Dec 19, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011 Don Gagliardo & C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Naval Assent - Three entries use a modified "Aye, aye" to start their phrase.

17A. Service available at hotspots : WI-FI ACCESS

39A. Place to see droids or tribbles : SCI-FI CONVENTION

64A. Home theater component : HI-FI SYSTEM

Argyle here with latest offering from the Crusiverbic Duo. Constructor's comments at the bottom.


1. English or French instrument : HORN. English, French.

5. Phi Beta __ : KAPPA

10. Unit in a plan : STEP

14. Cookie since 1912 : OREO

15. Just picked from the tree : FRESH

16. Schoolbook : TEXT

19. "Phooey!" : "RATS!"

20. Goes bad, as milk : SOURS

21. Sax register : ALTO

22. Pub order : ALE

23. PC key on either side of the space bar : ALT

24. Josh : KID

26. "Laughing" critter : HYENA

28. Does and bucks : DEER

30. Performer's song assortment : MEDLEY

34. Some ER cases : ODs

35. Historical period : ERA

37. Aches and pains : AILMENTS

43. Jet-setter's document : PASSPORT

44. Gen. Lee's side : CSA

45. Oils and such : ART

46. Optimistic : UPBEAT

48. Hitchhiker's ride : LIFT

52. "The Sound of Music" family name : TRAPP

54. Chi follower : PSI. (Greek)

56. Morse T : DAH. (code)

57. "__ pig's eye!" : IN A

58. Trade : SWAP

61. "Time in a Bottle" singer Jim : CROCE. Clip.(2:25)

63. 44-Across soldiers : REBS

66. Very dry, as Champagne : BRUT

67. Daytime talk star : OPRAH

68. Yea or nay : VOTE

69. __ of Man : ISLE. Crossword staple.

70. China's unofficial national flower : PEONY

71. Blog entry : POST


1. "What a pity!" : "HOW SAD!"

2. Baltimore baseballer : ORIOLE

3. Disprove : REFUTE

4. Pinot __: red wine : NOIR

5. Col. Sanders's company : KFC

6. Gaming area : ARCADE

7. Spa treatment : PEEL

8. Sibilant "Over here!" : "PSST!"

9. Facetious "I get it now" : "AH, SO"

10. Alley cat, e.g. : STRAY

11. "Tower Heist" actress : TEA LEONI. Poster for the movie.

12. Reach as far as, as property vis-à-vis its boundary : EXTEND TO

13. NBA stats : PTs. Points, further broken down into 3-pointers, field goals and foul shots.

18. "If you don't know, __" : ASK

25. Original "Dragnet" words after "My name is Friday" : "I'M A COP"

26. Mass songs : HYMNS

27. Part of PGA: Abbr. : ASSN.

29. Whistle blowers : REFs

31. "Inferno" author : DANTE

32. Actress Tyler : LIV. Picture with short hair.

33. Puts in office : ELECTS

36. Tear to pieces : RIP UP

38. List-ending abbr. : ET AL.

39. Lovers' quarrel : SPAT

40. Transportation companies : CARRIERS

41. Turkey's largest city : ISTANBUL

42. Globe : ORB

47. Rome's __ Way : APPIAN. Map.

49. "Ditto" : "I DO, TOO"

50. Diamond surfaces : FACETS

51. Lincoln Center opera setting, familiarly : THE MET

53. Partner of cut, in editing : PASTE

55. Emotionally distant : ICY

58. Barber's workplace : SHOP

59. Sponge (off) : WIPE

60. Fluffed-up hairdo : AFRO

62. Answer an invite : RSVP

63. Batter's stat : RBI

65. Like a wallflower : SHY


Constructor note:

Don came up with this theme. We searched for all the *I FI * phrases with rhyming Long I pattern and settled for the current set. With only 3 theme entries, we tried our best filling in as many long & Monday-friendly answers as we can.


Dennis said...

Good morning, Argyle, C.C. and gang - fun puzzle with a clever theme from our Dynamic Duo, and for me, anyway, a little more difficult than the average Monday offering.

Of course, I made it tougher on myself by misreading a couple clues, in particular 59D, which I read as 'sponge off of'. Overall, fun clues and a nice way to start the week.

