Apr 22, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012 John Lampkin

Theme: "Hiss Story" - Snake puns. One word in each common phrase is replaced by a sound-alike snake name. Snake crawling paths are symbolized by consecutive black squares in the middle of the grid (I think).

24A. Healthy, happy newborn snake? : BOUNCING BABY BOA. Bouncy baby boy. This clue brought a big smile.

38A. Wild and crazy snake? : PARTY MAMBA. Party member. Fun clue also.

59A. Schmoozing snake? : SOCIAL ADDER. Social ladder. A consonant is added.

84A. Dashing young snake? : RACER BLADE. Razor blade. Not familiar with racer snake.

99A. Snake in the glass? : WINDSHIELD VIPER. Windshield wiper.

3D. Poolside snake's shedding spot? : COBRA CABANA. Copacabana.

62D. Run-of-the-mill snake? : ASP PER USUAL. As per usual.

40D. Classic Belushi comedy, or an apt description of this puzzle's grid? : ANIMAL HOUSE. Too broad a term. It's not really needed for this theme. I wonder if this entry came up at John's filling process.

100D. Warning from the critters that appear to be slithering through the grid? : SSS. Remember Marti's snake puzzle?

Can you tell John's playful personality by his theme clues? Outstanding!

You'll also notice that there are two long Down fill of the same letter count as the paralleled theme entries:

2D. Essential self : INNER SPIRIT

63D. The Information Age : INTERNET ERA

Constructors/editor try to avoid that for fear that solvers will be confused by what the real theme entries are. Two reasons for their existence today:

1) Theme answers all have question marks in the grid and all have "snake" in them;

2) Already 80 black squares in the grid. You don't want to go over that.

How about you point out John's distinctive clechos (clue echos) to me for a change?


1. Potato press : RICER.. I like potatoes stir-fried, with a splash of vinegar.

6. Point the finger at : ACCUSE

12. Endure : LAST

16. Local govt. unit : TWP (Township)

19. Jumper cable connection point : ANODE

20. Small bite : MORSEL

21. Sea lion predator : ORCA. What's the lifespan of orcas?

22. Calder Cup org. : AHL (American Hockey League). Minor league.

23. Out of favor : IN BAD. Can you make a sentence for me?

27. Amen prompter : SERMON

29. Future J.D.'s hurdle : LSAT. Shout out to my favorite JD.

30. Aircraft pioneer Sikorsky : IGOR

31. Shepard in space : ALAN

32. Roth investments : IRAs

33. Polish prose : EDIT

35. Persian Gulf leader : EMIR

36. Great Smokies st. : TENN

37. Foreign policy gp. : NSC (National Security Council). I used to think those Secret Service guys were rather cool.

41. Giggle : TEHEE

42. Taster's sense of taste : PALATE

44. Pro foe : ANTI

45. Made a profit on, perhaps : RESOLD

46. Put the __ on: quash : KIBOSH

47. NFL analyst Collinsworth : CRIS. His face looks familiar.

48. Moral misstep : SIN. For Dennis, who knows how to sin backward. He was once innocent, PK!

49. West Bank initials : PLO

50. Kneeling figure, in art : ORANT. Like this. I learned from doing Xword.

51. Injure gravely : MAIM

52. McDonald's arches, e.g. : LOGO

53. A word from P.M. Roget : SYN. Roget's Thesaurus.

54. Fragrant wood : PINE

55. Miraculous food : MANNA

56. Sun-withered tea : OOLONG. Literally "black dragon" in Chinese. Long = Dragon. Oo (Wu in Mandarin) = Black.

58. Critic's bestowal : STAR

61. Transportation option : RAIL

65. Pipsqueak : SQUIRT

67. Takes cover : HIDES

68. Ain't put right? : ISN'T. Right!

69. Conk on the head : BOP

72. Poi ingredient : TARO. Freshly baked taros is quite tasty. Similar to the texture of potatoes.

73. Deposits in 52-Down : ORES. 52D. Mineral-laden deposits : LODES

74. Barren : EMPTY

75. Top gun : ACE

76. "Now __ seen everything!" : I'VE

77. Sierra Club founder : MUIR (John)

78. Self-conscious smile : SIMPER. New word to me.

79. Delaware Valley tribe : LENAPE. Also new to me. Wiki said they're also called Delaware Indians.

81. 1998 Literature Nobelist Saramago : JOSE. Portuguese. Has anyone read his books?

