Dec 23, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011, Mike Peluso

Theme: No F words here! The letter F is taken from the end of the second word of a common phrase and is replaced with either a sound alike or the word without the F to create a new and witty phrase. This is my second Mike Peluso puzzle to write up, and like the other it has many 3 and 4 letter words, which should be easy, but they are not. It also has lots of themeage, so let us see what we have to work with today.

18A. Answered on "Name That Fabric"?: CRIED WOOL. Cried wolf. My favorite, and seeing the theme really helped.

20A. Just the binding?: BOOK SHELL. Book shelf. Here the F leaves but an added L comes in to play.

36A. Scale model of an ancient rival of Rome: MINIATURE GAUL. Miniature golf. Here we lose the F sound and have a sound alike. As Julius Caesar said, "Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres."

54A. Burger queen?: GROUND BEE. Ground Beef. The F is gone, no sound alike. Queen Bee, a convoluted pun with Burger King as well. A shout out to our amazing BEES.

57A. Non-contraband cheese?: LEGAL BRIE. Legal Brief. This one also just has the F removed. Brie the french soft cheese.

The unifier: 65A. Disappearing sound, and a hint to this puzzle's theme: PFFT. Not much help, but I had the theme long before I git here.

Time for the rest of the story.


1. Tic, for one: SPASM. Like that of Inspector Dreyfus.

6. Arcade trademark word: SKEE. Skee Ball, the first game where we teach kids to gamble to win prizes.

10. Its website has a "Rodents 101" section: DCON. Gotta love em, CLIP (0:18).

14. "__ Go Again": Whitesnake #1 song : HERE I. CLIP.(4:33).

15. Brand at Petco: IAMS. The founder of the company was Paul Iams.

16. Pats on a buffet: OLEO. No, not on the waitresses' bottom.

17. '30s-'40s Kildare portrayer : AYRES. Lew, who ironically studied to be a doctor at the University of Arizona.

22. Pocatello sch : ISU. Idaho State University.

23. Texter's "Oh, before I forget ..." : BTW. By the Way.

24. Pah lead-in: OOM. Is this too close to 40A. Oomph: ZING?

25. Car radio selection: PRESET.

28. Hedger's OK: YES, BUT...what if? See below?

30. Land measurement ACRE.

32. "Discreet Music" composer: ENO. Sounds better than elevator music.

33. Surrealist Jean: ARP. A regular in our world.

34. On the __ vive: alert: QUI. From French, who lives, being the inquiry of the guard of the gate.

35. City south of Fort Worth: WACO. I guess forever linked to David Koresh, the wacko from Waco.

41. DOD arm: NSA. Department of Defense. National Security Agency.

42. Aus. currency : DOL. Austrailian Dollar.

43. Seasonal helper: ELF.How many liked the Will Farrell movie?

44. Olds 442 rivals: GTOS. My brother has a 1967.

45. Honolulu's __ Palace: IOLANI. The only real PALACE in the US.

49. Mouth formations: DELTAS. Mouths of rivers, my favorite was Miss Florida.

51. H.S. dropout's exam: GED. General Educational Development are the tests not the diploma.

52. Author Yutang: LIN. Out of my knowledge base, perhaps other can give some history. (From C.C.: Lin Yutang was a giant in Chinese literature, known for his beautiful prose.)

53. High dudgeon: IRE. An odd word never used by itself, and with no known origin like its cousins BLUDGEON and CURMUDGEON.

60. Rock's Burdon et al : ERICS. and the Animals.

61. He lowered the New York Times' price from 3¢ to 1¢: OCHS. And raised circulation from 7,000 to 900,000. Interesting MAN.

62. Doofuses : OAFS.

63. Reds, maybe: WINES.

64. Clothes alterer of a kind: MOTH. Cute, but I do not see many moths here.

66. Tex's "What if ...": S'POSE. This one fooled me for a while even after I filled in all the letters, I suppose I just did not see it.


1. Ramshackle: SHABBY. I started with SHANTY, thinking of an old house.

2. Native American hallucinogen: PEYOTE. When I was in college lots of people wanted to be indigenous Americans so they could experience the ritual of mescaline, the hallucinogen in Peyote.

3. Pointers: ARROWS.

4. Tuner option: SEEK. Being from New England I like my TUNER to be Albacore. Also and Anagram for SKEE, and the derivation of SIC.

5. Where Clark met Lewis in 1804: MISSOURI. The state or the river?

6. "Attack!": SIC EM. likely from "seek them."

7. Jazz great Malone: KARL. This was so cool, not the music, but the NBA team.

8. Oscar winner Jannings : EMIL. A silent film star who won the first best Actor award in 1929; he later became a Nazi propagandist, and his Hollywood career was over.

