Nov 4, 2010

Thursday November 4, 2010 Allan E. Parrish

Theme: "You have to find the key" to unlock this puzzle. The reveal entry was no help: 50D. Clue for 20-, 32-, 39- and 48-Across: LOCK.

20A. See 50-Down: CERTAIN WINNER. "It's a lock." A Dutch book is a set of odds and bets which guarantees a profit to the bookmaker no matter what happens in the contest.

32A. See 50-Down: HAIR CLUSTER. A tress, curl or ringlet. A common superstition is to keep a lock of hair from a baby's first haircut, for luck.

39A. See 50-Down: CANAL DEVICE. Lock, in the sense of a barrier or an enclosure on a waterway.

48A. See 50-Down: WRESTLING HOLD. Headlock, hammerlock, etc.

Al here.

This was tough, and a catch-22 at that. You needed the clue to get the theme, but you needed to solve the theme answers to figure out the clue. I think I spent close to 40 minutes on this one picking away a few letters at a time, some guesses, then looking away and seeing how to make words out of the few perps I could manage. The last letter to fall was the C at the cross of Cozened and Canal device. Imagine how that across word looked with the beginning letter missing... The three and four letter answers were outnumbered today: only 33, compared to 39 answers of five letters or longer.


1. Home of Brigham Young University: PROVO. Utah.

6. __ Mahal: TAJ.

9. Fat substitute brand in some potato chips: OLEAN. A brand name for olestra, a fat substitute, infamous for its unpleasant side-effects, such as reduced digestive absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and steatorrhea (I leave looking up this word to you). Although, to be fair, it can also bind with dioxins, the same as normal fat, and so might be useful someday to treat victims of dioxin poisoning.

14. Not loaded: SOBER. Misdirected to think of firearms and ammunition, so EMPTY came to mind.

15. Ambient music pioneer: ENO. Such works as "Music for Airports". It might make you sleepy and miss your flight...

16. Swindler with a scheme named for him: PONZI. A fraudulent scheme of paying investors a little from what is collected from continuous new investors. Bernie Madoff ran the largest one in history.

17. Hemlock, for one: EVERGREEN. A related species, even though they do belong to the family of evergreens, tamarack (larch) needles turn yellow and fall off just like deciduous trees, so they are not always green year-round.

19. Grain disease: ERGOT. Mainly affecting the rye family of grains, alkaloids are produced that if eaten can cause convulsions and even gangrene.

22. Covet: ENVY.

23. Battery, bond or baseball club designation: AAA. An AAA bond rating means the company issuing it is extremely credit-worthy, i.e. prime. BBB or lower are considered "junk" bonds. They go down to D or "in default". AAA minor league players can be invited up to play in the majors.

24. Belgrade's land: SERBIA. A portion of what was formerly Yugoslavia.

27. Libel and slander disputes are part of it: CIVIL LAW. A legal system inspired by Roman law, the primary feature of which is that laws are written into a collection, codified, and not (as in common law) determined by judges.

34. Brit. record co.: EMI. Electric & Music Industries, Ltd.

35. Spanish pronoun: ESTA.

36. Restful resort: SPA. Name taken from a mineral springs resort in Belgium. Waloon for spring, fountain.

37. Prayer opener: O GOD.

38. Old-fashioned get-together: BEE. As in the sense of social insects working busily together in a common cause.

43. "Beanz meanz Heinz," e.g.: AD SLOGAN. From Gaelic sluagh-ghairm, a battle cry used by Scottish Highland or Irish clans," from sluagh "army, host, slew" + gairm "a cry".

45. Truck capacity: ONE TON. Guessed at the TON ending, but had to wait for at least one perp for the rest.

46. AIDS-fighting drug: AZT. Azidothymidine.

47. __ dire: juror examination: VOIR. From O.Fr. voir “true” + dire “to say.”

