Nov 8, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 Donna S. Levin

Theme: Auto Body Basics - Four minor imperfections to your car's finish that can finish your deductible.

17A. Cocktail party mouthful : CHIP AND DIP

25A. 1950s kiddie show hosted by "Miss Frances" : DING DONG SCHOOL

43A. They frequently shoot par or better : SCRATCH GOLFERS

58A. Very last moment : NICK OF TIME

Argyle here. A tight theme but the range of fill, oh my! From "Miss Frances" to an R&B artist. And out of the blue, a pun. All in all, a strange Tuesday but what is your take on it?


1. Argentine dance : TANGO

6. Move a little : STIR

10. Peak measurement: Abbr. : ELEV. Elevation

14. Abraham nearly sacrificed him : ISAAC

15. Right-hand person : AIDE

16. Curtain material : LACE

19. Unsullied : PURE

20. Woo with a tune : SERENADE

21. Fill, as a moving van : LOAD UP

23. Swallowed : ATE

24. New Mexico art community : TAOS

33. Dundee demurrals : NAEs. The fourth-largest city in Scotland is Dundee.

34. Horror film franchise : SAW. Started with "Saw" (short film)(2003) and now is in "Saw 3-D"(2010).

36. "So Sick" R&B artist : NE-YO. Clip.(3:29)

37. Collect compulsively : HOARD

39. It may begin with "Knock knock" : JOKE

40. Bird that can hold its coffee? : ERN. A homophone for URN. A pun of a sea eagle as a coffee pot leaves me 32A. Bewildered : AT SEA

41. Many Christmas trees : FIRS

42. Steakhouse order : FILET

47. Word often sighed : ALAS

48. Big Band __ : ERA

49. Whacks on the bottom : SPANKS. The Child Protective Services will investigate you nowadays.

52. On cloud nine : ECSTATIC

57. Yale Bowl rooters : ELIs. Students at Yale University.

60. List heading : TO DO

61. Buck suffix : AROO

62. Bunsen burner cousins : ETNAs

63. Did laps, perhaps : SWAM

64. Hair care products : GELS

65. Put into effect : ENACT


1. Eccentric mannerisms : TICS

2. 1968 U.S. Open champ Arthur : ASHE. Perennial tennis player on the crossword courts.

3. Solution for a hairy situation? : NAIR

4. Show astonishment : GAPE

5. National anthem in Nunavut : "O CANADA". Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999. Wikipedia link.

6. Depress : SADDEN

7. It waits for no man, purportedly : TIDE. I foolishly didn't wait for it and stuck in TIME first.

8. Dictator Amin : IDI

9. Stepped in for : REPLACED

10. Sun Bowl site : EL PASO. Texas.

11. Praise : LAUD

12. Beigelike shade : ECRU. Perennial crossword shade.

13. Prez's next-in-line : VEEP

18. Brussels-based defense gp. : NATO

22. Fireworks reactions : OOHS

24. Title of the first Fabergé egg owner : TSAR. The first Fabergé egg was crafted for Tsar Alexander III in 1885.

25. Copenhagen native : DANE

26. Anatomical canals : ITERS. A passageway that leads from one part of the body to another. Iter is Latin for "a way." As such, this is a later in the week clue and made a nasty "Natick Principal" crossing NE-YO. Oops: "Natick Principle"

27. "Bye Bye Bye" boy band : *NSYNC

28. Prefix with thermal : GEO

29. Grind together, as one's teeth : GNASH

30. "__ Mio" : O SOLE. I'm not familiar with these guys but it's one for the ladies. Clip.(3:37)

31. California hoopster : LAKER

35. Dampens : WETS

37. Run into trouble : HIT A SNAG

38. Warriors in Warcraft games : ORCS

39. The PB in a PB&J, maybe : JIF

41. Columbo portrayer : FALK. Peter.

42. Fixed price : FLAT FEE

44. Kidnapper's demand : RANSOM

45. Long-tailed tropical wall climbers : GECKOs

46. Approximately : OR SO

49. Tennis match parts : SETS

50. Oxen's burden : PLOW. Unless the beast is carrying it on its back, it's not really a burden.

51. Enslaved princess of opera : AIDA. Perennial slave girl.

52. Earth sci. : ECOL. Ecology.

53. Business envelope abbr. : ATTN. Attention.

54. Turner on stage : TINA. On stage with Mick. Live. Japan. Hot. Clip.(4:49)

55. Apple product : I-MAC

56. "__ Magnifique": Porter tune : C'EST. Jazzy clip.(1:23)

59. Anger : IRE



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

This one started out very easy and then became very strange, as Argyle mentioned.

