Sep 17, 2010

Friday September 17, 2010 John Lampkin

Theme: AP IP - AP is replaced by IP in the first word of each two-word common phrase.

17A. Ballet? : TIP DANCING. The base phrase is Tap Dancing.

27A. Photo session with a klutz? : TRIP SHOOTING. Trapshooting. Constructor John Lampkin is an avid photographer and recently shot some scenes at sea on the Maine Coast the day after Hurricane Earl blew by. In other words, he did some TRIP SHOOTING OF WATER. See his dramatic images here.

47A. Part of a barber shop review? : SNIP JUDGMENT. Snap Judgment. Fun clue.

62A. Christmas morning ritual? : RIP SESSION. Rap Session. Such an evocative answer.

The first and the last both have one consonant in front of IP, the middle pair have a double consonant blend. I like the symmetry, intended or not.

I wonder if John tried three blend consonant clusters like STR, you know, Strap Down to STRIP DOWN. Sounds good to me.

I mentioned last week how constructors pride themselves in debuting a new word/phrase, today we have WINGNUT (24D. Hand-tightened fastener). With the I & U (from two pre-set theme answers) in place, John could have gone with DISH OUT or FIRE UP or any other existing choices. He went extra mile and got WINGNUT. Safe clue. No political controversy. I loved the fill also because it's a nickname for carrier based fighter pilot. Familiar with the term, Spitzboov?


1. Bulldogs' home : YALE. Yale Bulldogs.

5. Controversial 2009 Nobelist : OBAMA. Controversial indeed.

10. Tevye's toast subject : LIFE. Tevye is the father in "Fiddler on the Roof". L'chaim (literally "to life")!

14. Airline with a King David Lounge : EL AL

15. Drink disparaged by W.C. Fields : WATER. "I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it."

16. Bridal gown shade : ECRU

19. Iberian Peninsula invader : MOOR (756-1492)

20. Cartographic detail : INSET

21. Au pair in a ring? : KTS (Karats). Au = Gold (Thanks, Dennis) chemically. Why pair? The "Au pair" play is lost on me.

22. Salsa instrument : BONGO

23. Can't commit : SEESAWS. Hey, CC alliteration.

25. "Don't gimme that!" : C'MON

32. Realtors' database: Abbr. : MLS. Dictionary says it stands for Multiple Listing Service. Not a familiar term to me.

35. Abbr. part, often : INIT (Initial). Drew a blank.

36. "The nerve!" : I NEVER

37. Court cry : OYEZ. Used to think it's O YES. Another CC alliteration.

39. Airborne annoyances : GNATS

41. Dynamic opening? : AERO. Aerodynamic.

42. Gibbon, e.g. : SIMIAN

44. Naldi of silents : NITA. Lives forever in Xword due to her Xword friendly name.

46. Use a seed drill : SOW. What is a seed drill?

50. She played Elizabeth I in "Elizabeth" : CATE (Blanchett). Very sculpted face.

51. Wrote a Dear John : ENDED IT

55. Shot to the face? : BOTOX. Man, I understands the humor, but this clue still sounds a bit violent to me.

58. ESP, e.g. : PSI. Just learned the telepathy meaning of PSI a few weeks ago.

60. Predawn : EARLY

61. Pundit's piece : OP-ED. Alliteration.

64. Area between gutters : LANE. Bowling.

65. Come about : OCCUR

66. Further : ELSE

67. Line discontinued in 2004 : OLDS

68. Military camp : ETAPE. Learned from doing Xword.

69. Blonde, at times : DYER


1. Elusive Himalayans : YETIS

2. "Drop me __" : A LINE. Or A NOTE.

3. Dropping the ball, so to speak : LAPSE. Hmm, "so to speak", I bet Lois seldom lapses.

4. First arrival : ELDEST

5. MYOB part : OWN. MYOB = Mind Your Own Business.

6. English, maybe : BACKSPIN. The pool term "English". Can it also mean SIDE SPIN, Lois?

7. Arguing : AT IT

8. Good guy : MENSCH. Nice consonants-rich word.

9. Its mon. unit is the peso : ARG (Argentina)

10. Throat-soothing brew : LEMON TEA. Iced Lemon Tea is very popular in Hongkong.

11. Macintosh's apple, e.g. : ICON

12. __ legs : FROG. Delicious! Delicacy in Guangzhou.

13. Prefix with bond or dollar : EURO. We had this clue before.

18. Game company first called Syzygy : ATARI. Unaware of the trivia. What does Syzygy mean?

22. Godsend : BOON

26. What misters do : MOISTEN. Misters = Ones who mist. Notice it's not capitalized?

28. Ford muscle car, to devotees : STANG

29. Lithographer James : IVES

30. Fabled fiddler : NERO. Alliteration. Nero fiddles while Rome burns.

31. Generate interest : GROW

32. Damp area growth : MOSS

33. The Eagles' "__' Eyes" : LYIN'

34. Big Mack : SEMI. Nice play on "Big Mac".

38. 60606 and 70707, e.g. : ZIP CODES. Awesome clue. Where are those two places, by the way?

