Jun 16, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011, Bill Ballard

Theme: Wacky (absurd) cutoffs.  The last three letters have been removed (reduced) from the last word in accordance with the first word indicating that something is incomplete.

17A. Schubert's eighth, aptly: UNFINISHED SYMPHony.

27A. Reference book, aptly: ABRIDGED DICTIONary.

48A. Burnout symptom, aptly: DIMINISHED INTERest.

65A. Logical principle that applies to 17-, 27- and 48-Across, aptly: REDUCTIO AD ABSURdum. Too long to summarize succinctly, you can read it if you wish.

Great theme, four grid-spanning 15 letter answers all with the same number of letters removed. Some of the fill was a bit rough, quite a few abbreviations to make it all work.


1. Needle-nosed fish: GAR.

4. Work unit: Abbr.: FT LB. Foot Pound. Lb is an abbreviation of Latin libra, the word for pound, or balance as with a scale.

8. __ Island, Florida city near Naples: MARCO. Map.

13. Put away: ATE.

14. Dickens's Heep: URIAH. Also a 70's rock band.

16. Some fitness ctrs.: YMCAS. Young Men's Christian Association.

20. Butcher's offering: LOIN. Chart of meat cuts.

21. Besides: AT THAT. My concept of this idiom is more one of concession or appeasement to smooth over an argument... But it might be right at that.

22. Garden veggie: PEA.

23. Try to be elected: RUN.

25. Sue Grafton's "__ for Lawless": L IS.  A gimmie answer, even if you never have read her books. The first letter always gives it away.

36. It goes with boo, woo or yoo: HOO. Echoic emphasis.

37. Puppet dragon of early TV: OLLIE. Along with Kukla and Fran.

38. Dix follower: ONZE. French for ten and eleven.

39. Off-white shade: ECRU.

41. Banana oil, e.g.: ESTER. An artificial flavoring, Isoamyl acetate is released by a honey bee's sting apparatus where it serves as a pheromone beacon to attract other bees and provoke them to sting.

43. Pickup attachment: PLOW.

44. John Isner, a record 113 times, in a 2010 Wimbledon match: ACER. Un-returned tennis serves.

45. Lot units: ACRES.

47. Chemical suffix: ENE. Would it be so much to ask to add the phrase "indicating a carbon double-bond" to this clue?  At least that way it isn't just "three random letters that you need to get from the perps".

52. California's __ Gabriel Mountains: SAN. Near LA.

53. PC brain: CPU. Central Processing Unit.

54. Govt. mortgage agency: FHA. Federal Housing Administration.

57. Brute: SAVAGE. Old French sauvage, salvage "wild, savage, untamed," from Late Latin salvaticus, alteration of silvaticus "wild," lit. "of the woods," from silva "forest, grove." Related word: sylvan, diety of the woods.

61. Engels collaborator: MARX. The Communist Manifesto. It argues that class struggles, or the exploitation of one class by another, are the motivating force behind all historical developments. Class relationships are defined by an era's means of production. However, eventually these relationships cease to be compatible with the developing forces of production. At this point, a revolution occurs and a new class emerges as the ruling one.

68. Mezzo role in Barber's "Vanessa": ERIKA. An Opera by Samuel Barber.

69. Big cats: PUMAS. Can be either black or tawny, spotted when young.

70. "So that's it!": AHA.

71. Cartridge contents: TONER.

72. Protective cover: TARP.

73. Meddle: PRY.


1. Caesarean conquest: GAUL. The Roman Empire vs ancient France.

2. Elemental ID: AT NO. Atomic number.

3. Homeowner's way to raise money, briefly: RE-FI. Refinance with cash back.

4. Pleasure: FUN.

5. Bermuda shape?: TRIANGLE. Smack in the middle of hurricane alley, the Gulf stream current cuts through it and is home to the Puerto Rico trench, the deepest point of the Atlantic.  Good luck finding anything that happens to wreck there. I kind of also like the methane hydrates theory, too.

6. Supermarket need, maybe: LIST.

7. Thai money: BAHT. What, no "bread" clue on a Thursday?

8. Arcane: MYSTIC.

9. "Rehab" singer Winehouse: AMY. Now, that's ironic.

