Mar 28, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 Mark Bickham

Theme: A Body of Work - The first word of each theme entry can precede BODY.

18A. *Handycam project : HOME MOVIE. This phrase seems almost quaint in these days of YouTube and cameras on every phone.

23A. *Graduates' burdens : STUDENT LOANS. You're saddled with these even if you don't graduate!

34A. *Marshall Plan subject : FOREIGN AID. Specifically, US financial assistance to Western European countries after the end of World War II.

42A. *Frustrating call response : BUSY SIGNAL. I realize it's been a long time since I heard one of these; even when someone's making a HOME MOVIE on their phone you go to voicemail.

50A. *Cornerback's responsibility : WIDE RECEIVER. Football-speak: The cornerback's job is to break up a deep pass thrown to a wide receiver.

and the unifier:

60A. Physiques, and what the starts of the answers to starred clues are : BODY TYPES.

Steve here with your Wednesday offering from Mark. I needed quite a lot of help from crosses to solve this, and therefore had a lot of learning moments making this a very enjoyable puzzle. I thought I'd eventually run into a natick, but everything worked out in the end. I liked the theme and definitely needed the unifier to tie everything together.


1. Salon chorus : SNIPS. I read "saloon" and wanted "Cheers!" or "NORM!" Not a good start!

6. Modern wall hanging : HDTV

10. Grilling occasions, briefly : BBQS. It won't be long until the weather's good enough for a barbecue. Or bar-b-q. Or a BBQ!

14. White-and-yellow lily : CALLA. Lovely.

15. Requiem Mass hymn word : IRAE. From the Latin phrase "Dies Irae", Judgement Day.

16. Riga resident : LETT. Alternative to "Latvian". I knew this from the novel "One Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich", the inmate who sold tobacco to Ivan is identified as "The Lett" by Solzhenitzyn.

17. Spanish waters : AGUAS. I had a little moment of wondering how "Mediterranean" or "Bay of Biscay" could be squeezed into five letters, then more rational thoughts prevailed.

20. Maritime special ops force member : NAVY SEAL. An acronym from SEa, Air and Land; the US Navy obviously don't like to be pigeonholed regarding their area of operations.

22. Suez Canal locale : EGYPT. "A man, a plan, a canal - Zeus". No, wait, that's wrong.

26. Ames sch. : I.S.U. Graduates of Iowa State University must repay their loans just like anyone else.

27. Mao's gp. : P.L.A. Zedong's People's Liberation Army.

28. "Boardwalk Empire" airer : HBO. The channel is owned by Home Box Office Inc.

31. Picture problem : BLUR. A Steadicam handily takes care of this issue.

38. Vital artery : AORTA.

40. "Let __ Cry": Hootie & the Blowfish hit : HER. A real ear worm even without me posting a link, but this is a wonderful acoustic version from Darius.

41. Word with bald or sea : EAGLE

45. Sounds of disapproval : TSKS. Can sometimes be heard from this blog if the puzzle doesn't seem up to standard. None of these today, at least not from me.

46. LAX calculation : E.T.A. As usual, I need to wait for the cross to decide whether we're estimating the time of arrival or departure.

47. Jeanne d'Arc, e.g.: Abbr. : STE. St. Joan of Arc, en Français

48. Pick, with "for" : OPT. Can you opt against? You can opt in or opt out, so if you can opt for ...

56. Cover : ALIAS

59. React to an unreasonable boss, perhaps : UNIONIZE. I loved this - I had to fill it letter by letter, even when I had ??IONIZE I still didn't see it.

63. Varnish ingredient : RESIN

64. "__ further reflection ..." : UPON

65. Kaneohe Bay locale : OAHU

66. "__ a Letter to My Love": 1980 film : I SENT. Completely unknown to me, which is rather apt as the original French title is "Chère Inconnue", or "Unknown Darling" in my rough translation.