I was cruising right along until I suddenly hit DING DONG SCHOOL, which I've never heard of.

Then there was some bizarre group of letters purporting to be the name of an R&B artist (NE-YO). Thank heavens I've seen ITERS before (although it's usually clued as a Roman road). Speaking of "Naticks," that's actually my home town, but I wonder if anybody who doesn't read Rex Parker's NYT blog understands what it's referring to...

Oh -- and what the heck are SCRATCH GOLFERS? Well, presumably they are golfers who "frequently shoot par or better," but the phrase was completely unknown to me.

As for the theme... wait -- there was a theme? I couldn't figure it out for the life of me until I came here.

So, yeah. Strange puzzle indeed. Not necessarily bad, but not exactly what I was expecting on a Tuesday...

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Argyle and Friends. We haven't seen Donna Levin in ages. I do love her puzzles, and this was no exception.

I never heard of DING DONG SCHOOL. It must have been before my time.

Hand up for thinking that Time Waits for No Man.

I laughed when I realized that an ERN can hold its coffee.

This week's Torah portion is about the Binding of ISAAC, when Abraham is instructed to sacrifice his son.

Did anyone see the very disturbing video of a Texas family court judge Spanking, er, beating his daughter with a belt?

I have lots of GECKOs that climb all over the outside of my house. If then get in the house, the cats chase them and the cats usually win.

QOD: The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time. ~ Henry Ford

Dick said...

Hahtool that was a very disturbing video! Was it really necessary to post that here?

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

This was a slog for me from the outset. For some reason, a majority of the ACROSS clues were not registering, so I ended up relying on the DOWNS to find a foothold.

Remember Ding Dong School quite well. It was a disparaging term to describe an educational institution not highly regarded. I heard it quite a bit after announcing my intentions to enroll at U of Miami (Fla).


It finally came down to the crossing of 36A & 26D. I wagged an O,. Neither answer registered with me.

In spite of my one error, this puzzle was fun. Just because it's Tuesday doesn't mean the solution has to be a speed run. I'd rather be challenged and Donna succeeded in doing so... again.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Zipped right through this one, even though I never heard of NE-YO or DING DONG SCHOOL. I have heard of SCRATCH GOLFERS, but never before knew what it meant. Seems you'd have to be pretty darn good to shoot better than par on a regular basis...

Hand up for TIME. Loved the ERN clue!

Thanks Argyle for sussing the theme, I didn't remember to go back and look for it, as usual.

Anonymous said...

Argyle, thanks for coming up with the theme. I couldn't figure one out.

Hahtool, posting that link was in very poor taste.

ant said...

I had CHIP, SCRATCH, & NICK filled in, and wondered how CHIP referred to the man downstairs. Once DING was in, I saw it had nothing to do with him. Though I rather like the sound of Old Chip and Old Ding.

Here's an earworm for you. I hope it lasts all day...

Donna L. said...

Good morning, all. Yikes, I didn't expect DINGDONGSCHOOL to be such a problem for solvers. I keep forgetting that I'm a dinosaur and 1950's pop culture isn't part of the current zeitgeist. My apologies to all who were disappointed with today's offering.


desper-otto said...

It was an 8-minute speed run today, although I had to WAG the E in ITERS - NEYO.

Barry G, I'm not a golfer, but I believe a scratch golfer is one who carries no handicap. What he shoots is what he gets.

And, alas, I do remember Ding Dong School. Not fondly, though.

Anonymous said...

I did not know NE-Yo and looked for the answer for 32 across, but you did not list it.

Jim in NY

SouthernBelle said...


This was a fun puzzle until I got to NEYO.....but that is probably because I'm a 'little old lady' that had heard of DINGDONGSCHOOL.

I too, forgot to look for a theme. Maybe if the puzzle stayed there for a while after finishing it, I would think to look for a theme. Oh, well, Argyle, thanks for thinking for me!

Looking forward to a great day!

Lemonade714 said...


40. Bird that can hold its coffee? : ERN. A homophone for URN. A pun of a sea eagle as a coffee pot leaves me 32A. Bewildered : AT SEA.

Hahtool did identify what she posting as a video of a man beating his daughter, I did not click, though it was foisted on my by the nightly news last week.

Donna nice to see you, I do remember DING DONG SCHOOL and only NEYO slowed me down. Happy Tuesday

Avg Joe said...


Had Time at first. Have not heard of DingDongSchool. Have never heard of Iter in that context, but figured it had to be that since it's often clued as "Roman way". It all worked out in the end. Subtle but consistent theme.