82. Ship's treasurer : PURSER. Gimme for Spitzboov, eddyB & D-Otto. Never heard of it before.

83. Dens : LAIRS

87. Some OR staff : RNs

89. No longer fooled by : ONTO

90. Bumps hard : RAMS

91. Seemingly forever : EONS

92. Tune two croon : DUET. Who's your favorite duet of all time?

93. Jumpy critter : FLEA

94. "Cheerio!" : TA TA

95. What there oughta be : A LAW

97. Full of vitality : YEASTY

103. Peasant's porridge : GRUEL. Millet gruel is comfort food to me.

104. Siesta time: Abbr. : AFT

105. Beachfront property? : SAND. Fun clue.

106. "Sexy!" : OO LA LA. For you, Splynter.

107. Driving hazard : GLARE

108. Kisses, in letters : X'ES

109. Charon's waterway : STYX

110. Woven fabrics : TWILLS

111. Soup partner : SALAD


1. Trail mix tidbit : RAISIN. Reminds me of Steve J. St. John's RAISIN D'ETRE puzzle two weeks ago.

4. Red-coated cheeses : EDAMS

5. Update, in a way : RE-DO

6. Embassy VIP : AMB (Ambassador)

7. "Enough already!" : COOL IT. And 47. "Enough already!" : CAN IT!

8. Like a curmudgeon : CRUSTY

9. Middies' sch. : USNA. I used to think most Seals attended USNA. The Dummy set me straight.

10. Shakers, but not movers : SECT

11. Quarterback Manning : ELI.

12. Robert of "Prizzi's Honor" : LOGGIA. Stranger to me.

13. Shaded area : ARBOR

14. Surgery memento : SCAR

15. Bar account : TAB

16. Makes the rounds at an affair : TABLE HOPS. I was thinking of love affairs.

17. Sportscaster Keith Jackson's catchphrase : WHOA, NELLY! Thought it's spelled as "Whoa, Nellie!"

18. Anticipated : PLANNED ON

25. Radiant auras : NIMBI. Aurae might be a better clue. Yes?

26. "Bullitt" director : YATES (Peter)

28. Below, quaintly : 'NEATH

34. Dr. with Grammys : DRE

35. "Nurse Jackie" extras, briefly : EMTs

38. Over and done with : PAST. LaLaLinda's "good old days" Yaz post moved me greatly. Then LA CW Addict's subsequent comforting post to Linda just teared me up. Here is part of what he said: "..I did not know about this blog at the time. If I had, I thought, how nice it would have been to stop in and see Dad on my way home from work, so that we could have shared so many of the music clips and movie out-takes provided by you kind folks..."

39. Yacht basin : MARINA

41. Part of a dovetail joint : TENON. Fits into a mortise.

43. They keep to themselves : LONERS

45. Strictness : RIGOR

46. Keystone cutups : KOPs

48. Cobbler's inventory : SOLES

51. Computer shortcut : MACRO

55. Wavy fabric pattern : MOIRE. See this pattern.

56. Harder to explain : ODDER

57. "__ Fairy Tales" : GRIMMS'

59. Smooth-tongued : SUAVE. I recently listened to a John Barry ("James Bond" composer) interview. Man, was he smooth-tongued.

60. Less stuffy : AIRIER

64. Roughly six trillion mi. : LTYR (Light-year)

66. Small swabs : Q-TIPS

69. Everything, informally : BALL OF WAX. Great entry.

70. Marine flora and fauna : OCEAN LIFE

71. Hair shirt wearers : PENITENTS. What's a "hair shirt"?

74. Dún Laoghaire's land : EIRE

77. Comfy slip-ons : MOCs

78. Full of bubbles : SUDSY

80. "We're on __ to nowhere": Talking Heads lyric : A ROAD

81. Malcolm-__ Warner of "The Cosby Show" : JAMAL

82. Camera move : PAN

84. Hard-core, filmwise : RATED-X

85. "Little help here, bud?" : BE A PAL

86. Poet Amy : LOWELL. Oh, how I miss Clear Ayes!

88. Done at the salon : STYLED

90. Hardly fair : RAINY. Rainy and cold here. But I think my peas and cucumbers planted in March survived.

92. Alfalfa's heartthrob : DARLA. "Our Gang".

94. Pointer's word : THAT

95. Assert : AVOW

96. Taylor of "Six Feet Under" : LILI

98. Breakfast fare : EGGS

101. Web address part : DOT. Hi there, Dot!

102. Dorm figs. : RAs. Our dorms were guarded by an old couple who would not allow any boys in after 11:00pm.

Answer grid.