54. Foreign: ALIEN. Xenophobia is the irrational fear of foreigners.

56. "The Dick Van Dyke Show" regular: ROSE MARIE. Her role was a comedy writer, Sally Rogers along with Buddy Sorrell, played by Morie Amsterdam.

57. __ Nast: CONDE. Worldwide publisher of such magazines as Vogue, Allure, Golf Digest, Wired, many others.

58. Winter hazard: ICE. Can't argue with that. Although, I wouldn't want to be out in this hailstorm in Georgia, and that's nothing to do with winter. If you click it, watch for at least 25 seconds.

59. Family nickname: AUNTY. Hubby? Wifey? Sissy?

60. Tolerated: STOOD. "That's all I can stands, I can't stands no more." ala Popeye the sailor.

61. Gives the go-ahead: OKS. A long explanation and debunking of other explanations: oll korrect, a deliberate misspelling.

62. Tart fruit: SLOES. They do look like little plums.


1. Minute segment of a min.: PSEC. Picosecond. That is one trillionth, or 0.000 000 000 001 seconds. A picosecond is to one second as one second is to 31,700 years.

2. Wander: ROVE.

3. Upper, in Ulm: OBER. German city, word for over, as in above.

4. Spinal column component: VERTEBRA.

5. Like some farming: ORGANIC.

6. Minute: TEENY.

7. Fresh way to start: ANEW.

8. "Help Me" vocalist Mitchell: JONI.

9. Alfresco: OPEN AIR. Confusingly, al fresco also means "painted on plaster that is still wet".

10. Maker of EverPure shampoo: LOREAL.

11. Former Caltech sr., perhaps: ENGR. Senior in college, Engineer abbrevs.

12. __ dye: chemical coloring: AZO. JZB just explained this the other day.

13. Little thing to pick: NIT. I always wonder why this has a bad connotation. Seems like a useful service. I wouldn't to leave them on me.

18. Competitor: RIVAL. Latin rivalis originally, "one who uses the same stream" (or "one on the opposite side of the stream"), from rivus "brook" The notion is of the competitiveness of neighbors.

21. Basilica section: NAVE. The main portion of a church, connected with naval from Latin navis "ship" based on some vague resemblance.

24. Ancient queendom: SHEBA.

25. Let up: EASED.

26. Customary ceremonies: RITES.

27. It covers the Hill: C-SPAN. Live TV coverage of the House of Representatives. C-Span2 covers the Senate. If Brian Eno's ambient music was being played on either station, you'd never wake up...

28. Da Vinci's lang.: ITAL.ian

29. On the up and up: LEGIT.

30. It started as Standard Oil of Indiana: AMOCO. American Oil Co, now merged with British Petroleum.

31. Expand: WIDEN.

33. John McCain's alma mater: Abbr.: USNA. United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD.

37. Revamp: OVERHAUL. Originally nautical, "pull rigging apart for examination," which was done by slackening the rope by pulling in the opposite direction to that in which it is pulled in hoisting.

39. Hoodwinked: COZENED. Uncertain origin, but perhaps from French cousiner "cheat on pretext of being a cousin;" or from Middle English cosyn "fraud, trickery"

40. "The X-Files" extras: Abbr.: AGTS. FBI agents and extra terrestrials. What's not to love? The truth is out there.

41. Ridd's love, in a Blackmore romance: DOONE. Lorna.

42. They're hard to figure out: ENIGMAS. Riddles. Same length, too.

44. Rio Grande city: LAREDO. Texas.

47. Workshop gadgets: VISES.

48. Skid row figure: WINO.

49. Charlie's Angels, e.g.: TRIO. Tricky, since there were six of them, just not all at the same time.

51. "Deal __ Deal": OR NO. Howie Mandel's game show. Wishful thinking. For the money, of course; what did you think I meant?

