Feb 29, 2012

Wednesday, February 29 2012 Donna S. Levin

Theme: Tread Carefully. Each of the three theme answers start with a quagmire. Don't get sucked under!

20A. Shooter of soft confections : MARSHMALLOW GUN

36A. Minor motoring mishaps : FENDER BENDERS

53A. Strains credulity : BOGGLES THE MIND

66A. Overwhelm, or a relative of the first syllable of 20-, 36-, or 53-Across : SWAMP

Steve here. A jolly good-day to you all from London. You should try to "leap" over the marsh, fen, bog and swamp and keep your feet dry today. I needed the unifier to see the theme once I'd finished the puzzle, my smart-o-meter is obviously reading on the low side this morning.


1. Defense lawyers' adversaries, for short : ADAS. Assistant District Attorneys.

5. Otherwise : IF NOT

10. Smidgen : DRIB. Has anyone ever used its cousin DRAB to describe a small amount? I've only ever used them together.

14. Certain : SURE

15. Motored : DROVE

16. Agitate : RILE

17. Member of Hook's band : SMEE. As in "Hey, Peter Pan, S'me again"

18. Ear-related : AURAL. I've always liked how this is a homonym of ORAL.

19. Time-half link : AND A. As I'm in London I'm blogging at 3AM - does this mean I get time-and-a-half rates today?

23. Gp. that issues canine pedigrees : A.K.C. The American Kennel Club. Argyle's trio of bed-squatters from yesterday are all breeds recognized by this group.

24. Blue wearer, usually : COP. I tried BOY first and then DEM!

25. In reserve : ON ICE. Our friend Tinbeni would argue when he puts his scotch on ice he's definitely not planning to keep it in reserve.

26. Satchel __, aptly named dog in the comic "Get Fuzzy" : POOCH. What would the AKC make of him?

28. Make fun of : RAZZ

31. Beatty of "Deliverance" : NED. I saw a bumper sticker in Atlanta recently that read "Paddle faster, I hear banjos".

32. Formal coif, perhaps : UPDO. I learned this word right here on this blog.

33. More sleazy : SEAMIER

40. Exercise popularized by Jim Fixx : JOGGING. Is it true that Mr Fixx ironically suffered a fatal heart attack while jogging?

41. Tennis do-overs : LETS. As in "Let's do that again, the ball hit the net cord"?

43. JFK alternative in NYC : LGA. Airport named for New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia. It's a sight to see at evening rush hour when upwards of 30 airplanes can be in line for take-off. It's not a happy sight when you're sitting on the 30th, as I can attest.

46. Certain stove filler : WOOD

47. In a convincing way : BY FAR

48. Palmer with an army : ARNIE. Arnold Palmer was one of the first professional sports figures represented by Mark McCormack's agency IMG, and laid the foundations for marketing "talent" as we know it today.

50. Show about Capote : TRU. Biopic about "In Cold Blood" author Truman.

52. Avenues of access : INS. Contrast with avenues of egress, OUTS.

58. Rock's partner : ROLL

59. "... never see __ lovely as ...": Kilmer : A POEM. Verse by Joyce, not her distant cousin Val.

60. Build a tree house : NEST

62. Chevy subcompact : AVEO. There's a lot of these here in London - perfect for the narrow streets and tight parking spaces.

63. __ firma : TERRA

64. Mötley __ : CRUE. The umlaut provides the hint that we're not looking for CREW here.

65. Greenhorn : TYRO

67. Overdone publicity : HYPE. Arnie's agency IMG might be accused of starting this phenomenon.


1. Obstinate beast : ASS

2. Dolt : DUMMKOPF. I doltishly tried DUMBKOPF before I realized I mustn't mix my languages in one word.

3. Alaska's 907, e.g. : AREA CODE. If you have friends in Hyder, Alaska (rather unlikely as only 97 people live there) you will need to dial 250 instead. Now you know.

4. Clairvoyant : SEER

5. Where Moscow is : IDAHO. 3D was tempting, but now I REALLY want to make a Sarah Palin joke.

6. Dowdy dresser : FRUMP

7. Author Ephron : NORA

8. Racetrack : OVAL. Not only are British racetracks not ovals, but it's up to local custom as to whether the horses (or cars, or motorcycles) race around them clockwise or counter-clockwise. American horses (or drivers, or riders) tend to get confused about this and don't do well here. Thankfully, the running track in the new Olympic stadium is an oval.

9. Tattle : TELL

10. Sketched : DRAWN

11. Welcome, as a new year : RING IN. Quasimodo gets Time-And-A-Half at New Year, what with all the ringing out the old and ringing in the new that he's responsible for.

12. Moniker for Mussolini : IL DUCE. "The Leader".

13. Hit with a pitch, in a way : BEANED. Were Columbia Pictures executives "Billy Beane'd" when they were "hit by the pitch" for the movie Moneyball?

