Sep 22, 2010

Wednesday September 22, 2010 James Sajdak

Theme: SLAPSTICK COMEDY (36A. Where it's laughable to see the answers to starred clues). Beautiful grid spanning unifier, right in the middle.

17A. *Coconut dessert : CUSTARD PIE

23A. *Facetious name for a fund-raising circuit entrée : RUBBER CHICKEN

46. *Mixer holder : SELTZER BOTTLE ♪♬ ♫ A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer in your pants ♬♫♪

57. *Yellow slipper? : BANANA PEEL Mythbusters.

Melissa here.

What a fun puzzle, very visually evocative. A pangram, too. This is James Sajdak's sixth appearance this year in the LA Times, his themes are always entertaining.


1. Cabo locale : BAJA. See Cabo at the very bottom.

5. Fall, as home prices : SLUMP. Don't remind me.

10. Havana howdy : HOLA

14. Distant start? : EQUI. Equidistant.

15. Insured patient's med cost : CO-PAY

16. Mideast nation : IRAN

19. State bordering eight others: Abbr. : TENN. Tennessee. Borders Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri

20. Krazy of comics : KAT.

21. Backsliding event? : LUGE. Fun clue.

22. Tourist attraction : MECCA

27. Some campus sisters : THETAS

29. Big repair bill reaction : OUCH. Very slapstick-y. And 25D. Bops : CONKS, which crosses two theme answers.

30. "Hee Haw" prop : BALE. Pretty. They make beautiful homes, too.

31. Kuwaiti currency : DINAR

33. Fairy tale legume : PEA. The princess and the pea.

40. Old curse word : POX. "A pox damn you, you muddy rascal, is that all the comfort you bring me?" Henry IV Part II.

41. Overhangs : EAVES

42. Canal that Sal worked on, in song : ERIE. The Boss's cover.

43. Stud farm stud : SIRE

44. Groundbreakers : FIRSTS

51. Mindful : AWARE

52. Rankles : IRKS

53. TV channels 2 to 13 : VHF

56. Lisa's title : MONA. From Wikipedia: "In Italian, ma donna means my lady. This became madonna, and its contraction mona. Mona is thus a polite form of address, similar to Ma’am, Madam, or my lady in English." Slapstick Mona Lisa.

60. "Agreed!" : OKAY

61. Put an __: stop : END TO

62. Janis's comics mate : ARLO. A new clue for Arlo. Well, sort of. The lead characters of this strip are named after 1960s music icons Arlo Gurthrie and Janis Joplin. Wiki says "Many of the most notable jokes are based on sexual attraction, especially Arlo's desire for Janis." Like this.

63. Sale caution : AS IS

64. County northeast of London : ESSEX

65. Oceanic flora : KELP


1. Eponymous German brewer Heinrich : BECK

2. Caribbean color : AQUA.

3. "Don't worry about it!" : JUST RELAX. Be happy.

4. River isle : AIT. An ait (or eyot) is a small island. It is especially used to refer to islands found on the River Thames and it's tributaries in England.

5. Surgical coverage? : SCRUBS. Didn't get this right away, even though I have some in every color.

6. Raccoon ___, "The Honeymooners" fraternal group : LODGE. Did not remember this.

7 Like some echelons : UPPER

8. Printemps month : MAI. Printemps is French for Spring.

9. Joe-__ weed: herbal remedy : PYE. Pretty.

10. Like smart phones, e.g. : HI TECH

11. Vacuum shown lifting a bowling ball in TV ads : ORECK. Bowling balls seem to be the standard for suction.

12. Tilting pole : LANCE. Couldn't have said it better myself.

13. 1997-2006 UN leader : ANNAN. Kofi.

18. Goya's "Duchess of __" : ALBA. Painting.

22. Prefix with scope : MICRO

24. Sch. near the Rio Grande : UTEP. University of Texas at El Paso.

26. '50s Red Scare gp. : HUAC. House Un-American Activities Committee. Some great movies about it - Guilty by Suspicion, Citizen Cohn, The Front.

27. Kitchen meas. : TBSP.

28. Saintly circle : HALO

31. One going down : DIVER. Umm ...

32. Assure victory in, slangily : ICE

33. Gut it out : PERSEVERE

34. Cut out, say : EDIT

35. Bridge assents : AYES. Sailor speak.

37. Take by force : SEIZE

38. Container allowance : TARE. The weight of an empty container.

39. Keyboardist Saunders who collaborated with Jerry Garcia : MERL. Had no idea.

43. Range rovers? : STRAYS. Sneaky clue.

44. Loc. with billions in bullion : FT KNOX

45. "__ girl!" : IT'S A

46. Island where Robert Louis Stevenson died : SAMOA. Was unaware of this trivia.

47. Furry Endor inhabitants : EWOKS. Star Wars creatures.

48. Hawaii's Pineapple Island : LANAI

49. Pickles : BINDS

50. Speak formally : ORATE. Little oral fixation today. Maybe it's just me.

54. War, to Sherman : HELL. William Tecumseh Sherman, Union general during the Civil War. "You don’t know the horrible aspects of war. I’ve been through two wars and I know. I’ve seen cities and homes in ashes. I’ve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is Hell!"