John Lampkin met with Annette and Lemonade during his Florida nature talk last month. Here is a beautiful picture of Annette & Lemonade. Gorgeous shirt, Annette! Here is a fun picture of Lemonade & John.



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I love me a good pun, and this puzzle had plenty of them. Not everything worked for me, however. I couldn't figure out what the underlying phrase was supposed to be for PARTY MAMBA (I thought it was supposed to be "party mama," which seemed awfully lame). "Member" makes much more sense, but it's not quite as punny.

Also, as with C.C., I wasn't familiar with the RACER snake, so that pun didn't quite work for me, either.

All the rest were gems, though!

Elsewhere in the grid, I got a bit tripped up after entering BURSAR [defined as "an officer (as of a monastery or college) in charge of funds] instead of PURSER at 82A, and that took awhile to fix. Also, the crossing of JOSE with JAMAL was potentially thorny, but fortunately I knew JAMAL.

Still hate to see TWP, but at least I'm used to it ("enured") by now.

Oh -- and a hair shirt is literally a shirt made of rough animal hair. It's very itchy and uncomfortable and was traditionally (as well as metaphorically) worn by people who wanted to publicly show just how sorry and penitent they were.

HeartRx said...

Happy Earth Day C.C. et al.

Very observant to pick up on the snake shapes slithering through the grid, C.C. ! I wondered about IN BAD, too. I could see if it was clued as a partial, like “He negotiated ___ faith.”

I really loved this puzzle, because John does puns so well. My favorite had to be COBRA CABANA. Both the clue and answer were outstanding, because I can just picture a snake slipping into the cabana to “shed his skin” before a dip in the pool.

I loved the clechos for COOL IT and CAN IT and “Tune two croon” for DUET. (I’ll come back later with my favorite on after I’ve had my coffee!)

Barry G., I had the same hiccup with the JOSE/JAMAL crossing. But I remembered JOSE !

Go plant a tree today, and make it a great one (day, not tree).

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, C.C. and friends. Interesting puzzle, but I didn't really see how ANIMAL HOUSE fit into the theme.

We went to Talking Heads concert once.

IN BAD didn't really work for me, either.

Yesterday marked the 174th anniversary of the birthday of John MUIR. Were there celebrations in California?

QOD: Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists. ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

Argyle said...

John got me with P.M. Roget. I was looking for a Prime Minister Roget instead of Peter Mark Roget.

And speaking out thesauri, the only connection of "out of favor" and "in bad" I found, came from Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward.

desper-otto said...

Good morning, weekend warriors.

I couldn't believe it. After entering RICER at 1A I immediately went to 3D, and the first thing that popped into my head was COBRA CABANA.

Like Barry, MAMBA/MEMBER didn't ring any bells. I, too, thought of PARTY MAMMA.

CC, military ships don't have PURSERs. You'd find them on ocean liners, cruise ships, etc. I believe PAN AM used to call their senior flight attendant the Purser, as well.

I still have a nit to pick with the "part of a dovetail joint." Dovetail joints have pins and tails. The photo you linked, CC, is a good example of a mortise and tenon joint, but it's not a dovetail joint.

So far as INBAD is concerned, I think it's something like, "He's in bad with his mother-in-law." (Be sure to pronounce the 'a' clearly!)

I found the top pretty easy, and the bottom GRUELing. My REPENTERS became PENITENTS and my TWEEDS turned into TWILLS. It's not an INTERNET AGE but an ERA. But in the end everything worked out OK.

emjay said...

Happy Earth Day everyone!
I agree - animal house was a stretch and actually not really needed as a
theme clue. All in all great puzzle, though.
I had "bries" for 4 down and that slowed me down a bit.
Favorite duet: Andrea Bocelli with anyone, especially John Miles in "Miserere."