Scratch golfer is very much in the language. No handicap, and yes, very good. I don't know any, but it's a goal for anyone that plays the game frequently. (Not me!)

Anonymous said...

So I can post a video of a mass murder as long as I identify it first? Lame. But I understand why you automatically defended Hahtool.

Yellowrocks said...

I really enjoyed this puzzle. It held my interest, although it was quite easy.

I didn't know NEYO or SAW but with the perps I got them handily. I loved ERN for URN.

I remember DING DONG SCHOOL. It had several incarnations. There was a different one that my kids watched. The teacher was a model and seemed more interested in looking good than in relating to the children. I can't remember the title.

I've seen ITERS as anatomical canals in other x-words. SCRATCH GOLFER seems fairly common, too.

We've had a string of lovely Indian summer days here, with a few more promised. I am enjoying the warm, sunny weather. A good many trees still have leaves after our 16 inch snowfall and wind storm. The colors are quite muted, as they have been all fall. It was not a spectacular autumn.

Seenoevil(not) said...

The video was not required viewing, and it was stated in the text exactly what the content was going to be.

Andrea said...

Morning, all.

I liked this puzzle. Had chip, scratch and nick, but it still took awhile to figure out the theme. Finally got ding, which allowed me to fill in dong (already had school). My hand also up for time, but chip and mip obviously wasn't right. All in all, a fun puzzle for a Tuesday.

Rainy here today. Time to get Z dressed and out the door to her bus. Always harder to get moving when it's raining, but at least it's light out again when the alarm goes off. For now...

@Kazie - restaurant is doing great! Thanks for asking.

Enjoy the day!

Tinbeni said...

Argyle: Wonderful write-up & links.

FUN Tuesday with more-of-a-bite after yesterdays "All-gimmie" puzzle.

My "Fireworks reaction" is more AAH's than OOH's.

Thank you Donna.

You get the first "toast" when the Sun SETS ... with my "Cocktail party mouthful" ... Avatar!

kazie said...

Thanks for the music this morning.I love those three Italian boys! My take on the theme was not necessarily related only to cars--I thought simply of imperfections in general.

Got through this relatively easily despite not knowing NEYO, SCRATCH GOLFERS, (do they just start from scratch?), DING DONG SCHOOL (having grown up elsewhere--the woman in the photo looks scary to me!), SCRATCHed my head trying to remember Peter FALK's name.

Donna L,
Thanks for stopping by, but Ding dong School shouldn't have been a problem--I didn't know it at all but it was an easy WAG. Nice Tuesday puzzle, I thought.

I think the quote is "Time and tide wait for no man." I did have TIME at first but quickly realized MIP wasn't any good for CHIPs.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning. Nice write up, Argyle. I needed a fair amount of perp help, but the only total unknown was the R&B singer whose name I've already forgotten.

I put in TI_E at 7d, since I'm familiar with the phrase "Time and TIDE wait for no man". I don't really recall seeing DING DONG SCHOOL, but vaguely recall the title. SCRATCH GOLFERS was easy, although I do not play. I thought ERN was really cute, but didn't fool me for more than a nanosecond or two.

That video came to mind as I Entered SPANKS since it was all over the news a few days ago. It appears now that the girl has been blackmailing daddy with that video for years and it surfaced only when he said he isn't going to keeep on paying for her Mercedes. It doesn't excuse the beating in any way, though.

Mari said...

D'oh! 7D got me too. I tried TIME (vs TIDE).

I wanted to enter JAM (not JIF) for 30D. My stumper for the day was 26D. I'ver never heard of ITERS.

Mari said...

PS: The theme reminds me of my car.

HeartRx said...

Good morning Argyle, C.C. et al.

Wow, Argyle – thank you for the Il Vole clip. I had never heard of them, but they are definitely on my radar now, after listening to them. I was also unfamiliar with NE-YO, but the crossing with ITERs actually helped me fill in that name. Finally, I was wondering why you put an asterisk in front of *NSYNC, and scrolled down to the bottom of the page looking for a footnote. After looking it up on Wiki, I found out that the asterisk is part of their stylized name. Duh…

Hand up for filling in “time” instead of TIDE at 7D.

I chuckled at the ERN clue, as I pictured a sea bird hanging out on the dock, having his morning cuppa Joe. And I appreciated the fact that he could “hold it” instead of pooping on my car!!

Thanks, Donna for the flashback to the fifties with DING DONG SCHOOL. I was very little, but my older sisters would turn on the TV to Miss Francis so I could watch it. I always loved her gentle and encouraging manner. She always made it feel as if she were talking directly to me.

