Apr 7, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011 Don Gagliardo

Theme: How would you have spelt it? Revealed in 51 Across: Spin, as a cue ball, and how to answer each starred clue in this puzzle?: PUT ENGLISH ON IT. The last word of each answer is how you would find it in the OED (Oxford English Dictionary).

20. *Not exactly a nightie: FLANNEL PYJAMAS. From India and SW Asia "paijama", The English changed ai to "y", and the US simply dropped the "i". As for the clue, sometimes a suggestion of something hidden can be more alluring than outright exposure...

24. *Scales are part of it: PIANO PRACTISE. Practice is the noun, practise is the verb, but Americans are in the practice of always using practice.

33. *Reinforced road traveler: STEEL-BELTED TYRE. From tire "equipment, dress, covering", a shortened form of "attire". The notion is of the tire as the dressing of the wheel. The original spelling was tyre, which had shifted to tire in 17c.-18c., but since early 19c. tyre was revived in Great Britain with the advent of the pneumatic rubber form and become standard there.

43. *Headquarters: CONTROL CENTRE. The -er, -re ending confusion can be traced to Noah Webster, who attempted to reform English spelling in the US.  Despite his efforts, we still kept words like acre (instead of aker), ogre, and theatre (classy or pretentious?) Across the pond, Johnson's dictionary is considered authoritative for the -re endings, and seems to be a source of national pride (don't quote Webster to them...)

Hi all, Al here. I have to say, today the theme helped a lot. The top was refusing to fill in, but after getting CENTRE, the other theme spelt words fell quickly which gave me just enough to start getting perps.  I'll let Don's notes (included at the end) speak for themselves.


1. Fictional falcon seeker: SPADE. Sam, as played by Bogie.

6. Fictional falcon source: MALTA. The Maltese Falcon. I've never seen this movie, maybe it's time to finally chase it down. Today's geography lesson.

11. "The Sting" number: RAG. Music from the movie originally composed by Scott Joplin, arranged by Marvin Hamlish.

14. Much of Israel: NEGEV. Desert.

15. Provide with heat?: ENARM. Heat, as in weapons.

16. Shaft discovery: ORE. A mining shaft of course. Any other interpretation would probably have you running to a urologist...

17. Speak above the crowd?: ORATE. Both literally (loudly) and figuratively (on a soapbox). I'm not sure if I have those backwards...

18. Solitude: TIME ALONE.

22. Jack edged him out in the 1980 U.S. Open: ISAO. AOKI. Golf. Both names are common crosswordese clues and answers, but usually one clues the other.

23. Jumbo, say: SIZE.

31. Some time ago: ONCE. upon a time.

32. Screwball: LOON.

41. "__, 'tis true, I have gone here and there": Sonnet 110: ALAS.

42. Choice word: EENY. Meeny Miny Moe.

48. Pole or Croat: SLAV. Apparently we get the word slave from slav because of their history of being conquered and being sold into servitude.

50. Where parts of the '95 film "Higher Learning" were shot: UCLA.

58. Radical: EXTREMIST. By definition, one far from the norm, thus should not be construed as representative, yet human nature will try to force a pattern...

59. Bathroom sink fitting: P-TRAP.

61. Bathroom, across the pond: LOO. More bonus English.

62. Berry picked for an Emmy: HALLE.

63. Sister of Thalia: ERATO. Muses.

64. Stab: TRY.

65. Loper leader: INTER. Prefix clue. An interloper is a "self-interested intruder".

66. Easily colored synthetic: DYNEL.


1. Desk globe filler?: SNO. Really kind of boring unless Pixar interprets it.

2. Line to tear along: Abbr.: PERForated.

3. "I've Got __ in Kalamazoo": A GAL. A Glenn Miller oldie.

4. Suspect, maybe: DETAINEE. With all the airport security measures now, I think the terrorists did win...

5. "Given that ...": EVEN SO.

6. Sky streaker: METEOR.

7. Deep blue: ANIL. The west indian shrub called the indigo plant, from which blue dyes are made.

8. Harpsichordist's aid: LAMP. I can only assume this is what the clue intended...

9. It has few pips: TREY. Playing card spots.

10. Key of Beethoven's Sym. No. 7: A MAJ. Second Movement (8:19)

11. Frosh assignment: ROOMIE. Often in the first year of college, you must stay in a dorm, and you can't always pick your own roommate.

