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Jul 27, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 Jonathan Black

Theme: FLEA Market. Three entries have the hidden word "flea" spanning the words. Jonathan had his first puzzle on a Sunday LAT in January. I am here to blog his second offering of a weekday puzzle for us.

17A. Woods has often been atop it : GOLF LEADER BOARD. Tiger Woods is not playing lately, because of injuries. But there are still a lot of exciting players to watch. Darren Clarke was wonderful at "The Open".

26A. Hold one's nose, perhaps : STIFLE A SNEEZE. Achooo!

42A They're fun to jump in : PILES OF LEAVES. Not so much fun to rake...

55A. Pet owner's bane, and a hint to what's hidden in 17-, 26- and 42-Across : FLEA INFESTATION

I think it would have been more elegant to have the third "flea" entry be of the FL - EA separation. As it is, we have two with F-LEA and one with FLE-A. But how to do FL-EA? How about NFL EASILY ENDS NEGOTIATIONS??? YAAAAYY- we'll have football this year! DH is happy, because if there were no football I would have him doing all kinds of projects around the house...

Marti here, filling in for our Melissa. I am itching to get started on this one!

Across

1. People person : CELEB. "People" magazine. Unless you are Britney Spears, then you definitely don't like people, especially ones who want to take your picture...

6. Throw for a loop : FAZE. From Feese, 1350–1400; Middle English fese blast, rush, fesen to drive, chase, frighten.

10. Crew cut's opposite : AFRO. You be the judge. Opposite? Scroll down to see the explanation of Afro and crew cut.

14. Good on one's feet : AGILE. Like Mohammed Ali or his daughter Laila.

15. In __ of: as a substitute for : LIEU. You are getting me today, in LIEU of Melissa. Sorry!

16. Ring out : PEAL. I wanted to PEAL my orange this morning, and ring out my wet laundry. Oops, sorry. Just googled those, and it should be "peel" and "wring"...

20. Mass. hours : EST. Going to an all-girls Catholic school, "mass" hours to me meant 6 A.M. to 7 A.M., 9 A.M. to 10 A.M. and (for the really lazy ones) 11 A.M. to 12 noon!! But this clever clue abbreviates "Massachusetts", meaning Eastern Standard Time hours.

21. Food with a Veterinary Formula : IAMS. I feed my tubby tabbies Hills (low fat, "adult" diet).

22. Ungentle giants : OGRES. Oh, I dunno - Shrek seems like such a nice guy...

23. Cilantro, e.g. : HERB. Do you like it in salsa? DH, not so much...

24. Word on some euros : EIRE. For Ireland. I'll be darned - you're right!!

31. Power strip inserts : PLUGS. Or, "Talk show guest's blatant promotion(s)". (Would that be a plug for my Monday puzzle???)

32. It may be promised : LAND.

33. Dedicated work : ODE. (Although, I don't know how dedicated I can become to a Grecian urn. But, it might grow on me after a while, I guess...)

35. Justice appointed after Clarence : RUTH. Are we talking Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Actually, I am not on a first name basis with either one of them. You?? Maybe Hahtool or Lemonade?

36. Religiously devoted : PIOUS. See 20A.

38. Go up the creek without a paddle? : SWIM. HaHa, loved this clue/answer.

39. Doggy bag item : ORT. Scrap or morsel of food left at the end of the meal. A very old origin of the English word "eat". Really. Look it up! (Do I have to do all the work around here???)

40. She had a big hit with "Thank You" in 2001 : DIDO. Our first musical interlude. I really didn't know her, but I like her voice a lot.

41. Prepares, as a hook : BAITS. We went camping a couple weeks ago, and went fishing off the kayaks. DH had to BAIT my hook...eeewwww, I cannot deal with worms!!

46. Ben-Gurion airline : EL AL. Crosswordese.

47. Toll-road toll unit : AXLE. On the MASS Pike, the charge is $5.10 for a passenger two-axle vehicle if you go from west to east, but $8.60 if you go from east to west. Huhhh????

48. Talk Like a Pirate Day cry : AARGH. Really, there is an "International Pirate Day" every September 19th. (Would I kid you???) (I'm putting it on my calendar...)

