Aug 18, 2011

Thursday August 18, 2011 Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel

Theme: It all ADDS UP (to a sinister riddle)!! The first three letters of the theme entries are synonyms for "add". But, Don G. and C.C. have taken it a step further by using words that change the pronunciation of the "add" synonyms. I have provided links to the theme entries, so you can hear the difference. Just click the speaker next to the entry, and you will hear the correct pronunciation. C.C and Don G. have also provided us with a nice visual, in the form of "plus" signs within the grid. I noticed those immediately when I opened the puzzle, did you?

16A. Rikishi's contest : SUMO MATCH. Did you learn to do "sum" math in grammar school? A "rikishi" is the Japanese word for a professional sumo wrestler. It is also the ring name for professional wrestler Solofa F. Fatu, Jr. I watch him all the time...(not ! - see 62A)

28A. City known as the political capital of Africa : ADDIS ABABA. After your ABC's, I bet you learned how to add two and two! Addis Ababa is located in central Ethiopia.

43A. Pacific Northwest cedar monuments : TOTEM POLES. To "tot" up figures sounds like an old-fashioned phrase. Because of the moist climate in the pacific northwest, few examples of totem poles carved before 1900 exist today.

And, (wait for it!!...) the unifier:

55A. The three in this grid are a hint to the starts of 16-, 28- and 43-Across : PLUS SIGNS

Marti here, and I am delighted to blog another one of our dynamic duo's offerings!


1. Altar constellation : ARA. I hate it when the lead-in fill is something I don't know (or forgot 2 seconds after I had it in the last puzzle...) So we are going to have a little astronomy lesson right off the bat: Ara is latin for "altar". And it kind of looks like one, don't you think?

4. Picked locks? : AFRO. Great misdirection. These "dos" sometimes still have the "pick" stuck in them!

8. Where to see Goyas : PRADO. Museo Nacional del Prado, in Madrid.

13. Translating computer program : COMPILER

15. Had pizza delivered, say : ATE IN. Got indigestion...

18. Vice __ : VERSA.

19. DFW airport home : TEX. Dallas - Fort Worth, Texas.

20. Lei presenter : WAHINE. The Hawaiian word for "woman". Can also mean a surfer girl.

22. Bit for the dog bowl : ORT. Why do they always get the orts?

23. Tapped-out character : DIT.

24. Popping up all over : RIFE. From old English rīfe; related to Old Norse rīfr generous, Middle Dutch rīve. Who knew???

25. Plaintive wind, perhaps : OBOE. The oboe does sound sad, especially when used to portray the poor duck in "Peter and the Wolf". Interesting narration by David Bowie.

26. First-year law student : ONE-L. Scott Turow's book One L says it all.

30. Battlefield display : HEROICS. Billy, don't be a hero...

32. King's problem in "The King's Speech" : STUTTER. Wonderful movie! Have you all seen it?

33. Polo Grounds #4 : OTT. Dang! Why can I never remember my baseball facts? I knew Mel Ott from, oh, about a thousand crossword puzzles. But "Polo Grounds" threw me for a while. Remember? That was the name of four different stadiums in upper Manhattan, used by the New York Metropolitans, Giants, Yankees and Mets...

34. Place to see bull horns : LEA. They share the lea with the sheep, you know.

35. Reorganize, and then some : SHAKE UP. Great fill.

39. Thrill : DELIGHT

45. NYC neighborhood : NOHO. Short for "North of Houston". I have heard some New Yorkers pronounce this as "how-sten". Is that a local thing?

46. Make __ dash : A MAD. What is everyone so mad about?

47. Scandinavian saint : OLAF. Also a college in Northfield, MN. You can get tickets to listen to Garrison Keeler's "Prairie Home Companion" live broadcast from there on November 19.

48. Rascal : IMP

49. Like Gen. McChrystal : RET. An outspoken and sometimes controversial four-star general, he RETired in July of 2010.

50. Quite soon : ANY DAY. Yep, "Any day now, I'll get to those weeds in the garden..."

52. Bearded beast : GNU. Who gnu?

53. What a case may go to : TRIAL. Yeah, but we have Lemonade and Hahtool on our side!!

58. Gravy no-no : LUMPS. I always leave a few lumps in my gravy, just so everyone knows I made it from scratch, and not from a can...

59. Billie Holiday's real first name : ELEANORA. I forgive you guys! My oldest sister's name was Eleanor (R.I.P.)

60. El primer mes : ENERO. "The first month", in Spanish: January.

61. Houston MLBer : STRO. I guess this is short for "Astro"? And Major League Baseball?

62. "Just kidding!" : NOT.

OK, time for a sip of wine, and then lets continue to


1. Rm. coolers : ACs. Abbr. and plural in the clue lets us know it's not "fan".

2. Stand-up performance : ROUTINE.

3. Current contraption : AMMETER. This one gave me fits, as I was thinking of "ohmmete..." but I ran out of spaces.

4. Align the cross hairs : AIM

5. Fly in the ointment : FLAW.

6. Slows : RETARDS. Phew! This one could have been a very un-PC clue.

7. Prom corsage : ORCHID. Does anyone grow orchids besides Vidwan and me?

8. Work on the street : PAVE. Heh, heh..I had a totally different kind of work in mind...

9. MapQuest output: Abbr. : RTE. Route.

10. Pilot in a show : AEROBAT. Another one that gave me fits. I wanted "aeronau..." Dang! Ran out of spaces again! But, it's a real word - aerobatics are performed by - what else? - Aerobats!