12. Ball partner: ARNAZ. Lucy and Desi.

13. Sky honkers: GEESE. Did you ever notice that one side of their V formation is always longer than the other and wonder why that happens? It's because there are more geese on that side.

19. Lad's sweetheart: LASS. Scotland terms could be interpreted to be related to today's theme.

21. Hammock session: NAP.

24. Batt. terminal: POSitive. or NEGative.

25. NFL drive killer: INTerception in football.

26. Score very high on: ACE. As with an exam.

27. "This is __ sudden!": ALL SO.

28. Motel extra: COT.

29. Nail holder: TOE. A little tricky, and not my first thought.  Also, eww... but just a little.

30. Ill. neighbor: IND. Illinois and Indiana.

34. Data-sharing syst.: LAN. Local Area Network, connected computers, usually within a single building. Between buildings usually requires a WAN, Wide Area Network.

35. Lunch initials: BLT.

36. __ candy: EAR, and clecho: 40D. __ candy: EYE.

37. Renters, collectively: TENANTRY. Perhaps a bit archaic Middle English-like, and doesn't quite slide easily off your tongue, but at least it isn't boring.

38. Nevertheless: YET.

39. Time off, in mil. slang: RNR. Rest 'N Recreation

43. Yarn or bell, e.g.: CAT TOY.

44. Page-bottom directive: OVER.

45. Polish goal: LUSTERA disguised capitonym clue. "Hiding" it at the beginning of a sentence is a Thursday level of trickiness.

46. "The Shield" actress __ Pounder: CCH. Carol Christine Hilaria.

47. Made hasty altar plans: ELOPED.

48. Broke down, in a way: SPELT. Bonus theme-related English spelling.

49. Pyramid-shaped Vegas hotel: LUXOR.

52. Soda reportedly named for a bottle size: NEHI. One story is that the company founder sent one of his salesmen across the Chattahoochee River from Columbus to check out his competition in Alabama. The happy salesman returned to report that Alabama competition was only "knee-high". The other recurring story concerns the checking of bottle samples that were being considered for the new flavor line. Most of the drinks of that era were of the 6 or 7 ounce sizes. When the tall 9 ounce Nehi sample was set beside the competitors brands, the comment was made that the smaller bottles looked "knee-high" beside their new container.

53. Fed: G-MAN.

54. Happy tune: LILT. To "lift up".

55. Crow's-nest sighting: ISLE. On a Thursday, LAND was too simple.

56. Afghanistan neighbor: IRAN.

57. Thames gallery: TATE. More England references.

60. Capitol Hill mover: POL. Whenever I see this word, I think of Pol Pot...

Constructor's notes:

"It may be that this puzzle was inspired by a coworker of my wife, Barbara.  He is very English.  He solves my puzzles regularly and loves the diversion from his usual grind.  I have met others from England, and cannot help but marvel at their colorful phrases.  We walk our dogs in the snicket now.  I did not know the narrow, wooded glen was a snicket until the English neighbor told me so.  I cannot even find that word in an English dictionary, so who knows how many words are out there that are not even in print.  I have also marveled at the spelling changes from one language to the other.  The goal was to make as many kinds of substitutions as possible, and try to keep the word the same length.  I think I also tried for one-letter substitutions, but I cannot recall if I succeeded.  This puzzle will probably drive some people crazy at first, who think they got it right but find that it does not work out.  The unifier was important.  Fortunately there was a phrase that explains it all.  I wonder where that phrase, “Put English on it” comes from.  I used to hear people use it in reference to billiard shots.  I have even heard it on the golf course.  Does anyone know the origin of this phrase?" 

Here you go, Don:  Spin imparted to a ball, from French anglé "angled," which is similar to Anglais "English."



Lemonade714 said...

Back from trial, and very entertained by this puzzle and Al's write up. This was a very simple theme, im retro spect but it took a while to get in Don's head. I really enjoyed the information on NEHI and hope to be back in puzzle form for tomorrow. Enjoy the playday.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Man, I really, really wanted to like this puzzle, I swear! Don is one of my favorite constructors and the theme was certainly a winner.

But then I ran into SPELT (with no asterisk indicating the altered spelling). And DYNEL (total WTF). And ANIL (which I know as a dye, but not a color). And PTRAP (another complete WTF)...

With regard to the theme answers themselves, I got hung up pretty badly at 33A, mostly because I've heard of STEEL BELTED "Radials" but never STEEL BELTED TIRES (TYRES) before. And I was also convinced that 43A had to end in an "S." I can't really blame Don for those two problems, but they just added to my overall frustration.

