Apr 8, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011 Scott Atkinson

Theme: Lost in the City or the Country. Each of the six theme answers is capital of a country, with a single letter taken from the name of the country to create a new and wacky phrase. You can perhaps propose a better theme, but the concept is simple, though unstructured. The letter can be a consonant or vowel; it can be first or last or in the middle and the letters taken out WAONIQ, make only NO IQ, AW!

Hello, Lemonade riding the Friday express, and expressing my admiration for this puzzle; so let's do the theme entries.

16A. Celtic quaffs?: CARDIFF ALES. CARDIFF, WALES. Supposedly quite depressing, near the North Sea. Martha Grimes place one of her Richard Jury books there. You do need to know a Quaff is a libation.

30A. Caribbean baby animal?: HAVANA CUB. HAVANA, CUBA.

38A. Arabian guy?: MUSCAT MAN. MUSCAT, OMAN. We see this combination often, as clue or fill.

52A. East Asian "pet"?: BEIJING CHIA. BEIJING, CHINA. The amazingly long lasting CHIA PETS. This leads into a subtheme, with 12D. Capital ENE of Khatmandu: LHASA. This is NOT THE DOG . 24D. Some Chinese restaurant decor: GONGS. 48D. Contemporary of Mao: ZHOU. This LEADER and a clear shout out to our leader.

11D. Iberian bridge?: MADRID SPAN. MADRID SPAIN, which gives us two Spanish speaking countries.

26D. Mesopotamian savings plan?: BAGHDAD IRA. BAGHDAD IRAQ. My favorite, liking the concept of the war torn land setting up savings accounts, when they may be dead by bombing the next day.

This is from the constructor who gave us the RINKY DINKY puzzle last month, and has show some creativity. Lots of intricacies and interactions. So what do you all think? I had lots of fun. Oh let us solve it first.


1. Chuck E. Cheese's order: PIZZA. Wow, a puzzle starting with two Zs; this offering has the highest scrabble score of any I recall, though a K and X short of a Pangram. Couldn't he work a bowl of KIX in somewhere?

6. Disaster response gp.: EVAC. An EVACuation ambulance, which can be by sea, air or land. Hmmm, foreshadowing? We also have, 41A. 911 response initials: EMS. Emergency Medical System, manned by EMT's.

10. Eric the Red's birth year, roughly: CML, 950. This shout out for our Norwegian contingent, was born Erik Thorvaldsson (Old Norse: Eirīkr Þōrvaldsson; 950 – c. 1003 a.d), and was kicked out of Norway for manslaughter. He went to Iceland where he murdered at least three people. He continued his murderous ways until he set out and helped colonize Greenland. His son was Leif Ericcson, the first European to make it to the Americas.

13. Lets go: FREES.

14. Conscious: AWARE.

15. "A likely story!": HAH.

18. Old cereal box letters: RDA. Recommended daily allowance.

19. __-Caps: SNO, the movie theater version of the nonpareils (semi-sweet chocolate with dots of sugar) which we loved as children.

20. Anderson of Jethro Tull: IAN. Okay, though the name sounds Norse, he is a Scottish musician who brought the flute to rock and roll. Is their most famous song AQUALUNG ?

21. Pyle portrayer: NABORS. Jim Nabors, Gomer Pyle, USMC; I guess a shout out to Dennis. While Nabors was a very talented singer he was also the long time partner of Rock Hudson, which shocked the crap out of me.

23. Composer Stravinsky: IGOR; another sighting of this name, spelled with an I.

25. Words of affection from Luigi: CARA MIA, my dear in Italian. Am I the only one who thinks of GOMEZ; whenever I hear this phrase?

26. Club ingredient: BACON, Club Sandwich, not a club you use to hit, or go to get sozzled.

28. Astronaut Grissom: GUS. Gus Grissom, was part of the very first class of astronauts and had been chosen to command the first Apollo mission, when he and Roger Chafee and Ed White died in a fire while training. I was 18 and remember hearing about it like it was yesterday. Gus would have been 85 on April 3.

29. Seed alternative: SOD. Good thing we are not in an earlier puzzle, or I would not know sod all.

32. Impudent: SASSY. I cannot think of a better word to describe our corner ladies.

34. Senescent: AGING. I cannot think of a better word to describe... oops, I mean our first word from classic Latin, from SEN, meaning old (like SENILE, SENIOR) and ESCENT meaning becoming, like ADOLESCENT, ACQUIESCENT, TUMESCENT.

