Feb 9, 2011

Wednesday February 9, 2011 Samuel A. Donaldson

Theme: Only $29.95 Plus shipping and handling. And now, for something completely different, today we get a laundry list of infomercial catch-phrases.

22A. With 24-Across, infomercial appeal : BUT WAIT

24A. See 22-Across : THERE'S MORE

38A. With 49-Across, infomercial appeal : OUR OPERATORS ARE

49A. See 38-Across : STANDING BY

54A. Infomercial appeal : CALL NOW

Not quite sure how I feel about this theme. Are you buying it?

Hi, gang, it's JazzBumpa reporting from the frozen wasteland of South-East Michigan, on a day when nothing has gone quite according to plan. I pulled the puzzle from Cruciverb, saw that it was one of John Lampkin's and thought - this is going to be good. And it was. Too bad I was a day late. We spent the day in Toledo, and I got home in time to blog, with about an hour to spare. Then worked THE WRONG PUZZLE. Ah, well. We've seen the theme, now let's find out if THERE'S MORE to this puzzle.


1. Utopian : IDEAL Utopia is the perfect place; an ideal is a concept of perfection. Sir Thomas More captured his ideal of the perfect place, in all its social, political and moral aspects in his book, UTOPIA, published in 1516.

6. Home censorship aid : V-CHIP A device in your TV to keep your kids from watching South Park, or your husband from watching the Playboy Channel.

11. Journalist's last question? : HOW Along with "What?", "Where?", "When? " and "Why?" HOW do I know this?

14. "Au contraire!" : NOT SO. French for "To the contrary."

15. "You think I'm to blame?" : WHO, ME? NOT SO!

16. "If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize" boaster : ALI. The erstwhile Casius Clay -- I knew he floated like a butterfly.

17. Spanish silver : PLATA. The Spanish word for Silver. Also, el caballo del Llanero Solitario.

18. "The Lion King" king : SIMBA. From the Disney movie. SIMBA is the Swahili word for LION (and that's the truth!)

19. Londoner's last letter : ZED. Here in the U.S. we call a spade a spade, and a Z a Z. Over there, they call a Z a zed. I don't know why. Kazie?

20. Raising : UPPING. In the sense of "increasing." For example, one does not "UP" one's children.

27. St. Louis landmark : ARCH. Interesting ARCHitecture.

28. Likely loser in war : DEUCE. War, the card game; DEUCE, the lowest card. The famous quote from General U.S. Grant was, "I know what war is. Hell - any kid can play that silly game!"

29. Like stale jokes : OLD. Or, like misquotes of dead generals. (I saw that in MAD Magazine about 50 years ago.)

30. Riches' opposite : RAGS. Opposite ends of the economic spectrum.

34. Struggle : VIE. Now, that's more war-like it.

35. "The change is yours" : KEEP IT.

41. Conditional promise : IF I CAN.

42. Yves or Yvette, e.g. : NOM. French names indicate the French word for "name."

43. Some votes : AYES. The opposites are NAYS. Or, if you're just horsing around, "neighs."

44. Clearasil target : ZIT. AKA ACNE -- We don't need an image.

45. "__ the G String": Bach work : AIR ON The theme song for those who line-dry their lingerie. I always try to err on the side of G strings. When asked what he thought of Earth girls, Valentine Michael Smith answered, "Gee!"

47. Chichén __: Mayan ruins : ITZA. We need an image. The first time I saw this, I misread it as CHICKEN ITZA, and thought it was competition for the Colonel.

56. Verdi opera with a Shakespearean plot : OTELLO. From Shakespear's OTHELLO. We want Moor!

57. "Yes, Yvette" : OUI. Alliteration often signals a foreign language answer. I always want to pronounce this "OOWIE." Yes, I do.

58. Nook download : E-BOOK. Th Nook is a device for reading books in electronic format. You can read a Nook in a nook, or by the brook; or a Kindle by candle light.

61. Inflict, as havoc : WREAK. These words are pair-bonded for life. Nobody ever WREAKS anything besides HAVOC, and HAVOC is never inflicted in any other way.

62. Las Vegas-to-Salt Lake City dir. : NNE. Which way to Tahoe? The voice on my GPS is Samantha

63. Sparkle : VERVE. Synonyms for twinkle and GLEAM. Well, sparkle is, anyway. Here, they indicate liveliness.

64. "Do ___ to eat a peach?": Eliot : I DARE. Line 122 of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

65. MI and LA : STS. Abrv n cl & ans. Sts. of the U. S.

66. Alan of "Little Miss Sunshine" : ARKIN. Miss Sunshine in the 2006 movie is Abigail Breslin. Cute kid. I didn't see it.

67. "So Much in Love" singers, with "The" : TYMES. The time was 1963. I remember the song, and the 60's, alas.


1. Feedback : INPUT. The more I ponder this answer, the more correct is seems to be.

2. Actor Lundgren of "Rocky IV" : DOLPH. I'm assuming he was the bad guy, lack of black hat not withstanding.

3. Troops encampment : ETAPE. I've seen this before, but never remember it. Here is some detail, from, "Supplies issued to troops on the march; hence (Mil.), the place where troops on the march halt over night; also, by extension, the distance marched during a day."