Isn't SPELT a type of wheat?

RTD said...

What a terribke clue for 8 D

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

A nice Thursday challenge from Don G which gave my eraser a good work out ending with one screw up. I picked up on the "English" spelling early on, but a lot of the 3/4 letter words proved difficult.

Ptrap, Slav (wanted Serb), Dynel, CCH, eye candy, & Arnaz. I spelled Desi's last name Arnez. Pyjames seemed more English then pyjamas. I concur with Barry G, several WTF moments.

Winter has officially ended at the Hondo household........ yesterday the snow shovels were put away. We are supposed to see the 70's in the coming days.

Hahtoolah said...

Good morning, my friends. I sped through the top half of this puzzle, then stalled a bit on the bottom half. Not knowing much about pool, the unifier didn't really help much, but I caught on to the theme immediately after seeing the word PYJAMAS.

Not sure I would characterize a Bell as a CAT TOY, but one of my cats does wear a Bell.

DYNEL was a new word for me today. Probably not a word that I will keep in my head, though,

My favorite clue was Choice Word = EENY.

QOD: There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. ~ Oscar Wilde

creature said...

Good Morning C.C., Al and all,

Al, thanks for a terrific write-up; lots of much needed explanations.

I was certain, when I came here that I had screwed up all over the place. CCH was not pronounceable; TENANTRY was ridiculous; TREa was not a word [I checked}; INT was so contrived, I didn’t care.

I got the theme, by the hardest, but never could figure another spelling for pajamas. The ‘y’ was a shock; I’d never seen nor heard it; and it was my undoing.

This puzzle was no surprise. Much as I have liked DonG’s puzzles a lot from time to time, I have come to realize that Don operates ‘a little over the line’, when it comes to rules . Common rules that we have come to expect. My sons had a friend like that; he barely operated at ‘the line’. I had to watch him like a hawk .I’m on to you , Don. Thanks .

Off to see if Zeb spent the night here.

Have a nice day everyone.

Barry G. said...

Winter has officially ended at the Hondo household........ yesterday the snow shovels were put away. We are supposed to see the 70's in the coming days.

Wish I could say the same, Hondo! I thought winter had ended and even went so far as to plant grass seed earlier in the week and diligently water it twice a day. Sadly, it dipped back down to the 20s last night and there was frost on the ground (not to mention ice on my car). *sigh*

Oh, yeah -- TENANTRY. Forgot about that one. Definitely another WTF moment...

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Al, C.C. et al.

What an interesting fact-filled write-up today, Al! And the SNO globe clip was hilarious.

My first hint at Don’s “treachery” was when the perps of 20A insisted I put FLANNEL PYJAMAS instead of the Americanized spelling. I thought, “OK, that’s an accepted alternate spelling”, but I crept forward a little more cautiously on 24A. When PIANO PRACTISE appeared, I knew I was on to the theme.

The rest of the puzzle fell pretty quickly, and I loved the unifier. We used to have a pool table in the basement, and I spent a lot of time learning to put English on the ball.

I did have CCH filled in, but I looked it up because I couldn’t believe that was really the actress’s name. (Note to self: File “CCH” for future use…)

Have a great day, everyone!

Hahtoolah said...

The Maltese Falcon was a novel by Dashiell Hammett. The movie was based on the book. Hammett is also very closely associated with the playwright LillianHellman.

Anonymous said...


Way too many clunkers..

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Great write-up, Al.

Agree with the earlier comments. Wanted to like Don's puzzle, but had trouble getting into it. So it was slow, reaching critical mass. I was familiar with the English spellings except for PYJAMAS, having worked with Canadians for years. The awkward clueing/fill for the ENARM/ANIL/LAMP cross did not help. But most of it eventually crystalized and made for a fun solve. I liked the clever clueing for INTER, EENY, and ROOMIE. New word was TENANTRY.

Thanks for including Don's comments.

Have a good day.

Anonymous said...

What PG said. This grid should have been redone.

Mainiac said...

Morning Al, CC and All,

What a great puzzle. I got unifier first which led to solving the theme answers. I had similar eye brow raising moments with some of the answers Barry mentioned.

Frost? I'm plan on making time to use the windshield scraper in the AM for another month. Although I am putting my plow away this weekend, we haven't taken the head gear off the big trucks yet. There's still a good chance for poor man's fertilizer up here.

Great write up Al.

I've got to finish the sewer budget.

Have a good one.

kazie said...