55. Hardly a big ticket-seller : FLOP

57. Sewing circle : BEE

58. T or F, on tests : ANS. True or False.

59. Karachi's country: Abbr. : PAK. Karachi is the largest city, main seaport, and financial center of Pakistan.

Answer grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, Melissa Bee, C.C. and gang - certainly not a walk in the park for me today. The theme was fairly easy, but I had several unknowns, including Merl Saunders, Janis's comics mate Arlo and the Duchess of Alba painting. I loved the fresh cluing in this one, including the clever 'Backsliding event?', 'Range rovers?' and my favorite, 'One going down.'

Melissa, outstanding job as always, and the links were just great, especially the Mona Lisa one. We'll disagree on 11D and agree on 50D. Loved the seltzer bottle song; wonder how many will know where it's from.

Off to the car dealership for servicing. On the car.

Today is Business Women's Day, Elephant Appreciation Day and the first day of Fall, dammit.

Did You Know?:

- There are 24 flowers on every Oreo cookie.

- Every second, your senses send about 100 million different messages to your brain. I know what most of my messages are about...

- Most types of lipstick contain fish scales as an ingredient. I'll not say a word.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning CC, Melissa Bee and all. On the first pass of this puzzle, I felt like I was a goner. Then, I sipped some coffee and JUST RELAXED and completed the puzzle.

Pre-Katrina, the ORECK corporation was headquartered in New Orleans. Post-Katrina the company relocated to Nashville.

Backsliding Event = LUGE was my favorite clue.

I bet you didn't know that Ft. Knox was located in Maine! Well, Mainaic knew, for sure!

QOD: Friendship is a pretty full-time occupation. ~ Truman Capote

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I'll add myself to the "no walk in the park" list today. MERL, ALBA, BECK and PYE were complete unknowns, and many of the other answers had clues that were way too obscure for me ("Gut it out" meant nothing, I had no idea which of Hawaii's islands was the "pineapple" one, and I also had no idea which country had Karachi in it).

So, all in all, a definite struggle today. Doable in the end, but slow.

Oh -- and I agree that the clue for LUGE was especially nice!

Argyle said...

Good Morning,

That would seem to be the hallmark of this puzzle; many unknowns but able to fill in. Great!

Lemonade714 said...

Good morning MB and the rest of the corner;a very informative write up, thank you. A Wednesday pangram, how challenging. I too found this a slow puzzle, just nothing easy. It was one where I could have just quit in the middle as I had no flow to my solving, but I did not, and it was done. The theme jumped out, but it still did not make anything easy.

You know I never thought about what the MONA represented. My cousin Lisa's best friend was a girl named MONA, so it all seemed natural. Had no idea RLS ended up on SAMOA, but I did watch Sunday’s piece on NFL players on 60 MINUTES . I believe the islanders were not happy with the program.

I guess in the continuing Betty White mania sweeping the nation, it is fitting to remember CHUCKLES .

Okay, time to go have fine day all.

Dick said...

Good morning Melissa and all, a really great puzzle today, full of fresh clues, difficult, but doable. Argyle I think you aptly described the puzzle and Melissa, once again, you did a fine blogging job this morning.

I had a few missteps like steers for strays, atta for it’s a, and bonks for conks, but those were corrected with the perps. Like Barry I had several unknowns such as MERL, ALBA, BECK and PYE, but I did know Lanai form visiting there a few years ago.

Favorite clues was backsliding event and Lisa’s title.

As stated by others, not a walk in the park, but solvable and fun.

Hope you all have a great Wednesday

thehondohurricane said...

Brain dead today! Northeast corner proved difficult because I misread entree, thinking entry instead. Once I woke up, everything fell into place. I couldn't remember HUAC and that slowed me down some. I kept wanting to use Deltas for campus sisters, but eventually gave in to Thetas although from my undergraduate days Deltas were the sorority. I think they were called Tri Delts.

Off to the Boston area today. Big night, get to watch my grandson play football.

creature said...

Good Morning C.C., Melissa Bee and all,

Fun, slow going, but steady. Partial theme answers helped fill in the rest. Got stuck on NE corner- dogpiled 'Annan', which perped the rest.

'Havanna Howdy'-'Hola'-alliterative, and a new one for me.

Liked phrase 'gut it out' and ans. 'perservere'. very colorful.

'Lisa's title' surprised me; and though Star Wars is usually out for me, I'll not forget Melissa's link, any time soon.

Speaking of 'one going down'... Let's see who was that?

Melissa- a full special, without commercials! Loved it! In fact, I still have links to enjoy! Back to them in a bit, as I'm 'in a pickle'.

Hahtool- the last time I looked, Ft Knox,referred to in the puzzle, is in Kentucky.

1st day of Fall-Double Dammit!

Hahtoolah said...

Creature: I know the puzzle was referring to the Kentucky Ft. Knox. I was just pointing out that there is another fort by that name in Maine. Not many people know that.

General Sherman was the first president of the Louisiana State University pre-Civil War. His title was actually Superintendent. When he chose to serve the Union Army, he became persona non grata.

kazie said...

Count me in the not easy group today. I found myself wondering if it was Saturday. Only got through it with G.'s help and a lot of WAGging. Too much pre-my-time-here culture. I never watched Hee-Haw, didn't know there was a named group for McCarthyism, have never eaten a custard pie (coconut?), couldn't find a school near Rio Grande.

Say, why is it that Ohio has schools named after other places. There were a lot of OH references for Rio Grande, and isn't Miami another school there?

