Jan 11, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 Don Gagliardo

Theme: Knight Moves - There are three consecutive L's in each long them answer and one more L in the adjacent entry. The four L's form a letter-formation of a L-bar, which is then graphically represented by black squares in the same direction. Please read constructor Don G's notes at the bottom.

18A. Passé keyboard key: SCROLL LOCK. What is scroll lock and why is it passé?

9D. Cowardly : YELLOW. These four L's form one set of L-bar.

62A. "I'm afraid this will sound funny": "YOU'LL LAUGH".

47D. Have as a customer : SELL TO. Another set.

3D. Video game difficulty setting: SKILL LEVEL

27A. Was beaten by : FELL TO. Shouldn't be used to describe a squeaker like the Auburn/Oregon game last night! The third set.

31D. Names on it are off-limits to telemarketers: NO CALL LIST

48A. Like some quaint lamps : OIL-LIT. One of the earliest types. Image. Final set.


39A. Angle irons graphically represented by four sets of black squares in this grid, and by letter formations starting in the four longest answers: L-BARs (I have highlighted the 'L' in the appropriate cross word.)

And more:

64D. Ernie of the PGA, to whom this puzzle could be dedicated: ELS

Argyle here.

A puzzle for the books, with the strong visual and layers of meanings.


1. 17-Across in the neck : PEST. 17. See 1-Across : PAIN.

5. Adventurous : RISKY

10. Domesticated : TAME

14. Chase on stage : ILKA

15. Cat-__-tails : O'NINE

16. Wicked : EVIL

20. Bigger photo: Abbr. : ENL.

21. Extremely, in Essex : BEASTLY. Alliteration, I say, old chap.

22. Horror maven Craven : WES

23. Follower of Mary : LAMB. From the nursery rhyme.

25. Sphere : ORB

29. Midday energizer : POWER NAP

34. K-6 : ELEM.

35. Stroll : WALK

37. Vowel before omicron : IOTA. Omicron is just the Greek O.

38. Bounty rival : VIVA

41. Picket line crosser : SCAB

42. Garden site : EDEN

43. Actor Neeson : LIAM. In many movies.

44. Finishes the road : TARs

45. Got sick again : RELAPSED

50. Fair grade : CEE

51. German GM subsidiary : OPEL. Since 1929.

52. Workshop sprite : ELF. I hope their new-found fame won't go to their heads. That's all I need. Ho, ho, ho.

55A. Crete-born "View of Toledo" painter : EL GRECO. His view.

59. Texas ranch initials : LBJ. President Lyndon Baines Johnson's ranch and now the LBJ National Historical Park.

64. Dublin's land : EIRE

65. Red Muppet : ELMO

66. Trace : TINGE

67. Future atty.'s hurdle : LSAT. The Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

68. Boatload : SLEW. Do we need to say more today?

69. Preminger et al. : OTTOs. He was a famous film director.

70. Eyelid problem : STYE


1. Lounging jacket wearer's smoke, maybe : PIPE

2. Verve : ELAN

4. Bronze relative : TAN. I was a bit medal mental and had TIN at first.

5. Pasadena arena : ROSE BOWL

6. Andean ancient : INCA. Ancient can mean a person who lived in ancient times.

7. Letter addressees : SIRS

8. Masseuse's challenge : KNOT

10. Business card abbr. : TEL.

11. Speak bluntly : AVOW

12. Cats' quarry : MICE. Plural cat, plural mouse.

13. Benevolent lodgeful : ELKS. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE; also often known as the Elks Lodge or simply The Elks) is an American fraternal order and social club.

19. Ancient strings : LYRE

21. NYC subway line named for two boroughs : BMT. Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit.

24. Farmers' publication? : ALMANAC

26. Brush component : BRISTLE

27. Hyped-up feeling : FEVER

28. Say "bo's'n," say : ELIDE

29. Scottish pattern : PLAID

30. Gumbo pod : OKRA

32. Big name in video games : ATARI

33. Big name in beer : PABST

36. Up to the task : ABLE

40. Wet ones, so to speak : SMOOCHES

46. Banana discard : PEEL

49. Stock mkt. debut : IPO. Initial Public Offering.

52. Makeup accentuates them : EYES. Painted eyes.

53. Recline lazily : LOLL

54. Do a slow burn : FUME

56. Trot or canter : GAIT

57. Litter's littlest : RUNT

58. Kellogg's toaster brand : EGGO. The Lego Eggo.

60. Donkey's protest : BRAY

61. Ballet leap : JETÉ

63. Sad : LOW

Answer grid.

