Mar 14, 2012

Wednesday, March 14 2012, Steve Blais

theme: let's play dress up - SUITs are split into three parts in three common phrases.

20A. Standard of comparison : MEASURING STICK

31A. Like some kitchen cabinets : CUSTOM BUILT

40A. Govt. workers concerned with returns : IRS AUDITORS

53A. It includes a vest ... and what can be found in each set of circles in the long answers : THREE PIECE SUIT

circles! uncommon and fun puzzle device. it must have been difficult to come up with three phrases containing the letters S U I T in that order. steve blais gave us the this little piggy themed puzzle in january.

melissa here, going to be a bit brief due to ongoing internet issues out here in the boonies.


1. Diamond-studded tooth caps, e.g. : BLING

also known as grillz. okay .. uh ... sorry .. but i don't really ... get ... ech.

6. "High Voltage" band : AC/DC

10. Valence lead-in : AMBI. that was a little tricky. ambivalence.

14. Smash over the infield, say : LINER. for all you baseball fans.

15. "The Big Sleep" genre : NOIR. iMdb best film noir titles.

16. Normandy city : CAEN. two hours northwest of paris - largely destroyed in WWII.

17. Arctic digs : IGLOO

18. Refuse to grant, as access : DENY

19. Big hike : TREK

23. Be a buttinsky : PRY

24. Corner opening? : CEE. i love this shout out, hope it was intentional.

25. Saved to watch later : TIVO'ED. so many people love their tivo - if i ever start watching tv again i may get it.

27. Oldies refrain syllable : SHA. sha na na ...

28. Do one's homework, so to speak : PLAN

30. Casserole morsel : PEA

35. Go (for) : OPT

36. __ close to schedule : ON OR. on or about march 14th.

37. 'Enry's 'ouse : 'OME. eliza doolittle accent.

38. Escape : FLEE

39. Bad check letters : NSF. non-sufficient funds.

44. Asian festival : TET

45. Hi-fi spinners: Abbr. : RECS. records, as in vinyl.

46. Convenient connections : INS

47. Fighting words : IT’S WAR

49. WWII USN carrier : LST

50. Common college degs. : BS'S. or how one gets by if he/she doesn't have one.

57. Nile queen, familiarly : CLEO.

58. PTA part: Abbr. : ASSN. parent teacher association.

59. Like a five-star hotel : RITZY

60. Hide from a trapper : PELT. like this clue.

61. Spanish surrealist : DALI. interesting character.

62. Big chip maker : INTEL

63. Not busy : IDLE

64. WWII British gun : STEN

65. "With Reagan" memoirist : MEESE. attorney general during the time of secret arms sales to iran.


1. Goodyear flier : BLIMP

2. Crossbred big cat : LIGER. offspring of a male lion and female tiger.

3. Parquetry design : INLAY. beautiful.

4. Modernists, informally : NEO'S. neo-conservative, neo-liberal, neo-modern, etc.

5. "I have had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it" speaker : GROUCHO.

6. Actress MacDowell : ANDIE. model turned actress.

7. Either "True Grit" (2010) director : COEN. one of the coen brothers' films.

8. "Correct answer!" sound : DING!

9. Formal glassware : CRYSTAL

10. When Juliet drinks the potion : ACT IV. romeo and juliet.

11. 13th-century globetrotter : MARCO POLO

12. One whose workplace is all abuzz : BEEKEEPER. cute.

13. Printer's purchase : INK

21. Printer's purchase : REAM

22. Add a little color to : TINT

26. Calendar entries : DATES

27. Cello sect. : STR

28. PowerCat soccer cleats, e.g. : PUMAS

29. In __ of: replacing : LIEU

31. "Reuben, Reuben" actor Tom : CONTI. 1983 academy award nominee.

32. Yet to be paid : UNSETTLED. great read, this ...

33. Crab variety : SOFT SHELL

34. Pear choice : BOSC

38. Mil. installations : FTS

40. Wrath, in a classic hymn : IRAE. dies irae, latin for 'day of wrath.'

41. Checks carefully, as a contract : RE-READS

42. Backup medium : DISC

43. Provisional : INTERIM

48. Put pen to paper : WROTE. mostly done now by putting fingers to keyboard.

49. Early Soviet leader : LENIN. vladimir lenin, russian marxist revolutionary and leader of the bolsheviks.

50. Former Montana copper-mining city : BUTTE

51. Clothing rack array : SIZES

52. Vogue : STYLE

54. Hurdle for a jr. : PSAT. preliminary SAT test.

55. Cruise stopover : ISLE

56. Trig ratio : SINE

57. Cost-of-living stat : CPI. consumer price index.

Answer grid.



