Mar 29, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012 Elizabeth A. Long

Theme: T-boned birds. See this answer grid where the birds are in aqua color. Four pair of birds are linked in a “T” shape in this clever theme. To demonstrate, I will show you the theme graphically. Notice that the crossing birds have exactly the same number of letters on each side of the "T", and each "T" is in a different orientation in the grid:

7D Escapade: LARK (Down). Just on a lark...
4A Get down: SWALLOW. Great clue!

26D: Golfer's coup: EAGLE (Down). Even better, an "Ace"!

39A Dupe: GULL. "Gull" someone into doing something, or dupe them.

35D "Network" Oscar winner: FINCH (Down). Peter Finch, in the 1976 MGM satire.

43A Simpleton: LOON. Or, crazy one, suggested by it's weird cries.

58D Peacenik: DOVE (Down). Vs. the hawk.

71A Rogers Centre baseballer: BLUEJAY. Rogers Centre is formerly the Skydome, home of Toronto's team.
The unifier is found at
31D Ford spanning 50 years, or a hint to the four intersecting pairs of answers to the starred clues: T-BIRD. A classic, and the one reason I wanted my sister's boyfriend. He had one of these:

There were a couple bonus birds in this one:

44A Yeats’s “LEDA and the Swan”
34D Penguins may be seen on them: FLOES

Marti here, to see what else we can dig up...


1. Fool : SAP

11. Test site : LAB

14. Nasty mongrel : CUR

15. "SNL" castmate of Jane and 28-Down : LARAINE. Newman. Remember her?

16. Unfavorable : ILL. 'Tis an ill wind that blows no good...

17. It may be about nothing : ADO. Much ado about nothing.

18. Supervise : OVERSEE

19. Stooge with bangs : MOE

20. Beef with a bone : RIB STEAK. Do you have a bone to pick with this clue?

22. Needled at the dentist's office? : NUMBED. So, the dentist has your number?

24. Minor league rink org. : AHL.
American Hockey League. The developmental circuit for the National Hockey League. But eddyB can expand for us!

25. Haagen-Dazs shop choice : CONE. Am I the only person in America who does not like ice cream?

26. Like custard : EGGY

29. Outer: Pref. : ECTO

32. Group of workers : STAFF

36. Baba with an ax : ALI. Remember the woodcutter who stole from thieves on Tuesday?

37. Decorative beer mug : TOBY. Various conjectures for the origin of the name, but probably from the character "Sir Toby Belch", a jovial drunkard in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night". Very collectible mugs, like this:

38. "That's ___ can say" : ALL I. (Oh, no....I have lots more to say!!)

41. Descendant : SCION

45. "...___put it bluntly..." : OR TO

46. '70s TV lawman Ramsey : HEC. Starring Richard Boone, it was an old-west forerunner to "CSI".

47. Red-coated cheeses : EDAMS

49. Mideast's Gulf of ___ : ADEN. Geography lesson of the day.

50. Dis : BASH. Slam, put down, back-bite, bad-mouth, decry, vilify....

51. Earth Friendly Products detergent : ECOS. With magnolia & lilies, lavender and lemongrass.

53. Coll. admissions criterion : GPA. Grade Point Average.

55. Thingy : DOODAD. Whatchamacallit...

58. Nuts : DERANGED. (It's all in your point of view. I think I am perfectly normal!)

63. Place with no vacancies, in Luke : INN. The bible, Luke 2:7, "...because there was no room for them in the inn."

64. Takeback agent, familiarly : REPO MAN. "Repossession" man, who takes your car if you don't make the payments on time!

66. Island neckwear : LEI. Combined with the greeting at 33D. South Pacific salutation : ALOHA

67. Messy place : STY. Why do pigs always get BASHed??

68. Brewery containers : ALE VATS.

69. Kind : ILK

70. Shell helmsman : COX. There's more to being the coxswain that yelling "row"! See here for a more complete list of commands and duties.

72. Famous last word? : BYE. Wait! I have more for you - don't leave yet!!


1. Injury memento : SCAR. OK, let's trade scar stories: Mine is a big slice across the bottom of my chin. I was sliding on an icy hill when I was ten, and came down hard on the front runner when I hit a huge jump. Yours?

2. Truth in Engineering sloganeer : AUDI. No competition for the T-Bird, as far as sex appeal goes!

3. "No ___" : PROB.

4. Upside-down branch hanger : SLOTH. "Bat" didn't fit.

5. Ripples : WAVELETS. Instead of wavelets last week in Florida, I was faced with "Red-flag" rip tide currents for four days. But, that didn't stop me from going in the water!

6. Field of knowledge : AREA.

8. Fleur-de-___ : LIS. My house has fleur-de-lis leaded glass windows on each floor, similar to this one:

9. Brief bridge bid : ONE NO. Usually signifying that the bidder has several high cards in more than two suits. Maybe Spitzboov can enlighten us on what type of hand he would bid with this opening?

10. Bairns : WEE-UNS. A Scottish affectation.

11. Life partner? : LIMB. I would risk life and limb to climb in the Alps, or swim in Florida rip-tides...

12. Natural burn soother : ALOE. I was smart, and used SPF 50 lotion last week, so I did not need the aloe!

13. Serviced, as a radiator : BLED. Many of our southern bloggers would have no clue about this. But believe me, having steam radiators bled in New England involves a hefty service fee!

21. "___ what?" : SAY

23. "Heavy" music : METAL. Black Sabbath comes to mind...

25. Hunter in a pack : COYOTE

27. Attached, in a way : GLUED

28. See 15-Across : GILDA. Radner. So sad to see such a talent die so young of ovarian cancer.

30. Winter beverages : COCOAS. (Um, what planet are you from? My winter beverages are hot toddies, with plenty of rum!)

40. Disabled, as a horse : LAMED

42. Unwelcome : NON GRATA. Like a persona...

48. Egyptian charm : SCARAB. Like this beetle.

50. Forbid : BAN

52. 1961 Newbery Medal winner Scott : O'DELL. He won for "Island of the Blue Dolphins", based on the true story of Juana Maria, a Nicoleno Indian left alone for 18 years on San Nicolas Island in the 19th century.