4. Buzzing with activity : ASTIR. The set was ASTIR with Rogers and Astair.

5. Advanced : LOANED. My dad advanced me some money. Then, when I got a job, I retreated it to him.

6. Rd. Rabbits : VWS. Mr. abbrv. The VW Rabbit was produced from 1975 through 1984, when it was replaced by the Golf.

7. X, to Greeks : CHI. It's all Greek to me. Please pass the triglyceride esters of OLEIC acid.

8. "Mean" señor : HOMBRE. In B westerns, we get the cliche, "Mean hombre." But "HOMBRE" simply means man.

9. Permeate : IMBUE

10. Gardening moss : PEAT

11. Incentive for dangerous work : HAZARD PAY. My Brother-in-law, a chaplain in the army reserve, will be off to a combat zone in a few weeks - but he doesn't know where.

12. Acid used in soap : OLEIC. It is a fat-derived acid named for the olive, and its triglyceride esters make up the majority of olive oil. Salts of fatty acids are called soaps, and OLEIC acid salts "will add conditioning properties and moisturizing properties to your soap. It will not produce a very good lather though. Some say that oleic acid is what gives your bar that slippery feel."

13. Volume component : WIDTH. Along with length and height. Do the math.

21. International finance coalition : G-SEVEN. This is a formal meeting of the finance ministers of the seven major industrialized countries, that started the year after the VW RABBIT (which I'm sure is only a coincidence) when Canada joined the Group of Six.

23. Polish Solidarity leader : WALESA. Lech WALESA started as an electrician in the Lenin shipyards, became a labor activist, got fired and arrested several times. Eventually, he overcame all of this and was elected President of Poland in 1990. After that, his popularity began to wane. He left Solidarity in 2006 over policy differences. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983.

25. Sierra Club founder : MUIR. John MUIR (1838-1914) was America's most famous and influential naturalist and conservationist.

26. South Pacific island region : OCEANIA. Haven't we always been at war with OCEANIA?

29. "__ the ramparts ..." : O'ER. Is this the line that caused so much trouble at the Super Bowl? If you watch it on your computer, is it gallantly streaming?

30. Lyon king : ROI. King of France (where Lyon is a city,) a nifty pun, and a bilingual clecho. How 'bout dat!

31. "__ Wiedersehen" : AUF. Buh-bye in German. Actual, closer to "Till we meet again."

32. University of Montana athletes : GRIZZLIES. Don't mess with them mammas.

33. Gregarious : SOCIAL. In the SOCIAL butterfly sense.

35. __ dragon: largest living lizard : KOMODO. It was once believed that this lizard's nasty bite sickened its prey with multiple strains of toxic bacteria. Now, we know it's venom.

36. Wrath : IRE. As in "day of wrath."

37. French possessive : TES. Having now learned this fact, I am sure to forget it almost immediately.

39. Back stroke? : PAT. Nice clue. A pat on the back is recognition for a job well done.

40. Conflicted : TORN

45. On the job : AT WORK. Where you might get a pat on the back.

46. Knucklehead : NITWIT. One who gets no back strokes.

47. Desktop images : ICONS

48. Needle : TAUNT. Here, "needle" is a verb.

49. Neither stewed nor pickled? : SOBER. Another nice misdirection. Stewed and pickled are two of the 11,742,289 synonyms for intoxicated.

50. Hardly cool : NERDY

51. Twinkle : GLEAM. He had a twinkle in his eye until that awful tooth brushing accident. Then he had GLEAM in his eye.

52. Trumpet sound : BLARE. That's for sure. I sit in front of them and wear ear plugs.

53. Joins, as oxen : YOKES

55. Lake Tahoe's aptly named Cal __ Casino : NEVA. The casino is on Crystal Bay at the north end of the lake, which straddles the California-Nevada border.

59. Egg: Pref. : OVI As in OVIform, meaning egg-shaped.

60. Baseball's Griffey (Jr., too) : KEN. Ken and Ken, Jr. - two of baseball's greats.

Answer grid.

Well, there it is. What do you think? MHO -- Fun puzzle, fun to blog, many good clues, and quite a bit of new information for this old trombonist.



Dennis said...

Good morning, Jazz, C.C. and gang - not much to say about today's puzzle; for some reason, it just didn't do much for me. Wasn't a speed run, but I had few issues, and really thought there were only two clever clues, 'Likely loser in war' and 'Neither stewed nor pickled'. One of the few times doing puzzles when I got done and thought, meh. Or maybe it's just me(h).

Jazz, nice job w/the blog - actually took me longer to read your write-up than do the puzzle.

Today is Toothache Day. Why that's a cause for celebration is beyond me. However, it's also the BIRTHDAY of our friend ELissa (still with us?) and.......ARGYLE!! A most HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of the most valuable members of the blog crew; Argyle, your efforts on the blog are second only to C.C. - thanks for all you do.

Did You Know?:

- Bubble gum is pink because Walter Diemer, a Fleer employee, had only pink coloring left when he mixed up his first successful batch.

- While filming a fight scene for Enter the Dragon, Bruce Lee performed a flying kick so fast it could not be scene at the normal 24 frames per second. The cameraman re-filmed the sequence in slow motion so it would not appear faked.

- In 2006, a Malaysian man received the largest phone bill in history. The bill - which the man contested - was roughly U.S. $218,000,000,000,000.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Jazzbumpa and Friends. Super write-up. I don't generally like puzzles where so many of he clues are interrelated and cross-referenced, but this was good.

There were some great misleading clues. I especially liked the two Lion/Lyon kings: SIMBA and ROI, respectively.