Irish Miss said...

Good morning all:

Hats off to Mr. Lampkin for a fun but tough (for me) Sunday offering and to CC for a great write-up.

I went astray early on with tweeds for twills and bursar for purser.

Happy Sunday.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Outstanding batch of puns today, well done John!

I'm with Marti, COBRA CABANA tops the list.

Hand up for thinking Prime Minister Roget.

As for duets, I'm going to have to ponder that one. I can come up with plenty of trios - the Beatles, for one, where vocals are concerned - but duets narrow the field a bit. The Natalie Cole remix of "Incredible", which blends Nat King Cole's original vocal, is good but not an all time favorite. Hmmm...

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Thanks, C.C. for the comments.

A reasonably easy puzzle for a Sunday. Interesting theme with all the snake terms in the theme. No real difficult areas; unknowns like WHOA NELLY were easily gotten from the perps. Liked KIBOSH. PURSERS are found on merchant ships and passenger liners. The Royal Navy ceased their use per se about 1850. The closest job we had to a purser on a destroyer is the Supply Officer who had other duties involving logistics, as well as payroll and ship's store. The Navy did not use the word 'purser' to my knowledge.

Off to Syracuse to attend a memorial service for a friend's child. Sad.

Husker Gary said...

I had to follow a serpentine path to get this one and learned NIMBI, LENAPE and ORANT (well, saw for the first time, learned may be stretching it a little). C.C., I laughed out loud at BOUNCING BABY BOA! All that and SSS in the grid pattern? Wow! Animal House to describe grid?

-If it’s a 3 letter sports cup I don’t know, pretty sure it’s hockey
-Alan hit a nice 6 iron on the Moon!
-Heads at GSA and Secret Service are gonna roll!
-TEHEE, where is that other pesky E?
-Sun tea used to be a fad here but not so much now.
-Here in tornado alley, we are told to TAKE COVER several times a year
-We had POI on paper plates at our cut-rate luau in Honolulu
-Fav duet, Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley
-Pluto (former planet) is named for the god of the underworld and its teeny moon is CHARON
-Keith Jackson called Husker fans the best football fans in the country
-Question 1, RESOLD cluing reminds me of a great movie line, “Oh this is a PROFIT deal!” Name that movie.
-Question 2, what famous song has the lyric, “A SIMPERING, whimpering child again”
-Question 3, who was the most famous PURSER in a TV sitcom?
-Question 4 – what recent blockbuster movie had a penitent wearing a cilice instead of a hair shirt? Ouch!

Irish Miss said...

HuskerGary @9:51-The answer to question #2 is Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered. Yes?

HeartRx said...

Dudley @ 9:33, you nailed it for me, thank you! I remember seeing Natalie Cole doing a virtual duet singing with her
late father. It was very moving, and one of my all-time favorites.

Husker G., the answer to number 3 has to be Gopher on “The Love Boat”?

Lucina said...

Greetings puzzlers and happy Earth Day! Nice review, C.C.

OOLALA!! What a great puzzle from J. L. I love the puns! And hands up for COBRACABANA (Copa Cabana) as the best with SOCIAL ADDER a close second. But really all are just superb puns.

I think I might be IN BAD with my group because the original date of our lunch was April 15th.

And shouldn't an ORANT by definition be kneeling? PENITENTS were not always the only hair shirt wearers. Mystics and saints (Catholic) also wore them to atone for their own and others sins.

Best cluing, beachfront property, SAND and shakers but not movers, SECT.

I was sorry that RATTLE snakes and DIAMONDBACKS didn't make the cut.

Surely a BOUNCING BABY BOA needs a rattler! And a Diamondback would deliver the ASP from mediocrity.

thanks so much, John Lampkin for today's fun.

I hope your Sunday is full of fun and frolic!

Husker Gary said...

That's one for Irish Miss!!

Off to hear a SERMON, saying AMEN is optional! Then off to a party where 4 friends/colleagues are retiring. When did they get so old?


Husker Gary said...

You got it Marti! Fred Grandy played Gopher and later became a Represenative in Congress from Iowa. Do you think he and Sonny Bono would have been elected if not for their name recognition? Me either, but they both seemed to do okay.