11. Prepare for the hot tub : DISROBE. OK, I will refrain...

12. Painting the town red : ON A TEAR. "On a spre...". OK, I'm just going to have to stretch this grid out a little bit, to fit in all my answers.

14. "A __ upon thee!" : POX. Who said that?

17. Oldies players : HI-FIs. Oldies? OLDIES? Who you callin' "old", Miss C.C.?? My Hi-Fi was the latest thing in H.S. !!

21. Gets cozy : NESTLES. Every morning, I like to nestle into the crook of DH's arm when I wake up. My favorite part of the day!

23. [Facepalm!] : D'OH. The Urban Dictionary defines "facepalm" as "The act of dropping one's face / forehead into one's hand. Usually accompanied by a "thunk" or a cry of "D'oh!" " We here on the blog just use a V8 can...

25. Lay one's hands on : OBTAIN

27. Undid the blindfold : LOOKED. No fair peeking!

28. Do more than just consider : ACT UPON

29. "The Clan of the Cave Bear" writer : AUEL. I have her latest, The Land of the Painted Caves, on my iPad, waiting to be read. (It's #11 on the list...).

31. Tabloid pair : ITEM

35. Scare : STARTLE

36. Jeter's 3,000th hit, e.g. : HOME RUN. Derek, if memory serves me...

37. Unit by unit, in succession : AT A TIME. One at a time...

38. Coral component : POLYP

39. Foreclosure cause : DEFAULT. Oops!

40. In progress : GOING ON

41. Author better known as Saki : H.H. MUNRO. "Saki" is a reference to the cup-bearer in the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.

42. Word with seed or banana : TOP

44. Tureen utensils : LADLES

50. Besides : ALSO. And furthermore...

51. Strategic WWI river : YSER. Through France and Belgium.

52. Gibson need : GIN. Marti's need, at this point...

54. Spring mo. : APR. Let me check my calendar...

56. Common word on Brazilian maps : SAO. (Forgive the lack of punctuation accents): Sao Paolo, Sao Luis, Sao Jose de Ribamar, Sao Lourenco de Mata, Sao Goncalo do Amarente, Sao Cristovao, Sao Mateus... you get the idea!

57. Watched the kids : SAT. While they were studying for their college admission tests...

Answer grid.

Whew! That was fun, and I'll see y'all again real soon!


Note from C.C. and Don:

Don cooked up this idea. We wanted to see if we could use plus signs in the grid to convey meaning in a phrase. Since plus signs are addition, we thought the theme phrases could begin with words that mean "add". We kept it to three letter words, and noticed that the pronunciation in one of the theme phrases was different than the "add" word. We liked that idea, and followed it through for the other two theme answers. The real challenge, though, was trying to get three plus signs into the grid. Hence, we ended up with ELEANORA in 59-Across, if you will forgive us. Does this puzzle remind any of you Don's L-BARS grid image?


Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. I'm afraid the theme totally eluded me this morning. I saw the three "S's" in PLUS SIGNS and got distracted. TOT is not a word I have ever used in the context of adding ... well.

I did learn that that Undid the Blindfold is not Let See, but LOOKED AT.

I don't know how people survived the summer without the ACs, especially in the days when covering arms and legs was mandatory. At least we should be on the downside of the summer's heat.

QOD: QOD: A man who correctly guesses a woman's age may be smart, but he is not very bright. ~ Lucille Ball

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Another terrific Thursday offering from C.C. and Dan. Thank heavens I used to do the NYT puzzle way back when, or else I'd never have remembered ARA...

I really wanted ADAPTER for 3D, so that held me up for a bit. AEROBAT was completely off my radar, so that took awhile as well. And I tried NOHO right off the bat, but that gave me HH to start 41D, which was impossible, so I removed it, Fortunately, I finally remembered who SAKI was.

Oh -- and I still hate STRO, but at least I'm now familiar with it... ^_^

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for the cheerful write-up. So sweet, your NESTLES. I suppose STRO is like VIKE (Minnesota NFL-er), valid slang to fans or locals, but not well-known to others. One of the words Melissa will say "Hello again".

C.C. Burnikel said...

Creature et al,
The lost posts yesterday are irretrievable. Another blog glitch.

Tinbeni said...

Marti, Nice write-up.

Noticed the 3 PLUS-SIGNS in the grid right off the bat.
It was my second entry, after Jeter's HOME-RUN for his 3,000th hit. (Note: Wade Bogg's 3,000th was also a Home Run).

Hahtool, I've only been an Accountant for 36 years. TOT is NOT a word I've ever used, or heard, for adding (or total) either.


thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

I had a lot of fun with today's puzzle, but it certainly was no walk in the park either. The NE and CE were the main culprits for my difficulties. Picked locks, translating computer program, 1st yr law student, current contraption, & [facepalm] were causes for delay. Then, instead of wahine I initially entered lahine.

Lots of amusing clues from Don & CC. Gravy no-no/lumps, gibson need/gin, & gets cozy/nestles were favs.

A big learning moment thanks to Marti..... I never knew the Polo Grounds had four different locations nor did i know it was home to four different teams. I saw many Giant games there during my youth and one or two after the Mets moved in. I loved the "old horseshoe.". Also should be noted the NY Giants FB team played beneath the Bluff for several years.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you Don and C.C. for a great Thursday puzzle. For a while I thought it was a Friday puzzle. Thank you Marti for the great write-up. interesting note on the reference to SAKI. Thank you.