67. Marketing prefix : TELE

68. M.'s counterpart : MLLE. Another head-scratcher for me. I was on a wild "James Bond" goose chase wondering what code name the Russian intelligence service assigned to their chief until the Monsieur/Mademoiselle penny (centime?) dropped.

69. Hauling team : ASSES. I chuckled when I saw that "hauling asses" could describe the speed at which a sprint team runs.


1. Some hospital procedures : SCANS

2. Bedevil : NAG AT

3. Candy heart message : I LUV U. Hands up who rearranged the contents of the tube so that the object of your affections got the "right one" when you offered them around?

4. Be unsportsmanlike : PLAY DIRTY. Boo!

5. Talks back to : SASSES.

6. Drummer's pair of cymbals : HI-HAT. I think it's hyphenated - we have experts here who will confirm or deny.

7. Waggish : DROLL

8. Skye cap : TAM. A slick way of describing the Scottish hat you'd wear on this particular Hebridean isle.

9. Sign of a winner : VEE. Make sure you hold your palm outwards in the UK if you do this, otherwise you might find yourself sending a quite different message.

10. They may involve rants : BLOGS. Never! Well, not here! Well, not that often here! Next!

11. Flock of quail : BEVY. I never knew this specifically referred to quail. Now I do!

12. Aural hygiene item : Q-TIP. Isn't it borderline illegal now to hold a Q-Tip anywhere near your ear?

13. Editor's mark : STET. More Latin, actually - "let it stand".

19. __ à trois : MENAGE. Absolutely no comment; whatever I say will only get me in trouble.

21. Sufficient, in slang : ENUF. Enuf said 'bout 19D.

24. "Lohengrin," for one : OPERA. Even if you think you know nothing about this Wagner work, you know this.

25. "The Louisville Lip" : ALI. My favorite line from the Champ (before the 1965 Floyd Patterson bout) was "I'll beat him so bad he'll need a shoehorn to put his hat on" and I've still absolutely no idea what it means!

28. Fairy tale baddies : HAGS

29. Con : BILK

30. Horace works : ODES. One of the Latin poets we studied in school.

31. Woods denizen? : BABE. I wanted BEAR first, and couldn't shake the idea for quite some time.

32. Ill-mannered sort : LOUT

33. Celestial bear : URSA. Odd, but the BEAR idea for 31D didn't come from here!

35. "Golly!" : OH GEE. I watched "Fargo" a couple of nights ago, and I think "Oh Gee" accounted for about half the dialog.

36. Friend of Stimpson J. Cat : REN. I never knew that "Stimpy" had a full name - now I do!

37. Fop's characteristic : NATTINESS. What a great word! I vow to use "nattiness" in a sentence today.

39. Court statistic : ASSIST. I went down the legal path first, and with ASS??? was wondering if ASSIZES had something to do with the answer. Considering it's "March Madness" basketball time and I've seen most of the games, I had no excuse.

43. "__ be an honor" : IT'D. It would indeed.

44. Sets of points, in math : LOCI. The plural of "locus". I think it's Latin day today; thank goodness for all those Horace poems we had to translate.

49. Illinois county or its seat : PEORIA. This town has made it onto my bucket list of places to visit simply because of crosswords!

50. Revolutionary general known as Mad Anthony : WAYNE. Complete unknown, crosses all the way for me. I now know that Fort Wayne is named for him.

51. Oscar winner Mercedes : RUEHL. All crosses required! Movies aren't my strong suit as you might gather. Maybe I should watch more HBO and less ESPN.

