, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Thursday, March 10, 2011 Pamela Amick Klawitter


Mar 10, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011 Pamela Amick Klawitter

Theme:  Blade anagrams (shown in GREEN below), revealed in 59 Across: Street weapon, and a hint to the hidden theme in 17-, 23- and 48-Across: SWITCH BLADE. The word "switch" being a cryptic, or English crossword tip-off that an anagram is in play.

17A. Negotiation obstacle: DEAL BREAKER.

23A. Recovery sites: HOSPITAL BEDS.

48A. Most agree it should be reduced: NATIONAL DEBT.

Al here, with a fairly easy Thursday puzzle, I thought.  A few tricky clues, worthy of the day, and some fresh non-theme answers: Take that you canaries. A lot of the downs seemed pretty straightforward though. The theme was an interesting exercise for me today. It was once again something I had to ferret out after the puzzle was completed, and not so easy to see without the circles provided in the Across Lite puz file.


1. Calrissian of "Star Wars" films: LANDO. Played by Billy Dee Williams.  A scoundrel.  Not really evil, but not to be trusted.

6. Playground rejoinder: AM TOO.

11. Down: SAD. In Old English, this meant sated, or satiated, which passed through heavy with fullness and thus tired, finally emerging as unhappy.

14. Center of Florida?: EPCOT. Center as a building, not as a geography.

15. Pageant prop: TIARA.

16. __ mater: PIA. Perhaps a bit obscure: from Latin "tender mother" is the delicate innermost layer of the meninges, the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

19. Gallery opening?: ART.

20. PDQ relative: ASAP. Get 'er done Pretty Damn Quick, As Soon As Possible, STAT (Latin statim, immediately).

21. Palindromic fashion model: EMME. I'll just quote Wiki here to see if you spot the problem: "is largely recognized as the leading model in the profession"

22. Surgeon's patient, perhaps: TREE. Not just a chainsaw wielder, tree surgeons need to know local laws and regulations against removing certain species in the area, and be able to read survey maps in the case of legal neighboring boundary disputes over who "owns" the tree in question.

27. Chip away at: EAT INTO.

30. Paint choices: HUES. I was sure this would be OILS...

31. A and B, at times: PLANS. Drawings, schematics or charts on a flat surface (mathematically, a flat surface is a plane).

32. Holdup note?: LATE PASS. School permission slip.

36. 70s-'80s televangelist show "The __ Club": PTL. Praise the Lord (and pass the ammunition).

37. Vinegary prefix: ACETO. Latin vinum acetum "wine turned sour"

39. Be in the running: VIE. A form of Middle English envie "make a challenge," from Old French envier, from L. invitare (invite).

40. State capital component, often: SALES TAX. Capital as in money.

43. Old fallout source: A TEST. Video from 1953.

45. Apollo 11 destination: MOON. Go back far enough and the same word is used for moon and month.

46. Trading places: EMPORIA. Places for buying and selling, not a scene from the Prince and the Pauper.

52. Skunk's weapon: ODOR.

53. "Children of the Poor" author: RIIS. Jacob. I remember now looking him up previously, but forgot again. Muckraking journalist and photographer trying to help the impoverished in New York over 100 years ago.

54. Reason for the downfall of many kings?: ACES. Oh, playing cards.

58. __-secret: TOP.

62. Rollover subj.: IRA. Individual Retirement account.

63. Turn away: AVERT.

64. Kitchen tubes: PENNE. Hollow pasta.

65. Turk's topper: FEZ. Fezzes are cool if you're a Doctor Who fan...

66. Fills (up): GASES. Going up to $4 a gallon this summer?  What, are we living in Europe now?

67. Germs may lead to them: IDEAS.


1. Yeats's "__ and the Swan": LEDA. The swan was Zeus in disguise, who seduced Leda, and in turn bore Helen (of troy) and Polydeuces (Pollux, twin of Castor) about which an opera was written.

2. Copies: APES.

3. Sweet Sixteen initials: NCAA. National Collegiate Athletic Association. Yes, it's time for March Madness (basketball) again.

4. 7-Down athlete: DOLPHIN. with 7D. Home of a 4-Down: MIAMI.

5. Place to play favorites, briefly: OTB. Off-Track Betting.

6. Score direction after accelerando, perhaps: A TEMPO. Return to the original speed.

8. Words of aggression: TAKE THAT!

9. Rush find: ORE. Gold rush, not the radio personality.

10. Galley tool: OAR.

11. Fifth wheel: SPARE.

12. Broadcast: AIRED.

13. Some are blind: DATES.

18. Doctor's suggestion: REST.

22. Kitchen meas.: TBSP.

24. Come-__: lures.: ONS.

25. Bronco or Charger: AUTO. Looking for a football word, but no, Ford and Dodge vehicles.

26. "Taking Woodstock" director: LEE. Ang.