I got off to a great start with ARA for 1A and ACS for 1D. I thought this would be a cakewalk. That thought ended real quickly.

I wound up bouncing around as I usually do on a Thursday.

My first big misdirection was 32A. I put STAMMER because that is the term used in the movie, a British term. Eventually I fixed that to STUTTER.

44D. was easy. Back in Erie at our church we had TUREEN dinners. I learned then what a Tureen dinner was and that you needed a ladle to dish it out. Around here we call them Potlucks.

AMMETER was easy. I used those for years on the job.

I did not get the plus signs in the grid until I had finished the puzzle. Then I saw them. Oh well.

I needed many perps to get through this (ie: NOHO, ELEANORA, AUEL, AEROBAT), but it all worked. Finished about 7:00 AM.

See you tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

@ hahtool I have a window a/c in the bedroom wall but on the really hot days I went to the library and read the paper and printed off the puzzles Chicago Tribune, USA Today and photocopied the NY Times and Daily xword from the local paper.

Mikey said...

A sip of wine at 5:30 in the morning? That's a slippery slope... but back to puzzling.

I had mis-recollected that first-year lawschoolers were ONERs, and happily decided that to reorganize and more was to SHAPE UP, so wound up with DOOPED for the blindfold thing.

Other than those senior moments, it was a relatively speedy Thursday for me, and a good thing, with a 10:00 Master Gardener meeting looming. I don't normally get out of my jammies until noon, so morning appointments and meetings are rare, thankfully.

I have a certificate of AEROBATic Graduation on my wall, a remnant of my youth, so 10D was a gimme.

It's well worth 3 minutes of your time to listen to Flanders & Swann performing "The GNU Song". Another reminder of happy days gone by.

Anonymous said...

wasn't familiar with aerobat thanks to the other clues around I was able to get it.

2D I wanted schtick.

John Pinette from the 2008 MDA telethon.


Fun Facts By Dave Letterman

Each member of the Australian band Men at work is currently unemployed.

The 56 original signers of the Declaration of Independence all received complimentary tote bags.

HeartRx said...

HaHa Mike...actually, I was doing that write up last evening at 10:30!

...I'd like to add that the blog glitch was not ... my ... fault!!

Yellowrocks said...

Marti, I always enjoy your write ups. Great puzzle, Don and CC. Did not see the plus signs until I had spelled it out.

Houston Street (how sten) is the only correct pronunciation. Many transplanted place names are pronuounced differently at their new site:
Bogota, NJ (buh GO tah)
Cairo, IL (kay ro, like the syrup)
Greenwich, NJ (green witch)
New Tripoli, PA (tr POLE ee)

Yellowrocks said...

There were many references to my favorite books or movies. Love all the Clan of the Cave Bear books. Must read "Land of the Painted Caves." Also love Turow novels like "One L". "The King's Speech" was a fine movie. Another favorite is "Peter and the Wolf." I enjoyed the clip.
Tot is very familiar to me, probably from reading novels. Mostly used as "tot up the bill" or "tot up the score."

the Macster said...

Yes Marti, all New Yorkers pronounce Houston St. "Hows-ton". Why? Beats me, but coming back to NYC after 10 years in Texas, I found it quite odd. But once these things become fixed in the public lexicon, there's no going back. So Howston it is and Howston it will be until the rising sea levels obliterate our fair city.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Nice commentary, Marti. Another great offering by C.C. and Don.

Did not know ARA, neither enough Latin background nor whether it contained any significant stars. Got it eventually from the perps; AMMETER was a gimme. The rest of the cw solve flowed pretty well. Only other unknowns were AUEL and ELEANORA, but the perps were helpful here, too. No other issues. 'Rascal' and IMP are two translations for Spitzboov in another language :o. Thanks for the shoutout.

Have a great day.

kazie said...

Congratulations on another challenging romp, C.C. and Don.

I had too many unknowns to list all of them but ended up having to google ARA, and came here with DIT blank and LOOPED/SHAPEUP and LAX for TEX which I was unaware existed. I really had no idea what "facepalm" was--never saw it before. Also couldn't see what "looped" had to do with removing a blindfold, but it was time to give up anyway.

My guess is that those people didn't live too long, especially the ones removed from Europe to the tropics.

Yellowrocks, a couple more place names near here:

Gotham [GOEtham]
Muscoda [MuscoDAY]

Hahtoolah said...

Another example is Calais, Maine, where it is pronounced more like callous.

Husker Gary said...

What a great puzzle and write-up that added up to a lot of fun! I am taking a day off the links to get my Medicare stuff organized before my landmark 65th BD next month! Yikes!

-Loved the baseball references!
-Skers never caught on as a name for Husker athletics
-That is one constellation I didn’t know!
-The mayor of Philly has some tough words for marauding flash mobs in his city with a pick in their hair
-I had BIT for tapped out computer character
-Peter and the Wolf helped me fall in love with orchestra music!
-I did not know NOHO or Munro’s second initial – I’ll take a 99%
-Garrison Keeler is fabulous and his PHC monologues are a free download on iTunes!!
-McChrystal had no use for Joe Biden.
-I was proud I figured out the ENERO clue! Bueno!
-We have RETARDED the growth of nut grass in our yard!
-I LOOSED my blindfold first

Argyle said...