52. Lo-cal: LITE.

53. Bygone Tunisian rulers: DEYS. "Title of a military commander in Muslim north Africa," from Turk. dai "maternal uncle," a friendly title used of older men, especially by the Janissaries of Algiers of their commanding officers.

54. Summer coolers, briefly: ACS. Air conditioners.

55. Used car site: LOT.

Answer Grid.



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I hate to steal Dennis's thunder, but I've got jury duty this morning...

Nice puzzle today. The top half was a real speed run (always a plus to have your alma mater be in the clue for 1A, I must say). The bottom half was a bit slower, but not too bad. The only thing that really slowed me down was the fact that so many of the themes were defined solely with reference to 50D, which didn't provide any help.

COZENED also tripped me up a bit. I've seen/heard the word before, but I guess I never really knew what it meant. Needed all the perps on that one...

Anyway, I trust Dennis will be along shortly (if he doesn't post while I'm typing this). Have a great day!

Hahtool said...

Wow! This puzzle was both easy AND hard. There was no way to fill in the theme clues without the assistance of 50-Down, which was of no help. Yet other clues in this puzzle practically filled in themselves. Then again, there were some misleading clues.

WRESTLING HOLD was the last theme clue to be filled. I had _OCK and tried every combination of letters before realizing that LOCK fit the other completed theme clues. (I really wanted ROCK, even that made no sense with respect to the other theme clues.)

I wanted Lemon for Tart fruit. I also thought prayers opened with Dear. And yes, I fell for Ade instead of ACs for summer coolers.

Louisiana is the only Civil Law state in the US. The basis for our civil law is the Code of Napoleon and it was originally written in French, with an English translation. In fact, there was a time when, if there was a question between the English and French, the French version was the controlling law in settling a legal dispute. Attorneys practicing law in Louisiana are considered to be Civilian Lawyers.

Lemonade714 said...

Happy Thursday:

Well this was a different puzzle, with the unifier part of the circular unknowns. Oddly, I found the puzzle to be pretty easy, with COZENED and DEYS the only unknowns. AL, very interesting information, especially about OK; our old friend Martin Van Buren pops up; and the PSEC, which was actually an unknown too.

The deadly, and hallucinogenic effect of ERGOT and it alkaloids dates back thousands of years, and is a precursor in the creation of LSD.

The SLOE berry is what makes SLOE GIN, which is part of the recipe of many FOU FOU DRINKS (check the name for the sloe gin version of the screwdriver) and will always remind me of the SINGAPORE SLING I ordered in the Albany, N. Y. Trailways bus station when I was 16.

Dick said...

Good morning Al and all, today’s puzzle was very difficult for me. I don’t like a puzzle that reference other clues in the puzzle and today was no exception. The references in today’s puzzle were absolutely useless in helping to solve one another. So much for my rant!

Barry, I am so often surprised that when you find a puzzle easy I find them difficult and visa versa. Today I struggled for 45 to 50 minutes and you flew through very easily. Go figure!

There were some complete unknowns today such as “Deys”, cozened, and Doone. These unknowns and some missteps made for a difficult solve this am.

I was misled by summer coolers AC’ and had ade as Hahtool already said.

Al, as usual, you presented a very informative write up this morning. Thanks!

Hope you all have a great Thursday.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day everyone,

This was a enjoyable struggle today, for the most part. The theme clues were filled with plenty of perp help. Cozened was an unknown and again I trusted the perps.

Aunty threw me because I always spell it Auntie (Mame). Rose Marie brought back a lot of comical memories. I still think the VanDyke show was one of TV's funniest ever.

Doone was easy because I remembered the movie and more so, the Lorna Doone cookies. Least favorite clue answer was Ponzi, How many families, investment funds, etc have been ruined by crooks like Madoff?

Adios and enjoy the day.

creature said...

Good Morning C.C.,Al and all,

The puzzle was a definite challenge this A.M., but I liked it, once I had it finished. It took a little longer, but not bad. I never have timed myself.
It was a crawl-one letter at a time.

