Dec 1, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011 Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel

Theme: MEET THE PRESS ( 21D. Interview show since 1947 ... and what this puzzle's starred answers do in two ways). The FOURTH ESTATE (4D. 21-Down group) refers to the news media and acts as PRESS in the grid, with starred answers coming either before or after it.

20A. *Public distribution : RELEASE. Press Release. When companies want to make news but don't have any, they issue a press release...

22A. *2011 NBA finals runner-up : HEAT. Heat press. A heat press is a machine that is used to transfer designs onto T-shirts. But the Miami HEAT were also in a press (tough race) for the finals.

31A. *Loose : FREE. Free press.I can write whatever I want on this blog - it's a free press, after all!

43A. *Bond, for one : AGENT. Press agent. Ones who issue lots of 20As. James Bond might have issued a couple promoting his latest movie.

52A. *Champagne, e.g. : WINE. Wine press. To extract every bit of flavorful goodness from the grape.

Marti here on the first day of December, so "Rabbit, Rabbit!" I am traveling in Germany right now, so wiki does really weird thing to my computer. Until I figure it out, I beg your forgiveness for not providing links in this write-up.


1. Up in the air : ALOFT

6. Runner's woe : CRAMP

11. "Very funny" TV station :TBS. Turner Broadcasting System.

14. Instrument for the musically challenged : KAZOO. Hey, some guys can really play those things!

15. Panting, perhaps : EAGER. Or, just plain hot.

16. Art, now : ARE. Thou art too cute with this clue!

17. 1-Down follower : ASSUMED NAME And 1D. Letters before a 17-Across : AKA. "Also known as".

19. Ad __ : HOC. Like some committees, formed for a specific purpose. Latin for "for this".

21. Subject to debate : MOOT. Like the value of ad hoc committees?

25. Mao follower? : ISM. Maoism.

26. Garden purchases : SEEDS

27. A pop : EACH. I remember when hot dogs were ten cents a pop...

28. "Golly!" : OH GEE

32. Routes for two-wheelers : BIKE PATHS

36. 1962 NASA launch : TELSTAR

38. Hairstyle with an appendage of sorts : RATTAIL. A hybrid of the "mullet" hairstyle, with a long strand at the back of the head. I cannot find images.

40. Modern information sources :DATABASES

42. "Java" jazzman : HIRT. Al. I'll leave the link to Jazzbumpa.

44. Scratched (out) : EKED

45. Hightails it : SCATS. But Ella Fitzgerald is the queen of scat!

48. Stephen of "Citizen X" : REA. Did not know him. Irish actor.

51. Causes of grins and groans : PUNS

53. Wall-mounted safety device :GRAB-BAR

56. Baby carrier : EGG

57. Prevailing tendencies : MAINSTREAMS

61. 72, at Augusta National : PAR. Golf.

62. Door support : HINGE

63. Time piece? : ISSUE. Time magazine.

64. Take a shot : TRY

65. Of yore : OLDEN. Happy golden days...

66. Stage device : ASIDE


2. __ Cruces : LAS

3. Wt. units : OZS. Ounces. Abbr. in clue. So class, what does that mean?

5. Heavy reading? : TOME

6. Yields : CEDES

7. Went ape : RAN AMOK

8. Turkish titles : AGAs. Are they a gas?

9. Unit of cultural information : MEME. Ooh, ooh, Me! Me! No, that's not right. "meme" is from "mimeme", ancient Greek for "something imitated".

10. Fix opening : PRE. Prefix.

11. Chevy SUV : TAHOE

12. Group of chicks : BROOD

13. Doctrinal offshoots : SECTS. Not to be confused with sex, although I'm sure they must have some.

18. "The Book of __": 2010film : ELI. Has anyone seen it?

22. Test by lifting : HEFT

23. Dog-__ page : EARED. C.C. doesn't like it when people do this to her books, and neither do I - especially since mine are on and I pad, and when they get dog eared, I'm in big trouble!

24. Speedy Amtrak train : ACELA

26. Relief for a commuter : SEAT. Great visual.

29. "Take it!" : HERE

30. 3.0 and 4.0: Abbr. : GPAs. Grade Point Averages

32. Pig movie : BABE

33. Founding member of OPEC : IRAN

34. 17-syllable work : HAIKU. Ok, who can give us examples of their own original haiku?

35. Emergency indicator : SIREN.

37. Puts out, in a way : TAGS. Oh, like with a baseball at the plate. I was thinking more like "knocks unconscious with the bat"!