Constructor's notes:

This puzzle is an example of how a simple idea kept getting more complex. I noticed a phrase where three L’s ran together and thought that was fun. Then I realized that if it ran vertically and another L was added to the side, the four L grouping could look like an L. So I started tinkering with all vertical phrases. It did not work out very well. I don’t know how I made the logical leap, but it seemed that I could have patterns of shaded squares that also look like L’s. When I started arranging them, I saw that they could be displayed symmetrically in a wheel-like configuration. I decided at that point that the L’s in the phrases should mimic the configuration of L’s. So you will notice that the four L pattern always has the same orientation with respect to the shaded square L pattern. I owe many thanks to Rich who came up with the final theme answer (SKILL LEVEL) to keep the pattern intact. As a final observation, I noticed there were appearing a number of EL patterns in the fill. I decided to play with that extra element to see how many I could get into the grid, and have a little bonus secondary theme answer at the southeast corner. I also owe more thanks to Rich who rejected a corner that had a lackluster fill. His suggested correction helped put an exquisite finishing touch on a most enjoyable puzzle constructing experience.



Dennis said...

Good morning, Argyle, C.C. and gang - I thought this was a cleverly-themed puzzle when I did it, but after reading Don G.'s explanation and taking a closer look, I think this is one real masterpiece. I got through it so quickly that I didn't see the four 'L's forming an 'L' in each theme, or the sheer number of 'el's found throughout the puzzle. This had to be an absolute bear to put together and is one of the more ingenious puzzles I've seen.
The puzzle today was definitely Tuesday-level, taking only five minutes, but was sprinkled with fresh clues. My learning experience today was with 'avow'; I always thought it just implied formality, not bluntness as well. Overall, a fun solve and a most clever puzzle.

Argyle, great blogging yesterday and today; loved your theme 'Knight moves' . Regarding Scroll Lock, this from Wiki: "Scroll Lock was intended to modify the behavior of the arrow keys. When the Scroll Lock mode was on, the arrow keys would scroll the contents of a text window instead of moving the cursor." There's only a few programs that still recognize it. It seems to me that, back in my corporate days, I used to use it with Lotus 1-2-3.

Dodo, 68A is the 'slew' you were talking about last night.

Today, in addition to being 1-11-11, is Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day. Or, given the weather, whack 'em with a snowball.

Did You Know?:

- Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham after his editor challenged him to produce a book using fewer than 50 different words.

- Winston Churchill had a heart attack in the White House while straining to open a bedroom window.

- Toilet paper was invented by the Chinese. In 1391, the Bureau of Imperial Supplies began producing 720,000 sheets of toilet paper a year for exclusive use by the emperor. Each sheet measured 2 feet by 3 feet.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Definitely a tour de force effort by Don G today. Bravo! No complaints whatsoever from me.

We're bracing for another massive snow storm here tonight into tomorrow. Unlike the last one (that hit right after Christmas), this one will be right in the middle of a work/school week. UGH!

Mainiac said...

Good Morning Argyle, CC and All,

This was a really cool puzzle! I felt I was pretty smart figuring a theme with the three Ls and thought of being a smart ass blogging about the four visuals. Thankfully I read Argyles write up (superb again) and Don G's notes before I put my foot in my mouth. Great work Don! My biggest goof was writing Pain in for 1A before thinking through 17A. I couldn't spell Gate right which slowed up that block and wrote in Lost To for 27A. You gotta love a grid with a PBR in it. Typical Tuesday.

Scroll Lock reminded me of what a pain in the butt it was to switch to Excel. I wonder what they'll throw at us next?

Speaking of butts.....that emperor must've had one huge ass!

We'll have to wait until tomorrow to throw snowballs.

Have a great day!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, This was an very clever puzzle. Congraulations to Don G. Once I got the hang of it I was finding EL's all over the place, ELAN, TEL, ELEM. ELFS, OPEL, ELMO, PEEL. Even SLEW coming up at 68A has a reverse EL in in. There are probably more that I missed.

It seems to me that YELLOW, rather than BEASTLY and SELL TO rather than EL GRECO would be the theme entries to complete the L-BARS. They cross the three LLL entries perpendicularly, the same way that FELL TO and OIL LIT do, BEASTLY and EL GRECO parallel them. OK...I guess all of them fit it or way or another. Maybe add ALMANAC and BRISTLE as perps that make 4-L shape.

I liked how (27D) FEVER fell right into (45A) RELAPSED.

Dennis, it may be the 50 word limit is the reason "Green Eggs and Ham" is such an annoying book for an adult to read to children. The little kids like it though, so I shouldn't gripe. I was always more partial to the Oz books, Kipling, and Lewis Carroll. (But then, I did have my share of childhood nightmares. Those stories weren't meant for the faint of heart.)

Got an early morning appointment, so I be back later today.

Good luck to those expecting a lot of snow today.

I hope fermatprime is feeling better.

Clear Ayes said...

Maybe add ALMANAC and BRISTLE as perps that make 4-L shape. Ooops, should have said "as parallels", rather than "perps".

Dr. Dad said...

Good morning.

Dennis is correct as usual, regarding scroll lock. It is sort of leftover from the old IBM PC keyboards. No one needs it anymore and hence, most don't know what it is (or was) anymore.

Visiting beautiful and snowy Louisville today.

Just wanted to stop by and see who was here and to say "Hi."

Dr. Dad said...

BTW - Good luck on that snow Barry. I got out of that when I left RI on Sunday but am seeing some now here in KY. This storm plus the one from Omaha area is what is moving your way.

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Argyle, C.C. et al.

