Aug 11, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011 Clive Probert

Theme: PUNCH LINES. Common descriptors for types of boxing punches are given new figurative definitions, with a humorous wallop.

17. Very angry, informally? : RIGHT CROSS Right means very, in this usage. The punch, delivered with the right hand, crosses over the opponent's leading arm. I believe Laila is delivering one above.

26. Tackle box item for liberals? : LEFT HOOK. Liberals are left-leaning- figuratively. The punch, delivered with the left hand, is powered by turning the core muscles of the back to swing the arm.

44. Chuck steak, for example? : UPPER CUT. Eating high in the cow. The punch involves an upward motion of the striking hand with the arm bent up at the elbow. It is usually targeted at the chin, and is most useful at short range.

And the unifier: 58. What 17-, 26- and 44-Across are, figuratively and literally : PUNCH LINES.

Plus a bonus: 18 D. Recover from a knockout : COME TO.

Hi gang, It's JzB making an atypical Thursday appearance. Let's fight our way through this puzzle.


1. Bike part : PEDAL. Where you put your foot to power the mechanism

6. Boo-boo : FLUB. An error - like misreading the clue as Boo-hoo.

10. Call heard at night : HOOT. From an owl. In the day time, has any body else noticed an absence of bird song? I hear squawking birds, but not singing birds.

14. Upstage a co-star, perhaps : EMOTE.

15. No trouble at all : EASE.

16. Within: Pref. : ENDO. You have an ENDOskeleton. An insect has an exoskelton.

19. Don Juan's love : AMOR. Not anyone in particular. Just a feeling.

20. European cheese with a Protected Designation of Origin : STILTON. Intensely flavored English blue cheese from the three Counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.

21. Alehouse : TAVERN. See also 10D.

23. High regard : ESTEEM

24. Two-time '80s-'90s Senate majority leader : DOLE. This guy was a politician? I thought he was in advertising.

25. Roman trio : TRE. Italicized three.

30. Head of Québec : TETE. French for head.

33. New driver, typically : TEEN. It's frightening when the grandchildren begin driving.

35. Heart line : AORTA. This doesn't fool me any more

36. Crew member : OAR. I cannot verify this. The person handling an OAR is a rower if using one OAR, or a sculler if using two.

37. 1947 South Seas traveler : KON TIKI. The raft Thor Heyerdahl used to cross the Pacific from South America to Polynesia in 1947. Kon Tiki was the old name for the Inca Sun God Viracocha.

39. Wrongdoing : SIN. I cannot lie.

40. Hobbit on a quest : FRODO. The ringbearer traveled to the Cracks of Doom in Mordor, but needed Gollum's SIN to finish his quest.

42. California's __ Valley : SIMI. Nowhere near Mordor. Quite near the San Fernando Valley.

43. Deep-six : TOSS. Sometimes I deep six a ball with my grandchildren. Oh --wait . . . I guess this means throw overboard.

46. Carol opener : 'TIS. I believe this carol starts with "Deck," though I may be mistaken.

48. One of the guys : MALE. Frodo, Gollum, Otis, Bob, Cecil, Ewen, even Nemo . . . But not Laila or Dory.

49. Cling cause : STATIC. Fabric can be attracted to itself or other surfaces if electrified by the triboelectric effect, which comes from rubbing and release, as in a cloths dryer.

53. Twins in the sky : GEMINI. The Constellation.

56. "The Legend of Zelda: __ of Time": video game : OCARINA.

57. Base runner? : AWOL. Not to be confused with the Twins of Summer. This is clever. Someone who has run away from a military base is Absent Without Official Leave. AWOL doesn't need to be designated as an abbrv.

61. Temerity : GALL

62. Words after step or sleep : ON IT. Did anybody want IN IT?

63. IV part : INTRA. From Intravenous - into a blood vein.

64. Pay to play : ANTE. This doesn't fool me either.

65. A fish named Dory helped find him : NEMO. Cute kids movie. Nautical, but nice.

66. Starts fishing : CASTS, Completing the minor angling theme, along with LEFT HOOK and NEMO.


1. In and of itself : PER SE. Latin

2. Throws off : EMITS

3. Shirk responsibility : DOG IT. This gives DOGS a bad name, doggone it!

4. One playing the field, e.g. : ATHLETE. Nice clue. Does anyone "play the field" anymore? Or is it just serial dating?

5. Alphabet soup bit : LETTER. Can you do crosswords in your soup bowl?

6. Bouquet greenery : FERN. For some reason, I had trouble with this one.

7. Thai language : LAO. This one always gets me. What language do they speak in LAOS?

8. Navy ship letters : U.S.S. United States Ship

9. Words on a "greatest hits" album : BEST OF. Not always.

10. Bar drunk's comeuppance : HEAVE HO. Ungraceful exit from a 21A, or words accompanying a deep six..

11. Generous words : ON ME. Words occasionally spoken in a 21 A

12. Febreze target : ODOR. It actually works pretty well.

13. Having a hard time deciding : TORN. It's not often kind.

22. Central Asia's __ Mountains : ALTAI. They extend from the Gobi desert through China, Mongolia, Russia and Kazahkstan.