27. "House" actor Omar: EPPS.

28. Wasatch Mountains resort: ALTA.

29. One way to stand: TALL.

32. First name in comics villains: LEX. Luthor. One of the many LL initialed characters in Superman's life.

33. Say and mean: AVER. From Old French averer "verify from Latin ad- "to" + verus "true". Related word very, which also meant true.  Verily so, sire.

34. Speedy Gonzales assent: SI SI. Spanish.

35. __ precedent: SET A. What goes before (precedes) may be taken as a rule for later cases.

37. Loads: A TON.

38. Cops' favorite birds?: CANARIES. Canaries sing (tell all, confess).

41. Dubai big shot: EMIR.

42. Jack of "Barney Miller": SOO. Detective Nick Yemana, who made very bad coffee. Characters galore in this show, Barney Miller in his NY precinct was the updated Andy Taylor from Mayberry RFD.

43. NYPD broadcast: APB. All Points Bulletin

44. Beyond repair: TOTALED. There are no auto "accidents" anymore, they are now termed crashes.

46. Orders from above: EDICTS. Proclamations having the force of law.

47. Screen door material: MESH.

48. "__ you paid me!": NOT IF.

49. Hold precious: ADORE. To speak (and think) highly of, Latin ad + orare (root of orate)

50. Birthstone after opal: TOPAZ. A Hitchcock movie, A B52's song.

51. Petrol unit: LITRE. "English" spelling. Hopefully, I used the correct term, because the language is English. Cuppa? But if you want to be confused, or perhaps enlightened, have a look at this chart of how to refer to our cousins from across the pond.

55. Mr. Peanut prop: CANE. And a top hat.

56. Tracy Turnblad's mom in "Hairspray": EDNA. Played by John Travolta in the 2007 John Waters remake.

57. Gets it: SEES.

59. Show age, in a way: SAG.

60. Sen. Byrd's state: WVA. West Virginia.

61. Electronic storage density meas.: BPI. Bits Per Inch. A bit being the smallest datum, on/off, a 1 or a zero.  8 bits make a byte, the standard for grouping.  Each letter you read on a computer takes up 8 bits to store, except for some of the Asian character set, which are termed multi-byte characters.



Dennis said...

Good morning, Al, C.C. and gang - a surprisingly smooth Thursday solve, with just a bit of perp help needed. I actually surprised myself by unscrambling the first theme answer's circled letters, getting 'blade', and having 'switchblade' pop into my head immediately. Sometimes you get lucky.

As Al pointed out, lots of friendly clues today, and some very clever ones including 'State capital component, often', 'Holdup note?' and 'Reason for the downfall of many kings?'. Needed perps for 'pia mater' and for Tracy Turnblad's mom, but other than those, smooth sailing. Nice way to start the day.

Al, as always, very enjoyable, educational blog; thanks.

Today is Middle Name Pride Day. If they say so...

Did You Know?:

- In Victorian times, prostitutes occasionally wore pubic wigs to conceal the fact that they had diseases like syphilis.

Lemonade714 said...

Al, thank you for your usual erudite exposition. Love me anagrams, but having trouble seeing the circles, so while the fill was not too difficult, the theme hid. Appreciated the shout out to the Dolphins, and was stymied for a while by Bronco or Charger: AUTO, as intended. Have read all about EMME the model who became a PLUS model. Very realistic in our society. This constructor uses lots of Latin influenced fill, like EMPORIA, the plural of EMPORIUM, and PIA MATER, so it helped.
Enjoy the day

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Nice theme today, but without the circles it didn't help the solving experience one bit. SWITCHBLADE was actually the last thing to go in, after I had solved all the theme answers.

Anybody else try to cram in ALMA for 16A? It was only after I typed it in that I realized the answer only had 3 letters. I can't say I've ever heard of PIA Mater before. Well, I could say it, but I'd be lying...

I finally got DOLPHINS and MIAMI via the perps, but I really hate self-referential clues that don't provide enough information to solve without perp help. There's more to say, but I think I just hit the 20 line limit....

Burrito34 said...

Very clever theme today. I got "national debt" and "switchblade", then "hospital beds" before I grokked the theme and this helped me get "deal breaker" for (17A). Neat how the letters making up the word, "blade" were rearranged in each theme answer. Some bits of the puzzle almost, but not quite, got me to look for outside help.

