Mar 16, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011, John Lampkin

Theme: I am Positive this Puzzle is a Plus: Each of Five theme answers are words which when paired with the unifier POSITIVE, which is also presented symbolically by the PLUS sign in the middle of the grid, portray a very upbeat approach to life. Based on his conversations here, I would guess this puzzle presents JL's philosophy.

17A. *Survey response: FEEDBACK. POSITIVE FEEDBACK, the pat on the back children and workers are always seeking.

21A. *Trying to remember: THINKING. POSITIVE THINKING means Norman Vincent Peale to me.

26A. *Prospects: OUTLOOK. POSITIVE OUTLOOK is what public companies and political spin masters are peddling.

48A. *Disposition: MINDSET. POSITIVE MINDSET is a way to get yourself ready for a difficult task, allowing you to use the full power of your mind. I read the works of Jose Silva.

55A. *Cocky manner: ATTITUDE. POSITIVE ATTITUDE is difficult to achieve as a teenager, and must not be confused with arrogance.

And the unifier,

63A. Word (suggested by the black shape in this grid's center) that can precede the answers to starred clues: POSITIVE. The black shape being a Plus Sign, also used as symbol for POSITIVE in chemistry, on batteries etc.

Happy day all, your pseudo-guest blogger Lemonade here,(?)once again amazed by Mr. Lampkin's mind. His originality and creativity is not limited to the cluing or the theme, but to the visual aspect of the puzzle, where like Don G's L-BAR puzzle, he creates a grid which itself is a clue. He includes his humor, his music and delivers another wonderful time had by all. On to the specifics....


1. Inedible Swiss cheese part?: HOLE. A simple but witty visual clue to begin.

5. Sched. uncertainty letters: TBA. To Be Announced, what shows up on your cable tv guide when the power goes off.

8. Greets the bad guy: HISSES. A shout out to our friend Snidely Whiplash?

14. Bard's black: EBON. Sing a long now? SONG 1.

15. "__ Latest Flame": Presley hit: HIS. Or sing later SONG 2; when I first heard the Beatles and Elvis, I was not impressed, proving my total lack of musical knowledge.

16. Bird that hangs its nest from a branch: ORIOLE. I grew up admiring this BIRD.

19. Rang: TOLLED. "Ask not for whom the bell tolled..."

20. Juliet's volatile cousin: TYBALT. We have seen this recently, but I love how John worked 68A. Oppressive boss: TYRANT into the grid.

23. Suffer defeat: LOSE OUT.

25. Cubic roller: DIE. Nice visual again, 1 DIE, 2 DICE.

29. Cartoon skunk Le Pew: PEPE. He's back.

32. Mideast political gp.: PLO.Palestine Liberation Organization.

33. UPS delivery: PKG. Package.

34. Know-it-all: SMARTIE. I don't see the normal continuation, "PANTS"

38. "Tomorrow" musical: ANNIE. Does anybody recall Sarah Jessica Parker as Annie on Broadway?

40. Push-up sound, perhaps: GRUNT. While not a simple clecho, I love the added 46A. Push-up garment: BRA, which emphasizes how tricky our language is, and therefore our puzzles. A twisted clecho master.

41. Longtime Dodgers manager: LASORDA. Tommy who said he bled Dodger blue.

44. Org. with shrinks: APA. American Psychological Association.

47. Software buyer: USER.

50. Chinese menu general: TSO. Chicken anyone?

53. Beethoven's only opera: FIDELIO. I am not familiar with this OPERA but I knew we would have some of John's music knowledge, and this and 30D. 19th-century Italian violin virtuoso: PAGANINI did not disappoint. Also, 49D. Like staccato notes: DOTTED. I no longer remember musical notation, but I am sure our resident composer does, as well as JzB.

58. Draw into wrongdoing: ENTRAP. A very complicated issue, and John's shout out to an old criminal defense lawyer?

62. __ Tomatoes: film review website: ROTTEN. Initially an irreverent little site, but now the most mainstream central location for movie critiques. Anyone ever throw a rotten tomato at a performer?

65. "Wait!": ONE SEC. Literally man!

66. Calendar col.: THU. COL. abbreviation for COLUMN, eh.

67. Weighty production: EPIC.

69. Short flight: HOP. I guess because you go up and down so quickly; quiet LOIS!

70. Cubicle furnishing: DESK. Dilbert lovers unite.

Okay a short nap, and moving on.