35. Refinery input: ORE. Tricky for me because I thought of OIL.

36. Escape to Vegas, maybe: ELOPE.

37. "__ life!": THAT'S. Let's SING ALONG.

40. Withdrawal concern: DTS. Delerium Tremens, the shakes one gets from alcohol withdrawal. My 10th grad math teacher Mr. Henderson, he would arrive with his coffee and his shaking would make us all nervous.

42. Hardly local: ALIEN, phone home Tinbeni.

43. '70s TV cop played by Robert Blake: BARETTA. Did you watch his murder trial, or his show which had a nice THEME SONG done by Sammy Davis, Jr.

45. Assorted: Abbr.: MISC. Ellaneous. My fourth grade teacher.

46. Farewells overseas: ADIEUS, a weak plural, but our French lesson, Jeannie; farewell, not goodbye.

47. Dinghy thingy: OAR. Bore. Rhyme time.

48. Electrical sound: ZAP. Love those bug zappers, fry you flying fiends!

51. Lighting brand: BIC. They won't let me forget my Cristal Bic story will they?

56. "__ you nuts?": ARE.

57. Matching: EQUAL. No longer the leading sweetener.

58. Agony and ecstasy: MOODS, also a fine book and movie about Michelangelo.

59. Dorm agts.: RAS. Resident Advisers.

60. 640 acres: Abbr.: SQ MI, yes the letter combination looks weird but they tell you it is an abbr, for Square Mile.

61. Opposite of lanky: SQUAT.

Made it halfway, lots of short words, so now the rest.


1. Cpl.'s subordinates: PFCS. Private First Class.

2. "__ (So Far Away)": 1982 hit for A Flock of Seagulls: I RAN, we could have had another country, instead we get this TUNE.

3. Reset: ZERO. Like your combination lock.

4. Letter from London: ZED, how they say ZEE in Merry Olde.

5. "__ was saying ...": AS I.

6. McGregor of "The Men Who Stare at Goats": EWAN. Another entertainer from Scotland, who has done many diverse movies from Moulin Rouge to Star Wars. An actual actor who plays parts, not himself.

7. Feb. sentiment: VAL, Valentine's Day. Sentiment?

8. Circus sites: ARENAS, Circus Maximus in ancient Rome.

9. French Oscar: CESAR. Did you ever wonder about the FRENCH movies? I love Catherine Deneuve.

10. Y for men only?: CHROMOSOME. I like this word, well done.

14. Way out yonder: AFAR.

17. Shrek's love: FIONA. Also a wonderful character on the Showtime series, SHAMELESS. For mature, open minded audiences only.

22. Like much Hawaiian lava: BASALTIC. You want Lave, I will give you stinking LAVA .

23. Complaint while groping: I CAN'T SEE . Well two things, an obvious shout out to me for my eye problems, just slightly sadistic; but let's face it, when I am groping someone, not being able to see does not matter. It is all in the hands.

25. Dice and ice, often: CUBES. Another rhyming clue.

27. Earhart et al.: AVIATRICES. Flying ladies, did anyone watch the movie?

28. Spiritual leaders: GURUS.

30. It may be tipped: HAT.

31. One commonly follows "said": COMMA. Have you ever had a comma happy boss? What, a, pain.

32. Naval acronym: SEALS. SEA, AIR and LAND.

33. Japanese dough: YEN.

39. Stone monument: CAIRN. These are basically ROCK PILES . Also, a Terrier, like Toto in the Wizard of Oz.

41. And those following, in footnotes: ET SEQQ; this one combines my law and Latin backgrounds, as we use this abbreviation whenever we want the reader to read a section of law and those sections which follow. The Latin is literally "and following." The two Qs are the plural.

43. King with a trunk: BABAR. I learned to read with the adventures of this ELEPHANT , and still collect Elephants.

44. Old TV parts: TUBES. my high school roommate had taken a course in TV repair; he taught me that they do not blow up, they implode. Fun.

45. Knight's protection: MAIL. Chain mail, as opposed to chain letters.

47. Ventura County resort: OJAI, a California gimme for our left coasters, and the direction the golf ball breaks on the greens out there.

49. Operatic slave: AIDA.

50. It's behind us: PAST.

53. Elemental suffix: IUM. So many, LITHIUM, SODIUM, HELIUM as well the magnetic metals.

54. MLB execs: GMS. General Managers. As opposed to field managers.

55. Chantilly crower: COQ. Chicken in French, au vin anyone? Trying to get me in trouble at the very end.

Well, I am struggling to get done, so it is time to say sayonora. Until next time



Dennis said...

