Jan 12, 2011

Wednesday January 12, 2011 Ken Bessette

Theme: CIRCLE THE WAGONS. The circled letters at the beginning and end of each theme answer spell out a four letter word for a type of wagon.

17A. When some suits don't wear suits : DRESS DOWN FRIDAY. Companies often permit casual attire on Fridays. DRAY = a strong cart or wagon without sides. Like this.

23A. The Pawtucket Red Sox, e.g. : TRIPLE-A FARM TEAM. From Wikipedia: Triple-A (or Class AAA) refers to the highest level of play in minor league baseball in the USA. Teams at this level are divided into three leagues: the International League, the Pacific Coast League, and the MLB-independent Mexican League. Each of the 30 Major League Baseball teams has an affiliation with one Triple-A team in the United States. However, Mexican Triple-A teams are not included in the organized farm team system. TRAM = a four-wheeled wagon that runs on tracks in a mine.

52A. Sandals in Jamaica, e.g. : CARIBBEAN RESORT. CART = a two-wheeled wagon, normally pulled by one or a pair of draught animals.

60A. Assume a defensive position (and what we did to highlight this puzzle's theme) : CIRCLE THE WAGONS. On long trips, wagon trains would form a circle with their wagons for protection from enemy attack.

Melissa here.

So many different words for wagon, who knew? I can can think of five-letter paddy and buggy, but there's also conestoga, carriage, and coach. And of course there's the classic 'woody.' Station wagon!


1. The Renault 5, in North America : LE CAR

6. One-named New Ager : ENYA

10. Lake plant : ALGA. Singular. Always makes me think of my favorite book as a kid.

14. Street of San José : CALLE. Spanish word for street.

15. Ending with play or party : GOER. Does she go?

16. Rosemary, for one : HERB.

20. Sound from Simba : ROAR. Hakuna Matata wouldn't fit.

21. Frat "T" : TAU

22. Fords with racing stripes : GT'S

28. Nuclear org. created under HST : AEC. Atomic Energy Commission.

29. __ Grey tea : EARL. Flavored with bergamot.

30. Deep Throat's org. : FBI. Mark Felt revealed his identity in June 2005. I still have the Vanity Fair magazine issue. (He died in December 2008.)

31. Bamboozle : SCAM

33. Christian surname? : DIOR. Christian Dior.

35. How oaths are taken : ALOUD

39. __ de espera: waiting room : SALA. Needed perps, muy poquito Spanish for me.

40. She played Buffy : SARAH. Buffy the Vampire Slayer played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. Never watched it.

42. River to the North Sea : TYNE. In North East England.

43. Derby town : EPSOM

45. Trig ratio : SINE

46. "Sonic the Hedgehog" developer : SEGA. Video game.

47. Shad delicacy : ROE

49. Schoolyard claim : DIBS. Thought it might be AM SO at first.

51. Frame for Roger Rabbit : CEL

57. Sinatra's Gardner : AVA

58. Mideast "son of" : IBN. The Arabic particle بن (English: son of) should be transliterated ibn. I had no idea, had to look that one up.

59. Cheese or its town : EDAM

66. Hard downpour : HAIL. Nice clue.

67. Music biz sensation, perhaps : TEEN

68. "If I Were a Rich Man" singer : TEVYE

69. Feminine suffix : ENNE. As in, comedienne.

70. Mex. miss : SRTA. Senorita.

71. Clear : ERASE. Fooled me, I was thinking adjective, not a verb.


1. Elec. readout : LCD. Liquid crystal display.

2. Field unit : EAR. Corn.

3. Some temps : CLERICALS

4. Journalist Stewart or Joseph : ALSOP. Not familiar with either one.

5. Consignment shop transaction : RESALE

6. Swelled head : EGO

7. Word of urgency : NOW

8. Gossipmonger : YENTA

9. Kennel double talk? : ARF ARF

10. Tuna at a luau : AHI

11. Building shelf : LEDGE

12. Persona non __ : GRATA. Latin, literally meaning "an unwelcome person," indicating a proscription against a person entering the country.

13. Wide gulf : ABYSM

18. Bob Marley feature : DREADS

19. Cuban dance : RUMBA

23. Café cup : TASSE. French. Café = coffe, tasse = cup.

24. Roundup : RECAP

25. Met favorites : ARIAS

26. Where to see a lot of keys : FLORIDA. A few days ago it was valet.

27. Knight games : TILTS. Tilting is jousting.

32. Haka dancers of New Zealand : MAORI. Holy hotwick haka dance, that's a lot of testosterone.

34. Made a quick stop : RAN IN

36. Santana hit also covered by Tito Puente : OYE COMO VA. Original version written by Cachao.

37. Madison's foil : UNGER. Oscar Madison and Felix Unger of The Odd Couple. Funniest. Scene. Ever.

38. Passed out in Vegas? : DEALT

41. Sharon's language : HEBREW

44. Company that uses Pegasus as a symbol : MOBIL

48. Brooklyn's __ Field : EBBETS

50. Get under control, in a way : SEDATE

52. Buried supply : CACHE. Wagon train parties would sometimes cache supplies to lighten their load and ford rivers and streams.

