Dec 19, 2010

Sunday December 19, 2010 Don Gagliardo

Theme: Product Placement - Part of each common phrase is replaced by a familiar product name (with homophonic sound).

22A. Fruity beer? : MULBERRY BUSCH. Mulberry Bush. We also have ANHEUSER (11D. Big name in brewing).

34A. Aftershave impact? : BRUT FORCE. Brute Force. Brut aftershave.

37A. Ponderings from behind a plow? : DEERE DIARY. Dear Diary. John Deere.

52A. Half a cereal swap? : TRIX OF THE TRADE. Tricks of the Trade.

79A. Popular vodka-drinking locale? : BIG SKYY COUNTRY. Big Sky Country (Montana). Skyy vodka. Blue bottle.

98A. Camera in need of screw-tightening? : LOOSE CANON. Loose Cannon. Canon camera.

101A. Habitual depilatory cream user? : NEET FREAK. Neat Freak. Neet/Nair, our crossword stalwarts.

113A. Breakfast for the road? : TRAVELER'S CHEX. Traveler's Check.

Fun theme. For a change, I purposely avoided the theme title when I downloaded the puzzle., Grokked the gimmick after filling in BRUT FORCE.

Also three baseball references in the grid:

67A. Ex-Blue Jays manager Gaston : CITO. Might be tough non-baseball fans. Don't think this guy is a well-known figure.

1D. Pitcher Galarraga who lost a perfect game on an umpire's bad call : ARMANDO. Here is the bad call clip. The umpire is Jim Joyce. Classy guy. Armando pitched the day Boomer and I attended the Twins game for my birthday.

83D. Baseball's Garciaparra : NOMAR. Married to Mia Hamm.

You can read Don "Hard G"'s notes at the end of my write-up for his inspirations.


1. Muscle memory? : ACHE. Terrific clue. Original too.

5. Puccini's "La __" : BOHEME

11. Picks up : ABSORBS

18. Campus quarters : ROOMS. We often see QUADS in a grid.

20. Instrument for Charlie Parker : ALTO SAX. Bird.

21. "People might be listening" : NOT HERE

24. Addressee of the 4/14/1970 message "we've had a problem" : HOUSTON. "Houston, we've had a problem".

25. Second ending? : ARY. Secondary.

26. Extinct "great" bird : AUK. I have no idea the Great Auk is extinct. Since mid 19th Century.

27. Some health club exchanges : RECIPES

29. Addition word : AND

30. Like Jack : NIMBLE. Jack Sprat, right? He could eat no fat. What a boring life. (Corrections: Santa just told me it's from the "Jack be Nimble" nursery rhyme.)

32. CXVI x X : MCLX. 116x10=1,160

39. Fades, with "down" : DIES

40. Fervor : ARDOR

41. "... __ TV!": end of a parental threat : OR NO

42. B'way sellout sign : SRO (Standing Room Only)

43. How hot-button issues are contested : BITTERLY. Needed crossing help.

45. Padre's boys : NINOS

48. Rodent on a bank : RIVER RAT. Was just checking on the slang meaning of the phrase the other day.

49. Coffee ord. : REG. Ord. is order?

56. One facing Venus? : SERENA. Oh, the Williams sisters.

58. Scrawny toon dog : REN. Stimpy's pal.

59. Warning to drivers : SLO

60. Outlaw Kelly : NED. Has anyone seen the movie?

61. Go-ahead : APPROVAL

63. Gray : ASHY

65. Moving van supplies : PADS

69. NYC gallery : MoMA

70. Pacific mammal that uses rocks as tools : SEA OTTER. Interesting trivia.

73. Casual affection? : LUV. I Luv U.

74. "Car Talk" airer : NPR

77. Salmon on a bagel : LOX

78. Palindromic Daryl : HANNAH. She dated JFK Jr.

84. Until now, in a CPA's report : YTD

85. Follow a new job : RELOCATE

87. "Don't try to be __" : A HERO

88. Taj Mahal spires : MINARETS. With an onion-shaped crown.

89. "The Big C" network : SHO. Not familiar with this TV series.

