Mar 15, 2011

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 Gary Steinmehl

Theme: "ET TU, BRUTAL"?  -
Exercise and workout terms for today, the 15th, and Ides, of March.

20A. Last leg of a race : HOME STRETCH - Highly recommended activity before any activity; as a goalie, it is imperative that I STRETCH first.

27A. Chocolate bar with crisped rice : NESTLE CRUNCH - Too many of these, and you'll need to do more CRUNCHES, those sit-ups for 'rock hard ABS', a crossword staple (but not today).

49A. Overseas news-gatherers : FOREIGN PRESS - Leg, bench PRESS, etc., as I am sure there are others.

59A. Very little, in slang : DIDDLY SQUAT - wonderful phrase to speak, like "my pay is diddly squat", and a SQUAT; bend at the knees with a straight back - harder than it sounds, let me tell you.

and the unifier at 57D: PR specialists, and a word associated with the ends of 20-, 27-, 49- and 59-Across : REPS - PR Public Relations REPresentative, (ixnay on Mr. Sheen) and a REPetition, the number of times each exercise is performed within a set - and I am not a gym rat; all my exercise comes from 4 straight hours of carrying varying sizes of packages from the conveyor to the UPS truck.

Splynter filling in for a Santa with a sick "Elf".

And away we GO~!


1. Cote bleats : BAAS - [koht] - noun: 1. a shelter, coop, or small shed for sheep, pigs, pigeons, etc.

5. Further : ALSO - also: hence, therefore, ergo, and, then....

9. Big name in restaurant guides : ZAGAT - established by Tim and Nina Zagat in 1979; see the Wiki article.

14. Flattop opposite : AFRO

15. Steady fellow : BEAU - French

16. Author Zola : EMILE - French Author, a regular in crosswords.

17. Plane or sander : TOOL - got me several of these. Plane.

18. Elongated fish : EELS - the plural implication on "fish" got me on this one.

19. Turning point : PIVOT

23. Nice season? : ETE - oh man, French, again, I seem to get a lot of this - Nice, the city in France, and the French word for summer (season).

24. Snail mail need : STAMP - I just used one yesterday, first time in forever....

25. Color in the four-color process : CYAN - CYMK, the process that uses CYAN, Yellow, Magenta, and blacK; as opposed to the RGB, two of the options in Photoshop and printing processes.

34. Plug-and-play PC port : USB - another computer term, Universal Serial Bus, for connections between devices. The abbr. of PC for Personal Computer = the abbr. answer.

37. Borat creator Sacha Baron __ : COHEN - love him, or hate him, I guess I am on the fence....

38. Trapper's gear : SNARE

39. Sheltered Greek walkway : STOA

41. Number-guessing fund-raiser : LOTTO

43. IRS agent : T-MAN - Tax Man, like a G-man, a Gov't Agent.

44. False __ : ALARM

46. Paris's __ la Paix : RUE DE - Eh, more French. Map, middle right going diagonally right.

48. Ambulance initials : EMS

52. Run or ruin : DASH - as in "dashed hopes"

53. Times spent in prison or in office : TERMS

57. Dusting aid : RAG - thought MOP first

64. Remove from the videotape : ERASE

66. Cleveland's lake : ERIE

67. DDE's alma mater : USMA - Dwight David Eisenhower, 34th president, and the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY.

