Jan 26, 2011

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2011, Robert A. Doll

Theme: HOLY COW, BATMAN! Each is the name of a comic superhero, clued as the name of his or her 'civilian' name.

17A. Diana Prince's alter ego : WONDER WOMAN. Very interesting, the creator of Wonder Woman was William Moulton Marston, a psychologist and the inventor of the polygraph. He wanted to create a new kind of superhero that thrived off of intelligence and love. But it was actually his wife, Elizabeth, who had the idea to make the new character a woman. Another woman, who was in a relationship with the both of them, Olive Byrne, also served as a model for the character that would be Wonder Woman.

24A. Peter Parker's alter ego : SPIDERMAN. Spidey gets his girl.

31A. Britt Reid's alter ego : THE GREEN HORNET. Anyone seen the new movie?

37A. Steve Rogers's alter ego : CAPTAIN AMERICA

48A. Linda Lee Danvers's alter ego : SUPERGIRL

56A. Reed Richards's alter ego : MR FANTASTIC. One of the Fantastic Four (with the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and Thing).

And a bonus:

53D. Lee who co-created 24-Across : STAN. Lee also co-created 56-Across (The Fantastic Four), Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, The X-Men, and ... serious ... Stripperella.

SUPER-fun puzzle, I love heavy themeage - count 'em, SIX theme answers. Not a big comic reader, but all these characters were familiar enough to be gettable. Peter Parker was the only alter-ego name I knew.


1. Place to chill out : SPA. Batcave wouldn't fit. I spend my share of time at the spa, and then some.

4. "In all likelihood ..." : ODDS ARE

11. Hollywood hrs. : PST. Hollywood, California is on Pacific Standard Time.

14. Many, many moons : EON

15. Land purveyor : REALTOR. Just spoke with one yesterday.

16. Mr. __!: old whodunit game : REE. Detective board game that pre-dates Clue - never heard of it.

19. Have some grub : EAT

20. Wore : HAD ON

21. Thus : LIKE SO

23. Cutting the mustard : ABLE

27. Arctic explorer John : RAE. 1813-1893. Scottish doctor who surveyed parts of the Northwest Passage (a sea route through the Arctic Ocean).

28. Quetzalcoatl worshiper : AZTEC. Quetzalcoatl is a Mesoamerican deity whose name comes from the Nahuatl language and has the meaning of "feathered-serpent"

30. Aromatherapist's supply : OILS. I use these a lot in my practice - they are fun to blend.

35. Bite for Mister Ed : OAT

36. Bray beginning : HEE. The sound a donkey makes, "hee-haw."

45. "Kubla Khan" river : ALPH. Had to google to learn that "Journey on the River Alph" is a collection of Poetry by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. His poem "Kubla Khan" was the inspiration behind the Realm of Xanadu cyber-novel. I'll leave the rest to to Clear Ayes.

46. Meted (out) : DOLED

47. XV years before the Battle of Hastings : MLI. I always have to guess with these.

51. Trade punches : SPAR

52. Sound acquisition? : STEREO

53. More artful : SLIER. Looks odd spelled that way.

55. Flight board abbr. : ETA. Estimated Time of Arrival.

61. Bis plus one, to a pharmacist : TER. Latin. “bis in die” twice a day; "ter in die" three times a day.

62. Lizards with dewlaps : IGUANAS

63. "__ Hunters": History Channel show with the tagline "Hoax or History?" : UFO. Have only heard of House Hunters.

64. Many SAT takers : SRS. Seniors.

65. Abundant flow : TORRENT. Wet and relentless.

66. Pink Floyd guitarist Barrett : SYD


1. Use a Singer : SEW

2. High-muck-a-muck : POOHBAH

3. "General Hospital" actress : ANNA LEE. Lila Quartermane. Died in 2004 at 91. Didn't know this, don't watch soaps.

4. Cookie that might flavor a McFlurry : OREO

5. "Jurassic Park" actress : DERN. Loved her in Rambling Rose.

6. Margery of kids' rhyme : DAW. See saw Margery Daw.

7. Road warning : SLO

8. Source of 20s, for short : ATM. Automatic Teller Machine.

9. Author Dahl : ROALD. Author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and my favorite, James and the Giant Peach, among others.

10. "Sesame Street" regular : ERNIE

11. Early arrival : PREEMIE. Premature, uh ... delivery.

12. Natural seasoning : SEA SALT

13. Jackson Hole backdrop : TETONS. Ansel Adams picture, The Tetons and The Snake River.

18. HST's successor : DDE. Dwight D. Eisenhower; Harry S. Truman.

22. Danish coins : KRONER

23. Museum fare : ART

24. Canonized mlle. : STE. STE = Saint. Mlle = Mademoiselle (French equivalent of "miss.") The process by which someone becomes a saint is called canonization.

25. Write : PEN. Verb.

26. Cologne pronoun : ICH. German for me.

28. "How now? __?": Hamlet, before mistakenly slaying Polonius : A RAT. In Act 3, Scene 4, Hamlet mistakes Polonius for the King. "Oh shame, where is thy blush?" Favorite all time play, bar none.

29. Letter after epsilon : ZETA. Greek.

32. Burrowing rodent : GOPHER

33. "Alas" : OH ME

34. Swamp growth : REED

37. Disorder : CLUTTER. Bothers me.

38. Shows up : APPEARS

39. Infamous Amin : IDI. Seeing this pretty regularly lately.

40. Postal motto word : NOR. The original saying was actually "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" and was said about 2500 years ago by the Greek historian, Herodotus. He said this adage during the war between the Greeks and Persians about 500 B.C. in reference to the Persian mounted postal couriers whom he observed and held in high esteem.

41. Every last one : ALL

42. Driving force : IMPETUS. A moving force; impulse; stimulus.

43. Elucidate : CLARIFY

44. Make public : AIR

45. Balance sheet heading : ASSETS

49. Send in the check : REMIT

50. 1961 British movie monster : GORGO. A British, underwater Godzilla.

51. Sasha, to Malia : SIS. The first daughters.

54. In the cellar, so to speak : LAST

57. Jet set garb : FUR

58. Rhine feeder : AAR. In the Swiss Alps, flows through Bern, see?

59. Tuscaloosa-to-Huntsville dir. : NNE

60. New England catch : COD

This theme reminded me the game Superheroes, from "Whose Line is it Anyway," still makes me laugh.