40. Proctor's announcement : TIME IS UP. Another debut entry.

43. "Iliad" hero : AJAX. He rescued the body of Achilles and killed himself when Achilles' armor went to Odysseus.

45. Much of Chile : ANDES

48. Portray : DEPICT

49. Ribbed : TEASED

52. How deadpan humor is delivered : DRILY

53. Terse concession : I LOSE. Always wanted I LOST.

54. Jazz pianist McCoy __ : TYNER. Sorry, Sir, don't know you. I am sure Jazzbumpa will pick a smooth link for us.

55. New Mexico's official neckwear : BOLO. Can you picture Gunghy with a bolo tie?

56. Fire __ : OPAL. The fill-in-the blank clues today are not that easy.

57. Be inclined (to) : TEND

59. Shelter org. : SPCA

62. Some eggs : ROE. Now I see "egg", I see IRA. Nest egg.

63. Long lead-in : ERE. Erelong.

I did not notice any clecho (clue echo), you? Go there and thumb up, lurkers. Thanks.

Answer grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - I loved the challenge of this puzzle, and it was a real struggle for me. Fortunately, the theme was obvious early on and that helped with the remaining theme answers. Well-done theme too.

I got confused right off the bat with 'Bulldogs' home', since I automatically relate 'Bulldogs' to my team, the Georgia Bulldogs. After I got that reconciled, it was slow and (un)steady the rest of the way. There were some very good clues in this one that really gave me pause, such as 'Line discontinued in 2004', 'Shot to the face', and 'Area between gutters'.

Favorite clue was 'Au pair in a ring' (once I figured it out). A very enjoyable and difficult puzzle for me.

C.C., I looked them up - 60606 is Chicago IL and 70707 is Gonzales LA. And 'syzygy' is defined as "the nearly straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies (as the sun, moon, and earth during a solar or lunar eclipse)".

Today is National Apple Dumpling Day, Citizenship Day (Hooray for C.C.), Constitution Day and very importantly -- POW/MIA Recognition Day. We still need 'em all back.

Did You Know?:

- Prohibition didn't end in Mississippi until 1966.

- Pogo sticks were first used by sacrificial dancers in Borneo.

- Don't believe the Scots. The kilt originated in France.

Ever realize how many redundancies we use in everyday conversation? Here's a few - how many others can you name?

- knots per hour
- temporary reprieve
- cluster together
- disappear from view
- total extinction
- violent explosion

Lemonade714 said...

Welcome C.C. and class:

I knew it was going to be a great Friday; John Lampkin, and his first clue is a semi-obscure gimme for this Connecticut boy with many relatives who went to YALE. TIP Dancing, TRIP SHOOTING, I was flying. For a second there I thought I was getting a plug, but it was LEMON TEA. Then the fun; What misters do: MOISTEN; Shot to the face: BOTOX. I named my red betta AJAX; OYEZ is a legal term, WINGNUT is how I describe a friend of mine; this puzzles just flowed from me like a fine wine. Thanks JL, it is all good.

Argyle said...

'Au pair in a ring' (once I figured it out)

I still haven't figured it out.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Another fun, challenging puzzle that I was able to complete unassisted after numerous passes. This time, though, knowing the theme did help me in spots.

I had no clue what KTS was referring to until I came here. Now that I know that AU refers to the chemical symbol for gold, I still don't get the clue. Who ever heard of a two karat gold ring? A ring with a two carat diamond, perhaps, but that's another thing entirely. I think John or Rich were just trying too hard to be clever, personally...

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, CC and all. I loved this puzzle. I could figure out this one, despite the misleading clue, unlike yesterday's puzzle. Even with misreading a few clues, I could still figure out the responses. (On the first pass, I misread Salsa Instrument as Salsa Ingredient, although it could still be clued that way.)

There was a mini-Jewish theme today with EL AL, MENSCH, and To LIFE

I quickly figured out the ZIP CODES because 70707 is in Southern Louisiana - Gonzales, Louisiana to be exact. Not terribly far from me.

Maybe after seeing NITA Naldi I will remember her next time.

My grandmother had some Currier and IVES lithographs.

Argyle, the Au Pair in a Ring was a great misleading clue because "AU" is the periodic table symbol for Gold, and diamonds are carets/karets.

My favorite clue was First Arrival = ELDEST.

John, I loved your photos of Maine. The light house with its reflection is especially beautiful. Thanks for sharing them with us.

QOD: Necessity never made a good bargain. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all, a nice difficult puzzle for a Friday and the cluing was very refreshing. I had a couple of unknowns such as 54D Tyner and 29D Ives, otherwise not too bad with perp help.

I particularly liked “shot to the face” and “Yale”. I am not sure why Yale came to me so fast, I guess when I saw only four letters it was obvious.

Nice day coming here to western PA so it will be off to the golf course.

Hope you all have a great Friday.

Anonymous said...

In a RING, one can find the PAIR: gold (Au) and diamonds; both of which can be evaluated in KTS (karats).

HeartRx said...