68. Argentine grassland : PAMPA - Image

69. Ole Miss rival : 'BAMA - Alabama, crossword regular.

70. Modern Roman, e.g.: Abbr. : ITALian

71. Take badly? : STEAL - Good clue

72. Disappearing slope apparatus : T-BAR Skiers' assist getting up a hill.

73. Big Board letters : NYSE -New York Stock Exchange - I think this was in my first blog, too....


1. They're drawn in tubs : BATHS - very good clue; did anyone think "rings"?

2. In progress : AFOOT - "Strange things are AFOOT..."

3. Bakery quality : AROMA

4. Serious : SOLEMN

5. Aid's partner : ABET

6. Look that may be accompanied by a smirk : LEER

7. Shopping news : SALE - another great clue

8. Bounce, as from a bar : OUST

9. Gentle winds : ZEPHYRS

10. Porthos, to Athos : AMI - uh, French !

11. Abraham, to Lincoln : GIVEN NAME

12. Oodles : ALOT - never liked this answer

13. Place for a beret : TETE - yup, it's French

21. Risky business, briefly : SPEC - Speculation, that someone might come along and buy, as a house.

22. Brutus' 300 : CCC - Hey~! Ides related~! Roman 100 = C

26. Bee or Em : AUNT

28. Fa follower : SOL

29. Rose feature : THORN

30. Rain more gently : LET UP

31. Rectangular computer key : ENTER - Space, too

32. Stuff (into) : CRAM

33. Lady birds : HENS

34. DoD fliers : USAF - Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force.

35. D-Day target city : STLO - Oh, man, French - Conan had a guest last week who claimed in shock, he "turned white as a Frenchman's Flag" - that's funny....

36. Monopoly, for one : BOARD GAME - one of my favorites; you can get them custom made to any city, and movie, too.

40. House painter's calculation : AREA - height is a factor, too - ever try to paint a stair well?

42. Dedicated verse : ODE

45. Card player's goof : MISDEAL

47. Ballpark figs. : ESTS - Estimates. - What's your Ballpark, C.C.?

50. Letters under a 4 : GHI - duh, got me. Look at your phone.

51. Fashion sparkler : SEQUIN

54. Out of practice : RUSTY

55. Cass and Michelle, famously : MAMAS

56. Old hat : STALE

58. "I smell __!" : A RAT

60. Unpaid loan, e.g. : DEBT

61. Not bright at all : DRAB

62. Bean town? : LIMA - ah, not a Bahston reference, but the Peruvian city.

63. Wine taster's guesstimate : YEAR - our friend Tinbeni, any good at this ? I did not drink for the "year", let me tell you....

65. Healthful resort : SPA - after a good workout, head for the SPA~!

Thanks for the chance to "pinch hit", C.C., look forward to more opportunities.



fermatprime said...

Well, an early hello to all. Will not wait for Dennis as I am really tired.

Cool write-up, Splynter! Fun puzzle, Gary.

Favorite answer, LIMA. Took an extra thought or two.

More done on taxes today. Managed to get Mastercard info into Excel where I could mark things and actually read the print. Of course, it became 28 pages!

All of the keys on my keyboards are rectangular! I fact, most are even square! Spacebar is longest rectangle. Guess I don't get clue!

Happy Ides!

fermatprime said...

PS I only came to the website to check the late blogs from Monday!!!

lois said...

Good morning Splynter, CC, et al., Interesting puzzle. Great job, Splynter. You made me LOL w/the clip from Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure. very funny. well done!
I never heard of Zugat or that Cohen but the perps came thru easily enough and with a few WAGs it all worked out in an appropriate Tues time. Fav clue was take badly...Fav answer Diddly Squat. Now I have to go follow up on the theme of this puzzle - ouch, ugh, umph. Thanks for the links and the laughs, Splynter. Excellent job!

Santa baby, hope you're doin' ok.

Beware the Ides of March....where is Dennis?

Dennis said...

Good morning, Splynter, C.C. and gang - certainly a smooth sail today, with nary a pause. It did take me until the third theme answer to see the connection, and I guess partly because stretching has never been a part of my workout. I'll probably pay for that when I get old...

For a Tuesday puzzle, I thought this one had a decent amount of fresh cluing. I especially liked seeing the Mamas and Papas reference; great music back in the day. And as Splynter and Lois point out, who doesn't like using 'diddly squat'? And Lois, I have a feeling your 'workout' is a lot more pleasurable than the normal definition of the word.

Splynter, fine job with the blog; very enjoyable read. You've definitely got the gift.

Today is, in addition to the Ides of March, Incredible Kid Day, Dumbstruck Day, and Everything You Think is Wrong Day. So maybe it's not.