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

No circles in my puzzle today, so the theme didn't do too much for me. I did get the theme reveal easily enough from the clue, though, and none of the other theme answers actually required knowing the theme to get, so I guess it was "no harm, no foul."

I would have loved to see the word SUIT spread among three different words in each theme answer, but that probably would have been nearly impossible to accomplish. The fact that the word was at least broken up into three groups of letters in each answer was nice enough.

I struggled a bit with RECS, since that's not an abbreviation I'm familiar with and my brain misread the clue as "Hi-tech" instead of "HI-FI." Don't ask me why. The problem lies completely with me and not the puzzle.

Elsewhere, I remembered Mr. CONTI but misspelled his name CONTE.

Everything else went pretty smoothly and overall it was a good solve for me.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Steve Blais, for a very good Wednesday puzzle. Thank you, Melissa B, for an also very good review.

Did not know the 1A word, even though I could picture the teeth. Once I got 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5D, "BLING," it appeared.

The theme answers came easily, however, as Barry, I did not have the circled squares. My newspaper is not here yet. I printed this from the Chicago Tribune Site.

Did not know 15A and 6D. However, I wagged them and lucked out. ANDIE and NOIR.

Remember GROUCHO Marx well. That whole family were great entertainers.

37A, OME, was clever. My Fair Lady was a great movie. Never saw the play.

Had all the E's for 12D before any of the consonants. i thought "what is this?" Then it hit me, BEE KEEPER.

See you tomorrow.


HeartRx said...

Good morning Melissa, C.C. et al.

Thanks for the fun write-up, Melissa! I had a chuckle over your comment on BS’s…or how one gets by if he/she doesn’t have one. And I was happy to see the correct abbr. for “association” at 58A.

My puzzle on the iPad did not show any circles, but I think it was even more fun that way. I had to work a little harder to suss out the “suit” that was broken up into three pieces in each answer. It was very clever to get three different combinations of the letters, too. Great job, Steve.

For “Corner opening” I wanted to put WBS !!

Middletown Bomber said...

Like Barry I do my puzzle on line and the circles were not present but the since I still have a 3 piece suit I knew the answer upon reading the clue. Otherwise this was a great wednesday puzzle and another great write up by melissa. Enjoy Humpday all.

Anony-Mouse said...

Thank you Steve Blais for a nice and challenging puzzle....Is it Blay-s or Bly-iz ? Thank you, Melissa Bee for the humorous commentary - thoroughly enjoyed it.

An aside, both Andie M and Cleo happen to have one prominent B. - so styles really haven't changed much thru the years......

Just finished guiding a student thru the Science Fair - I guess helping her tackle the PSAT is next.

ALT QOD:- You know you're getting old when you just get one candle on your cake. It's like, "See if you can blow this out". ~ Jerry Seinfeld.

Have a happy rest of the week, you all.

Anony-Mouse said...

Marti Heart - could I ask - how does 'corner opening' equate to "WBS" ? Excuse me, for not getting the connection. ( Remember, some of us are several levels below you ....).

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

No circles on the CHI TRIB printout and they were not missed. Except for the center grid in the North, this puzzle came together for me without an holdup. 6 & 7 Down clues were unknown as was 15 A. I eventually wagged NOIR for 15A and that got it done.

Really liked the CEE for corner opening, Had WRITE for Put Pen to paper, but CLEO got me the correct tense.

No other issues, just a pleasant solve.

Enjoy your Hump Day. Hoping to finish the lawn today ... it will be earliest ever.

HeartRx said...

Anony-Mouse, very often people will start their comments here on the "Corner" with "What Barry Said". It finally got down to just the acronym, because we say it so much.

Argyle said...

Cruciverb did have the circles.

The format: if you collapse the comments, the avatars are still there. A bit strange but all else seems normal.

Anonymous said...

I believe "bling" are also called "grillz" because of their resemblance to the front of 1960's era Detroit carz.

HeartRx said...

Hahtoolah, I had the same thought about SOFT SHELLED crabs. But the clue said "variety", not "species". So I was OK with it. Soft shell is just a variation from the typical hard shell type.

desper-otto said...