My "aha" moment was Rd. Rabbits = VWs.

I also liked: Neither Stewed Nor Pickled = SOBER

I tried I MIGHT instead of IF I CAN for the conditional Conditional Promise.

I have a Nook. The jury is still out on whether I like it or not. It is convenient for when I travel, as I always have to have something to read with me. I can also use it to check out library books without actually having to make the trip to library, which is kind of fun.

Good News for you, Clear Ayes. I am so happy for you.

Happy Birthday to Splynter! So something special to celebrate this milestone.

HB to you, too Elissa. We miss you.

QOD: Las Vegas is the only place I know where money really talks ~ it says, "Goodbye." ~ Frank Sinatra

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Running late (again). Enjoyable puzzle with plenty of fresh clues and "clechoes." Couldn't make sense of NEVA until I got here, so thanks for that. And happy birthday to ARGYLE (and Elissa)!!!

Argyle said...

Don't rush me, Dennis, I'll get there soon enough, in another two weeks.

Dennis said...

Lol, I've just been told by the non-birthday boy that his birthday is actually a little ways off. Hell, Argyle now you have an excuse to start celebrating now. Sorry for the error.

Splynter, a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- hope it's a great one for you. You're now on the bday list.

C.C. Burnikel said...

You must be influenced by a mix-up I had on Argyle's birthday sometime ago.

Happy Birthday!

Clear Ayes,
I am so happy for you! Thanks for the unbeatable spirit, courage and grace you've shown.

Lemonade714 said...

I must make another trip to the eye doctor this am, so I will be back with comments later, except I really wanted to say JzB, this was an outstanding write up. Also Happy Birthday to our missing author Elissa and our new regular from RPI Splynter.

HeartRx said...

Good Morning JazzBumpa, C.C. et al.

BIG TIME HBD, Splynter! I don’t know Elissa, being relatively new here, but HBD wherever U R !

Clear Ayes, just read last night’s posts. Keep up your wonderful outlook, and you will beat it for sure!

Lemonade, I hope it’s good news for you as well!

JazzB., great write-up. I would have liked to read your take on yesterday’s as well ;-D

This one left me flat. I really didn’t care for the theme, which was only slightly less irritating than those infomercials themselves. But thanks for the Opus cartoon – it was the one thing I did get a big chuckle from!

The clue for 6D threw me – “Rd. Rabbits” for VWS, crossing with VCHIP. No clue, as I have no need to censor anything in our house.

I agree with Jazz that 8D HOMBRE is not necessarily a “mean” person. It simply means “man” or “guy”, right Lucina?

Then we have our French lessons today (with a German word thrown in for good measure):
And the French clue “Au contraire”…

47A Chichen ___ for ITZA was kind of obscure, and if I hadn’t visited there myself, it probably would never have been in my vocabulary.

And the dreaded E-BOOK at 58A, yuck.

I hope you all have a wonderful day, without any toothaches !

Grumpy 1 said...

Happy hump day, all.

JazzB, your write up was more fun than the puzzle. I always enjoy reading your musings. The puzzle went a little slow. There were a few unknowns and misdirections that had me stumped for a bit, but they eventually revealed themselves. I had POOR instead of RAGS, but ROI is one of the few French words I know, so that mistake didn't last long.

Happy BDay, Splynter and Elissa.

Thanks to all that have complimented us on the Naples Corner gathering photos.

Denny said...

Fun puzzle. Just challenging enough. I liked the infomercial theme, maybe because all I needed were a few letters to guess the rest, and that really helped on the crosses.

Unlike a few others here, I got Rd. Rabbits right away (the capitalization of the second word was a dead giveaway).

Strange phenomenon on 13 down, Volume component. I had the last two letters from crosses, and then confidently filled in zed for Londoner's last letter, then had that sinking feeling you get when you see a string of letters together that you know doesn't exist in any English word -- "dth." For some reason, I totally forgot for a moment about the word width (is there any other word that has that letter combination?)

My only other comment is, yes, too many foreign language words. That always feels to me like a crossword constructor's cheap trick, since theoretically you could probably always find a word in some language somewhere to fit a difficult cross trap you found yourself in. The challenge, one assumes, is to do it all in English. But admittedly, these were all fairly well known foreign language words.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Although I wasn't crazy about the theme, I enjoyed today's puzzle. There were a lot of fresh clues that made me think. The North was the last section to fall. I wanted combat pay for dangerous work and World Bank the only international finance coalition that came to mind.

Rd Rabbits & Likely loser in war were were favorite clues.

Splynter, have a most enjoyable day.

CA, with your positive outlook you will surely overcome.

Happy Wednesday everyone.

kazie said...

I agree with everyone else today on the theme, finally a chance to use MEH!

I couldn't get on the right wavelength at all and it took way too long. Like HeartRx, no kids to censor for, I guessed I-CHIP, and never saw VW. Rd. rabbits meant absolutely nothing to me. I also wanted E-BOOBS, having no idea what 'nook' is or who KEN/BEN was.

Why ZED? I don't know but it matches the French zède (spelling just a guess) as well as the German Zett. And it works better on the phone when spelling our name. If I use zee, we get things addressed to us with a C, V, or even B instead of Z.

If it weren't for all the French clues today I might never have got started. When there's a 3-letter French possessive, the choices are: mon, mes, (my), ton, tes, (your, familiar), son, ses, (his, her, its), nos, (our), or vos (your, formal or plural).

Anonymous said...