24. It's in your jeans : DENIM. Fabric, and a sneaky misdirection.

26. "__ Bleed": Stones album : LET IT. Didn't care much for early Stones. Or this image.

27. Roughly : OR SO.

28. Soul great Redding : OTIS. Yes!

29. 24-Across's state: Abbr. : KANS. Mr. Dole served as the U.S. Senator from Kansas from 1968 until 1996 when he found his true calling..

30. Flavor-absorbing food : TOFU. Fermented bean curd. Yum!

31. Holliday friend : EARP. Doc Holliday, not someone who invades your home at Christmas. Good clue for a crossword stalwart.

32. De __: excessive : TROP. French, I suppose. Kazie . . . ?

34. Come next : ENSUE

37. Mullah's text : KORAN. The holy book of Islam.

38. Velvet Elvis, e.g. : KITSCH. Tacky, lowbrow art of inferior quality.

41. "The King of Kings" (1927) director : DEMILLE. Cecil B. Da Mann.

43. Winter Palace woman : TSARINA. The wife of the Rusian Czar.

45. Like some earrings : CLIP ON. Or sunglasses.

47. Like biased writing? : ITALIC. This one always gets me. I guess I'm too political

50. Turns blue, perhaps : TINTS. Clever misdirection involving a reflexive vs transitive verb form. I laughed till I dyed.

51. Like a noble gas : INERT. Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton and Xenon each have a full shell of valence electrons, and thus no need to combine with baser elements. They are the SNOOTS of Chemistry!

52. Hidalgo houses : CASAS. Estado Libre y Soberano de Hidalgo, one of the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico, was created in 1869 by Benito Juárez. CASA is the Spanish word for house.

53. Hung up on, with "over" : GAGA. Are we hung up on or over her?

54. McGregor of "Emma" (1996) : EWAN

55. Shed : MOLT

56. Bi- cubed : OCTO. Two cubed is eight. I'm not linking the OCTOmom.

59. Somme one : UNE. One in French, now officially at the point of DE TROP

60. Matchstick-removing game : NIM This game can be played with any counter. Play here with muffins. Yum!

Answer grid.

There you have it. Did you beat the puzzle, or did you have to COME TO?



HeartRx said...

Good Morning Jazzbumpa, C.C. et al.

Terrific write up that had me chuckling all the way through it, and I loved all the musical links today, JazzB – thanks! That picture of Laila is just right for today’s theme entries.

I was muddling around in the NW trying to get a foothold on this one. PER SE and DOG IT just didn’t pop into my head right away. So when I drifted right, and LEFT HOOK emerged, I laughed out loud. After that, it was smooth sailing.

I really enjoyed the lively fill in this one. I already mentioned a couple that seemed quite fresh, but I also enjoyed seeing FLUB, HEAVE HO, ON ME, KITSCH and GAGA. Thanks Clive, for a super fun Thursday!

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, JazzBumpa and friends. Apparently I didn't have my thinking cap on this morning. This was a challenge for me. That's what I get for saying yesterday's puzzle was easy!

I started off thinking that a Spoke, not a PEDAL, was a Bike Part. And California has a valley other than NAPA!!

Getting RIGHT CROSS helped with the other theme clues.

I liked Base Runner = AWOL.

One Playing the Field = ATHLETE was my favorite clue.

Happy Thursday everyone.

QOD: There's two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery. ~ Enrico Fermi

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Fun puzzle overall with a nice theme. A few spots gave me pause, however:

* Boo-boo seemed an odd clue for FLUB (I wanted OWIE). I think of boo-boo only as an injury, whereas FLUB means an error, but that's probably just me.

* I can't think of a single carol that actually starts with TIS. As Jazz pointed out, it does start the second verse of "Deck the Halls", but that's not the same thing.

* I'm sure we've seen ALTAI before, but today it just would not come to mind and still doesn't look right.

* That has to be the most obscure clue possible for OCARINA.

* De TROP was another complete WTF moment for me.

* I agree that calling a person an OAR just seems odd, but it's probably correct in some circles. Just not the ones I am part of...

Anonymous said...

Man what a puzzle it's days like this that I'm glad that there is the blog.

62 A I wanted over.
22 D I wanted URALS.

Instead of aha moments I had huh moments.

Fun Facts By Dave Letterman

This year's Super Bowl was beaten in the ratings by a re-run of wife swap.

President Benjamin Harrison died when he was kicked in the head by a goat.

Lemonade714 said...

Happy Thursday JzB and all, this was fun and well blogged, but BG already posted my comment, except I knew DE TROP, a common expression in French, which is making a strong comeback in puzzledom. Do I have to post a pic tomorrow to start the blog?

My kids loved Zelda but I did not know OCARINA, or NIM for that matter/ have a great day all.

Jacel said...

Thank you Clive for a clever puzzle. I worked the puzzle early this morning and finished about 2:30 a.m. I was really surprised that the Blog was already posted. Nice write-up Jazzbumpa. I really enjoyed Laila's picture since her name was in a puzzle this week.