52. Come after : ENSUE

53. Carpentry tools : VISES. I'd never really considered a vise a tool, more part of the workbench.

54. Cybermag : E-ZINE. Have you noticed that an E-MAG is a cyberzine?

55. Lets out : RENTS. Another giggle for me here - should he let out his pants before he rents them bending over?

56. Border on : ABUT.

57. Easy gait : LOPE. Wolves walk like this - with a lupine lope.

58. Hollywood favorite : IDOL

61. Hebrew day : YOM. I know Yom Kippur; I never knew Yom meant "Day". Now I do!

62. Bud : PAL

And that's it. I'm in Arizona today, and took some photographs of an aloe vera plant (that wonderful crossword staple) which I'll post when I get a convenient excuse. I didn't know it was a cactus - now I do!

Note from C.C.:

Here is a great picture of Steve. Don't we have the coolest bloggers here at the Corner, Irish Miss?


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Not much to say about this one. Like Steve, WAYNE and I SENT were complete unknowns to me. The clue for ALI was also completely out of my wheelhouse.

Wasn't thrilled with SCANS the way it was clued. I know they use generic "scanners" on Star Trek, but I don't think they just perform SCANS in a hospital. CT SCANS and MRI SCANS and PET SCANS, yes, but not just SCANS. That's just me being a pedantic nitpicker, though.

Speaking of pedantic nitpickery, I was also surprised to see ASSES clued as a hauling "team." Do ASSES really haul anything in unison (like, say, oxen or sled dogs or horses?) I suppose they do, but I've just never heard of a team of ASSES before. I guess I need to get out (on the farm) more often...

Argyle said...

ASSIST, ASSES, SASSES; I guess Mark isn't a leg man.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Steve and friends. This was a good Wednesday-level puzzle. Getting the unifier helped me with some of the theme clues.

Skye Cap = TAM was my favorite clue.

I was in EGYPT a few years ago and crossed the Suez Canal. No photographs are allowed in the Suez Canal zone, though.

I was amused that Steve's comment to RENTS came right before ABUT.

QOD: By trying we can easily endure adversity. Another man's, I mean. ~ Mark Twain.

Anonymous said...

I got most of the themes and still couldn't figure out the connection until after I got the unifier.

The last theme to fall was "foreign aid", because I had "ah gee" giving me fare ????. (If there was such a thing as fare body, it would be fair body) So changing to "oh gee" I finally figured out "foreign aid".

The last entry was the crossing of Mao's group & ___ a trois (both no idea). Both a and e looked like a good candidate. Finally had to look to see if menage was a word in my French dictionary.

Menage a trois (household for/with three). Does that mean a household of any three people, or a household of three lovers?

Wine Lover said...

Menage a Trois.

Middletown Bomber said...

Great puzzle from mark with an equally good write up from steve.

Being from the main line in PA I knew Mad Anthony was reference to General Wayne. Used to be a pretty nice restaurant and Inn which was named in his honor. it is now run as a community center by Chabad movement. I got the theme with little difficulty my sticking point was the north which came with help from the down clues once most of the puzzle was filled in. Enjoy humpday all.

The Irish Lout said...

Hi Steve - I enjoy your waggish sensa humor first thing in the AM.
Apropos of the Ali quote, I believe he meant that after the bout, Mr. Patterson's head would be all swole up. Guess why.
The other half of "Fargo" dialogue is "you betcha". Gotta love those midwesterners, doncha?
There is a town in E. Pennsylvania near where I grew up named for Crazy Tony, where the local movie theater is still called The Anthony Wayne. Was he the colonial misfit who liked to go in drag?
And finally, is there a relationship between natty clothes and natty dreads?
These vital questions consume me around 3 AM when the mind tends to roam.

desper-otto said...

Happy Wednesday, all.

Well, I WAGGED my way to victory today. YOM and RUEHL were both WAGs, but MLLE seemed logical.

It's almost always warm enough for a BBQ where I live. In fact, we seldom have them between Easter and Labor Day because it's too warm.

Never encountered NATTINESS before. Natty, yes, nattiness, no. I prefer naughtiness. Therefore, I really liked the hauling asses "end" to the puzzle.

Tinbeni said...

Steve: Nice (not french) write-up & links.