90. Actress Rogers : MIMI. Married to Tom Cruise once.

94. Sun Tzu's "The __ War" : ART OF

97. Durbeyfield daughter : TESS. "Tess of the D'Urbervilles".

103. Tenacious Roman senator : CATO. Cato the Censor.

104. English poet __ Manley Hopkins : GERARD. The guy who wrote "The Windhover".

105. "V" visitors, e.g. : ETS. Don't get the clue. Why "V"?

106. Close to a delivery : IN LABOR

108. Mauna __ : KEA. Always have to consider LOA.

109. Chicago-to-Knoxville dir. : SSE

110. Property tax rate : MILLAGE. New word to me. Dictionary says a mill is one tenth of a cent.

117. Frenzied : IN A STEW

118. Corrode : EAT AWAY

119. French school : ECOLE. Its student is ELEVE.

120. Clothing category : CASUALS

121. Steps over fences : STILES

122. Pianist Myra : HESS. A dame.


2. FedEx, e.g. : COURIER. Our Splynter works for UPS. I adore that picture.

3. Flock leaders : HOLY MEN. "Flock" seldom refers to birds in Xword.

4. Diplomatic H.Q. : EMB

5. Women's rights activist Nellie : BLY

6. Wagering venue, in brief : OTB. Offtrack betting.

7. Like most pay rates : HOURLY

8. Devereux's earldom : ESSEX

9. Either of two bks. of the Apocrypha : MACC. No idea. It stands for Maccabees.

10. Showed : EXHIBITED

12. Help up : BOOST

13. RV filler? : STU. Alphabetically. R S T U V.

14. Understanding cries : OHs

15. Use foam on, as a fire : RETARD

16. Rodeo ride : BRONCO

17. E-mailer : SENDER

19. Black Panthers co-founder : SEALE (Bobby)

20. One was lost in a film about Indiana : ARK. Indiana Jones.

23. Wished one could take back : RUED

28. Use Shout on, say : PRE -TREAT. Shout is capitalized.

31. __ Zoo : BRONX

32. Cattail site : MARSH

33. __-Magnon : CRO

35. Stumble : FALTER

36. Jazz musician Kid __ : ORY. Trombonist. Ron would link something special here.

38. Elemental variant : ISOTOPE

39. Prima donna : DIVA

43. Phoenix, in myth : BIRD. We have a similar mythical bird called Fenghuang, known as Chinese phoenix.

44. Coarse file : RASP

46. Aegean island : IOS. Got it via crossings.

47. Giants' org. : NFL. NY Giants.

48. Bus sched. info : RTES

49. Disgust : REVOLT

50. Captivate : ENAMOR

51. Component of the Perseus cluster : GALAXY. And 102D. Star in Orion : RIGEL. Two fill for Spitzboov & Bill G.

52. Like many tabloids : TRASHY. I've got to stop reading them.

53. Find a new table for : RESEAT

54. Under control : IN HAND

55. It may be in sight : END. No end in sight.

57. Storage acronym : ROM

62. Stadium rainwear : PONCHOS. Rain ponchos.

64. Quaint pointing word : YON

66. Like lemurs : ARBOREAL

67. Salad veggie : CUKE

68. Campus creeper : IVY

71. Levy at the dock : TARIFF. Awesome clue. I actually read it as "Levee".

72. At the time specified : THEN

73. Versatile WWII ships : LSTS. LST = Landing Ship Tank.

75. Author who influenced Conan Doyle : POE

76. Sci-fi play written in Czech : R.U. R. The Capek play where the word "robot' was first used.'

80. Hans Brinker's pair : ICE SKATES. Just had this talk on the blog Comments section.

81. Hoods' rods : GATS

82. Search engine name : YAHOO

86. Post-prime time fare : LATE NEWS

88. Witticism : MOT

89. Serious elbow-bender : SOT. So many slang for drunk.

91. Where children were given "broth without any bread" : IN A SHOE. "There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe".