53. Like most cardinals : AVIAN. Most? Okay, not these.

54. __ to go : RARIN'

55. Pencil maze word : ENTER

56. More wise : SAGER

61. Cavs, on scoreboards : CLE. Cleveland Cavaliers. I hear they might have a new announcer.

62. Worked (up) : HET

63. Bambi's aunt : ENA

64. Where Rockefeller was gov. : NYS

65. Match, as a raise : SEE

Answer grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, Melissa Bee, C.C. and gang - well, we're on a roll this week. This was really a fun puzzle, although not terribly difficult.

I'll post more later 'cause there's all this new white stuff beckoning, but I got off to a good start by knowing that the Renault 5 is called 'Le Car' here. The first theme answer also came quickly, and once I had 'dray', it gave a pretty good hint as to the theme. Had a couple missteps by putting 'abyss' for 'wide gulf' and 'ette' for 'feminine suffix', but the perps straightened me out quickly. Also, I didn't make the connection between the Maori and Haka dancers until I got the first two letters. A most enjoyable solve this morning.

Today is Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day. I have no idea (but I'll bet Lois does).

Melissa Bee, great job blogging; loved the Odd Couple link. And that Haka dance looks like something I need to do before I go tackle this snow.

From last night, MR ED, the fact that you (and everyone else) never use the Scroll Lock key is exactly why it's considered 'passe'. And isn't an annoyance a 'pain in the neck'?

Did You Know?:

- In 2004, the glossy Ikea catalogue overtook the Bible as the world's most distributed publication - 145 million copies versus 25 million copies.

- Throughout its lifetime, an elephant goes through six sets of teeth. The elephant starves to death once the sixth set of teeth falls out.

- Butterflies are cannibals.

Lemonade714 said...

Well it is Wednesday already, and I feel for Ken having to follow yesterday’s puzzle, kind of like be the closing act after a Bill Cosby concert. The theme jumped out from DRAY, which made me change my ABYSS to ABYSM, so I could get on the TRAM, I guess field unit means EAR of corn, or are there other veggies so named?

What do you call having YENTA, TEVYE and HEBREW all in the same puzzle? Also, there is a clue with OY in the answer; I felt like I was home as a kid again. IBN is the Arabic version of the Hebrew BEN, for son of. I also appreciated the FLORIDA shout out and TASSE, so I can use my favorite quote, “LA TASSE EST VIDE, LA FEMME ATTENDE.” My father would call my aunt and uncle, say only those words and then hang up, to invite them to play cards and have coffee and cake. I believe he was reading Vol de Nuit by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry when he began the use of that code. A nice memory.

Spelling out the word TRIPLE took a while but AAA FARM TEAM did not fit.

BTW, NICE CUPPA was that you as an ANON, back in the day, who taught us, “As a Brit I just wanted you to know that Andy Capp is in fact a Geordie from Newcastle upon Tyne…” Anyway, that reference is how a recall the river, so if it was you thanks. I find the Geordie harder to understand than Cockney

HeartRx said...

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

Loved your write-up, MB . Especially your "holy hotwick haka dance" comment -- you crack me up!
There are indeed a lot of names for "wagon". But the only other 4-letter one I could think of was "wain", as in "hay wain". We used to have a farm down the road, and I remember the old man calling his hay wagon by that name. I always thought he was talking about the weather, LOL.

I had the same mis-steps as Dennis with "abyss" and "ette", plus a few more inventive ones of my own: "cia" instead of FBI, "kwt" instead of LCD, "tropICALS" instead of CLERICALS, sprinkled among complete unknowns like ALSOP, IBN, TYNE, EBBETS... well, you get the picture of how this one gave me a "pain in the neck".

In the end, I did finish without resorting to gg, but it was a struggle, and now I have a pile of eraser crumbs to shovel off my desk before I go outside to shovel the white stuff off the driveway.

Snow plows woke me up at 4 AM, and after struggling to get back to sleep I finally gave up and got up. The cats were going nuts, thinking it was time for their breakfast. But when that wasn't forthcoming, they decided it would be a good idea to go upstairs and alert DH to the situation. I'm not so sure he appreciated the news.

Dennis, "Feast of Fabulous Wild Men"?? Hmmm...should I link the picture?? ('s better just to imagine).

Have a great day everyone - snow is piling up, and I am going nowhere, so I'll probably check in again later.

Paolo said...

Jumped in with the foreign language clues: CALLE, SALA, SRTA, OYE COMO VA, GRATA, HEBREW.

Enjoyed the Rhode Island reference (PAWTUCKET). Spent many a game at McCoy Stadium when the kids were younger. A great, affordable alternative to driving to Boston and paying outrageous parking and ticket prices for the Boston Red Sox. Not to mention another long ride home after the game (and traffic jams).