Did You Know?:

- Moose have very poor vision. Some have even tried to mate with cars. Hell, who hasn't done that? Oh wait, it said with cars, not in...

Dennis said...

By the way, Fermatprime, again, you should post whenever you're ready to post. There's no 'waiting' on anybody.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Short on time today. Fine puzzle today, no major hangups. My only quibble is that I really don't think PAMPA is a word. The Argentinian grassland is called Las Pampas, and the word Pampas comes from a Quechua word meaning "plain." I don't think it is ever used in the singular (or, to be more precise, I think that pampas actually is the singular).

Of course, I could be wrong...

Emily said...

Not sure you answer questions, but what does GHI stand for under 4 mean-- in 50 down? I don't get it

Dennis said...

Emily, just look at a phone keypad.

creature said...

Good Morning C.C.,Splynter and all,

Splynter, you have established your own style so soon.Very smooth and creative, fun touch, without going overboard. At the same time, Argyle, hope your computer gets the kinks out quickly.

A nifty,guilt-giving puzzle from Gary; nice reminder.
Lady birds:HENS -neat clue.
Never heard of ZAGAT; Wiki was not a flattering article.
Were Portos and Athos frenchmen?
I'm interested to know about 50D.

Back later, if possible.

Have a nice day everyone.

creature said...

I'm must be going blind. I didn't see "look at your phone" . Too early for me, I suppose. Thanks.

Lemonade714 said...

Nice job Splynter,

This was a very French puzzle, and went very quickly. I believe the T in T-Man is for Treasury not tax. We also had T-Bar, neither of which have anything to do with Julius, who could have made his Marx.

As Michael Conrad used to say, "Be careful out there/"

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Splynter and friends. Great job, Splynter. Today's theme revealed itself to me quite quickly. Reminded me that I need to do more exercising!

I thought of pigeons for Cote Bleats, so initially tried COOS. Drawing the BATHS, however, set me on the right path.

I liked Take Badly? = STEAL. Since we saw that clued recently, I wasn't fooled this go-round.

Beware the Ides of March and take care.

QOD: Good artists borrow, great artist steal. ~ Pablo Picasso

Tinbeni said...

Splynter; Nice Home-Run with your pinch-hit write-up!!!

Just got back from the gym where I did STRETCH before I did my CRUNCHes & PRESSed some tin.

DIDDLY-SQUAT is just an awesome answer.

OK, I'm watching CNBC and the NYSE.
Noticed Oil is down (@8:00 pre-market) $3.73 a barrel.
RBOB (wholesale gas) down $.1591 cents per gal.
Hmmm, wonder how long it will be before we see that at the pump.
(Note: NOT holding my breath, this will reduce the cost at the pump in about a month ...).

Since Spring has sprung here, it is pollen season already.
Have to wash the "green-stuff" off the CR-Z.

Then it is beach-walk time.

Cheers to all @ Sunset.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

A fun run today and a dedication to all us gym rats. Splynter, great job. You are CC's super sub.

A couple of the theme clues hit home.... Nestle Crunch, which has me salivating for a chocolate bar. When we visit the super market later today, the candy section will suffer a serious depletion. I'm hoping the length of my remaining term as Chief Cook and Bottle washer is diddly squat. Wife visits the surgeon today so I'll have an idea when I'll be relieved of duty.

More rain tomorrow then a serious warm up on the way. Supposed to be near 70 on Friday, high 50's for the weekend. Not good for business, but great for mental health. Enjoy the Ides.

Abejo said...

Good Morning, folks. Enjoyed the puzzle, Gary. Thanks for the write-up Splynter and posting, C.C.

Idus Martii. I couldn't help it.

Nice Tuesday puzzle. Zipped right through. Goofed initially on GIVENNAME. Had FIRSTNAME for a short while.

I thought 50D GHI was an excellent Clue/Answer. Good job, Gary. Also, instead of looking at the 4 on your telephone keypad, you can look through the holes in your telephone dial. I am sure most of you still have at least one "vintage" telephone. I have several.

I agree with Barry on PAMPAS vs PAMPA.


