Jan 26, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012 Billie Truitt

Theme: Ham and Jeez. Four cross-referential answers that hinge on the unifier for definition.

17A. See 38-Across : RADIO ENTHUSIAST. Ham radio operators are amateurs without any monetary interest, as opposed to commercial broadcasters.

26A. See 38-Across : SCENERY CHEWER. A ham is one who acts melodramatically. They "chew up the scenery" by focusing all attention on themselves, rather than the stage set or other actors.

43A. See 38-Across : HOLIDAY ENTREE. Most popular entrées for Christmas are ham or turkey. For Hanukkah (or Chanukah), I think it would be brisket? But I defer to Hahtool for that one.

57A. See 38-Across : NOAH'S WAYWARD SON. Noah begat Ham, Shem and Japheth when he was 500 years old. Wow! I want to know where he got his Cialis?

And the unifier:

38A. Clue for 17-, 26-, 43- and 57-Across : HAM. Jeez, how simple!

How about "GREEN EGGS SIDE"? Can you think of others to fit this theme?

Marti here, signing in for this Thursday's theatrics.


1. Utah's state gem : TOPAZ. November birthstone, and also a symbol of friendship. So gals, if he gives you a topaz ring instead of a diamond...better start looking elsewhere.

6. Stable newborn : FOAL

10. Emblem : ICON

14. "Don't try to be ___" : A HERO. "Billy, don't be...". That song was released by Paper Lace in 1974, so many thought it referred to the Vietnam war. It was actually a reference to the Civil War.

15. ___ jure : IPSO. "By the law itself"

16. Slicer's warning : FORE. Does a hooker also yell this?

20. Passed down, as folk mus. : TRAD itional. Abbr. of "music" suggests the correct answer.

21. Shop gripper : VISE. Workshop. Not a security guard in a store.

22. Four Holy Roman emproers : OTTOS. Starting with Otto I who died in 973, and ending with Otto IV who died in 1218.

23. '40s-'50s pitcher Maglie : SAL. He was known as "Sal the Barber" because he gave close shaves: i.e., he pitched inside to hitters. So, another baseball name to add to my ever-growing list!

24. Tangle of hair : MAT. Sometimes found on the bath mat.

25. P.D. alert : APB. "Police Department" All Points Bulletin.

33. Silver and gold : METALS. Anyone else fill in "medals"?

35. Absorb, as a loss : EAT. Eat it. Just too "Weird" for me to link...

36. Via, à la Burns : THRO. "Comin' thro the rye...". Did you know that the book by J.D. Salinger was named after this poem?

37. "___ you clever!" : AREN'T. Me? No. Jerome? Definitely, yes!

39. Intersect : CROSS. Like "perps".

40. Unlike Wellesley College : CO-ED. One of the "Seven Sisters" colleges in the Northeast. Without looking on Wiki, can you name any of the other six?

41. Board partner : BED. I usually think of "room and board", so this one eluded me for a while.

42. Downloadable media player : I-TUNES

46. Clunker : DUD

47. Cruet fluid : OIL. "Vinegar" wouldn't fit...

48. Corn serving : EAR

51. That and that : THOSE. Clever clue!

54. Proverbial equine escape site : BARN. To "close the barn door after the horse has bolted" means doing too little, too late.

56. Sharp part : EDGE. Like a knife edge.

60. Plotting : UP TO. Whenever we were quiet, my mother would always yell from the other room, "What are you kids up to?"

61. Head start? : IDEA.

62. Neutral shade : BEIGE

63. Dry run : TEST

64. No sweat : EASY...peasy lemon squeezy.

65. Being pulled : IN TOW


1. Knave of Heart's loot : TARTS.

"...The Knave of Hearts
He stole those tarts,
And took them clean away..."

2. Fictional plantation owner : O'HARA. Frankly, I don't give a damn...

3. Guitar played with hands and feet : PEDAL STEEL. This was a total unknown for me. Maybe Jazzbumpa knows?

4. Dry : ARID.

5. San Diego attraction : ZOO. J.D. just visited it with her grandsons last week on her birthday visit. How was it?

6. Having limits : FINITE

7. Makes a choice : OPTS

8. U.S. Open stadium : ASHE. Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, NY.

9. Rickey broke his stolen base record in 1991 : LOU. Lou Brock was outdone by Rickey Henley Henderson, known as "The Man of Steal". His 1,406 career steals record is 50% higher than the previous record of 938 by Lou. (Did I get it right, C.C.??) (From C.C.: Just one short of 50% more than Brock's. Rickey Henderson holds quite a few MLB records, including leadoff home runs, stolen bases in a single season.)

10. "Assuming that's accurate," biblically :IF IT BE TRUE.