Fav today: FLORIDA (keys)

Thanks for the great write-up and links, Melissa.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Circles? What circles?

I was going to post how unbelievably difficult this puzzle was (especially for a Wednesday), but since Dennis felt it wasn't particularly difficult I guess it was just me...

I struggled all over with the obscure clues and answers, and almost threw in the towel in the NW {LCD or LED? Who the &%!$@ is ALSOP? Oh, a "field unit" is an EAR of corn!] It would have been a fun puzzle for a Friday, but a bit more of a mental workout than I was expecting on a Wednesday.

I made the mistake of looking outside when I awoke this morning. This storm is just starting and we are already completely buried...

Lemonade714 said...

Oh, I forgot, thanks you MB as always a fun ride; the Alsop brothers were Connecticut boys, from Avon. They both went to prep school followed by one to Yale and one to Harvard. They were pretty well respected when I was growing up in Ct. They also have not been around for a long while, so a very difficult clue for our younger solvers.

I was not aware of the words in the SONG-OYE COMO VA but I find it hard to hear all the lyrics when I listen, especially in a foreign tongue like THIS SONG

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Melissa, thanks for the commentary.

I did this one on C.C.'s pdf printout. Most of it was easy, and I got a chuckle from reading the words formed from the circled letters. I was unfamiliar with 36d, the Santana hit but got most of it from the perps. 42a, river to the North sea, posed several possibilities, so I gg'd to get the 'y'. For some reason I had only been thinking of rivers on the southern littoral like Elbe, and Orne. Finally, I said, what about England, and nailed TYNE. It was a fun puzzle to solve.

EBBETS Field - I have fond memories of visiting my uncle when I was 12, and he took us there to watch the Phillies play the Dodgers in 1950.

Have a good day.

Abejo said...

Good Morning Crosswordies. Thank you to Ken and Rich for a "challenging" puzzle. Great write-up Melissa. Enjoyed the Odd Couple flick. I just could not hear it. Might check it at home tonight. I do remember the movie. The funniest.

The easiest answer for me was EARL. I am a tea drinker and Earl Grey is my tea of choice. I actually learned the background of Earl Grey from a crossword puzzle years ago. He was the Prime Minister of England during the reign of William IV. That was in the early 1800's.

The answer I stewed on forever was GOER. I kept trying to use Play and Party after GOER instead of before it. Duh.

I have no idea where EPSOM is and what kind of Derby thye hold there. I guessed and got I right.

RARIN had me stumped for a while. Then it hit me. Everything else eventually came together. This puzzle seemed a little tough for Wednesday, but maybe it is just me. I was happy when I filled in my last answer, which was EPSOM, as previously discussed.

See you all tomorrow.


Argyle said...

My first thought for field unit was COW. I was disappointed.

My avatar shows the relationship of yesterday's theme to the blocks. It completes the pinwheel effect.

creature said...

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

Melissa, good write-up. I agree; funniest [maybe tied with 'Harry Met Sally']. I may 'fav' that for my needed laugh from time to time.
I couldn't get your connection for 'alga'; of course, I haven't read "My Side of the Mountain".

I am more on Barry's take of the puzzle than Dennis's. I missed
LCD/CALLE,TILTS/TYNE and had to look up the Y in 36d.. Also tripped over ABYSS vs ABYSM; only the TEAM could convince me of that one. I'll have to look up and learn on that.

1A came with some perp help. Fav was 38D, passed out in Vegas:dealt.

Nothing like getting ones wagons in a 'circle', Thanks, Ken.

I'm off to brush off the dish for the final time, I hope.

Have a nice day everyone.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Needed a tiny bit of red letter help today, all in the NW. ALSOP and CALLE were off my radar.

Had never heard of the MAORI people until "Whale Rider" came out. Loved the holy hotwick haka, Melissa Bee!

I grew up with the Randall/Klugman Odd Couple team, and always thought they were superb. Now I'll have to watch the movie for perspective.

Today has its ups and downs: the snow is piling up, and man it's still coming down! We have a bit under a foot so far.

kazie said...

I too am more with Barry than Dennis. I found a lot that were unknown to me:TRIPLE-A FARM TEAM was TRIPLEA FARM TEAS for me. I don't follow sport, as you all know by now. So I also didn't know EBBETS but perps got that one. Of course the above meant I misspelled CLERECALS, I have trouble reading vertically, and also ABYSS--I've never seen ABYSM, only abysmal, before.

I don't know the song OYECOMOVA, and if I heard it I probably would have thought they were singing Oy, come over! Totally missed ALOUD, SEGA and TYNE (I had ELBE for the river) and also couldn't remember TEVYE and guessed TENYE.

So all in all, an unholy mess.

When I was a kid, we used to say "I bags..." rather than "dibs", which I became aware of only as an adult.

Nice blog today, good music and other links too.

kazie said...