21. Academic inst. : SCH. You can go to school on this abbreviation.

22. Seeped : OOZED

23. Kwik-E-Mart proprietor on "The Simpsons" : APU. It seems like a while since we've seen him in these parts - has he been on vacation?

27. "And" or "or," e.g.: Abbr. : CONJ. Conjunction.

28. Overly enthusiastic : RABID. I enjoy thinking about using figures of speech the "other way around" as in "Doctor, I'm rather alarmed, I think I was bitten by an overly-enthusiastic squirrel".

29. "I'm all for that!" : AMEN

30. Pizazz : ZING

33. Bell-shaped lily : SEGO

34. Therefore : ERGO. Cogito Ergo Sum - "I think, therefore I am". Roseus Ergo Caro Hormellus - "I'm pink, therefore I'm Spam"

35. Depend (on) : RELY

37. Fastening pin : DOWEL

38. Oil plant : REFINERY. Olde English proverb: "Redde skye at night, ye refinery's alight".

39. Gets to one's feet : STANDS UP

42. Jun. grads : SRS. Seniors graduate in June. My daughter is graduating in October, British universities do some very odd things.

43. Maze runner : LAB RAT. When I was transcribing the answers today I read this as "L.A. Brat" and wondered why I didn't remember seeing a clue for "Valley Girl"

44. Old-style "Cool!" : GROOVY. You can't hear this and not be humming it all day!

45. Rod-and-reel wielder : ANGLER

47. Mooch, as a smoke : BUM. Not here in London you don't, that's something quite different.

49. Domed home : IGLOO

50. Heat unit : THERM. Hopefully you can generate a few of these to warm your igloo.

51. Plot anew : REMAP

54. Welcome sign for a hungry traveler : EATS

55. Eject, as lava : SPEW. This seems to be in unfortunate proximity to the previous answer.

56. When tripled, a 1970 war film : TORA

57. Waistline unit : INCH. When my waistline unit expanded from inches through feet into more than a yard, I decided I needed to cut down on the EATS.

61. Golf bag item : TEE. My golf bag is also full of slices, hooks, shanks, pulls and muffs. I'll be using them all when I get back to California this weekend.

Answer grid.

Have a great leap day, everyone. Remember it only comes around every four years, so use it wisely!



Argyle said...

Groovy day to everyone.

And what about those groovy instruments on the S&G clip? Rad!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Nice easy-breezy puzzle for a Wednesday. I got the theme reveal before any of the theme answers, and it actually helped for a change. As with Steve, I struggled to get the spelling of DUMMKOPF. Other minor mishaps included SLIMIER for SEAMIER and IOTA for DRIB.

As for Jim Fixx, I remember how ironic it seemed when the most vocal proponent of jogging in the world died young of a heart attack. According to Wikipedia, "On July 20, 1984, Fixx died at the age of 52 of a fulminant heart attack, after his daily run on Vermont Route 15 in Hardwick. The autopsy revealed that atherosclerosis had blocked one coronary artery 95%, a second 85%, and a third 70%."

Years later, my favorite author, Douglas Adams, died at a young age while working out at a gym. It just goes to show you how dangerous exercise is and it should be avoided at all costs...

fermatprime said...


Great puzzle, Donna! thorough and amusing explanation, Steve! Do you live in London permanently?


Time for beddy bye!

fermatprime said...

Jim Fixx was aware of his problems. Maybe was trying to prove something. My ex wrote in his Jim Fixx running diary (available annually) just about every day.

Douglas Adams is one of my favorite, all-time authors, Barry. Have two original video tapes. Vogon poetry and all. Did not like the movie as much!

fermatprime said...

How do you edit after viewing preview (large enough now, whoopee)?

Argyle said...

It was just above my avatar when I previewed.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Steve and friends. I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this Donna Levin puzzle. I was SO on here wavelength. I basically live in the SWAMP now, and when I lived in Boston, I lived in the FENS (hence the name of the BoSox FENway Park).

I knew immediately that the location for Moscow we were looking for was IDAHO.

Old Style "Cool" = GROOVY made me smile.

I also liked Blue Wearer = COP.

Steve: According to the New York Times (which never is wrong!!), Jim Fixx did, indeed, died of a heart attack while jogging.

Happy Leap Year. My great-grandfather was born on a leap year. If he were still alive, this would be his 35th birthday. LOL!

QOD: Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem. ~ Woody Allen

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

What is a MARSHMALLOW GUN? Is it a novelty contraption like a potato cannon?

Dudley said...

Just looked around online, and now I see that it's a compressed air gadget for propelling marshmallows at, say, kids' parties. Looks like fun!

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

I always look forward to Donna Levin puzzles and today did not disappoint. I made the solve more difficult then it should have been due to several screw-ups.