11. Winter garb : COAT. We don't need them so often this year, but I can live with that!

12. Guesstimate words : OR SO.

13. Takes home : NETS

18. Rogers's partner : EVANS. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. "Hammerstein" wouldn't fit...

19. Last year's frosh : SOPH

24. Hot sandwich : MELT. Yummm, tuna melt!

25. Sequence of scenes : ACT

27. It's not posed : CANDID SHOT. Like this?

28. Aptly named author : READE. Charles, best known for "The Cloister and the Hearth". Has anyone reade it?

29. Holiday tuber : YAM. To go with the ham?

30. Dismissive bit of rhetoric : WHO NEEDS IT?

31. Highland tongue : ERSE

32. Legendary seamstress : ROSS. Betsy, famous flag seamstress.

33. Eponymous physicist Ernst ___ : MACH. Austrian physicist who studied shock waves. You wanna mach something of it?

34. Switch add-on : EROO. Ah yes, the old switch-eroo.

38. "I'm talking to you!" : HEY! (Yes, you!)

39. PC key below Shift : CTRL. On my Macbook, it's "Fn"

41. Wicked : BAD. Not the play...

42. Turner memoir : I, TINA

44. Member's payment : DUES

45. Where kroner are spent : NORWAY

49. Disco era term : A-GO-GO

50. Sign up for more : RENEW

51. Letter-shaped fastener : T-NUT. C-clamp, U-bolt, L-bar, S-hook, I-beam...???

52. Optimism : HOPE

53. Granola grain : OATS

54. ___ Bing!: "The Sopranos" nightclub : BA-DA

55. Some votes : AYES

56. First lady's garden site? : EDEN. Not this "rose" garden.

58. Golfer Michelle : WIE

59. Hitter's stat : RBI. Ha! Nailed this one. Hitter = Runs, ergo: Runs Batted In.

So, I hope this puzzle was a home run for you solvers? Friday is coming, and may not be so easy peasy lemon squeezy.!


Note from C.C.:

Re: Marti's comment on 5-Down: Here is wonderful picture from JD's visit to
Safari Park on Jan 14. She said "The baby gorilla is playing with some kind of rodent who keeps coming out of his little hole. The baby touched him several fear with either of them."

Here is a picture of the cute little Cameron looking at a sea turtle.


Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - a fairly smooth solve this morning, although I needed the first two theme answers to catch on to the 'ham' theme.

I also needed perps to get 'pedal steel', an instrument I'd not heard of before. Other than that, everything flowed pretty smoothly because the clues were so well done. And this puzzle had one of my favorite words, 'mach'.

Marti, as always, a fun read. I had the same 'room and board' initial reaction. And your 'unposed' shot was very nice, although she looks like someone with a bad stomach ache.

Gotta finish throwing stuff in a bag, then off to the airport and back to Boca for a while. Hope it's a great day for everyone.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I was up most of the night with my son who seems to be dealing with some variation of the norovirus and all that entails (I'll spare you the gory details). So perhaps it's just lack of sleep making me grouchy, but I really loathed this puzzle. Well, for the first half of solve, at least, until I finally figured out what the @#%^! the unifier was at 38A. After that, the rest of the puzzle went pretty smoothly.

PEDAL STEEL was way out of my wheelhouse and seemed completely made up [note to anons: I know it isn't really made up, so please don't correct me]. I figured 33A was either MEDALS or METALS, so that didn't help.

Couldn't figure out who "Rogers" was to save my life, so I needed all the crosses to get EVANS and even then didn't understand who it was until coming here.

I could go on, but I think I'll go back to bed instead...

fermatprime said...

Good morning, all (at 4 AM)!

Definitely (one of the most misspelled words in the English language) a more difficult effort than the previous three; nonetheless I slogged THRO it and did not cheat. Had to run THRO a few vowels to catch IPSO. Boy, am I sleepy.

Interesting puzzle, Billie; amusing exposition as usual, Marti! It took a while to catch the theme!

Favorite Answer: IDEA.

Off to the rheumatologist in 12 hours. Even tho' it will be 82º out (they say), I will have to wear a coat. They really save on heating in MD's offices around here!

Maybe will be able to stop and get some free-range fresh ground beef at Gelson's (Harvey willing) to grill indoors RARE! (IMHO, well-done beef not worth the trouble. Of course, if beef is not cooked well-done, and is not fresh ground, one risks e coli infestation, I have heard.)


Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. When I saw this was was a totally cross-referencing theme, including the unifier, I thought this would be a DNF. Once I got RADIO ENTHUSIAST, I realized I was looking for Hams.

NOAH'S WAYWARD SON was the last theme clue to fall.

I initially thought of Cob as the Corn Serving, instead of an EAR

I also thought of Rosy instead of HOPE for Optimism.

PEDAL STEEL was new to me, but the perps gave me lots of help on that one.

JD: What adorable pictures ~ both your cute little grandson, and the gorilla playing with the other critter.

Frenchie: Congrats to your daughter on her new house.

QOD: Wanting to meet an author because you like his book is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pâté. ~ Margaret Atwood.

HeartRx said...

JD, Cameron is absolutely adorable! You must be so proud. I really chuckled at the picture of the baby gorilla poking at the rodent. What a fun trip!

Barry, so sorry to hear about your son. Get plenty of rest, or you might be down for the count yourself!

Avg Joe said...

I usually dislike cross references intensely, but I didn't see how this one could work any other way. Once I accepted that, it was a great puzzle. Had to pick my way through it, but all told a fun solve.

