Feb 2, 2011

Wednesday February 2, 2011 Bernice Gordon

Theme: OWIE's Pals - Common crossword answers (hence all capitalized) with the O?IE pattern serve as clues, resulting in four grid-spanning phrases.

20A. OPIE : CHILD IN MAYBERRY . "The Andy Griffith Show" boy. Played by Ron Howard.


43A. OKIE : MAN FROM MUSKOGEE. Does this refer to Merle Haggard's "Okie from Muskogee"?

58A. ODIE : GARFIELD'S FRIEND. Drooling dog.

C.C. here. Got up and found no post from Melissa. Hope she's safe.

I'll get the blog skeleton here so the post will be published in time. Will fill in more content later. (Updated at 5:50am: Blog is complete now. Thanks for the patience.)

Bernice Gordon is 96 years old, probably the oldest constructor in the world. Here is a fascinating article about her. Inspiring! (Correction; Ms. Gordon just celebrated her 97th birthday. Thanks, Rich.)


1. Purchases : BUYS

5. One way to cope : ADAPT

10. Key of Brahms's Symphony No. 3 : F MAJ. Got via crosses. Waiting for Jazzbumpa for the perfect link.

14. Midwest native : OTOE. Quite close to the O?IE pattern.

15. Speeder's downfall : RADAR

16. Attorney general under Clinton : RENO (Janet)

17. Long story : SAGA

18. African title of respect : BWANA. ''Call Me Bwana" .

19. Earth, in Essen : ERDE

23. China's Sun __-sen : YAT. Played a critical role in overthrowing the last emperor of China. He's the brother-in-law of Chiang Kai-shek.

24. Gallery administrator's deg. : MFA

25. Cry of success : YES

26. "Wait, there's more ..." : AND

29. Ring 5-Downs : REFS. Boxing ring I presume? And 5D. Settler? : ARBITER

32. Last: Abbr. : ULT

40. __-B: dental brand : ORAL

41. Trail : LAG

42. In charge of : OVER

48. Just fine, at NASA : A-OK

49. Hors d'oeuvre spread : PATE. Pâté de foie gras.

50. Fairbanks-to-Anchorage dir. : SSW

51. To the rear : AFT. So is ABAFT.

54. Afternoon break : TEA

56. Sportscaster Cross : IRV. Not familiar with the guy.

65. Leaf-to-branch angle : AXIL. Good illustration.

66. Threshing instrument : FLAIL

67. Sculptor's material : CLAY

68. Anatomical blood carrier : VENA.Vena cava.

69. Specialty : FORTE. I always have the stress on the second syllable.

70. Queen's home : HIVE. Fun fill for Melissa.

71. Blue-pencil : EDIT

72. Shore eagles : ERNES. TERNS too.

73. River to the North Sea : YSER


1. Northwestern pear : BOSC

2. Where Pioneer Day is celebrated : UTAH. Not aware of this holiday.

3. Teammate of Mickey and Whitey : YOGI. Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford.

4. Simmons alternative : SEALY

6. Early light : DAWN

7. "Bonanza" brother : ADAM

8. Flier until '91 : PAN-AM

9. Waiter's burden : TRAYFUL

10. Thrown in : FREE

11. Like Hood's men : MERRY. Robbin Hood.

12. Tennis great Agassi : ANDRE

13. Down under kids : JOEYS. Kangaroo's kids. "under" should be capitalized.

21. Thrown missile : DART

22. __ Cynwyd, Philadelphia suburb : BALA. No idea.

26. Tiny particle : ATOM

27. Dragsters' org. : NHRA (National Hot Rod Association)

28. Campus VIP : DEAN

30. Kodak product : FILM

31. Rascal : SCAMP

33. "__'Clock Jump": Harry James recording : TWO O'. Total stranger to me.

35. A, in communications : ALFA. NATO alphabet. Spitzboov likes to say "Brave Zulu", meaning very good.

36. Cancún quencher : AGUA

37. Miles per gal., points per game, etc. : AVGs

38. Roger of "Cheers" : REES. His face looks familiar.

39. Made faces, perhaps : DREW. I don't get this clue.

44. Roast, in Rouen : ROTI

45. Painter of Southwestern scenes : O'KEEFFE (Georgia)

46. Puts down : STIFLES

47. "The King and I" actress, 1956 : KERR (Deborah)

51. Desert growth : AGAVE

52. Sent, in a way : FAXED

53. Pop singer Lopez : TRINI. "If I Had a Hammer" singer, though I prefer Peter, Paul and Mary's version.

55. "It's __ nothing!" : ALL OR

57. French hot springs town : VICHY. Oh, so the Vichy Government was named after this town.

59. In need of tuning : FLAT. Tuning what?

60. Do some mending : DARN. Love Kazie's darning avatar.

61. Location : SITE

62. "The Whiffenpoof Song" collegians : ELIs. "The Whiffenpoof" is Yale's a cappella group. Another unknown to me.

63. Church section : NAVE

64. Certain colorist : DYER. Locks changer again.



Argyle said...

Good Morning, Everybody.

For your enjoyment, a scene from "Cheers" with Robin Colcord (the AMAZING Roger Rees) and Frasier offer monologue advice to Woody. Clip(2:14).

HeartRx said...

Good Morning to our missing Melissa, C.C. et al.

Happy Ground Hog Day! I can only imagine the look on Punxsutawney Phil's face when he tries to get out of his hole this morning, and finds out that there's three feet of snow to dig through, and no one shoveled the driveway. Not only that, there’s an ice dam on his roof, and he fell on his a-- when he hit the icy spot at the top of the stairs. Hmmmph… wouldn’t blame him at all if he crawled back for another 6 weeks. I think I’ll join him.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, CC and Friends. Nice to "see" you this morning, CC, but I do hope MelissaBee is okay.