Found that 'AZT' was somewhere in my verbal memory; and 'cozened' and 'deys' were in my reading memory.

Same last letter as Al-'C';'lock' could have been 'penal device', until'agts' popped up- 'X Files' only in my cwd world.

Great ice storm! Egad, it was almost scary to watch. I'm glad I wasn't there.

OK- Is 'oll' just an old type of today's ''ol'?

I'm off for now; back later

Have a nice day everyone.

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Al, C.C. et al.

Great write-up, Al. I would have been here earlier, but I fell asleep when I hit the link for 15A, HaHa!

38A "Old fashioned get together" could have been our Melissa, too!

I really didn't like this puzzle, and was going to list the reasons. But mother always told me "If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all..."

So, I'm out!

Have a great day, everyone.

laurie said...

I love these puzzles that I have to chip away one letter at a time. Fun challenge!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Thanks for the commentary, Al.

Agree with the earlier comments; parts were easy and some areas a little more sticky. Got CERTAIN WINNER and HAIR CLUSTER before getting the unifier. But that helped get the other theme words. Guess that was how it was supposed to go; with a 'circular' nudging of your mind. Fun in a different way. Wanted 'beys' for DEYS, and got COZENED with perp help. See we have BEE again:-).

NAVE - comes from the same root as 'naval'.

Carol: From yesterday; sounds like you had an interesting, enjoyable career in the shipping business.

Have a good day

Tinbeni said...

Al, Informative write-up.
Thank You very much.

Clues that reference to other clues where "that other clue" gives out ZERO information are a personal NIT on mine and subsequent puzzle enjoyment.

That said, though this was a bit of a slog ...
I "got 'er done!"

SOBER, WINO, SLOES and ICE (my krypton) all in one grid ... ahhh, a drinkin' man's puzzle.

Had outside for OPEN AIR, Alfresco, (thank you AAA for providing that perp to see the error of my way).

Liked the additional CIVIL LAW and VOIR dire (you can hear Joe Pesci saying it from "My Cousin Vinney") mini-theme.

Having been a victim of a PONZI scheme by Arthur Nadel, the mini-Madoff, who bilked investors (including MOI) out of 168 million and last week was sent to prison for 14 years, you would think I would remember how to spell it correctly. But at first I had ponSi before the AZO dye bailed me out. (Nadel isn't getting any bailout).

And with all the above ... I still rate this a FUN Thursday !!!

Cheers to all at Sunset.

kazie said...

I had so many "didn't knows" and "never heard ofs' today that it's not worth listing them. Suffice it to say that all that was good in this has already been said. I hate puzzles where all the theme clues are dependent on other unknowns.

The ones I got were mostly WAGS as well. I wanted SCAMMED for COZENED, which was another complete unknown, and UFOS for AGTS, and after getting the only theme one (CERTAIN WINNER) that I did manage completely, I guessed PICK for LOCK, so that finished me in the south for good.

Google was no help with the BEANS clue, though I did learn that it was apparently used to great advantage in Oz for the Heinz canned baked beans in tomato sauce. I worked at one stage in Sydney with a Czech woman, a French teacher, who said she could never understand how Aussies could eat baked beans on toast or in sandwiches. Having never eaten this popular (there) combination, I had to agree with her.

kazie said...

I forgot to add that even ALIEN didn't come to me, despite being one here for 30 years, because I had ICS for ACS, thinking ice cream, because I always list it in shopping lists that way. I never got WINO because I kept wondering how to fit HOBO and what I had wrong with CONDE. Just total frustration all round.

Anonymous said...

Barney Madoff with a lot of money!

Anonymous said...

Thought the puzzle was great, and the mysterious 50 Down clue to the themed Across answers added to the challenge. For 29 Down, "on the up and up," there are always three possible solutions to a 5-letter answer for this type of clue, licit, legal and legit. Although the abbreviation "legit" has become legit in popular usage, I nonetheless believe the clue should have indicated it to be an abbreviated answer. I enjoy the blog. Thanks.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good Morning, all!

