Dec 22, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011 John Lampkin

Theme: Who Wears the Pants in the Family? Different kinds of pants are hidden in this puzzle's theme entries.

17A. *Neat, practical types, so it's said : CAPRICORNS. CAPRIS are pants named for the Isle of Capri in Italy. They were popularized by Grace Kelly, who often wore them while visiting the island.

58A. *Easter Bunny's delivery : JELLY BEANS. The now ubiquitous JEANS were originally the working man's pants, until they were popularized among teens in the '50s when James Dean sported them in "Rebel Without a Cause".

10D. *Ceremonial flag carriers : COLOR GUARDS. CORDS, or corduroy pants were never popularized. They do, however, have their own "Appreciation Day" on 1/11 and 11/11 each year. 11/11/11 was considered the holiest of corduroy appreciation days...

24D. *Arch supports, e.g. : SHOE INSERTS. SHORTS come in many styles, including cargo shorts, bermuda shorts, cut-offs and boxer shorts, among others. But I'll just link a picture that includes one popular style.

And the amusing unifier:

38A. Different kinds of them are split (but not in an embarrassing way) in the four starred answers : PANTS.

Marti here, happy to be blogging this delightful offering from John Lampkin. I like the fact that all four theme entries are plural. Having them in a pinwheel pattern adds to the visual effect of splitting, don't you think?


1. Popped (out) : FLIED. I was thinking "appeared", as out of nowhere. But of course, a baseball term referring to a high flying ball would throw me off!

6.Pet welfare org. : SPCA. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. My pets have them on speed dial, because they always feel like I am starving them to death...

10.Swear : CUSS. Anyone else have "avow"?

14.One drawing a bead : AIMER

15. Feeds, as cattle : HAYS. We had the discussion of straw Vs. hay yesterday. I will call on those same experts to let me know if this is the term commonly used when feeding cattle?

16.Kevin's "A Fish Called Wanda" role : OTTO. Kevin Kline. Funny movie.

19.Father of Cordelia : LEAR. The king. Shakespeare.

20.Slip : ERR

21.Swore : VOWED. Not enough letters for "cussed"...

22.Piano's opposite, in a score : FORTE. "Piano" meaning "soft", not to be confused with 25. Keys for a music room? : IVORIES.

23.Rhone feeder : ISERE. Seine, Loire, many five letter rivers can you name?

27.Department store employees : CASHIERS

30.Dog days mo. : AUG

31.Sing like Michael Bublé : CROON. I guess this guy is a little more modern than Big Crosby.

32.Is leery of : MISTRUSTS

37.Kin of -ess : ENNE

39.Make __ with: impress : A HIT

40.Radiation detection device : DOSIMETER

42.Inclined (to) : PRONE

43.Here-there link : NOR. Yes, but that's neither here nor there...

44.Invaded, with "on" : WAGED WAR

46.Epitome of thickness : PEA SOUP. No, the epitome of thickness is me at 11:00 at night, trying to figure out a crossword puzzle...

50.Clutch : GRASP

51.Insect-trapping resin : AMBER. This would creep me out if I had to wear it around my neck...

52.Man of many words : ROGET. Thesaurus man.

54.Le Mans law : LOI. Abejo, another French word for you to learn!

57.Kind of miss : NEAR.

60.Bar peel : ZEST. Like the zest of a lemon or lime, not the bar of soap!

61.Pulitzer-winning author James : AGEE. "A Death in the Family" (autobiography).

62.As if it were scripted : ON CUE

63.Mars, to the Greeks : ARES

64.Lout : BOOR

65.Ninnies : GEESE


1.Deal with : FACE

2.Whopper creator : LIAR. I was trying to think of the name of the Burger King owner. But Kramer and Burns wouldn't fit.

3.Puts away : IMPRISONS. I was still off on that Burger King tangent, and wanted "wolfs down".

4.It's always in Shakespeare : E'ER. Clever clue for the poetic "always".

5.Big screen locale : DRIVE-IN

6.Slip preventer : SHOWER MAT

7.Peel : PARE. Not to be confused with zest.

8.Singer Lauper : CYNDI. I'll let her fan link a song.

9.Beast of burden : ASS

11.Wombs : UTERI

12.Country : STATE. "Sovereign state".

13.Abrasions : SORES

18.Innermost part : CORE. Not to be confused with peel...

22.Final complement, perhaps : FOUR. ??As in, final four teams competing for the play-offs?? I had trouble with this clue. (From C.C.: NCAA's Final Four. Elite Eight. Sweet Sixteen.)

26.Relatives of drums : VATS. Lots of tricky clues today. In this case, "drums" refer to metal containers (like oil drums), not the things you play.

27.Emailed a dupe to : CC'ED. And a hat tip to our fearless leader.

