Dec 14, 2011

Wednesday Dec 14, 2011 Richard F Mausser

(Please click here to solve the LA Times Daily Crossword in old format.)

Theme: Getting Nostalgic - All theme answers are vintage electronics.

17A. *Retro viewer : BLACK AND WHITE TV

28A. *Retro imager : POLAROID CAMERA

43A. *Retro recorder : EIGHT-TRACK TAPE

57A. *Retro dialer : ROTARY TELEPHONE

23D. Word that can bring the ends of the starred answers up to date : DIGITAL

Happy Holidays to all. Boomer here with a retro theme puzzle.

Wow, I have had all of those things in my lifetime. In fact, at one time, All TV was black and white, and all phones had rotary dials. Go back a little farther and they had magneto cranks. Eight track did not last too long, but I had plenty of tapes, and I still have a Polaroid in my desk cabinet. The company was nearly destroyed by Minnesotan Tom Petters. He went to jail, Polaroid went into bankruptcy, but I think they still bring some digital cameras to market.


1. One of the ABC islands : ARUBA in the Achilles (Correction: Antilles). The others are Bonaire and Curacao. (No I'm not that smart. I Googled it.)

6. Nail remover : CLAW - I first thought of file, because I was thinking of fingernails

10. Loaf, with "off" : GOOF - tough clue, but I get it.

14. Any "Friends" episode, now : RE-RUN - Ever notice how all of their episode titles start with "The One ...." ie: "The one with Smelly Cat."

15. Kunlun Mountains locale : ASIA - We always learn. Now I won't need Google map or GPS to find the Kunluns. (Asia isn't very big, is it??)

16. Toothed whale : ORCA - I though all whales had teeth.

20. Stand-up routine, usually : SOLO ACT - My first thought was comedy, but it didn't fit.

21. Lotion additive : ALOE - Or - What you said when you answered your rotary phone.

22. Demond's co-star in a '70s sitcom : REDD - Classic Mr. Fred (I'm coming Elizabeth) Sanford. My garage looks a little like his yard.

24. Mud nest builders : WASPS - Swallows make the sturdiest mud homes, wasps nests seem more like paper.

33. Aroused : WOKEN - A better clue may have been "Arisen".

34. Forward progress : GAIN

35. New Jersey casino, with "The" : TAJ - Newer casinos are frequently modeled after classic buildings or even entire cities. I prefer the retros - Sands, Dunes, Stardust, etc.

36. __-bitsy : ITSY

37. Tums targets : ACIDS

39. SEAL's school : USNA - Alma mater of former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura.

40. Printer resolution meas. : DPI - This stands for dots per inch, on the retro dot matrix printers that are in your garage next to your rotary phones and black and white TV.

41. Lie flush with : ABUT

42. In need of a tow : STUCK - Has not happened yet here in the Northland. A mild winter so far, but it's still early.

47. Oscar winner Zellweger : RENEE

48. Path to the pins : LANE - A bowling baby boomer should have no trouble with this clue.

49. Drawn-out story : SAGA - not really too drawn out, but for a good story about computers and such, visit "My Nickel's Worth". This week's topic "Outhouse".

52. Hive material : BEESWAX - Always reminds me of Major Frank Burns saying "None of your beeswax"

61. Morales of "Jericho" : ESAI - I remember him better in NYPD Blue.

62. Seward Peninsula city : NOME - Alaska is still a frontier, but I've heard you can see Russia from there.

63. Frozen rope, in baseball : LINER - We could use a few more from Joe Mauer next year.

64. Pounds in London : QUID - British slang for one pound sterling. But quid pro quo is Latin for "this for that" So I guess I can give you this quid for that pound, but what does all that have to do with the Euro?

65. Shih __: Tibetan dogs : TZUS - I actually have a friend who has one of those dogs. Be careful how you pronounce it.

66. Online periodicals : E-MAGS


1. Wall St. traders : ARBS - Never heard of this. I think it's just a word someone made up for crossword puzzles.

2. Move, in Realtor lingo : RELO - Never heard this term either. Maybe I spend too much time in the bowling center

3. Russian river : URAL

4. Osso __ : BUCO

5. One of more than four million Turks : ANKARAN - Thank heaven for Across clues. This is the first down word I got.

6. Isn't capable of : CAN'T DO - First I had cannot, but Redd bailed me out.

7. Trip starter : LSD - Her I had leg. Never took an acid trip.

8. Bygone Japanese audio brand : AIWA - They made great reel to reel tape decks, another fazed out retro device.

9. Big name in grooming products : WAHL

10. Cheerleader's cry : GO TEAM - Also Rah Rah Rah for Sky - U - Mah

11. It's found in veins : ORE - Also found between CAL and WASH. Just sayin'

12. Last full U.S. DST month : OCT

13. Best-liked, in chat rooms : FAV - Have not heard of a FAV in Facebook. Although I recently heard of an anti-social website - In your face book.