Happy Ides Eve, All.

I really liked the puzzle, even though it turned out to be a very quick solve. I tried CRUISE for CONTI, but quickly realized that Cruise had too many letters. That was my only misstep.

Did anybody else think of Guy NOIR, private eye? "A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets..."

Did you catch the first NCAA game last night? What a comback! That could very well turn out to be the most exciting game of the whole tournament.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Melissa, thanks for posting despite your internet issues. Good luck.

Had to invoke Mr. G for 15a. The ANDIE/NOIR cross was a Natick for me. That I didn't know COEN didn't help, either. Everything else filled in fine. THREE PIECE SUIT helped me fill in the circles, and the long acrosses became easy also. Thought the IGLOO clue was clever. Liked the long downs.

Have a great day.

Mari said...

Good morning guys and gals. My hardcopy of the Chicago Trib had circles. I got the unifier early on and didn't even realize the circles were in the longest answers.

I kept trying to stretch TAPED into the boxes for TIVOED. And although I enjoyed the "shout out" in 24C the clue was a bit of a groaner.

I never heard of a liger before, so I had to look it up. Beautiful.

Have a good one!

kazie said...

Great puzzle, and the write up was, as always, awesome.

I agree about the soft shell crabs, but then what do I know? My only knowledge on this was gained from reading Michener's "Chesapeake" years ago.

I had the advantage of the circles in our paper, and it helped me get a leg up to fill in those letters before the rest of the long answers were there.

I struggled with the NOIR/COEN crossing, not knowing anything about who directs what. I also had ISF for NSF, thinking it was InSufficient Funds. But all else fell in pretty smoothly. I did begin with WORKER BEE for BEEKEEPER, until perps rearranged that corner for me.

Enjoy your humpday, all you WORKER BEES among us! For retirees, the hump comes on our busiest day, whenever it comes.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning, mb and the gang.

My paper had the circles and it almost made the puzzle too easy. The placement in lines 4,7 and 9 suggested that the unifier would be line 12 to maintain symmetry. THREE PIECE SUIT was pretty obvious and then I noticed the circles in three pieces in each line. I wrote in SUIT in the circles and went on from there.

I didn't know CONTI and drew a blank at ON OR close to schedule on the first pass, but a few perps got me out of that corner.

Interesting crossing of BUTTE and MEESE, since Montana is where Ed and Ursula reside.

I thought the constructor's name seemed a little familiar, but I had forgotten the Three Little Pigs puzzle. Nice puzzle, seemed about righht for Wednesday.

Anony-Mouse said...

Thanks Marti for the explanation.... now I understand.

Like Kazie, I also thought ISF was more appropriate than NSF .... non-sufficient funds sounds somewhat ungrammatical... a euphemism perhaps ?

Thank you Mari, for the Liger pic. I was not aware of the (male, primogeniture ?? ) convention, if any, between LIGERs and TIONs - that it is/maybe based on the male-sire species being placed first in the resulting name. Is this always so ?

Aside from the fact, that the species almost never share the same area on earth, and thus would never have a chance to cohabit, even, more unlikely, would they wish to ... and like mules, the progeny are probably sterile.

Husker Gary said...

Nice level of difficulty and gimmick gave last long fill, Steve. Lovely job, Melissa.

-BLING on your grill might not enhance your chances of employment
-LINER = frozen rope in baseball lingo
-Those NOIR films on TCM are like a time machine for dress, manners and figures of speech and, DO, I love Guy Noir!
-SHA is first sound in one of my fav Roy Orbison songs
-Liza learned of Iberian precipitation in ‘enry’s ‘ome.
-My first fighting words were OR ELSE and my crabs had fruit and leaves
-Dave Ramsey is a calm, religious talk show host who gives good financial advice. Yesterday, after two calls, he ranted for 5 minutes about people who accumulate huge indebtedness for BS’S for which there are no, or very low paying, jobs.
-“Hide from a pelt” took a while but DING, DING, DING I got it
-Keyboards avoid display of my atrocious hand writing, MB

kazie said...

I'm glad I wasn't the only one having ISF. I wondered about the DF name COITI (plural of coitus?) that it produced for the perp.

Lucina said...

Greetings, puzzle people. Really enjoyed your witticisms, Melissa BEE.

CRYSTAL, BLING, and RITZY, that's my kind of puzzle! Thank you, Steve Blais.