1. Test the weight of: HEFT. Not a good idea when wooing a new girl friend.

2. Carry out: OBEY. Not a good idea when wooing a new girl friend.

3. Leopold's co-defendant: LOEB. A most horrendous CRIME .

4. Ultimate goal: END ALL. That is the BE ALL and END ALL.

5. "Not to worry": THAT'S OK.

6. Cristal maker: BIC. I could not fit Louis Roederer in three spaces, so it had to be the see through PEN which was the object of my earliest memories, and which betrayed me.

7. Mail an invitation for, as a wedding: ASK TO. I am going to one on the 26th, my ex-anniversary?

8. Best-seller: HOT ITEM.

9. Age opening?: IRON. Right after Bronze in your history books.

10. Hairlike corn feature: SILK. None better than our own BARRY.

11. Like a rock: SOLID.

12. Nicholas Gage memoir: ELENI. Do not confuse him with NICHOLAS CAGE.

13. Rushlike plant: SEDGE. This includes the water chestnut plant.

18. "SportsCenter's Not Top Plays" videos, e.g.: BLOOPERS.

22. Marching syllables: HUPS. And a quick salute to Dennis and our other veterans!

24. Pre-op test: EKG.

26. Play-of-color gem: OPAL. Nice phrase, again very visual, you picture how the light changes color when you move an opal around.

27. Forearm bone: ULNA. Not very HUMERUS anymore.

28. Lots: TONS.

31. Commit 18-Down: ERR. It is after all human.

35. Old boats: TUBS. I think this comes from the boats they used to teach people to row, but I cannot confirm.

36. Memo "apropos of": IN RE. A semi-legal term for me!

37. Pierre's state: ETAT. Our French lesson, Jeannie; we see État often, it just means "STATE" like I live in Florida, and as Kazie explained many moons ago, the English word is the French word where the accent became an "S"

39. Paper in a pot: IOU. Not rolling papers, but in a gambling pot.

42. Gone: DEFUNCT. Like the Studebaker and the DeSoto.

43. Bone-dry: ARID. And a fine deodorant, which really do not de-odor, but mask our smells?

44. Pierre's soul: AME. More French; do you all have "l'âme soeur?"

45. More than fills the inbox: PILES UP. A clue that is only visual.

50. Medium's medium: TAROT. Nice internal clue.

51. Expressionless: STONY.

52. Playful swimmer: OTTER.

54. Diver's concern: DEPTH. Be careful before you dive in strange waters.

56. "__ girl!": ITS A. No, not many in my family, though we do have little Amelia (Mia).

57. Former girls' magazine: TEEN.Aha, the real theme, girls!

59. Ready to eat: RIPE. Not like I am now, but the Orange in the kitchen.

60. Brutus' bird: AVIS. Followed immediately by 61D. Eat like a bird: PECK. Another theme, because we had Oriole above!

64. "Now I get it!":O HO. I am more of an A HA man myself. Now I have done it.

A treat to solve and blog with the greatest visuals in the grid and the clues; John also sent us some beautiful pictures from his many adventures. Where did ewe hide the LAMB reference Mr. Lampkin?

Until next time, see you soon (hopefully, eye doctor today).


Note from C.C.: Lemonade won't be available next week, so he's blogging twice this week.


Dennis said...

Good morning, Lemonade, C.C. and gang - I'm really proud of myself that I got through this JLamp masterpiece without outside help. But....I did have to lean heavily on perps. And not a hint as to the theme until the unifier, even though I noticed the plus sign in the center. It's fun getting old and stupid.

This was an extremely enjoyable solve this morning, with John's touch evident throughout. I don't have the lines to mention all the clues I liked, but my favorite was 'Paper in a Pot'. The puzzle also had one of my favorite words, 'defunct', which is just fun to say.

Lemonade, a fun read this morning, and John, great puzzle and great pictures; it's pretty neat to see parakeets in the wild.

Today is Freedom of Information Day and Everything You Do is Right Day. I wonder if that'd hold up in court as an alibi.

Did You Know?:

- The Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan "Finger lickin' good" came out as "Eat your fingers off" in Chinese.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Just some random observations this morning:

Never heard of a BIC Cristal (was thinking champagne) or "HIS Latest Flame," so that crossing took a while and a WAG to get.

A know-it-all is a SMARTIE? Is that even a word? I've only seen it spelled SMARTY before (but then, I don't get around much).

I had no idea that TEEN was specifically aimed at girls. I never read it, but always assumed it was for, you know, teens in general.

Having STOIC instead of STONY really messed up the SW corner for a bit.