My WTFs were exactly what Barry has described. Unlike Hahtool, my most difficult and slowest area to fall was the north, where I g'ed SPADE, having assumed it was going to be Greek mythology, but then got the duh moment.

I had also thought 20A was going to be something like BABYDOLL PYJAMAS, which of course didn't fit. I'm not a pyjama wearer, so flannel was slow to come. I liked the theme though.

I do have one gripe, and that is the phrase PIANO PRACTISE. Since that spelling is the verb form, and the phrase demands a noun, grammatically it doesn't really work.

Great blog, Al.
I enjoyed hearing the Sting theme again. See you tomorrow night.

Splynter said...

Hi There ~!

I picked up on this with the unifier first, and went back to check the other main clues - I already had the Y for TYRE, so that was OK, had to wait on a few answers to get the CONTROL part of CENTRE, and I figured out the S in PRACTISE; but I never heard of PYJAMAS - and my parents were born and raised in England....

I was OK with the fill today - I commonly deal with P-traps, so that was fine. DYNEL was new to me, and TENANTRY sounds "posh".

I don't gamble, but I would love to take a trip to Vegas and stay at the LUXOR.


Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning Al, etal. Thanks for a great write up, Al. Don (Hard)G lived up to his nickname today!

I put in the standard spelling on the first pass across for the first three theme entries and was thinking this was going to be easy. I looked at the unifier clue and PUT ENGLISH ON IT was the first thing that came to mind. Then, as I started filling in the missing spots, reality set in. It wasn't too difficult to spot that the unifier meant to use the English spelling and CENTRE, PRACTISE and TYRE were easily corrected. PYJAMAS? Never heard of it! It wasn't until I went back to the 'pips' clue that the light bulb went on. Oh, yeah, those spots on playing cards. Dang, Don, that was clever.

The SE was my toughest area. I refused to let go of TENANTcY until everything else was filled and it became obvious that it had to be an 'R'. Even then, I was sure something was wrong somewhere because CCH made no sense, whatsoever. I finally accepted that it might be initials and laid down the pen. My grid isn't pretty, with all of the strikeovers, but it's done.

I really, REALLY like this one. It made me think WAY outside the box.

sherry said...

Yes, Barry spelt is wheat. I also had lots of problems with this puzzle. Didn't get the theme nor the "incorrect" spellings. Never can remember the golfer's name Isao. Oh well, better luck tom.
I agree with RTD, for 8d, kept wanting to put Harp even knowing it wouldn't be correct but c'mon Lamp!

Husker Gary said...

Al, wonderful write-up without mention of all the WTF’s mentioned by previous bloggers. I don’t admire puzzles where I have no chance on an esoteric word! I can do clever and punny but DYNEL, et al?

-Bye, bye winter on the Great Plains. I mowed short, fertilized and watered yesterday. I then jumped back so my wonderful fescue grass wouldn’t hit me.
-Beethoven playing while blogging! Priceless!
-Watched Bogie in Treasure of Sierra Madre last night on TCM and still can’t figure out how anyone thought he was so tough! Love his movies!
-English on golf course is for backspin to stop the ball on the green. You gots to be gooder than me to do that!!
-Haven’t we all had interesting ROOMIES? Mine was a chain smoker ducking Vietnam.
-Here comes more adolescents!

Bill G. said...

I didn't have the same frustrations as some others. Dunno why I've heard of DYNEL but I have. The British spellings seemed like a clever change of pace. The only clue I didn't care for was Harpsichordist's aid/LAMP. The rest seemed appropriately hard and clever.

I have always loved the slow rag, Solace, from The Sting. What an enjoyable movie!

Funny information about geese formations. I saw some brown pelicans soaring right at the Palos Verdes coastline, taking full advantage of the updraft. What great fliers!

Nice Cuppa said...

Thanks Al and Don. G.

As a Brit native I had a bloody good time with this one. Nice one old boy.

I noticed you missed one opportunity with LUSTER => LUSTRE. It's a pretty easy block to adjust: e.g.


which would also allow you the Brit "ISER" ending insead of "IZER". I also squeezed LIME into there, if you will accept GMAT.

Just a couple of thoughts.

Jolly romp otherwise.


cherylptts said...

As a relative new person to crosswords, I have bee overwhelmed with the need to know so many foreign words. Now I must add old English. Oh, my.
I Googled harpsichord just in case there was something about those instuments and lamps I did not know. Nothing. Yuqui (pronounced yuky in America) clue.
Off to volunteer at thrift shop today as it is Thursday.
Cheery-O. (Or is that Chyri-o?)