92. Tasty mouthfuls : MORSELS

93. Page locators : INDEXES

94. Listless : ANEMIC

95. Eye's image receiver : RETINA

96. Magnetic measures : TESLAS. Named after Nikola Tesla.

98. Like a metamorphic stage : LARVAL

99. Hungarian spa city : EGER. I forgot. We had this clue earlier this year.

100. Word that stops fire? : CEASE. What fire?

103. Raccoon cousin : COATI

107. Playground problem : BRAT

108. Something to play in : KEY. Got me.

111. Sch. where "Geaux Tigers" signs are seen : LSU

112. Loss leader? : AT A. At a loss.

114. Farm lady : EWE. Lady, how dignified!

115. "Deck the Halls" syllables : LAs.

116. Pounder of "Avatar" : C.C.H. Total stranger to me.

Answer grid.

Notes from Don:

"Product Insertions":

That may not be the title of this puzzle. Whatever the title of this puzzle ended being, it came about with some difficulty. Many Sunday puzzles are title driven, but this one was commercially driven. Probably at least two years ago, I noticed how fun it might be to take a commercial product name that has been altered from a word, and substitute it in a phrase to come up with a wacky alternate version. This is even harder than I just made that sound. I consulted the guru, John Lampkin, because he had experience with Sunday puzzles, I had none, and I thought that this could make a Sunday puzzle. We hashed over many possibilities, and this was about a year and a half ago. The subject was dropped for a while, but I picked it up on my own early in this year. I guess I wanted to further punish myself. I struggled greatly with this puzzle, but received encouragement and help from Rich, and we finally came up with a set of theme answers where we think most people will be familiar with the products. I would like to acknowledge and thank John Lampkin’s assistance on this puzzle because he did put some time into it. I cannot remember and I don’t have time to go over correspondences, but I am fairly certain that John has at least a couple contributions in this puzzle. This puzzle proves that it is very helpful to have a least another set of eyes looking at a puzzle theme."


eddyB said...

Hi all.

Rigel and Galaxy were also gimmies
for me. The Orion nebula(M42)is one of my favorite thing to view.
"V" is a TV program about lizzards
coming to earth in earthling form.
"The Big C" is another TV program
about a woman who has been told that she has cancer. She faces life with courage and humor. (and
Will probably miss the Lunar eclipse on Monday due to cloud cover. Just like the Geminids last week.

Will finish the bottom half later today.

Take care.

Burrito34 said...

Good morning.

Got this one all done around 1 am CST since I'm currently on the night shift at work, and this also allowed me to post quickly as well. (With a little help from google, wikipedia and But hey, part of the enjoyment I get is also learning new things as I go along. So "cheating" isn't always cheating.

I thought of a pithy pittance, or painful pun to share today based on 101 across, ("habitual depilatory cream user.") Can it be said that "neetfreaks" experience a "naircotic" effect from depilatory creams? ;)

Have a great Sunday!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

This one was challenging overall and absolutely brutal in spots. The NE corner held me up for the longest time due to my refusal to consider anything except for DORMS for 18A (ROOMS just seems way too generic). Once I got ACHE for 1A, however, I knew that DORMS had to go.

The SW corner was another tough spot, due to the crossing of LSU and MILLAGE. The former I couldn't get from the clue and the latter was a complete unknown. I finally just guessed the L.

The SE corner was equally tricky, mostly due to the crossing of EGER with GERARD (two unknowns), but also because I always expect the plural of INDEX to be INDICES. I'm sure INDEXES is also correct, but I just don't think of it. Again, a WAG got me the G where EGER and GERARD crossed, and that was enough to let me finish unassisted.

I think the only other unknown today was CITO, but the perps took care of him.

Have a good one!

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, CC and Friends. This was a good Sunday puzzle. I liked the product placements.

Unfortunately, Lemonade's Sons didn't fit in the space provided for the Big Name in Brewing!

C.C., the nursery rhyme Jack referred to in this puzzle was not the Jack who wouldn't eat fat. This was Jack be Nimble, Jack be Quick, Jack jumped over the Candle Stick.