51. Thrift store stipulation : AS IS.

52. Counterterrorism org. : FBI

59. Case the joint, say : ABET. "Assisting in wrongdoing". Don't let the 52A catch you.

60. Plant used for first aid : ALOE. I slathered it on after our book club "day at the lake" last weekend!!

61. Blair's predecessor : MAJOR. Tony Blair, John Major. British Prime Ministers.

62. Tool used to create 42-Across : RAKE. I cry foul on this one: I really don't like a non-theme entry referring to a theme entry. But, that's just me...

63. "__ of Steel": '80s workout video : BUNS. I have this video...It didn't work...Don't waste your money...

64. Sudden increase : SPIKE. Like Viagra? ( I mean, sales...don't go getting all DF on me!)

DOWN

1. Hamster's home : CAGE. I was thinking of this handsome guy...

2. Prima donnas have big ones : EGOS.

3. Happy tune : LILT. So you won't be afraid...

4. Will Ferrell holiday comedy : ELF. OK, there is just too much good stuff here!!

5. Personal theology elements : BELIEFS.

6. Burn a dessert on purpose? : FLAMBE. At Brennan's in New Orleans, they do this on a regular basis to bananas...

7. Helps out : AIDS.

8. End of a common list : ZEE. A, Be, Zee?

9. It's W of the Urals : EUR. The Ural Mountains separate Asia from Europe. Map.

10. Orbital high point : APOGEE. Low point = Perigee.

11. More than just butterflies : FEAR. Moths? Bats? No, just that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you have to speak before an audience of 500....

12. "Still mooing," at a steakhouse : RARE. I like mine "medium rare"...

13. Bygone automaker : OLDS. Aptly.

18. Banjoist Scruggs : EARL. I always mix him up with Ernest Tubb.

19. Watching the clock, perhaps : BORED. Ho, hum. Is it 2 A.M. yet?

23. Above the strike zone : HIGH. I had a different clue for this one...

24. Biblical birthright seller : ESAU. You'll do anything if you are hungry enough. But giving away your heritage for a bowl of stew? Really?

25. Getaway spots : INNS

26. Suck down : SLURP. Fun word!

27. __-frutti : TUTTI.

28. Hard to get close to : ALOOF. Do you think I am like Greta Garbo? "I vant to be alone..." (Naaahhh, I didn't think so...)

29. "Yikes!" : ZOWIE. Wowzah! Another fun word!

30. Puts in a good word? : EDITS. HaHa, Rich always puts in a good word for his constructors!

31. Debate side : PRO. Or con: take your pick! Was anyone else on the debate team? I hated it when I had to argue for the side I was actually against. But I did it vehemently!

34. Miami couple? : EMS. Classic crossword question mark - should have alerted you to the two "ems" in MiaMi. I'm sure no one on this corner was fooled...

36. City on the Arno : PISA. "When the moooon hits your eye like a big Pisa pie..."

37. 1-Across, usually : IDOL. Britney Spears? ...Really???

38. Word processing command : SAVE.

40. Indian metropolis : DELHI. Vidwan can fill us in...

41. Aromatic firs : BALSAMS. The Balsams is a beautiful resort in NH.

43. Emissary : LEGATE. This sounds suspiciously legalese to me...Lemonade, Hahtool??

44. Misses : LASSES. Did anyone think faults, errors, craves, yearns, etc., etc.???

45. Escape hatch, e.g. : EXIT. Just don't leave HAL in charge...

48. Way, way off : AFAR

49. Jessica of "Fantastic Four" : ALBA. So pretty.

50. Stink to high heaven : REEK. I won't go there...

51. Long, long time : AEON

52. Pacific archipelago : FIJI

53. Volume : BOOK. Loud?

54. Memo header : IN RE. More legalese, "In the matter (of)". Not to be confused with another crosswordese fill, "INRI ", crucifix letters (Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum ). But, crosswordese actually helps me very much in solving puzzles, as I know immediately what the answer should be. And it often helps to fill those perps...

56. Catch red-handed : NAB.

57. Fever cause : FLU. I hope our dear Santa doesn't have a fever with his pesky summer cold...

58. Suds source : TAP. Oh, "beer", not "laundry". And now, I am all tapped out!!

Answer grid.