33. Polo Grounds #4 : OTT

Interesting that there were four Polo Grounds but #4 was Mel Ott's jersey number. It has since been retired.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning! Thanks for the blog, Marti, and thanks for a fun puzzle, C.C. and Don.

I guess I've been doing these puzzles too long. I'm starting to remember all of the useless trivia that used to stump me. I even read the Spanish phrase correctly and entered ENERO without hesitation.

Polo Ground #4? Yep, Mel OTT wore #4 and played at the Polo Ground. Nice way to clue our most often seen baseball player.

Total unknown was ELEANORA, but perps to the rescue again.

I thought it was a tad easy for a Thursday, but i enjoyed it.

Nance said...

Would you rather be THRILLED or DELIGHTED? Sorry, maybe it's the writing teacher in me, but no way are those words synonymous.

Sigh. This puzzle made me crabby! I, too, started out with LET SEE for the blindfold; I never remember that darned Cave Bear author even though that surname has appeared eleventy billion times in these things; I had to hang around and wait because, like Abejo, I didn't know if we were to use STUTTER or STAMMER and yadda yadda yadda...DNF because I won't resort to The Google. (Did you know that the Strategic WWII river was...YSSA? Yep! Super Secret!) Hoping for more success tomorrow.

Unknown said...

C.C. and Don, WOW just wow! Great job for a Thursday puzzle.
It was fun as well as interesting. Thank-you to Marti for the write-up.
I am still feeling a bit off, so I will be taking things slowly today. Thank Heavens the heat has abated a bit.
Have a great day all!

Avg Joe said...

Fun puzzle today. Thanks C.C. and Don. And thank you Marti.

I tried Letsee for LOOKED as well. I recall ARA, but tried Ado first, which led to Ommeter, and thought perhaps the missing H was just a variant. Like others, had to wait for crosses to go with STUTTER in lieu of STammer. It all took a while but it got sorted out and I finished without error or Google.

Marti, we watched The King's Speech just last weekend. I didn't expect to like it, but ended up thinking it was a very fine movie. Highly recommended.

Anonymous said...

Hahtool and Tinbeni, I think the word is "tote," which means add, and not "tot."

Avg Joe said...

Oh. Forgot to mention. An aerobat is also an aircraft type. A stunt plane, IOW. So the clue could work either way.

Nice Cuppa said...

Thanks Don G., CC and Marti

An easy-level Thursday with lots of very familiar fill*; but the fun theme made it worthwhile , although I must admit I did not see the plus signs in the grid until they were forcibly pointed out to me, so that the unifying clue did not make complete grammatical sense until then.

* We have had wahine, afro (same clue too), ate in, onel, ammeter, dit, ott, ort, enero, prado and olaf very recently in LAT puzzles.

TOT as a verb is chiefly Brit&C. We recently discussed TOT, TOTAL, TOTALIZE, and the dreaded TOTALIZATOR (but no back-form of TOTALIZATE, thank goodness).

Crossword COMPILER in BRIT&COMM is what you guys/gals call a constructor.

DISROBE echoed LADY GODIVA's appearance (accidental pun) the other day.

Out of Lines - back soon.


HeartRx said...

Argyle and Grumpy 1, yes, thanks for expanding on the #4 in the clue. I assumed it was his jersey number, and not the number of polo grounds. Sorry I didn’t mention it in the comment!

Anon@9:50, “Tote” means “to carry”, or a type of sack to put things in. C.C and Don G. had a very tight theme here, where they used exactly three letters of the first words. Thus, TOT is the correct word. It is an old-fashioned term, not much used now. NC mentioned it is used in Brit & Canada and as others have mentioned, it is sometimes seen in literature…

HeartRx said...

We have another interesting "place name" pronunciation here in Central MA:
Worcester is pronounced WIS-tah by the locals. DH just shakes his head at my pronunciation every time he sees the sign on the highway. (He pronounces it "were - chess - terr"). LOL!

Yellowrocks said...

In my huge unabridged paper dictionary and online I could find no sense of TOTE meaning add up, but there was TOT meaning add up in both paper and online.
In the online thesaurus THRILL (v.) was listed as a synonym for DELIGHT (v.) I guess you could be so delighted you were vibrating with emotion.

Nice Cuppa said...

....While it is true that a STUTTER (repeating the first letter of words) was part of the King's problem, his STAMMER (includes STUTTER but also the much more incapacitating involuntary pauses between words) was the major problem.

You don't tend to see too any bulls in an English LEA - they are usually kept in an enclosure for everyone's safety, except when they are "on the job" (a British expression whose meaning will be obvious in this context).

Brits pronounce the ADD in ADDIS ABABA exactly the same as in ADD. it reminds me of US pronunciation of cities such as MILAN, which sound to me like "MILARN". The A is short in BRITspeak, which is a bit closer to the short "A" sound Italians use in MILANO. Just and observation.

Gibson to me is either a a brand of guitar or London Gin. I only learned today that the latter has given rise to the name of a cocktail.

Finally, orchids for the prom- little wonder!: AMAZING SEX LIFE OF ORCHIDS


LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

Some have said this was an easy Thursday puzzle. Not for me. Nice work, Don & C.C. You always add an extra level to your puzzles. I have to get better at seeing them.

I got the theme answers but thought the 'PLUSSIGNS' were supposed to be on the clues ... somewhat like the starred clues we sometimes have. DOH! I didn't see the plus signs in the grid until coming here ... thanks, Marti!