18. Service expert : ACER - Wait. A service expert could be Evert, but nowadays it's a Geek. Acer is one of the device they service. Just sayin'

19. Hawkeye : IOWAN - Yup, just a bit south of me. Also Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce.

25. Frames badly? : SETS UP

26. Horse's strut : PRANCE - Also the strut of one of Santa's Reindeer, Prancer. (The one that ran over Grandma).

27. "I'll give the wheel a final spin" speaker : SAJAK - "Wheel of Fortune". Seems like it has been on as long as "Jeopardy".

28. Meal with a crust : POT PIE - These used to be 20 cents apiece. We would eat them while watching "Dragnet" on the black and white TV.

29. Thumbs-up : OK SIGN

30. Pewter with 80% tin : LEY

31. Paternal palindrome : DAD - Luckily I know what a palindrome is, so when I got the first two letters, it was a slam dunk.

32. Sue Grafton's "__ for Corpse" : C IS

33. Hygienist's request : WIDER - I never heard this from the Hygienist, I have a big mouth.

37. NYC dance co. : ABT - No no no - ABT stand for Amateur Bowlers Tour.

38. Junkyard dog : CUR

39. Hagen of Broadway : UTA

41. Go on __: rampage : A TEAR

42. Place for a belfry : STEEPLE - You don't see many of these any more either. Newer houses of worship have a digital sound of bells - now the bats need a new home.

44. Half a lover's quarrel : HE SAID - (The other half is She Said, which usually prevails, if he knows what's good for him)

45. San Francisco transit features : CABLES - Extremely unique. If you have never ridden a cable car, get out to SF in your lifetime and give it a try. Nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.

46. Support for a proposal? : KNEE - After the Humphries/Kardashian failure, our next new betrothal here in Twins territory is the recent engagement of Joe Mauer. Word is that everyone was worried that if he got down on one knee, he would not be able to get back up and would miss another three months of the season.

50. Ibsen's "Peer __" : GYNT

51. It covers everything : A TO Z - Or.... You could go see the Wizard AT OZ and he would cover anything.

53. Carpentry leveler : SHIM

54. Words with trophy or prize : WON A - My least favorite clue in this puzzle.

55. Uncommon blood type: Abbr. : A NEG - My second least favorite.

56. Boomers' followers : XERS - Indeed I am an original Baby Boomer. Most Gen Xers want to be Boomers so bad that they lie about their age.

57. Not opt. : REQ

58. Buckeyes' sch. : OSU - Looks like they have a great basketball team this year, as long as they don't trade their jerseys for tattoos or something.

59. __ chi : TAI

60. Ostrich kin : EMU

Answer grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, Boomer, C.C. and gang - surprisingly, this turned into somewhat of a speed run, with only a few pauses, but I loved the cluing. And of course, the trip down memory lane was fun too. I think most of our group are very familiar with the theme subjects.

'Relo' was a gimme, as there's one of those in my near future. Favorite clues were 'Service expert' and 'Frames badly'.

Boomer, as always, nice job, and a fun read. You should do this more often.

Running late; off to the gym.

10 & a w/u.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I wasn't all that enamored by the theme on this one, to be honest (or, at least, the way it was presented). The theme reveal made it seem as if DIGITAL could simply be added to any of the theme answers, but in fact you would need to actually replace parts of each theme answer with DIGITAL for it to make sense. But maybe I'm just reading too much into it (again).

The puzzle itself was fine. My only real hang up was up in the North where I confidently put in EGO instead of LSD. I really didn't want to let that one go since it was such a clever answer. Ah well...

I've heard of ARUBA, but not the ABC Islands, so I needed the perps to get me going there.

I wanted ACETONE for 6A because, well, I'm obviously not fully awake yet.