28.Cartoonist Peter : ARNO. Now deceased, his political cartoons once appeared regularly in "The New Yorker".

29.Resilient strength : SINEW. Again, a tricky meaning for the word.

33.Poky follower : STRAGGLER. I was thinking "MON?", until I realized that poky was being used as an adjective here. Anyway, it's Pokémon, not Pokymon.

34.Hearst Castle, for one : SHOWPLACE. Has anyone else been there? No argument from me about it being a showplace!

35.Brown of publishing : TINA. I think she is still editor of "Newsweek" and "The Newsweek Daily Beast" (its joint venture)?

36.Dump closing? : STER. Dumpster.

38.Chincha Islands country : PERU. I tried to get you a map, but the islands are so small, even google maps can't see them...

41.Marshy wasteland : MOOR. Anyone else think of Heathcliff? And then there is the clecho with: 42.Marshy fuel source : PEAT BOG.

45.Neutral shade in London : GREY. As opposed to "gray" spelling, in New York.

46.Quixote's squire Sancho : PANZA

47.Arab chieftain : EMEER

48.Demean : ABASE

49.Barilla rival : PREGO. I use Barilla pasta, but always make my own sauce.

53.Butter alternative : OLEO.

55.Albatross : ONUS. Like an albatross around your neck...

56."Got it" : I SEE.

58.Punch that might make you reel : JAB. HaHa, I wanted to somehow fit "spiked eggnog" in there.

59.Yachtsman's course: Abbr. : ENE. Now I'm off to set my course for bed!

Answer grid.



Notes from C.C.:

1) Welcome back, Jeanie! I miss your presence and the warmth you always bring to the blog.

2) Here is a beautiful photo from John Lampkin, taken in October. He said "This is a cloud of Queen butterflies taken at Falcon Dam, near Roma Texas. A group of volunteers maintain a natural garden there packed with native butterfly-friendly plants. As a result, it's a mecca for butterflies and butterfly enthusiasts of which there are many. At times it's like walking through a fairyland."


Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Worked a little harder, as expected. How handy that we just covered King Lear and his daughters, that was a gimme. Just happened to see a Michael Bublé show on TV prior to working on the puzzle - the guy certainly has a good voice, but his stage manner stinks.

Piano and FORTE are indeed opposites in music, soft and loud respectively. The familiar instrument, the piano, has only been around for a few hundred years; in its early days it was called the pianoforte, because of its ability to be played soft or loud. Over time the name got truncated.

Thanks for a witty write-up, Neighbor!

Barry G. said...

This one defeated me. Too many errors (ASSES for GEESE, LEX for LOI, COPE for FACE, GOON for BOOR, etc.) and too much out of my wheelhouse (FLIED? HAYS? CAPRICORNS/CAPRIS)

I finally had to turn on the red-letter help and then still had to run through the alphabet in spots.

Ah well, there's always tomorrow...

HeartRx said...

I forgot to wish everyone a happy solstice! The shortest day of the year, and the heaviest travel day of the year today will make things interesting on the roads. If you are traveling out in Colorado, take care - that's one nasty storm you guys are getting!

I agree about Bublé's voice, Dudley. I learned that the term "crooner" was considered derogatory when it was used in the 30's. So I guess that isn't the term I would use to describe Bing Crosby.

Dudley said...

Oh, yes! Happy Solstice!

Each year I hope for conditions to be right for a bonfire to celebrate the Solstice, and most years it just doesn't work out. Last night it was atypical heavy rain that got in the way.

Argyle said...

Ayup, usta do a fer piece of haying the kine. Different these days, don't cha know. First video is some gentleman farmer, I believe, judging by his brand new tractor and wearing sneakers. Second video appears to be a seasoned farmer feeding his sheep. Both have them big round bales. First clip, Second clip.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. Oh, John Lampkin, you got me with this one! PANTS was the last theme answer I filled in, then I had to take a long look at the other responses. I don't wear pants, so I don't really think of the various types. The JEANS were the first to fall into place, followed by the CORDS, SHORTS and finally the CAPRIS.

Keys for a Music Room = IVORIES was my favorite clue.

Marti, I didn't think of Avow for Swear, but I did initially try Oath before realizing that we really were CUSSing.

Nice NEAR shout-out to our Desper-OTTO!

James AGEE is a frequent guest in the crosswords.

Jeannie, so good to have you back. Please stop by often, I have missed your witty comments. I am sorry you won't be able to be with your family over the holidays, but stop by to be with your blog family.

QOD: Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done. ~ Louis D. Brandeis

Hahtoolah said...

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

desper-otto said...

The NW almost did me in today. FLIED didn't pop out and my ESS kin was an ETTE. I couldn't figure for the life of me how .M.RISOTS could be Puts Away. It was a full twenty minutes later (way over the time limit) when ENNE and IMPRISONS finally appeared.