Base runner was really sneaky. I got pedal right away. The theme answers came to me easily.

Hungry Mother said...

I remember playing Nim on my ancient TRS80. Enjoyed the whole thing today.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Someone must have heard about my bitching yesterday because this was an enjoyable offering in spite of a couple of Huhs. Kitsch was new to me as was ocarina. The C was a wag, but it worked.
Frodo and Trop were both new too and the crossing O was another wag.

Favorites were ONE PLAYING THE FIELD/ATHLETE, IT'S IN YOUR JEANS/DENIM (Had something else in mind), & BASE RUNNER/AWOL.

Don't ever remember getting the HEAVE HO from a watering hole, but there likely was a time or two when I should have been tossed.

I didn't have an issue with BOO BOO/FLUB. Back in my "jock" days, Boo Boo was used occasionally when talking about an error. But the BOO BOO/OWIE connection is/was the more common usage.

Good job Clive, you made my day.

kazie said...

I also wanted OWIE for 6A, and WHEEL for 1A was there for way too long, making that corner the last to fall for me. I didn't know OCARINA, or NIM and had several WAGS to get through it, but it was a nice Thursday challenge.

Jazz, great music links.
I have trouble finding time to listen to all those lately! And yes, what Lemonade said about de trop. "Trop" literally means "too much", so the 'de' just helps it relate to whatever it refers to.

Hungry Mother,
Great sunset pic! Wonderful avatar!

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning gang. Great blog, JzB.

Needed lots of perp help today, but got 'er done. The theme helped.

I figured 'Napa' was too easy for a Thursday and started checking perps to find a different valley. Yes, I got fooled on that one once before.

JzB, we still get serenaded by mockingbirds here in South florida. They are really nice to listen to... except in mating season when they go to full voice in the middle of the night right outside my window.

OCARINA and FRODO were the total unknowns that relied on perps to fill. Very enjoyable Thursday solve.

Tinbeni said...

Jazz: Nice write-up and links.
Esp. enjoyed The Lovin'Spoonful tune. That song is my life's mantra.

OK, My favorite PUNCH-LINES are the ones I deliver when (on occasion) I hit the Comedy Clubs.

Fave today (obviously) was that Drunk getting the HEAVE-HO crossing the TAVERN.
Hey, I DO enjoy a PINCH or two (my limit) but never the drunks out-in-public ... who then (Ugh!) get in their cars to drive home.

Yup, I fell for Napa before the SIMI Valley LET-ITself appear.

Cheers to all at Sunset.
(Yeah! It has stopped raining here. Over 5" in 3 days. Wish I could have sent some to Texas).

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Nice write-up, JazzB.

Fun Thursday level toughness cw. Liked KON TIKI smack in the middle of it which offered 'KO' to augment the boxing PUNCH LINES theme. Got my first strong footholds on the bottom, and then let the solve bubble its way back to the top ending in the NW. Liked the clueing for AWOL, EARP, and ITALIC. De TROP is a new word for me. Good job, Clive.

6d, FERN; a story: A sceptical anthropologist was cataloguing South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal elder who indicated that the leaves of a particular FERN were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the elder looked him in the eye and said, "Let me tell you, with fronds like these, you don't need enemas."

Enjoy your day.

Avg Joe said...

Good morning. Smooth effort today, but still Thursday level. Didn't know TROP and agree with Barry that this has to be the most obtuse clue of all time for OCARINA. Favorite answer was KITSCH. I had enough perps to know that had to be the answer, but couldn't quite dredge up the actual spelling, so had to let crosses do the entire job.

Great links JazzB. Especially liked the Pepsi commercial. I'd forgotten that Bob Dole had done that one. I also thought of Jefferson Airplane when BEST OF appeared. Here's one of the better tunes from that album, Lather

Mainiac said...

Morning CC, Jazz and All,

There was no TKO for me in this one, out cold and still Coming To. Started right from the start putting in Wheel for 1A and Whole for 1D (don't ask). It was definitely a full blown fight from there. Finally got some traction with a Left Hook and an Uppercut. Kitsch, Ocarina and Tsarina were the knock out punches. A good Thursday Puzzle. Nice work Clive.

Timing of this theme was appropriate again. We actually worked on Uppercuts in class last night. Weird after the rain we had yesterday.

Loved the write up Jazz.

Have a great day!

Yellowrocks said...

What a delightful puzzle and write up! You bloggers have said it all in your accolades. I second all the priases for the constructor and JzzB.

It was a romp with the only unknown being OCARINA used this way, but easy to guess with the perps. I really don't mind this kind of clue as long as the word doesn't cross an equally obscure one.
After reading the blog I looked up this Nintendo game. Music plays an important role in it. To progress the player must learn to play and perform several songs on an ocarina. The game was responsible for generating an increased interest in and rise in sales of the ocarina.