The leading prospective buyer for the store spent the weekend at the store with me, and saw a near-record-setting day on Saturday, so so far so good.

5 & a w/u.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Very nice puzzle with which to start of the week. Great theme, nice execution and no junk fill. Not exactly a speed run, but I think that's mostly because it's Monday morning and my brain is not yet running at full speed. Heck, it's probably not even running at half speed right now...

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

A bit more pepper than your average Monday! The NE got log jammed a bit 'cause I didn't know TEA LEONI was in Tower Heist, and for some reason I couldn't grok STEP and PTS.

Always fun to see a grid spanning theme answer, too. Keep up the good work, DGCC!

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Argyle and friends. Although I do the puzzle on paper, I blog through my WI-FI ACCESS.

This was a nice way to ease into the (short) work-week. My only error was to think the Spa Treatment was a Pedi (as in pedicure) instead of a (face) PEEL. I sometimes treat myself to the former, but not the latter.

We saw Tower Heist over the weekend, so I knew TEA LEONI straight away. She is/was married to David Duchovny of The X-Files fame.

My favorite clue was Whistle Blowers = REFS.

QOD: Legend: A lie that has attained the dignity of age. ~ H. L. Mencken

Tinbeni said...

EXCELLENT start of the week.

Thank you Argyle, Don G & C.C.

I thought it was kinda funny that I needed my "perps" to get I'M A COP.

I sometimes wonder how expressions like
"IN A pig's eye" came into being.
Guess it's time for a google search.


Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Don and C.C., for a great start to the week. I know it will get harder as the week progresses. I look forward to that. Thank you, Argyle, as usual.

Started in the SW this time, because I caught ISLE of Man in the corner of my eye. Worked up and across finishing with TEA LEONI, who I never heard of. After getting all the horizontal words her name appeared. I do not watch many movies.

Lots of Crossword staples: KAPPA, OREO, ALE, ODS, ERA, PSI, DAH, REBS, ISLE, ASSN, RBI, REFS, ORB. That's OK. It's Monday.

I'm off to the races. I have to play catch-up for my week in Pennsylvania.

See you tomorrow.


Lemonade714 said...

Semper Fi, this was a fun beginning to the week and like the rest, I found it a bit harder than average Monday. Any week that starts with Don and C.C. and Argyle is going to be a good week.


Avg Joe said...

Yep, Tuesday level of difficulty for me. No major sticking points, but it did require more thought than typically needed on Monday. And that's a good thing! The cluing was crisp and it was fun. Thanks Don, C.C. and Argyle.

Middletown Bomber said...

I true monday speed run from top to bottom in just over 11 mins easy as pie I just hope my week is as good and easy. To many parties to go to this week, and job interviews.

thank you to the corner team for this blog and great job on the puzzle cc and don.

HeartRx said...

Good morning Argyle, C.C. et al.

This was a super simple theme, and with only three entries, the fill was rewarded nicely. I'M A COP, HOW SAD and I DO TOO come immediately to mind.

It is interesting (to me) to think about the meaning of "fi" in each of the theme entries. SCI-FI is "science fiction". HI-FI is a shortened "high fidelity". And the term WI-FI, or "wireless fidelity" was coined as a play on the audio equipment name.

Great job, guys!

desper-otto said...

Happy Monday, all.

I agree that this was slightly more difficult than the typical Monday fare. Dennis, hand up for thinking "sponge off of". 47D was a gimme -- Appian Way is one of two main streets in our little town. And why is there an N in HYMNS, anyway?

KQ said...

I started out just flying through the answers and then got stuck at a couple of points. Nothing I couldn't eventually get with a little perp help. Good Monday and good cluing.

Looking forward to the week and my boy returning from college for a few weeks. Should be fun and more relaxing than normal.

Mari said...

Welcome to another week - lets make this a good one!

As is my usual, I couldn't figure out what THEMET was. Duh! The Met!

Otherwise, "Oils and Such" had me stumped. I was thinking of cooking oils. I didn't particularly like 18D "If you don't know ____" ASK, but that's just me.

Overall a nice Monday puzzle.

What a difference between the English Horn and French Horn, eh?

ant said...