Yes, I've been to San Simeon. It's the most tasteless, gauche display of wealth gone mad that I've ever seen. The Hearst family got sick of paying for it, so they gave it to the state of California. The ALBATROSS clue next door seemed fitting.

And does anybody know of a single drivein theater that's still in operation? I sure don't.

Anonymous said...

I live in an area where there are still a few drive-in theaters. And quite a few cattle that are being fed hay. But around here "hay" is the singular as well as the plural, though I'm sure for someone working to provide fill for a puzzle can find that the dictionary has an option of HAYS.

Anonymous said...

Of course if a more Saturday type clue was desired then it could have also been: A town in Kansas.....

windhover said...

There are half a dozen still operating drive-ins within 50 miles of my home.

Avg Joe said...

The drive in that I went to often as a youngster is still in operation. Starlite. It's too bad they hadn't yet invented the trunk release back in the day.

And yes, hay the cattle is a common term. Pluralizing it is a stretch, but not an unworkable one.

SouthernBelle said...

Mornn' to all,

Seemed more like a Saturday puzzle for me! I had red letters all over the place on the first go-round.
But, I finally finished using only two red letter solves.....not proud of this...just saying....

The theme was completely lost to me until I read the write-up.

Middletown Bomber said...

a good thursday puzzle. 25 minutes helped me wake up did the northwest corner last thanks. first day of winter happy soltice all.

chapstick52 said...

John Lampkin--you rock!

Mari said...

Guh! Startinga puzzle with FLIED really threw me off. The theme was tough for me too. Never filled in all of the blanks. Frustrating to a puzzle addict who hates to quit. Good job John Lampkin! You got me!

Tinbeni said...

DNF ... but a beautiful Ink Blot.

OK, it's a bit on the "DF scale."
But what did you expect from someone who had BOOB for that 64-A, Lout and ASSES for 65-A, Ninnies.
Soooo, my grid had a bit of T+A and I figured John was having some fun.

Avg.Joe: "HAY the cattle" has never been used here. Go figure.

A "toast" to Winter at Sunset!
(Damn, it's only going to get up to 79 today!)

Lucina said...

Good morning, Marti, C.C. and cyber friends. Thank you, Marti, for an entertaining blog.

John Lampkin really delivers! I jumped around quite a bit, SPCA, LEAR, UTERI then finally filled in the blanks. Although misleading, it seemed a tad easier than most Thursdays.

My Natick was at ARNO /DOSIMETER as I didn't know and wrote ARNE. And I definitely hesitated at FLIED, knew it must be a sports term so reluctantly filled it.

We have one DRIVEIN here in Scottsdale and I believe it's the only one in the state.

Have a delightful Thursday, everyone! Back to bed for me.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Thanks for the commentary, Marti.

Welcome back, Jeannie. I'm glad you are OK. You are a special treasure and you were missed.

Nice puzzle from John. A little on the easy side for a Thursday. Never did get the theme itself; but it wasn't needed. The starred clues filled easily. I thought 15a, HAYS, was awkward, because I had never seen it used as a transitive verb in the sense of 'to feed' and animal, (just intransitive ie, 'haying' - processing the hay crop) but my Websters said it could. I learned something today, so BZ to John and Rich. I thought the cw was A HIT.

Have a great day.

chan said...

Consider me defeated here as well - I usually find the jump between Wednesdays and Thursdays to really slow me down, and this was certainly no exception. I managed to grind out PANTS, but had no idea what COLOR PANTS, JELLY PANTS, or SHOE PANTS meant. Guess that's not how I was supposed to split my pants...

Husker Gary said...

John, thanks for a wonderful exercise full of wit and subtlety!

-I tried everything to replace FLIED but it took Marti’s nice blogging for this baseball nut to see it and Final FOUR as well! You go girl!
-Ain’t never heerd of HAYING no bovines, here Joe
-I watched a good Woody Allen movie last night about Hollywood blacklisting called the The Front where he played a CASHIER. In this scene he drops the “F-bomb” when he tells the HUAC committee what he thinks of them.
-AMBER was a big part of Jurassic Park
-Ninnies were running around in The Descendants in Hawaii
-Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors was theme of the Kodak pre-show at EPCOT
-No matter how slow I walked in the Disney Parks, I’d have STRAGGLERS far back

Yellowrocks said...

Witty write up, Marti. Clever, enjoyable puzzle, John Lampkin. Great picture of butterflies. Butterflies are my personal theme for decor, jewelry, etc.

I needed the reveal PANTS to discover what was split.

NW took a little time. Having CORN I wagged CAPRICORN which opened up FACE,IMPRISON, and ENNE. I am a CAPRICORN but didn't recgnize the traits.

The 30 somethings around here wear CORDS from time to time.

HAYS in this sense is not plural, but the singular present tense verb. THEY HAY the cattle. HE HAYS the cattle.