Although I managed to get ARA right away, the NW corner was my last to fill. Part of that was my filling in 'dot' for DIT. Finally ROUTINE helped fill in that corner. I, too, wanted 3D to begin with OHM but AMM it was, an unknown to me.

I liked the new clue for OTT and the misdirection of 'Picked locks.' But as C.C. says I "nailed it!"

I finished with no look-ups but once again perps and a few good guesses to the rescue!

Enjoy the day ~~

Nice Cuppa said...

Sorry, messed up that link. Here it is again:



Anonymous said...

We who call Montgomery home are often heard to say "Muh GUM ree". Locals have an inalienable right to (mis)pronounce their home name as they so choose. :)

carol said...

Hi all - OUCH, OUCH, this one hurt my head. It was clever and had lots of interesting clues, but my brain was not up to it. It is Thursday, after all so I'm not surprised...I just hoped to do a bit better than I did.

I had too many unknowns to list here but had to laugh at 23D FACEPALM. Boy, that was my V-8 moment, literally!

I tried to read "Land of the Painted Caves" but after 200+ pages, I just couldn't get into it. I have read all her others in that series and enjoyed them all, but this last one was not what I expected.

33A really fooled me...maybe it's because I grew up where we don't have 'polo grounds'...I really thought it meant a real polo playing field, so I wondered why anyone would know the name of #4 if you didn't right there. LOL.

Argyle said...

If you get a chance, Google Fred Tuttle. His Senate race included asking his flatlander opponent about Vermont "place name" pronunciations. True story, as true as a Vermont tale can get, at least.

Tinbeni said...

HeartRx, Thanks.
I wasn't going to "feed the troll" ... esp. since in the "Note from C.C. & Don" she stated: "We kept it to three letter words."

Occupational hazard, we use the formal words.
"Did you TOTAL that column?"
"Did you TOTAL the bill?"
And, Yup, when I was solving I put in "total" before ITEM got me TOTEM POLES.

On the other hand, we do like to abbreviate into Acronyms just about everything else.
BS, P&L, WTB (or TB), ROI, EBITDA, NW, CF, GI, AGI, yaddie, yaddie, yadda ...

Anonymous said...

tote 2 (tt)
tr.v. tot·ed, tot·ing, totes Informal
1. To determine the total of; add up.
2. To sum up; summarize.

Lucina said...

Yea! Yea! C.C. and Don, another great puzzle and thank you, Marti, for another fun blog.

The PLUS SIGNS on the grid jumped out at me, but not until the unifier did I make the connection. Well done.

Most of this was a romp and I really enjoyed, a plaintive wind, OBOE. Since I do up and down together, the unknowns, like SUMO MATCH emerge quite naturally.

What failed to emerge, however, was AMMETER and COMPILER; both are totally unfamiliar to me. And I had SHAPEUP at 35A so LOOPED on the down. Again, thanks, Marti.

Another stumble was initially filling 26A as L ONE but ROUTINE helped correct that.

For years I have heard TOT Board used in pledge marathons such as for MS.

Land of the Painted Caves is next on my shelf, too, but at the moment I'm deeply into The Postmistress.

Have a DELIGHTful Thursday, everyone!

June said...

Yes, Marti, I raise Orchids. Living in SE Florida makes it easy.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I eased through the upper right, but I wouldn't have gotten AEROBAT except for the perps. Fortunately, I just finished reading "Cutting For Stone" a couple of weeks ago, so ADDIS ABABA was available in my brain.

Heading south...I had an great aunt ELEANOR, but that didn't help me with 59A. I don't have any relatives named MUNRO, so I was totally lost on that one.

On the lower left side, the clue for OTT threw me. I had no idea what his number was. I didn't know Gen. McChrystal was RET either.

Then there was the NW. I'd never heard of the ARA constellation. I knew 3D was some kind of METER, but couldn't figure the beginning. 13A COMPILER? OK, if you say so. Throwing a SUMO MATCH into the mix was so tough!

D'OH! At least I learned what "Facepalm" is (Thanks Unban Dictionary!).

I thought it was TOTE, rather than TOT too.

eddyB said...


Nice and easy Thursday.

But, ammeter = contraption. LOL
First time I've heard it called that. Have a VOM on my desk in the den.

88 for a glucose reading this morning. Feel great.

The UPS package will get here when it gets here. Mean while Amazon has
shipped an order.

Painted Caves is on the shelf.

Dennis, thanks for the heads-up
on The Hour. Watched it at 7 and

Take care. eddy

Jayce said...

Speaking of unique local pronunciations for place names, I was very surprised during a visit to Lincoln, Nebraska, to learn that Beatrice, Nebraska, is pronounced "be-AT-triss."

Clear Ayes said...

LOL, I didn't say I was right about TOTE, it is just what my befuddled brain was thinking.

Thanks to Marti's explanation of the theme, it all became clearer.

BTW, I really liked Don and C.C.'s puzzle, even though I thought their sadistic tendencies were peeping through the grid. "Rikishi?... lash..lash..take that!" "Facepalm? Hahaha!..take that!" "ELEANORA?...Smack!..How do you like that?" :o)

Lucina, how is "The Postmistress" going? It's on my short ten list.

I read the first Jean AUEL book. I remember liking it, but didn't go further for some reason.

I finished "The Art of Racing In The Rain" last night. If you are into auto racing theory/history as life metaphor and appreciate anthropomorphic dogs, this is the book. Nothing wrong with that. It just didn't do it for me.

