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Apr 25, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 Don Gagliardo & C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Food! And not just any old food, this food! Chicken and Mushrooms! Cilantro! Pass Link
me the chopsticks, I'm all in!


So let's see how we got from a blank grid to dinner:

16A. Melodies for a soothing atmosphere : MOOD MUSIC. Not food music?

22A. Positive energy : GOOD KARMA. My friend Heidi has good parking karma in LA - she prays "Hail Mary, full of grace, help me find a parking space". It pretty much always works!

50A. Pick up momentum : GAIN SPEED.. Downhill and out of control, much like my skiing.

60A. 2002 Jodie Foster thriller : PANIC ROOM. An agoraphobic's cry? Panic! Room!

And the reveal(s)

36A. With 39-Across, convenience that might include the dish spelled out by the first few letters of the answers to 16-, 22-, 50- and 60-Across : CHINESE

39A. See 36-Across : TAKEOUT

Happy Wednesday everyone! Steve here, I just got back to my hotel in San Francisco after a Golden State Warriors basketball game across the bay in Oakland.

What a fun puzzle to find waiting for me - a Don and C.C. charmer (and challenge) and I'm in one of the best places in the world for Chinese food. It's funny how things work out. Take the first three letters of the theme answers and there you have dinner waiting for you.

Let's look at everything else - I found this pretty hard work, I had to pick around the middle for a little while before things started to come easier - rather like eating a lobster with chopsticks (which I did on Wednesday)

Across:

1. Fodder figure? : SILO Hmm - not a fan of this one - a lovely clue, but SILO?

5. First Greek consonant : BETA

9. Antlered grazers : ELKS

13. Australia's national gemstone : OPAL. The power of crosswords. Two years ago I would have had no idea who's gemstone was whose - now it's easy - easier than wondering if I got the apostrophes in the right place in that sentence.

14. Wail : YOWL

15. Winter forecast : SLEET. Done with with for the year, I hope.

18. "Henry's Crime" actor Reeves : KEANU. Did I tell y'all the story about meeting Keanu and having no clue who he was? Stop me if I've told you this, but one day ....

19. College application part : ESSAY. The hardest part.

20. Nothing to suggest, as foul play : NO SIGN OF. I really liked this roundabout, sneak-up-on-it clue.

25. Home of the Ivy League's Bulldogs : YALE BOWL. Those Ivy League folks have a lot to answer for around here - Yalies, Elis, all kinds of odd things coming out of those wonderful schools.

28. Safe havens : SANCTA. Now, come on. Sanctuary, Sanctuaries - I get those. Sancta, and nary a Latin pointer in sight? I think Rich needs to help us out a little more with this one.

32. Lawyers' org. : A.B.A. The wonderful American Bar Association. Long may she litigate.

33. Shopping center? : PEES. A fine job with this clue, let's face it - the alternatives are not attractive.

35. Pooh-pooh : SCORN. And after PEES? Oh goodness.

41. Course's 18 : HOLES. My course has 19, and you play the 19th twice - once before the first, and once after the 18th. That makes 20, but the math is muddy anyway, so who's counting?


42. Sci. class : BIOL. I loved biology. Except when we dissected worms. Then I didn't love biology.

44. Sorority letter : PSI.

45. Black hair and almond-shaped eyes, e.g. : TRAITS. I was so drawn into the Chinese theme by this point that I spent way too long wondering how to fit ASIANS, THAIS, VIETNAMESE, JAPANESE or anything else in here.

47. Certain sail spars : TOP MASTS

52. Tour in a double-decker bus, perhaps : SIGHTSEE. One word or two? Not sure how to put this. Barry G was on one in London - help us out here?

55. Valium maker : ROCHE. One very rich and verrrrry laid-back drug company

59. Southwestern brick : ADOBE. Let's Photoshop some bricks!

63. Deli subs : HEROS

64. Nile slitherers : ASPS. Word of the day. Slitherer. I will use it.

65. Par for the course : NORM. Or 102 on one of my good days.

66. Unwelcome look : LEER

67. Apollo's instrument : LYRE. A learning experience for me - I just had the Y and LYRE went straight in, but now I know that Apollo played one.

68. "Don't move, Spot!" : STAY

Down:

1. Unspecified amount : SOME

2. Wall St. events : I.P.O.S Another punctuation nightmare, these Initial Public Offerings. Hands up who wished they'd subscribed to Microsoft, Apple, Google and all the rest

3. Landlocked Asian republic : LAOS. Aha! I said, the only landlocked Asian republic is LAOS .. we all know that!

4. Gerontologist's study : OLD AGE.

5. Mitt Romney's alma mater: Abbr. : B.Y.U. Has anyone seen "The Book of Mormon" on Broadway? I hear it's very fair towards Brigham Young. He did found a fine school. (Note to the editor - can I say "found a fine"?) (From C.C.: Fine with me. Let's see what BYU graduate Barry G has to say.)

6. Homer's saffron-robed goddess : EOS. Or Marge in a new nightgown?

7. Star shine : TWINKLE

8. Big name in foil : ALCOA, Aluminum Company of America. The British would introduce unnecessary syllables and name it the Aluminium Companium of Americanium.

9. Refined and discriminating taste : ELEGANCE.

10. Low in fat : LEAN. Not me right now, I quit smoking three months ago and I count a pound of weight gain a week. The tough part is over, now I just need to shed the extra padding.