Five themes & a unifier. Quite a "BODY-of-work" and a FUN Wednesday. Thanks Mark.

Fave today? MENAGE à trois. IT'D be my fave probably everyday. (OH, GEE, the days of my youth).
Can't wait to see what Lois has to say about this. lol

A toast to y'all at Sunset!

HeartRx said...

Good morning Steve, C.C. et al.

Thanks for the fun write-up, Steve. I chuckled at your witty comments all the way through it. But the classic was at 55D. I nearly rent a gut laughing at that one! (Great photo, BTW!)

I wasn't familiar with the song "Let HER Cry" or the movie "I SENT a Letter to My Love", so both of those had to be WAGs.

Mercedes RUEHL should have been familiar, but I couldn't remember her name. She won the Oscar for "The Fisher King", but when I looked her up, I recognized her face as the station manager for a short time on "Frasier". Here is Kelsey Grammer commenting on some clips from the show. 4:24 (The first 1:51 is about Mercedes).

Happy hump day, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Is Steve Irish?

Mari said...

Good morning everybody! Nice Wednesday puzzle.

I loved the clues for 6A: Modern Wall Hanging: HDTV, and 55D: Lets Out: RENTS. I originally tried VENTS instead of RENTS. I also tried ALIBI instead of ALIAS for 56A: Cover.
Didn't know Wayne or Ruehl.

Enjoyed seeing ABUT and ASSES.

kazie said...

I did OK apart from not knowing WAYNE, or RUEHL (recognize her face but not the name) and not cottoning onto MLLE (if the clue had said équivalente instead of counterpart, I'd have been set).

My other problems were wanting ALIBI for ALIAS and reading the unheard of cornerback as comeback. So I spent a lot of time wondering if it was a wise ass remark or what Tiger Woods seems to be doing now, and either way what their responsibility was. Then perps filled it in. Got the theme as soon as the unifier appeared.

I enjoyed the comments and musical link. thanks.

Fair difficulty for a Wednesday, straightforward theme and interesting fill!

Mari said...

Wine Lover at 7:03 am:

My employer blocks such "scandalous" websites as FaceBook and You Tube, but I was able to click right into your link!

Splynter said...

Hi There ~!

Well done, Steve, liked your wit today.

Have to admit, I did not get my "Ta-Da", and so I needed red letters - Had renDs/senDs, and Elle, not Mlle....oh well...YOE??? I am not "Yiddish" (just Yidding...)

Menage A Trois, Asses and Wide Receiver? I'll leave it to lois~!


Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Thanks for the comments, Steve. Great picture.

ASSES and SASSES. Not bad for a Hump day. And the theme with all the torsi modifiers. Great stuff. But ENUF already. I was struck by quite a few clever clues; for SNIPS, TAM, BABE, HD TV,. and RENTS. WAYNE was a gimme. Only hiccup was RUEHL. NATTINESS made sense here, but I don't think it is used very often.

Enjoy the day.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Mark Bickham, for a very good Wednesday puzzle. Enjoyed it. Thank you, Steve, for the swell review. Enjoyed it too.

Got started in the NE this time. All those were pretty easy. Worked my way back West. AGUAS and SASSES helped me get started there.

All the theme answers came easily. Just needed a couple perps letters to confirm.

50D WAYNE was a piece of cake. Half of the General's body is buried in my home town, Erie, PA. The Wayne Blockhouse is still a tourist attraction on Presque Isle at Erie. The other half of his body is near Philadelphia. I think a relative of his wanted the body exhumed and taken to Philly. The powers to be arrived at an agreement to move half and leave half in Erie.

49D PEORIA was easy. Been there a hundred times.

See you tomorrow.


Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning and Happy Humpday to all. Thanks for all the chuckles, Steve.

This was mostly an easy solve, but I did get hung up in two places. I had PRA/ARI (I knew it was wrong, but was thinking of PRC. I finally figured out who the Louisville Lip was and made that change.