It was... interesting. Three totally unrelated theme answers and circular reference unifier. Hmmmm, might as well skip those and go with the adjacent clues and the perps.

After WRESTLING to get a toeHOLD and pulling my HAIR out in little CLUSTERs I was CERTAIN I was not the WINNER in this battle of wits.
I finally LOCKed in on the solution.

I was COZENED into the empty/sober trap right off the bat and couldn't figure out how to put MUZAK into three spaces. Perps to the rescue again.

LEGAL instead of LEGIT messed me up for a while. I finally ended up playing with letter substitutions and had my Aha! moment when CANAL DEVICE finally came to light.

I guess I like the puzzle because it made me work a little harder than the others this week and also because I was able to finish it unaided.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Barry -

My son had jury duty last week. Thanks for doing your civic duty. Eric said the lame excuses people threw out to get out were pretty disgusting.

Late morning and no Dennis. Should we be worried?

I sincerely hope I never see a puzzle like this again. I like cross referential clues - when they involve actual cluing. But I always carp when you have cross-clues that tell you nothing. Here you have that concept reduced to an absurdity. I propose a prohibition, backed up by CIVIL LAW.

Further, three of the four theme answers are not exactly in-the-language phrases.

There is actually a lot to like in this puzzle. But an abundance of deliberately fun-impeding nonsense spoiled it for me.

To make it perfectly clear, there is nothing wrong with a hard-to-suss ENIGMA of a theme plus unifier. But clue the {expletive deleted} theme entries - OK?

Now, I must go hug a squid!

Lucina said...

ative8327Hello, Puzzlers, Al, C.C., et al.

Thanks, Al, for you always valuable insight.

I believe I can echo everyone so far about the theme clues being dependent on the unknown theme, but that just led me to the downs and most were easily filled. In fact, I would rate this as one of the easiest Thursday puzzles.

Though I didn't know or recall Lorna DOONE or VOIR they presented no problem.

Good fun!

You all have a fabulous Thursday!

MH said...

Lots of trouble for me. I had the problem that Al mentions: couldn't get the theme clue without getting one of the theme answers. Had to make a few guesses and then look some up to get it all. Never heard of COZENED, didn't know ADT. Yikes!

Dennis said...

Hey guys, just a quick check-in.

I had pretty much the same problems everyone else did, but enjoyed the challenge. 'Cozen' continues to elude my memory. Al, thanks for the psec fact; the only one I ever remember is the one I learned from the great Grace Hopper: a nanosecond is to a second what a second is to thirty years.

Weather's rainy/warm here, but still lots to do. Hope it's a great day for everyone.

Splynter said...

Hi All ~~!!

Usually, I would agree with everyone here that the circular reference clues are most annoying, but if the theme title is true, then you did sort of need to find a 'key'. I had CERTAIN WINNER, which led to the others, and since ~~CK was in place, the others followed.
CANAL DEVICE (yes, I could see the missing letter being odd, Al) was OK, but HAIR "CLUSTER" - meh.

Also NOT a big fan of calling a VISE a 'gadget' - they're usually bolted down to a work bench, for good reason, and I get it, but I think of gadgets as things that fit in pockets...sorry, just NIT picking....

Had to scan the alphabet to the end for COZENED, an ALIEN word which was an ENIGMA for me...

That's enough outta me -


Marge said...

Good afternoon,
I had an entire blog done and was checking it and I pressed something wrong and it dissapeared. Oh well.

I haven't done today's puzzle yet but want to comment on a couple things from Yesterday.

I found it fun and got most of it but did have a couple wrong. I also had tinted instead if tinged and I thought Let Warmers did't seen right. Que Sera Sera was easy too but Doris Day did it best.