11. Numbers game : KENO. Nice neighbor to KEANU, that was nice.

12. Double __ Oreo : STUF.

15. Alpine competitor's protection : SKI MASK. We called it a "balaclava" back in England, but back then we didn't ski, we wore it as a steel-knit armored protection against French archers. OK, that was in 1854, but still.


17. "Don't interfere," briefly : MYOB. I prefer BYOB, but that's just me.

21. Grads-to-be: Abbr. : SRS. No guarantee the Seniors will still make it to graduation, there's still plenty of time to make a mess of things!

23. "My bad!" : OOPS as the senior who didn't get to graduate said ..

24. Dork : DWEEB. I love this word, I want to know how it came about - anyone?

25. Harbor party site : YACHT. BOSTON or TEA QUAY didn't work.

26. Can't stomach : ABHOR

27. Ali who retired with a perfect 24-0 record : LAILA. Muhammad's daughter, she's becoming famous around these parts.

29. Clucking quarters : COOPS

30. Faith : TRUST. This caused me conniptions for a while - I had T...T and happily filled in TENET. That was very bad.

31. Opposition group : ANTIS

34. Brownstone hangout : STOOP

37. Dennis, much to Mr. Wilson's dismay : NEIGHBOR

38. Will subjects : ESTATES

40. Mont Blanc, par exemple : ALPE. I've skied down this, fast and out of control. Help!

43. "Piece of cake!" : IT'S EASY

46. Bro's playmate : SIS

48. Grand Marquis, for short : MERC. I'd like some help with this one too - I think I can see what's needed here, but the languages don't gel? Am I wrong seeing "Mercedes Benz" for short and "Grand Marquis" in French for the clue?

49. Decks out : ADORNS

51. Landlocked Asian republic : NEPAL. This brought me up short. Full stop, period kind of short, having happily filled in LAOS as the "only" landlocked Asian republic. There's two? What the heck?!!!

52. Satirist Mort : SAHL

53. Nantes notion : IDEE. If this were not all capitals, we must add an acute accent to the first E.

54. Reason for an R rating : GORE. Poor Al, his campaign speeches were not THAT bad.

56. Odd old fellow : COOT. Not fair, Al was not old.

57. Wedding dance : HORA

58. Award for "Modern Family" : EMMY. An award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. My friend Michael Diederich won one for Best Original Animation, and we were all stunned. Oops - let me be clear - we were stunned by how big and heavy these things are, not by the fact that Mike won one!

61. "Fresh Air" airer : NPR

62. Sussex suffix : ISE. Help! I got this with crosses, but I have no idea at all what Sussex-ise means - any idea? Anyone? Lemonade?

Answer grid.

Signing off! Confused on a Wednesday!

Steve

1) Note from C.C. & Don:

Don cooked up this theme idea. We originally had MOOD ENHANCEMENT as #1 theme entry, and CHINESE TAKE-OUTS as a unifier. Rich felt the plural was contrived and suggested we split up CHINESE TAKEOUT in the middle.

2) If you're looking for an creative Mother's Day gift, please click here to see a 3-puzzle package Don and I created.

3) Happy Birthday to dear Kazie (with husband Barry, son David & 2 Racing Sausages at Brewers' game last August.). Kazie has been with the blog for almost 4 years and I have benefited greatly from her linguistic talent and friendship. Thanks for being here, Kay!

85 comments:

Argyle said...

Good Morning, Steve,

48-Down. Grand Marquis, for short : MERC

We've had this problem before. Dennis has a Merc and I had a Merc but oceans apart. My avatar reflects my Mercury Grand Marquis from a few winters ago.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Not a huge fan of MOO GOO GAI PAN, but maybe I've just never had any that was cooked properly. I find it rather bland, personally.

The puzzle, on the other hand, was certainly spicy enough! As with Steve, I struggled a bit with MERC/ROCHE because I couldn't think of the former and never heard of the latter the way it was clued.

In fact, the cluing gave me fits all over the place. "Safe haven" is certainly one definition of SANCTA, but not the one I usually think of (I'm more in the "holy place" camp). Similarly, I don't think of GOOD KARMA as being "positive energy" (although it is, in a sense).

Elsewhere, I know which school the Bulldogs play for, but I've never heard of something called the YALE BOWL before, so that took awhile.

As for B.Y.U. it was nice to see a fresh (and timely) clue for it. As for the Broadway show, I haven't seen it. I hear it's uproariously funny, but I fear people seeing it won't be able to distinguish which parts are actual Mormon doctrine and which parts are completely made up. Of course, I'm sure Catholics have the same concern with any movie involving exorcisms ever made...

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Steve and friends. Fun puzzle, but tricky theme. I am not up on the names of Chinese dishes, other than the usual crossword staple General Tso's Chicken.

I easily got the MOOD MUSIC, so when I camp to Positive Energy, I really wanted GOOD Vibes. I was really reluctant to change the Vibes to KARMA.

Happy Birthday, Kazie. This puzzle gave you an OPAL for your birthday!

I am not keen on clues/answers that spell out letters, but Shopping Centers, but that answer reminded me of a bad pun I heard yesterday: Did you hear about the Native American who drank so much tea he drown in his Tipee?

QOD: If you have talent, you don't have to tell people. ~ Pee Wee Reese.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

I had a lot of trouble with today's puzzle, especially the NW corner. But in retrospect, most of the difficulty was due to my screw ups.

For 16A, I initially had MOONMUSIC and that was keeping me from solving 4D OLDAGE. For 1A I was at SIL_ without a clue about the last letter. I finally recognized my error in 16A and changing the N to a D helped me see the light for 1A & 4D.