I'm on my way Father Dave!!

Avg Joe said...

I love punnishment, and when I saw that John L. was the constructor, I knew it would be fun. About the right level of difficulty for a Sunday. Having the theme cited gave me a pretty good idea what to expect and once I had B_UNCI from perps, I threw in Bouncing Baby Boa with abandon. Racer was a little harder to coax out of hiding, but I've seen plenty of Blue Racers in my time in the Sandhills. Great fun!

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

First Barry Silk and now John Lampkin ... great weekend puzzles! There was so much to smile at here today. I caught on to the theme with COBRA CABANA and that was my favorite.

I just kind of hopped around with no real problems. I had 'Glaze' before GLARE for 'Driving hazard' I wasn't sure of the vowels in KIBOSH but perps took care of it.

~~ LENAPE was new to me as were the meanings for SIMPER and YEASTY.
~~ I liked OOLALA and OOLONG in the same puzzle.
~~ I also really liked WHOA NELLY and BALL OF WAX ... as I said, lots to like!

A wonderful write-up, C.C. I did need clarification in a couple of places, TWP being one of them. ~~ As for Yaz - I wonder what he and the other "old timers" think of the Sox recent disasters. (I know Tinbeni is smiling) Oh well ... maybe they won't lose today since the game is likely to be rained out! ;-)

Have a great day, everyone ~~

desper-otto said...

Husker, Question 1 -- no idea. Irish Miss and Marti nailed questions 2 and 3. Question 4 has got to be The DaVinci Code.

Scaly questions:
How do you gamble on a snake? You bet your asp.
What did the jilted fiancé want? His diamondback.
What did Bill Dack call his son, Ron, the CPA? Adder Ron Dack.

Lucinda, I thought that as well -- the figure has to be kneeling to be ORANT.

Seldom Seen said...

Question 1: The Jerk.

Love that movie.

Favorite line(words of wisdom): "Lord loves a workin' man; don't trust whitey; see a doctor and get rid of it."

John Lampkin said...

Happy Earth Day everyone! I'm thrilled that Rich picked my Nature theme to run today. Great way to celebrate, but actually I celebrate the Earth pretty much every day.

Thank you all for the kind words and for the criticism about ANIMAL HOUSE. C.C. was 100% right when she guessed that it popped up during fill. In fact, it was the only viable fill at that spot during that particular stage of the process. As such, it seemed like a gratuitous bonus that would be silly not to keep. Hey, I still like it.

Yeah, yeah. SNAKE RATTLE AND ROLL and DIAMOND BACH didn't make the cut.

Thanks C.C. for running the pics. Jason, Annette and I got together for an evening of fun when I was in Ft. Lauderdale last month giving some presentations to nature groups based on my "Bugged Beyond Belief" book. It was great to meet them in person, putting a face to the font, so to speak. Annette has been a great help by testing my puzzles before I send them off to Rich, and Jason has always given us constructors witty and intelligent blog write ups.

Just so you know, RACERS are one of our most common snakes and my, they are fast! I still remember laughing out on a trail a few years back when one outran my buddy who was trying to catch it.

Happy solving!

eddyB said...


A lot of gimmies like yesterday.
(Muir). Funny how that works.

Used to call the "Purser"
the Bag Man. He would come on board once a month with bags of money. We could take all or part of what was due. Used to save mine to fly back to Pittsburgh.

Can't say "Wait untill next year".
They will be back in September.

AHL quarters also under way. But,
playing best of five. Less money to travel.

How about I plant flow ers instead of a tree.


Anonymous said...

When I was at UCONN in the "dark ages" a male visitor could not go up the stairs in the dorm. We had to be in at 10:30pm weekdays, sign out and in upon arrival.
There was one dorm that was experimenting on having one floor male and another floor female - big doings!! Early sixties.

PK said...

Yay! a John Lampkin today! Thanks, C.C.

Was expecting snakes from the lead-in, but BOA would not wiggle into my consciousness, nor would TWP although my country home was in one. So that corner was bare. Put REturn at 45a for some reason.

The rest of the puzzle was really fun and filled well, but not easily.

Only saw a Blue Racer once. We were at the lake with seven kids. Most of them went to a tackle box to get something. A Racer had been curled up in the open box and came darting out. Never saw a snake move so fast. We had screaming barefoot kids running in all directions. A few adults also moved a bit. No harm done, just excitement.