Good morning, Lemonade, C.C. and gang - not much time this morning, but I wanted to say how much I enjoyed this puzzle, right from the start with 'Pizza' which is always a great way to start most anything.

I confess I stared at the first theme answer for quite a while before the light came on that Cardiff was in Wales. While it made the remaining theme clues much easier, I still enjoyed them for their cleverness. And there were lots of clever clues in this one; some of my favorites were 'Lighting brand', 'Y for men only', and 'Withdrawal concern'. I wanted 'That's not my belly button' for 'Complaint while groping', but it wouldn't fit.

Lemonade, I'm sure it's your usual fine job on the blog, but when I saw the length, figured I'd better read it later when I've got more time.

Today is Draw a Picture of a Bird Day. Lois, any thoughts?

Did You Know?:

- Male patients fall out of bed twice as often as female patients. They must not be on Viagra...

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Lemonade and friends. I liked this puzzle. I had most of the theme clues filled in and was trying to figure out the connection. Then I looked at BEIJING CHIA and realized we were missing a country letter and the lightbulb went on.

Letter from London (ZED) brings back memories of yesterday's puzzle.

The NW corner filled in so swiftly, that I thought this would be a speed run. Not the case, however.

I initially wanted FEMA for 6-Across. Nearly 6 years after Katrina, I am still heavily involved in that emergency agency.

I liked how IAN and EWAN crossed.

I saw Flock of Seagulls perform I RAN live back in the 80s.

Favorite clue was King with a Trunk = BABAR.

QOD: Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself. ~ William Shakespeare

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Sadly, this one left me cold. I absolutely, positively did NOT understand the theme while solving and therefore had no "aha" moments whatsoever. This was one of those puzzles that I managed to solve without understanding how or why I did it.

As for the non theme answers, I really, really wanted FEMA at 6A and only grudgingly replaced it with EVAC when nothing else worked. Even after removing FEMA, however, EVAC didn't immediately spring to mind and it took me awhile to get the V. Is EVAC an acronym of some group, or just an abbreviation of "evacuation"?

The other main sticking spot was down south with ETSEQQ. I simply refused to believe that anything could end with QQ. I wanted ET SEQ (which I'm familiar with) and knew that the word definitely ended with Q, but there were just too many letters. But it couldn't possibly be ETS SEQ, and ET SEQS gave me SSMI for 60A, which didn't work. But ET SEQQ was just nonsensical.

I guess I just need to get out more. Who knew you could use a double Q to indicate a plural?

Anonymous said...

@ Barry I agree I thought this puzzle was flat. It was rather boring and as you said no aha moments.

Anonymous said...

BarryG is the man.

Mainiac said...

Morning Lemonade, CC and All,

I thought this was a themeless puzzle until I read Lemonade's write-up, which was very entertaining. Thanks. This was a struggle. I kept thinking the theme would be about pets with Havana Cub and Beijing Chia. I got 16A via perps which blew that idea out of the water. Very few gimmes today with the exceptions of Gus and Gurus. My youngest is a Gus. The brain was in the gutter trying to fit something inappropriate for the groping clue. Needed help for this tough Friday puzzle.


thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Jesu', what a challenge this was. I never figured out the theme until I was finished. Although it was difficult, it was fair for a Friday.

For 37A, I initially entered "What a" life & that slowed me down a little. I thought some of the clues and/or fills were a bit obscure, but I was able to make slow & steady progress.

Favorite clues were Club ingredient/bacon; king with a trunk/babar; & senescent/aging (apt description of yours truly albeit, it's happening too Damn fast.) WTF's were the theme fills and Etseqq.

Lemonade, thanks for the informative write up and links. I'd never heard about the Jim Nabors/Rock Hudson relationship. Nabors did have one helluva voice though. I saw Sinatra at the Fontainbleau for my 21st birthday. My first legal drink there, but it wasn't the first, nor the last.

TGIF everyone

sherry said...

Great blogging, Lemonaid. What a struggle! So many foreign places. Not my balliwick. Thanks for the bio. on Eric The Red was unaware of his checkered past. Yrs. ago Nabors & Hudson were in N.O. at the same time and stayed in the Roosevelt hotel & it was common knowledge of their relationship, at least in N.O.

kazie said...

I did OK for a Friday, but had to g'spot Eric the Red's birthdate and OJAI which I've never heard of. I also had two errors until I came here: WHAT A and MUSSELMAN. I guess I didn't bother to check their perps.

Latin often abbreviates with double letters to indicate plurals. At least that was my reasoning on ET SEQQ.