I thought CABO must be another Spanish word I didn't know. On looking it up, I found it means a handle, end of something, or piece of rope. That last meaning reminded me of the French "bout de ficelle" = piece of string, literally "end" of string, i.e. the piece that's cut off. So I thought cabo must be a related concept. never heard of the town, and geography wasn't even on my radar.

Spitzboov said...

HOLA Everyone. A special tip of the hat to Melissa for her fine commenting and enjoyable links.

Agree with the previous comments. Not so easy but doable. No look-ups needed. Once the theme emerged, it helped me get SELTZER BOTTLE. Liked clues for BANANA PEEL, SCRUBS, RUBBER CHICKEN, AYES, and MONA. WAGS included TENN and THETAS.

Noticed we had a PIE/PYE cross.

Today is the last full day of Summer. The Fall equinox occurs at 1109pm EDT tonight. (or phrased another way —— Sept. 23 0309 UT)

Have a good day.

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Melissa Bee, C.C. et al.

Great write-up Melissa. LOL at the LANCE link.

Everyone has already put the words in my mouth about the puzzle and fresh cluing, so I don't need to repeat.

For 10D I had "HIGHTECK" ( what the heCK is "OUCK" for reaction to a repair bill...) and 43D "Range Rovers" I had "SURRYS" (when will I ever learn how to spell???). So SELTZER and MONA followed a few eraser crumbs in that corner.

I knew ARLO and Janis because I read it all the time. So I loved the fresh clue…but don’t you think a clue with “WOODY” in it would have been more appropriate for todays “sub” theme??

I was also really familiar with the Duchess of Alba
because I went to see an exhibit of Goya paintings at the Kunst Historisches Museum in Vienna one time, and they had two paintings of Madam Alba, one nude and another one clothed. I think they are permanently housed in Barcelona, but had been loaned out for this show. Really wonderful to see in person. The program did allude to the fact that Goya may have had an affair with her. Right on target for todays “sub” theme, don’t you think?

kazie said...

I forgot to say I enjoyed your blog much more than the puzzle today, and I mean that despite, not because of, my difficulty with the CW.

I actually had a fairly easy time in the south, except MERL, but had to keep creeping up on the top half.

creature said...

Hahtool- I, for one, did not know that a Ft Knox is in Maine. Your link to that one is interesting. I just was not clear from your reference to it in your blog.

HeartRx said...

Correction - the Goya paintings are permanently housed at the Prado in Madrid, not Barcelona.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Thanks for all the terrific links Melissa Bee. Now that I've been reminded of how irresistibly handsome Wood Allen was in The Front, it was inevitable that Soon-Yi would fall for him.

It started out easy with BAJA. I have an old high school friend whose brother has a restaurant/bar and a home down there. I've never been invited, but she goes there regularly.

After (17A) CUSTARD PIE filled in, the rest of the themes were easy.

I've never heard of Joe-PYE weed. Wiki says it is a east coast grower.

I haven't read Arlo and Janis, but it seemed to fall into place without a problem.

We have a hay BALE house down the road from us. Unfortunately, it is a bank repo, because of the SLUMP. It is quite a one-of-a-kind and looks to be a hard sell.

I'll seque into a gripe about insurance (15A)CO-PAY. I have to take periodic Neupogen injections to boost my white cell count. The last time I took them was in January '10, when the Co-Pay was $100 for 10 injections. I reapplied for the new prescription, same injections. Now the box of 10 is a $300 Co-Pay. (29A) OUCH!! I'm calling my insurance company this morning to find out what's going on.

melissa bee said...

heartrx, woody .. hahaha

HeartRx said...

Oh, and I forgot to say that the paintings I linked above were not definitely of the Duchess of Alba- they are elusively called "The Maja". So no one really knows for sure if they are her, but speculation points in that direction.

Here is a picture that IS of her - you be the judge if it's the same woman?

kazie said...

Only in America is health insurance such a ripoff. All the insurance companies are looking for ways to rip everyone else off before they're profits are curtailed by the new laws. As if they haven't made enough already.

I haven't tried this before, but I just uploaded this picture of my son working on a straw bale house in 2006 during his trip to Oz. I hope it works!

HeartRx said...

Melissa Bee, glad you caught that

JimmyB said...

I also had problems in the NE and SW. Taking a short break and then taking another look with a fresh mind helped.

Melissa Bee - You really outdid yourself on those links today. Especially the Mona Lisa and the Mythbusters. Thanks.

Speaking of Mythbusters, it is a wonderful show for kids (especially boys, since they blow things up a lot), and does a great job of teaching the scientific method. My youngest son was a fanatic, and he turned out to be our best science student.

For another take on 29A (OUCH) go to YouTube and search for "Panda gets the bill". (Sorry, I'm not up to speed on linking on a Mac.)

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone.

Thanks for the write up, Melissa. It is a winner.

The puzzle was too hard to finish, so I came here. Have some other things to do today!

Hondohurricane: Yes, we are called Tri Delts. I am one. There have been so many times a "me too" have appeared on this blog that I wonder if there are other Tri Delts out there. I pledged at DePauw.


Husker Gary said...

Melissa, et al, Happy Autumnal Equinox. At 10:09 pm CDT, the Sun will be directly over the equator!

The writeup and the extensions were a lot of fun today. As someone else mentioned, having a puzzle that is doable but challenges a little too makes for a fun Wednesday!

Question of the day - Where did we get the phrase for answering the phone, "Delta, delta, delta can I help ya, help ya, help ya?

Spitzboov said...