Tinbeni said...

Splynter: Oh, I forgot to answer your question.

When it comes to "Wine" I would NOT be the one to "taste and guesstimate" its YEAR.

Cannot remember the last time I even tasted the beverage.

Now with Avatar, AGE is a major factor.
I like Pinch ... it is 15 years old.
Hmmm, a "Mid-Teenager."

Yup, that works for Scotch ...
For ladies, they must be at least 21 !!!

kazie said...

Great blogging, Splynter. Thanks for Bill and Ted. Made me decide I should watch it again, if nothing else, to get a new perspective on Keanu Reeves' early acting days. Also liked seeing that very familiar segment of the Paris map.

On the QOD, I was just reading an article in Smithsonian about Gauguin, who stole blatantly from a lot of his contemporaries. They said it was one thing that made him ahead of his time.

I thought the puzzle had a lot of fresh cluing for a Tuesday. I had no idea about GHI until I came here, but it perped itself. No real problems, but there were several pauses. For 1A I was thinking dove COOS at first. SE was last to fall.

NOconnect said...

In the color process; what does the "C" represent? The word "color"
French again,iiiiiiiii!

Anonymous said...

Alternate QOD :

An intellectual may be defined as a person who's found one thing that's more interesting than sex. - Aldous Huxley.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning, all. Great job, Splynter. Nothing sub about our sub, that's for sure.

This one went smoothly, about right for a Tuesday level. No major hangups. I liked the alternate Beantown. I grew up close to Lima, OH, which is pronounced with a long 'I' sound, the same as the bean is usually pronounced. The one in Peru uses Spanish pronounciation rules.

ZAGAT was an easy one. I just got a shipment of a dozen bottles from the Zagat Wine Club last week. While far from being a connoisseur, and would never be able to tell the vintage by tasting, I do know that some years are very good and others very bad in the same brand. Weather conditions in the grape growing regions make a huge difference in the taste. Other than that, I know DIDDLY SQUAT about wines although I've toured many a winery around the world.

JD said...

Good morning all,

Splynter, great job. You cleared up a few of my questions. Rue de makes sense...not ruede.Cyan-knew the color, but not the clue.GHI was a definite a ha.

Love the word zephyr-so poetic, and diddly squat is just plain funny.

Lima lol

I was fooled by the ch endings on the first 2, so,like a fool, added them to the last 2..made it harder
for me.Also putting bingo for lotto didn't help.

Fun puzzle..have a great day all.

Seldom Seen said...

Grumpy1: you beat me to the Lima, OH reference. I have a customer in Lima. It's a very long trip for a service call but in this economy you do not turn down work.

Lima, OH trivia: Every M1 Abrams tank is built at the Lima Army Tank Plant.

OH trivia part deux: Ohio has a city named Versailles, which also uses American pronounciation rules.(more French for Splynter :)

Meanwhile, in another Ohio town named after a foreign city: George Clooney films The Ides of March in Oxford, OH.

NCAA First Four starts tonight in Dayton, OH.(home of America's dumbest cops)

OH, I will change the subject now!

carol said...

Hi everyone - good job Splynter. Nice you could help out.

Had a few head scratchings in the mix, but the perps bailed me out. Didn't know 37A Borat creator (still don't, so will Google it)

45D - put in MISREAD so that messed up that area for a few minutes.

34D - DoD fliers: Unknown

Dennis: don't worry about stretching - just heard that it doesn't really help anyone and might have the opposite effect....but then there are different types of stretching aren't there? Hmmmm, nevermind.

Loved DIDDLY SQUAT, don't think I have ever seen that in a crossword.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Very smooth, Splynter - you must be an expert with that plane!

Pleasant puzzle, despite the French. PAMPA does seem wrong.

Odd adjacencies:

A rubberneck will PIVOT TETE A LOT
On the Ides of April don't let the T-MAN SNARE you.

Lunch time - IMBO.


xtulmkr said...