Zcarguy said...

Don't waste your money on Luxor ,it's not the cleanest and very rowdy,, and since you're not a gambler I'd recommend The Mandarin Hotel ( no casino, thus very quite) am not sure I got spelling for Mandarin right , but am sure it easy to find.
As far as the puzz is concerned,, it was just ok for me ,, had trouble with 8 & 9 down and I thought I had made a mistake in the area of CCH , had TENNANTS for 37d ,, never heard of PTRAP nor DYNEL but it's THUR.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Don G had me going for a while there! The first Britism to appear was practise, so I decided to leave it there and watch for developments. Even with that I was slow to catch on, but the light came on when only a TYRE would roll. I still don't get TREY, however. Is that foreign?

Glad we had CCH Pounder earlier this year (clued to her role in Avatar). Had trouble with TENANTRY. It sounds as English as Gentry to me. Is there something special about harpsichords that they need particular lamps?

Kazie - Do I have this right: "Kaz, go practise your piano! If you haven't had enough practice, your teacher will be cross!" ? I have tried to be aware of Brit usage over the years but never caught that one.

GarlicGal said...

Good morning puzzlers. Got the theme early on (for a change) but I had the hardest tyme with MALTA, LAMP, TREY. I never did fill the "L" and "T".

PTRAP? SPELT? Figured them out, but not without crinkling my brow.

Well,with Mexico and Japan a-shaking, I guess it's just a matter of time before we get hit.

Rockin'-n-Rollin' from CA. Have a safe Thursday, All!

Lemonade714 said...

we could have a redux from yesterday by cluing 8D with Aladdin. Hey it is Thursday they are supposed to be harder; did you not finish?

Dudley said...

Al gave this highly plausible reply to Don:

...Spin imparted to a ball, from French anglé "angled," which is similar to Anglais "English."

I read years ago that the English horn got its name the same way, as in Cor Anglais/anglé. The "angled" description certainly fits, given the unique shape of this member of the oboe family.

Spitzboov said...

To help our collective memories, here is a depiction of a P-TRAP

thehondohurricane said...


Trey is slang for the three card in a deck of cards. For example, a card player will refer to the three of clubs as the trey.

Lucina said...

Hello, Al and fellow sloggers and NC who did not slog.

Brilliant blogging, Al, thank you. This provided much learning..

Yowza! As Barry G. said, I really wanted to like this puzzle bec ause Ilike Don G. and actually SPADE was instantly filled because I love all Bogart movies. So that NW corner wrapped up quickly even to FLANNELPAJAMAS then I slid down to the bottom which also filled fast.

No problems with PTRAP as we've seen it before and DYNEL was a wag.

Even with PUTENGLISHONIT the LAMP did not go on until TYRE and CENTRE emerged but I forgot about PYJAMAS. i Ggled CCH for accuracy and it checked out.

TREY is used for three and I assume it's a derivation of Italian TRES. Kazie?

Have a lovely Thursday, everyone!

Anonymous said...

40D. __ candy: EYE.


today is World Health Day.

I wasn't a fan of the shield, however I knew CCH Pounder as Dr. Angela Hicks from ER.

Jeannie said...

I should have taken the opportunity and taken a nice walk outside during my lunch hour! I did come close to finishing though. Problems were Negev, Dynel and the lamp answer for a harpsichord aid. Obviously I have heard of eye candy but can someone give me an example of “ear candy”? There were some really clever clues. I loved “choice word”- eeny; “Ball partner” – Arnaz; and “nail holder” –toe. Well they don’t call him Don (hard) G for nothin’ and like MFCounselor pointed out it is Thursday.

The last egg hatched in Decorah, IA. I just checked and she was feeding them a fish she caught. I love nature!

Anonymous said...

@cuppa, Exactly I actually put in LUSTRE originally.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Fun, enjoyable puzzle today. First of all, I wanted CHAIN for "Ball partner." But having the C right next to the G in GEESE led me to believe it was not correct. Took more perps to finally get ARNAZ.
Once I caught onto the theme, which really wasn't very hard, it was pretty easy to put in the English spellings.
By the way, I believe the "English" Horn in an orchestra is called such for the same reason as "English" on a billiard ball; it was originally called the "angled" horn. Weren't a group of early settlers of the British Isles called Angles? As in Anglo-Saxon? (If this subject has already been discussed to death, please pardon me. I haven't yet read all of your comments.)
I liked SPADE and MALTA.
A P-trap is that P-shaped (like a P lying on its side) drain pipe under the bathroom sink, and some other sinks too.