Hands up for new to ORANT & LENAPE.

Yellowrocks said...

John Lampkin, very punny and enjoyable. CC great write up.

In defense of CC: Research tells me the traditional ORANT pose is standing. I learn something every day.
Link Orant

As some of you have said, the snake called RACER is common in some areas. My ex was interested in every kind of snake and talked about them often, so I knew this.

The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indians of New Jersey are a State Recognized American Indian Tribe. We taught about the Lenape in school and visited a reconstructed Lenape village.

I have lived in TWPs most of my adult life and I write TWP on the tax bills.

The word GRUEL has negative connotations for me as a thin disgusting soup for convicts and POWs. That’s the way it appears in novels and biographies. It must have positive vibes, too.

I say and hear IN BAD. It is in several idiom dictionaries. “Your Facebook posts could get you IN BAD with your boss. “ My search engine was trying to get me "in bed" with my boss.

Anonymous said...

Snake paths? Stop overanalyzing.

Argyle said...

No overanalyzing; 17 cheater squares were put there with a purpose.

Mikey said...

Blue Racers are gorgeous snakes. Once common, they're seldom seen now. Probably GWB's fault.

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-Q1, yes, it was from The Jerk and after learning what his carnival game was really about, the guileless Nathan changed his patter to, “Step right up and win some worthless crap!” My 15-year-old granddaughter now says that when we pass an arcade!
-Q2, yes it is Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered that has us simpering. I suppose someone else besides Ella could sing it, but what’s the point?
-Q3 – yes, that purser was the infamous Gopher portrayed by Fred Grandy. Fred was a roommate to Dwight Eisenhower’s son David
-Q4 – yes, the cilice (google at your own peril) was worn by the psychotic “albino penitent monk” Silas in one of my top 5 movies, “The Da Vinci Code. I’ll take the hair suit!
-Thanks for playing along at home.
-Sermon today was not AMEN worthy as it was just a recitation from Theology 101. We have lovely priests but who do not feel a need to have any homily address real life.
-John, thanks for the lovely puzzle and visit!

Seldom Seen said...


Love that movie.

Favorite line(words of wisdom):"Fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son"


Lemonade714 said...

Happy Sunday all:

What a pleasure to work through the wonderfully funny/punny mind of a true tree hugging, nature loving, piano playing, picture taking, joke making man. JL is as entertaining, warm and sincere in person as he appears in his creations and his visits to our blog, as he graciously explained many things to Annette and I. Thanks for the pics C.C.

I too loved COBRA CABANA abd BOA, and thought MAMBA would be easisest for our Boston solvers, but I guess not.

Cris Collinsworth has appeared on NBC, Fox, HBO and the NFL network. He played at U. of Florida when I was still living in Gainesville, where he was recruited as a quarterback and in his first game as a Gator, Collinsworth threw a 99-yard which remains tied for the longest touchdown pass in NCAA history.He is 6'5" which helped him become an all-american and all-pro receiver.

Robert Loggia is perhaps most famous for playing mobsters, but I remember him from his role as real life lawman Elfego Baca on Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color

Seldom Seen said...

Last night I received a possible e-mail virus from a friend. It was apparently sent it to everyone in his address book. I think my McAfee software blocked it.

In investigating it, I came across this article.(I later discovered my local paper also ran the article yesterday.) How did I miss this? I went to the fix, and found that I am not infected(by the malware).

I don't think the two are related but I thought I would share with all of you. I hope this is all legit!

Lucina said...

All is in readiness and I'm waiting for my guests to arrive.

When I was in aerobics about two years ago, the instructor would yell "mamba" when she meant "mambo" and a friend and I would roll our eyes. I doubt she ever realized the difference.

Jayce said...

Favorite duet was the Everly Brothers, then the Smothers Brothers, and then Simon and Garfunckle.

mtnest995 said...

WEES about the puzzle. It fought me, but I finally won.

Lenape was also a learning moment for me which I hope is not soon forgotten. Had xxx at 108A for awhile which slowed me down in that corner.

Favorite duet has to be Josh Groban and Celine Dion.

Enjoy what's left of Earth day and your weekend.