10. Dudley Do-Right's gp.: RCMP. Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

11. New England attraction, with "the": CAPE. Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard.

12. Org. concerned with asbestos stds.: OSHA. Occupational Safety and Health Administration

15. Sneaky laugh: HEH.

18. Cross letters: INRI. Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum. Jesus, the Nazarene, King of the Jews.

19. Picasso contemporary: DALI. We've seen enough "Persistence", here are Picasso and Self sculptures.

24. Japanese veggie: UDO. Doesn't appear particularly appetizing.

26. Station: STOP. Railroad departures.

27. In first: AHEAD.

28. Game for bowlers: BOCCI. Anglicized form of BOCCE.  Tricked me.

29. Composer Ned: ROREM. I have heard of "Our Town", but otherwise not on my radar.

30. "__ Dream": "Lohengrin" aria: ELSA'S. Wagner Opera.

31. Lose on purpose: DITCH. Literally "to throw into a ditch".

32. 43-Across maker: DEERE.

33. Fjord: INLET.

34. Depleted layer: OZONE.

35. Like a 2011 model, say: NEWER.

40. "QB VII" author: URIS.

42. Aromatic evergreen: RED CEDAR.

46. Try a little of: SIP.

49. Its Hall of Fame is in Charlotte, N.C.: NASCAR. National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing

50. "For those listening __ home ...": IN AT.

51. Insensitive: NUMB. Old English "nimen" for "taken".  The current meaning comes from the notion of being "taken" with cold, or shock. Oddly related to the word "nimble", quick to grasp (take).

54. Neck piece: FRET. On a guitar neck.

55. Super Bowl party order: HERO. Sub, hoagie, togo, etc.

56. Game point: AD IN. Tennis.

58. Big cheese: VIP. Very Important Person. I know you all know that, I'm just pointing out abbreviations.

59. Juillet's follower: AOUT. More French: July, August.

60. Vasco da __: GAMA.

62. Rush job notation: ASAP. As soon as possible.

63. German industrial region: RUHR.

64. Like a certain superpower: X-RAY. Superman's vision.

66. Luau strings: UKE.

67. Nile biter: ASP.



Dennis said...

Good morning, Al, C.C. and gang - well, two days in a row of wandering around the blocks, looking for traction. Almost from the beginning I had trouble; took me a while to realize what 'ftlb' was. At least the theme was apparent after the first theme answer.

Had trouble reconciling 'ditch' for 'Lose on purpose'; doesn't seem synonymous to me. Didn't know 'Erika', and forgot 'Juillet-Aout', even though we've seen it before. And the unifier? I looked at that for a looong time and finally had to google 'reductio ad...' and there it was. Never saw the term before. Also never saw 'bocce' written as 'bocci'.
Al, great job with the blog. As always, very entertaining and educational.

Jeannie, I sent you an email (which is where your comment should have been) at the time of your loss. Again, my sympathy. As I said in my email, there's not much tougher than that type of loss.

Tough but fun puzzle for me; is this Bill Ballard's first offering?

Today is Fresh Veggies Day. So if you've got a smart-ass gherkin, treat it well.

Did You Know?:

- To make a pound of honey, bees must collect nectar from over 2 million individual flowers.

Off to the gym.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

First of all, without meaning to offend anybody, I just have to say: w00t! Yay, Bruins!

As for the puzzle, it was a fine Thursday effort with a really nifty theme that I fortunately got right away. Unknowns included MARCO, ERIKA and AOUT (I'm just never going to remember those French months), but I was able to get them either via the perps or by (in the case of ERIKA) by making a decent guess.

The hardest spot was at the end, where MARX crossed XRAY. It took me awhile to realize/remember who Engels was and the clue for 64D was deliciously tricky (yes, I was thinking it had to do with USA or USSR).

To make a pound of honey, bees must collect nectar from over 2 million individual flowers.

Another urban legend, Dennis. It actually only takes 1,999,998 flowers... ^_^

Hahtool said...

Good Morning. This was a real toughie for me today. I had very few answers in my first pass of this puzzle. Then, slowly I realized that a lot of the answers are words that either (almost) only appear in crosswords, or are words that I learned through doing the puzzles.

Not being a tennis fan, I guessed that John Isner was an ACER, and from doing the puzzles I knew that AD IN is a tennis term.

Ironically, I actually got 43-Across Maker = DEERE, before I had figured out the answer for Pickup Attachment.

Favorite clues were Bermuda Shape = TRIANGLE
Neck Part = FRET.

HeartRx, we must have a similar taste in books.