I wanted an apostrophe "s" in NESTLECRUNCH. Those of us that predate the 1980's may remember it with the possessive. Here's a site with a little history. Notice at what point in time that the possessive disappears.

Seldom Seen said...

A correction re: the George Clooney article I linked.

Xavier does not "play itself", it plays Marquette at 7:15p on Fri.

Miami(OH) plays Rhode Island on Wed. and Dayton plays Coastal Carolina tonight.

cherylptts said...

Just wondering where the phrase, "ball park figure" comes from. Baseball stats are so exact. Anyone know?

Seldom Seen said...

Oh, I forgot to mention Ohio State plays on April 4 around 9:00p vs. TBD.

With apologies and deference to ClearAyes, here is my poetic submission for today: I Am A Bracket

I promise no more sports or Ohio entries. (for today, at least)

Jerome said...

Sorry guys, what doesn't look or sound right doesn't mean diddly squat. PAMPA is correct. Pampas is plural.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Good blogging, Splynter, thanks for the Bill & Ted clip. Very funny.

I understood the theme for today's puzzle. (Yesterday's "Two word present participle phrase ending in "G"" was a little complicated.) STRETCH, CRUNCH, PRESS, SQUAT and REPS were obviously things I don't do often enough.

37A Baron-COHEN is also the name of Sasha's cousin. Simon Baron-Cohen is the Director of Cambridge University's Autism Research Centre in England. I recently watched a documentary about autism, "A Mother's Courage". Cousin Simon was interviewed in several scenes. My sister's younger son has Asperger syndrome, so I'm interested.

The only problem today was PAMPA, which I also wanted to be PAMPAS. It doesn't have to be plural according to online dictionaries... rats! It was stacked on STEAL. I wanted that one to be STEAM, as in, "I took it badly and was angry. It made me STEAM!"..Rats, again!

Nice Cuppa said...

Thanks Splynter

I guess 17 Across was meant for you....

My MacDictionary says the Quechua word for 'plain' is "pampa", and I assume "Las" is plural. Still, the etymological singular, pampa, is not in my English dictionary. SO I AGREE WITH EVERYONE.

I just got OUST - I was thinking of gymnastics, not the result of opprobrious behavior down the boozer.

Otherwise, c'était vachement chouette , although I think of "REPS" as sales reps, not spin doctors.

P.S. I never found Cohen remotely funny. Same with Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean. Just made me cringe.


Lucina said...

Good day, puzzlers! Splynter, thank you for a great job of blogging and it's great you are available to sub.

DIDDLYSQUAT was my lat DH's favorite expression! It's great.

Thank you, Gary Steinmehl, for a fun run today.

I really liked:
lady birds, HENS
take badly, STEAL, nailed it
bean town, LIMA

And even the mini French theme was fun because they were familiar expressions.

I believe that in English Las Pampas is referred to as the PAMPA.

Have a an ideal IDES today!

Husker Gary said...

Pinch hitters doing a great job two days in a row! I do all those little exercises three times/week and hope it will at least keep me somewhat flexible and have some muscle tone.

-Confused ZAGAT with FODOR at first
-The jackplane and I never got along!
-Stamps are foreign to me now
-Ragg Mopp. Gotta love it!
-Spec houses are very rare these days
-Does anyone else know a Monopoly player that is way too competitive!
-My wine is from a box. I have no palette.
-GHI under 4 took awhile but “duh”!
-Corollary to Intellectual definition – a psychologist is someone who watches everyone else when a beautiful woman enters a room.
-I heard the cwd puzzle word STELE on Discovery Channel this weekend!

Clear Ayes said...

Seen@11:44, :o) Great! Reaffirmed my belief that poetry is universal and and can be found everywhere.

Because You Asked about the Line between Prose and Poetry

Sparrows were feeding in a freezing drizzle
That while you watched turned into pieces of snow
Riding a gradient invisible
From silver aslant to random, white, and slow.

There came a moment that you couldn't tell.
And then they clearly flew instead of fell.

- Howard Nemerov

Abejo said...