I got Dole by working from Kansas. After 25 yrs. in the Senate and running for President against Clinton, Dole is rmembered most for Viagra ads. What a shame, even though I don't endorse his politics.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

I was sailing right through this puzzle until the SE corner. I had to look up the OCARINA clue and after coming here found that the crossing of TROP and FRODO needed an O and not an E as I had guessed. A couple of answers filled in through perps but I didn't fully understand them until JzB's write-up. Thanks for the explanation and the links, Jazz! I didn't know NIM and I was reading 'IV' as 'four.' Ah ... now I get it!

All in all this seemed to be an easier Thursday than usual. I will say 24D 'It's in your jeans' kinda made me wonder for a bit, especially when I had '_ENI_.' LOL

For 53A 'Twins' in the sky, I thought of you, C.C. Your Twins took care of my Red Sox and Jon Lester last night. Nice hit by Jim Thome. Also, I read that Justin Morneau's coming off the DL again. They're movin' up!

Enjoy the day, everyone ~~

Lucina said...

Good day, puzzle folk. Jazz, I loved your blogging and music links, especially OTIS Redding.

This was fun since I started with PEDAL and sashayed right through the top.

I have to say though, I prefer Cotswold cheese to STILTON but that doesn't lower my ESTEEM for this puzzle.

Since I already had DENIM, SIMI fell in nicely.

My only trouble was in the west, center as of course, I didn't know de TROP and OAR didn't make sense. Thank you for the explanation, JZ.

OCARINA, I agree, was definitely obscure but not difficult to WAG.

Faves were base runner, AWOL and
one playing the field, ATHLETE.

Thank you, Clive, for a fun time today.

Dental appointment so I must run. I hope your Thursday is great!

Bill G. said...

Fun puzzle and write up.

Stilton is good but my favorite blue cheese is Gorgonzola.

JzB, I agree about songbirds. There used to be more of them around here, especially mockingbirds. Now it's mostly crows. They and the seagulls are adept scavengers.

Zcarguy said...

Morning all, JazB

I don't mean to undermine Clive's effort, but his clue with BooBoo made it seem he's looking for a slang answer not proper like FLUB, other then that and OCARINA which I think was a Low Blow, the puzzle was quite clever and just right for a Thursday.
I believe 46A is TIS THE SEASON ? Am I right ?

Off to Carlsbad's Lego Land with the kids, hope
Y'all have a great week

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Excellent puzzle today. For some reason I zipped through it with very little difficulty.

Nit: I have never used AWOL as a noun, nor have I ever heard anyone use it as a noun, so I was loath to put it in. Only after completing the puzzle did I look it up, and sure enough, the dictionary says it can also be a noun. I don't really know how, because it is an acronym for an obviously adjectival phrase.

Nit: A crew member is an OAR? Sure enough, according to said dictionary, an oar is a person who rows. Jeeez.

Nit: Like those of you who tried to think of or find a carol that begins with TIS, I couldn't find one either.

Item: I laughed out loud at your comment, LaLaLinda, because I had the same thought upon filling in _ENI_.

Item: It had to be either BILBO (I hate that name!) or FRODO, so I pencilled in the O right away. EARP enabled the decision.

Jayce said...

Favorite non-theme fill: STILTON, HEAVE HO, KON TIKI (loved the book!), ATHLETE, TSARINA (crossing OCARINA), and KITSCH.

Favorite clues: Cling cause, Turns blue, and It's in your jeans.

Nit: While LAO is spoken in an area within Thailand (and is the official language of Laos), in Thailand it is called Isan. (Wikipedia.)

Reading back over my comments, I see that I consider this puzzle to have been a mixed bag.

Best wishes to you all.

ARBAON said...

Who knew female boxers got "made-up" just to get punched out!
I was "right cross" with my SO the other day because he wouldn`t dole out tavern money to me. I threatened a left hook to his tete and knocking him clear into Kans! He began to back pedal and said, "Go on down to the tavern on me." So I took Fern with me and mayhem did ensue! After a few hours, we ran out of money and tried to go on the dole. The owner said, "I`ll give you your choice: I`ll toss you both outta here OR give you both the old heaveho." What gall!
So, without giving him more static, we ease(d) on home. My amor poured black coffee down us until we were semi-sober. I said, "Did anybody get the tag number of that USS battle ship that hit us!" My SO said, "Next time Fern wants to go sin...letter! You stay here with your favorite male! or I`ll be all torn up! I`ll make the zombie`s and I won`t dog it. Now, come to papa before you earp or become inert. And, oh my, you look like you`ve been through demille!"

Splynter said...

Hi There ~!

Well done JazzB, thanks - guess I will need a pic on Saturday, huh?
Thanks for the constellation link - I was never happy with the effeminate sign of Aquarius, but now that we have "thirteen", I shifted to a more manly "Capricorn" goat....

Good pic to go "Gaga" over

I think you might be right, too, about the bird song - here on LI, I hear the squawking, but no singing....Hmmm

I was OK with Boo-boo/Flub, except I, too, read it as boo-HOO. Agree also on the "tis" lead-in needing to be "Deck".


Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Lots of fun today.

I like Yellowrocks' point about obscurities. They're OK, if they don't cross.

