Dec 9, 2010

Thursday December 9, 2010 Kurt Mueller

Theme: Add a letter - Not to the answer, but to each successive clue.

16A. M: JAMES BOND'S BOSS. Sir Miles Messervy, as per The Man With the Golden Gun.


37A. Max: PHYSICIST PLANCK. The founder of quantum theory.

51A. Maxi: LONG SKIRT. You have to be a special kind of person to pull this off.

62A. Maxim: PITHY PRINCIPLE. Because "men's magazine" didn't fit...

Hi all, Al here.

A tough theme to continue, I could only go two more steps without resorting to plurals:

Maxima: Nissan Model
Maximal: BeastWars Transformer

I found this puzzle both fun and entertaining, almost Naddoresque in places for the choice of answers like JIM DANDY, CHEAPO, TRIKE, and ZANIER. Also clues that tied together like "little wood", "little butt", "little rascal", and other misdirections. There did seem to be a few names, most not too bad, but the cross of AFT and FROMM did make me have to guess at first, not being one to read classified ads.


1. Magic: MOJO. Originally meant a lucky charm in the shape of a hand, often worn between the legs, by gamblers and by women (against infidelity). It may derive from the West African Fula word moco’o, a medicine man, or from Gullah moco, meaning witchcraft or magic.

5. Time in a classified ad: AFT. Afternoon, I'm guessing...

8. Syrian president: ASSAD.

13. Surrounded by: AMID.

14. Bud: BRO. Pal, chum, homey, cuz.

15. Little wood: COPSE. Shortening of "coppice", which also has the same meaning: a small grove of trees planted specifically for cutting.

19. So-so connection?: AND. The original use was just to indicate something that is unspecified: "If I want to do so and so, then that's my business!" A similar phrase is "such and such". It has evolved into a euphemism for something unmentionable due to common use, thus acquiring a negative connotation itself: "You dirty so and so!" .

20. __ forces: ARMED. The notion of arms seems to be "that which is fitted together." Meaning "heraldic insignia" (in coat of arms, etc.) originally displayed on shields of fully armed knights or barons.

21. Senate majority leader Harry: REID.

23. Baseball stat.: AVG.

28. More clownish: ZANIER. Originally Zanni, Venetian dialect variant of Gianni, pet form of Giovanni "John." A stock character in old comedies, he aped the principal actors.

31. Doesn't try to reach the green, in golf: LAYS UP. For a safer next shot, use one instead of losing two. Unless you're like me and lose the next two in the pond anyway.

32. Current letters: AC-DC. Also an Aussie hard rock band.

33. Less taxing: EASIER. Like this clue.

43. Most tender: SOREST. I had wondered about the use of "sore" in a few old movies as meaning "very" (I am plumb sore wore out), until the eytmology dictionary pointed out the related German word "sehr", which, oddly enough, means "very".

44. Pace: GAIT. "A walking, or departure", related to gate, from Old Norse gata, a way or path.

45. Low-quality: CHEAPO. Brings to mind bad-smelling cigars.

49. Sumatran swingers: ORANGS.

55. Site of a 1981 sitcom honeymoon: ORK. Mork & Mindy. We've been seeing a lot of them lately.

56. Minute amount: IOTA. The Greek letter "i", which is the smallest letter, so literally the least part of anything.

57. __ badge: MERIT.

59. "Big Blue": IBM. Perhaps the logo, suits, mainframe color, or a combination of all three.

66. Old number?: ETHER. Not a counting number, but to numb your senses, an anesthetic.

67. Instrument on which Jake Shimabukuro can play "Bohemian Rhapsody": UKE. Jake is simply awe-inspiring. I may have also linked his version of Harrison's WMGGW before, but I'm doing it again, just because I think it would have been an even better choice for the clue.

68. Kind of officer or shark: LOAN.

69. Meg and Robert: RYANS.

70. __ Perce tribe: NEZ.

71. Asian beef source: KOBE. Kobe beef fat will actually begin dissolving at 77F degrees, which means the meat will literally melt in your mouth. If prepared as steak, kobe beef cannot be cooked more than medium rare, as it would otherwise liquefy.


1. Goya subject: MAJA. Two paintings, same model and pose, one clothed, one nude.

2. Yemen neighbor: OMAN.

3. Crackerjack: JIM DANDY.

4. Poetic tribute: ODE. From Late Latin, a "lyric song".

5. Common crossword clue letters: ABBR. Why does the word abbreviate need to be so long?

6. "The Art of Loving" author: FROMM. Erich, who presents love as a skill that can be taught and developed. I thought that book was called the Kama Sutra...

7. Cartridge filler: TONER. I started thinking gunpowder, then ink.

8. Coolers, briefly: ACS. Recently saw this clue for air conditioners.

9. One may be choked back: SOB. There, there, just let it all out.

10. Stylish: SPORTY. Concerning cars, I guess.

11. They may be liquid or frozen: ASSETS.

12. Original "Star Trek" studio: DESILU. Was owned by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball.

17. Wise one: SAGE. Also an acoustic performance by Greg Lake of ELP.

18. Driller's deg.: DDS. Doctor of Dental Surgery.

22. Bank acct. entry: DEP. Deposit. Could have been INT.

24. Morrow and Damone: VICS.

26. One who lifts a lot?: KLEPTO. Lifting as slang for theft, not like these people.

27. '50s-'60s chief justice Warren: EARL.