Answer grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, Melissa Bee, C.C. and gang - this was a fun puzzle that also brought back a lot of fun memories. I knew about half of the alter-ego names without prompting, but needed perps to get my brain jogged on the others. As with MelB, I liked the heavy themage and especially the Stan Lee tie-in at the end.

I wouldn't have gotten 'Quetzalcoatl worshiper' had we not just seen it. Had no idea who the General Hospital actress was, and confidently put 'arrives' for 'Shows up'. Other than those, the puzzle fell into place fairly easily. The battle of Hastings date is one that's always been locked in my head; I must've been particularly alert during that day in history class.

Melissa, great blogging; loved the links, especially the 'Superheroes' one. Your 'wet' and 'relentless' references to 'torrent' had me going in a completely different direction and I thank you for that.

Today is Spouse Day. You know what to do.

Did You Know?:

- American inventor Thomas Edison held over 1,500 patents, including those for the phonograph, kinetoscope, dictaphone, radio, light bulb, autographic printer, and tattoo gun.

- The Tyrolean Iceman - the 5,300-year-old mummy of a Late Neolithic man found in 1991 - was carrying a bark container with a charcoal ember in it.

- The first item sold on eBay (then called AuctionWeb) was a broken laser pointer that sold for $14 -- at the time, more than the cost of a new one.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Thematically, this one was squarely in my wheelhouse and I was able to fill in all the theme answers without hesitation [what can I say? I was a comic book geek growing up.]

The non-theme fill was a bit more challenging. In fact, the crossing of RAE with ANNALEE was borderline unfair, except that with ANNAL_E in place there weren't many letters that would actually make sense there.

Overall, though, it wasn't bad. It helped that I knew the movie GORGO, have owned a pet IGUANA and have been to the Grand TETONS (we all remember what the word means in French, right?)

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, MelissaBee and Friends. Fun puzzle and Great write-up. I am not big on comics and superheros, but these are all part of our popular culture. After getting WONDER WOMAN right off the bat, I knew to look for some of the more obscure heros.

Some good clues, too. I especially liked the fresh new way to clue in ATM = Source of 20s.

Early Arrival = PREEMIE was a surprise, too.

This was a pretty quick run. I had to go back and read some clues because I had already filled them in.

See-Saw, Margery DAW.

HeartRx: I wasn't too keen on Sam Finkler.

QOD: It's the job that is never started that takes the longest to finish. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Dick said...

Good morning MelissaB and all, a somewhat difficult puzzle for me today, but doable. The heave use of names is what gave me trouble, for example, “General Hospital” actress was a complete unknown and crossing with Rae ended up with my taking a WAG with an E. Good guess. Wonder Woman was the first theme fill I got and that set my mind for the remaining clues. Most of the theme answers were buried somewhere deep in my mind and were recoverable. Hand up for arrives for 38D.

Melissa, another nice write up and I enjoyed the links especially “Superheros.”

Hope you all have a great Wednesday.

Tinbeni said...

Melissa Bee, SUPER write-up.

Liked these themes a lot.
Knew them all even though I haven't read a comic in probably 45 years.

ANNA LEE, DAW, REE, ALPH and GORGO were via the perps. Learning moments are a good thing.

Plus Mr. Doll threw in Bert's buddy ERNIE ... another plus.

Well it rained TORRENTs here LAST night in Tampa Bay but it is now clearing leading to (I Hope) a beautiful Sunset at 6:04 pm.

Cheer's !!!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Nice commentary, Melissa.

Fairly easy for a Wednesday. Couldn't quickly think of all the superhero theme words, put the perps were sufficient. I did not know GORGO and ALPH either, but the perps delivered. I guessed at IGUANAS. STEREO's clue was clever.

ICH - is the nominative (subject) form of the German 1st person pronoun equivalent to the English 'I'. 'Me' would translate to 'mir' in the dative case, or 'mich' in the accusative case (direct object).
As a kid, to remember these, I was taught the ditty:

Ich, meiner, mir, mich,
Du schweiner***rs dich.

Maybe Kazie has heard of it.

Have a good day.


creature said...

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

Very easy for a Wednesday.What was new to me fell with perps and like Barry with ANNALEE-RAE crossing,it all fell. Big fun with the superhero theme ..and so many. I was prepared to be stumped, but it never happened.

Your write-up was funny, Melissa, especially the Superheroes link- Whose line is it? LOL

I'm not familiar with 54A In the cellar- sure I've never heard it; or 16A Mr ___!: old whodunit game.

Fresh white stuff out the window.

Spouse Day;hmmm

Have a nice day everyone.

HeartRx said...

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

Thanks for the great write-up, MB! I loved the link to “Whose line is it anyway?”. That was a funny show, but it’s not on anymore, is it?

Boy, I can see that my experience with this puzzle was very different from the previous posters’, as I was not a big comic book reader (“Mad Magazine” was my daily fodder).

3D And with such heavy themage, I had a hard time with the other names, like ANNA LEE crossing two theme entries and DERN and ROALD crossing another one.

28A I put “Mayan” instead of AZTEC. So you know what happened to that section of the grid…It didn’t get fixed until I realized the crossing of ZETA.

40D The post office does not have a “Motto”. The saying is just an inscription on the GPO in NYC.

50D GORGO Really? 1961? British? Not on my radar.

61A We just had TER in our Sunday puzzle, so that was a no brainer – unfortunately, it only added three letters to my fill.

Favorite clue was “New England catch” for COD. Hooray! Another three letters filled in…LOL!

I had to finally resort to gg help on this one, I’m afraid.

Hahtool, I haven’t finished that book yet - I had to start “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls for this Friday’s meeting. But I’ll get back to it this weekend.

Argyle, thanks for the kind words last night.

Have a great day, everyone.

Argyle said...

Will Gorgo replace Nessie as the crossword monster?

Film at eleven.

Nice Cuppa said...