For 25A I started with New Haven (home of the Bulldogs), but the perps got me to YALE BOWL. The Bowl is , IMO, one of the greatest football venues in America. I remember well the days when a crowd would average between 30K and 60K. Today 10K is a large crowd unless the opponent is Harvard.

Although the rest of the puzzle eventually came together, SANCTA & ROCHE had me wondering because they were previously unknown to me. Wasn't sure I nailed it until I read Steve's write up.

Happy hump day to all

desper-otto said...

Good morning, all.

I liked this puzzle, though I had no idea it was a CC/DG creation until coming here. The unifier gave me the theme, and also helped me with PANICROOM -- never saw the movie, but starting with PAN gave me an edge.

Steve, I'm not sure what nit you were picking with 1A. You fill a silo with silage -- animal fodder. Silos aren't just for missiles anymore. I was hoping you were going to explain 62D. I didn't understand ISE, either.

HBD, Kazie!

Anonymous said...

This one went pretty smoothly, of course I live in the land of silos, especially in twilight or dawn they are the solitary figures in the landscape--filled with fodder usually corn or wheat.

The Merc wasn't mercedes, but Mercury who makes a Grand Marquis.
And crosswords are always doing things like sancta, when no one uses that, but does use the singular sanctum.
Whenever I hear moo goo gai pan, I always think of the classic Dick VanDyke episode that getting that dish was the centerpiece of.
Enjoyable all through, thanks CC/DG!

Barry G. said...

With regard to 62D, "Sussex" refers to a county in England, and in England they use the ISE suffix where in America we use the IZE suffix. Which is to say that ISE is a suffix used in Sussex.

Andrea said...

Happy birthday, Kazie!

Another fun puzzle from CC and Don. It took several go arounds with an answer here and an answer there before everything started to come together. I did get the theme early on, which helped. Makes me hungry for steamed dumplings, the Chinese takeout dish of choice in our house.

Have a great day, everyone.

Avg Joe said...

Fun puzzle. The only real hang-up I had was SANCTi. That's not to say it was easy, but it all came together without any other erasures.

I've never had Moo Goo Gai Pan. Always wanted to try it, but we don't eat out often and when we do get Chinese, I nearly always go to my old standby: Shrimp Lo Mein. I need to get out more:-)

Not a Yalie said...

Steve said,
"Yalies, Elis, all kinds of odd things coming out of those wonderful schools"

Yeah, and the oddest ones get elected to public office, it seems.

desper-otto said...

Thanks, Barry.

HeartRx said...

Good morning Steve, C.C. et al.

Happy Birthday, Kazie! It looks like you already started celebrating in the picture- fun stuff!

Well, knock me upside the head for not noticing that this was a Don G. / C.C. collaboration until I came here. If I had paid attention to the byline, it would have made my solving so much easier!!

I loved the clue for 1A SILO, "Fodder figure". HaHa - whenever I start off laughing, I know it's going to be a fun romp.

When I got to 36A, I already had a few perps, and easily filled in CHINESE TAKEOUT. So I entered GAI- and PAN- at 50 and 60-Across, and the bottom was history.

I loved seeing SKI MASK before ALPE intersecting GAIN SPEED. Cool! And no reason to PANIC - there's always ROOM at the first aid station...

Happy hump day, everyone!

Mari said...

Good morning all, and happy Wednesday! Work has been exceptionally busy this week, but the weekend is on the horizon.

Fun puzzle today - made me hungry. DH and I have Chinese takeout once a week - sometimes twice. I will never have Moo Goo Gai Pan though as I ABHOR mushrooms.

I liked the clue for 45D: Black hair and almond-shaped eyes, e.g.: TRAITS, and liked the answer for 56D: Odd Old Fellow: COOTS.

You'll have to excuse my inELEGANCE, but I enjoyed seeing PEES near Pooh-Pooh.

Keeping with the theme, perhaps the unifier should have been pu pu platter.

Mari said...

When I was single I had an apartment across the hall from some Mormon missionaries. They were very nice young men. In my quest for spiritual knowledge I read the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price from cover to cover, and was even baptized in the LDS church. Later I decided it wasn't for me and moved on. I belong to a Catholic parish now.

After my experience I have great respect for the Mormon people. They impressed me as very diligent, hard working, family centered, faithful and respectful citizens. I think we could all learn a lot from how they conduct their lives.

I have not seen the Book of Mormon, but I believe it's coming to Chicago and would like to check it out.

kazie said...

Thanks to all for the birthday wishes! I'm feeling really senior now at 66.

Steve,
Very fun and lively blog. I also have the same first reaction to MERC.

I had no clue about YALE BOWL or BYU--I thought he went to Harvard. I agree with Steve about BYOB being better. We used to joke that it really meant Bring Your Own Boy(friend) back in the day. YOWL took quite a while to suss out, because I had BAWL at first.

No other real problems, though it took me a while to get into it properly.

I wonder if SANKA was named in connection to the idea of being safe without caffeine, with the same root as SANCTA.

Java Joe said...

Kazie: Sanka came from san caffeine.

Anonymous said...

Valium, (diazepam) an anti-anxiety drug by Roche, was such a run away success for the company, that it sealed its own fate. Most prescribed drug in the US in 1982, it is now almost banned, and its use is pretty much restricted to hospitals and operating rooms for pre-anesthesia and analgesia. Made the company very rich though. Like Fentanyl, which is atleast 100 times more powerful than morphine, made Janssen ( now a Johnson & Johnson, sub.), very, very, very rich.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Thanks for the commentary, Steve.