28. Microwave: ZAP.

29. Cologne cry: ACH. German interjection. Lieber Augustin was a popular street musician, who, according to legend, fell into a pit filled with bodies of plague victims, late at night when he was drunk. Assuming that he was certain to catch the disease they left him for dead. Augustin did not contract the disease, which may have been owed to the influence of the alcohol. That sounds like a story for Ripley's Believe it or Not...

30. Boil over?: RECOOK. Over as "again", not as spilling onto the stove.

34. __ Jordan: Nike brand: AIR. I tend to avoid celebrity-endorsed products. Does that make me a hipster?

35. Vane dir.: SSE.

36. Part of TGIF: ITS. Thank God It's Friday. A mantra to take you to a happy place.

38. AOL et al.: ISPS. Internet Service Providers. It was pretty short-sighted to call it America on line, but the internet was young and hadn't taken over the world yet, I guess.

39. Culture medium: AGAR. They don't call it "smelly lab" for nothing... Not the agar itself, but the bacteria that gets grown on it.

40. Lover of Yum-Yum in "The Mikado": NANKIPOO.

41. Little butt?: CIG. Abbreviation for cigarette.

42. Gold meas.: KTS. Karats are the purity proportion. Carats are weight.

45. Second-century date: CLI. Well, it had to start with a C. After that, hope for perps.

46. Barrel worker: HOOPER. Someone had to make those metal bands that held the staves together.

47. Thing: ENTITY. That which is. Related to the crosswordese Latin word ESSE: "to be"

48. Hercule's creator: AGATHA. Hercule Poirot, Christie's Belgian detective with the active "little grey cells". David Suchet is my favorite portrayer.

50. Uniformed campus gp.: ROTC. Reserve Officers' Training Corps. I kept reading this as un-informed for some reason.

52. Little rascal: IMP. Originally just meant a shoot or graft of a plant, then transferred to human form with the sense of "newness". Pejorative association with phrases like "imp of Satan" gives us the present day meaning.

53. Chance to see what you missed the first time: RERUN.

54. Early mode of transportation: TRIKE. Cute clue. Early, meaning young, not ages ago. I wanted something else at first, like a horse.

58. Powerful 1966 hurricane: INEZ. Because the date was given to be in 1966, just find a female name that fits the perp letters and move along without further comment.

60. Yak: BLAB.

61. Word on a biblical wall: MENE. The idiom "The writing on the wall", to be able to foresee doom approaching, is a biblical story in the book of Daniel. King Belshazzar and his court praise the gods of gold and silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone. A disembodied hand appears and writes "Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin" on the wall. Daniel interprets this to mean God is displeased, and the end of the kingdom is at hand. Sure enough, the king is slain that night. You really had to be careful what you said to people back then, I guess...

63. Cock's mate: HEN. I've never heard it called that before...

64. Jr. and sr.: YRS. School years.

65. Type: ILK. Same. Related word: like

Notes from C.C.:

1) Today, we celebrate the birthday of the always attentive & caring Hahhool, who, together with Argyle & Dennis, has probably read every comment on the blog in the past two years, including those (deleted) mean-spirited troll posts.

2) We also celebrate, though a bit late, Bill G's return to his wonderful home & our blog for the holidays. Click here to see a picture of Bill, his loving wife Barbara and their three beautiful kids. And here to see Bill, Barbara and their adorable grand-kids. Both photos were taken last Sunday. Yesterday Bill asked how everyone pronounces "dissect". I "die-SECT", with long I. How about you?



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

A fun puzzle with an inventive theme. I made it through unassisted, but it took multiple passes. Trouble spots included:

UKE -- I wasn't familiar with the artist, and the clue didn't indicate an abbreviation, so I had trouble thinking of a three letter instrument.

HOOPER -- I really, really wanted COOPER.

RYAN -- This was my first guess upon seeing Meg in the clue, but I've never heard of Robert and therefore figured it was probably something else.

LAYSUP -- Not familiar with this golf term. Not really familiar with golf, period. I tend to agree with Mark Twain that it's "a good walk, wasted."

FROMM -- Another complete unknown, and the double M at then end had me thinking I had made a mistake somewhere.

Favorite clues were "Early mode of transportation" for TRIKE (which, again, really should have had some indication that it was an abbreviation) and, of course, "old number" which tricked me once again.

Have a great one!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

I almost got to be first - a fitting recompense for a night of insomnia I can ill afford - but I was reading Angry Bear and Barry snuck in ahead of me.

I'm a bit addled, mentally on a par with some of the ZANIER ORANGS - so probably shouldn't comment too much. Missed the theme completely. Misspelt the MINI - KOBI cross. Had COOPER for HOOPER, and I think I'm right, too.

Now, I'll go back and check out Al's write up.