Wow...I saw Don G's byline when I opened the puzzle this morning and settled down for a treat. I didn't know I was about to be served up a banquet!! Thank you for this brilliant piece, Mr G!

Dennis, I wish it were that easy to step in a puddle and splash my friends today. But since I am up in Barry G's neck of the woods, I'll have to defer that one until sometime in May...

Have a great day everyone, and don't forget to stock up on PB&J !!

Dennis said...

Is anyone else amused by those prophets of doom, the meteorologists? The message from all three local news outlets regarding our 'blizzard' arriving tonight is subtle, but informative: WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!

It's certainly been nice knowing you all; I've gotta go complete my will.

Barry G. said...

It's the snopocalypse! Snowmageddon! Snow my god! We're doomed -- DOOMED, I say!

Yeah, as long as I don't have a heart attack from all the shoveling, I think we'll be just fine...

Andrea said...

What a terrific puzzle today! I didn't get traction until the bottom half, but once I did figured out the theme pretty quickly, and thought it was lots of fun. Nice job, Don! Also very interesting to read his comments on the construction. Definitely makes me appreciate it all the more.

I wish we would get more snow here. One of my resolutions is to snowshoe more often this winter. (Which means going out at least twice...) Unfortunately, Mother Nature isn't cooperating in this neck of the woods. We only got an inch or so last night; looks like we have another chance of Friday. Will keep my fingers crossed.

Enjoy the day! Especially any of you with snow days!

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Argyle, nice write up. Between reading your explanations and Don G's notes, like Mainiac, I was saved from making an ass out of myself.

It was a 'llluva

There was a lot of clever and fresh cluing today and the difficulty factor was a Tuesday level. My favorite clue was midday energizer. Unfortunately, I'm at the age where a power nap often comes without the benefit of the nooner.

Lot's of snow heading our way, 12" to 18" in my section of the state. It's supposed to be the white powdery stuff which is good because I have some areas where neither the plow or snow blower can access. Some shoveling is good exercise. Riley (the puppy) is a complete nut case this AM, a sure guarantee that the storm will be memorable.

Everyone enjoy the day and be safe.

Lemonade714 said...

Good morning all:

I too am overwhelmed by the complexity and beauty of this grid; Don’s ability to combine verbal and visual symmetry is awesome. One of the reasons I hesitate to create any puzzles is the skill we see from our constructors. I feel like painting next to Rembrandt or throwing footballs at the fair next to Marino. One last symmetry, the puzzle has 27 “E”s and 27 “L”s. Add some background music, perhaps by singer LINDSAY ELL and you have a sensory feast. In addition to the theme, Don gives us fun fill like SMOOCHES, POWERNAP, ROSE BOWL and ALMANAC, while keeping the puzzle a Tuesday level of difficulty; I know we have 17 more themed puzzles this month, but I am ready to nominate this as the first monthly favorite theme/puzzle for 2011.

Well I am late, peace out. PS Happy New Year to all of our part timers and infrequent posters. Hope all is great.

thehondohurricane said...

Damn, my computer is acting like the dog today. I had the l in puzzle lined up beneath the first l in 'llluva, but the printer chose to ignore it.

John Lampkin said...

Wow! Congratulations to Don for an absolute masterpiece. The LLL bars themselves in the entries would have been enough but the added dimension of the LLL blocks in the grid, plus all the bonus ELS including the sly LBJ makes this one a "best-of-the-best."

Those who know me know how much I enjoy echoes and clechos. Well, this is a terrific new category of echo, or does anyone remember anything similar?

All the more remarkable, today is a Tuesday, and to create this kind of multi-faceted complexity at an early week level is no easy task!

Echoing then what seems to be a universal assessment, "Bravo Don!"

creature said...

Good Morning C.C.,Argyle and all,

Thanks, Argyle, for the super write-up and for my beautifully copied puzzle. What a treat!

Don, this was sooo much fun! I can't get over it. Thanks for taking the time to let us into your mind. I loved the ELs too.

The snow is really coming down now; I think I have to sweep off our dish.

See Dr Dad is in my neck of the woods; welcome.

Have a nice day everyone.

Abejo said...

Good Morning folks. Certainly a great puzzle. Thank you to Don Gagliardo and Rich Norris. Great comments, Argyle.

I don't think I have ever seen such a creative puzzle. All the L's. By the way, the first word I filled was LBARS. I started in the NW as usual. Nothing jumped off the page at me so I looked around. I saw the large clue at 39A and read it. I noticed the Black L's and figured LBARS had to be it. Of course I checked a crossword first, just to be sure.

Hope everyone has as much fun as I did this morning. See you all tomorrow.


Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Wowza, Don G., that's a work of art! Thanks for the fun.

I had forgotten about the SCROLL LOCK key, haven't seen one in years.

Throwback to yesterday: "Lida Rose" was such a high point in Music Man. Whoever it was that thought of casting The Buffalo Bills as the school board should get a medal! I'm a fan of a capella singing, and in fact hope to audition for a local ensemble this Spring.

More snow. Hrumph. How inconvenient.

Argyle said...

