Feb 15, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 Jack McInturff

Theme: And the First Shall Be Last - The first word of the first four theme entries can also be last when the unifier is in effect. Not the penultimate meaning of the unifier but, physically, following the word, LAST.

18A. Knock off: CALL IT A DAY. LAST CALL, the announcement made shortly before a bar closes for the night, informing patrons of their last chance to buy alcoholic beverages.

23A. Doomed fairy tale abode: STRAW HOUSE. The first of the three little pigs built his house of straw. The LAST STRAW comes from idiomatic Arabic story, where a camel was loaded with straw until a single straw placed on the rest of the load broke its back. Hence, any event that causes a sudden change.

40A. Stick to formalities: STAND ON CEREMONY. LAST STAND, when retreat or surrender is not an option.

51A. Fast-cook grain product: MINUTE RICE. LAST MINUTE, just prior to the end.

59A. Penultimate, and where you might see the first words of 18-, 23-, 40- and 51-Across: NEXT TO LAST

Argyle here. I think I better explain the theme again. The first word of the first four, when they are next to the word, LAST(and following it), create another idiom. Any better? Similar difficulty to yesterday.


1. Rope material : HEMP

5. Ready for the picking : RIPE

9. Staff symbol : C CLEF. Middle C. I listen to music; I don't pretend to understand it.

14. Old apple spray : ALAR. "Give me spots on my apples, But leave me the birds and the bees"

15. Like some vaccines : ORAL

16. "The Magic Flute," for one : OPERA. Composed in 1791 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Rock me, Amadeus.

17. Diamond team : NINE. A baseball team, pitchers and catchers are in spring training now. Ahh, Spring!

20. Screwups : GOOFS

22. Capitol worker : AIDE. They work for the 20A on the Hill.

26. Overcharge, in slang : SOAK

30. Max of "The Beverly Hillbillies" : BAER. Son of boxing champion Max Baer.

31. Point a finger at : ACCUSE

33. Satisfied sound : "AAH!"

36. Drink away, as sorrows : DROWN

39. Largest of the Philippines : LUZON. It is home to the capital city, Manila.

43. Reef material : CORAL

44. Milo of "Ulysses" : O'SHEA. Irish actor who was still busy up till a few years ago.

45. Place for buoys and gulls : SEA

46. Gibson of tennis : ALTHEA. She is sometimes referred to as "the Jackie Robinson of tennis" for breaking the color barrier.

48. Let us know, in an invite : RSVP. From the French RSVP, répondez s'il vous plaît, meaning “reply please” or "please respond".

50. __ bargaining : PLEA

57. Meat pkg. letters : USDA. United States Department of Agriculture.

58. It has banks and a mouth : RIVER and 49D. Place up the 58-Across? : PRISON. Sing Sing Correctional Facility is a NYS maximum security prison in the Town of Ossining, NY. It is located approximately 30 mi. north of New York City along the banks of the Hudson River. Prisoners are sent 'up the river'.

65. Ice cream drink : SODA

66. Writer __ Rogers St. Johns : ADELA. She is best remembered for her groundbreaking exploits as a "girl reporter" during the 1920s and 1930s. She told Jack Paar once, "I just want to live long enough to see how it all turns out." She died in Arroyo Grande, CA, in 1988, at the age of 94.

67. Cavern sound : ECHO

68. Metal sources : OREs

69. Veranda : PORCH

70. Gush : SPEW

71. Wall St. market : NYSE. New York Stock Exchange.


1. Associates (with), slangily : HANGS

2. "The Naming of Cats" poet : ELIOT. T.S. Eliot.

3. Lord's estate : MANOR

4. Ready-made home : PREFAB. Prefabricated, not likely you'll find a Lord living in one.

5. Legendary bird : ROC. Said to be able to fly off with an elephant.

6. Songwriter Gershwin : IRA. Collaborated with his younger brother, composer George.

7. 2005 "Survivor" island : PALAU. It is one of the world's youngest and smallest sovereign states.

8. __ Island, former immigration center : ELLIS. Could be considered an early "Survivor" island.