Of my many weaknesses, I include acronyms and geography of places unvisited. So this presented a few problems today. I never caught the missing letter thing in the theme either, but as Lemonade pointed out, it was quite clever.

Adieu does mean "to God", so it is literally closer to our goodbye, which is an elision of "God be with you" than to farewell, which however also implies the hope that you will do OK even if never seen again. The more commonly used "au revoir" literally means "until we meet again".

Denny said...

Got the theme early on, which helped a lot as I then knew I was looking for a foreign city name for the beginning of the long entries. Not sure I could've completed this otherwise, especially the bottom where even still, I had to Google latin footnotese to get ET SEQQ and resorts in Ventura County to get OJAI.

Agree with Barry G (as usual) about some lackluster clues. Not sure EVAC can really be referred to as a "group;" it's really more of an activity or type of operation. I think Scott perhaps overplayed his misdirection there, trying to make solvers think FEMA a bit too blatantly (although the EWAN McGregor clue was so easy that that guess was quickly put to rest).

I also fell for the trap of confidently filling in AWAKE for "conscious" and it therefore took me forever to suss out ARENAS as "circus sites." But that was a fair if somewhat cruel misdirect.

A word in defense of Cardiff: I've visited there and found it to be a lovely city with an amazing castle in the middle of it, and not depressing at all. I think one should be wary of drawing impressions of a place from crime novels, as authors of such works kind of have a vested interest in making you feel creepy about their locales.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Lemon, thanks for a very erudite commentary.

Scott, loved your puzzle today. A real tour de force. BZ.

Much bright fresh fill with AVIATRIXES, CHROMOSOMES, ETSEQQ, and the capitals/country theme words. After getting BEIJING CHIA, and CARDIFF ALES, the rest came rather quickly. I was troubled by the QQ fill, but was certain that SQ MI was right. COMMA was cleverly clued. I have never heard 'complaints while groping'; usually compliments.

SQ MI - very common abbreviation among engineers and others. Also MI². One acre has 43560 ft².
640 * 43560 = 27,878,400 ft². = 5280 ft * 5280 ft. (Statute mile = 5280 ft.) When the prairie states were first surveyed, the basic unit of area was a Section, or nominally one square mile.


Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning, my senescent friends (and young whippersnappers, too). Great blog Lemonade.

PIZZA? So obvious, but a double Z? Must be something else. Disaster response? Obviously FEMA. 41d... 2 Q's? Nah can't be! Dang! this was a fun ride!

I finally had everything filled except for the last four columns on the east side, then CHROMOSOME popped into mind and the rest started falling.

Learning moment was OJAI, which emerged via perps but rang no bells at all.

This was a great puzzle from Mr. Atkinson. I hope we see more of his late in the week works.

Splynter said...

Hi There -

The irony of this puzzle for me was that I figured it was a pangram - and so I had AVIATRIxES, and kAIRN, but got no TA-DA - and I figured it was my "QQ" for SQ MI - but that had to be right, and I must have gaffed CML, which could NOT be Roman - oh, wait, 100 before a 1000, duh....

I was looking for a tighter theme, with same letter or position missing, as I knew HAVANA CUBa was right, and so was BAGHDAD, IRAq; there's an EQUAL connection to CARDIFF wALES and and MUSCAT oMAN and the same with SPAiN & CHInA; you have no idea how badly I gaffed MADRID.

I wanted to see if the letters that came out SPELT anything, but AW, NO IQ~! good one, Lemonade.

CHROMOSOME was great, too.


Warren said...

Hi Lemonade, C.C. & gang -- a typical tough Friday puzzle, I think that my wife and I finished ~1/3 of it before she left for work.

Ruth knew the Babar answer because that's a project at SLAC (where she works).

We visited S. CA a few years back so we knew the Ojai answer. It's pronounced with a silent J sound 'O hai'? but difficult to spell though.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - What Barry said, plus what Mainiac said, except that I have no kids.

I really wanted FEMA in there, but EWAN wouldn't hear of it. I confess the light never came on, since I was still thinking animals instead of country names. A good challenge was had!

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Lemonade, C.C. et al.

Very entertaining write-up, Lemonade! I had to laugh out loud at your comments on SASSY and AGING.

There were so many entries that were hanging just outside my grasp today, and needed a couple perps before I could say (COMMA) “Ah yes, I remember that well...”

The hardest two fills for me were AVIATRICES and ET SEQQ – wow, that one was a bear to parse, what with the two Q’s. Thanks for the explanation, Lemon!

