Feb 21, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 Billie Truitt

Theme: Bummer - Four grid spanners that start off badly. (synonyms for bad)

16A. Airport security canine : BOMB SNIFFING DOG

23A. Thanksgiving serving : TURKEY DRUMSTICK

41A. Frothy citrus dessert : LEMON CHIFFON PIE

56A. Women's swimsuit size factor : BUST MEASUREMENT. A sideline for Dennis?

Argyle here. The discussion about day of the week appropriateness for a word may continue today. There are some doozies.

The long entries (SEE STARS and EAU DE VIE) adjacent to the top and bottom theme entries are quite sparkly.


1. Baseball's Hammerin' Hank : AARON. Rookie card. Note he signed it Henry Aaron.

6. Bad color for ink? : RED

9. Sunlight unit : BEAM

13. Vegetation : FLORA

14. Ward of "Sisters" : SELA. Her IMDb page.

15. Notion : IDEA

19. React to a whack : SEE STARS

20. "You're not the only one!" : "SO CAN I!"

21. Ending for mass or pass : IVE

22. Talking bird : MYNA

31. Agenda details : ITEMS

32. Cool-cucumber link : AS A

33. Lake Mich. city : CHIcago. The Windy City.

34. Semana septet : DIAs. Spanish week/days

35. "Divine Comedy" poet : DANTE

37. Phlebotomist's target : VEIN

38. With 48-Across, shout at the station : ALL, 48A. See 38-Across : ABOARD. Do they still do that?

39. Byrnes of "Grease" : EDD. His IMDb page.

40. Quake site : FAULT. (earthquake)

46. Pothole's place : ROAD

47. Jimmy's successor : RON (Jimmy Carter/Ron Reagan)

51. Type of brandy whose name means "water of life" : EAU DE VIE. Upon reading the explanation, I remember having this before. Basically, it is a brandy NOT made from grapes but some other kind of fruit.

58. Capri, for one : ISLE. In the Bay of Naples, southeast of Rome.

59. Puppy bites : NIPS

60. Mascara problem : SMEAR

61. Ring decisions, briefly : TKOs. Boxing rings/technical knockouts.

62. Sample : TRY

63. Sample : TASTE. Classic clecho.


1. Langley and Travis: Abbr. : AFBS. (Air Force Bases)

2. Botanical skin treatment ingredient : ALOE

3. "Julius Caesar" setting : ROME

4. Globes : ORBS

5. Bad guys : NASTIES

6. Flag throwers : REFs. Is there a sport besides football where the refs throw a flag?

7. Many a "Lord of the Rings" character : ELF

8. Dogpatch gal : DAISY MAE. Edie Adams won a Tony Award for playing the original Daisy Mae in the Broadway musical "Li'l Abner". 1956

9. Lion, for one : BIG CAT

10. Icelandic poetic work : EDDA

11. Really long time : AEON

12. Star followers : MAGI

14. Begat : SIRED

17. It's darker than royal blue : NAVY

18. Dijon denials : NONs. Dijon is southeast of Paris.

22. Is compelled to : MUST

23. __ wave : TIDAL

24. Of practical value : UTILE

25. Domain : REALM

26. Canadian rd. distances : KMs. (kilometre)

27. "Amazing" paranormal debunker : RANDI

28. Freeze over : ICE UP

29. Spicy bean dish : CHILI

30. Kunta __: Burton's "Roots" role : KINTE. LeVar Burton.

35. Morally degenerate : DECADENT

36. Condition treated with Ritalin, briefly : ADHD. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

37. Car for a large family : VAN

40. Most doting : FONDEST

42. Takes the podium : ORATEs

43. Standard : NORM

44. Munich matrons : FRAUs. German.

45. Typical barbershop complement : FOUR

48. Slightly : A BIT

49. Perform on sidewalks, in London : BUSK. The word "BUSK" comes from the Spanish root word "buscar", meaning "to seek" – buskers are literally seeking fame and fortune. per Wikipedia.

50. Scandinavian capital : OSLO

51. Glimpse : ESPY

52. Austen heroine : EMMA. Published in December 1815.

53. Victory signs : VEEs

54. __ the finish : IN AT

55. To be, in Brittany : ÊTRE. Peninsula west of Paris.

57. Balloon contents : AIR



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

This was a nice and pretty easy puzzle, except that (a) I could not figure out the theme to save my life and (b) I misread the clue for 45D as "compliment," needed all the perps to get FOUR and couldn't understand what it meant even after getting it.

fermatprime said...

Greetings, all!

Fun puzzle! Thanks Billie, Argyle!

Almost a speed run. BIG CAT was not obvious at first.
I must be learning something because I put in BUSK right away.

No comments yet on Downton? Spoiler ALERT!
I still think that Richard killed Mrs. Bates. So happy that they did not hang him! Although his romance is kinda dull. Surely Mary and Matthew will not be happy forever! They are too selfish!


fermatprime said...