9. Coop : COTE. Bird cage, for several birds.

10. No.-crunching pro : CPA. Certified Public Accountant.

11. Guided : LED

12. Big Band __ : ERA

13. Wray of "King Kong" : FAY. This Canadian-American actress many consider her as the first "scream queen".

19. It may be half-baked : IDEA

21. Wrap, as an infant : SWADDLE

24. Saver of the day : HERO. Saver of the 'scream queen'?

25. Maine college town : ORONO. Named in honor of Chief Joseph Orono of the Penobscot Nation.

26. Pond problem : SCUM

27. Greek liqueurs : OUZOs. An anise-flavored aperitif.

28. What "two shall be" after the I do's, in song : AS ONE. Written by Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary in the fall of 1969 and first performed at the wedding of Peter Yarrow.

29. Land of Obama's father : KENYA

32. Butcher's tool : CLEAVER

33. Musicians' org. : ASCAP. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

34. Lagoon border : ATOLL

35. Poker Flat creator : HARTE. Francis Bret Harte (1836–1902) was a author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California but he was born in Albany, NY.

37. Loos, briefly : WCs. Bathrooms.

38. Big name in Indian politics : NEHRU

41. Okinawa's capital : NAHA. Sounds like it should be 47D.

42. Musical silence : REST

47. Playground retort : "AM SO!"

52. Sits at a light, say : IDLEs

53. Anti-racism gp. since 1909 : NAACP. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

54. Classic Procter & Gamble soap brand : IVORY. It floats!

55. Formally gives up : CEDEs

56. Wipe off the board : ERASE

57. Colorado neighbor : UTAH

59. Short sleep : NAP

60. Tokyo, once : EDO

61. Signer, at times : Xer

62. Jilted lover's need, briefly : TLC. "Tender Loving Care". Somebody didn't get a Valentine's card.

63. Miss identification : SHE

64. Stranded motorist's need : TOW. It's been a good year for tow truck operators, I'll bet.

Answer grid.

I didn't use any links today, do you like it or hate it?



Dennis said...

Good morning, Argyle, C.C. and gang - a smooth sail today, with nary a hiccup. I thought the theme was pretty clever -- I couldn't make any connection at all until the unifier.

Lots of fresh clues in this one, unusual for a Tuesday. I particularly liked the crossing of 'atoll' and 'coral'. 'Loos, briefly' had me trying to think of a shortened version of 'Anita'; took a minute for the bulb to come on. Fun puzzle.

Argyle, great blogging - couldn't agree more with your comment, "I listen to music; I don't pretend to understand it". Nor do I want to. And your comment with Ellis Island was brilliant. As to your question, I found the lack of links a refreshing change of pace. I like the occasional links, but the lack of them made for a smooth read.

Today is National GumDrop Day, Singles Awareness Day, and Candlemas. Candelmas is "the last holiday of the Christmas season. Candlemas is a christian celebration, or festival, of the Feast of Purification of the Virgin Mary."

Did You Know?:

- The phrase "I laughed all the way to the bank" comes from the famously ostentatious Liberace. The pianist responded with this quip when a critic panned the kitschiness of his act.

- Christopher Columbus believed until he died that he'd landed in Asia instead of in the 'new world.'

- Human foreskins discarded after circumcision are sold to biomedical companies for use in artificial skin manufacture. One foreskin contains enough genetic material to grow 250,000 square feet of new skin. They are also used as a 'secret' ingredient in popular anti-wrinkle gels. I'm not sure I understand this one; does this mean that every time you get excited, you lose your wrinkles??

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Another smooth, mostly unremarkable puzzle. Needed perp help to figure out which CLEF was required for 9A and to jog my memory for LUZON, ALTHEA and ADELA, but other than that it was pretty much a speed run. I didn't even see PALAU until it was filled in.

The theme was pleasant enough, but I didn't even really notice it until after I had solved the puzzle and went back to re-read the clue for 59A.

It was also nice to see a minimum of clunky crosswordese fill, although I did wince a bit at XER.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Argyle and Friends. You out-did yourself, Argyle. Super write-up. With all your commentary, I didn't mind the lack of links. You even provided the origin of the town Mainaic and I know so well = ORONO.

Today's puzzle was a tad easier for me than yesterday's puzzle.

I liked today's theme. PENULTIMATE was a favorite word in Law School.

My favorite clue was the Place for Bouys and Gulls = SEA.

We are finally getting out of the cold snap. We have experienced the coldest February since the 1930s. Today should hit the mid-70s.