QOD: If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything, is ready, we shall never begin. ~ Ivan Turgenev

Jacel said...

Good morning everyone. Thank-you Bill for a challenging Thursday puzzle. Also, Al, your blog explained some of the answers that I did not catch. So thank-you for that.

I really liked the mislead on 43A Pickup attachment. I never heard of a "PLOW" being attached to a pick-up truck. Then, I hit my head with a big "AHA."

What helped me complete the puzzle is that I caught on to the theme with the first two theme answers.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

IMO, this was a strange puzzle. For clues Bill offered everything from gimmes to vague WTF's. Or maybe two nights of little sleep has caught up to me. I did pick up the theme quickly & that helped move things along. But clue answers like FTLB, L IS, ACER (I hated it), AOUT (a wag), onze (another wag), along with one or two others had me frazzled.

The SW was particularly annoying. I had 65A, but it made no sense at all to me. I went with it because the perps were either solid or my best guess. All in all, an unfulfilling complete.

Barry, when the Whaler's were here, I hated the Bruins. Since the carpetbaggers moved, I've gone back to the Rangers. But I did root for the Bruins in the finals.

Tinbeni said...

Al, Once again your write-up explained my Ink Blot Test.

I did not think this was a FUN Thursday.

A SIP to all at Sunset.

Cheers !

Tinbeni said...

The missing letters make the anagram 'undo a mystery' ...
(Thanks, Amy).

I'm still wondering how Arcane clues MYSTIC ...

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning, Al, etal. Thank's, Al, for 'splainin' that jumble of letters that ended up occupying 65a.

I must have missed any previous occurance of AOUT, as it was a total unknown. I wagged the 'O' since it looked like 64a was going to be 'reduction and absorption' minus a few letters. What that would have to do with logic was not logical, though. Then I got to RoHR and it didn't seem right. Some of my ancesters come from the RUHR region so I changed the 'O' to a 'U'. That left me with an even more confusing unifier, but I decided to go with my gut instincts that the perps were solid and not worry about it.

ELSA'S, ERIKA and ONZE were obtained via perps. all of the other names and the tennis terms show up often enough that I was able to fill them easily.

Bottom line, I finished fairly easily, but wasn't sure it was all correct until coming here for Al's illuminations.

kazie said...

I agree with Tinbeni--this was no fun. I had to resort to Crossword Heaven for roughly a quarter of the clues, and having figured the theme early didn't help much either. Having HEE for HEH meant I never got AT THAT, and L IS never made sense because I thought it was one word LIS. 48A was slow because I had guessed RORES for ROREM. I could imagine the groans of many who don't know the French ONZE, which was a gimme for me. And having a Latin phrase for the "unifier" was not only absurd, it was downright mean!

Another busy day ahead for me, so a great Thursday to all of you.

Husker Gary said...

Al, et al, some slogging required as I felt I was in a PARTIALVAC…

-O ending reductiO and in aOut was trying to keep me from being an ACER but I pulled the former from my mental nether regions and wondered what the hell AOUT was. WOOHOO!
-Nice info about LIBRA, ESTER, METHANE Al
-Oh, that ONZE and JUILLET. Gotta remember dix = ten, sacre bleu!
-Pickups w/plows make big bucks when snow comes to the Great Plains but my Craftsman blower can go through anything!
-I’ve done some methane emitting too, Al! Didn’t sink any ships but it cleared a room.
-I BOCCEd too first
-Middle School kids sometimes DITCH other kids they don’t want to hang out with
-67 Down clue did not make the Omaha World Herald. ASP aced out ESP
-Hahtool, re quote – I always told my students the hardest part of a project is to START!

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Al, C.C. et al.

Your write-up was the only good thing I have to say about this puzzle, and judging from some of the other comments, I'm not the only one.

I do appreciate that having four grid spanning theme entries is going to compromise the fill. But in that case, why have four grid spanning fills?

I don’t like “cut-off” themes unless the words that are cut off actually make sense on their own. There might be a case for ABRIDGED DICTION (“Cliff notes for Professor Higgins?”). But the others are just plain ABSUR.

Anyway, happy Thursday, everyone!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I finished it last night and rather than head for Google, I decided to wait for Al's blog for some 'splaining. Even though Al has been a big help, I did a little checking at Google this morning.

I'm sure our engineers understood FT LB as a "work unit". I had to go to Wikipedia.