And I sashayed right through this, saw the SUIT in the circles and quickly filled the theme when I came to it.

Thoroughly enjoyed hide from a trapper, PELT.

PUMAS and LIGER with CEE for our Corner made this a fun puzzle, too.

If enjoyment coupled with learning is our MEASURING STICK, this fits the bill.

Have a superb Wednesday, everyone!

Irish Miss said...

Good morning all:

Good job, Steve, and nice expo, Melissa.

No problems, no write-overs, and no help, so, happy ending. A good Wednesday-level offering.

Have a great day, everyone.

Tuttle said...

Did not like the LST clue. A "carrier" is a class of ship of its own. Yes, a Landing Ship, Tank does carry things, but it is not a "carrier". To make matters worse, Roi would fit the three-letter space. Not to mention the hull designations CVE (escort carrier), CVL (light carrier), CVA (attack carrier), CVB (large carrier), CVG (gunned carrier), etc. etc.

This is like cluing "cruiser" as "battleship". Yes, a cruiser is a ship and it goes into battle, but it is not a battleship.

Ron Worden said...

Good morning to all and happy hump day. Thanks melissaB for the write-up and a fun puzzle steve. My only smudge happened at 6D had Audie at first was a little confused,but noir made the lightbulb come on. Softshell crabs are blue crabs right after they molt out of their old shell before the new one hardens up. have a great day to all RJW.

Mari said...

Kazie @ 9:37 am:

Coitus?? That reminds me of Shammy

Yellowrocks said...

Good puzzle. I, too, like the SUIT split into three pieces. The circles did make it much easier than it would have been without.
WEES. Too late for anything novel, except this:

The progeny of a lion father and a tiger mother, the LIGER is entirely different from the progeny of a tiger father and a lion mother, the TIGON.
Link Tigon

Mari said...

Egads! They're everywhere!

Misty said...

Great to be back on the Corner after a computer problem yesterday. I love circles in puzzles, so was excited about this before I even started. And it was delightful--many thanks, Steve--even though I've of course never worn a three piece suit. Also greatly enjoyed your write-up, Melissa. But my biggest LOL of the day came from Husker Gary 9:36 and his "Iberian precipitation"!

Have a great Wednesday everybody!

Spitzboov said...

Tuttle - Re: LST - I would cut the constructor some slack here for the reasons you cited. And it is a Wednesday.

Anony-Mouse said...

Thanks, again, Kazie - further to the ISF/NSF problems, I have been involved in the startup and running of an Ohio company that 'handles' ISF problems. ISF/NSF checks have always been a bane of small retail merchants - what with the NSF bank fees and collection problems - it can easily ruin a business. Now new laws exist in most states to equalize the playing field.

If you are a merchant, you sign up with the (say) PDQ Co. (fictional) - who agree to do the collection for you. You pay only a $ 5 one shot, sign-up fee. If you ever have a NSF check, in the future, you scan the returned check, electronically, to PDQ....

They (PDQ) will electronically, monitor the customer's account, in all 50 states, for the next 365 days, at midnight, every day - without a search warrant - all perfectly legal. If they EVER find a balance greater than the one owed, they will electronically, immediately and automatically remove the monies owed, including bank fees, and their own collection fees ( as permitted by, say, Ohio law ) - thank you very much.

Seems a fair deal, would you say ?

Sincere Apologies, for the length of the post.

HeartRx said...

Mari, it is interesting to note that a male leopard and a female tiger's offspring is called a "Dogla" - it defies all the conventions of the other breeds. I seems that they sometimes mate naturally in the wild, and Indian hunters had already given them the name "Dogla". The scientific name is still "Leoger", according to convention.

Yellowrocks said...

Yay! I thought to post more about the various crosses of cats, but the teacher in me said to whet their appetites and let them have fun exploring.

Anony Mouse, your post about helping a student with the science fair led me to reminisce. I really enjoyed doing that. I helped a student with a project on magnetism. We did several additional experiments by ourselves to develop concepts, discussing how and why magnetism works the way it does. His was the most popular station at the fair. 5th graders love magnets. And my student could give fluent explanations.

Those BLING teeth turn me off! Our supermarket has a young male employee with white discs in his ears almost as large as quarters. He has metal studs all around his mouth. When he outgrows the urge to wear those discs his earlobes will be horribly stretched. As was said before, this kind of thing does not help one to get a good job.