"pia" mater was totally unknown to me and Barry, I also tried to cram i n "alma". Also unknown was Omar "Epps" and Jacob "Riis". As for 30A, paint choices, Al, like you I wanted "oils" but it turned out to be "hues."

Favorite clue and answer: (64A) Kitchen tubes: "penne". Yum. I really like Italian food.

C.C., I didn't know about the 20 line limit. Sorry about that. BTW, I also stay under the 20 item limit in the fast check out lane at Walmart. Don't you wish everybody did?

Best to all, Burrito19lines ;-)

windhover said...

My middle name is Thomas. It was also the middle name of my father, my mother (named for her mother's favorite brother), and one of my sons (named after my favorite father).
Anyone else?

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning everyone. I had a lot of spaces after my first pass, then everything fell into place. I filled in SWITCH BLADE early on, which helped with the remaining theme clues.

I loved all the misleading clues, including Center of Florida = EPCOT

Cops favorite birds = CANARIES

Surgeon's Patient = TREE (My favorite clue).

I really ELLE for the fashion model, because I thought EMME's name was actually ESME.

PIA Mater was new to me.

Not keen on the clues for the MIAMI DOLPHINS, as I don't particularly like such cross-referenced clues.

Nice Shout-out to WM with the ART Gallery Opening.

Annette, hope all is well with you.

QOD: Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are. ~ Francois Mauriac

Lemonade714 said...

MAXWELL, made famous in my lifetime by this SONG and this incomparable AGENT . I've always liked the name

fermatprime said...

Hi All,

Puzzle not difficult, even without the circles. Even read CAPITOL incorrectly. PIA solved itself.

As usual, entertaining work, Al. Nice puzzle, Pamela.

CA--appreciate your thoughts on freak spam emails. They are from many senders. Have now invaded my att account also. I have tried things along the lines that you have suggested. What I cannot understand is why no one else on the planet gets these. What's next, I get boils, plague and locusts?

Better quit here.

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Al, C.C. et al.

Great write-up, Al. I really had to laugh at your wiki quote about EMME. I did this one online at the LA Times, so I did not see the circled letters. The theme just didn't pop out, so I got lazy and just came here, knowing you would patiently 'splain it all to me!

For me, the holdups in this puzzle were the names that didn't immediately come to mind, like LANDO, RIIS, EPPS, LEX, SOO, and EDNA. I needed all the perp help I could get for those. But I liked the fresh fill and clever misdirection in the clues. Just right for a Thursday.

My three sisters and I all have middle initial "J", for Joan, Jane, Joy, and Jean. My mother went by the name of "Joan" (Marie Jean D'Arc was her full name), so I don't think it's just coincidence.

Have a great day, everyone!

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Hit PREVIEW button first, you'll see how many lines in your post. I think that's exactly what Burrito34 did earlier.

Andrea said...

Morning all -

I was just about finished with the puzzle when my computer battery died and I lost the whole thing... I had the three theme answers, but didn't figure out switchblade until coming here.

Fave clue was EPCOT - 9 and a wake up! State capital component around here is protestors, but that didn't quite fit.

My middle name is Lee. So is my husband's. It's a family name on both sides. So we passed it on to our daughter.

Enjoy the day.

Vidwan827 said...

RE: Major Pettigrew's ...the end, I promise -

Hahtool, the book does not have one word of India /hindu /partition /colonial /Raj etc., so those ideas are irrelevant to the theme. Secretly, I had hoped for a 56 yr old hindu widow who would (re)inflame her (supposed - ) jaguar, animal-like, blood-coursing sensuous passion...

I know, I know, its too much to expect, and totally ludicrous - but one can always hope ...

That having been said, the author's writing is incredibly exquisite, and I DEEPLY empathized with the Major, especially with his loneliness and sense of honour. No more on this book.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this a crossword blog?

Anonymous said...

I'd love to tell you my ( very interesting ) middle name - but then, there go all my (only ) passwords...

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

A fairly easy solve today, with the L in 1A/1D my only wag. I hesitated until the last moment on 66A, Gases. I kept thinking it should be gasses up. I wasn't crazy about switch blade as a clue. It's only purpose is for one human being to inflict harm on another human being. So why honor it as a clue?

I am the household chief cook and bottle washer for the next few days while the better half heals. I can handle the dishwasher, but the stove is a foreign object. The take out restaurants are in for a windfall. The washer/dryer.... I hope our town has a laundress! Nuff said!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Al, great detailed commentary - lots of good learning.