Thanks MB

I lammed through this one like a dose of aromatherapy too, despite knowing only Peter Parker. Of the real names, I knew Syd Barrett and John Rae - tragic, the latter, he was just a century or so too early. I hope you have all bought your shares in the Yukon territory - and it's surely a great time to consider a career in international maritime law - may as well cash in on this global warming thing (and no more references to Dubya, I promise).

Barry G. - thanks for pointing out the origin of TETONS - no photo-link, thank goodness - must maintain some standards around here. Ah well, in the best possible taste:


As noted before, 1066 is the ONLY historical date (pre-WWI) that English schoolboys remember (it has not been recorded which dates schoolgirls recall), as it was the last time the Brits were successfully invaded by foreigners - Vikings masquerading as Frenchman. When men dress up there's usually trouble - Boston tea Party, Mountain Meadows, Village People, etc.

I can still recite most of the Greek alphabet, which was useful today. So was having Pooh-bah back in town - I often used to wonder if he was related to Pooh-bear.

I can't recite much poetry off the top of my head, but this bit of Coleridge happens to be one of them. Funny name for a river though - "Alph":

"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery."

It's green and beautiful here in Southern California after a brief, wet, winter - and glorious sunshine too. My favorite Saint (or Sainte), Ana, is still in full force - 77°F today.



kazie said...

Great blogging Melissa! I enjoyed those links and information.

Spitz is right, ich is I, and 'me' would be either mich or mir. I am not familiar with his memory rhyme though.

I counted 25 clues involving names today. Not being a comic reader of any kind, I feared defeat at first, but I got through it with lots of perps and WAGs. the only superheroes I know are Wonder Woman and Spiderman, and if I hadn't seen ads lately for the Green Hornet movie I wouldn't ever have heard of him either.

Were they really Vikings dressed as Frenchmen? I always thought they were Normans. I'll have to brush up my history. Funny post though!

Sorry for any feathers I ruffled yesterday. It wasn't meant to be political, just an unfortunate juxtaposing of the two concepts in Argyle's link that I couldn't resist pointing out.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - This one did not play to my strengths. Peter Parker was the only alter ego I knew - we just didn't have comics in the house when I was a kid, except for a few old Archies. I might have read a few on the school bus...

Didn't we have "Mr. Ree" (mystery) recently?

More snow tonight. Rats!

Lemonade714 said...

Good morning:

More comments later, but I am off to eye doctor. I did want to let all who liked the SUPERHEROES link, there is a new Drew Carey IMPROV show coming in march.

Thanks MB

thehondohurricane said...

Good day everyone,

A bit of a grind today with a lot of jumping around. Completed the solve, but the route to get there was similar to finding your way out of a maze.

I was never much of a super hero fan,( westerns were my thing) but the clues came easily aided by perps. Alph and Poohbah were not familiar & slier seemed just plain wrong. In the cellar was my favorite clue. Most of the teams I played on or rooted for were never to far from, or already in last place.

Melssa Bee, nice write up and great links. Thank you much.

Mentioned to my better half that today was Spouse Day and what did she have in mind for me. Her response shall remain private.

Enjoy the day.

Dennis said...

Dudley, yeah, it's coming your way.

This one wasn't supposed to start until evening, but I woke up at 5:30 this morning to heavy snow, and it's continuing without letup. This'll be a real doozy; the forecasters are now predicting thunder/lightning to go with this evening's 'blizzard', creating the dreaded thundersnow, whatever that is.

Husker Gary said...

Good Morning Melissa Bee, et al, from the bowels of Elkhorn Ridge Middle School where I am supervising 23 little souls taking a quiz on systems of equations! This puzzle seemed a little easier than Marti’s lovely effort of yesterday.
What a nice, thorough and engaging blog, MB. The school filter let Striperella through but not your Bonus link or LEGO TETONS. Censoring is a tricky business.

I was a Superman junkie as a kid and while wearing my Superman T-shirt I answered a dare to jump off a roof. Instead of just dropping over the side and falling to the ground, I got a freaking run at it and flew far and long. Halfway down, it occurred to me I was going to get hurt. Hello greenstick fracture!

-Never heard of Mr. Ree either
-Cutting the mustard is vastly superior to a similar operation with cheese
-Hee Haw would have fit in last week when we were eating Gator but we got another southern TV staple, a bible thumper. By the way, he was also selling water he had blessed for $19.95
-Former son-in-law was born in 1966 and so his middle name is Hastings
-41 kids and I were in a TORRENT of rain last Monday!
-I have cut back to low fat Oreos. Kissing your sister?
-Interesting story how the Tetons got their name
-Wanted the Cologne to be a perfume for a while
-ANNALEE is the only fill that made sense for us soaper-impaired peeps
-Tin Man, I hope last night’s and last Monday’s rain will start getting you guys out of that drought
-GORGO? We’ve never met.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning MB, CC and happy humpers all.

I made this one way to tough. I didn't immediately recognize the first theme entry immediately and assumed (yeah, I know) that the entries were going to be actors/actresses and starring roles. Since that is not my forte, I just skipped all the theme entries and started picking through the pile of three letter clues. All of a sudden I had SUPER _IRL staring at me and I said "Gee, I wonder what goes there?" Duck! Here comes the V8! By that time I had enough perps to fill all of the super heros and move on to completion.

Creature, "In the cellar" is a very common phrase used to describe the team in last place in the standings in most sports. Having spent many many years in the Cleveland area, believe me I know about teams that live in the cellar.

I really don't remember when we may have learned about the Battle of Hastings in school, but the first time it popped up in a crossword puzzle MLXVI was right there.

HeartRx my late first wife was a Marti also. We also share "Mad" magazine in our literary background. 'Spy vs Spy', 'What, me worry?' Ah, what memories! lol

windhover said...

Very nice, MelissaBee,
And an interesting reference to the living arrangement of the Marston family. Reading further I found that there were children with both "wives", and that while Mr. Marston left us prematurely at the age of 54 (there. you. go.), the two spouses both lived to ripe ages, 100 in the case of Mrs. Marston. A difficult feat to pull off, considering that half or more two person marriages fail. But there are obviously people for whom it works out well.