Once I caught onto the theme, it really did help to fill in the rest of the entries. I loved that they were not all missing the same letter, or in the same spot. That made it more of a challenge, but when I read the clues they all made perfect sense.

But I still don’t think of VAL as a “sentiment”. “Sentimental token”, maybe.

TGIF – have a great one, everybody!

Anonymous said...

ironically, there is a beer called Delerium Tremens. This answer made me think of it.

Lemonade714 said...

Yes anon, both of my boys and my nephew drink DELIRIUM TREMENS which only comes in a big bottle, and is spelled (spelt) with and "I."

Do you think the later IUM fill was inspired by the DTs?

Lemonade714 said...

Also, I apologize to Cardiff. My comments were based on reading and not personal knowledge. Though thre is consistency in my mytery authors suggesting the bleakness and poverty of the North Sea towns. WM if you are out there, I finally read Ian Rankin's Exit Music and really have grown fond of Rebus.

John Lescroart, though is another lawyer, whose courtroom dramas seem so silly, contrived and as much as I questions our current crop of lawyers and judges, really outlandish.

lois said...

Good morning Lemonade, CC, et al., I struggled with this one but enjoyed it mostly. So many great misdirection clues. very clever and good for Friday.

Lemonade, great job. Had no idea about Nabors either. Love your explanation for senescent. Don't want to give you a swelled head, but 'tumescent' grabbed the essence of the suffix, just ZEROed in on the crux of the matter and drove the point home firmly, kind of like a hole in one-a stroke of genius. Great job!

Dennis: as for Draw a Picture of a Bird Day? You are hilarious! Yep, I can draw a bird - do it quite often! Today, I think I'll draw 55D...the Chantilly Crower AKA COQ. I might even draw a flock of COQs - OOOO! I feel a party comin' on, maybe a hands on groping one at that!

Love the references to Vegas lately. Will be checking out Paris again in August. Mais Oui, Monsieur.

Enjoy your day.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. To echo an expression from eariler this week, I love love loved this puzzle today. Once I got CARDIFF ALES I was off and running, except for a few speed bumps. One bump was the same one Lemonade hit: putting in OIL instead of ORE for 35A. I also wanted AWAKE instead of AWARE for 14A. Other than that it all filled smoothly. I like wordplay like that.

Yep yep yep, the very first thought that came to mind upon seeing CARA MIA was good ole Gomez Addams, planting kisses up Morticia's arm.

I think That's Life is one of Frank Sinatra's best songs. Very well sung!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Thank you Lemonade for a terrific blog session. All has been made clear!

I could see that the theme was made up of cities and their countries with one letter omitted, but as a geographically challenged person, I didn't make the capital connection.

What I really enjoyed were fill like CHROMOSOME and AVIATRICE, which I got pretty easily, and BASALTIC and ET SEQQ which were almost impossible. I loved all the multiple "Z's" and "Q's"

EVAC: maybe "The Emergency Volunteer Air Corps promotes and coordinates effective and useful additional General Aviation volunteer participation in emergency relief efforts, especially following disasters."

My daughter went to high school in OJAI, so that was a gimme. I don't know where EWAN McGregor went to school, but I have enjoyed his movies, so he was a gimme too.

Jayce said...

Oh, and another speed bump got me. A big one. Namely, ET SEQ_. Maybe I'm uniformed or not well read, but I have never ever seen Et Seqq with two Qs. Hate it hate it hate it. I put in ET SEQS just to put *something* into that last space, which produced the senseless SSMI. But even so I figured SSMI was better than ETSEQQ and chalked it up to SSMI (being an abbreviation anyway) indicating some area measurment whose name I didn't know anyway.

eddyB said...


A quite clever Friday puzzle.

Don't understand the non-recognition of Ojai. It has appeared in so many past puzzles. Most like Taos,NM. Full of crafts persons.

Make or break time tonight.

take care.

Jayce said...

Okay okay, I looked it up, and I re-read your explanation, Lemonade, so I withdraw my complaint about ET SEQQ. I'm actually starting to like it, much as I don't want to.

I really *do* like CHROMOSOME and how it is clued, as well as ICANTSEE, which made me laugh, much as I didn't want to :)

Spelled AVIATRICES as AVIATRIXES just to get an X. Dang, what we want often isn't what we get.

Sometimes I think I just don't know SQUAT.

Lucina said...

Hello, Puzzlers!

Lemonade, thank you for your always zesty, witty and informative blogging.

PIZZA! What a great way to start a puzzle and of course, FEMA but then it didn't work out so left it while I zipped through CARDIFFALES and the rest of the top.