Initially thought this was going to be quite difficult before I could EAT INTO it seriously. But then by dribs and drabs, I got NATIONAL DEBT and then the longer theme fills fell. Did it on the LAT site so - sans circles. Never heard of PIA MATER before. Thought EPCOT and IDEAS were cleverly clued. No searches were needed. Overall, a good warmup for the next couple days.

Dennis said...

hondo, I'm with you. My MBH is now in Boca (what's wrong with this picture?) and friends who know my ineptness in the kitchen have been most gracious. And it doesn't hurt that I love eating out.

As to my middle name, very, very few people know it 'cause it's so ridiculous, but since it's just us, mine's Trafford. My father, and as he found out eventually, his father, had it and from what I've been able to find out, it's English/Welsh or something like that.

Hahtoolah said...

Anyone else amused by seeing ORE and OAR side-by-side? (9-down and 10-down.)

Anonymous said...

Dennis - Re: prostitutes and such -
On the news about Italy and its leader Silvio Berlusconi - Prostitution is not illegal in Italy - but paying a prostitute, for the privilege, is (apparently ) against the law. Do you suppose the Italians prefer in paying back 'in kind' ?

Anonymous said...

Al - Thank you for a wonderful blog - very informative - and always a real pleasure ! Thank you Pamela Klawitter for a charming Xword puzzle - I could not complete it - but enjoyed it thoroughly nevertheless. A wonderful beginning to a wonderful day. Have a grrreat day, all y'all.

Husker Gary said...

Good Morning Al, et al, Very nice half hour! Linear me tried to make a sentence out of the circle words before, duh, they were independent of each other with a clever theme! Nice learning in write-up!

-Tried to get R to be the center of Fla. before I realized it was EPCOT
-PLANB in retirement can be hard
-What a great cast Barney Miller had
-Congress can’t find anything to cut to reduce the debt!? Not even Harry Reid’s Cowboy Poets?
-Hondo, I would also make McDonalds and the drop off laundry rich if I had to do it myself!
-Jazz, I did an acrostic that wanted a 6 letter word for Like a Trombone. Brassy didn’t work!
-Of all the presidential middle names, I liked Harry Truman’s the best
-Golf today in 50F/sunny weather and I saw a robin!

KarenRN said...

Love this blog....I'm a new puzzler and thought you might get a laugh at my first pass this morning.
Put in A bomb for A test (43A) which helped me put in Botched before perps helps fill in Totaled (44d). Obviously botched both of these :)
Put in Mars instead of Moon, cant keep track of where those spaceships go. Having fun here. thanks!!
Our paper in Louisville does not tell who the author is each day.

thehondohurricane said...

Damn, I forgot earlier. My middle name is Kurt which my mom wanted me called. That, she thought would avoid any nicknames, which she did not like. It worked for a day or two. By the time my parents took me home, the nurses had begun calling me Skip and it stuck.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning, happy Thursday, and all that stuff. Great write up Al.

Most of this one went pretty smooth except the middle west side. 'Get into'? 'Cut into'? 'Pairs'? 'Nouns'? and how do I fit 700 into 36a? I finally remembered PTL and then PLANS emerged. EAT INTO was the last to fall.

Given the news lately, and with _EA in place, I was tempted to put 'Teachers' Pay' for the negotiation obstacle.

I thought we were going to get NFLer again until I realized there were only 4 spaces for 25d.

The rest of the unknowns filled themselves via perps so it wasn't too difficult.

N.O. connect said...

Liked the puzzle. First pass had lots of difficulty. Thought canaries was fun. The names of characters; like: Lando,Soo, Epps, Edna made this a difficult solve for me.

windhover said...

Are you telling me that the C-J carries the LAT puzzle? If so I need to check this out.

Husker Gary:
I doubt if the entire history of Cowboy Poets has cost as much as the paint job on the shuttle, and to date it hasn't killed any schoolteachers.

JD said...

TaDa!!! I got it!!Although I still have more to do . Thanks C.C. for the puzzle.

Lucina said...

Buen dia, puzzlers!

Happy Thursday, Al, and thank you for the educational and witty writing.

Omar EPPS finally popped out and I could finish this lovely puzzle. It was a bit scrabbly skipping around, but DEALBREAKER and NATIONALDEBT alit quickly and I can usually hone into Latin so I saw PIA but thanks for the significance, Al. Didn't know.

I loved all the misdirections:
center of Florida, EPCOT
cops favorite birds, CANARIES
germs may lead to them, IDEAS

And no one can play EDNA Turnblad like Harvey Fierstein (sp?) whom I was lucky to see on Broadway.