Jazzbumpa - Very nice blog - I really enjoyed it. Thank you. Lots of linkups - I enjoyed that as well - Thank you.

Mr. Donaldson, thank you for the very nice puzzle - did not finish - but enjoyed it, never the less - Thank you.

Chichen Itza - sounds like an italian 'Its a chicken'. Itsa on the tip of my tongue - but couldn't get it.

Good news Clear Ayes - Keep your spirits up -( I will include you in my prayers).

Leamonade - sincerely hope you have good news on your doctor visits.

Argyle - I knew it wasn't your special day yet - for god's sake - its clear as mud on your blog page 2/20 right ? ... 9 more days and you would have been a leap year baby.

Argyle said...

No, anon. Wrong year to be a leap year baby.

kazie said...

Did anyone else have a different experience and not have to sign in this morning? I was looking for the usual "sign up here" link and it wasn't there, so after commenting, I copied just in case, but it went straight in.

Good luck with the eye appointment!

I think the write-up still displayed your same colorful mood and not at all jaded from it being the second time round for you last night. Thank you!

Argyle said...


My last post came back "Error 404" and another thing; when I hit "edit", it asks about leave or remain. I hit remain and then I edit.


Dennis said...

That's what you get for not having a birthday today.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain MI and LA to me? Thanks!

daffy dill said...

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

Maybe I liked this puzzle because it was an easy Wednesday offering. I think everything came from perps! The theme was easy and came from a few crosses. I will quibble about 11A. Traditionally, the "five Ws" are "Who, What, When, Where, and Why." I suppose the sixth question HOW could be added. I'll allow it.

Happy BD, Splynter and Elissa.

I have a Kindle and love it, but I'd like to have the color Nook.

carol said...

Hi all - is it really Wednesday??? This puzzle seemed more of a Thurs/Fri level for me. Probably just me. I had never heard of lots of the words:
G SEVEN (until I read Jazz's write up, I thought this said GS EVEN), DEUCE (used the way it was), ETAPE, PLATA, ITZA. sigh

35D...KOMODO - I knew it, but couldn't spell it.

49D Loved that one!!!

58A The only nook I know is my breakfast nook :P

Happy B-day Splynter and Elissa, celebrate, celebrate but try not to get STEWED or PICKLED. (at least not too badly).

Jazz, I enjoyed your write-up more than the puzzle - thanks!!

Dennis said...

anon@10:36, they're both abbreviations for states (Sts). Not a popular abbreviation for states but it's legit.

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone.
I too have trouble with the publishing of a comment. It leads to a different choose an identity, not the one I usually use. What's up?


Anonymous said...

Dennis -- Thank you. I was interpreting it as Los Angeles and Miami, but somehow knew that states --> stes was the right answer. Dur.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, or it was when I started. This is my third attempt. Do you cut off at 20 now? My second disappeared!
Great write up, Jazz. Better than the puzzle. Happy birthday Splynter.

Auf Wiedersehen reminds me of when we stayed at Faust Schlossel in Austria. I was talking with the father of the owner, and he asked how one says auf wiedersehen in English.
Auf Wiedersehen reminds me of when we stayed at Faust Schlossel in Austria. I was talking with the father of the owner, and he asked how one says auf wiedersehen in English. Right then my husband called to come on, we're ready to leave. As we drove down the driveway, the old man followed shouting, "We don't".

Anonymous said...

Part two: It is interesting that hasta la vista, arrivederci, au revoir, and auf wiedersehen, all mean until we see each other again and are used in formal farewell. But we do not have such an expression in English.

I hope this glitch with posting goes away today. This is and has been a pain!


Anonymous said...

Part three:
Sorry I can't toss part 1 in the trash because I can't write it a 4th or 5th time.


Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

As always, it was great fun blogging this puzzle. Thanks for the kind words. Auf wiederssehen is "literally upon seeing again." Kinda like See ya later.

Lunch is ready. Auf weidersehen & Cheers!

Gunghy said...

Morning all,

Happy BD Splynter and Elissa if you read this.

CA, great news!! EddyB, My sister is 6 years clear from a 100% fatal form. Positive attitude has a lot to do with it. Picking CA as an inspiration is a wise choice.

I liked the puzzle, but Struggled. The theme answers just didn't jump out. Maybe I should watch one of them some time. And there were a lot of answers that weren't on my radar. To me it had a friday feel, but I could see where others would find it a lot easier.

Time to head for the slopes.

Lucina said...

Good day, troopers! Jazz, I really loved your blogging, witty, entertaining and informative. Thanks.

Along with most of you, I am not fond of a string of quotations and worked most of the downs first until the light turned on for me.

I liked HAZARDPAY and GRIZZLIES as well as VERVE and GLEAM.

HeartRX, you are correct, HOMBRE simply means man as JZ noted, however in your list of French you included AUF which is German.

Denny, we also have breadth with that ending.

Splynter: happy birthday to you!

I hope your Wednesday is wonderful!

Lucina said...

Strange, today publishing was effortless and my name appeared automatically without my having to sign in.

Eddy G, sorry I forgot to wish you the best in your health issues.

Lemonade, good luck to you on your vision quest.

kazie said...

I forgot to wish Splynter a happy birthday, so hbty, Splynter!