I love seeing a shout out to one of my schools ~ GEAUX TIGERS! They are playing in the new Cowboy Stadium this year at the Cotton Bowl.

I was listening to a podcast of NPR's Car Talk while I worked on today's puzzle.

My mother had this version of Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates.

Nellie Bly was a woman ahead of her time. I remember reading about her when I was in grade school. She was an investigative reporter in the late 1800s. To investigate conditions in the country's insane asylums, she had herself committed.

In her honor, here is today's QOD: It is only after one is in trouble that one realizes how little sympathy and kindness there are in the world. ~ Nellie Bly.

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

not too tough, for a sunday. i don't love brand names in puzzles, but it seems to be the way of the world, anymore, so all is fair.

loved the 'muscle memory' clue. mauna KEA was new to me. MACC was a gimme ... PK and all. always enjoy seeing the back stories from constructors, thanks don hard-G.

from derrick jensen: "does anybody know why there are no penguins in the northern hemisphere? there were, they were called auks. and there were so many, all over the north atlantic, that even on one island, a french explorer said, that they could fill every ship in france, and it wouldn't make a dent. and they did. and it did. and the last great auk was killed in the 19th century."

Splynter said...

Hi All~!!

C.C., I am blushing...and yes, just 5 more days of parcel chaos...also, in that pic, there are cigarettes in the pocket - quit that in August '07. Don't miss it.

As for the puzzle, it was tough for a Sunday, took over half an hour, and still needed to turn on red-letter for the cross of NINOS and IOS. Oh well.

Other tricky spots - yeah, I had QUADS, too, as ROOMS was too easy, and a "Q" in a baseball name didn't seem too far a stretch.

Stumped myself with LATE NITE instead of LATE NEWS.

Tried AFTA SHOCK for BRUT FORCE - seemed to work OK to start...

Favorite was LOOSE CANON, prefer Nikon myself.

I mentioned this before - the New Jersey Devils AHL farm team was the Albany RIVER RATS - now affiliated with the Hurricanes of NC.

UPS tonight at 1:15am - good night!


Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - just have a minute to check in, but I wanted to say how much I enjoyed Don G.'s latest offering; just a great way to start a Sunday morning. Hopefully I'll have a chance to comment on specifics, but the stores have been taking all my time. I think people are just now starting to realize that this is the last weekend before Christmas, since it falls on a Saturday. We had our annual Customer Appreciation Day, with a full buffet in the hobby store; the food lasted one hour, where normally it lasts almost all day. It's definitely a fun time to own a 'fun' store, albeit damn exhausting this time of year.

My take on yesterday's discussion of politics/religion on this blog, with a lot less words than others have used: C.C. asked that we don't do it. So we don't do it. Her blog, her rules. Plenty of other places where it's welcome.

Annette said...

Great job on the puzzle, Don! Your time and effort were well worth it! I enjoyed the fun theme, and the fill itself presented a great challenge for me! Thanks for the insight at the end, too.

"The Big C" is a wonderful show, with a lot of humor and sensitivity. It's very thought-provoking. Since it's on Showtime, it can be shocking at times, if you have tender sensibilities...

C.C., you'll usually hear the term "cease fire!" yelled during a gunfight, telling everyone to stop shooting (war movies, westerns, police shows, etc.). Also, "V" is the name of a science fiction tv series. I believe I've seen ads saying it will be returning in January.

Check your property tax forms for the term MILLAGE. I'm sure Maniac can tell you too, how much goes into negotiating is done during the budget process to determine those hundredths of a penny differences to your MILLAGE rate! Our offices are on pins and needles during this process, since reducing that small number from your tax rate, could mean losing our jobs.

Burrito34, I liked your naircotic phrasing!

Splynter, thanks for getting my packages to my family on time!

HeartRx said...

Good Morning C.C. et al.

Fun puzzle and thanks for the write-up, C.C. I never get any of the "baseball" clues, and usually rely on perps to fill them.

I had almost exactly the same experience as Barry G., with "dorms" instead of ROOMS. Didn't remember MILLAGES, EGER or GERARD.