PS Him meaning Bates of course.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Fairly easy go today, but I had to rely on perps for a clue or two. BUSK, EAUDEVIE, & ABHD were ???????'s.
Minor goof when I spelled MYNA Mina. Quickly corrected. Four made sense once I thought of Quartet.

Nice puzzle after yesterday's crash and burn.

thehondohurricane said...


Misspelling..... ABHD should have been ADHD.

desper-otto said...

Hello all, and may your Tuesday be phat!

Speed run today. Didn't get the theme. Looked for it, but didn't find it even after the puzzle was finished. Thanks, Argyle, for the elucidation.

Learning moment: BUSK. Don't believe I've ever encountered it before.

NIPS below BUST MEASUREMENT looks a little DF.

Off to prepare some taxes.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Argyle and friends. Today was quite the speed run today. For me, it was much easier than yesterday's puzzle.

I liked how the BOMB SNIFFING DOG crossed the BIG CAT.

For all you Downton Abbey fans, check out this site.

It's Mardi Gras, so Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning Argyle and all.

Didn't get the theme until coming here. Thanks Argyle. But the theme fill was easy and fun. Not much to comment on. Nice shoutout for NAVY. Thought the clues for MAGI and FOUR were quite clever. The German plural of FRAU is Frauen; a Miss is a Fräulein - neuter; go figure. Overall, easy enough; no lookups were needed.

Have a great day.

Coach J said...

Hello morning crusaders!
Barry g 5:46: four refers to barbershop quartet.
Puzzle seemed more like a Monday workout, no issues with only a slight pause on chiffon. Thanks argyle for the summary, and to all...make it a great day!

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning all.

This wasn't quite as quick as yesterday. I thought it was going to be super easy when the first three lines filled without looking at down clues except to see if it was BOMB or drug. After that, though, I ran into quite a few that needed perp help and I started bouncing back and forth between across and down entries.

After it was done I went back to see what the theme was and recognized that the first word of each grid spanner are words that might be used by critics reviewing some of those sidewalk performances or the barbershop complements. (Or my literary efforts)

BUSK was all perps. I've probably seen it before but it just doesn't look familiar.

Thanks for the write up and links, Argyle. I don't think any of the theme words will be used to describe your blog efforts.


HeartRx said...

Good morning Argyle, C.C. et al.

I loved your choice of song clips to go with this theme, Argyle! NASTIES and DECADENT were also nice to see, along with EAU DE VIE and SEE STARS.

D-Otto, I was wondering who would mention the NIPS placement first, LOL!

I noticed the "bad" synonyms, but was waiting for some type of unifier. As it was, I thought "is that it? Did I miss something?"

Hahtool, have fun and catch lots of beads!

Tinbeni said...

Argyle: Nice write-up & links.

Always like a puzzle that greets my favorite "Cheers" character: NORM!

Throw in some French "Water of life" EAU-DE-VIE and I'm a happy camper.

Of course, my Aqua Vitae, Pinch, is "Neat".

A "toast" to all at Sunset.

Avg Joe said...

Good morning all. Tuesday level offering today. A few slow downs (e.g. Four) and learning moments (busk) but no major problems. The theme took a while to coax out of hiding, but got it.

Little in the way of musical inspiration in the puzzle. So for daily tuneagement, we'll start with THIS.

And if I'm reading Hahtool's last line correctly, This.

Middletown Bomber said...

This was a speed run for me. Since my son was hounding me to finish I solved the puzzle very quickly using mostly across clues. So I missed most of the downs but had I needed them I would have known the answers to them as well. I think I missed the theme because the clues were so easy and I was being rushed. Eau de Vie came easy as I am a brandy drinker. ADHD would have come easy as I took ritalin(aka Speed) as a child. Thank you to Argyle for the right up.

CrossEyedDave said...

is anyone else having trouble accessing yesterdays Blog?

ant said...

I hate being critical of the puzzles because I enjoy doing them so much, and I really do appreciate the effort that goes into constructing them. However, it's puzzles like these that show why the LAT doesn't have a finalist in the 2011 Oryx Awards for Best Crossword Puzzle of the Year.

This was no BOMB/TURKEY/LEMON/BUST by any means. It just had no pizzazz.

"You're not the only one."
All Woman (5:36) - Lisa Stansfield

Husker Gary said...

Grid spanners at this level and fun fill! You go Billie!

-I was driving home from Omaha when I heard Hank hit #715 on the radio
-I first had MAGS as star followers which gave me SOCANS for “not the only one”. Duh!
-Lend me your comb, Kookie! If you don’t get this, you’re much younger than some of us.
-Capri è molto bello
-My wife can’t believe Boxing is still a sport let alone the brutality in the octagon
-Our AFB is Strategic Air Command
-We drove by the spot where Julius bought it in Rome. Et tu?
-ORBS and BUSTS, hmmm…
-I remember Edie hawking White Owls –“Why do you pick one up and smoke it sometime?”
-BUSKers are fabulous at Disney Parks
-Ferm, I agree on Downton. What fun!
-A lot of BUST MEASUREMENTS will be revealed in New Orleans today

kazie said...