39. Old Fords : LTDS

41. Adjective for Ripley : STRANGE. Believe it or not...

45. Won all the games : SWEPT.

46. Gag that might explode : CIGAR. Another fun clue.

47. Explosive : ANGRY

49. Clampett player : EBSEN. Jed Clampett made his money in oil, so they say.

50. NYC dance troupe : ABT. American Ballet Theater.

53. Author Godwin : GAIL.

54. Fruit cover : RIND

55. Met excerpt : ARIA

57. Old reciprocal electrical unit : MHO. Reciprocal of an ohm.

58. "__ always say ..." : AS I

59. Pie material? : MUD. Mmmm...mud pie is really delicious1

60. Reference word : SEE. See??? I told you so!!

Answer grid.



Constructors' note:

When I first proposed this idea to Don, it's simply a mundane theme with a few phrases starting/ending with words that can precede/follow PRESS and use "MEET THE PRESS" as a unifier. Don thought that we should try to take a familiar theme idea and do something more creative with it. Don came up with FOURTH ESTATE as a partner for MEET THE PRESS, and suggested that we put words that can precede PRESS on the left & words that can follow on the right. We had fun with this grid.


Dennis said...

Good morning, Marti, C.C. and gang - a fun puzzle, certainly not too easy, a typically sterling write-up by Marti -- what's not to like?

My comments have to be brief as I'm running late, and anticipate having huge news (for me, anyway) by day's end, but I did want to check in and say how much I enjoyed today's offerings.

And after reading last night's late comments, I anticipate being even busier...

More later.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

So... the theme involves answers that share a first or last letter with FOURTH ESTATE, but doesn't include answers that cross it? That seems a bit arbitrary to me, but no matter.

Fun puzzle overall. Not too challenging, although there were some missteps and at least one unknown.

I really wanted TSE for "Mao follower" at 25A and ESSAY for "Time piece" at 63A. Oops.

GAIL Godwin is not somebody I am familiar with.

I think of SCATS as performing a vocal jazz riff, a la Ella Fitzgerald or Mel Torme, instead of Hightailing it. Now SCOOTS on the other hand... But, yeah, it's perfectly valid, since you can tell somebody to SCAT. I just resisted putting it in for awhile.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Nothing arbitrary here. FOURTH ESTATE = PRESS. Those starred 5 entries meet the PRESS.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

The Dynamic Duo had me reeling for a while today. 9D, MEME, still don't understand. I kept wanting to change it , but the crossings looked solid, so I stayed with it. 16A, ART, NOW /ARE had me addled too, until the Biblical usage lit my light bulb.

Got a chuckle from 63A,TIME PIECE/ISSUE although I think of a Time issue containing several pieces (articles).

Wanted TSE, instead of ISM for 25A.

RATTAIL and GRABBAR were unknowns. I'd never have the testosterone to tell my better half her hair looked like a rats tail.

CC, disappointed there were no baseball clues. Swept is a stretch.

Back in the day when I was able to play golf, I probably could have shot a 72 at Augusta National in 12 holes or less.

Marti, enjoy your trip and be safe.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. This was a good Thursday-level puzzle. I started off with a bang, but then slowed down a bit. Still, I was able to complete it with no look-ups. Whatever I didn't know eventually found its place through the perps.

My favorite clue was Baby Carrier = EGG.

I was also amused by Art, Now = ARE.

Like Barry, I really wanted Tse to follow Mao.

I also initially tried Ad Lib instead of Ad HOC.

A year ago I probably never heard the word MEME. Now I see it everywhere ~ in and out of the crosswords.

Have fun skiing, Marti!

QOD: Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. ~ Robert Heinlein

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Some tricky clues in there kept me off balance. I've never heard of THE FOURTH ESTATE, so that long vertical was slow to fill in. Never knew there was a RATTAIL hair style either, sounds ugly.

Hand up for Mao TSE.

When my wife needed to buy a whole bunch of KAZOOs for an "orchestra", we went directly to the source - the only company that still makes all metal kazoos - Eden Kazoo in Eden, NY. This proud little company was formed in 1916 and believe me, they take kazoos seriously!

Thanks for your trans-Atlantic summary, Marti, and bring me a piece of Apfel Strudel, willya? Mit Schlag?

desper-otto said...

Enjoyed the puzzle. looked daunting at first, but turned into a fairly quick solve. I think all of you are thinking of Lao Tse, there was no Mao Tse that I know of. I did want PIGTAILS until GPAS blew it away. MEME was a learning moment.

Never did notice those asterisks in the clues. I've got to start reading more carefully. Guess I was feeling the PRESSure to finish.

desper-otto said...