54. Cultivated violet : PANSY

55. Record : DISC. You young 'uns wouldn't know about those old-fashioned things, though. Now, it's all mp3 downloads!

56. Not duped by : ON TO

57. Cameo stone : ONYX

59. Key of the last movement of Mendelssohn's Op. 64 violin concerto : E MAJ. Not quite "heavy metal". For those of more classical tastes, here is the rendition by the great Heifitz, conducted by none other than Toscanini. The concerto starts in E Minor in the first "allegro" movement, switches to C Major in the "andante" second movement, and then a final change to E Major in the third "allegretto" movement.

60. Slick, as a speaker : GLIB

61. Slippery : EELY

62. Legendary Haarlem leaker : DIKE. I was thinking of the Harlem Globe Trotters, DUH!!! This clue refers to the dike that was plugged by the hero of Haarlem, in the story "Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates".

65. Little, in Lille: PEU. Just a little French word to finish off the day's offering!



Note from C.C.:
Melissa and her daughter visited NY last month. Here are some wonderful photos from their trip. Click each one to enlarge. Melissa appears in photo 54. Look at photo 27, incredible! But which girl doesn't want to be at Serendipity?


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Yeah, this puzzle was definitely for the birds... ^_^

It actually started out pretty smoothly, but then I started getting bogged down by all the obscure (to me) names. LARAINE, ODELL, FINCH and HEC were the worst, and the last two crossed which made it even harder. I did finally make a guess based on the only letter that would make two pronounceable words. I suppose had I twigged to the theme at that point it would have been easier...

Elsewhere, I got a bit flummoxed by WEEUNS. I knew BAIRNS from Star Trek (that's what Scotty always calls his engines), but I really wanted to somehow fit WEE ONES in there.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. I thought this was easier for a Thursday than usual. I got the T-BIRD unifier early on, which helped with getting some of the other birds.

I misread Scar Memento and pondered over what a Scar Memo might be.

I am not really keen on Ice Cream, either Marti. Häagen-Dazs trivia: The name is just some made-up words, but the founders of the company, who were Holocaust survivors, put a map of Denmark on the label to honor that country's kind treatment of Jews during WWII.

The pilot on the JetBlue was DERANGED.

QOD: The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it. ~ George Washington.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning Marti and the gang. Nice write up.

This seemed too easy for a Thursday, but it was probably some lucky guesses that helped out.

WBS on the names, but, by the time I got to that HE_/FIN_H, I knew I was looking for a bird so the C was obvious. With WEE, the UNS was easy. It seems to be a southern expression as well as Scottish.

All in all, it was a good exercise .

Argyle said...

Talk about surreal: lookin at melissa's pictures in NYC and listening to Black Sabbath. Now I fear for her soul... oh wait, she rubbed the wood at the Apollo, her soul is saved.

Mari said...

Morning all, I got the theme and unifier but didn't notice the "T" shape until I came here. Very clever.

Some good clues: Get down: SWALLOW. I wanted Kneeled. For 11D I had Life, as in TIME LIFE.


No interesting scar stories for me, but when DH was a WEEUN playing baseball he slid into base - and a broken bottle. He has a nasty scar on the palm of his hand.

Be safe, and don't earn any new scars today!

DF Meister said...

"Get down: SWALLOW. I wanted Kneeled"

I'll bet Lois had the same answer.

kazie said...

Thanks for the nice blogging.

This may have been clever but I wasn't up to it. I dislike that there were abbrs. not indicated (T-BIRD, PROB). I really had no idea the Thunderbird lasted so long, and I'd much rather be driving an Audi.

Didn't we argue about north and south pacific yesterday? According to the map, I would say ALOHA belongs in the north.

Also CONE has nothing to do with a shop--I was wanting some sort of store where you can buy the stuff.

My own weaknesses included not getting the bird thing at all, so I couldn't see SWALLOW, I wondered if STALL ON would be "get down". I didn't remember LARAINE, and anyway had LYS for LIS. I hadn't heard of TOBY mugs, and couldn't figure out what two letter word could fit before "TO put it bluntly". I was looking for something along the lines of LOBO for the pack hunters, but it didn't work with what had to be TO crossing NON GRATA.

Scar story to follow.

Argyle said...

My scar story. Walking up the road with a friend having a snowball fight. I jumped over the snowbank and landed on a broken bottle.

Care to see where my scar is?

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Thanks Marti for all the detailed explanations.

Tough one for me. Didn't fully understand the unifier. Never did get WAVELET. Toyed with rivulet for a while. Had doodle before getting SCARAB. Changed to DOODAD. Like the SNL skits but don't know many of the stars' first names, although GILDA was easy. Guessed at WEE-UNS.

Off to bid a ONE-NO. Hopefully.:-)

kazie said...

When I was about 7-9, I used to play with neighborhood kids at the home of one of them across the lane from the apartments where we lived. One day we were happily playing when I heard my mother calling me from the back window of the apartment, and realized I had overshot my time to be home. So I started running madly to get back, not realizing that painters had set up a plank on top of the porch wall, sticking out across the path I had to use to get out of their yard. Of course I ran headlong into it, banging my forehead and opening up a deep cut. When I got home Mum said she didn't know which end of me to start cleaning off, since I was blood from head to toe. I still bear the mark.

Husker Gary said...

What a fabulous puzzle in cleverness, cluing, geometry and a fun cross reference for good measure! NO PROB, Bob!