Hi hi!

It's Monday, but here's the STRAY Cats with Rock This Town (2:40) on Fridays. Remember when "Kramer" was playing war with his toys in his backyard on this show? Great skit!

And to keep it in the Christmas spirit, here's STRAY Cat Strut (5:19), with a little Grinch thrown in.

Have a great week!

Anony-Mouse said...

Thank you Don G. and CC for a very nice and interesting puzzle, and for dear Argyle for a followup commentary. All is good and wonderful, with the beginning of the week.

I thought of 'Poppy' instead of 'Peony' as the unofficial flower of China. Duh ! - That's the unofficial flower of Afghanistan.....

For Friday solvers, the 'flower' of Afghanistan is the Amu Darya ( literally - River from Amu-l ), the river on the northern border.

"KFC in China offers a breakfast of congee ( a rice porridge - ) and a teatime menu the Colonel wouldn't recognize" - TIME, 10/31/2011.

ALT QOD:- I would never die for my beliefs because there's a chance I might be wrong. ~ Bertrand Russell.

Anonymous said...

Bill G. - Could you please list the 13 answers to yesterdays corny Xmas puzzles ? - especially the ones the others did not get.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning Argyle and all. Fun to do another puzzle by our dynamic duo.

I thought with the exception of TEALEONI and LIV, this offering was easier than most Mondays. The above were easily gotten from the perps. The fill was sufficiently eclectic, to still make it fun. I learned that the PEONY is special to China.

Anony-mouse - Not sure about your reference to Friday re: the Amu Darya. Nevertheless, it was known in antiquity as the Oxus (good puzzle word), and is roughly synonymous with the limits of Alexander the Great's conquests.

Anonymous said...

Really liked the puzzle, Don & C.C. Thank you, Argyle, for "Time in a Bottle".

Had a couple hiccups--wanted hookup instead of ACCESS and EXTENtof. When I perped in around it, forgot to go back and change the "t" to D so my ER arrival "OtS". Oh well, perfection some other day.

My grandfather was a big PEONY grower--like 50 plants. Peonies are very long-lived root plants. We dug and transplanted them to mother's and my homes. As each sibling bought a home, they got some transplants. The fourth generation is now enjoying them in their yards every May. They have traditionally been used to decorate our family graves on Memorial Day.


carol said...

Hi all -
This was a great Monday offering. I zipped along until I read 11D and 34A. I just could not think of ODS - and I never heard of Tea Leoni.

25D came easily :)

I always forget that Morse code words are more than DOT / DASH.

Good thing the perps filled in most all of 39A as I had never heard of a 'TRIBBLE' and though of phones when I read 'DROID'.

Little Jack Horner said...

For Mari - What is the difference between the English Horn and French Horn, eh ?

In the English horn, you keep a 'stiff upper lip.' (lol)

The French Horn is convoluted and pretentious. (lol )

For true picture(s) of the types of horns, do see Argyle's link(s) in the main blog.

Misty said...

Happy Monday! This was a speed run from top to bottom for me too--a great relief after the trouble I had with the Saturday puzzle. The paper LA Times didn't list the constructors, instead saying "Attention: This Feature is not Available." So I'm glad to learn it was Don and C.C.--many thanks to both, and to Argyle.

Am also curious to learn the difference between French and English Horn. I actually played a (cheap) version of the French horn in my high school band--something called a "mellophone" or "mellowphone," I believe. But can't picture an English horn.

Christmas party went well though instead of 40 we ended up with only 30. Lots of leftovers--not bad.

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone.

Ahh, I do love Mondays and Tuesdays when I can solve – most of them any way. I thought this was a spectacular Monday puzzle. Nice arrangement, clues I could grok, and only two totally unknowns: Tea Leoni and Croce.

Thanks C.C. and Don and a very nice write up, as always, Argyle.

Off to a cruise around Punta Gorda to have a 5 course dinner and see the lights, but I may need a jacket as it will get down to 61°.


eddyB said...


Nice speed run last night.
No hockey to slow me down. Will be
different tonight. Go Steelers!

Surprised at no. of people who didn't know Leoni. She is almost a xwd stapple. Current status - sep

Time to spend some money.