Hugs,

Marti

Note from C.C.:

Here is another "Hard to Believe" photo from a current blog regular with a cool colorful avatar name. He said: "This is a Halloween costume from when I was 10 years old. It was my foster father's uniform before he was promoted to Detective. It was taken 31 Oct 1978. "

74 comments:

C. C. said...

Windhover,
Please stop engaging the anonymous posters and perpetuate certain topics.

Hahtool said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. It was actually the RAKE that lead me to the PILES OF LEAVES that helped me with the theme. Shortly after we bought our house, we had a terrible FLEA INFESTATION in our house (a gift from the former owners). We had to treat, not only the interior of the house but our entire yard. We have been extremely careful ever since.

APOGEE must be the word of the month. It has appeared several times recently.

Not keen on clues where the answer is a letter of the alphabet, but I wasn't stymied by Miami Couple = EMS.

My favorite clues included "Still Mooing" at a Steak House = RARE

It May Be Promised = LAND.

Fermaprime: The box turtle just appeared in my yard recently. Not really a pet.

QOD: There are few things more liberating in life than having your worst fears realized. ~ Conan O'Brien

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Short on time this morning. Fun puzzle, and the only problem I ran into was in the middle where I put in HAND instead of LAND and it took me awhile to see my mistake.

Have a good one!

Anonymous said...

37. 1-Across, usually : IDOL. Britney Spears would be and idol for a girl. Girls want to be like Britney and guys want her hand in marriage.

Britney

Melissa that link that described hairstyles was hilarious especially the skullet. For some reason the description of that hair style struck me as funny.

other observations.

52. Counterterrorism org. : FBI I tried NSA first.

27. __-frutti : TUTTI. Thought of Little Richard

Tutti Frutti

Fun Facts by Dave Letterman

An embarrassed David Blaine once had to call AAA when he locked his keys in his car.

During the last season of TJ Hooker, William Shatner protested the show's cancellation by wearing his hairpiece backward.

Dick said...

Good morning Marti and all, for a Wednesday this was a very easy puzzle. I filled in the top half of the grid and then jumped to the lower half and filled that area. This gave me flea infestation and already having golf leader board I parsed flea and that helped with the other theme fill.

Not much to comment on for the remaining part of the puzzle.

Gotta rush off to Habitat for the day, but will check in later tonight.

Have a great Wednesday

windhover said...

CC:
Got it.

creature said...

Good Morning CC, Marti and all,

Fun write-up Marti. You’re a natural.

I’ve been itching since I started this puzzle and couldn’t figure it out.

Everything fell nicely until the SE corner. I finally let ‘spurt’ go and SPIKE did the trick.

Nice clues that Hahtool mentions.

Thanks Jonathan for your fun effort.

Have a nice day everyone.

Anonymous said...

upon re reading the blog I noticed that I referred to Marti as Melissa sorry for the confusion.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Great puzzle, Jonathan. I actually thought it was a little easy for a Wednesday. I will probably eat those words later this week. Thank you, HeartRx, for the write-up.

I zipped through this from upper left to lower right. Just like I enjoy.

My only hiccup was having SPURT instead of SPIKE for 64D. Fixed that with perps.

Once again, the old standard, ALOE. That must be the all time leader for answers.

One of my favorite words, LIEU, for 15A. I use that a lot in writing.

The theme came easily and helped me with the puzzle.

Thought "Puts in a Good Word"/EDITS for a great clue/answer.

Great morning. See you tomorrow.

Abejo

creature said...

I'm guessing HTB is Mainiac.

Hahtool said...

I am guessing that the "colorful" mystery lad is Red State Democrat.

Tinbeni said...

Barry G. Hand up for HAND.
Before I found the promised LAND.

EGO'S crossing CELEB was cute.

Hmmm, Miami couple? = EM'S.
Damn, those two "I's" never get credit.

Suds source = TAP ???
My beer comes from the keg.
The tap merely pours it.

DIDO and her song (Thanks for the link, Marti) will be forgotten by lunchtime.

Time to SLURP some more java.

Cheers!

Yellowrocks said...

Marti,
Your write-ups are always very entertaining and this one is no exception. I'm always glad to see your turn come round. How do you do it time after time?
In the SE after I finally dredged up MAJOR, the rest fell easily.
Easiest puzzle this week. As has been said, we'll likely pay for it later.