Another offering from our favorite author pair. Good job. Got the top third, then got bogged down and restarted in the SW. Soon bounced up to the unifier and saw the MOO GOO GAI PAN theme and quickly filled in the longer acrosses. No searches were needed. I was a little surprised to see two fills for landlocked Asian republic, but neither clue said 'only'. Both answers have been routinely used in the past. Favorite fill was TWINKLE.

Enjoy your 'hump' day.

Yellowrocks said...

Great puzzle, Don and CC and interesting blog, Steve. I hunted around for a toe hold and then began in the NE and proceeded clockwise. OLD AGE was a gimmee in the NW.

The nit about SILO does not question the fodder stored there, but whether a SILO is a figure. Clever clue, regardless of the nit. I got it right away, but didn't trust it.

I hear sightsee mostly as a verb, and tour can also be a verb. So it’s all good.

On camping trips, we say our cooler PEES when we remove the drain plug to let the melted ice flow out.

Sanctum and SANCTA are actually English, loan words from the Latin. Since they have become English, they do not need to be designated as foreign. This nit about loan words that have become Standard English comes up quite often

I liked the essay in the college application. I also like essay tests. The exchange of ideas is so much more satisfying than filling in the blanks on an application or taking "multiple guess" tests.

Yellowrocks said...

Happy birthday, Kazie. Happy late anniversary to you and your wife, Abejo. I hope your mother had a good birthday yesterday.

Spitzboov said...

Happy Birthday, Kazie. Hoch soll Sie Leben! Dreimal hoch.

Belated anniversary wishes to Abejo.

kazie said...

Spitz,
Schönen Dank! Ich lebe heutzutage nicht so hoch wie im Jugend, aber doch nicht so schlecht für eine Alte!

Java Joe,
Thanks--I often "see" linguistic connections that aren't really there, but it's funny how often it does pan out. I hadn't thought of sans in French meaning without.

Irish Miss said...

Good morning to all:

What a fun puzzle! Thanks CC and Don for a "delicious" Wednesday romp and to Steve for an equally " delightful" write-up.

One write-over with scoff before scorn for 35A Pooh-pooh. Liked fodder figure and star shine answers.

Happy Birthday, Kazie-great picture! And belated congratulations to Lemondade, our newest granddad to be.

Thanks Barry for the expo on Sussex suffix.

Happy Wednesday everyone.

Anonymous said...

Merc is short for Mercury, a car made by Ford Motor Co. 48 down.

Splynter said...

Hi There ~!

Enjoyed this one from our duo of C.C./DonG.

Thanks for the write-up, Steve -

Funny, but I love to watch the UK version of Top Gear, and they always talk about "Merc", and being American, wondered why they never reviewed a Lincoln-Mercury - until I realISEd that it's the UK way to say "Benz"....the things you learn....

Splynter

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, C.C., and Don G., for a great puzzle. Thank you, as well, Steve, for an equally great review.

Enjoyed this puzzle. It was a good Wednesday level, in my opinion. A little tough, but easy in spots.

I started at 1A and plugged in SILO. It looked obvious to me, after OLDAGE appeared for 4D. Permanent fixtures in farm country.

Had YELL at first for 14A. Fixed that to YOWL after TWINKLE filled.

To me SANCTA was easy for 28A. We use the term Sanctum Sanctorum all the time.

MYOB had me puzzled for a while. Then it hit me. Old age has that effect on me.

The theme came easily. I have heard of MOO GOO GAI PAN, but have never eaten it. When I go to a Chinese restaurant I always order pork fried rice. I like it. My wife and daughter eat Chinese take out all the time, but I pass.

Thanks folks for the Anniversary Congrats. Appreciate it.

It is raining here today. We can use a little.

Jeanne. Are still with us on the blog? Stop in sometime.

See you tomorrow.

Abejo

Abejo said...

Kazie:

I almost missed. Happy Birthday to you. We are now the same age. Hope we both grow very old and can say this every year.

Abejo

VirginiaSycamore said...

Hi all,

I really wanted to put SIRE in the NE corner for a father horse that ate fodder. Other than that, it was some easy ones and a lot of sussing.

Happy Birthday, Kazie.

the redanman said...

Everything good here except Tiger Woods AND Augusta National GC in the golf photo. [two thumbs down]

Tiger the biggest jerk since Mickey Mantle (can't tell my MM story here ...) and ANGC - THE worst thing that ever happened to golf course superintendents who don't have a $15,000,000 budget for their courses. 'Nuff said!

MOO GOO GAI PAN comes smoother off the lips than it goes through them (one of the least exciting Asian dishes I can think of) but a great puzzle theme.

A nifty solve that was fun and full of life as opposed (again) to the garbage that passed for a puzzle at that east coast bastion of 'pseudointellectual liberalism for its own sake' today.

I was too busy filling in the puzzle to catch the theme until I figured out the revealer (with 1 letter in 39A to distinguish TAKEOUT (first choice) from CUISINE.

Heros are basically Italian, not really Deli; through travels I've learned hero, sub, submarine, hoagie, zep and our New England GRINDER.

And lastly a positive golf story - Former Ryder Cup Captain Paul Azinger once was criticising [Golf's biggest ego] Johnny Miller's announcing and called him the biggest MORON in the booth; later asked if he had really said that he replied "I meant he was the biggest MORMON in the booth".

-on to tomorrow's puzzle, this one was top notch

Abejo said...

To all:

I just talked to my sister who is visiting our mother in the nursing home where she resides. They were confused about the birthday card I sent to my mother. The entire nursing home staff was confused.