Good Morning C.C. et al.
C.C. - Thank you for teasing out some of the knotty clue meanings for me. I always enjoy reading other peoples takes on puzzles. I liked "Area between gutters" - of course, I was thinking of the "eaves", but LANES filled in with perps, and I said "Oh - highways, of course". Then I came here to see that it was bowling lanes - so clever!

I had "OYEr" for 37A, and MOld for 32D, so that was a few eraser crumbs before I got "SIMIAN" and "SNIP...".

Like Dennis, I got confused immediately because I thought of "Georgia" instead of YALE (my DH is from TN and is a big SEC fan - we watch all the games this time of year).

I wonder if CATE Blanchett had any BOTOX???

Au Pair in a ring - could he mean 22 carat gold ("22" is the pair)??

Oh, and thanks for the wonderful photos from John - they were magnificent. He certainly is not a Klutz when it comes to shooting!!

For Dennis - "I don't want to be unnecessarily redundant, but..."
-advance planning (Did you plan to do it yesterday?)
-empty space (like what's between my ears?)
-regular routine (I won't go there...)
-armed gunman (what - there are gunmen without arms? How do they carry their weapons??)

Argyle said...

Replace Au with gold:

"Gold pair in a ring?"

Where do diamonds figure into it?

Argyle said...

But "Au part in a ring?" does make sense. Maybe that is the answer?

Spitzboov said...

Good Morning C.C. and all. A fun puzzle, John. Thank you.

Not a difficult puzzle for a Friday. A little back and forth in the S but it all fell after applying the theme rules. Loved RIP SESSION. MOISTEN was very clever. WAGS included LIFE, ATARI and ANDES. Had 'droll' first for DRILY. No searches needed.

Got KTS from the perps. In hindsight a great clue - au pair. AU is the chemical symbol for gold.

C.C. - Our slang for pilots was 'airdales" or "zoomies". My sense is that 'wingnut' would be somewhat pejorative. Perhaps you were thinking of something like this?

Today is also called Citizenship day.

Best wishes.

Mr.Moto said...

When I was in the Navy, all of the following were used regarding pilots: zoomies, airedales, brown-shoes, and yes, frequently wingnuts.

C.C. as Dennis said, Hooray for you on Citizenship Day. You've made a wonderful blog.

creature said...

Good Morning C.C. and all

Thanks,C.C., for your lively write-up. Good explanations- 'english and 'mensch' are both new to me. 'oyez'- how is this pronounced? As a cry, is it yelled? What does it mean?

My fav was 'shot to the face'.

I had to dogpile 54d and 44a, but maybe I'll remember Naldi's name one day. Hope I remember Jazz pianist McCoy Tyner. I'll go back to blog again.

John did a great job on this puzzle. I moved fairly quickly through it with perps and was my own worst enemy again holding onto mold for moss, until the south fill bumped me along.

I got the i to a part of the theme and overlooked the p. This would have speeded up the process; goes to show me that pleasure is not neccessarily in speed alone.

Love your pictures.

Have a nice day everyone.

creature said...

let me just say,I definitely know pleasure is not in speed- always.

Every good citizen knows that.

More on the kilts from France origin!

Vidwan827 said...

Au Pair in a ring -

Au pair - (french ? ) - a girl ( generally ...) foreign resident, hired in the US/UK for domestic work and child care, works for lodging, boarding and a sub-minimum wage ...( and an opportunity to learn the language and culture ...).

Au - Aurum is the chemical symbol for Gold....

Thus ... Au H2O ... was the chemical formula - political logo for Barry Goldwater ( US Republican Presidential aspirant ...1964 ? ).

CTs or Kts is a carat - weight of precious or other gemstones ... equal to one fifth of a gram ...or 200 milligrams.

Carat(s) ... in another context ... refers to the purity of the Gold.

24 Carats - 100 % Gold.

22 Carats - 22 /24 or 91.67 % Gold.

18 Carat - 18 /24 or 75.0 % Gold

16 Carat - 16 / 24 or 66.67 % Gold

12 Carat - 12/ 24 or 50.0% Gold

8 Carat and below, commonly sold in the US is just junk. The common diluent(s) are Copper (Cu) for color, Silver (Ag) for ductility and malleability and Tin (Sn) and Zinc (Zn). At one time Platinum (Pt) was added for hardness, but now it is 30 % more expensive than Gold itself... ( now about ~ $ 1590/fine ounce - 31 grams versus $ 1220/f.oz. for Gold).

Final rant 'factoid' - In M.E. and far East Asia, the purity of Gold is quickly and fairly accurately determined by using the gold jewellery, being analysed, and using it to make a scratch or a 'mark' on a fine, smooth black stone and comparing it ( the color, that is ...) with a 'mark' of a 'known' gold purity calibrated sample. The mark is very small, so as not to 'use up' any significant amount of the gold. The stone, called a 'touchstone', ( is also called 'kasoti' in India ) is pure black, granite grain, silica based, very smooth and of uniform color ... found in 'rounded' forms in the river beds of the Himalayas.

End of rant.

(I wonder, if all this, helps you in determining the crossword answer, in any way ?? ).

Hahtoolah said...