Hondo, it ain't testosterone, it's your instinct for survival that's in play there.

And, there was also TAGS, that's a nod to baseball if I ever saw one.

Argyle said...

Good Morning all,

A rattail is like a Chinaman's queue but much shorter and only from the nape of the neck. Young boy.

Song at 36-Across: Telstar.

SWEPT is used all the time in basaeball.

I want to know how they got the asymmetrical placement of the theme accepted.

Not a Scratch said...

I shot a 72 at Augusta once. Then I played the back nine.

Anony-Mouse said...

Damn Computer on the 'fritz again. @#$#@

Thank you Cc and Don G. for a very challenging puzzle - but I did it ! And a Thursday one, at that .... So now I can wax poetic about all the puns and groaners that I 'saw' thru .....

Marti, in der Deutsch-land ? Wow ! Hoist a big stein for all of us - and be careful whilst skiing ! Great blog, Marti, under very bilingually challenging conditions. LOVED your commentary.... thank you for this service beyond the call of duty.

Marti, ONLY use and accept the German Euro's and don't ever accept the Greek ones ! ( lol )

I misread (the clue ) and was wondering about the instrument for the 'mentally' challenged ? ( I suppose that would be me - ).

Rabbit. Rabbit - or as they say in Germany - Herr, hare, hare.

ALT QOD:- Referring to these guys as "student athletes" is like labeling Attila the Hun's cavalry " weekend warriors". ~ Russell Baker.

Lemonade714 said...

Good morning:

Up too early and then too late to post, but C.C. and Don, thou art too tricky for me with this theme. Like Argyle, the asymmetrical placing of the theme fill was confusing, and made me look for some other fill. Unlike yesterday, no unknown people, but my electrical knowledge is non-existent, and I was lucky MHO appeared via perps, though I know the new term is a siemens

Marti thanks, with the time difference I would have been quite confused trying to write from Germany, good job.

Happy December all.

Anonymous said...

Hondo hurricane--I'm sure you've heard of grab bar--the safety devices they have in bathrooms for the handicapped to get in and out of the bathtub or shower or off the toilet.
Total fun --one of my kids on the school newspaper and he is always talking about being the fourth estate.

Barry G. said...

Nothing arbitrary here. FOURTH ESTATE = PRESS. Those starred 5 entries meet the PRESS.

Yep, got the whole FOURTH ESTATE = PRESS thing. I was just commenting on the fact that "meet" only included answers that shared a final or initial letter with the "press." In my mind, answers that cross are also "meeting" the theme answer. My mind is a strange place sometimes, though.

Never mind...

Barry G. said...

@desper-otto: Actually, we are thinking of Mao Tse-tung (a.k.a Mao Zedong). True, Tse isn't his last name, but it does "follow" Mao...

thehondohurricane said...


In the context of the clue, TAGS ain't a baseball term. I interpret it to mean tagging something for sale. CC can settle it.


Swept is not an exclusive baseball term, it's used in all sorts of contests.

Anon @ 7:51

Know of them, but never used or heard the name before. It's because of my sheltered life style!

RD said...

Dudley, thanks for the comment about Eden, NY, my home town. I grew up (in the 50s)thinking all kids in the US had kazoos, I did not realize until later in life that they were made in Eden. Maybe I'm dense. Like trying to figure out what "four the state" meant - ah fourth estate!! Got most of the puzzle except trouble in SW.

Not Sad said...

Barry G-
So what I think you're saying is - you would have liked to have seen DEED in the puzzle crossing the middle of FOURTHESTATE? Interesting...

I thought the grid was very elegant in its execution. And I'm glad Rich allowed it.

Mari said...

I was thinking the same thing as HONDO on tags: Adding price tags to merchandise and putting it on a store shelf for sale.

I got the clues but couldn't put them tgether without reading today's write-up.

PUNS may cause groans, but my groaner was 28A (Golly!: OH GEE). I didn't like 27A either (A pop: EACH).

I can think of another definition of SCATS, these being left by wild animals.

Enjoy your day. Don't eat any MUD pies.

Still Not Sad said...

Ah! But then you would not be MEETing the PRESS, you would be crossing them. Which you do NOT want to do.

So, also, never mind...

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning. Great write up, Marti, even without links. I knew there would be a "TelStar" link sooner or later though.

MEME was not in my wheel house and filled via perps, but the 'Art, now' clue only got me for about two nanoseconds. Same with 'Baby carrier'/EGG.

Overall, it seemed a little easy for Thursday, but a very enjoyable puzzle from the Dynamic Duo.