I wrote my cousin last night and this is what she sent back,in case anyone is interested:
Thanks for keeping in touch. I think all of us here are in shock. The loss of life, the just goes on. Waiting for the floodwaters in Brisbane and Ipswich to peak is frightening. The government is predicting a level higher than the 1974 floods. The 1974 floods caused extensive damage and loss. We now have a situation where huge areas of QLD are flooded or trying to cleaning up. I heard that to put Toowoomba back together will cost over 6 billion dollars and that is just the beginning.

We are very fortunate to be not directly affected by the floods. Living next to the Bay seems to be much safer than living near a river. I only wish I could do more to help those less fortunate. I have already donated to the Premiere's Flood Relief Appeal. This is the website address in case you or anyone else would like to help.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning, all. Is it Friday already? That's what I kept thinking while slogging through. Surprisingly, I nailed ALSOP but sure stumbled in othe places. I thought I had an absolute gimme at 43a 'Derby town'. AKRON ofcourse! The National Soapbox Derby is held in Akron, OH every year. I finally let the perps fill and figured out that it's probably just that town in England and the derby would be the headwear. ABYSS/ABYSM and ETTE/ENNE got me too. I knew EBBETS and MAORI so that helped a lot. The theme solved easily and the circles are in my local paper.

I still haven't figured out the 'Pencil Maze Word' clue, but perps filled it OK. HET (up) is one of those colloquialisms that I remember my uncle from down in SE Missouri using, but seldom anywhere else.

Had a crossing of two total unknowns in OYE COMO _A and TE_YE. Wagged an N. Oh, well... tomorrow will be easier.

kazie said...

Oops, I guess the music was linked later by Lemonade, thanks.

Dick said...

Good morning Melissa Bee and all, today’s puzzle generally kicked my butt this morning. I seemed to have all of the same misdirects mentioned by Dennis plus many more. In addition there were several complete unknowns like calle, Journalists Stewart and Joseph, oye como va etc.

MB as usual I enjoyed your write up. And, “Holy hotwick” was appropriate comment for the Maori clip.

Some of the unknowns were obtainable with the perps, but I did need to visit Mr. G. for a few answers. I agree with Barry that this was difficult for a ‘Wednesday. In spite of the above it was a fun puzzle and got the mind functioning.

I have been outside plowing snow for the last two hours and I see it is snowing and blowing again so I guess it will be back out into the cold again. Damn I hate winter.

Hope you all have a great Wednesday.

Husker Gary said...

Good Morning Melissa and humpers, the temp is well south of zero here on the plains and with a foot of snow on the ground, my coffee, this lovely puzzle and MB’s write-up, what a wonderful antidote for this day! At first I questioned DRAY because I thought the theme would start with DRAW for the circles.

I did not get LECAR and so I was 2 short of a happy meal. This reminded me of Jerry Seinfeld calling George Le George because his parents brought him to school in a Le Car. Another piece of the Costanza puzzle.

-I live in one of the biggest corn producing states in the Union and I ran a corn detasseling company for 23 years and still couldn’t come up with EAR. AARRGGHH! I had TOR for Torricelli, which is a unit of air pressure in physics. OMG!
-ABYSM? I just remember Jacqueline Bisset in the ABYSS.
-I was so proud to get TYNE after I ran through all the other vowels to fill because I had no clue on the Santana song to get the final letter in it
-I thought RUMBA had/has an H in there somewhere but hey, ICETEA should have taught me that.
-The only NZ peeps I know are the MAORI and so I always put that down. MB, the link to that dance convinced me that I wouldn’t want to face those bad boys in a game of tiddly winks let alone where they get to hit me!
-The Brooklyn Dodgers were the favs of my dad. Taking him to Ebbet’s Field would have been the ultimate for me.
-The CAVS on the scoreboard have been pathetic since LeBron took his talents and outsized ego to South Beach. Now he wants his Miami Heat team to be known as the HEATLES since he feels they have the same stature as John, Paul, George and Ringo.

kazie said...

Just wondering about your “LA TASSE EST VIDE, LA FEMME ATTEND.” quote. I wonder if he meant "the woman is waiting" or "hunger awaits": "la faim attend"? I thought the latter makes more sense, since when you sit down and are brought something to drink, you expect the food to arrive after you finish the drink.

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone.
Nice write up, Melissa B.
This was a very clever xword in MHO.
Since I had the circles, I was able to get circle the wagons immediately, which was a new experience for me.

Dudley, your ups and downs was very funny.

I agree that abysm is strange to describe a gulf. My spell check doesn't accept it either.

And the song titles did me in.

But the puzzle was fun. That's what we're here for.


John Lampkin said...

Tomorrow's puzzle was not constructed. It was conjured.


HeartRx said...

Barry G., I didn't get circles either, because I printed it out from the online link. So I was having the same thoughts as you this morning!

Lemonade @ 6:52, thanks for the Santana links - great song, and nice to see the explanation of the words therein!

I had the same problem with ABYSM as everyone else. Shouldn't that have had an "archaic" reference in the clue?