Bill G. said...

Christmas Quiz with Answers

1. Where does Christmas come before Easter? In the dictionary
2. What's in December that isn't in any other month? A "D"
3. On what side of the house do pine trees grow best? The outside
4. What does a cat get when it crosses the desert? Sandy claws
5. What kind of dance would a snow man go to? A snow ball
6. Which burns longer? A red Christmas candle or a green one?
Neither: they both burn shorter
7. What two things does Santa never eat before breakfast? Lunch and dinner. (Being silly, I had an anvil and a helicopter.)
8. How many pieces of candy can you put in an empty stocking? One
9. What is an elf's favorite dessert? Short cake
10. When is a Christmas cake like a cold windowpane? When it's frosted
11. What can Santa take up the chimney down, but not down the chimney, up? An umbrella
12. Why does Santa wear red mittens?
To keep his hands warm
13. What state does Santa visit that's high in the middle and round on both ends? Ohio
14. How is Santa's sleigh like a track team? They both have runners
15. What does Santa have all over his workshop? A roof

Husker Gary said...

-I had a HiFi, now have WiFi and fav SciFi movie was Close Encounters…. Nice theme guys!
-Has anyone ever asked you, “Does this milk smell sour?” SNL had a hilarious skit on this.
-Spring harbinger peonies are beautiful and fragrant quickly and fade just as fast, ants and all
-I had to get some of my kids out of the Arcades in the Disney Parks.
-All the Dragnet episodes are on Hulu and are like a time capsule.
-Interesting info and speculation on the Appain Way
-I finished and enjoyed yesterday’s Sunday puzzle but the siren call of 55°F weather took me to the links and precluded blogging. Forecast looks like I made a good decision.
-Tin, your insistence on “neat” Scotch is like me with coffee!
-Just bought a car from a former student who said his wife has lost 30 lbs eating meals consisting mostly of roasted KFC chicken breast and one of their sides. Hmmm…

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, It's nice to start off the week with a C.C./Don puzzle. They have the knack for just the right amount of Monday difficulty.

The only fill I had problems with was 40D) "Transportation Companies"/CARRIERS. It made sense when I had the perps entered to get me through.

We had a nice treat at the Christmas Chorus concert yesterday. One of the singing members also plays a fine French HORN. He played accompaniment to a couple of carols. I really miss the singing, but now that we will be moving, there's no choice.

Back to sorting (pre-packing). See you all later.

Lucina said...

Good day, Argyle, C.C. and Don.

What a great way to start Monday! It was a fun speed run and no need to say HOWSAD, just UPBEAT all the way.

Argyle, thank you for explaining PTS as I had no idea, simply filled it. For all I know it could have been PARTS, PASTS, POSTS or anything else.

AFRO crossing OPRAH made me smile and I really miss her now that her show is gone.

Must run but I'll return to read the comments. Time for the gym and I am hosting a party tonight.

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone!

CrazyCat said...

Good morning everyone. Thanks Argyle for your write-up. Thanks Don and C.C. for a Monday with a little crunch. I also got the mysterious message "THIS FEATURE IS NOT AVAILABLE" so I had no idea who the constructor was until I came here.

Only real problems were putting in Spec before STEP which led to PEA LEONI (oops!). Got that straightened out. Also had Lotus before PEONY. I wish I could grow Peonies here in Southern CA.

Back to cookie baking. Today is bourbon ball day!

Argyle said...

Hey there, CrazyCat,

Did you like Ant's links to The Stray Cats? (8:00am)

Bill said...

Good Morning ,
Good offering today. Wanted to use TOME instead of TEXT. And EXTENDSTO kinda threw me for a while. Thought that--Reach as far as "THEEYECANSEE"--
would be good but there was no place
to make it fit.
Oh, well--finished it after a bit and can move on to bigger and better things.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good day!!!!

Argyle said...

Merry Christmas, Bill.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I had a couple of glitches, mainly putting in something that was "Almost right". I had to erase Shred for Rip Up and had Crue instead of Brut! I know better, but I was going through in too much of a hurry.

I had to look up Tea Leoni as I haven't seen "Tower Heist". I also had forgotten the words following "My name is Friday", but that came with the perps and some guessing on my part.