Another throwback to yesterday:

A newsboy outside city hall is bellowing, "Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Two men swindled!"

A man walks up and buys a paper. Pretty soon he says to the kid, "Hey, there nothing in here about two men getting ripped off."

The paperboy starts yelling, "Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Three men swindled!"

kazie said...

All I can say is WOW! What a masterpiece!

I was zigzagging down the grid and came to the unifier early on. So at first I was looking for Ls at the beginning of each long answer, but then light dawned. This construction is amazing, and lots of fun to do.

My only stumble was having TIN for TAN, thinking of metals, not medals. Since I didn't know ILKA, ILKI looked just as good to me.

I remember being amazed, on touring the OPEL factory in Rüsselsheim outside Frankfurt in 1992, to learn that OPEL had belonged to GM since 1929. The next year, my older son stayed for a semester exchange with the family of one of their quality control engineers. I think that was what settled his career decision for good.

We are already getting the edge of the storm that's headed east for tonight. About two inches on the ground now with more coming all day.

Argyle said...

Re: 16 EL's

34A. K-6 : ELEM
52A. ELF

10D. TEL
64D. ELS

Lemonade714 said...

John L.

What a class guy you are, thanks for being part of our coner of the world.

Lemonade714 said...

Yes and the wonderful EL BEE JAY

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Great write-up, Argyle.

I can only echo the comments by others on the creativity in the puzzle. I was struck initially by the theme words with the LLL's but did not not notice the 4th L giving the pattern an L shape. Then, when reading Don's note about mimicking the angle irons with the L fill and orienting the fill in a regular pattern, I was blown away. Thanks to Don and Rich for making this a special experience.

Other than that the difficulty seemed appropriate for a Tuesday. There were no unknowns and no lookups needed.

Musing on MICE: I have always been intrigued how English has retained its Anglo-Saxon(Germanic) roots, in part by having some nouns which make the plural by a vowel shift. This is a typical attribute of this group of languages.

mouse ➔ mice (English)
Maus ➔ Mäuse (German)
Muus ➔ Müüs (Low German)

muis ➔ muizen (Dutch)

(Growing up in a home where the first three languages were spoken it was easy enough to get tongue-tied on these kinds of words.)

kazie said...

Interesting observation on plurals. It is frustrating to English speakers, especially those learning German, how these patterns are not universal:
mouse/mice Maus/Mäuse
louse/lice Laus/Läuse
house/houses Haus/Häuser
I can't think of any other examples of the ou -> i/au -> äu parallel, but it's interesting that the one defector in this group is different in both languages, but in a different way.

You're correct too that most of our words that use a vowel shift to form plurals are Germanic in origin. I think the reason there are no grammar/spelling rules in English without exceptions is that similar looking words often come from different language origins with different rules.

VirginiaSycamore said...

Thanks for the writeup, Argyle, and fun puzzle, Don and Rich.

If you look at the date in certain fonts, 1/11/11 can look like all LS.

I had the hardest time with the 1D, 17D clues. They were the last to go. It is a brain freeze. I would have gotten ___ in the neck easily.

Also, who is Ilka?
I was torn between TIN and TAN until I realized that Tin was an element, not an alloy, like bronze so I went with TAN.

Does anyone see a swastika, an ancient symbol coopted by the Nazis in the center black Ls?

Finally I have the reason for the Subway BMT sub. It must be named for the line. No clerk has been able to tell me what BMT stands for. I figured it was "big meaty" but never could get the T.

Weather wise, we in Northern Ohio are also getting the doom sayings. I will get my errands done early, but I don't think it will lay down too many inches. We've already had our first thaw so the current depth where I live is just an inch or so now.

VirginiaSycamore said...

Whoops, I meant 1A and 17A were hard.

Lemonade714 said...


I know I am almost of out of comments for the day, but I must applaud Argyle for the Knight Moves title to this wonderful puzzle. The title is as creative, perfect yet simple as Don's work. For anyone who has never played or watched others playing chess, the knight moves in the "L" pattern.

Spitz, I too grew up with those around me speaking lots of languages and when I started school I was often embarassed because what I thought was an english word was not, and no one knew what I was saying. The ELders did not bother to explain what language they were speaking and managed to remain quite inconsistent, which I guess is an oxymoron.

Husker Gary said...

Good Morning All! This was an “L” of a puzzle whose theme kept insinuating itself in increasingly clever ways! No easy feat that!

I am looking out at 10” of snow here and have found that buying a bigger snow blower makes me feel obligated (lucky?) to blow a lot of snow my neighbors. The snow is fluffy and came straight down, but when the maintainer comes by, all of a sudden you have a 2-foot deep mess that ain’t so fluffy. School is out again today because the temp is around 0 and the wind is raw. The only being I have seen out today is our neighbor’s St. Bernard/Pyrenees mix who is loving the weather and barking for others to join her.