I had fun with this puzzle and was pleasantly surprised to see the theme clue was slightly different each time. (Sometimes theme clues in all CAPS are the same clue each time.)

My favorite clue was Made Faces = DREW.

I also liked Queen's Home = HIVE, although in retrospects it should have been so obvious.

I also tried Field instead of FORTE for Specialty. FORTE is eversomuch better.

Georgia OKEEFFE is known for her erotic flower paintings, as well as southwestern depictions.
Barry G.: I hope you are okay from your fall yesterday.

Happy Ground Hog Day! Will he see his shadow?

QOD: I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty. ~ Georgia O'Keeffe

Anonymous said...

Excited to see my home town in the crossword: Bala-Cynwyd, PA.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I'm still alive, in case anybody was wondering...

I'd like to blame my struggles with today's puzzle on yesterday's head incident, but I think it's really because this puzzle just wasn't very good. As always, it's the proper nouns that get me: BALA, REES, ERDE, YAT, IRV...

Ah, well. I won't dwell on the negative. Please be safe, everybody! Of the people who report to me directly, one is in Wisconsin with no power right now and three more are in Toronto facing "some roads closed 70km+ winds and wires down." We're due to get the brunt of the storm here today some time. Or maybe we're already getting it. I haven't had the courage to look outside yet this morning...

Argyle said...


What can you tell us about the name?

Anonymous said...

NE must be bad. No Dennis.

Tinbeni said...

C.C. Wonderful write-up & fill-in.

Well, Phil just declared it will be an Early-Spring, though I doubt that, at this moment, this is any relief for those of y'all that are snowed-in.

Bernice, Thank you for a FUN Wednesday.

OPIE, that CHILD-IN-MAYBERRY was my fave.

Never heard of the BALA Cynwyd suburb.
Then again, I doubt many here have heard of Ozona where it looks like I'll be moving to soon.

Yup, I put in Apse before NAVE, Serta before SEALY but the perps corrected those snafu's.

AXIL & ERDE were total wags.

NHRA, National Hot-Rod Association is known by our constructor!!!
You-Go-Girl !!!

Over-cast and 69 degrees here, chance of rain ...
no beach-walk today.
Tears ...

Lucina said...

Good morning, C.C. and all.

I hope Melissa Bee and others who are missing are safe and warm.

This was fun and filled rapidly even with a few unknowns and some errors which I didn't spot until the blog.

AXIL, YSER, and SSW completely escaped me as I must be still half asleep. I filled ARIL for AXIL which yielded FARED and I thought YAER was one of those strange Scottish rivers.

Thank you, C.C. for setting me straight.

I was surprised that OKEEFFE has two f's.

Made me smile:
settler? ARBITER

After reading last night's later posts I have only this to say:

Lois, you and Betty White! Talk about a dynamic duo!

Argyle, what a hero! The valiant knight ready to assist a lady!

Now I'm going back to bed as this is too early for me.

I sincerely hope those in the clutches of the snow are safe.

Have a lovely Wednesday!

Anonymous said...

@Argyle: We were always told that the name was Welsh because the area was orginally settled by Welsh Quakers.

Probably true because in the area there are other Welsh-like names like Bryn Mawr, Llanfair,and Welsh Valley Middle School.

I attended Bala-Cynwyd Jr High in the 60's (they were junior highs in the 60's; now they're middle schools) where we often argued about whether it was pronounced "kin-wid" or "kin-wood" and whether it should be hyphenated or not.

The area where I lived was very residential, upper middle class, with many large single-family, stone "colonial" style homes.

A fun area to live in the 60's with extremely easy access to Philadelphia via the commuter trains.

Haven't been back in over 25 years. And certainly never thought it would appear in a crossword puzzle!

Jeanne said...

Morning all,
Enjoyed the puzzle this a.m. even though I did it at 4:30 a.m. Seems insomnia is contagious through this blogging community.

Knew Bala Cynwyd since I live about 50 miles west of Philly. Don't know its origin though. We lost our electric about an hour ago and hooked up our generator so we have some lights but can't get the furnace to work. Could be a very cold day. Son's electric is off in northern NJ, also. Ice is covering everything and we also lost some large tree branches so I understand why we don't have electric. Could be an interesting couple of days.

Barry, I'm glad you are okay--try to take it easy today. Spring seems so very far away.

creature said...

Good Morning C.C. and all,

C.C. thanks; you are a wonder. Really enjoyed the article on Bernice; she's quite a wonder. I,too, hope Melissa's OK.

The puzzle was a delight for me.
The theme was hard/easy: I knew what it was, just didn't know how to say it.In my mind a perfect Wednesday difficulty.. I goofed on 52D and65A cross: FAXED/AXIL; more carelessness than not knowing.
Must start proof reading before going to corner.

fav word: scamp

I worked yesterday's,but didn't have time to post. Liked it and enjoyed Al's write-up.Just read the posts.

Glad Barry's OK.

Love Lois' new avatar; what a great memory! Your post was a delight; I always enjoy!

Thinking of all my snow and ice laden friends; stay warm and safe.

Hope to get back later.

Have a nice day everyone.

creature said...

Tinbeni, Ozona ?! moving there really? TEARS? Is for your move?
Please fill in the blanks. Thought you were settled for a couple of years, perhaps.

Abejo said...

Good Morning Folks! What a Day! I really enjoyed the crossword from Bernice Gordon. I had no idea she was 96 years old (young). What an inspiration! Thank you to Argyle for including that interview as a part of this morning's Blog.