I walked all over the Roman forum, before you had to pay to get in and whatever else is required these days.

My only hold up today was in the mid east, until I gave in and looked up phlebotomist because I couldn't remember what they do. Other than that I had fun and thought it about right for Tuesday. Enjoyed the clecho at 62/63A.

I didn't see any hints about the theme, so didn't even think of looking for one.

Spitzboov said...

CED @7:43 Mine works fine. You may have to punch past the F-Stop commentary to get to the usual comments.

Argyle said...

A nice tie-in with Norm and 'nips':

Clip, at the 30 second mark.

Mari said...

I too missed the theme. I stared at the long phrases for a while before I gave up and came here to find the answer.

Never heard of BUSK.

I liked 6A: Bad Color For Ink: RED. Especially with it being tax time. Speaking of, I worked in an accounting office for a few years. Those poor folks really earn their paychecks this time of year. A minimum of 60 hour work weeks were required, and most of the CPAs put in more hours than that.

Sfingi said...

Another one who didn't see a theme, though puzzle EZ.

Busker is from Spanish "buscar," but common word in England.

PK said...

Hi Y'all,

Good puzzle! The birthday celebration must not have been overdone, Argyle, if you can be so bright and on the job this morning! Thanks for rising above the occasion.

In the middle grids I worked the left side then the right side and put in CHILe on 28D which then left me with Lemon Chiffon PEE when i filled the middle.

Had a real brain freeze in the NW corner, despite having AEON, IDEA and the right DOG. For some reason couldn't come up with BEAM, or MAGI and didn't know EDDA. DUH! When you can't figure out BIG CAT for Lion, maybe time to go back to bed?

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Billie T, for a swell puzzle. Thank you, Argyle, for a swell write-up. Enjoyed the Norm link.

this worked out pretty easily. Needed perps for a few. SELA, EAU DE VIE, BUSK, KINTE.

The four themes worked out, but I never caught the theme until here.

Enjoyed 37A phlebotomist/vein. I was among dozens of phlebotomists yesterday. I gave a pint at the Allstate Arena sponsored by the Chicago Wolves. It was a "Blood Bath" so to speak.

Had my paczki (poonch key) for Fat Tuesday. These things are great and only once a year. They make hundreds of thousands of these in Chicago for today.

See you tomorrow.


Virginia said...

Good Morning. Nice puzzle and write-up, thanks for both.

Barry, there are FOUR members in a Barbershop Quartet. A Very long time ago my Dad sang in one and I sang in a Sweet Adeline's chorus for a short while. Really fun music! When they "ring a chord" it can bring goosebumps and tears!

I didn't get the theme either. EAUDEVIE came throughh perps.

Yellowrocks said...

I agree with those who found this one even easier than Monday's. My only unknown was BUSK, all perps for me. I hope I remember it next time. When I saw BOMB and TURKEY for the 1st two long answers, I got the theme.

HG I rememer Kookie with the comb. EDD has been immortalized in crosswordese.

Mari, my son is a CPA and VP at an accounting and investment firm. He gets home at 9 or 10 PM at the earliest and works Saturdays during this season. No over time for management.

ANON @ 3:41 yesterday. I am sorry for spoiling your Sunday NYT puzzle. I can see why you are upset and will refrain from now on. To (s)he who counts, this is at least my sixth MY BAD in less than a week.

xyz said...

BUSK and EDDA - two new words form a Tuesday. Sweet.

I first put in CLUMP rather than SMEAR for the mascara clue, grew up in a house of women, can you tell?

Overall easier than yesterday's but a very good puzzle best fill of the week for the NYT & LAT combined. (Yesterdays NYT was just full of little 3-letter crumbs). Wonderful full span answers and long crosses - and with no junk, just excellent work.

Yellowrocks said...

Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras and fastnachts.

As an Episcopalian in adulthood, the traditon is to serve pancakes, not my cup of tea.

I was raised on my mom's PA. Dutch fastnachts (literally fast night) which I find so mcuh more delicious. My sibs and I have cooked many of the old dishes. Because these are quite labor intensive none of us make them, but I miss them dearly at this time of year.

Abejo, I looked up paczki. They sound delicious. I should try to buy them as an alternative to pancakes.
Link Shrove Tue. goodies

Yellowrocks said...

Correction: I needed an s. None of us make(s) them. Another MY BAD.

Spitzboov said...

Yellowrocks: BH baked 5 doz. fastnacht kueckeles yesterday along with a few king cakes.