9. Toledo-to-Akron dir : ESE.

10. Not spare the rod?: DOWSE. The art of finding water with a stick, not to be confused with DICKY the STICK promoted by Johnny Carson.

11. Sellers role: CLOUSEAU. Truly in a class by himself with his tormentor/tormentee 57D. Herbert who played 11-Down's nemesis Inspector Dreyfus: LOM. A perfect FOIL for Seller's silliness.

12. Antipoverty agcy: OEO. Office of Economic Opportunity.

13. Exiled Cambodian Lon __ NOL. My favorite palindromic leader.

19. Like some consequences: DIRE.

21. Revealing '60s-'70s fad: HOT PANTS. I remember Goldie Hawn.

25. Literally, "pray G-d : PRIE DIEU. Where people kneel to pray.

26. SASE, e.g.: ENCL. Enclosure.

27. Overly: TOO. Like SOFIA sometimes?

29. Slam: BANG. Thank you ma'am.

30. Blue hues: AQUAS. Very big here in Florida.

31. Heel : CUR. An old fashioned word.

35. Medieval fortification: WALL. Anyone watching the mini-series made from Pillars of Earth?

36. Sports Authority Field altitude: MILE. The only stadium anyone cares about altitude is in Denver, home of the Broncos and now Tim Tebow, a Gator.

37. Like some movies: IN FLIGHT. This was really hard for me to parse. The perps finally filled, but this was a struggle.

38. Chicken general?: TSO. A staple both in the restaurant and the puzzle.

39. It may be a relief: GOOD NEWS. Very obscure clue.

40. Last of 26, in Chelsea: ZED. The British way to designate the letter "z."

44. Erse speaker, perhaps: GAEL. Gaels, the Celtic peoples of Scotland, Ireland. Erse became Irish.

46. White rat, e.g.: ALBINO. Or my favorite...

47. Reunion attendees: NIECES.

48. Actually existing: IN ESSE. Literal Latin.

50. Contentious talk: TRASH. The language of the NBA and NFL.

51. "Whither thou __ ...": Ruth: GOEST. "whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people..."

54. Five-time U.S. Open champ: GRAF. Wife of Andre Agassi; you think their children will pay?

55. Jazz phrase: RIFF. Riffs are found primarily in rock music, Latin, funk and jazz, classical music is also sometimes based on a simple riff, such as Ravel's Boléro.

56. Coffee choice: DRIP. I much prefer having my coffee with an interesting person.

58. Green prefix: ECO. Ecology and all that.

59. Gillespie's genre: BOP. John Birks 'Dizzie' Gillespie was a major figure in both bebop and JAZZ. (3:47) Listen and enjoy as he ends my return to the saddle. JzB, cheeky bastard wasn't he.

Answer grid.

Thanks and it is good to be back, if still a bit out of shape. Have a very happy holiday week all.


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to our Capricorn Misty! Found the Capri pants yet?


Dennis said...

Good morning, gang - just wanted to check in and wish everybody a very Merry Christmas, as I'm not sure I'll be able to get on later.

Running of four hours' sleep (again) and about to get out the door to hit two distributors for last-minute special orders. I hope you all are in better shape Christmas shopping-wise than I am.

Hopefully more later.

1 & a w/u.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

This was a rough one for me and, I hate to say it, not all that enjoyable. I did finally figure out that the theme involved dropping the F sound off common phrases, which is a good thing or else I never would have gotten GROUND BEE or MINIATURE GAUL. It also helped me get LEGAL BRIE right away with no crossings.

The thing is, though, the theme reveal didn't make any sense at all to me. PFFT? Is that supposed to be the sound things make when they disappear? And what does PFFT have to do with F's disappearing? The clue actually helped me figure out the theme much better than the answer.

Speaking of theme answers, I thought LEGAL BRIE was great as was CRIED WOOL. GROUND BEE, however, is nonsensical (GROUND by itself doesn't really mean "burger" to me) and the clue for MINIATURE GAUL was way too tortured to be funny.

Oh -- the crossing of OEO and OLEO was lethal. I was not familiar with OEO and always get OLIO and OLEO mixed up. I had to guess, guessed wrong, and then got the "TADA" when I guessed again.

Argyle said...

Wake up, Dennis, wake up. I know you're sleep walking when you let 29-Down slide by. I nearly had a coffeespit on that one. Thanks. L714.

fermatprime said...

Hi, everyone!

Didn't figure that my winning streak with the puzzles this week (13, 12, 11 minutes) was going to last! However this one was a total disaster! Had to use the crimson after a while!

Agreed with some of you about Hearst Castle. Did use photos of steps for one of my Math books. These frieze patterns were similar to those at the Alhambra in Spain. Mostly the hodgepodge of styles made me nauseous.