In case anyone wants a list, here are the two-letter French possessives: ma = my, ta = your, sa = his her, its. The reason for the multiple forms is that they are treated as adjectives and so agree with the noun following (object owned). So mon/ton/son livre = my/your/his/her book, because livre is masculine, but ma/ta/sa maison = my/your/his/her house, because maison is feminine. Make it plural and you get mes/tes/ses livres or maisons. You have to guess from context whether it's his, her or its for son/sa/ses, since the form only relates to the following noun.

Nice Cuppa said...

Trés drôle, JB

Au contraire to all you nay/non/nein/niet/sayers out there, I thought this was a magnificent puzzle (albeit not war).

Great, fresh cluing throughout. The only thing that slowed me down was trying to think of how someone might find infomercials "appealing", so that was a misdirection for me.

I trust you all recall your Polish pronunciation lesson -"VAWENSA" is close enough.

JB, I would hazard a guess that 'ZED' is/was used to avoid confusion with "CEE" when spoken. Anyway, I thought you called a spade a shovel (?).

Anon: Other words ending in DTH


À Bientôt.

See ya soon.


thehondohurricane said...

It's true that hombre in proper Spanish means man, but in the Western movies a Spanish character called hombre often suggested a "black hat" while the "white hat" was referred to as Senor.

Admittedly, I'm digging deep into the recesses of my memory for this explanation, but I didn't have a problem with the clue or the answer.

HeartRx said...

Lucina, thanks for confirming what Jazz said. In my list of words, I noted that there was "a German word thrown in for good measure". I should have titled the list as "foreign language" instead of "French", I guess.

NC, "myriadth"? LOL

Jazzbumpa said...

If you're interested of technicals, This puzzle is a J, Q, and X away from a pangram.

It's between a Wed and Thus by most measures.

Blocks 36 (Thus)
Words 76 (Wed)
Open squares 74 (Thus)
Word Length 4.97 (Thus)

Also, the freshness factor - the inverse of how frequently you see these words in puzzles - is at the Saturday level.

So - despite a not especially inspired or inspiring theme, that gives away a bit too much - this was a really strong and original puzzle.

Hence, the mixed reviews, IMHO.


creature said...

Good Day C.C.,Jazz and all,

Thanks,Jazz, for yor fun and creative write-up.Every once in a while, I like all that 'verbage' and games, and today was one of those times. Also, I'm feeling a need to slow down a bit; maybe, its a shortage of caffeine.

The theme was actually pleasurable for me today, after I understood the 'botchy' clues.

I thought the fill was fresh and I have never minded the 'E-Words'.
There has to be some slack and I prefer them over the 'variants' and misspellings and regional 'terms'.

So, Samuel, I'm voting for your return to our blog; and thank you.

Happy B'day Splynter and Elissa. I have a note on my calender, that is indicating its also NC's B'day.
Is that so ,NC? Happy birthday to all.

Have a nive day everyone.

dodo said...

Morning, friends, For once it is still morning, unusual for me. I think the 20-line limit makes for a much faster read, and I can use that.

Starting out with this one, I felt my heart sink, looking at all the clues with two or more entries. I almost DNFd, but once I started my usual hopscotching over the grid it came together. I didn't much like the theme, but I really liked the puzzle. I'm really anti-tvads, especially informercials; Aside from that, I thought this was a good one. Terrific writeup, Jazz!

HBTY, Splynter!

dodo said...

No trouble posting, but no place to sign in. Strange! Now all the info is entered. Ghostly!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, thanks again for all the nice comments and good wishes.

Now....the hard's puzzle. Maybe I was too distracted, but I had a really tough time completing it. It seemed a little too complicated for a Wednesday. I had to go with the Down perps to get any of the non-clued theme answers for infomercial.

25D Sierra Club founder/MUIR is a gimme around here. Coulterville is the "next town over" and is the start of the John Muir Hwy. The man was a hiking nut! GAH and I went to an "event" (think wine tasting) honoring John Muir at the local history museum last Saturday. BTW, Coulterville was recently named a "Top 10 True Western Town" by True West Magazine, so if you ever get the chance, it is a great place to visit.

Great blogging and links, Jazz.

Happy Birthday Splynter and Elissa!

Dennis said...

We're definitely experiencing a blitch. This is the first time it let me hit 'Publish your comment', and then asked for my identity.

Argyle said...

Happy Trails to You

eddyB said...


Just ran into the blitch.

Tried to put a H in Otello. Loved
VWs and sober. Hope the partial
shout-out wasn't a coincidence.

Thanks Creature. They will be
appreciated. Thanks to all. I have accepted my fate. But, will keep fighting.

Loved seeing Kate on NCIS again.

Hey, The Sharks beat Washington last night.

take care

Tommy Tuscaloosa said...

Terrible puzzle, especially for a Wednesday. Tired clues, uninspiring theme.
Long time all do a great job with this blog. I read it faithfully every day after digesting the day's puzzle.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - I skimmed the comments and didn't see any complaint about "war" not being capitalized. That little detail kept me from believing that it could be the card game War.

Overall, though, I liked today's challenge. It seemed a bit harder than usual Wednesday, just right since I had all the resources of my favorite cafe at my disposal - including the chemist who directed me toward OLEIC, and the Puerto Rican woman who knew PLATA.

Sometimes it just takes a restaurant to complete a puzzle.

Dudley said...

This new sign-in procedure doesn't look like a blitch, it looks like a software update to me. I wonder whether it's a patch to clear up the sign-in problem I saw a lot, in which the password wasn't recognized on the first attempt.

Husker Gary said...