Irish Miss said...

Good morning all:

Nice write- up, Argyle, and fun puzzle, Billie.

I did not get the theme until coming here. Maybe solving it at 3:00 a.m. was partly responsible for that lapse.

Never heard of Eau De Vie but have seen busk many times in cws and British novels.

Happy Mardi Gras to all.

carol said...

Hi all,

Sped through the top half of this and then ran into trouble.

What is 34A and 51D doing in a Tuesday puzzle?? or is it just me?

I also wonder about 5D BAD GUYS/NASTIES. I have never said "Boy you are A nasty". I have said "Boy, you are nasty". I didn't think nasty was a noun.

29D CHILI, now that made me reach for the V-8 can (again). I should have known the answer, but I just stared at it.

45D got me too....I wondered what type of compliment was typical...."nice shave", "good trim". DOH!! Also reminded me of our Crockett 1947, we don't see him anymore.

Why is ADHD the diagnosis for most of the kids who have behavior issues? I think it (along with Autism) is very much the easy answer. Children with true cases of these need complex work-ups by a doctor, not a 'pop' answer by a school nurse or tired parent. We are so quick to slip drugs into ourselves and our children to solve things.

CrossEyedDave said...

I never thought i would use the phrase "speed run," ( it's probably because i got a bunch wrong and never looked back) but i took Marti's conundrum to bed with me last night, and fell asleep before i could finish it. Can't wait to get back to it.

Argyle, loved the "Norm" clips.

I spent most of the morning going over Argyle's 2008 link, and i am enamored by this haunting painting. Can anyone suggest a link to view more of this Artists work?

Hahtoolah said...

CED: The painter you are looking for is John William Waterhouse and the painting in question is The Lady of Shalott.

Anonymous said...

Have we lost our leadoff guy again? Anyone seen/heard from Dennis?

Zcarguy said...

Morning all,

I thought I had a speed run solve until I checked
the answers and realized I had one FAULT
I had Pour as in aftershave at 45D
since I don't like sweets Chifpon Pie looked good
enough to eat.

Flat as A BOARD wouldn't be a good
Bust Measurement .!

Y'all have a good day.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

I really enjoyed this puzzle. I liked that it didn't have a unifier ... I had to study it when I finished to figure out the theme. A little extra brain exercise, I guess.

Thanks for the informative and fun write-up, Argyle. I learned about BUSK, RANDI, and EAUDEVIE. Loved the NORM clips!

EDDA is another of the crosswordese that I remember from long ago.

Desper-otto - I liked your NIPS observation!

Happy Mardi Gras!

Misty said...

I loved this puzzle, although, like Husker Gary 7:57, I had a V-8 moment when I puts MAGS for MAGI, and then couldn't figure out what the deuce SOCANS had to do with the clue. But unlike Ant 7:50, I think a puzzle with answers like BOMB SNIFFING DOGS, LEMON CHIFFON PIE, TURKEY DRUMSTICKS, and BUST MEASUREMENT has tons of pizzazz! So thank you, Billie, and Argyle. Hope you had a terrific birthday yesterday!

Never heard of BUSK, like many others.

The end of Downton Abbey was terrific! Can't wait for Season 3, especially if Shirley McLaine is going to turn up as Cora's American mom! And we're standing by Bates and Anna, no matter what!

Lucina said...

Greetings, all. Thank you, Arhyle, for explaining the theme.

I looked over the finished puzzle but couldn't see that.

Nice Tuesday offering from Billie Truitt. A quick sashay and it was done with a nostalgic look at EDD and KINTE.

We were mesmerised for the entire week that Roots ran on TV, both by the powerful acting and the compelling story.

i don't recall BUSK at all in spite of my being an avid anglophile.

Pancakes for breakfast this morning for me, too.

Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we fast!

Lucina said...

oops. Sorry, Argyle, fro misspelling your name.

What would be Richard's motive in killing Mrs. Bates? She was obviously done in by someone and since I didn't see season one I don't have enough info on their background.

Smart8001 said...

Sorry, Billie, but today's (Feb 21) 44 down was incorrect. The plural of Frau is "?Frauen" not Fraus

Yellowrocks said...

Spitboov, You're a lucky man to have all those home made Fastnachts. My mom made them with boiled potatoes and yeast. The dough had to rise overnight. Then it was rolled out and cut into diamonds with slits in the middle. It had to rise again and then was deep fried, a few at a time. In our large family that was a lot of frying. We cut them in half horizontally and drizzed molasses on them. My mom and I liked butter instead. I know there are easier recipes, but I am longing for a piece of my childhood.

The last one out of bed on Fastnacht morning was teasingly called the Aschenputtel and threatened with taking out the ashes. We had a coal fired furnace. Much later I learned that
Aschenputtel is another name for (CINDER)ella, a lowly person good for meanial jobs like taking out the ashes.