With regard to 69-Across: Technically, a blonde bleaches her hair, not dyes.

creature said...

hahtool- not if the blonde was originally gray, then one is technically dyed.

Not that I should know such a thing.

kazie said...

Re au pair: I took it to be a PAIR of rings made of gold (AU)--nothing to do with the number of Karats.

I had a hard time with this all the way through and had to google most of the names. Liked the theme, but had to wait until I got SNIP to see it and go back to fill in the rest.

I'd had SITTING for SHOOTING before that, which slowed the NE considerably. Had no idea bout YALE, not knowing anything about college sport. To me it seems oxymoronic to spend so much on sport at a tertiary institution.

Still don't know what PSI stands for.

Vidwan827 said...

Sorry I could not add in my previous rant ...

For C.C. - Fantastic blogging - great work !!! Loved your comments ... thank you !

Zip Codes - trivia Question ( for Jeopardy, no less ...)

There are no zip codes, in the US, which repeat the same number FIVE times ... except for .... '44444' ... which is for Newton Falls, Ohio ... near Youngstown, near the PA., border ...the towns only claim to fame, is that a devastating tornado hit it in 1979.... Now you know.

Spitzboov said...

Vidwan Re: zip codes

55555 = Young America, MN

22222 = Arlington, VA

Husker Gary said...

Good Morning C.C. (great write-up as always) and other Puzzlers, any references to speed today will not be well received in this corner. I had to shop at G-World for TYNER and ETAPE but gutted out the rest. The theme was clever, immediately obvious and very helpful

Does anyone remember the MOOR/MOOP reference vis-a-vis Seinfeld?

While I might live in the near West, I have never seen anyone with a BOLO tie. My brother-in-law calls everyone a WINGNUT.

I have seen a DRILL used as a planter and it is a far cry from Sowing. BTW, the 20 foot tall sower sits on top of our lovely Nebraska State Capitol. Believe me, drilling beans ain't sowin'.

I got TEASED first and then had a four letter word for Blonde starting with D. Hmmmm... I wonder what word I chose first?

There was a very rare syzygy of almost all the planets a few years ago and all the WINGNUTS and freaks were out predicting the end of the world just like they are in the 2012. Guess what happened? Not one damn thing, just like it will be in 2012!

I am subbing today and Proctoring my little heart out. So with that as prelude, I will say, "TIME IS UP"

Anonymous said...

(I wonder, if all this, helps you in determining the crossword answer, in any way ?? )


Jim in Norfolk said...

Had to look up Naldi, Cate, Ajax, Tyner and life. Au pair is too much of a stretch for my taste. Reminds me of the lyrics in SDimon & Garfunkel's "Kathy's Song":
"And the song I was writing is left undone
I don't know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can't believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme"
My favorite redundancy is "duplicate copy" from many credit card receipt printers. I also appreciate that "card swiped" is considered a good thing in retail, even though they don't like shoplifters.

Anonymous said...

21. Au pair in a ring? : KTS Doesn't make sense to me either. Constructor tried too hard to be cute.

Tinbeni said...

I was not impressed with the change the 'A' to an 'I' themes.

The rest of the puzzle did have the John Lampkin KTS. Loved the photos.

Maybe it's just me, but I have never heard anyone who was a Mustang WINGNUT refer to his car as a STANG.

Was thinking the Bridal gown shade was going to be White not ECRU (thought about drawing an extra box there).

And of course my first thought for Throat-soothing brew, LEMON TEA, was something a whole lot stronger than flavored WATER.

JD said...

Good morning C.C. and all,

The theme for me today was "Didn't know that!" We are leaving for Lake Tahoe this morning so I had limited time. I stopped at moisten...very clever! As I was slowly putting together the pieces, I kept repeating...didn't know that..or, a-ha, except for Obama and bongo.

Have a lovely weekend all, and an even better week. I will miss knowing just what day it is Dennis, and, my favorites,the "Did you knows"? On the other hand, I will have my 3 boys to keep me busy for part of the week.

Can't believe it...rain is forecast, which might mean snow for us. Yikes!

Anonymous said...

Strictly speaking, JL was wrong in calling "english" backspin.

"English" definition.
When a cue ball is struck on either side of its vertical axis, giving it “side spin”. English may also occur when a ball collides with another or with a rail
Topspin or draw spin (when the cue ball is struck high or low of center upon its vertical axis) also affects a ball, though many players mistakenly call these spins “english”. English is hitting the ball to promote sidespin. (end quote)

creature said...

I'm using up all my times,though not lenghthy, but I hesitated to spell 'drily' instead of 'dryly', which is what my dictionary uses.

Is only my dictionary? I don't have time to check yet.

I even hesitated to mention this,

Spitzboov said...

@Husker Re: Drill

In my youth, we always 'sowed' corn or grain with the appropriate drill.

This from

a small furrow made in the soil in which to sow seeds.
a row of seeds or plants thus sown.
a machine for sowing in rows and for covering the seeds when sown.
–verb (used with object)
to sow (seed) in drills.
to sow or plant (soil, a plot of ground, etc.) in drills.