Got a kick out of MOTH after the first two letters appeared.

Liked MINIATURE GAUL the best of theme answers.

Let me know if I can discuss Homeland further now, please!

I tend to get forgotten. My bday is Christmas day. I get inexpensive presents. (Sob!) Today I received an Amazon Kindle card in the mail, but do not have a Kindle. After the beaucoup bucks I spent fulfilling kid's family's wish lists...

Have pleasant holidays!

Argyle said...

Sure, fermatprime, you can discuss Homeland; just preface it with a Spoiler Alert! and it should be fine.

Did anyone else think of gold leaf relief for 39-Down?

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Lemonade and Friends. Good to see you back in your old form, again, Lemon! Hope you are well on the way to recovery. From your commentary, I would guess you are feeling well.

This was a fun puzzle, but the initial across pass nearly did me in. After MINIATURE GAUL was revealed, the rest fell in place.

There were some great clues and misdirections here. The Mouth Formations came easily to me, since I live in a DELTA.

I thought Clothes Alterer of a Kind = MOTH was genius. I have lost more than one article of clothing due to moths.

Sellers Role = CLOUSEAU was also one of the last to fall in place for me, but it gave me a chuckle.

Happy Birthday, Misty! Hope you have a great day.

QOD: The reason cats climb is so that they can look down on almost every other animal . . . it’s also the reason they hate birds. ~ K.C. Buffington

desper-otto said...

Thought this one was gonna be a breeze...then KARL and EMIL spoiled my BOOKSPINE and POTPANTS.

Liked LEGALBRIE, GROUNDBEE not so much. SPOSE was a gimme, but I live in Texas. Shouldn't there have been some sort of warning that INESSE would be non-English fill?

At any rate, it all came together within the allotted twenty minutes, so life is good.

Welcome back, L14. Happy Friday, all.

desper-otto said...

@Dennis, just what does "1 & a w/u." mean?

HeartRx said...

Good morning Lemonade, C.C. et al. And Happy Birthday to you, Misty! Maybe you should ditch the Capri pants, and go with the HOT PANTS today!!

Thanks for a fun write-up, Lemon. It’s great to see you back in your normal spot. S’POSE and IN FLIGHT gave me fits, too. For “Spare the rod” I had “spoil”, not DOWSE. And my reunion attendees were “alumni”, not NIECES.

I finally gave up in the middle north and gg’d KARL Malone (not a basketball fan) and EMIL Jannings (believe it or not, he was before my time...)

AYRES filled with perps, and thank goodness for the ever-present ENO and ARP, who gave me some toeholds in the middle. But like Barry, I thought GROUND BEE was off-putting. Poor queen.

Dennis' spokesperson said...

1 & a w/u
One and a wake up
The time until his departure.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Zoomed right through, heading for a Friday speed record, and to the very bottom. Had to guess at IOLANI, didn't know the ERICS, couldn't connect the clue to GROUND BEE, never heard of LIN, and IN ESSE was just an obstacle. ALBINO finally clicked and saved the day.

Tinbeni said...

Lemon: Nice write-up & links.

Happy Birthday Misty!
21 Again ??? I'm not surprised !

For a theme with "No F, or change the F" I was certainly saying what the "F" all over the place.

Themes were OK, LEGAL BRIE my fave.
GROUND BEE made no sense.

As for the ELF movie, I enjoy it maybe once each year ... not the 57 times it has been shown.

Not one of my favorite solves. But any puzzle with PEYOTE & a BANG is OK with me.

A Very Merry Christmas Eve, EVE "toast" to one and all at Sunset.

Cheers !!!

Avg Joe said...

Good to see you back in the saddle Lemon. Hope you continue to improve.

This was my first DNF in a couple weeks. But both it and I put up a good fight and it was enjoyable. The theme opened with Legal Brie, which helped a lot. I did get all the theme answers, but a couple of other odd cells eluded me.

Great tuneagement last night. That's the spirit!

carol said...

Hi all -

I think I have to say "What Barry G said"...I finished 3/4 of it but had to have help with the rest. So many clues I didn't 'have a clue' about.
I did think the 'F' word a few times while wrestling with this, but not in a good way. (I know, I know, it's Thursday) :)

11D brought out the V-8 can!!! I kept thinking of a salesperson.

10D was a complete mystery, even after I read the answer...hmmmm.

Happy Birthday Misty, hope you get to do what you want....assuming it's legal ;)

desper-otto said...

Thank you, Dennis' Spokesperson. I should have latched onto that from my Navy days. Too long ago, I guess.

*David* said...