STIR for RILE, SEEDIER & then SHADIER for SEAMIER, NOVA for AVEO ( have to learn the latest car models), DUDE for TYRO and finally KRUE foe CRUE. Each error was easily corrected when I looked over the Down clues.

Until the light turned on, OIL PLANT had me wondering what an OLIVE plant was called.

Enjoy your Leap Day. Isn't it supposed to be Ladies choice or something like that today? Whatever it is, enjoy.

Dennis said...

Dudley, here's a marshmallow gun - it's a popular item in my store 'cause you get to eat the ammo.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

I always look forward to Donna Levin puzzles and today did not disappoint. I made the solve more difficult then it should have been due to several screw-ups.

STIR for RILE, SEEDIER & then SHADIER for SEAMIER, NOVA for AVEO ( have to learn the latest car models), DUDE for TYRO and finally KRUE foe CRUE. Each error was easily corrected when I looked over the Down clues.

Until the light turned on, OIL PLANT had me wondering what an OLIVE plant was called.

Enjoy your Leap Day. Isn't it supposed to be Ladies choice or something like that today? Whatever it is, enjoy.

Dudley said...

Dennis - now that does look like fun!

As for the puzzle, WBS, except that I never heard of Jim Fixx that I can recall. I also had no idea that Douglas Adams had died. Vogon poetry will do that to you.

Steve, keep the wit coming! Enjoyed that.

Preview does not seem to work on an iPad.

Pinch Me said...

I think we all know by now that Tin would never put avatar ON ICE, either literally or metaphorically.

Cheers! It's sunset somewhere!

Mokus said...

Fun puzzle and entertaining write-up. Dribs & drabs always together and plural in my experience.

Today marks four years since my retirement on 29 FEB 2008. First time I've been able to celebrate!

Don't belittle Jim Fixx. I would rather check out in a gym than a nursing home.

SouthernBelle said...

Mornin' to all,

What a fun puzzle (A++) and thanks to Steve for the information on English racetracks! Not oval? Are they round, square, rectangular???

If your listing agent's brother wants to buy your house.....isn't that a conflict of interest? Or...just wait for an offer?

Lemonade714 said...

Well we truly are an international blog now that we get our write up from London! Thank you Steve.

I loved the shout out to one of the early Corner regulars RAZZ, and I am not sure many know Alfred JOYCE was killed in battle in World War I.
She was an American who fought with the British, which makes sense for this London blog.

Enjoy your hump day

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Donna, for a swell puzzle. thank you, Steve, for the excellent write-up.

This was a good Wednesday-level puzzle. Got through it OK.

Had the three long theme answers before I had SWAMP. They all became clear at that time.

Had ON TAP first before ON ICE surfaced.

I don't think I have heard the word DRIB before. I understand what it means, but I might check Webster when I am done.

Did not know the AVEO car, but perps fixed that.

See you tomorrow.


desper-otto said...

Welcome back, Steve. Enjoyed your writeup and Donna's puzzle -- I even got the theme for a change, right after FENDER BENDERS.

But, Steve, you should be aware that Joyce Kilmer was not a "her". He was an American doughboy who was killed in WWI.

I agree with Mokus on the DRIBS and drabs.

My only misstep was ABU for APU, but BOOCH just didn't look right, so I fixed it.


HeartRx said...

Good morning Steve, CC. et al.

Wonderful write-up, Steve! So many chuckles this morning, but I loved your comment on RABID. I totally avoided getting sucked into your GROOVY link, but it's still pinging around in my head anyway, sigghh.

Great puzzle with lots of lively stuff. I just waited on the across answers to fill in the spelling of DUMMKOPF, because I knew I was too DUMM to figure it out myself...

Happy Hump Day and Happy Leap Year, everyone!

Avg Joe said...

Great write up Steve! Enjoyable puzzle as well. The theme didn't help with the solve, but I did need the unifier to get it. Don't believe we've seen this type prior. First or last word, sure. But not first syllable.

As for the ear worm....too late. It's already embedded. But the best defense is a good offense, so here's an ANTIDOTE.

thehondohurricane said...

How in the heck did my blog get posted twice? Three minutes time difference too. After initial post, I signed out immediately and took the dog for his morning walk.

kazie said...

Great blogging Steve! Lots of fun references.

I always like Donna's offerings too. No exception today.

Argyle, I agree--I was wondering about the instruments too. Maybe Jazz has a clue to them.

I also tried the B before M in DUMM, and had BENITO before IL DUCE. Haven't any knowledge of Jim Fixx. I only walk--no jogging.

Have groovy hump leap day! Is it possible to hump while leaping?

Yellowrocks said...

Lively puzzle, lively expo. Thanks Donna and Steve.

Quote from:
Paul D. Leedy, Mortimer J. How to Read More Efficiently Adler, How to Mark a Book ... The word-by-word reader brings the thought from the printed page in dribs.

