less attention so rope yarn Sunday has been turned to other purposes; mainly early liberty or a time for catching up on sleep. Some, however, still adhere to tradition and break out the ditty bag for an afternoon of uniform PMS [Preventative Maintenance Schedule].

ARBAON said...

For the sock darners: I "darn" them too as in "Darn! A hole! Well I guess I`ll throw that one out!"
Chickie and Garlic Gal: you both must have the patience of a Saint!

"Sonnez les matines"
(Morning bells are ringing.)
Became "Sit on my aunt Tina."

Melissa B: Fun job.

Reading Piccoult`s "House Rules."
I now know why I do some of the things I do and why seemingly inconsequential things worry the "kerflooey" out of me. It`s about Asperger`s Syndrome and I seem to have a lot of the characteristics... Fascinating book!

JD said...

It's 95 at 5 in the shade.Loved the poem, CA. S.S.'s poetry was also a hit with my students, and I have to say I'd laugh right along with them.Many books were "borrowed" and never returned.

Carol, I love it that your beautiful flower never wilts.It saddens me that my pink crape myrtle is beginning to fade.....

Bill, that was a hilarious Truman story.

I'm so hoping that Lois has had 2 or 3 milk shakes by now, and that her procedure went well.

Had to laugh Garlic Gal about your darning egg. When my girls found mine, they used them as microphones. In H.S. we had to darn socks after church EVERY week, and by my Senior year my socks were a mess,and I was really tired of it. Like Chickie, I don't darn socks EVER, but I do use the darning "skill" to mend other things.

Bill G. said...

72 here this afternoon with that nice sea breeze. Made for a pleasant bike ride.

Chickie are you sure that biography was titled Harry S. Truman? I had heard that he didn't have a middle name and just used the letter S without a period since it wasn't an abbreviation, but I may have misremembered.

Anonymous said...

A coincidence reading same funny joke by anon 9:27 this pm from a back issue of Reader's Digest.

Jokemeister said...

Anon@7:34, I originally heard the joke as an Irishman who just moved from Dublin and goes into a New York pub, orders three pints of Guinness, etc.... Just because it was published in the Readers Digest as a "cowboy" joke and was repeated by Anon@9:27 doesn't make it a coincidence, or any less amusing. 9:27 never said he made the joke up himself.

erieruth said...

Gunghy & Jayce - Thanks - I totally agree ... although I'm not competitive - I find working the xwords relaxing, fun, and frustrating!!! I was sent to this blog one day when I was super frustrated and I've been reading it daily ever since!!

I think there must be a crossword gene in some of us!!!

Mainiac said...

Spitzboov, Thanks for the Notes on Darning. I've ended up with my grandfathers buttons and brass and it reminded me that I have had to explain to my boys the way he was required to dress. Very different than today's Navy. His license plate hangs on the stairway wall: USNA 34 when he graduated. I'm trying to track down some of the history he had in his basement. He was a Commander of Repairs and had a piece of the meatball the Kamikaze was carrying when he hit the ship going down through three decks.

Tonight at Karate we worked on the defense of the "Haymaker". I was thinking very timely considering the crossword of the day except I was the one throwing it! Very easy to defend.

Spitzboov said...

Mainiac - Interesting story. What ship was he on? Sounds like it might have been a carrier.

Hahtool said...

MAinaic: sorry we missed you. Seeing Bar Harbor again made me really appreciate the beautiful Maine coast. It is something I miss in LA.

What Jayce said about doing the crossword puzzle. I have been doing them for years, but this blog has really improved my ability. Plus I enjoy the company of the people here.

Bill G. said...

When Barbara and I visited some Internet friends in Maine, we borrowed their car and headed up the coast from Portland. We were surprised to find we could drive to the pretty coast here and there but we couldn't drive along the coast as you can up US 1 in California. Or maybe you can but we weren't in the right places.

I agree with erieruth about crosswords and relaxation. That's why I don't worry about my time and have turned the online clocks off. I like doing them online at the LA Times and with Across Lite. I enjoy the LAT red letters late in the week but I find the black triangles in Across Lite annoying.

Jeannie said...

I am at Mary and John's abode. It is really a feat for me as I wasn't prepared to see John in the state he is in. I saw him a couple of weeks ago and he took me 2 out of 3 cribbage games. Today, he didn't even want to play. I am amazed at how soon when you are determined "terminal" you go. I actually laid down with him and rubbed his back. Nothing sexual here, but it made him feel better, and gave Mary a break. My heart is breaking. Weird thing....we wrote his "obit" tonight...his sentences of life. He told us what to write.