I found this one a tad esier then yesterday. Peluso is old skool and the puzzle felt like it with CLOUSEAU, LOM, and the uber-crosswordese IRE cluing. I'm used to his puzzles so they typically don't slow me down that much but this one with the themese did since I first thought it would be missing the F since I solved from the bottom.

My last fill was clearing out SHANTY for SHABBY. This puzzle is a good workout for getting over the hump of crosswordese that you gotta know whether you like it or not.

Tuttle said...

I agree with most of the complaints of nonsensical clues. 36A was a gimmee for me though.

So. WALLs stopped being fortifications after ca. 1500 AD? And weren't fortifications before 800 or so? Not a nonsensical clue, just obtuse.

All the trivia up top (10A, 14A, 15A, 17A, 22A, 5D, 7D, 8D, 11D, 12D, 13D) was also irritating. Not overly pleased with this one.

ant said...

RIFF Raff! Magenta!
Let's do the Time Warp again!

The thrash metal band Savatage had a song called Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) on their album Dead Winter Dead, based on God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Carol of the Bells. Due to the popularity of that song, they went on to form the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and the rest is cross-over history - with two separate "orchestras" touring during each Xmas season.

Here is that song, set to synchronized Christmas lights on someone's house. Incredible!

Have a great day, everyone! Stay calm as you're out and about today...

Hahtoolah said...

I initially had Moat as the medieval fortification.

eddyB said...


Guess I should watch Homeland.

Cleaned the dungeness crabs. Now, to find large trouts to stuff for
Xmas eve.

Happy holidays to all.


ant said...

As far the puzzle goes, I think it would have been more elegant had no other Fs appeared in the grid (besides PFFT - though I agree...that reveal is clunky).

And GROUND BEE is just...wrong.

Yellowrocks said...

Happy Birthday, Misty. Have a wonderful day.

LIN, a crossword favorite was my first fill, which gave me NIECES. ERIC is the only 4 letter name I know ending in C. Then PRIEDIEU led to GROUNDBEE, which does seem a little strange, but used with the clue for the reveal let me know there was to be a missing F sound. From there all went swimmingly.

With he exception of GROUNDBEE, all the theme answers were clever. MOTH was cute, but a gimmee.

We visited the old standby OEO again. I am sure they are very busy these days.

Lemon, great to have you back blogging.

Although LEW AYRES was before my time, I am an old movie buff and have seen many of his movies.

Lemonade714 said...

HBDTY Misty:

I always have felt sorry for those whose birthdays are so close to Xmas. No way they are each as special as they should be.

Joe Kitch said...

No, but your comment had me thinking of Gold Bond Medicated Powder for MY relief.

Husker Gary said...

A hard earned “got ‘er done” for me on this second day of winter! Unlike some puzzles where the toehold is in the south, the NW corner fell easily and then the work began, greatly aided by the theme (PFFT not POOF).

-Like Joe, good to see Lemon back in the saddle
-Arcade – where you spend $50 to get tickets to redeem for $5 worth of plastic junk. Smiles on grandchildren are sufficient payback.
-PETCO in Lincoln will not let you adopt a kitty if you plan to declaw it
-Our new Acadia allows 60 PRESETS, we use 4
-We were touring Dallas during WACO tragedy
-My daughter’s first job was as a college recruiter in a part of Western Nebraska so remote that the SEEK key on her radio only found Indian War/Rain/et al dances
-A historian friend of mine took his dowsing rods to an old park in town to find graves the city abandoned when they built the park and he said he was successful

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I liked many of the clues for the general fill much more than I liked the clues/answers for the theme. 10D)DOWSE and 64A)MOTH were "Ahas". GROUND BEE fell flat and as Barry G. said, the 36A clue was too torturous.

Lemonade, funny comment on 4D, but I still don't understand "Tuner"/SEEK. (AHH! back from Previewing my comment and just got the car radio tuner SEEK connection. I had been thinking piano tuner.)

I messed up in the SE. I wasn't sure of the spelling of IOLANI. It could have ended with an E. I'd never heard of LIN Yutang (or is it Yutang LIN?). 66A)S'POSE might have been whirling around Tex's windmill, but I never saw it.

BTW, 6D, isn't it SIC 'EM, maybe an abbreviation of "Seek them".

I have to admit a DNF. But it had its moments. I loved the CLOUSEAU reference.

Happy Birthday, Misty!

Steve said...

Good wrestling match today. If @fermatprime is on a winning streak, are some of our other brethren on a whining streak?

The ".. and a wake-up" comes from the Vietnam war (I think the USMC) - you would count down the days until the end of your tour of duty. The very last day caused a problem, whether to count it as your last day in Vietnam or your first day out, so the "wake-up" was born which didn't count towards either. It was the day you woke up in Vietnam and went to sleep somewhere else.

len said...