Happy morning,

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning! I didn't recognize Kurt Mueller's name, and when I came across the first theme clue (M), I thought I was in for trouble. Instead, I found this a most enjoyable ride. Lots of mis-leading clues, some of which were "aha!" moments, made for a lot of fun.

I especially liked Current Letters (AC/DC), and Common Crossword Clue Letters (ABBR.), which combined with the first theme clue, let me off in the wrong direction.

Other favorites today included:
Early Mode of Transportation = TRIKE;

Driller's Degree = DDS;

One who Lifts a Lot? = KLEPTO; and

Boil Over? = RECOOK.

I had never heard of Jake Shimabukuro and his traveling UKE, either, but his renditions are just beautiful. I'll seek him out to hear more.

QOD: It takes a long time to become young. ~ Pablo Picasso

creature said...

Good Morning C.C.,Al and All,

This was a 'step at a time' type of puzzle for me. Letter to letter,here and there. Came out ok, but many perp saves. Some great clues, but to avoid being a hog, I'll cite Driller's deg and leave the rest open.

I really liked this puzzle. It was
consuming, challenging and fresh.

I was most uncertain about 1D. and 1A and Word on a biblical wall.

Also, copse was out of my mental reach.

Al, thanks for the much needed write-up; I'm going back for more
this a.m..

Happy Birthday, Hahtool! I already had you on my calender; I picked up on your message to Dennis a couple of months ago, and penned you in.

Great photos, Bill.G. Love seeing such a beautiful family! I,too, say 'die sect'. When I look at it, it makes sense to say 'dis sect'. Thanks.

Have a nice day everyone.

Jazzbumpa said...

Great pix, Bill.

HBD, Hatool.

I DIE-sect.

What a great day for music.

Jake is Amazing - well worth getting up early for.

Never heard that ELP cut before. Reminds me a lot of Spanish guitar music. I couldn't come up with anything really similar, but here is a piece by Albinez. He wrote piano music in imitation of the guitar, so guitarists, naturally, eat it up.

Speaking of guitarists - check this out.

Half our concert tomorrow is going to be seasonal music, including

This is probably it for me for the week. The next few days are a tsunami.

JzB overloaded and running on empty

Tinbeni said...

Al, Thanks for an informative write-up.

Hahtool, Happy Birthday!
21 Again?
I'm NOT surprised!

Bill G.,great to see you. Nice Photo's.

That MENE writing on the wall almost did me in ... until the LOAN officer & shark appeared.

Same with that KLEPTO that finally got the PHYSICIST PLANCK's name.

NANKIPOO also via the perps. I think I saw "The Mikado" about 40 years ago. Don't remember all the characters.

For "Little butt" I knew it wasn't Kim, and those ORANGS got me that CIG.

So although I finished ... it took 2 Mugs of Java.

Lemonade714 said...

Al et al.

HBDTY HAHTOOL, fun write up Al, and I too was dumb about numb er.

It is interesting to note the only other puzzle we had from Mr. Mueller people complained it was too easy for a Friday. It to contained UKE and AL linked Jake Shimabukuro, and used the song her remembered linking. It is also intriguing to see the roster changes here at the corner.

Hey, what a fun puzzle, with a letter added to each theme clue; something new for me. My first run through of the across clues in the North yielded AMID and REID, and I was thinking it was going to be a long day. After I put in ABBR, FROMM (my undergraduate and graduate school was in Psyc) TONER, and DDS, I had BOND, then my first long fill. After that it was a classic jump back and forth filling some across and some down, with HOOPER my last fill. Scrabbly with plenty of J and K words; I really was impressed with the five theme words, one grid spanner and two 14’s, but a step up in difficulty, as my addled brain could not dredge up MAJA and was totally fooled by the KLEPTO clue of one who lifts a lot. But who does not like that word with CHEAPO and TRIKE in a puzzle.

Bill, you look great, and how ironic that you wore that shirt and your picture ran with this puzzle. I look forward to commentary from Lois, Carol and our dear HENS.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning and Happy, Happy, Happy Hahtool.

The first scan through the clues was WTF? OK, find a few obvious entries and build from there. Max Planck was the first of the theme entries to emerge and I suddenly realized where our zanier constructor was going with this. 'James Bond's Boss' was so obvious at that point it may as well have been preprinted. I sort of wanted Mrs Barker instead of Kettle, but by that time I had enough perps to keep me out of trouble.

Favorites were pretty much the same as others have mentioned. I enjoyed the wacky clues and misdirections. I was able to get the unknowns with perp help and ended up with a full grid, no errors. Life is good!

Lemonade714 said...

On the dis-sect front, I grew up around hospitals and they all said DI- sect, though with two "Ss" I can understand the other way. Here is what they say at Merriam Webster, where you can listen DEFINITION .

Dan Naddor puzzles always generated discussions of something, even if not theme related, if you all have not read yesterdays late ramblings, some comments today will make even less sense than usual.


MH said...

Fortunately there were plenty of fairly easy three and four letter words to help with the difficult long answers. I was slowed down by several misspellings including KOBI, CLEPTO, and NANCIPOO as well as some wrong words such as THREE (well it's smaller than a ONE wood, right?) instead of COPSE. I got the theme right away but it didn't help all that much. Very enjoyable Thursday puzzle!