My middle names are Aurora Nicolasa because one must have a confirmation name, too.

Have a super Thursday, everyone!

eddyB said...


I thought that it was a fairly easy
puzzle. had the circles which really helped.

Same initials as dad but, different
names. ERB

Thanks seen. Nice seeing you also.

take care.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Thanks for explanation of BPI, Al...and thanks to Ms. Klawitter for 59A/SWITCHBLADE. I remember I recently mentioned that I am anagram-challenged. Even with only five letters to work with, my brain shut down.

I still didn't know 16A/PIA Mater, 53A/RIIS, couldn't get PDQ Bach out of my mind for 20A and I wanted 48A to be GASOLINE COST. Nevertheless, with perpaid, it all arranged itself in the end.

I've never though of EMPORIA as places to trade items. A General Store like the Main Street Emporium in Disneyland only sells...sells...and sells!

My middle name is Verna, which was my mother's first name. I didn't like it as a child (too old-fashioned), but I've grown into old-fashionedness and like it now.

WH, no STM, a real LOL.

Zcarguy said...

Hello all,
A real smooth solve with the help of Goog for 1 across and perps for the rest of the proper names,

I don't get the clue/ answer to 67a

My middle name and my 4 sisters's is Georges ( French spelling ) it's a common practice in our country to have our father's first name as our middle name,
My sisters hate it... I feel for them !!

Tinbeni said...

Al, Informative write-up.
You explained my difficulties.

OK, the themes fell in place very quickly.
I had Hospital Room at first.

PIA, RIIS & EDNA gave me fits.
All via the perps.

Also had A-Bomb before A-TEST.

SOOOO ... I can't say that I found the puzzle as easy as y'all.

In fact, I put it down three times before I finally finished.

Fave was the CANARIES.

A "Toast" to all you crossword experts at Sunset.

Cheers !!!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

This puzzle should have a curl in the middle of its forehead. Nuff said. It did not come easily. SALES TAX had me for a long time. Having GATE PASS didn't help. Who knows from GEX? Eventually finished with that one error.

I had RIIS in a puzzle I blogged once, but still looked askance at _IIS.

I was also amused by OAR or ORE.

A-, H-, or N-TEST, Ya never know.

Anybody else think of this in the NE corner

As a member of the Lee club, I AVER that Trafford is a fabulous middle name!

Lots of A TEMPO this week, with our performance tomorrow night: ELGAR and Sibelius - very emotional music.

We all say SI SI to C.C.!

JzB who needs a nap

Splynter said...

Hi There ~!

Wow, I was feeling pretty incompetent on this one, and thought it might be that I am tired, and in need of a nap - been a long morning.

Then I get here, and there were supposed to be circles...O O O O O - phew~!~

Don't feel so dumb now, in fact, feel pretty good about an 18min solve at a 'disadvantage'.

The only real sticking point for me was LATE PASS, and I really wanted OILS, too...

MESH for a screen door? I like to see them with a little more stability, perhaps made of pine or aluminum...oh, I get it, for the screen OF the door...meh

SALES TAX was a good one ~!

When I "GASES" up, it costs $3.67, and it's on it's way to $5/gallon this summer - it needs to, so we can finally DO something about this nonsense, IMHO.


creature said...

Good Day C.C., Al and all,

Al, thanks for 'tops' write-up.

I am very late today. For the first time in ages, I did not review all of yesterday's posts. Hence, I missed the circles. I think they would have helped me with some of the puzzle. I had 3 look-ups 26D,27D and 28D.

I think I felt too far behind the
eight ball, to really enjoy it. Pamela's clues were fun.I'm just no good under time pressure.

Have a nice day everyone.

Anonymous said...

36 Across also meant "pass the loot", courtesy of Jim and Tammy Baker.

Jerome said...

KarenRN- Your local paper has the name of the crossword author. There is no good reason for your paper to not credit them as the writer. The pay for a puzzle is bad enough, but to not even give credit to the person who created it is insulting. Please consider e-mailing your paper and requesting that the crossword constructor's name be published along with the puzzle. I and all other constructors would appreciate it.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Lester. Was so named after a friend of my folks'. Lester was a superb guy - a talented craftsman and musician, and a good neighbor. Alzheimer's damn disease took its time reducing this fine man to a vegetable.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Just a quick note before I read the blog today: even after I got this puzzle today I didn't get it. More later.

creature said...

Vidwan,re: Pettigrew
I would choose Lemon's post as a fair summation/review.