Put me down as an avid consumer of comic books back in the day, mostly Superman, Batman, and yes, Wonder Woman. If only my Mother hadn't tossed them when I left home, along with the baseball cards.
I do have nearly complete sets of Hot Rod, Car Craft, R & C, and a few other car mags from the 60's and 70's.

"When men dress up, there's usually trouble" is a strong contender for comment of the day.

MH said...

This was a good puzzle. I knew most of the theme answers except for MR FANTASTIC. So I had to work extra hard on the lower part of the puzzle. Finally got TORRENT and IGUANAS then the rest fell into place. Also never heard of GORGO but the movie sounds pretty kitschy: "Greedy sailors capture a giant lizard and sell it to a London circus. Then its mother shows up." Have to rent it some time.

melissa bee said...

first off, hearttx!!! a belated but very heartfelt congratulations on your first published puzzle, what an impressive accomplishment. loved the interview. (also loved 'the glass castle.)

spitz and kazie, i'll take your word for it. google translates 'ich' as : 1. I 2. me 3. myself.

since i have no spouse i guess i'll just do something special for myself.

carol said...

Hi everyone:

Great job Melissa! Loved all the links.

I had fun with this one too, but like Dennis, didn't know the alter-ego names.

The bottom half slowed me way down starting with ALPH (45A) and that pesky Roman numeral: MLI.
This all worked itself out in due time, but sure was not a speed run. (of course, I have never really had a 'speed run'- at least not like Dennis does)

I read 24D as canonized MILE and went HUH??? Guess I should have had another cup of coffee.

Never heard of GORGO. I'll look that one up, sounds interesting.

We have very heavy fog this morning with a temp of 36. This means a pretty day is in the works. Should get up to 54 with sunny, clear skies.
My bulbs are up about 3 or 4 inches so it really feels like Spring is around the corner. :) :)

Splynter said...

Hi there ~!

I am not a big fan of superheroes, so this one was gettable only through the crossings, and a WAG or two.

I was a Spiderman fan, got that one - grew up on the cartoon -not such a big fan of the Tobey Maguire live action films - that goes to Batman and Christian Bale.

Thanks for the links to Whose Line, and GORGO! - love the campy man-in-the-monster-suit movie!

Yup - did INCAS before AZTEC came along - and I knew better.

BarryG - I had an iguana, too, about 4 feet with his tail - used to be trained to use the shower as his "bathroom" so it was easy to clean up - really miss him, had to send him to a reptile zoo when I moved out of that apartment...


Dennis said...

um....Melissa, any chance you could define 'something special'??

Carol, so when one's bulb is up 3 or 4 inches, spring's on the way? Damn, I've heard of achy knees predicting rain, but never heard that one before...

ARBAON said...

"Poohbah" was/will always be a favorite...many comedy sketches use it to indicate the head of some "lodge."
For "mrfantastic" I had just enough letters to indicate (to me) "master" on the end, then "clarify" fell and "master" was no longer an option.
Durn! I can never remember "Dern!" Tried "copious" for "torrent"...another long hang up.
"Ich" came from watching old
footage of Kennedy saying "Ich bin
ein Berliner."

Not familiar with "supergirl" or any of the super people except on TV and in movies.

Have already found that most any letter combination, when googled, can produce a definition. That`s how many obscure definitions get in puzzles. They are "necessary" for construction, especially for beginners, but are often edited out if there are too many of them.

JimmyB said...

Great job, Melissa Bee. Your links are always so artistic.

My taste in comics was more along the lines of Archie and Richie Rich, but the superheroes didn't seem that tough to get with the aid of the perps.

HeartRx - Who's Line Is It Anyway ran between 1998 and 2006. In our neck of the woods (San Jose) reruns can be found on the ABC Family Channel. I have a son who routinely tapes it.

melissa bee said...

dennis, i wouldn't want to spoil the surprise - opening presents is half the fun.

Dennis said...

Ok, I'll need a moment here...

jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

JzB here.

MB - terrific!

Lots of sprightly commentary, too.

Hand up for INCA, an error I compounded by placing it DOWN. AZTEC was my first thought - BUT IT DIDN'T FIT!!!

Never heard of Messrs. REE and FANTASTIC, nor the GORGO. So - the bottom section would not CLARIFY.

Otherwise, I neither liked nor enjoyed this puzzle. So I'll point out a few interesting symmetries, and let it go at that.

Save me the LAST OREO.

IMBO. Cheers!
JzB who mysteriously cannot log in today

Bill G. said...

Thanks Mr. D and Ms. MB. I enjoyed the puzzle and write up.

Hands up for comic books. I read every one I could get my hands on. When I was a child, my mother ordered me a subscription to Donald Duck. I eventually moved on to superheroes. I even read comic books in college. I took up a collection from my buddies and made a pilgrimage into Ithaca where I bought a bunch at a liquor store. I think reading those little 'balloons' of words helped me to be a good and pretty fast reader.

Spring must be on the way. Barbara picked our first daffodil yesterday.

The weather has been nice here for a couple of weeks. When we bought our new cars, the dealer offered free car washes (at the dealership) once a week for seven years. I think I'll take advantage of that today.

Lucina said...

Good day, puzzlers! Great blogging Melissa Bee as always, thank you. I loved the "What's my line" link!

Well, growing up I was a comic book addict. We swapped, traded and bought them for 10cts. It was Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, Archie and others I no longer recall.

WONDERWOMAN led me to the theme but Brit Reid's alter ego fooled me because a previous puzzle had the Lone Ranger as Reid. Research required later.

Mostly it was all fun fill and even the unknows were easy to WAG, GORGO and MRREE and hands up for "ich bin ein Berliner" from JFK oft repeated.

AZTEC was a given as I'm familiar with the Quetzalcoatl story.

I love Coleridge's Kubla Khan, thank for posting it, NC, though did not remember the river. It emerged but I had ANARCHY before CLUTTER. And we just saw POOHBAH so that popped out easily.

I have been told that 1066 is the most common password in the UK.

And it sounds like I have to read the posts from late last night to catch up.

Time for the gym so later!
I hope your Wednesday is wonderful!

JD said...