-I had ScrollDOWN first which was not helpful at all
-Once again OPEL did not choose to spell their name the same as Grandma but I am hip to that now
-The lounging jacket/PIPE references dredges up images of everyone’s favorite letch Hugh Hefner. I see he is marrying a woman 60 years his junior all in the name of love.
-AMC ran a Back To The Future marathon last week and being called YELLOW was Marty McFly’s Achilles heel.
-LOAF and not LOLL?
-PACE and not GAIT?

Off to the Y and keep getting ready for Orlando on Friday!

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. I was happy to see 'Hard Gs' name at the top of this puzzle. It was one of the cleverest puzzles I've tried. I would have finished quicker if I'd started at the bottom. The upper-left and the upper half were harder for me.

Dunno why but Dr. Suess books were never a favorite with our kids. Maybe it was because I didn't like them that much. I was a big fan of "Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel" as a child.

What's a 'maintainer'?

We just experienced a small earthquake centered in Santa Monica Bay. No problems.

carol said...

Hi everyone:
Wonderful was mentioned, L of a puzzle!

I actually got 39A but didn't realize that the designs were called L BARS.
Yes Virginia, it does look like a swastika....I'm sure nothing at all was meant by that.

Dennis and Barry G...I had to laugh at your take on the weather people's over hyping of the coming storm. At least in your areas, you actually GET SNOW when it's predicted. It may not be the doom and gloom the meteorologists love to shout, but think how embarrassing it is to hear all that and then NOTHING happens!!!
It our area, the 'storm' is NAMED before it's here and then we have news crews standing on bare, clean overpasses looking for a single snow flake - I'm serious!! I just cringe! Good thing people from 'snow states' don't see that, they'd rupture themselves laughing.

DrDad, so good to see you back here again....wish you could make it a daily visit! Hope you are doing well.

Barry G: How's your Dad doing?

Mainiac: I had the same thought about the emperor and the toilet 'paper' - :) Wow, 2'x3' - more like a toilet blanket. YUK

Nice Cuppa said...

'Ell's Bells.

One 'ell of an, 'ell of an effort, Mr. G.

Following up on Argyle's descriptor, there is an old puzzle call "Four Knights" based on a 2x2 chessboard



Splynter said...

Hi ALL ~~!!

WELL, I wouLd just Like to add my "Bravo~!" to Don "Hard G" for this puzzLe, too - I can reaLLy appreciate finding Tuesday LeveL fiLL in a grid that incorporates the theme pattern into the dark squares, too...

I aLso FELL TO the TIN and not the TAN -- now that's cLever deception.

Honors, too, to ArgyLe for the weLL titLed bLog - Knight Move, very good~~!!

Love chess, so I can appreciate that, too.

Oh, and no "Ice Tea" answers, either !!!

Be WeLL, I am in that snow zone of doom, too ...


Jerome said...

I've given up my attempt to put into words how magnificent this puzzle is.

Spitzboov said...

Kazie: re: house

Huus ➔ Hüüs (Low German) LOL

Thank you and Lemonade for your comments

C.C. Burnikel said...

Simply flawless! From concept to execution.

Spitzboov said...

More on mouses

Lucina said...

Hello, everyone!

Thank you, Argyle, for your wonderful blogging.

Thank you, Don G. for today's entertainment. Yowza! I echo everyone's comments. What a masterpiece and working it flowed like water. Just lovely.

My only other comment is that in Toledo, Spain, the original painting by El Greco hangs in the cathedral and inspires awe the minute you step inside and view it.

I hope you are having a terrific Tuesday! No snow here, 62 degrees today.

Jeannie said...

What a clever puzzle and theme! I figured it had something to do with all the “L’s” but completely missed how the “L’s” formed in the puzzle. Great puzzle Don! I can’t imagine how long it took for you to construct!
I always gauge myself on how well I will do if I get 1A right away, so thought I was in for a bear when I saw the clue 17A in the neck. Of course I wanted pain not pest. I didn’t know who Ilka Chase was but the perps took care of that as well as Iota, and elan. My favorite today was “wet ones so to speak” – smooches. I also have to ask WTH 28D means…say bo’s’n say? – elide. Huh?

Virginia, we are the distributor for Subway sandwiches and their BMT sandwich does stand for the Brooklyn-Manhattan transit line.

Dennis, a 2’x3’ sheet of toilet paper? Is that where the saying: Holy Crap came from?!

Be careful those of you suffering through the snow storms. Is it just me or has it been “one of those winters” this year?

Andrea, I am surprised that the Madison area has had hardly any snow this winter.

ARBAON said...

Had "loaf" for "loll"...messed up that corner for a while...untill all L broke loose!

Argyle; How clever to use "knight moves" in an L of a puzzle.

Rich and Don: L of a job!

(Now I`ll go wash my mouth out with what? Lava, of course!

Have friends/relatives in midwest where 2-3 inches of snow closes schools and offices and wipes out grocery store stock. They had 2-8 inches and snow men and sleds (made out of everything imaginable) are popping up. This one was mean, so might ought to listen to the slick-haired, tanned and tooth-whitened guys!

Gunghy said...

I'll bite, how come no one has linked to this yet??

Grumpy 1 said...

Hello Argyle and the gang.