My preview works well and your avatars are back in their usual places.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that in Trinidad and Tobago where there are a substantial number of Blacks/Africans ( brought in as slaves ) and Indians, from India ( brought in as indentured servants, in the 1800's, - a minor difference of semantics - ), the offspring of a Black and an Indian is colloq. called a "doogla". Without any intentions of being racist, merely as an academic exercise, one wonders if the etymological roots of this purported name are similar to those ascribed to the particular cat hybrids.

Also common in British Guyana, Surinam and Jamaica.

Anonymous said...

A Tigeer is a hybrid of a Tiger and a Deer. Unfortunately, it has an annoying (and fatal ) habit of continually gnawing and chewing at its hind legs.

Catigers love to feast on the hands that feed it.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

I was much more on Kazie's wavelength today than Mr. Blais'.

Never heard of Tom, and wondered immediately about COITUS.

WORKER BEE was a setback for a while.

The long fill is quite magnificent.

Circled themes in general leave me cold, and I thought this one was pretty iCEE.


Mari said...

Yellowrocks @ 11:37 am and other former and current teachers:

What do you all think of students using sites like Wikipedia? I read Brittanica has stopped publishing hard copy encyclopedias.

It seems to me kids these days have it easier in terms of research papers and homework.

I'm not complaining though - I often visit Wiki when I'm stuck on a CWP clue. :)

Argyle said...

Please remember to take Wikipedia with a grain of salt.

CrossEyedDave said...


Hands up for ISF, (never knew i had it wrong till i came here.)

Held up inking in 48D because i thought it was "write," i guess the clue could refer to present, or past tense. (But its hard to argue with "Cleo," it's a good thing i do the across first.)

Because of a puzzle a few weeks ago with anagrams, whenever i see circles i expect to do a word jumble.

SE corner took forever because i put BA'S instead of BS'S at first.

Tuttle@10:39 & Spitzboov@11:07
i have no gripe with the clue for 49A because it was worded correctly, but Carrier" really made me want to put "LEX" because it made me think it was Lexington Class Aircraft Carrier.

Really wanted to link a Groucho clip, but there are too many too choose from.

ARBAON said...

Haven`t taught or been in school for a while, but neither I nor my college professors would accept internet reference sources because of what ARGYLE said (they can be wrong, misleading and, in general, ferhoodled!)

eddyB said...


Did the CW while watching the Sharks play last night. Having the circles made is easy.

Some schools in W PA urging students to bring in their own
technology to help in the clasroom.
For years and years, Freshmen at GCC have been given a computer and printer.

Five days of rain forcasted. Winter
is finally here.


Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Kazie, that was funny! And yes, nowadays the sight or sound of the word coitus makes me think of Sheldon.

Pretty much WEES. I expected the letters "SUIT" to be jumbled up in the circles. Actually, at first I expected to find other parts of a three-piece suit, such as COAT, PANTS, etc., because the clue started me off with "vest".

Also loved "Hide from a trapper".

Knew ANDIE MacDowell right away, but not COEN.

I see "TIVOED" has become a verb just as "Google" has. Oh, and "Friend me".

Interesting that 1A and 1D both start with BLI.

Arbaon, in response to your question last night, DW and I are not newlyweds, although we were 46 years ago.

Melissa, I hope your internet connection gets better soon.

Steve said...

Nice puzzle Steve, nice commentary Melissa, hope your tech woes improve!

No circles, no problem, although I do miss going back to see what the theme was if I didn't see it during the solve.

UK 3-piece suits come with a "waistcoat" rather than a vest. Back in my suit-wearing days in London's financial district more full-bodied of our brethren wore them more in the manner of a corset.

@Tinbeni (from yesterday) - I'm not sure it's easy to pronounce "# 34" if you've already sampled 1 thru 33! BTW, My name used to be an a plaque on the wall in a London pub for successfully downing a 20-oz pint of all ten of their ale offerings in a two hour time-limit. That was many years ago, and the pub sadly no longer exists.

Lemonade714 said...

Happy Wednesday All

Back in town after a week of business/pleasure travel. Denver was ridiculously warm for March and Las Vegas was sunny, proving I did not do much gambling, though I did win $175.00 on a penny machine.

The best of the SOFT SHELL are the Maryland Blue Crabs; not my field of expertise.

As always, a pleasure MB.

desper-otto said...

Steve@2:07 -- If my calculations are correct, that averages out to 1-2/3 oz per minute, and that's ale, not lite beer. Impressive!