I'm surprised more people don't know about FRODO. In short, he acquired a lost ring of power that had been crafted by the evil wizard Sauron. The only way to save the word was to destroy the ring, and that could only be done in the volcanic fires in which it was forged - in the heart of Sauron's realm, Mordor.

After a couple thousand pages of danger and adventure, Frodo arrives at Mount Doom - but he is physically and emotionally exhausted, the ring has corrupted him, and he cannot fling it into the fires. Enter Gollum, who long ago possessed the ring and is utterly corrupted by it, and has has been tailing Frodo for a long time. He bites off Frodo's finger to get the ring, and falls to his and it's destruction in the cracks of Doom.

Hence my reference to Gollum's SIN.

Not a happy story, but Cheers!

Scotty said...

ARBON, your blog is a prize-winner. I have a friend here who does a similar thing with the names of Derby horses and it's always a hoot.

Thanks all bloggers for your insightful comments and explanations.

WM said...

Want to thank Jazz for a terrific blog. Had to put the puzzle down last night but readily finished the NW corner this morning. Some fun fills.

Some cheesy info...STILTON is the only protected cheese in England and the specific recipe calls for pasteurized milk...Neal's Yard Dairy in London carries the best of the best of this lovely distinctive cheese which goes extremely well with Port. The original recipe used raw milk and thanks to Randolph Hodgson, the owner of Neal's Yard Dairy,raw milk Stilton, which they named Stichelton, is again being made in Nottinghamshire on the Welbeck Estate. The cheese cannot be DOP because of the recipe change, but I was lucky enough to be able to taste it as it was being developed and I can say it is a beautiful cheese.

France and Italy have many DOP and DOC cheeses and many of their wine regions are also protected. There are the beginnings of protected wine regions here in the US also.

I know...TMI...but interesting. :o)

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I know I've told you GAH is a boxing fan, so I've heard most of the terminology at one time or another. The theme answers came pretty quickly and the unifier settled it.

I've never heard of Zelda and barely know what an OCARINA is, so how I managed to enter it with just -C--I-A is a mystery to me. That's OK, I'll take it.

I've got a permanent INTRA venous (port), so I know what it means and how it works.

I hope nobody here has a velvet Elvis, tiger, flamenco dancer or any combination thereof hanging over the mantle. No one wants to be thought of as lowbrow or tasteless.

Smiles for ARBAON@11:39.

Jazz@12:23, Geez, I could have saved myself weeks of reading!

Hi WM, nice to see you and interesting information too.

creature said...

Fun puzzle, Clive. Equally fun Jazzed -up write up. Thanks.

Learned a lot, today. FRODO probably won’t stay in my head very long, but I got it with perps today, so who knows. That is soooo a guy story! Now, I don’t feel too bad. Ye gads, biting off a finger…

In a hurry, but had to say, I enjoyed the puzzle and the blogs.

Happy Thursday, all.

Lucina said...

Interesting comments today.

Arbaon, you made me laugh!

WM, fascinating. I love learning new things.

Kazie, my French lessons continue with one more for my notebook.

Jayce, interesting about Lao.

Thank you all.

Lucina said...

Jazzbumpa, I nearly forgot; is that what that ring thing is all about?

dodo said...

Hello solvers,

JzB,you're so funny. Thanks for the great writeup.

This seemed a surprisingly doable Thursday puzzle. I did have one lookup, but on the whole, I thought it pretty easy.
I've never had any business with video,and the only game I knew of in which matchsticks were picked up was called "Pick Up Sticks" appropiately enough. So even though I should have been able to get it with perps, "Nim" was beyond me. I had most of 56A so that fell in easily and settled all the other blanks. I know what an "Ocarina" is, but have never heard it used in such a way. In fact, I'm not too sure what that way means in the game title. Is it really about an ocarina or is it supposed to be a name or title?

dodo said...

Bill G. , I'm still the same avatar but I'm getting closer. Apparently the name I gave my pic is not acceptable and I'm not too sure why, but I guess when I satisfy that, I'll be set. Thanks for asking!

Bill G. said...

Re. Lord of the Ring/The Hobbitt, it was required reading at our school and an English-teacher friend recommended it to me. I borrowed The Hobbitt and worked at it for a month or more. Finally I gave up the effort. It just didn't get me emotionally involved.

Dodo, I don't remember ever having to name my picture. Let me know where you are up to when getting stuck.

Various versions of NIM are all strategy games. There is always a winning approach. The simplest version I know is to start with 15 toothpicks. When it's your turn, you can take either one, two or three but no more than that. Whoever gets the last toothpick wins. (If there are two toothpicks left and you take them both, you win.) OK, I just laid out 15 toothpicks. Do you want to got first or not? How many do you choose?

dodo said...

Hello again,

I'm really delighted to know that I'm not the only one who hasn't read 'The Hobbit' and the rest of that book! I tried, really, but just couldn't get into it, but fortunately for today, I did remember the name 'Frodo'. I just cant get into fantasy or sci/fi.

I read 'booboo' as 'boo hoo' twice! so it cost me some time in the beginning. I had 'chain' at first but after working the first row downs back to the beginning, I cleared that up rightaway. 'Pedal' worked so it stayed.