Snow is still piling up, and now blowing. There are usually two strategies for handling weather like this:
1. Go outside as soon as the first accumulation has piled up and shovel. Repeat every 3-4 hours. That way, you can "keep ahead" of the massive amounts of snow, and it is easier on your back.
2. Sit indoors until the last flake falls, and then go out and shovel. That way, you only have to go outside one time.
...but today I discovered a third one:
3. Sit inside until one of your neighbors takes pity on you and comes over with their snow plow. Yaaaay!!

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

argyle, great work on the puzzle visual, thanks.

creature, my side of the mountain was about a boy who ran away from home to live in the wilderness, in part to do experiments with algae.

dudley, the odd couple tv series was good, yes - but i highly recommend the original movie. HI-larious.

john lampkin, such a tease.

sad about the elephants.

Lucina said...

Good day, puzzlers. Thanks, MB for your insightful blogging and great links. Men exhibiting testosterone, oh, yes!

I had a good time with this puzzle what with SALA, CALLE, SRTA, OYECOMOVA. Muy bonito.

However, my hand is up for ABYSS, BEN insted of IBN, ETTE before ENNE. I also thought of ODER instead of TYNE. But what's a little misdirection when it's fun. After some erasures, it all fell together.

Fav clues today:
Christian surname: DIOR
passed out in Vegas? DEALT

Please have a wonderful Wednesday! Snow shovelers, stay warm and safe.

Bill G. said...

Abejo, Epsom Downs is a racetrack in Surrey, England.

Did anyone else, while watching MB's Odd Couple link, think of the funny scene from When Harry Met Sally? Both scenes are in a coffee shop, people are staring while listening to the sounds... Well, maybe it's just me.

JimmyB said...

Sure seems like a tougher than normal week so far, although Melissa Bee's solves and links helped soften the blow. I struggled due to LECAR, ABYSM, IBN, HET, etc. And EAR as a "field unit" just buzzed right by me.

Still savoring yesterday's classic by Gags, though.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

As Dennis gets smarter and faster, I get slower and dumber.

Had a hard time giving up ASCOT. Perps eventually filled in EPSOM, but I didn't even realize it until I saw Melissa's excellent write up.

James and Dolly Madison - oh, yeah - and Oscar (the grouch,) reminding us that UNGAR is German for Hungarian.

I've been Abysmal at times, but was unfamiliar with ABYSM. Can words actually end in "SM?"

Knew CALLE and SALA and SINE, but not TYNE.

Both the lyric site Lemonade linked and the part in my folder (arr. by Philip Michael Mossman) list Tito Peunte as the composer for Oye Como Va. I think he got shift shrift today. Tito died in 2000. Here is his last performance. He was so joyful in his music.


Jerome said...

Lemonade- You inspired me to take a closer look at the puzzle. Lo and behold and for heaven's sake-





Odd indeed.

creature said...

HeartRx, damn funny!

Kazie, thanks for sharing heart- wenching note from your cousin.

Bill G, check my 8:26 post.

Argyle, Love the avatar;but don't let it replace, permanently, your pic. At least, I hope not. Also, thanks for counting all the els; I tried scanning, but you did the tedious part. Really impressive, wasn't it?

carol said...

Hi everyone:

Barry and Kazie, thanks so much for making me feel better about my solving (??) experience this morning. I was unable to finish this thing. I didn't get the circles in my printout so that didn't help but I had no idea on most of the answers...they were a Friday level IMO. sigh

Melissa, great job! thanks for the funny clip of Oscar and Felix...I think the When Harry Met Sally scene came close as well.

I actually never heard of: OYECOMOVA...but do know who Santana is.
Well, you get the idea.

More later, we are biking in the rain (the 'storm' was a non-event) Yay!! I am sorry for those of you mired in snow!

melissa bee said...

jazz, well, kind of. tito re-wrote cachao's tune. from the pbs american masters documentary on cachao called 'uno mas':

He even penned “Chanchullo,” the original melody that would become first Tito Puente’s and then Carlos Santana’s “Oye Como Va.”

Argyle said...

Creature, I'll use this shot from the seventies for awhile.

Dudley said...

Well, the snow appears to have ebbed, just a little falling now. We're at 14 inches in my yard. My hands are still tingling from the vibration in the snowblower handles.

We never had a Renault LeCar, but we did have one Dauphine and a half-dozen R-10's. The Dauphine died on a day much like this one: my reckless brother took it out for the express purpose of running it hard and smashing it into fresh, tall snowbanks. The poor overworked thing threw a rod right through the crankcase. My dad was not amused.

All the R-10's rotted out to uselessness. They were no match for New England road salt, curse the stuff.

Kazie and others: we have sent a message to friends in Queensland who were our hosts in 2004, inquiring about their state of affairs. No word yet. They live a bit north of Brisbane.

Dudley said...