CrossEyedDave said...


Thanks for the link, remarkable works of Art, it will keep me busy for some time.

I do not know much about Art, but the painting "Lady of Shallot" stirred a memory that i later realized reminded me of the brothers Hildebrandt calender depictions of Lord of the Rings.

I.E.: Old Man Willow.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Mixed feelings about this one.

Lots of good stuff, and you have to love a grid spanning BUST MEASUREMENT, but what can you say about FRAUS? That is inexplicably horrible.

NONS to Dijon denials.

Paczki are a Fat Tuesday NORM in Detroit, too. Alas, one of them will lay in your belly like a brick.

We got some snow here his morning. Winter has returned.


Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, The puzzle was a speed run for me. I must have been on Billie Truitt's wavelength today. This was easier for me today, than yesterday.

My errors were the misspelling of Aaron (Arens) and Drug Sniffing dog instead of Bomb sniffing dog. Once that was taken care of the rest was easy. I even figured out the theme for once.

Enjoy Fat Tuesday everyone.

Anonymous said...

The question after "6 down, Flag throwers" was "Is there any other sport where refs throw penalty flags?" The other sport I know where refs throw penalty flags is Lacrosse. Many people like the sport of Lacrosse, but it's not exactly my cup of tea.

Argyle said...

If 44-Down asked for München matrons then FRAUEN would be correct. Billie used the English spelling, Munich, ergo FRAUS would be correct.

Ron Worden said...

Good afternoon to all. Happy Mardi Gras. Thanks Argyle for your insight. What a fun puzzle Bombs,Lemons,busts,gazongas and more for a festive day. show us your beads.although my favorite was 47A Have a great day to all party hearty. RJW.

Barry G. said...


Just to be clear, I know full well that there are four guys in a barbershop quartet, having sung in a few over the years. As I mentioned, though, I misread the word "complement" as "compliment" and thought the clue was looking for a kind word heard at a hair cutting establishment.

eddyB said...


Easy Tuesday speed run. Enjoyed
doing it.

Edda also major character in 9
Chickweed Lane.

Fresh blueberry pancakes with whipped cream for bkft.

Finished book 2 of series. Waiting for English dubbed Swedish version
DVD. UPS had it in Sacro yesterday.

Laundry, off to store and cut the
front lawn today.


Anonymous said...

Never heard of busk, since im American. Thought Ron should have been Ronny ,dont get four [wtf). Coincidently just bought "Roots" dvd, awesome. Loved vein clue and I adore drumsticks. Time for lunch!

Steve said...

Nice, fun puzzle. Laughed out loud at BUST and even more at desper-otto's comment.

Tried MERINGUE before CHIFFON. Helped that I didn't have room for PIE (just like I am after most dinners, although I can usually squeeze in a bite of something with chocolate or a sliver of cheesecake).

BUSK was a gimme, and, IMHO, the archaic Spanish derivation cited in Wikipedia is complete balderdash, a classic case of reading the last in a list of possible derivations and applying a leap of logic to try to make sense of it.

Happy Pancake Day, as we say in the UK!

Steve said...

@Cross-Eyed Dave - funny you mention the Lord of the Rings - the "Lady of Shalott" in Tennyson's poem is based on a character from the legends of King Arthur, which many say partly informed Tolkien's backstory of the race of men in Middle Earth.

CrazyCat said...

Hi at high noon every one. Thanks Argyle.

Count me in for thinking this was easier than yesterday. Everything I guessed turned out to be right. Got the theme at TURKEY. The theme answers could the title of the LAT film critic's column. He pretty much hates everything.

Never heard of BUSK, but I just figured that its what a BUSKER does.

You all are making me long for pancakes.

I guess I'll make Jambalaya for dinner.

Hahtool - Liked your John William Waterhouse link. Back when I was studying art history, the Pre-Raphelites were my favorites.

Fermatprime - Why do you think Richard killed Mrs. Bates? Didn't he pay her off for the info about Mary and the Turkish attaché? By the way, I also listen to KUSC.

Of to dog agility class. My dog is agile. I am not.

CrazyCat said...

oops that's Pre-Raphaelites..

Bill G. said...

There have been several mentions of pancakes (hotcakes in my part of the US growing up). The best ones I make are from Bisquick but adding buttermilk instead of sweet milk and a half-teaspoon of baking soda. You may have to add a little extra buttermilk since it's thicker. Mix everything up but don't quite mix out all the lumps. Not only do they taste great but they even smell great. I'm getting hungry...

I'm still practicing trying to link photos. Here are our hummingbird eggs and the babies about five days old. I'll try to take some more photos as they get older. Eggs and babies

Mari said...

CrossEyedDave at 10:22 am:

This is one of my favorite paintings

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. At first I thought the theme had something to do with food, what with TURKEY and PIE. But then along came DOG and BUST which put the kibosh on that idea. Didn't get it until coming here. Thanks for the explanations.

