Sep 26, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011 Robert Fisher

Theme: Fill It Up - First word of the first four theme entries represents the descending levels of the unifier leaving just a drop at 66A.

18A. Ceremonial uniform : FULL DRESS

23A. Necktie knot : HALF-WINDSOR

38A. NCAA Elite Eight team : QUARTER-FINALIST. Between the Sweet Sixteen and the Final Four.

50A. Parent whose kids have moved out : EMPTY NESTER.

59A. Dashboard device, and a hint to the starts of 18-, 23-, 38- and 50-Across : FUEL GAUGE

66. What to add when the 59-Across gets low : GAS

Argyle here. Cute theme. 1-Across sets the level for the puzzle, I felt. Some of the cluing was dodgy. Neat how GAS fit under the GAUGE; that's when I buy gas.


1. Minister's home : MANSE

6. Inst. that turns out lieutenants : OCS. Officer Candidates School.

9. Poker game similar to Texas Hold 'em : OMAHA. Player receives four down cards instead of two but must play only two of them.

14. Polynesian greeting : "ALOHA"

15. Rock music's __ Fighters : FOO. Foo Fighters - Bridges Burning (Snippet)(0:30)

16. Tied, as shoes : LACED

17. Crest dispensers : TUBES. May have ADA on them.

20. Turf grabbers : CLEATS. Cartoon of a ball player, wearing cleats, making a shoestring catch.

22. Yo-yo string feature : LOOP

25. Tidal return : EBB

28. Ample shoe width : EEE

29. Temple with a minaret : MOSQUE. Image.

31. PC key for getting out of trouble : ESC

34. Way up : STAIR

37. Emanation detected by psychics, so they say : AURA

42. __ no good : UP TO

43. Kept secret : SAT ON

44. Faux __: blunder : PAS. May result in a "mea culpa".

45. Main thoroughfare : ARTERY

48. 41-Down sound in the comic "B.C." : "ZOT!". This guy. 41D. Threat to tiny workers : ANTEATER. This action.

49. __ of the land : LAY

57. Civil rights org. : ACLU. American Civil Liberties Union.

58. Work that ridicules folly : SATIRE

64. Carryalls : TOTEs

65. Out of port : AT SEA

67. Create, as a statute : ENACT

68. Back at the track : BET ON

69. The USA's 50 : STs. States

70. Takes in tenants : RENTS


1. Fire lighter : MATCH

2. Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-__" : A-LULA. A significant early example of rockabilly. (2:35)

3. __ Prize : NOBEL

4. Grain bundle : SHEAF

5. How latitude lines run : EAST/WEST

6. On vacation : OFF

7. "This __ be the last time": Stones lyric : COULD. Clip(4:03)

8. Goes it alone : SOLOs

9. Rookie's mentor : OLD PRO

10. Make a dent in : MAR

11. Poker "bullet" : ACE

12. Bucks and rams : HEs

13. Commercials : ADs

19. Weaver's machine : LOOM

21. Seven, in Sinaloa : SIETE. Sinaloa is a Mexican state. Map.

24. Approaches : NEARS

25. Supply with gear : EQUIP

26. Sac between a bone and tendon : BURSA. Inflammation of a bursa is bursitis, most commonly of the shoulder.

27. Cop's rounds : BEATS

30. Gal of song : SAL. Clip.(1:08)

31. The same : EQUAL

32. Old sporty Toyota : SUPRA. Early, Late.

33. Spiteful, as gossip : CATTY

35. "__ tree falls ..." : IF A. Did you hear that?

36. Swanky : RITZY

39. Fish eggs : ROE

40. High hours? : NOONS

46. '80s Cold War leader : REAGAN

47. Song spelled with arm motions : YMCA. No, no, no! No clip!

51. Spark providers : PLUGS. Barney Google and Spark Plug.

52. Pull on : TUG AT

53. Rosetta __ : STONE. Image. The Rosetta Stone is an ancient Egyptian stele inscribed with a decree issued in 196 BC. The decree appears in three scripts: the upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle portion Demotic script, and the lowest Ancient Greek. Because it presents essentially the same text in all three scripts (with some minor differences between them), it provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.