I had written to my mother that her age is a palindrome. She is 88. Well, they asked all the people around and no one knew what a palindrome was. So, my sister called me and asked. I told her and now she is informing all the staff at the Home.

I that was a come household word. Oh well.

Thank you all again, for the kind wishes for my mother. She has lost her vision and most of her hearing. She is confined to a wheel chair. She does not remember many things from day to day. It is kind of sad because 8 years ago she finished hiking the Appalachian Trail, at age 80. Took her about 12 years, but she got it all. I believe she holds a record.

See you tomorrow.

Abejo

Diemert said...

Good puzzle today, no big hang-ups for me until 57D, and no one had posted anything here at the time of this post so I thought I would give a flesh-out on it if anyone else was in the same boat as me. Hora is a circle dance that apparently originated in the Balkan region. I loved 1A, not really sure why people took umbrage with it. 31D seemed slightly off being pluralized, but that is just me being nitpicky, and understand the difficulty in creating a cohesive grid. Thanks for the puzzle and write-ups, Steve, DG & CC...
p.s. Does anyone have any issue with the entry method on making a post on a mobile device? I'm using my iPhone and can't go back into the body of text I'm writing, so I can't even editorialize my own post! I guess it's somewhat akin to the days of typewriting....

Qli said...

This was a toughie for me, but had some great moments. C.C. and Don always give me a mental workout!

4D was a gimme, since my fabulous internist became a gerontologist. I wouldn't switch so I became one of his youngest patients! I sometimes sit in the waiting room with COOTS. (For any birders who may be reading this, American COOTS are also called mudhens around here. They are out in force already this spring)

I've always heard of more than one ELK being ELK, not ELKS, so filled in gnus right away, which gave me some grief in the NW corner.

Happy Wednesday to all, even if you have to work the weekend like me, so can't celebrate Hump Day this week :(

Linda said...

Thank you very much! I live today not as high as in the youth, but not so bad for an old!

I think this pc translation gets the gist of Kazie`s German!

Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag my wonder-ful-whole-wheat-griddle-cakes-maker! (and resident grammarian..)

CrossEyedDave said...

What fun, i finally breezed through a Wednesday DG/CC puzzle! I guess i just got lucky, or have been doing a lot of Crosswords. Things like beta, opal, hora, adobe, & many others were gimme's. Theme popped right out. And whenever i got stuck i was able to figure out a perp that helped immensely.

Wait a sec,,, whats this,,,
I put "Hoche" instead of Roche!!!
AAArrrgghhh!!!!

What's this, Abejo changed "yell" to "Yowl?" I put "HOWL!?"

Oh the humanity!

(but i will get revenge for my stupidity, i'm coming back with links to lots of wailing & howling.)

**********

But first i must find an appropriate Happy Birthday link for Kazie!

kazie said...

Linda,
Thanks for the accolades. Good to know that you are still enjoying the whole wheat pancakes! You did get the gist of the German response to Spitz, but I found I was wrong about the gender of Jugend when I thought about it afterwards--I should have said "in der Jugend". Eine Alte can be used to mean an old lady/person/woman, and since I couldn't decide which I wanted to use, I just used the adjectival noun so you can take your pick how to finish it off.

Nice anniversary photo in your avatar too! DH and I are returning to Spain this year for our 40th. It's where we met 41 years ago, and we've never gone back since.

C.C.,
Thanks for the birthday wish and the kind words that came with it. I thought it was so sweet, I sent my sons the link so they could see too.

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone.

I can't believe I actually finished a Wednesday and got it all right. That's a first for me.
Therefore I think it's a wonderful puzzle, C.C. & Don. Thank you.
I stopped at PEES wondering if it was possible for an answer. Nice that it crossed with OOPS. Never heard of PANICROOM, but the perps spelled it out for me.

Just read in Naples News that our favorite Chinese eatery has closed – the Beijing Buffet. We don't know any good Chinese restaurant now, and we both enjoy that cuisine so much. Do you have a suggestion Grumpy1?

Great write up Steve.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that I forgot to wish you, Kazie, a happy birthday. You're just a youngster, so blow out all your candles and eat all the cake.

Mari said...

Abejo, Sorry to hear about your mother. My BIL is hiking the trail in segments too. He went out for 6 months a few years ago, but spent more time goofing with his new found friends than hiking. As a result, he's got a long way to go. He goes back every year or so.

Happy birthday to you Kazie! I hope this is the best one yet :)

CrossEyedDave said...

Happy (hmm, too corny)

Birthday (no, still not right)

Kazie ah, just right.)

kazie said...

CED,
thanks--they were all cute!

Misty said...

This morning's puzzle was another speed run for me (I'm having a very rare good week so far) and a total delight. Half-way through I looked at the constructor and loved it even more when I saw it was Don and C.C. And I always get a kick out of Steve's write-ups, so many thanks for a great way to start the day.

Hahtoolah 6:16--a brilliant idea to add a quote from Pee Wee Reese to today's puzzle!

Happy Birthday, Kazie, and I'm so happy you're still enjoying yourself even if you're no longer as high as you were in your youth. (Sorry, I just couldn't resist. All the naughty stuff in today's puzzle got to me, I think).

I also appreciated all the good things said about Mormons. Jibes with my own experience with friends and students.

Have a great Wednesday, everybody.

Steve said...

Thanks for all for the clarifications, especially the ISE vs IZE. And Happy Birthday Kazie!

@Desper-otto - it was describing a silo as a "figure" that I had a problem with - structure, container, holder, lots of other things, but figure?

palos said...