Like Steve, I wandered off into James Bond land and sat here looking at YO_ and RUEH_ crossing _L_E. I recalled that YOM Kippur was Day of Atonement and the rest dropped into place.

I tried Menage a Trois merlot at a wine tasting last week. Yuck!

NW George, 'Fare body' would be the group that sets the rates for taxis, wouldn't it?

Love you comment, Argyle.

kazie said...

Here's something interesting: the last US census map. Interesting to see how different certain areas are by population numbers and race. What you will see is a map of the US - all of the 50 states. Territories are not in the census--but they did provide information during this process.

You can go by county and as you zoom in by city to see the increase or decrease and then you can see the changes of the various races within these cities.

Use your cursor to move map around and you can zoom in on specific counties to get current stats. Just glide your cursor over the map and it displays every county. Don't forget to look at Hawaii!

desper-otto said...

Abejo@8:58 -- I guess when someone refers to Wayne's "better half" they mean it literally. So did Erie or Philly get the ascend?

Grumpy 1 said...

Interesting site, Kazi. Twenty years ago we had to have a file cabinet full of census maps and data books in order to prepare applications for broadcast facilities. Now the information is a mouse click away.

Husker Gary said...


-BBQ/QTIPS crossing was my entry
-My neighbor’s daughter has a BA/RN degree, a job and $150,000 of STUDENT LOAN debt.
-I’m not sure any amount of FOREIGN AID will make Afghans, Egyptians, etc love us. George Marshall’s Plan after WW II saved Europe and probably prevented the rise of another Hitler
-Hank Haney’s book about Tiger Woods said Tiger was obsessed with NAVY SEALS
-Have you seen the live Eagle Cam from the nest in Decorah, IA ()
-PLAY DIRTY has decimated the New Orleans Saints after the bounty scandal. e.g. $10,000 to the man who knocked Bret Favre out of a game.
-Boxing needs another ALI to flourish. I really don’t care.
-Teacher dress today is far from NATTY. An issue? Not really.
-North Carolina lost their point guard and without his ASSISTS, the Tarheels went down
-I went to WAYNE State College in the town named for Mad Anthony

chin said...

Just for the record, a BBQ is not a cookout. It is a dish or type of cuisine. You do not cook on a BBQ but you can prepare BBQ on a grill.

And since I am being an ass about this, I don't think I have ever seen a team of asses, at least not the beast of burden type. Now, in the political arena, we can find many such teams.

Avg Joe said...

I'm not sure if I've ever seen or heard a reference to a team of asses either, but it doesn't seem too much a stretch. After all, yesterday we heard of 20 mule team Borax. They're related and both have a reputation for stubbornness. If mules can pull as a team, why not donkeys.

dmacd said...

I, too, thought the answer to "Woods denizen," BABE, referred to Tiger, and I thought....pretty gutsy! Then I got it.

Anonymous said...

Link team of asses

desper-otto said...

That's a very interesting map, Kazie. Thanks for posting it.

kazie said...

I think someone posted the eagle webcam link sometime last year or even earlier. It's interesting when they're in the nest, but like watching paint dry when they're away.

Glad people are liking the map. An easy way to get population numbers for different states or cities we might be curious about.

Irish Miss said...

Good morning all:

Great puzzle, Mark, and nice write-up, Steve. CC, thanks for posting the picture of Steve in his Fighting Irish shirt. It made me smile which is quite an achievement after a sleep-less night of coughing so much my ribs are sore. My eye is still watering like mad; in fact, it was glued shut this morning. I think a trip back to bed is called for. Misty, this is the fifth day of this monster cold and I see no let- up in sight.

Happy Wednesday all.

Qli said...

I had two favorites today: TAM and BABE. Hand up for thinking of M in the James Bond movies (and didn't Dame Judi Dench do a great job as M?)

Abejo, interesting fact about Wayne being buried in two places at once. Gross, but interesting.