Well, I got up at 4:00, printed the crossword, did it, and headed to work. Bad idea. I caught the train, but the bus was not running. I should have checked first. So, I walked home from the station I took the train to, about 2 1/4 miles. No big deal. It is still snowing BIG TIME here. I will be shoveling all afternoon.

I considered 39D as DREW pictures of people or faces. I also considered FLAT as a piano that needed tuning.

Some of the words I thought were quite clever: ARBITER, STIFLES (thought of Archie Bunker and Edith), FLAIL.

The theme answers were pretty easy once I had a few crosswords. The Merle Haggard song "Okie from Muskogee" is one of my all time favorites.

Well, happy Groundhog Day. I never visualized this as a holiday from work, but this year it is. My wife is still in Pennsylvania, kind of stuck with this weather. She is busy, however, working on the paperwork concerning her father's death. He died last Friday night. She was with him when he passed. No service at this time due to the weather. Will have a memorial in the summer.

Thanks for posting, C.C.


creature said...

Tinbeni, found that you are just moving up the road. Hope you enjoy it.

Lemonade714 said...

I am always blown away by Bernice's new puzzles, simply because it is so wonderful for her to have kept her skills. Maybe I will do one puzzle before I turn 96.

My thoughts for all of you in the path of horrific weather, and to Dennis and MB, hope all is good.

C.C., amazing work to put this together with links.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

The last thing i expected to be doing today was cyber spacing with all you good people. So far, the storm has not been as bad as predicted, but it goes on, so who knows what will happen.

Did the puzzle around 4:00 AM. Hand up for another who couldn't sleep.

I enjoyed this puzzle and solved it easily, but with a lot of perp help, Axil, vena, flail, and otoe were the main beneficiaries. Settler/arbiter was my favorite clue.

CC, Irv Cross is a former pro football player. Spent most of his career with the Eagles. After he retired, he became a sportscaster. then was Athletic Director at Idaho State U, and then back to sportscasting. He may have retired by now.

Outside is looking like a scene from Dr Zhivago. The ice seems to be melting , but I'm still expecting the worse. It's supposed to get wicked cold.

Barry, good to hear you doing OK. Everyone else be safe.

melissa bee said...

thanks for all your well-wishes, yes, i'm fine, aside from feeling like an idiot. i spent most of the day packing yesterday and then got an appointment for a private client (3 people in the same house just home from skiing - massage emergency ;)) that i couldn't turn down. got home late and went directly to bed - totally forgot i was scheduled to blog. it would sound so much better if i could blame it on a blizzard or a concussion (glad you're okay barry g) - but it was just forgetful me.

thank you c.c. for being so gracious, sorry for being such a dolt.

Tinbeni said...

Dunedin-Ozona-Palm Harbor make up what I like to think is the "best part" of Pinellas County ... that peninsula across from Tampa.

When you "throw-in-the-tourists" at any one time, there are over a million people in this tiny county ... but the D-O-P area is like living in a small town.

The relocation of Villa Incognito is necessitated since I have almost "wrapped-up" my best friend, Charlie's, Estate.

Plus I think it is time that I live somewhere where I am NOT the youngest person (by 15 years) in the neighborhood.

(At 58, that was a 'strange' sentence to type).

Hahtoolah said...

CC: a musical instrument would need tuning when it's sound is flat.

Dick said...

Good morning CC and all, my respect for you continues to grow. To get out of bed and realize that Melissa had not blogged, do the blog, add the links and post it at the appropriate time is incredible.

As to the puzzle it was smooth sailing until I got to the bottom half and then the problems began. I did not know rot”, Okeeffee, Vichy, axil and vena which created some havoc for me. However, a few wags and some perp help got me through to the end, but it was not easy.

My favorite clue was scamp and I liked it because my mother called me that very often.

We got lucky here last night as the storm was not as severe as predicted. In fact, it is quite warm now, 49 degrees, but they are calling for lots of snow this afternoon and tonight. All of the ice from the storm is melted now and the tree limbs have returned to their normal position.

Hope you all have a great Wednesday.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Smooth sailing in the puzzle department. The grid-spanners didn't fill in right away, but fast enough to establish lots of perps. Had the usual trouble with names, except for Janet RENO. All in all a nice midweek effort.

I haven't gone outdoors yet. It looks bleak. This will be a long, tiring day.

Dick said...

Dudley, from yesterday, yes I serviced Arnold Palmer's Aero Commander, but under the supervision of a licensed A&P mechanic. I was not a licensed mechanic. Abejo also serviced the same airplane as a line attendant at the Erie airport.

John Lampkin said...

Melissa's stock just went up for being honest and straightforward. Cheers!

Thanks C.C. for yet again being on the ball.

Wow! That article about Bernice Gordon made my day. Congratulations to her for all her awards and recognition and for creating fun offerings like today's.

For the record though, my friends, there are many many constructors older than Bernice. However, they are all dead.

Abejo said...

To: Melissa Bee: Not too many Midas Touches, I hope.


Nice Cuppa said...

@Anonymous et al

The original Welsh settlers would have pronounced "Cynwyd" as "CUNOO-ID" I think, with the last 2 vowels (w and y are vowels in Welsh) clipped together almost as a dipththong. Thus:

"C" is always hard (=K)
"Y" is pronounced as a short 'U' except when it is in the last syllable, when it is a short 'I'.
"W" is pronounced as a short 'U' or maybe stretched to 'OO' as here as part of a diphthong.

The "correct" pronunciation of a town is of course whatever the majority of local inhabitants choose to call it.