-You’re better than normal, Marti! My scar is in the same place but from going over the handle bars of a trike.
-I’ve only had one EAGLE and it was on a very short par4. Still…
-Network another fav movie. Fay Dunaway was DERANGED
-Iconic cars of my youth? T-Bird, Mustang and Corvette.
-Teachers meetings are usually much ADO about nothing
-I had a root canal two weeks ago on my lower back tooth and the NUMBING and drilling made my jaw sore for a week. Made it hard to eat an apple.
-Joann would choose ice cream and I’d have some French fries!
-What film character said several times, “That’s ALL I have to say about that.”?
-HEC and TOBY, welcome to my vocabulary
-Four letter cwd cheese? Hard to go wrong with EDAM.
-REPOMAN TV show was scary sometimes
-I’ve BLED radiators, brake lines and sprinkler systems.
-Subs in a strange school are usually persona NONGRATA. For God’s sake, can’t someone say hello?
-O _ _ _ not OPAL today, Kazie.

Mari said...

I guess I do sort of have a scar story. Each of my ears have 9 piercings. One piercing on each ear was done too close to the edge and I had earings pull out. I never felt them, but I now have two "V" shaped notches in my ears where the earings pulled out.

Husker Gary said...

p.s. MB, Great pix of the city and two lovely ladies! We want to go again!

Tinbeni said...

Marti: Excellent write-up & links.

Really enjoyed the "T-BIRD" theme and related avian answers.

Somewhat of a slog. Then again I'm not a speed solver.

Only obscure name to me was "1961 Newberry Medal winner Scott" O'DELL.
NOT an Award I follow. And I'm suppose to know the winner from 1961????
I don't know WHO was the 2011 winner. So I looked it up. It was Moon Over Manifest, by Clare Vanderpool.
(I'll be ready when we see 2011 Newberry Medal winner as a clue).

LARAINE, HEC & FINCH were gimmies.

Had __MAJ and just waited for the 'perp' to see that the "Key" was 'E'.

All-in-all, a FUN Thursday offering. Thanks Elizabeth.

A 'Toast' to all at Sunset.

Grumpy 1 said...

@ kazi, I also paused at the ALOHA clue and remembered the discussion about north and south. T-Bird didn't bother me since it's been THE name for that car for as long as I can remember.

Rearrange the 25a clue to read 'Choice in a Haagan-Dazs shop'. and the choice is CONE or cup. Make sense?

Husker Gary said...

p.p.s. Does anyone know the answer to this cluing that could have replaced another slightly obscure clue earlier this week?

# Across 1972 World Series MVP Gene

Hey, in support of my friend Tin, if you’re going for the 1961 Newberry winner, then this should be fair game.


Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Elizabeth Long, for a swell puzzle. A little tough, though. Seemed more like a Friday-level puzzle to me. Thank you, Marti, for the swell review.

Started in the NE. The NW looked a little iffy.

Got all four corners first, then jumped around.

Got SCION ion the center easily. Had a tough time getting TBIRD. I was not looking for an abbreviation. The Clue had none. With TBIRD I changed Gulf of OMAN to Gulf of ADAN. Then got the rest in the center. TOBY was with perps. I have never heard of a TOBY mug. Go figure. I have drank many beers in my life.

With TBIRD that helped with the other bird answers.

WEEUNS was my last answer to fill. Kind of wagged it.

ODELL was with perps.

Liked ALE VATS. That came easy.

To Hahtoolah: Like your QOD. I agree 100 percent with George Washington on that subject. We hear too much trash now-a-days.

See you tomorrow.


Lemonade714 said...

The beautiful symmetry of the theme is awesome. We do not see much of Ms. Long, but last year she had another visual with her end to end puzzle.

I agree about the obscurity of Mr. O'Dell, though I did have a similar clue in a December, 2010 puzzle I blogged here, advising the book was The Island of Blue Dolphins.

I have too many scar stories, but my most artistic was putting my arm through plate glass, severing the tendon and watching the blood spurt out like Old Faithful. The scar is only two inches, but it was exciting for a while.

MB, isn't Manhattan such fun for visiting. The village neighborhood looks familiar, and you two look great. I enjoy the corner travelogues.

As Mike Myers would say, time to spit? later

Lemonade714 said...

PS thank you Elizabeth and Martin, it was grand and I did not pester you.

Tinbeni said...

That would be Gene TENACE of the Oakland A's. (They beat the Reds).

That's baseball. In my wheelhouse.

1961 Newberry Medal ... I was 9 years old. (NOT in my wheelhouse).


Seldom Seen said...

Remember these scar stories? I like how the chief decided not to show his appendicitis scar to his more manly counterparts.

I also have the obligatory chin scar.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Outstanding grid design today. Must have been a huge effort! I didn't understand the T shape until after finishing the puzzle, for which I needed just a tad of red letter help. HEC and TOBY had me 'fused. FINCH and ODELL were unknown and needed heavy perpage.

Morning Marti, and thanks for today's dose of learning. I'm with you: i just don't crave ice cream. I eat the stuff about once per year, generally only as part of a hot fudge brownie sundae, and only on Block Island.

Scar story: I was about six, visiting my grandmother in Texas. Some neighborhood kids and I made a bowling game of rolling steel auto rims, without tires, downhill. It was while I was downslope setting up the target that some stupid kid launched a wheel at me. It sliced my scalp, which then bled like crazy, and got me all kinds of horrified attention back at the house. The tetanus shot later in the day rather nullified the fun.

Seldom Seen said...

Liked that another car model, SCION, crossed TBIRD. I scanned the grid looking for other car models and remembered this: SCAR.

gauche gaucho said...

Argyle: Re your scar: Are you a double split end now?

QOD: The D---people who can`t f----talk without profanity
have limited intelligence, poor self-esteem (in that they feel the need to strengthen their words as to be more acceptable), not to mention d--- small vocabularies! And s---...that should come out of the opposite end from your mouth!

To the multi-pierced wench (Mari): what the h---why!?

Ron Worden said...