Also, "indices" instead of INDEXES. But here is a very good explanation of the difference in the Federalist.

Finally got it done, but had to gg the unknowns. Like Burrito, I don't mind "cheating" like that when it gives me a learning moment.

Have a great day everyone!

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all, another great Don G puzzle today. On my first pass across the top I thought that I might not even want to attempt the puzzle today. During the second pass I got 1A ache” and then that corner began to fill and I was off and running. As usual I struggled with the baseball clues. I abandoned baseball years ago when they had the strike and have never gotten interested in that game again. Maybe it has something to do with the Pirates having 17 years playing under 500.

Not too long ago we had discussions on “Steps over a fence” and “Car Talk” being aired on NPR.

I had Mauna Loa in lieu of Kea. Also, hands up for dorms and quads for rooms. I put spat for “brat”, read levy as “levee” and “late nite” for late news. There were lots of problems to fix today. I was able to complete the puzzle, but needed a few trips to Mr. G.

I liked the puzzle and hope we see more from Don.

Hope you all have a great Sunday.

Spitzboov said...

Good Morning C.C. and everyone. Don, thanks for the notes.

I thought it was harder than usual for a Sunday. Had to revisit several times. The SW was last to fall with ANEMIC helping get MILLAGE. Not a word used by our taxing entities. WAGs included BRONX and LSU. Liked the clueing for BRUTFORCE and SERENA.

RIGEL is the left knee of Orion, a prominent Winter constellation. Betelgeuse is the right shoulder and Bellatrix the left shoulder. All three stars are commonly used in celestial navigation.

Enjoy the day.

mtnest995 said...

This was tough, but doable. I made the same mistakes as some of you - "dorms" for "rooms", "Loa" for "Kea" and "late nite" for "late news".

Can anyone explain "ROM" for storage acronym?

Have a great day, all.

Spitzboov said...

mtnest995 - ROM Read Only Memory.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Not quite a no-peeky this week, just a few too many unknowns.

Hand up for DORM and a complete blank on MILLAGE. Should have known Mauna KEA - I once worked for a company that made large telescopes, one of which was sited there. I put in LOA instead.

MULBERRY Busch/bush should have occurred sooner. My side yard has a mulberry that has grown to the size of a tree, perhaps 50 feet tall. We think it was planted in the Teens. There was once an attempt to cultivate them here for the silk industry; the trees can take our climate, but alas the silkworms cannot.


Bill G. said...

What a fun puzzle! Thanks Hard G.

C.C., I had no trouble with Rigel but I didn't remember about all of the galaxies in Perseus. I am familiar with the double star cluster in Perseus. It's a beautiful sight in a small telescope. I'll be missing the total lunar eclipse on Monday. It's supposed to rain through Wednesday or longer.

Sad about the Auks. Thanks for the information, MB.

I think the one of the reasons for C.C.'s rule about no political or religious discussion topics is that many (most?) people can't discuss those topics without getting emotionally involved and/or angry. I do enjoy the other off-topic discussions though.

Off to watch a football game and the Lakers game. Have a good day!

Lucina said...

Hello, everyone.

Not much time to post, today or yesterday though I finished both. Yesterday's was tough, especially since I did not know Paris's wife, Oenone. Ay! Ay! Ay! It kept me in the dark for a loooooong time.

Today's was fun and I'll read the notes and comments later. Many preparations for my impending visitors next week.

Have a wonderful, super Sunday! It's gorgeous here in AZ.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. I liked this puzzle a lot, especially the plays on product brand names. Terrific stacks of 6 and 7-letter fills in the corners and sides. I like stacks like that. The references to nursury rhymes was fun, too. Thank you, Mr. G.

I really wanted STOLI-something for 79A, which bogged me down in the center for a while.

Some fabulous fills include ARBOREAL, EXHIBITED, BITTERLY, and of course ANHEUSER.

I, too, am always stumped by baseball names and references. All sports, in fact.

As for "Something to play in":KEY, I had to scratch my head for a moment on that, but then remembered JazzB's interesting writeup about the key of G and the clip of him him playing a short piece in that key.