I'm surprised at the anonymity of pedal steel. There's 3 basic types of steel guitar. Dobro, which looks nearly like a standard guitar, but sound different. It can be played like a standard, or flat on your lap. Then there's the true Lap steel, which is boxier but small and played on one's lap (duh). And the pedal steel which is on a stand and guessed it....pedals that control aspects of the sound.

Not a lot of artists come to mind that feature this front and center, but here is Robert Randolph and The Family Band. This isn't traditional steel music, but it's pretty hot.

Lemonade714 said...

J.D. and J.D. Salinger, together at last here at the corner. Well martin you always make Thursday a good day with your lively work. We have not seen Billie Truitt in a long while, and I cannot decide if I like the center cross-reference instead of just having HAM as the continuing clue. Makes you work the puzzle from all 4 corners; weird. I guess that was the purpose.

Well I enjoyed the result and the write up and I am off; good luck fermatprime and BG.

Anonymous said...

Ricky Henderson is a conceited jerk.

Mari said...

Hi Gang,

I really enjoyed this puzzle today. I liked the fact that there were both long D and A answers. Good job! I also liked how the clue 56D preceded 58D, with references to "First Lady" and "Michelle". Get it?

I also liked that one had to decide between METALS and MEDALS, hmmmm. My favorite clue was Slicer's Warning, and my favorite answer was Noah's Wayward Son.

Get plenty of rest for Friday's brain busting puzzle.

desper-otto said...

Happy Thursday, all.

No nits to pick, just a fun top-to-bottom solve. Got the theme at SCENERY CHEWER. My only misstep was LEE before LOU until ENTHUSIAST showed up. Say, what is the difference between IPSE and IPSO? Any Latinarians in the house?

HeartRx said...

Desper-otto, ipse is the nominative, while ipso is the ablative form.
Nominative: "Ipse dixit" (He himself said it).
Abltative: "Ipso facto" (by that very in, "He was engaged in selling illicit drugs, and was ipso facto a criminal.")

desper-otto said...

Thanx, Marti. Now if I can just keep that in my head until it shows up again...

Spitzboov said...

Good Morning everyone. Bright comments, as usual, Marti.

Have never heard of PEDAL STEEL but the perps got it for me. I knew HAM implied something about a SCENE CHEWER IDEA, but not having heard the term specifically, I ended up getting red letter help for the t in EAT. Only help needed. Kept wanting 'dinner' before ENTREE clicked into my brain. Liked the TARTS and BARN clues. Having lived in EDEN, NY for a time, it is always a gimme.

Have a great day.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning Marti and gang. This was EASY!

I thought TOPAZ would be correct, but looked at the downs. PEDAL STEEL confirmed it for me. I recently was checking the whereabouts of some HAM RADIO friends from years back and came across a website for people that are involved in restoring PEDAL STEELS. I'm not sure I would have known the term were it not for that.

I've been a HAM RADIO ENTHUSIAST for 56 years so HAM was obvious when the first theme emerged. SCENERY CHEWER took a few more perps, as did WAYWARD. Every thing else just flowed.

If you really wanted to avoid making HAM cross referential back to the theme entries but still want some misdirection, it could be clued as 'Lead in to mer'. I usually do not like cross reference puzzles, but this one was well within my wheel house so I can't complain.

Thanks for the write up and links, Marti.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Piece of cake today. No unknowns, except that I've never heard the phrase SCENERY CHEWER, so that looked a little surprising as it got cemented by perps. My long-ago next door neighbor had a PEDAL STEEL in his basement, about 1968 I guess. I associated its sound with Hawaiian guitar, maybe they're the same thing, dunno.

Morning Marti, and thanks for another perky write-up!

I've had good reports from our newest iPad users over the last few days. Once we get Frenchie's Cruciverb login to behave, I think we'll be at 100%! (Any developments?)

If anybody else is on the fence about doing the LAT on an iPad, drop me a line. Also, if anybody is using the free app that Marti found, I'd like to hear how it's working for you.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Billie, for a very good Thursday puzzle (as it turned out). Thank you, Marti, for the very good review.

Got started in the NW and very soon saw that the four theme answers had no clue except for the 38A answer, which also had no clue. So, I had a bad attitude going into this. However, I was able to get SCENERY CHEWER and RADIO ENTHUSIAST with perps and then entered HAM. So, I was much happier.

The rest of the puzzle came together easily after that.

44D DUES got my attention. I pay more Dues to organizations than I like to think about. But, it's all fun and morally rewarding.

For 9D I had LIU, thinking it was a Japanese ball player. I also thought that IPSI was correct for 15A. Kind of wagged them and missed.

Had no idea what the Sopranos nightclub was, but perps got it, BADA. I watched that show once and never again. I have a problem with foul language over the air waves.

See you tomorrow.


Husker Gary said...

This one had it all! A hidden theme that made you work with a V8 payoff, clever cluing and a Thursday with Marti!