Good morning to all. Thanks Marti and a tough Thur. offering for me. Like cars and birds so just took a little longer. I have lots of scar stories,stitched fingers,forehead,lip, many to say,but never a broken bone. weird huh? Have a great and careful day to all RJW.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

First day "up & at em" since Tuesday thanks to a wicked case of the flu. Still not fully up to speed so my apologies if I'm a little more non-sensical then usual.

Marti, thanks for the informative write up. Hope you enjoyed your Fla trip.

I didn't get the bird thing for today, but still managed to make progress.

I wanted RIB ROUND for RIB STEAK originally, but perps amended my thinking pretty quickly.

Liked the AHL being recognized. It's one of the oldest hockey leagues in existence. Springfield has had a franchise for a "looong" time.

HEC Ramsey was a interesting cowboy series and I tried to catch it each week.

Tin beat me to the punch with Gene Tenace. He did have a monster series.

That's it for today, back to doing nothing and try to get back to normal.

Misty said...

Too easy? I agree with Abejo that this felt more like a Friday puzzle. I did get it, with a lot of alphabetizing, and loved all the bird words. But I didn't get the T formations until Marti's illustrations. That's why I love this blog: so often I get it without really getting all of it. And Marti, thanks for pointing out the additional birds like Leda and the penguins. Ms. Long, this turned out to be an awesome constructing feat! Our cockatiel thanks you too.

No scar stories, thank goodness. Mother and grandmother were ferocious about my not doing anything dangerous as a kid and it paid off, I guess.

Irish Miss, hope you're feeling better today. And has anyone heard from Fermatprime? She had a bad backache at that family lunch a few days ago, hope she's okay.

I'm off to judge a high school writing contest this afternoon. Good prose, bad poetry. Have a good day, everybody!

Anonymous said...

Husker G.. Forrest Gump

Lucina said...

Good day, puzzlers. Marti, thank you for all that info and explaining the theme. I didn't take the time to look for it. Clever!

And thank you, Elizabeth, for a wonderful puzzle. Loved it! DOODAD was the icing on the cake!

Well! This took a few minutes to solve. WEES. I agree it was easier than usual for Thursday but great fun. Loved the clues for NUMBED, BYE, RIBSTEAK, and the flock of birds.

Had BARRELS before ALE VATS. I also like NON GRATA crossing REPOMAN.

I have a SCAR, six stitches, on the right fore arm from trying to punch through glass to unlock a door.

I hope your Thursday is a LARK, everyone!

Qli said...

Kudos to Ms. Long for an intricate puzzle. How do you think of this stuff? and to Marti, for an amusing and informative writeup.

I remember LARAINE Newman as one of the SNL CONEheads. Hilarious, especially if you were watching while drinking beer with your college friends! I hadn't heard of a TOBY, just a stein or a keg (from which most college beer came) or a pilsner glass.

Ouch, Mari! Nine holes per ear? One in each earlobe was all I could stand. Do you have a dress code at work that limits the amount of earrings you can wear? We do; only two per ear.

After checking out Seen's SCAR stories link, I had to google the USS Indianapolis to see why the mention of it made everyone go quiet. What a horrible story. Those poor men. That poor captain.

Anonymous said...

Melissa is hot.

Seldom Seen said...

Qli: My linked Jaws clip is number 6 of 10. If you look to the right clip 7 of 10 "The Indianapolis Speech" is there. Click to watch the rest of the scene.

Lucina said...

Has anyone ever seen "bolt" as a clue for "eat?" According to Webster it's "to swallow fast." This was in a book of puzzles by our editor, Rich Norris. The last ones in the book are themeless and quite challenging.

Grumpy 1 said...

Lucina, yes, I've heard "Don't bolt your food" or "he bolted his meal and hurried back to work". It's probably another of those regional things where some will have heard/used it, others not.

Grumpy 1 said...

I meant to add, that I've seen it in a crossword perhaps once, but I have no idea which one.

eddyB said...

Thx Marti

So much for the division lead -lose a game and drop to the eighth seed. They can get it back with a win over PHX tonight.

The Sharks AHL affiliates are the
Worcester(MA)Sharks. Minor league hockey is fun to watch. There are younger skaters coming up and older player being sent down.

Jayce said...

Interesting that Gene's last name is Tenace.

HeartRx said...

Husker G. @9:05 "That's all I have to say about that" was uttered by Forrest Gump. Great movie!

Fun (in a gory kind of way) to hear all the scar stories! I guess most of us are "scarred for life" in one way or another.

Lucina @ 12:46, Yes, I have seen both "bolt down" and "bolt" used as clues for either "eat" or "eat rapidly".

multi-pierced wench said...

To Gauche gaucho @ 10:52 am: Why so many piercings? My niece wanted to get her ears pierced, but was afraid it would hurt. So I showed her it was no big deal......Well, partially that and partially mid-life crisis.

Once Barry G said he had a midlife crisis and bought himself a Mitsubishi Eclipse. I just turned 42, pierced up my ears and bought an Eclipse.

Pass the Prozac, please.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Awesome puzzle today, significantly enhanced by your writeup, Marti, and Melissa's New York photos.

Only erasure was to change OMAN to ADEN.

Wanted RIBeye something.

Agree that is is cool to have TBIRD crossed by SCION.

Husker, yep, 'tis a good bet that a 4-leter cheese would be EDAM.

Immediately filled M for Mendelsohn's key and waited for the perps to tell me whether it was MIN or MAJ.

Love the sound that the LOON makes, especially in the WEE hours of the evening.

A friend of mine, who is 100% "pure-blood" Scot, named his first-born bairn Laird.

Scar story to come.

Jayce said...