MACC was and is a total unknown to me. BOHEME, TESLAS, and SEAOTTER were immediate gimmes, though.

Hands up for wanting DORMS for 18A.

MelissaBee, thanks for that AUK explanation. Remind me, please, what PK is, would you?. (It sounds like a disease, phenyl ketonuria.) Thanks.

Excellent puzzle, and a pleasant way to spend a hour this rainy and gloomy Sunday morning.

Best wishes to you all.

Jayce said...

The "truism" that if it's MAUNA it'll be either LOA or KEA reminds me of an old traditional Viennese saying: If it must be Richard, make it Strauss and not Wagner, but if it's gonna be Strauss, make it Johann.

And that was another piece of trivia from The Mind Of Jayce.

Jayce said...

melissabee, thank you. My DW and I have already exchanged many hugs today, and look forward to verbal hugs with our son and his family during our almost-usual Sunday telephone conversation.

Cyber hugs and handshakes to you all!

Husker Gary said...

C.C. et al, Negative Anon posters are like parasites, feed ‘em they thrive, ignore ‘em, they go away. Don’t respond!! C.C. will take out the trash soon enough.

Very nice puzzle, I felt like writing “Dishwashing Poem”, Ode to Joy!

-Saxophone? No, Alto Sax.
-Houston was technically the first word from the Moon while Neil and Buzz were still inside the Eagle – “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed!”
-I didn’t know Jack for a while until NIMBLE hit me!
-Roman numerals have no zero
-Padre’s boys? Sensitive subject in my religion.
-RV filler? Gas? Nope, STV.
-Oh, that Indiana! Loved the trilogy but the first was the best!
-Giant’s org.? MLB or NFL or NLW
-GAUSS and not our old friend Nikolai?
-Rigel is Orion’s knee and Orion is the most interesting constellation in the most interesting part of the sky – winter evenings (or very early summer mornings)
-My info is that the eclipse will not be visible on our part of the globe and is the first simultaneous occurrence of the Winter Solstice and an eclipse in over 400 years

Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda-

I’m hoping the KC Chiefs can back on track!

Jayce said...

Hello again everybody. I was jus' thinkin', yanno, about an article in the newspaper today, something about a bill having been killed in the U.S. Senate by a filibuster, and was wunnering if anybody really does actually filibuster any more, or is it simply the threat of one that can cause such clogging of the system.

Another unstoppable idea germinated in The Mind Of Jayce. No, it didn't hurt a bit.

eddyB said...


Just wondering why more lefties don't post at 10PM local. Puzzle available at 7PM and CC posts at

Doing Merl's now and waiting for

Rain, rain and more rain. Go away!

Take care.

Bill G. said...

Husker Gary and all, re. the eclipse. I won't get to see it because of a continuing period of rain but those of you with clear skies certainly can.

From "Sky watchers in North America are favored with an overhead view as the eclipse unfolds on Tuesday morning between 02:41 am and 03:53 am EST."

The folks living on the moon will get to see an eclipse of the sun.

Grumpy 1 said...

Hello all.

I'm rather late to the party today. The puzzle was finished about 8 this morning, but I had things to do and didn't fire up the computer until this afternoon.

Hand up for falling for the DORM/ROOM and LOA/KEA misdirections. Also had ROC instead of AUK.

I'm not too well versed in astronomy so RIGEL came throuygh perps. I did know MILLAGE and the SW was pretty easy because of that. NEETFREAK gave me the idea of how the theme wored and was able to get the rest of the theme entries with a few crosses.

The NW gave me fits for awhile until I finally turned loose of DORMS. I also wanted BLUBERRY instead of MULBERRY. I finally teased out the answers and DEERE took its rightful place next to the DIARY that had been there for a long time looking for its partner. That was the only clue I didn't care for. Nobody follows behind a tractor drawn plow, musing or otherwise. 'Maintenance notes for farm machinery' or something similar would have been more on point to my way of thinking.

Thanks for a great puzzle, Don. You earned your 'Hard G' moniker today.