One of my grandsons received a scholarship from the local music teacher's association to play the french horn in his college orchestra. There is quite a difference between the French and English horn, not only in looks, but sound as well.

A good Monday morning puzzle from our duo and a great writeup from Argyle.

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Mari said...

CrazyCat, DH made Christmas cookies all day yesterday. I helped by making a batch of rum balls.

Argyle said...

I tried but I can't resist:

Joe Friday.

ant said...

Isn't it great when you enter in an incorrect word in the grid, only to have it show up elsewhere later? I had RATS for whistle-blowers, and thought "wow, how rude!" Turns out REFS are the whistle-blowers, but RATS appeared later as phooey!

C.C., the book is on its way, but here's a teaser:

shōten suru
made gurōbu kakae
aono yuku
-Yotsuya Ryū

Steve said...

Lovely Monday, DG and CC.

I've not picked a nit for a while, but HIFI SYSTEM clued as it was doesn't feel right. I think home theater buffs would say that they've got Surround Sound or something of that nature. HI FI to me is almost archaic in terms of audio technology.

OK, got that off my chest. Onwards!

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

This was a fun Monday puzzle ~ thanks Don & C.C. I wonder which you prefer, or is more difficult for you to construct ... the puzzles more straightforward like this one or those of yours that are much more complex. Either way - I enjoy them all!

~~ It was a pretty quick run with one misstep -- I had HIFI Stereo before SYSTEM, but the Y in ICY took care of that.

~~ Two of my three cats were STRAYs ... actually one was a feral kitten living in the woods behind our house. Thanks for the 'Stray Cat' links, ant! >^:^<

Enjoy the day!

Hahtoolah said...

Bill G: your Christmas riddles were fun. Thanks for giving us all the answers.

Ant: I saw the Stray Cats years ago in Boston. I am still a fan of Brian Setzer.

LaLaLinda : both of my cats were strays. One was born underneath my house. Her daddy was a big cat who hung around in the yard. Momma had three kittens, but left with 2. The daddy took care of the remaining kitten until we decided to adopt her. That was 17 years ago.

JD said...

Good morning C.C., Argyle and all,

This was a speedy day for me, even for a Monday. Peony was a learning moment. Argyle, loved the photo. PK, what a nice story and tradition.

Ant, I had the same experience, but different word. Had REB instead of CSA, and voila...REB came later.

Also had dot instead of dah for a minute. And "oils and such" made me really think.

Clever theme. It did help me fill hi fi system.

Bill, enjoyed your riddles.

Have a great week all.

Marge said...

Hi all,
It's been so long since I posted, I don't remember the last time. There are a lot of new people on the blog, I see. That's good.

As usual, this seemed hard for a Monday but I got thru it. It was fun.

We are down in Georgia for Christmas with our kids. I am enjoying the weather. Its cooler than Florida but warmer than Wisconsin.

Argyle, thanks for that Joe Friday spot. I really enjoyed that! Also, thank you and CC and Don for this crossword puzzle blog.

We arrived in Ga in time to help our granddaughter celebrate her graduation from Kennesaw State University. She has worked on it for a long time.

Have a good day all and if I don't get back before Christms, I hope you have a good one.


len said...

Hi all,

Liked the horn pictures. Looks like the English and French horns could almost be metaphors for the two cultures. And the masculine/feminine contrast isn't exactly subtle either.

Puzzle was a 12 minuter. Nice.


Bill G. said...

Maybe this is obvious to everybody but in case it isn't...

A French horn is a brass instrument kinda between a trumpet and a tuba. An English horn is a double reed instrument closely related to our old crossword friend, the oboe.

Argyle said...

And actually, it's Germanic. History

Wanda Woman said...

A nice, speedy, confidence-building Monday puzz. Well done, Dynamic Duo! My only stumble was getting a PEDI instead of a PEEL at the spa.

It's almost Christmas! Have you been good? Answer honestly; I have a Magic Lasso and I'm not afraid to use it to help Santa.

CrazyCat said...

Hi Argyle - Loved the Stray Cats clip! Thanks Ant.