Scar story. As kids, my playmates and I used to enjoy trying to outdo each other in the performance of reckless acts. It's a wonder any of us lived to tell the tales. While trying to do a high jump over a barbed wire fence I didn't quite make it, and a barb raked a long deep gash down the back of my calf. By the time my friends and I hiked all the way back home the bleeding had stopped and it was securely scabbed up. My dad did make sure I got the requisite tetanus shot. The scar still looks like a thin rope down the back of my leg. (Sorry to be so graphic.)

Avg Joe said...

Scar stories?

I tangled my two center fingers on my left hand with a 6" jointer in H.S. Shop class. Took the tips off, but didn't hit the bone. That took 40 stitches.

A few years later I put my head through the windshield during an end-over-end rollover. Nearly scalped me, one laceration was 9" long, the other 4". That incident took over 400 stitches.

Jayce said...

I wanna see Barry G in that Chrysler 300 of his. How 'bout a photo of you in your Eclipse, too, oh pierced one.

Mari said...

Jayce @ 1:43 pm
Avg Joe @ 1:45 pm

I think you guys win the scar contest!

mtnest995 said...

Awesome puzzle today and a most enjoyable review, thanks to Elizabeth and Marti. Favorite clue was get down/swallow - once I got it. Kept trying to put in something along the lines of "go below", but the perps said nay, nay.

The scar stories made me bristle, especially the offerings from Jayce and Avg Joe. I've got plenty of my own, including one on my inner thigh from barbed wire when I tried to climb over a fence and one on my knee earned when I was learning to ride a bike and took a tumble in gravel. My dad treated it by pouring a whole bottle of peroxide on it. I still wince when I think about it.

Bill G. said...

I love ice cream.

I've never heard of a rib steak; always a rib eye steak. One of my favorites. And yes, I've often heard an expression about bolting one's food.

Husker Gary: “That’s ALL I have to say about that.” That would be Forrest Gump.

I have a scar in one eyebrow from falling on a sharp rock when I was about four or five. Also a scar on my ring finger from when a cherry bomb went off in my hand. And an appendectomy scar. How many of our scars are from doing something dumb? My grandmother used to say that when you see a full grown man, you are looking at a miracle.

Jayce said...

Avg Joe, holy wow!

Marti, Chin up! hahaha

Husker Gary said...

-Yup 1, it was Gene TENACE. Broadcaster and fellow Pisano Joe Garagiola would occasionally call him Geno Ten ah’ chay.
-Yup 2, it was Forest, Forest Gump who said that. Tom Hanks’ hits to clunker ratio is dang good and that movie was great on many levels! That hippie thing didn’t work out for some peeps like Jenny but most got over it and wound up getting jobs doing the very thing they held in contempt in Haight Ashbury. Funny how life does that.
-I don’t have any doctor or piercing scars. Mine are all accidental.
-I’m off to Omaha to get an award from a Duchesne Academy senior who chose me as the most influential person in her educational life. I wonder how that happened?

Lucina said...

Oh! I forgot about the surgeries, one C-section and another for hysterectomy.

Also was involved in a car collision that smashed my head into the windshield but no stitches required and no scar. The other driver ran a red light.

Thanks for the "bolt" replies. I had not heard that.

Bill G. said...

I just finished watching North by Northwest for about the fifth time. Enjoyable as always. I recognized the background music. It was composed by Bernard Herrmann who also did the music for Vertigo, Psycho and The Man Who Knew Too Much. He's obviously well known but I don't like his music very much. I think it's intrusive, repetitive and annoying. I wonder if any of you have noticed his style and have any opinions about it.

Congratulations HG! It's nice to get appreciated for your efforts.

desper-otto said...

Afternoon, all.

Overslept this morning, and wound up doing the puzzle off and on between tax clients. Finished it ok; missed the theme, as usual.

Hand up for "bolt"ing food. Not aware that coyotes are pack hunters, though. We've got coyotes around here and you only see them one at a time.

Scar story: Drove a motorcycle through a single-strand, neck-height barbed wire fence. The fence posts were in the boonies on either side of the trail. I saw the wire at the last moment, and tried to lay the bike down. Alas, passenger behind me leaned the other way. I caught it diagonally across the nose. Fortunately the sides of my helmet kept it from taking the top of my head off. Spent several weeks in the naval hospital on Guam as a result.

Avg Joe said...

Earl Scruggs has often been a topic here. I noticed his death was announced this morning. His long time partner, Lester Flatt, died sometime back in the 70's.

RIP Earl.

HeartRx said...

Yowza, it's amazing some of you are still alive, with all those scary scar stories!!

Husker G., the award is well-deserved! You probably have many other students who feel the same way, so congratulations!

CrossEyedDave said...

4 letter cheese? hmm, my 1st thought was Guda. I was racking my brain because i knew there are more, but could not think of any. I was passing my 18 yr old daughter doing her homework, so i said, "quick, name a 4 letter cheese?" She immediately snapped back "Feta." Ok, i said name another, "Brie" she says... Ok smart guy, name one more, she says "Blue?"

Later i picked up my 13 yr old from school and asked her, "watsa matter, can't think of any?" She says "Oh Dad, just Google it!"

Aw Nuts! everyone beat me to the answer to Husker Gary's question. Now what am i gonna do with this Pic.

Scar story later, i may have to go out and get a new one if i am going to top you guys...

Avg Joe said...

CED, I wouldn't recommend it.

This is all Marti's fault. She asked!


Steve said...

Hey Marti and friends

Thanks for the theme explanation, Marti - I saw the birds and missed the "T" shape - the design of this puzzle was very slick!

I had a little bit of a struggle today, I went around three or four times before I finished up. A few unknowns in the Proper Name department.

I cooked a rib roast last week for some friends. Mmmmm! Food!

I fell out of a tree when I was six and make a large hole in the inside of my upper arm. I still remember bleeding copiously into the kitchen sink while my mom tried to staunch the blood flow. Nice scar!

Lucina said...

Congratulations! You undoubtedly deserve that award.

GOUDA wouldn't work anyway.

Bill G. said...