Here is a potential theme word for a future cw or at least a word for the day::


Committed Ohio Resident said...

Kazie - Ohio State University school at Miami - called Miami University( the other one ... ), is in Oxford, Ohio ( So. west Ohio ).If I may opine, it is MUCH better known, academically, than the other school ...

The word 'Miami' is named for the Indian - Native American tribe that lived there .... like the word 'Ohio' itself.

Ohio is an Iroquoian word which means 'Great River', the river winds around eastern and southern part of the state.

Miami, comes from the Ojibwa name , Calusa dialect, 'Mayami' or 'Oumami' - 'people of the peninsula' - were an Algonquin offshoot, who lived in southern Wisc., and then fled, to avoid the Iriquios, to Illinois, southern Michigan , Indiana and northern Ohio. In 1794, they lost, to Gen. Anthony Wayne, the Battle of Fallen Timbers ( unfortunately, the never-ending tragedy of american indian history ... ) and 'signed' the Treaty of Greenville (1795)and had to leave the Maumee Valley in Ohio and Indiana, and were eventually 'relocated' to Kansas and Oklahoma.

The 'Miami' were relatives of the Algonquins, and the Maumee river and valley, are very much on the Ohio maps ... and the Miami artifiacts, still exist in museums, near Dayton, OH.

Considering, the Miami never went to Florida ... I wonder how Maimi ( City and county ), Florida, and the Univeristy, itself, managed to 'usurp' the name .....

kazie said...

Committed Ohio Resident,
Thanks for the explanation for Miami. We still have Ojibwa here in Wis. but I didn't realize they were so widely dispersed.
Now, can you tell me why Ohio has a Rio Grande University as well?

I agree about Woody Allen. I've always felt uncomfortable watching his films when he's obsessing about women all the time. But I can see how Lennon would have thought Yoko was cute in her day, especially with her reputed "other" talents. She probably made his English wife seem much less interesting. Isn't it strange how so many entertainers drop their first wives after they are famous. At least then they can afford a gigantic alimony payment.

After looking at the map, I guess Cabo is well named--it's right at the end of the Baja.

Jerome said...

Nice write up... fun puzzle... good stuff all the way around.

Not pretty looking, but I liked the fill HI TECH, FT. KNOX, ORECK, and CONKS.
Fill words. Where does a constructor start? Usually with the longer entries. JUST RELAX and PERSEVERE span three theme answers. Yup, better get them out of the way quick. Right now. First thing. Damn, now I've got a whole bunch that cross two theme answers. Sheesh, thank goodness for things like HUAC and UTEP! And so it goes.

MAI. Amazing little word.
IMA HOGG (real name)
AIM ( American Indian Movement
MIA (Missing In Action)

Need a Chinese pot? Go online to EWOKS.

Jerome said...

Pot. Skillet. Pan. What's the diff.

Tinbeni said...

Melissa Bee, Outstanding write-up and links.

WOW, I can't remember the last time we had SOOOOO many fresh clues and answers.

More like a Thursday difficulty level but a FUN solve.

Worked from the south to the north.
BANANA PEEL revealed the theme.
Maybe it is 'low-brow' humor but I have always enjoyed well done SLAP-STICK COMEDY.

Just once I would rather see the clue be IRKS for the answer RANKLES. Irks in the grid always irks me. (We do see it way too often).

Liked the HOLA / HALO answer echo (anecho?).
Also AQUA crossing EQUI.

Learning moments ALBA, MONA as a title and MERL Saunder. Always a plus.

All-in-all this was one of the best puzzles I have ever enjoyed.

Committed Asian Woman said...

Why cant a 'famous' guy - just fall in love with an asian woman ?

Why is it that 'asian' women have to have 'other' talents ??

If a famous guy falls in love with a white ( or black ... ) woman, does she not have some talents as well ?

I think it is reflective of the euro-centric group of bloggers, that are represented here, that we have to ascribe 'some' reason, to 'other' types of women that somehow 'persuades' us, of the actual reason of why such 'incredible' things happen ....

I personally dont approve of (1) extra-marital affairs, (2) divorces and remarriages or (3) any 'hanky panky' outside of marriage ... but it wuld appear reasonable, unless you happen to be John Lennon or Woody, to leave the actual reasons for their infidelity ... to their own minds.

Dennis said...

Committed Asian Woman, when do you get out?

And what are these 'other' talents you speak of?

Lucina said...

Good day, Melissa and fellow bloggers.

Congratulations on your blogging, MB, really enjoyable.

Yowza! Is it really Wednesday? I thought this felt more like Thursday or Friday, but very doable.

At times, I fell into James's wave length, especially in the corners. I could not go wrong with BAJA and HOLA after all. Baja is a huge vacation MECCA especially for fishermen.

Since I'm not a big fan of slapstick, the theme answers did not come easily; however, I enjoyed BANANAPEEL, great clue, yellow slipper. That made me laugh.

And it took me a long time to suss out printemps month, knew I'd heard it and then, aha, spring sprang to mind.

I'm glad the location for the Duchess of Alba painting was corrected. It hangs proudly in the Prado.

All in all, a very nice challenge from James Sajdak.

Many refreshing clues here:
surgical coverage, SCRUBS
groundbreakers, FIRSTS (had faults at first)
backsliding event, LUGE
tilting pole, LANCE

Yea, fall is on the way! Temps will be under 100 soon.

Have a fantastic Wednesday!

ARBAON said...