QOD: Everything that needs saying has already been said. But, since on one was listening, everything must be said again. ~ Andre Gide.

fermatprime said...

Hi everybody!

Thanks to Argyle, CC and Jack. I think this was the fastest puzzle that I ever worked. I go both directions at once and filled it in non-stop.

Haven't been feeling so hot. (What's new!)
I found out that some evil person turned up my pool to 100 degrees. I may have to take out another loan to pay the electric bill. Several people had been in the poolhouse for one thing or another and did not bother to report that it was like a sauna! Finally, a neighbor's daughter and friends went in and I was informed.

Call you negotiate an electric bill?

Shall I call the POLICE?

That's all for now. Have a good day!

Tinbeni said...

Argyle, Even without any links ...
your write-up was OUTSTANDING !!!

FUN, though a bit of a challenge for a Tuesday.

Hmmm, in Tarpon Springs OUZOS DROWN a lot of sorrow.
Then it is NAP time, followed by more ouzo.

Fave today was that "half-baked" IDEA.
Worked with a slew of other CPA's who didn't completely do their homework (actually read "the Code"), had a lot of these idea's, got their clients in "hot-water" ... that LED me to a FUN "face-to-face" with our favorite Uncle at the IRS.

Oh well, it is perfect here again today.
Yup, another walk on the beach.

Cheers to all at Sunset.

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Argyle, C.C. et al.

FIrst, go back and read Hahtool's QOD. (It's OK, I'll wait.....)

Now that you have read that, you'll know why I am going to repeat what everyone else has already said!

Yep, Argyle, didn't mind "no links" because of your witty and informative write-up (no pressure!)...smooth sailing...lots of fresh clues....needed perp help for which clef...and jogs for LUZON, ADLEA and ALTHEA....this was a real speed run.

But I do have one original thought: STAND ON CEREMONY is usually used in the negative sense (meaning, friendly): "Don't stand on ceremony". But where did that expression come from? I have a puzzle with this phrase, which I now have to throw away - thanks, Jack ;-D So I did a little research, but can't find a definitive answer!

Have a great day, everyone!

Mainiac said...

Good Morning Argyle, CC and All,

The bottom and the top sections filled in quickly. I needed perp help for Stand On Ceremony. Good to see the Alma Mater in there as usual. Half Baked was my favorite today. Good puzzle.

Argyle, With or without links, I enjoy your write ups.

Dennis, I find it hard to believe nearly six acres of skin can be made from one foreskin.

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Argyle thanks for the unifier. I actually missed the cross between Althea and Naha, not knowing either at all. Otherwise a good crossword today. There were several other unknowns, but all doable with the perps.

Today is officially six months from the date of my sons last seizure, so he can get his drivers license back now. He is at college though, so he isn't driving anyway. He hasn't driven since April, and he is very excited. They have now changed the wait period to three months from your last seizure. We think we won't tell him yet just to keep the incentive high to take his meds. We are just happy he hasn't had any seizures while away at school.

Happy post Valentine's Day. I guess it is a really busy day for the florists yet as all the guys who forgot yesterday go out to try to save themselves today.

Abejo said...

Good Morning, folks! Great puzzle, Jack. It was easy and that is nice when I am busy, as I am now. Enjoyed your comments, Argyle. Thanks, C.C. for all your hard work.

Zipped right through this puzzle before I got on the train/bus. Needed a few perps to get a couple unknowns, i.e. ALAR and ALTHEA.

I did not get the theme. I got all four answers, no sweat. And, I appreciate Argyle's explanation. However, it almost sounded like the four theme words should have been before the word LAST, instead of after it, using the definition of Penultimate as a reference. Maybe someone can further explain that to me.


HeartRx said...


1.) NEXT TO LAST means "penultimate"


2.) "Next to last" is where you might find the four words.

So the constructor gave us two DIFFERENT hints at the answer. Simple, but clever!

(I wish I could learn how to use different fonts. I looked at the instructions on this blog, but they don't seem to work on a Mac...anyone?)

Splynter said...

Hi There ~!

Good question, Dennis, I'll have to try some of that skin care "gel" to let you know....

AS for the puzzle, good theme, well done fill, and I only got stumped at the cross of ALTHEA and NAHA - WAGed the H, but it seemed logical...