Cardiff is indeed a beautiful city with a medieval castle in the center and a herald calling out the day's news. Perhaps in winter it might be cold and foggy, don't know.

Senescent as I am, I checked the dictionary for the meaning and AGING sprang right out and for that same reason also remember BARETTA but then the bottom gave me fits so finally glged SEQQ. What? But of course, L and Kazie, you are so right. Latin abbreviations are often double letters (PP, pages).

Originaly I had STOUT instead of SQUAT and NOUNS in lieu of MOODS. OJAI is familiar and popped out though BEIJING took a while. Then back up to finish EVAC.

All in all a great Friday ride, thank you, Scott Atkinson.

Have a wonderful Friday, everyone!

Jayce said...

Hahtool, I trust your involvement with FEMA is a fruitful and productive one, not one of frustration.

Barry G, once again you express yourself so eloquently. I admire you for that.

There's Ojai in California and Ajo in Arizona. Actually, whenever I see or hear the word Ojai, I think of The Bionic Woman. Sheesh and "Gawlly gee!"

Jeannie said...

I am rather impressed with myself today as geography is definitely not my strong point. Once I got Havana Cub and then Bejing Chia I was off and running. I didn’t even have trouble with Et Seqq because I just knew equal and sqmi were correct. I didn’t know Gus Grissom or Ewan, but perps took care of those. MFCounselor, just when I learn adieu they throw adieus my way. What’s the difference between farewell and goodbye? Favorites today were “reset” – zero and “Y for men only” – chromosome. I do like the “Y” chromosome type. Only one visit to the g-spot today and that was for Ojai. I have made Coq au vin before and it is really tasty but takes most of the day to make. All in all it was a nice Friday solve. Everyone enjoy your weekend!!

Argyle said...

Since no one else has mentioned it...if I am in AGONY and you tell me it's just my MOOD, be prepared to experience a change in your MOOD!

Gunghy said...

For some reason it took the girl friend to find the theme. It made no sense to me even when I had all but one. FEMA + ALERT and FLAN McGregor works for me.

BIC pens light up??

VAL ain't a sentiment!

Very few lava flows aren't basaltic.


I need a new definition of resort.

Dennis, people that counted the falls need to meet my mother. It's not my toe, either.

Cardiff was great, but that summer was real dry in Europe. Beautiful castle, but I really didn't need to see another cathedral by that time.

Ojai and Ajo (garlic) are spanish with the J pronounced as an H.

Lucina said...

You reminded me how much I enjoyed CHROMOSOME since I also prefer the Y types. We needed a link of some gorgeous hunk for that.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

I didn't want to check in here before I figured out the theme. I had to give in ...just didn't see it. I had to look up a few things and needed perps for a number of others. Thanks, Lemonade, for your most informative blog. Your explanations were very helpful. AVIATRIXES and BIX seemed just fine to me ... needed to change the X to C. I never thought of BIC. My favorites were 'Y for men only?' and 'Complaint while groping.'

I agree with Argyle on the 'Agony-ecstasy'--MOODS clue.

Enjoy the evening ~~

creature said...

Good Afternoon C.C., Lemonade and all,

Thanks, Lemonade, for the super write-up.

The puzzle was difficult , as a Friday usually is, but exceptionally ambitious.
The theme and the fill were ‘top notch’. My bugaboo was ET SEQQ, as everyone has mentioned- such agony -that’s a mood, I guess. However, if I’m in agony, please don’t call it a mood; call a doctor!
Thanks for mentioning it, Argyle, I felt it, too.

I really enjoyed the posts this afternoon, and it was all well said; a lot of funny, clever people, as I view it.

Thanks to Scott. It was a fun challenge.

Have a nice afternoon everyone.

Jeannie said...

Lucina, like this?

Bill G. said...

Jeannie, what's all that stuff he seems to be hiding in his briefs? Looks pretty uncomfortable...

Jeannie said...

BillG, I'll have to look closer. I was just looking at his face

Jayce said...

Holy cow!

Hahtoolah said...

Agony and Ecstasy = MOODS. "The Agony and the Ecstasy" is a novel by Irving Stone, which is about Michelangelo. I think it was also a movie.

Eric the Red’s Birth Year, Roughly = CML. Eric the Red would not have used Roman numerals to denote he was born about 950 C.E.

Jayce: My FEMA experiences over the past 5 years has been more or less positive. There is generally a lot of frustration in dealing with any large organization, public or private.

Jayce said...

Yeah, Eric the Red would've used runes!