Anonymous said...

@ Jeannie,

I could give an example of ear candy but it would be rated NSFW!

Don Gagliardo said...

I would have to agree with some comments that the grid had problems. I really felt that getting four types of English word changes was important. The 14-letter length caused me to use the fourth and twelfth rows, which strained my options. I could have used rows three and thirteen for the 14-letter entries and placed three solid blocks in the corner, something I really try to avoid. Maybe I should have done that. But believe me, anonymous, this grid was done over and done over. I routinely try many completed grids before I decide that I have the best that can be gotten.

Yes, Barry, SPELT is a kind of wheat. I think that is how I originally clued it.

Someone blogged that I tend to operate outside the boundaries. Well, I had to go to England for this one!

Jayce said...

Tenantry makes me think of heraldry, falconry, etc. Also cyclery and even Coventry pop into my head. By the way, don't the British pronounce dormitory as "drom uh tree"? So many trees.

Didn't like INT much, nor the clue for LAMP.

Tchaikovsky wrote a bombastic piece of fluff called Marche Slave, "March of the Slavs." Nothing significant in the spelling of "slave" except that, like "marche," it is the French spelling. The title is as pretentiouos as the music. Even a genius produces some junk once in a while.

Do you have a gal in Kalamazoo-zoo-zoo-zoo, too?

eddyB said...


It wasn't that difficult. Had fun.

156,200 plus viewing the eagle nest
in Iowa.
Match play time in the NHL. 1up and 2 ttg.


dodo said...

Greeting, Al and company,

Wow, this makes two (2) Don (hard) G.'s puzzles that I actually finished! Wasn't it just last week he was with us? This was really a fun one, too, Don; thanks. Very, very clever. The hard G isn't just for your name, is it? I think it's a warning about a 'hard' puzzle.

I'm pretty much of an Anglophile and I love English lit. so that made more fun for me!

dodo said...

Hahtool, 'eeny' is my fave, too. I did try 'else' but not for long. I only got C.C.H. from perps, but I call that fair!

Barry, didn't we have a little talk about 'spelt' a few weeks ago?And I feel that the word does have something to do with 'wheat'. Must look it up.

Bill G. said...

Jeannie, thanks for reminding me about the eagle cam. I am very impressed with the parents' patience in feeding the little guys. That nest looks very secure. I wonder how they build it? Most of us, with a much bigger brain, probably couldn't do it as well.

Some rain is due here this afternoon and tomorrow making a bike ride somewhat problematic. Maybe I'll have to watch an episode of Cash Cab.

kazie said...

You got the practice on practising correct.

You could be right on the origin of TREY, but I'd never thought about it before. TRES is actually the Latin for three and in Italian it's TRE.

I was wondering about PTRAP, which was a newie to me. I always called those U-bends.

dodo said...

'Put English on it' is often used in tennis and isn't it sometimes used regarding baseball pitching?
'Tenantry' was new to me, but it's right there in the dict.

Kazie, I agree with you re: practise/practice. I read that over a couple of times to be sure. Didn't affect my answer, though.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Noon All, I agree with Bill G. and Marti about the way this puzzle hummed along. The theme came early on. Maybe my years spent in Canada helped with the anglicised spelling. The only one I would have liked to see included is one of the "OUR" ending words, like NEIGHBOUR or FAVOUR.

Dudley, I was a little iffy about PRACTISE/PRACTICE myself, but here it is.

We've seen CCH Pounder more than once. I remember some of us commenting of the lovely movie, "Bagdad Cafe", in which she starred.

I did have trouble with 8D LAMP, but it came with the perps.

EAR candy - "Noun: Light popular music that is pleasant and entertaining but intellectually unchallenging." Maybe like Rebecca Black's viral video Friday... worst song ever, or just silly teenage stuff?

Bill G. said...

Dodo, having played a lot of tennis, English isn't used much. Topspin or slice, yes, but not English much. In baseball, it might be used for a badly-hit ground ball that came spinning oddly off the bat and took a funny bounce. Mostly just pool and billiards though I think.

CA, worst song ever? Maybe. I think it epitomizes what I don't like about modern pop music. It has more of a rhythmic chant rather than a singable melody.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

I just finished watching the Red Sox game ........ and that's all I'll say on that. (Except, Yankees tomorrow ... yikes.)