Hahtool, I doubt that my father ever heard of Robert Heinlein, but he often said that if you wanted to find an easier way to get a job done, give it to a lazy person.

My introduction to electronics goes back to the days when the reciprocal of resistance (conductance) was the MHO or Ohm spelled backward. That one was a gimme.

Mari said...

RD: Hand up for "Four The State"

SouthernBelle said...

Mornin' to all,

What a way to get the brain working on a Thursday!

Can't add anything that hasn't been said....but especially enjoyed the EGG!

My, my, time does really fly by when you are in your 80s.....First of December and next thing you know....we'll be singing Auld Olde Syne!

Have a Great Day!

fermatprime said...

Mornin' all!

Excellent puzzle, except not a fan of self-referential clues (is that the right term?) Fantastic exposition, Marti!

Have you not seen The Crying Game, Marti?
The Book of Eli was good, except had hard time believing handicap of lead.

I have a DVD of the Acela. Really cool. Anybody here ridden it!

Hands up for EGG, ARE.

Bye for now!

Grumpy 1 said...

Obviously we have the shoppers that want TAGS on merchandise and sports fans that know that a player 'puts out' the runner when he TAGS him... and ne'er the twain shall meet. 'Puts out' had a very different meaning back in my youth and could result in a girl being TAGged with a bad reputation.

Steve said...

Sweet puzzle, nice write-up, Happy Thursday!

Haven't seen FOURTH ESTATE for quite some time, but it was nice and easy to dig out of the memory banks.

Hand up for TSE.

Liked the "meet" idea on the L/R of the "press" although I didn't see it until I read CC's explanation. I like hidden depths!

I was in NYC yesterday, had to fly back to LA unexpectedly last night, I'll be back on the plane to NYC this afternoon and back in LA tomorrow evening as originally planned. Dear Environment: sorry about my carbon footprint this week :(

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Don and C.C., for a very good puzzle. Thank you, HeartRx, for the review from afar.

I really got started slowly today, then piece by piece it all came together.

FOURTH ESTATE came first, then MEET THE PRESS. I got all the starred answers, but could not link them to the theme until I was finished. However, I only saw the tie to the word PRESS. I did not see the second way, and I still don't. Anyhow.

Had IST first, then fixed to ISM. Had DATA BANKS, then fixed to DATABASES.

As others, did not know MEME. Perps rescued me.

Initially did not like the 1D and 17A clues with no clues. Got the answers with perps.

See you tomorrow.


Barry G. said...

@Not Sad: No, I just meant that the clues for answers that cross FOURTH ESTATE should have been starred as well, since crossing is a form of meeting. At least in my mind, which we're already established is not always on the same wavelength as the rest of the world...

Steve said...

@Barry G - but the clues crossing don't have anything to do with the theme, so why should they have stars? I think you're digging yourself deeper into a hole here, amigo.

Husker Gary said...

Guten Morgen, Marti et al! Winter has come to the prairie and this was a nice diversion to a gray, windy day outside. Thanks Don and C.C.

-I enjoy linked clues like 1D and 17A
-I thought MOOT items were not worth debating
-I have calculated MHO’s
-Telstar was a song of my teens when instrumentals like that were popular - Walk Don’t Run, The Happy Organ (a fav of Dennis?), etc
-My wife has a RAT TAIL comb
-Yields/CEDES I got but then wanted CEDE for _ E _ E for “Take it” also
-MEME is new info
-I had to tell some of my kids to give a SEAT to older peeps on Disney buses but a lot of them did it on their own
-Like Grumpy, I had another “puts out” in mind
-A in REA and ABT was a WAG but fairly doable
-Joann and her twin sister used to take real eggs out of the chicken coop to put in their mud pies. Mom didn’t care for that.

Virginia C said...

Had a heck of a time with this one, but with 40mph winds all night and not much sleep I think I have an excuse. Either that or it was just too hard for me ;(. I did chuckle at EGG tho. Finally finished but I cheated a couple of times.

Tinbeni said...

Don G.& C.C. FUN (doable) Thursday.

Fave was that 'Baby carrier' EGG.
Learning moment, MEME.

Before my days "in a committed relationship" ... I always thought of STRANGE as a noun.

Guess that goes with the "puts out" & TAGS.

Cheers to all at Sunset.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Nice write-up, Marti.

Another fine but challenging offering from Don and C.C.

I, too, was looking for 1 or 2 baseball clues, and settled for SWEPT. Did not see TAGS as it was filled from the perps. Great theme, finally got FOURTH ESTATE, but only saw some of the meet the PRESS fills. Ultimately got almost everything. Only red letter was ABT. Did not know MEME but got from the perps. Favorite and very clever clues were those for EGG, FOURTH ESTATE, ARE, and ISSUE.