Good morning MelissaB, C.C. et al,

For me, 18 min. is a speed run. Knew W.W. right off, and Spiderman. I needed 1 or 2 letters to WAG the other 3.Truman and I have been playing a Superheroes Memory game (similar to HusKer Du)and he recognizes and knows them. I find most of them creepy: Silver Surfer, Thing, Reptile whatever...

Luckily the ones I didn't know were those 3 letter names, easily filled with perps, although Gorgo was slooowww, letter by letter.

Excellent write up, Melissa... a nice shout out with spa and oils.I'm sure Mr. Norris is aware that you blog on Wed. Sent hysterical link to s-i-l's--both ultimate superhero fans.

Fun fills: Tetons, you must visit them! And iguanas- they are all over Aruba and Cancun.

Dennis, I was teaching an "Early Man" unit when that iceman,Otzi, hit the news. His clothes were so sophisticated compared to the hominids we'd been studying. He had a bearskin cap, complex waterproof shoes, and a cape made of woven grass. Many tattoos-one was cuneiform.And, he had whipworm, an intestinal parasite.

daffy dill said...

Good Morning, C.C. and all. Great write up, M.B.

None of the "civilian" names of the super heros rang a bell with me. I've never read comic books. However, the names of the heros themselves are very much a part of the zeitgeist and familiar for that reason. As soon as as I got a few crosses, I was able to fill in the theme names.

This seemed like an easy effort for a Wednesday - no look ups or red letters needed. AZTEC was a given and PREEMIE popped up on first pass. I had impulse instead of IMPETUS at first, but that was soon fixed by perps. ATM is getting to be an almost every day clue/answer. GORGO and AAR were not on my radar, but perps got 'em. Slier came out right, but I was going "huh?" until Melissa's explanation. I had "lost" instead if LAST because if I had a cellar, everything I put down there would be lost!

I was in the same boat as most when it came to the soap actress, but "e" was the only thing than made sense there and the "ta-da" came.

Rain, or even snow, would be welcome here. A TORRENT would be good. Heck, a sprinkle would remind us what rain looks like! The water district that supplies the entire area has said they will have to curtail the supply soon. I think it has been more than four months since we had even a dampening.

daffy dill said...

HeartRx, I wasn't able to be here yesterday, but I did work your puzzle. Congratulations and thank you for your work.

BillG., my mother would have taken arsenic and cut off her arms rathar than buy comic books for her children! She was a teacher and wanted her children to read "real" books!

HeartRx said...

Grumpy1, ya gotta love MAD – it was way ahead of it’s time, I think. Do you remember those fold-y things they used to put in (I think it was on the last page)? It would always be a picture of something, but when you folded according to the instructions, it turned into something else? I bet that’s where the Land O’ Lakes butter gag came from, LOL (no pun intended).

JimmyB, thanks for the lead. I’ll have to check it out, along with the new show that Lemonade mentioned. Good luck at the eye doctors, Lemon! I hope this visit has a better prognosis than you last one.

And thanks, MB about the puzzle. So far, The Glass Castle seems very good, albeit a little “fantastic”. I wonder if she really went through all those things, or was it just how her “child’s imagination” remembers them?

Splynter said...

Hi again ~!

I wanted to see if I could find my iguana pic, and here he is!

So there you have it, that's my "lizard" - sorry, just had to say that, just for today....


Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I was glad to see Melissa B as our blogger this morning, with the puzzle's reference to SPA and "essential OILS". It seemed to be a perfect fit.

I figured Dennis would have have pretty much of a "gimme" day with the comic heroes and their alter-egos.

I guess he isn't a big soap opera fan though. I didn't know ANNA LEE either. I got her mixed up the the
Shaker founder ANN LEE.

Interesting (to me at least) that 2D POOH-BAH I "derived from the name of the haughty character Pooh-Bah in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado (1885). In this comic opera, Pooh-Bah holds numerous exalted offices, including "First Lord of the Treasury, Lord Chief Justice, Commander-in-Chief, Lord High Admiral... Archbishop of Titipu, and Lord Mayor" and Lord High Everything Else.". As Melissa Bee pointed out "Hamlet" is at the top of Shakespeare's list and "The Mikado" is right up there for Gilbert and Sullivan.

Nice Cuppa, I hope those children aren't suffocating as much as they seem to be as they are mashed up to the pink sow.

Thanks for posting the first two verses of "Kubla Khan". According to Coleridge. he wrote the first three verses after being wakened from an opium dream. He scrambled to remember the rest of the dream poetry, but never quite got it. He sort of switched horses in the middle of the stream and the poem describes the "savage chasm" and his enchantment with an Abysinian maiden's song. If he could just hear her song again, everything would become clear. Of course he can't hear it again. One analysis went like this, "You know, this really incredible and unbelievable miracle happened a long time ago.
And the reason I bring it up is, I had this really amazing dream once…
Which I can’t remember, but if I could, I’d be so happy I’d recreate that miracle and no-one would believe their eyes!"

...Who hasn't felt like that at one time or another?

Grumpy 1 said...

Ah yes, Marti, the fold-ins. You can "fold' them on line here

carol said...

Dennis, don't YOU feel 'springy' when your 'bulb' is up a few inches??? Beats the heck out of that ground hog...well, so to speak. ;)

JD: whipworm??? LOL, sounds like a whole new party game!

Bill G. said...

DD, I don't know what my mother was thinking but it turned out OK. I became a good reader because of or in spite of comic books and I enjoy reading 'real' books.

I never became turned onto having reptiles as pets. There's something more appealing for me about a mammal. Warm blooded? Maybe.

Grumpy, I enjoyed those fold ins. I hadn't thought about them in a long time.

I'm not as familiar with The Midado as I am with Pirates of Penzance. That's always been a favorite. Clever story and very enjoyable music.

Lemonade714 said...

Hello all:

I am back from the eye doctor, with the results mixed. My cornea has almost completely healed, the swelling gone. The intraocular pressure is almost normal, and the rest of the eye, lens, retina etc. fine. But I still cannot see much, and after 9 weeks, and not much progress, it may be my old, borrowed cornea will not work any better than this, so there is that to get used to. Well, I can still see the letters so I guess I am okay.