This is a great slide show of science and space technology from MSNBC. Very interesting I thought.

Mari said...

Desper-otto @ 3:12 pm: Oh my gosh! How are you still alive?!?

Dennis said...

Good afternoon, gang - finally got a chance to do the puzzle, while getting reacquainted with sand, salt water, and all that other good stuff. Still pinching myself. Oh, and I discovered the best hamburger I've ever had in a little place called "Jack's Original" in Pompano Beach.

Clever theme today, and some very good clues. I do agree with someone's earlier comment re 20A; I've only heard of ribeye steak, not just rib steak.

As to the subject of the day, I've got scars out the ass (fortunately for me, that's a figurative term), but two in particular came from females - one was in high school on Sadie Hawkins day, getting chased by my girlfriend, and ran into a couple thigh-high strands of barbed wire. The other involved a hammock, and we'll let it go at that.

Mari, I like how you think, although I'm sure it was unintentional...

anon@11:57: "Melissa is hot". A classic understatement.

Argyle, I don't know how you do it, but your blogs just keep getting better and better.

Wishing everyone an outstanding day from here in (my) paradise. Hope to get back 'on top' soon.

placematfan said...

Hello all. Long-time reader, first-time poster. To be honest, I mostly check out this blog on days one of my puzzles is published. Ego-surfing feels so sinful, though; so I figured I'd commit to doing the daily LAT and coming here as often as I can, and participate more in the brother- (and sister-) hood of crossword solvers/creators. Lurking and being antisocial has its perks, but it gets old. Anyway, my name's Mark and props/thanks to the showrunners of this blog.

I've only heard "bolt down" in reference to eating, never "bolt" by itslef.

Scarry story: partial toe amputation due to a motorcycle accident, like desper-otto. Is the toe next to the big toe called an index toe? Anyway, it was that one. In my shock I asked the paramedics if it would grow back; the last words I heard before blacking out were, "You're not a starfish, dude."

Enjoyed today's puzzle. Didn't like the 44 black squares (2 of them cheaters) or the four corners of stacked 3-letter words. And I wanted more 8- or 9- or 10-letter words and didn't understand why the theme had not been executed with more long fill . . . . But I thought the theme was clever. Had SASS for "Dis" and, thinking the actor Ray Fines had won an Oscar for a movie I wasn't familiar with, FINES for 35-Down, making the East Center particulary difficult. Didn't know HEC.

I love the word GLIB, but it's one of those words I'm pretty sure I know what it means, but couldn't explain to someone else. ALEVATS seemed to crosswordese-y. Didn't know DIKE or ECOS. It was cool seeing NONGRATA without "persona". Thanks for the puzzle, Elizabeth!

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, All has been said about the CW today. I thought it was harder than most Thursday puzzles. All the while I was doing it I was thinking Friday. I'm a day ahead of myself.

Marti, I so enjoyed your writeup today. I listened to he Violin Concerto while I read. Lovely.

Melissa B. What a memorable trip. You and your daughter will have great times with the "remember whens". My granddaughter just returned this Wed. from NY. She was there with two dear friends to celebrate their 30th birthdays.

As for scars, Mine have come from Surgeries. But I thank my lucky stars everytime I see the scars as it reminds me that those surgeries saved my life. My not so reckless childhood didn't leave a scar. I had to wait until I was grown up.

Dennis said...

Marti, my apologies - the comment about the blog was meant for you, not Argyle. Was looking at something else when I typed that.

Chickie said...

Welcome Placemat Fan. I'm glad you decided to join the banter and fun.

I laughed out loud at the "You aren't a star fish dude" comment. Great story, but painful.

You mentioned that you have had puzzles published. Give us a hint when and where.

Bill G. said...

Is it Mark Bickham? That was the first 'Mark' I found with a blog search.

Grumpy 1 said...

Gary, congratulations on a well-deserved, I'm sure, award.

Placematfan, I hope you become a regular here. It's always nice to see a constructor's take on a puzzle.

Scars? I survived well into my 60's with just a few minor scars and no life threatening experiences. Then I slipped on ice and split a hip socket in half. Drilling through my femur for the traction rig to pull the ball of the hip back into place left a quarter size scar and the surgery to repair the hip socket with plates and screws left an 8" scar that seldom sees the light of day. Six months later, after the bone had knit properly, they went back in through that same incision and did a total hip replacement. I'll have that reminder of why we moved south for the rest of my life.

Trevor Briggs said...

I've got a bone to pick with the Toby answer. In my almost 60 years as a Brit I've never heard of a Toby MUG. What we do have are Toby JUGs, which is much more what the one in the picture looks like - whoever saw a pouring spout on a beer mug?

HeartRx said...

Welcome, placematfan! (Bill G., maybe he is Mark Feldman?). As another constructor, I can vouch for the fact that it is always fun to hear what this group has to say about one of our puzzles. Positive and negative comments always teach me what to try for in the next one. And I think you should change your name to “Starfish”, LOL !!

Dennis @ 4:24, don’t worry – I don’t know how Argyle can keep making his blogs get better and better, either!

Grumpy1, @4:51, OUCH !!

Trevor Briggs, you are quite right that they are correctly referred to as TOBY “jugs”. But you know how us Americans always change things up – so “mugs” seems OK.

HeartRx said...

Just so we are all clear on the difference:



LA CW Addict said...

Well, I disagree with Barry - this puzzle was definitely NOT for the birds. I thought it was a masterpiece. In keeping with the "T-Bone" theme, Ms. Long even mentioned a steak under the guise of Ribsteak!

However, I have one T-Bone to pick, and I haven't seen anyone else mention it yet in this blog. In Bridge, the abbv for one no-trump is 1 NT, not 1 NO. Because of that, I missed a perfect solve. As Kazie mentioned, the cluing for Haagen-Dazs misdirected me into looking for a type of store, so I totally missed CONE because I had CTNE. Bummer... but delightful in so many other ways. Loved all of the birds! Never knew what a Toby was until today.