I had METER right away, but needed all the PERPS for DOSIMETER, the only unknown.

We have a few DRIVE INs. I don't know if they are still "passion pits," as they were in the 50s. They seem more familiy oriented now.

NJ Irish said...

Hi Marti and fellow bloggers,

This is a first for me, did this one last night
on line, I usually do them on paper.

Fastest link with no commercials etc

Really surprised with how quickly it went.

I’d still be looking for a theme when the sun
came up this morning. You all amaze me with
your ability to even find a theme.

Thanks for all the fun write ups, links and
comments. Great Blog!!

Hahtoolah said...

Chan: you really had me laughing with your Jelly Pants, Color Pants, Shoe Pants!!!

Welcome NJ Irish. Do stop in often. We have fun here.

Mari said...

Tinbeni @ 5:34 pm yesterday: Did you sock your bartender with your draft neat order yet? I enjoy a good Shirley Temple with vodka. That one really gets the bartenders going.

desper-otto said...

I stand corrected. I did a drive-in search at and found that there are 78 drive-ins within 150 miles of here. But only one of them remains open, and that's in the little town of Hockley about 30 miles away. Never been there.

Spitzboov said...

When I was the DCA on my ship, I had collateral duty as the ABC (atomic, biological, chemical (warfare)) officer, so DOSIMETER was kind of a gimme.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning! Thanks, Marti, for your fun blog. I wandered around the grid, filling in a few here and there, but wasn't really getting a lot of traction. It finally dawned on me that i should look to see who constructed this thing. As soon as I saw John Lampkin I immediately turned my thinking cap sideways to the left (John's clues usually come flying in from left field) and really enjoyed solving this witty puzzle.

Aver, avow.. put in the av and wait for perps usually works. Not this time.

HAYing the cows was one of my chores when I was about nine or ten. We had a covered barnyard that was below the haymow, with an opening above the feed racks. It wasn't too difficult to drag the square bales over, cut the strings, and drop the hay over the edge. Since it took three bales, I guess I was feeding the cows their daily three squares. Now, well rounded meals seems to be the norm.

Thanks, John, for a really great puzzle.

desper-otto said...

@Spitzboov, in 1970 I was aboard Bon Homme Richard (Bonnie Dick) at NAS North Island. The guys in the armory accidentally "dropped" a nuke and the missile motor started. That had never happened before, and nobody was sure what was going to happen. I found myself in the hangar bay on the end of a fire hose about 20 feet away from the missile. If the skin temperature started to rise, we were to cool it down with fire hoses. Fortunately for us (and for San Diego) they removed it from the ship safely. That's the type of situation when the color drains out of your face and into your shorts!

NJ Irish said...

@hahtool Thanks for the invite. I stop in most days from my BB but can’t post from it. I do the puzzle on paper and then come here to see what I missed…. completely. I never get the theme.

@marti Ask for a City Gin and then watch the bartender scratch his/her head.

carol said...

Hi all-

S. Belle, Mari,Tinbeni: I'm right there with you!!

I couldn't even get 1A!!! Still doesn't sound right to me.

Put me down for one that wanted AVER or AVOW (never can tell which one) for 10A....believe me, I DID CUSS after I filled that in :)

12D STATE????? Really???? I thought STATE and COUNTRY were separate things.

Jeannie, welcome back!!! You were missed. We are all here for you.
As you said, January is a time jobs do open up a bit. I am sure you will find your niche...the catering sounds like a good fit for you.

We had a drive-in theater in our area until it was turned into some sort of church thingy. Don't know how that worked for 'them'.

Seldom Seen said...

Always enjoy a John Lampkin puzzle.

Am curious to know if he tried to work in a split between PEA + SOUP to echo the split PANTS theme.

Surprised that 57a hasn't got more discussion. I wanted Swiss(in more ways than one, or even two).

Really liked Marti's use of the fruit pictures to show us a mini-theme.

Heed the advice of 32a. Never leave your tools out in the fog. Because MISTRUSTS.

melissa bee said...

good morning all,

this one gave me some grief - especially the nw corner. FLIED was the last fill but there were a handful of other unknowns that gave me a good workout. superb writeup as always, marti - i did not have the patience this morning to figure out the theme - thanks for filling in those blanks.

like CA, i finally sold my home and am in the midst of packing. which is why i feel qualified to give this advice: get rid of all your stuff. heaviest stuff first. i know you want to sell it. okay, put it on craigslist for like, seven bucks. someone will buy it. if there's still more, consider a comical mishap involving a high porch or say, fire. whatever's left - throw. it. out. don't worry, if you need to replace anything you can find it on craigslist for like, seven bucks.

back to the trenches ...

Lucina said...


Qli said...