Folks: According to my 1956 Webster, Pampas is there, Pampa is not there. Pampas is defined as: "Vast treeless plains, esp. those of Argentina"

However, the root of that is a Quechua word "Pampa"


Nice Cuppa said...


Good to see that Webster 1956 and MacDictionary 2009 agree on pampa - not plain (or plane) English, clearly....


Jeannie said...

Great job today Splynter, although I was a little disappointed when you mentioned “abs” and alas no picture to accompany it. There were lots of French terms today. Tete, ete, ami, beau, Emile, rue de , and St. Lo. You’ll be happy to know MFcounselor that I got them all! Needed perp help for USB, Stoa, USMA. My favorite clue was “flat top opposite” – afro. My friend and I won $10 in the lottery a few weeks back but we were unable to retire in the Carribean. I didn’t particularly care for “rain more gently” – let up. To me when the rain lets up it’s done. Other than that this puzzle was great fun.

carol said...

Jeannie, If you lived in western Oregon or Washington, you'd know 'let up'. We have many, many words for rain: drizzle, mist, showers, downpour, etc. Right now it's really coming down, just as we are leaving on our ride!! Rats.

eddyB said...


Been to Lima, OH several times. Have the T-Shirt.

Fantastic images on APOD today.

Aged 12 years minimum.

Take care.

Jerome said...

Of course "vast, treeless plains" are pampas. Plains is plural. However, a "vast, treeless plain" is a pampa. Today's clue for pampa is "Argentine grassland", not "grasslands". This is about as simple as it gets and arguing that pampa is incorrect is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Is it pant or pants. Or am I just being silly?

Seldom Seen said...

We are all here to share and learn. I don't think anyone is being ridiculous.

Btw, thank you Clear Ayes, I knew my link wasn't quite a traditional poem. I wasn't sure what to call it hence "poetic submission". OH yeah...prose...dented can to the forehead.

windhover said...

Nice one!
After a certain amount of the former, one hopes to remove the latter.

windhover said...

Enough with the OH. ;-}

And if the Bucks play on April 4, I'll bring you a 12 pack of Hudy Gold and help you drink it, win or lose.

Seldom Seen said...

Windhover: I'll break my earlier promise just for you. Who y'all got? Kentucky? Louisville? Let me guess...MoreHead State...right?

I'm done with the OH. Are you done with the KY?

Counteroffer? A fine bourbon or Kentucky Bourbon Ale? If I'm bringing anything from Ohio to the Bluegrass State it would be some Great Lakes Brewing products. I also have some Yuengling left from my trip to PA.

that's number 5 for me.

Chickie said...

HOla Everyone, Hands up for Steam, Misread, and First name. Fell into the same traps as several other people. All were fixed fairly quickly when I got to surrounding answers.

Enjoyed your blog today, Splynter. We're lucky to have several great subs when our regulars have a problem.

T-bar was my only, "What?" I just couldn't get my thought processes going on this one.

The theme answers all went in easily and after the Nestle Crunch I realized that they had something to do with exercising--which is not in my vacabulary.

A dentist appointment today, so have to run.

Anonymous said...

The ongoing Japan report - At the iconic cross walk in front of Tokyo's Shibuya station and in the Ginza - usually a riot of lights and loud, blaring music - all video screens were turned off, no pop or other music played; only footsteps could be heard.
There has been virtually no evidence of looting or rising crime levels, and the Japanese have shown stoicism while waiting in long lines. Also on display have been Japan's unrelenting politeness and its love for group consensus. Twitter has stories of the stranded and homeless sharing rice balls. Travelers heading north reported 10 hour car rides - with no honking. At a convenience store in one battered coastal prefecture, a store manager used a private electric generator. When it stopped working and the cash register no longer opened, customers waiting in line returned their items to the shelves.

Splynter said...

Hi Again ~!

Well, I see that PAMPA has caused quite a stir ~!

According to the online dictionary, PAMPAS is the correct word, considered the plural, but the singular is mentioned...

Yeah, T does mean treasury - I did not know that. I have only seen it in Crosswords, and never "out there".