UKE - I like Jake's rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. He's a frequent and welcome guest at Jimmy Buffet concerts (I listen on Sirius Radio Channel 31).

PITHY - one of my favorite words and it doesn't make it into crosswords very often.

MOJO/MAJA - nice crossing.

Al: nice writeup!

eddyB said...

Hi all.

Fast and fun. Fun part that was fun for me was the crossing of Jr
and sr with the Ryans. Am still reading the Clancy novel.

Great hockey game last night. The Sharks down three goals in the third, come back and win with a shoot-out victory.

Take care. We had more rain last night.

Penelope Pentabrook said...

" Cartridge filler: TONER - I started thinking gunpowder, then ink. "

Thanks to our dear 'friends', via the UPS offices in Yemen, may be wise to continue thinking gunpowder, as well.

"One may be choked back: SOB ", or, on this blog, - deleted.

Husker Gary said...

Al et al, Definitely a 3* which reminds you of some dates. I think I can get there but it is going to take some effort. The wait was worth it! Happy Birthday HT and what a nice fam Bill! Did you also notice how much smarter you got as your kids got older? Very detailed write-up Al but the school server blocks the links and so I will get them tonight! I also loved the progressive clues from M up.

-MAJA? No idea
-I’m 64 and have to lay up a lot
-Pace? STEP? RATE? Nope, GAIT? AHA!
-The silent B got me in Number but got by default. Great!
-Desilu produced a lot of great TV even after Lucy could no longer tolerate his serial cheating and divorced him
-KLEPTO - There is a very sad story in Omaha this week about two women who brought their 3 and 4 year olds to Dillards and had them walk out with $400 purses. It was caught on tape and would break your heart to see it.
-Dwight Eisenhower called Earl Warren “The biggest damn mistake I ever made!”
-Cologne in Germany is Koln and the cathedral is spectacular! We did not bomb it during WWII and the Germans made fun of our accuracy. The next day the B29’s dropped a gazillion bags of flour on the building just to make a point!
-I had M instead of C for the date and that slowed me! Duh!
-I read Hercules’s creator and it took a while for my little gray cells to see Hercule. Peter Ustinov is my favorite.
-My kids DI ssec ted chicken wings and frogs for me

Winter weather is due this weekend and so I might have to break the seal on my new snowblower

carol said...

Hi all:

Great puzzle for a Thursday! I actually solved it....I am so happy :)

Al and Lemonade: Still laughing at your comments re HEN and LE COQ...and guess what??? It's WEARY WILLIE DAY !! Toooo funny.

Bill G: great family, great pictures. Thanks so much for sharing.

DIE-sect for me.

66A NUMBER, very clever and it fooled me completely.

I knew 15A but could not remember how to spell COPSE. I will remember next time.

Hahtool: A very happy birthday to you. Do something outrageous today!

HeartRx said...

Good Morning, Al, C.C. et al.

BIG happy birthday, Hahtool - I always enjoy reading your comments. Great pictures of you and your lovely family, Bill G. ! BTW, I say "die SECT". Merriam Webster has three different pronunciations, so nobody is "wrong"!

I started out with lots of blanks my first pass, but was able to get "ïnto" the theme when I filled PHYSICIST PLANCK (I have no idea which dim recess of the brain that one was hiding in!!). Everything else was fairly easy for a Thursday, except for the N.E. corner. I did end up gg'ng ASSAD, and the rest was history.

I loved the clue for ETHER, but wasn't fooled because I already had ENTITY and AGATHA. As you can tell, I was jumping all over the place trying to get some traction. I usually solve both ways on Thu-Sat puzzles. And, it took me a couple minutes to get TRIKE for "Ëarly mode of transportation".

All in all a fun puzzle and enjoyable Thursday.

Have a great day, everyone!

fermatprime said...

Hello All,

Great work, Al and Kurt!

No cheating, but time consuming!

The online dictionary leads me to believe that UKE is a proper word.

Hands up for COOPER!

HBTY HAHTOOL. Have a great day!

James Bond was a gimme!

Am on banner insomnia bout lately.
Was all stressed out because my property tax bill was misplaced. Fortunately friend Harvey had seen it recently. Of course it took several tries to follow the obscene online instructions. Due Friday!

Did I mention that it was huge?

No more Medicare in home physical therapy. But leg still hurts terribly when I try to walk. Sigh!

Am truly grateful for the obscene payments Medicare made, followed by Blue Cross picking the rest (through State of California). However at first they only allowed for setting one fracture. Stupid! Surgeon resubmitted bill.

Those of you who are wondering whether or not to get medicare, hie thee at once to SS office!

Bill G. said...

I really enjoyed this puzzle. Clever, and I was able to solve it with no red letter help or Googling. Yea for me! Usually, by Thursday I just turn or red letters when I start. I liked TRIKE, JIM DANDY, ETHER, CHEAPO and others. I've got to try KOBE beef someday though I'm really happy with the prime rib eye steaks from Costco.

Barry mentioned that TRIKE and UKE need an abbreviation indicator. I think they're sorta in the language as words all by themselves. Maybe Jerome can offer his opinion.