"Tis the season to be jolly" is the second line in Dack the Halls. I can't think of another carol starting with 'tis', either.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Clever puzzle and witty write-up! Favorite clue today: base runner.

The appearance of STILTON is a timely coincidence. I recently Netflixed all available episodes of Chef! starring the talented Lenny Henry. In one episode, Chef is determined to make the best possible version of a dish, and that leads him far into farm country to buy black market unpasteurized Stilton. Mmmm.

The Hobbit was a pleasant read, I've gone through it perhaps three times, but Lord of the Rings was a chore. I only managed it once. Never understood why it had to be so long. One character in particular, Tom Bombadil, never seemed to fit in with the whole rest of the story. Perhaps sharper readers know what I don't.

Susan said...

Hard puzzle for me today. Hardest was "kitsch" and "ocarina." Never heard of the game and I kept thinking of Torme as "the velvet fog" and tried to go somewhere with that.

"Call heard at night" My mother loved owls and had a collection of them--ceramic, tin, wood, etc. When I came home from her burial in Idaho, a little owl had taken up residence in my bird house. He's been here off and on ever since. I fantasize that she sent him to me for comfort.

Jazzbumpa said...

Tolkein was a great writer, but not a great story teller. Tom Bombadill, the barrow wights, and probably other things I can't think of did nothing to move the story along.

Tolkein wrote this epic for his own set of reasons - not the least of which was to give a setting to the languages he invented. He draws heavily on Germanic lore for much of the story and many of the names.

His prequel, The Silmarillion, is very close to being unreadable. But I loves me some TOTR, and have read through it all several times over the decades.

Rowling denies it, but I see LOTR all over Harry Potter. Rowling is a great story teller, but a lousy writer.

To get the best of writing and story, try George R.R. Martin's. Song of Ice and Fire series, starting with A Game of Thrones. Not only is it magnificent in all respects, it's character driven, and that makes all the difference.


Anonymous said...

JzB: Your comment about tossing (deep sixing) a ball with your grandchildren reminded me of the way my high school students would use a word in a sentence when the word had been defined for them. One girl wrote, "Last night my sister abated tortillas." The given definition was "to make less."


Anonymous said...

Where did Jeannie go???

Yellowrocks said...

I am fascinated with the ocarina, especially since it seems so unknown. I hope you enjoy the sound as much as I do.
ocarina history
ocarina sound

Hahtoolah said...

10-Across (HOOT) made me think of this photo from the Telegraph, of an Owl going after a duck. The photographer said the duck escaped unharmed.

I couldn't get through The Hobbit, either, so never even tried the Ring series. My husband dragged me off to see The Lord of the Rings, which I personally found intolerable, so he saw the remaining films in the series by himself.

HeartRx said...

Jazzbumpa, I also read "The Hobbit" and The Trilogy several times during my teens. Wanting more, I even tackled "Simarillion". Great stuff, but my tastes are all over the place. As long as the writing is good, I can get lost in just about any genre!

Right now, I have to finish "The Help" before book club at my house tomorrow night. I just hope this meeting is a little "tamer" than last month at the lake!!!! I don't think I could take another hangover like that...

Argyle said...

LOTR - not for everyone.

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

Ring Thing(3:32) by Pearls Before Swine - not for everyone.

Yellowrocks said...

Argyle, in spite of your patient tutoring I made a BOOBOO. Let me try again.
ocarina sound

I like "Summertime"

WM said...

Dudley...loved that show! And actually, at that time it would have essentially been an underground product, only for the fact that it cannot rightfully be called Stilton if is a raw milk cheese, hence the name Stichelton. It would just be a very excellent blue

The US has made the idea of raw milk cheeses very scary to most people, but some of the best cheeses in the world are raw milk. There are several very dangerous bacteria that can be present, but oddly enough, they seem to show up in pasteurized cheeses because there is no natural flora to fight off the bacteria...Listeria is the most dangerous...No raw milk cheese aged less than 60 days is allowed to be sold in the US...:o(


Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, Great writeup JzB. Good to see you today. I thought the picture of Laila was a perfect opening for today's writeup.

I did finish today, but the unknowns like Ocarina, Trop, Nim,and Altai all filled in with the perps so I didn't have any look ups. I found this puzzle easier than yesterday's. Not always the case for a Thursday.

My favorites today were Base runner/AWOL and One playing the field/Athlete. Kitch isn't a word we see often and the different clueing for Gaga was clever.

I have to agree, Bill G. that Gorgonzola is about the best blue around.

WM-Good cheesy info.

Arbaon--LOL. Well done.

Chickie said...

Off to a birthday party picnic for my husband's 80th birthday. It is being given by our office staff. Looking forward to the live music and the beauty of a local winery.

Marty RX, "The Help" has such terrific movie revues. I've not read the book. Let us know how your book club likes it.

Yellowrocks said...

See my 10:17 comment to understand how ocarina fits into the Nintendo game.

Lucina said...