I encountered many students who ineffectively read in DRIBS.

Another example of regional variations in pronunciation:

ORAL and AURAl both have 2 pronunciations in my dictionary.

Here we pronounce ORAL with a long O and AURAL with that missing vowel sound not heard in certain regions.
The 2nd pronunciation listed for both is the same and would make them homonyms for some of you.

Dennis said...

Is it possible to hump while leaping?

Don't know, but I'll let you know.

Al Dente said...

I enjoyed your droll wit and puzzle skills Steve, but questions remain: They don't like banjos in Atlanta?
Brits don't bum butts? I sense potential for a new tongue-twister here.
My favorite "hungry traveler" sign: Eat Here and Get Gas. Maybe the spewing comes later.
Happy Puzzling everyone.

Mari said...

Good morning all, what a fun Wednesday puzzle to end the month. I got hung up on DRIB, TYRO and SEAMIER, but did otherwise OK.

When I got MARSHMALLOW GUN I was hoping the theme would be about treats! But I can't say I'd want to eat a SWAMP.

I agree about exercise vs. nursing home. I'm at the gym 6 days a week now, but I never jog. My resoluton was to try jogging this year. I did it once and sprained both of my heels, which left me limping for 4 weeks.

Have a Happy One!

Husker Gary said...

The wind is whistling outside but it’s nice and cozy in here with my Folgers and Crossword. I have had to send a lot of kids into swampy ground when detasseling irrigated corn fields. Fun puzzle Donna!

-My favorite ADA is Jack McCoy and I loved Hill Street BLUEs
-At 65, I make it harder for people to RILE me up
-UPDO lives next door to ELHI in my cwd world
-Volleyball serves that tick the net are now played as normal and not penalized
-My uncle took me to In Cold Blood when I was 10 and now I wonder about that
-Having some INS helps get you a teaching job
-The Ben Hur chariot race in the OVAL (which took a year and a million dollars to build) is still amazing
-Are most church rites boring? Amen!
-Tora, Tora, Tora plays very well 42 yrs. later.

thehondohurricane said...


Wasn't Jack McCoy the DA and all those lovely ladies who assisted him the ADA's? Jill Hennesey was my favorite, great gams.

Razz said...

Today gives new meaning to "take a flying leap"

Morning CC, DFs and DFettes

Steve thanks for the long distance blogging. Looks like you found an area code that would work.

@Lemonade714 - still read the blog every day but some changes have made it difficult to contribute regulary.

Donna - Thanks for the shout out.

Leapin' lizards - I've gotta go...

Husker Gary said...

Hondo, not only were they were beautiful but a subplot of the series was that Jack was sleeping with many of his female subordinates. Hey, Sam Waterson’s kinda good looking but…
My fav is the current one - Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza).

Mari said...

My fav will always be Angie Harmon

Irish Miss said...

Good morning all:

Fun easy puzzle, Donna, and a great expo, Steve.

Finished w/o help or write-overs which make things nice and neat as I use a pen.

Expecting first serious snow fall later today and into the night, 4-8 inches, which isn't too bad, unless icy conditions come into play. I'll just cozy up with a good book and perhaps a little Scotch on Tinbeni's nemesis. Cheers.

Happy Leap Year and Happy Wednesday.

Husker Gary said...

Mari, Angie is very close! She played a beautiful, feisty Texas conservative on that show that disdained a lot of the liberal orthodoxy of Dick Wolf. She had some great lines (spoken and visual).

Spitzboov said...

Good morning Steve and all.

I felt like a Dummkopf when I couldn't get 2d, at first. But then the pf loomed, and with an 'aha', DUMMKOPF filled in nicely. Interesting to see ASS right beside it. Also interesting to see DOWEL cross WOOD. The puzzle was basically easy fill with just enough misdirection to raise it to a Wednesday level. ie. IDAHO, REFINERY, ADAS. Even so, I took it slowly because I have learned to savor Donna's puzzles; like a glass of fine wine.

Have a great day.

Ron Worden said...

Good morning and happy hump-leap day to all,or maybe we should leap over the hump. Great write-up Steve and thanks to Donna L for another fun puzzle. I liked the clue for nest, but agree never used dribs w/o drabs. I think they call today Sadie Hawkins day the day when a woman asks a man to dance or whatever. Have a great day to all. RJW

Virginia C said...

Good Morning! I really enjoyed this puzzle. and the write-up had me chuckling most of the way through. What a great way to start a busy Wednesday!

I didn't get the theme until I came here, the unifier was just done by perps without my noticing it. Also solved with perps was TYRO. I don't get the GREENHORN/TYRO connection. Can someone please explain?

I filled in ass, then read 2D and really wanted it to be Dumbass but no such luck :(

desper-otto said...

Virginia C@10:01 -- If you're a newbie at something, you're a greenhorn. Tyro means the same thing. Novice and trainee would be other synonyms.