Melissa Bee - I now have the Odd Couple movie on "save" at Netflix. For some reason it's not available yet. I presume Netflix accumulates requests for such selections and decides on that basis whether to offer them later...too bad, it would have been a good thing to watch on a snow day.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day everyone,

Well. I thought I nailed it today, but I had teon for 67a. I had hot for 62d, which I feel is more appropriate then Het. Have to admit, Teon was on my list of did not knows. Others were oyecomova, sala, & tyne. Those were taken care of with perps.

MB, very nice write up. The link from the Odd Couple is priceless. Other then Teon, I didn't find this puzzle terribly difficult and it was a lot of fun. Ebbets Field was my favorite clue. I saw my first Major league game there in either 1949 or 1950. Don't remember a lot about the park, but the game is still fresh in my mind. Dodgers beat the Phils 8-3. Maybe the same game Spitzboov attended. Only time I was at Ebbets Field. Oh yeah, hand up for ette instead of enne. Perps saved me again.

Well, the snowstorm has dumped 20" in my yard so far and it's still coming down. Been out twice to keep some space clear for the pup, who clearly doesn't like this much snow. Smart dog! Driveway not plowed out yet and I don't expect it to be until tomorrow.

Everyone be well.

Anonymous said...

Awesome puzzle. Fiddler on the Roof is my favorite musical. Really. I missed 23a at first cause I put Yente instead of Yenta. Which I remember in the film credits is spelled Yente. No matter. Favorite clue was street in san jose. I know the clue was for Costa Rica SJ but being from the one in California it woke me up mentioning it this morning. Ta

LaLaLinda said...

Hello Everyone ~~

I was glad I printed out the puzzle last night ~~ no newspaper delivery today. There was no way to get into our driveway (or even to the street) at that time. Here in central CT we had just under two feet of snow. It seems to finally have stopped. It's really pretty to look at and one of the cats is enjoying watching the birds feasting on suet and seed.

I guess I would be with Team Barry on this puzzle ~~ I struggled with it. I had ABYSS but knew I needed the word to end with M because of TEAM. I didn't know ABYSM. TYNE, AEC IBN and MAORI were problems as well. I managed to get it finished and then created another problem for myself when I tried to get the theme answer by unscrambling all the circled letters! That must have come from my days of doing the "Jumble." Melissa's write-up cleared that up. Thanks for that and the links, Melissa. I always enjoyed the "Odd Couple."

Stay safe and warm ~~

Chickie said...

HOla Everyone, I had to leave the puzzle and come back to it in order to finish up. I also had unknowns, such as Alsop, Oye Como Va, (Got the Como Va, but Oye eluded me), Triple A for Pawtucket Team, and Sega. I had to look these up before I could finish the puzzle. I'm with you Barry in thinking that this was a bit more difficult for a Wed.

Hands up for abyss, and ette, also misspelled, Maorie/Maurie,so the eraser got a workout today.

I did catch on to the theme, but I still don't understand the clue, Sandals in Jamaica,eg, for Caribbean Resort. I was looking for the name of a sandal.

Great blogging today MB. I saw Maori dancing on stage, and it was very exciting to say the least.

Barry G. said...

This was what I saw at 9:00 this morning:


Note the completely plowed-in driveway. It got much worse as the day progressed. Two long shifts of shoveling later and I am completely dug out, except for the bottom of the driveway where the plows came by at least three more times. I've given up. Hopefully I can flag down a passing plow to dig the bottom out...

Dennis said...

LaLaLinda, our paper guy somehow got through, but it took me a good ten minuutes to find the hole in the snow with a paper at the bottom.

HeartRx, I picked option #2 this time (2 1/2 hours); think I'll stick with option #1 in the future.

Hahtool said...

Good Blogging, Melissa.

Some good clues: I especially liked Where to see a lot of Keys = FLORIDA, even though I have yet to go there.

I wanted Sworn instead of ALOUD for How Oaths are Taken.

Lemonade, you need to add SARAH to your list, along with Yentl, Teyve and Hebrew!

I wrote in MAORI only because that was the only native people I could think of from New Zealand.

Susan said...

I agree with everyone who said that this was a hard one--I had lots of difficulties.

Calle was easy since I used to live on Calle Carla. Now I live on Gallina which is Spanish for "chicken." I think it was misspelled from Galena since all the other streets around here are mining related. Turquoise Trail, Gold Mine Road, Copper Trail, Bonanza Creek Road, etc.

Have a good afternoon all and stay warm.


Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Worked a long day yesterday so didn't get to yesterday's and today's puzzles until toady. I thought today's was a tad too hard, but yesterday's was, as so many of you already said, a masterpiece.

Now I've read all your comments from yesterday and today, which wore me out, so I'm gonna go nap.

Best wishes to you all.

carol said...

Kazie, I am glad your cousin is safe but feel so bad for all who are affected by the floods. Is the worst over? Was this caused by torrential rains?

Barry (and all others buried in the snow) I do feel your pain. We used to have that type of snow 50+ years ago on a regular basis. Now we get it about every 2 to 10 years.

thehondohurricane said...