FYI, the Welsh word for Wales is "CYMRU", pronounced "KUMRI". You may not be surprised to learn that CYMRU is Celtish for "Land of the Comrades" while WALES is Anglo-Saxon for "(Land of the Bloody) Foreigners".

It's all a matter of perspective.


MH said...

This was a fun puzzle that I was able to complete unaided. There were a lot of words that I didn't know but able to guess correctly from the perps. Pretty impressive that it was constructed by a person in her 90's!

Out here in California we are having great weather so my best wishes go out to those in the midwest who are suffering from the storm. I'll be off-line for a few days while I'm skiing in Colorado. TTFN!

Oh, one last thing: I've heard FORTE pronounced as "fort" rather than for-tay' - don't know which is correct though.

melissa bee said...

john lampkin, thank you.

abejo, no.

Grumpy 1 said...

Happy hump day, solvers all. A big thanks to CC for "filling in" for Sleeping Bee this morning.

The only spot that I had trouble with was the crossing of VICHY/YSER. I had ODER for the river, realized those Whiffenpoofers were ELIS, not ELID, made that change and thought OSER looked like it could be right. I just couldn't accept VICHO though and started mentally running the alphabet until "Y" rang a bell.

I had a pretty good idea about what the theme entries were referring to, but needed some perps to get the phrase. Fortunately there were enough easy crossings to point me in the right direction.

I'm hoping I'm still solving CW's at 96. I'll leave the constructing to others though.

Hey Tinman, are you finding it tough to outrun all of those 70+ cougars around Villa Incognito? At least you have enough sense to relo to the Ozona here in FL and not the one in TX.

75 and sunny right now, forecast to be about the same for the next week. What, me gloat?

Anonymous said...

MB is the prettiest girl in this forum.

carol said...

Hi everyone;

I enjoyed most of this, but the bottom half really had me struggling! I had my V-8 cans at the ready and needed them!

Unknowns:FMAJ,IRV,VICHY,ROTI,REIS(I've never watched Cheers), BALA, REFS (I just plain did not understand the clue to 29A, and still don't).

HeartRx:(6:02a) funny Phil comment.
I heard he did not see his shadow so spring is on the just might not see it until sometime in May.

Lois: I feel so foolish about my comment last night regarding your avatar...I just didn't recognize Betty White. (I have trouble that way)
After reading the comments, I went back and looked again, and sure enough I could see my error. I would love to meet her, she has been a favorite of mine since she started on TV with "Life with Elizabeth".

Barry G: I am so glad you feel better this morning, but please be aware of anything that doesn't 'feel' right. Bumps on the noggin' can have effects later.

31 and windy here....brrrrr. It's sunny though, so our ground-hog (really a hedge hog named Dave) saw his silly shadow and went back to sleep).

Barry G. said...

Barry G: I am so glad you feel better this morning, but please be aware of anything that doesn't 'feel' right. Bumps on the noggin' can have effects later.

Hmmmm... I wonder if that could explain why I'm suddenly fluent in Hungarian?

daffy dill said...

Thanks, C.C. Glad you are all right, Melissa.

Fun puzzle and not too hard. Hood's men threw me for a while because I was thinking John B. Hood, CSA commander from Texas. Entered Rebel first, but when perps gave me the ERR, I changed it to MERRY. Did not know ROTI or REES, but perps got those, too. I liked the theme clues because I was able to fill them in quickly. Didn't even read the BALA Cynwyd clue because it filled itself. Not a speed run, but a very doable puzzle.

Our temperature is hovering at 8 degrees with wind chill of -8. We had a blackout this morning lasting about 10 minutes. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has called for rolling blackouts over the entire state because the excessive usage is straining the grid. I don't know how soon our next one will be around.

Barry, I'm glad your accident wasn't worse than it was. Take care.

Had another restless night, waking at 2, 3, 4, etc. A few more nights like that and I will be wasted. My sympathies to all those who have ongoing problems with insomnia.

Lucina said...

In a boxing ring the arbiter (settler of disputes) is a referree, REF.

You chose the best description for me to imagine the snow scene, from Dr. Zhivago. It's embedded in my memory.

Please do take care; head trauma can be felt much later.

Splynter said...

Hi There~!

This puzzle moved along just fine for a Wed., and I, too, did the ODER river thing, and of course, had no clue about a French town - the whole link of steps, IRV, KERR, VICHY (VICHY makes sense now)to YSER, had to red-letter to see my error.

Funny, but I went to Google to see if ODER was a river - one of those CW things that I never actually paid attention to.

BarryG, take care - we got rain on Long Island, even at 4am when I left for work - and was glad that it was. Still raining, and now large sheets of snow from the roof are sliding off - don't need any help from those You Tube types....

I figure it all freezes tonight, and tomorrow is going to be even more interesting at 4am.


Husker Gary said...

Happy Ground Hog Day C.C. et al, I have just gotten back in from blowing snow and my Omaha World Herald isn’t here so I did the puzzle on line with no red letter help. I don’t like it but waddaya gonna do? Having a big machine obligates me to help neighbors and I enjoy that. They reciprocate when they can and helped out Joann when I was in Florida. I was thinking of Barry G the whole time and was careful! Hope you’re okay Barry!

Ground Hog Day is known astronomically as a cross-quarter day – halfway between first days of winter and spring. It is below zero here, sunny, strong winds but not much new snow.