Lemonade714 said...

Marti, really great write up but this flea puzzle really bugged me. Did i mention i hate bugs. Actually I like the hidden run ons from the days of doing acrostics.

I do not see LILT as Tune, please explain; never heard of Dido and agree the puzzle was filled with legalese including LIEU (deed in lieu) and ABET (aiding and abetting).

Halfway home, I will see if I can get a copy of any video from Devin's band. Ciao

kazie said...

I too thought this an easy Wednesday. There was a lot to enjoy here, not least of which was Marti's extremely fun blog and links. I giggled at the hair descriptions, some very true.

At first I thought STIFLE would be followed by something to do with a REEK, but perps proved otherwise. I thought crossing homonyms BOARD/BORED was cute. I didn't know MAJOR--I don't take much notice of parliamentarians' first names either.

I have a CD of DIDO's given to me by our son. Otherwise I wouldn't have known her at all. Normally I don't enjoy female singers of any kind, but I do like her. I don't know how he guessed that I would.

We finally have a rainy cooler day so far. Wonder if it will last?

Mom speaks out said...

Zowie! Even I found this one easy! Thanks, Marti, for the funny blogging today.
The crossing of celeb/ego/golf cracked me up, especially using Tiger for the 17a clue! Also, how about the stifle/ beliefs cross and the aloof/pious one? Intentional? Just wondering.....Ok, enough of that!
We are expecting another hot one today, so off to the pool I am!
Marti, DH= Dear Husband? Deadly Hustler? Darling H_, fill-in the blank?
XOXO to all my corner buddies!

Yellowrocks said...

One meaning of TUNE is SONG. A LILT can be a light, cheerful song or other piece of music.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Good write-up, Marti; sorry about your 'itch':-)

Easy breezy puzzle for a Wednesday, today. Got the theme with the 2nd long across, STIFLE A SNEEZE. A few fills were comic BOOK like: ZOWIE, AARGH, but there were ample perps to aid with the spelling. Tried 'mile' before settling on AXLE. FIJI was a gimme with the MAJOR cross, but the SE was a fun little corner with TAP and the BOOK/SPIKE cross. I thought the clueing for LILT and ABET were OK; just a bit edgy to give the puzzle a Wednesday flavor.

I'm guessing the H to B lad is Maniac.

Enjoy your day

Argyle said...

There is a marked lack of foreign words today so how about a Spanish Flea?(2:06)

Husker Gary said...

Good Morning Marti, et al. I “humped” through this one pretty easily and always learn from Marti.

Musings
-We stayed in a lot FLEAbag hotels in Europe! On this side of the ocean, we’d have walked out. Charming can go just so far.
-I can’t think of any athlete who was at the peak of his career and fell so fast after one event (Thanksgiving Day car wreck). Will he be back? The PGA and their TV ratings NEED him!
-Overtly pious people can make me uneasy. A colleague used to read the Bible and pray in the teacher’s lounge. He didn’t make many friends.
-I agree, Marti. The Cree Indians baited our hooks and handled the fish in Saskatchewan.
-Going to the Logan Airport is free, but it is $3.50 to go into the city.
-I hope those hamsters use their money better than Nicholas CAGE
-Hahtool, using “dispelled” as the last word in the quote works too. I have seen that work MANY times with kids on roller coasters!

Husker Gary said...

Argyle, Your Spanish Flea (Gee, could it be a reference to FLY?) link conjured up memories of Dating Game for which this was the theme. That show and Newlywed Game were the harbingers of current crop of cheesy, tacky, contrived reality shows of today. Raunchy (or euphemisms for raunchy – e.g. making whoopee) puts butts in the seats! Hey, TV’s come with OFF buttons and networks lose money putting on Shakespeare. If it sells, it’s on!

Spitzboov said...

Marti re Mass pike tolls. I think the difference revolves around use of the Ted Williams tunnel. Up to that point from the western boundary with NY, they are the same in either direction. We have the same with Hudson River bridges near New York where you pay crossing West to East only.

HeartRx said...

Good morning all!

C.C., I'm really not sure who our HTB boy is today, but what an adorable picture! Your hint makes me also think it is our RED State Democrat? Oh, wait! It could be YELLOWrocks...I've never seen a picture of either of them, so it would just be a WAG.