We used to live about a mile from the KAZOO factory in western NY.

Have a great day.

1,2,3, Not It said...

I just assumed TAG referred to the game itself.

thehondohurricane said...

Grumpy 1.

Back in the day if "we guys" used the expression puts out regarding to a member of the opposite sex, someone had gotten LUCKY, VERY LUCKY, and much too often it weren't me!

"Yer out" I heard to a lot, shouted by some fat, beer guzzling "man in Black."

Argyle said...

No rants please.

Tuttle said...

Can there really be a plurality of the noun "mainstream"? I mean, you're either mainstream or you're not, there can't be more than one mainstream.

Neither nor Wiktionary provide a plural for the word.

An S on the end of mainstream as a verb works though; "He mainstreams memes." is valid.

carol said...

Hi all -

Good write up Marti, I remember the term Rabbit, Rabbit but not what it means. Help.

Barely made it through this one, had to look up several answers.

Never heard of MEME.

44A SCRATCHED (OUT)/EKED....I put in EXED so that messed up that area.

As RD and Mari said, I also looked at 4D as FOUR THE STATE...and thought WTH???

Never can remember ACELA, we don't have them here in the wild, wild west.


38A RAT TAIL, I thought it was a comb! It used to be. I know some men wear their hair down past their shoulders or in pony tails...if you are one of them would you explain WHY???? Can't afford a barber? Like the 'hippie' look? Lazy??? The women love it???
Just curious :)

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I thought the puzzle was definitely Thursday level, particularly going with the theme. I have to join Abejo and others in not quite understanding "what this puzzle's starred answers do in two ways". Understood the connection to PRESS, but.....OH GEE, I got it done. That's plenty for me on a Thursday.

I had PIGTAIL at 38A for a while. RATTAIL was a new one for me. Thanks for the photo, Argyle.

I don't writ'em. HAIKU is not always 17 syllables after translation to English. Here's one from Matsuo Bashō, in honor of yesterday's MONKEY talk.

the first cold shower
even the monkey seems to want
a little coat of straw

Anonymous said...

Marti at 34 Down. Here's one:

Crossword puzzle blog
Intrepid commentors shine
But shun masked anons

Ron Worden said...

Good morning,Marti,C.C.,Don,and all. Enjoyed the puzzle it was a nice solve for me having solved quite a few Don and C.C. workouts getting to know what they are thinking. Liked kazoo,haiku,and issue.Thanks for the write-up have fun on your trip and stay safe Marti. Have a great thur. all it's almost fri. RJW.

Not Bashō said...

Second cold shower
Since even the mighty ape
Wants a little tail

Bill G. said...

The wind was howling outside last night. Our power went out twice. I went to bed after the second time but woke up when the bedside clock started blinking. Supposed to be more wind today. If so, I'll be skipping my bike ride.

Lucina said...

Happy day, Marti, C.C. and Don.

Again you bowl us over, Dynamic Duo and even without baseball clues this managed to flummox me. MEME and ASSUMED NAME simply didn't emerge for me. Was it because I had WAZOO instead of KAZOO? I CEDE defeat here.

Otherwise the rest of this was quite doable in a slow, methodical way.

Both hands up for FOUR THE STATE.

Loved the cluing for EGG and ISSUE though it's not new.

It could be I'm distracted musing about an impending anticipated visit. I hope you've been hitting the gym, Dennis.

Enjoy your Thursday, everyone!

windhover said...

I'll take a shot at your question. Until about three months before the picture that is my avatar was taken ( 6/09), I had shoulder length hair that was usually tied back in a pony tail. The pic of me with a beard, taken on my 61st birthday, included that, although it doesn't show.
Why? Because I liked it. If worn it that way since the early sixties (well before the Beatles arrived in NY) with the exception of a brief time in the eighties when I went "normal".
I've been riding motorcycles since I was nineteen, and I like the way the wind feels on a full head of hair. Do the women like it? Some have. Age took its toll on hair volume, and it took smaller and smaller bands to tie it back. I told the Irish to let me know when it wasn't working any more, and about three years after she did, I had it cut off. I still don't like it, because it was part of my identity. Neighbors who didn't know my name called me "Pony Tail Man". Could've been worse I guess, but what the hell?
Hope that helps.

Seldom Seen said...

I thought the theme for this puzzle could also be: LeBron James.