Argyle, I think NAHA should be a playground retort, too !!! - I also think a break from links is good, once in a while, as long as some of the unusual answers get explained - e.g., today for me it was ADELA I like to learn something while doing my puzzles ~!


creature said...

Good Morning C.C.,Argyle and all,

Argyle, the lack of links was indeed a refreshing change of pace,
however, I went back over it to give my best answer. The only links I thought would, perhaps, be better, in addition to your explanations, were the 3 people. A quick peek seems to jog my memory.
Your blogs are always so smooth. Thanks.

I guess SWADDLING was Jack's signature entry. Its fun to look for his religious overtones. Of course, STAND ON CEREMONY, and even
AS ONE could count.
I thought it was a little tougher than yesterday- 'Tuesday appropriate'.
Perps gave me LUZON,ALAR,ADELA and NAHA.

Loved all the EValentines from yesterday!

Have a nice day everyone.

Dennis said...

KQ, great news! Hope it continues.

Mainiac, I know that area expands rather nicely as anyone here will attest to, but six acres is pretty amazing.

Splynter, I agree, it's great to be able to enjoy a crossword puzzle and learn stuff at the same time.

creature, lots of secret admirers?

Unknown said...

Good Morning all. I got through the puzzle without much trouble this morning. Am I getting better at this or was it an easier one? At any rate, sunshine has returned to the Carolinas! Let us rejoice and be thankful.
Thanks, as usual, for the great comments and explanations. Links or no links, this is a very informative blog. I learn something new every day! As Martha would say, "That is a good thing!"

sherry said...

informative as usual. Thanks for the info. on Baer. Was unaware that the Max of Hillbilles was related to boxer.

Husker Gary said...

Finally a day off after 5 in a row! Very nice write up even sans links which can be good in moderation (like a lot of things!) and not as a substitute for clever commentary or scholarly research.

-DAY, CEREMONY and RICE led me to think of Wedding unifier at first. Logical consequence after Valentine’s Day?
-Learned definition of penultimate today!
-Page not Aide came first
-AAH, AHH, OHH, OOH? Ya never know!
-I only remembered my first glass of OUZO at a wedding
-I ain’t 99.44% pure!
-Didn’t get BUOYS and GULLS until I got here as I was being too literal! Clever!
-Hahtool, every teacher in the world lives by your QOD!
-Is slangily a real adverb?
-Marti, I always listen when you speak/blog!
-Has anyone here referred to a porch as a stoop?

Dennis said...

Has anyone here referred to a porch as a stoop?

Yes, definitely. In the big east coast cities around here (Philly, NYC, Baltimore), 'stoop' is much more prevalent than 'porch'.

carol said...

Hi all - fun puzzle and clues. All the unknown answers were filled in by perps. I did have to look up the word PENULTIMATE and I didn't understand the theme either, but it didn't matter to me.

Argyle, I like your write-ups so lack of links is no problem, also makes for a smooth read. I do like some links and some I just skip so no problems there :)

Dennis: LOL at the foreskin info.
Puts a whole new meaning on 'face lift'.

Argyle said...

I'm glad I didn't have to link "The Wedding Song" but....

The Last Farewell

I can't help myself.

creature said...

Carol, your remark about face-lift cracked me up! The mental immages of 'lift' are the greatest! Also liked "didn't care".

I wouldn't miss your posts for the world. Thanks.

HeartRx said...


re my 8:17 post:

for 2.), I should have written, "Next to the WORD 'last' is where you might find the words 'call', 'straw', 'stand' or 'minute' ".

Hope it makes sense!

Warren said...

Hi Argyle, C.C. & gang. My wife and I managed just to finish today's puzzle before she left for work. I came here to verify that NAHA was a real word.

For HeartRx; Here's a school page for html syntax. It doesn't matter if you're on a Mac or PC to post html, just get the syntax right...

look under HTML Text Formatting for syntax to make bold or italic etc...

I hope this helps?

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning Linkless Argyle and happy solvers all. Pretty easy puzzle today. I had it finished before I reread the clue and figured out what penultimate had to do with the theme entries.

Some puzzles, especially ones with punny clues and entries, just cry out for links that make us chuckle. Argyle's write up today didn't really need links. Job well done!