Mom speaks out, yes - DH means "Dear Husband".

Lemon, I had a pause at LILT for "tune" as well! But it does have that definition in my dictionary. It can also be used as a verb (e.g. To "lilt" when you speak). "Lilting" would be the adjective (e.g. The Belgians have a very "lilting" tone when they speak). Origin 1300–50; Middle English lulte; perhaps akin to Dutch lul pipe, lullen to lull.

HeartRx said...

Spitzboov, thanks for the explanation of the Mass pike tolls. I was thinking I would have to always circumnavigate the globe to avoid extra tolls every time. Now I know, all I have to do is avoid the Ted Williams tunnel (whew!).

Hahtool said...

HeartRx: according to CC's note, the mystery person is male, so it can't be Yellowrocks unless she had a sex change (not that there is anything wrong with that! LOL)

Lemonade714 said...

Thanks YR and HR, I kinda knew LILT must mean a type of song, but like many things, it was not something I had heard. Maybe also derived from the lute?

The problem with C.C.'s clue about the person being born in 68 is not helpful as I do not know the birth year of anyone except when you all say it is my ...th birthday, and I honestly do not recall those either. On the internet, we are ageless, youthful and immortal. I will concur with RSD as he must be young enough to still be a Democrat.

I have added a picture of Devin singing on Friday night.

Jayce said...

Oh, that must be Red State Democrat.

HeartRx said...

Hahtool, oops! You're right - it must be RSD. Sorry, Yellowrocks!!

Lemon, where is the picture of Devin?

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Thanks Marti for the terrific blogging and enjoyable links. Thanks to Jonathan Black for giving us a puzzle we could have fun with.

As usual, I forgot about "letters" and had a brain fizz with 34D/EMS. I did get perps ODE and SWIM, even though I'm not a big ODE fan myself. They are too often full of convoluted 17th century language. I usually go for more modern poems.

Since they live on a boat on Florida, my sister and brother-in-law have celebrated "Pirate Day" more than once. Some pretty raucous parties I hear!

The lovely Yellowrocks is a lady, so our other colorful alternative must be Red State Democrat. (Bet he's pleased to see Jessica ALBA today.)

Hahtool, your QOD is right on the money. Now I go through life (most days) feeling like Alfred E. Neuman. What, me worry?

creature said...

RSD,of course, it's you. Please forgive my brain slip.

Adorable picture, by the way, with a dear story. Thanks.

Lucina said...

Good afternoon, Marti, C.C. and all. Fun write up, Marti, thanks.

Not exactly a ZOWIE of a puzzle, but fun to finish, almost a speed run.

Had to suss out LEADER BOARD as it did not just jump out.

All else did pop out quite easily though I had SURGE before SPIKE.

Didn't even notice EMS as that simply emerged.

I really liked puts in a good word, EDITS.

Have a delightful Wednesday, everyone!

Yellowrocks said...

My former avatar was taken deep in the canopy shadow of Costa Rico. Here is a clearer one. Forgive the birthday decoration above my head. At least you can tell my gender and my approximate age.

HeartRx said...

Yellowrocks, you might enjoy "One Thousand White Women" by Jim Fergus. It's next on my list, after "The Help" by Katherine Stockett (our next book club book).

Jayce said...

Once again, HeartRx, your wit, intelligence, and generally upbeat attitude shine brightly. Thank you for the (apply the same adjectives) writeup today.

I liked the puzzle and got a chuckle out of the theme entries. Trying to put in SURGE briefly messed me up at the bottom.

Thank you for your kind comments a couple of days ago, creature. I am not aware of what data we collected with regard to the earthquake you mentioned, but thank you for asking.

Off to get my retinas photographed. Best wishes to you all.

Lucina said...

HeartRX:
I loved The Help and I'm sure you will as well. Happy reading!

Bill G. said...

My daughter, Bonnie, got on a plane this morning for a week in Costa Rica today. She's traveling with a friend. She will have a great time. I'm a little apprehensive...

WikWak said...

When I was in Nassau on spring break as a much younger man, it amused me to see that the bridge connecting Paradise Island (with its huge casino) to the mainland cost EVERYONE (pedestrian and motorized traffic alike) when going to the island / casino... but the return to the mainland was free for everyone.