Husker Gary said...

Jayce, you were in Nebraska and didn't look me up? Beatrice Foods is a huge company here and it is not pronounced Bee' uh truss.

We also pronounce Kearney as car' ney and my CA. relatives say keer' ney.

When we travel in New England, we just do the best we can with pronunciations. Fun!

Lucina said...

My friends, today's newspaper had an item you might have overlooked, understandably, because it may not have appeared in your newspaper.

Bloomberg Businessweek has issued its ranking of the most fun cities and number 4 on the list is my very own Scottsdale and specifically, my zip code!

I am laughing so hard I can't contain myself. This news is surprising to me and I'm sure to my neighbors because it is so quiet here one could sleep all day and not be awakened. Even the dogs don't bark.

Of course it does mention that we are near the "entertainment district" so I suppose that would explain our claim to fame. LOL

Lucina said...

Clear Ayes:
I am enjoying The Postmistress; it is quite poignant and has given me further insight into life prior to and during the beginning of WWI.

BTW, I loved the talking dog in The Art of Racing in the Rain.

HeartRx said...

N.C. fascinating link to orchids!! Who knew all that was going on right under my nose??

June, I envy you. Here, it is a constant struggle to keep the humidity and temperature to their liking. But, I do have a couple of dendrobiums that have been blooming for over two months now!

Argyle, funny story about Fred Tuttle. How could you not vote for that friendly face?

EddyB, great news about the blood sugar. Keep it up!! (I mean, “down”!!)

Jayce said...

Husker Gary, yes the different pronunciations are fun. I was in Lincoln long before I came to know of you and this blog, but I most certainly will look you up if I/we are ever there again.

Clear Ayes, so funny. "Lash lash!" LOL (I've called Wil Shortz a sadist a couple of times.)

Man oh man, so many of you reading all these good books. I've been enjoying reading a bunch of books by unknown authors, mostly mysteries and spy novels, that LW and I bought at The Dollar Store for, guess what, a dollar each. Several of them were pretty bad, and I couldn't get into them enough to bother finishing them; but some of them were and are fun reads. Beats the heck out of the junk on TV these days.

Jayce said...

Bill G, I have a feeling you are a fun and pleasant person to have lunch with. Well, pleasant otherwise, too, I think.

Hahtool, thank you ever so much for the QODs (QsOD?) you grace us with every day.

HeartRx, let me add my appreciation of your infectious sense of humor. Thank you for it. And thanks to you, Argyle, for your terrific tidbits and subtle, wry, humor.

I use an ammeter every day in my work. Mostly now they are combined with a voltmeter and ohmmeter, which they aptly call a multimeter, or, as eddyB called it, a VOM (volt-ohm meter).

Bill G. said...

Happy Thursday! I had about the same experience as many others. Even though I know a bit about astronomy, I didn't know ARA. I didn't know Facepalm either. What do the brackets mean around a clue? Very enjoyable puzzle and writeup. Thanks.

Thanks, Jayce. You have a standing offer for a lunch invitation anytime you can get out this way.

I just started The Help because of all of your recommendations. I am enjoying it already, even after just two chapters.

Lucina said...

I meant WWII re: The Postmistress.

Jayce said...

Okay, this is bad, but twice now I have misread The Postmistress as The Pornmistress.

Argyle said...


creature said...

Good Day All,

Enjoyed today’s puzzle, CC and DonG. Lots of fun with the theme and needed to have the pluses pointed out, besides. I’ll concede the tot instead of tote, but my mind has to pronounce it ‘tote’. I’ve just never heard tot (as in a child) it up. Oh well, enough of that . A fine piece of work. I never stumbled, but I did pause on the ‘k’ in SHAKEUP/ LOOKED and Olav instead of OLAF. Thanks for the fun.

Marti, you’re such a natural. Love how you’ve relaxed into the smooth write-ups. Thanks. I say ‘were ster’, but then we say ‘Lull vul’; or, if when trying to enunciate, we say ‘Luh a vul’.

I’m trying to decide which I’d rather be: DELIGHTed or thrilled, and of course I’ll take thrilled. But then, hey, I”ve never complained over DELIGHTed.

Gibson is my maiden name. And the cocktail is as old as a martini with an onion rather than an olive, which I used to prefer. Course, it would kill me now. Spritzer is my speed and I’m continually adding more ice to melt down.


windhover said...

In Kentucky:
Ver-sales for Versailles
In Indiana:
Pee-rue for Peru
Rue-sha-ville for Russiaville

If you go to the race track (equine), at least at Keeneland (motto: Racing as it was meant to be), they call that big contraption in the infield with all the info and results on it the "tote board".

Avg Joe said...

Living less than 30 miles from Beatrice, NE, I can confirm that it is in fact pronounced Bee AT riss, but can also confirm that the rest of the world pronounces it Bee a triss. I get a fair number of calls from out of state needing work done there, and have yet to hear anyone get it right.

And to the earlier discussion, I'd add that NE also has a Cairo. But we pronounce it Care oh.

The funniest experience I've had with this was in central MO. There's a town there named for the South American Explorer, Simon de Bolivar. Two friends and I were camping and wanted to go to the nearest town for solid food to nurse a hangover. So we asked a local how to get to "Bowl E var". He sat there with a WTF look for a good 30 seconds, then said: "Oh. You mean Boliver" (like Oliver).

HeartRx said...