-I don’t slice anymore but FORE was a common cry before that.
-Sal Maglie was like Bob Gibson – you didn’t dig in too hard at the plate because you might find the next pitch in your ear.
-Those of us who have run businesses have had to just EAT IT on some projects.
-Granddaughter just lost other front tooth. No EAR of corn for a while.
-The PEDAL STEEL is a staple of country music
-Rickey, Lou and Maury were not deterred by soupy base paths, pitchouts, quick pitches, etc
-Went through a lot of Roger’s partner before I got to Buttermilk’s mistress
-Here is a jet breaking Mach 1 (:12)
-Michelle Wei was much ballyhooed as she turned pro as a teenager and even played in men’s tournaments and is now a good but not spectacular golfer

Hahtoolah said...

Marti: my birthstone (December) is a blue TOPAZ. For my birthday this past year, my husband of 25 years gave me a beautiful blue topaz necklace. Should I be worried??!!

Virginia said...

Great write-up, wonderful pictures.

I never did get the rhythm of this one, definitely a DNF for me today. Oh No! tomorrow's Friday! Not looking forward to that at all!

creature said...

Good Morning, CC and all.

Nice write-up, Marti; thanks.

Billie, such a fun Thursday dish. 57A seemed very creative; I thought you had exhausted the options for ‘HAM’. A grid spanner besides.

JD- just adorable.Good Morning, CC and all. The boys will have fun sharing their memories, later. I bet the zoo would like a photo of the rodent- a new inhabitant for their insurance policy.

Trying to catch up with so much. Love to check in off and on all day.

Have a nice day everyone.

Husker Gary said...

Barry, best wishes with your son’s illness. As we found out this month, there is no pain like hurting for your child.

Jodie Foster’s character in Contact started her Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence career as a HAM radio operator.

ERIE, ERIN, EIRE, ERSE thrive here.

Topaz sentiment – What product used the tagline, “A handshake instead of a kiss?”

CURE EIGHTY ONE would work for Ham in this Hormel City

grams said...

Kind of tough. Didn't help that I put colt for foal. US Open arena fixed that. Enjoyed the HAM clue. Clever!

carol said...

Hi all - Happy Hump Day for those of you still working.

I did not start off well...put COLT in for 6A and didn't know IPSO.

The topaz is my birthstone (Nov)but I don't care for the color of it...didn't know there was a blue topaz until I read Hahtool's comment. Hmmm sounds prettier. I forgot what the
traditional Dec birthstone is.

Marti, thank for the picture of the pedal steel. Put me in the club of ones who have never heard of it....of course, I'm the most 'un-musical' person here.

I never know if it's AROO or EROO (34D) sigh

Barry G, hope your son gets better very soon...that's a nasty virus! I suppose he picked it up at school.

Irish Miss said...

Good morning all. Overall a fairly easy romp. Did get side-tracked with 24A-had mop for tangle of hair which made 6D finipe which made no sense. Otherwise, smooth sailing.

Great write-up, Marti.

Happy Thursday everyone.

kazie said...

I'm a bit late today, so I'll comment first and then read yours.
I really had not serious problems, unlike most Thursdays, or CWs with cross-referenced non clues. But I hung in there and got them all. YAM and HEY helped the unifier, and after that it was fairly easy to figure out what the other "hams" were. Didn't know HAL, or LOU, but got them THRO perps too.

Wasn't tricked with METALS, but the ends of the themes took a while. I guessed what was needed, but the actual end words were slow coming.

Mari said...

Maybe Irish Miss' new avatar will bring us all good luck with Friday's brain bender.

kazie said...

I forgot to congratulate JD on those cute pix --both little ones looked adorable.

Sorry to hear your son is ill, hope it improves quickly, or you'll be dealing with more gory details!

I also forgot to say I didn't know about PEDALSTEELs, but that Robert Randolph link sure was wild! He seemed to be enjoying himself thoroughly, and so was the crowd. Thanks for that, Joe!

I also thought corn grew in an ear, but you eat it off the cob. Do I have it back to front?

Grumpy 1 said...

Hahtool... as long as you got the diamond(s) first, I wouldn't be worried. He's telling you that you're not only his lover but also his best friend.

My first Christmas gift to my LW when we were dating was a heart necklace with diamonds, the symbol of love. A few years later, after we were married, I got her a blue topaz necklace. After all, she is my best friend, too. The topaz is flashier, and she wears it often, but the diamond is still her "go to" adornment.

mtnest995 said...

Finished this one with no lookups or WAGs. That's probably a first for me on a Thursday. Can't say it was a speed run, but I felt like I had really accomplished something when I was done. Had medals before metals - but that was my only correction. All-in-all a fine, clever puzzle and a great write-up. Thanks Billie and Marti.

Anyone else watch the premier of Touch last night? I'm really hooked, but it won't be back until mid-March - bummer.

Ron Worden said...

Good morning to all,thanks for the great write-up C.C. and an enjoyable Thu. puzzle Billie. Really liked the Lou Brock reference. When I was ten years old he took me for a ride in his Eldorado conv. as my father worked at the cadillac dealer in St.Pete and worked on his car. That was quite a thrill for me. I also took guitar lessons from a retired Cleveland symphony orch. violinist who had a pedal steel aka the Hawaian guitar. have a great day to all RJW.