Lucina said...

Happy Leap Day, cyber friends. Thank you,Steve, for your LEAP across the pond to blog for us.

And thank you, Donna Levin, for yet another delightful puzzle.

I was on her wave length from the start and sashayed right through until Alaska's 907 which didn't even RING a bell as AREA CODE even though I call my friend Betty frequently. I have her number on speed dial so don't look at it.

As a result of that and having AKA not AKC I botched it! Really need that V-8 can.

And I see Joyce Kilmer's gender has been corrected. He was a gifted poet.

I like DOWEL crossing WOOD. And I pronounce oral and AURAL very differently. Oral, long o, aural, awral.

Have a superb Wednesday, everyone!

Coach J said...

Loved today's puzzle. Got late start due to severe weather in area...had to battan down the hatches.

SouthernBelle...not conflict of interest as long as the listing agent discloses the relationship (assuming your agent also acts as the others agent) however, if you have exclusive agency agreement with your listing agent then you are his Client as oppose to a Customer and in those cases the agents broker may need to represent the buyer. Disclaimer: I'm not an attorney and the rules may be different in your state...consult a professional.

Good day to all!

Coach J said...

See my post below

PK said...

Hi Y'all,

Enjoyed your witty comments, Steve. Especially, the "Paddle Faster, I hear banjos!" I've watched "Deliverance" a half-dozen times. The banjo music is about the only redeeming feature about it. I don't know why I am compelled to watch it.

Dwanye Wade BEANED Kobe Bryant during the All Stars game Sunday night and gave him a bloody nose. Read today Kobe has a cracked septum and concussion. Didn't slow Kobe down on the point making. He surpassed Michael Jordan's record of most points made during all his All Star appearances.

PK said...

Southern Belle: if you are satisfied with the price and no other buyers appear, I wouldn't worry about it. However, I would wonder if other buyers had been turned away in favor of the BIL. Some strange manipulations happen in real estate ventures. If they start trying to get a lower price, you could claim conflict of interest to get out of an exclusive contract, maybe. If your real estate market is as sluggish as in some places, any buyer looks good.

Bill G. said...

Fun Leap Day puzzle! I had ROIL instead of RILE and ONTAP instead of ONICE so that corner was messed up for a while. No lookups, no red letters.

I am sure enjoyed TCM lately. I watched Witness for the Prosecution (has a movie ever had a cleverer twist at the end?) and The Third Man with its beautiful B/W photography. I think that is one of the most memorable movies ever with its zither theme music and beautiful scenes like the one where Harry Lime first shows up, the chase through the sewers, the conversation on the ferris wheel and the poignant final scene of her walking down an avenue lined with bare winter trees and sadly ignoring poor Holly Martins.

Next, I just recorded To Catch a Thief and The Man Who Would be King. BTW, if you are looking for a movie to add to your NetFlix queue, that was be a good choice. Good Rudyard Kipling adventure fun with Sean Connery and Michael Caine.

JD said...

morning all,

Steve, amusing write up.

Donna's puzzles are always fun. Rabid and groovy made me snicker. I easily filled the theme phrases, but didn't grok the theme, as fen did not ring a bell. Thanks Hahtool for Fenway Park- will remembber now.

Kilmer's poem reminded me of a song That I always sang incorrectly- "Oh a tree (poetry) in motion...."

Love the name Truman.Tom Hanks has a Truman too.

Vairnut said...

I ZINGed right through this, it was a good Wednesday puzzle. Had to smile at Jim Fixx clue- I use him as proof that exercise is bad for you. Hand up for ONTAP, but was fixed with perps. I originally thought StuMP for the unifier, but I didnt see how that made any sense. Did the perps, and all fell into place.
Happy Leap Day!

Misty said...

Terrific write-up, Steve! I cracked up over and over again--you must have been up all night coming up with those great quips and jokes! And, Donna, the puzzle was a delight too! A nice way to leap over the hump of this day!

Desper-otto, glad you cleared up the gender of Joyce Kilmer. I too kept thinking, wasn't that poet a "he"?

"Hugo" is arriving by Netflix today--can't wait to see it. Also a documentary on the "Amish" we taped last night. Since I have family in Lancaster, Pennsylvania I'm curious about this.

Have a wonderful time in London, Steve. Must be nice to be back home for a visit!

CrazyCat said...

Good morning - love all the leap/hump references.

Steve - great write up! I enjoyed the overly enthusiastic squirrel visual. My yard is dominated, of late, by overly enthusiastic squirrels. Maybe I'll try a MARSHMALLOW GUN.

Fun puzzle and for me - the speediest of the week. All my WAGs were right. Only unknown was DUMMKOPF. I think I've seen it before in CWs, but that's about it.

Tinbeni said...

Steve: Wonderful write-up and "ear-worm" ...
After a Neat Pinch of Avatar, I'm "Feelin' GROOVY."