He decided to MEET THE PRESS to RELEASE the news that he was "taking his talents to South Beach" to play for the HEAT as a FREE AGENT, leaving Clevelanders to WINE(sic) and making him enough money to buy his FOURTH ESTATE.

Oh, meh.

Anonymous said...

MEET a BABE for some WINE and PRESS
until you RELEASE some HEAT.
STRANGE ? maybe, but that's what I thought
the theme was TO ME.

Avg Joe said...

Argle, my mind instantly went to music with the Telstar answer too, but my phonographic memory failed me. My ear worm was actually Pipeline.

Oh well, it's all surfing music and it's all good. PS, I tried to find a version by Junior Brown, but failed. He does a fantastic cover.

Seen, I saw that "meh" too and the first thing I thought of was this blog.

carol said...

WH: thanks for the explanation for why you wore/wear your hair that way, I would imagine it would be a similar reason for a lot of men your age. I remember the 'time before the Beatles' too :0 - not many guys had hair below the top of their collars unless they were greasers or Hell's Angles. Pretty scary to a lot of us sheltered teens.

Misty said...

Great Thursday puzzle, CC and Don. Thought I was going to nail it until I just couldn't get the SW corner. Got 'try' and 'wine' but "mom' and 'dad'--the only baby carriers I could think of--just didn't let me finish. And since I don't play golf, 'par' didn't come up. But loved "The Fourth Estate"--elegant! And, of course, loved haiku and have been looking forward to all the haikus that will be posted all day!

Quick question: I can infer what 'wheelhouse' refers to, but where does the expression come from?

Getting a new computer installed today, so pray I'll be able to check in with the blog again later.

Marti--heroic of you to do this job from Germany! Have a guten Tag!

Seldom Seen said...

My first thought after filling in RATTAIL was this Eddie Murphy movie scene. WARNING: This clip is funny and contains some foul language

Just after this clip ends the barber(Eddie Murphy) cuts Eddie Murphy's rattail off but I couldn't find the full length clip.

btw, the Jewish man is Eddie Murphy also.

eddyB said...


Oh Gee, I'm going to miss Bones and Prime Suspect tonight.

Janet Evanovich in Orlando on Dec 3rd for a book signing. Bring your copy of 18 or pick one up at B&N, Colonial Plaza. She now lives in Naples.

Marti. If you are any where near
Garmish, say hello for me.

Tomorrow. Take care. eddy RR

*David* said...

I felt the theme was a bit weak with the minimal amount of fill that it actually represented. It did allow for an interesting grid and other great fill however. It felt like I was doing a themeless trying to parade as a themed puzzle. Hardest part for me was connecting the AKA to ASSUMED NAME in the NW, I really dislike that cluing. I feel like I'm flipping between pages in a book.

Clear Ayes said...

Carol@11:19, really laughed out loud at your comments. So there!! to our pre-haircut resident former scary gang biker.

Dennis said...

Just got the phone call with the words I've been waiting to hear for several years. No, not the DF ones this time, but the news that we're being transferred to Boca Raton in February. My wife's company is just unbelievable; they're handling ALL expenses here and there, transporting both cars down, providing for several trips down to look for housing, etc. Even meal money (they'll regret that one.)
Anyway, I know it's off-topic, but dammit, I'm jacked up.

And yes, I'll be moving my part-time breast exam/ObGyn practice/screen door installation service as well.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Wow, what a multi-faceted puzzle! I find most of Don's and C.C.'s works to have many layers. The complexity of your minds usually shows in your creations. I really like(d) it.

This was almost like 6 puzzles today, various quadrants and areas being so isolated from each other, with only one word crossing from one section to another. But man oh man, what wonderful words they are. Making MAINSTREAM plural and SCAT 3rd person singular (adding S on the end) kinda rubbed me the wrong way a little bit, but DATABASES, TELSTAR, KAZOO, and BIKEPATHS are magnificent.

Like several of you, I wanted TSE as Mao follower, and love love loved the clue Art, now.

The Ripley clue (41D) made me think of that Matt Damon movie, but "talented" didn't fit.

I have often used RATTAIL files.

Marti, thanks for your writeup.

Tinbeni said...

Glad to hear the great news.

Only sad thing ... South Beach NOW requires Burkas.

Jayce said...

Here's a guy with a kick-ass ponytail and an equally kick-ass talent.

Jayce said...

Dennis, that is very good news. I'm happy for you. Thanks for letting us know.

Anonymous said...

True story:

Conversation with AMTRAK agent.