"Cocky manner" seems overly precise for ATTITUDE. There are a lot of attidues that aren't cocky at all. How about, "Cocky manner, for example"?

I always see General TSO in puzzles, but here on the East Coast all the restaurants serve General Gao's chicken instead. Cantonese vs. Mandarin, perhaps?

fermatprime said...

Hello all!

Really love John Lampkin! Also, super write-up, Lemonade. Will look at the pictures later.

Especially liked FIDELIO, PAGANINI. (Love those Leonore Overtures, BTW.)

Not sure the HOLES are inedible! Cute clue.

Keep trying to fall asleep. Have been having weird dreams involving calculus. Perhaps due to Russian former colleague staying here for semester and working on tutorial website. (I had not taught the subject in several years as it required more than two days/week. Anyway, liked my specialties better (abstract algebra, number theory, symmetry theory, math ideas). Sorry to bore you to death.

Have a nice hump day!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Another clever work from John, how does he do it?

I fell smack into the Pierre trap and put in SDAK. So it remained a fair while. The 36d clue "apropos of" for INRE strikes me as clever.

Was slow to figure out AVIS. Should have known better - I once worked for a Pittsburgh arm of the Swiss company Contraves, whose name was a contraction of "contra aves" or "against birds". The parent firm made anti-aircraft weaponry, you see.

Lemonade714 said...

A quick additional hello before I am gone for the day, to tell JL how much I enjoy his pictures as well, this time the West Coast Oriole, which is so bright and yellow compared to the Baltimore version (no offense Cal).

Dudley, there were no abbreviation hints for Pierre, and we have seen RARA AVIS (rare bird) often, an in fact an apt description of our constructor.

What does our resident mathematician Fermatprime wear? An ALGE BRA.

I know, I should have stayed away.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Lemonade and Friends. Super write-up, Lemonade, old friend. I thought this was a tad more difficult than the usual Wednesday fare. I didn't get the theme until I had almost completed the puzzle.

I almost was fooled by the Cubic Roller = DIE. Excellent clue.

We saw BIC recently, but this was a more tricky clue.

John Lampkin: Thanks for sharing your photos. they literally took my breath away!

QOD: Harmony seldom makes a headline. ~ Silas Bent

C.C. Burnikel said...

Barry G,
I like your ATTITUDE clue better. Mandarin for TSO is ZUO. I suspect GAO is a corrupt form of GAI (chicken), as in Moo Goo Gai Pan.

Boomer has one perfect game this season.

HeartRx said...

Good morning Lemonade, C.C. et al.

Outstanding job today, Lemonade! I chuckled all the way through the puzzle, and continued through your write-up. I’m an AHA type, too. That word, along with “___ girl!” type clues, are the bane of my existence. OHO or AHA? IT’S A or ATTA?

For HEFT, I thought it might be a good idea if you a wooing a new boyfriend?

And a corollary to Hahtool’s QOD: “Well-behaved women rarely make history.”

Have a great day, everyone!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Great puzzle. Great visual, as Lemonade pointed out. Brought to mind immediately your comment on this Barry Silk grid.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

I thought it was nice of John to dedicate today's puzzle to me by referencing the HOLE in my head and I did not disappoint.

I had several bad starts that slowed me down; 67A went tome,opus & finally epic. 37d began as SDak, & 55a AMA vs APA. Adding to my confusion were unknowns.... Tybalt, Fidelio, & Paganini. Dotted for staccato notes was another. Obviously, I needed a lot of perp help.

My eraser got a good workout today. The finished product would have been unreadable if I used a pen.

Barry, I've seen Smartie used on occasion. No idea if it's correct or not, but my spelling of the word would be smarty too.

All in all, a very enjoyable puzzle which got the grey matter into gear. Thank you John.

From rainy CT, everyone have a good day.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Actually when you translate the kFC Chinese slogan (吮指回味乐无穷) back to English, it becomes: Suck your fingers, it's endless fun.

Anonymous said...

Barry said: I always see General TSO in puzzles, but here on the East Coast all the restaurants serve General Gao's chicken instead.

Not here in NYC or Baltimore/D.C. It's 'Tso'.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning Lemonade, C.C. and all.

I liked the JL touch. Lots of misleading, elfin clues, but all fair. Had lucky WAG entries of ORIOLE and PAGANINI. Couldn't think of FIDELIO right away but the perps helped out. Got the unifier but by then didn't need it for the theme fills. Also wanted 'Sdak' for ÉTAT.

Have a good day.

(for real)ARBAON said...