When I saw Don's name on this puzzle I knew it would be a challenge. I'm amazed that I actually finished it with no help. It did take me about an hour and a half but unlike some other tough puzzles this one was very enjoyable!

My first clue as to the theme was when I found I needed Y instead of I in TYRE. The other theme answers seem to come easily after that. What I didn't know filled in with perps. I, too had CHAIN for 12D Ball partner before the Z in SIZE changed that. I remembered CCH Pounder from an earlier puzzle. All in all I found this to be lots of fun!

eddyB said...

Have been watching falcons (SJ) and eagles (IA)for several years.
Gave both web addresses last year.

Abu Dhabi is importing falcons to control pigeon population.

Go right ahead and thank Jeannie for HER discovery.

Anonymous said...

eddyB, are you going to cry?

Jeannie said...

Eddyb, I didn’t mean to steal your thunder. Someone at work sent me the link and I thought it was neat so I just thought I’d share it with the group. If I remember correctly, Kazie gave us a link to one in WI last year to watch.

Bill G. said...

EddyB, I got the link from you a day or two ago. I should have said something then. But then I forgot about it and Jeannie's post reminded me about it (as I said). That's all.

Anonymous said...

Is the "THEME" of the weekday LA Times crossword published in most newspapers--or is it created by the blogger here? Only the Sunday LA Times (& NYT) crossword displays the usually helpful theme in my newspaper.... THANKS!!

Anonymous said...

anon, the weekday theme is created by C.C. and/or that day's blogger.

Unknown said...

I found the puzzle somewhat irritating. I agree with Barry G's criticisms and I didn't like the "English" spin. I feel that it was more nearly a British spin, in that we in the U.S. speak English but don't use the British spelling style. I think puzzle constructors try to be clever, but it's not enjoyable to me.

Eagle watcher said...

eddyB-3:32 "Have been watching falcons (SJ) and eagles (IA)for several years. Gave both web addresses last year." "Go right ahead and thank Jeannie for HER discovery."

Does that mean readers have to remember a posting from last year in order to get their "propers" in correct chornological order? What nonsense.

These "what am I, chopped liver?" comments are childish. It was completely apparent that neither Bill G. or Jeannie meant any offence. To return and throw a snarky comment at both Bill G. and Jeannie was totally uncalled for.

I'm an eagle watcher myself and will continue to check up on them, although I didn't get the web address from anyone here.

Dennis said...

Speaking of 'what am I, chopped liver?', this is from my favorite strip: Pearls Before Swine

a friend said...

I bet eddyB's comment was with a tongue planted deep in cheek. Relax people, geez

Anonymous said...

@Don (Hard) G -

Thanks for jumping in and explaining the thought process and your troubles with the grid. Very enlightening!

However - based on the numerous comments here, can you explain the harpsichord/LAMP entry?


Anonymous said...

someone obviously doesn't know eddyb.

eddyB said...

To a friend, Thanks. It was.
To a Non person. As soon as the
Tylenol kicks in and I can walk again.
To an eagle watcher. Thanks for sharing the link.

Now for some thing more important like hockey.

BTW. The eagle cam was installed in 2007/8. The nest is 6x6x6 and 80ft in the air. No word on how it was built. But, there are nests just like it all around eagleland.
built. But ther are simular nests

eddyB said...

Sorry ,I didn't use preview. Am I forgiven?

mtnest995 said...

Late to the party, as usual, but I've had a busy day. Didn't get close to finishing the puzzle before work and spent another 40 minutes when I got home to finally finish. This was no speed run, but I didn't dent any V-8 cans, either. Got the unifer pretty quickly, but had to slog through the rest - have to say every answer that emerged brought a smile to my face.

I, too, had chain for "Ball partner" at first and almost lost it when I finally got the right fill.

A truly delightful puzzle, Don G., and great write up, Al. Can't really pick a favorite clue because they were all clever in their own way. Thanks also to CA for the "ear candy" explanation - guess I got confused because of "eye candy" - I think "ear worm" more frequently than ear candy.

Must to be close to over the limit - sorry, C.C.

Cold, blustery and rainy in central CA - what happened to our upper 70's?

Cheers to all

Clear Ayes said...

I agree with Anon@6:22 It was very thoughtful of Don G. to stop by and I'm sure we all appreciated it. But still, I would like to know where the inspiration for 8D Harpsichordist's aid/LAMP came from. I looked at hundreds (OK, a couple dozen) of photos of harpsichords and not a LAMP to be seen.