Pretty much everything has been said. Great puzzle, extremely clever. Just one little nit to pick. Couldn't Don work that all-time favorite 'Building wing' into the puzzle?

I liked (Tickle Me) ELMO cuddled up under YOU'LL LAUGH... somehow seemed appropriate.

Congratulations on a masterpiece, Don, and to Argyle for the clever name. It sure beat's my first thought, which was "what the 'ell?"

Gunghy said...

I can't think of anything original to add to the comments. So I'll just say, I'm impressed.

Like Kazie, Ilki looked good to me, and since I'm a paper and ink kinda guy, I don't have the TA-DA to help.

Kinda is considered a word by spellcheck. Spellcheck isn't.

Our supposed "storm" here in central CA just went away. We went from 3 days of rain to nothing. I'm going to Tahoe this weekend to ski. Hopefully, it just stayed north.

Splynter, 8 years last September.

Mainiac said...

Carol, LOL

Confucius say, Man with 2'X3' toilet paper, full of shit! Sorry.

So are weathermen, We're only getting nicked by this one. 3-5 inches.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Better to leave certain words off this blog. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Really amazing. Glad I stopped to do this one today. Great write-up also.

Hope you all survive the snow you're getting. We just had a few inches today. Cleaned things up nicely, and provided a fresh layer to nordic ski on. It was simply lovely. Back to painting and fix up work on the house.

Jeannie, I think Holy Crap came from the plumber that made many improvements to the flush toilet "Thomas Crapper". Yep, it's true.

LTL said...

Not to be picky but...

All three of my dictionaries confirm arena is "an enclosed space for the performance of sports, music and/or theater."

The Rose Bowl is a stadium not an arena.

The clue did roLL right off the tongue though...

LTL said...

Before anyone berates me, I did Love the puzzle and am awed by all it's nuances.

Chickie said...

Hola Evaeryone, I can't add anything erudite or illuminating to what has already been said. A simply brilliant puzzle, Don G. and very informative blogging, Argyle.

I immediately saw a pinwheel configuration in the center. Not only was this clever, but the picture was also pretty.

I'm with Jeannie, if I can get the first across and down words, then I'm off. Today I had to go to the bottom half first. But once I got that the rest began to faLL nicely.

Take care everyone who is in the path of this new snow storm. My Nebraska cousins said that this was only the second snow of the season, but the Platte river was dammed up with ice and had started flooding the neighborhood where her daughter lives. So not only snow is a menace in this kind of weather.

Barry G. said...

Barry G: How's your Dad doing?

He's actually doing pretty well, Carol. Thanks for asking. He got out of rehab this past Friday and his main issue is learning to navigate around with the broken ankle that sent him to the hospital in the first place. With regard to his heart, the doctors have removed any restrictions from him and he says he feels better than he has in a long time. That triple bypass was apparently long in coming.

Chickie said...

LTL, I think the constructor is correct in the Arena area. My dictionary, (a 1951 Webster'spocket edition), says that an arena is "A place for public action or contest". This fits the Rose Bowl in my opinion.

Hahtoolah said...

Good AFternoon, All. A different country, a different time zone, so late again today.

I realized early that there were lots of Ls together. I only know the golfer Els from doing previous crossword puzzles. Golf seems to recur in these puzzles.

I liked how YELLOW crossed RISKY.

My favorite clue was Follower of Mary = LAMB.

In honor of our frequent crossword guest, and Crete-Born artist, here is today's QOD: Nothing pleases me. ~ El Greco. (How sad.)

Gunghy said...

If you look up Colosseum in Wikipedia, it has this to say about arena: "The arena itself was 83 meters by 48 meters (272 ft by 157 ft / 280 by 163 Roman feet).[12] It comprised a wooden floor covered by sand (the Latin word for sand is harena or arena), covering an elaborate underground structure called the hypogeum (literally meaning "underground"). Little now remains of the original arena floor, but the hypogeum is still clearly visible."

The author evidently feels that an arena is the playing field.

LTL said...

If you look up The Rose Bowl in wikipedia it says it is stadium, about 20 times.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

I'd be a LYRE if I said this puzzle SLEW me, but, at well over 20 minutes, I did have one "L" of a time.

Terrific job, Argyle, on Don's magnificent virtuoso construction. Amazing SKILL LEVEL, SIRS!

It looks the way a Bach fugue sounds.

Not getting the theme, I wanted GASLIT, misread "Pasedena arena" as " . . . area." That was a big problem. All the "L"'s make "L"s but the crossing words make "T"s. That's enough to confuse me.

Here is the enigmatic ILKA.

Now, I must go work on my JETE if I ever want to be a JETER.

JzB who has his own view of Toledo

LTL said...

and I believe the colosseum WAS covered with a cloth roof, hence enclosed. Just like the OED explains.

Doofus said...

Four posts about it might be considered 'picky'.

Bill G. said...