54. Giant : TITAN

55. Standing upright : ERECT

56. Concludes one's court case : RESTS

59. Detergent brand : FAB

60. Jeep or Land Rover, briefly : UTE. Any type of utility vehicle.

61. Superlative suffix : EST

62. Lion sign : LEO

63. Dollar sign shape : ESS



Barry G. said...

Morning, all! And happy birthday, Dennis!

Definitely a bit crunchier than our usual Monday puzzles today. I've never heard of a card game called OMAHA, and it seemed an awfully obscure way to clue a common name for a Monday. But maybe everybody else follows poker and got this easily.

I had to pull BURSA out of the nether regions of my brain. Fortunately, it was actually there somewhere.

"Crest dispensers" was a fun clue for TUBES. Again, though, a bit tough for a Monday.

I actually got a bit stuck at the very end with the crossing of FAB and BET ON. I'm not familiar with the laundry detergent and _ETON looked weird to me until I figured out what the clue was asking for.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Nice clever Monday offering for the new week. I agree there were some clues you might not expect to see on Monday, but perps helped avoid any major slow downs. I too never heard of Omaha poker.

Never could get the knack of creating either a half windsor or windsor tie knot. Of course, I never liked ties, period!

Dennis, happy birthday and get a big piece of ........ cake.... today.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Argyle and friends. I thought this was a tad more challenging that our usual Monday fare. Not being a poker fan, I had some difficulty in the northeast corner.

I caught on to the theme after filling in HALF and EMPTY. The theme was a good one, especially now that gas prices have dropped a bit. The average for regular is now $3.30 in my area. What is it where you live?

Funny how a word will suddenly appear in a crossword, then keep appearing. ANTEATER was a recent answer and it appeared again today. Same with the reference to toothpaste being in Tubes.

On this date in 1776, Johnny Appleseed, né John Chapman was born. He died on March 18, 1845.

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Argyle, C.C. et al.

Yep, 1a definitely set the tone, Argyle! Thanks for all the musical links. I think “Be Bop A Lula” will be bouncing around in my head all day now. Funny, but I am working on a puzzle right now that needed ALULA for one of the fills…but I rejected it, and re-did that entire portion of the grid.

FULL made me wonder what direction it was going, but HALF gave it away. So QUARTER and EMPTY were almost gimmies. When the theme helps with the solve, it is perfect for a Monday. But, when the theme entries have to appear in a specific order- that’s what makes it tough to get good fill. Mr Fisher did a fine job in that department, as well!

Happy birthday Dennis, wherever you are!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Clear Ayes,
"Ching Dao" is the more accurate in pronunciation. The beer name in Chinese is Qing Dao. Qing = Green. Dao= Island. Big seaport city. I traveled there often in 1994.

ant said...

It's hard to make a shoestring catch when your shoes aren't LACED. Please tell me that isn't VELCRO ® on his CLEATS?

ant said...

(and, yes, I know it's supposed to be a cover over the lacings...just being silly)

Avg Joe said...

Thanks for clearing that up C.C. It occurs to me I've never been served a Tsing Tao by anyone that was actually from China. Korea, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, even Japan. But never someone that actually spoke the language.

Tying the beer theme in with today's puzzle theme: Some see the glass and say: "It's half full." Some see it and say: "It's half empty." I see the glass and say: "Are you gonna drink that?"

Anony-Mouse said...

Nice puzzle by Mr. Robert Fisher, ..... Thank you, ..... and very good blogging by our Argyle.

'OCS" somehow reminded me of the movie, 'An officer and a gentleman', with Richard Gere and Debra Winger and the memorable Lou Gossett, Jr.

Hahtool, is that Amelia Bedelia, in your avatar ?

Alt QOD: I love to sing, and I love to drink scotch. Most people would rather hear me drink scotch. ~ G. K. Chesterton.

Here's to your avatar, at sunset, Tinbeni ! Go Pinch ... or is it Punch ...

Lemonade714 said...

HBDTY Dennis.

A very nice Monday with some fun cluing, and some difficulty, which has already been dissected.

Like Hahtool, I am constantly amazed how many clues get "hot" and appear for a while. I also recognize how words I did not know, suddenly appear in the books I read; for example, KEENING has been in two books and a story in EQMM, since it appeared here.