At my annual physical last month my doctor told me it's harmful to drink more than 3 beers per day. I've been thinking about what he said, and I've decided I'm going to find a different doctor.

Tinbeni said...

What Grumpy1 Said about the circles.
What Yellowrocks Said about SUIT 'in the circles' being in THREE PIECES.

Steve: On St.Pats Day I may over-indulge ... that would be maybe 2 pints in 3 hours. Then wander home for a Pinch of the "good-stuff".
(I doubt I could have finished those ten 20oz. pints in less than 5 days, lol).

A toast to "a-puzzle-without-ICE" at Sunset!

Papa Cass said...

Tuttle@10:39: I think you are getting a little CARRIERed away with the 49A clue. As a misdirection, the clue works extremely well, especially in your case. I'm sure if Steve Blais is reading this blog, he's thinking "gotcha".

Chill, have fun, enjoy.

I too put in INF for 39A, then I remembered what lousy grammarians bankers are and how Tom COITI wasn't a very actorly name and changed it to NSF.

Got to go lay in a supply of Irish whiskey for Saturday.

Happy Wednesday!

Thank goodness the preview is working again! I just used it 3 times and I probably still haven't got it right.

HeartRx said...

Welcome back, Lemonade! All this talk about crabs reminds me of a wonderful dish that I first had in Charleston, S.C. called ”She-crab soup”. It is made with the meat and roe from female blue crabs. I had never tasted anything as silky smooth and satisfying in my life, and have never been able to duplicate the recipe. I think another trip to Charleston is in order…

eddyB said...

Oops! Nike just introduced a "Black
and Tan" shoe in time for St Pattie's Day.

At three bottles/year, the Guinness
that I bought will last two years.

Guess that I will be eating Reubens
for a month, since Jill won't be here.


Grumpy 1 said...

Desper-otto, no need to change doctors, just get one of these mugs. 60oz, three per day, should be about right. In fact you could probably tell your doc that you have cut back to two glasses a day and he'd be really proud of you.

Tinbeni said...

Papa Cass @3:15
Just curious. But when you "lay" in a supply of Irish whiskey ...
1) Do you do that in the Tub?
2) Does your skin get all "wrinkly" after an hour?

Ron Worden:
How about that Lightning 6-1 over Boston last night.
Geez, at 22 Stamkos already has his 3rd 50 goal season.


Avg Joe said...

Steve, that is an impressive feat. And if it was a one price deal, it's not a surprise the pub no longer exists. Too bad you weren't given the plaque when they closed.

D-Otto, I once had a BIL that worked as an equipment operator in highway construction. As construction guys are wont to do, he'd pick up a 6-pack every night on his way home from work...typically a 60-80 mile drive. His bride thought that a bit much, so after a great deal of discussion he promised he'd have no more than two. I don't think he ever mentioned to her that he switched to quarts.

Bill G. said...

EddyB, better drink the Guinness sooner than that or it won't taste very good. Beer is always better when consumed fresh.

Yellowrocks said...

Actually when i commented on the word SUIT being split into 3 pieces I was seconding Grumpy's observation and applauding Steve Blais.

Tinbeni @3:15 ROTFL What a funny picture!

Mari @12:34,when I was studying for my MA degree (rec'd 1991) the professional journal articles were on the Internet.

I think the dilemma today for students and their teachers is to determine which sites are to be trusted and to cross reference between sites to help acertain accuracy. In the old days of print, the libraries to a great extent preselected valuable references. There was much printed junk available, especially outside of libraries. Today students are required to use wise Internet references.

IMHO Wikipedia, although it needs to be taken with a grain of salt, is doing a great job. They indicate which articles need more work. They take down spurious information quickly. Most teachers, including me, don't allow the use of Wiki as a reference, but it can often point us in the direction of further research.
Link text
Link text

fermatprime said...


Nice puzzle,Steve; nice write-up, mb.

Worked it w/o circles. Took a bit longer than the usual Wednesday.

Speaking of Sheldon--I am a relative newcomer to the show. Now I can catch reruns on several channels. The greatest anti-depressant around! Feel sorry for the short actors, though. (I am close to 6 feet.)

BTT (back to taxes).


Nighthawk said...

Nice puzzle.
I, too, did it in AcrossLite, so no circles, but not really a problem.