I needed the blog's help with this puzzle, but it was fun once I got over the fact that RUM punch was not the answer to 58D.

PREGO is the only spaghetti sauce my husband will eat. But he is cute, so I keep him.

Made a lot of HAY in my day, but we always FED the cows, or HAYED that field or made HAY in that field. Never HAYED the cows... We mostly used stacks of hay, since we didn't own a baler. Fun to play on the stacks; boy, did Dad get mad!

My favorite crooner is still BIng Crosby, and I don't mean that in a derogatory fashion!

Lemonade714 said...

Marti, you and JL are a great combination. This was a hidden theme, and as always both the puzzle and the write up were filled with wit.

I echo the sentiments of welcoming Jeannie back, this is your home and you have been here longer than most. Do not be a stranger.

Butterflies rock too

Qli said...

Melissa B: Wasn't Eva Cassidy fabulous!
Grumpy: three squares, or well rounded meals!
Seen: Mistrusts!

Thanks for the smiles...

Hahtoolah said...

Carol. A few country/states that come to my mind are: State of Israel / State of Jordan / State of Zimbabwe and State of Qatar.

ant said...

I guess HAYS could have been clued as "Robert of Airplane!" but that would have been a Monday clue. If that. Maybe a USAT clue.

All this talk of HAY had me thinking of Justin HAYward and the Moody Blues. Even with all of their early hits and long and storied career, this is still my favorite song of theirs: The Voice (5:24). Great up-lifting lyrics, too.

You must be having a birthday soon, Yellowrocks, as CAPRICORN begins with today's winter solstice. Think Rich knew that, or was it just a coincidence?

Anonymous said...

I can see Dennis using 32A to his advantage ,

TRUST me MISS I'm a doctor !

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Wow, this one was hard. But I didn't want a DNF on on JL, so I persevered to the end. Brilliant puzzle.

I didn't check back in last night and missed that Jeannie answered my call. Welcome back, you're always among friends here.

HAYS is not a plural, it's the verb form: I HAY; you HAY; he, she it HAYS; we HAY; y'all HAY; they HAY.

All that saying HAY made me think of Willie Mays.

Today is the Sagittarius/CAPRICORN cusp, and my daughter Karen's birthday.

It's lunch time. How about some PEA SOUP and JELLYBEANS?


*David* said...

Much tougher then a typical Thursday, I didn't get on this puzzles wavelength at any time. I sat and looked at IMPRISO-- for a good thirty seconds, ugh. Made one mistake at DOSIMETER/ARNO crossing, I put in an E.

John Lampkin said...

Greetings holiday solvers!

Thank you Marti for the upbeat and amusing blog. You know I love echoes and developments. Your lemon-apple progression of images is terrific! And thanks C.C. for running my butterfly photo. The Rio-Grande Valley is where to be in October for butterflies.

And thank you all for your kind words and grumbles. Hey, it's Thursday, so of course it's a challenge! Odd though, I myself had no trouble solving this one--ridiculously easy.

Wish I could take credit for the IVORIES clue, but that is all Rich Norris. In almost every puzzle he uncorks one or two corkers. [Note to self: send Rich a bottle.]

FLIED is a word I had been keeping in my back pocket for quite a while since it's the only verb I know of with two simple past tenses. FLIED and FLEW. My suggested clue was, "Verb form used only in baseball," since it is improper usage elsewhere. I was happy to find it a home at 1 Across on a Thursday!

So as I pop out, I wish you all a very merry and a healthy happy!

carol said...

Hahtool, thanks for the STATE/COUNTRY examples...I was not thinking outside the U.S.A. - I know, not very smart. Maybe I just wasn't awake yet :)

Going in for the dreaded mammogram today....Dennis, can we work a deal??? I promise I won't MIS TRUST you, but if you don't do it right, I may CUSS. Probably will anyway!!!

Misty said...

DNF for me today, even though I figured out the Capri Pants. Heard of 'flies' but never of 'flied'--still can't believe it, but then I'm a sports dud. Got most of the rest of the puzzle but the NW and the 'Arno'/Dosimeter' cross defeated me. Tomorrow's my Capricorn birthday--I'll think about wearing Capri pants if I can find any in my closet. Great write-up, Marti.

Ron Worden said...

Good afternoon to all,thanks Marti as always a great write-up. Thanks to John L. for the puzzle and the butterfly pic. If you ever get the chance you should sit in a butterfly garden so peaceful! Finished with a little help,never heard of a dosimeter. Looking forward to wearing shorts on Christmas day as temps will be in the 80's. They still have a drive in theater in Dade City about 30 min. from here,and some double as flea markets on the weekends. Lots of fond memories made at them when I was a teen. Tomorrow have to start making the meatballs for our big Christmas eve dinner. Have a great day to all RJW.

melissa bee said...

qli, absolutely, i've been a devoted eva cassidy fan for years.

jeannie, good to hear from you. there is no shame in losing a job - times are pretty grim. transition is always tough but usually leads to something more fulfilling - catering sounds perfect for you.