I too read Hercules for Hercule at first. I loved the movie version of "Murder on the Orient Express."

Great story about the Cologne cathedral! I hadn't heard that before.

MH said...

Forgot to mention that I'm an Agatha Christie fan so the "Hercule's creator" hint didn't fool me (note the placement of the apostrophe). Currently reading "Peril at End House". I'm not a big fan of any of the movie or TV adaptations except Murder on the Orient Express, 1974 version with Albert Finney as Poirot. What are your favorite Agatha Christie stories?

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Great write-up, Al; Thank you.

Just got back from my annual whole body scan at the dermatologist. (Too much shirtless corn cultivating and hay raking as a youngster.) Everything OK, though.

Did the puzzle today in ball-point. (Only white-out needed was for SPORTY when copse became clear. Loved the theme and the increasing M____ clues. They were fun fills. We've had Max PLANCK recently. Wanted 'cooper' for HOOPER, but CHEAPO had to be right. Ergo.... Nice to see ACH again. Also liked the clueing for MRS KETTLE, COPSE, and KLEPTO.

IMP - an appropriate translation of my avatar when it was much younger.

Enjoy the day; Tschüß

Splynter said...

Hi All~!

Lots of misleading clues today, made it fun, and the progressive spelling theme was cool, too.

Hey, can you change GAIT to LOAN by changing one letter at a time, and still spell words?

I'll check back later with my solution. (5 words)

Shoulda had James Bond's Boss right away, but was in a periodic table/money/time ABBR frame of mind...

Had EVE and PAL at due North, and that messed me up.

I am a DIE sect person, and we NUKE out here with the microwave, not ZAP.

Last clue to fall was "Big Blue", and around here that's the NY Giants, and I knew that couldn't be right...

Such beautiful lines on the UKE and guitars - I love the full sound of the finger-picked style - thanks for the links, Al & Jazz...

Happy B'day Hahtool !!!


Lucina said...

Good day, Al, C.C. and all cyber friends.

Happy, happy, happy birthday, Hahtool!

I say dis sect.

Yowza! This was fun and invigorating. A few fills pulled out from the long ago past: COPSE, FROMM, NANKIPOO, and just recently I learned about PLANCK from this blog.

Had to jump around quite a bit until enough fills gave me the theme answers; they opened with loud AHAs. I loved Ma and Pa Kettle movies. Marjorie Main was the ideal Ma.

Al, as always the depth of your blogging impresses and informs me. Today I learned the difference between carat and karat which I mistakenly thought were synonymous.

At 43A I had RAREST and so a big mess at ISPS and RECOOK. Thank you for clearing that!

My fave clue today:
one who lifts alot: KLEPTO

Bill, what great photos of you and your family. Thank you for sharing.

Have a tremendously wonderful Thursday, everyone! Grades are due.

Marge said...

I see I didn't do well on spelling yesterday? I always edit but missed out for our.

Anyway, it wasn't out either, he he grew in our hearts from the day we brought him home from the adoption agency at the age of five and a half weeks. He's 49 now.

Haven't done the puzzle yet, hope to blog later on that.


Jerome said...

Bill G- I'm with you. I would never clue TRIKE OR UKE as an Abbr.

Al- I'm with you, too. Suchet absolutely shines as Poirot.

Nez Perce, French for "Pierced nose." Trouble is, the Nez Perce didn't pierce their noses. Their neighbors, the Chinook did.
The Pince Nez, distant cousins of the Perce, didn't pierce their noses either. However, they wouldn't be caught dead without their glasses.

Jeannie said...

I didn’t do too well today. My mind is not “science” oriented and all that I learned in school was memorized and promptly forgotten. Therefore, I didn’t know who Max Planck was or had no idea about the “pithy principle”. Another learning moment was “copse” for little wood and needed red letter help with Reid, Maja, and Mene. For some reason I always thought kleptomania was spelled with a “C” so I had “clepto” in there at first. Oh, and I had to hit the g-spot for The Mikado – Nankipoo. That’s a funny name, Nankipoo. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

Happy Birthday Hahtool! I hope you took the day off for fun and frivolity!

Bill G great to “see” you and your wonderful family. I can’t remember exactly who said it, but we do have some handsome men on this blog!

Weary Willie day!! That’s hilarious!

Bill G. said...

Splynter, how about GAIT, GAIN, LAIN, LOIN and LOAN?

HeartRx said...

Splynter, Dang - I had the Gait-Loan connection, but Bill G. beat me to it!

Jerome, you are too funny - I never knew the Pince Nez were cousins to the Perce. Ya 'larn somethin every day here LOL!

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone,
I've not finished the puzzle yet today, but wanted to comment on the blog for the last couple of days.

I do read all the comments, but often late at night so everything has pretty much been said. Loved the banter and the repartee the last couple of days.

Thanks CA for your comment defending me a couple of days ago. I appreciate it.

I did want to wish Hahtool a HBD before her day was completely over. May your day be wonderful and a memory made for days to come.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I liked this puzzle a lot, but it was Al's music links that put a smile on my face.