Sorry, Jeannie, I left it open for others to show me "theirs"....

For you:

For guys:

Lived in Fairfield OH, and it's about as far "South" as say, 'Bama....

Thanks for all the compliments, it was my pleasure to do the fill in for today.


Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Enjoyed the puzzle a lot today. Laughed out loud at DIDDLY SQUAT. The "letters under the 4" didn't fool me this time.

Good point about squares actually being rectangles as well, fermatprime. 'Course we non-mathematicians colloquially refer to only non-square rectangles as rectangles.

We have a couple of our earthquake monitoring systems installed in Peru. We affectionately call one of them Lima Bean.

They reeped off our roof yesterday and have been putting on the new one today. They have worked very fast and it's almost done. Looking good.

windhover said...

Nah, we won't be there either. I'm not all that sure we'll get by Princeton and WVU. I'm just saying the Bucks won't ne in the final game.
Yes to Great Lakes and Yuengling , I've got GL on the back porch and drank at the Y a couple weeks ago.
We could chase 'em with the Hudy.

Jayce said...

Abejo, we keep an old dial telephone around here for emergencies. When the power goes out it's pretty much the only thing around here that still works.

xtulmkr, what's the significance of the name change from Nestle's Crunch to Nestle Crunch?

cherylptts, I'm guessing that "in the ballpark" means "somewhere in the neighborhood of" because when a ball is hit inside the ballpark it still could be in a wide range of area.

Nice Cuppa, Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean, and several other British comedians, eg Benny Hill, just made me cringe too. Some comedians of other nationalities too, eg Adam Sandler.

kazie said...

I agree wholeheartedly with your judgement of humour.

Jeannie said...

Splynter, thanks! I knew you’d come through.

Windhover, a couple of weeks ago? Are you losing your touch?

fermatprime said...

Hi again!

Lemonade--I was really saddened when Michael Conrad died at age 58 or so. Loved Hill Street Blues!

Nice Cuppa--Agree with you completely about COHEN and Atkinson's Bean.

Never was able to get to sleep. Acid reflux really got me, as did every possible ache and pain on the planet. Sigh. So don't feel like working on taxes today.

Marge said...

Hi all,

Splynter, enjoyed your write up, also enjoyed the puzzle.I liked the clue for 36 down, because it is usually the other way around and we have to guess which boardgame they are talking about.

I also thought of Lima OH as I have a cousin who livethere.Seen, when we were in Dayton
we learned the Wright brothers also were from there.

Husker-I loved the Ragg Mopp song.

Yes, the Japanese are to be admired. I read where, sadly some scammers from other parts of the world are giving false info and claiming to be raising money for Japanese relief but keep it all from themselves.

Temp. in the 50's today. Spring is coming!

Marge said...

OOPS, I meant they keep it all for themselves.

Clear Ayes said...

Here's PAMPA via

It is amusing to me when we all get our dander up about whether a singular or plural should(must) be used.

Nobody standing up for the satirists? I have liked (not always) both Sacha Baron-Cohen and Rowan Atkinson's Mr. Bean. It is precisely the satiric and amazingly bold "cringe-worthiness" of their performances that make them interesting and (to me) often amusing. The characters they portray reveal as much about me (us) and what makes me uncomfortable as they do about themselves.

If I can learn that my discomfort is based on misinformation, prejudice (yeah, we all have some), or bias, then laughing at it can help me to overcome it.

xtulmkr said...

Jayce, no significance that I know of. I just recalled that originally the bar was called Nestle's Crunch, then, after 50 years, Nestle dropped the possessive. Who knows? Maybe some bean counters thought they could save money by no longer buying apostrophes and reducing their 's' inventory in half?

Lucina said...

Thank you. That is exactly what my 1960 Merriam Webster has on PAMPA.

And I agree with you about the satire; it may be distasteful and extreme, but it's thought provoking.

Lemonade714 said...

My guess (appropriate?) is ball park figure comes from the imprecise way baseball teams track attendence.

Lo-li-ta, I am so glad these months of french lessons have paid such early dividends. Je suis hereux.