I think I've seen LEY in a puzzle before, but it certainly didn't come to me today and I only got it via the perps.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Boomer and friends. What a fun theme. I got the DIGITAL answer early on, which helped with the other theme clues. BLACK AND WHITE TV was the last to fall in place. I still have a little black and white TV that I bought when I was in graduate school.

Even though this seemed a tad easier than many Wednesday's, I made several missteps, which were easily rectified:

I had SOLO gig instead of SOLO ACT.

I tried Wreck instead of STUCK for In Need of a Tow.

I also wanted the Trip Starter to be Ego instead of LSD, even though I was convinced that CLAW was the nail remover.

We haven't seen our old friend Tycho Brahe appear in the puzzles recently, but for those of you who remember him, today would mark his 465th birthday.

QOD: A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others. ~ Ayn Rand

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Nice breezy commentary, Boomer.

Nifty theme. The long acrosses came rather easily except for EIGHT TRACK TAPE, which came after getting 'eight' from the perps. ARBS was a WAG. 1a. - Couldn't quickly think of ABC islands, but ARUBA came easily from the perps. Also had 'Pop' before DAD. I thought it was easy for a Wednesday.

Enjoy the day.

Steve said...

Fantastic write-up, Boomer - don't know how you guys find time to do all that.

I'm in NYC again for a couple of days, and about 100 yards from Wall St, so I'll ask all the people in the street about ARBS and see what they say :)

Now EIGHT-TRACK TAPE - I've got a nit with that - all the other theme answers are the devices themselves, not the media. EIGHT-TRACK PLAYER yes, the tape - no.

Panagram too - is that the second this week?

Middletown Bomber said...

definately easier than monday's offering a to z tripped me up probably because its early. Had black and white tv's up till the 90's never had a rotary phone but my friends all did. I remember the first time i tried to use one i couldn't figure it out. had plenty of polaroids even stock in dh land until the lawsuit and ultimate bankruptcy still have the camera though. when 8 traks were in we thought having a car with an am radio was the top of the line. but i recall a toy robot for learning that used 8-traks i think it was called Alfi. thanks for the hard work in making this possible. Enjoy hump day everybody.

Anonymous said...

What a surprise.
Barry G. Wanted EGO trip.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Certainly not a quick solve today, but I was able to plod along at a steady pace. The Mid West was my only struggle. 33A AROUSED/WOKEN and 33D HYGIENISTS REQUEST/WIDER were the last to fall.
30D LEY was an unknown to me and that didn't help matters either.


AROUSED was once a regular occurrence, today it is only a myth.

I liked the theme because each fill had once been a part of my life. We still have an old rotary phone in the cellar in working condition.

Boomer, enlightening and fun write up.

Happy Hump Day.

Hahtoolah said...

Hondo: I, too, though Support for a Proposal = KNEE was a great clue!

desper-otto said...

Enjoyed your writeup, as usual, Boomer. I, too, started my trip with a LEG which took quite awhile to turn into LSD. I believe ARBS are Arbitrageurs and RELO is short for RELOcate. Like Grumpy1, I have never heard of LEY...not that kind, at any rate.

Tinbeni said...

Boomer: Thought of you as I entered LANE.
Great job PINCH hitting!

Great theme in this DIGITAL age.

ARBS, Noun
Someone who engages in arbitrage.
They purchase securities in one market for immediate resale in another in the hope of profiting from the price differential.
They're the reason the average length of time for Stock ownership is around 20 seconds.

FAV's were the SOLO-ACT and A-TO-Z.
Mari, I'll look at my completed grid and say to myself: "What's ATOZ?"
Kind of like yesterdays toat, To-A-T. lol

Cheers to all at Sunset!

HeartRx said...

Great write-up, Boomer, with loads of factoids for me to process. I also thought of you as I filled in LANE!

Nice theme with two grid spanners and the unifier crossing two of them. It reminded me of Monday’s discussion about telephones with PARTY LINES.

The SE gave me fits with the baseball reference to LINER (I still don’t get how that’s a “frozen rope”???). And “Words with trophy or prize” did not immediately conjure up WON A…agree with you Boomer – not my favorite clue/ans.

Happy Hump Day, everyone!

Avg Joe said...

No speed run, but still no major problems and a nice trip down memory lane.....sans LSD.

My nit with eight track tape vis a vis digital tape is that the latter is also antiquated. At least for stereophiles. And it lasted a shorter period as well. All the others are still in widespread use.