Nyuk nyuk nyuk! "Custard pie, rubber chicken, seltzer bottle, banana peel" indeed! Fun!

Favorite clue: "sale caution." I always post signs to that effect when I have a yard sale. If there is a defect, I also label it...some people want such things for "parts." I also require a non-refundable half down for "holds" and accept no checks. All these caveats come from sad experience.

Since Florida is the ultimate peninsula...perhaps that`s why Miami, FL is so named. If I may opine, the Ohio school may actually be "better" but where would students rather spend spring break? :)

Handsome son, Kazie.

Fine job, Melissa.

Dilbert said...

Hi all.
Still enjoying the links. Thanks.

It took a little longer to fill.
But, it was an easy solve for a Wednesday.

Read Arlo every morning right after Argyle Sweater.

Dated Theata Kappa sisters while in college.

Still have a few bottles of Becks around. Not many German beers in the food stores around here.

Take care and enjoy the last day of summer.

Jeannie said...

After reading the blog (good job Melissabee) I now don’t feel so inadequate. I didn’t remember that the Honeymooners had a “raccoon” lodge and never have heard of Joe Pye weed. After a little research it sounds like it can help people suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis. I think I will send some to my Mom. I didn’t know Equi, Thetas, Mai, or Merl but got them via perps. Does anyone just have channels 2-13 (VHF) anymore? Favorite clue of the day was surgical coverage – scrubs.

Melissa, I about spit a full mouthful of my Iced tea on my monitor when I opened the link of Lance. Yep, he definitely should have a “tilting pole”. HaHaHaHa…

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Melissa - EXCELLENT!

I take comfort in the difficulty y'all had with today's outstanding puzzle. OUCH - I was afraid I was losing it. Though, after a lunch break the rest of it seemed a bit easier. But maybe that's because I had technical assistance with the HUAC - DINAR cross.

Still - this was above average Friday difficulty for me. By Friday, I might alter my opinion.

commited asian woman -

Since I'm divorced and remarried, I'm delighted to learn that you disapprove of my entire life. That's pretty unendearing.

In the process, though, I (eventually) acquired six grandchildren, so I'll take that as compensation.

And, re:
I think it is reflective of the euro-centric group of bloggers, that are represented here, that we have to ascribe 'some' reason, to 'other' types of women . . .
I'll just say that you tend to find what you go looking for.

Picking one off-hand comment out of
a blog that gets dozens of entries every day is a rather high order of cherry-picking. And you have willfully chosen to slant your interpretation of that comment. Before you draw broad conclusions about our euro-centic attitudes, you might want to read here for a few days, or scan back through the archives to see if you can find any more supporting data for your claim.

Good luck, and


Anonymous said...

I think that is the University of Miami's mission statement! "Well, at least we are a better spring break location."

kazie said...

Thanks. I thought I was being kinder to Ono than previous remarks yesterday. I happen to find intellectual prowess more attractive than looks in anyone, and I'm sure that is one of her talents. You were correct in saying one finds what one is looking for. And I certainly don't think our hostess would tolerate us if we behaved euro-centrically towards her.

Thank you too. Both for the compliment on my younger son, and for the garage sale advice. I keep talking about having one, but have yet to do it. I certainly will use this advice to advantage if and when I do.

Clear Ayes said...

Committed Asian Woman@11:57. I agree with some of what you said.

I don't necessarily think a few throw-away comments about love have anything to do euro-centric attitudes. There are so many reasons why people fall in love. Physical attractiveness may be the first thing you notice, but it slides down the list very rapidly as we discover common interests, kindness, sense of humor and core values.

And those are the reasons why I have been divorced from a really good looking guy and am now remarried to an average looking guy who loves me like nobody ever will again.

I do agree about extra-marital affairs. But that's just me. I think it is better to get a divorce if you can't work out problems except in somebody else's bedroom.

Of course a famous, or otherwise man, handsome, or Woody Allenish, can fall in love with anyone to whom he is attracted. After Louise Lasser, Diane Keaton, Mia Farrow and probably many others there is Soon-Yi Previn Allen. Apparently his age and tendency to philander were not high on her list of importance, just as her age and family connection was not high on his. Their mutual physical attractiveness was obviously just right for them. I wish them well.

posterboy said...

Could anyone please tell me how the clue 1D "eponymous German brewer Heinrich" leads to Beck? I couldn't find a town named Beck in Germany.

Dennis said...

posterboy, it's the Beck beer that's very well-known.

windhover said...

Very unfortunate that you used the word slant in that particular comment.
As to that whole discussion: even though I am a (pick your favorite epithet, mine starts with 'f') liberal, I despise political correctness. Here in Kentucky, you can't say 'redneck' or 'hillbilly' (unless you're Jeff Foxworthy, and then it's funny as hell) without having someone call the police. Can't we all just get along?
Having said that, I think committed Asian woman has a point. But Husker Gary's originally comment could have applied to any ethnic or demographic group. It was (paraphrased) "Why did these two guys, who presumably could have their pick, hook up with two not-so-attractive honeys?"
Here's my take on both the question and the answer:
When, like Lennon and most likely Woody as well, a guy has women literally throwing themselves at him continuously, both the beauty and the "special talents" quickly get boring and repetitive. Along comes a woman who is intellectuallychallenging and not so enamored of your ability to write a song, direct a film, hit a curve ball, a jump shot, or a high note, and possesses, one finds, all the "special talents" the beauties do, and "BAM", you've got a new middle name.
Between my marriages, I dated a woman who had both centerfold and covergirl qualities, and her talents ran very, very deep. But every day of her life, someone had told her she was beautiful, and she could not do without it.
There is no accounting for the attraction between people; it's a mystery. But beauty as criteria #1 is pretty damned shallow. No gag reflex is just as shallow, but at least practical and utilitarian. We liberals are all about that. And unlike our repressed counterparts, usually with someone of the opposite sex.
Before you load up the napalm, that's a Larry Craig/Ted Haggard joke. Lighten up, people!!!