HeartRx said...

Desperotto, That sounds like a real hairy experience! But I almost split a gut laughing over your color-draining description!!

NJ Irish @9:52, I think you meant to address your comment to Mari. But what’s a City Gin?

Jeannie, great to hear you are back among us. As others have said, I know you’ll find something that suits your boundless energy and talents!

melissa bee, so nice to see you today. And I have been taking your advice for a few years now, trying to get rid of “stuff”. But the one thing that I would dread moving is an old Sony TV that weighs about 700 pounds. It is on the second floor, and I seriously considered just rolling it down the stairs and out the door to have the trash men take it away. But I was afraid that it would go right through the landing.

…Anyone want to buy a good TV for like, seven bucks??

HeartRx said...

John L., you snuck in while I was writing...thanks for stopping by. Your butterfly picture almost looks like an impressionist painting to me - beautiful!

And thanks for giving me a workout on this puzzle. I sat staring at the theme entries after I finished, trying to make sense of what kind of pants were split between the two words....but CAPRICORNS is one word, so that didn't make sense. Then I looked at the beginning and end of the theme entries and found what I was looking for. Great theme!

an astrologist said...

No, I don't think Rich knew that Yellowrocks was having a birthday soon.

KQ said...

Difficult Thursday with lots of unknowns crossing lots of tricky cluing. Just what a Thursday puzzle should be but needed a bit of red letter help. Didn't get the theme until coming here, but somewhat distracted mind today. Very clever though John.

Awesome picture - it does look like an impressionist painting.

As for San Simeon, I have been there several times. Like Desper-otto said - it is garish and outlandish which makes it totally worth seeing. I just love to go there. It is fascinating that he built rooms to fit the ceilings that he purchased as artwork. Each tour is completely different because the guides pepper it with their own favorite Hearst stories. He was quite the eclectic figure so it is terribly interesting. Similar to going to King Ludwig's castles. Every country needs their madman don't they?

Steve said...

It's all been said, but adding my props. Great puzzle, made me work for it, learned some stuff while I was at it. Awesome, Mr. Lampkin.

I have my TV pretty well permanently tuned to ESPN, so FLIED flew with me.

I knew TINA Brown, but for some reason ignored that for a while and tried to rummage in the recesses of my brain for the first name of the Brown in Little/Brown publishers. That got me nowhere.

Great write-up too, Marti - thanks.

Lucina said...

I forgot to mention my trek to Hearst Castle many, many years ago on a road trip with one of my sisters.

The interior is dark and dreary although furnished with wonderful antiques such as the refectory table in the dining room. According to our guide, he ransacked Europe for them.

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. This took me a while so I'm late to the party. I needed red letters finally and I never did find the split pants until I read Marti's explanation. I enjoyed the effort though.

Yes I've been to Hearst Castle. I liked it OK but I enjoy the scenic drive up the coast from there to San Francisco much more. We've made the drive a number of times and always enjoyed it. It takes almost twice as long as Interstate 5 but the beautiful coastline is worth it.

Yellowrocks said...

I tried out my new avatar about an hour ago. It and my post turned out okay, but now it is gone. Maybe I hit the little trash can. My post was quite harmless.

Anonymous said...

Jeanie brings warmth???

Wanda Woman said...

Oy, Thursday toughie for me. I had to have some red letter help to finish the final few squares.

FORTE was not my forte. My musical abilities max out at turning on my iPod. I loved ROGET being a man of many words, but my favorite clue was about a fish called ME.

Jazzbumpa said...

I've never been to San Simeon, but I have split my pants. I was grad assisting in a Dale Carnegie class, acting out something, and when I squatted down the seat ripped out, right down the middle. Fortunately the other grad assistant was a tall guy. I borrowed his blazer and kept myself modestly covered for the rest of the evening.

JzB not quite embareassed

Bill G. said...

If you love dogs, you will enjoy this. It's a video of dogs welcoming home their owners from deployment.

Ol' Man Keith said...

I got them all, except for PEAT BOG. I had PEAT GAS in order to have JELLY GRAMS (instead of JELLY BEANS) running across. Everything fell into place with my error--until I hit the impasse at 62 across. I wanted ON CUE, but had only A[ ]CEE to work with. All in all, a good Thursday puzzle.

PS. I hated the theme. I didn't get it and still don't like it.

Anonymous said...

For 41 Down I had Moop??? Seriously, I had trouble with Capricorns, once I got that the rest fell into place.

NJ Irish said...

It's not "on tap" per se but it comes from one.

Anonymous said...