My only miscue was confidently putting in LANAI for 69a. A quick check of the downs changed that, though. In Florida, like Hawaii, verandas are lanais, not porches. In Ohio, they were porches. Several terms for essentially the same thing... it's a regional thing.

Fermat, I hope you don't get hit too hard on that electric bill. Could you send some of that warm water to me? With the cool weather, our solar panels and solar cover haven't been quite enough to get our pool up to a comfortable temperature. I haven't convinced myself that I need to spend three grand for a heat pump to be able to use the pool year round.

Have a great day everyone.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, seems like this was easier for me than yesterday's puzzle. The only fill I blanked on was 41D NAHA. The perps did their job and it was quickly filled.

I liked the theme very much. I didn't get it until the unifier either, but after that the light bulb went on and I got the idea.

(59A) "Penultimate, and where you might see the first words of 18-, 23-, 40- and 51-Across"/NEXT TO LAST was terrific. First Jack McInturff gives us the definition of "penultimate" and then, reading the answer differently, tells us where to put the first words of the theme answers.

No problem with no links, although they are usually fun. It's nice to breeze through once in a while.

Argyle, not sure if I should snicker or sigh dreamily over Roger Whittaker's song. Maybe, I'll just snicker dreamily.

Just saw Marti's theme explanation. Skip my paragraph, except for the part where I think it is terrific.

Bill G. said...

Fun puzzle. I didn't catch the cleverness of gulls and buoys until I came here. Argyle, I enjoyed the writeup as usual. I didn't mind having no links although I usually enjoy many of them when they are included.

I like the word 'penultimate.' However, I enjoy the word 'antepenultimate' even more. I first heard it in the song by the Limelighters, "Have some Madeira m'dear." (The Limelighters were a very funny folk group from my college years.)

We are expecting several days of rain here. I am looking forward to it.

melissa bee said...

dennis, now we know why you're so fond of ironing.

Lucina said...

Good day, puzzlers.

You are in exceptionally witty form today, Argyle, thank you. I like at least one musical link as it's enjoyable listening while I read but no sweat.

Thanks to Jack McInturff for a nice, easy puzzle today which was a sprint. Some fill I didn't even notice until scanning afterwards but my favorite drink, OUZO gave me pause. Penultimate is widely used in Spanish, penultimo, as NEXTTOLAST wouldn't make much sense.

Fav clue:
miss identification, SHE

Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone!

Abejo said...

To HeartRx:

I appears I was reading the penultimate clue as meaning the themes should be previous to the word LAST, because that is what penultimate means, one before the end or last. After reading your explanation, I agree, that Jack was being tricky and meaning "Next to Last," but not necessarily previous to last, but merely "next to last."

Anyhow, It was a fun puzzle. Thanks for your time. Looking forward to tomorrow.


Gunghy said...

Greetings all,

Thank god for perps. It's been a long time since I've run into that many names that I just haven't heard at all. ADELA, ALTHEA, NAHA, BAER, OSHEA were total unknowns. ELIOT, not Yeats and HARTE, not Twain both took one cross.

Other than that, easier than yesterday and I, too, enjoyed the cluing.

Did have trouble with ICE CREAM DRINK. Out West, SODA comes in cans and mixes with ice cream to make make FLOATS. But that didn't fit.

Jayce, about yesterday; I wasn't feeling bad. Cynical is my normal state of mind.The divorce has been a long time coming and would have been completed 3 years ago if I had gotten off my duff. In fact, I'm mortified to realize that I didn't call her yesterday. Ironically, there was an error in the paperwork, so it has to be redone and filed another day.

There was a 'lady' filing ahead of me that was dressed in pajama bottoms, fluffy slippers and an inside-out, size 4XL T-shirt. I so wished that I had my camera. all she was missing was the curlers in her hair.

For my Eastern friends. Have a good day.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Back from another bout with the flu. Feeling as well today as I have in quite a while. Just in time for the heat wave this week.... will be in the 50's.

Well Dennis, going by your theory, I may never be wrinkle free again! Don't bet the house on it though.

Today was the first puzzle I've done in a few days and it turned out to be a real smooth ride. The only place I was slowed at all was Cclef because I wasn't too sure about the cote/coop connection. Across answers took care of naha, something I would not have gotten on my own.