Hi all,

Lemon's 45A link to the Iolani Palace has some fascinating reading once you get beyond the touristy intro. Under the heading LEARN MORE, click on: History: A Palace For Royalty and also The Queen's Imprisonment. Did you know that missionaries had banned the hula? Of course it's safe now that it is forever ensconced in crossword puzzles.

Like Barry G, defeated by OEO, so a DNF. BTW, I still don't understand One and a wake up.


Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

After one pass through, I gave up. There were too many unknowns and didn't get the theme, as usual.

Happy birthday Misty.

Good to see you back Lemonade. Hope your recovery continues so you can enjoy Christmas.


Ron Worden said...

Good afternoon All. Welcome back Lemonade so glad to hear that you are recovering. I also thought this one was easier than yesterdays. I seem to remember a one of a kind Burger Queen restaurant where I grew up. It had a walk-up window and outside tables. Great shakes and onion rings too! It's time for me to head to the kitchen and make the meatballs for Christmas dinner for the family. Happy Holidays to all and may all your wishes come true. RJW.

Misty said...

My goodness! Started off a bit crabby this morning since I had some trouble with the puzzle. Then saw that Lemonade was back and read CC's sweet note--and then the plethora of birthday wishes from everyone! Wow! You've just turned a quiet day into a party for me. Thank you, thank you, everybody! Whatever pants I end up wearing will be in your honor!

We're alone this Christmas since family visited here for Thanksgiving, so we're off to a local hotel since DH can't travel anymore. No computer, alas, so will miss wishing everyone a wonderful wonderful Christmas. My biggest regret: that I won't be able to wish Fermatprime a fabulous Christmas Birthday! Here's my early wish for a terrific day for you! And thanks again, everybody!I'm so happy to be part of your community!

VirginiaSycamore said...

Happy Christmas Eve Eve to All,

I, too, had to had to red letter the SE corner. I had A ROYALASS fot the GROUND BEE and really liked it, although it needed another L. I didn't figure out the theme till the end either.

Also, it seems to me that clues have quit saying the answer is in Latin, French, etc. This makes it hard to solve. Ditto slang words. Also,since I'm on a roll, it's ICED TEA darn it! ICE TEA would be a block of tea that is all frozen!

A note on LEW AYRES, the vote for the 1929 first ever best male actor Oscar actually went to Rin Tin Tin, but a recount ensued and Rinty was knocked out. Rinty and several dog actors did very well in silent movies. ( from the book by Susan Orlean).

If you ever get a chance to see the silent movie "Clash of the Wolves" see it. Rin Tin Tin (#1) is fantastic.

Yellowrocks said...

I have always been very happy with my Christmas b'day and feel very special on that day. What a beautiful time of year.

My parents alwatys celebrated our birthdays at the evening meal. So when the Christmas hoopla had all died down, the evening was solely in my honor. I got another round of presents, the same ones I would have been given were my b'day in June. There were candles and singing, the whole 9yds.

My husband celebrated my b'day this way after we married and now my married son does the honors for me.

In the evening I am given a whole new round of gifts and special affection. They put candles on a pie instead of a cake because we are not a cake family. Family members far away phone me and mail b'day cards and/or packages.

My only regret was never ever having a party with my friends. Four years ago I threw myself a catered dance b'day party in early Dec. Great fun.

len said...

Steve, thanks for the "wake up." We must have been writing at the same time but your post appeared first. I see from Dennis' blog that he was in the Marines and in Vietnam.

Hahtoolah said...

Husker: thanks for the further explanation of tuner alternative. I was one of those individuals who was trying to figure out how SEEK related to a musical instrument.

Yellowrocks: I am with you on having my family treat my December birthday as special and apart from the other holidays, which in my case, my birthday and Chanukah sometimes coincided.

Lucina said...

Good day, amigos and amigas. It's great to have you back, Lemonade, educating us.

This was a DNF for me and quite frustrating. I hopped, skipped and finally got a toehold in the center, spread out from there.

MINIATUREGAUL gave me the theme but like others, PFFT didn't make sense.

I had too many errors to list starting with LOCALBRIE and down from there.

The IOLANI palace is now actually a museum of the early Hawaiian artifacts. Very interesting.

Happy birthday, Misty! I hope you celebrate with a BANG!

Everyone, enjoy your Friday and I hope it is not TOO harried!

Lucina said...

I noticed your spelling of Chanukah and my calendar has it as Hannukah. Can you tell me why there is a variation?

Anonymous said...

CA: This old codger remembers when we "tuned" the radio to the station with the least static! Today, they have "scan" and "seek" on the new-fangled ones. It`s a generational thing...that young whippersnappers wouldn`t understand atall!

Grumpy 1 said...

Happy Birthday, Misty!