This puzzle was so much in my wheelhouse; as I have mentioned in the past, I did not read comic books as a child, but got caught up with the Marvel Universe while going to law school, to the point of becoming a collector and comic book store owner for a while. The alter egos were all easy, though the GREEN HORNET was tricky because as mentioned, the Lone Ranger was also a man named REID . What makes that so interesting, is both of these non-super heroes were created for radio by some of the same people. They obviously derived both characters from old legends, and were quite entertaining, even if they had no originality in naming their alter egos.

One of the things I have most enjoyed about the blogging experience is the impetus to seek out why an answer is an answer, instead of being satisfied by the happy pencil. I had no clue about the RAE , ANNA LEE cross, not being a soap opera (as opposed to horse opera) fan, but it did cause me to look up this dear LADY who was much more than just the senior Quartermaine.

LaLaLinda said...

Hello Everyone ~~

No problems with the puzzle today. I was able to fill in the names of the superheroes even though I couldn't connect them with their actual names. The other names in the puzzle would have tripped me up if not for the perps. I didn't know RAE, DERN or GORGO, but I guess I should admit I did know the 'General Hospital' actress. ;-) I was able to finish with no look-ups. For some reason POOBAH always makes me think of Ralph Cramden on the 'Honeymooners.' Seems like he was always going to the lodge. I never read Superhero comic books. It was always Archie and Jughead and Little Lulu. I then graduated to 'Nancy Drew' mysteries.

Thank you, Melissa for a very entertaining write-up. Lots of fun links ... and thanks Grumpy for the fold-ins. I do remember folding the back cover of 'Mad' magazine.

The snow continues to fall ~~ Stay warm!

Gunghy said...

Hand up for... Annalee/Rae, Slier, only knowing Parker etc.

Knew all the characters, just needed 2 or 3 perps. One of my very occasional comic purchases was Spiderman #1. My mom hated them. I'll let you guess what happened to it when I left for college.

I thought the Danish coin was a CRONAN. Gorgo/Gorgon, but I still put GORGA. PST/PDT? Oops, wrong guess.

Mr. Ree (Mystery) showed here last June 6. (Bless you C.C. for the search feature.) First time I saw it, but it's common in one of the books I bought. That made it easy.

Never owned an iguana, my favorite was an 8 ft. Black-tail Boa. I owned him when my daughter was young. One day in a store, a lady caught her looking at one of those little yappie things that the lady had in her purse. The lady said, "Isn't she cute?" to which my daughter replied, "Snake food!"

Barry, how could the French explorers think the Tetons deserved that name? They sure don't look carressable (sic) to me.

Melissa, since I don't have a spouse either, want to come watch 'The Mighty Gorga' with me? Yes, I really own it and it's worse than it looks. I just ordered a copy of Gorgo, but it won't be here for spouse day. Maybe later?

Hope all are well and stay that way.

Annette said...

I've been watching General Hospital off and on since high school, so I knew Anna Lee right off the bat. You've all probably seen her before though. She played one of the nuns in "The Sound of Music", was in "How Green Was My Valley", and "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?", along with many more. She was a very beautiful woman.

I got the theme as soon as I saw "Diana Prince". I used WW for Wonder Woman as my ID in high school while 'corresponding' with an unknown boy in a later class. He initiated it by writing notes on the desk, signed MM - the Masked Marvel. (I can just hear all you teachers out there wincing...) It went on a LONG time before we got caught.

Most of this puzzle went very quickly for me, although I did take me a while to find a foothold in the SE and SCentral areas, until I remembered CAPTAIN AMERICA and MR FANTASTIC. Of course, having the power flickering off and on for an hour while the storm went through didn't help matters!

Jeannie said...

I’ve never been a superhero kind of gal, so I struggled a little bit with this one. I literally knew none of the “alter ego’s” which was a problem. Once I hit the g-spot for Peter Parker’s alter ego and Spiderman popped up, I knew I was going to be looking for superhero’s, so in the end I was able to finish it. The only ones I really knew were Wonder Woman, Spiderman, The Green Hornet and Super Girl. Captain America and Mr. Fantastic were just WAG’s. It was ironic to see Pooh-bah as an answer today and as a clue yesterday.

I enjoyed your write up Melissabee, but must wait to open some of your links from my home computer. As mentioned, a couple of the clues reminded me of you (spa/oils). You said you like to blend your oils. What are a couple of your favorite blends?

Splynter, thanks for showing us your lizard. Gunghy, I wouldn’t have come within 20’ of that snake!

Those of you picking daffodils and watching your bulbs grow…good for you. I am thinking by May I should see the first sign of spring. And no Dennis, I don’t mean I have to wait until May to see “that sign of spring.”

HeartRx said...

Daffy Dill, thanks! I'm with you - my mother never let us have comic books. But for some reason, she didn't mind me getting Mad Magazine. I think she even enjoyed reading it herself! We always had complete sets of Grimm's fairy tales and Encyclopedia Britannica, along with Longfellow, Wadsworth et al. Then there were the weekly trips to the library to pick up 5 books to read. I went through every Nancy Drew novel in there.

Grumpy - fantastic link! I felt like a kid again, folding those silly pictures.

I forgot to mention the POOH-BAH answer. That was my one chuckle for today while slogging through this one. We did The Mikkado in HS, and speaking of "Grand Tetons", we just couldn't got over the fact that the nuns would actually let us perform an opera with a town name "Titipu" !!

melissa bee said...

gunghy: want to come watch 'The Mighty Gorga' with me? Yes, I really own it and it's worse than it looks.

wow that does sound like .. um ... well maybe a different movie?

jeannie, personally i love earthy, woodsy scents, like ylang ylang, pepper, palo santo, rosemary, sage, sweetgrass and cedar (combine any 2-3 of those). in the summer i use grapefruit and peppermint; and lavender mixes well with almost anything. for sweeter notes, basil, yuzu, bergamot, and linden.

Lucina said...

Lemonade, I'm so sorry to hear of your vision woes. Is there nothing that can be done? I would dread losing my eyesight and I hope it doesn't come to that with you.

Thanks for posting the link to John Ried, aka, The Lone Ranger. That made me stumble in the puzzle but was one letter short so the eraser gobbled it.

Marti, I read the Glass Castle and believed it all. If life has taught me anything, both from my own childhood and others I know, life presents some extreme challenges especially for children when the parents are irresponsible.