Sfingi said...

Didn't like that NEYO and NSYNC crossed. On a Tues. Cross an oldster clue with a youngster rather than creating a Natick for many solvers, please, Donna! Never heard of NEYO. Tried to listen to clip. Couldn't. Still don't know it.

Do, did anyone like NEYO as a clue?

Have these CHIPs, DINGs, SCRATCHes and NICKs on my 8-year-old Ford wagon. The previous owner scarcely used the car, but I caught up.

Am an old TImEr, so had TImE before TIDE until I saw it again at NICK OF TIME.

As an oldster - thanx for CEST magnifique.
I remember DING DONG SCHOOL. It was lame even then, kind of a precurser to Mr. Rogers; but, I was already 8.

Naturally never heard of SCRATCH GOLFERS (Sports), but got, as is proper from crosses and theme.

@Hahtool - I don't think SPANKing involves belts, properly.
What do the cats do with the GECKOS? Do they actually eat them?

Mikey said...

Got it all handily with the exception of NEYO, but the crosses did it for me.

Miss Frances of DINGDONGSCHOOL always seemed just too nice; now she reminds me of Nurse Ratched. I don't remember watching the show -- I was too busy playing outside, where young boys should be.

Is anyone else worried that homophonic solutions, around-the-corner entries, use of letters for digits, and other cutesy extensions of the basic crossword will become the norm? Maybe I'm just getting on into serious geezerhood.

In spite of it all, Donna, I enjoyed it.

kerrys said...

Earth science is geol not ecol which is the study of relationships

I don't care about neyo crossing tiers

VirginiaC said...

I'm always pleased with a puzzle when I manage to finish, which I did today, so I thought it was great. I guess I'm old too as I used to watch Ding Dong School.. I used to play golf as well, many years later, but the only scratch that was applicable was as a result of the mosquitos on Hilton Head Island.

Argyle said...

SCRATCH - (adjective) without any allowance, penalty, or handicap, as a competitor or contestant.

Scratch bowler comes to mind, right Boomer.

Argyle said...

I knew I'd heard that song by NE-YO before; this Donna Levin puzzle from Jan. 31, 18-Down.

Vidwan827 said...

Very nice puzzle Ms. Donna Levin, and a great blog , as usual, Mr. Argyle.

I had All, BUT Iters, neyo and Ern. and I still loved , yes, loved the puzzle. Thank you Donna.

I would like to passionately (platonically, ofcourse - ) defend Hahtool, in her link to 'spanking'. You don't have to see the video, if it is too disturbing. ( I stopped midway - ).

Free Speech, especially on Election Day, is too precious to be lost on the few. Much, much more disturbing things have been done around here, ( in the US ) in the name of free speech.

ALT QOD:- On New Year's Eve, people in New Jersey stay up till midnight and watch their hopes drop.~ Richard Lewis.

( if its any consolation, I didn't get it either ... )

Steve said...

Nice puzzle, nice theme, nice write-up.

I hold up my hand to a DNF for the first time in ages - my Natick was NEYO/ITERS like many others. I have absolutely no problem with that - the words are in the memory bank for next time. I like learning stuff!

Never heard of DINGDONGSCHOOL but the crosses took care of that. Some really nice fill - ECSTATIC, GECKOS, all nice.

I'd never heard of Nunavut either, and when the crosses completed OCANADA I still didn't see it - I had in my mind that Nunavut was some South Pacific republic, and I was reading the finished word as something like "OCK-AN-ARDA" and thinking - wow, that's obscure!

carol said...

Hi all,
Gotta love Donna Levin puzzles!!!
This one threw me some curves though.

I had to laugh at 25A...Ding Dong School. I do remember it but since we didn't get a TV until I was 11, I was too old to watch that program. Donna, we're not all 'kids' here, quite a few of us here are old enough to remember this show.

27D and 36A was just nasty!! I finally figured out what NSYNC was. I always thought it was spelled In Sync, shows you how out of the loop I am :)

45D had me thinking of a plant. Clever clue/answer.

I also have to agree (again) with Barry G about the theme(?)(?) Thanks to Argyle, I found out.

Hahtool, I have to agree...that was nothing I could watch after a few seconds. I hope the daughter is taken away from him!!!

Yellowrocks said...

Ding Ding School originally ran from 1952 -1956. It was reintroduced and syndicated from 1959-1965. In 1965 I saw the tail end of this series with my son who is now 50.

Mike Said
Is anyone else worried that homophonic solutions, around-the-corner entries, use of letters for digits, and other cutesy extensions of the basic crossword will become the norm?
I really like all that stuff, and knowing I have a 50 year old son, you can realize I'm no spring chicken.