Jake Shimabukuro and his UKE was a new name for me. I checked out Al's link and then stuck around YouTube to listen to a few more numbers. Then on to SAGE and Greg Lake. Jeez, I loved ELP.

Hmm, being the non-scientific sort, PHYSICIST PLANCK just popped right onto the grid. Sometimes you just get lucky.

HOOPER definition: "A maker or repairer of barrels and tubs; a cooper." I thought of COOPER first too. English, she is a strange language.

The only gripe I have with this puzzle....why would you "boil again" to RECOOK something once it has been cooked? You'd probably wind up with a soggy mess of whatever. (remember PEASE PORRIDGE?) I can't help but wonder, does (30D) RECOOK mean toss the mess away after it boils over and start again? For me, it all depends on if what is in the pan is burnt. If it just boiled over a little, I take the pan off the stove until it settles down and then, with a lesser heat FINISH COOKING, not RECOOK.


Lemonade, from last night...not bad rhymes at all, and the nice part is they are heartfelt.

Thanks to all for the nice comments about the watercolor barn. You are too kind. It is going to daughter for Christmas.

Thanks to WH for his always generous comments. He's right, I do like things to be pleasant.

Happy Bithday, Hahtool, I hope it is a great one.

windhover said...

Happy Birthday, Hahtoolah.

I'm quite often in a pithy mood, especially if you say it with a lisp.

Jerome said...

Splynter- The modern word for your word game is "Laddergram"
It was invented in the nineteenth century by Lewis Carrol of "Alice in Wonderland" fame. He called them "Doublets"

A famous Laddergram is to go from APE to MAN using only the letters R,M,N,I.

Bill G. said...

Jerome, I've got a way. I don't know if it's the most economical though. It took me eight words altogether or seven additional steps. I don't see how to disguise my answer so I'll just wait until others have had a chance. I can do it in fewer steps with different letters though.

Jerome said...

Bill- It can be done in less steps using other letters. But using only R,M,N,I makes the puzzle tougher. If you end up with eight words total, including APE and MAN, you've scored an ace!

Jayce said...

I say die-SECT, as did my father (an MD) before me.

Great puzzle, great writeup, great comments. Thank you and best wishes to you all.

Jeannie said...

By Jove, I think I've got it figured out!

Jerome said...

The Laddergram is a toughie. Just a hint for those who have no more hair to pull-

APE ARE........

thehondohurricane said...

Good Grief!

Physicist Planck, Pithy Principle, Fromm, ISPS (I'm a computer ignoramus), Nankipoo, Hooper (Cooper?), Mene, and Hercules creator/ Agatha. This was not a fun puzzle for me.... too many unknowns. It took four passes, several Wags and Swags, and 21/2 hours to finish. I had no idea if I had solved it until I read Al's write-up. I simply lucked out.

However, some of the clues did come rather easily. James Bonds boss, Mrs Kettle (I used to love the Ma & Pa Kettle movies), & Long Skirt (I prefer short ones). Loved the Klepto clue, but initially went with a C instead of the K.

Hahhool, Happy Birthday. I hope you had less aggravation with today's marathon than I did.

Oh well, from chilly Ct., everyone enjoy the day. Tomorrow's puzzle will be better.


Bill G. said...

I agree that dissect can be pronounced either way according to the dictionary because people pronounce it both ways but I think dis-sect was originally the correct pronunciation. Think of words like dissolve, dissipate, dissertation and dissuade. No big deal. Just something I found interesting.

dodo said...

Hello Al, C.C., and fellow solvers,

Happy Birthday to you, dear Hahtool! I hope you are having a wonderful day. I love your posts. Why don't you favor us with a picture, friend?

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, Hands up for Cooper instead of Hooper. I couldn't think of anything of low-quality beginning with CC-ea so eventually had to give in and use Hooper. My grandfather was a cooper, and I didn't know about the different name for the metal band makers. This was my true learning moment today.

I also had AM's for the time in a classified, so that top middle section was a field of empty letters for a long time. I wasn't familiar with Fromm, so had to look up that name on Google.

I thought the theme was very clever, and was pleased that I knew Ma Kettle, and James Bond's Boss, but Pithy Prince ---? escaped me as I wanted the Man's magazine to come in there someplace!

My favorites today were One who lifts a lot?/Klepto, and Driller's deg./ DDS.

All in all a great puzzle, hard enough to make me think, but doable so I didn't get too discouraged!

Jazz, I missed your birthday wishes yesterday, so let me add them now. I hope you had a simply wonderful day.

Mainiac said...

Evening to all, dam near bedtime.

Did the puzzle this AM but things went hay wire and now just getting to post.

Never got the theme until reading the blog. Thanks Al, Great write up as usual. I had to use red letters to finish due to many misspells and missing the theme. Simply put, Tough one.

Happy Birthday Hahtool and many more! I'm toasting now but the sunset was a little after 4:00PM today. Good thing I didn't start then, CC would kick me off the blog!

Have a great remainder!

Splynter said...

Hi Again~!

By Jerome, I think I have it, too - I think it's late enough to post my solution, so



And Bill G, that was what I had...

VERY cool, thanks for the name of the puzzle, too.


Spitzboov said...