Lucina said...

Good morning, C.C. and all puzzlers.

Loved your blog, C.C.

John Lampkin gives me an extra urge, so no LAPSES in solving. The fills moved right along; YETIS confimed YALE and on it moved.

I thought the i-a replacement was clever.

Fav clues;
first arrival, ELDEST
big mack, SEMI
shot to the face, BOTOX and isn't it violence done to the face, Hahtool?

Had no idea about KTS and still don't.

STANG simply emerged and I never thought about Mustang!

As has been stated NITA Naldi is a xwd staple.

I love the movie, Elizabeth I with CATE Blancett and watch it any time I can. That whole era of history fascinates me.

John, this was a BOON.

Have a marvelous Friday, everyone! Baby's awake.

kazie said...

I too had DRYLY at first. I also misspelled KATE until CODE took care of that.

I didn't have a clue as to how backspin related to "English". Thanks anon@10:36.

Now for the language lesson for the day:

"Mensch" in German means a "human being" as opposed to other animals. But they also use it in the same sense as in Yiddish, as well as a mild expression of surprise, perhaps replacing our old friend "Ach!"

Frog's legs in French is "cuisses de grenouille", literally frog's thighs, which makes sense since that's where most of the meat is.

√Čtape is also French, meaning a stage or level in a series. Hence in the military context, a camp being one stage/section/stop in a march to somewhere farther on.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Before I forget, John L. I loved your photos, particularly the take of the reflected lighthouse.

Today's puzzle was full of "D'oh", "Aha!" and even a couple of "Whaat?".

The theme answers were my biggest "D'oh!". I got 'em, but the switch back to "AP" just didn't happen until I saw C.C.'s write-up and gave my head a good slap which jiggled my brain into shape.

38D ZIPCODES came easily because I have a passel of cousins in Chicago 606XX areas.

I'm still at the "Whaat?" stage for the 21A explanation of KTS clue. I'm sure John Lampkin will stop by and fill us in.

Maybe I wasn't devoted enough when we owned a Mustang. I've never heard STANG used.


I was surprised and pleased to see McCoy TYNER at 54D. We have his "Fly With The Wind" CD. We bought it because a friend of ours, who is now retired, played oboe on one (or was it two?) selections. We became fans after we played the CD.

g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all:

Found this puzzle difficult, but muddled thru it with two look ups: Life and Tyner. Had crab legs at first instead of frog legs. Like Dennis my initial thought was the Georgia Bulldogs, one of UF's top rivals. Did not get AU pair in a ring? until I got here.

Dennis: Planning Ahead; unite together; temporary pause;

Vidwan827 said...

Spitzboov: Thank you for the info for zip code 55555 and 22222... Wow ! ... I really learnt something new today.

55555 - Young America, MN, is where I would mail all my receipts and copious paperwork to collect the 'supposed' mail-in rebates for TVs, Computers and other electronic goods ... never got a rebate check back in my life !!!

Also, Spitz, thanks for the linkup to the 'Wingnut' blog .... I noticed all those airlines are now closed, bankrupted or defunct .... but I really laughed so hard at the radio transmission that goes on .... and the passengers never get to hear it !

hahtool - Thanks for the L'Chaim youtube video linkup - I have watched that movie umpteen times - but I keep forgetting some of the scenes. Brought back memories. Yom Kippur is tomorrow ...

Dennis: If the kilt originated in France - did they wear lacy underwear 'neath it ?... Also does this mean Argyle has to develop an accent and 'put on airs' ?

Did the pogo sticks help the sacrificial dancers to escape, ... from being sacrificed themselves ?

Anonymous said...

'Mensch' in Yiddish really means - a man who exhibits the 'finest' qualities of his sex, err ... gender - strength, kindness, compassion, courage, wisdom and bravery. Not every man can be considered a mensch.

Are redundancies the other side of the coin of oxy-morons ? Like a 'violent peace',... or ( he was hurt ...) 'pretty bad' ... or 'intelligent b-----' ?

Jerome said...

Rare. Dead center in the grid. A palindrome. GNATS crossing STANG.

In RIP SESSION you can find a Yucatan yes man. He's a SI SI PERSON.

Good stuff- ZIPCODES, WINGNUT (KFC fan), BACKSPIN, MENSCH (learned a new Yiddish word yesterday- Yutzim), FROG, and BOTOX. Loved the irony in the BOTOX clue: "Shot to the face?" 'cause that will certainly give you a fat lip and so will BOTOX.

OUR C.C., she's right there in OCCUR.

"Au pair in a ring?" Great clue.

Bill G. said...

I wanted DRYLY instead of DRILY but my dictionary has both. Never heard a Mustang called a STANG by anybody. Anytime a clue needs as much explaining as 'Au pair in a ring', then I agree with Barry G. and others.

I've visited that lighthouse in Maine. Isn't it called the Portland Head Light?

Bob said...

Moderate difficulty puzzle. Took 26minutes to complete. No errors or help.

Anonymous said...

26 D. What do misters do ?


... with apologies, and attribution to the other blog.