Mari - You have a DH that bakes? That's impressive! Rum balls, bourbon balls - they're all good.

Two of my cats were strays. The one in my picture just showed up in the yard one day and never left. I guess she heard we serve Fancy Feast here ; )

Argyle said...

Thanks, Wanda Woman,

I can always use the extra help.

How many have the shelf elf out there keeping watch? I hear it's the latest rage. Image.

len said...

Hi again,

Bill G and Argyle. I appreciate your comments but a metaphor is not a literal comparison, any more than "the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas".


Tinbeni said...

Glad to see you finally got that cat out of the tree.

Wanda Woman:
A friend of mine is alway really bad.
Started just after he got that Coal burning stove ...

CrazyCat said...

Hi Tinbeni - Yes, that cat finally landed on all four paws.

Jayce said...

Argyle, thanks for the Joe Friday link. I laughed my head off.

Don and CC, thanks for a lovely Monday puzzle. Easy yet fun.

Happy holiday wishes to you all.

windhover said...

I understand that Santa knows where all the bad girls live. If you could snag that address book, we could make a fortune.

Avg Joe said...

Our cat Skamp (pictured) is a stray. The mother cat abandoned her and a brother near the home of one of my wife's co-workers. Since this person was allergic to cats she took them in, but only temporarily to find homes for them. They lived in a garage for 3 weeks, and we brought her home just over 2 years ago. Great cat!

And you can't have a conversation about cats without musical accompaniment by Tom Jones. (Note: The video says 3:31~, but when it stops at 2:30~, it's over. the rest is dead air.)

Wiki-leaks Santa said...

Question 1. What US dept. /Agency shut Santa ( and his sleigh - ) down for the next Christmas ?

Its a toss-up between NTSB Natl Trans. Safety Board & Civil Aviation Board - Santa for not filing his flight path in advance, and not sticking to the pre-determined shipping lanes, no advance ground clearance, no air-worthiness inspection of the vehicle, No insurance coverage records on file,

OR OSHA and Dept. of Transportation - No seat belts on the sleigh, No Air-bags/side air bags/ no windshield/ no side guards/ no back-hazard or stop lights, no headlights, no annual inspections ticker, no registration. Unsafe working conditions for reindeer and employee elves.

Homeland Security - Santa's on the "no-fly" list since his identity has never been confirmed. Also reputed to have visited all Al-Queda countries, at least once.

TSA - Santa couldn't fit into the MRI scanning compartment, too many metallic attachments - bells etc.

E.P.A. - Them reindeer have too large a carbon footprint, plus too self polluting with all their pooping. Also roof poop clogs up the rainwater filtration system.

A.C.L.U. - Santa is confusing the statutes between separation of church and state. Also accused of defamation of Mr. Grinch and others.

Local Police, Sheriffs Dept. - Illegal parking and failure to maintain assured distance and ability to control vehicle. Also suspected open containers and DUI/OVI/DOI and all others.

S.P.C.A. - Them reindeer don't look well fed and haven't had their annual medical vet exam for god knows how many years.

Dept. of Labor - D.O.L. - Elves not being paid minimum wage and benefits. I.R.S./Dept. of the U.S.Treasury has been notified of possible gift laundering ....

len said...

Hi again,

ARBAON: Was that an Occupy Wall Street Christmas flash mob?

WIKILEAKS: Great post. Watching Arbaon's video, I was on pins and needles waiting for Mall Security to swoop in and bust the carrollers.

LA CW ADDICT said...

Can somebody explain #8 of the Christmas Quiz to me? I don't get the one about how many pieces of candy go in an empty stocking.

Argyle - I loved your Joe Friday link. I think I saw that when it originally aired, but had long forgotten it. This was a treat and it made me laugh! Jack Webb could really keep a straight face, but was not much of an actor otherwise. I loved Dragnet though. Still watch the reruns when they are available.

Enjoyed the puzzle - did not think it was too difficult.

Enjoy your week everyone. I only have three days left!

Bill G. said...

8. How many pieces of candy can you put in an empty stocking? One

Just one. Because after the first piece, the stocking isn't empty anymore. :>)

I especially enjoyed #4.

Anonymous said...

Arbaon, were you playing Santa in the mall? Great clip--moved me to tears.