Enjoy the week, it looks like it may be a fun one.

Mainiac said...

Morning Argyle, CC and All,

Blew right through this one which I though was a perfect Monday difficulty with a couple curve balls. Only thing I had to erase was Men instead of Hes. Getting the theme untangled that block.

For me, interesting timing for Bursa. Ended up in the ER Saturday afternoon for treatment. X-rays were negative but my swollen elbow needed IV antibiotics. Infected Bursa was the diagnosis. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. Really looking forward to the follow up with the orthopedic tomorrow. They may have to drain it. Oh boy!

So I'm home today. Don't tell my wife but I'm going to do some cedar shingling. I'm not bad with one and a half arms.

Happy Birthday Dennis!!

Have a great day.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Good comments, Argyle.

A fun uncomplicated puzzle. Sussed the theme by the time I got to EMPTY…. ZOT if you zay zo. When I was a little shaver, my Dad still used a reaper and binder to harvest grain SHEAVES. Lots of work. they had to be stacked in hummocks for further air drying; then loaded on wagons to be taken to the threshing machine. Very labor intensive. After WWII, combines became generally available and made sheaves obsolete. Here is Tennessee Ernie.

Have a great day.

Tinbeni said...

Argyle: Great write-up and links.
Be-Bop-A-LULA will be running through my brain all day.

Dennis: Happy Birthday!
Hope you get that LAY.

Any Monday that has ANTEATER crossed by ZOT(!) is OK in my book.

Anony-Mouse: A quote to live by!
... it's Pinch at Sunset. Cheers!!!

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning.

Have a happy happy, Dennis.

The clues did seem a tad trickier than the usual Monday, but no problems getting through it. ANTEATER showed up in one of the other puzzles on Cruciverb yesterday. Do they make good pets? I could use one or two to keep those tiny little critters at bay around here.

Off to try the Classic Conundrum.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Fun Monday. I liked the way the tank emptied out as we traveled down the grid. GAH and I try to never let our cars get down past a QUARTER tank. We have a small local market that sells gas for at least 25 cents per gallon over average, so we always stop at Costco when we are in "the big city". Even at Costco it is currently $3.75.

For a while my stopper was 7D)"This __ be the last time": Stones lyric". I practically sang it all the way through..."This MIGHT be the last time"... Surprisingly, 15A)FOO (I didn't know I knew) straightened me out.

My father taught me to tie both FULL and HALF WINDSOR knots...good wifely skills at the time.

C.C. Xie xie for the Tsing Tao pronounciation. When we visited China a few years go we had our choice of beverage at lunch, so I usually ordered a Tsing Tao. I was glad to find out what the name means. No wonder it has such a pretty green bottle.

Mainiac, Sigh... Be careful!

Sincere happy birthday wishes, Dennis.

Yellowrocks said...

Happy birthday, Dennis.

Mainiac, I can commiserate with your bursitis pain. I had bursitis of the knee in the early summer and the pain side lined me for 7 weeks. Now I have mostly mild pain. Hang in there. Better days are coming.

Have any of you foreign language buffs tried ROSETTA Stone? I haven't, but I have read many disparaging reviews.

I never heard of OMAHA poker, but the perps made it easy.

The only place I ever encounter ZOT is in the anteater cartoons.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Not a bad start to the week. To Marti's point, draining the tank limited the opportunities for fill (?!?!) So there were things I didn't care for, but I'll let them go.

Maniac - take care and heal well.

Dennis - HBD! Hope you pop in today. And, what the tin man said.

Gas was 3:15 to 3:25 in T-town yesterday, around 3:55 in SE MI. I think it might be lower today, though.


Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everybody.

Happy birthday, Dennis. I also hope you'll pop in today.

I also agree that this was a tad more difficult for a Monday. And I so look forward to Mondays. Had no idea of OMAHA, and it didn't make sense for poker. And I didn't grok BET ON.

Thanks for the write up, Argyle.

eddyB said...


Nice litte Monday puzzle. No problems.

Have now lost all of my bookmarks.
Have to enter each site mannually.