Hello again,

One thing I forgot to mention about today's storm..... during my first trip outside around 4:30 AM, I heard several claps of thunder. I went back in and turned the TV on. The weather guys were calling it 'thunder snow."
It was a first for me. Anyone ever hear the term or experience it in the past?

Jazzbumpa said...

Melissa -

Thanks for the Chachao link. I see he was a Cuban exile named Israel Lopez (1918 -2008.) First I've heard of him, though it looks like he had quite a career.


Jazzbumpa said...

That's Cachao, not Chachao.


Gunghy said...

If Dennis thinks this one was easy,I bow to him. I got about 2/3 before I left to take my dad to a dr. appt., them came back to struggle through the rest.

I always thought it was CASUAL FRIDAY.

I do not like NYS for New York. Cities don't have governors. I kept trying to find some weird abbreviation for Winthrop's Arkansas.

I liked knight games after yesterday's knight moves.

I would have had an easier time if I had put CALLE into 14A immediately, but I wanted some obscure singer (or something) named Street that came out of San Jose.

Every time IBN is clued in a puzzle, I write in ABU.

Jazz, yes words can end in sm: chasm, ----ism, etc. Doesn't mean I've ever heard of abysm, though

Grumpy, Mazes have a start and finish. You ENTER at the start and exit at the finish.

My brother teaches at Monash University in Melbourne. They had flash-flood warnings there yesterday, but I haven't heard if anything transpired. A town a couple of hundred miles out got over 6 inches in 24 hours. I just hope this signals the end of the drought that Oz has been suffering through.

Argyle said...

NYS-New York State, not the city.

Lemonade714 said...

Oh my where to start:

Argyle, your picture of the puzzle with the L BARS enhanced the brilliance of Don G’s creation; you then follow with a pic of you that is precious. Thank you.

Speaking of pics, Barry G., beautiful, but why I am here and not still there; my son made it safely back to Buffalo where it is now 12 degrees.

The resorts run by SANDALS were pioneers in all inclusive vacations, with everything, food and booze etc. prepaid. They have many properties and are quite nice.

Kazie, by now you see the COMO and VA are pronounced apart, so you would not hear “come over.” Hahtool, yes certainly SARAH is a good Hebrew name, but it is also a sore spot for me but that is another story.

John L. you really are a tease, now the time will drag until we see mañana’s puzzle. Jerome, I am glad I inspired you a little; I firmly believe we will create a puzzle together one day.

Lemonade714 said...


Gunghy said...

L714, did you try this one?
It redirects to the same one you posted. I think it supports my whining.

Is dress down more common back east? There is a definite eastern bias to this puzzle: The Alsops were from CT, EBBETS, FLORIDA, PAWTUCKET, SANDALS, NYS.

So, is NYS common back there? I've seen NYC and New York State, but can't say I've ever seen NYS used. And I rephrase, NYC has a Mayor, anyway.

Dennis said...

I have fond memories of the early days of casual Friday, back in my corporate life. Back then, nobody was really sure what constituted 'casual', or more formally, 'business casual'. I'd love to have pictures of some of the attempts to meet the new guidelines, because I could make a lot of blackmail money. The best was one of my managers who went with a bulky sweater, but tucked it in, thereby creating the appearance of an enormous waist goiter. I couldn't even look at him. And the women - well, the women saw it as an opportunity to bring the 'girls' out, which was a wonderful thing, but short-lived as the policy was 'adjusted'. Fun times.

Gunghy, I don't think 'NYS' is common at all.

kazie said...

I'm sure it's from torrential rains--it goes for years without appreciable rain, and then this.

My heart goes out to all who have too much snow too. Watch your backs and don't risk a heart attack as you shovel! We only got another couple of inches overnight.

Andrea said...

Greetings, all.

I also found this difficult. Needed Melissa Bee's help to complete much of it... Thanks, MB!

Jeannie: we had a bunch of snow in December, as evidenced by the invoice our plowing service sent for four visits. But temps in the upper 40s plus two days of rain over New Years took care of all that snow. Our plow service came late yesterday, so we must have had at least three inches, but it doesn't seem like that much. I would love to have enough for a snowday - Zoe really wants to build a snowman! BTW, I'll be in MPLS in late Feb. Are you anywhere near the Mall of America?

Kazie: thx for giving an update from your cousin. Hard to imagine such vast destruction.

Everyone East: hope everyone is safely dug out!

Bill G. said...

An unusually good slide show of Animal Tracks from MSNBC. I always enjoy their features on my homepage.

creature said...

Argyle, your avatar is great! Golly, I wondered how old you were.
How much fun!

Chickie, Sandels is the name of the resort.

What ever happened to the Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day?I bet they are all at Lois'.Hey, Lois, you are sorely missed.Do you see any white stuff out your window?

Argyle said...

Our state government chooses to use NYS to identify itself. Check out things like NYS DMV or NYS Dept. of Labor.

MR ED said...

I saw some clips on the news re flooding in Australia. All i can say is WOW and God bless all of you that live there. I've had water in my den downstairs, about half an inch, and thought I got flooded. I really feel bad for all of you.