ROREM, ELSA'S, ACER and ERIKA were strictly the result of fiddling with the perps and coming up with an acceptable WAG.

I knew them both, but I think French ONZE and AOUT are a little too advanced, except maybe for a Saturday. Needing to know numbers (through 20?), days of the week, months of the year, seasons, members of the family, honorifics and how to say "I love you." in French, Spanish, German and sometimes Latin is pushing the envelope.

I got the theme, but the unifier was pretty obscure for most people who haven't had a college level Introduction to Philosophy class. Oh, wait a sec., I did...and I still didn't understand it. Thanks for the link, Al.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Thanks, Al, for the commentary.

A bit of a toughie. FTA threw me; I was looking for an abbreviated form of Fanny Mae. Only red letter because I couldn't suss HERO, either. Entire 65a left me cold, and although I got the other 3 theme spans, the truncation style seemed bland. Got AOÛT after realizing the clue was not Juliet, but Julliet, French for July. MARCO was a gimme as the site for our February sojourn. Liked the clue for 64d,
X-RAY. (Also the military phonetic alphabet name for the letter X.)

As Grant said to Sherman after the 1st day's battle at Shiloh: "Lick'em tomorrow"

Have a great day.

Avg Joe said...

I don't have much good to say about this puzzle.

And my Momma always taught me: If you don't have anything good to say...

Anonymous said...

I generally don't 'do' Thursdays - but I found today's puzzle, remarkably easy going .... except for 3 entries, in the south Left corner.

I think, my 'relative' success was because I caught on to the theme, quite early on, and the last line seemed tailor made. Not familiar with Onze, Aout or adin or Fret . ( I thought Julliet's follower could have been a 'stalker').

Thank you Al, the Rennaisance man, for your erudite explanations.... especially the chemical ones. ( double bond - ha. ha. ha ).

Nascar Hall of Fame, was a surprising revelation - The things people do to occupy their spare time - like crossword puzzles.

I can generally sense what "reductio ad absurdum" - means, but thanks for the explanation link - I read it VERY carefully - three times - and I am very happy to report that I know exactly as much as I already knew before. I guess I have reached the limit of my IQ capacity, and that is the 'Burnout symptom'.

sherry said...

I got the beginning of each theme but had some trouble with the shorted ends. Did not get the unifier. Thought the puzzle was just right for a Thurs. Went back & forth a few times. Lots of fun.

Argyle said...

Hema. Just wait for it after it loads.

Lucina said...

Good day, C.C., Al and all cyber friends.

I have another Latin phrase for this puzzle, "Ad nauseum." I'm sorry but except for some regular and familiar fill, I found this unsatisfying. At first I was on Bill's wavelength, got the theme and sashayed through the top and center.

Thanks, Al, for 2D ATNO as I had no idea but knew it was correct.

I did recall some French, realized that ONZE and AOUT were in my crossword dictionary but had misspelled AUOT so that stalled me for a while.

MYSTIC? Arcane?

ERIKA was a WAG but looked it up to assure myself. FRET! AHA, great misdirection there.

I do not feel like an ACER on this, but thank Bill for the challenge.

Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone. It's hair cutting day for me.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. I just wanted to let all you folks in the San Francisco Bay Area know that my company and the work we do in earthquake research is covered in the San Francisco Chronicle today. The article by veteran science reporter David Perlman will be available on-line early tomorrow (Friday) morning here.

In addition, please watch the 11:00PM news on your local NBC station on Wednesday, June22, for an "in depth" (about 3 minutes) story about us.

End of advertisement. Now I'm going to do the puzzle. Later.

Lemonade714 said...

TB, I can see you do not do RPG games where arcane mysticism and magic are important, but literally
ar·cane   /ɑrˈkeɪn/ Show Spelled
[ahr-keyn] –adjective
known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret; obscure; esoteric: She knew a lot about sanskrit grammar and other arcane matters.

Argyle great link.

Fermatprime, we used to have a number of mystery readers commenting, as cw are rife with references to authors and characters, but not lately. I never saw the BBC version of Hamish, which to me seems difficult to reproduce, as so much of the story is what strange thoughts go on in his head and the minds of the other regular characters

eddyB said...

Fans?? I think that says it all.

Reductio Ad Litem said...

Argyle, many, many thanks for the HEMA link - it was very interesting - I never thought it would stop (lol) ! .... just like my 3 yr. old niece with the same name ....