NSYNC appears constantly in LAT puzzles. In self defense, I just knuckled down and learned it some time ago. ("Knuckled down" must come from shootiing marbles.)

Misty said...

What everybody has already said.

Many thanks, Donna, and Argyle for explaining the theme, which I didn't get even though I really tried.

Fun Tuesday puzzle.

desper-otto said...

Okay, I'm a newbie around here. Somebody please 'splain what a "Natick Principal" is. I'm pretty sure I don't want to be sent to him, but have no idea what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone.

Mike, I totally agree with your comment about cutesy changes in crosswords, i.e., homophones and around the corner answers. I don't like them. I thought of ERN, but thought that couldn't be it. But I do like Roman numeral math questions because I can do them.

Also agree with defending Hatool's link. No one has to look; that's voluntary.

Donna: don't apologize for any part of your puzzle. That's just the freedom of speech on this blog. If you read past your comment, you'll find many who liked it.

Kerrys: you are absolutely correct in that earth science is geology.


Bill G. said...

I don't have any complaints due this puzzle. It seemed like a perfectly fine Tuesday challenge to me. I enjoyed it as usual.

Hahtool, I had seen that video before and it is hard to watch. I don't see any problem with posting it here since you identified it clearly first.

Anonymous said...

Still poor taste.

Lucina said...

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

I do love a Donna Levin puzzle and this one satisfied. Thank you, Donna.

Some zippy fill, TANGO, TICS, STIR and ECSTATIC (EUPHORIC also fit) made me sit up and smile.

ERN / urn was brilliant!

And though NEYO was unfamiliar it was easy enough to suss out. As ITER is a perennial crossword fill that helped.

Hand up for TIME before TIDE showed up.

By the time DINGDONGSCHOOL came along I was teaching in a real one but have heard of it.

I didn't click on the SPANKS link, heeding Hahtool's warning.

Have a lovely Tuesday, everyone!

Lemonade714 said...

Do not feed the trolls, I know, but I am tired.

The latest Mr. Sunshine says, "So I can post a video of a mass murder as long as I identify it first? Lame. But I understand why you automatically defended Hahtool."

The answer is, yes, this is what free speech is about. My point not as your foolish anti-semitic comment suggests was not automatically supporting Hahtool, who said the video was "disturbing" but to point out I saw it without any warning on the news. I also believe, the world needs to be confronted with the horror of people who do such things, as well as the abuse of trust by people like Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno.
If you do not want see soemthing "disturbing" do not click the link, though you are likely one of the masses who slows down to see the destruction of car accidents.

JN said...

I also raise my hand for insisting that time waits for no man. I watched Ding Domg School as a child but felt it was boring. I couldn't get the the,e until it was explained here. Ne-Yo was new to me. I hadn't heard of Nunavut and didn't realize that the answer was O Canada until I read it here.

kazie said...

The girl in question is already an adult--the video was made seven years ago when she was 15. I don't know if Grumpy's comment here is correct about her blackmailing him with it ever since, but if it is, it's no worse than he deserved.

I also tried GEOL before ECOL--forgot to mention that before.

Tuttle said...

Have to agree with Kerrys, ECOLogy is a life science.

Also didn't like the ORCS clue. In WoW every race can play a warrior and ORCS can also play seven other classes.

windhover said...

Nothing is more offensive than those who criticize under the cover of anonymity.

JD said...

Good morning Argyle, C.C. et al,

Donna, I thought this was a good Tues. puzzle, although I struggled with NeYo/NSYNC, and did not get what Dundee demurrals meant.Had gasp for gape,and if I hadn't filled at sea, iters would not have shown up.Thought of Kukla, Fran and Ollie before Ding Dong Schoolcame to mind. Even so,it all worked out.

The theme completely went over my head..thought it had to do with golf.Thanks Argyle.

Ant, enjoyed El Paso.

I agree that was disturbing, but no one had to watch. I also watched the recent interview as this happened 7 yrs. ago.What the parents said to her was more disturbing than the "spanking."

Tinbeni said...

Earth science generally recognizes four spheres:
1) Lithosphere
2) Hydrosphere
3) Atmosphere
4) Biosphere
These correspond to rocks, water, air, and LIFE.

Biogeography is an integrative field of inquiry that unites concepts and information from ECOLOGY, evolutionary biology, geology, and physical geography.

As such, I think ECOLogy is included in the "Earth Sciences".

Argyle said...

desper-otto asked at 10:52 AM
....please 'splain what a "Natick Principal"....