Steve wrote "55. Alpine competitor's protection : SKI MASK. We called it a "balaclava" back in England…"

Goggles are also called ski masks, which appears to be more in line with the clue. I haven't seen many ski racers donning knit caps.Though at first I was thinking of the chin guard worn to prevent those nasty slalom poles from slapping you in the face. Ouch!

Rube said...

I found this an enjoyable Monday-level puzzle with nary a write-over. Definitely enjoyed your write-up, @Steve, especially the invocation. I'm not Catholic, but will have to try that the next time I'm searching for a parking place.

Was definitely thinking gnus in teN, but waited as there are so many antlered/horned "grazers" in crosswordese. STUF and KENO settled the issue, although I would put the plural, ELKS, in the category of plural animals that are almost never used in everyday conversation. (In this case, unless you're talking about a social club.)

Didn't know ROCHE or SANCTA off the top of my head, but both were gettable with just a few crosses. Didn't know Mercedes-Benzes were also called MERCs.

One of the highlights of our China trip last year was the food... marvelous. You just can't find real Chinese cooking in the West. Even in China, they tone down the spicy dishes for Westerners. You have to have a local order for you in order to get the "real thing",

Rube said...

And, I might add, never, ever eat in the hotels.

Argyle said...

Perhaps "Nordic competitor's protection" would have been a better clue for 15-Down.

Nost said...

When President Bartlet said "There are 3 words, and 3 words only, that begin with the letters dw. What are they?", the poker-playing staff eventually came up with dwarf, dwindle, and dwell. I immediately thought "What about dweeb?" And sure nuff, it was in WEB10 which was published several years before West Wing began.
But it's listed as "[origin unknown]" and I never bothered checking any of those wimpy on-line dictionaries.
My own suggestion would be D as in dork + WEE as in weenie + B as Bozo, but Mr. Sheen would no doubt disagree.

PK said...

Really enjoyed this great puzzle, Don & C.C. Very clever write-up, Steve.

Happy birthday, Kazie! Have a devilishly good 66th.

I asked why my nephew wasn't at his grandmother's funeral last Friday. He was in NEPAL. He works with Bhutanese refugees expelled from Nepal who immigrated to the USA.

Don't say drug company to me right now! A drug I need to take occasionally was discontinued. The old drug cost $22. The replacement costs $155 for six pills! The new drug has to be taken with a fatty meal. I had cut fat to a minimum in my diet. Possible side effects were so scary, I delayed taking it for two weeks. I'm taking it now. Tastes horrible! Only good thing: no side effects so far.

NPR: finally learned what this is. Don't listen to radio.

Redanman: Aah! Another anti-fan for Tiger, besides me. I don't watch when the media continues to yammer about him. Couldn't stand him before all the nasty stuff. What a spoiled brat!

john28man said...

The New York Football Giants played in the Yale Bowl in 1973-1974 after they left Yankee Stadium (which was being renovated) and while the first Giants (Meadowland) was being built.

Lucina said...

Hello, fellow puzzlers. Thank you, Steve, for a great blog.

Happy, happy Birthday, Kazie!!

Yowza! 48 comments already so I'll say WEES and just add that C.C. and D.G. powerful puzzles are such fun.

I sashayed through and loved the SILO cluing! CHINESE TAKOUT is often our choice including MO0 GOO GAI PAN which can be quite good if it's cooked with peanut oil. Yum!

I agree about ELKS being plural only if it refers to the club.

I am now cautious about suffixes so just wait for perps and ASPS finished ISE which I didn't get so thank you for the explanation.

Have a wondrous Wednesday, everyone! Time for the gym.

thehondohurricane said...

Kazie

Have a great birthday and do whatever you want.... it's your day.

Anonymous said...

How about: dimwitted elephant-eared brat (if you`re referring to (the)Sheen (has long since departed?)

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Fun puzzle today. Well done CC and DG. Like the KENO-KEANU and ROCHE-MERC crosses. Lots of sparkling - or at least TWINKLING fill.

Tried to SIGHT SEE but there was NO SIGN OF anything.

In my OLD AGE, I don't plan on being a COOT. I think I'm more of a codger.

Had 1st and 2nd graders as my victims - ah . . . students at the science fair this morning. Cute kids, and smart, too.

I should cut the back grass, but I think I'll take a nap instead.

Cool regards!
JzB

Papa Cass said...

MYOB: When I worked in Washington DC I had a very savvy, very quick coworker from Augusta Georgia. One day I asked her how do you say "mind your own business" in southern.

She immediately responded in her thickest southern accent, "Well why do you ask?"

Fun puzzle, great write up!
Happy hump day all!

Bill G. said...

Fun puzzle and writeup. No real hangups, just Wednesday enjoyment. I love Chinese food; all ethnic food actually. My philosophy is, if somebody says this is good to eat, I'll try it and probably like it.

Happy birthday Kazie! Loved the third version CED!

I sometimes see the sausage races on TV when the Dodgers are playing the Brewers. Is the race meant just as entertainment and is the winner predetermined? Or, is there more to it than that?

Regarding religion, I wish politicians and athletes would keep their beliefs to themselves.

Bill G. said...

Las Vegas Churches accept gambling chips?

THIS MAY COME AS A SURPRISE TO THOSE OF YOU NOT LIVING IN
LAS VEGAS BUT THERE ARE MORE CATHOLIC CHURCHES THAN CASINOS.

NOT SURPRISINGLY, SOME WORSHIPERS AT SUNDAY SERVICES WILL GIVE CASINO CHIPS RATHER THAN CASH WHEN THE BASKET IS PASSED.