Marti -- Black Sabbath and Mendelssohn in the same blog? Good Lord! Black Sabbath was a first for me - very strange, but think I'll go back and listen to it again! Thanks for a great puzzle and wonderful write-up as always!

Spitzboov said...

LA addict. The clue was brief bridge bid. I think there was enought of a hint here for a shortened answer. One No is used very ordinarily in the groups I play with. One No is 100% understood by the participants.

kerrys said...

There is a third car in the puzzle. Scarab. a beautiful sports car built in the 50-60s by Lance Reventlow. He was the son of Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heir.

Misty said...

@Bill G. 3:00 I've heard at least two film critics say that Bernard Hermann effectively made Hitchcock famous. They asked which of his films people remembered and they were always the ones with Hermann's music. It may be that the qualities you don't like are possibly also the ones that give the films their unique edge. My favorite Hitchcock film is "Rear Window." I'll have to check and see if Hermann did the music for that. It was terrific!

Avg Joe said...

There've been numerous comments about rib steaks today vis a vis rib eye. Let's see if we can clear this up.

Rib eye steaks are boneless. They have been trimmed of the bone, most fat and any other less than ideal meat. Rib steaks are the same cut, but they haven't been trimmed, and are typically about double the size. Thus, the smaller cut is called the "eye". I buy my beef by the half, not at the grocery store, but I believe any butcher would offer both.

LA CW Addict said...

Okay, Spitzboov, I learned something today. Having never played in a real game, I would not know that; now I do. Obviously, if somebody bids "one no" 1 NT could be the only meaning, but I thought bidders said "one no trump".

I did miss the "brief" part of the clue, so I stand corrected.

One more thing, on an unrelated note- Gilda Radner, Laraine Newman, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd were on SNL back in the days when I could stay up until 11:00 and see the show. Not anymore, which means, like Barry, who never heard of any of these names, I would not know the names of those who play on SNL today!

Anonymous said...

Gmony here. Told u told u told u. This puzzle was easier than yesterday. Yesterday should have been today. I guess publishers have other things on thier minds. I dont like a lot of abbrvs. or "?" "in a way" or "pref". But thats la la land. Didn' t need any theme clues today cause puzzle was easy enough. Liked "Toby" being a beer drinker, [thought of MOSS at first) and 68 accross, BREWERY containers!!! Cheers all.

Tinbeni said...

LA CW Addict@5:19 & 5:36:
I have to agree with Spitzboov on the "ONE-NO" answer.
I heard (used) it "bid" that way many times back in my 'Bridge-Playing' days.
Though your "one-no-trump" (1NT) was used just as often.

But that leads me to this question.

I reviewed the "Crossword Puzzle Rules of Construction" (google it: there are quite a few sites) and I could not "find" ANY RULE that stated:

If the "Answer is an abbreviation," the CLUE must be made, in such a way, to indicate the 'answer' IS an abbreviation.

In fact, the ONLY "Rule" I saw was that Constructors should NOT USE "uncommon abbreviations."

I've seen more CLUES BASHed about this than almost anything else.


placematfan said...

Chickie, Bill G., Grumpy 1: I am that Mark. Thanks for the welcome. I grew up in the 80s doing as much as I could of my monthly Games Magazine, suffering utter idolatry of names like Shenk and Shortz and Nosowsky until I finally figured out the potential of a pencil and a piece of graph paper and, eventually, a Crossword Puzzle Word Finder (Anyone remember those?), and began to emulate. Games published my first two or three and a few years back I started getting acceptances from Rich.

If I may wax poetic a moment . . . For me, cruciverbalism is one of those rare bastions of a confluence of Reason and Passion: although software does a goodly share of the grunt work these days, there remains a compelling amount of humanity and artistry in crossword construction, hence the joy of it. Not many enterprises, imoh, allow for the mind and heart to be so equally present--maybe songwriting, or chess. But enough of that.

HeartRx, not what I was expecting at all. That was hilarious.

Barry G. said...

Evening, all!

Just checking in. Let's see...

I actually decided to have my "midlife crisis" ahead of schedule and bought my Eclipse at the age of 35. It's long since gone, but I've always owned powerful cars since then. I just can't bear to go back to a little putt-putt mobile.

I have plenty of pictures of my Chrysler 300, but none with me in it. Someday I should have my wife do the honors, I suppose.

I hope nobody thought I was insulting the constructor or the puzzle when I said it was "for the birds." Just making a little joke there...

Oh -- and I've definitely heard of Gilda Radner, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd! For some reason, though, Laraine Newman just doesn't ring a bell. Dunno why. Selective memory loss, I guess...

PK said...

Enjoyed the puzzle, MS Long! Marti, your blogs are always fun!

Love birds and knew it was about them. However, I couldn't get the center section. Had ECTO, SCION, but Aman. Wanted T-Model, despite being the bookkeeper for a Ford dealership back in the T-BIRD hey-day. DUH!

Had a friend who collected TOBY Jugs. She never drank beer from them.

Coyotes don't hunt in packs. Sometimes see a pair in mating season or two pups being trained by mother. Mostly scavengers, rather than hunters.

Had a nasty episiotomy scar from delivering a nine pound first baby. Sat on ice for weeks. Couldn't drive for a month. I don't show it off. Also have abdominal scar so I don't have anymore nine pound babies.

Ice cream is my comfort food. Ration it for the calories.

Congrats, Husker!

dodo1925 said...

Hi folks,

Today's puzzle was much easier for me than yesterday's, which I didn't finish. Well, I did finish it today, but it was still DNF.

Didn't get today's theme till I got here; had it almost finished before I got to unifier.Misspelled Larayne because I had entered
"lys for 8D.

If I must eat ice cream, I like it in a cone. If I'm out of cones the ice cream can sit in the freezer for weeks! Or Eskimo Pies; I like them.