Hahtoolah said...

Jeannie: GASP!

Bill G. said...

OK, Jeannie started it. Video

Lucina said...

Oh, yes, Jeannie! Thank you! I am senescent but definitely not dead.

I saw ALL of him and liked what I saw.

Lucina said...

Well, Bill, it may be fake but it looks familiar, hmmmm ......

Anonymous said...

Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I do believe it is a website meant for the enjoyment of gay men.

Lucina said...

Men are men are men, gay or straight!

Anonymous said...

9D-Liked Alain Delon

thehondohurricane said...

Excuse my taking advantage of this blog to flip a bitch or two.

1) Sox beat the Yanks and are likely on their way to a sweep...... &

2) Tiger climbs his way into contention at the Masters and looks good to win.

Some days life really stinks.

Talk to you all on Monday.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, For some reason this puzzle went together with very few problems. I thought it was easier than yesterday's offering.

Thanks for the great blogging, Lemonade and to Scott Atkinson for the "country" theme. Once I had Cardiff Ale I knew I was looking for countries and things went from good to better from then on.

Ian Anderson was an unknown but that filled in nicely with the perps. Hands up for oil instead of ore, but that also was quickly changed when I put in the r for Gurus.

My one real question came with the QQ at the end of Et Seqq. I knew equal and Sq Mi were correct, so I looked it up just to make sure.

Have a great evening everyone.

Chickie said...

CA and I have talked about our connection to Ojai. I have a daughter and her family living there. It is a great "small town" still and known for its Art colony feeling.

If you ever want to really feel a small town Fourth of July celebration, come to Ojai. The chairs go up along the main street of town as many as 4-5 days ahead of time as people stake out their places. (Mostly looking for the shady side of the street and under the trees.) It gets hot in Ojai in the summer.

People sometimes chain the chairs together and attach them to something along the street. But mostly they are just all sitting there waiting for the parade. No one would ever think about taking someone's place or moving someone's chairs!

Warren said...

Hi Chickie and et al:

I believe that I remember that my wife and I stayed in Del Mar near Ojai probably ~1989 or so. One thing that we noticed right away was the sunset attraction, everyone would bring along their favorite wine or beer or etc. and sit on or near the beach to enjoy the sunsets. Back then we were still living in MN!

Bill G. said...

Unless I'm mistaken, Del Mar is a couple of hours south of Ojai. I'm wondering if you're thinking of La Jolla, also with a Spanish J sound. It's near Del Mar.

Ojai is north of Los Angeles, nearer to Santa Barbara.

Dot said...

Everything I could say about this puzzle has been said. It was easier than some Fridays.
kazie, When do you leave on vacation? The time must be drawing near. Have a great trip.


Warren said...

Thanks Bill G. Strange how memory works eh? I think now I remember another trip to San Diego where we saw the Ojai sign.

CA was new to us back then, we moved to San Jose from MN in 1989 a year after our marriage and just in time for the earthquake.

Chickie said...

My grandson posted a great group of pictures on his blog from Senegal, West Africa.

I thought some of you might like to read about what is happening in his very small part of this world and where some of your tax dollars are going.

He uses some monies from the government for his work, but he feels that the villages need to have a vested part in the work that he does. It means more to them when they put in effort to improve their village.
His blog is It is titled Mostly Harmless.

Unknown said...

Evening All,

I liked this puzzle. But, alas, I couldn't figure out the theme on my own. I had to come to your great website to have it explained. DUH!! But I liked the cleverness of the puzzles's clues.

As for the Jim Nabors, Rock Hudson marriage. Not true. An "Urban Legend" as they say. I found this online:

A popular urban legend states that Hudson married Jim Nabors in the 1970s. The two, however, never had anything beyond a friendship; the legend originated with a group of "middle-aged homosexuals who live in Huntington Beach," as Hudson put it, who would send out joke invitations for their annual get-together. One year, the group invited its members to witness "the marriage of Rock Hudson and Jim Nabors"; the punchline of the joke was that Hudson would take the name of Nabors's most famous character, Gomer Pyle, and would henceforth be named "Rock Pyle". Despite the obvious impossibility of such an event, the joke was lost on many, and the Hudson-Nabors marriage was, in a few circles, taken seriously. As a result of the false rumor, Nabors and Hudson never spoke to each other again.

I'd heard Jim Nabors and Roman Gabriel were a couple. I also heard that Roman Gabriel was traded from the Rams to the Philadelphia Eagles because of pressure from teammates to the Rams higher-ups because of the rumours of his homosexuality. Could be another Urban Legend. Who knows.