Mainiac said...

Good Afternoon All,

The Banana Peel gave me footing in the SE so I could work the grid northward. The last to fall via perp help was Lodge. Head slap! I loved the reruns of the Honeymooners. Everything else has pretty much been covered. Except Lance! I was asked to do that shoot as well but my riding posture is higher (due to girth size) and the seat, well, uh......never mind. I wonder what he got paid for that one.

Great blog! Thanks Melissa Bee. Listen to the guitar work at the end of this one.

Your right Hahtool, been there many times but no bullion. They've actually fixed it up quite a bit. They do a benefit around Halloween called "Fright Night at the Fort". children aren't allowed and I've heard it's truly frightening.

Lemonade, I watched that 60 Minutes program. I'm curious as to what upset the islanders.

Temps in the 8os are saying summer still here. Getting sticky also.

Happy Hump Day!

Jazzbumpa said...

posterboy -

Heinrich Beck is the eponym - that after which something is named.

WH - Yikes - point taken, thou subtle wordsmith. I'll never again say "slant" to a disoriented person.


Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, At first glance I didn't think I was going to get very far with the puzzle today. I managed to get a toe hold in the NE corner and hardly stopped from then on.

A fun theme today and a puzzle that seemed easier than most Wednesdays for me. This isn't always the case.

A great write up Melissa Bee. I loved the links.

My one error was the misspelling of Dinar/Danar so I had Ace for Ice. Hey, it looked ok to me.

Favorite clues today were Range rovers? and Backsliding event?

I didn't realize that this was a pangram until I came here. We don't see this very often. I think it is rather hard to achieve.

Off to a meeting for the rest of the day. More later.

windhover said...

Forgot to answer a question.
Rio Grand U. is located in a small town
in southeastern Ohio named -you guessed it - Rio Grand, Ohio. I don't know, and don't really care, whether the town was named before or after the famous river in Mexico as the song directs, I Don't Mess With Texas), but since Ohio (home of the OSU Suckeyes, and that not a typo), was settled before Texas....... , you may draw your own conclusions.
And as much as it pains me to say it, Miami (Ohio) University is academically superior to most large universities, including the one it shares a name (with).

Tinbeni said...

Committed Ohio Resident
According to US News & World Report the respective ranking of the "Miami" named schools are as follows:

# 47 - University of Miami, Coral Cables, FL
# 79 - Miami Univesity, Oxford, Ohio

Your Ohio school is actually quite larger in enrollment.
14,671 Undergrads in Ohio
10,370 Undergrads in Fla

Committed Asian Woman
Well I failed all three of your rules.

I agree 100%


Dennis said...

Even with C.C.'s well-known tolerance for our, uh, digressions, I'd respectfully request that we curtail the 'slant' stuff.

Jazzbumpa said...

Dennis -

Right. I think that had gone about as far as it could, anyway.


Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Damn good puzzle today. Good in the sense that it was solvable without having to look anything up, the cluing was clever without being so misleading and vague as to be impossible to figure out, and at the same time it was challenging enough to, well, challenge me. Oh, and I learned some new things, too.

Melissa Bee, thanks for the writeup and the links to cool stuff.

I have read and appreciate all of your comments, but have no time today to respond to any of the specifics. I suppose sometimes it feels as if our comments are not read, so I just wanted to say that I read them, absorb them, and give thought to them.

I'm off to continue designing, building, and testing our new generation of geophysical monitors. Gosh I love my job-ula!

Best wishes to you all.

Anonymous said...

HOLA amigos.

Gracias Melissa for a wonderful write-up and some great links. I loved the MythBusters and LANCE links. I like geeks, but I can also appreciate the body of a well-toned man. I really liked that you explained the MONA answer; I just always assumed that was part of her name. And I don't think I have ever heard the entire quote that ends "War is HELL."

To those who commented about the beginning of fall: What is this "fall" of which you speak? There is no such thing where I live. By the time fall gets here, it will be winter!

Hahtool - The LUGE link is a very cool picture. I really liked that clue/answer as well.

JimmyB - As for the panda link, I think that is probably what I look like every month when I see my electric bill. (See previous comment re: fall.)

I did not like the gut it out = PERSEVERE clue. I guess because since Katrina, the words gut and out together bring up images of flooded homes being gutted out.

Had a pretty easy time with the puzzle today. My only problem was that I had DA__AR for 31A; filled in COnKS for 25D and did not bother to look up 26D. Decided to just come here to get that answer and discovered my mistake.

Enjoy the rest of your day. Hopefully tomorrow I will get some good news from my doctor. I just wish the rest of this pregnancy could be smooth sailing.

Seldom Seen said...

wow, it's been a tough week for Brutus the Buckeye. First the Ohio University (located near the big river) mascot attacks him. Then Windhover takes a shot.

'Real' Miami U Grad said...