I am subbing again as a former colleague has a very sick mother in New Mexico and so it looks like I could be here for awhile. She is trying to find someone to help babysit her, uh, children for the weekend.

-As a minority of one I liked the theme today and loved Jazz’s write-up.
-I always look at these ads and wonder who on God’s Green Earth would buy such crap? Besides, you can get them for half that at Bed, Bath and Beyond, et al.
-The best part of these ads is showing how harried you must be if you don’t use their products.
-I always roll my eyes in these commercials when they say, “Absolutely Free” when they mean “Included in the cost”. It is usually a 15¢ item “valued” at $5.
-I have seen hombre refer to a man in our Spanish translation hymns and I don’t think it is referring to anything very sinister
-Gotta go teach!

Splynter said...

Hi All ~!

Yes, thank you to each and every one who said happy B'day - this is the Four - Oh for me, and I have 6years 1 month of SOBERiety, so I will not be getting stewed, pickled, sotted, etc., - for those of you who do like a drink, I'll toast to that !

As for the puzzle, I moved through it OK, and it was a different theme for a change, and I like the fact that it still came out symmetrical.

Thanks for the Bloom County, too - I was looking for the one of Opus flubbing the words to the national anthem for earlier in the week, but....I do have the actual comic strip cut from the newspaper from about 20years ago.

Good news, Clear AYES~!

Maybe it's a music thing, but I was looking for that thing that makes your amp "go to eleven" for a 'volume component'...oh, I see...

For being a "milestone" day, it's been kinda flat - glad I came here, and thanks again ~!

Splynter Richie

Lucina said...

I'm laughing loudly at your "it takes a restaurant to finish a puzzle comment."

Happy birthday Elissa and NC if this is your birthday.

JimmyB said...

Thanks, JazzB. Catching on to the theme phrase certainly helped with this puzzle. I guess I'm pleading guilty to being a sucker for an entertaining infomercial. And I miss Billy Mays!

Clear Ayes - Like others have said, you are an inspiration.

Track season has started up so I barely have time to skim the comments, so I apologize if I've missed any birthdays.

Grumpy 1 said...

Regarding words ending in "dth", it's true that there are several, but only one (width) that is a five letter word. (At least in English and common usage) As soon as I publish this someone will probably find a way to prove me wrong... lol

Anonymous said...

A curious note on Plata - Silver.

When the Spanish started mining / smelting silver ores, in South America, they often came across a small amount of the 'metal' that would not melt, or fuse or alloy or solder with the rest of the silver. Unlike silver, this was a very hard metal and was very difficult to forge and hammer.

Since the 'stranger' existed with, and looked like silver, they assumed it to be a 'younger brother' of silver, and called it 'Platina' - a diminutive form. They even tried to counterfeit 'pieces of eight'in this (otherwise) useless metal. ( Such coins worth millions today -). This was Platinum.

So now, you know the rest of the story.

Dudley said...

Lucina - Thanx! I wish that quip were entirely original, but alas it is not.

Some years ago, a server and a manager met and married at the same restaurant, and later had an adorable little daughter. The mother had left the workforce, but she popped in once or twice so her former co-workers could OOH and AAH over the little girl. There were so many customers' laps upon which to place the baby that the mother could eat a whole meal undisturbed - it was she who said "it takes a restaurant to raise a child!"

I adapted the phrase for today.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

I guess I'm in the minority but I liked this puzzle. I got the theme answers quickly since I've seen my share of infomercials. I had a number of erasures but no look-ups ... SHINE before VERVE, NAYS before AYES and WHY ME before WHO ME. The perps fixed all of those. I managed to get most of the names and somehow I pulled ETAPE out of somewhere. Anyway, I enjoyed it and I really enjoyed your write-up, Jazz. I liked the musical links ... I always liked that 60's song and classical guitar music is very special to me as my father played. It always brings back good memories.

Clear Ayes ~ sorry I misspelled your name yesterday. My fingers didn't connect with what I knew was right! Again, I am very happy about your good news.

Happy Birthday, Splynter and congrats on your accomplishment! I hope you've enjoyed your special day.

ARBAON said...

CA: The one I drive for had a set-back with the eyes yesterday...found out BOTH are now it was good to read your good (very good) news! Because of the doctor appts., haven`t had time to do puzzles...just wanted to wish you my best!
Argyle: I may miss it when it actually IS your birthday, so Happy Birthday ahead of time!

Lemonade714 said...

I enjoy JzB's write ups as much as the next guy, but really- Heart Rx said: " But thanks for the Opus cartoon..." I linked Opus two weeks ago and I did not even get a Hi Ho Plata and away. Sounds like musical discrimination just because I am tone deaf and pitch black.

lois said...

Good evening Jazz, CC, et al., No time to do the puzzle but did want to wish Splynter a very very Happy Birthday and to say how proud I am of his success in sobriety. I admire you very much.

Also, Eddy B - my best wishes, thoughts, prayers to you in your ordeal. Had no idea.

Gotta go. Hair appointment AND 2 days and a wu for Las Vegas, Sin City. Loved that Sinatra quote... hope to prove him wrong this time.

Dennis said...

Lois in Vegas?? Could threaten the very fabric of the time-space continuum. I'll be watching the national news...

Anonymous said...

I am trying a comment (#5) just to see if it is possible to post yet.

Lemonade714 said...