SINCE THEY GET CHIPS FROM MANY DIFFERENT CASINOS, THE CHURCHES HAVE DEVISED A METHOD TO COLLECT THE OFFERINGS.

THE CHURCHES SEND ALL THEIR COLLECTED CHIPS TO A NEARBY FRANCISCAN MONASTERY FOR SORTING AND THEN THE CHIPS ARE TAKEN TO THE CASINOS OF ORIGIN AND CASHED IN.



THIS IS DONE BY THE CHIP MONKS.

Bill G. said...

There are a bunch of really good animal photos in this slide show from MSNBC. Animal Tracks

Diemert said...

Hi Rube-- Mercedes Benzs aren't called Mercs, this is referencing Mercury (division of Ford Motor Co.) and thus Mercury Grand Marquis is a sedan model (since have ceased production). I think a few people earlier were guessing incorrectly as to the reference. Hope that helps :)

fermatprime said...

Greetings!

Happy birthday, Kazie. I hope that it is special, Another palindrome. Happy belated anniversary, Abejo and good wishes to your mom.

Great puzzle, CC and Don! Really enjoyed it. (No cheats needed.) Especially liked the theme. I love MOO GOO GAI PAN and think mushrooms are the food of the gods! Steve: swell write-up, as usual!

Cross-eyed: Please tell me how to put letters in color in blog. Have asked this twice before but no one answers.

SILO as a figure had me baffled for awhile.

Still battling swimmer's ear due to improperly cared for pool. Have to fire those cretins!

HHD all!

Argyle said...

We can put color in the write-up but you can't put color in the comment section, if that is what you wanted to know.

Perhaps my first post didn't explain it; both cars are Mercs but only Mercury makes the Grand Marquis.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

I really enjoyed your puzzle, Don and C.C. and also your write-up, Steve. Thanks to all!

I got through this much faster than I anticipated when I saw the names of the constructors. My only real hold-up was a problem of my own. At 24D, I read "All..." instead of "Ali' before finally getting LAILA. That's not the first time I've had a problem distinguishing between those letters - much like the problem I've had with 'rn' and 'm' that others have also mentioned. I guess it's good that my eye exam is next month. ;-)

After getting 'MOOD' and 'GOOD' I thought the theme might be different sounds for 'OO' but this was so much better - very clever!

Best wishes for a very Happy Birthday, Kazie!

Anonymous said...

for your perusal

kazie said...

Diemert and any others confused,
I think calling Mercedes "Mercs" is common in British English, since that's what I was more familiar with until I came here. Later, I drove a Mercury Sable for a while and it then seemed just as natural to abbreviate it to Merc, which, given my normal association with the term, always made me crack a smile.

Misty, I assure you that all my youthful highs were either natural or alcoholic--nothing more. I've never even smoked.

Bill G,
Since that was my first, and probably last Brewers game, I can't answer the sausage race question. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Yep probly a marginal thursday puzzle on wednesday. But last two days were fairly simple. Liked abhor, sancta, idee, coot, pees (actually a stump the chump friday clue), yowl, silo and dweeb. Yep i guess deffinitly a wednesday puzzle. For got to mention last fridays was best puzzle of the year. Keep up good work.

JD said...

Good afternoon Steve, C.C. et al,

Enjoyed seeing a Dynamic Duo offering on a Wed...no hair pulling today. Stammered over sancta,and roche, and perps helped here 'n there(IPOS, EOS). Changed Saul to Sahl, scoff to scorn.

I was way off thinking Cheers or some bar for brownstone (why, I don't know) and had stool before stoop.

Laughed OUT LOUD when filling MYOB, not being able to picture C.C. saying that...such a kid thing.

Laila was so good on DWTS, and I would have never known about her.

My aunt was a geriatric doctor in the 40's.My grandfather died quite young so my Dad left school, worked for Doubleday, and put her through college.

As for suffixes, I'm with Lucina. I wait for the perps to clue me in.

JD said...

Steve, I loved your write up and was able to take more time today to read everything after I cleaned out the entire insides of my frig; a can of Dr. Pepper exploded! It's a mystery!
Grady now knows EVERYTHING that is in there; a great vocabulary lesson.

HB Kazie ♪♩♬♫•*¨*•.❤.•*¨*•♫♪•.¸¸.•´♫♪♩♬ ♥.•´*♫♪♩♬

Bill, great set of pictures!

Rube said...

Tx @Kazie for setting the record straight. Every red blooded American (almost) knows that Ford's Mercurys are known as MERCs. It's just that, as @Argyle said, "oceans apart" there's a car made in Germany that is, as I said, "also called [a] MERC"... a fact that some of us Americans didn't know.

Wow, 3 posts for me... unheard of.

HeartRx said...

Bill G. @ 2:11, thanks for linking those cute animal pics. It was interesting to see that there was one of “Meow”, the fat cat that Hahtoolah linked on Monday!

Anon @ 3:20, thanks for the kind words.

Yellowrocks said...

Bill G. Cute animal pics.

JD, mentioning MYOB being a kid thing reminds me of when I was teaching. Some of the fifth graders would poke their noses in where they would cause a fight or hard feelings. I would say M-Y-O-B. It really worked. Whenever someone got too personal a student would say MI-OB pronounced as a 2 syllable word. Everyone laughed and the tension was broken.

If there is H2O inside a fire hydrant, what substance is outside? K9P.

Hahtoolah said...

Yellowrocks: that's a cute joke!