If you go to the Miami Univ., Ohio website, you will find that the 2011 U. S. News and World Report, ranked Miami Univ. number 2, in their standard of undergraduate teaching - ( Dartmouth was 1 ) , level with Princeton - and above Brown, Univ. of Michigan, Notre Dame, Stanford, Yale and Purdue...

As for Ohio Univ. (Athens) ... one of their Ph. D., graduate students, won (shared ...) the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. last year.

windhover said...

We still can share the Reds and Big Klu. And about 10 minutes ago I bought a 12 pack of Hudy. Just can't stand the Bucks.

Husker Gary said...

Group, as the admitted author of the tongue-in-cheek mention of the spouses chosen by John Lenon and Woody Allen, I assumed they would be accepted in the spirit in which they were offered. This is a site dedicated to wit and repartee and not a forum for any political beliefs. Plenty of lazy stereotypes exist on both sides of the aisle.

I accept everything on this site in the spirit I assumed exists here and take what is said as simply fun comments and NOT political dogma or ranting predjudice. I will continue in that vein as I am having too much fun participating and let the verbal chips fall where they may! People wishing to take offense could do so everyday here but that is certainly not the intent of the vast majority of the participants.

I am no raving beauty and know very few of them and I know they too have many characteristics not seen with the naked eye just like we ordinary people.

Dennis said...

Husker, I suspect we've seen the last of C.A.W., who probably realized she was way off-base with that diatribe.

Besides, who's gonna seriously listen to someone who's been committed?

Jerome said...

Slapstick- The phrase comes from "Batacchio". It was a club-like object made of wooden slats and used in Commedia dell'arte. The slapstick makes a loud smacking noise when you strike someone with it, though it is painless. Slapstick goes back to at least the Middle Ages. Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors" has slapstick scenes.

You can make a slapstick by cutting a yardstick in half and fastening the two pieces together at one end using duct tape.

Nope... had no idea about any of this until 20 minutes ago.

Lucina said...

I learn so much here every day! Windhover, a liberal? Who would have thunk it, and me, a Catholic liberal which many believe is an oxymoron.

posterboy said...

Dennis, Jazzbumpa
Thanks for your explanations. I knew about the Beck beer connection but I guess I was looking for something more. That was a clearer definition of eponym than the one in my dictionary.

Bob said...

Good Wednesday puzzle. Took 24 minutes to finish successfully. How can you argue with CUSTARDPIE, SELTZERBOTTLE, BANANAPEEL, and especially, RUBBERCHICKEN. Some fun clues and solutions.While physical comedy has pretty much come and gone, you have to hand it to those in the past who could do it well, many of whom were frequently injured in the process. Here's a link to some footage of Buster Keaton, certainly one of the masters of physical slapstick comedy:

Buster Keaton

Committed Asian Woman said...

Dennis _ I heard that !!

Who's 'committed' now, huh ?

I have decided to come back and apologize for the post earlier - now that the Wind has blown the Clear Eyes thru the Jazz, and everything else thats been going on.

First off - I was only explaining my personal beliefs - I am not here to critique you'alls way of life.-

Like I care, if you are married, and/or divorced or living together or 'shacking up' or in some sort of bigamous relationship.- Well, Well thaats a grand idea, I wonder - ( There , but for the grace of God go I -).

So, if you'all are not 'famous', that blog post did NOT apply to you - go ahead and live in sin, and whoop it up, and get drunk - for all I care.

This is an act of contrition, so Dennis - no smart alecky comments, please - so to the Great Spirit, out there, forgive us our trespasses as we would do so unto the others - and lets not go to bed mad and angry.*

* Number One reason for divorce.

Kazie, Husker and everybody else - I forgive you IF you forgive me - and lets keeping sinnin' on the web - life's too short to be watching over your shoulder all the time.

windhover said...

Yes, what you said.
Husker Gary,
You too.
Everyone else,
Let's have fun here.

Edward Learjet said...

There was an old man of Thyme,
Who married three wives at a time,

When asked, why the third,
He said,'One's absurd',

And, bigamy, sir, is a crime.

Dennis said...

CAW, your act of contrition is appreciated - and a belated welcome to the blog. Hopefully you'll stick around and give us some comments on future crosswords.

Windhover, it's all fun -- that's why we're here, right?

Husker Gary said...

Let the games continue! I "ain't mad at no one" and reserve the right to make borderline comments in perpetuity in the spirit of this wonderful site. If you have issues with my posts, write me offline and we can set up a duel - thesauri at 20 paces.

Let good spirits prevail for all who enter here along with tolerance for our fellow travelers!

Aurea mediocritas!

Nice Cuppa said...


windhover said...

I think this is #5, and yes, it is.

ARBAON said...

There once was a slew of bright posters
Who never, no never were boasters.
They merely discussed, giving opines and such
But they never expected the "roasters."

So, to all you "roasters" out there,
Please know that we really do care.
We`re a really fun group, and a talented troop,
And hence forth, in your "roasting", be fair!

The puzzle comes first on this blog.
Even when it`s a terrible slog!
Then we share our own lives, be they soaring or dives.
An erudite, humorous log.

Join us if you`re willing to play.
You can sign in and starting today!
Just give us your best, and the only real test
Is to put all your axes away.


Dennis said...

ARBAON, simply brilliant!

creature said...

Love the dear poem, and all the posters. You have expressed my sentiments. Thank you, Arabon.

Nice Cuppa said...