Avg Joe said...

Oh, an afterthought:

Today's Non Sequitur is hilarious.

SouthernBelle said...

Mornin' to all,

This was a fun run for the older crowd...wasn't it? Or did it make you feel old????

Thanks for all the good wishes for the broken toe. Something is wrong tho, tape is cutting into toe....looks like a trip back to the doctor! Took me 3 hours to rip seams out of silk long johns to get them over the boot. And no, guys, you don't just cut silk are veeery careful!

Who would plan wardrobe before the ER?

Mari said...

Happy 14th to all, Good puzzle today. Long answers can be good or bad, this time they worked in my favor. (Usuaully not so much on Saturday puzzles.)

46D Support for a Proposal was very cute.

My least favorite was 54D: Words with Trophy or Prize: WON A.

I'll take 55D and 56D today. I'm an XER with A NEG blood type.

And even though I'm an XER I have fond memories of the TV, Camera, Tape and Phone mentioned today. Some of those old rotary phones were very solid and heavy.

PS: Could someone explain "Froze Rope"?

desper-otto said...

Oops! Guess I imagined that Grumpy1 hadn't heard of LEY. He hasn't posted yet. I must have been referring to Hondo.

I too have A-Neg blood. If it's so rare, how come the blood center always wants double red cells rather than whole blood from me?

Argyle said...

Mari's got a point about the old phones being heavy. On those old B&W TV shows they'd could knock you out with one. Try that with a cell phone!

kazie said...

I enjoyed the write up today, Boomer, and the puzzle too-- Even though I had lots of unheard ofs that mostly came either via perps or aha moments. Examples: ARBS, ABC islands, Kunlun, TAJ, TZUS, A TEAR rampage, WAHL. I misspelled A TO Z then wondered WTH a tos was.

I seem to have lost my cursor and it's very unsettling. Does anyone know what I might have done to lose it and how to get it back?

Dennis said...

Mari, it's easier visualized than explained, but a line drive is typically straight as an arrow, much like a rope would be if frozen while laid straight out.

kazie said...

It came back after posting. How strange!

I also don't know what LEY is.

Will the w/u be a housing search trip?

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning, all. Great write up for a rather easy puzzle, Boomer.

You're right, Desper-otto, I didn't know LEY, but how did you know I didn't know since I hadn't posted yet?? ESP??

I have heard an announcer use the term 'frozen rope' in reference to a line drive that is hit so directly to a fielder that he doesn't have to move to catch it. "It was like there was a frozen rope between the batter and the fielder".

What HE SAID is never half of the quarrel. But I do always get in the last words... Yes, you're right, dear".

carol said...

Hi all

Boomer, I always enjoy your write-ups!! You have a great sense of humor.

When a puzzle has words like ARBS, ANKARAN, AIWA, WAHL (wth?) and LEY(again, wth??) in it, I want to give up. I stayed with it though because I understood the long clue/answers. As Boomer and others have said, I lived with all of them too.

Those old telephones!! If one just swung the receiver and hit someone with it, they'd be out cold.

48A PATH TO PINS really had me scratching the ol' noggin...I did get it eventually :)

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I liked the theme answers. "Oh yeah...I remember those!"

I've never heard of 30D)LEY. I had to Wiki "pewter" to find out about it.

We're packing, so I hope we will be RELO-ing soon. No new house yet.

I wanted CANTER for 26D, but 'tis the season for PRANCE(ing) on the rooftops.

Nice job, Boomer. It's always a pleasure to see your explanations

Southernbelle, sorry to hear about your ongoing problems. I hope they get it right this time.

Anony-Mouse said...

Thank you Mr. Mausser ( they make a gun/pistol of that brand - ? ) for a very nice puzzle - it reached the upper limits of my IQ - so I know my outer limits. But I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thank you Boomer - what a delectable commentary - loved it, loved it, loved it. Your humor made my day !!! A big thank you.

I had a tad of difficulty with 'WAHL' (?) and 'iowan' and ABC islands - but managed to wag them .

Too bad, about Polaroid. Edwin Land ( the scientist-creator - ) was one of the first billionaires, waay back in 1960's.

Like Mari, I couldn't figure out 'froze rope' , either.

ALT QOD:- I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand. ~ Rodney Dangerfield.

Dennis said...