We like the Menage a Trois red at our house, and can find it on sale, so it's all good. Not too dry and not too sweet.

Grumpy 1 said...

Chin @9:48, LOL at your take on a team of asses. Yep! There are lots of them around, single ones, teams and packs.

I guess you are correct about BBQ, but that is one of those words that has evolved to include the act as well as the food. "I'm going to a BBQ tonight" is commonly accepted although it probably should be "I'm going to a cookout where BBQ will be served". For better or worse, the language continues too evolve.

Anonymous said...

Team of Asses

Spitzboov said...

BBQ - At the Out back, they call it the barbie.

Misty said...

Well, this was no speed run for me, for sure, but in the end I got it all without cheating--very satisfying. So thanks, Mark, for all the clever clueing. And to you too, Steve (great pic)for the entertaining write-up.

HeartRx, thanks for explaining Mercedes Ruehl's Oscar win. Can't remember if I ever saw "The Fisher King." Is it an oldie, or more recent? Like Mari 8:43, I had VENTS instead of RENTS until I figured few non-Russian words end in 'vev.'

So sorry that the cold, with watery eyes, rages on, Irish Miss. Take good care of yourself. And how's your back, Fermatprime?

Since this Wednesday began with no snarking on the blog, I predict it's going to be a great one!

Husker Gary said...

-Thanks Kazie. I laid out last week and did not realize it had been posted. There is an eagle’s nest on the Kennedy Space Tour as well and it has been continuously occupied for decades. It is located 4 miles from the launch sites.
-We have had a BBQ many times at our house too, Grumpy, and think of it as an event as much as a dish just as yesterday I have worked with many PARAS in school and have never used or seldom heard the full word.
- There is a rap singer named Nikki Ménage (name expropriated and not on her birth certificate). Google if you are interested.
-Oops, more kids coming into the room on this sub day.

Lucina said...

Hello, puzzle people. Great job, Steve, and welcome to Arizona!

WEES. Though I'm late today I feel so good after a full night's sleep.

Sashayed through Mark's CW with amusement as I could hear the SNIPS in the salon and the ASSES bray!

Last night on my drive to class I smelled BBQ along the way.

Funny how some history lessons stick and so Mad Anthony WAYNE slid right out. PEORIA has a sister city here in AZ so that was a given.

I would guess that someone in a MENAGE a trois is no STE and no BABE in the woods. How many MLLEs would be involved? Just asking. Maybe a BEVY?

Wonderful puzzle, Mark, thank you.

Have a glorious Wednesday, everyone!

Ron Worden said...

Good afternoon to all and happy hump day. Great write-up Steve and hands up for Mark on a good puzzle. I also had BBQ and QTIP as a starting point but then the bottom half came and 50A and the unifier. The NE corner was last to fall. Wide-body together with haul ass struck a haha for me as an old joke about hauling ass would take him two trips. Have a great day to all maybe I'll have a natty light. RJW.

Lucina said...

That is a really interesting map. Here in Arizona we gained two more members of Congress and it's easy to see why.

HeartRx said...

Misty @ 11:23, "The Fisher King" came out in 1991, and starred Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams and Adam Bryant. Mercedes Ruehl won for best supporting actress.

It's a little hard to watch at times, but it gave very gritty portrayals of helplessness and desperation, sprinkled with some very funny humor.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Yard work calls so this will be brief. Good theme. Definitely needed the unifier. Trouble all over the place - DNF.

YOM-MLLE goes beyond a Natick. A foreign word crossing an abbrv of a foreign word is not FOREIGN AID, and should be banned for ever. M's counterpart? Who is the head of SMERSH? Plus, crossing RUEHL?!?

A chorus of SNIPS? Really?

Argyle - Don't forget ABUT.

I do like a BABE in the woods.

Toledo has a main thoroughfare named for Mad Anthony WAYNE. I prefer this guythis guy.