Sharks went to 4-0-0 in pre-season by beating Vancouver 4-3.

Getting rid of this PC.


Anonymous said...

P.S. Saturday was National Punctuation Day. The contest was to use all 13 in three sentences.
The 13 are: colon, semi colon, comma, period, question mark, exclamation point, bracket, dash, ellipsis, hyphen, parentheses, apostrophe, and quotation marks.


dodo said...

Good morning, C.C., Argyle, and group,

This Monday creation had a couple of snags that we don't usually find on Mondays.

Didn't know 'alula' and that put a hitch in 20 across, so that was a lump from the V8 can when I finally got with the flow! Somehow I thought of 'turf' as in racing, not golf! But it finally made its way out of the fog. The 'ritzy'/sat on' cross just wouldn't take shape either and I thought it was going to be DNF, but I did work it out. Just never thought of 'ritzy'. Interesting that 'anteaters' made a return appearance.Got the theme, but only after filling in all the theme answers. Clever one.I liked 'satire', mosque, sheaf, empty nester, artery (tried avanue first). Don't really know any poker game names but perps helped with 'Omaha'(shout outs to AVg. Joe and HG).

Lemonade714 said...

OMAHA RULES . At the annual world series of poker, Omaha is the second most popular game behind texas hold'em.

I remembered "ALULA" but not immediately how to spell it.

I think society is losing interest in punctuation, Sallie, not that I think that is a good thing, just a reality.

Argyle said...

I assume in Omaha poker, the player must declare what his/her hand is and if he/she erred and he/she had a better hand and didn't see it, well, that's just too bad?

WikWak said...

How can you not love a puzzle that goes ZOT at you?!

A bit more ... "off center?" ... than your usual Monday, but still a fun run for the most part.

Off to the ant races. Happy Monday, all.

Lucina said...

Happy, happy birthday, Dennis! Same wish for you as Tinbeni.

Good day, friends. Thanks Argyle and what? No YMCA link!

Pretty much a speed run today, just a debate between MANOR and MANSE. MANOR won then had to erase it when ALOHA, TUBES, and SHEAF clarified it.

BURSA is also a city in Turkey where I bought a beautiful scarf and went to a centuries old hot bath.

FOO Fighters? Does anyone know about their name?

One X short of a pangram.

Have a truly pleasant Monday, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Foo fighters are what WWII pilots called any UFOs they might have witnessed.

Bill G. said...

I enjoyed that puzzle. Good fun on a Monday.

While running some errands, I was listening to a bluegrass CD in the car. They were playing and singing "The Wreck of the old 97." Some of the lyrics made me think of Lois and where she lives including Monroe, Virginia, Spencer, and "But it's a mighty rough road from Lynchburg to Danville,
with a line on a three mile grade." And then this wisdom for all of us, "Never speak harsh words to your true lovin' husband (spouse),
He may leave you and never return."

I was listening to an interview with a pop singer. She said she had left her collaborator for a few minutes to go to the ladies' room and when she got back, he had written another song. How much different is that than the song-writing approach of Cole Porter or George and Ira Gershwin who spent days getting a song just right.

Have a good day and a good week!

Anonymous said...

Great puzzle and write up. Thanks Argyle, I danced a million times to "Be Bop Alula" in my full-circle skirt and white bucks. No poodle on my skirt though.

Mainiac, draining the bursitis wasn't as bad as living with it for me. Just don't look when they bring out the needle. I SAW the size of that and almost lost lunch. The actual procedure wasn't painful, just relieving.

Anonymous said...

Much very good, classic music just "writes itself"; it doesn't need to be "worked on".

Bill G. said...

Elisha Cuthbert (Jack's sexy daughter from 24) was saying that she became afraid of elevators when one fell a couple of floors before the brakes caught it. She said her friends reminded her that in the case of a catastrophic free fall, that she should jump just before the elevator hit bottom. That seems to be a fairly common misconception held by people who don't have a decent understanding of Newtonian physics.

JD said...

Aloha Argyle, C.C. and a very happy birthday to Dennis,

Loved today's xwd. I skipped over Omaha and let the perps fill it. There were so many great fills for a Monday.