Unknown said...

Hi Again,

Hit the "publish your comment" button instead of "preview". My favorites were Baghdad IRA, Chromosome, and Caramia (also reminded me of Gomez Adams). Lovely evening to you all. Off to watch the Lakers.

Annette said...

CHROMOSOME was my favorite too.

I had lunch at Denny's the other day and their current promotion is called "BACONalia!" It includes dishes that come with 6 strips of bacon, 3 different kinds; bacon meatloaf; flapjacks with crumbled bacon in the batter; or a carmel sundae with crumbled bacon on top! Denny's....Dennis.... Do I remember correctly that you're a big bacon fan?

I recall an old joke about the patient needing a kickstand to keep from falling out of bed, but I think it was before Viagra hit the market.

I think of VAL as a sentiment when someone's asking you to "Be my Valentine", or some cards will say "I love you, Valentine!"

A pleasant little groping session in the parking garage at work the other day ended with "Someone might see" instead...

Annette said...

We need another musical interlude today: Cara Mia.

It's probably been a dozen years since I last saw Jay Black in concert, but he was hitting those high notes even better than in this video.

He said so many people in the audience brought their children or grandchildren with them that he was warned to keep his usual raunch out of the performance. I think he tap danced around that thin line a bit anyway.

Clear Ayes said...

Speaking of cremation...we were a couple of days ago, the newest avatar is a pastel of the hill in back of our house. My share of my mother's ashes are sprinkled up there. She would have been pleased.

As we've said before, OJAI is a great place. I wonder if the real estate prices have gone down enough for us to afford it?

Chickie, what a proud grandma you must be. That's one good kid!

Annette, a caramel sundae with crumbled bacon on top? Oh,, that is going to go on my "to do" list. At this stage of my game, that appeals to me as much (well, not quite) as Jeannie's manlink.

Clear Ayes said...

Dennis, I meant to comment earlier on your "I wanted 'That's not my belly button' for 'Complaint while groping'"
Maybe, it should have been, "Hey, that's my belly button!", for 'Complaint while groping'.

Annette said...

Clear Ayes, please report back to us on how the sundae was. I can't quite decide whether that sounds good or not...

Also, I haven't been able to post much during the week lately, but wanted to tell you I've enjoyed seeing your new paintings/avatars.

Abejo said...

Good Evening, folks. Thanks Scott, for a swell puzzle. Thank you, Lemonade for the nice write-up. C.C., a toast to you. Here Here!

This puzzle was certainly a Friday one. Not a breeze. Very clever and quite difficult.

I wanted FEMA for 6A. It became obvious that was wrong.

I got the theme answers, but did not catch the theme until I read this blog. Very clever theme.

ET SEQQ was an unknown to me. I had it with the perps, but still could not believe it was correct. I guess it was.

The CARDIFFALES and Cardiff, Wales was in a book I just finished, "Fall of Giants" by Ken Follette. 1000 pages, but a great novel with history surrounding WW-I. Much of the setting was in Wales and the city of Cardiff, occasionally. Recommend this book for a good read.

I am late blogging tonight due to my busy day. Had our Red Cross of Constantine meeting and dinner tonight at the Union League Club in Chicago. One of the joys of life I am happy to be a part of.

Tomorrow I am off to the Illinois Masonic Medical Center for the annual meeting of the Illinois Masonic Health Foundation. Not sure when I will get the crossword done. See you tomorrow.


Lucina said...

Your grandson sounds like a character, so confident and full of good will. You have to be proud.

Thank you for telling us about the blog.

Lemonade714 said...

Well bedtime all of my dear Bonzos; thank you for the kind words and glad we were able to entertain. Later

Gunghy said...

Clear Ayes,
If you read my comment to Dennis at 2:07, You'll see the punchline to the joke he alluded to. His quote is the one I thought of, too.

lois said...

Jeannie and Bill G: thank you for the out-freakin'-standing pix. I hope Santa baby is aware of this prize. That's some yank in the tank! I want one of them for Cmas..ok, Santa baby? yet another fine specimen of whitey-tighties.

Just came in and had to laugh as I remembered the fall out of bed data - only b/c I'm about to fall INTO bed for a short nap and then it's SAT PLAY TIME!!!! Could it be that the men are being 'kicked' out of bed and blaming a fall? it's a ponderance.

lois said...

Forgot: Annette, thank you for the Cara Mia Mine, jay and the americans....have always loved that song! one of my ATF's. And it was my first thought this morning w/that clue.