That she,the author, became a respected journalist in spite of the hardships does not surprise me.

Yesterday I heard a concert by a Vietnamese musician who learned to play on cardboard cutouts in an underground bunker during the war. The human spirit is so capable.

Lucina said...

I didn't finish my sentence. The human spirit is so capable of overcoming adversity that it is sometimes unbelievable.

As for comic books, they were part of the magnetic attraction reading has always held for me, from the first moment I learned to decode letters. I would read labels, signs, anything, including comic books. Even now I have at least two books going at once and my own small "library."

HeartRx said...

Lucina, what an insightful comment on the book. You are right, of course, she is an incredible woman and has risen above her beginnings in an astounding way! That's why it is "unbelievable" (in an "amazing" sense, not an "I don't believe you" sense) what she went through as a child. I just sit in awe of anyone who could endure like that.

But back to comics and today's puzzle. After looking it over again, I realized that some of the theme entries did ring a bell, even if I had no clue as to their "real" identities, like SPIDER MAN, WONDER WOMAN (Wasn't there a TV series with that name with an actress named Linda something?), THE GREEN HORNET and CAPTAIN AMERICA. The other two really depended heavily on peps and wags.

The ability to fit six theme entries into a 15 x 15 grid is amazing, without too many obscure answers...I still don't like GORGON, though, and I'm sticking to that ;-D

Happy hump day, everyone!

windhover said...

Mea Culpa?
My comic book experience parallels yours. From the time my Mother taught me to read, I read everything that had words in it or on it. Comic books, the back of cereal boxes, newspapers, magazines (my Dad's not-hidden-well-enough porn stash from his Navy days). I'm probably the only kid in America whose parents said, "Put that damned book away and eat your supper!" when I sneaked a book in my lap at the kitchen table.
Anyway, maybe it was comic books that warped my mind (or was it the porn?), but I still read several hours a day, even when I'm working long days during the summer.
It's also a fact that this blog has cut into my reading habit, but I learn so much here.........(Poor excuse, I'm just addicted, like everyone else.)

Anonymous said...

little lulu, classic comics, archie, katy keene, mad magazine cereal packages were what i loved to read as well as the wonderful books that my parents recommended. i also was told to put down my book and eat dinner, i always had my nose in a book. now i'm always doing xwps.

creature said...

Dennis sounds like that Tyrolean iceman had his briefcase with him.
with what Carol added this is astonishingly advanced.

Thanks,Grumpy for the 'in the cellar' meaning--It certainly makes more sense than 'out of context'. Fun links for fold-ins.

Oh Carol, you always bring a smile- your mixing your "pesky Roman numerals" and ,of course, the demon in Dennis brings out the imp in you-- love it!Here's to DAffodils!

Splynter, Go for it--Constructing crosswords,that is! Shame about having to give up your iguana. Fascinating to me.

Annette, Oh my....insightful- loved that.

CA, You have an uncanny way with human experience/feeling/the unspoken. You never fail me--That's why you're our Poet Laureate.

You put that into all your interests- painting, choir, poetry, music, etc.

And most importantly, you always
have room for others to join you.

Lucina said...

Are you thinking of Linda Carter who played Wonder Woman? She was, incidentally, from Arizona.

But doesn't the Corner often expand your reading experience? I find that the discussion of topics here often leads me to explore subjects I would not otherwise do. But, yes, maybe it's the addiction!

Our campus is presenting a Langston Hughes program so I'm off for now.

creature said...

HeartRx, I don't think there is a
Gorgon. it's GORGO.

Lucina, I'm with WH I read it all and noone told me to do otherwise or tried to change my reading taste. We were always given books for gifts and we had plenty of books, as well. Yes, cereal boxes, comic books,magazines, newspapers, cartoons. etc.

Abejo said...

Good Evening Folks. Great puzzle, Robert Doll. Great write-up Melissa Bee. Enjoyed your various links. The Drew Carey skit was outstanding.

I started this puzzle on the bus this morning, but could not finish it due to 4A. I could not think of ODDSARE. I was missing the 2 D's. I looked at it off and on throughout the day and got it on the bus on the way home. Success!

At first I thought this puzzle was really going to be tough, but once I got started the names became obvious. I did not know the real people in the clues at all. I jumped around and it all fell together.

61A TER was easy because we had it recently. The unknowns were covered with perps. All-in-all, I enjoyed it very much.

To: HeartRx, et al. The book club I am in read "The Glass Castle" a few months ago. We felt it was outstanding. It was a miracle that the kids survived and actually turned out all right. They certainly learned to be self-sufficient. I used to live fairly close to Welch, WV. I know the territory and setting.

See you all tomorrow.


Lemonade714 said...

Thanks for the thoughts, but I am not on danger of total blindness. I just have very limited vision. I was a flashlight under the covers reader, and now I still read everyday, even though it is not as easy as it might be. And I still manage one or more puzzles each day.

It was the very pretty LYNDA CARTER who played Wonder Woman.

Abejo said...


PS. Our current book is "At Home" by Bill Bryson. We review it on Tuesday.


Dick said...

In 1985 I was in Timonium, MD and went to a Shop and Go or one of those quick shop and go places. I wasn't paying much attention to where I was going when I bumped into someone. I looked up and saw a most beautiful woman, we both exchanged apologies and went on our way. Suddenly I realized that it was Linda Carter, but it was too late, she was gone. A great experience for me!!

Clear Ayes said...

I can remember my mom calling to me, "Are you ready for school, yet?"...I'd be sprawled on my bed, reading comic books as fast as I could. I had two on-end wooden orange crates that were stuffed full of any and all comic books I could buy or trade. I had gift subscriptions to Classics Illustrated and to Mad Magazine, so I guess my parents felt that evened out with Little Lulu and Archie. Come to think of it, there was never a book they forbade me to read. Why else would I be reading "Something of Value" about the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya (complete with beheadings) before I was a teenager? That was shortly after I read the amazingly racist (I didn't get it until much later) "Dr. Dolittle" series, by Hugh Lofting.