Yellowrocks, fascinating information about the OCARINA. I had no idea it was that ancient and that popular.
Thank you.

Dodo, I also tried to read Tolkien's books and believe me there is hardly a book I set down without finishing it but I couldn't get through those. Sci-fi is something I just do not care for.

Lucina said...

Chickie, happy birthday to your husband!

Bill G. said...

Hmm? And I thought I was the only person who didn't enjoy the Hobbitt/LOTR. I couldn't imagine sitting through more than three hours of it in a movie theater.

Thanks for the ocarina links.

Marti, did you read my opinions about two of the clues in SSS? I'm curious if you agree or not.


Jayce said...

I enjoyed The Hobbit and the first volume of Lord Of The Rings. Actually, the two of them seemed quite similar in that they were both stories of a hobbit going on a journey. The second volume of LOTR stopped me; I just got bored and stopped trying to slog through it. The movies were pretty well done, I must say, and we did watch all three of them on big screen in the theater. I don't really like the actor who played Frodo, though. I think, like beer and coffee, it's a matter of taste and preference.

Happy birthday to your hubby, Chickie.

HeartRx said...

BillG, I thought I had read all the comments about SSS, but just went back and realized I had missed a couple. You're right - you can disagree by saying "yes", but I still think of "disagree" as a "negative". But what Rich would have done with that one, we will never know!

And 4.0 for GPA...hmmm. How else would you clue it? "Used to be a 4.0 was perfect a perfect one, but now extra points are awarded for Advanced Placement classes...". Nah, that won't fit in the tiny space they allot for these puzzle clues! This is why we all pick apart the "clues" we are given, especially me!! But I'm getting to be more tolerant of "get the general idea" type of clue we often see.

And Yellowrocks, I would love to see your "snake in the grass" link. Just so I know I wasn't completely off base on this one. Thanks to everyone else who critiqued and commented!

HeartRx said...

Chickie, hope you have a great time tonight on this special occasion! I have already had some feedback - everyone absolutely loved the book. I'll let you knw when I finish it (probably around midnight...)

fermatprime said...

Puzzle was lots of fun, Clive. Excellent write-up, Jazz!

No cheating. Was puzzled by OCARINA and INTRA. The theme was cute. Didn't take a lot of time!

Elijah Wood, who played Frodo has his own TV show on FX, Wilfred. Definitely dirty. (Would that be DF?)

Here is an article explaining


Warren said...

Hi gang, I was just scanning the blog and notices several bloggers didn't like or didn't understand the Lord of the Rings, I think it may be related to either how much you enjoy SF / Fantasy and or how old you are?

Both my wife and I read (and enjoyed) all of the series starting with the Hobbit, so we knew the answer for 'Frodo' had the same number of letters as 'Bilbo' so I just put in the ending 'o' and waited for perp's to figure it out.

We also saw and enjoyed the LOTR movies, it brought the books to life.

Bill G. said...

Marti, for GPA, how about "4.0 used to be a perfect one"? If Rick doesn't want SSS after all our positive comments, what about some other editor? BTW, would we ever get feedback from him about questions about clues like today's about 'tis? It seems odd to be very picky about some things such as "Snake in the Grass" but loose about other things unless they are just oversights.

Chickie, Happy Birthday to your husband.

WM, interesting information about cheese. Have you ever said where on the west coast you are located?

No takers on the simple '15' version of NIM?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Good night all.

Interesting puzzle, but DNF. Too hard for me.

Did I find out about "The Last Dog On the Hill" from this blog? Whether or not I did, it's a great book. About a dog and a tutor, so it has wonderful dog moments and some very interesting comments about tutoring kids. I think all dog lovers and teachers would like it.

HeartRx said...

Bill G., "perfect" clue!!!

I am really new at this, so I have little idea what goes on in the editorial department. I do know that Rich looks at the themes and decides if he likes it or not. It it passes his muster, then it goes to "test solvers" who give him feedback on fill/clues. They also do a lot of research to test the "validity" of each theme entry, or whether it is "in the lingo'. So there is a lot of behind the scenes work that many solvers never appreciate, or even care about. But, it does usually end up giving us some really entertaining puzzles!

As for SSS being published at a different paper: editors are very particular about a puzzle that has never been "published", even on a blog like this. So, in this case, I'm afraid SSS is dead. Unless, of course, C.C., Don G. and others happen to publish their own book of "rejected puzzles"!!

HeartRx said...

Oh, and I forgot to answer your question about Rich answering questions about clues that are used in his puzzles. (That sounds overly circumlocutory, doesn't it?) I don't know if he reads any blogs, or if he would even care to respond to questions about why a clue was used. I think it would be very interesting (even fascinating) to hear how his mind works. But, he is the editor, and I defer to his experience and knowledge!

Anonymous said...

Still no.

Bill G. said...

Dear Anon, I can see the '15' Nim game is probably too tough for you. How about starting with four toothpicks? You can go first.

Jeannie said...

Hey guys, I thought I better check in so you didn't think I took the "Dennis route". I miss you guys, and miss my day to day conversation with you.