Just goes to show that genius and innovation is not an American monopoly.

Jayce, due to the 'curtailed ' nature of the news presented, in the link - please could you please clarify ? - does your co. app predict earthquakes or debunk the prediction ( by others ... ) of the same ?

Lemonade - Sanskrit grammar, an arcane subject ? (lol) I will have you know that German grammar follows it to a T, ( so also probably Yiddish - ). It is about as logical and mathematical, as any language can get. ( again, meant in jest - ).

Jayce said...

Reductio Ad Litem, the news on the San Francisco Chronicle link is "curtailed" until tomorrow morning, when the full version will be posted. This is because the article is in today's print edition.

To clarify for you, what we do is scientific data gathering and analysis with the ultimate aim of hopefully being able to forecast earthquakes much as meteorologists can forecast upcoming weather conditions. We have a long way to go, but the journey is fascinating. It is others, mostly the seismologists (the USGS) who have been unable for the past 60 years to make any progress towards this goal, who are trying to debunk what we do. They think that because they have been unable to predict earthquakes despite decades of effort, therefore eathquakes are inherently unpredictable.

Anonymous said...

Just a humorous note on the HEMA website, so generously provided courtesy of dear Argyle. the boom-box radio in the top right hand corner is officially called a 'ghettoblaster'.

Now, I don't pretend to understand Dutch, but I certainly know my ghettoblasters. Now, if they could only learn to spell 'PC'. (lol)

Barry G. said...

BTW, as a former Philosophy major (undergrad), I was very familiar with the concept of reductio ad absurdum. What amazes me, though, is how much my 6-year-old son seems to have an intuitive grasp of the concept (if not the actual name).

These days, whenever I tell him anything, he will come up with an absurd counter-argument to prove that what I said isn't right. For example, if I tell him that he needs to eat his vegetables in order to be healthy, he'll questions like, "what if the vegetables turned into giant monsters and ate you when you tried to eat them?"

My standard response when he does this is to ask, "what if winged monkeys fly out of your butt?" When he says, "that could never happen," I respond, "well, vegetables can't turn into giant monsters, either..."

Anonymous said...

Jayce, many, many thanks for the response and the explanation. May I humbly, wish you and your company best wishes, best of luck, and 'God Speed' towards your final aim/success/destination.

Spitzboov said...

Anon @11:33. I don't see the PC problem. See boombox. HEMA is a good site to learn a little Dutch: winkle = store; handzeep = hand soap; nog een keer = repeat; etc.

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

I wish Bill G. and his BH a belated congratulations on your anniversary.

Didn't get to read yesterday's post beginning about mid-afternoon until this morning. Naples had a horrendous rain and wind storm last night. It cut the TV and computers off right at the start of Jeopardy. Sigh. But we kept power unlike many here.

Puzzle: at least MARCO was a gimme. The rest was a slog, and DNF. But I truly enjoyed your write up, Al.


Al said...

@Jayce if the track record of weather prediction is what you are holding to as the standard of modelling for earthquake prediction, you're not filling me with a lot of confidence here... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Spitzboov -

Many thanks for the wiki site and the explanation of the disambiguation of the term boom-box/ghettoblaster. I now realize that 'ghettoblaster' is a conventionally acceptable term for a boom-box. I also realize that, tho' my original post was meant in jest - in absence of malice - I need to stop worrying about and being obsessed by all things, PC or otherwise.

I will now make an honest effort to take things as they come, on face value, and confide substantially more of my trust to the innate goodness of mankind ( or human kind.) This is sincerely meant.

Jeannie said...

I’m with Sallie on this slog. One I knew for sure was pickup attachment – plow. I don’t think there are too many pickups up here that don’t have that accessory. I also liked the crossing of Deere and acre as it seems the tractors out this way are out in force finally planting the crops. Living in a rural area, it’s not uncommon for me to get stuck behind a big behemoth tractor taking up the entire road. I also got my fair share of a French lesson today.

Al, I enjoyed your write up, and as always learned something new. Riddle to follow.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of gherkin, Weiner has pulled out.

Al said...

@Barry, your son might be right about the vegetable monsters...

Rochester NY denizen said...

If, as above, Winkle = Store, there was a chain of stores called Winkleman's Stores - which would translate as Store-man's stores. They were high -end stores, especially in Detroit and Rochester NY, and now unfortunately out of business.