Please disassociate any negative posts from my hijacked name. (Wonder if any other non-blues are truly "them". Jerome?) I`m the kindest, most humble, truly wonderful person in the world! :)

Am "enjoying" the tutorials on Japan by the anon. Makes "it`s a girl" more poignant and finding one in the rubble alive, joyous!

Now for the puzzle:
"Not very humerus anymore!" :)
"rang" for "tolled" good mis-direction
The ultimate "Smarty (Jones)" spelled it correctly.
Why do Lasourda and Berra get entwined in my memory?
I say "tso" but don`t eat it since the one I drive for "meowed" when I tried.
Concerning "heft" : A young swain was challenged to find something nice to say about a "hefty" girl. His comment was, "Well...she don`t (sic) sweat much for a fat girl!"
And I finish with that trite but true cliche: "Attitude (really does) determines your altitude."

Husker Gary said...

Lemon et al, what an exquisite puzzle and lovely write-up. Certain parts went down faster than a Sheen girl friend and others had to be gently courted!

-Of course I love any Elvis song but the HUT reminded me of This Great Elvis Song
-Is there a more abused singular violation than DICE/DIE?
-My shrinks first joined the AMA
-amE/fidEleo cost me 100%. I went for an O.
-ROTTEN Tomatoes is bookmarked at our house
-What a great link to Leopold and Loeb! I guess there are worse acts that can be committed by bored, rich kids than those of the irrelevant Paris Hilton!
-Is OPAL the only 4 letter gem in cwd’s?
-Divers worry about BENDS too.

kazie said...

A really enjoyable puzzle, John, thank you!

good luck at the eye doctor today, and thanks for a great job blogging. I read the whole Leopold/Loeb story, of which I had no previous knowledge. Very interesting.

I was slow in the SW, and wanted HANG ON for ONE SEC, but otherwise no pauses.

What's taken me so long to get here this morning is checking my credit card statement. There's a discrepancy in the math. The balance they give is much more than the charges showing up on the transaction list, all of which I've accounted for. I'll have to call them.

Anonymous said...

Alternate QOD:-

As a kid, I prayed for a new bike. But God doesn't work that way. So I stole one and prayed that he'd forgive me. - Emo Philips.

Lemonade ? - What you give a hurt lemon.

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2

-Kids are amazed when I show them a now DEFUNCT slide rule or LP turntable!
-ATTAgirl ain’t gettin’ it done today!
-Odd couple? Bic pens and fabulous champagne!
-I thought “Former girl’s magazine” might be for recipients’ of a sex change operation.
-Corollary to Marti’s corollary – “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere!” Mae West

Barry G. said...

Barry said: I always see General TSO in puzzles, but here on the East Coast all the restaurants serve General Gao's chicken instead.

Not here in NYC or Baltimore/D.C. It's 'Tso'.

Hmmmm... Maybe it's just a Massachusetts thing, then? Or just the greater Boston area?

NOconnect said...

The only answer that felt "off" to me was 23 acrosses, "LOSE OUT". Thought I nailed it with, "WIPE OUT" Alas!
Of course "smartie" shb:"Smarty"

HeartRx said...

Barry G., I see "Gao" as far west as Southbridge, LOL!

Husker Gary, LOL at your corollary corollary...

Anonymous said...

Husker Gary - another four letter gem for crosswords ... Ruby, Onyx, Jade.

Opal is not a technically a gem stone, because it is not a single crystal,- actually doesn't even have a crystalline ( matrix-ordered ) structure, has 2 compounds ( mainly SiO2 ) in agglomeration with ( .nH2O ), is almost never faceted, because of its low hardness etc. etc. Still expensive nevertheless, and used extensively in jewelry.

Thank you , Mr. Lampkin for a very nice puzzle - really enjoyed it. Thank you Lemonade, for a very nice, tongue-in-cheek blog, enjoyed it very much. Good luck with your eye exam and other health issues.

Husker Gary said...

Anon @9:42. Thanks for the geology lesson, it was very interesting. I certainly knew of those other gems but perhaps my question was intended to be, "Is there a four-letter word clued as a "gem" that appears more often in a crossowrd?" OPAL seems to be the answer by default more often than not. Those other gems seem rarer and differently clued - e.g. Dorothy's Slippers, Black gem, Nephrite.

Off to the Y to perform all those actions from yesterday's puzzle and then, FORE!

Splynter said...

Hi There ~!

Well, I stumped myself with a PLUS SIGN instead of POSITIVE, which slowed the SE corner pretty good.

We have TSO here on Long Island.