Argyle, I didn't miss the links at all. Your usual clear explanations were very informative and entertaining.

Have a good Tuesday

Dennis said...

Jeezus, Gunghy, did I ever need that! Thanks - only another month or two.

Carol, 'face lift' is the line of the day.

Melissa, you're onto me. Oh wait -- that was a fantasy I had. Never mind.

daffy dill said...

Thanks, Argyle. Mornin', C.C. and all.

Not too difficult with some snags. I didn't know OUZOS, LUZAN, and OSHEA, but they came from perps. I knew ALTHEA, but didn't know I knew it until the crosses revealed it.

Has anyone here referred to a porch as a stoop?

I think of a stoop as the exit from the house that has a step or two down to the ground. A PORCH, is the flat deck with a roof and maybe a railing around it. A veranda is a PORCH and vice versa. I think of a lanai as a patio.

Links in the write up are meh to me. If they are there, I look at them; if not I don't even notice they're missing.

KarenRN said...

I have had so much fun reading this blog! What does perp stand for? thanks, Karen

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I completely missed the meaning of today's theme. I wanted to put the first word before a common saying, such as Call forward, Straw poll, Stand down, and Minute man. Oh well, it was a rather half-baked attempt at best. I would also have been introducing a word not in the puzzle which is a no-no.

Other than that, the puzzle went together very fast and for me it was a bit easier than yesterday's CW.

I thought Miss identification was a fun clue as was, It may be half-baked. But my Aha moment was Place up the (River)/Prison.

Argyle, great blogging, as usual. Your explanation of the theme was just fine! I realized the error of my ways.

Chickie said...

KQ, so glad to hear about your son's six months without a seizure.

I'm glad my coffee was finished after reading Dennis' lost wrinkles comment and Carol's face lift line. So funny.

KarenRN, Join us, the fun just keeps on giving!

Dennis said...

KarenRN, 'perp' stands for 'perpendicular, and it's used in referring to an answer running perpendicularly across the answer you're trying to fill. For instance, in today's puzzle, if I didn't know, say, 14A, 'alar', the perps (hangs, eliot, manor, prefab) would help me fill it in.

Hope this helps.

Lucina said...

KQ, I forgot to tell you how happy I am for you about your son. I hope he stays healthy.

Bill G. said...

There was a really good story on 60 Minutes about King George meeting a stuttering reporter. Here is the link to the video. If you can't see the video, you can read the text.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers!

I've seen "Gulls" and "Buoys" as the signs on restroom doors at seaside joints. Other tongue-in-cheek signs: at a hunting lodge I saw "Pointers" and "Setters", while an airport had "Amelia" and "Charles".

The only other pair that comes to mind was also at an airport: "KingAir" and "QueenAir", referring to two Beechcraft models.

Got any others?

Husker Gary said...

Dudley, I saw Drakes and Hens on the doors and didn't process the information as I was in a hurry and was surrounded by flocked wall paper, no urinals and a machine that dispensed items for which I had no use. I beat a hasty retreat in anonymity and vowed to look more closely next time. I'll take Men and Women every time as "cuteness" is wasted on me!

Mainiac said...

Dudley, We've got Inboards and Outboards signs at a local eatery/watering hole.

Clear Ayes said...

KQ, good news for your son and a big relief to you. I hope his good health continues...for his sake and for his mama's sake too. You don't need any more scares like that!

KarenRN, it's nice to hear from you. Join in often.

About those "popular anti-wrinkle gels", if "Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media" is what I think it is, I wouldn't recommend buying TSN Essential Serum, manufactured by SkinMedica. There's a big ICK factor there, besides which, it costs $260.00 per ounce.

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Great job, Argyle. No links was fine with me, especially with your witty and informative asides.

This one was easy to do and enjoyable. Penultimate is one of my favorite words also. And I agree with those who thought this was easier than yesterday.

Had an extremely pleasant lunch with Spitzboov and his equally fun LW. We ate at the Snook Inn at the end of Marco Island.


HeartRx said...

Thank you, Warren, for walking me through the text formatting process. Now I don’t have to YELL when I want to put emphasis on something!

Bill G., great clip of Andy Rooney. Thank you for posting it!

Dudley, well, it’s not what was on the door, but a sign next to it that gave me a chuckle:
“No Ball Playing Allowed”

Marge said...