Of the 'Three P's' to be avoided in discussions, we only avoid two of them here in the blog.

creature said...

Good Day C.C. and all,

I've read and re-read your write-up,C.C.; thanks for all your work.

I relate to almost every post, unless you said it was easy. If it weren't for perps ,there would have been many more holes on my puzzle.

AS it was, perps couldn't save all my problems[many, but not all], and the Wags weren't there for me either.

Some names and fills just weren't there: 'millage',late 'news',Mauna 'Kea', Eger, Pounder of avatar-CCH.
Loss leader got me and something to play in got me, too.

The theme was fun; my first was Brut force.

Don, if it took you and some cohorts that long to construct it, I don't feel too bad, saying it was hard,like 'HardG'! Thanks.

Burrito-great attitude-pun-also good.

Hahtool, loved your links today. Thanks. My brother and I had that Book also. Maybe my grandchildren have it on their shelves. I'll check.
Funny, I never thought of index as a verb.

Wow, Jayce you're on a roll! Thanks for sharing your brainpower.

Have a nice day everyone.

Argyle said...

The winter solstice, a full moon and an eclipse; the Druids must be ecstatic.

Argyle said...

Grumpy 1, it didn't say a tractor drawn plow; plenty of time for musing behind a horse drawn plow.

Spitzboov said...

Re: Moon Eclipse: From the Naval Observatory site:

The Moon waxes to the Full phase this week, climbing to her highest declination to beam down on us from just above the "club" of Orion. Full Moon occurs on the 21st at 3:13 am Eastern Standard Time. December’s Full Moon is variously known as the Cold Moon, Long Night Moon, or Moon before Yule. This year it might be called the Vanishing Moon since Luna will undergo a total eclipse by the shadow of the Earth. The eclipse begins with the penumbral phases starting at 12:28 am EST on the 21st. Most of us won’t notice much change in Luna’s appearance until shortly before the Moon enters the umbral shadow at 1:32 am. The shadow slowly creeps across the Moon’s face, completely covering it at 2:40 am. Mid eclipse occurs at 3:17 am, then the total phase ends at 3:54 am. The partial eclipse continues until 5:02 am, when Luna exits the umbral shadow. The penumbral phases end at 6:06 am. During a total eclipse the Moon’s typical appearance is a dull red, but sometimes it can be a lighter coppery hue or so dark that it can’t be seen unless you know exactly where to look. These colors are telltale signs of the opacity of Earth’s upper atmosphere. With the recent eruption of Mt. Merapi in Indonesia this year’s eclipse might be especially dark.

Here is a chart of the lunar eclipse and a map of the affected area. Times are UT (Universal time)

MR ED said...

Is Dennis on vacation?

Abejo said...

Hello folks. I enjoyed today's puzzle. Just finished it about an hour ago. It took me a while. I even took it to church to work on after the service for a while. Not during the sermon as I have been accused of before. It took me forever to get that upper left corner. I had CARRIER instead of COURIER. DORMS instead of ROOMS. WEEKLY instead of HOURLY. It all came together eventually. The DEEREDIARY was easy since I live in Illinois where they build the John Deere tractors. I do agree with one comment from Grumpy 1 that the clue was a little off because when a Deere pulls a plow, you are not walking behind it. I enjoyed the writeups of all before me. I always learn a lot. Now we will see what the Bears do in Minnesota. Abejo

Argyle said...

Goodness, you should know John Deere was making plows long before there were tractors. Timeline

Marge said...

Hi all,

Speaking of Car Talk, yesterday my son in law (is that what you mean when you say sil?) was telling us that the brothers, Tom and Ray, graduated from MIT and had some other degrees too and when their father asked them when they were going to decide on a career, they said "We want to open a garage". He wasn't impressed. But they certainly made a success of it.

C C Your Fenghuang Bird is beautiful! Also injoyed your write up today.

Melissa Bee, my kids were K P's and they have shared some of the same experiences you had,I'm sure.
What sad memories you have for this day, one never quite gets over events like that.