Much as I love Downton Abbey, I am disappointed that Mr. Bates has become such a one-dimensional character. It seems all he has done lately is mope around.

Jayce said...

And, much as I am happy that Matthew can walk again, I was quite nonplussed at the way it happened so suddenly. It seemed to me like one of those stories in which the hero "is not dead after all" without a solid explanation of how. Like with the TV show Castle. Last week I saw with my own eyes Beckett drown, or at least that's clearly what the writers wanted the audience to think. Then, suddenly, with no explanation whatsoever, she and Castle are standing on the dock drying themselves off with towels, none the worse for wear than if they had just finished a casual swim. "Oh, they didn't die after all!"

But enough nitpicking. It's enough that I had fun with the puzzle today.

Best wishes to you all.

Violet Crawley said...

They made us say things that were ahead of our time. It must have been those logic pills.

Lucina said...


In Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: .... an old verb "to busk," meaning to improvise, and it is from this word that busker is derived, to describe a street or beach performer.

I read a review by Maureen Ryan in which she crtitiqued exactly as you did, the lack of development in some characters or lack of detail, with the healing of Matthew as one example. Another was the introduction and quick disappearance of Patrick Gordon.

I agree with that opinion but overall, the story line carried enough momentum to keep us all engaged.

Jayce said...

Lucina, yeah, that Patrick guy. Man he came and went fast. I sat there thinking, "What the heck was that all about?"

I agree with you that it's still an engaging story. I've been riveted to it, and of course look forward to more.

Qli said...

Thanks for a great puzzle today. Nice VEIN clue! right up my alley.
I'm with you, Lucina, wondering why fermatprime thinks Richard killed Mrs. Bates. Some kind of blackmail? I wouldn't be surprised to find Patrick popping up next season to throw a wrench into Matthew and Mary's plans to inherit, and to confuse Edith.

CrossEyedDave said...


Whoa, beautiful artwork, but not something i would hang on my living room wall. I had trouble following the links, and finally went to Wiki. The Artists gallery there had nothing like the painting you posted.

windhover said...

I know I'm gonna get flames for this, and I'll duck in advance, but is there anything, other than Eddy's eagles and Bill's hummingbirds, going on outside the television? Back in the '60's I had a sister-in-law whose primary conversation topic was what was going on in the lives of the people in her "stories" (the afternoon soaps). She eventually got a job, and Thst was the end of the story(ies).
Real life is (really) quite interesting.

PK said...

Bill G., your hummingbird nests are truly remarkable photographs. What do they use to attach the nests to the branch? Looks like spiderwebs or hairs or something. What is the actual diameter measurement of such a nest? I think it appeared on my screen larger than life.

Seems like I read a romantic novel once that had a "busk" that was a carved whalebone stay for a corset carved by a sailor for his beloved to lie between her bosoms. It was inscribed with some love words.

YR: you have no more "bads" than anyone else. The snarkies just like to get a rise out of you.

Barry, I read the 45D clue as you did at first.

PK said...

Windhover, well, I heard that my nasty brother-in-law's grandsons got arrested for drug possession. College graduates in their mid-20's with no visible means of support. That's real life!

Jayce said...

So, Windhover, what's been going on with you lately?

Susan said...

Yesterday I posted about my hundreds of hummingbirds and my darling owl, Lil Hoot. I, too, wish I could post pictures. I have read the instructions on the right, but I still don't get them. I couldn't sleep last night so my post was so late probably everyone else was asleep.

For some reason I knew busk and barbershop complement didn't fool me because didn't we recently square dance complement?

Yesterday you all made me want to rush out and buy a plane ticket to Ireland. Today you're all making me hungry!

Lucina said...

Windhover, my dear friend. Do you see how we have strayed while you withdrew from our company?

Currently, a strange interaction of politics and religion is concurring, but that topic, as you know, is out of bounds here.

A sheriff in our state has withdrawn as head of the Romney campaign here, but do we really want to discuss that?

The list of depressing and distressing events can continue on and on but in the world of fictional TV we can escape this, leap across a century, and peep, voyeuristically, into other more dramatic lives than ours.

It might not be admirable but it's entertaining.

CrazyCat said...

Bill G@3:00 pm

Those pictures are beautiful. You must have a great lens to be able to get so close. We have lots of hummingbirds in our yard here in Claremont. I know they are nesting, but can't figure out exactly where. We have a little grove of abutilon outside the kitchen window and they seem to love it. They are always hovering around the bird of paradise too.

Is the dog in your avatar a Labradoodle? Very cute!

Avg Joe said...

Ya know WH, I think Lucina is onto something. The decline you've lamented happened about the time you stopped posting on a regular basis.

Coincidence? I don't think so!