I thought the reactions from the
Anglican Church { rector{?} and wife }were more than a counterbalance to the depiction of her Pakistani in-laws reactions.

Vidwan827 said...

Creature - Thanks for your comments - Overall, I obviously liked the book - I just had far higher expectations for the ending.

Jayce said...

My musings, รก la Husker Gary:
- Generally could not get on Ms. Klawitter's wavelength today; just couldn't get it.
- Couldn't get the west side even after looking up ALTA. Also had to look up EPPS. Didn't help me understand what the heck PTL was.
- Wanted ABOMB instead of ATEST, and when that didn't work I thought "fallout" maybe didn't refer to nuclear falloout after all, so ended up with ANEST (fall out of the nest.) Then couldn't figure out what NOTALED was.
- Do germs lead to FLEAS? Nah.
- Oddly enough, I did get EMPORIA easily.
- Noticed ORE and OAR side by side.
- Got the SWITCHBLADE theme early on. Kinda fun.

More later.

creature said...

Sorry for lack of apostrophe after in-laws.

Hahtool,Boo to Francois Mauriac's
egotistical words. You show me yours,Francois.

WH,good job!

Lucina, did I thank you for the tout on "South of Broad". Its now on my list.

Jayce said...

More musings:
- Didn't know whether it would be AVOW or AVER, so lust put in AV and waited for the perps to decide.
- Didn't know if it would be LITRE or LITER, so put in LIT and waited for the perps to decide.
- Didn't like the 4D/7D cross-reference. Don't like cross references anyway. And since the first palndromic model I thought of was ELLE, that didn't help.

Bottom line, this puzzle whupped my butt. I'm good, though; I'm not angry about it. Beat me fair and square.

Jayce said...

More (and final) musings:
- Had no rouble with PIA mater. High school anatomy has stuck with me mostly intact. Couldn't be alma or dura, which left pia.
- Are Alma, Pia, and Dura three sisters? And then there's Masha.

All credit due to Husker Gary for the "musings" format. Thanks!

Musings on yesterday's puzzle:
- There is OPTIC right next to OPTIN, EWES next to AWES, PDAS and PTAS, TENET and THEMET. Kinda caught my eye.

Gosh, now I'd better read what YOU all had to say!

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, Thanks, Al for the clarification of some of the answers. BPI, OTB, PIA, All were a bit fuzzy in my mind, even though I had filled them all in. A job well done.

A fun puzzle within a puzzle today and I was able to decipher the Switch Blade letters without help. But, I did have to look up Edna of "Hairspray" as I've not seen that movie/play. Also I sent the Apollo II to Mars, instead of the Moon!Doh! That was soon fixed with the perps.

A few too many names for my liking. I don't have a good grip on Movie and TV actors and personalities.

My favorites today was Reason for the downfall of many kings/Aces, and Germs may lead to them/Ideas.

Bill G. said...

Like Tinbeni and Jayce, I didn't find this puzzle so easy, or most of the others this week either. Maybe the warmer weather locally is rotting my brain cells.

Dennis referred to pubic wigs, also known as Merkins. Did you remember the president in Dr. Strangelove, played by Peter Sellers, was named Merkin Muffley?

My middle name is Russell. No big deal but I am the III since my father was a Jr.

Jayce, I think the answer has to be LITRE, a British spelling, since the clue used petrol, a British term for gasoline. Also, I think of Elle Macpherson often too, though it doesn't have to be because of crosswords.

Jayce said...

My middle name is Charles. My dad wanted to give me the same middle name he had (Adam), but he hated his middle name so much he sacrificed the "privilege" of being able to call me "Junior." My middle initial is one component (the other component being my first initial J) in the formation of my nickname "Jayce." No, not Jaycee :)

Best wishes to you all.

Jeannie said...

I hate it when I can’t get 1A or 1D….it’s usually a bad omen. I never would have gotten Landro without perp and red letter help as I confess I have never seen a single Star Wars movie. Pia and Riis emerged the same way. I thought of you, WM for “gallery opening” – art.

Favorites today were “reason for the downfall of many kings” – Aces and “cops favorite birds” – canaries. I also thought of you, HuskerGary when I saw that “center of FL” turned out to be Epcot.

Al, very informative blog as usual. I always learn something new when you blog.

Dennis, I kept wondering what was so bad about wearing public wigs until I reread it and saw it was pubic wigs. Who knew that such a thing existed??

Chickie said...

I was in Death Valley on a college fieldtrip when the 1953 A-test was set off in the nearby Nevada Desert. I turned down an early, early, morning side trip to see the blast go off. I'm glad I did. Who knows what material was carried into the crowd that was atop a mountain to get a good look?