Not a baseball fan, but 20 years ago, I thought the Orioles had the best logo with the bird swinging the bat, and the trooper Cal Ripken, and that became my default team to watch - then the Mets won.

When I was a kid, my English parents would get candy from home, which included these little M&M "fakes"...


Grumpy 1 said...

Happy Hump Day, all.

Thank you, John, for a nice clever puzzle and Lemon, for 'splainin' it all.

Hand up for S DAK and HANG ON for first thoughts. Fortunately, perps corrected those quickly. I took a guess on the crossing of AM_/FID_LIO and lucked out. E seemed to fit better than the other vowels so that's the one I went with.

I liked the fresh clue for SEDGE. "Marsh plant" was getting a little boring.

Now to go check the pictures and links.

kazie said...

Now I have time to comment further. I resolved my credit card problem by copying into a spreadsheet all the entries back to the last time my payment had agreed fully with the total posted, deleting all but the amounts, and using a sum formula to get a true balance (without doing the math myself). Now it looks a bit over what they say I owe, so I can live with that.

We went to our town's first ever Chinese buffet which just opened last night to a full crowd. It has General Tso's chicken.

I completely missed the clues for STONY, BRA and PLO, because they perped themselves. SMARTIES were an M&M-like candy in OZ that used to roll down the theater floor when kids would drop them at the movies. Is the usage in today's CW perhaps short for smartie-pants?

Bill G. said...

That was a very enjoyable puzzle. I had several missteps but it all came together nicely. Thanks to John, Lemon and C.C.

I'm guessing maybe Dennis was watching an episode of "Cash Cab" this week? They had the same question about the translation of the KFC slogan.

Little Jordan (grandson) had been getting very discouraged over his inability to hit and catch the ball in Little League. But he did fine last night. When he hit the ball, he was so happy he skipped to first base. When he eventually got to third, he was excited to get the chance to run home. He was so happy he ran straight to the dugout instead of touching home. Nobody seemed to worry about it too much.

carol said...

Hi all -
Felt like I had a HOLE in my head with this clever puzzle! I managed with some help and 'got er done'.

I am not an opera person so those clue/answers always need to be looked up.

I never remember the Chinese menu general, I didn't know why, but now reading the other comments I don't feel so bad. I love what passes here for Sechzwan type food. (please excuse my misspelling). We had a wonderful restaurant we went to for lunch (in my working days), but alas, it is no longer in business.

creature said...

Good Day C.C.,Lemon and all,

Lemon, enjoyed the Leopold and Loeb link- very enlightening today.
I didn't know most of this.Think it's "For Whom the Bell Tolls".

John, really had fun with the puzzle, this AM.

My unknowns were:TYBALT and FIDELIO, but perps and wags did it.

The theme was definitely a self revelation- you, to a 'T'.
Great fill and grid. Loved your photos.

NC,Nor did I {re:11:59 yesterday}.
Ditto to Dodo and others of same sentiments.

My time seems to not be as free as usual. Miss uninterupted time at the corner.

Have a nice day everyone.

Zcarguy said...

I have to say that I enjoy J-LA's puzzles more than any others, and this one was no exception , my OUTLOOK on it was + from the git go, it was a fun solve, I'm sure I had to rely on some perps and a wag, but they were there to get,
I'm with Barry G on 34a ,, now I wouldn't want to be a Smarty working for 68a and end up with a 39d as a paycheck .

I would've like to see the unifier clued as ( with starred clues,,, essential for a sales job )

Have a good day all.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Thanks for reminding me, John Lampkin. I have been the beneficiary of all the theme phrase thoughts and deeds in the past couple of years.

I'm usually so happy to finish a puzzle, I don't pay much attention to the layout of the grid. I know John L. likes to "sculpt" his puzzle grid to fit the theme whenever he can, so I paid attention. This was a nice one.

I'm with Barry G. about the BIC Cristal. I only knew about the champagne. "A votre sante!"

12D/ELENI is one of GAH's favorite movies and has seen it several times. Don't tell him I told you, but he gets teary eyed whenever he watches it.

Lemonade, about "l'âme soeur", is soulmate always a "sister"? (Kazie, explain?) GAH is my best friend and I usually know what he is thinking, although he seldom knows what I am thinking. But we still argue and disagree, so maybe this is the closest we'll get. It works just fine!

Lucina said...

Good day, Corner friends. Lemonade, I enjoyed your blogging as much as John Lampkin's puzzle.