Welcome back to the blogging chair, Lenonade.

I had to poke around in the corners of this one to find the gimmes, but it all started coming together eventually. I liked the theme, had no problem figuring out PFFT or relating it to the theme entries.

I wanted some sort of government agency at 10a, and the only Cambodian that came to mind was Pol Pot. I sat here staring at DCO_/_OL for the longest time before I finally parsed it to D-CON.

BANGup job on this one, Mr. Peluso.

len said...

To simple understandable crossword themes. Like FEVER!

Peggy Lee

windhover said...

A friend of mine once asked his Dad, who was a Mason, what he need to do to 'join' the Masonic Lodge. The reply was, "Son, you don't join the Masons, you become a Mason."

I think the same is true of the Marines.

I am neither.

And yes, old-timers here know that Dennis took his Senior trip vacation in SE Asia.

Misty said...

Yellowrocks--another Christmas baby! Happy early birthday wishes to you too! Fermatprime, I really, really hope somebody gives you a Kindle! You deserve that and more!

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon Lemonade and all.

Tough one today; needed red letter help in the SE with LOM, but got most of it without help. I did not really like the MISSOURI clue, although the answer was obvious from the perps. In the book "Undaunted Courage". I recall reading that Lewis met up with Clark in 1803 in SE Indiana on the Ohio River. So they had already 'met' when they set out on their expedition on the Missouri in 1804. They were separated in the local area for short periods while attending to the details of making final last minute arrangements for departure from St. Louis. (Perhaps a bit of a nit but it bothered me having read the book.)

chapstick52 said...

Lemonade--it's great to have you back where you belong.

Happy Birthday, Misty.

What Dudley said.

Thanks Steve for the w/u splain'n.

desper-otto said...

@Lucina, maybe this article will answer your question.

len said...


My favorite Marine is Smedley Butler.

War is a Racket

Dennis said...

Steve, Len, yes, that's on the money. Actually had the last three months counted down on my helmet, along with various, uh, epithets.

Dennis said...

Ever had an otherwise innocuous occurrence turn out to be a life-changing event? It's now happened to me twice. First time was riding into Philly on the train not long after I got out of the Marines. Was looking at the want ads, and the suit next to me noticed, and said, "you should think about the computer field, it's really exploding". Found an ad for computer operator at $87 a week, and 28 years later, I retired at 50 as Director of IT.

Well, it just happened again. (more)

Yellowrocks said...

The clue is "Where Lewis and Clark met in 1804." They met each other previously, but that was not in 1804. 1804 was the year of the momentous start of their journey. I am fascinated by their journey and have read their journals and many historical novels about them.

I am back on my feet again with just the usual creaks and twinges. My quick recovery must be due to your kind wishes. Thankfully we are going to be with my son, DIL, and grandson for Christmas. Now I will be able to cook vichyssoise and a dessert to take along. I haven't made any cookies yet, maybe first thing in the AM.

Yellowrocks said...

PS I met my elder sister in WV in 2010, but of course not for the first time.

Dennis said...

I was sitting at a light on the way back from my distributor this morning, mulling over what I wanted to do as far as work, once we get to Boca. Maybe work part-time in a hobby store like mine, maybe try something completely different. And then, there it was: a small sign planted in the grass in front of a strip mall, advertising the service provided by one of the stores -- "BRA FITTER ON PREMISES".

It's like destiny...

windhover said...

Ah yes, the Fighting Quaker. I read his book a few years ago. His ideas foreshadowed DDE's military-industrial complex speech by almost 25 years. Sadly, no one paid much attention to either.

Still, my own favorite Marines are all CC bloggers.

Waiting for the "rest of the story"........

Steve said...

@len - I didn't know that about Dennis.

@Dennis - I hope my wake-up explanation was correct - I was neither in Vietnam nor a Marine, I just read a lot. Thanks for your service. Semper Fi.

Spitzboov said...

Dennis: Reminds me of the Diesel Fitter:

Paddy & Mick worked together in St. John's, Newfoundland and were both laid off.

So off they went to the unemployment office together.
When asked his occupation, Paddy answered, "Panty Stitcher. I sew da elastic onto ladies cotton panties and tongs".

The clerk looked up panty stitcher on his computer and finding it classified as unskilled labour, and gave him $80.00 a week unemployment pay.

Mick was next in, and when asked his occupation, replied, "Diesel Fitter". Since a diesel fitter was a skilled job, the clerk gave Mick $160.00 a week.

When Paddy found out he was furious. He stormed back into the office to find out why his friend and co-worker was collecting double his pay.

The clerk explained "Panty Stitchers are unskilled and Diesel Fitter's are skilled labour".