Did get stumped in two spots, both three letters.
For 50A, confidently slammed in "BAs" so thought 51D, just from the "A" must have been "AISLE", which fit but made no sense. All came to light with the change to "BSs".

But the second was more perplexing.
Shouldn't the clue for 23A refer to the act of being a buttinsky, rather than one who is one? "PRY" makes sense if clued as a verb, but not as a noun. Would have preferred the clue read: "Act a buttinsky"

Or was I just looking too closely?

chin said...

Fun one today. Problem was that the paper was not delivered. After several unpleasant phone calls, I went out and bought a copy at a gas station. Hate it when my morning schedule is screwed up.

Irish Miss said...

Fermatprime @ 4:44-I'm happy to hear you are enjoying The Big Bang Theory. I think I have seen all of the past episodes at least 2-3 times. Sheldon is one of the funniest characters ever created and Jim Parsons was made for the part.

If anyone followed The Killing last year, Season 2 begins on April 1.

Jayce said...

Jim Parsons plays the role of Sheldon to perfection. He is so good that I hope he doesn't get forever typecast, as Leonard Nimoy did as the character Spock. I was surprised to learn the Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy, actually has a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Wow.

PK said...

Not to be political, but when someone refers to Obama as a "black man", it seems inaccurate. I think of him as "hybrid".

Grumpy 1 said...

Nighthawk, I almost fell into the BA's/BS's trap, thinking that BA's are probably more common. But they are both common, so either one fits the clue and I looked at perps to make a choice.

I had no problem with 'Be a Buttinsky'/PRY. To 'be' something, you have to 'do' something. To be a painter, you paint. To be a buttinsky, you butt in or pry.

Susan said...

Glad everyone's getting along today. Yesterday got uncomfortable.

Fun puzzle, great write up. Thanks Steve and Melissa.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, What a fun puzzle today and I, too, hope the Cee was an intentional shoutout to our C.C.
Thanks MB for a great writeup, as usual.

No real problems once I had the suit in for the unifier I went back and filled in the missing letters in the circles and the rest of the answers all fell into place.

I wasn't sure of ADCD, but we've had this before. AMBI was a bit late in coming to me. I was looking for something to go with valence as in curtain. DUH! I still have that bump on my head from the V-8 can once I figured that out.

Re Encyclopedias: We bought a set of Encyclopedias (a little each month until we paid them off) just after we were married. Those books got a LOT of use. I'm sorry to see the hard copies go by the wayside, but I can see why.

What will be next? I really, really like to have a real book in hand. I like the feel, the smell, and the ability to turn the pages as I read.

Have a great evening, everyone.

Chickie said...

The Big Bang Theory is one of our favorite shows. We are watching it for the first time in re-runs, so have a daily fix.

Jayce, We didn't know that Amy, played by Mayim Bialik has a PHD in neuroscience. Thanks for that. Talk about type casting. Couldn't be better. But speaking from experience all scientist are not as eccentric as those depicted on the Big Bang.

We do love Sheldon. The rest of the cast must have a blast working together. They really have a great chemistry.

Lucina said...

Your remark is not necessarily political but likely inaccurate because a hybrid contains two diverse elements. Two human beings are not exactly elements and if they choose to mate their progeny is another human being though genetically slightly different.

Chickie said...

Arabon, From Yesterday. CA is doing ok. She and her hubby are very busy trying to get their "new" old home into working order. New carpet, dishwasher, window screens, etc. All of this takes time, and that is time taken away from commenting on the blog.

I'm on Facebook with her, and see comments from time to time. She is her usual cheery self, and I'm sure will be back on the blog when she finds a minute to herself.

All of this, of course, is in between Dr. appointments for herself and her GAH. Just know that she is hanging in there!

Papa Cass said...

Tin@3:33pm: At times I have been known to "lay" in a little whiskey. I'm not proud of it but it has happened. These days it's more sip, sip, sip.

And a tip of the hat to you sir for your quick wit.


Grumpy 1 said...

I'm not sure if the definitions are still the same as they were taught to me "back in the day", but I think a hybrid is a cross of two species within the same genus. All of the big cats are in the genus felis, but lots of different species, so lots of hybrid possibilities.

Since all humans are in the genus Homo and the only species under homo is sapiens, there can't be a hybrid. Somehow, though, hybrid seems to be a softer word than 'crossbreed' or 'halfbreed' that used to be used. The term 'racially mixed' seems to be the most common now and difficult to argue its accuracy.

Jayce said...