Truth is I have been buried at work lately and can't quite take the time to solve the puzzles. When summer comes in MN, we all tend to take time off. When that happens, we have to cover one or many of the buyers. Top that off with schools gearing up to start and the foodshow coming up, and my garden(s) I hope you understand.

Jazzbumpa said...

Jeannie -

I understand.


Jeannie said...

On more of a personal note, BillG, thanks for noticing.

CA, I hope this finds you well. I think about you all the time.

Myfavorite Counselor, I wish your body would accept your cornea.

Fermatime, I wish you sleep and some comfort.

EddyB, I hope your racing team wins.

Windhover, I hope your "crops" are reaping and your "meat" is selling at those farmers markets you frequent.

Lois, I hope that your absence means you are having the summer of your life!

Carol, keep on a pedallin'.

Lucinda and JD, keep on bending.

Argyle, keep on bloggin', C.C., keep on constructing. You too, Hearti/Marti. Love your blogs as well.

Jeannie said...

Jazz, didn't mean to leave you out...keep on being the Jazzbumpa you are. Your Grandkids are very lucky to have you in their lives. I also enjoy your blogs whenever you do them. I especially liked all your links today.

Hearti-Marti, have you ever seen the pic of the daisy picture our own Wolfmom painted especially for me? I now own it. I am honored. I love daisies. I'll try to change my avatar.

Abejo said...

Good Evening, folks. Glad to be back. Thank you to Clive for a swell puzzle today. Thanks Jazzbumpa for the great write-up.

I have been in PA for six days, having returned late last night. While there I could not print the crossword. I also could get it on my IPAD. I guess Apple blocks the software. So, I was deprived for a while.

This puzzle was a good one. I jumped around to get it it done. Missed FRODO and TROP. Had FREDO and TREP. Did not know either one. Guessed and missed.

The them was great and helped me with the rest of the puzzle.

Never heard of STILTON cheese, but think I may look for some. I like cheese.

Before I went to PA, I broke my glasses. I left with only my reading glasses and made do. Upon returning, I went to the eye doctor today for a new prescription and was told I have Narrow Angle Glaucoma. Kind of rare. I had a Yag Laser in my right eye and the left will be next week. I am on eye drops for a while and must monitor this for the rest of my life. I guess I was lucky I broke my glasses. Wish me luck with this. I am a little shaken up about it.

See you tomorrow.


Jeannie said...

I leave you with, Bill G when you think that all new music have no lyrics or music. brandi carlisle. Look to some "alternative soft rock". Most have meaning.

Bill G. said...

Abejo, good luck with that eye. I hope things work out well for you.

While you are trying Stilton, look for Gorgonzola too. It's my favorite.

Jeannie, I liked the Brandi Carlile clip; not as well as Harvest Moon but I liked it. Thanks.

WikWak said...

Is it true that children of the Tsar and Tsarina were called Tsardines?

WM said...

BillG...SF Bay Area...I was one of the original Calif. Coven..:o) In my previous life I have been, among other things, a cheesemonger and a US sales rep for Neal's Yard Dairy of London and several wonderful cheesemakers in the US...needless to say I looooove good cheese. :o)

Abejo...if you really want to see what good Stilton is all about...get thee to a good cheesemonger or go online with Cowgirl Creamery or Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, Michigan and order yourself a piece of Stilton from Neal's Yard(both places also have Stichelton). They are purveyors of the very best cheeses from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland...don't cheat yourself by buying an also ran which can set you off ever eating Stilton should be rich, savory and almost meaty in flavor. It is well matched with dried fruits, nuts and a good Port. No other cheese compares. By winter, the Summer cheeses are ripe and you get the absolute beauty of Summer milk. :o)

Hiya Jeannie :o)

And thanks, Hahtool. Have lots of food info stuck inside my head, leaving little room for important things. LOL

Jeannie said...

Bill G, I agree with you, re: Harvest Moon. Who does it remind you of? It reminds me of Windhover and his Irish visiting one of their "honkey-tonks".

WM, good to see you. I can't tell you enough how nice it is to see your painting every morning when I rise. It soothes my soul. I will try to change my avatar tomorrow from work. I went on your website and didn't see it posted in your gallery.

Way past my bedtime. I might be chanelling Fermatprime. Thinking of you dear.

This might be six...sorry C.C.

Lemonade714 said...


always a pleasure to see you here, ABEJO i had the YAG laser among my many treatments, good luck. I love Stilton and the Hobbits and can't really imagine being at Oxford when C.S. Lewis and Tolkein were both there writing their epics. Get to sleep you need your energy for me and Firday

Lemonade714 said...

Jeannie, welcome home, take care of yourself and relax

Chickie said...

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes for my husband. We had a lovely time at the winery. Every Thursday during the summer they have live music. People bring their picnic dinners, buy wine (of course), and enjoy the music. We watched almost a full moon rise over our hills and it was a perfect summer evening.

Good to see you today Jeannie. We worry when someone doesn't check in for several days. Glad to hear that it is "just work" that is keeping you busy.

Good night everyone.

Anonymous said...

Jeannie, have a enjoyable happy hour?