Hi all!

This puzzle was fun-easier than yesterdays.I liked Xer, remembered Althea but had to look up Naha. I got the answers but couldn't figure out the theme until I came to Argyle's write up. All a lot of fun.

Argyle, thanks for the Roger Whittaker song, it's one of my favorites. And BillG for the Andy Rooney video.

We have a stoop with 2 steps at the Back door and a deck at the front door, which is actually the back door because the stoop leads into the kitchen where we come and go all the time. Confused? So am I.

Thanks CC for having this blog. It is a lot of fun!

Anonymous said...

Raised in Chicago, soft drinks in my neighborhood were always called "pop." "Soda" was a shortened version of "ice cream soda."

creature said...

KQ, Forgive me for not telling you how glad I am that your son is apparently responding to his seizure medicine; and that you have shared that good news with us.
Please keep us up to date as you can. Thanks.

KarenRN,please join us when you can and want to. Thanks for speaking up.

CA, what in heavens name are you talking about? Gels? ICKY? I've backtracked and can't find the source of your 4:40 post. I've missed something big ! OK, I'm being a little dramatic, but honestly , I'm lost.

Chickie said...

There is a popular hangout (Hamburgers, beer and such) where my daughter went to college. Their restroom doors are labeled Men and Women, but there is an arrow pointing to the opposite door. The door with the word "Men" is really the Women's and visa versa.

Confusing, so far? Well, you should see the looks on the faces of the people who didn't look closely at the arrows. Not fun if you are the one in the wrong place.
However, the regulars get a big laugh out of it all.

Sooo, pay attention to the whole sign where ever you might be.

Gunghy said...


Read the last paragraph of Dennis' first post. It will explain the ICK factor.

JD said...

a quick hellooo to all; our catsitter rearranged my computer so it has taken me awhile to keep my comments from disappearing. Here's hoping...

Wanted to wish HeartRx a happy birthday, and give Dennis a shout out for always being here.

Andrea, I loved your tooth fairy story. This fairy left silver dollars in hopes they would be saved. No such luck; I saved them after exchanging them.


Puzzle wise, I am very rusty. Yesterday I had big problems with the NE corner. I had oyeh instead of rise, and bona fide..which I now see is in good faith..ha,ha.Eliha,Kant, Pola, Zevon....???? and it was only Monday for heaven sakes!!

I still have blanks to fill today- no time to sit yet.

Hahtoolah said...

Welcome back, JD. I missed you.

Clear Ayes said...

Thanks Gunghy and "Sorry" to creature. I should have referenced Dennis' first post when I mentioned the ICK factor.

Bill G. GAH and I watch 60 Minutes regularly, so we saw the Andy Rooney piece. At 92, there isn't too much of 20th century history that Mr. Rooney hasn't witnessed. He hardly ever runs out of stories and when he lacks a story, he will definitely have an opinion. I can't imagine that he will retire unless his health fails.

Welcome back, JD.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Really nice puzzle today. Hard time for me since my head is full of empty.

I've ranted on C-clefs before, so will let it pass.

Music is easy to understand. As Duke Ellington put it, "If it sounds good, it is good." It's playing it well that's hard.

I think to get to six acres involves a lot of cell multiplication - even so it's a stretch. There's a story about a guy who had a wallet made, but every time he tried to use it, it turned into a suitcase.

I learned about penultimate the day before last.

I'm with daffy on the porch.(Would somebody send out some drinks?) Here is my stoop

Someone suggested I have a slug Nyquil before I went to bed last night. I did and slept for 11 hours! And I was still able to nap this afteroon.


Well, IMBO. Felling a bit sleepy . . .


JD said...

Argyle, I always love your posts.They are clear, easy to understand and I learn a lot.Sometimes, like today, I do not have time to open all the extras.I was thankful for your explanation on the a-ha theme.

You all DO realize that the wolf was not to blame. He was just visiting the 3 pigs to borrow a cup of sugar when he sneezed and blew down those houses.

Today's puzzle seemed easier, although I REALLY thought a stranded motorist needed GAS, enough to erase echo. So LAST was last.sigh

Carol-LOL @ 9:41

creature said...

I stopped reading after 250,000
sq.ft. of skin from one foreskin.

Aren't we allowed to know what is in these products? Where are they advertised?