I wanted to wish our faithful, loyal and erudite blogger, Hahtool, a Happy Birthday. Hope you had a great day.

Dissect - Just saw the next-day RERUN of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It included a piece by John Oliver, the Brit. He used the word 'dissected' and pronounced it die-sect' ed. Works for me.

Jerome said...

Splynter- Us carpenters be smart. Way to go, bro! Them intlects, Bill and Jeannie, ain't got nothin' on us! We da man!

Jeannie said...

Hah!! I was right! Jerome, it helped when you said it was six other words other than "ape" and "man". It dawned on me that I could re-use the "A" as "man" was the last word and then it clicked from there! BillG, don't listen to what he says...we intellects were waaayyyy ahead of the pack. Not that I am an intellect...I had to visit Mr. "G" today.

BTW Jerome and Splynter...I'll have you know that I just hammered in a nail outside to hang up my fir Christmas wreath!

Bob said...

Missed one today (1D MAJA). Didn't really get 19A (AND) and put MAJI for 1D. What can I say? It was early, and I wasn't awake yet. Anyway, I won't miss this one again. Took 18 minutes.

Barry G: Here's a photo of Robert Ryan, a quite famous actor from 1940 into the 1970's. I think this photo was from the film, "The Longest Day":


The psychologist Erich Fromm is better known for his book, "Escape from Freedom" (1941), in which he explored the reasons why so many flocked to fascist leaders after World War I.

Bob said...

Here's a brief, wholly inadequate intro Max Planck's quantum theory, for anyone who's interested:

Quantum theory describes the small-scale behavior of the universe—action at the atomic and subatomic levels. Isaac Newton assumed that the world is essentially deterministic. If enough data is reliably known, accurate predictions can be made about the world. Modern science, by and large, operates on that basic assumption. The subatomic world is not so cut-and-dried, however. Investigations in the early 20th century revealed that events in the subatomic world cannot be reliably predicted, that they are governed by probability and are random, at least within prescribed limits. It may be possible for instance to determine the general region around an atomic nucleus where an electron may be located, but its exact position and velocity cannot be simultaneously known to any great degree of certainty. As German physicist Werner Heisenberg pointed out, there will always be uncertainty about the specific details of the atomic realm. His Uncertainty Principle maintains that tests which humans may devise to probe the atomic world only succeed in disturbing that world and destroying the very data that the probe is designed to retrieve. The first proponent of quantum theory was the German physicist Max Planck, who discovered that energy is not emitted and absorbed continuously but rather is discrete amounts which he called quanta (the Latin source for the English word quantity.) These quanta grow in size as the energy’s frequency increases. Low frequency radio waves have low energy quanta which are harmless to the human body, but higher frequency ultraviolet light produces sunburns, still higher frequency X-rays can cause cancer and even higher frequency gamma rays can quickly kill. Planck received a Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on quantum theory in 1918. Albert Einstein investigated the odd behavior of light on certain light-sensitive substances and in 1919 received a Nobel Prize in Physics for explaining the phenomenon, called the photo-electric effect. Here too, quanta were involved. Low frequency red light does not expose photographic paper, for example, but a purple light of the same intensity will ruin it. The original principles of quantum theory, laid down by Max Planck in 1900, were further developed in the 1920’s and 1930’s by Erwin Schrödinger, Wolfgang Pauli, Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr and many others. Their investigations left them wondering if human beings could ever have any clear conception of the essential nature of the subatomic realm. Everyday experience, it seemed, was wholly inadequate for the task, leaving future investigations in the hands of professional mathematicians, physicists and engineers, whose discoveries were not immediately or easily accessible to the general public.

Lemonade714 said...


Laddergrams, eh, which predated the crossword puzzle. And which was sort of the flow of the puzzle I wanted to do with adding a letter to each answer (rather than each clue, which was also cute: the big question is where to start, 5 letters, 7 letters? Ah well, we will see, said the blind man to the frog.

CA, thank you for the sweet comment on my late night verbal volley, now if we could get a response from the victim, er inspiration...I hope her cookie did not crumble.

We had Max Planck only a few weeks ago in a Barry Silk Saturday themeless, but I realize not all do the week ends.

Statistically, I wonder why are there so many fewer comments Thursday through Sunday?

Bob, I personally believe even randomness can be predicted, and that has been the basis of trading stocks and commodities, not only by me. but many famous investors. I also believe it applies to the Lottery but that is another issue.Perhaps you all want to read about CHAOS THEORY

MJ said...

Good evening to all!

Fun puzzles this week. I loved the clue progression in today's offering from Kurt Mueller. Very clever.

Happy Birthday to Windover, JazzB, and Hahtool, and best wishes to all for the year to come!

C.C., thanks for posting photos for Splynter, JazzB, and Bill G. Yes, we do have handsome men on this blog!

Grumpy1, I was touched by your story about your family tradition of carefully placing ornaments on the Christmas tree.

JazzB-Loved the Pachelbel's 'Loose' Canon link. Thank you.

Husker Gary-LOL at your "little gray cells" comment. I've enjoyed every Agatha Christie novel our local libraries have to offer.