What skill? Yelled Paddy." I sew da elastic on da panties and tongs; Mick puts 'em over his head and says:

"Yep, diesel fitter .........."

windhover said...

Sounds like another job where you start at the bottom and work your way up. And there's probably gonna be an opportunity to get aHEAD. I'd for for it if I were you.

Windhover's spokesperson said...

I think he meant to say "go" for it.

Lemonade714 said...


Your response to your birthday wishes made me misty. MHR

Dennis said...

Len, WH, good choice - Smedley was definitely hard Corps. One of the very, very few to win TWO Medals of Honor.

Spitz, laugh out loud funny.

Steve, it was truly my honor.

WH, you always have a way with words...

chapstick52 said...

Dennis--semper fi. My son was a Marine for 4 years. Non-war years but the experience was a lifechanger. For the good. Have you read Matterhorn? Pretty gritty.

carol said...

Spitzboov: LOL....loved that one!!!

Dennis and WH: remember boys, where there is a 'willy', there's a way!
From the bottom up or the top down, get 'her' done!

len said...


Looks like you're going to have your hands full.

The way this conversation is going, I can see I posted the wrong version of FEVER. Try this one.

WARNING: Only sensuously sinful solvers should click on this link. It might be too feverish for sensitive readers.


crosswordgirl said...

Happy Holidays to everyone and happy birthday wishes to all.

Enjoyed the puzzle, glad Lemon is feeling better.

And this sign was at a STRIP MALL?
You know, I could use a second job!

Thanks for everything

Bill G. said...

Happy birthday to Misty, Yellowrocks and Fermatprime.

Yellowrocks, I love vichyssoise! Do you serve it cold and with a chilled soup spoon?

I hardly ever say I didn't care for a puzzle. I figure the stuff that gives me problems is my fault. However, I didn't care for this one much. The theme wasn't consistent enough for me and there were too many places where the two crossing words were both a problem. Knowing a hard themeless puzzle is around the bend doesn't help any.

I had to go to Target to pick up a perscription. It took about two tours around the parking lot to find a spot. I got a free car wash on the way home though.

Clear Ayes said...

Annon@12:26, :o) my whipper was snapped a long time ago, so I don't feel too bad about getting hung up on SEEK on the radio.

We will be gone for the next couple of days, so here's a merry early birthday wish to both fermatprime and Yellowrocks.

Congratulations to Dennis on your second career lightning strike. I'm sure you will dedicate yourself to the personalized fitting and satisfaction of women everywhere.

Spitzboov, loved the punch line. I do a pretty good Irish accent, so I'll be repeating your joke tomorrow.

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Delightful Holiday Celebrations to all of you.

Spitzboov said...

Re SIC EM. While growing up on a dairy farm, we regularly had to get the herd from or bring the herd to pasture. We usually had a well trained dog to help and so used the command 'Sic 'Em' to help chase the dawdlers. Since our dogs were bi-lingual, we also used the Low German command "Biet em an de Hacken" (Nip 'em on the heels/hocks) to fine-tune their procedures.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Mike Peluso, for a tough puzzle. I got a few wrong, but I finished. Nice to have you back, Lemonade. Thank you!

This puzzle was about as tough as yesterday's. Finally finished, but missed a few in the process.

Had LOCAL BRIE in stead of LEGAL BRIE. Evereything else in that corner was wrong as a result.

Missed IN ESSE. Had ID ESSE. I guess my Latin is as bad as my French.

I got ball the other theme answers. Thye were clever.

Windhover: Noticed your Masonic comment. I am a Mason, and have been one for 35 years. It is my avocation. To become a Mason, just find a friend or associate who is one and ask him about it and for a Petition. There is a process that must take place after the Petition is presented. FYI, for the last couple hundred years, Masons were not allowed to ask anybody to become a Mason. The rule was, the non-Mason had to ask. That is slowly changing now, but very slowly. Any questions? Please let me know.

See you tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Welcome home, Lemon! Couldn't have done this puzzle without you.

Happy Birthday to all the birthday girls! May you have many more...

Lemon, where is the mini-series on "Pillars of the Earth"?

My GOOD NEWS came yesterday in the mail. The roofing company owners decided I don't owe $900 for materials not put on my roof and labor not done.
I wasn't going to pay them anyway, but it's a relief that fight is done. As late as last Friday they wanted the money.

- PK

Yellowrocks said...

PK, congratulations! What a relief. I am so happy for you.

You guys are in rare form tonight. Dennis' new job. Spitzboov'a Paddy and Mick. You all had me ROTFL.

Bill G. We serve the vichyssoise cold, no cold spoon, though. We all love it. It's supposed to be an appetizer, but we serve it in large bowls. One time I tried it hot. It is better than other hot potato soups, but you can't beat serving it cold.