Guess they didn't want a bunch of drunken paupers on the island.

My favorite clues today were VOLUME / BOOK and SUCK DOWN / SLURP.

Not so much: CASE THE JOINT / ABET; with ABET meaning "helping," what if you're doing the job alone? Then the clue doesn't fit. I know—picky, picky!

martydog19 said...

Marti, finally got the blue thing - thanks for holding my hand, but now I'm Marty19 not Margo Lane. It's The Shadow's loss.
Perhaps, because I live in the dessert with the Dinah Shore,PGA and this and that golf thingy leader board is a common phase.
Volume is a tome which is a book,suds source was ale not the item to draw it.Got to think more out of the box.
Even when I don't need help with a puzzle I still go to the corner,because every one just adds something to my information base and a lot to the chuckles, thanks to all.

Lemonade714 said...

WW, nice to see you.

marti:

Is my new avatar not showing?

Grumpy 1 said...

Martydog19, yes there are times we have to think outside the box, but today it was outside the keg.

Clear Ayes said...

I know I said I like more modern poems and I guess this qualifies. It must have been written in the mid-1800's.

Now Summer Is In Flower

Now summer is in flower and natures hum 
Is never silent round her sultry bloom 
Insects as small as dust are never done 
Wi' glittering dance and reeling in the sun 
And green wood fly and blossom haunting bee 
Are never weary of their melody 
Round field hedge now flowers in full glory twine 
Large bindweed bells wild hop and streakd woodbine 
That lift athirst their slender throated flowers 
Agape for dew falls and for honey showers 
These round each bush in sweet disorder run 
And spread their wild hues to the sultry sun.

-  John Clare

dodo said...

Good afternoon, people,

I'm about half way through the comments but I thought I'd better say hello before it gets too late. Even when I get this done by noon it brings up the rear.

I really liked this puzzle; very easy for a Wednesday. Am I getting better or are Wednesdays getting easier. I hope it's the former. In any case, I had no lookups and very few snags. A little trouble with 'faze', had 'stun' first. Hand up for 'hand', also. Had 'aloof', took it out and put it back! But any kinks were ironed out by the end! hanks, Jonathan.

Marti, I suppose with all your other commitments, you have no time to write a book? You should! Not only is your writing very engaging, you seem to have had some wonderful experiences. But it has to be humor..Hear? Great write up!

dodo said...

Hearti, I too loved "The Help". I think Stockett already has another one in the offing.

Hasn't ANYone read "The Elegance of the Hedgehog"? I adored that book; a friend limited the pages she read each day so she could make it last longer!

dodo said...

Lemon! What do you mean? I'm the oldest one here and I'm a Democrat! Of course, I'm very young at heart!

Hahtool said...

MartyDog: Welcome. Sweet dessert.

Lemon: Yes, your new avatar appears with your son's band.

My book group also read The Help. Some in the book group even grew up in homes similar to those depicted in the novel.

Dodo: I've not heard of The Elegance of the Hedgehog. What is it about? Should I add it to my reading list. I'll have to live to be about 200 to read all the "must reads" on my current list!

dodo said...

Hahtool, it's a translation from the French, and unfortunately I can't remember the author's name; I think the first name might be Murielle, It's from the point of views of a concierge in a posh apartment building in Paris and a young girl who lives in one of the apartments with her mother and father, both doctors if I remember correctly and her older sister, who is brilliant and "does everything right". Sometimes it's amusing but there's a lot of warmth, too. (not sure if that's the word, but it's the best I can do right now.)

I hope you put it on your list. I can't imagine anyone not being very moved by it!

dodo said...

Oops! PointS of view.

Hahtool said...

Bill G: What are your concerns about Costa Rica? I think it is a perfectly safe country. It is definitely very beautiful. There has been no civil strife in the country for over 60 years, unlike some of its neighbors. As long as your daughter doesn't put any poison dart frogs on her tongue (as some people are wont to do), she'll be fine.

Yellowrocks said...