Bill G., Husker sent me this
link earlier today that explains one use of the brackets. They are sometimes used to illustrate a short phrase as a clue for an unspoken gesture. Like [D’Oh!] for the answer “facepalm”. But in this case, they are used around an unspoken gesture [Facepalm!] that is a clue for the short phrase “D’OH”. I guess the “rule” is not hard and fast…

Thanks, Argyle for the funny link to facepalm!

Anonymous said...

is down?

JD said...

Good afternoon all from a VERY foggy Pacific Grove,

Martin, you sure make making mistakes fun! Always enjoy your amusing write ups.Before I forget, this is the first summer that my 2 orchids have re loomed.Thrilled or delighted-both.

C.C. And Don, I give your grid a? What? No stars on this iPad?*** yea, Very doable and fun, although I did not know ara,ammeter, oronel, so DNF that corner.

Got theme, but was very concerned that my totem poles should be total Jumped around, had lots of WAGS, and the perps were kind.Didn't catch my pox error til I got here.

Shake up...for those of you who used to work at Nat. Semi. It was scooped up by T.I, so everyone is very unsure of their jobs at the moment.

Grumpy 1 said...

Avg Joe, I had an experience similar to yours years ago on the Ohio Turnpike. I was in a rest area and a trucker came up to me and asked "How far is it to Toll-dew?" "Oh, do you mean Tol-ee-do?" I asked. He looked at his paperwork and said, "Uh, yeah, I guess you could pronounce it that way".

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Fun, fun puzzle: great fill, clever clues; chuckled aloud when I saw the unifier - and then used my keen powers of observation to LOOK AT the PLUS SIGNS. Other than that missed the theme completely.

I'd say anyone who reaches 3000 hits is ON A TEAR, HOME RUN or not. The Twins' Jim Thome (TOE-mee) got HR's no. 599, 600, and 601 against the Tigers this week, alas.

POLYP for coral seems vaguely familiar, like it was something I might have known a long time ago. D'OH!

On place name pronunciations: not far from where I grew up on the east side (nobody ever goes there) of Toledo is Nevada (Nuh-VAY-duh) St.

In South-east OHIO (Uh-HI-uh) is the hard-to-find town of Chauncey. If you pronounce it as anything other than CHAN-see, they will know you are a furriner, and not to be trusted.

Since nits are being picked, I'll add that 48A should be clued: "Tyrion Lannister, with The."


Jazzbumpa said...

Grumpy -

I've heard Tuh-LEE-duh, but never Toll-dew.

Of course, the original is Toe-LAY-doe.

JzB who still goes there frequently

JD said...

Sorry Martie, I am still not finger touching perfect on this and I'm afraid I'll lose everything if I fiddle around with preview. I really can spell correctly most of the time.

BTW, loved the Sex Lifeof Orchids. Who knew?

Susan said...

"Pox" Mercutio--also "You have made worm's meat out of me". We read this every year in my drama classes. Followed by the movie with Olivia Hussy then West Side Story. Very timely discussions about gangs. Some of the kids would go around biting their thumbs at others and getting a kick out of the fact that only my students knew what it meant.

Here in NM about ten miles from me is MADrid not maDRID where Wild Hogs (Harleys again) was filmed. It really is a biker hangout.

Loved Racing in the Rain and Help. But my best reads this summer were Shantaram and Russian Winter.

HeartRx said...

Susan, I will have to go back and read Romeo and Juliet, because I couldn't find any definitive reference for "a pox on thee".

But when I saw the fill, I thought of this famous exchange:
Earl of Sandwich: 'Pon my honor, Wilkes, I don't know whether you'll die on the gallows or of the pox.
Wilkes That must depend, my Lord, upon whether I first embrace your Lordship's principles, or your Lordship's mistresses.

Dennis said...

C.C., Don(Hard)G., thanks for today's effort; it was a fun solve. You guys are just getting better and better.

Have a great weekend, everybody -- off to see a man about a plane.

Hahtoolah said...

A couple more pronunciations: Chartres Street in New Orleans is pronounced like Chaw-Tuhs. There is also a town spelled Iowa, but pronounced I-Oh-Way.

Jayce: Thank you for your kind words.

Clear Ayes said...

Marti, 14D "A __ upon thee!" : POX. Who said that? After checking on line for more time than I like to admit....Nobody.

Susan, I thought it was from Romeo and Juliet too. If I missed something, let us know the Act & Scene. Mercutio's "close, but no cigar" quote was "A plague o' both your houses." Romeo and Juliet 3.1

He also said "The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting fantasticoes; these new tuners of accents!" Romeo and Juliet, 2. 4 (sounds like all of today's local pronunciation).

Other "poxy WS quotes are:

"A pox on this gout! or a gout on this pox!"
Henry IV Part 2, 1. 2

"A pox o' your throat, you bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!"
The Tempest, 1. 1

Constructors are a clever lot! :o)

Spitzboov said...

Hahtool - Gene Autry pronouncing Iowa (the state) in:

Sioux City Sue at time: (0:18).

HeartRx said...

ClearAyes, thanks for double checking - I spent way too much time looking for it last night, too.

But it wasn’t a total waste, because I found this page for designing your own Shakespearean Epithets. I am so excited, I can hardly wait to use my favorite:
“Thou spleeny shard-borne skainsmate!”

Avg Joe said...

All this talk of names/places got me to thinking about a true case study in elocution. Tom Waits

Bill G. said...