Must be something in the air Rose, as my eyes are going in the wrong direction as well. I am now supposed to see a retinologist which is a bit daunting. But they have not shut off the lights yet, so I am still here.

Judging puzzles is such a subjective process, as like Kazie, French words are gimmes and I know a bit of German, Spanish, Italian and Latin so foreign expressions make the puzzles easier for me. I really enjoyed the different ways Mr. Donaldson used people and places from different eras, as well as creating very fresh packaging like he used for SOBER and PAT, two simple words, well disguised.

I really appreciated the quotation from T.S. Eliot. And the information on Platinum, was a complete unknown, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, C.C. This is #6, but when I clicked publish it did without any sign in requested. Weird.
Plus my email address is aded to my own post. Weirder.

HeartRx said...

Lemonade, I am so sorry if I hurt your feelings! I loved your Opus cartoon as well, but you distracted me with the link to "Cantelope Island" that day, so I forgot to comment on it. Just blame it on senility...

And before I forget (AGAIN), congrats Splynter on your 73 month anniversary!

Lucina said...

Thank you for explaining platina; I had no idea and that's really interesting.

I forgot to tell you I enjoyed your connection to the Lone Ranger in the blog, PLATA, silver. Muy bien, amigo.

Your commentary when you blog is so meaty and pithy it would not be possible to mention all your links.

Frenchie said...

Good Morning C.C., Argyle and folk,
Live it up, Splinter! Make this one your best.
Good Wed. level puzzle. What a fun theme! I've never really seen a full infomercial but I have seen the Billy Mays, "as seen on TV ones." I love recording shows so I can FF through the commercials.
I like all the 2-3 word (compound words) answers. They're fun!
What a fun write up, JB, I was giggling away!
Beautiful music! 45. "__ the G String": Bach work : AIR ON Thanks for that link!
65. MI and LA : STS. Abrv n cl & ans. Sts. of the U. S. tricky...I thought do ray me fa so la ti do. stumper.
@Daffydill, in journalism, all of those must be in place and as early in the article as possible. If all in the first paragraph, all the better!
(CNN) -- Yet another round of winter weather (what) was bearing down on the Southeast (where) on Wednesday(when) after coating parts of the nation's snow-weary midsection in white. etc. Many people don't read past the first paragraph so they can get the gist at a glance.
Best of health to all today.
I'm out.

Bill G. said...

Dang! I wish you guys could have joined me for lunch. I rode my bike a couple of miles south to the Hermosa Beach pier. I sat outside under the blue sky and enjoying a gentle sea breeze. I had a double macchiato, cream of carrot soup and a turkey and artichoke panini. Very pleasant.

Congratulations Splynter on both counts. Excellent!

Clear Ayes said...

Eddy B, you posted a while back that your retinopathy was getting worse. I know very little about it, other than what Wikipedia has to say, but I wish you the best.

ARBAON, does your passenger have retinopathy? If you have explained in the past, I apologize in advance for my forgetful nature.

Lemonade, you have had ongoing problems for a long time too. We are all hopeful about your meeting with the retinologist.

If the positive energy from this group has any say-so, we will hear good news from everyone who has medical problems.

Abejo said...

Good Evening, Folks. Greetings from Alexandria, VA. Thanks to Sam Donaldson for a good puzzle. Thanks to JzB for a nice write-up. Could not check all your links due to my time constraints, but I know thye were great. Happy Birthday Splynter.

First, just to get this puzzle, I had to pay $3.00. That's OK. I got through it with some deep thinking. It was not easy. My biggest problem was I got the answer IMBUE wrong. I had EMBED. That goofed me up for the first theme clue and the entire NW corner.

Someone asked about MI and LA. Those are States. Michigan and Louisianna. MI and LA. The answer was STS.

I learned the spanish word for silver, PLATA. Never knew it before.

Enjoyed the clue for YOKES.

I, also, thought the war should have been capitalized (28A).

Had no problem with ZED. Grew up near Canada and they use that term as well. Heard it all my life. Also use it as Masons in Pennsylvania.

I have seen the Cal-Neva Casino at Tahoe. I worked at Stateline, NV a couple times.

See you all tomorrow. Hope I have the $3.00 to print the crossword.


Grumpy 1 said...

Lemonade714, I think we've all had that situation of linking/posting something really profound and not getting a single comment. Then the next time post something that you really wonder if it's worth posting and twenty people will comment. No accounting for the lack of refinement of some posters, I guess. LOL

For the record, I enjoy the Opus links and most of the others, whether I comment or not.

HeartRx said...

BillG, you really know how to rub salt in the wound ! Right now it is 22 F here, with a wind chill of 9 degrees. The cats just snub their noses at me when I open the door to see if they want to go outside. Believe me, I would give ANYTHING to have lunch with you in such lovely surroundings...a hot dog would even sound good when served up like that ;-D

Abejo - send me an email, and I will attach tomorrow's puzzle for you, ABSOLUTELY FREE ("ONLY 29.95 for shipping and handling") LOL !!

dodo said...

I enjoy most of the links; the problem I have is that the videos keep stopping and starting(0r not) to a point that I get impatient and turn them off before they're finished. Does anybody else have that problem? When I go to You Tube on my own, I don't have a problem, just when I get them from links.

Gunghy said...

My ex-wife took a group of seventh graders to the Yucatan many years ago. Ever since then, we have been unable to refer to the ruins as anything but chicken pizza. That's what the kids christened it.