I print out a daily copy of the LA crossword puzzle from
Scan down the page to the hot link for the crossword puzzle.
It prints out perfectly on one sheet of paper, unlike the one in the Virginia-Pilot which takes a page and a half to print, and is very cumbersome.
Old Sage In Virginia Beach

Spitzboov said...

Anon @ 3:18pm Here are more Moops.

Desper-otto: Re: and into your shorts!. That's why you need a dosimeter:-)

Avg Joe said...

OK folks. It's almost Christmas. And you know what that means? That's right, it's time for Christmas music!

Let's light this candle with a little Tom Waits.

Anonymous said...

Thought the theme was very far-fetched. Had pairs instead of PANTS. FLIED isn't in my vocabulary. First tried to geiger instead of Dosimeter.

Desper-otto: Egad! Bet everyone had to change underwear after that event!

Re moving: I lived 4 miles from the county landfill. Two teenagers and I filled my old pickup and went to the dump two to five times, six days a week for 2 1/2 mos.There was supposed to be a fee which they took pity and quit charging me after the first week.

Boxes to keep went to storage in town. Anything left went to two auctions. I'd have done better with yard sales, but there was a limit to my energy at that point. My kids hauled off stuff they wanted. My husband's relatives finally came and got some of their stuff "stored" in our barn. I stopped counting at 63 of the old tires our nephew rolled out of the barn. I married into a family of packrats.

- PK

Avg Joe said...

And on a more serious note: Crooning meets glam: Little Drummer Boy.

Argyle said...

NJ Irish, I was thinking Bombay gin but now I'll go with city tap water.

HeartRx said...

Bill G., absolutely heartwarming videos. I bet we all feel like those dogs welcoming a loved one home…too bad some people just can’t seem to express it that well!!

NJ Irish: Water??

Spitzboov – funny “moops”, but then again, I like just about any clip from “Seinfeld”.

Avg. Joe, I had seen that clip with Bing Crosby and David Bowie and was looking for it this year. Thanks for sharing!!

HeartRx said...

Ha, Argyle! owe me a coke.

Avg Joe said...

This one isn't exactly a Yuletide standard, but the sentiment carries over. And it's an equally unusual pairing of talent in a duet. Homeward Bound.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

Well, I got the theme and the four theme answers easily enough but that didn't prevent me from creating all kinds of problems for myself. It was the SW corner that gave me the most trouble. I felt like 'The epitome of thickness' in trying to solve 46A! I was looking for a simile so I saw 'AS' in the middle and it took me forever to get PEASOUP. Once that was in, the rest felt into place.

~~ It took me way too long to get FLIED at 1A. It's a term I know well but I just wasn't thinking baseball.

~~ I was listening to Michael Buble's Christmas CD as I filled in CROON.

~~ Favorites were 'Man of many words' and 'It's always in Shakespeare.'

~~ A really enjoyable puzzle, John Lampkin ... I loved the challenge! A wonderful write-up, Marti ... colorful and informational!

It's been in the 50s the past few days here in CT ... not much hope for a Christmas. After the October snowstorm/power outage, I thought I wouldn't want to see snow again, but a light covering would be welcome!

desper-otto said...

@Spitzboov, we weren't worried about radiation -- no dosimeter needed. We were more worried about incineration. Of course, if it actually had happened, we never would have known it. That would have really burned me up!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Afternoon All, Back from getting the Grant Deed notarized, a frazzled stop at a packed Costco, and a late lunch. I haven't had time to do any puzzling, so I'll settle for Marti's amusing write-up and all your posting.

Thanks, melissa bee. I've already taken a lot of your advice. Several heavy items have gotten gone on Craig's list. Fortunately, my daughter's teenager are hard on furniture and she has offered to take anything I don't have room for.

Marti, thank goodness our old 700 pound TV went flooey a few years ago and GAH, along with two strong friends took to the county dump. We had to pay $50 to get rid of it, but it was worth it!

Hearst Castle is ridiculous, but still so much fun. Stopping at the over-the-top Madonna Inn for lunch, or to spend the night in one of rocky rooms makes the experience even more fun. And as Bill G. said, Hwy 1 is a beauty!.

ant said...

Did someone say Christmas songs?!
Come visit the hills of Italy with Dominick the Donkey, and you, too, will be saying Brook-a-leen.

ant said...

Oh, and to "an astrologist" at 12:23...good one! I guess my syntax ain't what it used to be.

Lucina said...

Yes, I failed to mention the beauty of the coast highway on the way to Hearst Castle. Definitely one of most enjoyable parts of the trip.

HeartRx said...

Ant, my dear late MIL used to have a porcelain donkey that she called "Dominick". And every Christmas, it was a centerpiece on the table, while we all sang "Dominick the Donkey" in ever-louder tones with each chorus. Thanks so much for the lovely memories your link brought back to me!!