Now I'm on an emotional journey to give away at least 2/3 of my paper books. Kindle ebook reader is making a believer out of me. A time will come, sometime in the future, when we will move to a small place and it will be nice to be able to carry a couple of thousand books in a little carrier in my purse. I'm currently ebooking "The Red Tent" by Anita Diament.

Thanks, creature, I appreciate your confidence.

HeartRx said...

Creature, gorgo, gorgon, tomato, tomtom…let’s call the whole thing off ! (Kidding, of course – I love your posts!).

Lucina, YES! Lynda Carter was the one I was thinking of (Thanks also to Lemonade to linking her). Never knew she was from AZ. Now I know.

Abejo, interesting that so many have read this one. I am halfway through tonight, and it just keeps getting more and more bizarre…incredible that those kids survived past the age of 10. But then, when I think of some of the things WE did as kids, I have to laugh (oh, the stories I could tell…).

And I checked out “At Home”. It sounds kinda like the story of this blog – caroming all over the place?

Wow, Dick, bumping into Lynda Carter like that. Did she make an “impression” on you?

C.C. Burnikel said...

I know some of you are solving tomorrow's puzzle now and are curious about the by-lines. Two points:

1) Al will have Doug Peterson's note at the end of his write-up on how this puzzle came together.

2) Rich said at the current pace of 2 puzzles per month, we won't see the last Dan Naddor til April. I was wrong about March.

Anonymous said...

Good night everyone.

Great write up, Melissa B. Enjoyed the extra info and links.
And it was a puzzle that was fun to do.

I'm with you all who've had your noses in books since childhood. When I was in 3rd grade I decided to read all the books there were. So I started in the children's section of the Oak Park Library and went methodically and alphabetically through the shelves. In 4th grade our teacher took us to the Chicago Public Library, and she never knew why I stood outside after the trip crying. I knew I couldn't read all the books and that the Oak Park Library didn't have nearly as many as there were.

Still reading.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I'm so glad that there is hope for your eyesight, Lemonade.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, At first glance I thought that this was going to be an impossibly hard puzzle with all the proper names. However, I only had to look up two--Gorgo and Annalee. Once Wonderwoman was in I realized that the others were going to be superheros. The two I didn't know, Mr. Fantastic, and Captain America were filled in with perps, as were Rae, Ree, and Ter. A fun puzzle today and very doable.

I did think there were some good Wednesday level words today, such as Impetus, Clarify, Clutters and Poohbah.

My comic book reading was almost excessive as we had a neighbor boy who read them all and then passed them down to my sister and me. My mother didn't seem to mind as we were reading and not into mischief!

I also devoured real books, so I think that a reader will read just about everything they can get their hands on.

I thought this puzzle was just about right for a Wednesday.

I was on our San Jose State U Campus today and it was the first day of the new sememster. The campus was teeming with students. It is called SPRING semester here so maybe spring isn't too far off after all.

Chickie said...

Clear Ayes, I loved the Red Tent. Enjoy!

Also, trading comic books was a very popular passtime when I was growing up as we didn't have a lot of spending money. That way we had many more comics to read than we would have had otherwise.

HeartRx said...

Clear Ayes, hands up for "The Red Tent". Great book about one of the first "feminists". I would LOVE to compile a list of "favorite" books by the members of this blog. I bet it would fill a library to rival the one in ALexandria.

Bill G. said...

Before I got my new car washed today, I headed off to the gym. I've never enjoyed working out at the gym but I figured I should get back to it. I was suffering through some background 'music' that sounded like hard rock or heavy metal. Then on came Margaritaville.' What a pleasant relief. That's maybe my favorite song since the 50s and 60s. I can't think of anything in the last 20 years that I like as much. Nice melody you can remember, catchy accompaniment, lyrics that tell a fun story, good stuff.

Lucina said...

I love your story and I can completely relate!

Ditto from me, Red Tent is superb!

Thank you, C.C.:
Now we know how many Dan's we can expect and that is bittersweet.

Jeannie said...

Melissabee, thank you for the oil blend suggestions...I am going to hit my nearest healthfood store this weekend.

Windhover, it was never a doubt in my mind that you are obviously a well read man.

I have vivid memories of me climbing up into a tree with my book of choice and reading my afternoon away during those summer months. I still remember that tree...I know Melissabee brought up one of my favorite books, "My side of the Mountain". But I read almost every Hardy Boy's and Nancy Drew books that were ever available at my local library.

Do any of you also remember the "Box Car" kids? I think there was a series of books with them as well.

I have found that I don't read so much any more as I am an addictive reader. Once I pick up a book and am interested in it, I find it hard to put it down and the plot usually keeps me awake or gives me weird dreams. I have been known to blow off lunch/dinner dates just because I am immersed in a book.

It doesn't surprise me that we have so many readers here on the blog, or teachers for that matter. One other habit I have had as a child was to read an ingredients label and try to find the entire alphabet. I still do that today when solving a puzzle. I wish constructors would include more panagrams in their puzzles. There you go Marti...make that your signature "mark".

To pass the time on a long drive I still play the ABC game...looking for all the letters in the alphabet in order from signs, license plates, and billboards I pass.

We won't talk about my numbers obession...

Jeannie said...

Wow, got my number without really trying...tomorrow must be a lucky day!

carol said...

Hey gang, another hand up for "The Red Tent"!!! Wonderful read, I found that book a few years ago, and have read everything else Anita Diament has written.

I am nearly finished reading "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. Absolutely one of the best books I have had read in quite awhile.

I love reading, and thanks to Husker Gary, I also very much enjoyed his recommendation: "Lantern in Her Hand" by Bess Streeter...wonderful read!


Clear Ayes said...

Oh yes, I forgot to offer my good wishes to Lemonade. I hope all goes well and you'll get better and better.

The Glass Castle was one of the paper books that I brought to our homeower's library last week. I was fascinated by her story, but once around was all I had in me.

Jeannie, yes to The_Boxcar_Children. I didn't own the series myself, but whenever we visited my mother's sister, uncle and their kids for an overnighter (there were lots of them), my aunt would have 5 of us girls in bed (crosswise on an old fashion double bed) and read a chapter or two as a bedtime story. I loved to get back on another visit, so she could pick up where she left off. Those truly were "good old days".