The world can be an ugly place. Fantasy may not be a satisfactory solution, but it can be a placebo. Join in with discussion of whatever nonsense keeps you interested. It works for me.

As for the current state of the world?: "Where are we going? And why are we in this handbasket?" :-)

windhover said...

I get your drift. ;)
I've got a relatives like that, and not all of them are distant.
Well, the goats are nearly finished kidding (about 30 kids so far, with another dozen due in April), panning is about to begin (twins born yesterday), it's been a mild winter (55 today) so I've got plenty of firewood, the expansion project on my owner-built home is proceeding apace, I'm about 1/3 through a book titled The Historical Jesus by John Dominic Crossan and nearly finished with the biography of Chrisopher Lasch. Up next is Dreams, by Derrick Jensen. I recently sawed some nice walnut logs on the Woodmizer band saw, and I'm having a prostate MRI Thursday.
You make several excellent points, and as usual when we talk, I can find no sound argument to refute them.

So, does anyone know where I can get a deal on a wood or propane powered TV?

CrazyCat said...


I don't want to get anyone POed, but I agree with you.

Downton Abbey is a heck of a lot better than most of the drivel that's on TV today. It's visually addictive. I can't get enough of the costumes, the architecture/interiors and the countryside.

Sure beats The Bachelor. That is unless you like watching girls skiing down the hills of San Francisco in bikinis on fake snow LOL.

windhover said...

Damned iPhone autocorrect!!
That's a "few" relatives,
And it's lambing (it tried to change it again) that has begun.
I will say, on behalf of my pastoral lifestyle, that when the lamb Olympics begin in a few weeks, watching them is about the most fun you can have without a bonfire and no clothes.
So what's on tonight?

Irish Miss said...

I don't see a post from Lemonade. Did I miss it?

Old Man Winter is still on the missing list in upstate New York. It's going to be 50 degrees here on Friday.

CrossEyedDave said...

Irish Miss:

i just did a Ctrl+F for Lemonade
and i can't find him either, i am getting worried...

Lemonade714,,, where are you???

Jayce said...

Actually, Windhover, I find that interesting. When I lived in Pennsylvania we lived near a working farm, the name of which I don't recall just offhand. I have fond memories of helping to milk the cows and pick apples. We drank, and enjoyed, fresh milk and freshly-pressed apple juice (we called it cider). I'm definitely no farmer, nor would I want to be, but I have a great deal of respect for those of you in that profession. And yes, it is a profession.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Late to the party, in the middle of a business trip that has landed me in one of Pittsburgh's less attractive districts.

Easy puzzle but I didn't get the theme until Argyle 'splained it. Knew BUSK because a local artsy city requires a busker's license for a street performance.

WH: the Woodmizer is a capable machine! Had one going in my yard for a week, processing oak logs affected by the October storm.

The only motivation I could imagine for Richard to bump off Mrs. Bates: he feared that her silence wouldn't stay bought. At that time, he still wanted to shield Lady Mary from exposure, and Mrs. Bates was an angry, loose cannon who might just blab. I doubt he desired to ease the way for Bates and Anna to marry.

Susan said...

WH, I can imagine it must be fun to watch your lambs. Do you raise them for meat or wool? I wish I could be a vegetarian, but I enjoy meat too much.

lois said...

Good evening Argyle, CC, et al., What a fun 'pizzle'. Pert'near a fly by and I loved it. Excellent job, Santa baby. Thank you for the link to Norm and nips. I had forgotten how hilarious that show was. Great catch on your part.

I was more in tune to the DECADENT NORM of our FONDEST FOUR FRAUS whose BUST MEASUREMENTS MUST be FAULTy if it's NIP(S)ply outside. Can't SELA lot of BIG CATchahooter bags in the cold b/c ALL ORBS suffer shrinkage when the temps are CHILI. Bad IDEA.

WH: it's not what's on tonight that interests me but rather what is off ....It's FAT TUESDAY!!! and I'm get some beads and celebrate before Lent tomorrow.
Cheers handsome lamber!

Lucina said...

WH, I love hearing about your lambs! It puts into perspective the wonderful cycle of nature of which we are but a small part. And I can't imagine the wonder of seeing it unfold.

I am reading The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides who also wrote Middlesex, if anyone else read it. It was a book club selection.

What is your opinion on The Historical Jesus? Worth reading?

Tonight NCIS, both, will be recorded as I shall be teaching. Only one of my classes made the cut with enough students.

Positive thoughts going out for your MRI.

This is five, so I'm out.

NJ Irish said...

Good evening all,

Easy one today or I'm just learnin' stuff around here. :-)

Ran into my first Busker in Dublin where they have seveal types. Here's a mime my granddaugther took many photo's of Mime and then there's this one Bono he donates the money to charity.

CrazyCat said...


I spent the afternoon with a couple of suburban border collies who would probably give their canines (eye teeth) to come live with you.