-Mattress that starts with SE, SERTA, nope!
-Two things I remember about our trip to Dallas, it was very cold like it is down there now and Janet RENO was wrestling with the Branch Davidian mess over in Waco
-Sure I wanted Ring to be a verb and not a boxing venue. How do you ring an arbiter?
-A-OK was the “cool” phrase of my youth! No, it was NOT 23 Skidoo!
-I can’t imagine any PATE that would make liver palatable. I know some peeps love it but I can’t stand the texture, color, appearance, smell or taste of liver. My dad loved it!
-First the JOEYS had to suffer through floods and now a CAT-5 cyclone. Kazie, what’s goin’ on?
-I believe KODAK has abandoned film. Remember waiting a week to find out the picture you took was horrible? Oh yeah, we waited for TV’s to warm up too.
-Two F’s in O’Keeffe took a while.
-Wanted OBIE to be from Star Wars. BTW, I only enjoyed the first one and was fascinated by Carrie Fisher’s HBO revelations about her role in that movie. e.g. George Lucas told her, “Princess Leia would never wear a bra!”
-Melissa, those of us who never make mistakes were really upset at you! All right, none of us are in that group! With the weather being what it is, we wondering if you an climatological issue or had “rubbed someone the wrong way.” Glad you’re OK!

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone.

Kudos to C.C. for doing the write up
unexpectedly and on time!
And I surely agree with John Lampkin's compliment to Melissa B. for being honest and straightforward. And so glad you're OK.

Barry G., I also agree with comments to take it easy after such a bump on your head.

Did pretty well on the puzzle. DH led me astray when he told me that the Bonanza brother was Hoss. That screwed up some correct answers.
As to the theme answers, the only one I could grok was Garfield's friend after a few letters from perps.

As others have said, stay warm and safe up there.


Anonymous said...

The puzzle was doable, and I completed it - (yay !) - thats like getting an or--sm ! ( what with my medications, I will gladly accept all and any substitutes - ).

First of all, I would like to compliment C.C. on stepping upto the plate, and completing the blog. We dont see her so often nowadays, so it sometimes easy to forget - and it is at times like these, that reminds, me for one, of the dictum by Harry Truman's desk - 'The Buck stops here' - running a blog is a very responsible position - I can imagine atleast 300 people who would have been sorely disappointed if the daily blog did not appear - its almost second nature to us now. I remember, one of my close relatives, who slept and 'lived' in a hospital in the last snow blizzard of '78 - for 3 days straight - 'because the operations ( and the show - ) must go on'. No ifs, ands or buts.

I was amused by the word 'roti' ( in the French !). From Somalia thru the Middle East, and especially in S.E. Asia, and even in Malaysia and Singapore ( and in Guyana and Trinidad - ) 'roti' is a universal name for an unleavened whole wheat flat bread - much like a tortilla -which is generally roasted on a frying pan. It would be interesting to research where the original term came from ...

Rich Norris said...

Hi all,

Bernice Gordon celebrated her 97th birthday last week. I'm not aware of anyone older who's ever had a puzzle published, and neither is Will Shortz, whom I e-mailed this morning (we editors do speak to each other occasionally). For now, Bernice and the LA Times have the "oldest constructor" record, but the NY Times will surpass us later this year when Will publishes another Bernice puzzle.


JimmyB said...

Thanks, C.C.: you are amazing. By the time I checked in I wouldn't have known the blog had even skipped a beat.

And that Bernice Gordon is one incredible woman as well. Congrats to Bernice and Rich for the current record.

I almost felt like I had an unfair advantage this morning: having gone to dental school in Philadelphia BALA and IRV came easily. We lived downtown but would drive to BALA Cynwyd to find a decent supermarket. And IRV Cross lived in our neighborhood: I would often see him walking his dog in the morning while I was waiting for my bus.

Abejo - I am sorry to hear of your recent loss. My condolences.

Belated birthday greetings to BillG and Joshua. And Joshua, you better keep an eye on your dad.

JD - Since we haven't heard from GarlicGal, I may have been the only one to attend the Silicon Valley Puzzle Fest. My report:

On Saturday I attended three presentations: 1) "Cryptic Crossword Refresher" with Wei-Hwa Huang (entertaining presenter but Cryptic Crosswords are too esoteric for me and waaaaaaayyy beyond my skill set); 2) "Rules of Crossword Construction" with Kenneth Berniker (my favorite part was the email back-and-forths between constructor and editor); and 3) "Variations on a Theme" with Mark Diehl (he covered the basic themes out there, with his favorite examples).

On Sunday I participated in the Adult Crossword Preliminary Rounds (yes, there was a kids' division as well: unfortunately I was past the age limit). We had 20 minutes each to do this week's NY Times Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday puzzles (the top 3 would attempt Thursday's puzzle in the final). After zipping through the Monday in 10 minutes I got a false sense of security, failing to notice that most of the crowd was done in 5 or 6 minutes. I got stuck in the SW on the Tuesday puzzle, and barely filled in half of the squares on the Wednesday. But in sum it was a blast and I'd gladly embarrass myself again next year.

eddyB said...

Hi all.

Way to go Bernice!
For those counting, 46 days untill Mar 20th.
Loved the APOD photo today.

Have grass to mow before I sleep.

Do take care.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to compliment and thank Bernice Gordon for a very nice puzzle. Thank you. I enjoyed it very much.

That you are 97, and continue to construct is amazing (!!!) - May God grant you a continued healthy and interesting life - It must be your genes and 'good karma'.

I saw your picture in the interview, linked in by C.C. - you don't look a day over 29 !

windhover said...

Anonymous @ 10:04:
May I suggest that in the future you post under the sobriquet of Mr. Obvious (or Ms. If that's the case?

Glad the tete is fine today. How's the back. When we had our ice event two years ago, I was walking down the road to fill the outdoor wood furnace of a neighbor who was stranded 25 miles away. My feet went out from under me so thoroughly that I made a one point landing on the area between my shoulder blades. My head never touched, but it took, literally, about eight months for the pain to resolve.