Argyle, as a childhood fan of "Dragnet" on radio, thanks! Also good was the Friday telling Obama clip on that link.

Wikileaks, too nearly true to be funny.

AvgJoe, good link for all us cat lovers!

Much rain here with snow on the way. Is it too late to fly south? Oh well, should be able to tell if my new roof is water tight.

- PK

lois said...

Good evening Argyle, CC, and Don, great Monday puzzle. I flew thru most of it and the perps got the rest. Count me in with Carol and those who didn't know Tea Leoni. I also thought Hi Fi system was a little obsolete, but it worked. Loved seeing and hearing Croce again. Thank you Argyle for all the links esp that Joe Friday one. I forgot how funny that was. LMAO

ARBAON: thank you also for that Flash Mob concert. Wow, what a thrill that would be to see that. And you were in red? Hmmm, the choices were few, but I bet you were NOT the adorable one sitting in the chair w/white hair and a long white beard.

Bill G: thank you for the riddles. I will use them tomorrow. Very cute!

Santa Baby: About your list and my ranking. I plead and drink the 5th while maintaining that I am more good than bad ...I'm very very good at being very bad. You know I'll be up waiting for you.

Enjoy your night.

Don G. said...

To LaLaLinda
Very interesting question, about which type of puzzle we prefer, simple and straightforward or complex, or which is more difficult to construct. Speaking for myself, I do not have a preference, although my mind tends to want to think in a complex manner. I do love to solve a fun Monday puzzle with lots of interesting but familiar words and fun clues, but I also enjoy the Saturday challenges of tricky clues. Either way can be enjoyable to me. Maybe it depends on the time factor. It was a genius moment when, I believe it was Margaret Farrar, figured out that the puzzles should start easy on Monday and finish hard on Saturday. Another part of the answer has to do with difficulty of construction. A Monday puzzle can be difficult, trying to keep all the words familiar. The most difficult puzzles to construct are the ones with a lot of theme answers. Since we like to have a lot of themage, as Dan Naddor put it, we often end up in trouble while constructing a puzzle. But this never stops us from trying.

Thanks to all who wrote in. I wish I could get to solving puzzles earlier in the day and writing in, but my situation does not allow for the time right now.

JD said...


Yes, THE ELF who reports back to Santa every night, is a big hit out here. Truman is very aware of where the elf is each day. Larry, the elf, fell over one day and the boys were so scared that his magic was all gone. My daughter told him that he fell asleep.

LaLaLinda said...

Hahtool ~~ That daddy cat was a sweetie to take care of his kitten ... what a special 17 year-old kitty you have!

CrazyCat ~~ My cats are having Fancy Feast salmon for Christmas dinner. >^:^<

Don G. ~~ Thank you so much for your thoughts on constructing puzzles. I do enjoy the easier ones early in the week leading to the more challenging ones. Since I've been here at the 'Corner' I've been getting better at solving and I am much more aware of what goes into a puzzle. You and C.C. do great work!

Lemonade714 said...


We always appreciate a few words from you, morning, noon or night. Understanding the minds of the creators has made me a much better solver, and made the whole experience more fun.

My father grew the most gorgeous DOUBLE PEONIES .

Lucina said...

My party was a big success thanks to our tamales! It was actually also a baby shower of sorts for our complex manager who is due in February.

I love reading all your comments. What a great bunch of people here at the Corner. I know TEALEONI only because I love her husband!

Don, I concur with Lemonade, your comments are welcome at any time.

fermatprime said...

Hi all!

6 hours of sitting at a table wrapping gifts today (one break for dinner). Back is in agony. Only a few more to arrive. Amazon made a bundle off of me!

Hate to blog so late! Really fantastic puzzle, CC and DG! Went lickety (sp?) split. Lots of fun! Extraordinarily good exposition, Argyle!

The blog comments were very interesting. Love this blog!

Hasta mañana!

xyz said...

Nice puzzle, but I must complain that it is ... von TRAPP.

Christopher Plummer was on CBS Sunday Morning this past (18 Dec) Sunday.

Glad to find this blog, I like the elegant simplicity that dominates the LAT puzzles. Yippee!