Hadn't heard of bursa since I banged up my knee playing volleyball in H.S.Back then they drained it; wonder if they still do that. Later when I got bursitis in my elbow playing tennis, acupuncture did the trick.

Husker Gary said...

Gas Gauges with warning lights and a beep on the dash have saved me many times, including when we left the theater in OMAHA on the way home from Jersey Boys. The gauge said I could still go 41 miles but…

-Empty Nesting ain’t all bad
-Our minister lived in the rectory
-My escape method is Ctrl + Z for Undo. I call it my “Oh Shoot!” Key!
-Many of my PAS have been FAUX
-Saw statue instead of statute at first!
-Be Bop a Lula part of my early rock and roll lexicon
-Nobel Prize can be quite political rather than simply meritorious
-My vacationer was OUT before he was OFF
-Does anyone remember the Old Pro commercials for Falstaff Beer?
-If that tree falls it makes vibrations but no sound until someone hears it
-I had heard of the poker game but can think of better ways to clue Omaha!
-Semper Fi Dennis and HBD!

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, First, Happy Birthday, Dennis and many, many more.

Second, A great puzzle with a few unknowns, such as Omaha, Foo, Could, and OCS. I should have known the last abbreviation, but just couldn't get my head wrapped around these several unknowns all in the same area. I guessed at Foo, but put in Would instead of Could.

Fab was a given as that was the only detergent available while we lived in Colombia. We washed each and every fruit and veggie in Fab when we brought them home from the local market. Good sanitation wasn't in the local farmer's vacabulary.

If you've ever had Bursitis, you know that the Bursa are inflamed. Not fun.

Chickie said...

I'm trying to get back into the daily routine after having been OFF for a week. Appointments, and meetings will take up most of the week.

Have a great rest of the day, everyone. I missed the daily banter on the blog and am glad to be at it again.

Avg Joe said...

Variation on one of today's themes:

"If a man speaks in the forest and his wife is not there to hear him is he still wrong?" :-)

Chickie said...

Hatool, Lucky you. Our gas prices are in the $3.89-$3.92 range still.

We had mountain driving to Tahoe and the gas up there was over $3.92It is always higher the higher up you go.

Lemonade714 said...

All you wanted to know and more about jumping in falling ELEVATORS .

Lucina said...

Forgot about gas prices, $3.38 near my home, $3.49 farther down the street.

Husker Gary said...

Lemon, great explanation of elevator falling idea! However, while you are falling, like in Tower of Terror, you will discover what it feels like to be weightless until you stop softly or not so softly.

AJ, story about husband being wrong – On the way to Lincoln yesterday my bride said Hudson was playing on Field #5 and I told her, “Oh yeah, that’s the one in the far NW corner of the complex.” She said with certainty, “No, it’s EAST of there, the one you are thinking of is Field #4!”

She later had occasion to look up something on the schedule for next week and discovered on the accompanying map that I was indeed correct! I responded as a good husband should when he is right. I said nothing!

Rule #1 in marriage – the wife is always right!
Rule #2 in marriage – if wife is wrong, see Rule #1!

Gas is $3.35 here.

Avg Joe said...

Gary, Prudence is indeed the better part of valor. It's also a pretty good tune from the White Album.

I'm surprised your not golfing today. It's a very nice day on the prairie. Speaking of weather I've been watching TWC and noticed a massive slow moving low that's impacting Wisconsin. I hope that moves eastward by Saturday since we're planning on going to Madison for the Big 10(?) opener. We're going without tickets since we're on the waiting list of 23,000 with 3,000 allocated, but it seems like it's worth a shot. At the worst, we'll have a good time at Tanners or some other Husker Bar. GBR!

Husker Gary said...

Joe, I played 36 holes by noon today on another spectacular day but I hate to keep mentioning that. The course was rife with geese, frogs, toads, carp, turtles and every imaginable insect landing on my yellow golf ball! I know the end to the weather is coming and so I must "Make par while the sun shines!" It is also cool to go a month without any A/C or furnace running!

I hope Huskers get it together for Madison! They're young and improving! If you're willng to pony up the money, StubHub has tickets. Have a brew for me in Wisconsin. GBR!

Avg Joe said...