BillG
In Costa Rico I felt safer than in almost any other place I have visited. The counry's economy is is eco-tourist, pro-Ameican. If Bonnie sticks to the main tourist places she will be fine. We had a relaxing, lovely time enjoying the wonders of Costa Rico's beautiful natural environment. Any place off the main drag can be scary, including NYC, Phila. Boston, Charlotte, NC, Chicago, but is no reason not to visit there. I am sure she will love Costa Rico as we did.
HeartX,
I have pklaced a hold at the library on the books you recommended. They seem to be right up my alley. Thanks.

HeartRx said...

Lemonade - Well, just punch me in the nose, because the picture was right there under it! I didn't realize your avatar changed mid-day, and was looking for a link. Now I have to ask, "Which one is Devon?"

Dodo, the only book I have the ability to write would be of the comic book variety...

Hahtool, I'm not a big fan of frogs (except their legs...), but those poison dart frogs are absolutely beautiful!!

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Marti, a very engaging write up. Me too for the hair clip.

I also tried to put I for the Miami couple, but couldn't figure out how to spell two of them.

I leave tomorrow for a week with my younger son and his family in Chisago City, MN. So I have been busy today and DNF. Must pack now.

Cheers

Lucina said...

Dodo:
Thank you for the book recommendation. I'm always glad to add to my reading list and like Hahtool, that list should get me through, oh, say another 100 years.

Bill G:
I'm chiming in on Costa Rica. It is a safe, tranquil place, tourist friendly and vibrant.

Except for Belize, it's also the only other south of the border country from which I've never had an ESL student which tells me people are happy to stay there.

creature said...

Dodo and Hahtool,

Elegance of the Hedgehog, By Muriel Barbery. a Translation. Slow beginning. I think the translation has something to do with it. Thanks for recommending it.Actually very dear IMO.

Bill G. said...

Hahtool, Lucina and Yellowrocks, thanks for your input on Costa Rica. I don't think I had any concerns about the country per se as much as I did about my daughter heading off for a week so far away. I suppose I would be less concerned if she were heading off to Scotland but your comments about Costa Rica are very reassuring. Thanks.

HeartRx said...

Sallie, have a great trip! I thought your destination was a typo, until I looked it up. But I learned it is the "Gateway to the Lakes". Who knew? It looks absolutely beautiful!

Mom speaks out said...

I saw the posts about _The Help_ and wanted to add my two cents worth. I did enjoy the book , but thought the ending lsft a lot to be desired. Actually, my sister just read it and we agreed that we had lived _The Help_. We could sympathize with characters because we knew them. They were then and are today as real as our next-door-neighbors. When I read that the author of _The Help_ had not read _Gone with the Wind_ I lost a bit of respect for her. That book was required reading when I was in school. Standing up to the song "Dixie" was not a requirement, but no self-respecting southerner would ever entertain the idea of not doing so!
It amuses me that _The Help_ is getting so much hype. Is it the real story? I think that it is mostly ; at least for that time in history. The key word is "history". Things have changed, thank God, but history is still history. I look forward to the movie coming out soon which is based on the book. How much tinkering will Hollywood do with history? You be the judge.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, Hands up for Surge instead of Spike, then Word, no Hand, no Land for It may be promised. Sometimes we just have to use the eraser even when we don't want to.

However, the print in our newspaper is getting smaller and smaller--(couldn't be my eyes-no way) and I misread Burn a dessert on purpose? as Bum a dessert on purpose. This threw me for a while.

I loved your take on the CW today, Marti. I always come away with a cheery mood and a great explanation. You do a super job.

Puts in a good word/Edits, and "Still Mooing" at the steakhouse/Rare were my favorite clues today.

Dodo, I second the book, "Elegance of the Hedgehog". It is a great read. It was a little hard to get into, so don't give up on it.

Chickie said...

Our dogs picked up ticks, not fleas, and because Guide Dogs sleep in the room with the raiser, we had ticks in our girls' bedrooms!

We had to move out for two days so they could fumigate. I was leery of the chemicals, but the exterminator said that was the only way to get rid of such a bad infestation!

Bill G. My Granddaughter taught English for over a year in Costa Rica and also worked for a local tourist company. She had a wonderful time and felt very safe. CR is a beautiful country.

Clear Ayes said...

I've never been to either Costa Rica or Belize. Belize has been particularly recommended, perhaps because the official language of Belize (as the former British Honduras) is English. According to Wikipedia "About 75 to 80 percent of the population speak some Kriol (an English-based creole language) and English.