The medieval walled cities were really a special defensive concept. The clue MEDIEVAL FORTRESS instantly brought to mind WALL.

Have you visited any in Europe? I recommend it.

Harper's Ferry in WV is where Lewis was outfitted for his expedition. It has an interesting musuem, which I have visited 4 times, each time with a different family member.

windhover said...

Thanks for the info. I'm probably not much up for beginning something that serious at this stage of my life. I do know a few guys who are Masons, and it seems like a very worthy group. The conversation I related took place over 40 years ago when I was a toolmaker at IBM. The father didn't think the son was sufficiently serious about his desire to "join", as if it was just another civic club. Again, thanks.

To all my blog friends:
The Irish and I will be leaving for the NC mountains about four tomorrow morning. The iPhone does not get reception there, so by Sunday afternoon I'll be having DT's from Internet withdrawal. They say realizing you have a problem is first step to getting better.......

Anyway, Merry Christmas to all of you (and selected Anons) and let's do this again next year.

Bill G. said...

WH, Happy Christmas to you and the Irish too. I hope you enjoy the NC mountains.

Lemonade714 said...

Yes, a Happy and safe holiday week end for all. Carol, I read my first book by Maeve Binchy. She can tell a complex story and get inside of you.

creature said...

Happy Birthday to Misty, Fermarprime and Yellowrocks.

Lemon, Glad you're better.

Hanging on to this blog for all it's worth right now. Thanks for all the good stuff you've sent my way.

Working the puzzles, like the comments. Warm fuzzy feelings.

JD said...

Good evening all,

No time today to do xwd, but read Lemonade's terrific write up, and almost spilled my wine laughing over Dennis's new vocation, a true awakening.

Lemonade, Maeve Binchy wrote one of my favorites_ The Glass Lake.Tells a good story.

The Iolani Palace is a must see if you ever visit Oahu, and also the Bishop Museum.

After grandsons went home this morning, I went to see We Bought a Zoo. Had no idea that it was based (loosely) on a true story. Benjamin Mee and his family still live at Rosemoor Wildlife Park in the UK; this film's location was CA.Enjoyable- sentimental, without being mushy. Not a winner, but entertaining.

JD said...

Hi Creature, we're thinking of you too. Hugs

Dennis said...

Just now getting to bed after a record-setting day at the store; I think I'm still full of adrenalin, but I need to get a couple hours' sleep before the stretch run.

Len, one can only hope.

Chapstick, good for your son. Yes, the change truly is forever; I was a very, very bad kid and it was just what I needed. As to Matterhorn, it's going on the Autotrain/Florida trip with me.

WH, my friend, I hope you have the time of your life; somebody that works their ass off the way you do truly deserves it. Even if your politics are messed up, lol. My best to the Irish.

And thank you ladies, for the kind words about my potential new vocation. Any tips?

Creature, trust me, you've got a lot of people with their arms around you. Lean on us whenever you needwant to.

Just a w/u.

windhover said...

Creature, Dennis, et al,
As Dennis heads to bed at the end of a long day, I'm getting up to begin a very long one. 200 animals to feed, one goat to milk (no, not the Irish, or moi), then a five hour drive to the mountains.
Creature, feel free to Email, anytime. I talked to the Irish about you just a few days ago. We're looking forward to meeting you.
CA, Lucy, Jeannie, Lemon, Argyle, CC; thinking of you all this morning.
Imagine; there are those who insist that this is JUST a crossword puzzle blog. Some of us know better. It's that DeToqueville thing: association.
Merry Christmas!

xyz said...

AYRES. Lew, who ironically studied to be a doctor at the University of Arizona. Coincidental irony?

This was a puzzle far easier to solve in A-Lite than on paper, but I still lost out in the bottom right or SE. Some answers were far more apparent that way, but only about 80% complete due to lack of rote. Seems I was in good company.

Well-constructed and clean, very clean, not a single bit of crud.

MESCAL instead of PEYOTE at first, graduated U in '73, d-oh. Go Gator.

I still fail to connect basketball Jazz in cluing, BB the game I loved as a kid and cannot tolerate a SEC now. Needed crosses for a slam-dunk, sad.

Once I figgered out the theme, the answers made me laugh, even the BEES.

Argyle said...

Karl Malone was a power forward for the Utah Jazz basketball team.

Ella Reff said...

I keep puzzles around till I get to them, so here it is 2/1/12 and I am finishing 12/23/11. I did get the theme of the F at the end of phrases, but for 5-time US open winner I had So Af for South Africa(golf). The computer said no golfer had won 5 times but that country had.

Argyle said...

Ella, please!

It was tennis.

So Af must have messed up two of the cross words.

Nations are not competetors in the US Open(golf).