I guess the Hungarian could come in handy someday, the only thing I learned (a la Calvin & Hobbes) was several new combinations of old curse words.
Hope you're better.

Argyle said...

Be kind, windhover. So far today we have had an excellent crop of anons, but I do wish they'd pick a name.

Anonymous said...

I think Jeannie is the prettiest....

WM said...

Just wanted to thank C.C. for linking the article on Bernice...wonderful.

Great puzzle and I completed it faster than I thought I would. Clever, fun, but almost leaning into the Thursday/ Friday area in difficulty.

I hope all the puzzlers in the storm path stay safe and warm. I have also been following the typhoon in Australia as I have several FB friends located there...Queensland just can't seem to catch a break.


windhover said...

I was merely pointing out that, as in Lake Wobegon, all our female bloggers are beautiful, most likely even those who choose to remain anonymous, and that referring to the lovely MB, aka Mustang Mel, as pretty, or prettiest, is such an obvious fact that the commenter should be known as Mr. Obvious.
But I will try to be "nice".

Anonymous said...

Beauty is skin deep ... dedication and righteousness go much deeper and never age.

kazie said...

I'm a late arrival today due to several things, among them lots of snow blocking the door on our deck and more snow blown into the front porch. It snowed and blew all night, but now it's bright and sunny. I hope the groundhog was out early enough to miss the sun.

We got up and at it at 6:30am, the paper still hasn't arrived, but I did print the CW and did it. Very few problems, but then I got sidetracked with other obligations and am only now getting here. I'll read other comments later.

I'm glad you like the darning egg. I keep thinking I should change it to something more personal, but it's so brightly colored I end up leaving it there.

My only error was misspelling MUSKOGIE/REIS, despite thinking today would be harder because I didn't know BALA, ADAM, FMAJ, YAT, IRV, or NHRA. Guessed ELIS and had APSE before NAVE.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Glad that Melissa Bee is OK. We all have lapses once in a while.

I really wanted (13D) ANGORA for "Down under kids". I was thinking of Angora goats and their lovely downy hair. I was totally off base and ANGORA was too long anyway. I had to wait for some of the perps to help, although F MAJ was a tough one.

Another sticker was the cross of (22D) BALA and (32A) ULT. I've never been to Philadelphia or its suburbs. I should correct that one day. Philadelphia is a mighty historical city.

I am amazed that Bernice Gordon is still storing up words. I seem to forget two for every new one I learn. (65A) AXIL was totally new.

I enjoyed the theme phrases very much. It's a good thing she left OWIE for C.C.'s blogging. I couldn't think of any other O-IE words that could have been used.

I hate to correct you WH, but in Lake Wobegon, "All the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average." I can understand your misunderstanding concerning this blog however. I've never seen an unattractive woman, a weak man or a less than clever and adorable child. Even our pets are outstandingly affectionate and every one of them could save Timmy from the well.

BTW, do you listen to "Mr. Obvious" on the Bob and Tom Show....totally hilarious!

melissa bee said...

finally got to the puzzle, what fun! now i'm doubly sorry i missed blogging it - loved the four grid spanning theme answers, and what a delightful article about bernice gordon. i can only hope that by the time i reach her age, my mind will be half as sharp.

like seeing vichy - we have a vichy treatment room at the spa. it's a steam room with candles, music, and a huge swinging arm studded with shower heads that sprays over the guest on the table. we basically scrub 'em up and hose 'em off. popular treatments.

just had a half a bag of pepperidge farm cookies before i remembered ... those aren't the kind i like. KIDDING. but i think i'll pin a note on my shirt so i won't forget to pick up my son from school.

clear ayes, angora was a great guess - maybe someone's taking notes.

p.s. abejo, thanks for the suggestion - i'll try to remember to pick some up for tonight.

Marge said...

Hi all,
It was too late last night to post as I didn't even get to the puzzle until after supper.I felt it was a little hard for a Tuesday.

My husband copied today's for me as the papers were very late because of the storm. I had difficulty with it too, but enjoyed it. I liked the long phrases, like Boy From Mayberry.

I met Georgia O'Keeffe when I lived in New Mexico in the mid-fifties. She came to an event in Espanola to talk to us and show us a film. She had been on the TV show Queen for a Day and talked about that. She lived in New Mexico for many years.

I just had a phone call from my son. He said he was unhappy. Why? Because he just got a letter asking him to join AARP. He will be 50 in August. I laughed and laughed. He doesn't feel he's that old.

We had snow Mon. night, my DH cleared it yesterday so I could go to the dentist. It was about 4 inches of new snow at that time. Last night we got another four or five. He called someone with a pickup to clean most of it today. I was glad as it is too much this time for a mower with a blade on front.

We have Jimmy the groundhog in Sun Prairie near Madison. He didn't see his shadow because they canceled it. Madison had more snow than we did.

Good afternoon all!

Barry G. said...

Glad the tete is fine today. How's the back.

Well, I landed squarely on my coccyx and it's still sore. But the rest of my back is fine. Or, at least, it was fine. I just came back from shoveling all the slush before it could freeze solid and right now everything is sore.

Oh -- and the weather forecast is calling for yet another storm to hit tonight and dump another 4-8 inches of snow on us. Enough, already!!!

Dennis said...

Afternoon, gang - been a fun day so far. Ice all over the place, branches/trees down, power out, I'm totally whipped. And, it's been quite a few years between 'Marine baths'.

Really fun puzzle today; this is one amazing woman. Haven't read the posts yet, so I'll hold off commenting until I do, to avoid repetition.

we basically scrub 'em up and hose 'em off.