In the earthquake prediction business, due to the litigious nature of our society, the following equation could be proposed:

10,000 false positives = 1 false negative.

JD said...

Bonjour mes amies,

Have to say I agreed with Marti, Kazie and whoever else was not pleased with today's offering. Unifier? Who are we kidding? Catching theme did not help. Got stuck at onze, then plow,ene. I must be misplaced the ozone layer.Could not pry out the German industrial region. Mon dieu!

At one time, I was intrigued with Bermuda Triangle tales.

Loved ditch; I think it is a girl mean..glad never to be that age again.

Seeing Marco brought back sweet memories of shelling at dawn when Naples was just a sleepy town.

Al, thanks for all of the explanations and extras.Coming here is always fun.

dodo said...

Morning friends,

I checked our morning paper for the xword and found yesterday's repeated! What a strange feeling!

I just glanced through the first few comments to see if any of you had the same problem, but I guess it was just local. I did it on Cruciverb which always has lots of black corners because I cant get used to their format and end up with many typos. But at least I found it.

I never got here yesterday because I was so late and I want to respond to some coomments. I'll have to go back and find them, tho.

Meantime, Dennis, feel free to use 'dodo' in any way you want. I'm not sure about the proper phonetic....once someone read it from a birthday message as 'do do', which got a big laugh. He was Korean, so could be excused, I guess.

eddyB said...

We are up to V is for Vengeance.

Grumpy 1 said...

Weiner pulled out... career interuptus??

Bill G. said...

I agree with most of everybody's complaints. Still, I got the theme and it helped a bit with the solving. So, all in all, an OK Thursday for me. Al, I enjoyed the writeup as always.

Dodo, the same thing happens to me on Cruciverb with the annoying black corners. The red corners are even worse, like a scarlet A. Have you tried the LA Times website with a different format? I much prefer it. I still use Cruciverb for other puzzles like Boston Globe or Village Voice.

Here's a short film I found that I like very much. Maybe you will too.

Jeannie said...

Today's Riddle:

There was a shipwreck at sea and Lemonade, Bill G, and Tinbeni got washed ashore on a small, isolated island. They were exhausted and fell asleep on the beach. Lemonade woke up and saw a box of bananas had washed ashore. He ate 1/3 of bananas and went back to sleep. BillG woke up and also ate 1/3 of what was left of the bananas, and went back to sleep. Next, Tinbeni woke up and assuming no one had eaten the bananas, ate only 1/3 of what was left. When he was finished, there were only 8 bananas left. Can you guess how many bananas were in the box?

Lemonade714 said...

My birthday

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Curiously, this is a Thus I finished, though with one error I just discovered. Both the foreign language "follower" clues were WTF?!? But perps filled in. Despite that, and all the abrvs. I enjoyed this puzzle and its unfins th.

No speed RUN for me - lot's of back and forth action gave my CPU a workout.

RORAM and ERIKA were unknowns. Can never remember AD IN.

We played Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral from Lohengrin in H.S. concert band almost 50 yrs ago. All I remember is that I hated it.

Unsettled weather today. Tonight's park concert is a big question mark. Suddenly, it's very windy, AT THAT.


Bill G. said...

Jeannie, more than five squared but less than six squared?

Jazzbumpa said...

Bill G -

Yes. There were 27 bananas.

The thing about quake and weather prediction is that they can never be more than probabilistic. Both are chaotic processes.


Avg Joe said...

27 bananas is correct.

And as we all know, that's a hell of a lot fewer than 30,000 Pounds :-)

Anonymous said...

(2/3) x (2/3) x (2/3) X = 8

8 X / 27 = 8

X = 27

JazzB , the rise (and fall)of stock market prices are also chaotic random processes, ( akin to a 'crow's walk' ) but that does not prevent millions of people and firms in trying to predict the outcome or the future, and betting their bottom dollars on the outcomes.

Husker Gary said...


What a fun link. An electronic Rube Goldberg display!

Your dog/goose/golf course video you posted (and I forwarded) yesterday has my course manager off and running. He found that a course just west of us had success with a dog last year but thought $500 for the animal was too much. Really? Our manager has put his coyote decoys up again on the hole I linked yesterday and they are not back as of 3:00 pm today. He wants a dog!

The birds were there last night as evidenced by my having a hard time finding an "unsoiled" area for my tee on the 2nd hole.

Grumpy 1 said...