Bill G. and Lucina, yes, the ride up the coast was so beautiful. When my late husband and I lived in LA, we would flip a coin and look at the traffic, to decide which way out of the city we were headed. I spent many wonderful weekends camping on Half Moon Bay, just looking at the sunrise with a cuppa Joe in my hands...

Avg Joe said...

Ant, I feel compelled to mention that you and I have little in common when it comes to musical tastes. But I do have to applaud the eclectic nature of what you bring up. It's interesting, to say the least.

And Marti, I've been to Half Moon Bay. It's a very nice spot indeed. And with that sentiment in mind, my last offering for the evening. A little Leon.

HeartRx said...

Avg Joe, love Leon Russell and "Back to the Island"...You always have great music links. Thanks!

Annette said...

Your butterfly picture is beautiful, John!

Bill G. said...

Avg Joe, I enjoyed the Leon but I was really hoping for some Redbone.

MEDINA, Ohio — A cat has survived a four-hour, 200-mile ride under the hood of a car traveling through Ohio. WJW-TV reports a man who'd left Xenia in southwest Ohio on a drive to Cleveland Sunday afternoon stopped at a rest area south of his destination when he smelled something. A patrolling state trooper found the motorist with his hood up and a large black and white cat that wasn't his, stuck in the engine compartment. The animal had burns on the right side. A vet said the cat would be OK.

Argyle said...

OK Bill Clip

Seldom Seen said...

Even the cats want to get out of Xenia!

Seldom Seen said...

Then he realized he was on his way to Cleveland, panicked and burned himself.

Poor kitty.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, The first run through netted me very few answers. I worked the SW corner then a bit more in the middile. With each fill another word came to life.

I put the puzzle away for a while and when I went back to it some of the more obscure clues popped out and I finally finished everything.

I did have one error, that of Arno crossing Dosimeter. I didn't know either so Arne and Desimeter looked ok.

I also had a V-8 can moment when I finally realized that popped (out) was flied out as in baseball. Duh! I also had a hard time with relatives of drums. I couldn't get musical instrument drums out of my head. Another V-8 can hit. I have two big bumps on my forehead tonight.

Thanks, Marti, for a great writeup. I always feel pretty smart when I can finish a John Lampkin puzzle--even with a mistake!

Have a great evening everyone.

ant said...

Avg Joe, thank you for the eclectic compliment. I'd like to think I resemble that remark.

Leon Russell, Leon Redbone, Captain Beefheart, Dr John...that was some good music right there...

Oh, poor Cleveland! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at JzB's haiku yesterday...

eMBee, before you go back to the trenches, I'd like to send this next song out to you. With the recent discussion of this song, and your love and appreciation of shredding, here is Somewhere Over the Rainbow (5:25) by Chris Impellitteri.
Another Corner warning: this is not your Eva Cassidy version, but, again, give it a shot.

Chickie said...

John L., your butterfly picture is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Grumpy and Seen, pretty witty today. I had a good laugh from both of your posts.

Melissa B, I'm glad to see you, too, are on the move. We've been in our home for 46 years and trying to clean out, clear out, and throw out is a constant battle. I think one of my New Year's resolutions will be to take your advice. Craig's list is a given, but I think I'll make things move faster at $5.00 a pop. Seven sounds a bit pricey! LOL.

melissa bee said...

ant, thanks for that, very nice. for others who appreciate good guitarists and holiday music, look for gary hoey and his 'ho ho hoey' albums. also, the 'merry axemas' series.

for the more traditionalists, sting has a perfect voice for christmas tunes. soul cake. gabriel's message.

Abejo said...

Good Evening, folks. Thank you, John Lampkin, for a great Saturday puzzle on Thursday. This was a bear. Thank you, HeartRx, for the great write-up. I caught your note on the French word LOI. I got the answer, but it was one of the last ones, and totally arrived at by perps.

Yes, this puzzle was tough. I equate it to a Saturday puzzle.

I spent all day on it, off and on. I was at a meeting most of the day. Just finished it. So many tough words I will not list them all.

As far as Hearst Castle, I have been there many times. I used to live in California. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would go back again in a heartbeat. It represents what made our country great. Freedom! When you make your fortune you have the Freedom to allocate it as you wish. God Bless America!

Jeannie. It is great to hear from you. Welcome back. I became unemployed after July of this year, myself. The best of luck to you. From reading your posts, you certainly have a lot to offer in the food industry. This industry will never go away. I am confident you will be successful.

See you all tomorrow. I will be doing my Christmas shopping then.


Ella Reff said...

I don't get 14 across. How is one drawing a bead an AIMER? Is it meaning like someone shooting a BB gun?

Argyle said...

Yes, most guns and rifles have a bead on the end of the barrel. On the receiver end is a vee. To aim, you center the front bead on your target and line them up with the vee. That is called drawing a bead on a target.