Bill G. said...

Well, that was unexpected. I went for a short bike ride down to the café in Hermosa Beach where I usually get my macchiato. They have been closed for a couple of days. They've replaced their menu boards on the wall with more traditional printed menus. I didn't see a macchiato listed so I asked if it was still available. They said yes. It used to be $2.55; today it was $3.50. I am guessing it wouldn't be noticed by new customers or those who drop in infrequently but it seemed like a bit of a jolt to me. Oh well, I am lucky enough to be able to afford it if I choose to and there are other places close by, even a Starbucks. Maybe in the long run it will increase his profits while maybe losing out on a few old customers in the meantime.

HeartRx: Heh heh, that is EXACTLY what I was expecting!

Tinbeni said...

Congrats! You-da-Man!

Barry G.
re: "Yeah, this puzzle was definitely for the birds... ^_^"

I thought your comment was very funny. Especially early in the morning.


Sfingi said...

The BAIRNS gat out wi an unco shout,
The deuks dang o'er my daddie O

Robert Burns

John Anderson, my jo, John, we've seen our BAIRNS BAIRNS.

Robert Burns, again!

From the song-book

Anonymous said...

IMHO The shortened ONE NO is always oral in bridge. I have said and heard it countless times. The shortened ONE NT is written in articles and books and is never said during actual bidding.

fermatprime said...


Great puzzle, Elizabeth. Super write up, Marti!

Loved the theme.

Am busy with $53k worth of termites and some small improvements for disabilities. Need to get another huge loan.

Very busy around here. No time for blogging at decent hour. Tomorrow have to supervise removal of all stuff from packed, horribly messy garage. Yeccch!

I have a grotesque appendix scar. (My mother decided to give me an enema prior.) Right hand scarred all across from accident that destroyed the nerves. You people have much more exciting scars!

I adore ice cream. I am lactose intolerant.


PS Thanks for thinking of me, Misty!

Spitzboov said...

Anon @1907 - I agree. Orally you say or hear "one no trump" or "one no".

Welcome to Placematfan.

Congrats to Husker G. on his signal achievement.

Kazie, thanks for posting the census link yesterday. Quite a lot of info there.

PK said...

Fermatprime: I'm glad you are getting some improvements for disabilities. The cost may be minimal compared to what senior housing and nursing homes cost today. I've been concerned about your limitations.

JD said...

Evening all,

Who couldn't love a puzzle with doodad and deranged? I agree with those who said it was easier than yesterday's.No look ups needed, but depended on perps for toby, one no, Hec,scion, and the(wee)uns.

Fun theme, Elizabeth.

Marti, loved your write up and the mugs/jugs.

My scar story definitely would not win a contest. I nearly choked on Place mat fan's starfish story. While in college I was trying to make friends with a friend's Cocker Spaniel . Yep, my snoz still has that reminder.

Melissa, your photos definitely captured the essence of NYC.. lovely.Thanks for sharing. My sister(RIP) lived in the bldg. next to John Lennon.

Seldom Seen said...

HeartRx: Would you please e-mail me? I have a puzzle construction question for you. When I try to e-mail you I get a error message. Something to do with my default mail client. Thanks.

Bill G. said...

I have a bunch of songs in iTunes that I've purchased and really enjoy. Is there a way I can link to one of them so that any of you can hear it? Otherwise, the only way I can think of is to try to find it on YouTube.

LA CW Addict said...

Oh Lord - Now I see that Barry meant the "for the birds" remark with tongue in cheek - I am sorry, I overreacted because I hate to see the constructors criticized. They work so hard to put out such fine products which we all enjoy and can hardly wait for each day!

With that said, sweet dreams!

Seldom Seen said...

Here is a crossword SCAR story: Link text

Bill G. said...

I just watched Sophia Vergara on an Ellen show rerun. She is so appealing. She is beautiful, sexy, funny and intelligent. Is there a more appealing woman these days in the public eye?


Oh no. We just got a call from the daughter of the woman who cleans our house every other week. Her husband had a heart attack a couple of weeks ago. When she came that day and told us the news, we paid her and told her to go on back home to be with her husband. Her daughter just called tonight and said that he had just died. I feel so sad for her.

Steve said...

@Bill G re iTunes sharing - unfortunately you can't, at least not in the way that you want to.

I won't bore you with the sharing that Apple does allow because that won't get you anywhere.

@Melissa - meant to say "Nice photos" earlier and forgot, so "Nice photos!!!", better late than never!

And hello to @Placematfan!

Grumpy 1 said...

Not sure Placematfan would want to adopt the handle "Starfish". That's a slang term for a woman that looks really good, but is dead in bed.

Yep, was not at all surprised by Marti's mugs vs jugs comparisons.

Anonymous said...

Good night all.

I think this is the cleverest puzzle of them all.Thank you Ms Long. Not that I got it all, but when shown, it is spectacular. Great write up and graphic, HeartRX.


Lucina said...

I forgot to say how much I enjoyed your photos! I love NY and they brought back many memories. Thank you.

Lemonade714 said...

Wow what a day, so much beauty (MB and little mb) wit (Ms. Marti)Dennis back, Barry G. an evening comment

Thank you all for the entertainment

dodo1925 said...

Oh, dear! I forgot to thank Elizabeth for this terrific puzzle, Mart for her entertaining and elucidating blog, and Melissa B for sharing the pix!

Where is Splynter? Windhover, you too?

melissa bee said...

thanks all for the comments on the ny pics. it was a first for both of us - had a really, really great time. as a rosewood resort employee, our stay at the carlyle was complimentary (got a suite for a girlfriend also, who was there performing in a play at the apollo). i'd go back in a heartbeat.

welcome to placematfan.

great job as always marti.

Lemonade714 said...

Hey mb, new york is fun.
Mark Bickham, welcome to our world, we enjoy your work and your passion for words