Husker, how long do you think it will be before PETA starts protesting the use of dogs to "harass" those poor geese. Oh, the stress that is being introduced to their lives!

Here in Florida we have Muscovy ducks in large numbers. Alligators find them to be quite tasty and have kept them from taking over my back yard.

Dudley said...

Grumpy - I wonder if PETA got mad at USAir for stressing out the geese in flight over the Hudson...

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I had the same experiences as almost everyone else. Not proficient in French, Latin, German and I sometimes wonder about English!! There were too many unknowns for me to enjoy this offering today.

A difficult puzzle and without Al's excellent writeup I would still be scratching my head.

Does pickup actually refer to a truck, or is it referring to the pickup of dirt as the plow goes through a field? I'm still in the dark.

I'm staying indoors to stay cool, but I did go out early and pick raspberries and blueberries. We'll have both on ice cream for our dessert this evening.

Have a great day everyone.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers!

This one kinda cleaned my clock. ROREM and ELSA'S were not on my reading list, not to mention the long unifier. Resisted DEERE because I figured the reference was unique to snowplows. And, of course, I mis-read Juillet, same as the whole country must have done.

All in all I took an extra long time for a Thursday. So it goes.

Grumpy 1 said...

I took 'pickup attachment' as being a reference to pickup trucks and the answer, PLOWS, to be snow plows. As far as I know, Deere does make snowplows, but I didn't find any for pickup trucks. That really didn't cause me to question the clue, maker of plows, though. Once the entry has been made in the grid, it stands alone if the referential clue is looking only at that word and not at the clue that led to the word. In this case any five letter manufacturer of plows, whether snow or field, would be a valid candidate.

We had another instance recently where a referential clue looked to an alternate meaning for the word that had been generated and someone questioned the fairness or accuracy. By the time we get to Thursday, that's the sort of misdirection I expect.

Frenchie said...

Hello C.C., Argyle and folk,
Al, thanks for the interesting links. Thanks for sharing with us.
Bill Ballard, interesting puzzle, thanks for your effort.
I made some notes on what I wanted to point out but the document didn't get saved as this 'situ' came into play. I had some pepper plants put in 2 days ago and discovered rabbits had been snacking on them. The contractor working here and I went to Home Depot to buy fencing materials to keep the rabbits out. Mission accomplished. The plants are now safe. Whew!
Dennis, it eased me a bit reading your alarm experience. Thanks so much for sharing!
How's the back, kazi?
The headache, Jazzbumpa?
Wish we could ditch those aches and pains!
Lemonade714, how is your vision condition these days? Didn't you have to go back to the retinologist recently? I send my positive energy your way!
Sleep well everyone, we have to shore ourselves up for tomorrow!

I'm out!

Husker Gary said...

The wildlife debate continues on a more serious level here along the Missouri River caused by the massive release of water upstream at Gavins Point, S.D. (currently discharging water at a rate that would fill an olympic size swimming pool in 1/2 sec.) Some politicians and others are claiming that water release was delayed to accommodate the Piping Plover, the Pallid Sturgeon and the Least Tern. There have also been huge rains and large melting snowpacks upstream as well and the combination has been horrible.

Large road projects here in Nebraska have been delayed at the cost of millions of dollars in past years to save the Salt Creek Beetle as well as the fish and birds above. I guess it depends on your perspective.

Governors Villsack (Iowa) and Heineman (Nebraska) have both pledged this week to find out why this disaster has occurred in 2011 and how it might be avoided in the future when pressed on these ecology questions.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Got about 1/3 through the puzzle and, perhaps because it's so late in the day and I put in several hours at the office, I confess I lost interest. So now I'm going to read what you all have had to say and call it a day. Cheers!

Lemonade714 said...

Frenchie: Fencing alone will not keep rabbits out, they burrow, but they are cute, just like our corner denizens.

yes more eye problems, bleeding behind the lens, and resultant huge floaters, but life goes on, thanks for asking.

Hahtool said...

For the readers on this blog: I just discovered this new iPad app that allows access to books from the British Library. I think it is a neat feature that allows access to the library's collection

Right now it contains many 19th century books that are in the library's collection. I downloaded Tess of the d'Urbervilles and it is like reading from the actual book.

Avg Joe said...