First off, I used Principal instead of Priciple, sorry. It was coined by Rex Parker.

NATICK PRINCIPLE — "If you include a proper noun in your grid that you cannot reasonably expect more than 1/4 of the solving public to have heard of, you must cross that noun with reasonably common words and phrases or very common names." Go here for the answers that occasioned my coining this phrase.

carol said...

Kazie, thanks for the explanation of the 'girl' in the video. I didn't watch more than a few seconds so I didn't realize it was that old. I wonder who took the video? Who would tape such a thing? For what reason? Sick, sick.

I always said if we could pull the 'tops' off various things, we'd be appalled by what slime and sleaze are found in our supposedly civilized society.

dodo1925 said...

Hello again Argyle, and Donna. Thanks for an interesting puzzle and review.

WBS. Later

Lucina said...

Thank you for explaining Natick Principle as I wondered, too, but failed to ask.

In today's puzzle both ITERS and NSYNC as well as DANE and GEO provided the letters for NEYO. For me, it emerged nicely.

Seldom Seen said...

Ok, so I just watched the beating video(for about 30 seconds). My dogs jumped up and looked at me like "what the hell is that?!" Even they sensed the horror from the audio only.

I once linked a photo(from Yahoo photo of the day) of a matador being gored( in reference to a clue: one horned). I warned of its graphic nature. Dennis, correctly, decided it was not fit for our forum and deleted it. He apologized to me and explained why he deleted it. It made sense to me and I, likwise, apologized.

If this blog becomes the place "to be confronted with the horror of people who do such things, as well as the abuse of trust by people like Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno." then count me out.

I fully support free speech but as Dennis taught me that day, there is a time and place...

Seldom Seen said...

Using CC's search this blog feature I found this.

The clue was 34a and the comments I referenced are from 8:42a through 10:31a.

Censorship of freedom of speech? I think not. Just good taste by my favorite marine that I've never met.

Steve said...

@Mike and @Yellowrocks - I'm perfectly OK with all of those variations - let's face it, if a constructor has to stick with some kind of perceived normalcy "standard" it's all going to get very boring very fast.

I live in LA and the LAT is "my" paper, so I'm all for keeping things interesting. If the NYT is the gold standard (and I don't subscribe, so I only do the Sunday NYT when I can pick up the paper from my newsstand) then I'd like to see the LAT in second place.

If I want easy, I can always go to USA Today and spend five minutes or so filling in all the usual suspects before my coffee gets cool enough to drink.

I'm not trying set myself up as some kind of paragon of solving virtue (I'm not) but I do like at least a modicum of a challenge, that's why you'll never hear me complain that I don't know much about (insert category here). It's a learning experience.

Just my 2 cents.

Also, being as I don't construct puzzles and I don't submit puzzles for publication, you won't find me opinionating about whether I think a puzzle is good, bad or indifferent. That's the editor's job, and personally I think Rich Norris does just fine.

OK, make that 3 cents.

Argyle said...

That picture of the goring is pretty graphic.

The video in question was taken by the girl's own vido camera that she had hidden. I wondered why she seemed to prolong the punishment instead of just getting it over with.

There is more to this story than meets the eye, obviously.

Anonymous said...

As a daughter who was brutalized (not sexually) by a sober intelligent father, just because he was frustrated with life, I can tell you no Mercedes will ever compensate. My beatings stopped when he came by and slapped me up one side of my head for something one of my siblings did. I was at the sink scrubbing a skillet and I turned around and made that skillet ring off the side of his head. A bit later he came and apologized to me. Too late. My first memory is before age two when I reached for something pretty and he knocked me across the room. I was 30 before I realized this was his shortcoming, not mine. But my self-esteem was irreparably damaged.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

I enjoyed this puzzle and the informative write-up ... thanks Donna and Argyle. I completed all but one square -- the D in 7D. I was so sure that 'Time' waits for no man that I just couldn't imagine it being anything else. I knew 17A needed DIP and after coming here was SO glad to see that I wasn't the only one confused. I now will remember the phrase "Time and tide waits..."

For some reason the main theme words made me think of fine china instead of car fenders ... I guess either one works -- well maybe not DING so much.

I vaguely remember DINGDONGSCHOOL and I did get NEYO and NSYNC ... many years separating them!

Hahtool ~~ I love imagining your cats chasing geckos! >^:^<

~~ It's a beautiful day ... sunny and 72 degrees, and almost everyone in the state has power back!

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon all.

Good puzzle; always like Donna's puzzles. No new comments to add. I did think the clue difficulty was closer to mid week. O CANADA was a gimme because I believe Nunavut became a Territory in recent time, just like the Yukon is.