Whee! I started out with many HOLEs which gradually were filled. OverTHINKING and trying to be a SMARTIE almost spoiled my POSITIVE ATTITUDE on this EPIC puzzle.

Thanks, JL. I especially liked:
cubic roller, DIE
paper in a pot, IOU

I wondered if Dennis had any HOT ITEMS that are best sellers?

PAGANINI is an old favorite and FIDELIO simply emerged. I had TABLE and STOIC before TAROT and STONY but TYRANT dispelled them.

Have a wondrous Wednesday everyone!

Lucina said...

John, thank you for sharing those beautiful pictures. They are remarkable.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Well, after a superb puzzle and excellent blogging today, I expect to have a very positive attitude for at least the rest of this week.

Oddly enough, I entered ETAT right away for 37D, in spite of the fact I lived and loved in SDAK for an important part of my insouciant youth.

No trouble with FIDELIO, TYBALT, and PAGANINI. Took a while to get DOTTED. Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" ballet music is magnificent, including the "Death of Tybalt" part.

I think I'll let my thoughts on eating holes go unsaid.

Clear Ayes said...

44A Org. with shrinks/APA. "American Psychological Association". The initials are the same, but it could be American Psychiatric Association. It is usually the psychiatrists who are called "shrinks".

34A/SMARTIE reminded me of Mel Brooks at 1:21 in Springtime For Hitler "Well, talk about bad taste!". Satire at its best!

fermatprime, dreams about calculus? I hope they weren't nightmares (they would be for me!) and you could solve the equations.

Wonderful photos, John Lampkin.

Lemonade, we will be THINKING POSITIVEly and will have a POSITIVE OUTLOOK about your doctor's appointment.

Cribbage today, see you all later.

Jayce said...

Sure enough, I did misread Nicholas Gage as Nicholas Cage, so couldn't get ELENI except from the perps, then still didn't know what it was.

Didn't even see the clues for 50D, 51D, and 52D until later, since those all filled from the acrosses.

My only familiarity with Tommy LaSorda is from seeing the weight-loss commercials he did on TV.

Calander col. had to wait for at least one perp, without which it could have been any of 8 possible answers.

At work we all kid our IT guy by calling him "Epic" instead of by his name. "Hey there, Epic!"

Jayce said...

Hey fermatprime, was his name Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky? Haha.

Congratulations to Boomer on getting one perfect game (so far.)

I really like the QODs and Did-You-Knows in this blog.

Excellent photos, Mr. Lampkin. Ya think the owl got its name from, um, the size of its ears? LOL

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

When you get a smile from 1A, you know the puzzle will be a POSITIVE experience. Grid looked like Swiss cheese for a long time, though. I got down to the unifier clue before all the theme answers were in, so I avoided reading it - for a while.

Here's a challenge John - work OPAL, ONYX, JADE and RUBY into the same puzzle.

Notes can be dotted either above or beside, with directionally opposite effects. Stacatto - played short - is indicated with a dot above. A dot behind increases the note duration by half. So, a dotted half note in 4/4 time gets three beats. All musical shorthand to aid in transcription.

Continuing with the musical theme, here's a song about where the inedible part of Swiss cheese can be found.

JzB the singing grandad appreciating trombonist

Tinbeni said...

Lemon, Thanks for explaining my many ERRs.

John, I had FUN but it was a DNF

Had 'call-up' for TOLLED/Rang.
Stoic for STONY, ATTA for IT'S A, AMA for APA ... couldn't get Cristal being a BIC pen.
Never heard of the website ROTTEN Tomatoes.
PAGANINI was also a learning moment.
And I don't GRUNT when I do 'push-ups' at the gym.

Geez, I was NOT on John's wave-lenght anywhere.

THAT'S OK, there is another chance tomorrow.

John Lampkin said...

Hello positive and upbeat solvers all,

Thank you Lemonade for the glowing praise and solid analysis, and thank you all for the kind words and helpful comments.

This was a grid-driven idea. While struggling to come up with a Saturday themeless just so that I can say that I’ve hit for the cycle, this positive sign presented itself. It seemed like a positive sign, so I was positive I should pursue it.

It sure exemplifies the problem I have with creating themeless puzzles. My mind naturally embraces clechoes and linkages instead of isolated entries. There have been many themeless puzzles with plus signs in the grid, as C.C. astutely reminded us, but I doubt that one will ever come from me!

TSO long, and happy solving! – John
PS to Jazzbumps – I’ll get busy!

Jeannie said...