Argyle said...

Hello, Grams

Welcome to the group.

Tinbeni said...

Billie: Thanks for a FUN Thursday.

Something about SCENERY-CHEWER over EAT.

Marti: I think Hooker's just yell:
"HEY! Wanta Party?"


Anony-Mouse said...

Thank you Mr./Ms. Truitt for the puzzle and Marti for a very interesting commentary. I made a lot of headway in the puzzle, but also a couple of blind ends. DNF. Noah's son gave me a lot of problems - was not familiar with him.

Learning moment - "Billie don't be a hero "- was NOT about 'Nam. ! Who'd have known ? In 1974, thats all everyone talked about - 'Nam and Nixon's easy-peasy election victory.

Also I was looking for 'Scenery Stealer' - Not fam. with 'chewer'.

Never thought about Au and Ag 'medals', I guess that's the metallurgist in me... 'metals' came automatically.

ALT QOD:- All religions are the same. Basically, guilt with different holidays. "I feel so guilty. Let's eat." ~ Cathy Ladman.

Avg Joe said...

Here's a more traditional sound for a pedal steel. Waylon at Austin City Limits.

*David* said...

I really liked this one and was still surprised by how smooth it was. There were no gimmes as far as the theme and the long fill which made the process of solving one of discovery.

creature said...

Gram- welcome! sweet avatar.

Anony-Mouse said...

Topaz is an Alumino-silicate, with Fluorine and hydroxyl groups, with other trace impurities that give it the color. Generally yellow or Orange, common Topaz(es) are often heat treated ( heated and cooked in a pressure cooker, to 700oF) and/or irradiated with X-rays and schluss-Gamma rays, to bring out the rare pink ( Very desirable - ) and dark blues in the normally colorless/ grey/ brown varieties.

Blue ( a lighter blue - naturally occurring ) Topaz is the Texas official gemstone.

Back to the puzzle --- IMHO, I think, to ask to identify a physicist by giving just his first name, without even a hint of the field of his expertise, is very unfair. I eventually got it, but it turned me off the puzzle. Oh well.

Have a good rest of the week, you all.

HeartRx said...

Hahtool @9:28, I wouldn’t worry – if you’ve made it for 25 years, you must be more than just “friends”, LOL!!!

Avg Joe, I gave myself a really bad earworm with the “Billy, don’t be a hero” song. So many thanks for that Waylon Jennings tune. I’ll be boot scootin’ all day to that one!

Grams, nice to “see” new faces here. I also thought of “colt” at first, but glanced at the perps to be sure…turns out, I was wrong, and FOAL it was!

Irish Miss, like Mari @10:10, I hope your avatar brings luck to everyone, but I really don’t think we’ll need it for Friday’s puzzle. This is a smart crew, right?

Bill G. said...

Happy Thursday!

Best wishes for your son, Barry. I hope he feels better soon.

I challenged myself and managed the puzzle with no red letters. I too was surprised to discover that a pedal steel wasn't more familiar to folks here. It's very commonplace in country music. I had never heard of a "SCENERY CHEWER" but I figured it out via the crossing letters.

Gary, I enjoyed your link of the jet breaking the sound barrier. Several times I have heard the twin sonic booms characteristic of the space shuttle passing overhead on its way to Edwards Air Force Base.

Lucina said...

Hello, puzzler friends. Marti, thank you for the writing and the laughs; you do make me chuckle.

At first scan I thought I would hate this puzzle, but it required some out of the box thinking and so I liked it.

Thank you, Billie Truitt.

Blue TOPAZ is also my birthstone so I recall it, and then I flirted with COLT and FOAL but looking at the crosses, FOAL was obvious.

All else fell in quite nicely going downward before sussing the long theme answers. I like that HAM was right in the center.

EASY and doable for a Thursday.

I hope your son recovers and that you can sleep well.

It is wonderful to see you here. I thought of you during the holidays as that is when acute pain grips one, especially so the first year.

Have a delightful Thursday, everyone!

Steve said...

Really enjoyed this one. As things got filled in, I was looking at RADIO and WAYWARD SON and wondering how to fit this Kansas song in there. Totally wrong, of course, but I've now got the tune on the brain.

Four long downs too. This can't have been easy to put together.

And Food! A great day all around!

Misty said...

Well, I started out daunted and a bit annoyed by all the See 38 Across clues--especially when I didn't yet have 38 Across. But in due time the HAM showed up and then it all fell quickly into place. So thanks, Billie--a do-able challenge is always fun on a Thursday. And Marti, I always enjoy your write-ups.

Welcome, Grams. I got Colt instead of Foal too, at first. I think you'll enjoy the blog. And Barry, good vibes and wishes for your son's recovery.

Lucina said...

Cameron is a beautiful boy! I love that look of awe in his eyes.

GarlicGal said...

Happy Thursday to one and all. I thought it was a fairly easy solve today. I liked the theme, particularly "scenery chewer". I immediately thought of the Sally Fields movie "Soap Dish", a great spoof on soap operas. (Kevin Kline, a perfect example of a scenery chewer.)