Jayce said...

Loved the puzzle today. Yesterday's Barry Silk offering made me think of John Lampkin, for some reason, maybe anaconda I find them somewhat similar in elegance and approach.

Wanted CAVES instead of LAIRS at first. Misspelled PENITENCE as PENITANCE and then wondered for far too long what a FLAA was. Actually, at first I wanted FROG or TOAD there.

Also misspelled LILI as LILY.

Thought of you, LaLaLinda, when I saw OOLALA. I'll bet many of us did.

I can never remember whether kisses are Xes or Oes, so I tried XXX, OOO, and every other variation I could think of. Also, having RRATED and then XRATED for 84D messed me up in that area too.

But eventually I sussed it all out without any cheating or lookups, and felt a definite satisfaction.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, John L., for an outstanding Sunday puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for a great write-up.

This is the second time I am writing this. I am at a play, "Ragtime", and had to quit writing when the play started. I thoughtbwhat I had written would stay, but it must have timed out.

Enjoyed this. Caught the theme early. My favorite was WINDSHIELD VIPER. Some of the rest were a little mre difficult.

INNERSPIRIT was tough until I figured out how to spell KIBOSH.

I think the play is starting again after the intermission.

I still have a cold.

See yountomorrow.


Jayce said...

My favorite duet song, as opposed to duet singers, is the "Au Fond du Temple Saint" aria from Bizet's The Pearl Fishers. Check out the performance by Jussi Björling and Robert Merrill on Youtube. Awesome.

Bill G. said...

Thanks John and C.C. It took me a while but I enjoyed it. Since CA is still missing and we miss her poetry, I thought I would include one of Jordan's favorites. Mine too.

by Shel Silverstein

"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more--that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut--my eyes are blue--
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke--
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

CrossEyedDave said...

Most fun i've had on a Sunday puzzle in some time, but alas, DNF. I started at 11, & gave up around 4. (the golf kept distracting me)

My errant path was caused by a confident 20A small bite=nibble, in ink, which messed up my whole NE corner. (i guess i have been fishing to much!) & a missspelled "palette". + i thought "shakers & not movers" might be "salt" (don;t ask me why).

i always thought it was k"a"bosh", but my 1st theme answer cobracabana had me optimistic i could find these snakes. I did 90% of the fill without getting a single snake,(except adder) but i thought he was a "serial"adder.

I came to the Blog to find out what kind of snake a "blade" was...
Blue Racer Snake

Black Mamba Snake

Bill G. said...

Have you checked out today's Google Doodle in honor of Earth Day? I recommend it.

Here's something really good from TED. It's called 'Half a million secrets.

Irish Miss said...

Bill G @ 4:21-Thanks for brightening a very gloomy day in the Northeast!

River Doc said...

Good Afternoon, Cruciverbalists! Found this blog a few months ago and have enjoyed it every Sunday since. For me, the best part is when the crossword author checks in....

Like the blogger a few weeks ago, I also did not know the shorthand term "perp" until it was explained. BTW, that would make an excellent 4-letter answer for the clue "Cross Word."

Finally, to Avg Joe, "punnishment" would make a great title theme!

Avg Joe said...

Favorite duet? Hmmmmm...Maybe Up Where We Belong. (To my thinking, duet excludes duos that usually sing together. One time performances only).

Bill G, I'm a big Shel fan, but was not familiar with that poem. I also don't think I'd ever seen an instance where he recycled a phrase, but near the middle of the poem he used almost the exact phrase that you'll hear in the 3rd verse of this Doctor Hook song, Judy.

CrossEyedDave said...

Sorry, don't know what happened to Black Mamba Snake

111A soup partner= spoon? (oh well)

Thanks for "unforgetable", i have'nt seen that in 20 years. But i think your link for sexy 106A=oolala is too twiggy. may i suggest something with a little more meat.

13D shady area had me thinking "ElmSt.", of course it would not work, but could be fodder for another puzzle?

Fav= 68A Aint put right = isn't

Plus, CC,,, yr response to 48A!
We newbies want the backstory... pls...

Yellowrocks said...