I should have enough good taste to forgo this, but... (...But good taste and Gunghy have nothing in common but the G.) When Lemonade mentioned Retinologist, I read it as rectalogist. For a brief moment, I really wondered what that had to with eyes.

Obviously, I didn't ski hard enough today.

Lemonade714 said...


Now that is an in depth look at my eyes! Really examining the problem from every angle...

Ladies, thank you. I was just teasing, in my best Opus imitation; sarcasm is one of my many character flaws. The other is commenting on the weather in So.Fla in the winter time

ciao chow

Hahtoolah said...

Gungy: I had to laugh at your comment to Lemonade. Years ago I was teaching a college microbiology course and gave a quiz to the class. I don't remember the question I asked, but I certainly remember the answer one student offered: "That bacterium is an oral strep of fecal origin."

Argyle said...

Dodo, I have the same problem. I often turn the sound off and minimize YouTube. After the link runs through once, I bring it back up and hit replay and it works fine...except I forgot to turn the volume back on!

Anyway, I'm on an older computer, single drive Dell, running Windows XP and using Internet Explorer browser.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, Well, my first post was obliterated when I clicked on Preview. It also says that I will be asked to sign in when I publish my comment.

I know that Jayce says he usually copies his comment before publishing, so I'll be doing the same from now on.

I did enjoy the puzzle today and skipped and hopped around the first time through the puzzle. After getting a few downs, the infomercial quote started to become clear.

I had a few lookups in my CW dictionary today but most unknowns, such as Dolph, nad Tymes were filled in with the perps.

Gunghy said...

Hahtool, you may have set off a fire storm, you just reminded me that I have a document where I added student answers and comments for years. Things like, "I'm not thinking, I'm arguing." It's at home, so you are safe until Monday.

It does remind me of the time a famous firm based in Detroit first opened a plant in Alabama.
Billy Bob applied for a fork lift operator job at the new plant. A northern transplant applied for the same job and since both applicants had similar qualifications, they were asked to take a test and led to a quiet room with no interruptions by the Manager.

When the results were in, both men had scored 19 out of 20. The manager went to Billy Bob and said, "Thank you for coming to the interview, but we've decided to give the other guy the job."

Billy Bob asks, "And why would you do that, are you a Carpet-Bagger? We both got 19 questions right. This being Alabama and me being from the South, surely I should get the job."

The Manager replied, "We have made our decision not on the correct answers, but on the question you got wrong."

Billy Bob said, "Tell me now, how would one incorrect answer be better than another?"

The Manager replied, "Simple. On question number 7 the other guy wrote down, 'I don't know.' You put down, 'Neither do I'."

Chickie said...

Interesting. I had to publish my post without previewing. When I hit publish I was sent to an "Establish a Blog page" where I had to sign in. Very different for me.

HBDay Splynter and Elissa.

Also Jazz, I had some great chuckles today with your blogging and links. Thanks.

My favorite clues today were Rd. Rabbits, and Back stroke? Both leading someone down the wrong path.

Rd. Rabbit was a gimme today. One of our daughters first car was a VW Rabbit.

Argyle, I get the same message when I want to Edit my work.

Have a great evening, everyone.

ARBAON said...

LM714 and CA: It`s macular degeneration :( It was "dry" in one eye until Tuesday`s check up.) We`ve had several shots in the "wet" eye and that has retarded it but as of now...there is no known cure. You both were kind to best wishes and prayers to you both.
A pot of homemade veggie soup and snow ice cream by the fire made us both feel better today...that and not having anywhere we had to go in this white mess!

Dudley said...

White mess. GRRR. I've been removing snow for more than a week now, including LOTS of roofs (rooves?).

So today I performed an experiment: I carefully trimmed a block of the snow on a flat part of my roof to a dimension of one square foot, and weighed it. It was 33 pounds. On that basis I calculate that the roof held - and I lifted - 9,000 pounds of snow.

No wonder my back is so d@*n tired.

Bill G. said...

Dudley, that's a lot of weight for a roof. Many houses in this area have a Spanish or Mediterranean style and have Spanish tile roofs. Because those are very heavy, the roofers always load the tiles onto the unfinished roof first for several weeks so the walls of the house can settle under the weight and avoid cracks in the plaster later.

Annette said...

Happy Birthday, Splynter! I hope you enjoyed your special day.

Dudley said...

Bill G - Yep, it's a lot of weight, but of course a northern roof is designed for it. The 1920 hemlock rafters in my roof have proven themselves.

Now in Australia I had a lot of fun pointing out to all comers just how their roof systems were inadequate to the feeblest of snow loads. They immediately wrote me off as a complete nutter and, true to Aussie tradition, handed me more beer. I love that place.

Seldom Seen said...

60d is awesome, Sr. and Jr. are both incredible people. And don't forget Birdie, the wife and mother.

A great baseball family.

Btw, Ken are their middle names. The first names are George.

WikWak said...

DENNIS: regarding Toothache Day--
I was at the dentist's office with my wife last night when I heard one of the ladies in the office say to the other, who was on the phone with a patient, "Tell her not to worry; the pain will ease up after it quits hurting."


Anonymous said...

I've been checking my answers on this site for awhile now, and just noticed today that there is a theme before each astute of me..not...however, there has never been a theme in my newspaper except for Sundays...Just wondering if the rest of you see a theme/hint in your paper !?

Argyle said...

Anon, I posted your question on Thursday's comments. I assumed that is what you intended to do.