Just returned from a day/night in Palm Springs, CA. desert. That was the first 100° weather for me this year, and quite enough

@Jazzbumpa and Windhover

Of course, etymologically speaking, "DISORIENTED" and "EURO-CENTRIC" are synonymous.

I thought I would start a word category count. For today's crossword:


Common words and phrases - 33

Names of people/places/things 17

TV/movie/Comic tie-ins: 6

Exotic/obsolete/rare/foreign words: 5 -HOLA, POX, AIT, MAI, MONA

Punny/cute/clever: 5 - STRAYS, LUGE, OUCH, DIVER (Mmm, indeed), LANCE


SCRUBS ("coverage" as a synonym for clothing??)
BANANA PEEL (BANANA SKIN is the common phrase)
CUSTARD PIE (I assume this refers to COCONUT THE CLOWN. Is it his JUST DESSERT?)



SPORTS: ZERO!!!!!! (That's probably why I could complete it sans Google.


Bill G. said...

Since there's nothing more to add about the puzzle or Yoko Ono, here are a couple of interesting grammar questions. Which is correct?

I'll give the extra candy to whoever/whomever wants it.

I'm angry so I hope he gets his just deserts/desserts.

Anonymous said...

Latter, latter.

Nice Cuppa said...

@Bill G

The spelling "deserts" is the original and "correct" term. However, "desserts" is becoming so popular that it is becoming "correct" or at least "standard" through usage.


Nice Cuppa said...

.....and it's "WHOEVER" - subject of subordinate clause. YIKES!!

Nice Cuppa said...


Wrong, wrong. And 2 wrongs do not make a right. And why don't you have a name, anyway


creature said...

Nice Cuppa- Dodo submitted a word for GAVEUPs,last night[Tues.].

She complained of too many suffixes. Indeed, once it begins, it does seem to not want to end. You might check this out. I gave my thoughts and wish you would also.
Perhaps, CA wouldn't mind taking a look.

Welcome back.

Bill G. said...

NC, you may be right about that but I'm guessing neither of us likes it very much when people make mistakes so often that it becomes acceptable.

A few months back, the word ukulele was a fill in a crossword puzzle but spelled as UKELELE. It wasn't even clued as a variant. I guess it was deemed OK since it is a spelling error that has become more commonplace.

Those smartass anons don't know as much as they think they do, do they?

Anonymous said...

Exactly like you, Mr. Bill. Oh, except for your obsession with TV shows that no one cares about.

Jeannie said...

Wow....I feel a recipe coming on. What happened to the nice "boner/orate/woody" theme that was happening early on? Why so deep?

I for one don't care where you find your love and affection. Everyone needs it. If you don't,feel you do you are just plain cold. Love comes in many different forms; homosexual, bisexual, heterosexoul. We may not all agree these are all ACCEPTABLE behaviors, but I've noticed of late that we have all seen so much bad in the world that we shouldn't give a s#it.

Wow, I just chanelled Lemonade and Windhover and a touch of Kazie in one swell swoop.

C.C., thanks for all you do to keep this wonderful blog alive and kicking. What is the best feature is even though I don't get the opportunity to complete the puzzle, I do get a couple of minutes to "catch up".

Jeannie said...

Please anons and other "grammar police" don't pick on my latter post. I was just trying to offer an opinion.

Things are gettin tough here at the Crossword corner.

Lo-li-ta signing out.

HUTCH said...

Lucina! Christ was a catholic and he was a liberal.I guess they would call him a socialist today.

Nice Cuppa said...

@Bill G.

I fully agree with your point on "bad usage" becoming acceptable. I am still in the camp that cringes when I hear the word "decimate" used to mean "destroy a large part of, or most of" rather than its original meaning of "to kill 1 in 10". Don't know why I am so pedantic on that one, but I am always tempted when someone uses it in speech to reply "Oh, only a 10% reduction? Well that's not too bad, is it?".

I'm not such a pedant on spelling though - after all I had to learn a great number of 'variant' spellings when I came west.

@Creature - yes I did get to browse through the posts yesterday, and was thinking about THAT word on my drive home over the mountains. I will give you my vote tomorrow.

@Jeannie - But I love your "one swell swoop" - what alliteration! Reminds me of the Bay of Biscay. We should nominate it for the Urban Dictionary. Plus, I prefer not to pull the pedantry police on you, but they will give you a ticket for "latter", when it does not refer to the 'second-mentioned of two' (not 3 or more or unspecified).

@anon - please don't hide behind a mask. If you want to fight, please show your colors.


Bill G. said...

NC, I'm guessing you also cringe when someone used 'enormity' to mean something really large rather than something really serious or bad.

Why don't you elaborate a little more about yourself on your blogger résumé? I think it's enjoyable to know a little bit about the people we're communicating with.

Jeannie said...

Nice Cuppa, I did intentionally use "one swell swoop". If you had read my profile you would notice I have been a member of this blog for a better part of two years and have a sense of humor and a little big of wit.

I also agree that you follow Bill G's advice. It's nice to know who you are talking to and in my case up against when being "called out".

BTW, you are new and I can "take home the bacon and fry it up in a pan". That was the reason I mentioned I should probably post a recipe, as it was getting pretty intense here.

Jeannie said...

Before you bring it up, "a little big of wit" was ittentional too....maybe we should send that one in too?

Lucina said...

I completely agree!

Good night, everyone! More fun, games and revelations tomorrow.