Abejo said...

Hello again, folks. Well, I just got home from work and checked my own dictionary, a 1969 Webster, and guess what? It has "Pampa" as the word and "Pampas" as the plural. Looks like Webster changed from 1956 to 1969. Interesting.

To Jeannie: I tried arugula in my salad for lunch. It was very good and certainly has a distinct flavor. I liked it.


dodo said...

Hello, solvers

Good puzzles both today and yesterday; didn't have time for the blog yesterday.

Good to see you again, Boomer, and Splynter, you've really got it. Nice work!Pampa didn't look right to me, either. Looked it up in Merriam-Webster 1981 and there it was: pampa -s. Also in the Official Scrabble Dictionary.

Hand up for finding Cohen, Atkinson, Adam Sandler and some others I can't remember quite unfunny. I never saw 'Bean' but I thought 'Blackadder' was definitely cringemaking!

Why do I sound like a Grump today? I guess DST, which I also dispise, has caught up with me.

Therefore, no more negativity! Maybe later I'll be more 'up'.

Jerome said...

Lemonade- I believe 'ballpark figure' is in reference to the large size of the playing field.

Clear Ayes- No dander here. Outright fury maybe, but no dander. Feeling dander is a too small emotion and not worth the energy. But, just for the heck of it I did look up the word 'dander' (takes about fifteen seconds). And I'll be darned...'dandruffy' is a word. So, perhaps we were just getting all dandruffy. Sounds a lot more fun.

Jazzbumpa said...

When I fly in a plain plane over the flat terrain on the plain, It always reminds me of the pampa That's sane.

Strangely though, it never reminds me of Luis Ángel Firpo. No Bull!

Back in the 60's a trend light source was a Pampa lava lamp.

I remember putting Pampas on my kids when they were wee-wee little ones.

Now, I pampa my lovely wife - in a completely different way, mind you - whenever I have my wits about me.

I wonder who they pampa in Tampa?


Jerome said...

Jazz- Don't be getting all pompous on us.

Anonymous said...

fermatprime - it's depressing to read you.

Jazzbumpa said...

Jerome -

What looks like pomposity
Is only verbosity:
Words spilling out with excessive velocity.

I won't raise a ruckus
By being too pompous,
Unless I pump up and lose my moral compass.


Jazzbumpa said...

Anon -

We're friends here. We share things - good and bad, as friends do - and we try to help each other.

You're not being helpful.


Anonymous said...

Terrible humor doesn't help either.

Unknown said...

Yall are a funny group! Pampas, shampas! I get crazy with the grammar used by the puzzle gurus.
Interesting puzzle today for the Ides.

We celebrated our second son's birthday tonight with shrimp pasta for dinner and chocolate mousse torte for dessert. Thank God no one has a cholesterol test tomorow!

It's as cold as a well-digger's fanny tonight and rainy too. I don't give one doodly squat for rain.
Woohoo, spring is around the corner.

Jerome said...

Jazz- From your clever phrasing you're either one hell of a jazzman or a budding rap star. I'm going for the jazzman. Somehow wearing a crooked baseball cap doesn't fit. So I must quit. See you tomorrow, Johnny on the spot.

Clear Ayes said...

Hey Jerome, I came down on the singular side early on. It just made me STEAM when I had to admit that Gary Steinmehl was right and I couldn't have what I wanted. (Oooooh, I hate it when that happens!) It is still funny anyway.

Jazz, I like your poetry too.

Jerome said...

Clear Ayes- I'd respond, but if I did Dennis would send me an e-mail saying "Who the hell do you think you are sending more than five posts!"

Lucina said...

I like your pomp under the circumstances.

Jazzbumpa said...

Lucina -

For the win!

This is especially good, since we just performed Elgar on Friday.

Dangerously close to five - over and out.

JzB the circumstantial trombonist

Lucina said...

Thank you, Jazz. I do love your sense of humor.

Good night, everyone!

JVJ24601 said...

For the animal lovers among us:
Japan earthquake/tsunami aftermath video