I probably won't forget Logan as that is the name of our one and only Great Grandson. He's almost 9 months old and since we will be down in Georgia where he lives most of December we will get to see him a lot.

Sabathia and e.r.a. was easy because he pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers at the beginning of last season. However, he was too good and the Brewers couldn't afford to keep him.

I knew Gary,Indiana because I was born in Indiana,but in the center of the stste and not the north.

Thanks to all you folks who write up the puzzles and tell us the meaning of the clues, etc. we don't understand. And thanks to you C C for making this blog possible.

When I get today's puzzle done I'll check back at the blog.

Good afternoon all!

JD said...

Good morning Al, C.C. and all,

Not a fan of today's xwd..took me an hour( very "sloe" going) and could not complete it; loss of hair, canal, ergot/azo, and ad slogan.

______cluster= cluster ______!!

Hahtool and Dick said it well.

Al, I believe that hail storm was in AZ on Oct 5 of last month.My sister lives there, and explained how they watched it from inside the library in Phoenix or maybe Glendale.I have never seen anything like it.

Al, as always, thanks for the great write up.

Dilbert said...

Hi all.

Thought the xwd was difficult but fair. Had to stop and think and think a few times.

Am now passed the age limit for jury duty. We old people are considered too feeble minded.

Rain on the way so I'd better cut
the weed(s) in the back yard.

Take care.

Robin said...

Really, Allan Parrish, are you kidding me? This puzzle was a complete enigma for me, lmao !!

HeartRx, granny always said, "If you can't say something nice, come and sit next to me......."

Love the blog Al. Have a great day, you too Allan.

Mainiac said...

Afternoon Al, CC and fellow Gridsters,

I actually did the puzzle this AM then my morning turned into a cluster_____!

I agree with Hahtool that this was hard and easy. Perps gave me Certain and Hair which led to Locks, which was a bit of a wag. I did have most of 20A which pushed me towards "a Lock" on the unifier. The Cozened and Conde cross required red letter help. I also have never watched the X-Files so AGTS didn't pop right in. Fun, easy and hard.

HeartRx, (from yesterday) Mayo, ketchup, pepper and lettuce on toasted whole wheat. Just had another one.

Have a great day!

Gunghy said...

Call me weird, but I liked this puzzle. The west half fell very quickly, but I just couldn't get anything going in the east. It didn't help that I slapped in VICES. Yes, that's how my mind works. So I was sitting there with R_CE and L_CK. Race/lack? Rice/lick?
Oh, did I mention I never watched the Dick Van Dyke Show? Everything finally fell in place when I realized I had never looked at 36A. That gave me 39A and clarified 50D.

Al, to support JD, I received this Link in an email yesterday. To save everyone from watching, it's the exact same video claiming to be from AZ.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Well, I completed the puzzle today without any 'cheating' but still felt unsatisfied. I feel the same way as Tinbemi about those cross-referenced clues that are of no help. After I got the puzzle done, my reaction was, "Yeah, so, okay."

A WTF clue for me was "Covet" for ENVY (um, no). A four-letter Spanish pronoun? Gosh, that's like expecting someone to guess what three-letter English pronoun I'm thinking of. (I'm thinking of a number from one to ten. Nope, that wasn't it.)

AUNTY with a Y?

At least there were enough knowns (such as PROVO, PONZI, DOONE, VOIR, LOT, and LAREDO) to get me going successfully.

But overall, I give it an "eh."

Thanks for your informative writeup, Al. I learned from you that voir dire doesn't mean "to see, to say" as I thought it did for years. Good to know about Olean, a substance that I plan on carefully avoiding.

Best wishes to you all.

Al said...

Hmm, not sure what's going on. I found another one claiming it was in Oklahoma, too. They were speaking American english, so it probably was somewhere in the US. Not sure why multiple different people claimed it. Maybe they had an insurance scam going.

Anonymous said...

Scholarly blog. I enjoyed the information and research.