Yes, I'd like to sign up immediately for one of those, assuming I could reciprocate in kind.

Marge said...

Sorry! Sorry!
Georgia O'Keeffe was on the show THIS IS YOUR LIFE, not Queen for a Day.

kazie said...

Sorry for your wife's loss.

Barry G,
Glad too to hear you're OK.

Forte would have the 'e' pronounced if Latin, silent if French. Webster gives both pronunciations for the meaning used in today's CW, but the pronounced 'e' for the musical reference.

Yes, the Oder is a river, but it empties into the Baltic rather than the North Sea. Part of the old Oder/Neiße line.

Glad you're back. Thoroughly understandable though, going to bed late and tired. It takes a lot to wake me in the morning after a late night too.

I enjoyed the Cheers clip. That was always a must-see for us. I don't know why there are so few genuinely funny shows left.

Now I've got to find Lois' post about Betty White last night--I saw the avatar pix, but couldn't find an explanation earlier.

kazie said...

I found it! What good fortune to meet her!

I also must congratulate Bernice Gordon not only on her recent birthday, but on a great puzzle! Just right for Wednesday and fun to do.

Lucina said...

I just read the article about Bernice Gordon. Yowza! What a remarkably accomplished woman she is! It is a marvel that she continues to construct crosswords.

And she looks great!

Congratulations, Rich Norris, on today's accomplishment.

Thank you for posting that article.

crazyhorse said...

Good afternoon all

Had to print the puzzle out as no newspapers or mail delivered today. I liked this puzzle and solved without any outside help. I certainely admire this constructor at her age. My own mother is almost 94 and very sharp mentally. She still solves puzzles every day. The mind is good, but the body is starting to give out.

Please be careful with your head. As an old nurse, head injuries can surface later with not so good results. You may want to see your physician for safety sake.

Our storm last night was pretty impressive. I could not open the front door as the snow was about 3 feet deep. My wonderful neighbor plowed out my driveway as it is quite long out here in the country of northwest Indiana. My large dog is also not to fond of trying to go outside in snow up to her you know what!

Stay safe and warm everyone!

Dick said...

Wow! The cold front arrived here with a vengeance about 10 this morning. At 9:45 it was 47 degrees, at 10:45 it was 34 degrees and by noon it was snowing so hard you could not see across the street. Sure glad the snow did not last too long.

Happy to learn that MB has been found and is OK.

windhover said...

Absolutely! That's where Mr. Obvious came from.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Thanks, Bernice for a fun puzzle. I had the most trouble in the top center.

C.C. - You're a hero.

Melissa - We Wednesday bloggers are such kindred spirits.

Just skimmed the long comment string. Seems like everyone is OK.

I confidently put in ONE O' cock jump. Near as I can tell, the same song - straight forward blues.

I'll have to admit I'm not familiar with Brahm's 3rd.
Sounds good, though

Barry -
This is for you.

We got about 7 inches of new snow overnight, and another two or so since.

Stay safe and warm.


Abejo said...

To: Nice Cuppa.

Thanks for the Welsh language explanation. I enjoy that sort of thing. I am part Welsh. (as well as many other ethnic backgrounds)


LaLaLinda said...

Hello Everyone ~~

Thank you for being here this morning, C.C. I don't know how you do what you do! Congratulations to Bernice Gordon. What a great accomplishment!

I enjoyed the puzzle and finished it with no look-ups, but some of the four-letter answers didn't come easily. They've already been mentioned by others.

Glad to see that most people here seemed to get through the storms without major problems. Here in CT things weren't quite as bad as had been predicted. With the falling temperatures, though, it'll be pretty icy tonight. As I'm typing this, another storm is being forecast for Saturday ... sigh.

Barry ~ hope things continue to be O.K. with you.

Stay warm and safe everyone!

Tinbeni said...

Grumpy 1
It isn't really "gloating" when we mention that, here in Florida, we are not having the wonderful experience of "2-feet of snow" ...

It was SOOOO overcast and humid here I almost put on the A/C.

Thanks for the info, I did not realize there was an Ozona in Texas.

Here, it is a coastal community made up of (probably) mostly former "Hippie's from the 60's" ...

GarlicGal said...

Hello All! Crazy week so far, but I did want to mention the Silicon Valley Puzzle Tournament.

@JimmyB my sister and I were there Sunday! I started out like gang busters. Monday puzzle 6 min./0 errors. Tuesday 11 mins./4 errors and then came Wednesday!!! I took the full 20 mins. and still had holes all over the grid-20 errors! My sister did way better. The one guy sitting at our table did come in 4th, though. Some folks sitting behind us were talking about going to the tournament in N.Y. Now they must be hard core!

I think I found you on the result sheet and you weren't that far below me. NEXT YEAR!

All you people in the cold climates be careful. Stay warm.

Clear Ayes said...

Many of you don't listen to the Bob and Tom Show (who can blame you?). There are others of us who would not miss an airing of their Mr. Obvious Show segment. If you are a long-time reader, first time poster, you may or may not be familiar with Mr. Obvious.

Anyway, what with the horrible weather our mid-westerners have been suffering, here's a little bit of Mr. Obvious and his caller, who had been having a problem with the snow blower. Hopefully it will make you feel better about your own weather related problems.

Dick said...

Thanks CA for the Mr Obvious, but I had a real life experience similar to that once. I borrowed a post hole digger from my cousin and started to drill 42 post holes. After two holes I went into the house for dinner and could not raise the fork to my mouth as my arms were too tired. I called my cousin and asked what I WAS DOING WRONG AND HE ASKED WHO IS HELPING you and I thought duh. Turns it was a two person machine

carol said...