Wonderful family photos, J.D. Thanks for sharing.

This Sunday is the Silicon Valley Puzzle Fest in my neck of the woods. We'll see
if I can do any better than last year. HA!

Welcome to all the new folks here at the Corner.

Irish Miss said...

Mari and HeartRx:

Let's hope solving Friday's cw relies more on our "thinking caps" rather than "the luck of the Irish".

Have great day.

CrossEyedDave said...

at first i was taken aback by the cross referencing theme, but being a bit of a "Ham" myself, (in more ways than one,) it became easy as soon as radio popped out.

Marti, per yr request for more theme clues: How about 38A William Shatner as Captain Kirk.

Kirk emoting

More Kirk emoting

william Shatner making up for all that "Kirk" stuff.

Abejo said...

Hey, Creature, how are you? Missed you.


Jerome said...

Hey, Husker-


ARBAON: said...

Anonymouse: Your Alt quote of the day reminded me of the short version of Jewish history:

They tried to annihilate us.
Couldn`t do it.
Let`s eat!

I tease my grandchildren about "oneg" by calling it "eggnog." They have converted and have great senses of humor. That goes with being Jewish, I`ve found.

GarlicGal said...

Good one Jerome!

How about agar, ague, alar and all those 4 letter Jewish months? I always have to wait for the perps.

Husker Gary said...

Jerome, Not only are they “just as worst” they are in verse! Very clever my friend! BTW, I really enjoy your puns that are worthy of inclusion in a game of Mad Gab.

Bill, I too heard the double sonic boom in Orlando at 7 am and I, Mr. NASA, jumped out of bed wondering what had just occurred and blaming my colleague next door even though I knew the orbiter was to land that morning. It’s like the old story of the guy who had only one line in the play, “Hark, I hear the cannon’s roar!” and he kept practicing it - “Hark, I hear the cannon’s roar!” “Hark, I hear the cannon’s roar!” “Hark, I hear the cannon’s roar!”

On the night of the play, the cannon exploded off stage and he shouted, “What hell was that?”

TV ad that is the platonic equivalent of a Topaz ring -

Guy walks girl to her apartment door. Says goodnight, shakes hand, and walks away. Girl enters apartment, looks at her roommate and says "A handshake instead of a kiss!" Roommate says, "Maybe it's your . . . . uhhh, breath." A Listerine plug ensues. Remember?

HeartRx said...

Husker @9:40, It took me a while to go looking for it, but yes,
that would work!

CrossEyedDave @12:09, hilarious clips of Kirk chewing the scenery, but I loved his phone call to Nimoy!

Jerome - "37 Across"

Lemonade714 said...

Welcome Grams; nice picture of you feeding the baby; first grandchild?
I do love me babies...

Rube said...

Found this to be an exceedingly easy Thursday puzzle, both in clueing and answers... more Tuesdayish. The last few Thursdays have been much more difficult, IMO. Did have a few writeovers, 'tho: DUD/Dog, HOPE/HyPE, NETS/gETS.

I, too, don't particularly like cross referenced clues... they're only slightly better than quotes. Give me a rebus any day before a quote.

Had Shem in a recent puzzle. Looking for Japeth now.

Took a long, hard look at SCENERYCHEWER. Thought "scene stealer"... nope... then "scene eschewer"... definitely nope. Finally gave up and figured it was one of those expressions used by actors like "break a leg".

Also never heard of a PEDAL STEEL guitar. Wiki has some interesting articles on these and, (their apparent predecessor), slack key guitar. (The wife is a big fan of Hawaiian slack key guitar music.)

Jerome said...

I have to tell ya, Marti, sometimes I just don't get it. Put BELA at 24 down and we get ARENA instead. Plus BAT, which is a lot more fun than MAT.

Mari said...

Keep your ham, I like diamonds

Tinbeni said...

Husker @1:13
Well the puzzle did remind me of a
Punch-Line from long ago.

How are nymphomaniacs, prostitudes and wives
a bit different ???

Nymphomaniacs howl: Harder! Harder!

Prostitudes cry out: Faster! Faster!

and Wives???

They coo:


I think we'll paint the ceiling BEIGE ...

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. What Avg Joe said about the cross references. I saw those clues that aren't clues and almost, as Clear Ayes said a couple of weeks OR SO ago, walked away. But I ended up really enjoying this puzzle. I can't express it better than Avg Joe did in his first paragraph. And as Lucina so articulately said, "it required some out of the box thinking and so I liked it."

Loved the links to William Shatner chewing up the scenery.

Mari, that ring would topple you over!

May health soon be restored to your household, Barry G.

Best wishes to you all.

Bill G. said...

Mari, is that really KK's engagement ring? It's big but not a very pretty diamond in my opinion. I kinda feel bad for the tall shlep (basketball player Chris Humphries) who bought it for her and then got divorced 72 days after getting married. But now that I read on the Internet that he ranks first in a poll of the most hated NBA players, maybe my sympathy is misguided.