Kazie, it'll be a combination trip -- I'll need some play time as I'll have worked around 120 straight days by then, and also we'll scout out short-term rental properties so we have a place to live while we look for something permanent.

Thanks for asking.

Splynter said...

Hi There ~!

Always good for a laugh, I like your write-ups, Boomer ~!

I am 40; I suppose I am an "XER" - I grew up with a color TV, eight tracks - John Denver, Tom Jones - and a rotary phone; never did OWN a Polaroid camera, but did use one frequently when snapping pics of damaged loads at Roadway to send back to the loading dock. Wasted a lot of film there....

Not surprising that I got CLAW right away - those pesky nails - I use the air gun now.


kazie said...

After asking, I thought maybe you meant just until Christmas--10 + 1 is the 25th, so I thought maybe I was being stupid. I'm glad I wasn't.

Anony-Mouse said...

Boomer, thank you for explaining the ABC islands. I had never even heard of Bonnaire ( 'Good weather' ? ) until I became familiar with this one horse, no-airport excuse for an island. It has an El-cheapo medical 'school', run by Indian ex-pats that will make a medical 'doctor' out of metal addled dolts.

Anybody have fond hopes of your kid or grand-kid becoming a medical doctor, but he cant spell 'chemistry' or has a negative GPA ? Have no fear, Bonnaire Med school's here. They will take a complete idiot and teach him the first 2 yrs of med school and guarantee that he will pass the Step One exams in the US, enough to get him into any 'decent' U.S. medical school for the last 2 years. ( then, he is on his own... ).

Trust me, I speak from intimate experience. What sort of doctor will he make ? Probably good enough for Medicare.

BTW, equally good and applicable for females too. NOTE:- This NOT a paid Ad. !!!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Well played, Boomer!

Kind of a slow go, and the Z in A TO Z gave me a DNF. I agree the theme lacked tightness, but that's an extra, not a requirement. A bit inconsistent, too, but sometimes you have to overlook that.

Re: HE SAID - Some words of wisdom from the Notebooks of Lazarus Long, "in a family argument, if it turns out you are right -- apologize at once!"



Tuttle said...

Digital tape up to date? I guess if you consider 1951 to be current. That's when Remington Rand introduced the UNISERVO digital tape drive for the UNIVAC I computer. 13 years before the 8-Track analog format was invented.

ant said...

Great write-up, Boomer! Very entertaining. I actually didn't think of you at LANE, but at "Boomers' followers," and thought of C.C. and all her followers. So, a shout-out to all of us, X'ER or not!

Speaking of shout-outs, I can see PG now, beaming over IOWAN.

Desper-otto, I, too, do that double/power red donation. Isn't that a trip?!

No songs today - I can't seem to access YouTube (I'm sure you're all disappointed). However, I do remember my Mom having Paranoid by Black Sabbath, Love Gun by Kiss, and Led Zeppelin IV on EIGHT-TRACK TAPE. She's definitely where I picked up my love of music. Thanks, Mom!

Anonymous said...

Arb is short for someone who uses the art of arbitrage. A "risk free" way to invest. Basically buying an investment from one market when it is trading on another market at a higher price. Of coarse nothing is risk free on wall street. Liked the puzzle today, but more like a Monday. Jeff

Seldom Seen said...

Terms like FROZEN ROPE are what make listening to a game on the radio so enjoyable. You can visualize the ball leaving the bat with a loud crack and never going much higher than twenty feet as it travels briskly to the outfield.

If the announcer says "here is a can of corn to the left fielder", you can picture a high, lazy fly ball that is easy to catch.

Add squibber, hot smash, slow roller, pop-up, rainmaker, line-hugger, gapper and many more.

Can't wait until pitchers and catchers report.

Bill G. said...

Fun puzzle and writeup. Thanks for both. Once I got the theme, it really helped with the solving. A few crossing letters and I could fill in the entire horizontal theme line.

I could be wrong but I think one of the appeals of the Polaroid cameras was taking sexy photos of your girlfriend/boyfriend; ones you wouldn't like to send out to be developed.

I linked to the Stickman site late last night. I enjoyed it so much (and so did Marti) that I'm going to do it again in case you missed it. I'm hoping to show it to my grandson, Jordan, today. Stickman

Seldom Seen said...

ARUBA was easy for this red-blooded American boy.

I first learned of the ABC islands from a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue! The three islands were the location for the photo shoot.