Jeannie said...

Melissabee, great write up and now we have even more in common! I have two favorite childhood books that I have kept. One was Charlotte's Web and the other was My Side of the Mountain. I was fascinated by Sam Gibley and him training the falcon Faithful. I also dreamed about living in the old burned out hemlock he made his home. I spent a few hours up in my own favorite tree reading that book. Thank you also for that link to the Haka preformance. You just know I had to follow that one up with the next clip, "The best Haka dance ever"! It didn't disappoint. I did however, want to see a different link for "woody". Oh, and those Vince Camato shoes are down right ugly in my opinion. Too clunky.

Just a little bit of time tonight for the puzzle. Did anyone else thing of "Buffy & Jody" from "Family Affair"? We can't forget Mr. French and Mrs. Beasley, can we?

My favorite Counselor, I thought of you for the clue, "where to see a lot of keys"....Florida.

Kazie, I hope your cousin is doing all right. I am thinking of them/you.

Argyle, those polyester pants do wonders....Or is it just the angle of the picture? :)

Be safe all of you that are digging out of the far we are clear here, but that may change.

Andrea, I would love to meet you at the Mall of America, but that darned pesky foodshow coming up at the end of March will probably keep me "grounded".

Clear Ayes said...

Good Evening All, I checking in pretty late. Fermatprime's insomnia rubbed of om me last night and I finally gave up, read for a while and finally took a second pill. GAH kindy let me snore on and no phone calls. I woke up feeling bright and shiny at 1:30 pm.

On the puzzle. I did finish it last night. Cruciverb had the circle so there wasn't much problem.

When I was still gainfully employed and the bosses cared about a dress code (a long time ago), we called it CASUAL FRIDAY, so DRESS DOWN FRIDAY too a little while.

I noticed YENTE< TEVYE AND HEBREW all in the same puzzle. I figured out the middle-east IBN too. If it was BEN or BIN (as in Bin Laden), I thought about the only thing left was IBN.

Love (32D) MAORI. We didn't see the All Blacks in person, but we did see the on TV, as well As HAKA at several difference venues in New Zeland. Not just testosterone, but the women dance HAKA too so I guess there must be some estrogen at play there too.

We have (36D) OYE COMO VA on Santana's"Abraxas" album, but I didn't know Tito Puente did it too.

()56D More wise/ SAGER almost too close to yesterday's Bob Seger concert footage. Won't go there again for a while.

Thanks so much, Argyle for the new avatar. It made yesterday's puzzle grid so much easily to understand and appreciate.

Fine blogging as usual Mellissa bee.

Nice Cuppa said...


I cannot tell a lie. It was not I. But the river Tyne is famous in folklore and housed a major shipyard until the middle of the 20th Century, and was generally foggy, or maybe smoggy, as a result.

Lindisfarne wrote a famous song about it.


it gets bit schoolboy-naughty toward the end, but the chorus is unforgettable.



Lucina said...

My eyes were dilated today so I hope I can see well enough to edit my post.

I see you find an "eastern bias" in this puzzle and I find a Spanish subtheme, Lemon sees the Jewish aspect. What does all that mean? I believe it means our constructors are cosmopolitan and have wide knowledge on a variety of topics.

Thank you for sharing your cousin's letter. What a disaster of biblical proportions! I hope people made it to safety.

Jazz: More words that end in -sm.

I'm sure there are others.

It appears that I am in the minority in finding today's puzzle easy, not a speed run, but not overly difficult either.

Thanks for all the music links! Love Tito Puente.

Barry G. said...

The weather guys were calling it 'thunder snow." It was a first for me. Anyone ever hear the term or experience it in the past?

Yep, and I've experienced it first hand as well. It's usually associated with periods of extremely intense snowfall, and that was certainly my experience with the phenomenon.

Lemonade714 said...

NC, well thanks for the honest response, anon brit where are you? The corner does get 100s of hits each day from GB.

Kazie your mind is too logical; my father intended it to be silly, with the lady who was waiting-Lady Luck. I think somewhere in the book,each phrase appeared, and he put them together as his coded message to come and play and have coffee.

lois said...

Good evening Melissa Bee, CC, et al., Great write up Melissa. You made me LOL several times esp w/the cardinals. That was priceless. And the HAKA dancers? Well, how fitting for today! What a tribute to Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day!

Dennis: LMAO...actually, and oddly enough, I just was taking a breather from my personal Feast of Fabulous Wild Men and wanted to see what was going on here. I know one thing. We are NOT dancing the HAKA...well, it may sound like it.

Enjoy your Feasts!

kazie said...

That makes sense too.--You're right--I do look for logic everywhere, and sometimes adding two and three makes four instead of five.

Chickie said...

Thank you Creature and Lemonade for the explanation of Sandals. It was completely unknown to me. Now the clue makes a lot of sense.

Kazie, thank you for sharing the letter from your cousin. The floods there are something that can only be imagined and are catastrophic in proportion.