WH, being a southern born child, my middle name is Floydene after my Father, Floyd.

Dennis said...

Chickie, probably the best decision of your life. There's some pretty bad stories about what happened to people witnessing the blast.

Actually had a girl in the class behind me in Atlanta named Floydene; never thought I'd see it again.

KarenRN, thanks for the laugh with "cant keep track of where those spaceships go".

Lucina said...

OMG! Jeannie, thank you for pointing out pubic wigs. I completely missed that! I can't even imagine the source or the construction. Ay! Ay! Ay!

Please accept this in the spirit I intend is which is kindly. Some of us have yet to read Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and I, for one would appreciate discovery of details for myself and yet I'm glad to know it's an enjoyable read.

Si, Si, a link for LANDO would have been appreciated, too, since he was a dashing character.

Jerome said...

I had a friend named Bob Kapiddlewitz Robinson. He hated the name so much that he changed Bob to Ed.

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Great write up, Al.
I got a few, but never groked the theme and therefore missed some of the theme answers.

Two questions: I do not a line count when I go to Preview. Why? Is it my Mac?
What set off the middle name answers in the comments? Mine is so ordinary: Ann. Like my mom and grandmother.

Off to my 1¼ mile walk in the mall. Rainy today.


Bill G. said...

Sallie, I don't get a line count either, I just count 'em. Regarding middle names, Dennis posted first that today was Middle Name Pride Day.

My mother's first name was Mildred. Her mother's name was Bertha. My paternal grandmother was named Hattie Belle. You don't see those names around much anymore.

Dudley said...

I recommend a nice Donna Levin puzzle now playing on CrosSynergy!

Lately I've been trying out some of the other free puzzles on (just can't get enough puzzlin'!). I was pleased to see Donna Levin's name on today's CrosSynergy, and the puzzle itself is fun and elegant. Give it a try!

Kazie - My favorite cafe has a new employee, a woman whose accent sounded Oz to me... so I guessed. Guessed wrong as it turns out, she's from NZ and let mo know it. Hey, I can't tell the difference!

Jeannie said...

Bill G, as you know my mother’s name is Thelma Jean. Her sister’s names were Norma, Edith, Bernice, Sybil and Luella. Her mother’s name was Stella. My other Grandmother’s name was Agnes. You don’t hear those names all that often either.

Lucina, I am still trying to figure out how one would “don” a pubic wig….

Lemonade714 said...

Carefully, Lolita, carefully

Lucina said...

I mentioned pubic wigs to a friend and he commented that they were likely valued for the curly of the hair. TMI?

Lucina said...

oops I meant for the curly hair.

creature said...

BillG. One of my granddaughters is named Hattie, after my grandmother.

Lucina, my apologies. Hope I didn't overstep the bounds of a review. Please forgive me.

I just finished "Water for Elephants"- See where a movie's coming out in April,I think.

Currently into "Raven Stole the Moon", Garth Stein { Art of Racing in the Rain}.

ARBAON said...

Anon @ 12:03: If you were anything but a gutless would have signed your name.

JD said...

Good afternoon Al, C.C. and all,

Thursdays are always difficult for me, but was elated that I could almost finish, leaving just a few; I did get the theme...
and I also put in Mars at 1st.
Welcome KarenRN!

Jeannie said my favorites, but I'll add "surgeon's patient "to that.We also have "tree laws" in our area, big time. They plant 'em, we have to keep them, maintain them and fix the sidewalks.

Al, thanks for the write up and all the extras. Had no idea what PTL was;loved those Dixie Chicks.

Dennis,your "did you know" sent me off to Mr.G for more information.Here is the straight dope.

Carol is my middle story there, but my sister's middle name is Cotton..ha,ha, a family name. She has always hated it, and so when she was confirmed she chose a saint that started with C.

Robin said...

Hahahahaha the fur purse! I love you guys.....

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks: Thank you Pamela. Good puzzle. I kept reading about these circles. I do not have them either. Maybe I'll check my newspaper. Thank you Al and C.C.

This puzzle was nice for a Thursday. I did not finish in the morning because I got super busy. Finished now.

I did not get the them until reading the notes from others. I got all the words, however.

Thought Cops' favorite birds/CANARIES was very clever.

I am still in a hurry. Off to confer the Red Cross and Malta Orders. See you tomorrow.


windhover said...

Did you catch the excellent sheep joke imbedded in that mass of ATMI?
Remember, sheep are notorious liars.

Chickie said...