Today's Donna is my "Favorite Puzzle" this year.

AKC over POOCH (who looks better than THAT winner).
DOWEL crossing WOOD, BY-FAR my fave.

BOGGLES-THE-MIND how this was constructed without any crosswordese.
(OK, Maybe 'TEE' is, but this is amazingly CW'ese clean!!!)

Irish Miss: Thought Jameson Whiskey would be more to your liking.

Hand-up for ON-TAP ... ON-ICE is NEVER my first thought for anything.

A "Leap-Year Toast" to all at Sunset.

Steve said...

@Fermatprime - not a permanent Londoner, I'm here in a business trip this week. Back to LA on Friday.

@Southernbelle - the tracks tend to be random shapes, especially the older horse racing tracks that just evolved over time.

Mea Culpa with the Joyce-gender slip. Thanks to all who pointed that out.

thehondohurricane said...

Angie Harmon married ex NY Giant Jason Seahorn. He was out of football shortly thereafter due to injuries. Wonder if they are still hitched.

HG, I like Alana too, as a role actress, but Hennesey will always be my favorite just to admire.

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

I couldn't believe I finished a WEDNESDAY and got it all done correctly! And I enjoyed many of the clues. Especially A POEM and all the theme ones. This did seem more like a Monday puzzle. Not that I'm complaining.

Great job Donna and Steve.

Now I'll see what all the fuss about Preview is.


Anonymous said...

PS Yes, Preview is ridiculous. It showed only the first part of the first sentence. And that's after having to put in my password again.

Anonymous said...

PPS I don't usually use Preview anyway. If I spot an error after posting I toss it in the garbage can and fix the post.

CrossEyedDave said...

I enjoy a puzzle that you have to "puzzle" out, changing "seedier" kept me busy for a while, but alas, FIW today again. It's these foreign languages that always mess me up. Yesterday it was Terre, today (thankfully) it is Terra. I thought it was "E"l Dulce, but knew "dreb" would be wrong, so i threw in an "A" for drab without giving it enough thought. I was also blinded to "Aural" as having many an Otitis Media (myself and my kids) i was sure there had to be a "T" in there somewhere.

Tyro (from the latin Tiro, meaning recruit.)

Steve, we say Bum a cigarette in Australia, and i was sure in England also, so i looked this site up: English Slang Dictionary

(scroll down to "Bum" option 3 as a verb)

CrossEyedDave said...

curious that cigarette is a "Fag",
and "Fag-End" is a cigarette butt...

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. I had much the same feelings about this puzzle and Steve's writeup that most of you did. Funny and interesting comments, Steve. Thank you. And a typically elegant and classy puzzle by Donna Levin. Thank you. As Spitzboov did, I worked it slowly and savored it. Best wishes to you all.

Rube said...

Steve, great write-up -- very humorous. Loved the bumper sticker. Want one myself but it wouldn't play as well in San Francisco.

Had DUMbbell at first. Didn't think DUMMKOFF was English, but whatever for cwps. That and TORA/bORA were my only writeovers. Both were victims of going too fast.

@RJW --Sadie Hawkins Day is the 1st Sat after Nov 9.

Fine Wednesday fare. Only thing new was MARSHMALLOWGUN. Never heard of this before -- sounds like fun.

Like the Blog font, but still has the rn = m problem. Too bad the "e-mail comments" option is gone. "Preview" needs fixing.

Bill G. said...

Betsey sent me this link to some adorable but bigger-than-usual kitty cats.

eddyB said...


Most race tracks in the US aren't ovals either.

Daytona is a tri oval - five corners. Same for Phx.

Indy is a rectangle with rounded corners.

Pocono (PA) is a triangle - 3 corners.

Whata you know! Sharks beat the Flyers last night.


Chickie said...

Hola Everyone,
I haven't had time to do today's puzzle, but I wanted to congratulate Crazy Cat on her good news. That 5 year Cancer free mark is really a milestone.

I did do the puzzle yesterday, but not until late evening. C.C. and Don G. I loved the theme. Our family favorites in dogs are Retreivers.

We've raised many--four for Guide Dogs for the Blind. There are no dogs in our life at present. We miss them, but have a hard time traveling and trying to care for pets, too.

Seldom Seen said...

Stay safe Windhover. Major weather event down your way. Check in later after storms pass.

Tinbeni said...

Spitz & Jayce:
When I saw it was a Donna Levin, I sat back and solved "letter-by-letter" relishing the cluing.

Have NEVER been into trying to see how fast I could finish our puzzles.

Like many of the most enjoyable things in life, I'd rather take my time and savor the experience.


Irish Miss said...

Tinbeni @ 12:12-I've never tried Jameson's; I guess I am a dyed-in-the-wool Dewar's fan. As my mother used to say, "The Devil you know...........