Time for a MENAGE a trois with the weed-whacker and some tall grass.


Rube said...

The ALI/PLA cross got me... couldn't remember either one and had to cheat for my first Wednesday DNF in a long time. Still, a very enjoyable puzzle.

Somebody has to comment that what many people call BBQ is actually grilling. Traditional BBQ requires long slow cooking at reduced temperature, usually involving a specialty wood such as mesquite. That being said, Wikipedia notes that barbecue can be a noun, verb, or adjective. And, yes, it has evolved into being used to describe grilling... but not for us nit picking pedants.

CrossEyedDave said...

Fun puzzle, some look ups, but i have to declare a DNF because ALI/PLA was a natick to me. I had P blank A and was running thru the alphabet, and the thought of Mao Tse Tung on the PTA, or the PGA was too funny, so i left it PGA.

a sign of Spring.

eddyB said...


SJ at Anaheim tonight. In hockey, assists count the same as goals.

Brian in a two day tourny at Poppy Hills. Said that he just missed an
eagle putt on a par 5.

Jill home tonight. Must remember to be quiet at 2 PM.

I'm in bed with the nasty cold. No
rain again untill Sat.


Steve said...

@Anon 8:27AM - yes, my family are from Carrickmacross in Co. Monaghan.

@Irish Miss - my Fighting Irish shirt has traveled all over the world - that picture was taken in Auckland, New Zealand, it's looking a little the worse for wear now. Get well soon!

Papa Cass said...

Funny thing about ASSES:

They can haul or be hauled.
You can ride one or deride one.
You can see one, be one, or even be half one.
Saints have sat ton them, but if you sit on yours you're anything but a saint.

And that's the funny thing about ASSES.

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone

Great write up Steve. Needed it as this was – even though a Wednesday – a DNF for me.

I think someone has to say that most of us think of MENAGE a trois as a sexual arrangement, not a wine.


PK said...

Waded through this one. Thanks, Steve, for the witty help. RECEIVER two days in a row and I missed both.

I only had a coVY of quails in my backyard. As a former seamstress I had "alter" for let out. ASSets have to be listed for the court in estates and divorces. "Wrote" a letter.

Did get HIHAT. Had a trap set in my parlor when my son was in high school. Don't know if it was hyphenated. Never wrote it, just heard it. Boy, did I hear it!

Kazi: Interesting map. Thanks.

Otto: Your new avatar looks ready to peck those anon worms or ear worms, whichever BEDEVIL you.

Why don't they let you photograph the Suez canal?

eddyB said...

Meant 2AM.
Decorah eggs should hatch any day now. eagles


Anonymous said...

right on!!!

Anonymous said...

Thought today was a difficult puzzle for a hump day. Seemed like a thursday or even a friday without "?" or "in a way" clues. Seems like we skipped aTuesday puzzle. Noticed "resin" has been used a lot lately, Oahu too. Liked STE and Ezine. A friend of mine wants to get one of those small computers you can read books on. What are they called? Are they popular? ...cheers.....gmony

Abejo said...


Of course, Erie got choice portions.


Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I did manage to finish today's puzzle but with some lookups in my CW dictionary.

Mercedes Ruehl was an unknown. The only Oscar winning Mercedes I could think of was Mercedes McCambridge, but her name was way too long to fit into the space alloted.

Skye Cap was clever. My favorite clue today. I had rant before rent, so that SE corner was the last to fall.

Thanks Steve for your clever writeup today.

Is it just me or has the format for the comments section changed yet again? I haven't been on the blog too much lately and I was surprised with the new configuration.

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone.

Anonymous said...

The masses are ASSES, except on this blog.

Lucina said...

Mercedes McCambridge was my first thought, too. A blast from the past!

Bill G. said...

Good puzzle as usual around here. Thanks Steve.