As in, what was ( the Late ... ) Dodi Fayed, consort of ( the Late )Princess Diana doing ?

Like his name ... Do Di.

(Attribution to Johnny Carson ).

Nice Cuppa said...

Oyez, Oy vey, OK. One of those multi-pass, not speed-pass, mornings, with the "ta-da" coming unexpectedly as I retrieved "ETAPE" from some deep neural recess. 3 of the theme clues were obvious enough but somehow unsatisfying. The triple play in "SNIP JUDGMENT" was the highlight, made easier now I have learned to leave the middle E out (though that might have been a quadruple play for me - "snip" judgement => judgment. Yeah, well).

BOTOX I know, I have worked with it. Short for BOTULINUM TOXIN, one of the most deadly toxins known to man (and woman). It paralyzes nerve cells. MAKE SURE you get the right type and the right amount. About 100 nanograms of type A (which is cosmetic BOTOX) will kill you (that's about 1 billionth of an ounce). So 1 ounce would easily take out North America....

MENSCH - I had to check this after the crosses gave it. No Kvetsh, but my Yiddish is limited. Klutz was another word (which I did know) in this theme.

Did not like the clue for "LAPSE" - seems to be the wrong part of speech to me. "DROP the ball" perhaps (verb). "A DROPPING OF the ball"? (Noun) Nah.

I e-pencilled in "MY BAD" for TERSE CONCESSION. It's a phrase I have sworn never to use myself, but have braced myself for its arrival in this medium.

With regards The Mysterious Au Pair (Mmm, I'd sure like to meet one), I have another potential explanation, though it is more obtuse, in which "Au" does not mean gold:

"Au pair" literally means "equal terms". Since karat is the term used for both components of a ring - gold (quality) and diamond (quantity), karats are "equal terms" to define a ring. Hmm. Nah.

Talking of Au Pairs and Au reminds me of the unforgettable mnemonic (redundancy?) we were taught at college to remember the names of the Lanthanide elements (the "Rare Earths"). Brace yourself, you never know:

"LAtely College Parties NEver PRoduce Sexy EUROPean Girls That Drink Hard Even THough You Look"

Ah, those were the days... FYI - the elements, in order are:

LAnthanum, Cerium, Praseodymium, NEodymium, PROmethium, Samarium (Sexy Sam), EUROPium (of course), Gadolinium (Gad girl?), Terbium, Dysprosium (nice echo of DIPSO), Holmium, Erbium, THulium (cannot say this without sticking my tongue out), Ytterbium, Lutetium

As Peter Sellars once said while impersonating Michael Caine "Not a lot of people know that." ("No' u lo' o' peepul na tha' ") in my best Cockney.



Anonymous said...

Hello to C.C. and all,

Today was a get-out-the-books and google and DNF day for me. I could not for the life of me figure out the NE corner. I had logo instead of ICON, long instead of FROG legs, and did not/still don't get the Au pair clue. Sad part is that I had ECRP and EURO but because I couldn't get the rest, was questioning those answers.

I really liked the theme clues, especially SNIPJUDGMENT and RIP SESSION. Shot to the face sounds just as scary as BOTOX to me. I can't imagine getting needles stuck in my face.

I did not like the dropping the ball, so to speak = LAPSE. I thought the clue should have been drop, not dropping. Just my opinion.

C.C. - I hope that you are enjoying Citizenship Day. We are lucky to count you among our citizens.

Dennis - Advance warning - wouldn't a warning that was not in advance be beside the point?

Hahtool - I also live in LA (grew up just outside BR) so the ZIPCODES answer came pretty easy for me.

Spitzboov - Thank you for the WINGNUT link. Hilarious!

Have a great weekend everyone! If nothing crazy happens, I will be on modified (as opposed to full) bed rest tomorrow...YAY!

Husker Gary said...

Spitzboov, thanks for the note. Sowing in my experience is what the figure on the Nebraska state capitol is doing - casting seed from his bag on the ground with a sweeping motion and drilling is more of a mechanical process of making a furrow, placing the seed and covering it up. I have heard the word STANG used but have never heard a farmer say I sowed corn or beans today. Planted or drilled? Yes. Grass seed? Sowed!

Semantics with smart people is fun!

Anonymous said...

Used to sit in the 94th Aero Squadron and listen to the SJC
tower. Funny stuff. Thanks

Bill G. said...

Bonnie (our daughter) just e-mailed us that Jordan (our grandson) has mono, scarlet fever and an infected gland in his neck. He will be in the hospital for two days. Geez! Poor little fellow.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody.

Good puzzles these last several days, and good blogging too. Always a pleasure to read what you all have to say. I truly enjoy getting glimpses and peeks into your personalities and how you think.

Can't stay today, got lots of work to do.

Really really liked "What misters do" and "Area between gutters."

I think "Oyez" is pronounced something like "oy yay" by French speaking people but is often pronounced "oy yez" by English speaking people. I think, roughly translated, it means, "Listen up!" (Draw near and be heard...)

See yawl. Best wishes.

Jayce said...

Bill G, mono AND scarlet fever? Poor kid, I'm sorry such illness has befallen him. May he receive good care and recover quickly.