HondoH @ 12:33-Angie and Jason are still together, raising 3 lovely daughters. About two years ago, they left LA because they did not want to raise their girls in the "Hollywood" culture. Angle was on one of the talk shows and she is as pretty as ever.

Snow started around noon and is still coming down but very lightly. The trees look pretty covered in white and they are just the right height, too!

Lucina said...

Irish Miss:
You're funny!

Do stay safe. I'm not sure if you have a storm cellar. And what about all the kids?

dodo1925 said...

Good morning friends,

Yes, there are still a few seconds before 12.

I loved this Donna Levin puzzle. It seemed a little easier than most Wednesdays, but perfect for me, anyway. And Steve, a standout analysis; thank you both.

I'm still having no end of problems with my computer, but if I fuss with it I can get what I need, but who wants all that?

Anyway, Ive been doing the puzzles and when I can I read your comments. Idon't see how I can blame my lack of time on the pc problems, but why am I getting so bahind in everything?

In any case, I'm still here and love you all!

Qli said...

I was feeling all smug about finishing this Wed. puzzle until I realized that I hadn't. Finished that is. Had JOGGING wrong, which threw off ZING.

But it was an enjoyable puzzle, and a funny writeup!

That big cat video is great, Bill G.

Jayce said...

Tinbeni @ 1:46 PM, yep.

Pat said...

Joyce Kilmer was a dude?!
Next you'll be telling me George Sand was a lady!

Avg Joe said...

Tin and Jayce, Or, as WH likes to say: "Why don't we walk down....."

And speaking of Windy, I do hope all is well. TWC didn't get too specific right in your area, but it's obvious that you've had some nasty weather in the past hour or two. It started here late yesterday with our first ever Feb tornado, then took a chunk out of Branson, then killed at least 6 in IL. Fast moving, but very potent storm.

Yellowrocks said...

Tinbeni, I have fond memories of Jameson's in Ireland, relativley inexpensive compared to here and delicious. In Scotland we had the same experience with Scotch whiskey, more inexpensive than almost anything else and so many terrific brands.

I can savor easy puzzles like yest. and today's. I can go back over them and find nuances. I can research them on the Internet. I can appreciate the misdirections and puns.

Unfortunately no matter how slowly I proceed, the "slam, bam, thank you ma'am" puzzles (Each time those words come to mind for me) are not satisfying. I rely on the blogger of the day and you posters to make these offerings worthwhile. YOU, at least, never disappoint.

Hahtoolah said...

Speaking of heart attacks, Davey Jones of the Monkees fame just died of a heart attack at age 66.

Chickie said...

HOla Everyone, Finally got to do the puzzle this afternoon. I loved the theme and everything filled in nicely. One misstep was for Drib--I put in Drab. Al Duce looked ok to me, so I left it in.

Thanks Steve for the erudite writeup. Funny, too.

I really like Donna Levin's puzzles and I am usually on her wavelength. That was the case today.

Joyce Kilmer's "Trees" was one of the poems that I had to memorize in 8th grade. Amazing that I can recall it even today.

Dodo, So good to "see' you today.

WH, Stay safe and keep us posted about how you fared in the storms.

Marge said...

Hi all,
This was a nice puzzle, some of it didn't come easy, especially in the SW corner. But it was fun.

I read an article about Angie Harmon recently and, as Irish Miss said,she is trying to give her family a normal life.

Dennis, I liked your picture of the Marshmallow Gun. It really sounds like a fun thing.

On the theme, I didn't get it until I came here because I didn't read the clue right which said first syllable,and not word.

I wanted rabbit for maze runner and that sure was wrong.

Have a good evening, all!

Virginia C said...

Thanks D-O. When I think of a Tyro I think of someone who is a force of nature, or unstoppable. Wonder why that is.

Irish Miss and Hondo - Angie stars in Rizzoli & Isles on USA. They're on hiatus right now. She's good. And I love her speaking voice.

Susan said...

Fun puzzle and great write up, thanks.

I didn't know dummkopf was a real word. My grandfather used to go around muttering this and other words such as dummenezzle which I don't know how to spell but I think means dumb a**.

Chikie, as far as you remembering that poem, half the time I can't remember important things like the year I got married. I can, however, recite the prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in Middle English--weird.

LA CW Addict said...

Great puzzle and entertaining write-up. Had never heard of an " updo" before, so messed that up, and I keep forgetting APU.

Steve, you said people don't bum cigarettes in London. Not quite sure what you meant?

Bill G - loved your big cat video, they were so cute, but I don't think I'd want them doing that when they're all grown up!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

I'm late today, and off to rehearsal in a few minutes, ERGO no time to read the comments. My loss.

Well, done, Steve. Very amusing write up.

Got stuck on SEEDIER, spelt SEADIER to avoid REBID. Had FOOD filling the oven. Bit of a mess in the center section.