And since we are in the DIGITAL age...curiosity got the best of me. Google took me here.

My first guess was my senior year, but a few tries later found it: 1984. So of course I paged through it. Saw an ad with Pete Rose in a Expo uniform. Then there it was on page 88. Sister Christine Julie ripped that picture off my locker door only 2 days after I taped it up.

Unknown said...

good morning all,

fun memory lane puzzle. boomer, your write-up was HIGH-larious (in-your-face book - hahahaha), and with both boomer and lane, it literally had your name all over it.

vinyl, 8-tracks, cassettes, cd's … and now mp3's. i heard recently that 'they' are going to stop producing cd's soon. such is the nature of progress and technology. it's hard to feel sorry for artists who complain about fans sharing tunes when they've already paid for them in four different formats. (i'm not talking about new stuff.)

anyone have experience with tethering your smartphone for internet access? i'm moving to a remote area where it's either dial-up or tethering.

melissa bee said...

unknown - that would be me.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Richard Mausser, for a real good puzzle. Thank you, Boomer, for an excellent write-up!

I got started really slow on this. I think my first answer was IOWAN and then PRANCE. WASPS was easy. Then the rest came.

First theme answer was EIGHT TRACK TAPE. All the rest came easily. I guess that shows my age.

OK SIGN was tough. I had IT'S A GO, then HI SIGN, then OK SIGN. Lots of ink on those squares.

FYI, the push-button telephone came before the rotary telephone. Initially you Hundreds, Tens, and Units buttons on the old phones. If you wanted to call the number 543, you would push the Hundreds button 5 times, the Tens button 4 times, and the Units button 3 times. The pushes would open and close contacts and step the switch in the Central Office. The dial was invented to enable the caller to simply dial a 5 and the dial would do the work of opening and closing the contacts 5 times, etc. Much more accurate and consistent for the electromechanical switches in the Central Office.

See you tomorrow.


Misty said...

Can't believe I actually got this one--especially because AIWA and WAHL looked totally weird to me. But what a fun theme and fun clues (I too loved KNEE). So thanks, Mr. Mauser, for the trip down memory (not bowling) lane, and Boomer, for the write-up!

Mari said...

Dennis @ 8:57: Thanks for the explanation. I'm not much of a baseball player. In fact, most of my hits turn out like bunts - and that's when I'm swinging for the fences!

Mari said...

Splynter: A buddy of mine is a carpenter. He once shot a nail right through his thumb using one of those nail guns. When he went to the ER the nurse asked him, "When you felt the nail going into your hand why didn't you stop hammering it?" True story.

desper-otto said...

@BillG, that Stickman brings back memories of "Winky Dink". Remember that fine piece of B&W TV fare? You had to buy a "kit" which included a plastic stick-on sheet for the TV screen, a crayon, and a rag to wipe off the crayon. At the end of each program you were admonished to go wash the rag and put it up to dry for next week.

Oh, and Boomer, mud-dauber wasp nests are not like paper. They're more like adobe, or perhaps concrete.

Anoa Bob said...

Like others, I confidently plopped in "ego" at 7D for "Trip starter". My friends tell me that LSD will not only start your trip, but will take you all the way through and drop you off at the end. Maybe sans ego.

I guess there are no SEALs who solve xwords and post here. The SEAL school is called BUD/S for Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL. Many/most SEALS are enlisted personnel. The USNA (39A) graduates officers, Ensigns, for the general fleet. (I was an enlisted sailor and my cousin graduated from the USNA. Go Navy.)

I remember when all those retro devices were newfangled gizmos.

Ron Worden said...

Good afternoon to all, am glad to be back on-line again. Our wireless router went down and the cable techie just left and everything is working again. Boomer I always enjoy your write-ups. Nice and smooth for a Wed. and a trip down memory lane. I remember we only had one T.V. for years, then in 1967 we got a color set with a remote that had 3 buttons. When I was around 12 I got a b/w in my bedroom it had a 13 inch screen. Now I sit in my man-cave and watch a wall mounted 50 inch screen and contemplate getting a bigger one. I also had so many 8-tracktapes the backseat of my car had hardly any room for passengers,Oh well so much for the good old days. Have a great Wed. RJW.

eddyB said...


30s baby and B Pos.

Corps Commander at USNA headed for BUD/S after graduation.

Another tough loss last night. At
least they picked up a point and moved into 2nd place.