Abejo; I don't know if your question about the Chi Tribune puzzle cut offs during printing was answered by anyone else. I use an IMAC and to print puzzles I have to fake out the printer driver by telling it I am using ROC 16K size paper (7.75" X 10.75) versus US letter size (8.5" X 11"). It fits fine when I do that.

I agree with Argyle's comment at 2:20. I saw the episode on TV and there's an agenda there.
I come here to relax and compare people's puzzle experiences. Light chatter in other areas of mutual interest is fine. While the link in question seems to fit C.C.'s criteria for posting, I just wish we all could keep it on the lighter side.
There is enough Stürm und Drang available from many other sources, but only one site like this one.

Nit Picker said...

We can pick our friends. and we can pick our noses, but EGADS - we shouldn't pick our friends' noses!

(note the gramatically correct use of plural & possesion)

Anonymous said...

...and the incorrect dropping of the "s" in possession.

windhover said...

For once I understand posting anonymously. And this certainly places some context where it belongs.
We can disagree on the propriety of certain links, but we are (mostly) adults. For example, I disagree with Seen, but I can't fault his reasoning, so it's a simple disagreement. No right, no wrong, but plenty of gray.
And no slight whatsoever to Argyle or CC when I say that one place I agree with Seen is that Dennis had a good nose for what was or was not good taste.
With no TV, I get most of my news on the Internet. I pass over without opening many stories with sensational headlines. It's the virtual version of the "off" knob.

Unknown said...

Good one today! I have been too busy to finish the crossword puzzle lately.
I've missed y'all.

desper-otto said...

Just got back from making sawdust in the garage workshop....

Argyle, thanx for the explanation of the Natick Principle. I understand what it is now, but what does "Natick" have to do with it? Did he invent it? Or am I still missing something?

desper-otto said...

Never Mind. I followed the link and see that Parker named it after a puzzle entry including NATICK that, shall we say, perturbed him.

Wanda Woman said...

Donna, you're one of my favorite puzzle constructors and I thought today's offering was perfect for a Tuesday.

Mmmmm, CHIPANDDIP sounds good right now.

Argyle said...

Welcome, Wanda Woman.

Yellowrocks said...

I adore lovable curmudgeons, like some of you who are frequent contributors to this blog. You follow in the footsteps of Andy Rooney. Your insights are informative and often humorous. To those who aspire to this status, please remember the "lovable" part.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Afternoon All, Good puzzle, Donna L. I had problems, like many others with the crosses of ITER, NE-YO and ERN.

SPANKS is obviously in the eye, hand or belt of the spanker and victim. Nobody complained about it being included in the puzzle in the first place, with the clue "Whacks on the bottom". According to that definition, Judge Adams wasn't out of line when he started with five whacks on the bottom. If it had stopped there would it have been OK?

Hahtool wouldn't have included the link if SPANKS were not a fill in the puzzle. Readers were warned. It was an example of a respectable family who should know better spinning out of control. If readers were disturbed by it, that is all for the good. There are better ways to teach children than to inflict pain.

(not) Andy said...

You know what I hate? When cowards hide behind anonymous tags. That really chafes my hide. If you're going to criticize, do it like a man. Stand up for what you believe in. Show everyone you're serious. Otherwise, you're just a nobody to me.

You know what else I hate? Someone trying to be me. Knock it off.

windhover said...

When CA speaks, it's over for me, because no one, no one, says it better.
Except when it's about Neil. ;)

Tinbeni said...

Upon further review ...

What's wrong with CHIP AND MIP?

OK, I'm not really sure exactly what "Macrophage Inflammatory Protein" or MIP are ... but I've been known to dip my chip into just about anything.

BTW, I really enjoy the earlier SunSETS.
cheers !!!

Anonymous said...

"...but I've been known to dip my chip into just about anything"

OK, now THAT'S the kind of DF levity we need around here right about now!

Avg Joe said...

Did somebody say "Neil"?

Don't take this selection as any type of indictment on the blog or the days discussion. It's just one of my favorites that also speaks to the occasional and intangible value of going Nowhere. Not entirely unlike here.

Hahtoolah said...

Wow! I certainly am surprised at a the vitriolic responses today. I apologize if I offended anyone. The clue and answer made me think of the video, which I figured everyone had already seen because it had been on the news so often.

LA CW ADDICT said...

I would have had 100% except I missed SAW (never heard of horror film franchise, and I don't cheat on google) and put SAR. 35D was then RETS instead of WETS - RETS means moisten/dampen also. Got Ne-Yo and NSYNC from the perps, never having heard of either of them either. Ding Dong School was before my time, but I figured it out. However, never figured out the theme - maybe a unifier would have taken care of this?