Bill G. and Jerome-I had fun with the laddergrams. Thanks you. Any more to share?

Enjoy the night!

Hahtoolah said...

Good Evening, Friends. I appreciated all the good birthday wishes. (Windhover, you even got the gender correct!). We had a nice dinner at Galatoire's. One of my favorite places.

I'm currently reading an Agatha Christie, but it's with Miss Marple, not Monsieur Poirot.

Stay warm, everyone.

windhover said...

After reading Bob's discourse on Quantum Physics (great job, Bob) and Lemonade's link to chaos theory (one of the clearest I've seen) I opted for the only possible rational response:
I asked the Irish to bring me a Great Lakes Brewing Company Burning River Pale Ale. And yes guys, not only was it opened, it was poured. It is my birthday week, you know.

creature said...

Bob, Thank you for your efforts to educate. It is completely unselfish on your part and I appreciate the time and the carefully chosen words. I almost felt I might have a grasp on quantum theory, thanks to you.

I'm glad you put in the link to Robert Ryan; of course, I recognized him.

Also the remarks on Erich Fromm.
Thank you.

Bill G. said...

I'm uncertain about whether I understand Quantum Theory and Heisenberg yet. :>)

Thanks for the links. I love the Mandelbrot set.

Lemonade714 said...

The world is an interesting place; my oldest son and his first cousin are planning on opening a beer bar, featuring a variety of craft brews. My youngest works at a small organic brewery and is in training to be a master brewer. I do not drink beer. All of them have made successful home brews. Somehow, it all makes sense

MJ said...

Splynter-Re: my post at 7:53pm--Oops! I got mixed up. It was you who posted the first laddergram, and Bill G. who solved it. Sorry for my confusion, and thank you!

ARBAON said...

Haven`t posted in a while...I picked a good day! Happy birthday, Hahtool!

I read the post on quantum physics and the article on the Chaos Theory...and I very nearly understood both! I`ve often said that doing xwpuzzles over a period of time would be the equivalent of a liberal arts degree. After today...we`re getting to the Master`s level!

I do love this site, CC!

Anonymous said...

Good night all.

Belated happy birthday to Hahtool.

And fun to see the pix of Bill G. and family.

I didn't do the puzzle today. Too busy. But always enjoy coming here and reading what you all have to say.

Jerome said...

So, lemonade, There's something brewing among your family members. At least you know about it. By the way, since these dudes are probably somewhat young, why don't you mention that their business should be called "Hip Hops". Of Coors you don't have to. I only mention it because we're Buds. I'm only trying to make a brew ha ha. I do have a serious question though. If you slander or libel a beer company is that a Pabst smear?
If it is would you take the Case.

Annette said...

Hahtool, I hope you had a terrific birthday today!

Jeannie, good luck finding the wine. I'm on my 2nd glass tonight.

Lemonade, Joanne Fluke is one of my favorite mystery writers. Even her recipes are entertaining!

Lucina said...

Bob, thank you. I read your explanation of quantum theory with a glimmer of understanding.

I still have to work on the chaos theory. Time for bed.

Jerome, I really enjoyed your foamy repartee.

Good night all!

Chickie said...

Bill G. Great pictures of you and your family. Thanks for posting them.

I had never heard the story of the Koln flour bombing. I knew that the US had purposely not bombed the cathedral , but we had not heard that story.

My science teacher husband says die sect. Is this a regional thing perhaps?

Jerome, I'm bubbling with enthusiasm!

Bob, You have a great way of explaining difficult concepts. I think I understand Quantum Theory a little better, well almost.

The cookie recipes in Joanne Fluke's Mystery books are really very good. I make several of them all of the time. The best thing about them is the fact that the butter is melted before mixing in the sugar and you don't have to cream the butter and sugar. This is a big time saver and the cookies turn out great.

JD said...

Hi all,

No time to di-sect nor deeply delve into today's xwd, but I did make a quick run thru this morning before littlest grandson arrived. Loved the theme clues!

I was told when we went to Tokyo a few yrs back, that we MUST have kobe. OMG, who can afford it????

Hahtool, happy birthday!Windhover and JzB, a belated happy happy to you both also.I can see that I need to go back and see what I missed.

Al, your write up and links are always a pleasure.

Bill, loved both of your pictures. You look fantastic.

Lemonade714 said...

Jerome: When it comes to puns, you are at the head of the glass, I mean class. You are Ultra witty, always willing to come to my ade, at my Beck's and call, a Stout friend, who belongs in the Guiness book of pun records. While your tastes can be Old and Peculiar you are no Hamm. As king of the puns mi amigo, you deserve your Corona; I am sure when you make a quick Bock or two for your puzzles, you will never make an AASE of yourself. I know a Rolling Rock gathers no moss and and a beer in the hand is worth two Busch, and you enjoy the High Life while you fish for Bass; i just want the Porter to give you the Blue Ribbon and be done with it.

Jacel Morgan said...

This is my first time to log into the blog. I have really enjoyed reading the comments. My husband has been doing the newspaper crosswords for over 40 years but I am a relative newcomer.

I have already worked Friday's puzzle because I woke up at 3:15 and could not get back to sleep.