I really enjoy the pedal steel and its cousin, the dobro. Here's a good example of a pedal steel in a good ol' country classic. (The pedal steel solo starts at about the two-minute mark. San Antonio Rose

Irish Miss said...


I burst out laughing when I read your anecdote of the guy in the play muffing his only line-it may be corny but it sure struck home with me!


Mari said...

Bill G @ 2:25 pm: That would be KK's, and you're right - not very pretty. I think this is more my style

(scroll down)

Anonymous said...

Hi Y'all,

Very satisfying puzzle when finished! Good write-up, Marti! I, too, viewed all the clueless cross-references with dismay bordering on despair. But after filling the NW corner immediately, persevered.

FOAL escaped my mental BARN until the very last. I never did get past rAT for "tangle of hair". My mother used to struggle to detangle the "rat's nest" in my long hair as a child.

Had a friend who was quite successful as a professional pedal steel player at Branson. If you notice on the clips, one hand plays with a pick
and the other hand slides a steel bar up and down the strings.

I read somewhere that this sound originated in southern bars. Old guitarists would break the tops off long neck glass bottles and wear it on a finger to slide up and down the strings. Makes the guitar "wail".

- PK -

Anonymous said...

Bill G.- The crowd cheered Kris Humphries when he came on the court in New York. When he made his first appearance on the court in LA, he was booed. I personally think he got a raw deal. I watched some of the Kardashian shows out of curiosity--can't stand the show--which added to my sympathy for him. He's kind of a mediocre player right now but doing better.

Did you see the Lakers beat Clippers for the first time last night. What a wild game! Playoff intensity and near fights! Griffen shed some blood! Mercy me!

- PK -

Avg Joe said...

I also really enjoy the Dobro. One fairly known rock tune featuring it prominently is The Ballad of Curtis Loew by Lynard Skynyrd.

Note that in this composition, it's played like a standard guitar rather than a lap steel (even though that doesn't jive with the lyric: "He used to own an old dobro, used to play it cross his knee"). It works either way, but as a lap instrument there's more slide work. Either way it always has that signature metallic sound.

carol said...

Why don't I see a picture of Grams? I do see her one comment at 9:45, but no picture. What happened??

Husker Gary...funny about the guy in the play. I can relate!

Gotta go back and check out these garish diamonds. Me, I prefer my wide gold diamonds, toooo flashy. (and contrary to some opinions, they are not a good 'investment')

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

An enjoyable and not too tough Thursday puzzle. I really enjoyed your write-up, Marti!

~~ I got HAM (from perps) before getting any of the theme answers so that was helpful. I was familiar with all except for SCENERYCHEWER so that fell last.
~~ It took me a bit to get 20A - 'Passed on, as folk mus.' because I was looking for a verb.
~~ Had 'Logo' before ICON.
~~ I agree with those that commented on 41A - 'Board partner.' I tend to think of 'Room & Board' and 'BED and Breakfast.'
~~ On 24A - MAT, I thought of my long-haired kitty who is not happy when I try to comb them out! >^:^<

I really liked a lot of the cluing today ~ especially for BADA bing and WHONEEDSIT. A fun day!

Bill G. said...

PK: Yes, the Lakers showed some fighting spirit last night. I hope it lasts but I don't know...

Out kitchen floor is cluttered with dryer parts. We're getting our old dryer repaired. It might have made more sense to get a new one but installation problems helped us make a decision to repair the old one.

I saw Andrew Lloyd Weber on TV this morning. I believe him to be a very talented person but his musical style has never appealed to me. I enjoy and can sing almost every song from The Music Man, Oklahoma, etc. but none of Weber's songs from The Phantom of the Opera or Evita or ...? seem memorable to me. I'm such a fogy.

Another beautiful day in the 70s. I'm heading off for a short bike ride, a macchiato and some conversation. See you later.

Abejo said...

My hat off to Dudley for helping me with my IPad and using it with This will help me on the road. At home, however, it is pen and paper.


Lucina said...

Click on Grams' name and look at her profile for the nice picture of her holding a child.

carol said...

Lucina, thanks...duh, DOH, I feel silly for not thinking of that!!

Grams, make that your avatar, so cute!

Avg Joe said...


Just when you thought you'd heard it all somebody proves there are no limits to absurdity.

The Moon as a Colony.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Mixed feelings about this puzzle.

The unclued unifier is definitely not kosher.

OTOH, lots of sparkling fill.

That's about it for today.


LA CW ADDICT said...

Well, if I knew the difference between metal and medal (shame on me) I would have aced this puzzle. This was almost a DNF because of Noah's Wayward Son. Took a long time for this to fall because I had Buda instead of Bada for 54D so it helps to know how to spell these things!

Husker Gary - is the answer to your product tagline "a handshake instead of a kiss" Scope? I did not see where anyone else answered this, but I remember the commercial - ancient history now!

Have a great evening all...

windhover said...

Avg. Joe;
Can you say "panderer"? I have a cousin-in-law who worked for NASA until recently. I'm sure that speech resonated with him, but we've dumped billions into that bottomless pit and what we have to show for it is some really cool pictures and Tang and a dead school teacher.
Meanwhile, our bridges are falling in the river....

carol said...