I refuse to play the legal scalping game. We're taking a Franklin for each of us in hopes of finding someone willing to be reasonable. If not.....well, we'll be in Wisconsin and they have breweries there I'm told. Should be fun no matter what turn it takes.

Mainiac said...

Thanks Anon,

Hopefully the needle is smaller than the one they use to drain my knees!!

creature said...

Good puzzle,Robert; and super write-up, Argyle.

Posts were fun. CA, we pay what ever our local corner of the world charges, nowadays.

Figured out we had to pay for conveneince, when competitor went out of business- same for groceries and drugs. Trying to hang in there.'Take that, Walmart'!

Diesel now available!

Happy Birthday, Dennis!

Bill G. said...

I was poking along on the bike path this afternoon. I could hear a woman behind me talking to her kids and reminding them to be careful and stay to the right. When she passed me (they all do), I noticed it was Mia Hamm shepherding her twins.

Bill G. said...

Oops, I forgot to add that regular gasoline was $3.88 a gallon when I filled up at a Mobil station.

Seldom Seen said...

Happy Birthday Dennis.

Saw gas as low as $3.19 today. Closer to $3.39 near Cincinnati.

lois said...

Good evening Argyle, CC, et al., Agree w/some of you that today's was harder than a typical Mon. Great job, Argyle. I never heard of OMAHA and I've played poker for years. It sounds like a fun game tho'. Thanks for the explanation. I'll look into it. I imagine we can begin play LACED up and lose the FULL DRESS in that game just as well as stud or Tex. Love being an EMPTY NESTER!!! Party on!

Bill G:'"The Wreck of the old 97." Some of the lyrics made me think of Lois and where she lives...'
without reading any further, I almost fell off my chair laughing. I'm not quite 97 but certainly am a wreck lately. Your ESP is awesome!!! sooo funny! Past that Lynchburg is a real pretty part of VA. My future SIL is from there. Yea for bluegrass!!! And your quote is spot on too. Harsh words can't be unspoken.

Dennis: I wish you the Happiest of Birthdays and will continue toasting to you until the Redskins win tonight or as long as the skins remain ERECT, whichever comes first. Cheers!!!

Grumpy 1 said...

Family lore says that one of my relatives, Napoleon Maupin, was a mail clerk on Old 97 the day of the crash. Maupins are so numerous in that part of Virginia and there were several Napoleons that it's difficult to say where he fits in my family tree, but it's generally agreed that most of the Maupins are related in some way to a common ancester back around 1700.

WikWak said...

If a tree falls on a man named Forrest, does HE make a sound?

Annette said...

I've actually heard of OMAHA poker, but I have no idea where from. I don't think I've ever even played a real game of poker, just video poker.

Last week, gas prices here averages about $3.56.

Happy Birthday, Dennis!

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you to Bob Fisher for a great Monday puzzle. Thank you, Argyle, for a swell write-up.

Enjoyed this puzzle. It went easily.

MANSE is becoming an obsolete word. Most ministers today buy their own house so when they retire they will have some equity. Of course if a minister lived in a MANSE and saved his money, he or she would have quite a bit of equity.

I tie a necktie with a knot that I have used for my whole life. I am not sure what the name of the knot is, be it a Windsor, or half Windsor, or four in hand, etc. I think I will check that out.

Spent the last two days in Pennsylvania checking out the 5.5 acres we are buying. Trying to find surveyors pins/stakes in the woods, is quite an ordeal. However, it will work out.

Heading back to Illinois in the morning.

Happy birthday, Dennis.

See you tomorrow.


Bill G. said...

Heehee, I wasn't thinking of 97 or wreck when I thought of Lois; just the familiar locations in Virginia. But I know she knew that.

As soon as I played "The Wreck of the Old 97" when my wife was in the car, she recognized the melody immediately as being from another song she knows well. Any takers? Hint: It is a Kingston Trio song.

windhover said...

That would be "M. T. A."

Bill G. said...

Yes! Did you know it immediately or did you have to re-listen to it to figure it out? I wouldn't have noticed it if Barbara hadn't said something.

Jazzbumpa said...

WikWak -

Glad to see you branching out . . .


Anonymous said...

Nice to see the demon-crats.