It’s interesting how all of our Blogmeisters all have their distinctive style, so when I started reading today’s offering I kept checking the calendar to make sure it was Wednesday. Good job MFCounselor. I had somewhat the same solving experience as Carol and Tinbeni today. I have never heard of a sedge. I don’t think we have those up here. I thought inedible swiss cheese part – hole was clever, same with cubic roller – die. Not much more to say about the puzzle so have a great day all!

Oh, congratulations on your 300 game this year Boomer. Did you add another ring to your collection? You’re running out of fingers :)

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

What a spectacular write up, Lemonade!
I surely hope your eye exam goes well and that you have good news.

This was a fun puzzle to do. I got off on the wrong foot by thinking the center black was a cross. That surely held me up a while.

And my favorite, was like one you liked Lemonade: GRUNT and BRA juxtaposed.


eddyB said...


Remembered the Guinness. Forgot the cabbage. Back to the store.

New season starts next week. No rain in the ten day forcast for St Pete.

Dallas tried to play without a goalie. Result - two open net goals. Now if LA and ANH would lose.

Waiting for the phone call to come
to th RR station.

take care

Lemonade714 said...

Well I am back from the eye doctor; he performed the Nd:YAG laser surgery to correct posterior capsular opacification. Sounds pretty fancy. So far I am aware my nerve cells still function.

John L. thank for stopping by; do you have any music you have written using staccato dots, to which you could link,to add a visual understanding to your words?

I will never write email for a client from my computer again. Later

Gunghy said...

Well, my brain was not turned on this AM. I would not have finished this one if I didn't have help. Music is included in the "I don't know much about art, but..." and I know I don't like opera, so I really don't know much about that. And all that 3 years of Jr. high music taught me was a deep respect for Mr. Conte's ability to put up with one tone deaf trombone "player's" massacre of his life passion.

Sedge took out Weaver (bird). I do know about science.

I seem to remember that Eleanor Roosevelt told a audience in China that she was tickled to death to be there. The translator reported that she was going to scratch herself to death because she was there. Could be wrong, it's been a long time.

Anyone seen General Cho's chicken?

One of the things keeping me busy is helping my daughter and future SIL clear scrap metal out of their barnyard. Just discovered I cut the sidewall on the trailer tire. $5 worth of metal just cost me $110 for a tire. I'm not feeling positive right now.

carol said...

Lemonade: so glad the eye appt was a good one. Keep us posted.

John L: love your photographs!! Those orioles are just beautiful. Our neighbor has many bird feeders and we see finches, wrens and others I don't know. My flowers in beds and borders attract hummingbirds - they just crack me up. They are so fast, I don't even see them at first, I just hear this 'whirrring' sound that scares the you know what out of me until I figure it out.

Just a quick question on 65A: shouldn't that clue have had abbr with it? ONE SEC is an abbr to me, but maybe SEC is now an actual word.

Hahtoolah said...

I never knew that the BIC pen I used in grade school had a name.

Michael York played Tybalt in the 1968 movie version of Romeo and Juliet. That was the first version of the play/movie that I had ever seen, so it really stuck with me and I remember it quite clearly.

WikWak said...

I enjoyed this puzzle even though having STOIC for STONY really slowed me sown for a while. When I got to SMARTIE, I immediately thought of candies I used to get when I was younger (in western Illinois); now I read in the blog that people associate them with the UK & OZ... were they international? I'm pretty sure we just got them at the local grocery store.

Seldom Seen said...

Loved the Bic Cristal. I remember having to switch to the 'round stic' and being disappointed. Favorite feature of both was the convertible spitball launcher.

Beautiful day. Was home by 5p. In the garden for over an hour. No sunset until 7:45p. My vote is FOR dst. Cheers

Thanks John Lampkin, C.C. and Lemonade714

creature said...

Boomer, congrats on your perfect bowling score! Do I understand that you wear a ring for each perfect score? Maybe a belt is in order.

Lemon, I so hope that your eye work today is successful. You certainly have patience and my thoughts.

Hahtool, Is that you and your DH?
I love seeing you. What are the cycles you are riding? Look like fun!

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, An early morning meeting kept me from completing the puzzle until late this afternoon. What a delightful piece of construction.

I was able to finish all but one square today. The B in Loeb and Tybalt. I should have known Loeb as we've had this word in our puzzles before. I've put it into my CW dictionary so I won't have this problem again. I also need to re-read my Shakesperian plays as I've become fuzzy on some of the players.

My favoarite clues today were Like a rock/Solid, and Paper in a pot/IOU. I also liked the animal theme--well kind-of animal theme.
Grunt, Hisses, and Hop--could be animal related, and of course, Otter and Oriole.

thehondohurricane said...