Tomorrow is another day. Lois, I hope you "came" out well.

CA, I am truly sorry that you are reliving this crap via me as I know what you are going through and what looms up ahead. My thoughts are with you.

Chickie said...

Bill G. I have loaned my book about Truman so I didn't have the reference in hand to go by. I did look up the title to be sure, and the cover of the book has Harry S. Truman with a period after the S. However, a couple of the other sites in Google have Harry S Truman with no period.

I don't think he had a middle name, but it is interesting to find the listing done both ways, especially the paper back sold by Amazon.

Jazzbumpa said...

Jeannie -

Sorry for your ordeal. Stay strong, my friend.

Lois -

Hope you are in fine fettle soon.

I do crosswords for the enjoyment. Really nothing more to it than that.

The most intensely preposition-ended sentence I ever heard requires a set-up. A dad would read to his son every night at bed time. One night he decided to take advantage of the quite time after the boy fell asleep to catch up on his own reading, so he brought along a book of his own.

The little guy looked at him and asked, "Dad, what did you bring that book that I'm not going to be read to out of up for?"

Night, all,
JzB the GRAY ERA trombonist

Dennis said...

Finally, some time to sit and catch up with the blog -- long day.

Clear Ayes, while the L-Bar certainly looks like a target-rich environment, I think I'll pass. I'm making a conscious effort to keep my lesbian tendencies in check.

For you guys suffering with the heat, I can empathize; we've finally come out of our heat wave, and I won't rub it in by telling you what the weather's like here now.

erieruth, as to why I do crosswords, there's several reasons: First, I'm extremely competitive and like any kind of challenge, whether it's with someone else, something else or myself. Second, I truly believe that the mental stimulation helps to delay the inevitable deterioration that occurs as we age. Third, this is an outstanding group and I'm happy to be part of it. And fourth, I absolutely love doing them; a most enjoyable way to start the day, regardless of whether they're great or just ok. And I truly appreciate the effort the constructors put in to create these diversions for us.

Melissa Bee, Lois, I hope everything's ok - missed your inputs today.

Annette said...

One of my sisters still darns her socks. My father used to darn his too.

Jeannie, my thoughts are with you. You're such a giving person! And I'm sure both your friends appreciate you being there immensely!

Lois, I hope your treatment went okay today... I hope we get an update tomorrow.

I do the crosswords because I'm enjoying the challenge. It's also really increased my confidence and I learn such interesting things fromt he puzzles and the blog. I think it's even helped me think more clearly and focused.

Of course, seeing the puzzle on the corner of my desk, with the name of any of my favorite constructors on it, and knowing there will be some juicy discussions on the blog about it - can definitely a distraction at work some days!

Lemonade714 said...

Lolita, you will be fine, because you understand. Some nice fun today gang thank you, I am way too busy and it helps to laugh. Lois best wishes for all things. Aimee, good to see you; it is great when our comers and goers stop by.
sleep well all

Dot said...

Jeannie, You have certainly been through a lot this year but I pray that you will be able to comfort and encourage these suffering friends.

Melissa, re. Luke. He was not one of the Apostles. He was a gentile convert, probably by Paul since he travelled with Paul on some of his journeys.

After reading about the temperatures in Afghanastan, I thought the climate might explain the on-going, never ending unrest in the country.

kazie said...

Nice to see some old faces back to visit here today. Don't be strangers!

I admire your tenacity in caring for your friends. It's not easy dealing with that with people you are close to.

I don't really darn any more, but I have a beautiful lacquered darning egg inherited from my mother and grandmother. It's not heavy, so I think it's made of wood.

Bob said...

Couldn't get around to the puzzle again today. For now, I'll probably have to settle for an occasional entry on this blog, at least until things at school settle down a bit. I'll read posts and post entries as I find time. Best to everyone in the meantime.

Clear Ayes said...

Dennis, The Bar-L did say it was for ladies and their friends. You're one of the most friendly guys I know.

Jeannie, Sorry to hear about your sick friend. It doesn't bother me at all when you talk about it. I do appreciate your concern. In case anyone else might have misunderstood, I know that "what looms up ahead" is just a figure of speech. Nothing is looming for me except some ongoing treatment that is not fun, but doable.