While I have been bloging here now, for awhile, there are some abreviations I still don't understand. I mentioned one earlier, another one today was DW. There are others too. Any clues? Thanks.

Husker Gary said...

I stand corrected. I misread my info and am looking forward to this first simultaneous Eclipse and Winter Solstice in 400 years! Bill G. thanks for the gentle redirection!

As Gilly says on SNL - Sorry!

Jayce said...

Hi Marge. DW = dear wife. LW = lovely wife. DH = dear husband. SIL = son(or sister?)-in-law. Etc.

Argyle said...

Clear Ayes uses GAH for Golf Addicted Husband

melissa bee said...

jayce and marge ... i'm pretty sure it's *damn* husband.

okay, okay ... I KID.

eddyB said...

Marge/Jayce. My favorite is GAH.

Snowing in Pittsburgh!

Jayce said...

Yep, GAH too!

melissabee, whew!

Annette said...

Eddyb, it's a home game tonight, isn't it?

I'd never heard of millage before moving down here and owning property. Then didn't understand how it worked until a couple years ago when they started saying they could raise the millage rates, or let people go.

Marge and other newcomers, C.C. has a link on the right side of the main blog page that explains some of the more common "shorthand" used on the blog.

creature said...

CA, I don't want to impose on your
privacy, but I want to say you are uppermost in my mind, thoughts and prayers; and, I miss you bad.

Jayce said...

Annette: your job is cetainly in no jeopardy from any decrease in our millage. lol

A.R.E. said...


Great Puzzle!

Bill G. said...

I just came across Fargo on cable and watched part of it again. I love the character played by Frances McDormand. Her character is likable, competent, polite and intelligent. Also, her dear husband is great but a bit simple. William H. Macy plays a sleeze-ball car salesman. Great accents! Some of the movie is hard to watch a second time so I skipped over a few parts. Have all of you guys in the Minnesota area seen it? Did you like it?

Grumpy 1 said...

Argyle, I had forgotten that John Deere was around in the horse drawn era. There are still some being used in the Amish country, too.

I've watched horse drawn plows in operation. It's not an easy job! My musing would be along the lines of "there's got to be an easier way to make a living!"

eddyB said...

Annette. Yep. CBS also carried the DEN/OAK game which was why we got the PIT game. Too bad that they didn't win because BAL won.

No hockey tonight so I'll finish the Cussler novel.

The moon must be up by now but, I can't find it.

Take care.

Lucina said...

Better late than never, I always say and so here I am.

I really loved this puzzle and want to thank Don G. for it. What an effort to construct it but so much fun to solve it. Once I had traction on the East side, my pencil couldn't write fast enough and before I knew it the whole E half was done although BRUTFORCE did not come easily.

For Padre's boys I started with HIJOS (sons); Bronx ZOO changed that.

My hands are raised with many of you who also had DORMS for ROOMS, and waited for Mauna LEA or KEA.

something to play in, KEY was clever.

My fav theme clue was breakfast for the road, TRAVELERSCHEX. Nice.

I hope you are all staying calm and unfrenzied during this busy time before the BIG DAY.

Spitzboov said...

Here is some plowing by Percheron horses
in Minnesota

Abejo said...

To Argyle. Thank you very much for being vigilant. Yes, I knew that John Deere started in his profession making plows, drawn by horses. I just did not kick my mind in to the past tense, but was only thinking in the present tense. So, Don Gagliardo was 100 percent accurate in his clue. Congratulations, Don, and a great puzzle.

I was also wrong on watching the Bears game. They do not play until Monday night.

Looking forward to Monday's puzzle. Abejo

Lemonade714 said...

Not only was this a nice challenging puzzle by one of our favorite constructors, but the communication and involvement of our friend Mr. Lampkin, makes me all warm and fuzzy on this slightly chilly night. Have a great pre-christmas week all. i am impressed with more than 50 comments on a Sunday as well

Lucina said...

I just read yesterday's comments and want to express how sorry I am to see Bob leave. I shall miss his expert knowledge and succinct explanations.

Do come back when you can, Bob; I know your expertise must be in heavy demand in whatever you are doing.