OK, I was just kidding around yesterday. Now I'm serious. Half-a-billion! I will be able to do my share to cut into our national debt with plenty left over to share with my kids and online friends.

Marge said...

Hi all,
I only got 1/3 in the .Then I ran out of time and brain power.

Kazie,Thanks for the census map. I
bookmarked it.

Have a good evening all.

mtnest995 said...

Bill G - as I told my DH this morning, "the bad news is we didn't win. The good new is, nobody else did either.". Gearing up for Friday - and yes, I'll be willing to share.

LA CW Addict said...

56A almost stumped me as I had Alibi instead of alias. Had to figure out what a _BYNE was (50D) and was beginning to worry. Once Wide Receiver fell, I realized my error with ASSIST - was looking for a legal term like most of you.

All in all, this was an intriguing and enjoyable puzzle.

Could someone please explain Natick to me? I tried googling it, but did not receive a satisfactory explanation.

Have a great evening all!

Argyle said...

Basically, it's two words you are unlikely to know, crossing each other.

Grumpy 1 said...

All of this talk about BBQ led me to take my LW out to Texas Tony's BBQ. I had the smoked brisket, corn on the cob and baked beans, my wife had a half rack of baby back ribs, cole slaw and corn. The house wine was Two for one and generous pours. Merlot for me, Pinot Grigio for her. Everything was delicious... now i'm ready for a nap.

GarlicGal said...

I also thought of Mercedes Mc
Cambridge first, but them remember Mercedes Ruehl. She was also in a little known movie "Rosanna's Grave", filmed around the late '90's. Bittersweet, very enjoyable.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. Getting here late today; was werkin'. WEES. Enjoyed the puzzle but came *that close* to not finishing, due to the MLLE and YOM cross. I wanted ELLE, thinking of the magazine, not knowing if there is or was a magazine called "M". I shoulda known YOM, though. Best wishes to you all.

Bill G. said...

MT, how many tickets are you going to buy? I got one ticket with numbers I picked and nine more Quick Picks. I never even come close. It's unusual for me to get even two numbers on a ticket. But it's fun to contemplate.

Grumpy: Geez I wish I'd a been there too. Ribs, brisket, yum. High on my list. Not quite as high as prime rib though.

JD said...

Good evening Steve, C.C. et al,

Would have never grocked the theme, Steve, without your witty write up.Oddly, I sailed through much (but not enough) of this CW to feel Ok. My last fill was Ali, and had to look that up because I sure didn't know P.L.A. Never thought of snips-cute- so I had help from perps to fill i.s.u., mlle, ren and irae(tsk).

Steve, great picture.
Kazie, interesting map.

Dozens of blooming Calla lilies line my fence waiting for Easter.

witty, witty Lucina! Dost thou think perhaps The Middle Sister is the Trois?

gauche gaucho said...

Iris Miss: I`ve alway heard that a cold lasts 7 days if you go to the Dr. and a week if you don`t!

To open another can of worms, BBQ sauce varies drastically from area to area. I`ve had sauce "up nawth" that was nothing but vinegar and black pepper, sauce in the south with tomato, without tomato, with brown sugar or with molasses, with red pepper and without, meat rubbed with a mix of dry spices and then charcoaled and meat grilled, then sauce painted on and left on the grill for the sauce to"set."

And as Lois is wont to say, "It`s all good!"

mtnest995 said...

Bill G - bought $10 worth - 5 with numbers we've played forever and 5 picked by DH's cell phone. Matched 2 numbers on one line and several random ones - sigh. Best of luck on Fri.

Btw, really enjoyed the CWP - basically WEES, but I was pleased to finally finish with no lookups. Seemed tuff for a Wednesday.

HUTCH said...

Menage a trois is a French phrase which can also be applied to the WW11 expression--"Oh! Lucky Pierre! He's always in the middle!"

Lucina said...

I hope you post pics of your calla lilies. They sound beautiful.

Well, apparently there are times when three isn't a crowd.