I too started to put Time for 7D, but being an old Honeymooners fan, I remembered an episode where Ed Norton said "We have an old saying in the sewer. Time and Tide waits for no man!" and from that I saw that tide fit the grid better than time.

Still a good puzzle and I enjoyed. Thank you - hope you all have a great evening!

Bill G. said...

I had originally passed over the link to the NATICK principle because I sometimes find Rex Parker irksome. But this time, I find myself in total agreement with him. I wonder if Rich intentionally follows this principle or it just happens to occur in the well-constructed puzzle he is responsible for.

Another pretty day. I just got a haircut (well, lots of them cut actually) and am heading out to the Farmer's Market and for a short bike ride including my usual macchiato. (OK, back home. I got some tomatoes. I hope they taste as good as they look.)

Are we having a blitch? I can't get a Preview for this post and I haven't been able to post it yet either. (This worked on Safari but not FireFox.)

dodo1925 said...

Greetings souls,

Just want to offer my support for Hahtool, whose taste has never been questioned during my subscription to this blog and for good reason!

You who criticize anonymously have no right to be considered arbiters of taste!

I remember the name 'Miss Frances" but my girls watched t.v. just a year or so after Ding Dong School was shown; must have been that little gap Yellowrocks mentioned, after live and before syndication.

We all loved Captain Kangaroo and his friends Tom Terrific and his Wonderdog!

Not-From- Natick Explainer said...

In case, the word 'Natick', as in the Natick principle has not been explained fully,in the above, earlier posts, this is what I had read on this Blogosphere ( an Unearthly science ... ) some time ago.

Per Wiki, Natick ( Alogonquian - place of hills - ) is a hilly town, in the geog. center of Massachusetts, in Middlesex ( watch your gender here ! ) county. 15.9 sq. mi. and about 33,006 popn. with 149 est. fetuses.

It is 15 miles from Boston, and the 8th thru the 12 mile of the Boston Marathon, run on Patriot's day, runs thru Natick, along Route 135/Central Street, thronged by hundreds and thousands of bottom-pinching, rubber necking sightseers.

To clue that word, in a crossword, as such, would make it obvious and clear to -ONLY- those people who regularly solve the crosswords -AND- have also run the Boston Marathon, hence its obscure nature.

Thus, as per the gentle Santa, Argyle's point, enough perp crosses should be provided, to make the answer a little bit parse-able and solvable.

Hope this helps.

Argyle said...

To be a "Natick" it has to be crossed by an unknown also. In the case cited, the cross was NC Wyeth, illustrator.

Rumpelstiltskin said...


Clear Ayes said...

Phew, at last we have a sensible clue for NATICK/"April location of bottom-pinching, rubber necking sightseers."

Avg Joe@5:27 I knew it was a Neil Young link, I was warned, and yet I clicked anyway.

WH, see least I tried. Thank you for the kind comment.

Hahtool@5:39, exactly!

H. Cain said...

Ain't no bottom-pinchin' here...

eddyB said...


Going to watch a 10PM East Coast
feed at 7PM tonight. Then a 10PM show. Tomorrow's puzzle will have to wait.

Must be a BIG difference between PA and CA law regarding reporting supected child abuse. Jill said that she would be in real trouble
if she didn't report it to Child Protective Services first. She had a 4-5 combo today.

Then again, the political appointee
who is after Joe's head is running
for office.

Think that someone in black criticising an Anon is hilarious.

take care. eddy

Seldom Seen said...

Let's try this link thingy again.

This link is a story written by an old school boxing writer who now lives in my neighborhood. I've had the pleasure of drinking many beers with him over the last few years. I can't wait until the next time I see him so I can tell him about this blog and that I linked his story.

RIP Smokin' Joe

JD said...

I wonder how many of you who were "shocked" and offered some complaint to today's graphic link had your TV's on in the same room, giving us constant news that have made most of us somewhat insensitive to the atrocities that continue to go on everywhere.

Seldom Seen said...

One day I hope to have the patience and wisdom Spitzboov displayed earlier. "I come here to relax and compare people's puzzle experiences. Light chatter in other areas of mutual interest is fine. While the link in question seems to fit C.C.'s criteria for posting, I just wish we all could keep it on the lighter side.
There is enough Stürm und Drang available from many other sources, but only one site like this one"

If only I had waited for him to post I could have just typed WSS.

Anonymous said...

As an amusing side-note, here's what came up when I googled for "Natick principal":