CA: LMAO at the Mr. Obvious clip. I CAN believe some people would do that, I see them every day...I worry about the future. It isn't just snow blowers, it is so many things. As a society, we seem to be sliding down that slope and so much now panders to the lowest form of anything. We are so gullible, no wonder Madison Ave has a field day and keeps on pitching. Sigh, end of rant.

Dot said...

We found today's puzzle to be easier than either Monday's or yesterday's. I think because the names were not of currently popular people.

I'll tell Irv the fact that he is still solving puzzles is nothing to brag about. Not when there is a 97 year old constructor. Amazing!

Georgia O'Keeffe was born in Sun Prairie, WI just 7 mi. north of my home but I never heard of her until I spent a winter in NM.
Jimmy the groundhog is also from Sun Prairie. Although they canelled the public celebration, Marge, the mayor & Jimmy's caretaker did observe his emergence at sunrise this morning and he did NOT see his shadow. Hurrah! An early spring. I hope it starts as soon as this current storm ends. There are huge drifts in front of our garage door & front door as well as in the drive way so we have not even opened a door - let alone gone out. IF the paper got delivered it is still in the box. IF the mail carrier came, she couldn't get close to the box and the box is turned sideways, thanks to the snow plow.

After talking to relatives from Chicago and further South, I feel we're pretty lucky. I dread the -10 temp. that is forecast for tonight.


Unknown said...

Well guys, the challenge is on, like a pot of neck bones! All the lady bloggers must now publish a picture!
Aside from that, I too enjoyed the puzzle today.
We live not far from Mayberry (Mt. Airy), so the Opie was an easy one.
The rest were an even mix of knew and guess. Crosswords are growing on me. I started doing them when I joined AARP!

Clear Ayes said...

Not to worry Mom Speaks Out. Even without a photo, I am confident that you are the prettiest Virgo contributor who lives in Winston-Salem NC. :o)

I have changed my avatar...I was ready to do it anyway. I have to declare myself as the most attractive contributor whose birthday is July 6, 1942, whose husband's nickname is GAH and whose Timmy-saving Schipperke's name is Charley.

Concerning our he-manly contributors, I would never be so bold to name which man on this blog is (in my opinion only) the most attractive.

Bill G. said...

I knew I should have used a photo of me when I was younger...

I have been looking at some photos and videos of the storm (blizzard?) on MSNBC. Wow, it looks brutal. Good luck all.

Grumpy 1 said...

Well, I think I take the honors for the best looking gator on the blog. Avatar gator likes to sun in our back yard. He's juust a little guy... somewhere about eight foot long.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I'm finally back on track and have Monday through Wednesday puzzles all complete.
Today's puzzle was a lot of fun and I managed to complete it with only two mistakes. Misspelled Vichy/Vichi, so I had the Iser river not Yser.

Most of my problems were already commented on by others, so I'll not repeat.

I haven't read the blog, yet from Mon. and Tues. but will get to it tomorrow. After a quick trip to Southern Calif. we got home early yesterday evening and unpacking, fixing some dinner and catching up with the mail took the rest of my day.

Jimmy B., Thanks for the Crossword Puzzle Fest information. Our trip kept me from going. From the sound of the two days, it was a lot of fun. Maybe next year.

Tinbeni, I had to laugh when I Googled Ozona. The first few entries were for a bar named Ozona!

I was glad to see some of our people who are in the snow belt checking in today. Keep warm and stay safe. The news pictures looked unreal this evening.

Chickie said...

Also, I'm glad that MB is safe and sound. Thanks, C.C. for stepping in at the last minute. You never missed a beat.

The piece on Bernice Gordon was amazing. She is one special lady.

Dudley said...

Well, it's just about a wrap for today. We cleared a LOT of snow, including thousands of pounds from the roof. Netflix helped us relax with "Neptune's Daughter", not seen in years.

Good night everybody, stay warm!

Bill G. said...

So Chickie, where did you visit in southern California? Anywhere near us?

I thought I just felt a little earthquake. It would serve me right what with so many others having to put up with snow and cold weather.

Frenchie said...

Good Evening C.C., Argyle and Folk!

I am so impressed, Ms. Bernice Gordon! Beautiful work! What a fantastic story.

Being an artist, I enjoyed finding 5 art related clues. I went back to the link about Bernice and sure enough, she's a fellow artist!

24. Gallery administrator's deg. : MFA

67. Sculptor's material : CLAY Just today, a friend came by and dropped off my newly 'souped-up' potter's wheel. It was a kick wheel and he put a motor on it. I'm so excited! I am going to get a new bag of clay so I can try it out...I added that I now need a kiln built, (hint, hint!)

71. Blue-pencil : EDIT When I worked in graphic art, we used these. The blue was 'non-repro' was invisible to the camera when the art was photographed for print so you could use it to make notes on page placement, etc. More articulately stared, NON REPRO BLUE

39. Made faces, perhaps : DREW. C.C. I got this to mean 'sketched' the face image.

45. Painter of Southwestern scenes : O'KEEFFE (Georgia) Now, who doesn't adore Georgia O'Keefe's work?

I hope everyone has pulled through the latest onslaught of cold weather. Tonight is predicted to fall to 22 degrees right here in Scottsdale, AZ! BRRR!

I'm out.

Frenchie said...

correction: O'Keeffe
What is Precisionism? It is a style of painting in which an object is depicted realistically with an emphasis on the geometrical form of the object

ME said...

Crosswords do create some interest in me but only when I have got ample time to solve them !
Anyway I would to share this brainteaser link with you and your friends -