Bill G@ 4:21 I love all of Shel Silverstein works, especially this one and Peanut Butter Sandwich. My first graders absolutely adored Shel's poems. Whenever we had a spare five minute or so we read Where the Sidewalk Ends or The Light in the Attic. Have you read The Giving Tree? Wonderful message. To my disappointment my son and grandson are not as ardent fans as my students and I are.

Ed said...

A perfect sunday am puzzle: funnny, great cluing, smooth and doable with a cup of morning java. No slogs or contrived stuff. Loved the puzzle John, in fact love all your sundays!

Jayce said...

To my thinking, "Who's your favorite duet of all time?" refers the singers (who), not the song (what).

Jayce said...

Bill G, thanks so much for the Shel Silverstein poem! Great stuff.

Anonymous said...

CED, backstory on 48a, very simple:

Dennis spelt backward, sinned.

Bill G. said...

Yellowrocks, yes we both enjoy The Giving Tree. Jordan loves The Missing Piece also. I've read it to him and he's read it to himself several times more. I love that when he reads it, he does so with lots of expression.

I must be off. He's having his eighth birthday party at a local fun emporium and I don't want to miss the pizza and cake.

mtnest995 said...

Bill G. - where do you find all these fascinating links and how do find the time to do so? The Ted video was awesome. Now to check out his website. Thanks so much for sharing.

CrossEyedDave said...

Anon@ 5:42

Hmm, interesting. While it had me looking at CrossEyedDave backwards, (incomprehensible - >just like me< i may have to change my name to the anagram "decayed servos") i was looking for something deeper, & especially why my cat PK, (& fellow blogger) was mentioned???

Not wanting to waste 1 of 5 posts:
walk on air

CrossEyedDave said...

I spent the last hour researching the giving tree, i had forgotten. I could not find a version worthy to share on the Blog, but in my travels found this, (very deep!) had to replay it twice to really understand it...

fermatprime said...


Wonderfully funny offering, John! Great explanation, as usual, CC!

My favorite was BOUNCINGBABYBOA.

Love a puzzle that I can work unassisted! (Had never heard of RACER snake, but it filled in nicely.)

Bill G.: Enjoyed the poem. Reminds me a bit of Alan Sherman song…

On trees: the problem here is to take them out! Little ashlings spread by squirrels turn into monsters quickly. Walnuts seem to reach four feet in the blinking of an eye. Friend Harvey had informed me that the pomegranate in the wayback was dead. What was he thinking. It is huge and flowering now. (He loves to eat the fruit.)

Happy Earth evening!

Bill G. said...

mtnest995, I don't go searching for those links, they just seem to find me. Sometimes they are on MSNBC, sometimes a friend sends them to me or sometimes I find one on Barbara's Facebook page (I'm not on Facebook).

CED, you found Jordan's favorite story. I can't wait to play it for him.

Regarding The Giving Tree, though I haven't watched all of it yet, this seems to be a pretty good rendition (though it seems to load slowly). The Giving Tree

TarHeelFrank said...

Good Evening LA Times Puzzle Fans!

I got 100% correct for a second Sunday in a row. Started at 8:25 PM EDT and at 9:22 PM EDT, so I just slipped in under the 60 minute wire.

I was thinking that the theme would have somehow been associated with Earth Day. Seems like everything else I encountered today was!!!

Avg Joe said...

While the issue of bullying has gotten a lot of ink recently, I came across this story which demonstrates a new level of community involvement. Journal link.

Not a political view on my part in the least. But it is a societal problem where ownership is universal.

Dudley said...

Bill G -

Thanks for Sick!

It reminds me of Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh.

Bill G. said...

Dudley, did you get my link to the Dave Dudley trucking song a couple of nights ago?

palos said...

Perhaps more of a trivia question than an answer to favorite duet, but does anyone remember a duet by Kris Kristofferson and Bonnie Raitt (or perhaps Judy Collins)? I imagine it was one of KK's songs. Just remembered hearing part of it and heard rave reviews later on.

Google time, though it was in the era when seemingly everything was recorded and available on the internet.

palos said...

BTW: It wasn't a KK and JJ duet.

Bill G. said...

I came across an old movie on TCM that I'd heard of but never seen; Adam's Rib with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. I feel like I've wasted the time. I usually like old movies but not this one. It was supposed to be a romantic comedy but it's hard to find much humor in their sophomoric bickering.