AA: We're sorry sir but your train is running late.
Me: How late will it be?
AA: I don't really know.
Me: Well where is it now?
AA: I'm really not sure.
Me: I hope one of your freight trains doesn't find it.
AA. That can't happen. We know where they are.


Avg Joe said...

I'd agree Jayce, that is a fine pony tail (and talent). Reminded me of the review of George Winston when he played the Lied Center here a few years back. They described him as looking like he was there to move the piano, not to play it.

Variations on the Canon

And I'd add in response to Carol's inquiry by citing Dick Cavett. They asked him in the late 60's why he wore sideburns. The reply: "It's a mild form of protest. Kind of like boiling your draft card."

Lucina said...

That's great news and thank you for sharing. I'm so happy for you. Of course I hope you shall have time for your side job.

carol said...

Hey Dr Dennis! Great news about the move!! Now you know I am going to ask WTH is with the screen door installation and how has it anything to do with the 'other' endeavor???

Ave Joe: cute about the mild protest :) Also funny is the way the 'establishment' ranted and raved about Elvis and his hair and later the Beatles haircuts but notice in the '70's all of them sported said sideburns and longish hair.

Anonymous said...

WooHoo! Hallelujah! And all those celebratory words! Finally, I actually filled every square correctly in a Thursday puzzle by Don & C.C. My cup runneth over! Thank you, C.C. Thank you, Don.

Maybe because I was a member of the fourth estate for many years, the brain cells overcame the cold meds to work for me. Tricky, but fun!

Also of help, I'm a TV golf and NBA fan. Good one, Seen! Are you celebrating the probable settlement of the NBA lockout like I am?

Thanks, Marti. But I wanted to TAG along.

Still don't think I'll know how to use MEME in a sentence very soon.

Dr. Den: if your wife finds out about your mamogram practice, she may not let you move to Boca. Good luck! Florida sounds lovely this time of year.

- PK

Nice Cuppa said...

Tut, tut,

MEME was coined by Richard Dawkins in his first and most famous book, THE SELFISH GENE. Essential reading for the renaissance man/woman. He had a specific meaning for it, which has become diluted/distorted since.


Nice Cuppa said...

The MAINSTREAMS of American and British culture have many similarities.... and quite a few differences.

Jayce said...

Nice Cuppa, good points and well said.

Dennis said...

I get sent this every year, and every year I realize how much I like it. Hope you enjoy it.

Bill G. said...

Yes, I've seen it before too but I enjoyed it all over again. Very droll. Thanks.

What going to happen to your hobby shops if you move to Florida?

Dennis said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Bill.

Some time back, when it looked like this was going to happen, I consolidated the stores into one; basically absorbed the skateboard store into the hobby store. Most likely, I'll sell it (there's several people who've always said, "tell me first when you're going to sell", but you know how that goes) or, failing that, I'll have a blow-out sale, then send the remaining inventory to Boca, and just piece it out on eBay. Should be able to sell it as a turnkey operation, though. Thanks for asking.

Ron Worden said...

Dennis, I would like to welcome you to Fla. I am a lifelong resident and will always be. Although we had a cool night last night,upper thirties it sure beats shoveling snow. RJW

Dennis said...

Ron, yes, I expect there to be some sort of thermal inversion hitting all of SE Florida, creating frigid conditions for the next couple decades. What part of Florida are you in? If you're in the SE, I strongly suggest you move.

Don G. said...


Just finally looking at comments.

I wish I had thought of your approach. Sure would have been easier if the words could have crossed. Why didn't we think of that?

Yellowrocks said...

Don and CC, marvelous puzzle with many layers of meaning.

Enjoy your ski-cation, Marti. Great write up.Thank you for your dedication to us, even on vacation.

Nice Cuppa, MAINSTREAMS comments are right on!!

I think getting more than noise from a KAZOO takes an artist. At least this video is recognizable.
Link Kazoo music

Dennis, congrats on your prospective move. Hope all goes smoothly.

I started slowly because, although many of my first reactions were correct,I misread the numerals in the grid. When I straightened that out it was easier and more fun. No lookups or red letters.

Have you ever had a student who filled in a bubble answer a line below where intended on a machine scored answer sheet and then proceeded to black in each answer one line lower than should be?

Yellowrocks said...

According to the urban dictionary WHEELHOUSE means "area of expertise." I greatly admire commenters who say, "It is not in my wheelhouse," instead of "It is too obscure," "No one around here talks like that." "It must be contrived or made up." Or worse, "Because I never heard of it, it is a bad clue." Yea for all you honest contributors!

HIGH TAILS IT,leaves, gets outta here,SCATS. Why not? No problem.