Dennis, What do you know? I've never run across anyone else with the name Floydene before. I'm not the only one out there. Should have known I wasn't as unique as I thought.

Jerome, You are so funny. Bob to Ed?

As for the A-test, wanting to sleep in and not get up so early was a very good decision.

Nice Cuppa said...

Al - Yes, Brits buy their petrol by the LITRE. As I have mentioned before, the only Imperial measures left are the PINT (since beer cannot be served any other way) and the MILE, since converting speed signs to KPH would encourage the speedy driver.

The U.S is the last hold-out of the British Thermal Unit - it was blitzed by the Kilowatt Hour many years ago. Even FAHRENHEIT is almost dead - such a sensible measure - all you need to know - the freezing point of alcohol and your body ....

Nice Cuppa said...

..... temperature. Although I suppose 100°C is handy if you're making yourself a nice HOT cuppa - whoops slipped out.

As to the crossword, I liked the cryptic/Brit anagram clue, which did help. Main problem was the slew of obscure names from TV and sport.

How many times have we had the EPCOT clue? I am surprised people found that original.


Clear Ayes said...

We already had Yeats' Leda And The Swan posted a couple of time in the past year or two. How about another poet's take on it? This one is by D.H. Lawrence, the same guy who wrote "Lady Chatterley's Lover". Short poem and right to the point! Is it just me, or does the tone of this poem make it sound like Leda wasn't too unhappy about what the swan had in mind?


Come not with kisses
not with caresses
of hands and lips and murmurings;
come with a hiss of wings
and sea-touch tip of a beak
and treading of wet, webbed, wave-working feet
into the marsh-soft belly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jeannie, for the sharp, proof-reading eyes that detected what was undetected by many, including me, about the pubic wigs. Wiki has a long article on it, - that Kate Winslet wore a merkin in 'The Reader', and Roseanna in SNL is said to have said 'Stop jerk'n the fer-'n merkin'. BTW, Ebay has merkins for sale @ 39.99 - no returns allowed, unless accompanied by the wearer.

ARBAON or maybe not said...

ARBAON at 3:53, have a sense of humor about Anon's post at 12:03. It was a joke with validity. Jim Bakker spent 5 years in prison for fraud and conspiracy, cheated the PTL Club out of millions and still owes millions to the IRS. As far as not signing his name, aren't you doing the same thing? Does that make you a gutless wonder? Anybody can be a non-blue ARBAON, including me.

Unknown said...

Interesting puzzle today. Parts of it kicked my fanny! I loved the canaries clue.

Grammar question- Shouldn't Yeats's have been Yeats'? I was taught that when a word ends in an "s"; it is made possessive by only adding a ' . Am I too picky or what?

Nice blog today, Al. thanks for posting.

JD said...

WH, I did miss the sheep joke. Who knows if any of that was true. Anyone can write anything on a blog. Best not believe it all.

What is true is that gas is expensive. Paid $55 for a fill gas, cheap station-$3.91 a gallon.


Dang! Busted!

windhover said...

If it's on the Internet it has to be true. ;-}

JD said...

I'm blonde, but not THAT blonde!

Dot said...

Chickie and Dennis, I was teaching in the Las Vegas School District in '53 and we were invited to watch the a-test. I can't remember which mountain we were on - probably Mt. Charleston, but they stressed that we had to be upwind from the blast. Also, we were told to turn our backs for the initial blast then to watch thru sunglasses. Quite impressive!Since I am now almost 83 and have had no problems from being there, I would think that the people involved in the testing were probably the ones to suffer side effects.

The names were my undoing on the puzzle.


Dot said...

Speaking of middle names, our constructor's name - Amick - is certainly unusual.


Jeannie said...

A friend of mine just had her long hair cut off and donated to a charity that makes wigs. And to think all this time...

Lucina, It's time for a trim...I'm a blonde with curly hair. Is there a pubic "hair club" for them that needs a donation?
I am still going to bed pondering the way to "don" such a thing. Lolita.

My given name is Jean Agnes...hey, my Dad wanted his Mom acknowledged. Jean came from Thelma (Jean). Jeannie came from numerous folks, not so much from the southern relatives as you might think (although that's a given).

Some older fellas I play dice/cribbage with occasionally all call me Jeannie.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Germ of an idea.

Chickie said...

Just watching the live pictures of the Tsunami in Japan. What terrible devistation. They estimate the earthquake at about 8.9 on the Richter.

Dot, some of the people who went to watch that A-test did die from cancers. But who knows if they would have had the same disease even if they had not been present during the test.