Anonymous said...

Nice Cuppa - this is actually in response to your question from yesterday (Thurs).

C.C. - please feel free to move it if necessary. I wasn't sure if NC would see it if I posted to yesterday's comments.

The only place I have ever seen the word LIMN other than crossword puzzles is on a Scrabble board. My parents and my maternal grandmother played often and well.

I noticed this article on the Merriam Webster website the other day. You might want to take a look at it. limn

Jayce said...

I think Cate Blanchett has an elegant, classy beauty. A few years ago she and Kate Winslet had both been nominated for an Academy Award, and when the presenter (I forget who it was) announced the winner, he said the award goes to "the pretty Kate." As the camera zoomed in on Cate's face at that moment, it was clear she was hurt but at the same time stayed calm and classily "aloof." I thought the presenter was a total jerk. I was happy Kate, nor anybody, ever mentioned it again.

Anonymous said...

RIP SESSION didn't do it for me. It didn't fit the theme. RAP SESSION is not the Christmas morning ritual at my house. we WRAP before Christmas morning so we can RIP later.

I wanted PALENDROME for 60606 and 70707. Couldn't make it come close, let alone fit.

Off to the Senior Center for exercise class.


erieruth said...

Bill G & Argyle ... Thanks for the WAG definition!!! I feel like I'm sort of 'in' now that I know PERP and WAG.

Lots of perps helped today ... my WAG was 'TBIRD' for 28d ... ooops.

Have a great weekend ... and thanks for all the help and comments.

Hahtoolah said...

Anon @ 12:03. You are exactly right. In Yiddish, being a Mensch is much more that just being a human being. A mensch describes not only the person but his character, dignity and sense of what is right.

Vidwan: You are right that Yom Kippur is tomorrow, however, since, in the Jewish calendar a day begins in the evening, Yom Kippur actually begins roughly at sunset today and ends roughly at sunset tomorrow.

An easy fast to all who may observe the holiday.

Nice Cuppa said...


Many thanks for limning limn with the limn link. It prompted me to check the word in the Apple dictionary/thesaurus on my Mac. This remarkable note was attached:

"This is the phoniest word in the critic's vocabulary, aside from luminous to describe a writer's prose (and usually rather gushy prose at that). People are unsure of limn’ s pronunciation, uncertain of its actual meaning, and generally pretentious when they use it. Most of the time journalists resort to limn because they want something fancier than describe. Yet while describe slips smoothly by without calling much attention to itself, limn jumps off the page to strut about and show off. It's one of those words that want to be urbane and debonair but are somehow really ugly, pushy, and nouveau riche. But maybe I'm going out on a limb by saying that. So let's just call limn fundamentally, almost viscerally, rebarbative."

- MC (no relation)


Anonymous said...

NC - Interesting take on limn. By the way, in case you are wondering, the n is silent and it is pronounced the same as limb.

Vidwan827 said...

Nice Cuppa: You appear to be either a chemist or a physicist, with a good grasp of the Periodic table ... good enough to have remembered the mnemonic, on the Lanthanide series, after all these years ... enough to limn us (did I use THAT right ? ) on its subtleties.

I have just been reading a fascinating book ... 'The Disappearing spoon' ... by Sam Kean, ... publ. by Little, Brown & Co. ... all about the periodic table and its wonderful collection of elements - all in a unique story tale format.

Also, be sure to watch' The Disappearing spoon' - about how a spoon made (cast ) out of Gallium, just 'melts' in a CUPPA TEA ... on youtube.

I have yet to learn how to do 'blue' linkups - so just Google youtube & Disappearing spoon .... You will be charmed !!!!

If you start to also follow 'related' videos, on the youtube right hand side bar ... you will also find out how to make 999 different types of explosives, of every conceivable ingredient and properties .... and how to blow yourself up through them ... !@#@! :-) ;-D lol.

Freedom of information indeed, takes many different shapes, styles and sizes .....

Bloggerama said...

c.c., why are some of your posters so verbose? Didn't you say posts should be fairly short after the first one, or am I thinking of another blog?

Vidwan827 said...

Nice Cuppa: Google 'youtube' and 'Gallium spoon melts in a cup of tea' ... the other (... disappearing spoon ) gives some nonsensical pseudo-magic baloney...

I'm out.

John Lampkin said...

Hi all, and thanks for your words of praise and grumbling. ;-)

Thanks for the write up C.C. Wish I had thought of STRIP DOWN. The crowd here would have gone wild!

I've been incredibly busy since school resumed, and am now playing catchup, so apologies for not dropping in these past two weeks.

Dennis, congrats on your neologisms. Both BLITCH and and CLECHO are great!

Jerome, thanks for catching the happy anagram in the center. You make me look smarter than I am!

Credit where credit is due. The clue for KTS was Rich's. Apparently you either love it or hate it. KTS is lackluster to begin with since it's a plural abbrev, It's really hard to come up with fresh definitions for 3-letter words, and this reinforces that.

On the unequivocally plus side, the dynamite clue for BOTOX is all Rich, as well as a few other sprarklers.