I went out in the nice weather to run a couple of errands. When I bought my new car, the dealer offered free exterior car washes once a week for seven years. With nice weather in the forecast, I took my car in for its first bath today. Fifteen minutes and a shiny car. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Then I headed to Ralphs, one of our local supermarkets to pick up a few things we were out of. Who did I see passing me in the aisle and later at the checkstand? Mia Hamm, that's who. I've seen her a couple of times before on the bike path. She is an athletic hero of mine. I didn't know if she would appreciate being recognized, so I took the easy way out and kept my mouth shut.

LTL said...

You're right doofus, sorry.

Here's ELmo. Even the employee is laughing.

Mainiac said...

Apologies CC and anyone else I may have offended.

Spitzboov said...

Stürm u. Drang in Toowoomba, Australia. Footage of cars floating away starts at about time 1:00 into the video.

carol said...

Spitzboov, amazing footage, thanks for sharing. Wonder what their car insurance companies will say. Would that be 'an act of god'? so they don't have to pay?

Kazie: are you familiar with that area??

Grumpy 1 said...

LTL don't get too hung up on the word "enclosed" as related to arenas. To imply a covered structure, the description would have to be "totally enclosed". To illustrate, my yard is "enclosed" by a fence. Is it covered? No. Taking the opposite view, there are many domed or covered stadiums. Are they suddenly reclassified as arenas? Does a stadium with a retractable dome become an arena as soon as they close the dome? How many bullfight arenas are covered?

I think the clue was acceptable. Even Wikipedia says that the Rose Bowl can be called an arena although it is usually referred to as a stadium.

kazie said...

No, I haven't ever been to Toowoomba. I checked the map, because I wasn't sure exactly where it is, and it's just west of Brisbane, so I hope my cousin is still OK. I drove all the way up to Cairns on the coast road in 1969, but Toowoomba is inland, so I would have missed it. This map will give an idea of where it is. Toowoomba is under #12.

Thanks for that amazing link.

kazie said...

I just realized that because that map is interactive, the numbers change according to what you click on from the legend at the side. #12 is among the "all categories" list.

Just Lllurking said...

Nice Cuppa - Thank you for the beautiful appelet on the FOUR KNIGHTS - and the wonderful website. Just fascinated me.

Don G. and Argyle - thank you for your wonderful construction and clever blogging.

God bless.

MR ED said...

I have a scroll lock key (button) on my keyboard,so I have no idea why Don calls it passe'.

I cannot accept 'pest' for pain in the neck as in 1A.

When a road is finished off, it is NOT tarred, it is finished with a one and one half inch wearing course which is fine amesite. Tar is used to seal the edge of the newly paved road, manhole covers, water valve covers, inlets, etc. Also, tar is put down in the beginning of the job as a binder, which is a critical step in the paving process.

Clear Ayes said...

Back from town and have read all the interesting comments today.

I forgot to mention how clever I thought Argyle's title for the theme was. Very sharp, I don't think I ever would have noticed that pattern. I know how to play chess, but I do it very poorly. I don't have the patience for it.

And thanks to Gumghy for Bob Seger's "Night Moves". I'm a longtime Seger fan. The last time my favorite Bob Seger song KATMANDU showed up as a puzzle fill was on Sept 12, 2008. I hope it will show up again soon, and we'll get a link for it. Almost as good would be a MAIN STREET (ST?) fill. That's another Bob Seger goodie.

Grumpy 1@4:18, that's an excellent explanation of "enclosed". Here in Northern California cowboy country there are plenty of open-air enclosed rodeo arenas. I bet Lois is familiar with the rodeo circuit and the cowboys who get bounced around in them thar arenas (as well as bounced around at other venues). Here's a photo of our local La Grange Rodeo that takes place in March every year. There are two grandstands, but a lot of people just back their pickups to the fence and "tail-gate".

ARBAON, I also had LOAF instead of (53D) LOLL to begin with. ELMO straightened me out on that one.

I can see a pinwheel design in the middle, but a swastika wouldn't be "chunky" in the middle area. Id forgotten that the swastika was a perfectly acceptable symbol before it was taken over by the Nazis.

I don't know why I knew (14A) ILKA Chase, but I did. Wikipedia said "her epitaph reads: "I've finally gotten to the bottom of things." Can't get much more cut and dried than that.

Mainiac said...

Mr. Ed,

Can't agree more with your analysis. We call the tar "tack coat" and generally don't use it on the gravel but in between the Bindah (Binder) and Surface. Usually go 2 inches and 1 inch for Town roads. Pavement here is called "Hot Top".

I've learned in Crosswordese Tar is a synonym for however its referred throughout the country......and beyond.

Dennis said...

MR ED, I'm curious - do you use the scroll lock key often?

Also, why is a pest not a pain in the neck (or lower)?

windhover said...

Speaking of "Southern Michigan Summertime", how about my favorite Seger (and personal anthem),
"Against the Wind"?
Got a link?

Grumpy 1 said...

I've visited parts of the country where there were three kinds of roads: Dirt (no paving of any sort), Gravel (loose gravel directly over dirt, sometimes oiled) and Tar (any version of asphalt construction). That's the way the locals referred to them as in "take the highway south past the gravel road and turn left on the first tar road.

It seems that constructors quite often use colloquial expressions or meanings in their clues... which makes it a real pain in the neck at times,,,

Gunghy said...