If anyone wants to try their hand at writing a book, maybe they should start by entering the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Entrants are invited "to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels". This year's winner, by a professor from Wisconsin (aren't you proud, Kazie?), was announced on Monday, July 25th. "Cheryl's mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories". Check out all the winners, but don't be drinking that glass of dinner wine. Spit takes will ensue.

fermatprime said...

Hi everyone!

Cool puzzle, Jonathan; wonderful write-up, Marti!

Got a kick out of the theme. I have flea trouble around here. Got a flea collar for my dog, Charlie, on which one puts non-poisonous chemical drops. (The stuff like Frontline IS poisonous to the animal.) It does not work very well. Fortunately she is getting groomed tomorrow.

Is there some non-poisonous way to get fleas out of a rug? I had the rug shampooed to no avail.

Have a nice evening!

littlebiggygirl said...

crossword puzzler news – Will Shortz has been given the biggyAward for his puzzle genius:
http://littlebiggy.org/viewSubject/4645347

fermatprime said...

Hahtool--are you finding a home for the turtle? Do you know how to care for it?

Bill G. said...

We never had much luck with flea collars, sprays, etc. We switched to Advantage for both our dog and our cat. It worked GREAT! Neither animal had any side effects and after a couple of months, there were no fleas on either animal, on us or lurking in the carpet. It was by far the most effective treatment we ever used.

Anonymous said...

HeartRX: Thanks for the link to Chisago City. It is a beautiful place. I am fortunate to have one son there and one in Manhattan. Two great places to visit!

Argyle said...

Does anyone know something about littleBiggy.org? Her post smells like spam to me.

windhover said...

Ferma:
Your question, how to get rid if fleas in the carpet (or for that matter, on the dog) reminds me of questions I have been asked:
How can I get rid of Johnson Grass? (a noxious weed).
Answer: sell the farm.
Or, how can I cure mastitis in my cow?
Answer: kill the cow.
I'm afraid the answer to your question is similar.
Sent to you from the Holler Poets reading at Al's Bar, Sixth & Lime, Lexington, Ky.
And yes, like many wrecks, alcohol was involved.

Bill G. said...

I already told her a very effective way to get rid of fleas recommended by our vet that worked for us and other acquaintances. Once the fleas in the house jump on the pets and die, and no more eggs are laid, the fleas in the house disappear too. At least that was our experience.

Anonymous said...

Hahtool is correct it is me. He was the 1st person to correctly guess at 6:44 AM. Thanks for all the kinds comments I received. Maybe someday I will post the whole photo.

Lucina said...

CA:
Thank you for posting that link. I laughed until my sides ached, especially the first ones.

Lucina said...

RSD:
Hahtool is a woman.

Clear Ayes said...

I haven't spent much time in the South, but I clearly remember visiting my well-to-do, Chicago-born aunt and uncle in Columbia SC when I was 13 (1955). They had a cook/housekeeper and I was childishly impressed. It wasn't until I overheard my mother and aunt talking that I realized how racist the situation was. My aunt explained that she would have preferred not to employ another woman to cook and clean for them. But my uncle had a "business image" to maintain and it was almost obligatory to do so. They paid Queen (a lovely name, I thought) a little bit more than average, but not too much. It would have drawn unwelcome attention to everyone. My uncle drove Queen home every evening. Most of the other home workers in the area had to take the bus, or have a relative pick them up.

I read "The Help" a few months ago, and it brought back many memories, some good, some very uncomfortable, of our short time in Columbia.

Frontline Plus User said...

Bill G. and fermatprime, I think fermatprime is looking for an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for fleas that does not contain pesticides. Both Advantage and Frontline products contain various pesticides. Here is one IPM article. I don't know how effective it is, but it is labor intensive and could be costly.

Bill G. said...

Well, the IPM approach sounds expensive and a lot of hassle. Even though Advantage contains chemicals, they didn't seem to cause any problems for my cat, my dog or me. I even applied it to my pet's skin and rubbed it in with my finger. It's not very expensive, it's very effective and it was recommended by friends and my vet. It's head and shoulders better than anything else I tried.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Hahtool I guess I made the same mistake as another blogger did. I meant no disrespect. Thank You Lucina for calling out my mistake.