I appreciate that I'm a little late to the party. I'll try to catch up. Thanks, Gunghy.

HeartRx said...

Argyle said, "I listen to music, I don't pretend to understand it"...and I have to say "Me, too!". But, somebody on our blog does listen, play AND understand, and I quote:

"European symphonic music often has the trombone parts written in Tenor Clef - or even Alto clef for the first part. Sometimes copyists will shift clefs in the middle of a piece, for no apparent reason. Makes me uses bad words.

In Howard Hanson's 2nd symphony, there was a clef change that wasn't noted on my part. So I was playing a G, thinking it was bass clef, when it should have been a Tenor clef D. John looked askance at at me and said, "Just play any note in the chord." "What chord" I queried. "D Major."

The musicians among us will realize that playing the 4th (G) against a major chord results in cacophony. I was not amused.
" – Jazzbumpa January 19, 2011

HUTCH said...

Maniac! Oh.I dont know. When I was young 4 acres was about right.

Dennis said...

JD, great to see you back; you were missed.

HUTCH said...

Daffy Dill. Where I was raised in North Seattle in the 1930's a Stoop was a small porch.

Bill G. said...

When, in my youth, I was driving through Baltimore to the Gayety Theater, I passed many a stoop. All were cement, painted white, clean and about two or three steps up from street level.

I'm glad you guys enjoyed the clip of Andy Rooney. I love stories from the WWII era.

Have you been watching Jeopardy? Humans vs. a BIG computer. I'm betting on the computer though I'm rooting for the humans.

Kath said...

Such wonderful info here...thanks for explanation of
PERP...I was wondering but afraid to ask!

Anonymous said...

Good night all.

Yes to watching Jeopardy. I too think the computer will win, but it would be nice if a human did. Also of interest is the audience; it looks like all are from IBM and worked on "Watson".

KQ: great news about your son. I too have epilepsy and have had it under control since 1985, but was not allowed to drive for a year. Mine was the result of a head injury.

Anonymous said...

Kath, don't be afraid to ask anything on this great, informative, friendly blog.

Jeannie said...

Hi all...still no time for the puzzle but read the blog every night. I don't feel right writing when not attempting the puzzle.

Deadline met re: the foodshow, books went to print today, various documents made to go into the customer's books so now I can probably take a lunch tomorrow and tackle a puzzle.

It seems I was only missed by an here is a shout out to my anon fan. Smmoocchhh.

Argyle, even though I can't access most links at work, I miss them once I can access them. Just my two cents worth.

Anonymous said...

You were missed Jeannie...good to see you back. I can click on your previous posts to see your picture but it's different if there is no words typed by you. Here is a belated Valentine greeting from me to you. Sorry I missed it yesterday.

Dudley said...

Thanks, fellow Puzzlers, for your restroom door signs! Clever stuff.

We watched Watson the computer beat the pants off of Ken and Brad.

Speaking of Watson, most of you know that Tom Watson Jr. was the president of IBM during the company's biggest years. I never met the man, but had the pleasure of using a small corner of his summer compound on the island of North Haven, Maine. He kept a well-manicured grass runway on the island; I somehow obtained permission to use it with my Cessna back in '85. Would love to go back someday.

mtnest995 said...

Regarding Watson vs Humans, I'm thinking that because the transmission to the computer is electronic, it's comparing a dial up to a DSL connection - comments?

BTW - loved the puzzle. This week, beginning with Sunday, is shaping up the way I had hoped. Much less arduous than last week. I'm not feeling quite so out of the loop.

Cheers to all. Marti, sorry I missed your bd yesterday - cheers!

Bill G. said...

MTNEST, yes, it seems as if Watson's response time is a little faster than the humans'. I assume it has to wait for the digital inputted question to finish before it can 'push' its signaling button. It's just a little quicker than a person's response time once the person knows the question is finished. Still, it's remarkable how Watson has been programmed to parse the sometimes cryptic questions.

All this seems to be related to a really good article in Time Magazine this week called Singularity. Anybody read it?

Rock Hill Bed Bugs said...

Crazy about crosswords! I remember one time when I opted to stay at home instead of attend a wedding of some distant relative just to finish an entire book on puzzles. LOL.

windhover said...

Just how far away was that "distant" relative?