I heard some discouraging news about Justin Morneau today. I saw him, as well as many other Twins at New Britain. Justin was a favorite with adults and kids. I hope he gets back on the field this year.

I've been a Yankee fan since the Giants left NYC, but the Twins have s been in my rear view mirror for a few years and I would not be disappointed at all if they went all the way.

Skip (aka Hondo)

Chickie said...

Thank you Lemonade for a great writeup and a thank you, also, to John Lampkin for his great pictures.

Dennis, I was glad that I didn't have any coffee at the time I read your Did you Know? today. Translations do leave something to be desired at times!

Last night at 2:00 A.M. we were serenaded by a Great Horned Owl. There is a tall redwood tree just outside our bedroom window and he was perched somewhere in that tree. I actually got up, went outside, and listened for about 10 minutes. He was so close. I was hoping to see him fly, but he didn't. About 40 years ago we found a dead Great-horned owl in the hills near our home. He is now stuffed and in our family room. He also spent a great deal of time in my classroom.

Lucina said...

I just watched Jeopardy! and saw an amazing ending. It may have happened before, but not that I've seen. Quite surprising.

Lemonade714 said...

Well the day is almost done (thank you all for the kind words) and it is time for my BIC Cristal story, short version.

Part I.

In the early 50s, Jonas Salk ran a small controlled test of his POLIO VACCINE using patients brought by Health Officers across the country. My uncle was one such doctor, and my two older brothers immediately "volunteered." We would go to my uncle's office, they would go in, and each would come out with a brand new Bic Cristal and a candy bar. Those pens glistened in the artificial light of his waiting room, and called my name, So I volunteered.

Lemonade714 said...

Part II.

Well, I was young, 3 or 4, but I was such a pain they agreed I could become part of the study. My brothers snickered but would not tell me why. When the next scheduled shot was due, after my brothers marched out with their pens and candy, in I went with the enormous ignorance of youth, and a big grin on my face.
The grin quickly turned upside down when I learned what I had agreed to do was get inoculated for the following year.

My attempt to resign my commission failed, and I did get my Bic Cristals, but instead of joy, I blamed the see through stick pen for my ever sore derriere. Would not use one and favored fountain pens until they started felt tips.

Vidwan827 said...

Reading the Wiki article on Jonas Salk - whom I had the pleasure and privilege to meet in 1989 or 1990 in San Diego ( La Holla) -

-reading the Wiki article I was surprised to find out that he never won the Nobel Prize (!?!). For that matter neither did Mr. M K Gandhi.

A prize voted in by political legislators, is worth just that much.

Hahtoolah said...

The royal wedding is coming up. Anyone see what's wrong with this wedding souvenir?

Clear Ayes said...

Hahtool, I wonder if the commemorative mugs celebrating the marriage of Prince Harry and Kate Middleton will be valuable in the future. I loved the little caveat at the bottom of the ad, "You are welcome to purchase now to avoid disappointment and regret."

Lucina said...

Isn't that Prince Harry?

Bill G. said...

Has Kate dumped William already? I would have thought she would be more constant than that.

Maybe it would be a good investment; like the postage stamp with the upside-down airplane.

Unknown said...

Thank heavens for erasers! I kept seeing the center as a cross. Must be the season.
My favorite today was "hole". Like someone said it matched the hole in my head.
My quote today; Youth has no age.-Picasso
Did I spell that right? If I could spell and type; I'd be dangerous.
Spell check is a good thing.

Annette said...

Today's been non-stop for me and I still need to pay bills...I haven't even had time to read the blog or post, so I'm sorry for any repetition. Since I need to be up at 4:30 for an early flight, it hardly seems worth going to bed at this point.

I first thought of a cross for the center squares too. Then, when I got to 63A, I put in PLUS SIGN. My favorites: 1A HOLES and 40A GRUNT. A much kinder clue than the GRUNT from the other day.

Love the photos, John! They certainly add another level of enjoyment to your puzzles.

Annette said...

Does anyone else remember the children's book "Arty the Smarty"? It was a favorite in our house.

Lemonade714 said...

The juxtaposition of the avatars of MSO and Annette is so pretty it looks planned.

Annette said...

Nice observation, Lemonade. And we're followed by the prettiest avatar of all - your little Amelia!

BTW, I'll be in training all next week downtown in the Govt. Center. I'm hoping to try that burger place you mentioned in Himmarshee for lunch one day!