Jerome said...

ONETON- Soup served at a Chinese truck stop.

WINO- "Of course not" homophone.

ORGANIC- Church music genre.

OPENAIR- Lid remover, in France.

WIDEN- Sounds like a couple of things. Obama's Veep, to Fudd. The answer to the fill-in-the-blank clue, "__ you tell me?"

windhover said...

Your Granny may well have said that (I don't doubt it), but the quote is famously attributed to Alice Roosevelt Longworth, the daughter of Teddy and the wife of the Speaker of the House, and like your Granny (I'll bet), quite a character.

I would say I was licking my wounds in the aftermath of the elections, but there are things the average beagle can do that I can't, so will settle for drowning them tonight.
Curiously, the Sun has actually risen here the last two days.

carol said...

Hi all-

Good ol' Thursdays! I must me a glutton for punishment since I keep trying to do these puzzles.

I agree with Dick and Kazie. I never like the use of one unknown clue to get another unknown. Blah!

I won't bore you all with how many I didn't know. On the bright side, I did learn a lot :)

Olean made me laugh. I remember a relative of Joe's who thought she had found a miracle when she discovered the"fat-free" potato chips. I think she ate the whole bag and boy was she sorry! I don't know how long she was 'indisposed', but I bet she went through several rolls of TP. LOL
(She failed to read the fine print on the bag where it warns of bowel upsets).

JD..weren't you the one who sent me this hail storm in an e-mail? I thought it was also from Az.

Spitzboov (8:42a) Yes, it was an interesting field. I was involved in exports to many different countries. The various customs regulations sure could be 'hair-pullers' at times. Letters of credit from foreign banks were sometimes difficult to read/understand. Plenty of stressful moments since all were under the ticking clock.

lois said...

Good morning Al, CC, Not a fan of this one, sorry to say. The top third fell into place w/some good cluing and cooing and I was excited for a Thursday. But I abhor clues like ‘see 50 Across’ w/ obtuse perps. Oh well. Tomorrow’s Fri and it should be harder. That’s ok as long as it’s fair. Bring it on.
Al, I cracked up w/your explanation of no C for cozened and canal. Funny stuff! The only words I really liked were O God and canal = de-vice dat gets me in trouble! Never would've gotten the theme w/out your help. Can't wait for tomorrow's puzzle.

Enjoy your evening.


Bea said...

Good evening everyone,
May I join the chorus of those not liking 50d, etc.? Didn't get the theme till visiting here. ACS tripped me too, but that one I liked. Thanks, Al, for all your work.
Did anyone else catch the Baby Rose Marie short (early 1930s I think) on TCM one day? I thought, Quite a voice on this kid, could it be? And it was. She had quite a career and worked with a lot of historic entertainers.

Warren said...

Hi Gang, great blog Al...

I was just scanning the comments and I agree with most about the puzzle difficulty today. My wife has been out to town since Halloween and I'm picking her up late tonight from the San Jose Airport. It's been harder than usual for me to do the puzzle without her assist.

The Rose Marie clue made me recall a recent NPR 'Wait Wait Don't Tell Me' show that had Dick Van Dyke on for the 'not my job' section and he was a riot! He even sang the theme words to the old show.

Lucina said...

Yes! yes! yes! There was a ferocious hailstorm here on Oct. 5th. Most of it was concentrated in the western end of the county which includes Glendale, Surprise, Avondale and other communities.

The windshielf of one of my friends was broken and all the cars in parking lots were seriously dimpled.

Scottsdale and the East valley was spared hail but we had plenty of rain.

Jayce said...

Hail, hail, the gang's all here! Hangin' out in ole Goodyear! LOL

melissa bee said...

carol: great ray romano bit about olean: "say what you want about cigarrettes, nobody's leaking.'

carol said...

Melissa Bee: :) Nothing says yummy chips like anal leakage! (snort)

Husker Gary said...