WH: (6:16) Great comment!! I couldn't believe that link. Really???
Wonder what Newt has been smoking.
When you really think about that statement, the more ridiculous it gets. How would that ever work? Oh, and we are soooo flush with money in this country that we can all afford to fund this and book space shuttle flights to stake out homes. Oh, Scotty, beam me someplace else !!!

Hahtoolah said...

Grumpy: You are so sweet!

Mari: Great dress. We should all go out and get ourselves crossword dresses!

Anonymous said...

It frustrates me that C.C.'s request that politics be left off this blog is consistantly ignored by certain posters.

I think its rude.

Grumpy 1 said...

Funny thing, I remember the same comments about Kennedy's absurd notion that we would send a man to the moon and bring him back by the end of the decade.

Newt's press agent said...

Feeling your pain, but what frustrates the regular bloggers is that they can't strangle an occasional anon, just for S & G.

windhover said...

In crosswordese,

Anonymous said...

Here we go again. Windy, I can't believe that you are not aware of the discoveries that enrich our lives daily.

For instance, being able to post drivel on the internet using a handheld wireless communication device.

windhover said...

Well, I've gotta give you that one, and let's not forget the real reason the Internet is successful: porn.
And as long as we're being honest, I do see that by using this iPhone I'm as complicit in the machine as anyone else.

CrazyCat said...

Late again. Another weird weather day here in CA. It went up to 85. Last weekend it was down in the low 40s. It's hard to figure out what to wear.

I too, was dismayed as I embarked on today's puzzle. Hopped all over the grid and finally got RADIO ENTHUSIAST and then the HAM IDEA popped into my head. I grumbled a lot about all the "sports clues." Wanted so bad to put in SCENE STEALER, but it just didn't fit. I've never heard of SCENERY CHEWER, although that description fits my young dog. Now that she is no longer an adolescent, she has stopped feasting on the landscaping.

NOAHS WAYWARD SON was the last to go. Not a big fan of HAM, but that MELT sure looked good.

Thanks Marti. Night all.

Avg Joe said...

Alright, I admit. I crossed the line with a politipost. But if you check out my profile you'll note that my favorite lit is sci-fi and fantasy. I recognize it when I see it.


Anonymous said...

Avg. Joe, you remind me of len.

Bill G. said...

We were talking about favorite sitcoms the other day and Welcome Back Kotter came up. You may have heard that the actor that played Epstein just died. Here's a link to an MSNBC article about it.

Hensal said...

I'm new to this-what is a 'perp'?
Quite a comedown, from 100% on Wednesday to 50% Thursday.

JD said...

Hi all...late again,

I am in awe of those of you who slid right through this one. Phew! I actually hated it, only because I could not make heads or tails without clues, and pedal steel couldn't even get a wag since it crossed over w h a t e v e r. Yet, I did love many of the clever clues( first lady's garden site), and give kudos to Mr. Truitt and Rich.

Best part was reading Marti's theatrics...always makes me smile.

Have to say it was hard concentrating because I had a sleeping Cameron in my lap for over 2 hours; he has an ear infection and would have no part of the crib.He is an easy baby, and very funny.He practices making faces in the mirror in the car.

That darling baby gorilla was at the Safari Park in Escondido. His parents were so attentive. Daddy G.carried him around in the palm of his hand for a bit.Any idea if mice dig holes in the ground?

WELCOME grams!

Argyle said...

Hensal @ 8:53

Perps stand for perpendiculars, those crosswords that are at a right angle to the your target word you are trying to solve. Today's themes had to come from the the perps because there was no clue in the clues.

Abejo said...

To Hensal.

A perp is a perpendicular word that crosses another word. That is how we get the tough ones.


Abejo said...

Argyle. You beat me by one minute in defining "perp". I remember asking that same question about a year.


Tinbeni said...

When seeing the 4 cross-referenced clues, I concentrated on 38-A via perps.

HAM fell EASY.

Then I only had to think about WHAT could be
"4 kinds of Ham?"

As such, the themes actually fell easily.
And more clever than having 4 clues: "HAM?"

I had a more difficult problem with 11-D, Winter garb being COAT.
Geez, it hit 78 (again) here today.
(I wanted "Flip-Flops" or "Shorts")

Avg.Joe: HEY, at least he didn't say:
"The Myth of Global Warming."


Argyle said...

I thought of HAM as soon as I got RADIO. But RADIO had to come from the perps. No matter where you got your start, it had to have come from the perps initially.

Abejo said...

Well, we just got our electric back. Five hours outage after a Fedex truck moved a telephone pole about 20 feet. My new (used) generator came in handy. Paid 50 bucks for it last year. I love a good deal.


Lucina said...

RIP, Robert Hegyes. Thank you for posting Bill. That is so sad.

Lemonade714 said...

Welcome Hensal, please stop by often and invite your ancestor, pre-Hensal

surfersrule said...

I know Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods had a hit with "Billy, Don't Be A Hero" but didn't realize Paper Lace scored with it too...

Argyle said...

Welcome, dude, but why so late to the part?