Still wishing the best for Lemon.
No new word on status.


Avg Joe said...

The only car 8 track player I ever owned would also play 4 tracks. I didn't own any, but do remember seeing a few of them. Probably the one design that was actually worse in durability than 8 track.

kazie said...

Speaking of wasps, our high school mascot is the Hornets. Before we got a new building, the hornets--not mud daubers, used to eat their way from the air space above, through the dropped ceiling tiles in my classroom and swoop down into the class. Of course the kids went crazy--any excuse for disruption, right? Anyway, I found they were easy to kill with a fly swatter, since they often gravitated to the window following the light, and I swatted them there.

I may have mentioned earlier the guest speaker who announced that it was the only school he'd visited which bred its mascot in the building.

HeartRx said...

Thanks for the explanations of "Frozen rope", everyone. Seen, I liked your other colorful expressions, too. But all I can picture is an open can of creamed corn splattering all over the fielder - yuck!!

Bill G. I liked the stick man so much, I did it again today. But this time I got really creative, and added a baseball cap, shoes and hands. His key became a gem of artistry, and the sword would strike terror in the hearts of all who encountered it. Such simple things to entertain me...

I do hope Lemonade is doing ok. I have been thinking about him all week. Keep us posted, Eddy B.

JD said...

Good morning Boomer, C.C. Et al,

The puzzle was fun, but I enjoyed Boomer's write up even more. Thanks to the few of you who explained the frozen rope. I can see where those expressions would be an asset to radio listeners, just had not heard it before.

Southern Belle, so sorry to hear about your toe...a tricky place to heal if you want to be on the go.

As with most of you, I remember life before digital. As I recall the old polaroids had a greenish tinge to them
. The newer ones popped out little photos that were terrific to use at showers. We made up little memory books with photos, stickers and "best wishes" for whatever the occasion.

80 high....70 low, better than Aruba!

fermatprime said...

Hello, everyone!

Finally got the Xmas shopping (all online) done, I think. I am finding though that several items were shipped to my home, rather than where I had wanted them to go. Also, my daughter's gifts were sent with a bill! (I make copies of these orders, but somehow gremlins enter afterward into the orders.)

A fun puzzle. Great exposition, Boomer, as usual!

Of course I remember those old things! I even still have my old POLAROID CAMERA.

Abejo, interesting info on old phones! Thanks for sharing.

Wondered what the heck WAHL was, and, of course, had ego instead of LSD at first. Cutest answer was KNEE.

Happy hump day!

Anonymous said...

Hand up for BUDS for SEAL school.

Anonymous said...

Why all the mystery about Lemonade?

Anonymous said...

Why all the mystery about Jeannie?

fermatprime said...

PS. The LA Times has screwed up their sudokus also now! Not possible to work them online anymore, it seems. Anyone know differently?

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. You guys made today's puzzle even more fun! Loved that essay on the usefulness of the outhouse, and played stickman about 20 times. Like HeartRx I kept making each drawing more and more elaborate. Interesting how drawing him with short legs makes him take longer to get where he's going, and with long legs he positively strides!

I still have a wonderful old Tandberg open reel tape recorder and a Nakamichi cassette tape recorder. Nothing to record on them any more, though. And we keep an old rotary dial phone handy for when we get a prolonged power outage, since none of our other phones work without power.

Best wishes to you all.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the writeup for 1A, it's "Antilles" (technically the Leeward Antilles) not "Achilles."

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

You make me laugh, Boomer. I'm betting your droll wit had something to do with getting C.C. to come to the US. It's easier to love someone who makes you laugh.

The puzzle was a fun run. But for some reason, I couldn't get the CLAW/WAHL cross. Duh! I still have the WAHL clippers I bought in 1963 when first married and always used to cut my husband's and sons' hair.

- PK

Anonymous said...

I thought todays was easier than monday too. But I hate these kind of themes could not get polaroid had hisign but sped thru other clues but the themed clues. Loved 63 a

Yellowrocks said...

Hi Fellow Puzzlers. Today my disabled son and I went to Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes perform in the Christmas Spectacular, an all new, fantastic version of the show which has been a NYC tradition since 1933. This was a delightful experience. We took the bus for $9.60 each, round trip, the senior and disabled person’s half price discount. I could have ridden free as an escort of my son, but I try not to take advantage in cases where I am actually a customer, too. Going by bus at a discount avoided the heavy tolls, parking charges, and aggravation of driving into the city.