Jayce said...

Best wishes to you, kazie, for a happy birthday.

Good joke, Yellowrocks.

Excellent puzzle.

We often affectionately abbreviate our newspaper's name to "The Merc." Some people even call it "The Murky News."

Wife and I had a wonderful lunch date at our favorite Shanghai-style Chinese restaurant today. After that, we're gonna have a light supper tonight, that's fir shir.

Speaking of SANCTA, our family sometimes enjoys deliberately mispronouncing words, and we used to say "Sanctuary much" for "Thank you very much."

Like JD, we probably would never have heard of Laila Ali if she had not have been on Dancing With The Stars. Well, many other people we never would have heard of, too.

LA CW Addict said...

Loved today's theme, and I love Moo Goo Gai Pan. Has been a long time since I've had it. Now you've given me IDEES!

Messed up on 14A, had BAWL instead of YOWL, and am ashamed to say I missed BYU altogether, and actually thought 5D really did have something to do with The Simpsons rather than the classic Homer. My Bad!

My only nit is what Lucina and a couple others said re: ELK. I do believe that the plural of ELK is ELK, just like DEER is DEER in similar kind. I'm a little surprised that the editor let that go. However, I will forgive this since I enjoyed the rest of the puzzle so much!

Isn't the Grand Marquis what McGarrett used to drive on Hawaii Five-O? What a gorgeous car that was! Used to make me drool. Would love to see a clip. That was my favorite TV program when I was in Junior High!

Happy #66 Kazie! Hope it was a great one.

CrazyCat said...

A late hello to all. This lovely offering by C.C. and DG was treat today. Not particularly easy, but filled in smoothly. Thanks for your recap Steve. Think I'll try the "Hail Mary" next time I'm trying to find a place to park.

Happy Birthday Kazie and a belated Happy Anniversary to Abejo. Wow, just realized my 34th is coming up in a couple of weeks.

What everyone else said. SANCTA was my WOTD, but what a beautiful one.

John28man 12:33

I remember seeing the Giants play at the Yale Bowl in 1974. My kinda sorta boyfriend was a rookie Giant drafted from Penn. I think the only one ever. He didn't last long - me or football.

CrazyCat said...

As far as MERC, Grand Marquis.

My dad got one when he was in his late 70's. I think he thought he was driving a tank. First he backed it out of the garage without opening the door. Then he drove it into the garage without stopping and went through the front wall. When he wedged it into the carport at his retirement village, they took away his license. It crushed him, but thank goodness he never hurt himself or anyone else. He managed (somehow) to drive until he was 86. The car still looked damned good.

Lucina said...

I just returned from taking my granddaughter to lunch. I would have liked Chinese but she preferred hamburgers so it was Red Robin.

We had this discussion not too long ago that deer, elk, sheep, buffalo, fish and some other animals' names are the same in singular and plural.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I finished the puzzle early on, but with another meeting this morning (number 3 in three days, plus two events over the weekend) I wasn't able to get to the blog until late.

C.C. and Don G., loved the theme and I actually got everything done in a record time for me.

Everything has been said and what I can contribute would just be duplicate info.

I wanted to make sure that I wished Kazie a very happy birthday and many, many more.

Have a great day everyone.

Mom speaks out said...

We have a Merc Grand Marquis. My hubster calls it the "Silver Bullet".

I also agree that elk is singular as well as plural.

Happy birthday Kazi!
Great puzzle Dan and CC.
Off now to watch "Idol". Steven Tyler melts my butter!

eddyB said...

Hello.

Sun playing peek-a-boo with rain clouds all day. Temp made it to 74.

BOS and WAS tied at 3 game each.
Someone gets to play golf tomorrow.

Favorite Chinese dish is special
House Chow Fun from local hole in the wall. (rice noodles and beef in black bean sauce)

Race from Sao Paulo on Sunday.

eddy

Avg Joe said...

On the topic of Chinese food, is there anyone on the blog that lived in Denver in the late '70's? They had a local fast food chain there called the "Beef Bowl" that had great food.....assuming you liked "Beef Bowl". If you wanted variety, you were in the wrong place. It was fried beef, onions, ginger and rice with some broth. But it was a good filling and delicious meal for very little money. $1.75, IIRC. It also was a good place to learn how to use chop sticks.

Jerome said...

BillG- Those friars are the CHIPMONKS

Anonymous said...

Jerome - isn't that what BillG said?

Bill G. said...

Very strange weather hereabouts. It's been humid today. The wind really kicked up about an hour ago. Rain is approaching from the south. It just started and is supposed to get heavy later. We'll see.

I have a theory about actors on TV shows these days. I think they are chosen because they look good and have a really appealing personality. Learning to act comes later or maybe never. They are appealing enough when they just act naturally. Consider Sophia Vergara on 'Modern Family' or Maria Menounis on whatever.

PK said...

A friend and I took a bunch of kids to music contest one time--a long round-trip and full day. Running late, she prayed for green lights on the main street with good results. I was driving and we were having fun with her praying us a parking place, etc.

I dropped her and her kid off then drove on home. Had a flat tire at the bottom of my drive. I called her and said, "You quit praying too soon!" She said, "Well, I was home okay."

Hahtoolah said...

PK ~ That is shocking! I got a flat tire the other day on my way to work. As I drove into the parking garage, my tire pressure light came on. When I got out of my car, I heard a loud hissing sound. Within 10 minutes, the tire was flat. Fortunately for me, some of the men I work with were more than willing to replace the flat with the spare "donut".

Steve said...

@PK - lovely story!