Greetings from the bowels of central Kansas! I am here with 50 kids on a field trip to the Kansas Cosmosphere. An all-nighter in a museum for a 64 year old man? I am good to go!

I enjoyed the puzzle and really enjoyed the reveal which was somewhat helpful but a lot of fun. I also enjoyed the informative write-up.

I too waded into a bag of OLEAN laden potato chips and wound up spending a LOT of time in the smallest room in our house. If something seems too good to be true...

Time to go supervise!

Mom speaks out said...

Yipes! Stripes! Fun one today, right?

dodo said...

Hi, Al and All,

I enjoyed this one a lot. At first I thought it was going to be a slog, but as I got into it, it went fairly smoothly.

I couldn't remember Provo, which is inexcusable, but I had taj, and olein. I was sure that was the right spelling until the very last.
After Certain win... I got stuck so I skipped over what I couldn't get. Finally some perps helped but it wasn't till I got wrestling...that I got lock. I still didn't understand certain winner, but when I tore myself away from first, outside, then, outdoor and erased the whole thing and filled it right: openair things started to shape up. Oh, well, maybe I didn't like it so much, after all. I certainly don't like that non-clue business at all. What's the point of a unifyer if it's not helpful?

There were a few gimmies: Taj,Conde, sloes, Sheba, deys, voir,Serbia.

I put in Lorna only because I recognized Blackmore and I don't know if he's written any other books. Had to then change it to Doone. First had tricked for cozened. Hand up for recognizing that word but not knowing the definition. Sounds almost obsolete.

Are we all pretty much accounted for except for you, Fermatprime, whom I hope are on the mend, (Kazie, case?) and much missed Clearayes, who must be returning soon?

If any of you or your loved ones are ailing, I'm wishing you well.Especially you, Tinbeni, and your "gal pal" and her brother. And Bob, I trust your Mom is ok now, as well as your pop, Barry G.
Bill G., may you continue to make progress. We're all behind you, cheering you on!

Bob said...

I'm very late posting today, as it was a busy day, and I still have an hour or so of work I need to do before bed, so I'll just say that I completed today's puzzle without error in 32 minutes. I didn't actually figure out the theme until I was finished with it. And by the way, my Mom is some better but struggling to get her meds adjusted properly. Thanks to those of you who have inquired about her.

Chickie said...

Hello All-- I had the same feelings as just about everybody who had a dislike for the reference to a theme unifier for a clue. I gave up about half way through the puzzle and had to come here to finish things.

Thanks, Al for a great writeup.

Robin, I think I would have liked your Granny, even if she took a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. She sounded like quite a character.

Psec was a learning moment for me today. Nano second I've heard, but not Psec.

We broke a heat record here for this date in Nov. It was 85 downtown this afternoon. This is Fall isn't it?

Jeannie said...

See 50 down, See 50 down, See 50 down....etc YUCK. Then the unifier wasn't there to help. Al, once again, I enjoyed your blog more than the puzzle on a Thursday.

I understand that my favorite Counselor will blog every Friday, and I find those a challenge as well. I am quite sure that I will like his links and wit.

I had my friend, the retired cop over for dinner and made a "hot dish" for dinner. For you peeps in the south or east it's called a casselrole. I made up the recipe and named it a "cheeseburger hotdish". No bread involved, but lots of cheese. I will post it tomorrow if anyone is interested. My friend Dave, came prepared with a container to take home leftovers.

Creature, I believe it was you that commented on my lack of a microwave. I am not against the power it gives off, I just tend to cook in my oven, grill, or stove top. If I had one, I guess I would just warm something up in it. But in retrospect, I have an oven that does that. I remember that my Dad bought one for Thelma when they first came out for X-mas gift. He was P/O that all she did was use it to warm up her coffee. She never did cook in it. BTW, the thing was about the size of a nice TV today. She still doesn't cook with it, or the updated version they have. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.