Coming late to this blog, I find I have a reaction and kinship to almost everyone’s comments. I don’t know where to begin. Boomer you took an easy, Wed. puzzle and revved it up with lots of humor and insights. (More to follow.)

Yellowrocks said...

Although we live in a relatively bucolic area, we still actually experience the pluses and minuses of the type-A, metropolitan NYC mindset. “ARB” is fairly common in our news, for the explanations others have cited.

Abejo, your info on the push button phone predating the rotary was interesting.

Here is an example of a cultural misunderstanding, such as I mentioned yesterday. In some cultures the OK sign with the thumb and fore finger circled and the other fingers raised is similar to our “Middle Finger” curse but more egregious.

My Medicare GP and my son’s Medicare GP are both caring, knowledgeable doctors. (They seem sooo young.) I’m glad they did not study in Bonnaire.

Although I have not heard all the baseball terms such as “frozen rope,” I find them easy to infer. The only solid straight line I know of in baseball is a line drive, LINER.

LA CW ADDICT said...


Finally found my beloved Sudoku (old LA Times format) at It is the same puzzle, just in a different paper! Scroll down the main page and you'll see it. Enjoy!

Tinbeni said...

I learned THAT meaning on a job in Sao Paulo about 30 years ago.

At the end of the Audit I was going over the Financials and told the the CEO:
"Well, it looks like you've got great Internal Controls as I made the OK-SIGN."
He said: "Don't do that!" (here, in Brazil) and then explained what it meant there.

Haven't given a "Middle-Finger" since.

Just shrug, touch my thumb to my index finger,
and say "My bad."

Then I probably DO say the "F-U" thingy ...
only I say it in Croatian.

They probably think I'm apologizing.
NOT !!! lol

Cheers !

Argyle said...

True story: Girl's HS basketball game, ref called foul on this girl and she protested, to no avail. As he walked away she gave him the OK sign. The couple next to me thought that was really good sportsmanship of her and wondered why I was laughing.

She was an exchange student from Brazil.

Bill G. said...

Statistic of the Day:
There are approximately 1,388,000,000 people in Chine. So if you are one in a million, there are 1,388 people in China just like you.

Dennis said...

It's always interesting to read about things or customs that have different meanings in different countries.

For me, I learned that "How much is your sister?" is sometimes considered rude in certain areas. Of course in others, it opens negotiations...

Spitzboov said...

Yellowrocks, we went last week to see the Rockettes. My favorite part was the Toy Soldiers Scene

Yellowrocks said...

Argyle and Tinman, funny stories. Dennis, I have one similar to yours, but it eludes me now. Maybe I'll think of it tomorrow.

Spitzboov, the spectacular Wooden Soldiers routine is a perrenial favorite and so changes little from year to year. We always look forward to it.

In today's Xword: @KNOWN 11:16, I agree that we have already paid for this music in 4 formats, so maybe we are not freeloading. I am sure our DVDs will soon be obsolete, too.

I have a malocclusion and often hear, “WIDER” from hygienists and dentists. I cannot open my mouth very far and so I patronize only understanding personnel, who, essentially, are building a ship in a bottle.

WONA bothered me, too. After I finished everything else, I tried and tried to replace WONA, until I finally understood it, but did not appreciate it.

Qli said...

Thanks for a great write-up, Boomer.

This was a fun puzzle to do; got the theme answers quickly. i also had EGO instead of LSD at first. I've read that they are thinking of using LSD for treating certain illnesses. Kind of like medical marijuana, I guess.

Anybody remember those pens with special tops for dialing ROTARY PHONES? I thought they were so classy when I was young. Didn't work as well with a BIC pen...

Frozen rope and ARBS were new to me; fun to learn new terms.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of different meanings in other countries:

My daughter was a Rotary Scholar in New Zealand and wanted to buy the purse-on-a-belt thing. She asked several guys she knew where she could get a "fanny pack". They acted embarrassed and ducked the question. Finally, an older woman took her aside and said, "Dear, are you needing a tampon?" Then my daughter was embarrassed.

- PK

dodo1925 said...

Hi everyone,

This one got easier as I went along. Was intimidating at first tho, with many unknowns. However, only one baseball clue (I think) and no contemporary music/musicians, so that was good for me.

I did finally get it all, but I would not say it was easier than Monday.

Boomer, well done!