Foggy here. Gloria is off taxiing granddaughter Rebekka to her rehearsal. Hope we avoid FENDER BENDERS.

IMBO. Cool Regards,

JzB trying to get rid of the cigarette-BUM image

Misty said...

@Chickie 4:18 and Susan 5:20--my grade school poem, which I think I can still recite, is Longfellow's "Paul Revere's Ride" (at least I think it was Longfellow's).

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere
. . . .

Lucina said...

Wow. If I hadn't learned it on the blog today I would not have known the answer on Jeopardy! about Jameson's!

Papa Cass said...

I wrote this on my iPad. When I previewed it it didn't give the usual window on top, but ran it down the side of the page.

I'm late doing the puzzle today had to hit the hot tub first. I'm skiing at Crested Butte. We had 12" of snow yesterday and the conditions were just prefect. Much fun!

Good puzzle today and amusing write-up

Avg Joe said...

Just got an e-mail from WH. He's doing fine. I'll let him provide the rest of the welfare report, but suffice it to say that he's pleased about the concern.

windhover said...

Thanks all for asking. We're good here. The storms passed about 5 miles north and south of us, and had weakened a bit getting here.
And yes, Lucy, like most rabbits I have a hole. First year we were here we had a very close call and started digging the storm cellar the next week. It is 8x16, has 8" thick walls and over a thousand feet of 1/2" rebar. Short of a direct atomic blast, we're good.

windhover said...

As Joe said, I had a distinct Sally Field moment when I read of your concern. Thanks.
And my Irish whiskey of choice (other than the one I stay warm next to) is Bushmill's.

JD said...

WH, relieved to know that you are safe and have a rabbit hole...much too close

Here are some very happy animals. They don't seem to be bothered by the daily news.

HeartRx said...

WH, sounds like a little Bushmills would do you good right now. Glad to hear you dodged this one!

Bill G. said...

JD, I loved the happy animal photos.

I was tutoring two middle school students this afternoon and I took a couple of minutes out to tell them the (perhaps apocryphal) story of Karl Friedrich Gauss, one of the most gifted mathematicians of the last several hundred years. According to the story, in about 1785 when Gauss was about seven years old, he was going to school in a little one-room schoolhouse in Germany. The teacher got pissed at the noisy, inattentive students and told them to add the numbers from one to 100, figuring that would give him some peace and quiet. When he saw little Gauss put down his slate after about half a minute, he got angry and told him to come to the front of the room. He was astonished to see the correct answer written on Gauss's slate. Little Gauss had written 1 + 2 + 3 + ... + 98 + 99 + 100. He notice that the first and last numbers formed a pair with a sum of 101. The second and next-to-last number also added to 101. He noticed that there would be 50 such pairs. He multiplied 50 x 101 and got 5050, the correct answer. Pretty clever stuff for a seven-year-old. It showed the promise of things to come.

Bill G. said...

The Animal Tracks slide show from MSNBC.

Irish Miss said...

WH-Glad all is well. Have a Bushmill's!

JD-The animal pix are great-thanks for sharing.

Lucina-Glad you got a chuckle!

Spitzboov said...

Re: Dummkopf; While Low Germans also say Dummkopp, a related word, Dööskopp, means moron or twit.

Earlier, Susan wondered about the spelling of der dumme Esel. Yes, it means dumb, silly, or foolish ass.

Glad Windhover and his kids are ok. I used to favor Old Bushmill when I was younger. Jameson was good, too.

Leapling said...

Today is my birthday. If I could actually calculate my age according to this date, but with all the knowledge I have gained, I would be really happy. Today I celebrate my 10th birthday.

Fun to do the puzzle with you.

Spitzboov said...

Leapling - Welcome and Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! Leapling!

Have you proposed a math problem to be solved? LOL

CrazyCat said...

Windhover and Average J - I'm glad you were both spared any damage last night/this morning. I'm not sure, but that might have been the storm that blew through CA on Monday. The prediction was for a shower or two. Instead it was downpours all day with thunder, lightening and two or three periods of really intense hail. Scary, weird weather.

Bill G - Great big kitty video!

JD - Loved the happy animals. That's why I would only use a MARSHMALLOW GUN on our overly aggressive squirrels.

Tinbeni - not sure about your comment about speed solving, but when I say speedy, I mean less than a half hour. I solve, drink my coffee, eat my oatmeal and watch the news all at the same time. Sometimes I email and talk on the phone too. I am a pathetic multitasker.

Lucina said...

Thanks for checking in, Windhover. I'm glad you are safe. I should have known you'd have a storm cellar.

Steve said...

On the "bum" subject I defer to the cognoscenti - I don't remember bumming cigarettes when I lived here, and I've quit smoking since so I guess my information is out of date!

Must check facts! Poet-gender confusion and cigarette-acquisition ignorance does not an informed blogger make!