Against the Wind!!!

Clear Ayes said...

WH, for you....anything. The video isn't the best, but live has it all over the pastel photo of a horse and the studio version. Against the Wind

Seldom Seen said...

Has anyone ever Linked a Live nursery rhyme before?

Argyle said...

If I have to link it myself, I will.

Turn the Page.

Dennis said...

And my favorite Seger: Live

Seldom Seen said...

It is "you say it, we play it" tuesday!

Argyle said...

Cool avatar.

Any requests?

Clear Ayes said...

Gunghy, You beat me to it. Thanks for Katmandu, Main Street and Against the Wind ( I apologize about my comment on the pinky pastelish horse.) too. Any Bob Seger is good Bob Seger.

Well, maybe there is one exception. Bob Seger's Old Time Rock and Roll which was released in 1978 has a lot in common with Edgar Winter's Keep Playin' That Rock and Roll which came out on his "White Trash" album in 1971. I loved Bob's song, but it sounds like he may have borrowed a little. Well, Edgar never complained so I guess I shouldn't either. Albinos Edgar and Johnny Winter looked unusual, so they didn't gain the acknowledgment they deserved, but they both played some great R & R.

Strangely, "They Only Come Out At Night" is the title of an Edgar Winter Group album. I guess that refers to old diehard Rock and Roll fans.

Seen@8:03, absolute YES to Stevie Ray Vaughn. Sad story, he was killed in a helicopter crash in 1990.

Argyle and Dennis, YES and YES.

windhover said...

Thank you, dear, and likewise.
Silver Bullet Band, it's all good.
Will be southbound through your town in about 4 hours. How's 75?

Seldom Seen said...

Right now...not good.

It's funny you ask. I was just reading Dayton Daily News online. There was just a six-car accident on nortbound 75 at Webster (near route 4) at 8:38p. Northbound is shut down for the clean-up.

The snow is done for the night. So hopefully they'll catch up with the plows and salt by then. We had about 4 or 5 inches.

Be safe..."there are alot of bad drivers out there."

carol said...

CA, Dennis, WH, yes, yes yes, to Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seger. Danced our *&%@'s off to that and many much older stuff. We still could if they'd just play it in an area that left some room to MOVE. Talk about dancing in the aisles!!Such fun!!

ARBAON said...

And for all us romantics

Lemonade714 said...

I guess everyone was afraid to link Night Moves as the reaction shows it opened the Bob Seger floodgates. I guess not everything can be linked, but there is always the movie KNIGHT MOVES with Diane Lane. Nice to see the enthusiasm from the corner.

Seldom Seen said...

Windhover: tune into 1290am on the half hours for traffic until your through Dayton. Then of course 700wlw will take you through "the cut in the hill" in Northern KY.

Gunghy said...

More Romance. I started listening to this about 3 years ago.

Argyle said...

I have changed my avatar to show the theme in relation to the blocks in the puzzle.

windhover said...

Got it, and thanks. I'll beep the horn.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Spitzboov et al,
Here is tomorrow's puzzle, with the feature of 12 circles, which are unsupported by LA Times website.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Super color representation!

Lucina said...

Argyle, thanks for your graphic. My, what an amazing feat by Don G.!
O didn't have much time to comment this morning. But as has been agreed by all, this was a masterpiece.

Also, thank you all for the Bob Segar links, especially Against the Wind. Wow! It has been especially great to open that right click window. So convenient.

Tonight was our first school meeting for adjunct faculty so coming home to this was very nice.

I love rock and roll almost as much as classical music.

Abejo said...

To: Virginiasycamore and Jeannie.

The Subway Italian BMT stands for Bigger, Meatier, Tastier.

To: Kazie and Spitzboov.

Enjoyed your commentaries on word origins and plurals. Thanks.


Clear Ayes said...

I'm a sap for hard driving Rock & Roll (not heavy metal), lots of Pop songs from the '20's through the '80's (after that my brain was filled up), most show tunes, some classical and also romantic schmaltzy stuff..I can/do sing along with Neil ("The Grass Don't Pay No Mind") Diamond and John ("Annie's Song") Denver for hours.

Gunghy@9:02, last laugh of the day and last post.

Dudley said...

Argyle - Outstanding! I hadn't recognized the perfection of the grid until seeing your avatar.

Anonymous said...

Hi all!

Fun puzzle-hope to blog more tomorrow. Just thought I'd mention K-6. In most school systems now
6th grade is in Middle school.

Liam Neesen makes me think of his wife, Natasha Richardson, who was killed in a skiing accident. Very sad!

Marge said...

Sorry-I didn't seem to get my name in and suddenly became Anonymous.

Annette said...

It's been a long day, but I wanted to add my 2 cents and say how impressive this puzzle and theme are! Don and Rich, you did an amazing job! Thank you for making this solve so enjoyable.

dodo said...

What a magnificent puzzle! Thanks, Don, and Argyle, great writeup and visuals ......thanks!

MR ED said...

I never use the scroll lock.
I think of a pest as some sort of annoyance.