Mtnest995, LOL, I'm afraid the "Friday" link is just as much ear worm as EAR candy.

Rebecca Black seems to be a nice young teen, who is getting a lot of flack for her silly (and weirdly catchy) song. There are a lot of parodies already. Here's one I first heard last week on the "Bob & Tom" show. Well, I laughed, but fair warning, it is rather dark comedy. Saturday

Chickie said...

HOla Everyone, I'm afraid I didn't finish today. I fell into the same traps as many others. I didn't enjoy putting in lamp for a harpsichordist's aid. A lamp could be an aid for any number of things--piano, desk, counter, table, etc.

Also that sat right next to It has few pips and I didn't even think cards!

Barry listed almost all of my hangups. Even though I did get the theme answers I couldn't think how it related to pool! Duh.

I'm late today as I was very busy with errands, class and appointments. I'll blame my brain freeze on being really, really tired.

We're going out for dinner so I don't have to cook. Yay!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Tough, interesting puzzle today. I liked the English theme, and 90% of the rest, tho I SPELT PJ's rong.

Agree with the consensus that 8D LAMP is nonsense. Nothing else fits, but I couldn't make myself fill it in. LAMP could just as well be an aid for a trombonist, or a cross-word solver, or a motorist. Alternate possibilities are OK, but not if their number is legion.

DNF in top CENTRE. Had MALTA, but couldn't suss METEOR. That's on me. ENARM was not on the radar screen.

Great job, Al - love the music clips.

Note to Heart: Please do NOT file CCH for future use.

Some EXTREMIST travel today. We put 568 mile of MI road wear on our TYRES today, but got nowhere near K-ZOO.

JzB commenting by LAMP light

Don Gagliardo said...

I was just checking the comments, and someone wanted to know the story behind the LAMP clue, "Harpsichord aid". My original clue was kind of a play on words, "Piano accompaniment". Because PIANO appears in an answer, it was Rich's decision to avoid using it, which is a good decision. I suppose lamps are used with harpsichords, but most people really wouldn't know!

Grumpy 1 said...

I really don't understand all of the growling and grousing about the LAMP clue. We see lots of clues that can be filled with several different entries. We see them listed everyday when people list there "had this before that" items. MALTA was easy if you thought about the Maltese Falcon. We've seen ENARM, REARM, UNARM and the like several times recently. It was obvious it would be ARM, just needed to pick between EN and RE. LAMP just took care of itself along with ANIL. Yes, we've seen that before, but it didn't register this time. I think Don does an excellent job of mixing easy and difficult clues. If there are a few that are not in my wheelhouse, so much the better.

Unknown said...

I enjoyed the blog and the comments today. Since we are keeping the almost two- year old Brazilian/ American tornado this week, I didn't have time to complete the puzzle. I was sailing along before she awoke and it's now almost 10 and I am headed for bed!
Maybe tomorrow I wil be able to finish one. Her parents don't get home until Wednesday!

Abejo said...

Good Evening, folks. Thanks, Don, for a swell puzzle. Thank you, Al, for the commentary. As always, thanks C.C.

I started this puzzle real early today and just now finished it. Had a busy day. Really enjoyed the clever cluing. You really had to think. I went through the whole puzzle and started with BLT, I think. Kept going over and over and slowly added words. Real challenge and I enjoyed it.

The theme came to me early and helped with the theme words. I used to shoot a lot of pool. Using ENGLISH is mandatory to compete.

I had a problem with TENANTRY and DYNEL. I had RAR instead of RNR. That whole SE corner was tough.

I had no time to read all the others' blogs, but I am sure they were there usual great comments. I really enjoy this exercise each day. Fun Fun. See you all tomorrow.


Lucina said...

Even though it's really late I have to agree with Grumpy 1, so often we have clues with a plethora of possibilities, usually on the weekend when it's supposed to be difficult.

For me, LAMP simply emerged after ANIL, METEOR and MALTA. ANIL is actually bluing that we used long ago to keep whites gleaming white.

TREY is also used as a name for the third in line of a given name, My brother Art has a son and grandson also named Art. Th latter is called Trey.

Lemonade714 said...

Probably too late for anyone to read, but Don G., leave the LAMP clues for Mr. LAMPKIN. Of course under eye marker, or oldest pigment known to man:______Black seems like a Thursday clue. Or maybe party hat:___________Shade.
Or: software bundle consisting of Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl/PHP/Python.

Over tired, good night