It seemed like such a simple theme idea when I started this a year ago last May. Wrong! There aren't that many AP - IP switches to choose from. I'd like to thank Don Gagliardo for his help in finding viable candidates. He is not only a great constructor, but a real MENSCH besides.

Best to all and happy solving!

Nice Cuppa said...


Thanks for the link to gallant gallium. Your limning is exemplary. I'll check it out just as soon as I finish my day-job.

As to my occupation, I will use the Francis Urquhart** response, now part of Brit-idiom:

"You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment"

(**from "House of Cards" - a must-see Brit TV series)


kazie said...

I did say that the Germans also use Mensch in the same way as does Yiddish. By that I meant what anon@12:03 described more fully. I didn't mean to imply only the two other uses.

John L,
Could you please clarify the KTS clue and exactly what was intended there? I don't think we've really come up with a definitive explanation.

Chickie said...

Hello All--JD and I had the same theme today. "Didn't know that! Oh, didn't know that either!.

I had the first 1/3 of the puzzle filled in rather quickly, but I came to an abrupt halt and had nothing but a picket fence from then on.

I don't usually give up totally on a puzzle, but today I did. Maybe I'm too tired from yesterday's slog with my refrigerator repair. Two men in and out of the kitchen and house and boxes, parts, and tools everywhere.

Creature, my little dictionary here by my computer has dryly OR drily in that order. So I guess that either could be correct.

JD, enjoy your stay in Tahoe. Rain, snow or sun, Tahoe is always a great place to visit.

Have a great weekend everyone. We're due for rain here on Sunday. If it comes it will be early in the year for us.

John Lampkin said...

KTS Explained:

I wrote to Editor Rich Norris for an explanation, since the clue as published was the result of the editing process. With his permission, I quote him:

The clue, alas, was supposed to be changed. I have the change marked on my hard copy, but somehow the puzzle file escaped into cyberspace without it. The correct clue is [Fineness units: Abbr.].

Fwiw, "Au" was intended as the symbol for gold, but since there's no such thing as a 2-karat gold ring, it's academic. My apologies. I think this phenomenon--one of a correction being made, and then skipped over--has happened three times in 10 years. Sorry your puzzle was the unlucky victim of this one.


Jazzbumpa said...

Hi C.C. John and all the gang -

Wow, tough puzzle. I had it with me when I went for an oil change, and they were done before I was.

Lots of fun though, and I eventually made it through. John - you never disappoint. Great pix, too.

By request here is McCoy Tyner playing one of the all time great songs - with George Benson at no extra charge.

Just a bit ahead of the season, but this is what WING NUT means to me.

Here is the other kind of BONGO.

Worked yesterday's puzzle late in the evening and never got here. Haven't read today's comments yet. Hope all is well with everyone.

Tigers are in Chicago, trying to do the Twins another favor. Scherzer looks sharp, with 4 strike outs and no hits through three innings. Sox are in white with green pinstripes and lettering, and green caps with the Sox logo in white. Never seen anything like it. Looks like the Tigers are playing Michigan State.

Happy weekend and Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Now that Norris has admitted to being fallible, watch for myriad other clues to be "questioned." More`s the pity. Think how much cyber ink will be wasted including this drop.

HeartRx said...

@ John L and Mr Norris,

But, there is a "pair" if you think of 22 carat AU, with "22" carat gold as the pair?

kazie said...

John and Rich,
Thanks to you both for clearing up the mystery. Everyone is fallible, and I have no doubt there are always a lot of things you have to deal with besides any one specific puzzle clue.

We appreciate the clarification, no matter what the cause. I for one feel it's great to have contact with constructors and their editor and be able to get this kind of feedback from the horse's mouth.

Thanks again!

Annette said...

Great job on the puzzle, John! Nice pictures, too. I liked the ducks. :-)

I did the puzzle last night and am just getting to the blog now, so the only thing I remember is that it was a challenge! He'd done this one before I started beta testing, so it was a fresh, new puzzle for me!

I used to have a POW bracelet, but it had been stolen along with the rest of my jewelry during a break-in years ago. Thanks for the reminder to replace it! There's a website where you can still order them.

Almost 20 years ago, the company I was working for had sent me to Cheyenne, WY for a few days. While there, we were invited to a attend the Chamber of Commerce's dinner event as guests of honor. The speaker was Tom Sutherland, who'd been held captive in Beirut for 6 years, along with Terry Anderson. It was the most amazing and inspirational story I'd ever heard.

WikWak said...

Maybe you just had to grow up in west central IL, but as far back as I can remember guys (mostly) have been boasting about their 'stangs. Still hear it when I go back to visit.

Here in Chicago... not so much.

Annette said...

Bill G., my goodness! Jordan has all that - at once?! How old is he again?

Vettedoe, thank you for the information on LIMN. It gives me a slightly better chance of remembering it next time.

STANG seems to be one of those words that the cool guys at school would say, but when someone else tried to emulate them by using the term, they sounded dorky - like they were trying too hard to be cool.

I can't remember if the guys who said 'stang actually had them, or just dreamt of having them.