I sure do like this blog, which is to say I sure do like all you contributors.

JD said...

Good evening all,

Love our Wed puzzles, and with Ms Bee "splainin' stuff" it's even better. Just how far out in the boonies are you, Melissa?

Needless to say, I had problems with nsf, cpi, and the crossing of fts/ins.I'm embarrassed over that one.Looked up Conti. Should have filled irae and sine, but let perps help there.Agree that ambi was tricky.

Lots of fun clues. Had no circles, but most always miss the theme.

Have had 2 days of wet, nothing but constant drizzle.Is this Seattle? Whatever, the flowers love it.

eddy, Jill must have been gone for last night's game. :-)

Avg Joe said...

I can't speak for Melissa, but I can address the lack of internet options in the sticks. I'm lucky enough to have a service that's radio technology, but still about as fast as DSL and not much more expensive. Not everyone off the grid has that possibility since it's not widespread. Further, I have no other options besides satellite, which is not really an option at all. Dial up is as good as satellite on the upload, and we all know how awful that is.

windhover said...

PK, et al,
In the breeding of livestock, crossing two distinct "breeds" within the same species often results in an animal with superior characteristics to either of the originals. This is called "hybrid vigor" and possibly could explain the many outstanding traits of our President.

JD said...

just hadn't realized that Melissa had moved that far does present inconveniences , but also gives one the solitude and beauty of nature.

Argyle, I so enjoyed your write up and poem time with toddlers.

Cross eyed Dave @1:24 yesterday..your suggested avatar was a hoot, and I loved every word you said about Barry.

Enjoyed seeing liger today; I didn't realize there were many more strange combinations. I just learned that there used to to be black maned lions living on Table Top Mt. in So. Africa, but are now extinct.

Bill G. said...

It was another pretty day around here. I went down toward the pier on my bike ride and came across an ex-student who is apparently homeless. He sleeps on the beach. I asked him about his sister but he clearly wasn't interested in talking about her. He seemed relatively OK and kinda remembered me as his middle school math teacher. He seemed pleased that I stopped and said hello. The nice weather should disappear this weekend as rain is expected. I'm looking forward to it but I wonder where he sleeps then?

Today is Pi Day, 3/14. My student came upstairs and wished me happy Pi Day. It was exactly 3:14. Coincidence? I think not.

Here's the weekly Animal Tracks slide show on MSNBC.

ARBAON said...

Chickie: Thank you for the update on CA...glad to hear she`s doing OK. Please tell her she is missed.

Does anyone ever hear from Buckeye at the "home?"

Lucky Lurker said...

Windhover: glad to see you back again. I hope the kids are doing well.

Anyone hear from Dodo recently?

Tinbeni said...

Bill G.:
Thank you for the FUN Animal pics!

Well it's the classic Bulls-v-Bears in the NCAA 1st Four.
Don't know how to feel about my USF being up 36-13 over Cal at the half.
(After that comeback last night, by BYU, anything can happen).

But I think the South Florida Bulls deserve a toast and some Cheers!!!

melissa bee said...

good evening all,

thanks for all the usual nice comments. i'm really not that far out, just far enough to require a few adjustments. the only internet connection i get here is by using my phone as a hotspot - which tends to be intermittent - i get dropped sometimes every few minutes and have to stop and reconnect. other times i'll have ininterrupted access for an hour or more.

makes it a little challenging to comment regularly, but i drop in when i can.

dodo said...

Evening all,

I hope I make it before closing time, whatever that is. Nice puzzle today, Steve and thank you, Argyle for your usual fine remarks.

Chickie, I'm so glad to hear about CA; thanks lots. I sent her an email a week or so ago and so far haven't heard from her; haven't checked today's mail yet, tho). I'm always hopeful that no news is good news.

Go, Windhover! Love that shout-out!

I've managed to read today's and yesterday's comments. I'm glad everybody's happier today. Barry G., you always seem to zero in on the same wavelength as I do, and it's nice to be able to WBG. Saves lots of time.

Good to be here. I'll try to make it a little more often.

PK said...

Windhover, thanks for your input on the "hybrid" situation. I agree 100%. We who have bred animals and used hybrid seed in our daily lives have a different perspective from people who have not.

While I was mostly an observer, I certainly have studied the results of breeding practices--in our livestock, pets and even in my relatives. Very interesting subject.

Argyle said...

dodo, thank you but those were melissa bee's fine remarks.