Seldom Seen said...


Ohio State is abusing Illinois on ESPN. Up next is Kentucky playing at Mississippi State. I hope OSU and UK play one another in March. It would be good news for both.

Watchimg NCIS also.

Clinton documentary on next on PBS. I will check in occasionaly. Should be fun to watch.

News, weather, and various reruns too.

You see, I am a man with a touch screen remote.

p.s. On the internet also, obviously.

NJ Irish said...

Crazy Cat @6:43

And I agree with you, the costumes, the castle etc. but my favorite are the HATS, don't you just love them? And that Christmas tree was wonderful.

Don't think Thomas learned his lesson yet. Patrick will surely be back.

One of the things I like about this is it's not from a novel so the plot can take all kinds of twists and we just have to wait and see.

Bill G. said...

PK, the actual nest is about two inches across, maybe a little more. It seems very solid. I have no idea how they attached it. I would love to have seen them construct it or see a time-lapse video of the construction. How can those little birdbrains with no fingers and thumbs do something so beyond my imagining?

CrazyCat, that was our Old English Sheepdog, Sammy, with a haircut. She was a lovely old girl who got more and more infirm until we had to make that one last painful visit to the vet.

NJ Irish said...

Bill G,

From one birder to another

hummingbird nest making

Marge said...

Hi all,
Even if it's late I will post a little. I couldn't do the puzzle early as I had to be at hospital for laser treatment on my eye. We waited 45 minutes and when Dr. came in the room it took about 3 miniutes. Now I can see better.

I thought this puzzle was fairly easy. I did goof up on four and Ron. I thought ron's initials were wanted and eventually found his middle name is Wilson. Well that did not work for four. Don't know what that means either. Well, it was fun anyway.

Have a good night !

CrossEyedDave said...

NJ Irish@7:48

Your Mime link is not working because
the equals sign is missing after
<a href

JD said...

Good evening Argyle, C.C. et al,

Must have been on Billie's wave length because it was a quickie.Filled up/down together , but never groked the theme. Thanks Argyle. Silly things like chi being Chicago still get me.I really dislike a eon, but it is used quite often.Sounds and looks bad.

Who is Randi?

Busk is a new word for m, a ..last fill, a KO.

Yellow rocks, Aschenputtel (sometimes known as Aschenbrodel) is the Grimm's Bros. version of Cinderella. Not many would know that unless they read it in German.

Bill, I'm so impressed with those pictures.

(not) A Flamer said...

No flaming from me...I understand exactly what you're saying. The flamers, however, have already made their presence known.
At what point does the long-lost evil twin show up at Downton Abbey? Or has that already happened...?
I will say, though, that real life can still be more tragic than any soap.

Eagles and Hummingbirds said...

Thank you Windy! I have been biting my tongue. This is not a Downton Abbey blog. We can mention or reference it, but to discuss it ad nauseum is rude.

windhover said...

Not my point, or my intent.

Lemonade714 said...

I.M, thanks for asking, but I am just really, really busy and do not get here until very late.
No hummingbirds, just life.

NJ Irish said...

Still learning


Anonymous said...

Regardless, thank you windhover for quelling the Downton Abbey chatter. Everything in moderation.

Irish Miss said...

Glad you checked in, Lemonade. Better late than never!

Argyle said...

JD@9:14 PM : The Amazing Randi is best known for exposing Uri Geller as just another magician, not a psychic.

Marge@9:04 PM : Four is the number of members in a barbershop quartet.

Yellowrocks said...

JD @ 9:14 My point exactly. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

sure it was. and thank you.

PK said...

NJIrish: Thanks for the hummingbird nest builder. I thot Bill's pictures looked like spider webs were used. I wonder too if they use the sweet saliva or nectar to help glue things in place.

Barn swallows used to return every year to their old nest on my front porch pillar on the farm. One year someone knocked it down to "help me". The mother bird was so upset because she couldn't get anything to stick that day. They use mud to plaster everything together. Materials kept blowing away. Finally, I went out and tacked up a plastic butter dish. She was so happy. The difference in her chatter was delightful. The nest was soon built.

The new babies made an awful mess but they were such a joy to watch, I didn't mind. They were in the nest just a few weeks, then it was abandoned until the next spring.

The father bird used to follow me down to the apricot tree when I picked and sit in it and chatter to me in a friendly manner. Good company!

PK said...

Windhover, I worry about the vast amount of unreality being fed to our young these days. My grandsons spend too much time thumbing their electronic games to adequately explore their real worlds.

Maybe you could get a windmill to generate electricity for a TV. Or I have often thought I'd like to get a stationery bike which generated electricity to run my TV. Would be healthier for me.

Wish I could come see your lambs. I used to love seeing the calves play. Know a flock is a lot of work.

Anonymous said...

T.V.? I would like to see that wood or propane-fired iPhone!