I have to agree with Lemonade. My garden was decimated by the infernal lapins 2 years ago, so I had to take defensive action. Rabbits dig under obstacles. But the good news is they get bored easily.... i.e. they won't dig too deep. My solution was to erect a 3' high "privacy" fence around the garden, and at the bottom of that, I added 12" of chicken wire (poultry netting, for the non-farm crowd) that is buried approximately 7" underground. It's worked for 2 years thus far. The biggest trick is figuring out a "threshold" for the gate. I use a pair of 2x4's nailed together.

fermatprime said...

Hello all,

Fun puzzle, Bill. Great write-up, Al.

The theme was obvious from the first clue. My Physics degree helped too. All in all, a pleasant surprise for a Thursday, unlike the's horrible Sudoku!

Jayce--please remind us of your notifications posted today. I do not want to miss them.

Lemonade--I have written many times about mystery authors. Some pretty recently. Also, the MacBeth show had a short, dark-haired star. (That is only the beginning of my complaint.) Re vision problems: in all the fuss of three doctor's visit in the past three days, I forgot to put in my Xibrom. Could barely see anything through clouds last night.


Dudley said...

I can say with conviction that John Deere does make snow plows for tractors, in their Welland Works in Ontario. I had a seven-footer on my Deere 4600. It was the worst plow I ever had, not up to Deere's usual standards.

I'm also sure they do not make plows for pickups.

Clear Ayes said...

Sincerely sorry to hear about more vision problems for Lemonade and fermatprime.

Rabbit problems? We have a warren of the little guys living on the hill in back of our house. Several of them stop by in the cool of the evening for a nice lawn snack. They really aren't a problem since we don't have a vegetable garden.

A lovely day weather-wise with mid 80's in our area. Our Red Hat group went on a tour of a local alpaca farm. They sure are cute critters (the alpacas too!) and we enjoyed it thoroughly. A nice lunch with a glass of wine can't hurt either. We finished off with a visit to our local farmers' market. Nice ladies, lots of laughs.

Tomorrow is my host-for-cribbage day. Then tomorrow evening GAH and I are going to our local dive for burgers and to listen to our neighbor's folky-western band play. Phew! Rest on Saturday.

Bill G. said...

Best of luck with your eye problems, Lemon and FP. That's one three-letter body part of mine that's still reasonably operative. I hope your problems resolve themselves or at least don't get any worse.

This is brilliant! You can learn about everything in 3 minutes and 12 seconds with nothing but the technology of a flip book. This is a Brief History of Pretty Much Everything.

windhover said...

The link wouldn't work for me, probably an iPhone issue, not a bad link, but I recognized Harry and Bananas. He was a brilliant songwriter, although most of his songs were too long for radio. He left here way too soon. Thanks for the link.

Abejo said...

Good Evening, folks. Thank you Bill B. for the puzzle. I must say, however, that most of the foreign words were tough. That may make it easier to construct a puzzle, but why not try it the hard way, and do it all in English.

Thank you, Al, for the excellent write-up.

Well, I got through most of this fairly easy. The first three theme answers I got with no trouble. The last one, 65A, I actually got with perps and a wag, but had no idea that I actually got it right.

Thought 2D, Elemental ID/AT NO, was a great clue/answer.

67D, ASP, is the most steady CW answer I have seen. I still think it takes first place. We have seen ASP and ASPS on a regular basis.

I read QB VII, by URIS, many years ago. All his books are good.

Enjoyed INRI. We use that, with the Latin words, on a regular basis.

See you all tomorrow.


Jeannie said...

You all are too bright for me to find a good riddle. I knew that was going to be a challenge.

Speaking of music, I am into some good alternative music that actually have meaning to them. With that, I leave you with song

Jeannie said...

For some reason I thought of you Clearayes and Jazz while driving through the countryside singing at the top of my lungs. Silly lyrics, but catchy tune. bubbly toes

Jeannie said...

For some reason bunnies don't like me or my yard. I don't get it.

Clear Ayes said...

I must be getting old. (Ya think?) I got Harry Chapin's song mixed up with Harry Nilsson. Maybe that isn't surprising, two hugely talented guys who died way before their time.

Jeannie, always sing as loud as you can, as often as you can. It never fails to make me feel good about myself and the world in general! BTW, good songs.

Lemonade714 said...

Jeannie, everyone knows why bunnies do not like you. Just find the recipe for rabbit stew and it will be all fine.

Tinbeni said...

When I woke up I did not eat 1/3 of the banana's.
I did construct a 'still' and began brewing a banana liquor.

PS My heart aches at the loss of your niece.