Has anyone ever eaten Mississippi mud pie or any other kind of chocolate mud pie? To this chocoholic MUD PIE is heaven.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

Clear Ayes said it for me: "I have to join Abejo and others in not quite understanding "what this puzzle's starred answers do in two ways". Understood the connection to PRESS, but.....OH GEE, I got it done."

~~ I did finish the puzzle and then studied it to try to get to those "other layers."

~~ I, too, thought of the game of Tag for 'Puts out, in a way," but can see how this and SWEPT would be baseball clues.

~~ My thinking was the same as Husker Gary re: MOOT. (I'm remembering a quote from "My Cousin Vinny.")

A fun puzzle, Don and C.C and a great write-up, Marti. Enjoy your time away!

Husker Gary said...

Just back from Christmas shopping and had an interesting experience. I have an app on my iPhone called ShopSavvy where you can scan the bar code on a product and it will bring up the price for that item in many venues.

The clerks at Wal Mart and Target were stunned to see that I found a lower price on my phone that was for a product in their store. They were further stunned that a 65 year old guy showed them something new but they all wanted to know how I did that! How 'bout dat?

BTW, they honored the price!!

Lemonade714 said...

Yes Dennis, it got all the way down to 58 here in SoFla, and no higher than 74 during the day; bring your parkas not your burkahs.

Misty said...

Many thanks, Yellowrocks, for telling me about WHEELHOUSE! I'll certainly use the expression at the first opportunity. (Notice how I've introduced DH and hump day into my otherwise dorky vocabulary since I've been on this blog).

Dennis, congratulations. I did my undergraduate work at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and have had a soft spot for the state ever since. And Boca is, of course, fabulous! What a great life you'll have there!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

We went to T-town today.

Wireless mouse died; struggled with a modem problem this evening, and am in a rather foul mood. So I won't comment on 1D - 17A. Otherwise a stellar puzzle.


Original Haiku

Trees changing their garb
From Summer's placid green to
Autumn's bronze and gold.
Autumn morning sun
Melts frost and casts long shadows:
Winter is coming.


Icy fingers on
Your spine, hair stands on end, Heart
beats a bit faster.


Grumpy 1 said...

Let's see if I can either explain or further confuse the "multi level theme".

Two of the starred clues can preceed the word "press", two can follow. Thus that part is a fairly standard "word that can preceed or follow" type of puzzle.

Those same four words MEET (but up against) FOURTH ESTATE. Since FOURTH ESTATE is the same as THE PRESS, those four words MEET THE PRESS.

Level three: The two words that can preceed PRESS, abut THE PRESS (FOURTH ESTATE) from the left, the two that would follow PRESS abut from the right.

Although it was fun to solve, I think this was more of a constructor's challenge than a solver's challenge. As CC said, she came up with a somewhat mundane idea and Don wanted to take it to a new level. Between them, they managed to make it work.

Ron Worden said...

Dennis, I am on the west coast near weeki-wachee that is where the mermaids play in the springs. We do have some winter nights that get chilly,and no I don't believe you will be bringing the arctic here. RJW

LaLaLinda said...

AHA! Thanks, Grumpy! Now I can see it, but I never would have figured it out without your "multi-layered" explanation. As I said earlier, I finished it, but I missed a whole lot!

Bill G. said...

The wind has abated so I was able to go for a short bike ride and espresso before tutoring. I was expecting the bike path to be inundated with blown sand from last night but, for some reason, it was completely clear. I was one of the few people out and about in that area.

A fellow who's helped us out as a skilled handyman just came visiting. Our neighbor's fence blew over last night. He had repaired it a few years ago when he replaced our fence. He wanted to get in touch with her (she is out of the country and is renting out her house). So we gave him her phone number. We also e-mailed her for him since, he said, he doesn't have a computer or a cell phone. He's an intelligent fellow who just doesn't want to be bothered with this new-fangled stuff.

Clear Ayes said...

Grumpy 1, I'll add my AHA to LaLa Linda's. For some reason I didn't get Marti's explanation. Not her fault, I just didn't read it properly.

Big congratulations to Dennis and his wife. What great good fortune that you are moving to one of your favorite places and it is at the company's expense. When is the housewarming party? It's been a while since I've been to Florida.

Our Red Hat group had our annual "Welcome to the Holidays" luncheon party today. We have a KAZOO quartet that played a couple of Christmas songs (guess who is part of the group). Had a great time with a wonderful bunch of women.

Lemonade714 said...

Misty, when were you in Gainesville? I went to law school there and taught for a while.

Grumpy great job conveying the subplots