JD, do the butterflies still come to Pacific Grove, fog or no?

Re. pronounciation of names, pardon me if I said this before but I was amused when my grandson read his first Looney Tunes comic book and pronounced Yosemite Sam the same way I did when I was eight growing up in Virginia; that is, Yo-sa-might Sam.

windhover said...

Whoops, forgot one (Thanks, Bill).
In Casey County, Kentucky, there is the village of Yosemite. And the folks there pronounce it exactly as Bill said. No idea which was first, Ky. Or as Ahnold says, "Caleefornia".
No getting political, dear. ("Peace").

creature said...




Thanks for calling me dear.

Don G. said...

Wow, Marti. I learned a great deal more about the words that C.C. and I used, thanks to your comments.

C.C. didn't mention that this grid gave us fits. Three plus signs barely works.

Thanks to everyone for your interest. We aim to please, and the comments do help. Also, thanks to Rich for another great editing job.

Lemonade714 said...

C.C., Don and Marti, great puzzle, entertaining write up. I was out of the house before the window opened for comments, so you all have said it all except my thanks. Stay tuned more puzzles coming

Clear Ayes said...

Shame on me for forgetting about Yose-mite. We have heard that pronunciation from tourists, particularly those from eastern Europe and Asia.

The ones that tell us if we are talking to locals are Tuolumne (county or river) and Mokelumne (river or town). They are native Miwok tongue twisters. "Tuh-WALL-uh-mee" and "Muh-KOLL-uh-mee" will get you where you are going.

BTW, if anyone is planning on a trip to Yosemite, please pay attention to the barriers and signs. Three young adults were recently killed when they fell from Vernal Falls. They had climbed over the barriers to get closer to the edge to take photos. So sad.

fermatprime said...

Greetings and felicitations!

Very nice puzzle! Began with ARA, went up and down, and plowed right through, going both ways. I have an ammeter and a VOM. Thanks CC and Don. (Question: does Rich make the clues harder or easier?)

Marti, really enjoy your marvelous sense of humor, esp. in great write-ups!

It really is easier to work these after arising from a really good sleep. Managed with much help to get out to kitchen and back hall to sort all of the kitchen stuff. (My helper has contributed much to the entropy! A person who was staying here and ripped of many things evidently found things to her liking there also.)

Great news, eddyB!

Thanks for Shakespeare link, HRx!

Swam too many laps yesterday and destroyed my right elbow. Better tomorrow, I hope.

Has The King's Speech been on DTV yet, does anyone know?

Am reading J. A. Jance's latest Beaumont novel, Betrayal of Trust. Very well written.


HeartRx said...

Fermatprime, good to see you "up and about" !!!

The King's Speech is available on Netflix, if you have it. Don't know about DTV.

HeartRx said...

OK, can tell "us". Was [Facepalm!] your clue, or Rich's? Either way, it stirred up a lot of interest!!!

Susan said...

Clear Ayes and HeartRx--thought about those quotes all day today while I was running a dozen errands. Finally remembered "A plague on both your houses". Sorry if my error caused you to research too much.

Getting up early tomorrow to drive to Salt Lake City. There is a reunion with many, many of my relatives--mostly cousins and their children. I have four redheaded female cousins and me and my sister. My sister isn't going, but it will be the first time the rest of the redheads will all be together for at least twenty years!

HeartRx said...

Susan, no worries! I was grazing the web way before you even opened your pretty little eyes this morning!

I guess the conclusion is, "A ___ on thee" is one of those sayings that is akin to "Do ___ others...". Unattributed, but known by all. (Cruciverbalists, anyway!!)

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, Whew, A DNF for me today. Clever, Clever, you two--C.C. and Don. I got almost everything except the unifier--didn't see the plus signs. I blame it on a very tiring day and not starting the puzzle until after dinner. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Thanks Marti, for the great writeup. Humor was what I needed.

Like CA I started well in the NE corner and went down that side until I got to the very bottom. That was my stumper. I also Looped my blindfold, and did a Shape up to Reorganize.

I worked at the thrift shop today. That tired me out as well as my brain.

Have a great evening everyone.

Anonymous said...

After reading all the posts today, I really wanted to tell Eddy B,"Terrific, an 88. Keep it up."

Also, my Arkansas relatives pronounce Fayetteville, Arkansas,Fed-Vul.

Thanks to Dennis, we watched "The Hour" last night and will now record further episodes. It looks like it will be very interesting.

Lemonade714 said...

Lafayette, is named after the French General but there it is LA FAY ETTE.

tired nite nite

JD said...

Bill, yes the Monarch Butterflies still arrive every October and hang onto the Eucalyptus and pine trees. This has been a very foggy summer for the folks on the Monterey Bay coast( and north)..58 today. We live only an hour away and it was still 83 when we got home. It can also be a 20 degree difference when we drive to SF.

Had time later to look up face palm, which gave me a big laugh.Thanks Marti for the bracket information!! What a hoot.

Anonymous said...

were not your average clues,such as palmface!!

dodo said...

C.C. and Don, Wonderful puzzle, thanks a lot. Marti, your narrative was superb! Thank you, too.

I worked on this all day because of many interruptions and distractions, I got it finished about 10 p.m. Haven't really anything to add (tot, or sum) except congrats all over again!

Good night, all.

Anonymous said...

The King's Speech is available on iTunes also.

C.C. Burnikel said...

[Facepalm!] is Rich's clue, so is AFRO (my favorite) and many others.